Coastal Angler Magazine | February 2020 | Mississippi Gulf Coast Edition

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MISSISSIPPI GULF COAST EDITION

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PHOTO COURTESY OF DUSTIN BEDGOOD AND TRIPS4TRADE VOLUME 25 • ISSUE 299

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PENN FIERCE III New updates to PENN’s Fierce III reels improve quality and performance while retaining the great value anglers have come to appreciate from these spinning reels. Available in combos with Fierce III rods, the updated line is perfect for anglers looking for solid gear at an affordable price. Fierce III reels were already known for smooth retrieves and solid construction, with Techno Balanced rotors and full metal body and sideplate. The newly updated Fierce III reels and combos and the Fierce III LE combos come with a number of upgrades. Fierce III reels feature an HT-100 carbon fiber drag system upgraded from oiled felt and a 4+1 stainless steel bearing system. Fierce III combo rods receive upgraded PENN Dura-Guides and are available in one or two-piece combos. Fierce III LE combos offer anglers upgraded machined EVA handle knobs and colorful Winn grips for added comfort as well as PENN Dura-Guides and the HT-100 carbon fiber drag system. PENN Fierce III reels and combos are available in sizes ranging from 1000 to 8000.

St. Croix’s new Avid Surf series offers 10 powerful, American–made spinning and casting rods designed for serious surfcasters looking to beach serious fish. Whether heaving heavy baits from the beaches of Cape Hatteras, casting 3-ounce bottle plugs for Montauk stripers or trying to steer a crazed tarpon away from bridge pilings in the Florida Keys, these super-strong, extremely versatile sticks handle any challenge surf fishing presents. Avid Surf rods combine St. Croix’s Integrated Poly Curve mandrel technology with premium, high-modulus SCIII carbon for exceptional strength, smooth power and increased sensitivity. They sport Fuji K-Series KW tangle-free guides with Alconite rings and Corrosion Control frame treatment for superior casting distance and improved corrosion protection. The Fuji DPS Deluxe reel seat with Back Stop lock nut and matte grey hoods ensures a rock-solid connection between rod and reel, while a custom cork tape handle with machined trim pieces provides a sure, comfortable and resilient grip.

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UGLY STIK CARBON SERIES With a new series of carbon rods, Ugly Stik has introduced its lightest, most sensitive and best handling rods to date. A new carbon technology crafted of 100-percent 24-ton graphite allows new Ugly Stiks to be lightweight and 37 percent stronger than other standard graphite rods while still delivering the timetested toughness that is the hallmark of the Ugly Stik brand. “The new Ugly Stik Carbon series handles like no Ugly Stik before it,” said Andrew Wheeler, director of global brands for Ugly Stik. “These rods have the feel and performance of rods that come at a higher cost and don’t have the proven durability of an Ugly Stik. When people get their hands on these rods, they are blown away by their light weight and corresponding sensitivity and balance.” The series includes casting and spinning rods, as well as spinning combos and baitcast combos—both of which include the Abu Garcia Black Max reel.

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ST. CROIX AVID SURF RODS

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CORTLAND NYMPH SERIES FLY RODS Cortland’s Nymph Series fly rods were specifically designed for modern nymphing techniques. They are built on a super-light graphite blank, which dampens and recovers quickly for exceptional feel. The low-reflective, matte black finish allows for an extremely stealthy approach while providing an additional layer of protection. A downlocking reel seat combined with a composite fighting butt allows for exceptional balance and fast hook sets. Nymph Series fly rods feature oversized, light-wire, single-foot guides for easier passage of fly line, monofilament and knots. All ferrules and guides are coated with highly durable epoxy to resist cracks, flex stress and excessive knots. Other features include alignment dots, sizespecific rod bags and a protective cordura rod tube.

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CRB ROD BLANKS

TSUNAMI EVICT SPINNING REEL

Harnessing the custom spirit of rod building, while maintaining dependable quality and value, the Custom Rod Builder (CRB) brand develops exciting rod blanks for any level of angler. CRB is proud to expand blank production to offer 12 awesome colors in the Color Series, best-selling materials like fiberglass and E-glass, as well as improved actions and powers across the board. Synonymous with quality, CRB blanks are the premier source of affordable, functional and innovative custom rod building blanks. CRB satisfies your pursuits in performance, style and price. From the extremely popular Color Series blanks to heavy Tuna Poppin’ blanks, all around Value E-Glass blanks, and many more, these exciting blank options provide the ideal custom choices at perfect price points. With the rise of multi-option rod kits, CRB’s trusted blanks and rod components have made serious waves in the world of custom rod building. From the variety of blanks and color choices, to all the guides, reel seats, and grip options, CRB offers an unbeatable array of components ready to build your next fishing rod!

As one of the newer reel companies in the industry, Tsunami is making waves with great gear at a very competitive price. Their new Evict spinning reel, available in sizes 2000, 3000, 4000 and 5000, is unlike any other spinning reel on the market for the price. Smooth and powerful, it’s at home on freshwater or salt. But the Evict is constructed and sealed to stand up to the marine environment. The Evict’s stainless steel main gear and pinion, and sealed stainless main shaft, allow for maximum pressure when battling big fish. A CF3 carbon fiber drag system boasts a serious 20 pounds of drag to haul them up, which makes the Evict ideal for big inshore species and bottom fishing. The aluminum braidready spool means there’s no line slip with braided line. An aluminum body, graphite rotor, comfortable aluminum ball handle and eight sealed stainless ball bearings round out a durable and high-performing piece of equipment. The 3000 and 4000 sizes come with an EVA knob in the box. The 3000 size holds 220yds of 15lb braid.

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TSUNAMI CARBON SHIELD II Whether you’re hunting seatrout, big bull reds or striped bass, Tsunami has you covered with their Carbon Shield II series of rods. Available from 7’ up to 8’ in medium light to extra heavy models, these spinning rods are designed to be featherlight and sensitive with the power to cast long and battle big fish. Lightweight IM7 graphite blanks, featuring D16 nonotech and a unique carbon fiber design evenly disperses force in 16 directions. While they weigh little, these rods are up to whatever you want to do with them, whether its live baiting big snook or working topwater baits for seatrout. They feature quality Fuji K guides and Fazlite inserts, premium cork grips and an anodized aluminum reel seat with stainless steel hoods and custom locking ring.

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OKUMA EPIXOR XT SPINNING REEL Okuma Epixor XT reels—the next generation in a long-standing family of technologically advanced Okuma spinning reels—come loaded with exclusive technologies that anglers will appreciate. These reels offer high-end performance to price-conscious anglers. Lightweight C-40X carbon fiber composite construction provides exceptional feel and anti-corrosive durability. Okuma’s exclusive Tortion Control Armor and a slow oscillation system reduce twisting and ensure proper line lay, which allows smooth casts and fewer line issues. A 1-K woven carbon fiber drag knob has progressive drag setting without adding weight, and Japanese oiled felt drag washers perform smoothly with a big fish on the line. Other advanced features include: Okuma’s Centrifugal Disc Bail; precision machine-cut brass pinion gear; heavyduty solid aluminum bail wire; Rigid aluminum handle arm; comfortable ergo grip; RESII, computer balanced Rotor Equalizing System; Stainless steel bearings; Quick-Set anti-reverse bearing; Cyclonic Flow Rotor technology; and a machined aluminum, 2-tone anodized spool with LCS lip. There isn’t a more technologically advanced reel available anywhere near Okuma’s price point for Epixor XT reels.

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By Alan McGuckin/Dynamic Sponsorships

itchin’ tubes exploded in popularity following Denny Brauer’s 1998 Bassmaster Classic victory. A month before the tournament, the legendary shallow-water pitcher/flipper was on a solid summertime jig bite on a shallow flat of North Carolina’s High Rock Lake. When the jig stopped producing during Classic week, he reached for a 3.5-inch tube and discovered the fish wanted something a little different. Brauer won the 1998 Classic pitchin’ tubes. The technique has been a mainstay ever since. Unlimited Seasonal Use Tubes get bites when nothing else will, and there are no seasonal limitations. Brauer’s win came in early August in hot shallow water. I recently caught bass on a Big Bite Bait Tour Flipping Tube from the frigid winter waters of northeastern Oklahoma.

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“I think it’s definitely a year-round bait,” said Brauer. “As anglers, we initially got conditioned to think tubes were a spawning-season bait. But shoot, it’s very productive year-round. As much as anything, it’s simply a finesse tool to pitch anytime the conditions call for it.” Hook Size And Rigging Are Critical I gravitate toward the 3.5-inch tube rigged with a 3/0 Mustad hook. Following his Classic win on the 3.5-inch tube, Brauer had Strike King design a larger 4.5-inch tube so he could match it with a larger 4/0 Mustad hook he felt would put more fish in the boat. Pitch the size you’re comfortable with, but be sure to match tube size to hook size. A 3.5-inch tube demands a 3/0 hook. A 4- or 4.5-inch tube marries best to a 4/0 hook. And DO NOT bury the hook point into the tube. Instead, Texas rig it with the hook point level on the back of the tube. You’ll land more fish, and it will still perform relatively snag-free. Rattles And Weight Some people love rattles; some people hate them. I stuff a glass rattle inside the body of my tubes most of the time. Line size and worm-weight size are also personal preferences determined by water clarity and the fall rate bass seem to favor. A lot of anglers use 20-pound test with a ¼-ounce weight. Brauer goes meatier with 3/8- or ½-ounce weight and 25-pound Seaguar fluorocarbon. I’ve caught bass for years with a 1/8-ounce weight and 15-pound old-school Big Game. Watch The Line You must be vigilant in watching your line where it meets the water after every single pitch or flip. Very seldom do bass just thump a tube. It’s like they’re eating a potato chip rather than chomping a bite of rib eye. Often the line will just stop falling, and you need to set the hook! Still Charting Hits Lures are like country music artists. Some bust onto the scene, score a couple hits, and soon fade from popularity. Others prove that true talent never goes away. Pitchin’ tubes are whole lot like George Strait or Reba McEntire. They were mega stars at the time Brauer won the ’98 Classic, and they’re still playing to sell out crowds 20 years later.

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By Nick Carter

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here’s a daytime swordfish bite developing in the northern Gulf of Mexico off Alabama. The fish have always been there, but few anglers have figured out how to catch them when the sun is out. Dustin Bedgood, aka Capt. Fed, of Orange Beach’s FED UP Charters, has spent several years learning the area’s daytime deep-water fishery. Drawing from successful captains in wellknown deep-drop locations off south Florida and Venice, Louisiana, Capt. Fed adapted techniques to a point where he’s consistent enough to take charter clients to catch swordfish. The fishery is productive just off the continental shelf about an hour and a half ride from the Alabama coast aboard Capt. Fed’s 33-foot Freeman. During daylight hours, swordfish hang out past where the bottom drops precipitously from 200 feet into 1,000-foot depths. This is where anglers can expect a typical day of four or five swordfish bites with one fish landed. The weights average about 120 pounds, with a top-end over 300 pounds. While the fish aren’t as big as in south Florida, a 150-pound sword is more than most anglers want to handcrank from those depths, anyway. “They’re a very intense fish,” said Capt. Fed. “They can hurt you very easily.” The keys to the fishery are bottom structure, the right gear and good bait. Capt. Fed fishes in 1,000 to 3,000 feet of water, and always around some type of structure. “Whether it’s a nipple, a ledge, a canyon or a salt dome, that’s where the swordfish are,” he said. “All it takes is some little feature that changes the currents and attracts bait.” Good maps of the ocean floor and sophisticated electronics are necessary to find the right type of bottom in several thousand feet of water. On top of high-end sonar, Capt. Fed uses custom J&M Tackle Blackout Sword Rods with lots of backbone but a very soft tip. Swordfish don’t just load up on the rod. They slash at the bait first, and a soft tip is needed to

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notice the bump when there’s so much line out. “Once you get it set, the rod will develop a rhythm with the waves and the current. You’ve got to watch that rod,” said Capt. Fed. “If you see it do anything that’s not normal, something has happened. That’s when you start reeling it up or dropping it down. You’ve got to tease them just like any other billfish.” Capt. Fed fishes Shimano 50W and 80W reels. The drag is set loose because swordfish have soft mouths, and battles can last an hour or more. The reels are loaded with 80-pound braid tied into a 150-foot wind-on leader of 250-pound mono with a Bimini twist. Fed uses a minimum of 5 pounds of weight, and secures Lindgren-Pitman lights to his leader with rubber bands. Bait is important, and tying it correctly takes practice. After the initial slash, the jig is up if the hook tears out or the bait doesn’t retain a natural presentation. A 10-inch squid sewn with 70-pound waxed floss around a 10/0 to 12/0 J hook is one of Capt. Fed’s favorite baits. While an average day might bring one swordfish to the boat, Fed said he’s also seen five-fish days when conditions are perfect. Swords are very sensitive to the moon, and daily feeding times seem to correspond with moonrise and moonset. Capt. Fed plans trips so there’s time to load coolers with grouper and tilefish before switching to swordfish through the prime moon position. The swordfish bite goes on year-round, but Fed said he’s noticed an April into July peak, which could be attributed to more time on the water during peak tourist season in Orange Beach. And that brings up another reason to fish the Alabama Gulf Coast. There’s plenty to keep the whole family happy while the anglers are out on the water. Capt. Fed (Dustin Bedgood) can be contacted through his website www.fedupcharters.com, at (251) 377-7135 or by email at fedupcharters@gmail.com

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*At participating dealers only. Qualifying retail customers may receive instant savings off the selling price of a Honda powered boat package or Honda Marine engine(s) sold for repower. This promotion is limited to new Honda Marine 40 HP through 250 HP outboard engines, 2014 and newer models, sold and delivered between January 2, 2020 and March 31, 2020 and registered by the Dealer in accordance with American Honda Motor Co., Inc.’s sales registration requirements. Only Honda Marine outboard engines sold for personal use qualify for this promotion. Fleet, commercial & government sales are ineligible. Engines sold under special pricing / promotions including (but not limited to) demo and tournament fisherman engines are also excluded. Honda Marine reserves the right to modify, amend, cancel or revoke, in whole or in part, this promotion at any time without prior notice. © 2020 American Honda Motor Co., Inc. 8 NATIONAL I FEBRUARY 2020 COASTALANGLERMAG.COM THEANGLERMAG.COM Always wear a Ipersonal flotation device while boating and read your•owner’s manual. All Honda outboards meet EPA and CARB emission levels.

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All trademarks mentioned are owned by, or licensed to, the AkzoNobel group of companies. © AkzoNobel 2019.

You own a boat because you love spending time on the water. Choose the outboard that allows you to make the most of it. Honda’s legendary reliability, durability, ease-of-maintenance, and powerful performance keep you going strong.


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The Force ISC Dolly, introduced by Parkit360°, is a compact motorized trailer dolly that allows anyone to move any boat or camper. Available in 5,000 lb. and 10,000 lb. models, it’s a powerful tool that enables easy parking in tight spots without the need for a truck or back-breaking labor. The dolly is compatible with practically every camping, boat or cargo trailer with optional adapters for spring-loaded and Atwood hitches. It’s battery powered, easily transportable and compact. The dolly body itself weighs approximately 70 pounds, making it easy to disassemble and transport in the trunk of a small car. The dolly is built to easily handle both smooth and rough surfaces. No matter the terrain, be it grass, packed gravel or asphalt, the dolly provides plenty of traction. For optimal usage and safety, users should avoid operating on more than a 6 percent incline. Connecting the dolly to a trailer is as intuitive as possible. It can be done through a ball mount, the tongue jack itself or the universal telescopic adaptor. Once attached, it wheels around easily. The operation works with a simple button in forward and backward movements. With an intelligent speed controller, users can achieve fast or more precise parking. At the same time, the motor’s ability to start and stop gradually prevents damage to the trailer from sudden stopping, something that makes the Force ISC Dolly stand out above its competition.

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Sheepshead in the St. Simons area average 2 to 7 pounds and can break the 10-pound mark. Photo courtesy of Coastal Georgia Inshore Charters.

By Tom Schlichter

F

or inshore anglers who love calm, shallow waters, St. Simons Island is worth investigation. On the Georgia coast between Savannah, Ga. and Jacksonville, Fla., this hot spot is chock full of redfish, speckled seatrout and sheepshead. Check it out on a map, and you’ll instantly see the possibilities, as St. Simons is surrounded by marshlands, flats and drainages from the mainland. “We have great fishing on a year-round basis, but February and March are especially good for the specks, reds and sheepshead,” said Capt. Tim Cutting, of Coastal Georgia Inshore Charters (912-230-1814; www.fishthegeorgiacoast. com). “Our marshes are extremely rich in nutrients, which is a big draw for the fish. Even better, there’s very little industrial encroachment in this region.” Indeed, the St. Simons area hosts the second largest coastal marshland in the United States, trailing only the vastness of Louisiana. That means there’s plenty of shallow water to prospect. The area also sports the second-greatest influx of tides on the East Coast after Maine, with an average of about 6-1/2 feet, so there’s lots of current available to push bait around. “Dropping tides are best for reds and trout during late winter and spring,” advised Cutting. “Push as far back as you can in the small creeks behind Cumberland, Jekyll and St. Simons islands and work the oyster beds. Redfish love to be around those beds because they hold so many baitfish, shrimp and crabs. We use light spinning tackle with 20-pound braided lines, 7 to 7-1/2-foot rods and size 2000 to 4000 reels. Most of the reds run 14 to 32 inches.” For lures, Cutting throws gold spoons and scented plastics or Berkley Gulp! grubs. Because the waters are so shallow, he’ll also fly-fish, using Deceivers or Clouser Minnows to draw strikes. When the tide is high, he’ll use a trout-pattern Rapala Skitter Walk or a bone-colored Super Spook Jr. as search baits for topwater fun. While the redfish are in depths from 6 inches to 7 feet, seatrout prefer deeper pockets of 8 to 24 feet. “Find a nice hole, and you can work the entire slope for specks in the 14- to 22-inch range,” noted Cutting. “I’ll jig these areas with a 3-1/2-inch Little Boss Paddletail grub or a 4-inch, chicken-on-a-chain pattern shad. Both lures are from the Bass Assassin saltwater line.” As for tasty sheepshead, they hold tight to structure in the shallows during February but move to ocean wrecks in 40- to 60-foot depths 3 to 6 miles offshore come March. “They are plentiful, love fiddler crabs, and run up to 10 pounds,” said Cutting. It makes sense to fish the St. Simons area with a charter skipper on your first few visits. As you gain local knowledge, you’ll find the free McKay Boat Launch (529 Beachview Drive) off the F.J. Torras Causeway is perfectly positioned for fast access to some of the best fishing.

A

22.1-pound big-scale pomfret caught on Dec. 28 off the coast of Maryland is a new state record. It might also be a new world record. Jeff Rosenkilde, of Monkton, Maryland, was deep-drop swordfishing in the Atlantic Canyons about 75 miles off Ocean City when something picked up the whole squid he was fishing in about 1,000 feet of water. “The fish started fighting,” the 33-year-old angler said, “At first I thought it was big-eyed tuna, but it had a purple, iridescent color.” It took 15 to 20 minutes to reel up all that line, but Rosenkilde’s crewmates knew the species and knew it was exceptionally large. A biologist verified the species as a big-scale pomfret (Taractichthys longipinnis). Its weight was certified by Hunter’s Crab and Seafood Market in Grasonville, Maryland. The big-scale pomfret is commonly found in the warm waters of the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico, but occasionally moves northward. Rosenkilde’s catch could potentially qualify for an alltackle world record by the International Game Fish Association. The current world record is 20.6 pounds. That fish was caught Oct. 17, 2004 off St. Augustine, Fla.


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February is one of the toughest months of the year to fish. It’s cold, windy and the tides can get insanely low. It doesn’t mean you should stop fishing, it just means you need to be careful. Most, if not all of our trips will be close to shore. Our go to areas will be the Bay of St Louis bridges, or the near shore reefs from Bayou Caddy to Pass Christian. The easiest thing to do, is pick your launch location, based on the winds. We always try to figure out where we wanna fish, and find the closest, most protected launch. This way, you have the shortest run to the fish, stay warmer, and dry. Live or fresh dead shrimp will be our main bait this month. If the sheepshead, redfish, drum or trout don’t eat after 10 minutes, MOVE! If you are fishing reefs or bridges, you’ll know when you are in the right spot. If you are able to plan your day around the tides, try to get out on peak tide flows. If the weather gets really bad, get caught up on maintenance. Clean up your gear, throw out the rusty stuff, and replace expired safety gear. It’s a tricky month to fish, but what doesn’t break you, makes you...

As Always, Have Fun and Be Safe

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KAYAK

The cold temperatures are still around but hopefully that will be improving soon! The colder water temperatures have made things difficult to find fish. Dead end deep canals are producing good trout and some reds. Soft plastics like the Saltwater Assassin sea shad and Korky fat boys have been my go to baits. I fish the sea shads on a 1/8oz. pro-elite jig head and let them fall slowly to the bottom. A slow retrieve with small twitches should get a bite. Same things when fishing fatboys. Keep tension on the line so you can feel a strike but maintain a slow steady pace. As always when we get a few sunny days in a row don’t pass up shallow flats near deep water that the fish will come to feed. The shallow water of the flats will heat up first and get the fish that little extra boost to eat. Soft plastics flutter bounced, top waters, and twitch baits all produce reds and trout on these warmer days Not to miss in February is the IFA Kayak Fishing Tour that starts off the 9th in Titusville, Fl. And will be in Jacksonville, Fl. On the 17th. These are CPR tournaments based on 1 speckled trout and one redfish. The Hobie Bass Open Series aims to provide a true open format and an elite feel feel for kayak anglers across the country and it kicks off Feb.1 0n Lake Seminole in Bainbridge, GA.! The Hobie B.O.S will be in Wood County, Texas at Lake Fork on the 22nd. As always we have a running tab on what’s going on in the kayak community at our Facebook page Kayak Fishing U. Always dress for the water temperature and not the air. One wrong move could spell disaster if you aren’t prepared. Remember while fishing from a kayak to always think safety. We are low to the water and not always easily seen. Keep a 360 degree light on at dark and low light conditions, wear a PFD, keep hydrated, and let someone know your float plan.

Benton Parrott

Hobie Regional Team / Fishing Guide bparrott73@gmail.com

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Offshore Report Derek Stiglet Nelson Outdoors Pro-Staff

February 2020

The 2020 season has officially begun. The standard scheduled maintenance for the Geaux Fish and up keep has started to get ready for the season. Wahoo fishing and Tuna fishing continues to be great but the Cobia spring migration and local fishing tournaments are just around the corner while anglers are looking forward for good weather conditions as the season moves on.

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Inshore Casting into your Goals

Every year, I plan out some goals for fishing. Whether it’s catching a certain species of fish, learning a new technique, or fishing a certain destination; it’s important to create goals and plan out a way to accomplish them. Last year, I had 3 fishing goals. The first was to catch 3 different species of fish per month for a total of 36 different species for the year. The second was to learn to use a left handed reel, (since I cast with my right) to maximize efficiency on the water. The third goal, was to catch at least one fish for every day of the year. The third goal was the easiest to accomplish, as the summer wasn’t even over before I had logged over 365 individual fish. Learning a left handed baitcaster is still haunting me, as I found out working the rod with my right hand is tougher than learning a left hand retrieve. I combined a couple different minor goals into catching 36 individual species. I fished rivers and estuaries that were on my short list of places to fish as a part of catching more species. A few highlight species for me were, Snook, Shoal Bass, Suwannee Bass, and my favorite Mississippi Tarpon. Now, let’s discuss accomplishing these goals. For me it started on my first fishing trip of the year, I think it was January 2nd. I caught 2 Sheepshead. That was the start of my 2019 fishing log. 2/365 individual fish and 1/36 species. It was slow going at first, but by the end of February I was up to a dozen species and about 50 individual fish. The key was keeping my fishing log organized. There are lots of ways to make a fishing log, but the “notes” app on my iPhone seems to work best for me. I had a separate note just for my fish numbers log. Experiment with different note keeping apps or even a notepad and pen. Also make it easily accessible so you won’t forget to keep them. Checking them regularly will also keep them fresh on your mind and working towards them more consistently. To give you an idea of what I’m trying to accomplish for 2020, my main goals are to fish in 6 different states, catch 48 species of fish, and catch 732 individual fish. (2 for each day of the year) Of course these are going to be challenging but I will keep whoever reads my articles updated with my adventures. I’d love to know what goals you are setting for 2020 and how you plan to accomplish them. You can connect with me on Facebook or on the Brackish Coast YouTube channel. Get those kids out on the water and teach them to fish! You’ll create lasting memories! Good Vibes, Tight Lines, and God Bless.

Jeff Jones The Brackish Coast

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Tide Chart Sponsored by:

Seaway Marine Center 13247 Seaway Road Gulfport, Ms 39503 228-276-1712

SeawayStorage.com Louisiana, South Pass, Gulfport Harbor, Mississippi Sound

February 2020

N 30° 21.6' / W 89° 04.9' Date

Day

Sunrise

Sunset

Moonrise

1

Sa

4:32p

0.5

3:43a

-0.1

6:45a

5:35p

11:19a

2

Su

5:04p

0.8

3:13a

-0.4

6:45a

5:36p

3

Mo

5:47p

0.9

3:38a

-0.7

6:44a

5:37p

4

Tu

6:35p

1.2

4:13a

-0.8

6:44a

5

We

7:26p

1.3

4:51a

-1.0

6:43a

6

Th

8:19p

1.4

5:32a

-1.2

7

Fr

9:13p

1.4

6:16a

8

Sa

10:09p

1.4

9

Su

11:06p

1.3

10

Mo

kle

High Tide

High Tide

Low Tide

Low Tide

Moonset

Phase

11:53a

12:32a

1st

12:31p

1:28a

5:38p

1:14p

2:25a

5:38p

2:04p

3:25a

6:42a

5:39p

3:01p

4:25a

-1.2

6:42a

5:40p

4:04p

5:23a

7:00a

-1.2

6:41a

5:41p

5:11p

6:17a

7:46a

-1.0

6:40a

5:42p

6:21p

7:07a

8:31a

-0.8

6:40a

5:42p

7:29p

7:52a

11

Tu

12:06a

1.0

9:10a

-0.5

6:39a

5:43p

8:37p

8:34a

12

We

1:12a

0.8

9:24a

-0.1

6:38a

5:44p

9:43p

9:13a

13

Th

2:42a

0.4

8:06a

0.1

6:37a

5:45p

10:48p

9:51a

14

Fr

2:54p

0.7

6:36a

5:45p

11:52p

10:29a

15

Sa

3:39p

0.9

1:22a

-0.4

6:36a

5:46p

16

Su

4:35p

1.2

2:37a

-0.7

6:35a

5:47p

12:55a

11:52a

17

Mo

5:36p

1.3

3:34a

-0.9

6:34a

5:48p

1:57a

12:39p

18

Tu

6:37p

1.3

4:24a

-0.9

6:33a

5:48p

2:56a

1:29p

19

We

7:36p

1.3

5:08a

-0.9

6:32a

5:49p

3:51a

2:22p

20

Th

8:32p

1.3

5:48a

-0.9

6:31a

5:50p

4:42a

3:17p

21

Fr

9:23p

1.2

6:23a

-0.8

6:30a

5:51p

5:27a

4:13p

22

Sa

10:11p

1.0

6:53a

-0.7

6:29a

5:51p

6:08a

5:09p

23

Su

10:57p

0.9

7:18a

-0.4

6:28a

5:52p

6:44a

6:03p

24

Mo

11:42p

0.8

7:36a

-0.3

6:27a

5:53p

7:18a

6:56p

2:43p

0.3

10:34p

-0.1

11:09a

25

Tu

7:43a

-0.1

6:26a

5:53p

7:49a

7:48p

26

We

12:30a

0.7

1:56p

0.3

7:28a

0.1

5:19p

0.1

6:25a

5:54p

8:19a

8:40p

27

Th

1:23a

0.5

1:29p

0.4

6:37a

0.3

7:39p

0.1

6:24a

5:55p

8:48a

9:32p

28

Fr

2:54a

0.3

1:40p

0.7

4:34a

0.1

10:25p

0.0

6:23a

5:55p

9:19a

10:24p

29

Sa

2:09p

0.8

6:22a

5:56p

9:51a

11:18p

Full

3rd

New

©2020 FreeTideTables.com - For comparison only - Times are local - Tides in feet from MLLW

e

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1/19/2020 9:38:12 PM


h t f e Mon o o t o t h h P

Chatwin Summers

Trey Porter and Max Porter

Chance Seymour

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By Nick Carter

H A

By Michael Okruhlik Photo courtesy of My Coast Outdoors

lot of anglers dream of catching trophy trout, but successfully catching them doesn’t repeatedly happen by accident. Sure, everyone has the chance, but to land them consistently takes a certain thought process. Here are three keys to improve your repeated success of landing trout over 27 inches during the cooler months. Timing Most anglers go fishing when they have time, such as on the weekends, or when the weather is nice. If catching trophy trout is your ultimate goal, you need to fish when they feed. Following the solunar table feeding times is a great guide in determining when to fish. Place yourself in the optimum location during the major or minor feed times and stay focused 30 minutes before and after the listed times. Keeping your lure in the water during these times versus traveling from one spot to another will greatly increase your odds of catching fish. Slow-Sinking Lures As we all know, fish are cold blooded and their movements and feeding slow as the water temperature slumps. Slowing your retrieve and lure fluctuation is crucial to entice trophy trout to strike. Tying on a slow-sinking lure is also key. Some will argue the size of the lure needs to be larger, but I don’t feel that is always true. Having a lure that can hover over structure, just off the bottom, or slowly sink down the edge of a pothole is key. This presents an easier meal and allows fish time to react. Get In With Them Getting in there with them is the step many anglers have an issue with, and in my opinion, it is the single most important aspect that separates trophy trout fishermen from the average angler. Wade fishing is the key ingredient to consistently catching trophy trout on artificial lures. Stealth is important when attempting to capture any wild animal, and fish are no different. The more mature the game, the more savvy the angler needs to become. Not only does wading give you this ability over fishing from a boat, it also allows you to silently slow your movements and cover an area thoroughly from different angles. Having your feet planted in the mud lowers your profile and also lets you determine exactly what the bottom is composed of. On the colder days, you will find fish partially buried in the mud, which is evident when you land them with muddy bellies. Knowing where bottom structure is will aid you in fishing the productive areas. Wading also helps identify subtle depth contours, which can be an ambush points or a paths in and out of the area, both of which are ideal areas to target trophy trout. Capt. Michael Okruhlik is the inventor of Controlled Descent Lures and the owner of www.MyCoastOutdoors.com.

eavy rains and high water are to be expected over the next few months. It keeps our streams and rivers healthy. But it’s too bad all that precipitation occurs when trout are pulling out of the winter doldrums. When the river is blown out, it’s blown out. There’s no sense in fishing chocolate milk or putting yourself in a dangerous situation. But a little high water doesn’t have to put an end to your fishing. With a little adjustment, fly anglers do quite well when rivers up and a dingy. The change in water conditions can even make large trout less wary. Ride The Wave Sometimes something special happens with the onset of a heavy rain shower on a free-flowing stream. The same is true when turbines start generating on a tailwater. Increasing flows stir up all sorts of morsels for trout to eat, rain knocks bugs out of the trees, and it puts fish in the mood to feed. This phenomenon is fleeting. As waters rise, fish take advantage of the newly arrived bounty, but the situation either stabilizes or flows become unfishable pretty quickly. Typically this bite goes on for a window of less than an hour, depending on the conditions. However, if you find yourself at the right place, at the right time, you could be in for a stellar 20 minutes of streamer fishing. Seek Out The Slack Even in low flows, trout conserve energy by hanging where there’s some sort of current break. When the river is rolling, this behavior is amplified. High water pushes fish up near the banks or into shallow riffles where there is less current. Fish also congregate in eddies, where washed in bugs and baitfish make for easy pickings. Weight Down And Gear Up Adjustments are needed to take advantage of these conditions. High water is no time to fuss with delicate dry flies. Grab your heavy stick and a box of big nymphs and streamers. With visibility beneath the surface diminished, you can afford to beef up to heavier leaders and tippet. Rig up longer than usual with heavy flies and/or some split shot to get down where the fish are. You can also get away with fishing larger flies in dirty water. A larger profile helps fish find your fly. Also—and especially with big browns—trout looking for something meaty to make it worthwhile. Next time the bottom drops out when you’re on the water, hang around instead of hightailing it to the truck. You might as well fish since you’ll be wet by the time you get to the vehicle, anyway. By the same token, don’t let a little high water deter you from going to the river. Sure, you might get skunked, but you might also hang into a hook-jawed bruiser. Nick Carter is the author of “Flyfisher’s Guide To North Carolina & Georgia,” which is available on Amazon. Signed copies are available by emailing the author at nsc8957@gmail.com.


W

hen Briarwood Christian School’s Grayson Morris and Tucker Smith went wire-to-wire to bring home the 2019 Mossy Oak Fishing Bassmaster High School National Championship, they became the first high school team to repeat as national champions. From a private school in Birmingham, the duo is now set to add another first to their resume when they become the first high school anglers to fish alongside the pros at the iconic Bassmaster Classic in March. As 53 of the world’s best anglers takeoff to compete on Day 2 of the Bassmaster Classic, they will be led onto the storied waters of Alabama’s Lake Guntersville by Morris and Smith. The high school team will be aboard a specially wrapped boat that Academy Sports + Outdoors has provided for their use during Classic week. “I’m speechless and so thankful,” said Smith. “It is amazing that we’ll be the first high school team in the Classic, and I know we wouldn’t be in this position without the support of our families and coaches.” As the realization set in, the duo immediately began planning how

A

slot limit for recreationally-caught striped bass went into effect Jan. 1 in North Carolina ocean waters. Fishermen are allowed to possess one striped bass per person per day that is at least 28 inches and less than 35 inches total length (fishermen may not keep a 35-inch fish). The slot limit is required by the recently adopted changes to the Atlantic Striped Bass Interstate Fishery Management Plan. It is designed to end overfishing and bring fishing mortality to the target level in 2020 by reducing total coastwide striped bass removals by 18 percent. The latest coastwide stock assessment determined that ocean migratory Atlantic striped bass are overfished and overfishing is occurring. The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s action also requires a coastwide commercial quota reduction of 18 percent. The recreational regulations for striped bass in internal coastal waters remain unchanged. For more information, contact N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries biologist Charlton Godwin at charlton.godwin@ncdenr.gov.

to make the most of this rare opportunity. “To be honest, my first thought is how I’m going to catch fish on Guntersville,” said Morris. “I never thought I’d be fishing the Classic this spring, but now I want to make sure I learn from the pros while we have the chance.” After fishing Day 2, Morris and Smith will head 75 miles from Lake Guntersville to Birmingham, where their five-fish bag will be weighed to the cheers of thousands at the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex. While the bright lights and big stage of the Classic will be new to the pair, Smith and Morris have already enjoyed a taste of the limelight. The duo appeared as part of a series called Winning Edges—a show produced by high school students to present educational and inspirational video content. And fellow high school anglers can certainly gain inspiration from this talented team. The pair enjoy a long list of accolades off the water in recognition of their dedication to conservation and community service projects. Morris and Smith have worked extensively on managing a private lake in their home state. While Smith has volunteered for years with the Kampfire for the King events benefiting the King’s Ranch and Hannah Home, Morris has done mission work in Haiti, Nicaragua and Guatemala. Smith was one of just 12 young anglers named to the 2019 Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster High School All-American Fishing Team while Morris earned Honorable Mention. The 2020 Bassmaster Classic will be the culmination of 50 years of top-tier tournament bass fishing, and attendees can expect a range of exciting events, coveted giveaways and celebrity appearances during the tournament, which runs March 6-8. Daily launches will take place at Civitan Park in Guntersville, with daily weigh-ins and the annual Bassmaster Classic Outdoors Expo held in Birmingham at the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex. For more information, visit bassmaster.com.

T

his should come as no surprise to anglers, but a new study has determined that fishery management, when done well, works to keep fisheries sustainable. The study, according to Seafood Source, compiled data from 30 countries around the world and determined that intense fisheries management has led to healthy or improving fish populations. The researchers published their results in a study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in January. Only about half the world’s fish populations are monitored scientifically. These monitored and managed populations are generally healthy and growing, while fish populations in regions with weaker fishery management and little monitoring are harvested at rates that are three times higher. This poor management also affects abundance levels, which are half that of intensively managed populations. The study database, which has been in development for the last decade, includes data on about 880 fish populations from around the world, including Europe, North America, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and South America, representing almost half the world’s catch. The data showed that fishing pressure rose and biomass declined for decades until 1995, when fishing pressured started to fall. By 2005, biomass was ticking up again, and by 2016, the average biomass of assessed fish populations was higher than levels needed to produce maximum sustainable yield.


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Dexter offers the most comprehensive line of surge actuators in the marketplace. Popular features include aluminum master cylinders, corrosion resistant coatings, and multiple coupling options such as Drop-N-Go™. Choose Dexter for trouble-free towing.

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Dexter’s BrakeRite electronic/ hydraulic actuator features rapid response for improved braking distance, an electronic proportional pressure valve for consistent braking, and dual fill caps for easy maintenance. In addition, BrakeRite is compatible with most in-cab electronic brake controllers. Dexter offers three BrakeRite models to easily match your application. The BrakeRite Plug & Play model is simple to install. It has no hard wiring and has a large reservoir for triple axles. An optional Australian 12-pin flat plug model is also available. The Dexter BrakeRite SD model provides a complete plug-in wiring harness to simplify field installation, while the standard BrakeRite model is available in both disc and drum brake options. Dexter knows corrosion resistance is important on all types of trailers, and especially in saltwater or other corrosive environments. Dexter disc brakes for marine trailers are designed with this in mind, using brass fittings, stainless steel guide bolts and sleeves, and stainless steel pistons. Rotors are offered in multiple finishes including E-coated, Dacromet, and stainless steel. At a minimum, Dexter caliper castings and caliper mounting brackets are E-coated with options for Dacromet coating or an all stainless steel product. Dexter’s BrakeRite and disc brakes combine two high performance products. Together, they provide a proven record of performance and reliability, superior braking, in-cab control and corrosion resistance.

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H

ooker Electric continues driving innovation in the fishing industry. Their top-of-the-line baitwell system is tops for keeping your bait fresh and lively. This system includes Hooker’s patented high-flow baitwell pumps and streamlined design that includes full variable flow that allows anglers to decide how much flow is needed depending on the species of bait they are keeping in the livewell. Also a great choice for the tuna tube setups, the system allows the perfect amount of flow to the tubes. The pumps have an outstanding high flow, measured in 2,500, 4,500 and 7,500 gallons per hour. With the 12 VDC brushless motor system, these pumps are superior to anything else on the market. Completely serviceable and rebuildable, Hooker Pumps are made to last. Another huge feature integrated on the pump system is that they are mounted outside of their custom sea chest. This provides easy access and the ability to change a pump out fast, without taking the entire sea chest apart like the competitors. Hooker Electric’s custom sea chest was specifically designed around their patented pumps. The sea chest is constructed of 316 stainless steel, welded to perfection, and then passivized. Passivization is a non-electrolytic finishing process that makes stainless steel more rust-resistant to avoid corrosion from the saltwater. It is then heavy-duty powder coated for extra protection. The sea chest comes with a ¼-inch rubber gasket seal, stainless steel bolts, washers, a breather valve and acrylic lid that can be custom engraved with the boat’s name or boat manufacturer’s name upon ordering. The crucial benefit of installing Hooker’s sea chest system is simple: less air in your system, especially with step-hull boats. The sea chest allows the boat to pull clean water in and keep air out of the hoses, therefore out of the system. Paired with the sea chest, Hooker has created custom manifolds cut from a solid block of schedule 80 PVC, which ensures longevity and quality. The manifold cleans up the aesthetics on the system by simplifying it and allowing water flow to be dispersed to multiple livewells as needed. The Hooker pump system will keep you ahead of the rest when it comes to live baiting. The company is currently working with leading boat manufactures like Contender Boats, Jupiter, Conch Boats, Winter Custom Yachts, Freeman Boatworks, Intrepid Power Boats, Billfish Boatworks, Tracker Marine, FMC, Yellowfin Yachts, Sea Vee boats, and the system now comes standard in all of the Valhalla boats by Viking. See Hooker Electric’s innovation for yourself at Booth D308 at the Miami Boat Show. For more information, go to hookerelectric.com.

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KEEP IT GENUINE PRECISION PROTECTION

Whether you take your boat out to the lake or the ocean, your 4-stroke outboard needs ECSTAR Suzuki Semi-Synthetic Engine Oil so it can run long and strong. ECSTAR features special additives that protect the engine in harsh salt and fresh water environments, advanced detergents that keep engine parts clean, and viscosity index improvements that help the engine start in cold conditions. No matter where your next boat ride takes you, go confidently with ECSTAR.

RUN LONG. RUN CLEAN. RUN STRONG.

Don’t drink and drive. Always wear a USCG-Approved life jacket and read your owner’s manual. Suzuki, the Suzuki “S” ECSTAR and Suzuki model and product names are Suzuki trademarks or ®. © 2018 Suzuki Motor of America, Inc.

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DOA 2.75 Shrimp - the totally new design is the best of both worlds – it’s like fishing a jig and a DOA Shrimp. The weighted hook is super sharp and slips seamlessly into the body of the shrimp. Slightly smaller and heavier than the Original, it has a molded in rattle cavity to easily add sound, skips well, sinks fast, and casts like a bullet.

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n 1975 and 1976, the United States Mint released special Bicentennial Eisenhower Dollars to mark the 200th birthday of our nation. Upon their release in 1975, a family purchased five full bags—5,000 coins in all—and simply stashed them away... until now!

Special Bicentennial Design Normally, the short-lived Eisenhower Dollar displayed a stylized version of the Apollo 11 mission patch on its reverse. But for the nation’s 200th birthday, a new onetime-only design was created, showing the Liberty Bell before an image of the Moon. This temporary design and dual dates of 1776 and 1976 make it a coveted piece that belongs in every U.S. coin collection.

Fresh Out of the Bag! Though each of these coins is more than 40 years old, you wouldn’t know it by looking at them. Each one is still in its original Brilliant Uncirculated (BU) condition, taken fresh out of a bag from

the Philadelphia Mint that has been sealed for 43 years. They’re just like new!

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more rolls. These Brilliant Uncirculated U.S. Bicentennial Eisenhower Dollars, featuring a special one-time-only design, are guaranteed to have come from a 1975dated U.S. Mint bag! Plus, when you secure two or more full rolls of these historic U.S. Dollars, we’ll include FREE Domestic Shipping. Grab them by the roll while our supply lasts!

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GovMint.com • 14101 Southcross Dr. W., Suite 175, Dept. RBD140-01 • Burnsville, MN 55337 GovMint.com® is a retail distributor of coin and currency issues and is not affiliated with the U.S. government. The collectible coin market is unregulated, highly speculative and involves risk. GovMint. com reserves the right to decline to consummate any sale, within its discretion, including due to pricing errors. Prices, facts, figures and populations deemed accurate as of the date of publication but may change significantly over time. All purchases are expressly conditioned upon your acceptance of GovMint.com’s Terms and Conditions (www.govmint.com/terms-conditions or call 1-800-721-0320); to COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM I FEBRUARY 2020 I NATIONAL 17 decline, return your purchase pursuant to GovMint.com’s Return Policy. © 2020 GovMint.com. All rights reserved.

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hft_coastalangler_0220_M-REG171019.indd 1 24_NAT.indd 19

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WINTER SALES EVENT SIX YEARS OF PROTECTION 3 Years Limited Warranty + 3 Years Extended Protection, No extra charge.

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To learn more, visit www.suzukimarine.com. Gimme Six Extended Protection promotion applies to new Suzuki Outboard Motors from 25 to 350 HP in inventory which are sold and delivered to buyer between 01/01/20 and 03/31/20 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. The Gimme Six Promotion is available for pleasure use only, and is not redeemable for cash. Instant Savings applies to qualifying purchases of select Suzuki Outboard Motors made between 01/01/20 and 03/31/20. For list of designated models, see participating Dealer or visit www.suzukimarine.com. Instant Savings must be applied against the agreed-upon selling price of the outboard motor and reflected in the bill of sale. 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 creditworthiness. $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 01/01/20 and 03/31/20. “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. © 2020 Suzuki Motor of America, Inc.

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