Coastal Angler Magazine | January 2022 | Emerald Coast Edition

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RECORDBREAKING CATCHES

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VOLUME 27 • ISSUE 322

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By Capt. Ryan Palmer

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ahoo are some of the fastest fish in the ocean. Built for speed with large tails and torpedo shaped bodies, they can accelerate rapidly and turn on a dime. Wahoo can be solitary fish or found in large schools, depending on conditions, time of year and moon phases. Known for their excellent table fare and awesome fighting ability, anglers travel to South Florida and The Bahamas from all over the world to target them. They have razor sharp teeth and their jaws are hinged like scissors, so landing one on mono is always an exhilarating feat. They can be caught year round, but during the winter months they are found in far better numbers and sizes, especially around the new and full moons. There are several ways to catch them, including high-speed trolling, planer fishing, vertical jigging and live bait. High-speed trolling for wahoo could well be the most exciting method to catch them. There’s nothing like hearing the clicker of an 80 wide reel scream while you’re doing 17 knots. In some cases, you will have multiple hook ups with multiple drags going off. Talk about heart racing! I’ll go over my normal high-speed spread, but keep in mind everyone has their favorite way of doing things. I run a three-line spread. I fish two electric reels and a 50W Shimano Talica. My first electric is set at 80 feet from the boat with a 48-ounce cable-rigged cigar lead. To that I have 25 feet of 400-pound mono shock leader, which is then connected to my lure. The next electric is set at 150 feet from the boat with a 32-ounce cigar lead and the same shock leader. Last is my shotgun Talica with a 24-ounce cigar lead and the same shock leader. I have about 25 different lures from different manufacturers in many colors, shapes and sizes. All of my lures are rigged on 480-pound cable with either single or double hook sets. I start my spread with an assortment of colors. If I get more than one bite on a particular color, I will change the others to that or similar colors. High speed trolling is done in both South Florida and the Bahamas. I used to think that it

was pointless in South Florida, but over the last few years I have been more successful catching them, and the fish I’ve been catching are better sized fish than the wahoo I’ve caught while planer fishing. On a trip just after a winter full moon, we caught a double header off Pompano Beach. Each fish was in the 40-pound range. When high speed trolling, the optimum speed is between 15 and 20 knots, and we fish a zigzag pattern between 120 and 300 feet of water. There are a couple reasons for the zigzag. One is to mimic baitfish coming in or going out during tidal changes, and the other is that during your turns your baits will slow down and fall slightly before accelerating again. This is when you get most of your bites. Keeping an eye on your chart plotter is key, because you can generally mark the schools in the upper portion of the water column. High speed trolling is great if you want to specifically target wahoo, as there are only a few species that eat at that kind of speed. Planer fishing is just as fun and doesn’t burn nearly as much fuel. I like to run two planers consisting of a #4 and a #8 planer with either a drone spoon or a bonita strip behind a Sea Witch. Colors, sizes and shapes all vary, but once I find what color they like I switch them over. The drone spoon is a time-tested and proven method. The flash and vibration of the spoon cutting through the water gets their attention. I prefer 3.5-inch blue drone spoon behind a #8 Old Salty planer. I run about 60 to 100 feet of 60-pound mono between my planer and bait. While pulling planers down deep, I also pull a couple surface baits. Anything from a bonita strip behind a chugger-style lure to a rigged ballyhoo on wire behind an Islander will work. If you have outriggers, you can spread two baits wide and run a shotgun with a cigar-weighted rigged ballyhoo. I

planer fish the same areas as I high speed, but my speeds will be much slower at 6 to 11 knots. Lots of wahoo tournaments have been won fishing at slower trolling speeds, so don’t rule out a jumbo just because you’re not highspeeding. Live baiting wahoo is less common because you are either bump trolling or drifting goggle eyes or other live baits. You are not covering as much ground. Live baits rigged on light wire or titanium are my first choice, with fluorocarbon being second, due only to a wahoo’s super sharp teeth. I’ve caught several wahoo on vertical jigs. About 90 percent of those have come way offshore under some type of flotsam. I prefer a simple 2-ounce diamond Jig. All the wahoo I’ve caught on vertical jigs have been less than 10 pounds. Wahoo as table fare is in my top five, maybe even top three. I’ve often said that if you have cooked it, it’s already burnt. Do yourself a favor and try some wahoo sashimi! Capt. Ryan Palmer Family Jewell Fishing Charters 954-882-2631



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Friends&Fishing By Jim Parks

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here are a multitude of pleasures and benefits to fishing. The beauty of the environment, the challenge, the relaxation, the simple joy of being outside, the fish caught and the big ones that got away are all among the reasons we fish. Intertwined are the relationships created during outings. Like many others, there are times when I would rather be on the water alone. One particular period of my life, I was working full time while going to night school working on my master’s degree. I had no time. Recognizing this, my wife all but demanded I go fishing. Entering the creek that morning, I was mentally exhausted. I perhaps fished 30 minutes before I wound up lying on a rock with the sun in my face. The sound of the creek and my feet in the cool water washed away a lot of stress. At other times, I’ve found the solitude allows me to commune amidst the creation with its creator. After all, even Jesus knew the merits of hanging out with fishermen. To quote Norman MacLean in A River Runs Through It, “And we were left to assume, as my younger brother Paul and I did… that all firstclass fishermen on the Sea of Galilee were flyfishermen... and that John, the favorite, was a dry fly-fisherman.” Over the decades, I’ve been blessed to meet hundreds of like-minded sportsmen. Some, I’d rather forget! However, looking back over fourplus decades, I cannot help but reminisce over what fishing friendships have meant. If you were fortunate to begin fishing young, you had at least one mentor. If you had a father or grandfather who took you on early fishing trips, hopefully you realize how blessed you were 6 NATIONAL

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and will joyfully pass that blessing to the next generation. Having no fishermen in my family tree, I adapted. Like-minded friends of my own age, aka the “Three Amigos,” myself, Keith and Steve, as well as their fathers and grandfathers, helped me along the way. Though my father didn’t fish, he worked in a textile mill alongside more than a few fishermen with whom I came into contact. Among them were the late Don Kirk, author of several books on fly fishing, and the late, great fly tyer Kirk Jenkins. To this day, the memory is burned in my mind of my father’s co-worker Charlie Murrell tying flies with me while camped on Forney Creek in the Smoky Mountains. I was 14 years old. Along the way, they and others taught me wading, casting and reading water, always instilling an interest and knowledge of the history of and respect for the locations where I trod as a young fisherman. Growing older meant adulthood; college, career and marriage entered the scene. Still, at least one of the Three Amigos besides myself has kept fishing, and we still get together when life permits. As we grow older and hopefully better in our pursuit, we’re sometimes blessed to invest in the future of our sport by sharing with the next generation. We instill in them an appreciation for the beauty and opportunity of wading in the crystal clear streams while sharing the history passed down to us. Those opportunities make us better fishermen. In teaching, we are forced to consider the intricate, basic skills of the sport, which over time can become blurred by repetition. As my mentors did with me, I am careful to not “over-coach.” This allows the student to make and learn from their

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mistakes. How awesome to be part of their first catch and to share in that accomplishment. If we’re lucky, at some point we are blessed to come into contact with equally experienced fishermen with whom we just click. The best fishing buddies possess a similar interest in locales and styles, but are different enough that we still learn from one another. The best fishing buddies become those who can finish your sentence, agree on the best places to fish, offer insight we didn’t consider and share learned tidbits, making both that much better. An additional bonus are those friends who are willing to take those crazy adventures such as night trips, remote bushwhacking treks and just downright crazy ideas for which they’ll catch it from their spouse when they eventually return home, well past curfew. I remember as kids how we were competitive. We even had the unofficial “Virgil Ward Award” for whoever landed the largest fish that day. Over time, a point is reached when you get just as much joy in watching a friend ply a hole for that big ol’ brown. Sometimes it’s a tag-team approach, with a spotter directing casts to a trophy fish. We realize as much excitement in our friend’s success as if it were our own, if not more! Lately, I’ve been stepping back… just a little… to give my buddy the first crack at a good run. Watching an artist at work, regardless of the canvas, is a joy. When that person is using all the combined skills of a stealthy approach, with the fly you both agree is best, making that cast in just the right spot and setting that hook, it’s like watching yourself from a distance. In that moment, you are just as elated to share and witness the moment. That moment is when you realize having a fishing buddy is priceless.

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he Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is looking at slashing the recreational dolphin limit in half, from 60 to 30 fish per vessel and from 10 to 5 fish per person in Florida state waters, citing a decrease in number and size of fish caught in recent years off South Florida and the Florida Keys. At its meeting in December, FWC reviewed a draft proposal that would amend the regulations in state waters. The call for action reportedly came from southeast Florida and Keys charter captains, and it follows pending regulations changes approved by the federal South Atlantic Fishery Management Council (SAFMC) in June. The SAFMC ruling reduced the dolphin recreational limit from 60 to 54 fish per vessel for Atlantic federal waters along the entire east coast of the United States. The ruling is pending approval by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce. FWC strongly advocated for larger reductions in federal waters as a precautionary measure. That push was blocked by North Carolina representatives, who would only support the smaller reduction. Part of FWC’s interest for proactive management is increased international engagement concerning the highly migratory species. Dolphin off the east coast of the U.S. are part of the Atlantic-Caribbean stock, which extends from New England to the

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Caribbean coast of South America. The status of the stock is currently unknown, according to FWC’s draft proposal, and a traditional stock assessment is unlikely due to unknowns within the fishery, which include international harvest and the absence of fishery-independent monitoring. Warming surface temperatures in the Atlantic are also of concern to FWC because of a welldocumented preference of the species for a temperature range between 66 and 84 degrees. Catch-rate data indicates a tight link to water temperature, and those rates peak at 75 degrees. “Because of this temperature preference, warming ocean waters and other environmental changes could contribute to shifts in dolphin distribution and influence migration routes,” reads the proposal. “Reports of more frequent encounters with dolphin in the northeastern U.S. and a growing directed recreational fishery there illustrate the northward distribution shift for this species. “Similarly, fewer encounters with dolphin in SE Florida and the Keys could be linked to warming sea surface temperatures. Anecdotal reports from SE Florida and the Keys also indicate a change in timing of arrival of large dolphin, which may indicate changes in movement patterns as water temperature increases.”

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Dolphin harvest off the east coast of Florida has fallen precipitously since 2015, according to FWC’s data. In that same data, approximately 90 percent of the harvest in the last 10 years came from federal waters. A final public hearing for the proposed rule would be held at FWC’s March 2022 meeting. For more information, see myfwc.com.


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DreamCatching By Zach Harvey

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FINER POINTS of FISHING AFAR

s we head into winter fishing show season, many start shopping for good charters to fish in the coming season. The following points should save you some headaches.

Know Thyself The best thing to ensure a successful trip is to take a hard look at yourself and your crew—your experience, ages, skill levels and general disposition. Rough out your group’s hopes for the trip: Is the gear type of utmost import? Are you five old college friends for whom the trip’s fish tally comes after talking and laughing? Are you hoping to take home a load of fillets? There’s a possibility a port’s highliner—the guy who mohawks the fish every trip— could be the worst guy in town given your group’s criteria for success.

Know Your Quarry, Ask Questions Understand the logistical realities, timing issues, and if there’s a viable

fishery underway. One of the biggest problems fishermen encounter in destination fishing is pride prevents us from asking what we view as “googan” questions. We end up trying to convince our would-be hosts that we know what we’re doing and forget to ask the questions that might make that so. Ask the stupid question. If you’ve been hoping to land X species of X size your entire life, flush out as much detail as possible about the fishery: Are there certain windows of timing for the best fishing? Is tide stage a major factor? Every species and every region is full of caveats and idiosyncrasies. Full-time chartermen must fish as many days as they can book. You can’t expect to get straight answers to all your timing questions. You can, however, zero in on an area’s better tackle shops to fill in blanks. The quest for reliable intel is something you’ll have to patchwork together.

Policies and Parting Advice As you zero in on a decision, there are other considerations. Do not base boat choice on price first and foremost. Charter fishing is not cheap, but a well-executed trip with a top captain can make your dream trip a reality. Be sure, however, to get a clear breakdown on the boat’s weather cancellation, deposit, rescheduling and trip-downgrade policies to be sure all in your crew have clear expectations. Ask detailed questions about the boat’s policies on fishing gear and whether you may target more than one species during a trip. Wherever you fish, whoever takes you and whatever you target, consider: Any seasoned crew will know, inside five minutes, the real extent of your experience. Everything works better if you check your ego at the dock.

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JANUARY 2022

FLORIDA 7


IGFA APPROVES NEW WORLD RECORDS T Carmody’s Southern Bluefin Tuna

he International Game Fish Association (IGFA), headquartered in Dania Beach, Fla., is the worldwide authority on record fish. The organization maintains a massive database of catches for almost any species you can think of and in numerous different categories. Every few months, IGFA releases a handful of recently approved new records. Here are some of the most impressive fish approved by IGFA this fall:

On July 1, 2021, Carl Carmody was fishing out of Hick’s Bay, New Zealand, when he landed the fish of a lifetime. This 355-pound, 6-ounce southern bluefin tuna is the second largest ever caught, weighing just 14 pounds shy of the current IGFA All-Tackle World Record. Carl was fishing aboard the Doctors Orders captained by Blake Sheridan when this fish struck a trolled lure. The impressive tuna earned Carl the IGFA Men’s 130-lb. Line Class World Record for the species.

Triana’s Sockeye Salmon Dennis Triana returned from an August trip to Alaska with a handful of records, including this 66-centimeter sockeye salmon that he landed on Aug. 14, 2021 to set the IGFA All-Tackle Length Record for the species. Dennis was fishing unguided on the Russian River in Alaska when the salmon struck a jig.

Sherbovich’s Arctic Char

Williams’ Chinook Salmon Bailey Williams was fishing with her husband on the Salmon River in Pulaski, New York on Sept. 12, 2021, when she landed this 12-pound, 12-ounce Chinook salmon. With this fish Bailey set the IGFA Women’s 2-kg (4-lb) Tippet Class World Record for the species. This beautiful salmon took an egg pattern on an 8-weight and was landed after a brief fight.

8 FLORIDA

JANUARY 2022

On July 28, 2021, Ilya Sherbovich landed this beautiful 25-pound, 11-ounce Arctic char to set the IGFA Men’s 20-lb. Tippet Class World Record. Ilya was fishing the remote Taymyr Peninsula in northern Russia when he landed this amazing fish. The Taymyr Peninsula is located north of the Arctic circle, and is only accessible via helicopter. Ilya netted this colorful char after a seven-minute fight and released the fish after recording the proper documentation.

COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM


destin, FL January 2022 Tide Chart Provided by

Destin (Choctawhatchee Bay, East Pass), FL Jan 2022 Nix Point,www.USHarbors.com Perdido Bay, FL - Sep 2021 Date

Date

Low ft

AM2 Sat

PM 2 Sun

9:53 3 Mon

10:43 4 Tue

5 Wed 11:24

3 4

High AM

ft

Wed

8:56

1.0

Fri

11:08

1.0

Sat

8:34

0.8

ft 5

Sun

6

0.0 7

Mon

0.0 9

Wed

0.0 11

Fri Sat

6:26 4:18

0.7

12

Sun

4:57

1.0

13

Mon

5:53

1.0

8

10

Tue Thu

Rise 9:35 0.8

6:25 0.8 10:33

7

0.0

2

0.1

9

0.2

0

0.3

8 9

Sun

17

10

Mon

18

Sat

19

Sun

20

Mon

21

Tue

11 Tue 11:50A 12 Wed 13

Thu

3:29 14 Fri

0.2 22 0.2 24 23

25 0.1

Fri

Wed Thu Fri Sat

26

0.1

Sun

27

Mon

6:52 16 Sun

28

29 0.0

Tue Wed

17 Mon 8:19

0.0

18 Tue 9:30

0.0

5:13 15 Sat

19 Wed 10:28

0.2

PM

0.9

ft

ft

6:5312:03-0.3 1.1

Set Moon 12:54-0.4 1.0 8:03 1:47

1.0

7:13 9:072:47 -0.4 0.9

6:26 7:12 11:25 4:19 0.70.6 10:00 6:11 -0.3 0.6 4:00

AM

4:05

0.7

30

Thu

6:28 5:27

0.3

5:15

0.4

11:11

6:28 6:29

1.1

5:43

1.0

6:31 8:14 0.6

1.0

7:07

12:42

0.1

6:28

7:06

12:49

0.2

6:29

7:05

12:30

0.3

6:58

0.0

6:32

6:57

0.0

6:33

6:56

0.0

6:33

6:54

11:12

0.0

6:34

6:53

11:42

0.1

6:34

6:52

0.2

6:35

6:51

0.2

6:35

6:49

0.3

6:36

9:18

6:42 5:06

0.3

6:37

12:58

6:42 2:03 5:07

0.2

6:37

0.2

6:38

0.1

6:38

0.1

6:39

0.1

6:39

0.1

6:40

0.1

6:41

0.1

6:41

7:07 8:53

12:17 7:06

0.6

6:42 11:55 5:04 11:41

9:30

6:29 11:35

7:02

7:00 6:54 -0.2

6:42 10:56 5:05

0.3 0.2

3:07

6:42 4:19 5:08 5:43

6:42 7:04 5:09 6:41 8:09 5:09 9:00

9:43 0.6 6:32

8:25 -0.3 6:57

6:41 5:10

10:20 6:33 0.6

8:59 -0.3 6:56

6:41 5:11

9:41

-0.2

6:40 5:13

9:52

-0.2

6:40 5:14

9:50

-0.1

6:40 5:15

9:25

0.0 11:22 0.1

6:39 5:15

7:57

0.0

6:39 5:16

0.2

6:35

6:51

11:41

0.2

6:35

10:56 25 Tue

0.3 0.3

6:42 5:04

1.0

0.3 5:21

11:55

9:18 26 Wed

6:42 10:28 5:03

0.8

6:52

0.1

9:30

7:05 2:15

6:34

Mon 2:43

0.0

6:42 8:19 5:02

4:041:16 0.0 0.9

0.1

24

7:02 7:00

11:42

Sun 12:53 0.2

6:30

6:32

6:53

23

0.3

1:45

0.0

6:34

Sat 12:05 0.4

11:10

6:52

11:27 0.5

22

0.2

6:42 5:01

0.0

Fri

6:42 11:50A 5:00

11:05 7:09-0.2

11:12 21

6:41 4:59

7:01

0.0

Thu

7:08

6:31

10:54 6:33 0.6

20

7:09

6:27

6:41 4:58

6:28

6:50 6:32 9:01 0.61.0 6:58 7:43 -0.2 8:05

6:27

0.0

3:41 0.9 6:31 7:01 7:24 0.6 6:02 -0.2 1.0

7:11

0.0

6:41 11:56 4:57

6:31

-0.2

4:50

6:26

0.1

0.60.9 5:14 1.0

7:12

0.0

0.1

6:37

4:10

6:26

11:24

Rise 10:43 Set 0.0 Moon

5:13

-0.2

6:30 3:23

7:13

3:29

4:34

0.8

Set

6:25

6:42 5:00

0.5

3:15

Rise

10:41 7:11-0.3

5:57

0.6

ft 0.0

0.2

5:29 4:27 0.50.5 4:033:26 -0.1 0.7

11:10 3:26

PM 9:53

12:23

12:46 0.5Tue 6:27 14 7:05 1.1 11:06 7:08-0.1 15 Wed 8:29 1.1 Sat 1:05 0.3Thu 6:48 0.21.1 10:31 0.0 16 9:55 Fri

1:45

0.3

ft

www.USHarbors.com

Low

ft Low

PM

ftThu PM 10:06 ft 1.0 AM

6 Thu 12:10 11:56 0.0 0.6 6:27

3

5

1

1

High

www.USHarbors.com

4:50

0.2

3:59

0.3

6:36 4:02 0.4 6:37 4:35 0.5

9:24 -0.3 6:54

6:49

6:48 1:29 0.0

6:47 2:39 -0.1

6:41 5:12

6:39 5:17 6:38 5:18

12:58 27 Thu

0.2

28 Fri 2:03

0.2

6:34 0.7 6:38

4:58 -0.3 6:44

6:37 5:20

29 Sat 3:07

0.1

7:43 0.7 6:38

6:07 -0.3 6:43

6:37 5:21

9:47

6:41

8:06

6:36 5:23

30 Sun 4:19

6:37 5:29 0.6

6:46 3:47 -0.2

0.1

8:48 0.8 6:39

5:43

0.1

6:39

7:04

0.1

6:40

6:39

8:09

0.1

6:41

6:38

9:00

0.1

6:41

6:37

31

Mon

0.7

7:10 -0.3 6:42 -0.3

6:38 5:19

6:36 5:22

Moon

6:29

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january 2022

the emerald coast 1


Fishing forecasts

season

to come

Capt. Alex Kendrick Reel Salty Charters Destin www.reelsaltydestin.com

W

ith the holidays come and gone, we are another month closer to the start of our season. While sanding and painting, I like to think about all the stuff I look forward to in the upcoming months. Meeting hundreds of people, some new and some that have become like family, is probably one of the best parts of the job. People from all over the country flock to our area for sunshine and memories. Being a part of those memories is a tough thing to beat. For some it’s just another fishing adventure but for most it’s an experience of a lifetime. All age ranges

from kids to grandparents- glow with the excitement of either their first fish, or their biggest fish they have ever caught. As a captain and a father, this part makes all the long hard days worth it. To be able to look back at the pictures of smiling faces and remember that trip like it was yesterday. Material things come and go. Take your family fishing. Make those memories, because in 20 years, they will always remember a day of fishing in the Gulf of Mexico. As always keep your lines out and keep them tight!

Bowfishing rod and reel fishing • trips to craB island

plan your next fishing adventure in Beautiful

destin, florida! Call or text 850-528-9212 www.reelnockoutfitters.org www.facebook.com/reelnockoutfitters

2 THE EMERALD COAST

january 2022

COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM



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Capt. Preston Muller Gulf Angler Charters 850-428-0118

n northwest Florida most fishermen are dual sport athletes. That is, fishermen in the summer and hunters in the winter. I too fall into this category. If I’m not in the woods or a marsh somewhere looking for ducks, you can find me on the edge of a peanut field on an old-fashioned dove hunt. I will even get lost in a deer stand a time or two if I’m really feeling it. I also like to use my spare time in the winter to focus on my tackle in preparation for the summer and to get things right. So, for this January forecast let’s tackle…tackle. First up: Rods and Reels. I’m a HUGE believer in using the right stuff. Fishing is work and you will be rewarded for your efforts so long as your tackle can withstand the abuse. Some time ago I adopted the “buy once cry once” way of thinking and it hasn’t let me down. You guessed it, the nice reels, and the expensive rods. I always tell my friends and customers “put a reel on a charter boat for a season and you will find out quickly how well it’s made.” The truth is, there is a lot of junk on the shelves and hopefully I can save you some time here. It’s so important to have a rod and reel in your hand you can trust when you are toe to toe with the man. Smooth drag that can get tight when you need it. A reel with good line capacity that won’t burn up on you even after back-to back- to back amberjack rallies. Here are my favorite spinning reels: Saragossa, Spheros, Stella, Twin Power, Van Staal and my favorite conventional reels: Senator, Tiagra, Trinidad, Talica Rods…where do we begin? Strength, sensitivity, length, weight blah blah blah. There’s so much out there now with everyone trying to be the 4 THE EMERALD COAST

january 2022

lightest and strongest and truthfully, I just prefer an all-glass rod especially for bottom fishing. They check a lot of boxes and are always there for you when it’s gruntin time. They have the lifting power you want for groupers and snappers in all size ranges and it’s difficult to find their breaking point. They are durable and strong - the old school jeep. For casting I’d just recommend whatever works for you. There’s a large variety of fishing styles now with slow pitch jigging, vertical jigging, kite fishing, top water, sight fishing from high up in a tower or just live baiting boat side. Length will be your starting point here and then just find what you like best with good, well-made guides. A rod is much like a shotgun. It should feel natural in your hands - an extension of you, so to speak. Terminal Tackle - I’m going to keep things short and sweet but listen you are only as strong as your weakest link. I could say it a million times. As an avid light tackle fisherman, I’ve lost a ton of fish and I mean a lot. Sometimes there is a fine line between drawing a bite and catching the fish. But one thing is for sure, your knots should never fail. Ever. I like a snell but I’m not in love. The Palomar is superior but she’s ugly. There are a million knots out there. Don’t learn them all. Pick a few learn them to where you can tie them fast with your eyes closed. No errors. Palomar, Snell, Johnny Dukes, FG, Uni, Haywire Twist will be a good starting point for you. When it comes to saltwater fish, everything has teeth and an attitude problem even the bait. Your knots are at the business end of that deal so don’t skimp here. And finally let’s wrap this up with a quote from James Baker. “Proper Preparation Prevents Poor Performance.”

COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

Happy January fishing!

Al in

Al in

M

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N

o longer are the days of…..if it pees, it is good. The modern four stroke engines need water to cool the exhaust system. Four strokes are, in most cases, miniature car motors. Car motors have their exhaust exiting through steel and cast iron exhaust systems. All four strokes outboard motors do not have the luxury of using steel or cast iron. They are made with aluminum to not only save weight, but to help with corrosion. Your motor has thermostats to keep water in the block for cooling. The excess water encapsulates around the exhaust housing to cool the aluminum. It is very important that you change your water pump every 100 hours or every year. The downside of not changing it is the aluminum gets very hot and starts to corrode. This problem can occur regardless of outboard manufacturer.

Always change your water pump every 100 hours or yearly.

Just because the motor is peeing doesn’t mean it has enough water to cool the exhaust. A lot of manufacturers of four strokes bypass the block to the water outlet, just so you know the water pump is working. However, it doesn’t show if it has adequate flow. A good quality OEM part will expand the life of your motor. Regular maintenance on the water system is crucial. Water pumps are softer than older two strokes, so it can generate more pressure. They tend to wear quicker, which causes loss of water pressure.

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Perdido Bay, FL January 2022 Tide Chart Provided by

Nix Point, Perdido Bay,www.USHarbors.com FL - Jan 2022 Nix Point, Perdido Bay, FL - Sep 2021 Date

Low ft

1

High ft

Wed

8:56

1.0

3

Fri

11:08

1.0

4

Sat

1

AM2 Sat

High

AM

ftThu PM 10:06 ft 1.0 AM

11:36 0.9 11:04 -0.3

Set 12:54

9:53 0.0 3 Mon 12:37 0.9Tue 6:25 7

1:47

7:13 2:47

1.0

7:12 6:11

0.7

ft 5

Sun

6

Mon

10:43 0.0 4 Tue 1:35 0.9Thu 6:26 9 4:19

0.6

10

0.7

Fri

4:00

0.9

0.1

9

0.2

0

0.3

7

Fri

8

Sat

9 10

13

Mon

Sun

Fri

Mon

18

Sat

19

Sun

20

Mon

21

Tue

1:45 13

Thu

14

Fri

3:29

5:13 15 Sat

6:52 16 Sun

5:53

1.0

0.2 22

Wed

0.2 24

Thu

25

Sat

26

0.1

Sun

27

Mon

28

29 0.0

23

0.1

30

Fri

6:28

8:29

0.3

8:17

0.5

11:11

6:28 6:29

1.1

9:39

6:31 3:41

0.7

Rise

Set

6:25

7:13

6:26

7:12

11:24

0.0

6:26

7:11

11:56

0.0

6:27

7:09

6:27

7:08

0.0

6:28

7:07

0.1

6:28

7:06

0.2

6:29

7:05

Rise 10:43 Set 0.0 Moon 6:45 5:01

Moon 12:14 -0.4 6:45 5:02 12:23 12:49

2:1112:30-0.3

0.6

6:45 5:03 6:45 11:50A 5:03

0.2

11:10

0.3

1:45

6:30

7:02

3:29

0.3

7:11

2:52

-0.3

6:45 5:04

7:09

3:16

-0.2

6:45 5:13 5:05

0.1

6:31

7:01

0.1

6:31

7:00

3:17

-0.1

6:46 8:19 5:06

0.0

6:32

6:58

0.0

6:32

6:57

2:42

0.0

6:46 10:28 5:06

0.0

6:33

6:56

0.0

6:33

6:54

1:04

0.0

11:12

6:46 5:07

0.0

6:34

6:53

11:42

6:46 11:55 5:08

0.1

6:34

6:52

0.2

6:35

6:51

0.2

6:35

6:49

0.3

6:36

6:48

0.3

6:37

6:47

0.2

6:37

6:46

2:03

0.2

6:38

3:07

0.1

6:38

0.1

6:39

0.1

6:39

0.1

6:40

8:09

0.1

6:41

9:00

0.1

6:41

7:07 12:17 7:06

1.0

7:05 2:15

0.8

8:151:16 0.0 0.6

0.3 5:21

0.9

7:02

0.9

ft 0.0

0.2

8:593:15 0.60.8 8:45

6:30 3:23

PM 9:53

1.0

0.9

8:314:27 0.60.5 8:143:26 -0.1 0.7

11:10 3:26

ft

1:1812:42-0.4

3:48 0.5Tue 6:27 14 7:05 1.1 7:08 15 Wed 8:29 1.1 4:07 0.3Thu 9:509:55 0.21.1 16 17

11 Tue 11:50A 12 Wed

1.0

ft

0.9

4:05

Wed

12 4:57 6 Thu 3:12 0.7Sun 6:27 11:56 0.0

2

12:03

AM

PM

Rise

PM 2 Sun

5 Wed 2:27 0.9 6:26 11:24 0.0 11 Sat 4:18

0.0

ft

www.USHarbors.com

Low

Low ft

PM

1.1

8

3

5

Date

www.USHarbors.com

9:25

-0.2

0.6

6:52 9:30

11:41

9:30

6:29 11:35

-0.2

6:46 10:56 5:09

0.3 0.2

9:18

6:46 12:58 5:10 6:45 5:10

7:01

4:10 0.71.0 10:13 -0.2 10:26

Tue

6:31

1.0

6:45 4:19 5:11

11:16 5:43 0.71.0 11:05 -0.2

Wed

6:50 6:32

6:45 7:04 5:12

1.0

Thu

4:50

8:05

8:19 0.0 0.7 17 Mon 12:03

6:32

9:30 0.0 0.7 18 Tue 12:45 19 Wed 1:22 10:28 0.0 0.7 20 Thu 1:56 11:12 0.0 0.7 21 Fri 11:42

2:29 0.1 0.6

11:55

0.2

1.0

7:00

5:43

6:58-0.2 11:54

6:45 5:13

6:57

12:36 -0.3

6:45 5:14

6:33

6:56

1:10

-0.3

6:45 5:15

6:33

6:54

1:35

-0.3

6:44 5:16

6:34

6:53

1:52

-0.2

6:44 5:17

6:34

6:52

2:03

-0.2

6:44 5:17

6:35

6:51

2:01

-0.1

6:43 5:18

1:36

0.0

6:43 5:19

22

Sat

3:07

0.5

23

Sun 3:55

0.3

7:52

0.2

24

Mon 5:45

0.1

7:01

0.3

3:33

0.1 12:08 0.0

6:43 5:20

25

Tue

7:04

0.5

5:40

0.0

6:42 5:21

26

Wed

7:37

0.6

6:50

-0.1

6:42 5:22

11:41

0.2

0.3

10:56

0.3

0.2

9:18

0.3

12:58 27 Thu 2:03 28 Fri

0.2 0.2

6:35 6:36 6:37

6:37 8:31 0.7 6:38 0.8 9:36

6:49 6:48 6:47

6:46 7:58 -0.2

6:41 5:23

6:44-0.3 9:09

3:07 29 Sat

0.1

6:38 0.8 10:18 6:43-0.3 10:45

4:19 30 Sun

0.1

6:39 0.9 11:21 6:42-0.3 11:50

31 Mon 5:43

0.1

6:39

6:41

6:41 5:24 6:40 5:24 6:40 5:25 12:17 -0.3

10 THE EMERALD 7:04 0.1 COAST 6:40 january 6:39 2022

8:09

0.1

6:41

6:38

9:00

0.1

6:41

6:37

6:39 5:26

Moon

6:29

Sit back and catch 6:44 6:43

more buSineSS! 6:42 6:41 6:39 6:38 6:37

advertiSe in

COASTAL ANGLER contact elizabeth

(850) 499-5685 capt.elizabeth@ coastalanglermagazine.com

COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM


Tuna

TIME

Capt. Matt Miller Miller Fishing Company 850-501-5016 www.millerfishingcharters.com

Brrrrrr!

It’s cold in NWF!!! But with that being said- it’s Tuna time in Northwest Florida!!!!! Luckily, we have world class tuna fishing at our deep-water oil rigs and drill ships; they hold great numbers of Big Eye and Yellowfin tuna this time of year. On a recent trip my good friend Jan Garcia boated a Pending Florida state record Big Eye Tuna on the boat “Bow’d Up“ out of Destin FL with Capt. Brady Bowman! Coming in at 244.6lb, this fish ate a live bait on straight 80lb line, Snelled circle hook on a 50w Shimano Tiagra reel. The angler Mr. Lloyd Chism fought this fish for 5hr straight standing up, Janner gaffed the fish - they knew they had a giant! Great job team! Besides the amazing tuna bite, we are having out at the floaters, the deepwater grouper fishing has been amazing as well. All along the contours between the east side of Destin over to south of Mississippi in 500 to 1100ft or so have had Snowies, Yellow-edge and some blue and golden tiles mixed in as well. As far as the near shore bite has been, we have been catching some groupers, vermillion snapper, black snapper, and flounder. The bay fishing is still hit or miss with the big schools of redfish looking for schools of menhaden to chase. The flats fishing around here gets slow with the cold temps and super low tides. We are already looking forward to spring!

Thanks again, Calm Seas and Tight lines guys.

Sit back and catch more buSineSS.

advertiSe in

contact elizabeth

(850) 499-5685 capt.elizabeth@ coastalanglermagazine.com COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

january 2022

the emerald coast 11


cheers I Capt. Mason O'Daniel Pensacola Fishing Co. 850.733.7436 www.pensacolafishingco.com Social @pensacolafishingco

rs! Can't le g n A , r a e Y w e Happy N g that!!! in y a s y ll a e r m I' believe

don’t know about you, but for me, 2021 fishing sure had its challenges. I think we can say it ended moving us all in the right direction. December in the Emerald Coast provided a few cold snaps, but overall things have been quite mild. January has us looking forward to the occasional late day to head out into the gulf and dropping down to see what may be hungry. Mingo Snapper, Trigger, and Gag or Scamp will be on our radar. We will also be on the lookout for Flounder, which are making their way back into the gulf. They're found near reefs, wrecks, and often just outside the pass. With the cooler temps, we are on the hunt for Sheepshead, Reds, Trout, and a few Flounder. When searching for Sheepies, we do our best to post up close to the bridge pilings. You will need a J hook about the size of your thumbnail. The great tasting species love to feed off barnacles on the pilings, so you’ll want to float your bait down as close as possible. Fiddler crabs are a great choice, small live shrimp as well. The small J hook is crucial; however, you’ll regret skipping this step!! For those of you up for something a little different, we will be taking some days and heading upriver from the bay, chasing Stripers, Reds, Trout and whatever else we can find!!

Cheers to 2022!

the gram

Capt. Lionel James Instagram @lionstaleadventures YouTube.com/ lionstaleadventures

W

ith the slow season here, the wintertime gives us guides a chance to catch up, get ready for next year all while cruising the beach looking for school of beautiful and at time transparent (the way these redfish disappear in the sand) Redfish. As we cruise through Destin and out the pass, we stopped at one of the nearby buoys to grab some live bait. In search of Cigar Minnows, we found they would be hard to come by. For every drop of the sabiki rig came up two to three Pin Fish all about three inches in size. Pin fish make for great bait this time of year. With the lack of bait fish on the beach and schooling redfish in computation for food, putting a healthy Pin Fish in front of them is a winning lotto ticket. As we finished up catching bait, we made our way down the beach looking through the clear emerald waters in search of these redfish. It was not long before we found the first school of redfish This school was a relatively smaller school of about seven to ten fish. As Capt. Gabrielle baited up, I slowly approached these fish putting Capt. Gabrielle in

12 THE EMERALD COAST

january 2022

the position to make the perfect presentation. Pithing the bait like it was a quarterback throwing to a receiver. You want to lead the fish, and allow them to swim to it, like the wide receiver does a football. It wasn’t long before Capt. Gabrielle was hooked up with a beautiful redfish. It is fair to say we have both caught a lot of redfish in our time however our excitement level is always on 100 watching these light up as they get excited when seeing the bait, seeing them go from a slow cruise to an aggressive bolt of speed charging at the Pin Fish. After a beautiful fight and landing the redfish, I pulled out the Sony and snapped a few photos to remember the moment. The camera, the photos they’re not for “the Gram” (Instagram) though it's a great tool, the Gram is. The photos are something we can have to share with our own families and friends forever.

COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM


2!


pensacola, FL January 2022 Tide Chart Provided by Nix Point, Perdido Bay, FL - Sep 2021 Pensacola, FL - Jan 2022 www.USHarbors.com

Nix Point, Perdido Bay, FL - Sep 2021

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Co., Inc. 4:57 1.0 • Custom Boat Trailers 5:53 1.0 • Trailer Repair 7:05 1.1 • Trailer Parts 8:29 1.1

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5724 U.S. 90 Milton, FL 32583 3:23www.facebook.com/eddieenglishcompany 0.9 3:41 https://eddie-english-co-inc.business.site 0.9

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COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

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14 THE EMERALD COAST

7:12

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11:55YOUR 0.2HOMETOWN 6:35 6:51 AUTO DEALERSHIP

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at 8am Monday-Friday 12:17 until 6pm 1.0 Saturday 1:16 from 0.9 8am - 12pm

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25 Tue 8:19 26

Open 2:15

11:50A

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High AM

www.USHarbors.comwww.USHarbors.co

petemoore.com

Pensacola, Florida | (850) 456-7000

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Slow fishing equals preventative maintenance time Mike Smith Smitty's Surf Fishing www.smittyssurffishing.com @SmittysSurfFishing

H

appy New Year anglers, I hope your holidays were filled with family and friends. Reminiscing about the fantastic catches you had throughout the year and the tall tales of the ones that got away. Fishing in January can be slow dare I even say, nonexistent at times. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get out there and wet a line. There are some large residential fish hanging around the shore just waiting to tug on your line. As a matter of fact, one of our local tackle shops, Gulf Breeze Bait and Tackle starts its annual Pompano Tournament this month. Last year, there were many large fish weighed in during the first week. I’m talking 3.5 to 4.5 lb. fish, caught in the first week of January! If that’s not reason enough to keep you fishing during the cold month, I don’t know what is. On the other hand, if the cold is keeping you off the beach, now may be the best time to do a little preventative maintenance on your gear. Here are a few tips to make sure your gear is ready for the warmer weather. First, respool with fresh line, as a guide I usually do this 3 times a year but for the average recreational angler now is the time to refresh those worn spools with some fresh thread. Many of the local tackle shops in our area are more than happy to provide this service. In my opinion, it usually ends up being a wash, meaning it costs just as much as buying a 300-yard spool of braid and doing it yourself. That said, why not have your local shop take

care of it for you. Second, while those spools are off make sure to freshen up your grease on the springs and gears, check your drag washers for wear and drop a little oil on all the roller bearings even your handle knob. This should help keep your investment operating smoothly for many more trips. There are several great lubricants out there but, in this case, I stick with Penn’s Reel Lube and Grease. If you find breaking down your reels intimidating, this is another service provided by many of our fine local tackle shops with average turnaround times being about a week. Lastly, and I think this is a very overlooked part of the preventative maintenance process. Pick up some sort of rod and reel cleaner, I prefer Penn’s Rod and Reel Spray cleaner, and wipe down those rods. Making sure you pay particular attention to the guides, especially if using braid. The reason I say this is because you may notice that over the course of the season the color coating of the braid has worn off and built up on your guides. This little bit of friction can reduce your casting distance. Therefore, making sure you’ve cleaned all the gunk off your eyelets will help gain you some distance in your cast. Who knows you may even discover you have a loose or cracked guide insert. Much better to find out now, than when you are fighting that monster fish! Preventative maintenance is probably the most monotonous but important part of surf fishing. Taking a few minutes now to make sure your gear is ready will save you many headaches later. You don’t want to miss out on the action because you failed to plan ahead. Until next month folks may your lines be tight, and coolers be full!

2022 Y Means 52 Weeks of Better

Fishing!

Capt. Brian Demo Avid Surf Angler Host of “Finding Demo Surf Fishing” Podcast

ou made it! We are finally looking at the rearview of 2021 and happily running away from the dumpster fire it was. Now, we have an entire new year of opportunities to get out there and set some new PR's/PB's and all we have to do is learn from last year's lessons. That's right! I was hoping you could take a stroll down memory lane and remember all those things you did last year that you vowed not to do again this year! Don't worry; your secrets are safe here at Coastal Angler. The biggest lesson I learned from 2021 was rig variety while fishing. I fell in love with the "Mortician Rig" shared on YouTube from Chip "The Sinker Guy" Brundage earlier in the year. The short of it: heavy leader with very light snoods attached. It was a learning experience for me as I had several failures in mine that were self-made (I failed at my snoods). After I figured those out, it was smooth sailing the rest of the way. While using the Mortician Rig, I also put a variety of hooks, floats, beads, and line sizes to test what worked better for what I was doing. Some days, the 15 lb. fluorocarbon seemed to be the ticket until the toothy creatures showed up. Other days, I could get away with a 30 lb. snood when I suspected the Bluefish and Spanish mackerel were swarming. Backing up, though, the combination of attached jewelry was the fun part. Some days, I found that afloat was the key to getting the fish, and other days, a simple bead was the ticket to winning a limit. The point is this rig created more opportunities to catch fish. I also still cannot leave out my beloved double and single drop rigs. A standard seems while fishing for pompano in the Panhandle region and is found in just about every surf angler's arsenal. A tried-and-true rig was also a smooth operator through 2021, thanks to a few helping hands. Salty's Pompano Rigs, Frisky Fins, A1A Surf, and Jetty darts, and Rich Vidulich rigs were at my quick-grab side when it was time to do a quick swap. The fun with all these rig makers' gear is that they are all different in the attachments, so you get a variety of presentations out there versus one color/design across the zone. Variety is the spice of life until you figure out what the fish are loving, and then you stack it until that cooler is full! So, with 2021 finally behind you, it is time to fire up that 2022 fishing album on your social media profile and start filling it with pictures and information. All of that will give you a reference for 2023 fishing with a detailed history, so you know what worked during what months. See! We finally have a way to use social media that doesn't make your head hurt. So, get that gear set up and get out there and fish because we can't wait to see what you come up with this year! Go forth and do great things!

COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

january 2022

the emerald coast 15


t s a o C d l a r e Em B O A G A R R D B Caught by April Cook

in Walton County

Lewis out of Catch & release by Hunter thon Destin with Capt. Matt Caw

24" triggerfish catch & rel ease off Mexico Beach by Robert Lan gston

Red snapper catch & release by RJ Harman in Okaloosa County

Caught by Hunter Lewis out of Destin with Capt. Matt Cawthon

Provided by Capt. Simon wit h Emerald Coast Bait & Tackle

If you have a catch to brag about, send your picture and caption to: capt.elizabeth@coastalanglermagazine.com


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By Capt. Michael Okruhlik

I

CATCH THE

FISH

n early December, I set out in search for large trout in an area known to hold these magnificent fish from December through early April. Under typical conditions, they can be found warming themselves by hovering over the mud/grass bottom in knee-deep water, which is also where I prefer to target them. However, on this particular day the temperature was at a near record high of 80 degrees! The trout had no reason to hang out in the hot mud, so I had to read the signs to catch the fish. Before launching my kayak, I stood high on the bluff and scanned the area. This shore runs north to south, and there was a slight south to southeast breeze. I didn’t see any slicks to alert me to feeding fish, nor did I see busting bait. I didn’t even see any lazily flipping mullet. What I did see were several pelicans drifting on the water several hundred yards out and two kayakers to the north. There were three separate groups of pelicans, and they were not near each other.

I launched the kayak and headed east, or straight out. I made a few cast in the shallow water, but the vegetation was too abundant to properly work my lure, and I didn’t see any bait. With the bowmount trolling motor, I was able to stand and look for visible signs of life while slowly moving forward. The water in this area was crystal clear, and if fish were present, they would be easy to locate. When I reached water with a little less grass, I decided to make short drifts and try my luck. Once a drift didn’t produce, I would head east again until I reached new water with a little more depth, and drift again. The wind would push me to the northwest and somewhat back toward the shore. I also noticed the other kayakers were moving around a lot. With that observation and the fact that I hadn’t had a bite, I concluded they were not catching either, and the fish were not shallow.

My next move was to head deeper toward the pelicans. As I mentioned earlier, there were three groups of them, and the one thing they had in common was their distance from the shore. I headed straight east until I was inline with them, but up-wind. Once I reached this area, I noticed baitfish in the water. They were not being chased, but they were present. The water was still very clear, and it was about 3 to 4 feet deep with a mix of grass and potholes. I began launching my 4-inch paddletail toward the potholes. Utilizing a steady retrieve and keeping my lure about midway in the water column, I received a vicious strike. After some tail-walking, I landed a nice 5-pound speckled trout. Not bad for the first fish of the day! I had to depart from my pregame plan and follow the signs to the fish. By following that pattern, I was fortunate enough to play catch and release with specks and reds the remainder of the day. Capt. Michael Okruhlik is the inventor of Knockin Tail Lures, Controlled Descent Lures, and the owner of www.MyCoastOutdoors.com.

C


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PROVIDING FRESH FISH TO THE HUNGRY

H

ere’s a feel good story about anglers using a passion for fishing to do good in the world. Harrison Konsker and Maccabee Harman were avid anglers and high school students back in 2014 when they recognized the potential their angling success had to serve their South Florida community. On the water every weekend, they regularly filled bag limits, and decided the best use for all their fresh fish was to offer it those in need. They began reaching out to local food banks before taking the next step to form Fillet for Friends (FFF), a 501 (c) (3) non-profit whose mission is to reduce hunger and empower marginalized communities by working with local fishing and hunting communities and provide fish, wild game, education and community resources for the under-served. Since its inception, FFF has been feeding South Florida through a variety of methods. FFF regularly attends fishing tournaments across Florida to collect surplus fresh fish. A majority of their donations come from this process to help reduce waste and fill the plates of the hungry. They have developed a network of volunteers comprised of high school students with several chapters across Florida, and are in the process of expanding nationally. Aside from tournament donations, FFF makes it effortless for individual anglers across Florida to donate fish. Fishermen are able to contact FFF through a variety

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of outlets: Instagram Direct Messaging, email, texts and through their website. The fish are then picked up, filleted, packaged and delivered to food banks. All contributions are tax-deductible. The young philanthropists, who are now university students, have taken their organization to the next level. The team at Fillet for Friends has grown to 10 individuals, including Captain Bill Kelly, executive director of the Florida Keys Commercial Fishermen’s Association. Last month, FFF was awarded a grant from Feeding South Florida to augment their efforts, which have provided thousands of pounds of fish to thousands of Florida families. For more information, check out www.filletforfriends.org and follow @filletforfriends on social media.

Gulf Descending Devices Requirement Begins in January

O

n Jan. 13, the federal requirement will go into effect for anglers fishing for reef fish species to have a descending device or venting tool rigged and ready to use in Gulf of Mexico federal waters. This requirement was part of the DESCEND Act of 2020, which was signed into law last January. It applies to commercial, for-hire and private recreational vessels. The intent is to reduce mortality caused by barotrauma on reef species, like red snapper. Barotrauma is an increase in internal gas pressure caused by the sudden changes in pressure that fish undergo when being reeled up from depths generally greater than 90 feet, though it can occur in shallower waters of 33 feet or more. Fish experiencing barotrauma have difficulty quickly swimming back to catch depth, often floating on the surface where they are vulnerable to attack by dolphins, sharks and birds. Descending devices are a weighted hook, lip clamp or box that will hold a fish as it is lowered to a sufficient depth to allow for recovery from barotrauma. A venting tool is a sharpened, hollow instrument that can penetrate a fish’s abdomen to release excess gas acquired as it was brought to the surface.

•A

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NOAA Fisheries is currently seeking comments on a proposed rule to clarify descending device and venting tool definitions for the DESCEND Act. Learn more at www.fisheries.noaa.gov.

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Discover Boating Miami International Boat Show is Back for 2022

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he Discover Boating Miami International Boat Show is gearing up for 2022 and the largest boat and yacht event in the world. The show returns to the Miami Beach Convention Center and four additional locations from Wednesday, Feb. 16 through Sunday, Feb. 20 over Presidents Day weekend for the premier boating extravaganza in South Florida. Produced by Informa Markets and owned by the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA), the Discover Boating Miami International Boat Show will be the first production of South Florida’s preeminent winter boat shows after joining forces earlier this year and combining the Miami Yacht Show, SuperYacht Miami and the Miami International Boat Show. The 2022 Miami event is the first boat show to be integrated with the Discover Boating brand, which is the North American lifestyle brand for boating aimed at attracting the next generation of boaters and engaging current boaters. “We are looking forward to delivering an unparalleled experience at the 2022 Discover Boating Miami International Boat Show,” said Andrew Doole, President of U.S. Boat Shows with Informa Markets, who produces the Discover Boating Miami International Boat Show. “With our return to the Miami Beach Convention Center and alongside our partners at the National Marine Manufacturers Association, the 2022 boat show will be unlike any other winter boat show.” Historically, the Miami International Boat Show, the Miami Yacht Show and SuperYacht Miami have attracted more than 100,000 visitors from 35 countries to South Florida while generating an estimated $1.34 billion for the state. Bringing the events together offers numerous benefits for exhibitors, visitors and the greater boating community. The on-land portion of the event will take place at the newly reimagined Miami Beach Convention Center, while the featured in-water activities will be offered at One Herald Plaza, Sea Isle Marina, Museum Park Marina, and IGY Yacht Haven Grande at Island Gardens. The boat show will feature new elements such as the Boat Show Experience, which will be the ultimate boater’s destination, located outside the Miami Beach Convention Center. Guests will have access to the AquaZone presented by Nautical Ventures in addition to a collection of experiential boating lifestyle activations, live music entertainment and a marine accessory pavilion. Don’t miss the 2022 show! For more information about the 2022 Discover Boating Miami International Boat Show, visit www.miamiboatshow.com.

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Agencies Respond to Manatee Mortality Event

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he U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), in cooperation with Florida Power & Light Company (FPL), are enhancing ongoing efforts to address the unusual manatee mortality event along Florida’s Atlantic coast. After thorough science, policy and legal reviews, and substantial coordination, the USFWS and FWC leadership recently approved the Unified Command establishing a Temporary Field Response Station at FPL’s Cape Canaveral Clean Energy Center in Brevard County. The Response Station will support several response operations already underway in the central Indian River Lagoon, such as manatee rescues, carcass recovery and limited field health assessments. In approving the Response Station, USFWS and FWC leadership also approved staff to conduct a short-term feeding trial, referred to by many as supplemental feeding. The goals of this limited, small-scale feeding trial are two-fold: 1) to reduce manatee mortality and 2) to reduce the number of animals in need of rescue, allowing the limited space in permitted critical care facilities to remain open for animals needing rehabilitation for other reasons. “We understand the importance of a timely response. Our agencies and Unified Command partners carefully considered all aspects of a short-term feeding trial,” said Shannon Estenoz, Department of the Interior Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks. “It is critical we help manatees in the short term with actions that are compatible with their long-term wellbeing and resilience.” The Response Station is not a location for mobile veterinary care or rehabilitation. The Manatee Rescue and Rehabilitation Partnership will continue to care for rescued animals at their federally permitted rehabilitation facilities. Unified Command partners still anticipate relatively high mortality along Florida’s Atlantic Coast during the winter of 2021-22 due to chronic effects of starvation from the loss of seagrass associated with poor water

quality within the Indian River Lagoon. Because this trial effort is a management action that has not been tried before, it is unknown how many manatees will visit the site or how much vegetation individual manatees will consume. The goal of this action is to reduce manatee mortality. It will not eliminate it. Beyond on-site support, FPL is substantially contributing to other manatee response operations by working with the Fish & Wildlife Foundation of Florida to obtain an additional FWC rescue truck and provide on the ground assistance. “Environmental stewardship is a critical aspect of FPL’s continued efforts to deliver clean, reliable and affordable energy to its customers,” said Kate MacGregor, FPL vice president of environmental services. “For over 30 years, we have worked closely with state and federal agencies to ensure manatees are protected and we stand ready to support FWC and USFWS in their ongoing conservation efforts for this important species.” Report injured, distressed, or dead manatees to the FWC Wildlife Alert Hotline at 888-404-3922.

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WORKING THE NIGHT SHIFT

Tim Barefoot

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ears ago, before I had access to a boat slip at the marina, I frequently pulled the boat to work completely ready to drop in the water and go fish by 5 or 5:30 p.m. This time of year, when it gets dark at 5:30 in the afternoon, this was the only time I had to fish, but it wound up being the best time of the day/season to fish. My favorite nights are the full moons of winter. This is the time of year to catch some gator trout. With all the fishing pressure trout endure, some of the big girls may go completely nocturnal. I would be putting the boat in the water when everyone was taking out, and my constant question was, “Did you catch ’em today?” On quite a few occasions, I would get the answer, “We didn’t catch sheet.” That was the answer I was looking for. That meant they were going to eat after dark. You see, when a lot of boats are buzzing around and on top of them, it can put them in the “lockjaw” mode. Let it turn dark, when all the “day-timers” go home, and that’s when the numbers of bites and some of the big girls eat. NOTE: I can only talk so much smack… The biggest speck I’ve ever caught at night was 7.75 pounds, but I have caught some pretty impressive numbers. For example, one night we had 42 good ones. That was before there

16 FLORIDA

JANUARY 2022

was a limit, so my “limit” was when I had a cooler full. Back then I was selling them, so I didn’t have a problem keeping big numbers. One of the standout colors was chartreuse at night. This produced more bites than anything else, and that was what I was looking for. The more I fished the old faithful chartreuse MirrOlure, the more I loved it. But then we discovered the Rattle Trap. This was a complete game changer. Not only could you keep in touch with it, due to the resistance and vibration on the plug, but you could also cast it into the wind and a long distance. Now I have come full circle back to fishing what they really eat best of all… a shrimp. A soft plastic (DOA) shrimp on a jig head, the 3/8oz. Barefoot Jig. Primarily, I have been talking about speckled trout up to this point, but redfish and snook are especially good candidates for a night bite. All three of these species are programmed to eat a shrimp in the current. So, make the best out of the shortened daylight hours. Get in the boat after work and go fish the night shift. For more info on this jig head and D.O.A. shrimp combo, visit these websites: Barefootcatsandtackle.com or Rigandjig.com.

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Bassmaster Classic Returns to Hartwell T

he world’s most prestigious professional bass tournament is returning to the site of some of the best moments in the sport’s famed history. The 2022 Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Classic presented by Huk will be held at Lake Hartwell March 4-6. It is the fourth time the crowds and pageantry of the Classic have descended on Upstate South Carolina. Takeoffs will be conducted from Green Pond Landing & Event Center, while daily weigh-ins will be held at the Bon Secours Wellness Arena. The annual Bassmaster Classic Outdoors Expo will take place at the Greenville Convention Center, both of which are in nearby Greenville. B.A.S.S. CEO Bruce Akin said the organization is excited to once again visit a venue that has become the gold standard for professional bass fishing events. “Everything about Lake Hartwell and the city of Greenville make them the perfect setting for the Super Bowl of Professional Bass Fishing,” Akin said. “The Bassmaster Classic is not only a chance for the best anglers in the world to showcase their abilities, it’s an annual celebration of the sport itself. “Lake Hartwell provides the perfect site for amazing competition, and the city of Greenville provides the hotels, restaurants and other facilities you need for an event the size of the Classic.” Hartwell is a 56,000-acre man-made reservoir situated between Georgia and South Carolina and encompassing portions of the Savannah, Tugaloo and Seneca rivers. It features a vast array of habitat and a good population of both largemouth and spotted bass that are likely to be in the prespawn phase when the Classic competitors arrive.

“We are very excited for the opportunity to host the Bassmaster Classic once again on Lake Hartwell,” said Neil Paul, Executive Director of Visit Anderson. “The leadership of Anderson County has made a significant commitment to Green Pond Landing and the marketing efforts of Lake Hartwell, and we expect another record-breaking event with our teammates from Greenville. “Hosting our fourth Bassmaster Classic on Lake Hartwell is significant to our community because no other fishery will have hosted more Bassmaster Classic events. Having hosted this great event in the past, we can speak first hand to the significant economic impact it will have on the upstate of South Carolina and the impact of residual tourism that will be felt in Anderson County for years to come.” The 2022 Classic will feature 55 qualifiers with berths earned through the Elite Series, the Opens, the TNT Fireworks B.A.S.S. Nation circuit, the Carhartt Bassmaster College Series presented by Bass Pro Shops and the Bassmaster Team Championship, plus the defending Bassmaster Classic champion and winner of the final Elite Series event of the 2021 season. They will compete in the no-entry-fee event for their share of a whopping $1 million purse, with the champion earning $300,000. For more information, go to www.bassmaster.com.

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THINKING ABOUT QUITTING BOATING? P erhaps your vessel needs a major repair. Maybe you sold your house and are moving away from the seashore. Maybe you are too busy to sell your boat, or you tried and found a lot of people didn’t have the resources to buy it, much less to move it. There are a lot of reasons people have for getting rid of an older boat, working or not. We want to let you know that you can trust Boat Angel Outreach Center. We here at Coastal Angler have seen them help thousands get rid of their unwanted boats and receive generous IRS1098 tax receipts for doing so. Did you know older, larger working boats can be donated for their fair market value? Did you know Boat Angel will walk you through the whole process, and most of the time even a boat that has been unused on your dock or in your backyard will be gone in less than 15 days? I’ve known the people at Boat Angel Outreach for more than a decade, and I can personally vouch that this charity is both caring and focused on helping kids. 100 percent of their funding is from the sale of donated boats. They currently fund projects on four continents and ceaselessly work to make this world a better place, especially for children. They have a courteous and diligent staff. They are experienced in solving logistical problems and multi-state title issues, all while achieving their goals of getting the donated vessels moved away quickly. So, if you’ve got a vessel that’s no longer

working, or you have decided to move on from boating, I strongly recommend you give this great organization a call or contact them through their website. When your donation is completed, just forward your receipt to your tax preparer. Who knows how much money your donation will put back in your pocket? We all know that an unused or nonworking boat is a drain on anyone’s finances. Fuel, maintenance bills, registration, insurance and slip fees are year-round expenses. Maybe it is finally

Donate A Boat or Car Today!

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time to move on. A friend of mine once asked, “What is better than being a boat owner?” “I don’t know, what?” I said. “A friend with a boat,” he replied, smiling. We all have friends with boats. Why not put the money saved into their gas tank and take a small fishing trip? Boat Angel Outreach Center; www.boatangel.org; EIN 42-1619552; 800-700-2628.


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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 ®. © 2021 Suzuki Marine USA, LLC.

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13


Angler Lands Record Red Hind

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North Carolina angler boated a new state record red hind off Cape Lookout in October, and it’s a record that’s likely to stand for a while. The fish weighed 7 pounds, 1.6 ounces and measured 21.5 inches in length with a 17.5-inch girth. The new state record holder, Matthew Parr, of Wilmington, N.C., was fishing with Capt. Charles Stewart Merritt of Salt Air Ventures. They were dropping cut bait on 80-poundtest line, probably looking for big grouper. The record breaker Parr hauled from the depths was less than 2-pounds off the IGFA all tackle world record, which stands at 9 pounds even and was caught by Eddie Vanmeter out of St. Marys, Ga. in July of 2019. Previously, North Carolina did not list a state record red hind but created the category after Parr applied for the state record. The Division of Marine Fisheries creates new state record categories for fish that are exceptionally large for North Carolina. Parr’s was exceptionally large for anywhere. Although red hind are known to grow up to 23 inches and exceed 10 pounds in weight, anglers rarely encounter them that large. The typical specimen brought over the rail measures about 16 inches. Red hind is a quality table fish that is important in Caribbean commercial fisheries. In the South Atlantic it is regulated within the three grouper aggregate recreational bag limit. It is also listed in the ShallowWater Grouper Complex, which means there is a closure for the species from January through April.

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SUZUKI’S CLEAN OCEAN PROJECT If you’re going to claim to be “The Ultimate Outboard Motor,” you’d better do more than just build great engines. This is why, for the past 10 years, Suzuki has been committed to cleaning up the marine environment through voluntary “Clean Up The World” activities around the globe. Through the recently launched CLEAN OCEAN PROJECT, Suzuki Marine is committed to reducing the use of plastics in packaging materials to its consumers which has led to eliminating 2.3 tons of plastic waste annually. Suzuki is continually finding ways to reduce plastic waste while educating and informing the boating industry about this critical issue. This is only the beginning and Suzuki is pledging itself to the important cause of protecting our planet’s waters, coastal environments, and marine ecosystems for future generations to enjoy.

YEAR LIMITED WARRANTY

5 YEAR LIMITED WARRANTY applies to qualifying purchases of Suzuki outboard motors sold and delivered to the retail purchaser, for pleasure (non-commercial) use only, from April 1, 2021 through March 31, 2022. See Suzuki Limited Warranty for additional details. Suzuki, the “S” logo, and Suzuki model and product names are Suzuki Trademarks or ®. Don’t drink and drive. Always wear a USCG-approved life jacket and read your owner’s manual. © 2021 Suzuki Marine USA, LLC. All rights reserved.


FOR REEL

GOOD FISHING Visit Upcountry South Carolina Stop by the South Carolina Lakes booth at the Bassmaster Classic Expo, March 4-6, 2022 at the Greenville Convention Center.

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Lake Hartwell, host of the 2008, 2015, 2018, and 2022 Academy Sports & Outdoors Bassmaster Classic presented by Huk


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