Coastal Angler Magazine | July 2022 | Miami Edition

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2022

Orlando, FL JULY 19-22

39th Annual

KINGFISH TOURNAMENT

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SNAPPER TIME! PHOTO COURTESY OF: CAPT. KURT TILLMAN / IG: @CAPTAIN_KURT_T APP.FISHINGCHAOS.COM/CHARTER/CAPTAIN-KURT-CHARTERS VOLUME 27 • ISSUE 328

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4 NATIONAL

JULY 2022

’GILLS, ERS ’CRACK

e m i t r e Summ AND

By Nick Carter

E

! N U F

very now and then, it’s good to rediscover what ushered you into fishing in the first place. For many of us, it all began with small ponds and eager bream. The simplicity of just catching fish, without concern for size or species, is a pursuit that brings back a certain child-like joy. It’s even more fun when you take a kid. Witnessing the light of discovery and pride pass over a child’s face turns untangling lines and dodging errant casts into a labor of love. It doesn’t need to be difficult. If you time it right and have a good place to go, it’s easy to load a stringer full of fat bluegills or redear sunfish in a hurry. They are easy to clean, and they are delicious dredged in a seasoned cornmeal-flour mixture and fried crispy. The traditional preparation is to behead them, gut them and scale them, which yields those great crunchy fins. They can also be filleted for folks who don’t like picking through bones, and the resulting bream nuggets make tasty fish sandwiches or tacos. Throughout the spring and summer, bluegills return to the beds to spawn around each full moon. They spawn in groups, so their fanned-out beds look like honeycombs on the shallow bottom. Shallow flats with a sand or gravel bottom are the preferred areas, and they pile up on these beds for three days or so on either side of the full moon. In all but the most dingy water, you can see the beds on the bottom. Once you find them, the same spots will provide fast action year after year. A cricket under a bobber and a long cane pole is probably the way your grandfather yanked ’gills off the beds. If your young angler is competent with an ultralight spinning combo, a 1/32-oz. crappie jig can also be deadly when reeled steadily across the beds. Fly rodders can wear them out with a small popping bug or small streamer. Redear sunfish, also known as shellcrackers, can be more difficult to locate and catch than bluegills, but it’s worth it once you find them. They are the heavyweights of the bream world and regularly grow up to a pound or two. They fight very hard on light tackle. Shellcrackers spawn in early spring and prefer similar areas to bluegills, only deeper. Their beds can be difficult to find because they are usually too deep to see, and they don’t spawn throughout the summer. When they are on the beds they are very aggressive and will hit small jigs, spinners and flies. When they move off the beds, it’s time to switch to live bait. Shellcrackers feed near the bottom on snails and mollusks. After the spawn, they move off the banks to feed around grass or submerged structure like stumps and treetops. A red-wiggler, either slowly dragged across the bottom with some split-shot or a lightweight dropshot rig are both effective for ’crackers. Once you find one, you can usually find several.

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Red Snapper

The Official Fish of Summer Vacation By CAM Staff

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ed snapper should be the official fish of summer vacation. These hard-fighting and delicious reef fish are the traditional driving force behind the Gulf of Mexico charter fishing industry. The season dates are set to align with the arrival of tourists seeking fun in the sun, and whether you’re pulling your own boat to the Gulf for a week-long fishing expedition or you plan to hire a captain for a day on the water with the kids, here’s a state-by-state look at what you need to know to get in on the action.

Non-stainless steel circle hooks are required when fishing with natural baits. At least one de-hooking device is required and must be used to remove hooks. A descending device or venting tool that is rigged and ready for use is required when fishing for reef fish in federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

Federal For-Hire Season

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Gulf-wide, most of the recreational catch of Gulf red snapper comes from federal waters, which begin 9 miles offshore for purposes of reef fish management. Charter operations targeting red snapper and other reef fish in federal waters must have a federal for-hire reef fish permit to fish federal waters. The 2022 red snapper season for federally permitted vessels began June 1 and will close on Aug. 19. The bag limit is two fish per person with a 16-inch minimum length limit. Captain and crew may not retain a bag limit. Each state sets its own regulations for private anglers in state and federal waters as well as for charter boats in state waters. FLORIDA: Florida’s season opened June 17 and will run through July 31. Florida has also set aside the following weekends for snapper harvest in fall: Oct. 8-9, Oct. 15-16, Oct. 22-23, Nov. 11-13 and Nov. 25-27. The bag limit is two fish per person, per day with a 16-inch minimum length. The open season includes the These seasons apply to recreational anglers fishing from private vessels Monday of Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Labor Day. The season in Florida Gulf state and federal waters. For-hire operations that do not have will remain open until recreational landings approach Louisiana’s allocation. a federal reef fish permit may also participate in the season but are limited to Anglers must have a Recreational Offshore Landing Permit (ROLP) to fishing for red snapper in state waters only. All anglers who intend to fish for fish for or possess red snapper and electronically report their catch via the or harvest certain reef fish, including red snapper, from a private vessel are ROLP app or the ROLP website. required to obtain the State Reef Fish Angler designation. MISSISSIPPI: Mississippi’s red snapper season opened for private ALABAMA: The season for private and state-licensed charter vessels recreational anglers and state for-hire vessels on May 27, with a mid-season opened May 27 in Alabama state and federal waters. The season consists of closure date of July 4. The mid-season closure allows for compilation of four-day weekends, Friday through Monday, until the private angler quota landings to examine a potential season extension. is projected to be met. The daily bag limit is two per person, per day with a The season will be open seven days a week in both state and federal waters minimum size limit of 16 inches. and will close if the annual catch target for recreational anglers is reached. One angler per vessel, per trip is required to report through the MDMR Alabama uses Snapper Check to monitor landings during the season and provide weekly updates at outdooralabama.com. Anglers must have an Tails n’ Scales system. The daily bag limit is two fish per person with a 16-inch length limit. Alabama Gulf Reef Fish Endorsement. The owner or operator of each vessel is required to complete one landing TEXAS: The private recreational angler red snapper season in federal report per trip through Snapper Check prior to removing red snapper from waters of Texas opened June 1. Red snapper fishing is open year-round in the boat or the boat from the water. Red snapper caught from non-powered state waters. The bag limit in federal waters is two fish per person daily, with vessels, piers and the shoreline are also required to be reported through a 16-inch minimum size limit. In state waters, the limit is four fish per person Snapper Check. A landing report may be submitted through Snapper Check daily with a 15-inch minimum. Red snapper caught in federal waters count in the Outdoor AL app, which is available at outdooralabama.com. as part of the state bag limit. No more than two red snapper in federal waters LOUISIANA: The season opened May 27 in state and federal waters of and four red snapper in state waters may be in your possession while fishing. Louisiana. It will run weekends only (Friday, Saturday and Sunday) with a For more information, go to gulfcouncil.org. daily bag limit of three per person and a 16-inch minimum size limit. 6 NATIONAL JULYfish 2022 COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

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ong-casting lures are not limited to one shape or style, and that is a good thing. Distance is sometimes important in reaching fish, and a specific action or type of lure is important in convincing them to bite. Here’s a look at several lure styles and the pros and cons of fishing them. Diamond Jig: The first longdistance lure ever was likely the diamond jig and other elongated metal spoons. Originally designed for handline jigging, it just turned out that this lure’s shape allows it to cut through the air to reach great distances. This one is always worth carrying. It allows you to cover a lot of water and cast in high winds pretty well. This said, the diamond jig being made of metal makes the lure size relatively small compared to its weight. It’s not the best option when fish are looking for larger prey. Topwater: Nothing is more exciting and eye opening than topwater action. When water explodes with snapping mouths as predators gobble prey on top, it gives you an obvious target to cast a lure to. Poppers, pencils, chuggers and walkers all belong to the noble

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or a fast retrieve. In most situations, I prefer topwaters that sink at rest. They draw those exciting topwater strikes, and they regularly achieve 50 percent or longer cast distance than PATRICK SEBILE floating lures. Swimming Plugs: This category includes race of lures that we all love just about anything with swimming action. I to fish because they are fun, group billed minnows, hard swimbaits, darters, especially when you can cast bottleneck swimplugs and others into this to fish that are feeding actively and visibly. category. I do not, however, consider soft-plastic swimbaits such as a paddletail/jigheads to be distancecasting lures. Like topwaters, floating versions of these plugs are common, but they limit the distance you can cast. Longdistance “rocket” or “bullet” models are typically heavier and sink at rest. They have the ability to reach fish far from the boat or shore, and they will also draw strikes right at your feet. A key point about sinking distance-dedicated lures is they cast much better into wind than floating models, and this matters because the bite is often best—especially for large fish—when the wind is in your face and the water is white. Next issue we’ll dig into the Floating topwater lures are traditional, but appendices and lure designs for long distance. they don’t cast the farthest. Some topwaters Legendary angler Patrick Sebile is a world are designed to be fished at the surface, rather than on top of it. These sinking and/or heavily record holder and an award-winning designer loaded lures significantly improve range, and of innovative lures and fishing gear. Check out his creations at abandofanglers.com. they can be worked on top thanks to design

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NATIONAL 9


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39TH NASSAU SPORT FISHING ASSOCIATION KINGFISH TOURNEY IS AUG. 6

ig-time kingfish tournament action returns to Fernandina Beach, Fla. this August with the 39th Annual Nassau Sport Fishing Association Kingfish Tournament and Fishing Rodeo. This Southern Kingfish Association-sanctioned event is slated for Saturday, Aug. 6 with Fernandina Harbor Marina as headquarters. There’s up to $10,000 on the line for first place in the Kingfish Division, and with eight different species in inshore and offshore divisions of the rodeo, there’s a shot at the leaderboard no matter what style of fishing you prefer. There are also Single Engine Boat,HOURS: Lady Angler and Youth Angler Divisions. FISHING For Division, early bird entry is just $350 6:30the AM Kingfish – 5 PM through July2-5 15. WEIGH-IN: WEIGH 5 PMThe entry fee rises to $400 from July 16 through AWARDS:Aug. 7 PM4. The on-site fee is $450. For the Rodeo Division, early bird entry is just $100 through July 15. Then it’s PUBLIC INVITED/FOOD NVITED/FOOD $125 through Aug. 4 and $150 on-site. Anglers may choose to ENTERTAINMENT fish either division or both, so make your plans and get ready for SILENT AUCTION one of the hottest tournaments of the season. Boat numbers will be issued Friday Aug. 5 from 3 to 7 p.m., and then $ at 7 p.m. at Fernandina Harbor ST will be held INGFISH a mandatory IVISIONcaptains meeting LACE (BASED ON 100 PAID BOATS WITH 80% PAYOUTa.m. ) Marina. Fishing begins at 6:30 on Saturday, Aug. 6, with all boats SINGLE ENGINErequired BOATback , LADY NGLER OUTH ANGLER at theAdocks by AND 5 p.m.YThe public is invited to come take part in THROUGH food, live entertainment and Asilent as boats EARLY BIRD ENTRY IS $350 JULY 15 TH . T HEN $400 THROUGH UGUST 4auctions TH , T HEN $450 ON-SITE.and fish return to the docks for the weigh-in. The scales open at 2 p.m. The awards ceremony will begin after weigh-ins. ODEO IVISION PECIES AID Proceeds from the tournament go to benefit the Nassau Sport Fishing (BASED ON 100 PAID BOATS WITH 80% PAYOUT) Association, a non-profit organization dedicated to developing and ST ND in the Nassau County promoting area while adhering to $ saltwater fishing $ LACE LACE state, federal and local regulations, to encourage compliance with rules of EARLY BIRD ENTRY IS $100 THROUGH JULY 15 . THEN members $125 THROUGHand AUGUST , THEN $150 ON-SITEand . to promote youth water safety byTHclub the4THgeneral public, related community activities. If you or your company are interested in becoming a sponsor for this event, contact NSFA at Info@nsfafish.net. NSFA meets on the second and fourth Wednesday of each month at Kraft Athletic Club on Amelia Island. Anyone interested in joining should visit the website at NSFAFISH.net.

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BAMA BOAT THREE-PEATS AT MGCBC

By Capt. Dave Lear

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wner/angler Nick Pratt, Capt. Chris Hood and the It Just Takes Time team swept the blue marlin divisions by weighing the only qualifier during the 2022 Mississippi Gulf Coast Billfish Classic. The 763.6-pound blue gave the team an unprecedented third consecutive win. That feat has never been accomplished in the 26-year history of the Classic or in any other Gulf Coast big game tournament. It Just Takes Time, a 72 Viking based in Orange Beach, Ala., took home a payout of $630,985 for the marlin tournament award, crew division and all

marlin optional entry categories. The total prize purse this year’s event was $1.36 million. Quantified, a 64 Spencer with Capt. Justin Drummond at the helm, had an impressive showing, too. Angler Cyler Pape wound in the top dolphin at 37 pounds and the team released three sailfish and three white marlin to score 1,500 points in the release division. With tournament and optional entries, the team earned a payout of $140,060. The top release boat with four blue marlin on its ledger (2,400 points) was Ramble On, a 67 Billy Horton run by Capt. Shannon Allman. With an optional dolphin entry (25.9 pounds), the team won $120,170 for the tournament. Shock Wave, a 69 Spencer with Capt. Shelby Johnson on the throttles, scored three blue marlin in the release division, good for a check totaling $47,025 in optional entries. Sunrise, a 53 Guthrie (Capt. Billy Blount) also had three blue marlin releases, along with the third-place dolphin (Chris King/32.8 pounds), a 102.4-pound tuna and a wahoo optional, good for a $42,065 payout. Angler Drew Phillips outlasted a yellowfin tuna weighing 206.9 pounds after a 45-minute fight. Phillips was fishing aboard Second Wind, a 72 F&S run by Capt. Marlin Brown. The team earned $36,695 for that record catch. Rising Sons’ two optional entry tuna (52.1 and 50.9 pounds) paid out $34,650 for angler Evan Crochet and Capt. Toby Berthelot and the team. Rising Sons is a 58 Viking based in Orange Beach. Capt. Dennis Bennett and the Destin team aboard Salt Shaker (58 Viking) capitalized on two blues and a white marlin release in the Catch and Release Division. That score earned the team $32,760. Owner/angler Timothy O’Brien on Panhandler scored the second-place dolphin at 36.1 pounds. Capt. Nick Millsap was at the helm of the 63 Hatteras. With the tournament award and optional entries, that fish was worth $22,864. Iona Louise was the first boat to weigh on Saturday and the 52.5-pound wahoo they hoisted aloft held on to take first place in the division. Capt. Clip Hopkins runs the 58 Hatteras and Christopher Nolan for the angler. A total of 73 boats and 360 anglers competed in the 2022 MGCBC. The fleet caught 56 blue marlin, eight white marlin and three sailfish. In the game fish categories, 29 yellowfin tuna were weighed, along with eight dolphin and five wahoo. For complete results, see mgcbc.com.

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Pharmaceuticals Discovered in South Florida Bonefish

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three-year study by Florida International University (FIU) and Bonefish & Tarpon Trust (BTT) has discovered pharmaceutical contaminants in the blood and other tissues of bonefish in Biscayne Bay and the Florida Keys. “Coastal fisheries face increasing threats associated with human-based contaminants,” said Jim McDuffie, BTT President and CEO. “Pharmaceuticals are an often overlooked dimension of water quality and their presence in South Florida bonefish is cause for concern. These contaminants pose a significant threat to the flats fishery, an important part of Florida’s recreational saltwater fishery, which has an annual economic impact of $9.2 billion and directly support over 88,500 jobs.” Since the study began in 2018, FIU scientists and BTT research associates, in partnership with Sweden’s Umeå Unversity and the University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), have sampled 93 fish in South Florida, finding an average of seven pharmaceuticals per bonefish, and a whopping 17 pharmaceuticals in a single fish. The list includes blood pressure medications, antidepressants, prostate treatment medications, antibiotics, and pain relievers. Researchers also found pharmaceuticals in bonefish prey—crabs, shrimp and fish—suggesting that many of Florida’s valuable

SU

fisheries are exposed, and not only the bonefish fishery. Lead researcher Jennifer Rehage, a coastal and fish ecologist and associate professor at the FIU Institute of Environment, presented the study’s findings at a BTT panel event in Tallahassee. “These findings are truly alarming,” Rehage said. “Pharmaceuticals are an invisible threat, unlike algal blooms or turbid waters. Yet these results tell us that they are a formidable threat to our fisheries, and highlight the pressing need to address our longstanding wastewater infrastructure issues.” Approximately 5 billion prescriptions are filled each year in the U.S., yet there are no environmental regulations for the disposal of pharmaceuticals worldwide. Pharmaceutical contaminants originate most often from human wastewater and are not sufficiently removed by conventional water treatment. They remain active at low doses, can be released constantly, and exposure can affect all aspects of fish behavior, with negative consequences for their reproduction and survival. Pharmaceutical contaminants have been shown to affect all aspects of the life of fish, including their feeding, activity, sociability and migratory behavior. “These troubling findings underscore the urgent need for Florida to expand and modernize wastewater treatment facilities and

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T


By Capt. Quinlyn Haddon

T

n e m er

T A H W

sh i F

he fishing industry offers some of the most grueling, labor-intensive and lengthy days of any profession. The pay isn’t always exceptional, and it takes a major toll on the body. So why would anyone choose this career? Why do so many who are in it seem so happy? What are these fishermen made of? As a female, who fell in love with fishing at age 25 with absolutely zero prior experience, I had a difficult time cracking into the industry. The time between being introduced to the sport and having it consume me was very short. I knew with every fiber of my being that fishing professionally is what I wanted to do with my life. I quickly found out what fishermen are made of, and what truly makes them good at what they do. Fishing will always be about a healthy combination of skill and luck, but without heart the aforementioned come with an expiration date. If you are someone with that unique passion for fishing and a curiosity about getting into the industry, here are some very basic tips. First, you must start at the bottom and pay your dues. It doesn’t matter how long you have owned a boat or held a captain’s license, spending time working as a deckhand is highly advised. Second, nobody is going to hire you over the

F O E D A M E R A

phone. Just show up, which is actually the third, fourth and fifth pieces of advice I can offer. The biggest downfall with deckhands is they don’t show up, or they don’t cover the extent of their chores. Just being at the dock to talk to captains about potential work speaks to the type of character they are looking for. Show up at the dock to look for work when boats are coming in from charters. Perhaps their deckhand didn’t show up that day, and they’d be happy to put you to work cleaning fish or the boat. If you get a foot in the door this way, be prepared to say yes if the captain asks you to be at the dock the next morning for a charter. Better yet, show up at the dock before boats head out on charters. When the deckhand, who only thought he had the heart for the job, is a noshow, you’ll be on deck. If you don’t get lucky the first time, keep showing up. Captains will notice. Once you’ve landed a job on a boat, forget everything you know and learn exactly what your captain expects of you. Even if you disagree, or know a better way, you’re wrong. Learn everything you can about the boat and the fishery, and never ever stop learning. Be a robotic, superhuman machine, with your head on a swivel, absorbing every piece of data you can. Be prepared to stay late, making sure everything is done properly and thoroughly, and that everything is prepared for the following day. If you’re on time, you’re late. Find out what time your

captain likes to arrive, and get there before then. Entertaining customers is also extremely important, especially when fishing is slow and your captain is grouchy. Never make your captain look bad in front of clients, even when they rip you a new one for something that might or might not have even been your fault. Accepting all blame publicly is, in fact, part of your job description. Eat the humble pie, and keep the energy positive for the clients. Deckhanding might feel like slavery a lot of the time, but mates also have a lot of control over the atmosphere on deck. Remember your customers’ names, be personable and start collecting jokes and one-liners. When fishing is slow, a good deckhand makes or breaks the experience of a charter. Heart is what makes a good fisherman a great fisherman. It’s what makes this career more than just a job. It’s what makes the crew more excited about catching fish, and more upset about losing one, than the customers. It’s heart that keeps us learning and trying new things every day. If that is something that speaks to you, you probably aren’t happy at your desk job. If you belong on the water, don’t put it off any longer. Somewhere, a deckhand didn’t show up for work this morning. Capt. Quinlyn Haddon fishes for Blue Magic Charters out of Marathon in the Florida Keys. Contact her at (504) 920-6342 or through social @CaptainQuinlyn.


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17 Divisions with Inshore & Offshore Species

Beca�se every �sh co�ld be a winner!

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CCA Florida STAR:

State’s Largest Family Friendly Fishing Competition Kicks Off T he 2022 West Marine CCA Florida STAR Tournament presented by Yamaha began with a bang, as three tagged redfish were caught in the first three days of the competition. Tagged Redfish is STAR’s signature division, and since the three fish were caught and released in Wakulla, Brevard and Charlotte counties by anglers ineligible for the competition, there remains plenty of opportunity for registered STAR participants to win new boats, motors, scholarships and more valued at more than $500,000. “The STAR kickoff could not have been more exciting with having three tagged redfish caught along Florida’s coasts,” CCA Florida STAR Director Leiza Fitzgerald said. “But, since these anglers did not comply with rules, they missed their opportunity to win a new Contender, Pathfinder or Spyder boat; however, it means these boats along with other amazing prizes are still up for grabs.” STAR, a 101-day, family friendly fishing competition, invites anglers and non-anglers alike to participate, and registrants who catch

a tagged redfish and follow the rules will win a Contender Boats 22 Sport, Pathfinder Boats 2200 TRS or Spyder Boats FX19 Vapor all powered by Yamaha Outboards. The first two youth anglers who win this division will each be awarded a tiller boat powered with Yamaha Outboard, Minn Kota trolling motor, Humminbird electronics and sitting on a trailer. The best opportunity to catch this year’s tagged redfish will be in Brevard, Citrus and Charlotte Counties, STAR’s 2022 Destination Counties, which each have eight tagged redfish in their coastal waters. There will be on average four STAR tagged redfish in every other coastal county of Florida for a total of nearly 170 released tagged fish. There is one specially tagged fish worth $50,000, sponsored by Alta Equipment Company. In addition to the Tagged Redfish Division, there are 16 other divisions targeting 12 inshore and offshore species, plus the trash cleanup. For offshore anglers, the Tigress Outriggers and Gear Tagged Dolphin Division offers the first STAR registrant and CCA Florida member who lands one of the tagged dolphin $10,000 in cash or

scholarship. The dolphin have been tagged and released in the coastal waters of Florida for STAR by the Dolphin Research program implemented by the Beyond Our Shores foundation. Other divisions include ladies, kayak, conservation, guides and many more. Since most division winners are determined by a random drawing, it is not about catching the biggest fish, any size fish can win prizes. The family-friendly competition runs through Labor Day with registration being open throughout the competition. STAR registration is $40 and participants must be a CCA Florida member to be eligible for prizes. For youth participants (ages 6 to 17), STAR registration is free with CCA Tide membership for $10. To sign up for STAR 2022 or receive additional information on divisions, prizes and more, visit ccaflstar.com or Facebook.

This map shows the number of tagged redfish released in all of Florida’s coastal counties.


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It’s

LOBSTER time JULY 2022 PUBLISHER & EDITOR SCOTT GOODMAN

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS NESTOR RAYMOND CHRIS MIKE

ALVISA MUNIZ TAVERA TOJDOWSKI

GRAPHIC DESIGN JENNY DIAZ

CONTACT INFORMATION For editorial comments, articles, photography, artwork and all other inquiries please contact:

SCOTT GOODMAN miami@coastalanglermagazine.com

786.863.7823

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JULY 2022

MIAMI 1


Florida LOBSTER MiniSeason by Capt. Christopher Tavera @MiamiSkinDiver

W

hat’s happnin’ Captain! I hope y’all have been liking my monthly articles. This month we are going to be getting ready for spiny lobster mini season (sport season) which is a two-day window before the regular season opens up to give the recreational guys a shot before the commercial guys get after it. while following the law. The law man will be out in full force, it is up to you to be prepared with your safety equipment and know the bag rules! Lobster season is here at last. The Florida spiny lobster or the Caribbean spiny lobster is actually not a lobster at all but a crayfish. The season for taking these bugs is open for more than half the year and the sport season, or mini season, offers a great shot for recreational adventurers to grab a limit before the pros begin pulling millions of pounds of this valuable seafood out of the water. Once the regular season starts it gets harder and harder to find them. The most common approaches are tickle stick and net or snare. I recommend a tickle stick and net for when you find them stacked up. If you are picking singles out of holes I will use a snare. I normally go down with both. When looking for area to dive, I like working coral heads in 10 to 35 feet of water, with proximity to grass. Look for broken apart shells around holes and coral heads, normally a good indicator of lobsters in the area. If you see the bottom littered with antenna and broken legs it’s a good indication that you’ve been out foxed and someone has already hit your favorite spot. Coral Reef Protection Areas in Biscayne National Park The most important thing to remember about mini season is safety first. No lobster is worth someone getting hurt. Mini season has become a big event In Miami and many Fowey Rocks Lighthouse CRPA of the, shall we say, less experienced adventure seekers are out in addition to every boat owner and his brother. The prime habitats, waterways, points of entry and egress can Point 1: 25° 35.616' N; 80° 5.822' W get crowded, and crowded is dangerous. Especially when you have people in the water. Point 2: 25° 35.567' N, 80° 5.592' W Watch other boaters and divers and be aware of your surroundings at all times. I Point 3: 25° 34.423' N, 80° 5.862' W recommend buying an oversized dive flag and rigging it to a pvc pole. Make sure it flies Point 4: 25° 34.468' N, 80° 6.093' W higher than your T- top. Your dive flag is to be mounted at the highest point on the boat Alina’s Reef CRPA and must be clearly visible. I also recommend always having a boat driver to stay with Point 1: 25° 23.601' N, 80° 10.125' W your divers for safety and to box out any oncoming boats not paying attention. Point 2: 25° 23.284' N, 80° 9.563' W Now for a quick review of some of the general regulations. Always check the Point 3: 25° 22.877' N, 80° 9.841' W official regulations before your trip. All harvesters must have a valid Florida fishing Point 4: 25° 23.194' N, 80° 10.402' W license with a lobster endorsement and here are some key rules to follow! Check your Marker 3 Reef CRPA park limits if you are on the line!! Mini Season: July 27-28, 2022 (last consecutive Wednesday and Thursday of July Point 1: 25° 22.534' N, 80° 9.679' W each year) Point 2: 25° 22.445' N, 80° 9.443' W Daily Bag Limit: 6 per person for Monroe County and Biscayne National Park; Point 3: 25° 21.965' N, 80° 9.663' W 12 per person for rest of Florida. Possession limit on the water is equal to the daily Point 4: 25° 22.055' N, 80° 9.900' W bag limit. Lob120 Reef CRPA Possession limit off the water: equal to the daily bag limit on the first day and Point 1: 25° 21.687' N, 80° 11.311' W double the daily bag limit on the second day. Possession limits are enforced on and Point 2: 25° 21.671' N, 80° 11.023' W off the water. Point 3: 25° 21.257' N, 80° 11.048' W Minimum Size Limit: Carapace must be larger than 3", measured in the Point 4: 25° 21.270' N, 80° 11.338' W water. Possession and use of a measuring device required at all times. Find out how to Ball Bouy CRPA measure a spiny lobster. Night Diving: Prohibited in Monroe County (ONLY during sport Point 1: 25° 19.379' N, 80° 11.110' W season) Diving is defined as swimming at or below the surface of the water. Point 2: 25° 19.044' N, 80° 10.775' W Harvest of lobster is prohibited in John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park during Point 3: 25° 18.732' N, 80° 11.155' W the sport season and in Everglades National Park, Dry Tortugas National Park, noPoint 4: 25° 19.067' N, 80° 11.489' W take areas in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, in the Biscayne Bay/Card Sound Lobster Sanctuary, and in the five Coral Reef Protection Areas in Biscayne National Park during both the 2-day sport season and regular season. Captain Christopher Tavera Now go out and enjoy the day. Follow the rules and be safe, watch out for other @MIAMISKINDIVER boaters! 305.984.4777

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FLAMINGO by NestorAlvisa

A

s we push into July, the air and water temperatures aren’t the only things heating up! The inshore bite for snook and redfish is on fire. This time of the year. I’ll be fishing a lot of shorelines and creek mouths during my trips. One of the key things I look for in any spot is water flow whether it’s at the mouth of a creek, around a bar, a mangrove island or a downed tree. The fish will use these as points to ambush small baitfish and crustaceans as they are carried by the current. Once I have decided the area I will fish, the first thing I will do is position my boat away, and up current of the spot. I will then lower my Minn Kota Ulterra trolling motor and use it to move us down the shoreline as slowly and quietly as possible. Giving yourself the opportunity to flow down the shoreline or area to your spot in the direction that the current is flowing will allow you and your bait to flow and be presented in the most natural way possible. Once positioned and ready to cast, a medium light or medium size rod with a 3000 or 4000 size spinning reel will be an ideal set up for this. Several methods I’ll use to target my fish are a weedless ¼ oz jig head rigged with a 3in gulp shrimp or a popping cork rigged with about 2-3ft section with a 1/16oz jig head and a live shrimp. Nestor Alvisa HookedOnFlamingo.com @hooked_on_flamingo_charters 786.387.2443

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FRESHWATER

Miami’s Urban River Monsters

by Captain Mike Tojdowski

M

Captain Mike Tojdowski Urban Legends Fishing Call/Text 305-998-3375 Facebook / Instagram @Urbanlegendsfishing or check out our website ULFish.com

4 MIAMI

JULY 2022

iami’s exotic freshwater fishery is one of the best kept angling secrets in the U.S. Until recently few people here even knew this resource existed in their own backyard. Thanks to shows like Chasing Monsters on Discovery Channel, and River Monsters on Animal Planet, there is a new awareness of the many exotic fish South Florida has to offer. Peacock bass, clown knife, snake heads, arowana, pacu, jaguar cichlids and red tail catfish are just a few of the unusual fish you can target here on one of our adventure charters. Sought after for their highly aggressive behavior, unmatched strength and bright colors, these fish have really made a name for themselves. They have proven to be formidable opponents and a delight to chase by anglers not just here but worldwide. If you have the opportunity to target them here in the United States, you should take a shot and knock some of these great fish off your bucket list. You may save thousands of dollars by planning your fishing trip in Miami, rather than flying halfway around the world to target the same fish species. You are probably wondering how freshwater fish have earned such a legendary reputation among die hard anglers. All of these exotic fish have evolved from a less forgiving part of the world known as the Amazon Rainforest, thus giving them an attitude and ferociousness needed to survive in such a fierce environment. When you compare them to local fish, such as the largemouth bass, there is little comparison in terms of aggressiveness, coloration, and acrobatics. The Peacock Bass was the trend setter and it all started back in the early 80’s. Biologists with the help of other community leaders brought peacocks into Miami Dade to control the population of undesirable fish in our waters. Quickly they became top of the food chain and very desirable to locals. The word spread quickly and according to local anglers the Hilton Resort located on Blue Lagoon next to the Miami International Airport hosted the first ever fishing tournaments exclusively targeting peacock bass. Their original plan was to make the area a fishing destination and offer tournaments to attract more guests to stay at their Miami Resort. This was a great success for not only the resort but also the local fishing charter community bringing in millions of dollars in revenue annually. The Achilles heel that keeps this all a South Florida secret, is the fact that these fish have no tolerance for cold weather. They are limited to South Florida’s warmer regions due to their inability to survive temperatures cooler than sixty degrees for any prolonged period of time. This limits how far north they can migrate without being killed off each winter by the cooler waters of our bordering counties. South Florida’s year-round tropical conditions and water temps best matched those seen in their natural habitats, making Miami the Mecca in the United States for targeting these exotics. This trend would lead to many more exotics being released into our waters over the years not by Biologists but by locals discarding pets or trying to add another new fish into the system. Anglers travel here from far and wide to test their skills on one of these spectacular Urban-RiverMonsters. Urban Legends Fishing Charters truly does our part to put our clients on a prized fish and have proven ourselves among one of the best fishing guide outfitters South Florida has to offer. With over 30 years of local fishing knowledge, we have the skill you are looking for to put you on several fish of a lifetime. If you are planning to bring the entire family, Miami has something to offer them as well including our world-famous South Beach, world class museums, historic attractions and year-round amazing weather. Let us turn your dream of catching one of these legendary exotics into reality. Give us a call and become part of the Urban Legends Family today.

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Atlantic Marine Store is a family owned business that has expanded to become the largest repower center in South Florida with over 30-employees. Atlantic Marine Store has factory certified technicians. Always 100-percent honest and all quotes are final with no hidden fees or charges. Atlantic Marine Store is more than a repower center with parts, accessories, audio, as well as service, repair and warranty work.

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Simply GRILLED

M

DOLPHIN

ahi-mahi is the Hawaiian name, dorado is the Spanish name, Coryphaena Hippurus, is the Greek and or scientific name. Being native Floridian, and this being a native fish, we just always called them dolphin, the common name here in south Florida… It’s really not that confusing as we don’t eat bottle nose dolphin here in Florida. The context of any conversation should automatically preclude confusion and references to, cooking and cleaning, fishing and eating should be assumed describes the dolphin fish rather than the dolphin mammal. Now that we got that out of the way… Why is dolphin so popular? Well, it used to be popular because it was common, easy to catch, fun to fight, and tastes great when fresh. Fresh dolphin with salt and fresh cracked black pepper, a squeeze of lemon and then lightly grilled is hard to beat. It doesn’t need a lot. Dolphin has its own flavor profile which is unique. It is mild and it does have a sweet finish but also has a savory flavor. It is much more delicate than grouper and the size of the flake depends on the size of the fish. The key is freshness. Dolphin does not age well and when compared to other types of meat fish and it does not freeze well either. If you must freeze it vacuum seal it and eat it quick, not more than a month. Dolphin is versatile it can be eaten raw as in sushi and sashimi, its great fried and blackened and steamed and broiled and boiled and grilled and sautéed… It’s good on a sandwich and with green eggs and ham, as long as its fresh! Dolphin is also known to have low amounts of mercury when compared to other pelagic fish. This is thought to be because of the short life span. Dolphin typically live less than five years and are among the fastest growing fish in the sea. They occur all around the globe in the tropics.

DOLPHIN SIMPLY GRILLED

• 2 serving size pieces of dolphin • Olive Oil • Salt and Pepper • Garlic Powder • Onion Powder • Smoked Paprika • Unsalted butter • Fresh Parsley or Cilantro In a small bowl stir together the salt, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, and black pepper. Season the fish on the top and sides with the seasoning, use it all! Rub the seasoning on the fish on the top and sides of each filet. Prepare your grill and oil the grates over high heat. Once hot reduce the heat to medium and place the mahi-mahi on the grill. Grill for 3-5 minutes per side until it reaches your desired doneness. Try to flip it only once or as little as possible to not break up the fish. Remove the fish from the grill and immediately brush the tops of the fish with the melted butter. Serve the fish immediately with grilled lemon wedges

8 MIAMI

JULY 2022

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JULY 2022

MIAMI 9


CUBERA by Raymond Muniz, Capt. Jax

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Capt. Jax Captain Jax Bait and Tackle 490c E 4th Ave, Hialeah, FL 33010 @captainjaxmiami 786.300.5362

10 MIAMI

JULY 2022

n addition to the patriotism, God bless America, I look forward to July all year long for another reason, the cubera spawn and the start of lobster season! How are these two events related? While everyone else is clamoring for the mini season opener so they can sear Florida spiny lobster with butter and garlic, I am filling my bait well. Lobster are by far the absolute best bait for the cubera snapper!! The cubera is a true sea monster. It is the biggest fish in the snapper family. They have huge scales, almost alike a tarpon, unbelievable power and long sharp fangs. They can grow up to 100 lbs, but most of the cubera that we catch are in the 40-60 lb range. We target the fish on wrecks in 150 – 280 feet of water. The best times are before, during, and after the full moon. Although lobster is king, they will also hit big pinfish, grunts and blue crabs. If the full moon happens before lobster season starts, like it will this year, we go and catch Spanish lobster. At night during a slack tide, we’ll dive the jetties and pick up as many of these tasty treats as possible within the short window between the fast water. We try to use the smallest “legal” spiny lobster or the biggest Spanish lobster we can find. Keep in mind that just because you are using them as bait you are not excluded from the laws that govern the legal taking and possession of lobster. Having said that, I like to bring as many baits as are legal. A lot of the times the fish will get eaten by sharks during the fight or the lobster gets picked on the way down. We use conventional reels, 50’s and 80’s and some people even use 130’s. We have them spooled with 80 lb braid. The rig is 15-20 ft of 200 lb mono leader with a crimped stinger rig of (2) 16/0 J hooks. The lead is a 32 once bank sinker attached to the rig with a rubber band at the top of the leader where it meets the main line. To rig the lobster, push the first hook on the stinger rig through the bottom of the tail so that it protrudes out the top of the tail shell. Then secure the second hook on the fat part of the antenna with a zip tie. We drop the bait all the way to the bottom and then raise it 20-30 ft off the floor. When you get hit, it will feel like you hooked a freight train. You have got about 20 seconds to turn him before he gets into the wreck and breaks you off. Once you get him up to the boat cross your fingers, usually the sharks are brutal. When you see the sinker, secure it and grab the leader. You will have to hand line the fish the rest of the way up as the large crimps won’t fit through the eyes of the rod. Have the gaff ready. Cubera can be targeted inshore too, although the fish are typically smaller, usually from 8 to 12 lbs. You can find them earlier in the year on rocks and jetties and heavy structure. We normally fish them on an incoming tide and mostly with finfish and crabs. If anyone would like to target these monster fish, contact my good friend Mike Milz at M&M Charters at (786) 525-9269 or on Instagram @ captmikemilz

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MIAMI 11


AGUA DULCE

Los monstruos en los ríos urbanos de Miami by Capitán Mike Tojdowski

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a pesca exótica de agua dulce en Miami es uno de los secretos mejor guardados de la pesca con caña en los Estados Unidos. Hasta hace poco, la mayor parte de la gente desconocía que este recurso existía en su propio patio; pero hoy, gracias a programas como Chasing Monsters de Discovery Channel o River Monsters de Animal Planet, se ha tomado conciencia de los muchos peces exóticos que ofrece el sur de Florida. Por ejemplo, la lubina, el cuchillo payaso, las cabezas de serpiente, la arowana, el pacú, los cíclidos jaguar y el pez gato de cola roja son sólo algunos de los peces inusuales que puede capturar aquí en uno de nuestros charters de aventura. Puede ahorrar miles de dólares si planifica su viaje de pesca en Miami, en lugar de volar por medio mundo para pescar la misma especie. Probablemente se pregunte cómo los peces de agua dulce se han ganado una reputación tan legendaria entre los pescadores empedernidos. Todos estos peces exóticos han evolucionado desde una parte del mundo menos indulgente, conocida como la selva amazónica, lo que les ha dado la actitud y la ferocidad necesarias para sobrevivir en un entorno tan feroz. Si los comparamos con los peces locales, como la lubina, hay poca semejanza en términos de agresividad, coloración y acrobacias. El Pavón (conocido también como Tucunaré) fue el que marcó la tendencia a principios de los años 80. Los biólogos, con la ayuda de otros líderes comunitarios, introdujeron este espécimen en Miami Dade para controlar la población de peces indeseables en nuestras aguas; rápidamente ascendieron hasta la cima de la cadena alimenticia y se convirtieron en algo muy deseable para los locales. La noticia se propagó como fuego y, según los pescadores locales, el Hilton Resort (situado en Blue Lagoon, junto al aeropuerto internacional de Miami) organizó los primeros torneos de pesca dedicados exclusivamente al pavón. Su plan original era convertir la zona en un destino de pesca con torneos para atraer a más huéspedes, lo que fue un gran éxito no sólo para el complejo, sino también para la comunidad de pescadores locales, que aporta millones de dólares en ingresos anuales. El talón de Aquiles que mantiene todo esto en secreto en el sur de Florida, es el hecho de que estos peces no toleran el clima frío y no pueden sobrevivir a temperaturas inferiores a los sesenta grados durante un período de tiempo prolongado, lo que los limita a las regiones más cálidas. Esto disminuye la distancia a la que pueden migrar sin ser eliminados cada invierno por las aguas más frías de nuestros condados fronterizos. Las condiciones tropicales y las temperaturas del agua durante todo el año en el sur de Florida son las que mejor se adaptan a las de sus hábitats naturales, lo que convierte a Miami en la meca para la captura de estas especies exóticas en Estados Unidos. De continuar esta tendencia, se lograría que muchos más peces exóticos fueran liberados en nuestras aguas a lo largo de los años, no por los biólogos, sino por los lugareños que desechan a sus mascotas o intentan añadir otro nuevo pez al ecosistema. Buscados por su comportamiento altamente agresivo, su fuerza inigualable y sus brillantes colores, estos peces se han hecho realmente un nombre por sí mismos. Han demostrado ser unos oponentes formidables y una delicia para los pescadores de todo el mundo. Así que, si tiene la oportunidad de pescarlos aquí en Estados Unidos, debería intentarlo y tachar algunos de estos grandes peces de su lista de deseos. Urban Legends Fishing Charters realmente hace de su parte para que nuestros clientes logren encontrar peces preciados y, con más de 30 años de conocimiento de la pesca local, tenemos la habilidad que usted está buscando. Somos uno de los mejores guías de pesca outfitters del Sur de la Florida, así que permítanos hacer realidad su sueño de pescar uno de estos legendarios exóticos. Llámenos y forme parte de la familia Urban Legends hoy mismo. ¡Líneas tensas para todos! Capitán Mike Tojdowski Llamada / Texto: 305-998-3375 Síguenos en Urban Legends Fishing Charter Facebook / Instagram @Urbanlegendsfishing www.ULFish.com

12 MIAMI

JULY 2022

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FLAMINGO

by NestorAlvisa

A

medida que nos adentramos en el mes de julio, las temperaturas del aire y del agua no son las únicas que se están calentando. La pesca costera, de róbalos y gallinetas, está en pleno apogeo en esta época del año. Por ello, tengo planeado pescar en un montón de orillas y desembocaduras de arroyos durante mis viajes. Una de las cosas clave que busco en cualquier lugar es el flujo de agua, ya sea en la desembocadura de un arroyo, alrededor de una barra, una isla de manglares o un árbol caído. Los peces utilizarán estos puntos para emboscar a los pequeños peces de cebo y crustáceos, mientras son arrastrados por la corriente. Una vez que he decidido la zona en la que voy a pescar, lo primero que hago es situar mi embarcación lejos y a contracorriente del lugar. A continuación, bajaré mi motor de curricán Minn Kota Ulterra y lo utilizaré para desplazarnos por la costa lo más lenta y silenciosamente posible. Si te das la oportunidad de bajar por la costa hasta tu punto de pesca, en la dirección en la que fluye la corriente, te permitirá a ti y a tu cebo presentarse de la forma más natural posible. Una vez posicionado y listo para lanzar, una caña de tamaño medio o ligero con un carrete de 3000 o 4000 será el montaje ideal para esto. Algunos de los métodos que utilizo para pescar son: una cabeza de jig sin hierba de ¼ de onza montada con una gamba gulp de 3 pulgadas, o un corcho popping montado con una sección de 2-3 pies, con una cabeza de jig de 1/16 onzas y una gamba viva. Nestor Alvisa @hooked_on_flamingo_charters Hooked On Flamingo Charters 786.387.2443

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MIAMI 13


El CUBERA

Orgulloso Patrocinador de la Sección Española.

CUANDO EL TRAYECTO ES

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EL MONSTRUO by Raymond Muniz, Capt. Jax

A

demás del patriotismo, Dios bendiga a Estados Unidos, espero el mes de julio durante todo el año por otro motivo: ¡el pargo cubera y el comienzo de la temporada de langostas! ¿Cómo se relacionan estos dos acontecimientos? Mientras todo el mundo está esperando la apertura de la mini-temporada, para poder asar la langosta de Florida con mantequilla y ajo, yo estoy llenando mi pozo de cebo. La langosta es, por mucho, el mejor cebo para el pargo cubera. La cubera es un verdadero monstruo marino. Es el pez más grande de la familia de los pargos; tiene unas escamas enormes (casi como un sábalo), una potencia increíble, unos colmillos largos y afilados. Pueden llegar a pesar hasta 100 libras, pero la mayoría de las cuberas que capturamos están en el rango de 40-60 libras. Nos dirigimos a los peces en los naufragios en 150 a 280 pies de agua. Los mejores momentos son antes, durante y después de la luna llena. Aunque la langosta es el rey, también se encuentran con grandes pececillos, roncadores y cangrejos azules. Si la luna llena se produce antes de que comience la temporada de langostas, como ocurrirá este año, iremos a pescar langostas españolas. Por la noche, durante la marea baja, nos sumergimos en los espigones y recogemos el mayor número posible de estos sabrosos manjares en el corto espacio de tiempo entre las aguas rápidas. Intentamos utilizar la langosta “legal” más pequeña o la langosta española más grande que podamos encontrar. Tenga en cuenta que, el hecho de utilizarlas como cebo, no excluye la aplicación de las leyes que regulan la captura y posesión legal de langostas. Dicho esto, me gusta llevar tantos cebos como sean legales, ya que muchas veces los peces son devorados por los tiburones durante la lucha o la langosta es recogida en el camino. Utilizamos carretes convencionales, de 50 y 80, y algunos utilizan incluso de 130. Los tenemos cargados con trenza de 80 libras; el montaje es de 15 a 20 pies de líder mono de 200 libras, con un montaje de aguijón engarzado de (2) anzuelos J 16/0; el plomo es una plomada de banco de 32, unida al aparejo con una banda de goma en la parte superior del líder, donde se une a la línea principal. Para montar la langosta, empuje el primer anzuelo del aparejo de aguijón a través de la parte inferior de la cola, para que sobresalga por la parte superior del caparazón de la misma. A continuación, asegure el segundo anzuelo en la parte gorda de la antena con una brida. Dejamos caer el cebo hasta el fondo y luego lo levantamos a 20 o 30 pies del suelo. Cuando le golpee, sentirá como si hubiera enganchado un tren de mercancías y tendrá unos 20 segundos para darle la vuelta, antes de que se meta en el pecio y se desprenda. Una vez que lo suba al barco, cruce los dedos, pues normalmente los tiburones son brutales. Cuando vea la plomada, asegúrela y coja el anzuelo; tendrá que forrar el pez a mano el resto del trayecto, ya que los engarces grandes no caben por los ojos de la caña. Recomiendo tener preparado el garfio. La cubera también se puede pescar en la costa, aunque los peces suelen ser más pequeños, normalmente de 8 a 12 libras; puede encontrarlas a principios de año en las rocas, los espigones y las estructuras pesadas. Normalmente las pescamos con la marea entrante y, sobre todo, con peces de aleta y cangrejos. Si alguien quiere pescar estos monstruosos peces, póngase en contacto con mi buen amigo Mike Milz en M and M Charters al (786) 525-9269 o en Instagram @captmikemilz. Captain Jax Bait and Tackle 490c E 4th Ave, Hialeah, FL 33010 @captainjaxmiami 786.300.5362

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JULY 2022

MIAMI 15


MIAMI BRAGBOARD We want to see your catch! Send your photos with name(s) and details to miami@coastalanglermagazine.com

Mike, Blue Dream Charters with a nice mutton

Scott with dolphin

Willie Espinosa with groupers

Sebastian Gonzalez with a pair of dolphin

Andy Yu aka Yak Ninja Ocean cat jig Red grouper Mutton snapper

16 MIAMI

JULY 2022

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Don Hawley Invitational Produces

119 TARPON RELEASES

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he 48th Annual Don Hawley Invitational Fly Fishing Tarpon Tournament, one of the “Big Three” tarpon fly tournaments, pulled in a total of 119 releases for the week. Angler L. Mark Weeks, of Tokyo, Japan and Nampa, Idaho, and his guide, Capt. Andy Thompson, won the Grand Championship with 18 releases. Aside from two afternoons of dodging storms, the tournament lucked out and had a great week after some major tropical winds threatened the area days beforehand. The best fishing took place on the first and last days of tournament, which saw 36 and 30 fish, respectively. Afternoon lightning lowered the releases to 14 on Day 2, then 18 fish on Day 3, and 21 releases on Day 4. Ocean tarpon fishing proved more difficult than backcountry during the week. Locating fish is one of the biggest talents that guides bring to the team. The Don Hawley attracts some of the best fly anglers from around the world. It was the first tarpon tournament to stop the killing of tarpon in 1987. Anglers receive 1,000 points for each fish measuring 4 feet or longer caught and released on 12-lb. tippet, in accordance with International Game Fish Association rules. The Grand Champion title is awarded to the angler and guide with the most fish caught and released during the fiveday competition. In addition to other awards, Grand Champion names are added to the Perpetual Trophy, which showcases all past champion anglers and guides. The trophy resides at Florida Keys Outfitters in Islamorada, Fla. This year was the second time Weeks and Thompson had their names added to the trophy. “Five days feels like a lifetime in these tournaments, particularly when you’re getting chased off the water by thunderstorms and are neck-and-neck with several of the best teams to the bitter end,” said Weeks. “Lucky for us, Andy knows how to find fish and is a wonderful coach when it comes to catching them.” Coming in second place was angler Evan Carruthers, of Maple Plain, Minn., and his guide, Capt. Greg Dini with 16 releases. Third place was won by Angler Rich Garcia, of Islamorada, and his guide, Luis Cortes with 15 releases. Scott Christian and his guide, Chad Huff, earned the High Point Day award with a whopping eight releases on the first day. The Annual Don Hawley Invitational Tarpon Fly Fishing Tournament began in 1974. Proceeds benefit the Guides Trust Foundation, which assists Florida Keys Guides in times of hardship and provides scholarships to Florida Keys students interested in the marine sciences. Next year’s tournament will take place June 5-9. For more information, visit www.guidestrustfoundation.org.

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Bay Scallop Season Is Here! Y (including Cedar Key, Crystal River, Homosassa): July 1-Sept. 24. This region includes all state waters south of Alligator Pass day beacon #4 near the mouth of the Suwannee River in Levy County and north of the Hernando – Pasco county line. Pasco County: July 15-24. This region includes all state waters south of the Hernando – Pasco county line and north of the Anclote Key SEASONS St. Joseph Bay and Gulf County: Aug. 16- Lighthouse in northern Pinellas County, and Sept. 24. This region includes all state waters from includes all waters of the Anclote River. BAG LIMITS the Mexico Beach Canal in Bay County to the Daily vessel limits do not allow individuals to westernmost point of St. Vincent Island in Franklin County. The area marked with FWC buoys south of retain more than the per-person limit. There is no Black’s Island is a Bay Scallop Restoration Area and size limit on bay scallops. Fenholloway through Suwannee River Zone: no scalloping or anchoring are allowed. • June 15-30: Daily bag limit per person is 1 Franklin County through NW Taylor County (including Carrabelle, Lanark, St. Marks): July gallon in-shell or 1 cup shucked. Daily vessel limit 1-Sept. 24. This region includes all state waters is 5 gallons in-shell or 2 pints shucked. • July 1-Labor Day: Daily bag limit per person from the westernmost point of St. Vincent Island in Franklin County to Rock Island near the mouth of is 2 gallons in-shell or 1 pint shucked. Daily vessel limit is 10 gallons in-shell or ½ gallon shucked. the Fenholloway River in Taylor County. All Other Zones: Fenholloway through Suwannee Rivers Daily bag limit per person is 2 gallons in-shell Zone (including Keaton Beach, Steinhatchee): June 15-Labor Day. This region includes all state or 1 pint shucked. Daily vessel limit is 10 gallons waters east of Rock Island near the mouth of the in-shell or ½ gallon shucked. Fenholloway River in Taylor County and north of OTHER INFO Alligator Pass day beacon #4 near the mouth of • Legal methods of harvest include by hand or the Suwannee River in Levy County. This area has with a landing or dip net. Recreational harvesters a lowered bag limit June 15-30. See bag limits for are required to have a Florida saltwater fishing more. license unless they are 1) exempt from needing a Levy, Citrus, Hernando Counties Zone license or 2) have a no-cost shoreline fishing license ou’d be hard pressed to find better Florida family fun than kicking around in the shallows to pick up scallops. Bay scallop seasons open across most of Florida’s west coast this month, so grab your mask, fins and snorkel, load up the kids and hit the water. Here’s what you need to know to get in on the action.

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and are wading from shore to collect scallops (feet do not leave bottom to swim, snorkel or SCUBA and harvesters do not use a vessel to reach or return from the harvest location). • Direct transit of legally-harvested bay scallops is allowed through closed areas.

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18 FLORIDA

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FLORIDA ANGLER LANDS 100TH IGFA WORLD RECORD

NNUAL A H T re Coast N TE asu e Tr

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r. Jan Forszpaniak, a retired Florida surgeon, caught and released a 67-centimeter (more than 26-inch) asp from Italy’s Po River in February. The fish, a type of carp, was caught on fly tackle and set a new IGFA all-tackle length fly world record for the species. With that fish, Forszpaniak tallied his 100th IGFA world record. It’s the second time he’s broken his own record for the species. Forszpaniak is an IGFA representative who, since retiring in 2018, travels the world to fish and seek out records. He is an avid saltwater fly fisherman who has visited many of the world’s top fly fishing destinations, including Russia, South Africa, Zambia, New Guinea, Gilbert’s Archipelago, Christmas Island, Cook Islands, French Polynesia, New Caledonia, and Turks and Caicos, according to an Outdoor Life article. “I am very proud, privileged, and honored to represent IGFA as a lifetime member, ambassador, and international representative,” he told Outdoor Life. “I understand the importance of IGFA conservation efforts. “Whichever country I visit, I always spread the IGFA message and encourage people to join.” According to the IGFA database, some of Forszpaniak’s more notable records include the all-tackle length fly record for Pacific bonefish at 73 centimeters (almost 29 inches) as well as the 16-pound tippet record for Pacific bonefish for a fish that weighed 13 pounds. Both were caught at New Caledonia. He also holds the all-tackle length record for giant trevally for a 126 centimeter (nearly 50-inch) fish he caught in the Cook Islands. For more information, go to igfa.org.

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JULY 2022

FLORIDA 21


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Angler Catches Pink-Tagged Bass and $6,000

O

n May 22, Florida angler Dale Dew caught the first of 10 pink-tagged largemouth bass released by FWC into lakes across the state this year. As a part of the TrophyCatch 10Tag Celebration, Dew received a $5,000 gift card to Bass Pro Shops and $1,000 to shop at AFTCO. The catch also qualifies Dew for a chance at an additional $10,000, which will be awarded at a ceremony this fall. FWC biologists tagged this specific bass in February on Lake Griffin. Dew caught the fish near the same spot it was tagged, using a plastic worm. He successfully submitted his catch according to TrophyCatch rules. Dew is originally from Antiqua and he and his family now live in central Florida. While he was not originally going fishing for the pink tag, he saw a sign about the promotion that day. “It was the first time we heard about it, and we were like, ‘Whoa what’s this? We aren’t going to catch it. We’re two guys who can’t fish!’” said Dew, the first lucky angler to catch a pink-tagged largemouth bass. “We don’t have all the nice equipment or a nice bass boat but we got lucky and caught it! So, it could be any ordinary person who catches it. You never know, it’s crazy.” Nine more pink-tagged bass are swimming in other waterbodies across the state: Newnans Lake; Lake George; Lake Talquin; Lake Walk-in-Water; Tenoroc Fish Management Area; Lake Trafford; Lake Istokpoga; Lake Rousseau; and Johns Lake. Anglers 22 FLORIDA

JULY 2022

have until the end of September to fish for these special, prized fish. To celebrate Season 10 of the TrophyCatch program, biologists with the FWC tagged and released 10 largemouth bass with bright pink tags in 10 different locations across the state. Anglers should check the TrophyCatch website for rules and updates. The TrophyCatch program rewards anglers who provide documentation of their catch and release of largemouth bass weighing 8 pounds or heavier in Florida. To be eligible for prizes, anglers are required to submit photos or videos of their catch to TrophyCatch.com, showing the entire fish and its weight on a scale, before releasing it back into the water. Participants are also automatically entered in a free boat drawing just for registering. FWC biologists use TrophyCatch data for bass research to make informed decisions about the management of Florida bass fisheries and to promote the catch and release of trophy bass. The associated TrophyCare program promotes best handling practices for trophy bass to ensure that each TrophyCatch bass is released alive. For more information, go to trophycatchflorida.com.

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CATCH HARD-FIGHTING

JACKS

On Top or On Bottom

PHOTO COURTESY OF DAVID JUNQUERA (IG: DAVID_ROCCA_)

are widespread in the Atlantic. They inhabit the western Atlantic from Nova Scotia to Uruguay and throughout the Gulf of Mexico. Juvenile jack crevalle live inshore, where they prefer moving water of upstream currents. They thrive in a wide range of salinity and are often found in brackish waters and sometimes freshwater canals. Adults, on the other hand, usually move out of the estuaries and occupy currents, reefs and other nearshore and offshore structure, generally within the bounds of the continental shelf. Large individuals can absolutely be caught in shallow inshore areas, but deep-water jacks are usually larger. The largest IGFA-recorded jack crevalle weighed 66 pounds, 2 ounces and was caught out of Angola off the western coast of Africa. When food, such as mullet, is abundant, jacks get excited and will chase prey right up on the sand, against seawalls or into a boat. In open water, they herd baitfish into a mass before plowing through it from all sides. I target monster jacks from the beach or an inlet. Fishing with live bait on the bottom is the easiest method. I drop baits in the deep trough, just on the backside of a sandbar. Baits in the 10- to 12-inch range work best for bigger fish, and I prefer using whatever baitfish is around. My favorite for jacks is needlefish. If you’re looking for more of a challenge as well as heart-stopping explosions, try fishing topwater plugs. David Junquera is a dedicated plugchucker from West Palm Beach. Using topwater lures, he has landed 23 jack crevalle heavier than 40 pounds. His heaviest to-date weighed 46.3 pounds. Junquera said time of day, winds, tides, migrations and location of bait are all crucial factors for successfully targeting jacks with topwater plugs. Anglers should get out and explore to determine the best patterns for the areas they fish. At a minimum, Junquera recommends a 6500-size spinning reel with By Emily Rose Hanzlik 50-pound braid and an 80-pound leader. Junquera prefers to throw lures that outh Florida boasts some of the best surf fishing in the world. High are 6.5 to 8 inches long. The faster you work the plug, the more strikes you’ll profile species are regular catches from the beaches of the sunshine state’s earn, he said. A whip retrieve is ideal. southern Atlantic coast. The jack crevalle is one of my favorites. It is a Emily Rose Hanzlik holds 51 IGFA world records in various categories. fierce, stubborn and dynamic gamefish that can be caught bottom fishing with She hails from West Palm Beach, where she has a part time Bowfin live bait or by casting plugs. Whichever method you choose, you’re sure to Guide Service as well as fishing classes for Jr. Anglers. Find her have a battle on your hands once you hook up. on Social Media @emilyhanzlikoutdoors. Shore-based fishing for jack crevalle is not limited to Florida. These fish

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14 NATIONAL

JULY 2022

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LESTER WINS ELITE TOURNEY WITH SNEAKY PATTERN AT PICKWICK By TAM Staff

O

ver the years, Brandon Lester has become known as one of the most consistent anglers in tournament bass fishing. Yet, in nine seasons on tour, an Elite Series win has eluded him… until now. The Tennessee pro and former The Angler Magazine columnist won his first Elite Series tournament on Lake Pickwick in early June. He did it in spectacular fashion, weighing a four-day total of 20 bass for 86 pounds, 1 ounce. He beat out the next closest competitor by almost 6 pounds. Pickwick is a long 43,000-acre Tennessee River impoundment that runs north from Alabama into Tennessee along the Alabama/Mississippi border. It is renowned for excellent largemouth and smallmouth bass fishing, and in summer dam-driven river currents combine with the lake’s many offshore humps and ledges to produce some pretty consistent patterns. Threadfin and gizzard shad make up the majority of the forage base, so big flutter spoons, large deep-diving crankbaits and swimbaits are summertime staples. Lester said he knows the Pickwick ledge bite well and that doing something just a little different from everyone else put him on a sneaky pattern with some less-pressured fish. “It was shellbed, and where the current rolled up on that bar, from 8 feet to 4 feet, there was a hard spot,” he said. “The fish were sitting up on that spot. It was small, maybe three times the size of my boat. It was a typical Tennessee River feeding spot, right off the main river. There was a ton of bait in there — gizzard shad, threadfin shad. It was the perfect combination.” Most of Lester’s fish came on a Strike King 4.0 crankbait in chartreuse shad. He also fished a Berkley MaxScent Magnum Hit Worm in plum apple

Neko rigged with a 1/8-ounce nail weight. His sacks topped 20 pounds each day of the tournament, and the morning bite was key for him. A 6-pound, 13-ounce largemouth caught with a football jig anchored his sack on Day 3, and he entered Championship Sunday with a 3.5-pound lead. On Sunday, he poured on the gas, catching 22 pounds, 14 ounces, which earned him the VMC Monster Bag of the tournament. In the morning, he caught 17 pounds within the first half hour of fishing. He culled a few fish and then shut the door on the competition with 6-pounder caught at about 1 p.m. from a main-river ledge that dropped from 14 to 21 feet. He caught that fish on a Scrounger head with a 5-inch Castaic Jerky J, which is a bait that hadn’t produced all week. “This is unreal,” he said. “That Open win, I was super proud of it. It’s a stacked field in the Opens. But an Elite Series win is next level. I guess it’s between an Opens win and a Classic win. That’s the only thing that can top it. These are the greatest bass fishermen in the world.” The $100,000 first-place prize at Pickwick pushed Lester’s career Bassmaster earnings past $1 million. For more information, visit www.bassmaster.com.

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JULY 2022

NATIONAL 15


Enter To Win!

SOUTH

2 DAYS

ATLANTIC GETS

FOR SNAPPER

DF2.5 PORTABLE OUTBOARD

R

PHOTO COURTESY OF ecreational SHOW ME THE FISH CHARTERS harvest of red snapper in federal waters of the South Atlantic will be two days long this year. The July 8-9 season opens at 12:01 a.m., local time, on July 8, 2022, and closes at 12:01 a.m., local time, on July 10, 2022. The season is for Atlantic waters off North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida. The recreational bag limit is one red snapper per person per day. Captain and crew on for-hire vessels may retain the recreational bag limit. There are no minimum or maximum size limits. Allowable gear includes vertical hook-and-line, including hand line and bandit gear, and spearfishing gear without rebreathers. When fishing for or possessing snapper/grouper species in federal waters of the South Atlantic, the following regulations apply: • Use of a dehooking tool is required. • The use of non-stainless steel hooks is required when using hookand-line gear with natural baits. In waters North of 28-degrees N. latitude, the use of non-offset, non-stainless steel circle hooks is required when fishing for snapper grouper species using hook-and-line gear with natural baits. • A descending device is required on board all vessels and must be readily available for use (attached to at least 16 ounces of weight and at least 60 feet of line).

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JULY 2022

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ICAST 2022 ROLLS INTO ORLANDO JULY 19-22

I

t first glance, this fish might look like a deformed dolphinfish (mahi-mahi), but it’s not. It’s a pompano dolphinfish, and it’s a new North Carolina state record and a potential world record. Charles Kenneth Noonan, of Sumter, S.C., caught the 11-pound, 5.4-ounce fish at an abandoned raft, about 42 miles off Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina on June 8. Noonan said he is applying to the IGFA for certification of the fish as the all-tackle world record. The current certified world record pompano dolphinfish weighed 8-pounds, 8-ounces, and was caught off Maryland in 2008. Noonan’s fish measured 30.5 inches fork length and had a 17.25-inch girth. He was fishing with Capt. Tyler Hailey and First Mate Bailey Auten of Salt Fever Guide Service in Ocean Isle Beach. They were aboard the Glory Daze, a 37-foot Freeman Boatworks Catamaran.

CAST, the world’s largest sportfishing trade show, will spread out across the expansive floor of the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla. July 19-22, showcasing the latest innovations in gear, tackle, accessories and apparel. From Super Tuesday on July 19 to the final bell on Friday, July 22, it’s almost a full week of events that have become a cornerstone of the sportfishing industry. From seminars and “learning lunches” to a show floor jam packed with quality exhibitors displaying the products that will drive the industry in the coming year, ICAST is the place to make valuable connections and stay on top of the trends in fishing. Many companies choose to roll out their latest innovations at ICAST each year, and the New Product Showcase is a chance for them to shine a spotlight on their latest and greatest. These new products are the hottest new lures, tackle, clothing, electronics and gear that anglers will be purchasing in the coming year. ICAST is the one-stop shop for retailers and manufacturers to connect in-person and make valuable business relationships. Orlando’s world-class dining, lodging and entertainment will be bustling with the movers-and-shakers and the up-and-comers of the industry, as the sportfishing world convenes to determine what drives the next year in fishing.

For more information North Carolina state records fish, visit ncwildlife.org.

For more information, go to www.ICASTfishing.org.

TEEN ANGLER CATCHES PENDING WORLD RECORD

A

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JULY 2022

NATIONAL 17


SLOW DOWN AND COVER THE ENTIRE WATER COLUMN

Tim Barefoot

I

’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: wahoo and tuna don’t wear Maui Jims. They use depth to regulate the amount of sunlight they are exposed to. So, while normal trolling at 6 to 8 knots and high-speed trolling at 15 to 20 knots are good things at first light and up to 10:30 or 11 a.m., it’s time to slow down once the sun gets directly overhead. I slow it to a crawl and even fish some baits down deep under a sliding cork on the drift. Spreading baits across the water column is the best way to continue that morning bite when the midday doldrums arrive. Darker colored baits like red-and-black or purple-andblack work well when fish are looking up to feed. The dark silhouettes of darker colored baits show up well against the bright surface. Yet, it doesn’t make sense to continue trying to convince fish to come to the surface to eat a bait 50 or 75 feet above them. When pelagics drop down in the water column, it’s better to put a bait right in the

“strike zone” where they are. There are several baits that provide a natural presentation down deep, but a big

beautiful squid checks all the boxes on this one. Squid rise to the surface at night and descend to the depths as the sun gets higher… just like the fish. This is the natural choice, as you are trying to match the hatch, so to speak. There is nothing in all the seven oceans of the

SUMMERTIME FISHING...

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world that is more common than the squid. Squid could, and should be called the “rice of the oceans.” Frozen squid are readily available for bait, and everything in the ocean eats them. I have the ultimate example of this as one day we were on anchor grouper fishing when a couple of nice dolphin swam under the boat 20 to 30 feet below. I could tell they were nice ones and started throwing out cigar minnows and sardines to get them fired up. They didn’t want any part of the free minnows. So, I pulled out a whole frozen squid and hooked it up on light tackle and threw it out about 50 feet. I just let it start sinking. After all the minnows they let go by and sink out of sight, the biggest one of the pair saw that sinking squid and inhaled it! It just goes to show, they will eat a squid when all else fails. The other good news is a squid is so easy to rig to swim perfectly. Whether you are fishing a natural frozen squid, a live one or an artificial one, just slow down a little to allow the bait to get down to the level where the fish are staged during the middle of the day for some serious bites. See more from Tim Barefoot at barefootctasandtackle.com.

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JULY 2022

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NATIONAL 19


COLUMBIA

BANS SPORTFISHING By CAM Staff

C

olumbia recently banned sportfishing. That should serve as an eye opener even for anglers who have never considered travelling to fish. A potential destination fishery, with rivers famous for exotic species like peacock bass and a coastline that boasts excellent fisheries for roosterfish, tuna, marlin, sailfish and cubera snapper, has decided that catch-and-release fishing is cruelty to animals and has deemed the practice unconstitutional. With an 8-1 vote in favor, the ruling came down from the Columbia Congressional

20 NATIONAL

JULY 2022

Court in May with a plan to begin enforcement next year. The court, which is roughly equivalent to the U.S. Supreme Court, decided that while commercial, artisanal and subsistence fishing remain constitutional, catching fish and returning them to the water should be banned. If you catch a fish, you must kill it in order for the catch to be legal. It’s enough to scramble the brains of anglers and conservationists. Anyone who has paid a lick of attention has watched the rise of catch-and-release lead to the rebound of coastal and inland fisheries around the world. At presstime, Columbians were voting to elect their president, with Gustavo Petro, an extreme leftwing candidate by U.S. standards, leading in a runoff election against Rodolfo Hernandez, a businessman and former city mayor running on an anticorruption platform. Columbian attorneys are already contesting the sportfishing ban, but if Petro wins the election there’s a good chance parts of the ruling will be enacted. Columbian lawyer Luis Guillermo Valez Cabrera lambasted the ruling in op-ed for the website La Republica, saying the ruling “may be the stupidest decision a constitutional court has made in recent history. It’s really laughable.” “What the court wants to tell us is that, since we do not know if the fish can suffer, to protect the environment, we must prohibit sportfishing,” Cabrera wrote. “The possible impact on the environment is due to commercial fishing and artisanal fishing, practices that were not constitutionally prohibited. Think of the meshes, the dynamite and the dragnets that kill anything, sentient or not.” While this court’s ruling might be easy to write off as nonsense from a nation more well-known for corruption and cocaine than anything else, it’s a reminder that hunters and anglers must remain vigilant. Germany banned catch-and-release fishing in the 1990s, and the animal rights movement has successfully restricted hunting in many places around the globe, including in Columbia. As with most political debates, money is the key. Politicians who’ve never held a fishing rod need to realize that fish in the water can be far more valuable economically than they are served up at restaurants. Just ask Costa Rica, which boasts of a recreational fishery that generates hundreds of millions of dollars annually. For more information, see the July issue of The Angler Video Magazine at VidMag.com.

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By Nick Carter

EPA MOVES TO PROTECT THE WORLD’S LARGEST SOCKEYE RUN

P

ebble Mine, a proposed mining development in the headwaters feeding Bristol Bay, Alaska, is in the news again. The latest development in this two-decade struggle is the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposal to veto the project under authority of the Clean Water Act. It is a next step toward establishing lasting protections for the largest remaining salmon fishery in the world. The Pebble deposit is an enormous accumulation of gold, copper and molybdenum in the headwaters of the Kvichak and Nushgak rivers, which feed Bristol Bay and the Bering Sea about 300 miles southwest of Anchorage. In 2001, the first steps toward mining the deposit began, and ever since it has been a source of controversy as mining rights have changed hands through several multi-national corporations and actual development of a massive

open-pit mine has been tied up in red tape. At stake is one of the few remaining truly pristine areas on the planet. Back in 2005, my wife and I spent a glorious week with Alaska Sportman’s Lodge fishing the Kvichak, Nushgak and several other rivers in the Bristol Bay drainage. It was a once-in-a-lifetime type experience in the most beautiful and unspoiled place I’ve ever been. The fishing was phenomenal and featured 40-plus-pound king salmon, a sockeye salmon run so thick you could have walked across their backs, 30-inch rainbow trout in their native waters, as well as grayling and Dolly Varden in places where anglers share water with brown bears, moose and bald eagles. Getting there is difficult and expensive, but the experience is highly recommended for anyone interested in arguably the best fly fishing destination in the world. But there’s more to it than a recreational fishery so good it will spoil you. Bristol Bay is also the most important salmon fishery on earth. It provides half of the world’s wild sockeye salmon. If your local grocery store carries “wildcaught sockeye salmon,” there’s a good chance it was caught by Bristol Bay’s commercial anglers. According to Bristol Bay Defense Fund, the unspoiled natural resources of the region support a $2.2 billion economy that employs tens of thousands of people in commercial fishing, hunting, sportfishing, outdoor recreation and tourism. Earlier this year, Alaska Department of Fish and Game projected 2022 will be the second record-breaking year in a row for Bristol Bay’s sockeye salmon run. The estimate calls for 73.4 million fish to swim up area rivers to spawn. This annual run supports an amazing ecosystem that has for time immemorial thrived on the transfer of nutrients far inland from the ocean. And while proponents of the Pebble Mine likely speak the truth in their assertion that a mine would bring added wealth and jobs to the region, it would come at the potential expense of a natural phenomenon that perpetually and sustainably supports humans as well as the native flora and fauna. EPA’s public comment period on the proposed veto is open until July 5. To get involved, go to www.epa.gov/bristolbay.

COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

JULY 2022

NATIONAL 21


THE GULF’S PHOTO COURTESY OF KNOCKIN TAIL LURES

BOUNTIES

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hen the surf is on, it can be some of the best and easiest fishing around. For those in the know, we keep a keen eye on the beachfront starting in May and when the conditions are right, we make sure not to miss it! During July, the shrimp migration hits the beachfront and many hungry predators are following on their tails. Trout in the 5- to 8-pound range are not uncommon while trout shorter than 20 inches are found in large schools. There are many productive tactics that can land you a hefty stringer of these speckled beauties from live shrimp and finfish to an array of artificial lures. I prefer the latter, and here are some of my favorites. Topwater! There is no beating a topwater eruption as the sun is peeking over the horizon. I use a wide range of plug sizes and let the size of the seas determine what I throw. I like a larger heavier lure when the surf is rough. When it is flat, a small or large can be effective. Switching out the standard trebles to single circle hooks is a good approach to lessen the chance of injuring yourself. Bouncing around in the surf trying to land a stout surf trout can lead to an accidental hook in you. Singles also save time unhooking, which leads to more time fishing and catching. Slow-sinking hard baits with rattles also make it into my box when heading into the suds. I like to cast these lures out and let them sink for a few seconds. Most of them have a relatively slow sink rate, so I give them a little time to get lower in the water column. A series of fast twitches followed by a pause usually draws their attention. Many solid trout have fallen for the old faithful ¾- to 1-ounce silver spoon. The presentation is as simple as it gets. Cast and reel; that’s it. This inexpensive lure is an attention getter for sure and casts like a bullet. I typically start my day before sunrise. During the course of my wade, I will hit all structure from a foot deep to eight feet deep. I give equal attention to the depth of the guts to the top of the bars. I see a lot of fishermen go straight out to the second or third gut and stay there the entire time. You will miss many opportunities if you choose to do this. The fish are not always in that gut. At times, I only catch them on top of the bar. Start early, broaden your target area, be safe and catch fish! Surf ’s Down!

The Return of a FROM THE BEACH By Capt. Michael Okruhlik

Capt. Michael Okruhlik is the inventor of Knockin Tail Lures, Controlled Descent Lures and the owner of www.MyCoastOutdoors.com.

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ripletail have long been a prized target for anglers in the Southern Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico, and they are gaining popularity farther north. A big 16-pound, 12-ounce tripletail caught from Chesapeake Bay last summer was recently certified as a Virginia state record. A press release from Virginia’s Marine Resources Commission suggested the rise in popularity of sight fishing for cobia is also pushing tripletail into the spotlight. Richard H. Stuart Jr., of King George, Va., and his father, Richard Sr., were sight fishing for cobia in southern Chesapeake Bay last July 23 when they spotted a flash in the water and decided to pursue it. On approach, they identified the fish as a tripletail on the surface. Richard Jr. convinced it to eat on the second cast of a 2-ounce cobia jig. Tripletail are not a new arrival to Chesapeake Bay, but with the rise in the popularity of sight fishing for cobia, encounters are increasing. Along the Atlantic Coast tripletail have been collected as far north as Massachusetts but are rarely found north of the Chesapeake Bay. Their flesh has been compared to other mild-tasting white-fleshed fish like snapper and grouper. The IGFA all-tackle world record for tripletail was caught off Zululand, South Africa in 1989. It weighed 42 pounds, 5 ounces. For more information, go to mrc.virginia.gov. COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

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