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’GILLS, ERS ’CRACK
e m i t r e Summ AND
By Nick Carter
! N U F
very now and then, it’s good to rediscover what ushered you into fishing in the first place. For many of us, it all began with small ponds and eager bream. The simplicity of just catching fish, without concern for size or species, is a pursuit that brings back a certain child-like joy. It’s even more fun when you take a kid. Witnessing the light of discovery and pride pass over a child’s face turns untangling lines and dodging errant casts into a labor of love. It doesn’t need to be difficult. If you time it right and have a good place to go, it’s easy to load a stringer full of fat bluegills or redear sunfish in a hurry. They are easy to clean, and they are delicious dredged in a seasoned cornmeal-flour mixture and fried crispy. The traditional preparation is to behead them, gut them and scale them, which yields those great crunchy fins. They can also be filleted for folks who don’t like picking through bones, and the resulting bream nuggets make tasty fish sandwiches or tacos. Throughout the spring and summer, bluegills return to the beds to spawn around each full moon. They spawn in groups, so their fanned-out beds look like honeycombs on the shallow bottom. Shallow flats with a sand or gravel bottom are the preferred areas, and they pile up on these beds for three days or so on either side of the full moon. In all but the most dingy water, you can see the beds on the bottom. Once you find them, the same spots will provide fast action year after year. A cricket under a bobber and a long cane pole is probably the way your grandfather yanked ’gills off the beds. If your young angler is competent with an ultralight spinning combo, a 1/32-oz. crappie jig can also be deadly when reeled steadily across the beds. Fly rodders can wear them out with a small popping bug or small streamer. Redear sunfish, also known as shellcrackers, can be more difficult to locate and catch than bluegills, but it’s worth it once you find them. They are the heavyweights of the bream world and regularly grow up to a pound or two. They fight very hard on light tackle. Shellcrackers spawn in early spring and prefer similar areas to bluegills, only deeper. Their beds can be difficult to find because they are usually too deep to see, and they don’t spawn throughout the summer. When they are on the beds they are very aggressive and will hit small jigs, spinners and flies. When they move off the beds, it’s time to switch to live bait. Shellcrackers feed near the bottom on snails and mollusks. After the spawn, they move off the banks to feed around grass or submerged structure like stumps and treetops. A red-wiggler, either slowly dragged across the bottom with some split-shot or a lightweight dropshot rig are both effective for ’crackers. Once you find one, you can usually find several.
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The Official Fish of Summer Vacation By CAM Staff
ed snapper should be the official fish of summer vacation. These hard-fighting and delicious reef fish are the traditional driving force behind the Gulf of Mexico charter fishing industry. The season dates are set to align with the arrival of tourists seeking fun in the sun, and whether you’re pulling your own boat to the Gulf for a week-long fishing expedition or you plan to hire a captain for a day on the water with the kids, here’s a state-by-state look at what you need to know to get in on the action.
Non-stainless steel circle hooks are required when fishing with natural baits. At least one de-hooking device is required and must be used to remove hooks. A descending device or venting tool that is rigged and ready for use is required when fishing for reef fish in federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
Federal For-Hire Season
TESY OF MAND Y TILLMAN
Gulf-wide, most of the recreational catch of Gulf red snapper comes from federal waters, which begin 9 miles offshore for purposes of reef fish management. Charter operations targeting red snapper and other reef fish in federal waters must have a federal for-hire reef fish permit to fish federal waters. The 2022 red snapper season for federally permitted vessels began June 1 and will close on Aug. 19. The bag limit is two fish per person with a 16-inch minimum length limit. Captain and crew may not retain a bag limit. Each state sets its own regulations for private anglers in state and federal waters as well as for charter boats in state waters. FLORIDA: Florida’s season opened June 17 and will run through July 31. Florida has also set aside the following weekends for snapper harvest in fall: Oct. 8-9, Oct. 15-16, Oct. 22-23, Nov. 11-13 and Nov. 25-27. The bag limit is two fish per person, per day with a 16-inch minimum length. The open season includes the These seasons apply to recreational anglers fishing from private vessels Monday of Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Labor Day. The season in Florida Gulf state and federal waters. For-hire operations that do not have will remain open until recreational landings approach Louisiana’s allocation. a federal reef fish permit may also participate in the season but are limited to Anglers must have a Recreational Offshore Landing Permit (ROLP) to fishing for red snapper in state waters only. All anglers who intend to fish for fish for or possess red snapper and electronically report their catch via the or harvest certain reef fish, including red snapper, from a private vessel are ROLP app or the ROLP website. required to obtain the State Reef Fish Angler designation. MISSISSIPPI: Mississippi’s red snapper season opened for private ALABAMA: The season for private and state-licensed charter vessels recreational anglers and state for-hire vessels on May 27, with a mid-season opened May 27 in Alabama state and federal waters. The season consists of closure date of July 4. The mid-season closure allows for compilation of four-day weekends, Friday through Monday, until the private angler quota landings to examine a potential season extension. is projected to be met. The daily bag limit is two per person, per day with a The season will be open seven days a week in both state and federal waters minimum size limit of 16 inches. and will close if the annual catch target for recreational anglers is reached. One angler per vessel, per trip is required to report through the MDMR Alabama uses Snapper Check to monitor landings during the season and provide weekly updates at outdooralabama.com. Anglers must have an Tails n’ Scales system. The daily bag limit is two fish per person with a 16-inch length limit. Alabama Gulf Reef Fish Endorsement. The owner or operator of each vessel is required to complete one landing TEXAS: The private recreational angler red snapper season in federal report per trip through Snapper Check prior to removing red snapper from waters of Texas opened June 1. Red snapper fishing is open year-round in the boat or the boat from the water. Red snapper caught from non-powered state waters. The bag limit in federal waters is two fish per person daily, with vessels, piers and the shoreline are also required to be reported through a 16-inch minimum size limit. In state waters, the limit is four fish per person Snapper Check. A landing report may be submitted through Snapper Check daily with a 15-inch minimum. Red snapper caught in federal waters count in the Outdoor AL app, which is available at outdooralabama.com. as part of the state bag limit. No more than two red snapper in federal waters LOUISIANA: The season opened May 27 in state and federal waters of and four red snapper in state waters may be in your possession while fishing. Louisiana. It will run weekends only (Friday, Saturday and Sunday) with a For more information, go to gulfcouncil.org. daily bag limit of three per person and a 16-inch minimum size limit. 6 NATIONAL JULYfish 2022 COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM
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Sadly, coin experts estimate that fewer than 15% of all Morgan Silver Dollars ever minted still exist today, due to the ravages of time and to U.S. government legislation that authorized the melting of hundreds of millions of Morgan Silver Dollars for their fine silver. Our buyers are constantly on the lookout for Morgans and we’ve assembled a limited supply of these desirable Silver Dollars. Which is how we’re able to give you the opportunity to add them to your collection...by the pound!
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TYPES OF LONG-DISTANCE LURES
ong-casting lures are not limited to one shape or style, and that is a good thing. Distance is sometimes important in reaching fish, and a specific action or type of lure is important in convincing them to bite. Here’s a look at several lure styles and the pros and cons of fishing them. Diamond Jig: The first longdistance lure ever was likely the diamond jig and other elongated metal spoons. Originally designed for handline jigging, it just turned out that this lure’s shape allows it to cut through the air to reach great distances. This one is always worth carrying. It allows you to cover a lot of water and cast in high winds pretty well. This said, the diamond jig being made of metal makes the lure size relatively small compared to its weight. It’s not the best option when fish are looking for larger prey. Topwater: Nothing is more exciting and eye opening than topwater action. When water explodes with snapping mouths as predators gobble prey on top, it gives you an obvious target to cast a lure to. Poppers, pencils, chuggers and walkers all belong to the noble
or a fast retrieve. In most situations, I prefer topwaters that sink at rest. They draw those exciting topwater strikes, and they regularly achieve 50 percent or longer cast distance than PATRICK SEBILE floating lures. Swimming Plugs: This category includes race of lures that we all love just about anything with swimming action. I to fish because they are fun, group billed minnows, hard swimbaits, darters, especially when you can cast bottleneck swimplugs and others into this to fish that are feeding actively and visibly. category. I do not, however, consider soft-plastic swimbaits such as a paddletail/jigheads to be distancecasting lures. Like topwaters, floating versions of these plugs are common, but they limit the distance you can cast. Longdistance “rocket” or “bullet” models are typically heavier and sink at rest. They have the ability to reach fish far from the boat or shore, and they will also draw strikes right at your feet. A key point about sinking distance-dedicated lures is they cast much better into wind than floating models, and this matters because the bite is often best—especially for large fish—when the wind is in your face and the water is white. Next issue we’ll dig into the Floating topwater lures are traditional, but appendices and lure designs for long distance. they don’t cast the farthest. Some topwaters Legendary angler Patrick Sebile is a world are designed to be fished at the surface, rather than on top of it. These sinking and/or heavily record holder and an award-winning designer loaded lures significantly improve range, and of innovative lures and fishing gear. Check out his creations at abandofanglers.com. they can be worked on top thanks to design
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39TH NASSAU SPORT FISHING ASSOCIATION KINGFISH TOURNEY IS AUG. 6
ig-time kingfish tournament action returns to Fernandina Beach, Fla. this August with the 39th Annual Nassau Sport Fishing Association Kingfish Tournament and Fishing Rodeo. This Southern Kingfish Association-sanctioned event is slated for Saturday, Aug. 6 with Fernandina Harbor Marina as headquarters. There’s up to $10,000 on the line for first place in the Kingfish Division, and with eight different species in inshore and offshore divisions of the rodeo, there’s a shot at the leaderboard no matter what style of fishing you prefer. There are also Single Engine Boat,HOURS: Lady Angler and Youth Angler Divisions. FISHING For Division, early bird entry is just $350 6:30the AM Kingfish – 5 PM through July2-5 15. WEIGH-IN: WEIGH 5 PMThe entry fee rises to $400 from July 16 through AWARDS:Aug. 7 PM4. The on-site fee is $450. For the Rodeo Division, early bird entry is just $100 through July 15. Then it’s PUBLIC INVITED/FOOD NVITED/FOOD $125 through Aug. 4 and $150 on-site. Anglers may choose to ENTERTAINMENT fish either division or both, so make your plans and get ready for SILENT AUCTION one of the hottest tournaments of the season. Boat numbers will be issued Friday Aug. 5 from 3 to 7 p.m., and then $ at 7 p.m. at Fernandina Harbor ST will be held INGFISH a mandatory IVISIONcaptains meeting LACE (BASED ON 100 PAID BOATS WITH 80% PAYOUTa.m. ) Marina. Fishing begins at 6:30 on Saturday, Aug. 6, with all boats SINGLE ENGINErequired BOATback , LADY NGLER OUTH ANGLER at theAdocks by AND 5 p.m.YThe public is invited to come take part in THROUGH food, live entertainment and Asilent as boats EARLY BIRD ENTRY IS $350 JULY 15 TH . T HEN $400 THROUGH UGUST 4auctions TH , T HEN $450 ON-SITE.and fish return to the docks for the weigh-in. The scales open at 2 p.m. The awards ceremony will begin after weigh-ins. ODEO IVISION PECIES AID Proceeds from the tournament go to benefit the Nassau Sport Fishing (BASED ON 100 PAID BOATS WITH 80% PAYOUT) Association, a non-profit organization dedicated to developing and ST ND in the Nassau County promoting area while adhering to $ saltwater fishing $ LACE LACE state, federal and local regulations, to encourage compliance with rules of EARLY BIRD ENTRY IS $100 THROUGH JULY 15 . THEN members $125 THROUGHand AUGUST , THEN $150 ON-SITEand . to promote youth water safety byTHclub the4THgeneral public, related community activities. If you or your company are interested in becoming a sponsor for this event, contact NSFA at Info@nsfafish.net. NSFA meets on the second and fourth Wednesday of each month at Kraft Athletic Club on Amelia Island. Anyone interested in joining should visit the website at NSFAFISH.net.
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For more information or to register for the tournament, go to NSAFISH.net.
PHOTO COURTESY OF DEANNA PRITCHARD MORTGAGE SERVCES
For details and to register visit www.nsfafish.net/rodeo Pick upNS your boat August MPA 5 from 3 to 7 p.m. YOUR C E N TE R CO Onumber L EFriday,CO N ION Mandatory Captains Meeting at 7 p.m. at Fernandina Harbor Marina
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BAMA BOAT THREE-PEATS AT MGCBC
By Capt. Dave Lear
wner/angler Nick Pratt, Capt. Chris Hood and the It Just Takes Time team swept the blue marlin divisions by weighing the only qualifier during the 2022 Mississippi Gulf Coast Billfish Classic. The 763.6-pound blue gave the team an unprecedented third consecutive win. That feat has never been accomplished in the 26-year history of the Classic or in any other Gulf Coast big game tournament. It Just Takes Time, a 72 Viking based in Orange Beach, Ala., took home a payout of $630,985 for the marlin tournament award, crew division and all
marlin optional entry categories. The total prize purse this year’s event was $1.36 million. Quantified, a 64 Spencer with Capt. Justin Drummond at the helm, had an impressive showing, too. Angler Cyler Pape wound in the top dolphin at 37 pounds and the team released three sailfish and three white marlin to score 1,500 points in the release division. With tournament and optional entries, the team earned a payout of $140,060. The top release boat with four blue marlin on its ledger (2,400 points) was Ramble On, a 67 Billy Horton run by Capt. Shannon Allman. With an optional dolphin entry (25.9 pounds), the team won $120,170 for the tournament. Shock Wave, a 69 Spencer with Capt. Shelby Johnson on the throttles, scored three blue marlin in the release division, good for a check totaling $47,025 in optional entries. Sunrise, a 53 Guthrie (Capt. Billy Blount) also had three blue marlin releases, along with the third-place dolphin (Chris King/32.8 pounds), a 102.4-pound tuna and a wahoo optional, good for a $42,065 payout. Angler Drew Phillips outlasted a yellowfin tuna weighing 206.9 pounds after a 45-minute fight. Phillips was fishing aboard Second Wind, a 72 F&S run by Capt. Marlin Brown. The team earned $36,695 for that record catch. Rising Sons’ two optional entry tuna (52.1 and 50.9 pounds) paid out $34,650 for angler Evan Crochet and Capt. Toby Berthelot and the team. Rising Sons is a 58 Viking based in Orange Beach. Capt. Dennis Bennett and the Destin team aboard Salt Shaker (58 Viking) capitalized on two blues and a white marlin release in the Catch and Release Division. That score earned the team $32,760. Owner/angler Timothy O’Brien on Panhandler scored the second-place dolphin at 36.1 pounds. Capt. Nick Millsap was at the helm of the 63 Hatteras. With the tournament award and optional entries, that fish was worth $22,864. Iona Louise was the first boat to weigh on Saturday and the 52.5-pound wahoo they hoisted aloft held on to take first place in the division. Capt. Clip Hopkins runs the 58 Hatteras and Christopher Nolan for the angler. A total of 73 boats and 360 anglers competed in the 2022 MGCBC. The fleet caught 56 blue marlin, eight white marlin and three sailfish. In the game fish categories, 29 yellowfin tuna were weighed, along with eight dolphin and five wahoo. For complete results, see mgcbc.com.
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JULY 2022 PUBLISHERS: CRAIG GLANDER, MATT GLANDER
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LOCAL RIVERS & FLY FISHING CHATTOOGA RIVER
Independence Day brings families together with cookouts, barbeques, fireworks celebrations over the evenings, and remembrance of our forefathers risks they took to create a new nation. Land of the free, home of the brave, comes to mind as we seek cooler waters, in higher elevations, as the summertime descends upon us here in the Southeast. Longer hikes, early mornings, a small fly box with a selection of dry flies, nymphs, and a few small streamers, seems to be the order of operation for most days. Finding cooler waters and leaving lower elevation trout alone is crucial for their survival during the heat of the summer. There are many temperature ideas out there about trout, and their comforts, but this will help in the grand picture. The optimal feeding temperature range for trout is between forty- four
and sixty-eight degrees. If water temperatures continue to rise above the seventy plus degree range and reach the seventy-five and above for an extended time, this can be lethal. When the water temperature hits sixty-seven, trout start to decline in eating habits significantly. This is due to the trout conserving energy, as their stress levels increase with the higher temperatures. If the water temperature reaches eighty degrees, the trout can survive, although only if the temperature declines within twenty-four to forty-eight hours. The rivers have been in great shape with some significant rain in June, and some cooler nights dropping in the low fifties. Trout have been taking a good array of top water flies, although with the increase of water temperatures, this bite will subside. Nymph and streamer fishing will be good as well, early mornings, and in the early evening to sundown. As summer rolls, terrestrials are always a great choice. Smaller creek and
higher elevation fish, thrive upon these little flies and devour these flies as they hit the water. The beetles, ants, and inch worms should be in everyone’s arsenal of flies. This is a great time of year to take the kids fishing! School is out for the summer break, water temperatures are great, and there are plenty of fish to be caught. We had the pleasure of participating, as sponsors for the Kid’s Fishing Derby, at Burrell’s Ford Campground this past month, with the U.S. Forestry Department, Andrew Pickens District, South Carolina. Many thanks to the Walhalla Fish Hatchery for the
awesome fish, and all the volunteers for making this great event come together. Introducing kids to the greater outdoors and nature is a wonderful time and catching a few fish will add to the experience for all. Remember to bring your camera along for your trip and share your photo, you might see your photo in the next edition on the “Brag Board”. As we are all guests of the forest, let’s remember to “leave no trace”, and pack out what we bring in on our trips to the rivers. Keeping the forests clean, will add to the enjoyable experience for all. We hope to see everyone out on the rivers!
Heron Outdoor Adventures Your Excellent Adventure Awaits
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Lake Allatoona Guide Service
Stripers, Hybrids, Spotted Bass, Crappie Nature Excursions, Instructional Trips Capt. Joseph Martinelli Capt. Joseph Martinelli
LOCAL RIVERS & FLY FISHING JULY FLY FISHING REPORT Contributed By: Henry Cowen www.henrycowenflyfishing.com As I write this July report in the middle of June, we see that every year is appreciably different from the previous one. The water temps shot up to 70+ degrees from midMay to recent and this causes the fish to act differently when the water temps spike so quickly. We tend to burn thru patterns much more quickly and some even overlap with others. Summer is upon us as I write this report. With the hot weather getting ready to settle into North GA and the water temps on Lanier pushing the mid-80’s for July we will officially settle into our summertime pattern. Striped bass are going to go deep but the spotted bass fishing should continue to allow fly anglers to fish to them throughout the summer months. You might even get lucky and catch a small striper or two during July. However, it is the carp fishing which holds my interest more than any other fishery. For carp anglers, July can be a wonderful month. The area around Bull Sluice is generally considered some of the better flats for fly rodders wanting to try their hand at sight fishing. A boat of some sort is required to paddle or pole the flats in search of common carp. Carp on the Hooch will average 10-12lbs and they are as weary as a permit! You will certainly feel like you are sight fishing to redfish or bonefish only carp do not eat as readily as those two-game fish. A perfect presentation in terms of the cast is required and a slow strip followed by a pause will have you anticipating a hook up. You must throw the fly almost on top of them if you want to get one to eat. Be prepared to throw to 20 fish before you get an eat! They are the hardest of all fish to fool in fresh water on a fly. A 7 or 8 wt rod with a floating line and a long leader is required to hunt for carp. As for flies, anything dark and small should be good. Size 8-10 trout nymphs and crayfish patterns are the norm. Again, keep in mind that minimal river flows will surely effect whether the carp migrate up and onto the flats. Lanier may fish well with spotted bass. Fish to 4lb’s should be caught daily on fly rod poppers or either 2 ATLANTA
intermediate or fast sinking lines and small game changers, wiggle minnows and Clousers through July. If you want to get in on this action the first half of the month will offer a better opportunity to get your last licks in on a magnum spot or maybe with a little luck a striper on top water. After that, the top water action will certainly continue but it will be with the smaller fish only. July temperatures while hot can also make the fishing every bit as hot. While the thermometer will push 90 degrees each day, anglers need to dress accordingly and get ready for some great fly-fishing opportunities around all our North GA lakes. Now for a hail Mary pass… will Lake Allatoona regain their recently departed top water bight of hybrids going in full force sometime in July? It hasn’t happened over the past 5 years, like it used to, BUT that doesn’t mean it won’t fire up again. This is some of the most productive and visual fishing of the year. The key is to get out at either first light or last light and just drive until you see schools of fish feeding on the surface. This may happen briefly for a couple of days around the new and full moon, or it could be a weeklong (or longer pattern) if the fish gods are with us. This can happen anywhere on the lake, but your best bet is to look between Kellog Creek and the Bethany Bridge for most of the action. Anglers should come equipped with a 6 or 7 wt rod. I prefer two rods in the boat: one with an intermediate slow sinking line and the other with a floating line. On the floater I would attach a wiggle minnow as my fly of choice. On the intermediate I would attach either an albie anchovy or some super small 2” long fly. Hybrids on Allatoona will average 2-5lbs and they fight pound for pound harder than any other game fish here in north GA. The hybrids will be feasting on very small young of the year threadfin shad. These shad average 1”-3” in length but most of them will appear in the 1”-1 ½” range. Anglers who do not fly fish can get the same flies and attach them either behind a popping cork or casting bubble for success. If you
want to plan a trip for this top water event it is best to plan it around both the full and new moon period. The fish will always surface feed a little more aggressively around the moons. If the hybrids do not show you can always fly fish all the mountain lakes (Allatoona, Carters, Lanier or Hartwell) for top water spotted bass. A 3–4-hour window after first light can have you fishing to and catching spotted bass on 6 weights on poppers. These fish are aggressive and love to do out of the water cartwheels for your entertainment. Other opportunities for folks wanting to stay cool during July can fish on the river. Look no further than the Hooch for both striped bass action. Stripers can be found from Morgan Falls Dam down through the Peachtree Creek section (below Paces Mill) and everywhere in-between. Once again, a slow sinking intermediate line will be your best bet to locate stripers moving up from West Point Lake and summering over in the city limits. Anglers should fish both early and late day (low light) as your best options for river stripers. Fish in the 3-8lb range
are the norm for the river fishing but do not be surprised if a fish in the teens or bigger hits your fly. Best flies are those that are weighted and in the 4”-6” length. Bright pink over white is a good color for the river! Baitfish patterns, coyotes, Clouser’s and wiggle minnows (on a faster sinking line in the deep holes) can be effective. An intermediate slow sinking line can also be effective for river stripers. I especially like a game changer fly for fishing the banks. Try to hit the banks with your cast as stripers tend to hide in the structure along the banks or are down in the deeper holes of the river. You can do the same thing above Lake Lanier near and above Bull Shoals or better yet, head upriver and take a trip with the folks at Unicoi Outfitters for shoal bass on the upper Hooch. July might be their best month for this fishery! That’s our July forecast fly fishing report. Get out your long-brimmed hat, sunscreen and stay hydrated. The start of Atlanta’s long hot summer is upon us, but the fishing should continue to prove worthwhile! See you on the pond (or river).
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LOCAL RIVERS & FLY FISHING CASTING A FLY ON COOPER CREEK IN THE NORTH GEORGIA MOUNTAINS Contributed by Becky Hulsey International Federation of Fly Fishers Master Certified Casting Instructor http://www.hulseyflyfishing.com 770-639-4001
Cooper Creek also known as Cooper’s Creek located in Suches, Georgia was one of the first trout streams my father took me to learn to fly fish. I remember catching many brightly colored rainbow and brown trout on this mountain creek over the years. My father enjoyed taking me to Cooper Creek because it is one of the easier waters to navigate while wading and has less rhododendron cover. This sparkling stream is a bit wider in certain areas than most creeks in the North Georgia Mountains. In the upper portion of this cascading creek which flows out from Lake Winfield Scott, there are several stream structures made by Trout Unlimited Chapters to enhance trout habitat. As you continue down the dirt road next to the creek, you will see areas to pull off on so you can trek down to the stream as well as primitive areas to camp. Lower Cooper Creek flows by two campgrounds and eventually into the Toccoa River. It is utilized more often than the upper portion. This part of Cooper Creek is well stocked during Spring and Summer months because of its popularity. It is mostly easy wading here, but it pays to walk away from the beaten path to find the elusive trout. Both upper and lower sections contain wild trout. Just watch where you step or place your hands when venturing out. This water is great for a small stream rod like a 7 foot, 3 or 4 weight. You can use a longer rod, but you really have to watch your rod tip and casting. I like the freedom of using a shorter rod for moving on the creek and delicate
presentations. You won’t be casting a lot of junk on your fly line usually here. I prefer smaller size leaders and tippet too. A 7 ½ foot 5X or 6X monofilament leader is sufficient to get my flies out without disturbing my presentation. Cooper Creek is a great mountain stream to cast large dry flies with or without a dropper. I learned to fly fish here with a Royal Coachman. For a novice flyfisher, this fly sits up well on the water for great visibility which helps you to see a skittish trout take it on a good drift. Large size #12 Yellow Stimulators, #14 Tan Elk Hair Caddis flies, #12 Light Cahills, and #10 Terrestrials like a beetle or #16 black fur ant are also recommended for this stream. If you need a dropper, tie on at least one size smaller than your dry fly like a #14 or #16 Prince Nymph, Guide’s Choice Hare’s Ear, or Soft Hackle Pheasant Tail. Just make sure to gink up or add flotant to your dry fly so that it floats well on the water. Another benefit for fishing this time of year is wet wading. You do not need to worry about wearing waders. Just grab some quick dry pants/shorts and wet wading sandals. You can also wear some calf length socks inside guard socks with your wading boots to work for wet wading. Glare on the water may prevent you from seeing the quick take of the trout so wearing polarized sunglasses is a must to help you see as well as protect your eyes. If you use bug spray or sunscreen, make sure to wash your hands before touching your fly line. At Cooper Creek Wildlife Management Area, one of my favorite
places to hike is where huge poplar trees grow untouched in the forest. It is now referred to as Valley of the Giants. Back in the early 1900s, local folks saved these trees from being logged. Also, hidden among the forest are old moonshine stills. Cooper Creek was known for its moonshine. So be careful when going off the trail into the backwoods because you never know what you might find. You feel the historical presence of this area when exploring this charming stream and its
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LOCAL RIVERS & FLY FISHING SPECKULATION By Jeff Durniak, Unicoi Outfitters
Tis’ the season of speckulation. Early summer finds many dedicated trouters hiking high up the mountains in search of thin ribbons of cold water and their tiny, colorful natives. The scenic beauty and solitude of the Chattahoochee Forest’s high elevations are matched only by the spunk and vivid colors of our native brook trout. On one of our last speck treks, “Sautee” and I hiked the 1.5 miles behind the gated Forest Service Road that took us above the rainbow-excluding barrier falls. We leapfrogged from pool to pool, taking turns at each sweet spot. We soon came to a fork and split up. Soon Sautee backtracked to me and said, “come see this.” We snuck to the edge of the wildlife opening and watched a hefty black bear lunching leisurely in the field. We returned to the creek and resumed our speckulation, with beautiful little 4–8-inch natives greeting us in each pool. On our hike back to our vehicle, bear #2 crossed the road ahead of us. What a great speckulation trip! Speckulation is simple. For the gear, grab a short, light fly rod. A seven-foot, three-weight outfit is perfect. It’s short enough to cast inside the rhododendron tunnels, while long enough to hold some line off the water for good drifts through pools. Pack your vest or sling pack lightly. Add a couple 7 1/2 foot, 4X leaders, two spools of 4X and 5X tippet, and a dozen
fluffy #14-16 dries. We like chubby Chernobyls, yellow stimulators, tan caddis, parachute ants, and the trusty parachute Adams. Stealth is more important than fly pattern up here, since summer groceries are scarce on mountaintops. If you’d like to hedge your bet in pools, bring along a tiny black woolly bugger or a green weenie. Round out your supplies with a few other basics. For your flies, carry some floatant, dessicant, and a small chamois to squeeze out the water from your sunken dry. Add some bug repellent, sunscreen, water bottle or filter, and lunch. For safety’s sake, don’t forget these essentials: a poncho, flashlight, butane lighter, and topo map. Most importantly, bring a fishing buddy to share your experience and to render first aid if needed. Also tell a family member where you’re headed and when you will return. Speck streams are closely guarded secrets by locals. They must be earned through sweat or trust. You can hunt them on your own, help at a U.S. Forest Service / GA Trout Unlimited stream habitat project, or call your state fisheries biologist. Covet that intel and guard it carefully to protect these fragile headwater resources. Do a little homework on a topo map, pack that sling pack, and call your best blueline buddy soon to set a date. May your own summer speckulation be as rewarding as ours!
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LOCAL RIVERS & FLY FISHING FLY TYING: HOOK PLACEMENT IN ARTICULATED STREAMERS By Jacob Milholland, Store Manager Cohutta Fishing Company (706) 946-3044 The popularity of articulated flies has exploded in the last decade, and for good reason. This platform of fly tying allows the tyer to create a larger profile with materials that otherwise wouldn’t allow, and also provides one or more joints to give a pattern more movement. It also can give the angler a second tail hook that assists with hook-ups on short strikes. Understanding hook placement and shank placement within a pattern is critical, and sometimes misunderstood. A two-hooked fly is probably the most common combination for modern trout streamers. When a lot of tyers venture into this platform, they make the mistake of putting the front hook and back hook too close together, whether this is due to the type of hook or because they don’t use a long enough joint between the two.
For example, one of the more popular hooks, the Gamakatsu B10s, is a wide gap stinger hook. If I were to tie a size 1/0 to a smaller trailer hook, I will use a longer joint to accommodate the depth of the bend – the distance between the point the hook shank ends to the point in which the hook bend ends. Check out the picture on the right for a visual aid. Without this joint, I am crowding the trailer. A fly with a crowded trailer hook will result in poor hookups when both hooks attempt to penetrate because the pressure of a hook set is split between both hook points, making it more difficult to get either hook barb-deep; by placing the hooks farther apart, there is a better chance applying the pressure of only a single hook and getting a better hook-up, resulting in less fish lost.
A couple of the best remedies I have found when tying larger flies is to use an articulating shank, essentially a piece of heavy gauge wire with an eye that can be connected to other shanks or hooks, or to add extra beads onto the wire connecting both hooks together. Also, a two-hook platform can be unnecessary for some applications - I use articulating shanks instead of a trailer hook unless I am worried about short strikes, or I am trying to keel (help the fly track correctly) the fly that I am tying. We’re always happy
to talk about fly tying if you have any questions. If you want to come into the shop and tie flies, feel free to bring a vise and hang out.
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LOCAL RIVERS & FLY FISHING OCONEE ON THE FLY-
FISHING WITH KIDS/LAKE OCONEE FORECAST
Contributed By Capt. Wayne Moore USCG www.oconeeonthefly.com Recently, I have been fortunate that many families have booked their trips with me. I say fortunate because I really enjoy watching young anglers reel in their first hybrid or striped bass! Whether you are planning to hire a guide, taking your own boat out, or bank fishing with children and teens, make the trip all about them. Here are a few suggestions: • Safety first: “Georgia Law requires that all children under 13 years of age wear a USCG approved PFD while on board any moving vessel.” If you are bank fishing near a river or even a lake, a life jacket can save a life. • LISTEN to the young anglers. Often on a trip the adults want to engage their guide (which is fine) but let’s focus on the young angler. In most cases, they will have some good fishing stories and pictures. It will make them feel important if you listen.
Go in the early morning when it is still cool and get off the water before the recreational boaters come out. • Try using a jigging spoon like a war eagle 7/8 ounce. Fishing vertically right under the boat keeps the young angler engaged. I
LAKE OCONEE July forecast - Hybrids / Stripers Get out at first light, . I am currently using threadfin shad, that I have thrown the cast net for before the sun rises, for bait. If you are using shad, be sure to put rock salt or, better yet, an additive like shad magic (https://shadmagic.com/) in your bait tank. Trolling Mini Macs is working well mid lake. The spoon bite should be picking up soon. The War Eagle 7/8 ounce in white or white / chartreuse is the ticket. Fish the mouth of coves from dam to mid-lake. Pay attention to your electronics. I have been seeing bait and fish as high as 12 feet under the boat over a 30-foot bottom. I drop a down line with a 2-ounce swivel sinker, a 12-lb fluorocarbon leader, and a #2 or # 4 circle hook. For flat lines, I use spinning reels with a 12-lb main line, a swivel, and a 12-lb leader. If I am fishing larger shad, I may go up to as much as a 20-lb main line and leader. Fly Fishing – As we move into 6 ATLANTA
July the fly-fishing bite will slow down. However, at first light if Georgia Power is moving water, there will be a good topwater bite near the dam. Another area I see rising hybrids is on the back of the island at the mouth of Lick Creek as it enters the main lake. Crappie – The trolling bite will still be on in July, but many guides will be “brush piling” fishing minnows straight down over submerged timber. This technique involves finding submerged trees in deeper water. Look for trees that may be in water 30 to 40 feet deep and tip out 15 feet or more from the surface. I strongly suggest hiring a guide for brush pling because you must keep your boat very close to the structure. Final words, call 404-317-9556 or e-mail me at wmoore1700@ outlook.com I am booking trips for this fall as the bite was very strong last year October through December. Tight Lines, and God Bless.
once had a 5-year-old young man catch an 8-lb, 9-oz hybrid doing this with no help from anyone. • Bring food and drinks and make the trip short. If you make sure your young
anglers have FUN, you might help them become true sports enthusiasts. Kids who fish and hunt are less likely to get in trouble, as they are too busy doing what they love.
Guided Fly Fishing and Conventional Tackle Trips for Hybrids, Stripers, and Crappie Booking now, novice or experienced anglers. On the water instruction, top of the line fly gear! Mix it up with light spinning tackle as well for a great combo trip!
Captain Wayne Moore - Oconee On The Fly, Inc 404-317-9556 www.oconeeonthefly.com / email@example.com
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LOCAL RIVERS & FLY FISHING THE CASTING CORNER
SUMMER SIMPLE Contributed By: Rene J. Hesse
Certified Casting InstructorFederation of Fly Fishers & Atlanta Fly Fishing and Camping Meetup Organizer
The water has warmed, and the trout streams down south are closing down. You are a fly fisherman, now what? You have the 5wt rod, 3X leader and nowhere to go...or do you.... If there is ever a time to relax, not worry about what’s the best time of day to fish, what the water temp is, or if the fish will bite, this is it. Way to often I get caught up in the – I gotta catch a big fish and forget what makes me smile more often than a trip on a trophy stream. Can you guess what it is? It is probably the same thing that gave you your first smile with a flyrod, bream fishing. Do you tie flies? If so, tie a black rubber legged dragon with yellow legs, or go buy a few at the local shop. Then use that same trout outfit and find a local pond, lake, or stream. This is going to bring a smile to your face, just like when you were a kid. Just last week I needed to get a fish fix and couldn’t get to a big lake or N. Georgia stream. In a matter of an hour or two at my local lake on that fly, I caught a bunch of bream, a few bass and 3 catfish! Just get that fly out there and let it sink. Now there are a few things that will up your game. When you make your casts, try to get the line to lay out straight. That is simply accomplished by moving the rod in a straight line to the target...oh that means you must have a target. An-
other thing that seems to increase the catch rate is how you retrieve the fly and set the hook. After you make that straight line cast, keep the rod tip in the water and stay in contact with the fly. What I mean is, use very, very small strips. This little bit of tension will help you feel the subtle sip of the fly. When you get that little bit of weight on the line, rather than set the hook, just strip tight, game on! I like to let them do their little circle dance and dive. The flutter of the rod tip is feeling every wiggle and head shake. With the small mouth of a panfish and size 8 hook, I always pinch the barb, it is so much more kind and easier too. The bass and catfish are always a surprise, and you never know what that tug is on the end of the line. This type of fishing always makes me smile because of the simplicity, the effortless rigging, casting, and the fish are beautiful. HAPPY SUMMER!
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LOCAL LAKES AND FORECAST
NG LAKE HARTWELL by Preston Harden Water level- 1 ft. Above full pool water temp.-84 degrees water clarity- clear As we enter July, the transition to the summer pattern is almost complete. The hybrids and stripers have moved out of the creeks and upper lake and migrated to the main lake. The largemouth and spotted bass have left the banks and moved to deeper brush piles. Crappie have also moved to deeper structure. Electronics become very important to find fish in deeper water. Look for hybrids and stripers from mid lake to the dam. If you locate a school, drop a lively blue back herring on a Carolina rig to the depth of the fish and hang on. A big spoon or a big jig and swim bait will also work. Look for bass around brush piles 15 to 30 ft. deep and drop a
shaky head or a drop shot on top of them. I always have a top water plug ready for surface activity. My favorite is a Lucky Craft Sammy in color ghost minnow. Crappie move out of the shallow creeks to brush piles 20 to 30 ft. deep. Crappie minnows on a slip float or a 1/16 oz. jig head and a soft plastic will catch crappie. The weather is hot this time of year and lots of people quit fishing. That does not mean the fish quit feeding. Just follow the fish to their summer locations.
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LOCAL LAKES AND FORECAST BIG RAINBOW
Tournament Schedule July 17 July 30 Aug 6 Aug 7 Aug 18 Sept 1 Sept 10
by Tim Dangar
Mid Georgia Mid Georgia Berry’s Mid Georgia Mid Georgia Mid Georgia Berry’s
Now is the time to catch some big rainbow trout out of North Georgia lakes. My twin grandsons, Chase, Tyler, and I went looking for some big trout action and found it on one of our favorite mountain small lakes in Union County. We fished spinners down deep and worked them slowly. When one of these 19-to-20-inch bows hit, you know it’s game on! You must let them rule for a while before you can make any progress getting them headed to the boat. A proper set drag is a must when fishing for this size fish. When you finally get them close, you can expect another run as they see the boat. These fish like to stay deep, close to the creek channels. Most small mountain lakes have more than one creek feeding in. If you can locate where the creek channels merge, that’s a great place to work a spinner slow and be ready to get rocked when they hit. Hope everyone is having a great summer and as always, stay calm and fish on!
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Forecast By: Ken Sturdivant firstname.lastname@example.org Lake Sinclair is down 1.6 feet, 80S Bass fishing is fair. Top water baits and square billed crank baits continue to be the best choice when fishing shallow. Look for mayflies around the main river banks and overhangs for a good top water bite. A Bass Hound prop bait and a black Buckeye Lures buzz bait fished around these areas will produce some big bites. Another wave of bream started bedding in the pockets this past week on the full moon. A top water prop bait, square bill crank bait, and a Buckeye Lures mop jig are the baits of choice
around these bream beds. A Spro Fat John square bill has been a good crank bait around the bream beds recently. There are fish biting out deep. Off shore humps and points in 15 to 18 feet of water will be productive when Georgia Power is moving water. Look for hard bottom or stumps on these structures to find the best spots holding fish. A Strike King 6xd crank bait or a Carolina rigged Zoom trick worm are good baits to fish on these deep summertime haunts. Many fish can be caught on the deeper docks that have brush present. Fish a Buckeye Lures spot remover with a green pumpkin Zoom trick worm to get the most bites. Give me a call to book your guide trips for this summer. Available dates are booking up fast.
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LOCAL LAKES AND FORECAST LAKE LANIER CRAPPIE
Call Captain Josh Thornton to book a trip 770-530-6493. The water temperature is 82. The early morning bite has been really good. Look at docks in 15-30 foot of water near a main channel for suspended fish. You can set colors on your fishing charts to easily locate these targeted depths. I have my fishing chart set red for 15-30’ So, if I see a dock in the red shade zone I know to scan that dock for crappie. For more information about setting up a color on a fish finder check out The sonar angler on YouTube. Also look at blow downs off steep banks or trees that extend 50-70’ off the banks. If you are using jigs, I would recommend
a white or a translucent body with sparkles or the blue grass color combination. Remember to retrieve slow and give the jig time to sink to the level of the fish. 60% of this week’s catch came on minnows. I am setting minnows at 10’-12 feet deep most of the time. Crappie love the shade so cast into the shadows or shaded areas of dock. When dock shooting the biggest fish are usually the first to bite. I’m using the skippers jig moon jigs. Use (promo code heroes) when ordering. I use ATX lure companies jigs on a lip thrashin lure. I use 5 pound test high visibility yellow k9 braid for my line unless I am using a bobber then it’s the k9 6 pound high vis line k9fishing.com and a Piscifun reel on a Acc crappie stix. I use Garmin Live Scope and the Navionics Boating app. Find me on Facebook and like my pages #crappieonlanier & #fishingwitheverydayheroes.
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LOCAL LAKES AND FORECAST JULY ON LANIER – LET WATER TEMPS BE YOUR GUIDE Contributed By: Jim “Jimbo” Mathley www.jimboonlanier.com
Depending on the water temperature, there are several techniques you can utilize to stay on top of the fish, sometimes literally, and remain successful on Lanier during the hot summer months. Let’s review the locations, techniques, and lures you can utilize to ensure you keep catching fish in July. Location By July, most of the spotted bass are normally in their traditional summer patterns. While some fish will be relating to key features at the mouths of the major creeks, you will begin to find more and bigger spots active on the main lake. The fish tend to relate to either schools of bait or to some of the thousands of man-made brush piles that can be found around the entire lake. Look for brush and other fish-attracting features around the steeper side of long-running points, rock, steep banks, rocky ledges, as well as underwater humps throughout the lake. Locating these areas and the man-made cover that
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is often found on them, which will often concentrate the fish, will be important to your success. Lures and Presentation Now that we have explored the location that the spots can often be found in July, let’s examine some of the techniques and lures that can be used to catch these fish. 1. Topwater/Swimbaits – These lures remain a viable approach until the surface temperatures hit the mid 80’s. At this point, most of the bait goes deeper as do the fish. Until then, look for this bite to remain solid around the man-made brush. The Gunfish and Chug Bug are two of my favorite topwater lures. When the fish are stubborn, try a weighted fluke as a great second option on missed fish. Swimbaits such as a Sebile and the offerings of the Sweet Bait Company are two of the best choices for the hard Swimbaits. Note that in 2022, the summer is trending to be a hot one and the weather has gotten hot early. Unfortunately, this
bite may disappear more quickly than anyone of us would prefer. 2. GA Blade Underspin – When the topwater/swimbait bite is tough, pick up your GA Blade Underspin. Tip the underspin with a Super Fluke Jr. trailer and fish the bait over and around offshore brush for your best success. Vary your retrieve speed and depth until you hit on the right combination for that day. 3. Worm and Jig - When you see fish in brush on your Humminbird electronics, try the worm and jig. I like the Georgia Blade ball head. Explore different worm sizes, shapes, and colors when you are fishing. Something different presented appropriately can make a big difference on certain days. Georgia Jigs in 3/8 oz. are my favorite jigs on Lanier. A PB & J
color pattern is often a good bet. 4. Drop-Shot – This is a great tool when the fishing gets tough. I opt for this offering when fish are suspended in or around brush, or when they are suspended on points or humps. This presentation can be made vertically, or it can be cast toward the feature. I prefer the Lanier Baits options – they have a tremendous selection of soft plastics! Check them out at LanierBaits.com. I still have some dates available in July so call me or drop me a line to have some fun! See you on the water! Jimbo is a full-time, YearRound Spotted Bass Guide on Lake Lanier. Contact him today to book a trip! Contact Jimbo on Lanier! 770542-7764. Jimbo’s website: www. jimboonlanier.com.
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LOCAL LAKES AND FORECAST FISHING THE “CLINE” THIS SUMMER By Capt. Cefus McRae Nuts & Bolts Fishing Series Hartwell, GA Our southeastern reservoirs have a lot of things in common, similar species, multiple rivers that feed the larger lake, standing timber, and more. They also go through transitional water changes. The two major occurrences being the fall turnover, and the stratification of water layers in the early summer. Now that summer is upon us, and the surface water temps are in the mid-80’s or higher, our lakes are most likely completely stratified. Without getting derailed with science, suffice to say as lake stratify, three distinct water layers set up. The upper, warmer water called the Epilimnion, the middle layer called the Thermocline, and the lower cold-water layer called the Hypolimnion. For us anglers that fish for stripers and hybrid bass, we need to concentrate on the Thermocline, because that’s
where the action is at. The upper warm (hot to the fish) layer of water does hold some dissolved oxygen, but not nearly as much as the cooler water below. The lowest and deepest layer is almost devoid of oxygen, but temperature-wise is more comfortable. So, the fish compromise and hang out in the Thermocline. The cooler water is more comfortable, and because it’s cool, it holds more dissolved oxygen. That’s where the bait is going to hang out, and that’s where the gamefish are going to be. For most of our deep-water lakes, the Thermocline starts around 25 to 30 foot deep, and reaches down as far as 50 to 60 feet. That presents about a 20 to 30 foot ‘window’ for you to begin your search patterns. And that also eliminates a lot of water from the fishing equation. Those shal-
low creeks that produced monsters in March and April are now hot tubs as far as the stripers are concerned. How do you know where the Thermocline is at, and if it has truly set-up yet? Look at your sonar. Crank up the gain, and you’ll see a distinct ‘fuzzy’ band around 25 to 50 feet. That band might be as narrow as 10 or 15 feet deep, and it could be bigger. What’s happening is the sonar beam is bouncing off all the plankton, particulate, and other goo that is being suspended above the dense cold water of the Hypolimnion. It’s easy to see early morning and in the evening. So, when the water temps hit the mid-80s for a week or so, it’s time to start thinking about your open lake fishing strategy. Put your baits in the middle of the “Cline” and look for schooling fish on your sonar. Using SideScan is a huge help because you can see great distances on either side of the boat to locate the schools. And be careful not to put your baits too deep, because they will suffer from the lack of oxygen down deep too. Trolling umbrella rigs down the main river and lake channels is a good tactic, as is putting a WhoopAss
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bucktail jig about 25 feet behind your downrigger ball. Drop it to 20 feet and set your speed at 3 mph. Leadcore line will get you similar results, but you have a LOT of line out to reach those depths. Finally, keep an eye on your bait too. Do not add that hot lake water into your livewell. Get a good recirculating livewell tank and use the water from the bait shop. Get an extra bag or two of ice and throw a couple handfuls in the tank during the day. If you can rig the well with an oxygenation system, that’s even better. Frisky baits catch stripers. Dead herring catch catfish. So, adjust your technique and methods to put your baits in the strike zone and learn to fish the “Cline” this summer. You’ll put more fish in the boat. Tight lines and calm seas.
LOCAL LAKES AND FORECAST A NEW DISCOVERY
By James K. Pressley, email@example.com
Every once in a while, you find something you just need to share. Back in the winter my son, Beau, and I went to a fishing show hosted by Jimbo on Lanier in Cumming, GA. Truly an awesome event that we really enjoyed. Of course, any day spent with friends is just great. Being able to see people like Capt. Mack, Ryan Hanks, Danny Pruitt, and the rest that we talk to and share ideas with all the time on social media is awesome when it’s in person! Beau and I made two new friends that day: Scott Thomas and Nikki Delio. Both work for KastKing, a relatively new company in the fishing world. I had seen their ads on social media and seen their stuff on Amazon and in Academy Sports. However, I had never touched and played with any of it. Well, I scheduled an interview with both. Some of you may have
read the column I wrote on Nikki and how fishing saved a life. In today’s world we hear a lot about company culture, employee care, and we see a lot of bashing when it comes to Chinese products. For me personally I have found most company’s spouting the company culture line don’t practice what they preach, and employee care is next to zero. Then we have politicians on both sides bashing products and people who import from China. Well, I have come to this conclusion: I buy good products, as good as I can afford at least. I want my money to go a long way. It’s tough to come by and I work hard for what I have. Believe it or not, writing is not the main thing for me (I know it is a shocker that I am not on the NY Times best seller list by now). If those products are from China, Alabama, or south GA, it doesn’t matter. I just want
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the best I can afford. Fast forward a few months and Nikki comes to speak to the Lake Oconee Striper Club (read that twice before sending me emails). Arrangements were made for her to fish with two great friends of mine, Kevin Underwood and Kevin Harris. Regular readers know both. Underwood took her to throw a frog all day, which she caught onto well even though she popped me in the head once. Later that day Harris put her on her first stripers while trolling umbrella rigs along the river channel. Then on Saturday Nikki fished the monthly striper tournament with our tournament director, Chris Aufleger, and myself on Chris’ boat along with my daughter, Annie, and our friend from the club, Darcy. This brings me back to company culture. KastKing truly cares for their employees. Due to a few health issues Nikki has, her colleague, Scott, kept up with her the entire time she was with us. Texting me multiple times a day and showing a level of concern that I rarely show with my own family. Not only that but people in their main facility in China keep up with her health. I was impressed! I’m grateful Nikki and Scott were able
to set up for me the ability to test a few of their rods and reels. I’ve been throwing them for over a week now and let me say… their products are as good as the stuff you pay twice the price for. Now I am not on staff with them, nor am I paid to say anything. I just get to try their stuff. However, if you want to try their reels book a trip with Kevin Harris at GoFishLakeOconee. Now here’s my point. Y’all, I have found a company that means it when it says they care for their employees. They mean it when they say YOU matter to them, and they make QUALITY, affordable products, leaving fisherman with gas money for their boats! That’s a win-win in my book.
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LOCAL LAKES AND FORECAST LAKE EUFAULA By Capt Sam Williams firstname.lastname@example.org 334-687-6266 Water level 88.05 msl Water temperature- 86 degrees Water clarity - Perfect stain The warm weather has arrived, and early and late fishing is the most comfortable for fishermen. The mid-day heat is the best time to work on the bass that are transitioning to the first drop to find cooler water. Slow moving swim jigs, white with white trailer has been a good bait to present. Where you can find pads or grass, Frogs, and blade baits are working. As this action slows, use the jig or a Texas rig with red shad, green pumpkin, or watermelon candy. These need to be worked slow as well. There have been so many tournaments lately, these fish must be coerced into a strike. Square billed crank baits in shad colors and lipless crank baits are the trick if you find feeding fish. Crappie are beginning to hold better of the ledges where you find natural or man-made trash piles. Minnows and minnow tipped jigs are the bait to use. We have even taken a few crappie on crickets while bream fishing. Blue gills are hot right now on crickets. Work the bank cover in the creeks. The great thing about fishing these areas, you can keep your boat in the shade as the day heats up. Use a #8 long shank cricket hook and you will get more fish in the live well. These little rascals have all been schooled in how to steal your cricket before the bobber sets up straight. The shell crackers are on the flats eating wigglers. Bottom fishing for these is a lot of fun, they can put up quite a fight. You will also get some squealer catfish that are the best eating fish on the river. Take an old syringe and inject some air in the red wigglers, they go on the hook better and the fish find it harder to strip the worm off your hook. Catfish are always wanting to eat. Crawlers and cut bait on the bottom are working on the ledges. Jugs, baited with shad, cut bait and chicken livers are doing great. Jug fishing is a great way to keep kids focused as they watch the jugs begin 18 ATLANTA
to move. Take an old telescoping bream buster and wrap a hook on the end and use it to pick up the jugs when a fish is on. You will not lose as many of the big cat’s as you do by hand lining them. This is the perfect time of the year to get some quality family time while fishing from the bank or a boat. These memories will be talked about at your family gatherings for generations to come. Remember the October 15th, 2022 Alabama Classic Bass Tournament that supports Niemann-Pic Disease research to help find a cure for these precious terminally ill children and Darby;s Warrior Support where we take post 9/11 combat wounded and PTSD heroes hunting and fishing. Registration is now open at www.alclassic.com or call 334 355 5057 for details. Your entry fee is a tax donation, and the purse is $15,000.00. The Parks and recreation are bringing back the Kid’s Fishing Rodeo at Creektown Park July 22. Register your child by calling the Community Center at 334 687 1213. Remember to wear your life jackets when under way to your fishing spot. Keep plenty of water and sunscreen with you. There is a lot of boat traffic this time of year, be aware of other boats running near you, the smaller boats ALWAYS have the right of way, that’s the law. We do not need ant tragedies on the lake this year. Pray for one another and our law enforcement officers, military and their families. We serve a living God who teaches us to love one another.
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LOCAL LAKES AND FORECAST LANIER STRIPERS Forecast by: Clay Cunningham www.catchingnotfishing.com 770-630-2673 The Summer heat has arrived on Lanier and the stripers have moved south on the lake. The water temperature is in the mideighties and is clear. The topwater bite with Berkley Magic Swimmers and walking baits like the Berkley Jaywalker is slowing down but keep the rods ready to cast. The best fishing has already moved to the south end of the lake due to deeper colder water which means higher oxygen levels for the stripers. The size of the schools has been behind schedule so far this summer. With most of the schools being smaller than normal, it has been harder to catch big numbers of fish in one area. More traveling around looking for the fish on electronics has been necessary. Look in the creek channels near patches of timber. The primary pattern is the downline. The
primary setup for the downline is a Shakespeare Striper Rod paired with a Penn Fathom II 15 Line counter reel spooled with 15-pound Trilene Big Game line, the Captain Mack 2 oz swivel sinker, a 6 foot section of Trilene 100 percent Flourocarbon and a 1/0 Gamakatsu Octopus hook. Add a live herring to the hook and you are good to go. Take plenty of herring as they will not live long on the hook. Great electronics like the Humminbird Solix are the keys for success right now. Once you spot a few on the fish finder, drop your baits rapidly. The trolling bite is also picking up. Talk to your local tackle store like Hammonds or Oakwood Bait and Tackle for the specific rod and reel needed. Look for a Penn Fathom reel paired with a Shakespeare Tiger rod. Once you are setup, tie up one rod with a Ben Parker spoon and one with a 1-to-2-ounce white Berkley Fusion buck tail and troll at 2.8 mph to 3 mph. Tip the Berkley Fusion bucktail with a 6-inch Capt. Mack chartreuse or white trailer. Let
the first couple bites tell you which one is hot. It can vary from day to day. Also be sure to pay attention to the size of the bucktail that is getting the bites. A small difference in weight can make a big difference in success.
Be sure to release the fish fast as possible. Every second out of the water in the hot summer months increases mortality. If you are taking pictures, have everything ready for a quick release. See you on the water!
CARTERS LAKE Forecast By: Eric Crowley Lake & Stream Guide Service (706) 669-4973
Temp 80, Level full, Clarity 3 ft tops. Waters warm, lots of boat traffic on the weekends, and the fish are deep, it’s summertime on Carter’s Lake. This means start early, fish at dusk or at night to beat the heat and boat traffic. The bait is super thick again after the spawn, so the fish are spread out as usual. The walleye are on the move from the creeks to the main lake points and humps looking for bait balls. They like to eat in low light situations where they have the advantage. Spoons, crank baits, live alewives or threadfins are all great options for targeting eyes this month.
Get the baits to the fish holding just below the bait balls but off the bottom. These are the actively feeding fish. After sunrise look for them pinned to the bottom. These fish will like a more vertical presentation where they don’t have to chase anything. Chrome, purple, and orange seem to be the hot colors in June The striper have been feeding from 5am to 9am in 50 to 60 ft of water. Live fresh alewives are still the preferred bait but not the only option. Light lines and small hooks always out produce heavy gear here. Move slow in the creek mouths targeting the bait balls early. After sunrise I like to throw out the Capt Macks URigs and pull them in the same areas around 3mph. Most all the creeks are holding fish right now, so location isn’t that important. Stay cool and stay safe.
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LOCAL LAKES AND FORECAST TAKE A CHILD FISHING THIS SUMMER: TIPS ON FISHING WITH CHILDREN Dr. Andrew Cox The summer months are here and so is summer break. Children are often looking for activities to keep themselves busy. Fishing could be a good activity for them to engage during the summer months. This sport immerses them into outdoor physical activity and may spark an interest in nature and other outdoor pursuits. I was reminded of this by my two grandsons, Jonathan and Will. One resides in East Alabama and has been interested in fishing for about five years. He is an avid reader of fishing on the internet and viewing YouTube videos on fishing techniques and locales. The other grandchild resides in North Carolina with interest in warm water fishing. He will be accompanying me to Wyoming during the latter part of the summer to try his hand at flyfishing for trout. This will be a first for him. This interest is certainly something that I want to encourage. As both grandchildren ask me to go fishing, I try to expose them to a variety of waters and fish species. When taking a child or young person fishing, they are not going to approach it the same as an adult. Their attention span is going to be much shorter, and they will require fish action to maintain their interest. Consider the following points when taking young people fishing: • Use fishing equipment appropriate for the child’s skill level and size. They may require starting out with spincast reels and shorter rods, then later graduating to open face spinning reels. • Target fish that are easy to catch to maintain the child’s interest. Seek a mixed bag of fish species to include panfish, catfish, and bass if fishing warm waters. • Shorten the fishing day; do not expect to spend the entire day from sun-up to sundown fishing with a child. Short time periods are best to maintain interest. Take frequent breaks from fishing, maybe interspersing fishing with another outdoor activity. • Be prepared with sunscreen, drinks, and snacks for use over the course of the fishing day. 20 ATLANTA
• Be prepared to take frequent bathroom breaks. • Plan to go fishing only when the weather is good. Children will most likely not enjoy being outdoors when it is overly hot, cold, or raining. • Plan to use a variety of baits to include both artificial and live baits. Be prepared to tie knots, rig tackle, and bait hooks. You may also be required to make some casts for the child if they are unfamiliar with the equipment. • Do not expect the young person to cast perfectly. Prepare for line tangles and hooking up on shoreline and underwater obstructions. Try to pick open fishing locations that do not have a lot of trees, rocks, or weeds to minimize tangles. • Expose young people to conservation and protecting the fishing locale. Do not litter and discard used fishing line, bait holders, drink and snack containers in trash receptacles or take it back home with you to be discarded properly. Take a small trash bag with you to collect your trash as well as some that may have been left behind by others. Make it a better place than you found it. Show and tell children about the other wildlife that they may see while fishing • Be patient and flexible; the fishing experience is supposed to be fun. The child is going to make mistakes. • If you catch a fish, consider handing off the rod and reel to the youngster allowing him or her to fight and land the fish. • If going on multiple trips with a child, visit different waters and target a variety of fish species. The child may develop an interest in a particular body of water or certain fish species. • Be safe. Watch the child carefully and use life preservers if necessary. Exposing young people to fishing can become a lifelong interest. The future of angling and the waters that we fish today will require future generations to show an interest and protect them. You may find that you have a new fishing partner.
Forecast By: Eric Crowley Lake & Stream Guide Service (706) 669-4973
Temp 81, Level full, Clarity 12
Well, it’s summertime and the temps and boat traffic are pretty much on par for this time of year. Neither are great but if you start early or fish late you can find plenty of quiet water. The walleye are offshore and holding tight to the bottom of deep ledges. These fish are not really interested in feeding but the ones just off the bottom are what you’re looking for. Specifically, the ones just off the bottom near bait balls. You can catch these fish with several presentations from trolling to vertical jigging as it’s more of a timing thing then a presentation right now. Walleye are definitely more prone to feed in low light situations so cloudy days, rainy days, early and late in the day and at night. Color preference varies in these light conditions and can
change fast as the day progresses so keep plenty of options handy. The fish are spread out over the main lake points, flats, and humps which there are a lot of on this lake. The trout bite has been consistent for me over the past couple weeks. Lots of fish in the 16 to 18” size with a few bigger ones mixed in. This bite will taper off by the end of the month when the fish go super deep and don’t eat much. Look for trout in pockets and coves with bait early in the day before the sun pushed them out deep and they spread out. I haven’t seen any more smallies but the spotted bass are finally chowing down after a late spawn. They have been clobbering dark colored crank baits and chrome spoons fished on points or near The bite right brush out deep before dark has been the best bite for us when we are targeting them. There’s a decent top water bite early in the day but the conditions must be right. Calm mornings with no wind will allow you to see the surface activity and make long casts quick before they go back down.
Chatuge: Level: Full pool. Temp: 76-78 degrees. Clarity: Clear . Bass: Fishing has been decent, the fish are still scattered, normally this time of year after the spawn they are already moved out to the off shore brush and drops. I’m starting my mornings out fishing flats and humps on the main body of the lake where the bass will push the bait fish into during the night and wait to feed on them as they start back out at daylight. I’m targeting these areas with a Whooper Plopper, Ima stick, Zoom fluke and Strike King sexy dawg jr. You need to make sure to keep a top water bait always tied on and, on the deck, because there has been some good fish blowing up
throughout the day. By mid-morning I’m starting to target long points, deep offshore brush, and ditches, targeting these with a dropshot rigged with 6” roboworm, shaky head, texas rig and neko rig. You can also use these same type baits around boat docks that has some brush or if they have a deep drop in front of them. A 3/8 oz jig in pb/j or green pumpkin will also work around brush and docks. I have been catching some fish on a 3.25” Strike King rage swimmer on a 5/16 Vmc swimbait hook, throwing it out in the ditches and reel it back, pausing on the retrieve. You can also throw this where you see breaking fish. If you have a windy day, try throwing a 3/8oz spinner bait or a small crankbait. It looks like were fixing to encounter some hot weather this upcoming month, which will warm the water temps. I like using light line when it gets hot, I will spool up some 5lb and 7lb Gamma touch fluorocarbon finesse line, you will be surprised how it can increase your bites. Good Luck!
LOCAL LAKES AND FORECAST
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Fishing Guide Service Forecast By: by Capt. Paul Tyre email@example.com The Bass fishing on Lake Seminole has been GREAT through June! July is also a great month to Bass fish on Lake Seminole. The Topwater action through June has been ASWOME! The great topwater action will continue through July especially early and on cloudy days. As the grass gets thicker in July the hollow belly frog becomes my go to topwater bait. I prefer the Spro Bronzeye Popping Frog, it has a double heavyweight Gamakatsu hook that is extremely sharp and heavy enough to get the big Bass out of the grass! I like to fish the frog over the grass and through holes in the grass. Rod, line, and reel choices are very important with this technique! A high-speed reel is a must, at least 8:3.1, and a heavy Braided line I prefer is 65lb Cortland Master Braid on a 7’3” XH Temple Fork Outfitters Tactical Bass Rod. This rod has a fast tip and has the backbone to get the biggest Bass out of the grass! The Flipping bite starts heating up in July as the grass is getting thicker. Rod choice is critical when
Forecast by: by Tyler Clore firstname.lastname@example.org www.georgialakefishing.com With the recent heat wave the water temps are shooting up. Largemouth: Fish around the docks and trees you can find in the creeks early in the mornings with top water. My choice is a chrome super spook. As the sun gets above the trees, I also skip a zoom horny toad under the docks. I prefer green pumpkin in color. Spotted bass: I start out fishing a spook or a Herring colored Sebile Magic Swimmer first thing in the morning around the shallow
ON BEAUTIFUL LAKE EUFAULA
BASS -BREAM -BREAM BASS CRAPPIE-CATFISH CRAPPIE-CATFISH CAPTAIN SAM WILLIAMS
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334-355-5057 334-687-6266 HAWK184@EARTHLINK.NET, WWW.HAWKSFISHING.COM HAWK184@EARTHLINK.NET, WWW.HAWKSFISHING.COM
flipping big bass out of the grass. My go to rod is a TFO Tactical 8’ extra heavy moderate action rod that has the backbone to get the biggest bass out of the thick Hydrilla. Line is critical and braided line is a must, I prefer 65lb Cortland Silent Flip braid, it is a 16 strand, that is very quiet going through the vegetation which will get you more bites! For a Lake Seminole Fishing Adventure this July give me a call at 850-264-7534 or follow us on Instagram @ capt.paulty-refishing and Facebook @ capt.paultyrefishing.
humps and brush. As the day goes on, move out to the deeper humps. You may have to slow down and use a shaky head worm. During these warmer temps the fish also like to hang off the ledges close to the channel. Trout: Trout has been few and far between. Usually staying from 3580 feet deep but can catch them up feeding first thing in the mornings on top. You can cast Rapala count downs into the fish that you locate on top or troll for them deep on a down rigger. With the water temps rising the drop shot bite will be taking off towards the end of the month for bass and perch.
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LOCAL LAKES AND FORECAST SNAKEHEADS IN SOUTH FLORIDA
By Gary Turner
This big snakehead exploded as I reeled my frog past it! I was walking the edge of the lake when a fish spooked out from the bank, it was a good snakehead! I turned and threw my frog past it. That’s when I saw it freight training after it. I have been fishing in south Florida for several days, and it has been a blast! Capt. Johnny Stabile, Viktor Hluben aka Landshark Outdoors, and I were snakehead fishing in West Fort Lauderdale. We were using Live Target hollow bodied frogs with Bangcock Hooker Twist knots to keep them from chewing through the line. We had a great day fishing several lakes and canals. Another day Capt. Johnny, Laura Battye, and I went to Markham Park and caught several snakeheads in Johnny’s LT25 Gheenoe boat. It’s perfect for navigating small backwaters. The third day, A.D. Washington and his son Ashton flew in from
us, and since it had reached a sweltering 98 degrees, we decided to call it a day. On deck for tomorrow, Johnny, Viktor, and myself are going to do some more jumbo bluegill fishing for some good eating! I’m not sure what next month’s article will be on or where I’ll be fishing, but remember, if you have an empty seat on your boat that
LAKE MARTIN Georgia to meet up with us, and we fished the Everglades, catching lots of peacock bass on 2/0 Owner circle hooks baited with golden shiners. I also caught a good peacock on a black crappie jig that I was pulling for Oscars. The next day the four of us went to Lake Ida for some bigger peacocks, clownknife fish and bluegills. We caught several big peacocks and lots of jumbo bluegills, but the clownknife eluded
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Provided By: David Hare Alex City Guide Service 256-401-3089 Water Level Full Pool (491) Surface Temp 84-85 (6/10/22) Clarity / Clear Hey everyone, June has been an awesome striper catching month. Live bait was working good, as well as trolling for putting stripers in the box. Well, here it is July!!! Where has the spring gone??? Don’t get too disappointed because here on Lake Martin you can still catch a big trophy in July. Just 2 years ago in July we boated a 45 lber and a 25 lber, same day same boat. I’m not saying July is your best chance for big fish, but it can happen. With Lake Martin being one of the best striper lakes in the south and a vacation destination for so many from around the country, we as fishermen and fisherwomen, can still enjoy catching fish even with numerous recreational boats on the lake. How? Well, my guide service has it narrowed down to a real early morning live bait approach which pays off very well. Then when boat
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needs filling, shoot me an email and maybe it will be about fishing with you! If you are ever interested in info on any guides or places I fish, you can email me at gary@purgeright. com. Please remember, if you are not going to eat it, don’t kill it. “Tight Lines and Squealin’ Reels put a Smile on my face every time.”
traffic starts heating up, we switch over to running downriggers deep and a lot of the time right in the same areas the heavy traffic is in. So, what I’m saying is there’s always a way to boat stripers. Some days may be challenging but it can be done. If you’re not an early riser, then go the last couple of hours in the evening and you too might be pleasantly surprised. July is also a big month for boating catfish and for sure big bream. Take those grandkids to a dock and let them have fun. My grandkids catch a cooler full of bream by simply using old bread their KayKay saves for them. Get out and enjoy what our lake has to offer this month who knows you might even catch a world record. Until next time tight lines
LOCAL LAKES AND FORECAST
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The lake is close to full pool. Water temps are in the 80’s. Water is clear over most of the lake. Bass: FAIR - There are still a few different patterns that seem to be working right now. Top water baits such as Whopper Ploppwers and Buzz Baits and Zoom Horny Toads can be extremely effective for shallow and aggressive fish, especially around bream beds and shallow cover and grass. A second pattern that works well is to look for schools of blueback herring on the surface. (The herring population seems to have exploded this year. So, I would expect many of the tactics that Lanier anglers use to catch open water fish to really come into play over the next couple years.) Try fishing open water with topwater lures and Zoom Superflukes. Another working pattern is to concentrate on docks and blowdowns. Try an unweighted Merthiolate Zoom Trick worm or an unweighted ZLINKY or Senko type bait or a pig n jig around this type of cover. Water generation can play a factor in improving the bite as the water warms up, so if you have the option, base your trips to the lake around that when possible. Some fish can still be caught deep on old roadbeds and brush piles. Lots of spotted bass are caught by casting Spot Remover heads loaded with ultra-vibe speed craws or just dragging a Carolina-rigged Zoom finesse worm or mini lizard around sloping gravel banks or around the many shoal marker poles scattered around the lake. Linesides: Good - Spawned out hybrids & stripes are back down lake in July. Expect the down - line bite
on live bait to be decent throughout the month. The Linesides have started schooling on the main lake and can be caught on Roostertails, Pop n Cork rigs and Gotcha Swim Shad lures. Also, fish can be caught trolling with the Flash Mob Jr or West Point trolling rig on of the regular. Crappie: GOOD - Crappie like deeper water in the summer and will typically move out and hold on deeper brush & structure or under docks. Shooting or pitching under the shade of covered docks or around bridge pilings is the way to go. Tube type jigs seem to work the best. The crappie almost always like the shade on a sunny day and don’t forget night fishing is usually awesome in July as well! Bream: GOOD - Don’t forget about our bream & shellcracker. The shellcracker population over the last few years has exploded with some nice sized fish and good numbers being caught. They seem to really love worms fished on the bottom. Finding an active bed can take a little effort but when you do, you can have a ball! Bedding usually takes place on the full moon cycle in July. Look for shallow cover in the backs of pockets. Sandy flats & stump beds tend to draw the fish like a magnet. Use live worms, crickets and small jigs for the best results. Catfish: GOOD - Lots of channel cat are being caught by the few anglers that target them. Live & cut baits (and worms of course) fished on bottom will catch cats all over the lake, if fairly deep water is nearby. Jug Fishing is also fun & productive. To target flatheads, go to a larger bait like a 4–5-inch bream or large shiner and fish the same areas. Be sure to increase the size of your rigs as fish in the 20-30-lb. range are common. Most of the big flatheads are caught in the Ringer / Grayson’s Landing area north of the 219 bridge in the Chattahoochee and the mouth of the smaller feeder creeks in that vicinity.
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LOCAL LAKES AND FORECAST LAKE ALLATOONA Forecast By: Joseph Martinelli 404-919-4918 Lake Allatoona can offer some of the very best summer fishing found in the region. While we are enjoying a temperate summer so far with a steady full pool at 840 feet and water temps in the 80s, the fishing has been stellar through June and expected to possibly get better into July. Early morning and evening bites are going to pay off almost always, but we also find many a good weekday bite in the heat of the day fishing the ledges of main and secondary channels where the stripers are known to stack up and can be easily enticed with a shad, bream or even a swimbait presentation worked just off the bottom. As the temperatures continue to rise, we see a favorite phenomenon - the topwater boiling of hungry stripers, hybrids, white bass and spots chasing shad schools to the top for a feast. During this wonderful season
one may witness how quickly a school of fish will travel chasing bait. Sometimes you can enjoy hooking up with quite a few fish and never moving, but other times one needs to be prepared to chase them around. During the morning and evening hours, this topwater activity can take place most anywhere, including being found in the flats near Galts Ferry to over 80-100’ of water around Stamp Creek, the Dam, Tanyard and Clark Creeks. Moving North and South your favorite location for the morning and evening bite may be absolutely dancing with activity in as shallow as 3’ of water. Whether you are chasing the topwater bite or not, running downlines and freelines with frisky threadfin shad on a size 1 or 2 octopus hook is a staple technique here on Allatoona. There are times that the fish may respond better to larger bait, and it is not unheard of for us to go through several dozen small to medium gizzards in a few hours of catching. Adjust your hook
sizes accordingly. In conjunction with this, setting out one or several freelines with a small split shot may prove very effective. The artificial bite is heating up and casting smaller umbrella rigs, Flexi spoons, Redfins, assorted topwater lures and even a float and fly can produce the same to better results as live bait on many days. This is the time of year to always have at least one rod ready to cast with a topwater lure or spoon that can be worked across the top when the topwater action starts. We have been implementing braided lines into the lineup for the bait chasing topwater events. Remember to have a Full spool of line on the spinning and casting reels, guys and gals. You will want not only maximum casting distance but also maximum line capacity for what might be a once in a lifetime fish that will try to spool you. Having only 100 yards of line on the spool will give you about 10 seconds to realize that you are under equipped when it really counts. Lake Allatoona offers a great time of fishing for Spotted Bass and Crappie year ‘round also. For the Spotted bass, you will find that they like to chase the bream, shad and alewife as their primary food source year-round and summertime is no exception. The areas where they hold
can be worked with an Alabama rig, Spinner bait and green pumpkin lizard or finesse worm with good results. We have had great success in June already with smaller stick baits. The Crappie are always eating, too! Targeting them can produce wonderful catches from land and boat. Think deeper water access points where brush has been submerged. Jetties are a favorite as are many of the marinas. These summer months are prime time to target the channel, flathead, and blue cats here on Allatoona. We are once again beginning our Catfish Adventures in full force starting this month and with the help of our seasoned catfish pro-staff / consultant Jake Herman. We will be offering nighttime Adventures for these river/reservoir monsters. We have recently added 2 additional boats with experienced striper fisherman and guides to the fleet so that we may better accommodate the increased demand for excellent adventures on Lake Allatoona. We hope this helps on your own adventures. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us directly at 404-9194918 to set up your own personal Adventure for Stripers and Hybrids, Spotted Bass, Crappie or Catfish this summer. Tight lines and God Bless.
Wall of Fame WIN A FREE ANGLER MAGAZINE CAP! One will be given away
Carter Cunningham and Kovi Edgil from Dawson County – 3rd place finish at the State Championship Tournament on Hartwell!!!
each month for the best reader submitted photo to craig@the anglermagazine. com
Landon Glander from Dawsonville with a nice bass caught on Lanier.
Davis Wood with a nice fly caught Hooch carp. 24 ATLANTA
Photos by Eric Crowley, Carters Lake Report
Syncere Jefferson caught a 14 pound Large Bigmouth Bass at lake Acworth in Georgia.
On Top or On Bottom
PHOTO COURTESY OF DAVID JUNQUERA (IG: DAVID_ROCCA_)
are widespread in the Atlantic. They inhabit the western Atlantic from Nova Scotia to Uruguay and throughout the Gulf of Mexico. Juvenile jack crevalle live inshore, where they prefer moving water of upstream currents. They thrive in a wide range of salinity and are often found in brackish waters and sometimes freshwater canals. Adults, on the other hand, usually move out of the estuaries and occupy currents, reefs and other nearshore and offshore structure, generally within the bounds of the continental shelf. Large individuals can absolutely be caught in shallow inshore areas, but deep-water jacks are usually larger. The largest IGFA-recorded jack crevalle weighed 66 pounds, 2 ounces and was caught out of Angola off the western coast of Africa. When food, such as mullet, is abundant, jacks get excited and will chase prey right up on the sand, against seawalls or into a boat. In open water, they herd baitfish into a mass before plowing through it from all sides. I target monster jacks from the beach or an inlet. Fishing with live bait on the bottom is the easiest method. I drop baits in the deep trough, just on the backside of a sandbar. Baits in the 10- to 12-inch range work best for bigger fish, and I prefer using whatever baitfish is around. My favorite for jacks is needlefish. If you’re looking for more of a challenge as well as heart-stopping explosions, try fishing topwater plugs. David Junquera is a dedicated plugchucker from West Palm Beach. Using topwater lures, he has landed 23 jack crevalle heavier than 40 pounds. His heaviest to-date weighed 46.3 pounds. Junquera said time of day, winds, tides, migrations and location of bait are all crucial factors for successfully targeting jacks with topwater plugs. Anglers should get out and explore to determine the best patterns for the areas they fish. At a minimum, Junquera recommends a 6500-size spinning reel with By Emily Rose Hanzlik 50-pound braid and an 80-pound leader. Junquera prefers to throw lures that outh Florida boasts some of the best surf fishing in the world. High are 6.5 to 8 inches long. The faster you work the plug, the more strikes you’ll profile species are regular catches from the beaches of the sunshine state’s earn, he said. A whip retrieve is ideal. southern Atlantic coast. The jack crevalle is one of my favorites. It is a Emily Rose Hanzlik holds 51 IGFA world records in various categories. fierce, stubborn and dynamic gamefish that can be caught bottom fishing with She hails from West Palm Beach, where she has a part time Bowfin live bait or by casting plugs. Whichever method you choose, you’re sure to Guide Service as well as fishing classes for Jr. Anglers. Find her have a battle on your hands once you hook up. on Social Media @emilyhanzlikoutdoors. Shore-based fishing for jack crevalle is not limited to Florida. These fish
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LESTER WINS ELITE TOURNEY WITH SNEAKY PATTERN AT PICKWICK By TAM Staff
ver the years, Brandon Lester has become known as one of the most consistent anglers in tournament bass fishing. Yet, in nine seasons on tour, an Elite Series win has eluded him… until now. The Tennessee pro and former The Angler Magazine columnist won his first Elite Series tournament on Lake Pickwick in early June. He did it in spectacular fashion, weighing a four-day total of 20 bass for 86 pounds, 1 ounce. He beat out the next closest competitor by almost 6 pounds. Pickwick is a long 43,000-acre Tennessee River impoundment that runs north from Alabama into Tennessee along the Alabama/Mississippi border. It is renowned for excellent largemouth and smallmouth bass fishing, and in summer dam-driven river currents combine with the lake’s many offshore humps and ledges to produce some pretty consistent patterns. Threadfin and gizzard shad make up the majority of the forage base, so big flutter spoons, large deep-diving crankbaits and swimbaits are summertime staples. Lester said he knows the Pickwick ledge bite well and that doing something just a little different from everyone else put him on a sneaky pattern with some less-pressured fish. “It was shellbed, and where the current rolled up on that bar, from 8 feet to 4 feet, there was a hard spot,” he said. “The fish were sitting up on that spot. It was small, maybe three times the size of my boat. It was a typical Tennessee River feeding spot, right off the main river. There was a ton of bait in there — gizzard shad, threadfin shad. It was the perfect combination.” Most of Lester’s fish came on a Strike King 4.0 crankbait in chartreuse shad. He also fished a Berkley MaxScent Magnum Hit Worm in plum apple
Neko rigged with a 1/8-ounce nail weight. His sacks topped 20 pounds each day of the tournament, and the morning bite was key for him. A 6-pound, 13-ounce largemouth caught with a football jig anchored his sack on Day 3, and he entered Championship Sunday with a 3.5-pound lead. On Sunday, he poured on the gas, catching 22 pounds, 14 ounces, which earned him the VMC Monster Bag of the tournament. In the morning, he caught 17 pounds within the first half hour of fishing. He culled a few fish and then shut the door on the competition with 6-pounder caught at about 1 p.m. from a main-river ledge that dropped from 14 to 21 feet. He caught that fish on a Scrounger head with a 5-inch Castaic Jerky J, which is a bait that hadn’t produced all week. “This is unreal,” he said. “That Open win, I was super proud of it. It’s a stacked field in the Opens. But an Elite Series win is next level. I guess it’s between an Opens win and a Classic win. That’s the only thing that can top it. These are the greatest bass fishermen in the world.” The $100,000 first-place prize at Pickwick pushed Lester’s career Bassmaster earnings past $1 million. For more information, visit www.bassmaster.com.
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PHOTO COURTESY OF ecreational SHOW ME THE FISH CHARTERS harvest of red snapper in federal waters of the South Atlantic will be two days long this year. The July 8-9 season opens at 12:01 a.m., local time, on July 8, 2022, and closes at 12:01 a.m., local time, on July 10, 2022. The season is for Atlantic waters off North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida. The recreational bag limit is one red snapper per person per day. Captain and crew on for-hire vessels may retain the recreational bag limit. There are no minimum or maximum size limits. Allowable gear includes vertical hook-and-line, including hand line and bandit gear, and spearfishing gear without rebreathers. When fishing for or possessing snapper/grouper species in federal waters of the South Atlantic, the following regulations apply: • Use of a dehooking tool is required. • The use of non-stainless steel hooks is required when using hookand-line gear with natural baits. In waters North of 28-degrees N. latitude, the use of non-offset, non-stainless steel circle hooks is required when fishing for snapper grouper species using hook-and-line gear with natural baits. • A descending device is required on board all vessels and must be readily available for use (attached to at least 16 ounces of weight and at least 60 feet of line).
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t first glance, this fish might look like a deformed dolphinfish (mahi-mahi), but it’s not. It’s a pompano dolphinfish, and it’s a new North Carolina state record and a potential world record. Charles Kenneth Noonan, of Sumter, S.C., caught the 11-pound, 5.4-ounce fish at an abandoned raft, about 42 miles off Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina on June 8. Noonan said he is applying to the IGFA for certification of the fish as the all-tackle world record. The current certified world record pompano dolphinfish weighed 8-pounds, 8-ounces, and was caught off Maryland in 2008. Noonan’s fish measured 30.5 inches fork length and had a 17.25-inch girth. He was fishing with Capt. Tyler Hailey and First Mate Bailey Auten of Salt Fever Guide Service in Ocean Isle Beach. They were aboard the Glory Daze, a 37-foot Freeman Boatworks Catamaran.
CAST, the world’s largest sportfishing trade show, will spread out across the expansive floor of the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla. July 19-22, showcasing the latest innovations in gear, tackle, accessories and apparel. From Super Tuesday on July 19 to the final bell on Friday, July 22, it’s almost a full week of events that have become a cornerstone of the sportfishing industry. From seminars and “learning lunches” to a show floor jam packed with quality exhibitors displaying the products that will drive the industry in the coming year, ICAST is the place to make valuable connections and stay on top of the trends in fishing. Many companies choose to roll out their latest innovations at ICAST each year, and the New Product Showcase is a chance for them to shine a spotlight on their latest and greatest. These new products are the hottest new lures, tackle, clothing, electronics and gear that anglers will be purchasing in the coming year. ICAST is the one-stop shop for retailers and manufacturers to connect in-person and make valuable business relationships. Orlando’s world-class dining, lodging and entertainment will be bustling with the movers-and-shakers and the up-and-comers of the industry, as the sportfishing world convenes to determine what drives the next year in fishing.
For more information North Carolina state records fish, visit ncwildlife.org.
For more information, go to www.ICASTfishing.org.
TEEN ANGLER CATCHES PENDING WORLD RECORD
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SLOW DOWN AND COVER THE ENTIRE WATER COLUMN
’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: wahoo and tuna don’t wear Maui Jims. They use depth to regulate the amount of sunlight they are exposed to. So, while normal trolling at 6 to 8 knots and high-speed trolling at 15 to 20 knots are good things at first light and up to 10:30 or 11 a.m., it’s time to slow down once the sun gets directly overhead. I slow it to a crawl and even fish some baits down deep under a sliding cork on the drift. Spreading baits across the water column is the best way to continue that morning bite when the midday doldrums arrive. Darker colored baits like red-and-black or purple-andblack work well when fish are looking up to feed. The dark silhouettes of darker colored baits show up well against the bright surface. Yet, it doesn’t make sense to continue trying to convince fish to come to the surface to eat a bait 50 or 75 feet above them. When pelagics drop down in the water column, it’s better to put a bait right in the
“strike zone” where they are. There are several baits that provide a natural presentation down deep, but a big
beautiful squid checks all the boxes on this one. Squid rise to the surface at night and descend to the depths as the sun gets higher… just like the fish. This is the natural choice, as you are trying to match the hatch, so to speak. There is nothing in all the seven oceans of the
world that is more common than the squid. Squid could, and should be called the “rice of the oceans.” Frozen squid are readily available for bait, and everything in the ocean eats them. I have the ultimate example of this as one day we were on anchor grouper fishing when a couple of nice dolphin swam under the boat 20 to 30 feet below. I could tell they were nice ones and started throwing out cigar minnows and sardines to get them fired up. They didn’t want any part of the free minnows. So, I pulled out a whole frozen squid and hooked it up on light tackle and threw it out about 50 feet. I just let it start sinking. After all the minnows they let go by and sink out of sight, the biggest one of the pair saw that sinking squid and inhaled it! It just goes to show, they will eat a squid when all else fails. The other good news is a squid is so easy to rig to swim perfectly. Whether you are fishing a natural frozen squid, a live one or an artificial one, just slow down a little to allow the bait to get down to the level where the fish are staged during the middle of the day for some serious bites. See more from Tim Barefoot at barefootctasandtackle.com.
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BANS SPORTFISHING By CAM Staff
olumbia recently banned sportfishing. That should serve as an eye opener even for anglers who have never considered travelling to fish. A potential destination fishery, with rivers famous for exotic species like peacock bass and a coastline that boasts excellent fisheries for roosterfish, tuna, marlin, sailfish and cubera snapper, has decided that catch-and-release fishing is cruelty to animals and has deemed the practice unconstitutional. With an 8-1 vote in favor, the ruling came down from the Columbia Congressional
Court in May with a plan to begin enforcement next year. The court, which is roughly equivalent to the U.S. Supreme Court, decided that while commercial, artisanal and subsistence fishing remain constitutional, catching fish and returning them to the water should be banned. If you catch a fish, you must kill it in order for the catch to be legal. It’s enough to scramble the brains of anglers and conservationists. Anyone who has paid a lick of attention has watched the rise of catch-and-release lead to the rebound of coastal and inland fisheries around the world. At presstime, Columbians were voting to elect their president, with Gustavo Petro, an extreme leftwing candidate by U.S. standards, leading in a runoff election against Rodolfo Hernandez, a businessman and former city mayor running on an anticorruption platform. Columbian attorneys are already contesting the sportfishing ban, but if Petro wins the election there’s a good chance parts of the ruling will be enacted. Columbian lawyer Luis Guillermo Valez Cabrera lambasted the ruling in op-ed for the website La Republica, saying the ruling “may be the stupidest decision a constitutional court has made in recent history. It’s really laughable.” “What the court wants to tell us is that, since we do not know if the fish can suffer, to protect the environment, we must prohibit sportfishing,” Cabrera wrote. “The possible impact on the environment is due to commercial fishing and artisanal fishing, practices that were not constitutionally prohibited. Think of the meshes, the dynamite and the dragnets that kill anything, sentient or not.” While this court’s ruling might be easy to write off as nonsense from a nation more well-known for corruption and cocaine than anything else, it’s a reminder that hunters and anglers must remain vigilant. Germany banned catch-and-release fishing in the 1990s, and the animal rights movement has successfully restricted hunting in many places around the globe, including in Columbia. As with most political debates, money is the key. Politicians who’ve never held a fishing rod need to realize that fish in the water can be far more valuable economically than they are served up at restaurants. Just ask Costa Rica, which boasts of a recreational fishery that generates hundreds of millions of dollars annually. For more information, see the July issue of The Angler Video Magazine at VidMag.com.
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EPA MOVES TO PROTECT THE WORLD’S LARGEST SOCKEYE RUN
ebble Mine, a proposed mining development in the headwaters feeding Bristol Bay, Alaska, is in the news again. The latest development in this two-decade struggle is the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposal to veto the project under authority of the Clean Water Act. It is a next step toward establishing lasting protections for the largest remaining salmon fishery in the world. The Pebble deposit is an enormous accumulation of gold, copper and molybdenum in the headwaters of the Kvichak and Nushgak rivers, which feed Bristol Bay and the Bering Sea about 300 miles southwest of Anchorage. In 2001, the first steps toward mining the deposit began, and ever since it has been a source of controversy as mining rights have changed hands through several multi-national corporations and actual development of a massive
open-pit mine has been tied up in red tape. At stake is one of the few remaining truly pristine areas on the planet. Back in 2005, my wife and I spent a glorious week with Alaska Sportman’s Lodge fishing the Kvichak, Nushgak and several other rivers in the Bristol Bay drainage. It was a once-in-a-lifetime type experience in the most beautiful and unspoiled place I’ve ever been. The fishing was phenomenal and featured 40-plus-pound king salmon, a sockeye salmon run so thick you could have walked across their backs, 30-inch rainbow trout in their native waters, as well as grayling and Dolly Varden in places where anglers share water with brown bears, moose and bald eagles. Getting there is difficult and expensive, but the experience is highly recommended for anyone interested in arguably the best fly fishing destination in the world. But there’s more to it than a recreational fishery so good it will spoil you. Bristol Bay is also the most important salmon fishery on earth. It provides half of the world’s wild sockeye salmon. If your local grocery store carries “wildcaught sockeye salmon,” there’s a good chance it was caught by Bristol Bay’s commercial anglers. According to Bristol Bay Defense Fund, the unspoiled natural resources of the region support a $2.2 billion economy that employs tens of thousands of people in commercial fishing, hunting, sportfishing, outdoor recreation and tourism. Earlier this year, Alaska Department of Fish and Game projected 2022 will be the second record-breaking year in a row for Bristol Bay’s sockeye salmon run. The estimate calls for 73.4 million fish to swim up area rivers to spawn. This annual run supports an amazing ecosystem that has for time immemorial thrived on the transfer of nutrients far inland from the ocean. And while proponents of the Pebble Mine likely speak the truth in their assertion that a mine would bring added wealth and jobs to the region, it would come at the potential expense of a natural phenomenon that perpetually and sustainably supports humans as well as the native flora and fauna. EPA’s public comment period on the proposed veto is open until July 5. To get involved, go to www.epa.gov/bristolbay.
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THE GULF’S PHOTO COURTESY OF KNOCKIN TAIL LURES
hen the surf is on, it can be some of the best and easiest fishing around. For those in the know, we keep a keen eye on the beachfront starting in May and when the conditions are right, we make sure not to miss it! During July, the shrimp migration hits the beachfront and many hungry predators are following on their tails. Trout in the 5- to 8-pound range are not uncommon while trout shorter than 20 inches are found in large schools. There are many productive tactics that can land you a hefty stringer of these speckled beauties from live shrimp and finfish to an array of artificial lures. I prefer the latter, and here are some of my favorites. Topwater! There is no beating a topwater eruption as the sun is peeking over the horizon. I use a wide range of plug sizes and let the size of the seas determine what I throw. I like a larger heavier lure when the surf is rough. When it is flat, a small or large can be effective. Switching out the standard trebles to single circle hooks is a good approach to lessen the chance of injuring yourself. Bouncing around in the surf trying to land a stout surf trout can lead to an accidental hook in you. Singles also save time unhooking, which leads to more time fishing and catching. Slow-sinking hard baits with rattles also make it into my box when heading into the suds. I like to cast these lures out and let them sink for a few seconds. Most of them have a relatively slow sink rate, so I give them a little time to get lower in the water column. A series of fast twitches followed by a pause usually draws their attention. Many solid trout have fallen for the old faithful ¾- to 1-ounce silver spoon. The presentation is as simple as it gets. Cast and reel; that’s it. This inexpensive lure is an attention getter for sure and casts like a bullet. I typically start my day before sunrise. During the course of my wade, I will hit all structure from a foot deep to eight feet deep. I give equal attention to the depth of the guts to the top of the bars. I see a lot of fishermen go straight out to the second or third gut and stay there the entire time. You will miss many opportunities if you choose to do this. The fish are not always in that gut. At times, I only catch them on top of the bar. Start early, broaden your target area, be safe and catch fish! Surf ’s Down!
The Return of a FROM THE BEACH By Capt. Michael Okruhlik
Capt. Michael Okruhlik is the inventor of Knockin Tail Lures, Controlled Descent Lures and the owner of www.MyCoastOutdoors.com.
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ripletail have long been a prized target for anglers in the Southern Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico, and they are gaining popularity farther north. A big 16-pound, 12-ounce tripletail caught from Chesapeake Bay last summer was recently certified as a Virginia state record. A press release from Virginia’s Marine Resources Commission suggested the rise in popularity of sight fishing for cobia is also pushing tripletail into the spotlight. Richard H. Stuart Jr., of King George, Va., and his father, Richard Sr., were sight fishing for cobia in southern Chesapeake Bay last July 23 when they spotted a flash in the water and decided to pursue it. On approach, they identified the fish as a tripletail on the surface. Richard Jr. convinced it to eat on the second cast of a 2-ounce cobia jig. Tripletail are not a new arrival to Chesapeake Bay, but with the rise in the popularity of sight fishing for cobia, encounters are increasing. Along the Atlantic Coast tripletail have been collected as far north as Massachusetts but are rarely found north of the Chesapeake Bay. Their flesh has been compared to other mild-tasting white-fleshed fish like snapper and grouper. The IGFA all-tackle world record for tripletail was caught off Zululand, South Africa in 1989. It weighed 42 pounds, 5 ounces. For more information, go to mrc.virginia.gov. COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM
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