Coastal Angler Magazine | July 2019 | Lakeland Edition

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LAKELAND & SUMTER EDITION

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Snapper Season Opens! + Smoker Kings

INSIDE: NEW PRODUCT SUNGLASSES REVIEW PHOTO COURTESY OF DISTRACTION CHARTERS VOLUME 24 • ISSUE 292

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D E G

Sunglasses

PRODUCT REVIEW

COSTA WATER WOMAN

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Born on the water, Costa’s new WaterWoman marries performance with style and design. Designed for lady anglers with a frame that couples elegance and performance, WaterWoman features beautifully angled temples, CAM-action hinges and color-contrasting Hydrolite accents. They are available in four new frame colors – matte shadow tortoise, shiny palm tortoise, shiny wahoo and shiny blond crystal. WaterWoman features Costa’s patented color-enhancing 580 lens technology, which provides 100 percent UV protection and polarization and selectively filters light for superior contrast and definition while cutting haze and enhancing sharpness to reduce glare and eye fatigue. The new style ranges from $189 to $269 and is available with prescription sun lenses.

MAUI JIM SHALLOWS ASIAN FIT Maui Jim’s Shallows is a fresh perspective on the timeless aviator-style frames. The flattened metal frame front and enchanting array of chromatic options achieves a distinct look, while the lightweight titanium frame and MauiBrilliant lenses provides the ultimate in all-day- long comfort. MauiBrilliant is Maui Jim’s most advanced lens material that features optics nearly as clear as glass with just 1/3 of the weight. All Maui Jim lenses give superb PolarizedPlus2 protection from glare, High Energy Visible (HEV) and ultraviolet (UV) light. Their Asian Fit collection is designed specifically for people with wider face shapes.

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Native Eyewear RAGHORN www.nativeyewear.com

Starting at $109, you won’t find a better value for a quality piece of gear. RAGHORN features maximum coverage and side venting that protects and keeps you cool on the water. Color-enhancing, high-def. optics help you see deeper, and the Native polarized, impact-resistant lenses cut through glare. Quality constructed and built for adventure, the frame’s wrap hugs the face, while the nonslip CUSHINOL rubber temples and nose pads ensure all-day comfort and a secure fit. For those looking for an XL fit with the same quality, Native also introduced GRIZ this year. GRIZ shares technical features with RAGHORN, serving as its ‘bigger brother’ frame.

Unsinkable Polarized Introduces THE TITAN and THE BULKHEAD Unsinkable Polarized has created the ultimate fishing sunglasses. Once you get Unsinkables, you’ll never need to buy another pair. They feature premium polarized lenses, floating frames and a Lifetime + Loss warranty… just in case they float away. New for this season are The Bulkhead and The Titan. Both Unsinkable sunglasses offer complete protection from the elements and are designed to fit a larger face profile. They are both available with Unsinkable’s new polarized blue and green mirror lenses to protect your eyes and help you see what’s going on under the surface.

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Oakley SPLIT-SHOT With frames and lenses designed specifically for watermen, Oakley has made a splash in the market for fishing sunglasses with its Split-Shots. These glasses deliver in a wide range of conditions that make them perfect for water enthusiasts. A wrap-around frame and wider lenses increase field of vision and provide full-coverage protection from the sun. Split-Shots are also designed with a hat-compatible shape and an integrated leash. Oakley’s three-point fit evenly distributes weight for all-day comfort. Finally, PRIZM lens technology enhances contrast in specific environments so you can better see what’s going on under the water. COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

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FISHING BIG WORMS FOR SUMMER BASS BRANDON LESTER

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s far as baits go for summer fishing, you’ll see a wide variety of techniques come into play. Big crankbaits, jigs, swimbaits, spoons and all sorts of other baits will catch fish as the warm water temperatures of summer arrive. One bait I’ve always had a ton of confidence in this time of year is a big worm. It’s a very versatile bait that just gets bites in the summer months. Big plastic worms have been around a long time, and they’re often overlooked. You can use a big worm with a light bullet-shaped weight and swim it through grass in shallow water or put a heavier weight on and fish it 30 feet deep. It has a big profile that is just the right size for fish looking to make an easy meal after the spawn is done. That shallow grass bite is extremely fun and isn’t all that common these days. X Zone Lures has a new one out called the Blitz worm that’s 11 inches long and is the perfect size for big summertime bass. It has a ribbon-style tail that has great

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action and is available in the best colors as well. I throw big worms on an MHX-NEPS90HF 7’6” heavy power rod and 17-lb. Vicious 100% fluorocarbon. That rod is perfect for maintaining the proper contact with the worm on a long cast and getting a good hook in the fish, especially big fish. A key part of my gear setup is the Mustad Big Bite worm hook. It’s a round-bend style and a 4/0 up to 6/0 is my go-to for big worm fishing. In recent years, we’ve been fishing big worms on a heavy shaky head, too. A ¼- to ½-ounce shaky head allows the worm to stand up a little straighter on the bottom. It is a great way to fish them. I always encourage people to try new baits and new techniques, but don’t pass up throwing a big worm this summer. It works – trust me.

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Center sp GULF SNAPPER SEASONS OPEN

ADCNR Photo

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ith state control of Gulf of Mexico red snapper seasons, recreational anglers are seeing more access to one of the most popular fisheries on the planet. However, keeping track of when and where you’re allowed to fish is now harder than ever. With 2019 state summer seasons already open and rocking along, here’s a quick run-down of the regulations so you can tell whether or not you’re allowed to make red snapper fishing a part of your summer vacation.

State Seasons Florida: June 11-July 12, with a possible fall season if there is available quota. Alabama: Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from June 1-July 28, plus Thursday, July 4. Mississippi: May 24-Sept. 2 (Labor Day), with a mid-season closure from July 8-28. Louisiana: Opened May 25 on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays until the state’s recreational quota of 743,000 pounds is met. Harvest is also allowed on the Monday of Memorial Day and the Thursday of the Fourth of July. Texas: Open year-round in state waters. State waters extend from the coastline out to the 9-mile mark for Texas and Florida’s Gulf coast. State waters in Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana stretch out to three miles from the coast. The daily bag limit is two fish per person with a 16-inch minimum length, except in Texas, where there is a four fish per person daily limit with a 15-inch minimum length requirement. A state-specific license is needed for whichever state waters an angler plans to be in possession of red snapper. Each state is also collecting its own red snapper harvest data. Reporting requirements and self-reporting for each state can be conducted through the following apps. See the state websites for information on how to obtain these apps. Florida: iAngler Guld Red Snapper App Alabama: Snapper Check Mississippi: Tails n’ Scales Louisiana: Recreational Offshore Landing Permit App Texas: iSnapper App Federal Season Federally permitted for-hire vessels have 62 days to fish the Gulf of Mexico in federal waters. The federal season is June 1-Aug. 2.

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FLORIDA

TARGETING SHORELINE SNOOK

By Will Schmidt

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t was a typical steamy morning with no wind and flat calm surf. Although I was casting toward the rising sun and could not see into the water, the large accelerating wake tipped me off to a fast-coming strike. Moments later my line was tight and chaos ensued as the large snook made for deeper water. This is a regular occurrence during the summer along the beaches of southwest Florida, and fortunately it can be enjoyed from a boat or the beach, making it accessible to all. You don’t even need to know secret spots, just get out and start looking.

Sure it’s helpful to use your fishing senses to start your search. I like to begin at a pass if possible, but these fish will spread out up and down the beaches. Beach fish tend to be found in one of two places, cruising down deeper cuts or sitting tight to the beach waiting to ambush unsuspecting prey. Because of this, when on foot, it is very important to keep your distance from the water. These laid-up fish can be in extremely shallow water sitting in that first little drop off where the waves lap up, and if you are too close they will see you long before you see them. When choosing your lures, keep in mind that the water is usually pretty clean here and you are fishing over a white sandy bottom. For that reason, lighter colors work best. Spoons can be deadly, and I’m partial to a Reflecto spoon. Bucktail jigs in white, soft swimbaits in light colors and suspending twitch baits all work well, too. You will often see schools of pilchards along the beach, so anything that emulates them is usually a good choice. For tackle, don’t over do it. This is light-tackle fishing at it’s best. A good portion of these beaches is clear from snags and hazards, so heavy gear is not needed. I opt for a G Loomis PR844 popping rod. Its light action allows me to cast anything from a small white bait to a jig. A Shimano 2500 Stradic balances out well, and when spooled with braid gives you plenty of line with stopping power, too. I opt for slightly heavier, 17-pound braid for a couple reasons. In the rare case when a snook does find that one lost crab trap, I have a little more oomph to turn the fish. More importantly, I like the slightly heavy line for knot strength and durability. Regardless of whether you’re in a boat or on foot, fishing the beaches is great. Almost anyone, from a seasoned pro to a visiting newbie, has a great chance at catching fish. Productive beaches are easily accessible and don’t take a lot of preparation or equipment. A pocket full of lures and extra leader is all you really need. Will Schmidt is a seasoned tournament angler and has been writing about fishing for more than two decades.

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CCA STAR 4,000 Anglers, $500K in Prizes and Scholarships

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he CCA Florida STAR competition presented by Yamaha kicked off on Memorial Day weekend, engaging over 4,000 anglers in conservation. The 101-day event invites anglers of all ages and skill levels to walk away with their share of $500,000 in prizes. During the opening week, five unregistered anglers caught 2019 STAR tagged redfish and missed their choice of a brand-new truck or boat, motor and trailer package in the event’s signature iHeart Radio Tagged Redfish Division, including a GMC Sierra pickup truck, a Contender Boats 22 Sport, a Pathfinder Boats 2200 TRS, a Hewes Redfisher 16, a 21’ Carolina Skiff, or a Relentless Boats 24’ Aluminum Bay/Flats boat, all powered by Yamaha Outboards. The CCA Florida STAR competition releases an average of four tagged redfish per coastal county in the state, three counties have eight tagged fish and those are Brevard, Charlotte and Citrus counties. Each year during the competition, anglers catch the fish and call, per tag instructions. And each year, most anglers who catch these tagged fish miss out on a $40,000+ prize package because they aren’t registered, or never thought it would happen to them. Since its inception, the competition has awarded five prizes in the signature redfish division, with over 90 tagged redfish caught in those four years and nearly $900,000 in total prizes. Registration remains open throughout the competition until Labor Day. The STAR competition launched in Florida in 2015 with a focus on conservation through the use of technology and a catch-photo-release format. CCA Florida uses the social media-based event to educate the public on the importance of protecting Florida’s marine resources, and STAR’s smart phone app eliminates the requirement for anglers to harvest or capture and transport fish, while promoting the proper handling of all species. In addition, non-anglers can participate and win by collecting trash and debris. With 17 total divisions, prizes are awarded by random drawing in most divisions and include boats, cash payouts, tackle and marine electronics. As in past years, current New Tide Members (CCA members ages 6 – 17) can enjoy continued free registration in the Youth Scholarship Division, presented by Academy Sports + Outdoors, which offers $100,000 in scholarships. For a full list of divisions, visit ccaflstar.com. For more information on STAR, or to register, visit ccaflstar.com.

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Jeff Miller, Citrus County ACTUAL 2018 STAR WINNER

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KING AND SPANISH MACKEREL TOURNAMENT FISHING IN FRANKLIN CO. FLORIDA

By Randy Cnota

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PREMIUM POLARIZED EYEWEAR S t a r t i n g at $ 9 9 . 0 0

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f you’ve ever competed in a fishing tournament, then you understand how the thrill of the hunt fueled by a competitive drive can create levels of excitement, anticipation, joy and crushing defeat all in the same day… or the same hour, for that matter! When you bring hundreds of people together that share this passion to help find a cure for leukemia, you have what promises to be a great time! Once you throw in the drag-screaming thrill of a big king mackerel, you’ve found yourself smack in the middle of the C-quarters Marina Kingfish Shootout in Carrabelle, Fla. Anyone capable of making it Carrabelle in August should participate. It’s a great tournament, and anyone has the potential to bring home the gold. In the world of competitive fishing, it’s anybody’s game on any given day. This event has a Spanish mackerel division, giving competitors more chances to win and more species to chase. Obviously, due to their smaller size, the Spanish mackerel won’t burn the bearing out of most reels like a king can, but on light tackle these fish put up as much fight, pound-for-pound, as any of them! These toothy critters demand wire leaders and smooth drags. A 40-pound skyrocketing king will cut through mono effortlessly, and if your reel has a sticky drag, forget it; they strike with incredible speed! Live or dead bait will get them to strike, as will a variety of trolled plugs or duster rigs. When trolling, try to target different depths and vary your speed. Some days they want their targets moving fast, and on others, they want it slow or dead still. This is where one of my favorite ways to catch them comes into play. Anchor up or drift with several flat-lines out with an offering of live or dead baits such as cigar minnows, Spanish sardines or even pinfish. Enjoy a cold beverage and a snack, bask in the warm sun and take in the beauty of the Gulf of Mexico. When that peaceful moment is interrupted by the sound of a screaming drag and a bent rod, you’ll be hooked on king mackerel fishing just like me. These fish are incredible fighters, and big ones can peel off a hundred yards of line in mere seconds! C-quarters Marina will host the 16th Annual Kingfish Shootout Aug. 3-4 in Carrabelle, Fla. Inspired by the tragic loss of Lisa Crowder Jackson to leukemia, the volunteers who run this event have, to date, raised $1,000,125 for the Leukemia Research Foundation. Come support this wonderful event and enjoy all that Franklin County has to offer, I promise, you’ll want to come back. For more information on the tournament, go to www.c-quartersmarina.com. For more on vacationing in Franklin County, go to www.floridasforgottencoast.com.

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Center sp A YEAR CHASING THE ROYAL BILLFISH SLAM

Editor’s Note: IGFA’s Billfish Royal Slam requires anglers, over a lifetime, to catch nine species of billfish. The following is how Trent Glaub, of Palm Beach, Fla., completed a Billfish Royal Slam in less than a year. By Trent Glaub 1) Black marlin; Los Suenos, Costa Rica; March 20, 2018— On vacation with my wife Stacy and our daughter Marlynn (pronounced marlin), we fished with Capt. Randall aboard the Go Fish. Slow-trolling bridled tuna, I hooked into what I thought was a big jack… until we saw the dorsal fin. “Negro, negro!” yelled Capt. Randall. I battled the estimated 400-pound black marlin stand-up on 30-pound tackle and achieved my first-ever marlin release. I had no idea how lucky I was until Carey Chen told me he’s caught more than 300 blue marlin and is still in search of his first black. I set out to catch all five marlin species. I hadn’t even thought about the Royal Slam yet.

We made a 50-mile, two-hour run to the Finger Bank. When we arrived, the ocean was alive with birds and porpoise balling schools of bait. The bait was so thick we dip-netted sardines, hooked them and pitched them back out, sight fishing to striped marlin on bait balls. My wife, my daughter and I were hooked up nonstop, and we ended up returning to the marina flying 20 release flags.

6) Pacific sailfish; Casa Vieja Lodge, Guatemala; Dec. 28-30, 2018—This year, with my 40th birthday on Christmas Day, the girls and I spent the holidays in Guatemala aboard the 35’ Knowles A-FIN-ITY with Capt. Niko. 2) White marlin; West End, Grand Bahama; May 5, 2018— I was fishThe fishing was great. I quickly knocked Pacific sailfish off the list and ing the Mike Schmidt Winner’s Circle Tournament out of Old Bahama Bay went on to catch a bunch of them, taking turns with Stacy and Marlynn. with my regular tournament team on the Fragrant Harbor, captained by Joe Garbo. The white marlin took a ballyhoo trolled on 50-pound tackle. 7) Atlantic sailfish; Palm Beach, Fla.; Jan. 1, 2019— I’ve fished the Silver Phillies Hall of Fame third baseman Mike Schmidt signed my release flag. Sailfish Derby with Capt. Joe Garbo for the last 13 years. This year we finally I broke off what would have been my first Atlantic blue marlin during won it by one fish aboard the 60’ Viking Fragrant Harbor. I chose to use this tournament. this special sailfish for the Royal Slam. It ate a live goggle eye on 20-pound tackle. 3) Pacific blue marlin; Kona, Hawaii; June 23, 2018— On family vacaWith just two species to go, I decided to push for the Royal Slam in less tion, we fished with Capt. Kevin Hibbard on the Divergent. I caught my than a year. first Pacific blue, an estimated 500-pounder, which we were able to tag before release. It was an intense battle even on 130-pound tackle. 8) Swordfish; Palm Beach, Fla.; Feb. 16, 2019— My buddy Connor McKWith three species down, I was still looking for my Atlantic blue mar- ee and I set out on a beautiful night in my 32’ Intrepid No Worries. At about lin. Through July, August and September, I fished the Bahamas twice, 8:20 p.m., the fish bit a dead-rigged squid and made a run to the surface Puerto Rico twice and the Dominican Republic. I was plagued by pulled as I cranked the 50W trying to stay tight. We got a look at the fish before hooks and broken lines. Out of Cap Cana in the Dominican, we raised it turned for the bottom. It was a good one, and I had too much drag on it. seven blues. I hooked five of them and went 0-5. The curse of the Atlantic It broke the harness, pinning me to the side of the boat, and I was forced blue was haunting me. to back off the drag. More than an hour later, Conner stuck the estimated 200-pound fish with a harpoon. It had a 74-inch lower-jaw-to-fork length. 4) Atlantic blue marlin; San Juan, Puerto Rico; Oct. 21, 2018— I broke my curse during the San Juan International Billfish Tournament aboard 9) Shortbill spearfish; Kona, Hawaii; March 16, 2019— I boarded The the Heavy Duty with Capt. Gabby Vazquez. Huntress, a 42’ Merrit, 35 years to the day from when Capt. Bart Miller On the final day of the four-day tournament, I boarded the 43’ Ber- caught the 1,656-pound blue marlin that is the largest ever caught in Kona tram Heavy Duty. To this point, I had lost every blue marlin I had ever and the second largest in the world. In its previous life, The Huntress was hooked. We got a fish up in the spread early after lines in. The blue ate my named Black Bart. I was on the very same boat Miller caught his record lure, and I took it to the chair. On 30-pound tackle, I finally caught my first from. Atlantic blue marlin. With Capt. Steve Epstein and Capt. Kevin Hibbard, it didn’t take long “That’s what I came to Puerto Rico for, boys!” I yelled. Afterward, the for the riggers to go off. A few minutes later, I caught my first spearfish and crew informed me it was the first blue their boat had seen all tournament. completed the Billfish Royal Slam in just under a year, 361 days! With the curse broken, Heavy Duty owner Herminio Amador released a I travelled to five countries, plus Hawaii and Puerto Rico and had a lot second blue, which was good enough to win the daily. of first-time experiences. I was fortunate to catch five of nine fish with my 5) Striped marlin; Cabo San Lucas, Mexico; Dec. 15, 2018—As a fami- family on the boat. We made lots of new friends, and in the end I realize ly, we went to Mexico targeting striped marlin out of Cabo with Capt. Jose it was all about the journey. Now it’s Marlynn’s turn. She’s already got the Ramon on the 31’ Bertram Rebecca of the Pisces Fleet. stripey checked off the list. 12

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BAY COUNTY DEPLOYS 25 REEFS IN THE GULF CDFW Photo

C H I P O L A S H OA L B A S S H A RV E S T B A N N E D Photo by Nick Carter

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nglers out of Panama City have something new to look forward to after Bay County deployed 25 artificial reef structures in the Gulf of Mexico in June. These were the first of several reef projects planned for the area, using Natural Resources Damage Assessment funding. With a price tag of $120,000, the project is just a slice of more than $900,000 in Gulf Oil Spill money coming to Bay County for artificial reef construction. “Artificial reefs are absolutely critical to not only the economy of Bay County but also the ecosystem of the waters off our shores,” Bay County Commissioner Bill Dozier said in a news release. “These new reefs will be an important part of our recovery, and we are proud that the program is coming to fruition.” The new reefs were deployed in 80 feet of water about 12 miles east of St. Andrews Bay Pass in the Sherman Artificial Reef Permit area. Several other reef deployments are planned over the next year in state waters east and west of the pass.

ffective June 5, Florida banned harvest and possession of shoal bass from the Chipola River and its tributaries. Anglers are still permitted to catch release shoal bass. Recent sampling produced significantly lower catches of shoal bass, potentially due to the impacts of Hurricane Michael. “Shoal bass are one of the least common bass species found in Florida because of their limited range,” said FWC’s Chris Paxton. “We are doing everything we can to ensure through proactive conservation actions that the shoal bass population remains healthy, and anglers have the opportunity to enjoy this vibrant and valued bass species for years to come.” FWC biologists collected and transported 16 shoal bass from the Chipola River to be spawned and potentially supplement the population. Shoal bass are similar in shape to largemouth bass, but unlike the largemouth, the shoal bass has scales on the base portion of the second dorsal fin; its first and second dorsal fins are clearly connected, and its upper jaw does not extend past the eye. Shoal bass also lack the dark lateral (down the side) band that largemouth have. Shoal bass have vertical stripes above the midline of the body which resemble tiger stripes. The Chipola River is the only waterbody in Florida with naturally reproducing, genetically pure shoal bass. It is a spring-fed cold-water river that stretches about 95 miles, starting just north of Marianna and running south through Dead Lake and into the Apalachicola River. The Chipola River runs through Jackson, Calhoun and Gulf counties. A Chipola River video can be viewed on YouTube by searching “FWC Chipola River.” To contact the Northwest Regional Office, call 850-265-3676.

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LAKE PANASOFFKEE • BUSHNELL • WILDWOOD • SUMTERVILLE • WEBSTER • THE VILLAGES • OXFORD MULBERRY • BARTOW • LAKELAND • POLK CITY • AUBURNDALE • EAGLE LAKE • WINTER HAVEN LAKE ALFRED • HAINES CITY • DAVENPORT • LAKE HAMILTON • DUNDEE • LAKE WALES HILLCREST HEIGHTS • FROSTPROOF • FORT MEADE

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If you have a suggestion for a distribution location for Coastal Angler Magazine, please let me know. You can view all 35 magazines in the U.S., including The Bahamas, Costa Rica and Puerto Rico/Virgin Islands at www.CoastalAnglerMagazine.com Please feel free to send me any fishing photos and comments about the magazine-I would love to hear from you!

E dition Highlights & Business Spotlight

Page 2-3 Sumter County Map

Page 4 Photo Of The Month Page 6 Tournament & Events Page 8 Fly Fishing 101

Page 10 Bobby Lane Kid Fishing Clinic Page 14-15 Polk County Map Lakeland Bassmasters Page 16 Find Us Here

Polk & Sumter Edition Staff: Sales, Editing & Production- Mary Brasher Graphic Arts & Design - PPP Graphic Design Distribution - Mary & Larry Brasher, Joyce & Capt Dave Ochs Media Mgr - Patrick Powers Contributing Writers - Capt Keith Mixon, Jim Veal Jr, Capt Dave Ochs, Ron Schelfo, Capt. Scott Taylor, Capt Eddie Perry, Capt Rick Burns, Chris O’Byrne, Capt Bobby Woodard, Hunter Towery

Facebook -CoastalAnglerMagazineLakelandVicinity • Twitter - @camlakeland • Instagram- camlakeland • Youtube- CAM Sumpter Lakeland Each month I will bring you the latest and best knowledge for you to put to good use. I also invite you to share my passion for this area and if you would like to become a contributing writer contact us. You can read our magazine online anytime or sign up for a free digital subscription. Just visit our website and never miss an issue! CoastalAnglerMag.com.

Best Fishing Days 7/2-7/16, 31

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Homosassa Area 1-Capt. Rick Burns 352-201-6111 8975 W. Halls River Rd • Homosassa, FL 34448 www.RealBurns.com Oxford Area 2- Oxford Mower & Repair 352-748-7485 • 352-748-7490 3185 E CR 466 • Oxford FL 34484 Landscaping Repair Service/ Outdoor Power Equipment Store Lake Panasoffkee 3- Pana Vista Lodge 352-793-2061 3417 Co Rd 421• Lake Panasoffkee, FL 33538 www.panavistalodge.com 4- Villages Golf Cart Man LLC 352-674-9400 Office • 813-508-4360 Cell 3028 N. County Rd 470 • Lake Panasoffkee, FL 33538 Tony Colangelo, Jr General Mgr www.VillagesGolfCartMan.com 5- Catfish Johnnys 863-793-2083 2396 N County Rd 470 • Lake Panasoffkee, FL 33538 www.CatfishJohnnyRestaurant.com Bushnell Area 6- Sumter Realty 352-793-3202 239 N Main St • Bushnell FL 33513 Agent Evan Merritt 7- Canada Meds 352-569-1484 512 N Main St • Bushnell, FL 33513-5112 8- ParGas 352-793-1982 1452 W C 48, Bushnell, FL 33513 www.pargas.com 9. Papaw’s Country Store (352)793-1080 8271 W C-48 • Bushnell, Fl 33513 Deli, Groceries, Beer, Live Bait, Tackle, LP Gas Follow us on Facebook

GET TO SCURRYING FOR THE SCALLOPS Can you believe it? It’s that time again; July 1st will kick off our 10-week Scallop season in the Citrus County area. Its super good fun, a nice way to cool off, beat the Summer heat and something the whole family young and old, male and female can enjoy. And oh yes, the best part, preparing and eating em! Which, I’ll share a little TNT (tip-n-treat) with ya in a minute. But just in case you weren’t aware, there are only 3 major good areas left in the whole state of Florida for harvesting these bi-valve mollusks. Port St. Joe area up in the panhandle. Steinhatchee, Keaton area in the Big Bend, and our Citrus County Scallop grounds, the Crystal River, Homosassa area. There was a time when most of Florida enjoyed Scallop harvesting. I believe one of the main reasons it doesn’t now is because of the coastal growth, development and population in other areas of the state which unfortunately brings with it, less habitat and sometimes lesser water quality. Scallops must have good water quality being the correct salinity, and grass beds to populate, grow, and thrive. And these few areas still have these features that are vital to these tasty morsels. Bare in mind, it’s far better and wiser to call me or another local guide for hire to enjoy a hassle-free experience. Nothing like showing up, stepping on stepping off to avoid any and all issues that could arise. But here are some guidelines if you’re going to venture out yourself to insure yourself a happy “saltwater easter egg hunt” for the “white gold of the gulf ”. First off, it can be very, very busy and long lines at the ramp, on

The Scenic Sumter Heritage Byway Organization began as a Community Action Group in March 2009 in partnership with the Sumter County Chamber of Commerce with the express purpose of improving the southern entrance to Sumter County, therefore enhancing the visitor experience to the National Cemetary. The Veteran’s Memorial Hwy was designated soon afterwards, and pursuit of a Florida Scenic Hwy designation began. A Corridor Advocacy Group (CAG) began meeting with the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) District Five Scenic Highways Coordinator in order to pursue the “scenic” classification for a series of roads within Sumter County that encompass the communities of Webster, Bushnell, Sumterville, Lake Panasoffkee, Carlson, Rutland and the surrounding areas. The roads that comprise the 62-mile Byway traverse rural communities, pastoral farmlands, cattle ranches, parklands, lush hardwood hammock, and floodplain forests within the Withlacoochee River Watershed. The corridor highlights the scenic view and rich heritage of Sumter County through byway travel. Attractions along the Byway include the General James Van Fleet Trail State Park, Richloam Wildlife Management Area (WMA), Dade Battlefield Historic State Park, Florida National Cemetary, Lake Panasoffkee, Withlacoochee River and the Half Moon Wildlife Management Area. The Scenic Sumter Heritage Byway Organization is a grass roots organization committed to altering their vision for the byway based on a multi-year work plan. The SSHBO consists of volunteers who are passionate about the heritage, traditions, recreational and scenic resources fo their community. They work with their partners to showcase these resources, educate the community and advocate for community-based decision making that protects and enhances these resources. Find out how to partner, be a sponsor, or donate at www.sumterbyway.com.

the river, and even out at the picking grounds. Please, please remember to be patient, respectful, cautious and courteous when navigating in and around these waters. These rivers and waterways don’t play. They’ll make you pay should you not know how and where to run them. And NO B.W. I’s!! Keep it for back at the motel. We don’t need any airlifts, or water ambulances. Secondly, the season runs from July 1st, thru Sept. 24th. Third just to throw in, the preliminary reports are very good. So, it should make for adequate collections this season. However, hiring a local guide that has done pre-scouting beforehand so as to know where and where not to go can insure you better success on your outing. Now, for the LEGAL REQUIREMENTS if on your own. If you’re between 16 and 65, you must have a current saltwater fishing license to collect scallops. Unless you are fishing (scalloping) with a for-hire vessel – guide, that has a valid vessel license. Recreational harvesters are limited to 2 gallons of whole bay scallops in the shell, or 1 pint of scallop meat per person, per day. In addition, no more than 10 gallons of whole scallops or ½ gallon of meats may be possessed aboard any vessel at any time. Be safe and good Scalloping. Submitted By: Capt. Rick Burns Reel Burns Charters Homosassafishingguide.com www.reelburns.com 352-201-6111

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PANA VISTA LODGE FISHING REPORT June has been another great Bass month. Lake Panasoffkee has been on fire with the Bass from 2 to 6 lbs. This year has been as good as it gets for the Bass fishing and Bluegill fishing has been pretty good as well. The water dropped a bit with the May dry spell, but the Summer rains have started so the levels are starting to come up as well. July Best Bets: The Bass fishing should continue to do very well. Top water action and spinner baits John Hinderscheid should continue to produce some good catches. The with 7 1/2 pounder Bluegills and some Shellcrackers will be caught on caught on Jerk Bait. worms and crickets. It will be hot, so early and late may be the best bets. Submitted By: Jim Veal Jr. Pana Vista Lodge • Lake Panasoffkee, Fl. 352-793-2061

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CENTRAL FLORIDA REGION FORECAST

First off, we’d like to “welcome” all of new vacationers down here in Central Florida, and “welcome back” all of the many seasoned vacationers in our area. I can’t speak to the weather in the various regions up north and the Midwest, but we’ve been in full Summer patterns here for over 2 months and we’re having a lot of fun out on the water. In Winter Haven on the Mr. Martin from The Villages with one of South Chain of Lakes, and a his many Winter Haven Bucketmouths. handful of the standalone lakes, the largemouth Bass have been out chasing schooling bait fish for many weeks now in deeper waters. It is definitely a “morning bite” that we are chasing out here with most trips leaving the dock by 0630. There are two reasons for that: first is that the Bass are out feeding at sunrise most days, the second is that we’ve had requests for trips less than 4hrs so that the anglers can get back to their hotels or condos to meet the rest of the family and get to the parks or beaches in the morning still. With that said, some people are not early risers and like to fish from 0900 for a couple hours and still catch good fish before it gets too hot, then head back to the hotel, we can accommodate that also. Back to catching these green beasts, 99% of our trips offer both live and artificial baits. With our 23’ bay boat we can easily give shiners a “swimming lesson” off the back of the boat in rod holders while guests can have the entire front deck to fish artificial baits along the grass lines and deep-water springs. Our best baits this time of year are Pop-Rs, flukes, Z-Man & Gambler swimbaits, jerkbaits, and senkos. We mostly fish clear spring-fed lakes with a good 6’-10’ of visibility so natural colors and lighter lines are in order. You can use “heavy” gear but most

of these fish get very line and tackle shy, so downsizing is key. Besides, we’re not trying to horse a fish out a hyacinth mat or bulrush points, we’re in mostly open water. Heading over to Camp Mack, a Guy Harvey Lodge, Marina, and RV Resort on the Kissimmee River, we’re talking about fishing in Olde World Florida at its finest. This is were we can truly get lost in the world catching big Bass with the alligators, eagles, and osprey. Here we still give shiners swimming lessons earlier in the morning while throwing bigger black & gold topwaters or sub-surface baits, Gambler EZ Swimmers, Spooks, etc for the first few hours. After that most guests opt for heading into the jungle and some combat fishing with frogs, jigs, flipping worms, and EZ Swimmers in the heavy grass and pads. Submitted By: Capt. Scotty Taylor TMC Guide Services, llc • 855-354-8433 Scott@TMCGuideService.com • TMCGuideService.com Capt. Scott is the official guide for VisitCentralFlorida.org & Guy Harvey Camp Mack Lodge, Marina & RV Resort

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Your Polk & Sumter Tournament News & Community Events 6/29 Mulberry 3rd Annual Celebrate America: Independence Day Party 11am-2pm 7/3 Red, White & Kaboom in Lakeland 6-9:30pm Lake Mirror Promenade 7/3 Rock N’ Freedom Fest in Winter Haven 6-9pm Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Park 7/3 Patriotic Concert by The Villages Concert Band & New Horizons Concert Band 3pm & 7pm at the Savannah Center $12pp 7/4 City of Wildwood Happy Birthday America Festival & Celebration 5-9:30pm Wildwood Community Center 7/4 Thunder On The Ridge 3-9:30pm Lake Eva Park Haines City 7/4 Bartow 4th Of July Celebration 2:30-9:30pm Mosaic Park 7/4 Lake Wales 4th Of July Festivities 2-9:30pm Lake Wales Park 7/4 Lakeland Flying Tiger’s Game With Fireworks Extravaganza 4-9pm Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium 7/4 Davenport 4th of July Celebration 3-9:45 Lewis Matthews Sports Complex 7/4 Dundee 4th of July Celebration 2-9pm Dundee Community Center 7/4 Bok Tower Garden 4th of July Celebration- FREE ADMISSION 8-5pm 7/4-6 Legoland Florida’s Red, White & Boom- Legoland in Winter Haven 7/5 Patriotic Family Fun Day Dade Battlefield Historic State Park Bushnell 4-8pm 7/6 Wild Food Foraging Class 9-12 Dade Battlefield Historic State Park 7/7 Lakeland Bassmasters Team Tournament on the Kissimmee Chain out of Camp Mack mikemorsefishing@gmail.com 7/8-12 Nature Days For Children 9-12 Dade Battlefield Historic State Park Contact Kristen Wood (352)793-4781 7/13 Mosaic Bass Club Tournament on Eagle Lake out of the County Ramp 7/13 Elite Pro Team Trail Tournament on the Kissimmee Chain out of Camp Mack Contact: Charlie Wynperle (813)382-2187 7/13 Anglers Team Trail Open Tournament on the Winter Haven Chain out of Lake Shipp 7/13 MacDill Bassbusters Tournament on the Winter Haven Chain out of G. Roe Park www.macdillBassbusters.com 7/14 Xtreme Bass Series Tournament on the Kissimmee Chain out of Camp Mack xbsmike@gmail.com 7/20 Xtreme Bass Series Tournament on the Winter Haven Chain Ramp TBD xbsmike@gmail.com 7/21 Ice Cream Music Jam 6:30-8:30 Dade Battlefield Historic State Park 7/21 Lakeland Bassmasters Tournament on the Harris Chain out of Hickory Pt mikemorsefishing@gmail.com 7/27 Tampa Bay Bassmasters Tournament on the Kissimmee Chain out of Camp Lester Contact Tournament Director Steve Mitko (813)714-6488 7/27 Outcast Bass Club Tournament on Lake June in Winter Haven out of the Public Ramp www.outcastsBassclub.net 7/27 Mosaic Bass Club Tournament on Lake Reedy out of the County Ramp

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KISSIMMEE CHAIN FISHING FORECAST June came roaring in with nearly 100 degree temperatures for almost two weeks straight, combined with low water levels, the conditions make it pretty harsh for many anglers. For July, expect much of the same couple, with heavy rains in the afternoon, this should help out with water levels and pull it up to normal cool by September. In the meantime, the question that I get asked most often is where do the Bass go under these extreme heat conditions. It’s really not that difficult to find them as long as you are willing to change your tactic to match the conditions. There are four places that I fish religiously under the severe heat conditions. My #1 choice is offshore in 6’-10’ of water with clumps of hydrilla, with holes in between the clumps. Use a Zoom Superfluke weightless in sungill going into these holes and letting it sink to the bottom. Then popping it on the edges of hydrilla clumps, can produce some vigorous strikes. Also, try using the Reaction Innovation Shiny Dipper on a 1/4 oz swimjig in watermelon seed and slow rolling it along the bottom along the edges of the clumps for best results. My #2 choice also would be offshore on shellbeds in 10’-14’ of water. For best results, I use a skirtless 3/16 oz standup jig with a Zoom Junebug with a black finesse worm. Slow drag it along the bottom for best results. #3 on my list would be the canals and the creeks that connect the lakes in the Kissimmee Chain. Fishing 8’-9’ deep ledges in the canal are really goodbackwater shaded creeks are even better. Nothing works better than a weightless Senko in this application. Last but not least are the heavy cup pads in 4’-6’ of water pitching a Crawdaddy on a 1/2 oz Texas Rig, or a 1/2 oz Football jig in black or blue for best results. For Bream and Crappie, they will be pretty much on a same pattern as the Bass will. Minnows, worms and crickets jigged, even dry flys on a fly rod can be deadly on Panfish this time of year. Submitted By: Capt Dave Ochs Waters Edge Fish Camp • 10730 Camp Mack Rd • Lake Wales, Fl 863-589-6295

July 7- Kissimmee Chain Camp Mack* 31 Aug -1 Sep - Team Championship TBA *Lake and ramp change Guaranteed Payout $1000.00 1st-Place Entry Fee: $80.00 Per Team* - Big Bass $20.00 Per Team B.A.S.S. Nation Team Championship To qualify for the Lakeland Bassmasters Team Trail Championship, a team must fish a minimum of 3 tournaments. The Team Trail Championship winners go to the B.A.S.S. Nation Team Championship with the entry fee paid by the Lakeland Bassmasters. If the Team Trail membership is at least 50 teams, then the Team Trail Points winners will also go to the B.A.S.S. Nation Team Championship with the entry fee paid by the Lakeland Bassmasters. Contact: Mike Morse (Tournament Director) 813-928-3661 email: mikemorsefishing@gmail.com or Jim Hooven (Club President) 863-698-9772 email: Bassprez@tampabay.rr.com Lakeland Jr. Bassmaster members are welcome to fish with an adult 18+. All participants must be members of B.A.S.S. andmust join the Lakeland Bassmasters. *Payout Based on 20 Teams Pays Minimum 3 Places - $500 1st-place if less than 20 Teams COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM | JULY 2019

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Changing the Bugger

Customizing the Universal Fly By: Chris O’Byrne Fly anglers expose themselves to a rich variety of stubborn habits. As soon as a healthy person experiences the natural sensations that come with fly fishing: the artistic and practical rewards of fly tying, then the creative power of presenting that conception, and of course the manual-visceral sensation of fighting a fish on the long rod, they might ignore all else Pepper Tree Press will release O’Byrne’s to feel these thrills again. Here is first book in July one potential flyaddiction to be aware of. Many skilled and worldly fly anglers who learned at otherwise unremarkable ponds develop a need to catch exotic fish in different locales far over the horizon. Traveling to these waters requires seductive paraphernalia and getting on the water is often the gateway. As if boats are offered on the conveyer belt at a sushi restaurant, anglers are driven to purchase an endless variety of watercraft. Kayaks, and paddleboards, rowboats, tiller drives, center consoles and drift boats call out to the wander lusting angler in turn. When that issue is dormant, getting to better waters becomes a desire, so anglers experiment with vehicles. Beginning innocently with bicycles, then various motor bikes, they eventually bounce along curvy back roads near fishy waters in four-wheel drives. Some vehicles are chosen for their living A cabin at Blackberry Farm, TN arrangements. When hotels don’t work, and friends’ couches are not available, anglers might buy SUVs, pickups, or RVs, less as automobiles and more as a mobile rest area. When relatively close waters no longer give anglers what they need, they chase bigger thrills by traveling the world, casting to different fish in different places. In this group, anglers travel in small propeller aircraft, commercial jets, and uber adventurers fly in new (and even old) helicopters. Once the travel jones takes ahold of you, one of your choices will be how far “off the grid” you want to go? Are you willing to filter your water from the lake you are fishing? Carry your bed in a backpack? Will you be happy to wear your pillow, if you can get up there and cast to ‘those’ fish? A cabin at Lopez RV Park, FL Or do you require an airconditioned suite on a tropical beach with waiters bringing your favorite icy drink at the dock in the afternoon? Will nothing short of a Hide Away Report Top Rated Lodge satisfy your need for luxury in your fishing? As the sandal wearing hiker who left me staring down at the river said, “Hike your own hike.” The fish are out there, near whatever lifestyle you are habituated to. Go, and cast to them! The Author is grateful to Beall and Thomas, Blackberry Farm, and The Hideaway Report

CENTRAL FLORIDA FRESHWATER FLY FISHING REPORT Conditions: Great Surface Temp: 85f Clarity: Slightly Tannic 20-24 inches Guide Tip: Now is a great time of year to target larger fish up shallow with obnoxious topwater flies. I like to start with a more traditional color scheme like an olive and yellow. As always color matters sometimes, so have a few dark colors as well. As the day heats up sticking with bluegill pattern streamers fish ed near docks or grasslines has been a safe bet. Techniques: Our panfish have been munching on topwater flies too. They have been really liking blue or yellow sprogs as well as large stimulators. Fish these topwaters near trees or grasslines early then switch to docks later in the day. The tried and true popper dropper is still a great way to cover more water and as usual it’s putting solid fish on the line. The Bass are cruising the shallows early making it an ideal time to throw poppers. A slow retrieve with a long pause has been key. Another way to fish a popper is to drop an olive wooly bugger about 30 in off the back. Same retrieve as before, this also works well when Bass are schooling in the evening. During the warmer parts of the day a sinking line and streamers give you the chance to catch fish during the midday lull. Golden shiner Clousers or white brush flies match the hatch the best. A slow retrieve is fairly standard when chucking streamers but I also like to fish my larger streamers fast near docks. If you use either a weighted fly or spit shot on a sink line your fly will still stay down. The erratic retrieve will get reaction strikes from neutral fish laying low near the cooler water a dock provides. If your lake has peppergrass the Bass will congregate on these massive offshore mats. Areas like that provide oxygen, shade, and plenty of food. They also get less fishing pressure near the heavy cover. Water Forecast: The lake levels have started rising.The Peace is at above average levels, the Econ has risen to above average levels, the Myakka is slightly above average,the Hillsborough is at above average levels, the Withlacoochee is at above average levels as well. Submitted by: Hunter Towery Sweetwater Guide Service 863-837-7028

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Scalloping Charter Capt. Rick Burns Reel Burns Charters Homosassafishingguide.com 352-201-6111 Manatee 12 POLK & SUMTER | JULY 2019Charter | COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

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Lakeland Area 1- Big Fish Bait & Tackle 863-815-9492 6908 US Hwy 98 North • Lakeland FL 33809 wwww.CentralFloridaAngling.com 2- Old Salt Marine 863-802-0543 1916 Us Hwy 98 •North Lakeland, FL 33805 www.OldSaltMarine.com 3-Stone’s Bait & Tackle 863-940-4898 2049 E Edgewood Drive • Lakeland, FL 33803 4-Phillips Bait & Tackle 863-666-2248 3780 US-92 • Lakeland, FL 33801 www.CentralFloridaTrollingMotor.com 5-Champs Sports Grill 863-647-5900 6645 S. Florida Ave • Lakeland, FL 33813 www.ChampsToGo.com 6- Stretch Outdoors Discount Outfitters 863-608-1513 848 W Daughtery Road • Lakeland, FL 33389 7- LineX Of Lakeland 863-581-9173 3000 State Road 37 S. • Mulberry, FL 33860 www.linexoflakeland.com Auburndale Area 8- Action Watersports 863-967-4148 402 Progress Rd • Auburndale, FL 33823 www.ActionWatersports.net 9-Overdue Adventures 863-559-4480 Auburndale, FL 33823 Winter Haven Area 10- Polk Tractor 863-967-0651 3450 Havendale Blvd NW • Winter Haven, FL 33881 www.PolkTractorco.com 11-Hillman Motors Inc. 863-967-4628 2701 Havendale Blvd. NW • Winter Haven FL 33881 www.hillmanmotors.net 12-Capt. Scott Taylor 855-354-8433 Official Guide for VisitCentralFlorida.org & Camp Mack’s River Resort Scott@TMCGuideService.com 13-Sweetwater Guide Service 863-837-7028 336 Magnolia Ave • Winter Haven, FL 33880 14- Millers Fiberglass 863-551-1551 1505 Lake Shipp Dr, Winter Haven, FL 33880 www.facebook.com/Millers-Fiberglass-Repair-157407427716301 15- Marine Supply of Winter Haven 863-297-7003 1700 3rd St SW • Winter Haven, FL 33880 www.MarineSupplyBoats.com Lake Alfred Area 16-Ron’s Tackle Box,LLC 863-956-4990 380 S. Lake Shore Way • Lake Alfred, FL 33850 www.ronstacklebox.com Haines City Area 17- Hoppy’s Marine 863-439-7616 31499 Highway 27 • Haines City, FL 33844 www.HoppysMarine.com Bartow Area 18- Spurlows 863-635-0240 1264 N Broadway Ave • Bartow, FL 33830 SpurlowsOutdoorOutfitters.com Lake Wales Area 19-Bridgemasters 863-676-1009 2131 FL-60 • Lake Wales, FL 33898 www.Bridge-Masters.com

21-Capt Dave Ochs Waters Edge Fish Camp 863-589-6295 10730 Camp Mack Rd • Lake Wales, Fl 33538 22-Guy Harvey Camp Mack Lodge, Marina & RV Resort 863-696-1108 14900 Camp Mack Rd • Lake Wales, FL 33898 www.GuyHarveyCampMack.com Frostproof Area 23- Erwine’s Marine 863-635-4492 250 S. Scenic Hwy • Frostproof, FL 33843 www.ErwinesMarine.com Placida Area 24-Fly Em High Charters 863-224-1418 Capt Bobby Woodard 6499 Gasparilla Rd • Placida, FL 33946 www.Captain-Bobby.com

CHARLOTTE HARBOR FISHING FORECAST I’m happy to report that the 2019 Tarpon Season has been the best bite in the past 20 years for me, simply phenomenal fishing. We’ve been catching tarpon consistently since April. Preferred baits have been small blue and pass crabs, squirrel fish, threadfin herring and pinfish. We have been presenting the baits in a number of ways from deep drifting the passes, to sight casting in the shallows along beaches and shoals. Tarpon fishing should continue to produce results as we charge into late Summer. I will begin to start fishing post spawn tarpon in bays and flats and migrating tarpon along the beaches. Historically speaking tarpon fishing should remain good through at least September, especially if we have a calm tropical weather season. Big Snook fishing has picked up as well in the passes and on the beaches as they begin to gather in mass for their Summertime spawn. Try to use larger live baits like pinfish, grass grunts, or sand brim and if needed use enough weight to get the bait down towards the bottom. By doing so you can reduce the number of strikes from the smaller male snook and target the larger females. Please make sure to use heavy enough tackle to land your breeder snook quickly and also support the weight horizontally while taking a photo. It is equally important to take the time to revive them properly for a health release, the healthy future of the fishery depends on it. Another favorite Summertime boating activity for me is Scalloping! Bay Scallop season opens July 1st and runs through September 24th in Citrus County. I run my Scallop charters out of Homosassa. I like to move around a lot and explore different areas away from the fleet but in general we’re in 4-6ft of water. Sometimes slightly deeper but honestly anything over 6 starts to become work after awhile especially with any sort of current to mention. Sometimes the scallops will be over the more sandy areas and sometimes they will be in the thicker grass. It just takes time and getting in the water and looking around to be able to find them. Scalloping is like an underwater Easter egg hunt and great fun for the whole family. If you want to give it a try, give me a call and I can take you out. If you want to try it on your own be very careful with your boat operation, stay inside the markers in the river and don’t try to pass other boats. Also please do not run your boat close to other boats with swimmers in the water and remember to pull your diver down flag when running from spot to spot. I will be running both tarpon and scallop charters throughout the Summer up to the end of season in September. If you’re interested in a charter please call me and we’ll get you out! The attached photo is from a recent tarpon charter. My friend from middle school Jeremy and his wife booked me for a fun day of catching tarpon and that’s what they did hooking up to 7 tarpon and landing a few if I remember correctly. Capt. Bobby Woodard

20- Gary’s Boating Center 863-638-0537 15520 Highway 27 • Lake Wales, FL 33859 14 POLK & SUMTER | JULY 2019 | COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM www.GarysBoating.com

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www.Captain-Bobby.com 863-224-1418

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Florida Angler Achieves 50-Fish Milestone Allision Stattner’s big wahoo was the 50th species caught on her Saltwater Fish Life List.

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llison Stattner is an accomplished angler. She has a pending 130.2-pound tarpon world record on fly and is featured in the new book “Fifty Women Who Fish.” Recently, she added another accomplishment to her list by becoming the first—and only—angler to join FWC’s 50-Fish Club. The milestone recognizes an astounding number of fish species Stattner has checked off in her Saltwater Fish Life List.

“Reaching the 50-Fish Club was definitely a fun challenge!” said Stattner. “I had to take into account seasonality, location within Florida, varied baits and, most importantly, log a lot of time on the water. Some of my catches were from the beach, pier, kayak and offshore headboats. Thank you to FWC and the sponsors of the Catch a Florida Memory program for recognizing angler accomplishments and encouraging me to be a better angler!” Stattner rounded out her Life List achievement with a whopping 42-inch wahoo as her 50th fish. She chose to memorialize the catch in a replica mount she’ll receive as a prize from Mount This! Fish Company. While her enthusiasm for spending time on the water is clear, she is equally passionate about teaching younger generations how to fish, including her own daughter who is a Life List 10-Fish Club member. Want to get in on the action? You can win a replica fish mount from Mount This! Fish Company when you submit catches by July 31 and are the first angler to qualify for the Reefs and Rubble Grand Slam (gag, gray triggerfish and black sea bass all caught in 24 hours) or the angler whose Reel Big Fish most exceeds its qualifying length. Plus, Catch a Florida Memory is teaming up with events like the Pensacola Fishing Rodeo and Lake Worth Lagoon Fishing Challenge to give you even more to chances to win. Grab your friends and family for some fishing fun, make some memories and win a few prizes while you’re at it. Catch a Florida Memory challenges anglers to target a diverse range of species in Florida, reducing pressure on the most commonly sought-after catches. Successful anglers receive a prize pack including a T-shirt, certificate and tumbler, and the prizes get hotter from there. Participate today by visiting CatchaFloridaMemory. com. Anglers do not have to harvest their fish to be eligible for prizes and are encouraged to use proper fish handling techniques. For information, visit CatchaFloridaMemory.com, email AnglerRecogntion@MyFWC.com or call (850) 487-0554.

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By Capt. Tim Barefoot

don’t want to sound like I disapprove of harvesting fish, but we should all do our best to use fish as a sustainable form of entertainment and food. De-hookers and barbless or circle hooks minimize the time trauma for fish at boatside. I catch quite a few fish I want to release as healthy as possible due to size, creel limits and seasons, as well as fish that are heavy with roe. There are many ways to accomplish the release without ever touching the fish at all. A quality de-hooker with a T handle provides full control of the fish and hook when using barbless circle hooks. With quite a few species, dozens of fish are caught per trip, and being able to take care of the smaller fish helps those fish survive to sexual maturity. Hopefully they’ll have at least one successful spawn, which ensures the future fishery. There are other species like speckled trout that are effortless to release with a barbless jig hook. You can simply give trout slack line at the boat, and they will release themselves. Or just grab the jig head and barely push backward, allowing the trout to swim away without ever being touched. Too may times, I’ve seen young or uninformed anglers struggle with fish at boatside. It’s even worse when a fish intended for release is hooked deep with a barbed jig or J hook. I try to be courteous and inform the angler on how to use the de-hooker and/or barbless hooks in the future. Another way to reduce the possibility of deep hooking is to use more soft plastic baits. I’ve found that Gulp! baits work great with circle hooks, as well. Because they are impregnated with scent, fish tend to keep Gulp! baits in their mouths much longer than standard soft plastics. I’ve found that using Pro Cure Shrimp flavor on my soft plastic shrimp jigs has a similar effect. All fish have great senses of smell and taste, and a bag of soft plastic baits typically smells or tastes like… plastic. This is the reason Pro Cure Shrimp is a no-brainer. Everything in the water eats a shrimp. I typically keep a shrimp tied on the jig rod, and a shrimp on the cork rod. Speaking of smell and taste, if you smoke, consider how the smell of cigarettes on you hands affects the smell of the soft plastics you use. In closing, I’d like to encourage all the parents and role models out there to set a good example of how to properly release fish and how to use all the tools available to release fish as healthy as possible. Make your own videos to inform friends about how to accomplish this, or share some of my videos. To see my videos, go to www.barefootcatsandtackle.com. For a look at the South Chatham Tackle Dehooker, see https//m.youtube.com/watch?v=99MFTHkdTVw&t=98s.

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BOAT REVIEW Yamaha 19-foot 190 FSH

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Yamaha Goes Big With Their New 19-foot Center Console When Yamaha Boats entered the center console category in 2015 with their first gen 19-foot 190 FSH, skeptics questioned if Yamaha could compete in the segment in the same way the “Rev Your Heart” brand dominates the 19-foot, 21-foot, and 24-foot bowrider category. Just three years later, Yamaha clapped back by winning Boating Magazine’s coveted Boat of the Year honor with their 21-foot 210 FSH. For 2019, Yamaha upped the ante with a complete refresh of the 190 FSH Series. Yamaha’s 19’ center console boats return with an all-new deck and hull design that is 3 inches longer and 2 inches wider than previous year models. With the added space, Yamaha engineers increased storage capacity and improved overall functionality. From bow to stern, there is not another 19’ center console boat as spacious or more comfortable. Under the waterline, the longer, wider hull is designed for added comfort too, favoring characteristics that reduce bow rise when accelerating and hull packing when operating in choppy water conditions. Another significant improvement included on all Yamaha boats for 2019 is a new V-shaped reverse bucket that enhances handling when in reverse, a redesigned Articulating Keel that reduces drag, and a new compliment of corrosion resistance measures to protect the jet pump and surrounding driveline parts. The new V-Bucket works by diverting water thrust laterally (not down) to take advantage of the benefits of side thrust. The redesigned Articulating Keel is thinner and with tighter tolerances to reduce drag while maintaining all its low-speed handling benefits. And to increase corrosion resistance to the jet pump and surrounding driveline parts, a three-step process that combines Alumite, a ceramic coating, and expoxy paint has been added. Most Usable Deck Layout Ever in a 19’ Center Console Starting at the bow, the storage compartments are larger and open wider than

before. To help keep tackle and other essentials organized, Plano storage trays are integrated into the new portside mini-pod storage compartment, and on the starboard side, the mini pod opens into a huge storage area. These padded mini pods also serve as convenient ingress and egress points. The bow platform is wider than previous models, and the bow platform hatch is wider too, providing better access and more light for stowing or retrieving gear. The bench seat and front of the center console lifts up to reveal an extra deep, large storage area that can also serve as a changing room or head compartment, thanks to the curtain enclosure included on Deluxe and Sport models. The entryway to this compartment is redesigned to make ingress and egress easier. This compartment can also store equipment and recreational items and offers convenient access to the backside of the helm for easy service and installation of aftermarket marine electronics. On the sides of the center console are six vertical rod holders, three on each side. Four additional rod holders are located under the gunnels on the port and starboard sides. With the addition of four flush-mount rod holders on the deck, there are 14 rod holders across the boat. The Sport version adds four more rocket launchers on the T-top. The helm is thoughtfully designed with a simple-to-remove windshield for low profile storage, a stainless steel sports steering wheel, easy access to all boat control switches, a locking glove box and an open area to flush mount electronics such as a fishfinder, GPS unit, and other marine electronics. Also included is Yamaha’s 4.3” touchscreen Connext control system featuring a brand-new user interface in 2019, and conveniently-placed rocker switches for Yamaha’s No Wake Mode and Cruise Assist, along with bilge, horn and other vital functions.

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NATIONAL

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FISH & FISHING

SINKER SENSE

MARK SOSIN

P

resentation holds the key to catching fish. That cardinal rule proves just as valid for critters that hunker down on the sea floor as it does for more glamorous denizens in the upper level of the water column. If a bait isn’t in the zone where the fish happen to be or if it doesn’t behave in a natural and realistic manner, it will be ignored. Sinkers are a vital aspect of fishing success. Their mission goes well beyond the task of simply dragging a bait to the bottom or some midpoint in the water column. View them as part of the total presentation package. That includes such factors as sink rate, whether it anchors a bait or allows it to drift, and as an aid in casting. If you’re going to troll, sinkers help to adjust the depth at which each bait or lure is moving through the water. With very few exceptions, select the lightest sinker that will carry your offering to the bottom or the desired depth. Don’t assume that if 1 ounce does the job, 2 ounces are better. Not only do heavier weights keep the bait or lure from looking like a tempting morsel, they make the hook-up process more difficult. Remember that when an unsuspecting fish inhales an offering, it must drag the sinker along before the hook will embed in its jaw. Line diameter plays a major role in determining the weight of the sinker you will need. Generally, the finer the diameter of the line you are using, the less weight you need to achieve the same results in a given situation. As an example, the bottom bouncer who insists on using 30-pound test line needs a heavier sinker than someone using 20-pound test. Sinker shape helps to determine sink rate. The fastest, freefalling sinkers have the weight concentrated at the bottom, tend to be very compact and are streamlined. It’s important to note, however, that fast-falling sinkers have a tendency to cause the

hook and tag end of the leader to wrap around the standing part during the drop. In most situations, it proves more effective if the sinker will drift across the bottom rather than anchor the rig in one place. If you’re trolling, sinker choice should include enough weight to keep the bait or lure at the preferred depth. No assortment of sinkers is complete without split shots, bullet weights, pinch-ons, and twist-ons. These can be added very easily to make minor adjustments to the weight of the primary sinker. Sinkers come in many different shapes, and each shape has a specific purpose. It’s important to choose a shape designed to do the job you expect. The right sinker for the task at hand will increase your catch rate significantly, and that’s the easiest way to turn an average day on the water into a memorable one.

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he much -anticipated red snapper season in the south Atlantic waters of North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida opens in July. Based on Photo courtesy of Miss Judy Charters, landings from www.missjudycharters.com last year’s six-day season, the limited opening has been cut to just five days for 2019. Anglers will be sure to have plenty of company on the reefs, as everyone scrambles to get in on their share of the action. The bag limit is one red snapper per person, per day, and captains and crews of for-hire vessels may retain the recreational bag limit. There is no minimum or maximum size limit. Harvest will be allowed on the following days: • July 12, 13 and 14 (Friday, Saturday, Sunday) – The recreational season opens at 12:01 a.m., local time, on July 12 and closes at 12:01 a.m., local time, on July 15. • July 19 and 20 (Friday and Saturday) – The recreational season opens again at 12:01 a.m., local time, on July 19 and closes at 12:01 a.m., local time, on July 21.

COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM 20966 CoastalAngler_M37_719.indd 1

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s responsible anglers, we want to do everything we can to return bycatch safely. Anyone who’s fished bottoms deeper than 30 feet has probably experienced the “floating fish syndrome.” This is caused by barotrauma, an expansion of the fish’s air bladder as they are brought up from depth. Signs of barotrauma include eyes popping, stomach extending out of the mouth, intestines extending out of the anus and bloating. These fish will not be able to descend upon release and are subject to predation. Thanks to a NOAA grant, the South Carolina Wildlife Federation has partnered with the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council to develop an interactive online tutorial detailing fish-handling and release techniques

that give fish the best chance of survival. In 2018, anglers fishing waters of the Atlantic from North Carolina to Florida released more than 2 million red snapper. Even a 5 percent increase in survivorship would save 100,000 red snapper a year. All those surviving fish would remain in the stock. The South Atlantic Fisheries Management Council includes bycatch mortality as part of their population estimates that determine seasons and catch limits. Best fishing practices detailed in the tutorial are a great way of reducing mortality, which means there will be more fish in the water for future fishing opportunities. Take the online tutorial and enhance your future fishing opportunities at: https://safmc. net/bestpracticestutorial/story_ html5.html. Complete the tutorial (about 20 minutes) and sign the pledge to be eligible for a free SeaQualizer descending device of you fish the South Atlantic.

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ACR RESQLINK VIEW PLB

ACR Electronics’ new Next-Gen ResQLink View personal locator beacon (PLB) is your link to rescue when things go south, whether it’s on open water or in the backcountry. ACR tweaked the design of their worldwide best-selling PLBs to make them more user-friendly and functional. This unit has a digital display, which provides the beacon’s operational activities, including GPS coordinates, operating instructions,

usage tips, transmission bursts and battery power. It lets you know it’s working and that assistance will arrive soon. With military durability, this lifesaving little gadget will be there if you need it. And it’s simple to use, even under duress. With one hand, flip up the antenna and press the red button to activate. Anywhere in the world, a powerful signal and a multiple-satellite system alerts responders to your location within 350 feet, in five minutes or less, 95 percent of the time. An ultra-bright strobe as well as an infra-red strobe, for night vision, will guide rescuers the rest of the way. At about 5 inches long and weighing just 5 ounces, the ResQLink View is unobtrusive. It clips snugly to a backpack or lifejacket. ResQLink View provides ultimate peace of mind, and it could save your life.

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Dexter’s white handle fillet knives are in more fishermen’s hands than any other brand. The white handle SOFGRIP is ergonomically perfect, slip-free and gives you complete control when filleting your catch. SOFGRIP knives feature DEXSTEEL blades, which are highcarbon, high alloy and stain free. These blades are ultra-sharp out of the package, maintain their edge, re-sharpen easily and have just right flexibility to glide over bones. Dexter SOFGRIP knives come in a variety of different sizes, shapes

and flex so you can find the perfect knife to clean your fish. Dexter also manufactures other lines of knives featuring different type handles, from the Traditional wood to the UR-Cut custom moldable handle. All Dexter knives have been made in the U.S.A. for 201 years. You can find Dexter knives at your local or online retailer and can be viewed at dexteroutdoors.com. Follow Dexter Outdoors on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube. Dexteroutdoors.com

MONSTER BROWN CAUGHT ON WHITE RIVER

Y

ou don’t see a brown trout like this one every day. This massive and battle-scarred bruiser was caught and released by Paden Flippen on Arkansas’ White River below Bull Shoals Dam on June 14. The 36.7-pound monster was a fitting present for the angler, who celebrated his 24th birthday that day. The White River is well known for producing gigantic trout. This system of hatchery-supported tailwaters has the food sources and habitat for rainbow, brown, brook and even cutthroat trout to reach almost unbelievable sizes. Flippin guides for Cotter Trout Dock and said he and other guides had been tracking this big brown for more than a year. If he had decided to keep it for certification, Flippen’s big trout would have fallen just shy of the state record, which is held by a 40-pound, 4-ounce beast that was caught from the Little Red River back in 1992. That fish, caught by Rip Collins, was the world record up until 2013, when an angler in New Zealand caught a 42-pound, 1-ounce brown trout.

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FLY FISHING

DEXTER WHITE HANDLE FILLET KNIFE


FLY FISHING

FE

few inches until it can deliver the fly ever so softly. Always carry extra spools of leader material to meet this problem. Once again, your leader length is often determined by the fishing conditions. If the wind is howling and you are having a difficult time rolling over your fly, shorten the leader. If conditions are glass-slick, the fish will be spooky. You will need a much longer cast, so lengthen your leader and reduce the size and weight of your fly.

THE BASIC SALTWATER LEADER: THE LONG AND SHORT OF IT The leader is the connection between fisherman and fish. If tied incorrectly, not only will it be difficult to cast, it will also be responsible for losing saltwater gamefish. I prefer a 9-foot leader when fishing saltwater, although there are occasions when a 10-foot leader is needed. A good leader can turn over the large, heavy flies used in saltwater fly fishing. I will often start my day with a longer leader, and reduce its length depending on the demands of weather conditions and efficiency in properly delivering the fly. The leader is a simple equation: 4x3x2. I have found this the preferred method to construct a solid saltwater leader: • 4 feet of 40-pound stiff mono; • 3 feet of 30-pound mono, and • 2 feet of 20-pound mono. This system works well with lighter tippets as well. If I need to add a lighter tippet, I shorten the heavy 40-pound butt section to keep the overall leader length 9 feet, adding the light tippet to the 20-pound test on the fly end of the leader. How the fly lands on the water is important. You want the fly to land as softly as a whisper. If, however, your leader is too long, a heavy fly will hit the water as loudly as a thrown rock. The noise will alert every fish in the vicinity. I usually solve this problem by shortening the leader and cutting off a

There are times when a shorter leader is needed. The short leader makes it easier to cast a heavy fly into the wind. I will often shorten leaders to fewer than 7 feet when dealing with very strong winds. It’s good to remember that shallow-water fish are less spooky under windy conditions. Therefore, they will often swim within close range of the angler without being spooked. I believe the wind and the distortion it creates on the water’s surface acts as a barrier to the world above the surface, making the fish feel more secure. I’ve witnessed this on many occasions when tarpon, redfish and permit swim within a rod’s length of me while the wind was blowing 20 knots.

photo by Nick Carter

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