Road Trips

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  • 12/28/2019 10:46 AM | Ron Presley (Administrator)
    Southern hospitality and beautiful crappies too.

    by Ron Presley

    When I am revisiting one of my favorite rivers, it is hard to believe it can get any better but it always does. As usual, my visit to West Volusia County, Florida was related to fishing, but my desire to return includes the character of the people and all the things that were left unseen and undone along the St. Johns River.

    The St. Johns River visit was a little further north than I usually travel so I got to see a new part of the river. It was in the Astor, FL area. Crappie USA was holding its first tournament of the season on the St. Johns River. I noticed one of the host lodging facilities was Parramore’s Campground. I contacted the owner, Kimsey Slade, and made arrangements to stay in one of their cabins.

    Astor is located at the intersection of HWY 40 and the St. Johns River. It is safe to say that it is truly a river community populated by people that love the water. The area is strewn with marinas, bait shops (Astor Bait and Tackle), A family market, and even Ace Hardware. The shoreline along that stretch of the river is characterized by residential and commercial housing.

    When I arrived at the camp’s office, I was greeted by a staff member, Debbie, and given a quick tour of the property. I discovered that in addition to the rental cabins there are also year-round properties, a swimming pool, basketball court, tennis court, playground, and more. There are fishing docks, a picnic pavilion, and a laundry room intended to cater to the needs of guests.  

    Our cabin at Parramore’s featured clean and comfortable rooms and a fully equipped kitchen and dining area. Given the great kitchen facility, we ate most of our meals inhouse. It even had a screened-in porch to enjoy a morning coffee or evening beverage in a relaxing cozy environment. We literally had all the comforts of home at the cabin they call the Squirrel's Nest.

    We discovered that the camp was on an oxbow off of the main St. Johns River. Since there is a boat ramp on site it was extremely convenient to launch and run the short distance out to the river. Take a right turn when you reach the river and you are headed for Lake George. It’s a large lake, about 11 miles long and 6 miles across. If instead, you take a left turn at the river you can easily navigate to the smaller lakes of Dexter and Woodruff, also excellent fishing lakes.

    At days end we had a covered boat slip to store the boat without having to put it back on the trailer. Electricity was available for charging trolling motor batteries. It is as convenient as any angler could expect!

    The river is known for its big black crappie and it did not disappoint. The winning weight at the tournament was 12.14 pounds in 7 fish. That’s an average of about 1.73 pounds. The big fish of the tournament was a 2.53-pound beauty. To know that you can catch crappie like that just minutes from your cabin is a fisherman’s dream come true.

    With fish like these coming from the St. Johns it is no wonder that folks like to visit the area. And, the river is conducive to many different methods of crappie fishing. Spider-rigging, long-lining, vertical jigging, minnows, and lures will all catch crappie. This is one of those bucket list destinations that are very likely to provide a personal best crappie on any given day. They are big and they are pretty.

    Other than Fishing, What?

    Road trips require lodging, food, fuel, and other attractions for the non-anglers in the party. The area provides numerous choices for all those things.

    In the first place, the location is perfect for planning day trips from your cabin. As the anglers go fishing the rest of the crew can go out on their own hiking, swimming, theme parking, shopping or a multitude of other things. The camp is conveniently located near the Ocala National Forest, Daytona Beach, Disney World and all the attractions of Orlando—not to mention the many freshwater springs in the area.

    There is no lack of places to eat. In our one foray out of the cabin to eat, we chose the Rose Garden Family Restaurant on HWY 40. It had been recommended by several of the locals and it was great. Good food and friendly staff are hard to beat. Remember, they only serve breakfast and lunch, so plan accordingly (7 am to 3 pm). If you want dinner there are plenty of options. Don’t forget, a discussion with the people you meet will help you locate those local, out of the way spots that are often the best places of all. We heard from several people we talked to that the Blackwater Inn was another popular place and it’s right on the water near the bridge.

    As usual, there is never enough time to see everything you would like to in a town like Astor but we had a breakdown on the trailer and needed some parts. We had noticed an Ace Hardware sign from the water the day before. It is actually located just a block from the Butler Street Boat Ramp and we saw it as we cruised by on the river. We made our way over there and they fixed us up with what we needed, including some advice about the fishing.

    Everyone we met was friendly and helpful. It is evident that they love their river town. The small-town atmosphere is just what I like when I have time to get away from the city. Street names like Coon Road and Bobcat Road give you a feel for the outdoorsy nature of the area. Add in the abundant Florida foliage and wildlife and you have a perfect destination for your next getaway. I recommend you take a look at the area on Google Maps and study the possibilities. A visit to the Paramore’s Camp Facebook page will keep you up to date on day-to-day activities, so be sure to like and follow.

    Just like each of my previous trips to the St. Johns River I left with a desire to return. Not just for the fishing which is usually my reason for going, but for the friendly people, the wildlife, and the peacefulness. I definitely plan to return soon.

  • 03/30/2019 10:19 AM | Ron Presley (Administrator)
    Southern hospitality and trophy catfish too.

    When I am revisiting one of my favorite states, Alabama, it is hard to believe it can get any better but it always does. My reason for visiting is most often related to catfishing, but my desire to return includes the character of the people and all the things that were left unseen and undone in North Alabama.

    Athens is located in Limestone County in the rolling foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. The southern border is the Tennessee River and the northern border is the State of Tennessee. I have to admit, it’s the Tennessee River that is the biggest attraction for me, but Karen enjoyed the town square and the antebellum homes as part of our visit.

    On the fishing side, I enjoy going because of the big fish. When I stayed in Athens it was for the Fishlife National Championship of Catfishing. The tournament was being held on beautiful  Wheeler Lake. The lake is known for its big trophy catfish so it is a frequent destination for tournaments. In fact, my own personal best 83-pound blue cat came from Wheeler while fishing with Cad Daly and Chris Parker. Every week that goes by produces another personal best catfish for someone else. It’s a very regular occurrence. Wheeler Lake is that good!

    In this particular tournament, first place went to Mike Mitchell from Russellville, AL and Rick Sexton from Helenwood, TN. They used precision anchoring techniques to weigh 305.79 pounds in two days of fishing. Their bag included the Big Fish of the tournament at 80.04 pounds (see photo).

    Keep in mind that the weight is based on 5 fish each day for a total of 10. Based on state law only 4 of the 10 can be more than 34-inches long. Yet, under those restrictions, the first-place weight averaged more than 30 pounds for each catfish. Ten catfish that weighed more than 300 pounds. How awesome.

    This tournament and others like it continue to show why recreational catfish anglers like to visit Wheeler Lake. It is a big fish destination and very likely to produce someone’s next personal best catfish if they give it a chance.

    Other than Fishing, What?

    Road trips require lodging, food, fuel, and other attractions for the non-anglers in the party. Athens, AL provided numerous choices for all those things.

    We stayed at the Holiday Inn Express & Suites, Athens. The rooms were clean and comfortable and the location was convenient to Wheeler Lake. We were about 20 minutes from the First Creek Boat Ramp where the tournament would take place. We were less than that from Rogersville, AL where the captains meeting would be.

    I particularly like the great free breakfast and the strong Wi-Fi at the hotel. The reason I like the breakfast is obvious, it was good. The reason I like the Wi-Fi is that having the ability to continue my work and stay in touch with everyone is paramount when I travel. I was able to do three Facebook Live Feeds to report on the tournament without interruption or buffering.

    In one instance I was looking for a location near a window on a rainy morning. I wanted viewers to see what the weather was doing as I reported on tournament morning. An employee observed me and asked if he could help. I told him what I was looking for and within a few minutes he had directed me to a second-floor location with a window and set up a table and chair for me to use in the broadcast. That’s service with a smile.

    In another side story, I was visiting with Shelia, the “breakfast lady,” and discovered that her dad was fishing the tournament. It really is a small world.

    And then there was the second shift desk clerk. It turns out she does a lot more than just check you in and be sure you have everything you need.

    “The night clerk on the front desk (Shawna), knows all things Athens,” advised Andrea Turner, Athens Limestone County Tourism. “She can inform you of everything you want to know. If you like to experience that ‘local” feel while visiting Athens, she is definitely your girl.”

    With opportunities in the town square and all the chain restaurants in the area associated with the intersection of I-65 and Hwy 72, there is no lack of places to eat. I happen to like Ruby Tuesday’s salad bar and there is one immediately as you leave the Holiday Inn Express. And any fast food option you desire is close by. Don’t forget, a discussion with the people you meet will help you locate those local, out of the way spots that are often the best places of all.

    Depending on when you visit, there are tons of things to do in Athens and the surrounding countryside. The best way to line them up is to browse Once on the site just click on the “Things to Do” tab and choose from available happenings and attractions. There are other links on the site to restaurants, lodging, and even an event calendar.

    The first visit we made and enjoyed was the UG White Mercantile store in downtown Athens. For nearly a century this store has served as the anchor for the downtown area. It is a blend of the old and the new. In year’s past, businessmen, cotton farmers, mill workers, and the general population found just about anything they needed at UG White.

    Just imagine an inventory of horse drawn plows, iron skillets, pocket knives, candy in the bulk, bolts of linen, and everything in between. You can still get many of those things today, plus an array of more modern products. With a reputation for fair prices and outstanding customer service, there is something for everyone at UG White.

    As usual, there is never enough time to see the many local attractions in a town like Athens. We had time for one more visit and we chose the Alabama Veterans Museum and Archives. Located in downtown Athens, the museum is housed in the 100-year old L & M Freight Depot which was once the departure point for shipping cotton by rail.

    Visitors are greeted at the door by an experienced volunteer and given a brief introduction to the facility and how it is laid out. Then visitors are allowed to spend as much time as they want to browse through the various military eras.

    What you will find is an outstanding exhibit of military memorabilia that has been donated by families whose relatives date back as far as the Civil War and forward through time to Afghanistan. You will see everything from weapons and uniforms to posters and photos. A tour through the museum is both educational and entertaining as emotional reminders of what the great patriots of previous wars endured to keep us free.

    An active tourism presence in the hotels and other locations around Athens provides great street maps and attraction brochures to guide you to those things that interest you the most. A visit to the Athens-Limestone Visitors Center Facebook page will keep you up to date on day-to-day activities, so be sure to like and follow.

    Final Thoughts
    Just like each of my previous trips to North Alabama I left with a desire to return. Not just for the fishing which is usually my reason for going, but for the people, and their friendliness. I am happy to say that I already have a return visit on my calendar.

  • 11/02/2018 11:23 AM | Ron Presley (Administrator)

    A Can-Do Attitude Opens Attractive Opportunities
    by Ron Presley

    The Ohio River and catfishing was the main attraction at Owensboro, KY. But fantastic food and spectacular lodging was a welcome part of the deal.

    The occasion was the Ninth Annual Monsters on the Ohio catfish tournament (MOTO). The sport of catfishing is growing rapidly and Monsters on the Ohio was one of the first to see the possibilities. Now MOTO is looked on by others as a model to follow when conducting a catfish tournament. With help from city officials and tourism assets, it has become one of the most popular tournaments going.

    The 2018 MOTO Tournament  

    Tournament director, Aaron Wheatley and his crew had to deal with abnormally high water served up by Mother Nature preceding the tournament Basically, it wiped out a parking area down on the river that normally holds about 110 boats. This year all those boats had to be parked up on top instead of passing by the weigh-in stage and straight into the area to park.

    The city is fortunate to have an outstanding facility at English Park to hold the tournament. It includes a berm seating area, restrooms, and other visitor amenities provided by a city that understands the importance of the river. Wheatley adapted, went to plan B, and with the help of numerous volunteers it all worked out fine.

    Even Bill Dance showed up with his fishing partners, George Young, Jr. and Ben Geobel. Although recognized for his bass fishing exploits, Dance is a catfishing fanatic. The team finished ninth in the competition and were a big hit at the weigh-in where Dance signed autographs for the kids and other fans.Dale and Matt Kerns, from Illinois, claimed the top spot at MOTO with a total weight of 129.31 pounds. They fought off fogy conditions, loss of fishing time due to waiting for a lock through, and an operator error that beached them on a sandbar to pull out the win.

    The second-place team also weighed more than 100 pounds of Ohio River catfish. Willie & Stacie Smith from Ohio weighed in their limit of 5 fish at 108.60 pounds. Their bag included the biggest fish of the day at 46.70 pounds. Stacie earned the title, “Queen of the Monsters on the Ohio,” as the highest finishing female.

    The presence of female anglers and families with kids are a big part of catfish tournaments these days and a beneficial part of the sport. A commonly heard phrase among anglers says, “Families that fish together, stay together.”

    The stats from those teams and others serve to point out the fishing possibilities at Owensboro, but there is much more to visiting than the fishing.

    Other than Fishing, What?

    Road trips require lodging. Owensboro is large enough that any and all possibilities for lodging exist. However, to make the visit special you should consider staying on the riverfront.

    The downtown riverfront district has undergone multimillion-dollar improvements. The results of the investment from a public-private partnership is stunning. Nearly six acres have been developed that includes a veterans memorial, three fountains with water shows every 15 minutes, a cascading waterfall, a large playground for the kids, and seating that allows visitors to enjoy the Ohio River as they view the commercial and recreational traffic it carries.

    I was overly impressed with a walk through the area. Each exhibit flows seamlessly from one to the other on a beautiful brick paved promenade. It is hard to describe just how relaxing it is with the river so close at hand.

    If you have kids, Smothers Park is a must visit as part of the riverfront. It actually dates back to 1816 when it was the first city park. In the newly developed park, the kids will enjoy the Lazy Dayz Playground, the Ronald Lee Logsdon SprayPArk, and the Fountains. Everyone can enjoy the concession stand and picnic areas and take advantage of the restrooms and porch swings.

    We stayed at the Hampton Inn. Our room was spacious, comfortable, and clean. The view, overlooking the Ohio River and the well-developed riverfront, was nothing short of spectacular. It is pretty hard to beat waking up to a cup of coffee and the stunning view of the Ohio River and the well-used amenities along the river. People were walking, jogging, and just plain relaxing at one of the many benches and overlooks available along the riverfront.

    Good local food is always high on my priorities when I visit a new area. In the case of Owensboro, I used social media to gain some recommendations. Several establishments were recommended that I had the pleasure of visiting. In each case, I found accommodating people, good service, and good food.

    Our first opportunity was the Moonlight BBQ on our first night in town. We chose to do the carryout and take it back to the Hampton Inn where we could dine and enjoy the nighttime view of the river. It lived up to all expectations. In fact, my wife, Karen, was ready to return the next day.

    Well the next day came and it began with coffee and a view from the room, but quickly transitioned to Dee’s Dinner. It was awesome. My wife had a traditional breakfast with eggs, bacon, home fries, and rye toast. Her comment was, “We can eat breakfast here every day.”  

    I was craving pancakes and the menu offered small and large. The waitress warned me that the large ones were “this big” as she spread her hands to show me. I took her to heart and ordered the small ones. I later posted on Facebook to all my friends warning them not to order the large, because the small ones completely covered my plate. Don’t miss Dee’s Diner when you visit Owensboro.

    We always look for “local” diners where everyday residents eat. Madewell’s Corner Cafe filled the bill perfectly. They offer breakfast and brunch in a family-friendly atmosphere with good food to boot. The kids can play with the matchbox cars to occupy their attention while you enjoy a scrumptious made-to-order breakfast or a daily special lunch plate that varies day to day.

    These are just three of many restaurants recommended by friends, so I guess it will require a return visit to test out the others. Bernie's BBQ on 18th, JD'S on Breckinridge, or Gary's Drive Inn on Schrem Road were also on the list. Then there’s Old Hickory BBQ and Mendy’s Kitchen. We needed more time.

    Other Things to Do in Owensboro

    Depending on when you visit, there are tons of things to do in Owensboro. The best way to line them up is to visit the website at Visit Owensboro. Once on the site just click on the “What to Do” tab and the online “Calendar” tab to choose from available happenings and attractions.

    One example we enjoyed was the Owensboro Regional Farmers Market which is open Saturdays 8:00 am – 12:00 pm from April thru May. Beginning in June, the market is also open on Tuesday and Thursday from 6:30 am – 12:00 pm. A visit will reveal locally grown veggies, flowers, meats, and baked goods.

    It is that same “can-do” attitude that makes MOTO successful that also makes the city of Owensboro attractive as a destination to visit for other reasons. Good people and great attitudes always make a visit more fun and relaxing. Those characteristics were prevalent in Owensboro and make me want to return.

  • 09/29/2018 12:27 PM | Ron Presley (Administrator)

    Hoosier Hospitality and Big Fish Too
    by Ron Presley

    The Ohio River runs boldly along the riverfront at Jeffersonville, IN. The city’s history is inescapably tied to the river which the city embraces for the wonderful asset that it is.

    Back in the days when roads were few, the rivers were lifelines to the city’s residents and they are still today. The Ohio River provides transportation, power, and jobs to the area. In fact, the river contributes to the area economy in many ways. A growing part of that equation is tourism and recreation. 

    I had an opportunity to get a firsthand look at Jeffersonville while attending the Cabela’s 2018 King Kat Classic in October. Competing anglers could fish the Ohio River south from the Markland Lock & Dam, at Warsaw, KY to Cannelton Lock & Dam, at Cannelton, IN. That stretch of the Ohio River has produced plenty of big catfish.

    Mother Nature had created a river that was wild and wooly for the visiting anglers. Recent rains had swollen the river to higher than normal level and it gave anglers reason to wonder. The swifter than normal current and the floating debris presented additional challenges that the anglers would have to face.

    The current in the river is normally much less than it was on this weekend but savvy tournament anglers accepted the challenge and adapted to the conditions. When the two-day tournament ended it had produced a record weight for Cabela’s 2018 King Kat trail.

    “The 169 pounds weighed in by Justin Cook and Gary Ryan on day one was a record,” reported tournament director Jeremy Coe. “That is the heaviest weight of a King Kat tournament all year when the one fish over 34-inch rule was in effect.”

    That heavy stringer was just a start to the big fish that would come to the scales. By the end of day two, the top four teams had total weights of more than 200 pounds and the top 17 teams had more than 100 pounds of Ohio River catfish. 

    The team of Jeff “Big Daddy” Dodd and Roy Harkness had the Big Kat of the tournament. The big blue catfish came on day two and weighed 71.30 pounds.

    Needless to say, the tournament was a huge success and it was the reason for being in Jeffersonville. However, fishing isn’t the only reason to visit.

    Other than Fishing, What?

    If your non-fishing companions and the kids are more into sightseeing, shopping, and eating, there are plenty of places for them to go. And, as far as a place to stay there are plenty of options too. Our base camp was the Sheraton Louisville Riverside Hotel.

    We made our first non-fishing related visit to Portage House, a riverfront restaurant with a stunning view of the Ohio River. The menu consists of American Cuisine with a creative touch added by an award-winning chef. We chose patio seating on a gorgeous Jeffersonville evening. The food was delicious, the view was fabulous, and the desire to return is lingering still.

    With our taste buds satisfied, a short walk along the riverfront prepared us for our first night at the Sheraton Louisville Riverside Hotel. As soon as we entered the lobby we were sure it was going to be something special. 

    We were not disappointed. Our accommodations were roomy, clean, and comfortable, and the Wi-Fi signal was strong.

    The Sheraton view of the river drew me to stand in front of the floor to ceiling windows gazing out at the river flowing below and the Louisville skyline on the horizon.

    “The Sheraton Louisville Riverside Hotel is conveniently located less than a mile from the downtown Louisville city center,” offered Terri King, Director of Sales. “The hotel features amazing views of the iconic Ohio River, our multiple bridges, beautiful skylines. The hotel is also just a short distance from the Falls of the Ohio, a geological and environmental treasure!”

    Intrigued by King’s mention of the Falls of the Ohio we investigated further and discovered that the falls were a natural stopping point for travelers back in the day. The falls are caused by a 24-foot drop of the Ohio River that continues over long a stretch of rapids. At normal water levels, the flats are accessible to visitors wanting to search for fossils. However, you will only want to bring your camera because it is illegal to collect them.

    Perched above the falls on the Indiana side of the river is the George Rogers Clark home site and the area that Meriwether Lewis and William Clark used as a base camp as they prepared their historic expedition to find a water passage to the Pacific Ocean. George’s cabin remains there today just a short distance upriver from a commemorative statue of Lewis and Clark shaking hands and symbolizing the beginning of their great expedition.

    We also took the opportunity to visit the Howard Steamboat Museum. It stands as a monument to a family business that operated for 107 years and the construction of more than 1,100 vessels between 1934 and 1941. The inland river vessels were popular because of their quality construction and durability. All though they were built right there on the Ohio River, they were put to service all over the U.S.

    The Museum was originally the home of Edmonds Howard’s family and later home to Capt. Jim Howard and his wife Loretta, the last family members to live in there. The accompanying photo is of the grand stairway in the Museum is much like what was found in the steamboats of the day.

    During World War II the shipyard was purchased by the U.S. Government and ended ownership by the Howard family. It later sold to the Jeffersonville Boat and Machine Company. The name was shortened to Jeffboat and continued to operate until April of 2018.

    Perhaps my favorite exhibits in the museum are the many model steamboats and other vessels that gave life and history to the river itself. The museum is also a treasure trove of carved wood furniture, mantels, and accessories that demonstrate the skills of the craftsmen of the day. It is a stop well worth making in Jeffersonville.

    A few days is not enough to visit all the sights and stop at all the eateries. Good food abounds in the area and it will take more time to visit all of them. However, there is one other place that captured my taste buds’ interest completely. You may only want to stop for some candy, but Schimpff’s Confectionery on Spring Street is a must stop for a great lunch as well.

    The doors of this Jeffersonville centerpiece opened in 1891 after many years at its original location across the river in Louisville. Schimpff’s has been providing the area with quality candy ever since. The current location offers candy-making demonstrations on century-old machinery that they still use today.

    Jeffersonville is just a walk or bicycle ride away from Louisville over the Big Four Bridge which spans the Ohio River between the two cities. The bridge ends on the Indiana side at Historic Downtown Jeffersonville. (Jeff Caven photo)

    There is so much more to see and do in Jeffersonville that a re-visit and a longer stay is needed. My host at the Sheraton, Terri King, said it best. “There are so many wonderful opportunities for you and your guests, the only challenge will be finding a way to stay a little while longer!”

  • 05/28/2018 10:54 AM | Ron Presley (Administrator)

    Southern hospitality at its best (and big fish too).

    by Ron Presley

    The big bass weighed 8 pounds, 7 ounces and was no surprise at all to Brian Prowant who was my guide for the day. Prowant is a tournament angler and well know in the area for his ability to catch big bass.

    The 8-pound plus bass was a great end to the morning's fishing.

    My road trips are normally six hours plus, but this one was just over two hours to Glades, County FL. I had never traveled that short of a distance to catch such a trophy fish. Odds are I will be returning, not only for the fishing but the hospitality.

    The occasion was the First Annual Glades County Sportswriters Invitational Tournament. A baker’s dozen of outdoor writers enjoyed two days of fishing on the celebrated waters of the area. In addition to the fishing we enjoyed many of the amenities that the Lakeport, FL area has to offer.

    The county borders the west side of Lake Okeechobee and includes about 60 miles of shoreline. I’ve often heard that the west side was the best side. The lake is famous for the size and quantity of its big bass, but its not the only reason to visit.   

    Highway 27 crosses the Caloosahatchee River at Moore Haven, Florida, just below the Moore Haven Lock and Dam. Near the lock and dam is a public boat ramp and access to 60 miles of Caloosahatchee River frontage and plenty of good fishing.

    Moore Haven Marina and a public boat ramp
    are located near the HWY 27 Bridge.

    As anglers motor out from the boat ramp they pass the Moore Haven Marina. It is a great place to stop on the way out for bait, gear, ice, etc. On the return trip it’s a great stop for a cold drink and clean restroom facilities.

    The New Haven Marina is operated by Capt. Robert Power. He also operates a guide service in the area. Stop by and he will share a little local knowledge and point you in the direction of the bite.

    Glades County fishing can only be described as awesome. Big bass and crappie are the name of the game, but a good number of catfish exists for those that are so inclined. When it comes to catfish, they don’t fish for trophies, they fish for the dinner table, and they been eating’ pretty good. Glades County is also one of those places where anglers catch tarpon and snook right alongside trophy bass and dinner sized catfish.

    Fishing the Monkey Box

    On day one all the sportswriters were paired up with a local angler to try their luck. The volunteers were made up of recreational anglers, guides, and tournament anglers. It was all about fun, but a little competition was thrown in to keep it interesting. Everyone was instructed to weigh and record the bass that they caught.

    Prowant navigated to a fishing area know as The Monkey Box. It is a shallow body of water with lots of natural grasses. The water was a little high and much of the vegatation was covered.

    “That looks like open water,” advised Prowant. “Believe me, its thick and grassy below the surface. At normal water levels you would see a lot more than we see today. It’s great habitat for the bass.”

    Prowant holds one of many nice bass of the morning.

    Since I don’t do bait casters he graciously prepared a spinning rig with a dark blue Senko worm. He offered a few instructions on how to fish it and returned to the deck to operate the trolling motor and fish.

    The bite was slow and steady. We caught bass up to 4 pounds plus all morning. As the scheduled time to meet for lunch approached a hard-hitting bass ate the Senko. I knew immediately it was bigger than anything we had caught so far.

    After a few minutes of fighting the large bass and keeping it out of standing structure it came alongside the boat. Prowant reached down and lifted the huge bass, and equal amount of grass, into the boat.

    “That’s gonna’ be at least a 7-pounder,” guessed Prowant as he reached for his scales. “What do you think it weighs?”

    “I will go with your guess of 7 pounds,” I replied.

    “It weighs 8 pounds 7 ounces,” offered Prowant as he read the scales.  

    The big bass was the final fish of the morning and gave us bragging rights for the lunch gathering back at Harney Pond Canal Boat Ramp.

    Fishing the Caloosahatchee River

    Fishing for day two was scheduled for the Caloosahatchee River out of the Moore Haven Marina. We had learned that the river would produce some good bass, but also offered the possibility of tarpon and snook.

    Personally, I chose to do a little catfishing. I was paired up with a local angler who had been catching a few of late. Devin Whidden is a fifth generation local with a plenty of knowledge of the area. I will chronical our morning catfishing adventure in a future issue of Catfish NOW.

    The remaining anglers hopped aboard a boat with a new guide for day two. A few tackled the river with fly rods while other used conventional gear.

    Brian Cope caught this 5 pound Caloosahatchee River bass on a 10-inch Gambler worn in Junebug color. Photo courtesy of Brian Cope

    South Carolina anglers, Brian Cope and Jeffery Burleson (South Carolina Sportsman), fished with Prowant, who I had fished with on day one. They reported a good day of fishing the river while taking advantage of recent rains.

    “We didn’t fish anything but the culverts,” reported Burleson. “The recent rains had them spilling into the river. We just ran from one culvert to another. We caught quite a few fish for the day.”

    Other anglers also reported good catches of bass on the river. In fact, Georgia angler Jimmy Jacobs reeled in an 8 pound 10 ounces monster. Jacobs was fishing with long time area anger Sam Heaton.

    That fish, along with others that Jacobs caught earned him the plaque for Top Angler of the event. His day one guide, Steve Daniel, was named Top Guide.

    Honnerlaw's snook bit a deep diving crankbait.
    Photo courtesy of Debbie Hanson

    Debbie Hanson ( was fishing the river with local guide Bryan Honnerlaw. He tossed a deep diving crankbait off a point and caught a nice snook. Hanson reported walkin’ the dog with top water baits to score some nice river bass. She even added a giant 8-pound plus tilapia.

    Each of the other writer/anglers reported good catches on the river. Other writers included Ray Markham, Larry Larsen, Polly Dean, Steve Waters, Ralph Allen, Tommy Thompson, and Butch Newell. All caught bass.

    Rain had threatened our fishing activities but never really hampered them. We did eat a catered lunch under a roof at the Moore Haven Marina as the rains decided to come. It was a great opportunity to relive the morning, tell some tales and enjoy the lunch provided by Cafe 27 of Moore Haven.

    Final Comments

    The first night in Glades County featured a welcome reception and dinner at the Seminole Casino Brighton. The hospitality and the food were awesome, and a few gamers even won some gas money. The casino was only a few miles from where we were staying at Rockport Lodge.

    Evenings two and three were spent at Northlake Estates and RV Resort. A fish fry with all the trimmings on the first night and a grilled steak dinner on the second night ended each day in style and gave everyone an opportunity to meet and greet local community leaders. The writers were welcomed by event organizer, Jeff Patterson and Moore Haven Mayor, Bret Whidden.

    You don’t have to be an angler to enjoy Glades County. The area offers miles of paddling trails on Fisheathing Creek and other nature-based tourism opportunities for birders, boaters, hunters, and other outdoor enthusiasts.

    For more information on Glades, County visit the website at

    For more information on local guides you can contact them directly.

    Okeechobee Just 4 Bass
    Capt. Scott Kerslake, and Capt. Rob

    Lake Okeechobee Outdoors
    Capt. Brian Honnerlaw

    Steve Daniel
    863-885-2230 or 239-560-2704

    Sam Heaton

  • 05/03/2018 4:39 PM | Ron Presley (Administrator)

    The Alabama River, one of catfishing’s best kept secrets
    by Ron Presley

    My first impression of Elmore County, AL was its beauty. During a pre-fishing meeting with a group of anglers and writers I had a high-level view from the Penthouse level of the Wind Creek Casino where I was staying. Rolling hills, the Coosa River, and a beautify sunset were the perfect backdrop to my introduction to the area.

    I had an early morning appointment with Joey Pounders, a well-known catfish angler, to check out the Alabama River for Joey’s favorite species, the wily flathead catfish. Joey had only one previous encounter with the river and he was chomping at the bit to get back on it.

    A drive to the river revealed more of the area’s charm and hospitality. The people were friendly and accommodating everywhere we stopped. Once on the river Pounders began to explain his strategy.

    “I want to find some fallen trees that extend out from the bank,” instructed Pounders. “Either that or some submerged timber. Then we will pull the boat straight into the bank and fish out the back with live shad and live bluegill. Flatheads like the wood, and there is plenty of wood in the Alabama River.”

    In a methodical routine Pounders used his Humminbird sonar and found his wood. He set six B’n’M Silver Cat Magnum rods in predetermined river locations, baited with live bait. He used side scanning sonar to pinpoint the target of his cast and measure the distance to it.

    “See that structure,” Pounders said as he pointed to the sonar. “That is exactly 54 feet from the boat. The idea is to cast beyond it and then pull the bait back gently to the target.”

    Pounders made the cast with the precision of a skilled technician and then proceeded to cast the remaining rods to his chosen spots. Amazingly, it did not take long to produce the first fish.

    “I have been anxious to get back here,” said Pounders. “The little fishing that I did last year made me think that this river is overlooked by catfishermen. Now, I am convinced. We have been here ten minutes and have this beautiful flathead.”

    The successful morning continued and the Alabama River produce six nice flatheads in only a couple hours of fishing.

    “This is somewhere I want to bring my family,” concluded Pounders. “I love my flatheads, and you don’t find this kind of bite in other places that I fish. I will be back when I can spend more time and really figure this river out.”


    The Wind Creek Casino turned out to be the perfect place to stay in Elmore County. My room was spacious, clean, comfortable, and good value. It also had a view of the Coosa River which made sipping my morning coffee a little more enjoyable.

    Wind Creek was also a good location with different kinds of fishing close at hand. I ventured out to fish the Alabama River for catfish while some of my collogues went crappie fishing on Lake Jordon, with great success I might add. And, Jordon is also known for its bass fishing.

    Gaming is available for those that choose it and Southern hospitality abounds. The food is great too. We had a couple of catered meals for the writers and anglers while we were there. The food was nothing short of outstanding. All types of food, from their gourmet steakhouse to grab-and-go deli, will delight your taste buds.

    I agree with Pounders on his conclusion. I am ready to go back to Elmore County when I can spend more time fishing and more time exploring the many attractions of the area.

  • 02/28/2018 2:22 PM | Ron Presley (Administrator)

    History, Culture, and Southern Hospitality

    As the sport of catfishing grows, so grows tournament trails and events like Catfish Conference. Louisville, KY was the location of Catfish Conference 2018 for the second year in a row. My return to the Derby City gave me an opportunity to recall a few of its many attractions. Catfish was the theme of the conference, but history, culture, and southern hospitality are the theme of this great American city.

    Louisville is one of the oldest cities west of the Appalachian Mountains. It was founded in 1778 by George Rogers Clark. The city was named after King Louis XVI of France. Never mind its actual age, because today, Louisville is a modern American city, looking to the future, with new construction all over the place.  

    Louisville offers plenty of interesting attractions, so bring the family and see the sights depending on your own personal interests. There is literally something for everyone. Personally, I can’t think about Louisville without thinking about the Kentucky Derby and Louisville Slugger baseball bats. I visited both of these attractions and recommend them to everyone. I also took in the Muhammad Ali Center, another top attractions you won't want to miss. 

    The Kentucky Derby

    The Kentucky Derby Museum/Churchill Downs is an amazing complex representing years of sports history. It is hard to imagine that the first race took place on May 17, 1875. That is 145 years of excitement. Somewhere in the 1960s extravagant lady’s hat became the fashion on derby day. Today’s TV viewers are treated to what now is a southern tradition of colorful hats and delicious mint juleps.  

    I recommend starting with “The Greatest Race.” It is a theater-in-the-round type of media event that tells the story of the Kentucky Derby. Participants set on swiveling stools while the story is told in greater than life-size proportions around the oval screen above the arena.

    Watching the movie sets the stage for a 30-minute walking tour that reveals the history and pageantry of Churchill Downs Racetrack. Following the tour, you can leisurely explore two floors of family-friendly interactive exhibits. All this is included in the admission to the facility.

    Louisville Slugger

    When I hear the name Louisville Slugger my thoughts drift back to my childhood. I fondly remember swinging a few wooden bats in those days growing up in Kansas. Everyone should take the tour of the factory where the legendary Louisville Slugger baseball bat is made. It is sure to conjure up some memories of baseball legends of your youth.

    Visitors can admire the world’s largest bat and discover a prehistoric baseball glove. You can also count the home run notches that Babe Ruth carved into his Louisville Slugger. I picked up a few bats that brought back memories of some of my baseball heroes. They included the actual bats used by such baseball legends as Micky Mantle and Johnny Bench. You will find baseball bats from your heroes as well. As a visitor you will receive your own baseball bat sample to remind you of one of Louisville’s most iconic attractions.

    I took a step back in time and took a few swings with one of Mickey Mantle’s bats. It felt good to be back in the batter’s box again. 

    Muhammad Ali Center

    I also recommend a stop at the Muhammad Ali Center. This award-winning museum celebrates the life and legacy of the world-class boxer. It is housed in a six-story multicultural center. Here too, I recommend starting with an orientation film. Take the escalator to the fifth floor for the video and then work your way back down to the entrance.  

    The museum features exhibits that spotlight the six core values Ali strived to live by throughout his life. Ali’s ethical norms included confidence, conviction, dedication, respect, giving and spirituality.

    Highlights of my visit included a mock boxing ring, Ali boxing memorabilia, a theater that screens a short film showcasing Ali’s life, and a full-sized boxing ring, where a large projector displays ‘The Greatest,’ his signature fight.

    I was highly impressed by the content of the many interactive displays that chronicle the life of Ali. You can spend as little or as much time as you want perusing the exhibits, many supported with historic video footage. Depending on your age, your visit will be either a walk down memory lane or an education related to the life of this incredible athlete and humanitarian.

    Places to Eat

    Don’t forget to take in a restaurant/bar on the famed Urban Bourbon Trail. As most folks know, Bourbon is a whiskey that has long been associated with Kentucky. The Urban Bourbon Trail consists of 34 bars and restaurants that showcase Kentucky’s best.

    You can also visit an actual distillery. There are several on Whiskey Row – Evan Williams Bourbon Experience, Peerless Distillery and Angel’s Envy, one of the newest one to open.

    Some of the Urban Bourbon Trail restaurants are located on “Whiskey Row.” They include the Bristol Bar & Grill, O’Shea’s Downtown, Sidebar @ Whiskey Row, Troll Pub Under the Bridge, Proof on Main, Jockey Silks, Down One Bourbon Bar and Doc Crow’s.  All of these are good. Check them out and you can decide which menu sounds the best to you.”

    The restaurant that caught our eye was Merle Haggard’s Whiskey Kitchen. We spotted it downtown on our way to the Ali Center. It had outside dinning and the place was packed. We decided that would be our lunch spot after our visit to the center. It was great food and constant streaming of Merle Haggard music didn’t hurt. We left very content and rested for our visit to the Catfish Conference, a story in itself, that I will save for another day.

    The numerous attractions available in the Louisville area make it a trip to be remembered. Although the Catfish Conference was my reason for being in Louisville, there are many other reasons to visit. I was taken by the atmosphere of friendliness and the amenities of the city. The truth is, you don’t need any other reason to visit, the city itself is reason enough!

    For more information on Louisville visit the website at

    For more information on Catfish Conference visit their website or follow and like them on Facebook.

  • 11/03/2017 10:48 AM | Ron Presley (Administrator)

    Multi-species fishing
    by Ron Presley

    When I think of Kentucky, the Kentucky Derby, Louisville Slugger and Mahumad Ali come to mind. For many avid anglers, outstanding fishing opportunities come to mind. From crappie to catfish, Kentucky Lake and the surrounding area offers some outstanding fishing.

    A home base at Kentucky Dam Village or Moors Resort and Marina, both near Gilbertsville, will give you access to numerous fishing opportunities. And, both offer great lodging and restaurant opportunities. After all, anglers have to eat and sleep.


    Good striper fishing exists below Kentucky Dam. I recently joined Cabela’s King Kat Tournament Trail director Jeremy Coe for some tailrace striper fishing.

    One popular method of catching the scrappy stripers includes a simple three-way rig. Tie a three-way swivel to the main line of about 30- to 40-pound test braid. On the side of the three-way add about 12     inches of 20-pound mono and add a 2-ounce sinker. Finish the rig with 14 to 16 inches of 50-pound mono and a kahle hook.

    With rig in hand Coe maneuvers his Alumacraft boat up near the dam in the discharge water. He locates a seam formed in the current and drifts backwards while controlling the boat with the big motor. He noted the importance of safety while fishing the rapid currents.

    “We never turn the motor off,” said Coe. “If anything unexpected happens we want to be able to respond with the big motor. A trolling motor may not be enough.” 

    As the boat drifted backwards we kept the sinker bouncing along the bottom. If you can feel the bottom then you know you have the bait where the fish are.

    Coe would drift back to the last set of pilings before moving back up to the dam and repeating the process. His bait of choice is a white curly tailed jig threaded on the kahle hook. If that setup is not successful he replaces the plastic with a live shad or minnow.

    When I asked him how a striper bite felt he responded, “Don’t worry, you will know it.”

    The striper outing on this day was not successful. A cold front had moved in and put a damper on the striper bite so we moved on to catfish, hoping they might not be so sensitive to the weather.  


    Like the stripers, catfish can also be targeted in the tailrace below Kentucky Dam. Eater size fish are abundant and an occasional trophy cat is boated. Local guides use a bottom bouncing technique to tempt the tasty cats. 

    A medium action rod, a baitcaster reel and a three-way rig is all anglers need to catch a mess of cats. Coe uses the same rig he ties for stripers on the catfish. Typical baits include night crawlers, minnows and cut baitfish. It is really a matter of personal choice, or what the catfish want on any given day.

    To find the cats Coe moved out of the swifter current into some calmer water near a sunken piling. We were still near the dam, but the water was not moving as much. The new location resulted in several eatin’ size fish.

    We had witnessed a guide boat catch several catfish earlier in the day while we were striper fishing. Once we located near the piling it did not take long to hook up. Coe hooked up first and a few minutes later I had a nice cat on.

    We were strictly catch and release, but when we got back to the ramp there was more evidence of the good catfish fishery that exists below the Kentucky Dam. It was probably the guide boat that we saw earlier that had cleaned about a dozen or so cats for the cooler. Their filleted carcasses were left there in the shallow water.

    Catfish do not seem to be targeted as much as other species on Kentucky Lake, but there are plenty there for anyone that wants to catch them.


    Crappie are heavily targeted on Kentucky Lake. It is one of the best crappie lakes in the nation.

    One of the great attractions for crappie anglers on Kentucky Lake is the many brush piles that have been sunk and man-made stake beds that have been installed all over the lake. Long time angler and guide Don Schnuck (Big Kahuna’s Fishing Guide Service-270-559-1366) is one example of many, that have been instrumental in building and sinking brush piles on the popular lake.

    Crappie love any kind of structure that provides them with cover. More importantly, the brush piles provide a source of microscopic treats that baitfish feed on. Once the shad, minnows, and other baitfish show up, so do the crappie.

    Brush piles help congregate the crappie and make them easier targets for anglers. And the stakebeds, because everything is vertical makes it easier for anglers to fish without getting hung up. Many anglers prefer the stake beds over the brush piles for that reason.

    With many crappies in one spot, anglers can target them with the popular technique known as one pole fishing. There is nothing better than holding the pole, presenting the bait, and feeling the bite. Whether you call it one poling, jigging, or dipping, crappie anglers used the technique because they like to “feel the thump!”

    With over 160,000 acres of water, Kentucky Lake is loaded with these man-made crappie hotels. Local and regular anglers on the lake are likely to have hundreds of waypoints marked where they can target crappie on brush piles. Occasional anglers don’t have much trouble finding some piles to fish by using their sonar.

    Schnuck recommends a along crappie pole with a limber tip, because crappie don’t always slam it. “I like a sensitive tip to feel the light bites,” said Schnuck. “Sometimes your pole just straightens out when the fish takes the bait and swims up. You have to be able to see that.”

    A light wire gold hook, a small sinker and a lively minnow is Schnuck’s rig of choice. He uses sonar to pinpoint the brush and determine the depth. If the fish are suspended at 10 feet he presents the bait just above them.

    Savvy crappie anglers like Schnuck know that crappie are always looking up for their next meal and they will seldom go down to eat a minnow. Keep the bait above the fish and you will catch more slabs for the dinner table.

    The fishing is great, but add in the beautiful scenery and hospitality of the Kentucky Dam area and it’s a bucket list destination for sure.  

    Lodging and Fishing

    Lodging opportunities exist all over the Kentucky Dam area. I stayed at the Kentucky Dam Village State Park and Moors Resort and Marina during my visit. Both provided excellent lodging and food. More information can be found on their respective websites or you can follow them on Facebook.

    Don Schnuck is a multi-species guide on Kentucky Lake. He operates the Big Kahuna’s Fishing Guide Service out of Moors Resort. Don goes above and beyond to put you on some fish. He can be reached at 270-559-1366 or visit him on Facebook.

  • 08/31/2017 10:10 AM | Ron Presley (Administrator)
    Catch Springs Fever in Ocala

    Known as the Horse Capital of the World, Ocala, FL has plenty to offer us outdoor enthusiasts. High among the possibilities for visitors to enjoy is Silver Springs State Park.

    Just about a year ago, October 10, 2016, Silver Springs was inducted into the Florida Tourism Hall of Fame. As a long-celebrated destination for travelers, locals, movie makers, artists and more, Silver Springs has received the recognition it deserves. It was inducted into the Florida Tourism Hall of Fame during the 2016 Florida Governor’s Conference on Tourism.

    In 1924, Walter Carl Ray, Sr. and W.M. “Shorty” Davidson grew a beautiful, natural spring from a local spot serving 1,000 travelers to an international attraction visited by 1.5 million visitors over the course of thirty years. Silver Springs became one of the most visited tourist destinations in Florida by 1962, and it remains a top choice amongst travelers visiting Central Florida.

    Another innovative addition envisioned by Mr. Ray, Sr. was the development of the first fleet of gasoline-powered glass bottom boats, which would soon become powered by electricity. Today’s modern travelers still enjoy this wholesome family attraction, which offers the perfect setting to capture a memorable “selfie” or family photo.  

    Silver Springs’ picturesque surroundings have also been featured in a number of Hollywood hits, starting with the 1930s movie Tarzan. Over the next 50 years, several other motion pictures would be made in and around Silver Springs in Ocala/Marion County, featuring celebrated actors like: Sean Connery, Tom Cruise, Kim Bassinger, Sally Field, Gary Cooper, Burt Reynolds and many others. 

    The natural attraction isn’t the only renowned outdoor activity in Ocala/Marion County. A true paradise for any outdoor enthusiast, the County is home to many other experiences, including:

    Horseback riding—Known as the Horse Capital of the World, Ocala and its surrounding regions feature many horseback-riding trails and guided tours offer a unique perspective on the area’s scenery. Visitors can navigate through the cool forest underneath the canopy of centuries old trees as the sounds of streams and springs bubble nearby and experience the wild, untouched side of Florida. During your ride, you may see some of the state’s unique wildlife, including the great horned owl, Sherman’s fox squirrel, red tail hawk, barred owl, and coyote.

    Mountain biking—The Santos Mountain Bike Trails have received the prestigious designation of a bronze-level Ride Center by the International Mountain Bicycling Association, one of only six designated Ride Centers in the nation. Riders of all skill levels can find a fun challenge through the 80 miles of unpaved Santos trails, with color-coded difficulty levels ranging from yellow (easy) to red (extreme).

    Zip line—Sky-high thrills can be found at the Canyons Zip Line and Canopy Tours, a can’t-miss attraction in the heart of Ocala/Marion County. These zip lines are the longest, highest and fastest in Florida and the longest zip lines over water in the U.S. While most of Florida is flat terrain, Ocala/Marion County is home to massive limestone canyons within a vast wooded wonderland, providing an epic setting and extreme elevation for adventure enthusiasts.

    For additional information on other natural attractions, eco-adventures, equine events or upcoming festivals please visit For more information on Ocala/Marion County, visit their website, follow them on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter, or call toll-free 1.888.FL.OCALA. 

  • 07/31/2017 2:52 PM | Ron Presley (Administrator)
    Variety is the spice of life

    Sometimes adventure awaits in your own back yard. I lived in Florida for eight years before I discovered the St. Johns River as a fishing destination. It was my friend and Florida Guides Association guide, Tom Van Horn, that introduced me to the St. Johns. He was promoting the Coastal Angler Magazine-Orlando Shad and Crappie Derby. 

    Shad, I thought. That’s bait fish, right? Then Tom gave me the story of how the American shad make their way from the Atlantic Ocean at Jacksonville all the way up to Volusia county and beyond to spawn. This migration takes place every year and produces some unusually good light tackle fishing on the St. Johns River. Fly casters are also swooned by the shad’s arrival. The feisty fish are hard pulling and high-flying targets for small colorful offerings. 

    With the American shad discovered, I was hooked. My shad fishing trips to the St. Johns also uncovered a special beauty of its own. Wildlife was abundant, from shorebirds to alligators to eagles. Every day was a new adventure on the St. Johns. 

    My next discovery was the terrific crappie fishing available on the river. Covering a crappie tournament as a member of the media unveiled just how good it was. Angler after angler came to the scales at weigh-in with a seven-fish limit of crappie. Big, beautiful, black crappie. No fish is more photogenic than Florida black crappie.

    Naturally, after firsthand witnessing the bounty of the river at that tournament, I had to try the crappie fishing myself. I was not disappointed. I discovered that about any method of crappie fishing you would want to try would work on the St. Johns River. Longline trolling, spider rigging (pushing), casting, and my favorite one-pole jigging all produced nice crappie.

    Given the numerous lily pads on the river it is just two inviting not to try dipping some jigs in the pads. With this method of crappie fishing the angler holds a single or longer pole in his hand and moves from spot to spot dipping a jig vertically down among the lily pads. Thump! When you feel the thump, set the hook. Crappie anglers are often heard to say, “I live for the thump!” 

    Bass are also abundant on the river. I don’t think I have ever been out on the St. Johns without running across a bass angler or two. Just like with the crappie, almost any method of bass fishing works. Most that I have witnessed are casting plugs and swimbaits around the numerous pads and fallen timber. Others are casting live shiners under a bobber to catch some monster bass.

    One St. Johns angler, Broc Foley, has a special penchant for fishing with artificial frogs. His covert methods of waging war on bass have earned him the nickname – The Frog Ninja.

    “The best time to throw a frog is every day,” says Foley. “It is all about risk and reward for me. I can put on a worm and catch a lot more bass, but when I throw my frogs I know I am going to catch quality fish.”

    Froggin’ is Foley’s go to technique for catching big bass. “Whether it is skipping under overhangs, fishing open water or targeting specific structure, I like to fish frogs,” elaborates Foley. “I fish frogs 12 months of the year. I personally carry over 100 frogs in my boat. I have at least three rods rigged with a different frog very time I fish. Who doesn't love a big fish blowing up on a frog?”

    Foley is so into frog fishing he has developed his own frog. He spent about 18 months field testing and developing his Vexan Ninja Frog. It will be available soon for other froggers to use.

    The St. Johns River is also a great place to catch catfish. Van Horn also introduced me to the catfish in the river while shad fishing. He would always bait up a rod and throw it out on the bottom while he was fishing for shad. Once again, the proof was in the pudding. Catfish after catfish came using this method.

    Now, I make trips to the river to target catfish. Interestingly, the first nice catfish I caught, I thought was a blue cat. After a little investigation, I discovered that the blues don’t range this far south. It was a nice big channel cat.

    Catfishing is easy and anyone can do it. A simple Carolina rig and some worms is really all you need. Catfish will eat other baits too. I have good luck on shrimp and just about any kind of cut bait. The bridge where HWY 44 crosses the St. Johns is one of my favorite launch sites. There is shoreline fishing available, nice boat ramps, a nice restaurant and bait shop.

    I still enjoy travelling to fish other locations, but once I discovered the St. Johns River it has become a favored destination, not just for the fishing, but for its beauty too. 

    For more information visit

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