Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Lake Tahoe Lahontan Cutthroat Trout Stocking Program

Over the next few months, approximately 22,000 Lahontan cutthroat trout (LCT) will be stocked in Lake Tahoe. The cutthroat trout will be approximately nine inches in length when released.

This is the first time in more than 35 years that the Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW) will be stocking Lake Tahoe with Lahontan cutthroat trout, the only trout species native to the Basin.

In response to a growing interest in the Tahoe area for the restoration of native species, an interagency team was created to explore opportunities to restore LCT to the Basin.

The team identified NDOW's stocking efforts at Lake Tahoe as an opportunity to provide anglers with the chance to catch native Lahontan cutthroat trout.

For more information, visit www.ndow.org

Fishing Access in North America

In North America, fishing access is an important issue for anglers. In the USA, access for freshwater fishing is often available within state parks, local facilities and national refuges.

Fishing is permitted on more than 270 national wildlife refuges. Other wildlife-dependent recreation on national wildlife refuges includes wildlife photography, environmental education, wildlife observation and interpretation.

Under the National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act of 1997, the Service can permit hunting and fishing as well as four other types of wildlife-dependent recreation where they are compatible with refuge purpose and mission. Hunting, within specified limits, is permitted on more than 300 national wildlife refuges.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

How Catch Crappie and Sunfish in Heavy Vegetation


Fishing for crappie and sunfish can be rewarding for anglers with patience. During the summer season, fishing can sometimes be frustrating as these species often retreat into areas of heavy vegetation. Fortunately, weedless lure designs allow anglers to target these fish in areas where conventional tackle is completely useless.

Black crappie, white crappie, and several species of sunfish are popular among North American anglers. These hard fighting members of the sunfish family are known for their habit of hiding among aquatic grasses and other plants.

Many of these panfish seem to have insatiable appetites and will sometimes attack anything that hits the water near grass beds or other hiding spots.

This feeding behavior can be exploited by anglers, although fishing around dense aquatic vegetation requires specialized tackle and plenty of patience

When fishing heavy cover for crappie and sunfish with artificial lures, the list of options is very short. Lure designs must be weedless, otherwise the angler will only grow frustrated as each cast yields nothing but strands of plant material..

Fly fishermen have the advantage when it comes to fishing areas where grass is abundant. Most fly anglers choose bugs or poppers which are made especially for fishing in areas of dense vegetation.

For anglers that prefer ultralight spinning tackle, small weedless spoons are one option for fishing in heavy cover. These traditional lures are able to wobble across aquatic vegetation without fouling. Downsized plastic worms, tubes or grubs can also be rigged in weedless configurations for fishing around heavy aquatic vegetation on the water's surface.

All of these designs share a few common traits. To be effective in heavy cover, the running line must to connect to the lure at the top center (unlike jigs). Additionally, there must be some shielding of the hook and barb, so that it will not pick up vegetation as it moves thru areas of growth. Weedless lures must also float, be neutrally buoyant, or slow sinking. Any design that sinks fast will tangle in submerged weeds and fail to produce strikes. 

Regardless of the lure chosen, the technique remains basically the same. Anglers move slowly and quietly among aquatic plants, casting towards productive areas. Lures are slowly worked across vegetation or casted directly into open patches of water.

For bait fishermen, dense vegetation also creates challenges. Some anglers deal with plants by making extremely accurate casts into nearby open areas. For the heaviest cover, a specialized crappie pole or cane pole can be useful. These simple rods allow anglers to drop baits into even the smallest of openings. When a bite is detected, the angler must lift the fish straight out of the water before it can entangle the line in the vegetation below.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Freshwater Fishing Areas in Georgia

Among the best places to go freshwater fishing in Georgia are the state's many Public Fishing Areas (PFAs). These areas are home to bass, crappie, sunfish, catfish and other species of freshwater fish.

Georgia PFAs offer a variety of fishing opportunities, from lakes several hundred acres in size to ponds less than one acre. Some are designated as kids-only fishing ponds while others are managed for trophy bass. Anglers can fish from a boat, along the shoreline or from a pier at most locations. Many areas have picnic tables, nature and wildlife observation trails, fish cleaning stations and restroom facilities. Some offer primitive campsites for those wishing to stay overnight on the area, and many facilities are accessible to persons with disabilities.

The following list offers information about Georgia PFAs:

McDuffie County PFA
Located eight miles east of Thomson on 570 acres in Georgia’s upper coastal plain. Includes 13 ponds ranging from one to 30 acres, a fish hatchery and an education center. Species: largemouth bass, bluegill, redear sunfish and channel catfish.

Big Lazer Creek PFA
Located ten miles east of Talbotton in west central Georgia. Includes a 195-acre lake. Species: bluegill, channel catfish, crappie and largemouth bass.

Marben Farms PFA
Offers 6,400 acres in central Georgia, three miles south of Mansfield in Jasper and Newton counties. Includes 22 ponds ranging from one to 95 acres, a wildlife management area and an education center. Species: largemouth bass, bluegill, redear sunfish, crappie and channel catfish.

Dodge County PFA
Located on 444 acres in Georgia’s middle coastal plain, four miles southeast of Eastman. Includes a 104-acre lake. Species: largemouth bass, bluegill, redear sunfish, channel catfish and crappie.
Evans County PFA: Located on 372 acres, nine miles east of Claxton. Includes three lakes ranging from eight to 84 acres. Species: crappie, largemouth bass, bluegill and catfish.

Flat Creek PFA
Located in Perry, this 108-acre lake includes a concrete boat ramp. Species: largemouth bass, bluegill, redear sunfish and channel catfish.

Hugh M. Gillis PFA
Located on 640 acres in Laurens County, 12 miles east of Dublin. Includes a 109-acre lake. Species: largemouth bass, bluegill, redear sunfish, channel catfish and crappie.

Paradise PFA
Located in south central Georgia, eight miles east of Tifton on 1,250 acres. Includes 60 lakes totaling 525 acres. Species: largemouth bass, sunfish, crappie and channel catfish.

Ocmulgee PFA
Nestled within the boundaries of the Ocmulgee wildlife management area, eight miles north of Cochran in Bleckley County. Offers a 106-acre lake. Species: trophy largemouth bass, crappie, bluegill, redear sunfish and channel catfish.

Rocky Mountain PFA
Located 16 miles north of Rome on 5,000 acres in Floyd County. Offers two lakes totaling 559 acres. Species: largemouth bass, walleye, bluegill and redear sunfish, channel catfish, crappie and hybrid striped bass.


For more information on Georgia PFAs, visit www.gofishgeorgia.com

source: Georgia Department of Natural Resources

Monday, July 18, 2011

New Jersey State Record Bowfin

A bowfin caught by Chris Hoffman of Hamilton, NJ, has been confirmed as a new state record for the species by the NJDEP Division of Fish and Wildlife.

Mr. Hoffman was fishing for largemouth bass from his boat in the Delaware River near the Mercer Generating Station in Trenton, NJ. on July 4, 2011, when the fish grabbed a 4" soft plastic Senko fish on  6 pound line.

The 10 lb. 14 oz. bowfin, was 29.9" long and had a girth of 14.6". It broke the old record, set 23 years ago in 1988, by 2 lb. 10 oz.

The bowfin is a predatory fish that feeds on frogs, fish, and other prey.

For details on the New Jersey State Record fish program, see: www.njfishandwildlife.com/recfish.htm

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Small Pond Fish Problems

Farm ponds, mill ponds and other small waterways are subject to a variety of fish-related problems. Many of these problems are simple to correct, once identified.

A lack of fish in small ponds can be caused by excessive harvesting by humans or predation by wildlife. Pond owners usually harvest a few fish for consumption. In some cases, unknown to the landowner, poachers may also remove fish from private ponds.

In addition to human anglers, a variety of wild predators are skilled at catching fish and in some cases can have considerable impacts on fish populations.

Otters are known to be one of the most efficient predators that visit small ponds. These playful aquatic mammals can eat their weight in fish in a matter of days. Raccoons are another fish-eating mammal, although their efforts are usually limited to shallow areas along the shoreline. Both red and gray foxes are also capable of catching fish in shallow water. Black bears are usually the largest predator to visit farm ponds. These omnivores are capable of causing a considerable disturbance to farm ponds or other small bodies of water.


Birds can have a big impact on fish populations, especially in shallow ponds. Herons and egrets are among the most deadly. Other predatory birds include ospreys, eagles and kingfishers.

Reptiles, including turtles and water snakes take fish from most ponds. Usually these predators do not eat large numbers of fish and the losses are a normal part of fish life cycles.

In addition to predators, environmental factors can affect fish populations in small impoundments.Cold winter temperatures can also harm fish. Most species of freshwater fish have minimum temperature thresholds below which they become stressed or die.

Spring can also be a dangerous time for fish populations, especially in small ponds. In many areas, aquatic vegetation dies off in winter and settles on the bottom. When spring arrives, warm temperatures cause dead plant material to break down, which in turns causes oxygen levels to plummet. The situation, known as hypoxia, can cause large scale fish kills.

During summer, droughts can lower water and oxygen levels, as well as causing water temperatures to skyrocket. Hypoxia can again stress or kill fish as they crowd into small spaces without sufficient oxygen to sustain them.

Brown Trout T Shirts - Accessories

Brown trout are always popular among anglers and fish art enthusiasts. They are widely acclaimed to be one of the most beautiful species of freshwater trout.

Appearances of brown trout vary greatly from region to region. Most adult fish are olive-green or brownish above, with cream and golden-yellow along the sides. The belly is usually whitish. Brown trout usually have black spots along their sides, back and dorsal fin. These spots are outlined by a lighter colored halo.

The brown trout belongs to the genus Salmo, a group that also includes Atlantic salmon and other species. Anadromous forms of brown trout also exist (sea trout).

Brown trout were introduced into North America in the 1800's. The species quickly established itself in the
lakes, rivers and streams of the northern U.S., Great Lakes Basin and other areas.

In North America, brown trout often reach weights of 8 pounds or more. Some individuals grow much larger. The world record for brown trout is shared by 2 fish, both of which weighed over 41 pounds.

Browns are considered to be among the most challenging trout species to catch. They are also prized for their size and quality as a food fish.

Brown trout t-shirts, hats, coffee mugs and other collectibles make excellent gifts for fly fishermen or anyone that enjoys wildlife.

The following designs are just a sample of the many trout, salmon, char and other freshwater and saltwater fish logos that are available at fish_fishing_seafood online store.


Monday, July 11, 2011

2011 Idaho Salmon Fishing

According to Idaho Fish and Game, as of Sunday, July 3, an estimated 1,413 adult Chinook had been harvested on the Salmon River and 987 on the Little Salmon River.

The total available sport harvest share has been upgraded to 9,000 for all hatchery Chinook bound for Rapid River Hatchery and the Little Salmon River.

Fish and Game's Southwest Region will publish weekly updates regarding local Chinook fisheries until salmon seasons close on the South Fork Salmon and Little Salmon Rivers.

More information regarding salmon fishing can be found on the Idaho Fish and Game website at:
http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/cms/fish

source: Idaho Fish and Game

Thursday, July 7, 2011

How to Attract Clients to a Fishing Guide Service

largemouth bass fishing

The following article offers tips for recruiting new clients to fishing guide services or similar businesses. Many of these methods are applicable to existing businesses as well as those that are in the start up phase.

Build a basic website. Websites should be easy to navigate while providing essential information about guiding services.

Once a website has been established, it should be submitted to an online fishing guide directory that allows anglers to search for fishing trips by country and region.

Blogging is an excellent way to attract new clients. Most guides publish some form of online fishing report and blogs are usually the simplest ways to do this. Fishing report blogs can be integrated with the website, or reside on a free blogging platform.

When possible, fishing report blogs should include pictures of recent catches. Other blog content can include comments from recent clients, short stories, news, events, special pricing or other business announcements.

Guides can also guest blog on an online fishing news site, wildlife blog, or other specialty site. Most outdoor blogs welcome content from professional guides and other stakeholders.

Press releases and media releases are another way to promote a guide business. These tools reach online resources as well as traditional media.

Brochures are essential for attracting new clients. Tri-fold brochures can be purchased or made and placed in areas that are frequented by visitors.

Local and national guide associations can be sources of new clients. Membership in these organizations is often an important part of being a professional guide.

State and local chambers of commerce are also important for fishing guides. Most chambers provide listings for members which can be sources of new clients.

Fishing shows and other events usually offer fishing seminars. Being a speaker at a seminar can reach hundreds of people which can pay off in terms of new business.

Custom fishing merchandise can be a valuable tool for attracting new clients. A catchy t shirt or coffee mug often gets noticed, sparking conversations about successful fishing trips with a local guide.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Using Grasshoppers and Crickets for Bait

During Mid summer, grasshoppers and crickets become abundant around freshwater ponds, creeks and rivers. For anglers, these insects can trigger outstanding fishing for largemouth bass, sunfish, crappie, perch, catfish, trout, and other species.

Grasshoppers and other insects often attract fish in areas where tall grass lines the banks of farm ponds, small creeks and river banks. To find these fishing spots, an angler needs only to walk through grass, watching for grasshopper or cricket movement.

When grasshoppers and crickets jump, they often land in the water and begin struggling. Usually the hapless insect will disappear in a swirl almost immediately as a hungry fish rises to devour its meal. Witnessing a fish feeding on grasshoppers is a sign that more fish are likely nearby, waiting for the next casualty to happen.

Live bait specialists often seek out and capitalize on the productive fishing when grasshoppers or crickets become a major part of fish diets. In many of these situations, there is an endless supply of fresh bait available in nearby patches of grass or other plants.

To catch grasshoppers, a few simple tools and a little assistance is all that is required. Adult anglers wait patently in the shade while energetic children or grandchildren catch these fast moving insects and carefully place them in the jar.

Once a supply of grasshoppers is gathered, anglers (including the kids) can catch a few fish. Small live bait hooks seem to work best, rigged about 18-24 inches below a slender bobber. The bobber is only required to help aid in casting as the insects naturally float. Baits should be hooked thru the mid-section, being careful not to break off the hind legs.

When fishing live grasshoppers, it is important watch the baits. When the insect struggles on the surface, it will attract fish from quite some distance. A swirl nearby may signal an impending strike. Some fish may take the grasshopper delicately, while species such as largemouth bass may explode on it. 

When grasshoppers become plentiful, fly fishermen have the advantage as fly-fishing tackle allows anglers to present artificial lures which appear almost identical to the real thing. Fly anglers use a variety of patterns to represent grasshoppers, with most patterns being fairly simple. 

New Virginia State Record Blue Catfish

The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF) State Record Fish Committee recently confirmed that a 143-pound blue catfish is a new state record. This is the second time the state record for blue catfish has been broken in 2011.

The enormous blue catfish was caught by Richard Nicholas "Nick" Anderson in John H. Kerr Reservoir (Buggs Island Lake) on Saturday, June 18.

At 143 pounds and 57 inches in length with a girth of 43.5 inches the new state record blue catfish is noteably larger than the previous Virginia state record blue catfish.

The monster blue catfish is the third confirmed freshwater fish over 100 pounds caught in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

If certified by the International Game Fish Association (IGFA), the Virginia blue catfish will shatter the previous world record, a 130-pound blue catfish caught in the Missouri River in 2010.

source: Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries