Coastal Angler Magazine | May 2024 | Boston Edition

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My nephew Joseph E. Currier served in the United States Army, 92nd Engineer Battalion of the 3rd Infantry Division as well as the 326th Engineer Battalion & 2nd Strike Brigade Combat Team of the 101st Airborne Division. He survived five combat deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, but was severely wounded on his 3rd tour of duty during a night mission with his unit about 20 clicks south of Samarra in central Iraq.

Continued on Boston page 2



The new Carnage ™ III series rods are constructed from carbon or an e-glass and carbon blend, for an extremely powerful rod that leaves fsh begging. Yet it’s light enough to keep a fisherman going until the battle is won. Spec’d with high-end components like Fuji ® K-Guides, Sea-Guide ® and Fuji ® reel seats, plus a mix of hypalon/rubber shrink tube handles, the new Carnage III rod promises to be as ruthless as the name implies. PENN. LET THE BATTLE BEGIN ™ .

©2022 Pure Fishing, Inc.
SPEND YOUR TIME WHERE IT STANDS STILL ©2023 Yamaha Motor Corporation, USA. All rights reserved. Follow instructional materials and obey all laws. Ride responsibly, wearing protective apparel and USCG-approved personal fotation device. Always ride within your capabilities, allowing time and distance for maneuvering, and respect others around you. Never drink and ride. WaveRunner® is a Yamaha brand personal watercraft and not a generic term. RUN THE WATER ™ // YAMAHAWAVERUNNERS.COM

the importance of boat insurance

Do you love boating? Then you know how fun and relaxing it can be on the open water. But you also know that things can go wrong sometimes, like storms, accidents, theft, or injuries. That’s why boat insurance is so important. Here are some reasons why.

• Boat insurance can help you pay for damage to your boat, or to other boats or docks, up to specifed limits.

• If you borrowed money to buy your boat, your lender may require insurance. And if you want to explore different places, some marinas or waterways may ask you to show proof of insurance.

• Boat insurance can also come in handy if you need an on-water tow, jump start, or fuel delivery with optional Sign & Glide® coverage. And if your boat sinks, boat insurance can pay for the cost of removing it from the water (if removal is legally required).

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Over the last few years, a burgeoning fshery has established the Gulf Stream out of Charleston as a big-time billfsh destination. Te ofshore trolling bite has been very good.

Capt. Mike Able keeps close tabs on the fshery. He and his brother, Graham, run Haddrell’s Point Tackle and Supply, a familyowned hunting and fshing store, which has grown to two locations and a fy shop in the Charleston area since their father, Mike Sr., started the business in 1983.

“Charleston has defnitely been put on the map with the billfshing we’ve had the last several years. It’s really been phenomenal,” Able said. “I mean, look at the Carolina Billfsh Classic. In the CBC last year there were outriggers full of sailfsh fags… we’re talking double-digit stuf. And not just the big boats. I mean, the big boats have an advantage, but guys are catching blue marlin from center consoles, too. You know the fsh are really chewing when the center-console guys are hitting fsh like that.”

Te Carolina Billfsh Classic (CBC) is one leg of the South Carolina Governor’s Cup Billfshing Series. It is held out of Mt. Pleasant each June. Last year, with poor weather

conditions during the one-day shootout, 47 boats released nine blue marlin and 53 sailfsh. Te top boat released four blue marlin. Te second-place boat released seven sailfsh and a blue marlin.

Able said conservation eforts, particularly from the Governor’s Cup, have led to healthier stocks. He also thinks anglers are getting better at fnding and catching billfsh. Te run outside the ledge is still 50 to 55 miles, but these days captains can go straight to potentially productive water. Satellite services make it easy to identify blue water, weed lines, temperature breaks and color changes to make a solid gameplan before leaving the docks. Additionally, technology like Omni Sonar can pinpoint fsh with an efective range of 5,000 feet.

“You could mark a fsh from a half mile away and go over and drop baits,” he said. “It doesn’t mean you can make them bite, but you know they’re in the area.”

Peak season for blue marlin and sailfsh is May and June, but blues will be in the area all summer. Sailfsh can be good into October or November, when wahoo enter the mix heavily. Able said a lot of marlin they catch are 150- to 200-pound “rats,” but they see some 300- to 400-pounders and an occasional 500-pluspound blue marlin. White marlin might also show up in a spread.

One of the perks of trolling out of Charleston in spring is you’ll also likely fll the box with dolphin and blackfin tuna. Capt. Able hung up his charter captain hat a few years back.

Now he fun-fshes with pretty remarkable success for billfsh and meat fsh by pulling a mixed spread with dredges, squid chains and circle-hooked ballyhoo from a ’34 Regulator.

Check out Haddrell’s Point Tackle & Supply at


Instead of going “bottom fshing” this season, I would focus on going “grouper fshing”… at least for gags while the season lasts. You can go ‘bottom fshing” for the next seven months, but let’s put some gags in the boat while the law allows it! Here are some tips to help you bag some gags.

• Having the right bait is a major part of this puzzle. A pinfsh trap in a productive area for just a few hours and an (otter-proof) foating bait pen at the marina are priceless.

• You must anchor up or use the trolling motor in “spot lock” to properly fsh any piece of good bottom.

• When I frst post up on a good-looking mark on the recorder, I have everyone else on the boat fre down whole frozen squid on a jig. At the same time, I use a sabiki to catch whatever baitfsh are available on the structure. Here’s how it works:

1) Te squid might catch a handful “bottom fsh,” and maybe a grouper or two.

2) Most importantly, it sets a nice chum slick on the bottom that attracts the real predators of the structure directly under

your boat, and they will be ready to eat.

3) Afer four or fve volleys of squid, everyone baits up with a beautiful baseball-in-diameter-sized live bait and sends them back down to the bottom together. Tese baits are too big for most bottom fsh to get their mouths around.

4) Now, the grouper appear on the scene, curious about all the noise and the good smell. What do they see? Tey see a pinfsh from the marina or whatever came up on the sabiki. I like to fsh these baits on one of my Crab Decoy Jigs, which makes it look like the bait is struggling in the grasp of a hungry crab or squid. A big grouper, and especially a gag grouper, sees this as a Happy Meal. Tey love crabs, squid and baitfsh, and with this rig they think they’re getting it all in one bite.

5) An added bonus is that this is clean tackle, free of excess hardware, that sends the correct signal to grouper and results in bites.

• Te downside to this style of fshing is it will attract sharks. It’s all fun and games until the man in the gray suit shows up. Ten it becomes hard work. Sharks of all kinds are drawn to struggling snapper.

For more info on the jig, tackle and/or bait, check out Tim Barefoot’s YouTube channel and website at

doc k side SKIP PERS est. 2015

The Hunt of the EIusive

I grew up on the North Shore of Massachusetts and was lucky enough to spend the majority of my summers as a child in York Maine where my grandparents lived. After the seemingly obligatory father-son freshwater fishing trip as a kid which included catching sunfish with nightcrawlers, I was hooked, and my imagination about the type and size of fish that I could catch grew as I grew.

Unlike many of the stories go, my grandfather who resided in York Maine never held a fishing rod in his hand until I brought one to his house. He was a city boy who was a firefighter lieutenant in Charlestown his entire life. We decided to take a try at saltwater fishing. He was happy just spending time with me, and I was happy chasing fish bigger than a bluegill. Many of our late night talks consisted of the few schoolie stripers we had caught from the shore-

line throughout the summer months, talking them up as if they were 35+ pound fish.

A few years before my grandfather passed, my grandparents decided to take me to an old inn restaurant in York Village. During the meal, I got up and searched for the bathroom. While on my way to find it, I walked into a hall. The hall consisted of old black and white pictures, all of which were taken in York during the early 1900’s. I began to examine a few of the photographs, and then I came across one that would change everything for me. It was a picture of two men standing behind a behemoth of a shark. It wasn’t a great white, and it wasn’t a mako. I had never seen anything like it. The picture labeled it as a “porbeagle shark”. That picture stayed engraved in my mind for years, until about 3 years ago when I decided I wanted to hunt that mystifying beast right in York.

As a freshman student athlete in college, I was broke. The idea of buying a small skiff was quickly met with reality. So I had to begin to think outside the box. How could I chase an offshore shark without a boat? What about a row-

boat? No. How crazy would a kayak be?

A month later I found myself in New Hampshire buying an old beat up Hobie Kayak from a man I met through craigslist. Perfect I thought. Now all I had to do was save up for one of those beautiful shiny gold conventional reels I saw on TV. I mowed some lawns and catered during the summer months. That fall I drove up to the Kittery Trading Post and got one of those shiny TV reels, and a Penn Tuna Stick to match. This is it I thought, how cool would this be? That ensuing summer I made my first venture out of the Cape Neddick River and into Maine’s gulf.

After a couple hours of paddling out and an estimated 3 miles of total travel, I quickly realized I was not alone. A seal followed me away, and by the time I decided I had met my limit as to how far out I’d go, I was met with a pack of porpoises. What always seemed like an empty but beautiful blue shimmering ocean from shore, turned out to be another world full of life. I took 3 more trips out into the abyss, dropping whole mackerel over the side of my

kayak with cheap commercial shark rigs I had bought at the local stores. No weights, no chum, no real plan, I was just happy “pursuing” this legend and lore type of adventure. Every time I made my way back to shore after hours of paddling, I found myself smiling every time. I was excited about it, and wanted to tell people, you know, fishermen. My excitement about this was immediately met with criticism. “You’re crazy” one tackle shop owner told me. “It’s a pelagic shark which could not and should not try to be reached by a kayak” another one said. “You’re asking to be killed.” Holding on to any sign of hope, I attended a “Shark Seminar” up in Maine the summer going into my senior year.

After it was over I waited till I was the last person in the room while the “registered Maine fishing guide” was packing up his equipment. He’s passionate about this I thought, maybe he’ll be more open to my idea and have some valuable information for me. I told him my plan, and he belched out laughing. That was the day I decided I was actually going to catch the porbeagle.

Julie Kahn President, Regan


Late country music superstar Toby Keith, outraged by the senseless attacks of September 11, 2001, wrote Courtesy of the Red, White & Blue, a heartfelt song in response to the enormous carnage thrust upon America on that fateful day. The powerful ballad was controversial to some, but replete with patriotic symbols invoking a spirit of national pride that defined the resilience and strength of our country. He had intended to only play Courtesy of the Red,

White & Blue on stage at shows, but after performing in the Pentagon for Afghanistan bound Marines before their deployment, he was encouraged to release it as a single by General James L. Jones, Commandant of the Marine Corps. Those who agree that our nation must stand up to terrorism are indeed fortunate that the leadership skills of General Jones included his ability to be influential, so that now everyone can forever hear Toby Keith sing

that the United States doesn’t back down!

An accomplished recreational fisherman who wet a line whenever possible, Keith even owned a bait & tackle company. He performed for our troops in 17 different countries as reported in the Military. com by Blake Stilwell, where grateful audiences expressed their overwhelming appreciation to the former semi-pro defensive end. The gifted stage performer would eventually be nominated for 7 Grammy Awards with numerous albums as well as multiple number 1 singles to his credit! The legendary recording artist played to sold out arenas everywhere as fans fell in love with the genuine, relatable lyrics of his down to earth anthems.

From Courtesy of the Red, White & Blue by Toby Keith:

Hey, Uncle Sam put your name at the top of his list,

And the Statue of Liberty started shaking her fist.

And the eagle will fly and it's gonna be hell, When you hear Mother Freedom start ringing her bell.

And it'll feel like the whole wide world is raining down on you.

Ah, brought to you, courtesy of the red, white and blue.

My nephew Joseph E. Currier served in the United States Army, 92nd Engineer Battalion of the 3rd Infantry Division as well as the 326th Engineer Battalion & 2nd Strike Brigade Combat Team of the 101st Airborne Division. He survived five combat deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, but was severely wounded on his 3rd tour of duty during a night mission with his unit about 20 clicks south of Samarra in central


(Continued from Page 2)

Iraq. Sergeant First Class Currier was in the lead vehicle of a northbound convoy out of Balad Airbase, dubbed “Mortaritaville” by soldiers who were subjected to the perilous incoming munitions fire. On their way to meet up with a tank squadron, they hit a black crush wire laid across the well-travelled highway, activating a 130mm high explosive artillery shell embedded in the ground. The IED exploded into the Hummer causing serious multiple shrapnel wounds mostly to Joe’s face, stomach and left foot. The valiant son of my wife’s brother was medevac’d to Germany, transferred to Walter Reed Hospital and completed rehab at his home base of Fort Stewart, Georgia. He is now fully recovered, but still carrying a load of shrapnel in his abdomen as a reminder of his participation in Operation Iraqui Freedom.

When word broke that Toby Keith had lost his courageous battle with cancer it caused me to reminisce about the beautiful songs written and performed by the iconic entertainer. Courtesy of the Red, White & Blue and American Soldier made me think of my nephew and other brave patriots so I wanted to be sure that Joe had heard them. The seasoned Massachusetts combat veteran immediately confirmed that not only was he familiar with the hit records, but that he had actually heard them live three times when Toby Keith played for our military in active war zones!

Joe saw many famous celebrities while serving our country overseas. Some performers would insist on extra protection from enemy fire for safety and insurance purposes which would limit the number of soldiers able to view the show, but not

Toby Keith! The gutsy guitarist got up on a tank trailer at Camp Liberty in the middle of the vast desert on the outskirts of Baghdad and played for our dedicated warriors until incoming mortar rounds temporarily stopped the concert. No doubt the event brought the troops a sense of appreciation for their sacrifice, grateful for much-needed relief from the monotony of life in the dangerous barren wasteland of the Sunni Triangle.

A large contingent of our armed forces were happy to greet Keith in Kandahar, Afghanistan where he performed until enemy rockets forced everyone into a bunker. The fearless philanthropist signed autographs until reappearing onstage, continuing to play after exclaiming, “Missed me Taliban!”

to honor those who have made the supreme sacrifice so that we may continue living freely in the greatest country on the face of the earth. As we pay homage to those fallen heroes let us also remember Toby Keith - a talented singer and brilliant wordsmith who came out of the bustling oil fields of Oklahoma with songs in his head and a guitar in his hand, changing the world for the better through his music while inspiring a generation of uniformed guardians of democracy who continuously risk their lives to defend our freedom.

Memorial Day is a time of remembrance

Doherty is a retired Massachusetts District Court Clerk-Magistrate and the author of SEVEN MILES AFTER SUNDOWN and LAUGHS, LIES & AMERICAN JUSTICE. He had surf cast the east end of the Cape Cod Canal so often that other anglers started calling him East End Eddie, thus a nickname became a pen name.

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Maine Camp and Fish Adventures

Spring is in the Air… as we experience longer amounts of daylight along with the annual rituals in Maine. The return of the Turkey Vultures, Woodcock, Canada Geese and Spawning Smelt gives us outdoor folks the itch to get outside and camp on a fishing trip! Fishing and camping go together like peanut butter and jelly so why not learn how to camp “safely with comfort” and get the most out of your fishing adventure. Camping can mean many different things to many different people. So for all practical purposes we will talk about being prepared in a simple fashion. Some of best fishing spots are just not found in an RV park!!! This time of year is a great time to think about your gear and equipment list!

I like to prepare a must have list so when the opportunity comes to do a trip we can be prepared.

Here is a sample list of things to think about….

Shelter, sleeping bag, ground pad, and rope.

LED lights with extra batteries

Breathable clothes worn in layers

Shoes/Boots – Breathable, waterproof, warm with extra socks. (Polypropylene and Wool socks)

First Aid kit with Space Blanket

Personal Essential Effects –LED Head Light, toiletries, sun - glasses, deet free non-toxic bug spray, bio-degrad-

able-soap, sunscreen etc…

Food – dehydrated, dry foods, snickers bars, trail mix

Water – Nalgene bottle with Purification system (filter pump/tablets)

Spare Prescriptions – eyeglasses, medication if applicable.

Map of your area, GPS and compass, GPS tracking device, flagging tape and survival knife.

Storm proof matches with tinder (Cotton balls covered in petroleum jelly)

Shelters…can be as basic as a tarp. Setting up a properly constructed tarp on an uphill side of a clearing near water will do the trick! Tents come in every shape, size, and color. So were do we start? Canvas or synthetic are two options to consider before we purchase. For most people camping on weekends and vacations, a light, waterproof, breathable synthetic tent will do just fine. The outfitter or outdoorsman who will have extended stays in the woods will sometimes choose a canvas tent. They can have all the benefits of a synthetic tent with a bit more room and a few more options such as a wood stove, or dining table. Whatever tent you choose be sure to take care of it per manufacturer instructions and never store a tent wet for long periods of time. Any shelter you would choose should be accompanied by a ground cover.

Sleeping Bags…come in all kinds of sizes, colors and material. In my 30 years of experience camping in the woods I have had most types so I would feel confident in recommending a synthetic over a natural material such as down. Down is great for warmth but heavy and hard to dry out when camping. I have found a good synthetic bag that is well built and fits your preferred style and body size to be best. They are generally relatively light, easy to dry, and warm. Tip* - Use a natural deet free bug spray to prevent sleeping bag contamination.

Cooking…can be done by several methods being more on traditional side or state – ofthe art. A campfire is great as long it’s in a permitted area with a permit and conditions are ok. Just because you can does not mean you should. A great option and is good almost anywhere are compact stoves which can fueled by liquid gas, propane, butane, or bio mass fuel. My personal favorite is a bio mass gasification stove as seen in the photo. As always depending on the application, will dictate your stove type. Cookware comes in all kinds of options as well. Aluminum, steel, and cast-iron are a few types of camping cookware. A personal favorite is a traditional cast iron pan, but is a heavy option. It’s Great for base camp, or truck camping when on a fishing adventure.

Here are a few cast iron basics…

New Cast Iron needs to be seasoned at 350 def. with a solid based vegetable shortening like Crisco. The more times the better!

Never clean a cast iron pan with soap and water, use kosher salt to take food deposits off and wipe entire pan in and

out with vegetable oil or equivalent to maintain and build a non-stick surface.

Use steel wool to take off rust. Do not clean cast iron when it hot, the pan should be cool. When cast iron is warm or hot, the pours are open and vulnerable to moisture.

Regularly lubricate your cast iron when the cast iron is warm.

Cast Iron stays clean because you are cooking, heating to 500 degrees and is killing all bacteria.

Store in a dry place when not in use.

For my remote wilderness fishing trips my all time favorite is a single stainless mountain mug with a wire handle. I can heat and eat soup, beans or even dehydrated foods with out burning your hands! This is a truly all in one light - weight option for cooking on the fishing trail.

Camping Tools... are essential for a successful wilderness outing. On top of our list are our Dexter knives! We use knives for everything from filleting fish, dressing game, and setting up our camp with tents, tarps and rope! We are covered from the S-151 Utility knife to the UR-Cut flexible fillet knife!

Our cooking tools are as essential as the food itself! Well, not really but you get the point! The Dexter 19810 traditional fish turner does a great job cooking our fish while our Dexter Russell P3A-PCP Sani-Safe 2 3/4" Pizza Cutter cuts our fireside baked pizza! I’m getting hungry thinking about all the past cooking on our camping adventures! We are looking forward to up and coming outdoor adventures filled with delicious food and camp fire reminiscing of a day’s afield in Maine’s wilderness.


Plum Island Surfcasters

Club Meeting:

Plum Island Surfcasters club meeting on May 21, 2024: Skip Montello will present

Let’s Go Catching! -- Merrimack River and Plum Island

Check our website ( for more details on upcoming events.

Salisbury, MA Senior Center (behind the fire station), 43 Lafayette Rd (Route 1), Salisbury, MA 01952.

Meetings at 6:45 pm | Fishing seminar at 8:00 pm

Free for all club members. $5 admission for Non-members

Now Hiring Now Hiring For more details
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JOB TYPE: PART-TIME REQUIRED EXPERIENCE: FISHING & SALES Coastal Angler Magazine, Boston, a company of Regan Communications Group, has an immediate opening for a Sales Representative for our Boston location. RESPONSIBILITIES: • Selling all advertising (both print and web) • Directing content development (for print, website and social media) • Procuring and editing copy from 5-8 writers monthly • Managing the layout and collaborating on graphic design • Creating concept and copy for print ads • Delivering and managing the distribution of 10,000 copies monthly
Maintaining all vendor/client relationships REQUIREMENTS:
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contact: 617-488-2842 Sales Representative Coastal Angler Magazine, Boston

Out Here

The fight for an unforgettable catch begins here, where 100,000 square miles of deep blue waters play home to speedy blue marlin and wahoo, massive tuna and brawny mahi mahi. Deep sea fishing in The Out Islands is a battle of wits, a test of perseverance, and a chance to prove your angler’s instinct. See what could be waiting on the other side of your line.


Summer Fsing ALASKA’S


is true for human visitors, too. Te summertime fshing in Alaska can be astoundingly good.

Imagine awe-inspiring natural landscapes cascading into a sea teeming with marine life. I’ve lived and fshed in Fiji, Te Bahamas, Hawaii and Florida. Tey are all spectacular, but there’s nothing like an Alaskan summer.

My own journey to Alaska began as a young man when I dreamed of one day fshing there. Like most young adults, I strived to get good grades and work jobs to pay bills and tuition. I took the mainstream approach of university studies. Shortly afer graduation, I obtained a position with a fnancial frm. I loved the work; I hated the monotony of a nine-to-fve work life. Afer a year and a half, I called it quits and fed to Alaska with no contacts or the faintest idea of what it would be like. It’s now been 12 years, and I still call Alaska home for the summer fshing season.

I operate Ketchikan’s Finest Fishing Charters. My fshing partner, Jake Smith, and I consider ourselves lucky for the opportunity to provide topfight experiences for clients every day.

Te prime fshing season in Ketchikan is May through September, and we provide customized charters for any group, regardless of age or experience. You can expect to catch halibut, salmon, rockfsh, cod and even Dungeness crab. We ofer full-day and multi-day packages, with daily catches aggregating over hundreds of pounds. In addition, we ofer cruise ship charters for salmon and halibut to ft each visitor’s port times. With pick-up and drop-of from downtown ports, it’s the best way to fsh during an Alaskan cruise.

John Muir, the famous naturalist, wrote that you should never go to Alaska as a young man because you’ll never be satisfed with any other place as long as you live. From frst-hand experience, I believe this to be true.

Alaska still holds riches beyond one’s wildest dreams. Hundreds of millions of salmon food into their native streams and rivers to spawn each year. Giant barn-door halibut scour the deep seas. Humpback whales migrate thousands of miles to feast on Alaska’s annual summer bounty. Eagles, bears and other wildlife abound and celebrate summer, when it’s a feast for all. Tis

Imagine riding to the richest Alaskan fshing grounds with humpback whales breaching on the horizon. Eagles soar overhead and swoop to pluck salmon from the sea. Te fshing is insane, with massive halibut and lightsout salmon fshing. It’s sensory overload in a good way, and an experience that should be at the top of everyone’s bucket list.

If planning a fshing trip in Alaska seems daunting, know that modernday Alaska is accessible to all. Tere’s no need for foat planes or dog sleds. Ketchikan is a two-hour plain ride from Seattle in a commercial airliner that touches down in a modern airport. From there, everything is at your fngertips.

Check out Ketchikan’s Finest Fishing Charters at Contact them (907) 617-4717 or e-mail


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Outfit Yourself to Kayak Fish

Dodging busy boat ramps, launching from dirt roads, exploring small creeks and hidden pockets to sight fsh big fsh in skinny water… these are the reasons Skye Burkhardt prefers to fsh from a kayak. On her home waters of Florida’s storied Mosquito Lagoon, snook, tarpon and redfsh are favorite targets, and stalking into casting range with artifcial lures is as close to big-game hunting as fshing gets.

Skye guides kayak-fshing trips through Yellow Dawg Bait & Tackle in Ormond Beach, Fla. She said she feels most at home and closest to nature in a kayak and enjoys teaching anglers as much as she does putting people on fsh.

With that in mind, she said most folks have questions about gear. Here are some things to think about when outftting yourself to kayak fsh:

KAYAK: “Do as much research as possible. Read reviews, compare brands and gather knowledge of the features and specs before making a purchase,” she said. “Watch YouTube videos, read reviews for insight from other anglers who fsh and paddle similar waters and target the same species the same way you do.”

Wide, short kayaks are more stable and maneuver better in tight spaces. Tese are advantages for standing to fsh and weaving through tight backwaters. On the other hand, paddling across a bay against wind and current is easier in a long, narrow kayak, which is faster and tracks better.

Consider the waters you’ll fsh. Buy the boat that best suits your needs.

PROPULSION: Peddle-drive boats are awesome, especially for covering lots of water and having your hands free to fsh. Tey’re also more expensive and less capable in extremely skinny water. Most have retractable rudders or propellers for zero additional draf, but this can clutter the deck. You’ll want to carry a paddle with you, anyway, both for maneuvering in the shallows and for redundancy.

Paddle-powered kayaks are simpler and generally less expensive, but you’ll

need stamina and arm strength to cover water. A traditional paddle-powered boat is likely better on shallow fats and backwaters, and it’s worth investing in a decent paddle.

ANCHORS: A stake-out pole is handy for stealthy anchoring in shallow water. If you’re fshing deeper, a lightweight anchor with folding fukes to dig into the sand is another good option. Either way, you’ll want something to keep your boat in place when you pull up on a school of fsh.

SAFETY: Tis list will vary depending on where you’re fshing, but here are some items to consider: a PFD—the infatable ones are more comfortable to wear; a knife attached to you to cut free from entanglement; Signaling devices such as lights, beacons, mirrors and whistles; a frst-aid kit will keep you on the water in the event of minor injuries.

Book a kayak adventure with Skye Burkhardt at yellowdawg Enter to win a free guided trip and a kayak fshing package at Follow Skye on social @brassyangler87.


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for Bottom-Feeding Redfsh LOCATE MUD BOILS

This has been my theme for the year, and I can’t stress enough how important it is to be aware of your surroundings. Years ago, when I was in my early 20s, a good friend of mine told me about a guide his friends had fshed with. He said this guide could see fsh where everyone else only sees water.

Naturally, I had to experience this for myself. A few buddies and I booked a trip with Capt. Blaine and witnessed this phenomenon for

ourselves. We were drifing in an open area near a river mouth in 10 feet of water. Te captain yelled, “there they are!” and hurriedly encouraged us to reel in our lines before heading full throttle toward the middle of the bay. We all looked at each other, “What did he see?” We still didn’t see anything, no disturbed water, no bait jumping, no diving birds. Ten he said, “Cast over there!” and we all three hooked up on big redfsh before our sof plastics reached the bottom.

What he saw were mud boils. Understanding and learning how to interpret these is something that took me a long time to master in deep water. Tese schools of reds were feeding 10 feet below the surface, and they were stirring up the bottom. As the silt rose to the surface, it gave away their location.

Fishing mud boils on shallow fats is a little easier to master because of the water depth. If you are fortunate to see a small boil and cast to it, the fsh will still be in the immediate area. While fshing mud boils in deep open bays, the boil is typically larger by the time it reaches the surface, and you need to determine which direction the fsh are moving. In this scenario, you could easily cast behind the school and not get a bite. Understanding the wind and tide and assessing the shape of the boil are all critical skills to master. A quality pair of polarized sunglasses is also a must.

Many lures can be deployed under these conditions, and I feel sof plastics are the most efective. Having a lure that can efortlessly bounce on the bottom will produce more strikes because that is where the fsh is feeding, hence the mud boil created by that activity.

Go to my YouTube channel or check out this month’s Te Angler Video Magazine for a video of me fshing mud boils on a shallow fat. Te video will show this situation and greatly complement the article. As always, take a kid fshing and begin to teach them how to read the water.

Capt. Michael Okruhlik is the inventor of Knockin Tail Lures® and the owner of

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The year is 2024, and technology is getting better and better. Whether it be the retail tech business or the fshing industry, there are tools now available that a few years ago we would have never thought were even possible. One of those technologies is forward-facing sonar (FFS). Tere’s a lot of debate about FFS in the fshing these days, but there’s no denying it’s an amazing tool when used correctly.

I have been using this technology since its earliest stages, and catching fsh while looking at my screens has become one of my favorite ways to fsh. It is extremely cool to watch a fsh eat your lure in real time, and it can also teach you a tremendous amount about what is happening under the water. Not only do I use this tech to fnd and catch fsh, I use it to pinpoint bait and areas with life, fnd sweet spots and diferentiations in an area, and eliminate dead water much faster ever before.

Figuring out how to use this new technology can be a little frustrating at frst if you don’t quite understand what’s going on. Spending time on the water, doing as much research as possible or getting someone experienced to teach you are the best ways to get an upper

hand. Fishing lakes where catching fsh isn’t very hard in general helped

me tremendously with deciphering what I saw using FFS. Smallmouth fshing in the north country was a big helper, as these fsh are aggressive and you get many opportunities to present baits and dial in your skills.

Another thing that helps you understand the picture on your screen is objects that are visible above the water. Point your transducer at a bridge, dock, tree or grass, and picture in your head what should be under the water while also watching your screen. Tis will help beginners dial in settings and get a better understanding of what is displayed. It takes time, patience and dedication to learn, but don’t get frustrated and try to have fun with it.

Tere are varied opinions on forwardfacing sonar and its place in the fshing industry, but it isn’t going away, it will only get better! Some of the coolest things I’ve witnessed and some of my best fshing days were due to the electronics on my boat.

Spending the time to learn how to use FFS is well worth the efort. Te technology is dominating pretty much every tournament right now, and it absolutely revolutionized the way I break down a body of water.

Tere are many resources out there to help you in your learning process and people like me who are always willing to answer questions. Don’t be afraid to reach out, tight lines!

Tyler Woolcott is a professional tournament angler and guide. Check out his website at



It’s well known that some of the best kingfsh fshing starts with a livewell full of frisky baits. Unfortunately, catching them can eat up much of your fshing time. Afer that, it can be hours of bump trolling waiting for a fsh to hit. Fortunately, for those who just want to head out for a couple hours of fun and blistering runs, it can be accomplished with artifcials. Besides getting you straight to the fshing, you can cover a lot more ground by pulling hardware, and it is not nearly as tedious.

Like using live bait, wire leader is crucial. Kingfsh have razor sharp teeth that will go through even stout mono with little efort. I prefer single-strand wire and usually opt for at least #7 (80-lb.). Single strand tends to kink afer just one fsh, but that’s not always a problem when pulling big plugs, as they will pull the wire straight. Also, watch your split rings. Tey can weaken the loop where it attaches to the lure, so be sure to constantly inspect your connections. I like to cover many diferent depths in the water column when trolling. I

start with a shallow runner like the Nomad 190 AT that runs 3 to 5 feet deep, which I set way back. I also like the Nomad Madmacs that run just slightly deeper. I run it 30 to 50 feet in front of my shallow long-bait to facilitate turning. Ten I like to go deeper with a DTX Minnow 165. I run that close to the boat and right under the prop wash. Tis is hands down my most productive bait. I fnd speeds of 6 to 8 knots usually work well. Tis allows me to cover a lot of ground and is fast enough to elicit a strike. I ofen fnd any slower and the fsh don’t seem interested. Te other great thing about these lures is the hooks are very large, and they stick once they make contact.

When you’re trolling the deeper-diving DTX 165s, you will need a reel with some signifcant drag, as these big-lipped plugs take a lot to hold in place. Te Accurate BV600, with its dual drag system, is a great reel for the job. Te BV X76H matches perfectly with it and is a great multi-duty trolling rig that doubles as an awesome grouper rod. Even though you don’t need a super-light tip, like with live bait, a rod that gives is a plus with these sof-mouthed fsh.

As for spots, look for hard bottom that holds bait. Wrecks and reefs are great, too. It sometimes pays to make wider circles around these structures to get away from the barracudas.

With a few lures and some know-how, you can easily head out and catch some kings without dedicating an entire day to your eforts.

The Return of a

Will Schmidt is a seasoned tournament anglers who has been writing about fshing for more than three decades.

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