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CHESAPEAKE EDITION

l e v traATIONs DESTIN

VOLUME 24 • ISSUE 296

COASTALANGLERMAG.COM

F R A N C H I S E

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

A V A I L A B L E

NOVEMBER 2019

W O R L D W I D E


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FISH OF A LIFETIME IN SOUTHWEST ALASKA By Tom Schlichter

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

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

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

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Photo courtesy of Controlled Descent Lures By Nick Carter

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

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

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SHRINK WRAPPING


By Justin Witt

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

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

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Photo courtesy of www.sfctravel.com

By CAM Staff

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

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sk me my favorite fishing spot, and the answer might surprise you. With a career that spanned more than 50 years as a journalist and educator focusing on fishing (both freshwater and salt), my travels took me to all 50 states and more than 60 countries. I’m not a professional angler or tournament fisherman, nor am I a licensed captain or guide. My father loved to fish, and he started me when I was 3 years old by letting me hold a rod with a freshwater critter wiggling on the end of the line. That hooked me for life.

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Over the years, my travels took me to some of the hottest spots in the world for particular species. Usually, accommodations were marginal and the facilities questionable. As an example, before they brought peacock bass to the southern United States, I caught them in the Amazon jungles of Brazil. There are spots in the nearshore Pacific where it’s not uncommon to raise a couple dozen sailfish almost every day. There are tigerfish in central Africa, bonefish in the Bahamas and other hotspots. If you asked me to reveal my favorite fishing spot, my answer would be South Florida. Let me tell you why. You can get there from any part of the U.S. by car, train or plane, stay in a five-star hotel and eat in the best restaurants. Everywhere you want to fish, there are some of the best guides to put you on the species you seek. Biscayne Bay lies at Miami’s doorstep with Miami Beach on the eastern shore. In the Bay, you can catch bonefish, permit, snook and tarpon along with countless other species including sharks, which are a great challenge in shallow water on casting tackle. A short boat ride through Government Cut puts you in the Atlantic a few miles from the shoreward edge of the Gulf Stream. These waters hold a plethora of species that include sailfish, swordfish, dolphin, king mackerel, wahoo, tuna, an occasional marlin, and a wide variety of bottom species. At certain times of the year, snook feed in the coastal inlets and along the beaches. An hour’s drive to Flamingo in Everglades National Park puts you are in prime territory for redfish as well as several other species that are challenging and fun to catch. Many of the canals around Miami and south toward Key Largo hold peacock bass. Canals leading from Lake Okeechobee also host largemouth bass for the freshwater aficionado. And, there are even guides available for the land-based angler. You would be hard pressed to find another major city in the world that offers spectacular fishing for a host of species right at its doorstep. If there is such a place, I haven’t found it. That’s why South Florida is my favorite fishing spot.

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November Chesapeake Bay Fishing Forecast: Top to Bottom November on the Chesapeake Bay can be one of the most rewarding months for fall fishermen. Opportunities to capitalize on Top water fishing are typically a favorite for anglers during this seasonal change. On days that yield calm seas and fair winds, we often find that our success rate for Top water fishing is far greater. During the seasonal changes, often birds splashing towards their favorite bait of choice are an indicator that Striped Bass are feeding below in the main stem of the Chesapeake Bay. Anglers who choose to fish our local river systems near the mouth of the will often use Top water baits along shore lines to trigger a strike. Anglers who choose to troll will often use planer boards during this season to elevate there baits of choice away from their vessel. Both are great tactics and are often rewarding for anglers alike.

Whatever your tactic or choice this fall, it is important to monitor your weather forecasts and be aware of the decreasing water temperatures. Strong winds and changing weather patterns are not to be ignored during this season whether you are an angler or a hunter on the Chesapeake Bay. As sportsman, we value the camaraderie shared, memories made, and the fruits of our harvest. But it is most important to return home safe from our day on the bay, even if it means not going, to fish or hunt another day. Be smart, be safe, and be mindful of your decisions as always from Top to Bottom.

But one of the most overlooked opportunities for November fishing is working the Bottom. Striped Bass fish congregated on the main stem of the Chesapeake Bay and along channel edges in seasonably cool conditions. Utilizing tactics such as jigging or trolling are often effective for triggering a strike during fall weather patterns. The speed and size of your lure choice will be a pivotal decision to make when targeting fish. Be conscious of your depth finder and monitor elevation changes of fish, they will often allude to future opportunities. Additionally, Striped Bass will often congregate to deeper depths to seek warmer water and will cling to the bottom when not actively feeding. During this duration, it is important to actively try to trigger a strike with proper lure location, rather than be dependent on actively feeding fish constantly changing in elevation. There are times where this activity takes a substantial amount of effort and patience to trigger a strike, but the fruits are just as rewarding as any other season on the bay.

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from the Bottom of the Bay: Hogchockers When these small, flat bodied fish are hauled aboard the Roughwater, the exclamation from passengers is always the same, “Look! A baby flounder!” Admittedly, the similarities between the two are difficult to ignore. Both are flat, roundbodied, brown colored fish that are masters of disguise. Their camouflage is the best in the business. When lying flat on the bottom, they are near impossible to see. The most notable similarity is eyes on top of their heads. But there are a few differences between a flounder and a hogchoker. The anal and dorsal fin of a hogchoker extends the length of its body. The hogchoker only grows to about six inches in length. What about

the name “hogchoker”? While hogchokers are edible, recreational and commercial fishermen do not value them. Instead, farmers fed these fish to their hogs, and the hogs had difficulty swallowing the awkward, scaly fish. So, the next time you spy a flounder with your little eye, look closer to see if it is a hogchoker. Rachel Dean Patuxent River Seafood Solomons Island Heritage Tours solomonsislandheritagetours.com 301-672-3509

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Fall Fishing Wide Open

By Ken Lamb • The Tackle Box Lexington Park, MD • somdtacklebox.com Some windy day, a little rain and some super high tides did not spoil the fishing this week. The rockfish have schooled up in the bay and the mouth of the Patuxent, breaking and feeding on most moving tides. The stripers are in mixed sizes with slightly undersized fish mixed with big hefty bruisers in the 28 to 32-inch range. You can catch these fish trolling or casting lures into the breakers that have vast quantities of birds diving into the bait fish driven to the surface. This past weekend, there were acres of fish and birds off the O’Club and on around the mouth of the Patuxent to Hog Point and Fishing Point. Lure casters using surface poppers and popping rigs caught stripers in big numbers on Saturday morning at Goose Creek. One angler caught 38 rockfish there on a red and white “Poppa Dog” surface lure until he lost it and switched to a Hard Head Custom Popping Rig. Others were there catching stripers on both sides of the bridge. On Friday night there were surf casters throwing Rattletrap lures at Goose Creek and getting a fish on every cast. Hog Point has been just as good in the Patuxent and across the mouth at Drum Point there are plenty. Many of the fish are 18 1/2 inches in length, just short of the 19-inch minimum.

However, there are some lunkers mixed in, and one fisherman landed a 12-pound, 32-inch fish off the beach in the midst of the smaller fish. Those casting swimming plugs and sassy shad lures around structures in the Patuxent have found big rockfish eager at sunset and daybreak. The spot are still in the creeks and rivers in excellent numbers. Big white perch are taking bloodworm pieces on bottom rigs in the 18 to 35 feet edges all up and down the Potomac and Patuxent. Speckled trout are scattered with most of them very small, but there are some very respectable trout in the St. Mary’s River. Trout and rockfish are mixed for trollers up the Patuxent working the oyster bars. They love little white bucktails. Spanish mackerel and blue fish are active in the Bay, taking small spoons on planer rigs. The mackerel are doing their customary leaps out of the water. The mackerel, blues and rock are mixed in big schools all up and down the Ship’s channel. The mid-bay rockfish are almost all under-sized, but the blues are decent, fat and sassy. Fresh water fishing continues to be excellent. Some fine crappie are hitting live minnows in St. Mary’s Lake.

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The Battle for the Border:

Maryland vs Virginia on the Potomac River The Battle for the Border was founded in 2010 by local anglers Rodney Mosley (VA), Jason Berry (MD), and Kris Johnson (VA). Rodney Mosley was Tournament Director from 2012-2014 and was succeeded by Ed Dustin, Tournament Director 2015- current. While competing for bragging rights on the Potomac River, The Battle Series also raises money for local charities selected by the Tournament Director each year. Typically, the event will donate around $3,000.00 a year to these local charities. The Battle for the Border has donated a total of $17,420.00 Total since 2010 to the following local charities: 2010 Leesylvania State Park $1,300.00 2011 (no event was held) 2012 Leesylvania State Park $1,500.00 2013 Reel American Heroes Foundation $610.00 & Paralyzed Veterans Association $610.00 2014 Reel American Heroes Foundation $1,500.00 2015 Luck Family (Isla the Fierce) of Woodbridge,VA $1,500.00 2016 Paralyzed Veterans Association $2,000.00 2017 Torres Family of Louisa, VA $2,000.00 2018 Veterans Fishing Adventure $1,500.00 & Boutchyard Family of Stafford, VA $1,500.00 / Donated $400 in Food Items to Carolinas 2019 Veterans Fishing Adventure $1,500.00 & Anna Wish Foundation $1,500.00 This event has been held nine times in the past with Virginia winning 6 of the nine events and Maryland taking three, including this year’s event. If you are interested in learning more about this event The Battle for the Border has a Facebook Page dedicated to this event where all of their information can be found. If you’re looking to get out and prove your state has the best bass fisherman while improving your community with a great group of people, look no further. A full list of results and team captains since 2010 can be found below: 2010 - Team VA Rodney Mosley / Team MD Jason Berry VA wins by 100 lbs / 52 Teams competed 2011 - No event Held 2012 - Team VA John Hutchins / Team MD Rodney Bailey VA wins by 29lbs / 70 Teams competed 2013 - Team VA Lenny Baird / Team MD Robert Wedding MD wins by 1 point / 70 Teams competed 2014 - Team VA David Hooker Jr / Team MD Dave Wilder MD wins by 1 point / 70 teams competed 2015 - Team VA Ed Dustin / Team MD Omari Navies VA wins by 107 lbs / 70 teams competed 2016 - Team VA Shawn Phipps / Team MD Greg Wilder VA wins / 70 teams competed 2017 - Team VA Rick Chenoweth / Team Maryland Tom Bateman VA wins / 70 teams competed 2018 - Team VA Brett Page / Team MD Mike Roselle VA wins / 106 teams competed 2019 - Team VA Mike Nelms / Team MD Mike Nutter MD Wins by 2.21 lbs / 96 teams competed

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November Potomac River Fishing Forecast This month the temperatures will begin to feel a lot more like winter than fall to most anglers, but that doesn’t mean the fish will stop biting on the river! A fun bite to find this time of year are the plentiful and giant blue catfish that like to appear when it gets chilly. They will be actively feeding in the deeper holes especially near bridges sitting out of the current. Pan fish will be holding on deeper structures but should still be catchable once located. Bass anglers should not lose all hope, many places along the river have warm water discharges including the Blue Plains water treatment plant which seems to be a staple for finding fish when the water temperatures drop. This time of year, A-rigs, underpins, and jerk baits will be key around bass as the temperatures drop. The A-rig especially imitates perfectly the schools of shad in the river, creating an irresistible presentation for bass waiting for a big meal opportunity. Remember if you decide to get out of the water as it get colder, try to fish with friend, always wear your lifejacket, and always leave your kill switch attached to your body. Stay warm, tight lines!

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NOVEMBER 2019

CHESAPEAKE 7 7/15/19 10:42 AM 10/17/19 10:31 AM


Major League Fishing to Acquire Fishing League Worldwide in 2020

On October 10, 2019 Major League Fishing (MLF) came to an agreement to acquire Fishing League Worldwide (FLW) in 2020. In 2019 Major League Fishing (MLF) launched its inaugural Bass Pro Tour, a series of tour events that would select an elite field of anglers and invite them to fish in a completely different format than the standard five fish format most of us are used to in tournament bass fishing. This new format placed an MLF official on every boat to weigh each bass caught. Any bass over 1lb would count towards the angler’s total for the day. These Bass Pro Tour events last six days with a series of eliminations after each round of competition. The most appealing part to most anglers who accepted their invitation to join the tour was the lack of an entry fee to all events on the Bass Pro Tour. Many anglers from FLW and Bass Anglers Sportsman’s Society (B.A.S.S.) left behind their respective tours to try this new format, shocking many bass fishing fans due to many people rejecting this new style of tournament fishing. At the end of its 2019 season the Bass Pro Tour actually had great viewership despite many hardcore bass fishermen not agreeing with its “small fish” format. Now that MFL has acquired one of its biggest competitors for next season there are many questions arising about the future of tournament bass fishing. MLF has said they want to create a clear platform for anglers to make it through their system from high school through college. They have some changes to how the FLW circuits will work for 2020 and some incorporate the MLF style along with the standard five fish format. Entry fees for all FLW events will

also be lower. Whatever happens when spring arrives in 2020 and the pros drop their boats in for the first time, we’ll all be watching intently to see how this newly merged organization will stand up to the longstanding dedication of B.A.S.S to the five fish format. The new formats and entry fees can be found below: Costa FLW Series anglers will see an expansion of regions from five to eight in 2020, to make the Series geographically available to more anglers. The schedule will include three events per region, and an FLW Series Championship. Entry fees for both boaters and co-anglers will be reduced: Boaters will pay $1,700, and co-anglers will pay $550 (down from $1,900 and $650 in 2019). The BFL competition structure will continue as-is in 2020, with the same number of regions, tournaments and Super Tournaments as in 2019, all competing under the traditional five-fish-limit format. Entry fees will be reduced to $200 for boaters and $100 for co-anglers for single-day events, and $300/$150 for the two-day Super Tournaments.The same group of BFL tournament directors will continue to manage BFL competitions. FLW’s High School Fishing and YETI FLW College Fishing schedules will continue without change for the remainder of 2019 and beyond. Anglers and teams that qualified for 2020 events in 2019 can expect to proceed as planned.

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MD DNR Names First FishMaryland Master Angler Nottingham Resident Catches Ten Species to Earn Award The Maryland Department of Natural Resources has recognized its first FishMaryland Master Angler Award recipient. Gary Simpson of Nottingham, Baltimore County, caught a total of 10 different species meeting all the minimum set requirements of the department’s new recreational fishing award program. Simpson’s award-sized catches include: chain pickerel, largemouth bass, white perch, walleye, striped bass, crappie, smallmouth bass, blue crab, red drum, and the common carp. “It takes a lot of talent and determination to achieve the Master Angler Award and we are very excited for Mr. Simpson,” Recreational Fishing Outreach Coordinator Erik Zlokovitz said. “Maryland’s fishery is diverse and offers opportunities for any angler.” The department launched the FishMaryland challenge in February as a fun way to explore year-round recreational fishing and enjoy Maryland’s affordable, accessible, diverse, and high-quality fishing opportunities. FishMaryland milestone awards recognize those skillful anglers who catch trophy-sized catches of different species caught after Jan. 1, 2019. Each milestone is marked with a certificate and a color-coded sticker as follows: Angler Award: For catching three different species, meeting the minimum length, the angler receives a yellow sticker. Expert Angler Award: For catching five different species, meeting the minimum length, the angler receives a red sticker. Master Angler Award: For catching ten different species, meeting the minimum length, the angler receives a black sticker. Any angler fishing legally in Maryland may catch and report a trophy sized fish by landing any of more than 60 eligible species in five categories at or above a certain minimum size.

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Additional Wildlife Management Areas Now Open for Hunting New Public Opportunities in Charles and Queen Anne’s Counties The Maryland Department of Natural Resources is pleased to announce two new public hunting opportunities in state wildlife management areas. Browns Branch Wildlife Management Area in Queen Anne’s County and Popes Creek Wildlife Management area in Charles County are now open to regulated hunting and trapping.

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Hunting on the 1,172-acre Browns Branch Wildlife Management Area will be managed through the department’s Central Region public hunting permit and reservation system. Those interested in hunting the area must possess a free Central Region seasonal permit and make daily reservations. Anyone interested in trapping the area should contact the Millington Wildlife office at 410-928-3650. Interested hunters should contact the Gwynnbrook Wildlife Management Area office at 410356-9272. Hunting on the 522-acre Popes Creek Wildlife Management Area will be managed through the Southern Region public hunting permit and reservation system. Those interested in hunting the area must possess a free Southern Region seasonal permit and make daily reservations. Anyone interested in trapping in the area must contact the Myrtle Grove Wildlife Management Area at 301-743-5161 for information. Hunting for all regulated game species will take place during established season dates and bag limits, which are posted in the 2019-2020 Guide to Hunting and Trapping in Maryland.

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Managed Goose and Waterfowl Hunts Held in Garrett County Hunters Can Apply for Opportunities in Late November The Maryland Department of Natural Resources presents opportunities for Canada goose hunting on Deep Creek Lake and waterfowl hunting at Broadford Lake, both in Garrett County, on Nov. 25, 26, and 27.

details about the reservation process is available at the Myrtle Grove Wildlife Management Area office. More information about the hunt is available by calling 301-334-4255.

Hunters can participate in these hunts by permit and reservation only, during select days of the season. Applications are available for individuals to hunt one of three blind sites on Deep Creek Lake and one of four blind sites on Broadford Lake. Anyone who participates in the hunt must stay within 50 feet of the stake or buoy marking their designated blind site, except for the purpose of retrieving game. A map of the hunting site is available on the department’s website. Hunters can register for a blind site within four days of the hunt date by calling the Myrtle Grove Wildlife Management Area office at 301-743-5161. Interested hunters can also apply for a permit online. Information on alternative methods to apply and

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MAJOR LEAGUE FISHING TO ACQUIRE FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

I

n a move that’s sure to again shake up the tournament bass fishing landscape, Major League Fishing (MLF) announced last month that it will acquire Fishing League Worldwide (FLW). MLF is the entity that FLW Photo last year lured many of the sport’s top professional anglers away from B.A.S.S., its Elite Series and the venerable Bassmaster Classic. It offers a made-for-television series, the new Bass Pro Tour and claims its format is more advantageous to anglers than 50-year-old B.A.S.S., which was started by Ray Scott in 1967 and made superstars out of so many anglers. FLW is the world’s largest grassroots bass tournament organization, which hosts tournaments for tens of thousands of competitive anglers, from weekend warriors to high schoolers, collegiate anglers and tour pros. FLW has already released preliminary plans for what this merger means for the thousands of anglers who fish its tournaments. The biggest changes will occur at the top, where the new FLW Pro Circuit will replace the 24-year-old FLW Tour. On the FLW Pro Circuit, events will span six days, with the first three days following the traditional five-fish format and the last three days using MLF’s catch-weigh-release format. The Costa FLW Series will expand geographically and feature lower entry fees. The BFL events so popular with non-professional competitive anglers will also reduce entry fees. There have been no changes announced for FLW’s high school and college tournaments.

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By Mikey Erickson

A

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

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TIPS FROM A PRO

BIG BASS IN MEXICO

BRANDON LESTER

T

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

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

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

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

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EXPERIENCE THE

M

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

FIGHT!

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

14

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FLY FISHING

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

For more Bowman, go to

CAMFLYFISHING.COM COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

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NOVEMBER 2019

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12/19/18 3:50 PM


êêêêê “The quality of their watches is equal to many that can go for ten times the price or more.” — Jeff from McKinney, TX

“Blue face watches are on the discerning gentleman’s ‘watch list’.” – watchtime.com

Stone Cold Fox So good-looking...heads will turn. So unbelievably-priced...jaws will drop.

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

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TAKE 80% OFF INSTANTLY!

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

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Profile for Coastal Angler Magazine

Coastal Angler Magazine | November 2019 | Chesapeake Edition  

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

Coastal Angler Magazine | November 2019 | Chesapeake Edition  

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