Andy Whitcomb 3/27/2014 We are finally slowly coming out of a brutal winter. By some estimates there are still 15 inches of ice on some of the lakes in Pennsylvania. In fact, Pennsylvania’s Mentored Youth Fishing Days of March 22 and April 5th, have been […]
Month: March 2014
As the sun rises over the expansive mangrove forests and back country tidal flats of the Ten Thousand Islands, you might see the glistening silver back of a tarpon rolling near the edge of a drop-off or the tail of a redfish softly breaking the surface of the water as it searches for a crustacean meal. Once you wet a line in this pristine angling paradise for the first time, you’ll understand why people from across the country return to fish the backwaters of this area again and again.
By technical definition, the Ten Thousand Islands consist of hundreds of small keys and mangrove islands that start off the southern coast of Marco Island in Southwest Florida and wind down towards the mouth of Lostman’s River. Approximately 35,000 acres at the northern end of the island chain has been designated as National Wildlife Refuge in order to protect precious plant and animal habitats.
Aside from the year-round warm temperatures and scenery worthy of a Guy Harvey painting, here are a few reasons to plan a fishing trip to the Ten Thousand Islands:
The healthy sea grass beds and mangrove bottoms in this area make ideal nursery grounds for over 200 species of marine fish.
There are a variety of inshore species that can be targeted year-round. Species such as tarpon and snook are active during the warmer months. Spanish mackerel and cobia can be caught during the cooler winter months. Snapper, spotted sea trout, pompano, ladyfish and redfish can be targeted almost year-round.
Tidal rivers flow in out of the Ten Thousand Islands backwaters and provide opportunities to fish oyster bars, potholes, channels, mangrove edges and feeder creeks.
When the bite slows down, you might see several of the over 150 bird species that call the Ten Thousand Islands home. Keep an eye out for ospreys, roseate spoonbills, heron, white ibis, snowy egrets, peregrine falcons, wood storks, black skimmers and bald eagles.
Best access to the Ten Thousand Islands fishery is by boat or kayak. The two main access points are found in Goodland and Port-of-the-Islands. If it’s your first visit, you may want to consider hiring a guide that knows where some of the best spots are and that can navigate through the shallow flats safely.
Be sure to check the Florida saltwater fishing regulations before planning your trip, and bring along your current fishing license.
Source: U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service: Refuges: Profiles
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Andy Whitcomb 3/18/2014 The bass ranks among the most popular freshwater fish in the United States. There are several species in the black bass family but largemouth, smallmouth and spotted bass attract the most attention especially by the half a million members of B.A.S.S., the […]
This year, one of our go-to lures of all times celebrates its 65th birthday. Since the day the rubber worm jumped on to the scene it has been a staple among recreational and competitive anglers. As time passed, the rubber worm showed no sign of retiring and instead has created a soft plastic revolution that expands every year. The simple lure has humble beginnings.
Angling historians are a bit vague on the actual beginning of the worm, but the overwhelming majority agree that it began in an Akron, Ohio basement. Nick and Cosma Crème cooked up a home brew of vinyl, oil and pigment that they poured into a mold that was created from a live nightcrawler. Their version looked real, was soft and felt alive. Better than that the oils they added to their mix kept the lure from drying out over time and exposure to wind, sun and water.
They named their product the Crème Wiggle Worm and sold the first ones in 1949. Back when a dollar was worth something a fisherman could get spend a George Washington and get a pack of five Wiggle Worms. 9600 packs (48,000 worms) were sold at the Cleveland Sportsman’s Show in a few days and the Crème family’s hobby turning into an overnight business. There were off and running.
Southern bass anglers kicked it up a notch for fishing in the many ponds, lakes and reservoirs. Nick Crème expanded his reach by creating a number of new rigging techniques that commemorated the states where his lures were fished. These days the terms Texas-rigged or Carolina-rigged worms are as common as sunburn. Crème was the first lure manufacturer to set up a network of field staff and professional anglers to promote his lures, another trend we still see today.
The 1960’s saw worms that smelled like fruit (purple smelled like grape and black like blackberries) while the 1980’s saw some versions flavored with sugar, chocolate, and even Coca-Cola. Curled tails were added, some had hard noses and soft bodies, and others were injected with air so they would float. The more things change the more they stay the same, and when you pull out a rubber worm this year be sure to say happy birthday to an old friend. We’re glad you’re here.
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Tom Keer 3/13/2014 A bit over a year ago, Maine state representative Paul Davis proposed legislation prohibiting the use of all plastic worms for recreational fishing. The proposal was hit with criticism by groups like B.A.S.S and the American Sportfishing Association until more research was […]
It is almost that time of year again in Pennsylvania. Beginning about the second week of March, trout from PA state hatcheries will be dispersed to 700 streams and 100 lakes around the state. Thousands of miles of streams receive an exciting boost with almost 4 million brook, rainbow, and brown trout.
Stocking from fish hatcheries helps provide fishing opportunities for thousands of anglers. Many of the water recipients are small streams which are not able to support a trout fishery year round due to high summer temperatures, fluctuating water flows, or angling pressure.
The Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission actually welcomes assistance with the stocking. Times and locations to rendezvous with stocking trucks are published online, along with instructions to help with an efficient and successful transition to the fishes’ new homes. However, this is dependent on weather for safety and success of stocking. Some stocking dates have been rescheduled due to the severity of this winter.
Should you wish to help stock streams, the Fish and Boat Commission warns against parking in a manner which might obstruct traffic. They also advise that assistants be relatively fit, able to carry buckets quickly, long distances. I don’t know about you, but any distance I’ve carried a 5 gallon bucket of water is a long distance. For some locations, it may be necessary to wear neoprene waders to pull a “float box” for contributing to wider distribution along streams.
The destinations should be deeper pools, free of silt. The trout eventually scatter, selecting places that provide protection, areas to rest behind rocks or logs, and where the current will bring food without expending too much energy. These fish are accustomed to dining on high protein pellets a couple times a day but quickly switch to various aquatic offerings such as minnows, insect, and other invertebrates.
This year I’ll scout several streams again, stalking the stockings before the official opening day of trout season which is either March 29th or April 12th, depending on the county. For my kids, I try to have a Plan B, C, and D to allow for fishing pressure, access, and water levels.
Is your state stocking trout this spring? Contact some fishing web sites in your neck of the woods to find out.
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Debbie Hanson 3/6/2014 Sharp teeth, stinging barbs and odd croaking sounds are just a few of the reasons why anglers aren’t fond of catching certain saltwater fish species. Most of us hope that if we’re fishing inshore and we see our rod tip go down, […]