Offshore Fishing Report World Wide Sportsman, Islamorada, Florida

Hello everyone, and welcome back to this week’s report!  What a week this has been as the wind and rain really kicked up early in the week, and made for some nearly unfishable conditions after Monday.  As the front came through the winds were blowing and gusting around 30 mph and with a lot of rain and storms.  We didn’t make it out after Monday, neither did the majority of the fleet.  The good news is that as of Thursday the winds have subsided and the rain has diminished, so it looks like things are going to calm down a bit for the weekend.  Although, there is another front going to come through late Sunday night and the temps are going to drop into the high 60’s which is a welcomed event.  The water has been so warm all year that it feels like the longest summer ever.  We finally got our first “real cool spell” early this week, so I suppose winter is really here now.  A couple more of these fronts and it should really shape things up for us on the Sailfishing front.  The bite has been very unpredictable the past week, but there have been a few fish around.  We have been averaging about 2 to 4 shots per day, so the Sailfishing has been OK, but not red hot by any means.  The fishing day has been good, as there has been some variety out there with Kings, Blackfin Tuna, and even a few Dolphin.  We even had a couple days last weekend where the Wahoo’s were pretty thick and everyone it seemed managed to catch a couple.  These guys will probably be around pretty good for Friday and Saturday so if that is part of your plan then you should do well.  They really like the calm weather and blue water, so with the forecast down to pretty much nothing for Friday and Saturday this could be a good plan barring the water doesn’t get too dirty from the last front.  The reef and wrecks have been pretty decent this past week as well, but the Yellowtails were a little finicky with the gin clear water.  They were catchable, but patience was definitely a virtue.  The shallow patches have been really good with Mutton’s and Mangroves, so this is another good idea as well.  Plenty of Cero Macks there too, and the Pilchards on a lead head jig have been the ticket.  Plenty of Groupers around too, although they are closed, so action is not an issue.  Mutton Snappers on the Wrecks, King Mackerel, a few Blackfin Tunas and Wahoo really rounded it out.  I would look for the same this weekend.  Sunday might be a bit challenging with the wind going to the West preparing for the front, so I would make your plans accordingly. If you have the opportunity to fish Friday and Saturday, that would be the best plan.  On our coast we have a saying that differs from most areas and that is “winds out of the West, stay home and rest”.  West winds aren’t the best here in the Keys, but if you know how to manage your success, and by that I mean fish for what bites in a west wind, you will be fine.  Focus on the reef and King Mackerel as they don’t seem to mind the West wind as much, and with this wind the water generally gets dirty and these guys like a little dirty water.  Bait should be easy Friday and Saturday as the Pilchards should move in front the reef to the shallow sand/patchy areas.  Tennessee reef, Alligator Reef, and Crocker Reef have been the areas these guys have been popping up, so look for the Yellow Beak Terns and they will give them away.  It is generally an early morning activity so don’t have too much fun the night before and get a “Hollywood start” and expect stellar results.  Get out by 7am and use your binoculars to find the birds and if you do you will find the bait.  The normal bait patch spots have been holding Cigar Minnows, Ballyhoo, Blue Runners, and a few Sardines if you do happen to get a late start.

Well, that is it for this week! Remember, if you need a charter please feel free to stop by World Wide Sportsman’s Bayside Marina and check us out, as I will be glad to help you out with whatever you need. Fishing report provided by Captain James Chappell 305-803-1321 www.catchalottafish.com out of World Wide Sportsman Bayside Marina, Islamorada, Florida. I hope everyone has a great weekend, and remember to boat responsibly!

 

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Crappie - From the Shore

I have only been crappie fishing for a few years now in Missouri and thought I would share the different styles and colors of baits that I have had success with fishing from shore. Like some crappie fisherman will tell, it doesn’t really matter what color of bait you use, as long as it is chartreuse. There is some truth to that statement and most of my baits are, or have some chartreuse in them. For example “Electric Chicken”, in recent years, has become a popular color, and yes, it does have a touch of chartreuse in it. Baits used in crappie fishing include live minnows, small spinnerbaits and crankbaits, small flys and soft plastics. From curly tail grubs to small paddletail swimbaits, soft plastics have the most styles and colors available of all the crappie baits and I use them under a float. Bass Pro Shops have a great selection of soft plastics, and my favorites are Bass Pro Shops 1” Squirmin’ Grubs, Bass Pro Shops 2” Triple Ripple Grubs, Crappie Maxx 1/32” Paddletail Minnow and Fle-Fly Brand 1” Go Go Minnow. For 1” plastics I use a 1/64 ounce jighead and for the 2” plastics I will either use a 1/32 or a 1/16 ounce jighead.

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Something else I never leave home without is additional fish attractant. Attractants include Berkley PowerBait Crappie Nibbles and liquid attractants. Either type will greatly increase a strike. Nibbles are used to tip a jighead hook and come in a variety of colors. Sprays can include Berkley PowerBait for Crappie, Chompers Formula G, my favorite, or Kick’n Crappie. Simply just give your plastic a couple of drops or squirts.

 

With all of the proper equipment, styles of baits and techniques, the search for evasive slab can be the most aggravating fish to find, or it can be literally like fishing In-A-Bucket where you just can’t keep them off your hook. Good Luck and wishing you all Tight-Lines!!!

 

Advanced Crappie Jigging Tactics

Spring Crappie Tactics

Written By:  Paul Stover - Fishing Team Lead

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Offshore Fishing Report World Wide Sportsman, Islamorada, Florida

Hello everyone, and welcome back to this week’s report!  Some great fishing here this week off the Upper Keys, but the winds are still blowing.  The wind has been blowing 20 knots or better all week, and it doesn’t look like it is going to let up much until the middle of the weekend or early next week.  The good news has been that the wind has been mostly out of the North to Northeast the early part of the week, but since going to the East it has been really rough.  It looks like it could come down to around 15 knots sometime during the weekend, but we will just have to wait and see.  It is forecast to be between Northeast and East, so let’s hope that it stays more Northeast, as this will make it much more accessible leaving us in the “lee” of the islands.  The beauty of the weather this week has been that we finally got a “cool” front.  The temperatures have dropped down to 70 degrees, and has cooled the water off offshore about 3 degrees.  This is going to do wonders for our Sailfishing coming up later this week and should definitely push some fish into our area.  Overall we have had a few nice days of Sailfishing, but the bottom fish on the reef and the wrecks has been really good.  I don’t know anyone who ventured outside of 300 feet of water, but there has been plenty going on on the reef and off the edge.  For the weekend, look for the winds to be in the 15-20 knot range and hope that the wind stays more Northeast than East.  The current this week was moving Southwest, so we are hoping that the Gulf Stream current moves in and starts moving up the road as this will also help out the cause.  Look for the Reef and wrecks to be dynamite this week as you should see nice catches of Muttons and Groupers.  Plenty of Jacks and Kings roaming all over the place on both the reefs and the wrecks so getting bites shouldn’t bee too difficult.  There has been some really nice Blackfin Tunas on the wrecks as well, especially if you are kite fishing and chumming, they seem to be very happy with this condition.  Bait fishing this week was good too, with plenty of Ballyhoo, Blue Runners, and Cigar Minnows, and Sardines on the patches.  There are even some Pilchards around up and down the beach, so if you pay attention to the Pelicans and Terns you will find them.  All in all it should be a good weekend after this moon, so if you are able to get out with the winds that are in the forecast it should be a good time!

Well, that is it for this week! Remember, if you need a charter please feel free to stop by World Wide Sportsman’s Bayside Marina and check us out, as I will be glad to help you out with whatever you need. Fishing report provided by Captain James Chappell 305-803-1321 www.catchalottafish.com out of World Wide Sportsman Bayside Marina, Islamorada, Florida. I hope everyone has a great weekend, and remember to boat responsibly!

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Offshore Fishing Report World Wide Sportsman, Islamorada, Florida

Hello everyone, and welcome back to this week’s report!  This week has been a blustery mess as the winds have been blowing 20 knots or better since Saturday night.  The good news is that the winds are forecast to come down on Thursday and should be 10 to 15 knots over the weekend.  With a little luck this hard East/ Southeast wind will blow the current in close to the reef and give us some Northeaset/ East current.  We have been stuck for the past week with Southwest current, which isn’t as desirable for our winter time fishery.  In addition, if the East current moves in, the fishing should be fantastic!  I would predict there will be some Mahi in shallow crushing bait on the reef, and this should ignite the Sailfishing for the season.  The temperatures have been a bit cooler, but we would definitely like to see get a bit more of a temperature drop.  I think this will at least bring in some additional fish to play with for the next week or so.  The offshore scene will have some Mahi in it I am sure, and if the weeds are able to come together or any edges get built, you can rest assured there will be some fish in/on it.  This should also push more tunas in on the deep ledge so the kite fishing should be really good as well with a good variety of fish.  The last day we fished was Sunday, and it was rough.  However, there was an extreme amount of bait stacking up between 160’ all the way in to about 40’ of water, and the King Mackerel’s were ferocious.  These guys should be everywhere over the weekend, so if you are on the hunt for these guys it should be a no brainer.  Speedos and Cigar Minnows will be the bait of choice, with Pilchards coming in right behind.  The wrecks and rock piles on the reef will surely be the ticket to finding these guys, so twist up some #3 or #4 wire and hang on!  

The reef and wrecks should remain productive as these areas haven’t been fished really since the past weekend.  With the wind out of the Southeast and the current going up the road (we hope), this should create and ideal condition for the Snapper fishing over the weekend.  There have been a ton of Cero Mackerel in the chum slicks as of late too, so the reef should be on fire.  Live bait should be abundant on the deeper patches, as they have been pretty strong for the past couple months.  If you are looking for Pilchards, check out the shoreline as this wind would have pushed the bait in close.  The Pelicans and Yellowbeak terns will surely give them away so keep your eyes peeled for divebombing and swooping action along the beaches.  

Well, that is it for this week! Remember, if you need a charter please feel free to stop by World Wide Sportsman’s Bayside Marina and check us out, as I will be glad to help you out with whatever you need. Fishing report provided by Captain James Chappell 305-803-1321 www.catchalottafish.com out of World Wide Sportsman Bayside Marina, Islamorada, Florida. I hope everyone has a great weekend, and remember to boat responsibly!

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Offshore Fishing Report World Wide Sportsman, Islamorada, Florida

Hello everyone, and welcome back to this week’s report!  Things have started to heat up this week down here, and I don’t mean just the sun.  It is unseasonably hot for the middle of November, but the fish are still biting!  He weather this week has been incredible, and looks like it will stay nice until Saturday or Saturday night.  There is a chance for some rain this weekend, but the winds are forecast to pick up Saturday evening, and carry on into next week.  I can’t see far enough in the forecast when it will end, but hopefully it isn’t too bad for too long.  The bait this week has been excellent with plenty of Cigar Minnows, Ballyhoo, Pilchards, and even a few Sardines.  The fish have been happy this week, and there were even some Sailfish that stumbled their way into our area believe it or not!  Last November was excellent, and this November has been slow on the Sailfish scent, but great for Dolphin.  This just might be the longest Dolphin season in the history of the Florida Keys….no joke!  They are definitely starting to thin in numbers, but to be able to go out and catch plenty for a few dinners, in November, is pretty nice.  Having said that, there are a few Tunas around on the humps, but the majority of them it appears have moved in on the deep reef, so I would have to say the offshore bite is within a few weeks of being over, at best.  The Sword Ledge produced nicely this week with a few boats catching 3-6 fish per day, but haven’t heard of much over 80 pounds or so.   A lot of little guys out there that are being released healthy, so I am never upset when I see the little ones because you gotta have kindergartener’s in order to have some college graduates if you know what I mean.  

 

The reef and wrecks remain consistent, and the Yellowtail bite is as good as it gets since the Commercial Yellowtail closure.  We are allowed to fish for them on charters and recreationally, using the recreational limits, and the fish have been incredibly hungry.  The sharks are back in pretty good numbers too, so I suppose we can contribute this to the water temperature as it is nearly 82 degrees still.  The wrecks and deeper live bottom are still producing nice Muttons and Groupers, as well as some really nice King Mackerel, Amberjacks, Bonita, and even a few African Pompano.  A few Wahoo were caught this week with the calmer weather, and this fishery is just beginning and will get much better in the next month or two.  

Well, that is it for this week! Remember, if you need a charter please feel free to stop by World Wide Sportsman’s Bayside Marina and check us out, as I will be glad to help you out with whatever you need. Fishing report provided by Captain James Chappell 305-803-1321 www.catchalottafish.com out of World Wide Sportsman Bayside Marina, Islamorada, Florida. I hope everyone has a great weekend, and remember to boat responsibly!

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Offshore Fishing Report World Wide Sportsman, Islamorada, Florida

Hello everyone, and welcome back to this week’s report!  What a week we have had with the wind blowing, as it was feeling like it was never going to stop.  We have fished every day since last Thursday, and it has been a beating at best.  Thankfully, the winds are coming down and it looks like the weekend is going to shape up nicely!  The fishing this past week has been good, with some Sails, Groupers, Mutton Snappers, Yellowtail Snappers, African Pompano, Amberjacks, Bonita, Sharks, and several other species coming over the rail.  The offshore bite has been slow for the few who have ventured out as there isn’t much weed to hold the Dolphin, and the Blackfin Tunas are starting to move around off of the humps.  No one has made it out to the Swordfish ledge this past week as this should have been some of the best Swordfishing we would have seen all year.  The weather made for unsafe conditions, so it was a definite “no go” on the Sword ledge.  We are heading out there tomorrow barring the weather holds up, so I will report next week on how this turns out, or check out my “Catchalottafish Charters” Facebook page for updates on this trip.  We have been mostly Sailfishing this past week as well as Wreck fishing, and it has been pretty good all around.  The Groupers and Mutton Snapper fishing has been good, and we have managed to catch some Sails as well as Kings and other species so the fishing at least has been fun despite the winds.  The reef bite this week was pretty good for the guys who moved around and found the right current conditions.  It appeared that the North side of Islamorada had current going up the road, while to the South it was going West.  We didn’t participate in anchoring down, but the majority of my reports were decent.  Look for the weekend to be a completely different with the winds subsiding and the ocean really coming alive.  I think the fish are going to go nuts with things calming down and this huge moon subsiding.  Should be a great weekend all around!    There has been tons of bait everywhere with plenty of Ballyhoo, Cigar Minnows, Sardines, and Blue Runners on the patches, as well as Pilchards on the beach.  There is no excuse for not catching bait, as it is everywhere!  

Well, that is it for this week! Remember, if you need a charter please feel free to stop by World Wide Sportsman’s Bayside Marina and check us out, as I will be glad to help you out with whatever you need. Fishing report provided by Captain James Chappell 305-803-1321 www.catchalottafish.com out of World Wide Sportsman Bayside Marina, Islamorada, Florida. I hope everyone has a great weekend, and remember to boat responsibly!

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CAPTAIN MACK'S WEEKLY FISHING REPORT

I hope you have had the opportunity to get out and enjoy the lake. The weather has been fantastic and fishing has been overall pretty good.

The stripers are all over the lake, typical for October, and you’ll need to be versatile to be successful. I think in terms of consistency, the umbrellas have been the best producer. Pull the rig around 20 feet deep over20 to 35 foot points and humps and you’ll be able to catch good numbers of Stripers in the 3 to 12 lb. range. This pattern is good in the lower and middle parts of the lake.

Down rods are still accounting for good catches and as of last week there were still good groups of fish roaming over the river channel, with the fish being anywhere from 30 to 80 feet. This pattern requires some searching, but can provide a big payoff if you can locate the fish.  Live Baits on the freelines and Planers are also coming into play, and heading up into the river with some trout or Gizzard Shad may get the big bite.

The Schoolers are inconsistent at best, but they are showing up, be on the lookout as they may pop up anywhere, any anytime. Casting topwaters to points and humps will also yield some Striper bites with some nice Spotted Bass as a Bonus.

Bass Fishing is pretty good, especially relative to the calendar. Water conditions and temps are such that you may catch fish anywhere, and that is usually the case during turnover, you may encounter widely varying water conditions that change frequently and yesterday’s success may not carry over to today so do not get too locked into a certain pattern or technique.  

Jigs have been a big producer, fish them on points, humps and around brush. Tipping the jig with the Yamamoto Twin tails, either the 4 or 5 inch model will do nicely. The drop shot is still prodding in these same Areas, Green Pumpkin, Green Shiner, and Hologram dawn are good color choices on the drop shot. Both of these baits are good choices if we have the bright sun with little or no wind as we experience in recent days. If we do get some wind, or if the clouds return, don’t rule out casting topwaters and swimbaits over brush and other structures.  The Super Spooks, Savage gear Swimbaits, and the Sworming Hornet Swimbaits will be good choices for this technique.  If none of that works out, try fishing shallow cover in the middle and upper parts of the lakes, this may yield some nice Largemouth bass in addition to the Spots.

Crappie fishing has been extremely good, at least for numbers. Free standing brush is probably the best producer, but docks with brush, and bridge pillars are also productive. Hair jigs and soft plastic, especially the Bobby garland Jigs, will both get the bite. Grab a few dozen live minnows as well, they also have been very effective. You can fish the minnow on the downline, or use them to tip the jig.  If the fish stop biting the artificials, minnows are a great change up to reignite the bite.  Fishing is good all day, but the bite may be a little better in the am hours!

 

Good Fishing!

Capt. Mack

Email any inquiries to Capt. Mack @ thefarrside@mindspring.com or Visit Capt. Mack online @ www.captmacks.com

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“Stik” to the Basics

The best lessons in life are often learned the hard way, and today I am licking my wounds from a tough lesson reinforced at the recent Bass master Northern Open on Oneida Lake in New York.

I pride myself on being an angler with an open mind by refusing to stick with a tactic or place on the lake if it fails to produce. This philosophy has led me to success countless times and came with me to Oneida where after spending an entire week I found the bite to be tough. However, while most anglers reported that bites were far and few in between, I was finding quality fish everyday and felt an opportunity was knocking to finish high. The most consistent producing baits were the Speed Shad, XPS Suspended Minnow, double-dipped tubes, and a drop shot rig, and I was vigilant on remaining open minded on which bait was best for each spot and each day.

When day one of the tournament arrived, I was supremely confident that by slinging these baits and going through the areas that produced in practice, I would manage a competitive bag of smallmouth and largemouth bass. But, I had forgotten what got me to this point.

It began when spot #1, my most reliable producer in practice, failed to produce a single fish. After saturating the area with the aforementioned baits for an hour, I moved on. Nearly each spot produced the same results. Before I knew it, just 15 minutes remained, and I was bewildered to find only two quality smallmouth in my live well, and then it hit me. I finally slung the bait that has produced more fish for me over the years than nearly every other bait combined: a BPS Stik-O rigged wacky style. Almost immediately I caught another keeper smallmouth and a pickerel. A lightbulb went off in my head.

Unfortunately, after one day of competition I brought just three fish, weighing 7 pounds and 15 ounces, to the scales and settled in 102 place out of 196 professionals. Disappointment was not a strong enough word to describe my feelings, but I took some solace in the valuable discovery at the end: the BPS Stik-O would catch a mob of fish on day two.

When day two was over my co-angler called me a prophet as I boldly told him even before take off to tie on a Stik-O rigged wacky style because it would catch hordes, and it did. The onslaught began almost immediately in front of a disapproving audience. Amongst a crowd of boats, in an area that failed to produce a single fish on day one, we caught over 20 keeper bass. All other surrounding competitors failed to catch a single fish.

Working a wacky rigged Stik-O is as easy as fishing can get. Simply sling it out as far as possible and allow it to naturally shimmy down on slack line. Once you’re confident the bait has hit bottom, lift your rod up from the 9 o’clock position to the 2 o’clock and repeat all the way back to the boat. The fish on this day ate it up.

An interesting secondary pattern developed throughout the morning as well. Sporadically, small schools of smallmouth would surface. To coax them into biting, I threw a host of baits (Speed Shad, jerk baits, and top water) at them, but never scored a strike. Out of frustration I threw the Stik-0 at the schooling fish, which is unconventional for schooling fish. I soaked that bait for 10 seconds before lifting it, and when I did, a largemouth had swallowed it. This happened numerous times and I caught my biggest fish doing so. It was apparent that largemouth were following the schooling smallmouth and hung out under them waiting to eat up the scraps.

At the end of the day my limit of largemouth weighed 13 pounds and 9 ounces, which catapulted me up 41 spots to finish in 61 place out of 196. While I am proud of the strong finish, I will forever regret forgetting the most valuable bait in my arsenal on day one. Had I, I surely would have placed high in the standings.

Thus the lesson: always have an open mind and refuse to be content, but never allow that philosophy to ignore techniques and patterns that have proven themselves. I will never go into competition again without the Stik-O rigged up ready for battle.

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Offshore Fishing Report World Wide Sportsman, Islamorada, Florida

Hello everyone, and welcome back to this week’s report!  The weather this week so far hasn’t been too desirable, as the thunderstorms have been relentless.  Only a few boats have braved the elements, making it very difficult to figure out what is going on.  The “Catchalottafish” is out of the water for the week for our yearly maintenance, so I am relying on the fleet to help with this one, but due to the weather there hasn’t been much to gather.  On a good note, the weather for the weekend is looking pretty nice with variable winds at 5 to 10 knots. 

 

Not sure how churned up the water is going to be after all this wind with the tides the way they are, but I am going to say that the Pilchards should move back in off the reef once the wind calms down and things should get back to normal.  The bait patches should also be holding Cigar Minnows, Blue Runners, and Ballyhoo so there will hopefully be some bait around.  Offshore there will hopefully be some weed lined up since the wind is supposed to start coming down on Friday, and if you can find the weed you will surely find some Dolphin.  The humps are loaded with Tunas right now, so this should be a no brainer on the feathers or live bait.  The Swordfishing offshore should be starting to peak with the Super moon coming at the end of this month.  I would say that the next 30 days should be the best we have seen all year. 

 

The reef is still going strong, and as of my last report, the sharks have started to let off a bit.  I am not sure if it is from the commercial shark fisherman, or if they are beginning to move toward the back, but my guess is my first suggestion.  Whatever it is has definitely made it more enjoyable while fishing for the Snappers, and not having to donate so many to the tax man.  The wrecks are starting to pick up as well, and I expect that the bottom fishing is going to get hot as this moon approaches as well.  There have been some decent numbers of King Mackerel starting to move in to our area too, so things are starting to shape up.  Won’t be long before we start seeing a few Sailfish I am sure, but we still got a little time I suppose. 

Well, that is it for this week! Remember, if you need a charter please feel free to stop by World Wide Sportsman’s Bayside Marina and check us out, as I will be glad to help you out with whatever you need. Fishing report provided by Captain James Chappell 305-803-1321 www.catchalottafish.com out of World Wide Sportsman Bayside Marina, Islamorada, Florida. I hope everyone has a great weekend, and remember to boat responsibly!

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Captain Mack's Weekly Fishing Report

Lake Lanier is 1.75 feet below full and the surface temps are in the mid 80’s. Fishing has been very good for Stripers, and Bass, we’ll give the Crappie fishing a fair rating.

Striper fishing has been very good and there are several techniques that are producing nice catches right now. Live Herring on the down rods are very effective, with some fish still taking weighted flat lines in the early am hours. There are even a few of the smaller Stripers pushing bait up to the surface in the first hour of the day, keep a top water, small jig, Flex-It Spoon,or a game changer tied on  to cast to the schoolers. Also, when you see surfacing fish, even if you think they are all Spots, or if they sound, go over and do a quick sonar check, often you will see the fish in 25 to 40 feet, waiting for you to send down a bait!

Umbrellas are still working well and are accounting for some very good numbers. Pull the rigs into pockets and coves adjacent to creek channels or the river channel, and pull all the back to a 30 foot bottom as many of the fish are still working into the backs of these areas. If you see big concentrations of fish, clear the rigs and send the Herring down, and/or start power reeling a buck tail.

As the water heats more Stripers are gravitating to the River channel and the major creek channels. Lead core is a good option here, a 1 or 1.5 oz. chipmunk jig 7 or 8 colors back is a good combo. This bite is just developing and is not producing huge numbers, but the average size has been very good. Overall Striper fishing has been good all day, but I think the bite is best in the early am and late evening hours.

Bass fishing is good and if you are out early watch for the schoolers! We are seeing a lot of surfacing fish for the first couple of hours of daylight, Zara Spooks, Chug Bugs and small buck tails will be good choices for this pattern. After the surface activity slows, concentrate your efforts on brush in the 20 to 30 foot range. Jigs, and worms are both effective for the brush bite, and the drop shot will be hard to beat for numbers and consistency. Don’t rule out a spoon, if you can see any decent concentrations of fish on the bottom, drop a Flex-it down to them and hang on! The Flex-It spoon is also very effective when cast to the schooling fish, it’s weight and compact size allow for long casts making those far away fish a little easier to reach!

Crappie fishing is just ok, it is not so much that the fish are not biting, it is more a matter of the fish being really deep.  Many of the fish are 20 feet or deeper making it very difficult and very slow to present small jigs in those depths. Try fishing two jigs on a tandem rig, this allows you to fish a small bait, but it will sink into the strike zone much more quickly when you double the weight. Live minnows on a downline are a good choice for these deep fish as well. Night fishing under the bridges in the upper parts of the lake can also be very effective and a good way to beat the heat and boat traffic. Live minnows or very small threadfin shad are the baits of choice for this pattern

Good Fishing!

Capt. Mack

Email any inquiries to Capt. Mack @ thefarrside@mindspring.com or Visit Capt. Mack online @ www.captmacks.com

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Captain Mack's Weekly Fishing Report

Striper fishing is very good and the patterns are very typical for this time of year. Herring on the downlines are producing well and will continue to be a primary technique throughout the summer. Fishing the downlines around 25 to 30 feet over a 30 to 50 foot bottom has been very productive in recent weeks, but as always, watch the sonar and place your baits slightly above the fish for the best results.

Trolling remains a great option and the umbrellas are also producing well. This pattern has changed in the last few days and you find that you need to pull the rig a little deeper to get the bite. Humps and, points are still productive areas, and there are good numbers of fish in the pockets adjacent to creek channels, over a 30 to 50 foot bottom. In addition to those patterns, we are seeing more and more fish move out over the creek channels and the old river channel as is to be expected as we enter into July. If you have downriggers, now is the time to utilize them! Downriggers are a very effective tool and can be extremely productive on the Stripers, Umbrellas, Single jigs, Spoons, and a variety of plugs are all effective behind the downriggers.

The bass are really settling into their deep water summer homes and we are seeing some nice concentrations of fish. Main lake brush is, and probably will be the dominant structure now that the surface temps have climbed into the mid to upper 80’s.  Look for brush on the main lake humps and points. Casting swimbaits and topwaters over these piles should get the bite, and may get you hooked up to some big Spotted Bass. Now that the water has warmed, you can fish either of these two types with a brisk retrieve, a faster pace may help trigger the bite. After you have caught a couple with the top water/swimbait, follow it up with a Roboworm on the shaky head or the Texas rig and you should get a couple more bonus bites. Almost any shade of the Roboworms are effective, but Morning Dawn, Aaron’s Morning dawn, Prizm Kraw and Baby Bluegill have all been good color patterns in recent days.

Night fishing is still a viable option, and will definitely be cooler! Look for the fish to be using main lake humps and points, basically the same areas you fish during the day, but perhaps not quite as deep. The bass will often move into slightly shallower water, think 12 to 25 feet after the sun sets. Crankbaits, worms and big bladed spinnerbaits are all good options after dark.

Crappie fishing is good, but now that many of the fish are in 18 to 25 feet deep, it is a painstakingly slow process. Fishing minnows on a downline as opposed to casting small jigs is a good option and is often a more efficient method for these deeper fish. Brush piles, docks with brush and bridge pilings are all good structures to search for the Crappie and the upper part of the lake is probably the most productive area.

Night fishing is also a good option to target the Crappie, and dropping a submersible light on any of the above mentioned structures can be a great technique. Tying up under the bridges after sunset and putting out a big spread of lights is also a good technique going into the summer.

Good Fishing!

Capt. Mack

Email any inquiries to Capt. Mack @ thefarrside@mindspring.com or Visit Capt. Mack online @ www.captmacks.com

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Captain MAck's Weekly FIshing Report

Striper fishing continues to be outstanding, both for numbers and size. The techniques and methods are very typical of August and there has been little or no change in the patterns in recent days. Since that is the case, I can devote a little more time to technique and really get your game tweaked!

Power reeling has been off the hook, and I would actually give it the nod as the best technique. Parker spoons and 2 oz. Chipmunks are the baits of choice. The specifics of the power reeling are varied, but here is what I think is the best technique and why: many anglers want to jig the bait or fish it at specific depths. To maximize the power reeling, drop the spoon all the way to the bottom, or to the top of the timber, and reel it back up to 30 feet, then repeat until you get a bite. The reason I advocate this is simple, by reeling all the way through the water column, as opposed to jigging it in place, you are showing your bait to huge numbers of fish! A stationary bait may get the bite, but by moving the bait up and down continuously, it becomes an extremely high saturation technique.

The Live Herring Downline bite is still very good, and there is a footnote for this technique as well. Many of the fish will take the bait, and move up. This can be a hard fish to catch as upward movement creates slack as opposed to when the fish grabs the bait and swims down pulling the line tight. To counteract this when the line goes slack just grab the reel handle and start cranking until you catch up to the fish. This is not uncommon for this time of year, I am not sure why the fish do this, just be prepared for that type of bite.

Look for the fish to be on the Lower end creek channels or on the river channel anywhere from 30 to 120 feet deep. Trolling remains a viable technique, Chipmunk jigs on the leadcore 8 or 9 colors out will get the bite, and leadcore trolling is a very good way to search for fish.

Bass Fishing is good, especially relative to this time of year. There are plenty of Spotted Bass on the deep humps, anywhere from 20 to 45 feet deep. As a general rule, the deeper fish are a little more stable and easier to catch. Worms are the big producers, drop shots are the favorite rig but the Texas Rig will also produce. Jigs will also get the bite on these deep fish and may get the big bite. An attractant such as JJ’s magic will be a plus. Roboworms in the Green Shiner, Aarons Magic and Prizm Perch are among many good color choices right now.

We are going to upgrade Crappie fishing to good! Like most of our fish, deep is good, think 15 to 25 feet, around free standing brush. Of course a dock with brush in the same depth range is a good structure as are up lake bridge pillars. The Bobby garland plastics are the go to bait right now, but a live minnow on a downline will also be effective. Bridge fishing after hours is also a good choice for the Crappie.  Hang lots of submersibles (green Lights are the best), stagger a spread of live minnows, and a fish dinner should be in your future!

Good Fishing!

Capt. Mack

Email any inquiries to Capt. Mack @ thefarrside@mindspring.com or Visit Capt. Mack online @ www.captmacks.com

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Publish on at Offshore Fishing Report World Wide Sportsman, Islamorda Florida

Hello everyone and welcome back to this week’s report!  Still another week down here with some great fishing!  The weather has been a little breezy with some rain moving around, but the fish keep on coming!  The Dolphin bite offshore continues to be as good as it gets, with everyone basically catching their limits every day.  These fish have all been moving to the East, but I can’t imagine it will happen much longer.  We had a good push of fish going South bound, as their normal migratory patterns would be, but this week everything has been moving up the road.  They have to come back some time, so I guess we will just keep putting them in the box and keep the smiles coming!  It has been an action packed week offshore, and the beauty of it all is it has been close.  I haven’t gone more than 16 miles all week, and it has been great!  The bait this week has been on point as well, with big schools of Pilchards on the deep grass flats enabling us to fill up the livewell each day.  There have also been some cigar minnows and nice size blue runners mixed in with them.  In addition, the large mats of weed that have been out in the current have had good numbers of the smaller jacks on them, so bait has been a breeze.  A little further out the Swordfish bite has slowed down, but there were still a few caught this week, but the thunderstorms have made this fishing a bit less desirable that usual. 

 

The wreck fishing this week has been absolutely crushed by the sharks.  It appears that even more Black tip and Spinner sharks have moved out to the deeper wrecks on the reef making it nearly impossible to get anything off the bottom.  We chose to bypass this type of fishing this week as I am not into giving away nice Mutton Snappers and Groupers away for free.  These sharks range from 50 to 125 pounds and do make for a great time on light tackle.  They are also willing to eat most anything you put in front of them have it be a live bait or a nice slab of Bonita they are going to eat it.  We did catch a few just for the fun of it on the 20 pound spinning outfits and it was a lot of fun so this is definitely a sure thing if sharks are what you are into. 

 

The reef has been pretty good this week with some nice Yellowtails and plenty of Mangrove Snappers.  There have also been some nice Cero Mackerel showing up on the reef, and these guys make some great table fare.  Most people discard them and think they are more like a King or Spanish Mackerel where table fare is concerned, but make no mistake they are delicious!  A flat line out the back will surely get you a bite on just about any sort of live bait, so leave one out while you are drifting baits for the Snappers and get ready!  You will be surprised at how tasty they are when you give them a chance.

Well, that is it for this week! Remember, if you need a charter please feel free to stop by World Wide Sportsman’s Bayside Marina and check us out, as I will be glad to help you out with whatever you need. Fishing report provided by Captain James Chappell 305-803-1321 www.catchalottafish.com out of World Wide Sportsman Bayside Marina, Islamorada, Florida. I hope everyone has a great weekend, and remember to boat responsibly!

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Offshore Fishing Report World Wide Sportsman, Islamorda Florida

Hello everyone, and welcome back to this week’s report!  The weather this week has been absolutely beautiful!  This forecast is supposed to carry on throughout the weekend, so it should be great for boats of all sizes.  The sun has been shining, seas are calm, and the current has been smoking up the road.  These are all great ingredients for fishing, and it has been really nice, with the fishing being no so shabby either!  The fishing report from the deep ledge on the Swordfish grounds has been decent.  Some fish being caught each day, although, nothing to crazy on the sizes.  The majority of the fish being caught have been under the 150 pound range, with the biggest part of them in the 50 to 80 pound range.  Some nice fish for the table, or just nice to let go of to grow up a bit.  The bite has been decent all up and down the line from Marathon to Key Largo.  In a little closer the Dolphin fishing has been a bit tough, but we have been making it happen each day.  Not a lot of bigger fish around with the calmer seas, but some nice gaffer size fish mixed with a lot of smaller fish.  We have been managing around 20 to 30 nice keepers each day, but have had our share of “shakers” throughout the day.  It appears that the last few days the bite has been on the shallow side from 450 to 700 in and around the large mats of Sargasm weed that has been coming through with the Gulfstream.  There have been some fish out in the deep, but the past few days the best of it has been in these depths.  The birds haven’t been flying too heavily, but there are some around and on fish.  The Humps have been producing good numbers of Blackfin Tuna, with a lot of Skipjack tunas mixed in.  Plenty of sharks, and a fair bite of AJ’s and Almacos on the bottom. 

 

The wrecks have been pretty good this week as well, with some nice Mutton Snappers, and a few Groupers.  Still a few King Mackerel around and a lot of Barracudas perusing these areas, with good numbers of Bonita too.  Plenty of action to be had while drifting or anchoring, and live bait has been the ticket!  Pilchards have been the bait of choice, with Cigar Minnows as a close second choice.  That is all that we have used this week, but you can bet that Ballyhoo and Speedos will work excellent as well. 

 

The reef still continues to produce as the Yellowtail Snappers and Mangrove Snappers have been happy with the greener water on the reef and the abundance of current.  The bottom bite in these areas has seemed to slow down a bit where the Groupers and Muttons are concerned, but the Mangroves have been very generous.  The sharks have been happy as well when the Snappers get chummed up, so be prepared to deal with the tax collector.  All in all the fishing is good, and should continue through the weekend.  If you are going Dolphin fishing, you might want to consider an afternoon trip to increase your chances.  There have been better numbers during the late part of the afternoon, rather than during the earlier part of the day.  Either way there have been fish, but the sizes have been a bit better after 3:00, and there is still plenty of sunlight to stay until the evening.

Well, that is it for this week! Remember, if you need a charter please feel free to stop by World Wide Sportsman’s Bayside Marina and check us out, as I will be glad to help you out with whatever you need. Fishing report provided by Captain James Chappell 305-803-1321 www.catchalottafish.com out of World Wide Sportsman Bayside Marina, Islamorada, Florida. I hope everyone has a great weekend, and remember to boat responsibly!

While you're waiting to get on the water, be sure to check out our extensive selection of saltwater gear at www.basspro.com

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Offshore Fishing Report World Wide Sportsman, Islamorda Florida

Hello everyone and welcome back to this week’s report!  The weather this week has been pretty decent, with a little wind on Wednesday, but it appears that it is shaping up nicely for the weekend.  The forecast is calling for 10 Knots out of the East to Southeast, and should make up some really nice Dolphin fishing conditions!  We all know that a successful day of fishing is very dependent on your ability to be “dialed in” on catching bait.  This week has been great, as there have been lots of live baits around for us to catch.  Whether it is Cigar Minnows, Pilchards, Blue Runners, or Ballyhoo there has been a definite surplus around the bait patches and shallow reefs.  Even the weed lines offshore are starting to produce “hook bait” sized Blue Runners and Yellow Jacks.  Having the ability to gather up the bait has made life much easier on the offshore scene without a doubt.  So, how has the fishing been this week?  Absolutely fantastic!  The Swordfish ledge has been producing Swordfish this week, with some fish in the 100 to 200 pound class from the North end of the Wall, all the way south to outside the Ups and Downs.  The bite continues to get better as we get into summer, and should get even better as we approach the late summer/ fall moons with September and October being the prime months.  Dolphin and Bonita strips and bellies have been the best baits, but I am sure most anything will work.  They generally aren’t too picky, as we use these more for durability than anything.  Squid will work well too, but it is much easier for them to knock the bait off the hook with the squid than it is with the other.  The Mahi bite has been excellent this week, with a lot of really nice fish making their way to the docks.  The live bait has been the best way to go as these guys are gorging themselves on the abundance of Flying Fish, and the normal “weed line” baits that are out there.  The magic depths have been 800’ to 1700’ all up and down the line.  There are some fish in the shallower depths, but the majority of them have been on the smaller side.  Good numbers of them though if you are out in hopes of just catching a few schoolies for dinner, so you shouldn’t have to run too far.  The deep dropping in the broken bottom continues to be good, with good numbers of Tile Fish, Snowy, and Yellow Edge groupers as well.  Be sure and stay on top of the new regulations where these guys are concerned, as the limits have recently changed to only one Tile and one Grouper per vessel.  The humps continue to produce Blackfin Tuna and Amberjacks, although the Amberjack bite seemed to slow down considerably this week.  Good numbers of feather Tuna on the Islamorada Hump, as well as the 409 Hump.  The best of the Tuna action has been on the Marathon Hump, as there are some size large Tunas there, but the Sharks have been really bad.  Live baiting with Pilchards while live chumming has been decent, but if they aren’t coming up then drifting a live bait down to where they are holding has been doing pretty well.  This really puts you in the “shark zone”, so be prepared to deal with the tax collector.

 

The wrecks have been pretty good this week with the Mutton Snappers, and even a few nice Groupers.  I wouldn’t call it a “sure thing”, but there have definitely been a handful of fish around.  Some Almaco Jacks, Jack Crevalle, and Bonita hanging out there as well.  I even heard of a few larger Blackfin Tunas patrolling the deeper wrecks, so it would appear to be a little action in these areas as well.  The reef was a bit slow early in the week as the current was up into the wind, but today’s report was just the opposite.  Three different reports I received all stated the Yellowtail fishing was excellent, and the big Mangroves were mixed right in there with them.  A few Mutton Snappers and Groupers to add a little icing on the cake, and made for a few really nice catches.  This is definitely something to look forward to for the weekend!

Well, that is it for this week! Remember, if you need a charter please feel free to stop by World Wide Sportsman’s Bayside Marina and check us out, as I will be glad to help you out with whatever you need. Fishing report provided by Captain James Chappell 305-803-1321 www.catchalottafish.com out of World Wide Sportsman Bayside Marina, Islamorada, Florida. I hope everyone has a great weekend, and remember to boat responsibly!

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Fishy Facts: Yellow Perch

To me there are a few quintessential “Americana-esque” images of the outdoors. One being that of those old Chris-Craft boats being rented by lake tourists. Another would be a hunter in the woods wearing a buffalo-patterned shirt, making us wonder if camo really matters. And the last would be a canoe beached on the shore with a hole stringer of yellow perch hanging on it. For some reason yellow perch always just make me think of simpler times, which makes sense because these fish have been a delight for generations to catch. While many focus on the all-mighty largemouth bass or the crazy-fast swordfish, I’d like to slow my roll for this month’s Fishy Facts and take a look at the classic Yellow Perch.

The yellow perch is a freshwater fish native to North America. It does have a cousin across the pond in Europe, but the two are considered separate species. The perch is well known for its distinctive yellow coloring with large dark triangles along their body. Their fins are a touch lighter with orange accents in them. They may not be the “flashiest” fish in the water, but they are quite beautiful to look at.

Yellow perch usually live from nine to ten years of age. Some studies have shown that the northern populations of these fish do grow larger and live longer lives when compared to the southern populations. While they are native in certain parts of North America, they have also been introduced into many more bodies of water. This happened for a few reasons. One being for recreational and commercial fishing purposes and the other to act as food for bass and walleye. Perch patterned baits are common for walleye fisherman, and when on a trip to Canada my stepdad was sure to take some with him.

I do believe it is a rite of passage for kids in the Midwest to catch perch. Scientific studies have not been done, but from what I understand it is so. In fact one of our Front End Leads grew up in the Midwest. I talked a little bit to him about perch and you could see how happy he was recalling catching them growing up. Like I said above, they have been delighting anglers for generations. In fact, the yellow perch is the longest standing record for freshwater fish caught in North America. The fish was caught in New Jersey all the way back in 1865! It weighed 4 pounds 3 ounces and measured 18 inches long. Just think about that, the yellow perch record has not been broken since the Civil War was ending!

Not only have anglers been enjoying yellow perch for decades, but so have diners. They are considered one of the finest flavored of the panfish and are loved for their delicious flavor. This is one of those fish that does not need to be breaded to be enjoyed.

There are many different ways to fish for yellow perch. You can use still bait or action baits, depending on your and the fishes mood for effort that day. Worms, crickets and minnows are extremely common baits and because of this most “perch lures” resemble them. They are a schooling fish and known for their voracious feeding habits, so if you bump into one get ready for a bunch more.

No matter what fish you are really hooked on catching, all fishermen should be able to appreciate and delight in catching the always-in-fashion on line or on a plate, yellow perch.

-Giddy-Up!!

Former Fishy Facts:

Grayling Northern Pike Rainbow Trout Largemouth Bass Peacock Bass Walleye

Billfish Dolphinfish Crappie Catfish Bull Shark Tilapia Smallmouth Bass

Brook Trout Bow Fishing Bowfin Common Snook World Fish Migration Day

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Captain Mack's Weekly Fishing Report

May is ending up on very positive note and the Crappie, Bass, Stripers have all been on a good bite! If you are fishing a Live Herring, you’ll inevitably get some bonus Channel Catfish mixed in as well!

Striper fishing is basically the same, just everything is a little deeper. The Stripers are still a little scattered out, but as they are moving deeper we are seeing larger schools of fish. Concentrate on humps and long points, and look for two very distinct patterns evolving. Some of the fish are on on very near the crest of the humps, while others are roaming around these structures with a very loose orientation to the top of submerged islands. Live Herring have been the bait of choice, fish them on weighed free lines, floating down lines, or just a standard down line.

Pulling the umbrellas has also been strong, very consistent as well. Concentrate on pulling humps near the mouths of the creeks on the main lake. The Stripers may be over clean bottom, or hanging tight to brush. Either way, if you see them on the sonar you should get the bite. Look for the Stripers to be on the high spots that crest out from 15 to 30 feet. In last the few weeks most of the Striper fishing has been in the upper and middle part of the lake, but this u-rig bite is very strong on the lower end as well.  The Capt. Mack’s 9 bait bucktail rig, 60 to 100 feet (adjust the amount of line out based on the depth of the high spot. For depth charts on the Capt.  Mack’s umbrellas, go to www.captmacks.com) behind the boat has been producing number

The Bass are on a good bite and while there are fish spread out through the water column, watch the sonar and you will notice a great deal of activity around the 20 to 24 foot area. Concentrate on humps and points in the above mentioned depths and you should not have any problem finding plenty of cooperative Spotted Bass. Start out with a fluke, swimbait, or walking bait, and if that does not work, or after they stop responding, switch to the Roboworm for a couple of extra bonus bites. Keep a small compact bait tied on for the surfacing fish, they are showing up regularly all over the lake. Casting Spoons, Game Changers, and top waters should get the bite in this scenario.

If you just want to catch a bunch of fish, or better yet, if you are taking a youngster fishing, Spot tail time is here! These little Minnows are in there typical summer haunts and are easy to catch. Drop one down on these same humps and hang on!
 

Crappie fishing is also good, arguably as predictable as it has been all spring. Docks are the most productive structure, and while a dock with brush is not a necessity, it is a big advantage. Look for dicks in the middle of the creeks, 15 to 25 deep for the best results. Many small jigs are productive right now, but the Garland Baits will be hard to beat. Keep moving until you locate fish, once you find them they are quick to respond!

Good Fishing!

Capt. Mack

Email any inquiries to Capt. Mack @ thefarrside@mindspring.com or Visit Capt. Mack online @ www.captmacks.com

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Offshore Fishing Report World Wide Sportsman, Islamorda Florida

Hello everyone, and welcome back to this week’s report!  The fishing has really heated up this week as the Dolphin are really showing up in good numbers!  Depths from 400’ to 1200’ have had nice weed lines and the fish have been plentiful.  Some really nice slammer sized fish all the way down to schoolies, pretty much all you want the last few days.  The Swordfishing has been picking up as well, with some nice fish from 80 to 300 pounds being caught this week.  The humps are holding some smaller size Blackfin Tunas and Amberjacks as well as the usual men in the gray suits.  Looking for all this to continue to get even better as the weekend approaches.  The weather this weekend looks to be a little blustery as the winds are going to pick up to around 20 mph out of the east, so the smaller boats might have a little trouble, but if you have a boat that can do it safely then the fishing should be excellent!  Bait has been the toughest part this week, but we have managed to put a well full together each day.  Not many pilchards around, but some Cigar Minnows and Ballyhoo have been somewhat reliable.  The Jacks on the weeds are getting bigger, but not really to the size we like but it shouldn’t be too much longer before they are. 

The wrecks have been slowly picking up each day as we approach the moon.  This should continue to get better until it arrives, and the Mutton and Grouper bite should be full on.  This is generally the last month for the Muttons to spawn, so be sure and take advantage of this fishery especially on this moon.  There have been some Kings and Jacks living on these areas as well, so there is plenty to keep you busy. 

The reef has been on fire as the Yellowtails continue to spawn.  The larger flags have been hungry making for some great action with some nice size fish.  The Grouper bite on the reef has been sporadic, but they have been under some pretty heavy pressure with the season opening at the beginning of the month, so they are just settling in from the beating they took on the 1st of the month.  All in all the fishing has been pretty good, and we are excited to enter this summer season with the fishing forecast looking the way that it does!

Well, that is it for this week! Remember, if you need a charter please feel free to stop by World Wide Sportsman’s Bayside Marina and check us out, as I will be glad to help you out with whatever you need. Fishing report provided by Captain James Chappell 305-803-1321 www.catchalottafish.com out of World Wide Sportsman Bayside Marina, Islamorada, Florida. I hope everyone has a great weekend, and remember to boat responsibly!

 

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Captain Mack's Weekly Fishing Report

The Stripers are on a pretty good bite, but you will need to be versatile as the patterns are very varied.  The umbrella bite is good, pull the rigs over points, humps or down the bank in 20 to 30 feet for the best results. The 4 arm 3 oz. rig, shads or bucktails are both effective, 90 to 100 feet behind the boat has been a good combo. I think the trolling bite is best in the middle and upper parts of the lake.

We also have a top water bite that is developing and hopefully will become stronger as the week progresses. I think the Red fin has been the bait of choice, but don’t ignore the Zara Spooks, Sammies, and Chug bugs as the water warms. Cast the top waters over long tapering points and shallow humps, move fast, the bite will usually occur in the first few casts.

Live bait also remains very productive. Herring and Shad on Free lines and planer boards have been accounting for lots of strikes, pull them over the same areas where you would throw the top waters and you should stay plenty busy. Depending on the day and the wind velocity don’t be hesitant to add a little weight pull the bait don’t a couple of feet.

The Spotted Bass have been very cooperative in recent weeks and as is the case with the Stripers, there are many techniques that are producing well. In terms of numbers and consistency, the plastic worms (Roboworm in the Green Shiner and Prizm Shad patterns have been excellent color choices) on a jig head or a Texas Rig are probably the most consistent pattern. The bass may be on almost any shallow structure, blow downs, docks, and brush piles, to name a few. The stump flats I have mentioned in recent reports still have plenty of fish and the Bass may be anywhere from 4 to 20 feet. I start out on this type of structure with something fast, top waters, jerk baits, or weightless flukes. Use the worms as a change up after you catch a couple, or as the primary bait if the fish are reluctant to take one of the aforementioned baits.

The Crappie are biting, but they are a little scattered. I think many of the Crappie have spawned and are moving into post spawn patterns. There are still some fish in shallow cover, however their numbers seem to be dwindling. The Crappie will remain catchable throughout the post-spawn, and will often go back to the docks in numbers as strong as they were in the pre-spawn. Shooting docks is generally hard to beat during this period, Popeye jigs, Garland Baby Shads, and the Crappie Country chenille jigs are all good choice for dock shooting. Tipping the jig with a minnow is a good change up and will often reignite the bite after it slows. Up lake will give you the best numbers, but lower and mid lake may yield bigger fish in average if you can locate them.

 

Good Fishing!

Capt. Mack

Email any inquiries to Capt. Mack @ thefarrside@mindspring.com or Visit Capt. Mack online @ www.captmacks.com

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Spring Fishing time is now....

There’s nothing wrong with giving new lures and products a try when you head out this spring. Spring time is when the Bass come out and start feeding after a long lethargic winter. This is the most exciting time of the year for many Bass anglers. But certain lures and equipment are odds-on winners. Here are some of my suggestions for this spring….

 

 

Picture courtesy of Costa

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

First, you might want to see the bass as they cruise in the warm water. My choice is the Costa Rooster style sunglasses. They give anglers an edge over their worthy opponents. The large-fit sunglasses include built-in side shields to block incoming glare, as well as vents to alleviate lens fogging. The temple tips provide open slots for a retainer cord. The frames are built of nearly indestructible co-injected molded nylon, with sturdy integral hinge technology. The hypoallergenic rubberized interior lining and nose pads keep the sunglasses comfortably in place all day, no matter how harsh the conditions. Rooster frame color options include blackout, tortoise, matte black, and white with a blue Costa logo. Suggested retail starts $169.

There are only a few basic bass lures you need in spring: soft plastic and crankbaits. These two basic lures can accommodate all the basic spring time patterns from shallow water to deep structure where the bass will be found from the pre spawn through post spawn in late spring.


Picture courtesy of Strike King Lures

 

 

 

 

 

The new Strike King KVD 1.5 Shallow is a shallow-running square bill crankbait that runs to 3 feet. It has the same body style as the original 1.5 – it's designed to hunt and deflect off cover, just run shallower. To say that the KVD line of crankbaits from Strike King has been successful in regards to fish catches and tournament wins would be an understatement. The only way to make this crankbait line better would be to add more to it. So for 2015, that’s exactly what they have done with the all new KVD 1.5 Shallow! It is designed to be versatile enough to wake just below the surface or crash into cover within the 3-foot depth range; the KVD 1.5 Shallow still maintains the action, quality, durability and affordability of its predecessors. The all-new KVD 1.5 Shallow weighs 7/16-oz and is available in 13 colors.

 

Picture courtesy of Strike King Lures

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The all new Lucky Shad from Strike King has had many requests from fishermen for this style of hardbait for years, but Strike King Lures didn't want to release this bait until they got the action they wanted. Now, with some new technology breakthroughs in molding, they have achieved the action fishermen (and the fish!) want. This bait casts well, dives to 8 feet, chip-resistant painting, 3D eyes and black nickel hooks. The Strike King arsenal of crankbaits has become a mainstay in many boats and tackles boxes of anglers all over the world. In the process of doing so, they have refined certain baits and styles to accommodate a need, yet apply an improved design to them. The all-new Lucky Shad is born from that concept by being spawned from a traditionally popular profile, yet incorporating modern design techniques. This bait has the Strike King’s trademark quality; durability and the affordability are not lost on the ½-oz, 8-foot diving Lucky Shad. It is available in 11 colors.

 

Picture courtesy of Strike King Lures

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Strike King Blade Minnow is made from the perfect blend of plastic. The Blade Minnow is a minnow-shaped swimbait designed to be used as a bladed swim jig trailer, but it also works great on a weighted head hook or belly weighted hook. The jointed plastic body moves at the slowest of speeds, but also runs great at high speeds. What began as an exercise to design a great trailer transformed this design to a great all-around bait. The Blade Minnow is a swimbait-style bait that has some awesome action and a profile that fish can’t resist! It works great on a jighead or rigged weedless. It performs equally well around vegetation, wood or in open water. I continually find different ways to use it to catch fish. The Blade Minnow is 4.5” long and comes in 11 colors. “The segmented body and slender profile of the new Blade Minnow give it a very natural and lifelike swimming action that is pivotal for getting bites in clear water or from pressured fish," says Bassmaster Elite Series angler Chris Zaldain. "The design of the bait makes it swim great, cast great and hookup great when you get a bite. It’s a great addition to my tournament arsenal,” he says.

Picture courtesy of www.finsntales.com

I’ve been using Seaguar Smackdown Braided Line since December and I am totally impressed by its performance, line diameter, strength & durability. This braided line is perfectly round and is constructed from a combination of eight ultra-thin fibers.  Its round profile allows it to be reeled exceptionally smoothly and easily onto the spool of a spinning reel or baitcaster. What’s more, its high-density and micro-weave pattern enhances its tensile strength, knot strength, abrasion resistance, and sensitivity. It is embellish with a clear coating that prevents it from digging into the spool and aids casting. The 10-pound-test of Seaguar Smackdown Braided Green has the diameter on .005 inches, which is equivalent to two-pound-test monofilament line. And its 20-pound-test has the diameter of .007 inches and equal to the size of six-pound-test monofilament.

Picture courtesy of Bass Pro Shops

I have given you some of my choices for sunglasses, baits and fishing line; now you have to have a rod and reel to go catch them! My choice is the new Bass Pro Shops Johnny Morris CarbonLite Baitcast Combo. This is the lightest rod and reel I have ever used from Bass Pro Shops. This combo was built to be the most sensitive and the strongest rod and reel they have ever made. The Baitcasting reel sports such amazing benefits with their famous Dual Braking System. It weighs less than 6 ounces and has a computer molded carbon frame and powerlock instant anti-reverse. The rods all boast an immensely strong and incredibly lightweight graphite blank, with durable Pac Bay guides to further enhance weight reduction of the rod. Bass Pro Shops Johnny Morris CarbonLite Baitcast Combos were developed to give tournament anglers a competitive edge. I urge anyone looking for a lightweight and affordable rod and reel combo that performs at peak levels and holds up to whatever wear and tear you can throw at it to visit your nearest Bass Pro Shops.

 

The key to any successful fishing trip during the spring lies in using the proper lures, equipment and techniques. Each angler must present the baits properly and use the weather conditions to your advantage. When you head to the lake, try some of these new products and your fishing success is bound to improve. 

 

Thanks for reading…. Branch

 

About the author:

Tom Branch, Jr. is a freelance outdoor writer and a Prostaffer at Bass Pro Shops in Lawrenceville, Ga. He is also a retired Lieutenant/Paramedic/Firefighter with Gwinnett County Fire, GA after 29 years of service in 2013. He is currently a contracted employee with NAVICO/Lowrance working as the College Fishing Recruiter. He has been working in the Outdoor Industry for over 20 years. He and his beautiful wife, Kim live north of Atlanta near Braselton, GA with their black lab, Jake. They volunteer with Operation One Voice (501c3) (www.operationonevoice.org)

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