COLORADO: Fair Success on Trout Trolling with Crawlers

December 3rd, 2012

Aurora Reservoir (City of Aurora)

Water temp is 60 degrees. Trout fishing from shore is slow to fair. Best success has been from the East and West end of the Dam using PowerBait and crawlers from a slip rig. Boaters are reporting slow to fair success on trout trolling with crawlers. Walleye action is fair using jigs, spoons and bottom bouncers. Most are not of legal size to possess. Perch action is fair to good using jigs and worms. We should start to see the fishing improve this month. The fall can be some of the best fishing of the year! Olive leech patterns and brown and olive wooly buggers are great fall fly patterns. Boats are restricted to electric motors only. Fall hours of operation in October are 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. and November 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information please call 303-690-1286. Please Note: A watercraft access pass is required to launch any watercraft and must be inspected prior to launching. Reservoir will close to boating Dec. 1 for the season.

 Colorado Parks and Wildlife


N. CAROLINA: Speckled Trout Fishing is on Fire

December 3rd, 2012

Just a quick inshore report before I go out trout fishing on the falling tide this morning.

Speckled trout fishing is on fire. Artificials or live shrimp will get the job done. Remember the water is getting cooler and cooler although it looks like we have some warming days coming, so work you baits SLOW. Also, don’t forget trout LIKE moving water. Today, I am planning on using DOA shrimp and DOA pink paddle tails with a 1/4 oz. lead hear in red. I also use plenty of Bang spray for scent.

Capt. Richard Bennett
Rod-Man Inc.
407 Foxwood Lane
p: 910.520.7661


MONTANA: Fishing is Starting to Settle into a Very Predictable Winter Pattern

December 3rd, 2012

Fishing is starting to settle into a very predictable winter pattern. The fall spawn is largely over or coming to an end soon depending on the fishery and water temperatures are falling quickly with long nights and short days. The hard cold snaps of mid winter have not yet arrived and most of the big fisheries are still ice free and providing good access. Small streams will be closed for the winter but most larger and medium sized rivers stay open along with the Livingston spring creeks of DePuy, Armstrong and Nelson.

Trout are now in the mode of a maintenance diet and their metabolism is directly tied to the water temperature which means it is slow. Most of the fish in our local waters have already moved into their winter runs. This time of year you need to be have laser focus on where you fish and target the deeper runs with slow to medium currents. Trout will no longer be found in the fast riffles or bustling pocket water that was so productive in the warmer months. The good news is that once you find some of these winter time honey holes they will be packed with trout. Fish densities in the best winter runs can be staggering with dozens upon dozens of trout packed together.

Nymphing is hands down the most effective technique in the cold weather months (although streamers and even dries can still be an option). The fly selection doesn’t have to be fancy but will very from fishery to fishery. On the bigger freestone rivers such as the Yellowstone, Gallatin and Madison it is nice to still fish something larger as the top fly such as a stonefly nymph, crayfish pattern or sculpin trailed by a smaller nymph. For small nymphs think small with hooks in the 18-20 range. Patterns that produce include small baetis emergers, pheasant tails and midge larva. San Juan worms and eggs are also good patterns to try and if you are fishing a tail water or spring creek a sow bug can produce (especially pink). On spring creeks the big/small rule for nymphing can still apply but the “big fly” might be a size 14 sow bug trailed by a size 22 midge larva. Takes in the cold weather months are always very “soft”. The fact that trout are not moving much for flies along with the slow water that they are found in produces a very light reaction on a strike indicator. It is important to experiment with weighting to ensure flies are right on the bottom. Many of our guides also prefer a yarn indicator in the winter which makes it easier to see subtle ticks and changes of speed. If your indicator tilts, slows down, speeds up, or looks “funny” set the hook and ask questions later.

On a mild winter day you might be lucky enough to run into some rising trout feeding on midges. Even freestone streams like the Gallatin will produce some sporadic midge hatches. If the hatch isn’t too strong dries that imitate single midges are more productive such as a palomino pattern. On tail waters like the Bighorn the midge hatches in the winter can be thick in the late morning and the insects will cluster together so many of the patterns such as the Griffiths gnat that imitate these “rafts” of insects can out produce single insect patterns.

Time of day is also important this time of year. Early mornings can be very tough fishing. The magic window in the winter is from around 1pm until 4:30 or so each day when water temperatures are peaking.

As we progress farther into the winter months it will pay to seek out waters that have some thermal protection from frigid air temperatures. Waters that are great producers even during cold snaps include the spring creeks, tail waters and certain freestone waters that have significant spring fed influences. Big freestone waters like the Yellowstone River will develop large ice shelves resulting in dangerous wading conditions.

Montana Angler. com


MISSOURI:

December 3rd, 2012

Branson: Water temperatures remain steady throughout the lake with surface temps holding close to 60 degrees in Branson. Fishing guides continue to target smallmouth on gravel and mixed gravel and ledge rock points with Tightlines UV and Chompers tubes worked slowly along the bottom from 8′ – 15′ deep. The best colors continue to be green pumpkin or green red flake. The deep bite has waned a little over the past week, there are still spotted bass holding in tree tops in the major creek arms but they tend to be scattered and hard to catch.

Kimberling City: The mid lake area has been tougher over the past week, there are still fish being caught on Tightlines and Chompers tubes just like in Branson, fishing guides have not had the success they experience on the lower end. The dock bite has been a little stronger here than in other parts of the lake, Jewel Eakins jig and craw combos worked around shady areas of docks have been producing quality largemouth. The fish are scattered on the docks, an angler needs to run several docks to be successful.

James River: The biggest temperature swings throughout the day have been on the James River; the stained water cools rapidly at night but warms just as fast as the sun rises. The best bite has been shallow in and around wood cover or docks. Jewel Eakins jig and craw combos or Squirrel Heads with Tightlines finesse worms have been very effective around the cover. Most Branson fishing guides have done best by concentrating on the “shade edges” around the cover; a “shade edge” is the first foot or two of shade, the water there tends to be a degree or two warmer than in an area with constant shade.

White River: The White River continues to produce with the most productive portion being from Shell Knob through Big M. Tightlines UV and Chompers tubes are producing on pea gravel just like in Branson. Fishing guides are also doing well with Jewel jigs and Squirrel heads in and around wood cover. On windy days Chompers and War Eagle spinnerbaits have begun producing a few fish around standing timber and laydowns on steeper banks and a Wiggle Wart is also effective on windblown chunk rock.

Capt. Eric Prey
Focused fishing Guide Service
p: 417-860-4743


LOUISIANA:

December 3rd, 2012

The last month or so there has actually been too many Bull Reds on some days, because when they roam around in packs feeding they attack the lure you are throwing and then another Redfish hits the cork and busts up your tackle. This results in you bringing in empty fishing line. The Reds force you to go tight line with a lead head and plastic, so they don’t have a second target to hit and bust the 50 pound leader between the cork and the lure. When the Redfish are spread out some they are much more manageable, and you can get the fish to the boat. Even then, you see two or three more Reds following the Red that is hooked all the way to the boat. If you are ready you can drop your lure into the water when this happens and the follow Reds will hit it. This has been happening all year long. The water has been clear most days by our standards, so you see the fish. There is no telling how often this happens in murky water when we can’t see the fish. We catch these Big Redfish every month of the year, and I don’t know which month is the best to fish for to catch them. The Speckled Trout have been easy to catch as well this month. They are in all the passes in the river. We have concentrated our fishing near drop offs in the river for the Specs. The most exciting fishing is the big Redfish, which is my specialty.

Everyone has been having a blast fishing and hanging out at the lodge. I have had folks staying here from all over the country and beyond. I have been working hard but having such a good time that I have lost track of time. I have been trying to return calls, but forgetting to, then remembering to. I have not had a chance to give a fishing report until now. Things slow down for me now with the holidays. I have plenty of boat and tackle maintenance to do. I have to go buy about 10 new rods, because we have broken so many ( you have to move around the boat with these big Reds until you wear them down ). My Stradic reels need new drag washers because the big Redfish have worn them down so bad. This is all a good thing. I would not trade it for anything

I am starting to get bookings for next year. Winter and Spring Redfish fishing is as good as any other time. We have weather fronts that come through that can make fishing tough, but that is all year long-any month. If you are interested in getting in on some big Redfish action you might want to book three to six months before. Give me a call if you have any questions.

Capt. Shawn Lanier
Fish On Guide Service
p: 225-205-5353


CALIFORNIA: Bay Bass and Sharks

December 3rd, 2012

In the bay, small stripers are still taken on bullheads, and a few fishermen are targeting sturgeon near the Pumphouse.  George Liu of Bay Tackle in El Cerrito went to Muir Beach over the weekend to throw crab snatchers and target barred perch, and they landed a few crab and a couple of limits of barred perch on blood worms or Berkley Gulp! Camo Worms. There is still great interest in crabbing, and they have been selling large numbers of the snares, nets with 100 feet of rope for $19.99, or the Danielson crab traps for $17.99.
Bay Tackle has a supply of bullheads which have been getting more and more difficult to obtain.

Finally a great south bay report and picture (water background would beat grass) with Hot Sheet Subscriber Gilbert Zamora, captain of the ‘Gill Getter,’ putting in a potluck of bay species while fishing with Jason Gallegos. They were fishing near the deep channel at the San Mateo Bridge for a 46-inch sturgeon, a 32-inch halibut, a leopard shark, and a sevengill shark.

Tom Dudenhoeffer of Sweeney’s Sports in Napa said, “There are a good numbers of stripers in the Napa River throughout the system, but this week’s rain will change everything and muddy up the water.” The sturgeon action is improving in the lower section of the river, and the rains will help this bite. Live grass shrimp has been the top bait for the diamondback

USA fishing


FLORIDA: Sheepshead Bite was Hot

December 3rd, 2012

Tuesday, 11/20, I fished inshore in Estero Bay with Al Tooley and his thirteen-year-old son, Aiden. The guys caught a 20-inch, keeper redfish, along with five keeper sheepshead to 15 inches, all on shrimp. They released seven smaller sheepshead and two stingrays.

Wednesday morning, I again fished central Estero Bay, using live shrimp, this time with Tim Fox, his son, Eli, and his father-in-law, Alan Zeilinger. The sheepshead were abundant and biting well, and the trio caught fifteen of those in all, including nine nice keepers to 16 inches. We had one sheepie boat-side that was about 20 inches, but it snapped the line at the last minute. The guys also released three crevalle jacks, all about 5 pounds, along with four stingrays and two puffer-fish.

Ron & Janet Farqueherson fished a catch-and-release trip with me Saturday morning in Estero Bay, using live shrimp. The couple caught and released a brace of 17 ½ inch redfish, along with two keeper-sized sheepshead to 16 inches, five keeper-sized mangrove snapper, a brace of 16-inch black drum, and two puffer-fish.

Monday, 11/26, I headed out to fish with Todd Flemmin and Eddie Alfonso, 28 to 35 miles west of New Pass. We had live shrimp and squid, and used both with good success. The guys caught three keeper red grouper at 21 ½ inches, 22 ½ inches and 23 inches. They released about twenty shorter ones. They also caught nineteen beautiful mangrove snapper, all of which were in the 15-inch to 16-inch range, as well as three nice yellowtail snapper that were 13 inches each. The whitebone porgies were large and plentiful, and the guys kept four 15-inch porgies, out of twenty they caught. They also caught nine large grunts, and kept four of those that were 16 inches. They released two gag grouper that were 21 inches each. All in all it was a very productive and beautiful day on the water.

Long time customers, Erwin and Millie Metusiak, fished with me Tuesday morning, about 18 miles west of New Pass, using live shrimp. The couple caught three keeper mangrove snapper to 12 ½ inches, and kept six whitebone porgies to 18 inches, out of about twenty caught. They also caught a keeper hogfish at 15 inches. They released three 21-inch gag grouper, ten red grouper shorts, a 15 ½ inch scamp grouper, six triggerfish to 13 ½ inches, and blue runners.

Saturday morning, I fished central Estero Bay with Rich and Nancy Honsa, using live shrimp. The sheepshead bite was hot, and the couple caught fifteen nice ones to 19 ½ inches. They only wanted enough for a meal, so they kept the biggest one and released the rest. They also released five keeper-sized mangrove snapper to 11 inches and two puffer-fish.

Capt. Dave Hanson
Fishbuster Charters
p: 239-947-1688


LOUISIANA: Slinging in Trout One After Another

November 27th, 2012

Another great day Down in Dularge.

Scared of a little wind? that wont stop us from filling up the box. Baton Rouge Uber lawyer Jack Whitehead joined me today to bust up the trout. Our second stop is where we found the yellow mouths congregated. We commenced to slinging in trout one after another. Once the tide and bite slowed we checked one more spot and Jack called it a day. Plenty of trout to clean and eat!! Back at the camp for 12 to watch football. High Life Tackle Swimmer Jr’s in Bunker color did all the damage today. Thanks again Jack for your continued business and friendship.

Capt. Marty LaCoste
Absolute Fishing Charters, LLC
P: 985-856-4477


CALIFORNIA: Lower Owens River is in Prime Fly Fishing

November 27th, 2012

The Lower Owens River is in prime fly fishing shape with excellent dry fly and streamer opportunities. The Sierra is experiencing more seasonal weather conditions as we approach the Thanksgiving holiday. Northern cold fronts are lined up and making their way through the region about every 3-4 days bringing cool air and some snow in the upper elevations. You will see some very windy conditions at times as these systems dash through the area. Expect single digit to low teens on Hot Creek & the Upper Owens in the mornings after the fronts pass. The Owens Valley has been spared any moisture and daytime temps are very pleasant this time of year.

The general trout season closes on November 15th. The waters of the Upper Owens River upstream from the Benton Crossing Bridge, Hot Creek, the East Walker River below the dam at Bridgeport Reservoir, Pleasant Valley Reservoir, & the Lower Owens River and Gorge section will remain open year around. Some areas having special angling restrictions.

Crowley Lake and Bridgeport Reservoirs went out quietly this year due to low water levels in both areas (they both close on 11-15). Crowley is filling and is now up 2 vertical feet from its lowest point. Silver Lake kicked out a monster 18 lb. brown for a troller in early November. I would have lost big money on this one! Access remains excellent to all the year around fisheries, hope you can make it up soon.

Lower Owens River

Perfect. Flows have been steady at 205 cfs for a while, and the Bishop Creek has lowered to winter release rates. The BWO hatch has been the hot ticket this week with a huge emergence of the #18 mayflies coming off in force at 1pm & continuing through 3ish. The fish seem to kick back for the morning, then begin a steady feeding cycle starting on the nymphs & continuing until the sun hits the Sierra crest. Birds nest, flash back pheasant tails, and broken back midges will all get grabs for nymphing, while most dun to olive colored adult mayfly imitations in the 16/18 range will get smacked on the surface. Streamer fishing has also been very good using moderate sinking tip lines. Crystal leeches, Agent Orange, and Spruce-a-Bu’s work well this time of year using the “dip & strip” technique in the deeper pools. One change I have noted since the cooler weather has become the norm is that the fish have migrated into the deeper pools for the most part. They will head to the tail outs when the BWO’s come off, however look for more consistent action in the larger holes and softer water. Trout are cold blooded and their metabolic rates are proportional to the water temp. As the sun gets higher and the gravel beds warm, you will see the fish become more active this time of year. This is the opposite of what we observed during the warmer weather earlier this fall. GUIDE TIP: Can’t tell you how many double hernias I have seen over the last fifteen years as clients struggle to put on frozen boots and waders after leaving the gear over night in their vehicles. One should keep your wading gear and boots in your motel room or RV for the evening or deal with frozen items in the morning. Use a heavy trash bag or wet gear bag to keep the mud from messing up the rooms please. A good way to kill invasive species like the New Zealand Mud Snail is to leave the gear outside in freezing conditions the night before you leave if you aren’t planning on fishing of course!

Upper Owens River

Flows have come down a tad but remain on the high side making nymphing the deeper, more productive pools a bitch to get your imitations down too. Look for a significant drop after Thanksgiving, (I like 80- 100cfs). It has been cold in the mornings recently, and you will not see a decent hatch until 2 pm most days. Small mayfly patterns #18-22 work well on the rising afternoon browns and rainbows. Numbers continue to be good here for catchable sized trout. The bigs are still MIA with only a few nice fish staging up on the gravel. The extremely low lake level on Crowley & low flows of the Upper Owens in October made it very difficult for the larger fish to migrate up the shallow inlet section. This is why McGee Bay does not have a great fall migration most years. I am still optimistic we will get a good jag of bigs moving soon and we are keeping a close watch on this area for our “snow bow” trips this winter. SJ worms and imitation egg patterns are good for colder periods, use Assassin’s birds nest or FB PT’s, broken back & tiger midges for nymphing. You need lots of weight to get those bugs down in the deeper pools-two AB shot is not out of the equation in some holes. After Nov.15th you may only fish upstream from the Benton Bridge, ZERO limit-barbless artificial lures or flies only.

Crowley Lake

Closes on November 15th. Did not fish very well the last two weeks. Streamers were best and the catching was very spotty with most of the fish seeking deeper water early in the month. Lake is filling and up two feet since the low point. Good numbers planted this fall, should be good next year depending on water level.

East Walker River

We are letting it be until the flows get above 50 cfs. They are currently at 23 with limited sections deep enough to hold fish.

Pleasant Valley Reservoir/Gorge

With power generation dropping and the flows stable you will find some excellent fly fishing in the inlet and gorge sections of this area. I enjoy fishing the transition section with a dry/dry or dry/dropper bead head combo as well as the lower gorge and small river section downstream from the generation facility. Tiger midges and Assassin’s are deadly here. you can also get some of the best dry fly action around in the pillow water near the lake. The fish will pod up and sip adult mayflies and chironomids in the foam after the water warms a bit. The reservoir level can fluctuate greatly here on a weekly basis, so if it is too high near the lake head back up and hike into the Gorge for some great wild brown trout fishing. It requires accurate casting in the brush, & an upstream presentation is a must. Another option is tubing the reservoir this time of year. I call it “freeze tubing” but it can be very pleasant at times during the warmer periods. This area is heavily planted and has some nice hold over and wild fish as well. Streamer and still water nymphing techniques are both used effectively here-it fishes just like Crowley. Fish the drop-offs; I prefer the far side to avoid confrontations with bank fishers. The lake can be crowded on weekends and holidays especially near the launch ramp where it is planted. The Gorge will be less trafficked.

Hot Creek

Not much has changed here this fall. The flows are very low and you will find half the normal water that you are accustomed to fishing here weed free, or deep enough to make extended drifts. Fishing is good in the deeper sections with a strong baetis hatch well after lunch. Small midges are also a good choice, especially as the weather continues to cool. Access remains very good as of 11-13-12.

Capt. Tom Loe
Sierra Drifters Guide Service
p: 760-935-4250


FLORIDA: Inshore Fish Are On the Move

November 27th, 2012

The recent winds and cooler days and nights has been chilling the water temps. Inshore fish are on the
move to deeper flats as well as canals and around docks with good water flow. With the tides being lower
than normal with the persistent north winds, redfish should start tailing on flats. Alot of potholes and turtle
grass makes for the ideal bottom to forage for small shrimp crabs and bloodworms. My favorite baits are
the saltwater assassin cocktail shrimp in newpenny or bone diamond with a 16th once mustad peg hook.
Next would be the mirrodean pro series redfish pattern and also the zara jr. topwaters.

With the water temps dropping, bait will start thinning out. Shrimp will become the go to bait for most of the
inshore species. The trout have started to move to the spoil islands up in St. Joseph sound because
of the shelly and rocky bottom. This is one of the first areas where trout congregate. The deeper docks
will be holding redfish, sheaphead and blackdrum. The best docks are one with lots of oysters on the
pilings with good water flow.

Position your boat so that you can fish uptide of the boat slips. When the day warms up the trout and reds will
push there way on to shallower flats to seek that warm water. This is where you will catch your bigger trout.
They will be laid up in the potholes or right on the edges. Make sure you find flats with lots of mullet. The redfish
will be in with the mullet as they stir up the shrimp and other Crustateans.

Fall offers a large variety of different styles of fishing.

Capt. Craig Lahr
skinywatercharters
p: 727-204-9626