Local Fishing: Fishing Table Rock Lake

Summer is back in force making fishing as interesting as it gets. With water in the 80’s, the local lakes are getting a little harder to fish. Even for those with a lot of experience. The thermocline is set now that the temperature is finally at the summer highs, making the fish a little harder to pin down. Now that summer heat is finally here the humidity is making it hard for seasoned fisherman to be out on the water for too long or risk heat related illness. Here are some tips and tricks to keep your fishing fun and productive on one of our favorite lakes in the area!

As a general rule of thumb a fisherman on Table Rock should stay relatively close to areas where fish like to congregate. Some of these spots can be seen from your boat or shore. These formations are shallow spots or underwater hills. Whether these are man-made such as brush piles or simply submerged hills from when the lake was formed both are hot spots for fish during this time of year. Drop Shotting a 4” BPS Plum Cut Tail down in this area can bring up some large fish! This can grab both Crappie and Bass so be ready for some subtle bites and some big yanks on the rod!

If you are really out to catch some good size fish the best time of day is definitely the first few hours of sunlight. This not only is easier on the fisherman but also the fish are far more active and ready to feed. Simply by fishing from the crack of dawn to 10a.m. to 11a.m. you can make your chances of a catch higher. One of the best things to fish with in the morning is a White Strata Spoon. By running this lure in the morning the fish are more attracted to the actual lure as it flies over the water and lands. The fish being closer to the top of the water makes them far more likely to take a quick pass at the bait. Another great bait to use is the Chompers 4” Brown/Purple 1/2 oz. Drop Shotting this on a submerged hill or brush pile in the morning is an awesome way to attract fish and get some big strikes.

Fishing Table Rock Lake here in the Ozarks can be one of the most fun and exciting activities during the summer. While the summer heat might be here for a little longer you can still have a good fishing experience by fishing in the morning and knowing your fishing spots. Another great way to keep those morning hours a little less hot is by using one of Bass Pro’s Frogg Togg Neck Coolers. These little cooling towels have saved more than one trip and have made the summer far more bearable. Good luck on your fishing, stay cool, and take a look at what Bass Pro offers to make your fishing experience complete! http://www.basspro.com/Fishing/_/T-12100000000

 Table Rock Lake

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Small Boat Fishing-What You Need To Know

Ok, in my last two blogs we covered when to start shore fishing in August for brown trout and some shore fishing techniques. Now let’s cover some small boat fishing.

First let me point out that we are fishing Lake Michigan, this body of water can change on you very quickly. I have seen the lake go from calm to 7 to 8 foot waves in minutes. PLEASE make sure you do your homework on the weather conditions, BEFORE you go out. If you are not sure if it’s safe for your boat to fish in, call the Coast Guard or contact someone that is familiar with the conditions you plan to fish. It’s not worth your life. If it’s too rough, leave the boat on the trailer and fish from shore. I always keep my spinning rod on the boat just in case!

There are a couple of options that you can fish. The first is the harbor bite. In the Kenosha, Wisconsin harbor it is not uncommon to see small boats trolling in the harbor basin. It can be a nightmare with more than a couple of boats doing this. I have seen 34’ charter boats trolling in there and creating problems with everyone, boaters and shore fishermen.  Trolling small spoons and cranks are the best baits to use.  You can flat line the cranks or put them on a downrigger or Dipsey Diver. With the spoons, Dipsey’s or downriggers work best.

The other common technique is to drift in the harbor using the wind to cover water. You can use the same baits as you would use while fishing on shore, spoons, jigs, spinners and don’t forget to drag a spawn sac under a slip bobber.

On the right day with the right wind, try trolling the mouth of the harbor areas. This area can hold a lot of fish that haven’t been bombarded with lure from the shoreline and the boats working the inside. I would not hesitate to troll up and down the shoreline looking for fish in the current areas from the harbor or any tributaries that flow into the lake.

One thing to remember is that the bite goes from feeding to reaction as the fall progresses. Fish the depths that you are marking fish. You might see fish at all depths, but they aren’t all active. I have seen fish that move from the bottom to the surface, I think these are the fish we see constantly jumping. Are these active fish, I think some? But I would target the fish that I am marking on my electronics that are at a consistent depth. I think these are active fish that will give you the best chance at some action.

By: Jerry Costabile 8/20/13

 

 

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What's HOT for Delta Striper

So as many of you know the delta stripers bite is coming up quick and you may be wondering what to use. Well what do delta stripers like to eat ? Shad! Many of you are thinking okay I'll just throw a swim bait. Well think again. Those big striper aren't just looking for that single little shad, they are looking for a nice school.

Right now at Bass Pro Shops we have the YUM YUMbrella 3-Wire Rig Kit and our Bass Pro Shops Deadly 5 Crappie Rig. Both of these rigs come with the 3-wire design. Some of you may be asking why a crappie rig and I'll tell you. Believe it or not this smaller rig may help out with not only catching Striper but hooking up to some of those big delta black bass in those more confined areas.

Now when using the YUMbrella rig i recommend switching out the 4" minnows that come with it, to our Bass Pro Shops Boss Shad. When I'm fishing this rig, I like to use the 3" Boss Shad preferably two of the shad color and one with the firetiger pattern. Believe it or not for some reason 90% of  the time that different color Boss Shad will be the one that gets hit. When using the Bass Pro Shops Deadly 5 Crappie Rig I use the Boss Shad also, but this time with two 2" shad and one 3" shad of a different color and again 90% of my hits will be on that different color. Other great colors of Boss Shad to use are the blue gill and baby bass colors.

Also to note I recommend spreying some BANG shad formula on your Boss Shad the night before to help it soak in, it really helps attract the fish. When throwing these rigs I use 7' Medium-Heavy Bass Pro Shops Johnny Morris Signature Series rod with a 7.1:1 Johnny Morris Signature Series Reel. This Set up is also available in a combo. The line you should use is our Bass Pro Shops XPS 8  Advanced Braid. The 50lb braid is the best because these heavy rigs will snap any other mono or flourocarbon at that diameter.    

       

For our early morning anglers a Heddon Super Spook is that way to go. These top water lures are the go to lure in the delta right now for early morning striper fishing. The 5" Bone, Frog, Foxy Shad and the Wounded Shad are the best colors at this time. Throwing this lure I like to use a 6'6" to 7' Medium-Heavy Bass Pro Shops Extreme Rod and Reel Combo with the 7.1:1 Extreme Reel with some Bass Pro Shops Excel 15-17lb Monofilament.

 

If you are interested in seeing these products in action I ill be demonstrating them in our bass tank on August 31st at 12p.m. and September 1st at 2p.m.

Travis Gonsalves

Fishing Department

Manteca Store 49

 

 

 

 

 

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The Power of Fishing from a Tube

  I have a nickname that I'm quite proud of. They call me the "Frugal Fisherman."  I look for bargains and will study ways to eliminate expensive fishing obstacles. One such obstacle was that I was tired of watching boats blast by me on shore while they headed for greener fishing pastures.  There were also tanks and ponds I wanted to fish which would not allow motors. So I compromised.  I bought a Lost Lake Fishing tube from the White River Fly Shop at my local Bass Pro!

  That turned out to be on of the better buys I have made in my 50+ years of fishing purchasing.  I was instantly able to leave the shore!  I could reach acres and acres more fishing spots on both lakes and ponds without having to buy a trailer, or boat tags or insurance, or dolling out dollars for gas. 

  My first tube was a round (actually more circular) tube.  I added a pair of good swim fins and off I went to Lake Loy up around Sherman, Tx.  Once I limbered up the old fly rod I maneuvered out past the tangled mat of hydrilla and it was on!  I don't remember how many bream and crappie I caught that day.  I do remember thinking what a good buy that tube just might prove to be.  I caught the daylights out of fish I could not reach before.

  I've had my tube under the bridges of Cedar Creek and Lake Ray Hubbard. The creeks of Ray Roberts and Lewisville have produced Spring crappie by the 25-fish-limit too. I just stay in either the coves away from speeding boats or under bridges on major lakes and out of swift current on running.

 Granted, I got my catch rate per trip up to some very respectable numbers, but that wasn't the biggest long term advantage. Two huge plusses I have been able to use throughout my fishing career were to plan a trip with a map and the weather forecaster. And second, to fish the my chosen waters thoroughly before hauling myself all over the lake.

 If you plan on fishing the lakes around the metroplex, grab a good lake map.  Get the kind with the contour lines like A.I.D Lake Maps or "Fishing Hot Spots Maps."  Then watch your local weather personality or check the internet. You want to figure out which direction the wind will be coming from and it's speed.  Look at your map. The goal here is to figure out good places to fish while not being buffeted by heavy Texas winds. Windy areas are also good to fish, but after a day of fining my way around, I want a relatively easy kick back home.

 Fish your area thoroughly. If you have fished every stump. lily pad, weed bed, brush pile and there is no joy in Tubeville it's not hard to move. If you have ants in your pants and want to change major areas on the lake, well, it's no big deal to throw your tube in the car or truck and boogie to the next spot.

 Most float tubes are well constructed and can support at least 250 pounds of fisher and gear.  They are also rugged in their construction and don't puncture easily on snags in the water. As you progress in your tube fishing adventure, get on fishing forums on the internet. There are actually clubs and individuals who get together and go fishing with their tubes.  You can also tune in here next time for some more fishing, safety and just plain old helpful tube fishing hints!

Get off the bank! Get a White River Fly Shop float tube at your Bass Pro Shops of Garland, Tx and bend that rod like you own it!

Fishing from a tube

Tight Lines and Loops,

"Fly, the Frugal Fisherman"

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What's In a Fishing Hat?

Paul's HatAsk my wife that question on any given day and she’ll reply that if it’s sitting on top of my head there isn’t much going on inside other than crickets, cobwebs, and random thoughts about pizza, shiny things, and squirrels.  But what I’m actually talking about is what makes a good fishing hat.

We get asked where the fishing hats are all the time and I have a hard time not sounding like Bubba in “Forrest Gump” when I answer.  “Well that all depends ya see cuz, we got yer ball caps, trucker caps, floppy hats, straw hats, sun hats, cowboy hats, knit hats, gardening hats, winter hats, hunting hats, skipper’s caps, visors, NASCAR hats, felt crushable hats, boonie hats, etc…”  You get the picture?  Just about any hat we sell could be used as a fishing hat if the time is right.

Some folks I know make sure whatever chapeau they wear fishing doesn’t have a fish on it, thinking that would ensure a less than successful day, while others insist on wearing a hat with the logo of their favorite rod maker, boat manufacturer, or sporting team.  A few people even get upset that it’s getting harder and harder to find a good hat that doesn’t have any logos on it whatsoever.  They figure they’re not being paid to be a walking billboard so why advertise for someone else.  Even others taunt the mosquitoes by wearing a hat with “Bite Me” written on the band, but for Paul, his favorite fishing hat also serves as a convenient tackle storage system, adorned with a few choice lures he hopes will be productive on wading trips.

I don’t think you can actually look at a hat on the shelf and decide that it’s going to earn a coveted position on top of your head.  Function isn’t enough.  How well it does it's job is irrelevant if it just doesn't feel right!  It needs to feel like it’s an integral part of the fishing uniform, kind of like your lucky shirt.  It takes time for a new sombrero to prove itself as head protector and luck bringer.  A friend of mine will give each new hat one fishing trip to prove that it isn’t jinxed.  And if she doesn’t catch a fish on that first trip?  Well, let’s just say there are no second chances when it comes to finding a good hat in her household. 

My choice in hats has always leaned towards baseball caps with slightly larger brims to keep the sun out of my eyes and a dark under brim to cut down reflection, but recently I’ve been trying out a dove hunter’s hat because it’s lightweight and has a brim all the way around.  Keeping the sun off my ears and the back of my neck is important (….according to the dermatologist, and my wife).  The jury’s still out as to whether it’s going to be the hat of choice for the rest of the season.  It may yet earn a permanent place in my ever growing hat collection that currently sits at 69 ball caps, hunting hats, NASCAR hats…etc.  You get the picture?

Brian “Beastman” Eastman

White River Fly Shop

Outdoor World Orlando

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Oakley Redfish Tour at Destin Bass Pro Shops

Join our first annual Destin Open - Oakley Redfish Tour at Destin's Bass Pro Shops on Friday, September 6th and Saturday, September 7th  .All anglers are welcomed and registration will be on Friday, September 6th from 5 til 6 pm.  A Captains' Meeting will be held immediately after registration from 6 til 8 pm, where we will review all rules and tournament information.  Food will be served to all participants.

The first 50 teams to participate will receive a pair of Polarized Oakley sunglasses and a pair of Wright McGill inshore rods with a combined value of $600!  Entry fees are $500 per team.

All participating teams will launch on Saturday, September 7th, from Joe's Bayou ramp in Destin for this one day event.  Weigh-Ins will begin at 3 pm at the Destin Bass Pro Shops, 4301 Legendary Drive, Destin, Florida.

Based on a minimum of 50 teams, the following payouts are scheduled:

1.  Guaranteed MAKO LTS 18 ($30,000 value)

2.  $5,000

3.  $4,000

4.  $3,000

5.  $2,000

6.  $1,000

7.  $900

8.  $800

9.  $700

10. $600

ATX, "Big Fish"  $1,000

For ALL of you freshwater and saltwater fishing needs, come visit the Destin Bass Pro Shops!

Gary Feduccia

 

ATX "Big Fish"

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Big "E" Lands Some Big-Uns This Summer

eric with another big grass carpEric with big grass carp

Eric Feltner of our Fishing Department has had a pretty good summer out on the local waterways. He caught the two huge grass carp above, that weighed in at 69 and 74 pounds each, in a local pond. The kicker is that he was using a fly rod and a fly he tied in our Fly Fishing shop here at the store....and only 4 POUND TEST LINE !!!! He said it took over an hour to get these big boys to the shore.

Eric with 3 pound bass

A couple weeks later he caught this nice 3 pound smallmouth bass in 4 Mile Creek on a white river five weight fly rod and a white hand-tied clouser minnow. Way to go Eric !!!

 

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Floating Along in my Old Town

Floating Along in my Old Town

By: Suzie Mason

I just bought my first canoe!! It is a 14 foot Old Town Saranac 146, and it was one of the best purchases I’ve ever made!!  It’s fully loaded the front and rear seat comes with adjustable back rests, a 6” dry storage hatch, cup holders, and rod holders!  And if I feel like bringing a 3rd person along for the ride I have a bench seat in the middle with a small cooler under the seat, which I found fits a carton of night crawlers and some ice very nicely.  Only one problem I drive a very tiny 4 cylinder car, not really ideal for lugging a canoe around.  So every time I take out my awesome new canoe I have to drive from Fox Lake all the way to Wadsworth to pick up my dad’s van then back to Fox Lake again to load up the canoe, round trip that’s about an hour drive.  Determined to be in the outdoors I do this drive once or twice a week, but let me tell you it’s definitely worth it.

This last Sunday we loaded up my canoe along with my friends 16 foot Old Town canoe and headed over to Long Lake in Ingleside to hit the water.  It was a beautiful day and the water was very calm, perfect for some fishing.  We paddled across the lake to my lucky spot and it worked out, I caught about 8 blue gills, and a little bass.  After about an hour of fishing we decided to paddle across the lake to the little channel that we saw on the way in.  We had to paddle under this very short bridge with a bunch of spider webs that we had to duck under (which we almost had to turn around because of the fact we had some girly girls with us).  But thankfully the boys and myself were determined because once we got through it was so cool!!!  There were fallen trees we had to paddle around, and so many other obstacles we had to get out of the canoe a few times and carry it over logs and rocks.  The best part of the trip was at the end when a beaver ran out in front of us.  It scared us at first, but we were fortunate that it did because it made us aware of the dam he was making.  It was so big!!!  I’d say one of the biggest ones I’ve seen in this area.  At that point we had to turn around and call it a day. 

Next stop Des Plaines River!!!  We will be paddling about 6.2 miles from Sedge Meadow canoe launch to Gowe Park canoe launch, should take us about 3-4 hours.  Maybe I’ll see you out there!

If you have a passion for being outdoors like I do, you really should think about a canoe or kayak from Bass Pro Shops we have so many styles to choose from and speaking from personal experience it’s a great way to do some fishing, explore new areas, or just relax with friends and family.  Think about it, and trust me you will not regret it.

By: Suzie Mason 8/20/13

 

 

 

 

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Father/Son Susquehanna River Catfishing Trip

     As the manager of the fishing department at Bass Pro Shops I am constantly searching out the latest techniques and baits used on our local waters. As a father I am forever searching for ways to entice my two sons to put away their video games and go outdoors where two young boys belong. Often times the two go hand in hand. When they do coincide it is a win win situation for everyone. I of course have to compile my "product research", and the boys get a fun day out of the house.
   

  I can always rely on our Bass Pro Shops pro staff and local guide Rod Bates to keep me up on the latest techniques he is using. Rod can frequently be found giving fishing workshops at Bass Pro Shops. It benefits me to know what he is using so I can fill the customer demand after his demonstrations are over. This summer he invited the boys and me to join his Koinania Guide Service on the Susquehanna River fishing for channel catfish. He had been using a new bait called Sudden Impact from Team Catfish and wanted me to experience it. I have never been one to pass on a great opportunity so I gathered the boys and met Rod at a local boat launch on the river.
    

The Sudden Impact performed flawlessly. We couldn't keep the catfish off of our lines when we used it with a #4 treble hook, egg sinker, swivel, and Team Catfish sinker bumper. Much of the time Rod couldn't keep the four rods we were using baited and in the water. When it was all said and done the boys had boated 30 catfish between them. There were numerous doubles and very little down time between fish. The best way to keep two boys happy is to keep them busy. It wasn't until we ran out of Sudden Impact and had to switch to another bait that the boys became restless. With the bite slowing to a crawl, the two brothers were spending less time fishing and more time testing each other's nerves. This seemed like the perfect time to end our fishing for the day so we headed for shore leaving Micah and Noah with one of their favorite fishing trips of all time. It left me with the reassurance that Sudden Impact was a must carry for the Bass Pro Shops in Harrisburg, PA.
    

It is easy to catch fish when someone else is baiting your hook. After all, it's Rod's job. If he doesn't get you any fish, you would not be likely to book Koinonia Guide Service again. Noah, my youngest son, and I headed out to the Conestoga River to see how Sudden Impact would perform without the help of a professional guide. We would be wading the Conestoga since it is too shallow for boats. For a young boy of seven, this adds swimming to the list of fun for the day. There would be no disappointment, this trip would leave him soaked from head to toe. Our first hook up was almost the size of Noah. As the fish rolled we got a good look at it and Noah's eyes doubled in size. He handed me the rod and headed for the bank. It was a little intimidating for a guy of 45 pounds. Unfortunately it broke us off and we didn't get a chance for a close encounter. The Sudden Impact once again performed perfectly. It continued to do so for the rest of that trip and every trip there after.
     

Team Catfish has truly outdone themself. Sudden Impact has consistently caught fish for us on every outing. It's ease of use compliments it's effectiveness. A bare treble hook is all that is needed for this fiber enriched bait. Thank you Team Catfish for not only helping to create great fishing stories, but for the memories my sons will carry with them long after I am gone.

 

 

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From Tippet to Stream

Experiencing the Blue River in OklahomaBlue River Photo 1

If you’ve never been there and you put on a blindfold and had someone drop you off at the Blue River, you would never guess you were in southern Oklahoma when you took it off. The Blue River looks like it belongs in Colorado, New Mexico, Arkansas or even eastern Oklahoma but not south-central Oklahoma.

The Blue River has swift, clear, braided stream that arises in Johnston County from the Arbuckle-Simpson aquifer, a giant underground water source. The headquarters of the spring-fed Blue River are southwest of Ada. The stream continues until it flows into the Red River in southeast Bryan County.

The most scenic part of the river is along the 6¼-mile stretch through the Blue River Public Hunting and Fishing Area. Here, the granite rocks of the Arbuckle outcrop come to surface and the river comes alive. Along these six miles, the river transforms from a lazy, meandering stream to cascading water that forks through granite and limestone formations. Over and around these rocks is the creation of horseshoe waterfalls and deep, slow-moving pools and fast-moving riffles.Blue River Paradise

The river channel often becomes braided, forming smaller streams with interspersed islands covered with unique seaside alders and native hardwoods. The seaside alders, which grow in clumps along the banks, waterfalls and islands, are typically found only along the Eastern Seaboard.

The Blue River is one of Oklahoma’s most beautiful places. It receives between 75,000 and 100,000 visitors each year. Most of them, an estimated 70 percent, travel to the Blue during the winter trout season which runs from November through March.Most are bait fishermen, but the Blue draws its share of spincasters and fly fishermen as well.

On the north end of Blue River Public Hunting and Fishing Area is a portion of the stream for the purists — a catch and release only area that requires the use of barbless hooks. Fly anglers gravitate to this stretch of the river where it’s usually easy to find some secluded water. The Blue River has more falls than any other river in Oklahoma.

Blue River Photo 4Beginning near Connerville in Johnston County, the Blue River flows southeast to the Red River.  This spring-fed river has a designated trout area in the Blue River Public Fishing and Hunting Area. Other fishing opportunities exist for black bass, crappie, as well as channel and blue catfish. Camping facilities are available only at the Blue River Campground. Float trip opportunities by kayak are available on this Class II-III river, offering several falls and ledges, dependent on seasonal waterfall. No commercial outfitters along the river are allowed and public access points are limited. Supplies and information can be found at Scotty's Blue River One Stop, located at the entrance to the public hunting and fishing area. A Blue River Conservation Passport is required of all persons who enter or use the Blue River area, unless exempt.  Check with the Oklahoma Wildlife Department for availability and criteria.

 

Fly Fishing Gear, Tackle and Trout Flies - Blue River OklahomaWWS Fly Line

Fly Line:
We recommend a 5 weight, floating fly line for most all of the fly-fishing. We recommend a 6
weight, floating fly line for nymph fishing and streamers. There are some larger size trout that
are stocked in this stream.

Fly Rod
Fly Rod:
The five weight fly rod should be between eight and nine feet in length. A medium to moderate
action would be our choice. The 6 weight fly rod would be best in a nine foot length and a medium
fast action. A slightly stiffer tip would help with the nymphs and streamers.Fly Reel

Fly Reel:
The fly reel for either of these two rods should have a good drag.  Disc drags would be preferred.


TippetLeaders:
You should be using at least a 9 foot leader on the Blue River. A twelve foot length or even
longer length may be the right choice in some situations where the water is smooth. You
should have them in sizes ranging from 1X for streamers, up to 6X for small dry flies. I wouldn't
go any lighter on this stream.Tippet



Tippet:
Carry extra tippet material in sizes ranging from 1X to 6X.

LisaWaders:
We suggest you wear waders or hip boots anytime you fish the Blue River. We prefer the
breathable type but the neoprene ones can help keep you warm if you fish during the cold
season.

Wading Boots:
Felt sole wading boots  would be our first choice but are quickly being replaced by the new rubber soles that may also work well.
 

wooly bugger
Flies:
Many fly fishers will agree that the Wooly Bugger is one of the best patterns on Blue River.  Best colors are olive, brown, and black.  Other patterns that work well include the red midge larva, zebra midge, hare's ear nymph,  pheasant tail nymphs, hare's ear soft hackle, brassies, and copper johns.  When the midges are on fly fishers will want to concentrate on size 20 and 22 midge patterns.

 

 

Fortunately the fishing is only going to get better as the Oklahoma weather cools off.  November on the Blue means big and aggressive trout just ready to slurp down a Wooly Booger

Last year we had the pleasure of fishing with a few very skilled anglers and we were able to target some of the larger fish at a stream just on the other side of the low water crossing.  We landed several fish in the four to six pound range and had some great action mid-afternoon.  If you would like to experience the Blue River, log onto blueriverok.com.

 

Getting Started

If you are interested in getting involved with fly fishing, you should check out the Bass Pro Shops website and the Bass Pro Shop Outdoor World in Oklahoma City. Ok.

We look forward to seeing you in our store and as always, thank you for shopping Bass Pro Shops. Good luck on the water.

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Recognize a Pattern - Catch More Fish!

Successful anglers are great at observing!  The fisherperson who can put together a pattern of what is working and why, and duplicate it, will have a great advantage over other anglers.  That first fish caught, may not be by chance.  A pattern may be responsible for that success.  If so, the faster it is identified, the greater the success will be.  An angler who puts together a pattern to match a great day of fishing, will be able to duplicate that great day, when the same pattern occurs again, on another day.

How does an angler recognize a pattern?  What must an angler observe, and how does an angler put together an outline of the characteristics of a day, and form a pattern to remember for a similar day, on a future trip?  Observation is the key, and here are some of the characteristics which must be noted, when putting together a pattern:

First, sun light or moon light, and the intensity of that light (cloudy or clear sky), plus the angle of that light to the water, are factors that should be considered.  Is the next bank in shadow, like the one that just held keeper largemouth?  What is the angle of the sun to this bank, and, is it a similar angle to the bank just fished, the one that held the fish just caught?

Second, wind, current, and angle of the bottom fished, are important.  The sides of points, as they extend away from the shoreline, have angled bottom structure, and that angle can be the key to more fish.  What is that angle?  What direction was the wind coming from, on the bank where the big fish were caught (into or away from the bank, or parallel to the bank?  Were they pulling water (usually, this means generating power) when the fish were caught?  Are they still generating?  Bass stack up, particularly on main lake points, when current causes shad to school up.  The lure of plentiful and readily available food can result in a feeding frenzy!   Watch for the angle of the bottom where the fish hold, and make a note of where the fish are holding on the point.

Next, water depth, clarity, and temperature (surface) are important to establishing a pattern for success.  At what depth was that last fish caught, was the water murky, muddy, or clear, and what was the water surface temperature?  When choosing a lure color, depth and water clarity must are important, since different colors disappear at different depths.  Fish move to comfortable water temperatures, and their comfort has a lot to do with plentiful oxygen.  Check the finder on your boat, and mark the depth of the thermocline. 

Fronts, and the change in barometric pressure associated with them, are factors that must be considered.  Strong fronts can cause heavy fish feeding as they pass over the lake.  Make note of the change in barometric pressure, and remember how it related to the fish bite.  At what reading did the fish bite the best?

Finally, bass in particular are structure oriented ambushers.  Predators, they use the cover of stumps, timber, bushes, boulders, chunk rock, ledges, and any man-made obstacles, to aid the hunt.  What type of structure was there, when that fish almost pulled the rod and reel out of the boat and into the water? 

When you can answer some of the above questions, you are on your way to creating a pattern that will help you catch fish right then, and on subsequent trips, when you encounter similar circumstances.  Don’t wait!  Get out there!  Greater success is waiting for you right now!  I’ll see you on the lake!!!

Steve Fritz

Fishing Lead

White River Outpost

Bass Pro Shops

Branson, MO

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Catching Browns in August & September

It’s me again, Jerry Costabile your Certified Tracker Sales Consultant slash great lakes fisherman!

Now, let’s talk about the techniques for catching the browns in August and September. When the browns start showing up in August, they can be feast or famine. One day you can catch them on anything you throw at them and the next day, nothing, notta, zilch! The browns are difficult to figure out this time of year. I have been down at day break and watched hundreds of brown trout jumping from one end of the Kenosha, Wisconsin harbor to the other, and not get a single hit.

I have idled thru the harbor in my boat and marked fish from top to bottom the whole way out and not seen a single fish being caught. There can be hundreds of fishermen lined up along both sides of the harbor this time of year.  But, I have taken the same pass thru and seen fishermen everywhere hooked up with a fish!

In August, having a variety of baits will be to your benefit. I like to cast spoons in different colors and sizes. I cast several different makes and sizes. Luhr Jensen Krocodile in the ¼ and ½ oz. size, Kastmaster in the 3/8oz, Acme Little Cleo in the 1/3 and 2/5 oz, Acme KO Wobbler in the ¼ and ½ oz,  Moonshine Lures 3/4oz casting spoon , and the Mepps Syclops Spoon in the ¼ and ½ oz.

Colors can change so fast with the browns, you can have a color working like crazy one day, than the next, nothing. Be prepared to change colors often, using a good quality snap swivel will help in both changing lures and keeping your line from getting a twisted or a coil memory.

Vary your depth that you retrieve your spoons at. The browns are at all levels and active fish can be also. Don’t be afraid to work the bottom. I have used a retrieve of letting the spoon go to the bottom and a slow, short sweep of my rod tip to bring the spoon off of the bottom and than by letting the spoon flutter back down triggers a strike. Speed can make a difference also.  Change speed. Fast retrieve than a pause, slow steady, steady with a twitch, jigging, are all good techniques to try. In line spinners have had their day in the spotlight also. Again vary colors, sizes and speeds.

Crankbaits are another favorite of mine. There are days when throwing a #5 or #7 Shad Rap can be deadly on the browns. I have caught them on a variety of cranks so don’t be afraid to experiment. Again vary your retrieve and speed.

Another technique that works for everyone but me is pearl or white, 2” and 3” tube jigs. I have seen fishermen absolutely destroy the browns on them. I just can’t seem to get that bite right!!

Lastly, it is not a bad idea to throw out a rod rigged up with a slip bobber and a spawn sac. There are days when this is the only bite in town! Spawn sacs can be purchased at local bait shops. FRESH IS BETTER! Old frozen spawn doesn’t seem to work for me. Also, brown trout spawn works better than salmon spawn for the browns. Just a tip from my past!

 By: Jerry Costabile 8/15/13

 

 

 

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Coming Up: 2013 Salt Water Expo

Saltwater Expo

Join us for the 2013 Saltwater Expo. This year's event will be bigger than ever. Come join us on Saturday Sept. 7th from 10:00am to 5:00pm. The event will host a day of hands on educational seminars, great door prizes and a silent auction table benefiting Wounded Warriors.

 

Keynote speaker George Poveromo, host of the NBC Sports TV show George Poveromo's World of Saltwater Fishing will be on hand for seminars and autographs.

George Poveromo is a world-renowned angling authority, National Seminar host, television host, and Editor-At-Large for Salt Water Sportsman Magazine.

Poveromo, a native of South Florida in the United States, has fished most of the U.S. coast as well as many countries. He demonstrates his expertise through his column "Tactics and Tackle" in Salt Water Sportsman. Poveromo is a member of the Outdoor Writers Association of America, Southeast Outdoor Press Association, and Boating Writers International. He is an advocate of catch and release fishing, and is a member of the Coastal Conservation Association.

Poveromo is Editor-At-Large for Salt Water Sportsman magazine, the oldest and most widely distributed sport fishing magazine in the United States. Salt Water Sportsman has a paid monthly circulation of over 150,000 readers. Poveromo has been part of the Salt Water staff since 1983.

In addition to Salt Water Sportsman, George has been the host of their National Seminar Series for all twenty five years of the tour. The National Seminar Series, which has eight country-wide stops per year, instructs people on how to catch popular coastal and offshore game. The Salt Water Sportsman National Seminar Series is the largest and most successful fishing seminar in the nation.

George Poveromo is also producer to a line of how-to videos and DVDs regarding sport fishing. These educational videos are published under High Hook Incorporated and are hosted by Poveromo himself. The High Hook videos range from bottom-fishing to sailfish tactics and everything in between. These videos are the top-selling salt water fishing DVDs on the market.

Most popularly noted would be George's television program, George Poveromo's World Of Saltwater Fishing, which runs on the NBC Sports Network. The show, which aired on ESPN2 for 10 seasons was picked up by the NBC Sports Network, formerly Versus (TV channel) when ESPN cancelled its coverage of fishing television lineup. Each week, Poveromo presents a cool and informative fishing episod from a U.S. coastal, or Bahamas fishing destination. Poveromo's show entered into its 12th season on national television in 2012.

Plan on a great day with some of the top fishing guides/captains of the carolinas; along with some of the top manufacturers and the latest in saltwater gear. See some of the pictures from last years vendor / captain area!

lowrance

Lowrance will be on hand to talk electronics again this year!

vendor

Come see the latest in saltwater gear and technology!

Penn Battle

Penn let the battle begin!

This years Seminar Schedule will promise to be exciting, educational and experiential.

  • 10:30 – Mark Patterson – Kayak Fishing NC/SC intra coastal water
  • 11:30 – Sonar Class - Navionics
  • 12:15 – 12:45 Lunch Break
  • 12:45 – Capt. Ricky Kellum – Fishing for Speckled Trout
  • 1:30 - Capt. Fred Rourke - Fishing for Redfish
  • 2:15 – How to Throw a Cast Net
  • 3:00 – George Poveromo – Rigging Ballyhoo
  • 4:15 – Navionics Side Imaging

The Ballyhoo Rigging class will be hands on, you will acutally get to rig your own bait while George Poveromo instructs you on the how to. This class will fill up fast!

There will be a silent auciton table benefiting Wounded Warriors in NC.

Wounded Warrior

Items on the auction include but are not limited to, fishing technical gear, rods, reels, combos, fishing electronics, other useful satlwater items and Artwork by Guy Harvey.

overview

 

Check out the vendor tables from the 2012 Saltwater Fishing Expo! Most of the vendors will be back this year!

vendors

Last years event had an amazing turnout, this year looks to be even bigger still. Make sure to come out and experience the 2013 Saltwater Expo at your Charlotte, Bass Pro Shops!

Happy Fishing! & Tight Lines!

~Dave Miller, Fishing Manager

 

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Pop it while it's Hot

Hello and welcome to our Bass Pro Shops blog from your store in Sevierville, TN! The rains in our area have slacked off recently and the typical weather associated with the hot dog days of summer has finally set in. This time of year, the trout fishing slows due to low water and higher temperatures but is still good in the higher elevations. It is often a different story when it comes to fly fishing for bass and bream in lowland rivers. Many people overlook our local rivers during the late summer. Flying For BIG Bass

The Pigeon, Holston, and Nolichuky rivers offer some of the best smallmouth fishing there is to be had in the state! Smaller rivers such as the lower ends of the Little river and Middle Prong of the Pigeon river are well worth exploring also.

 

 

My favorite way to go after smallmouth and bream is top water. I love to see a smallie crush a popping bug or watching a giant bluegill slowly rise up to suck down a fly is just plain fun! Poppers, sliders, and divers are the most popular baits. No special tackle is needed, a 5-6 weight rod with 7ft 2X leader and a handful of flies will have you out on the river in no time. Don't be intimidated by color and fly selection. Black, yellow, white and chartruese are the basic color selections. Black and yellow being my most productive color pattern followed by white. The size of your fly should be determined by the type of fish you want to pursue. For bass, stick with sizes 1/0 to #4 and #4 down to #12 for bream.Popping Bug Bonanza A popper/dropper rig is deadly on bream. Any good, buggy-looking nymph such as a Hare's Ear will elicit a bite.

 

There are 2 basic retrieves I use (the first being most successful). Once you've made your cast allow the popper or fly to settle and sit for a moment, gather your slack line and make a quick jerk with you rod in order to make your popper spit and pop and allow it to settle again. Repeat this throughout the retrieve while varying the pause between pops and you should have a tight line in no time. The other method I recommend is simply dead sticking. Basically cast out your fly and let it sit or drift naturally with the current. This should get you out on the water and hunting for your next bite. If you would like to learn more about this overlooked and underrated resource, come visit us back in the fly shop! Good luck and tight lines!

 

 

 

Seth French

Bass Pro Shops

Sevierville, TN

 

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Technique To Conquer The Clear Bodies Of Water!

Hi guys my name is Tim Fleischauer, I work in the fishing department here at Bass Pro Shop in Gurnee Illinois. I am an avid bass fisherman but also enjoy fishing for other species, but largemouth and smallmouth bass fishing is my favorite. Like many of you other anglers reading this, fishing has become an obsession of mine so I have many baits and techniques that I use frequently.

One technique in particular that in my opinion has been under utilized by many anglers, and that has helped me land many nice large and smallmouth bass over the past few is the drop-shot rig. The drop shot rig is a technique that is very effective in catching bass in very clear and deep bodies of water. Now with the drop shot there are many ways to set up your rig, most important is rod and reel, type of line, size of you hook, and the size of your weight.

Choosing the right length and action rod is key when using a drop shot rig. I prefer using a 6’8” medium extra fast action rod, because I like a little more back bone but like the extra fast action on the tip to get a better feel.  Now the rod “made” for the drop shot is a 6’9” medium light fast or extra fast action. Medium light is the ideal action for most anglers but I like a little more power when I drop shot. 

 Line plays a very important role in your drop shot rig. In those deep, clear bodies of water like Lake Geneva WI, you can see the bottom in 20 foot of water, and those fish can see just as far and will spook very easy. Always use a fluorocarbon line, I prefer Bass Pro Shops XPS fluorocarbon in 6 or 8 pound test because it’s super strong, very sensitive, but also very clear when submerged under the water. Now fluorocarbon line in general is a harder line, so there will tend to have more memory, I don’t recommend spooling this directly on to your spinning reel. I like to use a 10 or 15 pound braided line then attach a 6 to 8 pound fluorocarbon leader to the end of my line, about 3 to 5 feet is fine. I do this for three reasons, one because braided has no stretch there for I can feel the bottom and the real light bites that you may sometimes get.  Secondly, braided line has no memory so I am able to cast my spinning reel with no problems.  Lastly the diameter of a braided line is less than half the size of its monofilament equivalent, so you are able to use a higher pound line and get a lot further cast.

There are many types of hooks you can use for the drop shot rig. A lot of the times I find myself using the Spin Shot hook by VMC, in either a  # 2 or #4 size. But in cases where fishing is slow or high pressure, like a blue bird day with no wind, I will switch to a #4 octopus hook and tie the rig myself to eliminate as much visible hardware to the fish as I can. The weight you use is another important factor when it comes to drop shoting, you want a weight heavy enough to maintain contact with the bottom while you drag it around weed beds or vertical jig it over rock piles. I prefer to use 1/4oz in all my applications of drop shotting because it is a very versatile weight.  I can fish the deeper 20 even 25 foot rock piles with it and I can still fish the shallower weed beds efficiently, without getting hung up. 

 Using the right baits and how you present those baits, is what’s going to catch you fish. I can go on and on about the different baits for the drop shot, but for the sake of this blog I am going to keep it short and sweet. For the #2 VMC hooks I will use a 6 inch worm my favorite but then I will also present the worm nose hooked and wacky style.  For the smaller #4 hook I like to use 4inch worm’s nose hooked.  My favorite brands of worms to use are the Chompers drop shot worms, the Bass Pro Cut tail worm’s, and a zoom finesse worm. As far as colors go, when you’re in clear water go natural green pumpkin is always a killer, my smallmouth killer is a plum chompers 4” worm.            

The type of presentation you will use with this rig will be vertical jig and twitch, keeping the weight in contact with the bottom and shaking the line making the worm twitch.  The other technique is casting the rig let the weight hit the bottom then you will just drag and shake the rig towards you, keeping the weight sliding along the bottom.

 Areas of interest when using the drop shot in deep clear bodies of water is focus on deeper points,  break lines, or rock piles. I find myself working from 10 FOW all the way out to 25 FOW when using the rig. This rig is a blast to use! You will catch a lot of fish and have a blast doing it! 

I recently took my boss out fishing on my boat, and had one of the best days this year using the Drop shot Rig!

 Here is a nice Bass he landed!

By: Tim Fleischauer                   

  

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Athleticism In Fishing

 

When you think of sports, and the talent someone must have to compete at a high level, you think of such things as Football, Basketball, Baseball and many other competitive sports. You think of the incredible physical specimens that actually have the certain skill set that it takes to compete. A very small percentage truly are gifted enough to compete at a high level. Very rarely will people relate fishing to an athletic event or something that takes coordination or skill to become above average at, but trust me just like all the other competitive sports fishing is not as simple as the average person might think. This can be very easily recognized if you take a look at the standings and records for the Bassmaster Elite Series Tournaments over the last three years. The consistency of some anglers is absolutely amazing, you will find that many of the same anglers are repeatedly in the top, time and time again having the mental, as well as physical ability to compete and put them in a position to win.

Putting yourself in a position to win is not an easy thing to do. Many professional anglers never actually win an event throughout the course of their career. In comparison to baseball, competing in an eight tournament season with 3/4 of your finishes in the money would be equivalent to winning close to 3/4 of your games in a baseball season. One of the main reasons this is the case is that in almost all sports the playing field is the same each and every time, and with that being said the person with the most physical talent, strength, or skill, is going to win the majority of the time. Now take fishing, traveling from lake, to river, to reservoir all over the country with different mother nature curve balls being thrown at you every step of the way. Now this is something that can take the very most skilled talented angler in the world, chew him up and spit him out. Like so many sports that simply take physical talent with a little game planning, fishing is the opposite, making mental toughness and decision making just as important, or possibly more important than the physical ability. The best anglers are tough, hard working quick thinkers that can adjust at the drop of a hat. But don't get me wrong they are physically skilled and coordinated as well.

The physical side of fishing takes extreme hand eye coordination. As every angler knows quite often fish will position themselves up underneath cover such as docks or trees. Reaching these fish is practically impossible if you don't have extreme skill with either a baitcasting or a spinning reel. It is a true art form to be able to skip a 1/4 ounce Stanley Jig 50 feet up under a boat dock effortlessly positioning the bait silently in front of a waiting fish’s mouth. If you don't think it takes skill just give it a try and you will be shocked at how much timing and coordination it requires. Another physical aspect is the long consecutive days that fisherman endure. Many anglers will go weeks at a time fishing 12 hours days in horrific weather conditions that would send most people running for the air conditioning or in some cases the nice warm fire place. Professional anglers don't get to choose the days they compete, whether it is 100 degrees or 20 degrees they are out there trying to figure out how to trick a little green fish into biting their artificial lure, while all the while the fish have hundreds of live natural food options swimming nearby at any given time.

Based on these comparisons it is easy to see that fishing not only takes physical skill, but also requires incredible mental ability and toughness. Now obviously equipment is important as well. You don't see the best golfers in the world using wood clubs in a professional tournament and fishing is the same way. There are always new innovations in fishing equipment and lures that can affect your success as an angler. Reels and rods are getting lighter, smoother, as well as faster year after year. Most brands and models of reels offer a wide variety of speeds based on their gear ratios. Where 15 years ago you didn't have many options, now you can get the exact specifics of what you need from a 4.7:1 all the way up to an incredible 8.0:1. All speeds of reels have their time and place, and their certain application. Another physical aspect that is rarely thought about is wearing a good pair of athletic shoes, this is very important for countless hours on the water. Shoes such as the Sperry Top-Sider SeaRacer Boating Shoe, provide the light weight, comfort, and stability that it takes to keep your feet and body feeling strong throughout the duration of a tournament. If you want to learn more and acquire more information there is no better place to go then Bass Pro Shops. Product knowledgeable associates are always willing to assist and answer questions; from beginning anglers to extreme tournament anglers Bass Pro Shops has something to offer for everyone. For more blogs and info like us on Facebook at our Leeds Bass Pro Shops Page as well as my personal page at Joey Fishing. I'll see you on the water!

Joey Nania

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Wade Routes

By Ty Butler

 

Wade fishing on the Georgia Coast and the South Carolina Low Country is one of the best ways to access the marsh flats which redfish invade on a bimonthly basis.  Most tidal swings in the area average 6 to 7 feet, which is a large swing anywhere else on the Southeast coast.  However, for a few days around the new and full moons each month the tidal change can approach 10 feet or more.  Fishing for species such as seatrout, sheepshead, or flounder can be very problematic during big tidal changes.  These periods, called “spring” tides, flood the higher areas of the tidal flats where bottom predators can’t normally reach.  Redfish (locally known as spottail bass), invade these virgin areas in order to gorge themselves on fiddler crabs and shrimp.  This gives anglers a unique opportunity to sight fish for the premier inshore saltwater gamefish of the South.


Redfish on the flood tide

A beautiful Georgia redfish caught sight fishing.

 

There are some issues with accessing these areas.  Georgia and South Carolina marshes are mostly bottomed with soft, deep “pluff” mud, which is not only annoying to wade in, but can also be life threatening and has taken lives.  There are areas that are much safer, though, and luckily redfish flock to them.  Hard, sandy bottom can be found at the back of most saltwater creek systems, and this is exactly where reds go when the tide floods high.  I recommend that you scout for such areas at low tide before you start targeting fish when the grass floods.  There are several indicators you should look for in a redfish flat, but you need to know what to look for.

 

Coastal Georgia holds a winding maze of inland wetlands within its 100 straight miles that holds one third of all salt marsh on the entire Atlantic East Coast.  The Low Country of South Carolina and the First Coast of North Florida have similar ecosystems.  Most of this salt marsh is composed of smooth spartina cordgrass, which is very tall, thick, and re-grows each year.  It grows in the soft “pluff” mud which should be avoided if one wants to wade fish.  The best areas to look for are those with a compacted sand bottom with a species of short, scattered spartina grass known as “salt marsh hay”.  You can tell from afar that these areas look like “potholes” in the taller grass.  These are the types of areas that fiddler and ghost crabs burrow in large colonies and redfish love to target them.  Old timers will tell you that another plant to look for in a good redfish spot is a short, bright green edible plant known as “saltwort.”

 


A kayak is a perfect choice to attack the marsh flats.

 

Once you find a good spot with firm, safe wading bottom, you need to choose your approach.  There are a select few areas that are accessible by foot from dry land.  However, most areas will require a flats boat or kayak to access.  A flats boat can get you to far, remote areas- but a kayak can get you right up on the fish with a stealthy approach.    Some ambitious anglers combine both by using their boat as a mothership and launching their kayak within striking distance.  Either way, I like to get out of my vehicle and foot it into the enemy territory.  I find this is the most “ninja-like” approach and least likely to spook the fish.  For protection I do prefer to wear a full coverage, draining shoe, such as Sperry SON-R.  You never know when you might encounter a stingray or razor-sharp oyster shells.  For gear, I prefer a fairly long rod, 7 to 8 feet, with a 3000 or 4000 size spinning reel.  This will give you the longer cast you will want.  Braided line is a must as it will allow you to use 17 to 50 pound test line though it is a much smaller diameter.  This will give you much-needed line capacity and abrasion resistance in grass and shells.  I like to end it with a 15 to 25 pound Seaguar fluorocarbon leader.  Fluorocarbon is even more abrasion resistant and is almost invisible underwater.  


So much marsh, so little time...

 

When you arrive on the marsh flat, you will only have a short window to go after the red battlers.  Most flats are only flooded an hour or two before and after high tide.  When the current starts to pull off the flat, redfish know they need to leave quickly.  I like to arrive about 3 hours before high tide and move back through the grass as it floods.  Even though time is short, you need to slow down and be observant.  Use polarized sunglasses, such as Costa del Mar and search for tails breaking the surface and slowly waving.  If the wind is blowing, this can be tricky- but look for anything that doesn’t move with the wind.  These are usually redfish grubbing around on the bottom in search of fiddler crabs and other crustaceans.

 

 

Z-Man Jerk Shad

 

When you spot a redfish, or a school, it is time to make a presentation.  With all the possibilities out there, I have a few select go-to lures.  When fly fishing I prefer Clouser Minnows or shrimp/crab patterns, like the redfish toad.  With conventional gear I almost exclusively use the scented Z-Man Jerk Shad or a weedless-rigged DOA Shrimp.  I buy DOA  baits in the money-saving body kits offered by BPS and hook them using a ⅛ ounce weighted-shank Gamakatsu swimbait hook.  I heavily scent all my baits using shrimp Pro-Cure Super Gel, which we offer at Bass Pro Shops in Savannah.  This scent is a gel-based concentrate that lasts all day and has proven results.

 

The most critical juncture when chasing redfish on the flat is when you make your cast.  If you are off my just couple of inches, you may spook the fish.  Take note of the direction the fish is moving, take account for the wind, and aim just beyond and ahead of the redfish.  When your bait lands, make just a couple of cranks to reel in the slack and pull the bait into the path of the fish.  Then just let the bait sit and hold your rod tip high.  If the fish attacks, you will see a swirl and feel weight through your rod tip.  Set the hook hard, because redfish have rubberlike lips and hard jaws.  If you are successful in your hookset, you will know quickly.

Attwood Folding Net

 

With a fish on, keep your rodtip high, but let your drag do the work.  Redfish, especially large ones, will take a very hard first run.  It will strip yards off the drag, but just let it run and use your rodtip to maintain its direction.  If the fish starts to near a thicker, taller patch of grass (which they all seem smart enough to do), then you should try directing it away or  slightly  tightening the drag.  If you are successful in stopping that first run, you are in good shape.  Reel the fish in, slowing down if the fish shakes its head or takes a secondary run.  I like to use a folding net to land the fish once it gets close.  Attwood makes an excellent net which folds up into a very compact package.

 

 

SpyPoint X-Cel Camera

 

Redfish can only be kept in this area within a slot limit.  In Georgia, they can only be kept in a slot between 14 to 23 inches with a 5 fish per day limit.  Similarly, in South Carolina they can only be kept 15 to 23 inches with a 3 fish per day limit.  A lot of fish caught on the flats, though, are above the slot limit.  Breeding-age fish 24 to 36 inches are often caught on the marsh flats before they move off the beaches.  I would hope that all these fish are released to secure the future of this amazing fishery.  Take a picture with your smart phone or use a video camera like the Spypoint X-Cel Sport or the GoPro Hero to capture the moment for the future.

 

The Southeast coast from the Low Country through the Coastal Empire, the Golden Isles, and into North Florida offers some unique opportunities to target redfish in an environment where they are particularly vulnerable.  Take some time to look ahead to the next new or full moon tide, and plan on visiting Bass Pro Shops to gear up for the next “red dawn” when the spottails invade the territory of the walking angler.

 

Some info provided by our friend Captain “Wild Bill” Jarrell- http://captainwildbill.com/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Tis' The Season For Night Fishing

Every angler knows that the summer months can be one of the most difficult time periods to locate and catch bass, especially the big bass. Big fish can seem to be non existent at certain times throughout the summer, add this to the uncomfortably hot weather conditions, and extreme frustration is sure to follow. Just like us anglers the fish don't like the hot weather either, generally in the day time they will relate to deep structure such as ledges or brush piles seeking the deep cooler water, along with some fish that stay shallow relating to shade. While fish can be caught, the majority of the fish don't feed in the hottest parts of the day. If you don't have a day time tournament then the solution to finicky summer bass is not going fishing at all until the sun sets. Many anglers especially in the southern part of the United States prefer this much more comfortable time for fishing, and trust me they have some amazing results.

When the sun goes down many of the fish move to shallower cover. Picture this in the day time the big fish are holding out off the deep break on a river channel, well once the sun goes down those previously hard to catch fish will pull up on top of the ledge in shallow water and will feed aggressively. It seams like many fish in the summer almost become nocturnal, especially the big fish. Ten tournaments could go out of a lake in the day time with generally poor results and very few big fish caught. Now a night tournament could go out that very evening and you would be amazed and truly humbled by the numbers of quality fish that are weighed in.

When night fishing I feel it is very important to choose a bait that either has a bulky profile, or creates a lot of vibration. My go to bait for this very reason has always been a spinnerbait. I prefer a large heavy bait, generally something at least 1/2oz and often I'll throw a 3/4oz. Many brands make spinnerbaits designed specifically for night fishing applications. Two of my favorites are, War Eagle Spinnerbaits, and the  Strike King Rattlin' Midnight Special. Choosing a color is relatively simple, when fishing at night the color that I've found works best is something black, this creates a great silhouette with ambient artificial light, as well as moonlight that is usually present. Add some sort of trailer such as a Bass Pro Shops Triple Ripple Craw Trailer, this will help create a bigger profile and will add vibration. Now the biggest key to why a spinnerbait is such a great choice at night is the blade. Most night baits come with either a number 5 or 7 colorado blade, this makes for a ton of vibration. If you're reeling in your bait at night and you can't feel it thumping then something is wrong. I like to slow role my spinnerbaits right on the bottom and through the cover. So chuck it and wind it back slowly bumping the bottom, and hold on tight because you can get some ferocious bites by a big hungry fish using this technique.

Two more baits I like to use are Chatterbaits, and Big Jigs. The chatterbait is great for catching fish at night, anyone who's thrown one knows how much vibration it puts off, and that is the key to why it works so good. I would stick with the same color rule as the spinnerbait choosing black for the silhouette factor. Fish the chatterbait just like you do with the spinnerbait and you will have similar results. Now some nights they just don't seem to want something moving, when I encounter this the jig is always what I switch too. A large black jig worked slowly through the cover will catch finicky fish that didn't want to chase the moving baits. Many companies offer a good black jig, all will work great if they have one thing, a rattle. The rattle like the vibration of the moving baits is essential for helping the fish locate and eat the bait. If you have a jig that doesn't' t already have a rattle then you can pick up your own rattles at Bass Pro Shops, and very easily get them doctored up right yourself. A Northland Fishing Tackle Buck-Shot Rattle Ring is the rattle I use when doctoring up my own baits. Don't be afraid to add this to your spinnerbait or chatterbait as well.

So you have the three key baits, and when I go out at night I leave just about everything else at home. Using these baits there are a few key things I target when searching for fish after dark. The first is rock, I don't care how hot the water is or how deep the rock is, if you get your bait around rock you have a good chance of getting bit. Many baitfish as well as crawfish use rock as protection year around. Often bass will hang out deep of the drop and at night will pull up into the rocks to feed on the wide variety of forage. When fishing southern reservoirs you will generally find rock around old flooded house foundations, road beds, and obviously rip rap banks. Another type of cover I like to target is brush piles. There is very little that I enjoy more then crawling my bait through a brush pile and feeling the rod nearly get yanked out of my hand. The easiest way to locate brush is around docks, many residents will sink brush around their docks for the purpose of attracting crappie and other panfish, this naturally will attract the predatory bass. The more difficult to find brush is located out on humps and off points in deep water. This can be overwhelming in complete darkness but a good set of electronics really helps. I use my Lowrance Gen 2 electronics to graph over offshore structure, when I see something that looks promising I will throw out a marker buoy with a light on it letting me know exactly where the structure is. The only thing left to do is figure out what angle the fish want and work your bait properly through the cover.

So don't be afraid to get out at in the dark and capitalize on the normally frustrating summer months. Safety is key any time you are on the water and especially at night. Make sure you keep your PFD on at all times as well as your running lights, and remember to take your time going from place to place. I truly love the peace and tranquility that comes with being on the water at night. Give it a try, chances are you will get hooked on it too. I'll see you on the water!!!

Joey Nania

 

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Fish On

I launched my skiff out of Hopewell City marina Friday afternoon. I headed up river in search of bait needed for an evening of cat fishing with a longtime fishing buddy of mine, Howard and his friend James.

Bait turned out to be easy to find and after a 15 minute soak our gill net delivered 7~10 medium sized gizzard shad as well as a few slab sized.

Ok, game on! With plenty of bait in the cooler we were pumped to get our rods in the water, so we headed down river. We stopped at our first spot furthest from the marina at the beginning of the incoming tide. Our game plan was to fish 6-7 spots working our way back to the marina varying depths and structure.

On our first spot we put out 10 rods and within the first 30 minutes we doubled 10lb and 31lb blues. Giving that spot another 20 minutes it was time to move. Our next spot resulted less luck so after another hour we moved again. This time fishing wing dams in shallow water we picked up a 20lb blue and with the tide ticking away we decided to make another move. After about a 20 minute run up river we anchored at the entrance of a secondary river channel. We had 90 minutes left in the tide so this spot would be our last chance for a big fish. With another 10 rods spread across the channel we waited. After 45 minutes I was beginning to question my decision to anchor there.  With the stillness and quiet of the dark, we started to nod off.  At about midnight the alarm of screaming drag got our attention.  It was enough to revive us and get us pumped! After a short battle the 52lb blue all scarred up rolled to the surface. We took pictures, weighed it and released that big boy back into the water. Thinking that fish would end a great night of fishing, I decided to give it another 30 minutes. What a good decision that was. The alarm of the drag screaming again! Fish on! The rod tip was nearly touching the water. What a big fish! As he broke the surface his huge tail soaked everyone. We knew this was the best fish of the night and the scale proved it! The last fish of the night weighed in at 57lbs and was just over 48” long. We were thrilled! With cameras full of pictures we headed home.

All fish were released as we always do to catch another day.  We will definitely be back for more in a couple weeks!

Good luck!
Chris Krammes
 

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Inside Scoop on Salt Water fishing

I have a rather lengthy fly fishing bucket list, but recently I was able to check one trip off of it. My husband Chris and I went to Boca Grand, Florida to do some saltwater fly fishing. I planned out my gear weeks before we went to make sure that I didn’t forget anything.

We loaded up 8, 10, and 12 weight fly rods with saltwater line and bass taper fly lines. Why so many rods? Most of the saltwater fish are pretty large and we had a chance at catching a tarpon. Tarpons are huge so a 12 weight is perfect for them. The 8 and 10 weights are great for snook, redfish, and other saltwater species. Bass Pro carries TFO rods which are my personal favorite when it comes to fly rods. However, the models BVK and Axiom are my favorites. Pair these up with BVK reels or Lamson reels and  you have an excellent combo to fish with. The lines that we used were Rio Saltwater lines and Scientific Angler Bass Taper lines. Both are fantastic when it comes to turning over big streamers.

Another important factor was our clothing because no one wants to get a second or third degree sunburn while fly fishing out in the mangroves. We chose to wear Columbia and World Wide Sportsman products which are light weight pants and shirts. The Columbia and WWS clothing can be purchased at Bass Pro Shops.  We also used Buffs over our necks and ears which helped protect us from the sun and the wind (see photo).

My husband and I had a wonderful time and caught snook, redfish, jacks, and snapper. All of these saltwater fish hit hard and pulled like a freight train. It was so much fun! Stop by the fly shop at Bass Pro and let us outfit you for your next saltwater fly trip!

Make sure to stop by the White River Fly Shop at Bass Pro in Memphis to visit me!

Until my next fishing adventure, see you soon!

Mrs. Lesley

 

 

 

 

 

              

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