Coastal Angler Magazine-Jan. /Mississippi

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MISSISSIPPI GULF COAST EDITION

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Fishing Reports Catch Photos News & Events PHOTO COURTESY OF FISHING ADVENTURES WITH BRITTNEY VOLUME 22 • ISSUE 264

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Heads Of Cold Steel Winter Steelheading In Upstate New York By Frank Geremski -The Angler Magazine of Upstate NY publisher

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inter steelhead fishing can be chilling, but once you hook into a 10-pound, lightning-fast bolt of silver, your blood will be boiling. The speed and explosion are what lures steelheaders to expose themselves to harsh Great Lakes winters. And there’s more. On Upstate New York’s Salmon River, there are plenty of beautiful, large, lake-run brown trout mixed in. Plus, today’s lightweight protective clothing provides comfort between strikes. The Salmon River in Oswego County, N.Y. (www.visitoswegocounty.com) offers consistent steelhead fishing during the late fall, winter and spring. In fact, the river has runs of trout and salmon from Lake Ontario all year long. With many quality tributaries along its length and a hatchery, this highquality wilderness river once was home to a legendary Atlantic salmon run. Rebounding populations of Atlantics still exist due to restoration projects, but Pacific salmon dominate the scene in late summer and fall. Huge chinook salmon, some heavier than 30 pounds, and coho salmon run up 14 miles of prime spawning and fishing waters each fall. A good number of steelhead (rainbow trout) follow the salmon to feed on the eggs dropped during this legendary fall salmon run. The steelhead feed aggressively during the salmon run, and they remain in this beautiful blue-ribbon river all winter, providing more than six months of explosive action. Winter thaws and early spring rains invite the remaining Lake Ontario steelhead to spawn and join their riverwintering kin. It’s a truly dynamic trophy trout experience. The Salmon River holds big fish. Ten-pound steelhead are commonplace. Fish in the teens are a definite possibility, and persistent steelheaders get chances every year on specimens in the 20-pound range. When salmon first enter the Salmon River in September and October, steelhead and lake-run brown trout mix in with pacific salmon making their spawning run. Both trout species feed on salmon eggs, and just when the salmon die off, the brown trout begin to spawn. Their eggs supplement the steelheads’ diet. Large numbers of giant trout and steelhead winter in the river, with additional fish running up from Lake Ontario all winter and early spring. When they first enter the river, these brightly colored bullets aggressively strike offerings like egg sacks, bright Estaz flies or beads that imitate eggs. Midriver matriculation brings them past the village of Pulaski, where there are about 10 miles of mostly public fishing access to deep holes, runs, rapids and every kind of trout water. Several high-quality tributaries flow in along the way and provide excellent spawning grounds up to what’s considered the upper section of the river. Natural reproduction does occur, and New York state operates a large hatchery on the upper end of the Salmon River. Since the Salmon River is a tailwater, this upper section is fishable all winter and never ices up. With egg availability diminishing, the winter steelhead diet evolves to more nymphs and stoneflies. Fly fishing is effective yet challenging. This section of river is ideal for fighting and landing large fish, with catch and release encouraged. Many trophy steelhead in the teens are photographed for replica mounts, and brown trout in the 5- to 10-pound range are caught regularly, with fish in the teens a possibility. 8

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The Salmon River has a reputation for tight quarters during the peak of the salmon run. Crowds diminish during winter steelhead season. Weekdays bring even less competition. Two very select permit-only resort properties are located on the two best sections of river offering managed access and exclusive riverside lodging. On the upper river, The Tailwater Lodge in Altmar, N.Y. has private southside access to Schoolhouse Pool and the runs and holes above and below. This is the prime wintering spot for a large percentage of steelhead and the best access for ice-free angling. The Tailwater is an Orvis-endorsed lodge, which includes an on-site fly shop, “The Woodshed.” Zero Limit Adventures Guide Service, also Orvis endorsed, has a collaborative relationship with Tailwater Lodge and provides outstanding guidance to this section and the entire Salmon River. They’ll get you dialed into current river conditions and what the fish are feeding on. The Tailwater Lodge’s opulent accommodations coupled with their location on the river and exclusive access make it the Mecca for Salmon River steelheading. This large section of river provides various speeds of current and holding water with ice-free conditions all winter. Tactics for hooking these giants include fly fishing, spinning, float fishing and center-pin techniques. The Angler Magazine highly recommends booking an experienced licensed guide on your first day to instruct you on equipment, fly or bait selection and technique. Allow Tailwater Lodge (www.tailwaterlodge.com) and Zero Limit Adventures (www. zerolimitadventures.com) ease the entry into this elite pursuit. Douglaston Salmon Run (DSR) manages more than 2 1/2 miles of exclusive access in the lower end of the Salmon River where steelhead first enter from Lake Ontario. Early steelhead action can be fast and furious. Winter access is dependent on weather conditions, as the middle and lower sections of the Salmon River get slushy or iced over during mid-winter cold speels. DSR (www. douglastonsalmonrun.com) publishes an accurate and honest daily report that functions as a great information source for river conditions and fish movement. The highly challenging adventure of hooking and battling your first 10-pound-plus Great Lakes steelhead will certainly not be your last. This divine experience will put you in a league of sportsmen who are the only ones to understand this trophy steelhead quest. It’s a feeling like the adrenaline rush of your first buck or sailfish. This heart-pounding adventure on a beautiful river will provide a memory that can be yours forever. To check out the “Men of Steel” video, go to

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12/15/16 3:09 PM


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ON THE COVER

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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 Houma, Louisiana

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The big black drum on the cover of Coastal Angler’s January editions was caught by Banging The Drums Of Jacki Shae, whose south Florida upbringing Houma, La. taught her a love of fishing from an early age. Winter Chrome In On a recent ladies-only fishing trip to the Upstate N.Y. marshes around Houma, Louisiana, Jacki learned a newfound respect for black drum. Local This often overlooked cousin to the everpopular red drum might not be much on looks, but it puts up a heck of a fight and grows even larger than the big bull reds prized by so many anglers. Rumor has it the fish on the cover was caught with one of those kids’ Barbie rods spooled with 30-pound test. With tutelage from their guide Brittney Novalsky, the ladies also did battle with some of the big redfish Louisiana is famous for. Four young women staying on a houseboat and hauling big fish from the Louisiana mud… what more could anyone ask for from a fishing expedition?

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The covers of this month’s editions of The Angler feature a beautiful chrome steelhead Winter Chrome In caught by Zero Limit Adventures Guide Rob Upstate N.Y. Reynolds. The photo was taken by Zero Limit Banging The Drums Of Adventures Guide Matthew DeRosa. The fish was caught on the Salmon River in Oswego County, New York. To learn more Local about this fantastic fishery view this month’s article “Heads of Cold Steel” by The Angler Magazine Upstate New York publisher Frank Geremski. Zero Limit’s diverse team of guides offer tailored trips of a lifetime and expertly fish many tributaries of central and western New York. They can be reached by e-mail via mderosa@zerolimitadventures.com by phone at 585-766-2421, or view their website at www.zerolimitadventures.com. Zero Limit has a collaborative relationship with the opulent Tailwater Lodge www.TailwaterLodge.com in Oswego County. Tailwater Lodge offers exclusive access and wonderful accommodations on the banks of the Salmon River, home of legendary trophy salmon, steelhead and brown trout runs from Lake Ontario. Call Tailwater Lodge for availability and reservations at 315-298-3434. To learn more about Lake Ontario, the Salmon River and Oswego County fishing go to www. visitoswegocounty.com or call 1-800-248-4FUN. Houma, La.

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PHOTO COURTESY OF ZERO LIMIT ADVENTURES GUIDE MATTHEW DEROSA VOLUME 22 • ISSUE 264

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LADIES DRUM UP ACTION IN THE LOUISIANA MARSH By Jacki Shea

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find myself staying in the strangest places when I go on fishing adventures. But as long as it involves fishing, sleeping on a couch or on the ground really doesn’t matter. On this particular trip, my friends and I found ourselves in a small houseboat on a river in the Louisiana marshes west of New Orleans. It was tiny, there was only one bathroom (picture four girls trying to use one bathroom), and the bed sheets smelled like a man after a long day of fishing. You might be wondering what brought us to such a place, and I will give you two very good reasons: redfish and black drum. Enormous specimens of these two drum species come into the marsh each fall and winter, 20 to 30 pounds to be more specific. If you plan on making the trip to Louisiana to do some inshore fishing, it is not necessary to stay on a houseboat; however, I highly recommend it. When

you wake up each morning, you are on the water ready to fish with your boat tied up next to you. Of the drum family, redfish seem to be the most popular inshore species. Redfish are always a great fight, especially the big bulls. But many anglers seem to overlook black drum, which are sometimes referred to as a “mud donkeys.” It is not an attractive fish, nor is it great for eating; therefore, it is not commonly targeted. This fish does, however, grow the largest of the drum species, and it fights with the same action and power as a bull red. Now that I’ve caught a few, I believe black drum can look very pretty once the Louisiana sun hits those scales just right. Redfish and black drum are thick in the Louisiana marshes all year, but the season for the monsters runs from September to January, when big fish move from offshore into the marsh following migrating baitfish. When the baitfish show up inshore, the big fish won’t be far behind. For bait you can use live or artificial depending on whether you are trying to sight fish or just toss a line out and wait. On our trip, we used a standard knocker rig, with an egg sinker and a hook, and sank split live blue crabs and shrimp to the bottom and waited. The fishing is quite simple when you know where the fish are, although a guide is recommended for those unfamiliar with the waters because it’s easy to get lost in the marsh. Keep an eye out for cold fronts. The cold fronts clean up the water and bring the fish closer to the surface, which makes for perfect sight fishing. The fish also enjoy the cooler inshore water, so they will be more abundant and active. Check out Jacki’s YouTube channel Jacki Shea Fishing for videos of her fishing adventures. Her guide for the Louisiana trip was Brittney Novalsky who can be contacted through www.fishingadventureswithbrittney.com. For more fishing with Jacki Shea, go to

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By Tom Karrow Researcher Tom Karrow assessing fishery health in Abaco with a Bahamian angling guide from the Delphi Club. Photo by Andrew O’Neill

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hen I first started fly fishing in the 80s, the sport was not nearly as popular as it is today. Shops carrying fly tackle were sparse, people with knowledge of the sport were few and far between and getting lessons was nearly impossible. When I think back to those days, recalling the number of flies I lost in trees, the frequent tangles I developed and the shear lack of fish I caught, it is a wonder that I kept with it. Indeed, if it were not for the fly tying component of the sport, I might well have thrown in the towel. I love fly tying; being able to create something to fool fish with is a marvelous achievement. In contrast to my early fly fishing days, today there is a seeming abundance of information on the sport, from equipment, to angling destinations; everyone seems to have some insights. On top of this has been the advent of the Internet, a treasure trove of information and misinformation. The fact of the matter is, fly fishing is not nearly as complicated as it may seem. It is simply a form of fishing that allows for lightweight or nearly weightless “lures” to be used, which without the added weight in the line could not be presented to a fish. In some cases, fly fishing is a far superior method for fooling fish and in others, deep waters for example, far more challenging. When it comes to heavily pressured or sensitive fish, especially those inhabiting shallow inshore waters, I would argue fly fishing can often out-produce other techniques. Being able to imperceptibly drop a fly in front of fish when they are used to loud splashes from heavy lures or live baits can often result in fooled fish. Fly fishing is sometimes called an art, perhaps because of the apparent delicateness of the cast, the manner in which the line travels out over the water, or because many incorrectly, consider it hard. So let me correct this fallacy. Fly fishing is not hard, it does not need to be complicated and it can be very easily learned. If you really want to learn to fly fish, I would suggest a trip to the Bahamas. The weather is beautiful, the waters are stunning, and the people, culture and food are marvelous. The chance of catching fish is very high, as the guides are great instructors and a week’s worth of fly fishing immersion would provide incredible advancement in understanding and skill level. Throughout my travels in the Bahamas, I have met many wonderful guides and visited many top-notch facilities. To highlight one Bahamian guide or lodge is simply impossible. However, when it comes to learning the sport, be honest. When booking a trip to a lodge, perhaps directly or through a travel company like Yellow Dog Fly Fishing or Frontiers International, tell them what you want. Tell them you are a beginner. Tell them you want to learn. Through this strategy, those in the know will put you with facilities and personnel best suited to an instructional 12

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Great equipment meets great Bahamian culture. Photo by Tom Karrow

environment. You want a location that offers everything, lodging and food of course but also equipment, casting lessons, fly tying lessons, safety instruction along with patient and professional guides. One common thread that has become apparent through my research in the Bahamas is the respect that Bahamians have for travelers, specifically bonefish anglers. Bahamians openly welcome tourists, recognizing the importance that bonefishing has on local Family Island communities. Bonefishing on some Bahamian islands provides employment for up to 80 percent of the local population. With that level of economic importance, industry professionalism is critical along with healthy fisheries. In the Bahamas you will find both a high degree of angling knowledge and amazing fisheries. The Bahamas are certainly an excellent place to consider taking a trip and a phenomenal place to learn to fly fish. What I find most attractive about the Bahamas is the shear diversity available. With more than 700 islands, there is something for everyone. And for anglers, old and new, there are always new opportunities to learn from. Tom Karrow is a sustainable tourism scholar from the University of Waterloo. His research focuses on the Bahamian bonefishing industry, centered on the guides and their knowledge, stories and experiences. For more on his research see: http://tomkarrow.wixsite.com/bahamasguide-tek, and follow Coastal Angler Magazine for updates and more. Tom Karrow can be reached at tkarrow@uwaterloo.ca or tomkarrow@ gmail.com. For more Bonefishing in the Bahamas, go to

CAMFISHING.CO

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Elite Series™ Bassmaster Lester Pro Brandon t the rods tha builds all of he Elite he uses on t ment Trail. a n r u o T s ie r Se

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no weight reduction had gone into the components above the handle. The guides were large and weighty. As a result, the rod was annoyingly front-heavy, even when I mounted two of the spinning reels I had tabbed for the task. Lost balance led to lost feel and sense of control over my bait. It took an oversized reel to bring anything resembling “balance” to this rod, and the resultant combo was still cumbersome. “It’s hard to get a rod perfectly balanced without knowing the reel a guy plans to put on it,” said Russ Lane, a Bassmaster Elite Series angler known for his talent for tackle tinkering. Lane wraps many of his rods with Winn Superior Rod Wrap (www.winngrips.com) to give them the same advantages of hand control and comfort that he gets with the Denali Attax rods and other rods in his arsenal already fitted with Winn grips. But at times there’s a secondary benefit to the wrap. “Sometimes adding the Winn rod wrap can add just enough weight to balance a rod,” noted Lane. He faced a formidable “weight-forward” balance challenge with the flipping/pitching rod he uses to punch matted vegetation with soft plastic lures and 1.5-ounce tungsten By Mike Pehanich weights. “I needed to add more weight to the handle,” Lane recalled. As usual, he covered the cork mid-grip of this 7-foot, 6-inch Denali Lithium Flipping Stick (Xtra Heavy) with the ightness” has been the dominant thrust of rod evolution for years. Lightweight guides, skeletal reel seats, split grips… these and other polymer overwrap. Before he added the wrap to the butt grip, however, he developments have served rod builders in their ongoing quest to added Storm SuspenStrips—adhesive-backed rectangles of soft lead that he reduce rod weight and, in turn, diminish fatigue and enhance angler comfort generally uses to add weight to his jerkbaits—to the tapered butt grip. “You can get the balance perfect by adding just enough lead tape over the and feel on the water. Oddly enough, radical downsizing of rod components sometimes produces butt grip before adding Winn overwrap on top of it,” explained Lane. “Balance the opposite of its intended effect if rod balance is significantly compromised makes a big difference when you are flipping those heavy tungsten weights in along the way or when heavier-than-usual lures or terminal tackle enter the heavy cover all day long.” picture. Several seasons ago, a rod manufacturer asked me to road test a new midFor a word from Lester on the benefits of Winn Grips, go to priced spinning rod the company was planning to bring to market. The design team had taken the split grip concept to an extreme, virtually eliminating the mid (rear) grip altogether and adding a very airy foam to the butt grip. However,

Tackle Corner: A ‘WRAP’ SESSION WITH RODS FOR BETTER CONTROL

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s

T

Shown above: Chad Roberson, President of H2O Sports congratulates Danny Amador on his new boat.

hat’s a real mouthful of salutations, but the winner of Coastal Angler and The Angler Magazine’s Boat Giveaway contest is certainly deserving of all three. Danny Amador was drawn as the winner of the 15’10” Cape Craft boat with 75 hp Honda engine and a Coyote trailer. A massive fire at H20 Sports Manufacturing delayed much of their manufacturing, and Danny Amador had to wait until Dec. 9 to pick up his brand new Cape Craft vessel. That’s where the story gets really interesting. Dec. 9 is Danny’s birthday. Yep, and as all December birthday people know it’s always “Happy Birthday and Merry Christmas.” Coastal Angler Magazine would like to salute Danny Amador for his patience in receiving his boat. Unforeseen circumstances can sometimes alter even the best of transactions. Danny Amador’s patience and H20’s commitment to fulfilling the contest award represented the best of our industry. In addition to Danny’s boat, motor and trailer, Chad Roberson, H20 Sports Manufacturing’s President, insisted on

throwing in a free bimini top and invited Danny Amador to pick his favorite custom color for the boat. Good things are worth waiting for. Special thanks to Top Notch Marine in Fort H2O Staff and Danny Amador shown at H2O Sports headquarters. Pierce, Fla. for their assistance in titling this boat to our Florida winner. Once again to Danny Amador: “Congratulations, Happy Birthday and Merry Christmas!”

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UNDER THE SEA

Center s LIONFISH: CAN’T BEAT ’EM? EAT ’EM! SHERI DAYE

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lthough beautiful to look at, the invasive lionfish poses a severe threat to Atlantic and Gulf waters. They are known for having spines that can sting if not handled properly, but the meat is perfectly safe and delicious to eat. In other words, they are venomous but not poisonous. Lionfish is becoming increasingly common on restaurant menus and is even available at Whole Foods grocery stores. Connoisseurs often compare the quality to hogfish – a fine, delicate white meat. The scientific community concluded that home aquarists are to blame. Much like the python in the Everglades, it only took a few released invasive individuals to begin the breeding cycle. Since they are a new and strange looking species, native fish are not consuming lionfish. Yet lionfish are consuming juvenile native species at an alarming rate. Adding to the problem, they also breed at an amazing rate. Females reach sexual maturity at six months and release up to 30,000 eggs every five days. They now cover the east coast of the U.S., the entire Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, Atlantic side of Central and South America, and can be found between 2 and 1,000 feet deep. The most effective way of hunting them, by far, is spearfishing. Since they have no natural predators, they are not wary which makes them easy to spear. Just handle the spines with care and you will be rewarded with a delicious meal while helping the environment! Lionfish hunting tips: 1. First, you must find them! Unfortunately, they are everywhere—look on reefs, wrecks, sometimes out in the open and often in ledges and holes. 2. Handle them carefully and do not to let the fins puncture your skin. If stung on the hand, remove any rings right away. The best treatment is heat, which breaks down the venom. Heat packs or hot water collected from the boat exhaust can be used. 3. Use the specially designed pole spears (such as Neritic) and use lionfish containers (such as the Zookeeper), which are puncture-proof. These specialty items can be found on the LionfishHunting.com website or your local dive shop.

4. Once back on the boat/shore, place lionfish into cooler and continue to handle with care. The protein-based venom is broken down by heat but preserved by cold. 5. Lionfish can be filleted just like any other fish. See LionfishHunting.com for a good set of instructions with photos on how to fillet. 6. Lionfish can be prepared like any other white-meat fish. Many recipes can be found online. For an impressive presentation, they can even be cooked whole as cooking neutralizes the venom. P. S. The Blue Wild Ocean Adventure Expo, which takes place April 2017 in Ft. Lauderdale, will have a Lionfish Pavilion featuring several exhibitors along with a cook-off event where several chefs will be showing off their best recipes and giving samples. Happy Hunting! Sheri Daye is a world-record holder, host of Speargun Hunter, and producer of “The Blue Wild Ocean Adventure Expo” in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. Follow “Sheri Daye” and “The Blue Wild” on Facebook and Instagram.

For more Sheri Daye, go to

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Power. Luxury. Elegance. Adventure. Whether you are a novice seeking a fun day with your family or a serious tournament fisherman, we offer a trip to meet your needs. The RELENTLESS is our 65’ x 20’ custom built sportsfisherman and is available for daily trips from 4 hours up to 18 hours. With a captain who has over thirty five years of fishing in the Gulf of Mexico the RELENTLESS specializes in overnight trips of 24 to 72 hours if you prefer to stay longer and “fish bigger” for marlin, tuna & swordfish.

You can go fishing or you can go RELENTLESS Power. Luxury. Elegance. Adventure. Whether you are a novice seeking a fun day with your family or a serious tournament fisherman, Power. Luxury. Elegance. Adventure. we offer a trip to meet your needs. The RELENTLESS is our 65’ x 20’ custom built sportsfisherman and

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Catch a sunset

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If you don’t mind the cold, there is plenty to do in January. Yes, it is one of the colder months of year but just put on some extra layers. The hard core trout fishermen will be trolling in the rivers. This type of fishing is truly an art. Lead lines, trolling lures and tricked out skiffs are what most of the “Holy Trollers” use. If you ever get an invite to go with a seasoned veteran troller, take it! I don’t have the tolerance to sit in the cold, so I seldom do it. Most of our boats will be in the Bay of St Louis, or on the reefs. There really is no need to get up early. Take advantage of the warmer parts of the day. The trout and reds are usually more active during these times. If you are lucky enough to find some live shrimp, GET IT! We are usually fishing with either a 1/0 Khale hook, under a Boat Monkey Cork, or on a Carolina rig. Keep some smaller on hands for the sheepsheads. The colder the water gets the better the sheaphead fishing will be. The reefs, bridges, and old piers will be loaded with these tasty critters in the coming weeks. On the calmer days, we will still be running down south to the LA Marsh. The red fishing can be down right insanely good in January. The reds should be piled up in the shallow ponds. If and when the weather allows, the fishing is well worth the wait. The deeper holes in the marsh can have good schools of trout in them as well. The same Boat Monkey Popping cork rig will work fine on the trout n reds. If the red fish are in big packs, have a little fun with them. Top water baits, spoons, and spinner baits will all work. The most fun, on those picture perfect days has to be a fly rod. Shrimp, crab and minnow patterns will all work fine. No matter how or when you fish, just use common sense. If it is windy and rough, fish in protected waters or don’t go. If the seas are nice, be sure to wear plenty of layers. Please let someone know where you are going and what time you plan on returning. As always, have fun and be safe.

Capt. Sonny Schindler Shore Thing Fishing Charters Bay St Louis, MS www.shorethingcharters.com 228-342-2295 1 MISSISSIPPI GULF COAST

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Phone: (228) 466-4970

BAY SAINT LOUIS

Date Day 2017/01/01 Sun 2017/01/02 Mon 2017/01/03 Tue 2017/01/04 Wed

2017/01/05 Thu 2017/01/06 Fri 2017/01/07 Sat 2017/01/08 Sun 2017/01/09 Mon 2017/01/10 Tue 2017/01/11 Wed 2017/01/12 Thu 2017/01/13 Fri 2017/01/14 Sat 2017/01/15 Sun 2017/01/16 Mon 2017/01/17 Tue 2017/01/18 Wed 2017/01/19 Thu 2017/01/20 Fri 2017/01/21 Sat 2017/01/22 Sun 2017/01/23 Mon 2017/01/24 Tue 2017/01/25 Wed 2017/01/26 Thu 2017/01/27 Fri 2017/01/28 Sat 2017/01/29 Sun 2017/01/30 Mon 2017/01/31 Tue

Time Hgt 12:30 AM 1.22 H 01:05 AM 1.09 H 01:39 AM 0.9 H 02:08 AM 0.65 H 08:33 PM 0.48 H 11:27 AM 0.0 L 06:38 AM -0.04 L 05:52 AM -0.32 L 06:10 AM -0.6 L 06:49 AM -0.82 L 07:31 AM -0.96 L 08:13 AM -1.01 L 08:51 AM -0.97 L 09:24 AM -0.86 L 09:51 AM -0.7 L 12:20 AM 1.06 H 12:58 AM 0.84 H 01:32 AM 0.6 H 07:45 PM 0.38 H 01:54 AM 0.35 H 05:18 PM 0.43 H 06:58 AM -0.06 L 06:22 AM -0.2 L 05:41 AM -0.37 L 05:54 AM -0.53 L 06:27 AM -0.65 L 07:03 AM -0.74 L 07:38 AM -0.78 L 08:10 AM -0.79 L 08:37 AM -0.76 L 08:58 AM -0.69 L 09:13 AM -0.6 L 12:24 AM 1.0 H 01:01 AM 0.82 H 06:18 PM 0.37 H

Time 10:19 AM 10:38 AM 10:57 AM 11:16 AM

Hgt -0.59 L -0.49 L -0.35 L -0.18 L

08:15 PM 0.53 H 06:28 PM 0.69 H 06:47 PM 0.91 H 07:28 PM 1.11 H 08:19 PM 1.26 H 09:12 PM 1.36 H 10:05 PM 1.39 H 10:53 PM 1.34 H 11:38 PM 1.23 H 10:11 AM -0.52 L 10:24 AM -0.33 L 10:26 AM -0.17 L 11:25 PM 0.31 L 09:54 AM -0.04 L 05:03 PM 0.61 H 05:33 PM 0.76 H 06:12 PM 0.89 H 06:58 PM 0.98 H 07:49 PM 1.06 H 08:44 PM 1.13 H 09:36 PM 1.18 H 10:23 PM 1.2 H 11:06 PM 1.19 H 11:46 PM 1.13 H 09:25 AM -0.47 L 09:36 AM -0.32 L 08:55 PM 0.29 L

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Congratulations to 31 teams who participated in last year’s 30th Annual Gorenflo's Cobia Tournament! The 2016 30th Annual Gorenflo’s Cobia Shootout saw 59 teams compete for top prizes! 1st Place & Biggest Fish!: Capt. Jamie Drennan -Breakwater | 83.35 lbs.

30th Annual Gorenflo’s 2-day Cobia Tournament Thanks for fishing all of these years with us and we look forward to seeing you again in just couple of months! Last year’s winners 1st Place: Captain Nick Ladner - Lil’ Time Off | 182.15 2nd Place: Capt. Robert Mc Daniel - Whip- a- Snappa | 134 3rd Place: Capt. Trey Williams - Slaughter House | 103.55 4th Place: Capt. Hussein Zayed - Z- Marine | 97.80 5th Place: Capt. Jeff Harris - Strictly Business | 92.40 6th Place: Capt. Clarence Seymour - S. Y. L. | 85.15 Biggest Fish! Captain Matt Smith | Team Subdude 65.45 lbs.

2nd Place: Capt. Carl Miller - UnReel | 52.55 lbs. TEAM USM Gulf Coast Research Lab James Franks, Liz Hunt, Sarah Ashworth, Page Vick & Jeremy Higgs Weigh Master and Lead Research Scientist(s) Errol White and Jim Franks

Thank you to all our great sponsors: Astro Ford, Golden Nugget, Miller Lite, Palace, Waring Oil, The C Store, Crystal Hot Sauce, Mississippi Billfish Gulf Coast Classic, CCA of Mississippi & Coastal Angler Magazine.

Jim Franks Tag and Release Award~ Captain & Angler Steve Legg - Team Soul Fisher 2 MISSISSIPPI GULF COAST

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VENICE Happy New Year. It should be one down in Venice for sure. We have already seen the Wahoo show up, but nothing to really brag about yet. One thing we noticed was that the Lumps are holding some Tuna already. This is the part where in past years I would write tips about anchoring on the Midnight Lump. The truth is now most of us are drifting across it and resetting now. The new tactic has proven to yeild a better catch. Years ago most everyone set an anchor out there. If you choose to, that’s cool, but here’s some tips and advise for drifting. Ride around slowly and watch your sounder. Keep an eye out for other boats and where their lines are. The Midnight Lump starts at 341 feet below sea level and rises to 198 feet below sea level. It also covers about 2 square miles of seafloor. Once you have drifted off the Lump go back and reset on the other side. Please be mindful of your wake when passing other vessels.

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Try drifting across different sides of it to find the big Yellowfins. They move around a lot so just be ready when you see one come up in your chum slick or on the sounder. They say that luck is when preparation meets opportunity. Well that’s Lump season. I use multiple line setups, 60-100 pound flourocarbon leaders, depending on what the water looks like. Be prepared to adapt to what the fish want to bite on that day and you’ll get lucky. Good luck and stay safe out there.

Plaquemines Parish | Venice, Louisiana Capt. Brett Ryan Venice, La 504-231-1842 www.captainbrettryan.com COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THE ANGLERMAG.COM

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228.297.6308

Darrin’s Auto & Marine, LLC Sales | Service | Repair | Accessories 12300 A Parkers Creek Rd • Biloxi, Mississippi 39532 www.darrinsmarine.com

WE ARE THE MISSISSIPPI BOAT DEALER FOR BLAZER BAY

DARRIN’S AUTO & MARINE is a locally owned and Family operated business. Here at Darrin's we aim to provide our customers with excellent service. Treating everyone with the same respect and honesty that we expect is a goal we strive to achieve. We have grown over the past 12 years through the referrals from our customers. We would like to take this opportunity to extend a big thank you to our customers; We wouldn't be here without you! The first couple years we worked out of a service truck and visited our customer's homes to repair boats and vehicles. Over the years we have had to relocate a few times due to growth of the business and mother nature. Our business locations, have been in the following cities; Biloxi, D’Iberville and now in Woolmarket. At Darrin’s we are proud to be the Mississippi boat dealer for Blazer Bay. We also can offer our customers Glasstream, and SeaArk Boats as well! When it comes to getting your existing boat repowered we offer competitive pricing for your boat’s new motor. We are affordable as an authorized

dealer and service provider for today’s industry lead marine motor companies: Suzuki, Yamaha, and Mercury motors. We are very proud of our skilled and certified technicians. They will do their very best to ensure that everything is working properly, and make sure that you can relax knowing you will have a you safe and enjoyable boat experience time and time again. And we as a boating family, take great satisfaction knowing that in some special way that we have helped our customers build a lifetime of memories, while out on the water! And this is why at Darrin's Auto & Marine, we are proud to help you and your family keep your rig running properly by providing annual maintenance along with timely repairs. Additionally, our store carries the following items: bilge pumps, navigational lights, trailer supplies, fiberglass materials and maintenance supplies. Darrin’s is your One Stop Shop with capability to work on boats, motors, trailers and the vehicle that pulls it all!

2170 Blazer Bay 2016

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Mississippi Gulf Coast As the weather and water gets colder look for deep holes that the fish will congregate in. Also look for structure in the rivers as trout will gather. Fish become lethargic as the water temperatures drop. I like to fish a Saltwater Assassin die dapper on a ¼ oz. jig head, a mirrOlure soft dine, or a sinking corky. Fish slow and low bouncing your lure off the bottom. During these cold days also look for flats near drop offs that will heat up quicker during a sunny day. Fish these flats in the afternoon where fish will come to feed. I am catching a lot of reds cruising close to the bank looking to eat. There isn’t anything going on as far as tournaments in January but start looking ahead to next year. Take the time to clean up and organize your gear and get ready for the Spring bite. Add that depth finder or anchor system you have been wanting. In the spring there will be the B.C.K.F.C

the MNKFA is doing an all year tournament for club members. Go to their site to get signed up. All are great tournaments where you can have a great time and meet new anglers. We always have a list of upcoming events on our Kayak Fishing U Facebook page. Always dress for the water temperature and not the air. One wrong move could spell disaster if you aren’t prepared. Remember while fishing from a kayak to always think safety. We are low to the water and not always easily seen. Keep a 360 degree light on at dark and low light conditions, wear a PFD, keep hydrated, and let someone know your float plan.

Paddlepalooza14 in Golden Meadow, LA., G.C.K.F.A. Biggest Pair Tournament in Pensacola,

Benton Parrott Hobie Regional Team / Everything Kayak Pro Staff Fishing Guide Fl., and the M.B.K.F.A Bagwell tournament in Dauphin Island, Al. Also dbparrott@bellsouth.net

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Gulf Hills Hotel & Conference Center is a

rather spicy tale that dates back to 1927 when Braniger Brothers Development of Chicago, Illinois, built the hotel with purportedly laundered mob money as a hideout for mafia boss Capone. Word started to spread about the splendor of this unique waterfront hotel, and before long, a masted schooner called the “Fairy Queen” was in route to pick up guests from New Orleans and drop them off right at the back door of Gulf Hills. Though the hotel is full of history, by no means is it antiquated. Filled with signature detail and marked with a uniquely unforgettable undertone, the hotel’s simple elegance is reflected throughout with continual restorations to ensure guests experience southern hospitality at its best. Whether one’s stay is for leisure or business, guests also can take advantage of a long list of amenities that include a deluxe continental breakfast, complimentary Wi-Fi, Olympic size outdoor saltwater pool, lighted rubico tennis courts, and more — all this in a 100 percent smoke-free environment. The inviting, friendly and professional staff at Gulf Hill Hotel & Conference Center prides themselves on offering visitors an unmatched stay that will be remembered. From top-notch service to all around quality, Gulf Hills Hotel & Conference Center is not only marked for its distinctive, historic character, but also as a premier destination on the hospitality map of South Mississippi In addition to being located on a magnificent waterfront property and offering impeccable service, we are eco-tourism friendly. We realize the importance of supporting conservation, our community, and sustainable travel. Here at Gulf Hills, we consider it to be a natural part of the overall experience. We are comfortably positioned to provide outdoor enthusiasts a great entry point for their own unique experience just moments away!

• •

Kayak/canoe launch site on hotel property Partner with charter boats for local and deep sea fishing groups

Here are just a few highlights:

Close to Gulf Islands National Seashore Park, Sandhill Crane National Wildlife Refuge, Audubon Center, birding sites, hiking, bicycle trails and botanical gardens Ample boat and trailer parking on site

No. 1 marker on the National Park Service’s Blueways and Waterways map for Jackson County

8 MISSISSIPPI GULF COAST

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PASCAGOULA

Date Day Time Hgt 01/01 Sun 08:21 AM -0.05 L 01/01 Sun 11:42 PM 1.55 H 01/02 Mon 08:58 AM 0.05 L 01/03 Tue 12:34 AM 1.38 H 01/03 Tue 09:34 AM 0.19 L 01/04 Wed 01:19 AM 1.15 H 01/04 Wed 10:06 AM 0.36 L 01/04 Wed 06:46 PM 0.92 H 01/04 Wed 10:44 PM 0.8 L 01/05 Thu 01:47 AM 0.86 H 01/05 Thu 10:29 AM 0.55 L 01/05 Thu 06:31 PM 1.03 H 01/06 Fri 05:01 AM 0.5 L 01/06 Fri 04:53 PM 1.21 H 01/07 Sat 03:51 AM 0.22 L 01/07 Sat 05:27 PM 1.44 H 01/08 Sun 04:22 AM -0.05 L 01/08 Sun 06:10 PM 1.64 H 01/09 Mon 05:03 AM -0.25 L 01/09 Mon 06:56 PM 1.79 H 01/10 Tue 05:49 AM -0.36 L 01/10 Tue 07:45 PM 1.88 H 01/11 Wed 06:37 AM -0.38 L 01/11 Wed 08:33 PM 1.89 H 01/12 Thu 07:23 AM -0.33 L 01/12 Thu 09:18 PM 1.84 H 01/13 Fri 08:06 AM -0.21 L November-March Hucks is open Wed-Sun. Closed Mon-Tues during the cold season. 01/13 Fri 10:00 PM 1.72 H 01/14 Sat 08:44 AM -0.05 L Home of the world famous 01/14 Sat 10:44 PM 1.56 H 01/15 Sun 09:10 AM 0.13 L 01/15 Sun 11:30 PM 1.37 H Steaks Seafood & More 01/16 Mon 08:31 AM 0.3 L 01/17 Tue 12:16 AM 1.17 H 01/17 Tue 08:44 AM 0.43 L 01/18 Wed 12:54 AM 0.97 H Phone & Fax - 288-497-4309 01/18 Wed 09:02 AM 0.54 L 3000 Oak St, Gautier, MS 39533 01/18 Wed 05:24 PM 0.88 H o o 01/18 Wed 10:10 PM 0.74 L Hours T- F:11a -10p • SAT:11a -12p 01/19 Thu 01:05 AM 0.77 H www.huckscove.com SUN: Noon-10p • MON: Closed 01/19 Thu 07:03 AM 0.6 L 01/19 Thu 02:48 PM 1.04 H 01/20 Fri 04:51 AM 0.46 L 01/20 Fri 03:30 PM 1.18 H 01/21 Sat 05:11 AM 0.32 L 01/21 Sat 04:24 PM 1.31 H 01/22 Sun 05:21 AM 0.21 L 01/22 Sun 05:20 PM 1.42 H 01/23 Mon 04:53 AM 0.1 L 01/23 Mon 06:12 PM 1.52 H 01/24 Tue 05:18 AM 0.02 L 01/24 Tue 07:02 PM 1.59 H 01/25 Wed 05:51 AM -0.04 L 01/25 Wed 07:52 PM 1.65 H 01/26 Thu 06:25 AM -0.07 L 01/26 Thu 08:38 PM 1.69 H 01/27 Fri 06:56 AM -0.07 L 01/27 Fri 09:22 PM 1.68 H 01/28 Sat 07:16 AM -0.03 L 01/28 Sat 10:05 PM 1.62 H 01/29 Sun 07:28 AM 0.04 L 01/29 Sun 10:53 PM 1.49 H 01/30 Mon 07:49 AM 0.16 L 01/30 Mon 11:48 PM 1.32 H Tue 08:14 AM JANUARY0.3 L 10 01/31 MISSISSIPPI GULF COAST 2017 COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THE ANGLERMAG.COM

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Date Day 2017/01/01 Sun 2017/01/02 Mon 2017/01/03 Tue 2017/01/04 Wed

2017/01/05 Thu 2017/01/06 Fri 2017/01/07 Sat 2017/01/08 Sun 2017/01/09 Mon 2017/01/10 Tue 2017/01/11 Wed 2017/01/12 Thu 2017/01/13 Fri 2017/01/14 Sat 2017/01/15 Sun 2017/01/16 Mon 2017/01/17 Tue 2017/01/18 Wed 2017/01/19 Thu 2017/01/20 Fri 2017/01/21 Sat 2017/01/22 Sun 2017/01/23 Mon 2017/01/24 Tue 2017/01/25 Wed 2017/01/26 Thu 2017/01/27 Fri 2017/01/28 Sat 2017/01/29 Sun 2017/01/30 Mon 2017/01/31 Tue

Time Hgt 09:35 AM -0.63 L 12:00 AM 1.26 H 12:32 AM 1.06 H 12:52 AM 0.79 H 10:50 PM 0.49 H 10:03 AM 0.03 L 04:53 AM 0.02 L 04:12 AM -0.34 L 04:44 AM -0.68 L 05:28 AM -0.96 L 06:15 AM -1.13 L 07:04 AM -1.2 L 07:52 AM -1.16 L 08:37 AM -1.03 L 09:17 AM -0.85 L 09:47 AM -0.62 L 12:18 AM 0.88 H 12:34 AM 0.6 H 11:38 PM 0.35 H 08:42 AM -0.06 L 06:21 AM -0.07 L 04:35 AM -0.25 L 04:31 AM -0.45 L 04:53 AM -0.63 L 05:22 AM -0.76 L 05:54 AM -0.85 L 06:28 AM -0.9 L 07:02 AM -0.91 L 07:34 AM -0.88 L 08:04 AM -0.82 L 08:32 AM -0.72 L 08:55 AM -0.57 L 12:13 AM 0.79 H

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A

s anglers, we are frequently faced with the decision to stay with the game plan or change to another. This is often amplified in the winter due to lethargic fish, less bait and unfavorable conditions. The first week of December, I took a day trip from Texas to Louisiana to target flounder and found myself with this dilemma. Conditions: Pre frontal—within 24 hours Overcast Start of the trip: Wind east 3 knots End of the trip: Wind northeast 9 knots Water Temp: 59 stayed constant Air Temp: 58 rose to 59 Tide: Outgoing moderate increasing to strong Water Clarity: Green, 1 foot visibility Depth: 3 feet I had not fished this exact area before, but I did some satellite research of the area prior to my departure. My plan was to cover a long stretch of shoreline along a channel varying my cast from shallow to deep. When I got there, I used this tactic for several hundred yards without a bite. I spoke to a few fishermen along the way who had similar results. As I continued my wade, I reached an area that started to slope down at a sharper angle and stayed in that area for a while. After catching a few flounder, I struck up a conversation with someone who educated me with the bottom structure of that area. Now I knew this one area had the structure to hold fish longer than the desolate stretch I had previously walked. With this newfound knowledge, I decided to change my plan and spend the rest of my day planted in this spot. The flounder bite was more aggressive if I kept my tandem-rigged soft plastics moving, but not necessarily forward. I found they were more interested if the lures were constantly jigging, but with little forward motion. Since I was wading in shallow water, I kept my rod tip high, rapidly moving my rod tip with short quick twitches. I would slowly turn my handle to retrieve the slightest amount of line. This action kept my lures wiggling on the bottom and only moving forward at a snail’s pace. My change of plans to stay in this one area rather than pace back and forth along my pre-determined shoreline proved a wise choice giving up a limit of flounder. From my vantage point, I was able to see that others fishing in the area of my original plan didn’t fare as well. Often in the winter, if I am confident in an area, I will typically stay longer than I would in other seasons waiting for the bite. The newfound structure in this area gave me that confidence. Capt. Michael Okruhlik is the inventor of Controlled Descent Lures and the owner of www.MyCoastOutdoors.com. To learn more about My Coast Outdoors, go to

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TIPS FROM A PRO

FRESHWATER WINTERTIME CRAPPIE FISHING

BRANDON LESTER

E

very year as my bass tournament season comes to an end, I start thinking about crappie fishing. I like to take a break and let the competitive flames refuel a bit. When the calendar strikes November and water temperatures dip into the 50s in Tennessee, I take several days to go crappie fishing. These fish make really good table fare, they are also very fun to catch, especially the big ones like you find in winter. I am well aware of how good crappie fishing is in spring. But for the way I fish for them around home, fall and winter are when you can really fill the livewell.

It works the same way when fishing laydowns. I look for laydowns on vertical banks that have a good-sized trunk. If they have a big trunk, I know there is a good-sized treetop out in the water. If they are there, I will see them on my SideVision. Once you find fish, cast exactly where they are or just beyond them, not 3 feet to the left or right. If you miss a crappie’s strike zone by 6 inches, you’ve missed it by a mile. Make the cast, count your bait down to the desired depth and reel just fast enough to maintain that depth. No jigging, nothing fancy, just a

Crappie stack up in large schools this time of year, at it’s not hard to catch them if you know what to look for. Crappie always hang around cover of some type. The two key pieces of structure on my home water are boat docks and laydowns. There are a few docks that seem to always hold fish, but I like to hunt for them with my Raymarine electronics. I turn on SideVision mode and start searching. Crappie will be in big schools, and I might go down a line of 50 docks with only one dock holding the mother lode. To see how big they are and to make sure they are crappie, I will put an Aqua Vu camera down there and check them out. Most of the docks I fish are floating, and the magical depth is normally at least 20 feet of water under the dock. The crappie will normally be suspended under these docks anywhere from 8 to 15 feet down, depending on the water clarity.

slow reel. My favorite jig head is a 1/32-ounce ball-shaped jig head with a good sharp Mustad hook, but I will go up to a 1/16-ounce if the wind is blowing or I’m fishing deeper than normal. Any soft plastic minnow imitation in the 2-inch range with a straight tail will work. Stay away from twist-tail grubs for this method because they cause your bait to rise too much. I use a S721 MHX rod built with supplies from Mud Hole Custom Tackle, including a Winn grip. It is 6-foot-long, super-sensitive and has the perfect action for controlling small baits. I team it with a 1000-size spinning reel and 4-pound Vicious Panfish line in fluorescent green. The green line helps me detect light strikes. These tips will help you all the way up until crappie start moving shallow to spawn. These fish are fat and healthy this time of year. So get out and have some fun this winter.

Get more tips from Lester at

FISHINGMAGAZINE.FISHING 20

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Surprising Winter is the Best Planting Time

I am often asked when is the best time to plant fruiting plants. My answer is usually the same; the best time is 20 years ago or today. The second best time to plant is during the winter months. Plants are dormant, and can be easily shipped and planted with no stress on the plant because there is not a lot of maintenance once the plant or tree has been planted. Simply dig a good hole, water thoroughly

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

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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estled in the picturesque Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina, Jackson County is home to the Western North Carolina Fly Fishing Trail and its centerpiece, the Tuckasegee River, which dissects the county as it flows north to Fontana Lake. The “Tuck,” as it is known to the locals, is a beautiful tailwater trout fishery used for the 2011 USA Fly Fishing Championships, in which the Gold Medal was won by Team USA member Logan Egan. The most popular time to fish the Tuck is during the delayed harvest (DH) fishing season from Oct. 1 to the first Friday in June each year. During this time frame, the Tuck is a catchand-release fishery with artificial-lure, single-hook restrictions. This stretch of specially regulated water runs about 5.5 miles outside the small towns of Dillsboro, Sylva and Cullowhee. The boundaries of the DH are marked by signage on the banks. These regulations appeal to fly fishers and spin fishers alike. You will not only see anglers stripping streamers, drifting nymphs, and casting dries, but you will see a fair number of spinner fishermen taking good numbers of brook, rainbow and brown trout. Jackson County receives an annual stocking of 92,800 trout, the most in the state of North Carolina. In October and November 2016, the Tuck DH section was stocked with 19,600 trout. Rainbow and brook trout made up about 80 percent of this number, and the other 20 percent were brown trout. Normally, trout reach 12 inches in length before making it into the Tuck, but anglers should expect to see, and potentially land, some trophy-sized trout on any drift or presentation. Many anglers wade the river, and drift boats are also popular. Stream flow is controlled by Duke Energy, which posts three days of release schedules on their website, www.duke-energy. com under the Nantahala link. Duke Energy has also provided boat ramps on Old Cullowhee Road and North River Road that many drifters use while floating the Tuck. South River Road is a popular area for anglers and guides due to the number of pull-offs that parallel the river and make accessing the river easy. Access to the Tuckasegee is great compared to some other rivers in the area, but there is some posted private property. Be sure to avoid it. The Tuck is also part of the North Carolina Mountain Heritage Trout Waters program, which allows anglers to fish with a special three-day license that costs only $5. Many anglers opt to purchase a regular fishing license with a trout stamp since the fee is fair and it gives access to almost all the state’s trout waters. A non-resident can purchase a 10-day fishing license and trout stamp for $33 or an annual fishing license and trout stamp for $51. The Tuck DH runs very close to downtown Sylva, yet its beauty catches most first-time anglers off guard.

In fall, the red, yellow and orange leaves dancing on the trees highlight the contours of the surrounding mountains. A bald eagle might closely judge your fishing skills, watching for its opportunity to show you how it’s done. Winter brings cleansing and the occasional snowfall, in which many local anglers find solitude chasing trout on tiny midges. Winter fishing pressure is minimal, which makes it a great time to land a large trout if you’re willing to test your mental toughness wading in cold water. Spring comes to life with budding trees and insects hatching, signaling the coming summer. Anglers spend late evenings on the Tuck sight casting to rising trout honed in on larger dry flies and emerger patterns. Spring evenings can be very peaceful, since most anglers have broken down their rods by 6 p.m. and are headed to the local brewery or one of the many unique restaurants or food trailers in downtown Sylva or Dillsboro. There is a list of local restaurants and breweries at www.mountainlovers.com, or just ask local fly shop employees for their recommendation. In 2016, the North Carolina General Assembly proclaimed Jackson County the Official Trout Capital of North Carolina. Jackson County is home to 4,600 miles of trout streams with a good mixture of hatchery supported streams and wild streams. Check out www.NCTroutcapital.com for more information. Jackson County was also the first to have an officially designated Fly Fishing Trail, which highlights 15 different streams and rivers for any angler to test their skills. Many have taken the challenge of catching and releasing trout or smallmouth bass in each location. There is a map that gives detailed information about each stream, directions, and the type of fish anglers can expect to catch. More information is available at www. flyfishingtrail.com. If you are looking for a fishery with plenty of trout and the opportunity to catch a 25-incher, the Tuck is for you. It is relatively close to Atlanta, Knoxville, Charleston and Charlotte. The Tuck is just an hour west of Asheville, N.C., and it is at the base of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Blue Ridge Parkway. This makes for a nice and easy weekend retreat, or it can be a popular destination for longer stays due to accessibility and other local attractions. Come and experience North Carolina trout fishing at its best! Shannon Messer owns Appalachian Flies and manages and guides at Blackrock Outdoors Orvis Authorized Fly Shop at 570 West Main Street, Sylva NC 28779. Contact him at 828-6314453 or appalachianflies@gmail.com.

North Carolina’s Tuckasegee River, A Southern Gem By Shannon Messer

For more fishin’ on the North Carolina Tuckasegee River, go to

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FISH & FISHING

A DIFFERENT APPROACH MARK SOSIN

I

t’s commonplace today, but more than a halfcentury ago few anglers even thought about it. The late Dr. Webster Robinson wanted to catch either a sailfish or striped marlin on a fly rod while casting from a boat that was out of gear so that the fly was not being trolled. Working with his skipper, Capt. Lefty Reagan, these angling legends fathered the concept of teasing a fish. They reasoned that if they could raise a billfish on a hookless bait, capture its total attention by keeping the tasty morsel just out of reach, work the fish within casting range and substitute a different offering at the last minute, the mission would be successful. I knew both men well and listened intently as Web Robinson described the process to me in detail. He even gave me a copy of the fly he used. Teasing ranks as an extremely effective technique for countless species in a variety of situations. Working on sailfish or marlin on the offshore grounds is just one phase. Sometimes known as bait-andswitch, it’s nothing more than using a live bait, dead bait or a certain artificial to excite a fish enough so it will eat the lure or bait you want it to devour on the tackle of your choice. Very light tackle enthusiasts often tease their quarry into striking so that the line doesn’t break on the initial contact. I’ve teased countless species from sharks, albacore and tuna to striped bass, redfish, barracuda, amberjack, snook and many more. Let me share a couple examples to show you how effective teasing can be. Using a spinning outfit, I rigged a plastic worm exactly the same way as I would for largemouth bass. Pacific sailfish normally don’t include plastic worms as part of their diet. We teased one with a bonito belly and, once the boat was out of gear, I cast the worm. My partner yanked the teaser out of the water and the fish inhaled a plastic worm faster than you can read this.

I met a man who showed me beautiful flies for offshore species. When I told him I could catch a sailfish on a cigar just as easily as with one of his flies, he laughed at me. We were shooting a television show in Panama, and late in the day Capt. Karl Anderson asked if I had a cigar. He rigged it with a leader and hook, attached it to a flyrod and waited for a sailfish to show in the trolled teasers. We stopped the boat, Karl yanked the teaser away from the fish, and I cast the cigar. Within seconds, the sailfish crashed the cigar, went airborne, and all you could see was tobacco showering through the air. As Karl put it, that’s no longer theory. Teasing fish opens a broad new dimension to the sport. As an angler, it allows you to hook fish on all types of tackle using any bait or lure you choose including cigars and plastic worms. Try it and you’ll become hooked on the technique just as I am.

For More Mark Sosin Visit

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FLY FISHING

CASTING FOR REDFISH: BEYOND THE DOUBLE HAUL

I

t is well-known that the double haul and the back cast are essential for fly fishing for redfish. Here are three more casts I believe are very important when targeting winter reds with a fly. Fly Repositioning Cast This cast is wonderful when you need to recast a fly to a redfish that refused it or when you missed your target. It works best when 20 or more feet of line are outside the tip-top. It is essential to the success of this cast to not rush picking the fly line up off the water. The key is to load for the back cast by beginning with the rod tip close to the water and slowly lifting the line off the water. Then wait to feel the rod load on the back cast. Once you feel the rod load, make a forward cast, allowing the fly to hit the mark. I’ve witnessed far too many fishermen rush to recast, and in doing so, miss their target on the second cast. The Quick-Cast For The Short Game When sight casting, you will need to execute some short, quick accurate casts. The short cast is one of the most difficult casts to make because a fly rod made for short casting has yet to be built. When red fishing, unless I know I’ll be making long casts, I keep roughly 40 feet of fly line stripped into a line management basket (a bucket if fishing from a skiff) and 20 feet of line outside the fly rod’s tip-top. The first 15 feet of the belly section of the line will easily load the fly rod with minimal false casting. Place the fly between the index finger and thumb of the hand not holding the rod. If a redfish is spotted at close range, make a back cast while at the same time releasing the fly from your hand and cast to the redfish.

Master The Cross-Wind Cast The wind blows where redfish live. The most difficult winds to a fly flinger are the cross-wind and the following-wind. Both are guaranteed to give the angler fits. The best cast for these challenging situations is the Belgian cast, a very quick cast that when executed correctly presents the fly under challenging conditions. The key is to make an extended side-armed back cast, followed by a high extended-arm overhead cast that will provide the angler distance when working in a big wind. A word of caution: The side cast may produce the painful problem of a fly imbedded in the angler if the wind is blowing toward the casting arm. Put It To The Test When targeting winter redfish, the fly angler will be presented with many different casting situations depending on weather conditions. It’s important to understand and execute each of the casting techniques discussed. Once mastered, a trophy redfish is only a cast away! Conway Bowman caught this 41.65-pound IGFA fly-caught world record redfish out of Hopedale, La.

For More Fly Fishing with Bowman, go to

CAMFLYFISHING.COM

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FISHING AND DIVING

The Maldives

By Capt. Terry Fisher

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t had been 20 years since I had boarded a followed by fishing. The Maldivian government live-a-board to fish and dive. My friend, Capt. is famous for it’s eco-friendly approach and Wayne Hasson, president of Aggressor and serious application to fish conservation. The Dancer Fleets, invited me to accompany him to government’s prohibition of net and long-line the Maldives for a world-class fishing and diving fishing for commercial purposes has sustained the expedition. Over the years, Wayne and I have abundance of fisheries. Commercial fishermen use fished and dived many exotic locations, including line and pole, preventing by-catch of species other waters of the Caribbean, Mediterranean, Pacific than their main target, which is tuna. Sport fishing, and Atlantic. This was my first visit to the Indian therefore, has thrived. Among the game fish found Ocean. are giant trevally, barracuda, wahoo, dorado, A three-leg flight from Miami through New yellowfin tuna, sailfish and marlin. Bonefish and York and Dubai landed us in Male, the small, permit inhabit the flats. bustling capital of the Maldives. Upon arrival, There are many charter fishing operations Wayne and I quickly cleared customs and were in the Maldives. I had numerous opportunities to assisted by a friendly and helpful crew of the be transported to beautiful sand beaches in the mother ship. We were transported aboard a ‘Dhoni’ middle of the Indian Ocean to fish for bonefish, (dinghy) by water, to lush accommodations aboard giant trevally, jack crevalle and other species. the Maldives Aggressor. This live-a-board vessel While sailing to new dive sites, we used a ‘Dohni’ boasts a full-service galley, huge salon, 10 guest to troll and catch tuna, sailfish, wahoo and dorado. state rooms and decks for relaxing, sunbathing, At night aboard the Maldives Aggressor, we dining under the stars or just getting away for bottom fished for grouper and snapper. some private time. This luxury yacht offered all Trolling, spinning, fly-fishing gear, including of the comforts and amenities of a five-star, land- lures and fly presentations are basically the same as based property with toilets, lavatory and shower we use in the states. Diving various locations and facilities to satisfy the most demanding guests. seeing up close the numerous species that I would This voyage, Dive with the Owners Week, fish for was an added and educational bonus. provided me the benefit of being surrounded Perfect water clarity offered a vast array of marine by a number of crew, divers and fishermen, life at every dive destination. representing more than 10 different countries. The Maldives is a nation of islands. It is also For information on this trip of a lifetime, visit the “Honeymoon Capital” of Europe and parts www.maldivesfishing.com or www.aggressorfleet. of Asia. Temperatures range from 77 to 86. There com. Contact Capt. Terry Fisher of Cape Coral, are 26 atolls with 1,190 islands. One island boasts Florida’s Fish Face Charters at fishfacecharters@ a rainforest. Only 209 of the islands are inhabited yahoo.com. with a total population For more fishing in the Maldives, go to of only 400,000. Tourism is the leading industry,

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ll tournament anglers want to win. The questions are: How bad do you want that win? How much are you willing to sacrifice? How much are you willing to put on the line chasing the big win? The answers aren’t cut-and-dry or crystal clear. Most tournament anglers I know are perfectly content competing at the club and local level for beer money. But don’t underestimate the will of those guys either. I recently competed in a Deerpoint Team Trail event with Travis Poole in which a win would have been a few hundred dollars for us to split. It was low threat, low entry fee and big fun. You’d think that given the conditions that day, any sane man would’ve stayed at home. Approximately 4 inches of rain fell that day, the wind blew and lightning popped around our heads all day. Still, most guys that entered the event that morning brought their catch to the scales in the pouring rain hoping to claim the prize. The weather didn’t seem to dampen their desires one bit. They wanted it bad enough, at least they did that day. For the professional angler, the weather is just one of many elements they must fight to stay in the game. Family, sponsorship obligations, mechanical problems and financial burdens are just a few of the non-fishing issues that require an angler to do a gut-check nearly every day. All these things must be tended to before the angler can even set out to find fish for a coming event, and he’s usually a one-man crew. Some of the top touring anglers have support networks taking on some of this for them, but rest assured, they didn’t get there with them. Stories from many of the top pros sound the same, tales about sleeping in the cab of their trucks for weeks on end, dining on peanut butter day after day, selling possessions off to fund the next event, and practicing in horrible weather because they only have two days to figure out unknown waters. If there was one thing I could define that separates the successful tournament angler from the others, it’s this: he wanted more. The guy in this picture is my friend Johnny Nguyen. He is a great example of what I just described. I can’t tell you how bad he wants it, but I can tell you he possesses at least one critical element for fishing success: the undeniable, unflappable, hard-core love for the sport. No tournament here, just him out fishing on a day he probably shouldn’t have been. But there he is, doing what he loves. Some get it, others never will. Randy Cnota is the co-publisher of Coastal Angler/The Angler Magazine’s Panama City/Forgotten Coast edition.

For More fishing with Randy ‘C-Note’ Cnota, go to

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hose of us who live life outdoors know it’s not always sunny. It can get downright ugly, and many times the best bite of the year is on the leading edge of a nasty front. With good foul weather gear, wind and rain should never stand between anglers and feeding fish. Pelagic Gear, a company founded on and devoted to the ocean lifestyle, has developed a line of gear that guarantees anglers will stay happy and dry, no matter what Mother Nature sends rolling in. Pelagic’s Dri-Flex Lightweight Jacket is perfect to throw in the bag for those dewy mornings or windy evenings when there’s a slight chill. Pelagic’s DRI-FLEX fabric provides the comfort of a lightweight jacket while protecting you from the elements with water repellant technology. When it’s time to take protection from the elements up a notch, anglers shouldn’t get caught on the water without

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Pelagic’s Hurricane Jacket. For more than a decade, this 100-percent waterproof outerwear has been the choice of hardcore captains around the world. It was designed specifically for the harsh conditions of the marine environment with technical features that cater to the needs of anglers. With welded zipper technology, reflective hex-safety patches and a moisture-wicking liner, the Hurricane Jacket keeps anglers dry and shielded in bad weather. And then there are those times when you need protection all over. Pelagic’s Stormbreaker Foul Weather Jacket and Bib are a full barrier to the elements. The suit is made of a lightweight PVC that is 100-percent waterproof, yet comfortable to wear. Again, it was designed specifically for anglers, with a loose cut for optimal maneuverability and plenty of ventilation. This is also the perfect rain barrier for the traveling angler. It is lightweight and packs easily, so an angler never has to leave the docks without the full protection from harsh conditions. Good foul weather gear is essential to every angler. When it comes to selecting protection from the elements, it makes sense to choose gear designed specifically for fishing. Any outerwear will do if the mission is a stroll through the park. Pelagic Gear’s line protects anglers and keeps them fishing in the kind of brutal conditions only found on open water. To learn more about the Pelagic Lifestyle, go to

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FITEC CAST NETS Fitec International has been providing the very best cast nets available to anglers for over 50 years. They are the world’s largest manufacturer of cast nets and their products are in stock or online with all major retailers and distributors where cast nets are sold. The superior quality in their handmade nets gives anglers the fun and performance they deserve while out on the water. Hold a Fitec net next to a competitor and you will see there is no comparison. Fitec’s Super Spreader and Ultra Spreader cast nets are simply the best! Fitec offers four distinct categories to ensure you are able to get the net you need. The patented EZ throw cast net is designed with a disc feature that is perfect for the novice. The RS, or Recreational Series, is designed for shallow waters or for the person who wants a lighter net. The SS, or Sport Series, nets are designed with a 1-pound per radius foot weight system and are the No. 1 selling cast net in the country. Finally, the GS, or Guide Series, nets are designed for the serious angler, built with the highest quality standards and the fastest sink rate. Fitec values your business. They go to work every day with you, their customer, in mind. Their mission is to “bring innovative quality products to customers, with drive and passion every day.”

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Seeking to become the leading and most comprehensive manufacturer of all things diving and fishing, Hammerhead Spearguns has made another addition to its lineup of gear. They are proud to announce the launch of the Dentex NT, a utility glove so durable yet flexible it’s almost like having a second skin on the hands. The Dentex NT comes with an ANSI Cut Level 5 and Puncture Level 3 and is woven from Hammerhead’s signature red Dentex fabric, but now it has a Sandy Nitrile coating on the palm and fingers, giving it increased resistance to heat and chemicals, plus additional grip. The Dentex NT is also known to be extremely pliant, molding seamlessly into your hands, so no clumsy mitten-hands here. You can even pick up a penny while wearing them! The wide range of things you can do with the Dentex NT gloves is staggering. You can use them not just when you fish or handle tricky, spiny sea critters but also when doing repairs or squaring off with hazardous materials. Welding a piece of metal to fix your boat? Piece of cake! Filleting tuna? Sure thing! Changing lines and hooks? Say goodbye to line abrasions and getting pricked, stabbed, or poked on your fingers. Sharp tools and hot objects no longer pose a threat to your valuable hands.

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PRODUCT SPOTLIGHT ERGODOCK OFFERS IMPROVED RESILIENCE, AESTHETICS AND SAFETY

While many docks along the Florida coastline buckled to the force of Hurricane Matthew this fall, widespread reports from boaters and anglers indicated that docks utilizing ErgoDock technologies held up considerably better. With the damage and debris left in Matthew’s wake, the resilience of ErgoDock proved significant—not only because of its strength, but because of expected durability against future hurricanes that routinely batter the coast. The ErgoDock difference is its inherent structural augmentation. ErgoDock is designed to provide a matrix that evolves the dock into a single structural component instead of a succession of individual parts like most marine docks are constructed. Independent tests report that ErgoDock significantly outperforms all other dock options in comfort, safety and customization. ErgoDock’s unique texture, for example, enhances safety with a far more slip resistant material than wood or composite decking. The ErgoDock surface also is designed to allow more “give,” increasing comfort and safety by easing stress on ErgoDock owners’ feet, back and joints while also mitigating any potential injury from a fall. ErgoDock prevents deterioration, therefore reducing the need for maintenance. Its products adhere with an impervious membrane to seal all decking materials and are self-draining, to prevent UV or water degradation of existing decking or concrete surfaces. “Our purpose was to create a material that far outperforms all other dock options when it comes to safety, comfort, customization and longevity,” said Kent Weisenberg, founder and CEO of ErgoDock LLC. “There is nothing like it on the market. ErgoDock is a multi patent-pending marine surfacing system that is revolutionizing the dock design and repair industries.” Weisenberg, the sole named inventor on 28 U.S. and foreign patents, added, “We passionately pursue improving the world’s infrastructure with green technology. ErgoDock surfaces are made of sustainable materials that fight the depletion of our environment.” ErgoDock products can be used in various stages of a dock’s life whether for preservation, safety, aesthetics or for any combination of the three. Still want that traditional wood dock look? ErgoDock offers ErgoWood Decking, which is select-treated wood that is pre-dried and then encased in ErgoDock’s patented SafeTread material and prevents deterioration from sun and water while increasing a dock’s life by as much as 10 years over current decking materials. “Add it all up, and ErgoDock products represent a major leap forward in dock design and repair,” Weisenberg said. “We want people to know that there is another option out there–one that comes with ergonomic elegance and represents a resilient, safe and viable option that contractors will want to offer their customers.”

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PRODUCT SPOTLIGHT XTRATUF CAMO-LINED LEGACY BOOT Designed to keep fishermen sure-footed on the water, XTRATUF’s Camo-Lined Legacy Boot is the ideal boot for fishing in the elements. An interior camo lining and XTRATUF logo that are visible when the boot is rolled down adds a pop of color to XTRATUF’s classic performance boot. Not your typical rubber boot, the Legacy is triple-dipped to create a seamless coating of rubber that further strengthens an already watertight material, thus sealing the boots and making them impervious to fish oils and chemicals. The soft, pliable and lightweight neoprene latex rubber gives the Legacy boots unparalleled comfort and flexibility. The hand-laye r e d construction allows for flex and strength at critical stress points on the boot. A signature chevron outsole design and unique rubber compound provides maximum surface contact for ultimate traction and stability in even the most severe fishing and work conditions. These 100 percent waterproof boots will keep the warmth in and the cold out when the temperature drops.

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