Coastal Angler Magazine - May / Mississippi Gulf Coast

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MISSISSIPPI GULF COAST 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

COSTA RICA PROSTAFF

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THE ANGLER MAGAZINE Hudson River Striped Bass

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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

E

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.

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Lousiana Seeks Control Of Red Snapper Fishery

Photo courtesy of Capt. Greg Rapp

T

he Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) had a motion passed at the recent meeting of the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (GMFMC) that could eventually allow Louisiana and possibly other states the ability to manage the recreational red snapper fishery in federal waters in addition to state waters.

C O N T R O L

“This motion is a victory for all anglers fishing from Louisiana ports. If this amendment is approved, federal waters will no longer be off limits for large portions of the season,” said Jack Montoucet, Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. “The motion is in keeping with Gov. John Bel Edwards’ long-held support of state management of red snapper for the recreational angling community. “LA Creel is an integral part of our scientific data collection program and the cornerstone for passage of this motion,” Montoucet said. “Louisiana anglers will be rewarded for their efforts in making LA Creel one of the best data collection programs in the country.” LA Creel is the harvest data program designed and implemented by LDWF to closely track the amount of fish caught by recreational anglers in Louisiana. It has been widely recognized by other states and the National Marine Fisheries Service as the best in the Gulf and enables LDWF to manage fishing seasons in near real time. The Gulf Council passed by an 11-5 vote the motion to begin the amendment to allow Louisiana the new powers at its April 6 meeting in Birmingham, Ala. The Gulf Council will deliberate on the new amendment over the next year to refine the “Louisiana only” plan. Under this amendment, Louisiana would act as pilot for the other Gulf states. The amendment would only allow Louisiana control of the recreational red snapper fishery in federal waters adjacent to the state for three years (2019 through 2021). If the pilot is successful, a similar program could be implemented Gulfwide. This action includes both the private angling and for-hire components of the recreational fishery. The LDWF thanks the private anglers and for-hire fishermen who have taken the time to express their opinions at the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council and Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission meetings. For more information, visit us at www.wlf.la.gov.

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MAY!!!!!!!!

With the whole 4 days of winter we had, we should have an amazing month of fishing. The only thing that could possibly mess up May fishing would be flooding rivers. Assuming the salinity levels are where they should be, look for some amazing speckled trout fishing. The nearshore reefs, barrier islands and Biloxi Marsh should all be loaded with trout. Early morning bites with a moving tide should be fantastic. Peak times(weather permitting) are usually the days leading up to and following the new and full moons. Use live shrimp to locate your fish in 4 feet of water or less. Watch for diving gulls and or jumping shrimp. A good Boat Monkey popping cork, 3 feet of leader(30lb test), a small split shot and a 1-2/0 khale hook will get it done. The bull reds will be mixed in, so be ready for the big boys. They will most likely scatter the schools of trout, but sure are fun on light tackle. The triple tails should be begin rolling in, so watch for any floating buoys or pilings when riding around. Just get a big live shrimp near these tasty hard fighters and hang on! There’s gonna be a lotta of boaters at the launch and on the water. Please be courteous to other boaters. If you think you are fishing to close to another boater, you Dad and daughters Chris Farnet and probably are. When kids from Rogers, Arkansas arriving and departing a spot with other boaters present, be mindful of your wake and motor. Come in as quiet as possible and leave the same way. Don’t forget to get the kiddos out on the water. May is here, get out and 1 MISSISSIPPI GULF COAST

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“Girls Gone Wild”

Everyone has heard of “Spring Break”, “Out of School”, “Beach Parties”, and “Girls Gone Wild”. This applies to the springtime in the United States when our college students have time off from the rigors of attending school and they gather on the beaches along the coastlines of our country to let their hair down and to party. I’m not so old that I can’t remember the time when I joined my pears of 18 or 19 years, and partied until the wee hours of the morning. These are fond memories of my journey into adulthood. However, this is a fishing magazine and not a weekly gossip tabloid. The “Girls Gone Wild” I’m referring to is the girls of the speckled trout family and their annual springtime spawning party that occurs along the same coastlines as the “Spring Breakers”. The month of May usually kicks off the first major spawn for speckled trout in the Gulf Coast Region where I fish. This is when I really get serious about chasing and catching these big girls and their boyfriends. Trout have been available, but kind of hard to catch during the cold water days of winter. The warming water triggers the annual breeding season for this species. A healthy adult female trout is quite a bit larger than her male counterpart, and can spawn every week from May through August. This is a lot of activity, and this activity burns lots of calories that have to be replenished through feeding. This in turn keeps the trout’s strength up so that both he and she can procreate the species. This is Mother Nature’s way. The actual “spawn” occurs in open water, at night. The males make a “drumming” sound with their swim bladders. This attracts the big females. The eggs and sperm are joined in a haphazard way, in the currents of usually an outgoing tide. When the tide turns around it brings the embryo trout into the marsh where they can hide from predators and mature. This doesn’t really sound like it will work, but it does, and has been working for thousands of years. Again, this is Mother Nature’s way. You have probably heard guides say the best time of the month to fish for

by Big “O” Charters trout is around the full or new moon. This is true. These moons usually produce the biggest tides of the month, which are necessary to help facilitate this open water spawn. I personally like to fish the last 3 days before both the full and new moon. I like to work the cuts and points along the beaches and open bays. My favorite way to fish is with a ‘noisy’ cork with an imitation shrimp hanging about 2 feet underneath. If I can get live shrimp, I will use them. It’s hard to beat the real thing. I’ll use this method anytime I’m fishing water 2 to 6 feet deep. If I’m fishing deeper water I’ll go to either a Carolina or Drop Shot rig, especially when fishing rocks or shallow water oil platforms. The Drop Shot works great with live bait and if you make your tag line shorter than the weight line it will help keep your live bait from swimming down into the structure and getting hung up. It will keep your live bait just off the bottom and hopefully right in front of the nose of “Big Momma”. If I can get live baby crockers and use the drop shot, I can almost guarantee a big yellow mouth. I don’t know why, but baby crockers are lethal weapons to use when targeting big female trout. The spring and summer months are the spawning months for speckled trout and this is why they are a little easier to catch. I like to eat trout as much as the next guy, however, if I have enough trout in my box to satisfy my hunger, I will return any large female back to the water. I hope she survives because she is the one who spawns and this annual spawn guarantees the survival of the trout species. Hopefully she can swim away and join her girlfriends next year when Mother Nature starts another episode of “Girls Gone Wild”.

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Florida Emerald Coast Blue Marlin Classic at Sandestin: June 21-25, 2017 Emerald Coast Red Fish Classic, Baytowne, Sandestin, FL: June 2017 Flora~Bama Fishing Rodeo Perdido Key, Florida June 2017 Panama City Tournament, Panama City, FL: October 2017

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Desporte and Sons Seafood is a family run business, the oldest family run seafood market situated on the Gulf Coast in fact. The business has been passed down generation to generation, and the family runs the business as if they’re serving their own family. They have a great attention for detail. They choose only the best fish to serve you and your family whether you’re taking it fresh from the market or cooked from Chef Tim’s kitchen for lunch. It’s always the freshest it can get, and the family is always there to serve you. They work there day in and day out and love what they do. Sean and Artie are the owners of the business, and work alongside other family members. They plan to keep the tradition going forever!.

Call Us Today! 228-432-1018

Tourist Always Welcome

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DESPORTE & SONS SEAFOOD MARKET & DELI 1075 Division St., Biloxi Contact: 228-432-1018

Oldest Seafood Family on the Coast! Over 115 Years in Business! We Pack For Travel & Ship Anywhere In The US.

Monday 7 a.m. to noon Tuesday-Friday 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday closed COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THE ANGLERMAG.COM MAY_17_MSCOAST.indd 5

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scape to beautiful Biloxi and experience a relaxing getaway. Just you, a chilled LandShark Lager, and a beautiful view of the Mississippi Sound and Deer Island. Float down the Coral Reef Lazy River or swim up and hang out at the Waterfall Bar. Dine at Margaritaville Restaurant or LandShark Bar & Grill for an island inspired meal. Indulge in the savory flavors of Doe’s Eat Place, a James Beard awarded steakhouse. Liven up your night with never ending fun in Escape Family Entertainment Center, our 55,000 sq ft adventure arcade! Cast off from our neighboring harbor on a local boating or fishing trip. Feed your adrenaline parasailing or racing jet skis across the Biloxi coast! Whether you’re searching for a chill, thrill, or your lost shaker of salt... Margaritaville Resort Biloxi is where you’ll find it. Call to Book: (228) 271-6377 www.MargaritavilleResortBiloxi.com 7 MISSISSIPPI GULF COAST

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FISHING, HUNTING + PADDLE SPORTS IN PASCAGOULA, MS. THERE’S NOTHING TYPICAL ABOUT US. 8 MISSISSIPPI GULF COAST

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MAY 2017 VENICE, LOUISIANA, OFFSHORE FISHING REPORT We are ready for the summer season down here in Venice. Yellowfin Tuna have been all over the shelf. A few White and Blue Marlin have been landed as well. We have been Day Deep Dropping for swordfish recently, and have seen lots of success. The warmer weather is here so I am getting pumped up for a few Swordfish night time trips. Many people do not realize we have Swordfish in the northern Gulf. We do! They have made an amazing comeback over the past decade with the restrictions on long lining in northern Gulf waters. I primarily target Swordfish at night around the full moon. During full moon cycles they tend to rise higher up in the water column. I suggest hiring a local guide in your area to learn a few tricks before attempting it yourself. Also, the tackle and equipment needed to land these beasts can get pricey. Swordfish have the strength of a tuna combined with the acrobatics of a Marlin. Once you see your first Swordfish break the surface in the moonlight you will be hooked for life. Have a great summer. Good Luck and stay safe. Captain Brett Ryan Venice, La

FISHING, HUNTING + PADDLE SPORTS IN PASCAGOULA, MS. THERE’S NOTHING TYPICAL ABOUT US. 9 MISSISSIPPI GULF COAST

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PASCAGOULA Day 2017/05/01 Mon 2017/05/02 Tue 2017/05/03 Wed 2017/05/04 Thu 2017/05/05 Fri 2017/05/06 Sat 2017/05/07 Sun

Time Hgt 12:15 AM -0.16 L 01:05 AM -0.05 L 01:57 AM 0.12 L 03:03 AM 0.3 L 01:50 AM 0.48 L 02:06 AM 0.62 L 05:18 PM 0.66 L 02:28 AM 0.73 L

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Time 01:55 PM 02:39 PM 03:14 PM 03:33 PM 03:30 PM 10:15 AM 10:42 PM 10:11 AM 05:44 PM 06:04 PM 06:17 PM 06:44 PM

Hgt 1.68 H 1.53 H 1.33 H 1.11 H 0.89 H 0.89 H 0.79 H 0.98 H 0.48 L 0.33 L 0.2 L 0.1 L

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10:03 AM 10:37 AM 11:13 AM 11:57 AM 12:51 PM 01:44 PM Wed 12:08 AM 12:47 AM 01:24 AM 01:38 PM 01:58 AM 04:30 PM 02:27 AM

1.5 H 1.57 H 1.6 H 1.6 H 1.58 H 1.53 H 02:28 PM 0.12 L 0.22 L 0.37 L 0.79 L 0.55 L 0.55 L 0.75 L

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08:34 AM 09:05 AM 09:41 AM 10:19 AM 11:01 AM 11:47 AM 12:40 PM 01:31 PM 12:25 AM

1.33 H 1.56 H 1.75 H 1.87 H 1.91 H 1.87 H 1.75 H 1.58 H 0.06 L

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07:22 PM 08:03 PM 08:47 PM 09:36 PM 10:30 PM 11:23 PM 1.45 H 03:07 PM 03:48 PM 09:58 AM 08:55 PM 09:47 AM 10:49 PM 08:31 AM 05:18 PM 06:06 PM 07:01 PM 07:59 PM 08:57 PM 09:59 PM 11:02 PM 11:52 PM

0.04 L 0.0 L -0.02 L -0.01 L 0.01 L 0.05 L 1.3 H 1.1 H 0.91 H 0.85 H 0.98 H 0.81 H 1.11 H 0.26 L 0.0 L -0.21 L -0.34 L -0.39 L -0.36 L -0.27 L -0.13 L

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Date Day 2017/05/01 2017/05/02 2017/05/03 2017/05/04 2017/05/05 2017/05/06

BILOXI Time Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat

Hgt Time 12:48 AM -0.26 L 01:50 AM -0.14 L 02:43 AM 0.05 L 03:23 AM 0.29 L 03:43 AM 0.54 L 03:32 AM 0.76 L

Hgt Time 02:25 PM 2.12 H 03:14 PM 1.93 H 04:00 PM 1.67 H 04:30 PM 1.39 H 01:21 PM 1.16 H 11:28 AM 1.18 H 06:14 PM 0.83 L 02:05 AM 0.91 L 06:48 PM 0.61 L 07:22 PM 0.41 L 07:56 PM 0.26 L 08:31 PM 0.15 L 09:06 PM 0.06 L 09:45 PM 0.01 L 10:26 PM -0.01 L 11:10 PM -0.01 L 11:55 PM 0.02 L

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2017/05/22

Mon

12:05 AM 0.92 H 10:42 AM 1.32 H 10:29 AM 1.49 H 10:35 AM 1.65 H 10:50 AM 1.79 H 11:10 AM 1.89 H 11:35 AM 1.96 H 12:04 PM 2.0 H 12:35 PM 2.01 H 01:10 PM 1.98 H 01:46 PM 1.92 H 12:39 AM 0.07 L 01:19 AM 0.15 L 01:54 AM 0.28 L 02:19 AM 0.46 L 02:25 AM 0.66 L 05:27 PM 0.82 L 01:34 AM 0.86 L

2017/05/23 2017/05/24 2017/05/25 2017/05/26 2017/05/27 2017/05/28 2017/05/29 2017/05/30 2017/05/31

Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun Mon Tue Wed

09:49 AM 1.59 H 10:02 AM 1.86 H 10:31 AM 2.11 H 11:09 AM 2.29 H 11:52 AM 2.36 H 12:37 PM 2.33 H 01:21 PM 2.18 H 12:21 AM -0.28 L 02:01 PM 1.95 H 01:06 AM -0.04 L 02:29 PM 1.66 H

02:23 PM 1.8 H 02:59 PM 1.64 H 03:25 PM 1.42 H 12:47 PM 1.19 H 10:42 AM 1.18 H 10:45 PM 0.9 H 09:58 AM 1.34 H 06:01 PM 0.47 L 06:48 PM 0.13 L 07:40 PM -0.16 L 08:35 PM -0.39 L 09:32 PM -0.51 L 10:31 PM -0.53 L 11:28 PM -0.44 L

Mississippi Gulf Coast

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3212 Mary Walker Drive Gautier MS 228.497.1591 With these longer days out in the sun take care of yourself. Wear protective clothing, a buff, and sunscreen when out fishing. I use Beyond Coastal sunscreen SPF 30 and put it on before I leave for the day and reapply with a face stick throughout. It makes a huge difference in how I feel at the end of a day and how long I can stay out and fish. 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.

Bait is everywhere and the fishing is getting good. Solid trout and reds are still falling for topwater plugs. If it is calm I’m throwing spook jrs. and top pups or go to a Sebile stick shadd. On windy days I move to the he dogs or skitter walks to make more noise through the waves. Colors depend on the water clarity. I use bright colors in dark or stained water and keep as natural as possible in clear waters. White and bone colored baits have been my all around choice lately and seem to be producing well. Not to miss in May. The MBKFA’s 11th Annual Bagwell Kayak Fishing Tournament Open to all kayak fishermen and women of all ages. Children under 12 are entered in the Junior Angler. Categories include Inshore Slam, Speckled Trout, Red Fish, Flounder, Junior Angler and a Buy-in Flounder Jackpot. Weigh in will begin at 3:00 pm and end at 4:00pm, you must be in line at 4:00pm to have a fish weighed. Weigh in will begin at 3:00 pm and end at 4:00pm, you must be in line at 4:00pm to have a fish weighed. This a Benton Parrott great tournament to be a part of! More information can be Hobie Regional Team / Everything Kayak Pro Staff Fishing Guide found at http://www.mbkfa.com/tournaments.htm COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THE ANGLERMAG.COM

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Big Trout Habitat By CAM Special Correspondent Tobin Strickland Photo courtesy of Baffin Bay Rod and Gun.

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any times we think we know what big trout habitat is, or where it is, and how far from the ramp it should be. But sometimes the fish know secret spots that match what they are looking for, and on the surface it doesn’t look like what we think it should look like. Those areas can become key in catching big trout. Baffin Bay in Texas has a reputation for yielding not only giant Texas spotted seatrout, but also turning them out on a regular basis. Those who know what big trout look for in the way of cover, depth, protection, and seclusion can regularly catch big fish in Baffin, and many times in any bay system. No matter where you fish, knowing where big trout like to be is the most important aspect of catching them. I spoke with Capt. Aubrey Black, of Baffin Bay Rod and Gun. He takes pride in putting people up in a first-class lodge and showing them how to target big trout. This is what he had to say: “What’s important is that these big fish are finding what they need in terms of habitat. It may not look on the surface, or surroundings, to us what we think it should look like, but to the fish this is even better because less people will fish those areas that are overlooked, ugly, or sometimes even just too close to the ramp.” Next time you head out, think about the areas near you before running all the way across the bay. They might hold big trout everyone else motors past. Tobin created TroutSupport.com - Tech Support for coastal anglers that want to catch more and bigger game fish, consistently. Airline_CoastalAnglerAd_3-2016_Layout 1 more 3/18/16 1:07 PM Page 1

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FISHING, HUNTING + PADDLE SPORTS IN PASCAGOULA, MS. THERE’S NOTHING TYPICAL ABOUT US. 4 GULF COAST

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By Nadeen Welch

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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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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

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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.

For more Sheri Daye, go to

CAMSPEARFISHING.COM

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4/17/17 3:04 PM


Selected Colors & Lengths

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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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4/17/17 3:04 PM


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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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4/17/17 3:04 PM


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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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price2017 by another retailer in the U.S. within the past 180 days. MAY NATIONAL 33 Prices advertised by others may vary by location. No other

meaning of “Compare” or "comp at" should be implied. For more information, go toHarborFreight.com or see store associate.

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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.

Add cash rebates on select models and you can get up to $800 cash back. Plus our Repower Financing is available at attractive interest rates (on approved credit.*)

Just say, “Gimme Six!” and you’ll get six years of product protection. That’s right, you’ll get Suzuki’s three-year limited warranty and Suzuki’s 3-Year Extended Protection Plan at no extra charge.

See your participating Suzuki Marine dealer today and find out how you can get the ultimate deal on the Ultimate 4-Stroke Outboard.

Six Years of Protection at no extra charge on all new outboards 25 to 300 HP.

Cash Rebates on select models. See your dealer for details.

REPOWER FINANCE

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

4/17/17 3:04 PM 3/12/17 5:04 PM


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

COMMON CVRS_0517.indd 3

4/17/17 12:07 PM


© 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

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


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