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FORT MYERS/CAPE CORAL/CHARLOTTE HARBOR EDITION

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By Capt. Mike Weinhofer hen I arrived in Key West more than 30 years ago, there was a sign on the fence at the airport that said “Sportfishing Capital of the World.” At the time I had no idea how special Key West was as a fishing destination. It isn’t that it’s the best fishery for any one species. The opportunities here are endless. It has a lot to do with Key West’s location and topography. Key West is a tiny island 120 miles out in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean on one side and the Gulf of Mexico on the other. It has shallow waters surrounding it to hold bait and deep water near to shore. It’s a very unique ecosystem. It’s a natural migration point for many species to feed and breed. Shallow flats surround Key West and serve as a breeding ground for bait and shallow-water trophy fish. The tarpon migration is world famous. Whether you want to fly fish or bait fish for tarpon, they are always willing to entertain. The shallow flats are also home to bonefish and permit, the hardest fish in the world to catch on a fly. But while the flats are loaded with fish, it’s not just the shallow water that mesmerizes. The call of bluewater seems to ring in everyone’s ears. Just 5 miles offshore on the Atlantic side lies the shallow-water reef. The reef is home to grouper, snapper and all types of tropical fish as well as myriad baitfish. The reef is also a congregation point for bluewater fish. The small ballyhoo and other baitfish attract larger and larger fish to the shallows. It is not uncommon in the winter months to watch sailfish chase ballyhoo in less than 15 feet of water. Just outside of the reef, the water drops to about 120 feet in 500 yards, and then there is an area called “The Bar.” It’s the old coral reef from when the water table was 40 feet lower. The Bar is about 200 yards wide and holds all kinds of fish. It shadows the reef for about 20 miles to the west. The west end of the bar is a magical place, with east-bound current upwelling on the end, bait feeds on pushed-up nutrients, and where bait congregates fish follow. Now for the offshore bluewater. “Woods Wall” is named after the man that discovered it, the famous Keys fisherman Norman Woods. At

W

make even more structure. So close to shore and holding such a variety of fish, it is a bluewater angler’s dream. Amazingly enough, we have not even touched on the fishing west or the north of Key West yet. To the west lie shallow flats and a string of islands that hold bait, tarpon, permit, sharks and many more species. Then, when you get about 20 miles west of Key West there is an island atoll call the Marquesas. It is a special place. Flats fishers come from all around the world to fish this little island. Many stories have been written about epic battles with tarpon and permit and what a magical place it is at sunrise, when anglers watch shallow-water fisheries come to life. Farther to the west are 10 or so wrecks in less than 15 feet of water. Fishing around these wrecks is like fishing in an aquarium. The water is crystal clear and bait is everywhere. Whether it is barracuda, permit, cobia or sharks, the wrecks are alive with activity. Another magical place 64 miles west of Key West is the Dry Tortugas, a group of small islands surrounded by shallow water and some of the best bottom fishing in the world. The Dry Tortugas is home to Fort Jefferson, a national park and a whole other ecosystem I could spend an entire article describing. To the north of Key West lies the Gulf of Mexico, a shallow basin for the nearshore that drops to about 100 feet in depth at 40 miles. The Gulf is loaded with wrecks that hold all kinds of bottom fish. Grouper, snapper and cobia fishing is a blast, as is the jewfish and shark fishing. Never mind fishing behind the shrimp boats for blackfin tuna, bonitas, cobia and other fish. And there are the radio towers that stand tall out in 80 to 120 feet of water that hold all kinds of bottom fishing opportunities as well as kingfish, amberjacks, sharks and cobia. In short Key West is not the best fishery for any one thing, it has it all. The topography makes it like no place else in the world to fish. Its unique layout allows us to hide from prevailing winds and make even the worst winds fishable. Quite often the hardest decision is which way to turn in the morning, left or right can make all the difference. It is one of the few places you can catch tarpon in the morning, sailfish in the mid day and dolphin or tuna in the afternoon. Everything is just so close, and there are just so many choices it makes each morning a debate. After 30 years, I still enjoy all the hard choices. Capt. Weinhofer runs charters on the Compass Rose. Visit www. KeyWestFloridaFishing.com or call 305-395-3474.

the edge of the continental shelf, the top of the wall is 800 feet deep with a shear drop to deeper than 1,800 feet in a mere 100 yards. The Gulf Stream slams into this shear face and makes rips and upwellings. If that weren’t enough, there are cracks in the wall that extend inshore to 8

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For more tuna fishing in the Keys, go to

FISHINGLIFE.CO

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Fight the blues.

If nothing makes you happier than battling a billfish, you’ll find plenty to smile about in Key West. Minutes from shore you can go toe-to-toe with behemoth blue marlin, the greatest gamefish of them all. You can chase after tuna and dolphin, too. Wahoo! fla-keys.com/keywest 1.800.527.8539 COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

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ON THE COVER Editor’s Note:

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

COASTAL ANGLER MAGAZINE Freeport, Bahamas Yellowfin

FREE

Sushi doesn’t come any fresher than it does Outdoor 32nd Annual on the deck of the Finster when yellowfin Palm Beach Apparel International Edition Boat Show tuna are pushing bait off of Freeport in the Bahamas. This month’s Coastal Angler Magazine cover photo, courtesy of Picture Perfect Charters, is of Capt. Pete Milisci with a nice tuna that has an imminent encounter Local with a fillet knife and some soy sauce. Team Finster is an offshore tournament team based out of Fort Myers, Fla. They fish sailfish tournaments on the east coast of Florida as well as some offshore stuff on the west coast. All that sounds fun, but so does their annual spring tuna outing across the Gulf Stream from Fort Lauderdale. It’s the kind of trip most occasional anglers dream of, and these guys do it pretty much every year when the yellowfin show up. They spend the better part of a week operating out of a condo in Port Lucaya, venturing out just 10 miles from the docks each day to chase birds and catch big tuna. They load coolers with mahi, blackfin and yellowfin tuna, and even the occasional mutton snapper caught from the dock while they are cleaning the day’s catch. What more could an angler ask for? March 23-26

WHOLESALE CUSTOMERS WANTED! The Best American Hooks & Weights For Better #Fishing

Fishing Reports Catch Photos News & Events

VOLUME 22 • ISSUE 266

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THE ANGLER MAGAZINE Lake Erie, Smallmouth Bass

FREE

Over the last decade or so, Lake Erie, the fourth largest of the Great Lakes, has really taken off Outdoor Apparel as one of the best smallmouth bass fisheries in Edition the world. This has been widely credited to the arrival of the invasive round goby, a bottomdwelling species that has become a staple in Local the diet of bass and other game fish. Biologists have reported impressive growth rates of smallmouth bass in Lake Erie since the gobies took hold there. The long-term impact these invasive fish will have is not completely understood, but for the meantime they are propping up a great fishery. The photo on the cover of this month’s editions of The Angler Magazine is of Kayla Culp, of Ridgeway, Ontario and a chunky bronzeback she caught while drop shotting soft plastics in Lake Erie’s East Basin. She mainly fishes the Canadian side of the lake, where bass season doesn’t begin until early summer. Anglers on the U.S. side of the lake also get to experience fishing through the stages of the spawn, which typically begin with a pre-spawn push to shallower water in April and run into June when the fish retreat back to the depths. The photo was taken by her boyfriend, fishing buddy and all-around lucky dude Matt Sirianni. Fishing Reports Catch Photos News & Events

VOLUME 22 • ISSUE 265

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APPAREL Product Review XTRATUF KRYPTEK ANKLE DECK BOOT Introducing the Kryptek Ankle Deck Boot from XTRATUF, a beloved fishing boot brand popular amongst recreational and commercial fisherman alike. XTRATUF boots are a gear staple of every man, woman and child in Alaska and the Pacific Northwest and beyond, not only for the protective properties that have made them must-have gear for boating, sailing and fishing enthusiasts, but as a fashion and trend statement around the world. This boot is a simple, wearable way to achieve a fashion-forward look in a truly iconic boot with significant brand heritage. New for spring 2017, XTRATUF and Kryptek, camouflage design innovators, are collaborating on a new deck boot collection that combines the technology of the popular XTRATUF Performance Ankle Deck Boot with sleek Kryptek camo designs, including the Yeti and Pontus patterns (MSRP $90). It features a 1mm Neoprene XpressCool bootie that surrounds the whole foot and ankle providing all day comfort. Like all XTRATUF footwear, the Kryptek Ankle Deck Boot is 100 percent waterproof, and it includes a boatload of performance features. • XpressCool lining to keep feet cool in warmer weather • Full-rubber, lightweight silhouettes • Slip-resistant chevron outsole • Pull-on tabs for easy on and off

WWW.XTRATUFBOOTS.COM

L.L. BEAN HYBRID FISHING SHIRT With a unique combination of fabrics, excellent ventilation and built-in sun protection, L.L. Bean’s Hybrid Fishing Shirt delivers unbeatable performance. This shirt is slightly fitted to provide on-thewater functionality while looking good. A relaxed fit through the chest and sleeve as well as stretchy knit upper arms with built-in articulation allow for a full range of motion when casting. A slightly slimmer waist keeps uneccesary fabric out of the way when you’re fishing. The Hybrid Fishing Shirt features a blend of woven and knit nylon and polyester with built-in UPF 50+ sun protection. It’s breathable, and a caped back for ventilation will keep you cool and comfortable during long days on the water. Polygiene treatment prevents the growth of odor causing bacteria to keep you from smelling worse than the fish you catch. L.L. Bean has designed a performance fishing shirt that looks as good as it performs on the water. Trim for attaching zingers and forceps and streamlined pockets for gear complete the package.

WWW.LLBEAN.COM

SCALESKINZ MULTIFUNCTIONAL HEADWEAR Capsmith Inc. is the No. 1 trusted source for fishing and outdoor enthusiasts with more than 32 years of experience in the headwear industry. Scaleskinz Multifunctional Headwear can be worn many different ways, and will attract all the right attention with colorful detail and sun protection. Scaleskinz feature a seamless tubular design that can be worn in 12 different ways, including a cap, scarf, facemask, headband, neck shade or shape it to fit your needs. This exclusive product offers maximum protection against sun, wind and rain. Scaleskinz are the perfect addition to retail stores that cater to fishing enthusiasts. Available designs include Dolphin, Tarpon, Marlin, Redfish and Bass. One Size Fits Most. For wholesale Scaleskinz inquiries, contact Capsmith Inc. at 1-800-228-3889, or buy online at www.ihatehats.com.

REEF CONTOURED CUSHIONED SANDALS

Reef has become the go-to purveyor of sandals that look as good as they feel on your feet. Their new Contoured Cushioned Sandals are so comfortable you might not even take them off to go to bed. These sandals feature molded rubber sponge footbeds, so you really are wearing pillows on the soles of your feet. Synthetic-nubuck-leather uppers are stylish and durable, and they are padded with jersey lining to feel super soft against your skin. Finally, these shoes are outfitted with anatomical arch support to keep you comfortable all day long, through any adventure. What more could you expect from a company that is world-renowned for making high-quality footwear for those who enjoy life on the water. Whether you’re headed offshore or to the tiki bar, Reef’s Contoured Cushioned Sandals will keep your feet looking as good as they feel.

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APPAREL Product Review PELAGIC BATTLE GLOVES Ever look at an old salt’s hands? Fishermen are right up there with mechanics for having the most abused hands out there. Pelagic, a company that designs clothing specifically for protecting anglers from the harsh marine environment, has the perfect solution for protecting your hands while they’re doing battle. Pelagic Battle Gloves give anglers an edge when fighting monsters of the deep. These heavy-duty “Sure Grip” fishing gloves are ideal for fishing heavy mono, braid or wire lines and are Kevlar reinforced for maximum protection from line cuts, blisters, sharp fins and teeth. Made with open fingertips for maximum dexterity and finger maneuverability, they protect your hands while allowing you to do the intricate work of rigging lines and baits and tying knots. These gloves increase angler endurance, yet are versatile enough to use for fish handling, bill grabbing, fish filleting, and many other offshore purposes. With Velcro security and stamped with the Pelagic deluxe logo, Battle Gloves are a must-have for any offshore adventure.

WWW.PELAGICGEAR.COM IN GOGS WE TRUST! The Kluch Signature Gog Tee features a simulated goggle eye portrait complete with $100 bill background and Kluch lettering. Available in a variety of styles, this shirt is built of a 100 percent ringspun cotton fabric for that true comfort fit. When it comes to sport fishing, having the right bait means everything! The “In Gogs We Trust” collection was inspired by those brutal days fishing tournaments and being down a release needing another bite to edge into first. After countless attempts of creating luck, teams turn to their wells in search of the best-looking bait to catapult them onto the podium. When all of a sudden the right short starts acting up and there he is!

BODY GLOVE 3T BAREFOOT WARRIOR

Many watersports require toe dexterity, and that’s where the Body Glove’s 3T Barefoot line of water shoes shines. Whether you’re a top athlete, a beginner, or somewhere in between, 3T Barefoot shoes are the perfect footwear for everything water. It doesn’t matter if it’s Stand-up paddleboarding, kayaking or just swimming off a rocky shore, the 3T Barefoot is up to the task. A patented three-toe design allows for dexterity in the toes that need it. A minimalist, neutral-balance foot bed allows for maximum ground feel while keeping your foot protected. Body Glove’s Integrated Drainage System (IDS) lets water drain out while preventing debris from entering the shoe. It can be worn either in or out of the water. Other features of the 3T Barefoot include adjustable shocklaces, easy slipon design, hybrid use for in or out of the water, zero heel lift, and the drainage system, which cools the foot with air circulation when out of water.

WWW.BODYGLOVE.COM OLUKAI PA‘A SANDALS

WWW.KLUCH.COM A good pair of sandals is as important to life on the water as a boat, maybe more important. The Hawaiian company OluKai knows this well, which is why they make footwear designed specifically for the ocean lifestyle. At the core of OluKai’s philosophy are quality, durability, comfort and craftsmanship, which means their sandals are crafted to perform and last. OluKai’s new PA‘A sandals were designed with on-the-water action in mind. Translated, PA‘A means secure in English, and these flip-flop-style kicks provide secure footing while battling fish from the deck of a boat or while scrambling out on a jetty to cast. They are fully adjustable on both straps with molded D-rings and micro hookand-loop to ensure a snug fit so the sandals won’t fall off your feet. Water resistant synthetic straps and soft, quick-drying jersey knit lining provide comfort in and out of the water. The footbed is crafted of anatomical, compression-molded EVA midsole with a brushed ICEVA drop-in. The outsole features a non-marking, wetgrip sticky rubber base enhanced with rubber pods for durability and maximum water traction. If you’re looking for a sandal that offers all-day comfort and secure footing in any situation, PA‘A sandals are about as good as it gets.

WICKED DRY & COOL PERFORMANCE SHIRTS Hook & Tackle, designers, manufacturers and distributors of authentic performance fishing apparel since 1963, introduces the new Wicked Dry & Cool collection. Designed with a breakthrough Wicked Dry & Cool proprietary fabric that wicks moisture while keeping you cool, the shirts feature radial sleeves for expansive arm movement. The extremely light yet durable fabrication offers UPF 50+ sun protection, quick dryness and odor resistance. Tested and proven to be the coolest shirts in the market, they are now available in four designs from sizes XS-3XL. For more information, contact Stan at srudman@sportailor.com or visit the site.

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Lake Erie’s

Big Brown Bass L

By Nick Carter ake Erie boasts some of the best smallmouth bass fishing in the world. And over the nearly 10,000 square miles of surface area on this massive lake, the Eastern Basin offers some of the best habitat for bronzebacks. The Eastern Basin is the deepest part of the lake and is separated by a ridge that runs north to south from Long Point in Ontario, Canada to Erie, Pennsylvania. Buffalo New York sits on the eastern shore at the mouth of the Niagara River. Anglers visiting Niagara Falls would be foolish not to set aside a day for fishing the irregular near-shore topography that makes the Eastern Basin such a good fishery. Biologists see incredible growth rates from smallmouth in this area, and 5- to 7-pound fish are a regular occurrence. Kayla Culp, a teacher from Ridgeway, Ontario, has spent years patterning smallies on the Canadian side of the lake. In the Canadian waters of Erie, bass season is closed in spring to protect bedding fish. This is not the case for U.S. waters, where anglers take advantage of pre-spawn migrations as early as April. When the fish move up onto sand flats and chunk rock and into the bays and major tributaries in early spring, it is a time for bumping the bottom in 15 to 20 feet of water with spoons, tube jigs or blades. It can be a grind to find fish, but anglers who set up over a school will find plenty of action and potential for giant smallmouth bass. Lakewide, bed fishing is generally frowned upon. When the Canadian season opens in late June, smallmouth are typically feeding aggressively during their post-spawn transition to deeper water. Culp

said early summer is a fun time to fish the lake. Smallies will be on the weed edges, and they are susceptible to run-and-gun tactics or trolling with fast-moving lures like jerkbaits, spinnerbaits and crankbaits. Location is everything when fish are spread out over so much water. Some enjoy drift fishing to find fish. Culp said to trust your fishfinder and cruise, looking for rock-to-sand transitions. This is especially important as fish move deeper. In summer, big smallies will hang around structure or transitions just off the bottom. The depth can go from 10 to 15 feet in early summer out to 30 feet as the water warms. This summer bite is Culp’s favorite of the year. She enjoys drop shotting soft plastics and tubes into schooled-up fish. When it’s on, 30 fish or more from 2 to 5 pounds and larger are a definite possibility. A natural approach is best in Erie’s clear waters. Dark colors like green and brown make up the majority of Culp’s soft-plastic arsenal. This makes sense. It fits the color scheme of the round goby. These little bottom dwellers invaded the lake in the mid 1990s, and smallies developed a taste for them. Biologists have estimated that gobies account for up to 75 percent of an Erie smallmouth’s diet. The goby invasion is widely credited for accelerated growth rates of smallmouth in the lake. For more bass fishing on Lake Erie, go to

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The Freeport Meat Run

Lorem ipsum

An Annual Trip Of A Lifetime By Nick Carter

By CAM Staff - Photos Courtesy of Picture Perfect Charters

F

or some anglers, the fishing trip of a lifetime is an annual event. Team Finster, out of Fort Myers, Fla., fishes top offshore tournaments, but one of the highlights of their fishing year is an annual spring meat trip that coincides with the arrival of big yellowfin tuna in the Bahamas. Team member Pete Milisci, who operates Picture Perfect Charters out of Fort Myers, feels it’s well worth hauling Team Captain Zac Carpenter’s 34’ SeaVee three hours across the peninsula to launch off Florida’s east coast near Fort Lauderdale. Big yellowfin move through in late April and early May, and five guys spend the better part of the week chasing birds and filling fish boxes. The trip starts with provisioning and bait. As charter captains, team members begin saving and freezing leftover bait from charter trips a month in advance because chumming is key. They prefer fishing live bait, so the livewell is loaded with pilchards and threadfins before they leave. Provisions and gear are crammed into every available hold before they set out on what should be a couple hour run in front of twin Mercury Verado 300s across the Gulf Stream to Carpenter’s condo in Port Lucaya, Freeport, Grand Bahama. The crossing always takes longer than it should. It’s difficult for a boatload of anglers to pass up fish along the way. “Last trip, we had all the fish boxes full before we even got there,” Milisci said. “We came upon a whole tree adrift with mahi all over it. They were good mahi, too, all gaffers.” It’s a good thing there’s an ice machine at the condo. Even when cleaning fish at the dock, there is opportunity to put more meat on ice. Milisci said tarpon and big mutton snapper appear to clean up the scraps. Cooked whole and fresh, those snapper are fine eating. The main event begins after checking in with customs and unloading. “The fishing is right out front. It’s within 10 miles,” Milisci said. “You lose sight of land, and you’re in ’em.” Tuna move constantly, and they move fast. Finding fish is a matter of finding birds on the radar. Huge groups of birds are typically found over bonito, so Team Finster is looking for smaller pockets of birds that are a giveaway for tuna. They never pass a frigatebird without checking it.

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When fish are found, the boat is maneuvered in front of the anticipated direction of the school’s travel. The engines drop into neutral and heavy chumming begins with a month’s worth of frozen baitfish. “The fish are on the surface. They’re coming up blasting baits, and the birds are diving on the bait they push up,” Milisci said. “Sometimes you’ll see fins coming up on your bait.” When fishing in a maelstrom of 10- to 15-pound blackfin tuna and yellowfins weighing 30 to well over 100-pounds, it’s important to fish heavy gear. There are also sharks mixed in, and they will leave nothing but a fish head at the first hint of blood in the water. Anglers must crank hard and fast with 60w and 80w Penn Internationals spooled with 200-pound-test mono and 200- to 300-pound leaders. Anglers either reel fish in from the rod holder with bent-butt rods or fight them with a belt. Tuna will eat dead bait, but the team prefers presenting pilchards and threads on a slack line until they run out of live bait. Milisci said the fish are smart enough to let a bait go if they feel the slightest amount of tension on the line, so that slack is important until a fish eats. Then it becomes a grueling race against the sharks. The reward is almost immediate when a fish hits the deck. Wasabi and soy sauce are kept on-hand, and knives go to work while the rod-man catches his breath. For more on Team Finster or to contact Zac Carpenter or Pete Milisci, see finsterfishing.com. To book an inshore trip with Milisci out of Fort Myers, go to www.pictureperfectcharters.com. For highlights from this Tuna catch, go to

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Spawning Phase Will Play A Big Role In Conroe Bassmaster Classic

K

elly Jordon is not a weatherman. He can’t say for sure what the conditions will be when 52 of the world’s best anglers descend on Lake Conroe, an hour outside of Houston, Texas for the GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods, March 24-26. But as a Texas native and a 22-year veteran of the Bassmaster Tournament Trail, Jordon knows bass are likely to be in some phase of the spring spawn— and he said the angler who best identifies that phase is likely to be the winner of the event. “If I was going to guess—depending on what the weather does—I’d say we’ll be toward the final quarter of the spawn,” said Jordon. “There will still be some fish on the beds, but there will also be a lot of postspawn fish.” A spawn/postspawn scenario could provide a lot of options, and it could certainly lead to some giant fish being brought to the scales at the Houston Astros’ Minute Maid Park. Jordon said the bluegill will likely be coming up to spawn, and big bass can often be found feeding around bluegill beds. Male bass are also likely to be guarding recently hatched fry, and big females that are hungry from the spawn could be roaming the shallows. Though some bass are likely to still be on the beds, Jordon said he doesn’t expect sight fishing to be a dominant technique. “I don’t think somebody can win on sight fishing alone,” he said. “You’re likely to see several giant fish caught off beds or maybe a key 5-pounder at a time when someone really needs it. But I don’t think it’s something you’ll be able to totally hang your hat on.” As for the type of structure that’s likely to be most popular, Jordon said anglers will have their pick. “The water color will depend on how much rain we get and which part of the river you’re fishing,” he said. “The water way up on the upper end could be a lot more stained than the lower end. But when you get up there, you’ll find plenty of backwater stuff, some side creeks, some marinas, some residential

areas with canals, big gigantic flats—a little bit of everything.” The lower end of the lake could appeal to dock fishing specialists. “The lower half of the lake—if not more than half—is pretty much wall-to-wall boat docks and seawalls,” Jordon said. “Whether you want to fish shallow shoreline cover or deep shoreline Bassmaster Elite Series angler and cover, there’s tons of it Classic competitor Bradley Roy caught available. You can find this giant largemouth during pre-pracseawalls that may have tice on Lake Conroe. 10 feet of water around them. “You’ll find flat banks and deep banks. It’s a really dynamic place—and since we’ll be in the spring spawning season, the person who finds not only where the fish are, but where they’re headed, is going to be the one who’s in the best position to win.” With the phases of the spawn playing a major role and Conroe’s reputation for producing big bass, there’s a good chance there will be some 30-pound sacks brought to weigh-ins. For more on last years Bassmaster Classic, go to

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FLY FISHING

WADE FISHING ESSENTIALS

W

ade fishing is one of the most rewarding ways to target shallow-water fish like bonefish or redfish. However, there is more to wade fishing than just walking on a white sand flat or beach and casting to fish. To make the wade fishing experience more enjoyable, here are a few tips to help you make longer casts, protect your feet, blend into your environment, stay safe and catch more fish! Stripping Basket There is nothing more frustrating than fishing from the beach and having your fly line wrap and tangle around your legs and feet especially after you have made a perfect cast to a school of stripers, a corbina or surf perch. The simplest way to solve this problem is to invest in a stripping basket. Made from a variety of materials and available in many styles, a stripping basket will assist you in managing your line. Removing your concern for loose line will allow you more time to concentrate on improving your casting and distance. A stripping basket is not limited to beach fishing, either. More and more anglers are also accepting the value of the stripping basket on boats. A taller free-standing cousin to the wearable basket allows you to keep your line off the deck and avoid its many potential hang-ups including boat cleats, shoe laces, coolers and the other obstructions on a boat’s deck. Wading Footwear There are hundreds of different types of practical shoes for fishing. Select a shoe with high ankle support, a firm and solid toe and stiff arch support. Since you’ll be wading in a variety of bottom conditions from soft mud, soft sand, hard sand and even reefs or oyster beds, it’s a good idea to get a shoe that has a thick sole to prevent punctures. Blend In Blend into your environment. Match your clothes to your

surroundings. If you are fishing the beach, wear neutral colors like tan, light green or even brown. When fishing the flats, a light blue shirt, and stone-colored shirts or pants are your best choice. Also don’t overlook camouflage outfits when stalking spooky fish in shallow water. There are plenty of camo patterns on today’s market, and aside from looking good, wearing camouflage allows you to blend into the environment. Don’t Get Lost One of the worst fishing nightmares is becoming lost or disoriented on the ocean, on the flats or in a marsh’s maze. A handheld GPS can prevent this terrifying situation. Also, if you find an outstanding area where the fishing is red-hot, you can mark it in your GPS and return to the exact spot whenever you choose. Most GPS units contain moon phase and tidal information, which are keys to successful saltwater fly fishing.

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ass anglers use lipless crankbaits in many circumstances and ways. I believe it is not used enough for reds, trout, tarpon and snook. In fact, a lipless crankbait is one of the most effective baits to catch fish in shallow water, and it’s definitively one of those I use often. And I’m not alone. When Louisiana’s famous Team Broussard was at the very top of their tournament career a few years ago, “Cajun” Phil and Capt. Kevin had many wins including the Redfish Cup and Team of the Year titles. The secret weapon they were hiding from media and competitors alike was a Flatt Shadd 50 snagless. That small, compact, lipless crankbait puts out vibrations that travel far through the water, catching the predator’s attention as if it was of a much larger bait. The quick, side-to-side motion also creates a lot of flash, adding visual attraction. When I was the Mepps spinner designer 20 years ago, I worked closely with scientists who had an understanding of the factors that attract predatory fish. The type of vibration and its volume were key. Both with inline spinners and lipless crankbaits, moving a significant amount of water is essential for creating signals that are much larger than many other types of baits. This is why baits with spinning blades and those that emit vibrations commonly catch large fish, even when the lures are small. Often, a predatory fish is first alerted to a potential meal by its lateral line, a natural radar. These small baits fool the fish into thinking it is chasing down much larger and more significant prey. How do you use a lipless crankbait best when you’re on the flats or casting close to the mangroves? If it is deep enough, you can cast and burn it or slow roll it to offer consistent action and cover lots of water as a search bait. This is the main way I use a lipless bait when targeting tarpon or large channel bass (red drum) in main inlets, estuaries and anywhere there is enough depth and preferably some current. But for the true, shallow inshore and backcountry fishing, I use them as I would a soft jerkbait rigged on a jig head. I twitch-twitch-pause and yo-yo it. The great thing with a vibrating bait is every time you pull on the rod, you can feel the bait reacting. Action can be constant when fish are aggressive, but for cold water or finicky fish, don’t hesitate to let the lure pause on the ground for a few seconds here and there. You might be surprised to find the majority of bites happen on the drop, or even when the lure is lying motionless. Fish can be so hungry for it that they swallow it in a snap, resulting more than you can imagine in hook sets deep within the fish’s mouth. If you haven’t thrown a small lipless crankbait around in the shallows, give it a try. You might be pleasantly surprised. Patrick Sebile is the owner and lure designer of Sebile Innovative Fishing (www.sebile.com).

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FLORIDA

Why Just By Tom Karrow

Bonefish?

“While Pursuing bonesfish, many anglers overlook the boxfish.”

A

s a bonefish researcher in the Bahamas, I often hear “bonefish” anglers saying they only cast to bonefish while fishing the flats. Somehow this statement is supposed to elevate their angling prowess, but to me, these people are really missing out on fun and great learning opportunities. While bonefish seem to dominate the species that anglers pursue, there are a host of other fascinating creatures that inhabit similar ecosystems, each utterly fantastic to catch. If you are rigged for bonefish, do not hesitate to throw at a barracuda, jack or other fish you encounter. I often carry a larger fly for predators like barracuda and to quickly attach it, I simply use the hook of my bonefish fly through the eye of the larger fly to provide me with a quick tie, which can just as easily be removed. Species like jack and barracuda both offer great sport and are usually readily available. Look for barracuda in ambush locations, over dark patches, deep holes or cuts and remember to use wire or you will lose flies, lures or bait. I often blind cast into suspect areas, and the reward often outweighs these minor efforts! Tube flies or lures commonly fool barracudas, but I have caught them on just about everything, including bonefish flies. In addition to permit, jack and barracuda, mutton snapper, triggerfish, jacks, boxfish, puffer fish, needlefish and many other potential quarry roam the flats. Most bonefish anglers overlook these fish, but in pursuing them, anglers increase their chances of bending their rod. Fights from many of these species rival or even surpass those of a bonefish, and many times these species fill the emptiness in flats void of bonefish. They can be just as finicky or more so than bonefish and make great camera fare. Many of these species tail like bonefish, cruise behind rays like bonefish, and they can be as selective as bonefish or even more so. Triggerfish, pufferfish and boxfish have tiny mouths that require tiny flies on strong hooks and

usually a slow deliberate retrieve. These fish have tough mouths with loads of teeth perfect for grazing on coral; hooks must be sharp and strong. I have many times fought triggerfish for some time only to have the fly fall from their mouth as they come to hand. An interesting fact I have learned from several elder guides I have interviewed is that triggerfish are great table fare and their skin is highly abrasive. In days gone by, the skin of triggerfish was dried and used for scrubbing floors and general cleaning in many family island communities. For more on the research I have been undertaking in the Bahamas or to contact me, visit tomkarrow.wix.com/bahamas-guide-tek. Thanks to Coastal Angler Magazine for continued support of this research along with Bonefish and Tarpon Trust, The University of the Bahamas and BFFIA.

BluewaterSFC_half_pg_Mar2017 FOR PRINT.qxp_Layout 1 1/18/17 8:06 PM Page 1

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Cool Water Wading

T

he water is still cool but the fishing can be hot. Strap on your waders and head for the Indian River Lagoon. Drainage from Okeechobee has stopped since fall, the water is clear and there are signs the grass might start coming back. North of Fort Pierce inlet has already shown signs of growth. Look for areas of rock kelp growing north near the first Vero Bridge. Early spring means pompano. They will be cruising the lagoon on deep-water edges for the next month and will take a 4-inch C.A.L. jig or smaller pompano jigs. Look for pompano skipping in the water. If you scare one to the surface, there will be more. Make sure to keep your jig bumping the bottom, which will also entice redfish and trout that like a slow presentation. Use a jig of 1/8-ounce or heavier. It’ll help keep your presentation on the bottom. Cool water also means bluefish and mackerel. Both are line cutters with sharp teeth. They school up and cruise the shorelines. Both like fast presentations and hit near the top. Move the jig quickly in areas with bait. Make sure you use pliers and keep your fingers out

of their mouths. As the water warms into the mid-70s, big snook start biting. In the spring, big females head for shallow water on the shoreline of the lagoon. Instead of catching 18- to 23-inch male snook, you’ll run into some over-slot females. You’ll find snook around the mangroves during high tide and around structure like walls and docks. Look for them to go shallow when the sun is up. Look for bait and try the St. Lucie River. The South Fork is good for numbers, and 10 snook a day is not unusual. Trout have been hard to find. Look to sandy points on the east side of the lagoon in the Stuart area. Higher tides are best. There are some trout in the Vero area if you wade the west side at Wilcox Road. High outgoing is best. The Moorings area is good on the east side if you can get access. 

Fishing for jack and ladyfish has continued to be excellent, and 20-jack days are typical. Jacks are schooling inside the sandbar. If you get a strike, you’ll probably get two more and catch one. The lagoon and river jacks have been averaging 1 to 3 pounds. They are very aggressive. I recently caught a jack when my lure was out of the water. Here’s a trick for fishing in high wind. If you have to fish in a crosswind, there’ll be a big bow in your line, and you’ll lose touch with your lure. Keep your rod tip down an inch or two above the water. Your line will be in the water except for a few feet at the rod tip. When your line’s in the water, the wind can’t bow it. 
For info on the Stuart Rod & Reel Club, call 336-414-3440. For more wade fishing in the Indian River Lagoon, go to

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Amazing 13,000 Mile Journey

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male mako shark named Hell’s Bay has broken a record, traveling more than 13,000 miles, equal to over half-way around the planet, in 600 days. It is the longest track ever in the Atlantic Ocean by a mako shark tagged by researchers in Nova Southeastern University’s (NSU) Guy Harvey Research Institute (GHRI). “We’ve had some of our tagged makos take some pretty interesting tracks over the years, but this one swims above the rest,” said Mahmood Shivji, a professor at NSU and the director of GHRI. “Having Hell’s Bay report for as long as he has is fantastic because we’re able to really get a detailed look at mako migration behavior over a good amount of time. He was like the Energizer bunny—he kept going and going and going, and luckily did not get captured like many of our other sharks.” The 600-day track of Hell’s Bay mako can be seen at: nova.edu/ sharktracking (select Project 3). Hell’s Bay was tagged in May 2015 off the coast of Ocean City, Md. In the first year, Hell’s Bay traveled north along the east coast and then returned close to the tagging site. Hell’s Bay spent 2016 hanging around the coast of Maryland and taking jaunts throughout the Atlantic traveling east of Nova Scotia to just south of Bermuda before returning to Ocean City. In 2017, it repeated a similar path closer to the coast. Hell’s Bay showed clear seasonal patterns to its movements, spending the winter and early spring far offshore, and the rest of the year on or close to the continental shelf. The closest relative to the white shark, makos are the cheetahs of the shark species. As the fastest shark species, makos can swim up to 60 mph. The tags are funded by the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation (GHOF), a not-for-profit organization that conducts scientific research and hosts educational programs aimed at conserving the marine environment. “These satellite tags allow us to follow sharks in near-real time,” said

Greg Jacoski, executive director of the GHOF. “Understanding where these animals travel and the habitat that they use is the first step to better conserving the species.” Hell’s Bay was named after Hell’s Bay Boatworks, a boat manufacturer based in Titusville, Fla. The tag was sponsored by Capt. Chris Peterson, who owns Hell’s Bay Boatworks. A new GHRI study has just reported that 22 percent of the makos that have been satellite tagged were caught or killed by commercial or recreation fishermen. Shivji indicated that worldwide, sharks are being killed off in unimaginable numbers – some estimates say between 70100 million sharks per year. Clearly, that is not a sustainable level of removal, since many shark species, including makos, reproduce at low rates. For more information about the GHOF and GHRI, visit www. guyharvey.com. To see Hell’s Bay’s journey as well as other sharks tagged by GHRI researchers, visit nova.edu/sharktracking. For more about tracking Mako Sharks, go to

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s of March 1, it’s open season in all state waters for Florida’s favorite inshore fish: snook. On the Atlantic side, recreational snook season opened Feb. 1 in Florida’s Atlantic and inland waters from the Miami-Dade/Monroe County line north, including Lake Okeechobee and the Kissimmee River. In the Atlantic, anglers may keep one snook per day that is not less than 28 or more than 32 inches total length, which is measured from the most forward point of the head with the mouth closed to the farthest tip of the tail with the tail compressed or squeezed while the fish is lying on its side. A snook permit is required to keep snook, along with a saltwater fishing license, unless the angler is exempt from the license requirements. The harvest of snook in all of Florida’s Gulf of Mexico state waters, including Everglades National Park and all of Monroe County opened March 1. The limit on the Gulf side is one fish per angler, per day that is not less than 28 or more than 33 inches total length. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) encourages anglers to use moderation when determining whether or not to take a snook home. Researchers ask anglers who harvest the fish to save their filleted carcasses and provide them to the FWC by dropping them off at a participating bait and tackle store. For a county-by-county list, go to MyFWC.com/Research and click on “Saltwater,” “Snook” under the heading “Saltwater Fish,” and “Snook Anglers Asked to Help with Research.”

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NAVICO ELECTRONICS CONNECTED GLOBALLY International marine electronics company, Navico, is bringing global connectivity to its GoFree product suite, providing boaters, fleet managers and service technicians the ability to monitor, log, transmit and report important vessel information in real-time around the globe. This upgrade is made possible through Vodafone’s Internet of Things Technology (IoT). With Vodafone’s global network and Global IoT SIM, Navico’s GoFree Track and GoFree Vessel products will be connected across the Americas, Europe, and Asia-Pacific regions for all types of marine vessels including local boats or cargo ships traveling internationally. With the connectivity, GoFree Track, an affordable hardware system, can track critical vessel information like engine hours, battery status, oil pressure, coolant temperature, fuel consumption and more. By tracking these on-board assets, boaters can instantly access details of potential mechanical problems and share them with technicians to service the specific area in need. Vodafone’s IoT technology allows GoFree Track to monitor bilge levels and alarms letting boaters know if the vessel is taking on water and allowing them to react accordingly, as well as notifying them when there is loss of shore power, which can drain batteries and potentially damage onboard systems that are running. All data collected is transmitted back to the GoFree Vessel online module for immediate viewing, giving consumers better access and control over vessel details. GoFree Vessel allows users to play back different boating trips to share with friends or service partners. GoFree Track is offered with a variety of communication options including the Track-WiFi or Track-CellFi, which leverages Vodafone’s Global SIM to connect users to 2G or 3G networks throughout the world.

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Spring Boat Shows

Mix Boats With Seafood And Live Music

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pring boat shows really are easy as 1- 2- 3! Current Productions is bringing their unique twist to the boat show for three major boating markets. Current Productions has been producing successful marine events for 20-plus years. They are proud to kick off spring with The Southeast US Boat Show. This major event has been anchoring the spring boating schedule for many years, and that means it has evolved and improved beyond just acres of boats on display on land and in a marina filled with boats and yachts. Current Productions now puts what they have learned into the form of a very fun and cool twist on all three of their spring events. Jimmy Hill, show producer, explained that bringing the fun to the waterfront with a big music and seafood festival onsite at the same time as the boat show is the key to their success. Separating the commerce

area and treating the fun festivals as a major feature inside the shows works to make Current Production events that much better. Jacksonville, Fla. has been home to the region’s largest event, The Southeast US Boat Show, scheduled for April 21-23, and featuring The Oyster Jam Music Festival. It has become a huge deal with thousands of folks out on the riverfront jamming out to great live music, amazing food and the best boat deals around. Central Florida has always been its own boating hot spot, so it only made sense that the Daytona and Orlando boat dealers are gearing up for their own in-water, major boating expo—the Florida Boat Show and Dock Jam, the regions biggest boating event to be held May 19-21 at Halifax Harbor Marina and Grounds. The event features everything: boating, yachting, including all the accessories, and fun. But, don’t forget the music and seafood festival in an awesome setting right on the water at the best marina around. This event quickly established itself as the marine industries’ favorite for Central Florida and is expected to grow with more dealers and the bigger focus on the regions amazing seafood. It’s a must attend event for anyone in the area. The third event is the one that has everyone talking in the Panhandle this year—The Florida Panhandle Boat Show to be hosted at the City Marina in downtown Panama City this June 16-18. Locals know that this is the perfect weekend to catch the bulk of the boating community as they gather to enjoy the beautiful emerald waters of this part of Florida. The festival is live on the pier at the City Marina downtown. The boating industry is excited to bring the best deals to the best venue for the best show in the Panhandle. Activities and fun will center around the water and include great music on stage and the area’s best seafood vendors. The kids will enjoy the pier-side fishing experience, and there are seminars for the whole crew. For more information on all of these awesome events, visit currentproductions.us. For more about these great events, go to

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SOUTHWEST FLORIDA

Remembering

Jose Wejebe

By Capt. Cliff Lumpkin

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riends, family and fellow anglers gathered the last weekend of January to remember the life and legacy of fishing legend Jose Wejebe who tragically lost his life in a plane crash in April 2012. Jose was the host of the extremely popular TV fishing show, “The Spanish Fly,” which highlighted the great fishing and areas of south Florida and the Florida Keys. Jose was surely known for his fishing prowess, but he was equally known for giving back to the community through charity organizations like Make a Wish Foundation, Big Brothers and Big Sisters, and the Red Bone Catch a Cure for Cystic Fibrosis, to name a few. It was in memory of this generosity that the Spanish Fly Memorial Foundation was formed to continue this important work. The Spanish Fly Memorial Foundation is a nonprofit 501(c)3 charitable organization and honors Jose’s legacy by making fishing dreams come true for those who face life-impacting challenges. The Foundation not only provides

a once-in-a-lifetime fishing experience, but also exposes participants to the ecology that Jose cared so much about. To highlight these efforts, the Spanish Fly Memorial Foundation organized the annual #FishforJose event. This three-day event encourages the local community to take time to do something new by sharing a fishing experience with a friend or offering trade tips and techniques— anything that will help continue to spread Jose Wejebe’s mission of giving back. The event kicked off with a welcome party at the Square Grouper’s upstairs bar My New Joint in Cudjoe Key. Guests were greeted at the door by another Florida fishing icon and foundation board member Capt. Jim Sharpe. The evening was filled with great food and drinks, a silent auction and raffles and provided the opportunity for guests to share stories and memories of Jose. In attendance at the event were some of the wounded and injured veterans that have benefited from the hard work of the foundation. Day two was dinner at Jose’s with the Spanish Fly family. The invite-only dinner featured Cuban food, music provided by local musicians Terry Cassidy and the Key Lime Band and guest speakers like legendary guides and mentors Stu Apte, Steve Huff, dear friend Carter Andrews and daughter Krissy Wejebe. Day three encouraged participants to take the day to fish for Jose, post their stories on social media using #FishforJose and meet at the Saltwater Angler for an open bar, silent auctions and guest speakers from the fishing industry. The weekend was a huge success. Cliff Lumpkin is the co-publisher of the Florida Keys edition of Coastal Angler Magazine. To learn more about Jose’s passion and spirit, visit the tribute to Jose Youtube video at this link https://www.youtube. com/watch?v=zYPuTAQduMQ. To find out more about the organization or how you can help, visit the foundation’s website at www.josewejebefoundation.org. To learn more about Jose’s passion and spirit, watch a tribute here

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March Madness Inshore By Captain Terry Fisher

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his is the time of the year when I look forward to knowing I will not be disappointed with productivity. It is the beginning of spring and spring fever! In many areas, the revered snook again becomes a target for harvest. Their strikes will be ferocious after a “long winter’s nap.” Other species will become more aggressive with an abundance of baitfish. Tarpon may begin to make their annual migration to southwest Florida waters, accompanied by sharks. It is all about the water temperature. A consistent 68 degrees will guarantee at least some sizeable numbers of tarpon off of the beaches, in the passes and up the rivers. Sheepshead should still be available in larger numbers. They got a late start this year in southwest Florida due to the higher than normal water temperatures during early winter. Spanish mackerel, large jack crevalle, ladyfish and pompano will become happy and hungry. Large seatrout will become more numerous in the grass flats of open water and around the sand holes and turtle grass close to the spoil islands. This is the month to experience artificial baits for the gamefish. The abundance of live baitfish helps disguise these presentations. Fish seem less cautious coming out of their winter haunts with a new outlook on

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life. Some effective lures are topwater, twitch, crank, swimbaits, spoons and weedless presentations. They all work. While artificial presentations are effective, I submit that the use of live bait gives anglers the edge. I recommend certain types of live/cut baits for better results as follows: SNOOK: Freeline pilchards. Large snook will take threadfins as well. Pinfish and large shrimp are good back-up baits. TARPON: Freeline large, live threadfins, pinfish, mullet and ladyfish. Catfish fillets are good dead bait. SEATROUT: Shrimp suspended on a weighted jig head under a cork over the grass flats. Larger trout prefer pinfish (alive or cut) under a cork or freelined along the spoil and mangrove islands. SPANISH MACKEREL: Shrimp is a cheap and easy way to target these fish. Suspend them under a cork with a long 30-pound leader or light wire. POMPANO: Tip a ‘silly willy’ jig with a shrimp or fish shrimp under a cork for an occasional by-catch. JACK CREVALLE: Shrimp on a jig head or freelined will catch these ferocious fish. Light tackle should always be used for the enjoyment of the catch. However, be sure the equipment is strong enough so as not to exhaust the fish if not harvesting. I suggest, for gamefish like snook or redfish, a 3500 to 4000 series reel mounted on a medium heavy rod with 15-pound-test line and a 30-pound fluorocarbon leader. Use size 1/0 to 3/0 circle hooks. Tarpon fishermen should utilize 6000 series reels mounted on a heavy rod with 65-pound-test line and 100-pound fluorocarbon leader. Use size 6/0 to 8/0 circle hooks. One should consider lighter tackle for all other inshore species mentioned above, as well as for mangrove snappers and flounder. Use 2500 to 3000 series spinning reels on a light rod, 10-pound-test line with a 20-pound leader and small 1/0 circle hooks. Capt. Terry Fisher of Fish Face Charters can be reached at 239357-6829 or fishfacecharters@yahoo.com. He is available as ‘Captain for Hire’ by the hour on your vessel for navigation, fishing locations and techniques that will ensure enjoyable boating and fishing.

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Attention Advertising Sales Reps Have you ever wondered what it would be like to own the media company that you were selling advertising for? Ever considered how different your life would be if you didn’t have to hand over the bulk of your sales revenue to your employer? Have you ever thought about how much easier your sales job could be if you didn’t have to beg your sales manager for every little extra thing that you wanted to give your customer? Ever wondered what it would be like to control your own time? You don’t have to wonder anymore. Coastal Angler and its freshwater component The Angler Magazine are offering magazine franchises throughout the continental U.S. and abroad. Now, you can be the publisher and completely control the advertising department of your magazine. After nine years of franchising this magazine and with 42 current locations, we can say with confidence that these home-based magazine locations can be opened in nearly any location with a minimum population base of 500,000 and an active angling community. We have also identified our ideal candidate as being someone with previous media sales experience. Male or female, success in this endeavor is gauged more on advertising sales than fishing prowess.

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he Michigan Department of Natural Resources has put out a global call to the public, offering $1 million for the best proposal to stop invasive Asian carp from reaching the Great Lakes. These carp are the ones everyone knows from videos of big fish jumping in the air when startled by passing boats. They are fast-growing filter feeders that can reach weights up to 100 pounds, and they are highly prolific, producing as many as a million eggs. They have the potential to disrupt entire ecosystems, and have been called an immediate and grave biological threat to the Great Lakes. Currently, silver and bighead carp are backed up in Chicago waterways just 10 miles from Lake Michigan at three electric barriers. Despite these barriers and rotenone treatments, which kill all fish species in an area, environmental DNA testing suggests that some silver and bighead carp have made it past the barriers toward Lake Michigan. Researchers predict bighead and silver carp pose a significant threat to disrupt the food chain that supports the native fish of the Great Lakes, such as walleye, yellow perch and lake whitefish. Such a disruption may result in diminished recreational and commercial fishing opportunities. The Associated Press reports that the federal government recently approved $42 million to prevent these carp from reaching the Great Lakes. If you are the one with the million-dollar idea that will stop the scourge, submit proposals at www.michigan.gov.

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COASTAL ANGLER MAGAZINE • FT. MYERS EDITION • Publishers: Nadeen Welch & Phil Prevoir

Ft. Myers Beach to Charlotte Harbor INSHORE MARCH MADNESS FISHING

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consider ‘Inshore’ fishing my specialty but given the opportunity, I like to go ‘Offshore’ weather permitting and try my hand at reef fishing. It was a few weeks ago that my friend, Captain Denny Pelligrino of Cape Coral suggested that I accompany him and his friend, Tom Jabraham of Cape Coral to target grouper, lane snapper, porgy’s and whatever else we might come across, at proven locations within 10 to 20 miles out. This was an opportunity that I could not pass up, even though my initial intentions for a day ‘off ‘ from chartering, was to clean and do light maintenance on my inshore fishing equipment. Captain Denny recently purchased a new 28foot Sailfish; equipped with the latest electronic equipment that Garmin has to offer, including radar. Being a recently approved fishing ‘Pro’ Staffer for Garmin, I was anxious to see his new GPSMAP 7612xsv in action as to functionality and clarity in locating structure and fish, not to mention ‘stealing’ a couple of his coordinates

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By Capt. Terry Fisher

while he wasn’t looking! Upon agreeing to a next day departure location and time, I went to bed with anticipation of a pleasant day on the water without having to entertain, as Denny was procuring the baits and all other necessities (except beer) to ensure a great day on the gulf! Captain Denny is from New Jersey and ran charters there. He has owned a home here for over 5 years now and has utilized his time learning the waters, techniques, baits and equipment for locating and catching fish. He is a ‘die-hard’ fisherman. Reflecting back, I recall Denny hiring me to take him and his grandson, Jeremy Bernstein (now a student at Tampa University) fishing the backwaters. Denny had an offshore boat but was not familiar with SW Florida water tables. Water life here has little similarity to that of New Jersey, but he seemed determined to find his way. Most any successful and experienced fishing guide from the northeast will at some point become frustrated, trying to adjust to SW Florida waters. I was about to find out how adjusted he had become because I knew how persistent and insistent he was about catching fish. Captain Denny also was aware that I was looking to learn whatever I could in regards to locations and new techniques for when I take clients reef fishing, as ‘Captain for Hire’, on their vessels. I knew from reports and pictures that Captain Denny had found some success in adapting to fishing the gulf and I could use his help to improve what I do. Other than spending quality time with my friend, this was an opportunity for some fresh and valuable information. An early morning departure with plenty of beer on board (I took my beer!), would afford us the opportunity to be on location before the tides began to move after the usual hour or so of slack. I am a firm believer that tides are a crucial factor for both offshore and inshore. Even though other fishermen do not agree, ‘fish the tides’ is the motto I live by. Regardless

of where on the planet I might fish, tides are my main focus! We departed the dock for the mouth of the Caloosahatchee River, headed for Redfish Pass. His boat was as smooth as a Mercedes Benz, as it tamed the large waves from other vessels while traveling at speeds of 50 plus mph. Upon clearing the ‘Pass’, Captain Denny reported that the first stop would be 8 miles out to a location where he has had good success. A seemingly effortless run got us there in short order. Upon arriving, I had the opportunity to observe the Garmin sonar in action. I was impressed. The view was clear and concise. The large 12” screen proved to be easy on the eyes. At times we would observe our baits in decent, working the bottom and the fish eating the baits. Lots of structure at the location and lots of small fish caught. After a couple of hours, we headed west another 10 miles (18 miles offshore) to record some new numbers. This time we located serious structure and utilizing squid, squid wings, pinfish and shrimp, were able to score red grouper, porgy’s, vermillion and lane snapper, not to mention a variety of other small fish. Captain Denny’s efforts have been well rewarded. He is definitely an ‘Offshore’ guy and knows where to go, has the right tackle, rigging and techniques for ‘FISHING SW FLORIDA GULF WATERS’. Being a good angler requires thought, effort and ‘time of the water’, even for an experienced fishing guide. ( Read Capt. Terry’s complete article at: http://coastalanglermag.com/fortmyers/ )

More information for a trip offshore or inshore may be obtained by contacting me at fishfacecharters@yahoo.com or by calling me direct at 239-357-6829. Check out my website at wwwfishfacecharters.com for more articles and charter information, including ‘Captain for Hire’.

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GULF & INTRACOASTAL FISHING

FISHIN’ FRANK

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nook or Snoek which is the Dutch word for Pike. Who would have guessed there were that many of us Dutchmen here in South Florida to name a fish? Snook- the trash fish, during the Depression were hooked by gaff and sold for cat food. Not until some dumb Yankee removed the skin before cooking did anyone know they were good eating. How would you catch one? This time we will think piers-any pier that is in saltwater or brackish water. Rod and reel- heavy 10-20-lb line, or better, a 12-15-pound class rod, 4000 or larger reel. I like 30-lb braid or at least 20-pound mono and for leader 40-lb test fluorocarbon or more. Rigging is simple- I tie 3 feet of leader to my line and tie the jig head to the leader, (3/8 once or heavier). Hook a shrimp by placing the jig head in from the bottom of the head out the top so the hook is right above the horn on the shrimp’s head, the point of the hook pointing the same way as the horn on the shrimp’s head. Then I break off the horn because I’ve had a snook on a great fight then all of a sudden the fish got off and when I looked at the bait, the front of the shrimp’s face was smashed and the horn was sticking out. Using this rig is easy. Take your bait bucket onto the pier maybe 10 feet, set it down and put the shrimp on the jig head. Start by going to the railing and place your rod just over the side, tipping in the direction you are going to walk. Let the jig head with the shrimp fall to the bottom. When the jig is on the bottom, close the bail, slowly tighten the line by reeling in the slack. Lift your rod tip 6 inches and start slowly walking forward. I start my walk when I get on the pier with 10 inches of water. If the pier is in deeper water start right next to the pier. Walking with half steps, I bounce my rod tip every once in a while, just to give it a little action and noise or ripple under water for attention. Here is another important thing- I stop very 15 feet or so and again open my bail to let the jig head with the shrimp hit the bottom, take up the slack, and then once again, l lift my rod tip 6 inches and start my walk again. The snook will be laying right next to a piling and when they strike your bait, will try to get right back behind the piling, so the fight will take place in a five-foot circle. You pull, the snook pulls, whoever pulls the hardest wins! Walk out on one side of the pier and back on the other. If there is someone fishing, lift your bait out go around them. Give them ten to fifteen feet of courtesy room. Hey they have the right to fish unmolested, same as you!

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FORT MYERS

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Read the complete article at http://coastalanglermag.com/fort-myers/

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March

D&D MATLACHA

By: Capt. Bart Marx

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ello fellow anglers! It is time to get out there and get fishing. March is a great monththe weather has started to tame down and not be so ornery. Yes, the waters are starting to warm up and the migration of fish has too. There should be plenty of Spanish mackerel along the coast where there is bait to be eaten. There may also be some kings flying around also stalking the bait that gathers around the close to shore artificial reefs 30-40 ft. You can slow troll a blue runner or thread fin or what you can catch in the area to raise one of these smokers. Also around these reefs there should be plenty of the sheepshead and flounder to target as they migrate out to these waters to spawn. Out to the 50 ft. natural bottoms there should be lanes and mangroves too. And the grunts should be in full out feeding frenzy and they are great table fare. Because of the name some people don’t understand that if you mix in white grunt filets and mangrove snapper you will be hard pressed to tell the difference. All though the grunts don’t do well after freezing they are best eaten fresh. Yes, I tell my anglers to eat the grunts asap and if you need to freeze some fish, do the snapper and others in the freezer. My favorite way to fix white grunts and mangrove snapper is fried. Yup, I use McCormick’s cracker meal with Goya adobo seasoning

in the meal with bite size chunks of fish dampened so the meal sticks. Let that sit for 3-5 minutes and add to 350° oil, cook till they start to float, then scoop them out. Place them in a bowl lined with paper towels. Next, I like to dash some Crystal cayenne pepper sauce and then some Key Lime juice just a couple drops, salt and pepper. Yum! then you eat all you have cooked and it still tastes like MORE. Yea most of the guides I know can cook some fish yall, that is because we get lots of practice frying fish. Well, if that don’t make you want to go and catch some fresh fish well, I don’t know. Let’s talk about some fishing inshore. Reds along the shores of mangroves, near the mouths of the creeks, and in the sand holes out in the grass flats. Also on the grass flats, there should be plenty of speckled sea trout that will eat a shrimp on a cork popped occasionally. Yes I get my live shrimp from FishinFranks. They are good for redfish bait too. The snapper inshore should be hanging around the structures, pilings, and docks. Find some in expecting baits to consume.

Capt. Bart Marx can go with you on your boat show you some things about our area, to shorten the time of your learning curve. Or if you have guests coming from the cold areas to and fish you may e-mail captbart@ alphaomegacharters.com or cart Capt. Bart Marx at 941-979-6517. And always remember singing drags and tight lines make me smile.  

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SPRING FISHING

By Capt. Sam O’Briant

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By John Cassani

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arch and April are important months for fish and invertebrate reproduction in the Caloosahatchee estuary. Key spawning activity occurs during March through May for blue crab, and important forage fish including yellowfin menhaden, bay anchovy, and silversides. Game fish species spawning during the March through May period include tarpon, silver perch, sand seatrout, seatrout and black drum. Salinity is an important factor affecting fish and shellfish reproduction and recruitment. Salinity however

is or has been above optimal levels for reproduction in the Caloosahatchee estuary. Nearly every year since the minimum flow rule was adopted in 2001 by the South Florida Water Management District, the salinity in the Caloosahatchee estuary has been exceeded. Another way of saying this is that not enough fresh water is entering the estaury to maintain seagrass regrowth for optimal fish and shellfish reproduction. Let your elected officials know that you support policies that promote a health estuary in a timely manner. Be on the lookout for manatees during the late winter months when they may be moving up river in search of warmer water or food. Lee County had the dubious distinction of leading the state once again in annual manatee mortality. The Calusa Waterkeeper is still recruiting volunteer rangers for monitoring local waters. Call John Cassani at 239-444-8584 for more information or visit www. calusawaterkeeper.org.

Case with his flounder.

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ow that most of the cold weather is past, we need to think about our spring fishing and what to expect. Starting this month, we will begin seeing the initial runs of the pelagics that have been wintering in the Keys. We can expect to see schools of bait return and bring with them Spanish mackerel, king mackerel, cobia, and a few others. Then towards the end of the month we will hopefully see the first scouts from the schools of tarpon that are heading our way.  Now this could all be sped up if it remains warmer than normal like last year. It seems as if the tarpon schools moved in Pine Island Sound and the passes in March last year then left again, even though they did not crash our baits liked we hoped. The trout will start to be more active with the warming waters.  You should be able to increase the speed of your retrieve to about half the speed you will use in a couple months.  Fish the bars on the opposite side from which the tide is coming from so your bait will drift over the bar with the current. Test on the grass flats where you see bare pot holes.  These are good areas for trout and other game fish

sit just outside waiting to ambush the bait as it swims across the area. Once in a while you may even find a snook hanging around the pot holes, especially if you are close to an island. However, this time of year you will mainly find that snook are on their way out of the back country and creeks having spent the winter there.  They are headed out to the passes, mangrove shorelines, and the surf lines of the barrier islands.  They will be hungry after their long winter and try to fatten up for their spring spawn.  If you can find some white bait or greenies, they will work best.  However, if they are in short supply then shrimp will also tempt them to come out of hiding. The biggest problem that may sneak up on us this month is the wind.  If we really want to get out on the water, we need to be especially careful to watch what the wind is going to do and plan accordingly.  There are plenty of creeks and islands to hide behind to fish but you need to know how you are going to get to them.  Know how the tide affects your ingress and egress.  It is definitely no fun to get stranded for several hours. One more thing that really takes place April 1st.  The Cape Coral Kiwanis Club will hold their annual kids fishing tournament at the Cape Coral fishing pier.  It runs from 8:30 to 11 and is open to all kids from 5 to 15.  The kids need neither experience nor equipment.  It is all furnished be the Kiwanians and they get to take the rod and reel home. It is always a great time but is not a babysitting event.  You are expected to stay with your child and learn right alongside of them.

Capt. Sam is a local licensed guide for hire who may be reached at 239-994-1495 or captainobriant@gmail.com

6 FORT MYERS | MARCH 2017 | COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

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Paddlin’ & Fishin’ Baits vs. Lures By: Dan Carns

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he Ladies Lets Go Fishing University is returning to Matlacha once again March 11th and 12th! This organization offers women, teens and up, the chance to learn fishing through handson seminars and demonstrations. These take place throughout Florida year round and are in part supported by various organizations and businesses, such as the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation and our local Gulf Coast Kayak in Matlacha, FL. Also called “The No-Yelling School of Fishing”, staff and a group of volunteers host these weekend Universities in a non-intimidating, encouraging environment where local captains, guides and industry professionals share their extensive knowledge with attendees, who come from near and far. Saturdays lessons are occupied with hands on rigging, knot tying, lectures on tides and times, cast netting, may include trailering and boat launching, and many other subjects that make fishing so much fun! Saturday night there is a networking gettogether, followed by Sunday fishing, if you choose. The Sunday hands-on fishing classes will include your choice of flats boats, bay boats, pontoon boats or in our case a morning of kayak fishing. One of the advantages kayak fishing has over boat fishing is the low cost, as well as no motor or gas issues. Kayak fishing can also be described as low key and intimate, as it is usually done in small groups or alone. Gulf Coast Kayak offers one-on-one guided

fishing trips, as well as small group trips and are primarily focused on the educational side of fishing tactics. Our goal at Gulf Coast Kayak is to ensure that our guests can take what we teach and apply those lessons anywhere and in particular in S.W. Florida. We start all our guided trips with a brief introduction to the Matlacha Aquatic Preserve, its wildlife residents, including possible encounters with dolphins and manatee, followed by 101 kayak safety and kayak use, ending with the onshore part by covering all the fishing gear that we’ll use that day. Once on the water every angler gets the chance to try all the local lures that are effective here, which include soft plastics, suspending twitch baits, a little top water action and how to hook and fish with live baits. We are blessed here in S.W. Florida to have snook, redfish and trout available to us year round. One third of all registered anglers in Florida are women and when introduced to fishing in a positive and nurturing environment, it can lead to a lifetime of enjoyment in this sport. Recently, the Ladies Lets Go Fishing University has also opened up enrollment to the ladies family, including men and teens. Gulf Coast Kayak is a proud supporter and participant of this important resource, as we are always focused on the educational side of kayaking and fishing. If you are new to fishing and are looking for some hands-on expert advice, join them and us for some fun. You can register online at ladiesletsgofishing.com or for more info at 954-475-9068.

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3771 Palm Beach Blvd. Ft. Myers, FL (239) 694-2185

Fishman Dan Gulf Coast Kayak, 4120 Pine Island Rd NW, Matlacha, FL 33993 Phone: 239-283-1125

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8 FORT MYERS | MARCH 2017 | COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

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Rules of the Road for Boaters By Dave Sully, Lee County Sheriff ’s VOICE Volunteer

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ecently, an incident occurred on the waters of Lee County which should serve as a lesson on using better judgment. On this date, the area was racked by high winds and small craft warnings had been posted for the day. Lee County Sheriff ’s Marine Division vessels patrolling were manned by Deputy Alan Bryant and myself in one boat and Deputy Ryan Justham in another. Since most boaters had sensibly stayed home, the bulk of activity was landbased, except for the intrepid band of kite boarders who routinely appear along the causeway during

windy conditions. Toward the middle of the afternoon, Deputy Bryant and I had rendezvoused with Deputy Justham when a call came in, the type of which always gives cause for great concern. A seventy-oneyear-old man had left Pineland Marina area on his sailboard and was two hours overdue. We were in the area of Tarpon Point, approximately ten miles from the Marina, located near Bokeelia on Pine Island. Despite the threatening conditions, both boats headed for the area as fast as the conditions allowed. It provided for a rough ride. As we headed to the scene, land-based deputies from Gulf District responded to visually check the surrounding area to see if they could spot the subject. Importantly, the Sheriff ’s helicopter, which would normally respond, reported that the winds were far too high for them to take off, further complicating the

already perilous operation. After what seemed an eternity, enduring the treacherous and pounding conditions, we arrived in the search area. As we were commencing our search, we were informed that a Coast Guard plane was being dispatched from Sarasota to assist. Just as we approached Pineland Marina, it was reported that the subject had been spotted by local boaters and they had him on board. He had apparently lost all of his equipment, but he was fine. Needing to confirm that the man was indeed the object of the search and he was okay, we proceeded into the marina to await his arrival. Two Sheriff ’s cars, two EMS ambulances with crews, and our two marine units were on hand when he was brought in and his identity confirmed. The Sarasota Coast Guard plane returned to base.  This incident had a happy

ending, but it could have ended in tragedy. The lesson here is that while some daredevils decided to defy weather conditions and put themselves at risk, they also put rescue people in an unnecessary position, assets that may have been needed elsewhere for emergencies for others, not involving circumstances of their own creation. If you decide to engage in dangerous behavior on the water, which is, of course, highly discouraged, please consider the ramifications for others if things go wrong, remembering that on most waterborne craft the risk increases exponentially as winds increase, especially with sailboards, kayaks, paddle boards, and the like. Law enforcement and emergency personnel are trained and ready to respond, but please don’t tempt fate. You may not win and you are putting others art risk.

10 FORT MYERS | MARCH 2017 | COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

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Calusa Blueway Paddling Trail By: Mike Hammond

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ith tourist season in full throttle, this month we will focus on Calusa Blueway destinations that don’t require paddlers to drive in bumper-tobumper traffic toward the beaches. With its convenient location in south Lee County and its unique history, the Estero River fits the bill! One of the easiest to find and most popular launches along the Calusa Blueway is Estero River Outfitters. This long-established, family-owned shop is right on Tamiami Trail (U.S. 41) just north of Corkscrew Road. The paddle shop carries several brands of kayaks, canoes and SUPs for sale and rental. It also carries just about every paddling accessory you could want. Anglers enjoy a well-stocked bait and tackle shop and the option to upgrade to the “fisherman” kayak rental package. At this time, there is no charge for launching if you have your own gear. Directly across the road is Koreshan State Park (entrance off Corkscrew Road). A single paddler with his or her own gear will pay $4 to enter the park and an additional $4 to use the launch. I was told that paying an additional fee to use launches is becoming a Florida State Parks standard. Paddlers can rent canoes and kayaks from the park and explore on their own or take guided tours with the College of Life Foundation. Give yourself time to tour the historic buildings on-site and learn about the fascinating story of the Koreshans. This alone is worth the trip and admission. There are picnic tables,

bathrooms, a playground and shade near the launch. Whether you’re launching from Estero River Outfitters or the park, I recommend paddling east for at least a portion of your adventure. This area of the river is more shaded, has fewer powerboats and is picturesque. Think jungle creek. A few days ago I paddled this stretch and there was a large school of mullet under me almost the entire way. The College of Life Foundation was leading a tour and pointed out two barred owls in the trees above. Also to the east is the Happehatchee Center. The organization created a small takeout area with a picnic table for paddlers to enjoy. Just look for the footbridge and Calusa Blueway sign. Paddling to the west is enjoyable as well, but paddlers need to be cautious with boat traffic. Motorized vessels must remain in the channel, which crisscrosses the river several times. Paddlers can look for the PVC pipes that mark the channel and plan appropriately. More experienced paddlers may enjoy making the 5-mile trek (from Koreshan State Park) to Mound Key. Exploring Mound Key, once the capital of the Calusa Nation, should be on everyone’s bucket list. It is less than a 2-mile paddle to Mound Key if you launch from Lover’s Key State Park on Fort Myers Beach. Multiple outfitters lead guided tours to Mound Key. Whether you’re a long time paddler seeking a unique adventure or a first-timer looking to just relax on the water, the Estero River will have something for you. Learn more at www. calusablueway.com or call 239533-7275. Mike Hammond is based in Fort Myers, Florida, and is a staff member at Lee County Parks & Recreation. He is the Calusa Blueway coordinator for Lee County.

Frozen Bait, Live Bait, Lures, Jigs, Nets, and Much More! Custom Rods, Rod Repair & Reel Servicing & Repair Boat Sales & Boat Storage 405 NE Pine Island Rd Cape Coral, FL 33909 capetoolandtackle.com 239-574-6950 Monday - Saturday 9am. Until 6pm. Sunday 10am. Until 4pm

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The Perfect Evening: Boats, Drinks, Food and Fun

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hat could be more fun than to get together with likeminded boaters for an entertaining evening of boats, drinks, food, music, along with fun and games. Mix it up with a party atmosphere surrounded by luxury yachts, sport boats, and fabulous views of the sun setting over the lush Deep Lagoon scenery. Then you are experiencing what MarineMax Fort Myers calls a Docktail Party. “We enjoy seeing our owners and their guests at these monthly gatherings,” explained Ryan West, MarineMax Fort Myers store manager. “Even better, we really relish welcoming new friends to the MarineMax family.” The Docktail Parties are free and we welcome our MarineMax family and fellow boaters. The fun and games start at 5:30 p.m. and don’t quit until 8:30 p.m. “We turn these parties into mini boat shows ... displaying new boat models on land and in the water. We have them on our property right by our new ship store and fuel dock,” added West. The recently completed ship store and fuel dock at MarineMax Fort

Myers at Deep Lagoon is now open 7 days a week 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. The ship store features a comfortable owners lounge, the perfect place for the MarineMax family to gather after a day of boating.  A series of Docktail Parties at MarineMax Fort Myers at Deep Lagoon begins on April 7, 2017; Followed by 3 more: one on June 9, another on July 19, and the final Docktail Party on September 15, 2017. “Mark your calendars. These Docktail Parties take on a life of their own with each featuring different entertainment, contests, and games. Bring the whole family, there will be something for everyone. We look forward to hosting our MarineMax family,” concluded West. To find out how to become a part of the MarineMax family and to get an invite…contact MarineMax Fort Myers at 239-481-8200 or email trudi.kemmis@marinemax. com. For Boat & Yacht Sales visit us at 14030 McGregor Blvd – Fort Myers

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14030 McGregor Bld., Fort Myers, FL 33919 Phone: 239-481-8200

Ladies SW Florida Fishing By: Vicki Fisher

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his month we welcome ‘signs of spring’ both in our gardens and the estuary’s! March is one of my favorite months of the year as our weather becomes consistently warm and my gardens are popping with the bulbs I planted in the fall. Baitfish become more plentiful in the canals, therefore I can enjoy fishing in my backyard! Springtime is also a great time to freshen up the tackle box and respool my reels with fresh braided line. I like to remove all of the lures and spare hooks from the tackle box and either sharpen the hooks or replace them. I will admit that I am not good with keeping my lures and hooks rinsed with fresh water after every use, therefore they tend to rust from the saltwater. I like to use the ‘tournament trailer’ white flash treble hook for my rear hooks on the lures. I feel the fish cannot resist them as the lure lays suspended between each twitch! They come in different sizes depending on the size of your lure. In previous months, most of my fishing has been from our vessel in Pine Island Sound. When March arrives and our waters start to warm up, I prefer to head to the beaches and fish for the snook that are following the baitfish up to the shoreline. Surf fishing is both fun and a good workout, as you must work your line to keep it taunt with the moving current. I enjoy wearing my waders and getting in the water, but for those of you

fishing from shore make sure you stay back far enough that the fish don’t see you! If you can see them, they can see you! Snook season opens in our gulf waters March 1st – April 30th. The size for harvest should be not less than 28 inches and no more than 33 inches in total length. Get out and enjoy the beautiful weather and all that our shoreline and gardens have to offer! Gear up for “Spring Fever” fishing and let me know how you’re doing! This is First Mate Vicki Fisher, of Fish Face Charters, LLC., sending you warm sunshine and colorful gardens in the coming month! If I can be of assistance please do not hesitate to call me at (727) 5349071 or email fishfacecharters@ yahoo.com.

12 FORT MYERS | MARCH 2017 | COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

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Charlotte Harbor By: Capt. Mike Manis

Boat, RV & Trailer

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5149 Pine Island Road, 1/4 mile East of the 4 Way Stop at Pine Island Center

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gain, its transition time around the harbor, we’re heading into spring. The winter pattern of low tide sand hole fishing is about to change. We’ll still get to deal with the wind, but warmer air and water temperatures should begin to bring the bait in from offshore and the fish will get aggressive. It’s not unusual to see a good cold snap in March, but overall, it’s a big change from the past two months. Typically, I like to pick up where I left off last month, working outside shorelines adjacent to backcountry creek systems. Out of Punta Gorda, I’ll work south from Alligator Creek down to Pirate Harbor and it’s not out of the question working all the way down to Buzzard Bay in Matlacha. I’ll target snook, redfish, and spotted sea trout. At the top of the harbor, the north end of the west wall and the shorelines at the edge of the western entrance to the Myakka cutoff can also be good spring snook spots. As scaled sardines or whitebait become more prevalent I’ll match the prey and begin throwing larger baits. On fly, a 2/0 baitfish pattern like the Puglisi Peanut Butter in white and silver is good. With a spinning rod, I’ll break out my plugs and throw top water twitch baits. These baits float but suspend just under the surface as they’re worked back to the boat. Towards the end of the month, it’s even possible to see some tarpon

show up in the upper harbor. These are resident fish that come out of the rivers. Generally, April is prime for this bite, but if it’s warm enough, late March could be good. Cobia will also begin to appear around the bars that surround both the east and west walls. I like to pole or run the trolling motor down the outside edge and look for groups of cow nose rays as it’s not unusual to find the cobia close behind. In addition, these bar structures also should still be holding some pompano. Hard bottom is the key and I’ve found them up and down both the east and west walls on any given day. I’ve also run into them inside Boca Grande Pass just across the intracoastal on the Cayo Costa side. The sheepshead bite should still be strong anywhere there is structure. The Boca Grande and Placida trestles are very popular as is the artificial reef off Alligator Creek. On windy days, some live shrimp thrown up under any canal system dock can make for a good time. The Punta Gorda and Port Charlotte canals hold good numbers. Until next month, good tides. Captain Michael Manis is a U.S.G.C. Licensed captain and has been teaching the sport of fly and light tackle angling since 2002. He lives in Punta Gorda, Florida and can be reached at www. puntagordaflycharters.com

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14 FORT MYERS | MARCH 2017 | COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

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The Best Angler Photos From Southwest Florida!

Jack’s Bass, 14 YO

k out of Ven ice Joe Bop pre , 45# Am ber jac

Ph ill ip Ry m al (L ) & Cl ay M ar sh al , gr ou pe r ca tc us in g sa rd in es h of f An na M ar ia Is la nd

Chu ck’ s 20” Tro ut

Greg Jackm an’s 26” Redfis h

Grandfather and his grandkids and lots of sea trout!

Photos submitted courtesy of: Capt. Bart Marx Capt. Joel Brandenburg Capt. Larry McGuire

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Capt. Neil Eisner Capt. Mike Manis Capt. Terry Fisher

Send us a photo of your catch to: camftmyers@gmail.com - please include your name, location of where caught, type & size of fish and we’ll do our best to include you in our next edition

2/13/2017 5:54:01 PM


Call 941-697-1000 to schedule your personal demo!

16 FORT MYERS | MARCH 2017 | COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

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Peace River – Charlotte Harbor By: Capt. Dave Stephens

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arch! I have been waiting all winter for this month! This is by far my most favorite month of the year. It seems like everything on Charlotte Harbor is coming out of its winter hibernation stage. The lush green turtle grass is starting to cover the flats and the fish are putting on their feed bags. When I think of spring fishing in Southwest Florida one fish comes to mind - Snook. If you read my reports on a regular basis then you

know by now snook is my favorite game fish to target.. Just remember these fish are very fragile and need to be handled with care and placed back in the water very gently. For the anglers that have a boat with a deeper draft, March is a great month for some deeper water action also. Spanish mackerel will be making their spring migration north. While you’re out on the harbor keep an eye out for birds working. This is a great indication of fish feeding. Trolling a small spoon is also a very effective way to locate schools of fish. I would highly recommend keeping a larger rod rigged for bigger fish. Cobia and tarpon have

been known to be mixed with schools of mackerel. Trout have been feeding very well with the warming waters. The local grass flats have been holding very good numbers of fish and very large ones. I have been catching some of the largest fish this year that I can remember catching. On a recent charter, we caught six fish over twenty inches and of that six, we had three over twenty five inches. I love for my clients to take home fish for dinner, but if possible try to release these big trout - they are always female and generally have row. Redfish have been picking up very nicely, during the winter months they are generally on the smaller size. There have been a few in the slot with a few over size. On the lower tides, I’ve been fishing potholes 10-20 yards of mangrove islands and having very good luck. Live bait has been working very well. If you cannot get live bait a hand- picked shrimp on a jig

head will get their attention. On the higher tides, I recommend focusing on the mangroves. Alright, I saved the best for last. Snook have come out and they are very hungry. This is the time of year that they migrate out of the deeper creeks and rivers to feed up for the summer spawn. Barrier islands and deeper potholes on the flats will be holding very good numbers of fish. Live bait is the bait of choice. If you can’t get live bait, large shrimp will get bites and also artificial lures will get their attention. I like using top water early in the morning then switching to subsurface later in the day. If you are looking for a great day fishing on Charlotte Harbor give me a call or send me an email and we will customize a private charter that best fits your party’s needs. Capt. Dave Stephens, 941-916-5769, www.backbayxtremes.com

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Celebrating 45 Years in Business!

18 FORT MYERS | MARCH 2017 | COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

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Wintertime Sheepshead By Capt. Joshua Roberts

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ach year along the southwest coast the water temperature drops to the mid 60’s bringing in the herds of sheepshead from offshore. They are tough on light tackle and excellent table fare. Because of their long migration they bring with them heavy appetites. They have a very soft bite and on my charters, I instruct fisherman not to set the hook, but to slowly lift the rod when they are biting until the rod loads up with the weight of the fish. I prefer a 7’ medium light fast action rod, a 2500 or 3500 spinning reel with 20-pound braided line. Fluorocarbon leaders (20-30 pound) are a must when fishing for sheepshead, as they are as structure oriented as any species of grouper. I look for moving water around docks, bridges, rip rap, sea walls, rock piles, oyster bars and nearshore wrecks. A key to consistently hooking sheepshead is using a small hook. I prefer a very light

COMMUNITY EVENTS March 2-5: Bonita Springs Boat Show Details at www.GoBoatingFlorida.com March 2-12: FL Strawberry Festival Fairgrounds, Plant City FL, find more details online. March 3-5: 2017 Lee BIA Parade of Homes Find details at: http://www.bia.net/events

wire #2 Owner Octopus (or Mustad Demon Perfect Circle) when fishing nearshore wrecks and just enough weight to keep the bait on the bottom. As far as baits go, small shrimp, sandfleas, tubeworms, fiddler crabs, and even blue crab chunks are all primo baits. I find sheepshead to be very responsive to chum. Perhaps the funniest thing about them is that it does not require a boat. A lot of our best wintertime redfish, snook, and blackdrum, happen to eat our tiny sheepshead-intended baits. Good luck, and good fishing! Capt. Joshua Roberts is a U.S.C.G. licensed 50-ton captain and has experience fishing from Alaska through Southwest Florida. He is also a Naturalist and provides detailed narration on the flora, fauna, and history of Florida. Contact me at www.fishsouthwestfl.com or 239-849-7137.

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March 4: King of the Lake Crappie Tournament Lake Okeechobee, FL. Contact A.J Moore @ (754)234-1165 or Derrick Moore @ (954)650-0456 or email @ jiganomicsoutdoors@gmail.com March 4-5: Bonita Springs National Art Festival Show III Riverside Park, Bonita Springs, FL March 4-5: Gilchrist Park/Muscle Spring Festival Arte & Craft Show Gilchrist Park, Muscle City, PG March 4-5: Cape Coral Irish Festival Sun Splash Park, Cape Coral, FL March 9-12: Punta Gorda Boat Show Downtown PG, details at www.PuntaGordaBoatShow.com March 11: Blind Fishing Tournament SKIPPERS NEEDED, contact mulrich@centurylink.net March 24-25: Bobby Holloway, Jr. Tournament 19 th annual Memorial Fishing Tournament, please visit the website for details: www.hollowaytourney.org

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Putting Tarpon on the Map By: JoEllen K. Wilson, Bonefish & Tarpon Trust

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ou never forget your first tarpon. Mine was caught two days before Hurricane Charley under a cloudy sky in the drizzling rain. After fishing for hours, I watched my line go tight and the already nervous water was blasted open as my 130-lb. behemoth catapulted out of the water, flipped and fell back into Charlotte Harbor in perfect form that could rival the US Gymnastics team. As big as these fish are, it’s important to remember they were once as small as your baitfish – and even more vulnerable. Juvenile tarpon inhabit the calm backwaters of mangrove creeks, coastal ponds and other embayments where they travel in as larvae and metamorphose into the miniature counterparts of the big ones we fish for. Because of their preference for this particular coastal habitat, we often find them in close proximity to humans. This means their habitats are heavily affected by coastal development, changes in water flows and nutrient runoff. One misconception is that the presence of juvenile tarpon indicates a healthy habitat. Unfortunately, this is not often the case. Our extensive research in a southwest Florida study site made it abundantly clear that altered habitats are not the best habitats for juvenile tarpon. Wildflower Preserve (Placida, FL), BTT’s first habitat restoration project, contained high densities of juvenile tarpon which ultimately contributed

to poor growth and undersized tarpon leaving the system and emigrating into the estuary. A juvenile fish leaving the sanctuary of a nursery habitat is already a treacherous endeavor with new predators and competitors for food. Add a stunted growth component on top of that and the outlook is bleak. Juvenile tarpon habitat mapping was the logical next step in finding crucial nursery habitats and diving deeper into what an ideal nursery habitat should look like. In January 2016, BTT began asking anglers for their help finding locations with tarpon 12” and under. This ensures that we are truly investigating the nursery habitat. These anglers provided GPS coordinates (all information is kept confidential), and were also asked if there were larger tarpon (over 12”) present at the site while the little guys were there. This is important to know if tarpon are able to grow to larger sizes before emigrating or if they are getting too big and overstaying their welcome by competing for food and space with smaller tarpon. Also important is the seasonality of tarpon at each site. We especially want to find nursery habitats that juvenile tarpon can live in yearround. Absence of tarpon during certain seasons may also be a sign that the habitat is lacking in some way and they feel the necessity to leave to survive. Finally, anglers are asked to specify if the habitat is natural or altered. Natural habitats are protected from

further habitat degradation with the help of our state resource managers while altered habitats are assessed for their potential for habitat restoration. With habitat restoration, ideally we want to mimic natural nursery habitats that have thriving juvenile populations. Due to the extensive amount of coastal development in our area and around the state, juvenile

tarpon are already working at a deficit. By impacting the juvenile populations, we are undeniably affecting the adult fishery. If you are aware of any juvenile tarpon (12” and under) locations or know of anglers targeting these size classes, please contact JoEllen at: jwilson@bonefishtarpontrust.org.

20 FORT MYERS | MARCH 2017 | COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

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2/13/2017 5:54:05 PM


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Rod Actions for

Coastal Fishing By CAM Staff • Photo Courtesy of Matt Holder

B

roomstick. That’s what I started out coastal fishing with nearly 20 years ago. I had done quite well bass fishing with heavy-action rods growing up fishing freshwater lakes and ponds. When I began fishing saltwater bays, I was quite fond of my medium-heavy and heavy action broomsticks. Of course I was using them to ‘horse’ 8to 11-pound bass out of heavy cover and matted vegetation. Those actions are fine to start with in saltwater bays, but fishing for speckled trout and redfish in most bays doesn’t require bringing out the heavy artillery. In fact, going lighter and allowing today’s more precisely built fishing tools to do their job at the upper end of their limits is much more effective in catching more and bigger speckled trout, and they do fine on most slot and oversized reds up to almost 42 inches. Lately I have seen quite a few inquiries on the saltwater inshore boards asking “is this rod ok, or can I use that rod action for trout?” I thought I’d cover some rod actions that handle the bays, flats and marshes a little more like Craig Biggio handled a baseball bat. That guy was awesome in the field, didn’t swing a big bat but produced big results with consistency. That is what we are after. For saltwater inshore fishing with a casting rod and reel for speckled trout and redfish, the most used rod and action would be something in the realm of a 6’6” medium-power rod with a fast tip. It should be rated to throw lures weighing from 1/8 to 5/8-ounce. I regularly throw lures up to ¾-ounce, such as Super Spooks or other

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large topwater plugs, on this specific rod rating. Line ratings will fall generally between 8- to 15-pound test. Each rod maker will have a little different variation on this, but they’ll be close to this range. This rod will cast a large variety of saltwater inshore lures ranging from soft plastics on 1/16-ounce lead or bismuth jig heads all the way to 3/4 or 1-ounce topwaters. Overall, it will function best and cast the longest with lure weights that fall within its rated specification. For example, one can certainly cast a ¾-ounce MirrOlure Paul Brown slow sinking FatBoy or Mirrodine XL on a rod that’s rated for 1/8 to 5/8-ounce, but I find that it may not cast as far since it’s slightly over-loading the blank. A fast-action tip will help mitigate some of the distance loss (and we’re just splitting hairs here) but it’s going to get the job done and allow you to fish with that one rod all day with just about any lure in the box. I recently switched over to Lew’s Inshore rod series with blanks that are specifically made for saltwater inshore anglers. I’m really liking them.

2/14/17 5:02 PM


B.A.S.S. Calls Anti-Lead Edict Anti-Fishing

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n the day before President Barack Obama left office, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) issued an edict to ban lead fishing tackle and ammunition from hundreds of thousands of acres of land and water managed by that agency. Executed without stakeholder input, the controversial action has sparked outrage from fishing and hunting communities. B.A.S.S. joined with state fisheries management agencies and the American Sportfishing Association (ASA) in calling on the new administration and FWS to put a hold on the order. “This 11th hour order, just hours before the new administration was to take office, was an obvious attempt to push through an order that is part of the previous administration’s environmental agenda without full consultation among all the stakeholders,” said B.A.S.S. Conservation Director Gene Gilliland. Scott Gudes, ASA’s vice president of government affairs, added, “The sportfishing industry views this unilateral policy to ban lead fishing tackle, which was developed without any input from the industry, other angling organizations and state fish and wildlife agencies, as a complete disregard for the economic and social impact it will have on anglers and the recreational fishing industry.” Signed by FWS Director Dan Ash, Order No. 219 requires “the use of nontoxic ammunition and fishing tackle to the fullest extent practicable for all activities on service lands, waters and facilities.” Fortunately, action was taken by the new Trump administration that could hinder its effectiveness. A memorandum issued from the White House to departments and agencies announced a freeze on implementing new regulations, pending review. Still, individual jurisdictions within FWS might choose to enforce the rule. For years, environmentalists have attempted to gain a complete ban on lead ammunition and fishing tackle by filing lawsuits. They’ve done so, Gilliland said, “despite the lack of a clear connection in many cases of negative population-level impacts on fish and wildlife.” Their arguments have been rejected by the courts. At the same time, selective bans have been

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implemented where research suggests a need for them, such as in some northern waters, where loons ingest lead shot. “In the limited instances where lead fishing tackle is demonstrated to harm local wildlife populations, the sportfishing industry supports actions to minimize or eliminate these impacts,” Gudes said. “However, unnecessary and sweeping bans such as this director’s order will do nothing to benefit wildlife populations and instead will penalize the nation’s 46 million anglers and hurt recreational fishing-dependent jobs.” If not rescinded, it also will damage the partnership between the federal agency and the states, according to Nick Wiley, president of the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies. “This action flies squarely in the face of a long and constructive tradition of states working in partnership with the service to effectively manage fish and wildlife resources,” he said. “The Association views this order as a breach of trust and deeply disappointing given that it was a complete surprise and there was no current dialogue or input from state fish and wildlife agencies prior to issuance. It does a disservice to hunters and anglers, the firearms and angling industries, and the many professionals on staff with the USFWS who desire a trusting and transparent relationship with their state partners.”

2/14/17 5:03 PM


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MARCH 2017

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2/14/17 1:05 PM


Gaining Confidence In A New Lure Is Key

By Michael Okruhlik • Photo Courtesy of My Coast Outdoors

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aining confidence in a new lure is key to having success fishing with it. Whether it is new to the market or just new to you, without confidence you might not tie it on or keep it on for long. Many times anglers tie on a new lure prior to the trip anticipating instant success only to be heartbroken when the fish didn’t show the same enthusiasm. Other times, we tie on the new lure when nothing else is working expecting a miracle. In reality, fish might not have been caught during these two scenarios simply because they were not there or they were not feeding. This could leave us with a bad impression of the product and cause us to toss it in the bottom of the tackle bag, where it will lie in darkness. Many years ago I bought a very popular slow-sinking lure that

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everyone raved about. I could not catch a fish on it if my life depended on it. Looking back, I fell into the two scenarios above and never gave it a fair shake, but that’s a story for another article. The same was true for topwaters in salt water. I had caught many bass on them, but I would only tie one on when I wasn’t catching anything in the salt. Then I decided that I was going to catch a speckled trout on a topwater plug or I was not going to catch one at all. To build my confidence and perfect my technique, I decided to only carry topwaters on my trips. I remember the day I gained that confidence. On a trip to Lake Calcasieu, La. with three friends, my persistence paid off. It was not a productive day overall, but it was a great day for me. I caught 3 ½-, 5-, and 6-pound trout plus a keeper redfish. Every time I would hook a fish, a few of my buddies would tie on a topwater, fish it for a while, and then switch back to a soft plastic. Between the three of them, they landed one red. Had I not kept the topwater on all day, I think it is safe to say I would not have had a productive day, but most of all, I still would not have gained confidence in the lure. I have found that when I decide to try a new lure, I make sure to give it a full and fair trial. I like to fish it through different scenarios and conditions to see where it might stand out from the rest of my tackle. While doing this, I like to fish with others and measure my production against theirs. I am not one to switch as soon as my buddy catches a fish, or three. I prefer to keep plugging away, trying to make them eat what I am offering. That is how I break in a new lure. Capt. Michael Okruhlik is the inventor of Controlled Descent Lures and the owner of www.MyCoastOutdoors.com. For more about the lure that Okruhlik gained confidence with, go to

CAMOFFSHORE.CO

COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

2/14/17 1:05 PM


Florida Trash Tour Begins March 25 at Cedar Key

T

Photo by Michael Pereckas

he Coastal Conservation Association (CCA) and Swamp Head Brewery are teaming up for the 2017 Florida Trash Tour, a series of tournament-style trash round ups that will award prizes in a number of different categories. Swamp Head will bring free beer! Throughout 2017, the tour will have several events all over the state to clean up Florida waters. The first stop is at Cedar Key on Saturday, March 25 from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Registration is free, and so is food and beer at the after party. This is, however, a family friendly event, so sodas and water will be available for anyone under the age of 21. Those who need a place to stay should contact Cedar Key Cove Marina for discounts and availability at 352-543-6148. In each event, there will be divisions for boaters and walkers, so a boat is not necessary. Prizes will be awarded for the most trash collected. Other Tour Stop Dates: Titusville - April 22 Jacksonville - June 10 Steinhatchee - August 26 St. Augustine - November 4

For information, contact Caitlin Mitchell with CCA at cmitchell@ ccaflorida.org or 407-401-7677. To register online, go to the CCA Florida website at www.ccaflorida.org and find the event on the Airline_Ad_CoastalAngler_8-1-14_Layout 1 8/1/14 1:14 PM Page 1 “Calendar of Events” page.

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Will Florida Allow Goliath Grouper Harvest? FWC Photo

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lorida Today is reporting that the mighty goliath grouper might soon be fair game for anglers in Florida. The topic spurred some heated discussion at the February Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) meeting in Crystal River. FWC staff members have begun the outreach for input that will help determine the future of management for the high-profile species and how a limited harvest might work. This data will be considered at the FWC meetings next fall or winter. Once known as jewfish, harvest of goliath grouper has been off limits for 27 years. Since catch data is important to research and population estimates, researchers have little data from which to assess populations. A strictly controlled and limited harvest of these huge grouper would help the FWC more accurately determine how many of them are actually out there. According to FLKeysNews.com, public input at the Crystal River meeting was varied. Diving interests spoke in opposition to harvest because of the huge fish’s attraction for divers. Recreational anglers spoke in favor of a limited harvest, saying the species is overpopulated in some areas and threatening stocks of other species.

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The Changing Face of the Indian River Lagoon Estuary By Zack Jud, Ph.D.

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lear water! As I poled a Fort Pierce shoreline, I was thrilled to see last year’s environmental disaster had finally relaxed its grip. I had all but forgotten how exceptional the sight fishing can be without the ubiquitous green and brown water we’ve all slowly accepted as the new normal. I could see bottom for the first time in more than a year. Even better, I was seeing gamefish—a mix of snook, reds and trout that provided ample opportunity for a carefully placed cast. More important than what I saw was what I didn’t see. Seagrass was conspicuously absent from an area that was blanketed in green just a few years ago. With clear water comes the frightening realization that most of the Indian River Lagoon system is devoid of seagrass. Aside from a few ever-shrinking patches that I fished over in the Mosquito Lagoon this winter, I’ve been seeing nothing but bare bottom. Similar reports are rolling in from anglers throughout the system. An excited phone call about seagrass recovery from a friend who makes his living guiding on the Banana River turned out to be yet another letdown. From the bow of his skiff a few days later, it became apparent that the green carpet of “seagrass” was actually an aggressive species of bottom-dwelling Caulerpa algae—a seagrass lookalike that provides few benefits to our ecosystems. This shift from seagrass to macroalgae is occurring throughout the Indian River Lagoon system. It might have cascading consequences that go far beyond the gamefish we so deeply value. To make matters worse, the clear water we’re enjoying this winter has nothing to do with improved management practices. It has nothing to do with the dedicated efforts of concerned anglers and citizens. There were no hard-earned environmental victories for conservation groups, no

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game-changing environmental legislation. To the contrary, last year’s environmental catastrophe has resulted in little change to Florida’s troubled water infrastructure. Improving conditions in our estuaries are nothing more than Mother Nature giving us a few minutes to catch our breath in the corner before the inevitable round ahead. Unless substantial changes occur, Lake Okeechobee discharges and agricultural runoff in the southern Indian River Lagoon, along with septic tanks, sewage treatment plants and residential fertilizer use in the central and northern lagoon, will continue pushing the Indian River Lagoon–and its valuable sport fishery–to the brink of ecological collapse. Thankfully, there is some positive news to report. It seems our voices are finally being heard by a handful of legislators, and lawmakers are getting involved in meaningful discussions that might result in improved water quality for our estuaries and the Everglades. Most important to anglers is Florida Senate Bill 10, a law that if passed would facilitate water storage and filtration in the Everglades Agricultural Area south of Lake Okeechobee. By storing and cleaning Okeechobee’s polluted water using enormous filtration marshes, we can reduce harmful freshwater discharges to coastal areas, while simultaneously providing the Everglades with the water it desperately needs. No other single component of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP) has this much potential to improve the health of Florida’s waters. Clear water? Don’t count on it lasting. The bottom of our estuary, now devoid of seagrasses and their stabilizing root systems, is easily stirred up by wind and waves. Human factors that led to last year’s algae blooms, fish kills and massive freshwater discharges are still in place. While our inshore waters may be clear right now, the next disaster is looming. Sure, there are still gamefish to be found, but not in the numbers we remember from even a few years ago. More concerning is the lack of bottom-dwelling prey species—the base of the estuarine food web. While midwater forage fish like mullet, anchovies and pilchards will probably remain abundant for a while, crabs, shrimp and pinfish—species that depend on healthy seagrass—are becoming as scarce as rocking horse manure. Without clean water, without sea grass, without forage species, without nursery habitats, the fishery we cherish may be taking its last gasps. Dr. Zack Jud is the director of education at Florida Oceanographic Society, a coastal ecologist, and a fly casting instructor. Contact him at zjud@ floridaocean.org. Check out the Florida Oceanographic Coastal Center’s cool kids’ fishing programs at www.floridaocean.org.

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2/14/17 11:48 AM


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Fishing Line And Tackle Disposal

F

ishing is a key component of the Florida lifestyle as well as the state’s economy. But fishing line and other fishing tackle frequently enter Florida’s aquatic systems creating potential traps for unsuspecting wildlife. Monofilament is the most common type of fishing line, however, modern advances have produced several other varieties with higher tensile strength, reduced visibility and greater abrasion resistance. While fluorocarbon can be recycled in the same manner as mono, braided line and wire leaders must be disposed of differently. Anglers can purchase or make their own fishing line storage bins to keep with them so that line can be stored securely and out of the way. Products such as the Monomaster and Line Snatcher help anglers store unwanted fishing line; however, homemade versions can be made by cutting an “X” in the lid of something as simple as a coffee can. Once on shore, mono and fluorocarbon line can be recycled in designated bins found at boat ramps, piers and tackle shops. Anglers should not use these bins to discard any other type of fishing line or leader material such as braid or wire. Also, the bins should not be used to discard tackle, such as hooks, lures or soft plastics. To discard non-monofilament line, such as braid or wire, cut the line into 12inch or smaller pieces and place into a covered trash receptacle. You can learn how to make your own monofilament recycling bin by visiting our FWC Saltwater Fishing YouTube channel. For more information on the statewide Monofilament Recovery & Recycling Program, visit MRRP.MyFWC.com. As part of the “Pitch It” campaign, soft plastic baits with the hook or jig head removed can be discarded in special program containers that are separate from monofilament recycling bins. Learn more about soft bait disposal and the “Pitch It” campaign by visiting Pledgetopitchit.org. For more on how to make a monofilament recycling bin, go to

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Not Just

A Safety Class

The perfect fishing knot is not a knot, but a weld!

By Brandon Tourigny

L

et’s face it… the majority of us who hear the title “safety class” usually aren’t thrilled at the prospect of sitting through hours of cliché safety lectures. Boater safety classes are something a lot of us put up with to move forward with getting a boating license or captain’s license. We read about all the horror stories of boating Brandon Tourigny with a nice accidents but Crystal River trout. never think it could happen to us. For me, things like life jackets, up-to-date fire extinguishers, or proper flares were just things that seemed more like hassles to keep on-hand because I didn’t want to receive a ticket from the game warden. However, when the unexpected does happen, when the worst possible scenario unfolds before your eyes, there is no telling how much time you will have to react. How you react in these situations could very well be the difference of life and death. This past month a friend and I were given a rude awakening on the importance of emergency preparedness during a fishing trip into the heart of the Crystal River. After a long day of fishing through the backcountry, we experienced engine failure on our way back to the boat ramp at about 7:30 p.m. With wet clothes, dropping temperatures, howling winds, and only one working phone with 30 percent battery life, it would be an understatement to say that nothing was going our way. Thankfully this story has a happy ending since an unsung hero, who will remain nameless, went the extra mile to see us to safety. Had we been forced to stay the night on the boat, one thing could have become a serious risk for us, hypothermia. With the temperature supposed to drop into the 40s, we had no dry clothes, and hypothermia was a real threat. Emergency situations are actually very preventable if you take the effort to prepare for the worst. Situations such as being stranded due to engine failure, being stuck due to low tide, or a sinking vessel are why having a strong working knowledge of maritime law, safety and emergency preparedness are not something to be taken lightly. Also, the simple step of having an emergency bag containing fire starting materials, nonperishable foods, blankets or towels, some dry clothes and rain ponchos can very well mean the difference between a miserable or life threatening experience or just an inconvenient yet nonthreatening wait for help. When getting ready to go out on the boat to fish or just to enjoy the water, safety should never be taken lightly, because emergency situations can happen to anyone at any time. As a friend of mine’s father once told me, the smartest people don’t learn from experience but from the experiences of others. These are the people who go out more prepared the next time.

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ishermen have been on an eternal quest for the perfect knot. This effort is futile because the line must bend to tie any knot, which always weakens the line, in many cases, substantially! Tauten has replaced the knot with a polymer line weld which results in virtually no loss in system strength. Instead of the line breaking at the weld, the line itself will fail first. Works on braid, mono or fluorocarbon Simply run line through lure/hook and back over device, push button and line is welded to itself in seconds Takes easily replaced and inexpensive polymer cartridges (up to 12 welds per) Device derived from one used by surgeons to tie surgical knots and is extremely durable, lightweight and it floats! Allows you to use smaller diameter line or increases the breaking strength of existing line No more failed knots!

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UNDER THE SEA

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by blending into the reef, and some just want SHERI DAYE to look cool. Ladies, if you’re looking for he popularity of spearfishing in the “skins” for the summer U.S. has grown significantly, and it in attractive patterns, has spawned product innovation and improvements—not only with spearguns, check out Slipins. You might not blend into but with associated dive apparel. Believe it the reef, but you will look amazing! 2) Gloves: There are more sizes, or not, how you dress can play an important thicknesses and features now. I’ve been part of the hunt. Here are some examples: 1) Wetsuits: It’s important for a hunter to diving in water so cold that I lost feeling be comfortable in the water. If you are cold in my hands and couldn’t feel the trigger. and shivering, if your suit is rubbing the I should have sprung for a thicker pair of back of your legs, if it feels too tight in the gloves when I traveled to California. With the popularity of polespearing, chest—you will not perform as effectively. In this regard, new wetsuits with open-cell there’s a need for gloves that make it easy to technology and newer materials have been hold a loaded polespear, so the grip is made a godsend. They are softer, stretchier and of nitrile or latex while the rest of the gloves thinner, yet they keep you warmer than the (back of hand and wrists) are a dynema/ old materials. A good wetsuit should feel Kevlar composition. The all-Kevlar gloves like a second skin and should not let water are useful for handling fish or lobsters. It’s in anywhere. The following brands are not uncommon to get cut by gill rakers when available at your local dive shop: Yazbeck, dispatching bigger fish. Wearing solid gloves will give you confidence when handling fish. Mares, Riffe, Omer, Cressi and more. Most spearfishing wetsuit brands now Check out Neritic and Akona, among others. 3) Booties: With the advent of long fins have both a men’s and women’s cut, resulting in a better fit. The new stretchy materials for spearfishing, it’s become more important are forgiving enough to fit most bodies. for the fin-pocket/bootie combination to Still not happy with the fit? No worries; form a good fit. An ill-fitting fin will greatly there are several affordable custom wetsuit reduce efficiency in the water. As with gloves, manufacturers who will tailor one to your there’s a greater variety of choices, and it’s important to try them on with the foot measurements. Try Oceanos or Elios. Another recent development is the pocket you plan to wear. Next time you go spearfishing, make wide variety of camouflage patterns. Some hunters believe it allows them to be stealthier sure you are dressed for success!

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TIPS FROM A PRO

FRESHWATER THE THINGS WE WEAR

O

BRANDON LESTER

utdoor apparel isn’t as much fun to talk about as how to catch big bass, but it’s important for those of us who spend a lot of time on a boat. I’m not sponsored by any clothing companies or anything like that, but I do know what I like. Let’s start with hoodies. You just can’t beat a quality hoodie for chilly mornings and running down the lake. Most of my sponsors have sent me a hoodie or two, but I have to say my all-time favorite one is from Raymarine. There’s something about the texture of the hoodie. It’s manufactured by

cover up from the sun as well. They keep me cool and really make a difference in how much energy I have after a long day on the water. I also like MHX’s lightweight hat as well as a trucker hat I have from Phoenix Boats. A rain suit is key for me too. Mud Hole was nice enough to send me one from Gill that really works well. They make good stuff. Raymarine sent one made by Stormr, and it is my favorite for cold weather. Mercury provided me one from Simms that is really nice, and it has held

Sport-Tek and is just extremely comfortable. It looks good too. For those cold mornings, I really like to have on a beanie, too. I have accumulated several from Mercury, and I really like theirs. Mercury’s are good quality and don’t shrink. I’ve had others that got loose and feel like they were going to fly off. Everything has to be tight when running at 70-plus mph. Buff USA makes good beanies, as well, and several other cold weather products I like. Most of us think of Buff for sun protection, but they perform in the cold too. Speaking of sun protection, I will indeed have a UV Buff around my neck 95 percent of the time. I also wear their gloves, and honestly it feels a little strange to not fish with gloves on anymore. As younger anglers, we’ve heard stories and seen pictures of sun-damaged skin. Most of us heed the warnings. I wear MHX sun shirts to

up very well. You can never have too many rain suits. You never know when you’ll need a backup for either yourself or someone fishing with you. To complete the look and feel, I like to wear lightweight, comfortable fishing shorts from Mercury. You see a ton of anglers wearing the Mercury shorts, so it was obviously a brilliant marketing move for them to send them to us. It just feels like “game day” when I have them on. Did I mention all this stuff is wrinkle free. Even our jerseys are wrinkle-free. I usually stay in hotels, and I’m thankful to be able to pull my gear out of the suitcase or out of a boat compartment and have it look good. Valley Fashions does a good job with our jerseys. That’s enough about clothing. Next month we will get back to fishing. If you ever have any topics you would like me to cover, hit me up on Facebook or Instagram.

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FISH & FISHING

PRIORITIES

A

MARK SOSIN

nglers tend to reverse priorities. Instead of focusing on fishing an artificial effectively, they worry more about choosing some magical fly or lure guaranteed to produce a spectacular catch simply by being in the water. Success seldom happens that way. If you have confidence in your choice and believe it will work, it probably will, provided your presentation and retrieve are effective. The best bait in the box will bomb unless it looks realistic and natural to your quarry. Fishing an artificial is a mental game. It’s easy to be distracted and simply cast and retrieve without any purpose or thought behind each presentation. Every cast should be made to correctly cover a specific segment of water and effectively put an offering in front of a fish. Simple things can make a difference. Here are a couple of examples. I watched an angler cast a swimming plug with a lip into the shallows, crank the reel handle four to six times so the plug dove downward along the dropoff, pause for a moment until the plug began to rise, and then continue the retrieve. If you stood next to him and simply retrieved the plug without pausing so it could rise, you couldn’t buy a strike. Another time, a friend who had been a guide was fishing with me. He kept getting strikes on his lure, while I became more frustrated with every cast, and we were using the same artificial. I watched his every move and tried to duplicate it to no avail. Finally, I asked him what he was doing that was different than my retrieve. As he worked his lure, he kept vibrating his hand. It was too subtle to see. Vibrating his wrist caused his lure to flash underwater just like a real baitfish. That made all the difference. Finding a school of breaking fish on the surface stirs the soul and telegraphs the imminent success to every fiber in your body. The key is to keep the boat away from the school while moving up ahead of it. Casts should be made in front of the school when possible or

at least close to it so that the retrieve follows the basic path of the school. Assuming the school is moving north, you want your retrieve to cover the northeast or northwest quadrant. It should move in the general direction of the main body of fish. Not very often will a school member chase a lure going in a direction opposite that of the main body of fish. Retrieving an artificial must make it appear to the fish that it is trying to escape. If the predator senses that the lure is moving toward it, you can bet it will spook. Every cast should be carefully calculated to make the lure look realistic. If a fish fails to strike, vary the retrieve. And, in cooler water, don’t overlook a slower retrieve. Those anglers who set the standards fishing artificial baits make every cast count. Follow their lead and you should begin to catch more and more fish on artificial lures.

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TACKLE CORNER:

GETTING A FRESH HANDLE ON SPINNING RODS By Mike Pehanich

T

he topic of spinning tackle can be a lightning rod among fishermen. Opinions on it vary greatly across the angling spectrum. Some rely on spinning tackle and, literally, can’t fish without it. Some hate it and can hardly broach discussion of this “down-side” style of fishing without a snide aside (“a birdsnest waiting to happen”) or epithet challenging the user’s manhood (“fairy wand”). In recent years, effective finesse techniques in the bass world have taken the fire out of the debate, and a sober “it’sjust-a-tool” mentality has cleared a place for spinning in the arsenals of most serious anglers. Design Disadvantage Outside the realm of partisan debate, however, spinning tackle has remained open to at least one legitimate complaint. The design of most spinning rods compels the fishermen to grip the rod across the reel seat and straddle the reel stem, leaving the angler’s hand little or no grip security and comfort. The design leads to particular disadvantage when fighting big fish or fishing in adverse weather conditions, from snowstorms and freezing cold to tropical humidity and lightning bolts. Fortunately, solutions have come to the fore. Here are three options to answer the spinning rod conundrum. Hooded Reel Seat With Polymer Grip: Hooded reel seats,

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such as those in Fuji’s VSS series, are designed for a grip shaped to extend over the reel seat. The design provides palm support—grip comfort and security at the palm interface—even with fingers straddling the spinning reel stem. Fuji, through its exclusive American distributor Anglers Resource, introduced a proprietary set of Winn grips (WVSS1615, WVS17), tailored to fit precisely with two of its newest and most popular spinning reel seats and its Perfect Fit Trim. This combination of grip and reel seat adds ergonomic benefit and puts more of the hand into contact with the non-slip Winn grip polymer. Aero Comfort Finish Reel Seat: American Tackle offers a spinning reel seat with a topside extension that delivers palm support. Like hooded reel seats, the design provides ergonomic benefit by supporting the palm, but it is a hood-like portion of the reel seat rather than grip material that reaches up to meet the palm. The “comfort finish” reduces the degree of hand slippage. Mummy wrap: West Coast saltwater anglers were the first to overwrap spinning rod handles with Winn Superior Rod Wrap, a “skin” of patented Winn polymer, known for its tackiness in adverse weather conditions. The tape-like material is backed with a forgiving adhesive that wraps easily around rod handles. The “mummy wrap” approach adds a continuous wrap from rod butt to foregrip with the reel already in place. The mummy wrap straddles the reel stem over both ends of the reel foot. Palm and fingers have complete contact with the non-slip polymer covering the entire handle. Check out the spinning rods in your arsenal, and see if one of these solutions can add comfort and effectiveness to your fishing. Rod wraps are simple solutions. Check with a custom rod builder or rod repairmen about retrofitting spinning rods with a new grip or reel seat.

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5999 comp at

29 PIECE TITANIUM NITRIDE COATED ITEM 62281/61637 shown HIGH SPEED STEEL DRILL BIT SET

purchases after 30 days from original purchase with original receipt. purchases after 30 days from original purchase with original receipt. COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM Offer good while supplies last. Non-transferable. Original coupon must be Offer good while supplies last. Non-transferable. Original coupon must be

hft_coastalangler_0317_spread_M-REG100630.indd 2-3

$

comp at

SUPER COUPON

SUPER COUPON ITEM 62279/62302/62866 68861 shown

MULTIFUNCTION POWER TOOL

$3999

99

Customer Rating

$10.99

LIMIT 7 - Good at our stores or HarborFreight.com or by calling 800-423-2567. Cannot be used with other discount or coupon or prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase with original receipt. Offer good while supplies last. Non-transferable. Original coupon must be presented. Valid through 7/1/17. Limit one coupon per customer per day.

ITEM 69043/63282/42304 shown ITEM 42305/69044/63171

SAVE 59%

YOUR CHOICE

49 $2999 $69.99 $

LIMIT 4 - Good at our stores or HarborFreight.com or by calling 800-423-2567. Cannot be used with other discount or coupon or prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase with original receipt. Offer good while supplies last. Non-transferable. Original coupon must be presented. Valid through 7/1/17. Limit one coupon per customer per day.

$ 99 comp at

comp at

9 PIECE FULLY POLISHED SAVE 59% COMBINATION WRENCH SETS

40

ITEM 61740/63109 63152/4077 shown

5999 $64.99 SUPER COUPON

Customer Rating

12 VOLT, 250 PSI PORTABLE INFLATOR

99

LIMIT 4 - Good at our stores or HarborFreight.com or by calling 800-423-2567. Cannot be used with other discount or coupon or prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase with original receipt. Offer good while supplies last. Non-transferable. Original coupon must be presented. Valid through 7/1/17. Limit one coupon per customer per day.

SAVE 57%

SUPER COUPON

SUPER COUPON

SUPER COUPON

$39

B. PANCAKE

B SUPER COUPON

Cu

ITEM 95275 shown 60637/61615

Customer Rating

$5999

SUPER COUPON

A. HOT DOG

ITEM 69269/97080 shown

A

69265/62344

LIMIT 5 - Good at our stores or HarborFreight.com or by calling 800-423-2567. Cannot be used with other discount or coupon or prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase with original receipt. Offer good while supplies last. Non-transferable. Original coupon must be presented. Valid through 7/1/17. Limit one coupon per customer per day.

3 GALLON, 100 PSI OILLESS AIR COMPRESSORS

ITEM 60581/60653 shown

SUPER COUPON

79

SUPER COUPON

Customer Rating

SAVE RETRACTABLE AIR HOSE REEL $138 WITH 3/8" x 50 FT. HOSE ITEM 93897 shown

$

S

99

$129.99

LIMIT 5 - Good at our stores or HarborFreight.com or by calling 800-423-2567. Cannot be used with other discount or coupon or prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase with original receipt. Offer good while supplies last. Non-transferable. Original coupon must be presented. Valid through 7/1/17. Limit one coupon per customer per day.

comp at 99 $28.83

LIMIT 6 - Good at our stores or HarborFreight.com or by calling 800-423-2567. Cannot be used with other discount or coupon or prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase with original receipt. Offer good while supplies last. Non-transferable. Original coupon must be presented. Valid through 7/1/17. Limit one coupon per customer per day.

Customer Rating

SUPER COUPON

JACKS IN AMERICA

LIMIT 800-423 purchase Offer g presente

SAV 65

ITEM 69779 67500 shown

$2999 99 7 $2 $44.99

SUPER COUPON

LIMIT 800-423 purchas Offer g presente

comp at

LIMIT 3 - Good at our stores or HarborFreight.com or by calling 800-423-2567. Cannot be used with other discount or coupon or prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase with original receipt. Offer good while supplies last. Non-transferable. Original coupon must be presented. Valid through 7/1/17. Limit one coupon per customer per day.

2/14/17 1:46 PM

75


OG

own

WITH

ITEM 63599/69052 shown 69111/62522/62573

SUPER COUPON

$

14999

comp at

$9999

$205.99

Customer Rating

12" SLIDING COMPOUND DOUBLE-BEVEL MITER SAW Customer Rating WITH LASER GUIDE

2000 WATT CONTINUOUS/ 4000 WATT PEAK POWER INVERTER

Customer Rating

ITEM 60432 69662 shown

ITEM 63091/63248 68998 shown

SUPER COUPON

$2999 SAVE $ $76

900 PEAK/700 RUNNING WATTS, 2 HP (63CC) 2 CYCLE GAS GENERATOR EPA/CARB

19999

$339

LIMIT 5 - Good at our stores or HarborFreight.com or by calling 800-423-2567. Cannot be used with other discount or coupon or prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase with original receipt. Offer good while supplies last. Non-transferable. Original coupon must be presented. Valid through 7/1/17. Limit one coupon per customer per day.

SAVE $95

SUPER COUPON

$11999 $16999 $215.41 comp at

LIMIT 3 - Good at our stores or HarborFreight.com or by calling 800-423-2567. Cannot be used with other discount or coupon or prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase with original receipt. Offer good while supplies last. Non-transferable. Original coupon must be presented. Valid through 7/1/17. Limit one coupon per customer per day.

SUPER COUPON

ITEM 46807/68975 69221/62123/63017 BAR 69222 shown

12" RATCHET CLAMP/SPREADER

WIRELESS SECURITY ALERT SYSTEM

3

t

$

$299

comp at

ITEM 93068 shown 69590/61910/62447 Customer Rating

SAVE 68%

SUPER COUPON

$ 99

1499 SUPER COUPON 99 comp at

$20.76

$31.46

LIMIT 6 - Good at our stores or HarborFreight.com or by calling 800-423-2567. Cannot be used with other discount or coupon or prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase with original receipt. Offer good while supplies last. Non-transferable. Original coupon must be presented. Valid through 7/1/17. Limit one coupon per customer per day.

SUPER COUPON

SAVE $60

MAGNETIC TRAILER ALIGNMENT KIT Customer Rating

9

$ 99

comp at

$19.99

ITEM 69778

SUPER COUPON

$6

$

LIMIT 8 - Good at our stores or HarborFreight.com or by calling 800-423-2567. Cannot be used with other discount or coupon or prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase with original receipt. Offer good while supplies last. Non-transferable. Original coupon must be presented. Valid through 7/1/17. Limit one coupon per customer per day.

NAT_0317.indd 41

• No Gas Required

120 AMP FLUX WIRE WELDER

ITEM 61849/62719 Customer Rating 68887 shown

SUPER COUPON

99

750+ Stores Nationwide

$9

LIMIT 9 - Good at our stores or HarborFreight.com or by calling 800-423-2567. Cannot be used with other discount or coupon or prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase with original receipt. Offer good while supplies last. Non-transferable. Original coupon must be presented. Valid through 7/1/17. Limit one coupon per customer per day.

SUPER COUPON

SAVE 65%

comp at

LIMIT 4 - Good at our stores or HarborFreight.com or by calling 800-423-2567. Cannot be used with other discount or coupon or prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase with original receipt. Offer good while supplies last. Non-transferable. Original coupon must be presented. Valid through 7/1/17. Limit one coupon per customer per day.

ITEM 63024 63025 shown

SUPER COUPON

$8999 $10999

99

comp at 99 $149.99

$8999

LIMIT 4 - Good at our stores or HarborFreight.com or by calling 800-423-2567. Cannot be used with other discount or coupon or prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase with original receipt. Offer good while supplies last. Non-transferable. Original coupon must be presented. Valid through 7/1/17. Limit one coupon per customer per day.

SAVE NOW

LIMIT 5 - Good at our stores or HarborFreight.com or by calling 800-423-2567. Cannot be used with other discount or coupon or prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase with original receipt. Offer good while supplies last. Non-transferable. Original coupon must be presented. Valid through 7/1/17. Limit one coupon per customer per day.

SUPER COUPON

3

SAVE 85%

3799 $106.34

SUPER COUPON

18 VOLT CORDLESS 3/8" DRILL/DRIVER WITH KEYLESS CHUCK SUPER COUPON

comp at

wn

ing rior ipt. be day.

SUPER COUPON

130 PIECE TOOL KIT WITH CASE

ITEM 69651 62868/62873 68239 shown

$13499

$

comp at

9

$ 99 $19.97

LIMIT 5 - Good at our stores or HarborFreight.com or by calling 800-423-2567. Cannot be used with other discount or coupon or prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase with original receipt. Offer good while supplies last. Non-transferable. Original coupon must be presented. Valid through 7/1/17. Limit one coupon per customer per day.

SUPER COUPON

SUPER COUPON

Blade sold separately.

• 1000 lb. capacity

LIMIT 1 - Cannot be used with other discount, coupon or prior purchase. Coupon good at our stores, HarborFreight.com or by calling 800-423-2567. Offer good while supplies last. Shipping & Handling charges may apply if not picked up in-store. Non-transferable. Original coupon must be presented. Valid through 7/1/17. Limit one FREE GIFT coupon per customer per day.

SAVE $204

ON

ON

$7

99

VALUE

SUPER COUPON

ITEM 61969/61970 69684 shown

62

ing rior ipt. be day.

SAVE $106

SAVE 59%

SUPER COUPON

Customer Rating

E

3

ITEM 60497/93888 shown 61899/62399/63095/63096 63098/63097

4

SUPER COUPON

E %

N

MOVER'S DOLLY

Customer Rating

$ 97

LIMIT 4 - Good at our stores or HarborFreight.com or by calling 800-423-2567. Cannot be used with other discount or coupon or prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase with original receipt. Offer good while supplies last. Non-transferable. Original coupon must be presented. Valid through 7/1/17. Limit one coupon per customer per day.

15

9

ANY PURCHASE

SUPER COUPON

3-1/2" SUPER BRIGHT NINE LED ALUMINUM FLASHLIGHT

KE

L T

10 FT. x 20 FT. PORTABLE CAR CANOPY

ITEM 63054/60728/69034/62858 shown

own

alling prior ceipt. be day.

FREE

SUPER COUPON ™

inal day.

SS RS

SUPER COUPON

SUPER COUPON

80 PIECE ROTARY TOOL KIT ITEM 97626 shown 68986/69451 63235/63292

$1699

Customer Rating

Includes one 18V NiCd battery and charger.

SAVE $ 65%

1999 $49 comp at

LIMIT 4 - Good at our stores or HarborFreight.com or by calling 800-423-2567. Cannot be used with other discount or coupon or prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase with original receipt. Offer good while supplies last. Non-transferable. Original coupon must be presented. Valid through 7/1/17. Limit one coupon per customer per day.

ITEM 69924 shown 62403/62862 Customer Rating

SUPER COUPON

6" VARIABLE SPEED DUAL ACTION POLISHER SAVE $95

SUPER COUPON comp at SAVE $ 99 71% $24.15

9

$

LIMIT 7 - Good at our stores or HarborFreight.com or by calling 800-423-2567. Cannot be used with other discount or coupon or prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase with original receipt. Offer good while supplies last. Non-transferable. Original coupon must be presented. Valid through 7/1/17. Limit one coupon per customer per day.

SUPER COUPON

PORTABLE FISH FINDER ITEM 62675/94511 SAVE Customer Rating 46%

$

SUPER COUPON

$699

MULTI-USE TRANSFER PUMP

ITEM 62961/63144/61364 63591/66418 shown

SAVE 59%

$65

At Harbor Freight Tools, the “comp at” price means that the same item or a similar functioning item was advertised for sale at or above the "comp at" price by another retailer in the U.S. within the past 180 days. Prices advertised by others may vary by location. No other meaning of "comp at" should be implied. For more information, go to HarborFreight.com or see store associate.

HarborFreight.com • 800-423-2567 COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

$149.99

SUPER COUPON

SUPER COUPON

LIMIT 3 - Good at our stores or HarborFreight.com or by calling 800-423-2567. Cannot be used with other discount or coupon or prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase with original receipt. Offer good while supplies last. Non-transferable. Original coupon must be presented. Valid through 7/1/17. Limit one coupon per customer per day.

comp at

LIMIT 5 - Good at our stores or HarborFreight.com or by calling 800-423-2567. Cannot be used with other discount or coupon or prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase with original receipt. Offer good while supplies last. Non-transferable. Original coupon must be presented. Valid through 7/1/17. Limit one coupon per customer per day.

3999 $3499

comp at

6999

$5499

Customer Rating

SUPER COUPON

6

$499

$ 99 comp at $12.39

LIMIT 7 - Good at our stores or HarborFreight.com or by calling 800-423-2567. Cannot be used with other discount or coupon or prior from original purchase with original receipt. last. Non-transferable. Original coupon must be presented. Valid through 7/1/17. Limit one coupon per customer per day.

purchases after2017 30 days MARCH Offer good while supplies

NATIONAL

41

2/14/17 1:46 PM 2/13/17 10:14 AM


THIS YEAR, MAKE THE MOST OF EVERY DAY ON THE WATER

OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE MATCHED BY EXCEPTIONAL VALUE TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THESE SPECIAL BOAT SHOW OFFERS FROM SUZUKI MARINE

REPOWER FINANCE

Six Years of Protection at no extra charge on all new outboards 25 to 300 HP.

Cash Rebates on select models. See your dealer for details.

Rates as low as 5.99% on new outboards (OAC).*

Offers end March 31, 2017. See your participating Suzuki Marine dealer for details or visit www.suzukimarine.com.

42

Gimme Six Extended Protection promo is applicable to new Suzuki Outboard Motors from 25 to 300 HP in inventory which are sold and delivered to buyer between 01/01/17 and 3/31/17 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. Cash Rebates apply to qualifying purchases of select Suzuki Outboard Motors made between 01/01/17 and 3/31/17. For list of designated models, see participating Dealer or visit www.suzukimarine.com. Customer and participating Dealer must fill out the appropriate rebate form at time of sale. Customer will have the choice to either apply the cash rebate against the original dealer invoice (Suzuki will credit Dealer parts account) or have a check sent directly to the customer. 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 01/01/17 and 3/31/17.“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. © 2017 Suzuki Motor of America, Inc.

NATIONAL

NAT_0317.indd 42

SZ_Q1Promo_WIP.indd 1

MARCH 2017

COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

2/14/17 1:46 PM

12/4/16 1:46 PM


SPIDERWIRE® STEALTH™

EXTREMELY STRONG EXTREMELY CASTABLE

GO THE DISTANCE WITH STEALTH SMOOTH 8 CARRIER TIGHT-WEAVE BRAID WITH A SUPER SMOOTH, SUPER THIN COATING FOR QUIET AND EFFORTLESS CASTING

SPIDERWIRE.COM COMMON CVRS_0317.indd 3

2/13/17 11:38 AM


WHATEVER THE SEA THROWS AT YOU, STAND YOUR GROUND. BUILT FOR ALASKA, FIT FOR EVERYONE XTRATUF boots have been proven and tested in the unforgiving Alaskan seas. Now, that same toughness is available in the XTRATUF Performance Deck Boot. With a non-marking, slip-resistant Chevron outsole, these 100% waterproof boots are as tough as the elements.

Kryptek Pontus Kryptek Yeti

www.xtratuf.com © 2017 Honeywell International Inc.

COMMON CVRS_0317.indd 4

INTRODUCING THE NEW KRYPTEK ANKLE DECK BOOT

2/13/17 11:38 AM

Coastal Angler Magazine - March / Fort Myers-Cape Coral-Port Charlotte  

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

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