Coastal Angler Magazine | November 2019 | North Central Florida/Nature Coast

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NORTH CENTRAL FLORIDA/NATURE COAST EDITION

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VOLUME 24 • ISSUE 296

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F R A N C H I S E

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

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FISH OF A LIFETIME IN SOUTHWEST ALASKA By Tom Schlichter

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o one has to tell you a halibut has taken your bait. As you set the hook with all your might, the heavy rod takes on a full bend, tip pumping rapidly as the beast powers down and away in a series of short, explosive bursts. Within minutes, beads of sweat begin to roll down your brow, and soon your back and arms begin to tire. The battle continues for another five to 10 minutes—or longer— and the enormity of the fish at the end of your line becomes apparent. This is the fish of a lifetime. This is why you came to Alaska! What saltwater angler hasn’t fantasized about taking such a trip? Yet there’s more to the beautiful, chilly waters in the far Northwest than outlandish flatfish. Ferocious-looking lingcod, giant, bright orange shortrakers, yelloweyes and other rockfish are also on the menu, as are king, coho and chum salmon, whether jigged or trolled in open water or tempted with the long rod in a river so full of fish you could walk across the dorsal fins. From breaching whales and soaring bald eagles to grizzly bears, sea lions, otters and endless miles of wild, unspoiled vistas, nature abounds in the forty-ninth state. Of course, where to start is a major questions you’ll need to tackle when planning your first Alaska fishing adventure. By and large, Southeast Alaska is the first choice if you are seeking major-league halibut. From the town of Ketchikan northwest up the coast to Chichagof Island, there are fishing lodges to accommodate your needs in such towns as Sitka, Juneau, Elfin Cove and Gustavus, plus places from which the most adventurous can set out on their own. One of the most popular spots is Tanaku Lodge. At the northwest corner of the famed Inside Passage, it’s tucked inside Elfin Cove, about 25 miles west of Glacier Bay National Park. From here you can get a terrific sampling of Alaska’s great coastal fishery, while seeing astounding amounts of wildlife and enjoying your stay in comfort. “The fishing is always great around here,” said Dennis Meier, co-owner of Tanaku Lodge with Jim Benton. “That’s a given, but we pride ourselves on making the entire experience the best it can be. Our skippers and mates are tops in the business, our lodge staff is helpful and courteous, and you’ll find the accommodations here to be first class all the way around. We may be off the beaten track, but that doesn’t mean we compromise on quality.” Tanaku is a full-service lodge with all-wood interior, vaulted ceilings, and wood burning stoves to keep you warm. Bedroom suites feature two full-sized beds and either a shared or private bath. Huge, wrap-around windows and outdoor decks offer fabulous views of the harbor. You don’t even have to bring foul-weather gear, as slicks and boots are provided for each angler. Leave your tackle home, too; the lodge offerings are in excellent shape and a perfect match to fishing you’ll encounter.

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As for the fishing, there are so many possibilities it can make your head spin. Halibut is the perfect first choice, since big ones can be found just a short ride away. Prepare to fish heavy and in water depths of 130 to 150 feet, though. Expect rods and reels suited for tuna and cannonball weights up to 2 pounds with a herring, pink salmon strip or side of pink salmon for bait. Even with all that heavy gear, a big halibut can still kick your butt. If you want to make things even more exciting (read: strenuous) try tempting these beasties with 1-pound jigs. It took me only 10 minutes of jigging in the Inside Passage to set the point to a 90-pound brute that beat the heck out of me before coming aboard. Over the next two days, I managed four more on jigs as we rotated between fishing for halibut, salmon and rockfish, depending on the most favorable tides. What a blast! As previously mentioned, salmon fishing is the other big draw here. While stocks of kings and cohos have slipped somewhat over the past few years, the number of king (Chinook), coho (silver) and pink (humpy) salmon is substantial. Anglers can troll for salmon, jig them, or set up a trip to wade a nearby river and catch them on the fly. Wherever you decide to stay on your Alaskan adventure, it’s wise to clearly state your wishes when booking a trip—especially if you hope to sample river salmon fishing or want to try for additional species like lingcod, shortrakers and various other rockfish. Not all are available from every lodge. While there are occasional off days even in this remarkable fishing wilderness—weather can be a serious issue late in the season—the odds are you’ll experience some of the best fishing of your life.

For information on Tanaku Lodge in Elfin Cove, AK, visit www.tanakulodge. com, or phone: 800-482-6258.

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Photo courtesy of Controlled Descent Lures By Nick Carter

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pearfishers seeking a little variety in their bottom time should take a close look at the waters off New England. You won’t find warm tropical waters off the Northeast coast, but you will find a freediving experience unlike any other. Destinations like Montauk, N.Y. and Block Island, R.I. have long been recognized for some of the best striped bass fishing on the planet. The bass blitzes around Long Island Sound are legendary, and huge schools of stripers in these rocky waters offer conventional anglers and spearos the opportunity of a lifetime. Matt Belanger, of Newburyport, Mass., is one of a growing contingent of divers hooked on what New England has to offer. He’s a member of TriState Skindivers, and a big 54.2-pound striped bass he speared off

Block Island in July topped the club’s season-long TriState Leaderboard Spearfishing Tournament. “The striper is sort of our signature inshore species,” Belanger said. “It’s a very skittish fish. A lot of guys say they can hear your heartbeat. You’ve got to be really stealth when you go after a big striper.” Belanger’s description of a typical dive was intriguing. With a 50- to 60-foot bottom littered with Volkswagen-sized boulders, strong currents and visibility averaging 10 feet, it’s a different environment from Caribbean reef dives. The veil of dingy water actually makes hunting stripers easier. On the drop, you fin down through a school of striped bass to the bottom. “You’re in the middle of a giant school of hundreds of fish,” Belanger said. “Then, when you hit the bottom, they always spook… all at once. It’s crazy. It makes this big noise, almost a boom.” The secret to sticking a big bass is bottom time. After about 25 seconds, Belanger said the school begins to reconvene. Then you must spend precious seconds selecting a target from hundreds of circling fish, while minimizing movement and sound that might spook them. The goal is to take the largest fish in the school. You’re allowed only one fish per day with a 28-inch minimum size limit. A 28-inch striped bass weighs 10 to 15 pounds. They get much bigger. The IGFA all-tackle world record weighed 81-pounds, 14-ounces. It was caught from Long Island Sound off Connecticut. The speargun world record weighed 68.4 pounds. Dave Hochman, who guides Block Island Sound, stuck that fish in 2008. Hochman is the guide who put Belanger on the big striper he killed in this year’s tournament. If one fish per day seems scant to travel for, there’s a lot of excellent eating on a big striper. Also, when you get your limit—with speargun or rod and reel—there are other interesting and tasty species like tautog, black sea bass, fluke and others. A word of warning: Area waters can get sharky, with great whites a concern. A good captain will know where shark encounters are least likely. For information, contact Dave Hochman of Spear-it Charters through his website at www.spearfishcharters.com.

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SHRINK WRAPPING


By Justin Witt

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he Rio Pico region of Chubut province, Argentina is known to a select and adventurous few as the best big-trout country in all of Patagonia. Comprised of an immense network of lakes and drainages flowing through the Andes of southwestern Argentina, these waters are spectacular, and they’re as far off the beaten path as it gets. The diversity of the fishery is astounding. The area hosts an almost unbelievable quantity of waters in all shapes and sizes, and the region is known for trout that reach “unusual size” in pristine water with very little fishing pressure. “It was incredible. I was fishing dry flies up a little spring creek for trout as long as my leg,” said Greg Baugus, who visited the remote

area with Hemispheres Unlimited, an agency specializing in fishing trips of a lifetime. But spring creeks are not all Rio Pico has to offer. Rainbows, brookies and browns were introduced over a century ago and can be pursued with a wide variety of tackle and techniques. From large lakes and rivers to high-elevation trickles, anglers have the option to throw dry flies on delicate tippets, chuck 6-inch streamers on a heavy sink-tip line, or nymph any day of the week. It all boils down to personal preferences, and it’s all done within the gorgeous expanses and dramatic backdrop of the Andes. Some spots are numbers games, with consistent action for what in Patagonia amounts to smallish fish—fish that would be considered large almost anywhere else in the world. Most folks come down hunting bruisers, though, the photo fish, the monsters that stand out in truly amazing adventures. Hemispheres Unlimited offers perfect trips for those seeking adventure. Their Rio Pico Trout Bum program pairs anglers with local guides who grew up on these drainages and know them like the backs of their hands. It’s a unique, low-cost option for anglers more interested in fishing than luxury lodging. There’s no mint on the pillow, for sure. Instead, the Hemispheres Unlimited team makes certain preparations are in place so you can make the most of your time pursuing the fish that brought you to Argentina in the first place. Accommodations for the Trout Bum program are best described as authentic, in true, local, Patagonia style. Unless there is a specific need for backcountry camping, groups usually lodge at local hospedajes, either in town or out on one of the waters. Each spot has its own characteristics, advantages and style, and Hemispheres helps each group choose the best option for their desires. The program can be set up in a wide variety of styles, ranging from boat fishing every day of the trip to mixed trips with easier wading, all the way to more extreme hike-in and camp expeditions. For more information on the Rio Pico Trout Bum program and everything else Hemispheres Unlimited offers, go to hemispheresunlimited. com/blog/diving-mizpah.

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Photo courtesy of www.sfctravel.com

By CAM Staff

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nglers seeking stellar offshore fishing, including the best Atlantic blue marlin fishing on the planet should book passage to Cape Verde. This island nation about 350 miles off northwest Africa is a horseshoe cluster of 10 islands and eight islets that are a popular tourist destination for Europeans. The fishery is renowned for the consistency of big blue marlin. Billfish Report ranked it best in the world for 500-plus-pound blues, edging out venerable Kona, Hawaii by the numbers in its annual rankings based on 2018 statistics. Last years numbers were 110 blue marlin heavier than 500 pounds, including a 900-plus-pounder and one grander, which stretched the scales to 1,037 pounds. It’s the kind of place where releasing three marlin heavier than 500 pounds in a day is considered possible… because it happens. With big-game fishing this good, the marlin fishing is obviously the headliner. It’s best from April through July, with March and August usually being good as well. It’s a happy coincidence that this time frame coincides with the best seasons for yellowfin tuna, sailfish, wahoo and dorado. Four islands, Sao Nicolau, Sao Vincente, Santo Antao and Maio, harbor most of the medium-sized recreational fleet. The channel between Sao Vincente and Santo Antao is the epicenter of this international hot-spot for blues. For more information, go to www.capeverdeislands.org.

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ve he R ! e Old Florida Waterfront Charm Re-Discovered N t s e O R R fO eas The Perfect Vacation Getaway for Fishing, Boating and Outdoor Enthusiasts NOWteR s N Wi Accommodations are nestled on 6 lush tropical acres of pristine waterfront directly on the Indian River Lagoon. As you make your way down the one lane road you will truly be stepping back in time. Your hosts Kim and Robert Pruitt have re-captured the very best of Old Florida charm with modern conveniences and services to make your stay truly memorable and unforgettable.

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FLORIDA

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erious saltwater anglers know how important trim tabs are to optimizing any boat’s ride, performance and fuel efficiency. The ability to fine-tune a boat’s ride is even more important with today’s high-performance center console offshore, bay and flats boats. Adjusting a boat’s running attitude with trim tabs can also compensate for how a boat is loaded, ensuring a dry, safe and comfortable ride. While modern boats have become much “smarter” and more technologically advanced in recent years, operating trim tabs was still largely trial-and-error for the boater. That has changed with the recent unveiling of Dometic Marine’s new Smart Trim Tab System, designed to give owners of inboard/outboard and outboard powered boats precision control never before possible. This new system is a “smart” reinvention of the trim tab—offering robust construction, user programmability, quick, accurate response and intuitive operation. “Today’s modern vessels are becoming smarter and more connected,” said Eric Fetchko, President of Dometic Marine Americas. “With this new introduction, we’ve taken trim tab technology and performance to a new level for boat builders and boaters alike. This will be a true game changer for the industry.” Dometic Marine has engineered the Smart Trim Tab System for inboard/outboard vessels, as well as today’s popular high-performance boats powered by single, twin, triple or quad outboards. It has the ability to connect with the Optimus Electric Steering System, joystick control and shift-throttle controls. Dometic Marine’s CAN-based smart actuator can also be used as a

standalone component to integrate with a boat’s control system. For instance, using this connected technology, wake boarders and wake surfers will be able to precisely control the shape/size of their wake by commanding an exact actuator position. This system uses a Smart Dial controller for intuitive operation and a customizable user experience. User programmable settings (Home and Favorite) make it easy to get the boat into optimum running attitude, whether the goal is to smooth the ride, maximize fuel efficiency or fine-tune the perfect wake. The easy-to-use smart dial can also be turned manually to level the boat quickly as conditions change, with built-in LED lights that indicate trim tab position. This system’s smart actuator provides unparalleled positional accuracy and repeatability. Dometic Marine’s sophisticated all-electric design reduces complexity and increases reliability. The robust actuator shaft and housing design provides strong performance in both the push and pull direction. The design also features superior actuator sealing to prevent leaks, even with extended use in the harsh marine environment. Additionally, the installer has the ability to control the speed at which the tabs deploy and retract. When synchronized with Dometic Marine’s Optimus 360 electric steering, joystick control and shift/throttle controls, the Smart Trim Tab System can respond to RPM and gear position inputs for even greater control. The tabs auto retract when the key is turned off, when the vessel is put in reverse, or any time the vessel is put into joystick mode. This exciting new Smart Trim Tab System will be available to OEM installers beginning in December 2019. For more information, visit www. seastarsolutions.com.

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DECEMBER 5th Thru DECEMBER 8th

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THANKSGIVING

IN THE KEYS

By Nick Carter

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he year-round mahi bite is legendary in Atlantic waters off the Florida Keys. This time of the year the sailfish bite is phenomenal as well. Winter is a relative term when you’re talking about Monroe County, Fla. Wintertime lows average in the high 60s at night and highs run in the mid-70s. It’s downright comfortable. Apparently it’s the same with water temperatures. Just past the reef line, which runs the length of the Keys, big pelagic species show up in numbers to overwinter and feed on abundant schools of baitfish. Chief among them are sailfish. Capt. Chris Johnson, with SeaSquared Charters out of Marathon, looks forward to Thanksgiving every year, but not because of turkey. Late November is the beginning of sailfish season. It’s a time of diving frigatebirds and showering ballyhoo, when sight-fishing sailfish is the biggest thrill on the water. Mornings begin early. Low-light is key to finding sails and other pelagics as they push schools of baitfish up to the surface and into the air. Diving birds are the dead giveaway. From a tower, the activity is visible, as birds circle progressively lower and then plummet from the sky to take part in the massacre. “When you show up on the reef and you’re seeing spraying bait and birds, it’s game on,” said Johnson. “It’s usually an early morning thing, but it can go on into the day when there’s good cloud cover.” Depending on where in the Keys you set out from, the reef is just a 3 to 7 mile run from the docks. The sharp outer reef edge, which drops steeply into the 100-foot depths, is the topography that holds fish. Unlike most fisheries, where anglers attempt to intersect roving sailfish, fish actually congregate to feed off the Keys. Plentiful bait schools on the reef in close proximity to deep water create a unique situation where sailfish move into the shallows to corral and crash balls of baitfish. “This is what we’ve got that’s unique from anywhere else. It’s exciting, with lots of visual activity,” said Capt. Johnson. “We get sailfish spraying ballyhoos in 20 feet of water.” When it’s on, it really is sight fishing. Anglers must be able to cast

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live bait with accuracy that puts it on the edge of a spraying school or directly on the nose of a visible sailfish. The action can be hit or miss, but there’s nothing like it when a sailfish picks up the bait, feels the steel and starts tailwalking across the surface. Johnson said a good day sees double-digit release flags flying. When the bait showers die down, the fish remain in the area. Johnson said he’ll move off the reef edge in search of color breaks, weed lines and current breaks where baitfish are easy targets. “You want that blue water from the Gulf Stream up on that powdery water from the reef,” he said. “Sailfish love to hunt and chase bait up into that powdery water.” And where there are sailfish chasing bait, other species gather to feed as well. “If you’re into sailfish, you’re going to catch the other stuff, too,” Johnson said. “We see a lot of kingfish, blackfin tuna, dolphin, cobia, and even the occasional white marlin.” Sight fishing becomes power drifting, as Johnson deploys a spread of live baits and bumps the engine in and out of gear to cover water while presenting lively baits. Pilchards, cigar minnows and sardines are all on the menu. But when fish are keyed on ballyhoo, they won’t eat anything but ballyhoo, and a ballyhoo in open water out off the reef is bound to get hammered. In the right conditions, Johnson deploys kites with bridled goggle eyes. This tactic is particularly useful for skittish sailfish, as most of the tackle is suspended above the water where it’s not as visible to the fish. With the bait dancing near the surface, anglers might notice a fin or bill circling the bait. Then anticipation gives way to adrenaline, as the bait is inhaled and the speed and aerobatics of a fighting sailfish take over. The action is enough to make an angler forget everything but sailfish… until it’s time to unload a cooler full of blackfin and dolphin at the docks. Contact Capt. Chris Johnson and SeaSquared Charters through their website at www.seasquaredcharters.com.

COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM


It’s a boy!

Troll, cast or fly a kite in the warm waters of The Florida Keys, and you could be rewarded with a real bundle of joy. Then again, if a rambunctious bull dolphin isn’t what you were hoping for, you could be blessed with a behemoth blue marlin – truly the mother of all gamefish. fla-keys.com 1.800.fla.keys COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

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Photo by Andrea Whitaker A diver awaits pickup at the surface after a drift dive off of Palm Beach.

By John Lidington

D

rift diving is a major part of the Palm Beach County dive scene, so a lot of divers are introduced to this discipline in our waters. Any open-water diver should have skills to handle diving in currents. But developing and applying some special habits makes such dives smoother, safer and more fun. On the ideal drift dive, divers let the current carry them over long stretches of bottom. The boat drifts overhead tracking the “float ball,” a buoy connected by reel from the surface to an underwater dive guide. The most comfortable dives are those where a diver “goes with the flow” of the current. That means limiting the need to swim against current and facilitating easy pickup back on the surface.

The dive briefing is about more than where to find the goliath groupers or turtles. Listen carefully. Is the dive guide running a continuous drift or planning to tie off for a while? Are there bottom features that alter the current? How strong is the current and how good is the visibility? This information will help refine your dive plan. When the captain shouts “Dive, dive, dive!” you should be ready to jump in quickly. That means having your equipment ready early. One tip in addition to what you know by heart: After testing its power inflator, suck all the air from your BC. You’re then ready for a “negative entry,” where you hop in and immediately begin your descent. As you descend, note the strength and direction of the current with your compass. The stronger the current and the lower the visibility, the more you need to focus on staying near your buddy and the group. A one-knot current carries you about 100 feet per minute. If visibility is 70 feet and you’re poking around in a hole for a minute, your buddy will be gone when you look up. If you’re in a strong current, do your best to maintain neutral buoyancy and dive at a safe distance from the bottom to prevent bumping the reef. At the end of the dive, use your Surface Marker Buoy (SMB). Sure, the well-trained eyes of the pros running the charter boats are great at picking out bobbing divers. But, while it’s a pain to deflate and re-roll “safety sausages,” they can make retrieval of the group faster and smoother. If released when you reach your safety stop, they give the captain a two-minute warning on where divers will be surfacing. There’s a lot more to drift diving than the few tips I can offer here. PADI offers a Drift Diver specialty course that efficiently bundles theory and training into a few hours work coupled with two dives. If you want to jump-start your skills, give Pura Vida Divers a call at 561-840-8750 or visit www.puravidadivers.com.

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COASTAL ANGLER North Central Florida/Nature Coast

Cary & Lynn Crutchfield ALACHUA, MARION, COLUMBIA, GILCHRIST, BRADFORD, DIXIE, LEVY, CITRUS

NOVEMBER 2019 EDITION

Find Your Outdoors Here! North Central Florida Nature Coast Staff SALES

Cary Crutchfield

EDITING & PRODUCTION Lynn Crutchfield

DISTRIBUTION Rosa Crisman

A

s you read the fishing forecasts this month, you will notice one thought running through all of them. As always at this time of the year, we are all so grateful that cooler weather has finally arrived, and the fishing is great in both fresh and salt water. It is so wonderful to need neither heat nor air, and open my French doors! We know that the cold stuff will be here soon, so enjoy these glorious days of fall. The recipe this month is Baked Crab Cakes for Two, on page 15. Crab cakes are like meatloaf. You can add almost whatever you like, and bake or pan fry. Feel free to add a little hot sauce. You can get the steamed blue crabs from the Crab Plant in Crystal River. In mid-October, I spent a long weekend in Chicago and Great Lakes, Illinois. Our first-born grandson, Stephen, graduated from the Navy boot camp and is now a sailor. He will be there in school for a couple of years. It rained, then sunny and very, very cold, and The Windy City lived up to its name. See page 9 for photos of Stephen and his sister Secelia. See this page for photo of grandson Spencer with the gator that he and Cary caught in the Suwannee, and thank you to John Freeze for the beautiful waterscape. Off the subject, but would anyone like to adopt a kitten? If you really enjoy reading something, or found a bit of advice especially useful, please call that writer and let them know that you appreciate the time they take to write for us. You might also hire one of our guides for a special guided fishing experience. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, and get out there and catch something! Lynn Crutchfield Co-Publisher Coastal Angler Magazine of North Central Florida /Nature Coast

GRAPHIC ARTS & DESIGN Kathleen Stemley

WEB DESIGN Kristi Williams

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Bruce Butler Dr. Kevin McCarthy John Freeze Noel Kuhn Capt. Jason Clark Capt. Dan Clymer Capt. Tommy Derringer Capt. Eric Hasty Capt. Stacy Horak Capt. Jimbo Keith Capt. James Kerr Capt. Pat McGriff Capt. Brian Smith Capt. Dan 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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PROTECTED MILLER CREEK COVE

FOR SALE - $589,500

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TIDES • North Central Florida Time Height

1F

2Sa 3Su

4M

5Tu

6W

7Th

8F

4:25 AM 11:41 AM 6:16 PM 11:31 PM 5:05 AM 12:24 PM 7:03 PM 12:15 AM 4:50 AM 12:12 PM 6:57 PM 12:08 AM 5:44 AM 1:08 PM 8:02 PM 1:20 AM 6:56 AM 2:19 PM 9:11 PM 2:48 AM 8:34 AM 3:31 PM 10:07 PM 4:05 AM 10:04 AM 4:31 PM 10:51 PM 5:05 AM 11:11 AM 5:20 PM 11:27 PM

4.1 -0.2 3.2 1.7 3.9 0.1 3.0 1.8 3.7 0.5 2.9 1.9 3.3 0.8 2.8 1.9 3.1 1.0 2.9 1.8 2.9 1.1 3.0 1.4 3.0 1.1 3.2 1.1 3.1 1.1 3.4

HERNANDO BEACH

NOVEMBER 2019

9Sa

Time Height

5:53 AM 12:05 PM 6:02 PM 11:59 PM 10Su 6:34 AM 12:51 PM 6:38 PM 11M 12:28 AM 7:11 AM 1:31 PM 7:13 PM 12Tu 12:55 AM 7:47 AM 2:09 PM 7:46 PM 13W 1:22 AM 8:22 AM 2:48 PM 8:19 PM 14Th 1:51 AM 8:58 AM 3:27 PM 8:53 PM 15F 2:23 AM 9:35 AM 4:09 PM 9:30 PM 16Sa 2:59 AM 10:16 AM 4:53 PM 10:11 PM

0.7 3.3 1.1 3.5 0.3 3.4 1.1 3.7 0.1 3.5 1.2 3.8 -0.2 3.5 1.2 3.9 -0.3 3.4 1.3 4.0 -0.4 3.4 1.4 4.0 -0.5 3.3 1.5 4.0 -0.4 3.2 1.5

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 3:41 AM 11:02 AM 5:42 PM 10:59 PM 18M 4:31 AM 11:54 AM 6:36 PM 11:58 PM 19Tu 5:33 AM 12:55 PM 7:40 PM 20W 1:14 AM 6:52 AM 2:07 PM 8:48 PM 21Th 2:41 AM 8:33 AM 3:20 PM 9:46 PM 22F 4:00 AM 10:07 AM 4:24 PM 10:35 PM 23Sa 5:05 AM 11:23 AM 5:20 PM 11:17 PM 24Su 6:02 AM 12:26 PM 6:09 PM 11:56 PM

Time Height

25M 6:51 AM 1:19 PM 6:53 PM 26Tu 12:33 AM 7:36 AM 2:06 PM 7:33 PM 27W 1:09 AM 8:18 AM 2:50 PM 8:12 PM 28Th 1:45 AM 8:58 AM 3:32 PM 8:49 PM 29F 2:21 AM 9:37 AM 4:13 PM 9:28 PM 30Sa 2:58 AM 10:15 AM 4:52 PM 10:08 PM

-0.6 3.5 1.1 4.0 -0.9 3.5 1.2 4.1 -0.9 3.4 1.2 4.1 -0.9 3.3 1.3 4.0 -0.7 3.1 1.4 3.8 -0.5 3.0 1.4

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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4.0 -0.3 3.0 1.6 3.8 -0.1 2.9 1.6 3.5 0.2 2.9 1.6 3.2 0.4 2.9 1.3 3.1 0.6 3.1 0.9 3.2 0.7 3.4 0.3 3.3 0.8 3.6 -0.2 3.4 0.9 3.8

High Tide 12 min Low Tide 20 min

High Tide 2 min Low Tide 0 min

NOVEMBER 2019

COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

10/17/19 4:08 PM


FLORIDA WATERWAYS

Sailfish

S

tates often have symbols that mean a lot in the actually put its bill into a school of prey without being noticed. Also, a history or legacy of that particular place. So Florida has a state reptile (American alligator), raised dorsal fin can create a fencelike barrier to block their prey from bird (mockingbird), escaping. And they can use their butterfly (Zebra pointed bill to pierce a smaller fish. Longwing), animal Fishermen probably like to hook (Florida Panther), a sailfish for the fight that will ensue Marine Mammal lfish with an Atlantic sai with the creature, but they don’t (Manatee), saltwater Two lucky anglers keep the fish. Fishermen who want to mammal (Porpoise or catch the fish will usually troll for it, using whole Dolphin), even a state mullet or ballyhoo as bait. The National Marine soil (Myakka Fine By Kevin McCarthy Fisheries Service manages the catching of the sailfish Sand). The choice of the Sailfish for our state saltwater fish makes perfect in order to ensure the long-term sustainability of its sense, since the fish is found along our Atlantic coast numbers. U.S. commercial vessels are not allowed to sell, retain, or buy Atlantic billfish, including sailfish. and in the Caribbean. And recreational fishermen must obtain a permit Author Ernest Hemingway was once from NOAA fisheries for fishing in federal waters. photographed with a sailfish he had caught in the At least one school in Florida, Palm Beach Florida Keys, and no doubt did much to make deepsea fishing off our coasts a favorite with anglers from Atlantic University, chose the sailfish as its mascot. The picture here is care of “Ron Hilliard/PBA the 1940s on. Athletics.” One web site thought the choice of a The fish, which is related to the marlin, can sailfish as a mascot was really weak and dive as deep as 650 feet, and can swim as fast as a opined that “Noah Should Have Left the remarkable 22 miles per Ernest Hem ingway in Ke y West sailfish Off the Ark,” but that’s going pretty far. in the 1940s with an hour, making it one of Atlantic sa ilfish he had Anyway, if you want to the fastest fish in the sea. caught try your hand at landing They feed on anchovies, a sailfish, better hire a mackerel, and sardines, as guide who knows the well as some crustaceans, currents of the Atlantic and have been known to and the habits of this feed in groups of several great fish. sailfish to drive smaller fish up to the surface for easier Kevin McCarthy, the pickings. It can reach a author of The Black WACs of World War II (2019 length of ten feet and a - available at amazon. weight of 128 pounds. com), can be reached at To see a sailfish, with ceyhankevin@gmail. A sailfish under the surface its metallic-blue color, The sailfish mascot for Palm Beach com. sail-like dorsal fin, and Atlantic University pointed snout, as it flings itself into the air in an effort to throw a hook is unforgettable. I learned that the fish normally keeps its sail folded down while swimming and raises it only when about to attack its prey. Why? Supposedly because the raised sail reduces sideways oscillations of the head and thus reduces the motion that the Cutting up bait for sailfish prey might notice. The sailfish can high A sailfish leaping COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM NOVEMBER 2019

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CRYSTAL RIVER

River Coast Realty, Inc 352-302-3114 • Fax 352-447-0001 84 Highway 40 West Inglis, Florida 34449 sunnyp45@bellsouth.net www.rivercoastrealty.com

A

s we approach the end of the year, with cooler days and nights, we can look forward to some of the very best fishing on the Nature Coast. The bite has been great here in Crystal River with plenty of redfish, trout and snook. This is my favorite time of year to be on the water with some of the best fishing action. REDFISH The bite has been great and will continue. This time of year, if I’m using live bait, I keep pinfish and big shrimp on the skiff. Here lately, I’ve been catching most of my reds on shrimp on a 1/16 oz. jig tipped with a shrimp. I know using shrimp can be frustrating at times, with pinfish eating it in seconds, but sometimes it’s the best bait for reds. Just make sure you have plenty. TROUT The trout bite has been good. I plan most of my trout fishing on the falling tides. When drifting for trout on flats, I will drift for about 50 yards, and power pole down. I find by stopping, you can

ER

Historic Yankeetown, one of a kind 4 bedroom, 2+ baths, one bed efficiency, and has all the things you could want. Inground caged pool, workshop/ playroom, recreation room, split bedroom plan, huge yard, 2-car garage, and over 3000 sq. ft. Take a look, minutes to the Gulf of Mexico. catch more, you are covering more area and thoroughly working it. I’m using a few rigs, popping corks with an 18 to 24-inch leader with a 1/16 oz jig tipped with a little job. I also love a slow sinking doa Jerkbait. I look for birds and bait out on the open flats to help me locate trout.

IF YOU ADVERTISED HERE

SNOOK I’ve been targeting snook with big pin fish freelined with a good circle hook. I use 30 to 50 leader. I like to fish them on high water falling. The season is open on our area till December 1st.

READERS WOULD HAVE SEEN YOUR AD.

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CAM_NCFL_1119.indd 5

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NORTH CENTRAL FLORIDA/NATURE COAST 5

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ey everybody, I hope y'all are enjoying this cooler weather. I know for a fact that I am, and so are the fish. If you want redfish, now is the time! They are in full force and some great sized ones, at that. We have had no problem catching 20 to 30 fish a day and they are all caught using C&M Custom Bait jigheads, paired with either shrimp or cut mullet. Finding them hasn't been too much of a challenge either. Poke around oyster beds for about 10 minutes or so and move on to the next one if you haven't had any good hook-ups. Realistically, if they are around the oyster bed you're fishing, they should eat within a few casts. Don't waste too much time around the same bed, but feel free to revisit it later on during the tide change. Well guys and gals, until next month, stay safe out there! Capt. Jason Clark In The Slot Fishing www.intheslotfishing.com Capt.jasonclark@gmail.com 352-639-3209 Check out our title sponsor for the Florida Pro Redfish Series!

6 NORTH CENTRAL FLORIDA/NATURE COAST

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TALES FROM THE TUPPERWARE NAVY

KEATON BEACH

was hooked. He was in awe of the beauty I see on every trip, and he remarked, "God put this here for all of us! How could I have missed it for all these years?” We paddled past a manatee and diamondback terrapins, saw dolphins frolicking in the bay and watched as an osprey dove for mullet and did that mid-air shake to dry off after its dive. It seemed like every time I'd start paddling to try a new spot, Doc was sitting there with a blissful smile on his face and he’d say, “OK, we can move if you want, but I'm fine right here.” Once in a while you get to see something special through someone else's eyes; and that happened for me all day long with Doc. Sure, we caught fish, but that seemed secondary. It was as if we both knew that this was just the beginning of better times to come. As the day progressed he said something This tale is my poor attempt to tell a piece to me that I will never forget as a guide, as a of one friend’s story. person and as a Vet, "This is the first time I've As you all know, for many of us who felt alive in three years, and the best day I've served in our country’s uniform, wars don’t had in ten." end when we get back to the land of the Talk about a day to remember! I love you, big PX. Memories and demons followed us Doc! Semper Fi. home, and all of us deal with them in our When we finished the day he tried to own way. I've lost several friends to PTSD hand me money, but I said, “No, this was (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) over the years; some through their own intervention, for you.” His comment was, “Bruce, I've got money, but I don't have enough in the bank and some more slowly through drug and to pay you for what you did for me today.” alcohol abuse. Later My friend, Doc, who I hadn't seen in about four years, and knew had been dealing that week we with PTSD, is a Marine Corps veteran who served in Vietnam during both Tet Offensives found of 1968 and ’69. I was there for one Tet, and him his own yak. that was more than enough for me! We had never really swapped "war stories”, but I knew I guess I that he hadn't served with a unit, “back in the can stand one more guy fishing my spots. How I keep rear with the gear”, as we used to say. taking out charters and ending up with new I had heard that he’d sort of been living fishing buddies I don't know, but I know that life in a holding pattern; and last week he I'm richer for it; and I don't mean money! called me out of the blue and told me that I share this in honor of Veterans Day, and he needed to do something. He wanted to in response to all those who "Take a knee". I try kayak fishing and asked if I had the time will always respect the flag and honor those to take him out. So we set up the date and who fought and died to give us our freedom! time, and his “You want to meet at what Many thanks to all who served! God bless time?” question was priceless! I don't think each and every one of you! he'd seen that time of the morning in years, except maybe to answer nature’s call . Bruce Butler | "Stumbling Gypsy" We put our boats in along the road at (352) 428-5347 Indian Bay near Aripeka at close to first light, Bruce@IndianBayOutfitters.com and a great day began! As we paddled out Web: www.IndianBayOutfitters.com and watched the sunrise, I knew that Doc November 11th is Veterans Day, and this story I feel, is appropriate to share. This month: (with apologies to Otis Redding) "Sittin’ ‘with’ Doc on the Bay, watchin’ the tide roll in, and we'll watch it roll away again". I hope he and I will watch it together many times from many places.

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Neiman Copher of St. Simons, Ga. , Bo Talley of Conyers, Ga. and Doug Hardegree of Bluffton, Ga. with a nice day’s catch 10/8/19

T

rout fishing continues to be great, with limit catches all this week for charters on board One More Cast. Gulf water temps had dipped down to 78 degrees last week (Today is November 14.) but have crept back to 80 to 82 degrees this week. We are taking trout on live pinfish under Back Bay Thunders, but have had great catches of trout on Assassin baits rigged up under the Original Cajun Thunders. The Elite shiner in Wakasagi, Sea Shads in the NEW “Money” pattern as well as Stinky Pink, have all taken great trout under the Cajun. The floating grass is inhibiting anglers from trying to bounce plastic. Hoping some November Northeasters will blow this floating grass away. My Buddy Doug Garwood is down from Dalton, Ga. and he, his wife and Joe Duncan have caught limits of trout on Renegade Golden Shiner plugs despite the floating grass. Man, that is some work now! November should provide some great plug fishing once this grass goes away. Lipped Jerkbaits, Stickbaits , and Propbaits will all work in November as water temps cool into the low seventies. Reds, which are now mixed in with the trout in depths from 3.5 to 5.5 feet of water, should start to move shallower, and set up on the bars and rocks adjacent to the creeks, seeking schools of baitfish, as they move in to the same shallows. JigSpinners such as Precision Tackle’s Thunder-Spins will help you

Brian Somers of Perry, Florida with a fine 24.5 inch trout taken 10/11/19

Clay Jackson of Opp, Alabama with a fine 22 inch trout taken on an Assassin Wakasagi Elite Shiner

cover water, and find and catch reds in November. Meanwhile, Let's Go Fishing! Pat McGriff dba One More Cast guide service for 30 years! www.onemorecast.net onemorecast@gtcom.net

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10/17/19 4:08 PM


STEINHATCHEE

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FISHING IS EXPECTED TO BE AWESOME

arring strong cold fronts rushing down from the north, November fishing is expected to be awesome! With the hope that the air/water temperatures will slowly cool, local and pelagic fish will get the itch to feed. The big incentive is the migration of bait fishes south. The local fish have to seize the opportunity while forage is still available, while pelagics dine and travel with the southern moving food truck. It all boils down to the fish are in the mood to eat, and that, my friend, is good for fishing. Furthermore, every predatory fish has been well released from hot, low oxygenated water, and free to hunt in cooler waters, higher in oxygen concentration. I don't like eating outside during the heat, but will fire-up the grill when things cool off. Redfish will be moving around the hard rock bottom along the coast. Jigs, gold spoons or topwater plugs early in the morning, late of the day or during overcast conditions. Those not willing to jig and plug all day, can anchor up for a spell, a short distance from a section of rocky bottom and lob chunks of mullet or split crabs. It's a good way to give the casting arm a rest and have lunch. Trout will be moving back to the shallow waters on the flats. For bigger trout, try a floater/diver plug or a suspending hard bait. Spanish mackerel will be zipping around the flats and baits pods nearshore. Little Bank is a great area to target Spanish. If thirty-

pound leader isn't enough to prevent cutoffs, then twist on a short section of #1 or #2 wire using a Haywire twist. Take time to learn the twist, because store bought leaders are crap, and thin wire will improve your success. Never keep more mackerel than can be eaten fresh, as frozen Spanish quickly turns to cat food. King mackerel love to eat Spanish or bluefish, and will even surprise anglers on the grass flats. It is worth the time to set a float rig behind the drifting boat. Number four to five wire is best for a leader. Cobia, tarpon or shark are also likely to crash the party. Florida snapper (grunt) and sea bass are abundant. The larger fish are in the 45 to 50-foot depth. The bait is anything including minimarshmallows. I use a tandem jig rig tip with a small squid strip. Once you hookup, wait a couple seconds for the additional fish. Grouper fishing has been tough with the abundance of red snapper. I'm not one to gut hook red snapper trying for grouper. One way to select out the ubiquitous red snapper, is to use large live or cut bait. Another, is to troll deep diving plugs. However, red snapper will still hit the plug at times. If the cold fronts aren't severe, cobia will still be lingering along the coast in November. It is the last month to give them a shot. Brian Smith | BIG BEND CHARTERS www.BigBendCharters.com CaptBrian@bellsouth.net 877.852.3474 | 352.210.3050

Stephen and sister Secelia at Stephen's graduation.

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SUWANNEE RIVER/CEDAR KEY

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420 Dock Street Cedar Key, FL 32625 352-543-5142 steamerscedarkey.com info@steamerscedarkey.com Like us on Facebook! We will cook your catch. We serve fresh local Cedar Key oysters and clams. Try our delicious Gator. We get it directly from the Gator Man himself.

Happy Hour Monday-Friday 3pm-7pm 2-4-1 Wells 1/2 Price Wine $2.50 Bud Light, Miller Lite, Yuengling

10 NORTH CENTRAL FLORIDA/NATURE COAST

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ey there folks, I hope y’all are enjoying this cooler weather, because I know the fish are. That being said, the redfish have started making their move toward the creeks. Don’t get me wrong; there is still plenty of fish to be caught around the islands. They should be stacking up on the outer points on the shoreline, both to the east and north. The trout are also loving the cooler water temps. They are stacking up on the flats around the islands, and should be pretty easy to find. One of the easiest ways to hunt for trout, is with a cork rig. Just pick a flat with 3 to 4 feet of water, and start a drift; if you find one with bait it is always plus. I always start off casting a B52 super sounder cork with a BassAssassin Lures jig beneath it. I normally rig mine about 20 to 24 inches below the cork with a 30-pound Fluor. All you have to do is cast it out, and pop it back to you with a three to five sec pause between pops. My rule of thumb is 10 casts on a spot. If you don’t catch one; move. Well folks I sure hope this has been some help. Like I always say, “Get outside and enjoy what God has made for us to enjoy. “

Saltwater Assassin Fishing Charters www.FishCedarkey.com 352-535-5083 Capt.Jimbo Keith

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10/17/19 4:08 PM


CEDAR KEY PADDLING

SIGNS BANNERS Copies Fax

Forms Letterhead We also offer apparel and promotional items. Envelopes Business Cards Brochures Newsletters & More Invitations Located in Chiefland Shopping Center Wedding & Graduation 208 N Main Street, Chiefland, FL 32626

(352) 493-0878

W

ow, this year is absolutely flying by! As predicted, we just came off of one of the best redfish bites I have seen in years. All of those hundreds of under-slot reds are now of legal size, and there are a lot of them. I have had multiple 4-hour charters, where we have landed 20 and 30 inch-slot reds. Very exciting! Most of them were caught with the live pin fish and set up that I talked about last month. It is November, and we should start seeing a stronger trout bite now, or if not, soon. I usually have my best success using a B52 popper. They are heavy, which lets you cast them farther. They are loud, also which helps attract the trout to your bait. Don't wimp out on popping these. Make them splash! Attached to the popper, I use 20-pound test floracarbon, and the length depends on the depth of the grass flat I am working. I am usually around three feet in length, so the bait dances just above the grass. I love DOA plastics because they are a lot tougher then some of the more advertised brands.

I can land quite a few fish without burning through a lot of baits and money. Chartreuse/pearl 3 in shad and the electric chicken are two of my favorites. I hope this helps, and if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to stop by the shop, call, text, or email. We are here to help. Get those kids fishing! Capt. Daniel Cedar Key Paddling 352-665-1276 Dan_Gator@yahoo.com

Fax (352) 493-0879

Val’s Complete Auto Repair Inc. MV#:60926

15 NW 1st Avenue - P.O. Box 1205 Chiefland, FL 32644

FLORIDA SUWANNEE RIVER WATERFRONT

FOR SALE

43 acres (+or-) 1100 feet (+or-) on Suwannee River in Lafayette County at US 27, across river from Branford. Heavily wooded, perfect for residence, camp ground or hunting lodge. Elec. and well.

Cary A. Crutchfield Registered Real Estate Broker GRI and CRS Designations

352.372.4237

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NORTH CENTRAL FLORIDA/NATURE COAST 11

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INGLIS/YANKEETOWN

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adies and gentlemen, start those engines, those backcountry engines anyway. November is here, and it is time to start hitting those negative low tides hard. The Nature Coast has developed a backcountry following over the years. Being able to reach fish other boaters cannot, offers a sense of adventure, for the willing, anyway. Red drum of all sizes, trout, and even snook, can be caught in the smallest patch of water this time of year. Temperatures are still cooling, but not cool enough to make the fish sluggish. Artificial baits like golden spoons and topwater plugs, will generate plenty of strikes, but you need plenty of shrimp in reserve, as they will crush them as well! What, you say you don’t have an airboat? Don’t get discouraged. Plenty of fish will still be around to give you a spectacular day. Trout will push into the flats. Use a B-52 popping cork and a Jim’s Jig loaded with shrimp, or a Trout Trick from

Available in 17’, 20’, 22’, 24’ and 27’

Z-Man, on a drift to generate some action. Once you have found the bite, mark it, and make the pass again. In addition to trout, you may find the shallow water grouper to be an easy target. Search for rocks in the 10 to 25-foot range, and troll using the Rapala X Rap. I like to use the divers that hit 15 and 20-foot depths. As it cools, you may be able to finds rocks a bit shallower. Cast to them, using a casting plug, but be warned; these fish hit hard. Hold on to that rod! In addition, snook will be hanging out in the deeper holes of the Withlacoochee. A rattle trap will entice a bite from these deeper dwellers. November is usually a fantastic month for fishing. Remember to pack a jacket as morning and evening trips will see much cooler temps. Please reach out to me at capterichasty@gmail.com with any questions you may have. In addition, check out We Be Tailing, live Wednesday night’s at 7:00 for more tips and tricks at the ShastyMcNasty Fishing Facebook page. Capt. Eric Hasty ShastyMcNasty Fishing LLC www.shastymcnastyfishing.com 352-220-3206

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NOVEMBER 2019

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10/17/19 4:08 PM


HOMOSASSA

Sylvan • Oasis Sun Chaser Pontoon Boats

Expertise Servicing of:

HONDA • MERCURY SUZUKI • YAMAHA 24535 FL-40, Astor, FL 32102 (352) 759-3656 • www.astormarine.com

SEAFOOD AT ITS BEST!

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ello Citrus County anglers, and hopefully with the holidays approaching, you’ll have a little extra time to spend on the water. Winter cold fronts will play a big role on the what, where and when for your fishing trips. It’s always best to take an extra look at the marine forecast before venturing on the water, in case a gusty NE cold front is approaching. Speckled trout are a top priority on the inshore scene, and with cooling water temperatures; they are in easy reach for many anglers. Trout will become more structure oriented, as opposed to the summer months when they are spread out over the vast grass flats. Rock and oyster bars, kelp grass beds and spoil islands are prime areas to locate these fish. Kayak anglers, don’t over look launching at Fort Island Trail Gulf Beach. There’s a short paddle to the oyster bars in Crystal Bay, and the Salt River area is very accessible and has plenty of opportunities for a great day of fishing. DOA cal jerk baits, jig and cork rigs and suspending plugs are fine choices for artificial lures and will allow you to cover a lot of area to locate the trout. Keep in mind, if there’s been a series of hard cold fronts, and the gulf water temperature is in the low 60’s, give the spring-fed rivers a try. Slowly work the holes and drop-offs in the river and you may encounter a red fish, trout or even a river snook. One of my favorites, and one of the tastiest fish in the gulf, the black sea bass, will be covering various hard bottom areas just off the coast. Rock piles and ledges are home to these guys and you never know what else that next cast may bring. Along with the sea bass - grunts, flounder, pompano, grouper and maybe an early winter Sheepshead are all possibilities. Fishing these areas can be non-stop action and it’s really great for the kids. A live shrimp on a knocker rig is simple and works fantastic. Look for red fish to be more in the back-country areas and rivers, as opposed to the outer keys. Free-lined live shrimp around the rocky points with good current flow is productive, and as always, if there’s mullet activity, definitely give the area a try.

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Also, sight fishing for red fish will greatly improve with the cooling conditions. If you have a shallow skiff, pole the shore lines, and mangrove bays, and when the tide drops out, have a soft plastic jerk bait ready for an accurate cast and “awesome” visual strike. Only two months left for the 2019 gag grouper season, and if I had to pick a best time of year to grouper fish, now would be it. Looking back over the years, the majority of the 20-plus pound grouper I’ve caught, were usually landed during Thanksgiving week. Try your favorite grouper locations in the 30-foot range and even shallower. Trolling Rapala x-raps over the structure will bring a grouper off the bottom, and usually will produce keeper-sized gags. Bottom fishing is typically fantastic as well. Cut sardines and threadfin herring is usually all that’s needed to bring home a grouper dinner or two. Good Fishing…. Capt. Dan Clymer 352.418.2160 www.crystalriver-fishing.com

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Monday

NOVEMBER 2019

NORTH CENTRAL FLORIDA/NATURE COAST 13

10/17/19 4:08 PM


2019 Nitro Z18

2019 Nitro Z17

$44,303 (Monthly $421)

Includes 175 L Pro XS Four Stroke Mercury Motor & Trailer

14 NORTH CENTRAL FLORIDA/NATURE COAST

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NOVEMBER 2019

$27,180 (Monthly $290)

Includes 115 ELPT Pro XS Four Stroke Mercury Motor & Trailer

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10/17/19 4:08 PM


BAKED CRAB CAKES FOR TWO

Thank you to The Crab Plant for the beautiful steamed blue 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.

COOKING DIRECTIONS

INGREDIENTS

Check crab for shell and cartilage. Very gently fold all ingredients with the crab. Scoop up about ½ a cup of crab mixture and form into cakes. Pat more Panko crumbs on both sides of cakes and chill for at least 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 450. Line a flat baking pan with the new non-stick aluminum foil, lightly butter it and place cakes on foil, not touching. Bake 15 to 20 minutes, until slightly browned and crispy. Serve with fresh lemon.

• 2 cups packed fresh cooked blue crab • ½ cup Panko breadcrumbs (more for dusting) • 1 beaten egg • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise • ½ teaspoon dry mustard • ½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce • 2 tablespoons chopped scallions (white & green) • ¼ cup chopped parsley • salt & pepper to taste

Crab cakes are like meatloaf. You can put just about anything in them that you like. Crab has such a delicate flavor that I prefer a light touch with seasoning.

Lynn Crutchfield, Co-Publisher Coastal Angler Magazine of North Central Florida

BAIT & TACKLE IN NORTH CENTRAL FLORIDA

ALACHUA FARM AND LUMBER 114101 NW 145th Ave. Alachua, FL 32616 386-462-3003 www.AlachuaFarmandLumber.com CEDAR KEY PADDLING 12293 SR 24 Cedar Key, FL 32625 352-665-1276 Dan_Gator@Yahoo.com

CAPTAINS COVE OUTFITTERS 39 West Hwy 40 Inglis, FL 352-447-5610 www.CaptainsCoveOutfitters.com

MCDUFFIE MARINE 1866 West US 90 Lake City, FL 32055 386.752.2500 www.mcduffiemarine.com

DW&D BAIT HOUSE 12831 Whiddon Ave Cedar Key, FL 352-543-6109 352-222-9383

OCKLAWAHA BAIT & TACKLE 13600 East CR 25 Ocklawaha, FL 32179 352-816-5853

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STARKE LANDSCAPE I 469 S Walnut (US Hwy 30 I) Starke, FL 3 209 I 904-964-3 I I 2 www.StarkeLandscape.com

YOUR BAIT & TACKLE SHOP HERE Call Lynn at 352-372-4237

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NOVEMBER 2019

NORTH CENTRAL FLORIDA/NATURE COAST 15

10/17/19 4:08 PM


2020 Mako 214 CC

$55,745 Includes 150 XL Four Stroke Mercury Motor & Trailer

2020 Mako Pro Skiff 17 CC

2019 Mako 21 LTS

$18,995 Includes 60 ELPT Four Stroke Mercury Motor & Trailer

$35,495 Includes 150 XL Four Stroke Mercury Motor & Trailer

16 NORTH CENTRAL FLORIDA/NATURE COAST

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10/17/19 4:08 PM


ST. AUGUSTINE

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t’s “flatty” time! I'm talking about big "doormat" flounder. Traditionally, the Fall is a great time to target and catch big flounder in St. Augustine. A live finger mullet, or a big mud minnow, rigged on a jighead or fish-finder rig, is the goto setup. Flounder will be holding in deep cuts in the creeks at lower tide stages, as well as just about any small creek mouth or runout. It’s not uncommon to find them stacked up in these areas; so if you get one, make sure to try a few more casts in the same spot. Another popular spot to target the flat fish is at the inlets. They will hold close to the jetties. You’ll know you’re fishing the right spot after you’ve lost a rig or three, to the rocks. It seems like every year most of the monster "doormat" founder come from in and around the inlets. As our weather continues to cool, trout catches should be on the increase both in size and in numbers. We’ll have some big tides and a Northeast wind flow this month, that should bring in some saltier, cleaner water to the backcountry. The trout seem to like the saltier water and the best bite as of report time, has been closer to the inlets where the ocean water is making its way in. Toss a top-water or sub-surface plug for trout around first and last light. Two of my favorite top-water lures for trout (and redfish) are the Rapala Skitterwalk and the Rapala Skitter V. Your best bet when targeting trout, is to look for moving water at creek mouths, around oyster bars, and along the ICW banks, again closer to the inlets. Sea walls, jetties, and rip-rap are also good trout haunts. The good 'ole live shrimp under

a float is always a sure thing for trout. The soft plastic STB jerkbaits from Slayer Inc. imitates a finger mullet perfectly, and they have been producing some nice trout. Redfish and flounder seem to love them as well. Pair them up with a 1/8 or ¼ ounce Slayer Inc. jighead, and you’ve got a deadly trout combo. Our redfish love the cooler weather as well, and this is such a great time of year to get out there and catch them. Redfish will continue to shadow finger mullet schools this month. There should be a ton of finger mullet around, so when you find a really good concentration of them, you can be sure the reds won't be far behind. Low tide creek hole fishing for reds, should be hot this month as well, as the banks of the ICW at low tide. Many people overlook these banks but when the tide is low, and the mullet are schooled. Mr. redfish will be on the prowl! The water will continue to be fairly murky, at least until the water temps really drop down, so using a bait or lure with some really good action, or some good scent is the best way to spark interest from a redfish. One go-to fall redfish lure is a Saltwater Assassin Lil Boss paddle tail. The thumping tail and scent helps the fish locate the bait in our murky water. Happy Thanksgiving and Tight Lines! Be sure to check out my Daily Fishing Reports online @www.InshoreAdventures.com Capt. Tommy Derringer www.InshoreAdventures.net 904-377-3734

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SURF & PIER

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umberto ruined another mullet run! That’s 3 out of 4 years that tropical weather has jacked things up! Urrgh! October was almost an extension of summer. I think this month will be stellar with nice weather and fully bent rods! The mullet in the surf, for the most part, are gone. On cool days, the sand fleas stay deep and are hard to catch, so we are going to focus on my two favorite fall/winter baits. They are crabs and clams. It’s hard to beat cut up blue crabs this time of year. First, let’s talk about my first big redfish in the surf. One of my mentors, Jeff Rafter, taught me a long time ago that one half of a blue crab soaked in the surf within 500 yards of an inlet is magic! Landing my first big red on a surf rod was visceral! From that day forward, my go-to rig has been a 6/0 or 7/0 Owner Mutu circle hook. A sinker slider/ fish finder rig tied with 100lb mono is a bullet proof rig for big reds and the occasional 25-pound bonnethead shark. They are also crab eaters, and very good table fare. Here is a little tidbit for your info. All of my six pound-plus pompanos were caught in November or March. What I learned, is that they can stand, or like the cold water, 65 NOVEMBER 2019

degrees, better than the smaller ones. So, they are the last to migrate south, and the first to migrate back north. What is my favorite bait? Blue crab knuckles. Here is a video clip on how to make big Pompano candy! Youtube…...https://www. youtube.com/watch?v=9609-A5r2ls “How to Bait Blue Crab”. My favorite rig is a double dropper tied with 30-pound mono. This includes Eagle Claw 2/0 L197 circle hooks. I also like a white float on the top hook and a tangerine orange bead on the bottom hook. Both of these colors are natural imitating small crabs, clams, and sand flea eggs. This is my go-to until the water temp drops below 64 degrees. Get out and go! January will be here before you know it, and the water will be too cold again! Please visit my website www.thesurfangler. com . Shoot me an email if you have any questions. Tightlines Noel Kuhn 43 years of surf fishing experience Surf fishing guide and long distance casting coach. Founding member of Florida Surf Casters club. 904-945-0660 www.TheSurfAngler.com

NORTH CENTRAL FLORIDA/NATURE COAST 17

10/17/19 4:08 PM


$18,995

$26,605

$10,995

2020 Tracker Pro Team 175 TXW 2020 Tracker Pro Team 195 TXW 2020 Tracker Bass Tracker Classic Includes 60 ELPT 4 Stroke Mercury Includes 115 Pro XS 4 Stroke Mercury Includes 40 ELPT 4 Stroke Mercury TXW Motor & Trailer

$14,335

2020 Tracker Panfish 16 Includes 25 ELPT 4 Stroke Mercury Motor & Trailer

Motor & Trailer

$10,395

$23,495

2020 Tracker Grizzly 1648 SC 2020 Tracker Grizzly 1860 CC Sportsman

18 NORTH CENTRAL FLORIDA/NATURE COAST

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Motor & Trailer

Includes 20 ELPT 4 Stroke Mercury Motor & Trailer

NOVEMBER 2019

Includes 60 ELPT 4 Stroke Mercury Motor & Trailer

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10/17/19 4:08 PM


STA-SEA’S NATURE COAST ADVENTURES

CENTRAL FLORIDA INLAND

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y forest fishing friends, after watching loads of big bass launch through the air and snatch high-speed dragonflies, over and over again last month, we knew that it would help them grow more quickly. However, no one could have predicted just how dramatically bigger, thicker, and more aggressive these brutes ended up getting. Every year, around the beginning of fall, fish in our area quickly become muscular acrobats, and go through a growth spurt, by gorging themselves on loads of mating insects. Anglers who've experienced the stellar quality of fishing during this event, know how chaotic it gets. This year, our area was flooded with a record number of huge dragonflies. A lot of them had migrated here from northern states, and some swarms were so thick that Doppler radar ended up reporting them as storm clouds. When the dragonfly bonanza began to slow down a few days before I wrote this report, I decided to give the sunfish a try. I was curious if they had grown larger than usual this year, as well. A cold front had just moved in that morning, and I couldn't get a bite for hours, but when that sun reached directly overhead, they turned on like a light switch. My first fish was quality eating size, and usual to see in that area. The next five fish however, were the biggest, fattest sunfish I have ever seen! From the results of that lake, it looks like we've just become a trophy panfish (sunfish) area as well, and now I can't wait to see how the crappie end up looking this winter. I can hardly believe what a dramatic change our fishery has

gone through in the last few years. The past month doesn't even seem real. If someone told me everything I just mentioned, I honestly wouldn't believe them. Lucky for me, I brought my Go-Pro along, and was able to get loads of great footage. Don't take my word for it though, get your butts out there and see for yourself; you won't be disappointed. John Freeze Kayak Fishing and Nature Tours TheWaterwayz@gmail.com 352-216-5798

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ow about this weather? This is the fishing weather we have been waiting for all year. Not too hot, it's not raining every day, the wind is manageable, and it's not cold yet. This weather is a fisherman's dream. Bait is everywhere; inshore waters are calm, and the fish are chewing! I've been sneaking out at dawn and dusk most days and throwing a top water plug. It's so exciting to watch all of the blowups on the lure. Top-water has been very successful. Trout are starting to show up in big numbers inshore and they love a top-water lure. It's almost time for triple tail and I must say, “They are my favorite fish to catch.” There is a lot to look forward to in the months ahead. From triple tail to big reds, and even inshore grouper. Everyone thinks you have to go 30 miles out to land grouper, but our inshore rocks are full of them right now. You may even get a surprise kingfish while you are trolling for grouper. Sheepshead are starting to show their adorable little faces too. My point is get out there. Get up extra early, catch your bait (It’s everywhere right now.) and start experimenting with different lures. The fish eat different baits at different times of the year. Also, move around; don't stay in one place. Have fun! Explore our amazing inshore fishery. You may be surprised at how many species of fish like to chill out further inside. The mangroves are endless here and you can most certainly find these fish laid up next to the banks. Stop at every point and throw your bait. Look for protruding oyster beds with a swift current. These fish like to hide behind the current and wait for their victims to unknowingly swim by. Fish are ambush predators, and most are lazy. The less they have to work, the better. It's also NOVEMBER 2019

a huge bonus when you put your boat in at the crack of dawn, not only will you be catching more fish, but the scenery will take your breath away. You may see an eagle swooping down to get his breakfast; the dolphins will be doing their morning acrobats, and sunrise will surely be spectacular. There is nothing like watching the inshore waters wake up and explode with excitement of the new day ahead. I almost think the fish here are morning people. Captain Stacy Horak Cell 352-553-3604 Facebook: CaptainStacy Horak Instagram: captain_ stacyhorakfishing Website: www. fishingwithcaptainstacy.com

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COASTAL ANGLER RECOMMENDS THESE

RESTAURANTS

INNORTH NORTHCENTRAL CENTRALFL/NATURE FL/NATURECOAST COAST

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PLACE YOUR RESTAURANT HERE. Call Lynn at 352-372-4237. 20 NORTH CENTRAL FLORIDA/NATURE COAST

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10/17/19 4:08 PM


THE MOST INTENSE PART OF THE TRIP shouldn’t be the drive there.

We have nine convenient locations where ever the fish are biting. Chiefland: 352.493.2533 (Open 7 Days a Week) Cedar Key: 352.543.6601 Dunnellon: 352.489.3391 Newberry: 352.472.3596 Williston: 352.528.5111

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Photo by Peter Dutton/flickr.com

O

keechobee County is your paradise outdoors. This beautifully serene rural community still values the old Florida lifestyle, with down-home Southern hospitality and scenic land undisturbed by towering growth. Okeechobee County is at the northern shore of the awe-inspiring Lake Okeechobee. Lake Okeechobee is 730 square miles of fishing nirvana. Lake Okeechobee, named by the Seminoles as “big water,” is host to a number of guides that will take you to treasured “fishing spots” that will give any angler stories to take home. Largemouth bass dominate the fishermen’s attention throughout the year, while the well-known speckled perch (crappie) take front position during the peak of tourism season which runs from October through March. Lake Okeechobee also offers scenic trails that are excellent for

walking, jogging, biking and bird watching. The trail that surrounds this massive lake is the Lake Okeechobee Scenic Trail (L.O.S.T). This trail just about surrounds the entire lake and leaves no nature lover disappointed. Okeechobee is a well-loved area for rare and hard to find birds aplenty, the snail kite and caracara just to name a couple. Don’t be concerned by the loud cry of the sandhill crane, as these beauties are in every corner of our community and have no issue stopping traffic or wandering neighborhoods. Okeechobee County is not just about the lake, though locals are extremely proud of their greatest natural asset. Okeechobee is home to a number of other sporting activities that definitely make the location a sportsman’s paradise. Hunting is popular with not only seasonal visitors but residents as well. Deer, hog, duck and even gator hunting keep the hunting guides busy and the hunter’s hauling trophies home for bragging rights. Looking to improve or develop some great shooting skills? Okeechobee has a number of gun ranges that offer shooting sports of all kinds. Most of these facilities are outdoors and offer lodging, shopping and the greatest ranges and instructors around. There is also an indoor archery range conveniently off our main street and a new state-of-the-art gun range just on your way into town. Although Okeechobee offers fantastic outdoor adventures such as air boating, horseback riding and other entertainment, there always comes a time when the day draws to a close and the day’s activities bring on a fierce appetite. Okeechobee offers wonderful food options to the most spectacular steaks to the tastiest seafood! With dinner served and memories made, it’s now time to dream of what Okeechobee may bring the next day at any of our hotels, motels, campgrounds or RV resorts. Looking for your paradise outdoors? Welcome to Okeechobee, Florida. For information on any of these great getaways, visit www.visitokeechobeecounty.com or call 863-763-3959. Introducing Okeechobee’s Inaugural Visitor’s Guide. This beautiful guide will be your destination must have. You may request your free guide via phone or the Contact Us section of the website listed above.

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By Ed Killer

S

tuart, Fla.– The thump on the end of the line nearly pulls the rod out of your hand. It’s the kind of thump delivered by an apex predator confident in its choice to devour the offering. The line peels off the reel at a blistering pace. You can feel the trophy at the opposite end of this tug of war begin making its way to the surface. You prepare yourself for one of those mental memories you swear will stay with you forever. When this fish goes airborne, you know it’s going to be so cool. Backlit by the golden rising sun, the shower of spray from the head shakes will be glorious. You know your followers on social media are going to love it. The beauty of this encounter, for anyone who visits Martin County to fish, is that literally a half-dozen species of game fish can be plugged into the scenario. Is the soon-to-be leaping fish a tarpon, snook, sailfish or bass? Could it be a mako shark or perhaps a blue marlin? This area is known for incredible sport fishing. It developed that reputation more than a century ago, and continues to build upon it with every catch. And as fishing techniques and targets evolved, so did Martin County’s reputation as a world-class fishing destination. INSHORE Presidents once traveled to Stuart to fish for giant tarpon. Grover Cleveland, Chester A. Arthur, Theodore Roosevelt, Howard Taft and Warren G. Harding all plied the waters of the St. Lucie River in search of the “silver king.” In 1905, Cleveland purchased land in Stuart and was planning to build a home here, but never did. However, he was credited with catching one of the largest tarpon ever caught in the river’s North Fork. At the time, 200-pounders were common in the river system each spring. As popular as tarpon are, snook may be Martin County’s staple fish. The waters surrounding downtown Stuart are one of the only in the world where four species of snook can be caught – common snook, tarpon snook, fat snook and swordspine snook. Only the common snook typically reaches the legal size for harvest of 28 to 32 inches in length. Huge common snook, upwards of 30 pounds are caught lurking around bridges, marinas, rocky shorelines and spillways in the winter and spring. By summer, these fish stage closer to the St. Lucie Inlet, where spawning occurs. Live baits like sardines, herring, menhaden, mullet and shrimp are all irresistible, but artificial lures and flies work well, too. On the shallow grassflats and around the spoil islands in the Indian River Lagoon, anglers catch spotted seatrout, redfish, black drum, jack crevalles, ladyfish and sheepshead. During the winter, spring and summer incoming tides, anglers can sight cast these targets in 3 to 5 feet of water. Like the Florida Keys and Biscayne Bay, Martin County is one of

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those rare places where an angler can pursue a bonefish, tarpon, permit slam. During winter, some of the tastiest fish that swim, pompano—swarm the inshore waters. OFFSHORE Ironically, it was a poor year of tarpon fishing in the early 1930s that generated exploration of Martin County’s offshore fisheries. Early in the century, the county produced a lucrative fishing business each winter as commercial fishermen pursued bluefish and Spanish mackerel off the beaches. They would ship their catches, salted and iced, on rail cars to markets in the north. The first winter visitors to Martin County were fishermen from northern coastal towns. But when the tarpon fishing went flat for a couple of years, recreational fishermen started heading into deeper water offshore to find action. What they found would change the area forever. Sailfish are a majestic species of pelagic fish, meaning they travel great distances on open ocean. After exploring the best methods and bait-rigging techniques to catch these fish, which can measure 6 to 8 feet long and swim up to 40 mph, a charter fishing fleet developed. In January of 1938, editor of the Stuart News Ernie Lyons invited outdoor writers from all over the country to come to Stuart and catch sailfish. In a week, nearly 1,000 sailfish were caught. One writer reported to his readers back home, “You may as well call Stuart the capital of sailfish.” Lyons jumped on it. Soon the City of Stuart applied for a charter naming it “Sailfish Capital of the World.” Today, the iconic image of the leaping sailfish can be seen on signage for public and private entities and even on the city’s garbage trucks. A tournament last winter produced over 700 sailfish releases in a single day. But a bluewater angler will have a chance to catch excellent game and table fare, too. Kingfish up to 50 pounds roam the reefs in 40 to 60 feet of water every spring. Cobia up to 70 pounds can be caught when the manta rays come into shallow waters each winter. Dolphinfish are caught offshore year round. Fishing for mutton snapper, mangrove snapper, yellowtail snapper and lane snapper is very good in 40 to 70 feet of water throughout much of the year. Fishing for gag, red and black grouper, scamp and amberjacks is best on the deepwater artificial reefs, of which the county has placed dozens offshore over the past 50 years. Tilefish and snowy grouper are on the deep flats in 700 feet. Wahoo are best during the summer for high speed trollers. In recent years, expert charter captains have developed a fishery for daytime swordfish where they also occasionally catch a mako shark. Each summer, the diving for spiny lobsters creates an offshore armada along the county’s healthy coral reefs. Suffice to say, the fishing along Martin County’s shores is about as good as it can get. The hard part is picking what to fish for.

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Reel in the memories. Sitting on the most biodiverse estuary in the Northern Hemisphere, Martin County is a fisherman’s paradise. Ocean, lake and river ecosystems are home to more than 800 species of fish, from the ever-popular sailfish and snook to largemouth bass and perch. Forget your gear? Visit one of Martin’s many bait and tackle shops or outdoor retailers. Inshore, offshore, saltwater or fresh, head out for an adventure and reel in the memories.

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By Mikey Erickson

A

lot of people know Costa Rica is the “Billfish Capital of the World,” but that’s not all it is. Double-digit numbers of tarpon and an abundance of snook can be caught on the Caribbean Coast out of Tortuguero, where rivers like Rio Parismina and Rio Colorado follow the coast and open up into the ocean. Days of 30 or more fish are possible. And the river-locked town of Tortuguero is a true gem.The culture has a lot of Jamaican and Spanish influence. The season here is from February to May. Great spots for freshwater fishing include the beautiful Arenal Volcano, Lake Arenal and the rivers running through northern-inland Costa Rica. Rainbow bass, better known as “guapote,” are the main target of freshwater anglers. They are prized for intelligence, aggression and great tasting meat. The Machaca is another exciting fish that has earned the nickname “mini tarpon.” The town of La Fortuna in Arenal is a very nice place to visit. Everything is green and full of life due to the volcanic soil. There are also hot springs. The best season for this area is from January to May. On the northern Pacific Coast, fishing is great all the way down the coast from Papagayo to El Coco, Flamingo to Tamarindo, Nosara to Samara, and Santa Teresa to Tambor. The sport fishing in this area picks up from May to August with species like mahi, marlin, sailfish, roosterfish, snapper and wahoo. This region is beautiful, and the culture is very European. If you get the chance to explore this region, take it! The best fishing in the central Pacific region is near Jaco, Herradura, Quepos and Manuel Antonio. I’ve lived four years, fishing constantly, and it offers year-round angling. The marlin and sailfish bite is insane from December to June, and from April to November the mahi come in huge numbers to debris pushed out by the rivers. There are also many FAD’s (Fish Attracting Devices) 100 miles off the coast. Overnight trips offer double-digit marlin and sailfish! The southern Pacific Coast offers many great destinations both inshore and offshore. The Sierpe River offers great freshwater fishing, and places like Golfito, Drake Bay and Puerto Jimenez offer killer inshore fishing. These areas known for giant roosterfish year-round, and also feature great marlin and sailfish from August to March, mahi-mahi from May to October and tuna year-round. All in all, Costa Rica is the fishing destination of a lifetime for freshwater, inshore, offshore and spearfishing. Come explore what the land of Pura Vida has to Offer. Mikey Erickson is co-editor of Coastal Angler/Costa Rica and Tres Niñas Tours Manager. Contact him at mikey@coastalanglermagazine.com, info@tresninastours.com, U.S. Cell: +1(561)310-2665, CR Cell: +506-8305-0041. Visit www.coastalanglermag.com/costa-rica/ and www.tresninastours.com.

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TIPS FROM A PRO

BIG BASS IN MEXICO

BRANDON LESTER

T

his summer I took my second trip to Mexico’s famed El Salto. It didn’t disappoint, dishing out some of the meanest 7- and 8-pound bass I’ve ever seen. Of course, we caught numbers as well, but this time I slowed down and enjoyed everything Angler’s Inn at El Salto has to offer. On this trip, the lake was down 45 feet. El Salto is an irrigation lake, so water gets used a lot in summer. Low water levels concentrated the fish. We caught a bunch on lipless baits, a few on jigs and a good number on crankbaits. By and large, though, the best pattern was a Texas-rigged Photo by Jon Tatum worm. It’s awesome how the lake is different during different seasons. It makes each trip unique. On the first day, guides feel you out to make your trip as fun as possible. Everyone has a different goal. Some guys want numbers; some want their best shot at a 10-pounder. On Day One, we landed 70 to 80 fish, easily, but I didn’t catch any over 5 pounds. On Day Two, my very experienced guide took me after the big ones. We fished for bass suspended in standing timber. It was a little harder to catch them, but the fish were much bigger. Down

there, you can pretty much catch fish any way you want, but you can’t catch big fish doing whatever you want. The guides at El Salto have the big-fish patterns nailed down through the seasons. Last year, I went in January and we caught big fish deep cranking, so the pattern had changed completely. One thing that didn’t change was how mean the fish are. That brings me to my other takeaway: Big fish require the best gear you can throw. I fished extensively with the new 11-inch X Zone Blitz Worm, in both plum and red bug. They bit the fire out of both colors. The bait has very little salt content, so it floats off the bottom, which gives it much better action. The baits are also very soft and easy to rig. Mustad just came out with a complete line of tungsten, and I put it to the test. We used a 3/8-ounce tungsten bullet weight, and loved it. The Mustad line has Titan X finish on it, which is awesome. Most objects in nature aren’t shiny, so this mattestyle Titan X finish is more natural. The sizes are etched onto each weight. It’s a nice touch that makes selection easier. A 5/0 Grip Pin Big Bite hook is the perfect big-bass hook. There were a few sessions where I caught at least 50 fish on one hook. That’s one of the best things about a Mustad hook. Drag it across rocks and set the hook over and over. The points on their hooks will not roll. Feel free to ask me on social media about the trip and any of the gear mentioned here.

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ake Picachos, Mexico might not warrant the title of the world’s best trophy lake, but it might just be the world’s most fun bass fishery. Picachos is the newest of northwest Mexico’s storied bass fisheries. The dam for this 14,000-acre reservoir on the Presidio River was completed in 2009. It was opened to anglers in 2013. A decade since its formation, the lake is pumping out almost unbelievable numbers of 3- to 5-pound fish. According to Angler’s Inn International, it’s not unusual for a pair of skilled anglers to catch 200 to 300 fish a day. According to Ron Speed Jr.’s daily reports, Picachos regularly produces 150-fish days with big fish each day topping out at 6 to 8 pounds. That’s incredible action for solid fish. The lake record is 12-pounds, 14-ounces, and the bar is expected to rise as the fishery matures. An ample forage base of tilapia, plenty of heavy cover, clean water and catch-and-release regulations point to a bright future. Mornings and evenings generally see an outstanding topwater bite, which is a ton of fun for conventional anglers with walking baits and poppers as well as for fly-rodders throwing bass bugs. Spinnerbaits, lizards, stickbaits, Flukes and shallow-running crankbaits also provide action that leads to bleeding bass thumb. Lake Picachos is about 30 miles inland from the Pacific Coast resort town Mazatlán. Fishing is great year-round, with a peak from February into June. For information, go to www.anglersinn.com or www.ronspeedadventures.com.

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At Harbor Freight Tools, the “Compare to” price means that the specified comparison, which is an item with the same or similar function, was advertised for sale at or above the “Compare to” price by another national retailer in the U.S. within the past 90 days. Prices advertised by others may vary by location. No other meaning of “Compare to” should be implied. For more information, go to HarborFreight.com or see store associate.

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EXPERIENCE THE

M

ore litigation looms in the latest chapter of the three-decade saga to protect the world’s largest salmon run. Bristol Bay, Alaska, home to thriving sport and commercial fishing industries, is under the gun again as the U.S. photo by Nick Carter Environmental Agency recently removed protections that again Julie Carter with a Kvichak River sockeye. open the door for the proposed Pebble mine. Pebble mine is an exploration project investigating enormous deposits of gold, copper and other minerals near the headwaters of the Kvichak River and lakes Clark and Iliamna. These remote and pristine waterways offer some of best rainbow trout fishing in the world and feed Bristol Bay with the clean water that supports massive sockeye and Chinook salmon runs. Trout Unlimited recently joined other groups in filing suit against the EPA, alleging that the EPA ignored science and the potential impacts of developing the mine when it withdrew the Bristol Bay Proposed Determination, which are protections for the region that have been in place since 2014. “Billions of dollars have been spent in attempt to restore salmon runs in the Pacific Northwest. Meanwhile, Bristol Bay sets records for its salmon returns year after year. All we need to do is have the humility and common-sense to leave this landscape alone,” said Chris Wood, CEO of Trout Unlimited. “Sacrificing a place such as Bristol Bay for some gold is a short-sighted fools-errand. We are not a litigious organization, but we and millions of other sportsmen and women will not allow greed to compromise the most important salmon fishery on the planet.”

FIGHT!

For more information on the Save Bristol Bay campaign, go to SaveBristolBay.org.

14

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COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

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FLY FISHING

The permit is the Holy Grail for many serious saltwater fly anglers. Many, including me, have traveled and spent endless days pursuing these great gamefish with little to show for our efforts. Of course, the challenge is what’s special about permit fishing, not the number of fish brought to hand. However, there is one place where an angler can have great success catching permit on the fly; that place is the Yucatan Peninsula’s Punta Allen. Here, just a few kilometers south of Tulum in the Sian Ka’an Biosphere, is the world’s most fertile and diverse permit saltwater fly fishery. The Unicorn of the Flats Ghostlike, spooky and finicky are three words to describe permit. It is one of the most difficult saltwater fish to catch on the fly and has been the Achilles heel for many saltwater fly angers. But if there is one destination where one can successfully sight cast to large schools of permit consistently, it’s the Sian Ka’an Biosphere. Because of the vast numbers of permit ranging from 2 to 20 pounds, a fly angler will have multiple shots per day. In addition, Yucatan permit are aggressive eaters, making them a great target for the less-experienced or first-time saltwater fly anglers. Flies and Tackle The primary food items for permit are crabs and shrimp. A good selection of these patterns will give the angler the best chance at success. For crab patterns, I like Merkins and Ragheads in sizes 4 and 6. I find the color of the fly should match the color of the habitat you’re fishing. For example, if you’re fishing over light colored sand, then a fly pattern should be tan or even white. If you’re fishing in turtle grass or a darker bottom, then a green or even a dark brown works best. Tackle A 9-foot, 9-weight rod matched with a large arbor reel that holds 250 yards of 30-pound Hi Viz Dacron or micron backing is the perfect combo for Yucatan permit. Since a majority of the fishing is in shallow water, I suggest only using a weight-forward tropical floating line. Keep your leaders long: 10 to 12 feet with 16- to 20-pound tippets. Casting to Permit It’s important to be able to quickly and accurately cast 30 to 60 feet when targeting permit on the flats. Your ability to make longer casts will increase your chances of catching more fish. Of course, you can hook a permit close to the boat, but it’s always to your advantage be able to make the long cast when the opportunity presents itself. The back-hand cast is another to be able to execute. Permit schools will often present themselves on the opposite side of the boat, so being able to make a quick back cast is very important.

For more Bowman, go to

CAMFLYFISHING.COM COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

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NOVEMBER 2019

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12/19/18 3:50 PM


êêêêê “The quality of their watches is equal to many that can go for ten times the price or more.” — Jeff from McKinney, TX

“Blue face watches are on the discerning gentleman’s ‘watch list’.” – watchtime.com

Stone Cold Fox So good-looking...heads will turn. So unbelievably-priced...jaws will drop.

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very once in a while a timepiece comes along that’s so incredibly good looking, masterfully equipped and jaw-droppingly priced, that it stops us stone cold. A watch that can take you seamlessly from the 18th hole to the board room. A watch that blurs the line betweens sports watch and dress watch. We’re talking the Blue Stone Chronograph, and it sits at the top of the discerning gentleman’s watch list. Striking in appearance and fully equipped with features, this is a watch of substance. The Blue Stone merges the durability of steel with the precision of crystal movement that’s accurate to 0.2 seconds a day. Both an analog and digital watch, the Blue Stone keeps time with pinpoint accuracy in two time zones. The watch’s handsome steel blue dial seamlessly blends an analog watch face with a stylish digital display. It’s a stopwatch, calendar, and alarm. Plus, the Blue Stone resists water up to 30 meters, making it up for water adventures. A watch with these features would easily cost you thousands if you shopped big names. But overcharging to justify an inflated brand name makes us blue in the face. Which is why we make superior looking and performing timepieces priced to please. Decades of experience in engineering enables Stauer to put quality on your wrist and keep your money in your pocket.

Your satisfaction is 100% guaranteed. Experience the Blue Stone Chronograph for 30 days. If you’re not convinced you got excellence for less, send it back for a refund of the item price. Time is running out. Originally priced at $395, the Blue Stone Chronograph was already generating buzz among watch connoisseurs, but with the price slashed to $79, we can’t guarantee this limited-edition timepiece will last. So, call today!

TAKE 80% OFF INSTANTLY!

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Burnsville, Minnesota 55337

www.stauer.com

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Gimme Six Extended Protection promo is applicable to new Suzuki Outboard Motors from 25 to 350 HP in inventory which are sold and delivered to buyer between 10/01/19 and 12/31/19 in accordance with the promotion by a Participating Authorized Suzuki Marine dealer in the continental US and Alaska to a purchasing customer who resides in the continental US or Alaska. Customer should expect to receive an acknowledgement letter and full copy of contract including terms, conditions and wallet card from Suzuki Extended Protection within 90 days of purchase. If an acknowledgement letter is not received in time period stated, contact Suzuki Motor of America, Inc. – Marine Marketing via email: marinepromo@suz.com. The Gimme Six Promotion is available for pleasure use only, and is not redeemable for cash. Instant Savings apply to qualifying purchases of select Suzuki Outboard Motors made between 10/01/19 and 12/31/19. For list of designated models, see participating Dealer or visit www.suzukimarine. com. Instant Savings must be applied against the agreed-upon selling price of the outboard motor and reflected in the bill of sale. (Suzuki will, in turn, credit Dealer’s 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 10/01/19 and 12/31/19. “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. © 2019 Suzuki Motor of America, Inc.

SZQ4Promo 8X10 CSTLANGLR 8-8-19.indd 1

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