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Heads Of Cold Steel Winter Steelheading In Upstate New York By Frank Geremski -The Angler Magazine of Upstate NY publisher

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inter steelhead fishing can be chilling, but once you hook into a 10-pound, lightning-fast bolt of silver, your blood will be boiling. The speed and explosion are what lures steelheaders to expose themselves to harsh Great Lakes winters. And there’s more. On Upstate New York’s Salmon River, there are plenty of beautiful, large, lake-run brown trout mixed in. Plus, today’s lightweight protective clothing provides comfort between strikes. The Salmon River in Oswego County, N.Y. (www.visitoswegocounty.com) offers consistent steelhead fishing during the late fall, winter and spring. In fact, the river has runs of trout and salmon from Lake Ontario all year long. With many quality tributaries along its length and a hatchery, this highquality wilderness river once was home to a legendary Atlantic salmon run. Rebounding populations of Atlantics still exist due to restoration projects, but Pacific salmon dominate the scene in late summer and fall. Huge chinook salmon, some heavier than 30 pounds, and coho salmon run up 14 miles of prime spawning and fishing waters each fall. A good number of steelhead (rainbow trout) follow the salmon to feed on the eggs dropped during this legendary fall salmon run. The steelhead feed aggressively during the salmon run, and they remain in this beautiful blue-ribbon river all winter, providing more than six months of explosive action. Winter thaws and early spring rains invite the remaining Lake Ontario steelhead to spawn and join their riverwintering kin. It’s a truly dynamic trophy trout experience. The Salmon River holds big fish. Ten-pound steelhead are commonplace. Fish in the teens are a definite possibility, and persistent steelheaders get chances every year on specimens in the 20-pound range. When salmon first enter the Salmon River in September and October, steelhead and lake-run brown trout mix in with pacific salmon making their spawning run. Both trout species feed on salmon eggs, and just when the salmon die off, the brown trout begin to spawn. Their eggs supplement the steelheads’ diet. Large numbers of giant trout and steelhead winter in the river, with additional fish running up from Lake Ontario all winter and early spring. When they first enter the river, these brightly colored bullets aggressively strike offerings like egg sacks, bright Estaz flies or beads that imitate eggs. Midriver matriculation brings them past the village of Pulaski, where there are about 10 miles of mostly public fishing access to deep holes, runs, rapids and every kind of trout water. Several high-quality tributaries flow in along the way and provide excellent spawning grounds up to what’s considered the upper section of the river. Natural reproduction does occur, and New York state operates a large hatchery on the upper end of the Salmon River. Since the Salmon River is a tailwater, this upper section is fishable all winter and never ices up. With egg availability diminishing, the winter steelhead diet evolves to more nymphs and stoneflies. Fly fishing is effective yet challenging. This section of river is ideal for fighting and landing large fish, with catch and release encouraged. Many trophy steelhead in the teens are photographed for replica mounts, and brown trout in the 5- to 10-pound range are caught regularly, with fish in the teens a possibility. 8

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The Salmon River has a reputation for tight quarters during the peak of the salmon run. Crowds diminish during winter steelhead season. Weekdays bring even less competition. Two very select permit-only resort properties are located on the two best sections of river offering managed access and exclusive riverside lodging. On the upper river, The Tailwater Lodge in Altmar, N.Y. has private southside access to Schoolhouse Pool and the runs and holes above and below. This is the prime wintering spot for a large percentage of steelhead and the best access for ice-free angling. The Tailwater is an Orvis-endorsed lodge, which includes an on-site fly shop, “The Woodshed.” Zero Limit Adventures Guide Service, also Orvis endorsed, has a collaborative relationship with Tailwater Lodge and provides outstanding guidance to this section and the entire Salmon River. They’ll get you dialed into current river conditions and what the fish are feeding on. The Tailwater Lodge’s opulent accommodations coupled with their location on the river and exclusive access make it the Mecca for Salmon River steelheading. This large section of river provides various speeds of current and holding water with ice-free conditions all winter. Tactics for hooking these giants include fly fishing, spinning, float fishing and center-pin techniques. The Angler Magazine highly recommends booking an experienced licensed guide on your first day to instruct you on equipment, fly or bait selection and technique. Allow Tailwater Lodge (www.tailwaterlodge.com) and Zero Limit Adventures (www. zerolimitadventures.com) ease the entry into this elite pursuit. Douglaston Salmon Run (DSR) manages more than 2 1/2 miles of exclusive access in the lower end of the Salmon River where steelhead first enter from Lake Ontario. Early steelhead action can be fast and furious. Winter access is dependent on weather conditions, as the middle and lower sections of the Salmon River get slushy or iced over during mid-winter cold speels. DSR (www. douglastonsalmonrun.com) publishes an accurate and honest daily report that functions as a great information source for river conditions and fish movement. The highly challenging adventure of hooking and battling your first 10-pound-plus Great Lakes steelhead will certainly not be your last. This divine experience will put you in a league of sportsmen who are the only ones to understand this trophy steelhead quest. It’s a feeling like the adrenaline rush of your first buck or sailfish. This heart-pounding adventure on a beautiful river will provide a memory that can be yours forever. To check out the “Men of Steel” video, go to

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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 Houma, Louisiana

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The big black drum on the cover of Coastal Angler’s January editions was caught by Banging The Drums Of Jacki Shae, whose south Florida upbringing Houma, La. taught her a love of fishing from an early age. Winter Chrome In On a recent ladies-only fishing trip to the Upstate N.Y. marshes around Houma, Louisiana, Jacki learned a newfound respect for black drum. Local This often overlooked cousin to the everpopular red drum might not be much on looks, but it puts up a heck of a fight and grows even larger than the big bull reds prized by so many anglers. Rumor has it the fish on the cover was caught with one of those kids’ Barbie rods spooled with 30-pound test. With tutelage from their guide Brittney Novalsky, the ladies also did battle with some of the big redfish Louisiana is famous for. Four young women staying on a houseboat and hauling big fish from the Louisiana mud… what more could anyone ask for from a fishing expedition?

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The covers of this month’s editions of The Angler feature a beautiful chrome steelhead Winter Chrome In caught by Zero Limit Adventures Guide Rob Upstate N.Y. Reynolds. The photo was taken by Zero Limit Banging The Drums Of Adventures Guide Matthew DeRosa. The fish was caught on the Salmon River in Oswego County, New York. To learn more Local about this fantastic fishery view this month’s article “Heads of Cold Steel” by The Angler Magazine Upstate New York publisher Frank Geremski. Zero Limit’s diverse team of guides offer tailored trips of a lifetime and expertly fish many tributaries of central and western New York. They can be reached by e-mail via mderosa@zerolimitadventures.com by phone at 585-766-2421, or view their website at www.zerolimitadventures.com. Zero Limit has a collaborative relationship with the opulent Tailwater Lodge www.TailwaterLodge.com in Oswego County. Tailwater Lodge offers exclusive access and wonderful accommodations on the banks of the Salmon River, home of legendary trophy salmon, steelhead and brown trout runs from Lake Ontario. Call Tailwater Lodge for availability and reservations at 315-298-3434. To learn more about Lake Ontario, the Salmon River and Oswego County fishing go to www. visitoswegocounty.com or call 1-800-248-4FUN. Houma, La.

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LADIES DRUM UP ACTION IN THE LOUISIANA MARSH By Jacki Shea

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find myself staying in the strangest places when I go on fishing adventures. But as long as it involves fishing, sleeping on a couch or on the ground really doesn’t matter. On this particular trip, my friends and I found ourselves in a small houseboat on a river in the Louisiana marshes west of New Orleans. It was tiny, there was only one bathroom (picture four girls trying to use one bathroom), and the bed sheets smelled like a man after a long day of fishing. You might be wondering what brought us to such a place, and I will give you two very good reasons: redfish and black drum. Enormous specimens of these two drum species come into the marsh each fall and winter, 20 to 30 pounds to be more specific. If you plan on making the trip to Louisiana to do some inshore fishing, it is not necessary to stay on a houseboat; however, I highly recommend it. When

you wake up each morning, you are on the water ready to fish with your boat tied up next to you. Of the drum family, redfish seem to be the most popular inshore species. Redfish are always a great fight, especially the big bulls. But many anglers seem to overlook black drum, which are sometimes referred to as a “mud donkeys.” It is not an attractive fish, nor is it great for eating; therefore, it is not commonly targeted. This fish does, however, grow the largest of the drum species, and it fights with the same action and power as a bull red. Now that I’ve caught a few, I believe black drum can look very pretty once the Louisiana sun hits those scales just right. Redfish and black drum are thick in the Louisiana marshes all year, but the season for the monsters runs from September to January, when big fish move from offshore into the marsh following migrating baitfish. When the baitfish show up inshore, the big fish won’t be far behind. For bait you can use live or artificial depending on whether you are trying to sight fish or just toss a line out and wait. On our trip, we used a standard knocker rig, with an egg sinker and a hook, and sank split live blue crabs and shrimp to the bottom and waited. The fishing is quite simple when you know where the fish are, although a guide is recommended for those unfamiliar with the waters because it’s easy to get lost in the marsh. Keep an eye out for cold fronts. The cold fronts clean up the water and bring the fish closer to the surface, which makes for perfect sight fishing. The fish also enjoy the cooler inshore water, so they will be more abundant and active. Check out Jacki’s YouTube channel Jacki Shea Fishing for videos of her fishing adventures. Her guide for the Louisiana trip was Brittney Novalsky who can be contacted through www.fishingadventureswithbrittney.com. For more fishing with Jacki Shea, go to

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By Tom Karrow Researcher Tom Karrow assessing fishery health in Abaco with a Bahamian angling guide from the Delphi Club. Photo by Andrew O’Neill

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hen I first started fly fishing in the 80s, the sport was not nearly as popular as it is today. Shops carrying fly tackle were sparse, people with knowledge of the sport were few and far between and getting lessons was nearly impossible. When I think back to those days, recalling the number of flies I lost in trees, the frequent tangles I developed and the shear lack of fish I caught, it is a wonder that I kept with it. Indeed, if it were not for the fly tying component of the sport, I might well have thrown in the towel. I love fly tying; being able to create something to fool fish with is a marvelous achievement. In contrast to my early fly fishing days, today there is a seeming abundance of information on the sport, from equipment, to angling destinations; everyone seems to have some insights. On top of this has been the advent of the Internet, a treasure trove of information and misinformation. The fact of the matter is, fly fishing is not nearly as complicated as it may seem. It is simply a form of fishing that allows for lightweight or nearly weightless “lures” to be used, which without the added weight in the line could not be presented to a fish. In some cases, fly fishing is a far superior method for fooling fish and in others, deep waters for example, far more challenging. When it comes to heavily pressured or sensitive fish, especially those inhabiting shallow inshore waters, I would argue fly fishing can often out-produce other techniques. Being able to imperceptibly drop a fly in front of fish when they are used to loud splashes from heavy lures or live baits can often result in fooled fish. Fly fishing is sometimes called an art, perhaps because of the apparent delicateness of the cast, the manner in which the line travels out over the water, or because many incorrectly, consider it hard. So let me correct this fallacy. Fly fishing is not hard, it does not need to be complicated and it can be very easily learned. If you really want to learn to fly fish, I would suggest a trip to the Bahamas. The weather is beautiful, the waters are stunning, and the people, culture and food are marvelous. The chance of catching fish is very high, as the guides are great instructors and a week’s worth of fly fishing immersion would provide incredible advancement in understanding and skill level. Throughout my travels in the Bahamas, I have met many wonderful guides and visited many top-notch facilities. To highlight one Bahamian guide or lodge is simply impossible. However, when it comes to learning the sport, be honest. When booking a trip to a lodge, perhaps directly or through a travel company like Yellow Dog Fly Fishing or Frontiers International, tell them what you want. Tell them you are a beginner. Tell them you want to learn. Through this strategy, those in the know will put you with facilities and personnel best suited to an instructional 12

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Great equipment meets great Bahamian culture. Photo by Tom Karrow

environment. You want a location that offers everything, lodging and food of course but also equipment, casting lessons, fly tying lessons, safety instruction along with patient and professional guides. One common thread that has become apparent through my research in the Bahamas is the respect that Bahamians have for travelers, specifically bonefish anglers. Bahamians openly welcome tourists, recognizing the importance that bonefishing has on local Family Island communities. Bonefishing on some Bahamian islands provides employment for up to 80 percent of the local population. With that level of economic importance, industry professionalism is critical along with healthy fisheries. In the Bahamas you will find both a high degree of angling knowledge and amazing fisheries. The Bahamas are certainly an excellent place to consider taking a trip and a phenomenal place to learn to fly fish. What I find most attractive about the Bahamas is the shear diversity available. With more than 700 islands, there is something for everyone. And for anglers, old and new, there are always new opportunities to learn from. Tom Karrow is a sustainable tourism scholar from the University of Waterloo. His research focuses on the Bahamian bonefishing industry, centered on the guides and their knowledge, stories and experiences. For more on his research see: http://tomkarrow.wixsite.com/bahamasguide-tek, and follow Coastal Angler Magazine for updates and more. Tom Karrow can be reached at tkarrow@uwaterloo.ca or tomkarrow@ gmail.com. For more Bonefishing in the Bahamas, go to

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no weight reduction had gone into the components above the handle. The guides were large and weighty. As a result, the rod was annoyingly front-heavy, even when I mounted two of the spinning reels I had tabbed for the task. Lost balance led to lost feel and sense of control over my bait. It took an oversized reel to bring anything resembling “balance” to this rod, and the resultant combo was still cumbersome. “It’s hard to get a rod perfectly balanced without knowing the reel a guy plans to put on it,” said Russ Lane, a Bassmaster Elite Series angler known for his talent for tackle tinkering. Lane wraps many of his rods with Winn Superior Rod Wrap (www.winngrips.com) to give them the same advantages of hand control and comfort that he gets with the Denali Attax rods and other rods in his arsenal already fitted with Winn grips. But at times there’s a secondary benefit to the wrap. “Sometimes adding the Winn rod wrap can add just enough weight to balance a rod,” noted Lane. He faced a formidable “weight-forward” balance challenge with the flipping/pitching rod he uses to punch matted vegetation with soft plastic lures and 1.5-ounce tungsten By Mike Pehanich weights. “I needed to add more weight to the handle,” Lane recalled. As usual, he covered the cork mid-grip of this 7-foot, 6-inch Denali Lithium Flipping Stick (Xtra Heavy) with the ightness” has been the dominant thrust of rod evolution for years. Lightweight guides, skeletal reel seats, split grips… these and other polymer overwrap. Before he added the wrap to the butt grip, however, he developments have served rod builders in their ongoing quest to added Storm SuspenStrips—adhesive-backed rectangles of soft lead that he reduce rod weight and, in turn, diminish fatigue and enhance angler comfort generally uses to add weight to his jerkbaits—to the tapered butt grip. “You can get the balance perfect by adding just enough lead tape over the and feel on the water. Oddly enough, radical downsizing of rod components sometimes produces butt grip before adding Winn overwrap on top of it,” explained Lane. “Balance the opposite of its intended effect if rod balance is significantly compromised makes a big difference when you are flipping those heavy tungsten weights in along the way or when heavier-than-usual lures or terminal tackle enter the heavy cover all day long.” picture. Several seasons ago, a rod manufacturer asked me to road test a new midFor a word from Lester on the benefits of Winn Grips, go to priced spinning rod the company was planning to bring to market. The design team had taken the split grip concept to an extreme, virtually eliminating the mid (rear) grip altogether and adding a very airy foam to the butt grip. However,

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hat’s a real mouthful of salutations, but the winner of Coastal Angler and The Angler Magazine’s Boat Giveaway contest is certainly deserving of all three. Danny Amador was drawn as the winner of the 15’10” Cape Craft boat with 75 hp Honda engine and a Coyote trailer. A massive fire at H20 Sports Manufacturing delayed much of their manufacturing, and Danny Amador had to wait until Dec. 9 to pick up his brand new Cape Craft vessel. That’s where the story gets really interesting. Dec. 9 is Danny’s birthday. Yep, and as all December birthday people know it’s always “Happy Birthday and Merry Christmas.” Coastal Angler Magazine would like to salute Danny Amador for his patience in receiving his boat. Unforeseen circumstances can sometimes alter even the best of transactions. Danny Amador’s patience and H20’s commitment to fulfilling the contest award represented the best of our industry. In addition to Danny’s boat, motor and trailer, Chad Roberson, H20 Sports Manufacturing’s President, insisted on

throwing in a free bimini top and invited Danny Amador to pick his favorite custom color for the boat. Good things are worth waiting for. Special thanks to Top Notch Marine in Fort H2O Staff and Danny Amador shown at H2O Sports headquarters. Pierce, Fla. for their assistance in titling this boat to our Florida winner. Once again to Danny Amador: “Congratulations, Happy Birthday and Merry Christmas!”

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lthough beautiful to look at, the invasive lionfish poses a severe threat to Atlantic and Gulf waters. They are known for having spines that can sting if not handled properly, but the meat is perfectly safe and delicious to eat. In other words, they are venomous but not poisonous. Lionfish is becoming increasingly common on restaurant menus and is even available at Whole Foods grocery stores. Connoisseurs often compare the quality to hogfish – a fine, delicate white meat. The scientific community concluded that home aquarists are to blame. Much like the python in the Everglades, it only took a few released invasive individuals to begin the breeding cycle. Since they are a new and strange looking species, native fish are not consuming lionfish. Yet lionfish are consuming juvenile native species at an alarming rate. Adding to the problem, they also breed at an amazing rate. Females reach sexual maturity at six months and release up to 30,000 eggs every five days. They now cover the east coast of the U.S., the entire Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, Atlantic side of Central and South America, and can be found between 2 and 1,000 feet deep. The most effective way of hunting them, by far, is spearfishing. Since they have no natural predators, they are not wary which makes them easy to spear. Just handle the spines with care and you will be rewarded with a delicious meal while helping the environment! Lionfish hunting tips: 1. First, you must find them! Unfortunately, they are everywhere—look on reefs, wrecks, sometimes out in the open and often in ledges and holes. 2. Handle them carefully and do not to let the fins puncture your skin. If stung on the hand, remove any rings right away. The best treatment is heat, which breaks down the venom. Heat packs or hot water collected from the boat exhaust can be used. 3. Use the specially designed pole spears (such as Neritic) and use lionfish containers (such as the Zookeeper), which are puncture-proof. These specialty items can be found on the LionfishHunting.com website or your local dive shop.

4. Once back on the boat/shore, place lionfish into cooler and continue to handle with care. The protein-based venom is broken down by heat but preserved by cold. 5. Lionfish can be filleted just like any other fish. See LionfishHunting.com for a good set of instructions with photos on how to fillet. 6. Lionfish can be prepared like any other white-meat fish. Many recipes can be found online. For an impressive presentation, they can even be cooked whole as cooking neutralizes the venom. P. S. The Blue Wild Ocean Adventure Expo, which takes place April 2017 in Ft. Lauderdale, will have a Lionfish Pavilion featuring several exhibitors along with a cook-off event where several chefs will be showing off their best recipes and giving samples. Happy Hunting! Sheri Daye is a world-record holder, host of Speargun Hunter, and producer of “The Blue Wild Ocean Adventure Expo” in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. Follow “Sheri Daye” and “The Blue Wild” on Facebook and Instagram.

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The event also features Port Salerno’s finest restaurants. For the fourth consecutive year, the festival was voted the “Best Local Event in Martin County” by TC Palm Newspaper’s readers. This year will see continued enhancement of the Fishermen’s Village and Market. Here you can learn about the history of Port Salerno and go home with some locally caught fish. The festival features three stages with some of the area’s top bands performing, and a new Kids Fun Zone. Advance tickets are just $7 on our website and Facebook page. These tickets will be available for purchase until January 20 or until supplies run out. Admission at the gate will be $10 for adults, children 12 and under are free. The festival will also provide complimentary transportation to and from the event via trolley or water taxi. A portion of the festival proceeds is distributed to local charities. For complete festival information go to the website www. PortSalernoSeafoodFestival.org or call 888612-4192.

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et in the mood for seafood! It’s time for the 11th Annual Port Salerno Seafood Festival. The fun begins The Port Salerno Seafood Festival Inc. is Saturday, Jan. 28 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. This local event a not-for-profit trade association dedicated boasts the best seafood that you will find at any festival, a great to preserving the heritage and integrity of the music line-up, arts, crafts and local business vendors, a Kids commercial fishing industry in Port Salerno. Fun Zone, mermaids, pirates and more. “There is a reason why the seafood is so delicious,” said Edward “Butch” Olsen, Jr., president of the Port Salerno To learn more about last years Port Salerno Festival, go to Commercial Fishing Dock Authority. “We serve the freshest seafood and locally caught fish when possible. The majority of our seafood is prepared by BluewaterSFC_half_pg_Feb2017 FOR PRINT.qxp_Layout the fishermen and their families. This is truly a family affair.” 1 12/7/16 11:18 AM Page 1

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s anglers, SCUBA divers and Florida beachgoers, using sustainable practices. we all have a stake in maintaining the health of One of the easiest ways to choose sustainable the natural areas that bring us so much joy. By seafood is to keep it local. Many restaurants and seafood integrating sustainable fishing and seafood practices markets throughout Florida feature the “Fresh from into our daily lives, we can ensure that local ecosystems Florida” designation. This endorsement by the Florida thrive for generations to come. Department of Agriculture guarantees foods and In fact, as an angler, you are probably already their ingredients are sourced from local suppliers and choosing your seafood in an eco-friendly way. Rod- producers, including seafood caught by local fishermen. and-reel fishing is one of the most environmentally Visit www.freshfromflorida.com for a list of restaurants beneficial ways to source our seafood. Staying within throughout the state that feature “Fresh from Florida” catch limits and taking home fish to feed your family food. lowers our dependence on commercial fishing. RodWhen local favorites aren’t available, or if you are and-reel catch practices facilitate natural fish stock new to the intricacies of sourcing sustainably caught replenishment, both inshore and on our reef systems. seafood, programs like the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Smaller, locally caught fish are also lower on the Seafood Watch can provide great guidance to help you food chain than their predators, like tuna, salmon and make informed choices. swordfish. Although popular on the dinner plate, larger Their straightforward system categorizes seafood predatory fish are more likely to accumulate toxins by location and ranks them into one of three groupings: within their systems. Catching fish puts you in direct “Avoid,” “Good Alternative” and “Best Choice.” The control over what reaches your dinner plate, ensuring Seafood Watch program comprehensively evaluates each you are able to make informed, healthy choices. fishery, so the same species may fall into two different The relatively recent introduction of biodegradable categories, based on how and where it was sourced. fishing line and the prevalence of monofilament Once you have the right tools, it is easy to choose recycling stations throughout local parks and piers sustainably caught seafood and improve your fishing are further increasing the long-term sustainability practices. Join Pura Vida Divers in January for a fun of fishing. Check out the Florida Fish and Wildlife social night and engaging presentation that will teach Conservation Commission’s Monofilament Recycling you the basics to sourcing seafood that’s best for your Program website to learn more about these important family and our planet. Visit the events page on our stations: www.mrrp.myfwc.com. website at www.puravidadivers.com for details, or call When species seasonality, weather conditions or us at 561-840-8750. the day-to-day bustle limits your ability to get out on the water and For more about choosing sustainably sourced seafood, go to catch your own seafood, there are still many ways to ensure the food on your plate was sourced

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accomplished, as they examine hundreds of species of local invertebrates, sea turtles, algae and fish from the Gulf, including sharks. The facility in Panacea, which is south of Tallahassee on the Gulf, is open at 222 Clark Drive most weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Sundays from noon to 4 p.m. For a modest entrance fee, a fee that

that’s where the staff of Gulf Specimen Lab comes in. Knowing the Gulf really well from years of exploring it, they go out in their boats, collect the requested specimens, take them back to their lab, carefully package them, and send them off to labs in the United States, Canada, Europe, and even outer space for use on the Space Shuttle and International Space Station. All the while, the specimen collectors are very careful not to damage the coral and delicate ecosystems of the Gulf. Begun in 1963 by a truly remarkable man, Jack Rudloe, the lab is an independent, non-profit organization that has engaged in mariculture, farming the depths of the sea, studying endangered species, and—maybe most importantly for future generations— opening up their facilities to thousands of school children in hopes of educating the youngsters and maybe inspiring some of them to study marine science as their career. Every year thousands of school children and more than 20,000 ordinary visitors visit the facility and probably come away with awe and admiration for what the lab has

goes to the maintenance of the many tanks of live sea animals, visitors can photograph, read about and marvel at the exhibits, and even touch and hold some of the live animals. The facility has knowledgeable staff and interns who are eager to share their knowledge and answer questions. If you’re really lucky, you’ll get to meet and interact with the founder of the Lab, Jack Rudloe, author of fascinating books like “The Living Dock at Panacea,” “Potluck,” “Search for the Great Turtle Mother,” “The Erotic Ocean,” “The Wilderness Coast,” and—with his late wife, Anne—“Shrimp.” If you do meet the man, ask him about the influence of Nobel-Prize-winning author John Steinbeck on his own career. You’ll no doubt come away with an appreciation of a new kind of Florida fisherman: one who collects fish and other specimens for use in the fight against cancer and other terrible diseases.

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They’re baaack. Not long after Thanksgiving, anglers on Florida’s Treasure Coast set sights on the warm-water eddies spinning westward from the Gulf Stream. Typically, December and January make up the sailfish season in this region, as thousands of sailfish migrate south along the coastline to their winter spots off Mexico. Four tournaments take place on the Treasure Coast each season. For much of the last two sailfish seasons, the sailfish have been few in numbers. That all changed this year. The fourth annual Fish Heads Invitational Sailfish Tournament sailed out of Sailfish Marina on Stuart’s Manatee Pocket Nov. 29-30. A fleet of 18 boats compiled the young event’s catch record of 108 sailfish releases. Martha D with Capt. Scott Fawcett, owner Ryan Dayton of Wellington and Maryland, angler Dan Hall and mates Kyle Francis and Matt Coppelletta caught 14 sailfish to win the tournament. Miss Victoria led by Capt. Brian Speedy caught 12 to finish second. Ohana led by Capt. Eddie Wheeler placed third with 11 releases. Fawcett said his team’s big day, where they caught nine, came to the south of Stuart, off Juno Beach, in about 120 to 200 feet of water. The weather was oddly spring-like–warm with southeasterly winds. The 28th Pirates Cove Sailfish Classic saw 24 boats enter the tournament. Fishing patterns continued the same way for the three-day event, and the sailfishing was good. The tournament fleet racked up 222 sailfish. Capt. Josh Chaney led Champagne Lady with owner Tony Ingram of Stuart, anglers Carl Repetto, Rob Miller and Mark Donohue, and crewmen Connor Tillman, Mark McDevitt and Sean Young, to a day-high nine releases on the final day for a fleet-best 20 releases. Showtime! With Capt. Wink Doerzbacher and Vintage with owner and Capt. Hans Kraaz each caught 18 sails and placed second and third, respectively. Nice start to the month-long tournament season, but the area’s longestrunning event, the Stuart Sailfish Club’s 63rd annual Light Tackle Sailfish Tournament was next. And the sea conditions did not remain the same. The weekend of Dec. 9-11, the Light Tackle swung into action from Sailfish Point Marina. A fleet of 24 boats competing in traditional and amateur divisions endured very rough seas and high winds. The fishing was still pretty good, as the fleet caught and released 152 sailfish. Toast with Capt. Newt Cagle, owners Jared and Michael Gillman of Palm Beach, anglers Ron Martin, Anthony Rizzo, and Jimbo Brogan, caught and released 14 sailfish to win the event. Cagle and crew caught the go-ahead sailfish about 35 minutes before the tournament’s lines out call to edge out Showtime!, Challenge with Capt. Jim Hardee and Floridian with Capt. Glenn Cameron, each with 13 releases. Marlin Hunter with owner and team captain Kurt Von Seekamm of Sewall’s Point won the amateur division with six sailfish releases. So, with 75 percent of the Treasure Coast sailfish tournament season in the books, it’s good to see the area will not have to relinquish its earned nickname from the 1930s – Sailfish Capital of the World. Ed Killer is the outdoors columnist for Treasure Coast Newspapers and is part of the USA Today network.

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iami is the place to be over President’s Day weekend as more than 100,000 boating enthusiasts from around the globe are expected to flock to the Progressive Insurance Miami International Boat Show. Recognized as one of the world’s largest and greatest boat shows, 2017 marks the show’s second year at the Miami Marine Stadium Park & Basin, where it will unveil a number of elements expected to further solidify Miami’s position as the boating capital of the world. Building on its 2016 success, the Miami Boat Show will unveil a number of enhancements in 2017—from transportation and product offerings to food and beverage—while maintaining all the elements that make the Miami Boat Show such a beloved experience for attendees and exhibitors. Highlights include: More Boats to Browse, Board and Buy: Organizers anticipate more than 1,300 new boats on display throughout this year’s show with more new model debuts than ever before. The number of boats in-water is expanding 35 percent to an estimated 550 boats and yachts—all located in the show’s marina. From

sport fishing and high performance boats to personal watercraft and wake sport boats, family cruisers and luxury yachts, there is something for every lifestyle and budget. More to Taste and Toast: The 2017 Miami Boat Show encourages attendees to come hungry and thirsty! A highlight of the 2017 show is an enhanced food and beverage program featuring more than 150 options ranging from luxe to casual fare. More Large Yachts: More than 100 new luxury yachts for sale, makes the Miami Boat Show one of the largest yachting exhibitions in the country. Attendees seeking the VIP treatment will have exclusive access to everything from premium bites and live music, to concierge services, VIP parking, and an exclusive on-water VIP lounge aboard the 111-foot Biscayne Lady. More Strictly Sail: The show’s second location, Strictly Sail Miami, will dock at Miamarina at Bayside and feature approximately 130 sailboats, a large selection of sailing and power catamarans, seminars and sailing gear. Free water taxis and shuttle buses run until 7 p.m. More On-Water Experiences: Sea trials will allow interested shoppers to take the boat of their dreams for a spin. This year, more boat exhibitors will participate, giving boat buyers a chance to test-drive a number of options. In addition, the show will offer its Discover Boating Hands-On Skills Training. Space is limited; advance registration is recommended. More Parking and Transportation Options: The Miami Boat Show will offer seamless transportation to and from Miami Marine Stadium Park & Basin with water taxis, shuttle buses and abundant parking. The show will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day. Tickets may be purchased in advance at www.miamiboatshow.com. For more information, see www.miamiboatshow.com or search the show on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. The phone number for the Florida office is 954-441-3220.

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Center colors and feather pattern selection for the avid fly tyer is endless. If you are willing to put in several days of hard hunting this winter, at the end of the season you very well could end up with enough waterfowl plumage to last you an entire year of fly tying. To add icing on the cake, as if harvesting your own fly tying material wasn’t enough motivation, wild duck will provide you with some of the most highquality table fare the Sunshine State has to offer. For those new to hunting, here are the licenses and permits you will need to hunt ducks in Florida; that way you can avoid an unpleasant encounter with the game warden. If you’ve never bought a hunting permit before, you will first need to take the online hunter safety coarse at www. myfwc.com. Once you have completed that, you will then need to purchase a standard Florida hunting license, a Florida By Brandon Tourigny • Photo Courtesy of Cohutta Fishing Company waterfowl permit, a migratory bird permit (which is free), and if you intend to hunt public land you will also need a Wildlife or all of us fly tyers, the cost of materials always seems to be a big set back, as it is with many art forms. The more addicted to the art of fly tying one Management Area (WMA) permit. The final thing you will need to purchase gets, the faster money will seem to fly out of the wallet. However, for those before you hit the marsh is the annual Federal Duck Stamp, which can also be who consider themselves all-around outdoorsmen, I have a simple solution to purchased at www.myfwc.com. Catching fish on your own handmade flies is one of the most rewarding help ease the pain of buying fly tying material: go duck hunting! Why would you go spend crazy amounts of money at fly shops to buy high- experiences in our sport, and using feathers that came off of waterfowl you quality waterfowl plumage when the great state of Florida is home to millions harvested makes the experience even better. Duck season is in full swing now of ducks and other waterfowl all found on public land. In the Sunshine State, until the end of January, so go get your license, pull out the old 12 gauge, and any duck hunter is allotted 6 ducks a day (with certain species restrictions), and go hunt! when push comes to shove a single medium sized duck such as a wood duck For more duck hunting and fly fishing, go to will provide you with a wealth of material to tie from. As it just so happens, nearly every single species of migratory duck that frequents North American flyways can be found within our borders, so the

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SOUTHWEST FLORIDA

By Capt. Jim Kalvin

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here’s been a lot of gloom and doom lately regarding the cumulative effect of creeping regulations curtailing access to our aquatic resources. I’d like to put that aside and concentrate on a very positive aspect of our water world that is the shining jewel of the southwest Florida boating scene. Actually, this project is composed of 36 shining jewels! Billed as the largest artificial reef project in the western hemisphere, the Paradise Reef Project is the brain-child of Naples attorney and angler Peter Flood. Working with Diane Flagg, chair of the Economic Task Force in Collier County, the project was submitted to utilize BP restoration funding to construct 36 artificial reef sites that would enhance opportunities for fishermen, photographers, SCUBA divers, eco-tourists, and all of the peripheral services that they require. The project received the support of Collier County, the City of Naples, the City of Marco Island and the Marine Industries Association of Collier County.

BP supplied the initial $1.3 million for the project, and private funding added another half million dollars to get the ball rolling. A year and a half later, we have 36 new reefs that will be there for the next 500 to 800 years. From 10 to 26 miles offshore, the reefs stretch from Marco Island to north Collier County. The main structures are done, and boy are they producing! Mr. Flood has the project in full-steam-ahead mode even now—securing private donations to purchase and place reef modules to tie the main structures together. Five of the locations have been named for local families with “Legacy” donations of $100,000, and reef modules can be “bought” for $2,500 with your name, the name of a loved one, or a business or non-profit on a plaque affixed to the structure. This is the consummate public/private partnership, and no tax monies were used. Two years ago at the dedication ceremony, I said I hoped this project could be a template to be utilized in other areas. My hope is stronger today, as the results are visible and irrefutable. A documentary film was made by award-winning cinematographer John Scoular, in conjunction with Executive Producers Lance and Harry Julian, showing the project from conception to execution. Award winning underwater cinematographer Andy Casagrande provided stunning footage. The film has been nominated for an Emmy! The final product can be seen at: http://video.wgcu.org/video/2365794811/ A short trailer can be viewed at: https://vimeo.com/145743717 Contributions to the project can be made by mailing a check payable to Community Foundation of Collier County, 1110 Pine Ridge Road, Suite 200, Naples, FL 34108. Enter Artificial Reef on the memo line. Not only will this project help the entire aquatic eco-system of southwest Florida, an annual injection of tourism dollars are estimated to reach 30 million dollars per year once the reefs reach maturity. Standing Watch is Florida’s largest boating coalition. It advocates for reasonable access for law-abiding citizens balanced with science-based resource regulations. For information, go to standingwatch.net. To see the final video, go to

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

Ft. Myers Beach to Charlotte Harbor NEW YEAR’S FISHING RESOLUTIONS

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) FISH THE TIDES: I get asked many times as to ‘which tides are the better to fish’? Many experienced fishermen know that it depends on the target species, the time of year and where one is fishing. For example, if I am fishing in the springtime for Tarpon in Redfish Pass or Boca Grande Pass during their migration northward, I suggest an outgoing tide, when one of their favorite foods, such as ‘Pass-crabs’, are in the area and ‘riding’ the tide. To enhance my chances, I will catch and use them as bait for a most effective natural food presentation. However, my advice to all ‘recreational’ fishermen and ladies, is to fish the ‘top half of an incoming or the top half of the outgoing’ tide, as water movement generates much needed oxygen and motivates bait and feeding activities, regardless of tide levels. 2) FISH FOR SPECIES THAT OFFER THE BETTER SEASONAL OPPORTUNITIES: My December article in Coastal Angler Magazine titled, ‘INSHORE FISHING SW FLORIDA WATERS IS GOOD YEAR AROUND’, provided suggestions on which species to target on a quarterly basis throughout the year. This month’s article offers more specifics for January fishing from Ft. Myers Beach to Charlotte Harbor. January is a good month to target Sheepshead. They begin migrating inshore from the depths of the Gulf of Mexico, to spawn. Their appetite will be ferocious and should make for a great day of fishing. They take up residency around piles, in rock structure and mangroves. Large sheepshead prefer to school in locations with stronger currents that carry bait ‘to and fro’, while providing higher oxygen levels (a deadly combination)! When the smaller fish bite, the larger ones will be scarce. At some point however, the larger sheepshead will take over, offering an hour or more of non-stop excitement. I suggest light tackle. For example; a 3000 series spin reel, loaded with 10lb to 15lb line test mounted on a matching 7’ fast action rod, will do the job. Use a 30lb. Fluorocarbon leader with a #5 or #6 pinch weight a few inches above a size 1 bait hook. Baits of choice are small shrimp and fiddler crabs. Rumor has it that sheepshead are hard to catch. NOT TRUE! A mangrove snapper or pinfish will tap the bait, while a sheepshead will offer a mild but distinguished ‘tug’ or slight ‘pull’. When you feel this, set the hook! (Note: if fishing for mangrove snapper, use a circle hook, it is the law) Big seatrout, big Spanish mackerel, pompano and anything else that swims will be on and around the flats. I target these species in around 4ft. to 7ft. of water with shrimp on a weighted jig head, suspended under a cork just above the turtle grass (olive green colored water will denote that grass exits and the location is likely to produce fish). Most of the bounty

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January 2017

By Capt. Terry Fisher

will consist of seatrout, a few Spanish mackerel, and the occasional pompano. Everything that swims will consider this presentation including Jack Crevalle and ladyfish. Effective artificial presentations include; topwater, spoons, twitch, swim and crank baits. Silly Willy jigs tipped with a small piece of shrimp works well for pompano. However, when targeting Spanish mackerel, I will fish open and deeper water, including just off the beaches of the outer islands and Charlotte Harbor. Look for diving birds. Fish depths from 6ft. to 9ft. Use a cork with a leader length just above the bed of the estuary. I use a jig head with live shrimp. Good artificial presentations are effective as well. I prefer to use Johnson Spoons with swivels and Gotcha Lures on heavier 40lb. monofilament; otherwise one will lose a lot of lures. Snook are here year around, but are harder targets without the proper vessels and equipment. Trolling motors are virtually a must for fishing areas where these fish are likely to hold. Pilchards, pinfish and big shrimp are the best live baits. Artificial presentations, such as topwater, soft plastics, twitch and swim baits work. Trolling small-lipped swim baits in canals will catch snook and Jack Crevalle. Those with the proper boat and equipment; fish under docks, along side of islands with a lot of water movement, points of islands, the passes and around mangroves on outgoing tides. Finding redfish in January can be difficult, but occasionally are found. Consider yourself good or lucky if you find them. It is my hope that this article will give those wanting to fish this January sufficient information to make the most of it.

This is Captain Terry Fisher of Fish Face Charters wishing everyone a ‘Fish of a Lifetime’! Feel free to contact me via email at fishfacecharters@ yahoo.com with any questions or charter requests. You can also call me direct at 239-357-6829 to book your charter or for immediate assistance. Check out my website at www. fishfacecharters.com for more fishing tips and reports. I am also available as ‘Captain for Hire’ (by the hour) on your vessel for navigation/safety instructions, fishing locations and techniques.

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GULF & INTRACOASTAL FISHING

FISHIN’ FRANK

FORT MYERS

fishfacecharters@yahoo.com 239-357-6829

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et’s talk where to go fishing during this first month of the year and I’ll start off in the gulf. There is grouper, snapper, king mackerel and many more type of fish to be had and there is a spot not too far off the coast to find them. It is an old Barge that sunk 10.3 miles from Boca pass, really a bit closer to Captiva Pass and I hope you enjoy this spot Barge wreck on a heading of 226 degrees and it is in 48 feet of water, for your G.P.S 26-26.755N and 082-22.755W I would take two different types of Rod and reel set ups the first would be a 30 size two speed conventional with a 6 foot rod maybe a bit shorter and stout, with 65 to 80 pound test braid and 6 once sinker with a 60 pound floro carbon leader. I tie on a 7/0 Circle hook VMC makes a good one. From the hook to the swivel I like about 3 feet of leader more or less is OK, I use a 150-pound test AFW swivel and don’t want shiny - I like the dull finish. If I use a shiny black or silver colored swivel when I am fighting a fish other fish see the shiny thing and try to eat it, which often means they will bite through my fishing line. The dull finish is better for this. The swivel is used to keep the sinker and I use an egg sinker 6 once slid on to my line before I tie on the swivel keeps the weight away from my hook. For bait on this set up I like frozen spanish sardines not too expensive and they really catch fish! Why, because they are stinky soft oily nasty bait which everything likes to eat. One problem with spanish sardines is that they are difficult to keep on the hook and tend to fall off so my trick to keep them on the hook is lay a whole squid on its side then slice a cross section of it maybe ½ inch. The piece I cut when held up looks like a circle or thick rubber band. Then put it over the head of the sardine and put the hook through the squid and through the sardine coming out the other side and through the squid again making a keeper for the bait. For snapper, I tend to use spinning tackle A 50 or 60 size reel with a 6 to 6’6” rod and 30 or 40 pound test braided line with a 2 once sinker then tie the line to your swivel and again leave about 3 feet of 40 pound test floro leader to a 2/0 circle hook. This is my snapper rig and for bait I put on a chunk of squid which works well, but I find that the fish prefer live shrimp. The fish will whack the shrimp and maybe get away with it without being hooked. if you feel the bite and miss the fish let it fall back down a bit and wait the fish will come back for the squid which is still on the hook and tap, tap, tap of the bite and start reeling you got it, this time. I understand you can use the sardine without the squid collar, or just the shrimp without the squid back up or just a squid alone is very good bait and if I am going after big fish with squid I use it whole and put the hook through the pointy end twice to keep it on. Let the tentacles hang, this is a very good way when I first drop a bait down. I like to use larger baits to see if the big fish will hit, and once you get things going the smaller fish are quicker and more aggressive so even though the large fish are there they are not as quick as some of the smaller ones.

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Happy New Year Anglers!

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nother year of resolutions that seem to fade after a few weeks, when you settle down past the holidays. So, I want to encourage all the anglers out there to invest some time into a young angler or a military veteran this year. Let the young kids know that we care about them and the ones that risked their lives to keep Freedom Free that we care for them too. This is how we get to enjoy the great sport of fishing where and when we want according to the guidelines that have been set. This month you may find the near shore reefs teaming with sheepshead and flounder and on the natural bottom ledges lanes, grunts, porgies, and mangrove snapper. In these same areas using baits that have a crunch/ crustations you may harvest some hogfish. Yes, little crabs, sand fleas, and you guessed it - shrimp too! The areas you may catch a trigger fish is a great start to find the hogs. The red grouper should be out in the deeper waters by now as the waters get cooler and depending on the water temp. 68-72 the king mackerel may still be chasing baits close to shore. This is the time of season to watch the weather reports for the cold fronts that show up with lots of wind that can be dangerous. Just saying. So, let’s see what to look for

2016 David Lee Root Memorial Hats $25 Donation on the inshore waters trout, there several ways to harvest these toothy critters. I enjoy getting the fly rod out and using a top water popper to get these guys to bite and it is lots of fun too. You may find reds along the mangroves or in the mouths of the creeks. Most of your bait this time of year should be shrimp, as this is the natural bite at this time. If you are out closer to the Gulf you may find sheepshead around the pilings of docks and trussles and in the sandy areas, you may find some flounder too. So, this year make some new rules in your fishing bag of tricks take a kid fishing or a Veteran. Look for the positive things in life and, show some grace to others.

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. O 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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12/15/2016 5:45:50 PM


COOL WEATHER FISHING

By Capt. Sam O’Briant

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DISCOUNT FOR MILITARY AND FIRST RESPONDERS

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he extended dry period over the past six weeks in southwest Florida has allowed coastal waters to clear up a bit, but the situation has been complicated by sporadic low to moderate levels of red tide during November and December. Red tide has been the suspected cause of fish kills in Matlacha Pass and areas in greater Charlotte Harbor. Water clarity is important because turbid or colored water reduces light penetration important for seagrass recovery. As anglers are aware, seagrass is a vital component of fishery habitat, serving as a refuge for juvenile fish and their prey. Earlier this year, record rainfall and accelerated runoff has drastically altered the salinity envelope for coastal estuaries, particularly the Caloosahatchee and early reconnaissance has

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indicated significant damage to seagrass and associated fauna. These estuarine systems are badly in need of recovery. However, if the area does not get additional rain soon, the salinity envelope could change in the opposite direction creating unfavorable conditions for seagrass recovery in the mid and upper estuary due to elevated salinity. The Calusa Waterkeeper is recruiting “Rangers” to help monitor waters in southwest Florida including Lake Okeechobee. Those interested in learning more about the program should send a message to Waterkeeper@ CalusaWaterkeeper.org. For reporting fish kills, algae blooms or other problems with local waters call the Calusa Waterkeeper hotline at: 239-444-8584.

W

e have survived Christmas and New Year’s, probably even broken all our resolutions, so now it is time to think about January and what to expect. The last couple years have been warm in January, but we must assume that maybe this year will go back to normal and be cold.  Thus, now we will think cool to cold. This time of year, often we find it too windy and cold out on the water.  Therefore, we often just sit around and tell fish stories and watch the fish we caught grow bigger while we are waiting for the Super Bowl. If on the other hand feel adventuresome, we have just entered the best time of the year to explore the area for all those little indentions and channels where the fish like to hang out, when it is hot or cold.  January and February usually produce some of the lowest tides of the year.  This is good time to visit your favorite fishing holes and see exactly what the lay of the land really is.  Go slow in case you run aground.  Then you can raise your motor, turn around, and motor out without getting out and pushing. What kind of fish can we expect?  With the cooler water temperatures, we can expect the sheepshead to move in.  Look for them in the creeks and around docks.  They will hang out around anything that has barnacles attached. Sheepshead love to eat barnacles.  You have to be ready to set the hook.  When they crush

the barnacles, they spit the shells out then suck in the meat so you try to set the hook before they can spit it out. It is best if you use small hooks and if you can find sand fleas or something with a hard shell. If none of this seems possible, then a small piece of shrimp will work quite well. Then there are the trout. They will be over the grass flats and around oyster bars.  If the water is really cool, look for them to move up on the grass flats first since the dark background will heat up faster. Shrimp and live bait if you can find it will work.  If you go to lures and grub tails be sure to slow your retrieve down.  As a rule I always say if you have slowed your retrieve down and think it is very slow, you are probably still winding too fast. Snook season is out and I would recommend leaving them alone.  This gives them several months to recuperate.  If you feel the need to chase the linesides, look for them in the back country and creeks. They will also be along many of the island mangrove shorelines in Pine Island Sound. Here again the colder waters slow the snook down.  As it drops below 65 degrees snook slow down so much you can almost pick them up.  One of the biggest things you need besides bait is moving water.  It does not matter whether it is incoming or outgoing as long as it is moving. My hope for you this New Year is that may all your fishing trips be safe and better than last year.

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

12/15/2016 5:45:52 PM


Paddlin’ & Fishin’ By: Dan Carns

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here lies within Lee County the paddle trail called the Great Calusa Blueway, managed by Lee County Parks & Recreation. This 97 mile, marked water trail extends well up the Caloosahatchee where the water is fresh, continues west though brackish (fresh and salt water) Fort Myers, enters salty Estero estuary to the south, heads north encompassing all of Pine Island sound, the Matlacha Aquatic preserve and portions of Charlotte harbor. This paddling gem is protected by coastal barrier islands and bordered by mangrove shorelines creating a boater’s, kayaker’s and angler’s paradise! This was also the cultural center of the mighty Calusa Indians, long gone, but whose shell covered mounds dot the shorelines. There are fresh water tributaries that spill into the Caloosahatchee that provide the intrepid paddler the chance at trophy bass, tasty panfish and other freshwater species. As this river approaches Fort Myers, the water becomes brackish and depending on the season, can hold fresh and saltwater fish in the same place making it possible to catch snook, tarpon and largemouth bass all in one spot! As you move toward the coastline, the water becomes saltier and other species begin to appear, including Spotted Seatrout, Sharks, Grouper, and Snapper. This is the place where the adventurous angler encounters every possible scenario for fishing. Channels, oyster bars, flats and potholes are bordered by deep gulf passes and shallow water coves dotted with bird covered keys. The decision to chase Redfish across a turtle grass covered flat or sneak up on a staged and feeding snook can be a hard choice to

make. Feisty ladyfish, blue fish, sheepshead and black drum are to be found here. This is also home of the best top water fishing that I’ve encountered anywhere. Adrenaline pumping, heart stopping snook hits, followed by near misses from redfish or continued attacks from tasty spotted sea trout can lead to late to work, late to church or complete abandonment of all things terrestrial! The real beauty of this fishery is the sheer number of species that can be caught here, as every skill level and every style of fishing will find satisfaction in this environment. For those that are prepared and willing, you can chase down increasingly large fish around the passes. Goliath, gag and red grouper may test your endurance from a kayak, while tarpon, sharks and other pelagics can cost you gear, time and humility. Regardless of where you launch, you’ll find the most diverse flora and fauna found anywhere in Florida. I believe that in most of us there is a budding naturalist, birder, botanist or biologist just itching for an encounter. It is hard to focus on the fishing when two bald eagles, claws out, are sparing overhead, a gentle visit from a manatee or when a dolphin decides to play catch and release with a fish for ten minutes right off your bow! There are countless places to launch a kayak in Lee County, so for the price of a launch fee or no fee at all you will find yourself surrounded by warm water, scenic vistas and more opportunities to catch fish than there are days to fish. The Great Calusa Blueway keeps most of us yearning for yet another day of floatin’ and fishin’! Find details at www.Calusablueway.com It’s a wild world - get out there!

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

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THE ORIGINAL PANGA DESIGNED BY YAMAHA, BUILT BY YAMAHA at the s u e Se ounty C e t t Charlo Show! Boat

Roger@PangaBoatsUSA.com (239) 822-5456 908 North East 24th Lane | Cape Coral, FL 33909 PangaBoatsUSA.com

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

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he waters around Lee County are dotted by numerous small islands which are ideal for having picnics, hanging out, or, if the spirit moves and it’s not restricted, camping out. Two favorite islands which draw a lot of local attention are Big Shell, located in the narrows at the mouth of the Caloosahatchee River, and the aptly named Picnic Island, which lies on south side of the Miserable Mile. Neither are very big, but they have sandy approaches, which make beaching a boat a relatively safe proposition. Picnic Island also has an area where campers have been known to spend the night. Recently, a small group spent the night there, but when they awoke and returned to the shore the next morning, they discovered their boat was gone, a sobering thought since the mainland was much too far away to reach by swimming. It would also be much too dangerous to even attempt. Sensing the crisis of the moment, they immediately contacted authorities, namely the Coast Guard and the Sheriff ’s Office to report that their boat had been stolen. On patrol not far away, Lee County Sheriff Marine Unit Deputy Alan Bryant and I responded to the call and headed to the scene. When we heard the circumstances surrounding the “theft,” Deputy Bryant was immediately skeptical, reasoning that it was highly unlikely that thieves would venture to an island in the dark of night to attempt to steal a boat. They would risk being detected by any number of people, and the approach to the island is extremely shallow, making it even more problematical to effect a theft. While on our way to the scene we rendezvoused with the Coast Guard, who assured us that other boaters were out looking for the missing craft and if needed, the owners of the missing boat would be transported to shore. Just as we approached the beach where the owner of the boat was ready to meet us, the report came that the boat had been found adrift by his friends who were assisting in the search. The culprit here? You guessed it. The tide. The boat owner assured us he had placed two anchors to secure the boat overnight. We don’t know for sure, but we suspect the most likely scenario was that the anchors never gripped in the soft sand surrounding the island (and which forms most of the sea bottom in the region) and the lines were too short, meaning that when the tide came in and lifted the boat, the anchors were rendered ineffective, allowing the rising tide to carry the boat away from shore where currents and breezes took over, sending the craft on its merry way. The good news was that his friends were returning it before it fell into the hands of unscrupulous people who may have made off with it, or hitting the Sanibel Causeway bridges, where it was headed, which could have inflicted serious damage. The lesson to be learned here is that when securing your vessel in similar circumstances, be acutely aware of the effect of the tide when setting anchors. Especially important is to make sure you have enough line deployed to allow the commonly used sand anchors to perform effectively. Deputy Bryant allowed that in the Coast Guard, the rule of thumb was that anchor lines should be seven times the depth of the water. He also suggested that in the future boat owners should also tie off to a solid object on shore, be it one of the mangrove trees that grow on most area islands or some other secure structure., negating any effect that the tide may have on your anchors. By the way, keep in mind that the opposite of rising tides can be the effect of lowering tides. You can beach your boat bow first and wake up in the morning to find your whole boat high and dry, making your stay on the island a little longer. Hence, a knowledge of tides is invaluable when mooring your boat. This particular episode ended happily. Taking a couple extra precautions will prevent you from having the same experience as the Picnic Island campers, with a possibly different ending.

GOLD

MINER

PAWN

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

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Calusa Blueway Paddling Trail By: Mike Hammond

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hen I tell people Lee County is home to a 190mile paddling trail called the Great Calusa Blueway, the first question I almost always receive is, “Do you have to paddle it all at once?” Not at all. In fact, most people, including me, probably only paddle a couple of miles at a time. A typical outing on the Calusa Blueway starts with the paddlers driving from their home or lodging to one of the many paddlecraft launches throughout Lee County listed on the free maps or on its smartphone app. After launching, they can follow the marked trail to one of their favorite fishing spots, an isolated beach or stretch of river and return in time to talk about their paddling adventures with friends over dinner and drinks. There are camping opportunities along the trail, but day trips seem to be most popular. Potential paddlers can visit calusablueway.com and order free maps, get GPS coordinates for the markers, see a list of amenities for each launch, find outfitters for rentals, see the location of points of interest such as parks and marinas, and get wildlife observation and safety tips. All the information you need to start planning your paddling adventure is there. The second question I usually get is, “What is your favorite paddle?” My response is always, “It depends.” With 233 square miles of

inland waterways and backwaters, there are many paddling options. It’s difficult to pick one favorite paddle. Each section has its own charm and potential for being a favorite paddle when conditions and the paddler’s interest align. Articles in coming editions of Coastal Angler will highlight different segments of and routes along the Calusa Blueway and give paddlers all the information and inspiration they need to get out and explore the trail and find a “favorite paddle” for themselves. The most beautiful, isolated and fishiest places in Southwest Florida are out there waiting. Just remember to please always wear your personal-flotation device while on the water. The blueway is named for the Calusas, the seafaring American Indians who thrived for centuries in Southwest Florida before the arrival of the Spaniards. The trail was established in 200203 by Lee County Parks and Recreation and the Lee County Visitor and Convention Bureau. The Estero Bay leg was completed in 2003; the Pine Island Sound leg was completed in 2005; and, the Caloosahatchee leg debuted in October 2007. For more information about the trail and events, please visit calusablueway. com. 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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Fort Myers Kicks Off Boating Season at the Fort Myers Boat Show

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abulous weather and huge crowds made the 44th Annual Fort Myers Boat Show a huge success. Held November 17 – 20 in downtown Fort Myers, it was one of the best shows in years. From engines and electronics to docks and boat lifts, MarineMax was center stage, with a 5000 square-foot display of Sea Rays and Boston Whalers of all sizes. Among the wide variety of boats and yachts on display, Fort Myers MarineMax debuted the all-new unique Galeon Yachts 500 FLY. With the unique beach mode, a first for a yacht in this segment, the 500 FLY extends the width of the cockpit to a stunning 19’ 8” by dropping down both the port and starboard sides. The Azimut 72 Fly was also a main event, as the largest boat at the Fort Myers Myer Boat Show, with its spacious exterior, lounge seating with a retractable sun canopy, a sumptuous

sunbed station, and dining space underneath the retractable glass roof. The interior includes wellappointed guest suites and a comfy living room with large windows, as well as crew quarters. “Every year the Fort Myers Boat Show kicks off the heart of the boating season for the local boating community,” offered Ryan West, MarineMax Fort Myers General Manager. “For MarineMax, this is our opportunity to shine and our team really pulled it together in a spectacular manner with the best display ever.” For more than 25 years MarineMax Fort Myers has been committed to premium boat brands, unparalleled customer service, and premier team members. We offer many boating events and activities to connect you with other boaters. Find local boating activities, classes, boat shows, Getaways and more.

Ladies SW Florida Fishing By: Vicki Fisher

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his past month was full of Holiday celebrations, friends and family, and all the joys of the season! I spent a lot of time enjoying the outdoors as our weather was beautiful and the humidity of summer has subsided. With the month of January upon us, many people assume that fishing is not as good in January as other months. This depends on what one expects to catch. Subject to temporary cold fronts and strong winds, the fishing can be as good in January, as any other month. Many anglers prefer, and look forward to, the cooler water temperatures that bring in several species from the Gulf. The big sheepshead will be coming in to eat and spawn and are delicious to eat and a lot of fun to catch! I suggest using 10-15 lb. test braided line loaded with 30 lb. fluorocarbon leader. I like to use a #1 bait hook with a cut piece of shrimp. Place a small pinch weight about 6” above the hook to get your bait down. These fish are known for ‘stealing the bait’; so wait for a good tug before you try setting the hook! The best place to fish for the sheepshead is along the mangroves and pilings where there is plenty of current. The passes and cuts will provide you with larger sheepshead. Another January favorite of mine to catch is the Spanish Mackerel. The mackerel should be here in good numbers and

sizes. I enjoy catching them on my light tackle rigged with a ¼ oz. jig head under a popping cork loaded with a shrimp. It’s important to lengthen your leader to about 5’ length and use a 40 lb. monofilament as they have sharp teeth and are known for slapping and whacking your bait. They are usually found in 5-8 foot of water off the Sanibel Lighthouse Point to the south and as far north as Jug Creek Shoal just off Bokeelia. These fish are fast moving and will be in schools. For those of you living on saltwater canals, the winter months also bring in the large schools of Crevalle Jacks who swim in large schools and come through early mornings scooping up the baitfish along the seawalls and under docks. It’s like clock work at our home, every morning between 8-9 I can hear them coming under the bridge popping the water and eating their morning fill of all the baitfish. I enjoy throwing a top water plug, such as a Bomber Badonk-a-Donk and they cannot resist a little action! If I can be of any help or assistance feel free to contact me via email at fishfacecharters@yahoo.com or call my cellphone (727) 5349071. I will enjoy sharing my knowledge and enthusiasm of the sport of fishing!  Until next month, this is First Mate Vicki Fisher, reminding you to keep your lines tight!

Visit us at:

www.marinemax.com/stores/southeast/fort-myers

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

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Charlotte Harbor By: Capt. Mike Manis

Boat, RV & Trailer

Service, Sales & Storage

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

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n some respects, January can offer a mixed bag of options; however, for the most part, the persistent north winds can and will dictate that we look for spots out of the wind. Because, the possibility exists that there will be a few mild and somewhat warmer days between fronts, the open harbor can be productive. This is an open invitation for those with larger boats that draft too much to get onto the flats or even smaller skiffs that are looking to change it up a bit. Spanish mackerel and bonita can be found just inside Boca Grande Pass. Also, blacktip sharks like to hang out just around the corner at Johnson Shoals. A little further inside the harbor, Cape Haze Point is always worth exploring. You just never know what you might run into: trout, pompano, and bluefish, are all possible. This is a great place to throw plugs and ½ ounce feathered jigs. Moreover, the deeper water just outside the bar that runs from Turtle Bay past Bull Bay and over to Cayo Pelau is good country to look for a spotted sea trout bite. However, for the majority of days when the wind is obnoxious, I’ll look for redfish and small snook working creek systems that adjoin small bays and coves. Out of Punta Gorda, I like the east side of Charlotte Harbor from Alligator Creek down towards Pirate

Harbor. The extensive collection of small creeks, deep cuts, and mangrove shorelines provide good winter habitat. Minimal wind and the sandy mud bottom help fish stay warm and the mangrove prop roots are home to small prey species. By the way, just inside the mouth of Alligator Creek is one of the more popular trout spots during winter as is the basin inside Pirate Harbor. Creeks along the west wall between Trout Creek and the Myakka cutoff are also worth exploring. If the winds coming out of the northwest, loading at the El Jobean ramp can make for a tolerable run. From the same ramp, the Myakka Cutoff and Tippecanoe bay provide good habitat. To match the prey species, small baits are best and it’s not a bad idea to lighten up on the leader and tippet material. For example, I’ll stick with a nine-foot leader but rig ten-pound tippet and throw flies no bigger than #1 or 1/0. 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

• Competitive rates • Secure facility under surveillance • Regulated 24 hour access for customers • Conveniently located near multiple boat ramps • Engine flush/wash down area

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• Outboard Engine Service. • Re-Powers by Suzuki. • Power Pole Sales, Service, Installation. • Mechanical Repair & Maintenance. • Boat trailer repairs. • Boat Bottom Cleaning & Painting • Boat Detailing. • Boat & RV Storage • Consignment Sales • Stop by for a quote on the services you need. • We take pride in delivering high quality work. Hours: Mon-Fri 9am - 5pm

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Recommended

Local Bait & Tackle Shops D&D MATLACHA BAIT & TACKLE

3922 Pine Island Road • Matlacha, FL 33993 239-282-9122 • www.PineIslandBait.com

405 NE Pine Island Rd Cape Coral, FL 33909 239-574-6950 • capetoolandtackle.com

14503 D Tamiami Trail North Port, FL 34287

941-240-5981 finebaitandtackle.com

4425-D Tamiami Trail • Charlotte Harbor, FL 33980 14531 N Cleveland Ave • North Fort Myers, FL 33903 941-625-3888 • fishinfranks.com

4839 Vincennes St Cape Coral, FL 33904 239-257-2446

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

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The Best Angler Photos From Southwest Florida!

Al lie P. 11 YO fr om IL

Bi lly Le e fr om Ka ns as Ci ty M o, m on st er fir et ru ck re d gr ou pe r, of fs ho re An na M ar ia Is la nd

Ven ny T. 11Y O fro m IL

esa s Isla nd pas t the Tia ra Col lier, nea r Ma rqu jac k 28 inc hes ! ber am l Key s, yel low tai

Photos submitted courtesy of: Capt. Bart Marx Capt. Jon Black Capt. Joel Brandenburg Capt. Larry McGuire 0117_LOC_FtMyers.indd 15

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

May nard Fish ing Char ters

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

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Peace River – Charlotte Harbor By: Capt. Dave Stephens

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ell fellow anglers, it’s that time of year to put the cast nets up and get the shrimp tackle out. Water temperatures have steadily fallen enough that most of our game fish no longer want to chase their meal. This time of year I hear people talking that the fishing is bad, however I strongly disagree. The biggest secret to having a successful day, when the water is cooler, is to change your approach.

Luckily Charlotte Harbor has plenty of other game fish that are not affected as much by the changing weather. On the top of my list would be trout. In my opinion, this can be one of the best times to target these guys. This is the time of year to start looking for fish in deeper water. Some great places to start are creeks and rivers that have good current flow and depth. I generally look for water over six feet deep. In these areas a shrimp on a jig head will be my bait of choice. The color of your jig head is very much a personal preference thing. I prefer a chartreuse one, though I have also had great luck with white and red. If you are in

an area with high current flow, you might want to use a heavier jig. In most situations I use 1/8oz. I don’t like to pin it to the bottom, but bounce along with the current. While you’re searching the local creeks for trout, you might also find yourself pulling on some redfish. These guys also move into the creeks and rivers, though most of the ones you’ll catch will be undersized. On warm sunny days, the deeper potholes will be very productive. I like to suspend a shrimp on a jig head under a float. Personally, I prefer the good old’ popping cork, it seems to do the job for me. Another fish that is highly targeted during the winter months is the sheephead. These bait thieves take a little practice to catch. Shrimp are great baits, you can also use fiddler crabs and sand fleas. Structure is the key to locate good sheephead. I like to fish around old crusty docks and bridge pilings. A small circle hook and

enough weight to hold the bottom works very well. To start a good sheephead bite around heavily crusted piles, just scrape the sides of the pilings to get barnacle pieces chummed into the water or chum directly with crushed oyster shells or shrimp shells into the water. Once the bite starts the action should attract the other sheephead in the area along with a few other forage type fish. So, if someone tells you the fishing is bad during the winter months, just remember having a great day of fishing this time of year is very possible; you just have to change things up, be flexible and slow down. To experience some of southwest Florida’s finest fishing, give us a call or send an email. All of our charters are private and customized to fit you and your party’s needs. Capt. Dave Stephens, 941-916-5769, www. backbayextremes.com

Lake Okeechobee – North End By: Capt. Ed Perry

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ishing on the north end of the Big O’ has been, for the most part very good; mild air temperatures and good weather has made conditions favorable for a good bite. Early morning bass action has been at its best on wild shiners, catches of 50 plus fish a day are common and bigger females continue to move in from the open lake, for their annual

spawning ritual. Buckhead Ridge and Tin House Cove have been the most consistent for fast action. Schools of smaller fish in the 1-3 lb. range are on the outside edges of the reed lines and they make for some fun and fast action. Eagle Bay had its ups and down, one day it’s some of the best fishing you have ever seen and the next it can leave you scratching your head.  But don’t be discouraged, this is a big lake and with a little local knowledge and a little effort, you can find fish biting. The North Shore down on the west side of the lake in the Lakeport area has had very good action in open water between Horse Island and the Point of

the Reef. There are a couple of different ways to fish here; you can anchor your boat, which is what most fishermen do, or you can drift and this area is meant for drifting. Drifting you can cover a lot of water fast and can find fish in a hurry. If you hit a hotspot drifting and catch a couple of fish real quick, don’t be afraid to stop your boat and put some live baits out. Even if you’re artificial fishing, when you are drifting like, that an anchor can be your best friend. So many times, people will catch a bass and move right on down the line, when in reality they should stop their boat and fish it slow. Crappie action has been improving. Specks are moving into the reed heads in front of the Okeechobee Pier and at the Buckhead marker and are being caught on jigs and minnows. Fishermen that are drifting are catching limits in the open lake out in front of the mouth of the Kissimmee River. Down towards

Harney Pond, anglers are not maxing out yet, but the size of the Specks have been impressive. Reports of 2.25 to 2.75 lb. Specks have been common. The area between Bird Island and the Point of the Reef has been very active. During the bass and Speck spawning seasons, pay particular attention to the phases of the moon. During the next few months, the days just prior to and just after the full and new moons will be particularly active. GOOD FISHING! Capt. Eddie Perry is a 5th generation Floridian and has fished the Big ‘O’ since he was a little boy and professionally guided on the lake since 1996. There isn’t much that he hasn’t seen on the lake. He can be reached by telephone at (863) 7637722, www.OkeechobeeAdventures. com, Facebook.com/ OkeechobeeAdventures, or at Garrard’s Bait and Tackle.

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A FLY FISHING AND MARINE ENVIRONMENT EXPO JANUARY 5TH, 2017 FROM 6:00 P.M. TO 9:00 P.M. THE CANTERBURY SCHOOL GYMNASIUM 8141 COLLEGE PARKWAY

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he Sanibel Fly Fishers, Sanibel Sea School, and Canterbury School Ft. Myers are jointly hosting a fly fishing expo on Thursday, January 5th, 2017 from 6-9 pm in the Canterbury School gymnasium. “We invite all who are interested in learning about fly fishing and caring for our marine environment to join us for an evening of sharing information with our fellow citizens” said Doug Greene, President of the Sanibel Fly Fishers Club. One of the goals of the Sanibel Fly Fishers club is to promote the sport of fly fishing, and this expo is designed to help people become better acquainted with the sport. Fly fishing involves equipment that is slightly different from traditional fishing methods, and can seem intimidating. Our goal is to help people lean about fly fishing equipment and techniques in a comfortable atmosphere and have a little hands-on experience to become better informed about the sport. Fly fishing is different from other rod fishing because the weight of the line is used to project the fly, while other fishing methods rely on a weighted hook, or an attached weight to project the hook into the water. And, many fly fishers enjoy making their own flies – which for many is an enjoyable and integral part of the sport. The mission of Sanibel Sea School, is to improve the ocean’s future – one person at a time. “At Sanibel Sea School, we have taught fishing to adults for several years, and although our classes are not fly fishing classes per se, we do place

a heavy emphasis on fly fishing techniques”, said Dr. Bruce Neill, the Executive Director. Fly fishing is perhaps, one of the most intimate methods of fishing, the goal is to be very closely linked to the fish, and have the minimal amount of tackle linking the fisher and fish. “We want to help people become more connected to the ocean, and for many fly fishing is a really great way to do that; fishing is one of the ways that people study, and learn about the ocean, and we want to help them accomplish that.” Casting instructions at the expo will be provided by one of SW Florida’s best fly casting instructors, Joe Mahler. Several local fly tiers will be demonstrating how they tie their favorite flies and provide tips and insight on ways to tie flies. JoEllen Wilson, a fisheries biologist with the Bonefish Tarpon Trust will speak about Juvenile Tarpon Habitat in SW Florida. There will also be demonstrations on knot tying, and people will demonstrate and explain the types of fly fishing gear commonly used in this part of the world. Several local, marine conservation organizations will also have tables at the event. Admission is free and several, great door prizes will be given away – including a complete fly fishing outfitt - rod, reel, and line, and flies, and hats and tee shirts will be awarded at the end of the evening’s program. Pizza and soda will be available for a small contribution to help cover the expenses of the food. Visit the Sanibel Fly Fishers Facebook page, or stop by Sanibel Sea School for more information about the expo.

Reality TV Show: Action Craft Boats

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s you are reading this, a sizzle reel is being prepared, to pitch to the networks, for our own Cape Coral business owner Chad Kovarik. Chad is the owner of Action Craft Boats and the sizzle reel is being prepared by Chuck Ardezzone, CEO/Executive Producer of InTroubleZone Productions. Think of Orange County Choppers for boats. There’s excitement, family friction, demand for product, and an owner who knows what he wants

and how he wants it all done. If you’re a reader of Coastal Angler Magazine, you know that Chad Kovarik pulls no punches when it comes to his boats, building them, and explaining why they are the “BOLD and the BEST” available. With a big personality running the show, how can it not be a winner with the networks?! www.ActionCraft.com (239)574-7800

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Reelin with Roland By: Misty Wells

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oland Martin is a fishing legend and there is a reason for that, he is a “World Class” angler. It is not every day that when your buddies ask you “what did you do this weekend?” you get to say “I went fishing with Roland Martin”. The weekend of December 3rd I got to do just that and it was a once in a lifetime experience. Roland and I were able to be a part of something new the 1st Annual Fishbrain ITrekkers Tournament held in Tampa Bay. This 1st Annual Tournament was a CPR (catch, photo, release) event and Roland and I were looking for our Inshore Slam-Trout, Redfish and Snook. We started the day with Capt. Mike Grasso of “Reel Pro Charters” and headed out to Weedon Island to get a little shelter from the wind, that is where we caught about 40 snook last time out with Capt. Mike. The Fishbrain Tournament was based out of one of my favorite places, Hula Bay and had a great turnout. Once the anglers found out Roland Martin, “their favorite Fishbrainer” was going to be there, they showed up in droves. Roland Martin has not only changed the way folks fish, he is now changing the way they use their favorite “Fishing App” Fishbrain. Roland is sharing where he is fishing, how he is fishing and what he is using to catch all the monster fish he is reeling in and it’s free. Getting free weekly information on how to improve your catches and fishing techniques direct from Roland is Priceless. Did I also mention the pay-out was $5,000 for this tournament? That, coupled with Roland Martin, is a recipe for success! The proceeds from this

tournament went to benefit “A Reel Future”, a non-profit that works with children in group foster care and takes them fishing. To date, over 1,000 kids have fished with “A Reel Future”. To u r n a m e n t Director Tom Swick “It was a great first event with positive feedback and we are already planning our next event to be even bigger and better”. The fishing that day was tuff, it was windy and the tide was being pushed out but Roland knew what to do. We headed across the bay and started fishing with some live bait, throwing close to the edges of the mangroves and the docks while we did a slow drift. Some of the places we wanted to check out we could not make it to, as the water was just too skinny to get in. We bent a few rods, caught some nice fish and I learned a lot from fishing with the master. Roland has some of the best fishing stories from his global adventures and I could have stayed out all day with him. Heading back to Hula Bay was a much nicer ride. The wind had died down quite a bit and we were excited to see who was going to win the big money. We raised enough money from raffle ticket sales to sponsor 40 “A Reel Future” kids and some of the anglers walked away with a pocket full of Christmas money and lots of prizes. Fishbrain Exec Bojan flew all the way in from Sweden to be a part of this fun event, “Hosting the 1st Fishbrain Tournament and having Under Armour as a title sponsor was a great success and we are still receiving not only great feedback from people who attended it, but also tons of inquiries for the next one. We had great support from our users and from all of our sponsors and we are looking forward to growing it and doing more of them in 2017”. All I can say is fishing with Roland and spending time on the water with him was incredible! Stay tuned-

you never know who I will be fishing with next. Happy New Year Coastal Angler readers, keep your “Lines Tight” for the new year. Misty Wells is a founder of “A Reel Future”, a non-profit organization devoted to sharing knowledge and passion of fishing and the great outdoors to future generations and foster kids in need. She is the host

of the national radio and television show “Let’s Take It Outside”, outdoor professional, writer and adventure guide for fishing and hunting trips. Mrs. Wells also sponsors the Clearwater High School Fishing Club. For show information or be a guest, go to www.mistywells.com

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By CAM Staff

n architecture professor at the University of Kansas is experimenting with a novel idea that might help restore some of the coastal habitat lost to development in Florida. Keith Van De Riet, an assistant professor at UK’s School of Architecture, Design & Planning is currently undergoing an experiment with the seawalls at WannaB Inn on Manasota Key on Florida’s west coast. On this barrier island off Englewood, Fla., he has equipped a 20-foot section of the previously bare seawall with concrete panels designed to mimic the shape of mangrove roots. With 3-D modeling of actual plants and the use of crushed oyster shells as aggregate, the idea is to recreate some of the same benefits natural mangroves provide sea life. The panels were installed in October, and after just a few weeks they were showing signs of life. Van De Riet saw a problem with the loss of environmentally beneficial mangrove forests while teaching at Florida Atlantic University. He became interested in replicating some of those benefits, and his work continued after joining faculty in Kentucky in 2015. On the ground in Florida, FAU doctoral student Jessene Aquino-Thomas is monitoring the panels. If the “Reef Wall” panels prove successful, Van De Riet imagines them being used on a large scale to regenerate lost habitat. The experiment is funded by a grant from The Curtis and Edith Munson Foundation. The inn gave Van de Riet money matching his grant funds to complete his experiment.

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n late November, scientists with the Mote Marine Laboratory released 320-hatchery reared snook into a Sarasota Creek as part of research into methods for enhancing wild snook populations. Snook are one of Florida’s most popular species for anglers, and they have had a rough time over the years. Winter freezes, red tides and increased fishing pressure all contributed to a sharp decline in populations in the late 1980s. Since that time, careful management and strict fishing regulations have led to a rebound in fish stocks, but snook are a species highly susceptible to environmental factors on the northern end of their natural range in Florida. For this reason, Mote and FWC have been continually researching the use of hatchery-reared snook to replenish populations hit by red tides or cold weather. This most recent study will tag and stock 10,000 to 15,000 juvenile snook into various waters of Sarasota and Manatee counties, including Bowlees Creek, Whitaker Bayou, Hudson Bayou, Phillippi Creek, North Creek and South Creek. The idea is to develop guidelines and learn more about how hatchery snook behave in the wild and their impact on fisheries. Mote will monitor the released snook in Phillippi Creek using transponders similar to the microchips for cats and dogs. This research is funded in part through Mote’s Fisheries Conservation and Enhancement Initiative and FWC’s Fish and Wildlife Research Institute.

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LICE TOWN, BIMINI—Wahoo Smackdown VIII, hosted by the historic Bimini Big Game Club Resort and Marina on Nov. 10-12, saw more than 150 anglers competing for more than $25,000 in cash and prizes and landing over a ton-and-a-half (3,253.5 pounds) of fish in the process. With more than 50 record-setting catches in the waters around the island, Bimini has often been referred to as the Sport Fishing Capital of the World. “Bimini’s legendary fishing action held true once again,” said tournament director Capt. Robbie Smith. “Fish were everywhere, the action was competitive, and the fishing gods were with us.” A fleet of 35 boats fished, with 25 making it to the leaderboard. Over the two days, 133 fish were caught, the largest weighing over 84 pounds. Team Murderized, out of Grand Bahama, took top team honors with 11 fish weighing a total of 292.5-pounds, taking home $15,000 in cash winnings. Second place Team Monster Catch, out of Miami, earning $7,500 in cash winnings, caught the largest fish of the tournament, an 84.7-pound monster. They weighed eight fish for a total catch weight By Dr. Stefan Harzen • Photos Courtesy of Harzen/Brunnick, of 285.6 pounds. Team Box N Bull, out of Fort Lauderdale, finished third, taking Taras Oceanographic Foundation home $2,500 in cash winnings, with a total catch of 13 fish with a total catch weight of 262.8 pounds. tournament, and a closing awards party on the great lawn, featuring a buffet, Tournament coordinator Beth Watson said the weekend “went flawlessly,” live entertainment and a full open bar. adding the announced plan to refund tournament entry fees if the tournament Sponsors included Sysco, David Dunleavy Performance Fishing apparel, was called due to weather, attracted the largest number of entries since the Bost Lures, Sands Beer, InTheBite, Flanigan’s Seafood Bar and Grill, Faro Blanco tournament’s inception. Resort and Yacht Club, Reef Safe Suncare, Bacardi Oakhart Key West Marlin Tournament festivities included live local entertainment nightly, a cocktail Tournament, Roffs, Tito’s Vodka, Tropic Ocean Airways, and Island Glass Art. reception poolside for the captains meeting, a cookout on day one of the

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TIPS FROM A PRO

FRESHWATER WINTERTIME CRAPPIE FISHING

BRANDON LESTER

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very year as my bass tournament season comes to an end, I start thinking about crappie fishing. I like to take a break and let the competitive flames refuel a bit. When the calendar strikes November and water temperatures dip into the 50s in Tennessee, I take several days to go crappie fishing. These fish make really good table fare, they are also very fun to catch, especially the big ones like you find in winter. I am well aware of how good crappie fishing is in spring. But for the way I fish for them around home, fall and winter are when you can really fill the livewell.

It works the same way when fishing laydowns. I look for laydowns on vertical banks that have a good-sized trunk. If they have a big trunk, I know there is a good-sized treetop out in the water. If they are there, I will see them on my SideVision. Once you find fish, cast exactly where they are or just beyond them, not 3 feet to the left or right. If you miss a crappie’s strike zone by 6 inches, you’ve missed it by a mile. Make the cast, count your bait down to the desired depth and reel just fast enough to maintain that depth. No jigging, nothing fancy, just a

Crappie stack up in large schools this time of year, at it’s not hard to catch them if you know what to look for. Crappie always hang around cover of some type. The two key pieces of structure on my home water are boat docks and laydowns. There are a few docks that seem to always hold fish, but I like to hunt for them with my Raymarine electronics. I turn on SideVision mode and start searching. Crappie will be in big schools, and I might go down a line of 50 docks with only one dock holding the mother lode. To see how big they are and to make sure they are crappie, I will put an Aqua Vu camera down there and check them out. Most of the docks I fish are floating, and the magical depth is normally at least 20 feet of water under the dock. The crappie will normally be suspended under these docks anywhere from 8 to 15 feet down, depending on the water clarity.

slow reel. My favorite jig head is a 1/32-ounce ball-shaped jig head with a good sharp Mustad hook, but I will go up to a 1/16-ounce if the wind is blowing or I’m fishing deeper than normal. Any soft plastic minnow imitation in the 2-inch range with a straight tail will work. Stay away from twist-tail grubs for this method because they cause your bait to rise too much. I use a S721 MHX rod built with supplies from Mud Hole Custom Tackle, including a Winn grip. It is 6-foot-long, super-sensitive and has the perfect action for controlling small baits. I team it with a 1000-size spinning reel and 4-pound Vicious Panfish line in fluorescent green. The green line helps me detect light strikes. These tips will help you all the way up until crappie start moving shallow to spawn. These fish are fat and healthy this time of year. So get out and have some fun this winter.

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Surprising Winter is the Best Planting Time

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

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estled in the picturesque Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina, Jackson County is home to the Western North Carolina Fly Fishing Trail and its centerpiece, the Tuckasegee River, which dissects the county as it flows north to Fontana Lake. The “Tuck,” as it is known to the locals, is a beautiful tailwater trout fishery used for the 2011 USA Fly Fishing Championships, in which the Gold Medal was won by Team USA member Logan Egan. The most popular time to fish the Tuck is during the delayed harvest (DH) fishing season from Oct. 1 to the first Friday in June each year. During this time frame, the Tuck is a catchand-release fishery with artificial-lure, single-hook restrictions. This stretch of specially regulated water runs about 5.5 miles outside the small towns of Dillsboro, Sylva and Cullowhee. The boundaries of the DH are marked by signage on the banks. These regulations appeal to fly fishers and spin fishers alike. You will not only see anglers stripping streamers, drifting nymphs, and casting dries, but you will see a fair number of spinner fishermen taking good numbers of brook, rainbow and brown trout. Jackson County receives an annual stocking of 92,800 trout, the most in the state of North Carolina. In October and November 2016, the Tuck DH section was stocked with 19,600 trout. Rainbow and brook trout made up about 80 percent of this number, and the other 20 percent were brown trout. Normally, trout reach 12 inches in length before making it into the Tuck, but anglers should expect to see, and potentially land, some trophy-sized trout on any drift or presentation. Many anglers wade the river, and drift boats are also popular. Stream flow is controlled by Duke Energy, which posts three days of release schedules on their website, www.duke-energy. com under the Nantahala link. Duke Energy has also provided boat ramps on Old Cullowhee Road and North River Road that many drifters use while floating the Tuck. South River Road is a popular area for anglers and guides due to the number of pull-offs that parallel the river and make accessing the river easy. Access to the Tuckasegee is great compared to some other rivers in the area, but there is some posted private property. Be sure to avoid it. The Tuck is also part of the North Carolina Mountain Heritage Trout Waters program, which allows anglers to fish with a special three-day license that costs only $5. Many anglers opt to purchase a regular fishing license with a trout stamp since the fee is fair and it gives access to almost all the state’s trout waters. A non-resident can purchase a 10-day fishing license and trout stamp for $33 or an annual fishing license and trout stamp for $51. The Tuck DH runs very close to downtown Sylva, yet its beauty catches most first-time anglers off guard.

In fall, the red, yellow and orange leaves dancing on the trees highlight the contours of the surrounding mountains. A bald eagle might closely judge your fishing skills, watching for its opportunity to show you how it’s done. Winter brings cleansing and the occasional snowfall, in which many local anglers find solitude chasing trout on tiny midges. Winter fishing pressure is minimal, which makes it a great time to land a large trout if you’re willing to test your mental toughness wading in cold water. Spring comes to life with budding trees and insects hatching, signaling the coming summer. Anglers spend late evenings on the Tuck sight casting to rising trout honed in on larger dry flies and emerger patterns. Spring evenings can be very peaceful, since most anglers have broken down their rods by 6 p.m. and are headed to the local brewery or one of the many unique restaurants or food trailers in downtown Sylva or Dillsboro. There is a list of local restaurants and breweries at www.mountainlovers.com, or just ask local fly shop employees for their recommendation. In 2016, the North Carolina General Assembly proclaimed Jackson County the Official Trout Capital of North Carolina. Jackson County is home to 4,600 miles of trout streams with a good mixture of hatchery supported streams and wild streams. Check out www.NCTroutcapital.com for more information. Jackson County was also the first to have an officially designated Fly Fishing Trail, which highlights 15 different streams and rivers for any angler to test their skills. Many have taken the challenge of catching and releasing trout or smallmouth bass in each location. There is a map that gives detailed information about each stream, directions, and the type of fish anglers can expect to catch. More information is available at www. flyfishingtrail.com. If you are looking for a fishery with plenty of trout and the opportunity to catch a 25-incher, the Tuck is for you. It is relatively close to Atlanta, Knoxville, Charleston and Charlotte. The Tuck is just an hour west of Asheville, N.C., and it is at the base of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Blue Ridge Parkway. This makes for a nice and easy weekend retreat, or it can be a popular destination for longer stays due to accessibility and other local attractions. Come and experience North Carolina trout fishing at its best! Shannon Messer owns Appalachian Flies and manages and guides at Blackrock Outdoors Orvis Authorized Fly Shop at 570 West Main Street, Sylva NC 28779. Contact him at 828-6314453 or appalachianflies@gmail.com.

North Carolina’s Tuckasegee River, A Southern Gem By Shannon Messer

For more fishin’ on the North Carolina Tuckasegee River, go to

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FISH & FISHING

A DIFFERENT APPROACH MARK SOSIN

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t’s commonplace today, but more than a halfcentury ago few anglers even thought about it. The late Dr. Webster Robinson wanted to catch either a sailfish or striped marlin on a fly rod while casting from a boat that was out of gear so that the fly was not being trolled. Working with his skipper, Capt. Lefty Reagan, these angling legends fathered the concept of teasing a fish. They reasoned that if they could raise a billfish on a hookless bait, capture its total attention by keeping the tasty morsel just out of reach, work the fish within casting range and substitute a different offering at the last minute, the mission would be successful. I knew both men well and listened intently as Web Robinson described the process to me in detail. He even gave me a copy of the fly he used. Teasing ranks as an extremely effective technique for countless species in a variety of situations. Working on sailfish or marlin on the offshore grounds is just one phase. Sometimes known as bait-andswitch, it’s nothing more than using a live bait, dead bait or a certain artificial to excite a fish enough so it will eat the lure or bait you want it to devour on the tackle of your choice. Very light tackle enthusiasts often tease their quarry into striking so that the line doesn’t break on the initial contact. I’ve teased countless species from sharks, albacore and tuna to striped bass, redfish, barracuda, amberjack, snook and many more. Let me share a couple examples to show you how effective teasing can be. Using a spinning outfit, I rigged a plastic worm exactly the same way as I would for largemouth bass. Pacific sailfish normally don’t include plastic worms as part of their diet. We teased one with a bonito belly and, once the boat was out of gear, I cast the worm. My partner yanked the teaser out of the water and the fish inhaled a plastic worm faster than you can read this.

I met a man who showed me beautiful flies for offshore species. When I told him I could catch a sailfish on a cigar just as easily as with one of his flies, he laughed at me. We were shooting a television show in Panama, and late in the day Capt. Karl Anderson asked if I had a cigar. He rigged it with a leader and hook, attached it to a flyrod and waited for a sailfish to show in the trolled teasers. We stopped the boat, Karl yanked the teaser away from the fish, and I cast the cigar. Within seconds, the sailfish crashed the cigar, went airborne, and all you could see was tobacco showering through the air. As Karl put it, that’s no longer theory. Teasing fish opens a broad new dimension to the sport. As an angler, it allows you to hook fish on all types of tackle using any bait or lure you choose including cigars and plastic worms. Try it and you’ll become hooked on the technique just as I am.

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FLY FISHING

CASTING FOR REDFISH: BEYOND THE DOUBLE HAUL

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t is well-known that the double haul and the back cast are essential for fly fishing for redfish. Here are three more casts I believe are very important when targeting winter reds with a fly. Fly Repositioning Cast This cast is wonderful when you need to recast a fly to a redfish that refused it or when you missed your target. It works best when 20 or more feet of line are outside the tip-top. It is essential to the success of this cast to not rush picking the fly line up off the water. The key is to load for the back cast by beginning with the rod tip close to the water and slowly lifting the line off the water. Then wait to feel the rod load on the back cast. Once you feel the rod load, make a forward cast, allowing the fly to hit the mark. I’ve witnessed far too many fishermen rush to recast, and in doing so, miss their target on the second cast. The Quick-Cast For The Short Game When sight casting, you will need to execute some short, quick accurate casts. The short cast is one of the most difficult casts to make because a fly rod made for short casting has yet to be built. When red fishing, unless I know I’ll be making long casts, I keep roughly 40 feet of fly line stripped into a line management basket (a bucket if fishing from a skiff) and 20 feet of line outside the fly rod’s tip-top. The first 15 feet of the belly section of the line will easily load the fly rod with minimal false casting. Place the fly between the index finger and thumb of the hand not holding the rod. If a redfish is spotted at close range, make a back cast while at the same time releasing the fly from your hand and cast to the redfish.

Master The Cross-Wind Cast The wind blows where redfish live. The most difficult winds to a fly flinger are the cross-wind and the following-wind. Both are guaranteed to give the angler fits. The best cast for these challenging situations is the Belgian cast, a very quick cast that when executed correctly presents the fly under challenging conditions. The key is to make an extended side-armed back cast, followed by a high extended-arm overhead cast that will provide the angler distance when working in a big wind. A word of caution: The side cast may produce the painful problem of a fly imbedded in the angler if the wind is blowing toward the casting arm. Put It To The Test When targeting winter redfish, the fly angler will be presented with many different casting situations depending on weather conditions. It’s important to understand and execute each of the casting techniques discussed. Once mastered, a trophy redfish is only a cast away! Conway Bowman caught this 41.65-pound IGFA fly-caught world record redfish out of Hopedale, La.

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FISHING AND DIVING

The Maldives

By Capt. Terry Fisher

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t had been 20 years since I had boarded a followed by fishing. The Maldivian government live-a-board to fish and dive. My friend, Capt. is famous for it’s eco-friendly approach and Wayne Hasson, president of Aggressor and serious application to fish conservation. The Dancer Fleets, invited me to accompany him to government’s prohibition of net and long-line the Maldives for a world-class fishing and diving fishing for commercial purposes has sustained the expedition. Over the years, Wayne and I have abundance of fisheries. Commercial fishermen use fished and dived many exotic locations, including line and pole, preventing by-catch of species other waters of the Caribbean, Mediterranean, Pacific than their main target, which is tuna. Sport fishing, and Atlantic. This was my first visit to the Indian therefore, has thrived. Among the game fish found Ocean. are giant trevally, barracuda, wahoo, dorado, A three-leg flight from Miami through New yellowfin tuna, sailfish and marlin. Bonefish and York and Dubai landed us in Male, the small, permit inhabit the flats. bustling capital of the Maldives. Upon arrival, There are many charter fishing operations Wayne and I quickly cleared customs and were in the Maldives. I had numerous opportunities to assisted by a friendly and helpful crew of the be transported to beautiful sand beaches in the mother ship. We were transported aboard a ‘Dhoni’ middle of the Indian Ocean to fish for bonefish, (dinghy) by water, to lush accommodations aboard giant trevally, jack crevalle and other species. the Maldives Aggressor. This live-a-board vessel While sailing to new dive sites, we used a ‘Dohni’ boasts a full-service galley, huge salon, 10 guest to troll and catch tuna, sailfish, wahoo and dorado. state rooms and decks for relaxing, sunbathing, At night aboard the Maldives Aggressor, we dining under the stars or just getting away for bottom fished for grouper and snapper. some private time. This luxury yacht offered all Trolling, spinning, fly-fishing gear, including of the comforts and amenities of a five-star, land- lures and fly presentations are basically the same as based property with toilets, lavatory and shower we use in the states. Diving various locations and facilities to satisfy the most demanding guests. seeing up close the numerous species that I would This voyage, Dive with the Owners Week, fish for was an added and educational bonus. provided me the benefit of being surrounded Perfect water clarity offered a vast array of marine by a number of crew, divers and fishermen, life at every dive destination. representing more than 10 different countries. The Maldives is a nation of islands. It is also For information on this trip of a lifetime, visit the “Honeymoon Capital” of Europe and parts www.maldivesfishing.com or www.aggressorfleet. of Asia. Temperatures range from 77 to 86. There com. Contact Capt. Terry Fisher of Cape Coral, are 26 atolls with 1,190 islands. One island boasts Florida’s Fish Face Charters at fishfacecharters@ a rainforest. Only 209 of the islands are inhabited yahoo.com. with a total population For more fishing in the Maldives, go to of only 400,000. Tourism is the leading industry,

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A

ll tournament anglers want to win. The questions are: How bad do you want that win? How much are you willing to sacrifice? How much are you willing to put on the line chasing the big win? The answers aren’t cut-and-dry or crystal clear. Most tournament anglers I know are perfectly content competing at the club and local level for beer money. But don’t underestimate the will of those guys either. I recently competed in a Deerpoint Team Trail event with Travis Poole in which a win would have been a few hundred dollars for us to split. It was low threat, low entry fee and big fun. You’d think that given the conditions that day, any sane man would’ve stayed at home. Approximately 4 inches of rain fell that day, the wind blew and lightning popped around our heads all day. Still, most guys that entered the event that morning brought their catch to the scales in the pouring rain hoping to claim the prize. The weather didn’t seem to dampen their desires one bit. They wanted it bad enough, at least they did that day. For the professional angler, the weather is just one of many elements they must fight to stay in the game. Family, sponsorship obligations, mechanical problems and financial burdens are just a few of the non-fishing issues that require an angler to do a gut-check nearly every day. All these things must be tended to before the angler can even set out to find fish for a coming event, and he’s usually a one-man crew. Some of the top touring anglers have support networks taking on some of this for them, but rest assured, they didn’t get there with them. Stories from many of the top pros sound the same, tales about sleeping in the cab of their trucks for weeks on end, dining on peanut butter day after day, selling possessions off to fund the next event, and practicing in horrible weather because they only have two days to figure out unknown waters. If there was one thing I could define that separates the successful tournament angler from the others, it’s this: he wanted more. The guy in this picture is my friend Johnny Nguyen. He is a great example of what I just described. I can’t tell you how bad he wants it, but I can tell you he possesses at least one critical element for fishing success: the undeniable, unflappable, hard-core love for the sport. No tournament here, just him out fishing on a day he probably shouldn’t have been. But there he is, doing what he loves. Some get it, others never will. Randy Cnota is the co-publisher of Coastal Angler/The Angler Magazine’s Panama City/Forgotten Coast edition.

For More fishing with Randy ‘C-Note’ Cnota, go to

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hose of us who live life outdoors know it’s not always sunny. It can get downright ugly, and many times the best bite of the year is on the leading edge of a nasty front. With good foul weather gear, wind and rain should never stand between anglers and feeding fish. Pelagic Gear, a company founded on and devoted to the ocean lifestyle, has developed a line of gear that guarantees anglers will stay happy and dry, no matter what Mother Nature sends rolling in. Pelagic’s Dri-Flex Lightweight Jacket is perfect to throw in the bag for those dewy mornings or windy evenings when there’s a slight chill. Pelagic’s DRI-FLEX fabric provides the comfort of a lightweight jacket while protecting you from the elements with water repellant technology. When it’s time to take protection from the elements up a notch, anglers shouldn’t get caught on the water without

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Pelagic’s Hurricane Jacket. For more than a decade, this 100-percent waterproof outerwear has been the choice of hardcore captains around the world. It was designed specifically for the harsh conditions of the marine environment with technical features that cater to the needs of anglers. With welded zipper technology, reflective hex-safety patches and a moisture-wicking liner, the Hurricane Jacket keeps anglers dry and shielded in bad weather. And then there are those times when you need protection all over. Pelagic’s Stormbreaker Foul Weather Jacket and Bib are a full barrier to the elements. The suit is made of a lightweight PVC that is 100-percent waterproof, yet comfortable to wear. Again, it was designed specifically for anglers, with a loose cut for optimal maneuverability and plenty of ventilation. This is also the perfect rain barrier for the traveling angler. It is lightweight and packs easily, so an angler never has to leave the docks without the full protection from harsh conditions. Good foul weather gear is essential to every angler. When it comes to selecting protection from the elements, it makes sense to choose gear designed specifically for fishing. Any outerwear will do if the mission is a stroll through the park. Pelagic Gear’s line protects anglers and keeps them fishing in the kind of brutal conditions only found on open water. To learn more about the Pelagic Lifestyle, go to

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FITEC CAST NETS Fitec International has been providing the very best cast nets available to anglers for over 50 years. They are the world’s largest manufacturer of cast nets and their products are in stock or online with all major retailers and distributors where cast nets are sold. The superior quality in their handmade nets gives anglers the fun and performance they deserve while out on the water. Hold a Fitec net next to a competitor and you will see there is no comparison. Fitec’s Super Spreader and Ultra Spreader cast nets are simply the best! Fitec offers four distinct categories to ensure you are able to get the net you need. The patented EZ throw cast net is designed with a disc feature that is perfect for the novice. The RS, or Recreational Series, is designed for shallow waters or for the person who wants a lighter net. The SS, or Sport Series, nets are designed with a 1-pound per radius foot weight system and are the No. 1 selling cast net in the country. Finally, the GS, or Guide Series, nets are designed for the serious angler, built with the highest quality standards and the fastest sink rate. Fitec values your business. They go to work every day with you, their customer, in mind. Their mission is to “bring innovative quality products to customers, with drive and passion every day.”

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Seeking to become the leading and most comprehensive manufacturer of all things diving and fishing, Hammerhead Spearguns has made another addition to its lineup of gear. They are proud to announce the launch of the Dentex NT, a utility glove so durable yet flexible it’s almost like having a second skin on the hands. The Dentex NT comes with an ANSI Cut Level 5 and Puncture Level 3 and is woven from Hammerhead’s signature red Dentex fabric, but now it has a Sandy Nitrile coating on the palm and fingers, giving it increased resistance to heat and chemicals, plus additional grip. The Dentex NT is also known to be extremely pliant, molding seamlessly into your hands, so no clumsy mitten-hands here. You can even pick up a penny while wearing them! The wide range of things you can do with the Dentex NT gloves is staggering. You can use them not just when you fish or handle tricky, spiny sea critters but also when doing repairs or squaring off with hazardous materials. Welding a piece of metal to fix your boat? Piece of cake! Filleting tuna? Sure thing! Changing lines and hooks? Say goodbye to line abrasions and getting pricked, stabbed, or poked on your fingers. Sharp tools and hot objects no longer pose a threat to your valuable hands.

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While many docks along the Florida coastline buckled to the force of Hurricane Matthew this fall, widespread reports from boaters and anglers indicated that docks utilizing ErgoDock technologies held up considerably better. With the damage and debris left in Matthew’s wake, the resilience of ErgoDock proved significant—not only because of its strength, but because of expected durability against future hurricanes that routinely batter the coast. The ErgoDock difference is its inherent structural augmentation. ErgoDock is designed to provide a matrix that evolves the dock into a single structural component instead of a succession of individual parts like most marine docks are constructed. Independent tests report that ErgoDock significantly outperforms all other dock options in comfort, safety and customization. ErgoDock’s unique texture, for example, enhances safety with a far more slip resistant material than wood or composite decking. The ErgoDock surface also is designed to allow more “give,” increasing comfort and safety by easing stress on ErgoDock owners’ feet, back and joints while also mitigating any potential injury from a fall. ErgoDock prevents deterioration, therefore reducing the need for maintenance. Its products adhere with an impervious membrane to seal all decking materials and are self-draining, to prevent UV or water degradation of existing decking or concrete surfaces. “Our purpose was to create a material that far outperforms all other dock options when it comes to safety, comfort, customization and longevity,” said Kent Weisenberg, founder and CEO of ErgoDock LLC. “There is nothing like it on the market. ErgoDock is a multi patent-pending marine surfacing system that is revolutionizing the dock design and repair industries.” Weisenberg, the sole named inventor on 28 U.S. and foreign patents, added, “We passionately pursue improving the world’s infrastructure with green technology. ErgoDock surfaces are made of sustainable materials that fight the depletion of our environment.” ErgoDock products can be used in various stages of a dock’s life whether for preservation, safety, aesthetics or for any combination of the three. Still want that traditional wood dock look? ErgoDock offers ErgoWood Decking, which is select-treated wood that is pre-dried and then encased in ErgoDock’s patented SafeTread material and prevents deterioration from sun and water while increasing a dock’s life by as much as 10 years over current decking materials. “Add it all up, and ErgoDock products represent a major leap forward in dock design and repair,” Weisenberg said. “We want people to know that there is another option out there–one that comes with ergonomic elegance and represents a resilient, safe and viable option that contractors will want to offer their customers.”

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7

$ 97 VALUE

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. Nontransferable. Original coupon must be presented. Valid through 5/1/17. Limit one FREE GIFT coupon per customer per day.

WOW

SUPER COUPON

A

3 GALLON, 100 PSI OILLESS AIR COMPRESSORS A. HOT DOG

ITEM 69269/97080 shown

B. PANCAKE

ITEM 95275 shown 60637/61615

B

$3999 $

comp at

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

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 5/1/17. Limit one coupon per customer per day.

R PE ON SU UP CO

ITEM 69651/62868 62873/68239 shown

Includes one 18V NiCd battery and charger.

$

19

99 16 99 comp at

$49.21

ITEM 69249/69115/69137 69129/69121/877 shown

Customer Rating

RETRACTABLE AIR HOSE REEL R PE ON WITH 3/8" x 50 FT. HOSE SU UPCustomer Rating ITEM 93897 shown CO 69265/62344

$ $

2999

49

99$69.99

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 5/1/17. Limit one coupon per customer per day.

R PE ON SU UP CO

Blade sold separately.

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

Customer Rating

$

12 VOLT, 10/2/50 AMP BATTERY CHARGER/ ENGINE STARTER Customer Rating

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 5/1/17. Limit one coupon per customer per day.

SAVE $499 64% comp at $8.48

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 5/1/17. Limit one coupon per customer per day.

ITEM 60581/60653 shown

comp at

SAVE $259

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 5/1/17. Limit one coupon per customer per day.

SAVE 57%

5999 $98.62

$ 99

2

SAVE 65% $

Customer Rating

7 FT. 4" x 9 FT. 6" ALL PURPOSE WEATHER RESISTANT TARP

SAVE $129

$ $

99 59 99

89

comp at

$189

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 5/1/17. Limit one coupon per customer per day.

Customer Rating

YOUR CHOICE

$319.01

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 5/1/17. Limit one coupon per customer per day.

R PE ON SU UP CO

SAVE 59%

15999

$119.99

R PE ON SU UP CO

6 PIECE SCREWDRIVER ITEM 62728/62583 SET 47770/62570 shown

SAVE $219

$5999 comp at

WITH ANY PURCHASE

Customer Rating

ITEM 69252 68053/62160 62496/62516 60569 shown

$

FREE

26", 4 DRAWER TOOL CART

SAVE $60

• 3-1/2 Pumps Lifts Most Vehicles • Weighs 34 lbs.

SUPER COUPON

$

ITEM 69684 shown 61969/61970

99 139 99

199

comp at

$399

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 5/1/17. Limit one coupon per customer per day.

WOW SUPER12"CORATUPREAONCHDERET BAR CLAMP/SP

ITEM 46807/68975 69221/62123/63017 69222 shown

SAVE 85%

$ 99 $399 .76

2

comp at

$20

Freight.com or by calling prior our stores or Harbor LIMIT 6 - Good at be used with other discount or coupon orreceipt. with original 800-423-2567. Cannot from original purchase be purchases after 30 dayss last. Non-transferable. Original coupon must day. Offer good while supplie 5/1/17. Limit one coupon per customer per presented. Valid through

At Harbor Freight Tools, the "comp at" price means that the same • 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed • 700+ Stores Nationwide • HarborFreight.com 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 • Over 30 Million Satisfied Customers • Lifetime Warranty • 800-423-2567 past 180 days. Prices advertised by others may vary by location. No other meaning of "comp at" should be implied. For more On All Hand Tools information, go to HarborFreight.com or see store associate. • No Hassle Return Policy COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM JANUARY 2017 NATIONAL 33

12/15/16 3:11 PM 12/9/16 4:24 PM


34

NATIONAL

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JANUARY 2017

COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

12/15/16 3:11 PM


PENNFISHING.COM

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

COMMON CVRS_0117.indd 3

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

12/14/16 2:59 PM


COMMON CVRS_0117.indd 4

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Coastal Angler Magazine - Jan. / Fort Myers  
Coastal Angler Magazine - Jan. / Fort Myers