Provides information of Fishes

Month: August 2016

Mi ultima salida a pescar en verano

Mi ultima salida a pescar en verano

Gustavo Mancilla 8/30/2016 Definitivamente los veranos nunca son lo suficientemente largos. Estas temporadas que en algunos estados llegamos a esperar con tantas ansias son una oportunidad muy grande para todos nosotros salir al outdoors y disfrutar de las maravillas naturales que existen en los Estados […]

3 Great Saltwater Fishing Locations

3 Great Saltwater Fishing Locations

Andy Whitcomb 8/29/2016 If you are like me and live in one of the 27 states that lack a saltwater coastline, it is an exciting treat for the chance to cast into the “big pond.” Because time is limited while vacationing to one of the […]

Florida Fishing: 4 Freshwater Exotics To Catch

Florida Fishing: 4 Freshwater Exotics To Catch

If you pay a visit to the southernmost state, you can take advantage of several Florida fishing opportunities that are particularly intriguing. These opportunities involve targeting freshwater nonnative or exotic fish species that did not historically occur in Florida. These species can make ideal targets for anglers who are looking for Florida fishing fun and excitement while using either natural baits or artificial lures.

Exotic Freshwater Fish Found in Florida

Many exotic species lack natural predators, so they can outcompete native fish species. This can be an issue if they multiply unchecked, and use up valuable food resources that could cause native species to suffer. The one exception to this rule occurs in the case of the butterfly peacock bass — this species was intentionally introduced to South Florida canal systems in the 1980’s by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) to help increase predation on illegally introduced exotic forage fishes while also enhancing recreational fishing opportunities at the same time.

While there are dozens of exotic freshwater fish species you can pursue in Florida, you may find it worthwhile to learn more about these four non-native favorites in particular, due to their increasing popularity and sporting qualities.

Clown Knife Fish 

Originally native to tropical Asia, the clown knife fish can now be found in southeast Florida lakes and canal systems. This bizarre-looking species is flat and silvery with a long anal fin that features a series of five to ten black spots ringed with white. Live golden shiners or shad are among the best baits to use when pursuing this species. Focus your efforts near docks, bridges, and canal edges using a 2/0 hook rigged to a 30-lb test fluorocarbon leader. 

Butterfly Peacock Bass 

The colorful peacock bass is a feisty fighter that can be an absolute blast to catch, particularly on light tackle. Butterfly peacock bass have bright red eyes, and males of spawning age can be rather easily identified by the nuchal hump located at the top of their heads. Live shiners are the ideal live baits to use when targeting the butterfly peacock bass; however, topwater lures and crankbaits will also work if they are retrieved at a quick pace. Try using a 6 to 7 foot medium-heavy action rod with 8 to 10 lb test line.

Mayan Cichlid 

Known by many Florida fishing fans as the “atomic sunfish” due to its energetic nature, the Mayan cichlid is originally native to Central and South America. However, this species can now be found throughout south Florida in freshwater canals, rivers, lakes and marshes of varying salinity levels. Mayan cichlids are an easy target to pursue using natural baits such as grass shrimp, shiners or crickets on light spinning tackle. Fly anglers can also have tons of fun casting to Mayan cichlids using popping bugs or woolly buggers. 

Jaguar Guapote

Native to Central and South America, the jaguar guapote can be identified by its broken lateral line and purple to black spots. In Florida this species can be found mostly in the coastal canal systems near the southeast part of the state. Small spinnerbaits fished on light tackle are usually effective, but the jaguar guapote will take a variety of baitfish-imitating flies as well.

Now that you know more about Florida fishing opportunities for exotic freshwater fish species, check the state fishing regulations and purchase your fishing license online. 


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Debbie Hanson

Debbie Hanson

Debbie Hanson is an award-winning outdoor writer, women’s sport fishing advocate, IGFA world record holder, and freshwater guide living in Southwest Florida. Hanson’s written work has appeared in publications such as Florida Game & Fish Magazine, BoatUS Magazine, and USA Today Hunt & Fish. To learn more about her work, visit shefishes2.com or follow her on Instagram @shefishes2.

Visit Top Fishing Spots Before Summer ends

Visit Top Fishing Spots Before Summer ends

Jennifer Huber 8/25/2016 Labor Day does not mean the end of summer vacations; in fact, it extends an invitation to visit top fishing and boating spots through late September. When the weather cools down the fishing action intensifies and here are some reasons to visit […]

The Bird is the Word on Bait Fish

The Bird is the Word on Bait Fish

Tom Keer 8/24/2016 The terns were in tight to the beach, so I staked out my surf fishing rod and grabbed my fly rod. I tied on a small sand eel fly, made a cast, and hooked up. Magic? Nope. Terns feed on small bait […]

Saltwater Fishing Tackle for Boat or Shore

Saltwater Fishing Tackle for Boat or Shore

Choosing the right saltwater fishing tackle and gear is somewhat of a personal preference but greatly influenced by what shows up at the end of your line. In a pinch during a South Carolina vacation, I bought a medium spinning combo preloaded with 12-pound line at a big box store. Later that day, I found myself connected to a very large ray. For an hour and a half we dueled and that largemouth bass gear held up amazingly well. 

Saltwater Tackle for Boat Fishing

If you plan on trolling, casting won’t be much of an issue. Just free spool and drop the bait in the water. These reels probably are heavily geared baitcasters, which can hold lots of heavy line. The rods tend to be shorter and heavy duty to handle brutes such as tuna, marlin, or wahoo. Similar fishing gear will work if you plan to anchor and jig or drop bait down to a reef for grouper, amberjack, or even sharks.

Some fish may require longer casts and boat movement, perhaps following schools which may be indicated by flocks of feeding birds also chasing baitfish. Longer, “whippier” rods paired with heavy spinning reels may be more beneficial here. Redfish, striped bass, or tarpon might be targeted with this type of fishing gear.

Saltwater Tackle for Shore Fishing

If fishing from a jetty or long pier, the rod and reel mentioned above will be a good general combo for fish like black drum and sheepshead. However, if fishing from a beach, you will want to make very long casts. The rod may be 12 feet, with a very long butt for loading and launching leverage. 

If you don’t know what species to expect, visit with the locals fishing where you want to fish.  The tackle store in that area also will be a great source of information and will likely carry the appropriate saltwater fishing tackle and should be able to get you started. Be sure to check the saltwater fishing license requirement for your state. 


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Andy Whitcomb

Andy Whitcomb

Andy Whitcomb is a columnist, outdoor humorist, and stressed-out Dad. He says there are “people who fish”… and there are “fishermen”.  One of the few things he knows is that he is a “fisherman”…  To the point it could be classified as borderline illness.  Sharing this obsession is rewarding, therapeutic. He likes to encourage people to “stop and smell the crappie.”  Enjoys catching fish, but gets a greater thrill out of helping someone else hook up.

Born in Florida, but raised on the banks of Oklahoma farm ponds. Now relocated to western Pennsylvania. He has fished, worked, lived all around the US.  He has a B.S. in Zoology from Oklahoma State as well…

And he met his wife while electrofishing. He has been contributing weekly to www.takemefishing.org since 2011.   

How to Tie an Arbor Knot

How to Tie an Arbor Knot

Debbie Hanson 8/19/2016 Hey there fishing fans, it’s Debbie Hanson for takemefishing.org. So you’ve been learning a lot about fly fishing and you’re excited to get out to a local lake or pond near you and catch up some bluegill or some bass on your […]

5 Surf Fishing Tips for a Thrilling Catch

5 Surf Fishing Tips for a Thrilling Catch

Tom Keer 8/17/2016 I heard about last night’s hot bite and decided to check it out. When I got to the water it looked dead. I walked about a mile up the sand, and I’m glad I did. The saltwater fish that had been in […]

Little-Known Best Times to Fish

Little-Known Best Times to Fish

My dad is an expert on trees. When asked, “When is the best time to prune young trees,” I’ve heard him respond, “Whenever there are clippers in your hand.”

That same optimistic “go get ‘em” attitude can be applied to fishing. You won’t catch a fish unless you have a line in the water. In general, mornings and evenings seem to be the best times to fish. Mid day, there may be a period of inactivity, especially during the heat of late summer. However, that certainly doesn’t mean you should set your rod down and take a nap.

Fish are opportunistic and always looking for an easy meal. Even when not in the mood to bite, a little weather change can get fish feeding again. 

For example:

Wind: When a hot summer lake goes from flat to a little bit of a chop, get ready. That wave activity perhaps from the extra oxygen boost can be like flipping that buffet sign from “closed” to “open.”

Clouds: One of the reasons mornings and evenings are such great times for catching fish is the lower light intensity. Cloud cover can create a sort of false early evening or delay the morning sunrise. These periods can cool the water and bring (or keep) the attention of fish at the surface for longer topwater lure action.

Rain: Runoff from rain and the associated cloud cover can cool the water too. Just a degree or two can make a difference. One local muskie angler claims “the best time to fish is during or just after a rain.” As long as there isn’t any lightning, I’ll keep right on casting. 

 

Current: Tidal shifts can play a huge part of not only where fish are located, but what mood they might be in. Reservoirs also may periodically release their impounded water. This sudden influx of water current awakens everything in the system.

The best time for the angler to go fishing, may not be the best time for the fish to eat. A slight weather change such as brief afternoon shower can trigger a great time to fish. Plus, it may reduce the fishing pressure by sending many fishermen indoors. If there is lightning, however, no matter how great the bite, it is better to fish another day. Learn more about when to fish safely and make sure you have your fishing license before getting out on the water.

 


Andy Whitcomb

Andy Whitcomb

Andy Whitcomb is a columnist, outdoor humorist, and stressed-out Dad. He says there are “people who fish”… and there are “fishermen”.  One of the few things he knows is that he is a “fisherman”…  To the point it could be classified as borderline illness.  Sharing this obsession is rewarding, therapeutic. He likes to encourage people to “stop and smell the crappie.”  Enjoys catching fish, but gets a greater thrill out of helping someone else hook up.

Born in Florida, but raised on the banks of Oklahoma farm ponds. Now relocated to western Pennsylvania. He has fished, worked, lived all around the US.  He has a B.S. in Zoology from Oklahoma State as well…

And he met his wife while electrofishing. He has been contributing weekly to www.takemefishing.org since 2011.   

How to Maintain Your Fishing Rods & Reels

How to Maintain Your Fishing Rods & Reels

Debbie Hanson 8/12/2016 Your fishing rods & reels are your primary fish catching tools, so knowing how to keep them in good working order is important. There’s nothing more frustrating than losing a trophy fish due to a frozen reel or broken rod tip when […]