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The hometown spirit is running rampant 

When the urge grabs me to get outta’ town for some relaxation, fishing and adventure I often look to Alabama. A recent trip to Weiss Lake in Cherokee County, Alabama added a new destination to my list. 

I was travelling to cover the Bass Pro Shops Big Cat Quest (BCQ) event on June 10, 2015. The BCQ is a grassroots tournament trail that offers local catfishermen the opportunity to participate in a national tournament trail and the chance to qualify for the national championship to be held in Memphis, TN later in the year. 

WCC-David Brooke

The current World Champions of Catfishing, David Shipman and Brooke Wilkins

were on hand for the BCQ on Weiss Lake

“The locals have done well in past tournaments and they usually do,” stated Ken Freeman, organizer of the BCQ.  “The locals often have a step up on the travelling pros and are often in the money. These local tournaments also get the towns involved in the bigger picture of promoting catfishing.” 


Change Your Routine for June, July and August 

Summer has arrived and the heat and humidity are rising along with the fishing opportunities throughout the Indian River Lagoon Coast of Florida. Our hot summer days are brutal for both angler and fish alike, so the wise angler and the fish takes advantage of the cooler nights, early morning and late evenings hours to stock their prey, and then they snooze in the shade, or in the case of the fish, retrieve to deeper areas once the heat turns up. So, anglers who adjust their routine in June, July, and August, by fishing at night, during the predawn hours and in the late afternoon after work and reap the rewards of our summertime fishing bonanza.


 On the flats, focus your efforts between 5am and sunrise, and in the late afternoon after the thunderstorms dissipate. Night fishing will also produce descent catches of redfish, snook, and trout. When fishing the flats at night, I prefer fishing real slow with glow in the dark s lures like the DOA Shrimp. 


Fish the calm mornings and beat the heat

Summer has arrived and you can bet on hot afternoons and lots of great fishing action around the Treasure Coast during June.  The mornings will be calm and it is certainly to your benefit to get out early to beat the afternoon heat.  Being on the water at first light is worth the effort to watch the sun rise.  Expect a chance of afternoon thunderstorms each day…we can always use some rain around the area this time of year!  Watch the weather each afternoon out there.  It’s a fantastic month to fish.Conner-Photo-1

Inshore will provide lots of redfish, snook and trout action on the flats.  Get those top water lures cleaned up and plan an early morning to get some of that explosive action in the shallows.  Try the DOA Airhead or Bait Buster for great top water action.  Switch to DOA shrimp or a CAL jerk bait as the sun warms up to continue your success.  Watch for bait schools on the flats and you can be assured there are fish nearby.  You can expect the fish to be feeding shallow early and move to the edges of the flats as the sun rises.  Look for sand holes on the flats!  Fish are traditionally lazy and love to sit in a sand hole and wait for the tide to bring the food for them to ambush.


As the "Fishing Capital of the World," Florida boasts more than 3 million anglers. At the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), we appreciate feedback from these responsible conservationists. This time of year concerned anglers and citizens begin to see sporadic fish kills across the state. Most are on a small scale but, depending on circumstances, can seem quite significant. Florida Fish Kill Photo

A recent example occurred in Lake Weir, a 5,685-acre lake in Marion County. Several people took time to call the FWC Fish Kill Hotline at 1-800-636-0511 or went online at http://research.myfwc.com/fishkill/ to report the incident directly to the FWC's Fish and Wildlife Health Group. 

The FWC dispatched freshwater fisheries biologists Andrew Schaefer and Dustin Everitt to investigate. Following standardized procedures established by the American Fisheries Society, they counted and identified dead fish in random zones throughout the lake. This allows an estimate to be made of how many fish died. At the same time, they collected water samples and dissolved oxygen (DO) measurements. 

At Lake Weir, it seemed like a case of nature taking its course. Heavy rainfalls likely flushed dead leaves and other plant material into the lake. This organic matter began to decompose, resulting in a low-DO fish kill. As is true in most such cases, the die-off did not kill all of the fish; biologists observed numerous surviving fish. 


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