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The recreational fishing and boating community is celebrating the enactment of the Modernizing Recreational Fisheries Management Act of 2018 (Modern Fish Act), which was signed into law by President Trump on December 31.
Last week, Representative Austin Scott (R-8-GA) and Representative Lois Frankel (D-21-FL) sent a letter to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), urging the agency to include robust consumer education and more effective labeling as part of the EPA’s upcoming rulemaking aimed at expanding the sale of E15.
Effective January 1, 2019, through December 31, 2019, any angler catching a new state record largemouth bass weighing 22 lbs., 6 ounces or more on any Stanley Jig bait or Hale Lure bait will collect $100,000.00 in cold, hard, American cash.

The season for several species of grouper is closed in both Gulf and Atlantic waters for the next several months.
NOAA Fisheries has announced they are withholding nearly 60% of the annual Gulf red grouper IFQ commercial allocation due to a decline in the population.
The final assessment results were released in 2018 and suggest the Southwest and Southeast zones are exceeding the FWC’s management goal but the Northeast and Northwest zones are not meeting the 35 percent SPR management goal and may benefit from some management actions.

Winter steelhead anglers are asked to return snouts from hatchery steelhead harvested in the Umpqua River basin. ODFW will scan the snouts for coded wire tags in the first of a multi-year research project to improve winter steelhead fishing in the South Umpqua River.
NOAA Fisheries is seeking public comment on a draft environmental impact statement for Reef Fish Amendment 50A, with the comment period ending Feb. 4.
Fishery managers from Washington and Oregon have announced that The Dalles Pool on the Columbia River closed to sturgeon-retention fishing in at the end of day Sunday, Jan. 6.

On Saturday, January 26, 2019, over 300 attendees will gather at the beautiful Conrad Fort Lauderdale Beach to bid on exciting trips, artwork, tackle, jewelry and more to support the work of the IGFA.
Gill unveiled a new logo as well as an exciting new creative direction for its products, marketing collateral and website.
Ranger Boats is providing additional incentives for potential boat buyers this year with the announcement of its 2019 retail sales promotions. With limited-time-only offers geared for both fiberglass and aluminum customers, qualifying purchases will receive benefits up to $2,950 in combined retail value for eligible models. 
Marine Products Corporation (NYSE: MPX) designs, manufactures and distributes premium branded Chaparral sterndrive, jet drive and outboard pleasure boats, and Robalo offshore sport ?shing boats.
The U.S. House of Representatives passed the Harmful Algal Bloom and Hypoxia Research and Control Act (HABHRCA) of 2018 before the holiday break.
Now available, the Mojo Trout series consists of 11 new beautiful and dutiful two- and four-piece models ranging from 6’ to 9’ in length and covering the all-important 2-7 trout line weights.
Now is the time when boaters from across North America are busy preparing their vessels for the upcoming season, and FLIR is making it easier than ever for these eager mariners to upgrade their marine electronics.
Noted outdoor writer Ken Cook's new book, Return to Wild Country, features short profiles and interviews with President Jimmy Carter, Guy Harvey, Johnny Morris, Jack Wingate, Georgia naturalist Buddy Hopkins and a moving monologue by Eric Dinger of Powder Hook entitled, "An Open Letter to the Anti-Hunter."
The monthly "Reel Animals" fishing clinic with radio/tv angler Mike Anderson will feature famed Florida west coast angler and guide Captain Dave Markett for an in-depth seminar on catching snook, reds, trout, tarpon and other inshore species.
Randy Oplinger, sport fisheries coordinator for the Division of Wildlife Resources, says five reservoirs — Hyrum, Mantua, Echo and Rockport in northern Utah, and Jordanelle in north-central Utah — are especially good places to take your family fishing this winter.
Michael Ralston of Pickens, S.C., has been named the Certified SCDNR Fishing Instructor of the Year.
The DLNR Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation project involved the removal of existing, badly deteriorated fixed concrete piers and the installation of new aluminum framed floating docks with plastic lumber decking, including all new electrical and water utilities.
Though respiratory irritation is still being reported in Manatee, Sarasota, Lee and Collier counties, no further fish kills have been reported anywhere in the state.
To allow for the restoration of native fish in Stormy Lake, harvest of stocked Arctic Char is prohibited until the fish population is established.
Major League Fishing has announced that Raleigh, N.C., is the third destination for the 2019 Bass Pro Tour, and that three prolific nearby lakes will be used over the course of the event's March 26-31 competition dates.
The venerable West Palm Beach Fishing Club (WPBFC), founded in 1934, will again host the ‘World's Oldest Sailfish Tournament’, the prestigious82nd Silver Sailfish Derby January 9th – 12th, 2019.  
The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) will offer its fifth annual ice fishing workshop in Hunnewell, 8 a.m. - 1 p.m., on Jan. 12. This free workshop will take place at the Hunnewell Lake Conservation Area, located at 6503 Highway Z in Shelby County.
Learn all the basics of saltwater fly fishing with top fly fishing guides at this event on Siesta Key Jan. 19.
Individuals interested in darkhouse spearfishing can sign up for a workshop offered Jan. 19 from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. at the Upper Souris National Wildlife Refuge office northwest of Minot.
Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium hosted one of their popular Teach-A-Kid Fishing & Ecology Clinics in November at Mote Aquaculture Research Park in Sarasota County, delighting and educating 88 fifth grade students from Florine J. Abel Elementary.
Take the family out to catch a colorful rainbow trout for fun or a tasty meal at the 13th Annual “Trails to Trout” fishing event at the Tyler Nature Center fishing pond.

Whether you’re fishing for largemouth bass on Ocmulgee WMA or brown trout in the Chattahoochee River, fishing in the cooler months is relatively the same for any fish species. You’ll want to fish a smaller bait with a slower action. Fish are cold-blooded, so cooler water temperatures make them lethargic. Cooler temperatures will also slow their metabolism so they don’t feed as often or on as large of prey.

Bait and Action

You’ll need to consider the type of bait you will be using. Many food sources available in the spring and summer months aren’t in the winter. Frogs, grasshoppers, and leeches aren’t seen much during winter, so fishing with these lures will be unnatural to the fish. The same goes for fishing stream fish with larger dry flies. For stream fish try using small midge and nymph flies behind split shot weights. Drop them behind strike indicators so you can tell when you get a strike. On lakes and rivers, use lures that resemble crayfish or small baitfish such as minnows and shad. Soft plastics like small plastic worms, skirted jigs, and tube baits can be successful if fished slowly and patiently. The hardest part about fishing with artificial bait in the winter is slowing your action down to a crawl. If you think you are fishing too slow then you’re close to the speed that will get a response from your target. Live bait works well because it will move naturally with the water conditions. Minnows and shad will move slowly and provide their own action same as a nightcrawler or red wriggler. This way you don’t have to worry as much about bait size and action.

Location, location, location!

No matter what you choose to fish with, you have to know where these fish are going to be when the water temperature drops. You can use the perfect bait with marvelous presentation but it wouldn’t matter if you can’t put it in front of a fish. You might have heard of the term “turn over”. This is when the warm water on the surface gets cold in the fall and winter. This water then falls to the bottom and the bottom layer rises to the top “turning over the lake”. After this process, the deeper water will now be warmer than the surface. Fish will hang out in this warmer water in the deeper parts of the lake or pond where you are fishing. Try casting over deep spots where there are changes in the structure of the lake bottom, such as a ledge or hump. Any change in structure along with cover like a dock or weed bed can make great habitat for holding fish. This is where fish finder and hydrographic maps come in real handy. They make it generally easy to find the structure/cover combination you are looking for. Shallow, muddy water can also be a reservoir hotspot as the water warms and attracts baitfish. In streams, look for the deepest and slowest pools that provide slow-moving trout and bass a refuge from floods and predators.

Fishing is a fun pastime that many people enjoy, but it can seem frustrating if you don’t catch anything. These tips will get you closer to fish you’d like to have strike the other end of you line when the weather gets cold and breezy. If you’re looking for new spots or somewhere close to home, the GA DNR has public fishing areas all across the state. You can find your new fishing hole here: The Wildlife Resources Division’s weekly fishing blog,, is also a great site for timely tips and the latest fishing “hotspots,” even in the cold weather!

January 18-20
Fly Fishing Show

Royal Plaza Trade Center, 181 Boston Post Rd., Marlborough, Mass.;

January 25-27
Fly Fishing Show

New Jersey Convention and Exposition Center, 97 Sunfield Ave., Edison, NJ;

February 2-10
Great American Outdoor Show

The annual Great American Outdoor Show will be held at the PA Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg, PA.

March 22-24
Palmetto Sportsmen’s Classic

State Fairgrounds in Columbia, S.C.;

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