Guy Harvey Magazine

SUM 2017

Guy Harvey Magazine is focused on fishing, boating, scuba diving, and marine conservation. Portfolios from the world's best fishing photographers, articles on gear, travel, tournaments, apparel, lifestyle, seafood recipes, sustainable fisheries.

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Page 80 of 83 | 81 works great and it's also a lot of fun spouting off the funky name). "Yep," I claim, "I'm crushing the specks with the Badonk-A-Donk. The Ba-Donk rules!" When I'm not using topwaters, I'm slinging the fly. In case you're wondering, live bait and I divorced many years ago because it's just too easy and it contradicts my belief that we need to give the fish a fighting chance. Maybe I should go back to a big, feisty, live shrimp under bridges to break the 30-inch barrier. But, for now, I'm sticking to lures. Of all its attributes—tastiness, beauty and spunk—specks have another wonderful quality. They reproduce prolifically. They spawn from May through September and are ubiquitous in Southeastern coastal waters. Some worry, though (me included), that with more and more anglers pursuing speckled trout, the current bag limits might be too generous. Recently, Mississippi tightened their standards because they've seen a drop in populations. It might be time for other states to re-examine their limits, too. A philosophical change in our attitudes would also help. Instead of keeping five or 10 trout or even 25, as Louisiana allows, I only keep what I can eat fresh. The rest of my trout fishing is catch and release—especially during spawning months. Frankly, it's just dumb to fill the cooler with female fish that are fat with roe. Better to let the big girls go to dance on another hook, another time. So, fellow anglers, be gentle on the leading lady of the sea. Keep something for your grill but don't be greedy. Otherwise, you'll be hearing from me personally. These two speckled trout were caught on the opposite side of Perdido Key, a one- mile-wide barrier island in Northwest Florida near Pensacola. The 24-in. trout on the right hit a "rocket" fly (see the fly hooked in the cork grip of the rod) in five feet of pure salt water in the Gulf of Mexico. The 25-in. speck on the left blew up on the top-water, Badonk-A-Donk (still in her mouth), in 18 in. of brackish water near the piling seen in the picture over the author's left shoulder. Only a mile away over land and as the crow flies, by water the fish were separated by 15 miles.

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