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- Kaskaskia River in Carlyle, IL - 31 Aug 2019
- A classic pattern is setting up at Carlyle. Lines of silver and bighead carp are in the fly eating mood, taking wooly boogers and similar streamers, while on a lighter rod, crappie, white bass, yellow bass, drum, and buffalo carpet the near rock areas, taking silvery streamers. All fish will nail a jig and tube or curly tail (1 to 2 inch long) jig. Be prepared to fight the occasional beast sized fish, some foul hooked, but most fair biters. We saw a few odd flathead catfish to 10lbs mixed in the jig biters as well. And yes, the Asian carps (silver and bighead) EAT flies. My carp flyrod is a 6wgt to 8wgt, 8lb to 10lb tippet, size 6 beadhead black wooly booger or size 8 bead head yellow streamer, swung atlantic salmon style. For the white bass and crappie, a glass bead mysis fly worked wonders.
- Salt River Bluffview Rec Area, New London MO - 24 Aug 2019
- The lower water had lead to reduced flow, and more challenging fishing, though casts still paid off for a variety of species including walleye, gar, crappie, drum, and green sunfish on jigs and flies (black beadhead size 8 mostly).
- Echo Lake and Willard Bay Reservoir UT - 20-21 Aug 2019
- While often shore fishers curse boats, there are reasons not to. One is that when the boats zip by and create wakes against rocks, they make a feeding opportunity fish can't resist. In Echo lake and orange chennelle bug looks alot like a small crayfish, and the smallmouth bass hammered the nymphs right against the rocks. Over to Willard Bay, common carp fed along the rocks, taking advantage, and sunfish of various types did the same. The sunfish took a size 10 bead head prince nymph easy enough, though a popper would have worked too.
- Sandy Slough Mississippi River LD 25 Winfield MO - 10 Aug 2019
- The slough has dropped a bit, bt still high overall, with lots of channel catfish, carp, and gar flopping about. A sz6 beadhead black wooly worm fished slowly along the rocks got me into 3 to 4lb channel catfish (yes, catfish can be caught on the fly rod), and for the spinning rod, worms were the ticket for catfish from 10 inches and up, drum, and common carp. Jigs and smaller streamer flies got nipped by small white bass, baby largemouth bass, and sunfish.
- Salt River, Bluffview Rec. Area near New London MO - 03 Aug 2019
- Nice warm summer days in August do not shut down fish below dams, where oxygenated water keeps many fish going. Crappie in particular school below dams in current swirls near rocks, picking off shad and other nibblets. Around the crappie are other river fish including silver carp, gar (please, please, release the larger gar so they can eat the carp), buffalo, largemouth bass, white bass, walleye, drum, catfish and others. A red-florescent yellow streamer was my pick fly, and jig that looked similar was the pick on the spinning rod.
- Causey Resevoir and Echo Resevoir UT - 30-31 July 2019
- In resevoirs, wind and waves are your friends. Each set of waves stirs the water near the rocks, pitching hapless crayfish and other yummies into the water for predators like smallmouth bass (Echo) or rainbow trout (Causey). My favorite pattern to simulate these Utah crawdads is a 1-80th oz fuzzy orange chennelle bug fished under an indicator, then pulsed every so often, though the little chop is the primary action maker. The little chenelle fuzzies pulse like swimming crawfish legs, and the fish eat it. Fish near drop offs and rocks where the current is concentrated, i.e. points and cups. Release the little fishes (all mine in this case) for next year.
- Pacific Ocean, Los Angeles CA and Long Beach CA, Belmont Shores Veterans Pier and Hermosa Beach Pier- 22 to 25 July 2019
- Need a couple of places to fish after work? Either of these piers will work. In both cases, the mackerel bite is strong at and just after sunset on very small lures and baits on small hooks, but other fish also make a showing. At the Belmont Veterans Pier, baitfish like anchovies and sardines are all over in the shallows, and with them mackerel, short California halibut, and sand bass. Any small jig worked, I used a 1-8thoz swimbait jig successfully. Over at Hermosa Beach Pier (a few miles from LAX FYI) mackerel bit at sunset sporatically, mostly on baits like squid, but a teeny worm jig fished along the pilings caught kelp bass and got hit by random no-catch-ems. FYI I released it all this time, especially the halibut and seabasses...though mackerel are keepable and taste good charcoal grilled or pickeled. Make sure if you want mackerel after dark, include the light stick as in the rig here.
- Okaloosa Island Pier, Gulf of Mexico, West side Destin Pass and Ross Marler Park, Fort Walton Beach FL - 17 to 20 June 2019
- The beach is in green slime phase for now, covered to the first sand bar in algae until a nice wind gets rid of it. Given as that was plan A for fly fishing this time, I went to the West Destin Pass area, though it was very crowded with lots of debris in the water due to tide. Skipping from there I settled on fly fishing at Ross Marler park, and given the trout sized rod I was using (a light 5 wgt), pinfish and lizard fish gave me some sport on white streamers, though thunderstorms sent me packing before the sea trout bite could start. Out came the light spinning rod with 30lb floro leader and 1oz slab spoons, and to the pier I went, catching blue runners, remoras, ladyfish, and loosing some decent spanish mackerel (and spoons) before being sent off so they could shoot fireworks. If one had a boat, just out from the slime would be spectacular for many species fyi.
- Tyrrhenian Sea (Mediterranean Sea) off Ostia Lido, Italy - 16 May 2019
- Booked a trip with Capt. Dario Rossi of the Pequeno Nieto, as part of a trip we took to Rome for vacation, and while the weather was a perfect boat day, the water and air pressure were a bit off from the previous days storms.
Even so, Dario did a great job meeting us, and taking us out on his boat, and putting us on fish. He set up good spinning reels with superbraid, and we headed out to 150ft drop off.
His rig was a light leader with up and down hooks and prawns for bait, fished on the bottom.
We expected very little given the weather and water temp and pressure, but we were pleasently surprised with dentex, though could have been pandora or similar sea bream..they are closely related. They were smaller then his usual but a couple of keepers even so. Also caught a sea robbin with interesting fins. Dario let us stay out a bit later even though we were late (taxi driver let us off at the wrong spot LOL), and he set up our taxi for the return. He also baited the hooks (at first, I like to do that part myself LOL), and provided drinks. If we had a place to cook fish, we could have kept a couple fish too. Overall, very fun experience, and would happily take him again, and a nice break from the tourist shuffle in Rome proper.
- Okaloosa Island Pier, Gulf of Mexico, and Shalimar Bridge, Choctawhatchee Bay, Fort Walton Beach FL - 30 Apr to 02 May 2019
- On the bridge, blue runners and a few lone cobia showed up, and lures got smacked pretty well by the jacks, with some spanish mackerel quickly flurrying by at sunrise/set. Two pier days were pretty good for ladyfish, blue runners, and spotty spanish mackerel and a lone king mackerel, but the third day cold cloudy water drifted in, and it was tough to even catch those blue runners. Most casting lures work, make sure to have that 30lb to 40lb florocarbon leader for any lure in spansh mackerel eating sizes.
- Okaloosa Island Pier, Gulf of Mexico, and Shalimar Bridge, Choctawhatchee Bay, Fort Walton Beach FL - 08 to 11 Apr 2019
- It is game on. While the bridges are still good for gar, pinfish, silver perch, speckled trout, spadefish, and gray snappers, among other fish, the pier bite has opened up all the way, with strong runs of 20lb to 30lb king mackerel on the end, drifiting live herring or other species on short steel leaders, they are also hammering large spoons on the same or heavy mono leaders (60lb). Shrink the leader size to 30-40lb florocarbon and a small casting spoon in silver, yellow or white, and move to just beyond the sand bars, and spanish mackerel are in flurries. All the macs bite in the sunlit hours, and shut off mostly after dark. Look for the south wind to enhance the mackerel and cobia bite. Over the sand bars, the cobia are just now showing, with very large fish on 1-2oz feather jigs and soft plastics cast in front of sighted fish, and pompano are starting to show on heavy pompano jigs and baits (mole shrimp (sand fleas), shrimp). Look for the same fish in the passes, see my article on how. Some small sharks are showing the in surf as well. GET OUT AND FISH!!!
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