Catch Spring and Summer Stripers with these Tactics

 

Catch Spring and Summer Stripers with these Tactics

By Craig Lamb

Fishing between seasons is a time of transition, and especially between spring and summer. Game fish species migrate from shallow spawning grounds out into the comfort zone of cooler, deeper water.

Dialing into where those fish might be, can be tricky and especially so for the nomadic striped bass. Stripers like a cooler thermocline where they follow and feed upon schools of baitfish.

Many southern reservoirs offer great opportunities to catch stripers. Best of all, stripers are a landlocked version of their saltwater kin. Without taking a long road trip to the coast, you can land a big catch.

Shane Watson has spent decades on Lake Lanier, the Georgia impoundment located outside Atlanta that is known for it’s incredible striped bass fishery. As spring turns to summer, you can count on these tips from this expert.

For any Southern manmade impoundment with stripers, he suggests beginning the day shallow and working deeper.

“In the early morning the stripers congregate around main lake points, humps and high spots,” says Watson. “Why they do that is to herd baitfish up in the shallow water to feed.”

Watson guides his clients to success by free-lining live blueback herring on a split shot rig. Cast the rig into the shallow water and allow the bait to drift across the strike zone. As a general rule, he suggests keeping baits in the 5- to 10-foot depth range on the points and humps. Reef poles are specific targets when fishing Lake Lanier.

Another option, and a heart pounding choice at that, is to cast topwater lures in the same areas. Top choices for Watson and his guides are the Heddon Zara Spook or Cotton Cordell Redfin. Use a slow, waking to retrieve to mimic the live action of the baitfish.

“Always have a topwater ready for schooling stripers early in the morning,” he suggests. “You never know when or where they will come up to feed.”

Move deeper after the sun gets higher and the topwater and shallow feeding bites subside.

“After the sun gets up the stripers move out into deeper water,” continues Watson.

To reach the fish use a simple down line rig. Make it by tying a live bait hook to the end of a 3- to 6-foot leader. To the opposite end of the leader line tie a barrel swivel. Insert a 1- to 3-ounce egg sinker through the main line and then complete the rig by tying it to the leader. Use live blueback herring or whatever commercially available live bait is best suited for your area.

Watson suggests setting up a trolling path between 20 and 30 feet over points and humps in 30 to 60 feet of water. Use your depth finder to find schools of baitfish and stripers for best success.

As the weather continues to moderate and water temperatures warm the stripers move into creek channel mouths intersecting the main river channel.

The reason is most manmade reservoirs in the South are used for hydroelectric power generation. The resulting current stimulates baitfish and game fish activity. So checking power generation schedules is a wise idea when fishing for summertime stripers.

Watson operates Shane Watson Guide Service (phone: 770-235-9829, lakelanierstripers.com). His fleet of Carolina Skiff and Sea Chaser boats operates with six full-time guides averaging 300 days of fishing on Lake Lanier and elsewhere around Atlanta. Watson is also an inductee of the National Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Fame.

For decades, Watson has fished from Sea Chaser and Carolina Skiff, having owned up to 20 of the boats over the years.

“Carolina Skiff builds a quality boat with all the features an angler needs,” he says. “They are great people, have a fine dealer network and will help you find an affordable boat with the most value.”

Watson’s personal boat is the Sea Chaser 26 LX. At 25’ and 11” in length the boat has an extremely wide beam of 103”. That offers plenty of deck space for guide clients to move around the deck while trolling lines are out, or for casting to surface-feeding fish. His fleet also includes a full line of Carolina Skiff models, including the roomy 238 DLV, at 22’ 8” and the 218 DLV, at 22’ 10”.

See the full line of Carolina Skiff and Sea Chaser boats at carolinaskiff.com. With 60 different options and models, you can use the Build A Boat feature. On the website, you can find a dealer, request a catalog and more. Check out the loyal following of Carolina Skiff fans and owners on Facebook.

Original Source:  Sportsmans Lifestyle.com 

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Come See Tidewater Boats at Miami’s Favorite Boat Show

 

Come See Tidewater Boats at Miami’s Favorite Boat Show

By Craig Lamb

Water and boats go together, but you don’t always find both at a boat show. You can now find those and more at the 2017 Progressive Insurance Miami International Boat Show.

This year’s event, conveniently scheduled during President’s Day weekend, is Feb. 16-20. The show has a new home at the Miami Marine Stadium Park & Basin on Biscayne Bay. The location on Virginia Key is easy to get to by land and water.

Shake the winter blues and head to Miami to get your boating season kicked off early. You can do that by visiting Booth B147—B Tent, where Tidewater Boats will display the latest models. Dealer reps and factory experts will be on hand to meet, greet and help visitors turn their dream into reality of enjoying an ultimate day on the bay and elsewhere. 

Visit the booth and find front and center the new Tidewater 320CC, the premier model in the lineup. The 320CC center console boat is designed for smoothing out pounding waves on long offshore runs. With a length of 32 feet and a beam spanning 10’ 4” the boat can handle big water and is loaded from bow to stern with features for the serious blue water angler.

Luxury and functionality are unique in a center console fishing boat, and you get both with the Tidewater 220 LXF. A boat designed for fishing with ultra comfort features for cruising and family outings.

Find luxury from stem to stern in this boat with a centerline of 22′ 2″ and a ultra-wide beam of 8′ 10.” With a transom height of 25″ and 18-degree deadrise the 220 LXF is built for performance with a smooth, dry ride. The 220 are part of the LXF line. Read more about the models here.

Tidewater Boats engineers succeeded in a designing a boat with comfortable, spacious family seating, abundant storage and all the features serious anglers seek in an offshore center console rig. Best of all, the design is family friendly when it comes time to welcome aboard passengers for a cruise. 

You can also check out the 280 CC Adventure, 230 CC Adventure, 210 CC Adventure, 2500 Carolina Bay and the 252 LXF.

Tidewater Boats are designed with distinctive Carolina Flair, the most in class, that provides a softer transition between chop and big waves. That sets up the dry ride, to direct waves away from the hull using reverse chines. Tidewater likes to appropriately call that feature the Dry Chine Ride.

The smooth ride comes from the wave-shock absorbency of the Corrugated Grid Stringer Vertebra. Filled with foam to reduce noise and vibration, the stringer system works like a human skeleton to create a rigid, unified construction that tightly secures all of the internal parts. Those include fuel tanks, consoles, seating and storage compartments that are fastened to the stringer system. To ensure a solid, tight fit every stringer system is customized for each Tidewater model.

Another defining Tidewater feature is the Spray Relief Point. That is the point of impact on the hull deflecting water away from the boat. Multiple SRP areas enhance the characteristic dry ride of the Tidewater.

Read more about all the performance details and features here.

By taking extra steps not found in most brands, Tidewater has the confidence in providing owners a 10-year, transferable warranty that covers the hull.

There will be plenty of boats to see and much to do. More than 1,300 boats on land and docked within 550-plus slips, including a deep-water basin for yachts, will greet visitors. There’s a closed and open-air tented exhibit space for marine accessories, electronics, engines and apparel.

The show address is 3501 Rickenbacker Causeway in Miami. Water taxis, shuttle buses and adequate parking for vehicles and boats will be available.

Tidewater stays close to it’s saltwater roots with the manufacturing facility located in Lexington, S.C. Find out more about the complete lineup of models, view the brand catalog, and find a Tidewater dealer at tidewaterboats.com. Visit the growing community of Tidewater owners on Facebook at Tidewater Boats LLC.

Original Source:  Sportsmans Lifestyle.com

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