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- Maramec Springs, Meramec River, St. James MO - 30 Dec 2019
- The catch and release season at Maramec spring park is always interesting, with low crowds, larger but fewer fish, and interesting fishing conditions (wind this time). Many species are around in addition to the rainbow trout up from the river or resident, including pickerel, suckers, rock bass, smallmouth bass, and longear sunfish to name a few. The trout lined up ion the surface nicely, and took a variety of well presented dry and subsurface flies, including cracklebacks, grizzly hackles, midges, poppers, and chenelle bugs.
- Busch Wildlife Area Weldon Springs, MO - 27 Dec 2019
- The Winter Trout Program continues, know the rules where you fish. Rainbow trout are now going into a natural pattern, hitting small nymphs, glowballs, chennelle bugs, wooly buggers and small black jigs. Look for fish in shallows over trees, and off points and around the dams. The bite is soft, since many fish are now suspicious of any food item.
- Sandy Slough, Mississippi River, LD25, Winfield MO - 21 Dec 2019
- Crappie and white bass are hit or miss in the slough in winter, usually near sunset, with common carp and buffalo on the flats, waiting for the right fly or a worm. Flywise, a small white streamer fished very slow got hit, as did small tube jigs for the spinning rod. A few eagles and pelicans are there to watch.
- Veterans Memorial Pier, Belmont Shores, CA Pacific Ocean - 19 Dec 2019
- A lit Christmas tree adorns the cold pier, which has few people, but a slow bite of mackerel, jacksmelt, and sand bass, mostly on shrimp and squid bait, near the ends, a few on small jigs with power worms.
- Dresser Island Mississippi River West Alton MO - 07 Dec 2019
- The river has dropped a bit, weather cooled, and a few white bass decided to bite on size 12 wooly buggers in the shallow water, minus any powerplant water.
- Busch Wildlife Area Weldon Springs, MO - 26 to 30 Nov 2019 Happy Thanksgiving!
- Yup, the trout are now stocked. The Winter Trout Program is in full swing, and make sure you know the rules for each spot befor you drop in a line, as many are lure only, catch and release only (till 1 Feb anyhow). Weather turned abit more winter-like and the Rainbow trout in the lakes have slowed a bit, bit still bit, more on chennelle bug, glowballs, and size14 beadhead dark colored size nymphs like peacock herl, carpet thread, prince, etc with the same and small black jigs on the spinning rod under a bobber. For extra flavor we also hit the dam side of lake 33 (watch for tire eating potholes!) for crappie, which bit with abandon on a variety of nymphs and streamers and jigs near structure, especially the glass bead mysis streamer. A per usual, in most places where fish eat little things, if you are facing the wind on a dam, you will catch the fish due to currents. Also a show out to Tom and Danny for joining our team of fishers.
- The trout lake always look ready to fish...
- ...and another area shot.
- Humans aren't the only thing that likes trout, as this bald eagle was looking for a trout dinner.
- A fight for the trout...
- ....and in it comes for release.
- Another trout fight.
- A rainbow on the fly...
- ...and another trout...
- ...and another trout...
- ...and another trout...
- ...and another trout.
- Sunfish like flies too.
- The dam on lake 33 shines in the winter when the wind blows to the west...
- ...look for bushes and downed trees.
- One of many, many, many crappie...
- ...another crappie...
- ...another crappie...
- ...another crappie...
- ...another crappie.
- Looks like an otter or eagle got this big catfish. Lake 33 has large bass, catfish, and carp too.
- Do not forget my shop for your Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or other holiday shopping. Over 400 fish, dolphins, seals, and other sea life on everything
- Busch Wildlife Area Weldon Springs, MO - 09 and 16 Nov 2019
- Yup, the trout are now stocked. The Winter Trout Program is in full swing, and make sure you know the rules for each spot befor you drop in a line, as many are lure only, catch and release only (till 1 Feb anyhow). We picked one the catch and release lakes, pulled out the fly rods, and for one brother, the spinning rod with marabou jig and bobber, and caught fish. Rainbows we saw ran between 11 inches and 15 inches, with a few jumbos mixed in for excitement. However, other fish play along too, including crappie and other sunfish. The pick fly varies, and many work, as long as 2lb line is the leader/tippet. Peacock hurl beadhead nyphs (size 14 to size 12), prince nymphs, glowballs, chennelle bugs, and of course black bead head wooly buggers (sizes 8 to 12) all worked in turn. On the spinning rod, black marabou jigs under a bobber worked well, along with fish on spoons, spinners, and very small crankbaits. Barbless hooks and minimal handling will ensure catchable fish all winter long.
- Belmont Shores Pier, Pacific Ocean, CA - 04 to 07 Nov 2019
- This is always a good pier for ultralight fishing and some heavier fishing for rays and sharks, with good resturants nearby and at the base. I usually use a high-low two jig rig, this time with a glow soft plastic tail on a 1-8th oz jighead, then a 1-32oz jighead with a 1 inch gulp worm 12 inches above. Jig these VERY SLOWLY near the end and around pillings for pacific and jack mackerel , California salema, sculpins , and barred sand bass . Tossing a mackerel chunk deep got stingrays and bat rays for a few anglers with a few small leopard sharks mixed in. Mackerel specialists can use the calume stick rig to really lay into them.
- Causey Lake, Echo Lake, and Weber River UT - 07 to 10 Oct 2019
- Hit a few spots before the snow begins. Causey lake reopened after the month long closure, and using mysis glass bead flies and orange chennelle bugs under an indicator proved irresistable to the rainbow trout of the lake. Over to Echo lake, the same orange chennelle bug around the rocky drop-offs yielded nice action on smallmouth bass. Trips to two spots on the Weber proved fishless for the 30minute windows I had.
- Kaskaskia River in Carlyle, IL - 28 Sep 2019
- Lower water meant we moved downstream to the waterfall below the swining bridge. While the bite was off and on, many fish bit, mostly on white flies and jigs, including for an angler accross for us, very large hybrid striped bass, though for us, white bass, sauger, walleye, drum, and largemouth bass, bluegill, and crappie. Flywise, pick flies included small poppers, the mysis fly, and a white cicada pattern. White zonkers got bit, but fish pulled the tail in lieu of getting the hook. Crappie, bass, and bluegill were on just off the rocks above and below the waterfall, walleye, sauger below the waterfall. On the spin, white soft plastic jigs, flicker shads, and soft plastic jerkbaits to 3 inches. The next cold front will trigger the fall blitz to be sure.
- 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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