Fishing Wire Ranger Boats Careco TV
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 12, 2018

ACQUISITIONS
MarineMax has expanded its presence in the Northeast by acquiring the Boston area Bay Pointe Marina located on the Town River in Quincy, MA.
COAST GUARD
Effective 8 a.m. Tuesday, the Coast Guard Captain of the Port (COTP) set port condition X-ray for the Port of Charleston and all other terminals and facilities due to the expectation of sustained gale force winds generated by Hurricane Florence that may arrive within 48 hours.
NOAA is currently reporting that Jacksonville and surrounding areas can anticipate stronger rip currents and dangerous surf conditions along the beaches as Florence comes ashore.

CONSERVATION
The Iowa River, from the Coralville Dam to Hills, was the focus of this year’s annual research project to inventory and map the distribution of Iowa’s native mussels, often called clams.
FISHERIES
The recreational fishing and boating community is applauding a recent decision by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) to deny an Exempted Fishing Permit (EFP) that would have allowed pelagic longline (PLL) vessels into the East Florida Coast Pelagic Longline Closed Area.
The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council will postpone its quarterly meeting originally scheduled for September 16 - 21, 2018 in Charleston, SC due to the threat of Hurricane Florence.

The meeting will convene on Tuesday, October 2nd from 8:30 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. EST, and on Wednesday, October 3rd from 8:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. EST at the Council's new office, located at 4107 W. Spruce Street, Suite 200 in Tampa.
FISHING SPOTS
The Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation (RBFF) conducted a six-week nationwide contest asking for people to rank the top Mom-Approved fishing location in each state, and voters from Alaska banded together and put the Eklutna Tailrace in the top spot with over 5,000 votes.
FISHING TIPS
The perfect combination of action, appearance and durability makes ElaZtech lures ideal for finesse fishing.

GEAR
Plano Z-Series tackle storage designs have quickly become recognized for their exceptional weather-resistance, infallible reliability and overall efficiency.
INDUSTRY
Many new products launched at ICAST were unveiled to Big Rock customers for the first time in Orlando.
Camping World Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: CWH) (“Camping World” or “the Company”), the nation’s largest network of RV-centric retail locations, today announced that the Overton's showroom, located 111 Red Banks Road in North Carolina, will continue to operate with a multi-branded offering showcasing Overton’s water sport products, Gander Outdoors and Camping World products and services for the outdoor enthusiast in addition to Gander RV Sales.
JOBS
Ducks Unlimited, Inc., is seeking to recruit a Chief Executive Officer to lead our nation’s premier science-based wetlands and waterfowl conservation organization.
LEGISLATION
The House passed the Modern Fish Act – now it’s time for the Senate to do the same, says Boating United.
NEW PRODUCTS
LIVETARGET's new Commotion Shad couples an ultra-realistic, shad profile hollow body topwater to a free-wheeling spinner blade tail for ultimate topwater action.
PRO ANGLERS
With the 2018 Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year Championship quickly approaching, three Mossy Oak Fishing Pros find themselves in the top twelve competitors going into the event.
RECORD FISH
On May 15, 2018, Lionel “Jam" Ferguson made fishing history by landing a giant 5 lb. 7.68 oz black crappie on a pond near Philadelphia, Tennessee, a fish since confirmed both as a state and world record for the species.
STATES
A total of 12 red buoys now mark the three main cross trails in the lake, allowing safe passage for anglers and boaters day and night.
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is seeking public input on draft general management plans to guide the future of North Higgins Lake and South Higgins Lake state parks in the northern Lower Peninsula.
To be considered for the cover, the primary person in the photo must be under the age of 18 when the photo was taken and the photo must have been taken in Alaska.
The boat ramp at Memphis Lake in Saunders County is closed temporarily because of low water.
Last week, the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) Commission proposed to eliminate fish possession limits at an angler’s permanent residence
TOURNAMENTS
The expanded MLF program includes the addition of the Bass Pro Tour, a premier 80-angler, eight-event tour with a championship and heightened payouts, made possible through enthusiastic support from Bass Pro Shops and Outdoor Sportsman Group (OSG).
Max Wilson, of Lomira, Wisconsin, weighed a combined total of 45.83 pounds to win the Cabela’s National Walleye Tour Championship on Lake of the Woods, September 6.

By DAVID RAINER
Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources

The ripples emanating from the sides of the 2-foot-long piece of pool noodle was just what Joe Dunn hoped to see.

It meant there was something attached to the line that dropped some 15 feet into the murky waters of the Alabama River near Camden.

Joe Dunn shows off another nice blue catfish taken jug fishing on the Alabama River at Millers Ferry. Photo by David Rainer, ADCNR

During the dog days of summer, this fishing tactic is what Dunn prefers because the heat makes it unbearable to crappie fish in hopes of catching seven or eight keepers. The same goes for bass fishing.

So, Dunn turns to the plentiful catfish that inhabit Alabama’s many rivers, and lets the jugs, or noodles in this case, do the fishing while he enjoys a restful night of sleep. If he’s ambitious, he’ll run the 20 or so jugs during the night. If not, he’ll head out at dawn to find out what’s been biting.

Catching bait might be the only real work involved in “jug” fishing.

“The predominant bait on Millers Ferry is going to be shad that you catch with your cast net,” Dunn said. “But skipjacks (members of the herring family) are another excellent bait. It’s a little harder, sometimes, to catch skipjacks. Most people use Sabiki rigs and go behind the power house to catch the skipjacks. But sometimes there’s another way to catch them. If you’re on the river, sometimes you will see skipjacks chasing little river minnows or small shad. You ease over into that area, and when they come up to feed, you throw your cast net and load it up with skipjacks. We did that just the other day with the cast net.

“The key is good, fresh bait.”

Dunn said if you’re planning to do a little tightlining for catfish before you head back to camp to get out of the heat, the skipjacks will stay alive for a little while in the livewell. If you see a couple floating in the livewell, it’s best to get them all out, put them in a plastic bag and get them on ice before they degrade.

Dunn says the best way to deal with leftover skipjacks is to freeze them as soon as possible.

“Freezing skipjacks in water doesn’t work well,” he said. “When you thaw them out, they’re all mushy and just don’t work well. I found out if you put them on a cookie sheet and freeze them individually before putting them in freezer bags, they work a lot better. That’s a big plus.”

When Dunn is targeting flathead catfish, he tries to catch small bream to bait the jugs. Flathead, also known as yellow cats, prefer the bait to be live and swimming.

“Most of the time, flatheads are going to hit something live, whether it’s a 3-inch bream (taken on hook and line) or a skipjack you’ve just caught in the cast net,” he said. “If you have a good live skipjack, you just hook him the middle of the back so he can swim and stay alive.

“If you’re looking for a mess of small fish for a fish fry, just use those small shad and thread them on the hook. If you’re keying on bigger fish, you’re better off with a live bait, even your bigger blue cats like live bait.”

Most people tend to shun keeping a larger blue cat because the flesh is not as suitable for consumption as any size flathead. However, Dunn said large blue cats can be delicious if they’re prepared correctly.

“The key is learning how to clean them to where they taste good,” he said. “It’s best to bleed them. I cut the tail off and throw them in the splash well. When I clean them, I get all the red meat off, and then I soak the meat in an ice-water slush. You soak it and get all the blood out, changing the water when needed to get that meat snowball white.

“Then you fry it, and it’s good. I’ve had people tell me it was the best blue cat they’ve ever eaten.”

Now Dunn is not saying he can make big blue cats taste like a flathead, which doesn’t seem to lose any appeal to the palate the larger the fish gets.

“I fried some flathead for my brother, Bubba, and he kept asking me, ‘What did you do to this fish? What did you do to this fish?’” Dunn said. “I didn’t do anything to it. It was just the fish. The flathead is just the primo catfish catch out of the river.”

Dunn said a couple of techniques seem to work when he’s specifically targeting flatheads. He focuses on the inside bends in the river and rock walls. At the start of the bend, most will have a small sandbar. He said the flathead like to hang out at the drop-off behind the sandbar.

“They’re sitting below that bar where the current is running over the top of them, waiting on that bait to come to them,” he said. “I also like to fish where a cut is coming into the main river where the depth goes from 12 to 14 feet down to 30. They like to hang underneath that drop-off. But big blue cats like those spots too.”

Even though Millers Ferry has a reputation as a fantastic crappie fishery, Dunn thinks catfish are overlooked at times.

“This is a super good catfish fishery.”

Dunn said the hot weather pattern for catfish starts around the middle of June and usually runs through October, depending on when we get enough of a cold front to lower the water temperature.

“The hotter it gets, the more you stay in the main river channel,” he said. “I use the noodles because you use a lot longer lines, 15 to 20 feet, and it’s easier to wrap the lines around the noodles when I take them up.”

When he’s targeting the larger fish, Dunn uses a tarred nylon twine for the main lines with a 1½-ounce lead, swivel, monofilament leader and a 5/0 circle hook.

Dunn said the largest flathead catfish he’s hauled in at the Ferry weighed 65 pounds, and the largest blue cat he’s seen weighed 55 pounds.

For “fry ’em whole” small fish, he uses double-hook rigs with smaller hooks and smaller shad for bait.

Dunn takes a break from catfishing during the winter to head to the deer woods. The water gets high during the winter, but he’s back on the river fairly early in the new year.

“We usually start on February 17,” he said. “We’ve always started on that date because that’s my oldest son’s birthday. We would come up to the river and get our jugs ready. But that time of year, you go up in the shallow flats. The catfish will move into the shallow flats before anything else.”

In February, Dunn changes his “jugs” to 20-ounce drink bottles and 1½- to 2-foot lines with a ½-ounce to 1-ounce weight, swivel and foot of 20-pound-test monofilament leader tied to a 3/0 circle hook.

“That’s when I go in places like Gee’s Bend, Buzzard’s Roost, River Bluff, Alligator,” he said. “You just get in the backs of the creeks and throw your jugs out. You can wear them out in the springtime doing that.”

Alabama’s creel limit on catfish is determined by size. For catfish under 34 inches there is no limit. Anglers can keep one catfish 34 inches or longer in most areas of the state. Several river basins – Perdido, Conecuh, Blackwater, Yellow, Choctawhatchee, Chipola and Chattahoochee – are exempt from the size limit. Also, it is unlawful to transport live catfish 34 inches or longer beyond the boundaries of Alabama.

FISHING CALENDAR
September 14-15
Saltwater Sisters Ladies Tournament

Pirates Cove Resort and Marina in Stuart Fl.; www.stuartsailfishclub.com.

September 19-23
Trout Unlimited Annual Meeting

Redding, CA; https://www.tu.org/annualmeeting

September 21-22
Big Greg Leonard Longest Redfish Tournament

Captains' meeting at the Salty Shamrock, Apollo Beach, Fla, 7 p.m. on the 21st. Entry $25, proceeds to Captains for Clean Water to help clean up the Everglades; www.southshoreanglers.com.

October 6-7
Florida Sportsman Expo
Florida State Fairgrounds, Tampa

October 12-13
AFTCO Collegiate Bass Open

Lake Dardanelle -- Russellville, AR
Website

October 31 - November 4
Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show
 
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