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 @ or Visit Capt. Mack online @


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 out of World Wide Sportsman Bayside Marina, Islamorada, Florida. I hope everyone has a great weekend, and remember to boat responsibly!


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 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


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 out of World Wide Sportsman Bayside Marina, Islamorada, Florida. I hope everyone has a great weekend, and remember to boat responsibly!


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.


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


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 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 @ or Visit Capt. Mack online @


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 out of World Wide Sportsman Bayside Marina, Islamorada, Florida. I hope everyone has a great weekend, and remember to boat responsibly!



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 @ or Visit Capt. Mack online @


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

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) (


Captain Mack's Weekly Fishing Report

Striper Fishing is good and several patterns are producing!  Live bait on the freeline/planer board is still a very good technique, pull the baits over points, flats and humps for the best results. I have been using a combination of free lines and weighted freelines with success, I think the best way to determine the best configuration is to watch the sonar and add weight to the freelines accordingly.  Windy conditions may also necessitate added a couple of split shots to compensate for increased boat speed.   

Trolling the umbrella rigs is also producing well and this can be a great technique if the wind kicks up and makes live bait fishing/casting  difficult. Pulling the 3 oz., nine bait rig over 20 to 30 foot points and submerged islands has been the pattern.  The fish may be on clean bottom or on one of the numerous brush plies that adorn these high spots. Pull the rig 80 to 100 feet behind the boat at 2.5 mph for the best results. For the most part, if you mark fish you will get the bite! This pattern is basically the same as what we experienced last fall, and I think it is strongest in the middle and upper parts of the lake.

If either of those two pattern don’t appeal to you, night fishing is still good, and will probably remain so until the surface temps reach and hold the mid-70. McStiks, Flukes and Bombers will be good choices for after-hours fishing. Fish the shallow saddles between islands, long flat points, the backs of the creeks or dock lights.

Bass fishing is very good and as is the case with the Stripers, there are many techniques that will get good results. Worms on a shaky head or a Texas rig have been big producers and will probably offer the greatest consistency. The fish may be on almost any shallow structure, but a point or flat with a few stumps will be hard to beat. These stump flats are all over the lake, however, with lake levels at or above full pool, it can be difficult to identify these subtle flats by visually examining the shoreline.  Often it is simply a place on the bank where the contours flatten out and create a small point. Generally if there is clay on the bank it will hold stumps, and if the stumps are there the Spots will be there too. Lakemaster charts do a fantastic job of highlighting these areas and will make finding this and other types of structures quick and easy to locate.

Other baits to try on these same structures are jerkbaits, plastic lizards, and grubs on the shaky head.  Slow rolling a spinnerbait over these areas can also be very prolific. As a general rule, if it is slick, use the worms and grubs, if the wind is present try the faster moving baits in an effort to cover more water.

Crappie fishing is good and anglers are reporting very good catches. The Crappie are using a wide variety of structures, but I think shallow docks are the most prolific and consistent pattern.  Other likely places to fill the fish box would be blowdowns and visible cover in the backs of the creeks and coves. If you can find this flooded cover on the edge of a creek channel that is always a likely place to find the crappie bunched up. For the docks, The Bobby Garland baits on the leadhead jig will be hard to beat. In the shallow cover swimming grubs and live minnow under a weighted float should do the trick.

Good Fishing!

Capt. Mack

Email any inquiries to Capt. Mack @ or Visit Capt. Mack online @


Captain Mack's Weekly Fishing Report!

Ok, so there is a little extra pollen to deal with, but hey, it’s worth it! When the pollen is thick, the fishing is generally very good and now is no exception!

The Stripers are scattered out and while the open water bite will yield some fish, there are also fish on the points and flats as well. Pulling a big live bait spread using multiple planer boards will give you a wide footprint and allow you to better saturate an area.  Don’t be hesitant to pull the baits right up onto the points or near the banks.  Herring have been the bait of choice in recent days, but keeping a Gizzard Shad in the spread would be a very good option. Experiment with the amount of line out behind the planers, some days that can be a big factor, as is adding a split shot or two to the line. Boat Speed can also be a huge factor so keep tabs on how fast you are going may help tweak the bite. Keep a bucktail or a Mini Mack tied on; you never know when you will encounter surfacing fish. While this activity has been slow in recent days, expect to see more schooling activity as water tamps increase.

The night bite remains strong and may be the best overall option. Casting baits like the Spro McStik and the traditional 16 Bomber A’s are both producing good catches.  This technique will work on main lake points or in the backs of the creeks, and any dock /submerged lights you see are also good choices.

 Bass fishing is very good!!   Casting a Worm on a Jighead, I prefer the Weedless Wonder; will be hard to beat for numbers and consistency. Cast this rig around docks, shallow blowdowns, secondary points, or almost any type of shallow structure.  Jerkbaits and weightless Flukes are also good choices and allow you to move faster effectively covering more water. Don’t forget about the plastic lizards, they can be very productive at this time of year. They are effective on either the Texas rig or the Carolina rig

Crappie fishing has been good and the numbers have improved to compliment the big fish that have been showing up. The patterns are varied, but shallow docks, blowdowns, and flooded buck brush are all good structures. Small jigs, the Crappie Country Wow Grubs and the Sugarbugs Jigs have been producing well, along with live minnows. If you are fishing around the flooded cover in the backs of the creeks, place any of the above-mentioned bats under a small weighed float. This technique allows you to fish slowly without letting the bait get snagged on the bottom. Also, reeling the bait right up to a piece of structure and then stopping your retrieve to allow the bait to drop down to the fish can be very effective. Fishing is good in the upper parts of either river or in the backs of the lower end creeks. Stained water is a big asset!  

Good Fishing!

Capt. Mack

Email any inquiries to Capt. Mack @ or Visit Capt. Mack online @


In Honor Of the Humble Bluegill

Tosohatchee BluegillEven though there are so many different fish and so many ways to catch them, few species hold a special place in more people’s hearts like the humble Bluegill.  And there are a lot of reasons they rank towards the top of the list when you ask random fishermen what they enjoy chasing most, and why.

I’d be willing to bet that if you ask 100 anglers of varying ages “What was the first fish you can remember going after when you started out?” you’ll get a very diverse list but the bluegill will rise to the top by a pretty solid margin.  They’re everywhere, they eat a variety of baits (natural, artificial, and fly), they fight like the dickins, and they taste pretty darn good when scaled and fried up just like mom did it.   Innumerable folks start out chasing bluegill as kids with a simple outfit complete with a Zebco rod and reel, a red and white bobber, single hook, and a coffee can of red wigglers.  I count myself as one of the lucky ones to have spent a good portion of my young life sitting along the bank of Howard Eaton Reservoir, or anchored in the lily pads in Presque Isle State Park.  Family fishing trips taught us patience and how to get along with our siblings in a small boat, as well has how to appreciate the beauty and peace of fishing.  Bluegill played a big part in our young lives for sure.

Nowadays, I don’t target them as much unless I happen upon a spawning congregation, but even then it’s just to do some experimentation and see how a new fly works, or to end a long dry spell between fish.  They’re always around and almost always willing to play along for a few minutes provided I can figure out what fly to throw at them.  Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t and that’s why I keep trying.

There is a bit of a challenge to catching gills if they really aren’t in the mood, and a lot of people don’t figure it out for a while.  Bluegill aren’t chaser’s in the same sense that bass are, meaning they don’t pursue their prey very far and most people work artificial baits and flies too fast in the first place, missing a lot of catchable fish as a result.  Topwater flies should shake and shimmy to imitate a distressed insect, while subsurface offerings can either slowly sink through the water column or be stripped along slowly and steadily.  Before making that first cast, try to imagine how far and fast a grass shrimp or damsel fly larva moves through the water.

Presque Isle FishingRed wigglers, crickets, wax worms, grubs, small minnows, bread balls, and many other natural baits (even hot dog chunks) will entice a strike when in the zone, so kiddies and their parents or grandparents aren’t left out in the cold.  Tossing bait and waiting for something to happen is how a lot of fishermen got started in the past and it still works today, especially when indoctrinating youngsters into the sport.  Just be sure to have something else for your budding angler to do between bites since it may take some time for things to heat up.

Bluegill unfairly get lumped in with all the other “Bream” down here in the south and maybe there should be a movement to correctly identify them out of respect.  They’re hungry, strong, available, tasty, and willing to eat a wide variety of offerings, so load up the tackle, the kids, and a can of red wigglers for a ton of fun while chasing the humble Bluegill.

Brian “Beastman” Eastman

White River Fly Shop

Outdoor World Orlando.


Hunter's Tips and Tricks

Curiosity     Structure     Observation    Patience

Match The Hatch:
"If Shrimp are present, use shrimp!"

Shrimp are running and moving forward slowly, imitate this with your  fake shrimp.(TKO Shrimp,Savage Shrimp,etc.) Cast it far up current and retrieve slow. "On top for show, bottom for dough (dough=money fish)" This means small fish are usually on top , larger fish towards bottom. Very important to reel your lure in slow, unless you are going for a faster species; such as, Jacks, Peacock Bass, Wahoo, Mackerel, etc.

The slow motion of your lure, tied with a loop knot will create a realistic movement in the water. Observation and curiousness of your surroundings will help you evaluate all situations possible.

"curiosity killed the cat, but satisfaction brought him back"

Good lures of imitation shrimp are, DOA, TKO, Savage, and Gulp. Good minnow type lures/Stick Baits are Rapala: X-raps, Hushey Jerks, Rattle Traps, Shad Raps. When using Rattle or Brim type baits, Xps Broken Back Minnows and Slim Dogs by Bass Pro Shops (XPS) are deadly in calm, still, back waters.

Chris Hunter lives to fish! No matter what the catch of the day is, he is always about having fun. Fishing is a part of you, its practice, techniques, and passion.

If people concentrated on the really important things in life, there'd be a shortage of fishing poles -Doug Larson

Some of the products mentioned: (Click Pictures for Links)


Created by: Belinda Milan

For products visit:


Who Stole Spring?

See our online selection of fishing products at

Ok, just one question. Who stole Spring?  It seems I remember snow, sleet and cold blowing  rain just a moment ago.  I'm not Rip Van Winkle. I didn't sleep through it.  It's late March and it's 84 degrees outside.  Spring is supposed to have brisk mornings followed by brilliant rays of sunshine that melt away the gloom of Winter, not cranking the air conditioner to full blast to fend off the heat.

  What does this have to do with fishing? Well, pretty much everything at this time of year.  The four most popular fish, largemouth bass, crappie, sandbass/hybrids,and catfish use the cool of Spring to do their spawning.  If the water temperatures soar above the optimal for our favorite species, they will most likely have an abbreviated spawn. What does that mean?

First, and most importantly, it means if you want to catch fish during their spawn you better get cracking.  The largemouths were just beginning to get into their pre-spawn patterns when that frozen blast knocked the bottom out of water temps. It also caused the the water  to rise into places it hasn't been in three to four years. Combine these conditions and just when poor mama bass was just about ready to drop her eggs and go into defensive mode  Mother nature threw her a curve.  It also muddied up the water in the areas they prefer to lay their eggs. These thee factors changed not only where you might want to look for them, but what you might use to catch them.

  Lots of folks traditionally creep lizards or crawfish soft plastics through likely places. With the water deeply stained by sediment  you pretty much have to hit that big spawning female right in the nose to get her to react.  So far this season we're getting  good reports from fishers who've added lures that both represent nest poachers and either vibrate or click to their usual collection of "normal" Spring offerings. If you let the fish know that potential danger is near the nest with bass jigs with rattlechambers, like the Bass Pro Shops Rattling Enticer  Jig  you will surely let that trophy bass have something to zero in on.  You can also try slow rolling a colorado-bladed spinnerbait around fairly shallow, stained water, that  is close to cover and deeper water. A couple of good choices in spinnerbaits are the Bass Pro Shops Lazer Eye Tandem Spinnerbait or  add a selection from Booyah Spinnerbaits. The best selling bass lure right now has been the all new Bass Pro Shops Chatterbait. This new bait comes in a number of colors, but there is one called bully bream that I can't wait to try out!

  Crappie fishers have been hitting good numbers and the photos I've seen recently show a lot of big fat "slabs".  The water temperatures haven't been as critical on the crappie population as far as their spawn...yet. Crappie usually hang in deeper water around cover like brush piles until the water temps reach between 52 and 65 degrees. Hopefully the shallows where they love to lay their eggs will clear up in the next week. When it does, all you waders, float tubers and paddle-powered fishers need to be ready to pounce !  The air temperatures will warm the water quickly if this quick warming trend continues so be ready.  For now the best results have been on crappie jigs. All kinds of color combinations have been flying out the door. If you want to know my personal'll just can't go wrong with the Bass Pro Bumble Bee in Monkey Milk color for deeper water.  Switch to  black and chartreuse when they do move up shallow.

  For our minnow dunking friends the reports have been good too. Don't wait til the last minute to get your minnow bucket, aerators, dip nets, hooks and bobbers . The spawn may be abbreviated this year. Don't miss any of it waiting to gear up.

 Attention sandbassers and hybrid hunters!  The recent rains that have raised our lakes with water, pretty much emptied our area lakes of huge numbers of sandbass and hybrids.  Yes, as the water from the feeder creeks pouring into the lakes, the sandbass head upstream looking for moving water in which to lay their eggs and fertilize them. Sandbass don't make nests, they are actually programmed to do all their reproductive rituals in moving water so get out your mud boots and find a good feeder creek. Running water is good, but creeks that are fast moving and swolen by rain are dangerous and the fish tend to scatter. Remember that hybrid stripers are a mix of sandbass and saltwater stripers. They can't reproduce, but they did not get that memo and travel along with the sandbass into creeks and rivers.

  I found a really good creek stomping sandbass chasing, dependable, strong, smooth reel. It's actually a Crappie Maxx spinning reel. It's drag is smooth and strong enough to handle the strong sudden smash of a hybrid when adjusted properly.  One great lure selections for sandies in the creeks are the Blue Fox inline spinner, either silver or blue with the number 2 blade. Another is any one of a group of soft plastic three inch minnow imitations mounted on a 1/16 or 1/32 jig head. Bounce these offerings off the bottom and as close to the channel as you can. Hang on!

You'll have to hurry on the sandbass/hybrid action to. As soon as the water temp in the lakes and the stream temps are equal the sandies won't bother making the trek upstream. They will simply spawn in the lake off windy sandbar points.

 Catfish have not been as affected by the rising warming water too much yet. They're still going to be found fairly shallow. Their spawn is right around the corner, as a matter of fact, it may be accelerated by warming waters.  Here are a couple rules of thumb for you. Generally speaking...I say generally... blue cats tend to hit fresh dead shad. Get a cast net and a bucket and probe boat launches to get your fresh bait.

Channel cats seem to prefer stink baits, also called "prepared baits."  The big flatheads lean toward prefer to munch on bream (sunfish) .  Get some worms, crappie nibbles, small hooks and go "perch jerking," to garner goodies for these monsters.  Don't forget you'll need size appropriate hooks too. Catfish in the "eater" class usually take baits that can be mounted on 3/0 hooks and smaller, while "trophy cats" require a larger, stronger hook to handle their lockjaw grip, weight, and fighting ability. Come in soon to get outfitted with the Catt Maxx rods and reels for all the cats you want to catch, it's an extremely dependable outfit that doesn't cost you an arm and a leg.

  So it doesn't really matter where Spring went. What matters is that you get busy, get equipped, get informed and get on the water.

 Bend a rod for us!
 Bill Sankey
Fishing Lead
Bass Pro Shops, Garland Tx.


Captain Mack's Weekly Fishing Report

Striper fishing is good, the numbers may be a little less than what would be the norm for late March, but many of the fish in the teens and into the mid 20 lb. range! The best pattern is still pulling the live baits over open water areas, basically over bends in the river channel. This pattern may work anywhere, watch the birds to help narrow your search, but I think it is best in the middle upper parts of the lake. Freelines and planer boards are the ticket here; Herring have been the bait of choice.  This technique is all about covering lots of water so put out a big bait spread and be persistent.  The Herring seem to do well on the hook for 15 to 20 minutes, be diligent about checking/replacing you bait as needed.

 Fishing the backs of the creeks is also a viable pattern, especially at dusk, dawn and through the night. If you fishing after dark, Spro McStiks, small bucktail jigs, and the Bombers will yield some nice fish if you are willing to miss a little sleep. Fish the aforementioned baits slow, and cast right up to the bank.

The Bass have responded nicely to the warming surface temps and anglers are reporting some nice catches in recent days.  There are several patterns that are working, and here are some options to get you started. There are plenty of Spotted Bass on the docks, the depth varies, but if I had to pick a number I would look at docks that have 20 to 25 feet of water in the front of the dock. This may change as the water continues to warm and look for the Bass to suspend right up under the docks and/or move to the back corners. Fishing a Roboworm (Green Shiner and Prizm Kraw are good color patterns right now) on the Weedless Wonder will be hard to beat; jigs may give you a better chance for the big fish.  Fish the front of the dock first, then cast down each side, and finish by flipping or shooting bait as far under the dock as possible. There are also fish holding over drains and ditches anywhere from 5 to 20 feet. Jerkbaits, Fish Head Spins, or Shadee Shad are good choices for this pattern and may yield a bonus Striper bite to keep you honest. If the fish will not respond to suspending or moving baits, switch to the worm or jig to tweak the bite.

Crappie fishing has improved and anglers are catching some nice strings of fish out of shallow cover in the creeks and pockets. Blowdowns, Docks, flooded grass and buck brush are all likely structures to search for the specs. Small jigs, the Crappie country Chenille jig in the # 10, 7, and 3 color patterns are good choices as are small swimming grubs and live minnows. Fish all of the above under a float; just keep moving until you locate fish, they are bunched up nicely so once you find ‘em, you should stay busy for a while!

The Walleyes are starting to wrap up their spawning run and are heading back out of the rivers into the lake. They will remain in the upper parts of the lake for a while so the opportunity to catch a few is still good. Small crankbaits on rocky areas, shallow humps or brush are good choices to cast for the walleyes.  Fishing at night or in low-light conditions may increase your chances of success dramatically.

Good Fishing!

Capt. Mack

Email any inquiries to Capt. Mack @ or Visit Capt. Mack online @


Table Rock & Bull Shoals Fishing Report - February, 2015

Ah…, February.  A time for the Ned rig!  What is the Ned rig?  Take a small shaky head jig, with a hook that seems a little tiny for black bass, and add a half of a 5” sinking worm, such as a Gary Yamamoto Senko, or similar, and there you have it!  This rig is a crawfish imitation, and so it should be scooted and mini hopped, very slowly, across the bottom.  Remember, a crawfish, one that is not in danger, moves rather slowly across the bottom, so…, if the imitation moves very slowly, the bite is likely to improve.  Add some craw scent, and get ready!  Try chunk rock bottom lake points.  Ask a fishing associate what color is working now, cast one out, and let the fun begin! 


The Alabama rig is working now!  This is an exciting bait to fish, and many anglers have caught more than one fish on a single cast!!!  Ask a fishing associate about this rig, how to fish it, and how to rig it.  Take a rig home, and try it out on the lake. 


The suspended jerk bait bite is on!  Present this shad imitation bait above suspended bass, and employ a jerk and wait retrieve.  The longer the wait, between jerk retrieves, the better.


Spinner baits are working – early, late, in the morning fog, and in the wind or rain.  Try a 1/2oz. double willow blade spinner bait.  Natural shad colors are working well. 


There is a jig bite now.  Crawfish spend most of their time on the bottom.  A crawfish imitation needs to move slowly, from behind one rock, to the next rock.  Just like with the Ned rig, it is hard to fish this bait too slowly.  Right now, bass are at all levels, looking for the most comfortable mix of oxygen and water temperature they can find.  Look for them, especially off or next to, main lake and secondary points.  Try a 1/4 to 5/8oz. round or football head jig, brown, peanut butter and jelly, or green pumpkin in color, and add a trailer, green pumpkin, watermelon candy, or cinnamon purple.  Add scent to your jigs.



Try fishing a drop shot rig, vertically.  Ask a fishing associate how to rig for this drop shot bite, and ask what the current best bait is.  This technique works well, on suspended fish!  Also try fishing a Rapala  jigging lure, or a Shiver Minnow.  These weighted lures sink medium fast, and can be vertically fished like a drop shot rig, and dart sideways, when twitched on or near the bottom.


Try a Jika or Zeka type rig.   You can pick up a rig, or make your own.  Ask a fishing associate how to put one of these rigs together, using parts available in the fishing department.  This rig allows a creature bait, worm, grub, or other soft bait to move, freely, right on the bottom.  Try this rig on a main or secondary lake point, and hold the rod tight!      


Cold weather increases the need for home heating, which increases power consumption.  Dam generation creates power.  Generation from the dams causes current off main lake points, attracting the shad.  Therefore, do not pass up any main lake point that looks good to you, during this time of the year, since fish congregate on and around these points, looking for shad and crawfish. 


Black bass can be harder to find during the winter months.  Keep looking, though, and you can find a group of hungry fish, waiting for you!!! 


                                      They are out there!!!


                               Good Luck and Good Fishing!



Offshore Fishing Report World Wide Sportsman, Islamorda Florida

Hey everyone, and welcome back to this week’s report!  What is going on with this weather?  The weather has been crazy this winter and is way too cold for the coconuts on our palm trees if you catch my drift.  The good news is that the fishing has been pretty good, and we are hopeful that this front is going to be just the push we have been waiting on to get these pelagic creatures to move into area.  The Sailfishing this past week has been pretty slow, but there have been a few fish caught around the Island.  There have been some really nice King Mackerel, and a few decent Wahoo caught this week as well.  The Kites have been the weapon of choice with either Goggle Eyes or Cigar Minnows being the bait of choice.  The other tasty morsels such as Pilchards, Blue runners, Speedos, and Ballyhoo have been working too, but there has been good numbers of bait balls in the deep that I believe are Cigar Minnows, so I am attributing this to why the bite has been good with these guys.  A little further out the deep dropping has been on fire!  Great catches of Vermillion Snappers, Tilefish, and deep water groupers have been showcased on the racks at the dock, and this should continue to get better as the spring approaches.  Not too much to talk about way offshore, but there were a couple Swordfish caught this week, and a handful of Dolphin and Tunas.  The Amberjacks are slowly making their way onto the offshore humps, and the sharks are there waiting for them, so it shouldn’t be too long before their spawn is in full effect. 


On the reef, the patches have been fantastic and action packed with Hogfish, Groupers, Snappers, and Porgies.  SOB (shrimp on bottom) has been deadly with these cooler water temperatures, and with the fronts the shrimp have been pouring out of the bay making easy picking for these guys living on the patch reefs.  The Cobia have been moving through pretty nicely as well, as long as you get the right weather these guys have been here in decent numbers.  On the edge of the reef, the Yellowtail Snappers have been fairly decent, but we have been lacking a little current which has made this a bit more challenging, but nonetheless productive.  The wrecks have been productive this week as well with nice catches of King Mackerel and Almaco Jacks, and Jack Crevalle.  Even a few nice Mutton Snappers and Groupers this past week, as these guys have been fairly consistent all winter long.  This arctic blast we are getting as I write this is going to really slow down the edge of the reef, but should keep the patches biting.  It isn’t supposed to last too long, so hopefully the warm weather we have coming will make its appearance.   Looks like it isn’t going to be much of a small boaters weekend, but the forecast seems to be diminishing a little each day, so keep your fingers crossed!

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 out of World Wide Sportsman Bayside Marina, Islamorada, Florida. I hope everyone has a great weekend, and remember to boat responsibly!


Offshore Fishing Report, World Wide Sportsman, Islamorada, Florida

Wooooo Weeeee!  What a week here in Islamorada!  The fishing has been incredible this week, and with the front coming it looks like it is only going to get better!  It has been a long time since I have seen as many Wahoo here as we have now.  Wahoo, Kings, Blackfin Tunas, and a few Sails.  If we are lacking anything it is Sails in good numbers, but the rest of the fishing is so good it doesn’t even matter.  Bait has been so abundant that you can actually take your pick on whatever you want to catch.  Large schools of pilchards to the north, Cigar Minnows and Ballyhoo on the patches, and Speedos on the edge of the reef.  It is all here, and with this much bait there no wonder why there are so many fish around.  The Wrecks are producing a lot of these fish in the live bait/ slow troll arena, or on the kites, while the bottom rod is still staying bent on Mutton Snappers and Groupers.  Still some Jacks and Sharks around as well, so plenty to keep busy with for sure.  The reef has been incredibly cooperative from the patches to the edge with nice catches of Yellowtail, Mutton, and Mangrove Snapper.  Of course the Groupers are biting as well as could be, but they are closed so no need to get excited. 


A little further offshore on the humps, and deeper wrecks, the Amberjacks are beginning to stack up and get ready for their annual spawn.  This also means that the really big sharks are going to be right there with them.  Big time, Big Fun for you people out there who love to get beat up by a fish on some heavier tackle.  The deep dropping in the rips has opened back up for the Tilefish and deep water  Groupers.  This opens up a whole new avenue for table fare during this time of year.  Tilefish are some of the best eating fish in the open, and you can catch them on electrics or hand crank them up from 400 feet.  Either way it is up to you, but these are some really tasty fish, so give it a try!

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 out of World Wide Sportsman Bayside Marina, Islamorada, Florida. I hope everyone has a great weekend, and remember to boat responsibly!


Ice Fishing - Great Fun and Conversation

Thinking about ice fishing?  Some people cannot imagine toting a sled with supplies all bundled up to sit over a hole in the ice as the wind blows through them.  Many fisherman find this time to relaxing, not to mention having a bbq over alot of hot coffee and conversation to stay warm.  Strategy and patience is what you need for ice fishing.  Here are a few ideas to help you find a place to fish, what to wear, what to bring, and how to stay safe while you enjoy your time outside.

New York State has a variety of fish that people enjoy fishing for during this cold weather.  Perch, sunfish, pickerel, walley, and trout to name some.

How do you get started?  The best way to get started is go with a friend or stop at a local tackle shop to find a popular ice fishing area.  At tackle shops they can tell you where the fish are being caught.  Watch for announcements on ice fishing tournaments.  Stop in and talk with Bass Pro associates to see what they recommend.  Ice fisherman tend to share tips, techniques, and stories.  They are very social.

Cutting the Ice:

The simplest way to cut through the ice,  is the "Spud Bar". Inexpensive and it works well on the  ice up to a foot thick.

Hand Powered Augers are slightly more expensive than spuds and are very easy to operate.  This is the best compromise for moderate ice conditions.  Pan fish people favor 4,5, or 6" because they are light weight and faster.  For a larger fish go to a 8".  People who go ice fishing on a regular basis or for a extreme ice condition use a more expensive option or a gas powered ice auger. 

What pole do you use?

Jigging Rod:  This is a short light fishing rod used with tip-ups.  Bass Pro Shop has many different types of tip ups and jigging poles.  Any associate in our Fishing Department can direct you to the one that is best for you.  Jigging involves use of a jigging rod or hand line and a small jigging spoon or lure with bait.  It is designed to move in different directions when jerked up and down.

Tip Up:  A tip-up is a spool on a stick holding a baited line that goes through the ice.  When the fish grabs the bait,  the pull on the line releases a signal that you have a fish (example: red flag).

Clothing:  Pay attention to the weather and dress in layers.

Ice Safety:  Minimum 3 to 4 inches of solid ice is the rule.  The ice thickness differs on the water.  Always use good judgement.  Avoid moving water, including where streams.  The ice thickness table below is based on clear, blue, hard ice on non-running waters.  Slush ice is 50% weaker.

Stay away from docks with bubblers.  They can produce thin unsafe ice a distance away.  Always fish using the buddy system.

The American Pulpwood Association has a Ice Thickness Table they suggest you follow when out on the ice. This is based on clear, blue, hard ice on non-moving (running) waters.

Ice Thickness                                                      Permissible Load

2"                                                                       One Person on Foot

3"                                                                       Group Single File

7.5"                                                                     1 Car (2 tons)

8"                                                                        Light Truck (2.5 tons)

10"                                                                      Truck (3.5 tons)

12"                                                                      Heavy Truck (7-8 tons)

15"                                                                      10 Tons

20"                                                                      25 Tons

Regulations for Ice Fishing:

You have a limit of 2 jigging lines (or hand lines) and five tip ups in most waters.  Each tip up is marked with the operator's name and address.  The operator must be present when lines are in the water and you must have your fishing license on you.  Always review regulations before you go by visiting

Beginner Equiptment List:

Thermal Long Johns

Thermal Socks


Snow Pants

Sweatshirt or Warm Flannel Shirt

Warm Hunting Coat


Waterproof insulated boots

Knit Hat/Mask


Commercial ice fishing rod, tip-up, or dowel rod

20-50 yards of 6 pound monofiliment fishing line

Hooks, Flat Hooks, Treble Hooks

Split Shot assortment, Mousies, Maggots, Mayfly Larva

Bait, Swedish Pimple (lure), Minnows, Wax Worms

Auger, Ice Spud, ladle, bucket, 25' nylon rope

Don't forget some food and coffee

Here are a few products we sell here at Bass Pro Shop that will make your ice fishing experience enjoyable.

The Clam Vista Thermal Ice Shelter can accommodate 2 to 3 people.








How about the Soroc Sports Sled?  Perfect to pull all your supplies, it is made of thermoform construction.














The Bass Pro Shop Hand Ice Auger, comes in a 6" or 8" with soft rubber handle.  Lightweight and portable.






Need something with power?  Check out the Strike Master Chipper Lite Ice Auger.  This unit has a pointed chipper blade tip to keep the unit from bouncing around.  Lightweight and powerful














We have many tip-ups to pick from, but check out the Bass Pro Shop Ice Artic Angler Tip Up.  Highly Visable with indicator and flag, measuring board and weather resistant molded base and spool.






The Clam True Blue Ice Fishing Spining Combo comes with a oversized spool, cork grips and is solid graphite.






Finally stay warm with the Clam Corp Ice Armor Edge Cold Weather Parka and the Clam Corp Ice Armor Ultra Insulated Bibs.  Waterproof, breathable, reflective safety piping and windproof.






















Consider taking up a little Ice Fishing this year.  Stop on by and talk with any of our Fishing associates who will be happy to help you get started.

Robin Piedmonte

Events Coordinator



Lake Taneycomo Fishing Report – December, 2014

Winter fishing can be fantastic on Lake Taneycomo!    

Some brown trout are still spawning.  There are a few browns staged below #3 outlet, up below the dam, and a few left in the area between outlets #1 and #2.     

When there is no current or wind, the clarity of the water becomes a big issue.  Try a smaller lure or fly, and the lightest line you can get.  If possible, attempt to get your bait offering deep enough to become invisible to you.  If you can’t see the trout, they can’t see you, and your catch rate will increase.

Changing water conditions offer new opportunities.  Lake levels are back down.   When no generators are running, wading up by the dam is possible.  Even with one generator going, some wading may be possible. 

If two generators are running, bank fishing is a better choice, if a boat is not available.  Where you find deeper areas near the bank, fish close in to the bank first, although bank fishers should stay back from the edge of the bank.  Trout are sensitive to vibrations, such as those made when walking along the bank shore line.  Stay back at least three feet.

Currents resulting from generation, or rain runoff, cause trout to look for areas with an eddy, and many of those are near bank structure.  Trout feed all day long while residing in these sheltered eddies, and are often accessible to the bank or dock fishing angler.  Power bait, earth worms, spoons, spinners, and flies all work on these fish, so fishing on Taneycomo is good!

Trout become a little less finicky when current brings them a quick meal.  These fish have less time to examine passing food.  A presentation of two flies, under an indicator, works well.  The first fly could be an egg imitation, a worm, nymph, scud, or midge, followed by another fly about 3 ft. behind.  This same rig will work for the spin fisherperson.  The fish concentrate on the first offering, and if that is refused, the second bait is on them quickly, and little time is left to evaluate it.  Fish having to make this quick choice, often choose to bite. 


Anglers who offer bait presented below a bobber, drifted from upstream to downstream, find success at times.  When the bobber rig does not work, try a 1/16 to1/4oz sinker rig, and allow it to rest on the bottom, with a bait above. 


Anglers choosing to throw a jig, need to adjust for the amount of current at the time.  During a time of no current, a 1/16oz jig is fine, but as generation increases, jig weight can vary all the way to ¼ oz.  Excluding a mini jig, most jigs attract more fish when they are fished on or very near the bottom.  Keep increasing your jig weight, until you are in contact with the bottom, and more fish will see the bait, and your bites per day will increase.  Remember, trout have eyes that see best ahead, up, and to the side.  Trout normally do not see food items that are presented to them at a lower vertical point in the stream than their holding water.  So, if you present something to them on the bottom, when they are holding on the bottom, they see it, and may feed on it.  If the trout holding lie is in the surface film, a mini jig or other bait presented 6” or less, under an indicator or bobber, will be seen, and may be taken.


Fly fishers can streamer fish with great success, during mild generation.  Olive wooly buggers, slow stripped in the current, will take trout, as will many other streamer patterns.  Flies such as soft hackles and crackle backs can be fished as small streamers, and will often take trout any time of the day.  Remember, small and slow.  Go smaller with your baits, and move them slowly.  Give the trout time to decide to take them.


Spoons and spinners will take fish when there is generation.  Vary the weight of the lure, to match the amount of force of the current.  Greater generation requires more lure weight.  Anglers wanting the best all-around lure weight will find 1/6 oz. spoons and spinners a good bet.  Thomas Bouyant and Little Cleo spoons are working well, and best power bait colors have been white, pink, red, orange and Gulp eggs.  Fish two colors of eggs on the same hook for more bites.  Don’t forget real earth worms, and add air to them, if possible, to make them float.  A real earthworm, when combined with a Gulp egg, will take a surprising number of trout.  Minnows will work well, also.

                          Winter is here, and big trout are around! 


                                  Good luck, and good fishing!