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PELAGICS From Little Plastic Boats

PATTERN SPRING SPECKS PHOTO BY JORGE BUSTAMANTE, COURTESY OF BRIAN NELLI - WWW.TCKAYAKFISHING.COM VOLUME 25 • ISSUE 301

COASTALANGLERMAG.COM

F R A N C H I S E

O P P O R T U N I T I E S

A V A I L A B L E

APRIL 2020

W O R L D W I D E


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Photo courtesy of Knockin Tail Lures

By Capt. Michael Okruhlik

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or those who want to catch a heavy speckled trout, April is perhaps your best opportunity. April trout are still heavy from their lowered metabolism of winter. They are heavy with eggs and about to spawn. This makes April a prime month for heavy fish. The warmer water also makes them extremely aggressive and more willing to strike artificial lures of all styles. Let’s go over the how, when and where to target trophy trout in the spring. How: When water temp reaches the low to mid 70s, topwater action can be some of the best of the year. Aggressive trout are attracted by the rattling sound and erratic sway of the cigarshaped lures. You can’t go wrong with bone/white/ silver or a combination of these colors. I like to match the size to the conditions and forage in the immediate area. Required casting distance and surface conditions also play a vital role in my decision making. In rougher conditions, I typically use a large lure. The rattles of various lures also have different pitch. I prefer to use the higher pitch over a muddy bottom and a lower tone over sand, grass or shell. Slow-sinking, rattling, shad-style twitch baits

are also a good choice when trout don’t want to “rise” to the occasion. I prefer these lures with near-mirror reflective finishes. They do an excellent job of impersonating a wounded baitfish, and no large spawning trout in its right mind will pass up an injured baitfish. I can’t leave out the most versatile trout lure of all, the soft plastic. There are many styles, sizes and colors, but I prefer those that give more bang for the buck. When the fish are aggressive, I steer toward a soft plastic with a larger paddle that vibrates, creates a great swimming motion even on the pause, and one that rattles. These three components stimulate a fish’s lateral line, and they can’t resist the need to feed. When: I plan trips according to the solunar tables. I make every effort to be at my spot fishing during peak feeding times so that I’m not traveling from spot to spot when the fish are eating. Where: In spring, I direct my attention to grass flats. Wading is the superior method to consistently catch large trout, but you can still target flats from a boat. I prefer a flat with broken grass patches, potholes, channels, the dreaded prop scar or anything else that breaks up the grass to create ambush points for trout. Try to cover each transition from multiple angles, as trout will

stage on the edge of the sand against the grass. Pay attention to the where, when and how on your next trip. It will increase your odds of landing a trophy trout. It never hurts to practice catch and release on these beautiful fish. Capt. Michael Okruhlik is the inventor of Knockin Tail Lures, Controlled Descent Lures and the owner of www.MyCoastOutdoors.com.

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ew for 2020, Outcast Sporting Gear released a sweet little inflatable kayak with the performance, portability and comfort to take you wherever the fish are. The OSG IK Angler 11 was recently awarded Best of Show for boats/ personal watercraft at the American Fly Fishing Trade Association show in Denver. It was designed specifically for avid anglers seeking to access more open water. Weighing just 32 pounds, the IK Angler 11 is lightweight and compact, making it easy to take with you on those trips to out-of-the way places that are difficult to access with bigger boats. And it will haul a load, too. With a 350-pound capacity, it’ll carry even the largest anglers and all their gear. This kayak was built for all-day fishing in comfort, with an adjustable seat that sits high off the water for easy casting. It is a stable platform to fish from, and a removable fin provides straight tracking on long paddles as well as a shallow draft for skinny water. Other features include a quick, one-handed paddle holder; a self-baling floor; interior cargo loops for lashing gear; and an innovative Integrated Gear System, which incorporates a moveable base in a sleeve that accepts cargo pockets, rod holders and anchor mounts. At just under 11 feet in length and 37 inches wide, the OSG IK Angler 11 is a compact boat that delivers on the water. It comes with a www.outcastboats.com 5-year warranty.   COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

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atching big pelagics is one of those “someday” goals for many kayak anglers. Venturing into the open ocean under paddle power after species like kingfish, mahi, sailfish and tuna can seem daunting to anglers accustomed to inshore waters or freshwater lakes and rivers. The first question you might have is: “Where am I going to find them?” Inshore, there are grass flats, mangroves and channels drop-offs that offer kayak anglers good places to start. Offshore waters don’t always give up information quite as easily, but the clues are out there. You just have to know what you’re looking for. The ocean is a big place, but I believe 10 percent of the water holds 90 percent of the fish. Narrowing it down to that 10 percent is the first step. Start your research off the water by locating a beach or other launch point that is close to hard bottom, wrecks or a reef line. This can be done with a little online research and a good mapping chip for your GPS. When the day comes to venture into the pelagic zone, take some time on the beach before heading out. Know the current, wind and water conditions. Is it calm? Is it rough? Are there a lot of weeds on the beach? Is there bait close to shore? Which way is the wind blowing? Answering these questions helps you decide what baits to use and at what depths to fish them. In general, calm days call for running baits deeper in the water column. With some surface chop or visible action on top—like bait jumping or fish breaking the water—run baits closer to the surface. Other things to look for are rips, color changes, birds and weed lines. A rip is an area where two currents meet. The water will look more turbulent than surrounding areas. A defined color change will have strong current running along its edge. Usually these color breaks and rips consolidate debris and weeds, and often birds will hover over these areas. The weeds and current attract bait, which in turn attract the pelagics. When you’re offshore, you have to take what the ocean gives you. Anything that looks different than the surrounding water is a place to put baits out. If you find yourself on the water with no wind, surface activity or weeds, look to your GPS to show you the way to hard bottom, structure, rock piles or reefs. There will always be some type of baitfish around these areas to attract pelagics. Find the bait, and you will find the fish. If you are new to offshore kayak fishing or are thinking about trying it, this information should give you a start on your quest to land a pelagic from your kayak.

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By Brian Nelli

Brian Nelli operates south Florida’s Pushin’ Water Kayak Charters. Check them out at www.tckayakfishing.com and email Brian at brian@tckayakfishing.com.

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Drivers’ Alert: Driving can expose you to more dangerous glare than any sunny day at the beach can… do you know how to protect yourself?

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he sun rises and sets at peak travel periods, during the early morning and afternoon rush hours and many drivers find themselves temporarily blinded while driving directly into the glare of the sun. Deadly accidents are regularly caused by such blinding glare with danger arising from reflected light off another vehicle, the pavement, or even from waxed and oily windshields that can make matters worse. Early morning dew can exacerbate this situation. Yet, motorists struggle on despite being blinded by the sun’s glare that can cause countless accidents every year. Not all sunglasses are created equal. Protecting your eyes is serious business. With all the fancy fashion frames out there it can be easy to overlook what really matters––the lenses. So we did our research and looked to the very best in optic innovation and technology. Sometimes it does take a rocket scientist. A NASA rocket scientist. Some ordinary sunglasses can obscure your vision by exposing your eyes to harmful UV rays, blue light, and reflective glare. They can also darken useful vision-enhancing light. But now, independent research conducted by scientists from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory has brought forth ground-breaking technology to help protect human eyesight from the harmful effects of solar radiation

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light. This superior lens technology was first discovered when NASA scientists looked to nature for a means to superior eye protection— specifically, by studying the eyes of eagles, known for their extreme visual acuity. This discovery resulted in what is now known as Eagle Eyes®. The Only Sunglass Technology Certified by the Space Foundation for UV and Blue-Light Eye Protection. Eagle Eyes® features the most advanced eye protection technology ever created. The TriLenium® Lens Technology offers triple-filter polarization to block 99.9% UVA and UVB— plus the added benefit of blue-light eye protection. Eagle Eyes® is the only optic technology that has earned official recognition from the Space Certification Program for this remarkable technology. Now, that’s proven science-based protection. The finest optics: And buy one, get one FREE! Eagle Eyes® has the highest customer satisfaction of any item in our 20 year history. We are so excited for you to try the Eagle Eyes® breakthrough technology that we will give you a second pair of Eagle Eyes® Navigator™ Sunglasses FREE–– a $59.95 value! That’s two pairs to protect your eyes with the best technology available for less than the price of one pair of traditional sunglasses. You get a pair of Navigators with stainless steel black frames and the other with stainless steel gold, plus one hard zipper case and one micro-fiber drawstring cleaning pouch are included. Keep one pair in your pocket and one in your car. Your satisfaction is 100% guaranteed. If you are not astounded with the Eagle Eyes® technology, enjoying clearer, sharper and more glare-free vision, simply return one pair within 30 days for a full refund of the purchase price. The other pair is yours to keep. No one else has such confidence in their optic technology.Don’t leave your eyes in the hands of fashion designers, entrust them to the best scientific minds on earth. Wear your Eagle Eyes® Navigators

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FORCE ISC™ 10K B2

By Nick Carter

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ennessee’s Lake Chickamauga has garnered a lot of press in recent years for giant largemouth bass. The introduction of Florida-strain largemouths certainly paid off for this 60-mile-long Tennessee River impoundment. The thing is, all the hype over bucketmouths has overshadowed world-class fisheries that already existed on the Tennessee River from Chickamauga down through Chattanooga. Flowing between high ridges of The Scenic City, the big river pumps out some pretty spectacular action for catfish and smallmouth bass. Richard Simms, of Scenic City Charters, said the fishing heats up with water temperatures this time of year. Whether you’re looking for bigshouldered river smallies, giant blue cats—or a little bit of both—right now is the time to be on the water. Smallmouth Bass: The Chickamauga tailrace lights up with aggressive smallies in spring. They feed up in a 10-mile stretch below the dam. Simms said fishing jigs and soft plastics around rip-rap, current seams and edges is productive. But drifting live threadfin shad or shiners with the current leads to faster action. With light 6-poundtest line enticing the most bites, any smallmouth is a handful. They typically run from 2 to 4 pounds on the river, and a decent day will produce 10 to 15 of

these scrappy bronzebacks. Simms said to expect a mixed bag on live bait. Everything eats shiners, so anglers will also catch white bass, spotted bass, largemouth bass, crappie, yellow bass, catfish and maybe a striped bass. Catfish: Big blue catfish are abundant on the Tennessee River from Chickamauga Dam all the way down through Chattanooga. When flows are right, the tailrace can be very good. When too much water is being released from the dam, Simms heads up to the reservoir. Either side of the dam, the prespawn bite peaks in April. “Both fisheries hold great big catfish,” said Simms, “and pre-spawn is a great time for catching trophy fish.” On the reservoir, deep drop-offs and river channel holes with structure are the places to vertical drop cut skipjack herring, bluegill or chicken breast. Below the dam, Simms drift fishes those same baits on light 10-pound tackle. In 2009, Simms’ client, Jerry Uhrine, caught a 52-inch-long, 75-pound blue catfish on 10-poundtest line. It is a National Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame line-class record. “That light tackle technique is really fun because the average catfish we catch is 5 to 10 pounds,” said Simms. “Those 10 to 20 pounders aren’t unusual,

Photos courtesy of Scenic City Charters.

and every now and then we get one of those really big fish.” An average half-day trip from April through October typically yields 50 to 100 pounds of catfish. “It’s real easy to stock a freezer,” said Simms. Check out Scenic City Fishing Charters at www.sceniccityfishing.com.

COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

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Photos courtesy of Tuna Duck Charters, Hatteras, NC.

April action can be fast and furious off the Outer Banks. Here’s one on deck and another on the line.

By Tom Schlichter

T

he Outer Banks of North Carolina needs little introduction to fishing fans. A true angling Mecca, it boasts super action with striped bass, red drum, cobia, sea trout and a host of inshore species while also offering tremendous offshore action for tuna, billfish, wahoo, mahi and additional pelagic favorites. These ocean predators really get your blood boiling in April, when the action comes alive 25 to 30 miles offshore. “We really do see a great mix of blue water species in April,” said charter Capt. Dan Rooks of the 51-foot custom Carolina Sportfisher, Tuna Duck (252-216-6160; http://tunaduck.com) which sails out of Hatteras Harbor Marina (252-986-2166; https://www.hatterasharbor.com.) “Typical action this month sees yellowfins in the 40- to 70-pound class, blackfin tuna weighing 20 to 25 pounds, and wahoo to 60 pounds. Early in the month, you might also deck a bluefin while the end of the month sees white marlin, blue marlin and sailfish arrive on the scene. Many of the big blues will top 400 pounds.” It’s the combination of bottom structure and a meeting of offshore currents that draws big game species to these waters, explained Rooks. The warm waters of the Gulf Stream flowing up from the south and cool waters of the Labrador Current dropping down from the north meet along the edge of the continental shelf, providing sharp temperature breaks that stack squid, ballyhoo, flying fish and other baitfish. Match a Anglers aboard Capt. Dan Rook’s Tuna Duck Charters celebrate a break over some structure, and you have a great spot to start hefty tuna that slammed a popper off North Carolina’s Outer Banks. your search. “It’s not as important that the temperature break be large as that it be well-defined,” noted Rooks. “I’ve seen breaks here as small as half-a- said. “A storm might push the cool water farther out or bring warmer water degree and as large as 20 degrees. Any break can produce if the surrounding closer in, so you constantly need to make adjustments. Expect to spend some conditions are right. Look for clean water, active baitfish and plenty of life. time searching out the fish even if they were stacked up just a day before. That’s one plus for heading out with a charter skipper; we’re on the water daily, Those are tip-offs that you are in the right area.” Although he’ll sometimes jig or work poppers for tuna, Rooks spends which helps us keep track of shifting currents, temperature breaks and baitfish most of his time trolling. His favorite setup is a natural dead-bait spread, with schools. Some days you find the predators sooner than others – but never give eight ballyhoo trolled in a V-pattern at 7 knots. He works hard to drag his up hope because once you dial ’em in, the fishing here is as good as it gets.” Anglers looking to trailer to this area can find transient dockage, fuel, hotel offerings across structure points, where temperature breaks are discovered accommodations and a boat launch ($10) all at Village Marina (252-986-2522; using on-board temperature gauges and satellite imagery. “The breaks move, of course, and you need to be aware of that,” Rooks www.villagemarinahatteras.com) in Hatteras. COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

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A BUCKET-LIST FISH WORTH CROWING ABOUT Photo courtesy of Crocodile Bay

By Todd Staley

W

hen anglers think of the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica, they usually think about billfish. Costa Rica is one of the top destinations in the world to chase these pointy-nose acrobats. Many folks travel to Costa Rica with billfish fever and are not even aware of the great inshore fishery available. A fish many anglers have never even heard about before their arrival in Costa Rica is the roosterfish. This unique-looking fish with seven combs as a dorsal fin is only found in the Eastern Tropical Pacific between southern Mexico and Ecuador. In its most northern and southern ranges, the fish move as the seasonal drop in water temperature arrives. Costa Rica, being in the smack-dab middle of Roosterfish’s range, enjoys a fairly constant water temperature and a year-round fishery. In many places, roosterfish are only available by fishing the surf break. Not in Costa Rica. Of course they cruise the beaches looking for an easy meal, but they also roam the many volcanic reefs. One area that is extremely productive is the Golfo Dulce on the Osa Peninsula in southern Costa Rica, a 32-mile-long tropical fjord. Here you find roosters almost everywhere, along the beaches and even over reefs in 200 feet of water. This allows anglers to target them using several different fishing styles. The locals also catch them with dead bait using handlines off the beach. Roosterfish in the Golfo Dulce average 15 pounds, and fish over 50 pounds are taken weekly. The resort record at Crocodile Bay is 106 pounds. Live bait is most always a sure bet. Blue runners, goggle-eyes, sardines and lookdowns are the favorite choices and are readily available. If you are looking for a monster and have the patience to wait it out, bridle up a 3- to 5-pound live bonito and hang on. The best method to fish live bait is to either slow troll behind the surf line or drift fish over volcanic structure. In the deeper areas, a 2- to 6-ounce weight is added to send the bait closer to the top of the reef. In Costa Rica, circle hooks are required by law when using bait, so it is best to have the “crank don’t yank,” mentality firmly planted in one’s brain. Popper fishing is also popular. Fish will often rise to a lure that is really ripped through the water. This is not a walk-the-dog fishing. The faster you work the popper, with lots of splash, the more hits you will get. At times, you will be surprised by a big orange flash as a hefty cubera snapper comes up from 80 feet to smash a popper. If a fish misses its target, don’t stop. They will often come back and strike again. A long stiff rod and six weeks of dumbbell curls are required to cast poppers any length of time.

Photos by Capt. Allan Smith Jigging will also get you your first rooster, but they are a little shyer to a jig than live bait or poppers. White or chartreuse bucktails produce in the shallow water and mental jigs work in the deep areas. Just about any brand of jig will work as long as it is worked fast. No one I know has found the “Holy Grail” for taking roosterfish on a fly. If you are looking for a real challenge, it’s game on. If you are looking for big numbers on a fly, roosterfish is probably not a good choice of adversary. There has been some success by teasing up roosters, much like you would a sailfish. They can be teased with a lure or live bait or by casting a popper with the hooks removed. To get a fly in front of charged-up rooster though, you have to have the speed of a Western gunslinger and the accuracy of William Tell. If you happen to be lucky enough to be on top of a school of bait and a herd of roosterfish charge in on them, you can get your fly in the middle of that action and have a good chance of hooking up. Some have had success trolling the fly, but that is taboo in many a fly guys’ book. To sum it up, if someone tells me they regularly catch roosterfish on a fly, I certainly wouldn’t leave my wife alone with them. Surely they can’t be trusted. Anyone thinking about a Costa Rica billfish vacation should really book at least one day inshore. Roosterfish are a strong and beautiful fish with an iridescent hue. Their unique dorsal cuts the surface as it hones in on its target. When hooked, they make powerful runs and sometimes clear the water in an aerial display. They make for an exciting sporting challenge and a replica makes for a great conversation piece on the wall. They really are a fish to crow about. More information can be found at www.crocodilebay.com or by calling (800) 733 1115.


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MATCH YOUR TACKLE TO THE FISH

By Robert Wiggers

F

or fish that are released, their survival often depends on the rod and reel used to catch them. Fish naturally don’t want to have a hook in their mouth, attached to a line, being pulled in a direction they don’t want to go. So, like any animal, they resist in an attempt to free themselves. The longer they fight, the more exhausted they become, and in some instances they deplete every amount of available energy in an effort to escape. The battle is over and the angler has won. Unfortunately, when it comes time to release the fish, it’s too exhausted to swim away on its own. Even if it is able to swim away, it certainly doesn’t have the energy to avoid predators that may be lurking around waiting for an easy meal.

Hooking and fighting a fish is an exhilarating experience. There was a time when it was considered to be more “sporting” to catch a large fish on very light tackle. A long fight requires a degree of skill and finesse in order to successfully bring a large fish to the boat. Anglers are recognized for such achievements through acknowledgement in the record books. However, the majority of recreational anglers don’t go fishing with the sole intent of trying to break a line-class record for a specific species. We go fishing simply to catch fish. Some anglers want something for the table, while others just want the satisfaction of catch and release. Regardless of reason, we usually choose a rod and reel that gives us the best chance of successfully landing the species we are targeting. Most anglers wouldn’t use freshwater bass tackle if they were trying to catch a billfish. The rod and reel you choose to use when fishing for a particular species should be carefully considered when practicing catch and release. Nowadays, the options for rod and reels are endless. Rods come in all lengths and are designed with different actions ranging from ultra light to heavy. Reels also range in size to match the rod, but have different gear ratios that allow an angler to retrieve the bait at a faster pace with less effort. Each combination performs differently. For this reason, many anglers carry a number of rods with them on any given trip. While it may be more fun to use a light rod and reel for catching a big fish, it’s simply not good for the fish or its chances of survival after being released. Studies have even shown that mortality of released fish can happen several hours after being released. There are always instances when anglers unexpectedly hook an exceptionally large fish on light tackle. But if you know beforehand that you are going to fish specifically for large fish, be sure to use appropriate tackle that reduces the fight time. I don’t know of any conservationminded angler that wouldn’t be heartbroken to see a large fish float away knowing the fish was potentially older than they were or that they just killed a spawning fish that could contribute more to the population.


TIPS FOR 1 SUP FISHING

PLAY THE TIDE, WIND AND CURRENT: SUPs are lightweight and highfloating by design. This makes them portable, and it also makes them susceptible to the slightest current or wind. By knowing the currents, tides and weather and planning around them, you can save yourself from a grueling paddle at the end of a day. Either start the day with a paddle against the elements and drift fish back to the put-in, or use two vehicles to drift from a put-in to a separate take-out.

By CAM Staff

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TAKE AN ANCHOR: An anchor or stake-out pole is essential when you want to stop paddling to fish. Staking yourself down with a pole keeps you stationary in shallow water, while an anchor gives the freedom to fish deep water. Even small fish have strength to pull an SUP, so an anchor helps when fighting fish, as well.

RIGGED OUT COOLER: On an SUP, your cooler is much more than an icebox. Mounted to the deck just aft of the middle of the board, it is a seat, a work surface and a great place to mount rod holders. Consider getting a cushion for comfort. Mount vertical rod holders to the cooler. Opt for a cooler top with a tray or cup holders to keep stray tackle from going overboard.

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STREAMLINE GEAR: An uncluttered deck reduces hassle and makes fishing from an SUP much more fun. Take only what you need, which should include no more than a couple rods and reels and a small ith the explosion of kayaks and stand-up paddleboards (SUPs) in selection of tackle. Some folks like a strapped-down milk crate or a fishing, new boats have hit the market combining the best features 5-gallon bucket for holding gear. Others prefer to wear their gear in a tackle of both. Some even draw on the benefits of skiffs, including motor pack. You’ll also want pliers and fish grips on a lanyard. A small dry bag is power, to become hybrid vessels more like one-man flats boats. good for your phone, wallet and keys, because everything is going to get wet. This evolution of fishing vessels is good, but sometimes the results bear little resemblance to what drew people to the pursuit to begin with. Access to PADDLE LEASH: Tie down anything you mind losing, and this backwaters, portability, stealth and an elevated position are three advantages includes your paddle, which you’ll be up the creek without. Many prefer of SUP fishing. But the reasons most people get into it are cost-savings and a paddle leash with a waist loop. The other end ties off to the paddle simplicity. It’s like bank fishing with much better access. a couple feet below the handle. With the paddle head resting on the The unique experience is a primary driver for SUP anglers. The following board, the handle hangs right off your hip. With a little practice, this setup are a few tips to enhance that experience. allows for one-handed maneuvering of the board. Photo courtesy of Kaku

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By Henry Jackson

any kayak fishermen enter the sport as fishermen, not kayakers. Therefore, fundamental paddling skills are typically relatively low. Through necessity and self-discovery, most of us learn how to make a kayak move in the direction needed. But many bad habits are developed in the process, and bad habits can put stress on a paddler’s shoulders. Taking the time to learn correct paddling strokes will increase time on the water and decrease the chance for injury. The forward stroke is the most basic of all paddle strokes, and it’s usually the first one beginning paddlers figure out on their own. It’s also the most important stroke to perform correctly because you’ll use it 90 percent of the time. The key to a correct forward stroke is to engage the large muscles of the core and use them to power the stroke instead of our arms and shoulders. Performed correctly, the stroke is more efficient and allows you to paddle farther with less discomfort. Engage core muscles by rotating your torso as you reach forward to plant the blade in the water. As the blade is drawn toward you, unwind your torso to power the stroke, keeping your arms relatively straight. A great method for learning the concept is to hold the paddle out in front of you, arms completely straight, and paddle only by rotating your torso. The reverse stroke is another basic stroke that is learned relatively early by new paddlers. This stroke can put extremely high levels of stress on the shoulders when done incorrectly. To begin the reverse stroke, fully rotate your torso and plant the paddle blade at the stern of the boat. Then unwind your torso, powering the stroke, and bring the blade out of the water when it is even with your hips. It will take practice, but eventually you should be rotating far enough that the paddle shaft is horizontal with the side of the kayak, and if you were to drop the paddle it would land in the water without hitting the kayak. The draw stroke is one that, now that I’ve learned it, I cannot paddle without. The draw is used to move the kayak sideways. To perform the draw, rotate your torso until you are facing sideways in the direction you want to travel. Reach out, turn the paddle blade horizontal with the kayak, plant it in the water and draw it toward you. To recover, turn the blade 90 degrees and slide it through the water away from the kayak. Rotate it horizontally, and draw it back toward you. Repeat as necessary. Mastering the correct versions of these strokes will greatly improve your paddling experience and increase your time on the water. Youtube has several excellent channels that illustrate proper stroke techniques. One of my favorite channels is SeaKayakingTV, and there are several others that are top notch.

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A BUCKET-LIST FISH WORTH CROWING ABOUT Photo courtesy of Crocodile Bay

By Todd Staley

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hen anglers think of the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica, they usually think about billfish. Costa Rica is one of the top destinations in the world to chase these pointy-nose acrobats. Many folks travel to Costa Rica with billfish fever and are not even aware of the great inshore fishery available. A fish many anglers have never even heard about before their arrival in Costa Rica is the roosterfish. This unique-looking fish with seven combs as a dorsal fin is only found in the Eastern Tropical Pacific between southern Mexico and Ecuador. In its most northern and southern ranges, the fish move as the seasonal drop in water temperature arrives. Costa Rica, being in the smack-dab middle of Roosterfish’s range, enjoys a fairly constant water temperature and a year-round fishery. In many places, roosterfish are only available by fishing the surf break. Not in Costa Rica. Of course they cruise the beaches looking for an easy meal, but they also roam the many volcanic reefs. One area that is extremely productive is the Golfo Dulce on the Osa Peninsula in southern Costa Rica, a 32-mile-long tropical fjord. Here you find roosters almost everywhere, along the beaches and even over reefs in 200 feet of water. This allows anglers to target them using several different fishing styles. The locals also catch them with dead bait using handlines off the beach. Roosterfish in the Golfo Dulce average 15 pounds, and fish over 50 pounds are taken weekly. The resort record at Crocodile Bay is 106 pounds. Live bait is most always a sure bet. Blue runners, goggle-eyes, sardines and lookdowns are the favorite choices and are readily available. If you are looking for a monster and have the patience to wait it out, bridle up a 3- to 5-pound live bonito and hang on. The best method to fish live bait is to either slow troll behind the surf line or drift fish over volcanic structure. In the deeper areas, a 2- to 6-ounce weight is added to send the bait closer to the top of the reef. In Costa Rica, circle hooks are required by law when using bait, so it is best to have the “crank don’t yank,” mentality firmly planted in one’s brain. Popper fishing is also popular. Fish will often rise to a lure that is really ripped through the water. This is not a walk-the-dog fishing. The faster you work the popper, with lots of splash, the more hits you will get. At times, you will be surprised by a big orange flash as a hefty cubera snapper comes up from 80 feet to smash a popper. If a fish misses its target, don’t stop. They will often come back and strike again. A long stiff rod and six weeks of dumbbell curls are required to cast poppers any length of time.

Photos by Capt. Allan Smith Jigging will also get you your first rooster, but they are a little shyer to a jig than live bait or poppers. White or chartreuse bucktails produce in the shallow water and mental jigs work in the deep areas. Just about any brand of jig will work as long as it is worked fast. No one I know has found the “Holy Grail” for taking roosterfish on a fly. If you are looking for a real challenge, it’s game on. If you are looking for big numbers on a fly, roosterfish is probably not a good choice of adversary. There has been some success by teasing up roosters, much like you would a sailfish. They can be teased with a lure or live bait or by casting a popper with the hooks removed. To get a fly in front of charged-up rooster though, you have to have the speed of a Western gunslinger and the accuracy of William Tell. If you happen to be lucky enough to be on top of a school of bait and a herd of roosterfish charge in on them, you can get your fly in the middle of that action and have a good chance of hooking up. Some have had success trolling the fly, but that is taboo in many a fly guys’ book. To sum it up, if someone tells me they regularly catch roosterfish on a fly, I certainly wouldn’t leave my wife alone with them. Surely they can’t be trusted. Anyone thinking about a Costa Rica billfish vacation should really book at least one day inshore. Roosterfish are a strong and beautiful fish with an iridescent hue. Their unique dorsal cuts the surface as it hones in on its target. When hooked, they make powerful runs and sometimes clear the water in an aerial display. They make for an exciting sporting challenge and a replica makes for a great conversation piece on the wall. They really are a fish to crow about. More information can be found at www.crocodilebay.com or by calling (800) 733 1115.


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MATCH YOUR TACKLE TO THE FISH

By Robert Wiggers

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or fish that are released, their survival often depends on the rod and reel used to catch them. Fish naturally don’t want to have a hook in their mouth, attached to a line, being pulled in a direction they don’t want to go. So, like any animal, they resist in an attempt to free themselves. The longer they fight, the more exhausted they become, and in some instances they deplete every amount of available energy in an effort to escape. The battle is over and the angler has won. Unfortunately, when it comes time to release the fish, it’s too exhausted to swim away on its own. Even if it is able to swim away, it certainly doesn’t have the energy to avoid predators that may be lurking around waiting for an easy meal.

Hooking and fighting a fish is an exhilarating experience. There was a time when it was considered to be more “sporting” to catch a large fish on very light tackle. A long fight requires a degree of skill and finesse in order to successfully bring a large fish to the boat. Anglers are recognized for such achievements through acknowledgement in the record books. However, the majority of recreational anglers don’t go fishing with the sole intent of trying to break a line-class record for a specific species. We go fishing simply to catch fish. Some anglers want something for the table, while others just want the satisfaction of catch and release. Regardless of reason, we usually choose a rod and reel that gives us the best chance of successfully landing the species we are targeting. Most anglers wouldn’t use freshwater bass tackle if they were trying to catch a billfish. The rod and reel you choose to use when fishing for a particular species should be carefully considered when practicing catch and release. Nowadays, the options for rod and reels are endless. Rods come in all lengths and are designed with different actions ranging from ultra light to heavy. Reels also range in size to match the rod, but have different gear ratios that allow an angler to retrieve the bait at a faster pace with less effort. Each combination performs differently. For this reason, many anglers carry a number of rods with them on any given trip. While it may be more fun to use a light rod and reel for catching a big fish, it’s simply not good for the fish or its chances of survival after being released. Studies have even shown that mortality of released fish can happen several hours after being released. There are always instances when anglers unexpectedly hook an exceptionally large fish on light tackle. But if you know beforehand that you are going to fish specifically for large fish, be sure to use appropriate tackle that reduces the fight time. I don’t know of any conservationminded angler that wouldn’t be heartbroken to see a large fish float away knowing the fish was potentially older than they were or that they just killed a spawning fish that could contribute more to the population.


APRIL 2020

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t’s the most wonderful time of the year! Spring is here! The bait should be covering the flats off Lanark and the Big Bend. With it the seasonal big game fish will be in tow! Cobia, kingfish, tripletail, and tarpon will all be in the sound. The redfish and trout bite can be outstanding this time of year as well. I like to target grass lines, docks and the oyster bars on the higher tide. Topwater plugs should bring some action and good fish. Vary your retrieval speeds and pattern till you get a strike then repeat. Using a popping cork with a soft bait or shrimp on jig is another great way to target reds and trout. Multiple anglers have been sharing pictures with me of big trout and reds being caught over spring break. Maybe this year the prime time will be a little early? The near shore game should be on fire in April out in front of Dog Island and St George. Look for schooling bait and fish near the edges of it. Spanish mackerel are not as big as their cousin the kingfish, but still put on a show with their speedy runs. Step up your leader size though or use a foot of piano wire to prevent being cut off by their teeth. Dropping live shrimp on the bottom near the towers or nearshore wrecks can produce lots of action and mixed bag. The cobia push should be in the area in April. Live pinfish near structure can usually seal the deal. Bouncing a larger 7” jerk bait near wrecks can be a fun way to catch them also. They are big strong fish so gear up appropriately! Be sure to check size and bag regulations before harvesting fish. With grouper opening this month and snapper season coming, you do not want to unintentionally wind up in trouble. April should be an outstanding month to get out on the water in the Lanark. I have a few prime days left for tarpon on the fly so if you would like to knock that off your bucket list this summer; I’d be glad to help! Happy Easter to all! FORECAST BY: Captain John Swanson North Florida Inshore 850-326-7706

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t's spring and the fish will Henry Ruehl shows off his big red! be moving to the bars and flats in the bay. Out in front of Ochlockonee River, Piney Island and Shell Point should be holding, trout, redfish, and flounder finally. The sheepshead can still be caught on live shrimp around any hard bottom or structure. All predators will be slurping Bite-A-Bait fighters, Mirrodines, Redfins or soft twitch baits. Topwater lures should get things going this month as the fish get more active when water temp increases. The bay has been hovering around 60 degrees for a while now so everything will get more active soon. Bait schools are running late this year but soon will be making their ripples into the hot zone to become dinner for larger eating machines. G a g g roup e r s e a s on Sheepy's are still here! opened in state waters off of Franklin, Wakulla, Taylor and Jefferson counties from April 1st-June 30...2 Gags,24" minimum/4 grouper daily bag limit per person. Remember gear rules require circle hooks and dehooking tools. The venting tool is no longer required. There should be plenty to choose from because reports from this winter have been seeing plenty of fish being caught and released. This is an exciting time of year so make sure your heavier equipment is serviced before heading out. Remember to take a kid fishing and let them experience and enjoy the outdoors! FORECAST BY: Captain Steve Hobbs SkeeterBite Fishing Charters Follow us on Facebook! Text or call 850 363-0527 splopscapt@gmail.com

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Dr.Sanford Hawkins caught some nice trout on cool river day.


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e made it to March! Spring fishing must be here! I gave up forecasting the weather. So far February must be the warmest in history. March, no telling what the weather has in store. Normally, heavy winds and a few cold fronts make for a tough start to north Florida shing. It degrees, fish pril is alwaysspring a greatfimonth tomight fish. Thbeere80could be a but few the passing are swimming in water the will hold in the 60’s. Be patient in March cold fronts to make wind, but the fish will be hungry! It was and the higher for bestquickly results.climbed into the 70’s. extrasearch warmfor in March andtemps water temps In February the trout pushed into the That put fish on the flats early this year. river for a few days, but not long. at means theyon arefistill sightinofthe theright lighthouse. ThTh e trout bite was re ifout youinwere spot lastWorking month. the oyster bars will catch fi sh. Best bet is an incoming tide. If thesee water Problem was most of the fish were small. This month should an temps climb close to 70 degrees, then look for the trout to move on increase in size, as the females will start to spawn. Cracking those the flats that havethem. deep Find water3close by. Keep an eye onstart baitcracking! moving on corks will catch to 6 foot of water and If to the fl ats this month, or the return of pinfi sh. Both are great areas to you are not catching, move the boat. Also, remember we have new target inweb March. trout regulations this year. Check FWC for details. Th ere seems to be the same redRedfish are always a mystery in March, but they should getfish pattern every year in the bay. We more predictable this month.catch redfish. Some days we catch Every year, you never know howa few, other days it could be triple the redfish bite will play out, buta few, but you do have to work for keep checking those rocks andthose jokers. March will be the same. oyster bars. Topwaters shouldThere aren’t swarms or schools of be in full effect with the earlyredfish running the bay. Just a few water warm up. Walk that dogredfish hanging on a warm flat, or working an oyster bar, or mixing until, BAM! The macks are back! Plentyamong some mullet or guarding of spanish on the flats and midrocks. You need to go check those bay. Look for bait and go throwspots. Toss them a jig or shrimp and they will eat it. If you are lucky, you some jigs and spoons. a bunch, and have one of Some folks will find the firstcould cobiafiofndthe year. April can be a bit those redfi sh kinda days. early, but don’t be surprised. Time to carry the bigger spinning rod. is also an awesome month Look for pinfish to return to the March flats this month. Cobia will eat to hit the public reefs. Bring shrimp! Th e sheephead should be there, pinfish! and shrimp will be needed. There could be some grunts, seabass, and St Marks Outfitters flounder mixed in. Find a calm day and take a ride. You may also fi nd is wide open, and the first push of Spanish macks. They always hitcatching the reefs plenty! on theirCall/ way into the bay. text/email to book a We are booking trips trip. Spring fishing is this month! We are Awesome. THANK hoping for a warm and YOU JESUS dry March, so there will FORECAST BY: be plenty of days to fish! Captain Mike McNamara Give me a call/text/email Stmarksoutfittters.com redfish@stmarks to book a day!

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rout are taking off like crazy according to all reports as of this week. (March 13 today) Doug Garwood, and his good buddy, Joe Duncan, down from Dalton, Ga. have caught quality trout and flounder all week using the Ole Walmart Renegades, a hard jerk bait similar to a 14 A Bomber made in the 90’s. Trout are taking Redfins, Paul Brown strikes again for Billy Pillow of Woods MirrOdines, Paul Brown N Water fame. Devils, and I guess most anything else you throw at them as the water temps are soaring back to the lo 70’s for the first time since January; up from 55° this past Saturday. (March 7th) Depths of 2.0 – 3.5 seem to be the ticket when the bite is on. April should be Outstanding as our weather this week includes 7 days over 80 degrees? Who can say how warm it will be by late April, but I wouldn’t be surprised to find trout spawning by then. If so, I would ply depths of 3 – 5 feet expecting the large Sow trout to be feeding night and day to feed their eggs and that makes for an aggressive bite and usually means most any style of bait will take nice trout. We have yet to see any pelagic bait show up from down south, so when that happens your true topwater (stickbaits) fishing will be “on” Once you begin seeing the schools of ballyhoo on the surface set up your drifts accordingly. Top Pups, Top Dog Jr.s, SkitterWalks, and Zara Spooks will all take quality trout off the top. Color: Bone, bone and Let’s see....BONE. Yeah throw your favorite but always have “bone” ready to go. Gold with an orange belly would be my second choice. I will be drowning some live pinfish on my One More Cast charters, by mid to late April, but don’t think I won’t be dreaming about tossing topwater most of the time. Redfish have already begun taking Thunder-Spins and other Jig-spinners so have on tied on and don’t forsake your weedless spoons. I will be using the HEX spoons by Cajun Thunder (Precision Tackle) in Gold and Copper with my favorite size the 1/2 ounce Spoon. Meanwhile, Let's Go Fishing! Pat McGriff dba One More Cast guide service for 30 years! www.onemorecast.net onemorecast@gtcom.net cell: 850.838.7541

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STEINHATCHEE

T Sheeps and Grits

he Sheep Come Marching The lion and lamb In…Th analogy in terms of March Fresh filets of Sheepshead weather is so true here in the Stone Ground Grits 1 cup of fresh diced Big Bend. If thetomatoes, little voice cup sweet in1/2your head onions, hints diced better fresh parsley day (optional) try it another with betSeason to taste (salt, pepper & Old Bay) ter weather, listen and heed. Prepare your (I add cream to make them We've all grits ignored it way! in times dreamy). Boil a pot of very, past and can share horror sto- very salty water. Cut sheepshead size chunks and drop into boiling ries about whointo wasbite the dumbwater, remove pieces turn white. Melt a 1/2 est amongst us.asIf soon thereasare stick of quality butter, sautee onions until clear, add fish many voices in your head, can long enough to coat with butter, top creamy grits, add the fi shing trip and go see fresh tomatoes, a sprig of afresh parsley. Ready to serve! shrink. Nobody should be on a boat you be :) the name of a long ago girlfriend you can't forget prilwith should Bybecause the time you're reading this, the sheepshead should be in full once a year she comes back around off ering the thing spawn. In the past decade, the sheepshead huddle-up to make more you desire most; great fishing. Inshore sheepshead mid tothe lateflats February. The Steinhatchee Reef and the the fish are flinooding with inexShrimp Boat are popular to sheepshead fish and meet lots of perienced anglers having,spots perhaps, the people theand weekends. Should you be planning to go, go early. best dayon ever guides or local experts There are many techniques to trout, catch sheepshead. I like to keep producing exceptional catches of redfi sh,simple. and such, a surprise things Herewith are some of myearthoughts. Use rod/reel combily cobia you'd cruising the flats. Grass flatand are redfish with. Those lighter nations typically catch trout flweight ourishing, the grand return pinfish Sensitivity is of utmost combos improve yourofsensitivity. from offshore, arrival com- Braided line further inimportance tothe catch, notbait feedpods sheepshead. ing up from the south culminating a creases sensitivity and furthermoretodoesn't catch the current and loud ringing diner bell for every shallow billow due to the thinner diameter. I use twelve pound test mono water fish. braid. A short section of heavier leader material is recor twenty Th e same Use phenomenon is occurring offshore. necessary The bait pods are ommended. the lightest weight or jig-head to hold arriving, the pelagics are trailing them and the fi shing can be seen the bottom. Heavy sinkers reduce sensitivity. Long shank hooks are on the rodbecause tip. Spanish kingfi sh are escorting the preferred of the mackerel difficulty and of hook removal. The vise like bait pods. Live or fresh baiting around such bait areas is successjaws of sheepshead are dicy to deal with especially considering the ful. “Razor spring Spanish” will savage any baits cast netted from the the hardware in the mouth. The long shank is helpful. You don't schools, live or dead. Begin with 30# mono leader. If that is cutoff wantregularity, your digitstwist around with on athe footmouth. section of #1 to #2 wire. IInuse a knocker rig where the egg sinker rides on the leader time, kingfish cruise amongst the Spanish—they like tonext eat to the hook. Th is rig is easier to dislodge if hung on the bottom. the Spanish. So, if you have a wire harness for a live blue-runner or Bait… Some only go with livethe shrimp which great. I'll alsoa Spanish flip one,folks maybe two, out on leeward sideisunderneath use fresh frozen shrimp or fi ddler crabs. Use a thinner wire hookwith for large slip cork. That trick needs to be done using a reel combo fi ddler crabs so that it won't bust the crab apart. Some folks bait with exceptional line capacity of 20-30 pound test mono or equivalent fresh shucked can'ttodoletthat is afrom bottlethe of reel hot braided line. It oysters. is alwaysI best the because kingfish there run wild sauceasonopposed my boat.to horsing the fish to the boat. Over exertion from drag Thefrom limittheir formouth. sheepshead is the fisher-person will only pull the hook wisely set eightsh perproduction, angler. It is Foratkingfi is the best method. also trolling wise to release the egg laden Trolling the most females for thecovers children. ground while providing Aft er sheepshead fishing a method presentbottom varibounce aroundto hard ous styles of bait, such nearby to pick-up sea bass withas,a spoons, dusters, plugs etc. couple surprise flounder. in a varied vertical and horiFORECAST BY: Capt. Brian E. Smith zontal pattern. BIG BEND CHARTERS

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FWC – HOT BITE SPOTTED TROUT - Big Bend Area

Bag limit: 5 per harvester Zero captain and crew bag limit when on a for-hire trip Slot limit: More than 15" and less than 19" total length May possess one over 19 inches per vessel included in the bag limit Seasons and other regulations: Open year-round

COBIA

Gulf State Waters (north of Monroe/Collier county line) Minimum Size Limit: 33" fork length Daily Bag Limit: 1 per day or 2 per vessel, whichever is less Federal Waters Regulations Gulf: Minimum Size Limit: 33 inches fork length (**increasing to 36 inches on March 25, 2020), Daily Bag Limit: 2 per person Gear Requirements: Legal Gear: spears, gigs, hook and line, seine, cast net

RED GROUPER

Min Size Limit: 20" TL Daily Bag Limit: 2 per person within the 4 grouper aggregate State only: 0 fish bag limit for Charter Captain and Crew Open Season State: Open year-round Federal: Closed Feb. 1-March 31 seaward of 20 fathoms "The Edges" closed Jan 1 - Apr 30

AMBERJACK

Gulf State Waters Minimum Size Limit: 34” Fork Length Daily Bag Limit: 1 per person Season: Open May 1-31 and Aug. 1-Oct. 31. Legal Gear: spears, gigs, hook and line, seine, cast net

GAG GROUPER

Min. Size Limit: 24” TL Daily Bag Limit: 2 per person within 4 grouper aggregate State only: 0 fish bag limit for Charter Captain and Crew State: June 1-Dec. 31 (excluding Franklin, Wakulla, Taylor, Jefferson counties) April 1-June 30 and Sept. 1-Dec. 31 in state waters off of Franklin, Wakulla, Taylor and Jefferson counties Federal: June 1 – Dec. 31

RED SNAPPER

Daily Bag Limit: 2 per person (included in the 10 per harvester per day state snapper aggregate bag limit) Charter captain and crew: zero Open Season 2020 season in Gulf state and federal waters for anglers fishing from private recreational vessels and state for-hire operations: June 11July 25, closed July 26 (45 days). 2020 season for federally-permitted for-hire operations: June 1-Aug. 1, closed Aug. 2.

12 BIG BEND | APRIL 2020 | COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THE ANGLERMAG.COM


AO Coolers Releases New Insulated Fish and Fillet Mylar Bags

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O Coolers is pleased to announce the release of their new line of marine products – Insulated Fish Bags and Fillet Mylar Bags. While AO Coolers already has a great line up with their ultimate soft sided coolers, these new insulated AO Insulated Fish Bags are sure to be a hit! AO Coolers Insulated Fish Bags are designed and made to keep your catch fresh. The interior liner is a tear and mildew resistant, reflective, 18 oz vinyl. It is insulated with 1” closed cell foam to keep your catch cold and fresh. The exterior is a heavy duty 18 oz vinyl material that is both UV and mildew resistant with full wrap graphics and a reinforced bottom. The AO Insulated Fish Bags also feature rugged, non-corrosive YKK zippers, and an exterior zippered pocket for additional dry storage. Two padded grab handles make transport easy when loaded. The AO Insulated Fish Bag is available in two sizes: 4’x26” and 6’x30”. AO Coolers Fillet Mylar bags are designed to keep your catch fresh. The AO Fillet Mylar bags are made from 5 MIL thick foil lined mylar which blocks moisture, air and light (they are not transparent). These one gallon bags are odor proof and waterproof which feature a ziplock seal, and lines for catch location and date. Each Insulated Fish Bag kit includes with six AO Fillet Mylar bags. Additional fillet bags may be purchased from aomarineproducts. com. The AO Fillet Mylar bags are available in packs of 12 or 24. Dimensions: 9” x 13.75” About AO Coolers: AO Coolers has been making soft-sided coolers in the market for over 25 years. AO Coolers were the first to introduce the soft-sided cooler and have the “best in industry” limited lifetime warranty for the inside liner and top main zipper. “Go with the Original AO Coolers!” The customers keep coming back because they know AO Coolers offers excellent service. AO Coolers delivers orders on time, on budget, and with exceptional quality – every time! For more information, please visit www.aocoolers.com or Facebook www.facebook. com/aocoolers. You may also email us at info@aocoolers.com or speak with our Customer Service Representatives directly at 800-336-5208.

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STATE RECORD FISH REQUIRE PROPER CERTIFICATION

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hat largemouth bass you’ve been battling with is now in your boat. It’s huge. Could it be the new state record? And if it is, how do you certify it? The current state record for largemouth bass weighed 17.27 pounds and was caught by Billy O’Berry in Polk County in 1986. Although that record has stood over 30 years, recent submissions of giant 15- and 16-pound bass to FWC’s TrophyCatch program has anglers and biologists wondering when the next state record will show up. If you’re the lucky angler holding a potential state record, here’s what you need to know: To properly certify a new Florida state record, an FWC biologist must identify the fish species, and an FWC employee—usually but not necessarily the same individual—must witness its weighing on a certified scale. Anglers can check the current state records at BigCatchFlorida.com by clicking on “State Record,” and should notify the nearest FWC regional office if they believe they have caught a record fish. Contact information for

Nathaniel Scott Kicklighter with his 14-pound, 11-ounce bass.

FWC regional offices can be found at MyFWC. com/contact by clicking on “Contact an FWC office” then the “Regional Operations” tab. Biologists urge anglers not to confuse the state record certification with the FWC’s TrophyCatch program. TrophyCatch is a citizen-science program that partners with industry leaders, such as Bass Pro Shops, to offer rewards for the catch, documentation and release of largemouth bass weighing 8 pounds or more. Nathaniel Scott Kicklighter just became the current leader for TrophyCatch’s eighth season with a 14-pound, 11-ounce bass from an unnamed Putnam County lake. “It’s important to note that while all that is needed to submit a fish for TrophyCatch is a photo of the entire fish on a scale with the weight clearly visible, that photo is not enough to certify a state record,” said Allen Martin, FWC’s North Central Regional Fisheries Administrator. “A state record catch is an amazing angling accomplishment,” said Martin. “However, if the fish isn’t certified in person by an FWC biologist, the angler won’t get credit for a new state record.”

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The Science of Sport Fishing. Fish Mapping™ is the newest, most comprehensive service package from SiriusXM Marine. Delivering regularly updated, science-based data via satellite to compatible Garmin multi-function displays, this service is available well beyond cellular range to help locate the right conditions to fish faster – saving time and fuel. Fish Mapping also includes all the weather information in SiriusXM's Marine Offshore package as a chart overlay on your display. It’s great for offshore anglers fishing in tournaments, taking clients on charter trips or just fishing for fun. Fishing features include recommended locations for specific game fish, Weed Lines, Sea Surface Temperatures and Front Strength, Sub Surface Sea Temperatures, Sea Surface Height Variance, and Plankton Concentration data.

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MORE FISHING. LESS GUESSING.™

See recommended spots to fish – marked directly on your boat’s display.

The Fish Mapping service includes 8 dedicated fishing features plus all of SiriusXM Marine’s weather features and is available offshore well beyond cell range. Add SiriusXM Radio and you're all set for an incredible day of fishing.

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Learn more and Offer Details at siriusxm.com/fishmapping OFFER DETAILS: Activate a new subscription to SiriusXM Marine Fish Mapping and receive your first month free (a $99.99 savings), plus get free activation (an additional $25 savings), for a combined savings of $124.99. Add SiriusXM Select radio package at the discount rate of $11.99/mo. Fees and taxes apply. A credit card is required on this offer. You must cancel during your free month to avoid being charged. At the beginning of your second month service will automatically renew thereafter every month and you will be charged at then-current rates. Fees and taxes apply. Please see our Customer Agreement at siriusxm.com for complete terms and how to cancel, which includes calling us at 1-800-985-9200. All fees, content, and features are subject to change. This offer may not be combined with any other trial offers and may be modified or terminated at any time. Subscription and hardware sold separately. $100 Rebate from SiriusXM available through Dec 31, 2020, limited-time $150 Rebate from Garmin available Jan 20th - March 31st with hardware and subscription purchase, see Rebate Offer Details at siriusxm.com/fishmapping. Photo by Cody Spinadel. © 2020 Sirius XM Radio Inc. SiriusXM, Automatic, Pandora and all related logos are trademarks of Sirius XM Radio Inc. and its respective subsidiaries. All other marks and logos are the property of their respective owners. All rights reserved.

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E E V R Old Florida Waterfront Charm Re-Discovered E R TH ON! S E R FO EAS The Perfect Vacation Getaway for Fishing, Boating and Outdoor Enthusiasts NOWING S SPR 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.

• Cable TV, Hi-Speed Internet • Boat Trailer Parking on site w/ Water and Power • 2 miles to the Ft. Pierce Inlet • 12 miles to the Gulf Stream • Water Taxi Service Available

• Fully Furnished 3 Room Cottages w/ Fully Equipped Kitchens • 250 Foot Dock w/ Covered Guest Area • Laundry, BBQ Grilles • FREE Ice / FREE Guest Dockage • FREE use of our Kayaks

ALL RESERVATIONS OF 28 DAYS OR LONGER RECEIVE A 50% DISCOUNT ON ACCOMMODATIONS Offer valid through June 2020. Rates subject to change. Limited availability.

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READING THE BEACH

Photo by Paul Brennan

T

o the uninitiated, surf fishing might seem easy. Stake out some rods, sit back in a chair and enjoy a cold one, right? Well, if you actually want to catch fish, it’s necessary to read the surf. For beginners seeking to catch fish from the beach, setting up in the right place is the first step to success. Ask the local tackle shop about baits, rigs and appropriate gear. This article should get you started seeking out productive water. Ever notice five or six dudes clustered on one short stretch of beach with an array of rods stuck in the sand just a few yards apart? These guys know what they’re doing. They’ve found structure that consolidates bait and fish. Don’t assume there’s an invitation to plop down and fish with them. But be polite, don’t crowd them, and they might share advice. Notice what the beach and the surf look like where they are fishing, and 18

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try to find something similar somewhere else. Scouting begins with a long walk on the beach. Low tide might not be the best time to fish the surf, but it’s a great time to see how the bottom will lay out when the tide rolls in. Bottom contours manipulate current, and any irregularity on a flat expanse off the beach will draw bait and fish. Often, fine sand indicates a bottom with a gradual slope and little structure. Coarse sand with crushed shell or gravel points the way to steeper drops or deeper holes. Pay attention while you’re walking, and you’ll likely see the sand change character. The most common structure you’ll find off the beach is a sandbar. This is where the waves begin to break as they approach the shore. Inside of this sandbar there is a trough of deeper water between the sandbar and shore. There’s another drop off the ocean side of the sandbar. Fish of all kinds utilize these slightly deeper waters to move along the beach, hunting smaller fish or crustaceans. Dropping baits in the trough or on the backside of the sandbar can lead to hookups, but your odds increase if you can find a break in the sandbar, where a large tide, a rip current or a storm surge has punched a hole in the bar. Sand stacks up on either side of the cut, leaving shallow points on either side of a deeper bottom. These spots are obvious when the tide is out. When the tide is in, it’s the spot where waves don’t break as they pass over the sandbar. On a falling tide, you might notice faster water being sucked out through the cut. Fish use these breaks to move in and out of the trough. Current rushing through sandbar breaks also disorients baitfish, and predators will line up. Keep in mind that the sand is always moving. It changes day-today, and being cognizant of even small irregularities on an otherwise featureless bottom can help locate fish.

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Clean Up Florida Waters July 11

F 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.

DiscoverMartin.com 20

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lorida Realtors, the state’s largest trade association, is organizing a statewide event slated for July 11 to clean up Florida waters. Drawing from the organization’s extensive reach and calling out to all marine enthusiasts and conservationists, the event is aimed at cleaning up lakes, rivers, streams, retention ponds, bays, Intracoastal Waterways, the Gulf and Atlantic Ocean. The event was dreamed up between Orlando and Jacksonville realtors Mark Feagle Jr. and Jeff Fagan, who are avid anglers and Coastal Conservation Association members. The idea was quickly adopted by the trade association, which has the manpower of 195,000 members. The goal is to remove tons of trash and debris from waterways statewide in a single day, utilizing volunteers on land and water. “As a native Floridian, I have always enjoyed surfing, fishing and diving in our local waters. I want the natural beauty of this state to endure for my daughter and future generations,” said Feagle. “When you ask tourists or future residents what attracted them to Florida, the answers are typically: white sand beaches, lakes for boating, rivers for kayaking and our natural springs. Yet, many of our waterways are littered with bottles, cans and other debris. The good news is, trash is a people problem, which means we are also the solution.” On July 11, join thousands of Florida realtors to clean up Florida waters. Every effort   makes a difference. To get involved, visit www.floridarealtors.org/events/clean-up-florida-waters or contact your local real estate offices to get details on local efforts. Use the hashtag #cleanupfloridawaters on social media to find local events and support the effort.

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elebrate the fight against invasive lionfish at the sixth-annual Lionfish Removal and Awareness Festival May 16-17 at AJ’s Seafood and Oyster Bar and HarborWalk Village in Destin. Activities will include fillet demonstrations; family friendly games and activities; art, diving and conservation booths; and the world’s largest lionfish spearfishing tournament, the Emerald Coast Open. Satisfy your taste buds by visiting any of the participating locations of Lionfish Restaurant Week (May 11-14) for your chance to try this delicious invasive. Learn more by visiting FWCReefRangers.com. The 2020 Lionfish Challenge removal incentive program will begin May 22 and continue through the Pensacola Lionfish Classic on Oct 11.   Register for the tournament at EmeraldCoastOpen.com. For more information on FWC’s lionfish awareness programs go to FWCReefRangers.com and MyFWC. com/Lionfish.

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SOUTHWEST FLORIDA SEAGRASS RESTORATION UNDERWAY

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apid fluctuations in salinity due to freshwater releases from Lake Okeechobee have caused the loss of up to 1,200 acres of seagrass beds in NOAA photo by Heather Dine Caloosahatchee Estuary on Florida’s southwest coast. For more than a decade, prime habitat for inshore gamefish has dwindled. In 2018, an ambitious project began to restore seagrass to Caloosahatchee Estuary. Spurred by the Angler Action Foundation and funded by the state of Florida, the first stage of plantings appear to be thriving. In late 2018, about 20 acres of tape grass and widgeon grass were planted in areas decimated by excessive freshwater releases. Widgeon grass was selected for its ability to pioneer new habitat and tolerate a wide range of salinity. Tape grass, also known as eelgrass or wild celery, is more tolerant of freshwater than other grasses. Planting these two species provides some insurance that seagrass beds will establish and remain intact under widely varying salinity levels. Seagrass plantings were protected by wire-mesh exclosures to protect them from turtles and manatees, to allow the plants to take root. Initial surveys indicate very high survival rate, with up to 95 percent of plantings thriving and producing seeds and rhizomes that will disperse and hopefully establish themselves in adjacent areas, resulting in a self-sustaining seagrass meadow. Future plans are to expand the footprint of the planted areas. It is hoped the same methods can be used in other parts of Florida, such as the Indian River Lagoon, which has also suffered devastating losses of seagrass habitat.

COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

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his is the time of year I start organizing for the upcoming fishing season. Whether I’m traveling abroad or staying close to home (which might be the case with current Covid-Virus situation), being practical and thorough are the keys to success. Pack Light: Many fly fisherman decorate themselves with useless stuff: dull-bladed scissors, moth-eaten fly patches and rust-encrusted hemostats; in addition, vest pockets are crammed with fly boxes of every size, each pocket on the verge of popping its stitching. On occasion, I have noted fly fishermen toting as many as three tackle bags, each bag containing enough stuff to stock a small fly shop. When saltwater fly fishing, dispense with the stuff and use the less is more approach. One box of flies will cover your targeted species, and you’ll need small spools of tippet material, nippers and pliers. If you’re fishing with a guide, he or she will have most of these items available to you. Know What the Fish Eat: Research flies you’ll need for the location and if your guide will provide them for you. Far too many anglers allow ego to take over their thinking in the selection of flies, resulting in the purchase of flies ill-suited for the targeted species. Ask the guide what flies are appropriate.

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Traveling Abroad? If you’re fishing in a foreign country, investigate the culture, customs and perhaps the language spoken. Doing so will ensure your trip’s success and impress the natives. Don’t forget your passport and an extra copy placed in another piece of luggage or carry on. Leave a copy of it at home just in case! And get a Trusted Traveler card (formally Global Enter card). It’s well worth the $100 and saves you from suffering the long customs lines when re-entering the United States. Cast: Prior to your trip, spend a half-hour each day casting into the wind, a practice that will prepare you for unforgiving, blustery winds you will encounter on the flats and offshore. Work on distance. Casts of 40 to 50 feet with no more than two false casts are a must. Find A Guide: A good fishing guide is an outstanding provider of the information you need when fly fishing unfamiliar waters or in distant fly fishing destinations. Your guide has logged hundreds of hours studying the local fish and has honed saltwater fly fishing skills. Listening is guaranteed to make you a better fly fisherman. Hiring a guide and lending him your ear is a giant step in the right direction if learning to saltwater fly fish is your goal. Once you have enlisted his assistance, pay attention; listen and learn. You’ll find most saltwater fishing guides are good listeners, and often they become good and trusted friends. However, avoid bending his ear too much with stories about your skills as a freshwater fly-flinger. You are there to learn from him, not vice-versa.

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TONS OF TRASH Removed From Broward Waters

N 26° 7' 3.6376, W 80° 34.8846"

M

Rick Gibbs - Agent

954-678-2668 lmufl.com

ore than 1,000 volunteers showed up in early March for the 43rd Broward County Waterway Cleanup. On land and in water with 120 vessels, including boats, kayaks and paddleboards, volunteers collected nearly 25 tons of trash and debris from 35 sites around the county. The event was presented by the Florida Inland Navigation District (F.I.N.D.) and National Marine Suppliers and organized by the Marine Industries Association of South Florida (MIASF). “We had beautiful weather, dedicated volunteers and a great time,” said Event Coordinator, Nicole Hoekstra, “The annual Waterway Cleanup is a perfect day to celebrate all that Broward County has to offer, while taking part in keeping it clean,” Following the cleanup, volunteers were invited to attend the Trash Bash Thank You party at MIASF Headquarters, where participants were treated to live music, free food and beverages, and more than a dozen raffle prizes.  For more information, visit www.waterwaycleanup.org.

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CHERRY DOMINATES THE CLASSIC

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here was no denying Elite Series veteran Hank Cherry. Riding a first-day sack of nearly 30 pounds, he led wireto-wire during the 50th anniversary Bassmaster Classic at Lake Guntersville to capture the most coveted title in tournament bass fishing. The 46-year-old B.A.S.S. photo by Gary Tramontina from Lincolnton, N.C. hoisted the trophy on championship Sunday March 8 and accepted his winnings of $307,500 as the Classic champion. It was sweet redemption for a man who’s fished the Classic five times and came heartbreakingly close to winning the whole enchilada back in 2013. During the 2013 Classic at Grand Lake, Oklahoma, a lost jerkbait fish dropped Cherry into third place. It’s safe to say his luck held on Guntersville, where limits of 29-3, 16-10 and 19-8 gave him a three-day total of 65 pounds, 5 ounces. He did most of his damage during Friday’s first round with a Z-Man Jack Hammer. The pattern led to a tournamentbest bag that featured a pair of 7-2 largemouths. On Days 2 and 3, he relied on his own Hank Cherry Signature Series Jig from Picasso in green pumpkin with a matching Berkley MaxScent Chunk trailer and a jerkbait—a Megabass 110+1 in the French pearl OB color. He spent practically the whole event fishing one causeway and one grass flat after a Day 1 arm injury limited his travel in windy conditions. “I never put gas in the boat all week,” Cherry said. “Y’all know me. If it’s windy, I’m not going to be making a lot of long runs—and anyway, I just didn’t need to.” South Carolina pro Todd Auten finished second with 58-10. Arkansas angler Stetson Blaylock took third with 58-1. The Berkley Big Bass award went to Auten for a 7-9 he caught on Day 1.

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SCADDEN DRAGONFLY XT2

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nglers looking for a two-man raft as versatile as it is portable and functional will have a hard time finding anything that tops Dave Scadden’s Dragonfly XT2. At 10 feet long, 54 inches wide and weighing just 100 pounds, the Dragonfly XT2 can be thrown in the back of a pickup truck, yet it fishes and handles as well as a much bigger boat. It can be set up one person frameless, two-person frameless or decked out to the moon with Dave’s Dragonfly travel frame. It is super lightweight and portable yet offers performance levels never before achieved in the inflatable world. The Dragonfly XT2 is so outrageously tricked out that there are just too many cool gadgets to list. Go to www. davescaddenpaddlesports.com and watch the videos. You’ll see why professional guides around the country are choosing this boat for their river trips. All Dragonfly models are bladderless, miterless and fully rockered with rigid dropstitch technology and removable self-bailing floor systems. They are rated for Class V whitewater, have a 1,500-pound weight capacity and are backed by an exclusive unconditional lifetime warranty.  

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IT'S TIME TO FISH! www.

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ound is critical to a fish’s survival beneath the surface of the water. They rely on sound to signal the presence of prey or warn them of impending danger. Since sound travels five times faster in water than it does in air, it becomes a critical factor in a fish’s daily life. If you have watched fish for any period of time, you know they instinctively become alert to unfamiliar sounds or noise and tend to move away from the source. I watched a scientific experiment with trout in a clear water stream from a concealed tower. As an associate approached the edge of the stream from wooded concealment on the opposite bank, the trout became instantly alert. A few slipped back into protective cover, while the rest became motionless and waited to see what would happen. Every fish within view stopped feeding. Large predators sometimes invade a chum slick simply because they respond to the sound of smaller fish feeding. They can actually hear potential prey as the little guys devour the chum. The sound of other fish feeding will often trigger additional fish to begin feeding. Game fish are intensely aware of the distress vibrations given off by injured or impaired fish and usually are attracted to move in closer. These distress vibrations telegraph the

presence of an easy meal. That’s why a larger predator often attacks a hooked fish as you struggle to land it. Unique in the animal kingdom, the lateral line on either side of a fish is an extremely precise sound-detecting organ. It responds to low frequency sound within relatively short range in a system known as near-field displacement. Anything moving through the water disturbs the molecules and this is detected by neuromasts in the fish’s body. The accuracy of the system is nothing less than amazing. A fish can strike prey it cannot see with incredible accuracy. Negative sounds or noises are equally important. Too many anglers ignore the damage that noises can cause. Once a fish is alerted that something is not right, it seldom will risk striking a bait or lure. A plug landing too close to an oversized shark or a 100-pound tarpon can send that critter scurrying for safety. The noise of an outboard can eliminate fish in a given spot. Racing to reach a spot or to get to breaking Photo by Nick Carter fish as quickly as possible can shut down the activity. And making noise aboard a boat, particularly when it is easily transmitted through the hull has negative effects. The shallower the water, the more damaging noise can be. All it takes is dropping a pair of pliers, sliding a tackle box so it scrapes or making heavy sounds of any type. It pays to live by the rule that silence is golden. If you do, you’ll catch more fish.

For more from Mark Sosin, visit

CAMFISHING.COM

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NOAA CLAMPS DOWN

ON ATLANTIC SNAPPER

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n early March, NOAA Fisheries announced that red snapper season in the South Atlantic, from the Carolinas to Florida, will be a scant three days long with a one-fish per person daily limit… if there is to be a snapper season at all. It’s frustrating news for anglers, who are experiencing a similar situation to what occurred in the Gulf of Mexico prior to states taking control of red snapper management. While anglers and charter captains report plentiful and increasing red snapper catches, federal managers continue clamping down on regulations. And even the three-day season is contingent on a change to regulatory framework, which currently does not allow a season at all if NOAA determines it will be three days or less. According to a release from the South Atlantic Fisheries Management Council (SAFMC), the change that would allow a three-day season is expected to be in place before the 2020 season. Since 2010, recreational anglers have been allowed just 37 days total to harvest red snapper in the South Atlantic. NOAA’s decision on the 2020 season is based on landing estimates from 2019, when a five-day recreational season produced an estimated 49,674 fish and exceeded the annual catch limit. The current annual catch limit is set at 29,656 fish.

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E-Z ANCHOR PULLER PATRIOT SERIES

E

-Z Anchor Puller Mfg. Co. provides a solid, reliable, easy-to-use solution for anchoring. As a leading drum anchor winch manufacturer, our products are a safe, consistent launch and retrieval system for vessels in calm or rough seas. No more trips toward the front of your boat to untangle line and chain: we have a drum anchor winch that provides years of dependability and safety for you and your anchor, from 18-foot all the way up to 55-foot vessels! The Patriot series is especially developed for fiberglass fishing boats in shallow coastal waters. Before purchasing his E-Z Anchor Puller unit, Jarrett Sanchez pulled up a 22-pound anchor and 230 feet of rope and chain onto his 1977, 25’ Mako Center Console all by himself, by hand. Now, he can simply press a button to drop his anchor to the bottom, then simply push “up” for three seconds to ensure his line is nice and tight. Manufactured completely from 316 stainless steel and rated IP68 waterproof submersible, the Patriot series is immune to saltwater environments, whether it’s exposed on the deck or hidden away in the rope locker while you’re out on the water. With three sizes (EZ-1, EZ-2 and EZ-3) in the series, the Patriot is the winch of choice for Florida boaters who own vessels 18 to 35 feet, and can hold between 175 and 325 feet of ⅜-inch line, or 150 to 200 feet of ½-ich line depending on preference and need. The power-up, power-down direct drive button gives boaters more control over deployment and retrieval with an average of 100 feet per minute for deployment and retrieval. Sanchez’s particular unit, the Patriot EZ-2, holds 150 feet of ½-inch line where he boats off of the coast of Treasure Island, Fla. Even though his decision to buy our unit was, “99.9 percent his wife and family,” we think Sanchez is one happy customer, too! No drifting, no tangled lines and one less thing to worry about on the open water. To check out the Patriot series in its entirety, visit our website at ezanchorpuller.com/collections/anchor-winch

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FOULFREE TRANSDUCER COATING

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Enter To Win A VOODOO KAKUKAYAK! The Kaku Voodoo is the ultimate sight casting paddle craft. This Authentic Fishing Paddle Craft has a unique look and performance. Part Kayak, part paddle board, with some micro skiff qualities. “ The Kaku Voodoo is like a Cadillac on the water, comfort and stability combined with all the accessories an angler could want.”

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arine growth on the transducer inhibits the performance your sonar. A fouled transducer reduces sensitivity, bottom-echo returns and positive fish targets. In other words, when the transducer is dirty, you’re not seeing what’s down there. Also, transducers perform best when there’s minimal turbulence over their surface during operation. Consider this next time you’re idling over structure looking for bait and fish. With streamlined water flow over your equipment, you’ll get a better image of what’s below. To solve these performance issues, Propspeed, a leading innovator of underwater coatings, developed a revolutionary foul-release coating designed specifically for transducers. Foulfree is a biocide-free coating that when cured creates a super-slippery surface over the transducer. It prevents marine growth without poisons to keep your transducer clean, streamlined and performing at its peak. One application lasts through an entire year of service and even longer in cooler climates. “Foulfree is an exciting new coating specifically made to enhance the performance of transducers,” said Chris Baird, CEO of Propspeed. “Bringing together our revolutionary product design and working with the experts in transducer functionality from Airmar, we are able to offer boaters around the world a new solution to an age-old problem and improve sonar performance for anglers and cruisers alike.” Foulfree joins Propspeed’s award-winning product line which includes Propspeed an industry-leading foul-release system for propellers and running gear and the groundbreaking transparent foulrelease coating specifically formulated www.oceanmax.com for underwater lights, Lightspeed.

COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM


T

he dawning of the new year has been good to West Virginia anglers who are setting new state records. A monster blue catfish and a big grass carp were certified as state length records by the West Virginia Division of Naturaral Resources, and then the grass carp record was broken again. On Jan. 3, Zachary Adkins, of Cabins, W.Va., caught a 53.1-inch, 59-pound grass carp from Warden Lake, a 44-acre state-managed reservoir in the northeastern corner of the state. Adkins used a large swimbait to catch the fish, which broke the previous length record of 50.75 inches. Then, on Feb. 18, John Miller, of Lost City, W.Va., bested Adkins’ mark with a 54.75-inch, 67.4-pound grass carp, also from Warden Lake. Warden Lake is apparently a hotbed for big carp. The state weight record of 71.69 pounds also came from Warden. It was caught by William Tucker in 2005. On Jan. 11, Justin Conner, of Culloden, W.Va., caught his 49.84-inch, 58.38-pound blue catfish on the Ohio River over on the Ohio border. Conner’s big blue ate a chunk of cut shad. It broke the previous length record of 47.75 inches. Mark Blauvelt still holds the weight record with a 59.74-pound blue catfish caught on the Ohio River in 2016. The IGFA alltackle world record blue catfish weighed 143 pounds. It was caught out of Kerr Lake, Va. in 2011. COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

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Airline_CoastalAnglerAd_3-2016_Layout 1 3/18/16 1:07 PM Page 1

RIDE THE BULL In Grand Isle Louisiana

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he maze of bayous around the mouth of the Mississippi River south of New Orleans holds the best redfish fishing in the world. This unique system of waterways on Louisiana’s Gulf Coast also lays out perfectly for anglers fishing from kayaks. It’s fitting that the world’s largest kayak fishing tournament should be held out of Grand Isle, Louisiana. On Aug. 28-29, Ride the Bull will flood Caminada Pass with hundreds of kayak anglers chasing the event’s heaviest single redfish. It will be the 11th edition of this catch-and-release bull redfish tournament hosted by CCA Louisiana. And whether you’re a competitor or one of the hundreds of spectators, it’s an event you need to see. Because of the tournament’s boundaries within Caminada pass, it is suitable for anglers of all ages and experience levels. The fishing, however, can be pretty serious, with a leaderboard filled by redfish approaching 30 pounds. In addition to the fishing on Saturday, Aug. 29, vendors will be there displaying their wares, and usually there’s live music on Friday night after the captains meeting. Registration opens June 1 and hotel rooms on Grand Isle fill up quickly, so make reservations early. For more information, go to ccalouisiana.com.

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*95602562 * 95602562

*95613146 * 95613146

*95605055 * 95605055

*95605073 * 95605073

LIMIT 1 - Coupon valid through 6/3/20*

LIMIT 1 - Coupon valid through 6/3/20*

LIMIT 1 - Coupon valid through 6/3/20*

LIMIT 3 - Coupon valid through 6/3/20*

COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

*Original coupon only. No use on prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase or without original receipt. Valid through 6/3/20.

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At Harbor Freight Tools, the “Compare to” price means that the specified comparison, which is an item with the same or similar function, was advertised for sale at or above the “Compare to” price by another national retailer in the U.S. within the past 90 days. Prices advertised by others may vary by location. No other meaning of “Compare to” should be implied. For more information, go to HarborFreight.com or see store associate.

3/6/20 4:13 PM


Time to get to your local Suzuki Marine Dealer for the Ultimate Outboard Motors. Buy during our Spring Sales Event and get Suzuki’s 3-Year Limited Warranty plus 3 years of Time to get to your local for the Ultimate Outboard Motors. Extended Protection at noSuzuki extra Marine charge.Dealer There are Instant Savings on select models,Buy and during ourFinancing Spring Sales Event and get Suzuki’s 3-Year Limited Warranty plus 3 years of Low-Rate is also available. Extended Protection atSuzuki no extra charge. There are Instant Savings on select models, and See your participating Marine Low-Rate is also available. dealer for Financing all the details. See your participating Suzuki Marine dealer for all the details.

INSTANT SAVINGS INSTANT SAVE RIGHT NOW ON

SAVINGS INSTANT SAVINGS INSTANT SAVINGS Instant Savings on select models when SELECT SUZUKI OUTBOARDS

SIX YEARS OF PROTECTION SIX YEARS OF PROTECTION 3 Years Limited Warranty + 3 Years Extended Protection, 3 Years Limited Warranty + No extra charge. 3 Years Extended Protection, No extra charge.

SAVE RIGHT NOW ON

REPOWER FINANCE REPOWER Rates as lowFINANCE as 5.99%

SELECT SUZUKI OUTBOARDS

you buy a new Suzuki Outboard. Instant on select models when SeeSavings your dealer for details. you buy a new Suzuki Outboard. See your dealer for details.

on new Suzuki outboards on Rates credit.* as low as approved [605.99% Months] on new Suzuki outboards on approved credit.* [60 Months]

™ ™

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Gimme Six Extended Protection promotion applies to new Suzuki Outboard Motors from 25 to 350 HP in inventory which are sold and delivered to buyer between 04/01/20 and 06/30/20 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. The Gimme Six Promotion is available for pleasure use only, and is not redeemable for cash. Instant Savings applies to qualifying purchases of select Suzuki Outboard Motors made between 04/01/20 and 06/30/20. For list of designated models, Gimme Six Extended Protection promotion applies to new Suzuki Outboard Motors from 25 to 350 HP in inventory which are sold and delivered to buyer between 04/01/20 and 06/30/20 in accordance with 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. There are no model 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. The Gimme Six Promotion is available 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 for pleasure use only, and is not redeemable for cash. Instant Savings applies to qualifying purchases of select Suzuki Outboard Motors made between 04/01/20 and 06/30/20. For list of designated models, 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 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. There are no model terms provided, are based on creditworthiness. $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 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 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 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 authorized Suzuki dealer between 04/01/20 and 06/30/20. “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 terms provided, are based on creditworthiness. $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 read your owner’s manual. © 2020 Suzuki Motor of America, Inc. 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 04/01/20 and 06/30/20. “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. © 2020 Suzuki Motor of America, Inc. NATIONAL APRIL 2020 COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

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Limited Collector’s Edition

Damascus steel forged to throw them for a curve at only $79

F

or centuries, a Damascus steel blade was instantly recognizable and commanded immediate respect. Recognizable because the unique and mysterious smelting process left a one-of-a-kind, rippled texture on the steel, and respected because Damascus steel’s sharp edge and resistance to shattering were the stuff of legend. If you carried Damascus steel, you were ahead of the curve. Today, you can own the legend.

What customers are saying about Stauer knives...

êêêêê “Very hefty, well-built knife and sheath. Extremely goodlooking and utilitarian.” — R., Lacey, Washington Damascus Curva Knife, you’ll be ready to throw a curve of your own. Limited Reserves. Damascus steel blades are a lost art form that only a handful of artisan bladesmiths have mastered. These legendary blades take time to forge and only a few are crafted each month. Don’t let this beauty slip through your fingers. Call today!

BONUS! Call today and you’ll also receive this genuine leather sheath!

The Damascus Curva Knife celebrates those legendary blades. It uses modern Damascus steel, with the same rippled texture pattern on the blade, to create a curved folding knife that’s 7 ½" in total length. With a liner lock mechanism, which allows the knife to be opened and closed using just one hand, and a ergonomic handle made of buffalo horn and colored bone, this $79 knife is a trophy for any hunter or collector.

Your satisfaction is 100% guaranteed. Feel the knife in your hands, wear it on your hip, inspect the impeccable craftsmanship of Damascus steel. If you don’t feel like we cut you a fair deal, send it back within 30 days for a complete refund of the item price. But we believe that once you hold the

“The most common aspects of Damascus steel knives that enthusiasts consider ideal are the aesthetics and high performance.” –– Knife Informer

Damascus Curva Folding Knife $179*

Offer Code Price Only $79 + S&P Save $100

1-800-333-2045

Your Insider Offer Code: CFK280-01 You must use the insider offer code to get our special price.

Stauer

®

14101 Southcross Drive W., Ste 155, Dept. CFK280-01, Burnsville, Minnesota 55337

www.stauer.com

*Discount is only for customers who use the offer code versus the listed original Stauer.com price.

• Damascus steel blade & bolster • Buffalo horn & colored bone handle • Liner lock • Overall length, open : 7 ½" • Includes genuine leather sheath

Stauer… Afford the Extraordinary.®

Rating of A+


Profile for Coastal Angler Magazine

Coastal Angler Magazine | April 2020 | Big Bend Edition    

Coastal Angler Magazine and our interior (freshwater) publication, The Angler Magazine, are monthly editions dedicated to fishing, boating,...

Coastal Angler Magazine | April 2020 | Big Bend Edition    

Coastal Angler Magazine and our interior (freshwater) publication, The Angler Magazine, are monthly editions dedicated to fishing, boating,...