Coastal Angler Magazine | September 2023 | Miami Edition

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This is a hard time of year for most Southern trout anglers. Water temperatures are warm all over, and most of our trout shing has slowed way down or is just plain over for a bit.

Here in East Tennessee, we are currently bringing 5- and 6-weight y rods and dri shing topwater poppers for spotted and smallmouth bass on several local rivers. We are catching some nice sh, and we’re also catching very good numbers, all on top.

It’s like hopper shing, just on the warm-water side of things. e bass are happy and should be looking up for the remainder of the summer through October, depending on water ows and weather.

It’s a nice change of pace for a bit, with many sh being in the 15- to 16-inch range and averaging a pound and a half or two, with shots at larger sh on any given dri . Giant pumpkinseed bream will also come up and hammer a popper on occasion.

If you’re getting into the bassy side of things, I recommend 2x leaders, 5- and 6-weight rods and your favorite color poppers. e occasional pop and twitch is just a way to say hello to let them know it’s there and see who comes up.

If you want to catch some hard- ghting sh and have a fun day on the water, give us a call before it’s over.

Contact Hiawassee River Guides at (423) 208-8602. See their website at

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Fall Snook


Fall is a ne time to be an angler on the Florida coast. e summer crowds dwindle as the summer heat begins to taper o , and snook season opens Sept. 1 ahead of the mullet run.

Capt. Adam White, of St. Lucie Flats Fishing on Florida’s Treasure Coast, said this time of year o ers good snook and tarpon shing in his area. Whether he’s shing bridges at night or inshore structure during the day, there are a lot of snook to be caught around Fort Pierce and a lot of places to catch them.

“From the beach to the inlet, the bridges at night and the seawalls during the day, there’s a lot

of di erent places to sh for them,” he said. “You’ll only get four or ve bites per spot, and if you don’t get a bite in 10 minutes or so, leave. I don’t let grass grow under my feet.”

Run-and-gun tactics make for fun shing, with spurts of activity between quick boat rides. Capt. White said he can’t guarantee a one- sh-perperson snook limit because the 28- to 32-inch slot is a small window, but he said anglers can expect consistent action from under-slot snook or a shot at a big over-slot sh.

Inshore, White likes light (up to 15-pound)

spinning rigs for pitching live baits to currentswept structure, such as mangrove islands, spoil bars and docks. Snook are strong, and a decent one will take you for a ride on light tackle.

e best shot at a big snook is out in the inlet, where White will anchor up and drop baits to the bottom in hopes of just three or four bites over the course of a trip. e payo might be a snook in the 35- to 38-inch range with an outside shot at a 40-incher. ese sh might weigh 15 to 20-plus pounds.

Live bait is the best bet, and snook will eat whatever is available at the time. Live mullet or croakers are White’s preferred baits, and he doesn’t shy away from using bigger 5- to 8-inch baits, which even small snook will hammer.

Anglers who prefer arti cials will nd good action at night at the bridges. White suggested lipped-plugs like the Bomber Windcheater, which has a good mullet-like pro le in the 4 ½-inch size. Another great lure is the locally made so -plastic umper Shrimp. Rig one on a jig head with enough weight to get it down and work it slowly across the bottom.

As for the annual mullet run, when predators hound millions of mullet pushing south to spawning grounds o south Florida, White said he likes the front end of the migration. O St. Lucie County, the shing is best around the second week of September, when mullet begin trickling into the shery. Once the migration is full-blown, there are so many bait sh in the water that it’s hard to get sh to notice your bait.

Contact Capt. Adam White through his website at stlucie ats, or call (609) 820-6257.

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Never ones to miss an opportunity, we carefully steadied our glasses of bubbly and climbed into the car’s long front seat. Among the many opulent features on display was a series of dashboard dials that accentuated the car’s lavish aura. One of those dials inspired our 1920s Retrograde Watch, a genuinely unique timepiece that marries timeless style with modern technology.

With its remarkable retrograde hour and minute indicators, sunburst guilloche face and precision movement, this design is truly one of a kind. What does retrograde mean?

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chinook are Running in the Pacific Northwest

Right now, there’s a migration gearing up in the Paci c Northwest. Chinook salmon are staged to push up out of the cold Paci c and into the inlets and coastal rivers of Washington, Oregon and Northern California. Just like they do in the famed Alaskan runs, big king salmon are making a nal return to the spawning grounds where they hatched to begin the next generation before they die.

With his father, Trevor Pelland, has shed these runs on the Hoh and Sol Duk rivers of Washington’s Olympic Peninsula since he was 8 or 9 years old. His dad was doing it before him. It’s an annual event with a time window that runs from August through December, depending on the particular drainage along this long stretch of coastline. e allure is large, hard ghting sh that are delicious seared, grilled or smoked. It’s a shing tradition that existed since long before Europeans arrived on the continent.

Fall runs are famous in places like the Columbia, the rivers that feed Tillamook Bay and others. Chinook push into the main stems and larger tributaries of many coastal rivers and as far up them as the water will allow. Pelland said backtrolling plugs tempts these big sh in the rivers. He’s caught 20-, 30- and 40-pound kings,

which proves it works.

In Oregon, District Fish Biologist Robert Bradley has watched these runs dwindle in recent years. He said the sheries are still worthwhile and draw anglers from all over, but that size and numbers of sh have been falling since at least 2015, due to ocean and environmental conditions. He said the projections for this fall are well below average.

“ e draw is the size of the sh,” he said. “Historically, you could see 60- and 70-pounders, but you could still reasonably expect to catch a 20or 30-pound sh. An average is probably 10 to 15 pounds.”

e states have been hatching and releasing chinook salmon smolt for decades to coincide with the natural progression of sh moving out to sea. Bradley said chinook spend one to ve years growing up in the Paci c o British Columbia and Alaska. e hatchery sh and wild sh return with similar survival rates, but not many of the stocked sh spawn with the wild group. He said most hatchery sh return to the hatchery.

e stocking does give anglers something else to sh for. Hatchery reared chinook have clipped adipose ns and don’t count toward a wild sh limit in most sheries. e seasons and regulations can be confusing and vary widely

from place to place and year to year, but one wild chinook per person, per day is the norm. Check the regulations before you go or hire a guide who knows.

e runs ramp up when fall rains spur the sh to push upriver into the current, Bradley said. In some places, the coho salmon and chinook runs coincide. Make plans now, because runs on most rivers peak in mid-October.

For up-to-date information on Oregon’s salmon sheries, go to


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BOWFIN An Overlooked Adversary:

sh to introduce me to shing with light lines in search of line-class records. With bursts of energy and jumps during the ght, landing them takes a bit of skill.

Bow n are similar in appearance to non-native snakeheads; however, they are brown in color. ese sh can also be tinted green or red, depending on their region. Bow n have a long dorsal n that extends more than half the length of their back and a long cylindrical body to burrow in the mud. eir tails are rounded, and just before the tail is a red and black eyespot that serves to confuse predators. An average bow n weighs between 5 and 7 pounds; however, they can grow up to 21 pounds.

Bow n prefer the hottest and muckiest water they can nd. ey thrive in water with dense plant life, which helps them stalk prey and nd hiding spots. e Everglades o er plenty of bow n habitat, and they love swampy backwaters of bayous and canals.

In oxygen-poor, shallow, standing water, bow n can breathe air from the surface. ey have extra blood vessels in their swim bladder, which acts almost like a human lung.

ere are many ways to go about shing for bow n. e most common method is to cast dead bait, like bluegills or sardines, and wait. Usually, no weight is needed since they live where there is little current. Just match the size of your hook to the size of the bait.

I also enjoy throwing lures for bow n, and frogs and swimbaits will grab their attention. Savage Gear makes great bluegill and frog imitations. Fish lures around and on top of vegetation to draw bow n out. O en, you’ll be surprised by other species like bass, gar and cat sh.

Bow n, also known as mud an overlooked native species that freshwater anglers owe it to themselves to take a closer look at. From sight to just leaving out a dead bait, bow game and will always put up a fun, strong Bow n were the seeking out IGFA records at the age of 12, and I have 10 current bow n records in the book. ey were an amazing

My personal favorite method for bow n is sight casting with a y rod. ey prefer slow-sinking white ies that you can drop right on their faces. I like to kayak into extremely shallow areas. Most of the time, they sit in the silt or in the weeds. ey don’t spook easily, so you can mess around with them and convince them to bite.

e IGFA all-tackle world record bow n weighed 21 pounds, 8 ounces. It was caught in South Carolina in 1980.

Emily Rose Hanzlik holds 62 IGFA world records in various categories. She hails from West Palm Beach, where she has a part time Bow n Guide Service as well as shing classes for Jr. Anglers. Find her on social media @emilyhanzlikoutdoors.

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Snappin’ SupperUp

The Florida Keys attract anglers from around the world. While there are many species exciting sport sh, a variety of snappers are particularly popular because of their abundance, striking colors, thrilling ghts and delectable taste. Here’s a quick look at some Keys favorites.

1) Yellowtail Snapper: At the top the list is the iconic yellowtail snapper. Renowned for their vibrant yellow tails, these snappers live on reefs and wrecks. Catching one can be exhilarating on lighter tackle, as they are speedy and tenacious ghters. When grilled or fried, their delicate, aky meat is a culinary delight that perfectly embodies the taste of the Keys.

2) Mangrove Snapper: e well-loved mangrove snapper is a prized

catch in the Keys. With cool colorings and a distinctive dark stripe across their eyes, these snappers are known for a willingness to strike various baits. Anglers who venture into the shallower water in pursuit of mangs are rewarded with erce battles and the satisfaction of landing a delectable dinner. ese can be found in the backcountry and o shore areas.

3) Mutton Snapper: Mutton snapper hold a special place in the hearts of anglers. Residing around deeper wrecks and reefs, these snappers are highly sought a er for remarkable size and avorful meat. eir pink-like coloration, coupled with a distinct black spot they use as a false eye, adds to their allure. Anglers o en recount tales of adrenaline-pumping battles while trying to reel in a trophy-sized mutton.

4) Lane Snapper: Lane snapper are lively and energetic. With brilliant reddish hues and striking yellow lines along their bodies, these snappers captivate the eyes as well as the shing rod. Lane snapper are voracious eaters, making them eager participants for anglers. ey might be small, but their sweet and tender meat brings joy to every sh lover’s palate.

5) Cubera Snapper: e cubera snapper aka, “El Diablo,” awaits in deeper waters surrounding the Keys. Occasionally caught in excess of 100 pounds, they are the largest snapper species in this part of the world. Anglers targeting cubera snapper should employ heavy tackle and stout gear to overcome the intense ghts these brutes o er. Landing a trophy-sized cubera is a feat that will test your strength and your gear.

Whether you’re shing for the acrobatic yellowtail, maneuvering through the backcountry for cra y mangrove snapper, or testing your strength and skill against the mighty cubera, the opportunities for unforgettable shing experiences are endless in the Keys.

Tune in to the latest episode of Bean Sport shing TV on YouTube.


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Three Florida Bass Fisheries Named Top 10 in the Nation

Each year, Bassmaster Magazine releases its list of the Top-100 bass lakes in the nation. For 2023, Florida landed three lakes in the top-10 of this prestigious list. For anyone who bass shes, it comes as no surprise that the Sunshine State annually ranks as one of the top largemouth states in the entire country.

Bassmaster is the o cial publication of B.A.S.S., which is an enormous tournament organization with branches that hold bass tournaments and tournament series all over the nation. To compile the Top-100 list, editors scour tournament data from the last 12 months and mine data from state wildlife agency programs like Florida’s TrophyCatch.

O.H. Ivie Lake in Texas was named the best bass lake of the year for the second year in a row thanks to an almost unbelievable string of giant bass that have come from this Colorado River impoundment. An incredible 15 bass heavier than 13 pounds came from O.H. Ivie and were registered with the Texas Sharelunker program over the last year. e largest was a 17.03-pound monster.

Texas grows big bass, and so does Florida. Coming in at No. 5 on the list, Fellsmere (Headwaters), Stick Marsh and Kenansville Lake, were grouped into a single shery. Fellsmere led the

way with an awesome 73 largemouths heavier than 8 pounds reported to TrophyCatch over the last year. Fellsmere’s largest was an 11-pound, 8-ounce sh. Stick Marsh, which has been drawn down for habitat enhancements and is kayak only, produced two TrophyCatch sh, including a 9-pound, 6-ounce sh. Kenansville pitched in with seven 8-plus pounders, including a 13-pound, 10-ouncer.

Orange Lake weighed in at No. 8 in the top-10 list. is should come as no surprise if you are a regular Coastal Angler/ e Angler reader. Orange Lake has been in the headlines a lot recently, with four 13-plus-pounders including a giant 14-pound, 1-ounce sh that to-date is the largest Florida bass of the year. Orange Lake produced 50 TrophyCatch sh heavier than 8 pounds over the last 12 months. Seventeen of those were heavier than 10 pounds.

e “Big O” slid into the No. 10 spot of the best bass lakes in the nation. is historic heavyweight has solidly rebounded as one of the country’s best bass sheries. Okeechobee’s Roland Martin Marine Center Series events have produced some astounding sacks for tournament anglers. In June, Coastal Angler/ e Angler reported on a singleday event that produced 20 30-pound ve- sh limits. It took 36.82 to win, and a 29-pound sack

didn’t even crack the top 25. ose are some of, if not the best, tournament numbers we’ve ever heard of.

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Adding to the previously announced fall season, Florida anglers will get an additional 17 days to harvest red snapper in the Gulf of Mexico this fall. e additional harvest dates will be every Friday through Sunday in September, Labor Day and anksgiving Day. is is on top of the previously announced season, and brings the 2023 season to a total of 87 days, the longest combined season since the state assumed management of Gulf red snapper.

e Gulf red snapper season brings anglers from across the country to enjoy this recreational opportunity,” said FWC Executive Director Roger Young. “Being able to extend the season 17 days will allow additional access and opportunities to all who want to experience the Fishing Capital of the World.”

ose shing from private recreational vessels in state and federal waters of the Gulf and charter

vessels without a federal reef sh permit that are limited to shing in state waters, will be able to participate in the 2023 Gulf red snapper season. e fall season now includes every Friday–Sunday throughout the months of September, October and November as well as Labor Day and anksgiving Day. See the updated fall season dates below:

• September 1–4 (Friday–Monday of Labor Day Weekend)

• September 8–10

• September 15–17

• September 22–24

• September 29–October 1

• October 6–8

• October 13–15

• October 20–22

• October 27–29

• November 3–5

• November 10–12

( Veterans Day Weekend)

• November 17–19

• November 23–26

( Thanksgiving Weekend)

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To be honest, I don’t do a lot of product reviews. I met Rugged Road at ICAST 2023 and they stood out to me. For those of you who are not familiar with ICAST, it is the largest shing convention in the world. It’s the place where all the players in the shing industry, large and small, introduce new product lines, compete for awards of innovation, and generally get together to talk shop. Of all the new products that I got to see at ICAST, Rugged Road Performance Coolers was literally the one I was most excited about.

As you can imagine, I spend a good deal of time in the out of doors. Outdoor sports are equipment intensive, and I lean on my gear a lot! Over the years I have put through the paces just about every performance cooler out there. Don’t get me wrong, I love my YETI, but it is extremely heavy even when empty. My wife refuses to use it because she can’t move it. We’re both afraid the heavy lid will chop our children’s ngers o .

My RTIC 40 can so pack cooler was great until the zipper had a catastrophic failure, and the lid became a plastic apper. e company o ers no repairs and a imsy warranty. My customer service experience with them was less than ideal. I have a number of other performance insulators, and all seem to have some measure of cons to contrast their pros.

Rugged Road o ered to send me a cooler to put to the test. I accepted, and a few days later a brand new RR65 arrived in the mail. e rst thing I noticed is that this cooler is light. It weighs less than 13 lbs. You can li it with one nger. e weight vs. its rigidity is kind of startling. In fact, when you rst pick it up, you expect the thing to act like styrofoam but it’s tough. I set the cooler on the concrete and gingerly stepped up onto it. I’m 6 foot, 225 pounds. e cooler did not notice. I jumped up and down. e cooler laughed at me. On their website RR has a picture with the front wheels of a jeep parked on top of 2 of their coolers… e design and features are ergonomic, utilitarian, and just well thought out. e hardware is handsome and well-engineered.

My rst adventure was the lobster sport season opener. e cooler held ice for the whole 4-day trip. e internal dividers kept our sandwiches dry and our beer cold. It bounced around in the rough weather and I accidentally dropped it once to no e ect. One of its cool and unusual features is a doublesided removable lid which has a cutting board on one side and cup holders and a tabletop on the other. is was a convenient place for lunch, given our gear was spread all over the boat. e removable lid also makes cleaning the cooler super easy. At the end of the trip, we lled the cooler with lobsters and set the whole thing on the kitchen counter for nishing work. Once complete, I quickly washed the full-size cooler with soap and water in the kitchen sink, something that would be unthinkable with a heavy roto-molded counterpart.

Final thoughts… I love performance equipment that is high quality and does its job awlessly. e RR65 has an MSRP of $349.99. Considering its toughness, versatility, and lifetime warranty, I am a believer. I love this cooler! It’s a game changer.



…a challenging catch.

Whether you call it global warming or climate change, one thing is for certain, this has got to be one of the hottest summers we have seen here in Miami. To escape the sun burns, we recommend a good 50-70 SPF sunscreen and a breathable long sleeve shing shirt like our super-cool Urban Legends shirt. With that being said, we still love to spend most of our time outdoors staying active with a shing rod in our hands. Just as humans are a ected by the intense heat, well so are the sh. If you want to catch more sh, you need to start shing early in the morning or in the late a ernoon, about an hour before sunset. is is when the biggest and best quality sh will be landed. No matter which freshwater species you are targeting, make sure you are looking for sh in shadier spots as they will be sitting in these oxygenrich pockets of cooler water and avoiding the sun.

Our favorite sh to target in the month of September is the peacock bass. eir aggressive nature and intense ghting ability is what makes them such a joy to catch. e peacock bass can be found hunting in shallow waters on rocks and other structure in the shade of trees, or in deeper waters hiding from the sun. Another tip to land a quality peacock bass to look for the smaller females sitting in the shallows near deep drop o s in lakes or canals. O en, the bigger males will be lurking in deeper waters just out of sight to an approaching angler.

Just the other day Captain Tony was shing with clients from Louisiana who had asked speci cally to target trophy peacocks. He spotted a small female spawning on a rock all alone. Normally we would pass up a sh of this size and keep moving but just as described above they ipped a bait into the shallow water and then dragged it over the edge of the drop-o , letting it sink into the dark. Sure enough, as the bait fell just out of site, the line quickly went taught. e reel began screaming that sweet sound as line peeled o the spool. He had to coach his client to lead the sh away from the rocks and to re-adjust the drag a few times just to slow this beast down and gain some control. Finally, a er an intense 12-minute battle they netted this hearty 23.8-inch monster Miami peacock bass weighing in at a burly 6.7 lbs. What an amazing experience for our clients. We checked o many other sh on their bucket lists that day as well including the jaguar guapote, tarpon, midas cichlids and even caught a few snook to cap o their urban shing adventure. At Urban Legends Miami Fishing Adventures we sh year-round including the hot and cold months. We also have a few good taxidermists in our network that we can recommend who produce quality replica sh that will last a lifetime!

Pro tip: Hooking bigger sometimes comes down to just making longer more precise casts. Sometimes you only have one good shot to land the bait in the right spot without spooking the big ones. It’s a good idea to practice your casting and even warm up before actually going shingp. We set up cans and hula hoops around the yard/house to target and improve our skills and accuracy. It’s a good idea to warm up the shoulder and do a few arm circles / stretches before actually heading out on your next adventure. Do you think Dan Mario or Tom Bady just showed up on game days and just played like MVP’s? at next cast could be the di erence between you and your next PB record.

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The FishermanTraveling

Will it ever cool down!

We need signs of hope. Well hold on, cause this month shows hope. Since my last report I went to Cedar Key and still had that monkey on my back. My shing partner, Darrell Keith caught a nice snook and two red sh in the rst hour. en the monsoon came. e rain killed the shing and for my second year in a row Darrell made me feel like a spectator. If you want a great guide in Cedar Key then Jim or Jimbo Keith are the best.

From Cedar Key I moved to Orlando and ICAST. I represented HydroGlow sh lights while enjoying this annual shing industry reunion. It was seeing old friends, making new friends and viewing all the newest shing toys. I was invited to the greatest dinner party of my life by Tony DiGulian and Pelagic Fishing Gear.

I then moved to Melbourne for an a er ICAST party at Harry Goodes Out tters. is was a day of great people, tackle and legendary sandwiches. Mike Arnoldy smoked a brisket and a couple pork butts to perfection.

I got a chance to tarpon sh with Nathan Outlaw, proprietor of Harry Goodes on Monday. He put me on big schools of juvenile tarpon, but a couple porpoise’ were chasing them all around, so they would not bite. en he found us an area full of big tarpon with lock jaw. en we took a shot at some trout. ey were biting good, but now we had to race them past the porpoise to keep the trout from being eaten.

My luck nally changed when I went out of Sebastian Inlet with senior guide Glyn Austin. In short order I was hooked up with a big tarpon on my Penn plug reel and a R&R Slidebait. It took about 30 minutes to beat this big girl. We stayed on the tarpon school a few more minutes and Glyn’s 11 year old grandson hooked up with a big tarpon on a live croaker. Another half hour release and Noah was beat too. We caught some bait for the next trip and called it a great day.

2 days later I joined Glyn again along with an old friend. is trip I scored with a nice snook, We caught a bunch of big jack crevalles and my buddy caught a big tarpon. Live croakers for bait produced this super morning.

So what can we look forward to in September? Fall migrations will start! In the Miami area look for mullet schools moving south in the second half of September. at will produce exciting action with tarpon, snook and sharks along beaches and inlets. With the mullet coming down the coast, you might nd schools of giant lady sh, blue sh and small pompano showing up as well.

Inshore you will nd migratory mullet moving along the Intracoastal Waterway. Snook , tarpon and jacks will be waiting in ambush at side canal entrances and around bridges. ose bridges can be on re with action in the evenings.

September marks the opening of snook season. Some of these snook are still spawning so if she is obviously over the slot of 32 inches or if you have your limit, then treat her with the respect that will keep this shery going. Keep her in the water and release her quick. If she swallowed your hook, cut your leader.


A quick snook tip: If using live mullet for snook bait, the particular species of mullet can make a di erence. Striped or black mullet are great to smoke for a tasty treat, but snook don’t like them that much. Silver mullet are snook candy but not as good for smoking. Silver mullet have a rounder nose and a pale dot on the back of their gills. Black mullet have a more squared nose and faint stripes running along their sides. Tarpon will eat them all. To see what a silver mullet looks like, check out a nger mullet, they are generally all baby silver mullet.

September may also produce mutton snapper and yellowtail snapper migrating south along reef edges from 20 to 120 feet of water.

e last several years September has been a peak month for mahi and this year all indications point to this being the case this year. While you’re out there looking for mahi, be prepared to troll real small lures around ocks of busy birds. Skipjack tunas ght hard and taste great.

Hey! with these signs of Fall, maybe you’ll see a high temperature below 90. Keep what you will really use and release the rest. Have fun out there.




Snook of all sizes will be under re this month but only the slot-sized ones may be harvested. Snook season opens September rst and the slot is 2832 inches. Most South Floridians have caught snook, but how can a Miamiangler speci cally target the bigger ones? Big baits. For big baits and big snook you need stout tackle. Fish a 20-30 lb. out t with 30-40Lb braid line. I sh Penn Spin sher 7500s on Capt. Harry’s 7 foot 20 lb. spinners. For big-snook, terminal tackle should be 3 feet of 50 lb. uorocarbon leader and an appropriately sized heavy-duty jig head to hold bottom in your situation. Connect the leader to the braid with a uni to uni knot. Color and brand don’t matter for your jig head, but weight and hook strength do.

Now for the most important part, bait. In early September, large live baits that “grunt or croak” will get disappeared by fat snook. Speci cally, hook a live grunt or pin sh up through the lips and put it close to the bottom or on the bottom. In late September, we might have mullet, IF the wind blows hard out of the northeast. e ngers come rst, then the bigger mullet. Fish ANY mullet you can get and hook him the same way, up through the lips. Fish him close to the bottom. Nighttime will produce the best action in September. Fish bridges, lights, and wherever you nd fast tidal ow. Remember that snook will sit just out of the hardest moving water with their heads facing into the tide. If an angler nds himself at a loss for words, or snook, book a trip with me and I’d be happy to show ya.






If you have a passion for conservation as I do, and you want to see Florida’s natural resources protected as I do, consider supporting e Fish & Wildlife Foundation of Florida (FWFF). is group is a nonpro t 501(c)(3) organization that seeks to protect our outstanding animals and plants and the lands and waters they need to survive. e organization works closely with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and many other public and private partners. Since their founding in 1994, they have raised and donated more than $60 million for conservation and outdoor recreation, including youth outdoor education.

One of the cool ways that you can show your support is to purchase one of the Fish & Wildlife Foundation of Florida’s license plates at https://wildlife buy-a-plate/ or at your local tax collector’s o ce. For every plate sold, $25 is donated to a cause of your choice. It’s not a small thing. ey receive more than $1 million each year from these donations, funds that they and their partners use via grants to conserve Florida black bears, wading birds, and many other species. ey also use these monies to protect and manage new wildlife lands and waters and provide kids with formative outdoor experiences. To learn more about e sh & Wildlife Foundation of Florida and their mission visit them on the web at wildlife oridaorg.



As we enter a South Florida September and a record hot summer starts to come to a close, we are looking forward to the days ahead with cooler temperatures both above and below the surface. In the meantime, my days in Flamingo are numbered. I will spend more time o shore or on the reef this month. Mahi trips will continue… We are mostly running and gunning, looking for birds, sargassum weed lines, or any debris we can nd in the ocean. Once we nd our object that is holding the sh, my anglers will pitch bucktails tipped with cut bait, or a freelined live pilchard.

When shing the reef, we’ll start by anchoring up on a section of a bottom that looks promising on the nder. We are looking for structure, current, and activity. We’ll then let the chum do the work. Let the yellowtail snapper come up to the chum and get comfortable before we start to pull them out of the water. Silversides, ballyhoo strips or squid chunks will work great.

On the few days I do sh in Flamingo this month, we will still nd plenty of snook, red sh, tarpon and tripletail around the beaches and creek mouths. My clients will be casting swim baits, live mullet or shrimp under popping corks. On at days we will venture out to any nearby rock pile or structure and give the permit a try as well.

Nestor Alvisa @hooked_on_ amingo_charters 786.387.2443
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El Pavón

Ya sea que se llame calentamiento global o cambio climático, una cosa es segura, este tiene que ser uno de los veranos más calurosos que hemos visto aquí en Miami. Por ello, para escapar de las quemaduras del sol, se recomienda un buen protector solar de 50 a 70 SPF y una camisa de pesca de manga larga transpirable como nuestra Super-Cool Urban Legends que aparece a continuación.

A pesar del calor, nos sigue encantando pasar la mayor parte del tiempo al aire libre y manteniéndonos activos con una caña de pescar en las manos. Eso sí, se debe tener en cuenta que, al igual que a los humanos nos afecta el calor intenso, a los peces también. Si quiere pescar más, tiene que empezar temprano por la mañana o a última hora de la tarde, aproximadamente una hora antes de que se ponga el sol. Es entonces cuando se capturan los peces más grandes y de mejor calidad. Independientemente de la especie de agua dulce a la que se dirija, asegúrese de buscar los peces en los lugares más sombríos, ya que se encontrarán en estas bolsas de agua fría ricas en oxígeno para evitar el sol.

Nuestro pez favorito en septiembre es el pavón que con una naturaleza agresiva y su intensa capacidad de lucha hace que sea un placer pescarlos. El pavón se puede encontrar cazando en aguas poco profundas, sobre rocas y otras estructuras a la sombra de los árboles o en aguas más profundas escondiéndose del sol. Otro consejo para pescar un pavón de calidad es buscar a las hembras más pequeñas en los bajíos de los lagos o canales. A menudo, los machos más grandes estarán al acecho en aguas más profundas justo fuera de la vista de un pescador que se acerca.

El otro día, el capitán Tony estaba pescando con unos clientes de Luisiana que le habían pedido que buscara un pavón de trofeo. Vio a una pequeña hembra desovando en una roca sola y aunque normalmente pasaríamos por alto un pez de este tamaño y seguiríamos adelante, decidieron lanzar un cebo a las aguas poco profundas y luego lo arrastraron por el borde de la pendiente, dejando que se hundiera en la oscuridad. Efectivamente, mientras el cebo caía justo fuera de su sitio, la línea se enredó rápidamente y el carrete empezó a emitir ese dulce sonido cuando el sedal se desprendía de la bobina. Tuvo que enseñar a su cliente a alejar al pez de las rocas y a reajustar el freno unas cuantas veces para frenar a la bestia y conseguir algo de control. Finalmente, después de una intensa batalla de 12 minutos, sacaron con la red este enorme pavón de Miami de 23,8 pulgadas y un peso de 6,7 libras. ¡Una experiencia tan increíble para nuestros clientes!

Esto no fue todo, consiguieron también muchos otros peces de su lista de ese día, así como el guapote jaguar, sábalo, midas cíclidos e incluso capturó algunos robalos para culminar su aventura de pesca urbana. En Urban Legends Miami Fishing Adventures pescamos todo el año, incluyendo los meses fríos y calientes. También tenemos algunos buenos taxidermistas en nuestra red que podemos recomendar y que producen réplicas de peces de calidad que durarán toda la vida

Llamada / Texto: 305-998-3375

Síguenos en Urban Legends Fishing Charter

Facebook / Instagram @Urbanlegends shing


El PescadorViajero

¿Se enfriará la temperatura de este verano?

Debemos mantener la esperanza, la cual parece que será recompensada durante este mes.

Desde mi último reporte fui a Cedar Key y mi compañero de pesca, Darrell Keith, capturó un bonito róbalo y dos gallinetas en la primera hora. Entonces, lastimosamente, llegó el monzón; la lluvia terminó con la pesca y, para mi segundo año consecutivo, Darrell me hizo sentir como un espectador. Si quieres un gran guía en Cedar Key entonces Jim o Jimbo Keith son los mejores.

De Cedar Key me trasladé a Orlando y ICAST, donde representé a HydroGlow sh lights en esta reunión anual de la industria pesquera. Se basó en de ver a viejos amigos, hacer nuevos amigos y conocer todos los nuevos juguetes de pesca. Al nal, Tony DiGulian y Pelagic Fishing Gear me invitaron a la mejor cena de mi vida. Después me trasladé a Melbourne para asistir a una esta posterior al ICAST en Harry Goodes Out tters. Fue un día de gente estupenda, aparejos y sándwiches legendarios (Mike Arnoldy preparó un brisket y un par de colillas de cerdo ahumados a la perfección)

El lunes tuve la oportunidad de pescar sábalos con Nathan Outlaw, propietario de Harry Goodes. Me llevó con las grandes escuelas de sábalo juvenil, pero un par de marsopas los estaban persiguiendo, por lo que no mordían. Luego nos encontró una zona llena de grandes sábalos boca grande y, posteriormente, intentamos pescar algunas truchas; estaban picando bien, pero ahora teníamos que correr más allá de las marsopas para evitar que se comieran a las truchas.

Mi suerte cambió por n cuando salí de Sebastian Inlet con el guía principal Glyn Austin. En poco tiempo me enganché a un gran sábalo con mi carrete Penn y un R&R Slidebait; me tomó unos 30 minutos vencer a este pez grande. Nos quedamos en la escuela de sábalo unos minutos más y el nieto de 11 años de Glyn enganchó un gran sábalo con una corvina viva. Otra de media hora y Noah tuvo su ciente también, así que atrapamos un poco de cebo para el próximo viaje y lo dejamos como un gran día.

48 horas más tarde me uní a Glyn de nuevo junto con un viejo amigo. Este viaje me anotó con un bonito róbalo, así como un montón de grandes jureles y mi amigo atrapó un gran sábalo. Las corvinas vivas como carnada fueron ideales en esta super mañana.

Ahora bien ¿Qué nos espera en septiembre?

Empezarán las migraciones otoñales. En la zona de Miami, los bancos de salmonetes se desplazarán hacia el sur en la segunda mitad del mes, lo que producirá una emocionante acción con sábalos, róbalos y tiburones a lo largo de las playas y ensenadas. Con los salmonetes bajando por la costa, es posible que también aparezcan bancos de peces dama gigantes, anjovas (o anchoas) y pequeños pámpanos.

En la costa, los salmonetes migratorios se desplazan por la Intracoastal Waterway, lo que hará que róbalos, sábalos y jureles esten esperando en una emboscada en las entradas de los canales laterales y alrededor de los puentes. Estos lugares puentes pueden estar llenos de acción por las tardes.

Septiembre marca también la apertura de la temporada de róbalo. Algunos de estos peces todavía están desovando por lo que si la hembras

es, obviamente, más de la ranura de 32 pulgadas o si usted tiene su límite, la tratará con el respeto que mantendrá esta pesca en marcha. Manténgalas en el agua y libérelas rápidamente; si se ha tragado el anzuelo, corte el bajo de línea.

Un consejo rápido para los róbalos: Si utiliza salmonetes vivos como cebo para los róbalos, la especie concreta de salmonete puede marcar la diferencia. Los salmonetes rayados o negros son excelentes para ahumar, pero a los róbalos no les gustan mucho; en cambio salmonetes plateados son un caramelo para los róbalos, pero no son tan buenos para ahumar. Los salmonetes plateados tienen el morro más redondeado y un punto pálido en la parte posterior de las branquias, mientras que el salmonete negro tiene un morro más cuadrado y rayas tenues a lo largo de los costados. Para ver el aspecto de un salmonete plateado, fíjese en un salmonete de dedo, por lo general son todos crías de salmonete plateado.

Adicionalmente, hay más sorpresas pues este mes puede producir pargo y pargo de cola amarilla que migran hacia el sur a lo largo de los bordes del arrecife de 20 a 120 pies de agua y, en los últimos años, ha sido un mes pico para mahi (se espera sea el caso este año). Cuando salga en busca de doradas, prepárese para pescar con señuelos pequeños entre bandadas de pájaros. Los atunes listados luchan duro y saben muy bien. Como nota nal, quédese solo con lo que realmente vaya a utilizar y suelte el resto. ¡Diviértase!


Temporada de Róbalo

El primero de septiembre abre la temporada de róbalo, lo que signi ca que este mes se pescarán róbalos de todos los tamaños, no obstante, sólo podrán capturarse los de talla mínima con una ranura de 28-32 pulgadas. La mayoría de los habitantes del sur de Florida han pescado róbalos, pero ¿cómo puede un pescador de Miami atrapar los más grandes? Sencillo, con cebos igual de grandes.

Para pescar róbalos y cebos grandes necesitas un equipo resistente, así que recomiendo usar un equipo de 20-30 libras, con una línea trenzada de 30-40 libras. Yo pesco con el Penn Spin sher 7500 y cucharillas del capitán Harry de 7 pies y 20 libras. Para un róbalo grande, el equipo terminal debe ser de 3 pies de líder de uorocarbono (de 50 lb) y una cabeza de jig resistente, del tamaño adecuado para sujetar al fondo. Deberá unir el bajo de línea a la trenza con un nudo doble uni (conocido en inglés como uni to uni); el color y la marca no importan, pero sí el peso y la resistencia del anzuelo.

Ahora la parte más importante: el cebo. A principios de septiembre, los grandes cebos vivos que “gruñen o graznan” serán rápidamente eliminados por los róbalos gordos y nales de mes puede que tengamos salmonetes, sí es que el viento sopla fuerte del noreste. La forma de atraparlos es enganchando un roncador vivo o un pin sh por los labios y dejándolo cerca del fondo o en el fondo.

Pesque CUALQUIER salmonete que pueda conseguir y engánchelo de la misma manera, por los labios. Inténtelo cerca del fondo y durante la noche, pues producirá la mejor acción en septiembre. Pesque en puentes, farolas y en cualquier lugar donde la marea uya rápidamente. Recuerde que los robalos se sitúan justo fuera del agua que más se mueve, con la cabeza mirando hacia la marea.

Si algún pescador se encuentra en falta de atrapar un buen robalo, puede reservar un viaje conmigo y yo estaría feliz de ayudarlos.

Capitán Abie Raymond

305.775.5197 • @abie_raymond




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Amedida que nos adentramos en el mes de septiembre, en el sur de Florida comienza a llegar el n de un verano que batió récords de temperatura, por lo cual podemos esperar días con temperaturas más frescas tanto por encima como por debajo de la super cie.

Este mes pasaré la mayor parte del tiempo en alta mar o en el arrecife y, claro, continuando con los viajes de Mahi. Estaremos principalmente corriendo y disparando en busca de aves, líneas de algas sargazo o cualquier desecho que podemos encontrar en el océano. Una vez que encontramos el objeto que está atrapando el pescado, mis equipo lanzará bucktails con cebo cortado o una sardina viva freelined.

Para pescar en el arrecife, empezaremos fondeando en un área que parezca prometedora en el buscador; queremos estructura, corriente y actividad. Dejaremos que el cebo haga el trabajo y que los pargos se acerquen al él, esto logrará que se sientan cómodos antes de empezar a sacarlos del agua. Los pejerreyes, las tiras de ballyhoo o los trozos de calamar funcionan muy bien para estos casos.

Ahora, en los pocos días que pescaré en Flamingo este mes, todavía será posible encontrar un montón de róbalo, gallineta, sábalo y dormilonas alrededor de las playas o en las desembocaduras de los arroyos. Para aprovecharlo al máximo, mis clientes lanzaran carnadas de tipo swim baits, lisas vivas o gambas en corchos. Por otro lado, en los días llanos, nos aventuraremos a cualquier pila de rocas o estructura cercana y también intentaremos pescar palometa.

Nestor Alvisa @hooked_on_ amingo_charters Hooked On Flamingo Charters
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Summer’s End CAN BE


With summer tourism starting to slow down, this month can be one of the better times to visit the Florida Keys. As demand for accommodations drop, so do prices around the Keys. Wait times are less, and charters have more availability for last-minute travelers.

Provided that the hurricanes are playing nice, September o ers a nice opportunity to hit the end of mahi season, or to enjoy a reef that’s less crowded than normal.

All the snapper shes are red up this time of year, but the most notable are the mangrove snapper. Mangrove snapper are spawning and there are epic catching days to be had before and a er the full moon. Knocker rigs or jig heads will snipe them o the bottom with just about any bait. Small live pin sh and ballyhoo are very e ective. When using dead ballyhoo, the whole bait can be dropped, or cut in half. Break the beak o and hook through the head side, or cut the tail o ever so slightly, and hook them through that cut, making sure the hook loops around the spine.

Sword shing is another great option right now. ere are still mahi to be found on your way to and from the swordgrounds, but not so many that you feel obligated to stop on every cluster of red-up diving birds. Fishing for sword sh can be a large undertaking for time, tackle and fuel, with a high skunk-out risk rate involved, so it’s always nice to have the chance at some other species along the way. Unlike in the middle of summer, when the ocean is alive with feasting mahi, you can actually make it out there without stopping every mile along the way.

Snowy grouper is closed, but deep dropping o shore is still a viable way to ll the cooler with rosies, tile sh, yellowedge grouper and barrel sh.

As we transition into the autumn shing season, many factors are at play for predicting our shery this month. Call a local captain to nd out the latest report, and come visit the Keys during the cheapest travel month of the year!

Capt. Quinlyn Haddon shes with Sweet E’Nuf Charters out of Marathon, Florida Keys. Contact her at (504) 920-6342, check out her website and her social @captainquinlyn.

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A10-pound, 10-ounce seatrout caught in Ponte Vedra was recently certi ed as a new IGFA men’s 20-lb. tippet class world record.

e gator trout was caught on the Dr. Jay Wright on March 23.

Wright was shing with guide Matt Chipper eld of Chip’s Coastal Charters when the big girl ate a bait sh pattern. e sh was documented and weighed on IGFA certi ed scales to ll the world record category, which was previously vacant.

In an Instagram post, Chipper eld said he and Wright had been pursuing the record sh for ve years and gave the measurements for the huge ycaught trout. It was 30 inches long with a 17-inch girth. A er documenting, the big breeder female was carefully released.

“Catching a speckled trout of this size is special on any tackle. But doing this on y… it’s HARD,” wrote Chipper eld. “It requires discipline, patience and skill. Guiding “ e Doc” to this sh is a moment that I will cherish for the rest of my life.”

Wright is no stranger to the record books. He holds several IGFA y tackle world records for seatrout. Along with this most recent 20-pound tippet record, he also holds the 12- and 2-pound tippet class world records for seatrout. His 2-pound tippet record was a 9-pound trout caught from Mosquito Lagoon in 2018. His 12-pound tippet record weighed 11 pounds, 8 ounces and was caught o Fort Pierce in 2007.

For more record sh, go to

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September is a new beginning of sorts when it comes to saltwater shing on the Gulf Coast. First, it is somewhat cooler, although some of our visiting northern neighbors might not agree. Many anglers nd themselves torn between other passions and obligations, some of which include school in session, weekend sporting events, dove and deer hunting, and the list goes on. ese activities thin the herd of boats on the water and opens the bays back up for those of us who focus all of our free time on the water.

is is de nitely noticeable at the boat ramp the rst weekend a er Labor Day, and I can’t wait!

Less boat tra c means shing the mouths of bayou drains is wide open. I avoid these areas for safety reasons when there’s heavy boat tra c. I just don’t like boats driving over my lines or waking me, which is what happens if you sh in a boat lane during peak season. I like drains in back lakes this time of the year, because they hold “the big three”: trout, red sh and ounder.

I will speci cally target ounder in these areas in September and early October. Since the spring migration, these tasty morsels have been working their way as far back in the marsh as they could get. With autumn around the corner, they start to congregate in these drains. Outside of the fall run, many anglers do not target these ground huggers. With the pressure light,

the ounder bite can be lights out for those who know where and how to target them. part is you might not see another boat all day!

An outgoing tide is optimal to stake out one of these drains. e tide carries bait out of the deeper bayou and adjacent marsh grass and sends it on a deadly path with hungry ounder fattening up for their winter spawn. When the bite is on, it is not uncommon to see ounder breaking free of the water’s surface chasing a meal. e time I witnessed this years ago, it took me awhile to gure out what was jumping. I will never forget that day!

Paddletail so plastics are my go-to in this situation. I like bright colors such as white lightning, chartreuse with glitter, or pearl with a chartreuse tail in a 4-inch or 3.25-inch bait. Keep the lure twitching along the bottom. Quick jerks with the rod tip pointing down activates the tail vibration and kicks up clouds of mud, which really grabs their attention. A so plastic with a tail rattle adds an extra attractant.

Get a jump start on your ounder x before the rst cold front and the long lines of anglers targeting them during the fall run.

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Fish know fall is coming because of the reduction of daylight minutes in a day. e shorter days make a lot of species start a whole new pattern of activities. For example, the grouper complex will start the process of moving into traditional spawning areas. at migration mirrors the cigar minnows, sardines and squid. I’ve always said this and will say it again: Find the bait, nd the sh!

e cigs and sardines form large schools that attract a number of predators including kings and sail sh on the surface, and the big snappers and grouper will be on them as well. e shortened daylight hours become obvious during the middle of this month, when it triggers the “feed” to fatten up for winter and the spawn. Go to the traditional areas you’ve found bait in the past, and that’s a great place to start shing.

Another thing I’ve said in the past is: don’t go to a Chinese restaurant and order a pizza, meaning don’t drop baits that are foreign to sh that are working a school of cigs and sardines. Always have a couple boxes of frozen cigs and/ or sardines just in case you can’t nd the

bait. At least you’ll have bait that “matches the hatch” of what they normally eat.

I try to stay on the sabiki catching baits while everyone else on the boat is shing with grass grunts, sailors choice, cigs/sardines, etc. If you get on a big knot of cigs or sardines, it might be helpful to have two people on the sabiki lling the livewell. e best bait of all is whatever is there. Just put it right back down.

is is also the time of year to nd squid inshore, mixed in with cigs and sardines. If you have a live squid for bait, its life expectancy is under 10 seconds once it touches the bottom on a jig. It’s an instant bite, just like several other baits mentioned above.

e only problem I have with the live or frozen minnows is everything on the bottom will give them a whack, and you wind up catching a lot more snapper and smaller bass than if you use a larger live bait. We almost always have live pin sh from the marina that eliminate most of the trash bites. If you have a larger pin sh, grass grunt or sailor’s choice on the jig, nothing but larger bass, grouper, jacks and big snapper can put it in their mouth. I like to speci cally target grouper by putting the larger live baits down on the jig that eliminate the undesirable bites. Of course, this is a very attractive bait to the sharks, also. Every now and then you have to pay the “tax man” in a grey suit, but that’s just the chance I take. Check out some of the rigging and shing videos on the website or on youtube to see what I’m talking about.

See more from Tim Barefoot at

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Alaska’s new state record shortraker rock sh was caught in late July. On uncerti ed scales at a remote shing lodge, it weighed 48 pounds, which would have crushed the existing IGFA world record by about 4 pounds. e angler, charter guide Keith DeGra , however, chose to preserve the meat by bleeding the sh instead of waiting to get an o cial weight on certi ed scales.

Days later, when DeGra nally got a certi ed weight in front of an Alaska Game and Fish representative, the sh weighed 42.4 pounds, which was good enough to set a new Alaska state record.

“It feels like the biggest accomplishment of my shing career,” DeGra said. “ is species takes time and dedication to drop down to such huge depths, and I spent a whole lot of hours and reeled miles of line trying to break this record, and it nally came to fruition.”

DeGra caught the sh from Prince William Sound on July 28 with his ancée and some friends from a rented boat. DeGra was shing 1,000 feet deep with a conventional (non-electric) Avet 2-speed 30/2 reel, a custombuilt Adventurous Custom rod built by Derwood Roberts, 3-pounds of weight, 80-pound braid and a circle hook baited with salmon and herring. e previous Alaska state record shortraker rock sh weighed 39.1 pounds. It was caught by Henry Liebman in 2013. e IGFA all tackle world record weighed 44.1 pounds. It was caught in 2017 by Angelo Sciubba at Cross Sound, Alaska, but it’s not recognized in the Alaska Game and Fish list. For more information, see

Industry leader Dometic is o ering a “new turn” on steering for a whole new category of cable-steered boats that have o been overlooked when it comes to driving innovation.

Designed to integrate with a boat’s existing SeaStar cable steering system, new Xtreme Power Assist (XPA) steering provides smooth, e ortless electric power steering for a range of boats with single outboard motors from 90 to 200 hp. is makes it ideal for smaller ats boats, center consoles, shallow water open ski s and other coastal shing vessels that currently use mechanical steering.

Dometic’s XPA mounts easily to all outboard brands and works with all types of SeaStar mechanical steering (including rack and rotary,

need to replace the existing steering. Installing XPA requires only simple wiring and can be done by DIY boaters in about 30 minutes.

Once XPA is installed, the steering cable only turns the power assist unit—while an advanced electric steering actuator moves the engine load. is eliminates steering torque through the wheel and provides smooth, nearly e ortless steering at any speed.

While an ideal upgrade, this new system is being adopted by top boat builders as a factory standard feature or optional upgrade on new boats.




right, shrimp, crabs, ounder and more oat to the surface in the shallows, where people just scoop them up.

In one of his weekly columns, David Rainer, with the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources explained these uncommon events: e event starts with an incoming tide with very warm, still water, followed by organic load that creates a situation that depletes the oxygen in the water. O en, jubilees follow an a ernoon rain shower and an easterly or northeasterly wind. e Mobile Bay National Estuary Program explains that phytoplankton also contributes to this phenomenon by consuming oxygen near the surface of the water. When the easterly breeze starts blowing, this creates a water current that causes the oxygen-poor water to migrate toward the shore. is has a corralling e ect, herding the bottom-dwelling species into the shallows. ere those species become so lethargic that people can just pick them up. ese events usually lasts two to three hours.

Because they are short lived and rare, jubilees are a source of excitement for some Mobile Bay families who send word out to friends and loved ones to drop what they’re doing and go collect some seafood. However, Rainer warned in his column that a jubilee is not a free-for-all. Normal size and creel limits remain in e ect during the phenomenon. Alabama Marine Resources Division Director Scott Bannon said most species survive to swim or scuttle away when dissolved oxygen levels return to more normal levels.

or most folks, a jubilee is an anniversary celebration, or maybe it’s a ambe dessert made with cherries. For people in the know on the Eastern Shore of Alabama’s Mobile Bay, a jubilee is a natural phenomenon that leads to ridiculously easy seafood. When weather, water and tidal conditions occasionally align just

In case you were wondering whether Mobile Bay’s jubilees are the result of climate change or pollution, know that they have a very long history going back to a time when bells would ring to sound the jubilee because locals were dependent on seafood to feed their families.

“Nowadays, it’s more of an interesting phenomenon that occurs in only two places in the world, Mobile Bay and Tokyo Bay in Japan,” Bannon said.

August and September are the best months to encounter an Alabama jubilee, but it’s not the kind of thing you can predict. You just have to be there and hope to encounter it… or have friends in the know on social media.

For more information, see Rainer’s detailed article on jubilees at

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If you aren’t familiar with it, a Carolina rig is when you put a bullet weight and then a bead on your line and then tie a swivel to the end. To the swivel, I use about a 2-foot section of leader and then a worm hook to put a bait on. is rig gets deep, and the leader with a weightless bait provides a more subtle presentation than a traditional Texas rig.

Obviously, you want to drag this rig around some sort of cover that bass are attracted to. I use it everywhere from Southern largemouth in deep grass to deep smallmouth on rock up north. With the weight clicking against the bead and the free action of the bait, this old-school rig still dominates a lot of tournaments to this day.

ere are two presentations I go for when choosing a so plastic to Carolina rig. I like either a bait sh or a craw sh. If the available forage is bait sh, I use a uke-style bait in a natural bait sh color. If the bass are eating craw sh, I like a Zoom Speed Craw or a Strike King Menace grub in green pumpkin or some type of brown or orange color. ese two baits have a lot of action and small bodies to keep the bait streamlined while dragging. My go-to hook is a 4/0 Hayabusa WRM956 wide gap.


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eptember is supposed to be the beginning of fall, but the reality— at least in the South—is the month is just a continuation of summer. Bass can be pretty tricky, but there are ways to target sh in cooler, deeper water. Dragging a Carolina rig is one of my favorites.You can play around with the size of the weight and the diameter of your leader line. In shallower 5- to 10-foot depths, a lighter weight can help your bait look more natural. I’d suggest ¼ to ½ ounce in that depth range. If you’re shing deeper water in 15 to 30 feet, shing a heavier ¾ to 1 ounce weight gets you down more quickly and allows you to cover bottom more e ectively.

I like the leader between my swivel and hook to be lighter than my main line because it’s less visible to the sh and allows better bait action. If I’m shing 15-pound mainline, I’ll use a 10- to 12-pound leader.

Carolina Rig Gear:

When using this rig, making long casts to cover water is a must, and being able to hook a sh at the end of a long cast is critical. For these reasons, I use a pretty long rod. My go to is a 13 Fishing 7’6” MH Omen Black Casting rod.

You’ll also need to pick line up fast with the reel to remove slack on the take. I use a 13 Fishing Concept A 8:3:1 reel, which eats up line quickly. Spool this reel with 15-pound Seaguar uorocarbon, and grab a small spool of 10- or 12-pound line for leaders.

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

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