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Below is the latest news related to the Florida Guides Association and other topics related to fishing and boating in the state of Florida.  Check back here often to stay up-to-date with the latest.  You can support us and our mission to protect the Florida fisheries by becoming a member.

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Three ways to catch crappie on Lake Blackshear 

What began as a fishing excursion turned out to be a whole lot more. The destination was Lake Blackshear near Cordele, GA. Blackshear is known as a good crappie lake and I wanted to get a sampling. Road Trip-Lake Blackshear-Photo-1

As you get off I-75 and turn west into Cordele it looks like any other busy Interstate intersection. You see the usual array of restaurants, gas stations and hotels, but as you drive through the development around the interstate you find the charm of a small Georgia town and a friendly atmosphere oozing with southern hospitality. 

Our first stop was actually just outside and opposite the welcoming gates to Lake Blackshear. You can tell at first sight this little country store is going to be something different. Maybe it is the huge pink pig on the porch? With a little research I found out that the Stripling’s General Store dates back over 50 years from humble beginnings as a small grocery store to what it is today. It has been in its current location near Lake Blackshear since 1991. 

Stripling’s is an outdoorsman’s dream store. Hunters and fishers alike can stop in and stock up for the days activities. I always look first for the Beanie Weenies. They had em’ and I knew I have found my food source for my visit to Blackshear. 

The little general store handles a full line of grocery items. Specialty items from pickled quail eggs, jams and jellies, and jerky will appeal to most outdoorsmen’s tastes. Every morning their warming cases are stocked with breakfast items and before noon they are filled with hot grab-and-go lunch items. Their carryout food is quick, easy and delicious. 

The Stripling reputation for service and quality comes from a long history that started with a special recipe for Stripling’s Sausage. Sausage is their specialty, but their meat case holds so many options it will give a hungry angler just what he looking for. Believe me, you don’t want to miss this place. As they say at the store, “You Never Sausage A Place.” 


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.


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