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SUMMER 2008 Preview

 

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SUMMER 2008 (JUL-SEP) 
U.S. Subscriptions Only

 

An Impossible Dream? by Al Rogers
Fish Four States in One Day
 
 
As an outdoors writer/photographer I certainly get my share of chances to go on some incredible fishing excursions. While I rarely pick up a rod when on assignment, I've met, interviewed and learned much from some of the best interior, coastal and offshore anglers in the country. A great deal of my time is spent traveling to tiny fishing villages, living in motels, rustic camps or lodges, and on the water in every kind of vessel imaginable, from kayaks to palatial sportfishing yachts.
 
A recent invite to target cobia and amberjack interested me greatly. I've always been fascinated by lemonfish, those wonderfully neurotic creatures that pop up to visit from time to time. There's nothing more entertaining than watching the sheer pandemonium that ensues on board as anglers lunge for any rods and reel within reach. The mannerisms of this particular species are so vastly different than what we have come to accept as normal behavior from other fish.
 
I also have grown to love the mystery of targeting big snapper, amberjack and grouper at the countless rigs, wrecks and reefs that are scattered across the northern Gulf. I'm always amazed at how these reef dwellers have mastered the art of using the structure where they live to cut lines and evade capture. Just about anyone can catch a snapper. But trophy reef anglers know that subduing the big ones is much more of a challenge and involves more finesse and technique than people realize.
 
What was so intriguing about this trip was the schedule proposed by my hosts. The plan was to target these fish in parts of four states - Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and part of the Florida Panhandle. The catch was that we would do it all in a single day.
 
"Impossible," I thought to myself. "There's absolutely no way."
 
 
Top Tactics for Jetty Trout by Chester Moore, Jr.
Crafty Techniques for Jetty Trout
 
Have you ever made it to your favorite jetty system an hour or so before dawn, tied on a topwater plug and proceeded to catch big speckled trout one after the other?
 
I have and must say just thinking about those trips gives me chills and inspires me to share with you a slightly different approach to jetty fishing for specks than you might have heard before. Most jetty action during the summer involves fishing live shrimp under a popping cork next to the rocks. This method is of course very effective and can yield some wonderful catches, however, it does not address the structure of the jetties themselves which leaves things open to chance too much for my liking.
 
When most anglers put on shrimp, they simply go along the rocks and wait for the trout to come to them. They would stand a far better chance if they instead learn where to find the trout...
 
Bird is the Word by Capt. Robert Brodie
Birds show the way to the action in the summer!
 
When it comes to fishing the Louisiana marsh there are many different avenues to pursue for catching the wealth of fish that teem in these Cajun waters. For example, there are plenty of reefs, keys, grass beds, coves, and points that provide top-notch wade fishing for anglers literally willing to get their feet wet. However, many of those same areas can be easily fished by boat fishermen using trolling motors, a more and more common practice in these waters.
 
The waters in mention are those surrounding the islands that make up the most northeastern sector of the entire Louisiana marsh realm. Some of those more prominent names include Isle au Pitre, Door Point, Brush Island, Elephant Point Island, and Martin Island. These sections of Louisiana marsh land are merely 11-miles or more off Mississippi's mainland, say from the Pass Christian Small Craft Harbor located on the south side of U.S. Hwy. 90.
However, there are many large bays and coves in this section of Cajun marsh, and in these more open bodies of water excellent fishing under diving gulls can be found throughout the summer months. At times, especially if the weather remains mild, a chance of hot bird fishing can be enjoyed well into November...
 
Unchartered Waters - by Capt. Mel Berman
High fuel prices have the charter industry in a bind.
 
While federal and state fishery regulators conjure up management schemes to maintain certain spawning potential ratios, the rapidly increasing price of fuel has dramatically changed that equation. This is a pivotal moment in the history of Florida fishing when recreational boat owners, charter skippers and the commercial fishing industry have to seriously evaluate the cost/benefit ratio of offshore fishing.
 
Tampa Bay skippers, like Randy Rochelle, not only have to pay at least $4 a gallon to gas his Pro Cat charter vessel, he's also faced with the reluctance of potential clients to spend money which they need for the necessities of life...
 

Gulf Coast Closeup - by Vernon Summerlin
Fort Morgan to Gulf Shores, Alabama
 
For the last few years my wife, Cathy, and I spend a week on the Fort Morgan peninsula west of Gulf Shores, Alabama. As a kid from L.A. (lower Alabama), I spent a lot of time at Fort Morgan when my dad was on the commission charged with restoring the old fort. There were two fishing piers then but have since been destroyed, as were many of the buildings including the old hotel. Now there is a museum at the fort that tells its history - more about that later.
 
I love going back there for the nostalgia (as a kid, I had the run of the place) and, more importantly, to catch fish I missed back then. I fished a lot there as youngster with an ever back lashing bait caster with black Dacron line pulling in croakers and pin fish - but I didn't know about redfish and specks in the late 1940s. I do now and I'm making up for lost time.
 
My favorite places to fish for specs and reds are Navy Cove, St. Andrews Bay and the bay side beach north from Fort Morgan to the point at the mouth of Mobile Bay. Another place I've fished, but not as often, is Little Lagoon. Little Lagoon is another splendid fishing hole, especially for trout, that extends from Gulf Shores west to the Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge, and it's not little, about 12 miles long. They had to call it something and I guess they chose "little" because it's not as large as Big Lagoon near Pensacola...

OUR DEPARTMENTS...
 
Paddling Out - Quiet Water, Quiet Fishing - by Jeff Herman
 
Rod & Reel'n Offshore - Stealth vs. "Hoodoo" - by Patrick Lemire
 
Equipment Notebook - Adding Boat Storage - by David Ayers
 
The Bay Naturalist - The Funky Flatfish - by John Hook
 
The Fly Guy - Fly Fishing for Cobia - by Pete Cooper, Jr.
 
Tackle Time - Antique Lures - by Colby Sorrells
 
Bait Hook - The Care and Feeding of Cobia - by Jim Martin
 
 
From the Publisher...
Besides all these great articles and departments, Gulf Coast Fisherman is the only source for the Wells Daily Fishing Forecast. Each issue carries three months of the Wells Daily Fishing Forecast - with Monthly Fishing Calendars. Also, don't forget about the Advance Planning Calendars in each issue that takes you out three months past the current issue. This will provide what you need to intelligently plan your fishing trips - hours, weeks, and up to six months in advance!
 
Top saltwater guides and fishermen use the Wells Daily Fishing Forecast - shouldn't you be using it ,too?...
 
"The fisherman that knows what the currents are doing has the advantage - over fish and fishermen!"
And remember - "Fish feed everyday, somewhere " - Harold Wells
 
Gary Ralston
Publisher
 
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