Coastal Angler Magazine | November 2019 | Alabama/Pensacola Edition

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A V A I L A B L E

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FISH OF A LIFETIME IN SOUTHWEST ALASKA By Tom Schlichter

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o one has to tell you a halibut has taken your bait. As you set the hook with all your might, the heavy rod takes on a full bend, tip pumping rapidly as the beast powers down and away in a series of short, explosive bursts. Within minutes, beads of sweat begin to roll down your brow, and soon your back and arms begin to tire. The battle continues for another five to 10 minutes—or longer— and the enormity of the fish at the end of your line becomes apparent. This is the fish of a lifetime. This is why you came to Alaska! What saltwater angler hasn’t fantasized about taking such a trip? Yet there’s more to the beautiful, chilly waters in the far Northwest than outlandish flatfish. Ferocious-looking lingcod, giant, bright orange shortrakers, yelloweyes and other rockfish are also on the menu, as are king, coho and chum salmon, whether jigged or trolled in open water or tempted with the long rod in a river so full of fish you could walk across the dorsal fins. From breaching whales and soaring bald eagles to grizzly bears, sea lions, otters and endless miles of wild, unspoiled vistas, nature abounds in the forty-ninth state. Of course, where to start is a major questions you’ll need to tackle when planning your first Alaska fishing adventure. By and large, Southeast Alaska is the first choice if you are seeking major-league halibut. From the town of Ketchikan northwest up the coast to Chichagof Island, there are fishing lodges to accommodate your needs in such towns as Sitka, Juneau, Elfin Cove and Gustavus, plus places from which the most adventurous can set out on their own. One of the most popular spots is Tanaku Lodge. At the northwest corner of the famed Inside Passage, it’s tucked inside Elfin Cove, about 25 miles west of Glacier Bay National Park. From here you can get a terrific sampling of Alaska’s great coastal fishery, while seeing astounding amounts of wildlife and enjoying your stay in comfort. “The fishing is always great around here,” said Dennis Meier, co-owner of Tanaku Lodge with Jim Benton. “That’s a given, but we pride ourselves on making the entire experience the best it can be. Our skippers and mates are tops in the business, our lodge staff is helpful and courteous, and you’ll find the accommodations here to be first class all the way around. We may be off the beaten track, but that doesn’t mean we compromise on quality.” Tanaku is a full-service lodge with all-wood interior, vaulted ceilings, and wood burning stoves to keep you warm. Bedroom suites feature two full-sized beds and either a shared or private bath. Huge, wrap-around windows and outdoor decks offer fabulous views of the harbor. You don’t even have to bring foul-weather gear, as slicks and boots are provided for each angler. Leave your tackle home, too; the lodge offerings are in excellent shape and a perfect match to fishing you’ll encounter.

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As for the fishing, there are so many possibilities it can make your head spin. Halibut is the perfect first choice, since big ones can be found just a short ride away. Prepare to fish heavy and in water depths of 130 to 150 feet, though. Expect rods and reels suited for tuna and cannonball weights up to 2 pounds with a herring, pink salmon strip or side of pink salmon for bait. Even with all that heavy gear, a big halibut can still kick your butt. If you want to make things even more exciting (read: strenuous) try tempting these beasties with 1-pound jigs. It took me only 10 minutes of jigging in the Inside Passage to set the point to a 90-pound brute that beat the heck out of me before coming aboard. Over the next two days, I managed four more on jigs as we rotated between fishing for halibut, salmon and rockfish, depending on the most favorable tides. What a blast! As previously mentioned, salmon fishing is the other big draw here. While stocks of kings and cohos have slipped somewhat over the past few years, the number of king (Chinook), coho (silver) and pink (humpy) salmon is substantial. Anglers can troll for salmon, jig them, or set up a trip to wade a nearby river and catch them on the fly. Wherever you decide to stay on your Alaskan adventure, it’s wise to clearly state your wishes when booking a trip—especially if you hope to sample river salmon fishing or want to try for additional species like lingcod, shortrakers and various other rockfish. Not all are available from every lodge. While there are occasional off days even in this remarkable fishing wilderness—weather can be a serious issue late in the season—the odds are you’ll experience some of the best fishing of your life.

For information on Tanaku Lodge in Elfin Cove, AK, visit www.tanakulodge. com, or phone: 800-482-6258.

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Photo courtesy of Controlled Descent Lures By Nick Carter

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pearfishers seeking a little variety in their bottom time should take a close look at the waters off New England. You won’t find warm tropical waters off the Northeast coast, but you will find a freediving experience unlike any other. Destinations like Montauk, N.Y. and Block Island, R.I. have long been recognized for some of the best striped bass fishing on the planet. The bass blitzes around Long Island Sound are legendary, and huge schools of stripers in these rocky waters offer conventional anglers and spearos the opportunity of a lifetime. Matt Belanger, of Newburyport, Mass., is one of a growing contingent of divers hooked on what New England has to offer. He’s a member of TriState Skindivers, and a big 54.2-pound striped bass he speared off

Block Island in July topped the club’s season-long TriState Leaderboard Spearfishing Tournament. “The striper is sort of our signature inshore species,” Belanger said. “It’s a very skittish fish. A lot of guys say they can hear your heartbeat. You’ve got to be really stealth when you go after a big striper.” Belanger’s description of a typical dive was intriguing. With a 50- to 60-foot bottom littered with Volkswagen-sized boulders, strong currents and visibility averaging 10 feet, it’s a different environment from Caribbean reef dives. The veil of dingy water actually makes hunting stripers easier. On the drop, you fin down through a school of striped bass to the bottom. “You’re in the middle of a giant school of hundreds of fish,” Belanger said. “Then, when you hit the bottom, they always spook… all at once. It’s crazy. It makes this big noise, almost a boom.” The secret to sticking a big bass is bottom time. After about 25 seconds, Belanger said the school begins to reconvene. Then you must spend precious seconds selecting a target from hundreds of circling fish, while minimizing movement and sound that might spook them. The goal is to take the largest fish in the school. You’re allowed only one fish per day with a 28-inch minimum size limit. A 28-inch striped bass weighs 10 to 15 pounds. They get much bigger. The IGFA all-tackle world record weighed 81-pounds, 14-ounces. It was caught from Long Island Sound off Connecticut. The speargun world record weighed 68.4 pounds. Dave Hochman, who guides Block Island Sound, stuck that fish in 2008. Hochman is the guide who put Belanger on the big striper he killed in this year’s tournament. If one fish per day seems scant to travel for, there’s a lot of excellent eating on a big striper. Also, when you get your limit—with speargun or rod and reel—there are other interesting and tasty species like tautog, black sea bass, fluke and others. A word of warning: Area waters can get sharky, with great whites a concern. A good captain will know where shark encounters are least likely. For information, contact Dave Hochman of Spear-it Charters through his website at www.spearfishcharters.com.

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SHRINK WRAPPING


By Justin Witt

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he Rio Pico region of Chubut province, Argentina is known to a select and adventurous few as the best big-trout country in all of Patagonia. Comprised of an immense network of lakes and drainages flowing through the Andes of southwestern Argentina, these waters are spectacular, and they’re as far off the beaten path as it gets. The diversity of the fishery is astounding. The area hosts an almost unbelievable quantity of waters in all shapes and sizes, and the region is known for trout that reach “unusual size” in pristine water with very little fishing pressure. “It was incredible. I was fishing dry flies up a little spring creek for trout as long as my leg,” said Greg Baugus, who visited the remote

area with Hemispheres Unlimited, an agency specializing in fishing trips of a lifetime. But spring creeks are not all Rio Pico has to offer. Rainbows, brookies and browns were introduced over a century ago and can be pursued with a wide variety of tackle and techniques. From large lakes and rivers to high-elevation trickles, anglers have the option to throw dry flies on delicate tippets, chuck 6-inch streamers on a heavy sink-tip line, or nymph any day of the week. It all boils down to personal preferences, and it’s all done within the gorgeous expanses and dramatic backdrop of the Andes. Some spots are numbers games, with consistent action for what in Patagonia amounts to smallish fish—fish that would be considered large almost anywhere else in the world. Most folks come down hunting bruisers, though, the photo fish, the monsters that stand out in truly amazing adventures. Hemispheres Unlimited offers perfect trips for those seeking adventure. Their Rio Pico Trout Bum program pairs anglers with local guides who grew up on these drainages and know them like the backs of their hands. It’s a unique, low-cost option for anglers more interested in fishing than luxury lodging. There’s no mint on the pillow, for sure. Instead, the Hemispheres Unlimited team makes certain preparations are in place so you can make the most of your time pursuing the fish that brought you to Argentina in the first place. Accommodations for the Trout Bum program are best described as authentic, in true, local, Patagonia style. Unless there is a specific need for backcountry camping, groups usually lodge at local hospedajes, either in town or out on one of the waters. Each spot has its own characteristics, advantages and style, and Hemispheres helps each group choose the best option for their desires. The program can be set up in a wide variety of styles, ranging from boat fishing every day of the trip to mixed trips with easier wading, all the way to more extreme hike-in and camp expeditions. For more information on the Rio Pico Trout Bum program and everything else Hemispheres Unlimited offers, go to hemispheresunlimited. com/blog/diving-mizpah.

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Photo courtesy of www.sfctravel.com

By CAM Staff

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nglers seeking stellar offshore fishing, including the best Atlantic blue marlin fishing on the planet should book passage to Cape Verde. This island nation about 350 miles off northwest Africa is a horseshoe cluster of 10 islands and eight islets that are a popular tourist destination for Europeans. The fishery is renowned for the consistency of big blue marlin. Billfish Report ranked it best in the world for 500-plus-pound blues, edging out venerable Kona, Hawaii by the numbers in its annual rankings based on 2018 statistics. Last years numbers were 110 blue marlin heavier than 500 pounds, including a 900-plus-pounder and one grander, which stretched the scales to 1,037 pounds. It’s the kind of place where releasing three marlin heavier than 500 pounds in a day is considered possible… because it happens. With big-game fishing this good, the marlin fishing is obviously the headliner. It’s best from April through July, with March and August usually being good as well. It’s a happy coincidence that this time frame coincides with the best seasons for yellowfin tuna, sailfish, wahoo and dorado. Four islands, Sao Nicolau, Sao Vincente, Santo Antao and Maio, harbor most of the medium-sized recreational fleet. The channel between Sao Vincente and Santo Antao is the epicenter of this international hot-spot for blues. For more information, go to www.capeverdeislands.org.

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ve he R ! e Old Florida Waterfront Charm Re-Discovered N t s e O R R fO eas The Perfect Vacation Getaway for Fishing, Boating and Outdoor Enthusiasts NOWteR s N Wi Accommodations are nestled on 6 lush tropical acres of pristine waterfront directly on the Indian River Lagoon. As you make your way down the one lane road you will truly be stepping back in time. Your hosts Kim and Robert Pruitt have re-captured the very best of Old Florida charm with modern conveniences and services to make your stay truly memorable and unforgettable.

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FLORIDA

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erious saltwater anglers know how important trim tabs are to optimizing any boat’s ride, performance and fuel efficiency. The ability to fine-tune a boat’s ride is even more important with today’s high-performance center console offshore, bay and flats boats. Adjusting a boat’s running attitude with trim tabs can also compensate for how a boat is loaded, ensuring a dry, safe and comfortable ride. While modern boats have become much “smarter” and more technologically advanced in recent years, operating trim tabs was still largely trial-and-error for the boater. That has changed with the recent unveiling of Dometic Marine’s new Smart Trim Tab System, designed to give owners of inboard/outboard and outboard powered boats precision control never before possible. This new system is a “smart” reinvention of the trim tab—offering robust construction, user programmability, quick, accurate response and intuitive operation. “Today’s modern vessels are becoming smarter and more connected,” said Eric Fetchko, President of Dometic Marine Americas. “With this new introduction, we’ve taken trim tab technology and performance to a new level for boat builders and boaters alike. This will be a true game changer for the industry.” Dometic Marine has engineered the Smart Trim Tab System for inboard/outboard vessels, as well as today’s popular high-performance boats powered by single, twin, triple or quad outboards. It has the ability to connect with the Optimus Electric Steering System, joystick control and shift-throttle controls. Dometic Marine’s CAN-based smart actuator can also be used as a

standalone component to integrate with a boat’s control system. For instance, using this connected technology, wake boarders and wake surfers will be able to precisely control the shape/size of their wake by commanding an exact actuator position. This system uses a Smart Dial controller for intuitive operation and a customizable user experience. User programmable settings (Home and Favorite) make it easy to get the boat into optimum running attitude, whether the goal is to smooth the ride, maximize fuel efficiency or fine-tune the perfect wake. The easy-to-use smart dial can also be turned manually to level the boat quickly as conditions change, with built-in LED lights that indicate trim tab position. This system’s smart actuator provides unparalleled positional accuracy and repeatability. Dometic Marine’s sophisticated all-electric design reduces complexity and increases reliability. The robust actuator shaft and housing design provides strong performance in both the push and pull direction. The design also features superior actuator sealing to prevent leaks, even with extended use in the harsh marine environment. Additionally, the installer has the ability to control the speed at which the tabs deploy and retract. When synchronized with Dometic Marine’s Optimus 360 electric steering, joystick control and shift/throttle controls, the Smart Trim Tab System can respond to RPM and gear position inputs for even greater control. The tabs auto retract when the key is turned off, when the vessel is put in reverse, or any time the vessel is put into joystick mode. This exciting new Smart Trim Tab System will be available to OEM installers beginning in December 2019. For more information, visit www. seastarsolutions.com.

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DECEMBER 5th Thru DECEMBER 8th

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THANKSGIVING

IN THE KEYS

By Nick Carter

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he year-round mahi bite is legendary in Atlantic waters off the Florida Keys. This time of the year the sailfish bite is phenomenal as well. Winter is a relative term when you’re talking about Monroe County, Fla. Wintertime lows average in the high 60s at night and highs run in the mid-70s. It’s downright comfortable. Apparently it’s the same with water temperatures. Just past the reef line, which runs the length of the Keys, big pelagic species show up in numbers to overwinter and feed on abundant schools of baitfish. Chief among them are sailfish. Capt. Chris Johnson, with SeaSquared Charters out of Marathon, looks forward to Thanksgiving every year, but not because of turkey. Late November is the beginning of sailfish season. It’s a time of diving frigatebirds and showering ballyhoo, when sight-fishing sailfish is the biggest thrill on the water. Mornings begin early. Low-light is key to finding sails and other pelagics as they push schools of baitfish up to the surface and into the air. Diving birds are the dead giveaway. From a tower, the activity is visible, as birds circle progressively lower and then plummet from the sky to take part in the massacre. “When you show up on the reef and you’re seeing spraying bait and birds, it’s game on,” said Johnson. “It’s usually an early morning thing, but it can go on into the day when there’s good cloud cover.” Depending on where in the Keys you set out from, the reef is just a 3 to 7 mile run from the docks. The sharp outer reef edge, which drops steeply into the 100-foot depths, is the topography that holds fish. Unlike most fisheries, where anglers attempt to intersect roving sailfish, fish actually congregate to feed off the Keys. Plentiful bait schools on the reef in close proximity to deep water create a unique situation where sailfish move into the shallows to corral and crash balls of baitfish. “This is what we’ve got that’s unique from anywhere else. It’s exciting, with lots of visual activity,” said Capt. Johnson. “We get sailfish spraying ballyhoos in 20 feet of water.” When it’s on, it really is sight fishing. Anglers must be able to cast

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live bait with accuracy that puts it on the edge of a spraying school or directly on the nose of a visible sailfish. The action can be hit or miss, but there’s nothing like it when a sailfish picks up the bait, feels the steel and starts tailwalking across the surface. Johnson said a good day sees double-digit release flags flying. When the bait showers die down, the fish remain in the area. Johnson said he’ll move off the reef edge in search of color breaks, weed lines and current breaks where baitfish are easy targets. “You want that blue water from the Gulf Stream up on that powdery water from the reef,” he said. “Sailfish love to hunt and chase bait up into that powdery water.” And where there are sailfish chasing bait, other species gather to feed as well. “If you’re into sailfish, you’re going to catch the other stuff, too,” Johnson said. “We see a lot of kingfish, blackfin tuna, dolphin, cobia, and even the occasional white marlin.” Sight fishing becomes power drifting, as Johnson deploys a spread of live baits and bumps the engine in and out of gear to cover water while presenting lively baits. Pilchards, cigar minnows and sardines are all on the menu. But when fish are keyed on ballyhoo, they won’t eat anything but ballyhoo, and a ballyhoo in open water out off the reef is bound to get hammered. In the right conditions, Johnson deploys kites with bridled goggle eyes. This tactic is particularly useful for skittish sailfish, as most of the tackle is suspended above the water where it’s not as visible to the fish. With the bait dancing near the surface, anglers might notice a fin or bill circling the bait. Then anticipation gives way to adrenaline, as the bait is inhaled and the speed and aerobatics of a fighting sailfish take over. The action is enough to make an angler forget everything but sailfish… until it’s time to unload a cooler full of blackfin and dolphin at the docks. Contact Capt. Chris Johnson and SeaSquared Charters through their website at www.seasquaredcharters.com.

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It’s a boy!

Troll, cast or fly a kite in the warm waters of The Florida Keys, and you could be rewarded with a real bundle of joy. Then again, if a rambunctious bull dolphin isn’t what you were hoping for, you could be blessed with a behemoth blue marlin – truly the mother of all gamefish. fla-keys.com 1.800.fla.keys COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

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Photo by Andrea Whitaker A diver awaits pickup at the surface after a drift dive off of Palm Beach.

By John Lidington

D

rift diving is a major part of the Palm Beach County dive scene, so a lot of divers are introduced to this discipline in our waters. Any open-water diver should have skills to handle diving in currents. But developing and applying some special habits makes such dives smoother, safer and more fun. On the ideal drift dive, divers let the current carry them over long stretches of bottom. The boat drifts overhead tracking the “float ball,” a buoy connected by reel from the surface to an underwater dive guide. The most comfortable dives are those where a diver “goes with the flow” of the current. That means limiting the need to swim against current and facilitating easy pickup back on the surface.

The dive briefing is about more than where to find the goliath groupers or turtles. Listen carefully. Is the dive guide running a continuous drift or planning to tie off for a while? Are there bottom features that alter the current? How strong is the current and how good is the visibility? This information will help refine your dive plan. When the captain shouts “Dive, dive, dive!” you should be ready to jump in quickly. That means having your equipment ready early. One tip in addition to what you know by heart: After testing its power inflator, suck all the air from your BC. You’re then ready for a “negative entry,” where you hop in and immediately begin your descent. As you descend, note the strength and direction of the current with your compass. The stronger the current and the lower the visibility, the more you need to focus on staying near your buddy and the group. A one-knot current carries you about 100 feet per minute. If visibility is 70 feet and you’re poking around in a hole for a minute, your buddy will be gone when you look up. If you’re in a strong current, do your best to maintain neutral buoyancy and dive at a safe distance from the bottom to prevent bumping the reef. At the end of the dive, use your Surface Marker Buoy (SMB). Sure, the well-trained eyes of the pros running the charter boats are great at picking out bobbing divers. But, while it’s a pain to deflate and re-roll “safety sausages,” they can make retrieval of the group faster and smoother. If released when you reach your safety stop, they give the captain a two-minute warning on where divers will be surfacing. There’s a lot more to drift diving than the few tips I can offer here. PADI offers a Drift Diver specialty course that efficiently bundles theory and training into a few hours work coupled with two dives. If you want to jump-start your skills, give Pura Vida Divers a call at 561-840-8750 or visit www.puravidadivers.com.

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

Capt. Rick Barberi Benton Parrott/Team Hobie Kevin Freeland/Dive Pros Rich Ellison

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10/17/2019 5:49:21 PM


KAYAK REPORT BY: BENTON PARROTT

C

ooler temperatures mean cooler waters and fall fishing should be heating up. I like being able to cover all the water columns so I’m always ready with several rods rigged up when I hit the water. Starting off with topwaters usually being a skitterwalk or spook jr depending on the wind. Then for my mid-range in the shallows I like throwing ripstop or shad rap shad. Both do well producing reds and trout. Soft plastics and cover all ranges depending on how you rig them. I usually use a ¼ to 1/8 oz. jig head flutter bouncing them off the bottom. Bull reds should be gathering

in passes and off the bar. I like using 6” curly tail on a jig head or a surface popper for some fun. These large schools of bulls make it easy to sight cast when they are swimming through. Not to miss in November. Nov.8th is the 8th annual Spankn the Specks in Gulfport, MS. This is a 3-speckled trout stringer tournament with honors going to the top 3 anglers. There are also awards for largest red and flounder. Its only $40 to enter and you can sign up at www. everythingkayak.com or at the store Everything Kayak 15240 Creosote RD. Gulfport, MS. We

keep a running tab of all the happenings in the kayak community on our Facebook page Kayak Fishing U. 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

ORANGE BEACH BY: CAPT. JOHNATHAN WILLIS

W

ith falling temperatures and a lot of clear water our fishing has been on FIRE! Everything from Bull Redfish, Flounder, Trout and more have been our target species on our charters the past few weeks. For the schools of big Redfish, I like a 30lb fluorocarbon leader to a 2oz Spro buck tail jig. For the Trout and Flounder, I like a 20lb fluorocarbon leader to a 1/2oz jig head and a Matrix Shad soft plastic. This time of year, the biggest problem most people have with find bull red schools is spending enough time just being watching and waiting, if you only have wait a couple minutes and run somewhere else odds are you’re gonna be running around them all day! It’s the time of the year when you we start checking up and down the coast for schools of these amazing Reds. With that being said we wish everyone tight lines and good weather from Gulf Bay Charters! Captain Johnathan Willis Gulf Bay Charters 850-454-6937 2 ALABAMA / PENSACOLA, FL | NOVEMBER 2019 | COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

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10/17/2019 5:49:22 PM


LAKE MARTIN BY: CAPT. DAVID B. HARE

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he below pictures are just a couple of examples from 2018 November trips. November of 2019 should only be as good in numbers but extremely larger in size. This month you need to look for large schools of stripers and bass in and around major creek channels, the river and river channel and of course out on the main lake. I know this isn’t narrowing the search down for you but in saying this it just means they are normally at several locations and much easier to locate than the last couple of months. As in the past and always we will be targeting the stripe with gizzard shad but never do we overlook the advantage of using artificial lures also. Many of our clients want to learn how to catch the fall fish on their own so we teach them where to look, what to look for, what baits and lures to use and the approach of using different baits and lures If you think you would like some fast action fall fishing then November on Lake Martin is hard to beat in fact some say it’s some of the best fishing in the South! Don’t forget we offer gift certificates for year-round fishing in all price ranges and with Christmas coming up it’s a great time to start shopping with us.

487.00 (As of 10/10/19 ) Clear to very clear clarity 80 degree surface temp ( 10/10/19 )

we are at or close to winter pool levels of 484.00 and surface temps of 70 degrees + or - .

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

My guess by the time your reading this

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10/17/2019 5:49:24 PM


MOBILE / DAUPHIN ISLAND BY: CAPT. CHARLIE GRAY

W

ell, Halloween is behind us and the first cold fronts of the season are pushing through and the fishing is getting hot! The water temps are finally dropping, and it feels like fall. Fishing wise, October was similar to September, fish were all over the lower bay area. The fish are now finally making their migration north into the marsh and tidal rivers around Mobile Bay, Portersville Bay, and Heron Bay including Fowl River, Bayou La Batre and Grand Bay where they will winter. The fish will stay in the deeper parts of these rivers early and as the day warms up, they will move out to the flats and school up around the oyster beds. Fish with live shrimp, as long as you can find them, under a popping cork. Move around, look for fish slicks (the glassy areas on top of the water) and look for birds working and diving; The birds are the dead giveaway. There will be fish under them eating the shrimp and rain or glass minnows just like the birds. Ease up as you approach the birds and the school, turn the big motor off get on your trolling motor or simply drift around the school. Don’t go charging into the flock, you will spook the fish. Be stealthy and quiet. Remain calm, fish on! When you find these birds, you

can throw shrimp imitations like Vudu shrimp, fin fish imitations like Matrix shad and Beetle spins or even the old faithful live shrimp. Hard baits like the Yozuri 3DS Minnow will work well too. Redfish will be mixed in here as well and will eat up a live shrimp tossed to them over and around the oyster beds. Check the points where the smaller tidal rivers dump into the larger rivers for nice flounder mixed in with the trout and reds as well. The white trout will remain around structure in the Bay and Sound too. They will hit dead shrimp and live shrimp and all the shrimp imitations. Have fun and stay warm! We are still booking trips through these cooler months, so call us and let’s go catching, not just casting! Check us out on the website or contact me. Gray Gulf Charters, we know these waters! 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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10/17/2019 5:49:24 PM


MOBILE BAY / EASTERN SHORE BY: CAPT. DAN KOLENICH November gets here. A few more cold fronts are just what we need. If you’re looking for specs, look in the rivers north of the causeway. I drift the falling tide with soft plastics on 3/8 oz jig heads. Try depths around 12 feet and just drift in the current bouncing grubs along the bottom. I like High Tide plastics and jig heads in chartreuse/red, root beer/chartreuse, white/chartreuse, and purple/chartreuse. If you want to throw top water this is the time but my favorite Mirolure is the suspending lures like the Catch 2000 or Catch Jr. Hit the points and flats about three feet deep along the rivers. I prefer the points that face up current. A live shrimp under a popping cork will also be a good bet. Flounder can be found on the points and flats on the rivers in the delta where the trout are feeding. Soft plastics on jig heads or a bull minnow on a carolina rig are my choices for the flat fish. This time of year, I catch more flounder looking for specs on points than any other time of the year. If you’re after reds try the deep channels in the delta. Try places like north pass, turtle ditch, the canyon, and along the rivers where small creeks run into them. Reds will hit the same baits that specs will, but my favorite is a Hildebrandt Spinner bait. I like a 41/2 size gold blade snag-less sally to get their attention. A live or dead shrimp on a carolina rig will get the deed done as well. It’s November, so get out while the gettin is good. It may last into December but if it doesn’t, you’ll be sorry you missed out on the best fishing the causeway has to offer.

N

ovember is the time to be fishing on the causeway. Specs, reds, and flounder were biting in October. I’ve caught some nice reds on the causeway with High Tide plastics on jig head while looking for specs in the rivers on the causeway. Water temps are in the low 70’s and each cold front will have water temps into the 60’s soon. Things will be hot by the time

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10/17/2019 5:49:25 PM


OFFSHORE REPORT BY: CAPT. DON MCPHERSON fishing on half day trips. Take a trip offshore for gag grouper, scamp grouper, red grouper, vermillion snapper, white snapper, wahoo and more. While many people are occupied with other things in November, take a fishing trip and enjoy a hot bite on the quiet waters off Orange Beach and Gulf Shores. Capt. Don McPherson 251-752-0235 Getaway Charters www.getawaycharters.com

O

ctober finally delivered some cooler weather with lower humidity. Along with the cooler temps we enjoyed some better fishing. We saw a few mahi-mahi and also some nice wahoo caught within 20 miles. Wahoo near 80 pounds were caught offshore. King mackerel and Spanish mackerel were caught on spoons behind planers. The mackerel are being caught within 6 miles of the shoreline. We will be in search of those big bull redfish in November. I always enjoy trolling down the beach

with a couple of big spoons and deep diving lures. I always keep a sharp lookout for that big school of bull reds on the surface. Diving birds and especially pelicans can give away that big school of redfish. I always have a couple of light spinning tackle rigs ready. A curly tail grub is my favorite bait to cast. Imagine cruising down the beach in the morning or afternoon on a Saturday with college football on the SiriusXM while catching fish. Of course, any day is great for fishing. Vermillion snapper are being caught bottom

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10/17/2019 5:49:31 PM


FALL & WINTER FISHING SEASONS ALONG THE GULF COAST BY: FORREST CHAPMAN

I

t’s difficult to believe we are talking about Fall fishing with the temps still being in the high 80’s and 90’s, but that will change soon. Fall fishing usually begins in the beginning to mid-September each year and continues through the end of November. As stated above with the changes in weather and temperature, the fishing can be dead slow one day or two and crazy hot the next trip. Inshore fishing during the Fall often produce some of the best Speckled Trout and Redfish in the country. You can usually find Redfish close to the shore, as mature Red Drum spawn in near shorelines from mid-August to mid-October. Offshore fishing during these fall months can produce White Marlin which move in closer to shore. Blue Marlin and Tuna also provide great fishing experiences if you can take a charter to deeper waters. The only problem with fall fishing can be the weather. The ideal time to fish is before a cold front arrives. These days of low pressure make the fish bite like mad and anglers get to limit out. Winter Fishing Season The winter fishing is great along the gulf coast. Temperatures range from the low 40’s at night and heat up to the mid 60’s by mid-afternoon. December is generally pretty mild through Christmas. December is also a great month to go catch some Bull redfish right off the beach on a offshore charter. The large game fish school up by the thousands and are a lot of fun to catch while trolling or

sight fishing. Inshore fishing is great during these colder days of winter. The water temperature drops during the winter fishing season to the high 50’s but that does not stop the bite. Speckled Trout and Redfish are a favorite of many inshore anglers. Offshore fishing is pretty good but be mindful of the wind and the weather. Along the gulf coast, anglers will be catching grouper, snapper, triggerfish, and amberjacks that fight hard and are delicious to eat. Although red snapper season is closed, a large variety of other snappers are available, including vermilion snapper, lane snapper, gray snapper, and white pogies, commonly called white snapper. Grouper fishing at this time of year for black and red grouper, scamp, and Warsaw. For colder days you might want to try using a charter boat with heated cabins. Even if you own your own boat, charters and charter boat guides have the knowledge and experience to put you on the fish.

COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM | NOVEMBER 2019 | ALABAMA / PENSACOLA, FL 11

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10/17/2019 5:49:33 PM


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Fall family fishing in the Gulf of Mexico with Getaway Charters.

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DIVING REPORT

THE PENSACOLA LIONFISH CLASSIC IS A SUCCESS BY: KERRY FREELAND / DIVE PROS

A

local nonprofit, Coast Watch Alliance, has revived the fall Lionfish derby with much success. Saturday October 5th nearly 1500 of these invasive species were remove from our waters in just one day. As the dog days of summer set in for the last several years the invasive Volitans have enjoyed a reprieve from justifiable predation. That will not be the case from here on out. Coast Watch Alliance, with the help of many sponsors, brought back a fall Lionfish tournament and intends to step up the pressure with their World Lionfish Championship series. These fall tournaments will help diminish their numbers before they head for deeper waters. Once the Gulf of Mexico cools Lionfish become harder to find in normal sport diving depths. Lionfish prefer warmer water and will move offshore as evidenced by the rare surveys done in these depths, and the immediate rebound in their numbers once the waters warm. There has been talk about reduced sightings, but the spring tournaments have continued to bring in higher yields of fish than ever before. In addition to the steady increase in the numbers of harvested fish,

there are now more frequent encounters in our bays, and estuaries. The Pensacola Lionfish Classic was patterned after tournaments that were originally held in a small venue, with prizes and monies derived from local sources; businesses, chambers, the divers themselves, and later with much help from the Florida Wildlife and Conservation Commission. The prize money for the Pensacola Lionfish Classic was notable but not what one would call epic. The overall theme had a grass roots kind of feeling, as many teams were first time Lionfish hunters. When Lionfish first started to proliferate North American reefs. no one knew how to effectively harvest them. Due to their sheer numbers, we learned pretty quick. The next step was to get Lionfish out in the market for people to consume. They taste great, and we have an abundant supply. This process is laborious and requires people to think about asking their favorite eateries to serve the fish. Several restaurants now routinely serve Lionfish and are glad they do. But this process takes time. The concept then and as it should be now, is to pass on that knowledge to other divers. This will enable more divers to help remove this invasive species from our environment and at the same time take home a fine tasting catch for dinner. Many of the teams in the Pensacola Lionfish Classic were fielded by our local dive club, 3rd

Coast Divers. I watched as these folks put time in learning techniques on one day of diving, and then honing those skills over many other days in preparation for this tournament. Though they may not have taken home the prize money, some of these teams fared rather well in the Pensacola Lionfish Classic. The one resounding impression they related to me was that they had a great time. They felt involved, making a difference for the environment that they love. And they got a cool t-shirt. This was a tournament that the average diver felt comfortable at. It is my hope that we can keep up a tradition of having at least one Lionfish derby where the skilled hunters will mentor the next generation of Lionfish predators. I totally get going out there and trying to get a share of potentially tens of thousands of dollars that some of the larger tournaments offer. By mentoring others, Spearos may use their skills to have a longer lasting and greater impact on the Lionfish invasion. Go ahead and take out a couple of the people that keep asking you to show them the ropes. In the long run you will increase your catch exponentially. I look forward to seeing all of you at the next Pensacola Lionfish Classic, old Spearos, and neophytes alike. For more information, contact Dive Pros at #850-456-8845

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Mobile Convention Center

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In addition to a huge selection of boats and marine products, there are special events for the whole family to enjoy! The Fetch-n-Fish dog show returns with dog jumping, training tips and lots of fun for the kids; and the Talk 106.5 Guide’s Corner boasts a great line-up of local and regional fishing talent sharing their secrets and tips. “Kids Fishing 101” is a free event for children, teaching them how to cast and use a rod and reel and water safety through a fun interactive program. The first 100 participants will receive a free fishing rod, tackle box and tackle courtesy of Plano, Pure Fishing Matrix Shad and Odd Ball Tackle.

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OKEECHOBEE COUNTY, WHERE OUTDOOR ADVENTURES ABOUND

Photo by Peter Dutton/flickr.com

O

keechobee County is your paradise outdoors. This beautifully serene rural community still values the old Florida lifestyle, with down-home Southern hospitality and scenic land undisturbed by towering growth. Okeechobee County is at the northern shore of the awe-inspiring Lake Okeechobee. Lake Okeechobee is 730 square miles of fishing nirvana. Lake Okeechobee, named by the Seminoles as “big water,” is host to a number of guides that will take you to treasured “fishing spots” that will give any angler stories to take home. Largemouth bass dominate the fishermen’s attention throughout the year, while the well-known speckled perch (crappie) take front position during the peak of tourism season which runs from October through March. Lake Okeechobee also offers scenic trails that are excellent for

walking, jogging, biking and bird watching. The trail that surrounds this massive lake is the Lake Okeechobee Scenic Trail (L.O.S.T). This trail just about surrounds the entire lake and leaves no nature lover disappointed. Okeechobee is a well-loved area for rare and hard to find birds aplenty, the snail kite and caracara just to name a couple. Don’t be concerned by the loud cry of the sandhill crane, as these beauties are in every corner of our community and have no issue stopping traffic or wandering neighborhoods. Okeechobee County is not just about the lake, though locals are extremely proud of their greatest natural asset. Okeechobee is home to a number of other sporting activities that definitely make the location a sportsman’s paradise. Hunting is popular with not only seasonal visitors but residents as well. Deer, hog, duck and even gator hunting keep the hunting guides busy and the hunter’s hauling trophies home for bragging rights. Looking to improve or develop some great shooting skills? Okeechobee has a number of gun ranges that offer shooting sports of all kinds. Most of these facilities are outdoors and offer lodging, shopping and the greatest ranges and instructors around. There is also an indoor archery range conveniently off our main street and a new state-of-the-art gun range just on your way into town. Although Okeechobee offers fantastic outdoor adventures such as air boating, horseback riding and other entertainment, there always comes a time when the day draws to a close and the day’s activities bring on a fierce appetite. Okeechobee offers wonderful food options to the most spectacular steaks to the tastiest seafood! With dinner served and memories made, it’s now time to dream of what Okeechobee may bring the next day at any of our hotels, motels, campgrounds or RV resorts. Looking for your paradise outdoors? Welcome to Okeechobee, Florida. For information on any of these great getaways, visit www.visitokeechobeecounty.com or call 863-763-3959. Introducing Okeechobee’s Inaugural Visitor’s Guide. This beautiful guide will be your destination must have. You may request your free guide via phone or the Contact Us section of the website listed above.

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By Ed Killer

S

tuart, Fla.– The thump on the end of the line nearly pulls the rod out of your hand. It’s the kind of thump delivered by an apex predator confident in its choice to devour the offering. The line peels off the reel at a blistering pace. You can feel the trophy at the opposite end of this tug of war begin making its way to the surface. You prepare yourself for one of those mental memories you swear will stay with you forever. When this fish goes airborne, you know it’s going to be so cool. Backlit by the golden rising sun, the shower of spray from the head shakes will be glorious. You know your followers on social media are going to love it. The beauty of this encounter, for anyone who visits Martin County to fish, is that literally a half-dozen species of game fish can be plugged into the scenario. Is the soon-to-be leaping fish a tarpon, snook, sailfish or bass? Could it be a mako shark or perhaps a blue marlin? This area is known for incredible sport fishing. It developed that reputation more than a century ago, and continues to build upon it with every catch. And as fishing techniques and targets evolved, so did Martin County’s reputation as a world-class fishing destination. INSHORE Presidents once traveled to Stuart to fish for giant tarpon. Grover Cleveland, Chester A. Arthur, Theodore Roosevelt, Howard Taft and Warren G. Harding all plied the waters of the St. Lucie River in search of the “silver king.” In 1905, Cleveland purchased land in Stuart and was planning to build a home here, but never did. However, he was credited with catching one of the largest tarpon ever caught in the river’s North Fork. At the time, 200-pounders were common in the river system each spring. As popular as tarpon are, snook may be Martin County’s staple fish. The waters surrounding downtown Stuart are one of the only in the world where four species of snook can be caught – common snook, tarpon snook, fat snook and swordspine snook. Only the common snook typically reaches the legal size for harvest of 28 to 32 inches in length. Huge common snook, upwards of 30 pounds are caught lurking around bridges, marinas, rocky shorelines and spillways in the winter and spring. By summer, these fish stage closer to the St. Lucie Inlet, where spawning occurs. Live baits like sardines, herring, menhaden, mullet and shrimp are all irresistible, but artificial lures and flies work well, too. On the shallow grassflats and around the spoil islands in the Indian River Lagoon, anglers catch spotted seatrout, redfish, black drum, jack crevalles, ladyfish and sheepshead. During the winter, spring and summer incoming tides, anglers can sight cast these targets in 3 to 5 feet of water. Like the Florida Keys and Biscayne Bay, Martin County is one of

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those rare places where an angler can pursue a bonefish, tarpon, permit slam. During winter, some of the tastiest fish that swim, pompano—swarm the inshore waters. OFFSHORE Ironically, it was a poor year of tarpon fishing in the early 1930s that generated exploration of Martin County’s offshore fisheries. Early in the century, the county produced a lucrative fishing business each winter as commercial fishermen pursued bluefish and Spanish mackerel off the beaches. They would ship their catches, salted and iced, on rail cars to markets in the north. The first winter visitors to Martin County were fishermen from northern coastal towns. But when the tarpon fishing went flat for a couple of years, recreational fishermen started heading into deeper water offshore to find action. What they found would change the area forever. Sailfish are a majestic species of pelagic fish, meaning they travel great distances on open ocean. After exploring the best methods and bait-rigging techniques to catch these fish, which can measure 6 to 8 feet long and swim up to 40 mph, a charter fishing fleet developed. In January of 1938, editor of the Stuart News Ernie Lyons invited outdoor writers from all over the country to come to Stuart and catch sailfish. In a week, nearly 1,000 sailfish were caught. One writer reported to his readers back home, “You may as well call Stuart the capital of sailfish.” Lyons jumped on it. Soon the City of Stuart applied for a charter naming it “Sailfish Capital of the World.” Today, the iconic image of the leaping sailfish can be seen on signage for public and private entities and even on the city’s garbage trucks. A tournament last winter produced over 700 sailfish releases in a single day. But a bluewater angler will have a chance to catch excellent game and table fare, too. Kingfish up to 50 pounds roam the reefs in 40 to 60 feet of water every spring. Cobia up to 70 pounds can be caught when the manta rays come into shallow waters each winter. Dolphinfish are caught offshore year round. Fishing for mutton snapper, mangrove snapper, yellowtail snapper and lane snapper is very good in 40 to 70 feet of water throughout much of the year. Fishing for gag, red and black grouper, scamp and amberjacks is best on the deepwater artificial reefs, of which the county has placed dozens offshore over the past 50 years. Tilefish and snowy grouper are on the deep flats in 700 feet. Wahoo are best during the summer for high speed trollers. In recent years, expert charter captains have developed a fishery for daytime swordfish where they also occasionally catch a mako shark. Each summer, the diving for spiny lobsters creates an offshore armada along the county’s healthy coral reefs. Suffice to say, the fishing along Martin County’s shores is about as good as it can get. The hard part is picking what to fish for.

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Reel in the memories. Sitting on the most biodiverse estuary in the Northern Hemisphere, Martin County is a fisherman’s paradise. Ocean, lake and river ecosystems are home to more than 800 species of fish, from the ever-popular sailfish and snook to largemouth bass and perch. Forget your gear? Visit one of Martin’s many bait and tackle shops or outdoor retailers. Inshore, offshore, saltwater or fresh, head out for an adventure and reel in the memories.

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By Mikey Erickson

A

lot of people know Costa Rica is the “Billfish Capital of the World,” but that’s not all it is. Double-digit numbers of tarpon and an abundance of snook can be caught on the Caribbean Coast out of Tortuguero, where rivers like Rio Parismina and Rio Colorado follow the coast and open up into the ocean. Days of 30 or more fish are possible. And the river-locked town of Tortuguero is a true gem.The culture has a lot of Jamaican and Spanish influence. The season here is from February to May. Great spots for freshwater fishing include the beautiful Arenal Volcano, Lake Arenal and the rivers running through northern-inland Costa Rica. Rainbow bass, better known as “guapote,” are the main target of freshwater anglers. They are prized for intelligence, aggression and great tasting meat. The Machaca is another exciting fish that has earned the nickname “mini tarpon.” The town of La Fortuna in Arenal is a very nice place to visit. Everything is green and full of life due to the volcanic soil. There are also hot springs. The best season for this area is from January to May. On the northern Pacific Coast, fishing is great all the way down the coast from Papagayo to El Coco, Flamingo to Tamarindo, Nosara to Samara, and Santa Teresa to Tambor. The sport fishing in this area picks up from May to August with species like mahi, marlin, sailfish, roosterfish, snapper and wahoo. This region is beautiful, and the culture is very European. If you get the chance to explore this region, take it! The best fishing in the central Pacific region is near Jaco, Herradura, Quepos and Manuel Antonio. I’ve lived four years, fishing constantly, and it offers year-round angling. The marlin and sailfish bite is insane from December to June, and from April to November the mahi come in huge numbers to debris pushed out by the rivers. There are also many FAD’s (Fish Attracting Devices) 100 miles off the coast. Overnight trips offer double-digit marlin and sailfish! The southern Pacific Coast offers many great destinations both inshore and offshore. The Sierpe River offers great freshwater fishing, and places like Golfito, Drake Bay and Puerto Jimenez offer killer inshore fishing. These areas known for giant roosterfish year-round, and also feature great marlin and sailfish from August to March, mahi-mahi from May to October and tuna year-round. All in all, Costa Rica is the fishing destination of a lifetime for freshwater, inshore, offshore and spearfishing. Come explore what the land of Pura Vida has to Offer. Mikey Erickson is co-editor of Coastal Angler/Costa Rica and Tres Niñas Tours Manager. Contact him at mikey@coastalanglermagazine.com, info@tresninastours.com, U.S. Cell: +1(561)310-2665, CR Cell: +506-8305-0041. Visit www.coastalanglermag.com/costa-rica/ and www.tresninastours.com.

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NATIONAL

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TIPS FROM A PRO

BIG BASS IN MEXICO

BRANDON LESTER

T

his summer I took my second trip to Mexico’s famed El Salto. It didn’t disappoint, dishing out some of the meanest 7- and 8-pound bass I’ve ever seen. Of course, we caught numbers as well, but this time I slowed down and enjoyed everything Angler’s Inn at El Salto has to offer. On this trip, the lake was down 45 feet. El Salto is an irrigation lake, so water gets used a lot in summer. Low water levels concentrated the fish. We caught a bunch on lipless baits, a few on jigs and a good number on crankbaits. By and large, though, the best pattern was a Texas-rigged Photo by Jon Tatum worm. It’s awesome how the lake is different during different seasons. It makes each trip unique. On the first day, guides feel you out to make your trip as fun as possible. Everyone has a different goal. Some guys want numbers; some want their best shot at a 10-pounder. On Day One, we landed 70 to 80 fish, easily, but I didn’t catch any over 5 pounds. On Day Two, my very experienced guide took me after the big ones. We fished for bass suspended in standing timber. It was a little harder to catch them, but the fish were much bigger. Down

there, you can pretty much catch fish any way you want, but you can’t catch big fish doing whatever you want. The guides at El Salto have the big-fish patterns nailed down through the seasons. Last year, I went in January and we caught big fish deep cranking, so the pattern had changed completely. One thing that didn’t change was how mean the fish are. That brings me to my other takeaway: Big fish require the best gear you can throw. I fished extensively with the new 11-inch X Zone Blitz Worm, in both plum and red bug. They bit the fire out of both colors. The bait has very little salt content, so it floats off the bottom, which gives it much better action. The baits are also very soft and easy to rig. Mustad just came out with a complete line of tungsten, and I put it to the test. We used a 3/8-ounce tungsten bullet weight, and loved it. The Mustad line has Titan X finish on it, which is awesome. Most objects in nature aren’t shiny, so this mattestyle Titan X finish is more natural. The sizes are etched onto each weight. It’s a nice touch that makes selection easier. A 5/0 Grip Pin Big Bite hook is the perfect big-bass hook. There were a few sessions where I caught at least 50 fish on one hook. That’s one of the best things about a Mustad hook. Drag it across rocks and set the hook over and over. The points on their hooks will not roll. Feel free to ask me on social media about the trip and any of the gear mentioned here.

For more Lester visit,

FISHINGMAGAZINE.FISHING

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RUN LONG. RUN CLEAN. RUN STRONG.

Don’t drink and drive. Always wear a USCG-Approved life jacket and read your owner’s manual. Suzuki, the Suzuki “S” ECSTAR and Suzuki model and product names are Suzuki trademarks or ®. © 2018 Suzuki Motor of America, Inc.

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ake Picachos, Mexico might not warrant the title of the world’s best trophy lake, but it might just be the world’s most fun bass fishery. Picachos is the newest of northwest Mexico’s storied bass fisheries. The dam for this 14,000-acre reservoir on the Presidio River was completed in 2009. It was opened to anglers in 2013. A decade since its formation, the lake is pumping out almost unbelievable numbers of 3- to 5-pound fish. According to Angler’s Inn International, it’s not unusual for a pair of skilled anglers to catch 200 to 300 fish a day. According to Ron Speed Jr.’s daily reports, Picachos regularly produces 150-fish days with big fish each day topping out at 6 to 8 pounds. That’s incredible action for solid fish. The lake record is 12-pounds, 14-ounces, and the bar is expected to rise as the fishery matures. An ample forage base of tilapia, plenty of heavy cover, clean water and catch-and-release regulations point to a bright future. Mornings and evenings generally see an outstanding topwater bite, which is a ton of fun for conventional anglers with walking baits and poppers as well as for fly-rodders throwing bass bugs. Spinnerbaits, lizards, stickbaits, Flukes and shallow-running crankbaits also provide action that leads to bleeding bass thumb. Lake Picachos is about 30 miles inland from the Pacific Coast resort town Mazatlán. Fishing is great year-round, with a peak from February into June. For information, go to www.anglersinn.com or www.ronspeedadventures.com.

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EXPERIENCE THE

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ore litigation looms in the latest chapter of the three-decade saga to protect the world’s largest salmon run. Bristol Bay, Alaska, home to thriving sport and commercial fishing industries, is under the gun again as the U.S. photo by Nick Carter Environmental Agency recently removed protections that again Julie Carter with a Kvichak River sockeye. open the door for the proposed Pebble mine. Pebble mine is an exploration project investigating enormous deposits of gold, copper and other minerals near the headwaters of the Kvichak River and lakes Clark and Iliamna. These remote and pristine waterways offer some of best rainbow trout fishing in the world and feed Bristol Bay with the clean water that supports massive sockeye and Chinook salmon runs. Trout Unlimited recently joined other groups in filing suit against the EPA, alleging that the EPA ignored science and the potential impacts of developing the mine when it withdrew the Bristol Bay Proposed Determination, which are protections for the region that have been in place since 2014. “Billions of dollars have been spent in attempt to restore salmon runs in the Pacific Northwest. Meanwhile, Bristol Bay sets records for its salmon returns year after year. All we need to do is have the humility and common-sense to leave this landscape alone,” said Chris Wood, CEO of Trout Unlimited. “Sacrificing a place such as Bristol Bay for some gold is a short-sighted fools-errand. We are not a litigious organization, but we and millions of other sportsmen and women will not allow greed to compromise the most important salmon fishery on the planet.”

FIGHT!

For more information on the Save Bristol Bay campaign, go to SaveBristolBay.org.

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FLY FISHING

The permit is the Holy Grail for many serious saltwater fly anglers. Many, including me, have traveled and spent endless days pursuing these great gamefish with little to show for our efforts. Of course, the challenge is what’s special about permit fishing, not the number of fish brought to hand. However, there is one place where an angler can have great success catching permit on the fly; that place is the Yucatan Peninsula’s Punta Allen. Here, just a few kilometers south of Tulum in the Sian Ka’an Biosphere, is the world’s most fertile and diverse permit saltwater fly fishery. The Unicorn of the Flats Ghostlike, spooky and finicky are three words to describe permit. It is one of the most difficult saltwater fish to catch on the fly and has been the Achilles heel for many saltwater fly angers. But if there is one destination where one can successfully sight cast to large schools of permit consistently, it’s the Sian Ka’an Biosphere. Because of the vast numbers of permit ranging from 2 to 20 pounds, a fly angler will have multiple shots per day. In addition, Yucatan permit are aggressive eaters, making them a great target for the less-experienced or first-time saltwater fly anglers. Flies and Tackle The primary food items for permit are crabs and shrimp. A good selection of these patterns will give the angler the best chance at success. For crab patterns, I like Merkins and Ragheads in sizes 4 and 6. I find the color of the fly should match the color of the habitat you’re fishing. For example, if you’re fishing over light colored sand, then a fly pattern should be tan or even white. If you’re fishing in turtle grass or a darker bottom, then a green or even a dark brown works best. Tackle A 9-foot, 9-weight rod matched with a large arbor reel that holds 250 yards of 30-pound Hi Viz Dacron or micron backing is the perfect combo for Yucatan permit. Since a majority of the fishing is in shallow water, I suggest only using a weight-forward tropical floating line. Keep your leaders long: 10 to 12 feet with 16- to 20-pound tippets. Casting to Permit It’s important to be able to quickly and accurately cast 30 to 60 feet when targeting permit on the flats. Your ability to make longer casts will increase your chances of catching more fish. Of course, you can hook a permit close to the boat, but it’s always to your advantage be able to make the long cast when the opportunity presents itself. The back-hand cast is another to be able to execute. Permit schools will often present themselves on the opposite side of the boat, so being able to make a quick back cast is very important.

For more Bowman, go to

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very once in a while a timepiece comes along that’s so incredibly good looking, masterfully equipped and jaw-droppingly priced, that it stops us stone cold. A watch that can take you seamlessly from the 18th hole to the board room. A watch that blurs the line betweens sports watch and dress watch. We’re talking the Blue Stone Chronograph, and it sits at the top of the discerning gentleman’s watch list. Striking in appearance and fully equipped with features, this is a watch of substance. The Blue Stone merges the durability of steel with the precision of crystal movement that’s accurate to 0.2 seconds a day. Both an analog and digital watch, the Blue Stone keeps time with pinpoint accuracy in two time zones. The watch’s handsome steel blue dial seamlessly blends an analog watch face with a stylish digital display. It’s a stopwatch, calendar, and alarm. Plus, the Blue Stone resists water up to 30 meters, making it up for water adventures. A watch with these features would easily cost you thousands if you shopped big names. But overcharging to justify an inflated brand name makes us blue in the face. Which is why we make superior looking and performing timepieces priced to please. Decades of experience in engineering enables Stauer to put quality on your wrist and keep your money in your pocket.

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Gimme Six Extended Protection promo is applicable to new Suzuki Outboard Motors from 25 to 350 HP in inventory which are sold and delivered to buyer between 10/01/19 and 12/31/19 in accordance with the promotion by a Participating Authorized Suzuki Marine dealer in the continental US and Alaska to a purchasing customer who resides in the continental US or Alaska. Customer should expect to receive an acknowledgement letter and full copy of contract including terms, conditions and wallet card from Suzuki Extended Protection within 90 days of purchase. If an acknowledgement letter is not received in time period stated, contact Suzuki Motor of America, Inc. – Marine Marketing via email: marinepromo@suz.com. The Gimme Six Promotion is available for pleasure use only, and is not redeemable for cash. Instant Savings apply to qualifying purchases of select Suzuki Outboard Motors made between 10/01/19 and 12/31/19. For list of designated models, see participating Dealer or visit www.suzukimarine. com. Instant Savings must be applied against the agreed-upon selling price of the outboard motor and reflected in the bill of sale. (Suzuki will, in turn, credit Dealer’s parts account.) There are no model substitutions, benefit substitutions, rain checks, or extensions. Suzuki reserves the right to change or cancel these promotions at any time without notice or obligation. * Financing offers available through Synchrony Retail Finance. As low as 5.99% APR financing for 60 months on new and unregistered Suzuki Outboard Motors. Subject to credit approval. Not all buyers will qualify. Approval, and any rates and terms provided, are based on credit worthiness. $19.99/month per $1,000 financed for 60 months is based on 5.99% APR. Hypothetical figures used in calculation; your actual monthly payment may differ based on financing terms, credit tier qualification, accessories or other factors such as down payment and fees. Offer effective on new, unregistered Suzuki Outboard Motors purchased from a participating authorized Suzuki dealer between 10/01/19 and 12/31/19. “Gimme Six”, the Suzuki “S” and model names are Suzuki trademarks or ®. Don’t drink and drive. Always wear a USCG-approved life jacket and read your owner’s manual. © 2019 Suzuki Motor of America, Inc.

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