_Connecticut—_As striped bass fishing slows on the Connecticut River, anglers are turning their attention to fishing for big channel catfish. Terry Rand at Connecticut Outfitters (www.c-toutfitters.com) told us that these whiskered brutes are an easy mark for folks soaking cut sunfish or perch on a fishfinder rig. He says that the big cats can be found along bends in the channel in 15 to 30 feet of water. “Largemouth bass are moving into their summer patterns,” Terry adds. He said that these fish are hiding in heavy weeds or on deep-water drops. In the vegetation, Terry recommends using weedless frogs and jerkbaits. On deep-water ledges, he suggests using a shakey head or a drop shot to reach the fish. On the saltwater side of the state, big striped bass have moved onto the reefs in 20 to 60 feet of water. Anglers are dropping live eels, hickory shad or bunker on a 3-way rig with 6 to 16 ounces of lead. “You want the bait right on the bottom,” Terry said, “we’ve already seen fish up to 50 inches this summer.”
_Harris Lakes, Florida—_Captain Linda Hawkins (www.bassngalguideservice.com) told us that the Harris Chain in Central Florida is the hotspot for big bass. Linda has found the best action with Rat-L-Traps and Producto Hot Rod worms. When the sun is out, Linda likes June bug color but she switches to watermelon when the clouds move in. Linda rigs the worm without any weight then lets it fall in front of the hungry bass. “The fish are trying to school,” she says, “so they’re a little spooky.” Linda suggests making long casts and working the baits as slowly as possible. She’s also been experimenting with the new Laser Lure that lights up when it hits water. “I’m using the shallow runner and kicking it through the eel grass,” she says, “it’s a pretty cool lure.” Linda has been finding the bass deep in the grass or at the mouths of canals. “Anywhere you can find grass or current, you’re likely to find bass,” she says.
_Austin, Texas—_From Sportsman’s Finest (www.sportsmansfinest.com) in Austin, Texas, Brady Schwertseger told us that San Marcus River is holding good numbers of largemouth bass. “You’ll need a floating device,” he says, “like a float tube, kayak or kick boat.” He says that the best fishing is early in the morning when the fish will take popping plugs. Later in the day, he switches over to weighted streamers in size 10 to 6. “We’re pounding the lily pads,” he adds. On the saltwater scene, Brady says that fishing for trout and reds has been fantastic on the shallow water flats. “You need a kayak to get into the flats quietly,” he says. Once there, Brady is sightcasting to reds and trout with minnow patterns and Clousers.
_Branson, Missouri—_Carolyn Parker from River Run Outfitters (www.riverrunoutfitters.com) reports that fishing in Branson is good despite the high water. She said that the guides are finding a mixed bag of trout, smallmouth bass, and even walleye. Anglers are using sinking line with wooly buggers, red tungsten head midges, and hot pink San Juan worms. “Even the half-day trips with inexperienced anglers are catching up to 20 fish,” she said. The rainbow trout are anywhere between 14 and 17 inches. Linda says, that not only are they finding trout, but the high water has the fish mixed up and anglers are often catching smallmouth bass and walleye, too. “It’s been a weird year,” she says. The high water has forced anglers to fish the river from drift boats, but waders can still get in on the action at the hatchery outlets. “There is limited space to fish,” she says, “but if you can get a spot, you can catch some trout.”
_Montana—_Mountain run-off has the water in Yellowstone River high and muddy. So, Alex Nixon and the guides at Oarlock Outfitting www.oarlockoutfitting.com have turned their attention to fishing the tailwaters of spring creeks. Alex suggests fishing the Paradise Valley springs of Depuws, Armstrong, or Nelson creeks. “We’re starting to see the summer hatches,” he says, so he’s using morning duns in size 16 and 18. He’s throwing nymphs in the morning and emergers in the afternoon then turning to dries and cripples in the evening. In the next couple of weeks, Alex expects the water to drop on the Yellowstone and anglers will be able to drift the river casting stonefly, caddis, and mayfly imitations. In the hottest part of the summer, he’ll switch over to hoppers and ants. “We’re just waiting for the snow to run out of the hills,” he says.