Coastal Angler Magazine - September / Daytona-New Smyrna

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DAYTONA/NEW SMYRNA/DELAND EDITION

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Fishing Reports Catch Photos News & Events PHOTO COURTESY OF KACIE OLSEN “KNOCKOUTDOORS” VOLUME 23 • ISSUE 283

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BOOST YOUR CATCH w/RezBoostTM Technology

Interested in getting the most out of your own trusted transducer, or not sure you’re ready for the expense of installing a new CHIRP transducer? Furuno has a solution that will get the very best performance from your traditional narrowband transducer. Our RezBoostTM Fish Finders deliver clearer images than ever before, we’re talking up to 8x sharper. Whether it’s NavNet TZtouch2 or the FCV588/FCV628 stand-alone Fish Finders, RezBoostTM will boost your catch!

Get up to 8x sharper resolution, using a standard narrow band transducer, to more clearly define fish targets.

Assess individual fish size and depth based on echo strength for fish from 4 inches to over 6 feet.

Identify the sea floor composition from four types (Rocks/Sand/Gravel/Mud).

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THE LIGHTEST PENN REEL EVER MADE The Lightest PENN Reel Ever Made. The all new Conflict II matches an extremely light weight design with PENN’s legendary durability. Featuring our RR30 body, CNC Gear Technology and HT-100 Drag system, the Conflict II is the ultimate inshore reel.

PENNFISHING.COM COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

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© 2018 PENN is a registered trademark of Pure Fishing, Inc.

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BLEED TRIM

SAFETY

EDITOR IN CHIEF : Ben Martin • camads@coastalanglermagazine.com COO : Tracy Patterson • tracy@coastalanglermagazine.com ART DIRECTOR : Rebecca Snowden • graphics@coastalanglermagazine.com EDITORIAL COORDINATOR : Nick Carter • editorial@coastalanglermagazine.com WEBMASTER : Nick Barna • webmaster@coastalanglermagazine.comw ADVERTISING INQUIRIES: Corporate Headquarters info@coastalanglermagazine.com • 888-800-9794

FRANCHISE DIRECTORY FLORIDA BIG BEND : Mike McNamara • (850) 510-7919 • captmike@coastalanglermagazine.com BREVARD : Chris Milner • (321) 631-1001 • cmilner@coastalanglermagazine.com DAYTONA/NEW SMYRNA/DELAND : Amy Chibbaro • (386) 478-3812 • achibbaro@coastalanglermagazine.com Chris Chibbaro • (386) 478-9234 • cchibbaro@coastalanglermagazine.com FLORIDA KEYS : Cliff Lumpkin • (305) 849-9093 • cliff@coastalanglermagazine.com FORT LAUDERDALE : Gene Dyer • (954) 680-3900 • gene@coastalanglermagazine.com FORT MYERS : Nadeen Welch • (239) 595-8265 • nwelch@coastalanglermagazine.com GREATER ORLANDO : Phillip & Giselle Wolf • (407) 790-9515 • phillip@coastalanglermagazine.com GREATER MIAMI : Gene Dyer • (954) 680-3900 • gene@coastalanglermagazine.com LAKELAND & SUMTER : Mary Brasher • (352) 598-4219 • maryf@coastalanglermagazine.com NAPLES : Nadeen Welch • (239) 595-8265 • nwelch@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 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

SOUTHEAST ATLANTA : Bob & Brenda Rice • (706) 614-8231 • bobr@theanglermagazine.com CHARLESTON : Sam Buckareff • (843) 607-8629 • sam@coastalanglermagazine.com CHARLOTTE/PIEDMONT : Doug Simmons • (704) 361-6189 • simmons@theanglermagazine.com Juli Simmons • (980) 333-7273 • simmons@theanglermagazine.com COLUMBIA/MIDLANDS : John Lux • (803) 807-6885 • jlux@theanglermagazine.com MYRTLE BEACH : Mike Masiero • (732) 674-3019 • mmasiero@coastalanglermagazine.com TIDEWATER/OUTER BANKS : John Tiger • (757) 707-9654 • john.tiger@coastalanglermagazine.com Laura Tiger • (757) 707-9655 • laura@coastalanglermagazine.com WESTERN NC : Debra & Joe Woody • (828) 775-9663 • woody@theanglermagazine.com

NORTHEAST BOSTON : George Regan • (617) 488-2842 • boston@coastalanglermagazine.com LONG ISLAND : Lisa & Michael Danforth • (203) 321-7635 • lisad@coastalanglermagazine.com CONNECTICUT/RHODE ISLAND : Lisa & Michael Danforth • (203) 321-7635 lisad@coastalanglermagazine.com

GULF COAST MISSISSIPPI GULF COAST : Adam Nelson • (228) 627-5903 • anelson@coastalanglermagazine.com Toby Nelson • (228) 623-1761 • tnelson@coastalanglermagazine.com ALABAMA/PENSACOLA : Paul Caruso • (239) 980-7738 • paul@coastalanglermagazine.com

GREAT LAKES WEST MICHIGAN : Phil Belsito • (616) 957-1714 • phil@theanglermagazine.com

INTERNATIONAL PUERTO RICO/VIRGIN ISLANDS : Ace Bassue • (407) 285-9453 • ace@coastalanglermagazine.com COSTA RICA : Mike Erickson • (561) 262-2242 • mike@coastalanglermagazine.com © 2018. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written consent of the publisher. Disclaimer: Coastal Angler Magazine / The Angler Magazine will not be held liable for injuries incurred while partaking in activities described herein, or for claims made against products or services provided by advertisers. SAFETY

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REPOWER FINANCE Six Years of Protection at no extra charge on all new outboards 25 to 350 HP.

Instant Savings of up to $800 on select models. See your dealer for details.

Rates as low as 5.99% on new Suzuki outboards on approved credit.*

For a limited time, get Suzuki Extended Protection, Instant Savings and attractive financing on select Suzuki outboards from 25 to 350 horspower. See your participating Suzuki Marine dealer for details or visit www.suzukimarine.com.

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 07/01/18 and 09/30/18 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 07/01/18 and 09/30/18. 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 07/01/18 and 09/30/18. “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. © 2018 Suzuki Motor of America, Inc.

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The Rise of Patrick Sebile and his Band of Anglers

By Ben Martin, Editor In Chief

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or those who are familiar with legendary angler and lure inventor Patrick Sebile, it comes as no surprise that he would once again enter the realm of lure and fishing tackle manufacturing and development. A review of his contributions, influence and participation in the world of fishing is a testament to this man’s unmatched devotion and passionate dedication to every element of the sport. A brief review of the Patrick Sebile bona fides: • Holder of nearly 370 records (IGFA, EFSA & FFPM), such as largemouth bass world record by length, but also guided for more than 200 record catches like the All Tackle IGFA tarpon of 286 pounds, 9 ounces. • Top 10 all time biggest fish ever caught. • Voted one of the 10 best anglers in the world several times. • Once voted the world’s best saltwater captain. • Travelled and fished 64 countries to date. • Image/photo on more than 190 magazine covers. • Ranked No. 2 in IGFA’s “most species caught” with 774 different species. • Published in more than 800 magazines, newspapers and journals. • Inventor of more than 200 lures, rods, hooks, reels and various fishing tackle. • Author of seven books. With this extraordinary industry involvement and a lifetime of a passionate love for all aspects of fishing, it seems only natural and appropriate that Mr. Sebile would reunite with the fishing industry under the banner of A Band of Anglers. Welcome back, Patrick. Yes, your new lures are remarkable… as are you.

KEEP IT GENUINE PRECISION PROTECTION Whether you take your boat out to the lake or the ocean, your 4-stroke outboard needs ECSTAR Suzuki Semi-Synthetic Engine Oil so it can run long and strong. ECSTAR features special additives that protect the engine in harsh salt and fresh water environments, advanced detergents that keep engine parts clean, and viscosity index improvements that help the engine start in cold conditions. No matter where your next boat ride takes you, go confidently with ECSTAR.

RUN LONG. RUN CLEAN. RUN STRONG.

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

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For over a century, a league of canned crusaders have been fighting to keep boats safe from barnacles, slime, algae and other aquatic evils that rob your boat of its true performance. With advanced know-how and unique capabilities, each antifouling is tailored to different conditions, and has the power to defeat fouling in all its forms. Micron® WA is a water-based formula that’s powered with advanced Water Activated Matrix technology to efficiently release active ingredients over time for valiant multi-season protection. Micron® WA is easy to apply and clean up, making it ideal for boaters in all waters and regions. For super-powered antifouling protection and proven performance, choose Interlux®.

The hero your boat deserves!

All trademarks mentioned are owned by, or licensed to, the AkzoNobel group of companies. © AkzoNobel 2018.

interlux.com

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Coastal Angler & The Angler Magazine’s Best Of

I eScope noptix Liv a P in m r a G T 2018 w At ICAS o h S f O t s Wins Be

CAST is the world’s largest fishing trade show. Each year one of the highlights of the show is the New Product Showcase, in which companies roll out their newest and best. Coastal Angler and The Angler were there at Orlando’s Orange County Convention Center in July, sifting through all the offerings of the ICAST New Product Showcase. The following are ICAST winners as well as the new products we feel are some of the most innovative, functional and… frankly impressive, offerings of the year.

ICAST 2018 OVERALL Best OF SHOW AWARD Garmin Panoptix Livescope

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or anglers, sonar technology is the most rapidly advancing and functional tool in the boat when it comes to catching more and better fish. At the Orlando ICAST in July, Garmin blew the lid off the electronics industry with the introduction of its new Panoptix LiveScope. At the world’s largest sportfishing trade show, the most anticipated event each year is the New Product Showcase, in which companies present their latest and greatest in hopes of being named Best of Category. Awards are decided by a vote of media in attendance, and the Panoptix Livescope was not only awarded “Best Electonics,” it was named “Best of Show” out of 974 new products introduced in 2018. “To not only win the ICAST Best Electronics award, but the Best of Show award, too—it’s an honor we’re incredibly proud of,” said Dan Bartel, Garmin vice president of global consumer sales. “Panoptix LiveScope delivers the best of both scanning and live sonar technologies, and there’s nothing out there even close to it. These awards solidify our commitment to giving anglers and mariners the most innovative technology on the water, and they further strengthen our desire to be the top marine electronics brand in the world.” Panoptix LiveScope is a live-scanning sonar that gives anglers higher resolution and easier-to-interpret images of structure, bait and fish swimming below and around the boat than ever before. Garmin’s revolutionary Panoptix all-seeing sonar technology was the first to deliver live sonar images in real-time—forwards, backwards, sideways and below the boat—even while stationary. Now, thanks to the active scanning capabilities of Panoptix LiveScope, anglers can see images and movement so clear and precise that it’s even possible to distinguish between species of fish. “Panoptix changed the electronics game a couple of years ago,” said Jason Christie, Bassmaster Elite Series and Garmin pro. “Now, LiveScope is even taking it to the next level. The cool thing about it is the simplicity of it. What you see is what is there. The only picture that could be better is if you dive into the water with goggles, and I’m not sure that’s really even better.” Like other Garmin Panoptix transducers, LiveScope features two modes in one transducer—LiveScope Down and LiveScope Forward— and can be installed on a trolling motor or the transom. Depending on

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the angler’s fishing preferences and techniques, LiveScope can easily be adjusted to change views. Point the LiveScope transducer down to see directly below the boat or forward to see around the boat. Either view provides incredibly sharp, real-time scanning sonar images up to 200 feet out, even when the boat is stationary. The Panoptix LiveScope system includes a compact GLS 10 sonar black box with an LVS32 transducer and a simple plug-and-play Garmin Marine Network connector for easy installation and integration with a compatible Garmin chartplotter. A trolling motor barrel and shaft mounting kit and a transom mounting kit are also included.

www.GARMIN.com/PANOPTIX Best Tackle Management Lure Lock Lure Locker

A patented gel material paved the way for one of the most innovative tackle management solutions on the market. Lure Lock’s Lure Locker was awarded “Best Tackle Management” at ICAST 2018. Lure Lock’s proprietary ELASTAK GEL securely holds lures and terminal tackle in place. Even with the lid of a Lure Lock case open, you can turn it upside down and shake it and your lures stay in the box. Don’t believe it? Go to the website and watch the videos. The Lure Locker was designed to allow anglers to keep all their Lure Lock cases organized and ready. Constructed with durable ABS plastic, the Lure Locker securely stores up to five Lure Lock cases for ease of transport. It is available in three models, each designed to accept its corresponding Lure Lock case. The Lure Locker is also designed to hang on a wall or pegboard when not in use. The Lure Locker will be available at www.lurelock.com, Bass Pro Shops, Cabela’s, Academy, Sportsman’s Warehouse, Scheel’s, Mill’s Fleet Farm, Field & Stream, Tackle Warehouse, Tackle Direct and independent sporting goods dealers. Different Lure Locker models have an MSRP range from $24.99 to $34.99.

www.lurelock.com

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Best Saltwater Lure Ocean Born Flying Series Ocean Born Lures has come out with two new hardbaits destined to become go-to lures for anglers who love fooling saltwater fish with artificials. What else would you expect from the brainchild of awardwinning tackle designer Patrick Sebile and his company A Band Of Anglers? The Flying Pencill 160 and the Flying Popper 140 were designed to dramatically increase casting distance while also improving action. Each model features design elements that allow them to slice through the air to reach fish other lures can’t. Once they splash down, these lures are incredibly versatile. The Flying Pencill 160 has a common body shape but uncommon castability and action. Side wings enhance aerodynamics and provide lift once in the water. Reduced air friction ribs, which work like dimples

Best SUP Body Glove Mariner Need an SUP designed specifically for fishing? Want one that’s completely portable, allowing you to launch wherever there’s access to water? The Body Glove Mariner is a groundbreaking fishing-specific inflatable standup paddleboard that caters to both casual fishing enthusiasts and hardcore anglers. Designed by paddling champion and recreational fisherman Luke Hopkins, this feature-rich board is the ideal paddling platform for the active angler. From the backwaters to the bays, it will stealthily take you where you need to go, which is where most other anglers can’t go. Once you get there, the Mariner is a perfect fishing platform.

on a golf ball, reduce air resistance and add water turbulence. An angler can pop, spit, walk the dog, surface skip or slow swim below the surface with the Flying Pencill. The Flying Popper 140 is a leap forward in design for the classic narrow-neck popper. It’s perfect for all conditions, including rough water and current. It utilizes the same side wings and ribs as the Flying Pencill for the same performance enhancements during cast and retrieve. It can pop, spit, walk or create a bubble trail, and comes in Floating, Sinking and Super Long Distance models. Both the Flying Pencil and the Flying Popper come in eight fishcatching colors. With extreme castability and nearly unlimited versatility, these two lures are a game-changer for saltwater lures.

www.abandofanglers.com The Mariner is durable, stable, convenient to transport and can be customized to suit your fishing preferences. It features attachment points to add any one of over 70 Railblaza fishing accessories, including rod holders. The Mariner includes an anchor line guide system, cooler tie-downs, permanent, unbreakable fins and a patented multi-purpose handle to hold a water bottle or the included adjustable 3-piece paddle. The Mariner comes with a cell phone dry bag, a pump, an ankle leash and a wheeled backpack.

www.bodyglove.com

Best Affordable Saltwater Rods Enigma Rods With a trio of high-performing and affordable new saltwater rods, Enigma is bringing the performance and durability of its freshwater rods to the salt. With the Flats Master, Jetty Master and Saltwater Performance Series, Enigma has built rods to tangle with everything from inshore trout and snook to monsters hiding in the surf. Flats Master rods retail for just $99.99 and are available in six spinning models designed to tackle snook, redfish and trout with quality design, cutting-edge technology, and top-grade saltwater components. Lightweight and durable, select Flats Master rods feature a gimbal butt. Jetty Master rods are ideal for anglers who fish in extreme

Best Spinning Reel PENN Spinfisher VI The PENN Spinfisher is more than 50 years old and still going strong. The latest version introduced this year, the Spinfisher VI, is more durable, even better sealed from water and features the CNC Gear system to handle the heaviest of loads. It’s available in array of models, one of which is perfectly suited to the fishing you do. Updated with IPX5 sealing, the Spinfisher VI keeps saltwater out of the gearbox and drag system. Whether it gets hit by a wave or rides in the spray all the way home, there’s no need to worry.

Best Fishing Line PowerPro Super8Slick V2 Re-engineered with added abrasion toughness, the new PowerPro Super8Slick V2 braided fishing line combines a new eight-end dense weave fiber construction with proven ‘Enhanced Body Technology’ (EBT) process. The new braid is offered in nine different pound test designations. As with the original Super8Slick braid, the new ‘V2’ version is the smoothest, softest and longest-casting braid in the PowerPro line. Its use of Honeywell Spectra fiber provides a stronger, tougher braid, while the PowerPro EBT process makes the Super8Slick V2 structurally rounder. The process floods propriety resin through the finished braid, resulting

conditions, with big surf and big jigs. This collection of rods leverages the latest in design and technology to provide extraordinary performance not available anywhere else for $149.99. Designed for maximum casting distance and superior fishfighting performance, it is the meeting point of value and functionality. Saltwater Performance Series (SPS) rods are designed for extreme pounding of sand, surf and salt. They provide a pinnacle of performance for an affordable price of $179.99. SPS rods are designed to provide incredible casting distance along with exceptional performance for anglers seeking the best quality rod and the best price point.

www.EnigmaFishing.com

Housed within a fully sealed spool, PENN’s HT-100 drag washers supply the stopping power needed for big saltwater fish. A full metal body and sideplate keep the CNC Gear System in precise alignment under heavy loads. Available in standard, Live Liner, Long Cast and bail-less models, the Spinfisher VI has all the durability and performance anglers have come to expect from PENN, only better.

www.pennfishing.com in a smoother line that reduces backlashes, increases casting distance, makes it easier to tie knots, and offers superior strength to size ratio. Super8Slick V2 is extremely silent as it passes over the rod guides. With multiple color options in nine line tests, from 8-lb. to 80-lb., Super8Slick V2 braid offers superior performance for all anglers, in fresh or salt. It is available in 100, 150- and 300-yards spools and 1500- and 3000-yard bulk filler spools.

www.PowerPro.com

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Best Boat Seat Llebroc Industries Series 2 Helm Chair ICAST had a lot of newcomers as well as industry leaders. Among the leaders is Llebroc Industries. Greg Carman and his team have created the highest quality seats, benches and other boating accessories throughout the marine industry. Anyone who has ever sat in a Llebroc chair can attest to the quality and comfort that goes into every product. Llebroc Series 2 Helm Chairs come with an array of options. Whether you are in a cabin or riding in a center console, your chair will withstand the elements and keep your ride comfortable. Depending on how you drive, you can sit in style or lean in comfort with the Flip Bolster

option. Just raise your seat and lean back into a secure rest. Comfort is not the only benefit Llebroc has to offer. Customize your seats to match your boat with a wide array of color options. Choose the style of stitching, materials, or embroidery for your home away from home. From start to finish Llebroc ensures your seats are specifically tailored to suit your needs. Once you choose Llebroc Industries, you will never look back.

www.llebroc.com

Best Tackle TRANSPORT

Plano’s new A-Series 2.0 fish contained but at your fingertips with oversized, Tackle Bag is as functional as it is molded zippers. The bag also sports a large exterior good looking. mesh pocket. With four 3650 Stowaway boxes, it is the ideal Soft corners and a padded shoulder strap make the bag for a day on the stream or paddling to a secret bag comfortable to carry at your side while wading or fishing location. The boxes act as separate storage hiking. The strap is removable, adding more options devices to hold the basics or hand-picked tackle for for stowing, while the 1.5-inch heavy-duty molded a day on the water. hardware improves ergonomics while dramatically The main compartment is easily accessed improving strength. with an adjustable metal snap closure. The top The Plano A-Series offers complete storage compartment of the bag is expandable, allowing solutions for the serious angler. The A-Series includes extra capacity for raingear, other soft-side tackle classically styled bags in a backpack, duffel, and three bags and a quick shore lunch. Side and front tackle bag options. compartments hold the tools you’ll need when you land a www.planomolding.com

Plano A-Series 2.0 Tackle Bag

Best Lure System

Odin Lure Company Frigg Popper/Fish Smack Odin Lure Company’s novel approach appeals to all of a fish’s senses. They’ve equipped productive lures with a BaitWell that holds a powerful scent attractant called Fish Smack. The Frigg 1.5-oz. Floating Top-Water Popper walks seductively across glassy water to bring home the bacon with the addition of Fish Smack. Inject Fish Smack into the integral BaitWell and ring the dinner bell for your targeted species. You will call in stripers, pike, mahi-mahi and more. Like your favorite BFF, work this in the mornings and evenings, when it’s dead quiet. Built like a brick outhouse with super strong VMC hooks and Wolverine triple wrap snap rings, this lure will handle big trophy fish muscle and speed.

• 5.5” long X 1” thick body. • Cupped face churns a ton of water. • Incredible walking, popping action. • Has an integrated rechargeable BaitWell. • Houses a fish attracting rattle chamber. • Leaves an irresistible Fish Smack scent trail. Odin Lure Company partnered with BioEdge Fishing Products to make Fish Smack attractant. It’s the perfect mixture, designed for the BaitWell on all Odin lures. The grease-like mix slowly releases scent as the lure is retrieved. Fish Smack attracts fish from afar and stimulates them to feed. It also masks undesirable scents like gas and sunscreen.

www.odinlures.com

Best Kids’ Apparel

Local Boy Sharpe Angler Dress Shirt Your little fishing buddy will look as sharp as he is comfortable, whether it’s on the deck of the boat, attending church, school or a weekend play date. Local Boy’s Sharpe Angler Dress Shirt is the go-to youth shirt for fall. This button-down dress shirt is truly fit for any occasion. Crafted from 100 percent lightweight cotton material and featuring a fishing-style vent back, the Sharpe Angler shirt offers breathable, allday comfort that’ll keep Little Locals feeling cool,

while still looking sharp. If it gets warm, Little Locals can roll up their sleeves with the side-button roll-cuffs, providing versatility in style and wear as the seasons change. Accented with the embroidered dog-and-moon logo, the Sharpe Angler Dress Shirt is available in two plaid patterns: Green/Blue/White and Blue/Mango/ White. Sizes start at Youth X-Small (4T) up to Youth X-Large.

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Best Cutlery Outdoor Edge ReelFlex Pak Outdoor Edge’s new ReelFlex Pak is the ultimate fillet knife kit for the serious fisherman. The kit includes three fillet knives, in 6-, 7.5- and 9.5-inch blade lengths so you have the right knife to match your catch. Designed to meet the cutting demands for all fresh and saltwater species, the knives are crafted from German 4116 stainless steel, known for its corrosion resistance and excellent edge retention. The blades are double tempered to provide a consistent flex and taper, ground to eliminate friction and promote an effortless cut while filleting fish. The handles incorporate Jerry Hossom’s iconic design and ergonomics with the safety and function fishermen need. The handles are constructed of blue rubberized TPR to ensure a comfortable, non-slip grip, even when your hands are wet and slimy and also feature a polypropylene core for the

Best Eyewear Unsinkable Polarized Rival Sunglasses

correct amount of rigidity. Everyone hates a dull knife, so Outdoor Edge has included a two-stage knife sharpener to keep your edges razor sharp. Finally, Outdoor Edge designed a durable hard-side carry case to keep you organized on the boat and at the dock. With an MSRP of $64.95, be sure to look for the ReelFlex Pak this fall and holiday season.

www.outdooredge.com

The featured Rival sunglasses are in Raven color with a ColorBlast Grey Lens. These are perfect for spending long days on the water because of their larger fit and full-wrap coverage. The ColorBlast polarized lens technology filters blue light, which makes colors blast. Rivals retail for about $139. For more details on all styles, colors, and technology, visit the Unsinkable Polarized website.

Unsinkable Polarized had a groundbreaking, and perhaps a little crazy, idea. Because they are so confident in their products being the ultimate watersports sunglasses, they offer them with a Lifetime + Loss Warranty. With floating frames, all polarized lenses and that warranty, there should be nothing stopping anyone from getting a pair of Unsinkable Polarized sunglasses. Unsinkable developed a naturally buoyant frame material known as Vaporlite. It floats, it’s 20 percent lighter than what most sunglasses are made of, yet the frames retain the look and feel of ordinary sunglasses. And in the unlikely event that your Unsinkables float away, the ground-breaking Lifetime + Loss Warranty has you completely covered. www.unsinkablepolarized.com

Best Boating Accessory Minn Kota Built-In MEGA Down Imaging For the first time, anglers have the option of a trolling motor with built-in Down Imaging sonar. Minn Kota’s new Built-In MEGA Down Imaging earned “Best Boating Accessory” at ICAST 2018. Anglers can select a Minn Kota Ulterra, Terrova, Ultrex or Fortrex with the Humminbird Down Imaging transducer integrated into the trolling motor. Humminbird’s ultra-clear MEGA Imaging is the first Down Imaging technology to enter the megahertz range with performance nearly three times greater than traditional 455 kHz frequencies. It results in the clearest, sharpest on-screen images ever seen. With Built-In MEGA Down Imaging, the transducer is housed in the indestructible lower motor unit and the wiring runs through the composite shaft providing clean rigging that is protected from wear and tear.

Best Towing Accessory B&W Tow & Stow Adjustable Ball Mount B&W’s Tow & Stow Adjustable Ball Mount is the most innovative product in recent history when it comes to towing. It seems B&W thought of everything when they designed this receiver hitch. Because of that, it’ll be the last one you’ll ever buy. The Tow & Stow is adjustable to the height of your trailer, which is an important safety consideration, and it’s also super convenient for folks who have different trailers. Whether you’re pulling your boat, camper or equipment trailer, the Tow & Stow quickly and easily adjusts to the proper height, making towing less stressful and safer. For the same reasons, multiple ball sizes accommodate your boat, lawn mower or ATV trailer. This one hitch can be locked into your

As part of the OneBoat Network, Minn Kota trolling motors with BuiltIn MEGA Down Imaging feature i-Pilot Link GPS technology. Anglers can operate their trolling motor from the Humminbird unit, the app or the i-Pilot remote to “follow” a contour at a set speed with the press of a button. The new trolling motors are compatible with Humminbird SOLIX, second generation HELIX, and ONIX models and will be available in fall.

www.MinnKotaMotors.com receiver, and you don’t ever have to worry about changing ball mounts. The Tow & Stow also stows behind the bumper when not in use. This will save wear and tear on your shins and garage doors. With steel construction and a two-step ecoat and powdercoat finish, the Tow & Stow is bombproof and 100-percent made in America with stainless steel pins. It is available in multiple drops and shank sizes with two or three ball size combinations. It is also available in black, chrome and Browning colors.

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Team Murderized with the catch that won last year’s Wahoo Smackdown.

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imini Big Game Club Resort and Marina is pleased to announce dates for this year’s Wahoo Smackdown fishing tournament. Slated to take place Nov. 8-11, this year’s event will feature the same prizes, parties and access to Bimini’s plentiful wahoo that have made this one of the most prestigious and popular fishing tournaments in The Bahamas. Just 50 miles east of south Florida in The Bahamas, Bimini is considered by many to be the “Sport Fishing Capital” of the world. More than 50 record-setting catches have been made in the waters surrounding Bimini Big Game Club, which has long been a favorite destination for anglers, including famed author, Ernest Hemingway. This year’s tournament, which will be led by longtime Bimini Big Game Club dockmaster Captain Robbie Smith, will kick-off Thursday, Nov. 8 with a captain’s meeting and conclude on Nov. 11 with an awards gala. The registration fee is $1,500 per boat (this includes four anglers, tournament shirts and entry to all of the tournament’s social events). Additional anglers (anything more than four) are $250 each. Extra social tickets are $150 each. Total payout is $25,000 based on 25 registered boats. The Registration fee is 100 percent refundable if the tournament is canceled due to weather. A $300 instant credit will be issued to participants who book both hotel and boat slip at Bimini Big Game Club for a minimum of four consecutive nights. The $300 credit can be used against the guests’ total resort bill. Sponsors for this year’s tournament include American Beverage Marketers www.masterofmixes.com as the Title Sponsor, Bahamian Brewery and Beverage (Sands) www.bahamianbrewery. com, artist David Dunleavy www.dunleavyart.com and Tropic Ocean Airways www.flytropic.com. To register, visit www.wahoosmackdown.net. For sponsorship opportunities, contact Beth Watson at BWatson@biggameclubbimini.com or call (954) 467-1231.

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By Capt. Joseph Ierna Jr. • Photo Caption: Boats moored in one of the ECLSP Mooring Fields, which help to protect the seabed of the park.

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he Bahamas National Trust is the only non-governmental organization in the world mandated to manage a country’s entire national park system, which includes 32 national parks that protect over 2.2 million acres of Bahamian biodiversity. The Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park was the first National Park in The Bahamas and was the first to be designated as a “No Take” marine reserve in the wider Caribbean in 1986. Protected by The Bahamas National Trust since 1959, the Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park provides a look back at how coral reefs once were and a glimmer of hope for the future. Seen from the surface, the waters of the Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park are enchanting, with more shades of blue than Crayola offers. The real magic, however, is under the water where vibrant reefs teem with life. This is the result of almost 60 years of protection as a marine park.

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In 1986, the Bahamas National Trust took the bold step of making the park a no-take marine reserve. The success of the Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park for protecting populations of key species and preserving the health of coral reef ecosystems is a testament to the foresight of its founders, who recommended protecting an entire landscape. This includes islands, nearshore habitats, like mangroves and seagrass beds that serve as nursery areas for many species, inshore and offshore reefs, and deep-sea areas. In doing so, they recognized how all of these areas are connected and how effective conservation includes protecting intact ecosystems rather than small pieces. In the 1980s the idea of ecosystem protection was advanced further by making the park a refuge for marine life where any removal of marine life or other resources was prohibited. Active management of users by The Bahamas National Park, including patrols of the park and installation of moorings for visitors to prevent damage from anchoring in sensitive areas has further promoted conservation of the park, resulting in the healthy reefs and marine life that we see today. The Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park is not without its threats, however, illegal poaching remains an issue in some parts of the park. As the wonders of the park attract more visitors, balancing ecosystem protection with visitor use is also a challenge. The case of the Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park highlights the ability of a large and well-managed marine park to not just preserve the beauty of an area, but also provide critical protection to marine life to maintain the delicate balance and health of coral reefs and other marine ecosystems. The Bahamas National Trust is a non-governmental, non-profit, membership organization working to protect Bahamian natural resources by building a network of national parks and promoting environmental stewardship. For more information, visit https://bnt.bs/donate/ or contact Lynn Gape: lgape@bnt.bs.

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Sheri Daye

ahis, with their dazzling colors, are one of the most beautiful and tasty fish in the sea. They are pelagic and roam the open ocean, spawning year-round in the warm ocean currents. They reach sexual maturity quickly and spawn two to three times per year, releasing up to a million eggs. The good news is they are a fast-growing and abundant species, which makes them an ideal target for conservation-minded hunters. More good news—they are a perfect “starter fish” for anglers who want to give spearfishing a try. Most hook-and-line anglers are already experts at finding them, often looking for seaweed or floating debris. Whether you want to jump in because they are not biting, or you simply want to try something new, bluewater diving can be an exhilarating experience. When jumping on a weedline, you are treated to a beautiful sight of crystal blue water, bright orange Sargasso weed, and cute little jacks and sea creatures who will come by to check you out. It’s even more spectacular when you see the brightly colored mahi show up. They swim at the surface, so you don’t have to be an expert freediver to hunt them. They are not overly wary, if you don’t spook them. I always tell people, “pretend you are a log, and let them come to you.” Here are some tips for landing a mahi: 1. Use the right equipment. Even though you are at the surface, deeper water requires bluewater equipment with surface floatation (in case you spear a big one and it decides to go down). The float will do the work for you. Your local dive shop should be happy to advise you on the right set-up. 2. Use flashers and chum to increase your chances of attract-

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ing them. Dive shops carry readymade flashers that hang from a float, or you can make your own (instructions online). 3. Move in a slow and relaxed way. Mahi are fast swimmers, reaching up to 55 mph, so if you do scare them, you will not catch them. 4. Extend your speargun slowly and take careful aim. If they are close and not moving fast, aim for the head (killshot). If they are far, aim for center mass. 5. As most anglers know, once on a line, mahis are fast, flashy and acrobatic. When speared, they sometimes make figure-eight moves, rather than swimming straight away from you like most other fish. Do not let them circle or make loops around you – just swim away from them and keep tension on the line. 6. Once a mahi is tired and ready to be subdued, hold it by the gills. 7. Once you’ve mastered spearing mahis with a speargun, you can try using a polespear for an added challenge. Sheri is a world-record holder, host of Speargun Hunter, and producer of “The Blue Wild Ocean Adventure Expo” in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. Follow “Sheri Daye” and “The Blue Wild” on Facebook and Instagram.

For more Sheri Daye, go to

CAMSPEARFISHING.COM

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Access weather and fishing data via satellite up to 200 miles from the contiguous U.S. shoreline.

SiriusXM Marine Weather overlays directly on your chartplotter while fishing coastal or offshore waters and provides two vital services for anglers. First, and most importantly, it helps you detect, monitor and avoid bad weather without needing a cell signal. Storms can build quickly at sea, and the numerous, selectable overlay options within the SiriusXM menu let you tailor the display to your desired level to increase your comfort and situational awareness aboard. Secondly, SiriusXM overlays graphic displays of sea surface temperature contours to help you locate where bait fish might be stacked up, giving you a definitive edge when trying to find the bite. With key information needed to find the locations in which fish are most likely to appear, anglers can save time and fuel while fishing.

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DETAILS: Hardware and subscription sold separately. The subscription plan you choose will automatically renew and you will be charged according to your chosen payment method at then-current rates. Please see our Customer Agreement at www.siriusxm.com for complete terms and how to cancel, which includes calling us at 1-800-985-9200. Note: Not all devices are capable of receiving all services offered by SiriusXM. Current information and features may not be available in all locations, or on all receivers. Data displays vary by device; images are representative only. SiriusXM Services may include weather and other content and emergency alert information. Such information and data is not for safety for life, but is merely supplemental and advisory in nature, and therefore cannot be relied upon as safety critical in connection with any aircraft, sea craft, automobile, or any other usage. SiriusXM is not responsible for any errors or inaccuracies in the data services or their use. © 2018 Sirius XM Radio Inc. Sirius, XM and all related marks and logos are trademarks of Sirius XM Radio Inc. All other marks and logos are the property of their respective owners. All rights reserved.

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FLY FISHING

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his is a good question. An answer, however, is not a simple matter, as there are some specific characteristics to be considered. Baitfish If you are using a fly that imitates the movements of a baitfish, it is recommended that where and when possible, you observe the behavior patterns of actual baitfish. How fast are they swimming? Are they swimming in schools or small groups when being chased by game fish? Are they stunned by game fish before being eaten as they are sinking, or in fishing lingo, “on the fall?” Most injured baitfish swim in a frenzied motion, so quick and short strips is the best retrieval method. In conditions where the baitfish are lazily swimming about, try a slower, longer strip to get your adversary’s attention. Keep in mind that baitfish always swim into the current. When fishing from a drifting boat, cast your fly up-current, let it sink and drift in the current until the fly swings at the boat’s stern into its wake. At the end of the drift, allow the fly to gyrate, lifelike, in the current for a few seconds before beginning stripping. This technique often results in a strike, so hang on! Crab or Shrimp If your intent upon attempting to imitate a crab or shrimp, make short, small strips giving the fly the look of a scurrying crab or shrimp. This move usually gets a fish’s attention. Upon spotting the game fish eyeing the fly and beginning his approach, stop the fly, allowing it to sit mo-

tionless. Then move it again in short spurts. This move often results in a hookup. Fish that follow the fly but don’t eat it? A very frustrating incident when saltwater fly fishing is when a fish follows the fly but refuses to strike. Many saltwater gamefish, slashing and contorting, will closely tail a fly right to the rod’s tip without taking the fly. It’s a very frustrating experience that often leads to the angler scratching his head and feeling totally hopeless. There is, however, an easy way to get a picky fish to take the fly. I call it “sweeping the fly.” When a fish has followed the fly to within a few feet of your rod tip (usually you’ll have 5 to 10 feet of line outside the rod tip), lower your rod tip and make a sweeping motion as if you were going to make a side-armed back cast. Don’t pull the fly out of the water, but keep it moving. On the sweep, the fly will move smoothly through the water, doing a great impersonation of a fidgety baitfish attempting to escape a predator. This move enjoys a high percentage of success. The trick is to exercise control over your emotions and not pull the fly from the fish’s mouth when it strikes. The hook set is always very close to you, so be prepared to allow the fish to run. That means being able to manage the fly line as it shoots through the guides.

For more Bowman, go to

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By Sean Hascup Photos by Sam Blount

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efore you buy or borrow gear, here are the items in a freediver’s bag and what you need to know about them. Mask: Freedivers use a low-volume mask. There is less space in the mask for air, which means there is less mask squeeze from increasing pressure while descending and a more streamlined design to limit drag. Each face is different, so don’t be discouraged if it takes a few masks to find the perfect fit. Don’t settle for a leaky mask! And remember, with all new masks, put a lighter’s flame to the inside of the lens to remove the factory film from the glass. Wipe it clean, and presto... your mask is much more fog resistant!

Snorkel: Freedive snorkels are straight J snorkels with no splash guards or purges. This design allows full, unhindered inhales and exhales. Clip your snorkel to the back of your mask strap with a zip tie or rubberband. When you break below surface and spit out the snorkel, it will sit streamlined behind your head. Wetsuit: Your wetsuit is your shield against cold, heat, jellyfish, sharp reef and other oceanic irritants. Even if it’s warm, wear a thin wetsuit or rash guard. I rarely dive without at least a 1.5mm suit. There are two types of suits, open cell and closed cell. A closed cell suit traps a thin layer of water around your body, which warms the water to body temperature. Open cell suits create a watertight seal and are typically used for colder water. I recommend a 1.5mm closed cell for warmer climates and a 3 to 5mm open cell for colder water. Fins: Freediving fins are typically two to three times longer than snorkel and scuba fins. They come in plastic, fiberglass and carbon fiber. If you are just getting into freediving, plastic is the most durable and affordable option. Carbon offers the best performance. Fiberglass has twice the performance of plastic and a price tag lower than carbon. Make sure your footpockets are a perfect fit. If they are too loose, you will lose power. If they are too tight, you will get foot cramps. Weight Belt: Being properly weighted is extremely important. The best test is to do a relaxed exhale at the surface with all your equipment and your belt on. You should comfortably float at the surface after the relaxed exhale. It’s always better to be under-weighted than over-weighted. Blackouts are a real danger in freediving, and having too much weight can be fatal. My favorite dive shop has offered a discount to all readers of this article! Shop at www.frontlinefreediving.com with the promo code HascupHunts to save big time on a new setup. They have all the knowledge to get you in properly fitting gear the first time. Sean Hascup is a spearfishing and travel guide at Hascup Hunts International. See his advantures online at www.SpearfishingGuides.com, Facebook.com/HascupHuntsInternational and Instagram.com/Blood_ Sweat_And_Spears. Email him at HascupHunts@Gmail.com.

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ATlantic Snapper

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By Roger Walker

ast month, happy days were here again for recreational anglers on the Atlantic coast of the southern United States. Even though it was short lived, there was a red snapper season for two weekends in August. The South Atlantic Marine Fisheries Council (SAMFC) and the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) control fisheries in South Atlantic federal waters. In 2010, they shut down the harvest of red snapper based on a 2008 population assessment that determined red snapper were overfished and undergoing overfishing. Since 2010, there have been three other short seasons and a limited-harvest season for anglers to keep red snapper. The seasons consisted of three-day weekends for about 40 days total of red snapper fishing since 2010. So how did it go this season? Well, if you judge it by the fact that tackle shops were running out of tackle, bait and ice; that boat ramps were over-crowded with anglers; that local charters were booked solid, well the answer to the question is: the season went very well. There is a huge positive economic impact when red snapper harvest is allowed. In Florida alone, the total economic impact of recreational fishing exceeds 8 billion dollars a year. So, how do we get a longer season for the South Atlantic? The length of a season is based on the amount of fish available to be caught while leaving enough to sustain populations in the future. It’s based on stock assessments. One of the problems with stock assessments is getting accurate data. One solution could be to charge an additional license fee to anglers who want to fish for offshore reef fish. Give them a Reef Fish endorsement on their regular fishing license. This would give the SAMFC and NOAA more accurate data from a pool of anglers who actually fish for red snapper. Here are a couple of other ideas that have been circulating.

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1) Distribute tags to reef fish-permitted anglers. Catch a fish, tag that fish and keep it. When an angler runs out of tags, he’s done keeping red snapper for the season. This option would spread angling effort over a longer season and relieve the rodeo aspect of a short season. 2) Have a slot size for red snapper. It’s worked for redfish and snook, so why not for red snapper? An angler could only keep fish within a de-

termined slot size. Fish longer or shorter than that slot would be released immediately. The limit could be one fish per day, per angler. Small fish would remain in the population to grow into the slot, and larger fish would be protected to make more small fish. This option would keep anglers on the water year-round. Think of the economic impact. This years’ red snapper season on the east coast was wonderful! There were boats full of anglers everywhere. Some caught big fish. Some caught small fish. Some, well they had a great time trying. If all those boats and anglers ever band together, that’s when fishing for red snapper will truly return.

COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

8/20/18 11:02 AM


KEVIN MCCARTHY

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he use of images on the crests of families or even states and nations can sometimes be very controversial. Families, for example, can argue endlessly over which symbols to use and exactly what those symbols mean. I once saw a dolphin on the coat of arms at Dunluce Castle in northern Ireland, contacted an expert on heraldry, and learned that no one seems to know what the dolphin means. When Northern Rhodesia became a British protectorate in Africa in 1911, officials needed to establish various symbols of power, including a flag, and in time adopted one. The design pictures a fish eagle that can be found on the rivers of that country. The wavy lines may represent the impressive Vi c tor i a Falls there. The eagle holds in its talons a fish which it seems to have recently caught. Amazingly, when the country in 1964 became the Republic of Zambia, officials took away the fish from its coat of arms in the belief that the fish actually symbolized the state of colonialism for the people. Other people objected to the fish as a dead object, although others noted that a video of such an eagle shows the fish wriggling and therefore was very much alive. Although the fish was gone on the coat of arms, the eagle remained. Even then, there was controversy. Some people who may have too much time on their hands argued that, once officials removed from the seal the “dead/wriggling” fish, the bird was no longer recognized as an African fish eagle and could, in fact, be a symbol of another country: the United States. And that leads me to this conclusion: Florida should have on its Great Seal a fish, either saltwater or freshwater, but some recognition of how important fish are to Floridians. I know the Great Seal has a Seminole Indian woman (who actually replaced a Western Plains Indian wearing a feathered headdress), a steamboat, flat terrain (which replaced a mountain – something not found here), and a sabal palm (which replaced a cocoa palm as more indigenous to our state). But surely we ought to have a fish on our Great Seal. According to the website of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Florida is the “Fishing Capital of the World,” has more world-record fish catches than any other state or even country, has the most saltwater anglers in the country, and has an economic impact from fishing that leads all states. We could have a contest to help decide which fish would be most appropriate on the Great Seal. Some will argue that no one looks at the Great Seal and that it couldn’t possibly influence people deciding what to do here, but then again I think a fish would be very appropriate, symbolic and descriptive. Any other opinions out there? Kevin McCarthy, the award-winning author of “South Florida Waterways” (2013 - available at amazon.com for $7), can be reached at ceyhankevin@gmail.com.

For more from Kevin McCarthy, go to

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Sneak Peek Giveaway

Coastal Angler/The Angler Magazine will be giving away 2 Brand NEW PENN® Spinfisher® VI Reels on September 30th, 2018. Only available here as these new reels are not available to the public until October 2018.

• The smallest size Spinfisher® ever! • IPX5 sealed - perfect for kayak anglers!

ENTER TO WIN AT

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8/20/18 1:22 PM

8/19/18 9:56 AM


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By Capt. Michael Okruhlik Photo courtesy of Controlled Descent Lures

lthough the first day of fall occurs in the month of September, it sure doesn’t feel like it in any waters where redfish live. Fortunately, redfish don’t mind the heat and can be an easy target in the shallow marsh. September is a great month for kayak anglers who love the adrenaline rush of sight casting to shallow-water reds. The shrimp are maturing and abundant this time of year. On a recent trip where I fish in Texas, I had shrimp jumping into the kayak on every muddy shoreline I traveled. When fishing in scenarios such as this, I prefer to throw soft-plastic paddletails. Locating the reds from a distance can be easy when the water is this shallow and the bait is this plentiful. One key giveaway is hovering seagulls. You can bet if a gull is snatching shrimp out of the air, there are hungry fish below them. When kayaking, it depends on the distance as to whether or not I will try to chase down the hungry and potentially fast-moving school. If I am not willing to make the move, I try to watch for a pattern as to where the fish are feeding and stage my kayak in a similar location nearby. This could be along points, in the middle, or in front of drains.

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On this particular trip, I noticed skittish bait and distant birds along a north shoreline. I positioned my kayak within casting distance of that shore and fan casted until I saw nervous bait. Once spotted, I would wait for them to cruise the shore into range. When the time was right, I placed my lure with the fleeing shrimp resulting in aggressive strikes. This was the pattern they held most of the day; however I did catch a few in the middle of the cove as well. If I was not seeing nervous bait, I would fan cast 360 degrees to cover more water. I even had a few keeper-sized trout hanging out in the hot, shallow and muddy marsh. This area was roughly 10 feet deep throughout with a silty mud bottom, and the water color closely resembled chocolate milk. The air temp was in the mid 90s, but that didn’t deter the fish from feeding midday through 5 p.m. The strikes were violent and gave the illusion of each fish being larger than they were upon landing them. September brings a change in the season, but it is much more noticeable on the calendar than on the water. Capt. Michael Okruhlik is the inventor of Controlled Descent Lures and the owner of www.MyCoastOutdoors.com.

8/20/18 1:22 PM


DAYTONA • NEW SMYRNA • DELAND

FROM THE PUBLISHER’S DESK

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e can’t talk about fishing in August without talking about the Atlantic Red Snapper season. While everyone has their own opinion on limits, dates, and overall management of the species, one thing we can all agree on is THIS COMMUNITY LOVES TO FISH! What I enjoyed most about the Red Snapper season was the buzz around coastal towns for weeks leading up to the two weekends, and for weeks after. The short and mighty season reminded me of why I love fishing so much. It’s the camaraderie among men and women who love our fisheries that brings the biggest smile to my face. In the week leading up to the season, you heard both pros and novices talking about tactics, locations, baits, and more. From the casual fisherman to the charter captains, the anticipation was palpable. What happened after the season was even better. Everywhere in town from restaurants to gas stations to parking lots you saw fish

stories being told. You could tell a fish tale was being told by the age-old signs: a small group of people surrounding the story teller who had arms waving or outstretched (it was THIS big!), but the common denominator in every story I saw being told was the smiles. People who have never fished a day in their life were excited to hear all the stories. I truly believe this short season brought our entire coastal community a little bit closer, and it reinforced a belief of mine. My favorite part of fishing is the people. I saw more faces of pure joy in August then I have in a long time. It truly warmed my heart. Keep fishing and keep telling your fish stories. They make this world a better place to live in. Tight lines, The Chibbaro Family

Locally Owned With A Chef Inspired Menu Millie’s offers fresh LOCAL seafood, meat and produce. 3218 S. Atlantic Avenue Daytona Beach Shores, FL 32118

386-275-1492

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SEPTEMBER 2018

DAYTONA/NEW SMYRNA/DELAND 1


FISHING REPORT & FORECAST SKYE INSHORE / IN ADVENTURES SHORE ADVENTURES WITH SKYE

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SNOOK FISHING

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t some point throughout cast under bridges. When targeting their life cycle, snook will snook, using top waters, suspenders, inhabit almost every type diving spoons, plugs and jigs will all of inshore and nearshore habitat. work, when presented properly. A One day you may sight cast snook basic paddle tail jig is my go-to and in clear water and another you I believe every angler should have may pull in monster snook from them in their tackle box. There is pilings under bridges in the night something about a jig that snook just hours. You can spend a lifetime can’t seem to resist! chasing snook. Of course, the size of your bait Snook have a unique profile will determine the size and style of with a long lateral line that starts the hook you use. When using live from the gill plates and ends at the bait, I typically choose a 3/O 4/O fork in their tail. Their eyes are circle hook. I fish as small as jumbo located near the top of their head, shrimp and finger-sized mullet. which is great for ambushing bait When trying to decide which line as they pass above. is best, there is such a large variety The common snook is out there, it is difficult to choose. everything BUT common! Working and knowing how to Throughout the tropical play your fish is key to a successful hemisphere, there are over 10 landing. It all depends on the angler. species of snook. The largest on I use light tackle from 10lb braid, the East Coast reach lengths of tied with a double uni-knot or FG over four feet! Their lives start in knot, to a 20lb leader. I find braid is the passes and inlets. Large female much smaller than mono and I spool Fun Facts about Snook snook release up to a million my reels with Power Pro. Because of • Throughout the tropical Western Hemisphere, there are over eggs every time they spawn. snooks’ sharp gill plates and rough 10 species of snook. This requires the female to feed mouths, I always add a foot of extra • Snook have a lateral line that starts from their gill plate and runs voraciously, which is great for us leader to keep my line fresh when to the fork in their tail. anglers fishing the beaches and changing baits or hooks while on my • Snooks’ eyes are near the top of theirs heads, making it easier to inlets! Snook are a non-migratory snook fishing mission! ambush their prey. fish. A west coast snook may not With long runs and frequent leave their estuary system, but jumps, snook will make your heart • Whether it is manmade or artificial, snook love structure. throughout their years may use race; I know mine does! Every • Snook have razor sharp gill plates and sandpaper mouths. the entire system, from freshwater snook landed is a trophy in my eyes, • Snook begin their lives in passes and inlets. to saltwater passes. Along their because no matter the size, I put in way, snook spend time in various the same hard work and time. places such as deep river channels, One thing I have learned fishing mangroves, shorelines, grassy flats, oyster bars, passes and inlets. for snook is that they love structure! Whether it is natural or manmade, soft as mangroves or hard as Reading the Water wood pilings, if it is disrupting Knowing how to read the water is important for a successful fishing the flow, you are bound to see trip. When out in the flats, look for distinct color changes giving various a snook angler there! There water depths, drop-offs, and transition zones. These are places that hold are so many reasons snook fish. Watch for signs such as strong currents wrapping around structure are a number one target for us during that last hour of a tide change. Pelicans, birds flying, diving, or anglers here in Central Florida, grouped up in an area is a good sign that bait fish are present, letting you they truly are a challenge and know fish are most likely there! Finding oyster bars, especially during a not an easy catch. That makes low tide where wind is pushing up against the oysters creating what we call it that much more rewarding to an artificial current, gives an ambush point, pushing all the bait up to the bring that snook to your boat. surface. Learning how to read the waters will help you to learn where the Feel free to check out my fish are. inshore fishing adventures on Facebook @ Inshore Adventures Baits and Lures With Skye and on Instagram Everyone has their preference; I am a spinning reel angler. I find using brassyhooker87 a spinning reel is best for casting in tight spots and getting that perfect 2 DAYTONA/NEW SMYRNA/DELAND

SEPTEMBER 2018

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FISHING REPORT & FORECAST ED FARLOW

Ponce Inlet - Surf Intracoastal - Backwaters

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he first weekend of the Red Snapper season is behind us and what a great success it was! The weather cooperated, allowing boats of all sizes to participate in what was some fantastic fishing. Pam & Bill Lawson with family and friends with a The only drawback nice catch of Red Snapper on Saturday of the Red was the thermocline Snapper weekend. and cold water that moved in just before the weekend started, causing some anglers to have to search harder to fill their one fish quota. With that said, I heard no complaints as the bite seemed to be spread throughout the inshore and deeper wrecks and reefs. Live pigfish, live pinfish and ballyhoo were the predominate baits, with squid and sardines rounding out the bait box. Now on to what to expect in September and the start of the fall mullet run. All areas covered in this report will be affected by the mullet run, so being prepared for success will include having live bait, (mullet, pinfish, pigfish) and artificials that mimic those baits. Ponce Inlet will see a great deal of action whether fishing by boat or from the jetty. Free line your live bait and hold on. Redfish, snook, trout, tarpon and other predators have all congregated in wait for the mullet to arrive, and will reward the angler who puts in the time and research to catch them. If using artificials, throw lures like the Live Target Mullet and Pinfish, Yozuri Mag Darter, Bomber Long “A” and Minnow, Rapala Twitchin’ Mullet and Storm Wild Eye Shad. The surf will also be alive with the above listed game fish looking for a meal. Fishing with live or cut mullet will be best, as well as the artificials mentioned. Hit the beach and look for a hole or trough, keeping your eyes open for baitfish moving down the beach. Always have a rod rigged with an artificial ready to throw into the bait schools. It’s almost guaranteed that there will be predator fish following the bait. The backwaters of Spruce Creek, Mill Creek, Fozzard Creek, Wilbur Bay and others will also be great places to fish. Again we’re talking about the Longtime Salty Dawg friend Chris mullet run, so having live bait will Moreno with a nice 26” Redfish caught on artificial on a kayak in the be the key to success. Redfish, trout, snook and flounder will be the main backwaters. targets, and they will all be waiting to ambush the schools of mullet moving through. For the angler who throws lures, early morning action will be best using topwater lures like the Rapala Skitter walk and Skitter V, Yozuri Popper and Bomber topwater. After the sun has risen, switch to shallow runners for the best success. Stop in Salty Dawg Outfitters for all your fishing needs. From live bait (pinfish, pigfish, mullet and shrimp), frozen bait and inshore and offshore tackle, to rods, reels and cool fishing apparel, Salty Dawg Outfitters in Ponce Inlet has what you need! We’re right beside the Ponce boat ramp. Until next time, tight lines and light winds! Ed Farlow is the co-owner of Salty Dawg Outfitters Bait & Tackle in Ponce Inlet COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

SEPTEMBER 2018

DAYTONA/NEW SMYRNA/DELAND 3


FISHING REPORT & FORECAST CAPT. MICHAEL SAVEDOW

Edgewater Backcountry, Mosquito Lagoon & Ponce Inlet

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he long Florida summer will finally end this month with the first day of fall and the start of the mullet run. Most of the migrating mullet stay in the ocean along the beach and near the inlet, but some of the mullet schools come inside and travel along the Intracoastal Waterway on their journey south, followed by inshore game fish, including tarpon, sharks, jack crevalle, bluefish, Bull Redfish 44” for Timothy caught in ladyfish, and spanish mackerel Edgewater on a live blue crab to join resident fish like redfish, trout, snook, and mangrove snapper feeding on the baitfish. Cast net mullet in and around the bait schools, finger size for the jacks, blues, and ladys, full size for the tarpon, bull reds, snook, and sharks. Free line baits on the surface or fish them deeper with a small weight under the bait schools. Try mullet live, fresh dead, or cut. Lure and fly fishermen can have good action with top water or subsurface lures which imitate the mullet. Snook season opens September 1, bag limit is 1 per person, slot size limit is 28” to 32” overall length, with a snook permit on your fishing license. Best places to target snook in our area can be the Spruce Creek and Tomoka regions, Ponce Inlet jettys, ICW bridges and docks, Haulover Canal, and in the Edgewater Backcountry, try mangrove & oyster shorelines and points with deeper drop-offs and flowing current. World record Atlantic Snook is 53 lbs. from Costa Rica; Florida record is 44 lbs. caught near Ft. Myers. Night time can be best for docks and bridges, with early and late day low light times always a plus for snook feeding. Summer patterns continue for a while longer on Mosquito Lagoon. For seatrout, early morning top water lures and weedless soft plastic jerk baits over shallow grass, mixed bottom, and near mullet schools. After the sun is up, live pigfish or croakers freelined on drop offs, in holes and sloughs with mullet schools present. For lagoon redfish, stay shallow, on mixed bottom, grass edges, and sand pockets also with pigs, croakers, live finger mullet or cut bait. Large redfish are gathering in Ponce Inlet, known as Mosquito Inlet before its name was changed in 1927, for their annual spawning season, drifting the inlet channel and its western entrance is the most popular technique, free lining whole or half blue crabs, live pinfish, pigfish or mullet, outgoing tide can be the best choice most days. If you want to know the weight of your big red or any large fish, with the fish in the water at boat side, measure the length and girth in inches, then calculate the approximate weight in pounds using this formula: Length times Girth squared divided by 800. Also, hold your trophy fish horizontally for a quick photo, never hang it by the lip out of the water to avoid damage to our valuable breeder size redfish or other large fish destined for release. Tarpon, sharks, snook and snapper can also be an expected fall catch at Ponce Inlet. Night time dock light fishing will continue to be good, in addition to trout, snook, snapper, and redfish, fall migratory fish arriving will also be feeding on baitfish and shrimp attracted to the lights. Schools of jacks, bluefish, and ladyfish can be thick at the right lights, outgoing tide for the best action. Capt. Michael Savedow — Edgewater River Guide www.EdgewaterRiverGuide.com • 386-689-3781

4 DAYTONA/NEW SMYRNA/DELAND

SEPTEMBER 2018

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FISHING REPORT & FORECAST SKYE COASTAL / INANGLER SHORE STAFF ADVENTURES WRITER

Offshore Report

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ugust was Snapper-mania and just about everyone we spoke to reported limits, or near limits every day they went out. It was great to finally be able to put some of these fish in the cooler after so long of playing catch and release with them. With August coming to an end and September rolling in, we are right between seasons. The fall run of species hasn’t quite started, and the summer species haven’t quite ended. This doesn’t mean there are no fishing opportunities, it just means you may need to get creative. While we all love to run off shore while fishing, this is the time of year to stay close to the beaches. In close you can find bonito, sharks, and lots of tarpon. Although these might not be the big-name offshore species we all brag about, you can spend an entire day with bent rods, and half the normal fuel bill. It is also a great time of year to get the whole family out there as kids will love the constant action, and you are never that far from home. You can target these species with live bait or artificials. We usually starting the morning with the cast net looking for mullet or pogies, then we hit the beaches. If you don’t have good radar for finding birds, a good pair of binoculars can help you find diving birds and nervous bait pods. Another good bet is fishing behind the shrimp boats. Remember to keep a safe distance, and remember their nets extend quite a ways behind the boat. Go get ‘em! A successful charter with Back to Blue Outdoors and Capt Shane Ryan

Coastal Angler Staff Writer

Winter caught Bally Hoo

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SEPTEMBER 2018

DAYTONA/NEW SMYRNA/DELAND 5


ESSEX SEAFOOD TWO Famous Whole Belly Fried Clams

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n the outskirts of Volusia County, on the border of Pierson and Astor lies a restaurant that has been delivering famous whole belly clams to hungry patrons for 23 years. Essex Seafood Two was named after its predecessor, Essex Seafood 1, which was owned by Danny Lane in Essex, Massachusetts who sold it to his brother before moving to Florida and opening the current restaurant. A staple family owned and operated restaurant in the area after bringing the Ipswich clams into town that folks can’t get enough of. Ipswich clams, known as soft-shell clams with nicknames such as “long necks,” “piss clams,” and “Essex clams” are a local commodity. Ipswich is a coastal town in Essex County, Massachusetts where the clams get their name from. The Ipswich fried clam recipe was reportedly invented in Essex, Massachusetts by Chubby Woodman in the early 20th century. Our food adventure started by pulling into the classic white and blue-trimmed building’s parking lot off of State Road 40. The sign out front, highlights the restaurants name with a clam boat in the center with a lobster, frog, fish, and gator in each of the corners letting passerbys know what Essex Seafood 2 is all about. After getting out of the vehicle and getting close enough to the front door a sign states that Essex Seafood Two accepts cash only, and if you didn’t bring cash, there is a neighbor gas station with an ATM that can help you. Stepping inside you are greeted by a friendly waitress and notice plenty of pictures of different types of race cars and people on the wall. After a short discussion with Allen Lane, Danny’s son, we found out that the family loved to race cars and the restaurant highlights that. We opened our menus and were met by a variety of southern classics with their famous northern clams as well. Appetizers ranged from a blooming onion, gator snack, buffalo catfish, shrimp cocktail, fried pickles, clam chowder, and Ipswich steamers. We tried a cup of the clam chowder, where cream and butter were prevalent, with big chunks of potato and clam floating around in the soupy, yet flavorful broth. Article and Pictures By: Ryan Rougeux Instagram: Gonzofoodjournalist Facebook: Gonzo Food Journalist Email: gonzofoodjournalist@gmail.com 6 DAYTONA/NEW SMYRNA/DELAND

SEPTEMBER 2018

Next we dabbled with an order of Ipswich steamers, steamed and served in the shell with a side of broth to wash the clam and remove the neck before dipping the meat in melted butter and into your mouth. These clams were heavenly! We had been searching for frog legs since our first Coastal Angler Magazine food article and Essex Seafood Two delivered big time. At Essex Seafood Two they offer “plates,” which are the large portions served with 2 sides, and “boats,” which are smaller portions served with two sides. The Frog Leg plate was loaded with breaded and elite muscular jumpers that were fall off the bone and as fresh as they come. The sides of homemade mac and cheese and hush puppies delighted the taste buds as well. Essex Seafood Two has 26 different plates to choose from and 14 different boats ranging from the famous Whole Belly clams, grouper, oysters, lobster, crab legs, scallops, ribs, pork chops, and almost every seafood and southern staple you can think of. “We hand shuck em,’ they’re alive when we get them, we batter them, fry them, and then people get to love them,” said the owners son Allen describing their famous whole belly clams. We had to try one of their 10 sandwiches and went with the lobster roll. Served on a bun with chunks of sweet lobster tail, and agreed to pour melted butter over top of it all. We should be full by now, but at the bottom of the menu in giant letters it says, “Homemade Boston Crème Pie,” and in southern lingo I said to myself, “I ain’t skeered.” Made by the waitresses, this giant slice of pie was rich, moist, and had us throwing in the towel. Each bite I felt like I was doing something bad, and that’s why I liked it. Essex Seafood Two is more than worth the drive from anywhere in Volusia County, or outside to get a taste of what Danny Lane and his family have brought all the way from Essex, Massachusetts. Essex Seafood Two offers an extensive choice of seafood and southern Essex Seafood Two favorites sure to please 1360 West, 2802, FL-40, Pierson, FL 32180 (386) 749-1557 any palate that walks through their doors. Monday - 11:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m. Until Next Time, “Stay Tuesday - Closed Hungry My Friends.” Wednesday - Sunday - 11:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.

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SHRIMPING REPORT & FORECAST CAPT. LEE NOGA

Breaking News FULL PULLS Since July!

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aytona’s 5 year white shrimp slump has come to an end. Prior to the hurricanes of 2016 & 2017, we were already in a slump. The results were either no shrimp or popcorn size shrimp in small quantities. This severely affected the commercial industry. Typically, the white shrimp are reported in South Daytona first in July. Our season can turn off anytime in September and we remain attentive monitoring movement and size. The rains can wreak havoc, which is a problem we are dealing with currently. Once Central Florida turns off, the North East region of Florida turns on and continues well into the fall (2 hour tow). The sizes in Central Florida range from popcorn to 5” range. This has been the best season in a half decade. First full pull was reported in July, which was textbook. White shrimp are cast netted in the Intracoastal from CM 38 to 51 during the day time in the Halifax River. The outgoing tide is preferred. The sizes are mixed with a high majority of mediums. The summer season also produces the most reports of Asian Tiger shrimp caught. We continue to see hybrids of the Asian Tiger from reproduction cycles with other shrimp species local to our waters. The Colleen Moriarty from S. Daytona 4 gallon North East is reporting pull in 3 hours, mixed sizes no significant numbers of white shrimp and is voicing concerns in the Green Cove, Palatka and Welaka hot spots. This is not unusual to see a delay in the run in the N.E region. They enjoy shrimp runs that are much larger and last much longer compared to Central Florida. If Central Florida had their best run in 5 years, I am hard pressed to believe the N.E. will skunk. The boat flotillas are averaging 25-40 boats (not anchored). This is a boating sport unless you have access to docks around CM 38 and north. Just go buy a cheap cast net, add 25 feet of line, duct tape both sides of the lead line (keeps the net open longer resulting in more shrimp per cast). If the tape peels, use heat gun and the tape can be removed and replaced. DO NOT tape down the stringers (thick mono line running a vertical pattern from ring at top of net to the lead line). High Bridge in Ormond is a popular net snag area. If you want to throw under a bridge, use a cheap net you can afford to lose or damage. Scalloping has been a great year and remember, the season ends Sept. 10th - 24th depending on what county you’re scalloping in. Note, the sport of shrimping is a fluid sport where the conditions change daily. For up to the moment reports, join the FB group – Florida Shrimping Academy – Tips & Tricks for current intel.

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SEPTEMBER 2018

DAYTONA/NEW SMYRNA/DELAND 7


Ponce Inlet

FISHING REPORT & FORECAST CAPT. BARRY ENGLEHARDT

TIDE CHART I September 2018 HIGH

DATE

AM

LOW FT

PM

FT

AM

FT

PM

FT

RISE SET

1

Sat

12:43 2.9

1:12

3.3

6:52

0.1

7:37

0.4

7:00

7:46

2

Sun

1:30

2.8

2:03

3.4

7:41

0.1

8:33

0.4

7:01

7:44

3

Mon

2:22

2.7

3:01

3.4

8:34

0.1

9:30

0.4

7:01

7:43

4

Tue

3:23

2.7

4:06

3.5

9:30

0.0

10:31

0.3

7:02

7:42

5

Wed

4:32

2.7

5:12

3.6

10:31 -0.0 11:33

0.2

7:02

7:41

6

Thu

5:38

2.9

6:14

3.7

11:35 -0.1

7:03

7:40

7

Fri

6:38

3.1

7:10

3.8

12:32

0.1

12:37 -0.3

7:03

7:39

8

Sat

7:35

3.3

8:05

3.9

1:27

-0.1

1:36

-0.4

7:04

7:37

9

Sun

8:31

3.5

8:58

3.9

2:19

-0.2

2:32

-0.4

7:04

7:36

9:24

3.6

9:49

10 Mon

3.8

3:08

-0.3

3:27

-0.4

7:05

7:35

Tue

10:15 3.7 10:37 3.6

3:55

-0.3

4:20

-0.3

7:05

7:34

12 Wed

11:04 3.8 11:25 3.4

4:41

-0.3

5:13

-0.2

7:06

7:33

13 Thu

11

11:54 3.7

5:29

-0.2

6:09

0.0

7:06

7:31

14

Fri

12:13 3.1 12:45 3.6

6:19

-0.0

7:07

0.2

7:07

7:30

15

Sat

1:04

2.9

1:37

3.4

7:11

0.1

8:03

0.4

7:07

7:29

16 Sun

1:56

2.7

2:30

3.3

8:03

0.3

8:57

0.5

7:08

7:28

17 Mon

2:50

2.6

3:26

3.2

8:55

0.4

9:50

0.6

7:08

7:26

Tue

3:48

2.5

4:23

3.1

9:47

0.5

10:43

0.6

7:09

7:25

19 Wed

4:47

2.5

5:18

3.1

10:42

0.5

11:34

0.6

7:09

7:24

20 Thu

5:42

2.6

6:08

3.1

11:36

0.5

7:10

7:23

21

Fri

6:30

2.7

6:53

3.2

12:21

0.5

7:10

7:22

22

18

12:26

0.4

Sat

7:15

2.8

7:36

3.2

1:04

0.4

1:13

0.3

7:11

7:20

23 Sun

7:58

3.0

8:18

3.2

1:44

0.3

1:58

0.2

7:11

7:19

24 Mon

8:40

3.1

8:59

3.3

2:22

0.2

2:41

0.2

7:12

7:18

Tue

9:21

3.3

9:39

3.2

2:59

0.1

3:22

0.1

7:12

7:17

26 Wed 10:00 3.4 10:18 3.2 HIGH LOW DATE 27 Thu 10:38 3.5 10:57 3.1 AM FT PM FT

3:35

0.0

4:03

0.1

7:13

7:15

25

4:12 -0.0 4:45 0.1 AM FT PM FT

MOON

28

Fri

11:18 3.5 11:38 3.0

4:50

-0.0

5:32

0.2

7:14

7:13

Sat

12:02 3.5

5:32

0.0

6:24

0.3

7:14

7:12

30 Sun

12:23 2.9 12:50 3.5

6:22

0.1

7:21

0.3

7:15

7:11

FISHING REPORT & FORECAST CAPT. BRYN RAWLINS

Central St. Johns River

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f there are no hurricanes coming through in September, fishing will be exciting. With the water in the 80 degree range, the Tarpon fishing is at its peak. Past Septembers, we caught numerous tarpon while fishing for redfish and when we targeted the tarpon, the best bite was 5:30AM to 8 AM and a couple of hours before dark. I am expecting the snook bite to be very good. Use stick baits and pinfish under a popping cork two hours Kevin from Texas with his 28 inch trout. before and two hours after high tide, casting against the banks. Judging on the size of the trout we caught in August, I am expecting the bite to be the same or better. September can be the best month to fish and those who want to catch big reds can just venture out to the jetties for explosive action. Captain Barry Englehardt | fishwithcaptainbarry.com

7:13 7:14 RISE SET MOON

29

Tomoka Fishing Report

eptember is still the dog days of summer for us on the great St. Johns River. While we are still in the summer doldrums, you can get your limit by fishing early and late and fishing smart. Because it is so hot during the day, it is important to start your fishing trip very early. Your first three hours of daylight will usually be the most productive. Also, with water temperatures ranging in the eighties, fish don’t move as fast as normal. So, slow your retrieve down – be more patient. For bass, start shallow early and then finish in deeper water as the temperature rises. Spinner baits, 1/4oz. to 3/8 oz. size with Colorado and willow leaf blades in white or chartreuse color or a combination of both and top water plugs. Try a Devils Horse, in spotted ape or frog pattern and fish spatter dock lily pads and stick ups and tree tops in the shallow water areas and backwaters of the St. Johns River and area lakes. Also try crank baits around deeper tree tops and underwater structure. For the live bait, use wild river shiners fished under a bobber 2-3 feet deep. Use a weedless hook to match the size of your bait. Anchor 20-30 feet from floating cover. Wait for action, patience is the key here. Real good catches of warmouth and bluegill are common this month. For warmouth Perch, throw a dark colored beetle spin near treetops and lily pads and shoreline cover in backwater creeks. Or swing a minnow with a pole and sliding bobber near cover. Some good areas are Harry’s Creek, Eph Creek and south Norris Dead River. August produced nice catches of Speckled Perch coming in from Lake Woodruff. Anglers were most productive catching these fish by either trolling or vertical jigging. It is early in the season to see specks being brought in, and combined with the high water levels we’ve had this summer, we are expecting a great Speckled Perch season this coming fall. Capt. Bryn Rawlins, Highland Park Fish Camp, DeLand, FL (386) 734-2334 | www.Highlandparkfishcamp.com

8 DAYTONA/NEW SMYRNA/DELAND

SEPTEMBER 2018

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m

s,

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If You Blinked, You Missed It. By Rod Harter

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his year’s red snapper season was like Haley’s Comet. It doesn’t happen that often and when it does, it’s over in a slash. If you misse it you’ll have to wait until next year, if not longer.

Local Businesses Loved Red Snapper Season

Red snapper season is big doin’s up and down coastal Volusia County. Local businesses love the attraction. Folks came from Orlando and other areas of A couple of anglers showing their catch of red the state. Many stayed in snapper for the day. local hotels. Gas stations, convenience stores and restaurants were all very busy. Boat ramps were filled to capacity. Many anglers waited an hour or longer to get their boats in the water. Bait stores were busy too, many enjoyed record weekends. No doubt about it, red snapper season was a huge financial boost for our local economy.

everyone got their one fish, per person limit. Boats were elbow to elbow on the first weekend, which is a strong indication the restrictions on red snapper are working. Maybe it’s working too well. Have We Overprotected the Red Snapper Population? Many charter-boat operators and recreational anglers agree that some kind of restriction on red snapper should have been put in place. But now, many charter captain’s feel like there are too many red snapper down there. They’ve taken over the reefs, especially over the last year or two. Fisherman have a hard time getting away from them. As the snapper numbers continue to grow, they’re eating all the other fish on the reef. Their suffocating the natural cycle of the reef. Red snapper are everywhere, eating up everything in sight. The Answer is Usually Somewhere in the Middle We can manage the growth and harvesting of the red snapper. Hopefully we continue to have a red snapper season every year. It’s about balance. We can’t have the pendulum just swing one way. This shouldn’t just be about saving one type of fish. We need to save the entire ecosystem on the reef, with everything working together. Unfortunately, conservation efforts got caught being in a reactive mode. In reality, I believe, we need to be proactive. Rod Harter spent his youth in South Florida at a time when it was pure paradise. Rod now lives in Ponce Inlet. He’s an author, ‘strategic marketing expert,’ and Founder of Specialty Marketing Consultants. www.SpecialtyMarketingConsultants.com Email: RodHarter@me.com / Phone: (407) 619-3598 www.getrodsbook.com • www.specialtymarketingconsultants.com

Easy Pickin’s Out There On the Reefs Most anglers who made it out to the reefs, did very well. Seams like most

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Kyle Gordon with a Red Snapper

Jason Litton with his first cobia on board On The Water Charters

The ladies of Ormond Outpost put a smackdown on some Snapper Evan Kujawa with a nice jack crevalle from his vacation to FL

Christopher Eunice with a beauty of a Red Snapper

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CONSERVATION

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on which to attach. Up the food chain, these ell-steamed, dipped in butter, on half a oyster habitats provide feeding grounds for many cracker with some horseradish-heavy predatory fish. Perhaps most importantly, oysters cocktail and a dash of hot sauce… clean our water. Oysters are filter feeders, constantly that’s my go-to during these months with an “r” removing particulate matter and improving water in their name. Maybe you’re more of the raw, clarity. According to the Shuck and Share website, straight out of the shell type…or somewhere in one oyster can filter between 20 and 50 gallons of between. For many seafood lovers, oysters are a water per day. Perhaps you’ve noticed the oysters delicacy taken for granted as a simple order by “spitting” as the tide goes out. This is part of the the dozen. Unfortunately, over 85% of the world’s filtering process that naturally occurs as oysters oysters have disappeared since the late 19th “eat” their meal of plankton and particulate matter century, according to the Nature Conservancy (why I like them well-steamed!). website. The great thing about creative minds and In most Florida counties, recreational oyster problem-solvers is that we can have our oysters harvesting is closed from July 1st through (cleaning our waterways) and eat them too! Healthy oyster bed in Spruce Creek, where all oyster September 30th each year. While open, the The Shuck & Share program, founded in harvesting is prohibited. 2014 by the Marine Discovery Center in New – Photo Credit: Tara Shea per-person or per- vessel limit is two 60 lb. bags and the minimum size for harvesting is three Smyrna Beach, recycles “shucked” oyster shells inches. Even during normal harvesting months, many areas are typically closed from participating local restaurants. These shells are collected, stored for a to harvest due to extenuating circumstances such as excessive rainfall or in many minimum of 90 days in the sun, and then used to make oyster bags or mats for cases, unhealthy water due to conditions such as sewage spills. Daily updates for local restoration projects, completed by the University of Central Florida. shellfish harvesting closures can be found at http://shellfish.floridaaquaculture. Many people don’t realize the role that thriving oyster beds play in the health of com/seas/seas_atlantic.htm or by calling 321-984-4890. Participating Shuck & our fragile coastal ecosystem. Oyster beds provide shoreline erosion protection by absorbing wave and boat wake energy. Their structure also provides critical habitat Share restaurant partners can be found at http://shuckandshare.org/partners.html for many juvenile marine species, including other oyster larvae, which at one point in their life cycle, develop a type of “eyespot” they use to find a clean, hard substrate Tara Shea | Coastal Angler Staff Writer

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8/20/18 1:22 PM


F

FISH & FISHING

LW Tour pro Clent Davis, of Montevallo, Ala., brought a fivebass limit to the scale Sunday, Aug. 12 that was the heaviest sack of the three-day 2018 Forrest Wood Cup on Lake Ouachita, Arkansas. Davis’ final day weight of 17 pounds, 13 ounces catapulted him from 10th to first place and earned him the $300,000 top prize. With a three-day total of 15 fish and 36 pounds, 13 ounces, Davis beat out second-place Cabela’s/Bass Pro Shops pro James Niggemeyer, of Van, Texas, by more than seven pounds. “I don’t believe that I just won this,” said Davis, a former FLW College Fishing standout for the University of Montevallo. “I almost walked away from professional bass fishing last year. I was burned out on fishing. I sold all of my gear – my boat, all of my rods, my reels, every piece of equipment that I had. It wasn’t from failure, it was because I was burned out. Davis’ decision to rejoin the tour—after some prompting by FLW Tour Senior Tournament Director Bill Taylor—was definitely the correct one. He finished the season ranked No. 25 in the Angler of the Year race—his best finish since his rookie season. He cashed checks totaling more than $62,000 in seven events and qualified for his third Forrest Wood Cup appearance. “I knew that the only way that I was going to win this week was fishing brushpiles,” Davis said. “There are so many ways to catch fish on this lake, but if it was going to happen for me, it was going to be offshore, fishing out of the brush.” Davis relied on a 12-inch, plum-colored Mister Twister Mag Buzz Worm fished in the 22- to 30-foot depths. “I fished awful all week, losing fish, but I caught enough to squeak into the top-10 by 1 ounce,” Davis said. “I’m not supposed to win

Look Down

A

MARK SOSIN

t times, success on the water comes from changing your approach. Let me share some examples. No matter what lure you choose, there’s a compelling desire to cast it as far as you can and retrieve it on the surface or just below it. Trollers insist on a full spread well behind the boat on top of the water. Anglers who prefer to drift with the current fish natural baits or artificials a distance from the boat on the upcurrent side and closer to the surface. Even those who fly kites on the offshore grounds keep live baits barely splashing on the skin of the water. The tendency in all of these examples lies in ignoring the fact that distance on the water must be measured vertically as well as horizontally. Most fish species spend the major portion of their existence at or near the bottom of the water. Consider, too, that there are some species that will suspend at mid-depth or cruise somewhere between top and bottom in search of food. Even moderate attempts to cover vertical distance as well as horizontal can make a difference. If you enjoy casting and retrieving an artificial and you have two outfits, rig one with an artificial that skims the surface or just below it and put an offering on the other that will sink to the bottom. Alternate them on casts, and you will quickly learn where the fish are in that spot. If trolling becomes your technique of choice, rig one line on a downrigger or weight it sufficiently so that it covers the mid-depth or close to the bottom. And, if you are just drifting with offerings streamed on the upcurrent side, fish at least one of the baits or lures at a reasonable depth. Probing the depths becomes even more important when there is structure on the bottom that attracts fish. Some species will hug the structure while others will probe and prowl the area. Fishing a bait or working a lure from the bottom to the surface in these waters

CANGL_FIL1-FIL4.indd 4

coming out in 10th FLW Photo place, so I went out today and just had fun. I had an incredible day on the water today and finally got lucky, catching my 5-pound kicker. I guess it was just my time.” The top 10 pros at the 2018 Forrest Wood Cup on Lake Ouachita finished: 1st: Clent Davis, Montevallo, Ala., 15 bass, 36-13, $300,000 2nd: James Niggemeyer, Van, Texas, 14 bass, 29-9, $60,000 3rd: Berkley pro Justin Atkins, Florence, Ala., 15 bass, 28-12, $50,000 4th: Nick LeBrun, Bossier City, La., 12 bass, 28-6, $37,500 5th: Jason Lambert, Michie, Tenn., 15 bass, 27-15, $30,000 6th: Zack Birge, Blanchard, Okla., 15 bass, 26-13, $24,000 7th: Wes Logan, Springville, Ala., 11 bass, 25-9, $23,000 8th: John Cox, DeBary, Fla., 13 bass, 24-7, $22,000 9th: Brandon Cobb, Greenwood, S.C., 12 bass, 23-1, $21,000 10th: Bradford Beavers, Summerville, S.C., nine bass, 20-8, $20,000 Full results for the entire field can be found at FLWFishing.com.

To watch the winning moment, go to

FISHINGLIFE.CO

often is paramount to success. It is usually more productive if you focus on the upcurrent side of the structure. Veteran anglers keep an outfit on board expressly for deep jigging. It’s rigged with a leadheaded bucktail or some other type of metal that boasts the weight to get the offering to the bottom. It can be rigged with natural bait, a natural bait tail behind the bucktail or an artificial tail such as a plastic worm. It works on countless species. The key is to drop it to the bottom straight up and down and then retrieve it with a bunch of moves with the rod. You’ll find it is much more productive when the retrieve is close to the boat rather than working it to the surface at an angle. Vertical jigging won’t work every time, nothing does, but it’s a method you want to remember and use when other approaches don’t produce fish.

For more from Mark Sosin, visit

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8/20/18 1:22 PM


By Richard Matteson Author Richard Matteson with an Indian River Lagoon fall snook.

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ou can’t catch fish if you don’t know where they are. Since the ecological system of the lagoon is changing, some new tactics are required. As with any fishing, when you find the bait, you find the fish. Look for bait first. This year there’s been mullet, pinfish and schools of glass minnows. If you don’t see any bait, find another area with bait. Always look for birds and especially diving birds, which are actively feeding on bait. When you find the bait, keep an eye out in that area for actively feeding fish. If there’s bait but no feeding fish, find another area with bait. Look for ambush points. Docks, piers, mangroves, sea walls, bridges and docked boats are all areas where fish can stay hidden in the shade waiting for the bait to come by. Sea walls and sandbars are perfect for predator fish since they can trap baitfish. There is still some grass north of Fort Pierce, but it is hard to find. Patches of grass are found on the west side around Harbor Branch in big and little Pecks. On the east side, there is some grass in Starvation Bay and south of Fort Piece around Bear Point. Trout love grass, and these few areas still hold trout. Surprisingly, there have been good numbers of trout caught this summer, though most of the trout have been smaller. The lack of grass south of Fort Pierce has scattered the trout, but I’ve been catching large trout consistently on the west side in the shallow water between the sandbar and shore on jigs and topwater lures. Find the current breaks. When the tide is moving, predator fish will stay around the edge of the current so they don’t have to work as hard to find food. Sometimes big snook go deep under bridges and behind pilings. Other times they stay around feeder creeks and shallow islands near the faster current. You’ve got to know the tides. The predators pull back from shallow areas on low tide. In general, they will be in deeper holes, troughs, shallow break lines and around deep piers. On high tide, you find the fish in the mangroves and cruising the shorelines. If you are not on the fish, keep moving. To find fish, use fast search lures like jigs and crankbaits that cover a large area. Keep moving and fan cast areas until you find the fish. Remember that if the tide is wrong (dead low or high) the fish might be there, but they won’t bite. Richard Matteson is staff writer for the Stuart Rod and Reel Club. Contact him at 
(336) 414-3440.

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SEPTEMBER 2018

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8/20/18 11:02 AM


10 CENTRAL FLORIDA

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SEPTEMBER 2018

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SEPTEMBER 2018

CENTRAL FLORIDA 11

8/20/18 11:02 AM


By Capt. Cefus McRae, Nuts & Bolts of Fishing Series

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n a recent fishing trip, the first three casts of the morning produced three fish. That’s pretty outstanding. Under normal circumstances, I would be gleeful and possibly even do a little bragging, but those three fish were all gafftopsail cats. It just so happened I wasn’t fishing for saltwater catfish. Instead, I was targeting speckled trout. But for the first couple hours that morning, all I seemed to catch were what many people call “trash fish:” sail cats, ladyfish, lizardfish, stingrays, toadfish and a sea robin. I think I caught every one of them.

Now, I don’t know exactly who came up with the moniker “trash fish” for these species. Probably someone who didn’t appreciate the tarpon-like jumps of a ladyfish or the drag-screaming runs of a big sail cat or stingray or the uniquely interesting leg-like pectoral fins of a sea robin. Actually, I’d put a couple of those in the “most-valuable” category. A lizardfish is probably one of the best baits you can use to catch monster gag grouper. Ladyfish are a preferred bait for catching tarpon, spinner sharks and bull redfish. There are some trash fish that inhabit the freshwater environs as well. Ever caught an alligator gar? Most folks put them in the trash category. I don’t. They fight like crazy. They jump, and they look really dangerous when you get them close to the boat. There are hundreds of sharp teeth on that snout that will mess up your day. A lot of people consider carp to be a trash fish. But if you ever plan to fly fish for bonefish or redfish, carp are one of the best sparring partners you’ll ever find. Carp cruise the flats of our inland rivers and reservoirs and will do just about everything bones and reds will do. It’s great practice. Plus, when you get a carp to take your fly, it’s a fight like you’ve never seen before. One fish that probably deserves the status of trash fish is the toadfish. They’re not especially pretty to look at, and their jaws and small teeth can do some real damage to your fingers. They don’t put up much of a fight, and they’re not terribly good on the table. At least that’s what I’ve heard. I can’t remember ever being served toadfish, or being hungry enough to try to cook one. By the way, they also call the toadfish a “mother-in-law fish.” Someone must have been really mad at their mom-in-law to brand the toadfish with that name. Now that I’ve reflected on the subject, I am considering removing several of the aforementioned species from my own personal trash fish list. For me, any fish that puts up a great fight, offers some aerial acrobatics or drag-screaming runs deserves its rightful place as a sportfish. But I think the toadfish will always remain a little bit on the trashy side.

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n Sept. 15, Millers Boating Center in Ocala, Fla., will host a free Women’s Fishing Clinic in cooperation with the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission. The free, day-long clinic is from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Millers Boating Center, 1661 NW 57th Street, Ocala. Lessons will include knot tying, cast netting, rod and reel rigging, fish and habitat identification, fish handling and more. All participants must be at least 18 years of age. Lunch and refreshments will be provided by Millers to all participants. Space is limited, and in the past this class has filled quickly. Advance registration before Sept. 5 is recommended. To register or get more information, email Tonya Hanna at Tonya@MillersBoating.com or call 352-622-7757.

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By Capt. Tom Bailas

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ach June my family and I take a break from our Venice, Fla. charter operation and head to the Florida Keys to do some fun-fishing. This year we fished from Tavernier and caught mahi, tuna and a big beautiful sailfish. We hosted some special guests on the boat this year. It was a family chosen by the Catch-A-Dream Foundation (catchadream. org). Gavin, who is 11, his little sister, mother and father came to fish with us for three days, accompanied by a Catch-A-Dream volunteer host named Adam. Catch-A-Dream Foundation provides children with life-threatening illnesses the opportunity to go on a hunting or fishing adventure of a lifetime with all expenses paid. Everyone had high hopes of Gavin catching his first mahi. As we cut through Tavernier Creek, I could see several thunder-

Ng

storms building offshore. We would have limited time to catch some fish and get back safely. I saw an opening in the sky and headed that way. We ran about 12 miles, and I started seeing bird action and three huge patches of weeds. My wife, Trisha, steered the boat as I put out the spread of lures and fresh ballyhoo. We immediately hooked a 12-pound bull mahi, and in short order Gavin had accomplished the first goal of the trip. But the day was not over. Things were getting ready to get very exciting. As we reeled in a small fish on our second pass, it started to rain. Out of nowhere Gavin yelled, “Look at the that BIG fish in the water!” It was a huge bull mahi, maybe 60 pounds. I grabbed a spinning rod and tossed a bait to it, but it just swam off. After seeing that fish, we had to try another pass. As I was letting it out a ballyhoo line, it came tight. The head of a big mahi pushed water toward the bait. Five seconds later, we had a huge fish on! Gavin grabbed the rod, and after a few jumps we had the cow mahi boat-side. I gaffed the fish, but it flew off and into the water. Everyone aboard went dead silent. Then my wife said, “Tom, it’s going to be OK,” before praying, “Oh please God let this fish come back to us.” It did! Gavin battled the jumping fish back to the boat. This time I got it over the rail. It measured 65 inches long. I have never seen anyone catch a cow mahi that long. There is not a doubt in my mind that God was in control and gave Gavin the strength to catch this fish of a lifetime! It was an experience of a lifetime for all of us. Gavin is a wonderful child, full of life despite his illness. Catch-A-Dream Foundation is an amazing organization that provides these deserving kids and their families a trip of a lifetime. Capt. Tom and Trisha Bailas run TNT Fishing Charters out of Venice, Fla. Check them out at www.tntfishingcharters.com and on Facebook @tntfishingchartersvenice.

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By Danny Goode, Elusive Bait Co.

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n an early afternoon in mid-June, my wife and I had dropped our son at swim lessons in Jensen Beach when I realized how close we were to the causeway. Of course, I made her stop so I could fish. Conditions were perfect. In the middle of an outgoing tide, the water was a little milky and churned up. A small school of glass minnows showered the surface, and pelicans dove on finger mullet schooling through the span of the bridge. Prior to leaving the house, I had just tied up a 1-ounce white-and-blue flair hawk jig and was really anticipating putting it to use. If you’ve ever caught a snook on a flair hawk, you know the feeling when they thump the jig. That happened on my third cast, and as I set the hook the fish did not hesitate to run straight under the catwalk with about 20 yards of line. About to lose her on a piling, I cupped the spool hard and managed to turn her head. I got a few cranks on her and began a battle like I’ve never experienced. The pure power is absolutely amazing. After what seemed an eternity, I brought the fish to the top. I handed the rod to my wife so I could hop the railing to balance on a piling cap no wider than 8 inches. Careful not to fall in or injure the fish, I brought it over the railing for a few photos before release. It was the fish of a lifetime.

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f you want to be a successful bass angler, you have to learn to fish a jig. I don’t know anybody, anywhere, who’s a successful bass angler, who doesn’t know how to fish a jig well. It is so versatile, and it catches quality fish. Personally, I love a good jig bite, so it’s also one of the most fun ways to fish. There’s not another lure on the market that has been tweaked and built to fish different types of cover and structure like a jig, and that’s part of its appeal. Jigs come in so many different shapes and sizes that the possibilities are endless. Changing out the jig’s trailer can make all the difference in the world, too. If you are just starting to get serious about jig fishing, an “Arkie”-style jig would be best to learn with. A 3/8- to ½-ounce size, really the first kind of bass jig head that ever came out, is where to begin. I use it for flipping, as it works well around wood, rock, gravel, ledges, and you can even swim it. You basically fish it like a soft plastic worm. Cast it out and let it go all the to the bottom on a slack line. Pull it off the bottom a few inches and then crawl it along. Most of the time when you’re casting or flipping, you’re imitating a crawfish, so think about a one of those walking around on the bottom. He’s not going to be jumping around a lot. If something chases him, he might scurry along quickly, but they usually move fairly slowly. Fishing a jig does take the right gear. I fish 20-lb. Vicious fluorocarbon with an improved clinch knot, a good high-speed reel and an NEPS 90HF rod from MHX. It is a 7’6” heavy-action rod with a fast tip. That rod is absolutely perfect for jig fishing. You can make accurate presentations with this fast-action tip, and the heavy power gives you the backbone to pull fish out of

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the cover. There are tons of jigs with this style. The best ones always have a good Mustad hook. Keep the colors simple; green pumpkin and orange in clear water and black and blue in dirty water. Jigs are weedless and made to be fished in heavy cover. Give them a try, and you’ll soon see why everyone who bass fishes likes a jig.

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ike most southern ports, Charleston, S.C. offers plenty of inshore angling opportunities. You’ll find redfish in the bays, seatrout in the channels, plus flounder, cobia and spadefish on local wrecks. “Those are all fun,” said Darcy Hill (#fishcharleston), but if you want to hook something with a real sense of Southern hospitality, the inshore sheepshead fishery is tough to beat. From Isle of Palms to Folly Island, and right on up into the confluence of the Ashley and Cooper rivers surrounding the city, you’ll find these battle-ready fish hugging structure.” An abundance of sheepshead doesn’t mean they’re pushovers. Quite the contrary, Hill pointed out, “Sheepshead can be challenging to catch. You have to poke into all the nooks and crannies amongst structure points, and keep moving until you get on them.” For bank fishermen, Hill recommended public access points like the Folly beach, Isle of Palms or Mount Pleasant piers. Boaters should tie-up to pilings, docks or other structure (where legal) and fish each piece thoroughly. Sometimes, she said, moving your bait just 5 or 6 inches to one side or the other makes a ton of difference. “We generally use fiddler crabs or oysters for bait,” explained the 32-year old Folly Island resident. Bury the hook in your offering and hide the point. To get the bite started, chum with crushed oysters or barnacles. Fiddlers work best from May through February while oysters rule in cooler months. Get your line tight to structure, then lift it up slightly and drop it down slowly. Most bites come on the drop. The end of the ebb and start of the flood usually see the best scores.” Setting up for sheepshead, Hill uses a Carolina-rig with a size 1 Owner Mosquito hook, a ¾-ounce egg sinker and a 1-foot length of 30-pound test mono leader. She’ll team this with a fast-tip rod and KaskKing 3,000 series Kodiak spinning reel filled with 40-pound test KastKing Super Power or KastPro braided line. “I like the abrasion resistance of these lines,” she noted, “and that Kodiak reel just gets the job done. Last week it out-muscled a 15-pound spadefish.” Keep in mind, Hill added, that sheepshead can be light biters, so watch for line twitches in addition to feeling for strikes. Set the hook hard because these fish have a big set of teeth and tough lips. Pull straight up, not to the side. Keep your rod high and walk the fish away from the nastiest tangles as you reel up. Charleston’s inshore sheepshead average 3 pounds but can push into double-digits. Two years ago, Hill took fellow KastKing pro staffer Christin Kruger on her first sheepshead foray. “She caught a 10-pounder!” laughed Hill. Now she’s a sheepshead fan for life.” October is prime time for Charleston’s sheepshead. Boaters can launch at Shem Creek (free) (www.ccprc.com/3301/Boat-Landings) in Mount Pleasant, or at Isle of Palms Marina (www.iopmarina.com; $15 weekdays/$20 weekends). For overnight accommodations, consider Shem Creek Inn (www.shemcreekinn.com) in Mount Pleasant or Sea Side Inn (www.seasideinniop.com) on Isle of Palms.

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he action peaked at the end of August here in northern Costa Rica, with multiple sailfish releases and daily shots at marlin battles. Frank Bellizio, Bob Sherley and Chet Jasak had the trip of a lifetime with sweet sailfish and mighty marlin releases. Once they got home we received this: “I returned last week from my trip to Nosara,” wrote Frank Bellizio, of Tampa, Fla. “It was great to finally get to go fish with your team in Costa Rica. I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed the trip and will recommend Fishing Nosara to everyone. “Bob has ALS and his mobility and strength are not the best. Both Capt. William and Capt. Francisco really accommodated us so that we were able to help our friend land both a sailfish and marlin. “Bob was a diver and commercial fisherman in his earlier years. We are all 71 or older, and he said this was probably his last chance to catch a sailfish or marlin. Capt. William on the Wanderer and Capt. Francisco on the Explorer made it happen. “If Capt. Francisco wanted to, he could have ended our day earlier, but he hung in and we got the sailfish late in the day. Capt. William had to work the Wanderer over and over to keep the marlin in position so Bob and I could get it landed. These men and their crew (Johnny and Elias) are much more than just employees, they have heart, and you are blessed to have them on your staff.” Kathleen Clarke of Ottawa, Ontario came to us as a novice angler, but after her trip on the Discoverer she is a full-fledged big-time bluewater angler. “Just wanted to let you know that we had an incredibly amazing time on our fishing trip,” Kathleen wrote in an email. “I don’t think that it could have been any better. Capt. Carlos and Mate Kevin were stellar. I would highly recommend that crew to anyone. “Kevin kept the boat very clean and tidy and made sure we all had everything we needed. Lunch was excellent, also, as was the fruit. We caught a mix of mahi-mahi and sailfish, also saw porpoises and turtles.” Most recently we received this one: “Just wanted to say an enthusiastic thank you for the incredible trip we had thanks to your team,” wrote Jeff Broom, of Jacksonville, Fla. “In three days we got three marlin, two blues and a massive black, three sailfish, a huge dorado, and a good deal more tuna and mahi. “Thanks to Capt. Alex and his hard working deckhand Wilson, I was able to cross marlin off my bucket list of fish to catch. It was definitely a dream for me, and I know I speak for all the guys in our group that it was definitely the fishing trip of a lifetime! “You could tell how passionate Alex was about fishing. His favorite thing to say after we brought in a catch was, ‘Let’s get another one!’”

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By Ken Kastorff • Photo by Pia Waugh/flickr.com

W

hen the Spanish conquistadors came to Ecuador, they were in search of gold. The Incas found most of their gold in the headwaters of the Amazon. I recently found gold in the Ecuadorian Amazon… golden dorado. I’ve spent 25 years on the rivers of Ecuador leading kayak and fishing trips. Three years ago, I decided to find golden dorado. Most dorado fishing occurs in Bolivia or northern Argentina. It just didn’t make sense to me that Ecuador, with such similar topography didn’t also have golden dorado. As a fly fishing guide, one of the most fun and sometimes challenging aspects of the job is finding new fishing opportunities. It isn’t unusual for my friend and co-guide, Bob Gernandt, and I to float some stretch of river we’ve never seen to develop a new fishing destination. Doing this in another country can be a bit more complicated, especially when you are heading into one of the biggest jungles in the world. Having a lodge in the cloud forest of the Amazon has allowed me to tap into local knowledge. It also helps to have a partner in-country who knows the lay of the land and can speak the language. Last February, my partner Angel and I spent a month tracking down dorado leads. Angel visited one community after another with photos of golden dorados. The first breakthrough was learning that indigenous communities call the fish by its Ketchua name, Gualo. That led us to a handful of possible rivers to check. We were dependent on local river transportation. The indigenous communities have used dugout canoes for centuries to transport people and goods in the roadless jungle. These canoes are 12-meter-long boats carved out of a tree trunk. We were able to check out three different sections of rivers using these narrow and incredibly tippy canoes. The advantage is these boats can negotiate whitewater while being pushed upstream by a 40-horse outboard. They are almost impossible to stand in, so they are not the best platform to cast an 8-weight fly rod from. We eventually transported a raft and fishing frame upstream in order to float a section of river. It didn’t take long to catch several Ecuadorian golden dorado as well as another species of fish call sabalo. Sabalo fry are the favorite food for dorado, so they are likely found together. If the sabalo survive the dorado, they grow into great sport fish. Their shape is similar to a largemouth bass, but they are much more aggressive and hard fighting. The golden dorado prefer rapids and fast water at the washout of rapids, while sabalo like smooth fast water between rapids. It presents an ideal situation for fishing because there’s no down time! Once you catch a golden dorado, you are hooked for life. These are some of the hardest hitting, hardest fighting, highest jumping fish in the world. I can’t wait to hook into more gold. Ken can be contacted at Endless River Adventures, 800-2247238, endrivadv@cs.com, www.endlessriveradventures.com. COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

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N

ick Ratliff, 21, of Elizabethtown, Ky., a senior at Campbellsville University, will be fishing the big show when the Bassmaster Classic launches on the Tennessee River at Knoxville in March. He’s also riding around in a fully rigged Toyota Tundra that’s pulling a Nitro Z20 bass boat, and he’s holding a check for $7,500 for tournament entry fees. It’s all thanks to some last-minute heroics that helped him win the 2018 Carhartt Bassmaster College Series Classic Bracket. Ratliff fought down to the final minutes of the third day in an oh-soclose bracket against a scrappy West Virginia University junior, Nolan Minor of Charlottesville, Va. The anglers wrapped up the day with the two biggest bags of the tournament; Ratliff with 13 pounds, 8 ounces and Minor with 13-4. Ratliff, who is majoring in business administration with an emphasis in marketing, plugged along consistently, throwing a weightless wackyrigged stickworm and keeping his faith. “I had the feeling I was behind,” he said. “I kept my head down, and I knew if the Lord meant it to be, then it would be.” With just 30 minutes left in fishing time, Ratliff picked up three more fish that allowed him to cull up to his winning 13-8. Ratliff was emotional and stunned as family and friends hugged and congratulated him. “It hasn’t sunk in yet,” he said of the win and the Classic berth. “It was so close. I thought I’d lost. I really did.” For more information, visit Bassmaster.com/college.

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