Extreme Adventures

12 Southern trips to die for, includingbig game, small game and blue-ribbon fishing

ALABAMA

CRUISING COBIA Stand on the tower of a sport-fishing boat high above the Gulf of Mexico andscan the water for migrating cobia. Cast live bait to 100-pound fish and holdon.

CONTACT: OrangeBeach Fishing Association (251-981-2300; gulf fishing.net)

DIFFICULTY: ++

ARKANSAS SMALLIES BY CANOE Stuff your canoe with fishing tackle and camping gear for at least three daysof top-notch smallmouth fishing on crystal-clear water under towering limestonebluffs.

CONTACT: NationalPark Service (870-741-5443; nps.gov/buff)

DIFFICULTY: + ++

TEXAS GIANT GAR Alligator gar grow big in Texas--over 200 pounds--and they'll fight you fin andscale. The prehistoric brutes can be found in several rivers in the state'snorthern reaches.

CONTACT: KirkKirkland (936-715-9574; fishing guidesoftexas.com/kirkland)

DIFFICULTY: + + ++

GEORGIA BACKPACK BEARS Hike in to the vast 30,000-acre Cohutta WMA in northern Georgia and still-huntfor local black bear. If you fill a tag, look for a bruiser buck.

CONTACT: GeorgiaDNR (770-918-6400; georgia wildlife.dnr.state.ga.us)

DIFFICULTY: + ++

KENTUCKY LBL BOW BUCKS Load your bow into your boat and take your pick of secluded coves at LandBetween the Lakes National Recreation Area. Set camp and hunt deer deep in thehardwoods.

CONTACT: LandBetween the Lakes (270-924-2000; www.lbl.org)

DIFFICULTY: ++

NORTHCAROLINA SPRINGTIME SHAD RUN Fishing for shad is a scaled-down version of chasing salmon on the run inAlaska. Cast a shad dart and let it drift to the mouth of an agitated fish inthe Cape Fear River.

CONTACT: N.C.Wildlife Resources Commission (919-707-0100; ncwildlife.com)

DIFFICULTY: ++

LOUISIANA GATORS WITH A BOW Match wits with the king of the swamp by bowhunting a 12-foot gator. After therush of chasing down an alligator in the dark, your adrenaline glands will beout of service for weeks.

CONTACT:Alligator Advisory Council (alligatorfur.com)

DIFFICULTY: + ++

VIRGINIA BATTLING BLUES Blue catfish up to 50 pounds prowl the tidal James River. Pulling one of thesebehemoths from the dark depths is a summertime ritual in the Old Dominion.

CONTACT: MikeOstrander (804-938-2350; james riverfishing.com)

DIFFICULTY: ++

SOUTHCAROLINA WILD WOODS GOBBLERS The Francis Marion and Sumter national forests offer turkeys in thebackcountry. Walk into the woods a mile or more from the road and set upcamp.

CONTACT: USDAForest Service (803-561-4000; www.fs.fed.us/r8/fms)

DIFFICULTY: + ++

TENNESSEE GREAT SMOKY TROUT Deep within Great Smoky Mountains National Park flow some of the wildest andmost scenic trout streams in the South. Cast spinners or flick dry flies duringa hatch.

CONTACT: NationalPark Service (865-436-1200; nps.gov/grsm)

DIFFICULTY: + ++

MISSISSIPPI KNIFE A HAWG It takes a different kind of hunter to wade into a tornado of dogs and hog withnothing but a knife in his hand. But it doesn't get more sporting than that. Ifyou're not up for a wrestling match, use a bow.

CONTACT: NorrisOutfitters (662-873-7018)

DIFFICULTY: + + ++ +

FLORIDA KAYAK FISH THE 'GLADES Redfish, snook, baby tarpon and small sharks are thick in the Evergladesbackcountry, and a kayak is a great way to get to them.

CONTACT: NationalPark Service (305-242-7700; nps.gov/ever)

DIFFICULTY: + ++

PHYSICALDIFFICULTY: + Leisurely stroll + + Weekend jog + + + 10K road race + + + + Marathon + + + + + Iron man triathlon

TITANICTUNA Bluefin in excess of 700 pounds swarm in schools in the warm waters offNorth Carolina like snowbird retirees in Florida for the winter. Thedifference? These behemoths of the deep could present the most challengingfishing you'll ever experience. Pack your Dramamine and extra clothes--roughseas are common.