The Angler Magazine | April 2023 | Ohio Edition

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MAHI A Few Facts About Everyone’s Favorite Fish

On the end of a line or wrapped up in a tortilla, dolphin sh are a worldwide fan favorite. Here are a few facts you might not have known about mahi-mahi:

• What’s in a Name? Mahi-mahi is the Hawaiian term for the sh historically called dolphin or dolphin sh in the mainland United States. In Polynesian “mahi” means “strong,” and “mahi-mahi” translates to very strong. Although most U.S. scientist still refer to the species as dolphin sh, the term mahi has become more

prevalent in recent years, perhaps through foodsh marketing or to avoid confusion with the mammal also called dolphin.

Spanish speakers typically refer to the same sh as “dorado,” which means “golden.” Obviously, this comes from the sh’s color, and dorado is also used widely in the Paci c as well as in English-speaking South Africa.

Dolphin sh are found in all the world’s tropical and subtropical oceans. ey go by many names in many languages. ey are Shiira in Japanese, goldmakrele in German, lambuka in Arabic… and the list goes on.

• All the Pretty Colors: Dolphin sh are revered for their gorgeous colors, which change according to their excitement level. ey can change colors and even icker from day-glow green and yellow with blue highlights to lighter blue and metallic silver over the course of a ght. As soon as you pull them out of the water, this brilliance begins to fade. ese changing colors are due to cells called chromatophores in their skin. Chromatophores re ect light, contain pigment, and are controlled by central nervous system, which gives mahi their awesome chameleon-like abilities.

• Rabbit of the Sea: Part of the allure of mahi for anglers is their prevalence. When they are around, there are usually a lot of them around. ey grow quickly and reproduce proli cally, like rabbits. Dolphin sh can grow up to 3 inches in a week and reach sexual maturity in just ve or six months. ey spawn two or three times a year, and each female can release up to a million eggs during each cycle.

• Size Matters: While smaller “peanut” mahi travel and feed in giant schools, larger individuals cruise in smaller packs of two to ve sh. e average dolphin only lives two or three years, and they have a lifespan of ve to seven years. e IGFA all-tackle world record weighed 87 pounds and was caught o Costa Rice in 1976.

• Speed: Dolphin sh are estimated to swim up to 50 nautical mph, which allows them to feed on pretty much anything they can t in their mouths. is includes their little brothers and sisters.

• Management: It’s usually bad news for anglers when the federal acronyms pay special attention to a species. However, years of declining catches have led Florida shermen to call for tighter regulations for dolphin sh in the Atlantic. Currently, NOAA and SAFMC are looking at options.

Florida boasts some of the best dolphin shing in the world. e sharp multi-year decline in the shery is alarming. Last year, while SAFMC mulled potential regulations changes in federal waters, Florida preemptively slashed limits in state waters by half—from 10 sh to ve sh per person, with the vessel limit dropping from 60 to 30 sh per day.

SAFMC did not follow suit. With opposition to tighter regulations from North Carolina, where dolphin shing appears to be getting better, the per-person bag limit in federal waters of the South Atlantic remained at 10 sh per person, while the daily vessel limit was modi ed from 60 sh to 54 sh. ere is a minimum size limit of 20 inches in federal waters o South Carolina, Georgia and Florida. ere is no minimum size limit o North Carolina.

Many Florida anglers were stunned by the decision to pretty much allow federal regulations to remain as they were. Changes, however, are likely on the way. NOAA/SAFMC have initiated a “management strategy evaluation” with a stated goal of annually determining dolphin sh supply before allocating harvest equally to di erent regions and user groups. We might get a look at what that means by 2024.

• Grocery Shopping: Most of the mahi-mahi you nd in restaurants or at the grocery store comes from the Paci c. In the South Atlantic, just seven percent of the total catch limit is allocated to commercial shing.

MAKE IT A DOUBLE!

A“double tackle” is what I call rigging two lures on the same main line. In certain situations, this appearance of a school of eeing bait sh or shrimp is irresistible to predators, and I’ve got a clean and simple way to rig a double tackle.

is the time of year, a double tackle can be deadly in inshore sheries. Spring brings huge schools of small, immature bait rolling up the creeks o the Intracoastal. ey push into the shallow bays and up the rivers trying to nd a place to hide from all the predators. Rigging two identical baits together can be irresistible to predator sh, and at the same it confuses them. I think sh look at this tackle, with baits zigging and zagging, and are forced to decide which one to eat, rather than whether or not to eat.

ere is always the possibility of catching two tackle. It happens a lot.

Speckled trout, striped bass and American shad are a few likely candidates for this tackle. Spring trout sometimes key on juvenile shrimp, and this tackle is a dead-ringer for the job. American and hickory shad are complete idiots for this tackle, as they stage in tight schools and you o en catch doubles. For the speckled trout, I like a 3-inch DOA Shrimp. For shad, I prefer small so -plastic worms.

Depending on water clarity, I sh 20- to 30-pound uoro for trout and 8- to 12-pound uoro for shad. is a very ne line between using a uoro light enough to get the bite and heavy enough to withstand the force of two sh yanking against each other on the line. e knot that connects everything together is pretty simple, but it takes a little practice to get it just right. It is a must to moisten the uoro when cinching the knot

down tight, as it will cut itself if it’s not wet. Test your knots, pulling hard on them, before use.

I’m going to get sporty this year and make a double-squid tackle for the black n tuna. I may get two at once, but that’s a gamble I’m willing to take. Stay in touch to my YouTube channel for video featuring the black ns. I think the black n tackle will be made with 50-pound uoro.

Regardless of the lure, I use jig heads that make baits walk the dog underwater like a Gotsh the front lure with a jig head, and it zigs and zags with the same cadence of the trailing lure, which has no jig head, just a hook. O en the trailing bait gets the bite.

I’m not going into a lengthy explanation in writing about how to make this tackle, but will show an up-close detailed video that explains this simple knot and rigging completely.

To see video instructions on rigging Tim Barefoot’s double tackle, go to https://youtu.be/FsdUGwyM9c4. For more, visit barefootcatsandtackle.com.

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Catch More Springtime Crappie

It’s the time of year when crappie shing can get mighty easy. However, you can always strive to load the cooler with more and bigger sh. Here are a few tips:

• Know Your Prey: Crappie are on the move this time of year. ey might be staged up at prespawn or postspawn depths, or they might be right up on the banks in a foot and a half of water spawning. Knowing their cycles will help you nd them.

Before and a er they spawn, crappie hold on brush and structure just outside of their spawning areas. ey move up into the shallows to spawn in waves, and this can go on for a month or more. So, while some sh are easy targets when they’re spawning or guarding fry on super-shallow brush, there are other, possibly larger, sh feeding a little deeper.

If you’re not catching the numbers or size you’d like to see in the shallows, get on the trolling motor and use your sonar to nd the creek channels and rst drops o the spawning areas. Find some good brush or search the fronts of docks. You might nd big schools slab crappie. Pitch jigs or minnows to individual brushpiles or slow troll these deeper areas to nd sh.

• Ditch the Bobber: A minnow under a bobber is a traditional and e ective crappie rig. It is not, however the most e cient way to catch them in most situations. During the spawn, male crappie are the ones that stay shallow and guard the nests. ey are aggressive, and they are not necessarily feeding when they attack. ese sh are particularly susceptible to gaudy, brightly colored jigs.

Crappie jigs are the best way to cover water both on

spawning banks and on deeper brush. Even when they’re feeding heavily, crappie on brush won’t chase their prey more than a few feet. A jig allows you to make numerous casts and thoroughly cover the water horizontally and vertically in the time it would take to hook and soak a single minnow under a bobber.

Move quickly until you nd the you can slow down and catch them all. If you still want to support the local live bait store, go ahead and buy some minnows and thread them through the lips on a crappie jig.

• Scent: You might not need it all the time to catch sh, but scent helps crappie nd your lure and convinces them to eat. It doesn’t hurt to tip your jig with a minnow, and arti cial attractants like PowerBait Crappie Nibbles or JJ’s Magic can sometimes make them bite when they’ve got lockjaw.

• Network: Make friends with other crappie anglers. ere’s no shortage of available crappie in most lakes. Sharing information with other anglers helps everyone stay on top of the sh. You don’t have to tell anyone where you sunk your Christmas tree in January, but a little give and take doesn’t hurt when you’re talking about stages of the spawn or e ective colors.

For more crappie shing, visit www.coastalanglermag.com.

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Considering a variety of specie and weather-related factors, I’d like to present some early-year cold but open water options to help cure the cabin fever so many of us are currently suffering from.

Mogadore’s East End - long acknowledged as a premier ice fishing panfish destination, largely due to its shallowness, the same lack of depth that freezes early is also renowned for being a notoriously early locale for an early thaw and early spring prespawn largemouth bass hotspot. Focusing primarily around the Congress Lake Road areas, early spring anglers will opt for jerkbaits, lipless crankbaits, and jigs for varying degrees of success.

Conneaut Harbor - smallmouth bass of outstanding average size reliably congregate along and just off this storied Lake Erie harbor town’s east and west break-walls every year, with the best bite initiating in late March /early April and concluding for the most part in early May. Tube baits are the top choice in the 1/4 oz. jighead size to best plumb the 15-25’ waters you’ll be fishing. I recommend spinning gear and 8 lb. line.

Upper Cuyahoga River - fewer experiences will better awaken the early year anglers than hooking a couple nice northern pike from Ohio’s most renowned pike waters. From Hiram Rapids to Munroe Falls, the river is home to a very decent population of northerns, that while not attaining the average sizes of those that once made the river downstream famous as easily the state’s best, still can match the catches that so many pay so much to pursue annually in various Canadian waters.

Lake Erie Western Basin Jig & Minnow Bite - Starting most years in later February, the jig & minnow reef bite from the Detroit River down to Put-In-Bay produces impressive catches of some of the big pond’s biggest ‘eyes of the year. Try a medium -action rod of good sensitivity and spool on some 8-10 lb. green ultraclear mono. A very effective lure option that helps cover more water, is Bill Edworthy’s revered “Vib-E” blade bait, attached always with a snap.

Tappan Dam - One of the state’s largely unknown spring secrets is the crappie fishing at Tappan Dam Reservoir in Harrison County. Try your favorite crappie baits and jigs vertically down either side of St. Rt. 250, concentrating primarily just off the cement bridgeworks that tend to warm up early. Try 4lb. mono on your light-action gear, vertically jigged off the side of your boat.

Lake Punderson - This regularly overlooked gem on Geauga County’s southern border harbors an outstanding population of stocky bluegills in its cool, deep waters. Be prepared to fish your ultra-light spinning gear considerably deeper than you might normally. A nice bonus is the ample numbers of varied trout species the state keeps stocked there.

***

Article by: Jack Kiser. Host of “Buckeye Angler”. He can be reached at the Buckeye Angler Facebook site, or the new buckeyeangler.com.

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April adds more Lake Erie-area fishing options

In years when ice forms over the winter, there is a period of time while the melting ice is too thin to walk on and too thick to get a boat through. By April, local waterways are normally fully ready to fish for a variety of species. For those anglers who aren’t locked onto just catching Walleyes, there are crappie snags to probe and catfish holes to prospect. For crappies, many of the small rivers and large creeks with public access have downed trees or submerged branches along the banks that attract these sweettasting “papermouth” sunfish.

Toussaint, Little Portage, and Turtle Creeks are examples of easy to fish public access areas with an abundant supply of these fish and some room to roam. ODNR boat ramps also offer shoreline access and fishing opportunities. In privately-owned marinas, by first successfully getting permission, minnow-dunkers will find an abundant supply of crappies nesting along boat dock posts, vertical sheet metal piles and rip-rap shorelines that run much larger than those in highly pressured reservoirs inland.

Bullheads can be found virtually everywhere that water flows throughout the region. Where there are no signs posted that prohibit parking and in places with room to pull over, bridges over many creeks provide spots to catch these homely, but delicious oldtime fish-fry staple. This is fishing at its simplest. Baited hook, line and sinker are all that are needed to allow family members of all skill levels to participate in the catching. Youngsters with short attention spans who need to be kept busy and equate catching with success can usually be kept satisfied. Just be sure that someone with experience unhooks the catch, so they do not get a painful puncture wound from one of the erect spines on the top (dorsal) and side (pectoral) fins and ruin their day and willingness to continue fishing.

Their larger cousins, Channel catfish, wake up as the month ticks on and shallow water temperatures warm. Fried catfish and sweet

potato fries with cole slaw and perhaps even hushpuppies are a classic southern treat. Smoked catfish is a delicacy that few can pass on when given the opportunity to sample some. While not usually always a target, but always a reason for some excitement, hooking a modest to large carp can create enthusiasm for fishing in beginning anglers. April can offer much more than Walleyes around Lake Erie.

Article by: John Hageman. John now writes approximately 125 articles per year after retiring from the Ohio Sea Grant/Stone Laboratory - The Ohio State University’s Lake Erie biology station at Put-In-Bay.

a seasoned regular, experiences here stay in your heart for a lifetime.

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Photo: Successful day crappie fishing in the spring (Credit: Randy Bundy)
a

April – The best time of the year to catch fish in Ohio?

Hold on to your Rod - It’s April! As soon as you can, get out and grab a couple of hair jigs in 5/8 ounce to 1 ounce that any local bait shop will carry, colors such as purple, green, and black are my favorites. I personally like Taylor Tackle made hair jigs with buck tail hair and a stinger hook to catch those short biting “eyes.” Early in the season I may tip them with a few minnows. The jigging cadence will be key to you catching fish, always start with light 6 inch to a foot hop and change from there if you’re not catching, remember to contact the bottom with every hop. Also, don’t forget a blade bait for muddy water or early morning, vertical jigging these can get a good reaction bite. Most people will be fishing out of Wild Wings, Turtle Creek, and Cooley Canal and even to the west on the Maumee Bay sandbars and as far east as Catawba later on in the month. Fish will be stacked in shallow areas and on the rocky reefs in front of the Davis Besse cooling tower. This is a very popular time of year and the catch rate can be great. A glance across the lake will have boats packed into certain areas where some fish are, but there will be many other places that are overlooked. Remember you don’t need to be in a pack of boats to catch fish. Be respectful of each other’s water best you can, so everyone can catch fish. A lot of boat traffic at high speeds can run fish out in a hurry. At times walleyes will be less than a mile from shore or up to seven or eight miles out on the reefs later in the spawn. For anglers looking for the BIG bite, trolling deep diving stick baits off the reefs in the deeper water will be key. Bandits, Reef Runners, and deep diving husky jerks will work great looking for big suspended females. Paying attention to weather and local rivers will decide if your fishing trip is going to be productive. Online, USGS provides up to date river levels and MODIS imagery will give daily satellite images of the lake. When the western end of the lake is brown, that’s normally a good judge to wait a couple days for the muddy water to settle. Of course, the Maumee and Sandusky rivers will be lined with anglers this time of year also. Once water temps go above forty degrees the fishing will be great for walleye throughout April in both rivers. 1/4 to 3/4 ounce jigs with chartreuse or white 3 inch curly tails are my go to in the ‘Dusky and the Maumee. I will use a Carolina rig, which is a 5/8oz. or 3/4oz. inline sinker with three to five feet of line to a floating jig head with similar tail colors and size. The techniques can intertwine between rivers but those are most productive for me, with bigger weights necessary with higher current flows. Downtown Fremont, Ohio will get you started in the Sandusky and Downtown Maumee or Perrysburg will give a look at many wading anglers in the Maumee River. Since Lake Erie is the walleye capital of the world it’s easy to let other fish species go to the back burner. Well, April is one of the best times, if not the best time of the year to catch fish in Ohio.

Catfish will be hot and will bite about anything, anywhere! Crappies and bluegills will be biting well in marinas and bays. Ice out crappies around docks and structure will love minnows under a bobber. Lastly, can’t forget about bass, largemouth and smallmouth will take off as the month progresses. Both can be caught in marinas, harbors, break walls and piers. Buy your fishing license for the new year and get on the water, I guarantee you won’t regret it!

As always if you’re looking to book a walleye or perch charter ask for me at Sea Breeze Charters @ 877-616-7780 (seabreezecharters.com). Be safe out there, Capt. Jonny Fickert

Dockwithusin2023!

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Ohio Cold Water Bass

No matter what body of water you decide to fish in Ohio, the early spring bites can be extremely tough. It requires a lotof patience. But I use a few of my old tricks that I have been using for so many years when fishing tournaments as well as guiding on so many of our Ohio lakes and reservoirs.

One of my key areas to start are the areas where there is a deep channel that has quick access to the shallow bays close by. The first lure I grab is a 1/2 or 3/8 ounce spinnerbait in a light gray or off white color with a larger top Colorado blade and a smaller willowleaf blade on the bottom. with 10 or 12 pound P-Line Floroclear. This allows me to slow roll the spinnerbait and at this time of the year even as the bass metabolism is still slow, it will produce results.

Another area that will produce, will normally be around deep-water docks. And as the water warms, I will switch to shallow water docks. I mainly search for docks that have wooden dock posts rather than the galvanized steel dock posts. Bass will relate to wood much quicker.

I once spoke at a Bassmaster Seminar here in Akron, many years ago and during our break I was talking to my close friend Jimmy Houston, and we were discussing seasonal patterns of bass. And he mentioned so many different ways to adjust to catch more bass during the tough times such as cold fronts during the spring and throughout the year. I will share these with you in next month’s issue of the Angler Magazine. Until then please have fun and be safe out on the water.

Ron Slater - Pro Angler N.P.A.A 808, Bassfisher273@ gmail.com (330) 780-3652

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Spring Steelhead on the Fly

The warming temperatures of spring is a welcome change from the cold winter season experienced by the steelhead angler. This past fall/winter steelhead season was strong in terms of both size and numbers of fish caught which forecasts a strong spring season to follow. Average size of fish caught this past season ranged from about 24-26 inches with plenty of larger fish caught as well, we can expect large pushes of fish all through April.

Spring steelhead make their run congruent with the river’s rising water temperature. Look for a bump in water temperature in the tributary river you plan to fish, and you should see a push of fish along with that temperature rise.

Ohio has a variety of tributary rivers that feed into Lake Erie that see runs of both winter and spring steelhead, each of which provides miles of waterway to explore and experience. There are also a myriad of creek systems feeding into the main tributary rivers that see pushes of steelhead as well. These river systems span from the westside of the state all the way to the eastside, past Cleveland, such as the Rocky and Chagrin Rivers.

A decade of pursuing steelhead on the fly has taught me to be adaptive. Productive steelhead fishing is widely determined by on stream conditions, and your success is based on how well you can adapt to the ever-changing river conditions. All too often I will watch a river completely change in both clarity and flow from just the morning to the afternoon, be ready to change your style of fishing with those changes!

There are a variety of unique styles and tactics to fly fish for steelhead such as, swinging wet flies, high-stick nymphing, spey/switch style fishing, but the most popular style is to “dead-drift” flies under a strike indicator. This includes casting one or two flies on a long leader under a strike indicator, this drift presents flies to a fish completely naturally with the river’s current. The best gear to have for this style of fishing is a long heavy rod, preferably in the 10-foot length and a 7 or 8 wt. rod is recommended. A fly reel with a large arbor and an adjustable disc drag system is best against a steelhead. Your fly line should have a heavy tapered head, most nymphing style fly lines are best suited for the roll casting and mending that is critical to this presentation. The leader should be about 9 feet long in total, with your strike indicator set at approximately double the depth of the hole you are fishing.

On July 25, 2022, I had the privilege of guiding for a very special true friend, by the name of Dr. Eric Dennis. He is in a battle with Stage 4 cancer and wanted to get out on the water when the treatments weren’t slowing him down. This trip was like no other, when I got the call, I dropped everything and made plans for Monday morning to guide for him. He wanted to use his boat too, just to give it a good workout.

Flies include black stoneflies, brightly colored nymphs which are good for days with colder water temps, small streamers such as a “Zonker” or a “Wooly Bugger” in white or olive, which are a great bet for fish freshly in from the lake, and most importantly,

Mr. Dennis is a well-known fly-tying champion and has given many demonstrations and talks about fly tying and fly fishing. One of his flies can be seen at the Fly-Fishing Museum in Vermont. He is planning on doing some fly fishing in Montana with his son and friends soon (who are all dentists), but for now, we were bass fishing, and it was a beautiful morning for it. When we pulled up on our first area, at Turkeyfoot lake, Mr. Dennis landed a huge bass that weighed in at a little over 6 pounds! As I was taking a few pics, we were all smiles and laughs. The fun and friendships we make on the water may be the best part of what fishing has to offer.

After about 4 minutes we went across the lake and on his first cast there, he landed another huge bass, a 4 pounder this time. Our excitement was beyond words. It is not often you hook into back-to-back lunkers. This will always be a special day for Dr. Eric, his wife Mary and myself. We will never forget it and I hope that we can

EGGS! All colors are important to have when it comes to egg Mad River Outfitters, 614-451-0363. Article by Ben Phipps -

EGGS! All colors are important to have when it comes to egg flies. Orange, chartreuse, pink, blue, just to name a few.

Spring is a great time of year to take advantage of the amazing steelhead fishing we have available to us in Ohio. If you have any questions about Ohio steelhead on the fly or want to take a guided fishing trip for these awesome fish, give us a call at Mad River Outfitters, 614-451-0363. Article by Ben Phippsmadriveroutfitters.com

Summit - Portage - Mogadore area

do it again someday. Stage 4 cancer is a terrible thing, my prayers are with them. P.S. I have never had such a touching guide trip as this one. Sometimes we need some sunshine and a great fishing trip to help us put life in perspective.

Ron Slater is a fishing guide on the Portage Lakes in Ohio, he can be reached at 330-780-3652 or email bassfisher273@gmail.com

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to

FOR LOVE AND CATFISH

My wife and I are avid fishing women, we are on the water whenever we have the opportunity. No matter what Ohio weather throws at us, blistering hot days of summer, or the bone-chilling cold of winter. We usually have a rod and tackle box to-go in the car, just in case we find a new body of water to try or just want to revisit a spot and give it a few quick casts. That was the plan on one particular day, except it didn’t quite go how either one of us expected it to. We just left work and decided to stop at a pond. We hiked down the small path to the dock and started rigging up our gear. We had stopped at the gas station to grab some night crawlers, (the old fashion go-to bait). The rods were tied up, poles were in the water and so began the waiting game. We like to personally target catfish for many reasons. It’s one of our biggest and most plentiful stocked fish here in Ohio and we are lucky to have four species to pursue thanks to the ODNR. There are channel, blue, flathead, and bullhead, (which also include brown, yellow and black). Catfish are interestingly unique. They’re extremely versatile and tolerant of different water conditions and eat just about anything. It’s possible to catch them year-round when other fish species get finicky. This day we were targeting channel cats. Everything was quiet, then about thirty minutes into it, the rods started bending. The bite was finally on! Gabbie got the first fish and for the next hour and a half we went back and forth one after another bringing in the “kitties” as we call them. All decent eater size between five- ten pounds but were all released back into the pond. The bite had started to slow down just as the sun started creeping down. We discussed heading home to get dinner started I reeled in my line and Gabbie had just taken her rod out of the holder but set her rod against the dock. Neither of us were paying attention because we’re still organizing things. Before we knew it, her line started going out. The drag was screaming and taking line out quickly. Gabbie went running for her pole but by the time she got there it was too late. The drag was set just tight enough, and that fish knew it was hooked. We watched this fish pull her rod from the surface and drag it toward the center of the lake. Gabbie was so determined we weren’t leaving without her rod she jumped in the water with steel-toed boots on! Thank goodness we weren’t far from home. In a desperate attempt I casted over and over to try and get it back for her. She gave up the search and started walking back to the car soaking wet and then I felt a “clink”. I slowly drug my hook across the bottom and reeled it up to the dock. I actually did it, I caught her rod! The fish ended up getting away but today we joke about it, and I tell her she had a case of catfish fever. We call each other “my greatest catch”. We even had a lure engraved with that on it for our wedding.

Article by Allison Benoit, Her and Gabbie’s fishing adventures can be seen on Youtube at https://www.youtube.com/@benoitfishingoutdoors and on Facebook at Benoit Fishing Outdoors.

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“Here kitty, kitty”

With spring now in full swing, the fishing opportunities are also beginning to blossom. Many species of fish are in a pre-spawn pattern. This is a perfect time of year for anglers of all types and skill levels to get out and have a successful day fishing for catfish in our many rivers and reservoirs. They are a fun fish to catch and are great table fare as well. Along with being widespread and sustainable, catfish can be targeted with several techniques.

Choosing where to fish - There are a few things to look for in small rivers and streams. First and foremost, cover and structure. These are always important when fishing for almost anything. Small rivers and streams can be broken down into 3 sections when fishing. Riffles, holes, and runs. Holes are the main target zone for catfish in a stream or river. They are formed just below a riffle and can continue for several yards before giving way to a run or flat. Holes catch dead and living bait as it moves downstream with the current. Most cats will be taking advantage of that constant supply of food and hang out in the holes. Along with holes, snags and log jams are also great places to target. They offer cover and protection for baitfish which in turn, brings in the cats.

Baits - When choosing baits for cats, anglers are faced with many options. So many artificial baits are out there and some work. The old adage, “match the hatch” holds true with catfishing. Natural, local, and fresh cut bait like creek chubs, suckers, shad, bluegill, skipjack, and carp are some of the best choices for cut baits. The fresher the better. Attractant baits are a very popular option for the catfish angler. However, these types of baits typically do not last as long on your hook in the water as a cut bait will. They are a good choice if you do not have the time to catch your own bait before your trip. Live baits are another good choice for catfish. Again, the best choice for live baits is local and natural forage. You can also count on a big wad of night crawlers to bring in a few fish.

Gear and rigging - There are countless choices for gear and techniques out there today. Deadline fishing- is probably the most familiar way of fishing for catfish. The most common way is to choose a weight for the current or depth you are going to be fishing in, attached to your mainline. Followed by a bead then tied to a swivel. The bead helps prevent the weight from beating up your knot. From the swivel, attach a piece of leader line. I tend to use monofilament that is at least 10 pounds lighter in strength than my mainline. Using a 3/0 or 4/0 circle hook is going to allow you to be able to hook your bait and catch fish of many different sizes. Drift fishing - This technique can be applied from a boat or from the bank the same as dead lining. Drift fishing uses a float or “bobber” to help suspend a bait at a certain depth in the water column while drifting through a targeted area. Bumping - This technique is best suited to be used when fishing from a boat. It works well on big

bodies of water. You are basically dead lining while moving. Drop your bait straight down at the edge of your boat until it hits the bottom. When it makes contact with the bottom, make 3-5 cranks of your reel handle and then allow your craft to flow with the current and work your rod tip up and down. You can do this on still bodies of water as well by slowly trolling thru the targeted area. There are many more tricks, tips, and techniques when it comes to catfishing. These are just a few that most any angler can enjoy and use relatively easy. Always leave a place cleaner than you found it and Take a kid fishing!!!

Article by Thunder Hawk. Instagram- @THUNDER_HAWK_88

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THE ULTIMATE MIXED BAG in the Salmon Capital of the World

The wondrous world of summer shing in Alaska draws anglers from around the world who ock to these rich waters annually. Ketchikan, Alaska, nestled in the heart of the sprawling temperate rainforest known as Tongass National Forest boasts the title of “Salmon Capital of the World,” and for good reason.

But salmon are not all visitors can expect to catch in this world-renowned shery. As an experienced captain who runs daily charters out of Ketchikan during the season, I still nd myself surprised by the productivity of these waters. Along with ve species of salmon, we also land big halibut, giant lingcod, paci c cod and rock sh in our daily catch limits. e shing is superb, and so is the wildlife watching. Hit the water with us, and I will gladly hand over the binoculars when marauding pods of orcas show up on the surface or when magni cent humpback whales breach. We share these waters with eagles, sea lions and so much more. It makes a perfect shing getaway for the entire family.

e awe-inspiring beauty that surrounds Ketchikan is something that must be witnessed to understand. From the rugged terrain of old growth forest in Tongass down to the vibrantly rich waters, each day surprises visitors with landscapes and

wildlife that make Ketchikan a bucket-list destination.

Who doesn’t dream of giant halibut or monstrous king salmon on these scenic waters? Peak season runs from midJune through September, with the absolute best shing during the months of July and August. is occurs when we have an overlapping run of king salmon, silver salmon and pink salmon. All the while, big halibut will have moved in from deep water to feed on the abundance of food present. For these reasons, one can expect to catch all species with potential record catches of halibut, salmon, lingcod and rock sh hitting the docks by day’s end.

Here’s what you might expect on a good fullday charter. We start out bottom shing for halibut in 150 to 400 feet of water until we get a limit. Using deep-water jigging rods, you’ll be tasked with reeling in hard- ghting halibut from the depths. en we switch gears to trolling with electric downriggers, running four rods for all ve species of wild Paci c salmon. Whether or not we hit our limit of salmon, we usually end the day jigging with light tackle for giant lingcod and pelagic rock sh to top o the day’s catch. Why settle for one species

when you can sh for them all?

A processing service will llet, vacuum seal and box up your catch to be shipped home overnight or taken on your ight as a checked bag. Ketchikan is easily accessible with convenient commercial ights, just two-hours out of Seattle, and lodging accommodations are available for groups of all sizes.

Book your dream trip to Alaska with Capt. Lukas Brickweg, of Ketchikan’s Finest Fishing Charters, at www.ketchikan shingtrips.com, call (907) 6174717 or email at ketchikan shingtrips@gmail.com.

COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM APRIL 2023 NATIONAL 9

FEDS SLASH ALABAMA RED SNAPPER QUOTA

is federally imposed catch limit is the latest point of contention in a two-decade-long power struggle between the Gulf states and the federal bureaucracy over management of one of the region’s most iconic and economically important sheries. Recreational red snapper shing brings millions of tourism dollars to the Gulf Coast each summer. In Alabama, o cials say the quota cut will bring an early end to the season.

e cuts are the result of a complicated formula used by NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) to assess red snapper stocks. Federal regulators and environmental groups are pointing to 2022’s reduced red snapper landings as evidence of a depleted shery. In 2020, recreational anglers o Alabama caught 1.1 million pounds of red snapper. In 2022, that gure dropped to less than 500,000 pounds.

AL.com reported that Sean Powers, a leading researcher in the 2020 Great American Red Snapper Count, said the limited landings in 2022 were caused by reduced angler e ort because of high gas prices and poor weather. “ e number of days people went out was half and we caught half of the quota,” Powers told Al.com. “ at’s straight forward. I don’t think it re ects on the health of the stock.”

It’s worth noting that the Great American Red Snapper Count is the study that showed there were more than three times as many red snapper in the Gulf of Mexico than the gures NMFS was previously using to set quotas. For years, sheries managers and politicians from all the Gulf states have been speaking out against NOAA’s “ awed science,” and the Snapper Count seemed to prove their argument. Since the study, NOAA has come up with a new system it says melds the Snapper Count with federal and state surveys. ere is plenty of skepticism over NOAA’s “calibration.”

“Red snapper shing is a huge part of Alabama’s Gulf Coast economy, which is why I’ll continue pushing back against the Department of Commerce’s disastrous proposal to decrease limits for red snapper anglers based on inaccurate data,” said U.S. Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R/Ala.) to Al.com.

Frustration is again mounting over federal management of the red snapper shery in the Gulf of Mexico. is time, the uproar is coming from the Alabama coast, where NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) slashed the state’s 2023 recreational quota by more than 50 percent.

Alabama’s quota this year is 558,200 pounds, down from 1.1 million pounds in 2022. e Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council meets in April, and there is a possibility Alabama’s quota could increase slightly.

See www.al.com to read an excellent article on the issue by John Sharp.

10 NATIONAL APRIL 2023 COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM
ADCNR PHOTO

WALK THE DOG FOR SPRINGTIME BASS

The months of covering water with your favorite topwater are upon us, and what a wonderful time it is! In some parts of the country, bass are already done spawning. While in others, the move to the shallows has only just begun. No matter the circumstances of your sh, they are on the feed and will certainly bite your lure if the right situation presents itself.

Where I live in Florida, the bass have already nished with their spawn. ey are roaming and chasing food to replenish themselves a er a few hard weeks up in the shallows. One of my favorite ways to catch these sh is by covering water with a walk-the-dog style topwater. Not only is it just the coolest bite ever, but it is also a bait that can mimic a ton of di erent food options. is should be used to cover water at a fast pace. Once you locate groups of sh, slow down with something else. row topwater around anything the treble hooks won’t get hung up on, and remember to stay near areas where sh just nished spawning.

In many other parts of the country, bass might currently be up in the shallows spawning. is is another awesome time to throw a walking topwater. Use it to nd sh spawning, and then slow down and pick up a few more sh with a slower bait, if needed. e target options are endless. Grass ats, shallow banks, wood, points, anywhere bass might be spawning is the perfect place to throw a walking bait.

Up North, sh might be in the very early stages of prespawn or even still have ice over their heads. Whatever the case may be, sh will bite a walking bait when the time is right… or when the water is in a liquid form. I have been very successful, especially on smallmouths, throwing a spook-style bait around spawning ats and points for very aggressive sh that are preparing to spawn. Some of the greatest shing memories

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I have from those parts of the country are from the prespawn. row it over rocks or grass points where bass chase bait as they feed up ahead of the spawn. Walk it over open water or down the bank; they will bite it.

Topwater rod and reel setups can be fairly simple. I like a shorter rod, which makes it easier to walk the dog, with a moderate action, so you don’t rip the hooks out of the sh. e 13 Fishing 7’3” Medium Defy is an a ordable rod with the perfect action. I pair this up with a 7:5:1 Concept A2 spooled with 40-pound Seaguar Smackdown braid for long casts and minimal stretch. e 13 Fishing Power Slide is an awesome topwater for these situations, and I always stick to natural bait sh colors. Grab one of these, get out on your favorite body of water and have some fun!

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YAMAHA 22 FT FSH LINE: FISH AND PLAY IN VERSATILE LUXURY

Yamaha’s product line of 22 FT FSH boats has made quite the splash since hitting the water in August of 2022. Building upon the success of Yamaha’s versatile 21-foot center console line that it replaced, there are three separate 22-foot FSH® models that come with Yamaha’s best center console technology and features.

“Speci cally, the new models are 9 inches longer, with gunwales 2 inches higher at the helm and 4 inches higher at the bow than the previous 21-foot line,” said Jon Sutter, Yamaha Boats Product Planning Manager. “And the gunwales are thinner too, which adds to the roominess when passing by the center console.”

is series begins with the value-minded 220 FSH Sport powered by twin 1L TR-1 HO (High Output) engines. Moving up the line is the featurerich 222 FSH Sport, and the premium 222 FSH Sport E being the pinnacle of the series.

O ering sleek lines, agile handling, and superb performance, the new Yamaha 220 and 222 Series center console boats are big, with twin Yamaha marine engines generating up to 360 horsepower. Both 222 FSH models feature added performance delivered by twin 1.8L HO motors. All three models come with a fabric or berglass-molded T-Top with four “rocket launcher” rod holders.

e new 22-foot platform continues Yamaha’s trend toward contemporary design with its deep cockpit and great freeboard, enabling a spacious interior and large bow and cockpit areas.

e center console is nicely nished with plenty of room for Yamaha’s Connext® 5-inch touchscreen that controls the boat’s entertainment and vital system functions, a glass windshield, stainless steel steering wheel, a locking glove box, and a 9-inch Simrad® marine electronics system. And for the rst time on a Yamaha center console boat, all three models get a wirelesscharging phone mount.

ere’s nothing better than hanging out at a favorite cove listening to a great summer playlist. Yamaha has you covered here with its a Hertz® premium sound system that comes standard on the 222 FSH Sport E. is marine sound system comes with a Hertz® head unit, four deck speakers, and two speakers in the color-matched hardtop.

All three 22’ FSH models come standard with mounts for optional swimup seats. At anchor, two removable seats can be attached to the stern. ese seats sit just below the water’s surface, providing comfortable in-water seating facing the transom of the boat. And since the reboarding ladder is located between both seat positions, egress onto the swim platform is a breeze.

Fishing Amenities for Anglers

Understanding that fishing is the heart and soul of this product line, anglers around the globe have the below features to look forward to when purchasing a Yamaha 22FT FSH series boat:

• Storage for eight rods under the gunwales

• Storage for six rods on the side of the console

• Aerated 26-gal stern livewell

• Simrad® multi-function display

• Jet Wash® washdown system

Ultimately, Yamaha’s 22’ FSH models have set the standard in versatile luxury, while continuing to keep the end consumer in mind with its plethora of convenient amenities. Whether you’re enjoying its premium sound system or relaxing with the award-winning swim up stern seating, your days on the water can only be enhanced with Yamaha.

Learn more at YamahaBoats.com

222 FSH Sport E

Doing Your Homework

Eat, sleep, sh, repeat. Although I would love to live this life, it is just not possible… yet. I recently saw a cartoon that listed things I like to do in my spare time. Go shing, buy shing tackle, research shing and talk about shing. is rang true to me since this sport consumes my thoughts as it does many of yours. Here are a few things that I do when I am not shing that help me when I do have the opportunity to go. With the high winds of spring upon us, we all might have a little more dock time than water time.

I’m fascinated with weather. Not only do I look at the current conditions and forecast where I am, but I also look at it in areas where I travel to sh. is does a couple of things for me. First, it allows me to see possible great weather opportunities when I might be able to plan ahead and sneak away. It also keeps me from going on a day when the weather might be great, but the previous several days featured winds blowing strong from an unfavorable direction. For example, here on the Texas coast, southwest is a detrimental direction for high winds. It muddies most bays on our coast. e previous days’ wind velocity and direction are good to know and determine where I head when I launch the boat.

I spend a lot of time on the road, and I like listening to shing podcasts. Some of these give general information, and some are weekly reports covering current conditions and activity. ese can be great to stay in tune with what is happening and to learn from new points of view on approaching certain situations. ey might also cover new products I want to try.

Di erent social media platforms also keep you in tune. Find reputable anglers or guides in your area or an area you plan to go. Some frequently post how-to or what’s been working for them. ey might also talk about how to approach a certain area. If you like to travel to new areas, which I do, knowing how to approach an area can be key. In my local waters, we might approach a spot one way, but if I go to another state they may do the opposite. Knowing the local game plan can save the day.

Last but not least, I look at satellite imagery very o en. One tip is to change the view and the year the image was taken for areas you sh. ese images can be dramatically di erent than the current images, and they might o er a much-improved view of bottom structure to point you to a spot you’ll want to try next time you are on the water.

e weather is warm, don’t forget to take a kid shing!

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How To Rock a Walking Stick

An essential part of a gentleman’s wardrobe

In the 17th century, the walking stick overtook the sword as an essential part of a gentleman’s wardrobe. Though it was primarily used as a decorative accessory, it could also function as a weapon if necessary. For men of the era, these walking sticks were a statement piece, and a way to communicate their wealth and refinement.

carats

Today, walking sticks still represent status and prosperity –– a way to show off your deep pockets without being too flashy. In that vein, we present the Santa Fe Walking Stick. Made of eucalyptus wood painted a glossy black with an antiqued silverfinished sculpted handle, what gives this piece of finery a distinctive edge is an 18-carat turquoise inlay that’s been enhanced to bring out its best blues. Don’t be bashful about your affluence. See why the Santa Fe Walking Stick is the embodiment of sophisticated elegance for the modern gentleman.

Don’t delay: Our must-have Santa Fe Walking Stick was one of our best-selling items this past year. Because of this, we can only offer 723 walking sticks at this price with this ad! See why Stauer is becoming one of America’s fastest-growing sellers of walking sticks today!

Praise for Stauer Walking Sticks

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