Latest News

Stokes: When it comes to fishing, all you can do is make an attempt

I don't presume to know all there is to know about fishing. To do so would only instigate a tirade by readers believing I have truly fallen off the deep end. What I do know is everyone has an opinion and the majority thinks theirs is correct. Relating to my own state of infirmary, I am no better nor worse.

I will try anything once -- sometimes twice, just to prove I didn't make some kind of mistake the first time. And until something better comes along that produces better results, I will continue down the path of fishing prowess taught to me by others, refined through trial and error and given every opportunity to be proven otherwise. After all, I believe in giving the fish a fair chance. Which is more than I can say for this lesser vertebrate that encompasses the majority of my time in frustration and diminishes my wallet faster than Uncle Sugar and the IRS.

But alas, choices have been made ...

Fishing recently has become more of a challenge for anglers. Conditions dictate the presence of fish and emphasize a more direct approach and technique employed by those in pursuit. These same conditions change from day to day and more often can prove frustrating.

Fishing is defined by Webster's thusly: "to catch or attempt to catch (any species of fish or the like)."

Attempt being the key word.

Fishing Trends

Offshore and inshore, things are beginning to show promise.

Active species offshore include Dolphin, Wahoo, Mackerel, a few scattered and delinquent Cobia, large Black Tip Shark, good numbers of Black Drum along with occasional drifts of Spadefish. There were some sailfish in the mix, but time and distance proved to be the deciding factor of pursuit.

Bottom fish have been cooperating from wreck and reef structures, of which species include but are not limited to Snapper and Grouper as well as Blackfish. Oddly, a number of large Tripletail were caught recently while drifting for anchorage in these same reaches.

A bit of surf fishing gave way to opportunity this past week, but as yet bragging rights have been reserved.

When all else fails and time is growing short in time and tide, these mild but occasionally rainy days offer brief periods of explosive fishing inshore.

The feeding time varies, but your odds of bringing home something with fins increases along the larger shell banks which have considerable mud rises along the edges. The longer shell rises that jut out from the bank and resemble large peninsulas are hot spots that should not be ignored. These peninsulas provide current and tidal breaks and provide good ambush points for a number of game fish. Where there is security for baitfish you will find opportunity for game fish.

Tackle Tip: Package Deceit

Most artifical lures are packaged with instructions that are supposed to assist us in use. If these applications were correct, there would be fewer fishermen, fishing would no longer be a sport and everyone would have fresh fish on the table.

The simple truth: No lure will provide success simply due to a written word. If this was the case they would package return policy instructions when results are not achieved.

All lures require application in different and diverse conditions. This is the only way to gauge a lure's productivity. If we fail to try different techniques, manufacturers would have a monopoly on sales. Soon you would see lures for rainy days, spring mornings and summer nights, lures of every description.

Simply because the manufacturer made a statement based on impulse purchases does not make it fact.

Experiment, break the mold and try the different. The results can be amazing.