Thursday, September 3, 2015

 
EDITOR'S NOTE
No Wires on Monday
There will be no Fishing Wire Monday, Sept. 7 as we take a day off to celebrate with our families. Material filed Friday, Sept. 4 through Monday, Sept. 7 will appear on Tuesday, Sept. 8 as we return to daily publication.

BOATING
Mariners will not be authorized to transit through the safety zone, which will be enforced Tuesday and Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and runs from Steel Pier, southwest two miles toward Ventnor City and extends about three-quarters of a mile from the shore.

COAST GUARD
Coast Guard Sector New Orleans watchstanders were notified by a good Samaritan of an unconscious person in a 17-foot aluminum john boat aground on a marsh flat at 10:55 a.m.

FISHERIES
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) would like to remind anglers that the state recreational red snapper season will close at 12:01 a.m. on September 8th
NOAA Fisheries Southeast Regional Administrator, Dr. Roy Crabtree will provide an update and take questions about Gulf of Mexico recreational red snapper management, including topics like the recent recommendation by the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council to reallocate the total red snapper catch between recreational and commercial components
Black sea bass and red snapper are on the agenda, along with other items.
Commercial harvest of gray triggerfish in South Atlantic waters will close, at 12:01 a.m. (local time) on September 8, 2015.

HONORS & AWARDS
The 2015 GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by GoPro held on Lake Hartwell out of Greenville, S.C., has been nominated by the readers of SportsTravel Magazine, for a 2015 SportsTravel Award.

INDUSTRY
Cruzin and Rec Boat Holdings, LLC—part of Groupe Bénéteau—announce a strategic partnership. The companies will work together to grow boating participation and ownership.
When it comes to anglers dropping in and out of the sport from year-to-year: there's good news and bad news, and both are surprising.

JOBS
The Union Sportsmen's Alliance is growing! We are currently hiring two positions based out of our Franklin, Tennessee , headquarters.
MarineMax, the World's Largest Recreational Boat Dealer, is seeking a Brand Manager to oversee promotion, sales, inventory and distribution of one of our premier brands.

MARINE RESEARCH
State shark expert Dr. Greg Skomal says they tagged four sharks on Monday, a record for one day.

NEW PRODUCTS
The Gliding Jig Oklahoma features a slow, side-to-side fluttering action, while the Gliding Jig Willow offers a fast, side-to-side flashing action.

PODCASTS
Bass Edge Radio, presented by MegaWare KeelGuard features BASS Elite Angler James Elam in their latest iTunes podcast.

PROMOTIONS
Bass Pro Shops-sponsored Tony Stewart will race a retro-inspired No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobile 1 Chevrolet SS in the Sept. 6 Bojangles Southern 500 at Darlington as a part of the track's The Tradition Returns weekend.

RADIO
Jeff and Dan head to Mercer, Wisconsin for the first annual canoe-kayak fishing tournament this week on Outdoors Radio—and there's lots more.

SHOWS
The show date change to January 7-10, 2016, pushes the event ahead of final ordering deadlines.

STATES
At its September meeting in Fort Lauderdale, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) amended its stone crab trap regulations for stone crab traps used in Collier, Monroe and Miami-Dade counties.
A management team known as LIGTT Midstream Holdings will develop a dry bulk terminal three miles off the coast of Plaquemines Parish and 20 miles south of Venice.
The DNR Division of Fish & Wildlife (DFW) has released a six-page fishing regulation booklet in Spanish called "Regulaciones de Pesca, Indiana 2015."
Tulalip Bubble is open Friday, Sept. 4 through noon Monday, Sept. 7 and Saturdays and Sundays only starting Sept. 12 through Sept. 27.
The workshop will be held at the Copiah County Multi-purpose Building located at 2040 West Gallman Road in Gallman on Tuesday, September 15 at 6:30 p.m.

TOURNAMENTS
Inshore anglers from across Florida and surrounding regions will meet at Ruskin, Florida, on Sept. 12-13 for the final 2015 Florida West Division events of the IFA Redfish Tour Presented by Cabela's and IFA Kayak Fishing Tour Presented by Hobie Fishing.
There are STILL 5 boat, motor and trailer packages available, a Hells Bay Waterman, Pathfinder 2200 TRS, Contender 22 Sport and two other boats of equal value all powered by Yamaha as well as many other great prizes available.

YOUTH EVENTS
High school clubs from across the Midwest will compete for a shot at the national High School Championship.

A Koke And A Smile

By Dan Johnson
Fall kokanee salmon run offers fine fishing

Kokanee head to the shorelines and inlets to spawn in fall, providing good targets for anglers in many areas of the northwest.
Autumn is a time of plenty for anglers, as cooling water temperatures spark feeding binges among a variety of gamefish. For some species, however, fall ushers in an equally primal urge, causing fish to migrate en masse toward spawning areas.

Such is the case with many members of the trout and salmon family, including the kokanee salmon. A downsized freshwater version of the Pacific sockeye salmon, the kokanee is nonetheless hard fighting and great tasting.

Plankton eaters that mature in four years, kokanee salmon can reach weights of 3 to 5 pounds, but 1-pounders are the most common catches in many waters.

In states where stocking efforts produce fishable populations, the fall kokanee run is a huge draw for anglers. "It's a really fun bite, there's nothing not to love about it," says veteran fishing guide Bernie Keefe of Granby, Colorado.

"As water temperatures fall into the 55- to 60-degree range, usually sometime in September in Colorado, salmon begin migrating from their summertime haunts in the main lake toward the spawning grounds," he explains.

Normally bright silver in color, kokanee undergo a dramatic transformation as spawning draws near. Both sexes develop reddish sides and green heads, but the male's red caste is most pronounced. Amorous bucks also develop a humped back and hooked jaw—also called a kype.

As the spawn nears, male kokanee develop a humped back and extended jaw.
As schools of fiery red salmon gather in predictable places, the fishing can be nothing short of amazing. "You can get into some pretty fast action," Keefe grins.

Kokanee spawn over rubble, gravel and sand in tributary streams and along lake shorelines. This narrows the search, but Keefe adds another nugget of information on their whereabouts.

"They typically return to the area where they were stocked," he says. "Inlets and boat ramps are two of the most common areas."

To pinpoint the best lakes and stocking points, Keefe recommends contacting local fisheries biologists and bait shops. "Most lakes are a little different, so pre-trip research can really pay off," he says.

On the tactical front, Keefe offers two surefire plans of attack.

"One great option is to get on the water before sunrise and quietly wait for the fish to start porpoising," he says. "As soon as it's light enough to see where they are, use your electric trolling motor to sneak within casting range. Just be careful not to crowd them or it's game over."

Salmon often school close to shorelines, making bank fishing a great alternative. "You don't need a boat to enjoy the action," he says.

When fishing the morning bite, Keefe wields a lightweight spinning outfit armed with either a bobber rig or small spoon.

Given the kokanee's soft mouth and spirited fight, he typically spools up with a forgiving monofilament mainline like 6-pound-test Berkley Trilene XL. "You can use superline with a fluorocarbon or mono leader, but set your drag really loose or the fish will tear the hooks out," he cautions.

The bobber setup includes a 1/16- to 1/8-ounce micro-jig tipped with a 2 1/2-inch Berkley PowerBait Power Tube, positioned two to six feet below a small float.

"Either slip- or fixed floats work in early fall, but fixed floats are the rule once temperatures drop below freezing," he adds.

Keefe avoids adding split shot for ballast. "Don't expect the fish to pull the bobber under," he notes. "A lot of times they just lay it on its side, so you can't have any extra weight on the line or you'll miss fish."

He does sweeten the jig with bait, however. "Two or three waxworms work great, as do kernels of shoepeg corn," he says.

To fish the float rig, he lobs a long cast past fish dimpling the surface. "Let it sit a minute," he says. "Most mornings there's enough breeze to ripple the surface and work the jig just enough to attract nearby salmon."

Afoot and afloat, Keefe casts to schools of Kokanee dimpling the surface.
After the initial pause, he pulls the rig about six inches, lets it sit again, and repeats the process until his float is out of the strike zone.

Spoons are another productive presentation. Keefe favors something long and slender, like an Acme Kastmaster or Johnson Splinter, in the 1/16- to 1/8-ounce class.

Retrieves are slow and gently animated. "One rotation of the reel handle per second is fast enough," he says. "Spice it up by raising and lowering the rodtip six inches to a foot, reeling the whole time. Most fish hit when the spoon begins to fall."
Keefe cautions that once the sun hits the water, salmon sound and the near-surface bite dies. "Wind, clouds and waves can prolong the action a little, but not for long," he adds.

At that point, he recommends trolling small willow-leaf spinners 1.5 to 2 mph in the top 10 feet of the water column. "The fish will move around the immediate area, so you have to go looking for them," he explains.

Keefe says the fall kokanee bite typically lasts from September until ice covers the lakes, usually sometime in November or December.

"Kokanee are great table fare," he adds. "But they die after spawning, and by the end of the season are looking pretty rough, like the swimming dead."

As a rule of thumb, he says, "As long as the meat is orange, it's good to cook. Once it turns pale, however, put it in the smoker."

The Fishing Wire welcomes your comments and actively solicits letters and guest editorials from readers as well as fishery managers, scientists and industry experts in boating, fishing and related equipment. Please send your comments and suggestions to frank@thefishingwire.com.
Outdoors Calendar

» Got an event you'd like to see posted here? Send it to frank@thefishingwire.com.

Apr. 1 - Nov. 30: Jersey Shore Beach N Boat Fishing Tournament.  From Raritan Bay to Delaware Bay. 8 inshore species.  Entry $20.  www.BeachNBoat.com.

Aug. 21 - Sept. 7: Lake Ontario Counties (LOC) Fall Trout
and Salmon Derby, Over $50,000 in cash prizes including a $25,000 Grand Prize for the largest salmon caught during this 18-day event Sign up in local tackle shops or call (888) REEL-2-IN; www.loc.org.

Sept. 12 - Sept. 13: Florida Sportsman Expo, Florida State Fairgrounds,
Tampa, Florida.

Sept. 12 - Sept. 13: South Florida Boat Show and seafood fest, South Florida Fairgrounds, West Palm Beach; www.southfloridaboatshow.com.

Sept. 15 - Sept. 17: IBEX Marine Trade Show, Kentucky Expo Center, Louisville, KY; www.ibexshow.com/attend.

Sept. 18 - Sept. 20: WI Women Fish Camp in Rhinelander WI, covers boating basics, smoking meat and fish, fly tying, intro to Go -Pro and Water Wolf cameras. Also includes mentoring sessions, a tournament, and entertainment; www.wiwomenfish.com or call 608-692-7386.

Sept. 20: Massachusetts Outdoor Expo, Hamilton Rod and Gun Club grounds in Sturbridge, 9:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M.

Sept. 23 - Sept. 26: Crappie Masters National Championship, Kentucky Lake, Paris, TN. www.crappiemasters.net.

Sept. 23 - Sept. 26: Crappie Masters Classic, Kentucky Lake, Paris, TN;
www.crappiemasters.net.

Sept. 26 - Sept. 27: Oakley Big Bass Tour Event. Lake Murray, South Carolina. www.oakleybigbass.com www.oakleybigbass.com

Sept. 26 - Sept. 27: Oklahoma Wildlife Expo north of Oklahoma City at Lazy E Arena;
wildlifedepartmentexpo.com.

Sept. 27: Tie One on for Casting Carolinas Davidson River Challenge. Pro and Amateur divisions. $250 per team. A chance to fish Davidson River Outfitters private water and support Casting Carolinas which offers free fly fishing retreats to women who are cancer survivors. Sign up www.castingcarolinas.com .

Sept. 29 - Oct. 1: National Marine Electronics Association Conference and Expo, Baltimore, MD; www.NMEA.org.

Oct. 10 - Oct. 11: Oakley Big Bass Tour Event. Douglas Lake, Tennessee. www.oakleybigbass.com www.oakleybigbass.com

Oct. 16 - Oct. 17: Casting for a Cure All-Release Inshore Tournament on Tampa Bay, www.footfoundation.org.

Oct. 17 - Oct. 18: Oakley Big Bass Tour Event. Lake Guntersville, Alabama. www.oakleybigbass.com www.oakleybigbass.com

Oct. 27 - Oct. 30: National Association of Sporting Goods Dealers Annual Convention, New Orleans; https://www.cteusa.com/nasgw5





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