- STROLLIN' for BIG GAME by
game from jetties, bay and beach
- Inevitably, the start of summer conjures
images of blue water and big game fish. Unfortunately, for many anglers
these images remain nothing more than daydreams. Most of these unfulfilled
visions belong to non-boating anglers who believe they need 24 feet of
fiberglass and a couple hundred horses to propel them into the big game
playing field. However, the truth is, a pair of good shoes and a decent
amount of stamina is enough to get fishermen in the mix along several areas
of the Gulf Coast. And, summer is the perfect time to go strollin' for
- Some points along the shores of the Gulf, such as Deep South Texas
and the Florida Panhandle, are notorious for seeing blue water species
visit during the summer season. However, the fact is every stretch of sand
surrounding the Gulf of Mexico sees fish over 4 feet long close to shore.
The species may vary, but the bottom line is anyone within reach of a Gulf
Coast beach is capable of tangling with 'the fish of a lifetime.'...
- BIG TROUT by
- Setting a New Standard in Venice
- There was a time not long ago when
anglers on the Gulf Coast rarely mentioned the numbers offish they caught.
The waters in south Louisiana in the 1960s and '70s literally teemed with
speckled trout and the measuring stick for those days was not the numbers
of fish one caught, but rather the number of ice chests one filled.
A "take no prisoners" attitude prevailed and the word conservation
had not yet made it into our collective vocabulary. Even the concept
of conservation was an abstract notion, held perhaps by environmentalists
and radical liberals.
But change surfaced in the early 1980s when studies indicated our Gulf
fishery was indeed a mortal entity. Stocks were diminishing and we began
to realize it was time to change our angling habits and practices. New size
and creel limits were imposed on the commercial and recreational industries
and a handful of high profile anglers founded a new sport. They began to
exclusively target trophy trout...
PUMPED ON POMPANO by Capt. Fred Everson
- How to locate and catch pompano on purpose
- I can still recall my first hook up with pompano. I was casting a small
jig trying to catch some ladyfish in front of the power plant on Tampa
Bay to use as bait for the tarpon that were rolling around the boat. Something
struck the jig and took off on a strong run. My first thought was big jack
crevalle, but there was something different about it. The fish didn't circle
the boat like a jack, and when I finally reeled it in close enough to see
it I was amazed to find a 14 inch pompano on the line. What I initially
thought to be a 10-pound jack was this diminutive little fish. Talk about
an outsized fight from a small fish. A few casts later I caught another
one, and it was the same thing - lots of fight from a little fish.
Pompano and permit are closely related and so difficult to tell apart
that the limit for both species is the same. Currently it's 11 to 20 inches,
measured to the fork of the tail with one fish over 20 inches allowed in
the bag of six. Besides their excellent fighting qualities, pompano and
permit are both highly regarded food fish. So much so that the commercial
take of pompano in Florida is huge, and brings a live weight price that
rivals and often exceeds grouper...
- WICKED WEATHER by
- Tips on how not to become a boating statistic
Lightning, torrential rain and rough seas can turn a pleasurable outing
into a life-threatening ordeal in a heartbeat. Yet unwary boaters are too
often taken by surprise, largely because they don't realize just how fast
a storm can come up or the danger it presents.
According to the most recent Coast Guard accident data, nearly three
percent of all recreational boating accidents are directly related to severe
weather conditions that can quickly overwhelm smaller craft. Some thunderstorms,
for example, create microbursts - intense downdrafts over an area a half-mile
to three miles wide capable of producing wind gusts from 60 mph to more
than 100 mph. Microbursts can capsize a small boat or blow a passenger overboard.
- Gulf Coast Closeup - by Vernon Summerlin
- FLORIDA PANHANDLE'S DUNE LAKES
"There is a tide in the affairs of men,
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in the shallows and in miseries."
So says Shakespeare in Julius Caesar but what does this have to
do with fishing the saltwater lakes along Florida's panhandle?
Plenty! When these dune lakes flood redfish, speckled trout and other
species are washed in and left behind when the waters retreat. Don't miss
the flood or shortly afterwards or you will experience the miseries of being
too late to catch them.
Panhandle anglers keep their eyes open for the storms and high tides
that stock these saltwater lakes, and then seize the day for good fishing.
It is much like a put-and-take situation because their reproduction ranges
from little to zilch.
Most abundant in these lakes are pinfish, croakers and mullet. Redfish,
speckle trout, ladyfish, black drum and whiting are the more sought after
species. Which species get trapped in these lakes depends on the season.
Pompano occasionally become trapped in the spring with ladyfish but the
more common game fish to become landlocked are redfish, flounder and trout...
- This issue in OUR DEPARTMENTS...
- Paddling Out - Oysters
Anyone? - by Jeff Herman
- Rod & Reel'n Offshore - Wire Leaders 102 - by
- Equipment Notebook
a Signal Horn - by David Ayers
- The Bay Naturalist
- Meet the Drummettes (and one super seafood
soup recipe!) - by John Hook
- The Fly Guy -
- by Pete Cooper, Jr.
- Tackle Time
- MirrOlure - 50 Years of Flash - by Colby Sorrells
- Bait Hook
- High Tech/Low Tech
- 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