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WEST MICHIGAN EDITION

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

VOLUME 22 • ISSUE 263

F R A N C H I S E

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

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

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

L

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

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Photo Courtesy of Al Stewart Photography

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

COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM


It’s the Honda of Outboards. Literally.

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

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


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PHOTO 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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DECEMBER 2016

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Gift Ideas FOR ANGLERS

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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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e steelhead Steve showing off th skegon River he landed from the Mu ff Bacon. Je while out with Capt.

Out with Sport Fish Michigan, Rob and Dave find a nice late king.

J Heather with her fr st brown trout.

Karen working hard her steelhead. for

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Scott showing Mark and the boys how it's done with a dandy Burt Lake walleye.

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othing fancy here, just a simple bug that steelhead can't resist. Sometimes a basic fly with nothing extravagant can be surprisingly effective, especially on pressured fish. This approach seems to work best when the water is low and clear, which is common during winter months. A two fly rig is a great strategy for winter fish. This pattern, combined with an egg fly, is your best bet. If you stay warm and dry, winter fishing is not as hard as everyone thinks. The key is persistence, mental-toughness, and confidence. If you can stay "in the zone" for an entire day, chances are good you'll eventually find a nice chrome steelhead. Have fun, good luck, tight lines.

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Rivers & Streams

Manistee River

REPORTS REPORTS & FORECASTS

& FORECASTS

Rivers & Streams

Manistee River Muskegon River Muskegon River C

older conditions have made their way into the Midwest, with snow accumulations making it look "a lot like winter”.   Although water BY: L A R RY R A N E Y levels B Y : C A P T . J E F F B A C OandN temperatures have Y : C Guide A P TService . LARRY RANEY PremierBAngling dropped with the snow and B Y : J E F F B A C O N Michigan Fly Fishing Ventures colder weather patterns, fishing (231)Premier 477-5554Angling Guide Service Michigan Fly Fishing Ventures (616) 560-3195 is still good on the Muskegon (231) 510-5862 www.premieranglingguideservice.com River. The next month or so 616-560-3195 www.westmichiganflyfishing.com www.premieranglingguideservice.com should fish well for both steelwww.westmichiganflyfishing.com head and resident rainbow and brown trout. ecember marks s we move into the heart of the holidays in the month December, Fishing for of resident rainbow the end of the fall anuary brings thoughts many people's thoughts shift to plans and events surrounding and brown trout has been exceptional this fall and early winter. After the floods of last spring, the Muskegon River salmon and steelhead of the first steelhead beChristmas and NewinYears celebrations. Others who are looking to get water levels and temperature stayed above average flows and sustained below average temperatures over most of in the ing caught in the New Year season and the start of our some of their last outdoor activities for 2016 have some excellent fishing summer and as a result, trout had a chance to fatten up…and they did!  The huge salmon runs from this fall allowed here on the Manistee. This winter steelhead fishing. to look forward to on the Muskegon River. With this year fall season being trout to pack on more weight in anticipation of the colder months ahead. is a time of solitude on the The winter months can be one of low water and clearer and warmer than average water temps, we This month will find the steelhead that are currently in the river system relocating to different parts of the river some of the quietest and will certainly have an extended season that will go up to and likely beyond river, sometimes you can go for a better "lies"— places where beautiful times of the year the lastthey of can the comfortably holidays. post up to feed and conserve energy. The resident brown and for days not seeing another rainbow trout will find their With winter lies as well continue to strap on the feedbag in preparation for the colder to fish, and as long as the both fly and fishing boat or bank angler. It seems months. Lake run brown and troutlight are now intackle the riversetups, system and more are sure to follow. Some have already spawned; weather is tolerable, the spin like your own private paraothers will do so in the weeks fishing and experience can we ahead. pursue both resident dise most of the time. The Both the fly fisher andbrown light spin angler are catching be quite delightful. Yes, and rainbow trout,steelhead using a variety of techniques. Swinging streamers weather can be the deciding with sinking or sink tip lines, on oneas andsteelhead two handed flin/ y rods are getting some fish to net, but patience and covering there is snow cold the weather forecast and as well factor some days but and by watching water is critical to the swing.  Floating line+indicator rigs are good options as well when fishing pocket water or temperatures, but with our around the Newaygo area planning your fishing day around warm ups, you can make enclosed and heated boats, it adds a new element to winter steelheading. primarily steelhead runs that don't require tooand long of a cast. Deeper water drift fishing, a.k.a. "chuck-n-duck", is best when fishing very it happen. Water temperatures in the winter months on the A break from the weather from spot to spot makes for along, much when venturing deepmore runs and troughs where getting fliesinto downthe and keeping them down is required. Those spey casting two Big range from to 35the degrees on The average. As an months angler, youalso means lots of float enjoyable day32 on river. winter reaches river handed rods are doing solower with 11-15' long, of  8-9the weight rods, with heavy floating/Skagit lines and sink tips from 10have to think a little diff this time theget year.them. With the fishing, probably myerent favorite wayofto We float fish 15' with floatingfor swinging close to Muskegon long. Flies are wide open to one’sitself. imagination and river conditions. Big, gaudy streamers in rich water and temperatures so lowFor the the fish guys tend tothat slowlike down and fly, you can fish casting lines switch rods. to fish and vibrant colors are alsoDecember getting looksisbya fitime sh. Usewhen both "chuck-n-duck" and floating line+indicator rods with 7-8 get lethargic. You should do the sameoffas the an angler. for boat and my favorite, rods with bait casting reels, backLook of the water temperatures weights, in 9-10+' lengths, with 6-10# test line. Egg fldrop ies-beads, nymphs, and very small minnow patterns are options slow woody runs and with pools, aslow current centerpin fishing 13ft floatseams, rods and andcurrent a centerpin reel.forNot all line butrigs and chuck-n-duck. into the low 40's and fish floating seams of along cut banks. Places the can getslower out currents throughout most ourdeep winter steelhead livesteelhead in log filled take up slower water lies For the light tackle spin angler, bottom bouncing beads, flies, or bait is getting it done, as well as float fishing of the main and not enables have to work winter andcurrents float fishing yousotohard. fish these types of water effectively. in the river. At times they will occupy some of the most unlikely positions floating beads, flies, or bait bobbers. Besttraffic setups is forlow, bottom spinatgear rigs is 9-10' med action rods. 5-9ft pretty common stuff to fishit this inunder the river when andbouncing they feel ease. Weoffishwater these istype of spots with floats. Whether beingtime of the year, usually Same flwork ies cansobe used with spin gear as both fly gear….bugs are bugs, the fifishing sh don'tsetups know what kind ofthat setuprange you'refrom using! full of structure to help break the current, so they don’t have to We cast spin tackle and fly to them with a floating line and fly rod, float rod and center pin reels, As water temperatures drop, fi sh will look for slower moving water. Reduce the size of your off ering in slower hard with gear. slowing the cold floating bait or flies under bobbers on longer spin or baitcaster rods, to or spinning Fishingmetabolisms a float of some from sort enables you towinter water. Typically water. can rangestyle from 6-10# test,fishing water color/clarity will help oneon decide. under floats, are of using spawn,moving jig and wax Line choices indicator nymph with floating line 10', 7 or 8 weight fly control our the depth andwespeed your anything offering to from these fibeads, sh. Locations to seek out for fishing fall steelhead and lake "switch" run brownrods. trout include most all water from worms to yarn flies and weighted nymphs. They are all things you will rods, or 11', seven weight Bottom bouncing withbelow the Croton same The offerings for fly anglers should be an egg pattern, be Dam, down to Muskegon,7but a8bulk of therods lake run brown activity hasduck" been from Croton Dam downastowell Newaygo. As need to have in your arsenal in the winter months. or weight with "chuck and rigs is an option and at it trout bead or yarn egg and a nymph of some sort. Hex's, for resident trout, focus ontimes, the water from Croton Dam, down past the Thornapplebased Rd access site, down to Newaygo. With the cold temps and light traffic on the river, there is not much can be one of the better presentations on river conditions. Green Caddis, Pheasant Tails and Buggers are my preferred Trout numbersatdrop off considerably once youwill get have below 8# Newaygo.  need to get out at the break of day. Most days your best opportunity Most all setups tippet to the bait or flies and maybe even 6# patterns. Center pin and spinning gear junkies may want to these fish are from 10am-2pm at the warmest parts of the day.Winter Thereflare river conditions for it.rigs is producing some rocky mountain caliber fish y fishing for when trout with floating line andcall indicator think about spawn, wigglers or jigs and wax worms to get it other ways to catch winter steelhead such as back trolling plugs, in/wading December is more aboutmonths. a matter of and willbottom be a great option for Walk those looking to keepaccess lines wetcome here and there throughout the winter The next done. bouncing, and swinging spey flies, but watching a float drop a Bigfish well forsafety than anything else. The and same walk in Some areasofbelow Croton Dam, monthasshould both steelhead and resident rainbow brown trout. the largest trout I’ve seen No reason to rush outeats firstyour thingoffering in the morning, sleep Manistee steelhead is hard to in beat. Deer season over, above andpast below PineI St below Thornapple and trips. the in yearsishave come to hand over the few weeks. willlaunch, be targeting both the during my half day, launch winter special andseason have an extra cup ofstarted coffee. Most daysif the is best from for something different ski has not yet, so youbite are looking water accessible via 77th st off both Pine and Thornapple, will get you Check my website for more trip details at www.westmichiganflyfishing.com. latedo morning ernoon. Remember slow winter and steelhead fishing on to come toonearly up aft and try your hand think at some fishy water. I hope everyone had ainto greatsafe, holiday season and welcome 2014! get out enjoy one Little of Michigan's hidden activities, the Bigand Manistee, Manistee, orwinter the Pere Marquette and see what it's If the onset of winter is similar to what fall brought, we could have winter steelheading here on Bigfives! Manistee. all about. Tight lines & the high some real good fishing well into January! Happy holidays and tight lines.

D

J

A

Guided River Fishing www.WestMichiganFishingGuide.com

CAPTAIN JEFF BACON Phone: 616-560-3195 Email: jrbacon@ameritech.net 4 WEST MICHIGAN WEST MICHIGAN 8

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DECEMBER 2016

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Rivers & Streams

Upper Pere Marquette

REPORTS & FORECASTS

RoguePere RiverMarquette A

lthough I no longer live on a farm, I still read the Farmers’ Almanac and put faith in their forecasts. This year they seem to be dead on, as they predicted our winter to be a real one with colder temperatures and snow that seems to be B Y : J E F F H U BforB aAwhile. R D These conditions have caused B Y : G L E N R . B L A C K W O O D staying theGuide Rogue River to produce both shelf and anchor Outfitters North Service The Great Lakes Fly Fishing Company ice and in some sections completely freeze shut. (231) 898-6246 River anglers have a couple of choices, the obvi(616) 866-6060 www.outfittersnorth.com ous, go ice fishing, (you will never land a fish staywww.troutmoor.net ing home) or make the best of a tough scenario. I to make steelhead the best of what Mother Nature ovember was a tough monthchoose for chasing on the Pere has created. To make the best of these tough Marquette River. With unseasonably warm temperatures and lackconditions onefishing must lookwas to maximize on the water in a productive We can do of rain, difficult.time Covering a lotandoffish water for only afashion. few hook ups was the game. You have to work hard for your fish, which to me this by preparing our equipment. sometimes isn'tissue thatthat bad a situation. It will you a better flydeal angler The constant weofface is cold air and watermake temperatures. How we with this in the long it were easy, everyone would be doingfiit! water limiting factorrun. willIfdetermine our success. Looking at equipment rst,With most the tackle designers dropping and cooling it's to only tougher. water temps are air never dream thatnights someone is going be getting using their rods andThe reels in sub 30 degree starting to drop, add sunny weather to the ismix that are temperatures. A common issue anglers experience reelsand andthe linesfish freezing, alonghere with ice are taking coverSofor deeper pools and log jams. freezing I foundissues thewith bestreels, waybefore buildup in guides. howthe do we deal with this issue? To prevent to coax was both on the with streamers, lighter sinkoil or your nextthese winter fish trip, clean yourswing reel frame andsmaller spool completely. Remove any excess tips, and lighter tippet. grease from both, as well as any dirt. A little lubrication goes a long way with modern reels and Fishing in front of a any of additional lubricant begin to solidify, causing a binding effect between your spool and lot log jams withwill hopes frame, leading to freezing. Dirt and sand will trap moisture also causing premature freezing of that you would spark the your isreel.curiosity Upon finishing your to angling day, bring your reels inside, remove the spool from the fish enough reel frame allow boththe to completely dry and warm. come outand and grab fly.  Another of the year is ice buildup in guides. There is no good way to stop It did work,issue butthis itstime getting this, but there are water ways to negate harder as the tempsit happening rapidly. Try placing fly floatant, cooking spray, or are getting colder. and rapid ice buildup. Will these stop it completely? No, but they Vaseline on your guidesEggs to negate nymphs well inHappiest of Holidays! will keep youworked in the game longer.

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certain conditions, this style of fishing though when the water is low in clear can be difficult. Your casts must be precise and have less noise when it lands on the water. Your first cast must be your best !!!! Hopefully, December will be more promising, and we get some more water into the river. Right now the nastier the weather, the better the day. Clouds play a big role in fishing this time of year. You can find steelhead scattered throughout the whole river system. Make sure you cover a lot of water and fish everything slow and thorough. Pay attention to tippet, hooks, and leaders because you might just get one shot. For flies, try smaller eggs in more natural colors like Oregon Cheese, Apricot, and Tangerine. For Nymphs sometimes smaller Hex's, Pheasant tails and Hares Ear's can work well. For streamers smaller baitfish patterns like Sculpins or Gobie patterns in more natural color tones and less flash are working well. For more info check out outfittersnorth.com and don't forget to like us on Facebook at Outfitters North. Thanks and tight lines.

Grand River

BY: J E F F H U B B A R D

Outfitters North Guide Service (231) 898-6246 BY:

GREG KNAPP

www.outfittersnorth.com Getting Bit Guide Service

H W

616-570-2946

www.gettingbitguideservice.com

appy Holidays to everyone! Winter sure hit early this year, with single digit temperatures in the evenings and teens during the day. The Pere Marquette River ith the water temperature and water level are really starting to drop. We're starting to see shelf ice and levels higher anchor ice in some of the than normal all fall thismiddle sections of the river system. progresses look for steelhead fishing to slow down a bit. Instead of an allyear As wewinter should have day bite you will start to get short windows of action throughout the day, usually in the some great fishing for afternoonon as water temperatures start to warm. Nymphs will also start to be a key fly to steelhead the Grand use this of year. When the water temperatures really start to drop steelhead and River andtime its tributaries trout are looking thisresident December. Wefor whatever they can get as far as an easy meal. Hex Nymphs, have of Hares fish Ear's or Pheasant Tails can start to produce. Eggs will also Stonehad Flies lots and small go work through well. Trydowntown small Clown Eggs and Nukes in more natural colors. For Swinging Flies try Grand Rapidscolors overtoo,the more natural with less flash as the water clears. Sculpins in olive or brown can dam this inyear so the produce the winter. Check out my site for some go-to patterns, www.outfittersnorth. tributaries, as well asBeads the whole fishOnly wellWater. until they com. Remember trout are not flriver ies andsystem, are illegalshould in the Flies ice up. hasthe thewhole riverriver pretty cold thenow fishstarting sittingto YouDecember can find fishusually throughout system. Theand fish are in the slower water. Fish the slow deep stuff and you should be on fish. use their winter runs and pools. Look for fish in much slower deeper runs with wood Whether you are fishing plugs, spinners, bobbers, or whatever, slow your structure to hide them. You can find this type of water in any stretch of the Pere Marquette, presentation down for the cold water fish. There are usually a few lake because of thearound weather;the access willduring becomeDecember more difficultasuntil spring. runhowever browns running river well, thosePlay areit safe at the boat ramps and while wading the river. Practice catch and release on wild Pere usually hard to come by but are always a bonus while fishing steelhead. they don't get tocan spawn, don't get hookinany in the future. PierMarquette fishing steelhead. down inIfGrand Haven be we decent as to well December if Holidays! youGood wantluck toand go Happy soak some spawn bags or skein on the bottom.

FLY of THE MONTH Beaddazzled Stone

T

BY PHIL CUSEY

Materials

his is a great winter stone fly FLY NAME: "Beadazzled Stone" imitation! The rubber leg tail provides greater movement HOOK: Tiemco 2457 - Sz.12- 8 in the water. Using beads for the THREAD: Uni 6/0 Black body gives a wonderful segmented TAIL: Round rubber - Black - Small profile and the dubbed head traps BODY: Spirit River glass bead - Iridescent Plum air and hence releases "bubbles" HEAD: UV Dubbing- Peacock when fished. Be sure and adjust size; smaller for trout West and larger Michigan for steelhead. Enjoy the solitude of winter fishing! www.facebook.com/theanglermagazinewestmichigan When Phil Cusey isn't guiding, he can be reached at streamertwo@sbcglobal.net. JANUARY 2014 367_WM_12.indd 5

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DECEMBER 2016

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WEST MICHIGAN 9 11/17/16 6:33 AM


Inland Lakes

REPORTS & FORECASTS

Northwest Area

PRIMARY FEEDING TIMES December 2016

B Y: C A P T. C H A D D I LT S Sport Fish Michigan (877) 442-4294

www.sportfishmichigan.com

F

all is slowly coming to an end. The leaves have dropped, and the majority of the lakes in northern Michigan have reached the high 40 to low 50-degree mark. This sets the stage for some excellent fishing in the northwest region. Most of the larger inland lakes are setting up perfectly for an excellent perch and walleye bite. The active larger fish will be found mixed in with the weed cover in varying depths. Most perch have been feeding in 15 to 25 feet of water. The bigger perch have been coming on shiner minnow presentations accompanied by fluorocarbon perch rigs. Sticking close to the weed cover is a must this time of year. Walleye will also be very eager to feed in this same depth and environment at the right time of day. Casting deeper diving stick baits, crank baits and jig heads adjacent to depth breaks and weed beds will be the best approach. December is an excellent time to take advantage of some awesome Cisco fishing in Grand Traverse Bay. The cisco can be found in 40-100 feet of water congregating in large spawning schools. Feeding depths can vary throughout the water column; good electronics will be very helpful in finding active fish. Trolling small spoon presentations and vertical jigging these fish are both effective techniques. Steelhead and trout fishing on most northwest tributaries has been consistently producing good numbers of fish. With a decent number of salmon showing up this fall, the steelhead have been eager to feed in respectable numbers. Both fly and conventional techniques will provide anglers with success. Egg patterns have and will be most effective in the month of December. Streamers are also a great option for the angler wishing to tackle these awesome fish on the fly. We at Sport Fish Michigan are very excited and eager to get our customers out on the ice! Temperatures a steadily dropping and we are hoping for safe fishable ice at the end of the month on some of our inland waters. First ice can be such an amazing time to take advantage of hungry walleye, panfish, and pike. Let’s keep our fingers crossed for good safe ice to allow all anglers the opportunity to get on the hard water!

Phases:

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Dec 29 New Moon

Evening

8:36AM

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23

1:53AM

7:08AM

1:16PM

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25

3:47AM

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26

4:44AM 5:38AM

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28

6:31AM

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29

7:21AM 8:07AM

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8:49AM

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7:07PM

1:26PM

6

11

14 16

19

30

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Morning

Dec 21 Last Quarter

Minor

27

DECEMBER 2016

Dec 14 Full Moon

Major

24

6 WEST MICHIGAN

Dec 7 First Quarter

11:58AM

4:01AM

7:34AM 9:26AM

11:21AM

2:51AM

2:14AM

4:41AM 6:20AM

9:02AM

11:33PM 1:34AM

6:25AM 7:51AM

8:14PM

----

1:05PM

2:55PM

7:43PM

12:48PM 1:46PM

6:08PM

Major

2:39PM

5:06PM 6:46PM

9:31PM

2:02PM

4:35PM

6:47PM 8:13PM

12:36PM

  COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THE ANGLERMAG.COM 11/17/16 6:33 AM


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29 w Moon

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11/17/16 6:33 AM


HARD Water

REPORTS & FORECASTS

Ludington

Traverse City

B Y: C A P T. S E A N M C D O N A L D

BY: R U S S MA D D I N

Katch Me Charters

(231) 633-6464

(231) 510-2072

www.centurycircle.com

I

ce certainly seems a long way off with this extremely slow start to late fall, but there is certainly hope. Some of the pothole lakes away from the Lake Michigan shoreline and some inland counties like Otsego, Crawford, Kalkaska, Missaukee, and Wexford will be the best bet for first ice whenever that may happen. Ice or not this month there are a few things that ice anglers can prepare so when the time is right you can be ready to roll. Make sure auger blades are good and sharp. It's also a good time to fire up the gas augers to make sure everything is on the up and up after the layover. Make sure any batteries for electronic gadgetry are charged and replaced if needed. Go through your ice rods and reels look for any damage that can be fixed or equipment that may need upgrading or replace. Replace the line on some of your most used reels. Make sure you still fit into your bibs, boots jackets, etc. Every year the gear gets better, electronics get more efficient, clothes get lighter and warmer. Take a trip to the sporting goods store and check out some new technology even if it's just a time killer. It's a good excuse to play with your ice fishing stuff and get stoked about the upcoming season. We wait all year for this. What's an additional few weeks? If you are lucky enough to get out in December, be safe, carry ice spikes and spud your way out and have fun, but most importantly stay on top!

I

wonder if it is going to be another short season of ice fishing? I guess all we can do is be prepared in case it does happen. There are a couple of helpful items you may want to purchase to make your season more enjoyable. If you do not have it already, I would strongly recommend buying the Navionics Lake Map app for your smartphone for around $10.00. It is very accurate on the larger lakes and has upgrades with more features if you decide you want to see even more detail on the lakes. It will give you a good idea of where you may want to head on a new piece of frozen water or make you try another spot on a lake you have fished for years. Purchase number two would be a battery drill adapter for your hand auger to make you more efficient and more likely to move when the fishing is slow. Take some time to organize your ice fishing sled and maybe even wax the bottom. It will keep snow from sticking to it. For first ice bluegills look for weeds in canals, bays and weed beds near drop offs. The fishing for first ice bluegills is normally very good before the fish head into the deeper water later in the winter. Try not to walk around when the fish start biting. They are easily spooked when the ice is thin. I like to fish in an area of snow-covered ice if possible instead of clear ice, with the thought that the fish cannot see you and it is not as slippery to stand on. Ice cleats some days are needed, but if not you are better off without them. I’m looking forward to some colder weather and hope for a great ice-fishing season, if not there is always steelhead.

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Grand Rapids Area BY: C H A S T H O M P S O N MI Ice Guys

(616) 953-0423

www.MIIceGuys.com

S

ince the venison is in the freezer, now we start digging out the ice equipment. Make sure the flasher battery has a charge. Change the line on the rods. Setup the shelter in the garage and make sure the mice have not nested in it. Add fresh gas to start the power auger. Make a trip to the bait shop to see what they have new this season and maybe even attend an Ice Seminar. If we are lucky, we might get some walk able ice just before Christmas. We will be checking boat ramps on the small lakes, measuring skim ice. We head for the small lakes north of Grand Rapids. The talk of the bar will be that first ice. Every year some guy brings a chunk of skim ice in to show the rest of us. Somewhere a story will pop about one of the guys sneaking out and getting a half dozen gills. You know that those early ice gills are the best. And yes we will drive an hour to check ice, with a truckload of equipment that we won’t need until January. That first ice is dangerous. It will break easily. Move slowly until you are sure of the ice. Safety ropes, picks, PFD’s, or even a new floating ice suit and some dry clothes. Hypothermia is the real danger if you do get wet. I learned the hard way that dry jeans do not slide on over cold wet legs, standing nearly naked on a boat ramp. I have a fleece pants, baggy t-shirt, and a hooded sweatshirt and slip on shoes that I can change into to drive back home. And probably the most important advice is Never Go Alone. It is not enough to just tell someone where you are going; they will never be able to help you like a partner can. If you get out on safe ice, head for those mid-depth weed beds you found in the fall. The fish are still feeding like there was no ice. The weeds generate oxygen, small organisms feed on the algae and plankton around the weeds, small bugs feed on them, and is the food source for the fish you are targeting. Walk and fish carefully if you get the chance to find hard water; take along a partner you will have a better time even if nothing goes wrong. Share your stories through text messages, evenings in the forums, and posting on the ice map (MiIceGuys.com/report-ice). It will be the passion of anglers all around West Michigan. And don’t be shy about putting a few of those new toys on Santa’s list, a list on the fridge might give the family a clue and get something you are excited about.

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11/17/16 6:33 AM


Ice-Fishing: Time to Go Extreme BY: MA R K MA RT I N

Will you have the means with you to switch to extremes to conjure up strikes? If you’re like me, when it comes to ice fishing, you’ve got the techniques you’re going to use for your day all pre-planned well before even stepping foot on the lake. And this is a good thing. Largely, having your rigs pre-tied onto ice rods and tip-ups ahead of time is a great strategy. As soon as you bore a hole and bait up, you’re able to immediately drop an offering down to the most active fish in the area. You know, the ones that stuck around while all the chaos of razorsharp blades slicing ice overhead took place. But what if you find those inquisitive fish below your feet are not as aggressive as you had hoped? Do you have the means with you to switch to extremes to conjure up strikes? Read on, you’ll see what I mean. WE GOT AGGRESSIVE It was during an Ice-Fishing School/Vacation many years ago, put on by fellow fishing pros and myself, that we found employing an aggressive approach with larger-than-the-norm lures on Lake Huron’s Saginaw Bay would be what trigged strikes when all else failed. Overall, there were plenty of walleyes swimming underneath us. We knew this because we were able to see the fish moving in and out of the area on our Lowrance sonars. But the foul weather front at the time had the walleye in a funk. Instead of whacking my favorite go-to lures, the fish would literally stare at them for a moment and then swam off. We were positive this was their response as we watched them firsthand via the screen of my MarCum underwater camera. After several fish had seen ignoring our lures, one of the students—heeding what he had learned during the in-room portion of the school—attached the largest Northland spoon he had with him to his line. Then he nosenipped a whole shiner onto the hook rather than the smaller chunks of minnow we were using beforehand. And then he started rip-jigging the rig. Not every fish that came into view would strike his menagerie of metal-nipped minnow. But a few did. And it was this angler, willing to switch out his rig after realizing what he thought might catch fish that didn’t, who went from being skunked to catching a fish here and there all throughout the day. And he ended up catching more walleyes than anyone else in the group. In short, the word spread. Most every student that was willing to switch baits from what they had rigged prior to hitting the ice were the ones who caught the majority of fish. It was a lesson learned by all in going to extremes; those willing to try something out of the norm. And in this case, bigger and more aggressive was better. 10 WEST MICHIGAN

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In short: Ignore your cold fingers and frigid attitude and be willing to try different rigs throughout the day until you figure out the bite. You’ll catch more fish In the long run. ROD ENDS Right off the bat, no matter when I go out on the ice, I have my usual baits tied on before even leaving the house. When jigging, I’ll first use a small, flashy Northland spoon or minnow-shaped Rapala Jigging Rap or Jigging Shad lure. I clip them onto the smallest Berkley Cross-Lok snap (not snap-swivel), which I’ll tie to the end of a 1-1/2foot 8-pound-test Berkley 100% Fluorocarbon leader. I attached that leader to a Berkley BallBearing Swivel, which is knotted to the end of my mainline of 10-pound-test Berkley FireLine; all spooled onto an ABU Garcia spinning reel. All this is coupled with a medium-action ice rod. And hooking on a half a minnow or Berkley PowerBait to their hook is a must for added scent. TIP-UPS On my tip-ups, however, I’ll search the interior of my Plano minnow bucket for the most energetic minnow, then nip it just under the dorsal fin (being careful not to nick its spine) to a size-8 light-wire Bleeding Baitfish Finish (red) Daiichi treble hook. The treble’s tied onto a 3-foot-long 8-poundtest Berkley fluorocarbon leader. Above that, about 1-1/2 feet, a small split shot is pinched on. Both jigging and tip-up rigs are simple to employ, and both catch the majority of walleyes I land through the ice. THINK EXTREME But there are times when these popular rigs won’t produce bites. And then I must resort to extremes and change over to either an extra-large lure and bait with an aggressive approach, or, go light and finesse fish with tiny lures and baits. Some of my favorite larger-than-normal lures? Size-7 and -9 (2-3/4 and 3-1/2 inch) Rapala Jigging Raps and 3/8-ounce Northland Fire-Eye Minnows and Rattlin Buck-Shot Rattle Spoons. When tipping these oversized lures, I’ll go with a whole minnow or a 4-inch Berkley Gulp! Minnow. Both add scent and extra flash, as well bulk up the presentation. When jigging and I don’t see anything on the screen of my Lowrance Hook-5 Ice Machine, I’ll lift my rod tip up about a foot, then let them flutter downward on a slack line. Once fish are spotted underneath me, however, I’ll just vibrate my rod’s tip while lifting and dropping the bait. If the fish leave, I’ll then drop the bait to the lake’s floor and pound the bottom with the lure. This, more often than not, gets the fish’s attention and they’ll turn and hit the bait once I lift the lure

backup. OPPOSITES ATTRACT There are times when the extreme opposite approach catches more fish, however. And instead of huge lures, tiny baits are sometimes called for. There are many styles of little lures to choose from for finessing walleye through the ice. Sometimes the smallest Rapala Jigging Raps and Northland spoons, tipped with a small shiners or a 1-inch Berkley Gulp! Minnow are just the ticket. Sometimes even slighter baits like tiny tear drops—like what you’d use for panfish—tipped with wax worms, wigglers (mayfly nymphs) and Berkley Gulp! Waxies and Maggots are best. When the fish are in a sluggish mood, you need to watch your sonar’s screen intently, and make sure to get your offering in front of the fish’s face as soon as they come into view as they are not going to go out of their way to eat. And don’t expect any arm-jarring strike when using such minute baits. Often, walleyes will move in and, with one dainty flare of their gills, suck in water and your offering and then just sit there. Watch that rod tip intently, and set the hook with any odd movement. Some of my favorite lightweight lures for lethargic ‘eyes are size-2 and -3 Rapala Jigging Raps. For ultra-light presentations, try, try Northland’s new size-6 through -10 Mitee Mouse Jig, or their tried-and-true Forage Fry Minnow. Finesse fishing requires different equipment than when you’re fishing bulky jigs. You’ll want to go light, but not as ultra-light as you would when fishing panfish as a three pound walleye could rip your gear to shreds. When jigging tiny baits, I drop down to a light-action graphite rod and use 4- to 6-poundtest Berkley Trilene Micro Ice monofilament, or, 4-pound-test Berkley FireLine with a fluorocarbon leader tied directly to each other with a uni-to-uni knot. BRING IT WITH YOU This winter, when the walleye (or any fish for that matter) aren’t cooperating, it might be time to go to extremes. Tie on either a larger lure and jig with gusto, or, attach a little lure and finesse the day away. You won’t know which one to turn to ‘till you try them both. Either way, going to extremes can save your day. No matter what, always have every offering with you. Mark Martin is a professional walleye tournament angler and instructor with the IceFishing School/Vacation series. Check out his website at www.markmartins.net or fishing vacationschool.com for more information.

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11/17/16 6:33 AM


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FRESHWATER

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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

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

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

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

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UNDER THE SEA

SPEARFISHING WORLD RECORDS SHERI DAYE

M

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

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

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Team MHX finds Success in 2016

H

FLW Photo

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

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

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Coastal Angler Magazine-Dec. / West Michigan