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GREATER ATLANTA AREA EDITION

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Fishing Reports Catch Photos News & Events PHOTO COURTESY OF JASON WELDON FISHING WITH UNICOI OUTFITTERS

VOLUME 22 • ISSUE 263

F R A N C H I S E

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The Suzuki Savings Season 2016 ends soon so see your participating Suzuki Marine dealer today – or visit suzukimarine.com – for details on these special offers.

Gimme Six Extended Protection promo is applicable to new Suzuki outboard motors from 25 to 300 HP in inventory which are sold and delivered to buyer between 10/01/16 and 12/31/16 in accordance with the promotion by a Participating Authorized Suzuki Marine dealer in the continental US and Alaska to a purchasing customer who resides in the continental US or Alaska. Customer should expect to receive an acknowledgement letter and full copy of contract including terms, conditions and wallet card from Suzuki Extended Protection within 90 days of purchase. If an acknowledgement letter is not received in time period stated, contact Suzuki Motor of America, Inc. – Marine Marketing via email: marinepromo@suz.com. The Gimme Six Promotion is available for pleasure use only, and is not redeemable for cash. Cash Rebates apply to qualifying purchases of select Suzuki outboards made between 10/01/16 and 12/31/16. For list of designated models, see participating Dealer or visit www.suzukimarine.com. Customer and participating Dealer must fill out the appropriate rebate form at time of sale. Customer will have the choice to either apply the cash rebate against the original dealer invoice (Suzuki will credit Dealer parts account) or have a check sent directly to the customer. There are no model substitutions, benefit substitutions, rain checks, or extensions. Suzuki reserves the right to change or cancel these promotions at any time without notice or obligation. * Financing offers available through Synchrony Retail Finance. As low as 5.99% APR financing for 60 months on new and unregistered Suzuki marine engines. Subject to credit approval. Not all buyers will qualify. Approval, and any rates and terms provided, are based on credit worthiness. $19.99/month per $1,000 financed for 60 months is based on 5.99% APR. Hypothetical figures used in calculation; your actual monthly payment may differ based on financing terms, credit tier qualification, accessories or other factors such as down payment and fees. Offer effective on new, unregistered Suzuki marine engines purchased from a participating authorized Suzuki dealer between 10/01/16 and 12/31/16.“Gimme Six”, the Suzuki “S” and model names are Suzuki trademarks or ®. Don’t drink and drive. Always wear a USCG-approved life jacket and read your owner’s manual. © 2016 Suzuki Motor of America, Inc.

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More Of A World Traveler’s Top Fishing Destinations By Patrick Sebile

L

ast month in these pages, I laid out what in my opinion are the top-5 fishing destinations in the world. It was a list of the most impressive fisheries I have experienced in a career spent traveling to fish the most renowned waters on this planet. From southern Africa’s Atlantic coast to Scandanavia, Panama, Australia and Venice, Louisiana, those five destinations topped the list among the 64 countries where I have fished. But there are other destinations well worth mention as some of the top fisheries in the world. With this article I will touch on five more destinations I believe to be some of the best on the planet. • Florida, U.S.A: Choosing a whole state and calling it a destination might be a stretch. However, the variety of great fisheries offered by this peninsula is what makes it one of the best places in the world for anglers. With fantastic inshore and offshore fishing, seasonal highlights like the east coast mullet run and some of the best bass fishing anywhere, Florida’s patchwork of options make it a great place for fishing. • South Island, New Zealand: This place is as wild as wilderness can get. Fishing for trout in New Zealand streams with the backdrop that was the set from the “Lord of the Rings” movies has to be one of the most incredible experiences of my life. Also, the north island offers great saltwater fishing for humphead snapper and yellowtail amberjack, which is one of the meanest and most powerful fish that lives in the world’s oceans. • Lake Biwa, Japan: This 259-square-mile lake is surrounded with history as one of the oldest lakes in the world. It is filled with millions of ayu—a small trout-related fish—that turned out to be the major food for a population of largemouth bass. There are consistently more

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Photo Courtesy of Al Stewart Photography

big bass in Lake Biwa than anywhere else I know of. It is where the longtime IGFA All Tackle world record was tied just a few years ago with a bass that weighed 22-pounds, 5-ounces. • Ivory Coast, Africa: Years ago, I ran a lodge on the Ivory Coast, not far from the city of San Pedro, where Stuart Campbell used to come targeting record blue marlin. He succeeded a number of times. From April to June, my average day consisted of three to five fish in the 300- to 600-pound range. • Massachusetts, U.S.A.: I’m a striped bass addict, and fishing the shores of Massachusetts is a pilgrimage I must make on an annual basis, period! There’s nothing like fishing for striped bass when they’re blitzing bait on the shorelines of the northeastern states. Patrick Sebile is the owner and lure designer of Sebile Innovative Fishing (www.sebile.com).

COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM


It’s the Honda of Outboards. Literally.

Quality, reliability, technology and fuel-efficiency have made Honda an automotive legend. You’ll find those same strengths in every Honda Marine outboard. Honda outboards deliver best-of-class features in models ranging from 2.3 to 250 hp. Many even share engine technology and components used in Honda vehicles like the Accord, Odyssey, Fit and Pilot — vehicles that have proven themselves over millions of miles. No wonder all Honda outboards are backed by the only 5-year manufacturer’s warranty in the industry. Power your boat with the brand that offers millions of miles of proven performance — Honda Marine.

Take Advantage Of 2.49% APR Financing On All New Honda Outboards Or 4.49% APR Financing On All New Honda Outboard Engines Or Boat/Motor Packages — Going On Now! To Find Your Nearest Authorized Honda Marine Dealer, Visit Our Website Now From Your QR-Enabled Phone, Or Go To ca.hondamarine.com *APR financing available on all new Honda outboard engines through American Honda Finance Corporation upon approved credit. 2.49% APR financing for 24 – 48 months, available to customers who qualify for the AHFC super preferred credit tier. Example for new Honda outboard engines: 2.49% APR for 36 months financing at $28.86 a month for every $1,000 financed. 3.49% APR for 60 months financing at $18.19 a month for every $1,000 financed. 3.49% APR for 84 months financing at $13.44 a month for every $1,000 financed. Offer good on any new and unregistered Honda outboard engine, with a minimum amount financed of $1,000 and a minimum monthly payment of $100. Check with participating dealers for complete details. Dealers set actual sales prices. For well-qualified buyers, not all buyers may qualify. Higher rates apply for different terms and/or buyers with lower credit rating. Lower rates may also be available. Offer valid through 01/03/17, on new and unregistered Honda outboard engines (2hp – 250hp) and only on approved credit by Honda Financial Services through participating dealers. Honda Financial Services’ standard credit criteria apply. **APR financing available on all new Honda outboard engines or packages (boat, motor and trailer, where Honda outboard engine is the main source of power) through American Honda Finance Corporation upon approved credit. 4.49% APR financing for 12 – 180 months (term and rate based on amount financed) available to customers who qualify for the AHFC Super Preferred credit tier. Example for new Honda outboard engines or packages: 4.49% APR for 84 months financing at $13.90 a month for every $1,000 financed. 4.49% APR for 144 months financing at $9.00 a month for every $1,000 financed. 4.49% APR for 180 months financing at $7.64 a month for every $1,000 financed. Offer good on any new and unregistered Honda outboard engine or package, with a minimum amount financed of $1,000 and a minimum monthly payment of $100. Check with participating dealers for complete details. Dealers set actual sales prices. For well-qualified buyers, not all buyers may qualify. Higher rates apply for different terms and/or buyers with lower credit rating. APR may be subject to dealer mark-up. Offer valid through 01/03/17, on new and unregistered Honda outboard engines or packages and only on approved credit by Honda Financial Services through participating dealers. Honda Financial Services’ standard credit criteria apply. ©2016 American Honda Motor Co., Inc. Always wear a personal flotation device while boating and read your owner’s manual. All Honda outboards meet EPA and CARB emission levels. COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM DECEMBER 2016 NATIONAL 7


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PHOTO BY GARNER REID, COHUTTA FISHING COMPANY

VOLUME 22 • ISSUE 261

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PHOTO COURTESY OF CAPT. CRAIG KORCZYNSKI - PHLATSINSHOREFISHING.COM VOLUME 22 • ISSUE 261

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INTERNATIONAL BAHAMAS : Misti & Gary Guertin • (772) 285-6850 • treasurecoast@coastalanglermagazine.com flahama@coastalanglermagazine.com COSTA RICA : Thomas Hauer, Jr. • (321) 445-1557 • thomash@coastalanglermagazine.com Thomas Hauer • tomh@coastalanglermagazine.com PUERTO RICO/VIRGIN ISLANDS : Ace Bassue • (407) 285-9453 • ace@coastalanglermagazine.com © 2016. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written consent of the publisher. Disclaimer: Coastal Angler Magazine / The Angler Magazine will not be held liable for injuries incurred while partaking in activities described herein, or for claims made against products or services provided by advertisers.

COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM


Editor’s Note: Each month, Coastal Angler Magazine and The Angler Magazine staff search our vast coverage area for photos that will grace our covers. With well over a million readers in diverse coastal and inland markets, our magazines strive for broad national appeal as well as local-level intelligence to put anglers on fish. The cover is different depending on which edition you, the reader, are holding. The following is a little information about this month’s covers.

COASTAL ANGLER MAGAZINE Eleuthera, Bahamas

FREE

This year’s December holiday editions of Coastal Angler Magazine feature an image Holiday of Gene Dyer and a 30-pound mahi caught GIFT while fishing aboard Uncle Tom Dyer’s GUIDE 55-foot Hatteras off Eleuthera, Bahamas. Dyer is Coastal Angler’s newest franchisee, having recently taken over the Fort Local Lauderdale franchise location. Gene comes to Coastal Angler as a former advertising sales executive for Florida Sport Fishing. Eleuthera is one of the long skinny Out Islands that make up the eastern edge of the Bahamian archipelago. It is a spectacular vacation destination with miles of pink sand beaches, and for anglers it is a renowned bonefish destination, noted for expansive and easily accessible flats. As evidenced by Dyer’s Mahi, Eleuthera is also a fantastic jumpingoff place for the reef, spearfishing and sport fishing the Bahamas are famous for. Excellent reefs such as Devil’s Backbone are teeming with snappers, groupers and amberjack. And with depths of thousands of feet a few miles offshore, anglers can take a quick boat ride and tangle with tuna, marlin, snapper, mahi-mahi, sailfish and some huge wahoo. Fishing Reports Catch Photos News & Events

VOLUME 22 • ISSUE 263

COASTALA NGLERMA G.COM

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THE ANGLER MAGAZINE Southeastern Mountain Trout

WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA EDITION

FREE

There is no better gift for a trout angler than the opportunity to cast to gorgeous fish in the streams of southern Appalachia. The cover image for our holiday editions of The Angler Holiday Magazine comes from the north Georgia GIFT GUIDE mountains, where Tommy Nicodemus caught this big rainbow trout from Noontootla Creek Local while fishing with guide Chuck Head of Unicoi Outfitters. Noontootla Creek is one of the best small trout streams in Georgia, and it feeds the larger Toccoa River, which boasts one the Southeast’s premier tailwater trout fisheries. Noontootla itself flows from high-headwaters through public land on Blue Ridge Wildlife Management Area, where it is a small stream offering wild brown and rainbow trout. For decades it has been managed under special regulations, which have produced a great, if sometimes challenging, fishery. Our cover fish was caught from an extensively managed private trophy stretch of Noontootla Creek called Noontootla Creek Farms. The image was captured by Jason Weldon. PHOTO COURTESY OF JASON WELDON

VOLUME 22 • ISSUE 263

F R A N C H I S E

Fishing Reports Catch Photos News & Events

FISHING WITH UNICOI OUTFITTERS

THEANGLE RMAG.COM O P P O R T U N I T I E S

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inter means giant redfish on the fly. From Florida to Texas and up the east coast of the United States, giant redfish are a prime target species for many saltwater fly anglers. In my opinion, there is no finer wintertime saltwater species to sight fish a fly too. The fishing opportunities are endless, and the chance to hook a true giant heavier than 30 pounds is very likely. However, for the fly angler to be successful he/she must be able to make the cast. First Things First The first thing I suggest to anglers before they jump into saltwater fly fishing is to really learn how to cast a fly line to 40 feet quickly and accurately. We are often led to believe that if the angler can cast a long distance then he or she will be a successful fly angler. There is nothing further from the truth. I’ve seen wonderful fly casters become frustrated when sight casting to redfish. They are so focused on making a long cast that they miss the f ish-catching opportunities within 40 feet of their rod tip. Casting to redfish is more about accuracy and quickness than is distance. Learn The Double Haul Developing a solid double-haul is the foundation of a quick and accurate cast. Not only does the double-haul help with distance, if executed correctly, it reduces the number of backcasts the angler must make. It is well to remember that the more time the fly line is in the air, the less time the fly is on the water. The best way to learn the double haul is to find a grassy area like a park. Next, strip out 40 feet of fly line and make a forward cast, allowing the fly line to lie on the grass in front of you. Next, lower your rod tip to where it is touching the ground in front of you. Then, pick up the fly line and make a back cast, laying the line out behind you. This is the single haul. Next, pull the fly line off the grass behind you with your line hand while the fly rod is moving forward, and with the rod moving forward, pull the line down towards your belt line. As you feel the fly rod load while it bends on the forward cast, release the line from your line hand, allowing the fly line to shoot forward through the guides. This is the second haul of the double haul, an effective cast when long- distance casts are required, but also important for the short, quick accurate cast needed when fishing red fish. The Back Cast Is Important Much of your success in fly casting is dependent upon the development of a smooth back cast, that is the ability to cast 20 to 30 feet of line behind you whenever demanded. Remember the fly fisherman’s adage that “your forward cast is only as good as your back cast,” and a good cast is the “rule-of thumb” when casting flies to redfish. If a redfish appears behind you, simply make a forward cast. With your fly line on the water, simply pick up the line, and shoot it behind you. Retain eye contact with the redfish’s position. In next month’s column, Casting to Redfish Part Two, I will write about the importance of the repositioning cast and quick cast.

FLY FISHING

ON THE COVER

CASTING FOR THE REDFISH GAME: PART ONE

Follow Conway Bowman at www.conwybowman.com, on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

For More Fly Fishing with Bowman, go to

CAMFLYFISHING.COM

COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

DECEMBER 2016

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Gift Ideas FOR ANGLERS

C

heck out these great gift ideas for the outdoor enthusiast on your holiday gift list. These local merchants are available to ensure your holiday gift giving satisfaction. We always try to encourage our readers to shop locally. It’s our community and we all benefit from supporting our local businesses. They’re here for us all year long and our personal convenience depends on their sustainability. Tell them Coastal Angler/The Angler Magazine sent you. By the way, if you see something here that you wish could be under the tree with your name on it, just take out a marker and circle it. Then leave this page open for your friends and family to see. Yes, crude but effective.

Happy Holidays from all of us at Coastal Angler/The Angler Magazine.

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GEORGIA

By O’Neill Williams

A

re you a bass guy? Ever caught a 51-pounder or, for that matter, any over 10 pounds? Very few folks have. I’ve been promoting a new horizon for the bass angler: inshore saltwater. Permit me to highlight the magnificent redfish, and point you to three places where you can get it done. First let’s talk about the fish and what to expect. The guy is dumb as a rock. He can be spooked and still will bite, is always hungry, is a survivor, grows rapidly, eats plastics, spinnerbaits, crankbaits, can be spotted in the shallows and finally, is a fabulous table fish. My largest is 51-pounds. I was fishing in the Banana River near Cocoa Beach, Fla. and saw this giant in about 2 feet of water. I cast a small curly tail jig on 12-pound test line and he took it. After the hook set, the fish swam past the boat and my

fabulous guide, Shawn Telephone Mark Noble, a long-time guide, local Foster, also known as booster of fishing and St. Simons Island native. Doctor Drum (321-784- He has spent his life fishing these waters. From 0094), shouted, “That’s a September through November in the shallow 50 pounder!” waters near the river mouths that flow into the Ok, enough about bay, redfish gang up like I’ve never seen before, me. Let me direct you and although you’re going to beef up your tackle to three great redfish because the fish are so large, it’s still sporting. destinations. The maximum length to keep a red there is The Cajun Vista 27 inches. I’ve fished with Mark over a dozen Lodge, Louisiana: With times, caught probably 6,000 pounds of reds and lodging in a fabulous never had one small enough to keep. I didn’t 100-year-old renovated mind. Maybe you should look up Mark at www. school house, Theophile georgiafishing.net? Bougeois can easily Capt. Eddie Woodall, Florida: After reading accommodate 60 guests. this, I’ll expect you to head to Pensacola Bay and Meals are a fresh fish Navarre Beach in December. When the river banquet with gumbo waters cool in December, it sends tons of bait into and Cajun dishes, the bay. When this happens, thousands of redfish and you’ll walk to the push pogies to the surface. When the surfaceboats only 30 yards feeding birds give you the signal, you’ll motor over away, partner with seasoned guides and cast to and begin casting and reeling large Road Runners thousands of redfish in some of the best inshore tipped with plastics. fishing in the world in Barataria, Louisiana. When visiting Eddie Woodall the first time a Using bass tackle, 8- to 12-pound test line, couple of December’s ago, the birds indicated the spinnerbaits, plastics, crankbaits and a popping first school, and I hooked and caught a 20-pound cork over live shrimp, you’ll limit out every day on redfish on the first cast. After that stunning start, we 4- to 15-pound redfish. You’ll be fishing the marsh caught and released at least 20 similar reds before in an area 30 miles wide and 90 miles long in water lunch. Eddie’s site is www.fullnetfishingcharters. that’s mostly shallower than 6 feet. com. From early March through summer, Gulf So, why not give the good old dependable Coast reds are a calling card. See Theophile’s redfish a chance and visit these fellows to make it website at www.neworleansfishing.com. complete? Capt. Mark Noble, Georgia: Oh, my goodness—500 to 700 To check out an awesome red catch on a kids fishing pole visit pounds a day? Yep. On the Georgia coast. I, too, was surprised.

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ach year before the bass tournament season starts, I practice new techniques and tune-up the ones I’ve mastered. Whether it is electronics, skipping jigs, fishing ledges, etc., you have to practice to get better. One night before going to the lake for some practice, I decided to work on time management. Time is something that always costs me in tournaments. I’ve realized that time was not my enemy, how I managed it was. Tournament anglers have eight hours to catch five good fish by 3 p.m. I started with the basics. I broke it down by allocating one hour for travel from spot to spot and to get back for the weigh in. That left seven hours of fishing. During map study, I found seven spots I could fish for an hour each. Believe it or not, that’s a lot of time to fish one area. I decided that if I got bit at any time, I might need to adjust my time-management plan on the water, but at least I had a plan. A mistake I see many anglers make is staying too long in one area. Bass are opportunistic, and if they are ready to eat, they are going to eat. If I have not gotten bit in a certain amount of time, I will do one of several things: change baits, change colors, change locations and, many times, change speed. Focusing on time management, I have found that discipline and staying focused is a key part of the game.

My plan started out just as planned. I fished the first spot for an hour, and then ran to the next and fished it for an hour. When I got to my third spot, I started getting bites. So when the time came to leave, I simply stayed at that spot for 15 minutes longer, which meant I only had 45 minutes at one of my other areas. I was looking for a pattern. If it was determined the fish were only halfway back in the coves, I could concentrate only on those areas where I was getting bites and save time. I could now expand my fishing areas and places to fish, staying on each spot for maybe 30 minutes. Now, instead of having only seven spots to fish, I could get to 11 or 12 spots in a day and still be back on time. Time is something we cannot make more of, but it is something that can be managed. I recommend tournament anglers who struggle with time management buy a baker’s timer, set it for however long you want to be on each spot, and stick to moving each time it goes off. For me, timing my areas allows me to be more efficient all the way down to how I cover a certain area and to the rotation of baits I’m using. Stop blaming time and start managing it better. Check out pro bass angler Jay Striker’s website at www.jaystriker.com.

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Atlanta/N. Georgia/ Lake Country December 2016

PUBLISHER: Bob Rice CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: Nick Carter Henry Cowen Dr. Andrew Cox Capt. Jake Davis Jim Farmer The Fish Hawk Ronnie hall Jmmy Harris Capt. Cefus McRae Chris Scalley Gary Turner Noey Vineyard O'Neill Williams Rene J. Hesse Jimbo Mathley James Bradley David HulseY WAYNE WOOTEN Steven king ryan kennedy jay striker

To advertise in the largest free fishing publication in the U.S. with over 1 million monthly readers, call 706-614-8231

Graphic Design: Kathleen CARREIRO KATHLEENCARREIRO@YMAIL.COM A Free Publication The Angler Magazine Is Distributed Across The Southeast. The Angler Magazine Is Published Monthly By B & B Publishers P.O. Box 766 Madison, GA 30650 706-614-8231 www.theanglermagazine.com Reproduction Of Contents In Any Form Is Prohibited Bob Rice, publisher The Angler Magazine Fishing, Boating, Conservation “Find your outdoors here”

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DECEMBER 2016

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Local Rivers & Fly Fishing

An Angler’s Christmas Contributed By: Jimmy Harris

www.unicoioutfitters.com

You know those people on your Christmas list that you just can’t think of an appropriate gift to give them? Well, those folks aren’t anglers. You’ll never hear anyone say, “They’re just so hard to buy for” about an angler, regardless of how much stuff they already have. We can’t have too much! There’s always something new coming out that’s so cool or such an improvement it’s guaranteed to make them a better angler. Or it may simply be something your angler wants but wouldn’t buy themselves. Admittedly, we do have a tendency to find ways to acquire things ourselves, even if we have to sneak them in the garage and throw them in the middle of a pile of junk gear so they look like we’ve owned them for decades. To avoid purchasing anything your angler may have already secretly bought and hidden away to mysteriously appear at an appropriate time, you’re just going to have to have a plan. That plan will require you to look them in the eye and demand they give you a shopping list from which you’ll work. It requires an open mind on your part and a bit of boldness. There should be absolutely NO

LIMITS on the list. They need to honestly believe you’re open to giving them anything they could ever dream of wanting. From a pack of split shot to a fully rigged truck, trailer and boat, they’ve got to feel free to put it on the shopping list. This is the only sure way to avert the disaster of giving a gift they already have. That new $850.00 fly rod you know without a doubt will be loved and cherished. Shoot, it may even improve your relationship. But it also could already be hiding amongst all the old junk rods in that 55 gallon barrel in the shop, just waiting for the right time to materialize without hoopla. Usually, when spotted the response is something like, “Oh, that old thing, it’s been around a long time.” Christmas shopping for an angler really is as easy as it gets. If they won’t give you hints, just visit your local fly or tackle shop and ask them what they would buy themselves for Christmas. But remember, it’s got to be from a list without limitations on cost. That’s the only way to insure you’re not getting them something they already have. Anglers are good folks but they can be darn sneaky

Join the 2nd Largest Crappie Club in the Southeast! North Georgia Crappie Anglers is a family fishing club that meets the second Thursday of every month at the VFW Post in Cumming. Monthly tournaments are held on the second Saturday. Some club activities: * Red Snapper Fishing in Florida * Crappie Fishing at Lake Granada, MS * Crappie Fishing at Santee Cooper, SC * Crappie Fishing at Lake Weiss, AL * Fall Festival Craft Show in Haynesville, NC * Fall Full Moon Houseboat Ride * Periodic Pontoon Boat Lunch Outings * Various Plays, Comedy Shows and Dinners Together * Monthly Brush Pile Days

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Local Rivers & Fly Fishing

Not Low Water, But No Water

Contributed by James Bradley I have been guiding in the North Georgia Mountains now for 20 years. Over this period, I’ve witnessed changes in our state regulations governing trout fishing, periods of high water and low water, extreme heat during some of the summers, but I just cannot remember a drought being as severe as what we are currently facing. Even the weather outlook prediction to the end of this year is dry. Rain is just simply not in the works. So, where does this leave our friends that we enjoy hooking up with? For sure, most streams are running maybe a foot lower than normal. Several small streams here and there have dried up completely. It does look meager for trout in our higher elevation streams too. All streams are experiencing extreme low water levels. Currently, in many areas, you simply cannot get a decent presentation due to all the exposed rocks and debris in what little water is present. With extreme low water, lower dissolved oxygen levels may be present in some streams, and trout will have less suitable holding water and areas to hide. The chance of higher water temperatures can escalate, and many of these trout tend to move into acceptable holding areas, which leads to an increased competition for food. These factors cause additional stress on the trout, and this does not even include angler stress, which can be the greatest factor of all. Last year, the flooding took its toll on the brook and brown trout redds, destroying them completely

and washing any hatchlings, like the fry, out of the system. The flooding that occurred has almost decimated the entire “year of young” population for our brook and brown trout. It will be a few years before this part of the ecosystem recovers. But, then again, how do you replace the entire “year of young” of wild trout that has been wiped out. These fragile streams are becoming ever more fragile each day that we do not receive any rain, especially, during one of the warmest water periods that I have witnessed, and combined with a drought that is now being called exceptional drought (highest level for no rain), and after the past flooding. Timing could not have been worse for these small stream fisheries. What can you do? Instead of fishing in any small streams, take time to reflect on past trips into the high country. Plan trips with guides on private waters or float trips on the Toccoa or Chattahoochee River, and use the current delayed harvest streams as a place to go fishing. There will be times of possible extreme high use, especially on the weekends. So, keep this in mind when planning your next outing. Reel ‘Em In Guide Service is based out of beautiful Ellijay, Georgia. They have been offering their services to fly anglers since 2001. They hold a Special Use Permit for Guiding on the Chattahoochee National Forest, have licensed guides for North Carolina, offer over 7 miles of private trophy waters across Georgia, and they offer drift boat trips on the Toccoa River and the Tuckasegee River in NC.

December Fly Fishing Report Contributed By: Henry Cowen www.henrycowenflyfishing.com

Last year, December was positively the best month to be fishing on Lanier and once again should be producing fish for fly rodders. Our change over last year to this year is that the lake level on Lanier is WAY down. If we do not start getting some rain, we might be as low as 11-12’ under full pool. That is both a blessing and a curse for striper anglers. When lake levels are that far down, the lake fishes incredibly well due to the fact that the fish are more concentrated due to less water on the lake. The bad news is that the fish stocked this past spring will probably not survive as well due to the fact that they cannot hide while growing up in the grass. We simply have no grass anywhere for them to find cover from predation. Another cause for concern over lower than normal water is the fewer ramps available for anglers to use as well as the dangers of navigating an extremely low lake level. The pattern will change slightly as the fish will start pushing further north and away from the lower end of the lakes. Fish can be spread out as they start searching for food in pockets and creeks. This means that you will need to use your binoculars to look deep into the backs of the creeks to find fish eating small threadfin shad in some fairly shallow water. The topwater bite as we know it from November will still continue into December, however where they feed on top will radically change. By mid-month you can expect to see fish pushing bait and feeding in between docks in the smaller creeks. Sometimes they might be at the mouth of the creek, while other times they will be way in the back of the creek. This is the time of the year that we let

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the wildlife guide us to the fish. The bird life on lakes can be the key to help finding you a school of fish either on the surface or sub surface. The obvious wildlife to look for are terns and gulls diving on bait being pushed to the top. Kingfishers seen flying around a particular area and squawking while diving on the water to pick up a threadfin shad is also a dead giveaway. Herons standing stealthy on a bank is a certain sign of baitfish in the area. Look for loons going up and down in a particular area and not straying too far as another hint of both baitfish and stripers. This time of year anglers need to carry both an intermediate line for surfacing fish or fish running the banks as well as a sinking line for those big schools found on your fish finder. If you encounter that group, then using the countdown method will get your fly to the fish below. Most sinking lines will fall at a rate of 6 inches per second. So if you see fish at 15 feet below, then a countdown of 30 seconds puts your fly in the feeding zone. Small flies are still the ticket as the stripers are gorging on 1”- 1 ½” long threadfin shad. My Somethin’ Else pattern is still the best fly to use, but Gummy Minnows will also work. Remember to pause between your strips in order to allow the fly to free-fall like a wounded shad. That is the money retrieve and will positively get you a few more bites. The docklight bite will be in full swing at this time of year too. If you are willing to wake up an hour earlier or stay out on the lake for 90 minutes after dark, YOU WILL BE REWARDED! Wishing every one of our Angler Magazine readers a very Merry Christmas or Happy Hanukkah. See you on the pond. DECEMBER 2016

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Local Rivers & Fly Fishing

Winter Trouting in North Georgia

The Guide's Angle

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

Contributed By: Chris Scalley River Through Atlanta Guide Service

December is the month that the brown trout spawn cycle winds down and Lake Lanier will finally stabilize during the stratification scenario every year sometime between Christmas and the New Year. The river clarity is remarkable. It almost has a glacial hue with very frigid water temps. Late December and January is the very start of the rainbow spawn, so both brown and rainbow trout eggs will be on every fish’s menu, so Y2K’s and micro egg patterns are excellent. Two years ago we had a polar vortex weather system which created single digit air temperatures. This caused the lake temps to plummet and subsequently killed threadfin by the millions and Buford Dam spewed these little baitfish out. So get your shad patterns ready if this happens again. On another note, everyone is looking for a great gift idea for friends and family, so look no further than my guide service! We can issue gift certificates for a guided trout fishing float or wade trip which makes for a great stocking stuffer gift idea.

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Cold weather usually makes its presence known this month. The first dusting of snow in December triggers something in almost all fly fishers. The initial dragging out of fly tying tools and materials of all kinds normally begins now no matter how bad you really are at fly tying. Everybody likes the idea of a roaring fire in the fireplace, a strong drink in your favorite glass and feathers and fur flying about as you mutilate yet another pattern in your vise. For some though, the low angle December sun means solitude and a sense of peace finally on the river. Gone are the throngs of fly whippers guarding every nice pool in the creek and basically the only fishers left are the occasional great blue heron and squeaking river otter. Not too many hatches occur at this time of year in the freestone streams of Southern Appalachia, but not to worry, they’re always nymphs scurrying around on the stones and sticks in the streams. The trout are in low gear right now, kind of like us too. Moving slowly about in the river is always a good idea, but winter makes it even more so. Taking a dive into 35 degree ice water is not fun, and trout don’t like swimmers anyway. Heavy nymph rigs that slowly tick bottom and slow swung streamers will get you a few hook ups. Fly patterns such as big Rubber Legged Stones in size 8 and streamers such as an Olive Zonker in Size 6 can make your day. Standard nymphs such as the Prince and a Pheasant Tail in size 14 and 16 will also take their share of fish. Tungsten beaded flies really get down there and grind the bottom where the fish are when the water is this cold. Czech nymphing tactics can be deadly at anytime of the year but can make you look like pro in the short days of the year. Being on the river at sunup isn’t required at this time of year, so have that extra cup of coffee or heck, have brunch! Usually a little sun on the water will get the fish feeling a little more enthused about eating. Midday is primetime right now, and

when that evening sun slips behind the trees and the temperature starts dropping, it’s a good time to head to the house. The Upper Toccoa Delayed Harvest fishes well through the winter. The other Delayed Harvest streams scattered about the state also are great places to spend a sunny winter afternoon. Toccoa River tailwater fishing can be good and you might even have a few Black Caddis and Black Stoneflies actually hatching and prying some fish off the bottom to eat. Tiny Blue Winged Olives and Black Midges could make an appearance in the warmer water near the dam. The lack of fishing pressure at this time of year can make the fish a little more forgetful being there is more time between getting harassed by us. Come take a winter guide trip with us and see how good the winter trouting can be. You won’t even notice the icicle hanging off your nose! Contact us at the Southern Highroads fly shop at 706-781-1414 for that Christmas gift or guide trip. Please stay warm my friends and Happy Holidays!

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C 7 a w Zack Phillips with a rainbow trout from the Tuckaseegee Delayed Harvest.

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Local Rivers & Fly Fishing Chattooga River

by Karl Ekberg Chattooga River Fly Shop www.chattoogariverflyshop.com 864-6382806 The rivers of the South Carolina Mountains have been heavily stocked now from the South Carolina DNR, and many thanks go out to the folks of the Walhalla Fish Hatchery! The Delayed Harvest areas are fishing extremely well with many large fish being landed on a wide variety of flies. The large brook trout have beautiful spawning colors to them, and the rainbows have been in the 12”-16” average with a few larger ones landed as well. The larger browns have been a great pleasure to catch as well, with a great fight to land them. Our guides are putting people on large fish, and taking great pictures to send them home with for bragging rights. Low water conditions have pushed the fish into the faster moving water and riffles of the rivers. Fishing the bright and flashy has subsided now as the fish in these areas have acclimated themselves to their new river surroundings. As the river temperatures have dropped with the outside temperatures dropping significantly, fishing lower in the water column has proved to be the best. Drifting larger heavy nymphs with smaller trailing nymphs has proved to be very successful. Fishing a Pat’s Rubber Leg, Skipper Stone or Twenty

Fly of the Month By Jake Darling

Incher as the lead fly, and a small Pheasant Tail, Blue-Winged Olive, Braided Wire Trout Bug or UV2 Fuzzy Bug nymph as a trailer fly in the fast moving riffles, seams and slower water on a dead-drift will be necessary. At times of higher water conditions, a pinch of weight or a heavier Stone Fly will be needed to get your flies down to the holding fish. Colder water temperatures leads to the fish becoming a bit lethargic, and streamer fishing will need to be slower as well. Slowing down your strip and pauses will be the key to success. The use of Sculpin patterns, UV2 “Cereal Killers” and small shiner patterns will be good. Stripping these flies through the seams, in the large deep pools and behind larger rocks in the runs will produce fish. As the holidays are upon us, the “river crowd” tends to be a little less than usual, as many folks are shopping and attending holiday festivities. We have found that even on a Saturday or Sunday, folks can have a great day on the river without having difficulty finding a great spot to fish. From all of us here at Chattooga River Fly Shop, we want to wish everyone and their families a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! We look forward to seeing everyone out on the rivers. Stop by and see us Tuesday-Saturday 7am-5pm, and Sundays 7am-2pm.

Post a Picture of your catch!

Guided Fly Fishing for Trout, Trophy Trout and Float Trips

Ellijay, GA facebook.com/theanglermagazineGA

Unicoi Outfitters jake@unicoioutfitters.com

Fire Egg (Pink) Hook: TMC 2488H #14 Bead: 1/8” Gold Weight: 7 wraps .020 lead wire Thread: UTC 210, Yellow Egg: McFlyfoam, Early Girl Blood Dot: Wapsi Egg Foo Yarn, Red (1 Strand) Eggs are effective throughout the entire year, but micro eggs are a deadly weapon during the winter months. As the water becomes clear in the winter, trout become wary of overly large egg patterns. By scaling down the size of your eggs, you’re certain to put more fish in the net! 6 ATLANTA

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9400 Highway 197 North Clarkesville, GA 30523

(706) 947-3474

info@blackhawkflyfishing.com

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Local Rivers & Fly Fishing

The Casting Corner Rene J. Hesse Certified Casting InstructorFederation of Fly Fishers & Atlanta Fly Fishing and Camping Meetup Organizer

Line Management Thinking about doing a saltwater fishing trip? If you have gone before you may know that being able to manage the line on the deck of the boat is VERY important. Maybe you can make a 60-100 foot cast, but if your line is all tangled, forget about it. Here is a quick review on the best way to set up your fly line on the deck of a flats boat or any boat for that matter. When you walk up to the bow or casting deck of the boat, strip off about 10-15 arm lengths of line and lay it on the deck. Let the guide know you are doing a ‘clearing cast’. He will appreciate that you are getting set up now rather than when the fish is in sight. Cast out that length of line and estimate how much more line you can cast and strip it off the reel onto the deck. Make one more cast to extend the line and see how much you have out and how far you can cast it. Don’t strip off more than you can cast. Then start your line management. Step down into the bottom section of the boat and pull your line in, stacking it on your line hand side so the part that is going to be shooting out first is on top. When you have about a third of the line in the lower deck, step up to the platform and continue stacking the line. Leave the leader and about 15 feet of line out of the rod tip and

get ready for the salt water quick cast. The goal of the quick cast is to be able to hit a target that is in the 20 foot range or 80 foot range in about 3 seconds. With the 15 feet of line out of the rod tip, grab the fly with your line hand. Then bring end of the fly line to the same hand and pinch it next to the fly. You now have the fly and fly line pinched in your non-casting hand and about 15 feet of line out of the rod tip. That is the ready position. When your fish approaches, sweep your rod tip towards your line hand and then away in a smooth, fairly aggressive motion. As the rod is sweeping back to the rod hand side, release the end of the fly line so it is sent back in to the loop that is being formed. As you then sweep forward in a casting motion, let the line pull the fly from your fingertips. Make sure you have held it off to the side where it will not hit you on release. Then make a false cast and then hit the target, or if it is a long cast, release extra line in the back cast to then load the rod, haul and shoot the line. Practice the line management before you go saltwater fishing and both you and the guide will enjoy the time on the water. We pay the guides, but boy can they yell at you if you are not doing it right.

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Local Lakes & Forecasts lake lanier striperS Forecast by: Clay Cunningham www.catchingnotfishing.com 770-630-2673 The striper fishing on Lake Lanier is finally falling into the winter patterns after an oddly warm November. The bait is thickening up in the creeks and the stripers are following them. Live bait will be hard to beat in December. The baitfish are now moving into the creeks in very large schools. Some of these schools are absolutely massive. On and off throughout the day the stripers will move through this bait and feast. You want to be waiting on the stripers with the traditional downline with blueback herring and rainbow trout. You will need the same setup for both of these baits, but you will need different size weights and hooks. Spool up a Penn Squall 20 reel with fifteen pound Trilene Big Game clear line paired with a Shakespeare striper rod. You can use this setup year round for stripers. Tie a Carolina rig on the end with a Capt. Mack 2 ounce swivel sinker and 5 foot leader of 15 pound Trilene 100% Flourocarbon

and a Gamakatsu 3/0 octopus hook. If the trout are smaller, go with the 1/0 or 2/0 Gamakatsu Octopus hook. On the herring, use the smaller 1 ounce Capt. Mack swivel sinker. Also, on the herring use a smaller size 1 Gamakatsu Finesse Wide Gap hook and 12 pound Trilene 100% Flourocarbon. All of these details are important. These details will make the difference between fishing and catching. If you want to catch these fish on artificials, the spoon is a great choice. Tie on a Capt. Mack Super Spoon and drop the spoon to the bottom and work it in a yo-yo type motion. Most of the bites will be on the fall of the spoon. To find where these deep pods are located, first look for any birds. The birds always narrow your search. Now that you are in the right area, the proper electronics are crucial. On the Humminbird Onix, you can see these huge pods of bait and even see your bait swimming around on the hook. During the winter, do not be afraid to fish in the middle of the day. Many times in the winter, the best fishing is during the warmest part of the day. A win all the way around.

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“The baitfish are now moving into the creeks in very large schools. Some of these schools are absolutely massive. On and off throughout the day the stripers will move through this bait and feast.”

Lake Allatoona Forecast By: Capt. Robert Eidson First Bite Guide Service 770-827-6282 eidson6260@att.net www.firstbiteguideservice.com Lineside fishing is better! The fish are still stacking up on the flats and points from Bartow Carver north to Little River. Our best bite has been fishing big threadfin, small gizzard shad as well as small trout just off the bottom on the flats on most main-lake points early, and then again right before the sun goes down. The flats at Galts, Harbor Town and the Delta have been producing best for us. As we move into the month, the bigger stripers have moved back into 8 ATLANTA

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the lake and are already starting to move into the mid-lake creeks. The flat lines and planer boards fished with large gizzard shad or trout will be your best bet for big fish. If you’re after numbers, large threadfins and small gizzard shad will work best. December is one of the best months of the year for spooning. I normally have my best luck on a ½ ounce white Flex-It spoon fished right off the bottom. December is one of my favorite months to fish Lake Allatoona. The summer boat traffic is over, and with deer season being in full swing, not too many people are on the lakes. It’s just a peaceful time of the year to wet a line.

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Local Lakes & Forecasts Lake MARTIN Forecast By: Capt David Hare 256-401-3089 Alex City Guide Service Surface temperature: 66-70 degrees, lake level: 484.00, clarity: clear/very clear. I certainly hope by the time you’re reading this that we have gotten some measurable rainfall. This report due to holiday schedules was required to be turned in early! November so far has been good fishing pretty much anywhere on our lake which has been awesome. December should be as in the past years one of your better months for reeling in some nice trophy stripers. We will have several beautiful days and possibly a handful of overcast and hopefully rainy days that both will produce fish, and I mean nice fish! Stripers will be found on the lake, in the creeks and in the river this month. December is an awesome planer board month, which is basically a topwater bite on live bait! If you’ve never experienced this type fishing, you need to book a trip with me and come try it. You will be hooked first time you see this type

fishing in action. Planer boarding lasts all winter and spring on Lake Martin and usually plays out about June. For those of you wanting to catch a striper on your own but don’t have live bait, try some black salties, which can be purchased at several local bait shops. For artificials this month, I suggest bucktail jigs, spoons and swimbaits. As always, keep a jerk bait close by for an exploding striper which can happen anytime. For a great Christmas gift, we have gift certificates for all budgets, and they are good for 1 year but the memories last a lifetime! Call me at 256-401-3089. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from the # 1 guide service on Lake Martin and Capt. David Hare.

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Local Lakes & Forecasts Looking for Holiday Gifts for that Sportsperson in Your Life?

Lake Allatoona striper/hybrid

Contributed By: Dr. Andrew Cox Professor at Troy University, Phenix City, Alabama. andrewtrout@aol.com. This month the holiday shopping season is in full swing. You may be looking for a gift for that person in your life who enjoys hunting and/or fishing. In this article, I am going to list several gift ideas for that difficult to shop for outdoors person. I recently used the Fisherman’s Thumb (www.fishersmansthumb. com) and Pro5Flex (www.proflex5. com) products. The latter is endorsed by pro angler Randy Howell. These are fingertip/ finger protectors are for use when handling fish. They prevent skin cuts and abrasions on your fingers while removing hooked fish and similar angling situations. They are inexpensive and would make good “stocking stuffers” for the angler in your life. Another gift idea is specialty angling clothing that are appropriate for different seasons of the year. I like the long sleeve, synthetic fabric shirts embedded with sunblock for spring, summer and fall fishing seasons. Easy to care for angling pants are another good clothing item. Fleece type products for late fall, winter, and early spring fishing trips are other good clothing items. As an angler, you never seem to have enough tackle storage. These tackle boxes can be placed in boats or carried to different fishing locations. I prefer the plastic see through waterproof and rust proof tackle boxes with different layers of storage. Flambeau Products makes a variety of such boxes in different sizes and price ranges. I also like the deep tray waterproof boxes that can be purchased for storing electronic devices such as cellular telephones, cameras, GPS units or similar devices. These boxes can also be used for storing fishing line, and other angling supplies so that they are readily accessible in your boat or other fishing location. Some anglers enjoy using classic fishing lures or have favorite lures that are no longer available for purchase. There are companies that specialize in reproducing these favorite lures from a prototype lure or picture. These hand-made, specialty crafted lures are many 10 ATLANTA

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times made from wood. Creek Candy Lures, Kentucky (www. creekcandylures.com) is a lure manufacturer specializing in such handcrafted lures. Specialty pliers for angling situations are another good gift item. They are available in various sizes and price ranges. I prefer aluminum pliers that have large, robust jaws with a cutter for cutting fishing line and leader materials. Various tackle catalogs also sell pliers with multipurpose tools that are useful in angling such as the Leatherman products. Fishing seems to stimulate my appetite. Accordingly, I always have some snack foods on board my boat or available for snacking during the fishing day. Rather than scrambling around looking for plastic spoons or forks, a combination cutlery or multifunctional camping tool that has a folding spoon, fork, and knife are a good tackle box or boat item. These are available from camping equipment specialty stores, catalogs, or on-line shopping sites. Lastly, the gift giver cannot go wrong with a gift certificate to purchase items at one of the big box or smaller tackle outlets. This allows the angler receiving the gift card or certificate to make decisions regarding their own purchases and angling need. Hopefully this provides some shopping ideas for the sports person in your life. Hope that each of you have a safe and happy holiday season. Author’s Note: Dr. Andrew Cox is a contributing writer to outdoor publications and newspapers. His writing interests specialize in angling and travel, human interest, and general fishing technique oriented topics. He is a member of the Georgia Outdoor Writer’s Association. He has fished the waters of most states within the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, New Zealand, Australia, and several Caribbean islands. Dr. Cox financially supports his fishing habits as Professor Emeritus at Troy University, Phenix City, Alabama. He may be contacted at andrewtrout@ aol.com.

Forecast by Shawn “Shadman” McNew Striper Soup Bait & Tackle Acworth GA/ 770-528-9601 Allatoona should be 15 feet below full pool in mid-December. In stark contrast to last year’s deluge, we are in a pretty serious drought right now with little to no precipitation for the past 3 months. The lake level is within operating range, and we will expect it to gradually lower to winter pool by the end of December. The entire lake has been clear with the exception of a few of the shallow backwater areas. The turnover has been slower than normal due to a very warm October, but much of the shallower parts of the lake are done. There is tons of bait all over the lake in the form of threadfin shad in the 3 inch range with some schools of bigger 4.5-5 inch shad. We are all hoping the fishing picks up from what it has been, and historically the December fishery on Allatoona is good. The best part is the lake has become a fisherman’s paradise with no disturbing wake-makers. Since striper and hybrid prefer to feed “up” when they can, focus your tactics on shallow running presentations. Striper Soup planer boards, lightly weighted flatlines, and freelines (a line with just a hook) should be producing fish. Always look for concentrations of shad to fish around since the predators

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never stray too far away from the groceries. We should have some birds showing up by now to help out with the bait finding. Medium to large gizzard shad will get the bigger fish to hit, while small gizzards and threadfin will catch just about anything that swims that’s worth catching. Areas to focus your efforts will most likely be the Little River area where it runs into the main lake, the S turns, Kellogg/Owl Creek junction, out in front of Galt’s boat ramp, Illinois Creek down to the beach, Stamp Creek, in front of the Red Top boat ramp, Around Allatoona Landing and Glade Marina and the Clark/Tanyard Creek area. If weather patterns hold and it stays dry, the lake will remain clear and fishing should be very good. Some other tactics that are always worth trying are trolling umbrella rigs, cut-baiting on clay banks and chucking lures like swimbaits or A-rigs. With the cooler water, the fish will tend to only feed during a short window of time. If you are there when they turn on, it will be fast and furious. If you’re on fish and they aren’t feeding, don’t give up on them. Sometimes chumming with chunks of fresh shad or even live shad (if the supply is plentiful) can help turn on the bite. HINT: The biggest fish on the lake may be taken in water less than 5 feet deep this time of year!

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Local Lakes & Forecasts lake seminole

by Paul Tyre paultyrefishing@yahoo.com 850-264-7534 Water temperature: 72 degrees, lake level: 1 foot below full pool, clarity: most of the lake is clear. The bass fishing on Lake Seminole has been good this fall. The Flint River arm of the lake is clear due to the lack of rain. Several patterns have been producing like a Strike King Burner in Blue Shad fished fast along the outside edge of the grass lines on windy days and early in the mornings. For this technique, I prefer the Strike King Burner Spinnerbait in 1/2 ounce Blue Shad and fished on a 7:1 gear ratio reel. A jerkbait like a Strike King KVD Jerkbait in Sexy Ghost Minnow has been pro-ductive in the Spring Creek area, fished fast along grass lines in 10 to 15 feet of water.

Hybrids have been schooling up in the lower end of the lake where the Flint and Chattahoochee meet. An A-Rig like the Strike King Titanium Umbrella Rig loaded with 5 1/2 inch Strike King Shadalicious in Green Gizzard have been taking some nice hybrids. The crappie are starting to bite on the edge of the river channels in 12 to 15 feet of water on minnows and jigs. They are nice sized and plentiful.

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Local Lakes & Forecasts lake lanier crappie Forecast By: Dan Saknini, Lanier Crappie Angler’s Club. www.laniercrappieanglers.net Water temperature is about 69 degrees. You will notice cooler water temperatures the further north you go in the rivers. Fishing is good and getting better. The pattern is simple: submerged standalone brush piles in fifteen to twenty five feet should be your main targets. The main river channel north of Laurel Park on the Chattahoochee side and the main river channel in the Chestatee are both producing well. Having said that, don’t overrule the middle of creeks to the backs of creeks, staying in fifteen foot or greater depths. We are also noticing that some fish are moving to deeper docks in main river channels. If you want to fish the south side of the lake, you may want to consider Four Mile Creek. You will notice a slight change in the color

of the water as you go further north. This should work to your advantage as crappie prefer slightly stained water. Jiffy Jigs, Bobby Garland, Mr. Crappie and Panfish Assassins have all been working well. If you prefer fishing with live bait, minnows are also working with a number six long shank hook and a slip cork. If you’re not familiar with slip corks, instructions on how to use will be on the package. Tight lining while trolling is another way to catch crappie on brush, using a jig tipped with minnows ten feet below the surface. This will require ten to twelve foot rods parallel with the water, with up to four rods on each side of the trolling motor. Your line should be vertical while going at a very, very low speed. If your line is angled or horizontal, you are going too fast. The lake level continues to drop, exposing new hazards. We are currently just over 9 feet below full pool, so be vigilant. Enjoy fishing among the fall colors on the lake. Stay safe on the water and wear your life jacket!

lake lanier STRIPER

Team Lanier consists of myself and a crew of one to two invited guests. As the captain, I would put the crew on fish, give advice, take the pictures and post the stories of the day with the technical details on my blog each Saturday. I am a striper conservationist, so I catch and release - “a fish is too valuable to catch only once”. I take extreme care in limiting the striper’s time out of the water with cell phone camera ready, ruler in place on floor for measuring or a scale for weighing and a Seaqualizer in position to lower the striper back into its survival zone. November water temperatures have been 60-70 degrees in the main lake. Methods we have been using are downlines in the creek channels with blueback herring; umbrella rigs on humps and brush piles over creek and lake points; flat lines have been used from Mud Creek to LM38 in 30 feet or less with big baits. 10am to 3pm is the time to target these patterns from Browns Bridge to

Hwy 60. My December log tells us that the water temperatures should be 4560 degrees throughout the month. Methods used should be downlines with blueback herring and large gizzard shad primarily in large bays from River Forks to Gainesville Marina, Sardis and Gainesville Creeks and planer boards and flat lines dead center in the creek channels. Umbrella rigs can be used in the creeks south of Browns Bridge and north from River Forks to Gainesville Marina 25 feet deep on points and rocky shorelines. Other target areas are fishing over bait clouds in 4 Mile, Orr, Mud and Flat Creeks. We must not leave out the shallow water bite with big baits on planer boards and flat lines in the Chestatee River up to the dredge and in the Chattahoochee River well beyond Lula Bridge. Take care in these two areas as the lake levels are very low. Keep a log to recall your catching experiences for next year. Have a plan. If what you are doing is not working, change your presentation often. TIP OF THE MONTH: Target clay banks with big baits. Check out my blog at teamlanier. wordpress.com. Click the three bars

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Forecast By: by Steve Scott http://TeamLanier.wordpress.com

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Local Lakes & Forecasts

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by Capt Sam Williams www.hawksfishingguideservice. com 334-355-5057 Water temperature: low 70’s, lake level: 186.94 msl, water clarity: stained to clear. Bass are hitting good. There are loads of short fish to be caught, making it fun. The spots have no limit, so you can eat all you catch. Short worms on a shaky head jig are working really well. Jerk baits and lipless cranks are a good bet also. Crappie are getting hot. They are hitting around structure in 12 to 20

feet. Some nice slabs are coming in. Catfish are always eating, and there are some really big ones being caught on jugs baited with cut bait. The weather is really nice now, and a day on the water with your family is the best time you will ever have. God provides us with a beautiful river to enjoy. Family memories last a lifetime, so be safe and enjoy it. Please visit alabamachildrens classic.org and see the opportunities to help the kids and families at the hospital. We have chances on a Power Pole as well as chances on a guided gator hunt with Gator Glades in Moore Haven, Florida. God Bless & Good Fishn’.

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by Capt. Chad Smith smithsguideservice31@yahoo.com (706)207-2411 As the cooler weather finally comes on in the fall, crappie fishing is getting more phenomenal by the day! The water temps are cooling off into the 60s finally, and the BIG Oconee slabs are showing up by the numbers. Fall is the time for numbers of big fish! A lot of guys wait until spring for the big slabs, but they are missing some of the best fishing while they are waiting. November and December are to me my favorite

months due to catching great numbers of big crappie averaging 40-50 in a 4 hour excursion. This is the transition time. The fish will move off the brush and tree tops and move out to the mouth of coves and suspend over the deeper timber in the mouth of coves. You will also find them in the creek channels, and they are gorging themselves on small shad! The best technique to catch them is long line trolling single and double jigs at .9-1.1mph. Your jig head weight and speeds will be determined by the depth of the fish. If you want to learn to long line troll, give me a call and book your fishing trip!

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Local Lakes & Forecasts LAKE LANIER IN DECEMBER – FISH THE DITCHES Contributed By: Jim “Jimbo” Mathley www.jimboonlanier.com Many anglers underestimate the viability of winter fishing. While the outside elements are not always favorable, December and throughout the winter can offer some outstanding angling on Lake Lanier. Big sacks of spotted bass can be taken during these cold-weather months if you approach the lake with an open mind and are willing to try some different techniques and locations. Let’s explore one productive approach to Lanier in December – the ditches. Ditches: A ditch can be defined as a significant d e pre ss i on , typically narrow in width (2-15 feet), which offers a sharp depth change of 2 feet or more from the surrounding structure. Ditches can be naturally occurring or can be manmade. An example of a naturally occurring ditch would be a creek channel that feeds a pocket, cove or creek arm. A man-made ditch could result from a trench that was dug during the construction of a housing edition near the lake. These features exist in many places on Lake Lanier, and they hold fish during the winter months. I look for this year, with the lake down from full pool significantly, to offer an excellent ditch bite. The lake being down will concentrate the bait and fish in those predictable locations as the water continues to cool. Look out, this could be an incredible month! Your Search: Use your Lowrance HDS electronics with 3D Structure Scan to find creek arms or pockets just off of the main creek channels that offer a deep vein extending back into the arm or cove/pocket. The farther the deep water extends into 14 ATLANTA

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the creek arm, the better. When you enter these areas and are searching for productive water, search for the presence of baitfish in and around the timber which you will find in the deeper water portions of the ditch. If you do not find bait, you will not find fish. Leave and check other similar areas. Technique: Once you find a creek arm that meets the above criteria, you must now determine how you are going to fish these potentially productive waters. Your approach should be deter mine d by the location of the bait and time of day. Early in the mornings, active fish will often be positioned shallower in the ditch, towards the back and sometimes right in the middle. Your presentation speed should vary directly with the water temperature. The colder the water, the slower your presentation should be. Experiment with different lures and retrieve speed to determine the optimum strike provoking presentation on any given day. Following are some baits and techniques to try as you explore the ditches on Lake Lanier: SuperSpin – My favorite for this time of year. Cast this bait down the center of the ditches in which you have found bait and fish. Work the bait slowly on the bottom and be alert for very light bites. Make sure to let the fish load up on the bait before you set the hook. That is the toughest part of this approach. It is easy to feel the first bite and immediately set the hook. Resist the temptation and keep reeling slowly until the fish “loads up”. Use a boot-tail type trailer as the water gets colder. The vibration of

this type of trailer helps the fish zero in on the bait. Crankbait – When the fish are shallower in the ditches, particularly in the mornings, a crankbait can be an effective search bait. Fan cast the back of pockets and ditches with a crankbait and, as with the SuperSpin, work the bait slowly and deliberately. The more the bait bumps and deflects off the bottom and acts erratically, the better. Deep diving crankbaits such as the Spro Little John DD work great for this application, but don’t hesitate to experiment with other options in this arena, such as shallow and medium diving baits as well. The Spro MD or Little John Baby DD are excellent options. Jig/Worm – When the fish are not as active, a jig or worm fished in the ditches can be money. Work the baits SLOWLY on the bottom. Make sure to pause the bait frequently and impart some pops and hops in the presentation. This can be key to

triggering strikes. Play with color selection on both the jig and worm. I like the Chattahoochee Jigs and Cross Ball options for all of my bottom bumping presentations. Use a Yamamoto Twin Tail trailer on the Chattahoochee Jig and a Zoom trick worm as a trailer on the Cross Ball. As the day progresses, particularly on sunny days, the bait and fish will move into the deeper portions of the ditch and will relate to the available cover, such as brush or standing timber. Presenting a Chattahoochee Jig, drop shot worm by Lanier Baits or jigging spoon to these fish can be effective as well. Make sure to experiment with different places and approaches as the lake fishes differently each day. Stay flexible and enjoy more success. Good luck and see y’all on the water! For more information or to book your winter trip, contact Jimbo at 770-542-7764. Jimbo’s Website: www.jimboonlanier.com

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Local Lakes & Forecasts

Cool Weather…Hot Fishing! By Capt. Cefus McRae Nuts & Bolts Fishing Series

Some of the biggest fish I’ve ever caught came to the boat on very cold days. Now that I think about it, virtually every fish mount (mostly fiberglass replicas) I have on the wall was caught on a day that I at least was wearing a long sleeved shirt. Coincidence? Not really. Since fish are cold-blooded critters, their metabolism is largely dictated by their environment. Hot water doesn’t hold as much dissolved oxygen as cooler water does. So when the water cools down, they tend to get friskier. Just about every angler will tell you the best fishing is in the spring and the fall, and that’s when the water is cool. My personal best striper is over 30 pounds. It was caught on an overcast day with the air temps in the mid-40s. The water was somewhere in the 60’s, and it was two days before Thanksgiving. In reality, I had just pitched a lively blueback herring out on a flat line, and the reel backlashed. While I was fumbling to clear the tangle, the striper took the bait. And

yes, it was a little chaotic getting the fish in the boat. I wound up handlining the last 15 yards of line or so. As the reservoirs begin to undergo their wintertime change, we’ll start to see baitfish piling up in the backs of creeks as well as open water areas. Seagulls and loons will be great fishfinders for patient anglers. Just like tuna or dolphin fishing on the ocean, if you find the birds, the big fish won’t be far away. Over on the coast, December thru February can be some of the best trout and redfish fishing of the year. Bluebird sky days with a good tide will produce mondo redfish on the mudflats of the Georgia, South Carolina and northern Florida backwaters. The Georgia coast is probably one of the best kept secrets for inshore fishing. For a fantastic day of fishing, call Capt. Judy Helmey in Savannah or Capt. Mark Noble on St. Simons Island. As a matter of fact, Georgia is one of a very few states that offers some truly diverse fishing opportunities,

and you can experience some of the best fishing of the year in the next few months. Freshwater for bass, stripers, bream, catfish. Saltwater foes include redfish, trout and flounder. We’ve got one of the best freshwater trout fisheries in the country right here in our own backyard. The Chattahoochee River is a world-class rainbow and brown trout stream, and you can catch fish within sight of the Atlanta skyline. That’s remarkable! On the other hand, if you want to enjoy a weekend in the North Georgia Mountains, the trout fishing near

Helen, GA is spectacular. The folks at Unicoi Outfitters will take you on a trophy trout fishing adventure that you won’t forget. Catching a 7-pound trout on a fly rod is quite exhilarating! I know…I’ve done it. So if you’re thinking about the perfect holiday gift for someone who already has everything, consider arranging a fishing trip with a guide on the lake, on the coast or on a trout stream. I know they’ll enjoy it. And while you’re at it, go ahead and make the trip for two people, because you’ll want to have some fun yourself. Tight lines and calm seas.

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Local Lakes & Forecasts Jackson Lake

By Brian Lee leebrian16 @yahoo.com

Water temp: mid 60’s - low 70’s, water clarity: stained. It’s getting to be that time of year where the big largemouth will pull up in shallow water to ambush bait. Early morning find any type of structure that will collect some heat, and as the water temperature declines, the bass will target these areas. Throw a crankbait bumping the structure to create a reaction bite or to mimic the bait. Color depends on the water clarity. Have several colors tied on so you can try to pinpoint what the fish want. Spinnerbaits in these same areas will produce some quality fish, but just don’t burn it back to the boat. Flip any cover that you see on the banks or docks. Afternoon can be your best bite as the water has had all day to warm up. Jigs and shaky heads can produce as well. Just let the fish tell you how fast you want to work your bait. The air

temp is dropping and so is the water temp, so remember bass are lethargic and don’t tolerate extreme cold water very well. So just slow down and put your bait in the strike zone and hold on. Till next month, stay safe and remember to introduce a child to the great sport of fishing.

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Local Lakes & Forecasts blue ridge

Lake NOTTELY By: Shane Goebel Big Ol’ Fish Guiding Service & The Angler Magazine Fishing Team www.bigolfish.com 828-361-2021, 1-844-4-ANGLER

By: Shane Goebel Big Ol’ Fish Guiding Service & The Angler Magazine Fishing Team www.bigolfish.com 828-361-2021, 1-844-4-ANGLER December is finally here and the majority of us have Christmas and the holiday season on our minds. But when the horrid shopping mall lines and the stress of gift buying get to be too much, why not catch some relief by hitting the lake for some early winter fishing. In North Georgia, no other lake is better to do that on than Lake Nottely, and some of our best fish can be caught during the month of December. Lake Nottely is currently about 15 feet below full pool. With a big drought in place and above-normal temperatures for this time of year, water temps are still in the upper 60’s to low 70’s. Lake clarity is clear and stained in the backs of creeks. Striper fishing has been excellent lately. The bigger fish are really starting to come up in the water column and are headed towards shallow humps and into the creeks. Look for these big stripers anywhere from Conley Creek to point 7 and all the way up to point 9. This is a great time of year to start using bigger bait. Start off by pulling planer boards and free-lines early in the morning. Topwater bite has been wicked good and should be getting even better as the water continues to cool, so as you’re pulling baits, keep a Red Fin or a Spook tied on and work those banks and points. As the sun comes up and the day gets warmer, switch to down lines and weighted free lines. Remember, this is the time of year to keep an eye out for seagulls. Where there are birds, there is bait, and where there is bait, there are fish.

Spotted bass and largemouth have also been off the hook. November brought some of the best topwater action we’ve seen in a long time, not to mention some great quality fish too. We have put several largemouth in the 6 to 7 pound range in the boat. Work those sunny shallow banks early. Spooks, buzzbaits, and flukes have been producing well. We also love casting out some live blue backs on ultra-lights rods. This always makes for an excellent fight. Look for fish to find a little shade as the sun comes up in mid-afternoon. Finally, we want to wish everyone out there a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Thanks for an awesome year of fishing, and we hope to see you in 2017. If you’re thinking of giving Lake Nottely a try, head over to Hughes General Store. They have an excellent selection of fishing supplies and the best live bait around. If you’re interested in booking a fishing trip, give Shane at Big Ol’ Fish Guiding Service a call. We are the area’s top rated fishing charter company, serving Lakes Nottely, Chatuge, Blue Ridge and Hiwassee. Come get your fish on, and good luck!

We are pleased to announce that we will start monthly reports and forecasts for Lake Blue Ridge. This is an awesome lake with many opportunities to catch some great fish. This beautiful 3,300-acre mountain reservoir, located in Blue Ridge, GA, is home to several species of fish from smallmouth, spotted, and white bass to walleye. Currently the lake is down 20 feet below full pool, and water temps are at 69 degrees. Water clarity is clear on the main lake and slightly stained in the creeks. The smallmouth and spots have been feeding strong. There has been an excellent early morning topwater bite all over the lake. Work rocky points, ledges and shallow areas that have been holding bait. These guys have been hitting just about anything you can throw at them—Spooks, Torpedoes, jerkbaits, and buzzbaits have been some big producers. Live bluebacks on planer boards and weighted free lines have also been working well. The fish should move deeper through mid-day. Try down lining bluebacks and large bass minnows to hook up with the larger smallmouths and largemouths that have been clinging on the bottom of points. Now that the water temps are getting cooler, the walleye are starting to come up from the deeper

water column. These Lake Blue Ridge walleyes will head out of the channel toward the river and shallow ledges. Look for these fish in the 20 to 30 feet range. Good December techniques to target walleye are slow trolling jointed Shad Raps and live bluebacks. With walleye being so sensitive to light, the early morning and dusk bite is going to be your best chance catch these boys. Lake Blue Ridge is one of North Georgia’s most surreal lakes. I love fishing this great mountain reservoir, and we always do well out here. If loading the boat with some of Georgia’s best smallmouth, spotted bass and walleye sounds like it might be up your alley, call Shane Goebel at Big Ol’ Fish Guiding Service. We have what it takes to put you on some fish for the trip of a lifetime. And, for all your fishing supplies and the best live bait around, go see Darren Hughes at Hughes General Store in Blairsville, GA. They have everything you need for a successful day on the water. Good luck, and go get your fish on!

“The smallmouth and spots have been feeding strong. There has been an excellent early morning topwater bite all over the lake.”

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Local Lakes & Forecasts The Importance of Sediment Removal in Small Ponds/Lakes by Steven King Lake management specialist and avid bass tournament fisherman

areas down-stream greatly increases because it will take less rainfall for the pond/lake to reach maximum capacity. This will in turn increase erosion, adding even more sediment into the water column and cause possible damage to the surrounding land, which can result in hefty fines and repair costs. 3.) By decreasing the overall water depth because of sediment accumulation, the water will heat up or cool down more rapidly than it normally would. This is very bad for the fish and various species present in the ecosystem. As many anglers know, fish are very sensitive to climate changes. Water temperature essentially dictates a fish’s entire life and is the main determining factor for every decision they make throughout the year. Now when a pond that usually gets to an average temperature of 84 degrees in the summer time, increases to a 90-degree average, the stress levels of the fish will increase. Increased stress levels are one of the main causes of death in many fish species. 4.)For large sediment removals those choices are limited since the use of heavy machinery is almost always required. Sometimes

For anyone who has a small community lake or private pond, the importance of performing some type of sediment removal on a 1 to 4-year basis cannot be stressed enough. When large amounts of sediment accumulate in a body of water over time, it negatively affects the health of entire ecosystem and can lead to significant costs for owners or those responsible for them. Exactly where does this sediment come from? Especially in the South where there are many slopes and contours to the land, storm water runoff is going to flow downhill into concentrated areas. These areas are typically a pond, lake, creek or river. As the rainwater flows into these bodies of water, it carries eroded sediment which gets deposited in these areas. The vastmajority of community ponds/lakes

are specifically created to collect sediment and rainwater from the surrounding areas. Natural bodies of water also serve this very important function. As with most things that have a large scale functional purpose, it must be maintained correctly to avoid a multitude of potential larger problems. What’s the worst that can happen if a pond never has a sediment removal done? 1.) Sediment accumulation decreases the overall size/water holding capacity of the body of water. If one foot of sediment builds up in a 1 acre pond with and average depth of 4 feet, you have essentially lost ¼ of the entire pond. 2.) Increased chances of flooding and erosion. Since sediment accumulation decreases the capacity of a pond/lake to hold water, the chances to flood the

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using can be costly if not performed correctly and before the problem gets bad. A common mistake regarding sediment removal is to wait until a large amount of sediment builds up so that removal is done once every 10-15 years instead of 2-4 year intervals. By taking this route, the costs will rise exponentially. When removing smaller amounts of sediment there are multiple choices on what methods can be used that are more efficient and cost effective, but when dealing with heavy sediment heavy machinery is the best option. Making educated choices will ensure the desired end-result is achieved in the most efficient and cost effective way. It all starts with determining the volume and location of the sediment present that should be removed. The first step to address the need and possible solutions for sediment removal should always be to contact a lake management specialist to do an assessment on your pond or lake. To contact ILM for any of your lake management needs, please call Steven King at 678-2077631 or send an email to sking@ ilmenvironments.com.

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Local Lakes & Forecasts

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Forecast By: by Keith Hudson Water temps are mostly in the 60’s. The lake is very clear, about 10 feet down and still falling slowly. Be careful when running as the water is getting dangerously low in some areas. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Bass: Good - The shallow bite remains pretty good now and should be about the same unless we get some really cold weather. Also our heavy rain chances don’t look too promising, so don’t expect a big change there. Baits such as suspending jerkbaits, unweighted Flukes, Senkos and spinnerbaits are catching bass. Try to fish these baits in or near any remaining shallow cover or around schools of shallow baitfish. Fish the open water in the pockets with 1/4 ounce RatL-Trap, a KVD 1.5 crankbait or an A-Rig. Also it doesn’t hurt to have a jig handy to pitch around any blowdowns. On the bright side, big schools of spots mixed with hybrids, white bass and stripers can be caught on jigging spoons and dropshot rigs on deeper offshore structures. A total of 50 - 75 mixed bag fish a day is not uncommon. Linesides: Good - The downline bite with shad or bass shiners remains very good. Freelining a live

bait will also work at times. Most of the fish seem to be holding 20 to 30 feet deep and are starting to lock in with the water cooling down. Nearly non-existent to this point, I still expect the topwater fishing to improve. Look for gulls and loons diving, as this makes it easier to pinpoint schooling stripers. A popping cork rig has still been working on schooling fish. I usually throw a Redfin or Pencil Popper for bigger fish. A 3/8 or 1/2-ounce white Rooster Tail, a chrome C.C. Spoon and the A-Rig have also been producing. As the water cools, a bucktail jig becomes very effective as well. The mouths of most creeks south of the 109 bridge and the edge of flats near the dam have been holding fish. Trolling with middepth crankbaits and Alabama Rigs can be effective as well. CRAPPIE: Good - Fishing with minnows or a small jig around bridge pilings, brushpiles and blowdowns in 6 to 15 feet of water remains pretty good. Fish can be caught on a straight line or with floats. Concentrate on trees and brush that are close to the old creek channels or near the few docks that are still in the water. With the low water, it can be easier to find exposed standing timber, which will also hold crappie schools. As usual, crappie seem to love shade and cover. Yellow Jacket, Wolf and Whitewater Creeks are still producing.

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Local Lakes & Forecasts Plastics! Are You Still Using Them for Bass?

boater. He was an experienced largemouth fisherman, but his days were spent at Clarks Hill Lake in East Georgia, generally a stained water lake with shallow targets. During the day we spent together, he relinquished his time in the front of the boat to me and we fished ‘my water’ so to speak. What happened is a good illustration of using the versatility

Have you opted for the more exotic baits of late for largemouth and spotted bass; funny shaped spinnerbaits, horse head shaped jigs with drooping jewelry, maybe behemoth chunks of lead with flowing skirts? Will all those work? Of course they can, and do according to your familiarity and level of use with each, but to me, there is no category of baits for bass with the versatility of pure plastics. Maybe you should reacquaint yourself? What makes plastics my number one category? You can fish plastics fast, shallow, slow, deep, using dark colors for dark water, light colors for clear water, heavy line for weeds and brush, light line for clear water, fish them big, small, big hooks, small hooks, heavy weights, light weights, rigged weedless, with exposed hooks, fished vertically, Texas style, Carolina style and with dozens of variations within those two systems, long leader, short leader, in cold water, warm water, flowing water, in bays over oyster bars, under docks, around bridges, twin tails, straight tails, and on and on and on.

I’m tired already. Still there? OK, one more thing. No other category will allow you to place your bait as deep into the trees, brush, blowdowns, under heavy lily pads, under docks and docked boats, to hook and catch the bass that live there and either put them in your live well, return them to the lake or back to the tournament headquarters for the final weigh-in. When I was younger I often angled for spotted bass in the clear waters of Georgia’s Lake Lanier. It was my home lake and I boastfully considered myself an expert on catching those finny little critters and the special ways to catch them from the deep clear waters. It was during those old time days of drawing for partners during tournaments. Being local, I drew a non-

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of plastics for a specific specie. I used six-pound test line on a spinning reel rigged with a size one hook and a six-inch light green straight worm at thirtyfive to forty feet with my boat stationed in twenty feet of water and casting out to the brush, deep trees, ledges and drops. He used seventeenpound test line, and an eightinch worm. My technique caught fiftyone keepers culled down for tenth place out of 110 boats, and he

caught one and did not choose to weigh in. He wasn’t a bad guy, just a bit stubborn. Using an eightinch worm and ½ ounce bullet weight, he couldn’t feel the bite of the spots, and they couldn’t and wouldn’t bite that big worm well enough to get caught. You have to use small baits for spots. Same fish, same lake, same cover, different result. Duh! It was a cloudy day at Lake Russell impounded along the Savannah River on the South Carolina and Georgia line, and I was just becoming familiar with the lake and the rivers and streams that feed it. I was alone that day preparing for a tournament scheduled for a month beyond. Don’t remember the name of the creek but it was large and wide with many coves and branches feeding it. In looking around in and out of the coves, I noticed a single tiny tree top limb sticking no more than 5 inches above the surface in the center of a deep cove. Casting a watermelon colored plastic lizard usually used on points and flats, I caught twenty-seven largemouth bass up to four pounds on twentyseven straight casts, getting most of the bites from 4 feet to 20 feet out of a tree over a 60-foot bottom. The bass were schooled in the top third of the tree. Now, think a moment. Would any other category of bait allowed that? Crankbaits or spinnerbaits that would get hung up and likely spook the school. Any bait with exposed hooks? Any bait to cover a 16-foot water column? Probably not. Travis and I fished in Alabama in late October, 2016. The surface temperature was an above normal 76 degrees, but the waning photo period had allowed the bass to be a bit active. In six hours, we caught and released 45 bass. That’s a bass every eight minutes all on plastics. Why did I tell you that beyond just bragging? Plastics will allow you to cover the water column from 2 to 25 feet and will locate catchable critters without passing over or around them when they are deep or inside blow-downs or brush. Enough? Hope so. Keep a few rods rigged with plastics and have fun fishing.

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Local Lakes & Forecasts lake nottely STripers

Forecast by Jeremy Seabolt lakenottelyfishingcharter.com 706-994-8649 Water temperature is 65-68 degrees. Fishing has still been good. Smaller fish are still in big schools down around point 4 all way up to point 6. I’ve been fishing long points down lining herring 20 to 30 feet. Well it’s finally cooling off and the bigger fish are moving up in the creeks. We have been pulling large herring,

and I’m talking some big herring 8-10 inches on planer boards and free lines the first few hours, then going out and catching the 6 to10 pound fish on points and in the river channel. Fishing should still be getting better in December pulling boards on up in the creeks, and throwing and working Red Fins will also work. I believe if we could get a few inches of rain we would see the topwater bite pick back up for a few more weeks. Happy Holidays from Lake Nottely Fishing Charter.

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Local Lakes & Forecasts Cloud Fishing

Contributed By: Noey Vinyard

The End of Summer, Finally They are faint and indistinct, just patches really, but the long awaited signs of fall are here. It’s that time of year when the calendar is no longer needed to announce autumn. It is not yet the breathtaking explosion of colors that I hope it to be, but Mother Nature can no longer hide her tracks, and soon even a novice leaf chaser will be able to follow her trail into a new time. Just like a big, fancy boutique or a glitzy Vegas casino, Mother Nature has what is known as a soft opening. And this folks, to steal a line from the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey, is a soft opening for the greatest show on earth. This week it’s just a few dull patches of leaves and the temperatures in the morning are just below the mild mark, but the promise has been made, waiting now not for a handshake to seal the deal, but a frost. The first good frost of the year is something that I anticipate almost as much as the color change that follows.

Ole Jack Frost is the harbinger of winter, and it is he who will take that dreaded humidity of summer and turn it into a layer of frozen moisture that covers the entire landscape and changes everything it touches. It will cover the branches and the leaves themselves and with the precision and finality of the surgeon’s scalpel, it will sever the lifeline between tree and leaf and send the leaves on their final flight and complete their part in this circle of life. When this happens, it will go from a soft opening to a sold-out show. And the best part of that is that the people in Blue Ridge get to bear witness to the whole thing. But take heed Blue Ridge, only the changing of a season has been promised. The changing of leaves and their subsequent flight is only a small event in that season and the duration of that show can never be predicted. Mother Nature is far too wild to follow any type of schedule. This will be my

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flash of time. I will offer you one last piece of advice. Don’t let this event be a picture on your cell phone. If you wish to share this with your loved ones, then take them and show them. Let this event become an experience for the whole family and not something that has been turned into a digital reproduction. Pictures without the experience is like trying to share a campfire with someone by bringing them the smoke. The essence of it will slip through your fingers and only the smell will remain. See you next month, Blue Ridge.

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ninth fall in Blue Ridge and no two have ever been the same. Even at the height of color change, a hard rain and strong winds can erase the leaves like an Ekta Sketch, leaving only the pines and mountain laurel as the only color in an otherwise harsh and gray landscape. So when you turn the corner and have your breath taken away by the bold yellow and bright red patches on the mountain, take a minute to let the beauty permeate your senses and let it all solidify into a memory that will be yours forever. Such moments in life were never meant to last more than a

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Local Lakes & Forecasts carters lakE

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

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The lake is down about 9 feet and the clarity is 4 feet. November is the beginning of the fall bite on Carters and is typically the first month we switch over to trout for our main bait. Some fish have moved into shallow waters while there are still schools of fish holding deeper. The stripers are scattered from the river to the backs of creeks early and suspended on the main lake points later in the day. As far as technique goes, simply put baits out and cover water. Pick a

few areas and really cover the water with some lines shallow, some deep, and vary your speed and depth. Later in the day there’s been some bait up on the surface near the main lake beach, and there are fish following the bait. Pitching baits on the edges of the disturbed water has produced some decent stripers and some really nice spots as well. If you’re looking for big green fish find the bait. Schools of small bait are scattered all over the lake and just about every one of them has a school of spots under them. There’s a good chance one of those fish will be over 4 pounds. If you want to get that big fish’s attention use a bigger bait . Enjoy the fall and we will see you on the water .

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Forecast by: Capt. Wes Carlton Georgia Lake Fishing 770-318-9777 www.georgialakefishing.com Water temperature: 68 degrees, water level: full, clarity: clear. Trout: The brown trout bite has been good this month and should continue to for the next month or so. We have been catching some nice trout every trip with an occasional 5 pounder. The trolling bite has proven best. We have been trolling white Loco Spoons. For best results, troll 50 to 80 feet behind the boat at approximately 1.8mph. Bass: The spotted bass have biting great with some topwater action throughout the day. A topwater

plug like a Lucky Craft Sammy has been the ticket for these shallow fish. The spoons are working well early in the morning or on cloudy days. The crankbaits have been producing midday to early evening. Today we had some really nice 4 pound fish. The largemouth are still shallow. Most of these fish are biting a weighted fluke (pearl) or a jig (heavy cover brown). Walleye: The walleye are hungry and have been feeding most if the day. Try using a blueback herring with a weight and fluorocarbon leader in 25 to 30 foot of water on main lake points. Be patient and let the fish eat the bait. This is the key to landing these fish. We have seen some good fish this week. This pattern should hold for the next 2 months.

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Local Lakes & Forecasts lake lanier spotted bass Forecast By: Ryan Coleman LanierSpots Pro Guide Service 770-356-4136 Lanier is fishing fair to good! The lake is a little over 8 foot below full pool and steadily dropping about an inch per day. That is bad for the homeowners but excellent for us fishermen. When the lake is down this time of year, it really helps concentrate the fish for us and eliminate some of Lanier’s 40,000 acres to hunt for them. Let’s just hope it stays that way through the winter. We had a late cool down this year and have been on summer patterns till late October, but that is changing. The fish are starting to stack on points on days when we have wind and even a few starting to go deep for us. For the fish up on windy points, attack those with a 1 ounce Mini-Me spinnerbait with double white or nickel blades. I would suggest a shad pattern like a Blue Billet or Lavender Shad and make sure you never, EVER, throw a Mini-Me or any other spinnerbait on Lake Lanier without a trailer hook. You are just giving up bites if

you don’t have one on the back of the bait. Make long casts and keep the bait moving across the points and keep moving point to point. You can also work a jerkbait or swimbait on these points if the spinnerbait does not work. The wind really helps to concentrate the fish on the points, so do not run from it. For the deep fish, look for timber breaks or ditches in 40-50 feet of water. The lake being down this year will position the fish a little different in the timber, so keep trying new places. Some of the timber will be very thick, so make shorter casts to give you a better angle at the structure. I would suggest a 3/8 ounce casting jig in brown and green colors as well as a 3/16 ounce SpotSticker jighead tipped with a ZOOM Swamp Crawler or Trick worm. This rig should be on your deck every single day from now till April. As the water temperatures drop, look for the fish to really start to stack up deep. With the low water conditions, we should have a fantastic year fishing deep this winter. It’s our best time for numbers and size of spotted bass. Good luck out there to everyone.

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Lake Sinclair is down 1.5 feet with the water clear. Bass fishing is fair. Look in shallow areas at 2 to 8 feet deep. Most fish are located in coves and creeks all over the lake. Topwater baits continue to produce a few fish on some mornings, although this bite has slowed somewhat. Buzzbaits, Pop Rs, Chug Bugs, and Torpedos are good choices to find out if bass are eating on top. Spinnerbaits have produced

well recently especially in the dirtier water. Use a Stanley in a 3/8 ounce size with double Colorado blades, one nickel and one gold. A chartreuse and white bait works well, along with solid white or solid chartreuse. A one ounce Rat-L-Trap is catching fish along seawalls and across shallow secondary points and flats. Chrome blue is the best choice with the sun shining, while gold or a shad pattern is good during low light conditions. This pattern also seems to work best with the wind blowing. Docks and boat houses are holding fish that are hitting crankbaits, jigs, and soft plastics.

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Local Lakes & Forecasts Available at Hammonds Fishing in Cumming, GA

lake Oconee

Great Gift Idea The unique BoJo Fishlight design feeds your fish by actually knocking bugs into the water…while they are still alive! As the sun goes down, a photocell activates an electric motor and 2 fluorescent bulbs that attract bugs to the device. Bugs are drawn to the light where the spinning weed-eater cord type blades knocks the bugs into the water providing an endless food source for fish to feed all night long. Simple to install, it mounts on a post, fishing dock or boathouse. It feeds fish for FREE and will actually pay for itself in

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The Amazing Bojo Fishlight the first year alone. Compare with expensive mechanical fish feeders and you’ll save big $$$.

Lake Oconee is 4 feet low with the water temperature at 66 degrees. The lake is clear with a light stain up the lake into the river. Striper fishing is good. There are some good hybrids feeding at the dam first thing in the morning. Live bait and spoons will catch these fish. As long as Georgia Power is pumping water in the lake, this bite will be good. Some fish are showing up in the river bend area of the lake. Live bait is working best in this location. Use your Lowrance to locate the large

schools of bait moving into the back of the coves and creeks. When you find the bait, the stripers will be close by. Use live shad to catch these fish. Crappie fishing is good. The fish are staging at the mouths of the creeks and coves. Live bait fished on down lines or spider rigged will catch a lot of fish. Long lining jigs over the same fish will also produce good catches. Make sure you stop by Sugar Creek Marina and pick up your spoons and all your tackle needs. You can also book your crappie and striper trips as well as on the water Lowrance classes with Reel Time Guide Service at 404-8030741.

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Local Lakes & Forecasts Lake chatuge

Eric Welch Welch’s Guide Service www.welchsguideservice.com 706-455-2323 Lake level: 8.4 feet below full pool, water temperature: 63-64 degrees, water clarity: clear. We’ve still not had any rain and the lake is still dropping, along with the water temp. The topwater bite has not been working lately. Most of the fish are feeding on herring in the 3” to 3.5” range. The drop shot bite has picked up and should get better next month when the spots start bunching up together. If you’re looking to fish lay downs, there is not many left in the water. You’re going to have to find some offshore brush. Target long points and steep rocky banks and docks that has a ledge in front of them to access deep water.

The jig bite should pick up around docks and steep banks. If the water ever gets down in the mid 50’s, it’s going to be time to pull out the floatn-fly rod. If you’ve never fished this, give us a call.

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1 small wild• duck Beef • Pork Seafood • Produce • Poultry • Veal and Lamb 2Seafood tblsp. Flour Market Catering Service • Cooked to Order 2 tblsp. Sugar Black Angus Beef and 1 cupFresh orangeSeafood juice ¼ cup sherry Grated rind of 2 oranges Salt taste• Seafood • Produce • Poultry • Veal and Lamb Beefto • Pork Seafood Market Catering Service • Cooked to Order Cut duck in half; brown in large pot in small amount of oil. Black Angus Beef and Fresh Seafood Place on roaster rack, skin side down and cover Bake for 1 hour and 30 minutes at 300 degrees or until tender Beef • Pork • Seafood • Produce • Poultry • Veal and Lamb Remove cover bake another 15 minutes or Best until MeatCatering Andand Seafood Their Service •At Cooked toVery Order browned 1210 Commerce Drive Suite 111 Remove duck; pour off stock,GA skim off the fat Greensboro, 30642 Orange Sauce: Take 1 cup of the stock, flour, sugar and Phone: 706-453-4445 •AtFax: 706-453-2334 Meat And Seafood Their combine in sauce pan. Stir in orange juice,Very sherryBest and 1210 Commerce Drive Suite 111 rind of 1Hours: orange. Cook until thick and smooth, Tuesday – Saturday 10:00 AM to 6:00stirring Pm Greensboro, GA 30642 constantly. Add salt to taste. Major Credit Cards & Debit Cards Phone: 706-453-4445 • Fax:and 706-453-2334 Pour over duck on serving platter garnish with www.poundersseafoodmarket.com remaining orange rind.– Saturday 10:00 AM to 6:00 Pm Hours: Tuesday Major Credit Cards & Debit Cards Serves 2.

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Wall of Fame Win A Free Angler Magazine Cap! A Angler Magazine cap will be given away each month for the best reader submitted photo!

Joseph Wheeler with his big buck from the Big Duck Roost Hunt Club

Jacob Bowlin from Acworth caught these big bass from Lake Guntersville on wacky rig worm

Jim Chapman with a monster rainbow from the Soque River fishing with guide, DavidHulsey

WINNER! Russ Wheeler with a big West Point bass caught on a Rat-L-Trap This huge 12 pound bass was caught from a pond by Marie Lewis from Villa Rica

Newton Tilson from Willow Oak Landscaping with his huge Canadian whitetail 32 ATLANTA

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Joe Phillips celebrated his 60th wedding anniversary with his daughter Janet with a big mess of Lanier crappie

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By Tobin Strickland, CAM Special Correspondent

O

ne of the keys to great inshore fishing is being on the water with the right weather. Stable weather between the coldest day of a postfrontal situation and several hours after the passage of the next cold front is critical at this time of year. Stable conditions with normal tide height and movement would the starting point for a good trip. The fish feed actively during this time and are more predictable in location and feeding times. These days would normally have a warming trend with a light onshore wind and slightly dropping barometer. Baitfish tend to be on the surface during these periods and will readily show themselves. Prefrontal conditions are the next choice. This period would be within the 12 hours that a frontal passage is approaching. Barometer is typically dropping and onshore winds can increase to near unsafe conditions that only seasoned mariners should attempt to handle. However, the prefrontal bite if you can go, can produce the biggest fish as well as the most aggressive feeds. The fish are gorging prior to the next high pressure. Also, this is a great day to fish if you like topwater action. Finally, the few hours after a cold front has passed can also be good this month. Focus on drains coming from marshes that empty onto some other structure such as an oyster reef in 3 to 5 feet or a point, drop-off or deeper grass flat with broken bottom. Tobin created the TroutSupport.com instructional series and his products have recieved hundreds of positive reviews from anglers wanting to reach the next level.

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at planting, and take the rest of the winter off. Even though there are no signs of growth above ground, the root systems will have time to get adjusted to their new location and begin to initiate new root growth. There are plenty of advantages of growing your own edibles. First of all, you know what has been done over the course of the growing season from a chemical stand point. Second, the fruit just taste

DECEMBER 2016

better coming out of your home orchard versus buying fruit from the grocers that have little to no flavors. Thirdly, it is good for your soul and you will feel more connected to the environment and nature. Whether it is an apple tree, muscadine vine or a blueberry bush; now is the time to plant. Let’s Grow Together. Greg Ison, Ison’s Nursery and Vineyards, 800733-0324, www.isons.com

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New African Surf Rod Design Promises ‘Seven Seas’ Success By Mike Pehanich

T

he landscape is stark off Namibia’s South Atlantic Coast. Sands end in sea, and, well, that’s about all there is to see! But these coastal waters where Jeri Drake and wife Sue fish and train for international surf fishing competition are loaded with game species, including copper sharks (“bronzies”), spotted gully, cow sharks, blue rays, smooth hounds and many more. You might never make it to Africa to fish these waters, but the tackle and techniques that Jeri—a master rod builder, innovator, member of Namibian President’s fishing team, and owner of Excalibur Tackle (www. excalibur-tackle.com ) in the town of Henties Bay—takes to the surf could find application on your coastal waters, too. Fishing is serious sport along the “Skeleton Coast,” particularly for tournament anglers who, armed with long rods and a fighting belt, often wade out several hundred yards to sandbanks, routinely casting 6- to 7-once sinkers and bait 100 to 160 yards or more to reach hard-fighting game fish. Rod design for Jeri Drake, known simply as “Jeri” in southern African fishing circles, has evolved into 14-foot and longer rods. He has developed his own blanks for this style of fishing, with unique handles featuring short butt sections and long fore grips, the latter measuring around 28 inches. The essential difference to U.S. style blanks is a ‘faster’ action, as opposed to the usual ‘through’ action. Jeri employs the same “reel down” design—reel positioned relatively close to the fighting belt—with surf rods he builds for both “fixed spool” (spinning) reels and conventional reels. The long fore grips allow fishermen to change the fulcrum point while fighting the fish. The “reel down” design also makes it easier to master more powerful casting techniques and thus achieve better distances. Wading through troughs and casting and fighting fish in sea spray calls

for a non-slip rod grip material. Jeri crafts his rod handles individually, wrapping Winn Superior Rod Wrap (www.winngrips.com ) directly over the large butt section of the rod blank. The all-weather WinnDry polymer, which also wraps easily over existing cork or EVA grips with its tape-like backing, retains its tacky feel even when he’s immersed in sea spray. In lieu of finishing tape, Jeri terminates the ends of the rod wrap with thread wrap and a finishing coat. This prevents seawater, sand particles and any other substance to undermine the grip material by seeping in between the wrap and blank. It also gives the handle a more finished look. To protect the polymer material from wear and punishment where rod butt meets rod belt, Jeri places a woven carbon sleeve above the butt button. The base of the rod wrap starts above the sleeve. This keeps the polymer from contacting the rod portal of the belt. Adapt some of Jeri’s surf rod tips to the rods in your arsenal. You’ll be tipping your cap to the tackle innovations of the avid anglers of southern Africa!

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UNDER THE SEA

SPEARFISHING WORLD RECORDS SHERI DAYE

M

ost people have heard of IGFA (International Game Fish Association), which manages world records for fishermen. But have you heard of IUSA (International Underwater Spearfishing Association)? IUSA keeps track of spearfishing world records. Both were founded more than 65 years ago and have a rich history—and both pride themselves for providing a universal code of sporting ethics as well as record keeping. The IUSA rules are fairly simple: the fish must be taken while freediving and using a muscle-powered speargun, sling or polespear. The catch must be legal, unassisted and weighed on a certified scale. The application must include photos of the weighing, dimensions and witness information. The categories are: men and women, saltwater and freshwater, speargun and sling/polespear. In other words, a woman can have a record black grouper taken by polespear in the ocean; a man can have a record walleye taken by a speargun in a lake, and so forth. I was inspired a few years ago to see if I could get a world record yellowfin tuna. That led me to learn to hold my breath, educate myself on equipment, get in better shape, learn all about tunas, save money for trips and make friends with other bluewater hunters. Having that goal set many other activities in motion.

I was fortunate to achieve my goal with a 179-pound tuna in Mexico. While the catch itself was exciting, I now realize that it’s the hunt, not the catch—or as they say, “it’s the journey, not the destination.” The lessons learned, the new friends made along the way, the memories—that is what becomes most precious over time. If you’re interested in pursuing a world record, here’s some quick tips: 1. Go where the fish are! Investigate areas, charters, and recent catches. 2. Use the right tool for the job. For example, Wong guns are known for bluewater hunting, Hammerhead is known for slings/polespears, etc. 3. Know the rules in advance so you don’t unwittingly disqualify a record. They can be found on the IUSA website at www. iusarecords.com. 4. Pack a certified scale and tape measure in your dive bag. You never know when that special catch will take place! Chatillon scales are known for being accurate and “certifiable.” 5. Above all, be safe and have fun. Records are an enjoyable pursuit, but they don’t compare to your health and wellbeing. With a bit of persistence and some luck, you might be able to immortalize the fish of a lifetime by claiming a world record. Life is short, so get out and enjoy it! Follow “Sheri Daye” & “The Blue Wild Ocean Adventure Expo” April 22-23, 2017 – Ft. Lauderdale - Instagram and Facebook.

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Team MHX finds Success in 2016

H

FLW Photo

ow does a team that collectively won over $425K in 2015 go out and improve? “Maintaining the incredible work ethic of our anglers while working directly with our team to continue to develop the best blanks out there,” said Bob McKamey who is The Man when it comes to rod building and managing the team. FLW Tour pro John Cox started off the year with a bang at Lake Okeechobee with a top-12 cut and valuable AOY points. John narrowly missed the Angler of the Year in 2015 but had and extra spark when starting out the new season. An interesting side note to that Okeechobee event was Brad Hallman from Norman, Oklahoma, who was flipping dense reed heads with a custom-built MHX-FS966. “We didn’t initially know Brad was using our blanks until after the win,” Bob said. Come to find out, one of the MHX Regional Staff members Brandon Mosley, who fishes the COSTA series built Hallman’s rods before the event. So with just one event down in the FLW Tour, MHX Blanks had accounted for over $100k, not a bad start. Less than a month later, the Elite Series was on the St. Johns River in Palatka, Fla., and MHX Pro Brandon Lester found himself in the Day 1 lead and newest Team Member Bradley Roy was not far behind. Although he relinquished the lead over the next few days, Brandon and Bradley finished in the Top 20 to earn valuable AOY Points and nice paydays. Not to be outdone, John Cox and the FLW Tour were on Lake Hartwell in South Carolina the very same weekend, and Cox had the lead in that event. Although he did not win wire to wire, he was at the top when the smoke cleared on Sunday. With a Top-12 in the first event and a win in the second event, it seemed Cox wasted no time getting back to his

2015 form. On the regional event side, team member Brandon Mosley maintained a hot hand through the Costa Series and made two out of three cuts while building his rods as well as Hallman’s out on the FLW Tour. As the FLW Tour and Elite Series went on throughout the year, Cox, Roy and Lester continued to produce all while building their own rods. Cox, the most notable, who builds lake-specific rods in his hotel room during practice also has fellow anglers coming to him to fix a tip-top or a guide in an emergency. As the 2016 Season comes to a close, MHX has had an incredible year with multiple titles, a FLW Cup Championship and even team members headed to the Classic for the first time in their careers. Keep an eye out for the MHX Team as 2017 Season begins in January. If you are looking to build your own fishing rods check out MHX Rods at www.fishmhx.com and Mud Hole Custom Tackle at www.MudHole.com.

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How Does Harbor Freight Sell GREAT QUALITY Tools at the LOWEST Prices?

2.5 HP, 21 GALLON, 125 PSI VERTICAL AIR COMPRESSOR

We have invested millions of dollars in our own state-of-the-art quality test labs and millions more in our factories, so our tools will go toe-to-toe with the top professional brands. And we can sell them for a fraction of the price because we cut out the middle man and pass the savings on to you. It’s just that simple! Come visit one of our 700+ Stores Nationwide. R PE ON SU UP CO ITEM 69091/61454 61693/62803

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ITEM 61258 shown 61840/61297/68146

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ITEM 63100/69626

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At Harbor Freight Tools, the “comp at” price means that the same item or a similar functioning item was advertised for sale at or above the "comp at" price by another retailer in the U.S. within the past 180 days. Prices advertised by others may vary by location. No other meaning of "comp at" should be implied. For more information, go to HarborFreight.com or see store associate.

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R R 12 VOLT MAGNETIC PE ON PE ON SU UP Customer Rating TOWING LIGHT KIT SU UP CO CO

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15999$395 $9999 $269.99 comp at

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OOD 60", 4 DRAWER HARDWENC WORKB H

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ITEM 68784 shown 69387/62270/62744

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44", 13 DRAWER INDUSTRIAL QUALITY ROLLER CABINET

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ITEM 69331/63091/63248 68998 shown

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The Angler Magazine-Dec. / Atlanta