We want to fish other bodies of water and try different techniques. Since the water is still cold, where would you suggest we try and what bait should we use?

Question - We want to fish other bodies of water and try different techniques. Since the water is still cold, where would you suggest we try and what bait should we use?

 

Kary Ray and Lance BakerLance Baker

"Right now the best cold bait lures to go with are a blade bait, drop shot, and jig. These cannot be beat in cold water conditions!!! "

Kary Ray -

'If you're fishing from the shore it can make it a challenge but it can definitely be done. I would search for some kind of rock or wood in the water, preferably next to some deep water. The fish at this time of year will likely move up and down the water column due to the changes in the weather. The rocks and wood will help warm the water quicker in that area which will make the fish warm quicker and be a little more aggressive.

For bass I would fish either a jig with some kind of plastic trailer like a zoom chunk or a twin tail grub. Another great choice, and my personal favorite, would be a chatterbait. You can use this particular lure in a variety of ways. You can bounce it off the bottom like a jig, slow roll it along the bottom or, when the fish are a little more aggressive later in the afternoon, you can just cast it out and reel it in.

Catfish right now will start getting real good. Go back into the shallow pockets and throw dead bait (chubs or bluegills) or nightcrawlers on the bottom and just wait. Watch your rod carefully, cause if you get one it is probably gonna be a dandy!

Crappies and bluegills will make a push back into the shallow water but most won't hold there. They will come back into the pockets after a couple warm days then move back out and suspend with a cold front. My suggestion would be to use a 1/16 oz. jig head with a minnow on a slip bobber. This way you can adjust the depth of your presentation until you find the fish. Again, wood and rocks will attract this fish as well.

Anytime you have a place on a lake where a creek is feeding into the lake, this is a prime spot. All species of the lake will migrate there to some extent due to the warm water coming in. Think north when fishing in the spring. The pockets on the north side of the lake will warm quicker which will bring the baitfish and larger fish in right behind them."

Rod Woten

Rod Woten -

"Depends on what species you’re after right now.  Pike will be in shallow water spawning or just finishing up with spawning.  If the pike are done spawning, the perch will be next. Crappies will be staged somewhere between the mid-lake basins where they’ve spent the later part of the winter suspended.  Somewhere between that basin and shallower weedy or dark bottom bays, those crappies can be intercepted.  Bluegills should still be relatively close to where we were catching them prior to ice out.  If there are still green weeds to be found, look for them there.  Otherwise, they are probably still located in those deeper water “sticky bottom” areas. They won’t begin moving shallow to spawn until the water warms up considerably.  Catfish should be concentrated anywhere there is a concentration of winter-kill fish….especially shad.  Cats will pretty much be on a feeding frenzy until those dead fish are gone, so lots of folks lie to target them right now with cut bait. 

Think small bait. The water is still relatively cold, so the metabolism of the fish still isn’t firing at full power. It’s okay to upsize a bit for what we were using prior to ice out, but keep it slow, because these fish aren’t looking for a drag race to catch their food yet. Live bait is good…waxworms for just about everything, small minnows for crappies & walleye. This is also a good time to practice up with those micro plastics that we were using through the ice."

 

 


 

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Lessons in Fishing: Sometimes Simple Works Just Fine

We give out a lot of advanced and technical advice on this blog which we hope has helped you learn how to be more successful in your outdoor adventures. But you know, sometimes the simple approach works, and many times it takes one of our younger folks to remind us of this.

Emily 2Emily 1

Meet Emily Grizzell, who caught this 8 pound catfish in her grandparent’s farm pond. She caught this big fellow by using a Bass Pro Shops Barbie Pole rigged with night crawlers. Not only did she haul it in, but had no qualms about handling it and gave it a big bear hug for the picture !!

Emily 4Emily 4

Young Miss Emily is quite the angler as you can see by some of the other pictures of her in action. So far she hasn’t found a night crawler or a fish that she is afraid of !!

So keep on throwing your baitcasters and your umbrella rigs, but keep in mind that sometimes when you are struggling out there, simple is better.

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Open Season On Asian Carp

City of Miami asks Fishermen to be aware of Asian Carp

(Miami, OK) – A 60-pound Asian big head carp was caught this week in the Neosho River in Miami, Oklahoma. Asian Carp are an aquatic nuisance species and it is determined that they warrant a mandatory control effort.

Asian carp were introduced to the United States in the early '70s to control algae in catfish farms in the South. Floods washed them into the Mississippi River in the 1980s. They've worked their way upriver ever since. Biologists and ecologists say Asian carp consume massive amounts of phytoplankton and zooplankton — as much as 40-percent of their body weight or more each day. That's the same food source relied upon by many native fish species and other aquatic life.

If you catch an Asian carp, please report it to Curtis Tackett at the Oklahoma Wildlife Department by calling 1-405-521-4623 and then properly dispose of the fish.

For more information regarding fishing at the Neosho River, you may contact Shannon Thomas with the City of Miami’s CVB at 918-533-2014. asian carphttps://www.facebook.com/bpsbrokenarrow?ref=tn_tnmn

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Step Out & Step IN to Iowa State Parks

If you’re anything like most avid outdoors people, you’ve probably got a go-to list of local spots that you repeatedly visit for your favorite activities. Whether it’s fishing, camping, hunting or water sports, folks most often choose the same locations either as a result of familiarity or tradition. But why not step outside your comfort zone…even if it means going out of state?

Bass Pro Shops Altoona Camping Lead Steve Leverett shares some of his favorite Iowa state parks in the hope that Iowans and non-Iowans will be inspired to try something new…Iowans may even find that some favorite spots were actually state parks all along and non-Iowans may learn that we're far more than cornfields!

Walnut Woods and Raccoon RiverA frequently overlooked area (and the closest to Bass Pro Shops Altoona) is Walnut Woods State Park in West Des Moines (east of I-35 and north of Hwy 5). My wife and I have hiked the park on a number of occasions when not in the mood to drive a long distance or just short on time.  This park is geographically situated along the Raccoon River and offers picnicking, hiking, fishing (walleye, catfish, and smallmouth bass), camping and bird watching.  Walnut Woods is certainly what I would define as a more casual outdoor experience as the hiking is leisurely and there were no areas that were difficult to navigate.  Do keep in mind that the river has been hit particularly hard by erosion and decreasing water levels, therefore the riprap (rock formations used to protect shorelines) is excessive on both sides of the shoreline and can make fishing interesting. Stay on your toes!

 

In south central Iowa, just to the west of Moravia, is the man-made Lake Rathbun complex. Originally built Honey Creek @ Sunset - Iowa DNRas flood protection for the hundreds of acres of surrounding farm land, it has since become a very popular camping spot. Although the dam, reservoir, and six of the eight parks are operated by the Army Corps of Engineers, two parks are state-managed…Honey Creek State Park and the relatively new Honey Creek Resort. Both locations offer a wealth of activities not limited to kayaking, canoeing, fishing, golfing, hiking, and a plethora of water sports. Due to the nature of the state park, it’s easier to just drop in if you’re looking for a particular activity, whereas the resort will require advance booking. I can’t say enough about this area as my family has spent a smattering of weekends at Rathbun and I was genuinely surprised at the area’s beauty. This is definitely a hidden jewel in southern Iowa.

 

Ledges State Park BridgeLocated just northwest of Des Moines, near Boone, Iowa, is Ledges State Park, an extremely popular state park due to its signature sandstone cliffs and the fact that it's one of our oldest parks. Featuring a modern campground and abundant hiking, the star attraction at Ledges is the stunning descent into the park valley. It certainly isn’t the Grand Canyon, but for a land-locked Iowa boy I’ve always been awe struck by the contrast it presents to the surrounding corn fields. Not to mention, it’s a bit of a workout heading in and back out so be prepared! The creek at the bottom of the valley is a blast for kids and adults alike (my beagle, too!) as it’s usually only ankle to knee deep and winds back and forth underneath the cliff walls. As previously mentioned, the number of trails to choose from is just excellent and they all offer a worthwhile payoff at some point in your hike (i.e. breathtaking views of the Des Moines River valley).

 

Lake MacbrideI have an old college roommate whose parents are kind enough to, every so often, loan out their lake house on beautiful Lake Macbride. I’ve spent numerous weekends enjoying this unique location in eastern Iowa. It’s really easy to get to this area and its affiliated state parks, as it’s situated between I-380, I-80 and Hwy 1 about four miles west of Solon, north of Iowa City. All the usual activities are available (fishing, picnicking, swimming, hiking, camping, and boating), in addition to being simply a gorgeous location filled with 2,180 acres of rolling hills and valleys. Named after the distinguished botanist and former president of the University of Iowa, Thomas Macbride, the lake has also been noted as one of the only in Iowa to feature the Kentucky spotted bass.

 

These are some of Steve's favorites. However, Iowa is BLESSED with 72 state parks, most with camping, and each with its own unique feature. Whether it’s thePikes Peak State Park equestrian trails of Rock Creek, the majestic views of the mighty Mississippi from our own Pikes Peak, the shores of Clear Lake, or the historical treasures of the Lewis and Clark State Park area, there is something for everyone who decides to step Out of the box and step IN to Iowa’s state parks!

For more information on Iowa's state parks, park events, and the reservation system, visit http://www.iowadnr.gov/Destinations/StateParksRecAreas.aspx.

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Spring time is Big Fish time in Central Alabama!

 

 
Kyle caught'em!Springtime fishing in central Alabama is fantastic. With a mixture of Largemouth, Coosa River Spotted Bass, Giant Crappie, Hybrid and Saltwater Stripers, and Big catfish, the lakes and rivers here produce some non-stop action from March through Mid June. Our area lakes include The Alabama River, Lake Jordan, Lake Mitchell, and Lake Martin. All of these fisheries are great in the spring and all located within 45 minutes of the Montgomery and Prattville area.
 

    The Alabama River starts where the Coosa and Tallapoosa Rivers come together just north of Montgomery. With 80 miles of river between Montgomery and Robert F. Henry Lock and Dam in Benton Al., along with numerous creeks and backwater areas, this section of the Alabama offers any type of fishing you want to do. This year has been great for giant spotted bass. We have more 6 lb spotted bass being caught than ever before. SpinnerbaitsSquare Bill crankbaits, and Soft Plastics fished shallow are the best baits this time of year for bass on the river. This is also a great time to catch crappie in the 2-3lb. range on stump flats. Small jigs and minnows are best.  
 
    Lake Jordan is the last lake on the Coosa Chain. Lined with docks and grass, this lake produces some excellent bass fishing. 4"-6" green pumpkin worms fished on an 1/8 oz. shakey head around seawalls will put great numbers of fish in the boat from late March to early May. Stick baits like the Netbait Salt Lick, fished SLOWLY around the grass beds will help you catch some of the bigger female bass pre and post spawn. After the first week of April the topwater and swim jig bite will really pick up. If you want to try something fun and different, go to Mitchell dam and fish a 4" Bass Pro Shops Boss Shad swimbait or Deadly 5 rig in the current for some great Hybrid Striper action. Throw the baits in the current as the water comes out of the generation turbines and hold on.
 
    Lake Mitchell will fish the exact same as Jordan this time of year. It's situated between Lake Jordan and Lay Lake on the Coosa, east of Clanton. Use caution when operating a boat on the upper end of Mitchell, below Lay Dam. There are numerous boulders that come up to just below the water line and can tear up a lower unit or prop. 

    Lake Martin is on the Tallapoosa River and is located 45 minutes north of Montgomery. It's a totally different lake than the other three. It's big, deep and gin clear waters are loaded with bass, crappie and Saltwater Striped bass. It has hundreds of miles of shoreline with lots of docks, laydowns and large rocks. Martin is known as a summer time recreational lake, however it's also known for producing large numbers of bass in the spring. Shakey heads and Salt Licks fished around any available shallow cover will do the trick. I have had many days of 50-100+ fish per day on this lake in April.
 
Brannon Jones
Fishing Guide
334-657-6213
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Manteca Camping

Every spring I invariably get asked, at least 3-4 times per week, where can I go camping near Manteca.  So in this blog I have decided to review some of our local campgrounds.  All of these locations host both RV as well as tent camping and have centrally located toilet facilities.

First on the list is Caswell Memorial State Park.  The park is located along the Stanislaus River near the town of Ripon, California.  From 99, take the Austin Rd.Beach at Caswell exit. Head South on Austin Rd. and you will run into the park at the end of the road.  Several species of fish including bass, catfish, crappie and more await your most enticing fishing technique.  Campfire programs, Junior ranger programs and nature walks are given every weekend throughout the summer. The Stanislaus River meanders through the park, with beaches and swimming areas near the park’s day use and campground facilities.  One of the most magnificent aspects the park has to offer is its seemingly endless maze of nature trails. The trails allow a glimpse of what the riparian ecosystem of the valley would have looked like in pristine times. A majestic Oak Forest is surrounded by many other lush plant species, some of which are rarely found anywhere else in the Stockton Delta KOAarea.  The park also offers a rich variety of wildlife viewing.

The Stockton Delta KOA is located just minutes from Lodi and Stockton. it's a great place for a family reunion or any group gathering. There's something for everyone, including live music and dancing on weekends, all new children's playground and pet playground, movies under the stars, swimming pool and hot tub, banquet and meeting facilities and boat rentals.  If you love California camping, California fishing and being on the water, this is the perfect KOA for you!  From I-5 take Highway 12 West for 5 miles.  Turn left unto Tower Park Way and you’re there.

Coyote Point Campground sits along New Hogan Lake in the brush-covered foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Boating is a Coyote Point Campgroundpopular pastime, with boat ramps conveniently located around the lake. The large surface area allows for plenty of water skiing, wake boarding, jet skiing and more. Year-round fishing for stripers, bass, crappie, bluegill and catfish is perfect for experts and beginners alike.  The "River of Skulls" hiking trail is located below the dam at the Monte Vista Recreation Area. The trail also includes a staging area for an eight mile equestrian trail on a scenic loop that winds along the lake and through the foothill chaparral. Trail guides are available at the park office.  Bike trails suitable for the beginners as well as advanced riders are found on the west side of the lake and next to the group camping area.  Coyote Point Campground offers a spacious group campsite that can accommodate up to 50 guests. Campfire and interpretive programs offer additional recreation for visitors, as well as an 27-hole disc golf course.  To get to Coyote Point, take state highway 4 out of Stockton and go about 20 miles west until you hit Milton Rd.  Turn left on Milton Rd.  The campground will be about 3 miles ahead.

Del Valle ParkDel Valle Regional Park, part of the East Bay Regional Park District, is located in a valley framed by oak-covered hills. The centerpiece of the park is a five-mile long lake, with all kinds of water-oriented recreation, surrounded by 4,316 acres of beautiful land for hiking, horseback riding, and nature study. Del Valle is also the eastern gateway to the Ohlone Wilderness Trail, 28 miles of scenic back country trail.  Del Valle is located about 10 miles south of Livermore, CA, on the east side of San Francisco Bay.  From interstate 530 near Livermore head south on Vasco Rd. for approximately 4 miles.  Turn right on Tesla Rd.  Take your first left on to Mines Rd.  After 4 miles Mines Rd. will become Del Valle Rd.  Continue another 4 miles to reach the park.  Del Valle offers two swimming beaches, with lifeguards on duty during posted periods. Visitors to Del Valle may rent motorboats, patio boats, peddle boats, canoes, and kayaks at Woodward Reservoirthe marina, and any size boat may be launched at the public boat ramp.

Last on my short list is Woodward Reservoir.  It is located at 14528 26-Mile Road a few miles north of Oakdale off Hwy 120. This regional park offers 3,767 acres of land and 2,900 acres of reservoir for recreation and camping.  Facilities include 115 developed campsites, 40 full hook-up campsites, undeveloped camping areas, marina, concessions, restrooms, picnic shelter, barbeques, picnic tables, and radio control airplane field.  Campsites are available on a “first-come first-serve basis”; no reservations are available at this time.  Recreation opportunities include swimming, fishing, boating, water/jet skiing, waterfowl hunting (with permit), and radio control airplane flying.

These are just a few of the places to camp which are close to Manteca.  So get your gear together and lets go camping and explore the great outdoors.  And remember that your Manteca Bass Pro Shop can provide you with any supplies you might need for that camping trip as well as advice on planning your trip.  Have fun!!

 

Phil Steele

Camping Dept.

Store 49, Manteca

Basspro.com

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Humminbird Leads the Way!

            It is time to get the boat ready and build back up the tackle boxes! Grab your Alabama Rigs and your Watermelon Flukes, because this year is going to be one of the best we have had in a long time. As a lot of us know, last year was one of the worst years in a long time for fishing, and for recreational boating in the whole Dallas/Fort Worth area. This was due to the extreme lack of rain, and such low lake levels, that one couldn’t even launch their boat from once familiar ramps! Although, thanks to a couple of seasons of great rain and warmer than average weather, the level of our lakes and the water temperature is once again ideal for fishing and recreational boating!

            As avid fishermen and even the occasional weekend warrior, we all look to the latest tools that will help us catch that big bass, find catfish holes, or slay some crappie. However, we don’t want to spend more than we have into our boats on rigging our electronics so that we can find them! To this I give my hat off to Lowrance. They have come out with the new Mark and Elite series of fish finders that have allowed even the poor fisherman to be able to put a decent 3 inch screen unit on their boat! But the latest and greatest technology goes hands down to Humminbird. Not only have they pushed the envelope with the “Humminbird 360”, and the amazing “I-Pilot”; but now they have released the “Humminbird I-Link”! The “I-Link” now allows one to link their GPS trolling motor to their fish finder and the newest “Lakemaster” chip. By doing this, all the functions of the Humminbird “I-Pilot”, are now on steroids! The whole game has changed again, and the latest technology has arrived! And anyone without these tools is left in the wake of those who actually possess and understand them. So where does one go to obtain and find out exactly how to interpret this latest and greatest fishing technology?

              Bass Pro Shops has been in business for more thirty years, and has strived to provide  greater customer service than any other outdoor retail store can, by staffing only the best and most knowledgeable associates that actually live and breathe fishing, boating, hunting, and all the outdoor adventures that let us know we are alive! This is why I not only work at Bass Pro Shops, but I enjoy what I do. Because we make it the best place to gain knowledge, get the best customer service, and truly understand who our customers are. Because we are our customers!

http://www.humminbird.com/ipilotlink/

Humminbird 360 GraphHumminbird 360

 

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Kayak Fishing with Alex, Daddy/Daughter Day

What is it about going fishing that causes lost sleep? Wednesday night, I mean Thursday morning, was the perfect example. It is Spring Break for most of Texas and what better way to usher in a new season than by going fishing with your eldest child? It was Daddy/Daughter Day, going fishing as we have done since she was three years old. Rather than hitching up the boat or heading for the pier, this trip, was to be a little different. Our newest Pro Staff member at Bass Pro Shops, Pearland, George Young of Texas Coastal Kayaks, invited Alexandra and me to spend a morning paddling a kayak.

I’ll have to admit a sense of elation when she thought the trip was a great idea. After all, children have different interests as they mature and we have gone from the days of the Snoopy fishing rod to cheerleading, to driving and to ‘gulp’ college visiting - as if there weren’t enough reasons in that sentence to lose sleep, so her immediate “that would be really cool” meant a lot. After spending a fitful few hours tossing and turning while endless questions ran through my head “packed both reels, rods are by the door, new pliers ARE in the dry bag, right? Waders are in the truck, it is March, we only have one pair, she can wear them, how cold can the water be, toilet paper… toilet paper… oops, don’t forget that” we were headed for coffee and breakfast.

We met George before sunrise and headed off to Christmas Bay. I personally have not used a kayak in a few years and have never fished from one, but my daughter’s summer camp has several. George was careful to cover safety and how to maneuver, especially with the added encumbrance of fishing gear. Perhaps the most important lesson was how to board. I paid careful attention. You know that five minutes after an unplanned exit, there would be a video on YouTube entitled “Look at Dad Upside Down in the Bay, or What We Did on Spring Break.” Within 15 uneventful minutes though, we were paddling, rather than motoring towards one of our favorite fishing locations.

Remember the earlier comment about dry bags and the sleepless nighttime question of ‘how cold can the water be’? No matter how careful you are, kayaking is a wet sport. It’s Spring, it’s March, it’s a little chilly. Warm, dry towels and clothing at the end of the day are wonderful things to find. To ensure their availability, we used the Ascend Light-weight 10 Liter Dry Bags. They weigh almost nothing and are perfect for backpacking too. I trusted them enough to include a small pair of Zeiss binoculars for bird watching, which if you understand my phobia about nice things being immersed in saltwater, you would recognize as a high degree of confidence in the dry bag.

For fishing equipment, we took the Johnny Morris Carbonlite series rods, a matched set of 7’2” medium-action spinning rods, with Bass Pro Shops Offshore Angler, Inshore Extreme spinning reels. Mine has served faithfully for the past two years. I liked it so much that last summer, I purchased a second one. Being ever so gallant, I handed Alexandra the brand new, never been near the water combo, certain that she would find it comfortable and easy to use.

Over the past few summers, the advantages to using braided fishing lines has become apparent so both reels are loaded with 50 pound test Bass Pro Shops branded XPS 8 Advance Braided line. While it is true that the reel would hold more if a lower test line was used – the 50 lb braid has the size equivalency of 12 pound test monofilament, it’s just easier for some of us in our advancing decrepitude to tie knots using slightly larger line with wet fingers and no reading glasses. The water of Christmas Bay is usually a little murky, but to be safe, we added some fairly stout leaders using Bass Pro Shops XPS Fluorocarbon.

We also brought a new product that I have wanted to test since they were first introduced, the Bass Pro Shops XPS 7” Aluminum Pliers. They have an excellent balance and feel. Lightweight, made of machined aluminum, they have a set of replaceable tungsten carbide clippers which were perfect for trimming braided line and will not corrode, always a positive feature for tools that will be used in saltwater. In addition to the 7” pliers, there is a ‘Mini’ set which has a split ring tip, and a larger pistol-grip pair for releasing fish from a distance. Given my proclivity for catching hardhead catfish, the latter is on the Father’s Day Present List. The 7” pliers were easy to use, gripped small items securely and made it possible to open and close swivels with ease. I cannot recommend them more highly, but I’d also invest a few dollars in a retractable lanyard rather than the extra piece of braided line I used to attach them to the lifejacket.

All in all, we had a fantastic time. George Young could not have been any more patient and instructive. Every piece of fishing equipment functioned exactly as expected. The only real equipment problem occurred at the end when I suddenly found that I no longer owned a matched set of Carbonlite rods and Offshore Angler reels. Apparently I own one and my daughter who caught not only her first speckled trout, but also her first flounder and first redfish (her first Texas Slam!), owns the other. How did I do you ask? It’s been said that a picture is worth a thousand words so I’ll just let the last photo of the day do my bragging.

To reach George Young of Texas Coastal Kayak, call 713 501 0636, and check out their website at TexasCoastalKayak.com

For more information about the products listed in this article, view them online at BassPro.Com.

 

 

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Catfishing Report - Lake of the Ozark - Week of March 14

..Chris Jones is the owner and guide at Catfish Pursuit Guide Service and also our local Catfish Pro Staff for the Independence Missouri Bass Pro Shops Store. He has been fishing for trophy blue cats for over 25 years with his personal best blue catfish being 84 pounds which was caught on Lake of the Ozarks in 2003.  His personal best flathead catfish is 68 pounds and was caught in a local private lake. He has a passion for the outdoors and strongly supports CPR (catch, photograph, release) of all trophy blue catfish over 10 pounds to help preserve our fishery for our future fishermen.

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Mr. Jack Vanderpool showing off one of his many catches of the day!

 

"I fished on Thursday, March 14th, 2013 on the upper end of Lake of the Ozarks and the fish had moved up shallow on the mud flats.  Caught 32 nice blue cats and they were all in 1-5 feet of water feeding heavily on shad.  The main channel was still 42 degrees and the shallow water in the coves was 48.5 in the afternoon which is why the fish had moved there.  The bite was fast and furious and everything was caught on fresh cut shad.  With the colder weather this week I would look for fish to be back in the deeper water staging on channel ledges.  On sunny days especially in the afternoon, then the fish may move shallow again to warm up but I would start looking for fish in the deeper water.  The fish in the deeper water are still biting light and will be until the main channel water temperature reaches 50 degrees."   - Chris Jones, Catfish Persuit Guide Service & Bass Pro Shops Independence Fishing Pro Staff

 

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Warmer weather means more Fishing!

Last month, I featured a blog about camping http://blogs.basspro.com/blog/bass-pro-shops-leeds-al/look-whats-in-camping posted on February 15th. This month, I will move into our fishing department. Now, for those of you who have not been to visit our store, fishing is the department to see! It covers the whole back half of the downstairs area of the store. It is one of the largest departments with a lot of product to see. I will try to highlight a few.

fishing poleBass Pro Shop's fishing department carries a vast variety of rods, reels, and combos to choose from. Your reel selection includes types such as baitcasting, spinning, spincasting, and saltwater fishing reels. We also offer center pin & mooching reels, as well as, line counter reels. You will find great name brands in our department such as Shimano, Abu Garcia, Quantum, Zebco, Browning, and Shakespeare. You can partner these reels with rods such as casting rods, spinning rods, and saltwater fishing rods. If you are looking for combos, Bass Pro Shops fishing department carries baitcasting, ice fishing, saltwater, spin casting, and spinning combos. You'll find a great selection including Johnny Morris' signature series and the Johnny Morris' CarbonLite series.

 

lures

Our fishing department has one of the largest selections of lures available to the public. Our lure selection includes soft baits, hard bits, buzzbait, and spinner baits. We also have saltwater lures, for those offshore fishers. If you are looking for a specific bass jig, catfish, and carp bait, we have what you are looking for. The fishing department offers lure kits, panfish baits, and spoons. These lures are available in a variety of name brands from practically A to Z. A few of the more known brands that we carry include: Strike King, Zoom, Rapala, Yum, Berkley (including Berkely Gulp!, and Gulp Alive!) and Booyah. If there is a specific lure you are looking for, look no further because our Bass Pro Shops fishing department is sure to have it.

 

fishing holder

Bass Pro Shops fishing department also carries an array of fishing accessories. We have a variety of rod and reel accessories that include rod racks (available in vertical, horizontal, wall mounting, or floor styles), rod socks, reel oil, even an emergency rod tip repair kit, just to name a few. We also carry a wide variety of fillet knives and accessories. These accessories include folding processing tables, knife sharpeners, fish scalers, fish skinners, and fillet boards. Don't forget to check out the selection of tools, pliers, and gaffs. We have everything that you need to have a successful fishing trip. Make sure you pick up your maps, charts, nets, and lights, while you are here. 

 

fishing hooks

Once you have decided on your rod/reel set up, you must stock up on the terminal tackle for your tackle box. Our fishing department has more tackle than one person can imagine. We offer a nice selection of fishing lines, leaders, fishing hooks, floats, and sinkers. Our terminal tackle also includes jig heads, fish attractants, tackle rigs and components. Our terminal tackle is available in a variety of sizes and colors, depending on your fishing needs. Make sure you fill your tackle box up with a little bit of all of it. You never know if your fishing excursions will be daytime or night., or if they will be short-lived or all-nighters. It never hurts to have extra supplies for those fishing trips.  

 

fly fishing

For those who are fans of fly fishing, we didn't forget about you! Bass Pro Shops has their very own White River Fly Shop located just inside the fishing department within the store. We carry name brands from A to Z when it comes to the types of fly rods we have available. Some of those brands include White River Fly Shop, World Wide Sportsman, and Orvis. There truly are too many to mention. We have a multitude of fly lines, leaders, and tippets to choose from in our fly shop. Our accessories include maps, DVDs, tackle boxes, and flies. We have an endless selection of flies to choose from. Whether you are fishing for bass, panfish, pike/muskie, salmon/steelhead, saltwater/inshore, saltwater/offshore, or trout, our Whiter River Fly Shop is sure to have exactly what you need.

 

While you are in Bass Pro Shops visiting the fishing department, don't forget to browse through the saltwater fishing area or check out the tackle boxes and bags. Maybe even stop by the reel counter and get some great fishing tips/advice from our knowledgeable associates. Once your fishing destination and equipment has been decided upon, don't leave without checking out the waders, sunglasses, and rain gear. These last few items will ensure a great fishing trip no matter what time of the year or what the weather may hold for you. Most of all... get out and get fishing!

catching fish

 

To check out these products and more, go to www.basspro.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Deep-Fried Catfish - A Southern Taste Treat!!

Don't think you have to have a fancy fish fryer set up to enjoy frying up your catch of the day.  A cast iron skillet works perfectly well.  The Camping Department, at Bass Pro Shops, carries a variety of cast iron skillets and Dutch ovens by Lodge Cast Iron.

Here is a recipe for Deep-Fried Catfish, from the Lodge Cast Iron Cookbook, available in our Gifts Department:

Deep-Fried Catfish

serves 10-12

1 gallon canola oil                                                                  Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 gallon canola oil                                                                  1 small jar yellow mustar

2 cups all-purpose flour                                                         Lemon wedges for garnish

3 cups cornmeal

5 pounds of catfish fillets, all cut to about the same size

  1. Mount a 17-inch cast iron skillet on a propane burner. Fill the skillet two-thirds full with the oil. Heat the oil to 360 degrees (it's best to use a deep-fry thermomether to check the temperature.)
  2. Combine the flour and cornmeal in a clean paper grocery bag. Arrange the fish fillets in a single layer on wax paper-lined baking sheets. Season both sidesof the fish with salt and pepper to taste. Brush each piece on both sides with about 1/2 teaspoon of the mustard. Drop each fillet into the flour mixtureand shake the bag to coat well.
  3. Before you start frying, have another clean paper bag lined with several paper towels and a slotted spoon ready at the cooker.
  4. Place the fillets, one at a time, into the hot oil. Be careful not to overcrowd the pan or the temperature of the oil will drop and you won't get crispy fish. Using the slotted spoon, remove the fish soon after they float but not until they have turned light brown. Place the cooked fillets inside the clean grocery bag to drain and keep warm. Garnish with lemon wedges.

LodgeYou can also fry French fries and hush puppies in the oil after all the fish has been cooked. Serve it up with coleslaw, tartar sauce, and ketchup. If you like, you can substitute Zatarain's Fish-Fri for the flour and cornmeal.

Head over to Bass Pro Shops before your next fish fry. Stop in our Gifts Department to pick up a copy of The Lodge Cast Iron Cookbook, then head over to our Camping Department to pick up the cast iron skillet of your choice, oil and seasonings. You can find it all at Bass Pro Shops!

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Better than Restaurant Grilled Fish

Get your charcoal grill out of winter storage and get it cleaned and ready for some excellent grilled fish.  Any firm fleshed fish will work nicely and among my suggestions are filets of grouper, snapper, drum, tile, trigger, or even fresh water catfish.  I recommend purchasing "natural" charcoal rather than briquets, since the latter contains lime and other ingredients that may impart their own flavors to the smoke.  Avoid using liquid charcoal lighter which will also impart an unpleasant  kerosene taste to your fish.  I recommend either an electric charcoal starter or a charcoal chimney, both of which we carry at Bass Pro Shops.

Soak a good handful of  BPS Western Brand Hickory or other hardwood chips in water for at least 30 minutes prior to cooking.  Start your charcoal fire and lightly oil the grill (just to make it easier to clean).  Do not use the grill for cooking your fish as it will fall through the gaps into the fire.  Instead, I recommend using a Space Saver Grilling Grid or a Weber Stainless Steel Grill Pan (available at Bass Pro Shops) on top of the grill, both of which have very small holes or slits to allow the heat and smoke to get to the food, without letting it fall through.  These are great for grilling shimp and small vegie pieces, too. 

Rinse the fillets and brush lightly with olive oil.  Add a pinch of salt and freshly ground pepper to each fillet then place on a lightly oiled Grilling Grid or Grill Pan.  I like to add a pat of real butter and thin slices of lemon to the top of each fillet.

When the charcoal is uniformly lit and ashen grey, spread the coals evenly and add half the soaked hardwood chips.  Place the Grid or Pan with the fillets on the grill and close the lid.  Cook and smoke for about 15 minutes, then open the lid and turn the fillets.  Add more hardwood chips if needed.  Close the lid and cook another 15 minutes, more or less, depending upon the thickness or thinness of the fillets.  They are done when fish flakes easily with a fork.

This receipe will also work on a gas grill on medium heat that has a provision to produce hardwood smoke.

Serve with a crisp green salad and baked potato.  It doesn't get much better than this!

 

Gary Feduccia

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Archery in the Off-Season

The New Year is upon us, and most hunting seasons have come to a close. Fortunately, there are numerous activities during the off-season that gives us an opportunity to brush the dust off and keep our skills sharp for the upcoming hunting/ tournament seasons. Here are a few options to try out this off-season to fight-off the dreaded cabin fever.

3D Archery
3D archery does an exceptionally good job of preparing, or in some instances, repairing a bowhunter’s form, and challenges the shooter to accurately and quickly judge yardage. Local archery clubs typically start outdoor 3D shoots consisting of 40 random targets stretched out over a wooded or semi-wooded walking course in early spring, and continue them until the start of hunting season. In 3D archery, a shooter or group of shooters approach a predetermined shooting area or stake and make one shot each at a foam animal target at an unknown distance with scoring rings imprinted on the side. The arrows are then scored according to where they made impact, and the shooter(s) then move on to the next target and repeat the process until the course is complete. Scores are kept on a scorecard, and the higher the score the better. As you can imagine, the unknown distance factor adds a great deal of difficulty to the shoot and can greatly increase your ability to judge distance on the fly over the course of a summer. 3D archery is also a competitive sport, with two sanctioning organizations that run local, state, national, and world level tournaments, some of which include monetary payouts. Competitive 3D is broken down into classes that are determined by equipment limitations, experience, or age structure, and each organization has its own strict set of rules and regulations. You can find local shoots at www.3dshoots.com, and view the two sanctioning organizations at www.asaarchery.com and www.ibo.net. Whether you shoot 3D just for fun, or pursue it competitively, it is one of the most fun and most rewarding ways to pass the time and can help take you to the next level as an archer.

If this sounds like something you may be interested in, we have our very own Winter Archery League held on Tuesday and Thursday evenings. This league is open to all levels of shooters, and the shoots are a combination of 3D and paper targets. Cost is $10 a session with 40 shots per night and each shooter will receive a $5 gift card each night. Lane times need to be made in advance -
Please contact the Archery Desk at (712) 325-6000.

Bowfishing

One of my favorite things to do when the weather starts warming up is to walk the banks of local creeks, lakes, and rivers in hot pursuit of massive carp. These fish grow extremely large, with most species reaching upwards of 40 pounds, and their finicky nature makes them quite a challenge. They are overpopulated in most areas creating dozens of shot opportunities, and can be a detriment to water quality so harvesting them serves a great purpose.  Other popular species include gar, catfish, tilapia, and stingrays. Leave the rods at home and buy yourself a bowfishing kit. They range in price from $30 for a basic spool, line, and fish arrow to about $150 for a reel, line, rest, and several fish arrows. Both work equally well for the weekend warrior, but if you plan on making it a full time hobby or shooting from a boat, the extra investment is well worth it. Both setups will affix to nearly any bow. Determining the correct point of aim can be very difficult when bowfishing, particularly when the fish are more than a few inches below the surface of the water. Light refraction causes the fish to look higher in the water column than they really are, and arrows tend to plane when they meet water resistance. Aiming several inches below the fish is common, but the proper elevation depends on fish depth and shot angle, and is something you can only learn with experience. Be sure to check your state regulations on bowfishing. License requirements and legal gamefish vary from state to state. Shooting fish with a bow is an absolute blast, so take a friend and a camera and soothe your itchy trigger finger.


Even with the lack of big game hunting seasons, the off-season have a lot to offer. If you have a passion for archery, make it a year round sport. There is no better way to become a better shooter than to shoot every day, and when shooting your backyard target just isn't cutting the mustard, get out and take full advantage of what mother nature has to offer.

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2013 Spring Fishing Classic at Cincinnati Bass Pro Shops

Spring Fishing Classic

It's that time again Tri-State Anglers !!! Time for our annual Spring Fishing Classic and Sale here at Cincinnati Bass Pro Shops February 22nd to March 10th. This year's event is sure not to disappoint with workshops from National and local pros and experts, free kids activities and a chance to win a fishing trip with Tony Stewart !!

Our event starts on Friday, February with our Reel Trade In. Bring in your used or unwanted reels and trade them in for a voucher to get a discount on a new reel. This trade in opportunity runs through February 27th. Then from March 1st to March 5th you can do the same thing with your used and unwanted fishing rods. This is a great opportunity to upgrade your equipment, and all of the equipment traded in during this event gets cleaned up and donated to local youth fishing groups and schools.

Also that first weekend will bring our local pros to our 23,000 aquarium turned seminar area for some great FREE workshops on fishing in our area. The first 25 attendees of each workshop will receive a LED light key chain. The weekend schedule of workshops is:

Friday

6:30pm - Tips for Fishing the Great Miami River

7:30pm - Techniques for Fishing Crappie with Mike Bright

Saturday

1:30pm - Tips For Fishing the Great Miami River

2:30pm - Spring Fishing Tips from Kevin Izzi, Cincinnati Bass Pro Shops Fishing Pro Staff

3:30pm - Baits for Success, Such as Jigs and Crankbaits

4:30pm - Best Tackle & Equipment For Successful Muskie Fishing With Kentucky Chapters of Muskies, Inc

5:30pm - Tips & Trends for Catfishing

Sunday

1:30pm - Techniques For Fishing Crappie With Mike Bright

2:30pm - Baits for Success, Such as Jigs and Crankbaits

3:30pm - Best Tackle & Equipment For Successful Muskie Fishing With Kentucky Chapters of Muskies, Inc

4:30pm - Tips & Trends for Catfishing

The second weekend of the event we are excited to have members of our Bass Pro Shops National Pro Staff here to give us their best tips and secrets for successful fishing. Here's the weekend lineup:

Friday March 1st

6:30pm - Fletcher Shyrock

7:30pm - Pete Maina

Sunday March 3rd

1:00pm - Mark Zona

 

Our Next Generation Youth Weekend is back again for the last weekend of our Spring Fishing Classic. It kicks off at 12:00pm both Saturday and Sunday  when our Catch and Release pond makes another appearance in our store where kids get a chance to catch a live fish along with a Keep America Fishing Photo Opportunity to keep a memory of this experience with a FREE 4x6 photo and accompanying Certificate. This event will be open until 4:00pm both days.

We will also have Kids Seminars both Saturday and Sunday at our aquarium. These workshops will be:

             1pm – The Fun of Fishing

              3pm – Bait for Bites

              Free wristbands for the first 150 kids to complete the Fish Pond and craft

There will be a FREE kids craft from 1 - 4pm both days  where the kids will be making a Wooden Fish Craft.

Finally their will be a chance to win our Fishing Classic Sweepstakes where you will be eligible to win our national grand prize of a Fishing with Tony Stewart Package. In addition, we will be giving away one first prize in our store which consists of Bass Pro Shops and Kevin Van Dam fishing items, a Coca Cola Race package that includes race hat, chair, cooler and more, and 2 race tickets.

                First Prize – Fishing Package, Coca Cola Package, 2 race tickets

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Shad Season 2013

American ShadShad season has started with a bang here in central Florida and from the sound of the reports coming in right now, we could be looking forward to one of the best years in recent memory.  I can't believe it might possibly top last year but you never know what's going to happen when dealing with unpredictable fish migrations, water levels, and strange weather patterns.  All of these factors have produced an earlier than normal run with goof numbers, acceptable river conditions, and pleasant temperatures.

American Shad are a migratory fish that returns to their birthplace to spawn, then die just like salmon do in northern regions.  The Saint Johns River starts its life in south central Florida, somewhere around Lake Hell N Blazes and continues on to the point where it enters the Atlantic Ocean at Jacksonville.  This is how the shad enter the river for the last time in preperation for the spawning.  We fishermen get the priviledge of pursuing this historic species once they have traveled upstream past Lake Monroe in Seminole county.

So far his year has been pretty good for myself and my fellow shad chasers, with quality fish available in numbers that rival the past couple seasons.  You just have to know where to look and what tactics to employ.  The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission survey takers (shocking surveys) have found fish throughout "Shad Alley" and all the way south to Rt 50 in Midway.  I have only fished at Mullet Lake and the entrance to the Little Econ, and both of these locations have produced well, but what has suprised me is the size differential between fish at either place.  The southern spot seemed to produce larger fish.  Either way though, we're having fun.

Rat-L-TrapFish are hitting the typical flies and lures but a small silver Rat-L-Trap is one I had never tried that has been working really well for me.  I found this year that trolling one of these superb lipless diving baits will catch just about anything that chases minnows.  Shad, bass, catfish, crappie,  and bluegill have all taken some of the finish off my new favorite hard bait.  What started out chrome colored is now a nicely scratched and beated bone color.  Chuck it and reel it!

I hope you all get the point and head for the water some time over the next month or so.  You just don't know what your next obsession might be.

Good Luck!

Sincerely,

Brian "Beastman" Eastman

Whte River Fly Shop

Outdoor World Orlando

 

 

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It's the "Catch of the Day" at Uncle Buck's Grill

 Uncle Buck's Grill

Connected to the 130,000 square feet Bass Pro Shops is Uncle Buck’s Grill. The grill is named after Bass Pro Shops founder- Johnny Morris’s Uncle Buck, aka John Willey. Uncle Buck’s Grill is the ultimate outdoorsman’s dining experience…. Everything from burgers to gator, visit http://www.restaurants.basspro.com/unclebucksgrill to view the full menu. The grill hosts a 13,000 gallon salt water reef aquarium with an array of aquatic species swimming around in front of you while you relax at the bar with the beverage of your choice and one of our “Catch of the Day” dining specials.

 Lion fish

Monday

      Burger Your Way         $6.95

Fresh Steak Burger topped with your choice of two toppings and served with lettuce, tomato and fries. Topping Choices are Cheese, Sautéed Onions, Sautéed Mushrooms, Bacon, Crisp Fried Onions or Jalapenos.

Tuesday

      Sirloin Steak                 $10.95

  Make your Tuesday feel like the weekend with this indulgent USDA  Choice Top Sirloin.

                                                              Wednesday

                                                                       Uncle Buck's Grill                  All-You-Can-Eat Catfish Fingers     $13.95

Tender strips of catfish hand-breaded in seasoned cornmeal and served until you say to STOP!

Thursday   

      10 Shrimp for $10

Large shrimp butterflied and hand breaded in panko breadcrumbs are “shrimply” delicious!

Friday

      All-You-Can Eat Fish Fry            $13.95

Beer-battered flaky whitefish is our signature dish and today it keeps on coming...

           The Lodge Dining Room

If you are looking for a light snack, swing by Uncle Buck’s Coffee Shop. The coffee shop is located across from the main aquarium/waterfall for your convenience. You can get fresh fudge, roasted nuts, muffins, cookies and of course your favorite cup of coffee.

Next time you are shopping at Bass Pro Shops stop in at Uncle Buck's Grill and check out our "Catch of the Day".

Whether you are looking for a meal or a snack Uncle Buck's has you covered.

Eat. Drink. Go Shopping.

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Georgia National Parks: Chattahoochee River

riverToday the river valley attracts us for so many reasons. Take a solitary walk to enjoy nature’s display, raft leisurely through the rocky shoals with friends, fish the misty waters as the sun comes up, or have a picnic on a Sunday afternoon. Get outdoors and experience the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area as you have never done before.

At Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area you can float, fish, or play in 48 miles of river as it flows through the northern suburbs of Atlanta. Use your land legs as you explore one of the 15 land units strung like emeralds along the river. Or just kick back and relax!

Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area (CRNRA) is rich in natural and human history, each influenced by the river's pervasive force. Usually clear, cold, and slow moving, the river sometimes plunges as a muddy torrent through its rockbound shoals. For centuries people have been drawn to the river for a source of water, food, and transportation, and in more recent times for power to sustain the mills, factories, and homes built along its banks.

Wild plants and animals, native to the area, are abundant in the park. Visit the park often to see the ever changing show that the plant life found in the park has to offer. Some animals you will see every time you visit and some, like the playful river otter, will delight you with a rare appearance. Whether  you are canoeing, fishing or hiking, CRNRA is an exciting place to observe animals in their natural habitats.

The river is home for trout, bass, catfish and 20 other species of fish. The Chattahoochee River is the southernmost trout river in the United States. This is possible due to Buford Dam releasing cold water from the bottom of Lake Lanier and the Georgia Department of Natural Resources stocking the river.

Housing over two hundred and forty bird species, there's not a corner you turn without hearing the sweets sounds of nature. You are likely to see the graceful blue heron soaring above the river, with it's neck bent for flight in the shape of an 's' and its wings outstretched five to six feet. Some species make their home in the river corridor and others are just passing through while traveling the eastern flyway.

The forest along the river is home to many species including rabbits and white tailed deer. If you walk quietly in the late summer, you might see fawn just starting to forage alone. At this young age, they are rivespecially beautiful with their large white spots and long, lanky legs, silently leaping up banks or over fallen trees.

At dusk, it is shift change for the animals in the park. A symphony begins with the call of the owls and the frogs. The bats dart about, honing in on their dinner of insects, while the toads leap underfoot and the crickets join in.

For more information, please visit www.nps.gov.

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Using Your Lowrance Electronics To Locate Trophy Catfish

 

During seminars and on guided trips I often field the question of “How do I locate trophy catfish using my electronics?”  In today’s article I will answer this using screenshots from my Lowrance Gen-2 HDS-10 unit.  Contrary to popular belief, catfish aren't bottom feeders that eat the most rotten stinky decomposed meal they can find. This only true when they are just starting out in life eating anything and everything they can in an attempt to bulk up so they are not eaten themselves. After they mature into adulthood (over 5lbs) they are a predatory feeder. While still opportunistic where they will eat a chicken liver etc if it presents itself, they prefer to feed on natural forage fish like shad, sunfish, crappie and bass.


Current is the key to locating trophy-sized cats. I like to refer to large catfish as the “SUV’s” of the underwater world. Their wide heads and bulky bodies like heavy current about as much as Bill Dance likes a UGA ball cap. During low current situations, catfish are very nomadic and can be found all over the water column chasing bait amongst the stripes hybrids and largemouth. Usually what I see are the other fish really working a bait ball and the cats are what I like to call "efficiently lazy". They will hang out just below the action and feed on the baitfish that stray away from the group or the ones that are injured in the frenzy. However, with the introduction of current the catfish stage behind structure like large rock piles, old sunken bridges, heavy timber or in the case of our example below a ledge with a sharp drop off that they are using as a current break. These current breaks allow the catfish to hold position without expending any unneeded excess energy to stay in one place.


Due to the shape and length of a catfish he gives off a different return or arch than other fish. Also due to the width and density of his skull it will show me a multi colored return as well. Using the color 13 palette on my HDS-10 I can really see them stand out from the other species in the lake. In the first screenshot below inside the red circle you see a typical catfish return showing you a high arch that is slightly thicker at the apex and is showing a green + dark green return in the head. In the blue circle you see the same thing but with more dark green in the return and they are facing right into the ledge staying out of the current. These would be larger catfish that are doing just what they should in this scenario. In the orange circle you see some smaller pan fish in the mix trying to get into the current break area and realize that they are on the wrong side of town! If you notice, the catfish in the green circle are not facing into the current but looking to the left at these pan fish and appear to be feeding pretty good. Screen Shot 1

In the second screenshot below with the same settings and heavy current moving from right to left you see longer, thinner returns that have a slight bit of green in them. A striper or hybrid have a dense dark main blood vessel that gives me a touch of green in their return also. However, the fact that the returns are facing the wrong way and are way too thin for a catfish would tell me that these are stripers or hybrids just getting their grub on.

Screen Shot 2

Now that we are able to identify catfish using our 2-d sonar I would like to share a tip that will keep you from sitting on an unproductive hole full of fish for what can seem like hours without so much as a nibble. In order to do this you must learn to speak shad. The structure scan portion of my HDS-10 unit is one of the deadliest weapons that I have when looking for feeding catfish. Using the down scan and side scan features I let the bait tell me what the fish are doing in that area. If I see bait pods that are perfectly round or even cylindrical in shape in the same area as a group of trophy sized catfish I know that those fish aren’t actively feeding as in the first screenshot below. However, if the bait is spread out all across the screen then I know that there is a feeding frenzy going on and that I need to get a few baits in there quick, as seen in the second and third screenshots below.

Screen Shot 3

Screen Shot 4

Screen Shot 5

Here is a photo of a nice father and son catch during our thaksgiving trip this year. Remember that 90 % of the fish are found in 10% of the water and by knowing what to look for and where you are half way there! 

50 lb Blue

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Crappie Fishing Lure Tips

ICAST 2012 Orlando, Florida- The following products were picked from the ICAST 2012 show by the staff and editors of CRAPPIE WORLD Magazine along with one recommendation of one of the hottest selling items offered at Bass Pro Shops®

Joes Flies- The leader on "in-line" light and ultralite "spinnerfly" style lures since 1961, Joes flies exclusive Short Striker "Classics" combine the time proven effectiveness of hand tied fly with the irresistible flash of a premium 24 carat gold or nickel spinner blade; Great on all species of freshwater fish from Crappie and Bluegill, to Bass and Musky, and Catfish and Carp, and all fish in-between.

Koppers Live Target- Young-of-the-year Trout is distinguished by two different stages in their early lifecycle; the Fry and the Parr. LIVETARGET® has matched these two popular forages to a tee. The baby of the family; the Fry, is offered in a slow sinking model, while its older adolescent brother; the Parr, is available in a floater version, equipped with a built in weight transfer system. Both have intricate paint patterns that easily fool river and wide open water game fish. The LIVETARGET® young-of-the-year Fri and Parr are the ultimate forage replicas, Match the hatch with LIVETARGET®

YUMbrella™ Ultralight Tripod™- Lightweight rig that can be thrown on any type of rod and reel; Perfect for ponds, streams, rivers, and lakes. Tough heat-treated stainless steel wires. Top quality snaps and swivels. It simulates a small school of baitfish. Everything you need to catch a fish and using this rig for Crappie is easy; just take the right and left wired and bend them to the sides, then bend the center wire straight down.

Literature provided by CRAPPIE WORLD® Magazine. I hope this knowledge will help you on your next fishing adventure and don't forget to check out your nearest Bass Pro Shops® so we can get you all rigged up!

 

JF     KoppersYUM

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Georgia State Parks: Stephen C. Foster State Park

scfosterThis remote park is a primary entrance to the legendary Okefenokee Swamp -- one of Georgia's seven natural wonders. Spanish moss-laced trees reflect off the black swamp waters, while cypress knees rise upward from the glass-like surface.  Here, paddlers and photographers will enjoy breathtaking scenery and abundant wildlife. Alligators, turtles, raccoons, black bears, deer, ibis, herons, wood storks, red-cockaded woodpeckers and numerous other creatures make their homes in the 402,000-acre refuge.  Stargazers will appreciate the particularly dark sky.  Astronomy programs with an 18" telescope are sometimes offered.
 
Park staff offer guided boat tours, and same-day reservations are recommended. More adventurous visitors may wish to rent canoes, kayaks or jon boats for further exploration of the swamp, including a trip to historic Billy’s Island.  Fishing in the lake is excellent, particularly for warmouth, bluegill, catfish, chain pickerel and bowfin.  Boating is dependent upon water levels.  Overnight guests may stay in a shaded campground or fully equipped cabins. Because the state park is located within a National Wildlife Refuge, gates lock at closing and a refuge fee is charged.

Perhaps the most famous inhabitant of the Okefenokee Swamp is the American Alligator.  Officials estimate that 12,000 of the country’s largest reptile live within the 402,000-acre refuge.  To safely view these creatures, visitors should admire them from a distance and keep hands and feet inside boats.  Pets are not allowed in boats, even privately owned vessels.  Children should not play near the water’s edge.  Feeding any wildlife is prohibited.  Following these guidelines will help visitors have a safe and entertaining experience in one of the Seven Natural Wonders of Georgia.

At the park's Suwannee River Visitor Center in Fargo, visitors learn not only about the Okefenokee Swamp's ecosystem, but also how buildings can be made from recycled car parts. Located off Hwy. 441 at the Suwannee River bridge, the center mixes environmental education with engineering showmanship. Inside, visitors learn that tannic acid produced by decaying vegetation is what gives the river its tea color, and that, unlike other reptiles, mother alligators actively care for their babies. A third of the building materials was made from recycled content, including a retaining wall made from old dashboards and electrical cables.

Because Stephen C. Foster State Park is located within a National Wildlife Refuge, gates lock at closing and a $5 refuge fee is charged.

THINGS TO DO & SEE:
  • Canoe, Kayak and Fishing Boat Rental
  • Guided Pontoon Boat Tours
  • Evening Boat Tours
  • Boating
  • Fishing
  • Walking
  • Bike Rental
  • Birding
  • Nature Photography
  • Astronomy

www.gastateparks.org

 

 

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