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02 October 2015
Posted in Road Trips
Runnin’ and Gunnin’ for West Point Strippers
West Point Lake, near LaGrange, GA, is both a productive and fun place to fish. The area offers anglers a variety of fish and non-anglers plenty of things to do. The anglers in the party will have the opportunity to catch large mouth bass, strippers, hybrids, spotted bass, crappie, bream and catfish.
For non-anglers the city of LaGrange is only minutes away with shopping, dining and other entertainment. Activities range from dabbling in Civil War history at Bellevue, the antebellum home of noted Georgia statesman Benjamin Harvey Hill, to examining life in ancient Israel at Explorations in Antiquity. If more modern adventures are your cup of tea a real-time walking tour of downtown LaGrange is available and there’s an APP for that.
With a shoreline of more than 500 miles anglers have all kinds of nooks and crannies to investigate. The lake contains over 26,000 acres of surface water as it tracks along and even crosses the Georgia/Alabama State line.
When the Corps of Engineers created lakes like West Point it was mainly for flood control and hydroelectric power. The huge bonus of that activity was the provision of excellent habitat for fish and wildlife and general recreation opportunities for residents and visitors to Southwest Georgia. When the dam was built and the lake was flooded, numerous trees and other structures were left standing. That standing timber provides excellent fish habitat. Man-made fish attractors have also been added to the lake to improve angling opportunities.
02 October 2015
Posted in Fishing Tips
Fall Weather Patterns
October marks the transition into the fall weather patterns along the Treasure Coast. It has been a hotsummer and I’m ready for some milder
weather for a change. You can expect temperatures to begin to cool down somewhat into more comfortable days to enjoy the outdoors. Water temperatures will begin to slowly cool off as well. This year has brought us lots of rain and a quiet hurricane season so far. October provides great weather and hungry fish. It's a fantastic month to be fishing!
The fall mullet run will continue to dominate the area as large schools of finger mullet fill the beaches, inlets and rivers of the area. You can expect lots of big fish to be feeding on them both day and night. Snook fishing will be best during the night hours on the higher ends of the tides. Live finger mullet, croakers and pigfish will be the best live baits to use. DOA Terror Eyz, Bait Busters and feather jigs will be good artificial lures to use for snook.
Try around the jetties, turning basin and bridges as well as many of the deeper docks around the river. Lighted docks are especially productive when fishing at night.
Redfish have continued to be a wonderful fishery for us again this year. Each year has seen their population increase and many anglers have enjoyed the experience of fishing a large school of reds this year. October will continue to be a productive month for those who seek redfish on the flats. DOA shrimp or CAL grub tails are two of the best choices for redfish along with a variety of live and cut baits. The west shoreline south of Fort Pierce is always a good area when looking for redfish.
02 October 2015
Posted in Fishing Tips
The Mullet Run Arrives
As the tropical storm seasons wanes on Florida's east central coast, passing summer squalls and higher water levels have impacted the seasonal fishing conditions we traditionally experience in October.
Combined with last week’s super moon and a steady northeasterly fetch, the lagoon water levels are the highest I’ve seen in years. These conditions are so intense this year the St Johns River was flowing in the wrong direction last week causing stalled out water levels above flood stage south of Lake George in the Aster area.
Acorns dropping, love bugs hatching and my fall flora in full bloom are all signs of our seasonal changes and indications my favorite time of year to fish has arrived. Fall has certainly arrived as hordes of black and silver mullet, Atlantic menhaden (pogies), thread fin herring (greenies), and bay anchovies (glass minnows) have begun their southerly migration in search of warmer waters. This migration creates a Chinese Buffet of yummy little baitfish heading south, shadowed by a large array of hungry predators looking to fatten up for the winter.
If weather permits, near-shore opportunities are the best you will see all year. Along the beaches, target areas of concentrated bait schools for a mixed bag of snook, tarpon, kingfish, cobia, jack crevalle, oversized redfish, and sharks. Additionally, snook fishing in the surf has improved as the baitfish move south along the beach. Also look for schools of glass minnows to begin showing up bringing larger Spanish mackerel, bluefish, and tarpon with them. For the past several weeks our sea state has been elevated with 3 to 4 foot wave heights, so keep an close eye on the weather and watch for calmer seas.
01 September 2015
Posted in News
Snook anglers can contribute to fishery research
The recreational harvest season for snook, a premier Florida fish, starts Sept. 1 statewide. Unique to the region, snook are one of the many reasons Florida is the Fishing Capital of the World.
While the fishery is already more than 90 percent catch-and-release, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) encourages anglers to continue to use moderation when determining whether or not to take a snook home.
Gulf snook populations were negatively impacted by a 2010 cold kill. Gulf snook numbers currently exceed FWC management goals, but are still rebuilding to pre-cold-kill levels, which is one of the reasons why it is important to handle fish with care and use moderation when determining whether or not to harvest one.
When releasing a snook, proper handling methods can help ensure the species’ abundance for anglers today and generations to come.
To learn more about catch-and-release fish handling, visit MyFWC.com/Fishing and click on “Saltwater” then “Recreational Regulations.”
Regular season closures are designed to help protect the species during vulnerable times such as cold weather and spawning. Snook are closed to harvest Dec. 1 through the end of February, and May 1 through Aug. 31 in Gulf state and federal waters, including Monroe County and Everglades National Park. In Atlantic state and federal waters, including Lake Okeechobee and the Kissimmee River, snook season is closed Dec. 15 through Jan. 31 and June 1 through Aug. 31.