Fishing Wire Ranger Boats ICAST
MONDAY, MARCH 18, 2019

TOP STORY
On Sunday, Knoxville native Ott DeFoe finished an incredible weekend, coming back from 4th place when the day began to win the 49th Bassmaster Classic for the first time in his career.
BIG CATCHES
Two largemouth bass over 13 pounds were caught by anglers in Texas over a recent weekend, bringing the total number of “Legacy Class” Toyota ShareLunker entries up to four for the selective breeding program’s 2019 donation season ending March 31.
CONSERVATION
On March 15th, at one of eight county releases, Florida First Lady Casey DeSantis, Secretary Noah Valenstein of the Department of Environmental Protection and State Representative Bob Rommel joined with CCA to release redfish in Collier County.

For the third consecutive year, the Trump Administration’s budget proposal looks to cut critical programs that protect and restore coldwater resources and that form the foundation of multi-billion dollar commercial and recreational fishing economies.
The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is cautioning Texas boaters and anglers to watch out for nesting birds, which are particularly sensitive to manmade disturbances.
CONTESTS
The outdoor writing contest is open to students in grades 6-12, with entries accepted through May 15.

ENFORCEMENT
The Coast Guard terminated the voyage of a 24-foot pontoon vessel with seven passengers aboard Friday near Watson Island after discovering multiple safety violations.
ENVIRONMENT
These projects will help restore and benefit wetlands, coastal, and nearshore habitats on federally managed lands, increase public access and much more.
EVENTS
The Arizona Game and Fish Department Outdoor Expo, presented by Shikar-Safari Club International, will be held on Saturday, March 30, and Sunday, March 31, at the world famous Ben Avery Shooting Facility in Phoenix.

FISHERIES
At its meeting this week in Vancouver, Wash., the Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC) made the decision to open limited sections of the California coast on April 6 and April 13.
Representatives from the Marine Recreational Information Program and the Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office will be available to answer your questions about estimating recreational catch at the upcoming saltwater fishing show in Providence, Rhode Island.
At last week’s South Atlantic Fishery Management Council (Council) Meeting in Jekyll Island, Ga., the American Sportfishing Association (ASA) reported the results of a series of workshops focused on ways to achieve better recreational fisheries management of snapper grouper species in the South Atlantic.

GRANTS
in the last year AFTCO has made tremendous efforts to broaden it’s efforts by giving back to freshwater fisheries in a partnership with B.A.S.S. Nation.
HIGH SCHOOL FISHING
Mobility was the key for Gracie Herbold and Aaron Cherry of Headland Bass Team, who caught a five-bass limit that weighed 16 pounds, 9 ounces to win the Mossy Oak Fishing Bassmaster High School Classic on Watts Bar Lake, held in conjunction with the GEICO Bassmaster Classic.
INDUSTRY
To date, NMMA Boat & Sportshows have partnered with more than 100+ influencers, reaching a potential 2MM+ people across show markets via Instagram, Facebook and other social platforms to garner awareness amongst new audiences and help draw more potential boaters to NMMA shows.
MARINE ELECTRONICS
The ultimate in fish-finding technology for over two decades, Aqua-Vu recently introduced Multi-Vu HD Pro, a turnkey sonar- or TV-to-camera adapter system that turns your LCD into a live underwater viewer.
PASSINGS
Former Maryland Gov. Harry R. Hughes, who launched the Chesapeake Bay restoration effort, died Wednesday at his home on the Eastern Shore. He was 92.
Extremely popular and well respected for leading the reemergence of Iconic Marine's three brands— Fountain, Baja and Donzi—32-year marine industry veteran Joe Curran passed away yesterday after a short and hard fought battle with stomach cancer.
STATES
Smelt are running up the Cowlitz River, but not in substantial enough numbers to justify a fishery this year, according to state fish managers.
The first watercraft inspection stations of 2019 are opening this month in Kalispell, Ravalli and Browning.
Increasing angling opportunity and potentially improving conditions for other sportfish are the Missouri Department of Conservation’s (MDC) goals for Stockton Lake’s newest spotted bass regulation.
Commissioners approved funding for several Restoration and Enhancement Projects including repair of the Pine Hollow boat ramp in Wasco County and acquisition of Peterson Point property in Tillamook County.
No red tide, no fish kills and no respiratory irritation was reported anywhere in the state this week, for the first time in several years.
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) reminds Ohioans that small numbers of dead fish may be common in ponds and small lakes this spring.
LDWF will be participating in the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) Spring Aboard-Take a Boating Education Course campaign by providing eight free boating education courses across the state from March 17-23.
The Division of Marine Fisheries will close 2,877 acres of shellfish waters to shellfish harvest today due to high fecal coliform bacteria pollution.
TELEVISION
Take a peek behind the curtain of some of today’s best and most well-known brands with Outdoor Sportsman Group’s newest show: Sportsman Channel’s TECHSPERTS.

Photo: Shutterstock, via Virginia DGIF

By Dr. Peter Brookes

Pssssst! Here’s a dirty little secret for you:  If you want to catch your biggest largemouth bass of the year, this month—March—may be your best bet to net “basszilla.”

That may sound a bit odd, but, according to John Odenkirk, Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (DGIF) biologist, a lot of very big largemouth bass are caught this time of year as Mother Nature moves us from winter to spring.

As water temperatures increase, largemouth bass will shake off the cold and become increasingly active.  In the pre-spawn, they’ll fatten up; while spawning, largemouth bass will become more aggressive, protecting against threats to their eggs.

As Virginians, we’re really blessed with some incredible largemouth bass fisheries right here in the state.  Indeed, anglers are known to travel big distances from across our great land to throw a lure at an Old Dominion “lunker.”

If you didn’t already know from the number of largemouth bass fishing tournaments that take place there, Lake Anna is considered one of the top “bucketmouth” fisheries in Virginia.

One of the largest reservoirs in the state, Lake Anna is easily reachable from Northern Virginia, Fredericksburg, Richmond and Charlottesville. You just can’t argue with that sort of accessibility—or fishing.

And then, of course, there’s the powerful and plentiful Potomac River. It turns out that our beloved Potomac and its tidal creeks aren’t only an incredible fish factory, but one of the—if not the—top largemouth bass fisheries in the United States.

Nice.

The other awesome thing about these two water systems is that, as Odenkirk wisely pointed out to me, if the Potomac River is looking unfishable, Lake Anna may well be totally fishable or at least fishable in spots.

That means if we have a really rainy year like last year—which, I understand, was one for the record books—when the Potomac River is high and off-color, it’s likely, that as a reservoir, most parts of Lake Anna could be eagerly awaiting your fly, lure or bait.

The mid-lake region along Rose Valley, Ware Creek and the State Park along the outside edge of water willow beds can produce outstanding spring angling, Odenkirk told me.

In other words, while we all need to heed Mother Nature (e.g., thunderstorms, high water, etc.), there may be no good excuse for leaving your bass tackle box and rods at the back of the gear closet if the weather has been on the wet side.

Photo: Shutterstock, via Virginia DGIF
 

Of course, these fish are available in Virginia beyond the Potomac River and Lake Anna.

DGIF notes that GastonBuggs IslandChickahominyChesdinSmith MountainPrinceBriery CreekWestern Branch and Flannagan Lakes are all top-notch largemouth fisheries. For rivers, hit the Chickahominy (below Walkers Dam) and James (below the fall line).

According to DGIF, plastic worms and other plastic imitations, crankbaits, spinner baits, surface lures, jigs and other artificials, imitating minnows, crayfish, frogs, salamanders and nightcrawlers are good bets for the spin rodder.

Live bait options recommended by DGIF include jumbo shiners, small bluegills, minnows, crayfish, nightcrawlers and frogs. For the fly guys and gals, streamers and large poppers on the end of an 8-pound to 10-pound leader can be productive.

Nothing quite like the thrill of seeing a largemouth slam an artificial on the surface.

In terms of where to find largemouths this time of year, target horizontal and vertical structure (e.g., down wood and docks) and southern exposed flats near drop-offs late in the afternoon to bag these early season bass.

With an average weight of 2 – 4 pounds—with monsters tipping the scales at up to 10 pounds—there’s no question that the hard-fighting Micropterus salmoides is arguably America’s most popular freshwater game fish.

And, even better, this month would be an opportune time to bring a Virginia “bassquatch” to hand.

Dr. Peter Brookes is a DC foreign policy geek by day and a Virginia outdoor scribbler by night. Brookesoutdoors@gmail.com

FISHING CALENDAR
March 22-24
New England Saltwater Fishing Show

Rhode Island Convention Center in Providence, largest SW show in northeast: http://www.nesaltwatershow.com

Palmetto Sportsmen’s Classic

State Fairgrounds in Columbia, S.C.; www.psc@dnr.sc.gov

April 9
Inshore/Nearshore Fishing Seminar

Captain Jeff Hagaman presents an inshore/nearshore fishing seminar with Captain Mike Anderson of “Reel Animals TV” and radio programs, 7 to 9 at Gator Ford off I-4 east of Tampa, free food and drink.

May 16-19
Emerald Coast Open Lionfish Tournament

Destin, Florida, cash prizes for most lionfish brought in; www.emeraldcoastopen.com

May 23-24
2019 BoatUS Collegiate Bass Fishing Championship presented by Bass Pro Shops

June 3-9
Mississippi Gulf Coast Billfish Classic

Golden Nugget Casino and Hotel, Biloxi, MS; mgcbc.com

 
Click here to unsubscribe
This newsletter was sent to ###email###
Fishing Wire - 2271 N Upton St., Arlington, VA 22207
Copyright © 2018, Outdoor Wire Digital Network.
All Rights Reserved.