Coastal Angler Magazine | June 2023 | Miami Edition

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Field Dress For Success

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THE DEEPEST BONDS START AT THE SURFACE RUN THE WATER // YAMAHABOATS.COM This document contains many of Yamaha’s valuable trademarks. It may also contain trademarks belonging to other companies. Any references to other companies or their products are for identification purposes only, and are not intended to be an endorsement. Follow instructional materials and obey all laws. Ride responsibility, wearing protective apparel and USCG-approved personal flotation device. Always drive within your capabilities, allowing time and distance for maneuvering, and respect others around you. Never drink and ride. ©2023 Yamaha Motor Corporation, U.S.A. All rights reserved.

Trophies Traditions !

or those of us afflicted with the fishing bug, nothing will deter us from returning to the ocean. We’re often planning our next trip before the current one is over. There is no difference between fishing daily, or being deprived for weeks, the fisherman’s mind will never stop nagging to get back out there.

Fishing stories and trophies are a great way to keep the inner fishing-monster soothed in between trips.

Photographs are an easy way to relive moments, and should not be overlooked. It doesn’t take much effort to get out a camera and capture the catch when it hits the deck while its colors are vibrant and the smile is fresh on the angler’s face. Friends don’t let friends take deadfish dock photos without at least a few taken out on the blue.

When it comes to fishing trophies, there is a whole lot more to be taken home than just some good photos.

The standard go-to trophies are wall mount replicas, which can easily be reproduced with some measurements and photos. This provides the opportunity to release the fish and also be able to take it home with you. Gray’s Taxidermy does excellent work with this type of customization, and outfits most charter companies with the

required paperwork to get you started on this process. Make sure to ask your captain about mounting your catch before you release the fish.

There are still people who work with the tried and true art of fish taxidermy, utilizing the fish itself, but these services are harder to find, and the product doesn’t last forever.

Gyotaku fish rubbings are another way to accredit the true size of a trophy fish. The fish itself is painted and printed on paper. This method does not allow you to release the fish, but if you work quickly, and utilize acrylics, the fillets may still be consumed. This is a fun method to try on your own, but there are artists you can hire for this as well. These trophies work out better when wall space at home is more limited.

Various parts of the fish can be taken and treated, such as bills, tails, skeletal systems and even eyeballs transformed into epoxy shot glasses. These trophies can have some of the best outcomes, but require some involved and stinky DIY processing. There are a variety of techniques for this, and endless creative potential.

Participating in fishing traditions is another great way to boost the excitement of a first catch, and add to the memory. Who knows how these got started, but it is our communal obligation to keep them alive.

I’m sure there are some I have missed, but here

are the ones I know of, and practice.

When you catch your first tuna, it is customary to eat the heart or, at very least, take a bite out of it. It’s not bad with a bit of lime and a chaser. Tastes a bit like what I would imagine tuna-jerky to taste like.

When you catch your first marlin, you earn a celebratory jump in the ocean. Usually, this is done back at the dock for safety reasons. This is the most refreshing dip you’ll ever take.

When you catch your first swordfish, your crew will hollow out the eyeball, as to make a cup out of it, and you then take a drink from it. I highly recommend being quick about this before extra slime leeches out into your drink. Don’t worry, it all tastes like victory.

However deep your commitment to your fishing affliction may be, the best trophy will always be memories of having a good time. Most importantly, don’t forget to enjoy being out there. Your local captains understand that it’s difficult to manage life between fishing trips, and we are here for you. Blue Magic Charters is available for your next fix, out of Marathon, Florida Keys.

Capt. Quinlyn, of Blue Magic Charters, is also a Gyotaku artist and a Gray’s Taxidermy agent. Contact her at (504) 920-6342 and follow her social accounts @CaptainQuinlyn.



small green drake just as it was annihilated by a frisky brown trout.

I hurried to tie on a Colorado Green Drake and caught a brown on my first cast. My second cast was taken as soon as it hit the water—a nice rainbow. By then, drakes were all over the surface and the trout were feeding without hesitation. One trout went airborne, and I swear it was looking for the next green drake on its way back down.

It was dry-fly heaven fishing my 7.5-foot “Perfectionist” bamboo rod (made by “Preacher Jim” Beasley, of Crossville, Tenn.) and a green drake tied on 5X tippet. But over the ridge came ominous blue-tinged storm clouds. The pyrotechnics began immediately, with lightning pinging down all around me. Seeking safe haven, I dove into a shallow creek bed that emptied into the river. Elk, deer and bear tracks had beaten down the bed and formed foot-high banks. It was muddy but much safer. At first, it was too dangerous to even sit up, so I lay in the mud and watched the hatch, which was still in full swing.

In 25 years fly fishing, I’ve only experienced two bona fide green drake hatches. The second time I witnessed one of these hatches it was spectacular, the stuff of legends.

Green drakes are large mayflies that, under the right conditions, hatch in huge numbers and send trout into feeding frenzies. It happened for me one afternoon at about 8,750 feet of elevation on a Colorado river. The left bank hugged the base of a mountain ridge and the right bank opened onto a flat meadow of grasses and wildflowers. It was hot and windy—a tough day for fishing dry flies, but I’m a stubborn dry-fly bigot. I refused to nymph and hadn’t caught a single fish until the weather changed. Clouds floated over the ridge and the temperature and pressure dropped. A bright-white flash and instantaneous rumble sent me toward the truck, but on the way I spotted a

Eventually, the lightning lessened, and I was able fish. Once, two fish—a rainbow and a brown—came from opposite directions and arrived at my fly at the same time. A violent collision of noses ensued, and both fish quickly retreated. My drake was partially submerged after impact, but a different brown appeared, circled once, and daintily took the fly. He was not happy when I hooked him!

Once, I was surprised when my drake drifted almost back to me without a strike. Just as I was picking up the fly to cast again, an upstream brown came like a freight train. It took the fly on the uptake, went airborne and hit me in the chest. When you get nailed in the chest by a 16-inch brown, it’s gotta be a green drake hatch!

This short story (copyrighted by the author) and many other true-life fly fishing adventures can be found in Michael Fitzsimmons’ book “Adventures of a Dry-Fly Junkie,” available only on Amazon. Contact the author at


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MITZI SKIFF: Affordable Performance on the Flats

boat. It really is a very nice boat, notwithstanding the price point.”

The Mitzi Skiff 17’ is a stripped-down and customizable version of the 17’ Tournament, which comes with the options Grubbs said most of his fishing customers were asking for. Both boats draft just 7 inches loaded, they pole easily, they pole straight, and they reach speeds into the 40s with a 60 hp engine.

While the 15’ is a one or two-man boat that’s at-home on the flats, the 17’ can fish three people and it’s got better range. The 17’s primary purpose is still as a flats boat, yet it also doubles admirably as bay boat.

“It’s not just a flats boats; it’s a little bit of an open water boat, too,” Grubbs said.

The 17’ features a modified V-hull with an 11-degree deadrise at transom. There’s no hull slap, and rolled gunnels knock down spray for an exceptionally dry ride. They are built for light weight to run shallow, yet they are solid and durable to stand up to long years of heavy use.

Going back to the mid-1990s, Mitzi Skiff has led the industry with no-nonsense flats boats for skinny-water anglers.

In the very beginning, Tom Mitzlaff’s intent was to design the boat he needed to fly fish the flats. He couldn’t find an affordable boat on the market with the shallow draft, clean layout and quiet maneuverability he needed, so he designed and built the original 15-foot Mitzi Skiff.

That boat revolutionized the marketplace. Mitzi Skiff became the brand for skinny-water anglers who value simplicity and functionality. A Mitzi does everything the pricier skiffs do, yet they are affordable enough for any angler to own

and operate.

About 30 years later, Mitzi has expanded to offer 15’, 16’ and 17’ skiffs that all perform the purposes of the original design exceptionally well. Continued innovation has made Mitzi a boat other builders imitate, and they still come at a significantly lower price point than the competition. The 17’ and the 17’ Tournament have become the brand’s hottest sellers.

“The 15’ took the micro-skiff market by storm,” said Brad Grubbs, who owns and manufactures Mitzi Skiffs in North Carolina. “Since then, the brand has sort of evolved toward the 17’, which works just fine as a multi-purpose

From hideaway pushpole holders to flushmount hardware, Mitzi has obviously put some thought into making decks clean and fishable for fly anglers. Large, clean and stable casting decks are something Mitzi has become known for.

“Keep it simple stupid, and if it ain’t broke don’t fix it,” Grubbs quipped. For nearly three decades, Mitzi has built skiffs for anglers more interested in fishing than in spending a lot of money. It’s a philosophy that works.

Mitzi Skiff boats are available exclusively through select dealers. For more on Mitzi Skiffs, go to


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In a move similar to recent management changes for red sh, e Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is looking at changing the way it manages snook. At its May meeting, FWC proposed creating new management regions for snook to allow better

control over localized di erences in the shery. e proposed rule changes would:

• Establish nine snook management regions.

• Match current Gulf or Atlantic coast regulations within new regions, except for Charlotte Harbor.

- Implement a two- sh vessel limit,

- Include September in the summer season closure.

“ is adaptive, holistic approach to sheries management is the key to conserving our sheries for future generations,” said FWC Chairman Rodney Barreto. “On behalf of the Commission, I want to encourage anglers and anyone interested in the future of snook in Florida to get involved and share your valuable feedback with FWC sta .”

Sta will continue gathering input on the proposed rules ahead of a planned nal rule hearing at the October Commission meeting. Submit public comment on snook regional management by visiting SaltwaterComments.

In other news from the meeting:

• Proposed no- shing zones around three goliath grouper spawning aggregation sites was tabled with no action taken and no plans to resume discussion. e areas that were being considered for 700-foot no- shing zones around wrecks and reefs remain catch-and-release only.

• Management changes were approved for greater amberjack in Atlantic state waters. An April spawning season closure for recreational anglers will be established, the commercial size limit was reduced from 36 to 34 inches, and the import size limit was reduced from 36 to 34 inches statewide. ese changes will go into e ect at a later date.

For more information, go



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The 2023 CCA Florida STAR competition presented by Yamaha will o er more opportunities to win than ever before. is 100-day, summer-long competition begins Saturday of Memorial Day weekend and invites CCA members, non-members, anglers and non-anglers to take a shot at winning their share of prizes valued at more than $500,000 including boats, motors, electronics, tackle, scholarships and more. e winning begins even before the competition does with the early registration package providing a complimentary ra e ticket to win a Hewes Red sher, a 25 percent discount from TH Marine and free access to the Red sh Mastery course from Salt Strong.

But it’s not just about anglers winning but the shery too. Not only can participants become winners, they become citizen biologists and citizen garbologists by submitting photos of their catch or garbage collected during the competition in the STAR app. In order to win, participants must take their entry photo on the 2023 CCA FL STAR

O cial Measuring device which can be picked up for free a er May 20 in any West Marine store or one of the many other STAR distribution locations throughout Florida.

e competition has a division for everyone, from the non-angler to the experienced angler. It is comprised of 15 divisions targeting 12 inshore and o shore species plus the Costa Kick Plastic Trash Division presented by Papa’s Pilar, which encourages cleanup of trash from Florida’s coastal waters.

STAR’s signature Tagged Red sh Division o ers seven winners, ve adults and two youth, the choice of a Contender Boats 22 Sport, Path nder Boats 2200 TRS, and STAR would like to welcome back Carolina Ski o ering the 162 JLS. STAR has additional new Tagged Red sh sponsors with Dek Kat Boats o ering a 27 Flatz Kat and Sea Doo

and Can-Am o ering a fun package of a Sea Doo FishPro Trophy and the Can-Am Defender. Each boat will be powered by a Yamaha. Be the rst winning tagged red sh angler for your choice of all these packages as your prize.

Once again in 2023, an ALTA SUPER STAR tagged red sh is swimming Florida waters. If it is recaptured, the winner will receive $50,000 cash! For the rst two youth anglers who win in this division, prizes include a tiller boat powered with a Yamaha outboard, a trailer, a Minn Kota trolling motor and Humminbird electronics.

Each coastal county will have, on average, four tagged red sh for a total of over 160 prizewinning sh. e best opportunity to catch one of this year’s tagged red sh will be in Citrus and Charlotte Counties, STAR’s 2023 Destination Counties, which each have eight tagged red sh in their coastal waters.

For the o shore anglers, the Tigress Outriggers and Gear Tagged Dolphin Division o ers one winner a $10,000 cash prize. e rst STAR registrant and CCA Florida member who catches one of the tagged dolphin will win. Twenty dolphin (Mahi Mahi) will be tagged and released for STAR in the Lower Keys.

STAR is a family-friendly competition, and CCA Florida youth members (ages 6 to 17) can participate for free. Kids are encouraged to submit entries in the Youth Scholarship Division presented by Realtree Fishing for an opportunity to win one of twelve scholarships totaling $100,000. To date, the Florida STAR competition has awarded $800,000 in scholarships to youth from all over the state. Another great component of STAR for youth participants is they can earn 30 minutes of community service for every 5-gallon bucket of trash they pick up from Florida’s coastal waters and submit via the STAR app.

Other divisions include the Power Pole

Conservation Division, Bona de Kayak Division and Ladies Division as well as the Yamaha Guides, which allows guides to participate when they are not on a charter for hire. Since most division winners are determined by a random drawing, it is not about catching the biggest sh; any size sh can win. Remember, every sh you catch between Saturday, Memorial Day weekend and Monday, Labor Day, o ers the CCA member who is registered in STAR the opportunity to win their share of nearly $500,000 in prizes and scholarships. But you can’t win If you are not registered.

Not only is the STAR competition a wonderful way for participants to win amazing prizes, it is a tool to gather catch data, it creates awareness for conservation, our sponsors and CCA Florida. Launched in 2015, the competition has set the bar for other shing tournaments to follow by implementing conservation-friendly alternatives such a catch-photo-release format and a trash division.

Florida STAR focuses on conservation with its technology-based, CPR format and dedicated smartphone app which promotes the proper handling of species and allows participants who are members of CCA and registered in the competition to upload photos of their catch or trash buckets in the STAR competition and be rewarded for their e orts. is eliminates the requirement that some traditional tournaments have to harvest or capture and transport sh to win. CCA Florida also provides access to the data collected from the app to other conservation organizations and universities to help educate the public on the importance of protecting Florida’s marine resources and for use in their studies on conservation, habitat and stock assessments.

For more information and to register, visit http://cca



Ever since I started shing, the basics have stayed the same. If we all tell the truth, none of us started out catching gags and wahoo. It was probably more like bream, bass, cat sh and shad. Granted, we didn’t sh as many lures back then as we do now, but the basics are still the same. Back then, we shed a lot of the four or ve loop sherman’s knots for soaking baits. I no longer use these.

Now, I tell folks if you know how to make ve connections, you can go anywhere in freshwater or salt and sh for almost anything. ese ve connections are:

1) Loop knot

2) Snell

3) Uni knot (includes uni-to-uni knot)

4) Crimps(cable and uoro)

5) Double tackle loop

Granted, there are other helpful knots like the Piere knot, which is a good wind-on for connecting braid to Floro, but I’ll stick to my guns here and say these ve are the ones I use. ere are three of these I can tie in pitch black dark and have tremendous faith they’ll

never fail.

I can hear it now… “Yeah, you forgot this one and you need to know this one.” OK, but the title of the article is “getting back to basics,” and these ve work for everything I need to do. As soon as any of these

meat and potatoes of the freshwater, inshore and nearshore shing I do. I make connections from braided main lines to smaller uoro leader material with the uni-to-uni. e loop knot works best on most lures. e loop knot gives any lure the freedom it needs to swing or change directions freely.

e snell has a place for freshwater, inshore, nearshore and o shore. is is simply because I feel the snell is a requirement for all circle hooks, in my humble opinion.

e crimps make for ease of heavy-duty connections from uoro leaders to swivels and then to braided main lines. e crimps also make heavy-duty cable connection to stinger hooks and to arti cial lures.

ve starts failing on me, I’ll consider something else, but between now and then, these work for everything from bream to bill sh. e loop knot and uni knot make up the

I’ve got some videos on my website on how to tie and utilize these ve connections. Some of these videos have some age on them, and I have received some request to make new ones with better lighting, backgrounds, etc. I may very well update them in the near future. However, all these videos show the knots in pretty good closeup detail. Stay in touch with my you tube channel and website for these new videos.

See more from Tim Barefoot at

Tim Barefoot


The Sport shing Championship held its inaugural event, e Catch, in mid-April and it sprinkled teams of top local captains with well-known NFL players for o shore action out of Miami.

NFL players at the event included stars like Justin Herbert (QB, L.A. Chargers), A.J. Brown (WR, Phi. Eagles), Dalvin Cook (RB, Minn. Vikings), DeAndre Hopkins (WR, Ariz. Cardinals), Chris Jones (DE, K.C. Chiefs), Matthew Judon (OLB, N.E. Patriots), Patrick Surtain II (CB, Den. Broncos) and Quinnen Williams (DT, N.Y. Jets).

e football players were split into groups

to sh with renowned captains aboard powerful sport shers and be challenged in ways they may never have experienced before.

e event was broadcasted live from the Fontainebleau in Miami. Spectators were able to tune in and follow the hook-ups in real-time as NFL superstars got tight, reeling in species like black n tuna, sail sh, yellowtail snappers, bonitas, mahi and more.

rough the tournament, the players learned that catching these sh is no simple task, and that it requires a unique set of skills to hook and successfully reel them in. e experience gave

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them a newfound level of respect for anglers and, for many, sparked a newfound interest in shing. e competition was close, but Team Gypsea, led by Capt. Taylor Sanford and supported by fourtime Pro Bowlers Matthew Judon and Dalvin Cook, claimed the championship trophy. e grand prize winnings consisted of a $100,000 donation to the Coast Guard Foundation.

“It was fascinating to watch elite NFL athletes realize how much e ort it takes to reel in saltwater sh,” said Je Stillwell, president of Salt Life. “ eir willingness to learn about techniques and take a genuine interest in doing things correctly shows why they are top-tier athletes. Plus, there is nothing like seeing someone catch a sh for the rst time!”

SFC’s e Catch had various components, including a pro-am tournament with other NFL legends and athletes. e Awards dinner was incredible, featuring a breathtaking drone light show and a Havana-themed atmosphere.

For more, visit sport Follow Astrid Degruchy’s shing adventures on Instagram @catching_astrid.

Dalvin Cook, Matt Judon and Team Gypsea with a black n caught aboard Rayne Check (L-R) Patrick Surtain II, Quinnen Williams and angler Jaselyn Berthelot show o their catch.
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West Wind… hit the surf!

ere’s nothing I love more than waking up early on a summer morning to a West wind. I will snatch up my rod and head to the beach before rst light. In the interest of convenience and dexterity, I take only one rod and a small tackle bag. I have to choose my lures wisely. My decision is based on the weather. Is it cloudy and raining, sunny and windy, hot or cold, and what is the water visibility? I like to choose lures that match the color of the water. so depending on conditions my bag might contain, an X-Rap olive, size 12, a Yozuri Crystal Minnow, and maybe some NLBN(no live bait needed.) My all-time favorite go to lure is the X-Rap Ghost, size 12. is lure seems to work in any conditions and has even worked at night.

My spinning combo of choice is the Tsunami Salt X 4000 and a Tsunami Carbon shield 8 . heavy. If you need any help nding a perfect combo for the type of shing you can visit me at captain Jax Bait and Tackle, 490 C East 4th Ave. Hialeah, Florida 33010 786-300-5362.

June regularly makes for great beach shing. I had just such a trip planned a few weeks back, almost. According to my weather app, the wind was supposed to be out of the North East at 5 to10 MPH. When I woke up in the morning it was blowing out of the South East at 12 to 15... I hate beach shing a South East wind because it brings in so much sargassum. I was already up, and I just couldn’t stand it, so decided to go anyway.

I was on the sand at 6:40 and it was still dark. I had to wait for a little light and when I could nally see, of course, as I suspected, the weed was everywhere. With heavy sargassum can’t throw the X-Rap. It’s treble hooks are weed magnates. So, I started throwing the “NLBN “AKA the No Live Bait Needed. I cast the NLBN and let it sink for a second and then start a steady retrieve. Down the beach, I see bait blowing up. All of a sudden, there are turns and gulls and pelicans. Crevalles are streaking through the shallow surf.

I run down the beach like a mad man and throw into the pod of bait sh. Boom I’m hooked up! e sh starts running le , peeling line o the big spool, then turns to and runs right. While ghting the sh I’m removing the seaweed as it’s sliding up my line toward my rod. I knew it was a big jack. e jack crevalle gets a bad rap as a sport sh because it’s not a meat sh. Pound for pound I would pit a crevalle against a permit any day. A er about a 30 min ght, against the seaweed, I landed the sh. It was over 20 lbs. I got a quick picture and released it right away. I ended up catching 6 more jacks and then came the snook. ese sh were all caught on that NLBN Lil mullet, within a span of 2 hours. Another advantage to early beach shing, I am home by 9:30 and ready to start my day.


Captain Jax Bait and Tackle 490c E 4th Ave, Hialeah, FL 33010


Tarpon season is nally upon us in the waterways that endlessly crisscross Miami’s urban areas. In the month of June heavy rains and thunderstorms will increase in frequency. e ood gates that connect lakes, canals and waterways to the ocean need to open to allow water to drain and prevent streets and houses from ooding. e man-made canals of Miami are part of an extensive, interconnected network. It was constructed in the early 1900s by the army corps of engineers for drainage, ood prevention, and water storage. e longer these locks stay open, the more saltwater sh like tarpon, snook, jack crevalle and many other species sneak into our canal estuaries.

If you are targeting tarpon or snook, start early in the morning just a er sunrise or about 45 minutes before dusk. Look for tarpon surfacing and gulping air. As water temperatures increase, the oxygen levels decrease resulting in tarpon surfacing/rolling to breathe. ey will give you a quick glimpse of their dorsal n and expose a little bit of their back. I describe it kind of like a dolphin surfacing to get a breath of air. Tarpon can also be found in many of our lakes that connect to these canals. ey will usually be seen toward the middle of the lakes surfacing so a boat or kayak is recommended to sh for them. A good tip is to have a chat with fellow anglers that live on these lakes or join a local shing club that shes these waters frequently.

Urban canal bridges with owing water are another great place to look if you want to land your rst freshwater tarpon or snook. Just the other day while shing with a client from Mississippi we pulled the boat up to one of the bridges that we know hold tarpon during this time of year. We stopped the boat about 20 yards short of the bridge and noticed the water was rushing because they were releasing water from the canal system in anticipation of an upcoming low-pressure system headed our way. I instructed the client to pitch a live shiner to the closest piling. Man did he make the perfect cast. e bait landed 6 inches from the piling and my client then proceeded to let some line out and the rushing water took the golden shiner toward the darkness of the middle of the bridge. It didn’t take long to see the line exiting the reel three times faster than the owing water had previously taken it. 1-2-3 he counted out loud and then closed the spool to set the hook. Several jumps later and about a 15-minute total battle, we were nally able to land this mint condition river monster. He said it was the catch of his life. We have landed many urban snook on our charters in this same manner. e only di erence is we usually put a small split-shot weight on to sink the bait towards the bottom where the snook lay and wait to ambush anything that swims by.

Urban Legends Fishing Charters

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The FishermanTraveling

Wow!I nally had some great shing here in north Georgia and even a pleasing catch in western North Carolina. I shed with Doug Youngblood on Lake Lanier in early May. We had great action on a half-day trip, catching at least 3 dozen spotted bass from 2 to 5 pounds and an estimated 7-pound striped bass. ese sh were chowing down on blueback herring, and we could have doubled our catch if I hadn’t been obsessed with catching some sh on lures. I had no bites on the lures.

Conversely the next morning we were fooling around for half an hour in Bryson City North Carolina and I caught a brown trout on y and my friend Gary Hall caught 3 rainbow trout on spinner baits.

So, let’s look at June. is is the last month of dependable big black n tuna and sail sh in the late a ernoons. Plenty of live or cut chum and live baits shed in 90 to 200 feet of water will produce both species. Kite baits, atlines and mid baits will all draw strikes. If you position near good bottom structure identi ed on your CMOR chart, you may be able to put a few mutton snappers to your cooler. Use plenty of lead (usually 16-24 ounces), a long, 30-50 foot uorocarbon leader and a live or very fresh bait to tempt those mutton snappers or maybe even a grouper.

Just a er dark till about 10pm you should anchor on another ledge and chum with ground chum. Float baits, like strips of ballyhoo or king sh belly cut at 1/4 inch by an inch and a quarter long, out with the current for yellowtail snappers. Just behind the chum bag hang Sabiki rigs to catch fresh baits to use later for mangrove snappers or on the bottom all evening for mutton snappers.

If you can sh till midnight, you should be able to add some of my favorite snapper to your catch. at would be the gray, AKA mangrove snapper. ey like to bite late in the evening. Anchor near some good structure and instead of ground chum, try chunking with small pieces of pilchards, herring or sardines. row chunks out every few minutes. Use the smallest sinker possible that will eventually reach the bottom. Ignore the little pecks. When the sh takes o , put the brakes on and get him up ahead of the sharks.

For many years, June was considered one of the best months for mahi. Will they return this June? Load the boat for a day o shore by packing gear for both mahi and swords. One of my biggest sword sh was caught late on a June a ernoon. You might as well bring some deep drop bottom rigs for tile sh or roses when you head o shore.

Maybe you will catch a few mahi dinners. Or drop down between 600 and 1000 feet of water and see what comes up from the bottom to ll your dinner plate.

Let’s not miss anything. Snook season is now closed. Tarpon will be searching for crabs or ies’ day and night. It’s a great time for vertical jigs from 200 to 700 feet for tuna, tiles and who knows what. It’s time to take stock of your HOT weather supplies. Sunscreen, drinking water, big hat and ice. Have fun!



As we get into summer and our temperatures warm up so too does the shing in Flamingo. During our summer months targeting snook and red sh along the Cape Sable and up the Coast is my favorite thing to do. I like to pull the boat up close to shore and use my trolling motor to slowly work along looking for snook cruising the surf. We might blind cast arti cials as there are o en sh that we can’t see. I like casting swim baits and jerk baits. ey are the best when working the beaches around Cape Sable and on up the coast. You can get in a lot of casts and cover a lot of ground verses live bait. is time of the year we also nd huge schools of permit still out in the gulf wrecks and springs. A live crab on a small jig head or shrimp pattern arti cial will work the best on these sh.

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June o ers spectacular a ernoon shing just 10 minutes o the beach. Beat the heat and catch the best bite by shing the last few hours of daylight. Hungry black n tuna, kings, mahi, and sail sh are all great possibilities. ese will bite best on live pilchards just 2 miles o the beach in 90-250 of water. For an a ernoon delight, Rig 20 lb. out ts with 20-30 lb. mainline and 40-50 lb. 15-foot wind-on mono lament or uorocarbon leader. With an a ernoon sea breeze from the East, set up in 250 feet of water, and put out a spread on the upwind side of your boat. Fish a long atline, a short atline and a rod weighted to sit down about halfway to the bottom. Dri in to 90 feet and if your box is not full of black n tuna, mahi, and king sh, then do it again until you run out of daylight. Sail sh will be around too, expect bites from them shing this way. Good luck and GO HARD.




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Recomendaciones para la pesca de junio

No hay nada que me guste más que levantarme temprano una mañana de verano con viento del Oeste. Cojo mi caña y me dirijo a la playa antes de que amanezca. En aras de la comodidad y la destreza, sólo llevo una caña y una pequeña bolsa de aparejos, por lo que tengo que elegir bien mis señuelos. Mi decisión se basa en el tiempo ¿está nublado y llueve?, ¿hace frío o calor?, ¿cuál es la visibilidad del agua? Me gusta elegir señuelos que combinen con el color del agua. Así que, dependiendo de las condiciones, mi bolsa puede contener un X-Rap Olive, tamaño 12, un Yozuri Crystal Minnow y quizá algún NLBN (no live bait needed o no necesita cebos vivos en español). Este señuelo parece funcionar en cualquier condición e incluso ha funcionado de noche.

Mi combo de spinning de elección es el Tsunami Salt X 4000 y un escudo de carbono Tsunami de 8 pies, pesado. Si necesitas ayuda para encontrar el combo perfecto para tu tipo de pesca puedes visitarme en Captain Jax Bait and Tackle, 490 C East 4th Ave. Hialeah, Florida 33010 786-300-5362.

Junio es generalmente bueno para la pesca en la playa. Yo tenía sólo un viaje planeado hace unas semanas y, de acuerdo con mi aplicación del tiempo, el viento se suponía que era del noreste de 5 a 10 MPH. Cuando me desperté por la mañana soplaba del sureste a 1215... Odio pescar en la playa con viento del sureste porque trae mucho sargazo. Ya me había levantado y no podía soportarlo, así que decidí ir de todos modos.

Llegué a la arena a las 6:40 y todavía estaba oscuro, tuve que esperar a que hubiera un poco de luz y cuando por n pude ver, como sospechaba, la maleza estaba por todas partes. Con mucho sargazo no se puede lanzar el X-Rap, ya que sus anzuelos triples son unos magnates de la maleza, así que empecé a lanzar el NLBN y lo dejé hundirse un segundo antes de recuperarlo. Abajo en la playa veo el cebo volando y de repente hay estérnidos, gaviotas y pelícanos. Los jureles atraviesan las olas poco profundas.

Corro por la playa como un loco y lanzo hacia la manada de peces de cebo. ¡Boom, estoy enganchado! El pez empieza a correr hacia la izquierda, arrancando sedal de la bobina grande, luego gira y corre hacia la derecha. Mientras lucho con el pez, voy quitando las algas a medida que se deslizan por mi línea hacia mi caña. ¡Sabía que era un jurel grande! Este pez tiene mala fama a nivel deportivo porque no es un pez de carne, pero libra por libra, enfrentaría a un jurel con una palometa cualquier día. Después de unos 30 minutos de lucha contra las algas, saqué el pez a tierra. Pesaba más de 20 libras, así que le hice una foto rápida y lo solté enseguida.

Terminé pescando 6 jureles más y luego vinieron los róbalos. Todos estos peces fueron capturados en ese salmonete NLBN Lil, en un lapso de 2 horas. Otra ventaja de la pesca temprana en la playa es que estoy en casa a las 9:30am, listo para empezar mi día.

490c E 4th Ave,

FL 33010 • 786.300.5362



Capitáns Tony Tojdowski

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Síguenos en Urban Legends Fishing Charter

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Enganchado a FLAMINGO

Amedida que nos adentramos en el verano, y nuestras temperaturas se calientan, también lo hace la pesca en Flamingo. Durante nuestros meses de verano la pesca de róbalo y gallineta nórdica, a lo largo del Cabo Sable y la costa, es mi actividad favorita.

Me gusta tirar del barco cerca de la orilla y utilizar mi motor de arrastre para trabajar lentamente en la búsqueda de róbalos pasando entre las olas. Es posible que lancemos carnadas arti ciales a ciegas, ya que a menudo hay peces que no podemos ver. Me gusta lanzar swim baits y jerk baits, pues son los mejores cuando se trabaja en las playas de Cape Sable y en la costa; se pueden hacer muchos lances y cubrir mucho terreno en comparación con los cebos vivos.

En esta época del año también encontramos grandes bancos de palometa en los pecios y manantiales del golfo. Un cangrejo vivo en una cabeza de plantilla pequeña o un patrón de camarón arti cial funcionarán mejor en estos peces.


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¡Llegó la Tarpón Manía!

La temporada del sábalo real (o tarpón) está nalmente sobre nosotros en las vías uviales que cruzan, sin cesar, las zonas urbanas de Miami. En el mes de junio las fuertes lluvias y tormentas eléctricas aumentarán en frecuencia, por lo que las compuertas que conectan los lagos, canales y vías uviales con el océano necesitan abrirse para permitir que el agua drene y evitar que las calles o las casas se inunden. Los canales arti ciales de Miami forman parte de una extensa red interconectada y fue construida a principios del siglo XX por el cuerpo de ingenieros del ejército con nes de drenaje, prevención de inundaciones y almacenamiento de agua. Cuanto más tiempo permanezcan abiertas estas esclusas, más peces de agua salada como el sábalo, el róbalo, el jurel y muchas otras especies se colarán en los estuarios de nuestros canales.

Si su objetivo es el sábalo o el róbalo, empiece temprano por la mañana, justo después del amanecer o unos 45 minutos antes del anochecer. Busque los sábalos que salen a la super cie y tragan aire. A medida que aumenta la temperatura del agua, disminuyen los niveles de oxígeno, lo que hace que los sábalos salgan a la super cie o se revuelquen para respirar; le darán un vistazo rápido de su aleta dorsal y expondrán un poco de su espalda. Yo lo describo como un delfín saliendo a la super cie para tomar aire.

El sábalo también se puede encontrar en muchos de nuestros lagos que conectan con estos canales. Por lo general, se les ve hacia el centro de los lagos emergiendo, por lo que se recomienda un barco o kayak para pescarlos. Un buen consejo es charlar con otros pescadores que vivan en estos lagos o unirse a un club de pesca local que pesque en estas aguas con frecuencia. Los puentes de los canales urbanos con agua corriente son otro buen lugar para pescar su primer sábalo o róbalo de agua dulce. El otro día, mientras pescaba con un cliente de Mississippi, acercamos el barco a uno de los puentes que sabemos que albergan sábalos en esta época del año. Paramos el barco a unos 20 metros del puente y nos dimos cuenta de que el agua estaba corriendo porque estaban liberando el sistema de canales, en previsión de un próximo sistema de baja presión que se dirige hacia nosotros. Le dije al cliente que lanzara un pececillo vivo al pilote más cercano e hizo el lanzamiento perfecto, el cebo aterrizó a 6 pulgadas del pilote y mi cliente entonces procedió a soltar un poco de línea; el agua que corría se llevó la carnada hacia la oscuridad del centro del puente y no tardó mucho en ver que el sedal salía del carrete tres veces más rápido de lo que lo había hecho el agua. 1-2-3 contó en voz alta y luego cerró el carrete para colocar el anzuelo. Tras varios saltos y una batalla de unos 15 minutos, por n pudimos pescar este monstruo de río en perfectas condiciones. Dijo que era la captura de su vida. Hemos desembarcado muchos róbalos urbanos en nuestros charters de esta misma manera. La única diferencia es que normalmente ponemos un pequeño peso split-shot para hundir el cebo hacia el fondo, donde el róbalo yacía y espera para emboscar a cualquier cosa que nade alrededor.

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Pescando a inicios del verano

Junio ofrece una pesca espectacular en horas de la tarde y a sólo 10 minutos de la playa. Supere el calor y consiga la mejor pesca aprovechando las últimas horas del día. Atunes hambrientos, caballas reales, doradas y peces vela son grandes opciones para este mes; y picarán mejor con sardinas vivas a sólo 2 millas de la playa, en 90250 pies de agua.Para deleitarse en una cálida tarde, monte equipos de 20 lb, con línea principal de 20-30 lb, así como bajos de línea de mono lamento o uorocarbono de 40-50 lb y 15 pies.

Con la brisa marina del este por la tarde, colóquese a 250 pies de profundidad y extienda la línea en el lado de barlovento de la embarcación. Pesque una línea plana larga, una línea plana corta y una caña lastrada para que se asiente a medio camino del fondo.

Llévelo a unos 90 pies y si su caja no se llena de atunes de aleta negra, dorados y caballas reales, vuelva a hacerlo hasta que se le acabe la luz del día. El pez vela también estará por allí, así que espere picadas de ellos mientras se encuentra pescando de esta manera.

¡Buena suerte y a darle duro!

Capitán Abie Raymond






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Finalmente tuve una gran pesca aquí en el norte de Georgia e incluso una captura agradable en el oeste de Carolina del Norte. Pesqué con Doug Youngblood en el lago Lanier a principios de mayo; tuvimos una gran acción en un viaje de medio día, con la captura de al menos 3 docenas de lubina manchada (de 2 a 5 libras) y un estimado de 7 libras de lubina rayada. Estos peces estaban devorando arenques azules, y podríamos haber duplicado nuestro botín si no hubiera estado obsesionado con la captura de algunos peces con señuelos que, lamentablemente, no picaron.

Por el contrario, a la mañana siguiente estuvimos pescando media hora en Bryson City (Carolina del Norte), donde atrapé una trucha marrón con mosca y mi amigo, Gary Hall, pescó 3 truchas arco iris con cebos.

Así pues, echemos un vistazo a lo que nos depara junio, pues es el último mes de atún de aleta negra y pez vela en las tardes. Un montón de carnada viva (o cortada) y cebos vivos pescados en 90 a 200 pies de agua atraerán a ambas especies; los cebos de cometa, las líneas planas y los cebos intermedios generarán picadas. Si se posiciona cerca de una buena estructura de fondo identi cada en su carta CMOR, puede ser capaz de poner algunos pargos en su refrigerador. Utilice abundante plomo (normalmente de 16 a 24 onzas), un bajo de línea de uorocarbono de 30 a 50 pies y un cebo vivo (o muy fresco) para tentar a los pargos o incluso a un mero.

Justo después del anochecer y hasta las 22:00 horas, debe fondear en otro saliente y cebar con carnada de fondo. Para los pargos de cola amarilla, saque a ote con la corriente cebos como tiras de ballyhoo o vientres de caballa real cortados a 1/4 de pulgada por una pulgada y cuarto de largo. Justo detrás de la bolsa de cebo, cuelgue los aparejos Sabiki para pescar cebos frescos y utilizarlos más tarde, ya sea para los pargos de manglar o en el fondo toda la noche para los pargos criollos.

Si puede pescar hasta la medianoche, podrá añadir a sus capturas uno de mis pargos favoritos: el pargo gris, también conocido como pargo del manglar. Les gusta picar a última hora de la tarde. Fondee cerca de una buena estructura y, en lugar de cebo de fondo, pruebe con trozos pequeños de arenques o sardinas. Lance los trozos cada pocos minutos y utilice la plomada más pequeña posible para que llegue al fondo; no haga caso de los pequeños picotazos. Cuando el pez despegue, eche el freno y llévelo por delante de los tiburones.

Durante muchos años, junio se consideró uno de los mejores meses para el Mahi Mahi dorado. ¿Volverán este junio? Cargue el barco para un día en alta mar empacando equipo tanto para el mahi como para el pez espada. Uno de mis mayores peces espada lo pesqué una tarde de junio. También puede llevar algunos aparejos de fondo profundo para los blanquillos o rosas cuando se dirija mar adentro.


Let’s grow with Florida together.

Confessions of a Fishaholic, by Thatch Maguire, is a hilarious and irreverent look at one man’s quest to catch fish in spite of life’s annoying interferences. You’ll travel with this awkward adventurer as he risks home and health to pursue his passion for fishing...regardless of the consequences. Anglers of all expertise levels will immediately identify with why his addiction is incurable. This book defines the blurred line between passion and obsession.

20 Sacks Weighed Heavier than 30 Pounds at One Tourney

Catch a 30-pound ve- sh sack of bass, and you’re pretty much a lock to win whatever tournament you’re shing, right?

Imagine that glorious moment when you’ve been culling 5-pounders and pull into the docks to unload your livewell. With a grin on your face, you haul that huge bag of sh up to the scales…only to nd out your 30-pound sack barely put you in the top 20! at was the reality at a May 6 Roland Martin Marine Center Bass Series event on Lake Okeechobee. e shing was so good that anglers weighed 20 ve-bass limits that were heavier than 30 pounds. It took 36.82 pounds to win. We’re not sure who keeps track of such things, but that’s more 30-pound sacks in one tournament than we’ve ever heard of.

A father-son team of Preston and 11-year-old Tavyn Heisler won the 177-team tournament and a $6,500 big check.

“It was an amazing day,” Preston told a RMMCBS reporter a er the tournament. “I’m still shaking and I couldn’t ask for anything better.”

Tavyn said he was the net man early in the tournament, but he caught his own 8-pounder late in the day. His favorite lure was a black and blue charterbait.

To read a full report on the event, visit:

Maguire’s frst work is a compelling, fast read. His style is like a mix of Hemingway with a sardonic blend of Hunter S. Thompson. I couldn’t put it down...
Ben Martin
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Editor in Chief Coastal Angler Magazine
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Florida’s red snapper season will be 70 days long in 2023 and include both summer and fall dates. In early May, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced what he called the longest combined season since the state took control of red snapper management. e summer season will be 46 days, followed by a 24-day falls snapper season.

“Florida is the Fishing Capital of the World, and the Gulf red snapper season brings anglers from across the country to enjoy our waters,” said Gov. DeSantis. “It is a generational tradition for so many who call Florida home. I am happy that 2023 will be by far the longest combined season since the state assumed management of red snapper.”

e 46-day summer season will begin on June 16 and run through July 31. e 24-day fall season will include all weekends in October and November, Friday–Sunday.

If you plan to sh for red snapper in state or federal waters from a private recreational vessel, even if you are exempt from shing license requirements, you must sign up as a State Reef Fish Angler (annual renewal required). For more information, see

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For all science knows about our sheries, there is plenty le to discover. Bone sh & Tarpon Trust scientists recently located a bone sh prespawning aggregation (PSA) in the Florida Keys. e discovery is the rst of its kind in Florida waters and the culmination of a years-long search that utilized acoustic telemetry and the historical knowledge of veteran shing guides.

“ is is a major discovery for the Florida Keys shery,” said BTT President and CEO Jim McDu e. “BTT has previously identi ed PSAs in several other countries, but Florida sites remained elusive—until now. By locating this PSA, our scientists will be able to learn more about where and how bone sh spawn in the Florida Keys, which is information critical to the sustained recovery of the population.”

Over the course of the 2022-2023 bone sh spawning season, which spans from October to April, BTT Florida Keys Initiative Manager Dr. Ross Boucek and his team tracked 67 sh and logged more than 94,000 detections. Many of these detections were in the area where BTT research during the 2021-2022 season and reports from shing guides indicated a likely PSA. Fourteen bone sh detected at the suspected PSA site had been tagged at distant ats, including two sh tagged 55 miles away.

e newly discovered PSA is comprised of approximately 2,000 to 5,000 sh and located three to four miles o shore along a reef. Previously documented PSAs in the Bahamas and Belize are located in nearshore waters.

At the site, BTT scientists also observed bone sh gulping air at the surface. Previous research shows that bone sh engage in this behavior before spawning to ll their swim bladders. At night, the sh dive hundreds of feet and rapidly ascend to the surface. e sudden change in pressure during the ascent makes their swim bladders expand, enabling the bone sh to release eggs and sperm. A er fertilization, hatched larvae dri in ocean currents before settling in shallow sand- or mud-bottom bays, where they develop into juvenile bone sh.

“As a Keys shing guide for 53 years, with a science background, I took bone sh for granted—they were what I shed for every day,” said Capt. Rick Ruo , member of the BTT Board of Directors. “I thought that I knew all about the resource, until the population crashed. I discovered neither I, nor anyone else, knew where or how bone sh spawned—a major gap in our knowledge. BTT has come up with the amazing science to determine the dynamics of bone sh spawning. It has been a great lesson to me that we have located this missing piece of the puzzle. To have a healthy population and management goals, you have to understand all aspects of your resource. I am so proud to be part of the BTT science e ort that has unraveled these bone sh mysteries and will witness their rebound.”

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Loop knots leave a small loop of line rather than a knot snug against the hook eye. ey are important to have in your repertoire for shing arti cials because that loop allows a little more movement when you’re working lures like jigs, topwaters and plugs.

e Kreh knot, developed by legendary y sherman Le y Kreh, was originally intended to be used for streamers and bait sh ies. It is also a great choice for conventional anglers throwing any lure that needs a touch of freedom to strut its stu Also known as the non-slip loop knot, it is strong and easy to tie, and it works well with both mono lament and uorocarbon lines.

With the Kreh knot, you give up a bit of strength in comparison to snug Palomar or uni knots, but you’re trading it for lifelike lure action. e

venerable Rapala knot is another great loop knot that might be a little stronger than the Kreh. However, the Kreh is a tad easier to tie, making it our go-to loop knot for lures in freshwater or salt.

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Timothy Crowley was shing Kenansville Lake with Capt. Morris Campbell on March 23 when he caught this 13.10-pound lunker.

Orange Lake keeps pumping out giant largemouth bass. e latest leader in Florida’s TrophyCatch program is a 14-pound, 1-ounce monster from Orange Lake. Chad Dorland caught the sh on April 23 to claim the top spot in FWC’s big-bass recognition program.

Dorland’s sh is the third 13-plus-pounder to come from the 12,550acre Alachua County lake since February. On Feb. 3, Luke Matthews caught a 13-pound, 8-ounce bass at Orange Lake. Anthony Holland caught a 13-pound, 3-ounce beast at Orange Lake on Feb. 25.

Fish weighing more than 13 pounds are awarded Hall of Fame status in the TrophyCatch program. Five Hall of Fame sh have been caught since TrophyCatch season 11 began on Oct. 1, 2022. ree of the ve were caught at Orange Lake, which has also seen 13 other bass weighing more than 10 pounds submitted to the program in that same time period. ose statistics don’t even include all the other lunkers anglers have likely caught and not entered into the program. It’s safe to say Orange Lake is a big-bass factory at the moment.

e other two 13-plus-pound TrophyCatch entries this year were both caught in March. On March 4, Russell Bauknight caught a 13-pound, 8-ounce hawg at Holden’s Pond, which is just up the road from Orange Lake in the same sprawling system of shallow, vegetation- lled waters southeast of Gainesville. On March 23, Timothy Crowley caught a 13-pound, 10-ounce sh that gave him the top spot in TrophyCatch before Dorland caught his 14-pounder. Crowley’s sh came from Kenansville Reservoir down in Indian River County.

For more information, visit www.trophycatch

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Hand closes Aug. 6, allowing harvest to begin during the weekend in advance of the Fourth of July holiday.

“Extending the season will increase the economic bene ts from this popular recreational shery to local communities in the region,” said Jessica McCawley, Division of Marine Fisheries Management Director. We will continue these e orts by exploring long-term season options for future years via the formal rulemaking process.”

Between 2017 and 2020, FWC took a pilot approach to establish regionally speci c bay scallop regulations while also maintaining the sustainability of local scallop populations. As part of this e ort, the allowable harvest area for scallops was extended to include Pasco County waters starting in 2018. e Pasco Zone for bay scallop management includes all Florida waters south of the Pasco-Hernando county line and north of the Anclote Key Lighthouse, approximately 0.37 miles south of the Pasco-Pinellas county line.

e daily bag limit in this area is 2 gallons of whole bay scallops in the shell or 1 pint of shucked bay scallop meat per person, with no more than a total of 10 gallons of whole bay scallops in the shell or 1/2 gallon (4 pints) shucked bay scallop meat per vessel.

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For anglers looking to conquer the toughest offshore conditions, Okuma’s Cavalla 2-Speed Lever Drag reels are the ultimate weapon of choice. Over the past decade, Okuma has cemented its position as a leader in the saltwater market, starting with the groundbreaking Makaira line of reels. Today, the Cavalla 2-Speed Lever Drag is yet another example of Okuma’s unwavering commitment to providing top-tier, reliable products for saltwater anglers.

With its compact, machined aluminum frame and side plates, the Cavalla is a reel that can withstand the toughest conditions Mother Nature can throw at it. The rigid one-piece frame ensures stability and durability, while the cold-forged, type-II anodized machined aluminum spool adds to the reel’s sleek, rugged design. Whether you’re targeting monster grouper, sailfish, giant snapper or other offshore saltwater species, the Cavalla is the reel you want in your offshore arsenal.

The Cavalla reels feature a battle-proven carbonite drag system with Cal’s drag grease that can put out an impressive 24 to 34 pounds of drag at full. The 17.4 grade stainless steel main and pinion gear, along with the CRC coating process, make this reel virtually corrosion resistant. With four corrosion-resistant stainless-steel bearings and a silent retrieve system, the Cavalla operates

smoothly and efficiently, ensuring that you never miss a catch.

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2-speed reels feature a 6.4:1 and 3.8:1 gear ratio on the 5 size reels and a 4.7:1 and 2.1:1 gear ratio on the 12 size, allowing for versatile performance across a range of fishing styles. The 5 and 12 size reels come in both left- and right-hand retrieve and feature an on/off bait clicker. The reel’s compact size and comfortable Ergo Grip handle knob and anodized aluminum handle arm make it easy to handle and use for extended periods of time.

So, why should you choose the Cavalla lever drag reel for your next offshore fishing trip? Here are five reasons:

• Durable Construction: The Cavalla’s machined aluminum frame and side plates, along with its corrosion-resistant components, ensure that this reel can handle the toughest offshore conditions with ease.

• Versatile Performance: With its 2-speed capabilities and variable gear ratios, the Cavalla is a reel that can adapt to a range of fishing styles and conditions.

• Smooth Operation: Thanks to its silent

the Cavalla operates smoothly and efficiently, ensuring that you never miss a catch.

• Strong Drag System: The Cavalla’s carbonite drag system with Cal’s drag grease can put out up to 34 pounds of drag, making it a reel that can handle the biggest and toughest fish in the ocean.

• Comfortable Handling: With its compact size and Ergo Grip handle knob and anodized aluminum handle arm, the Cavalla is a reel that you can use comfortably for extended periods of time, even during the toughest offshore fishing trips.

The Okuma Cavalla 2-Speed Lever Drag reel is an all-around, top-of-the-line reel that every saltwater angler should have in their arsenal.

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JULY 17-22


It’s Kingfish Time! The 43rd annual 121 Financial Credit Union Greater Jacksonville Kingfish Tournament is slated for July 17-22, 2023. For five days, with four tournaments and $400,000 in prizes, the “Grandaddy of all Kingfish Tournaments” will keep the docks buzzing with fun events for everyone from die-hard anglers to casual spectators.

The cornerstone of this historic and thriving event is the general tournament, which launches Friday, July 21 with a boat package valued at $160,000 going to the team that lands the largest kingfish. The grand prize is a sweet 25-T Contender with twin 150hp Yamahas, a custom T-top by Custom Marine and an Ameritrail trailer. The tournament pays through 20 places for largest fish and aggregate, as well as a Lady Angler division that pays to 10 places, totaling nearly $250,000 in cash and prizes.

All the boats and the fish coming into the docks at Jim King Park and Boat Ramp at Sisters Creek Park in Jacksonville creates a festival atmosphere. Traditionally, the tournament draws thousands of spectators who enjoy cold beverages, hot food and vendors at the Liar’s Tent. Awards Day on Saturday, July 22 is all about celebration, with Kids Zone activities, drawings and a fishing seminar, followed by eye-popping fireworks in partnership with the City of Jacksonville.

Also for the kids, there is a Junior Angler Offshore Tournament on Wednesday, July 19, as well as a Junior Angler Dock Tournament. The grand prize in the Junior Angler Offshore Tournament is an Ohana 14’ skiff with a 25hp Yamaha and trailer, and this tournament pays through 25 places.

popular Redfish Tournament fishes on Saturday, July 22, with weigh-ins at 2 p.m. during the Awards Day activities.

Through its history, the Greater Jacksonville Kingfish Tournament has been all about putting on a great tournament and helping to provide access to marine resources and promoting education, preservation and research in partnership with its junior anglers and Jacksonville University’s Marine Biology Department. Jacksonville Marine Charities is the operating arm of the event, and it supports non-profits throughout the state. Recently, Child Cancer Fund, the Down Syndrome Association and the Child Guidance Center have benefitted from the organization, which also supports other local charity fishing events like The Premier Trout, Flounder Pounder, Wounded Heroes on the Water and others.

For complete details, go to

Coastal Angler and The Angler Magazine, Suzuki Marine and Sea Eagle have come together to offer readers a shot at this Sea Eagle FishSkiff 16 paired with a Suzuki DF4 outboard that’ll take you wherever the fish are. The FishSkiff 16 is an inflatable fishing boat that is lightweight, sturdy, stable and extremely packable. It rolls up small enough to fit in the trunk of a car and quickly inflates into a fishing machine. Powered by Suzuki’s four-stroke DF4A, you’ll have to hold on to your hat as you scream over the flats. Designed for efficiency and performance and portability, the DF4A provides all the speed and acceleration you can handle. It’s lightweight and can be attached or removed with ease.

Images for illustration purposes only and prize may vary from what is shown. Contest runs May 1st through July 31st 2023. Winner till be announced on Facebook July 31st.

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This is the time of year when bass gorge themselves on bluegill. One of the best ways to catch bluegilleaters is with a swim jig.

The swim jig is a versatile bait. It can be used in different colors and actions that drive bass crazy. All the variety can make jig shopping a bit overwhelming. There are thousands of color options, countless styles, different hooks and line-tie variations. When I’m looking for the perfect swim jig, I keep a few things in mind. I only throw two different color combinations, bluegill duplicators— the greens, browns and oranges—and a black and blue. You want a jig with a slender head style with a vertical line tie that will come through the cover you’re fishing. I also like a jig with a stout hook. Throwing a swim jig around heavy cover calls for heavy line, and you don’t want your hook to bend out or break when you hook into a big one.

Selection of jig trailers can also be overwhelming. Guess what? I only throw two different styles of trailers. I usually put a swimbait-style trailer with a boot tail on the back, but occasionally I’ll use a craw trailer with two kicker legs. At the end of the day, you just want something back there kicking

and giving your jig some action, and these two styles are my go-to. I match the color of the trailers to the color of the jig.

The cover to target with a swim jig can be endless. They are great in vegetation as well as around docks, wood, rocky banks and for covering water over expansive flats with wood and grass. You can cover a lot of water with this bait, and typically covering more water leads to more bites. You should throw it anywhere bass are chasing bluegills or where bass are actively feeding. I always keep one tied on and ready.

A retrieve I find myself using a lot is a yo-yo retrieve. Point the rod tip high and vary the retrieval speed by either cranking fast and slow or moving the rod tip. This gives the bait some erratic movements and drives them crazy. I also use a steady retrieve. Depending on the part of the water column you are trying to target, you can reel the bait fast and keep it up high—even on the surface—or slow it down and creep it deeper, maybe to keep it around some submerged cover.

Swim Jig Gear

Fishing cover requires heavier equipment. I fish a heavy action rod with a length between a 7’3” and 7’6”. The 13 Fishing Defy Black 7’5H is a super affordable rod and is awesome for the job. Pair the rod up with a fast reel like the 13 Fishing Concept A 7:5 spooled up with 50-pound Seaguar Smackdown braid, and you are ready to put some fish in the boat.

Tyler Woolcott is a professional tournament angler and guide. Check out his website at

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In early May, a 600-plus-pound bluefin tuna was brought to the docks at Alabama’s Orange Beach Marina. It was not a world or state record, but it was a giant fish and a first for Capt. Johnny Greene who has been a charter captain for the last 33 years.

According to the story written by David Rainer for the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (ADCNR), Greene and his crew aboard the Intimidator were hosting a group of anglers from Georgia on a three-day trip deep into the Gulf of Mexico. Greene said he has encountered big bluefins before in the April and May timeframe, when they arrive in the Gulf to spawn, but he’s never managed to put one in the boat or even “slow one down.”

“Last year we hooked one about noon and fought that fish four or five hours. We had 10 people on that charter, and they ended up changing the rod between anglers probably 20 or 25 times,” he told ADCNR. “We ended up breaking a rod after fighting him that long. We were so close, so that one was really a heartbreaker.”

This recent trip did not end in heartbreak. After hooking the fish, the Intimidator chased it for about 2 miles before getting to within 100

feet of the leader. Then the fish dove deep. They managed to stop the dive with a Shimano 50-wide and a stand-up harness, and after battling it for about four hours they could tell the fish had died. They began the laborious process of winching it up on 80-pound-test mono.

“When you have to pull a 600-pound animal up, it’s not the easiest thing to do,” he told ADCNR. “It requires communication between the angler, everybody in the cockpit and the wheelhouse. It’s basically a momentum game. You’ve got to get the fish coming up, and you have to keep him coming. If you take a break, the fish is going to start sinking again. It’s tricky.”

The celebration began when they finally brought the giant fish to the surface and tethered it with a tail rope. They used a come-along to hoist it into the boat.

Knowing their fish was not a record, the crew went ahead and gutted it and iced it down to preserve the meat during the ride home. It weighed 579 pounds gutted, with an estimated total weight of 625 pounds. The Alabama state record, caught in 2006, weighed 829 pounds.

To read David Rainer’s entire account of the catch, go to

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believe the popping cork found its beginnings in the 1930s, and it’s still a mainstay in most saltwater anglers’ tackle boxes. Many versions have been introduced along the way and undoubtedly more will come. One thing is for certain, if they didn’t work, they would not have lasted for nearly a century. In Texas, a popping cork typically finds itself dragging a live shrimp, but there are other options. What makes the popping cork stand out is the cupped top, which creates a popping sound and splashes water forward when twitched. It simulates a fish feeding on the surface.

I was once no different than the masses tossing live shrimp under a cork, but in the early 2000s— when I had already turned my focus to exclusively lure fishing—I found another place for the simple but effective popping cork.

At that time, our famous Baffin Bay was plagued with brown tide, an algae bloom that turns the water, well, brown. The water had nearly zero visibility, which made fishing soft plastics difficult at best. Looking back, I wish I had already invented my Knockin Tail Lures with the built in tail rattle, but better late than never. At the time, I started using lures under a cork instead of live shrimp. I realized a noticeable increase in the number of fish I was able to catch. Depending on the circumstances, I would use a jighead, a weighted weedless hook or an unweighted hook about 24 inches under my cork. Although I heard

a lot of grief from my buddies who would not touch a popping cork, it worked and I continued to out fish them on most trips. I stayed with this technique in Baffin until the brown tide cleared.

A lure under a cork is also a great way to introduce kids to lure fishing. Paddletails, twitch baits and artificial shrimp all work well with this strategy. The method takes a lot of the hand coordination out of the picture for children and lets them realize that you don’t need live bait to catch fish.

Another of the many options this cork gives the angler is a way to effectively fish jetties. At times, trout will suspend 8 to 10 feet deep off the rocks. In this situation, the popping cork’s sound creating ability is still important, but it needs to be modified. Casting a cork with 10 feet of leader to get your lure down to the fish creates a challenge. This is where the slip cork method comes into play. With a slip cork, you can cast a 2- or 3-foot leader or less, but the cork will have a rubber stop that allows your bait to sink to the desired depth where the bite is. Look up slip cork for more on this method.

The weather is warm, don’t forget to take a kid fishing!

Capt. Michael Okruhlik is the inventor of Knockin Tail Lures®, and the owner of PHOTO COURTESY OF KNOCKIN TAIL LURES®

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If this potbellied 73.29-pound lake trout isn’t a new world record, it should be.

Scott Enloe and his son Hunter were fishing an undisclosed Colorado lake in early May when Scott hooked into the 47-inch-long monster on a 6-inch tube jig and 10-pound test. According to Free Range American, it took 13 tense minutes to fight the huge laker boat-side, and both men had to haul it over the side because their net was too small to land the fish.

The fish was full of eggs and had an incredible girth of 37 inches. After some photos and measurements, they released it to go lay those eggs and spread the genetics for obesity.

The IGFA all-tackle world record for lake trout weighed 72 pounds, even. It was caught in 1995 by Lloyd Bull at Great Bear Lake in Canada. With the strict procedures required by IGFA for record consideration, it is unlikely Enloe’s fish will break the all-tackle world record, but there is a chance the organization will consider it for a world length record.

The current Colorado state record weighed 50.35 pounds. It was caught by Donald Walker in 2007. We’re not sure about Colorado’s record submission requirements, but most states require a weight taken on certified scales.

Regardless, it is the fish of a lifetime for Enloe, and if it doesn’t qualify for a record… it should.

To read the full report from Free Range American, go to https://


There’s no doubt these guys can get it out past the breakers. The Carolina Surf Casters Association gets together four times a year to hold distance-casting competitions. In an April contest, North Carolina’s Ryan Lambert set a record for the longest fishing cast in U.S. history. He launched a massive 889-foot, 4-inch cast.

Lambert is a frequent competitor in the sport of surf casting, known in Europe as long distance casting of sea weights, in which participants gather on a large marked field with surf fishing tackle to see who can cast different sizes of large sinkers (3.5 to 8 ounces) the farthest.

Though the sport originated in the U.S., reportedly as far back as the 1890s, it has become more popular in Europe and South America in recent decades. Only three surf casting clubs exist in the U.S. today. They are SurfCast USA (SCUSA), based in Maryland, Surf Fishing & Casting Club International (SFCCI), on Texas’ Gulf Coast, and Carolina Surf Casters Association (CSCA), in eastern North Carolina.

Lambert is the vice president/secretary of the CSCA – a more than 10-year-old organization with members from North Carolina, South Carolina, Delaware, Virginia, Maryland and Texas. The club organizes four competitions per year in spring and fall. These events are open to surf casters of all skill levels.

Lambert, a sales representative for a large agricultural supplier, lives in Angier, N.C., with his wife Blair and their two daughters. He’s an experienced saltwater fisherman who, like most competitive casters, originally developed long-distance casting skills to improve catch rate from piers and the beach. He learned those skills under the tutelage of fellow North Carolinian and long-time U.S. surf casting champion Tommy Farmer.

Tapping into his athleticism from playing baseball for N.C. State University, Lambert is able to generate huge power using a pendulum cast. This highly specialized technique involves swinging the sinker into an orbit around the tip of a long 12- to 14-foot surf rod, and at a precise moment, rotating the body and rod through a large arc, ending with a powerful punch-pull motion with the right and left arms.

“It’s great that one of our own from North Carolina—someone from our club, no less—was able to set this new benchmark,” said Matt Tuers, president of the CSCA. “One of the main objectives of this organization is to grow a community where U.S. casters can develop and start taking back the international records. Casters like Ryan are in a position to do that, as well as inspire the next batch of elite American competitors.”

The current world record longest cast is held by “Big Danny” Moeskops of Belgium with a 940 foot cast made in the early 2000s. The previous U.S. record was held by Will Nash of Texas, with 873 feet.

Check out CSCA at

Popular on the tournament field, but rarely seen on U.S. beaches, the pendulum cast is Ryan Lambert’s preferred casting style for launching heavy sinkers long distances. PHOTO COURTESY OF HUNTER ENLOE

Watauga River

Home of world class fishing on the beautiful Watauga Lake, rugged Doe River and designated trophy trout stream, Watauga River PLAN

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page 58

But When Driving, These Sunglasses May Save Your Life!

page 57


pages 55-57

Roll-Up Fishing Skiff

page 54


page 53


page 52


page 51


pages 48-50


pages 47-48


pages 44-46


pages 42-43

El PescadorViajero ¡Wow!

pages 38-40

Pescando a inicios del verano

page 36

¡Llegó la Tarpón Manía!

pages 34-35

Enganchado a FLAMINGO

page 34

Recomendaciones para la pesca de junio

pages 33-34


pages 28-32

The FishermanTraveling

pages 26-27


pages 24-25

West Wind… hit the surf!

page 23

Repower Center

pages 20-22


page 20


page 19


pages 16-18


pages 14-15

MITZI SKIFF: Affordable Performance on the Flats

pages 10-14


pages 8-9

Trophies Traditions !

page 7

Field Dress For Success

pages 5-6
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