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Venice, Louisiana:

A Paddler's Heaven

Local

Bass Pro

Mike Iaconelli

Fishing Reports Catch Photos News & Events

Talks Kayaks Inshore

PHOTO COURTESY OF JEFF SCHNEIDER VOLUME 22 • ISSUE 267

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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.

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The cover of this month’s Coastal Angler Venice, Louisiana: editions features a gorgeous Louisiana red A Paddler's caught by Kaku pro-staffer and Louisiana Heaven tuna captain Jeff Schneider while fishing from the deck of a Kahuna SUP. There is perhaps no better place in the world to chase redfish from a paddle-powered boat Local Bass Pro Mike Iaconelli than Venice, Louisiana. Kaku’s president Talks Kayaks Inshore Kevin Hawkins tells us all about it in this issue. With thousands upon thousands of acres of marshland situated around the mouth of the Mississippi Delta, it is a paradise for inshore species and the anglers who target them. There are so many options for kayak and paddleboard anglers around Venice. They range from mothership trips out in the Gulf of Mexico for big cobia, jacks and bull reds to easier hand-launch expeditions off the side of the road in Venice, where marsh ponds and canals in tall grass make it easier to find fishing out of the wind. No matter where or how one decides to deploy a little plastic boat in the waters around the Delta, the fishing will be fantastic. It truly is heaven for anglers under paddle power.

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THE ANGLER MAGAZINE Bass Pro Mike Iaconelli: Down Off The Deck

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Professional bass tournament angler and Mike Iaconelli TV personality Mike Iaconelli is one of the most recognized anglers in the world. The 2003 Bassmaster Classic Champion and 2006 Make New Lures Angler of the Year, “Ike” can claim to have won Confidence Lures Local almost every major award in professional bass fishing. But he’s also a self-described fish-head, who will fish anywhere, any way for anything that will pull on the other end of a line. It’s fitting that the rig pulling his stateof-the-art Bass Cat boat also has a Hobie kayak strapped to the roof for quick and easy, on-the-spot fun fishing. In this month’s magazine, Ike tells us about his love of kayak fishing in a question-and-answer session that delves into some of the tools and techniques he uses inshore. Ike is one of the best bass fishermen in the world, and his tournament skills translate well to saltwater. The cover of this month’s The Angler Magazines is of “Ike” with a good redfish caught while filming for his TV show “Going Ike” in Port Fourchon, Louisiana. We interviewed him in the run-up to this year’s Bassmaster Classic, and taking a moment to talk kayaks seemed a breathe of fresh air for him during crunch time. Talks Kayaks Inshore

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Kayakin’ The Spring

By Patrick Sebile

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ife is getting vibrant. Things are warming up, and spring is here. As a ritual long established, I feel the need to be close to nature. And to me there’s no better way to experience the feeling of life awakening than riding a kayak with a rod in my hand. I have fished and guided from all kinds of boats, from small skiffs to majestic deep-sea vessels, but a small plastic shell puts me right next to the fish, my hands always a few inches from the water’s surface. It’s not a money matter, as I own boats. Perhaps it is the challenge? I definitively spend more time each year fishing from my skiff or bass boat, and surely catch more fish from these boats. They are true fishing machines, helping me cover lots of water to find fish. And they can carry all the gear necessary for any situation. On my kayak, I have to think effectively about what my needs are and carefully consider every single thing I will bring onboard. It’s a good way to find the balance between needs and wants. So how do I fish while kayaking? In freshwater and saltwater, my approach is to slowly and surely cover every spot. In a kayak, I am much more aware of, and more capable of, targeting the places where fish hide. Superbly silent, my Pro Angler carries me at the edge of two worlds, above the surface where we

live and the liquid world, which holds the object of all our passions. My kayak tackle boxes have a variety of carefully selected key lures that will help in different situations and environments, nothing more than what I will need. I carry Magic Swimmers, hard for open water and soft for heavy cover and structure. A Flatt Shad snagless is effective in both open and snaggy areas. Twitch baits like the Stick Shadd definitely go into my box, as they are needed if fish are active. A handful of plastic worms, a couple of bucktails, and then a topwater or a pivot frog will complete this set to fish from a ’yak. Seated just above the water, gliding silently with gentle movements of my feet on the pedals, rod in hand and with eyes searching, I use the smooth approach to get as close as I can to the spot or to the fish. Then all that’s left is a short but accurate cast. Proximity also gives me greater enjoyment of seeing the fish and seeing it bite. That’s why I love kayak fishing this time of the year. And you never know; I may let my lures sit in the tackle box and simply hook a shiner or a shrimp and let it swim. Or maybe I won’t even do a thing, just watch the water and the life that surrounds it—just enjoy life… and a kayak ride. Patrick Sebile is the owner and lure designer of Sebile Innovative Fishing (www.sebile.com).

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Mike Iaconelli Talks Kayaks And Redfish

Editor Nick Carter had the chance to interview professional bass angler Mike Iaconelli just before the Bassmaster Classic. We didn’t want to jinx Ike by talking about the Classic, so we asked the Hobie pro about his love of kayak fishing.

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hat’s the appeal in stepping down from the deck of a bass boat into a kayak? Ike: Growing up in southern New Jersey, I consider myself a small-boat angler first. Many of my early childhood experiences fishing involved fishing from the bank, rowing a small jonboat or paddling a canoe. Kayak fishing fills a huge niche in my fishing life. Outside of competitive bass tournament fishing, I’m still a huge fish head. That means fishing for all freshwater and saltwater species in my down time. When I’m fun fishing or filming for TV shows, I love to access remote places that I can’t get into with my full size bass boat. Kayak fishing is also a HUGE breath of fresh air to leave behind the big boat and all of the time and preparation that go along with launching and running that boat. With your tournament schedule, do you get to spend much time on the salt? Ike: I definitely try to go inshore and offshore fishing each fall when the tournament season concludes. This past fall, I spent a week in Port Fourchon, Louisiana hanging out at Hobie Worlds 6 and filming a kayak fishing episode for season two of my TV show, Going Ike, which premiers this spring on the Pursuit Channel! I had a great time catching big redfish and trout, plus it was awesome meeting the Hobie World Championship competitors from all over the world who love fishing as much as I do. I also had a chance to go offshore fishing with my buddy Ish Monroe in San Francisco during November. We were mainly targeting lingcod, and it was an amazing day of fishing! Where do you put your kayak in and what do you fish for in New Jersey? Ike: I mostly fish the small lake behind my house, which has largemouth bass, northern chain pickerel, crappie and sunfish. My son, Vegas, got a brand new Hobie kayak from Santa for Christmas this year. The fish in our lake better watch out this summer! I’m really looking forward to spending time with my family and pursuing exciting new fishing adventures. How do redfish compare to “green fish?” Ike: Anyone who has caught a big redfish would agree that they are definitely more powerful and are a very aggressive fish in general. One of my favorite things about targeting redfish is that most of the time I can focus on shallow-water power-fishing techniques and search for active, feeding reds. With the “green fish,” there are a lot of times that I have to slow down and present a bait to them slowly such as with a jig, worm or finesse fishing.

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What skills, techniques and gear from your bass arsenal translate well to inshore? Ike: Casting accuracy/ presentation, reading tides and powerfishing techniques are the first three that come to my mind. Often when I’m inshore fishing, I am targeting fish that are relating to a grass edge or current break. If I can make accurate, quiet casts, there’s a good chance I’m going to catch more fish! Having grown up fishing the Delaware River, which can have up to a 7-foot tide swing between low and high tides, I’ve spent much of my life learning how fish position based on the tide level and current. This experience translates extremely well to inshore fishing…. I bring a lot of traditional power-fishing gear that you’d also find in my Bass Cat boat when I’m fishing for bass: Abu Garcia “Ike” Series Rods, Berkley Trilene braided/ monofilament/ fluorocarbon fishing lines, Rapala Skitter Walk and Skitter V topwaters, VMC jigheads, and Berkley Powerbait and Gulp swimbaits, grubs, and more soft plastics. How is your Hobie rigged out? Ike: I have a Power Pole Micro Anchor to stop the kayak on a dime. This is a very crucial piece of equipment, which allows me to quickly stop and fish an area without the kayak drifting with the current or wind. This is huge when you are fishing specific targets such as points, current breaks, laydowns, docks and more. I also have a Lowrance HDS 9 Touch unit, a storage crate for my Flambeau Zerust tackle boxes and tackle bags, landing net, rod holders, and of course, Hobie’s Mirage Drive pedals so I can keep my hands fishing instead of paddling! Electronics play a huge role on the bass tournament scene, what’re your thoughts on electronics in kayaks? Ike: Electronics play just as huge of a role in kayak fishing. I really use it the same as with my Bass Cat boat! As I just mentioned, I run a Lowrance HDS 9 Touch unit on my Hobie for its GPS/ sonar abilities. I rely heavily on the information I can gather from the Lowrance such as mapping/ bottom contours, reading the water temperature, and using the sonar for locating fish, cover and structure to name a few. I may mount a Hydrowave on the Hobie as well soon. It’s another great innovation in electronics, and I use it often in my boat to fire up fish. I’m always interested in adding tools to my boat or kayak that help me catch more fish!

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By Nick Carter - Photos Courtesy of Kaku

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f there’s a heaven for folks who fish from paddle-powered boats, it must look a lot like Venice, Louisiana. This narrow spit of marshland at the Mississippi River Delta is a maze of canals and bays that flush into the Gulf of Mexico with fecundity born of joining waters. Channels and marsh ponds tucked into thousands of acres of wetlands make it the perfect habitat for redfish, seatrout, flounder and other species. It’s like the landscape was designed for fishing and exploring with a paddle. Kevin Hawkins was born and raised in Tarpon Springs, Fla. He is the president of Kaku Kayaks & Paddleboards but calls himself the company’s chief pro-staffer. He prides himself on the amount of fishing he does and designs his boats on experience. Venice is one of his favorite testing grounds. Whether its launching roadside into the marsh, a trip outside the pass from remote Port Eads or a mothership expedition to the Gulf ’s famous oil rigs, it’s the perfect setting to test his boats. It doesn’t hurt that the fishing is awesome. When the seas aren’t too rough, there’s no adventure quite like a mothership trip out to the oilrigs in search of cobia, kingfish and bull reds. Kaku pro-staffer Capt. Jeff Schneider is also a tuna captain who runs a 36-foot Contender when he’s not paddling a small plastic boat. With kayaks loaded, it’s about an hour and a half run from Venice Marina out to 50-foot-deep rigs in West Bay. Hawkins described a day he fished with Schneider, and although the primary target was cobia, a big 45-inch redfish was the highlight. Armed with big 5000 reels and 40- to 50-pound tackle, they dropped Kaku Wahoo kayaks into 2- to 3-foot seas. Even on the stable fishing platform, Hawkins said it might have been a bit much for new paddlers. For a veteran it was fun. “It’s awesome, man. I love paddling a good kayak in that stuff and busting over big waves,” said Hawkins. “When it gets rough like that, it’s fun.” They fished a series of four or five structures linked by a bridge, which gave space to paddle around and explore. Hawkins said he paddled right up to the corner of a pier, dropped his jig straight down and began back paddling before jigging. That’s when the big bull red ate. “When you’re in the shallows and they pull you around, they call that the Cajun sleigh ride,” Hawkins said. “When you’re in deep water like that, he heads straight down. He was pulling me, and that kayak was smashing straight down on those waves. It was pretty intense.” Invariably, fish seek something to wrap the line around, and only by kicking off a beam was Hawkins able to keep himself from going

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Experience Heaven

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under the rig and losing the fish. He gave a piece of advice for battling big fish from a kayak in deep water. “Keep the tip of the rod toward the front of the boat,” he said. “When the rod goes to the side, that’s when you run the risk of flipping.” If an open-water mothership trip seems a little much, Port Eads sits on the southernmost tip of Louisiana, right at the end of the Mississippi River. It’s only accessible by boat, and reasonable prices buy lodging and good meals. Also known as South Pass, the location is a few minutes paddle from the open Gulf and offers excellent fishing for big jacks, reds, cobia, blacktip sharks and any number of other species big enough to warrant medium-heavy rods, 3000 to 4000 reels and 30- to 40-pound-test lines. Hawkins likes artificials and prefers Slayer Inc.’s Sinister Swim Tail rigged on a 4/0 jig head. For him, sinking bait outside the pass would detract from the reason he fishes from kayaks and SUPs in the first place. “Kayaks are about stalking and hunting the fish,” he said. “You’ve got to use your instincts to find them. I don’t like to just sit on a hole and fish bait.” It’s as much fun as you can have sitting down… or standing up if seas are calm enough for an SUP like Kaku’s Kahuna, which is specifically designed for fishing. But perhaps the best bet for calm waters is a third Venice option, to launch roadside. Highway 23 runs from New Orleans to Venice, and Tidewater Road is where the pavement ends. There are any number of places to hand-launch a kayak or paddleboard. Hawkins mentioned Yellow Cotton Bay as well as a series of marsh ponds and cuts at a circular canal known as The Pinwheel. Once you find fish off the grass edges, it’s probably the best inshore action in the world, and it’s easily accessible to paddlers. Popping cork rigs are a no-brainer, but Hawkins said once you get tired of catching scads of rat reds and trout, it’s time to switch to the paddletail rig he likes to fish outside the pass. “We’re looking for the big ones,” he said. “You’ve still got to be ready for the big ones. No matter where I am in Venice, I’ve got a 30-pound rig.” For more information on Kaku Kayaks & SUPs, see kakukayak. com.

To learn more about fishing from a Kahuna Paddleboard, go to

FISHINGLIFE.CO

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The 12.5′ length of the Wahoo helps ensure stability. The Wahoo spans 33″ wide, great for fishing! Weighing only 74 lbs, the Wahoo is WWW.kakukayak.com lightweight, but incredibly stable. The Wahoo has a capacity of 400lbs.

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The Most Versatile Paddle Craft… Ever! The new Kahuna offers extreme stability, versatility and durability. Mount coolers, seats, storage boxes, rod holders and more to its rugged frame. It’s the first paddle craft of its kind to offer fully integrated mounting for the Micro Power Pole Shallow Water Anchor!

THE DAY’S BIG CATCH SHOULD BE YOUR ONLY FOCUS Insurance coverage through BoatU.S. makes for a great start to what could be an epic day of fishing. Our policies are designed with coverages custom-made for Anglers and include 24/7 claims service from boating experts. • Agreed Value Coverage for Your Boat, Engine(s) and Boating Equipment • Broad Cruising Areas • Charter and Guide Coverage Options Available • Coverage for Fishing Gear • Tournament Coverage • Water Towing and Roadside Assistance from TowBoatU.S. – the Nation’s Largest Fleet

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Paddlesports Product Review COVERALLS KAYAK COVER

CREEKKOOLER FLOATING COOLER

Who says kayak covers need to be bulky and thick? CoverAlls kayak covers deliver protection, strength and durability in a lightweight, tough material that keeps your kayak clean and dry year-round. Protect your kayak from nature and the elements. Prevent dirt, debris, pollen and leaves from piling up in the cockpit and seat. Block bugs and critters before they move in. Keep water out with material that’s not just water-resistant—it’s water-PROOF. Our covers are also UV-resistant to preserve your kayak’s hull and rigging from the sun’s damaging rays. Best of all, CoverAlls kayak covers are a breeze to use. They slip on quickly, draw closed with a single poly cord and cam lock—not zippers—and get snug with durable Velcro straps. There’s even a built-in red flag for transport. The cover slips off easily and stows neatly in an included compact stuff bag that even fits in most deck hatches. Spend more time with a rod and reel and less time with a hose and scrub brush. See how much better protection can be at www.coveralls.biz!

Space is always at a premium when you’re on the water in a paddle-powered vessel. Whether it’s a kayak, canoe or stand-up paddleboard, a lack of stowage often forces us to leave behind the things not absolutely necessary for the activity at hand. On a larger boat where there’s plenty of room, many anglers wouldn’t think of going fishing without a cooler full of iced-down beverages. With the new Creekkooler, those navigating under paddle power can have the same luxury. The Creekkooler is an innovative floating cooler designed with dual-wall construction and top-quality insulation to retain ice and keep things cold for extended periods. Its shape cuts through the water, limiting drag and allowing it to be pulled easily behind a boat. Creekkooler has a 30-quart capacity and will hold 30 12-ounce cans and 20 pounds of ice. It has four drink holders on deck and a 1/8-turn watertight lid that makes it a great tool for extra dry storage, too. Whether it’s for keeping drinks cold during a day on the water with buddies, packing in provisions for a multi-day float trip, or extra dry storage for the stuff you need but don’t have room in the boat for, Creekkooler is an innovative new product that will make your excursion under paddle power more comfortable.

WWW.COVERALLS.BIZ

KANOOLERPRODUCTS.COM

WHALEBACK PADDLEBOARDS TORTUGA

When I’m not in the studio or at the racetrack, I’m fishing. Every chance I get. I recently started SUP fishing, and the 12’6” Tortuga by Whaleback Paddleboards is a real game changer. At 12’6” x 34” x 10.5”, with twin pontoons, the stability is ridiculous. I can walk nose to tail and all around the rails to reel in fish from any direction. Its 3-inch side bite tracking fins allow me to squeeze into shallow flats, and its maneuverability and stability is great offshore as well. With a fullcoverage, water-resistant traction pad, the deck space is unmatched. And its 28 customizable

By Matt Nix, Racin’ Nation Radio

WWW.WHALEBACKPADDLEBOARDS.COM

JACKSON KAYAK KRAKEN 13.5

Jackson Kayak’s Kraken 13.5 is an all-new option for paddlers looking to tackle big water. Based on The Kraken 15.5 platform, the 13.5 sheds some length for more maneuverability but with all the punch of its big brother. This kayak, just like the original, is designed for the most challenging paddling environments and intended for the offshore and big-lake kayak angler. It’s a natural follow up to the first collaborative design between legendary kayak angler, Jim Sammons and Jackson Kayak’s design team led by Tony Lee. The new Kraken 13.5 is a boat shaped and built to accommodate those hitting the open water in a nimble, smaller footprint but still capable of big water management. It’s designed for punching through surf, handling rough offshore currents, swells, beach landings and those who desire ultimate performance and maneuverability. With more features than can be listed, Jackson has considered all the needs of bigwater anglers and packed them thoughtfully into this kayak. Its great-tracking hull has the speed to cover miles and the volume and storage to carry you and your gear comfortably on long outings. 16

inserts and deck tie downs let me rig up my YakAttack lean post, rod holders, GPS and paddle holder and still have room for the cooler, cup holder and lawn chair. Because let’s face it, nothing’s better than celebrating a good catch with a cold one. Whether you’re an experienced SUP fisherman or just getting started, the 12’6’ Tortuga is the board for you. It sets you up with everything you need. You just have to find the fish. All Whaleback boards are made in the USA. Visit www.whalebackpaddleboards.com or call 561-3361612 for a dealer near you.

PAU HANA BIG EZ ANGLER At 11 feet long and available in both 32 and 36 inches of width, Pau Hana’s Big EZ Angler is built to be stable, the perfect platform for fighting any game fish. This paddleboard is derived from the classic Big EZ, and is shaped to provide anglers the balance they need while remaining easy to maneuver in shallow water without disrupting fish underneath. It is lightweight at just over 30-pounds, which means it is easy to launch anywhere there’s a place to carry it to the water. It can be rigged up for any kind of fishing, can handle heavy loads and carry all the gear you need. With a soft and stylish deck and space in between the pieces for water drainage, the Angler comes pre-equipped with 25 multiple threaded mount attachment points using Pau Hana’s innovative SeaMount System. Coolers, tackle boxes, anchors, nets, rod holders, paddle clips, lights and anything else an angler needs can be easily mounted on deck. The Big EZ Angler is a real teak paddleboard with the capacity to carry everything an angler needs and provide a stable platform to fish from.

WWW.PAUHANASURFCO.COM WWW.JACKSONKAYAK.COM APRIL 2017 COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

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Paddlesports Product Review RAM MOUNTING SYSTEMS Whether you are on a lake, stream, whitewater, inlet or ocean, kayaking is all about adaptability. RAM has created a complete line of rust-resistant mounting solutions for kayaks that allow anglers to mount items where they are needed. RAM Mounting systems offer the widest selection of kayak fishing accessories to adapt to a wide range of fishing scenarios. With a patented ball-and-socket design, RAM mounts allow anglers to mount almost anything at the perfect angle. This provides flexibility to mount equipment within reach, but out of the way. RAM’s kayak mounts and fishing accessories are rugged, compact, and have no sharp edges or points. All of our kayak mounts are backed by a lifetime warranty and are made in the USA. RAM mounts are the solution for mounting anything you might need on the water. A full line of rod holders covers everything from fly rods to conventional baitcasters and spinning rods of all sizes. Electronics, like fishfinders, chartplotters, phones, tablets and cameras can be mounted securely where they are needed. RAM even has a special system for mounting transducers for depthfinders. If there is something that needs to be mounted on a kayak, chances are RAM has thought of it and designed a product to hold it.

WWW.RAMMOUNT.COM

THE SKIMMER KAYAK MOTOR KIT Paddle fatigue getting to you? Want to motorize your kayak or canoe? There’s no need to pay $2,000 for a motorized kayak. Watercraft Technologies’ The Skimmer is a simple system for motorizing your kayak or canoe, and it costs less than $400. It is a lightweight, portable motor that mounts easily to your stern. Just snap it on when you need it. Fishing has never been easier, safer and more convenient. Go farther and save your energy for fishing! Increase your range! Catch more fish! The Skimmer weighs only 6 pounds. It’s 12v battery operated. There are easy controls for steering and motor lift. It’s environmentally safe, with no pollution, oil or gas spills. The Skimmer is made for saltwater, but does great in brackish or fresh water. It is able to propel a craft 2-4 knots and lasts two to five hours per charge. Imagine running your kayak at that speed and that long with zero effort! This propulsion system is great for people who want to get on the water and not worry about paddling hard into a swift current or strong wind. It is also great for those with shoulder, back or elbow issues. This kayak trolling motor kit carries a one-year, full parts replacement policy. See The Skimmer in action and order online at www.kayaktrollingmotor.com or order by phone at 631-848-3119.

WWW.KAYAKTROLLINGMOTOR.COM

MALIBU X-WING CONSOLE

Storage is a huge issue when all the gear you need at hand must fit in a space the size of your legs and lap. Malibu’s X-Wing Console is a fantastic option for storing and organizing gear in the cockpit of a kayak. Mounting of electronics, rod holders and other accessories can all be accomplished on one unit without drilling unnecessary holes in a kayak’s deck. A dry-storage compartment included in the unit makes the perfect place for valuables as well as being a great place for a battery. The X-Wing slides back and forth on a track mounted to the gunnel, so placement can be customized on the fly so it’s there when you need it and out of the way when you don’t. It’s also completely removable for storage and transportation. The X-Wing fits Malibu Kayaks, and modifications and adapters can be used to make the console fit other brands.

WWW.MALIBUKAYAKS.COM

YAKGEAR COOLER SEAT A cooler is one of the most valuable tools in most anglers’ arsenals. It goes everywhere and serves as a refrigerator, stepladder, poling platform, storage box and even a seat. YakGear’s Cooler Seat and Rigging Kit allows anglers to turn their cooler into a more comfortable and practical seating platform. Perfect for fishing, paddling, camping, tailgating and hunting, the YakGear Cooler Seat and Rigging Kit consists of the YakGear Sting Ray Seat and the necessary hardware to mount and secure the seat to a cooler. The kit is compatible with all coolers that feature “Front Locking Holes” including Yeti, Grizzly, Engel, Yukon, Icehole, some of the Bison models, and many more. The YakGear Sting Ray Seat features built-in back braces, which allow rigid back support without pressure from an exterior backrest. While most seats slouch down or fold over, the YakGear back braces hold the seat in place. As an additional feature, the seat has an aggressive non-slip pad to prevent unwarranted movement while sitting.

YAKGEAR.COM APRIL 2017

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FLY FISHING A Modern Take On Booking Fishing Guides And Charters

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a better way. In April 2016, Fisher Guiding was founded. Since then, Hill has been working full time to turn his dream of easy one-stop shopping for charters and guided trips into reality. Fisher Guiding is a web-based service that lets anglers book trips with guides and charters online. It allows potential customers to search, review, message and pay guides all through an easy-to-use website. This service allows guides and captains to advertise and book clients based on available dates. It makes payment hassle free and allows guides and captains to market to customers in a way never before available. For some independent guides, the local fly shop is the only avenue available for them to book clients. Fisher Guiding is looking to supplement and modernize by offering a variety of scheduling and booking tools. Right now, Fisher Guiding currently has booking options from Alaska to the East Coast, Bahamas, Belize and Costa Rica. Although the consumer website just launched eight days ago, Fisher is already off to a great start with trips booked and new guides joining daily making for a constantly growing community. “Ultimately, the goal is to have guides and charters representing every market and fishing destination in the USA and around the world,” said Hill. It will be interesting to see how Fisher Guiding impacts the industry. The advantages are obvious for guides and charter services, but the greatest benefit may be for the consumer. Customers can read reviews and even message guides right through the website. Booking and paying for trips can be handled in two easy steps. While all change forces adaptation, a more competitive and transparent system will serve both the professionals and consumers. Ultimately the goal of Fisher Guiding is to make guides and charters more accessible to the public and contribute to the growth of the sport. A high tide will raise all the boats. See for yourself at www.fisherguiding.com.

FLY FISHING

ooking fishing guides and charters has not really changed at all for 50 years, so the industry is ripe for change and improvement. That is what Edward Hill—founder of Fisher Guiding– thought before launching his online service for guides and captains and the anglers who use them. Hill worked at Front Range Anglers before By Charlie Warfield graduating from the University of Colorado. There he saw firsthand how the guiding business worked in the local area. After school, he did private sector work in Washington, D.C., but after a couple years felt the need for a change and a new challenge. He began planning a trip to the Everglades with his father to do some fishing and reflection. Hill began searching the Internet for local guides. He was frustrated by the lack of information and the hoops he had to jump through to get hold of a guide. He had to look up guides and then call them for available dates and rates. It was a hassle, and it then turned out the guides he tracked down didn’t have the dates available he was looking for. Hill thought there must be

CHOOSING THE CORRECT BAITFISH FLY

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f you look in many fly anglers’ boxes, you will see a huge array of flies in all shapes, sizes and colors. However, having the one correct fly in the box is the key to fishing success. Picking the correct flies for any saltwater fly fishing situation is key to whether or not you’ll be catching fish. Walking into a fly shop and looking into the fly bins can prove mindboggling to the uninitiated. The bins are filled with so many flies with which the fledgling saltwater fly fisher has little or no knowledge. Saltwater flies differ from their freshwater cousins in size and dress. Sometimes, like the kid in a candy store who is more influenced by the attractive wrapper than its contents, the beginning saltwater fly angler often chooses the eye-candy, over-dressed flies far too bulky to resemble a baitfish or a crab, flies that hook fishermen rather than fish.

Baitfish patterns

I believe a sparsely dressed baitfish pattern is preferable to a bulked up flashy fly. Why? The sparsely dressed fly will have a more natural look than will an all-too-spruced-up fly. Also, my experience has shown that a fish is far less selective when presented the sparsely dressed fly. The fly is only an imitation, a hint, of what the fish is feeding on, producing in the fish a reflexive action to strike. Perhaps one of the most important parts of the saltwater fly is its large eye that resembles closely the good-sized eyes on baitfish such as sardines, pilchards, and anchovies. Game fish zero in on that oversized eye when chasing and feeding on baitfish. Focusing on that eye results in fewer lost meals.

Color

Natural colors work best. Olive green, browns, tans and

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FLY FISHING Upstate New York

Bass On The Fly! By Mathew DeRosa

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t was a very successful spring steelhead season on New York’s Salmon River. Approaching the tail end of the season, a friend and I made a “last chance” trip in hopes of finding a few final drop-back steelhead left in the system. We fished the lower section of the river, near Lake Ontario, to increase our chances of a tight line. It was one of those days when spring starts meshing into summer. The sun was shining with a few high clouds, the warm breeze was 70 degrees, and we had the river to ourselves. For an angler, being outside and fishing in a short sleeve shirt with no one around should be enough to call any day a success. This day was about to get better. As we cast into a river with increasing water temps and a majority of the steelhead already back in Lake Ontario, our expectations of a tight line were low. Soon enough, as we launched large flies

into the water, the addicting tight line grabs began. These fierce strikes were not steelhead, but hungry smallmouth bass. We enjoyed a full day on the river swinging 4-plus-inch flies and catching more than 25 smallmouth bass apiece. Are you a bass fisherman? Have you experienced the power of a bass on a fly rod? Smallmouth and largemouth bass will aggressively hunt down prey, which makes catching them on a fly rod extremely enjoyable. The late spring and early summer months are perfect to experience bass on the fly in Upstate New York. Altmar, N.Y. is on the Salmon River a short drive from the Tug Hill Sportsman Club. Both the Salmon River and the Tug Hill Sportsman’s Club are great places to learn how to fly fish and test your skills on bass. The beautiful scenery and vast expanse of meandering clear water make the Salmon River a top-priority fishing location in late spring. Favorable river conditions draw in large numbers of smallmouth bass. The river has more than 12 miles of public fishing property, and you can fish all day without encountering another angler. Smallmouth enter the river in April to spawn and remain in the system until September. Average Salmon River smallmouth bass range from 2 to 3 pounds; some weigh more than 5 pounds. Bass are present the entire length of the river from Altmar to the Douglaston Salmon Run. Tug Hill Sportsman Club The Tug Hill Sportsman Club is located on 450 acres of gently rolling land and is home to four lakes. The lakes make up about 45 acres of pristine largemouth bass-infested water. New to fly fishing or experienced, the opportunity to catch a world-class largemouth is there. The fish in these small lakes have had unpressured feeding, growing and reproductive conditions as the property has been carefully managed for more than 25 years. The goal is to provide guests with the highest quality angling. Enjoy Tailwater Lodge’s relaxing accommodations and fish the Tug Hill Sporting Club with Zero Limit Adventures! Matthew DeRosa is a guide with Zero Limit Adventures. For more information on the Tug Hill Sportsman’s Club and Zero Limit Adventures, visit www.zerolimitadventures.com.

whites are all great color combos for baitfish patterns. You should, however, carry a selection of blue and white, red and white and, of course, chartreuse and white in your fly box.

Size

Depending on what type of fish you’re pursuing, the size of your flies will vary. But, in most saltwater fly fishing situations, you’ll also need baitfish patterns that range from a small anchovy patterns in size 6 to large sardine or pilchard patterns in size 2/0. Remember, just as it is on the spring creek or on the large river, it’s all about matching the hatch, weather it’s insects or baitfish.

For more flyfishing with Bowman, go to

CAMFLYFISHING.COM

35 Acres of Private Access to the World-Renowned Salmon River 42 Luxurious Accommodations On-Site Bar and Restaurant • Daily Hot Breakfast Included Salmon River, Altmar, NY 315-298-3434

TailwaterLodge.com

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for your boat geico.com | 1-800-865-4846 | Local Office Some discounts, coverages, payment plans and features are not available in all states or all GEICO companies. Boat and PWC coverages are underwritten by GEICO Marine Insurance Company. Multi-Policy Discount available to auto insureds that have purchased a boat policy through the GEICO Marine Insurance Company. GEICO is a registered service mark of Government Employees Insurance Company, Washington, D.C. 20076; a Berkshire Hathaway Inc. subsidiary. © 2017 GEICO

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YOUR RESOURCE FOR: Attention Advertising Sales Reps Have you ever wondered what it would be like to own the media company that you were selling advertising for? Ever considered how different your life would be if you didn’t have to hand over the bulk of your sales revenue to your employer? Have you ever thought about how much easier your sales job could be if you didn’t have to beg your sales manager for every little extra thing that you wanted to give your customer? Ever wondered what it would be like to control your own time? You don’t have to wonder anymore. Coastal Angler and its freshwater component The Angler Magazine are offering magazine franchises throughout the continental U.S. and abroad. Now, you can be the publisher and completely control the advertising department of your magazine. After nine years of franchising this magazine and with 42 current locations, we can say with confidence that these home-based magazine locations can be opened in nearly any location with a minimum population base of 500,000 and an active angling community. We have also identified our ideal candidate as being someone with previous media sales experience. Male or female, success in this endeavor is gauged more on advertising sales than fishing prowess. If you are a current or former media advertising sales rep, you owe it to yourself to check out our franchise opportunities. For more information, call 888-800-9794 or email info@ coastalanglermagazine.com.

Media Sales Representatives wanted immediately for fishing magazine franchisee opportunity. Must have 2 to 5 years media sales experience. Dependable transporation, a love of the outdoors and a good solid work ethic. Type A’s welcome.

For Information Contact Editor in Chief Ben Martin at 888-800-7974 or email at camads@coastalanglermagazine.com

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LONG ISLAND EDITION

www.coastalanglermag.com/longisland

APRIL 2017


PUBLISHER’S NOTE MIKE AND LISA DANFORTH

Now comes the fun part, Here Comes Ben Martin

and More Freshwater Coverage!

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ach Harvey and his buzzkill not withstanding (see his fish focus on page 3) the rest of us love this time of year, and yes, we love to prep our gear for the season! But not just prep, this is the season of the awesome used and vintage tackle shows and swaps. This is where the pre-season fun really begins! If your tax refund was late, or you were able to resist the amazing line up at Steve Madeiro’s New England Saltwater Fishing Show last weekend, you can still add to your gear. April brings on the tackle swap and sells. From the Fishing Tackle Auction on April 1 in Milford to the April 29 Vintage Plug Swap and Sell in Bourne, MA (with J&B’s legendary show in the middle on April 22) and sales throughout Long Island, Rhode Island and Connecticut, there is gear aplenty to fill the gaps at affordable prices. And to help you put this gear to good use this is the season where fishing writers everywhere are asking for your input. What are you looking for more of this season? Bucket list trips? How to’s? More of the unique humor and local insight of Zach Harvey and Tom Schlichter? We all know the fishing reports lie and no one gives up their choice spots, but do you want them anyway? We will definitely be bringing you more. May and June will bring the role out of your new Connecticut Edition to serve readers throughout the state. As a special treat wherever you pick up your Coastal Angler, we will be adding more freshwater coverage this year - so keep those pictures and stories coming! If you have feedback of any kind – good, bad, irate, overjoyed, overwhelmed, underwhelmed or indifferent – please fire away. You make yourself heard by zapping a quick note to us, signing on to our local websites ( just search Coastal Angler Magazine and your market) FB pages or Twitter. If you can’t find a copy of your local Coastal Angler at your favorite watering hole, marina, bait and tackle or sports store let them know and let us know. We’re happy to add them to our distribution list. Again, if you are in Connecticut please be sure to reach out as we are finalizing distribution now. We can’t wait to see you on the water. In the meantime – send us your pictures! Despite the latest snow dump spring is truly coming soon and we hope the fish gods bless us with a long and productive season. We are humbled and proud to bring you Coastal Angler Magazine each month, and look forward to hearing from you. Oh, and be sure to reach out for affordable advertising rates and packages. If you would like to meet the CEO and editor of Coastal Angler Ben Martin her will be here the week of April 25 to meet with clients and prospects interested in best practices to grow your business locally, throughout the region, nationally using print and digital media! Tight Lines. Lisa Helme and Mike Danforth 2 LONG ISLAND

APRIL 2017

LONG ISLAND EDITION

ADVERTISE TODAY! BUY 6 MONTHS RECEIVE FREE AD! May - October advertisers will receive a free ad in September and free banner advertising for the whole season on our website. These banners are usually $100 a pop so it is a great deal!

Call us with any questions or for a proposal today! This offer is limited to the first 10 advertisers who sign up so don’t miss it! Complimentary consultation and graphics design of your ad with each schedule booked.

CALL MIKE at 203-604-4064 FOR MORE INFORMATION mikecoastalanglermagazine@gmail.com

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FISH FOCUS ZACH HARVEY

Captain Buzzkill’s Guide to April Angling

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often joke that if I am indeed a writer, it would be very hard to prove that some days—the days, and there are too many, when I’m not actually chained to my keyboard trying to make something out of nothing. Fishing, here in the last leg of a mild but persistent winter, presents a similar problem: How do I know I’m still a fisherman when I haven’t put a hook in anything aquatic in what feels like about ten months?

Alas, I have no such photos and I have done no such ageappropriate preparation in anticipation of the coming fishing season. My preparations, January to date, with April now standing on the threshold, have been limited to the following. Moved two old NOAA paper charts from my office closet upstairs down to a corner behind the dining room table. Moved fresh copy of 2017 Eldridge Tide and Pilot Book from mail pile to upstairs bathroom “library.” Merged three small scatterings of battle-worn plugs, jigs, and other assorted terminal tackle into a single “master” heap in an orange bushel basket. Discovered that my plug bag has served the last three months as a communal Porta-Jon for at least 9 mentally-challenged field mice and one squirrel. Soaked one pair of pliers that had seized up totally in a small tub of way oil, then transferred them into a mat of paper towels. While I’m in the confessional, the truth-telling gathering a little momentum, I’d like to pass along a few thoughts about the so-called “early season” in saltwater fishing. Whereas, quite understandably, the fishing press around the Northeast tend to treat April’s arrival as a veritable seizure of fast-moving, edge-of-your-seat, drag-melting fish action (which, relative to, say, March, it is), I recommend the following: Manage your excitement. Once upon a time, April marked an early shot at some respectable

See Fish Focus (Continued on Page 11)

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I’d love to tell you that I’m the kind of fisherman who spends the off-season preparing for spring and the fishing that begins around late April and gains momentum, like a train leaving the station, right through the summer and fall and up through, say, Christmas. I’d love to have a half-dozen nice shots of the exhaustive preparations that have been underway in my basement shop space since the first week of January: 100 fluorocarbon leaders I’ve pre-tied and coiled up in long loops to prevent the line from emerging like old phone cord two months from now; and all my reels, stripped of last season’s braid, then totally disassembled and cleaned and lubed and respooled; the justtriangulated cutting point on my hand gaff; and the brand-new tips and other guides I’ve replaced after a thorough 10-point inspection I perform each and every winter without fail on every single rod I own. It would be great if I’d built a new rod/sinker caddy out of PVC pipe and a five-gallon bucket the way a real outdoor-writer-type does to chew up time during our interminable New England winters.

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Time for Trout BY TOM SCHLICHTER

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he waters of Massapequa Reservoir were crystal clear and rainbows and browns from the DEC, plus a helping of brookies that slightly rippled as I sent a 1/8-ounce gold Panther Martin the parks department purchases and adds to the mix at special events Classic spinner out on the first cast of the morning. The lure like the I Fish NY Spring Family Fishing Festival at Belmont Lake. landed with a soft splat and I waited for a brief second to let it sink just Where to go? You can choose from more than 20 stocked a bit before starting my retrieve. Three turns of the handle and Wack! locations across Long Island. Among the more popular hot spots are a 12-inch brown trout was straining at the end of my line. Upper Twin Pond in Wantagh, Massapequa Reservoir, Oyster Bay “I love when things start off with a bang,” I quipped to the angler Mill Pond, Argyle Lake in Babylon, West Lake in Patchogue, Upper next to me, who smiled back as he hooked into a freshly-stocked Yaphank Lake and Harts Pond in Southaven County Park. Connetquot rainbow trout before he could even respond. Two more trout, both River State Park Preserve (631-581-1005) and Caleb Smith State Park frisky, fresh stocked ‘bows, would jump on my spinner in the next (631-265-1054) are also very productive but both are fly-fishing only half hour before another engagement forced me to pack up and hit locations with fishing beats assigned on a first-come, first served basis the road. I’d like to say that I had the hot hand that frosty morning, - and a fee of $20 per angler for each 4-hour session. but other anglers fishing along the bank were also scoring well – While spring trout fishing can be super right out of the gate, especially one who was tossing a similar Panther Martin but in the usual rule is that cold water temperatures chill the action just a a smaller, 1/16-ounce size. He drilled three of the bigger browns - bit during late March and early April. This means a slow and deep including a pair on back-to-back casts. approach that keeps small spinners, spoons, Berkeley Power Although Long Island anglers can fish for trout on a year- Nuggets, Trout Magnets, dough balls and live worms worked just round basis in most stocked rivers, streams, lakes and ponds, many barely above the tops of submerged weeds will probably be your still consider April 1 as an unofficial “Opening Day.” Perhaps that’s best bet on initial ventures. because by this point in the year temperatures should be tolerable If you plan on working the long rod, small bead-head nymphs enough to spend a few hours poking in neutral tones should work around your favorite sweetwater well. Many flyrodders favor large shorelines. More likely, however, profile black, olive or brown Wooly it’s because the New York State Buggers and Giant Stone Fly Department of Environmental nymphs, especially when casting Conservation (DEC) makes the within the confines of Connetquot majority of its spring trout deposits River State Park Preserve or Caleb within a week or two either side of Smith State Park where trophy trout April Fool’s Day. are always a possibility. For more As you can see by the consistent action, however, stay accompanying chart, substantial with something smaller like a size supplemental stockings continue 10 or 12 Pheasant-Tailed Nymph, through April and into mid-May, Prince Nymph or Elk’s Hair Caddis. followed by fall stockings in midIf these patterns fail to do the trick, October and early November. get real small with a size 16 or 20 All told, over 30,000 trout will be olive, black or brown Gold-Ribbed stocked in Long Island waters this Hare’s Ear Nymph. Spring trout respond well to a variety of small lures including small year by the DEC and New York By mid-April, local waters have spinners, spoons, jigs and even tiny plugs. Photo by Tom Schlichter. State Parks. This includes a mix of usually warmed up enough that

Tiny soft-plastic jigs score well with both rainbows and browns. Cast them with ultralight tackle and retrieve slowly just above the weeds. Photo by Tom Schlichter. 4 LONG ISLAND

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small spinners, spoons, jigs and even plugs begin to score with increased consistency. Work these early or late in the day for best results when the sun shines bright, or all day long if the clouds are out. The key with any of these choices is to use lightweight 4- to 6-pound test spinning gear so you can cast miniscule lures long distances. You’ll also want to retrieve any of these choices as slowly as possible without snagging weeds. Prospect on weekdays, if possible, to avoid crowds. With both spinners and spoons, I find that gold works best for waters that contain sizeable brown trout while the rainbows favor silver. Any bright pattern, however, can be the hot ticket so it pays to carry a selection that also includes chartreuse, yellow, red/ spoons are the Acme Little Cleo, Kastmaster and Sidewinder, small white, hot pink or blue. Popular spinners include Panther Martin Eppinger Dardevles, and the Luhr Jensen Krocodile Spoon in a Classic, Holographic and FishSeeUV selections, Mepps Aglia Bright 1/8-ounce size. and the Blue Fox Super Vibrex. Among the more productive small

See Time for Trout (Continued on Page 10)

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LONG ISLAND 5


Western Sound April 2017 BY CAPTAIN TOMMY KAMPA

F

lounder are being caught by the bushel; reports of many fifty pound Striped Bass being caught in the back of Manhasset Bay on live Bunker, including one cow that went sixty –seven pounds; Gorilla Bluefish up to twenty pounds on top water plugs on the Stepping Stone Reef, giant Porgies to four pounds off of Center Island, and Humpback Whales are feeding off of Execution Light House, putting on quite a show for the whale watching boats from City Island. There have been reports of ten pound Fluke being Buck tailed between Sands Point and Prospect Point. April FOOLS!!! This is shaping up to be the best fishing season in history in the Western Sound! Aren’t they all at this time of year! Did you get all your reels serviced this past winter? Have all your broken guides been repaired? Did you change out the old line that cost you that trophy fish last fall? How about your terminal tackle? Do you have plenty of hooks, sinkers, swivels, fluorocarbon leader material? Have you stocked up on bucktails, Gulp, and plugs? Did you get that new net? How about the boat? Have you charged the batteries and cleaned all your connections? Checked all your electronics, navigation lights, live well, wash-down hose, bilge pumps? Did you renew the registration; pay your insurance premium and your New York State Department of Environmental Conservation fish registry?

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If not, don’t worry, you still have a few weeks to get prepared in the Western Sound; although the Flounder season starts on April 1, you’re allowed two fish at 12 inches per day and you can also take one Striped Bass north of the George Washington Bridge. The Striped Bass season starts on April 15 in our waters, one fish at 28 inches; the Porgy season starts May 1, thirty fish at 10 inches and after September 1, an angler can take forty-five fish at 10 inches if fishing aboard licensed party / charter boats. Our Fluke season and size limits are still being determined; it sounds like three fish at 19 inches ( a spokesman from NYSDEC confirmed this). Black Sea Bass must be 15 inches and you’re allowed three from June 27 – August 31, eight from September 1 – October 31 and ten from November 1 – December 31. The Tautog (Blackfish) season starts on October 5 and ends on December 14 and you can take four at 16 inches. The Bluefish season is open year round and you’re allowed fifteen fish but no more than ten at 12 inches (don’t take more than ten snappers). If there is any more information you want regarding species I did not list, go to nysdec.gov and follow the prompts.

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Flounder fishing will require Sand worms, Blood worms, Bank Mussel meat or Clams; any of these will work but I like to bring a bit of everything I can get my hands on. Chumming is very important to putting together a catch, Bank mussels are easy to get, just crack them up and throw under your boat or put in a chum pot on the bottom. Fresh clams can also be used the same way, or buy some frozen Clam chum blocks and put them in your chum pot. Cooked white rice and corn kernels have also been used; but some say they can be harmful to the fish. I like an incoming tide, anchor up, put your chum out, bait your hook and drop it to the bottom using a sinker; bounce your sinker a few times, then hold it still and wait for a nibble, lift and reel your fish up. You may also catch Striped Bass this way, so remember your size limit. Stripers will eagerly bite some Sand worms; I like to put two or three whole worms on a hook and use a fish finder rig when targeting them. Stripers will also attack artificial lures such as Bucktails or small swimming lures, remember to reel very slowly when using artificials as most Stripers are still very lethargic because of the cold water temperatures. Bunker chunks fished on the bottom with a fish finder rig should produce bigger fish and it’s never too early to live line a Bunker. Live Bunker can attract some really big fish so be prepared; a smooth drag on your reel and a good net available. Catch ‘em up!!!!

Captain Tommy Kampa holds a USCG 100 TON MASTER’S LICENSE; he runs a 29’ Dyer custom bass boat, the MOONLIGHT LADY. We are booking Striped Bass Charters now for the season start on April 15. Captain Tommy can be reached at capttommykampa@ gmail.com or 347 203 5087 to book a charter or express a comment or suggestion. Like us on FACEBOOK at Coastal Angler Magazine Long Island and Moonlight Lady Fishing; I’ll be posting trip reports and photos daily.

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APRIL 2017

LONG ISLAND 7


WORD ON THE BITE TOM SCHLICHTER

Final Touches to Spring Fishing Arsenal

Y

ou would think that between the holidays and outdoors individual clear Plano boxes so I can better organize my stuff show season, I’d have all the gear I could possibly carry, and actually see it without opening the box. store or hide from loved ones heading into the spring season. For several years I carried most of my Plano boxes in a tired We’ll actually I do, but there always seems to be something else I old travel bag. This spring, I’ve finally relented and switched to can use or an upgrade to an existing piece of fishing equipment a Plano Z Series Tackle Backpack for my primary freshwater that catches my eye. This spring, several new and innovative items boxes. It won’t be long before I get another one for my saltwater have popped up that merit consideration, so allow me to at least Plano boxes, too. try and justify my tackle hoarding obsession with an explanation I like the zipper-less entry that makes it easy to get your gear, of why each would be a worthy addition to my fishing arsenal. the TPE-coated waterproof fabric, the hook ‘n’ loop-secured The first one is easy. My favorite landing net for fluke, flaps, secure buckles and fully adjustable arm straps plus the weakfish, school stripers and the like has seen better overall toughness of these packs. I also like the cinch cord close days (back in the 1990’s!) while Frabill’s to the inner compartment that helps ensure all stays dry, the Conservation Series nets are sturdy, tangle- ability to carry four Plano 3600 or 3700 series Stowaway boxes free and designed with safe catch and at once, and additional side pouches that can hold smaller boxes, release in mind. Available i n tools and bags of soft-plastic lures. But the real selling points several sizes, they feature 100% for me is that I can switch out the boxes quickly for different rubber-coated knotless mesh netting applications, and that strapping on the backpack leaves which helps eliminate injuries to the fish’s both hands free to carry rods, cameras, coolers and fins, body and protective slime coat. A other gear as I head down the dock or onto some long, flat, linear bottom reduces fish rolling and winding backwoods trail. It also doesn’t hurt that at supports the weight of your entire trophy. 17”L x 9”W x 15”H, the entire backpack fits neatly into I’m all for advances in technology that one of the storage compartments on my small boat. At can improve the chances of a successful $75, it’s a good investment for organizing your gear and release. To use anything less just wouldn’t be making life simple. Get two. Visit: www.planomolding. fair to the fish I pursue so I gotta have this. For com/fishing/z-series fluke and school bass, the 20- by 23-inch size Do you fish at night? I do, for both largemouths with a camloc 24- to 48-inch extending and stripers. Heading out after dark requires some kind Frabill’s Conservation Series Net handle is a good choice at $99. If you want of lighting, whether a small something a little smaller, try the 17” X flashlight, hat-light or burning 19” Clear Rubber Conservation Saltwater torch. I’ve been known to shun Net, which can double on your freshwater johnboat for bass, all three for not wanting to tip anyone pickerel, walleye, trout and even carp.. Visit: www.frabill.com/ off to a secret spot or spook the fish off nets-accessories. their feed. I especially dislike holding a When it comes to local fishing, flashlight in my mouth while trying to I’m a generalist. I tie a knot or remove a hook. Head lamps ply my trade in and hat lights are better but still awkward freshwater and and too visible to other anglers for my saltwater, and taste. That’s why I’m keen on two new in pond, river, products available at Eposideon.com: stream, tidal the Mad Bite Lighted Aluminum creek, bay, sound Fishing Pliers and Mad Bite Lighted and ocean waters. Hook Remover. Both feature a builtI fish from boats, in ultra-bright 18,000 millicandela kayaks, bridges, LED bulb that focuses an incredibly docks and shore. bright beam of light directly at the That means I have point of interest. Simply twist the a ton of tackle to light to turn it on or off and the match so many beam shines straight down the challenges. I long end of the tool. ago gave up using Convenient? Certainly, traditional tackle but I’m passing these two Mad Bite Lighted Aluminum Fishing Pliers boxes in favor of off as safety items. With the light right where I need it and one hand free to grab the fish,

Plano Z Series Tackle Backpack

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hook or whatever, there’s less chance of getting a barb or fin spine in my flesh, slipping between jetty rocks or stumbling on deck as I try to balance everything in a heavy chop or rip waters. Both items are also extremely well-constructed. The full-sized 7.5 inch hardened aluminum alloy pliers are lightweight and spring loaded. Their precision jaws feature a split ring tool, replaceable tungsten carbide braided fishing line cutters, crimper, non-slip silicone Mad Bite Lighted Hook grip handles, and stainless steel saltwater Remover corrosion resistant components. The braided line cutter is as good as they come. The hook remover is also built saltwater tough. It comes in 9.7- and 13.6-inch sizes, has a smooth and comfortable squeeze trigger, plus a super strong grip that guarantees the leverage needed to pop hooks free from gamefish of all sizes. The pliers run $32.98 direct online while the hook-outs run $24.98 and $26.98, respectively. Visit: www.eposiden.com.

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LONG ISLAND 9


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TIME FOR TROUT (Continued from Page 4) As the season gets going, be sure to check the stocking chart for second and even third deposits of trout at your favorite fishing holes. Be aware, too, that the DEC and New York State Parks team-up to load Belmont Lake at Belmont Lake State Park in North Babylon with several thousand trout in an attempt to ensure plenty of action for the I Fish NY Spring Family Fishing Festival. This year’s event will

be held April 1, from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. The DEC will provide free bait and fishing gear to those who need it (but bring your own if you can). There will be casting demonstrations plus a variety of festivities for the kids as well – and you do not need a freshwater fishing license to participate. This is one big fishing party you don’t want to miss so gear-up and make plans to attend.

The I Fish NY Spring Family Fishing Festival draws a huge crowd each year – but Belmont Lake is loaded with freshly-stocked trout to ensure plenty of action throughout the day. Photo by Tom Schlichter. 10 LONG ISLAND

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Fish Focus (Continued from Page 3) winter flounder activity in the salt ponds or around the upper Bay, and the beginning of semi-reliable spring cod fishing on the spots along the 30-fathom curve and beyond. Some years, the tautog were cooperative by mid-month in the Bay. Elsewhere, surf hungries would line up in the herring runs with dipnets, looking for a few buckies they could strip of their roe. By the second or third week, latest, the spring schoolie fishing would start to materialize on the warmer days with SW wind. Here in 2017, what flounder remain in the ponds or tidal rivers have landed on the off-limits list. The spring cod fishery is really more of a last gasp for the fish that hung around through the winter, and a case of diminishing piscatorial returns most years. Tautog are more May than April, and you wouldn’t want to get caught trying to harvest a river herring these days. Which leaves: Schoolies. And since we’re sticking to the truth, here, that numbers-game fishing will bend a rod when you’re jonesing, but it will be a whole lot more comfortable and consistent in all but one or two early spots when the calendar says “May.” Call me Captain Buzzkill if you want, but beyond the ancient lore and the force of editorial habit at the local fish mags, there isn’t a whole lot in the April line-up you can’t do better, warmer, more consistently (less miserably) a month from now. Truth be told, even when there was early-spring opportunity, April was always a little early: Among the many lies that fishermen are known to tell, most of us seem to remember that fishing started two or three weeks before it ever did— and “got good” a full month before the first decent catches came in. I don’t mean to suggest that April is a total loss in the fishing department. Personal catch stats notwithstanding, April plays a key role in each approaching season. While I’ve learned not to put excessive faith in month-four fish production, I do use the time, with its warming air temps and somewhat longer window of daylight, as a 30-day shakedown of sorts. Early-month, I start to keep at least one light rod in the car, mainly as a visual aid to remind me why I’m out roaming coastal roads at ungodly hours. Where respooling a rod in February always felt like getting dressed Monday night for a dance on Friday, I start to go through my workhorse outfits in mid-April, knowing I’ll have the option to wet the new line the same night with a real chance my lure, once I’ve freed it from a tree along the far bank, might pass a fish’s nose as I rip it back in a furious squall of f-bombs. In my older and wiser present, I’ve learned to fish April in threeto five-cast swipes, keeping the fish honest but also remaining mindful of April’s limitations, such as: Don’t let the fact that you spot a “53” in the weather highlights trick you into believing your hands will be any warmer in April than they were in February. When it’s blowing 75 knots out of the NW—as it typically does when I decide to make an early schoolie mission—three casts, two snags, one catastrophic wind knot, and nine minutes are all you’ll need to retreat to your car, hands throbbing, nose running like Titanic’s bilge pumps, wondering just how many flights of stairs you must have tumbled down before age two that you thought this would be @#$%ing fun…. More important than cast one is the not-small work of reestablishing your sense of tides and moons. Whereas a few of my fishing friends find some form of amusement in counting schoolies, I tend to put my April priority on running spring routes “dry,” checking the water for a few moments before moving on, looking for the first scratches of bait. After four or five nights wandering, stereo booming, ashtray full, I start to know the tide without the chart, and start to feel the comings and goings of the spring fronts. If I’m honest, here, I know that April, most of May are when I go through the motions—reorient myself to the living planet. The real fishing, the grind of a thing I still love, will come on like a fever four or five weeks hence. There will be time for sleeplessness, the jittery hunt for the first good fish in the small hours, from here to Thanksgiving. No need to rush things.

This vessel is the most well equipped 41’ Albemarle Express out there. She’s a 2006, with just over 2000 hours on Cat C-12’s 710hp each, professionally maintained with certified Cat Mechanics, all service records are available from 2012, when this 2nd owner took over. Major extra equipment installed in 2012 is the Flir and All Garmen Electronics, 64 mile radar, transducer that can read up to 6000’, Acer Spotlight, 6 man life raft, 2016, new Oceanic underwater lights.

Contact Captain/Owner Jock Danforth 617-791-9009 email: finandtonic@mac.com For more details.

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APRIL 2017

LONG ISLAND 11


Introducing New Connecticut Edition and More! We are thrilled to announce the launch of Coastal Angler Magazine for the Connecticut Shoreline. This newest edition of Coastal Angler joins editions in Long Island, Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Upper New York State to comprise the Northeast Edition of Coastal Angler, part of Coastal Angler Magazine nationwide. Coastal Angler Magazine Connecticut edition will launch in April. If you would like to carry it in your place of business (free!) or advertise just let us know!

And Seeking Charter Captains! We are introducing a special advertising section within Coastal Angler that includes small ads throughout Long Island, Connecticut and Rhode island starting at $95 per month. The first 3 advertisers will receive free banner promotion on the local Coastal Angler website! Also, we will be expanding fishing reports in the Rhode Island, Long Island and Connecticut markets and are actively looking for one captain in each of the following markets: Connecticut Shoreline, South Shore, Rhode Island Shoreline and The Bay, Montauk and Block Island to be our resident expert and supply weekly fishing reports for our website OR monthly reports for the print editions. In exchange for the time it takes you to create the reports, we will post them on and promote them through all of the associated websites and print issues of Coastal Angler. So you can participate in either or both - reserve your spot for a month or the season (more discounts!) The first 3 advertisers will receive free banner promotion on the local Coastal Angler website! To participate in the new fishing report series or advertise in the section please contact us or stop by our booth at the New England Saltwater Fishing Show: Mike Danforth @ 203.604.4064 or michaeld@coastalanglermagazine.com

Advertise With Us Your ad will reach 20,000 boaters, sailors and anglers throughout Rhode Island, Long Island and Connecticut as well as thousands of interested boaters and buyers who want to boat, sail and fish in our waters. To advertise in any or all of these important markets please contact us by email or phone. lisad@coastalanglermagazine.com or Call 203.321.7635 or 203.604.4064 Visit us on the web at coastalanglermag.com/longisland coastalanglermag.com/rhodeisland/ 12 LONG ISLAND

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Tackle Corner:

By Mike Pehanich

Angling for comfort and joint health

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nce upon a time, fishing was deemed a passive, even contemplative game, a quiet pastime spent under a straw hat and a warming sun. No more! Modern angling is an active endeavor generally characterized by energetic casts, and plenty of them. The aggressive style of the modern angler takes its toll on the body with back, wrist, elbow and shoulder injuries. “As we get older, our bodies kind of fall apart,” said Bassmaster Elite Series angler Mark Menendez during an outing on Kentucky Lake. Menendez has developed tendinitis in his elbow. “I have had to figure out ways to fish that are less taxing on my body.” He has changed technique and equipment to reduce the wear. He fishes soft swimbaits like the Strike King Shadalicious far more these days, working them on relatively light spinning tackle and line testing no more than 10 pounds. It’s effective and easier on his elbow. The other adjustments he makes relate to his tackle. He lauds the Winn grips now featured on Lew’s Custom Lite, Lew’s Tournament Performance TP1 Speed Stick and Lew’s Mach Speed Stick rods. “The advantage to the angler is that the Winn grip adheres to your hand, but it’s not sticky,” he explained. “It just makes you feel you have a good grip on your rod and reel. The grips also allow me to make longer casts because I have better control of my rod and reel.” Musky and saltwater anglers are also taking advantage of the “tacky” feel and security of the non-slip polymer to protect against joint stress. Eavesdrop on a group of musky fishers for long and you’re bound to hear complaints of sore elbows and forearms. Many musky anglers are building custom rods with Winn grips, employing larger 1.25-inch Straight Taper split grips or a Straight Taper fore

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grip coupled with a 15-inch Straight Cylinder Saltwater grip capped with a fighting butt to extend the rear handle to 18-plus inches. Winn will add a new 18-inch grip to the Saltwater line this spring. Builders of custom surf and offshore rods are already making plans for its use. But oversized grips and rod wraps are finding favor with other anglers, too. At the Bassmaster Elite Series event at Lake Okeechobee in February, anglers with arthritic hands and joint issues noticed the booth Winn shared with North Fork Bait & Tackle owner and rod builder Steve Keller, who also operates a Winn Authorized Service Center at his store in Jensen Beach, Fla. Arthritis sufferers noted their preference for larger grip diameters to ease gripping pressure. The 1.25-inch Winn grips caught their attention, as did the array of offerings in the Winn Superior Rod Wrap line of overwraps, which enable the angler to put a layer of non-slip Winn polymer over existing cork or EVA grips. Winn grips and rod wraps (www.winngrips.com) are available in a wide range of sizes and colors. The Winn interchangeable grip system offers an endless combination of configurations.

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TIPS FROM A PRO

FRESHWATER LEARN CONFIDENCE IN NEW TECHNIQUES

BRANDON LESTER

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rowing up in southern middle Tennessee, I was fortunate to have a lot of really good fisheries within a couple hours of my house. I had my choice between the Tennessee River lakes like Guntersville, Wheeler and Wilson or the typical highland reservoirs located in the hills of Tennessee. I spent many days fishing club events and absorbing every bit of knowledge I could. It helped me become a versatile angler and to stay in tune with the seasonal movements of bass. These things helped prepare me for the situations I would later face on

the Bassmaster Elite Series. I remember my very first Elite Series event. It was at Lake Seminole. I had never been to the lake and didn’t know a thing about it. After a tough first day of practice, I ran way up the Flint River to see if I could find something up there all to myself. What I found was a couple of small backwaters with clear water and fish that were setting up to spawn. These places had been completely overlooked, and I finished 21st in that tournament. I caught almost every fish on a floating worm, something that is very popular during the spawn around my home waters. That tournament and many others since have taught me that no matter where you go in the country, or what body of water you’re on, there will always be something that fits your fishing style. It may not always be the winning pattern,

but more times than not, I would rather be fishing for fewer fish with more confidence. The very best lure in any tackle box is confidence. But this doesn’t mean I stubbornly sticking to the same techniques I’m comfortable with. Successful tournament anglers must keep up with the latest trends. Lures, line, rods, reels and everything else are constantly evolving. It helps to stay on the forefront. As I travel the country, I learn a lot of new techniques and about new baits that work in particular regions. Every time I go to a tournament and a new technique arises that I’m not familiar with, the first thing I do when I get home is take it to a nearby lake and try to learn it. When trying to learn something new, it’s best to do it in areas you know hold fish. A good example of this was at the first Elite Series event of this year at Lake Cherokee. Cherokee is in east Tennessee, but it is much different than my home waters. There is a hot new trend among the locals there called the “Damiki rig” that is dynamite for catching smallmouth relating to baitfish. It is a small fluke-style lure rigged on a Lake Erie-style jig head that allows for precise placement of the lure at depth. I had heard about the rig leading up to the tournament and tried it in practice, but I never could figure it out. Our tournament was actually won on that rig, and several of the top guys were doing it. After that tournament was over, I spent the next day on my home lake with nothing but that rig. I wanted to learn everything there was to know about it. I went on to catch some big smallmouth on my home lake with it, and although I still don’t consider myself an expert, I feel like I can catch them on it next time the opportunity arises.

Get more tips from Lester at

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FRESHWATER BIRDIE BLOCKER Tired of scrubbing bird droppings from the tops and decks of your boat? If you’ve got a problem with birds using the railings of your craft to roost, Birdie Blocker is the solution that will keep your boat free of roosting birds and the nasty mess they make. Birdie Blocker is an easy-to-use and extremely effective bird deterrent to protect any boat with 7/8- to 1-inch railings. It is a simple system using fishing components and some high-quality UV clips. It can be installed in about five minutes, and it’s just as convenient to remove and stow when it’s time to head out for a cruise. A barrier of monofilament held up with easy-to-mount clips deters birds from landing on your rails and roosting on your craft. It is tangle-free and simple, and at less than $100 it will cover about 40 feet of railings. Two Birdie Blockers are the ideal solution for larger boats. The clips are also multi-purpose and can also be used to hang lighting, decorations or double as a make-shift clothesline. The Birdie Blocker is a great gift for any boater. These quality systems arrive pre-assembled and can begin protecting your boat in about five minutes with simple set-up that requires no measuring. It’s a no-brainer for anyone who is sick and tired of cleaning up after birds. Call Birdie Blocker at 440-231-4767 to order or email birdieblocker@ gmail.com. Visit www.birdieblocker.com to see an easy to use video.

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Endless Fishing Opportunities

In Marathon

By Capt. Chris Johnson, SeaSquared Charters Marathon, the very heart of the Florida Keys, offers fishing options as vast as the crystal blue waters that surround the islands. to experience the exhilaration of big game sport fishing closer to shore and easier on your budget. Rounding out the sport fishing options in Marathon are bonefish, snook, Goliath grouper, permit and barracuda. Each challenging in its own right and all worthy of a place of honor on your trophy wall.

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ill Your Trophy Wall With visions of Ernest Hemingway’s exploits in their heads, adventurers flock to Marathon from around the globe to fulfill their dreams of catching the sportfish of a lifetime. The offshore deep blue waters are the realm of the mighty swordfish, who live in the 1,500-plus-foot depths. Fishing for swordfish is highly technical and is best done with an electric set-up. While a magnificent creature to display above the fireplace, swordfish are also prized for their food value. Closer inshore are sailfish, which are unsurpassed in their size range for combined strength and spectacle. These silver speedsters, with their distinctive blue fan-shaped fin, are free-roamers that seem to prefer the coral reef areas. They are best fished for where their favorite foods are plentiful, such as along weed lines or around schools of blue runners, goggle eyes or pilchards. Perhaps the most elusive of all the sportfish in the Marathon waters is the Silver King. The tarpon that visit the Middle Florida Keys each spring love to hang out at bridge passes, where their food of choice is easily obtainable. These areas are known for their relative calm conditions, making tarpon fishing a comfortable experience for all anglers, even those prone to seasickness. Using light spinning tackle and circle hooks, fishing for tarpon is about as sporting as it gets. And, to hook one and chase it through the bridge pilings, hoping to be rewarded with a few jumps and maybe a picture at the side of the boat is an unforgettable experience. With a plethora of media coverage of sharks, catch-and-release fishing for them has become increasingly popular. The Marathon area sees a vast spectrum of sharks, including lemons, blacktips, bulls, blacknoses, nurse, spinners, hammerheads and tigers. These range in size from little guys to behemoths at 12 to 15 feet in length. Light tackle, shallow water angling for sharks in the Middle Florida Keys presents the opportunity 30

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Fill Your Dinner Plate When it comes to catching fish with a top-quality food value, you’d be hard-pressed to find a greater bounty than contained in the waters surrounding Marathon. On the Atlantic coral reefs and wrecks, snapper of all variety are plentiful for the taking year-round. Yellowtails, mangroves, muttons and lanes offer endless rod-bending entertainment and fill the bellies of hungry anglers at the end of the day. Grouper – blacks, reds and gags – are ever-present as well, although they tend to retreat to deeper waters during the summer heat. Additionally, the season is closed for them from January 1 to May 1. There are many more species that provide high-quality table fare – too many to list – but include amberjack, cobia, kingfish, Spanish mackerel, cero mackerel, pompano and on and on. Marathon’s offshore waters are fishing central for pelagic species that provide angling excitement. Venture 26 miles out to the Marathon Humps and you will be in tuna heaven. Blackfin and skipjack tuna are abundant year-round, and the only thing that can prevent you from getting there to catch them on any given day are the winds. But, on a calm day, the ride out and back is comfortable and the catching typically rapid-fire. Dolphin (mahi) and wahoo roam the open sea in a continuous hunt for food. Anglers seek them along weed lines and around any sort of floating debris. Feeding birds, particularly frigates, also indicate their presence. The spectacle of the blue and yellow blaze of a dolphin or the blue and white zebra-like stripes of a wahoo on the end of your line is indelible. Entertain The Family. There’s nothing finer for family bonding than spending quality time together on the water, away from the interruptions of everyday life. Marathon boasts multiple venues that are ideal for a day of family fun fishing. The patch reefs, Hawk Channel, the Seven Mile Bridge and the nearshore bay waters are chock-full of fun-catching fish. Snapper, hogfish, porgy, yellowjack, maybe even grouper, keep the rods bent with tasty rewards at the end of the day. Just for fun, there are sharks, barracuda, jacks and more. Catch ’em and release ’em and on to the next! So, whether you’re looking to fill your trophy wall or your dinner plate, or just have a great day out with the family, Marathon offers the fishing opportunities to make your dreams come true. Capt. Chris Johnson specializes in offshore, gulf/bay, reef/wreck, sailfish, shark and tarpon fishing with SeaSquared Charters, docked at Faro Blanco Resort and Yacht Club in Marathon. You can reach him at 305-743-5305, http://SeaSquaredCharters.com and http://Facebook. com/MarathonFishing.

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Register For

The Bahamas Extreme Kayak Fishing Tournament

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Photo courtesy of Controlled Descent Lures

nglers with the guts to mix big-game tournament fishing with kayaking will head to beautiful Grand Bahama this month to compete in the Extreme Kayak Fishing Tournament April 2023. This two-day kayak fishing tournament will attract anglers and their family members from all over the world for a chance to win more than $40,000 in cash and prizes, and all to help raise funds for the Humane Society of Grand Bahama. There will be free entertainment, food, drinks, a huge raffle and lots of fun for the entire family! “This event, now in its fourth year, has gained tremendous interest and notoriety for anglers and sporting enthusiasts from throughout the USA, Canada, China and Brazil. We have seen the competition grow each year from 40 anglers in our inaugural year in 2014 to some 280 participants last year,” said Bahamas Ministry of Tourism (BMOT) spokesman Richard Treco, Sr. “The high level of competition, coupled with our incredible on-island authentic cultural experiences and diverse product offering, makes this event most attractive for the seasoned as well as relatively new to the sport, angler.” Joe Hector, of Extreme Kayak Fishing International and organizer of the event, said he is excited to work with The BMOT on this tournament, and is particularly pleased with its rapid growth. “The Bahamas Extreme Kayak Fishing Tournament truly is the gold standard for kayak fishing in the world, as it provides everything into one great getaway: fun and family adventures, awesome fishing from white and blue marlins to huge mutton snappers, friendly people and the most beautiful destination in the world,” said Hector. Pre- and post-tournament packages range from $595 triple or qua-

druple occupancy for a three nights stay to $1,370 single occupancy for a seven nights stay, which includes tournament registration, hotel accommodations at the Flamingo Bay Hotel and Marina, round-trip transportation for the angler and his/her kayak from Port Everglades to Grand Bahama, a cocktail reception and awards dinner. Fish caught during the tournament will be given to the Grand Bahama Children’s Home, Flamingo Bay Hotel and Marina, and volunteers assisting with the project. For more information or to register for the tournament, visit www. extremekayakfishing.com or call 954-661-0175.

To learn more about the event and how to register, go to

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UNDER THE SEA

SLINGS AND POLESPEARS

from companies have challenged this SHERI DAYE traditional design by changing the here’s a fun retro-movement taking hand position. The place in spearfishing—a trend toward Headhunter Guerilla primitive hunting gear. Slings and Sling has a comfortable polespears are used in places that do not allow trigger mechanisms, such as Bermuda or the grip, which transfers the weight load from Bahamas, but they are growing in popularity the wrist and distributes the force throughout the forearm. Sea Archer slings look like an outside these regions too. This could be attributed to the new Sling/ underwater bow and arrow. The user holds Polespear category for world records, run by the body of the sling just as they would with a the International Underwater Spearfishing bow and arrow. There’s nothing more beautiful Association (IUSA). However, I suspect the than watching a skilled underwater hunter real reason is that many hunters appreciate using a sling and hitting the mark with a freethe challenge and simplicity, not unlike land- flying shaft! Polespears are another fun option. hunters opting for bow-and-arrow over rifles. It’s a beautiful art form that evokes images of They can be made of fiberglass, aluminum Indians using extreme stealth and having great or carbon fiber. The tip can have a flopper, three-prong paralyzer tip or a slip-tip. Neritic respect for their prey. Slings and polespears are great tools for Diving company makes polespears with someone who is either learning how to spearfish interchangeable sections that can be assembled or interested in improving their hunting skills. in different length configurations. Users may Compared to modern spearguns, they force a choose to use a shorter polespear when hunting diver to become calmer and stealthier because in dirtier water or in tight spaces. When diving of their shorter range. One must slow down and in deep clear water, fish may not be cooperative study the behavior of fish in order to get closer and a longer polespear may be desired. The to them. While both slings and polespears are ability to quickly construct your weapon of powered using rubber bands without trigger choice is one of the best recent innovations, along with magnetic slip-tips that don’t fall off mechanisms, these two styles differ. Slings, sometimes called “Hawaiian slings,” while diving. I must admit that I can’t help feeling a are similar to a slingshot where the band is pulled back to launch the spear. Traditionally, smug sense of satisfaction when I land an the shooter was a tubular-shaped piece of wood elusive fish with a simple stick and rubber with a hole drilled down the center so the shaft band. Regardless if you are a novice or could slide through when being launched professional, primitive hunting offers a forward by the band. Recent innovations fun and entertaining challenge. Why not

T

Charles Duffie with a polespeared hogfish. Photo by James Ferrara.

add another skill to your spearfishing resume and another choice in your toolkit? It will double your fun and make you a better hunter! Sheri is a world-record holder, host of Speargun Hunter and producer of “The Blue Wild Ocean Adventure Expo” in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. Follow “Sheri Daye” and “The Blue Wild” on Facebook and Instagram.

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Spearfishing Course for Freedivers

By Capt. Chad Carney Photo courtesy of Controlled Descent Lures

I

n 2016, Freediving Instructors International (FII) presented their new spearfishing course at The Blue Wild Expo in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. If you’re new to spearfishing or a veteran, this wealthof-knowledge course, from many of the world’s best spearfishermen and freedivers will be invaluable. All students must already have a Level 1 freediving certification from an internationally recognized agency. FII founder Martin Stepanek, and freediving instructors John Dornellas and Cameron Kirkconnell, wrote the textbook for the course, called FII Spearfishing. The first course was taught by Martin and John at Florida Freedivers, Jonathan and Kelsey Dickinson’s dive shop in North Palm Beach, Fla. just days before The Blue Wild. Jonathan became a FII Spearfishing Instructor in September and taught the course to most of his staff and several customers since. The classroom section of the course runs a half day and is packed with great content including spearfishing ethics, freediving safety, location safety about dive planning, site obstructions, currents, marine animals, divers and boats. Information about spearfishing gear, it’s handling and use is covered thoroughly along with underwater hunting skills and techniques. The second half of the day is the pool training, where speargun handling and float line training is hands-on. The provided spearguns are unique in that they can be loaded in the water with total safety, because their shafts are completely stationary, as they are permanently bolted to the muzzles and mechanisms. Otherwise, the spearguns are fully functional and allow the best practice for pool or confined water training. Hunting styles and tricks are also taught and practiced in the pool around a portable artificial reef at the pool bottom where students will stalk a foam fish. Certification is completed with the classroom and pool session, along with a written test. A day of real ocean spearfishing is an option and may vary from location to location, but in the Palm Beaches, Jonathan says they plan for a day of spearfishing in moderate depths where water entries with gear can be polished, and also float lines can be used in currents. Reefs with low structure are available for stalking with, aspetto and agguatto techniques. The photo is Jonathan Dickinson with a recent 70-pound amberjack!

Check out www.floridafreedivers.com and www.freedivinginstructors.com for more information about the course and spearfishing and freediving equipment. Capt. Chad Carney runs diving and spearfishing charters in southeast Florida and can be reached at 727-4237775 or chad.carney@yahoo.com.

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FISH & FISHING

THE LIGHT WAND MARK SOSIN

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earning to fish a fly in saltwater adds a new and extremely challenging dimension to the sport. Light-wand enthusiasts on the marine scene don’t have to trip over tradition that sometimes limits the thinking and performance of their brethren who focus attention solely on trout and salmon. There are differences. When you work over fish in a stream, you often have ample time to contemplate the situation, change flies if the first one doesn’t work, and even try several approaches. Even a shoreline largemouth bass lays claim to a stationary feeding station near a log or under the lip of a lily pad. Saltwater critters remain on the move, probing and prowling continuously or they hold on a seat in the restaurant until the water level rises or falls a certain amount. Then, they change position. If you happen to spot your quarry, you only have seconds to get a fly in front of it. The first cast has to count. Simple hesitation can cause you to miss the opportunity. When you are blind casting, it’s important to read the water and recognize another set of signals. Predators frequently follow a feeding rhythm tied directly to the stage of the tide. Since they are not restricted to a few deep pools or the tail end of a run, finding them and presenting a fly with accuracy requires detailed knowledge of their habits and habitat. Casting in saltwater demands a bit more distance than it does in many freshwater settings. False casting becomes a handicap when you’re trying to drop a fly in the path of a cruising gamefish. You won’t have time to admire the tight loops or match the distance to the target precisely before dropping the fly gently on the skin of the water. The repeated surges of a powerful marine denizen tethered to flyline, leader and backing, or the task of driving a fly into the wind and in front of a cruising fish have no parallels in other forms of angling. Once experienced, these challenges trigger an insatiable appetite that demands more.

For smaller species of fish, a 9-weight fly rod that is 9-feet long would be my first choice. The reel should be single action, hold adequate backing, and left or right hand retrieve. You should turn the handle with your primary hand rather than what many fly fishermen do today. With a 9-weight rod, the reel should hold at least 200 yards of 20-pound dacron or braid. The second outfit for larger fish starts with a 12-weight or 13-weight rod and a reel that holds at least 275 yards of backing. Again, if you are right handed, choose a right hand retrieve. If you’re new to fly fishing, the time to break out the fly rod is when fishing is very good and your chances of success are boosted. It pays to keep it rigged and handy all the time. Let me warn you that catching fish on a fly rod becomes addictive. Once you start hooking fish on the light wand you will also be hooked.

For more Mark Sosin visit

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DISCOVER THE TRUE UNDERWATER WORLD, IN REAL TIME AND FULL COLOR HD. > XD Camera with ultraclear 720p resolution > Waterproof & Sunlight Viewable 7-inch LCD > Anti-Spook IR Underwater Lights > 100-feet HD Cable, Charger & Custom Storage Bag www.aquavu.com

UNDERWATER VIEWING SYSTEMS

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COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

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UR-Cut

FIELD TEST

DEXTER UR-CUT FILLET KNIFE

Ergonomically perfect. Virtually non-slip. Unmatched comfort. Unmatched control. Takes minutes to do.

A slippery knife can make filleting fish a difficult chore. Dexter UR-Cut Fillet knives were designed to eliminate this problem, while providing comfort and control by custom molding the grip to a user’s hand. Coastal Angler put Dexter’s design to the test at the docks with a cooler full of sheepshead, which are known to be difficult to clean. The customization involves boiling the handle before dipping it in cold water and gripping it tightly so the owner’s grip is impressed on the handle. With attention to thumb position during the process, we were able to customize the grip to the exact position our fillet men prefer. It took just a few minutes, and the result was a well-balanced tool that felt secure and comfortable in the hand. Then we took our blades to the cutting table. Dexters are known for maintaining a super-sharp edge, and having just the right amount of flexibility. Past experience has taught us they are also easy to sharpen. We were not surprised to find the blade on our new UR-Cut knives performed flawlessly working along spines and ribcages. Our hands and the table were coated in slime, and this is where the URCut showed why it is more than just a good knife. We intentionally created a slippery situation by not washing down, and the non-slip properties of the custom handles performed as advertised. For more information, visit...

UR-Cut features the same legendary DEXSTEEL, super-sharp edge, and just-right flexibility that you are used to with Dexter... 1.Dip handle in boiling water for 2 minutes. 2. Dip in cold water for 1 second. 3. Grip and form handle for 10 seconds. 4. Put back in cold water for 10 seconds and your done.

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COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM 3/1/17 1:39 PM

TROLLS 6-10 OR UP TO 20 KNOTS — NO WEIGHTS NEEDED

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O/B MOTOR BRACKET Mounts to your existing swim platform

RATED FOR 2 & 4-STROKE ENGINES UP TO 15 HP OR 132 LBS.

ADD SOME KICK WITH PANTHER’S ALL-NEW SWIM PLATFORM O/B MOTOR BRACKET Transform your boat into a fishing machine and make trolling for your favorite species more efficient and productive. www.MarineTechProducts.com

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PANTHER SWIM PLATFORM OUTBOARD MOTOR BRACKET Now, with the new Panther Swim Platform Outboard Motor Bracket you can transform the family boat or even the work boat into a fishing machine. The convenience of having a kicker motor makes slow trolling for your favorite species much more efficient and productive. The new bracket easily mounts to most swim platforms and features three levels of convenient height adjustment to accommodate most platform heights and motor shaft lengths, for optimal prop depth and performance. • Rated for two- and four-stroke motors up to 20 hp with max motor weight of 195 pounds • Constructed of black powder coat aluminum • Comes complete with transom support bar for weight support torque resistance For more information, contact MarineTech Products at 1 651-486-2010 or visit

WWW.MARINETECHPRODUCTS.COM

Come Outside & Play in Okeechobee

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PWC Fishing Towers

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COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

3/20/17 3:41 PM


Ohio Man Charged With

Cleaning Out The Fishing Aisle

NEVER WAX AGAIN! RESTORE AND PROTECT YOUR BOAT

M

ost anglers would probably enjoy a shopping spree in the fishing section of the local Walmart. An Ohio man allegedly helped himself to not one, but two free-ofcharge shopping sprees last October, and has now been charged with stealing an estimated $3,800 worth of fishing gear, according to NBC affiliate WLWT. Warren County, Ohio prosecutor David Fornshell told reporters that Derrick Marcum, “pretty much cleared out the aisle.” According to the WLWT report, Marcum was arrested last October when he attempted to carry two backpacks stuffed with fishing gear out of an Ohio Walmart. He was arrested that same day for the theft of $1,300 worth of gear. But it wasn’t until recently that investigators connected that incident with another theft that occurred the previous day at another Ohio Walmart. Marcum allegedly filled five plastic bins with tackle and then proceeded to the self-checkout, where he paid only for the bins. Investigators valued that heist at about $2,500. A grand jury indicted Marcum, and he waits in jail for his arraignment, according to reports. Jail time seems a pretty steep price, even for thousands of dollars worth of fishing gear.

Poli Glow does what wax can’t! As seen on Ship Shape TV

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Be Your Own Boss Coastal Angler Magazine is now offering Gulf Coast markets for franchise development. If you love the outdoors this is a great opportunity for you to be in business for yourself, but not by yourself.

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JEFF SCHNEIDER PHOTO COURTESY OF VOLUME 22 • ISSUE 267

• New Orleans, LA SOLD! • Baton Rouge, LA • Lafayette, LA • Corpus Christi, TX • Austin, TX

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suzuki spring savings Three Limited Time Offers Make A Good Deal Even Better Suzuki Gives You All Three So You Don’t Have To Choose One Or The Other

Buy a new Suzuki outboard from 25 to 300 horsepower and take advantage of not just one, but ALL THREE Suzuki Spring promotional offers.

Add cash rebates on select models and you can get up to $800 cash back. Plus our Repower Financing is available at attractive interest rates (on approved credit.*)

Just say, “Gimme Six!” and you’ll get six years of product protection. That’s right, you’ll get Suzuki’s three-year limited warranty and Suzuki’s 3-Year Extended Protection Plan at no extra charge.

See your participating Suzuki Marine dealer today and find out how you can get the ultimate deal on the Ultimate 4-Stroke Outboard.

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

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

REPOWER FINANCE

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

For details and the name of your nearest participating Suzuki Marine dealer, visit www.suzukimarine.com

Gimme Six Extended Protection promo is applicable to new Suzuki Outboard Motors from 25 to 300 HP in inventory which are sold and delivered to buyer between 4/01/17 and 6/30/17 in accordance with the promotion by a Participating Authorized Suzuki Marine dealer in the continental US and Alaska to a purchasing customer who resides in the continental US or Alaska. Customer should expect to receive an acknowledgement letter and full copy of contract including terms, conditions and wallet card from Suzuki Extended Protection within 90 days of purchase. If an acknowledgement letter is not received in time period stated, contact Suzuki Motor of America, Inc. – Marine Marketing via email: marinepromo@suz.com. The Gimme Six Promotion is available for pleasure use only, and is not redeemable for cash. Cash Rebates apply to qualifying purchases of select Suzuki Outboard Motors made between 4/01/17 and 6/30/17. For list of designated models, see participating Dealer or visit www.suzukimarine.com. Customer and participating Dealer must fill out the appropriate rebate form at time of sale. Customer will have the choice to either apply the cash rebate against the original dealer invoice (Suzuki will credit Dealer parts account) or have a check sent directly to the customer. There are no model substitutions, benefit substitutions, rain checks, or extensions. Suzuki reserves the right to change or cancel these promotions at any time without notice or obligation. * Financing offers available through Synchrony Retail Finance. As low as 5.99% APR financing for 60 months on new and unregistered Suzuki Outboard Motors. Subject to credit approval. Not all buyers will qualify. Approval, and any rates and terms provided, are based on credit worthiness. $19.99/month per $1,000 financed for 60 months is based on 5.99% APR. Hypothetical figures used in calculation; your actual monthly payment may differ based on financing terms, credit tier qualification, accessories or other factors such as down payment and fees. Offer effective on new, unregistered Suzuki Outboard Motors purchased from a participating authorized Suzuki dealer between 4/01/17 and 6/30/17. “Gimme Six”, the Suzuki “S” and model names are Suzuki trademarks or ®. Don’t drink and drive. Always wear a USCG-approved life jacket and read your owner’s manual. © 2017 Suzuki Motor of America, Inc.

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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,

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3/19/17 2:26 PM


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Coastal Angler Magazine - April / Long Island, NY  

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

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