Coastal Angler Magazine - October / Alabama - Penscacola

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FREE

ALABAMA/PENSACOLA EDITION

Fall Fishing

Redfish On The Fly Kings of Fall

Local

Fishing Reports Catch Photos News & Events PHOTO COURTESY OF NOAH MILLER VOLUME 23 • ISSUE 284

COASTALANGLERMAG.COM

F R A N C H I S E

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EDITOR IN CHIEF : Ben Martin • camads@coastalanglermagazine.com COO : Tracy Patterson • tracy@coastalanglermagazine.com ART DIRECTOR : Rebecca Snowden • graphics@coastalanglermagazine.com EDITORIAL COORDINATOR : Nick Carter • editorial@coastalanglermagazine.com WEBMASTER : Nick Barna • webmaster@coastalanglermagazine.comw ADVERTISING INQUIRIES: Corporate Headquarters info@coastalanglermagazine.com • 888-800-9794

FRANCHISE DIRECTORY FLORIDA BIG BEND : Mike McNamara • (850) 510-7919 • captmike@coastalanglermagazine.com BREVARD : Chris Milner • (321) 631-1001 • cmilner@coastalanglermagazine.com DAYTONA/NEW SMYRNA/DELAND : Amy Chibbaro • (386) 478-3812 • achibbaro@coastalanglermagazine.com

Chris Chibbaro • (386) 478-9234 • cchibbaro@coastalanglermagazine.com

FLORIDA KEYS : Cliff Lumpkin • (305) 849-9093 • cliff@coastalanglermagazine.com FORT LAUDERDALE : Gene Dyer • (954) 680-3900 • gene@coastalanglermagazine.com FORT MYERS : Nadeen Welch • (239) 595-8265 • nwelch@coastalanglermagazine.com GREATER ORLANDO : Phillip & Giselle Wolf • (407) 790-9515 • phillip@coastalanglermagazine.com GREATER MIAMI : Gene Dyer • (954) 680-3900 • gene@coastalanglermagazine.com LAKELAND & SUMTER : Mary Brasher • (352) 598-4219 • maryf@coastalanglermagazine.com NAPLES : Nadeen Welch • (239) 595-8265 • nwelch@coastalanglermagazine.com NC FLORIDA/NATURE COAST : Cary & Lynn Crutchfield • (352) 372-4237 • crutch@coastalanglermagazine.com NE FLORIDA : Danny Patrick • (904) 742-4696 • danny@coastalanglermagazine.com PANAMA CITY/DESTIN/FORGOTTEN COAST : Randy Cnota • (229) 834-7880 • randyc@coastalanglermagazine.com PALM BEACH COUNTY : Barbara Ryan • (561) 373-8040 • barbara@coastalanglermagazine.com SARASOTA : Phil Prevoir • (239) 257-4684 • pprevoir@coastalanglermagazine.com TAMPA BAY : Chuck Atkins • (239) 464-5153 • chuck@coastalanglermagazine.com TREASURE COAST : Misti & Gary Guertin • (772) 285-6850 • treasurecoast@coastalanglermagazine.com

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SOUTHEAST ATLANTA : Bob & Brenda Rice • (706) 614-8231 • bobr@theanglermagazine.com CHARLESTON : Sam Buckareff • (843) 607-8629 • sam@coastalanglermagazine.com CHARLOTTE/PIEDMONT : Doug Simmons • (704) 361-6189 • simmons@theanglermagazine.com

Juli Simmons • (980) 333-7273 • simmons@theanglermagazine.com

COLUMBIA/MIDLANDS : John Lux • (803) 807-6885 • jlux@theanglermagazine.com MYRTLE BEACH : Mike Masiero • (732) 674-3019 • mmasiero@coastalanglermagazine.com TIDEWATER/OUTER BANKS : Brenda Riggs • (757) 409-7518 • brenda@coastalanglermagazine.com

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NORTHEAST BOSTON : George Regan • (617) 488-2842 • boston@coastalanglermagazine.com LONG ISLAND : Lisa & Michael Danforth • (203) 321-7635 • lisad@coastalanglermagazine.com CONNECTICUT/RHODE ISLAND : Lisa & Michael Danforth • (203) 321-7635 lisad@coastalanglermagazine.com

GULF COAST MISSISSIPPI GULF COAST : Adam Nelson • (228) 627-5903 • anelson@coastalanglermagazine.com

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ALABAMA/PENSACOLA : Paul Caruso • (239) 980-7738 • paul@coastalanglermagazine.com

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INTERNATIONAL VIRGIN ISLANDS/PUERTO RICO : Ace Bassue • (407) 285-9453 • ace@coastalanglermagazine.com COSTA RICA : Mike Erickson • (561) 262-2242 • mike@coastalanglermagazine.com © 2018. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written consent of the publisher. Disclaimer: Coastal Angler Magazine / The Angler Magazine will not be held liable for injuries incurred while partaking in activities described herein, or for claims made against products or services provided by advertisers.

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By CAM Staff • Photos courtesy of Larry McGuire, Show Me The Fish Charters

W

ater temperatures are falling. King mackerel are on the move. Wherever they roam, fall is the time to catch kingfish during their annual migration south. In the Atlantic, from the Carolinas south along the Florida coast, kings are following bait to warmer waters. The same thing is going on in the Gulf of Mexico. Kingfish that summered in the northern Gulf are splitting up. Some head west down the Texas coast. Others move east along the Panhandle and down the west coast of Florida. Wherever you fish, the next few months offer the opportunity to connect with the movements of these mercury missiles as they mingle with resident populations. The prospect for drag-burning runs is out there for anglers who pay close attention to water temperatures and stay on the move until they find the fish. King mackerel are as temperature driven as any fish in the sea. When they’re marauding baitfish, they can be found close to shore on the beaches, passes and jetties, where even shore-bound anglers have a shot at them. But most of the larger kingfish hunt over nearshore reefs in 30- to 60-feet or deeper. Deep or shallow, they’ll seek out 68- to 73-degree temperatures where they are comfortable. Watch the water temperature charts, and fish by them. Find the right temperature and an abundance of baitfish, and putting out a spread of baits will tell you quickly if there are kingfish around. Live bait is always the best bet, especially for big smokers. The best bait will depend on where you fish and what baitfish are most prevalent. Pogies (menhaden), hardtails (blue runners), pilchards and threadfin herring are all good baits if they are present. The fall mullet runs offer an abundance of good bait. A lot of tournament and charter boats put a Spanish mackerel in a spread looking for a big bite. Most importantly, baitfish should be fresh. Catch the bait that is available with Sabikis or cast nets, keep it well-oxygenated and switch them frequently. Most kingfish rigs will use a mainline of 20- to 30-pound monofilament. Obviously, with those teeth, a wire leader is essential. You should go as heavy as the fish will let you get away with—depending on water clarity—but it must remain light enough for the bait to swim. A 24-inch, single-strand wire leader of 40-pound test is a starting point. Go lighter in clear water or with smaller baits; go heavier in dirty water or if you’re fishing big baits for big fish. Leaders can be made longer for security. Hooks should be matched to the size of the bait, and it’s wise to add a stinger hook on large baits. Whether anchored, drifting or slow-trolling, a fresh chum slick is a good idea. If a king doesn’t hit within 15 or 20 minutes, pick up and go find some that are biting. They shouldn’t be hard to find this time of year.

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By Greg Hatten etails are important when fly fishing for steelhead and running a wood boat through the rocky rivers of the Pacific Northwest. It’s the details I obsess about – the knots, the leaders, the water temperature, the boulders that might hold fish or punch a hole in a wood boat. I am “Obsessed by Details” or OBD. Every piece of gear I carry must pass the OBD test. When I put sunglasses under my microscope, Popticals are my choice. It’s the only brand that provides superior visual performance and a portable design that can be easily packed anywhere to protect the lenses. Eyewear must cut through the glare and provide clarity to see tiny details like the color of insects hatching, the subtle rise of trout, or the faint underwater shadow of a holding steelhead. Popticals offer a level of detail head and shoulders above other glasses. When I row, eyewear must give me clarity to see “the safe line” through rocky sections of river as well as in the distance when I am judging obstacles downriver. Popticals are the sunglasses I trust with my boat on the line. My sunglasses must also provide superior protection from sharp hooks flying through the air. The Popticals I wear have a great side guard that provides outstanding protection. Popticals are the perfect combination of performance and protection with the bonus feature of folding down so small they fit in the palm of my hand. Greg Hatten is a professional fly fishing guide and wood boat builder. Check out Popticals at popticals.com.

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FLORIDA

By Cory Gurman

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t doesn’t get much better than watching the sun peak above the horizon with a rod in hand while schools of redfish crash baitfish all around you. Many areas redfish frequent are in skinny water, and targeting them from a kayak allows access as well as an up close and personal adventure. Kayaks have come a long way since their inception. Thousands of years ago, natives of North America’s arctic built the first kayaks of whale bones and animal skins. They used them for hunting. Today’s plastics and a wave of interest in kayak fishing over

the last decade sparked advancements in kayaks manufactured specifically for fishing. Improvements in space, stability, comfort and maneuverability are just a few of the reasons these vessels are so attractive to anglers. Add to that some of the many options available, such as peddle assist, power poles for anchoring, bait wells and super comfortable seating with lumbar support, and you have a five-star fishing platform that provides access to very skinny water. When fishing from a kayak, lightweight gear is a fun and effective way to target redfish. Light gear offers a challenge when hooked up to 5-plus-pound fish, and it also gives an advantage when casting to distant fish, especially if using braided line. Redfish in skinny water can be caught using jig heads, shrimp under a popping cork, D.O.A. Shrimp and even topwater and suspending baits. This time of year, the mullet really start getting fired up as they start migrating. As redfish actively pursue their prey, casting a topwater plug early in the morning is a really exciting way to draw a strike. Leader material is important in this type of fishing since oyster beds will fray line. Check and replace the leader as needed so the big one never gets away. Kayak fishing has really offered up a unique and exciting way to explore many different types of water. There are many makes and models to suit your fishing style, and taking a kayak out on the water is the best way to see for yourself. Visit a local dealer and get ready to expand your horizons beyond traditional fishing crafts. It’s a different view with exciting promises! Cory Gurman is a student at Ponte Vedra High School in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. Besides reveling in the great outdoors, Cory enjoys spending time with his three golden retrievers and rooting for the Atlanta Braves. Follow him on Instagram @fishhunter1119.

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E

Sheri Daye

verything we do in life carries risks, even going for a drive. Wear your seatbelt, learn to be a defensive driver, and life goes on. Spearfishing has risks too, but they are manageable. A lot of people ask, “What about sharks?” I tell them, “Sharks are like dogs. The vast majority are not a threat. In fact, it’s a privilege to see them in the water. You should enjoy the sight!” Unlike the Jaws movie era, most people now understand that sharks are not mindless monsters. They are beautiful creatures, and there’s many sightseeing opportunities for tourists and photographers. On the other hand, when you are spearfishing, you don’t want to be too cavalier and shoot fish in front of sharks. They are wild animals and should be respected. One should not spear in areas where shark feeding takes place or areas known to be “sharky.” Fortunately, sharks don’t appear out of nowhere and start munching on your leg; that is not their nature. However, it is their nature to be attracted to wounded fish. The vibration attracts them even more than the blood. This is one of several reasons to strive for the killshot on your prey. If you do not achieve that, it is wise to dispatch and place your fish on the boat as quickly as possible. It’s also best to keep moving along. Don’t stay in one spot, especially in the Bahamas. Assuming you’ve done everything possible to avoid an encounter, the next most important step is to dive with a buddy, stay aware, cover each other, and don’t stray too far from the boat. Bad situations tend to escalate gradually. If one diver maintains a watch while the other is dealing with their fish, you are less likely to have a surprise encounter. A good buddy will alert you, call the boat over, and make sure the fish is landed without incident. Sharks tend to make several passes before zeroing in on the target, so there should be plenty of time to land the fish before things escalate. When a shark does show Manny Puig in the water with a big up, it’s important to not show mako shark. Photo by Robin Berg. fear or run away from them. Like dogs, they sense fear and will be more interested if you freak out. Stand your ground, face them, assume an aggressive posture and calmly exit the water. Here’s a summary: 1. When spearing, avoid shark encounters as much as possible. 2. Try to get killshots or dispatch the fish quickly and put it on the boat. Don’t carry a stringer. 3. Move from spot to spot, even if you haven’t seen a shark. 4. Dive as a buddy team and look out for each other after shooting fish. 5. Keep the boat nearby so you can quickly unload fish and/ or exit the water. 6. Do not give up the fish to a shark. That tends to escalate the situation. 7. Do not panic or run from a shark, face them with confidence, but exit when possible. Happy hunting and see you in the water!

TH

Wit ben

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Sheri is a world-record holder, host of Speargun Hunter, and producer of “The Blue Wild Ocean Adventure Expo” in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. Follow “Sheri Daye” and “The Blue Wild” on Facebook and Instagram.

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9/17/18 12:07 PM


By CAM Staff

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wo fishing buddies from Pocatello, Idaho recently broke the catch-and-release state record for kokanee salmon twice in three weeks. For those unfamiliar with kokanee, it is the freshwater form of the well-known sockeye salmon of the northern Pacific. Sockeye, the salmon you find at the grocery store, are anadromous. They run out of the ocean and into rivers to spawn each fall. Kokanee also make a fall spawning run up creeks and rivers, but their lives are spent entirely in freshwater. It is thought the two species diverged thousands of years ago when

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ice melt created a system of large freshwater lakes and rivers across northern North America. While the sockeye continued their anadromous lives, kokanee did not to return to the sea. In some regions the two species still interbreed, while in others kokanee have become entirely landlocked. Kokanee exist in lakes and rivers across the northern United States and Canada. They have even been transplanted into systems as far south as North Carolina. According to the Idaho State Journal, Cody Spencer and Rob Mackesey got onto a good bite as kokanee ran out of Palisades Reservoir and up Elk Creek to spawn in August. Palisades is a 16,000-acre impoundment of the Snake River that sits hard on the Wyoming border near Yellowstone National Park. Elk Creek feeds the northern end of the reservoir just upstream of the dam. Spencer and Mackesey told the Idaho State Journal they are relatively new to kokanee, but they were actually fishing for the record after they learned the existing catch-and-release record measured just 18.5 inches. For reference, the IGFA world record kokanee measured 27.75 inches and weighed 9 pounds, 10 ounces. Ronald Campbell caught the world record from Wallowa Lake, Ore. in 2010. On Aug. 19, both Spencer and Mackesey caught fish longer than the 2-year-old catch-and-release state record. Mackesey landed a 20.08-incher, and on the same day Spencer caught the 20.9-inch record setter. But the story doesn’t end there. On Sept. 8, Spencer went back and bested his buddy with a 21.5-inch male that was dressed in its full spawning regalia. Part of the allure of kokanee is their unusual appearance. For most of the year, they are silver-sided and resemble a rainbow trout. During the spawn, the bodies of the males turn bright red and they develop a hump on their backs. The catch-and-release state record is a relatively new program for Idaho that encourages the release of fish by allowing anglers to apply for the record by photographing their catch next to a measuring device. The official certified Idaho state record for kokanee is a 6.59-pounder that measured 24.5 inches. Jerry Verge caught it from northwest Idaho’s Priest Lake in 1975.

9/17/18 10:54 AM


Photo Courtesy of Silver Sailfish Derby

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OAA Fisheries recently denied an Exempted Fishing Permit (EFP) that would have allowed pelagic longline (PLL) vessels into the East Florida Coast Pelagic Longline Closed Area. “Angler conservationists can breathe a sigh of relief that the longline EFP application is no longer a threat to the conservation gains in the E. Florida Closed Zone,” said Jeff Angers, president of the Center for Sportfishing Policy. “We will remain vigilant in protecting both this conservation zone we fought so hard for two decades ago as well as this amazing catch-and-release sailfish fishery that has grown off the east coast of Florida.”

On March 6, 2018, leading recreational fishing and boating organizations submitted public comment to the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council in opposition to the EFP. More than two decades ago, swordfish in the Western Atlantic were in serious trouble due to overfishing. The public responded forcefully to the plight of swordfish, and as a result, nursery areas were identified and closed to the United States PLL fleet in 2001. Today, anglers point to the recovery with pride as a significant conservation victory. “We greatly appreciate NOAA’s decision to keep the conservation zone off-limits to this destructive gear,” said Patrick Murray, president of Coastal Conservation Association. “Clearly the voices of recreational anglers and marine conservationists were heard. This is a great victory.” An unintended benefit of the East Florida Coast PLL Closed Area has been the establishment in the region of the nation’s best sailfish fishery. The direct economic benefit to coastal recreational fishing-related businesses and coastal economies has been remarkable. “Saltwater recreational fishing along the East Coast of Florida supports 35,523 jobs and has a sales impact of over $4 billion annually,” said Glenn Hughes, president of the American Sportfishing Association. “Much of this economic activity is attributed to the tremendous sailfish fishery that has been supported in large part by the East Florida Coast Pelagic Longline Closed Area. The recreational fishing industry is relieved by NOAA’s announcement to not put this conservation success at risk by allowing longlining back into the area.” Ever since the fishery was deemed recovered, there have been attempts to reopen the closed areas to commercial harvest and expose it to the types of intense commercial fishing pressure that drove it into an overfished condition. The permit denied by NOAA Fisheries would have authorized PLL vessels to make thousands of sets in the conservation zone for up to three years and sell all the legal fish caught.

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Paul Caruso

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Chappy

850-375-0766 chappy@coastalanglermagazine.com

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Contributing Writers Capt. Charlie Gray Capt. Dan Kolenich Capt. Don McPherson Capt. Johnny Willis

Benton Parrott/Team Hobie Kevin Freeland/Dive Pros Rich Ellison

Graphics/Web Design

K-9 Contributors

Ryan Speer/Speerbot.com

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9/16/2018 5:36:40 PM


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9/16/2018 5:36:43 PM


MOBILE / DAUPHIN ISLAND BY: CAPT. CHARLIE GRAY

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emperature wise, October will start off warm and end up much cooler. The summertime pattern will persist until the first cool fronts appear mid to late month. Early in the month we will still be catching Speckled Trout, redfish and a bunch of White Trout around the lower bay rigs, on deeper structure and all up and down the bay, in the marshes and around the small islands in the sound. They can also be found around the rivers that dump into the bays and Mississippi Sound. The trout will continue this pattern until the weather cools off. As that happens they will migrate North into the marshes and the upper Mobile Bay Delta area where they will hold through the Winter months. I will continue to fish live shrimp under a popping cork early in the shallows and then as we progress to the deeper water, I will fish with a slip cork rig or even a tight line on the bottom. The redfish will be around some of the bay rigs now and can be found in the Grand Bay area and the Portersville Bay and Heron Bay areas as well. They will hit live bait as well as the plastic shrimp or mullet imitation baits like

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the VuDu Shrimp or the Egret Bait Mambo Mullet. I really like to use live finger mullet under a rattling cork now but the redfish will also quickly take a fresh dead shrimp on the bottom. The triple tail or blackfish will be here as well until the water cools off and can be found around floating debris in the Gulf, Bays and Sound as will the ling or cobia as they migrate back to South Florida for the Winter. This is also the time of year the Flounder start to move offshore as well. Fish for them around the rigs, rocky areas and points on the bottom with a bull or mud minnow, small croaker or shrimp rigged in a Carolina rig fashion. All in all, October is one of the best months for inshore fishing here on the coast Capt. Charlie Gray Gray Gulf Charters Dauphin Island / Mobile Bay / Ft Morgan Alabama 251.379.5067 Charlie@Graygulfcharters.com www.Graygulfcharters.com

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KAYAK REPORT BY: BENTON PARROTT

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arly a.m. fishing and home in time for College football! The water temperature is dropping and that should heat up the fishing. Early morning it’s hard to beat throwing a topwater looking for trout and reds. I have been having great results with the skitterwalk and the spook jr. I am using the bone white pattern because it is a confidence bait for me. I can search lots of ground with a

topwater locating fish in open water. When fishing up in the creeks I use a soft plastics on a jig head. I like to throw the saltwater assassin sea shad on a 1/8 oz. jig head and flutter bounce them down grass lines and creek mouths. Reds, trout, and flounder love them. This is the time the big reds start gathering up and they are always fun to play with out of the kayak. Not to miss in October! The IFA Kayak Fishing Tour will be holding its Championship Oct.19th through the 21st in Grand Isle, LA. This is a 2 day event that is open to any angler that has fished any 2 other IFA events in any division from South Carolina to Texas. The Champion will be determined on the anglers overall aggregate length of the 2 days fishing on your longest legal trout and redfish from each day of the event. If you missed out on the IFA this year look for them starting up again next spring. The MBKFA is having their 12th annual 5 Rivers tournament on Oct.27th with the weigh in on the causeway in

Spanish Fort, AL. This is a weigh in tournament and there is divisions for slot redfish, speckled trout, flounder, bass, and inshore slam consisting over your best red fish, trout, and flounder combo. There will be lots of great prizes and good food. This is always a fun tournament to fish with a division for everyone! http://www.mbkfa.com Next month Nov.3rd is the 11th annual Elizbeth Bottorf Memorial Redfish Tournament in PCB. This event raises money to put children through swim lessons through The Boys and Girls Club of Bay County. Entry fee is only $35.00 per angler. registration will be held on November 2, 2018 at Sunjammers from 3pm-7pm. Registered anglers may start fishing at safe light on November 3 and must be checked in by 3pm to weigh a fish.Look us up on Facebook on our Kayak Fishing U page where we keep a running tab of all tournaments going on. Remember while fishing from a kayak to always think safety. We are low to the water and not always easily seen. Keep a 360 degree light on at dark and low light conditions, wear a PFD, keep hydrated, and let someone know your float plan. Benton Parrott Hobie Regional Team / Pro Staff Fishing Guide dbparrott@bellsouth.net

DON’T BRING A TROUT ROD TO A JACK FIGHT! BY: RICH ELLISON

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s I write this we have just survived Tropical Storm Gordon. As best I can tell, it was just some rain and wind; nothing too sensational. Unfortunately that means the water will be screwed up for a little while. Prior to the storm, fishing hadn’t been half bad. I cut back on the night trips and focused on day time fishing. I spend the majority of my time fishing from Fairhope to Daphne. With all the rain in August, I knew I needed to head south in search of saltier water, especially if I wanted trout. I knew exactly where I wanted to fish, but needed help putting together a pattern on unfamiliar waters. I contacted Scott Kennedy of Whistlin’ Waters Kayaking Charters. He did a great job showing me around. I scored early trolling out with a quality bull red (Pictured, courtesy of Scott). The rest of the morning was a tad slow. But we caught a few trout; such is summer time fishing. Anytime you go

somewhere unfamiliar, a good guide is invaluable. If the pro’s do it, it’s not beneath you! I returned to the same general area I had just fished. I explored and put a few trout in the boat. A friend and I fished the same trout hole, with the same bait. I caught fish, but he did not. The only thing separating our approach was a fluorocarbon leader. If you want to catch fickle trout, you better have a leader. I hooked my first Jack Crevalle while trolling soft plastic on the return to the launch. If you’ve never hooked a Jack, you’re missing out! That thing dragged me around for over 20 minutes. The rod in use was a 7’ St. Croix that is no stranger to bull reds & big trout. Just when I thought I had him played out (so I could get the ever important picture for proof!) he saw my boat & dove straight down! Broke my rod just above the handle! That was a very expensive lesson & one I won’t likely repeat; not a half bad fish tale though… I have done a little night fishing. Dock lights anywhere in salty Baldwin County waters will likely produce some redfish. On a 1-10 scale, it’s a 6 right now. Not great, not terrible. As we push into September the temps will slowly drop and the trout will slowly move North in search of shrimp; provided the rain holds off. Redfish

are always around the causeway; they’re far less affected by rain. Don’t be surprised if you pick up a few flounder before they migrate to the Gulf for the fall spawn. If you catch a flounder, it will be one of 2 types: Gulf or Southern. The former will have 3 dots & the latter will be splotchy all over. Both are excellent table fare. Quality gear is essential to a successful fishing trip. I like a Shimano Stradic reel, but my much less expensive Penn Fierce 2 will do everything the Stradic does. I like a 7’ medium action rod with a fast tip usually. My St Croix was snapped, but my back up Lightning Rod & Redfish Magic are holding their own. There are hundreds of baits to choose from. If I had to pick 1, it would be a chartreuse ¼ ounce jig head with a cocahoe minnow. Colors can be anything from white to black. My personal favorite is black with a chartreuse tail, but you need to match the water. If it’s clear, natural is the way to go. Summer may have come to an end, but great fishing is just starting. While all your buddies are watching football and going to deer camp, be sure to get on your favorite waters. As always have a float plan and your pfd. Wear sunscreen and watch out for boats that may not see you. This is my favorite time of the year to be on the water! Rich Ellison Outback Fishing Adventures 251-223-7085

4 ALABAMA / PENSACOLA, FL | OCTOBER 2018 | COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

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MOBILE BAY / EASTERN SHORE BY: CAPT. DAN KOLENICH

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he water looks good and water temps are holding around 87 degrees on the causeway. The good news is we have finally had a normal year in the Delta. The salt water is the way it should be, and bait is everywhere. Shrimpers are working the north end of the bay and Mobile Ship Channel. Trout fishing is still very tough due to the water temps, but reds are on the causeway. If you are looking for specs, you are in for a tough time. A few are being caught at Middle Bay Light and the Rigs at the south end of the bay. October should bring some relief from the warm water. Live shrimp are a good choice on a slip cork or carolina rig. Soft plastics on jig heads in the usual colors will work for the artificial bait guys. Once the water cools into the 70’s the trout should get more active. As the water cools, try a Mirrolure Glad Shad or top water plug for some fast action. If you’re looking for reds on the causeway, my favorite is a Hildebrandt spinner bait. Try the grass flats and along the edges of the rivers and cuts like North Pass and Turtle Ditch. As for colors, I try clear jigs with glitter or dark colors in clear water and bright

’s Mobile ha Yama Y L N O Master ian Technic

colors in cloudy water. Live shrimp on a carolina rig will make a good meal for a hungry red. A live shrimp on a popping cork will work in shallower water. Flounder are also on the causeway. Soft plastics are a good choice worked slowly across the points like Tensaw Point. The bigger fish are being caught with a bull minnow on a carolina rig. One thing about the weather is that October will bring cooler temperatures and that will put water temps into the lower 80’s and headed for the 70’s. So go and enjoy the nice dry days and get ready for the frenzy known as November. It’s on the way.

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9/16/2018 5:36:45 PM


DIVING REPORT 29TH ANNUAL DIVE PROS UNDERWATER PUMPKIN CARVING CONTEST & HALLOWEEN PARTY

BY: KEVIN FREELAND / DIVE PROS

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et out that big red crayon and circle the date, Saturday October 27th 2018. That’s the date that Gulf Coast Dive Pros will be hosting the 29th annual Dive Pros Underwater Pumpkin Carving Contest and Halloween Party. This year’s event will again be held at the Shoreline Park facility in Gulf Breeze Florida. On site check in and last-minute registrations begin at 11:00 with Divers and Pumpkins entering the water at Noon. Divers will work in teams for one hour on their artful projects and then exit the water with their completed masterpieces to be submitted for the judge’s approval. All Pumpkins must enter the water fully intact with only drawings

allowed to be done ahead of time. Dive teams must work completely submerged in the shallow water after first overcoming the natural buoyancy of their gourds. Then they must deal with the hordes of fish that often converge on the gutted pumpkins in search of a free meal, their own buoyancy, the possible mild currents, surface chop and visibility that ebbs and flows with the convergence of dozens of Pumpkin Carving enthusiasts in a relatively confined area just a hundred or so from the shore. Proceeds from this annual event go to support various charities and worthy causes. This year In Memory of former Dive Pros Instructor Ms. Annette Hauck the Dive Pros will

again donate proceeds in support of Breast Cancer Research. Registration fees will be $30 per team and will entitle each team member to 10 raffle tickets. Winners will be announced at the Awards Party that evening at the Dive Pros. The Awards Party is also a Costume Party so dig out your creativity and dress to impress, (in an evil sort of way!). There will be thousands of dollars in prizes awarded to winning Pumpkins with thousands more raffled off to lucky ticket holders. Raffle tickets will be available at the Dive Pros during the event. For every dollar donated to Breast Cancer Research you will receive one raffle opportunity ticket. There will be food and drinks

but feel free to BYOB and your favorite “party plate” to share. Dive Pros are known worldwide for the incredible cooking talents of our friends and customers so be sure to get to the party early for a big ole plate of YUM. Great food. WIN! Great Cause. WIN! Great fun. WIN! For more information and to register contact the Dive Pros @ 866-DIVEPRO or 850-456-8845. Dive Pros 7203 West Highway 98 * Pensacola FL 32507 Phone: (850) 456-8845 * Fax: (850) 456-0025 florida-divepros.com

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9/16/2018 5:36:47 PM


ORANGE BEACH BY: CAPT. JOHNNY WILLIS

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s fall is approaching, temperatures are dropping slowly but surely and the bite from Pensacola Fl, to Orange Beach Al, has been fantastic to say the least! Mother nature has blessed us for another beautiful year of fishing and it seems to just be getting even better everywhere you look. Large schools of speckled trout are still being found frequently by working long grass beds in 2-4 ft of water fan casting Top water plugs early in the morning and late in the evening. While also mixing in slow sinking twitch baits a Mirrodine, or Unfair Rip N” Slash. Both work great d pending on what kind of bait fish you are around. Schools of rain minnows and or schools of finger mullet are normally a great sign when looking for that trout or redfish of a life time. Also working docks and other structure in the same depth with a 1/4 oz Matrix Shad Soft plastic with a 20lb strip of fluorocarbon leader which is nearly invisible. This has Produced trophy trout, redfish and flounder this month for me and my clients from ages 5-65 there are no limitations or tricks to these fish you just must continue fan casting large areas and trying new areas. All while keeping in mind that bait is key, if you find the bait you find the fish! We wish you the very best from Lost Bay Guide Service and hope to fish with you shoot you’d a call at 850-748-5076. Captain Johnny Willis Lost Bay Charters 850-748-5076 COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM | OCTOBER 2018 | ALABAMA / PENSACOLA, FL 7

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OFFSHORE REPORT BY: CAPT. DON MCPHERSON September was an unusually hot, muggy month,. The hot weather did not stop the fish from biting off Orange and Gulf Shores, Alabama. The tropical storm pushed some pretty blue water our way and we are now catching some mahi mahi, wahoo, tuna, white marlin and blue marlin. The mahi mahi and white marlin bite has been good around the nipple area southeast of Perdido Pass. The yellowfin tuna bite has been tough with a few still being caught. The blackfin tuna have been biting jigs at some of the rigs. October should be a better month as the water temps fall a bit. Deep drop fishing for yellowedge and snowy grouper has been good. Golden tilefish have also been caught in 600 to 900 feet of water. There are more and more anglers trying their luck at day time and night time sword fishing. There have been some really nice ones caught. As far as bottom fishing goes, the vermillion snapper bite has been excellent. These tasty fish are being caught in 90 to 300 feet of water. Scamp grouper are being caught beyond 180 feet of water with an occasional red grouper and gag grouper. This fishing will probably improve into October and November. Seems like the amberjack bite has just been really tough for most everyone. A few anglers are having good luck. Location, location,

location. The fall triggerfish are biting but unfortunately they have to be released. A few king mackerel have appeared within 7 miles. Spanish mackerel are also being caught on small spoons and mackerel trees. These fish are fun to catch especially if you just want to be on the water a few hours. We will hopefully see some larger kings appear in October. Capt. Don McPherson 251-752-0235 Getaway Charters www.getawaycharters.com

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Getaway Charters offers half day to full day fishing charters for Orange Beach, Perdido Key, Gulf Shores, Fort Morgan and surrounding areas. We welcome first-time anglers to the well experienced anglers. Our charters are also very family friendly. Kids as young as four years old often join us. Morning or afternoon trips are available. Looking for the more serious deep sea fishing for snapper, grouper, wahoo and more? Offshore big game trolling, deep drop fishing and offshore bottom fishing are all options. We have three beautiful fishing boats with cool a/c, comfortable seating, clean restrooms, Sirius Satellite Stereo and friendly captains and deckhands. Come join us!

8 ALABAMA / PENSACOLA, FL | OCTOBER 2018 | COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

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9/16/2018 5:36:49 PM


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9/16/2018 5:36:57 PM


ALABAMA / PENSACOLA Brag Board SPONSORED BY BRUNSON NET & SUPPLY NC.

Stephen Burton shows off a nice King Mackerel caught off the Pensacola Fishing Pier.

Billy West shows off a beautiful Mahi-Mahi caught off the elbow.

Luiza shows off a nice Redfish. For more information on this amazing lady angler, go to: www.fishingwithluiza.com

Chris Dyess caught this 13 lb. Tripletail on a log near the timber holes east of Pensacola.

Send in your brag board photo and have a chance to win a Bass Pro gift card!

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LAKE MARTIN BY: CAPT DAVID B. HARE

H

ere it is, Sept 11th, and its once again time to give you an update and the October fishing prediction for the awesome waters of Lake Martin here in Alexander City, AL. I am very proud and beside myself to be able

to say August and so far, September, has been one of the years for striper fishing in many years. The bite has been on fire and to top it off the catch and release has been (for us here at Alex City Guide Service) basically 100% successful. I’ve never seen the stripers in August and September as healthy as they are this year. In fact, this entire year one of our most popular conversations back at the dock is how strong the stripers are fighting and unbelievable healthy they are. If you enjoy fighting strong sport fish, then you need to be on Lake Martin fishing for stripers (we’d love to carry you out on one of our charters). Last year (2017) October was by far the best October striper fishing on record for us after we had several weeks of almost a non-existent bite. With this year being such a good catching year already we are on pins and needles with excitement for October fishing. October for Lake Martin stripers in previous years normally was considered (by us guides) a transitional month but I’ve been seeing signs of transitioning for several days (remember it’s 9/10 as I am writing this) so my prediction is that you’ll find the stripers from middle of the lake and north, instead of middle to the south end. Of course, don’t overlook any of your favorite places to fish for the beast because they do have a mind of their own and fool me on a regular basis. We will be trolling and live baiting this month so definitely be ready for the occasional top water explosion. From the middle of October until the end I think will just get better and better because the fall bite for sure

will be on. Fall colors and fall weather( if you have never experienced it ? ) is something you definitely will be pleasantly surprised of , so get out this month and take advantage of what all our beautiful lake has to offer . FYI: If you are in the area on October 20th with kids or grandkids, and want to impress them after you get off the water, take them to Wind Creek State Park for the famous Fall Festival and Largest Trick or Treating in this part of the state. My grandkids and I look forward to this event every year. Lake Level 490.00 Surface Temp 84 Clarity / Clear Until next time tight lines! Capt. David B. Hare Alex City Guide Service 256-401-3089 2036 Cherokee Rd Suite 205 Alexander City, Al. 35010 davidbhare@yahoo.com www.alexcityguideservice.com Fbook/alexcityguideservice/LakeMartin

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E

ight years ago, Jeff Kolodzinki spent 24 grueling hours on the dock of a Minnesota pond to break the Guinness World Record for Most Fish Caught in a Day. With a 10-foot pole simply rigged with a float, fluorocarbon line and a barbless hook holding live bait, he yanked 2,649 fish from the water in a single day. Dubbed the Marathon Man, Kolodzinki will attempt to break his own world record on Sept. 11-12, 2018 at Giant Goose Ranch in Canton, Ill. Kolodzinski already has his spot in the record books. This time he’s doing it to introduce people and families to fishing and to increase awareness and financial support for the Fishing For Life, a non-profit, tax exempt charitable organization whose Next GEN program finds mentors for children of families in need. A special focus within the program serves families of veterans who have lost loved ones while serving our nation. Not only is Kolodzinski the current world record holder for fish caught in a 24-hour period, but he also represented the United States seven times in international competition at the World Championship of Freshwater Fishing. He currently serves as the Fishing Brand Manager for Johnson Outdoors and is a longtime fishing industry professional with many awards.

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History’s Alive

on Palm Beach’s Wrecks

By Andrea Whitaker • Photo by Andrea Whitaker

B

elow the ocean’s surface rest giants, the wooden and steel beauties that once demanded the sea’s attention. Lying there quietly, patiently suspended under the weight of water, what secrets do they hold? What lost memories are kept in their walls at the bottom of the sea? There is a calming silence as a diver approaches these giants. In the middle of a sandy desert, a diver approaches a dark shadow. As the current pushes them closer, the shadow grows and the shape of a bow or stern emerges. Then the sheer size of the sunken vessel towers overhead. It is dark and mysterious, yet full of life... and forgotten memories. Many wrecks off the coast of Palm Beach were sunk in the 1960s and now sport coats of sponges and coral growth, surrounded by underwater life. One in particular, the Mizpah, is a popular wreck to dive. Once a private Greek luxury liner, she was commissioned by the U.S. government for service in WWII, her rails outfitted with guns to patrol the coast for German U-Boats. After decommission, she sat in a storage yard for some time before being re-discovered. Her original family could not bear to see her wither on land, so they cleaned her up and gave her a burial at sea. I had the honor last August to dive with a granddaughter of the family who purchased the Mizpah and made an artificial reef out of her. My dive buddy showed me photos of the vessel in her prime and shared stories of childhood on the boat. It was an incredible experience to watch her eyes light up when she first saw the Mizpah underwater... how it had become a beautiful habitat. Seeing her excitement and, post-dive, her quiet reverence, made me realize there are secrets and lost memories in the walls of these sunken vessels and that these forgotten walls now have new purpose and life. Once at the bottom of the sea, these sunken giants attract life quicker than you might expect. In Palm Beach, from mid-August through October, wrecks are surrounded by Goliath groupers. Their favorite places to aggregate for spawning is around wrecks.

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Photo by Devon Kinney and family

Dive operators have created The Palm Beach County Diving Association (PBCDA) to give divers and dive operators a bigger voice in local ocean-related issues, and to aid in the sinking of other ships as part of an active artificial reef program. On Oct. 6, the PBCDA is hosting its annual Artificial Reef Fundraiser at the Loggerhead Marinelife Center in Juno Beach. All proceeds go to the creation of artificial reefs in Palm Beach County. Tickets include an evening of entertainment, delicious food and beer, and a plethora of raffle and silent auction prizes. Tickets are available for purchase online at www.divepbc.com/participate. All are welcome to attend and be a part of the local underwater history.

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By Wade Senti

L

and-based shark fishing (LBSF) has been enjoyed by anglers along the coastlines of Florida for many decades with limited spotlight, public concern, or ecological evaluation. While events such as deceased large hammerhead and tiger sharks appearing on several beaches in 2017 catalyzed a deeper examination of this type of fishing, greater exposure due to social media and a growing popularity of LBSF has also driven the need for a review by the Florida Wildlife Commission (FWC). This summer the FWC established 10 workshops around the state during the months of July and August for discussion and feedback on ideas for proposed policy and guideline implementation for LBSF. These forums were open to the public. I attended the FWC Workshop in Melbourne, Fla. on Aug. 27. I was not surprised that there was a full room, mostly of concerned citizens, including several local mayors as well as a few activists. Notably, the concern was mostly about public safety regarding this type of fishing from citizens, while activists pushed shark welfare. Anglers comprised a vocal 20 or so percent of the room. As Bob Dylan sang, “the times, they are a-changing.” As anglers, we are faced with issues and dilemmas our previous generations did not have. Global fisheries are under attack, while coastal fisheries are under increasing regulation. In Florida, coastal fisheries have shown tremendous progress with recovery of shark populations, as noted by the FWC in the meeting. The fear at hand by anglers is penalizing the LBSF community. These anglers, who pride themselves on a catch and release mentality, range from recreational fishermen to professional land-based charter guides. For some, this type of fishing provides a means for a way of life, while for others it’s a challenging sport unlike any other. A strong debate is embracing the positive, such as using LBSF as an opportunity for data collection and scientific research. For example, NOAA provides free tagging kits for any angler interested in tagging sharks prior to release as well as reporting tags on caught sharks. During the workshop, the FWC presented a number of topics for discussion and feedback, all of which can be found on their website in a downloadable presentation. The highlights included: 1. Special Permits for LBSF – There was overwhelming support of this by all parties (this would include education requirement with limited to no cost for the permit). 2. Restricting time/locations for LBSF – nighttime hours only and/or restrictions from certain public beaches. 3. Expanded Rules for Prohibited Species – prohibiting shorebased tournaments for certain species, restrictions on handling (keep in water), and use of specific gear to maximize survival of released sharks. While the above are merely preliminary recommendations and an outright ban on land-based shark fishing does not appear to be imminent, further data-driven research would lead to true long-term solutions for protecting sharks, supporting anglers, and informing the general public with policies that work for everyone. We shall await the decisions of the commission in December.

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hen one thinks of Bradford Marine, it’s normally in the context of the expansive services they offer related to mega yacht repair, refit and yacht sales. However, for the last several years Bradford Marine, Inc. has been manufacturing concrete floating docks in Fort Lauderdale and Freeport, Grand Bahama for both commercial and residential use. Why not? Floating docks go hand-inhand with motor yachts. On Aug. 24, Bradford Marine completed installation of 180 feet of concrete docks alongside the beautiful Bahamas property in Freeport, Grand Bahama. With this new build coupled with several others, Bradford Marine is well positioned to take on almost any concrete floating dock project, whether residential or commercial. Contact Corbin Engle at 954-791-3800 or corbin@bradford-marine.com for ordering details. Go to bradford-marine. com/docks for more information.

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By Nick Carter

P

oling mangrove edges and flats in search of tailing and belly crawling reds is as much hunting as it is fishing. When the target is sighted and it’s time to take a shot with an 8-weight fly rod, your aim better be on target. Gillz pro staffer Noah Miller, of Melbourne, Fla., has spent the on-the-water hours it takes to consistently take reds on the fly. He’s one of those anglers who knows there are still plenty of fish in the famous inshore waters around Titusville. The Indian River, Banana River and Mosquito Lagoon might be facing water quality challenges, but the fishing remains good. Right now, during the fall mullet run and lasting into February is prime time on Florida’s east coast.

“There’s lots of forage, and the fish are happy,” Miller said of current conditions. “They’re very opportunistic this time of year and will eat almost any fly, as long as it is presented correctly.” The redfish display a lot of schooling activity in preparation for a late fall spawn. These fish are resident to their respective waters and remain there through the seasons, even during the spawn. They can be encountered in large schools of 100 fish or more, and finding them is the key to catching them. “Put in the time on the pushpole,” Miller coached. “These fish do move, but they might only be 200 yards away from where they were yesterday. If things look right and you think there should be fish around, don’t leave an area until you’re certain they’re not there.” If the fish are not visible, it is tough to catch them on a fly. With conventional gear, an angler can make long searching casts to cover water for fish that are not showing themselves. With a fly rod, you’re better off holding the fly on the deck until you spot a fish. Seeing the fish and which way it is headed allows for presentation of the fly. You want it to plop down in front of the fish and close, but not too close. “About 40 feet is the cast I like to make,” said Miller. “You’ll be able to tell if he’s seen it and is interested right away… as soon as the fly hits the water. Then you want to start stripping it away from the fish to make it look like a fleeing crab, shrimp or whatever fly you’re fishing.” Miller caught the redfish on the cover of this month’s editions of Coastal Angler Magazine in stained water with a Seaducer pattern that had purple and black hackle feathers for a tail, a black EP Fiber head and bead chain eyes. That fly worked for the 26-incher on the cover, but this time of year presentation is much more important than fly selection. Noah Miller is a Gillz (gillz-gear.com) pro-staffer and is co-owner of Florida Fly Co., which provides the things fly rodders need to fish Florida’s waters. Check them out on Instagram @FloridaFlyCo and on Facebook.

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By Tom Schlichter Photo by Paul Dixon

M

ontauk, NY. It’s known locally as “The End,” and it’s marketed as “The Fishing Capital of the World!” It can back up both claims. “This is an awesome place for fly- and light-tackle fall thrills says charter skipper Paul Dixon of To the Point Charters (516-314-1185; www.flyfishingmontauk.com). “During October, the inshore action with speedy false albacore, stripers and monster bluefish absolutely sizzles.” Dixon has been fishing Montauk waters for 25 years, loading customers aboard his Contender Tournament 25 and working anywhere from the shadow of Montauk’s iconic lighthouse at the tip of the South Fork to Orient Point at the eastern terminus of Long Island’s North Fork. In the winter months, he charters out of Key Largo to fish the Everglades and Florida Keys. “It’s in the rips and coves at Montauk that the fall mayhem really

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comes together,” said Dixon, who loves targeting albies with fly rod in hand. Through September, you’ll find pods of Fat Alberts scattered across Long Island’s East End, but once the rainbait exits the bays, Montauk explodes with fish.” According to Dixon, at the height of the run so many bay anchovies stack up in the rips surrounding Montauk Point that the water actually appears brown with the immense schools. “At that point,” said the skipper, “the albies feed in two ways. They’ll cruise through the densest baitfish schools in tight packs, turning on their sides with their mouths open and simply strain anchovies as they move along. They are tough to hook under those conditions since they aren’t singling out specific targets. Wait a little while though, and they’ll begin to bust up the baitfish schools. That’s when the fishing absolutely breaks loose and every cast has the potential to connect.” While light-tackle fans can hook-up using small tins like a Deadly Dick or a white 1-oz. Panther Martin Big Fin swimbait, Dixon prefers the long wand when sea conditions allow. “These fish hit hard and run fast, so go with the best fly fishing gear you can afford,” he suggested. “I use Cortland Compact floating/intermediate lines, Rise fly rods and Tibor reels. For patterns, 2- to 3-inch Epoxy Minnows get the job done most of the time.” Dixon pointed out that it’s important to know exactly what you are casting for each time you let your line fly. “The albies will be slicing right through the baitfish schools, and it’s important to lead them by several feet,” he said. “The bass, meanwhile, stick close together and plow through the schools like they are mowing a lawn. For these, bring your fly right across the front of the pack. Either way, stay in the bait with each cast. If your offering lands outside of the baitfish school, it’s going to get slammed by a monster blue.” Launch your own boat at Montauk for $25 at Gone Fishing Marina (www.gonefishingmarina78.com). For overnight stays, Montauk Harborside Resort Hotel and Snug Harbor Motel and Marina (www. montauksnugharbor.com) offer suitable accommodations at reasonable prices. Plan your visit with the Montauk Chamber of Commerce (www. montaukchamber.com).

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TIPS FROM A PRO

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14

BRANDON LESTER

O

ne of the best parts of summer ending is the beginning of fall fishing and FROGS! I love to fish topwater frogs over grass, and this time of year is prime time. I live about 45 minutes from Lake Guntersville in Alabama, and there’s no place better, or more famous, for frog fishing than Guntersville. In the parking lot this time of year, there’s no telling how many different states you will see license plates from. I’ve fished all over this country and Guntersville definitely doesn’t have a monopoly on the frog bite. It has more matted grass than other TVA lakes, but fisheries up north have loads of grass too. And the bass up north seem to be more eager to bite. I think it’s because they aren’t targeted as heavily as they are down here. If I had the opportunity to take someone out and try to get them fired up about bass fishing, I think fishing a frog over matted vegetation would be my choice. If that person’s heart rate didn’t spike when a big bass blew up through the mat on their frog, then they would be better off doing something else. And then once they’ve seen a blow-up, the excitement level for the next one is all the higher. I get a huge smile on my face every time I see it happen no matter how many thousands of times it has happened. Just watching a fish blow up on a frog is exciting, but you also need to get him in the boat for that all-important photo op or weigh-in stage. For that you must have the right

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gear. If you throw a hollow frog like the one in this photo over matted grass and he bites, you probably won’t get him in using monofilament line and a rod and reel from the department store. My setup for frog fishing is a sure-fire winner. Rod: MHX FP885 with Winn split grips and Winn Grip Sleeves | Daiwa reel | 60 lb. Vicious braid | Spro frog. Give it a try this weekend. I know it will work for you.

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AUTUMN SALES EVENT JUST IN TIME FOR THE FALL BOAT SHOW SEASON Your Suzuki Marine Dealer has exceptional deals in store for you when you purchase a new Suzuki outboard from 25 to 350 horsepower this fall. Get Suzuki’s 3-Year Limited Warranty plus 3 years of Extended Protection at no extra charge.There are Instant Savings on select models, and Low-Rate Financing is also available.

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