Coastal Angler Magazine - August / Greater Miami

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Marlin, Sails & Mahi!

Surf Expo in Orlando Sept. 5-8, 2018

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Fishing Reports Catch Photos News & Events PHOTO COURTESY OF JIMMY NELSON VOLUME 23 • ISSUE 282

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BIG BEND : Mike McNamara • (850) 510-7919 • captmike@coastalanglermagazine.com BREVARD : Chris Milner • (321) 631-1001 • cmilner@coastalanglermagazine.com DAYTONA/NEW SMYRNA/DELAND : Amy Chibbaro • (386) 478-3812 • achibbaro@coastalanglermagazine.com Chris Chibbaro • (386) 478-9234 • cchibbaro@coastalanglermagazine.com FLORIDA KEYS : Cliff Lumpkin • (305) 849-9093 • cliff@coastalanglermagazine.com FORT LAUDERDALE : Gene Dyer • (954) 680-3900 • gene@coastalanglermagazine.com FORT MYERS : Nadeen Welch • (239) 595-8265 • nwelch@coastalanglermagazine.com GREATER ORLANDO : Phillip & Giselle Wolf • (407) 790-9515 • phillip@coastalanglermagazine.com GREATER MIAMI : Gene Dyer • (954) 680-3900 • gene@coastalanglermagazine.com LAKELAND & SUMTER : Mary Brasher • (352) 598-4219 • maryf@coastalanglermagazine.com NAPLES : Nadeen Welch • (239) 595-8265 • nwelch@coastalanglermagazine.com NC FLORIDA/NATURE COAST : Cary & Lynn Crutchfield • (352) 372-4237 • crutch@coastalanglermagazine.com NE FLORIDA : Danny Patrick • (904) 742-4696 • danny@coastalanglermagazine.com PANAMA CITY/FORGOTTEN COAST : Randy Cnota • (229) 834-7880 • randyc@coastalanglermagazine.com PALM BEACH COUNTY : Barbara Ryan • (561) 373-8040 • barbara@coastalanglermagazine.com SARASOTA : Phil Prevoir • (239) 257-4684 • pprevoir@coastalanglermagazine.com TAMPA BAY : Chuck Atkins • (239) 464-5153 • chuck@coastalanglermagazine.com TREASURE COAST : Misti & Gary Guertin • (772) 285-6850 • treasurecoast@coastalanglermagazine.com flahama@coastalanglermagazine.com

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GULF COAST MISSISSIPPI GULF COAST : Adam Nelson • (228) 627-5903 • anelson@coastalanglermagazine.com Toby Nelson • (228) 623-1761 • tnelson@coastalanglermagazine.com ALABAMA/PENSACOLA : Paul Caruso • (239) 980-7738 • paul@coastalanglermagazine.com

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Losing Count On The Clinch River By Nick Carter

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very now and then, there are magical days when all the variables align. It can seem almost too easy. The fish just eat what you’re throwing, and it’s glorious. Of course, these days happen more often for those who have a fishery dialed in. And for the rest of us who can’t be on the water daily to learn a river, the next best thing is to go with someone who can. That’s where Capt. Dane Law and Bill Stranahan, of Southeastern Anglers, stepped in during a recent trip on the Clinch River, northwest of Knoxville, Tenn. The Clinch is one of the Southeast’s

premier trout fisheries. It is a 13-mile tailwater fed by cold, oxygenated waters of Norris Dam. Tennessee stocks the river with rainbow and brown trout, and bank anglers line up near stocking points to pitch baits for a seven-fish limit. That’s all well and good, but for anglers in search of more than a fish dinner, the river is great because of all the trout that survive this initial onslaught. There is some natural reproduction in the river, and with a 14- to 20-inch protected length range and an allowance of one keeper fish longer than 20 inches, trout that reach the protected slot are free to grow. And they grow quickly. The Clinch has gained a reputation for being fickle and for requiring delicate presentation of tiny flies. “The Grinch or The Cinch,” is a clichéd phrase Bill related to me while launching his jet-powered G3 on a hot Tuesday morning in June. By mid-afternoon, it was difficult to imagine this river being stingy. Maybe a minute into our first drift, Dane hooked up with a gorgeous rainbow that pushed the upper end of that 20-inch slot. It was an indicator of good things to come. The action remained constant for the next five hours. We must have caught 30 or more trout, including four that measured 18 to 20 inches and a couple presumably larger fish that snapped the 6x tippet required to draw strikes. And it was simple fishing. Dane and Bill showed up armed to the teeth with 5- to 7-weight rods and reels, with everything from floating to 300-grain sinking lines. Their flies ran the gamut from tiny midges to big articulated streamers. On this day, the vast majority of their arsenal saw no action. The only thing we needed was Bill’s initial suggestion: a size 16 bead-head Prince Nymph dropped 5 feet beneath a foam hopper. Several times, Dane or Bill remarked that the river normally doesn’t fish this ridiculously well. But when it all comes together, there is nothing more fun than floating a river and losing count of the fish. Southeastern Anglers is a multi-state fly fishing outfitter. Check out all the trips they offer at www.southeasternanglers.com

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Destination: Fishing!

Using Technology For Rhode Island Stripers By Tom Schlichter

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t’s hard to find a place better suited for catching trophy striped bass than the waters surrounding Rhode Island’s Narragansett Bay area. With a mix of rocky bottom, strong currents and tons of forage species in nearby ocean waters, plus miles of mud flats inside the bay, this stretch is loaded with big fish potential. Flippin Out Charters skipper BJ Silvia has mined these waters for more than 30 years. He’s boated hundreds of bass in the 40-pound class, plus five weighing 50 to 54 pounds… and he thinks the fishing here is on the verge of getting better! “The number of stripers coming through the ranks right now is amazing,” he said, “We’ve got plenty of cow bass, plus an unprecedented number of fish ranging from shorts to 20 pounds. If we protect the young year classes over the next few years, the potential is outstanding.”

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The shallow waters of Narragansett Bay receive a solid shot of big stripers each May, the 48-year old revealed. Those fish drop out of the Hudson River and spread across the mud flats, traveling in small wolf packs that most anglers target with random casting. Using the latest technology, however, gives Silvia a big edge. He’s hooked on side-scanning sonar to isolate the bass packs on the flats. “Any fishfinder can spot fish below the boat,” Silvia emphasized, “but my Humminbird Solix 15 scans the surrounding waters with super-clear images that push out several hundred feet. For the sharpest images, I set my system to scan within 100 feet. Once we spot these fish, we target them with big plugs like a Musky Mania Doc or topwater spooks. Last spring, the big bass were more spread out than usual, so my Solix proved a lifesaver. It helped get me on the fish quickly, which resulted in more fishing and less searching around.” Technology counts later in the summer as well, added Silvia. Once the stripers leave the shallows, they hold around bottom humps in ocean depths ranging from 20 to 50 feet during July and August. Here, the striper sharpie targets cows using live eels. He’ll fish one weightless rig, one with a small egg sinker, and a third with more weight based on drift speed. On tough days, he said, the biggest bass often prefer the lightest rigs. Focusing again on his technological edge, Silvia noted the bestknown striper spots see tremendous pressure, so he uses his Humminbird fishfinders (he also has a Solix 12 and Solix 10) to look for isolated pieces that don’t show up on the charts. “I use the auto-chart live feature to record them as way points,” he said. “That way, I’m hitting small spots others miss. These often hold the biggest fish.” Contact Silvia at Flippin Out Charters (Flippinoutcharters.com; 401-529-2267). To go it alone, tie-up or launch from Fort Adams State Park Newport, RI (www.dem.gov; 401-847-2400). For overnight accommodations, The Courtyard by Marriot, Middletown, RI (www. marriot.com; 401-849-8000) is reasonably priced and a five-minute drive from the water.

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America’s Boating Club Delivers Boating Education

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hen it comes to boating education, nothing beats getting out on the water with an instructor. Whether you are learning about the subtlety of throttle control while docking or decision making based on the rules of the road while underway, having a knowledgeable instructor to guide you is irreplaceable. A good source for on-the-water boater education is United States Power Squadrons – America’s Boating Club. Your local squadron will have a schedule of courses covering topics like boat safety equipment and procedures, basic vessel operation and controls, close quarters maneuvering, operating a boat on plane, docking, anchoring, emergency maneuvers and man overboard recovery, to name a few. To bolster your on-the-water training, America’s Boating Club has released digital assets designed to enhance boating education with the Digital Media Library and America’s Boating Channel. Funded by grants from the United States Coast Guard, United States Power Squadrons – America’s Boating Club’s Digital Media Library houses multiple formats of digital media focused on boating safety and boater education including videos, slideshows, images, animations, audio presentations and instructor’s manuals. Videos have also been made available through a YouTube channel, America’s Boating Channel, to allow users to stream video content online. Videos and animations cover a wide range of topics and are organized into sections like Planning, Departure, Underway and Arrival. Each video goes into more detail tackling subjects like life jackets, vessel inspections, steering basics, anchoring, man overboard, docking, mooring and shoreline landings. “In an ongoing effort to make boater education more accessible, we have turned to digital and online resources to disseminate the latest information,” said Gary Cheney, chief commander, United States Power Squadrons. “The mission of the United States Power Squadrons is to promote safe boating through education. By offering video assets through the Digital Media Library and America’s Boating Channel, we give

individuals access to vital boating information that they can view at home or on the go. It’s all part of making it easier than ever before to become a safer and more knowledgeable boater.” Providing original multimedia content instructors can use to enhance their classroom offerings, the Digital Media Library lets individuals view videos at home to reinforce what is learned in class. Videos provide an introduction to a range of boating topics, essential skills and etiquette. Links to “Learn More” at the end of each video promote further education. New content is added regularly. A new video series currently in production includes four videos on various aspects of life jackets, six on personal watercraft operation and one each on accident reporting, frequently asked questions about navigation rules, visual distress signals and mobile maritime service identities. Videos are also available in both English and Spanish. The Digital Media Library can be accessed at uspsdml.org/videos/. America’s Boating Channel can be found at americasboatingchannel.com/. Knowledge is key to a safe and enjoyable time on the water. United States Power Squadrons – America’s Boating Club, has the materials you need to enhance your education. Find your local squadron at www. americasboatingclub.org and sign up for a class today!

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FISH & FISHING

Hunting Sharks

MARK SOSIN

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ost anglers go out of their way to avoid hooking a shark. In their minds, anyone who actually hunts sharks doesn’t know much about fishing and has his priorities mixed up. They reason that these toothy critters don’t put up much of a battle. With sharks of any size and particularly in relatively shallow water, you’re going to have to crank the engine and chase them with the boat. Two of the toughest and most memorable battles I have ever endured involved sharks that pounced on a fish I had almost landed. In the first instance, I was leading a relatively small wahoo to the boat so we could release it. Suddenly, an oversized mako shark ate half of that fish in one bite and inadvertently got itself hooked. We chased that mako forever, and I put every ounce of pressure on it that I could until my arms and shoulders turned numb from the pain. During all that time, we hadn’t even slowed the shark down. Finally, in desperation, I purposely broke the shark off. The second battle took place over Pinas Reef in Panama, where I was getting close to landing a 250-pound black marlin. That’s when some unseen creature devoured the marlin in three bites. It took over an hour before I could bring that shark alongside the boat. It had to weigh at least 1,500 pounds and was half as long as the boat. That, by the way, was the biggest fish I’ve ever caught. Whenever and wherever you fish, keep a rod rigged and ready for sharks. It should have an abrasion leader about 10

feet long and 12 to 18 inches of single-strand wire between the abrasion leader and the hook. A circle hook should be your first choice because its hooking ratio is higher than any other type. And remember that you don’t have to set it. Unless you are only trolling, you want to be able to cast a bait in front of a cruising shark and retrieve it on the surface or close to it. A balao or a strip of natural bait should do the job. Casting to a cruising shark is exciting sport, but in areas that boast plenty of sharks, you can also anchor the boat and chum them with chunks of natural bait. You’ll need a quick release on the anchor, because a hooked shark will take off at considerable speed. Keep in mind that sharks on the flats or in relatively shallow water can be easily spooked, so your cast has to be on target. The bait should ease in front of the shark and appear as if it is getting away. Sharks do not have a bony skeleton like other fishes. They can literally turn their head and bite their tail, and their body is extremely strong. The best policy for any shark and particularly those of size is to keep them in the water and don’t bring them aboard the boat or try to handle them like other fishes. And, every shark has teeth, so be careful. If you’ve never hunted sharks, this is a good time to try. You’re going to be amazed at the battle they put up and how many times you have to follow them with the boat. Catching sharks can be exciting for anglers of any age, but if you take youngsters fishing, they’ll talk about catching it forever. Don’t pass up the opportunity to expand your fishing horizons.

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Center s Sheri Daye

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ogfish – it’s an ugly name for a pretty fish. It’s also one of the most delicious species in the world. I know some seafood shops that store hogfish fillets behind the counter and bring it out only for special customers. I’ve had chefs beg me for hogfish once they found out I was into spearfishing. One chef wrote, “Not even for fresh broiled flounder could you pry my cold, dead hands off a hogfish fillet.” Some describe it as the perfect combination of flavor and texture because they are “sweeter than grouper, flakier than mahi, and as rich as scallops.” Their unique flavor is due to their diet of small crabs, shrimp and seashells, which translates into moist, white, tasty meat. Hogfish use their elongated snouts to root around in the sand for food, like a hog. Due to this tendency of searching with nose in the sand, it is very uncommon to catch them by hook and line, although it is possible to bait them with shrimp. Hogfish are sometimes thought of as nature’s gift to spearfishers, especially for beginners, because they are relatively abundant, relatively easy to spear, and such a prized catch. Hogfish can live up to 11 years, and they all start out as females. Upon reaching about 3 years and 14 inches, they transform into males with harem groups of females dominated by a larger male. Juveniles are pale pink and attain a deep dark band spanning from the snout to the first dorsal spine as they mature and turn into males. Maximum size is about 24 pounds. They can be found on rocky bottoms, ledges and reefs throughout the western Atlantic, from North Carolina and Bermuda, south to the Gulf of Mexico and the northern coast of South America. They are very common in Florida and the Bahamas and can be

found in shallow waters, ranging from 10-100 feet. Assuming you are in the right place to find them, here are some spearfishing tips: 1) Bag/size limits ensure a healthy stock and protect it from overfishing, so respect the local laws. 2) Look on reefs and especially on sand edges for bigger hogfish. 3) They are not difficult to spear, so take your time, be selective, and don’t take long shots. 4) They are abundant in the Bahamas. This is a good fish to practice your slinging/polespearing skills. Only take the shot if you are sure you can land it. 5) If you are not seeing any, try Sheri Daye displays a stirring up the bottom and make a world-record hogfish. sand cloud. If there are any in the vicinity, they will come to investigate. 6) Do not take advantage of their nature. Take one for dinner, and respect them for the beautiful experience and the delicious meal. Sheri is a world-record holder, host of Speargun Hunter, and producer of “The Blue Wild Ocean Adventure Expo” in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. Follow “Sheri Daye” and “The Blue Wild” on Facebook and Instagram.

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FLORIDA

By Andy Flack, Canvas Designers Inc. ell, all the boats have packed up and headed out from Old Bahama Bay to their homes. What a fantastic tournament. Congratulations to all the winners and everyone who came out and braved what has become the normal weather pattern of the Winner’s Circle Tournament. Winding up its 19th year, Winner’s Circle Charities has surpassed $2 million in funds distributed to worthwhile charities. The charity partnership that started it all—The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, in the name of Brett Weinstein, will never be forgotten. Other leaders in the community have come on board to partner with Mike in his efforts. Rob Thomson of Waterfront Properties and Steve Moynihan of HMY Yachts are now co-hosts of the Winner’s Circle Charities Fishing Tournament with Mike as well. This year’s charity partners were Richard David Kann Melanoma Foundation, Waterfront Ways and Marine Industry Education Foundation. All of them were extremely grateful for the record-breaking year on the fundraising side. The fishing was also phenomenal. The tournament had record-breaking weights in all three categories tuna, dolphin and wahoo. One boat caught a billfish slam—white, blue and a sail. The new Lady Angler category saw Debi Cantor, of Waterfront 1, take the tuna and Lynne Henderson take the dolphin trophies home. On the leaderboard, the winners caught tournament record-breaking fish. The top three boats were: No. 1-MR. LTD, a 70’ Viking, took home Grand Champion honors with a total TDW weight of 237.8 pounds, which included

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a 115.2-pound tuna as well as a 99-pound wahoo, both tourney records. No. 2-Honky Tonk, a 42’ Invincible, took second place with a total TDW weight of 117.2 pounds. No. 3-Plum Krazy, a 41’ Bahama, rounded out the top three with a total TDW Weight of 94.1 pounds, which included a 63.3-pound dolphin, another tourney record. The tournament committee and our charities would like to thank all the anglers and sponsors. Without their support and generosity, this tournament and gala would not be possible. Visit www.winnerscirclecharities.org to keep up to date and watch for next year’s events.

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Get to know the local customs.

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The beautiful seaside community of Martin County, Florida, is thrilled to welcome the new U.S. Customs Facility to Witham Field. The facility will serve marine and aviation needs, providing efficient, streamlined customs processing alongside the customized aviation services of Atlantic Aviation and Stuart Jet Center. And, of course, just around the corner is the naturally quaint beauty of Southeast Florida’s hidden gem, just begging to be explored.

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lease take a seat. I’m going to prepare you for a freedive. Concentrate on your heart rate, listening carefully to your breathing (you want to hear it), and get your breathing cycles in sync. Start with slow inhales… even slower concentrated exhales. Try filling your belly with your inhales, not your chest, keeping your shoulders low. Relax your neck, legs, arms, back and the rest of your body. Once your breathing feels relaxed and in sync, close your eyes and focus on your breathing. Do four breathing cycles as explained above before slowly opening your eyes. Once you have opened your eyes, keep up the relaxed breathing, it should be easier to have your cycles in sync now. Now I’m going to show you a simple cycle for a longer breath hold. See if you can hold your breath for the rest of the article after you combine what you have focused on from above with the next breathing cycle below; it should feel more natural to you by now. Are You Ready? If you’re not feeling comfortable, don’t worry. That is normal. See how long you can last, but don’t push it. If at any time you start feel uncomfortable or are just ready to breathe, do it! Follow This Cycle: Inhale... Slow Exhale... Inhale... Slow Exhale... Inhale… Slight Hold... Exhale... Inhale... Hold... Read! Slowly roll and break below the ocean’s surface, with wide leg kicks bringing you down to the sea floor. As you descend, you can feel your body compress as the ocean hugs you in. You gently land on the bottom, concealing yourself behind a sea fan. Your wetsuit acts as camouflage, blending in with the surroundings. Grabbing onto rocks, you slowly pull yourself across the bottom next to corals teeming with life. As you approach the ledge, you spot a sleeping sea turtle on the edge of the reef, its arms folded in and its eyes resting. When you get closer, you see how detailed its ornate shell is. You lie in the sand a few feet from your new friend. As you stare in awe, it begins to feel your presence. Opening its eyes slowly, it looks you right in the soul and gives a slight roll, as to say, “Good morning pal, what the heck are you doing here?” Then it slips away from the reef as it carves effortlessly into the sea. You realize the moment is fading, and you must return to the surface. Inhale... Slight Hold... Exhale... Inhale… Slight Hold... Exhale... Inhale... Relax. High fives to your freedive buddy, who was close by watching your dive. What an epic experience! And that was only the first dive of the day! Sean Hascup is a spearfishing and travel guide at Hascup Hunts International. See his advantures online at www.SpearfishingGuides.com, Facebook.com/HascupHuntsInternational and Instagram.com/Blood_Sweat_And_Spears. Email him at HascupHunts@Gmail.com.

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By CAM Staff

I

4

t wasn’t all that long ago that the public of perception anglers evoked images of old men in floppy brown hats. That’s no longer the case. It’s cool to fish these days, and the gear and apparel associated with the sport have seeped into the wider market of coastal life. Likewise, crossover into fishing from surf sports, diving and other recreational pursuits has created a marketplace driven more by the overall saltwater lifestyle than any particular sport. The recognition of this evolution is what led Surf Expo to unveil a new Bluewater inshore and offshore fishing category at its twice-a-year trade shows. “You look at Instagram and see surf brands on guys fishing offshore. There are inshore anglers wearing Rip Curl and Billabong,” said Surf

The show features more than 2,500 booths of apparel and hardgoods and a full line-up of special events, including fashion shows, awards ceremonies, education and demos. Average buyer and exhibitor turnout exceeds 28,600 attendees per show. The main attractions at Surf Expo have always been the hard goods, the powerboats and surfboards, kayaks, kite boards, wakesurf boards and SUPs. Everyone has seen the transition of traditional paddlesports into angling over the last decade. The rapid emergence of fishing kayaks and SUPs has proven to be much more than a flash in the pan. The soft products, the apparel and accessories, go along with the hard goods. Andres said an outfitter could fill the whole store, front to

Expo sales manager Kenneth Andres. “The same is going on with the surfers. Those guys are out there in Pelagic and Fish Hippie. We are the pivot point… you can see all of this crossover at Surf Expo. ” The largest and longest-running board sports and beach/resort lifestyle show on the planet welcomed fishing to the cool kids’ table in January 2018. Their Bluewater debut included 15 fishing exhibitors with some heavy-hitting brands like Salt Life, Heybo Outdoors, Hell’s Bay Boatworks, Hooked Soul, Bimini Bay and Calcutta Outdoors. Feedback from buyers and exhibitors was overwhelmingly positive, and the Bluewater category is growing headed into Surf Expo’s Sept. 6-8 show at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando. “We offer the opportunity for buyers to see the latest in trends for hard and soft goods in coastal life,” said Andres. “With our confluence from southern California, the Pacific Northwest, the Caribbean, Central and South America, the Northeast and the Southeast, this is a trend-setting show. “We’re trying to get the word out to retailers. We’re inviting outfitters to come check it out,” Andres continued. “We want fishing and boating retailers and marinas to come to the show and put product that’s going to sell into their stores. And if they’re not ready to buy, they can at least see these trends for themselves.”

back by attending Surf Expo. He said these soft goods are where a lot of the aforementioned crossover is going on. The vacation industry, with the buying power of hotels, resorts and cruise lines, is outfitting shops with the trends they see at Surf Expo. And above it all, Surf Expo is a pure, trade-only event, which eliminates the hubbub and beef-jerky hawkers of open-to-the-public trade shows. Intentionally held during retail down time—the September and January restocking periods for outdoor-sports retailers—it is a marketplace to get business done in a laid-back atmosphere. “When people come to the Surf Expo for the first time, they notice the relaxed, cool atmosphere. It’s that lifestyle we all buy into, and there are a lot of beautiful people at a surf show,” said Andres. “It’s just a great place to be if you’re in the water sports industry. If you’ve got a shop, come check it out for yourself.” The September Surf Expo kicks off with a “BBQ & Bluegrass” demo day sponsored by Costa from noon to 5 p.m. on Sept. 5. Buyers and media are invited to Turkey Lake at Bill Fredrick Park in Orlando to demo boats and products and to eat while listening to live music from the Blue Cypress Bluegrass Band.

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By Randy Cnota

R

esidents of Eastpoint, Fla., in Franklin County, suffered a devastating loss in the early morning hours of Sunday, June 23. More than 30 homes were destroyed when a prescribed burn raged out of control and ravaged this small town. The widespread fire moved rapidly, giving residents mere moments to escape with their lives. An estimated 200 people are now displaced as a result of this tragedy. Many lost all that they owned. It’s a hard life in Eastpoint. Most residents are seafood workers who perform the grueling task of tilling the bays for oysters. The bay system, which has for so many years produced the world’s best

oysters and allowed this community to thrive, has been plagued with disasters. Over recent years, floods, the oil spill and water-control disputes have overwhelmed this small town, making the hard living on the sea even harder. Many had to choose between paying for insurance and putting food on the table, which has made the impact of this fire all the worse. The people of this and neighboring communities have come together to help as best they can, but even this resilient bunch have been dealt a blow that seems insurmountable. Day by day, however, they go on about the business of helping each other clean-up, rebuild and get back to work. These folks are some of the toughest, kindest and hardest-working people you’ll ever meet. Perhaps there’s a reason for the many tests they’ve faced, but for now it’s plainly obvious that Eastpoint could use some help. Whether you’re an oyster-eating angler like me who appreciates what small towns like this offer our society, or if you’re just moved by the human impact of this event, your help would be greatly appreciated by so many. The Franklin Co. Sheriff ’s Office is spearheading relief efforts to assist with housing, clothing, food and even boats so these folks can get to work. The campaign has gained momentum, and we ask that you help keep it going. If you’d like to contribute, go to their Gofundme site or mail your contribution to the Franklin County Sheriff ’s Office 270 SR 65 Eastpoint, FL 32328 made payable to FCSO charity fund. For more information, contact Ginger Coulter at (850) 670-8500. Randy “C-Note” Cnota is co-publisher of the Panama City/ Forgotten Coast edition of Coastal Angler Magazine and owner of C-note Charters in Panama City, Fla. Check him out at cnotcharters.com. To donate towards the gofundme.com account, go to

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By CAM Staff

A

ny surgeon or taxidermist will tell you the best tool for cutting flesh is a scalpel. And that’s where knife-maker Havalon got its start. Their parent company, Havel’s, is a medical device company that supplies scalpels for surgical use. When the idea arose to bring the same incredibly sharp blades to the outdoors, it gave tools to outdoorsmen that are more precise than any hunting or fillet knife ever invented. The first Havalon Piranta was a blade modeled after an autopsy scalpel that folded into a sturdy handle. It offered all sorts of outdoorsmen the benefits of an ultra-sharp scalpel blade in the form of a pocketknife. But the blade itself was not built to handle the rigors of everyday use. That’s when Havalon began tinkering to find the best combination of sharpness and strength. The resulting innovation has made Havalon one of the top-selling knife companies in the country and the leader in the hunting industry. “We have always felt—that a sharp blade does not need to be

used with any excessive force,” said Havalon Marketing Director Ryan Cull. “This is still a core belief of our company, but we know there is a segment of consumers that want to have sturdier blades.” The need for a sturdier blade that retains Havalon-level sharpness launched the Talon project. Designers set out to create a knife handle that accommodates an entire collection of different ultra-sharp blade styles. With a 3-inch serrated blade, a 3-inch gut hook combo blade and fillet blades of 5, 7 and 9 inches, it is the only knife you’ll ever need at the cutting board or skinning pole. This all-in-one precision cutting tool was three years in the making. Designing a handle mechanism to swap out blades quickly and easily was achieved with the ingeniously simple push-button Quik Change II system. Finding the sweet spot between scalpel sharp and durable was the next step, and the blades also needed to be tailored to their particular uses. Through more tinkering and testing, Havalon landed on AUS-8 steel—the gold standard—which offers the best combination of edge retention and strength. Thickness and shapes of the different blades were custom designed. Fillet knives require flexibility; gut hooks do not. Each blade type was carefully considered and rigorously tested to achieve optimal performance for its intended use. The final result is a single knife kit that outperforms a whole cutlery set of traditional knives. Extreme sharpness is something Havalon users have come to expect with blades intended for replacement when they lose their edge. Talon blades are different. They are scalpel sharp, yet they are strong enough to be resharpened. “So long as users don’t pry on the blades with extreme force or damage them in some other unforeseeable way, they should be able to go years without buying replacements,” said Cull. “The versatility of the blade styles along with the strength and sharpness of the blades make the Talon one of the most innovative products to come out in the industry in years.” To see all the features of the Talon and all of Havalon’s other scalpel-sharp knives, go to www.havalon.com.

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By David Harris

S

ix decades into life, fishing trips such as one we experienced on June 14 still fill my spirit with excitement and joy. I was fishing with Dennis Crisbo and his grandchildren, Brison, 11, Sophia, 14 and Emily, 17 aboard our boat “Goin Raptor,” a 35’ Contender. The grandchildren had never experienced ocean fishing before. After catching bait, we took the boat off the Juno Pier in 100 feet of water. Within minutes, Sophia and Emily fought and landed big bonitos, which wore the girls out. We decided to ease Brison into catching small reef fish off the Jupiter Inlet. Brison easily hauled in reef fish, including a blue runner, which I threw the livewell. From the reef, I saw a weed line about a quarter-mile away. We made the short run, and I positioned the boat over 176 feet of water on the west side of a 50-foot-wide weed line, which stretched for miles north and south.

I decided to bump troll the blue runner on a Biscayne Custom Rod outfitted with a Daiwa Saltiga LD60 and 20-pound test. The runner was put down about 60 feet with a 6-ounce sinker. I then rigged a sardine on an Okuma spinning outfit also spooled with 20-pound test. I was hoping for a wahoo on the deep rod or a dolphin on the spin. About 15 minutes into the bump troll, Dennis and the kids screamed. I turned to see a deep rod bend and an explosive aerial show being performed by a blue marlin. Grabbing the rod, I realized I was the only one who could drive the boat. I handed the rod to Dennis. For the next few minutes, we witnessed a spectacle that few experience first-hand. The marlin peeled line off the reel in its highspeed, airborn show. And then, with another leap and a tail whip, it shredded the 50-pound leader. The marlin escaped, and we were left with the thrill of the fight. With two more sardines out on spinning rods, we continued our bump troll down the weed line. We didn’t make it 200 yards before both spinning rods bent. Dennis and Emily both had fish on for a few minutes. Dennis’ fish broke off. Emily battled hers to the starboard side of the boat and we saw it was about a 10-pound bonito. All of sudden Dennis simply said, “look!” The bonito ran directly under the boat and we all saw a 500-pound-class marlin no more than 6 feet off the starboard. It was lit up a beautiful dark blue on the second dorsal fin and head as it began to circle the boat. On the second circle, both the first and second dorsal fin lit up, and the great fish’s pectoral fins were out on the planes. The marlin circled four more times. I can only presume it was looking for that bonito, which Emily landed after the marlin swam away. It was a day that five people will always remember. I snapped photos with my I-phone, but because of the glare only one showed even the outline of the fish. The glare, however, will never remove the picture from our memories.

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Covering All of MIAMI-DADE County...Offshore, INSHORE & Freshwater!

GREATER MIAMI Sam Dyer caught this silky snapper on his very first drop.

IN THIS ISSUE:

Fishing with Kids Muy Bonito

LOCAL Fishing Forecasts • Tide Charts • MADE IN DADE • Brag Board

For advertising or other inquiries, call (954) 680-3900 COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM august 2018 GREATER MIAMI or email us at MIAMI@coastalanglermagazine.com 394_Miami_FINAL.indd 1

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Off to a fishing trip or out to the sandbar, come check us out. We have what you need!

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ecently on social media, I saw some disturbing photos of a huge hammerhead shark that was caught off the beach in South Padre Island, Texas. Though the angler and his pals claim that they tried to revive the sea monster, I don’t buy it! It’s well known that hammerhead sharks, especially big ones, do not have a very good survival rate after the stress of an hour long fight. In Florida, it’s illegal to harvest many species of sharks, including the Great hammerhead shark. In Texas, it’s perfectly legal to harvest one even though many of the same shark species that are prohibited in Florida are prohibited in Texas. I hope the visual of the big shark on the beach, in the sand, will lead Texas to doing the right thing. Have you ever considered advertising your business in Coastal Angler Magazine? Our unique publishing model allows for several different levels of engagement with our readers. Locally, we print and distribute 10,000 copies. Our South Florida sleeve consists of 40,000 copies, and statewide we distribute 180,000 copies. On the national level, we distribute 350,000 copies that reach over 1,000,000 readers. Our proven model produces results. If you would like to learn how Coastal Angler and our sister publication, The Angler can help you gain customers, please don’t hesitate to give me a shout. Keep reelin,

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Runs in ort F H T O B ale d r e d u a L i & Miam nes i z a g a M

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Shawn McCarty beat up on this bonito after it ate his live sardine.

Muy

Bonito Trash...or Treasure? A

nyone who fishes offshore in South Florida knows the feeling. You get a bite and the reel starts screaming as line is peeled off at a blistering pace. You fight the fish, hoping that there’s a big blackfin or kingfish in your future. As you bring the fish closer to the boat and you see the color, the disappointment sets in when you realize that it’s a bonito. This time of year, there are big schools of bonito swimming in the waters just off our coastline. With little to no value as table fare, bonito get a bad rap and many refer to them as a trash fish. As every cloud has a silver lining, bonito can be utilized as excellent bait to catch other edible species. One of the most effective techniques used by local charter boats is to pull a bonito strip behind a sea witch. This combination is deadly and will catch dolphin, kingfish, wahoo, blackfin tuna and sailfish. As a

4 GREATER MIAMI

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By GENE DYER

chunk bait, bonito is great for catching schoolie dolphin and will save you some money that you would normally spend on extra ballyhoo and squid. Smaller chunks also work well for catching yellowtail and mangrove snappers on the reef. Bonito bellies can be rigged for daytime swordfishing. Bonito can also be butterflied and make great baits for shark fishing. The next time your spread gets invaded by a school of bonito, don’t think it’s the end of the world. Throw a few of them in the fish box to use as bait on your next fishing trip. You won’t be disappointed.

COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

7/17/18 4:36 PM


Tide Charts | HAULOVER PIER, N. MIAMI BEACH | Aug/2018 |...

http://fl.usharbors.com/monthly-tides/Florida-South/Haulover Pier,...

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Haulover Inlet Tides

Haulover Pier, N. Miami Beach Tides - Aug/2018

25°54'N 80°7'W

DATE 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27

HIGH AM

Wed

11:57

Fri

12:54

Sun

2:31

Tue

4:36

Thu

6:42

Sat

8:37

Mon

10:25

Thu

12:14

Sat

1:39

Mon

3:31

Wed

5:40

Fri

7:41

Sun

9:31

Tue

11:18

Thu

12:31

Sat

2:18

Mon

4:16

Wed

6:06

Fri

7:37

Sun

8:56

Wed Fri

1:23

Sun

3:16

Tue

5:14

Thu

6:54

Sat

8:17

Mon

9:34

Thu

11:29

LOW

ft

PM

2.5

12:41

2.4

2:25

2.4

4:31

2.6

6:34

2.9

8:23

3.2

10:03

3.1

11:41

2.9

1:07

2.6

3:06

2.3

5:09

2.4

6:50

2.6

8:10

2.8

9:22

2.4 2.5

1:30

2.4

3:27

2.4

5:35

2.7

7:30

3.1

9:14

3.2

10:52 12:12

2.7

2:05

2.4

4:09

2.3

6:02

2.5

7:32

2.7

8:47

2.8

9:56

2.9

11:40

ft

AM 5:48

2.4

6:28

2.4

8:02

2.5

9:58

2.4

7:12

2.5

8:58

2.7

11:00

3.0

12:40

3.3

2:30

3.3

4:14

3.0

5:56

2.7

7:42

2.5

9:37

2.9 3.2

1:36

3.3

3:23

3.1

5:05

2.9

6:48

2.6

8:38

2.5

10:35

2.6

12:08

2.8

1:37

2.9

2:52

2.5

11:31

2.7

12:55

2.9

2:15

2.9

3:27

2.8

5:15

28 Tue 10:11 2.9 10:30 2.9 4:02 Tide Charts | 29 MIAMI BEACH, GOVERNMENT CUT | Aug/2018 |... Wed 10:49 2.9 11:04 2.9 4:38 30 31

Fri

12:12

US HARBORS

2.8

5:55

PM

ft

0.2

6:02

0.2

7:35

0.1

9:32

6:46

0.1

8:31

-0.0

10:36

0.1

1:00

-0.2

2:51

-0.3

4:36

-0.2

6:21

0.1

8:13

0.3

10:15

12:01

3:44

-0.3

5:28

-0.1

7:16

0.2

9:14

0.0 0.2 0.4

0.4

3:04 3:40

0.3

5:35

-0.3

-0.2

1:47

0.3

0.3

-0.4

0.5

2:26

0.4

-0.5

12:21

0.5

0.5

-0.6

0.7

1:06

8:06

-0.5

11:14

0.6

6:46

-0.4

0.3 0.3

0.4 0.5

11:39

-0.3

8:07

0.3

-0.2

1:56

SET

6:45

ft

0.2

-0.0

RISE

0.2

0.6 0.7 0.7 0.3 0.3 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.2

6:46 6:47 6:47 6:48 6:48 6:49 6:49 6:50 6:50 6:51 6:51 6:52 6:52 6:53 6:53 6:53 6:54 6:54 6:55 6:55 6:56 6:56 6:56 6:57 6:57

MOON

8:07 8:05 8:04 8:04 8:03 8:02 8:01 8:01 8:00 7:59 7:58 7:57 7:57 7:56 7:55 7:54 7:53 7:52 7:51 7:50 7:49 7:48 7:47 7:46 7:45

0.3 4:17 0.3 6:58 7:44 http://fl.usharbors.com/monthly-tides/Florida-South/Government Cu... 0.3 4:55 0.3 6:58 7:43 0.3

6:19

0.4 0.5

6:59 6:59

7:42 7:41

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Government Cut Tides Local Time

© US Harbors

Tidal Data Source: HAULOVER PIER, N. MIAMI BEACH (8723080)

Government Cut, Miami Harbor Entrance Tides - Aug/2018

25°46'N 80°8'W

DATE 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

1 of 1

12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31

HIGH AM

Wed

12:04

Fri

1:22

Sun

2:59

Tue

5:06

Thu

7:14

Sat

9:08

Thu

12:42

Sat

2:07

Mon

4:00

Wed

6:12

Fri

8:13

Sun

10:02

Tue

11:45

Thu

12:56

Sat

2:37

Mon

4:30

Wed

6:22

Fri

7:56

Sun

9:18

Tue

10:37

Thu

11:59

Mon

10:54

Wed

12:08

Fri

1:46

Sun

3:32

Tue

5:28

Thu

7:11

Sat

8:38

Mon

9:58

Wed

11:17

Fri

12:11

ft

PM

2.4

12:23

2.3

1:57

2.2

3:54

2.3

6:04

2.6

8:01

2.9

9:44

2.3

1:08

2.3

2:52

2.3

4:59

2.5

7:05

2.8

8:54

3.0

10:33

3.0

11:21

2.9

12:37

2.6

2:25

2.3

4:22

2.2

6:16

2.4

7:48

2.5

9:07

2.6

10:20

2.7

11:33

2.6

12:43

3.0 2.8

1:30

2.4

3:22

2.2

5:21

2.3

7:05

2.4

8:28

2.6

9:44

2.7 2.7

Local Time

394_Miami_FINAL.indd 5

LOW

10:57

ft

AM

2.3

5:46

2.3

7:13

2.3

9:06

2.3

6:27

2.3

8:06

2.4

10:08

2.5

11:11

2.9

12:44

3.1

2:34

3.0

4:18

2.8

6:02

2.6

7:50

2.3

9:46

2.7 3.0

1:40

3.1

3:26 5:09

2.7

6:55

2.4

8:48

2.3

10:42

2.4

12:05

2.6

1:35

2.7

2:52

2.7

4:02

2.4

11:36

2.5

12:52

2.7

2:15

2.7

3:28

2.7

4:37

2.6

5:55

5:14

ft

PM

0.2

6:00

0.2

7:36

0.1

9:39

0.2

6:45

0.2

8:35

0.0

10:44

-0.1

11:46

0.2

1:09

-0.1

2:57

-0.3

4:41

-0.2

6:27

0.1

8:20

0.3

10:18

12:11

0.0

2:04

-0.2

3:50

-0.2

5:34

-0.1

7:22

0.2

9:19

0.3

11:14

0.7

12:24

0.5

1:51

0.4

3:06

0.3

4:17

0.3

5:34

0.4 0.6

1:09

0.5

2:29

0.4

3:42

0.3

4:54

0.3

6:19

© US Harbors

RISE

SET

0.2

6:46

8:07

0.4

6:47

8:06

ft

0.3 0.5 0.5 0.4 0.3

-0.2 -0.4 -0.5 -0.5 -0.4 -0.3 -0.2 0.0 0.3 0.4 0.6 0.7 0.7 0.3 0.3 0.3 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.3 0.3 0.4 0.5

6:46 6:47 6:48 6:48 6:49 6:49 6:49 6:50 6:50 6:51 6:51 6:52 6:52 6:53 6:53 6:54 6:54 6:55 6:55 6:55 6:56 6:56 6:57 6:57 6:57 6:58 6:58 6:59 6:59

MOON

8:06

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8:05 8:04 8:04 8:03 8:02 8:01 8:01 8:00 7:59 7:58

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Tidal Data Source: MIAMI BEACH, GOVERNMENT CUT (8723178)

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august 2018

GREATER MIAMI 5

7/17/18 4:36 PM


Fishing with K

l

Hook Them Early! I n South Florida, we are lucky to have access to many fishing options. From the urban canal and lake systems to the Gulf Stream just off our beach, there are plenty of opportunities to get a kid hooked on fishing. Not only can fishing put smiles on young faces, but our sport can teach patience, plenty of everyday life lessons and influence the future of impressionable minds. Fishing also provides an avenue for young children to develop hand-eye coordination, motor skills, confidence and self esteem that they will carry with them for a lifetime. Most importantly, fishing is a great way to have fun and make lasting memories with your children. When introducing your child to fishing, it’s very important to remember that they have short attention spans and you’ll want to keep them interested. You won’t want their first trip to be a full day of offshore trolling as they will likely get bored quickly. Instead, take them to a spot where they will almost certainly catch a fish in the first few minutes. Urban canals and lakes are a great place to start. They are loaded with small fish like bluegill, bream, small bass and cichlids. Local saltwater canals can be accessed from seawalls and will produce pinfish, grunts and small snappers. You don’t need an expensive rod and reel. You can find everything that you will need at your local Wal Mart. Rig a small push button outfit with a small hook and bring along some live worms for freshwater or frozen shrimp for saltwater. Make sure to use a bobber so they can get a visual of when they are getting a bite. Once they catch a fish, let them know they did a great job. Positive reinforcement is key to hooking them for life. After a few successful outings, your child will be asking you when the next fishing trip is. Once your child starts showing a real

interest in fishing, don’t be afraid to ask for help with taking their fishing to the next level. Talk with the folks at your local tackle shop or ask a local guide for pointers. Among adults, it’s well known that fishing spots and techniques can be closely guarded as top secret, but throw a kid in the mix and most of those walls will come crashing down. There are also plenty of online resources to learn about fish identification, knot tying and techniques to catch various different species. Many boat shows offer kids fishing clinics. Captain Don Dingman runs the Hook the Future Foundation and puts on a wonderful clinic for kids between five and sixteen years old. Hook the Future will be at the 2017 Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show on November 4th and 5th with two clinics each day. Now that your little fisherman has learned the very basics of fishing, it’s a good time to begin teaching responsibility. Don’t overload them with all of the rules and regulations at once, but talk to them about size and bag limits of the species that you are fishing for. Show them how to handle the fish correctly and use the opportunity to explain proper catch and release techniques. Fishing allows children to be outdoors where they can experience nature. Teach them about the environment and ecosystem and how their footprints can impact it if they are not careful. If you see discarded fishing line or garbage at your fishing spot, pick it up and throw it away and tell them why. Conservation is essential to the future of our sport and it’s up to the adults to pass on those principles our children and grandchildren. There are reasons that we call it fishing and not catching. Lots of them. Sometimes the fish don’t bite. Sometimes the fish gets away. Use these opportunities to talk about patience and persistence. Life doesn’t always go the way that we would like and

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AUGUST 2018

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august 2018

GREATER MIAMI 7

7/17/18 4:36 PM


SPORT

fISHING

A

s we get deeper into summer and the water gets warmer and warmer, it is important to adjust your fishing accordingly. Techniques that are effective during the winter and spring months just don’t produce during the dog days of summer. High water temperatures cause many fish to move out into deeper water. Not only do they move deeper but many times they actually hang out closer to the bottom. Exactly where and how you fish is ultimately dictated by the species you’re targeting, but making smart choices is critical. What are the choices? Dolphin, snapper, kingfish and bonito are all ideal targets that can help bend the rods and put some fillets in the freezer. On some days, you might even be able to employ two or more of these fishing methods. Let’s begin with dolphin, aka mahi or dorado. Mahi are undoubtedly one of the most popular gamefish

Lunch and dinner!

found in our waters. Besides their great taste, they ares also a lot of fun to catch. Catching them usually involves trolling or running and gunning which I happen to prefer. It is sometimes important to be patient when you find a promising area because during the middle of the day when the sun is high and the water is warm they can stay a bit deep until something gets their attention. If dolphin fishing isn’t you’re

Go further when you take your boards with you.

Take your boards and kayaks securely on your boat using fishing rod holders! With our patented 360° locking swivel feature, your paddleboards, wakeboards, kayaks, kiteboards, water skis and surfboards can be easily stored on the gunnel of the boat without drilling extra holes. All of your boards are out of the way of your passengers, securely fastened to your Manta Racks system.

Look for us at a sandbar near you!

Kings all the way around for these lucky anglers.

thing, you can anchor up and target snapper. Snapper fishing during August can be excellent both during the day and night. During the day, you can target yellowtail by anchoring and chumming. If you’re trying to beat the heat, you can also do this during the evening hours and catch both yellowtail and mangrove snapper. During the day, you may want to fish a bit deep from 55 to 85 feet and in the evening about 45 to 65 feet. Trolling over the reefs and wrecks can also be very productive as long as you get your baits down deep. One great way to accomplish this is by using a planer and trolling spoon or natural bait. If planers aren’t for you, downriggers also work well. Exactly what you catch will vary from day to day, but you can expect action from kingfish, bonito and the occasional wahoo. Planers also work well offshore while dolphin fishing. Many wahoo are caught by trolling planers under floating debris offshore.

Kingfish and bonito can also be caught over the reefs on live bait. The key again, is to get your baits down. During the warmer months many kingfish, bonito and even sailfish fall prey to a live bait fished near the bottom. Even though a flat line should never be left out, you might want to add a bit of weight to them in order to get the baits down a bit. Also, don’t forget that you can keep up with all of the action by following us on FACEBOOK, Instagram, and Twitter. If you like watching some of the action, be sure to check out my YOUTUBE page for the latest video additions. SPONSORS AND FRIENDS: Mercury Marine, Bass Pro Shops, Offshore Angler, Gray Taxidermy, Orca Coolers, SeaDek, Costa Del Mar, AquaNutrition and Baitmasters.

Capt. Orlando Muniz Nomad Fishing Charters 786-266-0171 www.fishingchartermiami.com

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754-422-5579 8 GREATER MIAMI

394_Miami_FINAL.indd 8

AUGUST 2018

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7/17/18 4:36 PM


KAYAK

fISHING

A

ugust is here and with it comes the blue moon and huge wahoo! Last year in the August EKFT, the winning fish was a tournament record 71 lb wahoo. That event also produced 59, 46 and 30 lb fish. My personal best in August was a 65 lb wahoo caught straight out front of the Hillsboro lighthouse in 200 feet. Targeting wahoo in August has produced some awesome catches in depths from 180 to 250 feet of water. I’ve caught some slobs really shallow as well in the 80 to 160 foot range on a full moon with an outgoing tide in the early morning off local piers, which is perfect for offshore kayak anglers. Try slow trolling with a downrigger mid depth for killer results. On your top bait use a live goggle eye with wire and a stinger rig. The stinger is very important as most of my catches were only hooked by the stinger. During the moons in August the wahoo will be in large schools under schools of small blackfin tuna and bonito. If you don’t have live bait try using a large heavy jig

forecastS Joe Hector with a big wahoo caught from the kayak.

once you’re in the school of tuna or bonito around the deep wrecks. I’ve caught many wahoo on the jig that way. My color of choice is purple or pink. Make sure to add a extra hook to the jig. August has produced some of my biggest kingfish catches to date. Once I caught a 40 lb king in 130ft. Right now the kingfishing has been on fire, with kayak anglers catching consistent 15 -25 lb fish. My tip is to always use the wahoo set up to target the big kings. Use 30 lb mono leader to a short piece

of wire with a 3/0 J hook and the always important stinger. Using a short wire will not hurt the success of your catch. Stealthy has always produced more bites. Wreck fishing is always strong in August around the moon from 180 to 250 feet. Many anglers jigging on the deep wrecks for big AJ’s have gotten lucky with a nice 40 - 50 lb wahoo. The morning bite is key. The sooner you make it out, the better chance of your early bite, especially on an outgoing tide. These same wrecks will

effortlessly. After an hour or more you’ll conveniently end up right back where you started and you can even cross over an inlet. A long sit-on-top kayak, 13 ft or more, can carry a speargun or polespear/sling, a cooler/fish bag, food, drinks, freedive or scuba gear and a drybag with GPS and VHF radio. I use the 24”x20” boat dive flag mounted on a PVC staff inserted in a scupper. An easy to see, poly tow line can double as your shooting line. Make sure everything is bungeed down to your yak and wear everything you can before launching. Getting dressed offshore isn’t easy.

Pictured off Fort Lauderdale is Elie on her yellow 15 ft Ocean Kayak with a mounted aboard scuba tank and 35 ft. long hose rig. Bright colored kayaks are best for visibility. I was freediving from my 16 ft Wilderness Systems, and we scored 3 lobsters, a mutton snapper and a hogfish! The 10 lb gag grouper shown, was my first kill from a kayak, a loaner, while my mango colored yak was ordered. What a proud feeling it was to paddle, freedive and spear a nice fish! Divers, I recommend a good

produce some gag groupers and even snowy grouper on the deeper ones. Make sure if you’re heading out before first light you have all your kayak safety equipment and having a light is key. For Aj’s I’ve done well with a green or yellow glow in the dark color jigs. If using live bait make sure your leader is over 10ft. Blackfin tuna are slowing down in the month of August. You can still catch some jumbos from time to time and large schools of the small tuna will still roll through around the full moons. I’ve caught most of my jumbos drifting over the deep wrecks from 200 - 280 feet. The pink jig has always been my go to bait for blackfin. Be sure to check out the Extreme Kayak Fishing “Summer Slam Series” in Pompano Beach August 25th! For more information on this one of a kind tournament series go to www.extremekayakfishing. com or find us on Instagram @ extremekayakfishing

Joe Hector 954-895-4527 Extreme Kayak Fishing Inc. www.extremekayakfishing.com joe@extremekayakfishing.com

SPEAR

fISHING

S

outheast Florida has good near shore diving and spearfishing compared to the rest of the state, but if you don’t have a boat and a captain, it’s not easy to find fish. We have the Gulfstream to thank for close clear water, reefs and wrecks, but it’s strong current also makes it challenging. Finning out a half mile or more is not so tough, but just staying in place more than a couple moments can be difficult. The secret is called “drift diving”, which is going with the flow. Freediving spearfishermen have used paddleboards since the early fifties with a fair amount of success, but nothing self-propelled can beat a kayak for diving in current, wind and waves. Paddling a mile or two up current, just off the beach where it’s light and then heading offshore to a reef line lets you tow your kayak, scouting huge areas while drift hunting almost

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394_Miami_FINAL.indd 9

bit of paddling experience before trying to spearfish from your kayak, and vice-versa kayakers. Did I mention, I’m a diving, spearfishing & paddling instructor? Kayak safe and shoot straight!

Capt. Chad Carney (727) 423-7775 www.floridaskindiver.com www.facebook.com/floridaskindiver chad.carney@yahoo.com

august 2018

GREATER MIAMI 9

7/17/18 4:36 PM


FRESH

WATER

H

ey gang! Hope everyone is having a great summer. This is definitely a time for enjoying down time, vacationing with your family and friends. Hopefully you are finding lots of time to bend a rod. To say that it's hot is and understatement and there is very high water. So what does this all mean? Let's break it down. Summertime usually means early mornings and late evenings. This is when the bite is BEST, but this doesn't mean you can't get a bite during the day. I have found that you can get bites all day. It's just not as good and your going to have to work for them. The high water means there are areas with too much current. However a the right amount of current in the summertime can definitely be your friend. Moving water produces oxygen and pushes food towards hungry hot bass. I don't feel like chasing them.

forecastS Another area of focus are the depths. The deeper cooler parts of the lake or canals that have some moving water are where the fish will be. These will be the areas that you should concentrate on to find the best quality fish. Here are some of the areas where I have found some of the better quality fish. #1 - Lake Okeechobee: Even with all the spraying going on, the toxic algae blooms, the loss of grass and cover, Lake Okeechobee still earns number one as it’s producing some of the largest bags being caught in South Florida. These fish are being caught way in. Look for cleaner water in the grass and bluegill beds. I like swim jigs with some type of craw trailer. Throw popping frogs and traditional topwater baits where they can be worked. I also like dragging worms on the bottom in areas where you suspect bedding fish to be. #2 - Mile Marker 35 off I-75: Work the pads with swimbaits, burner worms, frogs

Capt. Jim Costabelle with the nice Lake Okeechobee bass caught on top water lure.

and weightless big worms. This is great time of year to pitch sinkos around the pads and lay downs. In this area, if you can find the right amount of current, you'll find concentrations of fish. #3 - Holey Land: The Holey Land lakes are known for their deep ledges where some double digit bass have been caught. Some of the best ways to catch giant bass in the summer is to work big worms like the Big Nasty weighted down. Folks are also catching fish in the pads with sinkos and flukes. #4 - Sawgrass Recreational Park: When the pumps aren't running, fishing here can be very good. My favorite baits in that case are small sinkos and flukes. Swim them through the pads. Jerk baits will also definitely shine here. #5 - Everglades Holiday

Park: All techniques mentioned above are working here at the park. Something else to keep in mind this summer when your trying to find fun stuff to do with the kids is that Everglades Holiday Park & Sawgrass Recreational Park have small boat rentals to go fishing or exploring the beautiful Florida Everglades. Please help keep our fisheries litter and line free. Til next time, tight lines and bent rods!

Capt. Neal Stark (954) 822-1481 Fishing with America’s Finest, Inc. "Changing Lives One Cast at a Time." 501(C)(3) Non-Profit Organization, FEIN #45-5494005

www.FishingwithAmericasFinest.org fwaforg@gmail.com American Everglades Guide, Inc. www.AmericanEvergladesGuide.com aeguideinc@gmail.com

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7/17/18 4:36 PM


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Also great for your vehicle, trailer or sports utility vehicles. trips, latitudes and longitudes, headings, and speeds. MiniTrax™ comes battery powered, but can also be hardwired or used with a 12 volt charger. It is fully waterproof, has daily battery reports, and is ideal for boats, aviation, jet skis, ATVs, RVs, golf carts, snowmobiles, trailers, construction equipment, and transportation equipment. MSRP is $450.00, plus messages. If you want to take your protection to the next level, our NEW AltasAlarm system applies a car alarm-style system to your boat, incorporating the features you already have on

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By Shana Phelan

A resident Goliath grouper lurks along the Mizpah, a wreck off of Palm Beach. Photo by Andrea Whitaker.

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all in Florida... is that even a thing? In south Florida, where two seasons reign supreme, hot and hotter, locals relish the warm coastal water that flows into our Florida fall. And we’re not alone. While the rest of Florida gets ready for school to begin, divers get ready for “Goliath season!” Each year, between August

and September, Goliath groupers migrate in by the hundreds to spawn around the wrecks and reefs surrounding Palm Beach County. And every fall, divers also flock to Palm Beach County to take the plunge, cameras in hand, to capture images of these behemoth fish. Palm Beach County, Fla. is a special place for these fish, as this is the last known aggregation site for the species. They’re so special to the county, in fact, that in 2016, the Palm Beach County Board of County Commissioners declared September as Goliath Grouper Scuba Diving Awareness Month! Growing up to 8 feet long and weighing about 400 pounds, Goliath groupers are the gentle giants of the sea. Goliaths primarily feed on crustaceans, but they’ve been known to steal an opportunistic meal from an unsuspecting angler or diver, especially during mating aggregations. Historically, fishermen loved to catch goliath grouper as they were considered to be of fine food quality. However, research now shows that the flesh of Goliath grouper is high in mercury content. Even juvenile fish are demonstrating levels considered too high for consumption. Because they are relatively curious fish and unafraid of divers, they are easily harvested, especially around aggregation time. This led to a severe decline worldwide in the goliath grouper population. To attempt a population recovery, a harvest ban was put into place in 1990 in Florida, in 1993 in the Caribbean, and is still in effect. The goliath grouper is considered critically endangered by the IUCN and a long recovery time is expected as these fish exhibit slow growth rates. So, what does that mean for divers in Palm Beach County? We celebrate the season of the goliath by photographing and diving with them as often as we can. Pura Vida Divers hosts several dives weekly to see these amazing fish up close and personal. To participate in dive charters for Goliath groupers, contact Pura Vida through their website at www.puravidadivers.com.

Bay 20 DLX FWC Photo

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ecreational lobster divers got the first crack at Florida’s favorite crustacean during the recreational mini-season July 25-26. Now lobster divers all over the state are amped for the opening of regular recreational and commercial spiny lobster harvest Aug. 6. From Aug. 6 through March 31, the limit is six lobsters per person, per day. Possession of a measuring device is required at all times to ensure undersized lobsters are not taken. Measured under water, the carapace of any lobster harvested must be 3 inches or longer. The carapace is measured beginning at the forward edge between the rostral horns, excluding any soft tissue, and proceeding along the middle to the rear edge of the carapace. Egg-bearing lobsters must be released unharmed. Harvest is prohibited during the regular season in the Everglades National Park, Dry Tortugas National Park, the lobster sanctuary in Biscayne Bay/Card Sound and the no-take areas of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. For a complete list of regulations and instructions on how to properly measure a spiny lobster, go to MyFWC.com.

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he International Game Fish Association (IGFA) recently announced the winner of their 2017-2018 Great Marlin Race. The competition was won by a blue marlin that swam more than 5,000 nautical miles after being satellite tagged during the Bermuda Triple Crown Billfish Championship on July 21, 2017. The winning billfish swam an estimated 5,089 nautical miles from Bermuda to about 600 nm northeast of Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil. It is the longest distance ever recorded by an IGMR-tagged blue marlin in Bermuda. “Congratulations to tag sponsor Mike Verzaleno whose generosity allowed us to track the incredible journey of the winning billfish,” said IGFA President Nehl Horton. “Strong support from recreational anglers is the key to the success of this innovative, citizen-science conservation initiative.” The Great Marlin Race is a partnership between IGFA and Stanford University that pairs recreational anglers with cutting-edge science to learn more about the biology of marlin and how they utilize the open ocean. The goal of the program is to deploy 50 pop-up archival tags in marlin at billfish tournaments around the world each year. Since 2011, more than 350 satellite tags have been placed on billfish during IGMR tagging events. In the 2017-2018 race season, 58 tags were deployed on 31 blue marlin, 18 black marlin and nine striped marlin in seven countries. Marlin tagged in Bermuda during the 2015, 2016 and 2017 Triple Crown Billfish Championship tournaments swam a total of 16,464 nm. The winning fish accounts for 16 percent of this distance.

ave an opinion on shore-based shark fishing? Now is the time to share. FWC is gathering public input on shore-based shark fishing with workshops that will help determine future management of the fishery. Workshops start at 6 p.m. local time: • Aug. 6: Panama City, Gulf Coast State College, Photo courtesy of Chris Beardsley The Russell C. Holley and Herbert P. Holley Language and Literature Building, Sarzin Lecture Hall, 5230 W. U.S. Highway 98. • Aug. 7: Pensacola, Sanders Beach-Corinne Jones Resource Center – Parks & Recreation Department, 913 S. I St. • Aug. 20: South Daytona, Piggotte Community Center, Reception Hall Room, 504 Big Tree Road. • Aug. 21: Jacksonville, Jacksonville University, J. Henry Gooding Building – Swisher Auditorium, 2800 University Blvd. N. • Aug. 27: Melbourne Beach, Melbourne Beach Community Center, 509 Ocean Ave. • Aug. 28: West Palm Beach, Palm Beach County, Department of Planning, Zoning & Building – The Vista Center, 2300 N. Jog Road. • Aug. 29: Miami, Miami City Hall – Commission Main Chambers, 3500 Pan American Drive. • Aug. 30: Key Colony Beach, City Hall, 600 W. Ocean Drive. Comments may also be submitted online at MyFWC.com/SaltwaterComments. Additional details and updates to these meetings will be posted at MyFWC.com/Fishing (click on “Saltwater Fishing,” “Rulemaking” and “Workshops.”)

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n July, NOAA Fisheries announced a 50 percent reduction of the recreational mutton snapper bag limit for the Gulf of Mexico. The new regulations went into effect July 23. The recreational bag limit decreased from 10 mutton snapper per angler per day within the 10-snapper aggregate bag limit to 5 mutton snapper per angler per day within the 10-snapper aggregate bag limit. Minimum size limits were increased from 16 inches to 18 inches total length. The reduction was justified by a 2015 population assessment, which indicated mutton snapper are not experiencing overfishing and are not overfished, but that the adult population is smaller than was previously estimated. The reduction was deemed necessary to ensure overfishing does not occur. The new size limit also applies to the commercial sector, which will be affected by an annual catch limit reduction, as well. The annual catch limits for mutton snapper during 2018-2020 will be decreased from 203,000 pounds whole weight to: 134,424 pounds whole weight in 2018; 139,292 pounds whole weight in 2019; and 143,694 pounds whole weight in 2020 and subsequent years. The commercial minimum size limit for gag grouper was also increased from 22 to 24 inches total length to be consistent with recreational fisheries.

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By Patrick Morrow From left, Tommy Holms, owner of Outcast Bait & Tackle, Kent Creel, and STAR winning angler Andrew Brown.

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n July, a Panhandle angler won big in the state’s largest family-friendly fishing competition. CCA Florida STAR, presented by Yamaha, awarded Andrew Brown, of Pensacola, a $79,000 prize package for a tagged redfish he caught while wading Santa Rosa Bay. If you fish and haven’t yet registered for CCA Florida STAR, you could be missing out on the chance to win some huge prize packages. “Andrew is a perfect example of how it’s done,” said STAR Director Leiza Fitzgerald. “It was his first chance of the year to get on the

water after some health issues, and he made sure his membership was current and that he was registered for STAR. He shared that he was not going fishing without being registered.” Brown has been a CCA Florida member since 2015 and registered for and participated in STAR each year since the event’s inception. After catching his STAR-tagged redfish (tag #522), Brown met with CCA Florida representatives for verification on July 8 at Outcast Bait and Tackle in Pensacola. He chose a prize package that included a Contender Boats 22 Sport with a 200 HP Yamaha and a Rolls Axle Trailer. While the Tagged Redfish Division is the event’s most publicized division, with remaining prizes including a Conley Buick GMC Sierra Pickup or one of several Yamaha-powered boat packages from Hewes Boats, Carolina Skiff and Cottonmouth Boats, the event has 17 divisions and many opportunities to win, with most divisions determined by random drawing of all anglers who submit catch photos. Anglers of all ages and skill levels have opportunities to win, and kids ages 6-17 can register for free with their current ($10) CCA Florida youth membership. Registration is $40 for current CCA Florida members, or $75 for non-members, which includes CCA Florida membership. STAR runs through Labor Day, and anglers are encouraged to fish hard while there’s still a chance to get in on some awesome remaining prizes. “We’ve had 16 tagged redfish caught this season, but only two winners, simply because anglers weren’t registered and didn’t think it could happen to them,” said Brian Gorski, CCA Florida Executive Director. “And it’s not just about the tagged redfish, though prizes in that division are amazing, but there are so many ways for anglers to win in STAR, you just have to register.” All entries must be photographed with the official 2018 CCA Florida Measuring Device, which is available free of charge at various locations throughout the state, including all Florida West Marine stores, the preferred distribution location. For a full listing of measuring device locations, visit ccaflstar.com. For more information on STAR, or to register, visit ccaflstar.com.

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Take A Kid

By Cory Gurman

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ummer is a popular time for families to take time out of their daily routines and travel near and far. Whether you are exploring new destinations or visiting relatives, there will most likely be fishing opportunities wherever you are going. Disney World in Florida, for example, has long been an icon for families who seek adventure in amusement parks; roller coasters, wet and wild rides, parades and dining all come together within this massive compound. What most people who visit these parks don’t realize is that this massive compound is dotted with hundreds of ponds that are well stocked with fish, most notably bass. You may fish on your own from the many access points or hire a guide for an awesome side adventure. This summer, I had the opportunity to travel to Panama and

visit friends as well as to tour the country. While Panama has an abundance of historic sites to visit, it’s also surrounded by both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, which made it easy to take a few days to sample their incredible fishing. My dad and I chose to chase the elusive rooster fish off the pacific coast, and we joined up with Capt. Dave Murphy in the small town of Boca Chica, Panama. Capt. Dave is formerly from the U.S. (Fla. Keys) and now owns and operates Reel Inn In Panama as a fishing guide service. Rooster fish inhabit the shallower waters of the Pacific, mostly around the rock outcroppings that protrude from the ocean floor. Our day started by filling the livewell with large blue runners we caught on sabikis. We headed to the first fishing spot and set two live baits out behind the boat. As we slow trolled the blue runners around this large rock outcropping, it became apparent just how far away from my home waters I was. The natural beauty of the Pacific Ocean is stunning. Within 40 minutes, line began to peel off one of the TLD 20s. After letting it eat for several seconds, I came tight on the fish and the rod doubled over. This fish had the tenacity of an amberjack and the running speed of a kingfish. After a long 20 minute battle, I landed a 50-plus-pound rooster fish. It was awesome! Two more days of fishing produced a total of four rooster fish and an experience of a lifetime. Capt. Dave Murphy provided lodging with first class service and a top-notch fishing experience. He can be reached through his website reelinninpanama.com. Cory Gurman is a student at Ponte Vedra High School in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. Besides reveling in the great outdoors, Cory enjoys spending time with his three golden retrievers and rooting for the Atlanta Braves. Follow him on Instagram @fishhunter1119.

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FLY FISHING

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t’s summertime, and that means mako sharks on the fly in southern California! If you ever get a chance to try it, mako sharks are the premier summertime gamefish off our coast, and being able to sight fish a fly to them is an experience like no other in fly fishing. Here are some suggestions on tackle and flies to get you into the Mako shark game. Rods The fly rod used when mako shark fishing is more a fish fighting tool rather than a casting tool. Fly rods in the 12- to 15-weight range are what I recommend. These rods easily cast a large fly and have enough lifting power to fight a mako shark from deep water. For larger makos, I use one-piece custom rods that are 7 ½ feet to 8 feet in length and can cast a fly to 30 feet quickly and accurately. They are great fish-fighting tools, especially for makos in to 200- to 400-pound range. Reel The drag system must be able to apply at least 18 pounds of drag pressure at its maximum setting. Most fly reels used in the saltwater these days are designed to apply up to 20 pounds of drag pressure. The reason you want a reel to have this amount of drag pressure is to be able to apply maximum pressure on the fish when it is swimming away from the boat and during the final moments of the fight. You want to be able to “lock down” on the mako and hold it at the boat so you can get a quick release. If the drag is too light (not enough drag pressure), you will never get the mako to the boat. Line retrieval The rate at which the fly line can be retrieved depends on the size of the reel’s arbor. The larger the arbor, the more line you can retrieve in one revolution of the fly reel spool. I recommend using the largest arbor reel possible. Many fly reel companies make reels with large ar-

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bors specifically for big saltwater gamefish like makos, tuna and marlin. Flies The flies I use for mako sharks are large-profiled flies with a foam popper head. These flies are typically 8 to 12 inches long and tied on plastic tubing. I prefer tube flies because they are able to slide up and down the steel leader, saving the fly from getting eaten up by the shark. My hook size varies from 6/0 to very large 10/0. As for fly colors, red/orange combo is what I like best. This color combo is easy to see in tough lighting conditions. However, I will have one rig with a different color fly. The reason I do this is if the mako gets turned off by the red/orange color combo, a change in fly color can get the mako to react to a different color fly. Now go catch some Makos on the fly!!

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WC is reminding Florida anglers of its three Saltwater Angler Recognition programs. Anglers of all ages and skill levels can earn prizes such as certificates, shirts, hats, rods and reels, dehooking tools, rubber-coated nets and more. Successful anglers receive recognition in Florida Saltwater Recreational Fishing Regulations booklets and on the Club Members page of CatchaFloridaMemory.com, plus the chance to win monthly raffle prizes courtesy of generous program partners. Catch a Florida Memory programs also promote fisheries conservation. In addition to decreasing pressure on the most sought-after species, the photo entry process encourages catch and release and responsible fish handling. Saltwater Life List Similar to a birding life list, this program challenges anglers to track their progress at catching 71 different species of saltwater fish. Anglers who catch at least 10 different Life List species can join the Saltwater Fish Life List 10-Fish Club and receive additional prizes for 30, 50 and all 71 fish on the list. Saltwater Reel Big Fish Memorialize your Saltwater Reel Big Fish by submitting a photo of you with your catch and a photo of the fish over a measuring device. This program includes 30 different species in both adult and youth categories. Saltwater Grand Slams FWC has nine different Saltwater Grand Slams that award anglers for catching three specified fish within a 24-hour period. From the Inshore Grand Slam consisting of red drum, spotted seatrout and flounder to the Florida Grand Slam of permit, tarpon and bonefish, these challenges make you work to increase your fishing skills. Learn more about Catch a Florida Memory programs at CatchaFloridaMemory.com.

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Antique Fishing Tackle Show, Sale & Auction Aug. 24 -25 9 to 5 at Dolphin Beach Resort, St. Pete Beach Sponsored by Florida Antique Tackle Collectors, Inc.

The Show: You can see thousands of Rods, Reels & Lures. Admission is $3 for adults, children free. The Sale: Angling artifacts are today’s prized collectibles. Hundreds of items offered from $2 and up. The Auction: Bring your Old Tackle Box! FREE appraisals given. Watch the auction Saturday night. The Tackle Club: If you enjoy fishing, you will enjoy the The hobby of collecting old reels and lures. It’s fun for Adults and Children. You can join at the Show. Need More Info? Call or Text Ron Gast at 407-496-7940

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ou don’t have to quit fishing just because it’s hot. You just have to fish at night rather than during the day. Oh yeah – and leave a light on. August is the perfect month to catch white bass, crappie and hybrid bass under lights. Young-of-the-year shad, the primary forage in many reservoirs, are just getting to “bite size” and sport fish are busy filling their bellies. To catch fish under the lights, anchor your boat in a strategic location just before dark. Your best bets are over a deep brushpile or artificial structure, creek channel ledge or mudflat. Once the sun sets, set out lanterns, floating lights or submersible halogen lights, and wait. What happens is a natural phenomenon of the aquatic food chain. The light attracts microscopic zooplankton, which attracts minnows and shad. When the lights have congregated a large school of shad, the predators show up below. Drop a jig or live bait down, and you’re in business. It might take a trip or two to become accustomed to fishing at night, and there are safety considerations to keep in mind. Once the sun sets, your boat needs to have navigation lights on. Wear your lifejacket and become familiar with the area before it gets dark. Go slow and use a hand-held spotlight to locate shorelines or obstacles while under power. Check out the July/August 2018 issue of Kansas Wildlife and Parks Magazine (ksoutdoors.com/Services/Publications/Magazine).

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lorida bass anglers might feel snubbed by the recent release of Bassmaster Magazine’s 2018 list of the country’s 100 best bass lakes. I mean, come on, don’t the editors at Bassmaster look at social media? The giant largemouth bass being caught from places like lakes Kingsley, Tohopekaliga and Istokpoga have to count for something. Run a search on the Florida TrophyCatch website, fisheries like the Ocklawaha Area waterways are producing scads of huge largemouth bass. Yet not a single Florida Mike Sabock caught this 10-pound, fishery made the top-10 of Bassmaster’s rankings, 6-ounce largemouth from Lake Hernando in July. Photo courtesy of while Michigan’s Lake St. www.TrophyCatchFlorida.com. Clair and Mille Lacs Lake in Minnesota ranked fourth and fifth, respectively. Are they trying to tell us bass fishing is better in Michigan or Minnesota, where the growing season is a fraction of what it is here in the sunshine state? In all of Minnesota, no one has ever caught a bass that weighed more than 9 pounds. The Minnesota state record largemouth, which has stood since 2005, weighed 8 pounds, 15 ounces. In Florida, a fish that size might not even warrant a photo. For decades, fisheries biologists across the country have been trying to ramp up bass fisheries in their states by introducing Florida-strain genetics. It’s all so they can give their anglers fishing almost as good as what we have in Florida. Texas is a shining example of what intensive management with Florida-strain fish can do for fisheries in producing big fish. When it comes to rankings, it all depends on how fisheries are judged. Bassmaster’s list might be better described as the nation’s best tournament bass lakes. Using statistics gathered from tournaments as well as from state biologists, ranking decisions were made by a panel, which undoubtedly needed to consider geographic distribution for the sake of their publication’s public perception. Looking at the statistics, it’s hard to argue against national rankings for lakes like Texas’ No. 1-ranked Sam Rayburn or Tennessee’s No. 2-ranked Chickamauga Lake. Those places are on fire right now. They are producing 40-pound, five-fish tournament sacks. But for raw numbers of truly big bass—those weighing more than 10 pounds—Florida must be right up there at the top of the list with California. The bone thrown to our Florida fisheries was a ranking as the No. 3 state for total number of fisheries to make the top 100. Florida ranked third behind No. 1 Texas and No. 2 California. Seven Florida fisheries ranked in the top 25 for bass lakes in the Southeast. They were: No. 4 Okeechobee, No. 5 Tohopekaliga, No. 7 Istokpoga, No. 10 Seminole, No. 11 Rodman Reservoir, No. 18 Harris Chain, and No. 24 Kenansville Reservoir. Here we’re considering decent-sized impoundments, which makes sense. But when considering Florida bass fishing as a whole, it’s important to realize the state is a web of connecting waterways that offer the right conditions for growing big bass. Overall, it can be argued that Florida has better bass fishing than any other state in the country. Where else could one catch a 14-pound largemouth from a backyard drainage ditch?

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By CAM Staff • Photo courtesy of www.BoldContentVideo.com

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he advantage of a bird’s eye view is undeniable. From the stilt fishermen of Sri Lanka to the tuna towers on modern fishing boats, anglers have always sought an elevated view into the water. Drones are the latest tool fishermen have adopted to see farther and deeper. Drones in fishing are still relatively new and evolving, but there is already evidence it is a piece of gear worth packing in the tackle box. The first and most obvious use for video-equipped drones is reconnaissance. With technology that allows real-time viewing, it is possible to see farther out and deeper than ever before. A drone can cover more water looking for fish, bait, color changes and structure. Shore-bound or wading anglers have the ability to scout water they would have never seen before. Imagine the advantage of flying a shoreline, over a flat or even up a creek before approaching it. From the air and with moderately clear water, it is possible to eliminate unproductive water, identify likely structure and even spot individual fish or pods of bait. With just a few minutes of flying time, wading anglers or those fishing from kayaks can gather the kind of information that would require days of exploration without a drone. Even from a boat, the extended visual range gives you an advantage. Ever watch fish scatter at the sound of your motor? Using a drone to scout alerts you to the presence of fish, so you’ll know to ease up on them. Anyone who has seen videos of the guy battling bream with a hook-and-line equipped drone will recognize catching fish with a drone is nothing more than a gimmick at the moment. However, surf fishermen are effectively using drones to deliver baits much farther out than the length of a cast. Flying cut bait past the breakers is quicker and easier than paddling it out with a surfboard. And on freshwater reservoirs, bank-bound fishermen could deliver live herring to a distant river channel. This bait delivery system requires the use of a drone with the ability to carry a significant payload. The line is attached to a release clip suspended beneath the drone. With the reel on free spool, the angler flies the bait out before engaging the reel to provide tension to release the bait. There are already drone-specific release clips available, and outrigger clips and kite clips also do the job. The most important link in the system is the drone, though. You don’t want to fish with a cheap beginner’s model. For scouting, you’ll need a good camera and viewing screen. Payload-carrying capability is a must for bait delivery. With either function, extended battery life, stable hovering and the ability to fly in wind are necessary. Expect to spend at least $400 with the understanding that it is possible you’ll end up losing it in the depths. That could get expensive pretty quickly, but it’s peanuts compared to the cost of a boat.

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Bassmaster Ranks Rayburn The Best Bass Lake In The Country B.A.S.S. Photo

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fter three years hovering in the Top 5 of Bassmaster Magazine’s 100 Best Bass Lakes rankings, Texas’ Sam Rayburn Reservoir finally took the crown as the best bass lake in the nation for 2018. Consistent production of heavy five-fish tournament limits and the potential for giant bass made this 114,500-acre reservoir northeast of Houston tops in the country this year. Rayburn started showing out in 2015, when it climbed to fifth in the rankings. In 2016 it jumped to fourth. And last year, Rayburn was the bridesmaid, sitting in second place. But, Rayburn is a bridesmaid no more, and for the first time captures the title. “Although there were some pretty spectacular numbers being produced from other lakes this year, Rayburn was a clear No. 1,” said James Hall, editor of Bassmaster Magazine. “While some lakes were boasting of a single 30-pound, five-bass limit being caught, Rayburn was spitting them out in rapid succession. And to top it off, a 40.28-pound limit was recorded in June.”

Countless limits of solid fish aren’t the only thing special about this lake. “When it comes to double-digit bass, Rayburn also seems to top the list this year,” Hall continued. “Three 10-pounders were weighed in during a one-day February derby. Plus, a 12.05 and a 13.06 were landed here in March. The lake is simply on fire right now.” The process to create the rankings takes about three months to complete. Data is received from state fisheries agencies across the U.S. This is coupled with catch data collected from dozens of tournament organizations from the past 12 months. After the numbers are crunched, a panel from the bass fishing industry debates the strength of the lakes to settle on the final rankings. The rankings identify the Top 10 lakes in the nation regardless of location, as well as the Top 25 lakes in four geographical divisions. “By dividing the Top 100 into four regions, anglers have perspective on fisheries nearby,” Hall explained. Tennessee’s Chickamauga Lake, which took the No. 2 slot this year, made a strong argument for No. 1, as it also produced 40-plus-pound limits this spring, two of them exceeding 42 pounds. Although this 36,240-acre fishery hasn’t produced quite as many big fish as Rayburn, there were two bass over 10 pounds recorded since February. The biggest weighed 11.21 pounds. California’s Clear Lake landed the No. 3 position on the strength of its production of big largemouth. Michigan’s Lake St. Clair climbed from ninth last year to the fourth in 2018, while Minnesota’s Mille Lacs Lake (last years’ No. 1 fishery) fell to No. 5. The remainder of the nation’s Top 10 are: sixth, Santee Cooper lakes (Marion/Moultrie), South Carolina; seventh, Diamond Valley Lake, California.; eighth, Thousand Islands (St. Lawrence River), New York; ninth, Lake Guntersville, Alabama; 10th, Falcon Lake, Texas. When it comes to bragging rights for the state with the most lakes to make the Top 100 list, Texas wins with 12. California boasts eight fisheries within the rankings, while Florida has the third most with seven. Complete rankings can be found in Bassmaster.com photo galleries.

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TIPS FROM A PRO

BEAT THE HEAT WITH NIGHT FISHING

BRANDON LESTER he dog days have arrived, and the lake is crowded with recreational boat traffic. The best fishing to be had during summer is after the sun goes

T

down. Around my home in Tennessee, most all of our club-level tournaments go to nighttime hours this time of year. Let’s talk about why the nighttime bite is so good, what to look for and baits that work well at night. First and foremost, if you’ve never spent a night out cruising your local lake, I think you’ll find it is the most quiet and peaceful fishing you will ever do. It’s like the whole world is asleep, and you have free rein of the lake. Baitfish often become more active at night, and the water cools just enough to get fish to come to the shallows and feed. Bass are a lot like us in that 100-degree temperatures make them want to find somewhere cool to just hang out. Their feeding windows become shorter this time of year, and mostly occur after dark. When looking for night fishing hotspots, think high percentage areas where you know bass live and feed. Keep in mind that they can’t see as well at night, so they must rely on their lateral lines to find food. Start at lighted boat docks, boat ramps, brushpiles

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WITH THE BEST & BRIGHTEST UNDERWATER LIGHTS! and points. When you find a good spot, revisit that place several times during the night because it will probably hold multiple fish. Also, don’t be afraid to fish places you wouldn’t dare fish during the day because of too much boat traffic, such as boat ramps and marinas. At night, when these places calm down, fish pull up and feed around them. You don’t need any specific gear for night fishing if you can get used to the fact that you can’t see your line. Many night fishermen use the exact same gear at night as they do during the day. Around my home lake, we fish clear blue fluorescent line at night and attach a black light to the side of the boat to see the line with ease. It helps. There’s nothing more fun than watching that line jump in the black light and knowing your bait just got hammered. Just about any bait that will catch a bass in the day will also catch one at night. The No. 1 key is to slow down. A fish’s strike zone shrinks at night because they can’t see as well. Slowing down helps put the odds in your favor. Some of my favorite baits are Texas-rigged worms (fished on an MHX NEPS 86HF), from small straight tail worms like the X-Xone Fat Finesse Worm all the way up to 11- and 12-inch worms, and even creature baits. Another great option at night is a spinnerbait. I usually throw a 3/8-ounce Kinkee Baits spinnerbait (fished on an MHX NEPS 86MHF) with a single No. 5 Colorado blade in black and blue color. The thin wire of this bait really lets it thump.

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Fish for Hungry Trout at Hunger Games Site in Western North Carolina

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uPont State Recreational Forest in the Blue Ridge Mountains near Hendersonville, North Carolina, provides not only a scenic setting for trout fishing, but also a unique one. The delayed harvest waters of Little River flow through undisturbed mountains and over several notable waterfalls. Those same waters were immortalized on Hollywood’s silver screen as the backdrop for the exploits of Katniss Everdeen in the original Hunger Games movie. Movie buffs who wet a line on Little River in the DuPont Forest will no doubt recognize Triple Falls, which played a prominent role in multiple scenes in the movie. But there is good news for anglers: spending time on this stretch of Little River does not involve the life or death struggle it did in Hunger Games. Everyone is expected to come out alive. Many anglers also come out happy as this 1.8-mile stretch of Little River is stocked annually with a combination of 7,750 brook, rainbow and brown trout. North Carolina Wildlife regulations require a valid fishing license and the delayed harvest designation means it is single-hook artificial lures only with no harvesting of fish from Oct. 1 through the

first Friday in June. Starting the first Saturday in June and continuing through Sept. 30, there are no bait restrictions and a creel limit of seven trout per day with no minimum length on trout harvested. Because DuPont is a state recreational forest, there is ample parking in both the Hooker Falls Access Area and the High Falls Access Areas, with wide, easy-to-navigate trails to many of the key fishing spots. One downside to fishing this stretch of Little River is the popularity of the trails and waterfalls with those who do not fish. Expect plenty of hikers and sightseers, especially on nice weekends. And when the fishing is done, Hendersonville provides plenty of options for outdoor exploring, listening to live music, sipping craft beverages and enjoying great meals. The town’s main street has a serpentine shape surrounded by pedestrian-friendly sidewalks punctuated by planting beds, park benches and outdoor dining. The abundance of orchards makes Henderson County an ideal location for hard cider fans. Three cideries offer tasting rooms: Flat Rock Ciderworks on Main Street, Bold Rock Hard Cider in Mills River and Appalachian Ridge Artisan Ciders in a 1940s-era barn-turned-cidery. Another craft beverage experience is the East Coast location of Sierra Nevada Brewery, considered the Taj Mahal of craft breweries in the eastern U.S.

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“ Rainy Season ” Action Rages Out Of Playa Garza, Costa Rica By Craig Sutton

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he five-boat FishingNosara team logged 78 trips last month, and I’m stoked to announce that the marlin are here in northern Costa Rica, as our “second high season” is in full effect. The 32-foot Harvester led the charge for our Playa Garza-based fleet, with Capt. Alex going on a crazy run of marlin and sailfish releases over four days between June 9 and June 12. Jeff Broome scored the fish of a lifetime with Capt. Alex on June 10 with a black marlin weighing well over 450 pounds. The next day, Broome posted the trip of the year, to date. First off was a true double sailfish release. After the safe release of both fish, they added a third sailfish for good measure. Another monster came calling, as the Harvester reported another massive marlin release, the second

in two days. It was amazing work by Capt. Alex, Mate Wilson, and this group of Florida anglers. Here’s what Broome had to say: “Just wanted to say an enthusiastic THANK YOU for the incredible trip we had thanks to your team. In three days, we got three Marlin—two blues and a massive black—three sailfish, a huge dorado and a good deal more tuna and mahi! “Thanks to Capt. Alex and his hard-working deckhand Wilson, I was able to cross marlin off my bucket list of fish to catch. Definitely a dream for me, and I know I speak for all the guys in our group that it was definitely the fishing trip of a lifetime! “You could tell how passionate Alex was about fishing. His favorite thing to say after we brought in a catch was, ‘Let’s get another one!’” “Pura Vida!”-Jeff Broome The next day, Capt. Alex and FishingNosara Hall of Famer Chuck Harris scored another marlin release. That’s four monsters in four days. It was a truly legendary run for the Harvester. Meanwhile, Lila Weirich brought a big group of folks from Texas down in early June, so many that they need both the 32-foot Wanderer and Discoverer to hold them all. In addition to having a big time all week, these Lone Star anglers scored some fillets big as Texas. Monster mahi-mahi were abundant, and meaty yellowfin tunas added variety to the fillet bag With all the other fishing operations in Costa Rica on the hill for the summer, we have attracted adventurous anglers from all over the Pacific Coast, as well. Scott Burke drove in three hours from Tamarindo at 3 a.m., fished a full day, and went back the same day. The odyssey proved worthwhile, as the group reported three great sailfish releases. Shea Ralph is another journeyman angler who came from Jaco to Nosara, covering 140 miles on land in order to reach Costa Rica’s closest bluewater. They hooked up multiple sailfish and proved once again that the fish eat every day, even during the so-called “rainy season.”

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Teen Breaks Wyoming Green Sunfish Record

“J

Photo courtesy of Wyoming Game & Fish

ust one more cast, please,” Chris Castleman, 14, pleaded several times the evening of June 7. On the very last of the “just one more” casts, Chris hooked a new Wyoming state record green sunfish on a worm and bobber. He and his dad, Allen, knew the fish was much bigger than the panfish they’d been catching that evening at Bryan Stock Trail Pond in Casper. The next morning, the fish weighed 1-pound, 4-ounces on certified scales. It measured 12.25 inches long with an 11-inch girth. It was officially identified as a green sunfish by Fisheries Supervisor Matt Hahn, the state record form was filled out and a new record was on the books. The fish resoundingly beat the former state record caught at the Lovell Ponds in July 2010 by nearly 6 ounces. The world record weighed 2 pound, 2 ounces and was caught in Stockton Lake near Springfield, Missouri in June 1971. “This was a one in a thousand, maybe even one in 10,000 fish,” Hahn said about the frequency of a fish this size in the Wyoming green sunfish population. The green sunfish is native to middle America from the Great Lakes to Texas and as far west as Nebraska. It was introduced to Wyoming primarily as forage for bass, but also because it generally cooperates with warm-water anglers.

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• Weighs 86.4 lbs. • 21" L x 10-1/8" H

SHELTER LOGIC

COMPARE TO $

WARN

$

MODEL: 76377

ITEM 62859/63055/62860 shown

HEAVY DUTY FOLDABLE ALUMINUM SPORTS CHAIR

399

69999

SAVE $400

MODEL: 96820

Customer Rating

ITEM 64046 64045 63770 shown

SAVE $ 60% COLEMAN

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4999

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7499

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BLUE-POINT MODEL: KRBC3TD

ITEM 61161/90428 shown

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9

$ 99

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$

17

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$7

85

50%

WEATHERMASTER

20 VOLT LITHIUM CORDLESS 1/2" COMPACT DRILL/DRIVER KIT

8

$ 99

COMPARE TO

MODEL: 300083999

ITEM 60561 YARDS & BEYOND MODEL: APA001234V1AAA4 69462 shown LIMIT 9 - Coupon valid through 12/1/18*

NOW

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GPL

$

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45

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ITEM 64715/64478/63287 shown

LIMIT 4 - Coupon valid through 12/1/18*

Customer Rating

• 350 lb. capacity

COMPARE TO

LIMIT 3 - Coupon valid through 12/1/18*

40 VOLT LITHIUM CORDLESS 14" BRUSHLESS CHAIN SAW

SAVE $25

STEP STOOL/ WORKING PLATFORM

Customer Rating

ITEM 62515/66911 shown ITEM 63531

11095

MODEL: DP5UL

SUPER COUPON

SUPER COUPON

$

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ITEM 60581 60653 shown

44

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$2999

59

$ 99 SCHUMACHER ELECTRIC MODEL: SE-1250

COMPARE TO

LIMIT 7 - Coupon valid through 12/1/18*

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LIMIT 5 - Coupon valid through 12/1/18*

I

I

At Harbor Freight Tools, the “Compare to” price means that the specified comparison, which is an item with the same or similar function, was advertised for sale at or above the “Compare to” price by another national retailer in the U.S. within the past 90 days. Prices advertised by others may vary by location. No other meaning of “Compare to” should be implied. For more information, go to HarborFreight.com or see store associate.

COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

*Original coupon only. No use on prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase or without original receipt. Valid through 12/1/18.

hft_coastalangler_0818_M-REG152000.indd 1 CANGL_NAT3-NAT26.indd 25

$

LIMIT 4 - Coupon valid through 12/1/18*

ITEM 61765 46411 shown

6999 SAVE $39

BUFFALO BLACK

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$

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$5 9

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11

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ITEM 60395/62325 62493/61523 shown

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ATV/LAWN MOWER LIFT 8", 5 SPEED BENCHTOP • 300 lb. capacity DRILL PRESS • Weighs 72.5 lbs. NOW NOW 99 99

Customer Rating

ITEM 62314 63066/66383 shown

99

1599

COMPARE TO

LIMIT 7 - Coupon valid through 12/1/18*

Customer Rating

NOW

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SUPER COUPON

99

$

$1299

LIMIT 9 - Coupon valid through 12/1/18*

• 350 lb. capacity

Customer Rating

5

PERFORMAX MODEL: 2411-1 ITEM 69645/60625 shown

LIMIT 7 - Coupon valid through 12/1/18*

MECHANIC'S GLOVES

$ 99

28

99

$

MODEL: 2000020293

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$

COMPARE TO

27

COMPARE TO

$999 $1499

SAVE 65%

NOW

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NOW

SUPER COUPON

LIMIT 3 - Coupon valid through 12/1/18*

Customer Rating

270

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4-1/2" ANGLE GRINDER .50 CAL METAL AMMO CAN NOW

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$

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LIMIT 3 - Coupon valid through 12/1/18*

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12,000 LB. ELECTRIC WINCH WITH REMOTE CONTROL AND AUTOMATIC BRAKE

$299

$

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LIMIT 5 - Coupon valid through 12/1/18*

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Limit 1 coupon per customer per day. Save 20% on any 1 item purchased. *Cannot be used with other discount, coupon or any of the following items or brands: Inside Track Club membership, Extended Service Plan, gift card, open box item, 3 day Parking Lot Sale item, compressors, floor jacks, safes, saw mills, storage cabinets, chests or carts, trailers, trencher/backhoe, welders, Admiral, Ames, Bauer, Cobra, CoverPro, Daytona, Earthquake, Fischer, Hercules, Icon, Jupiter, Lynxx, Poulan, Predator, Tailgator, Viking, Vulcan, Zurich. Not valid on prior purchases. Non-transferable. Original coupon must be presented. Valid through 12/1/18.

SUPER COUPON

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COMPARE TO

ITEM 62728/62583 47770/62570 shown

NOW

NOW

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SUPER COUPON

21 GALLON, 2.5 HP, 125 PSI VERTICAL OIL-LUBE 10 FT. x 17 FT. PORTABLE GARAGE AIR COMPRESSOR Customer Rating Customer Rating

797

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Cannot be used with other discounts or prior purchases. Original coupon must be presented. Valid through 12/1/18 while supplies last. Limit 1 FREE GIFT per customer per day.

LIMIT 4 - Coupon valid through 12/1/18*

SUPER COUPON

ANY PURCHASE

SUPER COUPON

AUGUST 2018

FRESHWATER

25

7/2/18 9:15 1:46 AM PM 7/18/18


For a limited time, get Suzuki Extended Protection, Instant Savings and attractive financing on select Suzuki outboards from 25 to 350 horspower. See your participapting Suzuki Marine dealer for details or visit www.suzukimarine.com.

REPOWER FINANCE Six Years of Protection at no extra charge on all new outboards 25 to 350 HP.

Instant Savings of up to $800 on select models. See your dealer for details.

Rates as low as 5.99% on new Suzuki outboard on approved credit.*

Gimme Six Extended Protection promo is applicable to new Suzuki Outboard Motors from 25 to 350 HP in inventory which are sold and delivered to buyer between 04/01/18 and 06/30/18 in accordance with the promotion by a Participating Authorized Suzuki Marine dealer in the continental US and Alaska to a purchasing customer who resides in the continental US or Alaska. Customer should expect to receive an acknowledgement letter and full copy of contract including terms, conditions and wallet card from Suzuki Extended Protection within 90 days of purchase. If an acknowledgement letter is not received in time period stated, contact Suzuki Motor of America, Inc. – Marine Marketing via email: marinepromo@suz.com. The Gimme Six Promotion is available for pleasure use only, and is not redeemable for cash. Instant Savings apply to qualifying purchases of select Suzuki Outboard Motors made between 04/01/18 and 06/30/18. For list of designated models, see participating Dealer or visit www.suzukimarine.com. Customer and participating Dealer must fill out the appropriate form at time of sale. Instant Savings will be applied against the original dealer invoice (Suzuki will credit Dealer parts account). There are no model substitutions, benefit substitutions, rain checks, or extensions. Suzuki reserves the right to change or cancel these promotions at any time without notice or obligation. * Financing offers available through Synchrony Retail Finance. As low as 5.99% APR financing for 60 months on new and unregistered Suzuki Outboard Motors. Subject to credit approval. Not all buyers will qualify. Approval, and any rates and terms provided, are based on credit worthiness. $19.99/month per $1,000 financed for 60 months is based on 5.99% APR. Hypothetical figures used in calculation; your actual monthly payment may differ based on financing terms, credit tier qualification, accessories or other factors such as down payment and fees. Offer effective on new, unregistered Suzuki Outboard Motors purchased from a participating authorized Suzuki dealer between 04/01/18 and 06/30/18. “Gimme Six”, the Suzuki “S” and model names are Suzuki trademarks or ®. Don’t drink and drive. Always wear a USCG-approved life jacket and read your owner’s manual. © 2018 Suzuki Motor of America, Inc.

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AUGUST 2018

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COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

7/18/18 9:15 AM


COMMON CVRS_0818.indd 3

7/17/18 10:13 AM


COMMON CVRS_0818.indd 1782-18A Coastal Angler .indd4 1

7/17/18 5/8/18 10:13 10:51 AM AM


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