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Gator Alert!

March 30, 2009


[dme:image size="large" side="left" title="Gator Alert [nid:1001311501]" index="-1"/]

A couple weekends ago, spring burst into a riot down here in Florida. Bass and longbeards were on my mind. My dad had invited me turkey hunting, and I packed a 6 weight to fish the creek that runs through the property. The creek winds through a series of oxbows that fill up with spawning bass and speckled perch (crappie) this time of the year. Of course, the gators are piled into these holes and get more active as temperatures rise.

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Recent News

  • March 28, 2009

    The Regional Hot Bite-0


    New England

    The first day of spring was last week and, for many anglers across the country, that means the first day of trout season. From New England to New Mexico and Washington state to Washington D.C., anglers young and old are taking to the creeks, rivers, and ponds in search of rainbows, brooks, browns. Anglers on Cape Cod covet trout fishing for filling in the down time between ice fishing and open water fishing. Jim Young at Eastman Sports says that local anglers are taking advantage of the extensive trout stocking program in the nearby lakes and streams. “They’re full of 10 to 14-inch rainbows,” he says. Jim tells us that the hot bait is a night crawler that has been injected with air so that it will float. The inflated worm is threaded on a small hook and short leader with a tiny split shot. Jim adds that Peter’s Pond has been laced with 250 salmon. Anglers are using shiners or trolling plugs to fool these fish. Jim points out that these stocked trout make an easy target and tasty dinner for families looking to go fishing.

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  • March 20, 2009

    Regional Fishing Forecast-0



    This week on Lake Ontario, the snow was melting, the ice was breaking up, and anglers were finally thawing out. Ted Jackson at Fishing World  told us that the trout and salmon run is picking up from Hamilton to the Niagara River. “Niagara River will get hot in the spring, too,” he added. Ted told us that anglers are catching trout and salmon by casting Cleo spoons from the piers and lakeshore. While hard-core pier anglers will use 9 to 10 foot rods to cast their spoons as far as possible, Ted says that guys using a medium heavy 7-foot spinning outfit will catch their fair share of trout, too. Whether by boat or from the beach, he suggests anglers fish during an offshore wind when the water will be clear and calm. 

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  • March 17, 2009

    Seeing Red-0



    I’m usually for erring on the side of caution when it comes to protecting our most important fishes. I’ve had enough of the crash/recovery seesaw in fisheries management. But I couldn’t help but wince when a few weeks back, the South Atlantic Fisheries Management Council voted 7-6 to close the red snapper fishery for six months. 

    I sit on the Council’s Habitat Advisory Panel, as Florida Recreational Fishing Advisor, and I’m proud of that A.P. for fighting to protect Essential Fish Habitat and supporting ecosystem-based management. However, only the members of the Snapper/Grouper A.P. could make formal recommendations in this fishery management decision, beyond every angler’s inalienable right to public comment. I’ve thought a lot about what I would have considered and recommended, had I been in a position to influence the decision.

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  • March 13, 2009

    Regional Fishing Forecast-0



    As winter gives way to spring, New England anglers are caught between ice fishing and open-water fishing. In the meantime, Captain Blain Anderson at Connecticut Outfitters reported that pike fishing is the best game in town. “The fish are starting to spawn and it should blow wide open in the next couple weeks,” he said. Blain told us that snow melt has pushed the fish into shallow creeks. Anglers who can access the extreme shallows are catching big pike on live shiners or small jerk baits. He suggests hooking the shiner on a No. 1 to 3/0 treble hook under a slip bobber. The secret to success: “Look for areas with current,” Blain says. 

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  • March 11, 2009

    FRANKENBASS: Love it or Hate It?-5


    Yesterday, I called Larry Hodge, the information specialist at Texas’ Freshwater Fisheries Center, to check some facts on an article I’m editing. The story is about what various states are doing to manage for trophy largemouths. Texas is really pointing at the fence with its “Operation World Record” program, which literally is trying to bring home the bragging rights to the Lone Star State by line-breeding lunker, Florida-strain largemouths. Wouldn’t you know, it’s pre-spawn bass fishing season, and Larry and program director David Campbell were headed out to pick up a lunker from a conscientious Texas bass angler.


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  • March 9, 2009

    Lessons Learned-0


    A lot of people unconsciously turn off their common sense switch when they get on a boat and feel the  anticipation of a great day of fishing. The exhilaration of a hot bite can cloud an understanding of your limits. 

    Well documented is the recent tragedy which took place off Tampa Bay. Oakland Raiders linebacker Marquis Cooper, free agent Corey Smith and William Bleakley were lost at sea. Nick Schuyler was the only survivor and “tragic” is the key word, because three lives and tremendous suffering could have been avoided if the anglers had been more respectful of the very dangerous waters they embarked on.

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  • March 6, 2009

    HOT BITE: Regional Fishing Report-0



    Last week’s blizzard couldn’t put the deep freeze on the red hot cod fishing out of Montauk, New York. In fact, cod fishing is so good, that the Viking Fleet is completely sold out for the weekend. Earlier in the week, parties saw fish up to 30 pounds winning the pool and many anglers are limiting out with fish averaging 20 pounds. Captain Michael Potts on the Bluefin IV took a group of marine biologists to the honey hole this weekend. “On the first drop we caught 5 fish up to 20 pounds, then it was steady action after that,” he reports. The crew filled 50 sample kits and kept another 14 cod for culinary research. Captain Michael told us that the best fishing has been around Block Island. While a two-hook bottomrig baited with clam is producing good numbers of cod, the biggest fish are coming on 8 to 10 ounce Diamond Jigs armed with a curly-tailed teaser. The weather is forecast to be calm and warm over the weekend, making it good time to put together a crew and get out for some cod.

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  • March 2, 2009

    Mac Attack!-2


    On Friday morning, my wife, Ericka was driving over the Indian River Lagoon on her way to her office. She called me and to say that river was glassy and that she could see bait “sizzling everywhere.” That’s the most detailed description of fishing conditions she’s ever given, and in the local vernacular to boot. She’s only been here three years, and it’s taken some adjustment. The Everglades and urban estuaries are a far cry from New England pastoral trout streams. They can also be a helluva lot harder to fish. 

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