Monthly Archives: May 2016

Compromise With Gun Banners?

I read the cute little Joseph Cotton editorial on guns in the April 27 Griffin Daily News with bemusement. In it he tried to convince gun owners that those wanting to ban guns are really patriots, just with different views. He even goes so far as to say the 2nd Amendment must be preserved and he wants us to compromise with gun banners.

All he and the other “patriots” on his side want to do is ban a bunch of guns because they don’t like them. He sees no reason he and his fellow “reasonable” gun banners can’t use the power of the government to ban all guns they can classify as “assault weapons” because of the way they look. That’s like banning big soft drinks because you think others should not have them.

I might be more willing to listen to folks like him if they would just pay attention to facts. According to a Congressional Research Service report less than two percent of all crimes were committed by rifles, of which only a small subcategory could be classified as “assault weapons” by anyone’s definition. In 1994 there were an estimated 1.5 million “assault weapons” in civilian hands based on liberal Slate magazine. In the past seven years sales of semiautomatic rifles what the gun banners usually call “assault weapons” have increased dramatically.

In the first four years of the Obama administration there were an estimated 67 million gun sales. And almost every month for the past three years gun sales have set new records. Yet during that same time gun crime had fallen every year.

So if “assault weapons” are almost never used in crime and overall gun crime has decreased while gun sales, including “assault weapons” have increased dramatically, what sense does it make to ban any guns?

For the gun banners, compromise means do it my way. Their goal is incremental gun bans. Its like the old saying about once the camel gets its nose in the tent it won’t be long before you are sleeping with a camel. Banning guns will not affect crime in any way, so why let the camel in the tent?

What Is Management of Recreational Fish Species?

Fish don’t talk, but we can

Today’s feature comes to us from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, and it would surely act as a good template for all states to follow regarding management of recreational fish species.

By Bob Wattendorf, with Amber Nabors
from The Fishing Wire

Big Florida Bass

Big Florida Bass

Fish don’t talk – even if they are referred to as largemouths. But we can and should. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s (FWC) mission is “To manage fish and wildlife resources for their long-term well-being and the benefit of people.” The latter aspect of that mission makes it critical that FWC staff and stakeholders, such as freshwater anglers and boaters, collaborate to ensure the use of the most appropriate fisheries management practices.

The FWC’s Division of Freshwater Fisheries Management has a long history of prioritizing the desires of anglers along with those of other stakeholders including recreational users, riparian owners, fishing-related businesses and destination marketing groups. The FWC’s scientists often collaborate with other researchers and universities to ensure conservation measures are sustainable for affected fish populations.

Fisheries management is a delicate art the FWC continually strives to perfect when managing species and crafting programs to optimize fisheries for people, while ensuring long-term health and survival of vibrant fish populations. An excellent example is the way the Division approached creating a Florida Black Bass Management Plan. More than 7,500 anglers provided input during the plan’s development, as did a technical assistance group representing a variety of anglers, fishing-related businesses, university experts, professional anglers and outdoor media. The goal is to use this plan to ensure Florida is and remains the Black Bass Fishing Capital of the World.

The FBBMP was adopted in June 2011 and produced numerous initiatives that have been previously reported. Here, we’ll focus on two.

The first inititative, the TrophyCatch citizen-science program, was initiated in 2012 to reward anglers for providing data on bass caught and released in Florida that weigh at least 8 pounds. By developing partnerships with businesses such as Bass Pro Shops and Phoenix boats, the FWC continues to expand this program. More than 4,000 eligible bass have been successfully documented and released to date. The data collected allows biologists to determine which programs and natural conditions foster trophy bass, such as habitat enhancement, regulation management or stocking efforts (see

The second initiative is the development of simplified black bass regulations to help achieve optimum sustained use of these fisheries statewide. The FWC conducted an extensive review of existing rules and analyzed their effects on fisheries enhancement. Then anglers and other stakeholders provided their input through online surveys sent to 170,000 freshwater fishing license holders, 9,400 mail-in surveys distributed at various locations and 10 open-house events hosted throughout the state. More than 3,500 anglers provided responses.

Following the preliminary input, FWC biologists worked with other experts to determine a range of rules that could accomplish the requested changes. These proposals were evaluated in public meetings during 2014, and several additional surveys were distributed and advertised, garnering 3,000 specific responses.

Florida Sportsman Magazine, BASS Times, Outdoor Life and The Fishing Wire each provided detailed articles. Several television shows favored by Florida anglers, including Chevy Florida Insider Fishing Report with Capt. Rick Murphy, and One More Cast with Shaw Grigsby, provided coverage.

“This effort to solicit public input and keep them informed will culminate in rules that make it easier for anglers to understand the law and participate, and will encourage harvest of smaller bass and enhance catch-and-release opportunities for larger, quality-size bass,” said Tom Champeau, director of the Division of Freshwater Fisheries Management.

Below is a summary of new black bass regulations that were approved by Commissioners in February 2016 and go into effect July 1, 2016 (see There are no longer separate zones, and more than 40 special regulations or specific Fish Management Area rules for black bass were eliminated.

Daily Bag Limit for Black Bass: All species (largemouth, Choctaw, shoal, Suwannee and spotted) are included in the five fish daily aggregate black bass bag limit. This is the same as the previous statewide rule.

Largemouth bass: Only one may be 16 inches or longer in total length per angler per day, with no minimum length limit.
Suwannee, shoal, Choctaw and spotted basses: 12-inch minimum size limit, only one may be 16 inches or longer in total length.

Shoal Bass Conservation Zone: In the Chipola River between Peacock Bridge and Johnny Boy Landing, shoal bass must be released immediately. This conservation zone for shoal bass further protects this relatively rare species that depends on a limited area of unique habitat.

Tournament Fishing: The bass-tournament permit program will allow anglers participating in permitted tournaments temporary possession of five bass of any size. This program has been ongoing for more than 20 years and allows delayed-release bass tournaments to take place while ensuring proper care, handling and release of all bass caught during the tournament, including those that could otherwise be harvested legally.

Through these inititives, anglers, biologists and other stakeholders shared ideas and collaborated to try something different.

“This new approach is very innovative and I anticipate many states will follow suit,” said Dr. Michael Allen, professor of freshwater fisheries ecology at the University of Florida.

Instant licenses are available at or by calling 888-FISH-FLORIDA (347-4356). Report violators by calling 888-404-3922, *FWC or #FWC on your cell phone, or texting to Visit and select “News,” then “Monthly Columns,” or for more Fish Busters’ Bulletins. To subscribe to FWC columns or to receive news releases, visit

Fishing A Spalding County Bass Tournament at Clarks Hill

Last weekend 15 members and guests of the Spalding County Sportsman Club fished our April tournament at Clarks Hill. In two days we landed 95 keeper bass weighing about 168 pounds. There were 13 five-bass limits in the two days and no one zeroed both days.

I won with ten weighing 23.37 pounds, Sam Smith was second with nine at 18.68 pounds, Billy Roberts placed third with ten weighing 17.91 pounds and Niles Murray placed fourth with ten at 14.34 pounds. Guest Randall Sharpton had big fish with a 4.81 pound largemouth.

I went over early and looked for bedding bass Wednesday afternoon up around Raysville but there was nothing I could see. Thursday morning I hit a couple of blowthroughs with no luck. Then while idling up to a rocky point I saw a wad of fish under bait in ten to 12 feet of water.

I stopped the boat and threw everything I had tied on at them – not a hit. So I tied on a bait I had never caught a bass on before, a Fishhead Spin, but it seemed right, and it was. First cast crawling it along bottom I got a three pounder. After that I sat there and tried to learn how to fish it and hook the fish. In an hour I caught seven or eight between 2.5 and 4.5 pounds and lost three that size. Usually I would not try to catch that many before a tournament but I wanted to try to figure out how to use that bait.

The rest of that day I landed exactly two more keepers in six hours. Both hit a Carolina rig. The fishing was very tough.

Friday morning my partner Kwong Yu met me before daylight and we checked out some more rocky points. We found fish and bait on one and I got a channel cat and two hybrids, nothing else. After that we started hitting points and he got a 4.5 to 5 pounder on a Topwater Spook but we caught just four keepers that whole day.

Sat morning we ran to the point I found on Thursday and I got 11 keepers in less than 90 minutes there. The rest of the day I landed one more! I did have a 4.5 pounder jump and throw a Gunfish topwater plug right at the boat after fighting it on a long cast at 1:00. My best five weighed 15.62 and put me in first place. One of the five weighed about 2.5 pounds, the rest were identical quadruplicates.

Sunday was not as good. We started at the good point and I caught four small keepers and broke one off that got me against the rocks in first two hours. Then we started running points. Kwong got two on Spooks to go with his two the day before on top, he never caught one on a Fishhead Spin, he had no confidence in it even though I was catching them.

I landed my fifth keeper on a Carolina rig at 11:00. It was the only fish we caught back in a pocket all weekend. I got two more that culled two of the first ones I caught, both hit jig head worms on a rocky point. My best five that day was only 7.75 but enough to hold on to first place.

That was a relief. Several times over the past five or six years, including last year, I would be in first in this tournament after the first day but drop because of a poor catch the second day.

Fly Fishing for Bass

Fooling Bass with Feathers; Open-Water’s Overlooked Fly Fishing for Bass Opportunity

By David A. Rose
from The Fishing Wire

Smallie on Streamer

Smallie on Streamer

This smallie whacked a big streamer fished fast in clear water.

Statistics show bass being the most sought-after gamefish in the United States. This means there’s not many offerings a largemouth, smallmouth or spotted bass haven’t already seen. From tubes, grubs, spinnerbaits, crankbaits, jerkbaits…whatever, anglers have steadily reeled, dragged and juddered about every lure conceivable past their lateral lines.

Ichthyologists verify some fish species are capable of remembering, short term; bass, one of them. Overall, even though there’s no calculus or geometry processing throughout their pea-sized brains, bass are smart. When a bass gets stressed out too many times from getting sore-lipped from, say, a white spinnerbait, chances are that a fish will turn tail next time one goes ripping by.

So what are anglers to do when the catching gets tough, especially in waterways with heavy fishing pressure? Give ’em something they don’t often see. But that doesn’t always mean rooting around the bottom of the tackle box in search of the rusty-and-less-than-trusty lure. Backsliding in time to one of the oldest techniques known for fooling fish may just be the ticket.

I’m talkin’ fly fishing.

St. Croix's Mojo Bass Fly

St. Croix’s Mojo Bass Fly

St. Croix’s Mojo Bass Fly was created specifically for hunting bass where conventional casting and spinning gear struggle to operate.

Overall, the flinging of feathers and fur for bass isn’t the dabbling of a tiny topwater-bug. Modern fly-tying materials allow the gurus of the fly tying community to create realistic minnow, crustacean and aquatic insect replications never seen before. And some of the biggest flies can be fished aggressively when it’s called for.

Then there are times fly fishing lets you to present an offering in ways standard spinning and casting gear can’t. And, frequently, the practice will outperform standard techniques.

Crossing the line

I first met Russ Maddin on the banks of a river near my hometown of Traverse City, Michigan, about 25 years ago. The fly angler extraordinaire was casting and testing-out huge streamers newly designed and tied. Little did I realize I was observing the beginning of the big streamer revolution for behemoth trout. I also didn’t envision these big streamers would someday be crossing the line, becoming staple for catching big bass.

“A bunch of the streamers we have concocted for big browns over the years are indispensable for bass, too,” says Maddin. “We really whack them on ’em because of how they dart, and the flash of the material reflects a lot of light.”

While the tried-and-true streamers like 3- and 4-inch Clouser Deep Minnows still fool bass, many of todays articulated flies, like the Circus Peanut, and others such as the Flash Monkey and Murdich Minnow, measure out to 5- to 6-inches or more. And they have a swimming action that rivals the best jointed bodybaits and jerkbaits. To boot, unlike plastic or balsa baits, the soft synthetic and feathery materials never quit moving, pulsating even if the fly’s sitting stationary. Streamers rule when fished at high speed; the hustle generating strikes.

Ploopin’ and Ploppin’

Love catchin’ bass on a topwater lure? Who doesn’t? And the attack from a bass as it throttles a big topwater bug is just as exhilarating.

Big poppers are a standard; have been since day one. And, they can often be fished in areas other lures can’t. Most bass flies are tied on big, single hooks. Add a strand of heavy monofilament over that to surround the point and you’ve got yourself one heck of a snag-proof presentation that even the thickest lily pad or milfoil bed can’t grab hold of.

Bass on Popper

Bass on Popper

Streamer on a Bank robber top; bid deer hair popper on a Mojo Bass Fly underneath; “fluffy flies” in between the reels. These are all a bass angler needs to fool big bass on a fly rod.

Then there are the subsurface flies, which dive mere inches under the surface, such as the Dahlberg Diver and Umpqua Swimming Baitfish. These patterns work wonders when young-of-the-year fishes are eating immerging bugs, and the bass are targeting the fish rather than the insects. One retrieve is to recover line so the diving fly dips under the surface for a few feet, and then give it a pause. This imitates a small fish swimming about and stopping to eat bugs. But don’t let this be your only technique. Steady retrieves are always worth a try.

Falling slowly

Fly fishing is severely overlooked by lake-bound bass anglers. Consider that June-ish period when your sonar absolutely clogs with clutter. Those zillions of tiny specks on my Humminbird ONIX signify mayfly nymphs waggling their way from the bottom.

This is where smaller “jigging flies” come into play. These are tied with heaps of marabou-like feathers, which undulate non-stop like a nymph’s gills, and tied with weighted eyes so they waft ever so slowly down through the water column. Work them slowly on or near bottom with a stop-and-go, and hang on.

Out of the box

Can soft plastics be rigged onto fly tippets and allowed to sink at a snail’s pace? You bet. (Gasp!)

Back in the day, my father would hook a night crawler mid-point (known today as wacky rigging), lob it out into the drink and let it fall like a feather. Needless to say, he out-fished everyone. Wacky rig a do-nothing-type worm and you’ll get the same results.

I tried something similar just last year, nose-nipping a Custom Jigs & Spins’ Pulse-R Paddletail, with a size-6 octopus-style hook with no additional weight. The results? The ultra-slow fall was too tantalizing for smallmouth to pass up. Cast the same rig on conventional gear and the bait wouldn’t make it three feet past the tip. But with the right fly rod, the offering can be cast 100 feet or more. And the clearer the water, the further your cast needs to be.

Surface poppers, fished-on-the-fly, make even average sized bass feel like a diesel on duallies.

Gear head

Surface poppers, fished-on-the-fly, make even average sized bass feel like a diesel on duallies.
Today’s fly rods are becoming as technique-specific as standard spinning gear.

Maddin’s into casting shorter sticks as of late, with lengths under 8 feet slowly taking over his arsenal. Because of his fixation with the short rod, I opted to try out St. Croix’s new 7-foot 11-inch Mojo Bass Fly; which is within bass tournament regulations, being under 8 feet.

“You can make a more accurate cast with a short rod, which is imperative for catching all species of fish,” says Maddin. “Bass during a cold front, for example, won’t move a mere inch off structure to eat. Your fly needs to be spot on each and every cast.”

If you’re not sold on short rods yet, St. Croix’s 9-foot Bank Robber series (VIDEO)—which was designed for casting big streamers by fly guru Kelly Galloup—also works wonders for topwater and slow-falling flies. The most versatile fly rod for bass catchin’ is a 7 or 8 weight.

As for lines, it’s best to have three reels or a couple extra spools filled with different types. A weight-forward floating line is needed for topwater, an intermediate sinking line for slow falling flies, and sinking line for streamers and the like.

Whip it out

Fly fishing for bass is not the dainty dabbling of tiny flies many think it is. Big streamers fished aggressively will rock a bass angler’s world; topwater is still exhilarating; and the slow-fall will catch fish during the most difficult conditions.

David A. Rose is writer, photographer and fishing guide who lives near Traverse City, Michigan.

Flint River Bass Club May Sinclair Bass Tournament

Last Sunday 14 members and guest fished the Flint River Bass Club May tournament at Sinclair. After 8.5 hours of casting we weighed in 53 12-inch keeper largemouth weighing about 73 pounds. There were five five-bass limits and one person didn’t have a keeper.

Niles Murray won it all with five weighing 9.11 and his 3.28 pound largemouth was big fish. Chuck Croft was second with five weighing 8.39 pounds, John Smith had five at 7.48 for third and Sam Smith came in fourth with five weighing 6.76 pounds.

I had an extremely frustrating day. I was really looking forward to it, thinking I could catch some good bass around grass beds on spinnerbaits and top water. And I did catch a keeper within five minutes of starting, on a spinnerbait in grass, then caught a hybrid a few casts later. But that was it for spinnerbaits and grass.

My second keeper came on a jig head worm in front of a grass bed. We fished lot of docks, usually a good way to catch fish on Sinclair any time of the year, but we had just two bites all day on docks. The first hit a jig and pig on a dock ladder but jumped and threw my bait. The second, my third and biggest keeper, hit my jig head worm when I dropped it straight down beside another dock ladder when the wind blew the boat against the dock. I never turned the reel handle, just set the hook and lifted it over the side of the boat.

A little later I got a bite on a seawall on the jig head worm, set the hook and my line broke half way between the rod tip and fish. That is not supposed to happen! Usually it means you have an overhand knot in the line or it has gotten frayed somehow.

One of the most common way for that to happen is to have a small loop in your line when you cast. As the spool revolves the top of the loop hits the line guard and that “burns” or frays it. That is probably what happened to mine.

To add to the insult, a good keeper bass jumped twice trying to throw my bait. I even tried to catch the line in the water with a crankbait but didn’t have any luck.

My last keeper hit a Carolina rigged lizard around some brush in five feet of water. So I lost my fifth keeper two times, but those don’t count. My four weighed 5.62 pounds. Some days are just like that, not much goes right.

Hot days will be here again by this week as Blackberry Winter ends, so get out and catch some bass before it gets too hot to enjoy it.

Tips on Spring Inland Season

Wisconsin Offers Tips on Spring Inland Season Opening May 7
from The Fishing Wire

MADISON, Wis. – Warming temperatures throughout Wisconsin this week should make for a great bite when the general inland fishing season gets underway on Saturday, May 7.

DNR southern fisheries supervisor David Rowe holds a northern pike netted during a musky survey on Lake Monona in Dane County.
Photo Credit: DNR

Matt Andre  with big catfish

Matt Andre with big catfish

Lake Wissota, a 6,300 acre impoundment of the Chippewa River, is well known for its trophy musky. However, the catfish fishery has been gaining popularity and during the spring 2016 fisheries survey, flathead catfish over 20 pounds were a frequent occurrence with flatheads over 40 pounds not uncommon – including this one held by fisheries technician Matt Andre.
Photo Credit: DNR

David Rowe holds a northern pike

David Rowe holds a northern pike

Joseph Gerbyshak holds two 7-plus pound walleyes

Joseph Gerbyshak holds two 7-plus pound walleyes

DNR fisheries biologist Joseph Gerbyshak holds two 7-plus pound walleyes from Long Lake in northern Chippewa County. The lake’s walleye population is rebounding according to recent fisheries survey data and now totals 3.6 adult walleye per acre, up from 2.9 adult walleye per acre four years ago.
Photo Credit: DNR

Justine Hasz, fisheries director for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, said spring survey work on lakes and rivers around Wisconsin indicates healthy fish populations and great opportunities for anglers based on the walleye, bass, northern pike, panfish, trout, muskies and even catfish netted and promptly released by fisheries crew members in recent days.

“Wisconsin remains among the top three angling destinations in the nation and for good reason,” Hasz said. “Whether you prefer fly fishing, casting live bait, trolling or simply watching your bobber dip, our fisheries offer something for everyone.”

While fishing is a passion for many, it is also an economic driver for the state, with an estimated 1.2 million anglers producing a $2.3 billion economic impact, according to the American Sportfishing Association. That impact becomes clear as tens of thousands of anglers take to Wisconsin’s 15,000 lakes, rivers and 13,000 miles of trout streams for opening day.

Walleye continue to be an important target for anglers and since 2013, the Wisconsin Walleye Initiative has worked to rebuild and enhance walleye populations throughout the state. The fish that have been stocked should reach legal size over the next two to three years although some anglers have reported increased catch and release activity from the young fish.

In 2015, Wisconsin stocked 760,000 extended growth walleyes, eclipsing the 2014 record of 720,000. For 2016, DNR intends to stock some 827,000 of the six to eight inch fingerlings, including some 229,000 fish from private and tribal fish farms and 598,000 from DNR hatcheries.

The trout population continues to make gains throughout the state and this year anglers will find 14 streams with upgraded classifications as well as 27 that for the first time have been documented as sustaining trout populations. Six of the newly classified streams have earned the coveted Class 1 designation.

Also new for anglers in 2016 will be simplified trout regulations designed to create more uniformity for anglers who fish on different trout streams and within small geographic areas. Under the new system, maps online and in the regulation pamphlet will indicate one of three regulations:

Green means go fish, with no length limit, a bag limit of five fish and no bait restrictions;
Yellow means caution, with an 8 inch length limit, a bag limit of three fish and no bait restrictions; and
Red means special regulations are in place. Anglers are advised to stop and understand the regulations before fishing.

Anglers targeting panfish also will find new, experimental bag limits to optimize panfish size on high potential lakes capable of producing large panfish. On these lakes, identified in the fishing regulations book, daily bag limits reflect efforts to limit harvest during spawning season or prevent overharvest of any one species.

New Go Wild licensing system makes it easier than ever for anglers to buy, display licenses

Buying a license is easy and convenient through the new Go Wild licensing system, with online access available 24-7. Visit, one of more than 1,000 vendor locations or a DNR service center to purchase licenses.

While the GoWild licensing system allows several new ways to display proof of your license purchase including use of a personal conservation card, authenticated driver’s license and pdf display on mobile devices, anglers fishing in boundary waters must use the paper printouts as law enforcement officials in the surrounding states do not have access to the Wisconsin database.

Wisconsin residents and nonresidents 16 years old or older need a fishing license to fish in any waters of the state. Residents born before Jan. 1, 1927, do not need a license and resident members of the U.S. Armed Forces on active duty are entitled to obtain a free fishing license when on furlough or leave.

Anglers can buy a one-day fishing license that allows them to take someone out to try fishing, and if they like it, the purchase price of that one-day license will be credited toward purchase of an annual license. The one day license is $8 for residents and $10 for nonresidents.

Information about how to provide proof of your purchase may be found at by searching “Go Wild.”

The general Wisconsin fishing season runs from May 7, 2016 to March 5, 2017. To learn more about statewide fishing regulations and rules that apply on specific lakes, visit and search “fishing regulations.” For a complete calendar, search “fishing season dates.”

Anglers can find fish species information, boat access sites, shore fishing areas, lake information and regulations by downloading the free Wisconsin Fish & Wildlife mobile app, which includes a full array of fishing information. DNR has tackle loaner sites in 50 locations, including many state parks, making it easy for people to enjoy fishing if they don’t have their own equipment or if they left it at home.

Blackberry Winter Fishing at Lake Eufaula

I have to smile when people seemed surprised at the cold snap we had last week. Since I grew up on a farm in rural Georgia I know to expect “Blackberry Winter” in late spring each year. When the blackberries are blooming we will have a cold snap.

Blackberry Winter is folklore in the south and Midwest, not a scientific term. But as with many things, folklore based on generations of experience by people living through it is worth paying attention to, even if not backed up by science. And this year certainly proved the folklore right.

Last Wednesday, even though I should know to expect it, Blackberry Winter caught me by surprise. I met Matt Baty at Eufaula just as it started getting daylight. We were going out to get information for a June Georgia and Alabama Outdoor News Map of the Month article.

When I got out of the car at the boat ramp I remembered my jacket – in my van at home. I was wearing a short sleeve shirt under a long sleeve shirt and light summer pants. I was cold the whole time we were on the water.

Not only did the wind blow, making it colder and rough to ride, Matt had a new bass boat and seemed to enjoy running 70 mph, no matter how cold or rough it was. He had s console and windshield in front of him, I did not.

He had warned me fishing would be tough, and it was. The first place we stopped he hook a three pound plus largemouth that jumped and threw his crankbait. For the next three hours neither of us hooked a fish.

As we idled up to a place near the bridge that we marked “hole number 8” for the article Matt said “look at that.” The flat point was covered with fish. He said hybrids and largemouth often stack up on that flat and feed, especially when there is some current coming under the bridge like it was Wednesday morning. He said he liked to catch them even when bass fishing.

Although we were after largemouth, hybrids are fun to catch. Matt started throwing a crankbait while I fished a jig and pig on the bottom, trying to catch a largemouth. After Matt caught about six hybrids I gave up and fished a crankbait, but they didn’t like mine.

Soon Matt said he wanted to try something. He got out two rods rigged with Alabama Rigs, a wire harness with five jigs on the arms. We started slowly trolling across the flat and catching hybrids on nearly every pass.

The biggest of the day, one weighing about five pounds, almost snatched Matt’s rod out of my hand when it hit. Hybrids hit hard and fight even harder. We caught about a dozen hybrids trolling there before we gave up, with them still biting, and went to mark the other spots for the article. It was a lot of fun.