Coastal Angler Magazine | November 2019 | Northeast Florida Edition

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VOLUME 24 • ISSUE 296

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A V A I L A B L E

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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.

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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

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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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sk me my favorite fishing spot, and the answer might surprise you. With a career that spanned more than 50 years as a journalist and educator focusing on fishing (both freshwater and salt), my travels took me to all 50 states and more than 60 countries. I’m not a professional angler or tournament fisherman, nor am I a licensed captain or guide. My father loved to fish, and he started me when I was 3 years old by letting me hold a rod with a freshwater critter wiggling on the end of the line. That hooked me for life.

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Over the years, my travels took me to some of the hottest spots in the world for particular species. Usually, accommodations were marginal and the facilities questionable. As an example, before they brought peacock bass to the southern United States, I caught them in the Amazon jungles of Brazil. There are spots in the nearshore Pacific where it’s not uncommon to raise a couple dozen sailfish almost every day. There are tigerfish in central Africa, bonefish in the Bahamas and other hotspots. If you asked me to reveal my favorite fishing spot, my answer would be South Florida. Let me tell you why. You can get there from any part of the U.S. by car, train or plane, stay in a five-star hotel and eat in the best restaurants. Everywhere you want to fish, there are some of the best guides to put you on the species you seek. Biscayne Bay lies at Miami’s doorstep with Miami Beach on the eastern shore. In the Bay, you can catch bonefish, permit, snook and tarpon along with countless other species including sharks, which are a great challenge in shallow water on casting tackle. A short boat ride through Government Cut puts you in the Atlantic a few miles from the shoreward edge of the Gulf Stream. These waters hold a plethora of species that include sailfish, swordfish, dolphin, king mackerel, wahoo, tuna, an occasional marlin, and a wide variety of bottom species. At certain times of the year, snook feed in the coastal inlets and along the beaches. An hour’s drive to Flamingo in Everglades National Park puts you are in prime territory for redfish as well as several other species that are challenging and fun to catch. Many of the canals around Miami and south toward Key Largo hold peacock bass. Canals leading from Lake Okeechobee also host largemouth bass for the freshwater aficionado. And, there are even guides available for the land-based angler. You would be hard pressed to find another major city in the world that offers spectacular fishing for a host of species right at its doorstep. If there is such a place, I haven’t found it. That’s why South Florida is my favorite fishing spot.

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Serving Up More.

Fishing Report & Forecast Mayport By Capt. Kirk Waltz

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think we all anticipated a more profound change in the weather for October but, it turned out to be a true Indian Summer month for us in NE Florida.The bull reds bit good and I think will continue unless we get some really cold weather to have a severe impact on the water temp. Look for these big redfish from the Mayport Rocks all the way up the river to areas past the Dames Point bridge. Large ledge drops in the river channel will hold these big fish and they can be caught on both the incoming tides as well as the outgoing tides. I try to locate portions of the river channel from 30 to 45ft that typically don’t have screaming water running by. A trained eye helps in locating these bodies of moving water and can improve your catch rate though some folks swear by the ripping water I find it to be a detriment in catching them. Try using a 3 way swivel rig with anywhere from 6 oz to 12oz of lead and a piece of cut mullet, cut ladyfish, or fresh blue crab producing the better strikes. A stout rod is imperative with a little 40 plus pound line,SpiderWire Ultra Cast Braid is perfect,and the best way to haul them in. Look for schools of sheepshead to move into the lower St. John’s River this month around the docks, oyster bars, and rocks. I saw a good shift in the numbers at the end of last month and feel this trend will continue thru into November. Fiddlers and small shrimp on light jigs are my go to rigs but, the old sliding egg sinker with a short leader can be just as effective. The 1st of the high outgoing tides at the big rocks as well as the dead low are my best tides. Look for clean water if its available as this seems to be the 2 NE FLORIDA

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water they prefer to feed in with just a slight amount of current. Also the slot redfish should be more available at the big rocks this month with the water temperature dropping . Trout will also be an added bonus this month too around the stones. Clear water and a live shrimp will be your best bet on either a light jig or the old standby float rig. I love the high outgoing clear tides for this and find early morning before the boats move in the best time to find them. The bite up the river on the ICW north of sisters to south On the ICW should get better and better with the cooler weather. Reds, sheepshead, flounder, trout, and black drum will begin to really settle into their winter pattern and can be best caught on the low outgoing tides. Shrimp, mud minnows, and even artificials will account for good catches. Try a Berkley Gulp minnow or shrimp in root beer/new penny colors or small Sebile floating jerk minnow in silver or blue. Small finger sized baits have worked well for me in the past. Offshore look for Red Snapper, Grouper, and Sea Bass to move in closer with the cooler water and be readily available. Try any of the local party ground numbers for the best success. Cut cigar minnows, sardines, and squid for bait for a better success rate fished on the bottom. Make sure you check the regs with all of the aforementioned species to ensure legal compliance. Remember have fun, go fishing, and get off the couch cause your not gonna catch them there! Capt. Kirk Waltz can be reached at 904.241.7560 or 904.626.1128 for charters. Also listen to Capt. Kirk , Capt. Kevin Faver, and Jeff Lageman every Saturday on The Outdoors Show from 7am to 10am on 1010am or 92.5 fm giving out weather, tides, advice, and fishing forecasts along with some good old fashion southern humor thrown in. For more info go to www.Enterprisefishingcharters.com .

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Fishing Report & Forecast Nassau Sound By Capt. Tony Bozzella

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reat month for inshore backcountry fishing. Most Oyster bars will be holding fish on moving tides. Redfish, trout, flounder, Black drum & Sheephead. I prefer the last of the outgoing, so the fish are coming out of hard to get places and grass heading to you. I like to set up up where you are in a position to have them pass your baits. A quarter oz TBS black nickel hook jig is ideal for this. Mud minnows, shrimp, or crab are choice baits. If sheephead & black drum are in your mix, use shrimp or crab. Fish out flows 4 NE FLORIDA

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of creeks, pinch points & rips around oysters. Often the current leaves a depression or wash out, that can hold fish. Soak your jig there, and stay in tune with your bait, know and feel what its doing. As the water cools, lure fishing for trout can be good. As the very last of the mullet leave, inlets and sounds can still hold some good trout. Standard lures will all produce. As the water cools, i like to go deeper with my baits. From topwaters/ diving lipped baits to jigs. Sometimes over the years end of Nov. has gotten cold. Same areas can hold flounder. A heavy enough jig to fish the bottom, paired with a mudminnow or finger mullet, can be a ticket. Fish moving water, around structure. Flounder can be tricky, when you feel the “thump” give a moment, reel any slack & set the hook. Have a net ready, flounder come off the hook easy. Take advantage of this great month! As the water cools the fish will be frisky.

Capt. Tony Bozzella / TBS JIGS www.tonybozzella.com 904 651 0182

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10/16/19 3:16 PM


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Nosara, Costa Rica: November 2019 By Craig Sutton

T

his is Craig Sutton with this month’s Costa Rica Fishing Report, recapping our first month of the off-season. If you think that means we are only doing maintenance work...think again! The FishingNosara team ran 14 trips in this month in between storms and boat work. Most of the boats across Costa Rica have been on the hill since June, but here in Nosara we fished all summer. September and October are the time to refit, repaint, and reload the fleet for the 2020 season, which starts on November 1. It’s officially the off-season, but don’t tell Captain Alex and the Harvester. Along with some steely clients, the mega panga braved the so-called rainy season on September 1st with Lindsey McNally and her group. The Sailfish were charged up and ready for action and these Jacksonville anglers were up to the task! Excellent billfish handling by Mate Wilson ensured the safe release of these beauties, and the group also added this Dorado for the dinner table. The next day, angler John Dant scored a fantastic Marlin release. This 150lbs. billfish was a juvenile Blue Marlin which are tricky to hook and requires extra care to release safely. In a couple years we expect to see 6 NE FLORIDA

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this puppy grow to a big bad dog. Team Dant also threw down the gauntlet with a nice Sailfish release later in the trip. The 31-foot Discoverer put off her maintenance for a few days in order to welcome Ken Burns for an offshore billfish hunt on September 5. The big battleship won the day with a nice Blue Marlin release backed up by several sweet Sailfish releases. Our fishiest off-season ever continued on September 6 as Ken Burns returned to continue his billfish battle. They worked over the same school of pelagics with similarly stunning scores. Great work by Mate Kevin and Captain Carlos on the safe release of these Sailfish. The Harvester scored huge on September 7 with tons of great catches. The highlight was this monster Yellowfin Tuna (pictured). Later in the September, Captain Alex finished his annual maintenance early so that he could get the Harvester back to the blue water. On the 21st the Harvester pulled double duty with angler Randy Trent in the morning and Luke Calvery in the afternoon. They combined for a super Sailfish release, and then the elusive and tasty Congrio was on deck after the Harvester moved inshore. It’s important to understand that these two months without daily trips is a result of the rainy conditions on land, which make the basic functions of tourism (flights, ground transportation, etc) extremely difficult. These catches prove that these monsters eat every day...it just takes a bold Captain to go out and feed them! As bring out 10th year serving anglers to a close, we are still dedicated to safe, fun, family friendly fishing. The 2020 season is booking fast, and we will be busy again this year. Make sure you get your choice of boat...Don’t delay, book today!

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he 2019 Oldest City Redbone Redfish/Trout Classic took place in St. Augustine, FL on Oct. 10th and 11th. The annual event raises money for Cystic Fibrosis Research. Anglers went out with local guides in search of Redfish and Spotted Seatrout. It should be noted that the life expectancy of a person with Cystic Fibrosis has more than doubled since 1988 when this event started raising money for research. Art Work donated by Black Fly Outfitters Artist Vaughn Cochran was awarded to the following anglers and guides for their impressive catches: Largest Trout – 27” Angler - Andy Mayer Captain – Tony Bozzella Largest Redfish – 29.5” Angler – John Price Captain – Leon Dana Most Trout – 6 Trout Angler – Steve Martin Captain – Chris Herrera Most Redfish – 5 Redfish Angler – Lee Crane Captain – Shane Stover Fly Champion – 2 Redfish Angler – Dan Rohan Captain – Austin Bacon

1st Runner-Up Grand Champion Angler – Matt Ford Captain – JD Nobles Grand Champion Angler – Ashley Creech Captain – JD Nobles 1st Runner-Up Grand Champion Team Angler – John Price Angler – Tad Strong Captain – Leon Dana Grand Champion Team Angler – Matt Ford Angler – Ashley Creech Captain – JD Nobles Dottie Culbreath Memorial Award David Reichard John Sasen Memorial Award JD Nobles Visit WWW.redbone.org for further information on this event and future 2020 Redbone events.

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Fishing Report Pier and Surf By: Noel Kuhn

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umberto ruined another mullet run! That’s 3 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. Its 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 25lb bonnethead sharks. 8 NE FLORIDA

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They are also crab eaters and very good table fare. Here is a little tidbit for your info. All of my six pound plus Pompano have been caught in November or March. What I have learned is that they can stand or like the cold water, 65 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 30lb 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.

Noel Kuhn Surf fishing guide and long distance casting coach. 904-945-0660 www.TheSurfAngler.com

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10/16/19 3:16 PM


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he Nassau Sport Fishing Association is a non-profit organization dedicated to develop and promote saltwater fishing in the Nassau County area while adhering to state, federal and local regulations, to encourage compliance with the rules of water safety by club members and the general public, and to promote youth related community activities. The Nassau Sport Fishing Association hosted our Fall Surf Outing on 12 October at American Beach on Amelia Island. 14 members registered and fished for bragging rights. Full moon and a fall high tide made negotiating the beach a bit of a challenge. But the tide soon started to retreat and it wasn’t long before fish were starting to be weighed in. Patty Rucker amazed us all with a rainbow slam of Redfish, Bluefish, Whiting, and Black drum along with a nice spotted sea trout for good measure. Barbara Anderson took top

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prize with a 22 inch, 3 pound 7 ounce, Redfish. Jerry Eiserman won best fish story when what we assume was a passing whale, bent his rod holder in half before yanking the rod out to sea. If that wasn’t enough of a story, he later snagged the same rod and reeled it back in. So all was not lost and offending whale escaped without further incident. NSFA fall Fish of the Season continues as club anglers pursue Redfish, Trout, and Flounder in what is a close race for Angler of the Year. Angler of the year will be awarded at our annual volunteer appreciation dinner which will be held on 11 December. As is our past practice, we will combine our business and social meetings in November and will hold this meeting on 20 November at Kraft Athletic Club. If you are interested in learning more about the Nassau Sport Fishing Association, visit our website at nsfafish.net or join us at our next social.

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Fishing Report & Forecast Fernandina / Amelia Island By Terry D. Lacoss

G

ood numbers of red drum will be schooling both at the southern tip of Amelia Island and in the deep waters of the St. Mary’s jetty rocks and sound. Fishing dead on the bottom with cut mullet, ladyfish, or menhaden is key when hooking up to the late Fall redfish run. Look for the last of the falling tide to harbor the best light tackle action for big reds while working Berkley Gulp shrimp in the white and chartreuse color pattern close to low areas of the jetty rocks. Deep diving crank baits work well, be sure to swap off the freshwater treble hooks for stout saltwater trebles. Schooling redfish will showcase the backwater bays and small tidal estuaries, particularly during a full flood tide on the flooded marshes, or during a low falling tide where bays drain into main river channels. Don’t waste a lot of time fishing in one spot when you don’t have any redfish action, keep moving and you will be sure to find a nice late Fall redfish bite! Best fall lures include noisy surface plugs including Storm’s “Chug Bug” and flashy spinners including the “Redfish Magic”. Black drum weighing to 50-pounds are plentiful during the month of November holding in the deep waters of Cumberland Sound and the mouth of Bell’s River. Fish dead on the bottom during the slack moving tides with a ¼ blue crab, large fresh shrimp, or a combination of the two. Barb small pieces of shrimp onto a 2/0 kahle hook and fish dead on the bottom as well with a fish finder setup while black drum fishing and enjoy a nice Fall whiting bite as well. Sea trout will also be schooling during the falling tide at both the St. Mary’s north and south jetty rocks. Fish deep with a slip bobber and live shrimp at mid water depths. The small rock jetties located at the southern portion of Amelia Island is also a real hot spot for late Fall redfish, particularly early in the morning and late in the evening. Work a ¼ ounce led head rigged to a clear colored plastic curly tail with blue glitter slowly along the bottom. The last few hours of the in-coming tide provides excellent action for sea trout as well in the Amelia River where boat docks are constructed out into the deeper portions of the river and at both paper mills, West Rock and Rainier. Offshore bottom fishermen should do well while bottom fishing at some of the near to shore rock ledges and live bottoms. Fish dead on the bottom with cut cigar minnows, Spanish sardines, or cut chunks 10 NE FLORIDA

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of pinfish. Gag grouper and giant sea bass are plentiful at FA, FC, HH and Schultz’s live bottoms during pleasant weather days during the Fall. Wade fishing on either the northwest or southwest sides of the George Crady fishing pier is also excellent for sea trout and flounder. Bring along a live bait bucket and drift a live shrimp under a small float with the depth of the live shrimp so it drifts just off from the bottom. The small rock jetties located at the southern portion of Amelia Island is also an excellent place when fishing on foot. Here beach fishermen will wade out to the rocks while casting a ¼ ounce led head jig rigged to a curly tail clear colored plastic tail with blue metal flakes. Crawling the jig combo slowly along the bottom is key when catching redfish and sea trout. Beach fishing at American Beach produces excellent catches of whiting during the cooler months of winter while fishing with ultra-fresh shrimp. Here beach fishermen will set out two to four 11-foot surf rods on rod spikes and wait for the hard strike of the beach whiting. If there is little action within fifteen minutes, seasoned beach fishermen will move down the beach several yards and set out their surf rods once more until they locate a good school of beach whiting. Beach fishing for whiting is also excellent at the southside of the St. Mary’s south jetty rocks. Here shallow bars offer excellent feeding grounds for beach whiting that can weigh up to three pounds. Be sure and abide by Florida fishing regulations when fishing on foot, visit www.myfwc.com for fishing regulations on foot and game fish limits. For more Amelia Island fishing information please call (904) 2612870, or visit www.ameliaangler.com

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Fishing Report St. Johns River By: Richard Hamilton

W

ell, here we go!. This is the start of the new season in the River. Water starts cooling off and fishing gets better for some species and a little less wonderful for others. The Largemouth fishing will be starting to improve. The Fish will be schooling, eating all those fine schooling bait fish, trying to get happy for the cooler temps. Look for schoolers in the coves and around points in the River. Also notice the bird activity. All of which are prime indicators of a mess of Fish eating a bigger mess of bait fish. Baits of choice will be Rat-L-Traps, swimming plastic, and crank baits. So give it a try and you may be rewarded with a fun time, and a fillet or two if you're so inclined. Mullet Fish will be at the apex of its

activity. The cooler water will be causing their activity to start lessening. Try out and go for it, and catch a bunch. These silver beauties will be large to extra large and more than willing to reward you with a mess of them. Required are chum bait, tackle and some luck. So go to it. Red Fishing will be good to great, with the action lessening as the water starts to get cold and the available bait lessens. So work the shallows for fish eating bait and then move to the deeper water as the day brightens up. Bait should be bait shrimp, crabs and small croaker. So go to it. Now on to the up and comer of this report. The Specks. The larger Specks usually start to become active this month near the bridge pilings and deep structured areas of creeks. These beauties will eat jigs and minnows on a regular basis. You'll want to try for some of these fish in the River, if you are so inclined. Also, start looking at the area's lakes. They'll start picking up and you'll enjoy the trip to increase your freezer fish supply with a bunch of the best tasting fish around. Well, as you can tell, the activity starts to decrease as the water cools. Also hunting and football watching increases. W"ell, 'til next time, keep your line wet and your lure movin'.--Richard

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NEFMA - November October is here but the Sails are not . The weather has not been good and the water way to warm. The bait has been scattered and as usual there have only been a few boats each week looking. I have confirmed only a few releases. Seems like here in NE Florida we always wait until we hear about a “good bite” from our friends to the south before much of the fleet heads out. However that could change any day. The Mutton bite in the 21 bottom has been good now for a few weeks, There has also been a few nice Grouper. The troll has been non productive. As you know that could change any day with the cold fronts moving through, So I would encourage any of you Sailfish guys to give it a shot. Why wait until the reports come, be the guy that posts the report. You do not know if you do not go !! I will remind everyone again that Wahoo season is here ! November kicks off the beginning of what has become a fishing frenzy. Fueled by back to back tournaments and high speed crazies there is nothing

like hearing a big bent butt with a 50 wide with way too much drag scream like a crazy lady. Looking back a number of years ago there were a number of very large fish caught in the 21 bottom in early November. Don Combs was one of those captains that discovered long ago the fall Wahoo bite here in NE Florida. He as Don always did helped take it to the next level. So speaking of Don Combs. NEFMA will be hosting the 3rd Annual Don Combs Wahoo Tournament. Captains meeting is Friday December 6 at the NEFMA club house. Registration is open on our website now at NEFMA. com. This will be a captains choice tournament with all boats being able to choose 2 days to fish. Last day is January 26. I hope everyone has found a way to help our friends in the Abaco’s. This will not be a short term project and solution. So please look for ways to help our Abaco family. Scott Stanley See clubnefma.com for more details.

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Fishing Report & Forecast St. Augustine Inshore By Capt. Tommy Derringer

I

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 go-to 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 off 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 up 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! Capt. Tommy Derringer Be sure to check out my Daily Fishing Reports online @ www InshoreAdventures.net

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TIDE CHART - November

Mayport Degaussing Structure 30.3967° N, 81.3950° W Date Day Time Hgt 01 Fri 05:42 AM 0.40 L 02 Sat 12:37 AM 5.04 H 03 Sun 01:31 AM 4.88 H 04 Mon 01:28 AM 4.78 H 05 Tue 02:28 AM 4.76 H 06 Wed 03:28 AM 4.82 H 07 Thu 04:23 AM 4.96 H 08 Fri 05:11 AM 5.13 H 09 Sat 05:54 AM 5.32 H 10 Sun 12:14 AM 0.74 L 11 Mon 12:52 AM 0.56 L 12 Tue 01:29 AM 0.44 L 13 Wed 02:05 AM 0.38 L 14 Thu 02:41 AM 0.38 L 15 Fri 03:21 AM 0.44 L 16 Sat 04:05 AM 0.54 L 17 Sun 04:55 AM 0.65 L 18 Mon 05:54 AM 0.74 L 19 Tue 12:53 AM 4.92 H 20 Wed 01:55 AM 5.02 H 21 Thu 03:00 AM 5.19 H 22 Fri 04:04 AM 5.46 H 23 Sat 05:03 AM 5.76 H 24 Sun 05:58 AM 6.04 H 25 Mon 12:19 AM -0.43 L 26 Tue 01:08 AM -0.56 L 27 Wed 01:54 AM -0.57 L 28 Thu 02:41 AM -0.44 L 29 Fri 03:27 AM -0.19 L 30 Sat 04:16 AM 0.15 L

Time 12:14 06:38 06:37 07:38 08:37 09:33 10:27 11:17 12:02 06:33 07:11 07:49 08:27 09:08 09:52 10:38 11:29 12:23 06:58 08:04 09:10 10:13 11:13 12:09 06:49 07:38 08:26 09:13 10:00 10:48

PM AM AM AM AM AM AM AM PM AM AM AM AM AM AM AM AM PM AM AM AM AM AM PM AM AM AM AM AM AM

Hgt 5.98 H 0.79 L 1.13 L 1.37 L 1.51 L 1.53 L 1.46 L 1.30 L 1.09 L 5.51 H 5.67 H 5.79 H 5.87 H 5.91 H 5.91 H 5.88 H 5.83 H 5.76 H 0.78 L 0.72 L 0.57 L 0.34 L 0.06 L -0.21 L 6.23 H 6.31 H 6.26 H 6.09 H 5.86 H 5.58 H

Time 06:32 01:07 01:02 02:01 03:00 03:56 04:47 05:32 06:15 12:45 01:24 02:02 02:40 03:19 04:02 04:50 05:44 06:43 01:21 02:24 03:28 04:29 05:27 06:21 01:02 01:51 02:39 03:26 04:13 05:02

Approximate Correction Times Palm Valley ICW: H: +2:20 L: +2:00 +/- for Other regional Locations JAX Beach: H: -:29 L: -:20 Bings Landing: H: +2:57 L: +2:44

Hgt PM 0.71 L PM 5.69 H PM 5.44 H PM 5.25 H PM 5.15 H PM 5.11 H PM 5.12 H PM 5.15 H PM 5.17 H PM 0.87 L PM 0.68 L PM 0.56 L PM 0.51 L PM 0.54 L PM 0.63 L PM 0.73 L PM 0.81 L PM 0.82 L PM 5.67 H PM 5.60 H PM 5.55 H PM 5.53 H PM 5.52 H PM 5.49 H PM -0.41 L PM -0.49 L PM -0.41 L PM -0.21 L PM 0.08 L PM 0.40 L

Time

St. Augustine Beach: H: -:07 L: -:15 St. A City Dock: H: -:04 L: +:09

Hgt

07:28 07:25 08:20 09:13 10:02 10:49 11:33

PM PM PM PM PM PM PM

1.04 1.28 1.39 1.40 1.31 1.14 0.94

L L L L L L L

06:55 07:34 08:12 08:52 09:33 10:17 11:04 11:56

PM PM PM PM PM PM PM PM

5.17 5.15 5.10 5.04 4.98 4.93 4.90 4.89

H H H H H H H H

07:43 08:42 09:40 10:35 11:28

PM PM PM PM PM

0.74 L 0.58 L 0.34 L 0.07 L -0.20 L

07:12 08:01 08:48 09:35 10:21 11:08

PM PM PM PM PM PM

5.42 5.32 5.17 5.01 4.84 4.69

H H H H H H

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Low pressure deer hunting is best Overhunting prime buck spots may be the biggest downfall of sportsmen. By Bob McNally

T

he Florida and Georgia gun deer seasons are open, and nearly everyone who pursues whitetails is spending as much time as possible afield. But wise sportsmen hunt their best stands only when conditions are ideal, because putting too much pressure on bucks is foolhardy. Human pressure has a telling effect in everything outdoors -- from catching bass in lakes, to trout in rivers, and in hunting from chasing geese to gunning quail, doves and all big game, including even bears (one reason to have a Florida hunt, not so incidentally). Pressure, then, is something every aspiring deer hunter should avoid like EHD. Strive to tap places with as little hunting pressure as possible. And even the best whitetail locations shouldn’t be pressured much by your own hunting. “Rarely do I hunt from the same tree more than once, twice at the very most,” says Paul Meeks, veteran hunter and tree stand manufacturer (API). “It’s a chore moving stands constantly. But I’m convinced each time I hunt a stand I dramatically reduce the odds of shooting a good buck from a spot. You simply can’t help but ‘contaminate’ a place with human odor by walking to and from a tree, climbing a stand, being anywhere near it. Big bucks learn fast about human intrusion. I don’t know how they learn, but they do, and they’ll quickly leave an area, or become so spooky you loose the advantage of hunting a buck that’s not alarmed. “I may hunt the same area twice in succession, but I’ll not hunt the same tree more than once. Even if I only move a stand 50 yards along a trail, or over to the opposite side of a draw, somewhere different is what’s important.” This is one reason Meeks is careful about not rushing into a core hot spot for big bucks without first hunting around the “periphery” of an area. “I don’t go barging right into a core area of a big buck and alert him to my presence,” continues Meeks, who has over 40 years deer hunting

experience and more than 100 whitetails to his credit, including some record-class trophies. “I’d rather take my time and hunt from stands where I can watch and learn where and how bucks are moving through an area. Once I got a pretty good idea about how deer are moving around in a place -- and I’ve got the wind in my favor -- I’ll set a stand during mid-day in a core area, and feel pretty confident about the result.” If he can, Meeks also picks a stand where he has a wide field of view, especially if he hasn’t hunted an area previously. Being able to see a long way, and using quality binoculars, during the first time hunting a spot, allows Meeks to make subsequent adjustments in stand placement -- something he believes is vital to consistently tagging good bucks. Whitetail fanatic Terry Head, a pro staffer for Quaker Boy Game Calls, is concerned with human pressure on his hunting spots, too. He and his two adult sons (T.J. and Chris) hunt a lot in prime places. But they go the extra yard in scouting and hunting from long range to avoid over-pressuring good bucks. “You can’t spend too much time on hunting land to learn it well,” states Terry, with dozens of great bucks to his credit. “But it’s important not to disrupt deer before the season, or you risk alerting mature animals that you’re in their area and they’ll leave or become nocturnal.” Once bucks kick into rut, Terry and his sons hunt their most choice locations, yet they still rely on quality optics to reduce pressure on prime areas. They do a lot of long-range scouting with spotting scopes, preferring to stay out of core buck rutting areas until the peak of the whitetail breeding season. “We shoot many bucks we have never seen previously,” Terry says. “That’s a good thing, because I’m sure many of those bucks had no idea we were hunting the area, so they made a fatal mistake. “Timing hunting pressure in such locations is the key. If we pressured our best spots before prime time, I’m sure we’d contaminate them.” Terry and his sons are also expert long-range riflemen. They use flatshooting .270 caliber rifles with special hand-loaded ammunition that’s pinpoint accurate at 200 yards. Terry has taken many whitetails to 300 yards, and some well beyond that long range. “Rifles that allow us to reach way out and wallop a whitetail are important because we can stay well away from choice hunting areas, so human scent and intrusion are at a minimum,” he explains. Mark Drury (of television and MAD game call fame) is as wellknown a whitetail hunter as there is in America. What isn’t so well known is that Mark only hunts his very best buck spots during the most optimum conditions. He demands that no human intrusion is made into his prime buck spots until it’s time to hunt and collect a trophy. “I hunt plenty of great private property for whitetails, and some of it I’ve spent a lot of time on over a number of years,” he explains. “I place stands in great locations months before opening day. Then I stay completely out of the property until the time I intend to hunt it. I don’t want other people in or near that hunting site either. Before I try to make a move on a top buck I want the weather right; wind perfect; and the time of year ideal. “A whitetail that’s 4, 5 or 6 years old is some kind of smart. The least little bit of human presence in his area puts him on alert, and he just goes underground, away from sight. Never forget that we are part-time deer hunters for just a few weeks of the year. But a buck is a full-time wary whitetail. It’s how they earn a living.”

Terry Head 18 NE FLORIDA

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Fishing Report & Forecast Flagler Inshore By Captain Chris Herrera

C

reek bends, shallow flats, Inlets, docks and creek mouths, what do these areas have in common? Flounder, it’s that time of year when water temperatures (68 degrees) dictate flounder activity and the annual flounder run starts. It’s fairly simple fishing as using a ¼ ounce Slayer Jig head with a finger mullet or mud minnow slowly dragged across the bottom. Other simple rigs consist of using split shots or an egg sinker (fish finder rig) and 14 inches of leader with a 3/0 Daiichi D16Z Octopus wide hook. For artificial applications any jig head and soft plastic combo (Z-man Paddle Tail) works well in deep water areas. Spoons, soft plastics and hard baits fished on shallow sandbars will produce flatties as well. Flounder strikes or “thumps” as I like to call it are very distinct to other inshore game fish. When fishing for flounder patience pays a great part after feeling the “thump”. Flounder will grab a hold of your bait and sit on the bottom till bait stops moving around and that’s when the flounder will turn mullet or mud minnow around

ys. o idea

and swallow it head first which will initiate the second “thump”. Many “Old Salt” flounder anglers know the importance of feeling for flounder on the line by slowly lifting the rod tip to make sure the flounder is still attached to the line and then give some slack for about a minute before setting the hook. Trout fisherman will get their limit and more using float rigs at Matanzas Inlet with shrimp being the top bait. The last 2 hours of outgoing tide and first of incoming is the locals preferred time to fish. Topwater plugs like a Spook Jr., Rapala or Mirrorlure can catch the biggest trout looking for a bite in the shallows or ICW drop offs at creek mouths. When the bite slows down on top switch gears to diving plugs like a Sebile Stick Shadd or curly tail grubs with a ¼ ounce Slayer jig. Redfish will start to huddle in masses and seek the warmth of oyster beds during afternoon high tides. Long casting spoons or jerkbaits will produce. For scattered redfish live or cut mullet on a fish finder rig tossed around points, creek mouths or oysters will do the trick. During low tides look for reds cruising shallow mud banks with their backs out of the water chasing small grass shrimp. Matching the hatch (live shrimp) or a FishBites shrimp on a weedless hook tossed in front of a belly crawling redfish will result in a catch. Capt. Chris Herrera Serving Flagler Beach, Palm Coast, St. Augustine www.palmcoastfishing.com 386-503-6338

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t’s Red October and members of the Ancient City Game Fish Association are targeting Redfish in a spots tournament this month! We have 21 registered anglers all fishing throughout October to see who can snag the fish with the most spots. The winner will receive a $150 cash prize! On the weekend of October 11-12, our annual community Pink up the Spots Redfish Fishing Tournament was held. Proceeds goes towards a local fund that supports breast cancer awareness efforts by supplying free mammograms to local women. 73 registered anglers were all competing to catch the biggest Redfish. A total of 23 fish were weighed in and 1st through 7th place received cash winnings. The biggest fish was awarded to Robert Hagenbeck with a weight of 6.45 lbs. We’d like to thank all of our sponsors for their generous donations making this tournament a huge success. We will be cutting a check to the Pink up the Pace organization for $5,000.00 so they can continue their incredible efforts! September seemed to be a slow fishing month for our club members; we held a bottom fishing in-club

tournament and not one fish was weighed in! We also only had one angler register a single fish for monthly points and that was Kelly Robinson.

Congratulations to Kelly on being named Angler of the Month for September! Our next monthly club meeting will be on Tuesday, November 19th starting with dinner at 6:30pm. Guests are always welcomed! Membership dues to join ACGFA are $65 per year per family. Find more information at www. acgfa.com.

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Fishing Report & Forecast St. Augustine Offshore By Capt. Robert Johnson

Cooler weather Hotter fishing November finally brings some relief from the heat. There are allot of people in the woods and going to ball games. Those reasons are why it is one of my favorite months to fish. Less pressure more fish. People who really know me know every month is my favorite I just love what I do.

So, what to do offshore in November? Cobia should be making their fall migration through our waters. Larger Ledges and wrecks in 80 to 120 ft will hold some nice fish. Jigging vertically through the water column is a great way to target these fish. I prefer a 6 to 8 oz jig with blue and white being my favorite color. Tip you jig with a whole squid or a plastic curly tail. If jigging is too much work a live grunt on the bottom will produce as well. Expect some Grouper to show up on these same spots as they start feeding in earnest to prepare for their push offshore to spawn. In 21 to 28 fathoms bottom fishing will be great. Just about anything you want to catch will be biting. Vermillion, Mangrove and Mutton snapper, the occasional grouper, plenty of Triggerfish and Red porgy everything will be hungry. If trolling is your thing look for bait in the 21 to 28 fathoms. Find the schools of Sardines and you should find some Sail Fish. There will also be the occasional Black Fin Tuna mixed in. This is light tackle time with monofilament leaders and naked ballyhoo being the required tools if you want to be successful. Watch to cold fronts choose your day and enjoy some of the best Fall fishing Florida has to offer. -Captain Robert Johnson, Jodie Lynn Charters wwwJodieLynnCharters.com (904)540-2628 jlfishing@bellsouth.net

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FLAGLER SPORTFISHING CLUB By Ellen Scheurer

A

t the November 12, 2019, Monthly Meeting the Flagler Sportfishing Club will be “Talking Trash.” Captain Adam Morley is an advocate for clean water and

Monthly Member Meeting; VFW Palm Coast – OPEN TO THE PUBLIC – Quick Tips at 7:00 pm; Business Meeting and Guest Speaker 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm

Get Hooked on Beacher’s Lodge Oceanfront Suites

Saturday, November 16, 2019: Club Flounder and Redfish Tournamentt Join the Flagler Sportfishing Club www.flaglersportfishing.com Contact: Ellen Scheurer at emscheurer16@gmail.com

will be our guest speaker. Topics include: what can we do as a Club to help; where does trash come from; volunteer to work on the “The Litter Gitter,” Captain Morley’s trash collecting boat.

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he election results are in, we have new officers and board members for the 2020 fishing season: President – Tom Ruggles Vice President – Derek Siegel Secretary – ‘will be appointed’ Treasurer – Steve Guthrie Board Members – Cassi Washington, Steve Shaw, Greg Wallace, Hall Hanna, Terri Breen, James Carter, Jamie Underwood, Bill Breen and Tom Darga. September fishing for Bull Reds in the St. Johns river was outstanding. Club members are still sharing pictures of full coolers from their bottom fishing adventures.

dinner is at 7:00, and we generally try to get started with the meeting about 7:30, and we will have a great raffle. All of our meetings are open to the public, you do not have to be a member to attend. We are family friendly so feel free to bring the kiddos! If they are a little too young to appreciate the guest speaker, please bring them a quiet activity to do at the table with you. We hope to see you there!

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MAJOR LEAGUE FISHING TO ACQUIRE FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

I

n a move that’s sure to again shake up the tournament bass fishing landscape, Major League Fishing (MLF) announced last month that it will acquire Fishing League Worldwide (FLW). MLF is the entity that FLW Photo last year lured many of the sport’s top professional anglers away from B.A.S.S., its Elite Series and the venerable Bassmaster Classic. It offers a made-for-television series, the new Bass Pro Tour and claims its format is more advantageous to anglers than 50-year-old B.A.S.S., which was started by Ray Scott in 1967 and made superstars out of so many anglers. FLW is the world’s largest grassroots bass tournament organization, which hosts tournaments for tens of thousands of competitive anglers, from weekend warriors to high schoolers, collegiate anglers and tour pros. FLW has already released preliminary plans for what this merger means for the thousands of anglers who fish its tournaments. The biggest changes will occur at the top, where the new FLW Pro Circuit will replace the 24-year-old FLW Tour. On the FLW Pro Circuit, events will span six days, with the first three days following the traditional five-fish format and the last three days using MLF’s catch-weigh-release format. The Costa FLW Series will expand geographically and feature lower entry fees. The BFL events so popular with non-professional competitive anglers will also reduce entry fees. There have been no changes announced for FLW’s high school and college tournaments.

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OKEECHOBEE COUNTY, WHERE OUTDOOR ADVENTURES ABOUND

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.

COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

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NATIONAL

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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.

For more Lester visit,

FISHINGMAGAZINE.FISHING

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RUN LONG. RUN CLEAN. RUN STRONG.

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

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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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EXPERIENCE THE

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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.

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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

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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.

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