Monthly Archives: May 2012

Avoiding the Summer Crowd

If you are like us, and fish a lot of the large reservoirs in your area, then there is a good chance you will be able to relate to this article.  Last weekend was one of the busiest boating holidays of the year (Memorial Day), and if you live near a popular lake, you will know that busy does not even begin to describe the boat traffic.  If you are like me, and hate to miss a weekend of fishing, there is one way I have found to really avoid a majority (not all of) the boat traffic, even in the middle of the day.

Almost every lake is going to have some type of river flowing into it.  After all, something has to flow water into the lake.  Now, if you have been on the lake for a while, many times you will hear people talk about where the river gets “dangerous.”  Usually what this means is there is a bit of timber or rocks under the water, and if you are not careful, you may be replacing a lower unit very soon.  But, that is the area of the river you want to learn!  If you can learn how to navigate that stretch of river, you can almost guarantee that you will be one of the very few boats in the area, and a more peaceful day of fishing.

Every summer you can find me way up the Etowah river on lake Allatoona.  That has become our refuge from the summer boat traffic.  Sure, we will still have the occasional boat/jet ski come through, but for every 1 we see in the river, you would see close to 50 on the main lake.  Also, many times the rivers will offer you a different style of fishing than the main lake.  For instance, Allatoona is very much a finesse fishing lake.  However, if you get far enough up the river, you will have current, and can even do some power fishing.

So, with summer in full swing now, it may be worth your time to break out a map.  You never know what opportunities lie just to the north of your favorite lake.

Jekyll Island Shark Fishing

A buddy of mine is getting married very soon, and with any marriage comes a bachelor party. Well, being the grizzly men that my friends tend to be, the party was scheduled to take place on Jekyll Island, camping and shark fishing for 4 days. The only problem is that none of us had ever sharked fished from a beach before, but with the help of the internet, and the Shark Fishing Handbook, we had a vague idea of what we needed to prepare for, but still were pretty clueless when it came to actually putting a real man eater on the sand.

Since none of us had ever shark fished from the sand before, we had to acquire all the necessary gear.  Thanks to Craigslist, we found a screaming deal on a Penn 9/0 Senator reel and matching rod.  Thanks to a friend who works at a manufacturing supply house, we were able to get all the steel cable we needed for leaders and, as luck would have it, we also tracked down a kayak.  So, for a total investment of right around $100, we were ready to hit the beach.

When we got to Jekyll the first thing we noticed was just how swift the current was.  Granted, none of us were big surf fishermen, but we have also never experienced such swift current with almost zero waves.  Still, we had prepared for big current and big waves, with over 14lbs of lead to weight our baits down, so we were off and fishing.

As we fished, we were able to slowly refine our techniques, and on the second day/night of fishing, we had everything down pat.  Instead of using lead to hold our baits, we would tie on a rock to the line, using 15lb monofilament line.  When a fish would bite, the line would easily break, allowing us to fight just the fish and no additional weight on the line.  This was also nice when it came time to check baits.  Instead of dragging in a giant weight (which was a real bear), we were able to snap the line holding the rock on, and it was much easier to reel in the line.

Through the 3 nights and 4 days of fishing we caught countless small sharks, a couple very large rays and 3 nice sized lemon sharks.  The favorite bait seemed to be a bonita in the 1.5lb – 2lb range.  We did have a large, 5lb or so bait out the last night, but it never got touched.  For a group of first timers, we all went home feeling like the trip was a success, returning home with all our limbs in tact, and wanting to all get back on the beach in the near future.