Fishing Wire Ranger Boats ICAST
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 5, 2019

EVENTS
The twentieth annual Muzzy Classic bow fishing tournament will happen July 13-14 out of the Lee S. Jones Park in Eddyville, Kentucky.
Bass Cat Boats has announced its 32nd Annual Owner’s Invitational will take place on April 25 – 27 at Beaver Lake in North West Arkansas.
FISHERIES
With the goal of producing more fish for endangered orcas, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife raised 7 million additional hatchery salmon in 2018 to release this year in the Columbia River, Puget Sound and tributaries to Washington's coast.

The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council and NOAA Fisheries will be hosting a workshop in Kenner, LA, on February 12, 2019, to inform owners and operators of vessels with federal Gulf charter/headboat reef fish permits or Gulf charter/headboat coastal migratory pelagics permits about new electronic reporting requirements.
The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council will meet on Monday, February 18th, 2019 at the Doubletree by Hilton Tampa Airport Westshore in Tampa to allow the Council the opportunity to take Final Action on Reef Fish Amendment 50: State Management of Recreational Red Snapper.
INDUSTRY
Today, Blue Heron Communications, a full-service, outdoor-specialty marketing agency announces strategic organizational changes designed to ensure the agency’s continued thought leadership, exceptional client marketing, and eye on the future of outdoor public relations.

Plano's patented Dri-Loc O-ring and three tight sealing cam-action latches in the new Waterproof Stowaways work together to keep your favorite bait and tackle dry and corrosion free.
Shimano reel service clinics will be conducted throughout all five days of the Pacific Northwest Sportsmen’s Show on Feb. 6-10, 2019, within a special seminar area at the Portland Expo Center.
ORGANIZATIONS
In addition to a highly improved graphic design, the new IGFA website showcases several new features, including: increased search functionality for IGFA World Records, allowing members to view record details, history and individual angler statistics; updated biographical information and photos of IGFA Trustees, Representatives and Captains/Guides; a detailed timeline of the IGFA’s 80-year history and major accomplishments; intuitive site-wide navigation; and an improved user interface.

PRO TEAMS
Ranger Boats pro Jordan Lee reasserted his standing as the hottest professional angler with a win at Stage One on Major League Fishing’s Bass Pro Tour on Florida’s Kissimmee Chain of Lakes and Garcia Reservoir.
PUBLIC ACCESS
Louisiana Wildlife Federation, Delta Waterfowl, and Backcountry Hunters & Anglers this week filed an amicus brief to support the writ application filed by the state of Louisiana requesting that the Louisiana Supreme Court hear a case affecting public ownership of Catahoula Lake.
STATES
The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) invites landowners to attend any of four free workshops this winter on pond management in mid-Missouri.

The Go Fish Education Center in Perry is hosting an education seminar on pond management on Feb. 21.
The second 2019 Fisheries Forum for recreational anglers will be Saturday, February 23 at the Batsto Village in Wharton State Forest at 10:00 a.m.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) has approved three providers to offer the newly required Airboat Operators Course for airboat operators carrying passengers for hire.

All individuals, regardless of age, who participate in darkhouse spearfishing are reminded to register with the North Dakota Game and Fish Department prior to participating.
The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) announced today that the 2019 adult trout stocking schedules are now available online and on the PFBC’s “FishBoatPA” mobile app.
In favor of protecting returning king salmon and ensuring fishing opportunities in the future, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) will implement a sport fishing regulation closure for king salmon in the Karluk River drainage including the lagoon and its outlet stream effective 12:01 a.m. Saturday, June 1 through 11:59 p.m.Thursday, July 25.
Up to $2.75 million in funding from the Abandoned Watercraft Abatement Fund (AWAF) may be available to local public agencies statewide for the Surrendered and Abandoned Vessel Exchange grant program (SAVE).
SWEEPSTAKES
Lure Lock wants you to avoid a tackle disaster by entering the Lure Lock Effect Sweepstakes where one lucky winner will walk away with a Lure Lock tackle box package valued at over $750.
TOURNAMENTS
After finding an area of clean water on the north end of Lake Garcia, Lee put together a flurry of 2- and 3-pounders in the third period by winding a vibrating jig through the grass, adding over 32 pounds to SCORETRACKER in the period to distance himself from Edwin Evers and Jared Lintner.
This fishing tournament benefits the Pediatric and Congenital Heart Center at Children’s of Alabama and will be held Saturday, April 27 at Goose Pond Colony Resort (417 Ed Hembree Drive, Scottsboro, 35769).
Catfish anglers from several states will travel to the Santee Cooper Lakes at Cross, SC to kick off the 2019 King Kat Tournament Trail Feb. 16.
YOUTH FISHING
The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission will certify youth fishing instructors March 10 and April 14 in Lincoln and May 8 in Kearney.

Underwater optics reveal the hardwater habits of America’s #1 sportfish

Crosslake, MN – A certain notion says bass don’t much care for the cold. That when winter arrives and seals lakes with ice, big green and brown bass skulk about, but certainly don’t care to bite.

Right?

Well, the actual truth is, a small group of exploratory anglers in Minnesota and Ontario have been quietly going about the business of bassin’ through augered holes in frozen lake surfaces. They’ve lipped plenty of largemouth and smallmouth bass. Big ones, too. But perhaps more importantly, the exploratory anglers have proved a few notions of their own, thanks largely to underwater optics documenting the antics of frigid water bass.

Mike Hehner, photographer and producer for Brainerd, Minnesota based Lindner Media Productions has been on the forefront of the hardwater bass movement. Hehner, as well as Ontario angler Aaron Wiebe, believe winter bass are worthy of more angling attention due to the species’ sporting qualities. But both anglers also beg for careful conservation, catch-and-release and selective harvest of small specimens only.

“Honestly, you can catch some of the biggest largemouths of the year right in the middle of winter,” says Hehner. “Winter bass can be pretty stacked up if you find them in the right places. They’ll feed relatively competitively, though they won’t strike as aggressively as they’ll hit say, a spinnerbait in summer.”

“Because winter bass like to hide and hunker down in cover just like they do in summer, I’ve always got my little handheld underwater camera—an Aqua-Vu micro Revolution—along for the ride. The camera shows fish in true-life color, while sonar can have a tough time picking up fish signals between aquatic plants.”

Debunking and perhaps confirming long-held conceptions in equal measure, Hehner reveals some of his more surprising underwater discoveries, and offers a few suggestions.

  • Winter bass usually feed best from midday until about an hour before sunset. “On camera, they’ll often sort of vanish from shallow vegetation areas as the sun begins to drop in the sky.”
  • Look for active largemouths around healthy pondweed, cabbage, elodea and mixtures of different plant varieties. “Bass often frequent these shallow zones to hunt small sunfish, so seeing sunnies or crappies on the camera screen can be a tip-off that bass are also present.”
  • Avoid water deeper than 20 feet. “Smallmouths, in particular, will especially seek out deeper winter locations, where they congregate and form massive schools. Pulling them out of deeper water causes barotrauma (rapid expansion of the swim bladder that creates hyper-buoyancy and an inability to remain submerged.)
  • Just as in summer, bass exhibit different moods on different days.
  • Use the temperature gauge on the Aqua-Vu to find the most active bass. “We look for warmer 39- to 41-degree water under the ice, which often holds the biters.”
  • Immediately release all bass in extra cold temperatures (below about 20oF.) In lakes with ample populations of small and medium size bass, consider harvesting some fish less than 15-inches, while recycling all larger bass.
  • Big bass willingly bite panfish-size plastics. One to 2.5-inch worm-like baits on small tungsten jigs work very well.
  • Best to find larger concentrations of shallow bass. “If I see just one or two bass in an area with the camera, I might not catch them. But if I find a concentration of five to ten fish, there’s a great chance bass will be competitive enough to bite.”
  • “One of the best baits is a live 3- to 5-inch shiner minnow tethered to a #1 wide gap hook. We’ve found it’s best to restrict the minnow’s movement by anchoring it slightly in place with split shot. If the minnow gets too wild, bass can lose interest and stop chasing.
  • Use the camera as a fish-attractor. “Lots of times we’ll see bass come right up to the camera. Occasionally, they’ll bite the camera head. If you don’t see bass around at first, leave the camera down there for a minute or so; any curious bass in the area will likely swim over to inspect it.”
  • Use the camera to sight fish. “This is what makes winter bass fishing so much fun. It’s incredible to watch bass chase, nip and bite your baits. Also, use it as a hookset gauge. If you’re using livebait, and the bass has the minnow in its mouth, set the hook immediately—don’t wait until the bait gets swallowed too deep.”
  • “It’s amazing that a fish with such a large mouth can pick tiny baits to pieces. We often see them nipping just the last ¼-inch of a minnow’s tail, or just barely mouth the head of a jig, without engulfing the hook. How do they do that?”

“Bass are a lot more active under the ice—all winter long—than most folks realize,” says Hehner. “Chasing them and getting them to bite is incredibly fun with an underwater camera. And you learn a ton. Winter days on most lakes—even with dozens of other anglers around— rarely is anyone else paying attention to what might be the best big fish game in town. Amazing.”

View Online Version

About Outdoors Insight, Inc.

Creator of Aqua-Vu, the original Underwater Viewing System, Outdoors Insight, Inc. has led the underwater camera category in design, innovation and quality since 1997. The Central Minnesota based company builds many popular outdoors products, such as the iBall Trailer Hitch Camera (iballhitchcam.com) and Odor Check Moisture and Odor Control System (odorcheck.com) featuring Scent-Lok Technology. For more information on Aqua-Vu, visit www.aquavu.com.

FISHING CALENDAR
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.

February 7
South Shore Anglers Club meets at Sunset Grill

Ruskin, Florida—clinic by Captain Travis Yaeckel on catching big spotted sea trout, all anglers welcome; www.southshoreanglers.com.

February 9-10
Battle of the Bay

Tampa Bay to support military veterans’ organizations, $25 entry; www.mywarriorsplace.org/fishing-tournament.

February 12
Captain Mike Anderson of REEL ANIMALS radio and TV hosts the free monthly Fishing Clinic

Gator Ford off I-4 east of Tampa, featured speaker is Dave Blanchard of Pumpkin Jigs, free food and drink

February 16-17
Fly Fishing Show

Lynnwood Convention Center, 3711 196 th St. S.W., Lynnwood, Wash.; www.flyfishingshow.com.

March 22-24
Palmetto Sportsmen’s Classic

State Fairgrounds in Columbia, S.C.; www.psc@dnr.sc.gov

 
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