Coastal Angler Magazine | September 2021 | North central Florida/Nature Coast Edition

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NORTH CENTRAL FLORIDA/NATURE COAST EDITION

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SEPTEMBER 2021

W O R L D W I D E


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See Extensive ICAST Coverage In The Angler Video Mag

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CAST 2021 marked a return to normalcy for the fishing industry. In the 64th exhibition of the world’s largest sportfishing trade show, the halls of the Orlando’s Orange County Convention Center bustled with activity July 21-23. As usual, the event kicked off with the ICAST Cup bass tournament at nearby Lake Toho, and the renowned big-bass factory did not disappoint. In a short four-hour tournament, the winning team weighed a tournament-record 25-pound, 7-ounce five-fish limit. But most of the action went on indoors. The annual ICAST New Product Showcase is an event the fishing world eagerly awaits every year. It is the venue where industry heavyweights and innovative newcomers roll out their best new gear for the year to come. This year, 686 new products were entered by 218 companies to compete for Best of Category awards in 30 different categories. From rods, reels and lures to apparel, electronics, gadgets and accessories, the New Product Showcase is gear-head heaven. The Angler Video Mag team was on-hand at ICAST 2021 to cover the show and give you a first-hand look at some of the cool and innovative products that will make you a better angler this year.

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NATIONAL 7


Live Bait Snook on South Florida Beaches

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ere on Florida’s East Coast, we have access to some of the most exciting shore-based fishing there is. From spring, through summer and into fall, big snook run the beaches of South Florida, and they can be caught from the sand with lures and even sight fished with flies. I am a lure fisherman, and everyone knows it, but fishing with artificials can be difficult during the doldrums of late summer and fall. The Atlantic Ocean is flatter and big snook become wary. The fish are still here; what are we to do? Here’s a pretty simple technique that will catch snook when the fishing gets tough. The hottest bait this time of year is live croakers. Croakers are catching so many snook right now that the local bait shops here in the Stuart, Fla. area sell out as soon as they get a shipment. With the artificial bite kind of drying up, my friend and occasional fishing buddy, Mike Vars, showed me how to catch big snook on live bait. Mike buys a dozen croakers when he can get them. All you need to keep them alive for a couple days is a round bucket with an aerator. Good baitsized croakers are 5 to 8 inches, anything larger might catch a big snook, but they are harder to fish. Mike uses a 3 or 4 size circle hook and hooks his croakers through the nostrils so they can

8 NATIONAL

SEPTEMBER 2021

By Richard L. Matteson

swim freely. Some anglers prefer to hook them through the tail. Since the tactic involves free-lining, with no weight, casts should be just past the trough on a high tide, which is about 20 feet here. Then open the spool and let that croaker run. On low tide, it might be necessary to wade past the trough and cast farther out. Mike uses a 60-lb. leader and 20-lb. braid on a spinning reel. Before the snook takes the bait, the croaker will often wiggle excitedly—this is a signal you are about to get bit. When the line suddenly starts moving fast, it means a snook has your croaker. Let her have the bait for a few seconds, and then begin reeling steadily so the circle hook lodges in the corner of her mouth. Mike Vars with a nice beach snook Mike averages three or four big female snook caught on live bait. each trip with this method. He has caught several over-slot snook, with the biggest measuring about 40 inches. Florida’s Atlantic Coast. You’re allowed one per day If you want to catch your own bait, use a between 28 and 32 inches. sabiki rig and tip hooks with a small piece of Richard Matteson writes for the Stuart Rod & shrimp. Or fish the trough with light tackle and a Reel Club and he is a long-time contributor small piece of shrimp. to Coastal Angler Magazine. Sept. 1 marks open season for snook on

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The Mullet Run Is On! By CAM Staff

I

t’s that time of year again when the lowly mullet becomes a primary target of interest for Florida anglers. Over the next few weeks and months, mullet in untold numbers will migrate out of the estuaries and run down the coast to their spawning grounds off South Florida. The mullet run is on, and it has switched on the predatory drive of almost every fish in the ocean. From the beach, or on a jetty, pier, bridge or boat, anglers who encounter fish feeding in huge schools of mullet are in for a treat. These intrepid little pilgrims have made their way south from as far up as the Carolinas, and it’s a good thing they come in numbers, because a whole lot of them get gobbled up along the way. Snook, tarpon, flounder, redfish, sharks, bluefish, jacks, Spanish mackerel,

2 FLORIDA

SEPTEMBER 2021

ladyfish… they all answer the dinner bell when mullet are balled up. To find the fish, you must find the bait. Young finger mullet make an easy meal when large schools of them are pinned against a jetty or are caught out in the open by predators running the beaches. Live or dead mullet are the obvious baits to fish if you’ve got time to throw a net, but don’t get caught cast-netting when there is a frenzy going on. A plug or soft-plastic will also get hammered when the melee is on. Don’t pass up your window of opportunity when the action is hot. Bait might be heavy in an area one day and gone the next. Anglers with boats can run the beaches in search of diving birds and find fish blowing up on top. Seawalls, rocky shorelines and other obstruction to the southward migration can serve as ambush points or corrals where baitfish are pinned in. Any structure that steers schools of mullet into a predictable path can turn into a killing ground. Shore-bound anglers must rely on good intel or just show up and hope to get lucky. Some prefer to pick a place that has been productive in the past and return frequently to catch it when it’s right. Others have a list of likely locations and eat up the road in search of activity. It’s the time of year when your gear should remain rigged and ready in the back of the truck. A good network of fishing buddies is worth its weight in tarpon during the run. Sharing good information on locations and the southward progression of bait is a two-way street. Take care of someone else, and they will likely take care of you. This time of year is a great time to be on the water. Temperatures are beginning to cool, most of the tourists have gone home, and thick waves of baitfish are there to be found, running the coastline with big predators in hot pursuit. For more information, go to coastalanglermag.com.

COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM



PHOTO COURTESY OF KNOCKIN TAIL LURES.

A

Fall

Transition Pay Attention to Detail By Capt. Michael Okruhlik

s fall approaches, fish patterns change. By understanding the habits of fish, you can target them with confidence. Spring fry have matured in the marsh and are ready to move into open water. Knowing the timing, tides and location of this migration can lead to great action. I recently tried a new area. It’s a place I really hadn’t heard anything about. I planned to target reds, since satellite imagery suggested it should be favorable. This area had a long meandering bayou that emptied into a small lake, which ranged in depth from 1 to 3 feet. I was at the top of a chain of lakes and marsh, so this particular drain would see the first of the baitfish and shrimp exiting their summer home. Targeting the inland-most marshes and bayous early in the season will be the most productive. Follow the bait and schools of fish out as the season advances. Although the reds were there, they were only 12 inches long, and the trout were smaller. They were gorging on shad and shrimp as tide poured out of the bayou into the lake. Once I noticed flounder busting completely out of the water attacking the schools of shad, I quickly changed my retrieve. I had been working my soft-plastic swimbait high in the water column to keep it in the bait balls. When I saw those flounder, I immediately lowered my rod tip and began vigorously twitching my rod down and to the side to make the jig head hit the mud bottom hard. Kicking up clouds of silt attracts flatfish. I started landing flounder immediately with the new retrieve. It was obvious they were aggressive since they were going airborne to feed on shad. This is why I worked the lure hard and fast, unlike a traditional flounder retrieve. I’m not sure how many I caught, released and lost, but it was well into double digits. The most productive color was white or pearl to mimic shad. Since they were attacking schools of bait, I tied on a tandem rig using the same lures. I think the presentation looked more like the schools of baitfish they were targeting. I rigged my second lure so it would look more natural floating above the first jig-head swimbait, which was bouncing on the bottom. This increased my strikes. Paying attention to the details of the location, season and tide, as well as how the fish were feeding all played a huge part in my success. These concepts can be applied in any situation at any time of year. It was not what I expected, but I will take a limit of flounder any day. Capt. Michael Okruhlik is the inventor of Knockin Tail Lures and Controlled Descent Lures. He owns www.MyCoastOutdoors.com.

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SEPTEMBER 2021

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COASTAL ANGLER North Central Florida/Nature Coast

SEPTEMBER 2021 EDITION

Find Your Outdoors Here!

Cary & Lynn Crutchfield

North Central Florida Nature Coast Staff

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

Cary Crutchfield

A

SEPTEMBER

s I write tonight, Fred has passed, and Grace is way south of us. Resulting from Elsa, Fred and almost three months of rain, the swamp behind our house has overflowed and filled our back yard, again. The Suwannee is at the top of our bank. We are rubber booting it to our cars parked on the other side of the water. Small price to pay to live in Paradise. First time ever, I cooked salmon for the monthly recipe, Baked Salmon with Crunchy Yummies. Usually I spotlight a local seafood from Kelly’s, but this month I went “fancy” with salmon. Because, as I said I went “fancy”, I chose a vegetable that I had never cooked, rapini. We liked the basic flavor, but found it a bit bitter. I served with my delicious wild/white rice pilaf. See page 2. Also on page 2, see Coastal Angler’s newest product, VIDMAG.COM. Take a look. Let me know what you think. See page 20 for our Directory of delivery locations. Businesses in red are advertisers. Every month I encourage you to get the Covid vaccine and wear your mask, and here it comes again. My desire is for you, and those around you, to stay well and alive. Think about unvaccinated children. Covid doesn’t care about your politics, and neither do I. As always, please thank our advertisers for partnering with us and the distribution locations for sharing a bit of their real estate with us. If not for them, you would not be reading the world’s greatest FREE magazine. Thank you John for the beautiful waterscapes. School is in session again. Please look out for the school busses and the children standing by the side of the road. Lynn Crutchfield Co-Publisher Coastal Angler Magazine of North Central Florida/Nature Coast

SALES

EDITING & PRODUCTION Lynn Crutchfield

DISTRIBUTION Rosa Crisman

GRAPHIC ARTS & DESIGN Kathleen Stemley

WEB DESIGN Kristi Williams

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Dr. Kevin McCarthy John Freeze Noel Kuhn Capt. Dan Clymer Capt. Katie Jo Davis Capt. Tommy Derringer Capt. Andrew Fagan Capt. Tony Johns Capt. James Kerr Capt. Pat McGriff Capt. Brent Woodard

CONTACT INFORMATION

crutch@coastalanglermagazine.com 352-542-0356 www.CoastalAnglerMag.com/NC-Florida

INSIDE THIS ISSUE Tide Charts Local Fishing Forecasts Monthly Recipe

Photo by: Suwannee River Water Management District


BAKED SALMON WITH YUMMY CRUNCHIES

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Thank you to The Crab Plant for the salmon. 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.

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

TIDES • North Central Florida Time Height

1W

2Th 3F

4Sa

5Su

6M

7Tu

8W

2:57 AM 8:58 AM 4:54 PM 11:50 PM 4:20 AM 10:14 AM 5:59 PM 12:50 AM 5:31 AM 11:22 AM 6:54 PM 1:34 AM 6:32 AM 12:22 PM 7:39 PM 2:09 AM 7:25 AM 1:16 PM 8:19 PM 2:39 AM 8:11 AM 2:04 PM 8:56 PM 3:07 AM 8:54 AM 2:50 PM 9:32 PM 3:35 AM 9:36 AM 3:37 PM 10:08 PM

2.3 3.7 0.9 2.9 2.4 3.8 0.7 3.1 2.3 3.9 0.5 3.3 2.0 4.1 0.4 3.4 1.8 4.2 0.3 3.5 1.5 4.4 0.3 3.6 1.2 4.4 0.4 3.8 0.9 4.4 0.6

HERNANDO BEACH

SEPTEMBER 2021

9Th

Time Height

4:03 AM 10:19 AM 4:25 PM 10:43 PM 10F 4:33 AM 11:05 AM 5:17 PM 11:20 PM 11Sa 5:06 AM 11:54 AM 6:12 PM 11:57 PM 12Su 5:43 AM 12:48 PM 7:14 PM 13M 12:37 AM 6:26 AM 1:51 PM 8:31 PM 14Tu 1:25 AM 7:18 AM 3:08 PM 10:09 PM 15W 2:34 AM 8:27 AM 4:33 PM 11:38 PM 16Th 4:03 AM 9:56 AM 5:49 PM

3.9 0.7 4.3 0.8 4.1 0.5 4.0 1.1 4.2 0.4 3.7 1.5 4.3 0.4 3.4 1.8 4.3 0.4 3.1 2.1 4.2 0.5 2.9 2.3 4.0 0.6 3.0 2.3 4.0 0.5

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

17F 18Sa 19Su 20M 21Tu 22W 23Th 24F

12:39 AM 5:24 AM 11:20 AM 6:51 PM 1:22 AM 6:32 AM 12:31 PM 7:39 PM 1:56 AM 7:27 AM 1:29 PM 8:19 PM 2:25 AM 8:14 AM 2:17 PM 8:52 PM 2:51 AM 8:55 AM 3:00 PM 9:22 PM 3:16 AM 9:33 AM 3:39 PM 9:51 PM 3:40 AM 10:10 AM 4:18 PM 10:19 PM 4:05 AM 10:46 AM 4:58 PM 10:47 PM

3.1 2.1 4.0 0.4 3.3 1.8 4.1 0.4 3.5 1.4 4.2 0.5 3.6 1.1 4.2 0.7 3.8 0.8 4.2 0.8 3.9 0.7 4.1 1.0 3.9 0.6 3.9 1.2 4.0 0.5 3.7 1.4

Time Height

25Sa 4:31 AM 11:21 AM 5:39 PM 11:15 PM 26Su 5:00 AM 11:59 AM 6:23 PM 11:46 PM 27M 5:32 AM 12:41 PM 7:14 PM 28Tu 12:21 AM 6:10 AM 1:32 PM 8:18 PM 29W 1:07 AM 6:58 AM 2:40 PM 9:45 PM 30Th 2:18 AM 8:06 AM 4:01 PM 11:04 PM

4.0 0.5 3.5 1.6 4.1 0.6 3.3 1.8 4.0 0.7 3.1 2.0 3.9 0.8 2.9 2.2 3.8 0.9 2.8 2.3 3.6 1.0 2.9

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

High Tide 12 min Low Tide 20 min

High Tide 2 min Low Tide 0 min

SEPTEMBER 2021

COOKING DIRECTIONS INGREDIENTS Preheat oven to 400 • Salmon degrees. • Butter Melt a little butter in oven • Salt and Pepper proof dish, the size you need • Lemon Juice for the amount of salmon • Parmesan you are cooking. Place Cheese Grated salmon in baking dish and (1 tablespoon/ drizzle with a little lemon serving) juice. Add a little bit more • Parsley Finely butter to salmon. about Chopped Mix Parmesan, Parsley and (1 tablespoon/ Panko and spread evenly over serving) Salmon. Bake 10 minutes. • Panko Crumbs Remove from oven and place (1 tablespoon/ the foil over to prevent over serving) browning of topping. Return • Aluminum oil to oven and bake about 10 minutes more. Salmon will flake with fork when done. I served with rapini and wild rice pilaf. My pilaf is wild rice, white rice, minced celery, onion and carrots. Sometimes I also add almonds and mushrooms. Usually I choose a local fish from Kelly’s, but this month I decided to choose something that you won’t find on your hook in our waters. Also, I think it is Cary’s favorite fish.

COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

By

termin For ex ropes” recrui the di and to sailbo Sail examp have i early a left sid bow, a side o The w docki wharf The Englis side o locate had th peopl of the 1066 N a boat mecha to doc not to steerin In o water,


FLORIDA WATERWAYS More Nautical Terms

I

once found myself on a tugboat, helping the captain maneuver the vessel from one dock to another. When I called to the captain to “Throw me the rope,” he gently reprimanded me: “We don’t have ropes on boats, only lines.” As a professional linguist for over forty years, I should have known better and, in fact, have written several columns a year for this magazine about the By Kevin McCarthy nautical terminology that professional boaters use. For example, I know that “to learn the ropes” referred to the necessity of new recruits on sailing ships to learn to tie all the different types of knots on such vessels and to learn how to use the lines in use on sailboats. Sailors use “port” and “starboard,” for example, to avoid the confusion one might have if a sailor said “left” or “right.” From an early age, I learned that “port” refers to the left side of a boat, when one is facing the bow, and that “starboard” refers to the right side of a boat, when one is facing the bow. The word “port” goes back to the custom of docking a vessel with that side, facing the wharf or dock or port. The word “starboard” goes back to Old English “steorbord,” which referred to the side of the vessel where the steering oar was located, i.e. the side of the boat/ship that had the steering oar, perhaps because most people are right-handed. The picture here of the Bayeux Tapestry, which depicts the 1066 Norman Conquest of England, shows a boat from the time, with the steering mechanism on the right. Mariners got used to docking the boat on the port side, so as not to damage the steering mechanism, the steering oar, on the other side. In order to prevent collisions on the water, nautical regulations mark each side

with standard-color lights from dusk to dawn: green on a vessel’s starboard side and red on its port side. Airplanes have a similar lighting pattern. The “aft” or “stern” refers to the back of the boat, while “fore” or “bow” refers to the front of the vessel. The corresponding adjective for “aft” is “after,” while that for “fore” is “forward.” Some vessels, like the Drayton Island Ferry (pictured here), interchange the stern and bow, depending on The four directional points of a boat which direction the ferry is going. A restaurant near where I grew up in New Jersey, is named the Stern and Bow, which should satisfy anyone who is superstitious about being in one or the other part of More nautical terms a vessel. The name Stern and Bow is a nod to the last name of owner/operator Russell Stern, and the two directional parts of a boat. Because the restaurant specializes in seafood, most notably an expansive, premier raw bar, amongst many other menu items. No word about whether that restaurant uses “Buoys” and “Gulls” for the bathrooms. Also pictured here is one of the books I use in the study of nautical language. More such columns to come in the next year. Kevin McCarthy, the author of North Florida Waterways (2013 - available at amazon.com), can be reached at ceyhankevin@ gmail.com.

COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

SEPTEMBER 2021

The Bayeux Tapestry shows an old boat

One of the sources for nautical terms

Stern and Bow Re

staurant sign

The Drayton Island Ferry

NORTH CENTRAL FLORIDA/NATURE COAST 3


KATIE JO’S NATURE COAST ADVENTURES

T

he bull redfish are chewing, and what fun they are to reel in! Large mud minnows, and 4 to 5-inch mullet are the bait of choice, thrown on rocky points with a 1/16-ounce jig head. Depending on the clarity of the water, 30 lb. leader gives strength to any abrasion from the rocks, and allows the fish to be brought to the boat. The light jig allows the fish to swim a little more freely along the bottom, and provides a more natural appeal to the bigger fish. My philosophy is always the bigger the bait, the bigger the fish caught. Large chunks of cut ladyfish or mullet makes a great meal for large snook. Often, the over slot redfish enjoy the same meal. The flounder bite continues to be on fire, as the water temperatures stay in the mid to high 80's. A 1/8 jig head with a shrimp, retrieved slowly across the sandy bottom, creates the perfect presentation to reel in a few of them each trip. Often, the large doormats are mistaken as a rock, as they tend to eat and dig back down into the sand. These tasty fish are a

H

e

fun fight and a nice meal. This time of the year, the bite stays rather consistent on the water and always makes a fishing trip that much more enjoyable! Capt. Katie Jo Davis www.fishcrystalriverflorida.com 772-882-8932

ENGLISH.BRAD@YAHOO.COM 24304 NW 182ND AVE. HIGH SPRINGS, FL 32643 4 NORTH CENTRAL FLORIDA/NATURE COAST

SEPTEMBER 2021

COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

has be snook can sti watch Big everyw and yo using l some m tides m the bo usually fresh c choice a 1/8 o Sno remem and on snook, incom of the always pin fish Trou soon, s for bai the ne cork w As for a little Unt hard. G water.


CRYSTAL RIVER

CENTRAL FLORIDA INLAND

W H

ello from Crystal River, The bite here in Crystal River has been great, and the big reds and snook are really good. It’s hot but you can still catch some good fish if you watch the tides, and fish early or late. Big reds are showing up everywhere; just look for the mullet, and you will find them. We’ve been using live pin fish, shrimp and even some mud minnows. When the tides move fast, I use shrimp on the bottom. When it’s hot, the reds usually won’t chase a fast bait. Also, fresh cut mullet is always a good choice, either on a circle hook or even a 1/8 oz. jig. Snook season is open here, and remember the slot is 28 to 33 inches, and one per person. While targeting snook, I like the very top of the incoming tide, and the beginning of the outgoing. A DOA jerk bait is always a good choice or the biggest pin fish you have. Trout fishing will start to fire up soon, so start looking for them. I look for bait fish and birds dropping on the near shore flats. A good popping cork with 1/16 oz. jig is a good choice. As for bait, I use either a live shrimp, a little Jon or even a gulp. Until next month stay safe and fish hard. Give me a call to get out the water. Capt. James Kerr 352-362-6893 Citrusfishingchaters.com

COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

ell Forest Anglers, as far as storm seasons go, this year has been top-notch so far. The heats been pretty intense of course, but as I'm writing this (mid-August), the amount of pop-up storms/hurricanes haven't been near as bad as we've seen in past years. (Knock on wood.) That being said, our water levels are at a perfect height, and the plant life is lush, green, and healthy everywhere you look. With summer going so smoothly, and Mother Nature looking happier than ever, it should be pretty obvious that the fishing has been all around top notch as well. Honestly, with everything moving along like clockwork, I'm beginning to feel like, "Ok, what's up? What surprise ending do you have waiting for us?" You know what I mean? It's always when you start getting comfortable, and everything is "just right”, that's when life throws you a curve ball. So I'm knockin' on wood again, and with both hands this time. Hope for the best and prepare for the worst, as the old saying goes. For now though, I'm gonna enjoy every minute of it. The bass fishing continues to be spectacular. I haven't seen a skinny fish in months, and the average size is well above normal in each body of water. The best technique is to throw moving baits at sunrise, sunset, or anytime it’s overcast, and keep covering water until you find the biggins'. Where there's one, there's more to be caught. When you do catch a nice one, focus on that area, but slow down and take your time between casts. Try to stay just within casting range, instead of sitting right on top of 'em. Also, make sure to switch lures now and then; seeing the same lure over and over again will turn the bite right off. On hot sunny days, you really need to slow down to a crawl. Throw weightless finesse lures, A trick-worm is "the norm”, and literally just let it fall. A slight rod SEPTEMBER 2021

twitch is the most action you should add to it. Focus on the deep, outer edges of lily pad patches, water hyacinths, or whatever vegetation looks best. Another option is to slowly move along those edges, while pitching creature baits (1/4 oz bullet weight) into the cover (vegetation). Once your lure hits the bottom, give your rod a twitch, reel in and pitch to a new spot. Above all, patience is the key. One last thing. I know fall's right around the corner, and I'm sure many of you are planning to wait for the temps to start dropping. I get it, no one likes a sunburn, but September is one of the best fishing months of the year (GIANTS), and there are several ways to beat the heat. The easiest, is to only fish spots that are shaded. Many of our lakes are surrounded by cypress trees, and with water levels up, there are loads of great backwater spots. Also, we have the entire Ocklawaha River to explore, which offers endless shaded corners and every gamefish species out here. So put on your brimmed hat, grab your heavy rods, and go get yourself a Trophy. John Freeze Kayak Fishing and Nature Tours OurNationalForrest@gmail.com 352-216-5798

NORTH CENTRAL FLORIDA/NATURE COAST 5


KEATON BEACH

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

SIGNS BANNERS

T

Hugo Lara of Miami Fl. with his first-ever redfish

rout and redfish have been biting despite the August Heat. Monday, with a Heat index of 113 degrees, we caught 15 trout and four redfish. We had a 25-inch trout for Don McGough of Tifton, Ga. Don Also took top honors on redfish as he landed a 26-inch red. We have had an incredible amount of rain, and as I write, T.S. Fred is headed into the Gulf and supposed to bring us even more rain.....hope not. We are fishing in 5.5 to 6.0 feet of water and catching the trout and reds mixed together on the same drift. Live pinfish rigged, under Back Bay Thunders, continue to be the ticket for Hot summertime trout and reds. The water temps today were 88.6 to 89.8 and we brought in another couple limits of trout and three reds in those same depths. The incredible amount of floating grass

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 6 NORTH CENTRAL FLORIDA/NATURE COAST

SEPTEMBER 2021

Isaac Hayes of Juliette, Ga. with a nice 9 spot redfish, caught 8/9/21

Hugo Lara again this time, with his first-ever speckled trout, caught Friday the 13th of August (not so unlucky)

is disallowing any type of artificial to be fished. You could try to work an Original oval Cajun Thunder with an Assassin plastic on a jig head I suppose; but we are having way too much fun with live pinfish to stop. I can’t foresee any real changes in September. Some of this fresh water may have subsided a bit and let the water clear up some. (I hope not) These fish are more active due to the heavy stain in the water due to all the rain. Pat McGriff dba One More Cast guide service for 30 years! www.onemorecast.net onemorecast@gtcom.net cell: 850.838.7541

COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

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h his Friday ucky)

HORSESHOE BEACH

H

ello from Horseshoe Beach! I hope everybody is staying cool out there; it has definitely been a hot one. Now, for your September fishing report. To start off, we’ll talk about some scalloping. It has definitely gotten tougher to find them due to all the rain. Also, when it gets later in the season, generally the scallop grounds have been picked over, but there are still a few to be found! Trout fishing has picked up tenfold, compared to the last month. We are finally starting to see better numbers with good fish mixed in. I’m catching most of my keepers in the 3 to 4 ½ foot range, throwing poppin corks, and fishing on the bottom with a jig head. I like to decide the color of the bait when I get on the water. I choose more natural presentation for cleaner water, and a brighter presentation for darker. I only see the trout fishing getting better from here on. The redfish still our bread and butter, but it’s nice to have a mixed bag with the occasional snook mixed in. I’ve definitely noticed this month, where you find one red, you’ll find more. I typically give a spot 15 minutes with cut bait and move onto the next. If you’re fishing artificial, I tend to not stay for more than five to ten minutes. I’m starting to see a lot of tarpon schooled up off the flats and rolling in the channels. The best way to find them on the flats is to look for birds diving early in the morning, also a good way to find trout or whatever maybe schooled up out there.

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.

With September, comes the beginning of hunting season, my second favorite season barely behind turkey season. I hope everyone stays safe out there whether you’re fishing or hunting. Until next time keep it Reel Native!

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

352-542-0356

Captain Brent Woodard Reel Native Fishing Charters ReelNativeFishing.com 352-284-5514

COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

SEPTEMBER 2021

NORTH CENTRAL FLORIDA/NATURE COAST 7


8 NORTH CENTRAL FLORIDA/NATURE COAST

SEPTEMBER 2021

COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM


SUWANNEE

Gabe Anderson with a nice Lower Suwannee redfish that couldn't resist a FishBites FFC lure. Gabe is from just outside Annapolis Maryland, and was down visiting his Grandfather Joe and friend Mike Peterson.

W

hile I am sitting here writing, it’s 92 degrees outside, and two days ago, the surface water temps were 87 to 89 degrees! But hey, the days are rapidly getting shorter, and the last few mornings have been a bit cooler! For me, I see September as a month of transition; the critters of this earth sense the shortening of the photoperiod and know it’s time to begin preparing for the Winter. For the angler, this means that all species of fish will be eating more often and for a longer period of time! As the speckled trout are wrapping up their spawning activities, look for them to be schooled up and chasing bait! They may be shrimp or finfish, and many times will be different, depending on location and tides. With the water temps still warm (80 degrees) I go to fast shiny baits like silver spoons, and/or a spinner bait inline, or armed with silver blades. For the larger trout, it will still be hard to beat a topwater plug during low light conditions! Many of you are aware that the speckled trout fishing here along this part of the Gulf Coast has not been very good this summer. Now we can debate the reasons, but the truth is the reasons are many! Some, we have little control over, while others we have more. While I personally believe the largest problem is environmental pollution, I know that I have little control or impact on the billions of gallons of water flowing out the Suwannee River! I can however make a difference when I choose to release large breeding fish, the speckled trout 20 inches and over! "Release Over 20" is an initiative to encourage recreational anglers to voluntarily release all spotted seatrout and southern flounder over 20", in essence, creating an upper-slot for these valuable gamefish – even if the law allows it. www. eyestrikefishing.com/releaseover20/ You can also find them on FB and Instagram. Back in the day for my family, the Labor Day weekend was when we started going

Debby, with a short gag grouper, caught in 30 feet of water. Even the gag grouper like to chomp down on some FishBites FFC lures!

after redfish. The longer nights allow the shallow backcountry waters to cool off and the redfish are naturally drawn to it! A high tide late night or early morning seems to be the best. A topwater of floating plug can be deadly during these conditions when fished over and around the oyster bars at the mouths of the tidal creeks. I also like to fish a ¾ ounce Johnson Weedless gold spoon around the grassy points and anywhere the current creates an eddy. For the nearshore and offshore anglers September is also all about change! The pelagic species like mackerel, cobia, sharks and tarpon all begin their annual fall migration. Keep an eye on water temps, and reports from up the coast, to have an idea when the largest bunch of fish will be coming your way! Until next time be safe and Catchemup! Captain Tony Johns | 352-221-2510 www.lowersuwanneriverfishing.com Instagram: captaintonyjohns Facebook: Lower Suwannee River Fishing Adventures or Captain Tony Johns

COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

SEPTEMBER 2021

NORTH CENTRAL FLORIDA/NATURE COAST 9


IN

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he ar to be a past. S the pe redfish a little and w thank saying be diff first w temps to now 80s an the las upwar is the m Sep month Coast, that th year ar the sp a spec 5 am t the ou island with b bringi of bait shrimp Find y bait an them. has ev a day o tackle. shrimp Tak to thes on a C 10 NORTH CENTRAL FLORIDA/NATURE COAST

SEPTEMBER 2021

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INGLIS/YANKEETOWN

Available in 17', 20', 22' and 24'

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he dog days of summer have arrived! This year is setting up to be a little different than years past. September in Yankeetown, is the peak time of the year for the big redfish spawn. However, it began a little early this year in August, and we have cooler water temps to thank for that. If you remember my saying that this year is setting up to be different, this is what I mean. The first week of August, we had water temps in the low 90s; fast forward to now, we have water temps in the 80s and the redfish bite is on! Over the last three weeks, we’ve gotten upwards of 20 inches of rain, which is the most in this area since 1979! September is always a welcomed month for us captains on the Nature Coast, for a couple reasons. The first, that the two hottest months of the year are behind us, and the second, the spawn. You don’t have to have a special boat or need to get up at 5 am to be first on the spot. Any of the outer Spoil Banks, mangrove islands, or oyster bars will be thick with big redfish. I would suggest bringing two to three different types of bait each trip. My favorites are shrimp, mud minnows, and pinfish. Find yourself a good and reliable bait and tackle shop that always has them. Captains Cove, here in Inglis has everything you and I need for a day on the water, from live bait to tackle. They also have the biggest shrimp tanks in three counties. Take any of your favorite baits out to these outer islands and fish them on a Carolina Rig on the bottom.

The action can last all day, or until you run out of bait. Your best bet is to be anchored and rigged on your go-to spot before the tide change. I usually use 3000 size reels 15lb braid and 30lb fluorocarbon leader with a 1 OZ sinker and a 3/o circle hook. Remember to handle these fish with care and release what you don’t plan to keep for dinner! Tight lines guys and gals! Andrew Fagan Ebb Tide Guide Service @capt_redfishdrew

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op ca and hel will be g fishing On the start mo summe hard bo water, w grass ha a haven deadly c tiger sh MirrOlu head, ar disappe top wat The and the outer ke The ma many ex beef up class, so and safe or lady Also, it with oth courtes with ha yourself previou leave th an early Rapala color of

12 NORTH CENTRAL FLORIDA/NATURE COAST

SEPTEMBER 2021

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opefully, in a couple more weeks, we can say goodbye to the summer heat and hello to the first signs of fall. The days will be getting shorter, and some of the best fishing of the year is in the weeks to come. On the inshore scene, the speckled trout will start moving back inshore from their deep summer haunts. Look for shallow, “yellow” hard bottom areas in three to four feet of water, with kelp grass growing on it. The grass has been growing all summer and is a haven for both bait fish and trout. DOA deadly combos rigged with the glow or fire tiger shrimp, as well as bourbon colored MirrOlure Lil Johns on a 1/16th oz jig head, are very effective. The floating grass is disappearing, so don’t be afraid to tie on a top water plug for a fun visual trout strike. The big breeder-sized red fish are here, and the much-anticipated red fish run on the outer keys and spoil islands is in full swing. The majority of these fish are over-slot, and many exceed the 30 inch mark. It’s best to beef up your tackle to at least the 20 lb. test class, so the fish can be brought in quickly, and safely released. Live pinfish, cut mullet or lady fish are the go-to baits in this area. Also, it can get crowed out on these points with other anglers, so please remember courtesy when anchoring. Locate the points with hard limestone bottom, position yourself up tide, and use live and cut baits previously mentioned. However, if possible, leave the dock a little early, and then try an early morning top water bite. I prefer a Rapala Skitter walk for a top water treat. The color of the plug isn’t important, just a steady

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“walk the dog” action should get your heart pumping with a red fish explosion, as long as the floating grass is not too bad. As we progress through this month, the grouper will be migrating to shallow water. The 30 to 40 foot range will start holding more keeper-sized gags, and they will be more aggressive with the cooling water temperatures. Spend the time catching some quality live baits; pinfish, sand perch, porgys and grunts are “grouper candy”. It is usually said with grouper, “The bigger the bait, the bigger the fish.” Over the last couple of weeks, the biggest gags have definitely preferred big live baits. Trolling plugs over the rocky structure will be more productive towards the end of the month, and even better into October. Also, snook are another inshore species to target, as the days are getting shorter. The snook will start congregating in the rivers and during this transition time, they will feed heavily. Target the shorelines of the rivers with a shallow running plug or jerk bait. I prefer the Yo-Zuri Mag Darter or a DOA jerk bait in the glow color, and concentrate on areas with breaks in the current. Also, focus on rocky points, docks, and oyster bars for different ambush points. Good Fishing…

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Capt. Dan Clymer 352.418.2160 www.crystalriver-fishing.com COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

SEPTEMBER 2021

NORTH CENTRAL FLORIDA/NATURE COAST 13


14 NORTH CENTRAL FLORIDA/NATURE COAST

SEPTEMBER 2021

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ST. AUGUSTINE

SURF & PIER

T

he mullet run is now in full swing. Everything that likes mullet will be chomping on them in the surf. That includes redfish, bluefish, flounder, Spanish, jacks, trout, tarpon, and sharks. Don’t forget the cast net! The size of the mullet you use often dictates what you’ll catch. If you want to catch a flounder, use a small finger mullet. If a tarpon or shark is in range, throw a big mullet. Whatever size you use, get in on the action. The mullet run only happens once a year, and will last approximately two months. My favorite way to fish live mullet is on a fish finder rig. The lightest leader and smallest hook will get you more bites. My biggest rigs are 7/0 circle hook with 100 lb. mono leader. Where my lightest is a 1/0 circle and 25 lb. mono leader. When hooking mullet, I prefer to put the hook in the mouth, and up just deep enough thru the head to keep them on the hook. Keeping your mullet frisky is tough when the air temp is near 90! I use a round igloo cooler to keep the water cool. Then, keep plenty of bubbles flowing in with a good

aerator. Lastly, I change the water about every half hour. You cannot beat lively bait when the predators move inside the bar! September is a transition month. If you’re longing for the schools of pompano to return, keep your eye on the surf temperature. It’s go time when you see the surf temp drop every week. The pomps have spent the summer on the coast of North Carolina. When cold water comes around the Outer Banks, it will push the pomps our way. When it reaches 75 degrees, the pompano will be here is mass. October will be the peak month of the year for surf fishing, so get your gear ready. Tie some new rigs. Re-spool with new line. Then hit the beach when the temps start to drop. Until then, enjoy the mullet run and all the action that it brings. 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

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I

t’s still hot out there--the fishing and the air temps, but fall is coming… How do you still beat the lingering heat? Get out at first light, or wait for the last few hours of daylight, right around dusk. Those times of day, are typically the best times to catch the fish feeding this time of year. It’s a great time of year to toss top-water plugs, inshore during those lower light conditions. Along the beach, the tarpon will be feeding early and late as well. One very important ingredient for catching fish this time of year, is to look for the bait. Whether it's finger mullet, shrimp, or pogys, if you find the bait, you'll find the fish. The bait can be easily located by looking for nervous water (small disruptions on the surface, similar to a very small boat wake). You can be sure that redfish, trout, and flounder will be hanging around the schools of bait looking for an easy meal. Don't overlook the banks along the ICW on the lower tide stages this month. A lot of the baitfish will come out of the creeks, and hang along those ICW banks, especially the ones that have oysters scattered on them. Again, the bigger fish will be in close pursuit. September brings one of the most unique and exciting ways to catch redfish on the First Coast. We will have some great "flood" tides this month, and the reds will be up in the grass tailing away. You can use a trolling motor to scout out the best grass flats, but wading or poling your boat is usually the most effective way to catch the tailing reds. Start looking SEPTEMBER 2021

for the fish before the tide gets too high, usually at least an hour or two before the high tide, depending on how high it will get. Small plastic baits like those made by Saltwater Assassin will work great in the grass. Rig your lure on a weedless hook, and try to present it well in front of, or past the fish, and then slowly drag it towards him. A direct hit to a tailing red will usually send him darting off the flat like an out-ofcontrol torpedo. Sometimes, they are so focused on finding food, that they seem to never look up to find your lure. That's when a small glass rattle inserted into your soft plastic, or tied to your favorite fly, will do wonders to get their attention. September will still be a good month to look for the silver kings to be feeding early in the morning on the bait pods, just off the beach, and on the mullet in the inlets. Free-line a pogy or mullet around the bait pods, and hold on. You’ll also find some big tarpon behind the shrimp boats in the by-catch slicks. If the tarpon don't want to play, do some trolling along the beach for some line-screaming kingfish action. (There will be plenty of them out there.) There will also be plenty of smaller tarpon inshore in the canals and deeper creeks, and flats. A back-hooked, free-lined finger mullet, a free lined select shrimp, or medium sized pogy, will all make for a great tarpon snack. Capt. Tommy Derringer www.InshoreAdventures.net 904-377-3734

NORTH CENTRAL FLORIDA/NATURE COAST 15


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If you have a suggestion for a distribution location for COASTAL ANGLER MAGAZINE, please let us know. We can be reached at 352-372-4237 or Crutch@CoastalAnglerMagazine.com. You can view all forty-plus magazines in the US, including the Bahamas, Costa Rica and Puerto Rico/Virgin Islands, at www.CoastalAnglerMagazine.com. 16 NORTH CENTRAL FLORIDA/NATURE COAST

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downsize ky fish to shot. My th a hook

them is a Thin 4.5’ gemouth, a little bit orm on a Tungsten

imitator. find fish allmouth Hayabusa as well. nicky fish, ors to the ite colors ng dawn. pkin and

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The Perfect Vacation Getaway for Fishing, Boating & Outdoor Enthusiasts A drop shot is an awesome way to get bites when it gets tough. With the bait suspended off the bottom above your weight, it gives fish a different presentation than the normal Texas rig. Pitch it around hard cover like wood and rock, drag it through grass or throw it around dropoffs or deep spots. I always have a drop shot rigged this time of year, and it puts fish in the boat.

Drop Shot Gear A drop shot is a finesse approach. I use a 13 Fishing Omen Black 7’1” medium fast action rod paired with a 2500 size spinning reel. Spool this combo with Seaguar 10-lb. Smackdown braid leading to an 8- to 12-lb. Abrazx fluorocarbon leader depending on the cover and water clarity you are dealing with.

TIPS FROM A PRO

to warm h tend to

DROP SHOT WHEN THE BITE IS TOUGH

T

TYLER WOOLCOTT

he end of summer is here, and the fishing is a little tough. From fishing pressure through the summer to warm water temps, this time of year can be a grind at times. Fish tend to get a little lock-jawed, and this can be really frustrating. When this scenario presents itself, I pull out a spinning rod, downsize my line and bait, and slow down my presentation to get finicky fish to eat. One of my favorite techniques this time of year is a drop shot. My drop shot rig consists of a weight tied to the end of the line with a hook and soft plastic tied in about 12 to 18 inches above the weight. There are two styles of baits I like to drop shot. One of them is a finesse-style worm like the 13 Fishing Rabbit Ear Joy Stick Ultra Thin 4.5’ worm. I like a worm on my drop shot when I’m targeting largemouth, especially in Southern states. These fish are usually feeding on a little bit larger forage, and the finesse worm is a perfect fit. Rig this worm on a 1/0 Hayabusa FPP Straight hook with a 1/4or 3/8-oz. WOO Tungsten weight for the perfect presentation. The other soft plastic I like on a drop shot is a small baitfish imitator. The 13 Fishing Vertigo Minnow gets a ton of bites. When you find fish chasing small baitfish or you’re up north where there are smallmouth bass, this style of soft plastic gets the job done. Rig it on a Hayabusa DSR132 #1 hook with a ¼ or 3/8-oz. WOO Tungsten weight, as well.

Tyler Woolcott is a professional tournament angler and guide. R E S E RV E Check out his website at www.tylerwoolcottfishing.com.Y

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I like to keep things simple when it comes to colors. With finicky fish, you want your bait to look as natural as possible. I match colors to the forage in the lake. When throwing the finesse worm, my favorite colors are the green pumpkins and even pinkish colors like a morning dawn. With the baitfish, I stick to white and pearl or your green pumpkin and brown. A drop shot is an awesome way to get bites when it gets tough. With the bait suspended off the bottom above your weight, it gives fish a different presentation than the normal Texas rig. Pitch it around hard cover like wood and rock, drag it through grass or throw it around dropoffs or deep spots. I always have a drop shot rigged this time of year, and it puts fish in the boat.

P

Drop Shot Gear A drop shot is a finesse approach. I use a 13 Fishing Omen Black 7’1” medium fast action rod paired with a 2500 size spinning reel. Spool this combo with Seaguar 10-lb. Smackdown braid leading to an 8- to 12-lb. Abrazx fluorocarbon leader depending on the cover and water clarity you are dealing with. Tyler Woolcott is a professional tournament angler and guide. Check out his website at www.tylerwoolcottfishing.com.

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FLORIDA 15


MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR TRIP Tim Barefoot

Y

es, everyone wants to catch a grouper, or three, but you should be prepared— tackle-wise—to come home with “the groceries.” One way to accomplish this is to keep a beeliner/triggerfish rig ready on a rod and to have someone willing to use it when you get on the right mark. Not all big stacks of bait on the recorder are beeliners and triggerfish, but get accustomed to it and you’ll have a pretty good idea of what you’re looking at. The bigger species of the reef complex tend hang out under a big stack of bait, like cigar minnows, sardines, beeliners, etc. But the truth of the matter is, what you might be looking for is near the top of the stack. For example, the larger beeliners might sometimes be the first taps you get on your jig as it drops toward the bottom. When I’m grouper fishing, I fish a revolving spool reel rather than a spinning reel for several reasons. The main reason is so I can feel the bait as it drops. If you feel the bait on the jig getting tapped on the way down, understand that you’re in beeliners, triggers and/or American reds. At that point, it’s up to you to capitalize or just continue to grouper fish for grouper only. If you choose to do it, you can load up on some pretty tasty groceries by sizing down your tackle.

T H E

P E R F E C T

I take a 5-lb. box of squid on every trip offshore for a number of reasons, but this is one of the main reasons. Using a small 1/0 circle hook, double tackle and a 2- or 3-oz. bank sinker, you can harvest grouper bait and dinners deluxe. I count the strips it takes to get to the fish. This is also where multi-colored line can come into play. Drop your bait down to the same color where they were hitting, and then start a very slow descent. These fish like to eat bait as it falls. When you feel the tap or the bait just stops falling, click the reel into gear and let the circle hook do its work. When you get them working upward in the water column, keep them going. If you stop catching them, you’ll see the top of the mark start working it’s way back closer to the bottom. The top of the school is typically where the larger fish will be, especially the triggerfish. Triggers are hard to catch on the grouper jigs, but smaller circle hooks are deadly on these crafty bait stealers. I always anchor to grouper/bottom fish. This style of teasing beeliners and triggers up toward the surface only works from a stationary boat, not drifting. Check out videos on rigging and using doublecircle-hook tackle at barefootcatsandtackle.com.

E S C A P E

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T H E

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SEPTEMBER JUNE 2020 2021COASTALANGLERMAG.COM COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

F L O R I D A


MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR TRIP

Y

Tim Barefoot

es, everyone wants to catch a grouper, or three, but you should be prepared—tackle-wise—to come home with “the groceries.” One way to accomplish this is to keep a beeliner/triggerfish rig ready on a rod and to have someone willing to use it when you get on the right mark. Not all big stacks of bait on the recorder are beeliners and triggerfish, but get accustomed to it and you’ll have a pretty good idea of what you’re looking at. The bigger species of the reef complex tend hang out under a big stack of bait, like cigar minnows, sardines, beeliners, etc. But the truth of the matter is, what you might be looking for is near the top of the stack. For example, the larger beeliners might sometimes be the first taps you get on your jig as it drops toward the bottom. When I’m grouper fishing, I fish a revolving spool reel rather than a spinning reel for several reasons. The main reason is so I can feel the bait as it drops. If you feel the bait on the jig getting tapped on the way down, understand that you’re in beeliners, triggers and/or American reds. At that point, it’s up to you to capitalize or just continue to grouper fish for grouper only. If you choose to do it, you can load up on some pretty tasty groceries by sizing down your tackle. I take a 5-lb. box of squid on every trip offshore for a number of reasons, but this is one of the main reasons. Using a small 1/0 circle hook, double tackle and a 2- or 3-oz. bank sinker, you can harvest grouper bait and dinners deluxe. I count the strips it takes to get to the fish. This is also where multi-colored line can come into play. Drop your bait down to the same color where they were hitting, and then start a very slow descent. These fish like to eat bait as it falls. When you feel the tap or the bait just stops falling, click the reel into gear and let the circle hook do its work. When you get them working upward in the water column, keep them going. If you stop catching them, you’ll see the top of the mark start working it’s way back closer to the bottom. The top of the school is typically where the larger fish will be, especially the triggerfish. Triggers are hard to catch on the grouper jigs, but smaller circle hooks are deadly on these crafty bait stealers. I always anchor to grouper/bottom fish. This style of teasing beeliners and triggers up toward the surface only works from a stationary boat, not drifting. Check out videos on rigging and using doublecircle-hook tackle at barefootcatsandtackle.com. COASTALANGLERMAG.COM COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COMSEPTEMBER JUNE 2020 2021

LOCATION FLORIDA 17 3


21

From Yam just

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itzgerald Fishing’s New Bryan Thrift Signature Series Drop-Shot/Ned Rig Rod was voted on by 2021 ICAST attendees as the “Best New MicroWave Rod” debuted at the show. The contest consisted of entries from all the Wave Army brands that attended the show and debuted a new rod or new rod series featuring the award-winning MicroWave Guides. The Wave Army is comprised of brands in the fishing industry that utilize American Tackle MicroWave Guides on a rod or series of rods. Thrift, who competes on the MLF Bass Pro Tour, designed two finesse spinning rods to compliment his current signature series with Fitzgerald Fishing. He is one of the most accomplished anglers ever to compete in bass tournaments, with two Angler of the Year titles on the FLW Tour and a 2019 Forrest Wood Cup Championship to his name. The rod entered into the contest was the Fitzgerald Fishing Bryan Thrift Signature Series Drop-Shot/Ned Rig rod, a 7-foot medium action rod featuring the MicroWave 20 Guide set. Thrift designed this rod to have a fast action to help anglers fight fish better using light line applications and added length to increase casting distance. The rod also features a unique two-hook keeper design to help anglers decrease drop shot line tangles and coming ‘undone’ during long, hard runs on the deck of a boat. This added feature allows anglers to attach both the hook and weight to the rod. Thrift utilized this rod specifically at Stage 5 of the 2021 MLF Bass Pro Tour on Lake Champlain to throw a drop-shot rig. It is available now at your favorite Fitzgerald Fishing online dealer or tackle shop! Check out Fitzgerald rods at fitzgeraldrods.com.

18 FLORIDA

SEPTEMBER 2021

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he recreational harvest of greater amberjack and gray triggerfish opened in Gulf of Mexico state and federal waters in August. Greater amberjack is scheduled to remain open through Oct. 31 in Gulf state and federal waters. Gray triggerfish is scheduled to remain open through Dec. 31 in Gulf state and federal waters, but an early quota closure is possible for either species. The bag limit for amberjack is one per person, per day, with a minimum length of 34 inches fork length. The bag limit for triggerfish is one per person, per day, with a minimum length of 15 inches fork length. If you plan to fish for amberjack or gray triggerfish anywhere in Florida state or federal waters from a private recreational vessel, you must sign up as a State Reef Fish Angler (annual renewal is required). To learn more, visit MyFWC.com/SRFS. Sign up today at GoOutdoorsFlorida.com.

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“A

iyeeeeee, yeeee, yeeee, yeee!” The shout sounded Cajun, or perhaps like the intro to a mariachi tune. Either way, it amplified the chaos on deck. Three rods were bent. Two anglers scrambled to uncross lines screaming off reels. A third angler dove to wrap an arm around the 10-year-old who held a death grip on rod number three. It was a tossup as to whether the kid would lose the rod or be yanked overboard into a very active chum slick. The whole scene unraveled when a 10-foot tiger shark rose to the surface. It smashed the boy’s cobia straight through the surface, blowing up close enough to drench us, maybe 15 feet off the stern. There was stunned silence, then... “Ayeeee, yeeee, yeeee, yeeee!” our captain hollered. “I love chaos!” Man, what a trip. It was a lot more than my two brothers and I expected upon reconnecting with a childhood friend in Bluffton, South Carolina. Our captain, Keene Reese, is a successful real estate agent with Ussery Group, Charter One Realty in the Lowcountry. He is also a very fishy dude. In mid-June, he invited us—along with my 10-year-old son— on a 20-mile ride offshore, where cobia were thick on a well-known wreck. With a beautiful chum slick snaking off the stern of Reese’s 25’ Regulator “Copacetic,” it didn’t take 10 minutes for “brownies” to start showing on the surface. There was no need for down-lines that day. All the action was on top, visible and simple. Pitch a live menhaden on a freeline, and a cobia would take it before you reached the rod holder. Over the course of a few hours, we boated well over a dozen cobia,

although the action came in such crazy spurts that no one could keep count. The thing is, we only landed four fish longer than the 36-inch minimum. That’s good news, according to Mel Bell, the director of Fisheries Management with South Carolina DNR. For decades, South Carolina was famous for its inshore cobia runs. May is the peak of a spawning run that once saw scads of cobia pushing into Port Royal Sound, Calibogue Sound, St. Helena Sound and the Broad River. Bell said boats lined up to target big eggbearing females before they could reproduce. The fishery collapsed. “We were in a bad place in 2016,” Bell said. “The numbers were scary. Even the anglers were telling us we had to do something.” While overall Atlantic cobia stocks are in good shape, according to the latest assessment, Bell said sound-spawners in South Carolina are a distinct “sub-population.” The Southern Cobia Management Zone was formed in 2016 to protect these inshore-spawning fish. The zone stretches from Jeremy Inlet on Edisto Island, S.C. south to the Georgia border. It extends three miles offshore, and within this zone there is a one fish per person, three per boat daily limit—except in May, when cobia harvest is closed. The limit in federal waters is one per person, six per boat. The minimum length is 36 inches, which brings us back to all the short fish. Bell said South Carolina DNR isn’t ready to release hard data. However, he’s heard fishermen reporting lots of smaller fish, which are likely the age classes protected since 2016. If anecdotes translate into survey data, it would mean the restrictions are working. Bell said next year might be time to take a close look and see just how well cobia are returning to the sounds. PHOTO BY GILBERT CARTER

By Nick Carter

For more information, go to www.dnr.sc.gov.

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he approach of autumn doesn’t mean you should fall back on the game! The seasons are changing, but the action isn’t. Fall is nothing more than a second spring. So, spring into action with the Contender series raglan long sleeve shirt. The raglan sleeve construction allows for increased movement, which you will need since the fair weather will liberate you from the sweltering summer heat. Even though the sun is less intense in the fall months, you still need sun protection, and the raglan long sleeve shirt delivers by blocking UVA and UVB rays for all-day protection. In fall, there’s no better time to be out on the water. With fall breezes blowing in, you’ll need to check out our men’s tournament anorak. Featuring a full storm hood and a center placket that provides critical coverage to protect you, you can count on the jacket to comfortably protect you, rain or shine. As the days get shorter, you will need something sturdy like the men’s pro series storm fleece. Designed with spacer-fabric and engineered with air pockets embedded in the fabric that provides insulation and temperature control to keep the piece lightweight, it is the perfect accessory to make your fall epic. No matter the season, GILLZ has you covered. Check out the website: gillz-gear.com

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SEPTEMBER 2021

NATIONAL 11


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ave the parking headaches—oneshot your boat into position every time with one of Parkit360’s Electric Trailer Dollies. The Force and Transformer models are compatible with almost every trailer thanks to ball-mounted Stablelock technology. Just connect to the hitch and steer your trailer into place. With weight capacities ranging from 5,000 to 15,000 pounds, these portable powerhouses handle the most difficult parking challenges with ease. The user faces the trailer, allowing complete visibility and control while parking. Park in ways that are impossible with a truck, with the flexibility to move around the trailer to check its position. The dolly’s compact design also allows the user to park hitch-end forward as a theft deterrent. All models include Intelligent Speed Control to move through open areas quickly and more precisely in tight spaces. Have a unique trailer hitch? Easily move any ball-mounted, fifth-wheel or gooseneck trailer with standard adapters, or try the Telescopic Hitch Adapter. It’s a non-invasive, alternative connection point that bolts around your existing trailer frame. Built strong and secure to safely move on firm grass, packed gravel, and 4- to 6-percent inclines. Move your trailer with ease, and get PARKIT360.CA in and out of storage faster than ever!

12 NATIONAL

SEPTEMBER 2021

COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM


THREE WAYS TO TARGET

I

BIG CATS

f you like the feel of really big fish on the end of a line, catfish are a good option. There are several different types, but trophy hunters set their sights on blue and flathead catfish. Both species grow large and can weigh in excess of 100 pounds. For bait, catfish have been caught on just about everything you can think of. But generally, big flatheads are predators and like whole, live, hand-sized bream. Blues like large cut bait like bream, skipjack or carp. Once you’ve got your bait, here are some ideas for how to fish it. Fish a Fan: My favorite technique is to anchor up in a good spot near rocky bottom or structure such as a ledge, river channel or creek bed. I have 14 Driftmaster 255 H Pro Duo rod holders, which I use to put out a fan of baits on Penn Fathom reels and medium to heavy rods. These are spooled with 80-pound PowerPro braid. The terminal end is a weight slide on the main line then a swivel and a 3- to 5-foot leader, with a Gamakatsu 8/0 circle hook on the end. These are the rigs I use to fish Cabela’s King Kat tournaments. They are heavy duty because you never know when a 100-pound monster will show up. Back-Trolling: On big rivers, back-trolling can be very effective. Use your trolling motor in reverse to slow

the boat’s drift in the current and present baits to catfish holding on the bottom. Bottom bouncing is Bill Dance’s preferred method on the Mississippi River. It’s also very popular on the Tennessee River. It allows you to keep your bait about a foot off the bottom and bounce it to fish facing upstream. Tie a three-way swivel to a mainline of 40- to 80-lb. braid. On the bottom eye of the swivel, tie in 12 inches of 20-lb. mono drop line and attach a bank sinker. The drop line should be lighter than your main line so you can save the rest of the rig when your sinker gets caught. On the third eye, use a 2- to 3-foot piece of the same line as your main line and attach a 6/0 to 12/0 circle hook, depending on the size of your bait. Drift Fishing: Drift fishing is very popular on big lakes like Santee Cooper in South Carolina. On windy days, set all your rods on one side of the boat with weights that will slide along the bottom. Pencil, Lindy and slinky sinkers all work well for this. If the wind pushes the boat too fast, deploy driftsocks to slow the boat. If you don’t have driftsocks, 5-gallon buckets work in a pinch. Gary Turner is a long-time contributor to The Angler and Coastal Angler Magazine. Contact him at gary@purgeright.com.

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SEPTEMBER 2021

NATIONAL 13


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INSETTA BOATWORKS:

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A LOOK AT THE NEW 35IFC AND ITS ‘RELATIVELY NEW STYLE DRUM WINDLASS’

nsetta Boatworks has always aimed to “continuously challenge the standards of an average catamaran” by setting the bar high for performance, stability and safety. Insetta’s IFC system (Internal Foil Catamaran) not only increases cruising speed and handling and stability, it also provides the boat with better acceleration and better fuel efficiency by 20 to 40 percent, meaning “20 to 40 percent farther cruise range.” Last spring, their commitment to being “the best-performing center console sportfish boat in its class by way of the hull design, cruise speed and best miles per gallon” expanded to the anchoring system on the new 35’ Internal Foil Catamaran. They installed an E-Z Anchor Puller Patriot EZ-3 drum anchor winch. The Georgia-based, fiberglass original equipment manufacturer excitedly announced in an April 23 Facebook post that they were “extremely impressed with the performance and reliability” of the installation, posting the maiden voyage of their demo boat on social media as well as writing about it on their official blog. “We kept it simple on Hull #2 with the Patriot by E-Z Anchor Puller Mfg. Co. and have really enjoyed using it,” they wrote. In another Facebook post from July, they wrote: “[It] takes up [approximately] 3 cubic feet and holds 560’ of chain, rope and dyneema.” Utilizing the Patriot series, Insetta’s boats are equipped with a complete 316 stainless steel unit, much like their commitment to use this corrosionresistant, marine-grade metal wherever applicable during the construction of their own vessels. Insetta has instilled a standard of transparency in their day-to-day processes as well, encouraging factory visits and taking a sales-

team approach to the buying process by giving customers a single point of contact for each buying experience. “The highest quality materials and best workmanship possible are paired to produce the finest boats on the market. From the first drawing to final installation, the Insetta design and construction teams ensure the final boat can withstand the rigors and stripes in adverse conditions.” - Insetta Boats, insetta.com

About the Patriot Series The Patriot series is the perfect shallow coastal saltwater anchoring solution for center consoles and sportfishing boats. With three sizes, the Patriot spools rope capacities from 1/2” nylon down to 1/4” dyneema. Completely 316 stainless steel components make the Patriot the ultimate saltwater anchoring solution. Engineered to evenly spool anchor rope, these units deploy and retrieve at an average 100-feet-per-minute. Call 1.800.800.1640 or visit ezanchorpuller.com for more information.

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16 NATIONAL

SEPTEMBER 2021

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Sizzling Hot Deals From Suzuki’s Summer Sales Event Suzuki’s Summer Sales Event is finally here! It’s time to get to your local Suzuki Marine Dealer for a sizzling hot deal on the Ultimate Outboard Motor. You can get Low-Rate Financing on the all new DF140BG with Drive by Wire Technology, or our Flagship DF350. Get all the details at your participating Suzuki Marine Dealer.

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*REPOWER FINANCE is available through Synchrony Retail Finance, as low as 5.99% APR financing for 60 months on new, unregistered Suzuki outboard motors, subject to credit approval. Not all buyers will qualify. Approval, and any rates and terms provided, are based on creditworthiness. $19.99/month per $1,000 financed for 60 months is based on 5.99% APR Hypothetical figures used in calculation; your actual monthly payment may differ based on financing terms, credit tier qualification, accessories, or other factors such as down payment and fees. Offer effective on new, unregistered Suzuki outboard motors purchased from a participating authorized Suzuki dealer between from July 1, 2021 through September 1, 2021. †5 YEAR LIMITED WARRANTY applies to qualifying purchases of Suzuki outboard motors sold and delivered to the retail purchaser, for pleasure (non-commercial) use only, from April 1, 2021 through March 31, 2022. See Suzuki Limited Warranty for additional details. 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. © 2021 Suzuki Marine, USA, LLC.


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