Coastal Angler Magazine - May / Greater Miami

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GREATER MIAMI EDITION

Pacific Sails

In Costa Rica

Electronics Edition

Striped Bass Are Running

Local

Fishing Reports Catch Photos News & Events

PHOTO COURTESY OF FRANCISCO MEJIAS, COSTA RICA PROSTAFF VOLUME 22 • ISSUE 267

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

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BOOST YOUR CATCH w/RezBoostTM Technology

Interested in getting the most out of your own trusted transducer, or not sure you’re ready for the expense of installing a new CHIRP transducer? Furuno has a solution that will get the very best performance from your traditional narrowband transducer. Our RezBoostTM Fish Finders deliver clearer images than ever before, we’re talking up to 8x sharper. Whether it’s NavNet TZtouch2 or the FCV588/FCV628 stand-alone Fish Finders, RezBoostTM will boost your catch!

Get up to 8x sharper resolution, using a standard narrow band transducer, to more clearly define fish targets.

Assess individual fish size and depth based on echo strength for fish from 4 inches to over 6 feet.

Identify the sea floor composition from four types (Rocks/Sand/Gravel/Mud).

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Electronics GARMIN INREACH EXPLORER+ Going where the fish are often means exploring places where communication becomes very difficult. Whether you’re far offshore, deep in a marshy backwater or high up a remote mountain stream, wouldn’t it be reassuring to know you can connect with someone in the event of an emergency? Or you might just need to let someone know where the fish are biting? The Garmin inReach Explorer+ is a handheld GPS navigator and satellite communicator that allows you to explore anywhere and communicate everywhere. It is a rugged, compact unit that uses 100 percent global Iridium coverage for two-way text messaging and tracking anywhere in the world. Navigate with detailed, preloaded TOPO maps, follow routes, mark waypoints and find your way back with a high-detail bread-crumb trail. Using GPS tracking, you can easily share your location with family, friends, social media or emergency responders. In case of emergency, the interactive SOS allows you to communicate back and forth and receive confirmation that help is on the way. For added capability, use the free Earthmate app to pair your inReach Explorer+ with mobile devices and access unlimited maps, aerial imagery, NOAA charts, weather and more.

WWW.GARMIN.COM FURUNO DFF3D Turn your NavNet TZtouch or TZtouch2 MFD into a multi-beam sonar that can see 120 degrees port to starboard, allowing you to see the depth and direction fish schools are moving, while displaying the seabed condition in real time. Furuno’s DFF3D gives you real-time 120-degree port-starboard view of the water column and seabed in deeper than 650 feet of water, allowing you to find fish in deep water faster than conventional

single-beam sounders. Cross-Section displays the real-time sea column echo in 120 degrees port and starboard. This mode aids in understanding the distribution of baitfish and water column conditions. The 3D Sounder History provides an intuitive and easyto-understand 3D image of the seafloor, along with fish school icons. A single or triple-direction fishfinder image can be displayed. The triple beam display helps you understand the depth of fish and seabed condition in each direction, as well as the direction target fish are moving. Side scan clearly displays the shape of structure to port and starboard as a high definition image.

WWW.FURUNO.COM STANDARD HORIZON EXPLORER GX1700 GPS VHF RADIO The GX1700 makes DSC easy. With an internal 12 Channel GPS built into the front panel, there is no need to hassle with wiring the radio to a GPS for DSC. Out of the box and ready to go, DSC calling, position sharing, waypoint navigation and navigation to DSC distress calls can all be performed with just a few simple steps. The Explorer GPS VHF radio has a compact rear case of only 3.5 inches. The Built-In WAAS GPS receiver and antenna give flexibility to flush mount the radio in tight areas. The GX1700 is capable of entering and saving up to 100 waypoints, which may be navigated to by using a unique navigation compass display that shows bearing and distance to the waypoint. GX1700 is an ITU-R M493 Class D class VHF with a separate Channel 70 receiver, which allows DSC calls to be received even when listening to communications. The DSC DISTRESS function transmits a digital MAYDAY including vessel identification, latitude/longitude and time, to facilitate prompt response. Other features include a big, bold display; RAM3+ remote mic capability, easy position sharing, Clearvoice noise reduction technology, programmable channel names, NOAA Weather channels and Weather Alert. And it’s all backed by a 3-year waterproof warranty.

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Product Review ACR ELECTRONICS RESQLINK PLB

At 4.6 ounces, the ResQLink distress beacon weighs less than a couple of energy bars, and it’s smaller than the cell phone in your pocket. Small and mighty, the ResQLink PLB is a full-powered, GPS-enabled rescue beacon designed for anglers, pilots and backcountry sportsmen. With three levels of integrated signal technology—GPS positioning, a powerful 406 MHz signal, and 121.5 MHz homing capability—the ResQLink PLB quickly and accurately relays your position to a worldwide network of search and rescue satellites. A built-in strobe light provides visibility during night rescues. Even in extreme conditions and situations, the ResQLink activates easily. With its powerful 66-channel GPS, the ResQLink guides rescuers to within 100 meters of your position. And, in the continental U.S., search and rescue personnel are typically alerted in as little as five minutes. Other features include: no subscription fees, self-test and GPS-test features and typical performance 30 hours. If you have to use your ResQLink PLB, ACR will replace it free of charge.

WWW.ACRARTEX.COM

JL AUDIO MEDIAMASTER 100S BLACK EDITION The MM100s-BE is hitting the market just in time for summer. This latest Black Edition of JL Audio’s MediaMaster was introduced with an updated user interface that offers enhanced volume control flexibility and four fully variable zones, each with independent feature/control options; Volume, Tone, and Naming. NMEA 2000 interconnectivity is built into it and equipped with a NMEA2K Connector to integrate into existing networks, enabling MFD control functionality with Lowrance, Simrad and Garmin. Designed for today’s modern media environment, the MM100s-BE features a Digital AM/FM/Weather Band Tuner, Bluetooth connectivity, separate line level AUX and USB/iPhone inputs, and it’s SiriusXM-Ready. Available with an optional MMR-20BE Wired Remote. The MM100s-BE is a premium, single-chassis source unit with superb audio performance, excellent ergonomics and advanced audio features, specifically designed for marine applications. Check it out at http://www.jlaudio.com/. Available at HIGH TECH MARINE in Hialeah, Fla. 305-883-9700.

WWW.HIGHTECHMARINE.COM ANGLER’S PAL ELECTRONICS MOUNTS AND TROLLING MOTOR STABILIZERS

Boaters and anglers invest a small fortune in their equipment. Fishermen, for example, know that quality sonar, GPS, chart plotters and electric motors are vital tools that enhance their experience. For that reason, MarineTech Products, manufactures the Angler’s Pal line of electronics mounts and trolling motor stabilizers. Angler’s Pal mounts are designed to withstand the harsh marine environment and provide rock solid stability with minimal space requirements. The patented universal Ball Locking Device provides 360-degree adjustability and the strength to support the heaviest equipment without “drift.” The Angler’s Pal Trolling Motor Mounts feature a unique rubber lock-down strap that protects your trolling motor from accidental deployment or excessive vibration that can damage the shaft. Overall length: 10” and now THE NEW 14” model for longer shafts and deeper gunnels. They are made of corrosion-resistant stainless steel and hardanodized aluminum for fresh and saltwater use. They are available in a variety of lengths, and all Angler’s Pal mounts can be easily removed for storage. Angler’s Pal also manufactures 700 and 800 Series Rod Holders. For information, contact Marine Tech Products at 1 651-4862010.

WWW.ANGLERSPAL.COM

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BE YOUR OWN BOSS. If you love the outdoors and the Fishing Industry, you owe it to yourself to check out the Franchise Opportunities available with Coastal Angler Magazine and The Angler Magazine.

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BIG BEND : Mike McNamara • (850) 510-7919 • captmike@coastalanglermagazine.com BREVARD : David String • (321) 684-5888 • dstring@coastalanglermagazine.com DAYTONA/NEW SMYRNA BEACH : Don Meadows • (321) 436-5895 • donm@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 MIAMI : Scott Deal • (561) 945-6999 • scott@coastalanglermagazine.com Monica Isaza-Deal • (561) 945-8899 • monica@coastalanglermagazine.com GREATER ORLANDO : Phillip & Giselle Wolf • (407) 790-9515 • phillip@coastalanglermagazine.com LAKELAND & SUMTER : Mary Brasher • (352) 598-4219 • maryf@coastalanglermagazine.com NAPLES : Mike Weber • (414) 531-4172 • mikew@coastalanglermagazine.com NC FLORIDA/NATURE COAST : Cary & Lynn Crutchfield • (352) 372-4237 • crutch@coastalanglermagazine.com NE FLORIDA : Danny Patrick • (904) 742-4696 • danny@coastalanglermagazine.com PANAMA CITY/FORGOTTEN COAST : Randy Cnota • (229) 834-7880 • randyc@coastalanglermagazine.com PALM BEACH COUNTY : Barbara Ryan • (561) 373-8040 • barbara@coastalanglermagazine.com SARASOTA : Phil Prevoir • (239) 257-4684 • pprevoir@coastalanglermagazine.com TAMPA BAY : Chuck Atkins • (239) 464-5153 • chuck@coastalanglermagazine.com TREASURE COAST : Misti & Gary Guertin • (772) 285-6850 • treasurecoast@coastalanglermagazine.com flahama@coastalanglermagazine.com

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INTERNATIONAL BAHAMAS : Misti & Gary Guertin • (772) 285-6850 • treasurecoast@coastalanglermagazine.com flahama@coastalanglermagazine.com PUERTO RICO/VIRGIN ISLANDS : Ace Bassue • (407) 285-9453 • ace@coastalanglermagazine.com © 2017. 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.

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Garmin Introduces

W

hether it’s by land, air or sea, Garmin has made a name for itself as the industry leader in navigational electronics. Its popular and varied GPSMAP product line offers the perfect tool for anyone who needs to know where they’re going. In November, Garmin brought powerful new tools to the realm of marine electronics with the introduction of several new networking chartplotters and combination models to the GPSMAP line. Unveiled at the Fort Lauderdale Boat Show, these units lured in boaters and anglers with high-end features at a more than reasonable price point. “These new GPSMAPs are designed for the budget-conscious customer who desires premium features typically found only in a higher-end product,” said Dan Bartel, Garmin vice president of worldwide sales. “We’ve packed these plotters with industry-leading features, builtin conveniences, and we’ve added two new screen sizes to our lineup—a 9-inch touchscreen and a 12-inch keyed—to offer something for every boater.” Ranging in size from 7- to 12-inches, these new plotters are available with and without built-in sonar.

gration, and a 10Hz GPS/GLONASS receiver for smooth on-screen navigation. These compact plotters offer full-network compatibility for the Garmin Marine Network, which allows support for sharing sonar, maps, user data, radar, IP cameras and Panoptix all-seeing sonar among multiple units. Plus, there’s NMEA 2000 and NMEA 0183 support for autopilots, digital switching, weather, VHF, AIS and other sensors. Anglers, cruisers and sailors alike will benefit from the xs series that comes equipped with built-in 1kW traditional CHIRP sonar and CHIRP ClearVü scanning sonar capability for a near-picture quality view of what’s beneath the boat. Preloaded premium mapping features can be found on the GPSMAP 742/742xs and the GPSMAP 942/942xs, including both BlueChart g2 HD charts for the U.S., Canada and Bahamas and LakeVü HD maps. The GPSMAP 722/722xs and GPSMAP 922/922xs come preloaded with a worldwide basemap for general reference with support for optional mapping available at garmin.com.

GPSMAP 7x2/9x2 and GPSMAP 7x2xs/9x2xs Touchscreen Series

GPSMAP 10x2xsv/12x2xsv and GPSMAP 10x2/12x2 and Keyed Series

The GPSMAP 7x2/9x2 series plotters are 7- and 9-inch sunlight-readable touchscreen chartplotters perfect for any boater. The xs series offers the perfect solution for anglers with chartplotter/sonar combination units. These compact and powerful units are exactly what’s needed when functionality is essential and cockpit or deck space is at a premium. Building on the popularity of the 7-inch touchscreen Garmin pioneered in 2010, this series introduces a 9-inch touchscreen to the Garmin line. Both serve customers who value screen size as a compelling option. They feature builtin wireless connectivity for Garmin mobile apps and VIRB action camera inte10

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For those who prefer using a keypad, the all-in-one solutions offered by the new 10-inch GPSMAP 10x2xsv and the 12-inch GPSMAP 12xsv can’t be beat. With an all-new industrial design, these combos feature a large, sunlight-readable screen coupled with a keypad interface and new multifunction rotary control knob that offers precise, simple control for easy menu navigation and setting control, even in rough water. These units also offer four user-programmable hot keys for one-touch access to favorite features and functions. In addition to GPS and connectivity features also found in the GPSMAP 7x2/9x2xs series, the GPSMAP 10x2xsv and GPSMAP 12x2xsv also offer impressive sonar capabilities with built-in

CHIRP sonar, CHIRP ClearVü and CHIRP SideVü as well as support for Panoptix all-seeing sonar. Other premium Garmin sonar modules are also available, including two new CHIRP transducer options–the GT8HW-IH and GT15MTM. The GPSMAP 1042xs/1242xs come preloaded with BlueChart g2 coastal charts and U.S. LakeVü HD, while the GPSMAP 1022xs/1222xs offer a worldwide basemap. Two non-sonar versions, the GPSMAP 1022 and GPSMAP 1222 are also available with a preloaded worldwide basemap.

Advanced Features For Sailors

Premium sailing features have also been integrated into both new series, offering laylines, tidal information, enhanced wind rose, a current slider and other elements that prove beneficial to sailors. All new models also offer integrated ANT support for use with the quatix 3 marine smartwatch, the Garmin Nautix in-view display, gWind Wireless 2 transducer, GNX Wind marine instrument and wireless remote controls. Additionally, all sonar-enabled models feature built-in Quickdraw Contours software, a free, easy-to-use tool that lets mariners instantly create personalized HD maps with 1-foot contours on any body of water.

An Attractive Price Point

The GPSMAP 7x2/9x2 and xs series will range from $799.99 to $1299.99, while the GPSMAP 10x2/12x2xsv and non-xsv series will be priced from $1699.99 to $2999.99. This is exceptionally affordable pricing for top-quality electronics with so many sophisticated yet easy-to-use features. What more could you expect from Garmin, the company that was recently named Manufacturer of the Year for the second year in a row by the National Marine Electronics Association. For a full list of features and more information, visit garmin.com/newmarine.

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Adjustable cap with brim UV-blocking polarized sunglasses

F

Photo courtesy of Controlled Descent Lures

or nearly a century, Eagle Claw has provided premium hooks for all kinds of anglers using American steel and designing and manufacturing them right here in the U.S.A. Founded in 1925 in Denver, Colo., Eagle Claw is extremely proud of its long history of American-made fish hooks. And it is also proud of the high-quality product it produces. Trokar Eagle Claw’s Trokar hooks offer a competitive advantage for serious saltwater competitors. These premium quality hooks offer a faster, deeper, surer point penetration that requires half the pressure of the competition. Manufactured using cold forged high-carbon American-Made steel, they offer better durability and stronger holds for hard-fighting, big-game species. Trokar hooks are surgically sharpened, and their triple-sided points are regarded as the most innovative, sharpest, and most durable on the market today. The Platinum Black finish is designed to withstand repeated use in saltwater and harsh marine conditions. There are more than 20 models of Trokar hooks available for fresh and saltwater. A highlight of the Trokar saltwater line is the TK197 Primal Circle Hook, which is an awesome all-purpose bait hook with an offset, light-wire design. Made of high-carbon steel wire for strength and durability, this hook has a highly durable point and a salt-resistant coating. It offers stronger hold for battling fast and hard-fighting big game fish, and it is a dream come true for serious competition anglers who fish for serious saltwater species. Lazer Sharp Eagle Claw’s Lazer Sharp hooks are designed to be “Sharper, Stronger, Longer,” which means the patented Lazer Sharp needlepoint and forged technology ensures a sharper, stronger, longer hold than the leading competition. Lazer Sharp hooks feature uniquely blended coatings—Sea Guard, Platinum Black and Nickel— which are designed to be more durable and abrasion resistant after repeated use in saltwater. There are more than 30 Lazer Sharp saltwater models available. The L2004EL has become a staple on the boats of big-time billfish anglers. They are approved by the Billfish Foundation for tournament use, and were the original and once the only tournament-approved circle sea hook. The design of this non-offset, circle sea, with a wide gap, light wire and a forged point, results in more solid hook-ups and a much higher rate of fish hooked in the corner of the mouth, which equates to fewer escaping fish as well as less-stressful releases. To this day, the L2004EL is still the single best option for pro and amateur billfish tournament anglers looking for proven performance stemming from a decade of making champions out of competitors. Eagle Claw Fishing Tackle, Co. is an American-based company that has been designing and manufacturing innovative, high-quality fishhooks and fishing equipment for more than 90 years. Its family of brands includes Eagle Claw, Lazer Sharp, TroKar, Wright & McGill and Shappell. For more information about Eagle Claw Fishing Tackle Co. and its family of brands, visit www.eagleclaw.com, find them on Facebook at facebook. com/eagleclaw/, facebook.com/TroKarHooks/ and facebook. com/shappellcorp/ or call 720-941-8700.

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ON THE COVER Editor’s Note:

Each month, Coastal Angler Magazine and The Angler Magazine staff search our vast coverage area for photos that will grace our covers. With well over a million readers in diverse coastal and inland markets, our magazines strive for broad national appeal as well as local-level intelligence to put anglers on fish. The cover is different depending on which edition you, the reader, are holding. The following is a little information about this month’s covers.

COASTAL ANGLER MAGAZINE Costa Rica Sailfish

FREE

The great shot of a Pacific sailfish that graces Pacific Sails the covers of this month’s Coastal Angler In Costa Rica Electronics Edition editions comes from Costa Rica Pro Staff member Francisco Mejias. Francisco is one of the great captains who provide monthly Striped Bass forecasts for our local Costa Rica edition, Are Running Local and he captures some stunning photography as well. Knowing one’s way around a camera is important for getting cover-worthy shots. And it definitely doesn’t hurt to have a target-rich environment like Costa Rica’s beautiful Pacific coast to snap photos of trophy fish. Inside this month’s magazine, Francisco and several other Costa Rica Pro Staff members came together to share the Pacific sailfish experience with our readers. From smaller boats, they pull spreads for sails that can top 200 pounds. The techniques and tools for catching and releasing them safely are laid out in the article, and they are techniques honed by the knowledge that can be gathered during 50-sailfish days. No kidding. The fishing down there can be that good. Fishing Reports Catch Photos News & Events

PHOTO COURTESY OF FRANCISCO MEJIAS, VOLUME 22 • ISSUE 267

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THE ANGLER MAGAZINE Hudson River Striped Bass

FREE

All over the country, wherever striped bass Striped Bass live, spring incites migrations of these bruisers Are Running up the rivers to spawn. This is the time of year when very large fish can be caught in skinny water. In the Southeast, runs of landlocked Electronics stripes can be roughly timed by the blooming Edition Local of the dogwoods. In the Northeast, anglers Picky-Trout Tactics await the arrival of the Alewives. Dave Maneri, of Tivoli, N.Y., caught the big striper on the covers of this month’s The Angler editions. His buddy Paul Hughes Jr. snapped the photo while they were fishing the striped bass run on the Hudson River, which feeds the Atlantic Ocean at New York City. It was an epic day for the two anglers. They caught multiple fish, including the cover fish and another one about the same size, which Paul is holding in the photo that appears with the article. In that article, Dave tells us all about the Hudson River striped bass run and how he goes about catching big stripers from the shore as well as from a boat. The uninformed might assume there’s no fishing to be done in such close proximity to one of the biggest and busiest cities in the world. But striped bass and baitfish still run up the Hudson each year to spawn, just like they have since time immemorial. Fishing Reports Catch Photos News & Events

PHOTO COURTESY OF PAUL HUGHES JR. VOLUME 22 • ISSUE 267

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By Pro Staff Costa Rica • Photos by Francisco Mejias

T

he Pacific sailfish is one of the most sought after offshore game fish in Costa Rica. Growing larger than their Atlantic

counterpart, sailfish in Costa Rica average 60 to 80 pounds, but big ones can surpass 200 pounds! They are migratory, with the main concentration of fish arriving in our area of the Central Pacific as the dry season sets in the end of December. They move away as the wet season kicks in during early May. Even though this is the main migration, there are always sailfish present in our waters year round. We fish from smaller boats, so we use the traditional five-rod setup. A combination of natural baits and lures are used, and our main baits are ballyhoo. Our lures of choice are the Magna series from Santos. Variations of pink, lumo and blue combined with a Trokar hook are deadly combinations. If the bite is slow, we often sew a belly flap or strip bait into the lures for a more enticing bait. On the outriggers, we use teasers. A squid chain in pink on one side and a bigger lure like a Santos Carolina Seastalker on the other is a good start. The shotgun gets a Santos lure as well as the long rigger. The short rigger and the two corners are set up with naked swimming ballyhoos on Trokar 7/0 circle hooks. It is also handy to have a mullet, horse ballyhoo or tuna

rigged and ready to go as a pitch bait in case a marlin decides to crash the party. Once the fish is caught it is time for a few photos. This is a critical part of the process, as it involves fish handling. Even though some boats still bring up a sailfish for a photo, it is highly recommended to not do so, as it can be extremely harmful to the fish. It is the process of pulling the fish over the rail of the boat that causes problems. The protective mucus covering is scraped off, leaving an area of skin exposed to bacterial and fungal attack. This can result in death of the fish at a later time. Leave the fish in the water, and with a good pair of AFTCO gloves, grab the outer part of the bill and push the fish as far out from the boat as possible. Keep the head of the fish in the water as much as possible, and lift it briefly for a good photo. Take the shot from the tail end of the fish looking forward or from above if possible. Alternatively, grab the front part of the sail, pull it up and hold the bill with your other hand. Make sure the bill is always pointing away from you and not at you. Take the photo from the front of the fish. If you have never been to Costa Rica fishing, it is definitely worth it and you will be hooked! Pro Staff Costa Rica provides monthly reports for Coastal Angler Magazine’s Costa Rica edition. Search out Pro Staff Costa Rica on Facebook for more great photography, videos and fishing content.

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Spring Striped Bass Run The Hudson River By Nick Carter

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ach spring, through the Hudson River’s mouth at bustling New York Harbor, a massive spawning migration of Atlantic stripers pushes some 150 miles upstream to the Federal Dam at Troy, N.Y. In this long stretch of tidally influenced river, striped bass show up when water temps reach the 60s. Dave Maneri, of Tivoli, N.Y., said the trick is to keep up with the migration and put yourself in the right place at the right time to intercept pods of transient stripers. “They move in big schools,” Maneri said. “Some days they’re there and you can catch them; other days they’re not. You gotta stay on the reports. They’re running the whole river, so you could travel to where the fish are or wait until they’re where you are.” Smaller schoolie striped bass show up first. They come with the spawning alewives, which are baitfish commonly called herring. Schoolies remain in the river for a couple months some years, and there’s also a year-round resident population. But Maneri said the big cows remain only for a week or two each season. They are always on the move, and connecting with them can lead to unbelievable action with big fish measuring past the 40-inch mark with weights heavier than 30 pounds. Fishing bait is generally the most productive tactic. The best bait is herring pulled right out of the river, either live or chunked. Most locals use a scap net to catch herring. A scap net is essentially a 4’x4’ dip net. The schooling herring will follow a swimbait right up to the net where they are captured. Maneri fishes his herring off the bottom using medium and medium-heavy rods with baitrunner-style reels that allow fish to run with the bait on free spool before the angler strikes to set the hook and engage the drag. He employs a main line of 30-pound braid with a 1 ½-foot leader of 15- to 20-pound fluorocarbon. A 7/0 Gamakatsu Octopus should be hooked through the bait’s mouth, and the whole rig is kept down with a 2- or 3-ounce slide swivel teardrop sinker. Maneri said stripers don’t relate to any kind of structure on their spawning run, so the good spots are the drop offs, channels and shallows where baitfish might be funneled. Obviously, a boat gives anglers the ability to move and seek out fish. But fishing from shore is also productive. When he fishes from the shore, Maneri uses rod holders made from PVC pipe and rebar. They can be wedged into rip-rap to free up the angler while waiting on a bite. And the bite can be a tricky thing. Maneri said these stripers have a knack for spitting the bait. One thing is for sure, though; when the hook sets solid and the drag is engaged, a big striped bass in heavy current is a formidable opponent. Dave Maneri is a team member of Catskill Outdoors. Look them up on Facebook.

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Tips For Catching Picky Trout

By Charlie Warfield • Photo by John Winkler, redhouseflyfishing.com

T

he upper end of the Delaware River, and more specifically the West Branch of the Delaware in the Catskill Mountains, is a favorite of many fly anglers in Pennsylvania and Upstate New York. It can also be frustrating place, as it holds some very picky trout. The river has a reputation for crystal clear water, and because it is a bottom-release tailwater, it has a very consistent temperature, which makes for great hatches and healthy fish year round. It is known for being very technical, and this is just a nice way of saying it will sometimes make you want to pull your hair out. The first time I fished it, I was tested, even frustrated by this beautiful waterway. But besides the beautiful mountain setting and endless hatches, it is in part the challenge that drove me to go back time after time. I persisted and figured out ways of tricking the beautiful native fish. I learned lessons there that have made me a better angler. The following are some insights that will give you a leg up when you go fish the Delaware or any other technical stream. Downstream Presentation: Many anglers learned to cast upstream and let the fly drift down. But when fishing for spooky or educated fish, this method can sometimes leave you frustrated. It’s harder to get a good, long drift with a downstream presentation, but many times it is your best bet. Next time you’re having a hard time getting a take, cast out at about 90 degrees to the bank, and quickly give an upstream mend, this will help you keep a drag free drift for as long as possible. Keep mending as often as needed, letting the fly swing to its full downstream position. Sweep-Style Hook Set: The downstream presentation should be matched with a sweep-style hook set. To use this technique, swing the rod downstream and strip the line at the same time, this will pull the line through the water, creating tension and giving a good hook set. By swinging the rod downstream, you are also pulling the hook into the corner of the fish’s mouth rather than pulling it up and away from the fish. Slow Down Your Hook Set: Ok, we have all done it before. It’s a tough day on the water and all of the sudden you get a strike, BAM you set the hook… and nothing. I have heard people say things like, “Next time, set the hook faster.” But most of the time the opposite is true. A good technique is to wait one second and then give the rod a gentle lift or sweep. Match the Hatch: Picky fish know what they want to eat. There can be significant variation in color, size and body shape in the same species of fly from region to region, and there are many subspecies for each type of fly we fish. So do your homework. I suggest hiring a local guide or at least stopping in at the local fly shop. It is good to support the community, and you can never beat local knowledge.

For more tips on trout fishing, go to

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FLORIDA

By Randy Cnota

F

olks are ramping up for grouper season. If you’re not geared up and properly prepared, you might be one of the many people at the dock talking about the one that got away. Here are some tips that work well when grouper are the target. Grouper are notorious for shattering an angler’s hopes of a fresh grouper dinner. Often, bait must be presented very close to the reefs grouper inhabit, and the reef is where they run the second they eat your bait. If they get back in their hole, it’s often game over! I try to up my odds of landing grouper by building leaders that can withstand the line-gnawing reefs. My grouper rig is simple; it consists of a 6- to 8-foot long leader of 300-pound-test monofilament with a 9/0 to 11/0 circle hook. Above that, I have a 4- to 8-ounce slip-sinker on a 12-inch leader of 300-pound monofilament. These two pieces are connected by a 250-pound-test barrel swivel. All swivels and the hooks are attached to the line using 1.9 mm crimp sleeves. Start your leader production by cutting the desired length of line for the hook leader. Crimp your hook to one end and a swivel to the other. Next cut a 12-inch piece of line and crimp a swivel to one end. Slide your weight onto the line, and then attach the opposite end to the swivel on the long leader. Be sure to crimp the center portion of the sleeve and then work your crimping tool toward the edge of the sleeve, but leave a slight flaring on the edges. If you crimp the edge of the sleeve, it can cut into your line. A fighting rod of 5’8” or longer, rated for line up to 200-pound test will do in most cases. My reel of choice is the Shimano Torium 30HG spooled with 65-pound-test braided line. The 6.2:1 gear ratio makes it fast and powerful enough to move big grouper in a hurry. The goal is to keep them out of the reef, but if they do get back to their hole, you’re prepared with a leader that can survive the fight. When I hooked the gag grouper in this picture, he immediately ran

back into his hole in the reef. For a few minutes he wouldn’t budge. I simply held pressure on him for a while and bounced the weight up and down. Then I just let the line go slack for a few minutes. Suddenly, he came out and it was game on again! I think when this happens the fish have forgotten they were hooked and decide to come back out of their holes. Other times, I’ve literally yanked these bruisers right out of their lairs. Either way, you need gear that will withstand the power of the fish and the perils of the reef. Required items to build your own grouper-busting leader: • 9/0 to 11/0 circle hook • Two 250-pound-test barrel swivels • Four 1.9 mm crimping sleeves • 10 feet of 300-pound-test mono • Crimping tool Randy Cnota is the co-publisher of Coastal Angler/The Angler Magazine’s Panama City/Forgotten Coast edition.

For more fishing with Randy Cnota, go to

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Fine Tuning Fishing

By Patrick Sebile

M

any years ago I was a guide, making a living by taking anglers fishing all around the world—well, in 40 countries at least. I specialized in inshore and nearshore fishing, with some bluewater-specific trips. Besides that, I fished even more destinations just for fun or when I was sent to write articles for magazines. In total, I’ve fished in 64 different countries. Why do I tell you all this? Well, when I was focusing a lot on my lodges in Morocco, Guinea Bissau and Ivory coast, where I spent years guiding, it gave me the chance to learn little by little the best spots and how to fish them. But the majority of places where I traveled to fish, I only had a few days to find the hot spots before receiving a group of anglers. When they arrived, I wanted them to have the best chances of doing well and having fun. I didn’t have much time, usually three days up to a week, to seek out key places. In many cases, a local guide would give me hints; a good tip is always useful in that regard. But other than a direction and the approximate location of a day beacon, there was not much more helpful information out there. These areas had to be finetuned by reading and understanding them. These are two key steps for any successful fishing trip. The primary tool for achieving these two steps is the combination of GPS and fishfinder. Most of the time I travelled with a portable unit, just in case there weren’t electronics on the boats I was supposed to be using, and also in case they weren’t working properly. I experienced that problem a number of times in remote locations and developing countries. With this powerful technology, suddenly the bottom shape and depth were illuminated on the screen… and in my mind. I was picturing it as a three-dimensional image as best as I was able. The bottom structure and the currents were key to understanding water flow, which gives clues of where the food will pass through and where different fish species hold in the current or hidden from it. At that time, I remember dreaming of glasses that would see into the depths, turning the liquid into an invisible substance like the air, to actually see the fish and the bottom. This is a dream I believe has existed since the first boatman went on the water, or even before. Now it has pretty much become reality thanks to the incredible electronics of today. They show us the sea floor exactly as it is, and record true bottom shape and depth on maps thanks to Navionics. We can even see the fish down there. A new age of fishing is here thanks to this revolution. Now it’s possible to know, when fishing a new spot or an old one, just what it looks like under the waves. It’s even possible to target a fish and drop or cast a lure right in front of it. This is fine-tuned fishing at its best.

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Our offshore banks Chasing Tarpon generate more interest.

From Big Pine sKey knab erohsffo ruO

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By Nick Carter

T

here is no fish more iconically associated with the Florida Keys than tarpon. The allure of hooking into one of the ocean’s most powerful and aerobatic fish in skinny water draws anglers from all over the world to test their mettle on the flats and in the bays the silver king inhabits. Those who desire to concentrate singly-mindedly on that pursuit would be well served to spend some time at Big Pine Key. At mile marker 33 on Highway 1, Big Pine is situated on the top end of the Lower Keys, far enough from the bustling tourist activity of Key West and slap in the middle of some of the best tarpon fishing in the world. Capt. Nate Wheeler, of Waypoint Fishing Charters, specializes in these prehistoric beasts. Although he also runs jam-up inshore and offshore trips for all the awesome fishing the area has to offer, staying on top of often-difficult tarpon is a constant pursuit. Capt. Nate said smaller tarpon can be found year-round, but the action begins when water temperatures break the 72-degree mark. This is the magic temperature at which tarpon begin to feed, and the warm-up coincides with a large influx of big migrating tarpon. Generally there is some consistency to the bite beginning in mid to late April each year. This year, Nate said the Keys experienced a “Marchuary,” which means cool weather hung around longer than usual. As a result, tarpon fishing was a little slow in the early season, but by mid-April water temps had risen into the mid 70s and the silver king began to feed. “Tarpon are a real finicky fish. They are very sensitive to conditions,” Capt. Nate said. “It can be feast or famine, and that’s why guides do so well as compared to the do-it-yourself angler. We’ve spent years following them, and if they’re here, we know where they are.” The limestone strata of the Lower Keys and the north to south alignment of the islands have created a unique habitat of channels, shallow bays, flats and mangrove islands. Nate said laid-up tarpon can often be found on the flats and in shallow bays. It is an early season staple. This laid-up behavior, in which big tarpon lie at rest just under the surface, is something the waters around Big Pine Key have become known for. “Laid-up fish in the bays is the one time that fly fishermen have an advantage,” Nate said. Sight fishing for big, easily spooked fish when they aren’t actively feeding is best done with delicate presentations. In water seemingly too shallow for the size of the fish, floating lines and pinpoint accuracy with casts become paramount. That challenge, as well as the potentially explosive results of a take, are what many anglers live for. But there are easier ways to do it for those who want to maximize

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their chances of experiencing that explosion of activity. In spring and summer, big pods of tarpon push into the bridge channels. The Bahia Honda and Seven Mile bridges just east of Big Pine Key become an epicenter for anglers seeking the flashes and rolls of active tarpon. They can be caught on artificials and flies, but suspending and drifting a blue crab beneath a float offers as close to a guaranteed hookup as exists in tarpon fishing. Nate said fishing the tide windows is critical to maximizing chances of a bite. “We crush them in the summertime,” Nate said. “Especially on the fly.” That statement might have been directed toward the worm hatch. In summer, when tarpon are thick in the channel, the world’s most famous palolo worm hatch occurs at Bahia Honda. No one has it exactly figured out, but somehow the tide and moon phases trigger thousands of 3-inch long burnt orange sea worms to wriggle to the surface to reproduce. Tarpon go out of their minds when palolo worms swarm in the thousands. Giant fish can be seen gulping the little morsels on the surface and sometimes rising completely out of the water for them. Just to witness it is a spectacle. For those lucky enough to encounter it with a rod in hand, it is something else. But if baking in the summer sun is something to be avoided, Capt. Nate threw out one more option for anglers who want to tangle with a silver king. “The most consistent way to get them is at night, after dark,” he said. Tarpon need to eat to feed their massive bodies. During the daytime, that feeding is mainly opportunistic, an “it’s there so I might as well eat it” scenario. Nighttime is generally when tarpon actively seek out their meals and feed most aggressively. Capt. Nate said he’s had some tremendous evenings catching small tarpon as well as 40- to 50-pounders fishing with artificials and live bait. So, those are a few of the ways anglers can get their tarpon fix during the spring and summer out of Big Pine Key. Probably the most important piece of advice is to hire a guide for the best chance of achieving your goal of catching this notoriously finicky beast. s“Usually r ef fo y eK eniPbite gi Bpretty , sl aohconsistently S n a ci r e mat A the ot bridges, yeK eo”oCapt. L m oNate rF they’ll na nifilrthey’re am ,hsnot ifliasthere, morwe’ll F .hsifollow femagthem emitto -githe b fobays htlaand ew the a said. d “But flats andhfind t ailothem G dnwherever a kcajrebthey ma are. dez” is-tluav ot pot pu hsifgnik

ni fCapt. lesruoNate y t isWheeler op e d e mand oc Waypoint o S .p e e d Fishing n wod rCharters ep uo r Gat Contact 305-394-2177 .nruor tercaptnatewheeler@aol.com, ni hcum os teg ll’uoY .syand eK rsee ewothe L swebsite ’adirolFat www.waypointfishing.net. 2 2 73 . 2 78 . 0 0 8 .1 s yek r ewol / m oc. s yek - afl

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FISH & FISHING

MAKE IT COUNT

Y

MARK SOSIN

ou’ve heard it said before. The key to catching fish centers on presentation, presentation, presentation. Too many anglers nod in agreement, but fail to focus on it constantly. Whether you prefer natural bait or artificials, the best offering will bomb unless it looks realistic and natural to your quarry. Whether you are staring eyeball to eyeball with the fish of your dreams or simply covering the water with blind cast after blind cast, it all necks down to your ability to make your bait or lure tempt a fish into striking. My father was the consummate example. His lure of choice was a ¼-ounce or 3/8-ounce yellow Upperman bucktail. Dad would put a half-dozen of them in his jacket pocket and challenge dozens of species in saltwater or fresh. That artificial didn’t look like it would catch anything, yet Dad could outfish anyone in the boat with him. Professional guides were amazed what he could do with that lure. He was perfect proof that presentation was the key rather than the choice of lure. Almost all of his casts were blind, but somehow he managed to put that bucktail where the fish were and in a manner that they would eat it. No matter how hard I tried year after year, I have never come close to catching as many fish as he could on that bucktail. He never understood the technicalities of fish behavior. As an example, fish holding in any type of current face into it, expecting their food to be swept to them by the flow of water. Even in shallow water, predators tend to work into the current or across it. It’s essential to know where in the water column the species you seek happens to be. If you had to ask a successful angler one question, find out how deep the water was where he caught his fish. You don’t have to know the spot as long as you learn the depth. And remember, a fish hugging the bottom is not going to rise very far to inhale a bait. There are also places I refer to as seats in a restaurant. These are

very precise spots where a fish can hold easily with a minimum of current and then dart out to grab food being pushed along by the flow of water. If you catch a fish in a particular spot today, it could be a seat in the restaurant. By tomorrow or the day after, you can bet that another fish will be in that exact same spot. Predators do not expect to be attacked by their prey. Any retrieve that drags a bait toward your target will spook the larger fish. Your offering has to look like it is trying to escape. That also holds when you cast toward a particular spot where you think a fish is holding. If your bait or lure lands too close, it will scare your quarry. Instead, cast slightly away from the spot and let the current or your retrieve drag the bait past where your target is. No matter what bait or lure you choose, it still centers on presentation. When you present your offering correctly, your catch rate will rise and the smile on your face will telegraph the results.

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welcome. Fishing grounds are located just offshore of the two host marinas. There are no long runs to get to the fish. The two-leg tournament begins in Varadero June 5-8. Boats fish from the Marina Gaviota, the beautiful, modern 1,100-slip marina located on the tip of the Varadero peninsula. From Varadero, boats travel 90 miles west to Marina Hemingway in Havana for the second leg. Visas, flights and accommodations can be arranged by Cuba Travel Services, the travel company for the Gamefish Grande. Contact Marlen Batista for assistance. Marlen Batista Product Assistant/Specialist Cuba Travel Services 10 NW 42 Avenue, Suite 400 Miami, FL 33126 Email: marlen@cubatravelservices.com Office/Fax: 305-929-8790

H

ave you ever wanted to fish in Cuba? Fishing grounds that were once untouchable are now open to anglers! It is easy to take your boat to Cuba and fish. Simply file Form 3300 with the U.S. Coast Guard. They will approve your travel to Cuban waters and away you go! One of the best things about Cuba is its proximity to south Florida. Taking your center console can be a simple trip. You don’t need to have a sportfish to compete in the Gamefish Grande tournament this June–center consoles are

Participants will fish for three days in Varadero and then have a day to tour and experience Cuba before fishing the final three days in Havana. In an effort to preserve the future of big game fishing in Cuba, the Gamefish Grande is an all-release tournament. For online entry, rules and travel resources, visit www.gamefishgrande.com. Schedule of Events June 5: Arrive Marina Gaviota, Varadero Captain’s Meeting and Dinner June 6-8: Fishing Days June 8: Awards Dinner June 9: Travel to Marina Hemingway Tour Cuba (optional) June 10: Havana Captain’s Meeting and Dinner June 11-13: Fishing Days June 13: Awards Dinner For online registration go to: https://www.regonline.com/gamefishgrande2017registration To access Form 3300 go to: https://www.uscg.mil/d7/docs/Cuban%20permitCG3300.pdf

FISH THE 2ND ANNUAL GAMEFISH GRANDE IN CUBA Varadero: June 5 – 8, 2017 Havana: June 10 – 13, 2017

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T

he Kiwanis Club of Homestead/South Dade is excited to announce its annual fundraising event is back for a 33rd year. The Kiwanis Dolphin Days Fishing Tournament will be held Father’s Day weekend June 15 and 17 and targets dolphin. The top angler will be awarded $5,000. One of the longest-standing dolphin tournaments in south Florida, it benefits the Homestead/ South Dade Kiwanis Foundation and its local youth and community organizations. The major emphasis of the Kiwanis Foundation is “Kids Come First!” In keeping with that, kids fish free in the Dolphin Days Fishing Tournament. The event kicks off Thursday, June 15 at the Mutineer Restaurant in Homestead. Anglers will finalize registration, pick up Island Brew fishing shirts and grab a Crook & Crook boat bucket filled with goodies. The event is free and open to the public and invites everyone to partake in a continuous raffle, silent auction and the exciting Engel Cooler giveaway filled with assorted spirits. Great drink specials and karaoke continue into the night. Anglers fish the day away on Saturday, June 17 to see who can bring home the heaviest dolphin. Anglers, families, sponsors and the community are welcomed to Homestead Bayfront Park for the weigh-in and awards party. This free event will be filled with music, food and free beer from Islamora-

da Beer Company. Wait and see who will take home a prize from over $15,000 in awards and prizes being given away! The Kiwanis Homestead/South Dade Chapter has raised over $1 million in charitable donations and scholarships since its inception in 1948. The Kiwanis Dolphin Days Fishing Tournament is the lead fundraiser for the Homestead/South Dade Kiwanis club. Kiwanis International was founded in 1915 as a business-networking group and quickly changed its focus to service. Local chapters serve their communities and youth. Kiwanis members help feed the hungry, mentor the disadvantaged, develop youth as leaders, build playgrounds, host fundraisers and much more. Kiwanis is home to one of the largest youth service programs in the world. Each year, clubs sponsor nearly 150,000 service projects, complete more than 18.5 million hours in volunteer service and raise more than $100 million. To get involved or donate, join the group’s weekly meetings on Wednesdays from noon to 1 p.m. at the Golden Corral restaurant at 33525 S Dixie Hwy, Florida City. Visit www.homesteadkiwanis.org or call 786-243-8745. To learn more about the Dolphin Days Fishing Tournament and for fishing or sponsorship information, call 305-667-0399 or visit www.dolphindays.org.

Kiwanis Club Homestead / South Dade

DOLPHIN DAYS Be a part of one of the longest standing dolphin fishing tournaments in the South Florida area benefiting the Homestead-South Dade Kiwanis Foundation the local communities, children and organizations.

Kick-off Party – Thursday June 15th – Mutineer Restaurant, Homestead

FISHING DAY JUNE 17TH – HOMESTEAD BAYFRONT PARK AND MARINA Father’s Day Weekend – Family Event Top Boat $5,000, over $15,000 in Cash and Prizes The major emphasis of our activities is that “KIDS COME FIRST”! In keeping with that, KID’S FISH FREE IN OUR EVENT.

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A Reminder To Renew Gulf Reef Surveys

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Photo courtesy of Larry McGuire, Show Me The Fish Charters

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napper and grouper seasons are opening, and the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is reminding anglers who plan to fish the Gulf of Mexico that it is time to sign up for or renew participation in the Gulf Reef Fish Survey. Participation in the survey is for anglers who plan to fish from a private vessel for red and vermilion snapper; gag, red and black grouper; greater amberjack banded rudderfish; almaco jack; and gray triggerfish. To renew online, visit GoOutdoorsFlorida.com. Renewing the survey does not renew a fishing license. Anglers who do not plan to fish for these reef species in the Gulf of Mexico are encouraged not to renew participation in the Gulf Reef Survey. By only sampling anglers who plan on fishing for these species, Florida is improving recreational data collection. Contact FWC at marine@myfwc.com with questions regarding the Gulf Reef Survey.

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A

tarpon fly rod is a different tool than a trout or bass rod. The important part of a 10- to 12-weight tarpon rod is the ability to lift the fish at the end of the fight and try to break its spirit. So it’s not surprising to say the butt section is very, very stiff! Only the tip section of a tarpon rod can be loaded. In other words, only the tip bends. That is the “action” of the rod. There are a few important points to make when casting a tarpon rod. I know most of us think we have to learn to cast a long way when going tarpon fishing, and yes, it is important to know the essentials necessary to cast a long way, but more often it is a short, 40- to 60-foot cast in windy conditions. When casting a tarpon rod, you need to understand the construction of the rod so you can cast narrow loops into the wind. Simply stated, the butt of the rod is very stiff to give it lifting power. Only the tip section of a tarpon rod bends. I call this tip casting, because the rod is designed to only bend at the tip, as I’ve said at least three times now. The most common casting error in this case is the angler doesn’t make the necessary adjustment to the casting arc with a tarpon rod in his hand. More to the point, to form a tighter loop, shorten the casting arc. If the rod arc is too wide (45-90 degrees), the rod tip path will be convex, causing the loop size to be very large. Although it may be counterintuitive, try a shorter stroke length and arc (30 degrees) during the acceleration phase of the cast, and you will start to get that tarpon rod under control. Try it. Check out the Federation of Fly Fishers website. If you don’t know these terms, it will help you understand the following: To cast the heavier tarpon rods and achieve the straight line path of the rod tip (SLP) on the back cast, stop the rod a little sooner in an upward direction and then drift. On the forward cast, after translation and during the rotation, don’t drop the rod tip down much below the oncoming line. A few other tips: Remember to use the 180-Degree Rule, and the cast will perform much better. Here’s how it works. If you are casting into the wind, remember to use a back cast with a high trajectory, like the angle on the roof of your house. Then on the forward cast, aim low at the water. One last thing about the line, tarpon fly lines have specialty tapers. They have a short belly (fat part), so you don’t have to have a lot of line out of the rod tip to make those short casting strokes and load the rod like it should be. Try these tip casting tips. The next time you are in front of a tarpon coming at you with a 15 mph wind, stay calm. Good luck!

Go further when you take your boards with you.

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By Brandon Tourigny

Author Brandon Tourigny with a chunky bullseye snakehead caught on topwater.

O

ver my spring break from college, I knew the weather in Jacksonville was still too cool to find many fish eating on top. So, to find a solid topwater bite I decided to travel to south Florida for some warmer weather and some angrier fish. I used the advantage of my Ocean Kayak to slither through the thickest vegetation to reach sections of canals and hidden ponds that no full-sized boat would ever be able to reach. Once I got into these hidden oases of fish, I used baits such as the Rage Tail Shad to cover as much water as possible to find sections of canal holding the most aggressive fish. In the canal systems, I experienced great success hooking into large snakeheads casting these weedless topwater baits underneath trees and over the top

of matted grass. In the community ponds I also fished, there was very little structure along the banks. I had much greater success on largemouth bass using small topwater poppers like the Yo-Zuri 3DS popper. Here I found the bass were chasing small sunfish up shallow, so a small bluegill-colored popper cast at the bank was the ticket to success that day. When fishing any topwater bait in Florida, you should ideally be looking for areas with the thickest weed or grass mats, overhanging trees or docks. To put it simply, try to think to yourself where a fish will most likely encounter prey scurrying across the surface. Chances are bass will not be hunting frogs in the middle of the lake, but they most definitely will be searching for them underneath a tree, sitting on top of a thick clump of lily pads, or holding very close to the bank. In bodies of water lacking a lot of structure, using topwater baits like small poppers that mimic small baitfish can be a very successful tactic. Work them over shallow submerged grass in residential ponds. When deciding what type of topwater bait to use in Florida waters, a key thing to keep in mind is how far back into cover you will need to fish to reach the strike zone. If you see large grass mats or overhanging brush, use a bait that is weedless. It can be the difference between catching fish or catching salad. Regardless of where you are in Florida, as our temperatures continue to climb the topwater bite will progressively become more of a factor in catching fish, so go get out on the water and get ready for some serious blow ups. Good luck fishing and remember if you can, be sure to take a kid out fishing with you to experience our great sport!

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GREATER MIAMI May 2017

GREATER MIAMI www.coastalanglermag.com/miami

MAY IS TUNA TIME!

If you like screaming drags and sashimi then May is a great month. May can be great in many ways, not only will you still catch sails and trophy sized kings and mahi but blackfin tuna will make a strong showing too. Although tuna are often caught in broad daylight, most are caught late in the day when the sun begins to set slightly. It is for this very reason that many refer to this type of fishing as “twilight tuna”. My favorite way to catch these fish is to employ the use of a fishing kite and live bait. Blackfins will eat a variety of baits ranging from goggle eyes to pilchards and herring. During the spring winds typically prevail from an easterly quadrant and it is for this reason that I usually set my spread a little

deep (around 190'-200' of water). Since these fish eat at different depth during different times, I like to start deep and drift back into 80’ or 90’. Once I get a bite or see activity, I start to narrow my drift window concentrating my time inside the hot spot. Since these fish usually don’t travel alone, it is always a good idea to fish as many baits as you can do so effectively. Multiple hook ups aren’t uncommon and the only thing more challenging than one hard charging

tuna is two or three. Live chumming is another good technique that not only attract these fish to the boat but keeps them around long enough for them to find the hooked baits. If live bait isn’t available, chunking with cut sardines, or bonito can work well also. The most common tackle for blackfins is 20 pound spinning or conventional gear. The main line should be double by using a Bimini twist or spider hitch and then connected to a 30 to 50 leader

at least 6' long. I personally fish 50 pound mono leader with a trace of #4 single strand wire tied to a 5/0 or 6/0 light wire circle hook. A finicky tuna will normally prefer the lighter leader or even a fluorocarbon equivalent. Flouro leaders are a bit more abrasion resistant and less visible to a wary fish. Why use a trace of wire? Although blackfins are a bit more likely to avoid wire leaders. Using the extra protection will insure that any smoker kingfish or wahoo that take your bait end up in the fish box. Again, if you don’t care for these fish and only want to catch the tunas forget the wire. Well, that’s pretty much it for right now. I will be conducting several fishing seminars at the Bass Pro Shops in Miami. Topics, dates, and times will be announced both on my FACEBOOK page and website (link below). Also, don’t forget that you can keep up with all of the action by following us on FACEBOOK, Instagram, and Twitter. If you like watching some of the action, be sure to check out my YOUTUBE page for the latest video additions. Tight Lines,

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

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COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THE ANGLERMAG.COM • EN MAY 2017 MIAMI 1 FISHING FORECASTS & TIPS • TIDE TABLES • EVENTS & TOURNAMENTS ESPAÑOL!


FLY FISHING FOR TARPON WINTER FORECAST

Greater Miami Publisher’s Corner Sometimes we get so caught up in the rush of our busy days, and forget to take a breath and realize we live in paradise. May is here and it’s time to start making summer plans. From a day inshore or offshore fishing, to fishing tournaments in South Florida, to paddle boarding safety, to a boating fling to the Bahamas, we keep you informed. Every month our Miami captains share their experiences and tips, they want you to get in the water and catch some fish. Give them a call and book your fishing trips. With every issue of Coastal Angler Magazine Miami that is published, we love meeting new people in the community. From our advertisers, to our writers, to our readers, you make this magazine come alive and we thank you for that!

What can I say, May is one of my favorite months to fish and that’s because it’s prime time Tarpon season, from Miami to Key West. By the time the month of May rolls around, the tarpon migration is in full swing, and people come from all parts of the world to land the world famous Silver King. My favorite method of chasing tarpon is with fly tackle and 90 percent of my clients who come from all parts of the world to catch a big tarpon on a fly rod. We are typically using 10 WT to 12 WT Fly rods for catching tarpon. My favorite rod to use is an 11 WT fly rod, but there will be times where you have to downsize to a 10 WT or step up to a 12 WT. Conditions, locations, and where we fish will dictate the weapon of choice for that particular day or spot we are fishing at that moment. There are several different scenarios on how we catch tarpon. There areas that I call staging or feeding areas, where the bite is

best in the early morning where you can find fish actively feeding and rolling around. You have migrating fish swimming on the ocean side banks heading South in May, and we also find fish laid up/sleeping fish that are holding in some protected area or cove. Conditions and locations will normally dictate how we will target tarpon for that particular day, and many times all the different scenarios will be perused through out a single day. Fly-fishing for tarpon is not for everyone. You must be prepared before booking a fly fishing tarpon trip. First off being able to cast is number one. If you’ve never fly fished before and booking a three or five day tarpon trip, you will feel very humble and disappointed at the end of your trip if you haven’t practiced. Saltwater fly-fishing takes practice and time on the water. One of the most important things to learn how to do is called a Double Haul. That is a technique that is used in saltwater fly-fishing in

Tight lines! Scott and Monica Deal scott@coastalanglermagazine.com monica@coastalanglermagazine.com

IMPORTANT NUMBER TO REMEMBER! • To report vessel grounding or other coral reef injury in Southeast Florida (Miami Dade to Martin County: (786) 385-3054 2 MIAMI

MAY 2017

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order to create line speed and distance to your cast. Distance casting as well as making accurate cast is the key at being successful at fly-fishing for tarpon. Fly-fishing for tarpon is just like booking a big game hunt. You don’t go to Africa and hunt for one day, or go on an Elk hunt and expect to shoot a trophy in only one day. Chances are you won’t be able to find anyone who is going to book a one-day hunt, and the same goes for chasing tarpon with a fly rod. Yes there are times where you can get it done in one day, but experience and the amount of shots you have that day will dictate that. Fly-fishing for tarpon is not impossible, putting in the practice time and being prepaid is the key to being successful at anything in life. The same goes for tarpon fishing. Get out there and practice and let’s go chase some POONS! I offer a minimum of three days and up to seven-day packages. I tarpon fish from Miami to the upper Keys, as well as in Everglades National Park out of Flamingo Marina. If you’re interested in booking a trip, I have a few slots open in June for tarpon fishing. Give me a call anytime.

Capt. Raul Montoro

Shallow Tails Guide Service, Inc. www.shallowtails.com (786) 390-9069 Professional affiliates: Yamaha Outboards, Tibor Reels, Patagonia, Simms Fishing, Okoma, Ahab Custom flies and Rods, Sage Fly Rods, Smith Optics.


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MAY 2017

MIAMI 3


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People will fish from 9 AM to 5 PM and catch a couple sailfish, a kingfish and maybe a tuna. But a guy fishing from 5 to 9 PM is liable to catch several sailfish, kingfish and big black fun tuna. In May and June the fishing in the late afternoon can be epic. This fishing centers around large volumes of live pilchards for chum and kite fishing in 90 to 150 feet of water. Wreck fishing can be great too. Grouper season opens in May. Mutton snappers are in spawning aggregations around the wreck, as are permit. Cobia frequently appear around the wrecks and under kites in May as well. A great way to really cash in on this May fishing is to anchor up stream of a wreck in 90 to 150 feet of water and target the water column from kites on top to live baits on the bottom. Tarpon and snook should be in great numbers around the inlets and along the beaches. Good size shrimp, crabs, mullet and pinfish are all good bait choices.

Offshore this is a great time of year for swordfish by day or night. Pick a calm day or evening and go catch a big one. During the daylight hours there is a chance of mahi

Capt. Bouncer

www.captbouncer.com CaptBouncer@bellsouth.net (305) 439-2475

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MAY 2017

MIAMI 5


YOUTH REPORT Lionfish are an invasive species that are taking over the Atlantic Ocean. A few weeks ago my dad, some members from the fishing club, and I went to the Miami Science Barge’s Sustainable Fishing Series, which taught us about South Florida’s lionfish invasion and what can be done to help mitigate its effects. There was a presentation from the nonprofit REEF. They first taught us how to safely collect the lionfish and some handling techniques. We then learned how to properly dissect and fillet them. We all received fillets for dinner and tri-tip spares to help in the removal of this very invasive species. I made bacon wrapped lionfish as an appetizer and we used a key lime and cilantro rub on the fillets for dinner.

The Lionfish is a light, flakey, and mild fish. It is delicious, and I would highly recommend it. My dad and I just signed up for the 4earth Lionfish Derby at the Miami Seaquarium and the Lamar Louise Curry Fishing Club will have a tent at the event to help educate about sustainable fishing and the invasive Lionfish.

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Grace Gillis

President, Lamar Louise Curry Middle School Fishing Club

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Back when I started fishing, we only had available the traditional tackle box with two or three rows of trays. You could see everything in these boxes but everything also got wet. It was a battle against saltwater and air to keep all the hooks and terminal tackle from getting rusted. As we began to be more organized, we started to dedicate boxes to targeted type of fish. Like for yellowtail and bottom fish, we put together all tackle needed, like asst. hooks, jigs, swivel, flour-leaders and asst. leads. It’s a big plus to be able to see 80% of what’s inside the box without opening it. I have put together a box for just

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about all the different type of fishing I do, like trolling, kite fishing, wahoo high speed and day time and night time sword fishing, and of course bottom fishing. It is very practical to just put in a duffel bag all the different boxes you will need for the days you are going fishing and just go! The best boxes to get are the ones with a gasket that helps keep salt air out of the box. Visit our store and we will help you build your fishing boxes!

Elías Rodriguez Visit Miami Fishing Supply, Inc. to learn more from the experts: 2121 SW 27th Avenue, Miami, FL 33145 305.858.1719 • www.miamifishingsupply.com

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©2017 FreeTideTables.com - For comparison only - Times are local - Tides in feet from MLLW

For more information visit: www.montysmaynia.com May 2017

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305.633.3334 | 786.412.3134 2657 NW 23 ST., MIAMI FL 33142 • INFO@MERCMANMARINE.COM

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MAY 2017

MIAMI 7


ERIC’S OUTBOARD IS GROWING AND LOOKING FOR NEW CREW MEMBERS

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We offer great benefits like health care, paid vacation, and much more!

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ACTIVELY SEEKING: Service Manager Rigging Technician

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If you have experience in sales, you could be the new crew member we are looking for. Submit your education and work experience to: Jennifer@ericsoutboard.com or via fax to 305-251-4588 or call 305-767-7794 and leave your name and information.

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SALES AND SERVICE 305-251-4067 WWW.ERICSOUTBOARD.COM • 8755 SW 129TH ST, MIAMI, FL 33176

Coastal Angler Magazine en espanol -

Por Andrés Rodriguez ©

Be Your Own Boss

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ORIGEN DEL MAR

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No hay un criterio definitivo de la cantidad de vapor de agua que hubo en la atmósfera desde un inicio o en qué proporción el agua surgió como líquido de reacciones químicas entre minerales y de la que pudo producirse con la presencia de óxido de carbono y gas carbónico en una atmósfera rica en hidrógeno como la de entonces. En la actualidad la hipótesis más aceptada señala el surgimiento de los mares al unísono con la del planeta, o cuando menos, se supone que el volumen principal de la masa acuosa de los océanos se formó al mismo tiempo que la masa planetaria. Otra hipótesis afirma que el mar surgió hace unos 4,000,000,000 años, en interrelación con un proceso gradual de enfriamiento de la 8 MIAMI

MAY 2017

parte sólida del planeta, que a partir de un momento dado, permitió que quedara permanentemente como líquido acumulado en las zonas bajas de la corteza terrestre el vapor de agua que antes se gasificaba al contactar la cálida superficie y luego se condensaba en las altas capas atmosféricas, dando lugar a masivas tormentas permanentes. Además, paralelamente, la contracción del planeta como cuerpo sólido que se enfriaba determinó que el agua acumulada en su interior fuera emergiendo por furnias, géiseres y volcanes. Con independencia de cuál teoría sobre la formación del mar sea aceptada, y de la fecha más temprana o tardía, se conoce con toda seguridad que el agua que lo conforma

no proviene sólo de los aportes producidos en los primeros tiempos geológicos. Con posterioridad ha podido ser comprobado que al mar se adicionaron cantidades limitadas de agua, tal como ocurre hoy día, por la liberación de la propia agua o del vapor acumulado entre las rocas, por reacciones químicas en el seno de estas o por los aportes de volcanes, géiseres, etc., ya mencionados. Parte del volumen de agua, puede ser acarreado hacia el planeta Tierra por asteroides y otros cuerpos que navegan por el Cosmos como una masa de piedras y hielo y caen sobre el planeta. Al parecer, hace unos 500,000,000 años el océano ya tenía el volumen aproximado actual, que finalmente se alcanzó hace unos

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5:12a 5:12a

22 8:02p

3:28a

28

4:56a 4:56a

8:06p 12:06a 12:06a

8:06p

1:54a

1:19p 1:19p

6:51a 6:51a

6:14p 6:14p

27 10:33a 10:33a

4:02a 4:02a

3:29p 3:29p

7:25a

8:04p

0

10:12a 10:12a

8:05p 10:22p 10:22p

9:41a 9:41a

4:48p 4:48p

4:22p 4:22p

9:11p

2:19p 2:19p 0

7:51a 7:51a

7:14p 7:14p

11:31a

12:07a

©2017 FreeTideTables.com - For comparison only - Times are local - Tides in feet from MLLW

Florida, Miami Harbor Entrance

May 2017

N 25° 45.8' / W 80° 07.8'

CUSTOMIZE Your DREAM BOAT with US! Sunday

Monday

1

6:39a

14

12:35a 12:35a

7:36p 7:36p

5:18p

4:50a

7:59p

21

5:12a 5:12a

11:13p

9:28a

22 8:02p

0

28

4:56a 4:56a 9:26a

12:32a 12:32a

4:47p

29

6:30a

8:06p 12:06a 12:06a

5:17p 5:17p 11:14p

8:06p

10:29a

6:29a

12:59a 12:59a

12:22p 12:22p

5:52a 5:52a

5:51p

30

6:14p 6:14p 12:07a

8:04p 8:38p 8:38p

1:46p 1:46p

5:39a

31

6:57p

7:58a

8:33p 8:33p

8:48a 8:48a

2:18a 2:18a 6:30a

8:04p 9:30p 9:30p

2:38p 2:38p 8:04p

4:13a 4:13a 9:37p 9:37p

1:49p

9:41a 9:41a

7:25a

0

8:01p

6:30a

3:10a 3:10a

4:44p 4:44p

20

9:13a 9:13a

26

10:56a 10:56a

4:35a 4:35a

3:44p 3:44p

2:08a

12:53p

0

9:35p

3:16a 3:16a

25 (New)

7:56a 7:56a

1:25a

12:55p 12:55p

4:53a

8:14a 8:14a

6:31a

10:51p 10:51p

4:08p 4:08p

6:33a

8:01p

12:09p 12:09p

7:58p

10:19a 10:19a

19 (3rd) 2:43p 2:43p

1:27a

6:36a

8:44p

7:18a

11:43p 11:43p

13

3:58a 3:58a

3:33p 3:33p

6:16a 6:16a

3:32p

10:14p 10:14p

6:33a

7:34p 7:34p

6:31a

7:44p 7:44p

7:57p

2:23a 2:23a

11:59a

24

7:03a 7:03a

8:00p 1:47p 1:47p

12:44a

8:03p

18

7:19a 7:19a

6:43p 6:43p

6:31a

6:49p 6:49p

6:39a

5:53p 5:53p

3:36a

9:42a 9:42a

3:21a 3:21a

7:54p

11:17a 11:17a

12

6:37a

7:53p

6:34a

10:46p 10:46p

Saturday

6

6:41a

5:21a 5:21a

2:37p

9:36p 9:36p

2:56p 2:56p

1:34a 1:34a

11:07a

23

12:02p 12:02p

8:00p

6:32a 6:32a

8:03p

4:10a

3:45p

6:30a 11:27a 11:27a

0

11:37p 11:37p

11:08a 11:08a 3:28a

10:16a

17 12:58p 12:58p

11:59p

6:32a

7:02p

6:34a

7:57p

9:06a 9:06a

2:43a 2:43a

2:18p 2:18p

12:50a 12:50a

5:59p

6:08a 6:08a

5:50p 5:50p

5:11a

7:59p 12:14p 12:14p

5:50a 5:50a

8:59p 8:59p

6:02a

16

6:35a

12:08a 12:08a

5:20p

6:32a

6:10p

6:37a

7:56p

8:28a 8:28a

5

4:51p 4:51p

2:56a

11

Friday

7:53p

10:19a 10:19a

9:43p 9:43p

10 (Full)

2:03a 2:03a

1:38p 1:38p

5:26a

15

6:35a

8:19p 8:19p

6:41a

4:20a 4:20a

1:40p

2:12a

6:38a

7:56p

7:48a 7:48a

1:21a 1:21a

12:56p 12:56p

11:34a 11:34a 0

6:39a

7:55p

4

3:44p 3:44p

9:16a 9:16a

8:37p 8:37p

Thursday

7:53p

3:18a 3:18a

12:41p

1:23a

9

6:42a

2:38p 2:38p

8:10a 8:10a

7:31p 7:31p

11:41a

8

7:05a 7:05a

0

7:06a 7:06a

3 (1st)

7:52p

2:16a 2:16a

1:35p 1:35p

Wednesday

6:43a

7:52p

1:18a 1:18a

12:29a

Tuesday

2

6:44a

0

7

0

8:07p

12:59a 12:59a

10:29a

11:14p

6:29a

6:30a

6:57p

31

1:49p

3:10a 3:10a

2:38p 2:38p

4:13a 4:13a 9:37p 9:37p

6:30a

8:04p 9:30p 9:30p

8:48a 8:48a

2:18a 2:18a

1:46p 1:46p

5:39a

5:51p

30

12:22p

5:52a 5:52a

5:17p

9:26a

4:53a

4:47p

29

7:56a 7:56a

1:25a 1:25a

12:55p

8:04p 8:38p 8:38p

20

9:13a 9:13a

26

6:31a

0

8:01p 3:44p 3:44p

2:08a

12:53p

4:44p 4:44p

9:35p

3:16a 3:16a 8:33p 8:33p

10:56a

4:35a 4:35a

4:08p 4:08p

7:58a

25 (New)

6:31a

7:44p 7:44p

7:03a 7:03a

1:27a

10:51p 10:51p

6:33a

2:43p 2:43p 8:14a 8:14a

7:34p 7:34p

3:58a 3:58a

8:01p

0

13

19 (3rd)

6:33a

12:09p 12:09p

7:58p

10:19a

8:44p

7:18a

11:43p 11:43p

6:36a

10:14p 10:14p

3:33p 3:33p

2:23a

11:59a

24 8:03p

12:32a 12:32a

12:02p 12:02p

6:30a

11:27a 11:27a 0

6:49p 6:49p

4:10a

3:45p

6:30a

8:03p

8:00p 1:47p 1:47p

12:44a

6:31a

18

7:19a 7:19a

6:43p 6:43p

11:07a

23

6:32a

11:37p 11:37p

11:08a 11:08a

11:59p

10:16a

6:39a 6:34a

1:34a 1:34a

12:58p 12:58p

6:32a 6:32a

5:59p 5:59p

6:08a 6:08a

5:50p 5:50p

5:11a 5:11a

8:00p

12:50a 12:50a

12:14p

11:13p

6:32a

7:59p

17

7:57p

6:16a 6:16a

3:32p

3:36a

9:42a

7:53p

5:53p 5:53p

11:17a 11:17a

12

3:21a 3:21a

2:56p 2:56p

10:46p 10:46p

6:37a

9:36p 9:36p

9:06a

7:02p

6:34a

7:57p

2:43a 2:43a

2:18p 2:18p

6:02a

16

5:50a 5:50a

5:20p 5:20p

9:28a

0

6:10p

6:35a

8:59p 8:59p

8:28a 8:28a

11

6:37a

7:56p

2:03a

1:38p 1:38p

5:26a

15

6:35a

8:19p 8:19p

2:56a

10 (Full)

7:54p

5:21a 5:21a

2:37p

Saturday

6

6:41a

7:53p 4:51p 4:51p

SATURDAY

Friday

5

10:19a 10:19a

9:43p 9:43p

1:40p

2:12a

6:38a

7:56p

7:48a

5:18p

4:50a

9

1:21a

12:56p 12:56p

1:23a

6:39a

9:16a 9:16a

8:37p 8:37p

12:41p

6:41a

4:20a 4:20a

3:44p 3:44p

FRIDAY

Thursday

4

7:53p

3:18a 3:18a

2:38p 2:38p 8:10a 8:10a

7:31p 7:31p

11:41a

12:29a 6:39a 7:05a

0

7:06a 7:06a

6:42a

7:52p

2:16a 2:16a

THURSDAY

Wednesday

3 (1st)

6:43a

7:52p 1:35p 1:35p

SUNDAY

Tuesday

2

6:44a

1:18a 1:18a

7

TUESDAY

Monday

1

May 2017

4:48p 4:48p

10:12a

0

2784 CC Loa: 27' Beam: 8'4" Avg. weight: 5550 lbs. Dead rise degree: 22.5 3410 CC Loa: 34' Beam: 10' Avg. weight: 8500 lbs. Dead rise degree: 22.5 3410 Fish Around Loa: 34' Beam: 10' Avg. weight: 9800 lbs. Dead rise degree: 22.5

27 8:05p 10:22p 10:22p

3:29p 3:29p

4:02a 4:02a

10:33a 10:33a

4:22p 4:22p

0

9:11p

8:07p 1:54a 1:54a

1:19p 1:19p

6:51a 6:51a

7:14p 7:14p

2:19p 2:19p 7:51a 7:51a

11:31a

0

305-688-4994

©2017 FreeTideTables.com - For comparison only - Times are local - Tides in feet from MLLW

2331 NW 150 Street Opa-locka, FL 33054

www.sea-lionboats.com COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THE ANGLERMAG.COM

MAY 2017

MIAMI 9


REQUIRED SAFETY EQUIPMENT FOR PADDLEBOARDS Paddle boarding is a rapidly growing sport that involves a person standing on a board, similar to a surfboard, and propelling themselves through the use of a paddle. Did you know the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) has determined that a paddleboard is a vessel in most situations and is required to have the same safety equipment as other small human-powered vessels (canoes/kayaks)? Here is what this means if you are using a paddleboard: • Unless the paddleboard is being used within a “swimming, surfing or bathing area,” the paddleboard must have a USCG-approved life jacket for each person and a sound-producing device on board while on the water. • Although persons on the paddleboard are not required to wear the life jacket while on Florida waters (unless they are less than 6 years of age), it is advisable to find a comfortable life jacket that you can wear or easily carry while on the water. • A “sound-producing device” is a small whistle or horn that can be heard for a least one-half nautical mile. “Referee-type” whistles or other similar devices that can be attached to your life jacket should work well. • If you are operating in limited visibility or at night, you will also need a flashlight or lantern that produces a white light. It should be displayed to approaching vessels in enough time to prevent a collision. The light should not be continually displayed. • If using a paddleboard offshore or on certain coastal waters at nighttime, visual distress signals may be required, per the Code of Federal Regulations. This information on required equipment for paddleboards is general information and is not intended to address every situation on the water. For more information on required safety equipment for boats, please visit MyFWC.com/Boating

10 MIAMI

MAY 2017

GRAMP’S CRAMPS KNOTS AND MUCH MORE By Cliff Kunde

I’ll never forget the book I got for Christmas, by Vic Dunnaway, on knots. It was the ultimate guide to knot tying. Many of my friends had acquired it for a cost, but times were a little tight back then and to walk the swale of Old Cutler Road looking for soda bottles, for the deposit of 2 cents, you only had to collect about a dozen for a gallon of gas to pick your date up on Saturday night. I remember my father saying that a good knot was worth its weight in gold when the fish began to challenge the anglers. He was almost always right except for the time when he said snapping turtles didn’t always bite. I’ve still got the scar on my right ring finger to prove it. The book was an inspiration to all of us young anglers and it got passed around to our friends a lot. The lines changed over the years from Dacron to mono to braid and so have the knots we use. What was once considered the ultimate connection of our rigs to the rod lines has changed as much as the conversations at the club meetings. Everyone has a solution and favorite way to rig their gear. Lost “World Records” seemed to be common at my old fishing club and that is when the knot tying entered the lively conversation. “Tying the knot” became a term for an attachment like getting married, be it to a girl or a boat or even your favorite fishing rod. Times were different when we were young and knot types were discussed at great lengths. Even at the boat docks one of my jerky friends would occasionally say, that’s not the proper knot to tie the boat up with. Who cares as long as it was still there when I backed the trailer down. At the same time, there are good things about knots and there are bad things about knots. Not too long ago at Matheson Hammock park, I witnessed a fellow load his boat on the trailer and proceed to exit the park, however, he failed to put his rods down and the tips were in contact with the overhanging branches of the driveway. Lures or hooks caught in the trees and before the fellow knew it, all the line was stripped of the rods. I can imagine

COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THE ANGLERMAG.COM

the surprise when he got home. I in the mean time recovered a good number of expensive lures. Had the knots not held he would have still lost the lures, but wouldn’t have had to respool his rods. Another time I was fly fishing off the Tamiami Trail just East of SR 29, when I had a beautiful 12 pound plus snook, legal at the time, take a swipe at my 4 inch green and blue streamer. He had all intentions of a quick lunch and headed to the mangroves. I went to put the breaks on that idea by setting the hook, however, I believe it was turning the streamer around to swallow when I struck and the fly shot back at me. Excited as I was, I immediately back cast to present that bronze back with another shot. In the excitement, I failed to see this 1960 Ford F150 heading Westbound at a rapid pace. It had a rack on top filled with sprinkler pipes. My backcast did encroach on the pavement by about 20 feet, the Ford never saw it and I was still watching that potential dinner spin around looking for his lunch. I’m sure I tied a good knot because before I could react, my backcast hooked the pipe rack, stripped my line and yanked the whole rig out of my hands. The knot tying the line to the reel even held nicely. About this time I turned to witness my fly rod exiting the area at a substantial speed and at the same time the bank of the canal gave way and I ended up standing in 4 feet of brackish water. I waved to the rod as it fishtailed down the road to Naples like a water skier at Cypress Gardens. By the time I got out of my fluid dilemma, the rod was well on its way and the snook was now nowhere in site. I dried off as best as I could and waved once more at where my beautiful 9 weight fly rod had disappeared. If the rod got to where that guy was heading, it had to be a sight, if it fell by the wayside somewhere it probably was not in great shape, so I marked the loss up to good knots, the snook for another day and figured, good knots might be worth the loss if it saves a ”World Record” in the future. Tight lines and good knots to you all.

an Ba H th En Fl Ba be te ho fu bo pa B St de C pa de th


I od he ill ad

ng of 12 al pe nd ad ck he to at k, as er en ot as ly at er nt, 50 ce. th n20 as er h. se st my of ne ut fly al nk ed aed a-

uon w st at od to ad de in ss nts a ht

BAHAMAS UPDATES

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

WEST ENTRANCE TO BLACK POINT MARINA

MAKE YOUR ISLAND PLANS NOW

305.257.1117

Bahamas Ministry Boating Flings Launch in June

For many boat owners in Florida and the southeast U.S., a trip to the Bahamas is on their bucket list. However, many are concerned with their ability to cross the Gulf Stream. Enter the Bahamas Summer Boating Fling Program. For over 30 years, the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism has been organizing summer flotillas to teach Gulf Stream-crossing newbies how to safely make the crossing in a fun and relaxed atmosphere. Under the guidance of a lead boat and experienced captain, participants in the Bahamas Boating Flings make the Gulf Stream crossing in a group. Flings depart from Bahia Mar Yachting Center in Ft. Lauderdale. In year’s past, when several boaters plan to depart from the Treasure Coast, the Ministry has arranged either

a Treasure Coast lead boat or a rendezvous point mid-Gulfstream for the groups to merge and cross together. Flings begin on Thursdays. Wednesday before all trips is a mandatory Captain’s meeting. Trips end on Sundays. If interested, register early as space is limited to 30 boats. Dockage space is on a first-come first-served basis. Minimum boat length for all flings is 22 feet. There is a $75 non-refundable registration fee per boat, per fling. So, go grab a Kalik, a Sands or your favorite rum concoction—and let the island countdown begin! For more information, or to register for a fling or flings, call (800) 32-SPORT or visit www. bahamas.com/faq/boating-flings.

www.bitemebaitshack.com • Live Shrimp • Live Crabs • Live Fish • Live Worms • Live Shinners • Frozen Bait • Salt Water Tackle • Fresh Water Tackle • Wide Assortment of Lures • Rod & Reel Repairs • Cast Net Repairs • Custom Rods • Line Winding • Spear Guns • Cold Beer • Cigarettes • Ice, Snacks and More

24655 SW 112th Ave. Unit 110, Homestead, FL 33032

GRAM’S JAMS By Janet Kunde

HERE IS THE SUMMER 2017 ITINERARY: JUNE 8-12 Grand Bahama 15-19 Bimini 22-26 Bimini

JULY 6-17 Extended Fling Exuma 20-24 Bimini 24-27 Bimini

LOBSTER STUFFED PRAWNS

Photo credit: Bahama Ministry of Tourism

• 1 dozen large prawn or super large shrimp tails on, cleaned and split open • 1 or 2 lobster tails cut up, lightly cooked • 2-3 scallions sliced thin • 1 Tablespoon rinsed capers • ¼ green pepper thinly sliced

GREATER MIAMI PUBLISHERS Scott Deal Monica Isaza-Deal DESIGN CLD Creative, LLC DISTRIBUTION Shevere, Inc.

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Capt. Bouncer Smith Capt. Orlando Muniz Capt. Raul Montoro Grace Gillis Andrés Rodriguez Elías Rodriguez Cliff Kunde Janet Kunde

Coastal Angler Magazine Miami is Miami’s #1 source of Fishing/Outdoor related articles, events and happenings.

One day while driving to our hunting camp Cliff mentioned it was time for me to do the recipe for the magazine. We had been talking about stuffing seafood and I started giggling and thinking to myself lobster is stuffed with shrimp but I had never seen shrimp stuffed with lobster and the idea for the following recipe was born. We both thought it was a good idea and the following is the result. Hope you enjoy! • • • • • • •

1 slice onion chopped small Italian bread crumbs ½ tsp. Dijon mustard Panko bread crumbs Butter Olive oil, may be spray Binder (milk, egg, mashed potato etc.)

Turn on oven to broil. Clean and split shrimp so flesh rests flat (One wide piece of shrimp not 2 pieces) on board. Pat dry. Cut up green pepper and onion and sauté until just limp in butter. Let cool and add to cut up lobster meat, scallions capers Dijon mustard and Italian bread crumbs. Mix together and add a binder to bring together (I used mashed potatoes). Melt butter and place in bottom of baking dish. Place shrimp in melted butter flesh side down and take a spoonful of lobster mixture and place on top of shrimp. Sprinkle with panko bread crumbs. Put a light drizzle or spray of olive oil for crispness. Broil for 5 to 6 minutes or until shrimp are just cooked through. This is a time consuming recipe so allow plenty of prep time. I served it with spinach stuffed tomatoes and risotto and Caesar salad. Enjoy!

COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THE ANGLERMAG.COM

MAY 2017

MIAMI 11


Biscayne Fishing with in Miami’s vez Bay with Capt. Mo Este

Black fin tuna Capt. B with ouncer Smith

Fun time catching a salfish on Bouncer Dusky’s 33

Calin and Maxi celebrate a good day fishing with their dad Horatio! Capt. Jo ey Cabr era with Sou thwater Guide Se rvices

12 MIAMI

MAY 2017

Muniz Capt. “Orly” h it w y a d rs A good hing Charte is F d a m o N and COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THE ANGLERMAG.COM


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E

By Capt. Michael Okruhlik Photo Courtesy of Controlled Descent Lures

ach spring, anglers are greeted with big winds, big tides and small baitfish. There is no time when the size of your lure is more important than the spring season. With the abundance of small baitfish in the water, it can be difficult to get the attention of your target species, especially when you are fishing with artificial lures. It is very common to find game fish gorging themselves on tiny glass minnows. This is routinely evident when you land a fish and they spit up these miniature meals. As anglers, we have two obstacles here: the sheer amount of forage in the water competing with your lure and the small size of the lure required. What I have found to be the most successful tactic is to use the smallest lure I can cast and appropriately present to the fish. Both hard and soft lures can be effective. Another key to success is color. I prefer a white-and-silver combination that closely matches the available forage. I like to fish these lures on the edge of large bait balls when possible. I try to keep my lure on the edge or under the school to let the fish focus on a single target rather than a large mass. Using a slow-sinking lure is also an advantage this time of the year. A lure that will suspend or sink slowly is ideal. This allows the predator time to target the lure and also gives the appearance that the lure is a wounded baitfish, which is always a plus. When the bait is this thick, every advantage to stand out is needed, but you still need to match the forage in size and color. The use of tandem rigs can allow a couple of advantages. Casting two smaller lures could equal the weight of one of your typical

offerings. This allows you to cast farther and still have the appropriate size lure. Rigging two small silver spoons with a white bucktail is a great combination when fishing glass minnow schools. I also like to use a small floater diver with a small spoon trailer. The diving action in conjunction with the added weight of the spoon is a unique combination of action to entice a strike. Downsizing your lure presentation in the spring can definitely upsize your catch. Capt. Michael Okruhlik is the inventor of Controlled Descent Lures and the owner of www.MyCoastOutdoors.com.

For more on Controlled Descent Lures, go to

FORTHELO VEOFFISHING.CO

COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

CANGL_SFL1-SFL12.indd 7

MAY 2017

SOUTH FLORIDA 7

4/17/17 3:21 PM


CA_HMY_SFL4_2017submission.qxp_Layout 1 4/13/17 12:55 AM Page 1

8

“LORI ANN” 50’ 1998 VIKING CALL JOHN STRADER: 954.610.4478

“ISLAND TIME” 43’ 1988 EGG HARBOR CALL BRIAN NOPPER: 954.325.6000

“TRACIE RAYE” 38’ 2002 PURSUIT CALL MATT LONG: 954.682.5250

“BLISSFUL” 38’ 2001 TIARA CALL BRIAN NOPPER: 954.325.6000

“KANALOA” 37’ 2011 BOSTON WHALER CALL MATT LONG: 954.682.5250

“ONE FINE DAY” 36’ 1997 BERTRAM CALL DEREK LUDOVIC: 305.487.1775

“ISLANDER” 36’ 2006 MILLER CALL GLENN CLYATT: 786.258.2434

“BAIT’S FACTOR” 35’ 2002 STOLPER CALL MIKE SCALISI: 954.650.3706

“MAKO MONEY” 34’ 2013 REGULATOR CALL J.D. CRAWFORD: 508.566.1967

“VINEYARD VINES” 32’ 2008 REGULATOR CALL GLENN CLYATT: 786.258.2434

31’ 2000 CONTENDER CALL MIKE SCALISI: 954.650.3706

“PAPERBUOY” 29’ 2003 BOSTON WHALER CALL HARLEY HENNING: 561.307.1210

“PETTE CASH” 28’ 2001 BOSTON WHALER CALL MATT LONG: 954.682.5250

27’ 2007 VENTURE CALL JACK ROBERTSON: 772.260.1364

25’ 2005 WELLCRAFT ALL BRIAN NOPPER: 954.325.6000

SOUTH FLORIDA

CANGL_SFL1-SFL12.indd 8

MAY 2017

HMY.COM

COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

4/17/17 3:21 PM


By Will Robinson

F

ishing from a standup paddleboard is a blast. They are stealthy, agile and give you access to places otherwise inaccessible due to lack of water or no-motor regulations. Compared to fishing kayaks, SUPs are affordable and a great deal lighter, making transportation easier. Bare-boned they are good to go, but add some accessories and you have an incredible fishing machine. Likely the first addition to your new SUP is a simple milk crate. For less then 10 bucks you can strap one of these on to keep your gear in check. Add a PVC rod holder, and you are well on your way. But there is a lot more you can do to design the ultimate fishing platform. Most fishing SUPs are equipped with a number of leash plugs for connecting a variety of items. These range from rod holders to paddle clips. The two I find most useful are the camera mount and the Zooka Tube rod holder. There is nothing better than a picture of your trophy catch and the Ram camera mount works great, is

inexpensive and secure. The Yak Attack Zooka Tube is a rod holder for both spinning and baitcasting rods. Equally useful, swinging it to the side allows it to double as a stake-out pole holder to keep you on the fish. To take it to the next level, add a cooler. Coolers are awesome and the right one can provide additional storage and enhance your comfort and safety. One of the best features of fishing on an SUP is the vantage point you gain by standing. That said it is nice to have a place to sit and rest or to lower your center of gravity. This makes your board more stable in rough conditions or while fighting a big fish. Almost any cooler can be strapped to your board, but to get the most out of it you need to consider a few things like lash points, lid latches and the ability to accessorize. The Orion 35 is an extremely versatile cooler. This roto-molded beauty is virtually indestructible and has unique features that make it perfect for an SUP. Multiple latch points and cam latches keep all your stuff on the board and in the cooler in case of an inadvertent plunge. The lid comes with a traction pad that helps to keep gear from sliding into the oblivion and makes for a softer seat. Best of all, it has built-in Yak Attack rails on each side that allow you to attach any Ram-style accessory to the cooler. This gives you gear options like electronics holders, rod holders and even a mini bar. And here’s a bonus, genius, paddle-holder hack. To make a basically free paddle holder, take a length of rope roughly 18 inches longer than your waist. Tie 6-inch loops on both ends. Wrap it around your waist, putting one loop through the other. The hanging loop holds your paddle handle near your waist, which makes it easy to stow the paddle quickly and quietly, and allows some one-handed control while fishing. Souped-up and ready for a full day on the water, a well-equipped SUP is a versatile and fun fishing machine. Will Robinson is a seasoned tournament angler and has been writing about fishing for nearly two decades. Check out Orion coolers at Orioncoolers.com.

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n Saturday, May 20, sailboats from throughout south Florida will gather off the shores of Fort Lauderdale Beach to compete in the 2017 Hospice Regatta presented by Holman Enterprises. For years, this highly competitive sailing event has raised funds to support hospice care for patients and families coping with a life-limiting illness. Your weekend on the water begins with our Skipper’s Meeting on Friday, May 19, at the Coral Ridge Yacht Club. Guests will enjoy dinner, drinks and raffles starting at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $25 per person. On Saturday, May 20, racing begins with the first race signal at 11 a.m. To compete in the regatta, boat registration is $120. Following Bret and Pam Moss and Kyle Mclaney, a day of racing, from Holman Automotive Group, with skippers, crew the Best Overall plaque from the Hospice members, friends, By The Sea Regatta. Photo by Leonard family, guests Bryant. and supporters of the 20th Annual Hospice Regatta will gather for the Post-Race Awards Dinner at the breathtaking Coral Ridge Yacht Club. Attendees will enjoy an evening of dancing and live music courtesy of the Will Bridges Band, savory cocktails, and a delectable meal. Fabulous prizes will also be up for grabs in our silent auction and raffle. Tickets are $75 per person. There is even a way to support your favorite skipper and crew by participating in our Fundraising Challenge. Visit www. hobcf.org/regatta to learn how to get involved in the Fundraising Challenge. The coveted Diana Stephenson Fundraising Challenge Trophy will be awarded to the team or skipper that raises the most funds during the Post-Race Awards Ceremony and Celebration. Hospice by the Sea and Hospice of Broward County Foundations are dedicated to raising funds to support the unfunded patient programs and services offered by Trustbridge which are not covered by Medicaid, Medicare or private insurance. For more information on the Regatta weekend, contact the Foundation’s Director of Special Events, Lauryn Barry, at 561494-6888 or lbarry@hpbcf.org.

May 20, 2017 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 and to register your boat, call (561) 494-6888 or visit hobcf.org/regatta

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or a state with millions of residents and visitors who fish, one can find a number of Florida towns named after fish. Tarpon Springs in Pinellas County, for example, took its name from the many tarpon seen in the area. Florida place names from Native American phrases that referred to fish include Charlie Apopka Creek in Hardee County, which meant “trout- or bass-eating place” in an old Native American language. The same Creek word “apopka” is found in Citrus County’s name of Lake Tsala Apopka, meaning “a place for eating trout/bass.” Olustee in Baker County has a name that derives from the Seminole–Creek word “oklasti,” meaning “blackfish.” The former site of Charley Emathla in Marion County was named after a Seminole of the same name who agreed to federal efforts to move the Native Americans to the West, and that led to his execution by Seminoles led by Osceola, who did not want his followers to emigrate. The name of the Native American, Charley Emathla, and of the site comes from a Creek word meaning “trout.” Fisheating Creek in Highlands and Glades counties has a name derived from a Seminole phrase meaning “the creek where fish are eaten.” Someone thought the community of

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Fisheating Creek needed a more “dignified” name and changed it to Tasmania. Devilfish Key in Lee County takes its name from a large manta ray, called the Devilfish (see photo). The key/island took its name from a large, 30-foot-wide devilfish President Theodore Roosevelt caught near Captiva Key in the early 1900s. After an allday battle with the fish, the president beached the creature on a small island in Blind Pass, an event that gave the name Devilfish to that island from then on. An unusual name that derives from a method of cooking fish is Pass-A-Grille Beach in Pinellas County. Allen Morris, in “Florida Place Names,” wrote that the English spelling of the site goes back to the French “Passeaux-Grilleurs” and referred to the fact that fishermen there who “passed over/crossed” the island stopped to “grill/cook” their meals. Pompano Beach in Broward County has a name going back to a survey party for the Florida East Coast Railway who were treated by a local family to a pompano dinner. To inform future survey parties about the delicious fish

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they ate there, the surveyors wrote the word “pompano” on their charts. Those who later followed thought that “pompano” referred to the name of the settlement, added “Beach,” and the name stuck. Fish-sounding names that were not named after fish, include Fish Island, which was named during the British control of Florida (1763 – 1783) in St. Johns County after Jesse Fish, an important resident of the area. If some of this sounds fishy to you, check out the definite “Florida Place Names” mentioned above. Kevin McCarthy, the award-winning author of “South Florida Waterways” (2013 - available at amazon.com for $7), can be reached at ceyhankevin@gmail.com. For more on Kevin McCarthy, go to

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By Chris Beardsley

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imple for me means dumbing down my gear and dumbing down my approach. There are endless articles surrounding what bait to use, which rod is the most sensitive or casts the farthest and which reel provides the smoothest or strongest drag. Everyone has their favorite and my recommendation is to use it. For most inshore fishing a 7- to 10-foot medium to medium-heavy rod and a good reel that will hold 200 yards of 15-pound monofilament fits the bill perfectly. There are many other options regarding hook shape, leader material, line weight, rod constructions, etc. It can get complicated and overwhelming. Use what you’re the most comfortable and confident with, and go fishing. My favorite is a 7-foot medium-heavy rod and a 5000 series reel spooled with 15-pound Trilene Big Game mono. The business end consists of a 2-foot fluorocarbon leader and 2/0 circle hook rigged below

a swivel and a 1- to 3-ounce barrel or pyramid sinker. Tipped with a live shrimp, this simple fish-finder rig can be left to soak or dragged slowly across the bottom. I have found this to be very effective around oyster bars or grass flats and also extremely deadly fishing in the surf. One of my favorite techniques is to tip my fish-finder rig with a live, whole shrimp. I’ve used bits and pieces of shrimp, sand fleas, assorted cut bait with varying and sometimes very good success, but it seems the whole shrimp is just too much to pass up for most fish. It’s like that house you go to on Halloween that’s giving away the large size Snickers bars; you just have to get one. The whole live shrimp is like that Snickers bar, and fish just have to have one. Another simple addition is a popping cork. The ubiquitous bobber is familiar to anyone who has soaked a worm. Besides, the visual of a bobber disappearing below the waves is great fun. For pelagics in the surf or bull reds in the bay, the popping cork is a great addition to any tackle box. Artificial baits are hard to beat when fishing at daybreak or just before the sun starts to make some heat. A trusty gold spoon is by far the best lure for getting the attention of virtually anything that swims. It produces in salt and fresh water and is a common denominator in most tackle boxes. Trout love them, and it is my preferred method for putting one or more of those beautiful fish in the cooler. Granted, I have enough Gotchas, Gulps and Goofys to float a battleship, but some of my most successful days have been with the most basic setup. While it’s easy to get caught up buying the latest and greatest gear, it isn’t necessary. I love looking at and sometimes buying something new and shiny, but I often find myself going back to the old standbys because sometimes simple is better. Chris is a freelance writer from Wisconsin with an obsession for all things saltwater. Though growing up hunting and fishing in Wisconsin, an introduction to Florida’s Forgotten Coast provided a new outlet and exciting new challenges for anything with a forked tail.

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Caring For Bass At

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By Steve Daniel here is nothing that gets my blood boiling like seeing a bass club killing bass released at their weigh ins. The top tournaments in the country pride themselves in having a 100 percent release rate, which is hard to achieve in the hot summer months. Here are my thoughts on conducting a summer weigh in. • Never allow anglers to use their own bags. No more than three official bags should be available. What this does is ensure bass come straight from the livewell to the scales. It eliminates time spent standing in line, when the bass are sitting in a bag with no aeration.

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• In the summer months, try to have an earlier weigh in, say 1 p.m. instead of the normal 3 p.m. Most summer fish are caught in the morning, and riding them around in boats the last hours of a tournament is the reason for a lot of the weak and dead bass. Remember, a weak fish usually dies later even if it was alive at the scales. • Get bass back into the water as soon as possible with the least amount of stress.

Tips For A Healthy Livewell

• Get fresh water in the morning and use a catch-and-release chemical. Put a bag of ice in the well if it’s hot. Ice in a cooler can be used later in the day. • Only recirculate water from the morning. Never run warm water from the lake into the well. • Use a scale to keep up with your catch. This will keep you from dragging bass out of the comfort of your well-maintained livewell for culling. • If you hook a fish deep, cut the hook off and leave it in the bass. The bass will do much better than you trying to remove it and possibly cutting a gill. • This is my last tip, and it works great in the summer here on lake Okeechobee where the water gets as hot as 96 degrees. I use an air pump, the same one I use to keep live bait alive. I hook it up to the trolling motor batteries. The pump, a Power Bubbles, is the size of a small brick and has two air lines that I run to the livewell. I put the air pump in a soft cooler with ice packs. It pumps cold air from my Techni Ice cooler into the livewell. At the end of the day, bass are harder to catch in the livewell than they were in Lake Okeechobee. An extremely successful professional bass tournament angler, Steve Daniel is a 30-year veteran Okeechobee guide and the voice of Okeechobee fishing on WRVO Radio Network 1’s Hooked up with Steve and Deb. Check out the show at www.renoviolaoutdoors.com. Contact Steve and Deb at stevedaniel84@yahoo.com or 239-5602704.

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he importance of modern electronics in bass fishing can’t be overstated. Having the best, and more importantly knowing how to use it, is crucial to the competitive angler. For weekenders, you’ll enjoy trips more when catching fish, so I think everyone needs good GPS units, maps and sonar. There are a lot of very smart people working at the electronics companies, and they continue to provide great advancements. I work closely with Raymarine, which is owned by FLIR. I’ve run their units since turning pro and

seeing on my electronics. How many times have you seen fish on the screen and thought they were the target species only to spend time fishing for them and they end up being something else? In a bass tournament, I don’t need to spend time targeting walleye or pike. This integration of the camera as another tool in the same system is very handy. Chalk it up to Raymarine and Aqua Vu for making that possible. New to the market from Raymarine are the Axiom units with 3D. I got to see them in

absolutely love their products. I run three of their units on my boat. On the bow, I have mounted an ES128. I also have an ES128 on the console next to an ES127. Having these units really eliminates fishing a lot of unproductive water. With GPS and charts, they are incredibly useful for navigation. They also display Chirp Downvision, which is Raymarine’s sonar fishfinder. I can do a scan of an area and know where the baitfish and the fish themselves are instead of going on history and fishing blind. These tools are invaluable for any angler, and these days competitive anglers cannot compete without good navigation and sonar equipment. Another great thing about Raymarine is that my Aqua Vu Multi-Vu camera displays on my unit. It’s an underwater camera that helps me determine the actual species of fish I am

action at the Bassmaster Classic last month, and what I saw was crazy cool. I think it’s going to be the next level. It’s called RealVision 3D sonar and paints a real-time, three-dimensional picture. It’s a lot easier to tell how far fish are holding off the bottom and how they’re relating to certain structure. It’s a new look that we haven’t seen, and I can’t wait to get my hands on it very soon. The Raymarine Dragonfly series is one for those of you with smaller craft. All of their units are great value, but the Dragonfly puts a lot of technology in your hands at a very low price. There are models from 4 inches to 7 inches and you’ll absolutely thank me for telling you about these if you fish from a kayak, jonboat or other small craft. There’s never been a better time technology-wise to fish and I, for one, am thankful for that.

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oing on vacation and trying to decide where your next excursion should be? Fort Myers and Sanibel, Fla. offer something for everyone. Beaches, hiking, kayaking, fishing, camping, birdwatching and shelling abound here. With mild temperatures and low humidity, outside is Photo courtesy of Capt. Terry Fisher/ where you want to be Fish Face Charters after being cooped up through the winter! If fishing is your activity of choice, you have made a great decision. You can take the whole family, only those interested or go it alone. Your best bet for a great day on the water is to hire a professional captain or guide. You can go out on a private charter, where you and your family are the only ones on board, or you may choose a “head boat” where there will be 50 other people fishing with you. Either way, almost everything needed will be provided—boat, license, rod and reel, bait, and a good time. Usually the only things not included are sunscreen and alcoholic beverages. Make sure you ask what is included, just to make sure. Charter guides usually specialize in a certain type of fishing. Inshore fishing trips will have you fishing the flats, mangroves and back-bays. The advantage of inshore fishing is it is usually a more active fishing day, and a windy day won’t ruin your day of fishing. Your guide will move to

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different locations to find the fish, which are not sitting still waiting for you, and provide you with a better experience. This time of year, redfish, snook, mangrove snapper, sea trout and tarpon are what you will catch. These fish will give you a good fight and provide an exciting day on the water. Offshore fishing trips will still provide most required items. The captain will travel anywhere from 20 to 50 miles or more offshore to find fish. While you may not catch as many fish, you Photo courtesy of Capt. Larry McGuire/Show will catch larg- Me the Fish Charters er fish like king mackerel, Spanish mackerel, snapper, grouper and sharks, such as blacktips, spinners, bulls, and possibly hammerheads. This is an entirely different type of fishing from inshore and just as fun. Then you have tarpon fishing. The “silver king” is world famous in these waters, and people come from around the world for the opportunity to land one. The food of choice for a tarpon is a pass crab. Boca Grande is famous for its tarpon fishing history and provides a beautiful environment, if you are here specifically for tarpon fishing and a laidback island environment. If fishing is not up your alley, visiting Sanibel and Captiva will offer you many options. J.N. Ding-Darling National Wildlife Refuge is located on Sanibel Island. It is home to one of the country’s largest undeveloped mangrove ecosystems and is well known for its migratory bird populations. Captiva Cruises operates in two locations on the island and can take you to the private island of Useppa, Cayo Costa State Park, Cabbage Key and Boca Grande, as well as many other options. On the island’s beaches, shelling like you wouldn’t expect is the norm. Whatever you decide to do, relax and enjoy our “IslandOlogy.” Nadeen Welch is co-publisher of the Fort Myers edition of Coastal Angler Magazine.

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FRESHWATER

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estled in the south Georgia pines just southwest of Adel, Ga. is 3,500 acres of sportsman’s paradise known as Live Oak Plantation. Campbell Roberts and I arrived with Ranger bass boat in tow via a fence-lined, well-manicured slice of green earth that led us to the lodge at Live Oak Plantation. This is where we met our expert bass fishing guide, Max Gresham. Max is a seasoned bass angler and a member of the Valdosta State Blazers bass fishing team. Max perfectly planned our day of bass fishing. With 10 ponds and more than 500 acres of fishable water to choose from, he had his sights

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set on two main bodies of water that had been producing quantity as well as quality bass for the past several days. What a breathtaking sight it was as we traveled the winding road past Jim’s Backyard Pond just as the fog was lifting off the water. We made our way to our first destination, Gator Pond and launched at about 7:45 a.m. Yes, there is a reason they call it Gator Pond and yes, we did see a couple of resident gators. The pond was impeccable, with its splendor of bass cover including grass, dollar pads, lily pads and submerged timber. We had a deck full of rods with an arsenal of big bass lures tied on: buzzbaits, frogs, flukes, trick worms and jigs. Campbell was first to hook up on 3-pound bass swimming a fluke across visible grass structure. Max and I followed with several bass including two massive topwater explosions on frogs that resulted in the big bass of the day. Gator Pond was very good to us that morning, yielding about 25 bass in about four hours. We took a break and headed back to the lodge for a quick lunch and then it was back to fishing. This time we launched the boat in Outback Pond. This pond was heavy in willow trees, laydowns and grass. The bass numbers rose quickly in this pond, one after another. The action was nonstop, cast after cast, bass after bass. We located a ball of baitfish, and the bass were close by. The fluke bite was the strongest around these schoolers, and we managed to bag another 40 bass in about four hours. We all caught our fair share of bass on both of these fine bodies of water. You would need a week or two to thoroughly fish all the beautiful ponds Live Oak Plantation has to offer. When you visit, you must stay and dine at the lodge. The lodge will accommodate up to 12 guests in 10 rooms. There is a conference center that will accommodate groups up to 20. In addition to some of the best bass fishing in the state, Live Oak Plantation offers quail, deer and turkey hunting. They also offer tower pheasant shoots. For additional recreation, there is a well-manicured golf course that has three greens and three tee boxes per hole that allows for nine different holes of golf, and there is also a driving range. For additional Information on Live Oak Plantation, visit their websites www.fishliveoak.com and www.huntliveoak.com or call direct at 800-682-4868. Live Oak Plantation is located at 675 Plantation Road, Adel, GA 31620.

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UNDER THE SEA 26

Diving in Tonga with my new PLB

A

fter several years of traveling for work, I had enough frequent flyer miles to take my family to Australia to dive on the Great Barrier Reef. After returning home, we heard on the news that two Americans had accidentally been left at sea by the same dive operator we had chartered. The crew miscounted when tracking divers, and by the time the search began, they most likely suffered a slow, agonizing death. That nightmare incident was portrayed in a Hollywood movie. Unfortunately, these “left-at-sea” stories are not uncommon. Boats can become incapacitated; divers can get caught in a current; the possibilities are endless. According to U.S. Coast Guard rescue swimmers, the key to getting rescued is to make yourself visible. A whistle or Dive Alert air horn might be enough to catch the attention of your boat if it is nearby. If lost, it helps if you are wearing a brightly colored wetsuit hood or deploy a brightly colored safety sausage. Even better, you can carry signaling devices such as flares, a mirror (requires sun), or glow sticks (at night). A small LED dive flashlight or strobe can be seen from afar—especially if the USCG is searching with night vision goggles. But what if your boat sank and no one was called? What if you are in a country where there is no coast guard? These thoughts rattled around in my head before a recent trip to a remote island off of Tonga. Fortunately, advances in technology continue to provide new solutions. PLBs (Personal Locator Beacons) on the market today are small, waterproof devices designed to alert search and rescue services of your location anywhere in the world. When activated, it transmits a message on the 406 MHz distress frequency which is monitored by the COSPASSARSAT satellite system. The alert is relayed to the nearest Rescue Coordination Center. Once in the area, rescue services pinpoint your location using the 121.5 MHz homing transmitter. Unlike EPIRBs, which are registered to a specific vessel, a PLB is registered to a person and can be carried wherever you go. Before my trip, I bought an ACR ResQLink PLB from Bass Pro for

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$249. It can be used on land or sea, but divers need to know that taking it deeper than 5 meters could cause the device to activate due to pressure changes, so it should either be secured to a flag float on the surface or stored in a dive canister if taken underwater. The increased peace of mind was well worth the price. There are several similar products on the market. The Ocean Signal rescueME PLB1 operates in a similar manner. Nautilus Lifeline makes a “Marine Rescue GPS” which broadcasts a distress message to all AIS equipped ships up to 34 miles away and to the marine radio on your own vessel. The ultimate survival tool is your ability to keep calm and maintain a positive attitude while taking action to make yourself visible. Prepare ahead of time, and your chances of rescue are very good. Safe diving! Sheri Daye is a world-record holder, host of Speargun Hunter, and producer of “The Blue Wild Ocean Adventure Expo” in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Follow “Sheri Daye” and “The Blue Wild” on Facebook and Instagram.

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CAPTAINS OF FISHER GUIDING 28

A CAPTAIN AND HIS LUCKY LADY, FISHING THE VIRGIN ISLANDS

BY LUKE CAMBELL

R

obert Mitchell hasn’t stopped chasing marlin since childhood, when he would see the species or its larger-finned counterpart, the sailfish, mounted on walls of seafood restaurants. After catching plenty wall-worthy fish in the Atlantic, Pacific, and Gulf of Mexico over the years, Robert chose the Virgin Islands to begin living his dream as a charter captain. Now, he takes guests on his boat, The Lucky Lady, to catch marlin and other trophy fish surrounding St. Thomas and St. John. After visiting St. Thomas frequently over the last 10 years, local mainstays on the island have helped Capt. Mitchell settle in since moving there permanently in January. Mitchell said, “Jimmy Loveland has been great to go over to and get advice. Getting to talk to a legend like Jimmy has been fantastic. Jim on the Black Pearl (a fellow USVI sportfishing charter) came over and welcomed me into town. He is a good guy, and I would do anything for these two people.” The name Jimmy Loveland may be familiar to those who follow sportfishing. Loveland founded Marlin Magazine and the USVI Open/Atlantic Blue Marlin Tournament that runs every August in St. Thomas. In addition to advice from fellow anglers, Lady Luck has loyally followed Capt. Mitchell to teach him the nuances of fishing here. Mitchell explained, “Everywhere I have fished, I have been blessed with good luck in finding boils, birds and porpoise. Birds down here are very few. When you see a bird, you better follow it. When you see the porpoise, you might make one or two passes, but that’s it. The lonely bird has been far more successful. The other places I have fished, you looked for a flock of birds and when following the porpoise, you were just about guaranteed a tuna strike.”

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Another key difference anglers find in the Virgin Islands is distance. In contrast to other destinations Mitchell has fished, the boat ride is short. The South Drop is 6 miles from dock, and the North Drop is only 20 miles. These drops are famous. While fishing, Mitchell has watched the bottom drop from 90 to deeper than 3,000 feet in a matter of minutes. Paying close attention, and staying over the intended depth is important. Capt. Mitchell described a recent trip aboard The Lucky Lady when that awareness paid off for anglers. They started the day trolling around a FAD (fish-attracting device) when four out of six lines hit on a school of blackfin tuna. They put their spread out again, started trolling, and then the line popped with a 180-pound blue marlin. The group also caught a wahoo of about 45 pounds and a 25-pound kingfish. “It was a great day on the boat, and everybody got a chance to sit in the (fighting) chair and take a turn,” said the new captain. Luke Cambell is a co-founder of Fisher Guiding, an online marketplace to find and book fishing guides, which is proud to partner with Capt. Mitchell and The Lucky Lady.

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C

ustom rod building has entered an era of resurgence, with new components, fresh design concepts, and, most importantly, a broad base of sophisticated anglers and creative rod builders driving developments on multiple levels. Today’s avid angler understands the importance of the rod with respect to a given approach or technique. Credit this recognition in large part to the broader segmentation of the markets for fishing rods and lines. Anglers have a much broader selection of both to choose from. More importantly, they have learned to discriminate and apply the right variations to the proper settings. With better understanding and experience, a fisherman begins to dial in on the nuances that make a rod better suited to the technique and personal preferences. Custom rod makers can give an angler everything he wants from essential components to bells and whistles. While “personalization,” artistry and uniqueness drove custom rod making in the past, functionality and comfort are driving custom rod projects today. “I used to have three to five rods that I would use for a given technique,” recalls bass tournament angler and rod builder Chris Adams of Mud Hole Custom Tackle and a member of the Winn Grips pro staff. “One had the guides I liked. Another had a more comfortable reel seat that added to the rod’s sensitivity, but it didn’t have the backbone or action I wanted. Another had the right power and action but didn’t have the components I liked. I realized the easiest way for me to get everything I wanted into one rod was to build it myself, the way I wanted it!” Adams notes that rod grips from Winn (www.winngrips.com) factor into

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many rod-making decisions. The comfort and tackiness of these all-weather grips provide sure-handed angler control. Bass fishermen have driven a lot of technique-specific rod customization. But more and more saltwater anglers are tailoring rods to their task. Many saltwater anglers have taken up custom rod building as hobby or a basement business to build their own rod arsenals. Classes in rod building are available across the country. At the Saltwater Fishing Expo in Somerset, New Jersey, in March, the custom rod craze was evident. Fishermen were building rods for everything from flounder fishing to trolling for big game species. Saltwater anglers often have a more complex set of needs, from guides resistant to corrosion to rod handles that provide adequate control and comfort. A lot of attention at the Winn booth centered around the sneak preview of new tapered rod grips for heavy-duty saltwater fishing, available in multiple lengths and diameters, and the new Winn Rod Handle System. Winn also unveiled a durable and versatile extension of its very popular overwrap, Winn Superior Rod Wrap. Like its predecessor, it can be the primary material in an original rod handle or applied over an existing cork or EVA grip. Winn also will expand its Saltwater Straight Cylinder line of 1.25-inch diameter grips this summer with black grips ranging to 18 inches in length. Get to know a rod builder in your area to create the perfect rod for any technique or style of fishing. Or take up the practice yourself!

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ack when everyone else was rocking a 3.5-inch grayscale fishfinder, Gary sported a color 7. He always seemed to catch fish. One day I had the nerve to ask him, “Hey Gary, how much did that thing cost?” “More than the kayak,” was the deadpan response. That was years ago. Since then, sonars are more and more capable and feature rich, for less scratch. A Lowrance Hook-7 will run you $449, much less than the kayak. Downscan and side imagining are commonplace. Over time, screen sizes grew until Gary was no longer the exception, he was the rule. So how big is too big? The answer depends on your bank balance and risk tolerance as well as the water you fish and the kayak you captain. Five to 7 inches seems like the sweet spot for kayak use. The screens are wide enough to offer high-resolution readability, yet compact enough to stay out of the way of a cast—or your foot. These days the better question might be, “How big is the transducer?” For peak performance, it’s best to mount a modern transducer in direct contact with the water. Some transducers require adapters such as the Lowrance Ready Total Scan plate to fit properly. Alternatively, kayak anglers can go the MacGyver route and craft their own adapters. Where there’s a will and fish to be caught, there’s a way. Just ask Gary.

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suzuki spring savings Three Limited Time Offers Make A Good Deal Even Better Suzuki Gives You All Three So You Don’t Have To Choose One Or The Other

Buy a new Suzuki outboard from 25 to 300 horsepower and take advantage of not just one, but ALL THREE Suzuki Spring promotional offers.

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Rates as low as 5.99% on new Suzuki outboards (OAC).*

For details and the name of your nearest participating Suzuki Marine dealer, visit www.suzukimarine.com

Gimme Six Extended Protection promo is applicable to new Suzuki Outboard Motors from 25 to 300 HP in inventory which are sold and delivered to buyer between 4/01/17 and 6/30/17 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. Cash Rebates apply to qualifying purchases of select Suzuki Outboard Motors made between 4/01/17 and 6/30/17. For list of designated models, see participating Dealer or visit www.suzukimarine.com. Customer and participating Dealer must fill out the appropriate rebate form at time of sale. Customer will have the choice to either apply the cash rebate against the original dealer invoice (Suzuki will credit Dealer parts account) or have a check sent directly to the customer. 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 4/01/17 and 6/30/17. “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. © 2017 Suzuki Motor of America, Inc.

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COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

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

for your boat 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. Š 2017 GEICO

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© 2017 Garmin Ltd. or its subsidiaries

THIS SEEMS TO BE THE PLACE WHERE ALL THE FISH HANG OUT. I THINK I’LL DROP IN.

12”

PROGRAMMABLE

HOT KEYS

PRELOADED

BUILT-IN

BLUECHART® G2 + LAKEVUU¨ HD CHIRP SONAR + CLEARVUU¨ + SIDEVU¨

GPSMAP® 1242xsv

COMMON CVRS_0517.indd 4 Coastal Fishing Ad_US-8.125x10.875-CoatalAngler.indd 1 17-MCJT512 GPSMAP 1224xsv

4/17/17 PM 3/8/17 12:07 9:13 AM


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