As we enter a new year it’s time to look back at the top five stories of 2015 on the Atlanta Saltwater Fishing Examiner page. How do we pick those? We don’t those are chosen by the readers. The top five are the articles posted in the last 12 months that had the largest number of views.
The top picks spanned the region from the coast of Alabama to south Florida. Both gear and destinations proved popular in 2015, with three of the picks dealing with the “toys” that all anglers are so fond of adding to their arsenal of angling gear.
Enjoy reliving these adventures from 2015 and check back often as we bring you more saltwater fishing options from around the region and review the tools you need to enjoy those ventures in the coming year.
No. 1 Overlooked angling on Little Lagoon: Gulf Shores, Alabama
September 6, 2016
Situated on Alabama’s Gulf Coast, the city of Gulf Shores is a very popular vacation destination. Many of the visitors take advantage of trips to the area to also test the region’s saltwater fishing. That usually means fishing offshore for red snapper, hitting the waters of Perdido Pass and around Ono Island at Orange Beach, or accessing the Gulf State Park fishing pier.
Another option that is much less publicized is the angling available in Little Lagoon, just west of Gulf Shores. The lagoon is 10 miles long and 1/2 mile wide, separated from the Gulf of Mexico by a spit of land that also is 1/2 mile wide.
The inland waters are connected to the Gulf by Little Lagoon Pass that runs under West Beach Boulevard. A parking area and beach on the pass offer access for fishing at the inlet. It also is possible to wade the firm sand flats that extend around the edge of portions of the lagoon.
Rebuilding of the Lee Callaway Bridge and widening of the pass in 2014 now allows more saltwater flow from the Gulf. That new injection of brine has made the fishing even better in the lagoon.
No. 2 Tying a strong and versatile loop knot
May 10, 2015
Regardless of whether you are fishing with spinning gear or fly casting equipment, having your lure course through the water naturally can improve the chances of getting a strike.
Many anglers simple use the all-purpose improved clinch knot to attach their baits. While strong and adequate, in some instances this knot can detract from the action imparted to the lure or fly during the retrieve.
Kent Edmonds of Fly Fish GA Guide Service prefers to use a non-slip loop knot, particularly for streamers or spinning lures. It is a fairly easy and quick knot that allows the bait to act naturally in the water.
First put a single granny loop a couple of inches up from the end of the line. Then thread the end of the line through the hook eye.
Next run the tip of the line through the granny loop. The tip is then run around the main line several times, and finally brought back through the granny loop again. Pull the line taunt, clip off the tag end and you should have a good loop knot.
No. 3 Boca Grande’s off-season fishing: Boca Grande, Florida
January 2, 2015
Boca Grande Pass near Charlotte Harbor, Florida is famous for its world-class tarpon fishing in the spring months. But that is not the only game in town. Even in the winter months this area offers some great angling adventures.
That is particularly true for back-country fishing targeting redfish and seatrout with light tackle or fly-casting gear. The waters of Bull and Turtle Bays, along with Gasparilla Sound, lie to the inland side of Gasparilla Island, separated from the Gulf of Mexico by that land mass.
These areas provide large expanses of sand flats covered with seagrass and broken up by abundant mangrove islands. It is ideal habitat for the reds and trout, but also holds a variety of other species. Mangrove snapper, ladyfish and sheepshead abound.
Capt. Les Hill is a full-time fishing guide who knows these waters well. He has been guiding since 1990 in the area, specializing in fly- and light-tackle fishing. His expertise can make your trip into the maze of islands and flats easier and more productive.
Capt. Hill generally poles his flats boat along the shallows for the stealthiest approach to tailing reds. Or he will use the same technique when targeting white sand holes in the grass flats. Those holes often have the seatrout lying in ambush around their edges.
No. 4 Winning saltwater gear at ICAST 2015: Orlando, Florida
July 16, 2015
The International Convention of Allied Sportfishing Trades and the International Fly Tackle Dealer 2015 joint trade show is taking place this week in Orlando, Florida. Better known simply as ICAST, the event annually offers a look at what’s hot and what’s coming soon in the way of fishing tackle.
The main sponsors of the show are the American Sportfishing Association and the American Fly Fishing Trade Association. Held at the Orange County Convention Center, the show draws dealers from across the nation and manufacturers from around the world.
There is plenty to see in the way of tackle and gear that is of interest to saltwater anglers, especially among the winners of the New Product Showcase that were announced last evening.
New Product Showcase
The New Products Showcase is one facet of the show that provides a peek at the gear coming on line in the next year. Sponsored by Fishing Tackle Retailer Magazine, this year’s showcase had a number of category winners that saltwater aficionados should find interesting.
No. 5 The Hobie Pro Angler 17T
June 14, 2015
Hobie has been in the forefront of innovation during the coming of age of kayaks as fishing vessels. The boats and accessories they have developed have been on the cutting edge of the trend.
For saltwater anglers that has been particularly true, with the sit-on-top models from the company offering great fishing vessels for shallow flats or tidal estuaries.
In particular, the patented Mirage Drive employed in Hobie’s Pro Angler series of kayaks has been a boon in the area of propulsion. The fisherman no longer has to try to tame both paddles and rods at the same time.
The new Pro Angler 17T now has taken a leap ahead in fishing technology. This 17-foot tandem is in many ways a hybrid combining the advantages of a kayak with the space and stability of a fishing boat that can handle two anglers.
THE FULL ARTICLES CAN BE FOUND ON THE ATLANTA SALTWATER FISHING EXAMINER PAGE.