Coastal Angler Magazine - April / Greater Miami

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GREATER MIAMI EDITION

Paddlesports Edition

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PHOTO COURTESY OF FELICIA SCOCOZZA VOLUME 23 • ISSUE 278

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F R A N C H I S E

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O P P O R T U N I T I E S

A V A I L A B L E

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W O R L D W I D E

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THE LIGHTEST PENN REEL EVER MADE The Lightest PENN Reel Ever Made. The all new Conflict II matches an extremely light weight design with PENN’s legendary durability. Featuring our RR30 body, CNC Gear Technology and HT-100 Drag system, the Conflict II is the ultimate inshore reel.

PENNFISHING.COM

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© 2018 PENN is a registered trademark of Pure Fishing, Inc.

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Solar Shade™ ZERO Long Sleeve Shirt

Who needs shade when you have OMNI-SHADE™ SUN DEFLECTOR? Little sun-deflecting dots are applied to the outside of an Omni-Shade™ garment to deflect sunlight away from the body, so you feel cooler and stay protected.

COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

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CEO / EDITOR IN CHIEF : Ben Martin • camads@coastalanglermagazine.com COO : Tracy Patterson • tracy@coastalanglermagazine.com ART DIRECTOR : Rebecca Snowden • graphics@coastalanglermagazine.com EDITORIAL COORDINATOR : Nick Carter • editorial@coastalanglermagazine.com WEBMASTER : Derrick Oppelt • webmaster@coastalanglermagazine.com ADVERTISING INQUIRIES: Corporate Headquarters info@coastalanglermagazine.com • 888-800-9794

FLORIDA

BIG BEND : Mike McNamara • (850) 510-7919 • captmike@coastalanglermagazine.com BREVARD : Chris Milner • (321) 631-1001 • cmilner@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

SOUTHEAST

ATLANTA : Bob & Brenda Rice • (706) 614-8231 • bobr@theanglermagazine.com CHARLESTON : Jane A. Redden • (205) 725-9616 • jane@coastalanglermagazine.com

Sam Buckareff • (843) 607-8629 • sam@coastalanglermagazine.com

CHARLOTTE/PIEDMONT : Mark & Haley Alberghini • (704) 651-1934 • mark@theanglermagazine.com COLUMBIA/MIDLANDS : John Lux • (803) 807-6885 • jlux@theanglermagazine.com MYRTLE BEACH : Mike Masiero • (732) 674-3019 • mmasiero@coastalanglermagazine.com SW GEORGIA : Bob & Brenda Rice • (706) 614-8231 • bobr@theanglermagazine.com TIDEWATER/OUTER BANKS : John Tiger • (757) 707-9654 • john.tiger@coastalanglermagazine.com

Laura Tiger • (757) 707-9655 • laura@coastalanglermagazine.com

WESTERN NC : Debra & Joe Woody • (828) 775-9663 • woody@theanglermagazine.com WILMINGTON/MOREHEAD : Charlie Lamm • (252) 205-6472 • clamm@coastalanglermagazine.com

NORTHEAST BOSTON : George Regan • (617) 488-2842 • boston@coastalanglermagazine.com LONG ISLAND : Lisa & Michael Danforth • (203) 321-7635 • lisad@coastalanglermagazine.com CONNECTICUT/RHODE ISLAND : Lisa & Michael Danforth • (203) 321-7635 lisad@coastalanglermagazine.com

GULF COAST MISSISSIPPI GULF COAST : Adam Nelson • (228) 627-5903 • anelson@coastalanglermagazine.com

You guys are everywhere.

A

nglers share some very unique commonalities. One trait that seems standard across the board is that whenever we find ourselves in a new destination, regardless of why we’re there, we always want to find out about “what’s biting.” Normally a quick trip to a local tackle shop gets us up to speed. I often hear from readers that they were in a different state or a different region and found a copy of our magazine at the tackle shop they went into. One such reader recently told me, “I live in Wilmington, North Carolina, and I read your Wilmington edition every month. I was in Mississippi recently on business and I saw a copy of your magazine at a local tackle shop. The next month I was in Key West, Florida and saw a copy of the magazine at a tackle shop there. I just landed in Connecticut today and can’t believe that I just picked up another copy of your magazine at a tackle shop here in Connecticut. You guys are everywhere.” It is true; we are available for free in over 30 market areas, but we’re not everywhere yet. Our franchise publishing model is changing the way American anglers view a local fishing magazine, and we’re looking to further expand our footprint. If you think owning your own business as the publisher of your area’s local fishing magazine is something that would fit your career and lifestyle goals, give us a call for information on potential franchise opportunities in your area. Previous publishing experience is not required. We have a complete training program and ongoing support system that enables our co-publishing partners to quickly establish the magazine as a primary resource for the avid angler nearly everywhere. Best regards,

Toby Nelson • (228) 623-1761 • tnelson@coastalanglermagazine.com

GREAT LAKES WEST MICHIGAN : Phil Belsito • (616) 957-1714 • phil@theanglermagazine.com

INTERNATIONAL PUERTO RICO/VIRGIN ISLANDS : Ace Bassue • (407) 285-9453 • ace@coastalanglermagazine.com COSTA RICA : Mike Erickson • (561) 262-2242 • mike@coastalanglermagazine.com © 2018. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written consent of the publisher. Disclaimer: Coastal Angler Magazine / The Angler Magazine will not be held liable for injuries incurred while partaking in activities described herein, or for claims made against products or services provided by advertisers.

Ben Martin Editor in Chief info@coastalanglermagazine.com

1-888-800-9794

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Honda


BLEED TRIM

SAFETY

Destination Honda

For destinations found on a map, or ones that are simply a state of mind, trust a reliable Honda outboard to get you there. And back. Find out more at ca.hondamarine.com.

GET UP TO 700 OFF SELECT OUTBOARDS! OFFER ENDS JUNE 4. $

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*At participating dealers only. Qualifying retail customers may receive instant savings off the selling price of a Honda powered boat package or Honda Marine engine(s) sold for repower. This promotion is limited to new Honda Marine 40 HP through 250 HP outboard engines, 2013 and newer models, sold and delivered between January 3, 2018 and June 4, 2018 and registered by the Dealer in accordance with American Honda Motor Co., Inc.’s sales registration requirements. Only Honda Marine outboard engines sold for personal use qualify for this promotion. Fleet, commercial & government sales are ineligible. Engines sold under special pricing / promotions are also excluded. Honda Marine reserves the right to modify, amend, cancel or revoke, in whole or in part, this promotion at any time without prior notice. SAFETY COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM I APRIL 2018 I NATIONAL 7 © 2018 American Honda Motor Co., Inc. Always wear a personal flotation device while boating and read your owner’s manual. All Honda outboards meet EPA and CARB emission levels. TRIM BLEED

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WHO CARES ABOUT PUTTING YOUR LURE RIGHT ON TOP OF FISH?

All trademarks mentioned are owned by, or licensed to, the AkzoNobel group of companies. © AkzoNobel 2017.

YOU SHOULD.

GPSMAP® 1242xsv

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BUILT-IN SONAR

PRELOADED MAPPING

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CHIRP + CLEARVÜ + SIDEVÜ BLUECHART® G2 + LAKEVÜ HD NETWORK CAPABLE & CONTROL KNOB WITH BUILT-IN WIFI®

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© 2018 Garmin Ltd. or its subsidiaries. Wi-Fi® is a registered trademark of the Wi-Fi Alliance.

COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

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For over a century, a league of canned crusaders have been fighting to keep boats safe from barnacles, slime, algae and other aquatic evils that rob your boat of its true performance. With advanced know-how and unique capabilities, each antifouling is tailored to different conditions, and has the power to defeat fouling in all its forms. Micron® Extra leads the charge in all waters. Using its signature dual-protection with boosting Biolux® technology, it provides high-quality, multi-season protection that survives hauling and relaunch without the need for repainting. For super-powered antifouling protection and proven performance, choose Interlux®.

All trademarks mentioned are owned by, or licensed to, the AkzoNobel group of companies. © AkzoNobel 2017.

The hero your boat deserves!

9:08 AM

8953/1217

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Paddlesports Product Review CARIBE TIBURON INFLATABLE SUP You’ll be slithering through the waves with ease and gliding along in true mariner style when you hop on Caribe’s inflatable SUP. Decorated with a shark silhouette and further amplified by a cool camo print, this blue and black paddleboard is always a hit among water-lovers with a penchant for adventure. The Tiburon Inflatable Paddleboard comes with 6 D-Rings on the softpad so you can attach a variety of accessories like a cooler, 2 Kayak Seats, dry bags, etc. it also comes with a D-Ring on the front bottom deck, excellent for anchoring or towing the board. A very wide 34” design provides stability like no other board on the market. It’s ideal for fishing and long rides and has a smooth non-slip softpad that provides grip as well as comfort. Concerned about hooks on board or punctures from oyster beds? No worries! Double deck Tarpaulin layers protect the board from punctures while providing the most rigid inflatable experience out there. All Caribe’s boards come with a 2-year warranty against manufacturing defects.

WWW.CARIBESUP.COM

AIRHEAD SUP BONEFISH 1138 True to its name, the Airhead SUP Bonefish 1138 is a paddleboard specifically designed for fishing. This super-stable fishing SUP has two inflatable sponsons that give anglers the firm platform they need for fighting big fish and navigating rough water. There are four strategically placed mount pads on deck to accommodate four rod racks, Airhead SUP Fishing Racks and Bucket Racks. Two smaller accessory mounts are perfect for small rod holders or other accessories, and two stainless D-ring cooler tie downs round out endless possibilities for equipment customization. A classic teak-look EVA decking provides sure footing. At just 41 pounds, transport of the Bonefish 1138 is easy, and two molded handles fore and aft make carrying it to the water a breeze, even when it’s fully loaded. There is versatility built in with 10 stainless steel D-rings and two stretch tie downs. The Bonefish 1138 comes with a mesh backpack for transport and storage, a Hi Pressure hand pump for quick and easy inflation, a pressure gauge, valve wrench, board strap and repair kit.

WWW.AIRHEADSUP.COM

KAKU WAHOO 10.5 The new Kaku Wahoo 10.5 may be the baddest little ’yak on the water. It is a compact version of the Wahoo 12.5, which has proven itself as a superb fishing kayak. Kaku went and shaved a couple of feet and more than 10 pounds off of the original Wahoo to create a boat that is easier to transport and paddles very well in the tight environs kayak anglers often find themselves in. And while the Wahoo 10.5 gives up size, it does not sacrifice fishability or performance. It has all the features of the Wahoo 12.5. By flattening the rocker and lowering the keel, Kaku has designed a boat that tracks well and is easy to stand on. A sick deck pad rounds out the look of a quick little ’yak that is stable, comfortable and easy to handle.

KAKUKAYAK.COM

MANTA RACKS Whether it’s a mother-ship expedition offshore, a day-cruise to some isolated islands or exploration deep into the mangroves, there are a lot of places paddle-sports enthusiasts want to be that are too distant to access under paddle power. SUPs and kayaks take up a lot of room on the deck of the boat, and Manta Racks has come up with the perfect solution. The Manta Racks system stores your kayaks or SUPs securely to your boat, where they are out of the way, and it utilizes the boat’s rod holders, so there’s no need to drill any new holes for mounting. With a patented 360-degree locking swivel feature, 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. Go farther when you take your boards.

WWW.MANTARACKS.COM

WILDERNESS SYSTEMS RADAR SERIES With its new Radar Series, Wilderness Systems continues to build on its legacy of innovation, performance and quality in fishing kayaks. The Radar Series is Wilderness Systems’ first tri-powered kayak, which means it has paddle, power and pedal capabilities. It features S.M.A.R.T. Hull Technology that combines stability, maneuverability, acceleration, responsiveness and tracking throughout the entire design for ultimate

performance in multiple water environments. In addition to a flat platform for standing and freedom of movement, the Radar boasts state-of-the-art outfitting including expansive SlideTrax rails, a multitude of storage opportunities, and scupper options to deploy the Helix MD motor drive, Helix PD pedal drive and multiple options for electronics, including down-imaging, side-scanning or both. With Helix PD, a built-in steering control system allows for easy navigation that leaves your hands free for fishing. The AirPro Max seat complements the package with optimized positioning for any mode of travel.

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Paddlesports Product Review NUCANOE FLINT NuCanoe made waves when it introduced its new Flint kayak at iCast. Here is a boat jam-packed with features for serious anglers, yet the price tag is way below what you’d expect for such a high-quality kayak. At 11’3”, and less than 70 pounds, The Flint is the perfect boat for exploring creeks, rivers and backwater marshes. It is agile, responding nimbly to the paddle, and it also tracks very well despite its shorter length. Light enough for easy one-man transport, this boat is amazingly stable, and unique scupper hole design provides a firm deck. The Flint cockpit is wide open and fishes like a much larger kayak. There’s plenty of room and stability for standing to fish on an uncluttered deck, and the new Hawg Trough channel keeps your measuring board handy but out of the way. With five gear tracks, handy spaces for tackle boxes and angled flush-mount rod holders, NuCanoe has come up with a simple yet efficient and customizable layout for everything an angler needs. The side handle that doubles as a quick-clip paddle holder is a handy innovation someone should have come up with long ago. Cap it all off with the comfy custom-height Pinnacle seat NuCanoe is known for, and this is a top-notch fishing platform for a reasonable price.

WWW.NUCANOE.COM

PERCEPTION PESCADOR PILOT 12.0 Perception’s pedal-powered Pescador Pilot is a fishing machine that is extremely comfortable and functional for anglers. It excels in flat water and is an excellent kayak for inshore and bay fishing as well as on freshwater lakes and ponds. The Pilot Drive propeller system effortlessly propels the boat, even in reverse, while leaving both hands free. The spacious, sit-on-top design with generous storage and accessory mounts make the kayak easy to customize. Superior stability allows anglers to cast and fight fish while standing. Comfort is absolutely necessary for serious anglers spending long hours on the water. The Pescador Pilot is built for that. A roomy captain’s chair features zonal mesh to promote cooling airflow. On-the-fly seatback adjustment tilts back for relaxed pedaling or forward for sportier pedaling.

With performance, comfort, features, and storage that outdistance its price point, especially for a peddle-driven kayak, the Pescador Pilot is also a great value. This boat is proudly designed, molded and hand assembled in the USA and is backed by a 5-year warranty.

WWW.PERCEPTIONKAYAKS.COM

OLD TOWN PREDATOR PDL Prepare yourself for a totally new fishing experience. Old Town has taken boat control to new heights with forward and reverse via an efficient and easy-to-use propriety pedal-drive system. It gets you to the spot fast, and keeps you on the spot without paddling. With forward, reverse and agile maneuverability, you’ll experience precise boat control while your hands remain free to focus on fishing. The removable pedal drive installs in seconds and tips up instantly for shallowwater docking. The Predator PDL’s specially-designed hull combines the perfect balance of smooth pedal stroke speed and stand-up stability. The Old Town PDL pedals exactly like a bicycle, converting modest pedaling into maximum propulsion. A 10.3:1 gear ratio means that anglers can reach speeds up to 5.5 mph to reach fishing spots fast and efficiently. It also makes trolling through a range of useradjustable speeds easy and effective. The Predator PDL is infinitely customizable with rigging accessories from Cannon, Scotty, YakAttack, RAM and more.

WWW.OLDTOWNCANOE.COM

SEA EAGLE 350FX FISHING EXPLORER For anglers who like to go it alone, Sea Eagle’s 350fx is a terrific choice. The most stable and rugged entry in Sea Eagle’s Explorer Series of inflatable kayaks, it’s a lightweight (51-lbs.) and easily portable one-person fishing machine. Nearly indestructible, the 350fx features a double layer of 1000 Denier reinforced protective layers on the tubes and bottom, a 40-inch fish ruler, plus two spray skirts—each with three rod holders and accessory belts that hold tools, hooks and lures. A fully adjustable foot brace is easily positioned for maximum comfort and more power per stroke while a nifty anchor system quietly locks in advantageous casting positions. Suitable for paddling in waters rated to Class IV, 16 high-capacity self-bailing drain valves make this entry ideal for fishing in moderate whitewater rivers up to Class III. Close the valves to remain high and dry on flat waters, and insert the removable skeg to improve flatwater tracking. Fully inflated in seven minutes, the 350fx fits in a car trunk and handles electric motors up to 34-pound thrust. This inflatable fishing kayak is 11’6” long and has a maximum weight capacity of 575 lbs.

WWW.SEAEAGLE.COM

FLYCRAFT STEALTH The Flycraft Stealth is one of the most versatile boats in the world. Its unique construction and shape give it the functionality of many boats in one. From motoring on the coast or lakes to rowing rocky streams and mild whitewater, the Flycraft Stealth is your one boat answer. The boat’s lightweight and minimalistic design allow it to be easily carried on a roof or in a truck bed. No roof rack? No problem; this boat deflates and packs down to fit in a trunk or closet. At just 98 pounds, one person can easily transport or load this boat solo. For information, call 801-810-4022.

WWW.FLYCRAFTUSA.COM COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

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QUIK-CHANGE II ™ Our Innovative, Interchangeable Fixed Blade Cutlery System 9” FILLET 7” FILLET 5” FILLET 3” SERRATED

KN IVES easy blade release 12

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rugged canvas roll pack

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FLY FISHING

Michelle Bowman with a Yucatan baby tarpon from an inflatable SUP.

For more Bowman, go to

CAMFLYFISHING.COM

GAME CHANGER Sea Eagle FishSUP Stand Up Paddleboard

Win th Sea Eagle e FishSUP Pro Moto r Fishing Rig Packa ge! Fu

www.Coa ll details at stalAngle rContest.c om

Fits in a Bag! Paddle or Motor

Incredibly stable, the new inflatable FishSUP FS126 Stand Up Paddleboard is an angler’s dream. Lightweight, packable, portable and ready in moments. The FishSUP fits in any car trunk and inflates in just 7 minutes. Stand, sit, fish, motor, troll, fresh, salt or brackish water...the FishSUP goes everywhere. 800-748-8066 M-F 9-5 EST Dept C2048B 19 N. Columbia St., Suite 1

• 12’6” long x 40” wide for exceptional stability • Motor mount holds up to a 55 lb. thrust electric motor • EVA foam pad for secure stand up footing • 36” Built-in fish ruler • Heavy duty two layer drop stitch construction for a solid, super tough SUP board • Multiple d-rings and elastic cord for gear & accessories

MSRP $1149!

Port Jefferson, NY 11777

COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

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NO 26

The best fishing stories start with you getting away.

F F

®

PINE ISLAND SOUND, FL

® ® ®

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Islandology is our way of life. It’s trying a new, secluded spot and finding no matter what you catch – you’re hooked.

®

Plan your trip at FortMyers-Sanibel.com

®

COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

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CoastalA


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2018 242CC

FISHING FOCUSED FAMILY FRIENDLY “Sailfish Boats are truly versatile. A great fishing boat and a great family boat all in one.”

2018 220CC ® Exclusive Variable Degree Stepped (VDS) Hull for Performance, Safety & Stability ® 10 year Structural Warranty ® SailTech Construction: 100% Composite, Reinforced with Kevlar® & Carbon Fiber ® Lifetime No-Rot Guarantee ® Bow To Stern Intelligent Ergonomic Design with Premium Finishes ® Family Friendly Features for Fun, Comfort and Safety

www.SailfishBoats.com

COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

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Take a

ROD BUILDING CLASS

Boston, MA

St. Louis, MO

Houston, TX

Phoenix, AZ

Orlando, FL

Dallas, TX

San Diego, CA

Grand Rapids, MI

Mobile, AL

Seattle, WA

Register at:

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You could get a discount when you combine your auto and boat policies.

geico.com | 1-800-865-4846 | Local Office Some discounts, coverages, payment plans and features are not available in all states or all GEICO companies. Boat and PWC coverages are underwritten by GEICO Marine Insurance Company. Multi-Policy Discount available to auto insureds that have purchased a boat policy through the GEICO Marine Insurance Company. GEICO is a registered service mark of Government Employees Insurance Company, Washington, D.C. 20076; a Berkshire Hathaway Inc. subsidiary. © 2018 GEICO

COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

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Center sp

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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FLORIDA

Photo by Zach Doleac

T

o an angler, sunglasses are a tool that’s as important to comfort and success as anything else on the boat. And when you purchase an expensive pair of high-performance shades from the tackle or fly shop, you don’t leave the store without an eyewear-retention lanyard to keep them safe while you’re on the water. Only you don’t call this device an “eyewear-retention lanyard.” They are called Croakies, and the reason the brand is

synonymous with the product is because Croakies has been doing right by outdoors enthusiasts for more than 40 years. Croakies was born in the mountains of Jackson, Wyoming more than 40 years ago. A deep connection to the outdoors is what drives the company toward greater product innovation and better, more sustainable production practices. Croakies has consistently raised the bar in creating industry-leading products coupled with unique prints and patterns to turn the ordinary into extraordinary for those hitting the water, the trail, the beach or anywhere in between. Today, Croakies is much more than just a strap to hold your eyewear on, though. The brand is home to a broad collection of industry-leading retention products including eyewear retainers, belts and dog collars and leashes. From their technical, adjustable system to keep your earbuds safe and untangled to guitar straps and lanyards for any use, Croakies creates stylish, durable and functional products for active people. On behalf of all of us at Coastal Angler, thanks Croakies for saving our shades and keeping us dialed in while on the water for the past 40 years. For a complete overview of the 2018 Croakies collection, head over to croakies.com or follow the brand on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter using @Croakies. For more on Croakies, go to

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he 11th Annual Blue Wild Ocean Adventure Expo, an action-packed water sports expo for watersport enthusiasts of all ages, returns to the Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center April 14-15. Produced by Sheri Daye, a world-record spearfishing diver, the Blue Wild Ocean Adventure Expo is South Florida’s premier water sports expo. Daye crafted the expo to be both educational and entertaining. Attendees can learn from renowned speakers about the latest techniques, shop cool products and socialize with like-minded ocean lovers. Spanning 65,000 square feet, the indoor event attracts upwards of 5,000 attendees and more than 150 exhibitors specializing in freediving, scuba, spearfishing, paddleboarding, adventure travel and more. The event also features one of the most extensive marine art and underwater photography exhibits in the country. This year, the expo has added a brand new hook-and-line fishing section.

Several educational seminars, taught by world-class experts and celebrity-speakers like TV personality Manny Puig, Gatorboy Chris Gillette, and others, are scheduled throughout the weekend and are open to anyone who wants to attend. In addition, daily interactive workshops hosted by industry experts offer proven techniques and tips including speargun rigging, lionfish preparation and sampling, knot-tying for fishermen, fish filleting demos, yoga sessions and more. The popular Kids Zone will offer free face painting, art classes and crab races. The Blue Wild offers activities for the whole family to enjoy. “What began as a small charity event has evolved over the past 11 years and flourished into an exciting, must-attend event,” said Daye. “For marine art fans, we truly have one of the country’s most impressive collections—from the world-renowned to the local scene, with artists such as Carey Chen, Pascal Lecocq, Michelle Brener and many more.” Returning exhibitors include Austin’s, OMER, Mares, PADI, Chaos Fishing, Florida Freedivers, Papa’s Pilar, Wong Spearguns and many more. The Expo is pleased to welcome several new exhibitors such as Shimano, Custom Rod & Reel, SeaHunter Boats, Laser Tools Co, Reel Addictive Charters, Sporty Girl Apparel and Scubotics. Adding to the excitement, the Expo also has state-of-the-art water toys, kayaks and Contender Boats. The Blue Wild Ocean Adventure Expo is known for its high-energy crowds and fun vibe. The diverse crowd includes visitors, experts and exhibitors from all over the world who flock to Fort Lauderdale for its desirable and central location. Water-lovers can also take advantage of the year-round tropical weather and warm waters. Entry is $20 at the door and includes a free goodie bag (while supplies last) and free entry to the Saturday night After-Party at the Fort Lauderdale Beach Courtyard Marriott. For information, visit www.TheBlueWild.com or check out a video from last year at https://youtu.be/_QvqnHyxmr0.

For more on the 2017 Blue Wild Expo, go to

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.. NPS photo by Eric Johnston

A

pparently there are more dangerous critters than gators to worry about when paddling Florida’s rivers. Last month, reports of a rampaging river otter emerged out of Manatee County, and the culprit appeared to have been targeting kayakers. According to the Bradenton Herald, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission confirmed multiple reports of aggressive otter encounters over two days on a stretch of the Braden River in Manatee County. The first was received Saturday, March 3, when two kayakers reported being bitten by an otter. The next day, Sunday March 4, two more kayakers reported being attacked by an otter. The second day’s encounters occurred about 2 miles from the previous attack. One of the victims, Sue Spector, 77, was interviewed by Fox 13 News after receiving stitches and rabies treatments as a result of the attack. “… I heard someone make a comment that, ‘Oh, there’s an otter!” Spector told Fox 13. “And then all of a sudden he jumped on my kayak and two seconds later he jumped on me.” According to the report, the animal clawed, scratched and bit Spector’s arms, nose and ear. Her kayak flipped and a lifejacket and hat saved Spector from sustaining additional injury as her husband and other kayakers in the group fended the otter off with paddles. FWC posted warning fliers at nearby boat ramps, but the terror might have already ended, as there are reports the otter might also have had a run-in with an alligator.

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THE ALTERNATIVE TO BUYING A NEW BOAT

Suzuki Repower Centers are stationed around the southeast to help with your Suzuki service and repower needs.

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TAKE A KID

CORY GURMAN

A

s winter gives way to spring, anglers from all over begin to experience one of the best times of the year to get out fishing. Many of the easiest and unsuspected places to fish can be right out your front door, leading kids of all levels to connect with a wide variety of fish. There is likely good, fishable water within walking or biking distance of where you live. Many golf course ponds and retention ponds produce big bass and good numbers of fish in the 3- to 4-pound range. While most ponds will hold fish, the most productive ones will have structure to protect fish from predators as well as give shade during the day. Overhanging trees, grass and bushes are all things to look for. One of my favorite ways to catch these bass is by hooking a plastic worm through the middle of its body (wacky worm) and letting it flutter weightless to the bottom near the structure. An occasional gentle twitch will attract attention, and bent rods will be sure to follow. Surf fishing, another favorite of mine, is a fun and easy way to catch dinner while enjoying a beautiful view. Fish travel all along the surf in search of a meal, but if you can concentrate your efforts where the bait is congregating, you will greatly improve your odds of hooking up. Birds diving into the surf is a sure sign that bait is in the area. Find diving birds, and you’ve found a great place to set up. Advanced techniques and high-end gear aren’t mandatory for novice anglers to put some good eating fish on the table. A 10-foot rod, a reel sized similar to a 6500 Penn Spinfisher (spooled with 20lb. mono) and a sand spike will be your basic set up. As far as tackle goes, I use a pompano rig or fish finder rig above a sputnik weight, all of which can be found at almost any tackle shop. For bait, shrimp and clams are good all-around choices. When I use

clams, I generally place them in kosher salt beforehand to toughen them up. Whiting, black drum, the occasional redfish and the ever-tasty pompano are some of the fish you can expect to catch this time of year. To be better prepared for your next fishing adventure, I highly encourage you to tap into the wealth and resources found on the Web. Surf fishing Florida (www. surfishingflorida.com) and other local forums are great ways to find where the fish are running. A search on YouTube will further address some of the things I’ve talked about, and with a visual aspect, you will be well on your way to enjoying the great outdoors. Cory Gurman is a freshman 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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here are two key ingredients to a world-class fishing tournament: world-class fishing and world-class parties. Based on those criteria, it’s no surprise why Key West, Fla. is the host location for Final Sail, the grand finale of the four-leg Quest for the Crest Sailfish Series. Final Sail is hosted by Margaritaville Key West Resort & Marina with dates set for April 17-21. Key West is recognized by many as the fishing capital of the world. In late April, the sailfish action off Key West can rival the type of billfishing action that crews travel the globe in search of. And the parties? How many tournaments have you fished that organize a pub crawl on Duval Street as part of the tournament festivities! Final Sail is a weeklong event that checks all the boxes if you’re looking to combine a Key West vacation with the tournament experience of a lifetime. The event kicks off with an amazing opening party along the Margaritaville Sunset Pier on Tuesday, April 17. Live music, incredible food and a postcard view of the most breathtaking

sunset on the planet set the stage for a first-class tournament kickoff party. Two days of hard-fought tournament competition follow on Wednesday and Thursday, as teams battle for a purse that is expected to reach $900,000 with a winner-take-all $270,000 jackpot up for grabs! With daily payouts near $100,000, each competition day is like its own mini tournament. Friday, April 20 is the day of rest for Final Sail teams, and they will need plenty following a Thursday night pub crawl on Duval Street with fellow competitors in the tournament. With stops at landmark locations like Rick’s Bar and Irish Kevin’s, there is no shortage of great entertainment. Saturday, April 21 is the last day of the Final Sail competition and the final opportunity for teams to claim the most coveted title in competitive sailfishing around the globe. Saturday night is the grand finale and awards party bash at Margaritaville Resort, where a new world champion will be crowned. To top it off, every team in the tournament that releases a sailfish will be entered into a drawing during the awards party to win a brand new RAM 1500 crew cab truck courtesy of Joey Accardi Chrysler Dodge Jeep RAM. The destination, the parties, the fishing and the purse... it’s all waiting for you in Key West at Final Sail! For more information, see www.bluewatermovements.com.

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nfo

By Will Schmidt

May 19, 2018

F

rom bare bones to fully loaded, a stand-up paddleboard (SUP) is a great platform to fish from. Typically coming in under 30 pounds, it is easy to transport, it’s quiet and super stealthy, and with a standing view it makes for a fantastic platform to sight fish from. The portability and ease of clean up make it great for a quick after work trip with a rod, reel and handful of lures. Add a cooler and a few extras, and you are ready for a full day of fun on the water. To maximize your time on the board, here are my three top tips. • Paddle control is perhaps the most important thing about SUP fishing. Quickly storing your paddle to transition from paddling to casting can be a clumsy noisy process, but I’ve found a simple and effective trick. Using a length of rope about 2 feet longer than your waist, tie a loop in each end. Then wrap the rope around your waist, putting one loop through the other. When you spot a fish, put the handle of the paddle through the hanging loop and the blade on the board, now you are ready to cast and still have quick access to your paddle if you need to maneuver while fighting a fish. • At some point you will need to hold yourself steady to keep from spooking fish while working a productive spot. An anchor works, but I like a stake-out pole. They are easy to deploy, silent and effective. There are nice commercial models available in the $100 range, but I made one easily for about $15. Most large gardening departments sell sturdy hard plastic tomato stakes. They have a point at one end that will penetrate on most flats. I also added a PVC T joint as a handle and a small piece of foam noodle as a float. This works well on soft shallow flats and can be tied to the board or run through an open-ended rod tube to hold you in place. • Gear management especially during an extended outing is something you will need to consider. I opt for strapping on a cooler, preferably one that latches shut like the Orion. This gives me a secure place to put gear that will not be lost in case of an inadvertent plunge. It also offers a comfortable seat, which doubles as a safety feature to lower your center of gravity in rough situations. Furthermore, the Orion has built-in Yak Attack rails, which allow you to attach Ram style accessories like rod holders. Light, quiet and fun, an SUP offers a great way to get to the fish whether for a quick trip after work or leisurely day of fishing. Will Schmidt is a seasoned tournament angler who has been writing about fishing for nearly two decades. Check out Orion coolers at Orioncoolers.com.

The Race Sailors compete off the Ft. Lauderdale shore! Hosted by: Hillsboro Inlet Sailing Club, Gulfstream Sailing Club, Sailing Singles of South Florida, and South Florida Sailors and Boaters Awards Celebration Bring the family & join the party! Coral Ridge Yacht Club, Ft. Lauderdale 6:00 – 9:00 p.m. Food • Drinks • Live Music • Raffles For more information or to register your boat, call (561) 494-6887 or visit trustbridgefoundation.org/regatta Presented by

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crisp March air was cold enough to have me bundled up tight in layers and a heavy coat. To make things a little more interesting, the previous week of heavy rainfall had the dam wide open, causing swift current and massive waves in high winds. After fishing for half the tournaBy Ryan Kennedy ment day with no success other than a few short fish, I was feeling a little discouraged. have dreamed of certain That’s when things took a turn for the better. As my partner and days that would come I approached a stretch of rocky bank, I reached for a Red Crawdad along for as long as I have Rapala DT-6 crankbait and started slinging casts toward the bank. A been fishing bass tourna- few casts in led us to a small transition area where the size of the rocks ments. Those dreams turn changed. The first cast at this transition started with a bang. into goals, and those goals My St. Croix Mojo Bass Cranking Rod, which is a glass rod, was are attainable with hard work bent heavily. I was in for the first good fight of the day. After what and perseverance. It’s beyond seemed like an eternity, I was holding a 4-pound, 8-ounce Lake Gunamazing to me looking back tersville spotted bass. If you are familiar with the lake, you know a on my most recent tourna- spot of that size is something to appreciate. It’s just 3 ounces shy of the ment to see how God’s plan 4-pound, 11-ounce lake record. came together down to the My demeanor quickly changed for the better. Back on deck, with very rock that I bumped my one cast behind me after landing Spotapotamus, I was laser focused. I crankbait into before catching slung my crankbait as far as I could cast toward a log just past the same the fish I had always dreamed transition area. Within three cranks of the reel, my dream was about about. to become a reality. Moments later, I was holding a 9-pound, 8-ounce The goal that had elud- donkey of a largemouth. ed me thus far in my tournaTo get this straight, let’s go over what just happened. In three casts, ment career was catching an a near-lake-record spotted bass was in the boat, my new personal best absolute giant in a tourna- largemouth bass was in the boat, and 14 pounds of fish were in the ment. Don’t get me wrong, I am always excited to catch a big bass, but livewell. My partner and I ended up with over a 20-pound limit with whenever it happens it always seems to be while fishing for fun on the only four fish and qualified for the 2019 FLW Collegiate National lake or while pond-hopping around my house. This all changed, as I Championship! will forever remember, during the situation I am about to describe. Contact Ryan Kennedy at ryankfishing@gmail.com. Keep up with I was fishing at Lake Guntersville, Alabama, during the second his exploits on YouTube: Ryan Kennedy Fishing, Instagram: @ryankstop of the FLW Collegiate Southeastern Tournament Trail. The fishing and Facebook: Ryan Kennedy Fishing.

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GREATER MIAMI Austin Copeland with a smoker caught aboard Bustin Loose.

IN THIS ISSUE:

X

Preserving Peacocks

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

For advertising or other inquiries, call (954) 680-3900 COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM APRIL 2018 GREATER MIAMI or email us at MIAMI@coastalanglermagazine.com 390_Miami.indd 1

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fROM THE

PUBLISHER

W

elcome to the April issue of Coastal Angler Miami. For the last 18 months, my wife Kim and I have published Coastal Angler Fort Lauderdale. When the opportunity to acquire the Miami market presented itself, we just couldn’t say no. There’s no doubt both markets share a unique fishery and utilize many of the same techniques. It’s our plan to leverage both markets to provide the best possible content for our readers and an unbeatable value for our advertisers. Rest assured that we are in this for the long haul and will do our very best to provide the most up to date fishing and boating information each month. On to fishing. April is here and with it comes some of the best fishing of the year. Drop a live pilchard or slab of bonito on one of our many local wrecks to get hooked up with a reef donkey. Plenty of sailfish will be around on days with windy conditions and will eat just about any live bait you throw at them. Bigger blackfin tunas will be biting in the early morning and late afternoon. Live chum with pilchards and they will come right to the boat. April also kicks off dolphin season. On calm days, you may have to run and gun offshore a bit to find them, but if the wind is blowing from the east, they will be closer to the beach. Pull small bullet style lures and feathers around birds, weed or floating debris to find them. Don’t forget a few spinning rods and some fresh chunked bait to keep them around the boat when you find them. Keep reelin, GENE DYER Editor & Publisher Coastal Angler Miami miami@coastalanglermagazine.com (954) 680-3900

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SPORT

fISHING

O

ne of the most common questions I get from clients is about the best time to fish South Florida. I usually tell them that spring is without a doubt the time to go. Some captains feel that April is better than May or vice versa. Honestly, no one knows exactly when the hottest bite will go off because like all fishing conditions have to be right. One thing I do know, is that slow days aren’t the norm during the spring season. What makes spring so special? Spring is special for two reasons; quality and variety. Not only will many of the years’ best catches happen during this time, the variety of species moving through are mind boggling. Any time you put a bait in the water, there is a good chance that a fish ranging from 20-60 pounds or more will take it. Some of the most common species include: sailfish, mahi, blackfin tuna, wahoo, smoker kingfish, cobia and bottom dwellers like snapper, grouper and amberjack. Exactly what you catch will vary day to day but one thing is for sure, you’ll need to bring plenty of ice. The best fishing method for cashing in on the action is live bait. Baits such as goggle eyes, threadfin herring, sardines, pilchards, blue runners and

Steve from Boston with a mahi we caught off the kite. It ate a live herring.

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forecastS pinfish all work in given situations. Personally, I like presenting my baits under a couple of fishing kites where they swim close to the surface. Surface feeders like sails, mahi, kingfish, wahoo and even cobia sometimes will eat most of these offerings. On days with lighter winds, a couple of flat lines will work well too. On days with no current, or a slow surface bite, you can change your game plan and target wrecks, ledges and drop offs. Deeper structures will hold mutton snapper, grouper, cobia and various types of jacks including yellow jacks, almaco jacks and amberjack. Don’t forget that grouper season is closed until May 1st. Although they are fun to catch, grouper must be released unharmed. Since grouper and other deep water fish frequently suffer the effects of barotrauma, it is a good idea to keep a release tool on the boat in order to facilitate the process and improve the chances of survival. Another beautiful thing about April, is that the days are longer giving us more fishing time. Popular targets like blackfins are suckers for a live pilchard or herring being soaked at dusk. Although tunas can bite at any time, the best and most consistent action usually occurs late in the day or early in the morning. Tuna have excellent vision and can be a bit leader shy on occasions. Personally, I

Father and son show off a beautiful estimated 20 pound American red snapper we caught and released off a deep wreck.

like to use a trace of #4 wire on everything except my bottom rod. Using this short piece of wire prevents cut offs from a possible wahoo or smoker kingfish which are very possible during the spring. Closer to shore, some of the biggest tarpon of the year will be hanging out right off South Beach. Every year these trophy size tarpon move into the area in search of food and warm water. Tarpon feed on shrimp and crabs as they flow in and out of Miami’s main shipping channel know as Government Cut. Although some tarpon are caught during daylight hours, the best action takes place late in the day as the sun begins to set. If you’ve never battled the silver king, this might be your best bet. Fish over 100 pounds are pretty common during the spring time run. Lastly, I wanted to let everyone know that I will be conducting a FREE seminar on this very topic on Wednesday, April 18th at 7:00 pm. The seminar will take place at the Miami Bass Pro Shops

located at Dolphin Mall. If you’d like more information on this or anything else just go on my Facebook page Nomad Fishing Charters or contact me directly at the number listed below. Well, I hope that you’ve enjoyed reading this piece. If you’d like to get in on the action make sure you book your trip early. You can do so via email, call or by text. Also, don’t forget that you can keep up with all of the action by following us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. If you prefer to watch 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, Baitmasters, Tracker Marine, ACRARTEX, Orca Coolers, XTRATUF, Costa Del Mar, AFTCO, and Costa Oil. Tight Lines,

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

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A New Era in FourStroke

Lionfish

Florida Spearo's Sure Target I

nvasive Lionfish first appeared on the edge of Broward and Dade County shorelines in 1985, then slowly spread to Palm Beach by 1995. In 2000, they had pushed up to North Carolina and out to Bermuda and in 5 years, the Bahamas followed. By 2009 to 2010, the population exploded to all Florida coasts, west to Texas and Mexico, north to Rhode Island, south throughout the Caribbean, Central America, and northern South America. The last 8 years have seen massive density increases, but divers are fighting back and putting thousands of these tasty fish on dinner tables! Lionfish rival hogfish and red snapper as quality table fare, but only get a little over 19 inches long. I recently speared another personal record 17 incher, but usually only spear little ones to leave for hungry native creatures. There is no size, quantity limit, or

closed season, but remember you have to fillet every fish you keep. Reef.org published the fantastic Lionfish Cookbook in 2010 and it armed me with photos of their 18 venomous spines. I soon shot dozens of them on a Dry Tortugas trip, with hundreds more to follow here in South Florida and remain unstung! (There’s a 2nd Edition also available now.) The sting is said to be worse than a wasp and requires immediate hot water treatment for pain relief. (See a doctor for allergic reactions.) To avoid stings, shoot with a polespear and paralyzer tip and cut off the spines with seasnips ASAP. Reef.org started lionfish derbies in 2009 with over 21,000 lion fish taken since. Their 2018 derby schedule can be seen on reef.org. Also myfwc.com lists most Lionfish derbies and lists many existing spearfishing tournaments that now include lionfish categories and even many lionfish derbies by new organizations. If you’re not a diver, many restaurants are also serving lionfish, so give it a try! Shoot straight!

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Preserving

Peacocks A

s we shed our winter gear and the temperatures rise in South Florida, tropical species and various pan fish alike start their reproduction cycles. Most people think peacock bass are seasonal as a tropical species and target them aggressively during spring and summer when temperatures are at their peak. This misinterpretation can greatly reduce the survival rate of the offspring and often times makes angling much less of a challenge. The truth is that these beautiful fish are the most vulnerable as they enter the spawning cycle and nest on the beds as the weather warms. Despite what some with a lack of experience may say, peacocks can actually be

targeted year round, even during shorter periods of cooler weather after a cold front. As a full time freshwater guide and fisherman, I feel that responsible fishing today will insure the sustainability of an increasingly popular fishery for years to come. The misconception most likely lies within the name peacock bass combined with being targeted much like largemouth bass on their beds. The largemouth is actually in the sunfish family and has been known to return to its bed after being caught, even when released miles away. This was tested during a major pro bass tournament utilizing a GPS tag. One of the pro anglers actually caught the bass with the GPS tag. After weigh in and release, the fish was observed and it returned to its bed. This is not the case with peacocks. Some feel catching either the male or the female and leaving one to protect

their nest or when with fry, is okay. However, this actually reduces security by fifty percent and the female may not stay to protect the nest with eggs or when with fry. Not a great situation when you have hungry fish nearby, waiting for their opportunity to get an easy meal. As mentioned, various pan fish begin their spawn cycles during this time as well and they need the added calories too. Fish eggs are packed with much needed protein and an unguarded nest is the ideal pit stop. Aside from other fish decimating the unprotected nests or fry, young peacocks in the two to three pound range, will do the same. Without much experience procreating, a cycle in which they fast for ten to fourteen days depending on water temperature, they have yet to learn how to conserve energy during this phase. This often occurs when either parent or both have been exhausted from

By Hai Truong

fighting off other fish, humans or other animals. More experienced peacocks tend to not cannibalize their own as they have mastered their fasting. This may be why it is common to see larger fry balls with older, more mature parents that consume very little or none of their own. Basically, the male's role is the first line of defense on a nest. He patrols a ten to fifteen foot radius and usually displays a less aggressive attitude than the female which is the second and last line of defense. The male will usually flair his gill plates, swooping in a circular fashion and run away. The false eye on their tail may play a role here as it does when they are young, aiding in their escape by confusing predators. He will quickly return to his post but will take a bit longer to return each time he has to run away and stress builds. If the male is over stressed, he may not return to the nest for some time if at all. Another behavior displayed by both males and females is to attack the intruder which is commonly mistaken for a normal bite. Since they are fasting, a true take is rare, but they may

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briefly take an intruder or lure completely in their mouth, pop it with the crushers near the back of their throat and quickly spit it out. They can also been seen using just their lips with significant bite pressure, killing or injuring the intruder. The female will be much more aggressive after seeing her male counterpart flee the nest. She may attack the intruder several ways aside from the above mentioned. Females may display a technique I call blowing, and literally looks like they are trying to blow the intruder away by forcing water through their gills and out the mouth. This is usually seen with smaller intruders or a less alarming situation. After that, the tenacity and sheer aggression of her motherly instincts come out. There are not many animals in the world that will protect their young with their life, but peacocks will usually defend their nest or fry to the death. Once fry are visible, both parents will escort them for the next three to five days as they learn and feed. On the last day, the male will kick out the female. The fry will be roughly around three inches at this time. By the end of that day, the male will release the fry to be on their own. This was observed over three decades of fishing for them along with reading many books and talking with the father of peacocks in Florida, Dr. Paul Shaffland. Shaffland and his team of biologists spearheaded the introduction of peacock bass to South Florida with the original stocking in 1984. Over the years, my experience has taught me that it’s ok to target peacocks during the pre spawn, as the male shops around for the ideal nesting spot and even if he

has already attracted a female. This is a very gray area as the courtship may last only a day or two before seeing the golden colored eggs on the substrate. Once eggs are laid, it is too late to target that pair, but rest assured as they will be ready for action within the next couple of weeks. The process is not long and the wait is definitely worth it. As more and more people fish for them, responsible angling must be practiced or the species will suffer the repercussions. Now in my seventh year of successfully guiding for peacocks and other exotic species, I’ve never once allowed a client, friend or family member to target a spawning peacock. Sure, it’s hard to move on from that trophy fish, but that's responsible fishing. Make no mistake, that same peacock not in spawn a few weeks later will fight much harder, producing a catch and release that is more fun and rewarding. Feel free to visit my website, follow my social links to learn more or book a trip and see for yourself. Learn the techniques to better your game and pass it to the next generation responsibly, while enjoying the exotic freshwater scenery in beautiful South Florida.

Hai Truong

(786) 405-4146 www.HaiTruongFishing.com hai@haitruongfishing.com

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Bouncer’s

TIP of the Month Watch Those Birds!

F

rom the time you leave the dock birds can help your fishing. Terns diving in the bay or near shore can show you where schools of pilchards, herring or glass minnows are. These baitfish can be what you were looking for or may be surrounded by gamefish you are seeking, such as trout, mackerel, jacks, snook or many others. Pelicans may be diving on mullet, pinfish or any of the baitfish mentioned above. You can tell a lot about what a pelican is eating by how he works his bill. Water captured with a mullet or pinfish will be drained off quickly, while when catching glass minnows or other small bait, they carefully strain off the water. Moving farther offshore, seagulls indicate trash while terns are usually over fish. Lots of terns usually means tunas, bonitos or jacks. A couple of terns, especially sooty terns frequently indicates mahi or sailfish. A couple of sooty terns hovering over a weed patch or piece of debris is a lock for mahi. Frigate birds up high mean the fish are missing or very deep. The lower the frigate, the hotter the action from predator fish. A frigate diving fast towards the water means get there now! Don’t chase birds up current. Quality fish feed into the current. Birds chase feeding fish. You have to get ahead of the birds to get ahead of the fish. Get way ahead of the birds and set out your spread. Then let the fish and birds catch up. Tight lines,

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KAYAK

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pring is here in South Florida, which usually brings some great offshore fishing with it. For kayak anglers this winter has been one of the windiest they have had to deal with. For instance, the first leg of the Sailfish Smackdown tournament in February was sporty to say the least. With 3 to 6 foot seas it was definitely the most “extreme” event we’ve ever had. Personally, I’ve done the best fishing in Pompano Beach in the month of April. This is one of the reasons I decided to include another leg to the Sailfish Smackdown in the spring, which takes place April 7th-8th. Usually we would catch Sailfish either heading out in the morning or heading back in after a long day of fishing. The main depths for hooking up are in 80 to 120 feet of water. We have had the most success slow trolling a live goggle eye, way back from the kayak in the shotgun position. While offshore look for some thick weed lines or anything floating that could potentially hold schools of dolphin. Also, try to get offshore after a windy day because that east wind will blow debris and the mahi mahi closer to shore in depths of 100 to 300 feet which is easily accessible for

offshore kayak anglers. If you’re in a school of dolphin, tie on a heavy jig with a pink or purple color and drop it down deep to jig up a potential Wahoo. I have even been lucky in the past and landed some nice 20lbers with the jig under the school of dolphin. The Kingfish action is starting to pick up at around 100 to 150 feet of water off Pompano Beach. Slow trolling over some of the deep wrecks and the stink hole will fetch you some nice medium sized kings this month. The bottom fishing in April has produced some awesome gag groupers and the occasional mutton snapper. Using a glow in the dark or tiger striped colored jig over the deep wrecks can help in catching some great bottom fish. Also this month you can find the occasional cobia over the deep wrecks in 150 to 200 feet of water. Stay tuned for the second leg of the Sailfish Smackdown which is scheduled for April 7th and 8th. Find us on Instagram @ extremekayakfishing and check out some awesome videos on our YouTube channel @Extreme Kayak Fishing TV.

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Joe Hector slayed this smoker from his kayak off Pompano Beach. COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

3/18/18 1:42 PM

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forecastS

FRESH F

WATER

or many years, I have been educating people on fishing. Whether it's been through Fishing with America's Finest, guiding, working at Bass Pro Shop's Fishing Classics in Dania or the IGFA, there's so much we could discuss. Such as, how different line sizes could change the complexity of how a lure swims or the depth it reaches. How using bigger trailers on jigs could affect the rate of fall and how it swims, or reel speed, rods, line, etc. No matter where I have fished, I am often asked, "If you could pick one bait, one cadence, one technique what would it be? What could help make me become a more successful angler?" Well, I've have the opportunity to fish with some of the most skilled anglers around. Some of them have even won the Bass Master Classic. When the pros get on the podium, they hold up a lure and they tell everyone this is what I was doing. Knowing that they just won thousands of dollars doing this, do you think that guy is going to show you to his favorite bread and butter bait, his very best technique or show you his best spot? Nope. Ain’t happening. I would like to share with you what I have learned over the years fishing tournaments, as a guide and a recreational angler. The most important component I can share with you is time. Time! That's right, time on the water. Breaking it down. Go to areas of the Everglades that have been most productive for you. Keep a journal. Write what time of year, what direction the wind was blowing from and how

fast it was blowing, water levels, what time of year do the fish move on to the flats, what time of year do they come off the flats, what time of year do they relate to the ledges, pre-spawn, post spawn, what time of year do they move north or south. The only way you will know all this is TIME! Putting in your time is the most important component of fishing. Fishing is no different than any other sport. You have to practice. You'll need to go out and make repetitive casts so you can be pinpoint accurate. You'll have to fish in the cold, rain, storms and on hot miserable days. Time doesn't have to be on the water. Time could be researching, studying and reading, like you are now. Nobody just shows up with a box of different lures and does well. Can it happen here and there? Sure, but not consistently! Bottom line, put in your time and you WILL become a very successful angler. On to the hot spots. #1 - Mile Marker 35 or 41: Fishing is great right now! The best way to catch a really big fish is to swim big worms through the pads and grass. Burner worms, Fat Aces, Flukes, Horny toads, Flappin shad will all produce. Flipping a jig is great technique. Make sure you go really slow around the weirs. A weir in the Glades is passage where it gets very narrow & shallow and it connects two bodies of water. #2 - Sawgrass: Here's the rule on soft plastics. Dark or dirty water dark colors, like black and june bug. Clean or clear water, light colors such as watermelon green, green pumpkin or watermelon with red flake. All the techniques above are working. #3 - Holey Land: First thing in the morning, throw topwater with spooks and poppers. Then worm

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the bottom with a Fat Ace or a 10" worm. Toss a sinko around. Frogs and flukes will also produce some really nice fish. #4 - Holiday Park: The flats are producing some nice fish. However, you must fly a orange safety flag, 10 feet above the deck of your boat to enter. Be cautious! Unless you know how to navigate the flats and know your way around, I wouldn't recommend it. Use search baits like swim jigs with a dipper or craw on them. Big easy and EZ swimmers are catching their share of fish. Try pitching big jigs with your favorite baits. #5 - Lake Okeechobee: Rattle traps, crankbaits, spinnerbaits, chatter baits. Pitching big jigs with your flipping baits are getting crushed. I like a Why not, Flappy

Daddy, Mega Daddy or Ugly Otter. Search baits such as swim jigs with a dipper or craw will bend your rod. Slowing way down by pitching a Fat Ace, Ace or working a worm through the grass is also a great technique to put some big girls in the boat. May God bless you all with good health 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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Tide Charts | MIAMI BEACH, GOVERNMENT CUT | Apr/2018 |...

http://fl.usharbors.com/monthly-tides/Florida-South/Government Tide Charts | HAULOVER Cu... PIER, N. MIAMI BEACH | Apr/2018 |...

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

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Government Cut Tides

Government Cut, Miami Harbor Entrance Tides - Apr/2018

Haulover Inlet Tides

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

25°46'N 80°8'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 28 29 30

HIGH AM

Sun

10:07

Tue

11:27

Thu

12:39

Sat

2:11

Mon

4:03

Wed

5:59

Fri

7:34

Sun

8:59

Tue

10:23

Thu

11:54

Sat

1:30

Mon

3:34

Wed

5:42

Fri

7:30

Sun

8:59

Mon Wed

10:48

Fri

1:23

Sun

3:04

Tue

5:03

Thu

6:49

Sat

8:17

Mon

9:40

Wed

11:07

Fri

12:35

Sun

2:30

Tue

4:40

Thu

6:39

Sat

8:16

Mon

9:40

ft

2.7

10:35

2.5

11:58

2.4

12:46

2.1

2:19

1.9

4:19

2.1

6:20

2.3

7:58

2.5

9:27

2.6

11:16 12:06

2.2

1:30

2.0

3:16

2.0

5:22

2.2

7:11

2.4

8:43

2.6

10:11

2.6

11:44

2.7

12:45

2.5

2:47

2.4

5:07

2.5

7:09

2.6

8:47

2.6

10:11

2.6 2.5

10:57

2.6

1:43

2.4

3:57

2.4

6:11

2.6

8:00

2.6

9:30

Local Time

390_Miami.indd 11

LOW PM

ft

AM

2.7

3:37

2.5

5:03

2.2

6:30

1.9

8:11

1.9

10:11

2.1

11:57

2.4

1:02

2.7

2:26

2.8

3:50

2.7

4:20

2.3

5:46

2.0

7:18

1.9

9:10

1.9

11:07

2.2

12:17

2.6

1:44

2.8

3:07

2.7

4:35

2.4

6:15

2.3

8:19

2.4

10:34

2.6

12:01

2.7

1:44

2.7

3:14

5:22

2.4

7:14

2.3

9:27

2.5

11:34

2.7

12:55

2.8

2:30

ft

PM

-0.3

3:56

-0.1

5:20

0.3

6:48

0.5

8:33

0.6

10:33

-0.2

4:38

0.1

6:03

0.4

7:38

0.6

9:33

0.5

11:28

0.2

12:42

0.0

2:03

-0.1

3:23

-0.1

4:52

0.1

6:37

0.2

8:47

0.1

11:02

-0.0

12:28

-0.1

2:04

-0.1

3:29

0.4 0.1

1:23

-0.0

2:42

-0.1

4:06

-0.0

5:42

0.2

7:39

0.2

9:56

0.0

-0.1

1:18

-0.1

2:47

© US Harbors

DATE

SET

-0.5

7:09

7:38

1

-0.3

7:07

7:39

3

7:40

5

7:41

7

7:42

9

-0.4 -0.1 0.1 0.2

7:08 7:06 7:05 7:04

0.3

7:03

0.4

7:02

0.4

7:01

0.3

7:00 6:59

0.2

6:58

0.1

-0.1 -0.3 -0.4 -0.4 -0.4 -0.4 -0.3 -0.1 -0.0 0.0

-0.0 -0.1 -0.2 -0.3 -0.4 -0.3

6:57 6:56 6:55 6:54 6:53 6:52 6:51 6:50 6:49 6:49 6:48 6:47 6:46 6:45 6:44 6:44 6:43 6:42

MOON

25°54'N 80°7'W

RISE

ft

7:39

2

7:40

4

7:40

6

7:41

8

7:42

10

7:43

12

7:44

14

7:45

16

7:46

18

7:47

20

7:48

22

7:49

24

7:50

26

7:51

28

7:52

30

7:43

11

7:44

13

7:45

15

7:46

17

7:47

19

7:48

21

7:49

23

7:50

25

7:51

27

7:52

29

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

FLORIDA

Sun

HIGH AM 9:41

Mon

10:23

Wed

11:45

Fri

1:07

Sun

2:56

Tue

4:53

Thu

6:29

Sat

7:51

Mon

9:09

Wed

10:33

Fri

12:02

Sun

1:59

Tue

4:14

Thu

6:13

Sat

7:50

Mon

9:14

Tue

11:04

Thu

12:20

Sat

1:59

Mon

3:56

Wed

5:44

Fri

7:11

Sun

8:30

Tue

9:50

Thu

11:19

Sat

12:58

Mon

3:06

Wed

5:17

Fri

7:04

Sun

8:33

ft

LOW PM

2.9

10:09

2.7

11:36

2.6

12:28

2.3

2:08

2.2

4:11

2.3

6:02

2.6

7:34

2.8

8:58

2.8

10:25

2.8 2.5

10:52

2.4

1:15

2.2

3:08

2.2

5:10

2.5

6:50

2.7

8:16

2.8

9:40

2.7

11:11

2.9

12:11

2.6

2:17

2.6

4:42

2.7

6:44

2.8

8:22

2.7

9:46

2.7 2.8

1:10

2.6

3:30

2.6

5:47

2.8

7:35

2.8

9:05

Local Time

ft

AM

3.0

3:34

2.8

5:03

2.3

6:32

2.1

8:11

2.1

10:06

2.3

11:51

2.7

12:55

2.9

2:22

3.0

3:48

2.9

4:19 5:47

2.2

7:19

2.0

9:08

2.2

11:01

2.5

12:09

2.8

1:39

3.0

3:04

3.0

4:33

2.6

6:13

2.4

8:12

2.5

10:26

5:21

2.5

7:10

2.4

9:19

2.6

11:28

2.9

12:51

3.0

2:29

2.8 3.0

1:42

2.9

3:13

COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

ft

PM

-0.3

3:52

-0.0

5:17

0.3

6:45

0.6

8:27

0.6

10:24

-0.2

4:35

0.1

6:00

0.4

7:33

0.6

9:25

0.6

11:19

0.3

12:35

0.1

1:57

-0.1

3:19

-0.1

4:48

0.1

6:31

0.2

8:36

0.2

10:52

0.4 0.2

1:17

-0.0

2:38

-0.1

4:02

-0.0

5:37

0.2

7:30

0.2

9:45

0.1

11:54

-0.0

1:14

-0.1

2:44

12:23

-0.0

2:00

-0.0

3:26

© US Harbors

RISE

SET

-0.4

7:09

7:38

-0.2

7:07

7:39

ft

-0.3 -0.1 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.4 0.4 0.3 0.1

-0.1 -0.2 -0.4 -0.4 -0.4 -0.4 -0.3 -0.1 -0.0 0.1 0.1 0.0

-0.1 -0.2 -0.3 -0.3 -0.3

7:08 7:06 7:05 7:04 7:03 7:02 7:01 7:00 6:59 6:58 6:57 6:56 6:55 6:54 6:53 6:52 6:51 6:50 6:49 6:48 6:48 6:47 6:46 6:45 6:44 6:43 6:43 6:42

MOON

7:39 7:40 7:40 7:41 7:41 7:41 7:42 7:42 7:43 7:43 7:44 7:44 7:45 7:45 7:46 7:46 7:47 7:47 7:48 7:48 7:49 7:49 7:50 7:50 7:51 7:51 7:52 7:52

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

APRIL 2018

GREATER MIAMI 11

3/18/18 1:42 PM


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3/18/18 1:42 PM


I

f this photo of a happy kid with a humongous fish doesn’t make you smile, nothing will. Chase Stokes, 11, caught his 33.25-pound, 40inch carp on a nightcrawler while fishing at Otter Creek in Panton, Vermont in April 2017. It is one of the three state records caught by Vermont anglers last year. All of them are species not typically targeted. In May, angler Mike Elwood landed a record redhorse sucker while fishing on the Winooski River in Colchester, Vermont. The sucker, landed on a live worm, weighed 9.9 pounds and measured 29 inches long with an 18-inch girth. The third record for 2017 was a cisco, also known as lake herring. Alan Franchot caught his 2.25-pound state record while trolling on Lake Champlain in September. “We saw some incredible catches in 2017, especially Chase’s carp,” said Shawn Good, fisheries biologist with Vermont Fish & Wildlife. “It was an impressive looking fish, but what’s really exciting to me is that we’re starting to see more Vermont anglers fish outside of the box, as I like to call it, by taking advantage of many of the overlooked fishing opportunities we have in our state.” Good said fishing in Vermont remains excellent for traditional species like bass, trout, salmon and pike, but that anglers should take a look at some of the oddball fish like bowfin, drum, gar, fallfish and suckers that can provide great action as well as trophy potential.


It’s Tarpon Time In The

Florida Keys

By CAM Staff • Photo by Pat Ford

I

t is the heart of the tarpon season in the Florida Keys. With the annual migration in full swing, there should be silver kings everywhere over the next couple of months. The big spring run begins most years in February. It can last deep into the summer when conditions are right. This is when the big fish are most vulnerable. Averaging 80 pounds and sometimes running much larger, tarpon in the keys offer a fishery unlike any other in the world. The west coast of Africa might have the world record 286-pound, 9-ounce tarpon, but nowhere in the world has the opportunities to sight fish tarpon like the Keys. Poling the flats, there is a very real possibility of encountering tarpon up to 200 pounds and heavier in shallow and ultra-clear water. Migrating tarpon will push up into the backcountry in the thousands, skirting the edges of the flats and channels. Staking out or anchoring the boat in an ambush point where the angler is likely to encounter numbers of hungry tarpon is best accomplished through a local guide who stays on top of the movements of these giant fish. One thing you’ll notice is that while some captains might guarantee “shots” at tarpon, none promise you’ll actually bring one boatside. With a fly, enticing a big tarpon to eat is something that takes a lot of skill and a little luck. First-timers are probably better off fishing live bait, and a crab fished under a float in the passes and around bridges where fish are

concentrated can lead to multiple hook-ups in a day’s trip. What follows is a fight that cannot be matched by any fish anywhere. The powerful runs and repeated jumps of a hooked tarpon are what made them so highly prized as a game fish. Even experienced anglers are frequently left broken hearted when the line falls slack. Winning a battle with Megalops is an achievement to be remembered. Winning the battle comes with a heavy dose of responsibility, as well. Tarpon have a life span of 50 years or more. They are slow growing, and it takes them seven to 13 years to reach sexual maturity. This and their value as a game fish make them susceptible to population decline. Every effort should be made to release them with the best chance for their survival. All Florida tarpon must be released, with an exception for anglers who have purchased a state tarpon tag for the purpose of achieving an IGFA world record. Large tarpon should remain in the water at all times, which means unhooking and photographing them should be done quickly, with an effort to keep the head and gills in the water as much as possible. Never attempt to drag a tarpon over the side of the boat. Tarpon will often fight to exhaustion, so reviving them after the fight will greatly increase their chance of survival. Hold them horizontally in the water with their mouth open, moving them forward to push water over their gills. Do this until they are able to swim off on their own.

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APRIL 2018

SOUTH FLORIDA 5

3/19/18 1:22 PM


Bay 20 DLX Photo by Graeme Darbyshire/flickr

W

hether it’s a canoe, kayak or paddleboard, fishing from a paddle-powered craft requires the angler to expend energy getting to the fish. That’s part of the fun. Once there, maintaining control of the vessel while casting, retrieving and hopefully fighting fish can become a chore. Without an electric trolling motor, the best way to efficiently fish an area is to utilize the wind and currents. Drift fishing lets the angler fish more and paddle less, while still covering water to find biting fish. A little planning goes a long way. On a river, it’s obvious which way you’ll be headed when you drop a boat in the water. The same should be true on most waters, whether it’s a reservoir or a big saltwater bay. Know ahead of time which way the tide and currents run and which direction the wind is blowing, and a little map work should help identify separate put-in and take-out points. Satellite imagery can provide an idea of where fish might be, even on new waters. You’ll be able to cover more water and fish longer and harder because there’s no need to paddle back at the end of the trip. If you’re fishing with a buddy—which you should be for safety’s sake—shuttle a vehicle to the take-out. If you know someone reliable, schedule a pick-up. Either way, time spent researching and executing the plan will be worth it when there’s not a long paddle looming at the end of the day.

6

SOUTH FLORIDA

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APRIL 2018

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L

ast month, a Burmese python swallowing and regurgitating a deer fawn made national news when photos were released by the Conservancy of Southwest Florida (CSF). The photos were taken at Collier-Seminole State Park in Naples back in April 2015 and show an 11-footlong, 31-pound snake that FWC Photo consumed a 35-pound whitetail deer. It’s just one more example of how invasive species take advantage of Florida’s welcoming climate to thrive. They alter the native ecosystem in the process. Studies suggest pythons have caused a 90 percent decline in small mammal populations in the eastern Everglades. The photos prove they are capable of preying on fawns, which could impact whitetail populations. Whitetail deer are also a primary prey species for Florida panthers. “Imagine the potential consequences to the state and federally protected Florida panther if Burmese pythons adversely affect the number of whitetailed deer,” said Ian Bartoszek, a biologist with the CSF. Florida wildlife officials continue to battle the python scourge. The South Florida Water Management District recently announced the elimination of the 900th snake in its Python Elimination Program since its inception in March 2017. The Florida Wildlife Commission continues encouraging the public to remove and kill pythons from private lands. CSF officials are promoting radio-telemetry tracking of pythons to target and remove breeding females and disrupt the egg-laying cycle. See the Conservancy of Southwest Florida website at www.conservancy.org.

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8

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APRIL 2018

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r spread

S

ummer is just around the corner, and south Florida families will be spending more time on the water. From the bathtub to the open ocean, kids need to feel comfortable and confident about their in-water skills. One of the most important lessons to remember is to use the buddy system. It’s one of the first things we teach young snorkelers during Pura Vida Divers’ Snorkel Summer Camp sessions. Campers know to stay within arm’s reach of their in-water buddy. When duck-diving under the surface, they practice one up, one down. This ensures someone is always alert and paying attention to their swimming partner. At the beach, or when exploring snorkeling spots like the Blue Heron Bridge, show young swimmers where lifeguard stands are located, and point out swim zones that lifeguards patrol. Flags on the beach alert swimmers of the day’s conditions. It’s important that children understand what these flags mean and how conditions affect their experience in the water.

Another important consideration for in-water activities is identification of potentially harmful wildlife. During Pura Vida Divers’ Snorkel Camp, campers are taught to identify many local species. They know how to spot a camouflaged scorpionfish, and which jellyfish to avoid. The knowledge is essential for a great experience in the water, and it also introduces children to a whole new world of animals. Many kids get caught up in the excitement of seeing fish, rays, octopus and other interesting animals. The more confident they feel in their swimming skills, the more they can fully engage in enjoying their adventure. The camp staff has found that the easiest way to introduce kids to snorkeling is to introduce one item at a time. It’s important to choose comfortable-fitting gear, rather than just grabbing a snorkel package off the shelf. Call Pura Vida Divers to set up an appointment for a mask, snorkel and fin fitting, or stop by the shop to chat with staff and learn the basics of choosing the right gear. At Snorkel Summer Camp, we ensure campers are comfortable wearing their masks and looking underwater in shallow, standing water. Once they know how to put on their mask, where the strap should sit and how to use defog, we attach a snorkel and have them breathe first on land and then in water. Once kids are comfortable using their mask and snorkel, it’s time to learn how to swim using fins. Even the most experienced kids can learn to be more efficient. It’s amazing to watch skills and comfort in the water blossom as kids conquer each new technique. This summer, Pura Vida Divers will offer two sessions of Snorkel Summer Camp. We work with kids of all experience levels between the ages of 6 and 10. By the end of the week, even novice snorkelers are swimming alongside their parents during a family snorkeling event at the Blue Heron Bridge. For more information, contact Pura Vida Divers at 561-8408750 or stop by the shop at 2513 Beach Court, Singer Island, 33404.

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CANGL_FL1-FL24.indd 13

APRIL 2018

FLORIDA

13

3/19/18 12:31 PM


14

FLORIDA

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APRIL 2018

COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

3/19/18 12:31 PM


W

ith a new U.S. Customs facility at Witham Field in Stuart, Fla., those travelling from the islands of the Bahamas will have a convenient place to clear customs in Martin County. The Martin County Board of County Commissioners announced a late spring opening of the U.S. Customs Facility at Witham Field, which will process international travelers arriving in Martin County via aircraft and marine vessels, allowing boaters, pilots, residents and visitors to clear Customs without having to travel to Fort Pierce or West Palm Beach. This project is the first intermodal clearance facility of its kind built in Florida. This facility has been welcomed by the marine community not only in Martin County but throughout the State of Florida. With Stuart’s location on the east end of the Cross-Florida Canal/Okeechobee Waterway, boaters returning from the Bahamas will be able to conveniently clear back into the U.S. and continue on their way to Florida’s west coast and the Gulf of Mexico or continue to points north via the Intracoastal Waterway. The Witham Field location is conveniently located within a 10-minute drive of 90 percent of the marinas in Martin County. This facility will greatly enhance Martin County’s tourism efforts, specifically in the recreational boating sector and related marine industries. When complete, the facility will consist of a 3,210-squarefoot concrete block structure with road access for marine trailers, parking lot and a customer-friendly environment. Funding for the project is provided through an 80/20 grant partnership with the Florida Department of Transportation Aviation (Multimodal) Division and the Airport Enterprise Fund. The facility will be operated by U.S. Customs and Boarder Protection. As it is with Witham Field, user fees will cover the cost of operations expenses. The Customs facility at Witham Field is anticipated to open in May. Visit www.martin.fl.us for news and information. Follow Martin County on Facebook at www.facebook.com/MartinCountyBoardofCountyCommissioners/. COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

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APRIL 2018

FLORIDA

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3/19/18 12:31 PM


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Bimini Sands Resort And Marina To Host First Timers Flotilla

Bimini Sands Resort and Marina is on South Bimini, a mere 60 miles from Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.

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ith the beautiful islands of the Bahamas so close to the south Florida coast, many boaters and fishermen would love to make the crossing, but this adventure can be intimidating for the novice boater. Bimini Sands Resort and Marina, located on South Bimini, will play host to a First Time, Fun, Fish Flotilla. The event is being coordinated by Capt. Chase Camacho. Participants will depart May 2 from a marina in Ft. Lauderdale with a planned return date of May 6. There will be a “How To Cross” seminar at the I.T. Parker Community Center at Harbor Towne Marina in Ft. Lauderdale on April 19. The twohour seminar will cover many of the safety-related issues that are necessary for a safe and fun crossing. The weekend will include a number of family friendly activities and a one-day fishing tournament. Bimini Sands Resort and Marina will provide a discount on accommodations. Minimum boat size for participation is 22 feet. Airline_Ad_CoastalAngler_8-1-14_Layout 1 8/1/14 1:14 PM Page 1 For more information, visit www.bluewaterseries.com click on Flotilla or contact Brad Michael at bradgmichael@gmail.com.

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TIPS FROM A PRO

DON’T FORGET ABOUT SPINNERBAITS BRANDON LESTER

M

any great lures have come and gone in the bass fishing world over the years. Some seem to take the whole industry by storm and then die down once the next best thing comes along. Some prove themselves and become a

Make reel memories.

with dirty water, I like a red Colorado blade for extra visibility and a skirt with a lot of chartreuse. In clear water, I can throw double willowleaf blades for a subtler thump, and I’ll opt for a more

Stuart, located in Martin County, is known as the Sailfish Capital of the World. Sitting on the most biodiverse estuary in the Northern Hemisphere, and the northernmost point of the South Florida Reef, Martin County is home to 100 artificial reef systems and over 800 species of fish. Its climate, waterways and natural environment make it a mecca for fishermen and nautical explorers year-round. An array of unique shops, fine restaurants, great golf courses and quiet beaches make a day ashore fun, too. Inshore, offshore, salt water or fresh, head out for an adventure and reel in the memories.

staple in everyone’s tackle box. There is one lure, though, that doesn’t get the attention it deserves on the tournament scene these days. With all the fancy square-bill crankbaits and bladed jigs, it’s easy to forget about the tried-and-true spinnerbait. Few baits are as good at covering water as the spinnerbait, and this time of the year that is half the battle. Early in the spring, warm days will cause water temperatures to rise. Bass move shallower to look for places to spawn. Water conditions also play a big role in this. More fish move up earlier in dirty water, which warms faster than clear water. When these fish move shallow, they like to get next to a stump, laydown, dock, rock, really anything that holds heat and gives them a place they feel safe. The spinnerbait is my favorite bait for targeting prespawn fish for two reasons. Reason No. 1 is they are virtually weedless. I can throw spinnerbaits in pretty thick cover, and as long as I’m careful it will come right through. It comes through wood especially well. Reason No. 2 is the unlimited options. If I’m faced

natural skirt color. Having all those options is important with the everchanging conditions of spring. When you’re actively searching for fish, keep an open mind. I’ve caught them anywhere from bluff banks to shallow flat pockets and everywhere in between this time of year, so let the fish tell you where you need to be and what you should be throwing. My favorite spinnerbait rod is a 7’2” medium heavy (EPS86MHF) MHX Elite Pro Series rod that I build. It is a great all-purpose blank. It has plenty of tip, so I can make precise casts to targets, and it also has plenty of backbone. I use a 7:3:1 bait-casting reel spooled with 17-lb. Vicious ProElite fluorocarbon. If I could only choose one spinnerbait for the rest of my career, it would be a ½-ounce tandem willowleaf/Colorado combo with one silver and one gold blade and a chartreuse and white skirt. My favorite is made by a new company called Kinkee Baits. It has a combination of wrapped wire down to 18/1000-inch wire, which creates vibration bass have never felt before.

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By Heather Sneed and Amanda Nalley

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ob and Shelly Stowe, of Jupiter, knew plenty about freshwater fishing from their years living in Michigan, but when it came to saltwater fishing, they weren’t quite sure where to start. That’s when they found out about a local Family Saltwater Fishing Clinic being hosted by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC). “We had no experience with saltwater fishing,” said Shelly. “That class was so complete. It was A++. I learned how to set up a pole, how to unhook a fish from the line, how to cast correctly and how to bait a hook. Every single person involved in teaching that class was so friendly, helpful and knowledgeable that if they had it again, we’d take it again.” For years FWC has hosted kids’ and women’s fishing clinics. In 2017 they added adult saltwater fishing clinics. These free, one-day educational events are for anyone 18 and older, male or female. Participants learn everything they need to know to fish on their own, from knot tying and fishing tackle to conservation efforts and marine habitats. Clinic class sizes are kept small for a hands-on approach. At the end of the day, you’ll also get to try catch-and-release fishing firsthand. Bring your own gear or FWC will provide some for the day. And don’t forget your recreational saltwater fishing license. Visit MyFWC.com Calendar for upcoming dates and locations. For women and adult saltwater fishing clinics, you’ll need to register in advance, either on the calendar, or by calling 850-487-0554 or emailing Heather.Sneed@MyFWC.com.

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18 9:00 AM

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ne particular type of architecture that Florida fishermen know is the fishing shack, usually a ramshackle wooden structure that looks to be on its last legs, but which can still provide a lot of comfort. Some of our bodies of water, in fact, have become well-known to boaters as places where the lucky can tie up far from shore, cook a light meal, rest and even seek shelter from a mild storm. For example, Charlotte Harbor and Pine Island Sound in the southwestern part of our state have a number of simple, one-story, wood-frame cabins set on pilings. The temporary home-away-from-home usually has no electricity, no plumbing, no phone, and a distance from shore that precludes cell-phone service. They do, however, often have rain gutters to collect water that the fishermen can use for cooking or even drinking. Florida officials declared the shacks navigational hazards and causers of pollution and actually began to burn some of them down in the mid-1980s, but consultants hired by the fishermen pointed out that the water around the shanties was too shallow for boats to collide with the structures and many fishermen used chemical toilets. As a result, some of the shacks have been placed on the National Register of Historic Places because of their importance in local heritage, and that should preserve them until a powerful hurricane hits them directly. The flimsy-looking structures, usually made of pine or cypress, can nicely withstand the subtropical sun, the wind and rain. Metal gable roofs and board-and-batten siding protect those inside from storms, and screened windows keep out the flies. The shacks have a good air flow with shutters that can be propped open.

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The wooden stilt houses in Biscayne Bay south of Cape Florida have long been famous among fishermen in Miami-Dade County. Standing about 10 feet above shallow water on wooden or reinforced concrete pillars, Stiltsville dates back to the 1920s and 1930s. Some of the structures may have begun as places for alcohol consumption during Prohibition and for gambling, which was legal a mile offshore, and some of them became quite elaborate. When Congress expanded the Biscayne National Park in 1980 to include Stiltsville, the existing shacks were allowed to remain, but hurricanes and natural deterioration have taken their toll. Today only seven of the original structures remain, but the park service has added hurricane strapping to help the remaining shacks withstand strong winds. “No trespassing” signs warn interlopers to stay away, and access to the structures is limited to their owners and friends. Stiltsville has been featured enough in magazine articles that many visitors go to Biscayne Bay to see the remaining shacks. That has provided docents an opportunity to teach many non-residents about the rich maritime history of the area. The above-mentioned are just a few of the different kinds of fishing shacks in our waters, some quite elaborate, some pretty basic, but many with a history and allure that makes them part of our fishing history. Kevin McCarthy, the award-winning author of “South Florida Waterways” (2013 - available at amazon.com for $7), can be reached at ceyhankevin@gmail.com.

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FISH & FISHING

Trolling Tactics

“L it.”

MARK SOSIN

et me show you something,” Capt. Skip Smith said. “Pick any trolling lure and any color combination and I’ll catch a fish on

Of course, our selection included the most non-appetizing color combination we could find. One lure was streamed on either side a respectable distance astern. Within 10 minutes, Skip had a sailfish chasing the baits and striking one of the lures. What he did is etched in memory. Instead of trolling in a straight line, working shallower and then deeper, changing speed, or doing any of the common trolling tactics, Skip took a different approach. He would make a sharp turn to port and a couple of minutes later he made a sharp turn to starboard. This created slack line on the side of the turn and increased speed for the lure on the outside of the turn. When he switched direction, the lure that had sunk picked up speed and headed back to the surface. Let me tell you that the technique works. Fishing with Capt. Bouncer Smith out of Miami, I learned something else. Inshore waters are burdened with no-wake zones designed to slow down fast-moving boats heading for open water. While most anglers are frustrated by the slow progress in these waters and can’t wait to get through this delay, Bouncer takes a different approach. He has two rods rigged with swimming plugs, and he streams them astern as he enters the no-wake zone. It’s surprising how many fish he catches on those plugs in areas that hardly anyone fishes. Another skipper showed me that after he streamed the standard trolling spread, he put another bait directly astern and close to the boat. It surprised me to see how many fish came up and hit that bait. This seems to work particularly well on tuna. If you fail to raise fish on that short bait, try fishing it long down the middle. That puts it farther astern than the other baits.

Aboard some of the bigger boats with outriggers, captains often troll their long and short baits at specific distances astern. The clips on the outriggers are attached so that when each line is clipped on, it positions the bait or lure at the same spot each time. I prefer to adjust the length of the lines based on sea conditions and results. There are days on the water when shorter distances astern work and other times when the results are better if you troll the baits farther back. As a reminder if you troll natural baits, dead or alive, they should be changed frequently. Too many anglers simply put baits or lures astern and steer a straight course. Successful trolling demands concentration and dedication to details. The key lies in making changes from where you position the offerings to the speed you use and the courses you steer. If you’re not raising fish, keep making changes until you do.

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On The Water With

Kaku By Capt. Ryan Drygas

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arpon Springs, a small town on the west coast of Florida an hour north of St. Petersburg, is a best-kept secret for redfish and snook. It sits within a web of waterways connecting the Gulf of Mexico to rivers, lakes, ponds, marshes and eventually Tampa Bay. This vast system offers excellent inshore opportunities, and it’s a ton of fun to explore under paddle power. I know a local who grew up there and knows the water like the back of his hand. Kevin Hawkins, owner of Kaku Kayaks, invited me out on the water to try his newest SUP, the Voodoo. Kevin lives, eats and breathes fishing. When he’s not fishing from one of his kayaks or SUPs, he’s thinking about ways to design these boats so they’re better to fish from. The Voodoo is a hybrid that melds the best qualities of an SUP, a kayak and a micro-skiff. We launched from his local ramp on a Saturday afternoon a cou-

ple hours before sunset. I don’t have the words to describe the picturesque setting that spread out before me. Mangroves, oyster beds and hidden shoals were in abundance. We paddled to the tip of a mangrove island where a smaller canal led to docks, sandbars and windbreaks. We had to cross the main channel to get there, and there was a 1- to 2-foot chop with the boating traffic and winds. The Voodoo was stable and fast, tracking straight as it cut through the channel. I was surprised the chop didn’t offer more of a challenge, but the hull design of the Voodoo is flawless. It also features a chair, which—without adjustment—offers two seated positions and can be used as a poling platform. The boat paddles well from a seated or standing position, and the ability to make powerful strokes with a low center of gravity came in handy during the crossing. As we rounded the tip of the island, we found wind-shade in a pocket. We poled down to cast right under the mangroves and docks. The Voodoo’s stern has five molded-in Power Pole mounts that allow for dual or single Power Pole Micros. And from a stability standpoint, the boat might as well be the deck of a skiff. Kevin hooked into a 25-inch redfish and fought it with ease from the open deck. As we paddled through the backside of the mangrove islands, we cast to oyster beds and under docks. The final spot Kevin had planned was a back corner of an area with a long sea wall and sand flats. Kevin wanted to hit it right at sunset, when the redfish bite is best. We could see reds tailing over the shoals as the tide went out. If you are looking for a perfect fishing machine, look no further than Kaku. These boats are a fisherman’s Cadillac. Kevin’s obsession with crafting a superior fishing vessel is evident in the sleek, stable versatility of his boats. For more on Kaku Kayak, visit kakukayak.com.

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By Tom Schlichter

Y

ou couldn’t tell by looking in the tannic-stained water, but Capt. Gary Dubiel was convinced redfish were holding just a few feet from the bank. “Toss your line up tight and see what happens,” he instructed. My cork popper landed with a splat and the trailing DOA shrimp settled toward the bottom. I waited a second, gave a “pop” and watched the cork slide under with an 8-pound red in full protest. “They’ll smack that setup every time,” smiled the skipper. It’s no secret that the coastal waters of North Carolina teem with redfish and stripers, but many visiting anglers focus their efforts solely on inlet and ocean waters. For truly amazing topwater action, the bays, creeks and river systems are also well worth exploring. “There’s amazing variety on the inside here,” said Dubiel, of Spec Fever Guide Service (www.specfever.com), who specializes in putting light-tackle and fly-fishing fans right in the mix. Dubiel especially enjoys working the Neuse River area because it hosts stripers and seatrout year-round, plus redfish from spring though mid-October. “These stripers are estuarine and don’t run to the ocean,” he explained. “They typically measure up to 32 inches, which makes them perfect for light gear and fly rods. Even better, they mix in with the specks and slot-sized redfish. We often catch all three on the same trip.” The striper action really heats up in late April when the bass return from spawning farther upriver to offer outstanding surface action from Oriental to New Bern, N.C. Much of the fun takes place in knee-deep depths here in the river’s mouth at Pamlico Sound, and that makes for a ton of topwater thrills. Interestingly, the Neuse River—America’s widest at 6 miles across the mouth— doesn’t have a lunar rise and fall in tides. Rather than look for current, Dubiel works around structure while using a trolling motor to quietly get in and out of

potential hot spots. He likes casting at old wood when possible, often using a Bob’s Banger Capt. Gary Dubiel of Spec popper. “Because the fish often Fever Guide Service works hang in the shallows here, you can call them from a considerthe long wand for shallow able distance if you make a litwater Neuse River stripers, reds tle noise,” he said. “This is also and specks. Photo by Felicia a great lure for covering a lot of Scocozza. water. Some of our wood fields are pretty expansive.” Push up into the Neuse River tributaries above and below New Bern and you’ll also find largemouth bass, crappie and perch. The creeks stay warmer than the river in the winter months, so there are times in late winter and early spring when you might catch any of these along with a striper, redfish or speckled trout as well. “It certainly makes for an interesting mixed bag,” quipped Dubiel. Just an hour drive from Moorhead City, N.C., the Neuse River is easily accessible from Oriental, New Bern or the ICW. For accommodations, consider Bridgepoint Marina (www.bridgepointe.com) in New Bern. It’s within 500 yards of public launching at both Lawson Creek Landing and Union Park Point. For more info on the New Bern area, visit www.visitnewbern.com.

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United States Power Squadrons–America’s

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ho doesn’t have a smile on their face when they’re spending time on the water? You can’t help yourself. Boating is the definition of getting away from it all. And getting away from it all is always more fun with friends. This is where the United States Power Squadrons–America’s Boating Club comes in. Enjoying your time on the water with family and friends starts with being safe and responsible while having fun. That’s what makes America’s Boating Club different than most boating organizations. For over a hundred years, the organization’s focus has been on providing unsurpassed boating safety education. But the organization’s leadership and members are passionate about a membership that doesn’t end on Sunday and doesn’t care if the calendar says it’s winter. It’s about being together and building a community through a variety of events like parties, meetings and even just getting together for no reason at all. Driven by this passion, United States Power Squadrons–America’s Boating Club, the country’s largest nonprofit boating organization, just launched its new logo. This is the first of several planned updates in the organization’s new brand image and identity. Changes to the organization’s website, social media platforms and collateral are expected in the coming weeks.

“We are United States Power Squadrons but we are also America’s Boating Club,” said Gary Cheney, chief commander, United States Power Squadrons. “This is not just a name change, it describes what we do. We go boating and have fun doing it. Our squadrons are social clubs as well as providers of high quality boating education— allowing members to enjoy the sport and camaraderie of boating and any number of activities that keep us together. Togetherness is what this lifestyle is all about. We joined the organization for the boating education, but we stayed for the friends.” Offering classes For Boaters, By Boaters in boat handling, navigation, boat maintenance, weather and related subjects, United States Power Squadrons— America’s Boating Club serves as a virtual “yacht club” with boating and social activities for all types of recreational boaters. With over 27,000 members organized into 356 local clubs across the country, America’s Boating Club is comprised of families who contribute to their communities by promoting safe boating through education. Members are vital to strengthening the communities they live in and know it’s important to live their values by giving back through public service and volunteer opportunities. Members provide courtesy vessel safety checks, help the NOAA’s National Ocean Service keep nautical charts accurate and organize beach cleanups. “Our commitment is to continue learning, teaching, laughing and helping our fellow members enjoy boating,” continued Cheney. “Whether you’re passionate about cruising, racing, making new friends, volunteering in your community or learning from experienced boaters, your local squadron has the resources you need to engage your passions and, perhaps, instill some new ones.” In February of 2017, the United States Power Squadrons announced its America’s Boating Club co-brand to its squadrons, following an almost yearlong renaming exercise. To learn more about United States Power Squadrons–America’s Boating Club, visit www.americasboatingclub.org.

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FRESHWATER Jordan Lee Wins Back-To-Back

Bassmaster Classics Bassmaster photos by Andy Crawford

I

n sixth place headed into the final day of the Bassmaster Classic on March 18 at lake Hartwell, S.C., Alabama’s Jordan Lee was in striking distance to do what only two anglers have ever done—win the Super Bowl of bass fishing twice in a row. And he did it. With a final day surge that took him to the scales with 16 pounds, 5 ounces, Lee tallied a three-day total of 47-1 to edge out California pro Brent Ehrler by a single pound. With his Classic win last year at Lake Conroe, Texas, Lee joins Rick Clunn and Kevin VanDam as the only three anglers in the history of the sport to win back-to-back classics. With the $300,000 purse, Lee pushed his career earnings with B.A.S.S past the million-dollar mark.

“It was just a perfect week for me,” Lee told Bassmaster. “I caught fish on five different baits and a lot of different techniques.” Boat docks were the ticket to Lee’s success. Following poor practice rounds, he could not nail down a strong pattern. From Day 1, Lee reverted to his comfort zone and his strength. “I just wanted to cover as much water as I could to give myself the best chance of putting a bait in front of a fish,” he told Bassmaster. “On this lake, I knew boat docks were going to play because they always do—and that’s what I like to do.” Live on Day 1, video showed Lee pumping his fists over a chunky largemouth he finessed out from under a dock with black floats. Black floats tend to warm the water around them, and the fish were staging up prior to the spawn. A strong sack of 18-10 on Day 1 must have buoyed Lee’s confidence in the dock pattern. Despite catching nothing but smaller spotted bass and just 12-2 on Day 2, Lee was still solidly in the top 25 to make the cut to fish Championship Sunday. Lee found his magic pocket on Day 3. Fishing a Strike King Rage Swimmer, a Strike King Ocho and a Strike King Shimmy Stick, he stuck to that one little pocket and pulled fish from beneath almost every dock. Green pumpkin was his primary color. Jason Christie, of Oklahoma, who led through the first two days of competition, dropped back to third place after the final day with a three-day total of 45-15. Ehrler’s 46-1 earned him second place. Alabama pro Mark Daniels Jr. caught the Berkley Big Bass of the tournament, a 6-pound, 11-ounce largemouth that won him $2,500. Reporting by Bassmaster’s Bryan Brasher.

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ike land hunters or rod-and-reel fishermen, spearos also study and perfect some tricks of the trade. Spearos immerse themselves into the fishes’ environment, so the first skill to master is to look like you belong there. Beginners tend to exhibit aggressive behavior, chasing and spooking fish. If fish scatter when you get near, study how calmly an experienced diver moves in the water. Until you achieve a non-threatening aura, all other tips and tricks will be useless. After achieving smooth diving technique, here are some techniques to get near fish. 1) Aspetto (Italian for “wait”)—It starts from the surface with a smooth duck-dive into the water while removing the snorkel. You descend with soft kicks until you begin to free-fall as you scan the bottom. By turning your fin blades, you maneuver to the right spot, perhaps where the reef meets sand. You lie motionless on the bottom until curious fish come to check you out. Moving only your eyes, you pick out the prey, move your gun slowly, and make a well-placed shot. A good spearo will make this technique look easy, but it is not. This is especially effective with evasive fish that become curious when you do not move, such as mutton snappers in Florida, stripers in the northeast, and bigeye emperors in Hawaii. 2) Agguato (Italian for “ambush”)–This is a dynamic stalking technique to get closer to prey without being noticed. The diver navigates the bottom using the environment to get closer to the prey. The diver must consider current, visibility and available bottom structure while moving from one object to another, blending into shadows or hiding behind reef formations. If your body can be hidden while closing the gap, the fish will remain unaware of your presence.

3) Flashers/ Sheri Daye practices “aspetto” technique. chum—Especially Photo by Joe Marino effective for hunting pelagics such as jacks, tunas, dolphin and wahoo. Multiple mirrors dangle below a float, and the flashes of light in the water imitate the reflective glare from a school of baitfish. The fish come in to investigate. Chum can be used in combination with a flasher to bring them even closer and keep them interested. In addition to these techniques, serious spearos are likely to train in a pool, use meditation techniques, and do cardio exercises to increase their breath hold capacity. Many take freediving classes to increase bottom time and safety. While there is no certification required to do it, classes should be a pre-requisite, as freediving is a sport that can lead to “blackout” and death if not practiced correctly. Spearfishing is a beautiful, selective way to catch fish, but it is also physically and mentally demanding. Above all, be safe and happy hunting! 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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hen Jesus Chavarria was a small boy nearly 60 years ago, he remembers a giant silver fish with huge scales brought to the dock at his home in the small Pacific river port of Sierpe, Costa Rica. No one had any idea what it was. He went on to captain offshore sport fishing boats all over the west coast of Costa Rica for the next 35 years and retired a few years ago to taking guests fishing the backwaters of the Sierpe River. His specialty is snook but now and then he began to catch tarpon. Tarpon are not indigenous to the Pacific Ocean, but over the years anglers began to encounter a tarpon now and then. The thought is that over more than a century since it was constructed, the Panama Canal has provided passage for tarpon, which now reside in the Pacific. Tarpon capture has been recorded as far south as Colombia and as far north as El Salvador. Saul Porras’ capture of a tarpon that weighed barely 3 pounds at a creek mouth in southern Costa Rica changed the whole thought process. Chances that a fish that small swam through the canal and that far are slim. Are tarpon now breeding in the Pacific? FECOP, the sport fishing advocacy and conservation group in Costa Rica, agreed to sponsor a project to find out more about tarpon in the Pacific. They contacted Didiher Chacon, who had worked on a Costa Rican Caribbean tarpon project almost three decades ago in Barra del Colorado for Dr. Roy Crabtree, of Florida. He agreed to work on the science part of the project. “The Sierpe Wetlands are perfect habitat for juvenile tarpon,” explained Chacon. “That very well may account for the increase in numbers of tarpon caught there in the last few years.” Most of the river tarpon are small, less than 30 pounds, but fish as large as 100 pounds have also been taken. Phase 1 of the project will concentrate in southern Costa Rica. A DNA comparison will be done between Pacific-caught tarpon and tarpon taken from different parts of the Caribbean side of the country. They will also study what the Pacific tarpon have been feeding on. Today this can be done with a small tissue sample without sacrificing the fish. All Pacific caught tarpon will also be tagged. Chacon noted that there is a possibility over time for tarpon to change the ecology of the rivers. It is not yet known what they are feeding on or how they will affect native fish. The Pacific-side tarpon are now showing with enough frequency to make it worth finding out. Tropical storm Nate delayed the project when the massive amounts of rain that fell not only caused major landslides but also completely flushed everything out of most of the country’s rivers. Find out more about Pacific tarpon and other FECOP projects on sport fishing conservation at www.fishcostarica.org.

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N

ot long ago, people didn’t know there were great white sharks off the coast of South Carolina. Now, thanks to the obsessive pursuit of them by Outcast Sport Fishing Charter Capt. Chip Michalove, everyone knows they’re out there, and in numbers during the winter months. Michalove seems to have figured it out, and he’s not sharing his secrets for fear of hurting the species he spent more than a decade trying to pattern. The captain has caught nearly 30 of these apex predators over the last three years. His most recent catch has made national news after a post about him catching a 16-foot-long, 3,000-pound white shark went viral from his Facebook page. Journalist Mandy Matney wrote in Hilton Head Island’s Island Packet about Michalove’s giant fish. She reported that with a two-man skeleton crew, Michalove had to radio to another fishing boat for backup to bring the giant fish boatside where it could be tagged and released. Michalove tags great whites for the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy in Chatham, Mass., according to the Island Packet report. They are working to study the movements of the sharks in the Atlantic, and through technique Michalove does everything he can to put minimal stress on the animals.

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THE PLANET’S

CLEANEST OUTBOARD It’s never been this much of a rush to make the right choice. The new Evinrude® E-TEC® G2® gives you power plus responsibility. Run the cleanest combustion outboard on the planet, period. Not just clean, but lean, with 15% better fuel efficiency*. No competitor takes you further on a tank of fuel. That’s more adventures to the gallon, more fish in the boat, more dollars in your wallet. The planet friendly E-TEC G2. No outboard engine runs cleaner.

©2018 Bombardier Recreational Products Inc. (BRP). All rights reserved. ®, TM and the BRP logo are trademarks of BRP or its affiliates. * Fuel economy claim based on BRP-conducted ICOMIA testing of Evinrude E-TEC G2 250 H.O., Yamaha 250 SHO® and Mercury OptiMax® 250 HP in a test tank to determine ICOMIA average cycle. Actual fuel economy dependent on engine model.

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