WEDNESDAY, MAY 22, 2024   |   SUBSCRIBE    ARCHIVES   
Itching to get out on the water to hook Wisconsin’s state fish? There’s one place in Wisconsin where you can fish for musky year-round: Escanaba Lake. A 293-acre lake with a maintained boat launch, Escanaba is one of five lakes in the Northern Highland Fishery Research Area (NHFRA) near Boulder Junction.
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) invites organizations across Wisconsin to host free fishing events for the public on summer Free Fishing Weekend, June 1-2, 2024.
While the biggest bass of his 25-pound 8-ounce catch on Day One fell to a Rapala® Rocco® crankbait in Green Gizzard, a key element in his attack was the yet-to-be-released Rapala PXR Jowler 127. It’s a 5-inch sashaying surface lure with three #3 VMC RedLine Series™ 1X trebles, the rearmost of which is feathered.
Developed as a trout bait, the sleek Qunai Spoon’s superior performance makes it a champ for Bait Finesse (BF) techniques targeting largemouth, spotted, and smallmouth bass, too. Outsized crappies and perch easily fall victim to this seductive swimmer as well.
The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) invites anyone interested in learning to fish for catfish on the Missouri River using alternative methods -- such as trotlines, jug lines, and limb lines -- to a free two-day clinic on Saturday, June 1, and Sunday, June 2, in the Blue Springs area.
Johnny Morris, legendary angler, noted conservationist and Bass Pro Shops founder, recently announced a personal donation of $200,000 to the nonprofit Fish & Wildlife Foundation of Florida and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), which when added to a $200,000 grant from the Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s Outdoor Fund, makes a total donation of $400,000 for the transformative work to restore Lake George.
The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) invites the public to a family fishing day at McKay Park Lake in Jefferson City June 1 from 4:30-7:30 p.m.
The Ike Foundation® conducted a blind review of all applications and essays and scored submissions based on a pre-defined point system. Each winner will be receiving a $2,200 Ike Foundation® College Scholarship to the college of their choice.
An Oklahoma native with more success than just about anyone on the state’s largest lake, Chris Jones of Bokoshe, Oklahoma, leaned on his Lake Eufaula experience to find the out-of-the-way area that produced all his keepers during the Toyota Series Presented by Phoenix Boats stop on the reservoir.
By committing to an offshore area of Lake Guntersville, Eric Siddiqi claimed his second career Yamaha Rightwaters Bassmaster Kayak Series scored by TourneyX trophy with a two-day total of 189.5 inches, earning $11,500 in the process.
There were 659 reportable boating accidents in 2023 and almost 30% of those accidents were caused by a collision with a fixed object. The primary causes for these accidents were improper lookout and operator inexperience.
EXPLR of Sweden, one of the largest distributors & retailers of paddle sport products in Scandinavia, has been appointed by RAILBLAZA to oversee growth in Finland and Denmark.
Outdoor Sportsman Group has announced promotion of Michael Cassidy to the role of Group Publisher for Hunting and Fishing publications. Cassidy will spearhead operations and strategic efforts across Outdoor Sportsman Group’s (OSG) flagship hunting and fishing titles, including Game & Fish, Petersen’s Hunting, In-Fisherman, North American Whitetail, Fly Fisherman, Gun Dog, Bowhunter, Florida Sportsman, and Wildfowl brands.
The California Fish and Game Commission voted unanimously last week to close in-river salmon sport fishing in the Klamath River Basin and Central Valley rivers for the second consecutive year.
Whitewater’s Lightweight Tech Hoodie delivers anglers a triple dose of technology to keeps anglers dry, protected from solar radiation, and smelling fresh. Our 100% polyester interlock fabric delivers supreme, next-to-skin comfort, while wicking perspiration to keep anglers comfy and dry.
This observance week is the annual kick-off of the Safe Boating Campaign, a global awareness effort that encourages boaters to make the most of their boating adventure by being responsible.
MDC partnered with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to complete the habitat work from November 2022 through April 2024. A total of 751 habitat structures were improved or newly built on Table Rock and 60 habitat structures were refurbished or newly built on Bull Shoals.
Want really big trout? Forget the streams and head to the lakes where the big ones actually thrive.
Vermont’s catch-and-release bass fishing runs until June 8, when the regular bass season opens, and the harvesting of bass is allowed.
Experience the highs and lows of fishing in AFTCO’s latest film, La Pesca Pura Vida. Set in Costa Rica's Los Sueños Resort and Marina, renowned for its prolific bluewater fishing, this film captures the essence of “Pura Vida” — a cultural ethos of embracing life’s ups and downs with gratitude.
Relentless Knives feature a titanium blade that is self-sharpening. It won't rust, stays sharp longer, and does not slip in your hands when covered in blood and fish oils.
Recognizing the importance of safe boating practices, the White House is formally acknowledging National Safe Boating Week through May 24, 2024, issuing a formal proclamation and encouraging all who participate in boating activities to learn more about safe boating practices and take advantage of boating safety education opportunitie
This free, self-paced, online course is perfect for new and experienced anglers who want to learn about best fishing practices, protecting fish habitat and marine fisheries management.
After consultation with the Council, NOAA Fisheries is proposing revisions to the Gulf of Maine cod and haddock recreational measures for fishing year 2024 that would adequately limit Gulf of Maine cod catch in the recreational fishery.
The fisheries are expansive and demanding, and the combination of ultra-clear water and heavy pressure from anglers equipped with ever-improving technology and knowledge can make the largest bass tough customers.
As part of the SEC Softball Tournament last week at Auburn University, eight female Conservation Enforcement Officers (CEOs) from the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (ADCNR) were honored during the tournament and with a shopping trip by Academy Sports + Outdoors at its Auburn location
LDWF is hosting Aquatic Volunteer Instructor Program (Aquatic VIP) workshops across the state. Workshops will be tailored to either formal/informal educators or the general public.
The first-of-its-kind boat decontamination dip tank was installed at Lake Powell in 2021 to aid in the fight against invasive quagga mussels. Since then, the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, Clean Wake LLC and Utah State Parks have installed four additional dip tanks around Utah, including the recent installation of new dip tanks at Willard Bay State Park and the Lake Powell Bullfrog Marina.
The Phoenix, Ariz pro has had a long history of major wins at Lake Havasu, and he added to that list in the shadow of London Bridge. Uribe came to the Riviera Marina as the last angler to weigh-in and dropped 17.93 pounds on the WON Bass scales to claim his victory.
Black bears are naturally cautious animals that typically avoid human contact for their own safety; however, it’s important to be proactive to prevent human-bear conflicts.
Anyone who has met or listened to pro angler Clay Dyer speak will tell you that he is an inspiration. Born May 23, 1978, without any lower limbs, no arm on the left side, and a partial arm on the right, Clay Dyer has never let physical limitation dampen his determination or spirit.
MyOutdoorTV (MOTV) is offering a special Memorial Day promotion. Starting today and running through June 3, 2024, new subscribers can enjoy MOTV’s extensive library of outdoor content for just one dollar a month for three months.
 

Gardner Love shows his pending record snook for Alabama waters. The 7.02 pounder is a rarity anywhere north of Florida, but warmer water is allowing increased migration. (Photo credit Len Love)

By Frank Sargeant
Frankmako1@gmail.com

Snook, generally recognized as a tropic species, are continuing their northward march as mild winters allow their expansion along the Gulf Coast.

Latest proof is a pending new Alabama state record linesider caught by 17-year-old Gardner Love of Elberta, who caught a 7.04-pound snook from Soldier Creek, a brackish water bayou off Perdido Bay, just west of Pensacola but beyond the Fla/Ala line.

Snook monsters like this one are mostly found on Florida's east coast and in the tropics, but in future it's possible much larger ones could be caught well north of their traditional habitat. (Frank Sargeant)

Snook traditionally lived only south of what some called the “Snook Line”, stretching roughly from Daytona Beach to Tarpon Springs, Florida, with a few outliers in the springs around Homosassa and Crystal River. But over the last 20 years, the fish have been steadily expanding north along the Gulf Coast. Love’s record replaces a 5-pound 2 ounce snook caught just last year—and those are the only two snook that have ever been entered for Alabama records because previously the fish just weren’t there in more or less adult sizes.

In general, the migrations appear to have been by mature fish that spread northward until they find suitable overwinter habitat, then spawn there in spring and establish new populations. This has been the process around the Suwannee/Cedar Key/Steinhatchee area, where biologists with the Florida Fish & Wildlife Commission and the University of Florida report there is now a breeding population almost 100 miles north of where they were found previously. 

Snook are a favorite gamefish in Florida, and with warmer winters, they might become established in Alabama and other Gulf Coast states. (Frank Sargeant)

Guides in the area now regularly target snook, and anglers fishing the Suwannee River report the fish sometimes travel more than 50 miles up that legendary river in winter to settle into warm springs and wait out the chilly weather. It’s not to the point where, if you specifically wanted to catch a snook you’d go to this area rather than further south, but it’s a distinct possibility that you might catch a snook along with the abundant reds and sea trout of the area on any given trip.

Scott Bannon, head of Alabama’s Marine Fisheries Division, said that the state may soon consider establishing minimum size and bag limits as well as harvest seasons for snook if they become more common in Alabama waters. The species is tightly regulated in Florida due to its popularity as a food fish as well as a game fish, with many months of closed seasons and very tight slot and bag limits.

Texas anglers are also catching more snook in the southern portions of the Laguna Madre, the vast coastal bay famed for knee-deep water and abundant redfish and trout populations. 

Winter cold snaps have historically been the limiting factor on the northern limit of snook country. Water temperatures below 60 degrees for an extended period are lethal to snook, and the occasional cold snap even in areas like Tampa Bay often results in lots of dead fish. But the abundant springs in the “Big Bend” section of Florida’s Gulf Coast is no doubt a moderating factor—water in the 70’s is available year around in these refuges, and the fish swarm to them as temperatures drop in late November, remaining in brackish or even fresh water until the end of February.

While it’s likely to be a few decades before anglers along the north Gulf Coast, including Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and east Texas, have a real shot at targeting snook, Gardner Love’s catch is a sign that the fish are on their way north.

 
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