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EDITOR : Nick Carter • editorial@coastalanglermagazine.com WEBMASTER : Dmitriy Pislyagin • webmaster@coastalanglermagazine.com ADVERTISING INQUIRIES: Corporate Headquarters info@coastalanglermagazine.com • 888-800-9794 BIG BEND : Mike McNamara • (850) 510-7919 • captmike@coastalanglermagazine.com BREVARD : David String • (321) 684-5888 • dstring@coastalanglermagazine.com DAYTONA/NEW SMYRNA BEACH : Don Meadows • (407) 960-2340 • donm@coastalanglermagazine.com FLORIDA KEYS : Ed Gocher • (305) 587-9101 • ed@coastalanglermagazine.com FORT LAUDERDALE : Gene Dyer • (954) 680-3900 • gene@coastalanglermagazine.com FORT MYERS : Nadeen Welch • (239) 595-8265 • nwelch@coastalanglermagazine.com GREATER MIAMI : Scott Deal • (561) 945-6999 • scott@coastalanglermagazine.com Monica Isaza-Deal • (561) 945-8899 • monica@coastalanglermagazine.com GREATER ORLANDO : Phillip & Giselle Wolf • (407) 790-9515 • phillip@coastalanglermagazine.com LAKELAND & SUMTER : Mary Flaitz • (352) 598-4219 • maryf@coastalanglermagazine.com NAPLES : Mike Weber • (414) 531-4172 • mikew@coastalanglermagazine.com NC FLORIDA/NATURE COAST : Cary & Lynn Crutchfield • (352) 372-4237 • crutch@coastalanglermagazine.com NE FLORIDA : Danny Patrick • (904) 742-4696 • danny@coastalanglermagazine.com OKEECHOBEE : Ken Gabryel • (863) 532-3671 • keng@coastalanglermagazine.com PANAMA CITY/FORGOTTEN COAST : Randy Cnota • (229) 834-7880 • randyc@coastalanglermagazine.com PALM BEACH COUNTY : Barbara Ryan • (561) 373-8040 • barbara@coastalanglermagazine.com SARASOTA : Phil Prevoir • (239) 257-4684 • pprevoir@coastalanglermagazine.com TAMPA BAY : Chuck Atkins • (239) 464-5153 • chuck@coastalanglermagazine.com TREASURE COAST : Misti & Gary Guertin • (772) 285-6850 • treasurecoast@coastalanglermagazine.com flahama@coastalanglermagazine.com

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Catching Winter Cobia In The Keys By John Steinhorst

F

ebruary through April offers some of the most productive fishing of the year in the Florida Keys. An amazing variety of migratory fish species travel to the Keys as cold water temperatures push them south in the Gulf of Mexico and on the east coast. The most convenient place to base a Keys fishing adventure is directly out of Marathon, which comfortably rests in the middle of this tropical island chain. Marathon encompasses a unique collection of islands, creating the ideal boating and family destination with access to both ocean and gulf waters but far enough from the crowded streets of Key West. Capt. Chris Morrison, a 20-year Keys veteran who guides out of Marathon, enjoys hooking excited anglers up with these hungry migrating species, which include record-breaking cobia, king and Spanish mackerel, trophy sailfish and several species of jacks. Versatility is the name of the game, and options are abundant. Most often the best plan is to just decide where you want to fish, from the immense Gulf or blue ocean waters to the many reefs and wrecks surrounding the islands. Then be ready for anything when you get there. There are several techniques that work for each species, and Morrison utilizes a wide variety to keep his 8

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Temple Fork Outfitters’ Gary Loomis Inshore boat, although cobia sometimes swim with bull sharks and rays. Start drifting live shrimp back Series rods bending and his clients smiling. Live bait and jigs are most productive to with light monofilament leader and small hooks, ensure positive results. Pinfish and live shrimp and you are bound to get action from one of are among the easiest to obtain, since most local several species of snapper. If you start getting bit bait shops carry them. Deep jigs, such as butterfly off clean, add a piece of leader wire and you will types, and ¼- to 1-ounce bucktails are essential likely get hooked into a cero or king mackerel. to carry in your arsenal. For catching cobia, If you decide to fish the bay or gulf side of the present the pinfish on ocean-side wrecks and Keys island chain, you might want to anchor reefs as well as Gulf waters from 15 to 100 feet in 10 to 15 feet of water and hang that chum using the same rig for grouper down deep. Limit bag for landing Spanish mackerel. Head out to is one per person with a 33-inch size minimum. deeper Gulf waters and expect more cobia, king On sunny days, Morrison likes to spot cobia mackerel, and goliath and gag grouper. The with his polarized sunglasses from the tower of wintertime fishing action in the Florida Keys will his SeaVee boat above the reef line or in blue be sure to heat up your reel. If you need an expert light-tackle fishing water when a color change edge is present. When you see a cobia on the surface, cast the bait in guide, Capt. Chris Morrison has guided anglers front with no weight and at least 60-pound to more than 100 world records and received monofilament leader. Wire is usually necessary a Lifetime Achievement Award from the on your jigs as king, Spanish, and cero mackerel International Game Fishing Association. Visit are numerous throughout these prime fishing www.captchris.com for more info. grounds. John Steinhorst has contributed to many If you do not have a guide, the reef line on the ocean side from 25 to 40 feet is a good place publications during the last 20 years and can to start. Anchor and hang a chum bag over the be contacted at www.JohnSteinhorst.wix.com/ IslandMedia. side with ground-up frozen baitfish. Chum brings the For more Cobia fishing in the Keys, go to party to the back of your COASTALANGLERSALTWATER.COM

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Captain Fantastic.

How have so many of Marathon’s light-tackle guides achieved super-hero status? Because whether it’s tailers in the shallows, migrating tarpon out front or snook and redfish out back, our professional captains come to the rescue by putting you onto some amazing angling action. fla-keys.com/marathon 1.800.262.7284 COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

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RodsandReels Product Review AVET REELS SXJ 6/4 RAPTOR Since 1999, Avet Reels has been bringing to the market revolutionary reel designs that set the standard for performance. Their innovative SXJ 6/4 Raptor lever drag casting reel features Avet’s patented dual carbon fiber drag system, which produces twice the drag of the original Avet reels. The powerful system features adjustable strike pre-set and a strike stop button to prevent accidental advancement. The reel’s one-piece frame is precision machined 6061 T-6 marine grade aluminum with stainless steel components and is anodized for superior corrosion resistance. An offset machined handle arm reduces center-line profile and cranking wobble and is capped with a comfortable soft-touch handle knob. The two-speed transmission has a user-friendly shifting mechanism. Avet’s silent dog and gear anti-reverse system and M.C. Cast adjustable magnetic anti-backlash cast control system, both patented, are some of the most innovative and reliable in the industry. The SXJ 6/4 Raptor has nine stainless ball bearings, an alarm clicker and a light, narrow spool designed for optimal jig casting efficiency and less line leveling on the retrieve. It’s proudly made in the U.S.A.

CANYON REELS EX-80 TWO SPEED TROLLING REEL In case you hadn’t heard, Canyon Reels has redesigned its powerful EX-80 Two Speed Trolling Reel to give anglers the edge when pulling spreads for huge fish. The original EX-80 was extensively tested and matched up very well against the giants off the Northeast coast. When the captains made suggestions, Canyon listened, and the result is an even better EX-80, which features multiple upgrades that make it smoother, and easier to use. The EX-80 is a monster reel. It boasts a max drag of 105 pounds at strike and more than 155 pounds at full drag. A pre-set feature allows for accurate drag settings with an easy one-touch shifter. Upgrades include additional harness lugs that provide better balance control, an all new double drag system for drag runs that are even smoother than the original, and an oversized T-bar handle for additional cranking power. Several other improvements have also been made to increase the durability of this already remarkable reel. The end result is an incredibly smooth and user-friendly reel with the power to stop any fish in the ocean.

WWW.AVETREELS.NET

WWW.CANYONREELS.COM

ENIGMA HPT TITANIUM CASTING RODS

JP ROSS BEAVER MEADOW

Enigma Fishing is raising the bar on performance, while lowering the price point. Every aspect of their HPT Titanium Casting Rods were designed with extreme attention to detail. These high-performance tournament level rods are designed with premium, ultra-light Japanese Toray Carbon proprietary blend blanks. The HPT rods were designed and tested with input from professional anglers such as three-time Bassmaster Elite Series Angler of the Year, Aaron Martens. Enigma Fishing has customized and precision balanced each individual HPT rod to be ultra functional, exceptionally beautiful and tailored to exacting actions and specifications demanded by today’s tournament anglers. All rods feature premium American Tackle components, including the multiaward winning MicroWave Line Control System, which increases casting distance and accuracy. The blank-through reel seats offer finger-to-blank contact for unparalleled sensitivity and incredible ergonomics and palmable comfort, while further reducing weight as well. Premium cork grips balance out each rod perfectly! Enigma Fishing’s new HPT series features a sleek black rod blank, cork handles, stylish purple wraps and chrome accents. Delivering technique-specific performance second-to-none, the all-new HPT series raises the bar for all others!

WWW.ENIGMAFISHING.COM

MUD HOLE TURNKEY INSHORE ROD KIT

The JP Ross Beaver Meadow is a fly rod meticulously designed to fish the beaver dams and plunge pools of small trout streams where an 11-inch fish is a trophy. That’s not to say this rod can’t handle an 18-inch brown on big water, but blue lines are where it shines. It is a short, sensitive rod with the feel needed for the gentlest of nibbles but enough power to reach out 50-plus feet with a hopper-dropper rig. The Beaver Meadow is available in a 5’ 2/3-weight, two-piece and a 6’6” 2/3-weight four-piece for fishing small streams with wet flies and dry flies. The 6’6” also has the ability to cast medium weighted streamers. The 7’6” 4-weight four-piece, the 7’9” 3-weight fourPhoto by Draper White piece, and the 8’0” 5-weight four-piece all have the shorter length required for tight quarters but the backbone to land larger fish and cast streamers and multi-fly rigs. JP Ross rods are custom-made by hand in Upstate New York. Each rod is made to order, so the details are exquisite, and components can be customized from the grip and reel seat to the guides and thread color. The Technology used to achieve this awesome balance of sensitivity and power is breakthrough technology, the joining of carbon fiber and fiberglass that JP Ross calls Carbon Silica Hybrid interface. It makes a beautiful casting and wonderfully sensitive rod.

WWW.JPROSSFLYRODS.COM

Mud Hole Custom Tackle is offering amazing value with its inshore fishing rod building kit. This turnkey kit includes everything you need to build your own custom inshore trout and redfish fishing rod. The kit features the extremely popular and versatile SJ842 rod blank. This 7’0” medium-light power rod features a fast action for throwing soft plastics and topwater lures at wary flats fish. Along with the blank, the kit includes a matched guide set, handle kit and everything from the CRB Wrapper, a CRB rod dryer and ProPaste and ProKote Rod Finish along with all the tools needed to build your own custom rod. This is a great set for the avid fisherman who wants to take his or her fishing to the next level. To get started custom building your own high quality rod, visit www.mudhole.com and check out all our Turn Key Kit options or simply Google: Mud Hole Turnkey.

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RodsandReels Product Review OKUMA KOMODO SS BAITCAST REELS

The original Komodo 350 size baitcast reel has been the recipient of tremendous accolades. It is considered an extremely tough reel and an excellent value. For 2017, the Komodo family welcomes the Komodo SS, featuring a new 450 size and stainless steel drive system. The Komodo SS is built around a heavy-duty stainless steel main gear, pinion gear, drive shaft and spool shaft to deliver an internal foundation of unrelenting strength and corrosion-resistance. Komodo SS reels use rigid, machined aluminum frame and spool, aluminum side plates, high-output Carbonite drag system capable of a maximum drag output of 30 pounds, and updated 6-pin Velocity Cast Control System. Performance features include six or seven (depending upon size) stainless steel High Performance Bearings, plus roller bearing, for outstanding corrosionresistance. The synchronized level-wind system does not disengage for casting, which allows it to maintain alignment at all times and eliminated drag pressure spikes when using braided lines. Bait clickers are standard on all models. The Komodo SS series includes two sizes, 350 and 450. The 350 size includes a 6.4:1 gear ratio and maximum drag output of 25 pounds. There are four models in the 350 size. The 450-size Komodo is available in a 6.3:1 gear ratio and a hyperfast 7.1:1 ratio. Komodo SS series baitcast reels are covered by the Okuma 3-Year Limited Warranty.

WWW.OKUMAFISHING.COM

UGLY STIK BIGWATER SERIES Ugly Stik has refreshed its iconic Bigwater series with all-new Ugly Tuff saltwater guides and an updated look. Beginning with Ugly Tech construction, the Bigwater series maintains the toughness for which all Ugly Stiks are known. One-piece Ugly Tuff stainless steel guides eliminate insert pop-outs and provide durability and corrosion resistance for those harsh saltwater applications. The Bigwater series retains the traditional Ugly Stik Clear Tip design for more strength at the tip of the rod. Comfortable EVA handles and conventional reel seats give anglers a non-slip, comfortable grip no matter the conditions. The fly, standup, downrigger/dipsy diver, surf, spinning and casting models have also been upgraded to include a standard seven-year limited warranty. Four Bigwater spinning combos and two trolling combos for downrigger applications are also available. The combos feature a graphite spinning reel, available in sizes 50, 60 and 70, and have a durable aluminum spool. The reel featured on the Bigwater downrigger combos is a size 30 line counter round reel with a metal handle and power knob.

PENN SLAMMER III The Penn Slammer III, which won Best of Show in the saltwater reel category at iCast 2016, is the reintroduction of the heavy-duty reel that has become trusted by charter captains around the world. Slammer III reels feature a new IPX6 Sealed System, which keeps water out of the gear box and drag system in heavy spray and sea conditions. An updated Slammer Drag System now utilizes a proprietary Dura-Drag material. With the computer-controlled CNC gear technology system, the precision brass main, pinion and oscillation gears are individually machined for exact tolerances to provide the smoothest operation. Eight models of the Slammer III are available, ranging in size from 3500 to 10500 models. Gear ratios range from 6.2:1 with 37 inches of line retrieve on the smaller reels to 4.2:1 with 43 inches of line retrieve on the largest. Maximum drags start at 30lbs in the smaller models and run to 60lbs on the largest. The oversized reel handle grip gives the angler added control during the fight. The 3500 Slammer III is the smallest of the family weighing 13.9oz while the 10500 weighs 43.1oz.

WWW.PENNFISHING.COM

DANCO BAIT STIK Danco’s Bait Stik is the original rod and reel combo developed specifically for catching bait with a sabiki rig, and it is still the best. The rod in this combo is 7’3” and features two-piece construction with an extra-hard phenolic tip for superior strength and extreme sensitivity. Comfortable EVA grips and a gimbal butt with cover means anglers will be yanking bait from the water with ease. Anyone who has ever tried to store a sabiki rigs knows the frustration of attempting to keep them from becoming a tangled mess. With the Bait Stik, that is not a problem. While not in use, the sabiki rig can be safely and conveniently stored inside the rod, which is a huge plus. The combo comes with either a casting or spinning reel. The spinning reel comes with an anodized aluminum spool, a graphite body and rotor and an oversized eggshaped knob. The casting reel has an aluminum body and side covers, brass gearing and a star drag. Catching bait has never been so easy. When the bait tank is full, rinse everything down with fresh water, store the sabiki rig in the rod and forget about it. Look for the Danco Bait Stik in your tackle store.

WWW.SHAKESPEARE-FISHING.COM

OCEAN 2 RIVER TOURNAMENT COMBO

ZEBCO BIG CAT SERIES Zebco is launching an impressive offering of beefedup rods and reels called “Big Cat” to accommodate serious value-minded anglers who passionately pursue catfish. The spincast reels are built with a titanium nitride plated stainless steel spinnerhead to add durability and reduce friction. Big Cat XT conventional-style reels will likely be the top pick for the most avid trophy hunters from the Mississippi River to Santee Cooper and all waters in between. Two conventional reels will be offered. The Big Cat XT 30 conventional trolling reel will hold 455 yards of 30-pound test. The Big Cat XT 350 round baitcasting reel holds 200 yards of 20-pound test. Worth noting is that a headlamp handy for nighttime catfishing will be free to consumers who purchase rods and reels within the very affordable Big Cat and Big Cat XT series.

WWW.ZEBCO.COM

Ocean 2 River (O2R) Tournament spinning combos are designed to perform to the exacting standards of serious tournament anglers while standing up to the grueling conditions and treatment offered up by hard-core fishermen in the marine environment. The IM-7 fast action graphite rods come with Seaguide Atlas Performance aluminum oxide guides, comfortable cork split grips and a graphite reel seat with a cork inlay and cushioned stainless steel hoods. These rods combine strength with sensitivity and excellent casting power. They are available in medium and medium heavy weights to suit a range of line and lure weights. The reels feature a solid aluminum frame, graphite side covers and rotor and a double anodized aluminum spool to stand up to the saltwater environment. A 5.1:1 gear ratio is suitable for fishing a wide range of lures all day long without wearing out the angler’s wrists and hands. Stainless ball bearings and a comfortable oversized T-knob provide for longer casts, smoother drag runs and comfort while fighting fish. Look for the O2R combo and other fine Danco products in your tackle store.

COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

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ON THE COVER

RHODAN INTRODUCES 72” SHAFT GPS GUIDED TROLLING MOTOR

Editor’s Note:

Each month, Coastal Angler Magazine and The Angler Magazine staff search our vast coverage area for photos that will grace our covers. With well over a million readers in diverse coastal and inland markets, our magazines strive for broad national appeal as well as local-level intelligence to put anglers on fish. The cover is different depending on which edition you, the reader, are holding. The following is a little information about this month’s covers.

COASTAL ANGLER MAGAZINE The Florida Keys, Marathon

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BIG BEND EDITION

The February edition of Coastal Angler Magazine features a cover image of Capt. James Platt with a 35-pound cobia he landed onboard a SeaVee boat about 10 miles out from Marathon’s Tarpon Creek Marina on the ocean side of the Florida Keys. The photo was provided by Capt. Chris Morrison of Keys Light Tackle Fishing Charters, who Local was fishing with Platt when they caught a limit of cobia, along with king mackerel, mangrove snapper and grouper. Morrison uses medium-heavy, Gary Loomis-designed Inshore Series rods from Temple Fork Outfitters along with 30-pound test Cortland Master Braid line to handle cobia and many species he targets in winter months. Home to the world-famous Seven Mile Bridge, Marathon is a group of tropical islands perfectly situated in the middle of the Florida Keys island chain. This ideal boating and family destination offers easy access to the Atlantic Ocean, Florida Bay, Everglades and Gulf of Mexico waters for an amazing diversity. Wintertime in the Florida Keys means anglers see large numbers of migratory fish such as cobia, king and Spanish mackerel, wahoo, sailfish and blackfin tuna pushed down from colder northern waters. Marathon is an excellent destination to base your Keys vacation for an unforgettable adventure. See writer John Steinhorst’s article on winter and early spring fishing out of Marathon in this month’s issue. Fishing Reports Catch Photos News & Events

VOLUME 22 • ISSUE 265

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THE ANGLER MAGAZINE Ice Fishing On Golden Pond, New Hampshire

WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA EDITION

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This month’s cover image for The Angler Magazine was taken by Chuck Fritz on the ice at Squam Lake in Holderness, New Hampshire. Old Timers might remember the 1981 movie “On Golden Pond.” It was filmed on Squam Lake, and the most interesting storyline in the film had to be the cantankerous Local character Norman’s obsession with catching a humongous rainbow trout named Walter. Squam Lake looks a lot different with a layer of ice over it than it does in the movie, which was shot in the summer. The fishing is still good, though. Just ask Tim Moore, the ice fishing guide who was photographed for the cover with a pretty yellow perch he caught through a hole in the ice. The ice fishing season on Squam and nearby Lake Winnipesaukee generally runs from January through March each year, and anglers target giant white perch and lake trout as well as smallmouth bass, crappie, sunfish and yellow perch. If there’s anyone out there who knows where Walter is hiding after all these years, it has to be Tim. See Tim’s story inside this months issue and check out his website at www.timmooreoutdoors.com. Fishing Reports Catch Photos News & Events

VOLUME 22 • ISSUE 264

F R A N C H I S E

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ercury Marine’s VesselView Mobile app is now available for free download on the App Store and Google Play in North America. Available for iOS and Android mobile devices, including smartphones and tablets, the VesselView Mobile app instantly provides users access to their boat’s SmartCraft digital data in the palm of their hand. The product recently won a prestigious IBEX innovation award. The VesselView Mobile module, which is needed to fully utilize the app, is available for purchase at participating Mercury Marine dealers, from the VesselView Mobile app or on www.vesselviewmobile.com. The product is compatible with all Mercury SmartCraftcapable engines built since 2003. One module supports single through quad engine applications. SmartCraft is a fully integrated suite of digital technologies, including marine gauges, sensors, vessel systems and computercontrolled features, giving users a higher level of control over their boat’s propulsion and electrical systems. Now, with Mercury Marine’s VesselView Mobile, users can see SmartCraft engine data right on the screen of their mobile device. The app also includes useful new features such as Fuel Information, Maintenance Reminders, Mapping, Performance Summary, and Fault Code Diagnostics. VesselView Mobile makes preparing for and spending a day on the water easier, safer 14

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and more enjoyable by letting users perform the following functions from their mobile device: • Connect to the SmartCraft data network in your boat from your iOS or Android mobile device via BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy 4.0) • See SmartCraft engine parameters like engine hours, fuel burn, water temperature, battery voltage, RPM, etc. (parameters available are specific to each engine family). • Get fault code diagnostic information so you know and understand if that fault is something to be addressed when you return to the dock, or is more urgent. • Fuel Management provides accurate fuel usage data along with fuel remaining plus indicates time and distance to empty when the user enters fuel added via the app. • Locate your nearest Mercury Marine dealer • Get points of interest information for your body of water, including fuel and restaurant locations, and more • Record a moment on the water for future reference • Access checklists associated with your boating lifestyle • Get maintenance reminders and access historical maintenance information logs. Mercury Marine’s VesselView Mobile app also provides users with a Web-based account that gives them and their preferred dealer app and module will be on display at the 2017 an even deeper connection to their boat. The Miami International Boat Show.

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Core Concepts Make

Ice Fishing Easier By Tim Moore

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pending hours on a frozen lake isn’t easy. Your body works overtime just to stay warm. Then, add the activity level that often accompanies ice fishing, such as drilling or chiseling holes and chasing tip up flags, and it can be downright exhausting. The degree of difficulty extreme cold temperatures add to fishing is what keeps most people from trying ice fishing. While there is a ton of gear designed to make ice fishing easier, core concepts, such as efficiency and mobility go a long way to make ice fishing easy enough for even the most warm blooded people. When you strengthen your core muscles with exercise, you train the rest of your 16

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muscles to work in harmony, which leads to better balance and stability. The same can be said for ice fishing. Exercising core concepts on a regular basis not only improves technique and lure control, but ice fishing actually becomes easier. The hottest new lures and trending techniques might catch a few fish, but they do little to improve your ability as an angler, especially when everything is frozen. Efficiency is arguably the foundation of any core. A highly efficient ice angler accomplishes more tasks in a shorter amount of time, and therefore catches more fish. Being efficient means eliminating unnecessary steps. Fewer steps means more time fishing, and more time fishing means more fish caught. Every second you spend with your line out of the water is time spent not catching fish. Efficiency begins off the ice. There are many things you can do before you leave your house that will make you more efficient. Start by leaving equipment and lures you won’t need at home. If you’re going fishing for panfish and you have larger rods mixed in with panfish rods, you will have extra gear to deal with on the ice. It doesn’t seem like a big deal until you’re fishing in subzero temperatures and the rods you need get tangled with the rods you don’t need. Rigging multiple rods with different lures before you leave your house will also reduce steps on the ice. Then you can cycle through pre-rigged rods rather than tie new jigs in the cold, wind or snow. Have you ever seen the deck of a tournament bass angler’s boat? They have many rods rigged with different lures so they don’t have to re-tie while they are fishing. The same goes for ice fishing, especially when it’s freezing out. The work you do at home pays off on the ice, but there is more you can do while fishing to make things easier, such as putting gear back in its place when you’re not using it. Then when you want to move you have less equipment to put away. Sometimes we are so

excited to get fishing that we tend to lay gear on the ice when we are done using it rather than put it back where it belongs. By the time we decide to move there is gear all over the place, which makes moving harder. The Godfather of modern ice fishing Dave Genz always says, “If it’s easy you’ll do it.” Focus on ways to make everything easier and you will be more productive. The little things add up. Just as backpackers try to shave ounces off their packs to make hiking easier, successful ice anglers are always trying to shave off unnecessary tasks to make fishing easier. The equipment you use also contributes to your efficiency. A Vexilar sonar flasher removes a lot of the guesswork. Figuring out if there are fish under you and their depth could take hours without a flasher. A sonar flasher is easy to use. It will instantly show you the entire water column including the bottom, your jig, and anything else that shows up under you, such as a fish. All in real time! Clam Outdoors makes a number of items specifically designed to make certain tasks easier on the ice. Prices range from a few dollars into the $1,000 range. The simple lowcost products often make a big difference. The Clam Can allows you to carry bait in your pocket. Not a big thing, but it makes a huge difference when it’s cold. Rod Slicks keep ice rods from getting tangled, and Fish Trap shelters get you out of the cold quickly and allow you to move around easier. The parts all have a sum that equals success. Mobility is another important core element of ice fishing. Mobility allows you to cover more water, which allows you to put your lure in front of more fish. Think of ice fishing the same way you do when open water fishing. We rarely head out onto the water and cast in the same spot over and over again. Ice fishing is no different. Every hole you drill is a cast. Make more casts and you’ll catch more fish. If you make a lot of casts in an area and don’t catch anything, move to another area and repeat. Give yourself a time limit, and don’t stay in the same area if you’re not catching fish. Ice Fishing doesn’t have to be cold and difficult. Core concepts that make ice fishing easier also make it more fun. Establish a routine and it will become second nature. By constantly thinking of ways to strengthen your core, you make ice fishing easier. Before you know it, you will be catching more fish than ever before. And who doesn’t love catching more fish? Tim Moore is a full-time licensed fishing guide in New Hampshire. He owns Tim Moore Outdoors and the New England Ice Fishing Academy. For more information visit www. TimMooreOutdoors.com. For more Tim Moore, go to

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12/15/16 1:24 PM


Chasing Big Bulls In BC By Cam Sigler Jr.

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ack in 2014, I went north of the Canadian border to fish for bull trout and westslope cutthroat trout with Gordon Silverthorne, who owns the Kootenay Fly Shop in Fernie, British Columbia. This area west of Calgary is littered with good waters. I have taken large groups up to fish the Elk and surrounding rivers with him. It was on these trips that I found myself focused on catching bull trout. Big bulls on a fly became my quest. I had caught many, up to nine in a day, but had yet to break the 27-inch mark. Bull trout are in the char family with brook trout and Dolly Varden. They range from northern parts of California and Nevada in the south to the Northern Territories of Canada and East to Montana and Alberta. They can grow in excess of 40 inches long and to weights heavier than 30 pounds. They migrate up and down systems based on food sources and into feeder creeks to spawn. They typically inhabit waters that stay under 59 degrees and are one of the most sensitive of the chars, requiring pristine waters to thrive. They are recognized as endangered in most states and protected in most systems in the provinces. A bull trout of 12 pounds might be 10 years old. I was back in Fernie in 2015 chasing trout with a few friends. As usual, we had good fishing for beautiful cutthroats, but I was chasing bulls. We spent a few days on the Elk River and caught a few bulls longer than 20 inches, but not in great numbers. My attention turned to a small pristine river south of Fernie called the Wigwam. In the past I had sent anglers from my groups there, but because of limited daily access, I had not fished it myself. Access is difficult. From the parking area, it’s 800 feet down to the river. It’s a hang-onto-trees steep. It reminded me of some streams I guided in Alaska, cold and clear enough to see pebbles 20 feet deep. The first hole was full of bull trout. After many casts, I landed one longer than 30 inches. As a group, we

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caught many cutts that averaged about 16 inches and juvenile bulls of the 19-inch variety. In conversation, Gordon spoke of the nearby Kootenay River bull trout fishery and about setting up an operation there. The Kootenay is a glacial-fed river formed by runoff and feeder streams primarily out of Kootenay National Park above Cranbrook, Canada. I told him to count me in for an expedition that fall. It didn’t happen because of a landslide in the river’s headwaters that blew the river out for an entire season. It’s tough to fish a fly without visibility. Because of water levels and clarity, the window for fly fishing the Kootenay is about six weeks in fall, if you are lucky. I finally got my chance to fish it in late October of 2016. Author Tom Boyd, who is writing a book on all the char species, and I made the 6-hour drive north from my second home in Washington to a tent camp Gordon and big-game outfitter Eric Grinnell had erected on the river. The camp was great, complete with a stove in every tent and a generator for lights. It was located a good distance between put-in points, and we saw only four other boats over three days. The four of us had a terrific time. We saw a few deer on the river and kept an eye out for grizzly and black bears but saw no evidence of them. I did wake one night to the sound of wolves howling in the distance. Water levels dropped over the three days we fished, and the water cleared even more. The weather was clear and cold. The fishing is primarily from 16-foot boats with outboard jet pumps. The river is braided and skinny in places, so the driver must pay attention. It is glacial fed and there are quarter-mile log jams on the banks. When this river is running 15 feet above the level we fished at, it must be roaring. This is a 7- to 9-weight show with sink tips. I have caught many bulls dead drifting a rabbit strip or synthetic-based fly that swims with this method. This trip, stripping seemed to work the best. We

were on the tail end of the kokanee salmon spawn. Once spawned out, these landlocked sockeye salmon float downriver, and the bull trout key on the spent fish. So we threw lots of 10-inch flies. Bull trout are very aggressive and opportunistic. They have to be in these systems. Bulls can move daily, but once we found them in a section they readily took most flies we threw. Bull trout, like many trout, like structure. Snags, logs, and big rocks in the river often hold them. I caught the biggest fish of our trip on the last cast of the last day in a tail out. It topped 29 inches and took a crawfish pattern I tie for smallmouth. We caught a few juvenile bulls in the 19-inch range and a few cutthroat, but our average bull trout was about 23 inches. I saw a few fish that were clearly bigger than our biggest catch. My guess is there are bulls in the Kootenay pushing the 40-inch mark. The largest we heard of on a fly weighed about 30 pounds. The bull trout fishery in the U.S. and Canada is fragile. I suggest chasing them sooner than later. If you decide to fish the Kootenay next fall, look for the guy holding up the 35-inch fish. Hopefully that’s me, as I will keep going back. For information or to set up a trip, contact Gordon Silverthorne at info@kootenayflyshop.com.

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1/18/17 2:08 PM


A WINTER WADE

By Capt. Michael Okruhlik • Photo Courtesy of My Coast Outdoors

A FLY FISHING

s we idled away from the dock on a mild mid-winter morning, we all anticipated that telltale thump of a solid wintertime trout. Although the fall and winter weather had been mild, the big trout had already started finding their way to the normal winter feeding areas where we hoped to intercept them. Armed with slow-sinking soft plastics, we were confident we would be giving our cameras a workout on this trip. As we quietly drifted into our first and what would be our only stop of the day, we noticed a lone angler had beat us to our target area. Showing him the

CHOOSING A SALTWATER FLY ROD

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hoosing the right fly rod is a personal choice. There are so many rods and various rod actions (fast, moderate, tip flex, full flex, slow etc.) that selecting a rod can be very confusing. It’s confusing to me, and I live a breathe this stuff! Rod Length: 9 feet or Shorter? In most saltwater fly fishing situations the 9-foot rod is standard. It provides enough length to keep a back cast off the water, to pick up fly line off the water to redirect a cast and is the best option for making longer casts. However, in recent years many companies have developed wonderful fly rods that are much shorter and can cast with the best 9-footers on the market. The new short rods are 7 to 8 feet in length and have a moderate (slow) action. The combination of a shorter rod and slower action make these rods a deadly tool when casting larger flies and poppers at close range. Fly fishing for redfish, baby tarpon or other fish that hold tight to cover does not require long casts. And when making short cast, the short rod is a more accurate tool. The Grip And Feel Find a fly rod that feels good while you’re holding it. The feel can be the difference between casting the rod well and not. I have picked up some very high-end rods with grips that felt like tree trunks. I believe a grip with a narrower diameter is best because it allows you to feel the rod load much better. Rod Guides The guides on a fly rod are an important part of the overall

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courtesy he deserved, we anchored up short of the sweet spot and made our first wade out deeper. We pecked away at some mediumsized specks and kept an eye on the lone angler who we felt had the upper hand based on location. We watched him land one trout before he boarded his skiff and slowly idled out of the area. Although we had more action in deeper water than he had up shallow, we still decided to ease into our original planned area as the rising sun increased the water temp on the shallow flat. As the sun rose higher in the sky, the baitfish became more active and helped fine tune our target areas to cast. The water here was shin deep and clear with the bottom structure composed of soft mud with abundant grass and potholes. Using a white, slow-sinking paddle shad, I was slowly swimming it across the flat, pausing to let it slowly descend, and then I’d continue the retrieve and repeat. On one pause, I felt that telltale solid thump and then listened to the drag scream after the hookset. They were here! This was our first solid fish of the day, a thick-shoulder 6-pound trout. After a quick photo and release, we continued to ease down the shoreline sight casting to potholes or mullet. The next strike was hit and run, with the fish staying low and burning drag. After spinning me around a few times, I landed a solid upper-slot red. After several hours on this wade, I finally saw what I had been looking for, fleeing mullet at the edge of a pothole. A few cranks of the reel handle and I was hooked up. Not what I anticipated, but it was a medium-sized trout. I made a second cast to the same pothole, reeled my lure to the far edge and as soon as it paused it was inhaled! This trout sent foaming water sailing through the air while shaking her massive head. She tail walked four times before I had her close enough to verify her true size. The icing on the cake, an 8-pound trout in clear shin-deep water on a south Texas grass flat. Capt. Michael Okruhlik is the inventor of Controlled Descent Lures and the owner of www.MyCoastOutdoors.com. For more wading in the Texas winter waters, go to

PEACEFULWATERS.CO performance. Many rods today are equipped with flexible snake guides, better known as REC Recoil guides, that are lighter than standard snake guides. These REC guides allow the rod to flex between the stripping guides’ footings for a more efficient transfer of energy during the cast. These REC guides add to the rod’s casting performance, creating greater line speed. Another added bonus to these REC guides is they will bend and not break if bumped on a boat rail. Rod Action Rod actions vary greatly. It’s kind of comparing apples and oranges. Some anglers prefer a fast action; some prefer a moderate action. There are benefits to both, but for the beginning or intermediate fly angler, a moderate action rod is the best choice. A moderate action rod will cover a wide spectrum of casting situations and is easier to cast and cast efficiently into a stiff wind. These rods also load a fly line using more of the fly rods taper, making it easier for the angler to feel the rod load. You can always purchase a fast action rod down the road as your skills progress. Rod Balance So, now that you have picked out that perfect saltwater stick, ask yourself… How does it feel in my hand? Is the rod tip heavy? Is the rod butt heavy? Does the rod feel too heavy overall? Too light? These are all question that need to be answered. The best rod is the one that feels well balanced from tip to butt. Balance the rod on your index finger at the top of the full wells grip. A well-balanced rod will balance evenly on your index finger. This is a fly rod’s sweet spot. It will be the optimum place for the thumb of your casting hand every time you cast.

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1/18/17 2:08 PM


George K. Regan, Jr. Publisher Boston Edition

By Captain John Curry

Julie Kahn Executive Vice President/ Strategy, Sports & Media

Wading For Reds

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ome days you just have to get your feet wet when chasing the elusive Charlotte Harbor Redfish. Not every day is perfect for this approach, but when it is, the results can be worth the effort. We had one such day a few weeks back. I was pre fishing for an upcoming Redfish Tournament with my good friend from the Cape, Emir Smaykiewicz, his Dad and his regular fishing buddy, his son Braden. While not a winter long Florida resident due to his landscaping business on Cape Cod, Emir does find the time to fish during Holiday Breaks and such. His 24’ Pathfinder is always ready to drop into the Myakka River, right out his back door. Se we kept the Grey Ghost at home and had a plan to make the run to Turtle Bay. The wind was a steady 15-20kts out of the North East in the morning with thick fog so we waited till we had some better daylight to head out. As

we were about 10 miles into our run Emir and I looked at each other as the seas were nearing 3-4’’ we both said “this may not work”? Sure we could have found calm waters and fish in and among the many mangrove coves and creeks of Cape Haze, but the ride back would have been nasty for sure. So the Pathfinder made a u-turn into the chop and we headed to the southern tip of Hog Island. As we eased up to a big sand flat that borders the entire front side of the island the fog lifted and the trees sheltered the wind somewhat. We started out tossing soft plastics like the Hogy 6” skinny and Emir’s

favorite, the Z-Man 4” mullet in the Houdini color. As the sun became more overhead the wind started to subside and the tannin stained clear waters increased in temperature a few degrees. I was the first to get tight on a decent Snook that took my Hogy after second attempt. We kept moving with the incoming tide and Emir started (in that loud yet not so startling voice that only fisherman are familiar with) to shout out “there’s a red”! A few more minutes later and it’s another, “there’s two more”! The problem was, we haven’t had any rain this winter so the water is very clear. The fish could see us well before we knew they were cruising by. Emir did catch a nice slot fish of around 26” with a long cast to a small point on his Z-Man bait. Shortly after that we trolled up onto a hard sand hump and well you what’s next. Jump in and push. While his dad stayed on the trolling motor we quickly made our way into deeper water…..of about 1.5’. Yes it’s very skinny where these reds like to feed. At that point we decided, what the heck were already wet let’s wade fish the rest of this flat. Emir, Barden and I fanned out on the flat while his dad, Omar manned the trolling motor and stayed many yards behind as we fished. This proved

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to be the best strategy of the day and since we were in quit stealth mode we could easily see un-spooked fish and get a cast as they fed along on small baitfish and crustaceans. We picked up a few more nice fish to end the day as the wind came to a halt and the warm winter sun made for a nice somewhat wet ride back to the dock. Sometimes you just have to get wet and dirty to put fish on the scale. You can bet we will be using this tactic on our upcoming Redfish Tournament and for any of my charter clients who want to get real close to those Charlotte Harbor reds. Capt. John Curry can be reached at www.capefishing.net or jtcurry77@gmail.com.

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• • • •

he 2017 Progressive Insurance New England Boat Show drops anchor at the Boston Convention Center, February 11-19, offering more than 800 new boats and everything nautical you need to get on the water in time for summer. Highlights include: • Climb Aboard: Hundreds of the latest boat models under one roof for attendees to browse, board and buy for every lifestyle and budget ranging from luxury cruisers and sport fishers to center consoles and pontoon boats, plus marine accessories and much more. Dozens of boating seminars: With a special emphasis on fishing tips in addition to advice on sailing and boating topics. Learn to Do it Yourself! Step into Fred’s Shed, an interactive garage with experts teaching the art of boat maintenance and repair. Discover Boating Center: Unbiased information and affordable boats some can even be financed for less than $250 per month! Boat Building: Students from Young Achievers School in Mattapan and the Harvard-Kent School in Charlestown will be putting their math and science skills to work building a boat that will be raffled off at the end of the show.

When: Saturday, February 11th through Sunday, February 19 Where: Boston Convention & Exhibition Center 415 Summer Street Boston, MA 02210 Hours: Saturday, February 11: 10am–8pm Sunday, February 12: 11am–6pm Monday-Friday, February 13-17: 1pm–9pm Saturday, February 18: 10am–8pm Sunday, February 19: 11am–5:30pm Tickets: $15 for adults; FREE for children 15 and under (when accompanied by an adult) Purchase online tickets at: www.newenglandboatshow.com or at the box office during the show All active military, law enforcement personnel and firefighters will receive one free ticket with valid ID Phone: 617-472-1442 Web: www.newenglandboatshow.com About the Progressive® Insurance New England Boat Show: The Progressive® Insurance New England Boat Show is produced by the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA), the world’s largest producer of boat shows and the leading association representing the recreational boating industry. NMMA member companies produce more than 80 percent of the boats, engines, trailers, accessories and gear used by boaters and anglers throughout the U.S. and Canada. The association is dedicated to industry growth through programs in public policy advocacy, market statistics and research, product quality assurance and promotion of the boating lifestyle. For more information, visit www.nmma.org. About Progressive: The Progressive Group of Insurance Companies makes it easy to understand, buy and use auto insurance. Progressive offers choices so consumers can reach it whenever, wherever and however it's most convenient—online at progressive.com, by phone at 1-800-PROGRESSIVE, on a mobile device or in-person with a local agent.

Why Knot Fishing By Joe Gugino

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ebruary in New England is a tough fishing month for most people. Some people choose to get out on the ice and try their hand at ice fishing, while others decide to brave the cold on different open water streams for some winter Trout. Both are good options as our team members have been catching fish all season both ways, but other anglers decide to use this winter time to prepare for the upcoming season. Some anglers are using this time to tend to their gear and restock what they might have lost during the last season. A lot of people are either tying flies or changing hardware out on their plugs. I personally like to use my time in the winter to meet new anglers and learn a few new things to help me when I am out in the water come summer time. The best way to do this is to get out and go to as many fishing shows and events as possible. This month there are a lot of great events around the Boston Area that I suggest checking out. Fish On! Seminar Series put on by North Coast Angler This annual series of fishing events is the longest running and best (free) fishing seminar in New England. There are different presenters on a different topic every week, and a ton of knowledge is shared. Fishing videos are shown from 6:00-7:00pm and the talks start at 7:00pm with free door prizes each night. Feb 7th - Matt and Joe from Why Knot Fishing present Light Tackle and Fly Fishing Strategies for fishing Boston’s North Shore from shore, kayak, SUP and Boat. Feb. 14th - Julio Silva presents Wicked Chunking; how to chunk effectively for big Stripers Feb. 21st - Don Kolesar, a licensed NH fly fishing guide, presents fishing the Great Wood of New Hampshire. Feb. 28th - Brian O’Connor talks about top water fishing from the rocks of Cape Ann. Why Knot Fishing’s Freshwater Fishing Night Our Freshwater Fishing Night is part of our Why Knot Wednes-

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day’s fishing event series. Each month is a different topic, and the meet-up is an opportunity to meet local anglers, guides, and fishing companies with the idea to learn and get excited for the upcoming season. The events are free, and there is always a great raffle to end the night. Check www.whyknotfishing.com for the exact location, but it will be held North of Boston on Wednesday February 15th from 6:30 - 8:30pm. New England Boat Show The New England Boat show is held from February 11 - February 19, and is worth checking out even if you are not currently a boat fisherman. It is fun to walk around and check out the latest and greatest boats, as well as check out some of the local fishing companies and charter captains. Some day, one of those boats will be mine! Bear’s Den’s 19th Annual Fly Fishing Show This is a great event for all fly fishing anglers, and is also a great event if you are even thinking about getting into fly fishing. It is a very low key, but exciting event filled with all the best fly tyers and vendors from around New England and beyond. I highly encourage you to check it out! It is at the Bear’s Den shop in Taunton, MA from 11:00am - 6:00pm. If you are spending your February out on the ice or on the cold river, I wish you luck, and stay safe! If you are looking to meet some new anglers and learn some new things, I look forward to seeing you at some of these upcoming events. FORECAST BY: Joe is a lifelong fisherman who fell in love with the sport when he moved to the North Shore and started fishing in saltwater for striped bass. After fishing from a kayak for the first time, he became even more excited about (and obsessed with) fishing. Joe is also the co-founder/co-owner of Why Knot Fishing (whyknotfishing. com), a community-based fishing organization.

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FISHING FORECASTS

Tim Moore Outdoors By Tim Moore

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inter is finally upon us and we are busier guiding ice fishing clients on Lake Winnipesaukee than we have ever been. We made a good amount of ice relatively early in the season, which helps us get through the warm spells. The ice held well and fishing has been great. We have been finding white perch in many of the usual spots. Although the size has been slightly smaller, the numbers are great. Our typical runand-gun style of fish has been paying off, with single and pairs of anglers catching the most fish due to better mobility. We will have access to greater numbers of larger white perch as ice conditions on the lake improve and more areas become reachable.. The jig bite for lake trout has been amazing this year. We have had no

trouble convincing many Lakers to bite on each guided trip. This bite shows no signs of slowing down. We have even seen the occasional eelpout (burbot) mixed in, which is always a welcome treat, as these fish are delicious. The addition of our fish house rental on Lake Winnipesaukee this month will really raise the bar for our guide service. To our knowledge, we are the only people in New Hampshire offering fish house rentals. Be sure to check our website or follow us on Facebook (www.Facebook.com/ timmooreoutdoors) for information about when we begin offering rentals. FORECAST BY: Tim Moore is a professional hunting and fishing guide from New Hampshire. He is the owner of Tim Moore Outdoors LLC, offering ice fishing charters, fresh and saltwater kayak fishing charters, and freshwater boat charters. He is a member of the New England Outdoors Writers Association and the producer of Tim Moore Outdoors TV. Visit www.TimMooreOutdoors.com for more information.

Want to be featured in our Catch of the Month section? S adventures and you could be our next winner! E-mail boston@coastalanglermagazine.com with your photograph and a caption to enter.

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BOOK REPORT

Top 10 “Winter Reads” For Fishermen By Ryan Collins

#10 - The Outermost House by Henry Beston A chronicle of a solitary year spent in the dunes of Eastham, The Outermost House has long been recognized as a classic of American nature writing. Henry Beston had originally planned to spend just two weeks in his seaside home, but was so possessed by the mysterious beauty of his surroundings that he found he "could not go." Instead, he sat down to try and capture in words the wonders of the magical landscape he found himself in thrall to: the migrations of seabirds, the rhythms of the tide, the windblown dunes, and the scatter of stars in the changing summer sky. #9 - Those Pearly Isles by Harold Wilson Those Pearly Isles is about a New Bedford High School teacher preparing a group of students (The Cuttyhunk Commandoes) for a 1973 spring field trip to Cuttyhunk Island, where they eventually visit the Gosnold Memorial Monument. Woven in throughout the book is a detailed history of the Elizabeth Islands, from Barthalomew Gosnold's first landing and temporary settlement in the early 1600's, through the island being protected by a King's Grant issued to the Forbes family. A thin paperback that is a light read, accompanied by good photos. #8 - Castaways by George Cadwalader Castaways provides a look at the efforts of some local folks and the Massachusetts Juvenile Corrections System, to establish and maintain a "last chance" facility on Penekise Island, with the goal of

keeping urban delinquent kids out of the adult prison system. This is definitely a good read, with some sad, and absolutely hilarious tales of managing these kids on the island, while trying to get through to them and change the course of their lives. #7 - Caught: One Man's Maniacal Pursuit of a 60 Pound Striped Bass by Jeff Nichols Caught is a nervy, quotable, important exposé, full of lively anecdotes, and marginal colorful characters.” - Joan Baum, NPR Dan's Papers "This is an eye-opening account of the black market striped bass industry, and a vivid portrayal of one man's fishing addiction that contributed to it. With chapters like 'The Full Moon Beckons Like a Crack Pipe,' the reader is drawn into the world of obsessive striped bass fishing and this angler's eventual descent into the underground market to support the ever-growing expenses of his fishing habit. But it's the Striped Bass as a species that suffer the most, as stocks are once again - pushed into decline.” --John Skinner, Noreast.com, author of A Season on the Edge. #6 - Islands In The Stream by Ernest Hemmingway First published in 1970, nine years after Hemingway's death, this is the story of an artist and adventurer -- a man much like Hemingway himself. Beginning in the 1930s, Islands In The Stream follows the fortunes of Thomas Hudson, from his experiences as a painter on the Gulf Stream island of Bimini through his antisubmarine activities off the coast of Cuba during World War II. Hemingway is at his mature best in this beguiling tale.

#5 - Reading The Water by Robert Post The surf fishermen of Martha's Vineyard are the heroes of Reading The Water. Brought together by a longtime Vineyard fisherman, these colorful men and women offer advice, insight, and the inevitable tall tales. There is Nelson Bryant, about to haul in a fifty-pound striper only to be cut off by an unseasoned newcomer who casts a plug over his line. There is Whit Manter, doggedly pursuing the next strike, the next rush of adrenaline, the next exhilarating struggle far into the surf and the eerie blackness of the night. And Janet Messineo, dragging a Derby-winning bluefish across the beach at dawn; hair matted, face drawn with fatigue, hands sliced and punctured, she's the epitome of the sporting woman.

#2 - In The Heart Of The Sea: The Tragedy Of The Whaleship Essex by Nathaniel Philbrick Winner of the National Book Award, Nathaniel Philbrick's In The Heart Of The Sea is a fantastic saga of survival and adventure, steeped in the lore of whaling, with deep resonance in American literature and history. In 1820, the whaleship Essex left Nantucket, sailing thousands of miles into the Pacific, where it was rammed and sunk by an angry sperm whale, leaving the desperate crew to drift for more than ninety days in three tiny boats. In the Heart of the Sea, recently #4 - Twenty adapted into a major feature film Years On The starring Chris Hemsworth, is a Cape by Frank book for the ages Daignault . The story of an #1 - The Finest Hours by Michael era that we will Tougias & Casey Sherman probably never The Finest Hours is the gripping, see again, Twentrue story of the valiant attempt to ty Years On The rescue the souls huddling inside Cape is an exciting narrative on the broken halves of the two ships. rod and reel commercial fishing The spellbinding tale is overflowfrom the beach for striped bass ing with breathtaking scenes, as set on Cape Cod, Massachusetts boats capsize, bows and sterns during the 60s and 70s. The author has woven the rise and crash into one another, and men hurl themselves into the raging fall of striper populations with sea in their terrifying battle for adventures and how-to inforsurvival. mation. Twenty Years was first Not all of the eighty-four men published in 1989, went out of caught at sea in the midst of that print, then became a collectable before recently being republished brutal storm survived, but considering the odds, it’s a miracle—and by the author. a testament to their bravery—that #3 - Cod: A Biography Of The Fish any came home to tell their tales That Changed The World by Mark at all. Kurlansky Cod, Mark Kurlansky’s third work of nonfiction and winner of the 1999 James Beard Award, is the biography of a single species of fish, but it may as well be a world history with this humble fish as its recurring main character. Cod, it turns out, is the reason Eu-

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ropeans set sail across the Atlantic, and it is the only reason they could. What did the Vikings eat in icy Greenland and on the five expeditions to America recorded in the Icelandic sagas? Cod, frozen and dried in the frosty air, then broken into pieces and eaten like hardtack.

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CATCH OF THE MONTH

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UPCOMING EVENTS Check out some of these local fishing events and tournaments. To include your event in this listing, send it to us at boston@coastalanglermagazine.com

New England Boat Show February 11-19, 2017 • Boston, MA www.newenglandboatshow.com Plum Island Surfcasters 21st Annual Fishing Show March 25, 2017 • Newburyport, MA plumislandsurfcasters.org

TIDE CHART

MASSACHUSETTS STRIPED BASS ASSOCIATION The Massachusetts Recreational Anglers’ Voice Since 1950

UPCOMING EVENTS

Celebrating years

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The Massachusetts Striped Bass Association will meet on the fourth Wednesday of each month at the Viking Club in Braintree, MA. The public is welcome to join us at our monthly meetings which includes a short business meeting, entertaining seminars by industry professionals and leaders, refreshments, and a raffle at the end of the night. It’s a great time for both young and old, and nobody is turned away! We look forward to seeing you there!

For more information check out our website: www.msba.net COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

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CATCH PHOTOS

Fishing with Shelley By Shelley Wigglesworth

The summer of 2016 was a record breaker for Captain Mike Perkins and the crew and customers on the F/V Nor’Easter out of Kennebunkport, Maine. Here is a collection of photos featuring some of the catches on the the deep sea charter fishing boat which goes out daily June-October.

Shelley Wigglesworth is an award winning freelance journalist from Maine specializing in at-sea stories, maritime topics and the commercial fishing industry. She is also a part time mate for  Captain John’s Charters on the Island Prince and the deep sea fishing boat the Nor’Easter. She has fished with, worked with and written about some of the best fishermen in the business including National Geographic Channel’s Wicked Tuna captains Dave Marciano, Dave Carraro, T.J Ott and Tyler McLaughlin. Her work appears regularly in the following publications: National Fisherman Magazine, Commercial Fisheries News, Points East Magazine, Yankee Magazine Online, Coastal Angler, Neighbors of the Kennebunks, Maine Boats, Homes and Harbors, Maine Lobstermen's Association’s  Landings,  The Biddeford-Saco Journal Tribune, York County Coast Star and The Bangor Daily News. 8 BOSTON | FEBRUARY 2017

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FISHING FORECASTS

Early Rise Outfitters By Patrick Barone

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ello Everyone and Happy February! It might be hard to tell, but depending when you are reading this Red Sox pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training in less than two weeks, which means it’s Spring, right? In my own experiences, February is historically a tough month to find open water. I am not an avid ice fisherman and tend to seek out flowing rivers, often looking for new locations to fish; keeping in mind the journey can often be as important as the destination. If you want to get out and fish this month, my first suggestion is to go outside your comfort zone and fish for some new species. When I was young, my father would take us to the local marinas where he would check for open water around the

boat docks; if nothing was open he would drill a hole. We then fished for smelt with a mix of sabiki rigs and live bait. This was certainly not a gamefish, but great fun as a kid when we caught them on ultralight tackle; often 4 and 5 at a time. As I got older and able to withstand the elements a bit more, we targeted open-water winter panfish, bass, and pickerel. Each season on the water I learned more and more about the annual cycles of our gamefish as well as our baitfish, and have greatly benefitted from this knowledge in different fishing situations. Knowing what the baitfish are doing and why they are doing it is a very important step in the pro-

cess of breaking down water and learn the most about a new location there is no substitute for bemaximizing fish-catching results. ing on the water. This is the type of Another suggestion I have is to find territory where short, lightweight a new blue line on a map, and fol- fly rods excel. I like to hike with a low it. As often as I am able, I like 7’ 3wt rod. This is light enough to to break away from the easy-to- gently present a cast while still stout find and well- enough to handle any larger fish I known loca- may bump in to. Get out there with tions to chase a standard assortment of attractor a meandering flies and midges, and be sure to flip stream through some rocks to check out the local the woods. insect life while you fish to try and While you may match the hatch as best as possible. not catch the Stay warm, stay safe, and tight lines same sheer everybody! numbers of fish you do in your FORECAST BY: Patrick is a lifelong honey hole, the reward for your effisherman, who has been bitten by fort can be much greater. the fly fishing bug. He is also the Use the internet and research to co-founder/co-owner of Early Rise Outfitters, a year-round catch and learn about the river beforehand, release fly fishing guide service most importantly to find ingress dedicated to providing enjoyable and egress points, and locations angling adventures throughout to park and fish. However, anyone Massachusetts, with an emphasis on education and conservation. that does this knows in order to

FISHING FORECASTS By Dan Kenney

Ice Fishing & Expos with GoFish Dan

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raditionally in the winter months, ice fishing has been an awesome amount of fun for me and my fishing buddies. We did get some ice fishing in early January and I was able to get out there, but unfortunately we had warmer weather which made for unsafe conditions in and around Central Mass.

I’ve been running the New England Fishing & Outdoor Expo (www.nefishingexpo.com) that took place during the last weekend of January at the Boxborough

Regency and it has seriously cut into my ice fishing time this year. I’m so passionate about restoring an Outdoors Expo that’s for all of us hardcore Anglers, but it’s also a tremendous amount of work so sadly I had to limit the amount of time on the ice this season. You have no idea the level of cabin fever I have right now. I really am hoping for a cold snap leading up to the Expo and then decompressing on the ice for several days after the Expo is over. Having burnt 16 hour days since just about Labor Day preparing for the New England Fishing & Outdoor Expo it will be a great reward. Last year I was able to spend a few days afterward on the ice with a fire, grill and food enjoying the camaraderie with my fishing buddies and simply chillaxing. I'll be loading up on my EuroTackle (www. eurotackle.net) mummy worms and ice jigs. Ben will take care of

I hope to see you all on the ice in February and please use caution! You can never have too much safety equipment when walking on hard water. Be safe & always pick up after yourself.

you and he is by far, the best ice fishing tackle retailer in New England. I'll be super bummed if we don’t have safe ice post-expo. Some scientists have stated that carbon emissions are causing the warmer winters we've been having, I’m personally not a hundred percent sure of that, but I will say that I’ve seen more winters the past few years with sketchy ice conditions then in all my years growing up - so I have to kind of lean in that direction.

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Here's to a great ice season and lets go get ‘em. Until Next Time God Bless & Go Fish!

FORECAST BY: Dan is an avid angler and host of the television show “Go Fish with Dan Kenney.” The television program airs via the Charter Spectrum network and is seen on YouTube at youtube.com/gofishdanshow. Dan also runs the New England Fishing & Outdoor Expo (nefishing.com). Dan wears Typhoon polarized sunglasses on all of his fishing adventures.

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EDITORIAL

Ice Fishing Maine’s Glacial Lakes

Maine Outdoor Adventures with Twin Maple Outdoors By Richard Yvon - Twin Maple Outdoors

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very Maine winter can unarguably be considered unique. The weather has become more and more unpredictable and every year ice conditions can vary drastically. Typically February and March are the two best months for fishing large glacial lakes. Why? The northern lakes of Maine are so expansive that winds stubbornly keep ice from forming resulting in a late freeze up. There certainly other factors such as springs, river current, snow

Photo: Glacial Lake in Maine Photo Credit by: Richard Yvon

cover and of coarse the obvious, air temperatures. My personal favorite time of year to ice fish has always been March due to the warmer sunny days and the safety of thickness of ice that has been forming all winter long. Nothing beats being able to fish on a calm, cloudy, mild March day! Those perfect days are far in between, but when we have them, they hold forever in our minds as we dream upon another year of ice fishing!

extremely large fish. Lake trout are one of Maine’s oldest living and largest inland freshwater species. For this reason having adequate equipment is essential. Outfitting with larger 43” traps and 4” spools allows an angler to work with plenty of line and affords excellent visibility. Ice fishing line comes in many fashions. To start with, having a minimum of 20 # braided line is essential. It’s easier to handle and will hold up to cold temperatures. In addition to your fishing gear, personal effects are essential! Also, a good pair of sunglasses like Typhoons Schooner on a bright day will help see those flags on a lake with lots of glare! Jig fishing is very productive giving a live flashy action in the water for weary Lake Trout. Jigging a Daddy Mac Lure such as an albie jig will get you into some fast action using a medium heavy jib rod and 12 # test ice fishing line. Tip: A Styrofoam ice bucket with a battery-powered aerator can keep your bait alive for long periods of time. Adding duct tape to the Styrofoam can prolong life of your bucket!

Checking the Ice: You are about to step out onto the Trap fishing Photo: Ice Fishing Gear ice but you see no Photo Credit by: Richard Yvon signs of previous is a fun way to activity, now what? cover distance The only way to check the ice is to and varying water depth. make test holes with your auger Fishing big glacial lakes always have the potential of hooking into or ice pick. Keep in mind that the 10 BOSTON | FEBRUARY 2017

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shoreline typically freezes first on a lake or pond. So ice can get thinner as you venture away from shore. Study the ice color, clarity and conditions. An approximate guide for blue, black or clear ice only: • 2” or less stay off ice • 4” Ice Fishing/Ice Skating • 5” Snowmobile or ATV • 8”-12” Small Car or Pick Up • 12”-15” Medium sized Truck note* - White—or snow—ice is about half as strong as new clear ice. Double the below thicknesses guidelines if you are traveling on white ice. Also, river ice is approximately 15% less strong as new clear ice.

Photo: Lake Trout Photo Credit by: Richard Yvon

Outdoors knives will fillet these fish in a breeze! These fish are in abundance in Maine’s glacial lakes and by eating some you are helping the fishery as well as your stomach! Bon Appe’tit!

*

If you are interested in this trip or any other North Maine Fishing or Hunting Adventure, please reach out to me! Due to limited space, booking in advance is highly recommended. Contact Rich by calling 207-907-9151, emailing: info@Twinmapleoutdoors.com or visiting www.TwinMapleOutdoors.com. Photo: Lake Trout Photo Credit by: Richard Yvon

Togue Table Fare: Lakers make great fish fry’s! Fish in general always cook and taste much better fresh. This holds true especially for Lake Trout. Once frozen, these fish do not do well in flavor and texture. Every year on Schoodic Lake’s annual fish derby, lake trout along with salmon can be found in camp kitchens across the frozen lake. So before you right off these indigenous, wild trout, give it a chance and cook a fresh one for a shore lunch. The Dexter

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RELENTLESS. RESULTS.

30

YEARS OF BUILDING BRANDS

www.regancomm.com • 617-488-2800 BOSTON / NEW YORK / WASHINGTON DC / NEW LONDON / PROVIDENCE / CAPE COD / FLORIDA / CHARLESTON

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IT'S BOAT SHOW TIME! www.

.com

www.MitziSkiffs.com

www.CHawkBoats.net

252-235-2461

A DREAM WEDDING

By CAM Staff

From left, Capt. Kevin Rose and Capt. Judy Helmey officiated and witnessed the wedding of Erin Bodnar and Casey Maday, of Des Moines, Iowa, aboard the Miss Judy Too before catching a pile of fish for the reception.

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ove and the smell of sheepshead were in the air on Jan. 6 aboard the Miss Judy Too out of Savannah, Ga. It was a dream wedding for bride Erin Bodnar and groom Casey Maday, of Des Moines, Iowa. The couple got hitched while bobbing over an artificial reef off the coast of Georgia with captains from Miss Judy Charters officiating and witnessing the event. “It was a grand day for a wedding and fishing,” wrote Capt. Judy Helmey in a special edition of her weekly fishing report. She added that it was a, “one fiddler one fish kind of a catching deal.” And it’s a good thing the bite was so hot. After the ceremony, the newlyweds and the crew burned through 267 fiddler crabs to boat this mixed bag of sheepshead and black drum. They were on a mission, because fish is on the menu for the couple’s wedding reception back in Iowa.

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WIN EB. 14 th

ANNOUN E R NCED F

@CAMTAMMagazine

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@CoastalAngler

@CoastalAnglerTheAnglerMagazine

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UNDER THE SEA

r spread SPEARGUN SELECTION

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SHERI DAYE

peargun selection is one of the most hotly debated topics on spearfishing forums. Fortunately, there are many great brands nowadays – such as Wong, AB Biller, Riffe, Hammerhead, Cressi, SEAC, Mares, Rob Allen, Koah, Mako, JBL and more. Over the last century, spearfishing equipment has evolved from very simple muscle-powered slings and polespears, made with wood and rubber bands, to the modern-day spearguns equipped with a trigger mechanism and more exotic materials. Interestingly, slings and polespear are making a comeback—but that’s a topic for another month—so let’s concentrate on how to select a modern-day speargun. If you walk into your local dive shop, you will notice there are two main categories of band-powered spearguns: the American style, usually recognized by the wood stock, and the Eurogun, which has a tubular shaped barrel and a rear handle. The Eurogun originated in Europe where most spearfishing is freedive-only, fairly deep, and for small, easily spooked fish. Hence these spearguns have a low-profile, streamlined design and thinner shafts. If you are diving in similar conditions, the Eurogun style might be for you. On the other hand, if you want a sturdy, durable and easy-to-load gun that will handle bigger fish, you might lean toward the American/wood-style gun. This is also the style used for big powerful tuna guns, because they can be ballasted and accommodate up to six bands. There’s also a hybrid design, which incorporates the best elements of both with wood stock in the back and a carbon fiber tube in the front. Once you’ve chosen between styles, the next question is length. Most Eurogun sizes are 90 to 160 centimeters, and most American guns are between 36 and 65 inches. So, with the conversion from centimeters to inches, they have pretty much the same length range. If you are diving in low visibility or hunting in rocks like they have in California or Rhode Island, you would choose a shorter gun. If you are hunting spooky fish in clear waters like mutton snappers in Florida, you would opt for a longer gun. If you are just getting started and expect to dive in variable visibility, 130 centimeters or 50 inches would be a good medium length for an all-around reef gun.

Sheri Daye hunts with a Wong Hybrid Speargun. Photo by Joe Marino.

Here are some additional tips: 1) Join a local spearfishing club and learn from the more experienced people. Observe what equipment they use and ask for advice. 22) Shop at a dive store that caters to spearfishing. They carry more choices and have experienced personnel to help you choose. These include Austin’s in Miami; Florida Freedivers in Palm Beach; James & Josephs in San Diego, Calif.; Freedive Shop in Sacramento, Calif. and more. 3) Check out the custom-gun builders. There are some high-quality builders who will work with you directly, give you advice, and design it to your specs—such as Wong Spearguns from Hawaii or Sea Sniper from California. Most importantly, you should pick a style that suits you and the conditions you dive in. Chances are you will get hooked and add more spearguns to your arsenal in the future! Follow “Sheri Daye” & “The Blue Wild Ocean Adventure Expo” April 22-23, 2017 – Ft. Lauderdale - Instagram and Facebook.

For more Sheri Daye, go to

CAMSPEARFISHING.COM

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TIPS FROM A PRO

FRESHWATER THE REBIRTH OF 8- TO 10FOOT BASS RODS BRANDON LESTER

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ver since I can remember, there has been a rule in B.A.S.S. tournaments barring the use of rods longer than 8 feet. To my knowledge, it is because Dee Thomas and other Californians were using 10-foot and longer rods for “flipping” when the technique was first invented. Evidently the powersthat-be back then didn’t like this new way of fishing, so they banned the use of long rods. At the conclusion of 2016, B.A.S.S. decided to change this rule and allow us to use any rod up to 10 feet in length. Bass fishing has evolved

they fight. The extra rod length will help keep the line tight during the fight, giving the fish less opportunity to escape. For the small wooden crankbaits, the longer rod gives control over how deep the bait dives. Hold the rod tip up, and the bait dives shallower. Stick a couple feet of the blank in the water, and it runs deeper. Add longer casting distance and you will be hitting depths never before achieved with some baits. A longer rod will also be beneficial for flipping and pitching. We all know what

tremendously in the past several years, and there is no doubt this rule change will be another big breakthrough. Will long rods become the norm in everyone’s boat? I don’t think so, but I believe these rods will have a time and place in bass fishing. I have been busy building and testing a few of these longer rods with the guys at Mud Hole Custom Tackle. We’ve made encouraging findings. The first long rod I built is a 8’6” medium power spinning rod. I wanted a rod to cast small, wooden crankbaits on light line for more distance. I also wanted this rod to act as a drop shot rod for open-water smallmouth fishing. Although I don’t see myself using this rod all the time for drop shotting, imagine a scenario where you are casting a drop shot in current and need that extra length to control the way the line drifts. Also, anyone who has ever fought a river smallmouth knows how hard

happens when we set the hook on a 12-inch bass with a 7’6” rod, well imagine what will happen when you set the hook on one with a 9-foot flipping stick. We’ll be jerking 3-pounders out of the thickest cover! When that 10-pounder bites, she might not be the one that got away anymore. There might be cases where a long flipping rod is more efficient, as well. The technique of flipping, as it was done originally, by stripping line through the guides and never using the reel, will probably come back to light because we can now use a rod long enough put a bait where it needs to go. I will be building a long flipping stick before the elite series heads to Lake Okeechobee. What better place to try it out than the land of the giants? Keep tabs on 8-foot-plus rod building by visiting www. MudHole.com, and hit me up on Facebook with any questions.

Get more tips from Lester at

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Surprising Winter is the Best Planting Time

I am often asked when is the best time to plant fruiting plants. My answer is usually the same; the best time is 20 years ago or today. The second best time to plant is during the winter months. Plants are dormant, and can be easily shipped and planted with no stress on the plant because there is not a lot of maintenance once the plant or tree has been planted. Simply dig a good hole, water thoroughly

at planting, and take the rest of the winter off. Even though there are no signs of growth above ground, the root systems will have time to get adjusted to their new location and begin to initiate new root growth. There are plenty of advantages of growing your own edibles. First of all, you know what has been done over the course of the growing season from a chemical stand point. Second, the fruit just taste

better coming out of your home orchard versus buying fruit from the grocers that have little to no flavors. Thirdly, it is good for your soul and you will feel more connected to the environment and nature. Whether it is an apple tree, muscadine vine or a blueberry bush; now is the time to plant. Let’s Grow Together. Greg Ison, Ison’s Nursery and Vineyards, 800733-0324, www.isons.com

“ I had the chance to test the new Bossman TailSpotter and I must say I was very impressed. I’ve run a lot of boats in my career and this boat is as good if not better than anything I’ve driven.” Capt. Mike Hakala, Aqua Dream Lures

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ackle geeks have climbed high rungs of reel optimization for decades. Their basic game remains the same today: super-tune fishing reels by adding premium components and applying best cleaning and maintenance practices. But better materials and technology have elevated expectations of what fishing reels can be made to do. Russ Lane, who has earned six appearances in the Bassmaster Classic, took his habitual tackle tinkering to high-tech heights several seasons back. Lane today replaces standard reel parts with premium components that extend reel life and enable spools to spin at dazzling RPMs. What’s the fisherman’s takeaway after these reel transformations? The clearest advantages are longer casting distances, better control, heightened casting accuracy, and improved feel and sensitivity. Some premium reel components—strikingly colorful multi-textured reel knobs and anodized star drags and cast control caps, for example—can practically turn reels into showpieces, too. “Fishermen can’t believe what custom components can add to a reel’s capability,” said Noah Arroyo, owner of Off the Hook Reels. “And some fishermen are just as attracted to the unique colors and finishes you can bring to a reel and the rich look of premium parts.” Consider replacing standard reel parts with these upgrades: • Ceramic bearings – Ceramic bearings or ceramic hybrid bearings (the latter feature ceramic balls in a stainless steel or plastic cage) can elevate reel performance dramatically. Ceramic bearings can range up to 60 percent lighter than stainless steel bearings. They generate less heat and lower vibration levels, too, reducing friction as the spool revolves. Spool RPMs may climb dramatically, extending casting distance and improving accuracy by reducing the effort required to execute a cast. They also possess five times the life expectancy of stainless steel bearings. The one downside is that they produce a very audible hum, a turn-off to some anglers. HawgTech promotes its ABEC-7 hybrid bearings in nylon cages as allowing “a more free spinning bearing that also runs quieter.” • Carbon Fiber Reel Handles – Lightweight carbon fiber reel arms are

the most common reel upgrade. The difference in weight and sensitivity from conventional reel handles is discernible. They also give a sleek, skeletal look to the reel. • Winn Reel Knobs – Reel knobs made from Winn’s patented WinnDry polymer deliver the same all-weather “tacky” feel and security that Winn grips bring to fishing rods. “The Winn knobs available from HawgTech are so good, your grip never slips even when hands are wet or coated with fish slime,” said Arroyo. Two of Lew’s Best of Show awards at ICAST 2016 featured fishing reels with Winn reel knobs. HawgTech offers these knobs in several bold colors. • Anodized Aluminum Star Drags, Cast Control Caps – Colorful anodized aluminum can give a reel an “auto show” glow. You can go with matching or complementary color options for star drag controls, cast control caps and related parts. Maintenance steps: Of course, flashy parts alone won’t optimize reel performance. Make sure the internal workings of your reel are flawlessly cleaned and lubricated, too. “You have to optimize everything when you super-tune. Polish and clean ends and shafts and pinion gears,” said Arroyo. “When you do and then add your ceramic bearings and premium parts, you really end up with a great piece of machinery.”

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TAUTEN LINEWELDER Sick of having to learn and tie complex knots? The Tauten LineWelder creates a weld that is actually stronger than any knot. The device creates a “sleeve” of thermoplastic polymer around both ends of a looped line, holding the loop in place without bending or weakening the line. Knots weaken the line, and most lines’ strengths are rated with a knot, so using a Tauten LineWelder in place of tying a knot lets you get a connection that’s stronger than the advertised strength of most lines! The process is quick, easy, consistent and doesn’t require you to tie complicated knots. It’s perfect for new fishermen or veteran anglers who don’t want to bother with finicky knot tying. Just loop the line in the device, pull it taut and push the button to create a weld. This device can help fishermen who don’t want to tie complicated knots by removing the need entirely and allowing anglers to focus on the sport they love. The LineWelder works best on 10- to 12-pound-test monofilament nylon and fluorocarbon lines and 10- to 50-pound-test braided lines. Using an experimental technique, it can even join braided lines with monofilament nylon or fluorocarbon leaders to eliminate the need for a swivel. Accessories to weld a wider variety of lines are currently in development and will be available in the future. Visit tauten.com for more information and to see videos of the LineWelder in action. The Tauten customer service staff is always eager to answer any questions, so don’t hesitate to contact them.

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DEXTER UR-CUT FILLET KNIFE Dexter UR-Cut Fillet knives are the only fillet knives that allow you to custom mold the handle to your hand. UR-Cut provides the ultimate in comfort and control and is virtually non-slip in your hand. It’s simple and takes only minutes to customize UR-Cut to fit your hand. First, grip the handle and determine your grip position, paying attention to your thumb position. Dip and completely submerge the handle in boiling water for 2 minutes. Make sure the pot is deep enough so the handle does not contact the bottom or the sides of the pot. Then dip in cold water for 1 second, grip, squeeze, and hold the handle for 10 seconds. Dip back in cold water for 10 seconds and let cool. You now have a custom fillet knife, molded to fit your hand. Just like other Dexter knives, UR-Cut features the same legendary DEXTSTEEL blade, with super-sharp edges that are easy to re-sharpen and have just-right flexibility. UR-Cut fillet knives are made in the U.S.A. and are available in 6”, 7” and 8” lengths. Available at your local and online retailer. For more information and to view all Dexter fishing knives visit dexteroutdoors.com.

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FISH & FISHING

A DIFFERENT APPROACH MARK SOSIN

A

small sign on the corner of my attorney’s desk warns his clients to “Assume Nothing.” That caveat is just as valid on the water as it is in the practice of law. If an angler does not start catching fish within minutes of arriving at a spot, he begins to assume that his quarry must be elsewhere. The assumption, of course, is that he has chosen the right bait or lure and presented it in a natural and appealing manner to a fish that is ready to eat. A fish’s behavioral patterns, honed over eons, follow very specific guidelines with few deviations. Anything that differs from the norm instinctively alerts a fish that something may be amiss and it thinks of its own safety first. Regardless of size, a predator does not expect to be charged or attacked by its prey no matter how small the prey is in relation to the predator. That’s why a 3-inch fly made of feathers can spook a 100-pound fish. And remember that fish do not feed constantly for a variety of reasons. Most species use tidal currents, water flow, or the neck of a funnel to their advantage as they search for food. They either hold facing the current, swim against the flow, or work across it. Whenever you present a bait or lure, it should be upcurrent from where you expect the fish to be so that your offering appears to go with the flow. That tenet even applies when you are casting to a cruising fish. The more natural the presentation, the better the chance of a strike. Your quarry automatically measures energy tradeoff. The idea is to exploit each situation so they will expend the least amount of energy for the value received. That translates into the fact that they frequently refuse to chase a bait or lure very far before turning away. An ambush feeder merely wants to dart out, grab its prey and return to its lair. Bottom denizens follow a similar practice. If your offering isn’t close to the sea floor, it’s difficult to get them to swim toward the surface to get it. Successful bottom bouncing starts upcurrent and allows the bait to drag along in the productive zone. Once it sweeps above the quarry, the potential for getting a strike diminishes rapidly. Water temperature enters the energy tradeoff equation. In cold or even cool water, fish react sluggishly because the water temperature slows down their metabolism. It might even force them out of their usual lair in search of warmer water. In those situations, choose baits or lures that are easy for a fish to catch and slow down the retrieve or the trolling speed. And remember, in cooler water it takes fish longer to digest food so they feed less frequently. Those who catch fish consistently study and comprehend the basics of feeding strategy. You can be sure that the behavioral patterns of each species are not about to change. That puts the onus on you to modify your tactics until you uncover the combination that works. Before you abandon a spot because you think it doesn’t hold fish, make sure you have explored the full gamut of options. If you do make any assumptions, convince yourself that a fish is looking at your bait or lure right now. The results might surprise you.

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NEW INTERLUX MICRON WA BOAT PAINT Micron WA (Water-Activated) is the newest addition to the AkzoNobel’s Interlux industry leading Micron Technology product range. It is a showcase antifouling paint that offers long-lasting, multi-seasonal protection in a water-based formulation. Micron WA combines powerful antifouling performance while reducing impact on the environment, leaving a smooth, clean hull. This paint is ideal for cruise, power and sailboats and suitable for all waters. Using a novel paint technology called Water Activated Matrix, Micron WA delivers a crisp, vibrant color and uniform appearance to provide a striking, attractive finish, while at the same time efficiently releasing the active ingredients to deliver powerful antifouling performance. More information is available at: www.yachtpaint.com/usa/diy/ products/antifouling/micron-wa.aspx

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FEBRUARY 2017

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1/17/17 12:54 PM


PENNFISHING.COM

LET THE BATTLE BEGIN The Slammer is back! Featuring a full metal body and rotor, IPX6 sealed gear box and spool design, a full Brass CNC Gear system,

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and a smooth yet powerful Dura Drag System. The Slammer is not only back…. it’s better than ever before.

1/16/17 3:39 PM


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1/16/17 3:39 PM

Coastal Angler Magazine - Feb. / Boston  
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