The Angler Magazine | November 2021 | Greater Atlanta Edition

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GREATER ATLANTA AREA EDITION

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BASS IN THE GRASS

WEIRD PIEBALD CATFISH

TAILWATER BROWN TROUT PHOTO CREDIT: TREY JONES COURTESY OF AMY KENNELLY INSTAGRAM: @AMYKENNELLY

VOLUME 26 • ISSUE 320

F R A N C H I S E

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A V A I L A B L E

NOVEMBER 2021

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NYMPHING FOR WILD

Chattahoochee

BROWNS

D

By Nick Carter

rifting between forested banks over bedrock shoals, it’s easy to forget where you are on the Buford Dam tailrace of the Chattahoochee River. This beautiful stretch of water snakes southwest through densely populated suburbs north of Atlanta, yet riverside development is limited. There are long stretches where this river feels like wilderness— where the sounds of the city are replaced by lapping oars and the soft swish of fly rods cutting air. Chris Scalley, owner of River Through Atlanta guide service, manned the

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NOVEMBER 2021

oars. He rowed and coached and again showed us the bounty of the “Hooch.” The Angler Magazine Atlanta co-publisher Bob Rice and I have fished with Scalley several times before. Our late-September trip was another good one. The river’s wild reproducing brown trout were active in cooling weather patterns, and they punctuated a steady catch of sleek and feisty rainbows. The Chattahoochee is one of the best tailwater trout fisheries in the Southeast. It is a success story for fisheries management. Georgia DNR stopped stocking brown trout in the river in 2005 after natural reproduction was discovered. Today, those beautiful butter-bellies still thrive. It’s a unique situation that has made this 30-mile-long stretch a destination fishery. The Hooch has produced a string of state-record browns, including the current nearly 21-pounder. But before you get geared up for 30-inch trout, realize that while monsters do exist in the river’s deep holes and log jams, they are not frequent catches. Over several trips with Scalley, it seems a pretty good day consists of numerous rainbows, a handful of browns in the 10- to 12-inch range and a fish or two in the 14- to 16-inch range. Of course, the opportunity for larger fish is always present. Early in our float, a wading angler hailed us over to show photos of a 20-plus-inch fish he had in his net earlier that day. It was proof the big girls were eating, and it inspired us to fish our triplenymph rigs more diligently. After bringing several 8- to 12-inch rainbow trout to hand, I hooked into our first brown, a gorgeous 15-incher that took the big black stonefly anchoring the rig. We went on to catch several more good browns and a bunch of rainbows. The bows preferred either the small Baetis nymph in the rig or an egg pattern Scalley called a Stormy Daniels. While fishing three nymphs at once might sound like a recipe for disaster, it’s actually quite simple. Under Scalley’s coaching, even beginners catch on to the looping lob it takes to cast such a rig. Once it’s in the water, nymphing with an indicator is a lot like the bobber fishing you did as a kid. You just float down the river and watch for a fish to bite. Those bites should be frequent over the next few months. Water temperatures remain consistent on the tailwater year-round, and fall and winter offer great fishing for wild browns. Contact Chris Scalley and River Through Atlanta through their website riverthroughatlanta.com, or call (770) 650-8630.

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NATIONAL 5


MUD HOLE URTESY OF PHOTO CO

Tailing the Kingfish Migration By CAM Staff

P

PHOTO CO

“K ‘th be lo URTESY O

F ERIC MAR

EST

erhaps more than any other species, king Texas. Some of these fish push farther south mackerel are temperature driven. Kingfish into waters off Mexico’s Yucatan. Regardless of where you fish along prefer a temperature range of about 68 to 73 degrees, which is extremely specific, and it these migrations, kingfish are looking for the same conditions. They can be found on keeps them on the move. That magic temperature window also makes ledges, reefs, oil rigs and wrecks, wherever them easier to find. With today’s technology and there are baitfish. They like nearshore subscription services providing daily updates and offshore structure and color breaks on offshore conditions and currents, identifying where plankton-rich waters exist in the prime hunting grounds for kings can be a matter temperature range they prefer. Trolling or drifting are the most of checking your phone or tablet in the morning effective methods to target kings, and before you head out. It’s no surprise that general seasonal good live bait is the best way to hook migratory patterns take king mackerel to up with big ones. Blue runners, pogies warmer waters as cold fronts of fall arrive. (menhaden), pilchards, threadfin Tagging and genetics studies have shown that herring, any bait with some silver Atlantic king mackerel push south to waters off flash is good. Switching them out and Florida to overwinter. Their numbers this time keeping them lively is important. A of year thin out the farther north you go, yet fall heavy chum slick can do wonders for can also be the best time to catch big isolated bringing them up near the surface. Idle speed is about right for smokers off the coast of the Carolinas. Off South Florida, Atlantic kingfish pulling baits. Stagger depth and intermingle with Gulf kingfish during the winter distance from the boat. Bump the months. This winter mixing zone is primarily throttle into neutral and drift when around the Florida Keys, where the December the sonar shows good bottom or kingfish bite ramps up along with the action for bait. other species like sailfish and wahoo. For more kingfish tips, visit In the Gulf of Mexico, kings spend summer coastalanglermag.com. in the northern Gulf, with high densities tracked to waters off the mouth of the Mississippi River. KINGFISH RIGS In fall, they push south in two separate groups. Some fish move east and then south along the A mainline of 20- to 30-pound monofilament will suffice, but with all the teeth in Florida coast, where anglers intercept them as a king’s mouth, a wire leader is required. Depending on water clarity, go as heavy as the fish will they move down the coastline. allow, but keep it light enough for your bait to appear natural. The other group of Gulf kings moves west A 24-inch, single-strand wire of 40-pound test is a starting point. Go lighter in clear water or with the arrival of cooler weather. They run with smaller baits; go heavier in dirty water or if you’re fishing big baits. down the Texas coast to winter2021 off the south 6 NATIONAL NOVEMBER COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM


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NATIONAL 7


g n i fish

THE EVOLVING ART OF DAYTIME

S

d wor

W

ithin the last decade, swordfishing has steadily evolved from being exclusively a nighttime pursuit into a roundthe-clock affair. The ongoing pioneering of daytime swordfishing techniques leaves room for experimentation to perfect personal preferences within this art. A lot of work goes into going after just a single bite, and many variables are at play fishing in 1,000 to 2,000 feet. Then, factoring in tackle, crew and the inconsistent bite style of these fish, the best way to figure out daytime swordfishing is to go do it. Although you might see little sport in utilizing an electric reel, this type of fishing requires an incredible amount of teamwork. There’s always a job for everyone on the boat. Good communication is essential, not only to land fish, but also just to set the bait correctly. Rigging a bait for swordfish is more satisfying than buying one pre-rigged. It’s a chance to flex your creativity and experiment with different styles and baits. After all, you want more than one bait on-hand during a sword trip. Whether you go with the tried-and-true squid bait or hardier mahi- or bonita-belly strips, the most important factor is whether or not the bait spins. If it spins on the surface, it will spin worse at the bottom, and it must be modified or scrapped. Personally, I like a glow-in-the-dark squid skirt on any bait, not just for added movement and visual enhancement, but the skirt also streamlines the bait and compensates for rigging errors. Once you’ve sewn the bait, slowly troll it behind the boat to check for spinning. If your Franken-bait is straight as an arrow 8 NATIONAL

NOVEMBER 2021

By Capt. Quinlyn Haddon

on the surface, send it on down. Affix breakaway lights along the wind-on leader near the bait. About 100 feet up the leader, use rigging floss to create a loop where the clip for the weight will attach to the main line. The clip is attached to about 30 feet of lighter leader, in the 50-pound range, that is then affixed to a weight. Adjust weight to the current. A reasonable go-to is 10 pounds. Again, ensure you have extra weights on board before investing in a sword trip. The last thing you want is to get revved up over a bite, come up without a weight and have to scavenge a tool box for your heaviest wrenches to toss overboard. There are a few different styles of driving the boat for swordfishing that have proven successful. Regardless of the method you chose, the idea is to keep the weight from free falling and tangling the line. Keep tension on the line while it is going down, take up the slack, and relocate the bottom. Come up off the bottom 100 feet, or so, and continue that process as you drift over varied depths. Keep eyes on the rod tip the entire time, and find the happy medium between not blinking and not losing your mind. Swordfish might swipe the bait before committing to the hook, or they might hammer it. Sometimes they just start swimming to the surface with it. All the different bites look different on the rod tip. You might see the rod bounce with taps, get heavy and not bounce at all, or just completely go slack. Whether the bite is obvious or subtle, setting the hook or knowing when to reel up to check the bait is a matter of experience. Swordfish are counted like tarpon, where the overall bite count is included along with those landed. Don’t even bother fishing for swords if

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you don’t have patience or enough love of fishing to be okay with coming home skunked. It’s all hands on deck boating one of these very aggressive, potentially large fish. If you’re lucky enough to get a swordfish to the boat, you’ll find out very quickly which friends to invite back on the next trip. While the captain remains behind the wheel, ideally someone will be on the rod with another person unclipping the weight and pulling off the breakaway lights as the leader gets to the boat. Once all that gear has been removed, there is the matter of hand-leadering the fish, gaffing it, potential use of tail rope, and heaving that sucker into the boat. There are many ways to go about this, and many ways the fish could react. Swordfish are well known for stamina and can be quite dangerous to green gaff. Be prepared for the fish to get a second wind boatside. This is where communication and teamwork can make or break the experience. Go into a swordfish trip with everything you’ve got, but with the intent to relax and hang out. You might sit there all day without a bite, so bring people you enjoy the company of, and leave the “I’m-so-bored” guy at the dock. He is worse than bananas, anyway. Capt. Quinlyn Haddon fishes with Blue Magic Charters out of Marathon, Fla. Check her out her Instagram @CaptainQuinlyn, her website CaptainQuinlyn.com, or call (504) 920-6342.


NOVEMBER 2021 PUBLISHER: BOB RICE

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LOCAL RIVERS & FLY FISHING NOVEMBER FLY FISHING REPORT Contributed By: Henry Cowen www.henrycowenflyfishing.com started earlier than usual when we had that minor break in temperature in mid-September. November is clearly one of the three best months of the year to fly fish on Lake Lanier. It is one of the few months that you can count on to see significant topwater action. This plays right into the hands of a flyrodder as well as the conventional angler. The only problem you will face during November are the days after the front which can shut the fishery down for a day or two. Last November we had some epic topwater fishing, and I fully expect the same to happen again this year. Big schools of fish can be found crashing the surface eating young-of-the-year threadfin shad. The big question is where to look. As the water temperature cools down out of the low seventies in October to the mid-sixty

I am writing this report here in mid-October and it’s time to prognosticate my November fishing. This should be fairly easy! September had an afternoon bite with fish being in shallow water and open water for the ENTIRE MONTH. It was terrific! Then October hit and the fishing went a little sideways. We are still waiting for the rebound which will occur once the water temps drop into the low 70’s. The lake is now 76 degrees and the fish are just starting to feel peppy. We are just now seeing a fish on top and lots of fish around the humps. This is actually a little early, but I am not complaining. That means November should be fantastic as long as the weather holds up. Most of the time, we are fishing the south end of the lake until the water cools and turnover is finished. It appears like turnover

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degree and under for November, the striped bass start schooling all over the south end of the lake. There might even be fish seen further north, but your best bet will be on the south end to start. While fish can be seen feeding on the surface at any time of the day, it is a good bet that the first 2-3 hours after first light as well as the last 3 hours before sunset will be you most opportunistic times. I think I may actually prefer afternoons to mornings! Fish may still be feeding on 2-4” long blueback herring, but you can count on the fish gorging on 1-2” long threadfin shad. It is the small threadfin shad that have fly anglers excited about November fishing. This is why fly anglers have a specific edge in hooking fish at this time of year. Simply put, they match the hatch better than conventional anglers. A conventional angler will need to fish a small white Fluke, a small Sebile or a spy bait. Or better yet, a casting bubble with a fly will get you a few extra bites. Overcast days will see more epic surface feeding than sunny days. If you are out when the Corp of Engineers are generating water from a dam, you’ll hit the jackpot. Best bet for fly fishers will be to carry two outfits rigged on the boat. First, an intermediate line with a small shad fly tied on will work perfectly for surface feeding stripers. You can throw a topwater fly, but you will not get nearly the number of bites as a subsurface fly. An alternative is to attach a Wiggle Minnow to the end of the tippet. If fishing a Wiggle Minnow, it is important to keep a continuous retrieve in motion. Stick the fly rod under your arm and use a

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hand over hand retrieve. For my second rod, I would go with a fast sinking line and a small Somethin’ Else fly attached to the end of it. The Somethin’ Else matches the small threadfin shad perfectly and will get you a few extra bites that other flies will not. My second choice would be a small grey over white Clouser minnow. Conventional anglers should also rig up a small ¼ oz. buck tail. Another option is to fish a small crocodile spoon. Matching the hatch is critical to getting bites when these fish are eating little itty bitty baits. If the fish are on herring, then a swim bait is your best choice. A Zara Spook or pencil popper might work just fine too earlier in the month. The fish will eventually migrate to the north end of the lake by month’s end. Burning gas is the ticket to finding fish. Try to plan your trips on or around both the new and full moon as this moon phase makes the topwater bite more epic. If October is any indication of how November is going to fish, then anglers need to be prepared for some spectacular fishing. As a reminder, I am still guiding but on a limited basis through COVID. I am only taking anglers who are fully vaccinated in the boat for this season. We are now booking January which is possibly one of the two best months of the year. One more thing: GO DAWGS! To book a trip please contact us through our website www.henrycowenflyfishing.com and be aware that my book “Fly Fishing for Freshwater Stripers” is available in fly shops and through Amazon, Books-A-Million and Barnes & Noble.


NG

LOCAL RIVERS & FLY FISHING CHATTOOGA RIVER

November brings the beginning of the holiday season, and for the rivers around the Chattooga River Fly Shop that holiday season started with the helicopter stocking of both the Chauga and Chattooga. Many great thanks to the awesome job from the great folks at the Walhalla State Fish Hatchery for the incredible quality of fish which they have raised for everyone to enjoy. Many thanks also goes to the folks at the US Forestry Dept. here for their help with this tremendous project. November 1 also starts the Delayed Harvest time of year as well. On both the rivers, there is a section which is catch and release from November 1st through May 14th. Regulations in these areas are single hook and artificial only. To clarify what “artificial” means, here is the direct information from the SCDNR hunting and fishing guide on page 33 for this year. “Artificial lure means manufactured or handmade flies, spinners, plugs, spoons, and reproductions of live animals, which are made completely of natural or colored wood, cork, feathers, hair, rubber, metal, plastic, tinsel, Styrofoam, sponge, or string, or any combination of these materials in imitation of or as substitute for natural bait. Lures or fish eggs enhanced with scents or salts are not artificial lures. Artificially produced organic baits are not artificial baits”. Single hook is also a restriction in these “Delayed Harvest” waters as well. Now that the fish have flown, what, where, when to fish is the next discussion. When is truly quite

simple: anytime for the first few weeks. Where is also as easy: most anywhere throughout the Delayed Harvest sections of the river. River access points are the Hwy. 28 Bridge for the Chattooga, and Cassidy Bridge and Hell Hole access points on the Chauga. The what to fish brings everything from the novice to the expert’s fly box of bright, flashy, leggy, wiggly, buggy, or every combination thereof. There is absolutely no doubt that as the fish are growing at the fish hatchery, they are pellet fed for the general majority of their life. With that being said, the fish do not realize that dinner is not coming anymore, so they eat foolish things. Bug life has not registered as part of their diet in the first week or more. Whether it is a nymph, streamer or wet fly type pattern, any combination of these will be beneficial for your trip to the river. Leader and tippet selection is quite simple. Just after these fish have been put into the waters, heavier is better. These fish are not shy about heavier leader and tippet size. Only after some time in the waters do you have to downsize. If you are not sure what size or length to use, we can help you out with your selection. We hope to see everyone out on the rivers, and we are open Tuesday through Saturday 7:30am - 4pm and on Sundays 7:30am - 2pm. We have a large assortment of Christmas ideas including gift certificates for guided trips, or at the Fly Shop, preset flies in fly boxes, fly tying materials, rods, reels, waders and boots, local artisan’s works, and we can ship all items daily. Let us know how we can help you with a guided trip, holiday gift ideas, or information. Be sure to enjoy a great day at the rivers, and let’s remember to “Leave No Trace”.

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LOCAL RIVERS & FLY FISHING FALL FISHING FOR TROUT

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With the beauty of October slowing moving out of the way, November is here. This month has many changes for us. We move from warmth to much cooler temperatures. Many insects start becoming dormant. Most trees will be without leaves. Much of this may seem to be negative, but in reality, browns are spawning, cooler temperatures bring on wintertime feeding habits for trout, more rain gives way to higher water levels, the crowds on most streams will be disappearing and the opening of our Delayed Harvest begins. These are the times when many anglers can get out on certain streams and really enjoy the solitude of the fall trout season. Georgia’s Delayed Harvest (DH) season is finally here! The DH season begins November 1st, and continues through May 14th. The DH sections of these waters are marked with signage. Anglers fishing DH waters must release all trout immediately, use and possess only artificial lures with one single hook per lure. *See the Georgia Fishing Regulation for complete information about these waters and their rules. Georgia has five waters listed in their DH program. They are Amicalola Creek, Chattahoochee River, Chattooga River, Smith Creek and the Toccoa River. These waters are all located across North Georgia and one is sure to be close to you. They are kept stocked with trout throughout the DH season. There is no denying that freshly stocked trout will devour about anything, especially bright, flashy colored flies. A simple setup to search the water is with a standard dry/nymph rig. Tie a 12” to 24” piece of tippet off the bend of the dry fly hook and then place a nymph at the end. This rig allows you to use the dry as a surface fly as well as an indicator. The nymph, being subsurface, is where trout feed about ninety percent of the time. The spawning browns can be fun this time of year, but caution is warranted to stay off of their redd. You can usually identify a redd

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where a large circle of clean looking gravel is left from the sweeping tails of the browns. This is where her eggs are laid. You may even see the small hatch of fry before they leave the redd. If you want to try fly fishing for the first time or want the watchful eye of an instructor to help improve your casting, we have several guides that teach the “Art of Fly Fishing”, entomology, stream reading, etc. We are a full-time fly-fishing guide service with professional guides from across North Georgia. So, what are you waiting for, give us a call. We’ll hook you up! Reel Em In Guide Service is the only Orvis Endorsed Fly Fishing Guide Service in North Georgia’s Historic High-Country region. They have been offering their services to fly anglers since 2001. They have permits to guide in North Georgia and North Carolina, offer over 6 miles of private trophy waters across Georgia, and operate drift boat trips on the Toccoa River in GA and the Tuckasegee River in NC.


LOCAL RIVERS & FLY FISHING

NG SHOP TALK: LEADER AND TIPPET By Jacob Milholland, Store Manager Cohutta Fishing Company (706) 946-3044 It’s Delayed Harvest season, which also means its time to restock your fishing vest! I talk to anglers on a daily basis about the intricacies of gearing up for a day on the water, and often find that many anglers have not been educated properly in the jargon used to describe basics. Leader and tippet are a prime example. When should one use fluorocarbon vs nylon, or what pound test leader should I use? What is 4X? Leader and tippet describes two different components to a system that work together to allow us to deliver our flies to the fish as well as create a tie-on point to our flies (you should never attach a fly directly to the fly line or tie knots in a fly line). Leaders are tapered from butt to tip, and the taper allows our near-weightless flies to turn over.

Since our leaders are tapered, we would prematurely ruin the leader’s taper if we were to tie our flies directly. Think of tippet as additional leader material. I can add tippet to the end of the leader with a connecting knot in order to create a termination section to tie the fly without cutting back into the leader. Tippet is also used to create a tandem fly rig (such as the drydropper), to lengthen our leaders or to downsize our tippet for lineshy fish. Monofilament and fluorocarbon are the materials that leader and tippet are made from. To keep things simple, monofilament floats and fluorocarbon sinks. I use monofilament for my dry flies, and I use fluorocarbon for all of my subsurface flies. Fluorocarbon also offers better abrasion resistance. With fly rods, we use deli-

cate rods to protect very light line, so I typically ignore the breaking strength unless I know that I will be around larger than average fish. If you look at packaging, you’ll also notice leader and tippet use the “x” system in addition to length and a breaking strength. This is a standardized measurement of line diameter. When looking at the “x,” the larger the number, the smaller the diameter. For example, 4X is larger than 5X. I almost always start with 4X for trout applications and will adapt to the conditions. Feel free to call us at the shop

for a fishing report or come by and see us at the shop if you have questions! We are a full service fly shop and guide service with an inventory of guide-tested gear, located in the heart of downtown Blue Ridge, Georgia.

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LOCAL RIVERS & FLY FISHING THE CASTING CORNER

CAUTION-RETIREMENT MAY CAUSE BIG LOOPS Contributed By: Rene J. Hesse Certified Casting InstructorFederation of Fly Fishers & Atlanta Fly Fishing and Camping Meetup Organizer Painting, hammering fences, pressure washing, trimming hedges and taking care of my wife are my new main focus in life now that I have retired, oh, and fly fishing. As a carryover from my working days, I make a list for each day’s tasks. Then I check the lunar chart for the best fishing times, and try to maximize my day. When the best fishing time is in the early morning, my fly casting loops seem to be better than later in the day. As a matter of fact, they are a lot better. It took a few weeks of retirement to figure out what was causing my loops to be open and be poorly shaped. Can you guess what it was? Most of my fishing is sitting in a canoe and using a 7 or 8 wt. rod. Would you agree with me that the fewer the ripples we send out while making a cast, the better our chanc-

es of catching a fish? With that in mind, the cast is done with nothing but the arm and maybe a slight twist of the upper torso. Don’t rock back and forth or waves are sent out. Using a haul really helps too. With that combination, why would my loops be worse later in the day than in the beginning? Back when I was working, I did office work behind a desk, typing and writing. Now that I have retired, all of those, ‘I will fix that someday’, things are getting done, and all of it requires a lot of forearm and wrist use. At the office I may get writer’s cramp. At the house, my whole hand and forearm will cramp up from doing the chores mentioned earlier. With that being said, if I do my chores before I go fishing, it is painful to make a proper lift, back cast and stop when

casting. My forearm is just too sore. I have used a compression band on my forearm, and it seems to change the focus point of the tension, and that helps. I have had to make a concerted effort to watch my back cast because my lack of strength going back will send the rod tip in a downward direction. Then to make the forward cast, it has to come all the way over like a rainbow. That

is where the bad loop is forming. Watching the back cast and making sure it is going upward, letting the rod do more of the work and hauling seem to be the trick to fixing my poor loops. I have considered one other option to get my loops back in shape and that was going back to work. Guess which option I am choosing. Go fish!

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LOCAL RIVERS & FLY FISHING OCONEE ON THE FLY-

STAYING SAFE IN RESTRICTED VISIBILITY/LAKE OCONEE NOVEMBER FORECAST

Contributed By Capt. Wayne Moore USCG www.oconeeonthefly.com I had a trip booked recently and I encountered the Lake Oconee fog. In retrospect, I should have postponed the trip, and I will the next time. Even when heavy fog is not in the forecast, I have seen it come in suddenly and restrict visibility to the point it is unsafe. The COLREGs are, “The International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea and set out, among other things, the “rules of the road” or navigation rules to be followed by ships and other vessels at sea to prevent collisions between two or more vessels.” It’s a good idea to become familiar these regulations. Here is a link: https://www.navcen. uscg.gov/ Here is the rule about Sound Signals in Restricted Visibility. This could save your life, not to mention that of others. Rule 35 - Sound Signals in Restricted Visibility: In or near an area of restricted visibility, whether by day or night the signals prescribed in this Rule shall be used as follows: (a) A power-driven vessel making way through the water shall sound at intervals of not more than 2 minutes one prolonged blast. You can believe that I was sounding following this rule when the fog came in! November Forecast Hybrids/ Stripers: Every year the timing of the fall bite seems to change. Last year, October was great. This year, as of this writing, it has been slow. The main reason for this is we got over 7 inches of rain recently. It’s often said that it takes at least 3 days after a heavy rain for the bite to pick up. Also, the water temperature is

78 degrees. The best range for stripers is between 55 and 75 degrees. Fly fishing: Go to the dam at first light, and if they are pumping water up from Sinclair, there will be a fantastic topwater bite. As we head toward Thanksgiving, the gulls will show up, and on an overcast day, fish can be taken by carefully approaching the diving birds and making long casts with a Somethin Else fly. Spin Fishing: Long lining a bass minnow on 12-pound test with a swivel, #4 sinker, and #4 circle hook is my go-to technique this time of year. However, this is a popular way to fish, and many times the local shops that sell bait will be out. Be prepared to throw a cast net for shad or use artificials including spoons, Sassy Shads, and Shad Raps in size 7. Sugar Creek Marina has everything you will need. November Forecast Crappie: As I mentioned last month, the long line trolling bite will begin. Troll jigs at .9 mph to 1 mph over submerged timber and load the boat. Mid-lake around Lick Creek is a great place to start. Final Words: Book your trip well in advance. All the guides here are extremely busy this time of year. If you want to fish this fall bite, please call 404-317-9556 or email me at wmoore1700@outlook.com or and lock in your dates. P.S. The pictures are of the infamous Lake Oconee fog and some Atlanta Falcons cheerleaders last November. They knew how to fish and were delightful company!

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 / wmoore1700@outlook.com 8 ATLANTA

NOVEMBER 2021

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LOCAL RIVERS & FLY FISHING

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NOVEMBER FLY FISHING

Contributed by David Hulsey International Federation of Fly Fishers Master Certified Casting Instructor http://www.hulseyflyfishing.com 770-639-4001

November is one of our favorite times to be on the trout streams of North Georgia and Western North Carolina. By mid-month, most of the fallen leaves of late have settled to the bottom of the river and no longer being hooked every cast to spoil your drift. Fairly stable weather with nice days and chilly nights keep the trout active pretty much all day long. The delayed harvest streams are in full swing with great numbers of fish being stocked and no longer being plucked out the same day letting everyone have a shot at catching a fish or two. My favorite part is the lack of snakes and yellow jackets which lets my mind be free of that little detail. Brown and brook trout usually spawn this month, so be alert where you put your feet and try to avoid stepping on a redd. Fragility is the name of the game for our Southern trout populations. It’s tough just to get them through our steamy hot summers much less sticking a boot

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in a smattering of eggs. Traffic from folks fun floating the rivers are gone and only guide boats and hardcore fisher folks are usually out and about. This usually means nice experiences with people all day. Great streams to fish include the Toccoa River near Blue Ridge, Georgia, Fires Creek near Hayesville, North Carolina and Big Snowbird near Robbinsville, North Carolina. All three are delayed harvest streams and fish abound in November on these waters providing a great place to get someone hooked on fly fishing or spend a sunny day wrestling with a bunch of fish. Fly patterns need not be complicated. Traditional nymphs such as a Pheasant Tail, Hare’s Ear, and Prince Nymphs will provide enough action to keep you amused from daylight until dark. Olive, brown and black Wooly Buggers normally will cover any streamer eaters out there. Dries such as Blue Winged Olives, Para-

chute Adams and maybe a Griffiths Gnat pretty much cover the rare fish that’s looking up at this time of year. Winter is just around the corner, so it’s a great time to book your cold

NOVEMBER 19TH BEAVER MOON

weather outings with us. Pressure on the fish will be at its lowest, and they aren’t as picky as they are during the warm parts of the year. Hope to see you on the river!

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LOCAL RIVERS & FLY FISHING

With the warmer weather and

FLYING FISH

Contributed By: Jeff Durniak www.unicoioutfitters.com Unicoi Outfitters, Orvis 2018 Fly Shop of the Year It’s early November and you’re balancing waist-deep in a quiet Chattooga River pool. Your only accomplices are your fly rod, a chirping otter, and your high hopes for some fall trout. Suddenly your solitude is broken by a distant thumping. Then it draws closer. Grouse? Bigfoot? Other infamous river monsters? You think you might have even heard a banjo! Time to duck and cover, or run like a deer? You pause. Suddenly, a U.S. Forest Service helicopter easily clears the treeline. A bright orange firefighting bucket dangles 100 feet below it, but you see and smell no smoke. Where’s the fire? The copter dips between ridgetops, into the river gorge, and slowly descends upon your pool until the bucket is just a few feet above the water surface. Whoosh! Its load empties through the bottom release and splashes into the crystal clear water. The copter lifts and vanishes, your heart rate drops, and your solitude is finally restored. Within the hour your trouting success rate skyrockets! You’ve just experienced the annual copter stocking of the Chattooga River backcountry. This remote, 15-mile river reach, from Burrells Ford down to Reed Creek, is often too hot in summer to allow year-round trout survival, but it’s great trout habitat during the other three-quarters of the year! A grand cooperative called the Chattooga River Fisheries Coalition restores that reach to a prime trouting destination each fall, when roughly 10-20 copters drop

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and scatter bows, browns and even a few brookies over those 15 miles of hike-in waters. The co-op, launched in the 1980’s, includes the partners of a) the U.S. Forest Service in GA and SC; b) both state wildlife agencies and their hatchery staffs; and c) both state councils of Trout Unlimited, who help pay for the copter time. The co-op’s donated time, trout, and funds make this annual fisheries management program a lasting success story. https://rabuntu.org/about/workprojects/the-story-of-the-chattooga-coalition/ So take a friend (for safety and fish photos), hike into this remote wild and scenic river, and have fun this fall, winter, and especially next spring when the aquatic insects hatch and the trout rise. Then give thanks to the Chattooga Fisheries Coalition, where federal, state, and citizen partners work together for the benefit of all river anglers. If you’re lucky enough to hear some thumping coming over the ridgetop, know that it’s probably not Bigfoot, but Big-Bucket with some flying fish! Join a TU chapter near you and be part of the fun and success of interagency partnerships like the Chattooga Fisheries Coalition. Good luck with your fall “fly” fishing!

THE GUIDE’S ANGLE FALL FLY FISHING ON THE RIVER Contributed By: Chris Scalley River Through Atlanta Guide Service Did you know our strain of brown trout are endemic to Northern Europe from regions such as Germany, England and Scotland? This is an all American species now as here in the US and in Georgia in particular. Salmotrutta was imported by the European settlers throughout North America well over a century ago with the creation of State and Federal trout hatcheries to sustain a thriving recreational sport fishery. As a young angler growing up in Georgia fishing trout waters, I always heard the term “German brown trout” and later from scientist friends “Loch Leven browns from Scotland” or “British Derbyshire” and “Bavarian browns”. I guess, like most Americans, our ancestry tends to come from these distant places in the world, and like the brown trout, we have managed to adapt and thrive in our environment. Today the brown trout origin usually refers to the Wallhala trout hatchery in South Carolina where many of Southern browns trace their heritage. The Chattahoochee has been managed since the 1960’s as a trout fishery below Buford Dam for 48 miles downstream to Standing Peachtree Creek. From 1960 to 2005, brown trout were stocked routinely, but in 2005 DNR determined that the salmo trutta was adapted so well that they were self-sustaining,

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or in other words, they were successfully spawning in the riverbed gravel habitat. So for these past 16 years, we have been catching nothing but 100% wild browns! It’s pretty awesome to think of how adaptable the white settlers and brown trout were in this setting and on this wonderful river we call the Chattahoochee, which in Cherokee translates to “River of Painted Rocks”.


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LOCAL LAKES AND FORECAST CLOUD FISHING Contributed By: Noey Vinyard

HOOK LINE AND SINKER: CATCH THEIR ATTENTION EARLY

If you’ve read any of my previous articles, you know how much fun families can have together fishing. You know that I’m very big on teaching kids not only how to fish, but teaching them to respect the outdoors and Mother Nature. Children will eventually develop their own view of Mother Nature and what aspects they appreciate most. Getting them started fishing is a good way to begin, but unfortunately, just taking them fishing is not enough to spark their interest. You have to catch fish. Later in their life the actual catching of fish may not be that important, but to get them started you have to catch fish. I believe it must be documented that a five-year-old with a fishing rod that is not catching fish has the attention span of 23.5 seconds. Trust me on this. When the interest in fishing is gone, that’s when little fingers start exploring all the colorful things in the tackle box when you are not looking, usually with bad results, as most of the colorful things in the tackle box have very sharp hooks. When you take kids of different ages fishing, their attention span varies. So to avoid juggling fishing with the kids that are still interested in chasing the ones that aren’t, simply catch fish. I can think of no better candidate for this than the sunfish, a.k.a. bream. Shellcracker and bluegill are just a few of the names for the same fish. These fish can be found in literally every body of water and have voracious appetites. They will bite any time of day and almost any kind of weather and are extremely abundant. There also very durable which is good since kids seems to think that it’s necessary for the fish to flop around on the ground a little

bit before being released. They will take almost any kind of bait to include crickets, worms, dough balls and a variety of artificial baits. I have even caught them on bits of chewing gum and tinfoil. To top it off, they make excellent eating, battered and pan fried in peanut oil, when you catch them big enough (appx 8-10 inches.) You can catch these fish right from the bank using any type of light tackle or even a cane pole if you prefer. So give the reliable old sunfish a try. You will find him just as willing to bite as you are to catch them. But best of all, when your kids start catching them, they will think you are the greatest, and in today’s world, anything you can do to bring your kids closer to you is a good thing. I don’t know about you, but I like the way I feel inside when one of my kids looks at me in awe when I show them the little fishing tricks I’ve picked up throughout my life. I like the way that they ask me questions and are ready to believe any answer I give, because they trust me, and the way that they are not disappointed when I don’t know. So, take your kids fishing and you might just catch your child’s imagination as well as their trust. Once you’ve done that, all things are possible. Good luck and see you next month, Blue Ridge.

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FALL RIVER FISHING By James K. Pressley jameskpressley@gmail.com One of the great overlooked opportunities for the outdoors in this state is river fishing. Ask most Georgians about river fishing and we will talk about the mountains and trout. That misses the mark these days. Especially in our corner. We have the Ocmulgee, the Oconee, the Apalachee, the South River, the Chattahoochee, Savannah River, all within an hour or 2 at most. These rivers are filled with awesome fish! In the fall as the weather cools, the river fishing becomes a lot of fun. The difference in river fishing and lake fishing boils down to the fish. These fish are going to be in specific locations and current breaks. Ambush points in the river are things such as big rocks, a gravel bar that drops off sharply at the tip, a big hole rimmed with rocks or a tree in the river. Things like that provide a current break so a fish can wait and not spend as much energy to feed. For those of you who have trout fished, think about where you look for brown trout and you will find bass. Next is the how. Not many of these places are going to hold your 21’ Ranger bass boat or the bay boats so many of us run these days. This is a place for a canoe, kayak, drift boat, raft, or even to wade. A boat has got to be able to be drug over bars, pushed under trees and float in inches. You don’t need 200 tackle boxes or a 100 quart Yeti to do this. You need 3-4 Plano boxes and a selection of plastics to mimic crawfish, baitfish, and worms, of course. Grab 2-3 rods that you can throw multiple styles of bait on. I recommend a spinning rod be one for the lighter baits. Pack light and carefully because at some point in the day YOU WILL BE DRAGGING THAT WEIGHT! In the Chattahoochee and its tributaries, you will find our state fish, the shoal bass. Probably the most famous part of its territory is the Flint River. It’s got lots more than catfish. It’s got good shoal bass fishing. Your traditional baits will

work just fine for shoalies. However, the cool thing about river fishing is the fish are aggressive. They must chase down their prey in current and don’t have a lot of time to think about it. They just react. This makes topwater an incredible bait. Spooks, High Rollers, frogs, toads, and poppers are all good choices and will catch big fish. Did you know there was a smallmouth fishery within an hour and a half of where we now sit? The Savannah River above Augusta has a fishable population of smallies. If you want to drive 2 hours, you can get to a river in SC where you have a legitimate chance of catching a 5-pound smallmouth. Topwaters work for these fish as well, but I have caught far more on lipless cranks, flukes, and shaky head style jigs rigged with 4” worms and Senkos than anything else. Here in the Lake Country, we have the Apalachee River and the Oconee River. The App has some very good redeye bass fishing if you get around or above the HWY 441 bridge. These are small fish though, so fly fishing is a great option or running tiny cranks and things like Ned Rigs. The Oconee has great striper fishing too during the summer. You will need to be above the Hwy 15 bridge though at the Iron Horse to start to get into those.

Ask most Georgians about river fishing and we will talk about the mountains and trout. That misses the mark these days. COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

NOVEMBER 2021

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LOCAL LAKES AND FORECAST LAKE MARTIN Provided By: David Hare Alex City Guide Service 256-401-3089 With water temps cooling down and water levels on a downward trend, Lake Martin is the place to be for all types of fish. November is awesome here for crappie, bass, and no doubt for stripers. The stripers will be settled in for the winter and not be as hard to stay on top of. There are several good things about November, but one of my favorite things is that the 8-15 pound stripers will be feeding hot and heavy. In November, I like live baiting deep (40ft) for them, but not only live baiting, but I do a lot of light tackle spinning rod fishing for them also. I use a lot hair jigs on spinning rods with 12-pound test line to get the most bites. Also in November, you can find stripers stacked in the

main body of the lake or even in the deeper creek channels. Toward the end of this month, start looking for the gulls to start coming in, and you can follow the gulls to the baitfish which in return will help you get in the stripers. Some anglers like to go up in the river in November, but you really have to be careful for all the hazards upriver, so if you’re not familiar with upriver winter conditions, I highly recommend staying down on the lake for safety reasons. Don’t let November slip by without spending some days on the water here. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at the fish you catch while enjoying some great weather. If you’d like to book a November trip or even just buy an early Christmas gift, give me a call, or better yet, text me at 256-4013089. Tight lines.

LAKE BLUE RIDGE Forecast By: Eric Crowley Lake & Stream Guide Service (706) 669-4973

lakeandstreamguideservice@gmail.com

Water temperature: 68 degrees, lake level: winter pool (-12 feet), clarity: 12 feet. November is when I focus on two species here: yellow perch and walleye. Luckily, they are usually found near each other. Grass beds, creek channels, and steep drop offs are the target areas. This is where quality electronics come into play. Look for large amounts of life such as bait, fish, and bigger fish all mixed together. There are typically multiple predators feeding on baitfish. The schools will be moving as the bait balls are moved around by the feeding fish below, so be prepared to find and follow them. The target depth has been 26 to 42 feet. Live minnows, jigs, spoons and just about anything that will be considered food will get bit when they are actively feeding. Also, if you’re not getting bit, stick with it 12 ATLANTA

NOVEMBER 2021

IT’S ALL ABOUT THAT FISH OR IS IT? by Wayne Wooten

I‘ve been asked “is it just about catching fish? Wouldn’t it be easier to go to the grocery store and just buy some?” I began to ponder these questions, and here is what I came up with. I started fishing when I was 6 or so. My grandfather (Pop) Wooten had purchased 12 acres out in the country with a big creek running through it. Pop and my dad would take me with them to work on the property. I was too young to help, so to keep me occupied, Pop bought me a cane pole, a tub of red wigglers and made some fishing spots on the creek bank. They were able to keep an eye on me and interact while they worked, and it gave me something to do. I fished there for years and later taught my sister how to fish there too! So fishing was my first babysitter! When I was about 10, Pop bought a cabin on the Yellow River/Lake Jackson. I was now an adventurer because a wooden flat bottom boat with a 9.5 HP Johnson came with the deal! By now, I was taking friends to the lake with me for the weekend, and we would cruise the willows setting limb lines and using our Johnson Centuries and Zebcos to cast to cover. It was sardines, crackers and cokes for lunch, and we talked about everything under the sun.

as the fish turn off and on as the day goes on. I try to stay with a school for about 30 minutes before finding another one. You will catch smaller fish of both species fishing small baits, but the bigger fish will come with persistence. I like a medium action rod and 6-pound fluorocarbon leader with 10-pound braid as you can feel the perch bite but still be able to land the walleye. WWW.FACEBOOK.COM/THEANGLERMAGAZINEATLANTA/

We didn’t have a care in the world, just two guys living the life! So fishing is my first social network! When we were not at Lake Jackson, my friends and I would get our parents to take us or walk to local pay lakes. One of those friends was Larry Barnes. I was the first guy in our group to get a driving license, so we would load up my 59 Ford and hit Lake Jackson on our own, and we did it often! It was our first hangout and our parents approved too. After graduation, life happened, so Larry and I didn’t see each other for about 40 years. We reconnected in 2010, and what do think the first thing we asked each other was? Have you been fishing? Well, it only took a month or so and we were back at it again until this day, like we never missed a beat. I’ve fished all these years and what started as something to keep me occupied, still is. What became my first social network, still is. What was a series of adventures, still is. I have barely mentioned catching fish, which we do, and like doing it! I will have to say yes, it is all about that fish. Without that fish, we wouldn’t have a reason to go. And yes, buying fish would be easier, but then you couldn’t have these wonderful experiences.


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INTRODUCING THE NEW FIBERGLASS CATTOON Many years ago, the founder of Popp Craft Boats had the idea of creating a small, simple fishing boat for the retired gentleman. It was quite simple. Bob realized that there was a big hole in the boating industry for a small, simple fiberglass fishing boat that was simple to load, easy to store, easy to maintain, and use a smaller motor, but still be safe and perform well on a lake. Bob Popp started in the boating and fishing industry in the late 70s, so he understood what a retired fisherman was looking for but was unable to obtain. With this in mind, the Cattoon was designed as a hybrid between a catamaran and a pontoon boat. It is a one piece fiberglass construction, so it is very strong and quiet to produce a soft ride. It incorporates a massive front fishing deck that flows to the family lounge area. It’s definitely not a high-performance speedboat, however, someone who is used to the performance of a fiberglass hull will appreciate the way it cuts through the water and turns. The

twin hulls cut through other boats wakes with ease and comfort. Getting back to the original idea, the 14’ Cattoon has a small trailer so it’s easy to store, can be towed with a small SUV and has a small motor so it is more economical on gas and it is easy to load and unload at the boat ramps for a single person. Popp Craft Boats has been building small custom boats in the North Georgia Mountains for several years. Now, with the addition of the new innovative Cattoon, they have shifted focus from the BayRay, to the production of the 14’ and the new 17’ Cattoon that is undergoing final testing, and are now accepting preorders. The 17’ Cattoon prototype outperformed its predecessor, as expected, and offers more versatility in layouts, including a bigger center console. The 17’prototype was tested with a 50HP. She jumped up on plane in under 3 seconds and reached 26 mph with ease, but should be eye opening with a 75HP.

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LOCAL LAKES AND FORECAST STAY FLEXIBLE IN NOVEMBER ON LANIER Contributed By: Jim “Jimbo” Mathley www.jimboonlanier.com

Many anglers make the common mistake of underestimating the viability of late fall and winter fishing. While the outside elements are not always favorable, the months of November and December on Lake Lanier can offer anglers some of the best fishing of the year. Ditch fishing is often the approach upon which I focus, yet there are many options in a transitional month like November, so stay flexible! As you pursue different patterns this month, stay flexible as weather fronts will affect the location and mood of the catchable fish. Don’t forget to look shallow around points and humps both on the main lake and in the major creeks in addition to the smaller creek runs. A Georgia Blade spinnerbait on windy days can be incredible this time of year fished shallow on points, as can be a large crankbait like a Spro Little John DD. The Spro Rock Crawler is a great choice for a smaller crankbait. Also,

a big swimbait like the Sweet Bait Sweet Herring can be an excellent choice for a big catch. As we proceed with this article, I will address more of how to approach once the water gets around 60 degrees, which may or may not happen in November this year. Shallow Ditches: Often times, if you find a shallow ditch (15 feet or less) in a creek, you will find baitfish present in and around this ditch. Bass will show up and feed in these areas, particularly in low-light conditions, even in the dead of winter. Slow rolling a GA Blade Shad Spin or slow cranking a crankbait in these areas at daylight is a great way to take some huge spots throughout the late fall and winter. Present a SPRO jerkbait over these same areas for bites as well. Cast your jerkbait long distances over the ditch and work the bait back to the boat with a jerk, jerk, pause retrieve. Include long pauses of up to

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10 seconds between jerks. Also, ensure that you jerk the bait on slack line to improve the erratic action of the bait, which will trigger more strikes. The key to this technique is patience. Long pauses can be important as well, so stay patient. Deep Ditches: Many of the same definitions and techniques will still apply to deeper ditches, but there are some key differences. When you search for these deeper ditches (2550 feet deep), start by following the shallow ditches out to deeper water. Once you have moved to the deeper part of the ditch, use your Lowrance electronics to look for cover within or around the ditch that may offer an ambush spot for bass. Structure changes, such as a ditch, along with ancillary structure/cover such as brush or standing timber, offer a refuge for baitfish as well as an ambush position for the bass. If you can find an area with a ditch, standing timber, brush, and key feature changes such as an outside channel bend intersected by a roadbed in 40 feet of water or so, you have found the perfect winter haunts of the bait and our green-backed friends. Good electronics, such as Humminbird Helix in conjunction with Garmin Panoptix, are vital to finding these subtle depth changes and cover. Once you find a location like this holding fish, start by dropping a jigging spoon down to the location of the fish. Allow the spoon to sink to the bottom and then reel it 2 cranks up before beginning your presentation. Jig the spoon with quick, short, upward thrusts of the rod and include pauses in your presentation. Another option for these deep fish include a drop-shot rig. Rig a drop-shot with a small worm or minnow imitation and present the bait in the area of the fish. Do not over-work the bait. Often, periods of no movement can trigger strikes. I prefer the many offerings of Lanier Baits for these presentations. Steep Rock Banks/Rip Rap: These features consistently hold fish during the late fall and winter months. These “vertical” banks, present both in the creeks as well as the main lake, offer the fish the ability to change depths within the water column without traveling very far. Begin by using your electronics to graph a likely area in search of bait. When you find the bait, you can rest assured that fish are somewhere in the area. Search for changes in the structure as your starting place. Look for points, pockets, contour changes, or transition areas where sand meets rock or clay, for example. Begin your prospecting in these

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areas with a SPRO jerkbait such as a McStick. Impart the jerk, jerk, pause retrieve mentioned previously, with a focus on long pauses. If the fish are not active enough to hit the jerkbait, try worms or Chattahoochee Jigs worked slowly down the rock bank. Position your boat in deeper water and cast towards the bank. Work the bait slowly and methodically back to the boat, paying particular attention to your lure’s movements. Bites in the late fall and winter are often VERY subtle. Once you detect something unusual in your lure’s action, set the hook. While these areas are not the only possible places to find fish on Lake Lanier in the late fall, they are some very good areas to begin your search. Remember to look for bait and fish in an area before fishing it. Fish where the fish are! For more information or to book a trip, contact Jimbo on Lanier via email: james.mathley@gmail.com or phone: 770-542-7764. Check out Jimbo’s website: www.jimboonlanier. com.


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LOCAL LAKES AND FORECAST LAKE SEMINOLE Forecast By: by Capt. Paul Tyre paultyrefishing@yahoo.com

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The bass fishing on Lake Seminole has been excellent with the falling water temperatures as the bass, stripers and hybrids are feeding up for the winter! The big largemouths have been feeding heavily on bream while the schooling bass are feeding on shad. The hybrids’ and stripers are starting their annual fall feed, and it will last through January! We have been catching bass on a variety of lures from spinnerbaits and vibrating jigs to jerk baits. A double willow leaf Strike King Premier Plus 1/2 oz. in chartreuse and white has produced very well. This bait works well at fast speeds to generate a reaction strike. The new Strike King Thunder Cricket has been very productive this fall, and I expect it to continue to produce through the winter! It has incredible action to it and a built-in trailer keeper that works great! Jerk baits have worked well this fall. The key has been working them fast and at an erratic pace. As the water temps continue to drop, slow the pace down. The Strike King KVD jerk bait in the 200 series and the 300 series in any shad color has worked well. The Strike KVD series is one of my favorite jerk baits because it’s casting ability and action. The hybrids and stripers have been exciting to catch, and we have been averaging over 30 each morning! When fishing for stripers and

hybrids, the right action rod and a 6:3.1 gear ratio reel is important. I prefer a Temple Fork Outfitters Rod in the Professional Series. It’s a 7’6” heavy action rod and is ideal for catching big stripers and hybrids on an Alabama rig. It is fast action but is moderate enough to handle the strong surges that you get when fighting big hybrids and stripers. On the business end of A-rigs, I prefer the Bass Assassin 4 and 5 inch Die Dapper rigged on a Saltwater Assassin jig head. For an exciting Lake Seminole Fishing Adventure this fall, email us @lakeseminolefishingadventures@ gmail.com or follow us on Instagram @Capt.paultyrefishing and Facebook @lakeseminolefishingadventures! Give us a call at 850-2647534 to check availability!

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LOCAL LAKES AND FORECAST EXPLORING FISHING ON THE CHATTAHOOCHEE RIVER Dr. Andrew Cox

This year I decided to explore the Chattahoochee River’s waters in greater depth. During the year, I was able to and continue to explore different fishing locales on the Chattahoochee River. During February, March, and into April, I sampled fishing on the Chattahoochee River’s lower reaches. I did some bass fishing in February in the grass and stump filled waters of Lake Seminole searching for this lake’s legendary largemouth bass. A side distraction were the chain pickerel that we caught on spinnerbaits in the creeks and sloughs of this lake. During February and into March, I also made several trips to Lake Eufaula on the Georgia/Alabama border. These waters are also filled with grass and in some areas stumps, but also have deep ledges for deep water fishing. These waters also produced largemouth and spotted bass along with an occasional crappie that were caught by accident as we were not targeting this fish species. March and April found me searching the flowing riverine waters adjacent to Fort Benning, Georgia and just below and into the Columbus city limits. In the downtown Columbus shoals, we were targeting the annual hybrid, striped bass, and white bass run. This can produce some fast and furious angling action, at times catching fish on consecutive casts. Several trips were made during April and May to Lake Harding (Bartlett’s Ferry Reservoir), and Lake West Point. We caught mostly spotted bass with an occasional largemouth bass and hybrid bass. During May I took a day trip to sample the rainbow and brown trout that can be caught in the river’s waters north of Atlanta in Gwinnett and Forsyth counties. The end of May found me fishing the salt and brackish waters of Apalachicola Bay, Florida. This is where the waters of the Chattahoochee River mingle with the

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Apalachicola River and eventually enter the Gulf of Mexico. We were targeting speckled trout and redfish during this time of year. Though a few of these fish species were caught, we caught many saltwater catfish. Though not my favorite species of fish, some were fairly large and were fun to catch. My grandson accompanied me on this trip and was thrilled with catching large catfish at times on every cast. Hopefully, I can sample some of the Chattahoochee River’s waters that were left out this spring. The river’s riverine waters south of the Walter F. George dam down to Lake Seminole look and sound interesting. I have not fished the river’s waters in south Fulton County and Coweta/Heard County in Atlanta’s suburbs for many years. In years past, I have fished the river north of Franklin, Georgia and this area is in need of an angling revisit. There are bits and pieces of riverine areas south of the West Point dam down to the Lake Harding headwaters with numerous shoal areas that have good fishing. Do not forget about the riverine headwaters north and south of Helen, Georgia that offer trout and shoal/redeye bass angling. The Chattahoochee River is a wonderful resource for our area and is a sportsman’s delight if fishing or boating is your interest. Its waters and fish species are quite varied depending on the river section that you are fishing. It is truly a resource that we should all treasure and take care of. Author’s Note: Dr. Andrew Cox is a contributing writer to outdoor publications and newspapers. He is a member of the Georgia Outdoor Writer’s Association. He has been fishing the waters of Georgia, Alabama, and north Florida for over forty years. Dr. Cox financially supports his fishing habits as Professor Emeritus at Troy University, Phenix City, Alabama. He may be contacted at andrewtrout@aol.com.

LAKE SINCLAIR Forecast By: Ken Sturdivant kensturdivant@att.net Lake Sinclair is down 1.4 feet with the temperature in the low 70s. Bass fishing is fair. Go shallow into the coves and creeks. Topwater baits have again become productive during early morning and low light conditions. Bites could occur most anywhere in shallow water, since fish are scattered from main lake banks to the back of coves, but the majority of action should be inside coves and creeks. Seawalls, docks, lay downs, stumps, and grass can all hold fish. The best approach is to move and cast quickly till the best bait and cover are found. Some proven baits are a Pop R, Chug Bug, and buzz baits. Spinnerbaits could also be good, especially if fish are holding tight to cover. With much of the lake stained, stay with

more noisy baits. After topwater fishing has slowed, crankbaits, soft plastics, and jigs should be tried in the same areas. Shad Raps in sizes #5 and #7 work well along the sides of docks. A ¼ ounce Rat-L-Trap or Mann’s Baby One Minus should be tried in the back of coves. The Rat-L-Trap can also produce well if fish are holding on secondary points. Also try a Senko or Trick worm either weightless or with a small weight and rigged Texas style. A ¼ to 3/8 ounce dark colored jig with a Zoom Chunk trailer can also be a good producer. Work the jig slowly along the bottom and in cover. Also try swimming the jig with occasional twitches. In clearer water, look for fish holding along secondary points and flats in the coves and creeks. Depths should be 8 to 15 feet deep. Crankbaits like Rapala DT10 and DT14, Fat Free Shads and Norman DD22 and DD14 are good choices.

LAKE CHATUGE Eric Welch Welch’s Guide Service www.welchsguideservice. com 706-455-2323 Water temperature: 72-74 degrees, lake level: 3.5 feet below full pool, clarity: clear. Fishing is getting better every day. TVA has been dropping the lake pretty fast for winter pool, but the past couple weeks we’ve received a lot of rain. Once the sun starts breaking through the clouds, you will start seeing fish breaking all over the lake. The only major problem with that is being in the right place at the right time. Some of the pockets have been having multiple schools of baitfish, so once they start busting the schools up, you have fish breaking all around you. Now if your luck is like mine, they are always just out of casting distance. You just got to have patience and try positioning yourself in the direction it looks like they’re moving the herring. If

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you have the Garmin Livescope, you can watch and follow the bait. I like throwing Berkely Cane Walkers, Lucky Craft Gunfish, and I will also mix in a Seible Magic Swimmer and a 3.25 Strike King Sexy Swimmer. I have also been marking a lot of fish deep in 12’ to 35’ of water. These fish are in areas where there is a ditch, drop off or a long point. I target these fish with a Texas rig, shaky head, Ned rig and a drop-shot. I’ve not been marking a lot of fish in the offshore structure due to them chasing a lot of bait right now. When the water temps drop down and the baitfish are not as active, you will see the fish go back to the structure. The next couple weeks should be some awesome fishing. Remember that we guide on 8 different lakes. So if you’re looking for some great fishing, give Welch’s Guide Service a call. We’re your #1 guide service, and we’ve been doing this since 2001. Good luck!

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LAKE ALLATOONA Forecast By: Joseph Martinelli 404-919-4918 If you find yourself in Northern Georgia, you’ll want to visit Lake Allatoona for a little autumn fishing. The lake is likely on fire as you read this and I can only suggest that if you are in the neighborhood that you finish this article, hook up the boat and get over to the Acworth Shad Shack for some frisky live bait to target most any species Allatoona has to offer. The linesides should continue to provide some good line tugging all through November. To target these lovely beasts, downlines with a 1 1.5 ounce egg or swivel sinker trailing a 5 - 6’ light fluorocarbon leader with an appropriate octopus or circle hook tipped with a threadfin or gizzard shad is a key technique on Allatoona. Add to the mix some longlines with a little weight, freelines and even some planer boards as these temps drop into the 60’s, and you are in for some live bait fishing fun! There can be a great artificial bite as well if you are willing to work it. Throwing a Sebile Magic Swimmer, Redfin, or an Alabama rig such as a Mini-Mack across points and humps will produce when the fish are there. Additionally, do not overlook trolling these Mini-Mack’s and full-sized umbrella rigs, especially when these fish are schooled up and chasing the bait. While it may seem improbable for most, I can attest to the days in November when artificials have worked circles around live bait. The spotted bass on Lake Allatoona are growing for the better. Maybe it’s the alewife population mixed in that has these little rascals fattening up so, but the bass fishery here may one day rival nearby Carters Lake when it comes to quality spots. On one of our last spotted and largemouth bass targeted trips, we caught them very well on 3” and 4” Keitech swimbaits on a 1/8 - 1/4 ounce swimbait head, Berkley Hit Sticks and Gillies, and even a few on some good old Arkansas shiners that we picked up at the Dugout Bait and Tackle. The crappie fishing has been

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pretty good all year. Many fishermen targeting them have been recording great catches on numbers of 7 - 9” crappie while trolling and “pushing”. One of our ace HOA guides is crushing some real quality crappie pitching to them on and near structure with smaller jigs on 1/16 to 1/8 oz. heads. We’d love to get you on the boats with us so we can share a “little something” you might only get to glean from us in person. Blue hues are a great one to have here on Allatoona most days. I still think in terms of light or dark and believe more in my technique than colors. The catfish bite has been insane! These fish are being caught with both fresh live and cut bait. We’ve seen 4 of the 30# class flatheads caught in as many trips one week in October, and the catfish bite has just begun. As another ace in the hole, we have one of the best Mr. Whiskers whisperers known gracing our team for those who want to get their “catfish” on. We do hope some tips here are found helpful for the DIYer. Should you wish for some full-service fishing and catching, please do not hesitate to call us directly at 404919-4918 to book your Adventure. We wish you and your family the happiest of Thanksgivings.

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LOCAL LAKES AND FORECAST A TRIP LIKE NO OTHER WITH NORTH GEORGIA’S PREMIER GUIDE SERVICE! by Dickelsby Dickg@Theanglermagazine.com

Better buckle up dear reader because this was not going to be your typical fall rod bending experiences that happen most of the time. We were excited to be with our great friends Shane Goebel and Darren Hughes of WWW.BIGOLFISH. COM for our annual fall Angler Magazine visit to Lake Nottely. A gorgeous sunrise started us off by the public boat launch and then quickly turned cloudy the rest of the day. Publisher, Bob Rice and I were ready for action as we started to follow the highly tuned electronic underwater viewing action looking for fish. Well, there was none for quite awhile as we kept trolling and motoring to different well known producing locations. The beautiful blueback herring swirling around in the onboard bait tank were no doubt wondering when they were going to get to work! Darren at the wheel was starting to

get a little nervous as we were positioned in a new location where we could actually see baitfish swarming about below and anticipation started to grow! Seventeen feet was chosen as the proper depth and the downlines were quickly lowered. Bob, who usually catches the first fish, actually got a hit and reeled up (he usually boats a nice bass or stripe) but this was a small catfish! Ok, at least it was some action, but after several quiet minutes nothing else was going on. Then the ancient words of wisdom were spoken “you can find ‘em and target ‘em but you can’t make ‘em bite!” So as the cloudy sun was rising higher in the sky we moved again. We joined a few other boats in an area that looked like it held promise and we dropped the baits to 25 feet and soon looked around as the topwater started to boil with a feeding frenzy that looked pretty wild. We got closer till we could throw the freeline baits at them and noticed how small the attacked baitfish

were when they floated to the top after the onslaught. So our experienced guides quickly got out the spin cast rods with small spoons and we soon experienced hits like crazy. Now we needed to net these guys and actually were able to get some good pics of the 5-7 pounders we had boated! Later we located a school of shad being chased around at a 30 foot depth. It didn’t take long to get our live bait down there and soon Shane was going pole to pole with Bob and I netting some of the nicest stripes and hybrids you could imagine! So that’s how it came to a

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close with our guides overcoming adversity and using their knowledge and experience getting the job done and making their clients happy! Makes me think of the old locker room joke about “getting behind in something and caught up with faster than you can believe” The number to call to arrange your lake visit is 828-361-2021 and know that Chatuge, Blue Ridge and NC’s own Lake Hiwassee are fish catching options as well. As a measure of their recent success, they have also been joined by a couple of additional Captains to be available to help make your trip successful.

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HAVE A BACKUP PLAN Contributed By: Jay Striker www.jaystriker.com There are times when I have mapped out my entire fishing trip to a tee. I have made up what I’m going to throw and what areas I’m going to fish, and I cannot wait to get to the lake to start fishing. Everything seems to go as planned up until when one of the conditions change. The weather patterns may vary, the sun comes out, the wind picks up, or perhaps the lake authority starts to pull water. No matter the reason for the change, many anglers become frustrated because the fish are not cooperating. Trust me, the fish are still there, and instead of force feeding them, consider the changing conditions and react to them, not the fish. Allow me to discuss further the importance of having a backup plan. What is a backup plan? Is it the next thing you have to do to change a bad day of fishing into a good day of catching? If you have been practicing for a tournament and have the fish dialed in, this is the first sign you will most likely need a backup plan. When you put down the baits, you get results and find new baits and areas to fish. The competition today is so good that the chance of other anglers who have seen that spot is very likely. One of my go-to plans is finding a different location that looks totally opposite to what I have found in the primary place. It is because it forces me to use totally different baits and different techniques in other areas. Your

plan might be somewhere in the back of the creeks when everyone else is focused on the main lake points. Or perhaps I may need to fish a Carolina rig and fish secondary points all day. I can’t tell you how many times my backup plan became my primary plan. So, if you are fishing and the bites get tough, especially while competing, have a backup plan. It can get you a few key bites and not leave you scrambling due to not capitalizing on your key pattern. You cannot control the conditions, so be sure to take the time to fish them in different ways, because those who can adjust to the conditions can do well and turn a bad day into a great one. Thanks to everyone for taking the time to read the articles each month. Please continue to follow me on Instagram, Facebook and at www.jaystriker.com.

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By Capt Sam Williams hawk184@earthlink.net 334-687-6266 Water temperature: low to mid 70’s, lake level: 187.67 msl, clarity: stained to slightly muddy. The fish are settling down after all the rain and the shad are moving back into the grass and cover areas. The bass are moving in on this shad activity. Trick worms and weightless Senkos are doing well in these areas. Plum, purple and watermelon candy are a good choice. In the dirtier water, use red shad, tomato seed and colors like that. Traps and bladed jigs are always a good bet in these areas as well. If you locate bank grass patches with outside grass and pad patches, work through these areas all the way from the bank to the boat. Watch your lure as you lift it from the water. The bass have been following it all the way in. If you begin to get short strikes and the back of your bait is gone, rig a stinger hook and make it weedless so it comes through the grass and cover. You will see your hook set ratio increase. If you are getting a lot of misses on your lipless bait, slow it down or change from a chrome color. The chrome reflects like a mirror, and they strike behind it most of the time. If you are foul hooking fish, this is the reason most of the time. The deeper bass are still scattered on cover and structure. Slow worked Carolina rigs are working as well as deep cranks. Shad and bluegill colors are doing better in cleaner water. Worm rattles in the Carolina rigs are getting attention

as well. Crappie are scattered on the ledge cover in 12 to 20 feet. Minnows are the trick here. The cleaner the water, the better the crappie see the bait above them. Catfish are still eating cut bait, night crawlers and shad. Bottom fishing is ok, but the jugs are working. Since they are pulling water so fast now, you do better in the creeks where you can keep the jugs corralled up so they do not get too far downstream. The cooler weather is going to make for some comfortable days on the water with family making awesome memories. Be safe and be aware of logs still floating from the heavy rains. Check out www.alclassic.com and sign up for the newsletter to keep up to date with our upcoming online ticket sales and auctions on many great items such as Henry Golden Boy rifles, black powder gun, cross bow and many other fantastic items we have had donated to help us reach our goals for Niemann-Pick Disease Research and Darby’s Warrior Support. God Bless and good fishn’.

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LOCAL LAKES AND FORECAST BE PREPARED By Capt. Cefus McRae Nuts & Bolts Fishing Series Hartwell, GA I grew up in Scouting and earned the rank of Eagle Scout before I turned 16. Of course, the Scout motto is ‘Be Prepared’. I’ve tried to maintain that perspective throughout my life. On the water, you have to be prepared to deal with emergencies. On the water, things can happen fast. You hit an unseen submerged object, or you get caught off-guard by a fast-moving storm. You can have engine or electrical problems that leave you stranded in shallow water on an out-going tide. I’ve had most of these things happen. Add fishing hooks and bait knives to the equation, and the odds of experiencing a situation that requires immediate attention is greatly increased. Dealing with a problem can be a whole lot easier if you are prepared, and that’s exactly what happened on a recent fishing trip to the coast. Let me set the story. A buddy and his two young sons were fishing with me on the East Coast. It was bull redfish season. The weather forecast for the weekend wasn’t promising. My Simrad chartplotter has SiriusXM Marine Weather as an overlay on the display. They clearly showed the barrage of storm cells constantly moving in and out of the area, bringing rain showers and wind to churn up the water and make venturing offshore unsafe. An east wind and opposing tide turned the inlet into a washing machine. We decided to ditch our offshore plans and seek the relative calm of the backwaters and bay that offered some degree of protection from the stiff chop, and their dad agreed. The consensus was to fish in the rain, with a keen eye on the radar for larger storm cells. SiriusXM Weather shows precipitation, storm cell movement, wind speed, wave height, and lightning. By the way, if you don’t have SiriusXM on board, you should. A couple times, I would see storms on the screen 20 to 30 miles away with embedded lightning headed in our direction, and we would head for the barn. Better 24 ATLANTA

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safe than sorry. On day 2, I decided the weather was improving enough to fish the inlet for big sharks and bull reds. The boys caught several nice sharks, sting rays, and a variety of other fish, but no reds. After lunch, the rain diminished, but not the wind, so we moved into a shallow bay and possibly catch some trout or a smaller redfish for dinner. Being prepared, I already had popping cork rigs tied on to the inshore rods; baited one with a live shrimp, and the other with a Project X Saucertail. On the first day, these boys proved they could cast pretty well. So one went up front with the dad, and the other came back with me to provide some distance between them, and prevent crossed lines. After a half dozen ladyfish, and a small shark, the action slowed as the tide went slack. Eventually the tide started moving again, and the boat began to swing on the anchor. The youngest son and I were having a grand time at the back of the boat. Dad and the older brother were equally enjoying themselves up front. Then I heard “Captain, I need some help.” I was not expecting the visual when I looked toward the bow. Dad was on one knee, his hand grasping his neck, and blood was oozing from between his fingers. On a backcast, a 5/0 kahle hook found the center of his neck just below the jawbone; and it was driven in all the way to the bend. The first words out of my mouth were “Lay down” followed by “Can you breathe and can you talk?” Dad acknowledged that he was not in extreme pain, but was obviously concerned due to the location of the hook. Suddenly, I’m in a situation where there are several things to consider, and it all needed to be done now. By now the tide had turned and the current was strong. The anchor was stuck solidly on the bottom, and it would be difficult to maneuver the boat from the helm while trying to haul the

anchor from the bow. Cutting the anchor line was not an option and the anchor had to come up. So, I engaged the crew. I had two little boys who were about to become men under pressure. The Honda 250’s came to life, and I eased the bow toward the anchor, allowing the boys to take up the slack in the anchor line. It was up to them to free the anchor from the bottom and haul the last few feet of line, 8 feet of heavy chain, and the heavy anchor onto the deck. They jumped to the task, and working together, they got the job done. I still had a little bit of idling to do, dodging an oyster bar and maneuvering against the full force of the current to get us out of the flowing creek. Dad was doing OK, but the situation was still tenuous. I got on VHF Channel 16 and hailed the marina. It was the closest destination where EMS could easily get. Hailing the Coast Guard or dialing 911 would only slow things down with the number of questions that have to be answered. I explained my situation and the marina got EMS on the way. When we arrived at the marina, EMS was pulling up. They stabilized dad, and were on their way to the hospital in mere minutes.

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There’s a happy ending to the story. My buddy was in good shape, and he was just waiting for a tetanus shot. The hook had not pierced a neck artery and the emergency room doctor removed the hook. The boys and I picked him up from the hospital, and he now has two small piercings on his neck that look exactly like he was bit by a vampire. So, where’s the “Be Prepared” part of the story? Some of it is from training and experiences I’ve had as a captain. Every boat owner should take a first aid and CPR course. SiriusXM Marine’s satellite-based weather radar came through to help avoid the worst of a developing weather system on the way to the docks. My Simrad chartplotter allowed me to take the most direct, safe course back to the marina. Because I had a VHF radio on board, everyone else with a radio heard my call for assistance, including the Coast Guard. In my opinion, these are all essential items for a boat. Most memorably, I saw two boys step up to got the job done, and I couldn’t have been prouder for them, and they are both Scouts too. Now they truly understand the meaning of Be Prepared.


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LOCAL LAKES AND FORECAST SANTEE CATS ON THE MOVE! By Gary Turner

My good friend Dale Harbin and I headed over to Santee for a day of fishing with another good fishing buddy, Dewayne Proffit. This would be Dale’s first trip to fish Santee and he was excited! We left about lunch and rolled that way. It’s not a bad ride, a little over 4 hours depending on which way you decide to go. We arrived just in time to eat a good dinner in Santee and head over to Goat Island where we rented a friend’s house for a couple of nights. We got up at 6 the next morning and had a message that Dewayne was grabbing some fresh bait. I had a good idea where he was, so we headed that way. I found his truck, and he was down in the creek throwing the cast net. There were three herons on the banks, so we figured there was bait in there. He made one throw and filled the net. We put them in the bucket and headed for the boat ramp. It’s often a very pretty ride going out of Goat Island toward the main lake. It was in the low 60s this morning and looked like a beautiful day. We anchored up at the first spot, baited up 16 rods with 5 different kinds of baits and cast them out. It wasn’t long before we had our first bite. It was a nice blue around 10 pounds which was Dale’s first blue catfish on Santee. We took pictures and threw it back. We caught a couple more fish at that spot and it slowed down, so we reeled them all in, pulled anchor and moved to the next spot. We baited up, cast out, and several more fish were caught and released. It slowed down again and we pulled anchor and moved; wash, rinse and repeat. This is the way it goes lots of days on Santee. You get on a spot and catch several fish. Then it slows down and you can wait on some more to get hungry or move your smorgasbord to another spot and see who is hungry. You know there 26 ATLANTA

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are many more fish at each spot that don’t bite and who knows why, but if we figured it out, there would be people who would fish it completely out. Thank goodness most of the time fish eat in shifts. We made quite a day of it as we caught over 20 blue cats and a few channels on Dewayne’s rods with Abu 6000 and 7000 reels. He likes to use 6/0 to 8/0 circle hooks and PowerPro braid. It makes it exciting when you get a big one on the line! While we were fishing, I got out my latest interest, my drone. Hopefully, if I can do some cool filming with it, I will post some videos. In the morning Dale, myself and 3 other friends are headed back to Santee for another adventure! I’m hoping to catch up with Eric Crowley next month, and I will probably make a short South Florida run to fish with Johnny Stabile in the Everglades. Till then, fish on! Hopefully, my next article will be about all of the fish we caught on some of my upcoming trips, so if you have an empty seat on your boat that needs filling, shoot me an email and maybe I will come fishing with you! If you want more information about fishing, you can reach me at gary@ purgeright.com. Please remember, if you are not going to eat it, don’t kill it.


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Water temps are in the 60s and low 70’s. Currently the lake is mostly clear and a couple feet down and holding steady this year so far due to all the rain. The way I understand it, plans are to keep the lake up longer this year which should help the shallow bite. Bass: Good - The shallow bite remains good now and should improve even more, especially with higher than normal lake levels and continued cooler temps. Baits such as unweighted Flukes, Senkos, Spooks and Whopper Ploppers are catching fish. Try to fish these baits in or near cover or around schools of shallow baitfish. Fish the open water in the pockets with a buzzbait or spinnerbait, a KVD 1.5 crankbait or a Flash-Mob JR. rig. Also, it doesn’t hurt to have a jig handy to pitch around any wood cover. It won’t produce a lot of bites, but it’s a good way to catch a bigger fish. By the end of the month (especially if the lake level drops and it cools off more), the big schools of spots mixed with hybrids, white bass and stripers can be caught on jigging spoons and drop-shot rigs on deeper offshore structure. Linesides: Good - The downline bite with shad or bass shiners has improved greatly as the water has cooled off. Most of the fish seem to be holding 20 to 30 feet deep when they are not schooling on the surface, but they are still moving around a good bit. As the water gets colder, these deep fish get easier to catch. They will “stay put” longer as they slow down with falling water temps. Expect the topwater fishing to continue to improve and be best very early and very late or on overcast or rainy days as the water cools. Gulls and loons usually show up in November, which makes it easier to pinpoint schooling stripers. A popping cork rig has been working on schooling 1 to 3-pound fish with an occasional bigger one mixed

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in. A 3/8 or 1/2-ounce white Rooster Tail, a chrome C.C. Spoon and a number of other small shad imitators have also been producing, and the colder it gets, the better the fishing usually is. As the water cools, a bucktail jig becomes very effective as well. The mouths of most creeks south of the 109 bridge, the edge of flats near the dam, and the mouth of Yellow Jacket Creek have been holding fish. Trolling with mid-depth crankbaits and Alabama Rigs has also been producing some linesides in these same areas. Crappie: Good - Try tight line fishing minnows or a 1/16-ounce or smaller jig around bridge pilings, brush piles, and blow downs in 6 to 15 feet of water. Concentrate on trees and brush that are close to the old creek channels. Pitching or shooting docks with small tube or feather jigs around or under the docks is also a very good technique during fall. As usual, crappie seem to love shade and cover. Cooler temps and rain should improve the fishing even more. Yellow Jacket, Wolf and Whitewater Creeks are still producing good strings of crappie. Now is the time to book your fall striper trips to insure you get a good day! Peak fall fishing is from October 15th - December 15th. For more info on booking a trip, go to my website LakeWestPointFishing.com. THANKS!


LOCAL LAKES AND FORECAST

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E Forecast by: Capt. Wes Carlton Georgia Lake Fishing 770-318-9777 www.georgialakefishing.com Water temperature: 68 degrees, lake level: full pool, clarity: clear. Bass: The bass bite has been good the last few days. The fish are up shallow hitting topwater really well in mid-morning. Spooks, Sammy’s and Heddon Torpedoes have been working great! We have been targeting main lake points and bank lines in the 6 to 10 foot depths. Sebille swim baits have also produced a few larger fish. This bite should

continue for the next few weeks and get even better! Trout: The brown trout bite has been a little slow the last week or so. The fish we have caught have been surfacing near floating debris on the main lake channel. Casting small spoons like a Kastmaster has been effective. Work these spoons vigorously back to the boat. The annual brown trout spawn is upon us. Most of the bigger females will travel up creeks and the river to spawn in the week or so. Look for this bite to pick up after the spawn. Good luck!

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CARTERS LAKE Forecast By: Eric Crowley Lake & Stream Guide Service (706) 669-4973

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Water temperature: 70 degrees, lake level: full +/- 6 feet, clarity: 3 feet. Fall fishing on Carters brings a few different bites into play. As I’m not a species specific guy and typically chase the best bite, here’s what I look for this time of year. I really like the topwater bite on Carters for spots early in the month. Virtually anything topwater thrown at busting fish early will get attention. Look for the fish to get active right at dawn. I like to target the fish more offshore as they tend to stay up versus going back into cover. Long casts on light braid are key. If they won’t hit a lure, try throwing a 1/2 or 3/4 ounce Crocodile spoon in chrome. Another key bite in the fall is the planer board striper bite. The back of the creeks and the upper reaches of the river will both be holding quality

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fish looking for a quality meal. Big baits will get the attention of these fish. Big gizzard shad or big alewives will both work, and as usual, the fresher the better. Big baits, big hooks and light drag to allow the fish to eat before coming tight on the circle hook is a recipe for success. Fish the shorelines early and the open water as the sun rises. You want to be fishing in the early hours of the morning. The walleye have spread out and are holding suspended in the lower end of the lake. Look around points in the 30 to 50 foot range with the fish typically holding around 25 feet. We are fishing live threadfins as well as crankbaits to catch the elusive walleye. Just before dawn and later in the day are always better for walleye, and that stays true this month. Anywhere from the marina to the dam can be holding fish as the upper end of the lake experiences turnover. Look for bait balls from the surface to 30 feet around these areas, and you will find the walleye.


LOCAL LAKES AND FORECAST

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LAKE NOTTELY STRIPER By: Shane Goebel Big Ol’ Fish Guiding Service & The Angler Magazine Fishing Team www.bigolfish.com 828-361-2021, 1-844-4-ANGLER Fall is definitely for striper fishing, and November is one heck of a time to hit the water for some big, big stripers. November kicks off the start of our monster trophy season in this area, and Lake Nottely offers some fast paced striper action. If you want some huge 20 to 40 pounders, it’s definitely time to hit the water! So after filling up on that yard bird, grab the phone and book a trip with North Georgia’s #1 guide service: Big Ol’ Fish Guiding Service. We’ve been striper fishing these mountain lakes longer than anyone and have what it takes to put you on some huge fish. Don’t forget to check out our Facebook page to see our latest catch. Give us a like and follow us. Currently, Lake Nottely is 8 feet below full pool. Water clarity is clear and water temps are in the low 70s. Striper fishing has been insane lately. We’re still catching tons of nice schooled up fish. The unseasonably warm temps have these fish thinking it’s June still. On the other hand, our cooler nights have the bigger trophy fish up and feeding good. Early to mid-November is notorious for some big stripers and a bunch of them. For now, the

early morning and evening bites are your best times to see action. With the cooling water temps, continue to target creek mouths and points off the main lake channel, but also look for schools to move back into the creeks. The majority of our fish have been caught from Point 8 to the dam. The topwater bite has also been fantastic, so keep a Spook or a Red Fin at the ready to snag surface-busting fish. We’ve been slaying them on ultra-lite rods, which is crazy fun. The fish will continue to be schooled up throughout the next month and will remain in deeper water before starting to spread out in their typical winter pattern. Just remember to keep an eye on your electronics and watch for schools of stripers when cruising the lake. November is a great month for catching a lot of schooling stripers on this North Georgia lake. Give Big Ol’ Fish Guiding Service a call and let the area’s #1-rated guide service put you on some of Lake Nottely’s best trophy stripers during the fishing trip of a lifetime. We are Blairsville, Georgia’s premier full-time guide service, specializing in striped and hybrid bass. We also serve Lakes Hiwassee (in North Carolina), Chatuge and Lake Blue Ridge in Blue Ridge, GA. So, come fish with the pros for the opportunity to be featured in Angler Magazine, and let us help you get your fish on!

Forecast by: Clay Cunningham www.catchingnotfishing.com 770-630-2673 Fall is here and the stripers are starting to school on top. Look for some of these schools to be very large in size. You may see them from several hundred yards away. All types of topwater baits will work, but each day a different one will be the key choice. Two key baits are the Berkley Magic Swimmer and the Berkley J-Walker. Spool up a Penn Clash II 4000 or Penn Pursuit III 4000 spinning reel with 12-pound Trilene Big Game line on a 7-foot medium heavy Abu Garcia Veritas spinning rod and you are good to go. The south end of

the lake is usually best, but so far this fall, the fish have been widely spread throughout the lake. If you want to use live bait, pull some freelines, which are simply baits with no weight a 100 feet behind the boat tipped with a blueback herring. All you need is a Shakespeare Striper Rod paired with a Penn Fathom II Linecounter reel spooled with 15-pound Trilene Big Game line, and a 1/0 Gamakatsu Octopus hook. The herring will do the rest. Pull the herring across humps and points or around schooling fish and you will catch stripers and spotted bass. Looking forward to the most exciting fishing of the year this November. See you on the water

If you want to use live bait, pull some freelines, which are simply baits with no weight a 100 feet behind the boat tipped with a blueback herring.

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Wall of Fame

WIN A FREE ANGLER MAGAZINE CAP! One will be given away each month for the best reader submitted photo!

WINNER!

Dutch Earl took this nice largemouth on a fly rod at an Alpharetta private lake.

Jerry Schmitt with a quality Lake Blue Ridge channel cat. Lea Anne Powell travelled down to Steinhatchee, FL to take this big bull red.

Jesse Walton from Marietta had a good day fishing with Capt. Sam Williams on Lake Eufaula.

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Cory Morse with a big red caught fly fishing on a destination trip to Louisiana with Cohutta Fishing Comany.

Jim Harrell with the North GA Crappie Anglers with his personal best crappie caught on Lake Lanier.

David Wilson with a big redfish caught on his fly rod in Louisiana fly fishing with Cohutta Fishing Company.


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TIPS FROM A PRO

FLIPPING HEAVY GRASS FOR FALL BASS

time or two until I get a bite or two in an area. Once you know there are fish around, slow down, make very precise flips and work the bait up and down multiple times with each cast. I flip and pitch with a craw-style bait. If the water has a good stain, black and blue colors are a must. If you’re working with cleaner water, TYLER WOOLCOTT green pumpkin or brown variations usually do the trick. When you are dealing with pressured fish or fishing in colder conditions, downsize and flip a creature bait like the 13 Fishing Lunch Bug. When the ith fall upon us, it’s time to bring out the big sticks and heavy braid. One of my favorite techniques weather is stable and you are around aggressive fish, flip a full-sized to target bass is flipping and punching grass, and fall is a creature bait like the 13 Fishing Invader. great time to do it. Fish seek heavy cover Flipping/ Punching Gear and vegetation to feed up on forage and get warmth under matted grass. This presents It is important to use the correct the opportunity to place your bait right in equipment to get your bait into the grass front of them. and then winch fish out. I like a 13 Fishing Flipping and pitching grass can be hard 7’9” Heavy Fast Envy Black rod paired to learn, but once you get the hang of it, it up with a Concept A 8:3:1 reel. The long can be one of the most exhilarating ways to heavy-action rod gives you power to get catch a bass. I live in Florida, where grass a hook into fish and then get them out of is always prevalent. It has taught me a few grass. Pairing that rod with a fast-gearthings about how fish position in fall, and ratio reel allows you to make lots of flips I’ve been able to use this knowledge all and to pick up line quickly. over the country. Heavy braided line is imperative. I Seek out either a clean edge or patches like 65-pound Seaguar Smackdown braid of grass that are isolated away from in grey. I use a Woo! Tungsten weight expansive areas of grass. These areas between 1 and 2 ounces, depending on concentrate fish in targetable places and the thickness of the grass. Hook size varies give you the highest probability of getting depending on the size bait. I use between a your bait in front of a hungry bass. 3/0 and a 5/0 Hayabusa FPP Straight HD When flipping, cover as much water as hook. possible until you run into a group of fish. Tyler Woolcott is a professional tournament Fish tend to group up in the fall, and this is angler and guide. Check out his website at also true with fish in the grass. I like to flip www.tylerwoolcottfishing.com. fast, only pumping the bait up and down a

W

KEEP IT GENUINE PRECISION PROTECTION

Whether you take your boat out to the lake or the ocean, your 4-stroke outboard needs ECSTAR Suzuki Semi-Synthetic Engine Oil so it can run long and strong. ECSTAR features special additives that protect the engine in harsh salt and fresh water environments, advanced detergents that keep engine parts clean, and viscosity index improvements that help the engine start in cold conditions. No matter where your next boat ride takes you, go confidently with ECSTAR.

RUN LONG. RUN CLEAN. RUN STRONG.

Don’t drink and drive. Always wear a USCG-Approved life jacket and read your owner’s manual. Suzuki, the Suzuki “S” ECSTAR and Suzuki model and product names are Suzuki trademarks or ®. © 2021 Suzuki Marine USA, LLC.

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StyleCraft and A&M Introduce Versatile, Premium Fiberglass Hull Pontoon Boats

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ptimum durability and performance are the design achievements for an all new line of pontoon boats named Style Craft Boats. These premium fiberglass-hulled pontoon boats result from a partnership between Billy Chapman and John Hemken, and they are only available through factory direct sales. Chapman, pioneer of Amazon peacock bass fishing and creator of the Floating Suite mobile lodge, and Hemken, with over 25 years of perfecting new and innovative production and owner of A&M Manufacturing, are designing several models of pontoon boats. Flagship of the line is the Fun Slide boat, a 28-foot pontoon craft built on Bulldog hulls with a 10-foot-wide main deck and upper deck featuring two water slides. The 22- and 26-foot Outfitters are recreational tritoons with multiple floorplans for family fun and fishing built on Riptide hulls. Outfitter pontoon boats also feature multiple deck boxes with cushion seats, and much more. StyleCraft Boats also offers three different kit boats, allowing the DIYer to finish out the boat to their liking. The Kit Boat includes fiberglass hulls and heavy-duty aluminum C-channel floor beams ready for assembly. The StyleCraft Boats Tuff Boat is a workboat created for the rigors of heavy-duty operations. A deck boat that can be configured for any task, the Tuff Boat can be outfitted with a crane, welder and anything else a work boat

might need. StyleCraft works with the owner to determine the right size pontoon boat for the work at hand. All StyleCraft Boats are built by A&M Manufacturing and feature a heavy-duty set of fiberglass hulls measuring from 30 feet to 53 feet in length. The deck is built with marine-grade composite that is fiberglassed, gelled and webbed. No wood is used in StyleCraft Boats. Each boat can be configured with an outboard engine. More models will be introduced. The Fun Slide boat and Outfitter series are equipped with a Humminbird Helix GPS depthfinder, anodized aluminum railing and Phifertex rail coverings, upgraded custom upholstery with hydraulic steering and steering wheel on a fiberglass console. A&M Manufacturing is the contract manufacturer of Elite Craft leisure boat, hand built from fiberglass but with the regal look of real mahogany wood. Elite Craft boats have been built for over 30 years. For more information about StyleCraft Boats, visit stylecraftboats.com.

TRAVEL PROTOCOLS RELAXED FOR BAHAMAS INTER-ISLAND TRAVEL

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ffective Immediately, the requirement for a travel health visa for inter-island travel within The Bahamas has been removed. Other important updates include: • Vaccinated persons travelling inter-island from New Providence and Grand Bahama will now only be required to produce a negative result of a rapid antigen test of the type approved by the Ministry of Health, and if non-vaccinated, travelers are required to produce a negative result of the RT-PCR test at the point of embarkation to the operator of the airline or vessel on which they are travelling. • For persons travelling inter-island from any other islands of The Bahamas, only a negative result of an antigen test of the type approved by the Ministry of Health is required. • The requirement for secondary testing for inter-island travelers is now removed. Curfew times have also been relaxed to 11:59 p.m. to 5 a.m. on New Providence and Paradise Island, Grand Bahama, Exuma mainland, Abaco mainland, Bimini and North and South Eleuthera, including Harbour Island. For entry into the U.S., beginning Nov. 1, 2021, all adult foreign nationals traveling to the United States will be required to be fully vaccinated, with limited exceptions. Additionally, unvaccinated U.S. citizens and Legal Permanent Residents who return to the United States will be required to provide proof of a negative test result taken within one day prior to their departure. For more information on US requirements, visit https://bs.usembassy.gov/ covid-19-information. For full Bahamas Covid Protocols & Requirements for Boaters, visit www.bahamasmarinas.com/procedures-and-protocols.

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FCRaUllISING!

PHOTO BY CAPT. JOE JELLISON

E TIFOM R

Rocco Mansueto (center) with his fishing partners, Jay Effner (left) and Phillip Mansueto (right).

Anglers Catch Rare Piebald Cat CALL FOR YOUR NEAREST DEALER

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on the Tennessee River

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By Richard Simms

olor mutations occur in a variety of wildlife species—albino whitetail deer, black (melanistic) coyotes and yes, piebald catfish. To witness, and especially catch, one of those unique creatures, however, is rare. Yet it happened recently for Rocco Mansueto on the Tennessee River. Mansueto was fishing in late September with Capt. Joe Jellison, a guide working with Scenic City Fishing Charters in Chattanooga, Tenn. Capt. Jellison also produces the popular YouTube Channel, Chatt Cats Fishing. Capt. Jellison routinely fishes on the Tennessee River near Chattanooga. His clients had already enjoyed a successful day, including a 27-pound blue caught by Rocco’s brother, Phillip, when Rocco hooked up again on a respectable catfish. When they fought the fish close enough to the boat to see it, Capt. Jellison, who has boated thousands of catfish, said he was awestruck. “Piebald catfish are quite rare. There’s one-in-a-million chance of getting one,” said Capt. Jellison. “They are actually blue catfish with a genetic mutation. I told Rocco many (or most) fishermen will fish their whole life and not catch a piebald catfish.” Piebaldism is the absence of melanin-forming cells (melanocytes) in certain areas of the skin. It is different from albinism, where all cells lack the ability to produce pigment altogether. Hence, piebald creatures do not have the pink eye characteristic of albinos. The piebald gene is often hereditary. Another Scenic City Fishing guide, Capt. Sam Simons, caught a similar fish in 2019. While it appeared to be a totally white albino, it did not have the characteristic pink eye, hence was probably a piebald as well. At the time of the catch, Capt. Jellison was drifting chicken breast as bait in the Tennessee River current, what Scenic City guides refer to as their “light tackle technique.” They use standard spinning gear and relatively light line (10-pound mono or 20-pound braid), which allows the bait to drift more naturally. Even though they use light tackle, the technique sometimes produces big catfish—up to 50 and 60 pounds. However, trophy-sized catfish are not as rare, or as cherished, as a once-in-a-lifetime piebald. Mansueto released his rare piebald catfish back into the river in hopes someone else might someday have the same experience he did. Richard Simms is an outdoor journalist and owner/guide at Scenic City Fishing Charters in Chattanooga, Tenn. Check them out at www.sceniccityfishing.com.

14 NATIONAL

NOVEMBER 2021

COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM


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719-POUNDER WINS BLUEFIN BONANZA L ocal captain Pete Speeches, of Scarborough, Maine, and the crew of Backstabber, brought a giant 719-pound bluefin tuna to the scale to win the Third Annual Casco Bay Bluefin Bonanza out of South Portland, Maine. They took home their second consecutive Casco Bay Cup. It was a fretful year for the Bonanza, as proposed restricted fishing days threatened to scuttle the event. Then, an 11th-hour category closure forced postponement of the three-day tournament from early August to early September. Despite the tremendous inconvenience to all, and a less-than-favorable forecast, the boats set out and didn’t disappoint. First to the dock on Day 1 was Endorfin with a 511-pounder. Keith Jordan, of the Bailey and Bella, quickly set the bar higher with a fat tuna that weighed 700 pounds on the nose. Speeches was hot on his tail, arriving at the scales just 20 minutes later with what would eventually prove to be the tournament winner. He was preceded by Mitch Napalitano’s 598-pounder, moving Mitch down to a third-place position, at least temporarily. Perennial frontrunner Kurt Christensen and the Molly Jane came in with a 373-pounder with Wasabi, High Anxiety and Lion’s den bringing in fish of 478, 311 and 440 pounds, respectively. Forecasted high winds and thunder showers kept many boats off the water on Day 2, but Backstabber—vying for the cumulative-weight prize—landed their second, a 467-pounder followed by Bailey & Bella’s 582-pounder. Bounty

Hunter II, one of the smaller boats in the tournament went way offshore and after a five-hour battle managed to wrangle in a 422-pounder, and made the scales before they closed. Despite challenging conditions, the crew of Molly Jane showed their mettle, bringing in a 632-pounder to open Day 3 that would ultimately hold up in the top five. Hot on their heels was Bailey & Bella with a 646-pounder that would take fourth place and secure the overall cumulative weight. The final fish was ANUT’s 698-pounder, which moved them back into third place. In the end, over $18,000 in prize money was handed out, including a top prize of $7,500 and the Casco Cup for the largest fish. More importantly, the Bluefin Bonanza raised enough money to ensure that 14 students, two from each of Maine’s seven community colleges, will receive scholarships next year. The Bonanza will also be able to fulfill their endowment to the Foundation for Maine’s Community Colleges, ensuring there will always be scholarships in the future. Furthermore, a new endowment will be established with the University of Maine’s School of Marine Sciences and the Gulf of Maine Research Institute to support vital bluefin tuna research that will ensure the resource and the fishery remain sustainable. For more information, check out the Casco Bay Bluefin Bonanza on Facebook, visit www.bluefinbonanza.org or email bluefinbonanza@gmail.com.

COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

NOVEMBER 2021

NATIONAL 15


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5 YEAR LIMITED WARRANTY applies to qualifying purchases of Suzuki outboard motors sold and delivered to the retail purchaser, for pleasure (non-commercial) use only, from April 1, 2021 through March 31, 2022. See Suzuki Limited Warranty for additional details. Suzuki, the “S” logo, and Suzuki model and product names are Suzuki Trademarks or ®. Don’t drink and drive. Always wear a USCG-approved life jacket and read your owner’s manual. © 2021 Suzuki Marine USA, LLC. All rights reserved.


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