Monthly Archives: January 2014

What Are the Best Lures for Wintertime Snook?

Best Lures For Wintertime Snook

By David A. Brown
from The Fishing Wire

Jason Stock is a Florida fishing guide, not an economist. Nevertheless, he understands the law of supply and demand, so when late fall drives out the remaining parcels of the baitfish schools that were so prevalent during the warm season, he knows that his favorite lures will quickly become a more valued commodity.

For several months, massive schools of scaled sardines (aka “pilchards” or “whitebait”) have provided steady food supplies for snook and all the other inshore predators roaming the beaches, bays and backwaters of west-central Florida.

During summer, gamefish with even basic hunting skills could count on filling their bellies with little difficulty, but as fall’s declining temperatures and shortening days signal the forthcoming cold season, Florida’s snook go on a feeding binge that nearly decimates the forage. Add increasingly frequent cold snaps and before the fish even know it, their tasty buffet has vanished.

But don’t feel bad for the linesiders. These savvy sportfish know how to survive, and adaptability is an essential part of the plan. What does this mean for anglers? It means a notable increase in the snook’s willingness to take artificial baits.

Not that the fish necessarily avoid lures during the warm season; rather, it’s a case of availability. When loads of natural food exists, snook can make a living on an easy food source that requires little discernment. Once that gravy train leaves town, it becomes an eat-what-you-can deal.

“When you have to compete with live bait, it’s hard to get the snook interested in artificials,” Stock said. “But if you can get them fired up on lures (during the colder months) when they’re already looking for something, they’re gonna go for it, especially if it mimics natural forage.”

Here’s a quick look at some of the artificial baits that tempt cold-season snook:

Topwaters: Stock said that one of the best ways to attract a big-time winter snook strike is with a mullet-imitating surface bait. A straightforward walk-the-dog retrieve is usually most effective, but Stock likes to vary the sound of his topwater attack.

“I like the Heddon Spook Jr. and the One Knocker Spook,” Stock said.

Bomber Mullet Lure

Bomber Mullet Lure

The Bomber Mullet is a slow-sinking lure that often fools lethargic winter snook throughout South Florida.

The new Bomber Saltwater Grade Mullet was made for this application and has an advantage over the Spook. The Mullet is a slow-sinking lure that anglers can work slowly under the surface if the fish aren’t willing to take a bait off the top. One time when this sub-surface walk really shines is on those post-cold-front days with blue skies and no wind. The fish are there and looking up, but in a neutral or negative feeding mode. Let the Mullet sashay right in front of its nose, however, and it can’t help but strike.

Jigs: Lead heads in 1/8- to 3/16-ounce size and dressed with curly or paddletail soft plastics are a good winter lure choice for those days when the topwater action isn’t panning out. Stock said that he spends most of his time with paddletails for their natural vibration that helps attract fish in the cold winter water.

Jigs with paddletail or shad-type tail that mimic any remaining pilchards in color are effective, but darker colors that imitate shrimp and crabs are a can’t-miss as well. The key to an effective presentation, Stock said, is to keep it low and slow to mimic a crustacean slowly skittering along the bottom.

“When you’re working that jig, pull the rod back nice and smooth and feel that shad tail vibrate – I call it the ‘flutter technique,'” Stock said. “If the jig’s not fluttering and making contact with the bottom, a lot of times you’re not going to get bit in the winter time. You have to get that puff of sand when the jig hits bottom and let the fish feel the vibration to get an impulse bite.”

Other Options: Subsurface baits will also produce this time of year. In shallow water, floater/divers are great. But when tide’s up, go with a slow sinker or suspending bait like the aforementioned Bomber Saltwater Grade Mullet or Badonk-A-Donk SS.


Catch snook like this one on lures

Catch snook like this one on lures

Snook are one of Florida’s premiere gamefish; they strike hard and fast, run strongly and deliver some spectacular jumps.

Once winter locks the region in its icy grip, snook retreat to the deepest water they can find in coastal rivers, canals and marina/port basins. Here, they’ll pass the coldest season in a lethargic state with minimal movement and even less feeding. Warm days may find some fish rising to shallow edges to sun their backs and chase whatever prey is available.

Until this winter lockdown, however, look for snook to feed around the mouths of coastal creeks and canals and within the protected waters of bays. Potholes amid lush sea grass, mangrove points and oyster bar drop-offs are the likely haunts.

“They can slide in and out with the weather,” Stock said of these transitional areas. “If the water gets colder, they’ll pull back inside.”

Whatever you do during the fall and winter, keep watch for mullet schools, which provide what Stock calls “a buffer for fish.” Snook know that running alongside and within mullet schools provide shelter from dolphins and ospreys while affording them feeding opportunities, as their vegetarian hosts kick up loads of crustaceans.

Savvy snook know to pick off these mullet-jostled freebies. Savvy anglers know that making their topwaters, jigs and swimbaits resemble these freebies yields a bent rod.

Florida’s snook season remains closed through the end of January on the Atlantic Coast and through the end of February on the Gulf Coast, but it’s legal to catch and release this great gamefish throughout the closed season.

How To Catch Big Bass On the Bottom In the Winter

Big Bass On The Bottom In Winter

When the air is hand-numbing cold outside it is easy to stay home and be warm and comfortable. You just know the bass are as miserable as you would be if you went fishing. After all, they can’t come inside and warm up like you can. They stay cold all the time so there is no way you can catch them.

Such thinking is misleading. Bass are cold blooded and do not get uncomfortable because of cold water. Their bodies respond to it by slowing down. They become very inactive and don’t eat very often. They usually won’t chase anything very far. But, they can be caught.

The good news is they do eat, and the bigger bass seem to feed more than smaller ones. When you are miserable because it is so cold can be a good time to hook the biggest bass of the year. You just have to adapt your fishing methods to the way the bass are reacting to the cold water.

In the cold water of winter bass hold in deep water. With one big exception they seem to like cover like rocks, stumps and brush. They don’t migrate to shallow feeding areas very often, if at all. Bass may not move for days at a time. They eat very little since their bodies don’t require much food because they are so inactive.

To catch bass you first have to find them. Deep structure with cover is where you should search. Find humps, long points that drop off into the channel, channel edges and other deep contour breaks that all attract winter bass. Add a rock pile, stump or brush to the deep structure and you sweeten it.

The one exception to holding in cover is the attraction of a smooth, slick hard bottom. Hard sand or clay on a hump or point will attract bass and they will hug the bottom in such places. Sometimes you will land a bass with mud on its belly fins, a sure sign they are holding in contact with the bottom.

A good depthfinder is essential to finding winter bass in deep water. Bass will usually bunch up on a small spot on the deep structure and, since they won’t move far to hit your bait, you must hit the place they are holding. Riding deep humps, points and drops while watching for anything on the bottom will give you a good place to start.

Sometimes you will actually see the bass holding just off the bottom on hard areas with no cover, but usually you are watching for brush, stumps and rocks where the bass are holding. In either case you need a marker buoy to drop near, but not right on top of, the cover or fish you spot.

Also watch for balls of baitfish over the structure. Bass will hold in areas where baitfish are plentiful since they do need some meals during the winter, and baitfish like shad often die in the cold water and fall to the bottom, offering bass an easy meal as they flutter down. So spotting baitfish over the structure you fish is definitely a plus.

There are two basic methods to fishing for deep bass in cold water. You either jig for them or slide for them. Jigging means hopping a bait up and down, preferably in one place, to attract a bite. Sliding means crawling your bait along the bottom, keeping in contact with it and moving very slowly.

Jigging is best when you are fishing a tight school of bass or small patches of cover. Sliding works best when you think the bass are holding right on the bottom on scattered cover like stumps or on a slick, hard bottom. Some baits work best for one method or the other but several can be fished in either way.

A jigging spoon is the classic way to catch bass in the winter and they work well, but you can also jig a tail spinner lure like a Little George or a lead head jig. Jigs can be either hair like bucktails or plastic bodies. With jigging, you want to present a bait right in front of a bass over and over. Make it look like a dying baitfish falling to the bottom and struggling to swim back up and it looks like a meal too easy to pass up.

Baits that work well sliding on the bottom to cover more area include a jig and pig, horse head jigs with as small spinner like the Fishhead Spin and plastic worms. A Carolina or Texas rigged plastic worm crawled along the bottom works in cold water but a shaky head jig is often better in very cold water since it has better action when sitting in one spot and not moving.

You can slide a tail spinner lure along the bottom but you will get hung a lot due to the dangling hooks, so you would be better sliding a Fish Head Spin with its upturned hook. You can jig a Texas rigged worm up and down but it won’t have the same appeal as a spoon fluttering up and down. But try different methods and you may find one that works best for you that is not the norm.

Your depthfinder has revealed a group of bass holding on a deep ledge. Since they are tightly bunched it is the prefect place to jig for bass. Drop a marker buoy a few feet away from the fish so it doesn’t spook them and doesn’t get in the way while jigging, and ease your boat right on top of the fish.

When jigging, it is important to get directly over winter bass since they won’t move far. Many times the guy in front of a bass boat will catch fish after fish while the guy in the back, using the exact same lure, never gets a bite. That is why it is important to stay right on top of the fish. A depthfinder with its transducer mounted on the trolling motor helps you fine tune your position relative to the marker buoy and keep you in the right spot.

Drop your bait down till it hits bottom. Take up the slack in your line until your rod tip is near the water with the line tight and the lure on the bottom. Pop your rod tip up then let the lure fall back on a tight line. When it hits bottom, repeat the process.

It is extremely important to keep your line tight as the bait falls since that is when almost all your hits will happen. With slack line a bass will suck in a bait and spit it out before you feel it hit. Watch your line for any ticks or unusual movements as it falls, and set the hook. Also set the hook if the lure does not go down as far as it should. That often means a bass holding just off the bottom has sucked in your bait.

Try different speeds of your jig, from a fast pop to a slow pumping rise and fall. Also jig it up different heights off the bottom. Sometimes bass want a bait going up a foot or so, other times you need to raise it several feet off the bottom. Experiment and let the fish tell you what they want that day.

With a jigging spoon or bucktail you won’t feel much as you raise it up and down. A tail spinner will vibrate as it goes up and down. Each has its own feel and you will get tuned in to what it is doing as you fish it.

A couple of things will make your jigging more effective and easier. On a spoon, use a split ring to attach your line. This allows it to swing freely and move better. And put a swivel on your line about 18 inches above the spoon. Spoons twist line badly as they fall and a quality ball bearing swivel will cut out most of the problems. Attaching it on a leader above the spoon keeps it away from the bait but still cuts out most line twists.

The end of a long point has revealed scattered stumps near where it drops into the creek channel. Although no fish are visible on the bottom, balls of baitfish are suspended over the point. This is a good spot to slide a bait along the bottom and bump the stumps. Throw out a marker at the shallow end of the area you want to cover then back off. Start your casts near the marker and make each casts after it a little deeper.

Slide your bait along the bottom. Use a heavy enough bait to stay in contact with the bottom, going heavier if wind or current is affecting your bait. Deeper water calls for heavier baits, too. Slide it along until you bump a stump then pause it, giving a bass holding there time to hit in the cold water. Keep moving your bait along until you cover the whole area from your marker to the drop, then move to another spot.

If your bait feels mushy as you move it along, set the hook. Watch your line for any unusual movement but bass in cold water often suck in a bait and stay in one place and you never see your line move. If you feel anything different, set the hook.

Water clarity is more important when jigging than when sliding. Clearer water seems to always produce more hits when jigging a bait up and down. In stained water a bait that makes more vibration, like a Little George, would be better than a quiet jigging spoon or bucktail. Sliding a bait along the bottom makes vibrations the bass can feel and help them hone in on it as it approaches them.

For jigging a baitcasting reel works best since you can control your line easier, letting more out slowly as the depth changes. A rod with a light tip but strong backbone allows you to feel your bait going up and down but gives you a good hookset when a bass hits.

A short 5.5 foot rod gives more control over the jigging action but a longer rod will allow you to move the bait up and down more, and also gives you more leverage when setting the hook. Try different lengths rod until you find what works best for you.

For sliding a bait along the bottom a longer rod is better and you can use either spinning or baitcasting. You need enough backbone to set the hook with a lot of line out but a light tip gives you better feel for hits or bumping cover.

Fluorocarbon line is a good choice for either kind of fishing. It does not stretch as much as monofilament so the hook set is more positive, and it gives you good feel for strikes. That also helps know what your bait is hitting on the bottom when sliding it along. The invisibility of fluorocarbon line helps in clear water, too. You can go with heavier line without spooking the fish.

The bass are out there and they are not uncomfortable. They will hit if you adapt your fishing to the way they respond to cold water. Dress warmly, get out there on the water and you can catch bass, even in miserably cold weather.

Put a little spin and flash in your cold weather baits. For jigging, a tail spinner like the Mann’s Little George gives flash and vibration as you pump it up and down. The blade slows the fall, too, making it more attractive to lethargic bass.

For sliding a lure along the bottom, a horse head jig like the Fish Head Spin, has a small under slung spinner that gives a little flash and some vibration. As you slide this bait along the bottom the spinner adds to its appeal, attracting bass that ignore as lead head jig without the spinner.

Louisiana Delta Fishing

Delta Delights in Louisiana
from The Fishing Wire

Pack up your tackle and hook up the trailer for a world-class fishing vacation

Fish from the delta

Fish from the delta

While most tourists consider a visit to New Orleans the highlight of any trip to Louisiana, if fishing is your passion aim your sights a little further south to the famed Mississippi Delta and the town of Venice. The quality and variety of the fishing opportunities available from Venice are quite simply unsurpassed by any place in the United States, or many of the heralded fishing destinations around the world.

The little town is the southernmost outpost in the state, but from a base at Venice Marina you will have access to a variety of passes leading into the open waters of the Gulf of Mexico, where the variety and abundance of gamefish is truly mind-boggling. Bull redfish, red snapper, grouper, kingfish, blackfin and yellowfin tuna, wahoo and marlin, to name a few, are available seasonally and some are in residence year round.

If you’d rather fish inshore or on more sheltered waters, you can explore the endless miles of channels, bays and bayous where you can sight cast to redfish, catch a limit of beautiful sea trout, stalk massive tarpon and encounter drum, flounder and even largemouth bass. The fishing for redfish and tuna out of Venice is so incredible, the marina has earned two enviable nicknames: “Tunatown, U.S.A.” and the “Redfish Capital of the World.” Bottom line-it doesn’t matter if you trailer a boat that is offshore capable, a simple aluminum skiff or pretty much anything in between-the Delta has you covered, and so do Mike and Bill Butler, your hosts at Venice Marina.

Venice Marina was already a well-known fishing destination when the Butler brothers purchased it about 12 years ago and began making renovations to the tired facility. A few years later, it was flooded by Hurricane Katrina’s massive tidal surge, but Bill and Mike, both natives of the Delta, were not going to let a hurricane smash their dreams. They rolled up their sleeves and set to work undertaking a massive cleanup and rebuilding project.

The result is a totally new facility from the ground up that offers visiting anglers pretty much everything they need to enjoy the amazing fishing the surrounding waters have to offer. The new complex includes 120 slips; parking for trucks and boat trailers; two concrete launch ramps; fuel, ice, bait, a huge fish cleaning facility, fish cleaning, packing and shipping service; a marine supply and tackle store; Crawgator’s Bar and Grill; and multi-room cabins that can house a group of fishermen or your family available for rent.

The marina is also home to dozens of the finest professional guides and charter boat operations on the Gulf, and there is even a condominium complex for fishermen who wanted to own a summer place close to the action. This coming June, the marina will have camper pads and hookups available for sportsmen who like to travel in more self-sustained luxury.

“Down here it’s all about the fishing,” said Bill Butler. And he should know. In addition to being the operations manager of the facility, he also competes on the SKA® Professional Kingfish Tour. His tournament boat is a Yamaha-powered 42-foot Invincible center console, which also happens to be an ideal boat for fishing the nearby Gulf waters. On a recent fishing trip with Bill, yellowfin tuna were the target but each day on the way back to the marina the crew took advantage of the open season for red snapper, catching limits of these tasty and abundant fish in a matter of minutes.

The fishing in this area of the Delta truly knows no season. There are gamefish to be found year round. Yellowfin tuna are abundant twelve months out of the year; the hotspots just change along with the prevailing size of the fish being caught. During spring, summer and fall the best tuna action takes place around the many oil production platforms, with live bait and surface lures the prevalent technique. The tuna will range from 20-pound blackfin to yellowfin breaking the 100-pound mark. Summertime is also your best bet for billfish, including blue marlin and sailfish. It’s also a great time of year for incredible dolphin fishing. In the fall, even bigger yellowfin invade the area with many exceeding 200 pounds, and most years they can be caught all winter long. At that time, chunking with dead bait becomes a primary tactic. The tuna fishing is so good that Sportfishing Magazine® ranked Venice in the top five places in the world to fish for these great gamefish.

Catch fish like these from the Louisiana Delta

Catch fish like these from the Louisiana Delta

Fall also sees an influx of big wahoo that can be caught along the many rip lines that develop offshore. Depending on weather, wahoo might be around though the winter, but prime time for big bruisers is during March and April. The region also plays host to abundant schools of king mackerel that consistently include the largest found anywhere in the fish’s range. And if that’s not enough, try deep dropping for a variety of species of grouper.

Speckled trout and redfish abound in the weather-protected backcountry waters pretty much year round, and the area is also home to massive tarpon that gather here to feed on the abundant baitfish that swarm in and out of the vast, nutrient-rich marshlands that make up the Delta. When you need a break from the fishing, the entire region is a naturalist’s playground. Flocks of exotic birds including roseate spoonbills can be found foraging through the marshes and during fall and winter the waters are filled with ducks on the southern leg of their migratory path. There are endless miles of scenic beauty to explore.

Venice is truly a sportsman’s paradise and an ideal place to spend an incredible fishing vacation. Venice Marina,, with hosts Bill and Mike Butler, is at the epicenter of the action. Bring your own boat or take advantage of the fleet of charter boats and backcountry guides that call Venice home.

How To Fish Suddeth Crankbaits In Cold Water

Bass fishermen dream of caching fish, but many also have the fantasy of working in the fishing industry, spending all their time fishing and thinking about it. Few make that dream come true but Joey Baskins did, developing and making lures for bass fishing.

Joey worked in a plant but loved fishing. He fished bass tournaments and made contact with many sporting goods stores, and saw a need for good, reliable baits that caught bass.

He developed Blademaster Lures then acquired Suddeth Crankbaits, and now spends his time coming up with new lures and colors and testing them out. He has been fishing for over 30 years and is fishing the some of the BFLs and Fishers of Men tournament trails.

The Blademaster side of the company produces spinnerbaits, buzzbaits, all kinds of jigs and jigs with belly blades. Suddeth Crankbaits were developed in South Carolina back in the early 1980s and Joey bought the company from the brothers that started it about ten years ago.

A few years ago there were problems with Suddeth Crankbaits. Joey had some health problems, took about a year and a half off from working with the crankbaits, and the crankbaits produced during that time often did not run right. Those problems have been corrected now. Each and every crankbait he produces is now hand tuned in a tank at the plant before they go out the door.

Joey has also invested many thousands of dollars in new molds to insure each bait is exactly right. The new molds mean better quality and uniformity of the baits. A thicker, sturdier wire is used in them to keep them from becoming “untuned” when they bounce off cover, too.

“I try to make the baits fishermen want, and will make any color bait a customer wants to order,” Joey said. All of the baits produced by Suddeth and Blademaster are hand made and painted. He has also teamed up with John Kissel of Kissel Krafts Custom Rods to develop the perfect crankbait rod, called the Little Early Rod.

Crankbaits in the Suddeth series include the well known Little Earl and Boss Hog. The Fat Earl is made to bounce off cover better and the new Pot Bellied Hog is coming out soon. It is a square billed bait that runs shallow and has a profile that should drive bass wild. He is also coming out with the Big Boss Hog, a bigger version of the Little Boss Hog.

All Suddeth crankbaits currently come with sharp hooks but the hook design Joey likes best is being discontinued so he is looking at different companies for future hooks. No matter which company he goes with he will make sure the hooks are sharp right out of the box and hold bass that hit.

Suddeth baits currently come in 67 different colors and color combinations. One of the best for February fishing in stained water is the 049 color. This bait has a brown back and chartreuse sides and produced most of the bass we caught a couple of weeks ago.

The most popular color of Suddeth Crankbaits is the GGG “dollar bill” color, or green/gold/glitter bait. The 026 color is very good in clear to stained water and looks like a baitfish. Both the 049 and 026 are good colors to have with you on any lake you fish this time of year.

Joey took me fishing in mid-January with one of his pro staff, Ken Cothran, who fishes the Bulldog BFL, Stren series and FLW Tour and FLW Series tournaments, the last two on the co-angler side. He also fishes many local team, pot and charity tournaments. They showed me where and how to fish crankbaits in February on Jackson Lake, a small lake in middle Georgia known for good crankbait fishing in the winter.

“Where you fish a crankbait in February is important,” Joey said. Points are always a key, with main lake points with deep water nearby usually producing the best bites this time of year. Rocks and hard clay are needed to draw bass to the point to feed, and some brush or stumps definitely help.

Main lake points are usually best in early February but as the days warm later in the month the bass will move back into the creeks and coves. Start out on the main lake but don’t hesitate to work back into the creeks, hitting points in them near deep water.

Sunny days draw bass up on the points in more shallow water and a little wind helps make them bite better. Some current running across the cover on the point definitely makes the bass more active. Bass will move in on these points and feed, so Joey and Ken keep moving, looking for active fish. If they catch one they will stick around for a while but will definitely come back since fish move in and out where they are feeding.

Crank the bait down with seven or eight turns of the reel handle then slow down the retrieve, working the bait very slowly across the point and through the cover. Suddeth baits are tuned to have good action at a very slow speed, which makes them ideal in cold water.

Ken says water colder than 40 degrees makes the bite extremely tough but water 45 to 50 degrees, which is more typical in February, means decent fishing. A few warm days in a row, making the water temperature increase, turns the fish on and we often have series of warm days this month like that. When the water temperature goes over 50 degrees the bite gets much better.

Keep your boat in fairly close to the point and work around it casting at an angle, fishing from the bank out. Angle casts like that keep your bait in the feeding zone and does not waste time. Bass usually feed from very shallow out to about ten feet deep on these points and that is the depth you want to cover.

We have all had it happen. The guy with us, using the same bait, line and even rod and reel, will catch more bass than us. The way you work the crankbait can make a huge difference. Joey and Ken both say try different things until the fish tell you want they want.

Try a steady, very slow retrieve first. Always try to bump the bottom with your crankbait. Most crankbait strikes are reaction strikes and bumping cover will make them hit. When you are reeling slowly the bait will turn on its side then move off, much like an injured baitfish, just what the bass want.

Also try a stop and go retrieve. Crank your bait down to the bottom then work it with your rod tip and reel, making it pause and then move forward. Again, it looks like and easy meal when moving erratically like this.

Suddeth makes both floating and sinking models of their crankbaits. With the floating models when you pause the bait will sit in one place, and then slowly rise. Try pausing floating baits for varying amounts of time, going from a pause where the bait just hesitates in one place, to one where the bait floats up several inches to a foot.

The slow rise of a bait will sometimes make a reluctant bass hit it. If you don’t get the reaction strike this pause and rise can make the difference. When a bass is not feeding actively they still can’t turn down such an easy meal.

With the sinking baits, do the same thing. The very slow fall of the Little Earl sinking model makes it look easy to eat, and the baits will settle to the bottom upright, looking like a baitfish that is trying to hide from the bass by not moving.

Wood cover definitely holds bass this time of year on the points and the square bill Pot Bellied Hog is made to bounce off shallow wood. It will run about three feet deep and is perfect for those sunny warm days at the end of a warming trend when the bass hold very shallow to take advantage of the warmer surface water.

Run it over any wood you see or know is there and the bait bill will hit it and make it deflect off it without getting hung like a round bill will do. Try the stop and go and the steady retrieve even when fishing this shallow, offering the bass different views of the bait.

Try to hit the wood. This seems like a bad idea when throwing a crankbait but the deflection off wood is often what is needed to get a bite. You may get hung up some, but you will get hung up on a bass more often if you bump your crankbait through the wood cover. The floating models of both baits work much better than the sinking models around wood cover.

With deeper wood try the Fat Earl. The shape of the lure will help it stay off the wood when you hit it, doing the same kind of action as the square bill in more shallow water. Bump the wood and pause it, or bump the wood and keep it moving, for different actions. But try both and let the bass tell you which they like best.

The line, rod and reel can make a big difference in crankbait fishing. A rod designed for crankbait fishing like the Kissle Little Earl rod has a parabolic action that makes for better casting and helps keep bass from pulling off when hooked. Reels are a personal choice but should have a good drag system and allow you to reel the lure at different speeds.

Joey and Ken like monofilament line like Trilene Big Game in ten pound test. Monofilament line has some stretch and is less likely to allow the bass to pull off the hook. Ten pound line is heavy enough to get bass away from cover but thin enough to let the bait work at the depth it is designed to run.

Most of the Suddeth crankbaits come with a rattle but some don’t, and Joey says he thinks bass in cold water often want a silent bait. If you are throwing a rattling model and not getting bites, try the ones without a rattle. This often happens in water that is clear. A rattle almost always helps in muddy water.

Crankbaits are great baits to fish right now, no matter where you fish. Give Suddeth baits a try and see if they produce for you like they do for Joey and his pro staff. You will be happy with the new, improved versions of the older models and the new baits coming out right now will offer you the ability to fish even more ways.

Joey has just come out with a new website at The old site is at and you can check out more information on their facebook page at

Many sporting goods stores carry Blademaster Lures and Suddeth baits and you can order directly from the site, as well as contact Joey about any custom colors you want him to paint a bait for you on the site.

Aaron Martens Is Ready for the Bassmasters Classic

Aaron Martens Heads Into Bassmaster Classic At Top Of His Game

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Four times a Bassmaster Classic bridesmaid means only that the odds are with Aaron Martens to finally be the bride.

Bass pro Aaron Martens

Bass pro Aaron Martens

That’s how Martens regards his legendary four near misses to be the world champion. It’s a positive spin on what could be heavy baggage heading into the Feb. 21-23 GEICO Bassmaster Classic on Lake Guntersville and in Birmingham, Ala., Martens’ home base.

“I feel very fortunate to have come that close four times. It makes me feel like I can win. You’re that close in a short period of time; the odds are with you; it’s going to happen,” said Martens, who is looking for his first Classic crown.

Martens has more than the odds going for him this time around. He has momentum after wrapping up his 2013 Bassmaster Elite Series season by adding another Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year title to his first AOY title from 2005.

He has a solid track record in Classic competitions. He’s competed in 14 Classics since 1999, missing only in 2003 after an uncharacteristic off year. In nine of the 14, he scored a Top 12 finish. In only three of those 14 did he fail to advance to the third-day finals.

In his Bassmaster career, he’s won six times (and placed second a dozen times). One of those wins was in the Bassmaster Elite Series on Lake Guntersville in May 2009.

And now the world championship is coming to a lake he’s not only won on, but competed on eight times since 2002. Not to mention that the Classic is where he lives. His home in Leeds, Ala. — just east of Birmingham — is 78 miles from Lake Guntersville.

Martens has been doing his Classic homework. One priority has been keeping himself in top physical condition.

“I’ve been training so I can try to spank everybody. If I can get into phenomenally good shape, maybe it will help that much,” he said.

Martens is a runner — a marathoner. For him a 10-mile run is a warm-up. Unless he’s laid up in bed sick, he’s out running every day.

In the same dedicated way, he cares for his tackle, boat, clothing and any other gear and tools he relies on.

“I work on it all the time. I put in eight hours a day in the offseason, sometimes more,” he said. “I’m getting ready for the Classic and for the whole season. I start over every year and go through everything to make sure it’s perfect.”

Martens’ Classic homework also included about six days on Lake Guntersville over a two-week period. Other commitments kept his Classic pre-fishing time relatively short for someone who lives nearby. But he said six days was enough to bring him up-to-date on the big fishery and enough time to know there are many things about Guntersville he doesn’t know.

Overall, he liked what he saw.

“The lake’s healthy and the grass was tremendous, even in December,” he said. “With the grass as thick as it is, the bass are averaging pretty good size. For all the fishing pressure Guntersville gets, the fishing still holds up. That’s what’s so amazing about Guntersville.

“And I like Guntersville’s layout — long, with a lot of creeks on it, and good main-river stuff.”

He compared the lake now to how it was in 2009, when he won the Elite event.

“In ’09, you could catch 20 or 30 5-pounders a day. I don’t see that now,” he said. “But you can catch four or five of the big ones a day.”

He said his Guntersville goal is to bring in at least 25 pounds a day.

“I don’t know if I’ll do it, but if I can, my chances (of winning) are good,” he said.

If conditions are perfect, he said, he expects to see some 30-pound bags.

“I’m pretty sure the record will fall,” he said, referring to the Classic weight record for five fish over three days set at 69 pounds, 10 ounces in 2011 by Kevin VanDam on the Louisiana Delta.

Martens, of course, hopes to be the one who busts the record — to be the bride this time.

“Once fishing starts, it’s all business for me. I might give someone a smile, but I’m going to be serious the entire time. You have to keep your focus sharp on the task ahead of you.”

2014 Bassmaster Classic Title Sponsor: GEICO

2014 Bassmaster Classic Official Sponsors: Toyota, Bass Pro Shops, Berkley, Evan Williams Bourbon, Humminbird, Mercury, Minn Kota, Nitro Boats, Skeeter Boats, Triton Boats, Yamaha

2014 Bassmaster Classic Outdoors Expo Presenting Sponsor: Dick’s Sporting Goods

2014 Bassmaster Classic Official Apparel Sponsor: Carhartt

About B.A.S.S.
For more than 45 years, B.A.S.S. has served as the authority on bass fishing. The organization advances the sport through advocacy, outreach and an expansive tournament structure while connecting directly with the passionate community of bass anglers through its Bassmaster media vehicles.

The Bassmaster brand and its multimedia platforms are guided by a mission to serve all fishing fans. Through its industry-leading publications — Bassmaster Magazine and B.A.S.S. Times — comprehensive website and ESPN2 and Outdoor Channel television programming, Bassmaster provides rich, leading-edge content true to the lifestyle.

The Bassmaster Tournament Trail includes the Bassmaster Elite Series, Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Open Series, Carhartt Bassmaster College Series, B.A.S.S. Nation events and the ultimate celebration of competitive fishing, the Bassmaster Classic.

B.A.S.S. offers an array of services to its more than 500,000 members and remains focused on issues related to conservation and water access. The organization is headquartered in Birmingham, Ala.

Pros Get Ready for Bassmasters Classic

Yamaha Pros Excited About Upcoming Bassmaster Classic®
from The Fishing Wire

Pace, Vinson, Jones and Crochet Discuss Pre-Tournament Scouting and Strategy

Cliff Pace

Cliff Pace

Cliff Pace

For most people, the Christmas and New Year’s holiday is a time of relaxation with family and friends, but that’s only part of the story for the 18 Yamaha Pros who will be fishing in the Bassmaster Classic® in February. For many of them, at least part of the Christmas season was spent bass fishing and scouting Alabama’s Lake Guntersville, site of the 2014 world championship. The lake went off-limits to all competitors Dec. 31.

“I went to the lake right after Christmas,” noted Yamaha’s Cliff Pace, winner of the 2013 Classic® on Grand Lake. “I’ve had both good and bad tournaments on Guntersville over the years, but this event has the potential to be one of the greatest Classics® we’ve had in many years. Guntersville ranks as one of America’s top bass lakes, and February can be one of the best times to fish there.”

Pace can be excused for not visiting Guntersville sooner, because he’s been celebrating the holidays since December 5 when his first child, daughter Jordan Baylee, was born. Other Yamaha Pros, like Greg Vinson, have been making periodic trips to the lake since October. Vinson finished second in the 2012 Bassmaster Classic® on the Red River and hopes Guntersville may set up well for his style of fishing.

Greg Vinson

Greg Vinson

Greg Vinson

“Guntersville is famous for its milfoil vegetation, which has helped create the great fishing,” he noted, “so I spent my scouting time there looking for places I think the milfoil will be growing in February, because that’s where the bass are going to be. I’d really like to find just one or two key areas, but so far, I haven’t found any places that might be dominant. It’s good from one end of the lake to the other.”

Fellow Yamaha Pro Alton Jones agrees. He won the 2008 Classic® and likewise spent his scouting time looking for potentially strong areas that bass may be using in February. Guntersville contains more than 69,000 acres, but Jones concentrated on only about 20,000 acres during his trip there in early December because he knew he couldn’t learn the entire lake.

“It’s exciting because it may take as much as 70 pounds of bass to win, and those fish can come from dozens of different places,” Jones said. “I believe shallow crankbaiting around the milfoil will play an important part in the tournament, and that’s one of my favorite ways to fish.”

Alton Jones

Alton Jones

Alton Jones

Like Pace, Jones waited until December to look at Guntersville, but for a different reason. He’s helping with a fisheries management program on the La Perla Ranch in south Texas where the owners are hoping to grow a new world record largemouth. Right after his scouting trip on Guntersville, he and the ranch owners shocked up a five year old bass weighing
14 pounds.

Yamaha Pro Cliff Crochet made two trips to Guntersville in early November between games with the junior high school football team he coaches during the off-season, and one day there he caught five bass weighing 18 pounds. Overall, however, he spent most of his time idling and looking.

“For the 2010 Classic® at Lay Lake near Birmingham, I pre-fished the lake hard prior to the cut-off, but it really didn’t do me much good,” Crochet remembered, “because the water and the fish changed between November and February. “This time, I looked more at how the milfoil was growing, and where I think it may be growing, and I was encouraged.

“Everybody knows the lake is full of bass and that some big catches will be made, and that’s fun to think about.”

“Guntersville is one of the lakes on the Tennessee River system, and it can change overnight,” concluded Pace. “When I go, I won’t fish very much at all, either. What I’m really hoping to do is narrow my fishing options and just establish a starting point when the official practice begins, but I’m like Alton in that I believe this Classic® will be won in water 10 feet or less, and around the vegetation.

“Of course, I want to win again, but no matter how it turns out, I know it’s going to be exciting.”

Other Yamaha Pros who have won previous Bassmaster Classics® and will be competing at Guntersville include Mark Davis (1995), Michael Iaconelli (2003), and Takahiro Omori (2004).

I Almost Made It To the Bassmasters Classic

I Amost Got To Fish the Bassmasters Classic

Fishing the Bassmasters Classic is the dream of every bass tournament fisherman. It is the “Super Bowl” of bass fishing and only 51 of the top professional and amateur fishermen get to fish it.

The pros qualify through the Elite and Opens tournament trails. The amateur fishermen qualify through the state federations. In Georgia, each affilated BASS club can send its top six fishermen to a state Top Six Tournament. At that tournament in Georgia there are about fifty clubs participating so there are up to 300 competitors. The top 14 at that tournament go to the Southern Regional, with the teams from seven southern states competing.

At the regional, the top man on each state team goes to the nationals, where the seven regions compete. There, the top fisherman from each regional qualifies for the Bassmaster Classic. It is a tough way to make the Classic and only one Federation angler has ever won the Classic.

I joined the Spalding County Sportsman Club in 1974 and fished my first state top six in 1979. In 1983 I finished fourth in the Georgia Top Six at West Point and made the state team. The regional was at Kentucky Lake that year and I was excited but felt overwhelmed fishing with some great fishermen on our team.

Back then there were no nationals and the top fisherman on the top state team at each regional went to the Classic. Our team worked together, sharing patterns and places to fish, and won the tournament. I cam in second overall in the Regional, but was also second on the state team. Roger Farmer beat me by a little over two pounds in the three day tournament and qualified for the Classic.

I came THAT close to making the Classic that year, one 2.5 pound fish in three days.

Roger went to the Classic and I came home and signed up for all six of the tournaments on the old Red Man trail – what is now the BFL. But that experience is another story.

I am attending the Classic in Birmingham this year as a press observer. That will be fun and exciting, but not nearly as mush as competing in it!

What Are Some New Ways To Fish For Bass With Soft Plastic Baits?

Three New Ways To Use Old Soft Plastic Rigs

By Lawrence Taylor
from The Fishing Wire

If you call yourself a bass fisherman, you likely know the three basic soft-plastic rigs, the two named after states and the one that’s wacky. What you may be unaware of, however, is that you’re not using them to their full potential. Here are three ways to use those rigs to catch fish and impress your friends.

Sweet and Weedless Carolina Rigs

You think the Carolina Rig is a super-slow technique involving barely noticeable pulls of the rod and pauses long enough to read a chapter of Steven King’s new novel, “Dr. Sleep.” Heck, sometimes your pauses are long enough you actually fall asleep.

There are times when you do need to go slow with this rig, usually during post-front, bluebird days, but bass love a Carolina Rig fished faster than that. B.A.S.S. Elite Pro Terry Scroggins uses a Carolina Rig as a search bait.

“It’s perfect for quickly checking areas,” he said. “I use it a lot during practice.”

Scroggins pulls and pauses, but he uses long pulls and short pauses, until he feels something interesting.

“I’ll let it sit longer when I feel it hit a stump or rock, but usually I’m working it pretty quick.”

Jason Christie, the current No. 1 Angler in the World according to the BassFan World Rankings, used a Carolina Rig during the 2013 season to add to a tournament-winning bag of fish. In that tournament he eliminated the pauses altogether.

“The smallmouth were moving in to spawn and I noticed that every bite I was getting was while I was moving the bait,” he said. “So, I just left out the pauses and used the reel to move the bait. It wasn’t super slow, but somewhere between that and a medium-speed retrieve.”

One problem associated with this rig is that the weight easily slips into cracks and crevices in rocky bottoms. We all know those places, where rocks, wood and all kinds of “junk” on the bottom eat lures for every meal. One fix lure designer Mitch Looper, a big-bass expert with many 10-pound-plus bass to his credit including one of the biggest northern-strain largemouth ever caught, uses to beat this type of “sticky” bottom is to change the weight.

“The reason you get hung in those places is because the weight gets caught,” he said. “I like a banana-shaped weight in those situations, like the Lindy No Snagg. It’s made for walleye fishing, but the bass don’t know that.”

Surprising Texas Rigs

Traditional Texas-rigging normally means bumping a worm or craw off the bottom, or flipping a craw or creature bait into shoreline brush and cover. Like the Carolina Rig, though, the Texas rig doesn’t have to be fished slowly with a lift-and-pause retrieve.

Alabama fishing guide and tournament angler Jimmy Mason uses a Texas Rigged lizard like most people use a hollow-body frog.

“It’s a great alternative when everyone’s throwing frog on the grass mats,” he said. “Rig it with very little weight – just enough to get a good cast – then just pull it along on top of the mats and let it fall a little in any open holes.”

This Texas-Rigged lizard in the grass doesn’t just fit into the Alabama plan, but works everywhere bass get into shoreline weeds, too. One April on a little-fished body of water in Oklahoma, the big females were moving up into the shallow grass to spawn and a weightless Texas rigged lizard worked quickly on top of and through the grass was exactly what they wanted to eat.

While other anglers were slowly pitching tubes or jigs into the weeds, we sped around the area keeping the lizards just at the surface, and landed seven bass in two hours with the smallest weighing more than 5 pounds. With a little practice, you can even get this rig to walk like a Spook on top.

Everyone knows that B.A.S.S. Elite pro Alton Jones is a fan of the YUM Dinger, but he uses it far more extensively than most anglers. Most anglers believe this soft plastic stickbait should only be used weightless in water less than 6 or so feet, but Jones doesn’t hesitate to add a weight as heavy as ¾- or even 1-ounce and fish the Dinger deep, especially when he’s targeting big bass in big-bass waters.

“It’s just as good down deep as it is up toward the surface,” he said. “At Falcon Lake, it’s one of my go-to rigs. It’s a big, fat meal that gets their attention, but it doesn’t move much, so it’s also easy to catch.”

Wacky World

Legendary FLW angler David Dudley fishes a Dinger or Mighty Worm wacky style when bass are in relatively shallow water, but like most fishing geniuses he does it differently than most. The rigging is the same, a hook impaled through the midsection or egg sack area of a straight plastic so that when held by the hook eye, the worm drapes downward on both sides like an upside-down “U.”

Traditional retrieve with a wacky worm is to cast, allow the bait to sink a bit then give it a couple of twitches with the rod tip before letting it sink some more. It’s a tremendously effective retrieve when fishing a vertical structure, such as a dam face, weed edge or against bridge or dock pilings, but the rest of the time, Dudley is fishing it fast to cover water and pick off fish that are relating to sparse shoreline cover. His rod is almost always moving, twitching quickly while he reels in the slack.

“You want the two ends of the worm coming together in almost a clapping motion,” Dudley said. “It’s like it’s saying, ‘You come eat me now or I’m getting away.'”

Another wacky rig modification is to use a finishing nail impaled straight into the tail end. The nail adds a little weight and a different look as it sinks. This works best with a slender, flexible worm like the 6-inch Mighty Worm. The weight pulls that end of the worm down faster than the non-weighted, end, giving fish a totally different look that’s perfect during the post-spawn when bass are guarding fry.

This last modification can make you the hero from the back of the boat. How many times have you spotted a great spot to throw a wacky worm, but you miss it because of the captain’s heavy trolling motor foot? A great solution is to rig a wacky worm Dinger below a small float, either a traditional tear-drop shape or a fly fisherman’s casting bubble.

With this rig, you can cast to the spot and feed out line as the boat moves away, allowing you to slowly and thoroughly fish the spot. Giving the rig a few twitches now and then provides all of the action the rig needs to trigger strikes. Use the longest rod possible and non-stretch braided line to get a good hookset from a distance.

Fishing Jokes and Many More Jokes

Send me your fishing jokes and all kinds of jokes to post here.

Send me your

A wife, being the romantic sort, sent her husband a TEXT: If you are sleeping, send me your dreams. If you are laughing, send me your smile. If you are eating, send me a bite. If you are drinking send me a sip. If you are crying, send me your tears. I love you!

The husband, typically non-romantic, replied, “I am on the toilet. Please advise.”

The South Leads the Way

Even if you aren’t Georgia crackers, you can enjoy a chuckle, too.

After having dug to a depth of 10 feet last year outside of New York City , New York scientists found traces of copper cable dating back 100 years.
They came to the conclusion that their ancestors already had a telephone network more than 100 years ago.

Not to be outdone, in the weeks that followed, a Los Angeles , California archaeologist dug to a depth of 20 feet somewhere just outside Oceanside.
Shortly after, a story in the LA Times read: “California archaeologists report a finding of 200 year old copper cable, have concluded that their ancestors already had an advanced high-tech communications network a hundred years earlier than the New Yorkers.”

One week later, a local newspaper in Atlanta, Georgia reported the following:
“After digging down about 30 feet deep in his pasture near the community of Marietta, Bubba, a self-taught archaeologist, reported that he found absolutely nothing. Bubba has therefore concluded that 300 years ago, Georgia had already gone wireless”.

Just makes a person proud to be Georgian.


Researchers for the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority found

over 200 dead crows near greater Boston recently, and there

was concern that they may have died from Avian Flu. A Bird

Pathologist examined the remains of all the crows, and, to

everyone’s relief, confirmed the problem was definitely NOT

Avian Flu. The cause of death appeared to be vehicular impacts.

However, during the detailed analysis it was noted that varying

colors of paints appeared on the bird’s beaks and claws. By

analyzing these paint residues it was determined that 98% of the

crows had been killed by impact with trucks, while only 2% were

killed by an impact with a car.

MTA then hired an Ornithological Behaviorist to determine if

there was a cause for the disproportionate percentages of truck

kills versus car kills.

The Ornithological Behaviorist very quickly concluded the cause:

when crows eat road kill, they always have a look-out crow in a

nearby tree to warn of impending danger.

They discovered that while all the lookout crows could shout “Cah”, not a single one

could shout “Truck.”

Absolutely amazing!

I would have given him 100%

Q1. In which battle did Napoleon die?* his last battle

Q2. Where was the Declaration of Independence signed?* at the bottom of the page

Q3. River Ravi flows in which state?* liquid

Q4. What is the main reason for divorce? * marriage

Q5. What is the main reason for failure? * exams

Q6. What can you never eat for breakfast? * Lunch & dinner

Q7. What looks like half an apple?* The other half

Q8. If you throw a red stone into the blue sea what it will become?* It will simply become wet

Q9. How can a man go eight days without sleeping ? * No problem, he sleeps at night.

Q10. How can you lift an elephant with one hand?* You will never find an elephant that has only one hand..

Q11. If you had three apples and four oranges in one hand and four apples and three oranges in other hand, what would you have ?* Very large hands

Q12. If it took eight men ten hours to build a wall, how long would it take four men to build it?* No time at all, the wall is already built.

Q13. How can u drop a raw egg onto a concrete floor without cracking it?*Any way you want, concrete floors are very hard to crack.

Mean Drunk

One night, a drunk comes stumbling into a bar and says to the bartender: “Drinks for all on me including you, bartender.” So the bartender follows the mans orders and says: “That will be $36.50 please.” The drunk says he has no money so the bartender slaps him around and throws him out.

The next night the same drunk comes in again and orders a drink for everyone in the bar including the bartender. Again the bartender follows instructions and again the drunk says he has no money. So the bartender slaps him around and throws him out.

On the third night he comes in, the drunk orders drinks for all except the bartender. “What, no drink for me?” replies the bartender. “Oh, no. You get violent when you drink.”

Drunk and stupid, or just drunk?

A man staggered home late after another evening with his drinking buddies.

Shoes in left hand to avoid waking his wife, he tiptoed as quietly as he could toward the stairs leading to their upstairs bedroom, but misjudged the bottom step in the darkened entryway. As he caught himself by grabbing the banister, his body swung around and he landed heavily on his rump.

A whiskey bottle in each back pocket broke and made the landing especially painful.

Managing to suppress a yelp, he sprung up, pulled down his pants and examined his lacerated and bleeding cheeks in the mirror of a nearby darkened hallway, then managed to find a large full box of band aids before proceeding to place a patch as best he could on each place he saw blood.

After hiding the now almost empty box, he managed to shuffle and stumble his way to bed.

In the morning, he awakens with screaming pain in head and butt to find his wife staring at him from across the room, and hears her say: “You were drunk again last night!!!”

Forcing himself to ignore his agony, he looked meekly at her and replied:
“Now Hon, why would you say such a mean thing?”

“Well,” she said, “there is the front door left open, the glass at the bottom of the stairs, the drops of blood trailing through the house, and your bloodshot eyes but, mostly….it’s all those band aids stuck on the downstairs mirror!”

Alabama Hunters

Two Alabama hunters flew to Alaska on a deer hunting trip. They chartered a small plane to take them into the bush for a week long hunt.

They managed to bag 6 deer. As they were loading the plane to return, the pilot said the plane could take only 4 deer.

The two guys objected strongly. “Last year we shot six. The pilot let us take them all and he had the same type plane as yours.”

Reluctantly, the pilot gave in and all six were loaded. The plane took off. However, while attempting to cross some mountains even on full power the little plane couldn’t handle the load and went down.

Somehow, surrounded by the deer bodies, only Bubba and Leroy survived the crash.

After climbing out of the wreckage, Bubba asked Leroy, “Any idea where we are?”

Leroy replied, “I think we’re pretty close to where we crashed last year.”

Long Happy Life

A woman walked up to a little old man rocking in a chair on
his porch.

“I couldn’t help noticing how happy you look,”she said.
“What’s your secret for a long happy life?”

“I smoke three packs of cigarettes a day,” he said. “I also
drink a case of whiskey a week, eat fatty foods and never

“That’s amazing,”the woman said. “How old are you?’

“Twenty-six,” he said.

Spending your money

During the initial space flights, Nasa discovered that biro pens didn’t work under zero gravity conditions. To beat the problem, Nasa spent 6 years and $2 million in designing a pen for use in space. The pen would work under zero gravity conditions due to the pressurized ink inside, it would work under sub zero conditions, underwater, on glass and virtually any surface known to man.

The Russians used a pencil.

What to spend money on

A married couple was shopping at the supermarket when the husband picked up a 12 pack of beer and put it in the cart.
“What do you think you’re doing?” asked the wife.
“They’re on sale for $10 for 12 cans,” he explained.
“Put them back,” she demanded. “We can’t afford it.”
A few aisles later, she picked up a $20 jar of face cream and put it in the cart.
“What do you think you’re doing?” asked the husband indignantly.
“It’s my face cream,” she said. “It makes me look beautiful.”
He said: “So do 12 cans of beer and they’re half the price!”

My Toothbrush?

A small boy came running out of the bathroom in tears.
“What’s the matter?” asked his father.
“I dropped my toothbrush in the toilet.”
“Okay, don’t worry, but we’d better throw it out”
So the father fished the toothbrush out of the toilet and put it in the garbage. When he returned, the boy was holding another toothbrush.
“Isn’t that my toothbrush?” the father said.
“Yes,” said the boy, “and we’d better throw this one out too, because it fell in the toilet four days ago.”


Snakes also known as Garter Snakes (Thamnophissirtalis) can be
dangerous Yes, grass snakes, not rattlesnakes. Here’s why.

A couple in Sweetwater, Texas, had a lot of potted plants.
During a recent cold spell, the wife was bringing a lot of them
indoors to protect them from a possible freeze.

It turned out that a little green garden grass snake was hidden
in one of the plants. When it had warmed up, it slithered out
and the wife saw it go under the sofa.

She let out a very loud scream.

The husband (who was taking a shower) ran out into the living
room naked to see what the problem was. She told him there
was a snake under the sofa.

He got down on the floor on his hands and knees to look for it.
About that time the family dog came and cold-nosed him on the
behind. He thought the snake had bitten him, so he screamed
and fell over on the floor.

His wife thought he had had a heart attack, so she covered him up,
told him to lie still and called an ambulance.

The attendants rushed in, would not listen to his protests, loaded
him on the stretcher, and started carrying him out.

About that time, the snake came out from under the sofa and
the Emergency Medical Technician saw it and dropped his end of
the stretcher. That’s when the man broke his leg and why he is
still in the hospital.

The wife still had the problem of the snake in the house, so
she called on a neighbor who volunteered to capture the snake.
He armed himself with a rolled-up newspaper and began poking
under the couch.. Soon he decided it was gone and told the woman,
who sat down on the sofa in relief.

But while relaxing, her hand dangled in between the cushions,
where she felt the snake wriggling around. She screamed and fainted,
the snake rushed back under the sofa.

The neighbor man, seeing her lying there passed out, tried to use CPR
to revive her.

The neighbor’s wife, who had just returned from shopping at the grocery
store, saw her husband’s mouth on the woman’s mouth and slammed her
husband in the back of the head with a bag of canned goods, knocking
him out and cutting his scalp to a point where it needed stitches.

The noise woke the woman from her dead faint and she saw her neighbor
lying on the floor with his wife bending over him, so she assumed that the
snake had bitten him. She went to the kitchen and got a small bottle of
whiskey, and began pouring it down the man’s throat.

By now, the police had arrived.

(Breathe here…)

They saw the unconscious man, smelled the whiskey, and assumed that a
drunken fight had occurred. They were about to arrest them all, when
the women tried to explain how it all happened over a little garden snake!

The police called an ambulance, which took away the neighbor and his
sobbing wife.

Now, the little snake again crawled out from under the sofa and one of
the policemen drew his gun and fired at it. He missed the snake and hit
the leg of the end table. The table fell over, the lamp on it shattered and, as the bulb broke, it started a fire in the drapes.

The other policeman tried to beat out the flames, and fell through the
window into the yard on top of the family dog who, startled, jumped out
and raced into the street, where an oncoming car swerved to avoid it and
smashed into the parked police car.

Meanwhile, neighbors saw the burning drapes and called in the fire
department. The firemen had started raising the fire ladder when they
were halfway down the street. The rising ladder tore out the overhead
wires, put out the power, and disconnected the telephones in a ten-square
city block area (but they did get the house fire out).

Time passed! Both men were discharged from the hospital, the house was
repaired, the dog came home, the police acquired a new car and all was
right with their world.

A while later they were watching TV and the weatherman announced a
cold snap for that night. The wife asked her husband if he thought they
should bring in their plants for the night.

…and that’s when he shot her. So, be very careful of those little green
snakes…they are not so harmless!

The awesome power of a wife’s love…

A very old man lay dying in his bed. In death’s doorway, he suddenly smelled the aroma of his favorite chocolate chip cookie wafting up the
stairs.He gathered his remaining strength and lifted himself from the bed.

Leaning against the wall, he slowly made his way out of the bedroom,and with even greater effort forced himself down the stairs,
gripping the railing with both hands.With labored breath, he leaned against the door frame, gazing into the kitchen. Were it not for
death’s agony, he would have thought himself already in heaven.There, spread out on newspapers on the kitchen table were literally hundreds
of his favorite chocolate chip cookies.Was it heaven? Or was it one final act of heroic love from his devoted wife, seeing to it that he
left this world a happy man?

Mustering one great final effort, he threw himself toward the table. The aged and withered hand, shaking, made its way to a cookie at the edge of the table, when he was suddenly smacked with a spatula by his wife.

“Stay out of those,” she said. “They’re for the funeral.

A DC ‘airport ticket agent’ offers some examples of ‘WHY’ our country is in trouble!

1. I had a New Hampshire Congresswoman (Carol Shea-Porter) ask for an aisle seat so that her hair wouldn’t get messed up by being near the window. (On an airplane!)

2. I got a call from a Kansas Congressman’s (Moore) staffer (Howard Bauleke), who wanted to go to Cape Town. I started to explain the length of the flight and the passport information, and then he interrupted me with, ”I’m not trying to make you look stupid, but Cape Town is in Massachusetts …”
Without trying to make him look stupid, I calmly explained, ”Cape Cod is in Massachusetts , Cape Town is in South Africa .”
His response — click.

3. A senior Vermont Congressman (Bernie Sanders) called, furious about a Florida package we did. I asked what was wrong with the vacation in Orlando . He said he was expecting an ocean-view room. I tried to explain that’s not possible, since Orlando is in the middle of the state.
He replied, ‘Don’t lie to me!, I looked on the map, and Florida is a very THIN state!!” (OMG)

4. I got a call from a lawmaker’s wife (Landra Reid) who asked, ”Is it possible to see England from Canada ?”
I said, ”No.”
She said, ”But they look so close on the map…” (OMG, again!)

5. An aide for a cabinet member (Janet Napolitano) once called and asked if he could rent a car in Dallas . I pulled up the reservation and noticed he had only a 1-hour layover in Dallas . When I asked him why he wanted to rent a car, he said, ”I heard Dallas was a big airport, and we will need a car to drive between gates to save time.” (Aghhhh)

6. An Illinois Congresswoman (Jan Schakowsky) called last week. She needed to know how it was possible that her flight from Detroit left at 8:30 a.m., and got to Chicago at 8:33 a.m.
I explained that Michigan was an hour ahead of Illinois , but she couldn’t understand the concept of time zones. Finally, I told her the plane went fast, and she bought that…

7. A New York lawmaker, (Jerrold Nadler) called and asked, ”Do airlines put your physical description on your bag so they know whose luggage belongs to whom?” I said, ‘No, why do you ask?’
He replied, ”Well, when I checked in with the airline, they put a tag on my luggage that said (FAT), and I’m overweight. I think that’s very rude!”
After putting him on hold for a minute, while I looked into it. (I was dying laughing). I came back and explained the city code for Fresno , Ca. is (FAT – Fresno Air Terminal), and the airline was just putting a destination tag on his luggage.

8. Senator John Kerry’s aide (Lindsay Ross) called to inquire about a trip package to Hawaii . After going over all the cost info, she asked, ”Would it be cheaper to fly to California and then take the train to Hawaii ?”

9. I just got off the phone with a freshman Congressman, Bobby Bright from Ala who asked, ”How do I know which plane to get on?”
I asked him what exactly he meant, to which he replied, ”I was told my flight number is 823, but none of these planes have numbers on them.”

10. Senator Di ann e Feinstein called and said, ”I need to fly to Pepsi-Cola , Florida . Do I have to get on one of those little computer planes?”
I asked if she meant fly to Pensacola , FL on a commuter plane.
She said, ”Yeah, whatever, smarty!”

11. Mary Landrieu , La. Senator, called and had a question about the documents she needed in order to fly to China . After a lengthy discussion about passports, I reminded her that she needed a visa. “Oh, no I don’t. I’ve been to China many times and never had to have one of those.”
I double checked and sure enough, her stay required a visa. When I told her this she said, ”Look, I’ve been to China four times and every time they have accepted my American Express!”

12. A New Jersey Congressman (John Adler) called to make reservations, ”I want to go from Chicago to Rhino, New York .”
I was at a loss for words. Finally, I said, ”Are you sure that’s the name of the town?”
‘Yes, what flights do you have?” replied the man.
After some searching, I came back with, ”I’m sorry, sir, I’ve looked up every airport code in the country and can’t find a rhino anywhere.”
”The man retorted, ”Oh, don’t be silly! Everyone knows where it is. Check your map!”
So I scoured a map of the state of New York and finally offered, ”You don’t mean Buffalo , do you?”
The reply? ”Whatever! I knew it was a big animal.”
Now you know why the Government is in the shape it’s in!!!

Going for a walk

The room was full of pregnant women with their husbands.
The instructor said, “Ladies, remember that exercise is good for you. Walking is especially beneficial. It strengthens the pelvic muscles and will make delivery that much easier.
Just pace yourself, make plenty of stops and try to stay on a soft surface like grass or a path.”
“Gentlemen, remember — you’re in this together. It wouldn’t hurt you to go walking with her. In fact, that shared experience would be good for you both.”
The room suddenly became very quiet as the men absorbed this information.
After a few moments a man, name unknown, at the back of the room, slowly raised his hand.
“Yes?” said the Instructor.
“I was just wondering if it would be alright if she carries a golf bag while we walk?”

Brings a tear to your eye doesn’t it? This kind of sensitivity just can’t be taught.


Two guys were discussing popular family trends on sex, marriage, and family values.
Bill said, ‘I didn’t sleep with my wife before we got married, did you?’
Larry replied, ‘I’m not sure, what was her maiden name?’

A little boy went up to his father and asked: ‘Dad, where did my intelligence come from?’
The father replied. ‘Well, son, you must have got it from your mother, cause I still have mine.’

‘Mr. Clark, I have reviewed this case very carefully,’ the Divorce Court Judge said, ‘And I’ve decided to give your wife $775 a week,’
‘That’s very fair, your honor,’ the husband said. ‘And every now and then I’ll try to send her a few bucks myself.’

A doctor examining a woman who had been rushed to the Emergency Room, took the husband aside, and said, ‘I don’t like the looks of your wife at all.’
‘Me neither doc,’ said the husband. ‘But she’s a great cook and really good with the kids.’

An old man goes to the Wizard to ask him if he can remove a curse he has been living with for the last 40 years.
The Wizard says, ‘Maybe, but you will have to tell me the exact words that were used to put the curse on you.’
The old man says without hesitation, ‘I now pronounce you man and wife.’

A blonde calls Delta Airlines and asks, ‘Can you tell me how long it’ll take to fly from San Francisco to New York City?’
The agent replies, ‘Just a minute.’
‘Thank you,’ the blonde says, and hangs up.

Two Mexican detectives were investigating the murder of Juan Gonzalez.
‘How was he killed?’ asked one detective.
‘With a golf gun,’ the other detective replied.
‘A golf gun! What the heck is a golf gun?’
‘I don’t know. But it sure made a hole in Juan.’

Moe: ‘My wife got me to believe in religion.’
Joe: ‘Really?’
Moe: ‘Yeah. Until I married her I didn’t believe in Hell.’

A man is recovering from surgery when the Surgical Nurse appears and asks him how he is feeling.
‘I’m O.K. But I didn’t like the four letter-words the doctor used in surgery,’ he answered.
‘What did he say,’ asked the nurse.

While shopping for vacation clothes, my husband and I passed a display of bathing suits. It had been at least ten years and twenty pounds since I had even considered buying a bathing suit, so I sought my husband’s advice.
‘What do you think?’ I asked. ‘Should I get a bikini or an all-in-one?’
‘Better get a bikini,’ he replied. ‘You’d never get it all in one.’
He’s still in intensive care.

The graveside service just barely finished, when there was a massive clap of thunder, followed by a tremendous bolt of lightning, accompanied by even more thunder rumbling in the distance…
The little old man looked at the pastor and calmly said, ‘Well, she’s there.

Red Snapper Anglers Get Lowered Amount of Allowed Catch

Amendment 40 – Anglers Get Dumped

Today’s feature comes to us from Ted Venker, CCA’s Conservation Director, who notes that anglers who want their share of the red snapper fishery had better step forward, now, before it’s too late.
from The Fishing Wire

By Ted Venker, CCA Conservation Director/TIDE Magazine Editor

It’s called the “Friday news dump.”

The White House, other federal agencies and even public corporations have often set the release of bad news and unflattering documents to late Friday afternoon in the hopes that whatever is being released will be ignored or missed or forgotten over the course of the weekend.

Got a scandal? Dump it on Friday.

Got a controversy? Dump it on Friday.

Got a federal policy disaster? Dump it on Friday.

The concept has lost effectiveness with the demise of traditional media. You could get away with it when all you had to avoid was the newspaper on Saturday morning (which no one read because they all had better things to do on the weekend), but the internet never sleeps and so the Friday news dump has become a sad cliché. There is even a website dedicated to it – Nonetheless, old habits are hard to break.

So if the jig is up on Friday news dumps, what are you left to do? Well, you up your game and go for the holiday news dump.

Got something wildly unpopular that has been soundly rejected time after time, but you’re going to advance it anyway because it makes your job easier? Dump it on….Christmas Eve!

And so it was that the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council announced on Dec. 24 that it is proceeding with an extremely controversial amendment for sector separation. That followed on the heels of an announcement about an equally controversial pilot program to let a handpicked set of 17 headboats fish year-round for red snapper using their own personal allocation of fish beginning January 1. Releasing information like this on the afternoon of Dec. 24 brings the art of hiding controversial news to a new low.

CCA members have been asked to comment against these schemes many times. The public has already sent literally thousands of comments against concepts that attempt to funnel access to marine resources through a very few select businesses. The response to these concepts has been wildly skewed in opposition, as it is commonly realized that the only people to benefit from them are the businesses that will use those public resources for their own financial gain.

However, just like when you played football as a kid in the field by your house, somebody didn’t like the results and called “Do-over.” None of those previous comments apparently counted. Not even the ones from Texas Governor Rick Perry. Nope, sorry Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus, yours didn’t count either.

The Council let it be known with its stealth release on the afternoon of Christmas Eve that this time, for sure, they really want to know how you feel about Amendment 40 – Sector Separation. And, at the same time, they announced that they don’t really care what you think about sector separation because they went ahead and launched the Headboat sector separation pilot program already.

What’s the purpose of this public comment thing again?

The only thing more disingenuous than the Christmas Eve News Dump is the charade of public comment in federal fisheries management on this issue. There is nothing in the glorious history of sector separation that indicates the general public matters in this arena. If it did, then these plans to give away fish to private businesses would have been dead and buried long ago.

Why should we care if yet another comment period is open on plans to divide up the recreational sector and give another small group of business-owners an insurmountable advantage over the general public in the red snapper fishery? The uncomfortable truth is that if we flooded the Council website with comments in opposition to this nine times in the past and washed our hands of it on the 10th time, that 10th time would forever be held up as evidence that this is what the public wants.

As sorry as this whole episode is, we can’t let that happen.

We must fight this all the way to the end. You have done your part repeatedly and you’ve done it well. This is a battle in which we are struggling not because we are wrong or apathetic, but because the system doesn’t work the way it is supposed to. We are up against a system that does not understand recreational angling and often acts like it doesn’t want to. You need look no further than the fairly insulting decision to release an announcement of the most controversial federal fisheries amendment in recent history on Christmas Eve.

This comment period is a chance to oppose sector separation one more time, and we should take it. But more significantly, it is an opportunity to send the message that millions of recreational anglers cannot be oh-so-casually dismissed. We deserve far better treatment than this.

The comment period on Amendment 40 – Sector Separation is open until Jan. 23. Click HERE to submit comments electronically or submit written comments to:

Peter Hood
Southeast Regional Office, NMFS
263 13th Avenue South
St. Petersburg, FL 33701

The next meeting of the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council will take place February 3-6, at the Westin Galleria Hotel, 5060 W. Alabama Street in Houston, Texas.

CCA Louisiana is the largest marine resource conservation group of its kind in the state. Entering its 31st year with more than 30,000 members and volunteers in 26 local chapters, CCA has been active in state, national and international fisheries management issues since 1977. Visit for more information.