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Golden Tilefish: What You Need to Know

The golden tilefish is a unique saltwater fish with an incredible lifespan of 39 to 50 years. It is a highly prized deepwater fish due to its size and tasty meat. Whether you want to eat or fish for them, it is crucial to learn about the species. 

Fish Profile: Golden Tilefish

picture of a golden tilefish
Source: Wikimedia
Scientific NameLopholatilus chamaeleonticeps
Other namesGolden bass, Golden snapper, Rainbow tilefish
FamilyMalacanthidae
AppearanceWhite belly, blue-green along the back, golden spots, and rose pink hue to the head with blue patch beneath the eyes 
DietSea cucumbers, shrimp, snails, clams, worms, crabs, and anemones 
Average size (weight and length)7-9 pounds and 24-27 inches
Tilefish habitatDeep water canyons, vertical burrows on the canyon walls, rocks, and boulders
Spawning seasonApril to June 
Depth range250 feet to 1,500 feet deep
Conservation statusNot extinct/ endangered

What is a Golden Tilefish?

A golden tilefish is a medium-small deepwater perciform closely related to a perch. It is part of the Malacanthidae family, known for its thin, flexible spines on its dorsal fins. 

Some anglers refer to this fish as golden bass, great northern tilefish, rainbow tilefish, and golden Snapper. 

What Does A Golden Tilefish Look Like?

Golden tilefish is often called the “clowns of the sea” due to their bright colors. Their backs are usually a shiny blue or blue-green with a smattering of brilliant yellow and golden spots all over their body. There are also blue patches beneath their eyes. The scales of their stomach are white, while their head takes on a rose-pink tint.

You can also distinguish this species of tilefish from others by its large crest-like fin on top of its head. They have sepia-colored pectoral fins as well as a purplish-blue anal fin. 

In terms of weight and size, females are smaller than males. However, they can live up to 46 years! 

Where Are Tilefish Caught?

You’ll discover that tilefish prefer deeper waters and often occupy a wide range of depths from 250 to 1,500 feet. You’ll often find tilefish in deep canyons that offer vertical burrows. You’ll notice they favor areas with rocks and boulders too. 

They hide in sand or mud within their chosen burrows to ambush prey and hide from their natural predators. They are often preyed upon by monkfish, sand and dusky sharks, conger eels, and spiny dogfish. 

The golden tilefish spans the entire east coast of the U.S. all the way to the Gulf of Mexico and Venezuela. However, you can find the densest populations in the northeastern waters off Massachusetts and New Jersey coasts, specifically around Nantucket Island and Cape May.

Fun Fact: NOAA Fisheries mandates management measures like annual catch limits of tilefish fisheries. 

What Do They Eat?

Tilefish are bottom feeders. Typically, this species feeds during the day and primarily consumes a variety of crustaceans like clams, crabs, and shrimp. They also feed on snails, sea cucumbers, worms, mollusks, urchins, and even anemones.

When Is the Spawning Season of Golden Tilefish?

Their spawning season differs depending on the waters they are found in. Golden tilefish of the Atlantic spawn in March through to November, and Mid-Atlantic populations reach peak spawning in June. 

The Gulf of Mexico population peaks spawning in January and continues through June, while the South Atlantic ones take place from April to June. 

Fun Fact: When Golden Tilefish spawn, females release an astonishing number of eggs ranging from 2 to 8 million!

FAQs

Can You Catch Tilefish in Florida?

Yes, you can catch tilefish in Florida. In fact, it is quite popular to go fishing for this species around Miami and other parts of south Florida. However, the tilefish caught in Florida waters are smaller than those in the mid-Atlantic. 

You can take a charter boat or hire a fishing guide to target golden tilefish. 

What Does Golden Tilefish Taste Like?

Tilefish are a popular table food used in many seafood dishes, but sushi is one of the most common. They have a flavor reminiscent of crab or lobster, and the meat goes from a light pink to a flaky white once cooked. You can prepare this fish with lemon, garlic, salt, pepper, and butter and fry it in a pan. 

What Is the Best Bait for Golden Tilefish?

The best bait you should use when golden tilefish fishing is live bait. This can include whole bait or cut bait. Popular cut bait would be Bonito strips, Barracuda strips, or fish chunks. Squid and sea claims are also great because these are naturally part of their diet. 

The End of the Line

Golden tilefish is an incredibly unique fish whose conservation is important for the recreational fishery, food industry, and biodiversity. They are long-lived deepwater fish that many anglers target to admire their beauty, flavor, and challenge. Next time you plan a vacation to Florida, you can book a fishing charter and try catching these incredible “clowns of the sea” for yourself! 

Crappie Jigs: What Colors and Jig Heads to Use

Crappie jigs are a staple for many crappie fishing anglers. Some even say it’s the best crappie lure for shallow water panfish fishing. Read on for more tips and recommendations on crappie jig colors and heads. 

Best Crappie Jig Types

Picture showing the different crappie jig styles

Jigs are a must-have while going crappie fishing. Not only do they work great in different fishing conditions, but they are also cheap and easy to use. There are also many types, shapes, and colors to choose from, so you can experiment with what works for you. 

Tube

Strike King Mr. Crappie Tube/Red-Chartreuse Sparkle (MRCT2-187)

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Tubes are typically 1.5 to 2 inches long with a hollow body and cut tassels. Its tail moves independently in the water, making it an excellent choice for vertical jigging and casting. However, there are many variations – some have a less pronounced tail, while others have layered pours. 

Regarding availability, you can get them in bulk (typically packs of 50) and pre-rigged. Color-wise, there are plain, two-color combos or with glitters.  

Curly Tail Grub

Bobby Garland Hyper Grub Curly-Tail Swim-Bait Crappie Fishing Lure, Accessories for Freshwater Fishing, 2', Pack of 18, Smoke Silver

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Its tail is the most distinctive physical feature of a curly tail grub jig. Unlike tube jigs, they are not recommended for vertical jigging because it needs steady horizontal movement. However, you can use this crappie jig type for casting. 

Shad Body

Bobby Garland Baby Shad Crappie Baits-Pack of 18 (2-Inch, Gold/White), Model: BS143

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If you want a triple-threat jig, get the shad body. It works exceptionally well for casting, vertical jigging, and even shooting. Plus, it is not picky with the jighead you attach. In terms of appearance, it has a thin spear tail. 

Paddle Tail

Strike King Mr Crappie Slabalicious Electric Chicken (MRCSLC-60)

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Unlike the previous jigs, it has a paddle at the end of its tail. This feature gives the tail a subtle kick. It is not as pronounced, but it does catch the attention of crappies. For crappie fishing success, we suggest using a paddle tail jig only for casting. Then, once you have attracted some crappies, switch to a shad body jig. 

Spade Tail

Charlie's Worms Artificial Fishing Bait Spade Tail Grub, Freshwater Saltwater Bass Fishing Lures Scented Soft Baits 12pk (Pink and White)

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At the end of a spade tail jig is a flat tail, which can be forked, straight, or split. Like a shad body, it performs great for casting, shooting, and vertical jigging. The only difference is that a spade tail’s body is girthier or bulkier. 

Best Colors in Crappie Fishing 

Contrary to common belief, crappies are not blind. In fact, they have good eyesight and see color. Manufacturers make jigs in different colors due to the fishing condition, particularly the water’s depth, clarity, and temperature. Light is also a determining factor in how well they can see. 

Crappie Jig Color for Clear Water 

Crappie jigs that are light in color and mimic the natural patterns of baitfish are the best. Some anglers even add flash to make the jig even more enticing. These colors work best in clear water:

  • White 
  • Silver 
  • Green 

Expert Tip: Choosing crappie jigs with accent colors like orange or yellow perch is also great.

Crappie Jig Color for Muddy Water

Contrast matters when fishing in muddy or stained waters because the deeper the jig goes, the more color it loses. As such, you should swap your translucent jigs with more opaque colors instead. Stick to these colors to be successful:

  • Black 
  • Blue
  • Purple 

Expert Tip: Don’t use red-colored crappie jigs. They lose their color as the depth increases. For lightly stained waters, opaque white and chartreuse are highly recommended. 

Best Crappie Jig Heads

diagram showing how a jig head is used with a plastic bait

Artificial lures must look as realistic as possible, and that’s where the jig head comes in. It is a fish hook with weighted material at or near the end of it. Its purpose is to hold the bait in a natural-looking manner to attract crappies. A crappie rig wouldn’t be complete without jig heads. 

picture showing the different types of jig heads

Here are 5 of the best crappie jig heads in the market: 

Roundball Jig Head

Round Head Jig Hooks, 20pcs Ball Head Fishing Hooks Unpainted Jig Heads for Bass Trout Crappie Fishing Jigs Saltwater Freshwater (1/8oz)

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As its name suggests, it has a round head profile. It usually comes with a smooth lead head, but some options include a plain or two-tone finish and a painted eye. 

Out of all the available jig heads, many anglers prefer a roundball because it skips well for shooting docks. It is exceptional for casting and vertical jigging. This is because the rounded surface area provides a more erratic left and right action, especially when you jig it aggressively. 

Like other types of jig heads for crappie, a roundball jig head comes in different weights and colors. 

Pill Jig Head

Jenko Slasher Crappie Jig Head, Chartreuse, 1/4 oz

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Many beginners confuse a pill jig head with a roundball jig head and vice versa. But there is a distinct difference – a pill jig head has a flat bottom profile. Pill jig heads can also come unpainted with bright color combinations and a realistic 3D eye.

Minnow Jig Head

Swimbait-Jig-Head-Minnow-Fish-Head-Jig-for-Fishing (Shad 6 Pack, 3/8oz(10g))

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Unlike roundball and pill jig heads, it has a lead head shaped like a live minnow. Most anglers use this jig head for thinner jigs. Plus, it has a center balance point that retains the upright position of your jig, making it suitable for vertical jigging.

Like pill jig heads, you can get a minnow jig head for crappie unfinished or with eyes and gills.

Mushroom / Ned Jig Head

Reaction Tackle Shroom Jig 1/15 Black

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As the name suggests, this type has a mushroom-shaped head. Since it has a wider surfer area, anglers typically use it with bulkier plastic jigs. It also excels in rough fishing conditions as it keeps the bait upright and floats off the bottom. 

Spinner Jig Head

XFISHMAN Crappie-Jigs-Heads-Kit 1/8 1/16 1/32oz 50 Pack Ice Fishing Jigs Lead Head Jig Hook Lure (1/16 oz, Big Eye Jigheads-W/Spinner)

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These jig heads are popular among anglers because they add vibration and flash to the lure. It is typically attached with a willow blade to create a more enticing action for crappies. Most anglers use a spinner jig head when trolling for crappie. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Jig Head Color Matter for Crappie?

Yes, jig head color matters when catching crappies. However, it is not as important as the jig body color. We recommend sticking to the best crappie jig bait colors first before investing in painted jig heads. If you are not getting bites, then you should consider picking up colored jig heads. 

Do You Use a Bobber with a Crappie Jig?

Bobbers are necessary while fishing in shallow and deep waters because they keep jigs at a good depth. Apart from that, bobbers eliminate casting problems, making crappie fishing successful. However, you should only use bobbers only when using smaller bait. 

What Size Jig Head Is Best for Crappie?

The most popular jig head weight is 1/16 ounce, but some anglers opt for ⅛ ounce heads. However, you must stick to recommended sizes since jigs are usually in the upper parts of the water. For finesse applications, go for 1/64-ounce jig heads. 

Crappie Jigs: Ready to Catch Some Crappies?

Crappie jigs attract hungry crappies and mimic live bait, so it’s easier for you to entice the fish to bite. Before picking up a crappie jig, make sure that you use the best color and jig head. Happy Crappie fishing! 

14 Most Expensive Yachts in the World and Who Owns Them

Yachts are luxury items that only the wealthy can afford. But how expensive are the most expensive yachts in the world? $500,000? A million? Well, think hundreds of millions to a whopping $4 billion! And, to match the jaw-dropping price tag, these superyachts have extravagant features and amenities like a helipad and even a submarine.

This guide will explore the most lavish and expensive yachts, their worth, and who currently owns them.

Octopus

A picture of one of the most expensive yachts in the world, the iconic Lürssen Octopus superyacht.
Source: Camper & Nicholsons

Owner: Unnamed buyer
Price: $200 million

We’re starting off our list of the most expensive yachts in the world with the 126.2m or 414-foot motor yacht known as Octopus. And, as expected from a vessel this size, it boasts out-of-this-world amenities and luxuries, including not one but two helipads!

Jonathan Quinn Barnett, a famous architect, penned the interiors, while Espen Oeino International designed the exteriors. German shipbuilding conglomerate Lürssen built the yacht. In 2019, Blohm+Voss  refitted the superyacht and tweaked the original 2003 design in preparation for the charter market. And, yes, that means you can rent the Octopus for $2,200,000 per week.

The late Microsoft co-founder and billionaire Paul Allen commissioned and owned the Octopus. A year after Allen’s death, the Octopus went on sale. The new owners are, unfortunately, unknown.

Related: The Top 14 Tourist Places in the World

Rising Sun

A photo of Rising Sun yacht docked
Source: Wikimedia

Owner: David Geffen, a media mogul
Price: $200 million

The Rising Sun is also a Lürssen-built yacht. The 138.01m yacht has 82 rooms, over five floors, a wine cellar, a basketball court, and a movie theater. In addition to being one of the most expensive yachts, it is also one of the largest superyachts in the world.

Fun fact: David Geffen and Larry Ellison, a co-founder of Oracle, previously co-owned the Rising Sun. In 2010, Ellison sold his half to Geffen.

Al Mirqab

A photo of Al Mirqab, one of the most expensive yachts in the world.
Source: Wikimedia

Owner: Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al-Thani, Qatar’s former prime minister
Price: $250 million

Peterswerft – Kusch built the Al Mirqab in 2008. This superyacht has a 133m length overall (LOA), and as expected from its size, it can accommodate 60 guests and 60 crews. It is famous for its impressively large wellness spa, underwater viewing room, and more.

Dilbar

A photo of super yacht Dilbar
Source: Wikimedia / Alberto-g-rovi (CC BY 3.0)

Owner: Alisher Usmanov, a Russian oligarch
Price: $256 million

The Russian-owned superyacht is a design by Lürssen Yachts. Apart from being one of the most expensive yachts in the world, it is one of the largest, with a height of over 50 feet and 360 feet in length. Dilbar can accommodate 48 cabin crew members and 20 guests. It also has several swimming pools and one helipad.

Serene

A photo of expensive super yacht Serene docked
Source: Nick Wells | Wikimedia

Owner: Mohammed Bin Salman, Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia
Price: $330 million

Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri built the Serene in 2011. This superyacht boasts eight diesel-electric MTU 2,828hp engines, which propels the vessel to a maximum speed of 25 knots. In terms of amenities, the Serene doesn’t disappoint.

It has an underwater viewing room, two helipads, a submarine, and multiple swimming pools. However, the helipad can be converted into a pool or a dance floor. It can accommodate up to 24 guests and 52 cabin crew. Additionally, it features an outdoor movie hall, a steam room, a Hamman beauty center, a pool with seawater, and a showroom, among many other luxurious facilities.

Al Said

Super yacht Al Said docked next to a small boat
Source: Wikimedia / QATARPEREGRINE

Owner: A member of the royal family of Oman
Price: $300 million

This is the world’s highest displacement superyacht featuring a displacement of 15,850 tonnes. While Espen Oeino credits the vessel’s exterior design, RWD designed its interior. It was built in 2008 by Lürssen. Though named after Qaboos Bin Said Al Said, the late Sultan of Oman, it is owned by an unnamed Omani royal.

With a colossal 505 feet in length, the luxurious vessel sleeps up to 70 guests and 154 cabin crew. Details of its elegant fixtures and fittings are not known. However, one of its most known and comfortable features is a concert hall big enough to accommodate a 50-piece Orchestra.

Additionally, it has a maximum speed of 25 knots since it is fitted with twin diesel 11,149hp MTU engines.

Radiant

A picture of Radiant yacht out in the ocean.
Source: Wikimedia | Thomas Gramm

Owner: Abdulla Al Futtaim, an Emirati businessman
Price: $320 million

Radiant is another Lürssen-built superyacht. Aside from the standard amenities like spa and helipad, the Radiant is particularly famous for its security features. It has an escape launch, a turbo-powered speedboat, and even sonic guns and military-military grade water cannon!

Dubai

An aerial shot of the Dubai yacht
Source: Wikimedia | Imre Solt

Owner: Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, United Arab Emirates Prime Minister
Price: $400 million

Dubai is one of the most extravagant yachts globally, featuring sunbathing areas, Jacuzzis, a helipad, and mosaic swimming with elaborate handmade tiling. It also has an exquisite VIP lounge, a large social area, and a split-level owner’s deck. Its glass-made circular staircase also changes color when lit from above. Dubai can accommodate up to 115 crew and guests.

Motor Yacht A

A photo of the most expensive yacht of Motor Yacht A docked
Source: Wikimedia | Dstnfrey

Owner: Andrey Melnichenko, Russian billionaire and Philanthropist
Price: $440 million

At first glance, Motor Yacht A looks like a stealth warship or military submarine, but this Blohm + Voss-built vessel is a superyacht, believe it or not. As impressive as its exterior, the Motor Yacht A boasts extravagant amenities like its three swimming pools that can change currents.

Topaz

A picture of Topaz, one of the most expensive yachts in the world
Source: Wikimedia | Moshi Anahory

Owner: Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister of UAE
Price: $527 million

Lürssen built the Topaz or A+ in 2012. It is also one of the largest luxury yachts, with a colossal length of 482 feet. It has a maximum speed of 23 knots thanks to the 7,990 HP engine.

Topaz features underwater lighting, a conference room, air conditioning, and a large Jacuzzi. It also has an aluminum superstructure with eight viewing decks, double helicopter landing pads, a movie theatre, and a modern gymnasium.

Azzam

Azzamcadiz
Source: Javier Virués Ortega / Wikimedia

Owner: Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nayan, Emir of Abu Dhabi
Price: $600 million

The Azzam is the world’s largest megayacht, with a whopping 180.61m LOA. Despite its large size, this 2013 Lürssen-built superyacht manages to be one of the fastest as well. Its four-engine system puts out 35,048 kW of power, propelling the extravagant vessel to a maximum of 30 knots! Other impressive feature of the Azzam is its bulletproof master suite.

Fun fact: The original plan for the Azzam is 145 meters. However, the design grew to optimize the structure and accommodate the yacht’s complex engines.

Streets of Monaco

Concept photo of Streets of Monaco
Source: SWNS

Owner: No owner yet
Price: $1 billion

Streets of Monaco is the first billion-dollar yacht on our list, and it’s impressive. This 508 feet yacht manages to feature miniature versions of some of Monaco and Monte Carlos’s most renowned landmarks.

In addition to its Monaco-inspired exteriors, the Street of Monaco also has an extravagant list of amenities and facilities, including a casino, go-kart, a three-floor bedroom, and submarines.

Eclipse

A photo of the Eclipse yacht
Source: Moshi Anahory | Wikimedia

Owner: Roman Abramovich, a former Chelsea boss, and a billionaire Russian oligarch.
Price: $1.5 billion

This is the world’s most expensive private yacht, designed by Terence Disdale and built by Blohm+Voss. With a length of 533 feet, it is the second-largest yacht in the world. Its unique features are the bulletproof windows in the main bedroom, intruder alarms, missile detection system, and armor plating. Aside from its security features, the Eclipse features multiple hot tubs, a disco hall, a mini-submarine, two helipads, 24 guest bedrooms, and two swimming pools.

History Supreme

A picture of the most expensive yacht in the world, the History Supreme
Source: Stuart Hughes

Owner: Robert Knok, the richest man in Malaysia
Price: $4.8 billion

The most expensive yacht in the world is no other than the History Supreme. This superyacht screams luxury with its 10,000 kilograms of solid gold and platinum! If that wasn’t enough, this Stuart Hughes-designed yacht has a meteorite rock wall in the main suite and a 68 kg 24-carat gold Aquavista Panoramic Wall Aquarium.

The extravagant vessel also features a statue made of Tyrannosaurus Rex bones and a liquor bottle adorned with a rare 18.5-carat diamond. Other areas plated with gold are the deck, anchor, dining area, railings, and staircases.

Catfishing Near Me: Finding Catfish Fishing Spots Near You

If you’re wondering, “where can I go catfishing near me?” this article includes insider information on where to find the best spots—plus helpful and expert tips for successful catfishing. 

What Is Catfishing? 

Dead catfish on a net

Catfishing is a popular angling activity for catching various catfish species. Veteran anglers use the best catfish reels with a smooth drag and cast power due to the catfish’s fighting and pulling ability. They also use smelly cut bait like gizzard and chicken livers because catfish have a great sense of smell. Live baits like minnows and worms are also recommended for catfishing. 

What Are the Best Catfish Fishing Spots?  

Lakes and rivers are perfect spots to catch catfish. You can also find them in ponds and streams. But, if you want to maximize your chances of catching catfish, you should visit these good fishing locations for catfish:

Lake Tawakoni  

Angler catfishing at Lake Tawakoni  

Lake Tawakoni, the catfish capital of Texas, is filled with blue, channel, and flathead catfish. It is also popular for white bass and hybrid stripers. 

To fish here, you must observe a minimum length of 18 inches for flathead catfish. On top of that, you must have a maximum of 5 flathead catfish in your daily bag. Also, remember to get your license if you’re above 17 years of age. 

Although the lake’s maximum depth is 70 feet, it has shallow, long points with submerged trees attracting fish throughout.  

Lake Fork 

This big bass lake is also popular for channel cats, but you can also reel in some flatheads and blue cats. You cannot go wrong with this fishing spot since it has the best habitat features for catfish to thrive. The shoreline is natural, and Lake Fork has submerged and emergent vegetation for catfish to hide.

Like Lake Tawakoni, you will need a fishing license. There are also other fishing regulations:

CatfishDaily Bag Limit
Channel and blue catfish25. Only 10 if 20 inches or more 
Flathead catfish5, with 18-inch minimum length

Mississippi River 

Are you thinking of spots for catfishing near me? The Mississippi River is the perfect spot. This river has one of the largest freshwater fish, the blue catfish.

Here, expect to catch catfish weighing up to 100 pounds. However, observe these guidelines:

  • Channel and blue catfish – Possession and a daily limit of 20
  • Flathead catfish – Daily and possession limit is 10

Many reservoirs make the Mississippi a favorite for many anglers because they’re a good catfish habitat. Plus, many other fish species, like striped bass, paddlefish, and bighead carp, are common in the Mississippi. 

Reelfoot Lake 

Reelfoot lake is a good spot for catfish, but yellow bass is in abundance here too. The lake has excellent pockets of aquatic vegetation thanks to its average depth of 5.5 feet. So you won’t have an issue catching large channels and flatheads. However, you must have a special lake permit to access the five public boat ramps for your fishing boats. 

Catfish is a popular fish here, but you’ll also enjoy catching the following at this lake:

  • Black crappie 
  • Yellow bullhead 

Santee Cooper Lakes

Photo of Santee Cooper Lakes

Catfishing in these lakes is among the best in the country. You’ll find white, blue, flathead, and channel catfish all year round. Besides, these lakes are deep, making the water perfect for catching 20-pounders – a good size for trophy catfish! In fact, anglers caught the world’s biggest channel catfish in 1964

You don’t need a state fishing license. Instead, a permit from the General Store is enough. 

Lake Lavon 

Lake Lavon is famous for crappie and bass fishing, but you can also get the channel and blue catfish. Besides, Lake Lavon has the perfect depth, shallow flats, and small creek channels – features that make it exciting and fun to catch big catfish. 

So, if your “catfish farm near me” search is unsuccessful, grab your gear and head to Lake Lavon. Still, remember to observe statewide bag and length limits

Osage and Missouri Rivers

These rivers have monster channels and blue and flathead catfish. They are also home to walleye, white bass, and spotted bass. Besides, the deep holes and open waters are best for sport fishing. However, remember that the daily limit of channel and bluefish is 20 and 10 for the flathead. Also, you need a fishing license. 

Where to Go Catfishing Near Me?

an angler fishing at a catfishing spot.

Looking for the best catfishing near me spots? Fortunately, catfish are common in many water sources, like reservoirs and bottom channels. Look for these areas when catfishing: 

Bottom Channels and Ditches

Bottom channels and ditches are perfect because of their prominent or subtle drops. Look at features such as cuts in the bank or brush piles to find spots for catfishing near me. 

In the daytime, catfish move toward the deeper waters. However, they do the opposite at night, so anchor correctly to take home a good catch. 

Inundated Lakes and Ponds

Inundated ponds and lakes are excellent because catfish move to deep waters to hide and shallow waters to feed. Use sound navigation to locate points, sunken islands, or humps. These spots attract catfish. However, watch out for tree stumps while fishing. 

Reservoirs 

These man-made lakes favor catfish because they have varied habitats. They are also deep enough for you to catch catfish. It is easy to spot a reservoir by finding drop-offs, peninsulas, or rock piles. These areas are catfish hotspots. 

Riprap

These large rocks placed to prevent erosion attract forage animals and provide cover for large catfish. When fishing, look for big boulders changing to smaller rocks. Also, underwater points created by slides of rocks are indicators of this location.  

Underwater Humps 

These humps are mostly near deep water. Here, fish have enough cover and enough food to grow large. For efficiency, use sonar technology to find suitable fishing zones for cats. 

Outside River Bends

These bends are dark and hollow. Logs, fallen trees, and debris accumulate in these spots, so you cannot miss them while fishing. Catfish hide from their prey in the undercuts, making feeding easier. 

How to Find Catfishing Near Me

Check Your State’s Department of Natural Resources Website

Understanding where to go catfishing near me is as important as knowing how to fish. Fortunately, different states have websites to help anglers identify fish hotpots. For instance, if you visit Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission’s website, you can access the best Texas state parks, rivers, and lakes. 

Join Fishing Forums 

Screenshot of catfishing subreddit in Reddit

You can join fishing forums to find other anglers who know where to find cats. Some of the forums you should be a member of: 

Use an Interactive Fishing Map 

Another way you can find catfishing near me spots are by using interactive fishing maps. These maps use your location to get accurate and relevant information, like nearby fishing lakes and fishing forecasts. 

Letting the Catfish Out of the Bag

Finding catfishing near me spots doesn’t have to be challenging. You can visit the best catfishing locations, try our insider tips on where to locate catfish, and how to search catfishing areas.

Tarpon (Megalops Atlanticus): The Complete Guide

Many fish species grace the oceans, rivers, and ponds, but none matches the tarpon’s fighting ability. Anglers call this gamefish “silver king” due to its strength, stamina, and pulling power. Aside from that, it has a majestic appearance, validating its nickname.

Keep reading to discover more about this Florida premier gaming fish. 

Fish Profile: Tarpon Overview

A photo of a tarpon swimming in the ocean
Scientific NameMegalops atlanticus
Other names Silver king, grand écaille, sabalo real 
FamilyMegalopidae
AppearanceLong, thick body with large scales coating the sides. Shiny silver color on the body, except for the back, that’s dark green to gray 
Ave. weight and length48 to 96 inches (4 to 8 feet), 25 to 350 lbs 
HabitatGulf of Mexico, estuaries, landlocked canals, and lagoons with temperate, tropical, and subtropical climates 
DietZooplankton, insects, crabs, crustaceans, shrimp, and small fish (dead and alive)
Spawning SeasonApril to July 
Behavior Countershade and leap 3m vertically and 20 m horizontally to escape predators. Communication happens through a thumping noise, which is also used to warn predators 
Depth range30 m (98 feet)
Conservation statusVulnerable 

What Is a Tarpon Fish? 

Tarpon fish, also known as silver king, is a slow-growing gamefish that matures at 7-13 years of age. It is a nearshore sportfish. So, you must go beyond the beaches, bays, and offshore drop-offs to catch this resilient fish. Unfortunately, the IUCN recently classified this gamefish as vulnerable. 

Anglers know this fish for its fighting abilities, which make it difficult to catch. It also has excellent stamina and will put up a fight whenever you try to catch it. 

Where Are They Found

Tarpon fish do well in shallow salty and fresh water. You’ll find freshwater tarpon in the Gulf of Mexico, river mouths, landlocked canals, shallow coastal waters, and estuaries. However, older tarpon snook is common in rivers too. 

If you live in the southeastern part of the United States, go to the fish capital, Boca Grande, in Florida. Still, you can only do recreational tarpon fishing here since this species is not a table fish. 

What Do They Look Like

This fish is hard to miss due to the shiny silver color of its sides and belly. Its back is dark green to gray. Another unique feature of this fish is its dorsal and anal fins, which have an elongated ray that forms a threadlike projection that trails behind the Atlantic tarpon. 

If you’re wondering how this fish survives in bays (and low-oxygen habitats), its swim bladder connects to its throat. As a result, it gulps in the air directly to the blood to prevent suffocation. As expected, tarpons are huge (thus their popularity in sports fishing). However, the males are smaller than the females. 

Surprisingly, they have tiny, densely-packed teeth despite their large size. These teeth are all over the mouth, covering the tongue and jaw. These teeth shouldn’t worry you, though. A tarpon’s bite cannot hurt you. 

Fun Fact: In 2003, Max Domecq caught a 286-pound 9 ounces tarpon, setting the all-tackle world record. 

What Does Tarpon Eat? 

Juvenile tarpon is planktivorous, meaning they feed on zooplankton, but adults are strictly carnivorous. However, don’t be surprised to see young fish feeding on insects and small fish from time to time. Adults, on the other hand, hunt small mid-water fish, like sardines and anchovies. 

They also love to feed on the following:

  • Shrimp
  • Crabs
  • Larger crustaceans 
  • Dead fish 
  • Squid 

Fun Fact: Tarpon fish swallow their prey whole since they cannot chew due to their villi-like teeth. 

How Does Tarpon Reproduce

Female giant tarpon lays about 12 million eggs. Reproduction occurs when female tarpons release the eggs and sperm into the water through broadcast spawning. Once fertilization occurs, the eggs float to the water’s surface and look like transparent ribbons. This appearance is convenient for keeping predators away from the eggs. 

This fish species only spawns offshore in secluded and warm areas. So, if you’re interested in seeing this, visit their habitats in late spring to late summer on a full moon.

FAQ

When Is Tarpon Season? 

You can catch tarpons all year round, but the best time for tarpon fishing in Florida is April through June. At this time, the water temperatures are 75 degrees Fahrenheit and above. 

Is Tarpon Safe to Eat

Tarpons are edible. However, they are rare fish on restaurant menus or stores. Also, the fish is on the bony side, which many fish-eaters dislike. 

Can You Keep a Tarpon if You Catch It?

You can keep one fish for state or world trophies. Still, you must pay $50 per fish per tag. 

However, the most preferred method of fishing tarpon is catch and release due to its vulnerable conservation status.

How to Hook a Tarpon? 

Tarpon fish resilience and their bony mouths make them difficult to hook. Still, the best hooking trick is sharpening the 5/0 hooks to allow the point to stick. Lures like jigs and spoons also help catch tarpons. Finally, it would help if you also used live bait like crabs, mullets, shrimp, and pinfish.

The Silver King 

Tarpons are well-loved gamefish because their stamina makes sportfishing more challenging. 

So, consider going tarpon fishing the next time you’re in Florida. Ensure your hooks are sharp and your trip falls between April and June. Happy tarpon fishing! 

Treble Hook Size Chart and Guide

With so many sizes and styles, picking a treble hook size can be challenging for new anglers. Luckily, our treble hook size chart can point you in the right direction. We even included the best treble hook size for different fish species, such as trout, catfish, and bass. 

Treble Hook Size Chart

Treble hooks are available from size 1/0 to #14. In the treble hook size chart below, you will see the measurement of each hook size in terms of height and gap width and height.

Photo showing a treble hook size chart

Note: Keep in mind that hook manufacturers often have their own measurements and specifications. For instance, if you compare Eagle Claw Hooks to our chart above, there is a slight difference.

How to Measure a Treble Hook?

photo showing the anatomy of a treble hook

If you have a treble hook lying around and don’t know what size it is, you can measure it by determining the gap width, the height of the hook, and the gap height. 

  1. Get a ruler or tape measure. 
  2. Measure the hook’s height (from the eye to the bottom). 
  3. Then, measure the shank to the point. 
  4. For the gap height, measure from the point to the bottom. 

Once you have measurements of the three (gap height, width, and hook height), you can cross-reference them to the treble hook size chart above. 

Tip: If you need help determining the hook size, always remember that the bigger the hook number, the smaller the hook is. However, this rule applies to hook sizes between 32 and 1. For aughts, the higher the number, the larger the hook is.

How Do I Know What Size Treble Hook to Get?

The right treble hook size depends on various factors, including the hook style options, the fish type, the lure type, and the fishing conditions. For instance, a round bend treble hook is best if you like fishing in deeper waters. But, a short shank treble hook is for places with underwater growths.

Type of Fish

You’ll never find a single treble hook that fits all fish species. Each fish species grows to a different size, so you must match a specific fish with a particular hook size. 

If you use a small treble hook, it is highly likely that it won’t fit in the corner of the fish’s mouth. For example, the best treble hook size for bass is 4 – 8 because they are aggressive and have extreme pulling strength.

Here’s an overview of the typical hook sizes for various fish:

  • Trout: Size 8 -12
  • Bass: Size 4 – 8
  • Catfish: Size 4 -6
  • Salmon: S 1/0 – 4/0
  • Carp: Size 4 – 8
  • Crappie: #2 and #4
  • Walleye: Size 2 
  • Pike: Size 8 – 14
  • Alligator gar: 3/0 or smaller

Live Bait/Lure Size

You should also match the treble hook size to the live bait or lure size you will use. Of course, the bait you use should correspond to what kind of fish you’re targeting. For instance, for catfish, you should use liver. 

Tip: If you need help keeping the bait in place, consider swapping to a baitholder hook until you have the best treble hook size to use. 

Ends

Treble hook ends or eyes are available in 12 different styles, with ringed being the most popular because threading a line is simple, and you can tie various knots. 

  • Open-Ring
  • Ringed
  • Flatted Ring
  • Turned Up Eye
  • Cut Shank
  • Knobbed
  • Turned Down Eye
  • Large Eye
  • Inline Rotated Ring
  • Spade End
  • Notched

Treble Hook Shanks

A hook shank is a straight metallic piece below the eye, extending to the bend. Its length changes depending on the size of the hook, but it always comes in the same shape. There are several types of shanks, including:

  • Extra Short Shank
  • Open Shank
  • Curved Shank
  • Short Shank
  • Medium Shank
  • Long Shank
  • 2X Extra Long Shank
  • 3X Extra Long Shank
  • Extra Long Shank
  • 1 Barb on Shank
  • 2 Barbs on Shank
  • 3 Barbs on Shank
  • Z Lock Bend

Treble Hook Points

The points in a treble hook (or any hook for that matter) are the finely-sharpened section penetrating the fish’s mouth. Unlike shanks and hook ends, you’ll only find five variations to choose from, and these include:

  • Curved-In Point
  • Straight Point
  • Long Point
  • Kirbed Point
  • Reversed Point

Treble Hook Gap/Bend

Depending on the type of fish you’re chasing, you might need a narrow or wider gap hook. For example, if you’re chasing live minnows, you’ll have to get a wider gap because they move around a lot after hooking. The available hook gaps are:

  • Extra Wide Gap
  • Wide Gap
  • Technical Locking Curve

Treble Hook Barbs

A barb prevents the hook from slipping out of the fish’s mouth. Most barbed trebles have a single bard on each shank, making them three. Here are the treble hook barbs available on the market:

  • Standard
  • Barbless
  • Micro Barb
  • 3 Micro-Barb Point
  • Outside Barb
  • Semi-Barbless

Material

Treble fishing hooks use high-carbon steel, vanadium, or stainless steel. Vanadium steel treble hooks are the best because they are the strongest and the lightest. However, they come with a steep price tag. 

FAQ

Are Treble Hooks Illegal

Some states regulate the use of these hooks when fishing using live bait. Others also restrict their use on trout streams. So, check what your state says about using treble hooks to avoid getting into trouble.

How Big Is a Number 4 Treble Hook?

A number 4 treble fishing hook measures 7/8 inch tall/long and 3/8 inch from the shaft to the center shank.

What’s the Difference Between Treble Hooks and Other Hook Types? 

One distinct feature of treble hooks that you can’t find in other hook types, such as Kahle hooks, Aberdeen hooks, circle hooks, and octopus hooks, is its three points and one-shank design. This makes it highly recommended when using cut bait or artificial baits for threading minnows or trolling for salmon

What Can I Use as an Alternative to Treble Hooks

You can use an in-line single hook like a siwash hook as an alternative. Like treble hooks, it has a long and straight shank. Another option is in-line j-hooks. 

A Comprehensive Treble Fishing Hook Size Guide

With many types of treble hook sizes and styles, it can be confusing which one to choose the right one. Hopefully, our treble hook size chart has been helpful. But, as you go shopping, remember that not all manufacturers provide information on the dimension of their treble hooks. 

Rainbow Runner (Elagatis Bipinnulata) Guide

The rainbow runner got its name from its bright and vibrant coloration. It has a blue-green sheen on its back, with silvery sides and a yellow underside. But did you know that it has seven spines – six of which are at its first dorsal fin, and the last one is at its second dorsal fin? 

You will learn more about its physical characteristics, habitat, behavior, conservation status, and even the best live bait to use. 

Fish Profile: Rainbow Runner Overview

photo of a Rainbow runner fish, courtesy of Rao west of Morotai in Indonesia
Scientific NameElagatis bipinnulata
Other namesSpanish Jack, Hawaiian Salmon, Rainbow Yellowtail
FamilyCarangidae
AppearanceBlue-green sheen on its back, with silvery sides and a yellow underside
Ave. weight and length50-60 cm (20-24 inches), up to 9 kg (20 pounds)
HabitatTropical and subtropical oceans
DietSmall crustaceans and fish
Spawning seasonYear-round. Peak season during spring to autumn in the Atlantic ocean, May and December–January in the Western Pacific Ocean
Behavior Fast surface runs, tough fighter
Depth range0 – 150m
Conservation statusLeast concern

What is A Rainbow Runner Fish?

It is a type of pelagic fish that belongs to the family Carangidae, which includes other popular game fish such as tuna, mackerel, and jacks. It is scientifically known as Elagatis bipinnulata. You can find them in the tropical and subtropical waters of the Indian and Pacific Oceans.

This fish is closely related to the California yellowtail, another popular game fish found in the waters off the coast of California. Both species are known for their tough fighting spirit and acrobatic leaps when caught on a line, making them excellent gamefish for recreational anglers.

Besides its scientific name, the fish is also known by various other names, including Hawaiian salmon, rainbow yellowtail, or Spanish jack. These names refer to the fish’s bright and vibrant coloration, characterized by a blue-green sheen on its back, silvery sides, and a yellow underside.

Where Are They Found?

You can find adult Spanish jacks in the tropical and subtropical waters of the world, including the Pacific and Indian Oceans. They are also found in the southern Gulf of Mexico and the Bahamas. 

Rainbow yellowtails often swim near floating debris or in areas with strong currents.

Rain yellowtails are highly migratory, so their distribution can depend on the time of year and the water temperature. However, they are more likely to be found in areas with warm water. During the summer months, they move to deeper, cooler waters.

What Do They Look Like?

You can identify a Spanish jack by its bright and vibrant color. The fish has a blue-green sheen on its back and silvery sides, with a yellow underside. It also has a long and slender body and a forked tail fin. 

Rainbow yellowtails have two dorsal fins, the first of which has six spines and the second of which has just one. They also have an anal fin and a pair of pectoral fins located on the body’s sides. The fish’s belly is typically white and may also have light blue stripes running horizontally along its sides.

In terms of size, rainbow yellowtail can grow quite large. They can reach up to 90 cm (35 inches) in length and weigh up to 9 kg (20 pounds). However, most rainbow yellowtails caught by anglers are typically smaller, averaging around 50-60 cm (20-24 inches) in length.

What Do They Eat?

Spanish jacks feed on a variety of small crustaceans and fish, including shrimp, crabs, worms, squid, and small baitfish. They also feed on algae, plankton, and other plant material. 

Fun Fact: They hunt in schools and chase their prey. They feed near the surface, usually in shallow waters, but may swim down to depths of 90 feet or more.

How Do They Reproduce?

Spanish jacks reproduce by spawning, which releases eggs and sperm into the water to fertilize them. Spawning typically occurs in the summer months and is triggered by a combination of factors, including water temperature and photoperiod (the length of daylight).

Adult rainbow runners will form large aggregations near reefs, lagoons, and other sheltered areas. 

Once the eggs are fertilized, they will hatch into larvae, which are small, transparent, and heavily pigmented. The larvae will then develop into juvenile rainbow yellowtails, eventually reaching adulthood and reproducing themselves.

FAQ

Are Rainbow Runners Good to Eat?

Yes, Spanish jacks are good to eat. They are mild-flavored, firm-textured, and versatile, making them great for various dishes. In terms of nutrition, rainbow yellowtails are rich in protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and other essential vitamins and minerals. 

What Does Rainbow Runner Fish Taste Like?

In terms of taste, Spanish jacks are known for their moist and flaky flesh. The flavor of the fish can vary depending on how it is prepared and cooked, but it is generally described as delicate and mildly sweet. You can cook rainbow yellowtails in various ways, including grilling, baking, frying, and smoking. They are often used in sushi, sashimi, ceviche, and fish tacos.

How Do You Catch a Rainbow Runner?

You can catch a rainbow yellowtail using a wide range of lures, including plugs, soft plastic lures, and poppers. These lures can mimic the appearance and movements of the rainbow yellowtail’s natural prey, making them more attractive to the fish.

It is essential to use a lighter tackle when fishing for rainbow yellowtails, as they are known for their strong fighting spirit and acrobatic leaps when caught on a line. A heavy tackle can break the line or tire out the fish more quickly, leading to a longer and more stressful release process.

Best Shoes for Kayak to Keep Your Feet Dry and Warm

From blisters to slipping, wearing the wrong pair of shoes, like sneakers, can make kayaking uncomfortable and dangerous. If you are ready to switch to more appropriate kayaking footwear, you have come to the right place. We’ve compiled the best shoes for kayak, one of which is highly recommended by long-time kayakers because of its superior comfort, fit, superb traction, and breathability. Keep scrolling to discover the best shoes for kayaking.

What to Consider When Buying Shoes for Kayak?

Before buying kayak shoes, you should consider factors such as grip, support, fit, weather resistance, and comfort. The following pointers will help you select a good pair of water shoes for your next kayaking adventure.

Types of Kayaking Shoes

You are not limited to one type of kayaking shoe; you have four options to choose from. The majority of these are designed not only for kayaking but also for other water sports and outdoor activities.

Boots

Boots are different from other shoes. They feature the following attributes that make them durable, waterproof, and keep your feet warm:

  • High-temperature and grippy rubber sole
  • Heavy-duty or reinforced design
  • Neoprene upper layers

Booties are the best choice if you’re planning a whitewater kayaking adventure where temperatures reach low degrees Celsius. All in all, booties are specially designed with kayaking comfort in mind.

Sandals

Sandals for kayaking are the complete opposite of boots. Instead of completely covering your feet, it has an open design, much like a pair of flip-flops. However, sandals for kayaking have several adjustable velcro straps to secure your feet. Since sandals offer superior breathability, they are best when kayaking in calm waters and warm weather.

Water Socks

Water socks are entirely different from sandals and boots for kayaking. Like the socks you wear regularly, water socks snuggly hug your feet, and depending on the design, they can be high-cut or low-cut. Some can also be ankle-high. 

So what’s the difference? Rather than fabric or cotton, water socks use neoprene, a material that traps a thin layer of water between the socks and feet, trapping heat from your body. Moreover, water socks typically feature a closure system (mostly velcro) and thin anti-slip bottom. 

Water socks offer a similar barefoot paddling experience but with extra protection and warmth. 

Being “socks,” these shoes for kayak do not offer as much protection and traction as boots and sandals. 

Water Shoes

Water shoes look like your regular pair of sneakers. However, it has add-on features that make them suitable for water-related activities. One of which is its tiny drainage holes located at the bottom of the shoe. It also has a lightweight foam outsole and quick-drying materials. 

The best water shoes for kayaking have a hydrophobic mesh upper for extra traction and stability even on slippery surfaces, better protection against sharp rocks, and maximum aeration. 

Closure

You also have some closure options when finding the perfect shoes for kayaking. They include velcro, zippers, laces, and bungee lacing. 

  • Velcro: This closure is similar to the hook and loop fasteners you use around the home to bundle cables together. It has two strips – one with tiny hooks and another with tiny loops. It gives a tight and secure grip without requiring you to adjust constantly. Plus, you can easily get kayak shoes with velcro on and off.
  • Zippers: Another popular option is a water sport shoe with zippers. A heavy-duty zipper often has a waterproof design, so you won’t have wet socks from them leaking when you’re out in the waves. Unlike velcro, you can’t adjust the fit. You can quickly get your shoes on and off. 
  • Laces: Laces on your kayak shoes are the same as regular shoes. You tie the shoelaces together to create a tight and secure fit. 
  • Bungee Lacing: This type of lacing keeps shoes snugly in place. Since it’s made from a stretchable cord, it bends and twists to fit any foot size or shape. The bungee laces are adjustable, too, so you can customize the tightness of your shoe with a few simple pulls.

Materials

You’ll want to look for footwear made from neoprene or polyester mesh for kayaking. These materials offer superior air ventilation, are lightweight, and are comfortable to wear. Neoprene protects against heat loss, while mesh provides breathability. Both materials are easy to clean. 

Traction / Grip

Kayaking requires a lot of agility and shifting around on slippery surfaces. So, it’s critical to have shoes with traction that you can rely on. That’s why rubber soles are essential on kayaking shoes. They provide the grip that helps you stay steady and balanced while out on the water — even in wet conditions. Furthermore, these soles protect your feet from sharp rocks and other potential hazards.

What Are the Best Kayak Shoes?

The best kayak shoes you can get are the Newport H2 Closed Toe Water Sandals from KEEN. This footwear is versatile, durable, and comfortable to wear. You can even wear them regularly. Here are choices for the best kayak shoes.

1. KEEN Men’s Newport H2 Closed Toe Water Sandals

KEEN Men’s Newport H2 Closed ToeWater Sandals boast some impressive features. The most notable one is these sandals are incredibly versatile. You can use them as water shoes or a more traditional sandy-day sandal. Other features include the following:

  • Their patented toe guard prevents stubbed toes.
  • Bungee lacing system offers a faster way to wear and remove the shoes
  • They are also incredibly comfortable with an ergonomic footbed, arch support, and durable rubber sole.

Unfortunately, they are pricier than some other options.

KEEN Men's Newport H2 Closed Toe Water Sandals

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2. Crocs Men’s Swiftwater Mesh Deck Sandals

These shoes are not your ordinary Crocs clogs. It features a more subtle design with a sturdy, off-road outsole with channels that help disperse water. Its lightweight and breathable mesh upper is comfortable and quick drying, making them ideal for splashing around in the water. Plus, they provide excellent arch support so your feet can stay comfortable while you paddle the day away.

Unfortunately, some users report that these sandals run a bit small, so it might be best to order a size or two.

Crocs Men's Swiftwater Mesh Deck Sandals

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3. L-RUN Athletic Hiking Water Shoes

If you prefer water shoes over sandals, the L-RUN Athletic Hiking Water Shoes are our pick for the best water shoes for kayaking. It boasts light and breathable materials, and if you hate paddling while your feet are drenched in water, you’ll appreciate its soft outsole with drainage holes.

The downside of these shoes is that they run a bit narrow. Order a half size up if you want to get these shoes for kayaking.

L-RUN Athletic Hiking Water Shoes

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4. Merrell Women’s Core Hydro Moc Water Shoes

Merrel is known for their traditional hiking shoes, particularly their Moab collection. But the brand has expanded to footwear for water activities. One of the most popular is the Core Hydro Moc Water Shoe.

Rocking a clog-like style reminiscence of Crocs, these water-friendly shoes made from EVA foam upper feature a convenient slip-on design. Thanks to its articulated heel with strap, you’ll always get a snug and comfortable fit. Plus, it is extra comfortable because it has a contoured arch for support. However, these shoes can run small in size and do not have drainage holes.

Merrell Women's Core Hydro Moc Water Shoes

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5. NeoSport Wetsuits Pull On Boots

If you prefer boots over sandals or shoes, check out the NeoSport Wetsuits Pull-on Boots. This footwear is a mix of water socks and boots, offering you the best of both worlds. Thanks to the double-layer neoprene, you get protection for your feet and much-needed traction. There is also a hardened insert sole, which is extra tough against puncture.

What makes the NeoSport Wetsuits Pull-on Boots shine is that it’s easy to slide your feet in and out. Plus, the sizing is true to fit. However, half sizes are not available.

NeoSport Wetsuits Pull On Boots

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6. HIITAVE Barefoot Water Shoes

HIITAVE Barefoot Water Shoes is the perfect choice for kayakers that prefer shoes with a bungee lacing system. Its snug fit is not the only thing you’ll love about these shoes; it also has a breathable, quick-drying, and flexible fabric. On top of that, you get a fantastic grip wherever you find yourself in your kayak adventure.

But some people report durability issues after frequent water exposure. Move a size up if you want increased longevity from your purchase.

HIITAVE Barefoot Water Shoes

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7. Astral Hiyak Outdoor Minimalist Boots

If you don’t like the closure-free design of the NeoSport Wetsuits Pull-on Boots, the perfect alternative is the Astral Hiyak Outdoor Minimalist Boots. Not only does it have laces, but you also get a velcro strap. And, if you are not a fan of arched support and have wide feet, these shoes for kayak have a level footbed and a wider toe box.

Other features of these shoes include:

  • Their deep lugs provide unparalleled traction.
  • Drain-through footbeds ensure quick draining of water or mud from your feet.

We only had a gripe with its thin sole, which can be troublesome and uncomfortable if you also plan to wear them for hiking. Nevertheless, this is one of the best paddle board shoes.

Astral Hiyak Outdoor Minimalist Boots

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8. ALEADER Men’s Quick Drying Aqua Water Shoes

If you are after a more minimalist look than the HIITAVE, ALEADER’s water shoes are a great alternative. The design resembles a pair of sneakers but with significant upgrades to make it suitable for kayaking. Plus, it offers full coverage protection for your feet. Other features you’ll love are:

  • Drain holes.
  • Bungee lace system.
  • Quick-drying and breathable mesh upper
  • Non-slip traction

Unfortunately, the drainage holes are too big that if you walk on an area with small rocks, you’ll most certainly get them stuck in the holes. Additionally, there are reports of reduced durability after extensive wear.

ALEADER Men's Quick Drying Aqua Water Shoes

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9. Body Glove Men’s 3T Barefoot Cinch Water Shoes

Rather than having a lace system upfront, Body Glove’s 3T Barefoot Cinch Water Shoes have the strap at the back. This can be the perfect solution to avoid laces getting in the way when paddling. However, there is a tradeoff. It doesn’t drain well, and there’s too much chaffing. We only recommend it for weekend paddlers.

Body Glove Men's 3T Barefoot Cinch Water Shoes

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These (Water) Shoes Are Meant for Paddling

Ordinary sneakers are not made for water activities. If you want to enjoy paddling, treat yourself to the best shoes for kayak. Hopefully, you’ll find the right one in our top choices.

Ultimate Guide to Whopper Ploppers

If you’re an avid angler or just getting started in the fishing world, you’ve probably heard about a Whopper Plopper. But what exactly is it, and how can this secret weapon help you catch more fish? Keep reading to find out!

What is a Whopper Plopper? 

It’s a type of topwater lure or surface lure that imitates the movement of a baitfish in the water. It has a pliable tail that spins and disturbs the water’s surface. When the topwater lure is retrieved, the tail spins, creating a commotion on the water’s surface.

It has a soft plastic body, while its tail is made of rubber or similar material and is attached to a wire that extends from the lure’s body. 

As mentioned, the topwater lure’s enticing rumbles and unique sound can be irresistible to fish, particularly bass. This type of lure is versatile and can be used in various fishing situations on any given day, from shallow flats to deep, rocky points. It’s a great choice for catching bigger foes like the largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, pike, and muskie.

Which Plopper Is Best for Bass? 

River2Sea WPL90/24 Whopper Plopper

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When choosing a lure for bass fishing, one of the top options is the River to Sea lure. 

One of the reasons why the River to Sea lure is such a great choice for bass is that it has a high-quality, durable construction. The rubber-like flexible tail can withstand the wear and tear of hungry bass. Plus, it offers a great job of mimicking the appearance and movement of a baitfish thanks to its soft plastic body. 

Another reason to consider the River to Sea lure is that it’s available in various sizes to suit different fishing situations. Whether you’re targeting smallmouth bass in a shallow stream or largemouth bass in a deep lake, this lure’s size fits your needs.

 How to Use Whopper Plopper? 

So, you’ve got your lure and are ready to hit the water. But how exactly do you use it to catch fish? Here’s a step-by-step guide to using this lure:

  1. Choose the right size and color of lure for the type of fish you’re targeting and the fishing conditions. For example, if you’re fishing for largemouth bass in clear water, you should use a smaller lure in a natural, baitfish-like color.
  2. Attach the lure to your fishing line using a knot that will secure the lure in place. A Palomar knot is a good choice for attaching a lure.
  3. Cast the lure out into the water. Depending on the fishing situation, you can use various casting techniques, such as a sidearm cast or an overhead cast.
  4. Slowly retrieve the lure by pulling the line in a steady, smooth motion. The tail will spin as you retrieve the lure, creating a splashing, bubbling sound on the water’s surface. This sound is what attracts fish to the lure.
  5. Experiment with different retrieve speeds and techniques to see what works best. Some anglers find that a fast, erratic retrieve is most effective, while others prefer a slow, steady retrieve. Also, stop and start the retrieve to create pauses in the action.
  6. Pay attention to how the lure behaves in the water. If it’s not creating much of a disturbance, you might need to retrieve it faster or try a different retrieval technique. If the lure is diving or rolling, it might be time to change the size or color of the lure.
  7. By following these steps, you’ll be well on your way to using a lure effectively to catch fish. Just remember to have fun, be patient, and use a strong hook – fishing is all about trial and error, and sometimes it takes a bit of experimentation to find the perfect technique.

What Color Whopper Plopper Is Best for Bass? 

When choosing the right color lure for bass fishing, there are a few key factors to consider. Here’s a rundown the most popular Whopper Plopper lure colors and when they’re most effective:

Loon 

River2Sea WPL90/12 Whopper Plopper

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A loon Whopper Plopper is one of the best and most popular color options because it is versatile. It is effective during early-morning fishing trips or when there are overcast skies. 

Unlike other Whopper Plopper colors, a loon features a dark color, which creates a shadow in the water. But what makes it highly recommended is its gurgling and spinning action. 

Bone 

River2Sea WPL90/14 Whopper Plopper

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Unlike loon, bone has a yellowish body with red accents, giving bass an impression that this lure is injured and bleeding. Since this color doesn’t reflect much, it is only best for clear water situations. 

Munky Butt 

River2Sea WPL90/13 Whopper Plopper Artificial Fishing Bait , 13 - Munky Butt

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This Whopper Plopper color imitates a minnow. It features a bright, attention-grabbing body color with a translucent bottom. Ideally, you should use a monkey butt Whopper Plopper in clear water conditions. 

Blue Blood 

River2Sea WPL90/08 Whopper Plopper,Blue Blood

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We recommend a blue-blood-colored Whopper Plopper if you are targeting largemouth bass. It features a clear belly and a blue body that resembles a shad. 

Bluegill 

River2Sea WPL90/28 Whopper Plopper Bluegill

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The Bluegill lure offers an exceptional lure presentation with its red accents, tricking bass that it’s a real injured fish. Try this Whopper Plopper color when you aren’t getting any bites.  

Perch 

River2Sea WPL90/09 Whopper Plopper Perch

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Perch-colored Whopper Plopper is not that popular, but this lure option should be at the top of your list. As you know, bass loves to perch, so one sight of this Whopper Plopper, they’ll immediately bite.  

Terminator 

River2Sea WPL130/23 Whopper Plopper

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A terminator Whopper Plopper is best for bright fishing conditions and murky waters. It has a bright and reflective presentation, which shines when hit by the sun. Even in murky waters, this lure color will grab the attention of bass. Terminator also works when fishing in clear waters. 

White 

River2Sea WPL110/21 Whopper Plopper

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With its glimmering white body and red eyes, a white Whopper Blopper is a good option when fishing in a sunny location. Its bright white color can be especially effective even in murky waters. 

Rainbow Trout 

River2Sea WPL90/10 Whopper Plopper

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A rainbow trout Whopper Plopper features a highly reflective body, and when the sun is shining, it immediately catches the attention of your target fish.

What Is the Best Size Whopper Plopper Size? 

The size of the lure can also have an impact on its effectiveness for catching fish. Here are a few general guidelines for choosing the right size lure:

If the water is calm or has a slight surface ripple, a size 75 or 90 lure is a good choice. A size 110 or larger lure may be a better choice in the stronger wind or choppier water because it is more visible to fish.

Ultimately, the best size lure for you will depend on the specific fishing conditions and the size of the baitfish in the area. Experimenting with different sizes can help you find the one that works best for you.

Tip: Baitfish size is also an essential factor to consider when choosing the size of your lure. For larger baitfish, like gizzard shad, a larger lure can be a good choice. A size 75 or 90 lure may be more effective if the baitfish is smaller.

The Whopper Plopper Revolution 

The lure is versatile and effective for catching various fish, particularly bass. Its unique spinning tail and splashing sound attract fish from a distance, and its realistic appearance can fool even the most cautious prey. It’s definitely worth adding to your tackle box. 

12 Must-Visit Luxury Destinations Across the World

Everyone has a different opinion on where to travel and where not to. If you want a luxurious vacation filled with memories you will reminisce about for years, you have come to the right place. 

Below you will find 12 luxury destinations in the United States and beyond. Each location brings something different to the table, yet you can use luxury to describe every single one. 

Luxury Destinations in North America

1. Maui, Hawaii 

From the moment you step off the plane, you will feel like you are in paradise when you visit breathtaking Maui. With its sandy beaches, crystal clear waters, cascading waterfalls, and lush rain forests, Maui takes the word luxury to a new level. 

Visitors can enjoy various outdoor activities, water sports, and quaint seaside towns in Maui. Make sure to set time aside to visit Honokalani, Maui’s famous black sand beach. Day trips to Molokai by helicopter are a wonderful way to break up your luxury vacation. 

Maui Bay Villas offers the fabulous hospitality Hilton Grand Vacations is synonymous with. This 27-acre resort is nestled on the coast of Maalaea Bay. Travelers can make every minute count thanks to the resort’s direct beach access and additional amenities.

2. Aspen, Colorado 

Aspen is a winter wonderland but don’t be fooled; year-round, this destination has infinite things to do. This chic town offers some of the best skiing in the world, vast hiking trails, high-end shops, and world-renowned restaurants. Skiers and non-skiers alike will love a vacation to America’s Canary City. Some of the richest families in the world visit this luxury destination year after year. You will undoubtedly experience beautiful blue skies regardless of when you visit because Aspen averages 300 days of sunshine a year. 

As expected from a luxury destination, Aspen has fabulous 5-star resorts, including St. Regis Residence Club, Aspen. Located at the base of Aspen Mountain, you can easily hit the slopes or hike this incredible mountain. In addition, the lavish accommodations set this resort apart from all the rest. 

3. Palm Springs, California

Although on the smaller side, Palm Springs is a dream location for many. Whether you’ve been influenced by the Kardashians or have heard fabulous stories from people who have visited, you are in for a treat when visiting Palm Springs. The food is tasty, the attractions are vast, and the weather is fabulous year-round. If you are looking for a luxury destination where you can forget all life’s worries and fully unwind, look no further than Palm Springs. 

You will feel at home in the elegant two-bedroom suites at Vista Mirage Resort. This Grand Pacific resort is in the heart of Palm Springs and has on-site exercise facilities, a game room, a playground, a pool, tennis courts, and more. 

4. New York City, New York 

If you have yet to visit the Big Apple, what are you waiting for? New York City is unlike any other, from the Empire State Building to Broadway to the Statute of Liberty. Every year people around the world travel to NYC. Whether it is your first time or you are a frequent visitor, there is something new for everyone to experience. Don’t miss out on trying a New York-style bagel and pizza on your trip. 

A Forbes Five-Star property, the St. Regis New York Residence Club, is ideally located at Fifth Avenue and 55th Street. This flagship hotel reflects the elegance of St. Regis with outstanding dining at Astor Court and the iconic King Cole Bar.

5. Whistler, Canada 

Known for Whistler Blackcomb, the largest ski resort in North America, Whistler is a fabulous location for those wanting to hit the slopes. On Whistler and Blackcomb’s side-by-side mountains, there are more than 200 marked runs, 8,171 acres of terrain, and three glaciers. During the warmer months, hiking, rafting, horseback riding, biking, and exploring this European-style village are among the best things to do.

A short distance from the ski lifts, Shell Vacations Club Mountainside Lodge is located in the heart of Whistler Village. The location makes this resort even more fabulous. Nearby enjoy shopping, live entertainment, dining, and nightlife.

Luxury Destinations Beyond the United States

6. Thalang, Thailand 

Puckett is the biggest island in Thailand. If you are hoping to stay in an Instagram-worthy destination that isn’t flooded with travelers, Thalang is the spot for you. Aside from its natural beauty, there are fabulous things to do throughout your stay. Phuket Nature Elephant Reserve is an ethical retirement home for elephants where you can see them up close and personal. Bang Pae is a fabulous spot for hiking, and the list of fun attractions goes on. 

Marriott’s Phuket Beach Club overlooks the Andaman Sea, perfect for staying in the exotic paradise of Thailand. In order to create an atmosphere of unmatched beauty, the grounds are landscaped with exotic plants, water gardens, and gorgeous flowers.

7. Nadi, Fiji 

If you know where to look, Nadi, Fiji, has plenty of culture, tasty food, and great drinks. This area is unique because you can stay as busy or relaxed as you want. Main Street is famous among visitors because it offers multiple bars, restaurants, and souvenir shops. For more shopping opportunities, Nadi Town Market is an authentic local spot worth checking out. If you are in need of a beach day, Denarau Island allows you to get the whole tropical getaway experience with palm trees, beaches, gorgeous waters, and all. 

With world-class hospitality and amenities at Worldmark South Pacific – Denarau Island, you can be sure your vacation in Nadi, Fiji, will be unforgettable. There is something for everyone to enjoy on-site, whether you are on a romantic getaway or traveling with your family.

8. Paris, France 

The City of Lights is known for many popular attractions, including the Eiffel Tower, Musée du Louvre, and Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris. The most notable is the Eiffel Tower which has around 6 million visitors yearly. Built from 1887 to 1889, the Iron Lady has become one of the most visited monuments. If you are traveling with the kids in tow, take a day exploring Disneyland Paris. Regardless of how you spend your trip, you will love exploring all this romantic city has to offer.

At Marriott’s Village d’Ile-de-France, you’ll find the elegance Paris is known for while also experiencing the luxury Marriott is known for. There are multiple pools, a spa, a restaurant, and a 27-hole golf course on-site for guests to enjoy when they are not out and about.

9. Nadi, The Bahamas

Nadi’s beautiful turquoise waters, watersports activities, delicious cuisine, and white sand beaches make it one of the most ideal luxury destinations. As the capital of the Bahamas, Nadi is very popular amongst travelers, with fun things to do. The peak time to visit is mid-December to mid-April, although temperatures are fabulous year-round. Adventure awaits you in the Bahamas. 

Harborside Resort at Atlantis is a 2-minute walk from the center of Atlantis, Paradise Island Ferry Terminal. Guests can enjoy all the amenities, including the restaurants, water park, bar, lounge, casino, and fitness center. With so much to do on-site, you will never want to leave.

10. Oranjestad, Aruba 

Aruba is known for being the safest island in the Caribbean, which is why so many people visit yearly. Not to mention, you can travel without fear of hurricanes since it is in the southern region of the Caribbean Sea. There is nothing better than the crystal clear blue waters and sandy white beaches of Oranjestad for a dream vacation. Fun places to visit throughout your stay include Linear Park, Plaza Daniel Leo, and Main Street.

Marriott’s Aruba Ocean Club is a beautiful resort with winding pools, waterfalls, and spas on the infamous Palm Beach. It is next to Marriott’s Aruba Surf Club, so guests can enjoy both resort’s amenities.

11. Philip, Barbados 

Known for its natural beauty, St. Philip is the perfect place for a quiet luxury retreat in Barbados. There are so many amazing beaches and cliffs on the island of St. Philip, so you’re sure to have a good time. Barbados is a year-round tropical oasis. Whether you want to go scuba diving with the sea turtles, deep-sea fishing, kayaking, or lay out on the beach with a piña colada in hand, you can do so. This island is filled with adventure, perfect for satisfying everyone in your group. 

Located on the notable sand beaches of Crane Beach, Hilton Grand Vacations at The Crane is a timeshare in a historic building built in 1887. It offers a 1.5-acre pool complex, tennis courts, yoga classes, and shopping at Crane Village.

12. Marbella, Spain 

When you think of Spain, you probably think of Barcelona or Madrid. But the country has so many travel-worthy destinations, including the luxurious city of Marbella. In addition to relaxing, it is also an excellent spot for exploring, whether you love history, art, or nature. Marbella is a city divided into two parts. Casco Antiguo, the old town, is the more traditional area, with historical landmarks and an authentic atmosphere. Nueva Andalucia, the new town, is more modern, with fancy restaurants and high-end shops.

If you are looking for a top-of-line getaway with luxurious amenities and modern accommodations, look no further than Marriott’s Marbella Beach Resort. Amenities include direct beach access, tennis courts, golf benefits, and an indoor as well as an outdoor pool. 

Stay In Luxury Destinations

If you want to visit one of the luxury destinations above, stay in one of the fabulous resorts featured. When you buy a timeshare, you can visit a different luxury location annually through vacation exchange. Not to mention, you can save a substantial amount of money at all the best timeshare companies when shopping on the resale market. 

This article originally appeared on Savoteur.

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