Coastal Angler Magazine - December / North Central Florida

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NORTH CENTRAL FLORIDA/NATURE COAST EDITION

FREE

HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE

ENTER OUR

12 DAYS OF

FISHMAS GIVEAWAY VOLUME 23 • ISSUE 274

COASTALANGLERMAG.COM

F R A N C H I S E

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

A V A I L A B L E

DECEMBER 2017

W O R L D W I D E

11/15/17 10:15 AM


SUZUKI MAKES IT

EASY AS

1-2-3

The leaves might be falling, but the deals are just starting to spring up at your Suzuki Marine dealer. Make your best Fall Boat Show deal on a new Suzuki outboard from 25 to 300 horsepower and take advantage of not just one, but all three special Suzuki offers. See your Suzuki Marine dealer today and get on the water with a powerful, reliable new Suzuki.

REPOWER FINANCE

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

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

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

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 9/01/17 and 12/31/17 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 9/01/17 and 12/31/17. 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. Cash rebate will be applied against the original dealer invoice (Suzuki will credit Dealer parts account). There are no model substitutions, benefit substitutions, rain checks, or extensions. Suzuki reserves the right to change or cancel these promotions at any time without notice or obligation. * Financing offers available through Synchrony Retail Finance. As low as 5.99% APR financing for 60 months on new and unregistered Suzuki Outboard Motors. Subject to credit approval. Not all buyers will qualify. Approval, and any rates and terms provided, are based on credit worthiness. $19.99/month per $1,000 financed for 60 months is based on 5.99% APR. Hypothetical figures used in calculation; your actual monthly payment may differ based on financing terms, credit tier qualification, accessories or other factors such as down payment and fees. Offer effective on new, unregistered Suzuki Outboard Motors purchased from a participating authorized Suzuki dealer between 9/01/17 and 12/31/17. “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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WHATEVER THE SEA THROWS AT YOU, STAND YOUR GROUND BUILT FOR ALASKA, FIT FOR EVERYONE XTRATUF boots have been proven and tested in the unforgiving Alaskan seas. Now, that same toughness is available in the XTRATUF Performance Deck Boot. With a non-marking, slip-resistant Chevron outsole, these 100% waterproof boots are as tough as the elements.

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

HOW WOULD YOU LIKE TO RUN A FISHING MAGAZINE? We have Franchise locations available in these areas:

FLORIDA

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 EMERALD COAST/DESTIN/PENSACOLA : Scott Risher • (850) 428-0996 • srisher@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 : Nadeen Welch • (239) 595-8265 • nwelch@coastalanglermagazine.com NC FLORIDA/NATURE COAST : Cary & Lynn Crutchfield • (352) 372-4237 • crutch@coastalanglermagazine.com NE FLORIDA : Danny Patrick • (904) 742-4696 • danny@coastalanglermagazine.com PANAMA CITY/FORGOTTEN COAST : Randy Cnota • (229) 834-7880 • randyc@coastalanglermagazine.com PALM BEACH COUNTY : Barbara Ryan • (561) 373-8040 • barbara@coastalanglermagazine.com SARASOTA : Phil Prevoir • (239) 257-4684 • pprevoir@coastalanglermagazine.com TAMPA BAY : Chuck Atkins • (239) 464-5153 • chuck@coastalanglermagazine.com TREASURE COAST : Misti & Gary Guertin • (772) 285-6850 • treasurecoast@coastalanglermagazine.com flahama@coastalanglermagazine.com

SOUTHEAST

ATLANTA : Bob & Brenda Rice • (706) 614-8231 • bobr@theanglermagazine.com CHARLESTON : Jane A. Redden • (205) 725-9616 • jane@coastalanglermagazine.com Sam Buckareff • (843) 607-8629 • sam@coastalanglermagazine.com CHARLOTTE/PIEDMONT : Mark & Haley Alberghini • (704) 651-1934 • mark@theanglermagazine.com MYRTLE BEACH : Mike Masiero • (732) 674-3019 • mmasiero@coastalanglermagazine.com SW GEORGIA : Bob & Brenda Rice • (706) 614-8231 • bobr@theanglermagazine.com TIDEWATER/OUTER BANKS : John Tiger • (757) 707-9654 • john.tiger@coastalanglermagazine.com Laura Seitz • (757) 707-9655 • laura@coastalanglermagazine.com UPSTATE SOUTH CAROLINA : Gregg Thompson • (864) 542-3112 • gregg@theanglermagazine.com WESTERN NC : Debra & Joe Woody • (828) 775-9663 • woody@theanglermagazine.com WILMINGTON/MOREHEAD : Kenny Ritter • (910) 550-9094 • kenny@coastalanglermagazine.com

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

GULF COAST

GALVESTON/MATAGORDA/UPPER COAST : Chanci & David Mowry • (713) 446-7395 • chancim@coastalanglermagazine.com • davidm@coastalanglermagazine.com MISSISSIPPI GULF COAST : Adam Nelson • (228) 627-5903 • anelson@coastalanglermagazine.com Toby Nelson • (228) 623-1761 • tnelson@coastalanglermagazine.com NEW ORLEANS : Dr. Dave Dunaway • (225) 400-8156 • nola@coastalanglermagazine.com

Existing locations: • Greenville/ Spartanburg, S.C. • Destin/Pensacola, FL • Daytona, FL • Miami, FL • Southwest Georgia • Morehead City, N.C.

Brown Trout

on the Move

Icelandic

Salmon Adventure

Local

Fishing Reports Catch Photos News & Events PHOTO COURTESY OF ANDY DELLIVENERI VOLUME 23 • ISSUE 272

F R A N C H I S E

THEANGLERMAG.COM O P P O R T U N I T I E S

A V A I L A B L E

9/18/17 10:47 AM

PENSACOLA/DESTIN/EMERALD COAST EDITION

The Drums Of Houma, La.

New locations: • Raleigh, N.C. • Middle Tennessee • Hilton Head, S.C. • Coastal Georgia • Corpus Cristi, TX

Winter

Chrome In Upstate N.Y.

Local

Fishing Reports Catch Photos News & Events PHOTO COURTESY OF FISHING ADVENTURES WITH BRITTNEY VOLUME 22 • ISSUE 264

COASTALANGLERMAG.COM

F R A N C H I S E

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

A V A I L A B L E

JANUARY 2017

W O R L D W I D E

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FREE

UPSTATE SOUTH CAROLINA EDITION

Best of ICAST Guide To Adirondacks Bass

Don’t see your area? Call for more information. We are looking to expand throughout the continental US and beyond.

Local

Fishing Reports Catch Photos News & Events

Alaska's Best Fishing Destinations PHOTO COURTESY OF LOUIS TORRES OF LOUISTORRESPHOTOGRAPHY.COM VOLUME 23 • ISSUE 270

F R A N C H I S E

THEANGLERMAG.COM O P P O R T U N I T I E S

A V A I L A B L E

AUGUST 2017

W O R L D W I D E

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FREE

GREATER MIAMI EDITION

Fall's Topwater Bonanza No-Pressure Grouper

1-888-800-9794

Local

info@coastalanglermagazine.com

COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

Fishing Reports Catch Photos News & Events PHOTO COURTESY OF CRYSTAL LAFOSSE

© 2017-2018. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written consent of the publisher. Disclaimer: Coastal Angler Magazine / The Angler Magazine will not be held liable for injuries incurred while partaking in activities described herein, or for claims made against products or services provided by advertisers.

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FREE

Banging

GREAT LAKES

PUERTO RICO/VIRGIN ISLANDS : Ace Bassue • (407) 285-9453 • ace@coastalanglermagazine.com COSTA RICA : Mike Erickson • (561) 262-2242 • mike@coastalanglermagazine.com

OCTOBER 2017

W O R L D W I D E

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

INTERNATIONAL

FREE

SW GEORGIA/EAST ALABAMA EDITION

VOLUME 23 • ISSUE 271

COASTALANGLERMAG.COM

F R A N C H I S E

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

A V A I L A B L E

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DECEMBER 2017

SEPTEMBER 2017

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GIFT IDEAS FOR ANGLERS

C

heck out these great gift ideas for the outdoor enthusiast on your holiday gift list. These local merchants are available to ensure your holiday gift giving satisfaction. We always try to encourage our readers to shop locally. It’s our community and we all benefit from supporting our local businesses. They’re here for us all year long and our personal convenience depends on their sustainability. Tell them Coastal Angler/The Angler Magazine sent you. By the way, if you see something here that you wish could be under the tree with your name on it, just take out a marker and circle it. Then leave this page open for your friends and family to see. Yes, crude but effective. Happy Holidays from all of us at Coastal Angler/The Angler Magazine.

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Gifts for Anglers

GET A GRIP • Safer • Easier • Better

A perfect gift for your favorite angler!

Made in USA

Don’t settle for imitations!

The Fish Grip is a fish landing device that was developed by avid anglers. The goal was to find a safer way to land a fish — safer for the fish AND the angler.

The Fish Grip will help you land fish!

601.368.8982

www.TheFishGrip.biz

Makes perfect knots in just 30 seconds... every time!

199 Years of proven performance. Don’t take a chance.

SOFGRIP Fillet Knives.

UR-CUT moldable handle fillet Knives

L INE W ELDER

TM

Automatic Fishing Line Tyer • Attach hooks and lures with ease • Attach two lines together with no hassle • Works on braid, monofilament or fluorocarbon line (maximum line diameter 0131)

SOFGRIP Coated Knives.

TAUTEN.COM 978-961-3272

dexteroutdoors.com

Find them at your local or online retailer. COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

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DECEMBER 2017

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Gifts for Anglers No More Fish Baskets or Foil! The GrillGrate surface coupled with the GrateTool™ makes lifting & turning fish a snap. Sits on top of any grill.

GRILL GREAT FISH! Never Stick Fish Again

SAVE 10% GrateFish

Coupon Code:

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INCREDIBLE OPTICS THAT STAY SAFE IN THE CASE When you’re out on the water, optics matter. Popticals NYDEF™ nylon lenses manufactured by Carl Zeiss Vision offer clear, crisp vision can make the difference between spotting your next catch or coming home empty handed. Never worry about scratched lenses or sunglasses falling off the top of your hat thanks to our patented FL2 Micro-Rail System® that allows Popticals to be safely stored in a small case when you’re not wearing them.

©2017 Popticals® • All Rights Reserved • Patent No. 8376544, 8915586, 9310623, additional patents pending.

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DECEMBER 2017

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COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

11/15/17 1:33 PM


Gifts for Anglers

THE XTREME 20 BOAT, MOTOR, TRAILER

38,950

FR $

TORTUGA SIDE CONSOLE BOAT, MOTOR, TRAILER

19,950

FR $

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DECEMBER 2017

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Gifts for Anglers

EXPERIENCE THE

FIGHT! Full Variable Speed Control Powerful Brushless Motor Retains Handle Function Digital Line Counter Auto Stop, 12/24VDC Compact & Sleek Design

855-HOOK-ONE

PRODUCT SPOTLIGHT PROSHOT CASE With the new ProShot phone cases, there’s no need to ever worr y about dropping your expensive iPhone in the water again. It’s so waterproof, you could even star t using your iPhone to take under water photos of the fish you catch. That’s the idea. It turns your iPhone into an under water camera. The ProShot Touch provides full touch screen access. Rated to 50 feet, it’s the most waterproof touch screen case ever invented. With designs to fit iPhone 6s, 7s and 8s, it is also compatible with all GoPro mounts and includes an optical grade wide angle lens. Think of the cool release photos and videos you could capture using just your phone. For those who desire to take their iPhones a lit tle deeper, divers should take a look at the new ProShot Dive. It turns your iPhone into a dive camera that’s waterproof to 130 feet. This case was designed for SC U B A divers, and it is ex tremely durable to handle the most rugged conditions. The ProShot Dive does not allow touch screen access, so the ProShot Case A pp was developed for full camera functionalit y. It, also, is compatible with GoPro mounts. If you have an iPhone, you’re already carr ying amazing photographic capabilit y in your pocket. For a small fraction of the cost of traditional under water camera equipment, you can turn your phone into a fully functional waterproof camera that’s as bombproof as phone cases come.

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Fish the Phenix Rods East Coast Legends

Black Diamond East Coast

Available at your local Phenix Rods dealer!

Follow us on social media 10

NATIONAL

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DECEMBER 2017

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11/15/17 1:33 PM


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DECEMBER 2017

FLORIDA

1

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SEA SCHOOL - WHERE THE SAVVY FISHERMEN GO TO GET THEIR CAPTAIN’S LICENSE SINCE 1977

Classes Coming Up In:

Freeport, NY - Jan 4 St Petersburg, FL - Jan 4 Charleston, SC - Jan 5 Destin, FL - Jan 5 Ft Lauderdale, FL - Jan 5 Naples, FL - Jan 5 Jacksonville, FL - Jan 8 Lakehurst, NJ - Jan 12

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ONLINE Courses!

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11/15/17 4:01 PM


Make reel memories.

FIND YOUR FAMILY! FIND YOUR BOAT! MiniTrax

Stuart, located in Martin County, is known as the Sailfish

Capital of the World. Sitting on the most biodiverse

This super-compact (3”x2”) tracker is ideal for marine, jet ski, golf cart and other asset recovery.

estuary in the Northern Hemisphere, Martin County is home to 100 artificial reef systems and over 800 species

• Find your loved ones and assets • Approved by insurance companies • Track trip data includes mileage, average speeds, headings and past fishing spots • Rental GPS trackers available • Dealer & insurance inquiries welcome • Audible & visual alarm system now available

954.465.3743 • www.AtlasTrax.com info@AtlasTraxUSA.net • Carolyn@AtlasTrax.com

of fish. Its climate, waterways, natural environment and opportunity for diverse catches make it a mecca for fishermen and nautical explorers year-round. An array of unique shops, fine restaurants, great golf courses and quiet beaches make a day ashore fun, too. Inshore, offshore, saltwater or fresh, head out for an adventure and reel in the memories.

Plan your trip at discovermartin.com

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FLORIDA

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THE ALTERNATIVE TO BUYING A NEW BOAT

Performance Bulletin Available

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

Lou’s Marine, Inc. Gulf Breeze

St. Augustine Marine Center

Oyster City Suzuki

St. Augustine

Apalachicola

Mastry Engine Center’s 54 years of repower experience now combined with Suzuki outboard motors.

COMING SOON Mastry Engine Center St. Petersburg

Repower packages designed to best fit your needs and not stretch your budget. Financing available.

Bayfront Yacht Works Sarasota

Calusa Certified Marine

All Suzuki repowers come with Suzuki’s “Gimme Six!” 6-year protection.

Cape Coral

Marina One Deerfield Beach

Atlantic Marine Store Hialeah

Boat Services Group Key West

4

FLORIDA

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• THEANGLERMAG.COM Request aCOASTALANGLERMAG.COM quote! • suzukirepower.com • 1-800-545-4574

DECEMBER 2017

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PRODUCT SPOTLIGHT KLUCH HARPOON COLLECTION Check out the latest collection from Kluch Apparel. Introducing the harpoon collection, inspired by of fshore anglers chasing swordfish on hot days and throughout the night. The harpoon shor t sleeve is available in cardinal or indigo spor ting a light weight print on blended fabric.

When you upgrade your outboards at a Mastry Suzuki Repower Center, you have chosen the best 4-stroke technology available. Plus, you receive the exclusive Owner’s Edge advantage, the benefits of which include:

WWW.KLUCH.COM

Suzuki Repower Network Support Exclusive Discounts on Parts and Service Unique Trade Allowance Program Access to Parts Online Special Events Informative Seminars

PRODUCT SPOTLIGHT CONTENDER SAILFISH COLLECTION Check out the latest collection from Contender Boats. The Sailfish collection of shir ts is inspired by Contender’s love of sailfishing and the unparalleled per formance that Contender hulls bring to the table. The sailfish collection includes a per formance long sleeve available in ice blue and a shor t sleeve tee available in indigo. Wear your love of the spor t with pride with Contender’s Sailfish collection.

ORDER

PARTS ONLINE

Now it’s easy to order parts online. Just visit us at suzukirepower.com

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Servicing the North Florida area for over 60 years.

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904-221-2228 E x p er i en ce t h e Vi k i ng D if fe ren ce! Model Year Leftover Call for Pricing!

52’ VIKING CONVERTIBLE - IN STOCK! Upgraded V-12 MANs. Palm Beach Towers tuna tower. Upgrades throughout. Call for complete details!

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550hp Cummins. Additional fuel. Atlantic Marine Electronics package. Call for complete details!

SELECT PRE-OWNED YACHTS Call For Special Pricing on the 60’ Cantius!

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NORTH FLORIDA 20172017COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM 2 2 WEST COAST FLORIDADECEMBER DECEMBER COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

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COASTAL ANGLER North Central Florida/Nature Coast

Cary & Lynn Crutchfield

ALACHUA, MARION, COLUMBIA, GILCHRIST, BRADFORD, DIXIE, LEVY AND CITRUS COUNTIES

DECEMBER 2017 EDITION

Find Your Outdoors Here! North Central FL/ Nature Coast Staff SALES

Cary Crutchfield

EDITING & PRODUCTION Lynn Crutchfield

DISTRIBUTION Rosa Crisman

F

a,la,la,la,la,la,la,la,la and Merry, Merry Christmas. If you don’t celebrate Christmas, we wish you Happy Holidays of your choice, and hope that you all have loving friends and family. I love December and I love everything about Christmas. As I write today, it is warm and sunny on the Suwannee River in Dixie County, and even though the weather is delightful, the weather man says that a dry, cold front is on the way. DRY? We desperately need a WET cold front. Hurricane Irma brought us about 9 inches of rain, but that was two months ago and we have received less than an inch since. November 2017 was pretty much a carbon copy of November 2016, in respect to rain fall. The river is low and clear; great for sight fishing at night? This month’s recipe on page 16, is a simple mayo/sour cream dipping sauce for yummy Stone Crab, a great appetizer for a holiday party. In July 2016, our family grew by one, when our son Stacy, married Danielle. In July of this year, we grew by one again, when our beautiful granddaughter, Secelia, was born to Stacy and Danielle. Our two wonderful grandsons are now teenagers and we are all having soooooo much fun with this little girl. Do you need gift ideas? See page 19 for Kevin McCarthy’s book Christmas in Florida, a great gift for all lovers of Florida. I am going to buy a copy for everyone on my list! Kevin writes FLORIDA WATERWAYS on page 3. See page 5 for Capt. Brian Smith’s book Backlash of Monofilament, fish tales from a charter captain, woven with tips for fishing the Gulf Coast of Florida. Capt. Brian writes our STEINHATCHEE forecast. How about gift certificates for a guided fishing trip? Contact our guides. On the subject of gift certificates, all of our advertisers sell them and everyone appreciates a gift certificate. When you pick up your issue of Coastal Angler Magazine, please thank the business who generously gives us the display space. Without them, we could not give you this free magazine. Also, since this magazine is free, be sure to thank the advertisers. Without them, there would be no revenue to pay for printing, production and distribution. Without our knowledgeable writers, you wouldn’t have those wonderful forecasts and articles to read. Without Cary, me and our designer Kathleen, there would be no magazine and no need for writers, advertisers or distribution locations. Without the effort of our corporate office and our printer, there would be no magazine. Without the freight delivery folks, the magazine would not travel from Kentucky to Florida. Without Cary, me, and Rosa, 11,000 copies would not get to the distribution locations in eight counties. It takes a lot of people, and a lot of time and effort to put this great FREE publication into your hands. I know you will do some fishing during the holidays. Please send me your fishing/boating/outdoor photos, especially of your kids enjoying our great Florida outdoors. Again, I wish you the Merriest Christmas and Happiest Holiday Season ever. Lynn Crutchfield Co-Publisher Coastal Angler Magazine of North Central Florida /Nature Coast

GRAPHIC ARTS & DESIGN Kathleen Stemley

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Dr. Kevin McCarthy Bruce Butler John Freeze Capt. Stacy Horak Noel Kuhn Gary Simpson Capt. Dan Clymer Capt. Tommy Derringer Capt. Jimbo Keith Capt. Pat McGriff Capt. Clay Shidler Capt. Brian Smith

CONTACT INFORMATION

crutch@coastalanglermagazine.com 352-372-4237 www.CoastalAnglerMag.com/NC-Florida

INSIDE THIS ISSUE Tide Charts Local Fishing Forecasts Monthly Recipe

Photo by: Suwannee River Water Management District

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TIDES • North Central Florida Time Height

1F

2Sa 3Su

4M

5Tu

6W

7Th

8F

5:58 AM 12:18 PM 5:59 PM 11:43 PM 6:46 AM 1:11 PM 6:46 PM 12:24 AM 7:33 AM 2:02 PM 7:31 PM 1:05 AM 8:20 AM 2:52 PM 8:16 PM 1:49 AM 9:07 AM 3:41 PM 9:02 PM 2:36 AM 9:55 AM 4:29 PM 9:50 PM 3:25 AM 10:43 AM 5:17 PM 10:43 PM 4:20 AM 11:33 AM 6:07 PM 11:42 PM

-0.4 3.3 1.0 3.9 -0.8 3.4 1.1 4.1 -1.0 3.4 1.2 4.2 -1.1 3.4 1.2 4.2 -1.1 3.3 1.3 4.1 -0.9 3.1 1.3 3.9 -0.6 3. 1.3 3.6 -0.2 3.0 1.2

HERNANDO BEACH

DECEMBER 2017

9Sa 10Su

11M

12Tu

13W

14Th

15F

16Sa

Time Height

5:24 AM 12:25 PM 6:59 PM 12:51 AM 6:40 AM 1:22 PM 7:52 PM 2:09 AM 8:07 AM 2:23 PM 8:45 PM 3:27 AM 9:35 AM 3:26 PM 9:34 PM 4:33 AM 10:49 AM 4:23 PM 10:19 PM 5:27 AM 11:48 AM 5:13 PM 11:00 PM 6:11 AM 12:36 PM 5:57 PM 11:38 PM 6:50 AM 1:18 PM 6:37 PM

3.3 0.2 2.9 1.1 2.9 0.5 3.0 1.0 2.7 0.8 3.1 0.7 2.6 1.0 3.3 0.3 2.7 1.1 3.4 0.0 2.8 1.2 3.5 -0.3 2.9 1.2 3.6 -0.5 3.0 1.2

KINGS BAY

High Tide -20 min Low Tide 58 min

High Tide 2 hrs, 20 min Low Tide 3 hrs, 7 min

CRYSTAL RIVER

WITHLACOOCHEE ENT

High Tide 36 min Low Tide 1 hr, 30 min

High Tide 7 min Low Tide 55 min

CEDAR KEY

Time Height

17Su 12:14 AM 7:26 AM 1:55 PM 7:14 PM 18M 12:49 AM 8:00 AM 2:31 PM 7:51 PM 19Tu 1:23 AM 8:33 AM 3:05 PM 8:27 PM 20W 1:58 AM 9:05 AM 3:38 PM 9:04 PM 21Th 2:33 AM 9:37 AM 4:11 PM 9:43 PM 22F 3:11 AM 10:11 AM 4:45 PM 10:25 PM 23Sa 3:53 AM 10:47 AM 5:22 PM 11:11 PM 24Su 4:41 AM 11:28 AM 6:03 PM

Time Height

25M 12:06 AM 5:40 AM 12:15 PM 6:49 PM 26Tu 1:10 AM 6:56 AM 1:10 PM 7:41 PM 27W 2:22 AM 8:24 AM 2:16 PM 8:36 PM 28Th 3:35 AM 9:50 AM 3:26 PM 9:31 PM 29F 4:42 AM 11:07 AM 4:32 PM 10:23 PM 30Sa 5:40 AM 12:12 PM 5:32 PM 11:14 PM 31Su 6:33 AM 1:08 PM 6:26 PM

1.0 2.9 0.3 3.1 0.9 2.7 0.6 3.2 0.6 2.6 0.9 3.3 0.3 2.6 1.1 3.4 -0.2 2.8 1.2 3.6 -0.6 3.0 1.2 3.8 -1.0 3.1 1.2

HOMOSASSA RIVER ENT

HORSESHOE BEACH

SUWANNEE ENT

STEINHATCHEE RIVER ENT

High Tide 4 hr, 30 min Low Tide 5 hr, 41 min High Tide 6 min Low Tide 18 min

2 NORTH CENTRAL FLORIDA/NATURE COAST

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3.7 -0.6 3.1 1.2 3.7 -0.6 3.1 1.2 3.7 -0.6 3.1 1.2 3.7 -0.5 3.0 1.2 3.6 -0.4 3.0 1.2 3.5 -0.3 3.0 1.1 3.4 -0.2 3.1 1.1 3.2 0.0 3.1

FLORIDA SUWANNEE RIVER WATERFRONT

High Tide 12 min Low Tide 20 min

High Tide 2 min Low Tide 0 min

DECEMBER 2017

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11/14/17 5:04 PM


FLORIDA WATERWAYS

The Maple Leaf Shipwreck in the St. Johns River

O

ur Florida waterways offer a rich store of natural resources, like many species of fish, as well as man-made objects that can tell us much about the past. For example, a shipwreck in the St. Johns River near Jacksonville, provides a treasure trove of information about the American Civil War. First launched in Ontario, Canada, in 1851, the 181-foot-long sidewheel paddle steamer began life carrying people and cargo By Kevin McCarthy from a railway facility. In the early 1860s, the Union Army chartered the vessel to transport soldiers in the United States during the Civil War. On April 1, 1864, as the ship was heading north from Palatka, Florida, carrying three Confederate prisoners and a small group of Union sympathizers fleeing the area, it struck a mine in the river, a mine resembling the one pictured here that Confederate troops had placed in the St. Johns. In the ensuing explosion, four Union soldiers lost their lives in what turned out to be the first mine casualty of the war. The mines which the Confederate troops set in the river near Mandarin Point about twelve miles south of Jacksonville held seventy pounds of explosive powder. The ship sank within seven minutes, in twenty-four feet of water and was soon embedded in the thick mud of the river bottom. It would rest there until the early 1980s, when Keith Holland, a Jacksonville dentist and descendant of an Alabama Confederate soldier, began researching records and was finally able to pinpoint just where the Maple Leaf had met her demise. He then began spending as much as $40,000 of his own money, as well as state and local grants, to dive on the site in very murky water. He and fellow divers retrieved over one thousand pounds of the 400-ton cargo carried by the ship.

Today the Maple Leaf is a U.S. National Historic Landmark shipwreck in southeastern Duval County. What is important about this particular shipwreck, which the deep mud has preserved for over 150 years, is the kind of artifacts divers have found on it: utensils like shaving kits, belt buckles, and personal items belonging to the Union soldiers being transported on the ship. Such so-called “ordinary” everyday items can reveal what life was like for the soldiers, something that historians and archaeologists seldom find. A plaque on the Riverwalk in Jacksonville, describes the shipwreck and its importance. Although the public is not allowed to dive on the shipwreck, those interested in its history can view many of the artifacts found on the Maple Leaf in the Jacksonville Museum of Science and Industry. Kevin McCarthy, the author of Thirty Florida Shipwrecks 1992 - (available at amazon.com), can be reached at ceyhankevin@gmail.com.

The location of the shipwreck

The ship just before it hit

the mine

k t the shipwrec A book abouDECEMBER COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM 2017

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Florida shipwreck book

A Civil War torpedo

A plaque about the shipwreck NORTH CENTRAL FLORIDA/NATURE COAST 3

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D

ecember can have many different faces, depending on the weather that shows up. but it is always a fun time to be on the water. A warm December can keep the trout out on the gulf side grass flats and the redfish on the outer islands, while a cold winter can have the spring fed rivers packed with trout and reds. The determining factor of course, will be the water temperature, and 65 degrees seems to be the line that will send the fish towards warmer waters. That being said, the best areas historically have been the oyster bars and sand bars near the mouth of the Crystal River and near the warm water discharge from the Crystal River power plant. Try looking for redfish scattered around the edges of the bars with gold spoons and soft plastic jigs and the trout won’t be far away, typically hanging in the holes between the oyster bars, with live shrimp being one of the best options to tempt lethargic cold water fish. On the offshore front, expect the gag grouper to continue to bite well

as the season begins to come to a close, but as the water cools down, the sheepshead will start to show up on many of those same rocks that hold gags in 25 to 50 feet of water. Fresh shrimp and fiddler crabs will tempt the most wary sheepshead and these fish make great table fare as well. Every year, as fishermen in this state, we are left to wonder when “winter” is going to show up, but some attention to detail can keep you on the fish into the holidays.

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December 9 12 noon Complete information, including parade routes CitrusCountyChamber.com 352-795-3149

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DECEMBER 2017

P

eople ask me all the time how I came to be a captain. Here is my story. I have been around boats and been on the water for the last 15 years. I was always sun bathing on the bow of the boat or trying keep the children entertained. I never really had an interest in fishing or being a guide because it seemed to be a man's sport. A few years ago, my then 11-year old daughter said to me that she wished we had a boat, but only men drive boats. That comment lit a fire in my soul! Two weeks later I bought a 16-foot aluminum boat. I went down to the boat ramp by myself and learned how to back the trailer. There was no one around and I spent 3 hours going back and forth back and forth. I jack-knifed it a couple times; one time the boat was actually next to my vehicle while still attached, but I figured it out. I stayed up all night learning the rules of the water. I looked online to find out exactly what I needed for safety on my boat, and I went to my local big box store and got everything I needed from life jackets to a fire extinguisher. The next day I took my daughter out on the boat for the first time. We went to the local bait store and asked them what we should use to catch bass. I bought two rod and reel combos, and some soft baits the store owner recommended. He even showed me how to rig it. So off we went. I was scared to death but I just went slow and easy. I found a grassy area right in the middle of the lake, and I thought maybe there would be fish there. We casted a few times and each cast was a nightmare of a backlash; our reels looked like rat’s nests. It took about two hours, but we finally got the hang of casting. We stayed out there all day and got no bites. We decided to head in and I found another spot that looked good. It was the middle of the summer and this was a nice little shady spot. I was right. I casted, and felt this amazing fight at the end of that line like nothing I had ever felt before. I reeled like my life

depended on it, praying I would land that fish. I reeled it all the way in and my daughter grabbed the net and picked up that big 9.11-pound bass. If I would have had the money, I would have had it mounted! We were both screaming our heads off and making such a scene that if there had been any more fish there, they there weren't after that. We were hooked. That was just the beginning. We went out of Crystal River to the Gulf of Mexico. Again, we stopped at the local bait store and started asking questions. It is awesome to me how helpful everybody has been in this endeavor. They told me to buy shrimp and soft plastics. I looked on YouTube and found Jeff Maggio, also known as Lunkerdog. He has videos on rigging, tying knots, what to look for to find the fish, etc. I watched every one of his videos! I caught my first redfish and the fever hit again. Since that day, my daughter and I have caught more bass, snook, redfish and trout than I can even count! The guides in this area are phenomenal. If they see you are grinding day in and day out, they will have your back out there. They want to see women succeed. My goal is to empower women, to see as many women running boats as there are men. Come on ladies. You can do it. I’m living proof! Charter Fishing with Captain Stacy 352-553-3604 Freeinajeep@yahoo.com Facebook: CaptainStacy Horak Instagram: CaptainStacy

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11/14/17 5:04 PM


SURF & PIER

The photos are of my 43 and Chips 44 incher.

A

fter a crazy hurricane/noreaster fall, things have finally settled down and the fishing is on fire! The pompano run was late getting here and only the water temperature will drive them further south. They will stick around until the water drops below 65 degrees. So go get them now! They may not be back until March, or even as late as April! The go-to baits are fresh clams, live sand fleas, and Fishbites. My friend Scott frequently limits out on pompano and all he ever uses is Fishbites! Our two favorite scents are clam and sand flea. This is also big redfish time of the year. They are massed up around all of the inlets for their annual spawning run. My favorite bait is one half of a blue crab. That is unless there are still some mullet in the surf. You cannot go wrong with fresh mullet that matches the hatch. Today I caught a 43 inch redfish at Vilano. Yesterday my friend Chip had a 44 inch one at South Ponte Vedra Beach. Let’s go get them before the water gets too cold and these big fish move offshore to deep water.

The great tasting whiting are very abundant in the surf right now. You will never go wrong with fresh dead shrimp. Small pieces of bait and small hooks are essential for your success. I drop down in size to a #2, not a 2/0, to increase my whiting catch. Some very successful fishermen go as small as a #4! Cut your shrimp into 1/2 inch to one inch size pieces. By the way, the front half of a fresh whiting is very good redfish bait! Tight Lines!

To set up your own surf fishing adventure or long distance casting lesson please visit www.thesurfangler.com or call Noel at 904-945-0660

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SUWANNEE RIVER/CEDAR KEY

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DECEMBER 2017

ey folks, I surely hope you have been enjoying the outdoors, with the cooler temps we are having, the fishing is on fire. The trout are just about everywhere, from the inshore flats to the creeks, so if you can to fish in the creeks, I would start at the mouths of the creeks and work in. The trout that are on the flats are starting to key-in on the flats that still have grass. Even though it’s not been that cold, the grass is still getting thin. The B52 Super Sounder cork matched with a Saltwater Assassin jig beneath it, should produce fish whether you are in the creeks or on the flats. The redfish bite has slowed down a little around the islands, but it has really picked up in the creeks! They can be targeted a number of ways in the creeks, from artificial, to live shrimp, or cut mullet. When the tide is low, they will congregate in the deeper bends,

and as it comes in, they will scatter out to feed. Well I hope y’all have a great Christmas and remember the reason for the season. So get outside and enjoy what God made for us. Capt.Jimbo Keith FishCedarKey.com Saltwater Assassin Fishing Charters 352-535-5083

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11/14/17 5:04 PM


CEDAR KEY PADDLING

H

ello everyone! I hope you are enjoying this cooler weather. I also hope that from the time I am writing this, until the time you are reading this masterpiece, we have had a freeze that knocked these biting bugs way back. Okay enough about that, let’s talk about fishing. As always, at this time of year with the cooler water temps, we have some very nice schools of sea trout. They seem to be just about everywhere, and like to eat a large variety of different color plastics under your favorite color Cajun Thunder. The best bait is a live large minnow, hooked through both lips with around a 3/0 hook. They can't stand it! The redfish are a little tougher to find, but when you find the deep pockets and holes in the back waters and creeks, you should have some fun. A chunk of fresh mullet or a live shrimp seem to work the best. Do not forget, we also have some of

the best sheephead fishing around, and those babies are delicious, but there is an absolute art to hooking up with them. Please swing in the shop and I will tell all my secrets. A couple more things before I go. It is Christmas, so if you are struggling with what color Suzuki 150 4 stroke to get me, I like white, but will take a black one also and please take a kid fishing! Capt. Daniel Cedar Key Paddling 352-665-1276 Dan_Gator@yahoo.com

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DECEMBER 2017

appy Holidays Nature Coast Anglers, December is always a great month to be on the water. This month is the last to grab a gag grouper and the season’s last day is December 31st. With gulf water temperatures typically hovering in the mid to upper 60’s, this “IS” grouper time. From trolling, casting plugs to bottom fishing; if you haven’t hit your favorite grouper spots, you’d better hurry. With the cooler water temperatures, our inshore trout population changes gears from being spread over the flats, and concentrate over hard, rocky bottom. This can either be a submerged oyster bar, rock flat or an isolated rock boulder. The good news is, the trout are concentrated and once one fish is located, there are generally more very close to the area. Slow suspending plugs like MirrOlure mirrodines and especially DOA glow jerk baits, are my go- to lures and I encourage you

all to try them as well. On the days when the NE wind is howling and it’s just too rough to leave the comfort of the river; well, stay in the river. There can be plenty of action along the rocky points, holes and springs. Live shrimp on a jig head is a simple technique to keep the rod bent and red fish, mangrove snapper, trout and black drum will be the winter residence in the rivers for the next couple of months. I always like to mention too for the fly fisherman or upcoming fly fisherman; the ladyfish are in the headwaters of the river by the thousands. They can be a blast on a 5wt rod and will readily take a white clouser minnow aggressively. I like to pinch the barb down on the fly which makes for an easy release, and it keeps you and the boat clean. The red fish can be a little tricky to get to during these winter months with the low tides. For those who have a shallow draft boat, the sight fishing can be really fun in the backcountry creeks and bays. Generally, a well presented dark colored soft plastic jerk bait will encourage a red fish strike. The annual winter-time sheepshead migration usually first starts just around the holidays, and myself and several of the other captains really look forward to their arrival. Sheepshead are one of the few fish that really prefer the cold water temperatures. If we’ve had several cold fronts, you can bet they will start arriving on the various hard bottom structures. I’ll be talking more about them in the upcoming months and I wish you all a great Holiday Season... Capt. Dan Clymer | 352.418.2160 www.crystalriver-fishing.com

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WELCOME TO THE C

Frederick Snell, Broker Associate

NATURE COAST

itrus County is known for waterfront living at its best. We have it all: rivers, canals, and bays with access to the Gulf of Mexico, even lakes and estuaries where a variety of exotic fish, birds and wildlife cohabitate. Work or play, Citrus boasts numerous amenities, unique to Florida’s Nature Coast, that make it a wonderful place to visit or call home. Chassahowitzka, Homosassa, Crystal River, and Inverness, all have easy access to pristine waterways, with city and county boat launches. The barge canal, located on the

Northwest end of the county, offers excellent fishing, boating, and other water activities to explore. For the avid fisherman, Citrus County’s many bodies of water, host fishing tournaments throughout the year. For biking, hiking, and even horseback riding enthusiasts, Rails to Trails, spans a stretch of paved trail-ways, from the northern most end of the county, continuing on down to the heart of Tampa Bay. Located between Orlando and Tampa, many choose Citrus County as their forever destination because of its rare blend of

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STEINHATCHEE

KEATON BEACH

Matt Williams of Dallus, Ga.

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rout and redfish have been plentiful, and my clients are having a blast catching limits of each on every trip. This report comes early this month, as today is November 10th, and so far, the trout have been right on schedule, moving in towards the hill after the recent dip in water temps down to 58 degrees. The Gulf was 78 degrees yesterday, so they have dealt with the yo-yoing of water temps in a week's time, and yet the larger trout are starting to stage-up in front of the rocky areas adjacent to creeks and troughs, as they normally do this time of year, seeking the warmth provided by the shallows. We have caught most of our fish on live bait, but have had several nice days with plugs and plastic. Look for plugs to take more fish than bait, once the water gets down in the mid to low 60's, and holds there. Lipped jerkbaits such as Bite-A-Bait fighters, Cordell Redfins and Bomber Long A's, will all take trophy trout in those conditions in December. I like the last of incoming, and the first hour-and-a-half of the fal, when plugging in early winter.

John Varner of Mexico Beach, Fl.

A

Danny Crider of Valdosta, Ga. with a fine trout. I expect to throw MirrOdines, Catch 2000's, Softdines, Paul Brown Devils from L&S, later in the month, as the Gulf cools towards 60 degrees. We will also be throwing Assassin's New "Salty Snacks" in the colder water of December. Try the five new colors in the Salty Snack: Golden Bream, Molting, Plum /Chartreuse tail, Snow Storm and Watermelon/ Red Glitter. I'm planning on catching them on the Golden Bream. Reds should eat many of the same baits as trout; but don't forsake your Thunder-Spins, Intruder Spoons and Sleighs in December. Gold and Copper are my go-to blade colors. I jumped a tarpon (150+lbs) on November 9th, so who knows what will show up in December if the water temps stay up? Great Christmas Gift Idea ? "One More Cast" Gift Certificates Call or text: 850.838.7541 or Email me at onemorecast@gtcom.net visit www.onemorecast.net for prices & information

be happy to take cut bait, squid or simply a chunk of GULP. It is likely the water will be gin clear so you can peer overboard and see the reef and fish on it. Light tackle adds much to the fun. With the water temperatures dropping, trout and redfish will be putting on the feedbag preparing for the paucity of true winter. Flats fishing should pick up dramatically especially if the tide is incoming during the warm of the day. If the temperature takes a drop, slow down the presentation. This is good time for a strip of mullet worked low and slow. The pinfish aren't as abundant so the bait won't get picked to the skin. Blue-bird winter days offer some of the years finest fishing and with many folks in the woods there is less pressure even on the weekends. Brian Smith | BIG BEND CHARTERS www.BigBendCharters.com CaptBrian@bellsouth.net 877.852.3474 | 352.210.3050

Pat McGriff dba One More Cast guide service for 28 years! www.onemorecast.net 850.838.7541

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t the time of this writing, winter is creeping in with the second noticeable cold front passing over. However, warmer weather keeps popping through. If the weather remains on the warm side, the Spanish mackerel southern migration may hold into December. Right now on Little Bank the game is to try and cast and not catch a mackerel. The standard flashy jigs and spoons are making reel drags sing to happy anglers. Remember Spanish mackerel don't free e well, so there is no need to keep more than you can eat fresh. Gag grouper season will close the end of this month. The good news is gags have moved in shallower water and trolling large Mirror lures, Magnum Rapalas, Mann's Stretch series and such is an effective means to catch some gags and find some new holes. The local favorites Florida snapper and black sea bass will

DECEMBER 2017

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NORTH CENTRAL FL

STONE CRAB

Thank you to The Crab Plant for the beautiful stone crab. Visit their Fresh Seafood Market or enjoy Cooked Seafood to go. You are welcome to sit at their table and view beautiful Kings Bay while you enjoy your delicious, freshly prepared meal, watching manatees, dolphins, pelicans and boats. Or, you can carry it home; your choice. Open Tues-Thurs 10:00-5:30, Fri-Sat 10:00-8:00. 201 NW 5th St. Crystal River 352-795-4700.

It is STONE CRAB season in the Nature Coast and they are soooooo good! Our favorite way to eat them, is steam them if they are raw, or if they are already cooked when you buy them, just warm up for a few minutes in your microwave. My favorite way to eat them is just dipped in hot garlic butter. Cary likes to add a little lemon juice to his garlic butter. I tried a mustard sauce that I found on line, but it was way too mustardy, and into the garbage it went. I decided to try to create my own. First I gently cooked a couple cloves of finely minced garlic, and finely minced white part of a couple of scallions in 2 tablespoons of butter. I mixed equal parts mayo with sour cream, about 2 tablespoons each. Add ¼ to ½ teaspoon of Old Bay Seasoning, to taste. Mix in the cooked garlic and scallions with the butter. Add lemon juice to taste. Garnish with minced green part of scallions. A great party appetizer. Lynn Crutchfield, Co-Publisher Coastal Angler Magazine of North Central Florida

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DECEMBER 2017

This Orange Lake Slab, taken on Veteran's Day, filled up Elliott McDavid's live well.

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he holiday season always brings some nice things to the North Central Florida freshwater anglers, but this year, it’s looking like one of them might be missing, and that’s actually a good indicator of good fishing. Every year when anglers come in the store bragging about their December catches, they make mention too, of how few fellow fishers they saw on the water. Indeed, hunting season and football season make for uncrowded fishing hotspots and boat ramps--most years. Last winter, things were pretty average on our lakes. We had decent fishing and enough water to launch, but the fishing really wasn’t good enough to lure many folks away from the other big December pastimes. This time around, on the heels of an historically wet late summer and a hurricane, North Florida lakes are bursting at the seams with water-and too, with speckled perch. It took only a couple of days following the

passing of Hurricane Irma for speck fans to let us know that their favorite fish were feeding like crazy. Out in the mid-lake depths of Newnan’s, Lochloosa, and Orange Lakes, folks drifting or slow-trolling crappie jigs or minnows found the specks apparently celebrating the arrival of all the new water. Working areas that, a week earlier, had been 7 or 8 feet deep, the fish seemed thicker than ever, even though the water was now 10 to 12 feet deep. It has remained so up ‘til now. The boat ramps on all three lakes are pretty busy these days, even during midweek. As the specking heats up further in the chilling water, it seems unlikely that folks will abandon them anytime soon, even with hunting, football, and Christmas tugging them in different directions. Gary Simpson | Gary’s Tackle Box 352-372-1791 | Garystacklebox.com garystacklebox@gmail.com

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TALES FROM THE TUPPERWARE NAVY

CENTRAL FLORIDA INLAND

H

A

lright forest fishers, that cool weather we've all been waiting for is finally here. This time of year is when our area really shines. The backdrop view of all the changing colors is worth a fishing trip alone. Speckled perch are the target species for most of us this winter. The great thing about "speck" fishing is, you still catch all the other species as a bi-catch. Tiny jigs and/or live minnows will be the only baits you need. To locate productive areas, boaters troll multiple rods along underwater "ledges". Ten feet is a good starting depth on lakes. A fish finder helps mark your depth, find schools that aren't actively feeding, and tell you whether they are closer to the bottom, or suspended up higher. Once you've found them, you can slow down and vertical jig. Tip: Lightly bumping your rod helps trigger strikes. The Ocklawaha River is known for it's winter fishing, but Lake Bryant also produced good stringers of specks and sunshine bass last year. I fished Bryant in the beginning of November, and was surprised when I ended up catching channel cats on pink/chartreuse jigs. Make sure to bring a landing net, because big fish will bend small hooks out easily once boat-side. Shore-side fishers usually focus on the dams at Rodman and Moss Bluff during winter. Both are great for families and both hold big fish in a small area. Use live worms on the bottom for cats and panfish, and

minnows under a bobber for specks and bass. Note: The new fence at Moss Bluff 's spillway is a couple feet higher than the last one. On those nasty cold days, just remember that the big ones bite when the little ones don't. So hang in there when the fishing's tough. A day can go from "slow to pro" when you least expect it. John Freeze 352-216-5798 Swampsurf@embarqmail.com

18 NORTH CENTRAL FLORIDA/NATURE COAST

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DECEMBER 2017

KAYAKING DESTINATIONS: OZELLO

i once again Yak fans, and welcome to December. Wow, another year bites the dust! Time for Christmas cheer and those great winter tides, and presents! Personally, I’ve received so much coal, I bought a Ben Franklin stove. If my wife reads this, I’d like a new kayak, hint hint! Alright, enough of this. Let’s talk about Ozello, located just north of Homosassa in Citrus County. You take Hwy 19 to Ozello Trail (turn at the Circle-K) and head west almost 9 miles. Ozello has been featured in just about every fishing show out there, and rightfully so. Ozello is rated as one of the top fishing spots in the state and it’s right in our backyard! When you go, there are several spots to put in. The first is off Ozello Trail on John Brown Rd. It's a primitive ramp on the left side. This spot will take you on the inside, and provide some great spots for reds back in the creeks. But a couple of words of warning about this ramp; there have been several reports of vandalism in the past. Also, it is recommended that you take a GPS, as this area can be a bit confusing. If you don’t have a GPS, then watch your compass and land marks. Then, continuing on down John Brown Rd. to the end, you come to a pier on the St. Martins river. This is pretty much a kayak spot with no real ramp. I've found the best bite on the outside and back in the coves. The next spot is at the end of Ozello Trail and is my favorite spot to put in. This is located by an old ‘den of inequity’ called Pirate’s Cove. While it is now closed, I would have liked to have seen it back in the day. OK, from the parking area, which by the way has always been safe, you put in and have miles of outstanding fishing and touring spots. If you head east, you will find several creeks, islands and oyster bars with nice deep cuts. The area varies from flats and rocky bays. Again, a good area to take a GPS or compass as it is confusing. All of the areas around Ozello seem to grow some truly magnificent reds. They tell me it has nothing to do with the proximity of the power plant. Going to the west and north, you have the Gulf and some beautiful grass flats, as well as many islands. Fishing the cuts and channels, as well as the honey holes in the flats, can be very productive, as well as a scenic paddle. So why does one

even go to Ozello? Well, besides the already mentioned reds, Ozello has great trout, cobia and sea bass. It even offers spots to fish for inshore grouper, in the springs, and out in the bays. What more could you want? So, if you’ve just started kayaking or you’re an old hand, looking for a new spot to try, I would highly recommend a trip or two to Ozello. This is one of the spots that I guide in, and have some nice pictures on my web site from there as well. I've also filmed these areas with Glen Pla several times for Bright House Networks, The Average Angler Adventures. I want to take a moment to wish us all a happy and healthy holiday, a prayer for our men and women in harm’s way, and wish each of you good fishing and good luck. Well once again, time to hit the water for this month. Coming up, more great Nature Coast destinations. Bruce Butler | "Stumbling Gypsy" (352) 428-5347 Bruce@IndianBayOutfitters.com Web: www.IndianBayOutfitters.com

ONE BIG RED

Caught this in Ozello in April, mid -morning bite on a bone Zara Spook Jr. Dressed ShureSet #6 rear and comparable Owner on front. Rear hook completely disappeared along with the rear hook mount, landed fish on one-and-half hooks of front hook. I got lucky. stats: 35 inches. Sorry no scale on kayak for weight, but three of my fists in diameter. Tried for the lure at least three times before swallowing it whole. Landed after a 20-minute battle on 10 pound braid with 20 pound Yozuri leader. She swam away after the shot, hopefully no worse for wear. Oh, caught by Bruce Butler of Indian Bay Outfitters out of Hernando County. Contact info Bruce Butler at indianbayoutfitters.com Phone # 352-4285347.

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ST. AUGUSTINE

W

ith water temperatures cooling down this month, look for the inshore fishing to heat up. For me, the next few months are the most exciting time of year to target reds on the flats and in the creeks. I’m hoping for a cold-ish winter this year, as much as I don’t like freezing my butt off, the cold temps will kill the algae in the water, resulting in clearer, sightfishable awesomeness. Hopefully the rain will let up enough for the tannins that have our water stained right now, to clear out a bit as well. It’ll be time to go to your favorite flat, put on your polarized Costa sunglasses and start looking for fish. The creek fishing will be on fire as well. The redfish will push into the shallowest areas of the creeks on the low tides to warm up and feed on small minnows and shrimp. This time of year, you'll get to sleep in and wait for the sun to be out for a while to warm up the water. Clearer water can mean spookier fish, so downsize your baits/lures for a stealthier approach. On extreme low tides the redfish, trout and flounder will get schooled up in area creek holes. A live shrimp or mud minnow tossed into those holes, using a 1/4oz Slayer Inc. jighead, can’t be beat. When up on the flats, look for darker mud and oyster-laden bottom to be holding redfish, trout, and flounder. These areas will warm up faster than others on sunny days; a few degrees can really make a difference. Another benefit of dropping water temps is the redfish will start schooling on the flats. If you know where to look you can find huge schools of tightly packed redfish this time of year. Locate these fish from a distance by looking for “muds” (discolored muddy water caused by moving fish) and/or pushing wakes made by moving fish.

Redfish singles and doubles can also be found sunning themselves in the shallows, especially along side and on top of oyster bars this time of year. These fish will be lazy so make sure to present your bait in a slow and methodical manner. When I spot a stationary fish, I like to cast long of him and at least a few feet to either the left or right of the fish depending on which way he's facing. Then, work the bait slowly back to where the fish is (This technique will help to not spook the fish). Sometimes they will like it moving a little faster and sometimes a little slower. It’s always fun trying to find the right approach. Trout fishing should turn on as it cools down as well. The overabundance of fresh water the hurricane and subsequent rain storms dropped on us this fall, should be moving out, and the trout should be liking that saltier water. My favorite trout lure for this time of year is the Slayer Inc. SST paddle tail in pearl, paired with a Slayer Inc. 1/4oz jighead. The tail has a ton of thump and the trout just can’t resist it. The jig-jig-pause method works best for me. Target creek mouths, ICW banks, and any type of structure with moving water, and you’ll be sure to find some trout hanging out. Sheepshead fishing should really start to get good this month as well. Target area bridges, docks, and pilings with fiddler crabs to catch the tasty porgies. Be sure to check out my Daily Fishing Reports online @www. InshoreAdventures.net. Merry Christmas to all and to all a good bite! Capt. Tommy Derringer www.InshoreAdventures.net 904-377-3734

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If you have a suggestion for a distribution location for COASTAL ANGLER MAGAZINE, please let us know. We can be reached at 352-372-4237 or Crutch@CoastalAnglerMagazine.com. You can view all forty-plus magazines in the US, including the Bahamas, Costa Rica and Puerto Rico/Virgin Islands, at www.CoastalAnglerMagazine.com. 20 NORTH CENTRAL FLORIDA/NATURE COAST

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© 2017 Garmin Ltd. or its subsidiaries

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

12”

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CANGL_NAT3-NAT18.indd 18 Coastal Fishing Ad_US-8.125x10.875-CoatalAngler.indd 1 17-MCJT512 GPSMAP 1224xsv

11/15/17 3/8/17 1:33 9:13 PM AM


COMMON CVRS_1217.indd 3

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