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FREE

SW GEORGIA/EAST ALABAMA EDITION

Holiday

GIFT GUIDE Local

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

VOLUME 22 • ISSUE 263

F R A N C H I S E

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

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

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

L

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

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Photo Courtesy of Al Stewart Photography

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

COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM


It’s the Honda of Outboards. Literally.

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

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


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

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

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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 Eleuthera, Bahamas

FREE

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

VOLUME 22 • ISSUE 263

COASTALA NGLERMA G.COM

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THE ANGLER MAGAZINE Southeastern Mountain Trout

WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA EDITION

FREE

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

VOLUME 22 • ISSUE 263

F R A N C H I S E

Fishing Reports Catch Photos News & Events

FISHING WITH UNICOI OUTFITTERS

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

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

FLY FISHING

ON THE COVER

CASTING FOR THE REDFISH GAME: PART ONE

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

For More Fly Fishing with Bowman, go to

CAMFLYFISHING.COM

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Gift Ideas FOR ANGLERS

C

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

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

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DECEMBER 2016

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GEORGIA

By O’Neill Williams

A

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

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

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NOVEMBER 2016

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E

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

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

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10/18/16 11:00 AM


The Angler Magazine Southwest GA & East AL

Publisher: Bob Rice Contributing Writers: Dr. Andrew Cox O’Neill Williams Nick Carter David Randall Cefus McRae Renae Randall Henry Cowen

Jake Davis Noey Vineyard Keith Hudson Paul Tyre Mark Smith Jim Farmer Sam Williams David Hare Casey Crawley

A Free Publication The Angler Magazine is Published Monthly and Distributed Across the Southeast.

Matt Henry Gary Turner Rene Hesse Wayne Wooten Steve McCorkle

Graphic Designer: Meri Mock

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By B & B Publishers P.O. Box 766 Madison, GA 30650 bobr@theanglermagazine.com

706-614-8231 www.coastalanglermag.com COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

DECEMBER 2016

Cover Photo by Capt. Jake Davis SOUTHWEST GA EAST AL 1


Looking for Holiday Gifts for that Sportsperson in Your Life?

This month the holiday shopping season is in full swing. You may be looking for a gift for that person in your life who enjoys hunting and/or fishing. In this article, I am going to list several gift ideas for that difficult to shop for outdoors person. I recently used the Fisherman’s Thumb (www.fishersmansthumb.com) and Pro5Flex (www.proflex5.com) products. The latter is endorsed by pro angler Randy Howell. These are fingertip/finger protectors are for use when handling fish. They prevent skin cuts and abrasions on your fingers while removing hooked fish and similar angling situations. They are inexpensive and would make good “stocking stuffers” for the angler in your life. Another gift idea is specialty angling clothing that are appropriate for different seasons of the year. I like the long sleeve, synthetic fabric shirts embedded with sunblock for spring, summer and fall fishing seasons. Easy to care for angling pants are another good clothing item. Fleece type products for late fall, winter, and early spring fishing trips are other good clothing items. As an angler, you never seem to have enough tackle storage. These tackle boxes can be placed in boats or carried to different fishing locations. I prefer the plastic see through waterproof and rust proof tackle boxes with different layers of storage. Flambeau Products makes a variety of such boxes in different sizes and price ranges. I also

2 SOUTHWEST GA EAST AL

like the deep tray waterproof boxes that can be purchased for storing electronic devices such as cellular telephones, cameras, GPS units or similar devices. These boxes can also be used for storing fishing line, and other angling supplies so that they are readily accessible in your boat or other fishing location. Some anglers enjoy using classic fishing lures or have favorite lures that are no longer available for purchase. There are companies that specialize in reproducing these favorite lures from a prototype lure or picture. These hand-made, specialty crafted lures are many times made from wood. Creek Candy Lures, Kentucky (www.creekcandylures.com) is a lure manufacturer specializing in such handcrafted lures. Specialty pliers for angling situations are another good gift item. They are available in various sizes and price ranges. I prefer aluminum pliers that have large, robust jaws with a cutter for cutting fishing line and leader materials. Various tackle catalogs also sell pliers with multipurpose tools that are useful in angling such as the Leatherman products. Fishing seems to stimulate my appetite. Accordingly, I always have some snack foods on board my boat or available for snacking during the fishing day. Rather than scrambling around looking for plastic spoons or forks, a combination cutlery or multifunctional camping tool that has a folding spoon, fork, and knife are a good tackle box or boat item.

DECEMBER 2016

by Andrew A. Cox

These are available from camping equipment specialty stores, catalogs, or on-line shopping sites. Lastly, the gift giver cannot go wrong with a gift certificate to purchase items at one of the big box or smaller tackle outlets. This allows the angler receiving the gift card or certificate to make decisions regarding their own purchases and angling need. Hopefully this provides some shopping ideas for the sports person in your life. Hope that each of you have a safe and happy holiday season.

Dr. Andrew Cox is a contributing writer to outdoor publications and newspapers. His writing interests specialize in angling and travel, human interest, and general fishing technique oriented topics. He is a member of the Georgia Outdoor Writer’s Association. He has fished the waters of most states within the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, New Zealand, Australia, and several Caribbean islands. Dr. Cox financially supports his fishing habits as Professor Emeritus at Troy University, Phenix City, Alabama. He may be contacted at andrewtrout@aol.com.

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Light Tackle Fishing for Winter Bass

Some anglers live by the old adage, “It takes a big lure to catch a big fish.” This isn’t always accurate, especially during the cold winter months. Sure, you might lose a few fish that might have been landed on heavier tackle, but experience has shown that one can often catch 10 times more fish by using light tackle, and you can land any size fish if you take your time. Light tackle means different things to different people. Here is my take on the how to and benefits of light tackle fishing, the biggest of which is catching more bass! During winter and hot summer months, many lakes and ponds tend to become gin-clear, making it easier for fish to spot heavy lines. The four and six-pound lines, in most cases, are nearly invisible to fish, even in very clear water. When employing light line, you must have the proper rod and reel combination. The reel must have a drag system that works well and does not freeze up. This is essential because a big fish can easily break the light line if the drag doesn’t work properly. Your rod needs a good soft tip, while yet having a strong backbone for the hookset. My light tackle/line lures include Rapala Shad Raps, Rapala DT-6 crankbaits, Missile Baby D-Bombs, Twin Turbo Tail, Fuse 4.4 and Yamamoto-Kut Tail 5 inch worms rigged on a Spot Remover 1/8 ounce head.

To me, it means a 6’6” to 7-foot rod that weighs very little with a soft tip, such as the Duckett Micro Magic or Ghost Series, medium or medium heavy spinning rods. The reel is a Lew’s LS300 which is designed for four to eight-pound test line. I hardly ever use the eight-pound line. I prefer six-pound test Pro-Elite Fluorocarbon from Vicious Fishing. With this set up, I can easily cast lures weighing as little as 1/16 to 1/8 ounce jigs and also small crankbaits. If you have never tried light line fishing, you are in for a treat, not to mention that you will get more strikes. Light tackle and methods may be used anytime, however, there are a few special situations where light tackle is the most practical and productive fishing method available. Here are some situations when I change over to light tackle: > Where fishing pressure is heavy: Heavily pressured fish get spooky, and they become less likely to bite large, fast moving baits. However, they are much more prone to eat lures that are inconspicuous in terms of size and action. > Extremely clear water: Crystal clear water is another condition that makes fish spooky. Thin line is less visible, and smaller baits are more visible. Smaller baits are also less threatening, hence more appealing, than larger lures with abrasive actions.

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by Capt. Jake Davis

> Post-cold front conditions: Another perfect example is when during or after a cold front blows through, the skies clear and the barometer rises. Most anglers say bass get lockjaw, as bass get uncomfortable, much like we do after eating Christmas dinner. But we still snack on small stuff. > When natural forage is small: Match the food source! When minnows or insects are small, predator fish refuse to bite larger baits, but smaller lures the size of the natural food will still work. Next time you go to hit the water, especially if conditions are tough and the fish have shut down, remember to downsize and break out the light-line tactics to catch bass. Capt Jake Davis is a USCG Licensed professional fishing guide on Lake Guntersville, Tim’s Ford Lake and Nickajack Lake; to reserve your “Day on the Lake” visit www.midsouthbassguide.com or call/ email 615-613-2382, msbassguide@comcast.net

DECEMBER 2016

SOUTHWEST GA EAST AL 3


Local Lakes & Forecasts Lake Seminole

Lake Oconee

Forecast by Mark Smith Reeltime Guide Service (404) 803-0741 reeltime@bellsouth.net

Forecast by Guide Paul Tyre paultyrefishing@yahoo.com 850-264-7534

Lake Oconee is 4 feet low with the water temperature at 66 degrees. The lake is clear with a light stain up the lake into the river. Striper fishing is good. There are some good hybrids feeding at the dam first thing in the morning. Live bait and spoons will catch these fish. As long as Georgia Power is pumping water in the lake, this bite will be good. Some fish are showing up in the river bend area of the lake. Live bait is working best in this location. Use your Lowrance to locate the large schools of bait moving into the back of the coves and creeks. When you find the bait, the stripers will be close by. Use live shad to catch these fish. Crappie fishing is good. The fish are staging at the mouths of the creeks and coves. Live bait fished on down lines or spider rigged will catch a lot of fish. Long lining jigs over the same fish will also produce good catches. Make sure you stop by Sugar Creek Marina and pick up your spoons and all your tackle needs. You can also book your crappie and striper trips as well as on the water Lowrance classes with Reel Time Guide Service at 404-803-0741.

Water temp.: 72 degrees, lake level: 1 foot below full pool, clarity: most of the lake is clear. The bass fishing on Lake Seminole has been good this fall. The Flint River arm of the lake is clear due to the lack of rain. Several patterns have been producing like a Strike King Burner in Blue Shad fished fast along the outside edge of the grass lines on windy days and early in the mornings. For this technique, I prefer the Strike King Burner Spinnerbait in 1/2 ounce Blue Shad and fished on a 7:1 gear ratio reel. A jerkbait like a Strike King KVD Jerkbait in Sexy Ghost Minnow has been productive in the Spring Creek area, fished fast along grass lines in 10 to 15 feet of water. Hybrids have been schooling up in the lower end of the lake where the Flint and Chattahoochee meet. An A-Rig like the Strike King Titanium Umbrella Rig loaded with 5 1/2 inch Strike King Shadalicious in Green Gizzard have been taking some nice hybrids. The crappie are starting to bite on the edge of the river channels in 12 to 15 feet of water on minnows and jigs. They are nice sized and plentiful.

Lake Eufaula/Walter F. George Forecast by Capt. Sam Williams, Hawk’s Guide Service 334-687-6266 hawk184@earthlink.net Water temp.: low 70's, lake level: 186.94 msl, water clarity: stained to clear.

Bass are hitting good. There are loads of short fish to be caught, making it fun. The spots have no limit, so you can eat all you catch. Short worms on a shaky head jig are working really well. Jerk baits and lipless cranks are a good bet also. Crappie are getting hot. They are hitting around structure in 12 to 20 feet. Some nice slabs are coming in. Catfish are always eating, and there are some really big ones being caught on jugs baited with cut bait. The weather is really nice now, and a day on the water with your family is the best time you will ever have. God provides us with a beautiful river to enjoy. Family memories last a lifetime, so be safe and enjoy it. Please visit alabamachildrensclassic.org and see the opportunities to help the kids and families at the hospital. We have chances on a Power Pole as well as chances on a guided gator hunt with Gator Glades in Moore Haven, Florida. God Bless & Good Fishn'.

4 SOUTHWEST GA EAST AL

DECEMBER 2016

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West Point Lake

Forecast by Capt. Keith Hudson Keith Hudson Guide Service hudsonsprobass@gmail.com 706-884-1483 or 706-882-1743

Lake Jackson

Forecast by Brian Lee leebrian16@yahoo.com

Water temps are mostly in the 60's. The lake is very clear, about 10 feet Water temp: mid 60's- low 70's, water clarity: stained. down and still falling slowly. Be careful when running as the water is getting It’s getting to be that time of year where dangerously low in some areas. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! the big largemouth will pull up in shallow

Bass: Good- The shallow bite remains pretty good now and should be about the same unless we get some really cold weather. Also our heavy rain chances don't look too promising, so don't expect a big change there. Baits such as suspending jerkbaits, unweighted Flukes, Senkos and spinnerbaits are catching bass. Try to fish these baits in or near any remaining shallow cover or around schools of shallow baitfish. Fish the open water in the pockets with 1/4 ounce Rat-L-Trap, a KVD 1.5 crankbait or an A-Rig. Also it doesn't hurt to have a jig handy to pitch around any blowdowns. On the bright side, big schools of spots mixed with hybrids, white bass and stripers can be caught on jigging spoons and dropshot rigs on deeper offshore structures. A total of 5075 mixed bag fish a day is not uncommon. Linesides: Good- The downline bite with shad or bass shiners remains very good. Freelining a live bait will also work at times. Most of the fish seem to be holding 20 to 30 feet deep and are starting to lock in with the water cooling down. Nearly non-existent to this point, I still expect the topwater fishing to improve. Look for gulls and loons diving, as this makes it easier to pinpoint schooling stripers. A popping cork rig has still been working on schooling fish. I usually throw a Redfin or Pencil Popper for bigger fish. A 3/8 or 1/2-ounce white Rooster Tail, a chrome C.C. Spoon and the A-Rig have also been producing. As the water cools, a bucktail jig becomes very effective as well. The mouths of most creeks south of the 109 bridge and the edge of flats near the dam have been holding fish. Trolling with mid-depth crankbaits and Alabama Rigs can be effective as well. Crappie: Good- Fishing with minnows or a small jig around bridge pilings, brushpiles and blowdowns in 6 to 15 feet of water remains pretty good. Fish can be caught on a straight line or with floats. Concentrate on trees and brush that are close to the old creek channels or near the few docks that are still in the water. With the low water, it can be easier to find exposed standing timber, which will also hold crappie schools. As usual, crappie seem to love shade and cover. Yellow Jacket, Wolf and Whitewater Creeks are still producing.

water to ambush bait. Early morning find any type of structure that will collect some heat, and as the water temperature declines, the bass will target these areas. Throw a crankbait bumping the structure to create a reaction bite or to mimic the bait. Color depends on the water clarity. Have several colors tied on so you can try to pinpoint what the fish want. Spinnerbaits in these same areas will produce some quality fish, but just don't burn it back to the boat. Flip any cover that you see on the banks or docks. Afternoon can be your best bite as the water has had all day to warm up. Jigs and shaky heads can produce as well. Just let the fish tell you how fast you want to work your bait. The air temp is dropping and so is the water temp, so remember bass are lethargic and don't tolerate extreme cold water very well. So just slow down and put your bait in the strike zone and hold on. Till next month, stay safe and remember to introduce a child to the great sport of fishing.

Lake Blackshear

Forecast by Rusty Parker 229.322.6864 • ragfly@bellsouth.net

Every other year Lake Blackshear has a drawdown of 3 ½ feet for dock maintenance and other needed maintenance for the lake. A lot of people have asked me does this hurt the crappie fishing and that's the furthest from the truth. I have experienced great luck catching a lot of Lake Blackshear slabs during the drawdown. Under normal circumstances the lake started being drawn down on November 1st and will be filled back to normal levels on December 15th and that is depending on how much rain there is. The crappie are biting great mainly on the channel now. The last couple of times I have been, they seem to be a little on the deep side. I have caught a lot shooting trestle pilings at the river channel at the railroad trestle that is close to the Veterans Park. I would say though that I have caught the most by tight lining minnows via very slow drifting the deep water. I have got several reports that where the channel goes by the mouth of Collins Branch is a good place to tight line minnows. As you are headed back north, a few other good places to try is just north of Cedar Creek along where the channel is close to the east side of the lake. Next place to try is the long RR trestle that is close to Veterans Park. One thing I would like to let everyone know is to please be very safe during the drawdown, especially north of Hwy 280. I urge the ones that are not familiar with the lake during this drawdown to talk to the locals before getting out on the lake. I personally would like wish everyone a very Merry Christmas this year. Make sure your catch is large and plentiful. God bless everyone and remember that Jesus loves you.

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DECEMBER 2016

SOUTHWEST GA EAST AL 5


Lake Martin

Lake Harding

Forecast by Capt. David Hare Alex City Guide Service

Forecast by Steve “Colonel” McCorkle stevemccorkle61@yahoo.com

256.401.3089 davidbhare@yahoo.com Water temp.: 66-70 degrees, lake level: 484.00, clarity: clear/very clear. I certainly hope by the time you’re reading this that we have gotten some measurable rainfall. This report due to holiday schedules was required to be turned in early! November so far has been good fishing pretty much anywhere on our lake which has been awesome. December should be as in the past years one of your better months for reeling in some nice trophy stripers. We will have several beautiful days and possibly a handful of overcast and hopefully rainy days that both will produce fish, and I mean nice fish! Stripers will be found on the lake, in the creeks and in the river this month. December is an awesome planer board month, which is basically a topwater bite on live bait! If you've never experienced this type fishing, you need to book a trip with me and come try it. You will be hooked first time you see this type fishing in action. Planer boarding lasts all winter and spring on Lake Martin and usually plays out about June. For those of you wanting to catch a striper on your own but don't have live bait, try some black salties, which can be purchased at several local bait shops. For artificials this month, I suggest bucktail jigs, spoons and swimbaits. As always, keep a jerk bait close by for an exploding striper which can happen anytime. For a great Christmas gift, we have gift certificates for all budgets, and they are good for 1 year but the memories last a lifetime! Call me at 256-401-3089. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from the # 1 guide service on Lake Martin and Capt. David Hare.

Lake Sinclair

Forecast by Matt Henry Sinclair Marine Guide Service

678.283.8855 matt@sinclairmarina.com

www.sinclairmarina.com

Lake Sinclair is down 1.5 feet with the water clear. Bass fishing is fair. Look in shallow areas at 2 to 8 feet deep. Most fish are located in coves and creeks all over the lake. Topwater baits continue to produce a few fish on some mornings, although this bite has slowed somewhat. Buzzbaits, Pop Rs, Chug Bugs, and Torpedos are good choices to find out if bass are eating on top. Spinnerbaits have produced well recently especially in the dirtier water. Use a Stanley in a 3/8 ounce size with double Colorado blades, one nickel and one gold. A chartreuse and white bait works well, along with solid white or solid chartreuse. A one ounce Rat-L-Trap is catching fish along seawalls and across shallow secondary points and flats. Chrome blue is the best choice with the sun shining, while gold or a shad pattern is good during low light conditions. This pattern also seems to work best with the wind blowing. Docks and boat houses are holding fish that are hitting crankbaits, jigs, and soft plastics 6 SOUTHWEST GA EAST AL

DECEMBER 2016

Lake Harding is still down from the drawdown in October. Many of the small shallow coves are still without water. Without any rain I do not expect the lake to rise very quickly. As for boat landings, most should provide adequate water to launch safely and without damage to your trailer or boat. The water temperatures are in the mid 60’s and the lake is still at least 5 feet below full pool. I recommend extreme caution when navigating the lake especially in areas around the mouth of Osanippa Creek south to the main lake, as much of the water in the middle is only a few feet deep. There are also areas in the creeks that are very shallow and are not easily identified. Up the Chattahoochee River past Blanton Creek, there are many areas where sandbars and rocky points are just beneath the water level and are a hazard. Fishing has been good and I expect that to continue on into December. The unusually warm temperatures this year have kept the fish in a fall pattern. Baitfish are still bunched together along the banks and are the primary target for most of the species of fish. Best lures for largemouth bass, spotted bass, hybrids and striped bass are Rat-L-Traps, small crankbaits, spinnerbaits or swimming/plastic jigs. As the water starts to cool off and the outside temperatures start to drop into the 30’s and low 40’s, the bass should transition to a winter pattern. Bass will either move off into deeper water on the main lake or move to deeper cover up the river. Pig n Jigs and spider jigs will be a good bait during this time and also deeper crankbaits, Carolina rig worms and jigging spoons can produce good bass. If the water temps fall, striped bass and hybrid bass can be caught in deeper water either with rubber jigs or crankbaits. Look for baitfish schooling in the deeper channels, and if you find the schools moving on the surface, then a Rat-L-Trap, jerk bait or topwater bait can produce good stripers. Crappie are currently feeding on the shad and can be caught around structure. If the water cools, expect the crappie to move into deeper water around brush piles, docks and other structure. Fishing under the bridge at Halawaka Creek will also produce crappie. Best baits are small jigs or minnows. Look for fishing to continue to be good as the water levels are brought back up in November and December, but as the water levels rise, the fish should return to a normal fall pattern. If the weather cools off to normal temperatures for this time of year, then a winter pattern will work best.

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Winterizing Your Boat

Burr, it’s getting cold outside! When the temperature starts falling close to freezing, if there is water left inside your engine or gear case, the results could be a cracked block or housing and a repair bill in the spring that runs from hundreds to thousands of dollars. It is easy enough to prevent this unhappy circumstance by putting our boat's engine to bed properly at the end of the boating season. Oxidation and rust never stops, but freezing kills. Allowing corrosion to flourish during the off-season is less dramatic but equally destructive. Corrosion can establish a foothold on idle components, so liberal use of corrosion inhibitors, both internal and external, is a second guiding principle for winterizing. Many fishermen use their outboard powered boat year round, so I will concentrate on the I/O and inboard boat winterizing procedures that we follow here at Randall Marine in Phenix City, AL. If your owner's manual includes winterizing instructions, then that is the procedure you should follow. In the absence of manufacturer's instructions, I will list the engine winterizing procedure we use at Randall Marine for I/O and inboard boats. Some steps on our list may not apply to your particular engine. The only items you should need to complete the task yourself, other than your engine's normal lubricants are: an aerosol can of fogging oil, a fuel stabilizer and for inboards and I/O's, a gallon or two of nontoxic propylene glycol antifreeze. If your engine has a closed water cooling system, drain and replace the coolant. Most coolant loses its anti-corrosion properties over time, so replacing it every year with a fresh 5050 mix protects the inside of your engine. Check your engine oil and filter, and change if necessary. Add a good fuel stabilizer and fill your fuel cell to 90% to prevent internal condensation in the tank. Check your fuel filter, replace if necessary and check for fuel leaks. Crank the motor and allow it to warm up and distribute the

stabilized fuel thru the fuel system. While the engine is running, remove the flame arrestor and spray fogging oil into the air intake. Give it an extra heavy shot just as the engine starves and dies. DO NOT spray fogging oil into any fuel injected motor. Extend the control cables from their housings and coat them with grease. If you cannot remove them, tape an oil-filled bag tightly around the high end of the housing; the oil will work its way down the cable. Lubricate linkages and pivots. Spray any unpainted parts of the motor with anti-corrosion protectant. The stern drive is, in principle, an inboard engine married to an outboard drive system. If your boat has a stern drive you will need to follow the above list for protecting the engine, but add to that several items from the outboard list for protecting the lower end. An additional requirement is filling the drive shaft housing with the appropriate lubricant. Remember that a stern drive needs to be in the full-down position for draining the water passages and for checking or adding gear lube. Store it in the down position. If you are going to store your outboard engine, follow these simple guidelines. Use a flushing attachment or run the outboard in a tank filled with clean water. While the engine is still running, disconnect the fuel line from the engine. When the engine dies, the fuel delivery components will be empty, preventing gums from forming in the stagnant gasoline and clogging lines and jets or injectors. Before the engine runs out of fuel, spray fogging oil into the carburetor(s). Fogging oil is an anti-corrosive that will protect the internal surfaces of the carburetor and the cylinders. Typically the engine will run rough just before it runs out of fuel. As that happens, give the carburetor(s) a heavier shot of fogging oil to make sure internal surfaces are fully coated. Disconnect the flush attachment or remove the motor from the flush tank.

COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

by David Randall

With the motor upright, let all water drain out of the pick-up. Open drain plugs (if any, see your owner's manual) to empty the powerhead and intermediate housing. Rotate the flywheel of the motor a couple of times by hand or "bump" it with the starter to empty the water pump. If the motor will be exposed to freezing conditions, it is essential that no water remains inside. Remove the spark plugs and spray fogging oil into the holes to coat the interior surfaces of the cylinders. Rotate the flywheel a few turns to spread the oil on the cylinder walls. While the plugs are out is the time to check them and re-gap or replace as required. Reinstall the spark plugs. Clean all pivots and visible gears and protect them for the winter with oil or grease, as specified in your owner's manual. Use lubricant specified in your owner's manual. Fill oil tank. This will prevent condensation from forming inside the tank. Clean and lubricate your propeller shaft, and have the propeller serviced if it has signs of damage or impact. Drain your fuel tank and fuel supply lines. If emptying the tank completely is not practical for your boat, then top it off to 95% full. Gasoline with ethanol is subject to phase separation if water gets into the fuel, which it will surely do with a half-empty tank over the winter. Filling the tank limits the air space inside the tank and reduces the potential for internal condensation. If you cannot drain your tank, STABILIZE the fuel. If you leave your tank full, dose it with an appropriate amount of gasoline stabilizer to combat the formation of passage-clogging gums. This may seem like a lot of preventive work, but your spring boating pleasure will be better assured if you have taken the time to protect your boat, your motor and your trailer from possible winter damage. Be sure to call Randall Marine, 334-298-1313, if you have any questions about this article or need to schedule your boat for service in our service department.

DECEMBER 2016

SOUTHWEST GA EAST AL 7


Paul Tyre Wins Bass Nation Championship on Lake Seminole by TAM Staff When the scales closed on Sunday, November 6th, at the Florida Federation Nation State Championship held on Lake Seminole, our very own contributing writer, Paul Tyre, walked away with the 1st place trophy. Paul’s success for this event was a culmination of years of experience fishing this beautiful lake and his unique ability to adjust to the conditions that changed drastically the night before the tournament began. The days preceding the event had some of the best weather an angler could ask for, but late Friday night the winds began to blow out of the north and temperatures dropped; this never makes for a good bite on Florida lakes. Paul still began his first day staying with his original plan of throwing an A-rig in Spring Creek. After this failed to produce, the rest of his day was spent throwing a jerk-bait and flipping deep grass. The jerk-bait produced a few small fish, but the flip bite was key to upgrading the size of his bag. The bigger fish fell for

8 SOUTHWEST GA EAST AL

a green pumpkin-colored Charlie Worms Flipping Bug. Using a Fitzgerald Titan HD 710 Heavy Flipping Stick rod and a 1 ½ ounce weight, he punched this bait through the thick hydrilla mats for bass that were holding tight to the grass edge in water about 15’ deep. His first day bag weighed 15 pounds. On the morning of day two, Paul noticed the winds shifting out of the northwest and anticipated better results, and boy was he right! Beginning day two just as he did day one, the A-rig delivered much different results with two solid fish right away. After another hour with no bites, it was time to adjust again, so he returned to his grass and flipped up the rest of his limit. This time, however, the fish weren’t holding on the grass edge, but deeper inside the grass. Late in the day as clouds began to block the sun, Paul ran to another spot and began throwing a topwater frog anticipating the changing conditions would ensure at least one big bite; he was right. With only 10 minutes to spare, Paul hauled in a 6 pound bass

DECEMBER 2016

anchoring his day-2 total at 20.22 pounds. Paul’s been providing Lake Seminole forecasts in our magazine for quite some time now, and this goes to show that his knowledge of Lake Seminole is second to none. The lesson for us to learn is to be able to adjust our approach as conditions dictate. This win means Paul will be going on with 12 other Florida anglers to compete in the B.A.S.S. Federation Nation Regional tournament with hopes of qualifying to compete at the pinnacle of bass fishing competition, the Bassmaster Classic! Good luck Champ!

COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM


unds. minole some at his nd to to be itions

going rs to ration hopes acle of master

Rocks and Bass Will Always Go Together!

by Jay Striker

As the weather becomes cooler in December, it’s time to pay attention to the rocks when it comes to bass fishing. Rocks are a tournament angler’s friend when trying to stave off going to weigh in without a full live well, especially when the fishing can be tough in the fall and winter months. Allow me to bend your ear a bit and hopefully shed some light on why rocks and bass go together like fish and grits. This time of year, the places I first start to look for are the places that have rock(s), be it boat ramps, shallow roadbeds, riprap, sea walls or gravel flats, etc. The key here is the bass will be close because all of the aforementioned will hold heat longer and heat up the water column faster. There are other benefits that rocks provide bass, and one is having a migration route during season changes. Bass like to move where the food is, and when the baitfish are on the move, then you can bet the bass are too. Minnows and crawfish are in high supply when the rocks are holding heat and providing protection. The rocks provide an unlimited supply of food for minnows and crawfish alike. Unlike wood and weeds that are rotting this time of year, rocks are the go-to structure for bass to pick up an easy meal. What are some good lure choices for fishing rocks? This time of year it’s hard to beat using a jig and pig to probe areas more thoroughly once the fish are located, and the Carolina rig, which will allow you to cover the rocks faster, especially on gravel flats and points. I tend to look for transition places, which are the areas where rock and some other type of irregularity exist. Bass tend to like rock composition to be diverse rather than consistent. Target areas where small rock meets bigger rocks or wood post, bridge pilings, docks or just something that provides a little difference. You will increase your chances of getting bit. Let’s be clear, the number one reason why bass hang around rocks is food. The minnows are there feeding off of organic organisms, and the bass are feeding on them. When fishing rocks, you can also get away with using baits with open hooks, however you will get hung a bit, but that’s how you know you are fishing right. Try using crankbaits, rattle baits, swim jigs, walking baits, Fish Head Spins. You will increase your chances of hooking up with fish. When you get a chance to get out to the water this fall and winter, know that the sun is heating up the rocks, and the bass are nearby looking for a meal. Rocks and bass will always go together, and the glue that keeps them connected is heat and food. Find rocks with some type of irregularity and you will have a chance of catching more bass this fall and winter. Good luck.

PANAMA CITY TIDES - DECEMBER 2016 DATE

HIGH

AM

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ft

1 Thu 10:11 1.5 2 Fri 10:46 1.5 3 Sat 11:23 1.4 4 Sun 5 Mon 12:00 1.3 6 Tue 12:36 1.1 7 Wed 1:02 0.9 8:17 0.7 8 Thu 7:06 0.8 9 Fri 6:50 1.0 10 Sat 7:00 1.2 11 Sun 7:27 1.4 12 Mon 8:05 1.5 13 Tue 8:49 1.6 14 Wed 9:36 1.6 15 Thu 10:23 1.5 16 Fri 11:08 1.4 17 Sat 11:47 1.2 18 Sun 19 Mon 12:15 1.0 20 Tue 12:07 0.7 7:53 0.6 21 Wed 6:36 0.7 22 Thu 6:19 0.8 23 Fri 6:26 1.0 24 Sat 6:45 1.1 25 Sun 7:11 1.1 26 Mon 7:43 1.2 27 Tue 8:17 1.3 28 Wed 8:52 1.3 29 Thu 9:29 1.3 30 Fri 10:05 1.3 31 Sat 10:42 1.2

AM

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8:24 -0.5 9:08 -0.5 9:48 -0.5 10:23 -0.5 10:52 -0.3 11:13 -0.1 11:23 0.1 11:08 0.4 3:06 0.4 3:48 -0.1 4:39 -0.5 5:34 -0.8 6:33 -1.0 7:33 -1.1 8:30 -1.1 9:21 -1.0 10:02 -0.8 10:29 -0.5 10:39 -0.3 10:25 0.0 9:41 0.2 7:38 0.2 4:37 -0.1 4:44 -0.3 5:11 -0.5 5:44 -0.7 6:22 -0.8 7:00 -0.9 7:38 -0.9 8:13 -1.0 8:44 -0.9

RISE

SET

6:21 4:43 6:21 4:43 6:22 4:43 6:23 4:43 6:24 4:43 6:24 4:43 6:25 4:43 6:26 4:44 6:26 4:44 6:27 4:44 6:28 4:44 6:28 4:45 6:29 4:45 6:30 4:45 6:30 4:46 6:31 4:46 6:31 4:46 6:32 4:47 6:33 4:47 6:33 4:48 6:34 4:48 6:34 4:49 6:34 4:49 6:35 4:50 6:35 4:51 6:36 4:51 6:36 4:52 6:36 4:52 6:37 4:53 6:37 4:54 6:37 4:55

Full Cold Moon

December 13th COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

DECEMBER 2016

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Solunar Table December 2016

10 SOUTHWEST GA EAST AL

DECEMBER 2016

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Plastics! Are You Still Using Them for Bass? Have you opted for the more exotic baits of late for largemouth and spotted bass; funny shaped spinnerbaits, horse head shaped jigs with drooping jewelry, maybe behemoth chunks of lead with flowing skirts? Will all those work? Of course they can, and do according to your familiarity and level of use with each, but to me, there is no category of baits for bass with the versatility of pure plastics. Maybe you should reacquaint yourself? What makes plastics my number one category? You can fish plastics fast, shallow, slow, deep, using dark colors for dark water, light colors for clear water, heavy line for weeds and brush, light line for clear water, fish them big, small, big hooks, small hooks, heavy weights, light weights, rigged weedless, with exposed hooks, fished vertically, Texas style, Carolina style and with dozens of variations within those two systems, long leader, short leader, in cold water, warm water, flowing water, in bays over oyster bars, under docks, around bridges, twin tails, straight tails, and on and on and on. I’m tired already. Still there? OK, one more thing. No other category will allow you to place your bait as deep into the trees, brush, blow-downs, under heavy lily pads, under docks and docked boats, to hook and catch the bass that live there and either put them in your live well, return them to the lake or back to the tournament headquarters for the final weigh-in. When I was younger I often angled for spotted bass in the clear waters of Georgia’s Lake Lanier. It was my home lake and I boastfully considered myself an expert on catching those finny little critters and the special ways to catch them from the deep clear waters. It was during those old time days of drawing for partners during tournaments. Being local, I drew a non-boater. He was an experienced largemouth fisherman, but his days were spent at Clarks Hill Lake in East Georgia, generally a stained water lake with shallow targets. During the day we spent together, he relinquished his time in the front of the boat to me and we fished ‘my water’ so to speak. What happened is a good illustration of using the versatility of plastics for a specific specie. I used six-pound test line on a spinning reel rigged with a size one hook and a six-inch light green straight worm at thirty-five to forty feet with my boat stationed in twenty feet of water and casting out to the brush, deep trees, ledges and drops. He used seventeen-pound test line, and an eight-inch worm. My technique caught fifty-one keepers culled down for tenth place out of 110 boats, and he caught one and did not choose to weigh in. He wasn’t a bad guy, just a bit stubborn. Using an eight-inch worm and ½ ounce bullet weight, he couldn’t feel the bite of the spots, and they couldn’t and wouldn’t bite that big worm well enough to get caught. You have to use small baits for spots. Same fish, same lake, same cover, different result. Duh! It was a cloudy day at Lake Russell impounded along the Savannah River on the South Carolina and Georgia line, and I was just becoming familiar with the lake and the rivers and streams that feed it. I was alone that day preparing for a tournament scheduled for a month beyond. Don’t remember the name of the creek but it was large and wide with many coves and branches feeding it. In looking around in

By O’Neill Williams

and out of the coves, I noticed a single tiny tree top limb sticking no more than 5 inches above the surface in the center of a deep cove. Casting a watermelon colored plastic lizard usually used on points and flats, I caught twenty-seven largemouth bass up to four pounds on twenty-seven straight casts, getting most of the bites from 4 feet to 20 feet out of a tree over a 60-foot bottom. The bass were schooled in the top third of the tree. Now, think a moment. Would any other category of bait allowed that? Crankbaits or spinnerbaits that would get hung up and likely spook the school. Any bait with exposed hooks? Any bait to cover a 16-foot water column? Probably not. Travis and I fished in Alabama in late October, 2016. The surface temperature was an above normal 76 degrees, but the waning photo period had allowed the bass to be a bit active. In six hours, we caught and released 45 bass. That’s a bass every eight minutes all on plastics. Why did I tell you that beyond just bragging? Plastics will allow you to cover the water column from 2 to 25 feet and will locate catchable critters without passing over or around them when they are deep or inside blow-downs or brush. Enough? Hope so. Keep a few rods rigged with plastics and have fun fishing

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DECEMBER 2016

SOUTHWEST GA EAST AL 11


Brag Board this big 8 Walter Lewis took a farm pond pound bass from

*

Emily Adams and Ryland Adams with some big Eufaula cats

This big m ess of crap pie was caught by Buddy Da n ford and Tony Adam s from Lak e Eufaula

!* R E N N WI

t to Missouri to Mickey Long ventured ou take this huge buck

Jacob Bowlin caught th ese big bass from Lake Gunter sville on wacky rig worm

*This month’s winner will receive an Angler Magazine cap 12 SOUTHWEST GA EAST AL

DECEMBER 2016

COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

Captain Scott Kerslake from Okeechobee, FL with a nice Seminole hybrid


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By Tobin Strickland, CAM Special Correspondent

O

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

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

DECEMBER 2016

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

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

T

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

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

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PRODUCT SPOTLIGHT NO SHOES NATION GEAR Engel has partnered with Kenny Chesney’s No Shoes Nation to offer you a better way to keep #SeriouslyCool. A complete range of products will keep that “cool factor” alive for hours, days, even weeks. With 2 inches of insulation, a rugged lid that seals tightly, virtually indestructible construction, and the No Shoes Nation logo proudly emblazoned on the front, Engel High-Performance Coolers are exactly what you need when the show goes on the road. Packing your stuff in? Grab an Engel No Shoes Nation Backpack Cooler. It’s tough, easy to carry, and can hold enough food and drinks to keep the party going into the night. New NSN Backpack Coolers are coming soon, so stay tuned. When you’re ready to watch the show, sit back with your Engel No Shoes Nation Tumbler. These vacuum-insulated, stainless steel 30-ounce tumblers have a no-drip lid, and a no-skid bottom, so you can enjoy a drink without worrying about spills. Best of all, proceeds from all these sales go to supporting the CCA’s National Habitat Program so there will be a waterfront for us all to enjoy long into the future. For more information, visit

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PRODUCT SPOTLIGHT WINN SUPERIOR ROD WRAP

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No more cork tape! No more bike wrap! Now you can apply the patented WinnDry polymer of the all-weather rod grips from Winn to your own rod handles in minutes with just a pair of scissors and a marking pen for instant comfort and rod control. Available in 96- and 44-inch rolls, Winn Superior Rod Wrap brings bold color, style, elegance and fashion to any rod arsenal with seven solid colors: lime green, dark gray, red, yellow, pink, black and purple—and seven hot and trending camo color patterns: Wildfire, Desert Camo, Blue Camo, Lime Green Camo, Gray Camo, White Blue Camo and Pink Camo. The Saltwater Series (96-inch only) features three solid embossed “Tuna” wraps and an elegant camo-style “Dorado.” This versatile rod wrap, which comes complete with finishing tape, can perform double duty on landing nets, boat handles, gaffs and other surfaces upon which the non-slip properties of Winn polymers offer tactile advantage. Now anyone can put a Winn “skin” over the grips of their favorite rods. Finishing tape included.

WWW.WINNGRIPS.COM

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UNDER THE SEA

SPEARFISHING WORLD RECORDS SHERI DAYE

M

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

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

For more Sheri Daye, go to

CAMSPEARFISHING.COM

EXHIBITORS - SEMINARS - WORKSHOPS

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April 22 - 23, 2017 - Ft. Lauderdale, Florida - www.TheBlueWild.com

JOIN

ONLINE

• Regional Reports • Featured Articles • Fishing Tips • Giveaways

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Team MHX finds Success in 2016

H

FLW Photo

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

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

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

2.5 HP, 21 GALLON, 125 PSI VERTICAL AIR COMPRESSOR

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

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

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15999$395 $9999 $269.99 comp at

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The Angler Magazine-Dec. / Southwest Georgia-East Alabama  

Coastal Angler Magazine and our interior (freshwater) publication, The Angler Magazine, are monthly editions dedicated to fishing, boating,...

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