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NORTHEAST FLORIDA EDITION

FREE Gulf

Rods &

Tuna

Reels Reviews

At Night

Fish

Tales From Costa Rica

Skeeter Celebrates

70

th

Anniversary PHOTO COURTESY OF RANDY KING VOLUME 23 • ISSUE 276

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

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FAMILY LEGENDS

and fish tales

BUILT FOR THAT

210 FSH ® SERIES

Go where no other boat has gone before. With powerful twin TR-1® Yamaha Marine Engines, ample storage and comfortable bow seating, the all-new 210 FSH provides the shallow-water capability to get to those hard-to-reach fishing spots and the versatility to enjoy watersports with your family.

210 FSH®

210 FSH® Deluxe

210 FSH® Sport

YA M A H A B OAT S . C O M

©2018 Yamaha Motor Corporation, U.S.A. All rights reserved. Follow instructional materials and obey all laws. Drive responsibly, wearing protective apparel. Always drive within your capabilities, allowing time and distance for maneuvers, and respect others around you. Don’t drink and drive. FOR MORE INFORMATION, VISIT OUR WEBSITE AT YAMAHABOATS.COM OR CALL 1.800.88.YAMAHA.

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2018 242CC

FISHING FOCUSED FAMILY FRIENDLY “Sailfish Boats are truly versatile. A great fishing boat and a great family boat all in one.”

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www.SailfishBoats.com

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THE NEXT GREAT THE NEXT GREAT

HAVALON HAVALON INNOVATION INNOVATION HAS LANDED. HAS LANDED.

QUIK-CHANGE II ™ Interchangeable Fixed Blade™ QUIK-CHANGE Cutlery System II Interchangeable Fixed Blade Cutlery System9” FILLET 7” FILLET 9” FILLET 5” FILLET 7” FILLET 3” SERRATED 5” FILLET 3” SERRATED

Easy Blade Release System Easy Blade Release System

Opens For Easy Cleaning

KN IVES

Opens For Easy Cleaning

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COMING SPRING 2018 COMING SPRING 2018 4

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Rugged Canvas Roll Pack Rugged Canvas Roll Pack

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BLEED TRIM

SAFETY

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

FLORIDA

BIG BEND : Mike McNamara • (850) 510-7919 • captmike@coastalanglermagazine.com BREVARD : David String • (321) 684-5888 • dstring@coastalanglermagazine.com DAYTONA/NEW SMYRNA BEACH : Don Meadows • (321) 436-5895 • donm@coastalanglermagazine.com FLORIDA KEYS : Cliff Lumpkin • (305) 849-9093 • cliff@coastalanglermagazine.com FORT LAUDERDALE : Gene Dyer • (954) 680-3900 • gene@coastalanglermagazine.com FORT MYERS : Nadeen Welch • (239) 595-8265 • nwelch@coastalanglermagazine.com GREATER ORLANDO : Phillip & Giselle Wolf • (407) 790-9515 • phillip@coastalanglermagazine.com LAKELAND & SUMTER : Mary Brasher • (352) 598-4219 • maryf@coastalanglermagazine.com NAPLES : Nadeen Welch • (239) 595-8265 • nwelch@coastalanglermagazine.com NC FLORIDA/NATURE COAST : Cary & Lynn Crutchfield • (352) 372-4237 • crutch@coastalanglermagazine.com NE FLORIDA : Danny Patrick • (904) 742-4696 • danny@coastalanglermagazine.com PANAMA CITY/FORGOTTEN COAST : Randy Cnota • (229) 834-7880 • randyc@coastalanglermagazine.com PALM BEACH COUNTY : Barbara Ryan • (561) 373-8040 • barbara@coastalanglermagazine.com SARASOTA : Phil Prevoir • (239) 257-4684 • pprevoir@coastalanglermagazine.com TAMPA BAY : Chuck Atkins • (239) 464-5153 • chuck@coastalanglermagazine.com TREASURE COAST : Misti & Gary Guertin • (772) 285-6850 • treasurecoast@coastalanglermagazine.com

flahama@coastalanglermagazine.com

SOUTHEAST

ATLANTA : Bob & Brenda Rice • (706) 614-8231 • bobr@theanglermagazine.com CHARLESTON : Jane A. Redden • (205) 725-9616 • jane@coastalanglermagazine.com

Sam Buckareff • (843) 607-8629 • sam@coastalanglermagazine.com

CHARLOTTE/PIEDMONT : Mark & Haley Alberghini • (704) 651-1934 • mark@theanglermagazine.com

COME JOIN OUR TEAM Dear Reader, “Coastal Angler” and our freshwater component “The Angler” magazines are looking to expand our franchise footprint to include numerous Gulf Coast region markets. Having become the largest outdoor publication on the Eastern Seaboard, we’re now ready to continue our expansion westerly all the way to California and northerly to the Great Lakes and beyond. Our franchise system enables localized editions of the magazine to be managed and developed by our franchisee/co-publishers. Publishing your localized edition of either Coastal Angler Magazine or The Angler Magazine can be exceptionally enriching and financially rewarding. Our ideal candidate may never have been involved in publishing before. They would, however, be passionately involved in the outdoors. Obsessive anglers often make great fishing magazine franchisees.

COLUMBIA/MIDLANDS : John Lux • (803) 807-6885 • jlux@theanglermagazine.com MYRTLE BEACH : Mike Masiero • (732) 674-3019 • mmasiero@coastalanglermagazine.com SW GEORGIA : Bob & Brenda Rice • (706) 614-8231 • bobr@theanglermagazine.com TIDEWATER/OUTER BANKS : John Tiger • (757) 707-9654 • john.tiger@coastalanglermagazine.com

Laura Tiger • (757) 707-9655 • laura@coastalanglermagazine.com

WESTERN NC : Debra & Joe Woody • (828) 775-9663 • woody@theanglermagazine.com WILMINGTON/MOREHEAD : Kenny Ritter • (910) 550-9094 • kenny@coastalanglermagazine.com

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

Your new career is just a phone call or email away.

GULF COAST MISSISSIPPI GULF COAST : Adam Nelson • (228) 627-5903 • anelson@coastalanglermagazine.com

This is a chance to own your own business but not be all on your own. Our training and support systems enable our co-publishers to quickly establish their localized edition of the magazine into a viable local business. If you think you would enjoy a career centered around the outdoors and fishing, you owe it to yourself to check out our franchise opportunities. Our expansion goals have numerous territories now available.

Toby Nelson • (228) 623-1761 • tnelson@coastalanglermagazine.com

Best regards,

NEW ORLEANS : Dr. Dave Dunaway • (225) 400-8156 • nola@coastalanglermagazine.com

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

INTERNATIONAL PUERTO RICO/VIRGIN ISLANDS : Ace Bassue • (407) 285-9453 • ace@coastalanglermagazine.com COSTA RICA : Mike Erickson • (561) 262-2242 • mike@coastalanglermagazine.com © 2018. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written consent of the publisher. Disclaimer: Coastal Angler Magazine / The Angler Magazine will not be held liable for injuries incurred while partaking in activities described herein, or for claims made against products or services provided by advertisers. SAFETY

Ben Martin Editor in Chief info@coastalanglermagazine.com

1-888-800-9794

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By CAM Staff

F

ast and stable, with a needle nose that reminded people of a mosquito buzzing over southern waters, the world’s first bass boat was the 1948 brainchild of Shreveport, Louisiana’s Holmes Thurmond. That first Skeeter boat, made of molded marine plywood, caught on quickly with local anglers. It launched the brand

that today, 70 years later, is still renowned for building innovative boats designed specifically for the needs of recreational anglers. Cary Crutchfield, co-publisher of Coastal Angler Magazine’s North Central Florida edition, owns one of those early Skeeter boats. When he bought his first Skeeter in the 1960s, the company was already leading the way in what became an industry-wide transition to fiberglass. His was a 15-foot model with stick steering up front that was powered by a 35hp outboard. “It’s real easy to fish from, and it’s just a neat 6

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looking boat,” Crutchfield said of those early flat-bottomed Skeeters. “It’s narrow, and the way the sides turn up to the cockpit makes it very stable to move around in.” With today’s bass boats, a 250hp Yamaha seems like a necessity to even compete on the tournament circuits. Back then, a Skeeter with a 35hp was capable of reaching speeds in excess of 30 mph. It was a fishing boat superior to any that came before it. The Super Skeeter arose as the boat for serious anglers fishing the large, newly constructed man-made reservoirs that have since fueled the sport. Crutchfield sold his 15-footer in the 1980s and almost immediately began kicking himself. He missed the narrow profile and shallow draft, along with kind of stability that allows him to stand comfortably and pole into very tight places. It wasn’t long before he ran into another old Skeeter he had to have, this one a 14-footer, originally powered by a 25hp outboard that has since been replaced by a 1950s model 12hp. Even with that old motor, it still gets around pretty quickly, and Crutchfield said it’s still the perfect small fishing boat where he launches on the Suwannee River. With the spirit of innovation that gave rise to that first bass boat and an open ear to the new requirements of early bass tournaments, Skeeter grew and evolved with the sport. The Skeeter Hawk did away with the characteristic pointed bow, which allowed for a smoother ride and a raised casting platform. In the 1970s, after moving into its current plant in Kilgore, Texas, Skeeter rolled the dice and introduced the legendary Wrangler to the bass fishing world. Rated for 150hp with a V-bottom, it was an odd and new style that absolutely dominated the competition in performance. It became the template that led to the high-performance fishing machines that roar

around our reservoirs today. In 2018, Skeeter Performance Fishing Boats is celebrating its 70th year of providing anglers with exceptional fishing boats. With modern technology and computer design capabilities, it has continued to lead the industry with innovations such as the first production composite bass boat, the ZX202, in the mid-1990s. The venerable ZX series, in all its versions, has been a staple in the bass tournament world for more then three decades. But listening to the needs of the fishermen who are its customers, Skeeter branched out to produce deep-v boats for walleye tournament anglers on the big lakes of the north, as well as bay boats for saltwater anglers. Skeeter’s acquisition by Yamaha in 1996 brought new resources to the table and advances followed. In 2001, Skeeter again set a new standard for the industry with its Torque Transfer Transom and Stringer System, which provides lift to the entire keel, while eliminating stress on the on the transom, deck, hull and sides. Through all the advancements, Skeeter boats bear little resemblance to Thurmond’s first bass boat. But the same concept, to design perfect

fishing boats for fishermen, is evident throughout Skeeter’s product line. Whether it’s on southern reservoirs, the big northern lakes or the bays and backwaters of the Gulf of Mexico, Skeeter has a nimble, fast and extremely fishable boat perfect for the kind of fishing you do.

COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

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IT’S MORE THAN JUST A BOAT. IT’S A LIFESTYLE.

STANDARD FEATURES INCLUDE: Center console command center Abundant bow & floor storage Lowrance® Elite 9 Ti touch 40 gallon rear livewell/baitwell Deluxe lean post w/vertical rod holders 14 gallon console baitwell New upholstery styling ...and much more!

ENGINEERED TO BE THE ULTIMATE BAY BOAT Ultimate in the way you get to the fish, with a durability that is unsurpassed. Engineering this one was a dream come true. We put everything you need right at your fingertips to provide you with a true fishing machine. For additional information please visit SkeeterBoats.com/SX240.

$42,995* 2O18 SX21O WITH

YAMAHA VF15OXA

ACTUAL SALES PRICE DETERMINED BY DEALER. PRICE DOES NOT INCLUDE FREIGHT, DEALER PREP & T.T.L.

NATIONALLY ADVERTISED PRICE BEFORE REBATE

$

43,495

+

MANUFACTURER’S SUGGESTED RETAIL PRICE

$

52,060

u

STANDARD FEATURES INCLUDE: White Pro Series 2 Power-Pole® Abundant bow & floor storage Center console command center 25 gallon rear livewell/baitwell Leaning post with vertical rod holders 14 gallon console baitwell ...and much more! 8” setback plate

THE BEST RIDE AT THE BEST VALUE It’s true you really can have it all without spending it all. The SX210 is just the right fit for any situation. Family fun and weekend getaways make this boat a hero. For additional information please visit SkeeterBoats.com/SX210.

UP TO

INSTANT REBATE

*

LIMITED TIME OFFER INSTANT REBATE APPLIED AT TIME OF FINAL SALE BY DEALER.

VALID JANUARY 1-MARCH 31, 2018

LIMITED LIFETIME WARRANTY Limited Lifetime Structural Warranty 10 Year Limited Transferable Structural Warranty 3 Year Limited Component Warranty

Visit SkeeterBoats.com to locate your nearest Skeeter Dealer. Nationally Advertised Price; actual sales price determined by dealer. Price does not include freight, dealer prep, and T.T.L.. uManufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP). Prices may vary due to supply, location, freight etc. Actual prices are set by the dealer. *Terms and Conditions: Nationally Advertised Price for 2018 SX210 with $1500 Rebate. Consumer benefit for purchasing a new (unused, not previously warranty registered) eligible MY 2018 and prior boat from 1/1/18- 3/31/18 is an instant rebate applied at time of final sale by dealer, at no extra cost to consumer. Actual rebate amount is determined by model selected. NO BENEFIT SUBSTITUTIONS. Promotion is only applicable from authorized participating Skeeter dealers in the U.S.A. and Canada sold to purchasing consumers residing in the U.S.A. and Canada. Promotion is limited to available stock in dealer inventory that is sold, PDI completed, delivered and warranty registered in accordance with Skeeter’s promotion and warranty registration req uirements during applicable dates. No model substitutions, benefit substitutions, extensions or rain checks will be allowed. Not redeemable for cash. Boats sold or provided for commercial, camp, resort, rental, promotional/ demo, government agency, competition, tournament or sponsorship use are not eligible. This promotion cannot be used in conjunction with any other Skeeter offer or discounts. Some exceptions may apply. See authorized, participating Skeeter dealer for complete details. Skeeter reserves the right to change or cancel this promotion at any time. Other restrictions and conditions apply. ©2018 Skeeter Products, Inc. All rights reserved. This document contains many of Skeeter’s valuable trademarks. It may also contain trademarks belonging to other companies. Any references to other companies or their products are for identification purposes only, and are not intended to be an endorsement. Remember to observe all applicable boating laws. Never drink and ride. Dress properly with a USCG approved flotation device and protective gear. +

LOOK FOR US AT THE MIAMI INTERNATIONAL BOAT SHOW AT BOOTH A112 COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

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Rods & Reels

G. LOOMIS/SHIMANO CONQUEST

PENN CONFLICT II

PENN redesigned its smooth and durable Conflict reel to bring anglers the Conflict II, the most lightweight PENN reel ever made. It is a superior reel, perfectly suited to inshore applications. True to its origins, the Conflict II features stealthy cosmetics and a smooth and reliable HT-100 carbon fiber drag system. The RR30 Rigid Resin body and rotor are extremely lightweight and durable, and with the redesign, the Conflict II is 20 percent lighter than the first-generation Conflict. Internally, the Conflict II is updated with PENN’s CNC Gear Technology and high quality stainless steel ball bearings, making it the ultimate PENN inshore reel. With the Superline Spool, no backing is needed because of the rubber gasket that keeps superlines from slipping. Other key features include: Slow Oscillation – Leveline System, 7+1 sealed stainless steel ball bearing system and line capacity rings.

WWW.PENNFISHING.COM

ST. CROIX LEGEND TOURNAMENT INSHORE

8

What do you get when you mix proven G. Loomis rod design with Shimano technology? You get Conquest, a line of 12 awesome bass rods, purposebuilt for different conditions and techniques. The new Conquest series includes eight casting rods with G. Loomis’ original “Mag Bass” fast-action tapers and four “Spin/Jig” fast-action spinning rods. With Shimano’s Spiral X and Hi-Power X processes, the blanks are rolled to exact G. Loomis specifications before being handfinished in G. Loomis’ Woodland, Wash. facility. With this partnership, engineers believe they have produced the most technologically advanced rods on the water. They are lightweight and offer anglers a whole new set of performance standards. Some of the benefits anglers will experience are: more accurate casts, increased fighting power, solid leverage for hook sets and reduced rod twist for rod control and durability. The casting rods are fitted with G. Loomis’ “skeleton” reel seats on full-cork contoured grips. The spinning rods feature split grips and Shimano’s CI4 reel seats. Blank-through-handle design on both versions adds sensitivity, as do the Fuji Torzite guides and a durable SIC Titanium tip guide. Whether you’re pitching jigs in thick cover or prospecting open water for smallies, high-performance Conquest rods will help you catch more bass.

WWW.GLOOMIS.COM

PENN INTERNATIONAL VI

Legend Tournament Inshore rods are the blending of the inimitable sensitivity, power and durability of St Croix’s Legend Tournament Bass and Walleye series with components and technology suited for saltwater environments. With good looks and a high-performance feel, the Legend Tournament Inshore was awarded Best Saltwater rod at ICAST 2017. The eye-catching “Belize Blue” blanks are crafted of SCIV graphite using Integrated Poly Curve tooling technology and engineered to eliminate all transitional points, which fosters smooth action, increased strength and sensitivity. They are surprisingly lightweight, yet durable, and are equipped with a Fuji TVS blank touch reel seat on spinning rods and PTS blank-touch reel seat with builtin hoods on casting models. These new Fuji seats are designed to stand-up to the pressure of hard-fighting inshore species. Kigan Master Hand Zero Tangle guides and a Kigan titanium hook keeper provide 100 percent corrosion protection.

After nearly 15 years, the PENN International big game reel will get a makeover. The reel that has become legendary for fulfilling angler dreams offshore has been refined and modernized to once again redefine big game reels. The PENN International VI series features many upgrades including a weight reduction on key sizes, a new silent anti-reverse and a more refined/ adjustable Dura-Drag system. The new series features 28 models in both gold and silver, single speed and two-speed, wide and narrow. Made in the U.S.A. of domestic and imported components at the historic PENN Fishing Tackle Manufacturing Company building in Philadelphia, the International VI will give anglers the edge in chasing that trophy of a lifetime. Key features include: Machined and anodized aluminum body and side plates, stainless steel main and pinion gears, Quick-Shift II two-speed system, sealed DuraDrag system, Versa-Strike Adjustable Strike stop, double-dog ratchet anti-reverse and line capacity rings.

STCROIXRODS.COM

WWW.PENNFISHING.COM

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Product Reviews

TSUNAMI ARMR

MUD HOLE TURN KEY KITS Avid anglers who want to take their fishing to the next level owe it to themselves to check out Mud Hole Custom Tackle’s rod building kits. They include everything needed for anglers to construct their own high-end custom fishing rods. Mud Hole is offering an amazing value on its Inshore Turnkey Kit, which includes all the tools and materials to build a custom inshore rod perfect for trout and redfish. The kit features the extremely popular and versatile MHX SJ842 rod blank. This 7’0” medium-light power rod features a fast action for throwing soft plastics and topwater lures at wary flats fish. Along with the blank, the kit comes with a matched guide set, handle kit and everything from the CRB wrapper, a CRB rod dryer and ProPaste and ProKote Rod Finish and all the tools needed to craft your own custom rod. Visit www.mudhole.com and check out all our Turn Key Kit options or simply Google: Mud Hole Turnkey.

Super smooth and well built, the Tsunami ARMR is lightweight, high-performance spinning reel available in 3000/4000 and 5000/6000 sizes. The Tsunami ARMR has a sleek design and features

high-end components to provide smooth and durable operation for fighting and casting. The lightweight, solid aluminum body combined with hybrid, corrosion resistant carbon infused side plates and rotor and a double anodized ported aluminum spool are what keep this reel feather light in the hand all day long. Seven high-precision, shielded stainless steel ball bearings allow full support to all free-moving parts during the toughest fight or retrieve after retrieve. The look and feel of the Tsunami ARMR reel, enhanced by a light, durable EVA handle knob and braid-ready spool is what separates these high-performance reels from the competition.

WWW.BIMINIBAYOUTFITTERS.COM

WWW.MUDHOLE.COM

SHIMANO SUSTAIN HOOKER ELECTRIC REELS Hooker Electric continues to raise the bar with the fastest, lightest and best looking electric reels on the market, along with second-to-none customer service. The top seller in 2017 was their 80 motor that features level wind and auto stop, mounted on the Shimano Tiagra 80WA. The auto stop feature allows the angler to set the reel to stop winding at any interval, including just before your terminal tackle reaches the rod tip. With both 12- and 24-volt functionality, there is no need for a converter box. Its full variable speed allows line retrieval at up to 500 feet per minute, which makes checking your bait from 1,800 feet a breeze. It also includes bluetooth connectivity, allowing the angler to control the reel through Hooker Electric’s iPhone app, ReelTime. If you’re feeling sporty, the reel can also be used manually, so you can feel the fight. New for 2018, Hooker Electric now offers custom colors in silver, black, blue and even pink. For more information, go to www.hookerelectric.com or give them a call at 954-530-6908.

WWW.HOOKERELECTRIC.COM

T h e Best New Saltwater Reel winner at ICAST 2017, Shimano’s Sustain might just be the best new spinning reel for freshwater or salt. The Sustain series comes in four sizes suitable for everything from finesse baits for bass, to stripers and even small billfish. In all sizes, the reel’s Hagane aluminum body construction gives it a solid feel, and the Shimano Magnumlite low inertia rotor provides sensitive, light rotation and a light start up, which allows anglers to instantly begin the retrieve. Shimano’s Hagane gear has already made waves in the industry for its incredibly smooth operation. The exclusive technology used to engineer the cold forged aluminum drive also makes it extremely strong and durable. The X-Protect feature, which should be of particular interest to saltwater anglers but is relevant in any wet fishing conditions, is a threelipped rubber seal system that offers exceptional water resistance. With Cross Carbon Drag, eight shielded anti-rust ball bearings, and a one-way roller bearing to stop handle backplay, Shimano went in whole hog to produce these award-winning reels. Whether you fish freshwater or salt, you’ll be hard pressed to find a better spinning reel.

FISH.SHIMANO.COM

COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

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MOTOR UPGRADES ARE AVAILABLE

Marine Wintertime Blowout $209* mon

G2968 Key Largo 160cc

G2661 Key Largo 1800 cc

40 HP Motor

90 HP Motor

WAS $23,849 NOW $15,999

WAS $37,749 NOW $25,999

$194* mon

90 HP Motor

G3149 Caravelle 16EBo 70 HP Motor

WAS $30,746 NOW $19,799

$299* mon thly

thly

G2849 Key Largo 2000

G2646 Key Largo 210LX

WAS $50,787 NOW $35,990

WAS $59,266 NOW $36,990

150 HP Motor

140 HP Motor

WAS $35,833 NOW $23,999

thly

$279* mon

thly

G3068 Caravelle 19EBo

$164* mon

thly

thly

$377* mon

$306* mon

$368* mon

thly

thly

G3010 Key Largo 220BAY

G3054 Razon 238PF

140 HP Motor

200 HP Motor

WAS $61,517 NOW $39,599

WAS $78,605 NOW $49,599

thly

G3081 Razor 247UR 200 HP Motor

WAS $71,288 NOW $48,499

www.factorydirectmarine.com *payments calculated at 180 months for well qualified buyers with 20% down. Please note: Prices do not include freight, dealer make ready, and rigging. Pictures may not reflect actual unit and/or available inventory. Price and payment do not include sales tax or fees. Not responsible for typographical errors.

Ridgeland, SC, 401 Sycamore Drive, 844-280-9753 | Panama City, FL, 8308 Panama City Beach Pkwy, 844-278-2510 Charlotte, NC | 9204 N Lakebrook Road | 980-267-5597 | Rockwood,TN, 2475 Westel Road, 844-271-9582 Hamburg, PA, 20 Industrial Drive , 844-247-1678 | West Coxsackie, NY, 12634 Route 9 West, 844-276-8649

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All trademarks mentioned are owned by, or licensed to, the AkzoNobel group of companies. © AkzoNobel 2017.

$136* mon


For over a century, a league of canned crusaders have been fighting to keep boats safe from barnacles, slime, algae and other aquatic evils that rob your boat of its true performance. With advanced know-how and unique capabilities, each antifouling is tailored to different conditions, and has the power to defeat fouling in all its forms. Micron® Extra leads the charge in all waters. Using its signature dual-protection with boosting Biolux® technology, it provides high-quality, multi-season protection that survives hauling and relaunch without the need for repainting. For super-powered antifouling protection and proven performance, choose Interlux®.

All trademarks mentioned are owned by, or licensed to, the AkzoNobel group of companies. © AkzoNobel 2017.

The hero your boat deserves!

8953/1217

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Drifting For

Nighttime Yellowfin On Gulf Floaters

By Nick Carter

Y

ellowfin tuna are some of the most sought after gamefish in the world. They are the ahi tuna on the menus at restaurants and sushi bars, and in the water they have the speed and power to wear down anglers and break gear. The signature “spiral” that tuna commence in the waning moments of a fight is responsible for untold numbers of broken lines and broken hearts. After battling 30 mph runs for 20 minutes or more, the weary angler, captain and crew face one final test, a team effort to survive the spiral and get the fish on deck. These tense moments, when a big yellowfin turns sideways and begins to circle, using its body’s mass as leverage, are the most critical minutes of the fight. If the line even touches the boat, it will snap, and the circling fish provides many opportunities for this to happen. These moments are the reason Randy King, of Paparda Rey Fishing Charters out of Galveston, Texas, says the main limitation on their catch is the ability of the angler. The captain, Kenneth Doxey, is solid. He has been running their 54-foot Bertram and their 35-foot Cabo for more than a decade. He was the 2016 recipient

of the Houston Big Game Fishing Club’s Jim Peachey Award. The crew is also top-notch, which leaves the angler as the potential weak link. The good news is there will likely be multiple opportunities on one of their overnight trips to deep-water oil platforms off Texas. King said a great trip with six anglers would yield a dozen yellowfin tuna in the 40- to 120-pound range, and that doesn’t include the shots anglers will have at mahi-mahi, wahoo, marlin and blackfin tuna. Out of Galveston, it’s 100 miles or more into the Gulf of Mexico to reach the enormous floating gas and oil structures off the edge of the Continental Shelf. These deep-water facilities, known as “floaters,” create their own food chain, consolidating bait and gamefish from miles around. On a typical 36- or 48-hour trip, don’t plan on sleeping much. The floaters are brightly lit at night, which is when the tuna fishing is best. After identifying fish on the sonar, chumming and drift fishing with 30-pound-class tackle is usually the most productive method for yellowfin. “Sometimes the tuna will start breaching,” said King. “They’ll jump in the air like king mackerel.” It’s for these occasions, when fish are on the surface, that big spinning rigs armed with poppers are

kept on deck. Drifting and pulling poppers while chugging back up-current to start a new drift goes on all night long. At dawn, the bait rods come in, and it’s time to start trolling. The primary daylight targets are marlin, sailfish, wahoo and dolphin. Between night and day, it equates to a whole lot of big fish packed into a weekend at sea. It’s a grand adventure, and a meat trip of epic proportions in the Gulf of Mexico. Check out Paparda Rey at www.offshorebiggame.com. Information on the Houston Big Game Fishing Club can be found at www.hbgfc.com.

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By Capt. Larry Conley

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f you’re new to fishing out of the Fort Myers, Fla. area, it can be very technical. It can also be very good. Knowing water depths for a certain fish can help you. Grouper typically reside in the 70- to 120-foot depths, and it changes with the water temps and the time of year. Red snapper will be in depths of 140 feet or more. Lane snapper are great table fare and can be found in 40 to 50 feet or deeper. This year we’ve caught more and bigger lanes than I have seen in eight years. Look for hard bottom areas; learn to use your sonar. If it works as you’re running it helps a lot. Watch your screen continuously as you get past 40 feet of water. I’m not going give out a bunch of numbers, but if you watch the sonar you’re going to find a lot of lane snapper in 45 to 65

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feet of water. As you’re running out, watch for rocky ledges, as they will hold mangrove snapper, gag grouper and white grunts. If I spot a new area as I’m running, I’ll mark it on the GPS and label it “RO.” I’ll know it as a run over. If it looks really good, like a bunch of lanes, I sometimes label it “WOW.” That way I know to look for lanes on a future trip. As I get in 40 feet or so, I’ll watch the radar and sonar more than out in front of the boat, and that’s how I’ve found many new spots. I might not fish them for months out, and I’ll delete the ones that don’t produce. As for bait, squid, threadfin and herring are the best and cheapest. Live shrimp work, but it’s one bite and the shrimp is gone, which adds up. Chum with cut threadfin. Cut them small, as you don’t want to fill the fish up. Just give them a taste to get them interested. A few of the best spots I’ve found are “potholes.” I found them by going slowly from one spot to another, watching the bottom machine. In 74 feet of water, I saw the bottom drop just 2 feet and then come back up after 20 yards to form a pothole. I saw what looked like one fish. One more red grouper was more than I had at the time, so I anchored. It took a few minutes, but the bottom came alive and we caught 15 keeper red grouper! That pothole was one of the best places I ever found. So, I continued looking for places that seemed the same and found about a dozen of these potholes. I keep records of the keepers for each spot on the GPS, and I can’t tell you enough how important those records are. When it gets tough, go to the high-numbered spots. Capt. Larry Conley and Reel-Ality Sportfishing offers inshore, offshore, and deep-sea fishing out of Fort Myers. The Reel-Ality offers various trips as well as tournament charters and is licensed to carry up to 6 passengers. Call 239-980-3880, visit www.reelalitysportfishing.com/ contact.html, and check them out on Facebook.

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By Capt. Ryan Drygas

A

n early morning departure from Key West Harbor puts the motor vessel Reel Time, a 45-foot Sea Hunter, right in the middle of 8- to 10-foot seas. The owner of the boat has been running sea trials for the last few days and has been comfortable running the boat throughout the trip, but has not yet handled seas of this magnitude. The owner made a decision to pass the helm to Paul Myrtetus, a member of the Sea Hunter team, and told him to start heading north. Myrtetus has been a part of several sea trials and is comfortable running

vessels in all types of conditions. After setting his course, Myrtetus began picking up speed and cutting through the swells. Usually, Myrtetus would be standing at the helm with his back resting on the edge of the seat. However, with the design and hydraulic integration of the Llebroc helm chair, he was more than comfortable running the course while remaining seated. In fact, Paul turned around to see the rest of the crew sitting down, as well. Anyone familiar with running in rough seas will tell you it was an unusual sight. Rough seas make for a rough ride, and the lack of a quality seat can cause back injuries quite easily from bottoming out in a chair. The 45foot Sea Hunter was fitted with Llebroc chairs, and the reasoning is quite obvious. Not only was everyone sitting down while running through 8- to 10-foot seas, they were laughing together, joking and enjoying watching wave after wave crashing over the decks and splashing against the window. After four days and 800 miles on the water, the sea trial was complete. Not only was the owner more than satisfied with his new boat, he was also injury free and has another sea story under his belt. Time after time, Llebroc has stood the test and passed with flying colors. Myrtetus is convinced Llebroc is the industry leader in seating and has helped return clients re-outfit their boats to Llebroc chairs. As a former member of the Coast Guard, I can personally recall stories of running in rough seas and bottoming out in helm chairs. The static and dynamic forces that affect the boat and the people inside are tremendous. Not only can they damage your vessel, but they can also have a lasting effect on your body. The equipment with which you outfit your boat determines the performance of your vessel as well as the enjoyment of your voyage. When looking for a comfortable ride, choose comfort, choose durability, choose Llebroc.

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Granted, you might not be nearly as fanatical as some, but there is a certain level of commitment to the two sports of kayaking and fishing that is necessary if you want to be more successful. Kayak anglers tend to be a solitary sort, but it helps to fish in a group and observe what works for other anglers. Group fishing will also shorten your learning curve, as it will expose you to places, species and alternate techniques that might have taken you years to learn on your own. I’m a lifelong fisherman who struggled badly when I moved here

By Dan Carns

A

s in most things, there is a learning curve in kayak fishing. I’ve observed this curve with many of my clients. These folks have become frequent guests on many of my own fishing exploits, as I try to fish new spots often. The curve starts with the basics: where to keep your paddle, how to handle a fish at the side of the kayak, when and where to launch. As the months turn to years, the curve starts to flatten out as most people start to repeat the things that make them successful. Part of this learning curve could be the simple act of tying knots. Don’t be intimidated by knot tying, as it will certainly increase your catch rate. Make the time to sit at your picnic table with your electronic pad open and find a knot website. Tie a couple of basic knots, choose simple knots at first, repeat them over and over until you can do it without really thinking about it. Same is true for a particular lure; only this time sit in your kayak in your favorite fishing hole and use the same lure repeatedly until you really understand what tricks excite the fish, this could take 20 or 30 repeat visits or knot tying sessions. The point is that you must learn each and every detail in order to master this sport, and even then there is learning to be done.

many years ago until I hired a guide to take me and my buddy Jim out into Pine Island sound. We spent the entire day in our kayaks, and while we didn’t catch a lot of fish, our guide clued me in on the habitats, lures, gear and techniques needed to find fish. After that trip, my learning curve looked like an arrow pointed straight up! I’m lucky enough to fish with folks from around the world and find that I’m still picking up tricks and tips. Granted, given enough time, you can go it alone. But if you want to shorten your learning curve, find a local outfitter, take some lessons kayaking, maybe even a water safety course, fish in a group or hire a local guide! Fishman Dan guides for Gulf Coast Kayaks in beautiful Matlacha, Fla. and can be booked by calling 239-283-1125. Follow Gulf Coast Kayak on Facebook and Instagram. Marine Sporting Goods, Inc. 386-752-2500 www.mcduffiemarine.com 1866 West US 90, Lake City, FL

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E By Tom Karrow PhDc, MES

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here are two major misconceptions about fly fishing. The first is that fly fishing is limited to surface fishing, a stereotype born from motion pictures like “A River Runs Through It,” where trout are caught on dry flies. The second misconception is that only small fish can be caught on flies. Both assumptions could not be further from the truth, especially with advances in technology. Fly anglers can now readily present flies to fish at considerable depths, and stout 10, 11, 12 and heavier weight rods can tackle very large fish. Even lighter fly rods, with appropriate pressure and angler handling, can turn shockingly large fish. Remember, the largest whales on this planet eat some of the smallest foods; the same often applies to fish. Despite technological advances that allow for fly fishing successes in deep water, shallow water sight fishing is my favorite, and shallow water is not limited to small fish! Indeed, the fish I remember most are those that I saw in shallow waters, resting in shade during the peak of the day in warm summer months, or in the sunshine on cool winter days. Many of these memorable fish were large fish, cruising mangrove shorelines in search of easy prey. While I was not always successful in catching and releasing these fish, it is these memories that stand out. Shallow water is brought on by changes in bottom structure, but also in the availability of water. In marine environments, water availability is largely dependent on tides and it is the bottom of the tide, an hour either side of a low, that interests me most. I like some moving tide; I like a change in tide, and with low tides, fish are forced from protective structures like mangroves, docks, creeks or flats into deeper water where predators more easily roam. The narrow convergence between deep water, and what were the shallows, is where a lot of the action takes place. Careful scanning with good polarized sunglasses and a stealthy approach often reveals subtle clues to fish activity. Look for “nervous” water, wakes, pushes, busting bait, changes in color, or even fins, as fish search for food, attempt to avoid predation, and follow tides either out or back in. If all else fails, follow the birds. Shorebirds do exactly what fish do, but are far more easily seen. Birds like egrets, spoonbills, herons and gulls will work tide edges, often revealing locations of bait, depth changes and currents – the exact locations that predatory fish like bonefish, snook and redfish seek.

Shallow-water fly fishing is not easy. Fish are far more wary in shallow water. Sound, vibrations and other disturbances are more pronounced, and fish are more likely to feel unnatural pressures. Stealth is needed more than ever. Very careful poling or gentle wading, light, delicate presentations, smaller, lighter flies and long fine leaders all help give anglers an edge in these conditions. I like to use a lighter rod, like a 5-, 6- or 7-weight, as the lines for these rods are thinner and create fewer disturbances on the water. I also like softer, slower rods. I like to lead fish more, to minimize false casts, and to use fly lines that have longer forward tapers for more delicate presentations. Specialty fly lines built for bonefishing are good general-purpose lines for these applications, regardless of destination or species. As I compose this piece, watching snow accumulate on the windowsills, I fondly recall a large snook that I fooled in Florida last summer. The tide had just turned and was beginning to come in. A rush of cooler water was invigorating lethargic fish smothered by tropical sunshine, while previously inaccessible areas were becoming inundated and allowing access for predators. The fish was cruising into the tide, and I placed my fly well in front of her, up on the beach, actually. As the fish neared where I thought it would intercept my fly, I gave the line a single slow strip. I introduced my fly to the water, and I watched in awe as the large female snook surged forward. She swirled in the clear water, and her large mouth engulfed my fly. I strip set and she was on. For a real thrill in angling, give fly fishing in shallow waters a try. Consider a guide who will greatly advance your successes and learning, and remember that big fish live in shallow water too! Tom Karrow is a doctoral candidate researching bonefishing sustainability in The Bahamas. He is sponsored by R.L. Winston Fly Rods, Nautilus Reels, FishPond, RIO Fly Lines, 12 Weight, Costa Sunglasses and World Angling. For more information on his research, see http://tomkarrow.wix.com/bahamas-guide-tek. Tom can be contacted at tkarrow@uwaterloo.ca

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By Capt. Michael Okruhlik • Photo courtesy of Controlled Descent Lures

I

n early November, my buddy and I set out to fish some shallow flats in our kayaks. The water and air temperatures were near the 80-degree mark in south Texas. The area we had available to us only had a few inches of tidal flow predicted. When saltwater fishing, current is at the top of the list for catching requirements, but when the tide doesn’t provide it, find something that will. I had not fished this area in three years, and since that time hurricane Harvey changed a few things from the vehicle access point to my favorite hole, which isn’t a hole anymore. Needless to say, this was going to be a scouting mission as well as a fishing trip. We made our way to our first stop, which was a large knee- to waist-deep grass flat with a deep channel running down one side that is separated by a few spoil islands. We anchored up at the tip of a spoil island and casted to the channel. Although there was an abundance of bait, we didn’t get a strike. Off to plan B, my old honey hole. Once there, I realized the sweet spot was no longer, but we fished the area thoroughly since bait was present. We managed only a few strikes and a couple small trout. Knowing that the fish were inactive and that the tide was weak, I searched for an area where the wind might help drive a little more water flow to get the fish feeding. We headed back to the vicinity of our first stop, which was a flat the shape of a football field with the wind blowing from one endzone to the other. On the downwind side, there were a few small islands with breaks between them. Due to the wind, these breaks

funneled stronger water movement onto a small shallow flat. This flat didn’t have more bait than the other areas, but it did have water movement, which sparked the bite. We spent several hours in this tiny area catching reds and speckled trout. We used the same lures and presentation as we did earlier in the day. Soft plastic topwater jerk baits in pearl accounted for the more aggressive fish, but they were the smaller ones in this area. All of our larger fish came on slow-sinking paddle shad. Targeting the potholes and letting the lures slowly sink at the edge of the sand-to-grass transition drew the better strikes.

Photo courtesy of Capt. Tim Cutting

When fishing on less than desirable tides, remember to seek out locations that can offer it a push. Funnels and choke points are always a good bet, even if they are subtle. The water depth was the same on both sides and in between the islands, but it gave that little push the fish needed. Capt. Michael Okruhlik is the inventor of Controlled Descent Lures and the owner of www.MyCoastOutdoors.com.

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Fishing Report & Forecast Mayport By Capt. Kirk Waltz

N

orth Florida is no exception and has its fair share of cold weather. That being said, it doesn’t mean you have to become a certified coach potato. Good fishing does exist this time of the year and it can be fast –n- furious. Remember cold water and associated weather slows down the metabolism of fish so when you can fish do so slowly. Good numbers of reds, though many will be 14-17 inches, will school up in creeks and shallow areas to absorb heat from the sun. Small jigs tipped with small shrimp, fiddler crabs, and mud minnows work well. Look for shell bars, rock piles, and pot holes in creek bends. The ICW south and north are great areas to hunt. Try Sherman’s Creek, Chicopit Bay, Dutton’s Creek and further south as far as Cabbage and San Pablo Creeks to the JTB Bridge. North try Sisters, Clapboard, Hannah Mills, Garden, and Broward creeks to name a few. Try working these creeks on a mid low falling tide. And remember to fish slowly. Reds, sheepshead, trout, bluefish, and black drum will be the most predominate species you will encounter. In the big river to the jetties look for the big black drum to slowly begin to show up. Outgoing tides at the bottom of the tide when it slows are great as well as the very top of the flood too! A good fresh piece of cut blue crab is by far the best bait but, a nice jumbo fresh shrimp can be just as productive. The best thing to do with that shrimp is to head it and pinch the tail to draw out some of that shrimp scent. Fish on the bottom checking the edges of hard breaks and steep drops in river elevation to locate black drum. The edges of both the north and south jetties are great too and can provide some decent catches. In many instances you can also pick up some very large sheepshead and bull reds in this fashion. The big stones or jetties at Mayport are one of my favorite go to places this time of year. Good numbers of sheepshead, reds, drum, ringtails, 2 NE FLORIDA

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blues, and trout hang around the inlet rocks feeding on small crabs, shrimp, and available bait fish. Jigs, float rigs, and the old sliding egg sinker rigs can produce great results. I like a 7’6” Penn Squadron rod with 3500 Penn Spinfisher V spooled with 20lb braid. This rod is perfect for sensitive light bites and allows the angler to feel the slightest nibble. Work the lower tides around clear water conditions and at times check it at the high outgoing too! Good numbers of multiple species can be caught on nice warm weather calm conditions. These high pressure “bubble days” are great days to plan an outing and hop off that big warm couch! This is also prime sheepshead and ringtail fishing during this time of the year. Fiddlers and small shrimp are best and a little chum can go a long way too! For the chum just purchase a small amount of oysters at the bait shop. Take a 5 gallon bucket and dump the oysters into it. Grab a 5 pound hammer or a solid piece of pipe and crush it into real small pieces. The small pieces will contain little chunks of shellfish that when dispersed can really ring the dinner bell for fish feeding close by. It’s a great way to get the fish fired up. The offshore scene will be red hot on the sea bass front. The long stretch of cold weather should push them into the party grounds. Look for great numbers of black sea bass to move in closer as the water cools. Try all the local party ground spots for a limit of these great tasting fish. The hard bottom spots are usually the better ones to check first. Try putting down a bottom rig with cut squid, cigars, Boston mackerel, and sardines for fast and furious action. Visit us on the Outdoors Show radio program every Saturday from 7 am to 10 am on 1010am or 92.5fm for the latest in weather, tides, and fishing forecasts. For charters and info go to www. Enterprisefishingcharters.com or call 904.214.7560 or 904.626.1128

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JOSFC - February Captain Trina M. Polkey

T

he Jacksonville Offshore Club is starting 2018 off right with a major change! We are excited to announce we have opened our club tournaments to the GENERAL PUBLIC! Yes, that means anyone is now able to participate with us, member or not, and enjoy the fun a bit of competition brings amongst us. Who of us doesn’t like a little friendly competition? Tournaments are free for members to enter with an optional TWT of $20, non-members will pay $30 to enter with $20 of that going into the TWT. Though subject to club and tournament rules, non-members placement in the tournament will not count towards any club end of the year awards. They will be eligible for bragging rights and TWT prizes of course. All entries, members and non-members alike MUST be received PRIOR to the start of the fishing day. You can of course change eligibility for club prizes at any time by joining the club! Visit our webpage www.

4 NE FLORIDA

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jaxfish.com to find out more about our upcoming tou r n ame nt s . The Sheepshead Tu n e - U p To u r n a m e n t is coming up February 10th, a great opportunity to start polishing those skills for the upcoming El Cheapo Sheepshead Tournament. It will be held on March 3rd this year, online registration is open now at www.elcheapojax.com. Be sure to check out the new Hall of Fame page while you are there! As always, we would like to invite everyone, members or not, to our monthly meetings which take place at the Mayport Boat Ramp every first and third Thursday at 7pm. We will have our annual Chili Cook off at our first February meeting - for sure one you won’t want to miss!

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Fishing Report & Forecast Nassau Sound By Capt. Tony Bozzella

F

ebruary can be a cold month, however, The back country can be outstanding fishing. Species such black drum, sheephead, redfish a few flounder, bluefish and smaller trout can be in the mix. I like to target reds in the dead of winter months, when the water is the cleanest and clearest for the year. With that being said, on good low mid day tide, redfish can be found tailing in the sisters creek areas. Sunshine and minimal wind can lead to an outstanding bite. Best baits will include

shrimp, mud minnows, and blue crab. Areas of depression around oyster bars on the last half of the outgoing tide can produce best. Many of these species can be found in these locations. The best thing is to log it down. Most of the time the same species will return to that spot. Soak your baits close to the structure you fish, as redfish, like most animals, travel edges and depressions. Stay in tune with your bait knowing what it is doing at all times. If you were casting up current make sure you reel in the slack as your bait may roll a little with the tide. Be INTUNE! Lure fisherman slow down and fish dark or natural colored baits like a Bucktail jig, Or a weedless plastic. Especially If there is slot of structure or oyster. Buck tails need no movement and the hair breaths and moves with little movement appearing very alive, much like a fiddler crab, reds winter time main diet. Don’t be fooled by Mother Nature, winter is a great time to fish! So get out there and get after them…..  

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

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Fishing Report Pier and Surf By: Noel Kuhn

G

o south young man! Women too! Our water temperature has now dropped into the 50’s! So do not waste you precious time, energy and money surf or pier fishing here. At least until the water temps rise above 60 and maybe even 64. How far south do you need to go? Well that is a moving target. My target is 70 degrees. Here are a couple of websites that will help you plan a successful road trip south. The most important thing is the water temp. Just search the web for “SST charts” which stands for sea surface temperature charts. There are several good ones. My favorite is the web address that contains Rutgers.edu. Next important is the wind and weather. Winter cold fronts rolling out of

Canada can ruin even a south Florida road trip. My favorite site to use is intellicast.com. There you can see current and future wind speeds. Look for the break where the speeds are below 15MPH and warm out of the south or southeast for best beach conditions. There are plenty of sites in regards to the weather. I have had very good luck with wunderground.com. If you put it all together with wind, weather, and water temp you are just about guaranteed a day of fun. Last week I drove my charter south 3.5 hours south to Vero Beach. The very first cast was a nice fat Pompano. For the next four hours we caught Whiting, Pompano, Redfish, and Blacktip sharks. If a road trip is not in your future maybe maintenance can help you. What kind? Start with the most important, which is your reels! Salt spray is deadly on your equipment. Use this down time to break down your reels and clean and lube every part and piece. If you are not comfortable doing it yourself them send them off to the manufacture for a thorough cleaning. This will ensure that you have a fun spring run. That sure beats a crusty reel that you have not touched since November! This is also a great time to improve your long distance casting. I can meet you at an athletic field if you would like to learn how to cast 300’, 400’, and beyond. One of my students has now broken 500’! This is not pie in the sky. All of my surf casters have at least reached 300 feet. Tight lines! Noel Kuhn Surf fishing guide and long distance casting coach. 904-945-0660 www.TheSurfAngler.com

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El Cheapo XVIII By CAM staff

E

l Cheapo XVIII is approaching fast and will be here before you know it. With all the excitement of last year we are anxious to see what this year brings. Captain Kirk Waltz, (Enterprise Charters), held the lead for the longest time with an impressive 11.34lb fish caught not far from the Mayport boat ramp. We all thought he had it in the bag for sure until Chris Beasley’s Team Head Hunter pounded their way in from offshore with a tournament record breaking 14.3lb fish! Jessica Tison Valerio, daughter of Captain Vic Tison, (Vic2Fish), nailed the lady’s division with a nice 8.8lb fish. The biggest fish in the junior division at 7.7lbs was brought in by Errol Dedic to take the win there, and Tan Raulyn was in line EARLY in the day with a very respectful 9.10lb fish to win the kayak division. Hurricane Irma hit the area and the marine industry hard this past year and we may see some changes to our prize structure, but we will,

as always, put on the very best tournament we possibly can. This fun, affordable, family friendly tournament is the primary fundraiser for the Jacksonville Offshore Sport Fishing Club. Portions of the proceeds are donated to local schools and organizations that encourage interest in the marine industry and our fishing community. The tournament will be held on March 3rd, 2018 at the JOSFC club house located on the east side of the Mayport Boat Ramp. The captains meeting will take place Friday night, the 2nd at 7:30pm, though we will begin accepting onsite registrations at 5:30. Entry is only $80 before February 17th and online registration is now open. We look forward to seeing you out there!..  

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Fishing Report & Forecast Flagler Inshore By Captain Chris Herrera

A

s water temps hopefully continue to cool after January’s warm spell, water clarity will get better and better till it reaches “Gin Clear”. Hitting the flats once the sun is high and with incoming tide will give you sight fishing opportunities for redfish and sheepshead. To find sheepshead on the flats look around oyster bars till you see the striped bandits nibbling away.  A stealthy approach is a must by either poling or quietly using your troll motor. A rig I like to use is a 1/0 Daiichi octopus J hook with a bb split shot a few inches above the hook, I then rig a shrimp weed less by cutting off it’s tail for sent and inserting hook through the tail and back into it’s body for a weedless rig. Bigger Sheepsheads will be hanging around deeper water structure like docks, bridges, channel markers and area Inlets. Fiddler crabs, oyster crabs and oysters are offering that are rarely turned down by sheepshead hanging around deep structure. Trout fishing should be catch and release only as the season is normally closed but with new regulations trout remain open year round and bag limits are up to six instead of five fish. Look for trout to school up around ICW creek mouths, deep holes in creek bends and Matanzas

Inlet. Small soft plastics like Fishbites Extreme paddle tails or curly tails on a ¼ ounce Slayer jig head will attract schooled up trout. Gator trout will be sunning on mud flats during the heat of the day and a live mullet swimming on the surface will tempt even the wariest trout. Redfish schools will be on sun baked flats during higher tides and roaming the ICW during low tides. Multiple fish can be caught as long as you’re quiet and do not get to aggressive with your approach. Artificial lures is better in my opinion as you can get multiple cast to schools if spooked and don’t waste time rebating. Fly fisherman test their cast and accuracy by sight fishing laid up and cruising redfish on the shallow flats. My go to flies are flats bunnies, merkwans and just about any fly that resembles a bait fish. Black drum are relatives to red fish and noted as good table fair when caught less than 5 pounds and can hold their own once hooked. Recent outings have produced good numbers of “puppy drum” which range from 2 to 6 pounds. Simple rigs are used to catch Black drum, one of my favorites is a Slayer inc. ¼ oz. jig head and a live or fresh dead shrimp hooked through the head. Since Black drum are bottom dwellers and feed almost exclusively on the bottom other good baits that produce “stink” are quartered blue crabs, clams and oysters. Black drum are primarily found in deeper water but during those cold spells look to sight fish them on the shallow flats. . Capt. Chris Herrera Serving Flagler Beach, Palm Coast, St. Augustine www.palmcoastfishing.com 386-503-6338

Robbie Goodwin with a nice sight fished redfish.. Note the oysters beds

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

TIDE CHART - February

Mayport Degaussing Structure 30.3967° N, 81.3950° W Date Day Time

Hgt

Time

Hgt

Time

Hgt

Time

Hgt

Bings Landing: H: +2:57 L: +2:44

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

Major Feeding Periods

01 Thu 02:16 AM -1.70 L

08:42 AM 5.77 H 02:49 PM -1.38 L 09:05 PM 5.08 H

1:15 AM-3:15 AM • 1:50 PM-3:50 PM

02 Fri 03:06 AM -1.61 L

09:31 AM 5.62 H 03:37 PM -1.28 L 09:55 PM 5.07 H

2:10 AM-4:10 AM • 2:45 PM-4:45 PM

03 Sat 03:58 AM -1.34 L

10:20 AM 5.35 H 04:25 PM -1.05 L 10:44 PM 4.99 H

3:05 AM-5:05 AM • 3:35 PM-5:35 PM

04 Sun 04:50 AM -0.95 L

11:08 AM 5.02 H 05:14 PM -0.74 L 11:34 PM 4.85 H

3:50 AM-5:50 AM • 4:20 PM-6:20 PM

05 Mon 05:45 AM -0.51 L 11:57 AM 4.65 H 06:04 PM -0.40 L

4:40 AM-6:40 AM • 5:10 PM-7:10 PM

06 Tue 12:26 AM 4.68 H

06:42 AM -0.08 L 12:47 PM 4.30 H 06:57 PM -0.07 L

5:25 AM-7:25 AM • 5:55 PM-7:55 PM

07 Wed 01:20 AM 4.50 H

07:40 AM 0.27 L

01:41 PM 4.01 H 07:52 PM 0.20 L

6:10 AM-8:10 AM • 6:40 PM-8:40 PM

08 Thu 02:19 AM 4.34 H

08:38 AM 0.51 L

02:41 PM 3.80 H 08:48 PM 0.38 L

7:00 AM-9:00 AM • 7:25 PM-9:25 PM

09 Fri 03:21 AM 4.25 H

09:36 AM 0.62 L

03:44 PM 3.72 H 09:45 PM 0.45 L

7:45 AM-9:45 AM • 8:10 PM-10:10 PM

10 Sat 04:22 AM 4.25 H

10:32 AM 0.59 L

04:44 PM 3.75 H 10:41 PM 0.40 L

8:30 AM-10:30 AM • 9:00 PM-11:00 PM

11 Sun 05:17 AM 4.34 H

11:25 AM 0.46 L

05:36 PM 3.85 H 11:33 PM 0.25 L

9:20 AM-11:20 AM • 9:45 PM-11:45 PM

12 Mon 06:05 AM 4.46 H

12:13 PM 0.24 L

06:22 PM 3.99 H

10:10 AM-12:10 PM • 10:30 PM-11:59 PM

13 Tue 12:20 AM 0.05 L

06:48 AM 4.61 H 12:55 PM 0.02 L

07:03 PM 4.12 H

11:00 AM-1:00 PM • 11:20 PM-11:59 PM

14 Wed 01:03 AM -0.15 L 07:28 AM 4.74 H 01:35 PM -0.18 L 07:42 PM 4.25 H

11:45 AM-1:45 PM

15 Thu 01:42 AM -0.31 L

08:06 AM 4.83 H 02:11 PM -0.32 L 08:18 PM 4.37 H

12:05 AM-2:05 AM • 12:35 PM-2:35 PM

16 Fri 02:18 AM -0.40 L

08:43 AM 4.87 H 02:46 PM -0.38 L 08:55 PM 4.48 H

12:55 AM-2:55 AM • 1:20 PM-3:20 PM

17 Sat 02:54 AM -0.42 L

09:20 AM 4.85 H 03:20 PM -0.38 L 09:32 PM 4.59 H

1:40 AM-3:40 AM • 2:10 PM-4:10 PM

18 Sun 03:31 AM -0.37 L

09:57 AM 4.79 H 03:56 PM -0.34 L 10:11 PM 4.70 H

2:25 AM-4:25 AM • 2:55 PM-4:55 PM

19 Mon 04:11 AM -0.27 L 10:37 AM 4.70 H 04:34 PM -0.26 L 10:53 PM 4.79 H

6:50 PM-8:50 PM

20 Tue 04:55 AM -0.14 L

11:19 AM 4.58 H 05:17 PM -0.17 L 11:38 PM 4.86 H

4:25 PM-6:25 PM

21 Wed 05:46 AM 0.00 L

12:06 PM 4.44 H 06:07 PM -0.09 L

4:45 AM-6:45 AM • 5:15 PM-7:15 PM

22 Thu 12:28 AM 4.88 H

06:44 AM 0.11 L

12:58 PM 4.30 H 07:03 PM -0.04 L

5:35 AM-7:35 AM • 6:10 PM-8:10 PM

23 Fri 01:25 AM 4.88 H

07:48 AM 0.15 L

01:59 PM 4.18 H 08:06 PM -0.07 L

6:30 AM-8:30 AM • 7:05 PM-9:05 PM

24 Sat 02:30 AM 4.88 H

08:54 AM 0.10 L

03:06 PM 4.16 H 09:11 PM -0.20 L

7:30 AM-9:30 AM • 8:00 PM-10:00 PM

25 Sun 03:39 AM 4.96 H

09:59 AM -0.07 L 04:15 PM 4.26 H 10:16 PM -0.44 L

8:30 AM-10:30 AM • 9:00 PM-11:00 PM

26 Mon 04:46 AM 5.12 H

11:02 AM -0.35 L 05:18 PM 4.48 H 11:19 PM -0.77 L

9:30 AM-11:30 AM • 10:00 PM-11:59 PM

27 Tue 05:48 AM 5.32 H

11:59 AM -0.67 L 06:16 PM 4.74 H

10:30 AM-12:30 PM • 10:55 PM-11:59 PM

28 Wed 12:17 AM -1.12 L 06:44 AM 5.49 H 12:52 PM -0.96 L 07:08 PM 4.99 H

11:30 AM-1:30 PM • 11:55 PM-11:59 PM

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

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et ready for some of the most exciting fishing our area has to offer this month… its sight-fishing time! After last year’s hurricane and subsequent rainfall, the water has been murkier than normal, making sight-fishing conditions tough. But now, after the cold snap in early January, water temps have been in the low 50s, which usually means clear water and great sight-fishing conditions. The reds will be schooling up big time in the clear, cold water. Not only will the redfish be schooled up but the black drum, sheepshead, and trout will be as well. When trying to locate the schooled-up reds, start on the lower tide

stages (a negative low tide is even better) as it tends to get the reds more grouped up. Flats and creeks with an abundance of oyster bars and dark mud are great places to look. Something else I’ve noticed over the years is that redfish tend to hang out in areas where the small mullet are this time of year. There’s not a ton of baitfish around right now, but if you find them, you’ll most likely find the reds as well. Another area to look

for schooled-up reds is in the back of some of the bigger creeks off the ICW. Just about all the creeks from Palm Valley to Mantanzas Inlet will hold a good amount of reds this time of year. Slowly make your way as far back as possible, closely eyeing around the exposed oyster bars on the low tide and you’re more than likely going to run into some big reds. I almost exclusively toss artificial baits at the reds this time of year. My go-to setup is a paddle tail by Slayer Inc. rigged on an 1/8oz Slayer Inc. jighead. It seems to be the right size and is small enough to not spook the fish when casted near them. It’s nice to toss the paddle tails in a lighter color this time of year because you are able to clearly see where your lure is in the water in relation to the fish which makes sight-fishing that much easier. If targeting drum or trout, fish the deeper holes in the creeks and the ICW. There will be a lot of nice slot-sized drum around, but the trout have been a little on the smaller side. The drum will readily eat fresh dead shrimp or crab on the bottom while the trout will like some more lively. My go-to setups for trout right now are a free-lined live shrimp or a paddle tail like mentioned above. Whether you’re fishing for drum or trout if you find one you’re probably in the right spot to catch some more as they too tend to school in big numbers this month. The sheepshead bite has been good the past few months and should continue to go strong. The old faithful fiddler crab on a fishfinder rig will account for quite a few catches, but one less popular, but effective way to catch the real monster “heads” is to use a halved or quartered blue crab, especially at our inlet rocks. …Tight Lines! Capt. Tommy Derringer 904-377-3734 www.InshoreAdventures.net

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February’s “Best Bet” Bass Fishing in the St. Johns River Will Deliver Your Best Bet for Catching and Releasing That 10-Pound Trophy You Have Always Dreamed of! By Terry Newsome

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ith water temperatures in the St. Johns River and area lakes on the rise, February is one of the BEST months of the year to catch a trophy Largemouth Bass in the 10-pound class. What better time than NOW to catch (and carefully release) that illusive “trophy” Bass you have always dreamed of! Commonly referred to by locals as “Black Bass,” the legendary Largemouth Bass is the most popular and soughtafter gamefish in North America. It is estimated that Americans spend almost $20 Billion annually Bass-fishing; and for good reason. This magnificent species is the ultimate freshwater predator! Even a three-pound Bass can put up a fight and “aerial circus” you will not soon forget. With the state record at 17.27 pounds, we are extremely fortunate to live in the “Bass Capital of the World!” JAKE SANDERS; ETBU BASS FISHING TEAM MEMBER When it comes to Tournament Bass Fishing, I have had the privilege of filming and producing several national Television “fishing shows” with some of the best professional Bass anglers on the planet. As a writer for Coastal Angler Magazine, I am always looking for interesting

stories about local anglers that will reveal valuable insight to help our readers catch more fish! My brother-in-law (Guy Zorn) is an avid angler and recently told me about Jake Sanders; a gifted and extremely talented Tournament Bass Fisherman raised right here in Northeast Florida. What really caught my attention was the fact that Jake was part of a collegiate Bass Fishing Team and was attending college in Texas on a Bass Fishing scholarship/sponsorship! WHAT? A Bachelor’s Degree in BASS FISHING? I did some research and discovered that major Universities (like Clemson, Auburn, LSU, Oklahoma State, Virginia Tech, North Carolina State, University of South Carolina, etc.) have competitive bass fishing “clubs” and Teams that compete each year for the prestigious Fishing League Worldwide (FLW) College Fishing National Championship! I had to know more and immediately called Jake to do an interview for a possible feature article. I have interviewed hundreds of highly-accomplished “subject matter experts” and Bass pros over the years but I can tell you with absolute certainty that Jake Sanders is in a league of his own. Jake is currently a student-athlete at East Texas Baptist University and a valued member of the ETBU Bass Fishing Team. I was extremely impressed with Jake and was inspired beyond measure to hear this gifted young man of genuine faith share his passion and enthusiasm for the sport we all love. Jake is truly a loyal ambassador for recreational, collegiate and professional Tournament Bass Fishing and is also an advocate protecting our natural resources. Jake has significant local Bass fishing knowledge and recently won the “2016 Showdown on the St. John River” Bass fishing tournament.

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TIPS FROM JAKE FOR CATCHING TROPHY BASS Jake and his fishing partner caught over 100 Bass during their “Showdown on the St. Johns” tournament victory and admits he likes the action to be fast and furious when tournament fishing. However, when it comes to catching (and releasing) trophy Largemouth Bass in the 10-Pound Class, he employs a more targeted approach and loves to fish along the banks of the St. Johns River throughout the month of February. “I have caught some trophy-class Bass in Rodman Reservoir at the stump-field and near the spring-fed creek mouths down at Lake George in January and February” Jake explains, “but you can also catch trophy Bass this time of the year along the banks of the St. Johns from Julington Creek down to the Shands Bridge.” Jake has a multitude of excellent fishing spots along the east and west banks of the St. Johns. His pre-trip strategy includes evaluating a multitude of variables like: water temperature, water clarity, weather conditions, windspeed/ direction, tide phases and lunar phases. “Tide and moon phase are the main considerations for me” says Jake, “and I prefer to fish for pre-spawning and full-spawning Bass during the full moon phase. I look for sandy hard-bottom areas near the mouth of small creeks and sloughs. You will clearly see white-sandy areas with no vegetation where the big female bass have been actively working their beds to spawn.” In February, huge numbers of pre-spawning Bass are aggressively “feeding-up” as they move back and forth from deeper to warmer shallow water near their bedding area. “The best time to catch a trophy Bass is when they are near the beds. Active beds are usually in 2 to 3 feet of water, but Bass frequently move to deeper water nearby with a depth of 5 feet or more” Jake explains, “and Big Bass have a Collegian Bass Tournament Angler Jake Sanders holds a Trophy St predictable pattern and will usually return to the same ‘sweet spot’ Johns River Largemouth every time they return to the bed.” 16 NE FLORIDA

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Jake recommends testing different lure retrieval speeds. Slow retrieval usually works best but faster speeds can occasionally work even better! Jake prefers to use the 3” ZOOM Ultravibe Speed Craw (June Bug) but says any natural color crawfish lure will work (like Green Pumpkin or Watermelon Seed.) Jake’s favorite gear includes a 7 foot 3” Temple Fork Outfitters (TFO) rod (with a medium-heavy with a fast-action tip) and a Shimano Curado casting reel with a 7:1 gear ratio. He also uses 20-lb Hi-Seas Flourocarbon line and 4/0 or 5/0 Gamakatsu Offset Worm Hooks. Jake was quick to point out that www.hooknhuntoutdoor.com is a great place to get your gear. In my opinion, Jake Sanders is on the verge of something very special in his career path and will continue to use his talent as a Tournament Bass Fisherman to advance his life purpose. “Without God, I would not be where I am today” Jake quickly proclaimed with emotion during our interview, “and I will continue to glorify God in all that I do!” It is a rare occasion indeed to meet such a talented and respectable young man like Jake Sanders… and we wish him all the best! - With over 25 years of corporate experience as a writer, director and producer, Terry Newsome has personally filmed and produced over 100 outdoor television shows and instructional fishing videos internationally. He is an avid coastal angler and is a former coowner of Pine Island Fish Camp on the Intracoastal Waterway in St. Augustine, Florida.

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

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he month of February highlights freshwater bass fishing where female largemouth bass are beginning to migrate into the shallows for their annual spawn. Laden with large sacks of eggs, female bass can weigh well over the ten-pound mark. Look for small lakes and ponds located on golf courses and residents to yield amazing bass fishing during the entire month of February. During warm winter days surface plugs including the Storm “Chug Bug” in the chrome and blue color pattern and the Heddon “Zara Spook” in the frog pattern to produce amazing surface strikes! Unweighted plastic worms in the black and purple color patterns also work well when worked in five feet of water and less when trophy size bass are in a spawning mode. Also keep in mind that some of the best winter trophy largemouth bass action comes during warm spells when the water temperatures may warm up a degree or two. Amelia Island has numerous small lakes and ponds which many are located on resorts and private residents. With this in mind be sure and obtain permission first before making your first cast. Wahoo fishing during the month of February is excellent at N.E. Florida’s Continental Shelf where water depths drop off sharply from 150-feet of water to over 1,000-feet of water in less than a mile. A successful wahoo trolling spread involves five lures, one set at 50feet, one at 100-feet, one at 150-feet, one at 200-feet and one at 250-feet. The two short lures, 50 and 100-feet are trolled from one side of the boat and the two 150 and 200-feet lures are trolled from the remaining side of the boat. The long 250-foot lure is trolled in the middle of the spread as a “Shot Gun” lure. Included in the high speed trolling spread are two “Jet Heads”, a C& H “Mr. Big”, a C & H “American Express” and a “Wahoo Whacker”. Reel drags are adjusted to 20-pounds. All rods have the trolling lines marked with different colored tape so that the lure can be set in the trolling spread at exactly the same drop back distance. The two short lures are rigged with 64-oz. trolling weights, while the three long lures are rigged with 32-oz. trolling weights. Terminal tackle begins with a 300-lb. stainless ball bearing snap swivel attached to the tag end of 130-lb. hollow core braid fishing line. Next a 24-foot section of 300-lb. monofilament leader is run from the snap swivel to the trolling weight. A 6-foot section of 275-lb. wire cable is then rigged from the trolling weight to the lure. A 1-foot section of 900-lb cable with 3- rigging beads is then rigged from the leader cable through the lure and to a pair of 10/0 Mustad style 7691 stainless steel hooks. The hooks are also wrapped to the wire cable with 3-M electrical tape so that the lure trolls perfectly straight at high speeds. 3-M electrical tape

comes in multiple colors as well to match the lure color, is stretchable and is better has a better adhesive. Some of the more productive lure skirt colors include black & green, black & green, blue & white, pink & white and purple & black. Spare skirts should be stored as the strike of a fast swimming, sharped tooth wahoo often results in a destroyed plastic skirt. The Annual Northeast Florida Wahoo shootout starts on February 3rd and runs through March 31st, 2018, for more information please visit www.wahooshout.com. Nassau Sound and St. Mary’s inlet fishermen will be targeting black drum and excellent eating whiting while fishing dead on the bottom with ultra fresh shrimp. Tides are critical with the last of the in-coming and the first of the out-going tides producing the best action. Also if a flood tide arrives during the afternoon when water temperatures are warmest, look for the best black drum and whiting fishing action. “Leaders & Sinkers” bait and tackle typically holds a black drum tournament beginning at the end of February, or the first of March. For more information please call 904-321-2800. Spotted sea trout will be running in Cumberland and Nassau Sound as well in area tidal rivers. Sea trout weighing to 10-pounds are the target of seasoned speck fishermen and are typically caught during a flooding tide and also when the tide first begins to fall. Look for ambush points including points, oyster bars, the deep sides of boat docks and jetty rocks to harbor the best sea trout action. The 52 m Mirror Lure in the chartreuse color pattern works well, while large live shrimp fished under a small float is hard to beat! My favorite saltwater game fish “Redfish will be schooling on warm afternoon mud flats in the backwaters of Amelia Island. Look for the last of the falling and the first of the incoming tides to produce the best redfish action. Plastic scented shrimp worked on a 1/8th. ounce jig head is key when hooking into a nice school of redfish. However always bring along cut bait, live shrimp, bullhead minnows and live finger mullet just in case!. For more fishing information please call Amelia Angler Outfitters (904) 261-2870 or visit www.ameliaangler .com

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Fishing Report St. Johns River By: Richard Hamilton

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ow that Mother Nature has eased her grip, we can start trying to figure out what’s what. The Specks should, for all practical purposes, be on fire. They’ll be hitting the shallows up and down the River and in the Lakes, wanting to ease the burden of all those eggs.  As the waters warm and the moons get bright, then look for these beauties to be stacked up and willing to hit it and get it  Baits used:  minnows, jigs, road runners, beetle spins and little tubes.  Work the edge of pads and around structures in the 8-10 feet depth, moving shallow until you find them.  So have at it! Next will be the Large Mouth.  They’ll be spawning heavy on the “springs” areas like Silver Glen, et al.  Lake George area.  Sight fishing becomes the normal, but some folks like to find a nice spawning area and put out some shiners.  They’ll tell you real quick if anything’s active.  And as for this area of the River, just start fishing the mouths of creeks and the out-of-the-wind spots and sunny warm side of the River.  The East side is very good, ‘cause it is normally less abused by the winds and the areas warm quicker in the afternoon sun.  Shiners are a great choice, but you can also use top water plastics like craws and the ever popular lipless crank bait to catch these bass.  The

plus side of this bait, is the hybrid like it a lot. So start slow and give it a go. Stripers and hybrids should bite on the lipless crank baits and the ever popular shiner, followed closely by bait shrimp fished on the bottom.  These beauties are fun to catch and they taste wonderful.  You’ll want to work the pilings around the bridge and also around the old Shands Pier on the Clay side.  You can get your string stretched if you’re lucky.  Well, give it a go! Now by the later part of the month, if Mother Nature acts right, the Bream and the Shell Cracker should start up.  Fishing worms on the bottom works. I almost forgot Warmouth.  These fighting, great-tasting beauties will be at your disposal with a nice piece of worm or a minnow.  Hit it around and in the pads.  These tasty hard-fighting beauties love to linger in the pads for a few hours, as well as a nice hiding spot.  So if you’re so inclined, go for it.    The water temps should be warming to the point that Catfish activity will be good.  Creeks and the backs of coves and near warming creeks, fished with either night crawlers or smaller shiners or even minnows, should locate you some, so go. Next on the salty side, the Reds will be around, looking to eat anything they can.  Clams, crabs, shrimp, shiners, they’ll just need to feed.  Weedlines on the sunny side, followed by good warm flats with a food source, i.e., bait fish in the area, so go if you want to. Well, that’s it for now.  ‘Til next time--Keep your line wet and your lure movin’.  --  Richard R & J Tackle 501 S Orange Ave, Green Cove Springs (904)284-5081

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Nassau Sport Fishing Association -February

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assau Sport Fishing Association is a family friendly fishing club with business meetings held on the second Wednesday of the month on Amelia Island at the Kraft Ten Acres Main Building meeting room and we welcome everyone to come see what we are all about. We regularly host public educational seminars and we welcome newcomers to come learn how fishing here is different from other areas. 2017 NSFA Angler of the Year Awards

Don Whitman, also 3rd Place finishers. In March, NSFA will host a surf fishing educational seminar. For more information, please visit our website at: www.nsfafish.net

Anson Dewolf President, John Riegler 1st Place, Ed Frey 2nd Place and Lou Mazzeo 3rd Place. Not shown are Harley Ess and 21 NE FLORIDA

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he monthly meeting of the ACGFA will be Tuesday, February 13th. We will get together at the Bozard Lincoln-Ford dealership located at 540 Belz Outlet Blvd.  The meeting is a sponsor party to kick off the Challenge, to be held July 5-8th at Camachee Cove Marina. The tournament will host a sanctioned SKA Kingfish division as well as a largest Redfish contest. We thank Letti,Bo Bozard, Jeff King and the dealership for their continued support as our headline and cover sponsor. Social begins at 6:00 with light food and beverages followed by a brief meeting and a report on the preparation for the Challenge. There will be door prizes and a raffle of an entry into the Kingfish division valued at $325 provided by Bozard Lincoln-Ford. You must be a member and be present in order to win. The Challenge is a four day fishing tournament held at the North East Florida Marlin Association club house in Camachee Cove Marina. There will be competition for “small fry”, juniors, and adults in Redfish and/or Kingfish divisions. There will be raffles, food, and live entertainment and a great time for all. The Challenge is our major 22 NE FLORIDA

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fund raiser to allow our organization to operate throughout the year. The 1st fishing competition of the year is a month long tournament for a “club inshore slam”. Club members are fishing for the largest Redfish, Trout, and Flounder. Your total weight can be upgraded throughout the month if you catch a heavier fish than you caught on your last trip. You have the entire month to win prize money and bragging rights. Good luck anglers! You must be a member and you must have signed up before February 1st. Weight cards must be marked “spring kickoff “ and weighed at the Bait Shack,Avid Angler, or Oldest City Bait and Tackle. The ACGFA is a not for profit local fishing club located in St Augustine. Family membership is $50 per year. There are numerous activities for kids,men, and women. Please call our president Chip at 904-806-7172, acgfa. com, or like us on Facebook.

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New Year and Fun Times By Tim Stouder & Katie Blunk

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017 saw many changes and additions to the Northeast Florida Heroes on the Water (NEFL HOW). This past year, we served over 300 Veterans, over 200 volunteers, and hundreds of family members at our fishing events. In 2018, we are looking to increase the number of veterans and first responders to hit the water. At the end of 2017, we had to finally get our trailers overhauled and serviced for the New Year. We will be conducting a full inventory of the assets that we currently have and will need for the coming year. We will also need new fishing tackle and line for all our rods and reels. Everyone that is familiar with NEFL HOW knows that the service we provide to our guests is 100% free to them. Every year we have a standing operational budget, around $6000.00. We are planning to have 10 – 11 events, along with a 3 day camping trip for the year 2018. This year, one goal is to have all event lunches donated for the Veterans and their families. Last year, many of our lunches were sponsored by service organizations, companies, and restaurants. We are hopeful to have all event lunches sponsored this year. If anyone is interesting in providing/donating lunch, we average 65 people at each event. Each year we are thankful to be on the beneficiary end of some tournaments in the local area which helps us supplement these operational costs. This year, we have already been a named beneficiary of the Premier Trout Tournament, run by Craig Van Brocklin. Currently the registration is open and this tournament will take place on April 15th. Our proposed schedule is set for 2018. We will more than likely make an adjustment here and there, but for the most part we are locked in. Feb 4 Palm Valley Mar 18 Guana River Sebastian Inlet Overnight TBD May 20 Cedar Point Jun 17 Browns Creek July 15 Faver Dykes Aug 5 River Float Ichetucknee Sept 2 Mill Cove Sept 21 First Responders Event Oct 14 Browns Creek Nov 11 Veteran’s Day Event As always, we can’t thank our volunteers and donors enough. Without them, we would not be able to provide the service we do. If

anyone would like to volunteer or make donations to the Northeast Florida Chapter Heroes on the Water, please feel free to contact Tim Stouder at 904-993-5366 or northeastflorida@heroesonthewater.org Stay tuned to our HOW NEFL Facebook page for our most updated schedule. Please go to https://www.facebook.com/ HeroesOnTheWaterNortheastFloridaChapter to see the schedule, our latest posts, and pictures. About Heroes on the Water Heroes on The Water is a non-profit organization that helps injured service members with their physical and mental recovery using the therapeutic qualities of fishing from kayaks. Every HOW event across the country brings together wounded military personnel for guided kayak fishing excursions. Founded in 2007, HOW has served more than 32,774 wounded Veterans. The service is provided to the Veterans for free. HOW is a non-profit organization under IRS Code Chapter 501(c)(3). Donations are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law. Visit www.HeroesOnTheWater.org The next Heroes on the Water outing is scheduled for February @ Palm Valley Outdoors. If you are a Veteran, know of one that would like to participate, or if you are interested in volunteering or any other questions please contact Coordinator - Tim Stouder at NortheastFlorida@HeroesOnTheWater.org If you would like to follow us on Facebook or make a donation to Heroes on the Water, you can do so at facebook.com/ HeroesOnTheWaterNortheastFloridaChapter. If you would like to follow us on Facebook or make a donation to Heroes on the Water, you can do so at facebook.com / HeroesOnTheWaterNortheastFloridaChapter.

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

Wahoo are King February is Wahoo time in NE Florida. Unlike the last couple of winters, we have had some cold weather. Water temperatures are colder than in recent years and that should be a plus for Wahoo fishing. The best case is when water temperatures stay in the 60s until at least the 23-fathom mark. Those conditions

push the fish out to the shelf edge where they are easier to locate. So how do we catch them. High speed trolling is a great way to locate Wahoo due to the fact you cover more territory. Any local bait and tackle stores can get you set up with the right stuff I prefer to pull baits mostly because it allows my charters to catch fish other than Wahoo. With the fish congregated near the shelf edge double digit days are not uncommon. In addition to Wahoo there will be plenty of black fin tuna around. We pull a mixed spread of wire and mono rigs. The normal set up is a blue and white islander ballyhoo rigged on wire behind a planner. The flat line will be a wire rig as well. The rest of the spread will be a mixture of wire and mono rigs depending on what is biting. Usually I will pull one larger bait on one of my shotguns. The other will have the tried and proven cedar plug. If bottom fish are your thing just remember Amberjack and Grouper are closed. If the troll bite is slow, it usually only takes a couple of drops to catch enough Vermillion snapper, Red porgy and Triggerfish for dinner. There really isn’t a reason to fish a larger bait in February so double hook rigs are the way to go. Watch the weather, stay safe and ‘Let’s Go Fishing’

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Gopher Plantation Delivers a Quality Duck and Quail Hunting Experience! By Danny Patrick, Editor

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t was noon on Friday, January 5, 2018. The weather was cold and clear when Bret Cannon and I left Jacksonville headed for Millwood, Ga. about 30 miles west of Waycross to hunt some duck and quail on Saturday. The plan was to arrive Friday afternoon and meet up with my good friend Joel Brandeburg. We planned to stay overnight at the highlyrated Gopher Plantation, so we could be up early the next morning for the duck hunt. Before we arrived, I called Joel to check in and see how his hunting was going and to let him know our estimated time of arrival. Joel had been there for two days deer hunting. After speaking with Joel, I turned to Brett and said, “I hope we have enough shotgun shells because the ducks are there in big numbers!” Bret (who was driving) said “how do you know?” Easy I said, Joel has been there for a few days and the guides told him they have scouted for the last two days and said, “if we can break through the ice, will have plenty of ducks!” Boy, was he right on!! (The weather plays a huge role in duck hunting and with the cold weather up north, it really pushes the ducks south to find open water because most of the lakes and ponds and rivers are frozen over right now.) After an enjoyable “meet and greet” with Benny and Sandy Overstreet (owners of Gopher Plantation,) we had a first-class meal at the main lodge then socialized with the other hunters before settling-in our amazing 100% heart pine-wood log cabin for the night. (The wood was stunning and looked to be over 100 years old!) As my biological time-clock went off the next morning, the pre-dawn silence stirred me

from a deep, restful sleep. Even though 4.30 am came mighty early, I felt refreshed and was excited about the upcoming outdoor adventure! After coffee and light breakfast, we planned the hunt and mapped out all the places everyone would be hunting. I was like a kid waiting on Christmas morning to arrive! Minutes seemed like hours. After getting suited up with waders and readying my guns and ammo, we headed off in the dark. The lake is about 30 acres with several creeks or sloughs running out of it. My party consisting of three hunters as we headed to a corner that was completely iced over with about a 1/4-inch-thick ice. I finally broke enough of a trail ice to get my mojo decoy out and set up. Even before daybreak, we could hear flocks of Canadian Geese taking flight and leaving the lake. But that was ok as we knew they would be back later. Once my decoy was out and I was setup, we counted down the minutes we anxiously awaited the break of dawn; and we did not have to wait long! Soon after first light, it was “game on!” Woodies from about every direction wanted to be in that lake. It sounded like a war zone with shotguns blasting one after another. It seemed the sky was full of ducks. Wave after wave came in; (with many passing shots which made it very challenging for me.) My mojo attracted several Wood Ducks that wanted to land close to my realistic and spectacular decoy. I had broken through the ice to put the decoy in place and just that little hole in the ice was all they needed to land (or so they thought!) We did have a few Mallards come in and some Teal, but it was a “Woodie day” for sure. Bret did

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shoot one Green-winged Teal hen. (Boy, I thought Woodies were fast, but Teal are like little jets!) I had no chance at those little guys flying at “mock speed.” Most of the Wood Duck hunts I have been on were over in 20-minutes after daylight; but not this time! It slowed down occasionally for a few minutes, but we had non-stop action for the better part of two hours! It was extremely cold but had a fantastic morning duck hunt. We did have some Geese coming back to our lake, but they were so high we could not get them low enough to get any good shots. After retrieving the downed Wood Ducks, we headed back to the lodge and had a wonderful meal prepared by Sandy and her helpers at the main lodge. I ate so much I had a hard time getting ready for the quail hunt that afternoon! (That peach cobbler and ice cream desert put me on the couch for a few minutes of siesta.) Then, we loaded-up with three seasoned quail dogs and with our guide we headed for the Quail Course. It was really a good place to hunt quail with a few scattered palmettos, short grass and pines trees. A true southern pine- plantation quail hunt with first-class accommodations that I will always remember! After 3-hours of walking, shooting and watching the dogs work, I just reminisced about the whole-day’s experience. What a great time to be alive right here in South Georgia! For more information on Gopher Plantation, go their website www.gopherplantation.com or call Benny Overstreet at 912-284-1722.

196 acre south Ga farm for sale @ $ 2,450 per acre 55 arces of cultivated rich tifton soil and 100 acres of pine plantation present value on pines at $100,000 and grow 10% per year., 41 acres of hardwood bottoms.For a total of 196 acres. Including a 1967 block house 1200 sq ft. New roof new carpet and tile. A 3 bebroom and 1 bath.. The house is rented for $500 per month and the cultivated 55 acres brings in $300 per month so total $800 per month income from farm. 8 acre lake loaded fish, ducks and deer and turkey, this property is a very diverse tract. Dove Hunting is especially good. 15 acres of planted sunflowers and corn dove field. Several old

out buildings and 2 grain bens. Around the old homestead are 6 mature pecan trees that produce big sweet pecans. An old pear tree that still produces and a small grove of Blueberry bushes that produce lots of Blueberrys. The Hunting is the best for deer and turkey and ducks and doves....This is a must see tract. Owner financing possible Call 904-742-4696 or email danny@coastalanglermagazine.com

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By Randy “C-Note” Cnota

I

f you’ve ever found yourself fishing for largemouths after a bitter cold front has blown into your area, then you might be familiar with how tough northern winds can make it to fill a livewell. All tournament anglers know these fronts wait until the night before the competition to crash the feeding-frenzy of the days prior to an event. There is hope in this situation, and it doesn’t involve finesse presentations. It requires you to break out your heaviest sticks and braid (65 lb. minimum) as well as your stoutest hooks and beefiest weights. It’s time to present your bait where many fear to go… under the floating grass mats. I have an 11 pounder, two 10 pounders and probably over 100 in the 5- to 8-lb. range to my credit using this technique. Mats of grass in the South consist of wide variety of aquatic vegetation. Where I fish most, they consist of hydrilla, a submergent grass that grows to the surface, and hyacinth, a floating vegetation. The hydrilla acts as a base that holds the hyacinth in place. This makes for a bass sanctuary similar to your home in that it has walls and a ceiling. The trick to presenting your bait to these cold fish hiding under the mats is to crash it through their roof (the hyacinth) using a large tungsten steel weight. The exact size is dependent upon the thickness of the mat, but you want a weight that penetrates without too much effort. I usually opt for a 1 ¾-ounce, as the bass will be heading for the deepest recesses of the mat. This is also a place that many anglers fail to target because it can be quite a chore to penetrate and doubly difficult to extract a fish… especially a big fish. This is why we use heavy rods, lines and hooks. The most popular baits to present to these fish are small craw or creature type baits. I find Gambler Chigger Craws or Burner Craws work great, but there’s no shortage of baits to choose from. Color is always a personal preference, but I’ve had the best results using hues of green like watermelon-red and green pumpkin for clear water and dark hues like black/blue or junebug for darker water. As for the technique, simply put, you have to get the bait through the roof and into the bass’ house so he can eat it, but there are too many subtleties to discuss here. Once a bass bites, you have to get him out so again… NO WIMPY TACKLE! If you’ve never punched mats, I suggest you go out with someone with experience. Commit to spending a lot of time punching the mats, and set out with a variety of weights, hooks and lures to experiment and fine tune your technique. And don’t forget the camera; most fish hauled out of these places are picture-worthy. Capt. Randy Cnota is the publisher of the Panama City/Forgotten Coast edition of Coastal Angler Magazine.

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ore tight lines in 2018! No self-respecting fisherman would argue with a resolution like that, and few kids would turn down an invitation to get out and cast a line. In January’s Issue, I expressed the importance that adults play in mentoring and facilitating opportunities for kids getting out on the water and enjoying this pastime. Aside from spending quality time together and making memories with friends and family, passing on this torch will directly impact the future of fishing. Our fathers and grandfathers enjoyed a time of plenty out on the water with miles and miles of natural beauty as a backdrop. As the years progressed, fishermen had to deal with the increasing negative effects that growth, expansion, pollution and greed have cast on our waters. However, the greatest danger to our sport today is the decline

in fisher-kids, the voices of tomorrow. Today’s culture has shifted from earlier years with technology consuming a large portion of a kid’s life. Digital communication is a fitting use of technology with today’s busy lifestyle, but it isn’t a substitute for rubbing shoulders, surrounded by the great outdoors. The time spent here will be etched in your memory for a lifetime, and the lessons learned will prove invaluable. In addition, when a child develops a love for fishing, they will become ambassadors for the sport and fight to protect the resources for future generations. Access to fishing holes comes in many forms, for both the novice and more experienced angler, from kayaking through estuaries and fishing from shore, to venturing offshore in bigger boats. In my most recent outing, I explored Pellicer Creek in St. Augustine, Fla. with the help of local fishing guide, Capt. Bart Swab from Action Kayak Adventures. Capt. Bart prides himself in teaching kids all about kayak fishing and the most successful techniques. We met up at the ramp at 1 p.m. to catch the incoming tide. Within 10 minutes, we had the kayaks in the water and began the paddle down the creek. As we approached some oyster bars, we anchored up and began fishing the area with jig heads and shrimp. When the tide turned, I caught a few nice black drum and released two small redfish. Moving along to another set of oyster bars, I took time to admire the peaceful scenery that surrounded me. The tall grass along the banks of this winding creek was picture perfect, and on my next cast, a beautiful snook inhaled the shrimp. I eased her to the side of the kayak for a quick picture and release. My very first snook was followed by a trout and a few more black drum as the sun began to set. Paddling back, my mind filled with thoughts of returning to these backcountry waters. Cory Gurman is a freshman at Ponte Vedra High School in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. Besides reveling in the great outdoors, Cory enjoys spending time with his three golden retrievers and rooting for the Atlanta Braves. Follow him on Instagram @fishhunter1119.

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Progressive Miami International Boat Show Drops Anchor Feb. 15-19

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et ready to experience the five biggest days in boating, when the 2018 Progressive Insurance Miami International Boat Show fills up the Miami Marine Park & Stadium with newest and best in boating Feb. 15-19. New Sail and VIP areas will enhance this year’s show, which will be held over President’s Day weekend. Now in its 77th year, the event is expected to draw an estimated 100,000 boating enthusiasts. This year, sail will join power in one location, creating the ultimate destination for boat lovers from around the globe. The Progressive Insurance Strictly Sail Miami moves to Miami Marine Stadium, where boaters and sailors alike will have the opportunity to browse, board and buy more than 1,400 boats in-water and on-land on Virginia Key. From sport fishing boats and high performance boats to personal watercraft and wake sport boats, family cruisers, sailboats and luxury yachts, there is something for every lifestyle and budget. The latest marine technology and fishing accessories will also be on display, making the Miami Boat Show a can’t miss winter destination for those with a taste for life on the water. “Miami’s favorite Boat Show is back, bringing the best in boating and accessories from around the globe,” said Larry Berryman, manager for the 2018 show. “We have all new boats—including worldwide model debuts, more yachts and larger boats than ever before, and every leading boat brand and major engine manufacturer on site. There truly is something for every lifestyle and budget. ” Compare and try before you buy! If

you’re looking to get out on the water, the Miami Boat Show will offer sea trials, where interested shoppers can take the boat of their dreams for a spin in Miami’s open waters. This year, more boat exhibitors will participate, giving boat buyers a chance to testdrive a number of options to find the perfect fit. In addition, following last year’s popular sold-out on-water boating skills workshops, the show will offer its Discover Boating Hands-On Skills Training with more daily power boating and sailing courses. Space is limited; advance registration is recommended. “Center console and sport fishing boats are the bread and butter of our show,” said Berryman. “Buyers will be able to go for a ride on the water and then browse thousands of marine products and accessories featuring the latest innovations and cutting-edge technologies, as well as an entire tent dedicated to fishing.” Attendees seeking the VIP treatment will have access to the new, all-inclusive VIP experience, which includes one-day entry to the show and all its features, as well as complimentary food, drink and entertainment within an exclusive luxury VIP deck offering unparalleled views of Miami and the show. Travel to the show by land or sea! With the streamlining of the show’s venues into one location also comes the streamlining of transportation options. The Miami Boat Show will offer seamless transportation to and from Miami Marine Stadium Park & Basin by water taxi and shuttle bus, and include more convenient parking options on Virginia Key. www.miamiboatshow.com

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By Capt. James Marko

M

y day started like any other, another early morning shark charter. My clients, two Canadian men on vacation, had no idea about what they were about to encounter. If you aren’t familiar with the migration patterns in Boca Grande, on Florida’s west coast near Fort Myers, sharks follow the yearly tarpon migration starting in mid-spring. The day began with us running roughly 3 miles offshore toward a trough that has been known to hold sharks. I did some rigging and got our baits in the water. Shark fishing is often a waiting game, and so our wait began. It didn’t last long. Within five minutes the Okuma 8000 Series was screaming from the rod holder, with no end in sight. The adrenaline started pumping, and I immediately started pulling up the anchor and prepared for a serious fight with a serious fish. With the boat in position, we started the chase. Airline_Ad_CoastalAngler_8-1-14_Layout 8/1/14I 1:14 PM motor, Page 1 and the fight When we finally caught up to the1shark, cut the

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was on. The next two hours were full of reeling, swear words and sweat. We were dragged over 3 miles of ocean. With my clients at the point of exhaustion, it seemed that the shark was ready to give in, but not without one last run. Finally, we saw gray on the surface. With the shark next to the boat, I recognized it was a spinner shark. I immediately noted that this shark was huge for its species. Spinners are known to be jumpers, but this shark never breached the surface because of its size. My mind went right to the IGFA record. Thankfully, I had enough cell signal to Google the current record, even after the shark dragged us further offshore. The record was 205 pounds. I knew this shark was bigger than that. I made some quick phone calls and realized I would most likely have to kill the fish to get the record. I am usually a catch and release fisherman, so I was against brining the fish in, as were my clients. It took three of us to bring the fish into the boat to get a photo for bragging rights. I primarily deal with the Goliath grouper species, doing research for Florida Fish and Wildlife. This fish was comparable to the 300-pound Goliaths I catch regularly. After a few pictures and measurements, she became green again. She helped herself into the water and swam right off. We estimated the fish to be in the 260- to 270-pound range with a length of plus-8 feet. I loved seeing my client’s faces and reactions throughout the whole fight. All and all, it was just another day at the office. Capt. Marko specializes in Goliath grouper fishing and fishes waters from Sanibel through Boca Grande. Follow his daily catches on Instagram @captjamesmarko and Facebook. See www.goliathfishing.com for trip and contact information.

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Telling Good Fish Stories By Matt Jorn

Laura Price of Lexington, N.C. and a nice Dorado caught with the FishingNosara Explorer on Dec. 5, 2017.

“W

hat did you catch today?” It is a question asked at every marina, boat ramp and backyard dock in the world every day of the fishing calendar. This is your chance to hold up your catch, your fillet bag or your digital camera. It is a chance to reveal (or conceal) details regarding where and how you snared your prey. It is also the chance to spin a wonderful tale of the leviathan that you fought for hours, had right next to the boat, and locked eyes with only to have it spit the hook/break the leader/get caught on the props/ pull you overboard… we’ve all been there! Even the master angler and author Ernest Hemingway’s beloved “The Old Man and the Sea” is a fish tale, featuring the angler we all wish we were losing the fish we all wish we could catch.

The craft of embellishing your catch is a time-honored tradition; however as the curator of the FishingNosara Costa Rica Fishing Report, I take umbrage with the 21st century version of the fish story. For the last seven years, I have documented every one of the 2,000plus trips run by the Nosara, Costa Rica based fishing team. Each report is meticulously checked for accuracy, including the angler’s names, trip date, fish caught, and (most importantly) photographs of the catches. I also encourage my clients to offer their own stories from the fishing experience. In December 2017, we hosted Laura and Michael Price. Here’s what Laura wrote: “My husband and I went out today on the Explorer. We had an AMAZING time!!! We ended the day with six mahi mahi caught with one mahi mahi, one tuna and one marlin getting away. Phenomenal crew! We loved every minute of it!” Here is another example, this time from angler Kevin Bahr: “We went with Capt. William and his mate Johnny. They were very professional and ready to ensure we had a successful outing on May 12. The weather was pretty sketchy, but we were able to locate the fish and ended up with a freezer full of ahi and mahi mahi. We cut our day short due to the weather, but our crew was willing to stay out longer if we wanted to. Despite the weather, it was a great day!” Everyone knows that the Internet is a place where the line between fact and fiction is often blurry; from politics, to sports, to fishing—it is not always easy to separate the truth, from an opinion, from a sales pitch. For instance, a quick glance at a competing Central American fishing charter’s report looks like this: Dec 27, 3 sailfish, 6 mahi-mahi, 1 marlin. Dec 28, 7 sailfish, 2 marlin. Dec 29, 5 mahi-mahi, 3 yellowfin tuna, 1 sailfish. Who is this helping? Why no details, no photos? Is this for search engines, the illiterate, or the lazy? I put it to all anglers in the 21st century posting online: Tell me a good fish story or log-off.

*Custom Fishing Packages *Costa’s Closest Blue Water *High Quality Boats *Professional Fishing Tackle *English Speaking Crews *Safety Equipment *Water, Ice, Snacks and Fruit *Gas included in price *Surf and Snorkel Tours

Starting at $700 pp (904) 591-2161 FishingNosara.com 16

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1/17/18 5:06 PM


m t o o d fis e er ONLY $149

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Old Florida Waterfront Charm Re-Discovered

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.

Amenities: • Cable TV, Hi-Speed Internet • Boat Trailer Parking on Site • 2 miles to the Ft. Pierce Inlet • 12 miles to the Gulf Stream • Scheduled Water Taxi Service

• Fully Furnished 3 room cottages w/ fully equipped kitchens • 250 Foot Dock with Covered Guest Area • Laundry, Ice, BBQ Grilles • FREE Ice / FREE Guest Dockage • FREE use of our Kayaks

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3011 N. Indian River Dr., Ft. Pierce, FL 34946 www.indianriverlagoonwaterfrontcottages.com Reservations and Information: (772) 349-2206 Nightly • Weekly • Monthly • Seasonal Rates Available COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

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PRODUCT SPOTLIGHT INTERLUX MICRON EXTRA ANTI-FOULING PAINT Anglers across the country will be glad to hear that Micron Extra—the classleading antifouling that delivers consistent, multiseason protection against all forms of fouling—is back in stock, thanks to the renewed manufacturing of one of its raw ingredients. Providing boaters with the signature proven performance of the Interlux Micron range, Micron Extra uses Biolux technology to achieve complete protection against shell, weed and slime fouling in all waters fresh and salt. By combining the slime-blocking capabilities of Biolux with a controlled solubility copolymer that releases active ingredients steadily over time, Micron Extra achieves long-lasting, full-spectrum defense against fouling organisms. This copolymer matrix gradually wears away like a layer of soap as the boat moves through water, via a steady polishing process. The result is a continuous, regulated delivery of biocides from each freshly exposed layer, ensuring consistent, long-lasting performance and maximum efficiency. Micron Extra retains full antifouling effectiveness when hauled, and can be relaunched without repainting. Stop by your local shipstore or boatyard and ask for Micron Extra, available in both quarts and gallons, and in all popular colors.

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ROD BUILDING CLASS

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4/21/2018

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6/2/2018

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8/25/2018

Register at:

WWW.MUDHOLE.COM/CLASSES MUDHOLE.COM/TURNKEY 18

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1/17/18 5:06 PM


GAME CHANGER FishSUP FS126

Sea Eagle® Inflatable FishSUP™ FS126 -

The Stand-Up Paddleboard Designed Especially For Anglers • 12’6” x 40” x 6” provides incredible stability • Heavy duty 2 layer drop stitch construction • Motormount for up to 55lb thrust motor • 15 D-Rings for gear & leash • Paddle standing or sitting • Packs down to 45” x 15” x 10” For a FREE Catalog 800-944-7496 M-F 9-5 EST Dept CS028B 19 N Columbia St, Ste 1, Port Jefferson, NY 11777

SEA EAGLE FISHSUP FS126

By CAM Staff • Photo Courtesy of Sea Eagle Boats Last spring we introduced you to Sea Eagle’s FishSUP FS126, an inflatable stand-up paddleboard with which we were initially quite impressed. A year later, we’re fully convinced this super-stable, lightweight fishing machine is worth the praise. “I’m thrilled with its performance,” said Coastal Angler’s Tom Schlichter. “I’ve fished it from Long Island, N.Y. to the Florida Keys in everything from mangroves to bulrushes and boulder fields, and it’s come through unscathed.” At 12’6”x40” the FishSUP FS126 is both spacious and tough enough to work hardened shorelines. Heavy duty .90 drop stitch material covers the top, bottom and sides for superior protection against punctures and a 90”x18” thick camo EVA pad adds additional buffering while providing a non-slip foot bed. An integral 36-inch ruler makes fish measurement a snap. It fits in a trunk for easy transport, fully inflates in under 10 minutes, and has smartly positioned D-rings to secure a host of standard and optional fishing accessories including a swivel seat with Scotty rod holders, battery, 34-lb thrust electric motor, and forward mesh storage box with tube-style rod holders. “I love the stability, toughness and versatility of this platform,” said Schlichter. “You can stand, sit or kneel while casting, fish in freshwater or saltwater, and even add an optional Watersnake Venom 34 electric trolling motor.” Prices range from $799 for a basic start-up kit to $1,149 for a Pro Motor and Fishing Rig package. FOR MORE INFO,

VISIT WWW.SEAEAGLE.COM OR CALL 1-800-748-8066.

COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

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FRESHWATER

THE XTREME 20 BOAT, MOTOR, TRAILER

38,950

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TORTUGA SIDE CONSOLE BOAT, MOTOR, TRAILER

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B

eginning Feb. 1, crappie anglers will have the chance to win part of $172,000 in cash prizes being awarded in the 2018 Weiss Lake Crappie Rodeo in Alabama. More than 1,000 pink-tagged crappie were released into the reservoir on the Alabama/Georgia border. Each of those fish has been sponsored by a local merchant or individual, and tags carry cash prizes ranging from $50 to $10,000. The rodeo, being conducted by the Weiss Lake Improvement Association, will run Feb. 1 through April 15. A highlight new to this year’s event is the One Day Crappie Champion Tournament, which will be held March 31. Guaranteed payout for first place is $2,500, and Big Fish will award $1,000 in this 100-percent payback event. There will be a free fish fry at the weigh-ins. For more information, visit www.weisslakeimprovementassociation.org.

8/12/17 6:12 PM

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1/17/18 5:06 PM


GET A GRIP • Safer • Easier • Better

Made in USA

Don’t settle for imitations!

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

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COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

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EXPERIENCE THE

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

855-HOOK-ONE 22

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1/17/18 5:06 PM


UNDER THE SEA

Speargun Basics

L

ike enthusiasts of any sport, if you stay with spearfishing long enough, you become intimately familiar with every detail of your equipment. Here’s an overview of what a newbie might want to know before buying that first speargun. Most spearguns are powered by bands, normally between one and three bands. There are two main types. The American style is recognized by the wood stock and is durable, sturdy and easy to load. The Eurogun style has a tubular shaped barrel, rear handle, and a thinner shaft well suited for freediving and smaller fish. In either case, spearguns are equipped with a trigger mechanism. The back end of the shaft engages into the trigger mechanism. Once the bands are loaded, the trigger is pulled and the shaft flies out due to the pulling load of the bands. You do not want to overload a gun by putting more bands than what it’s designed for as it could make the gun inaccurate or unsafe. Most spearguns now include a reel. This is especially needed if freediving and/or spearing larger fish, so the gun is not yanked out of your hands. If spearing a very large fish such as a tuna, which could spool your line in a matter of seconds, a line and float are required so the diver can pull it in from the surface. Shafts come in different lengths and diameters to match the gun, and spearos look for the perfect shaft—one that will not bend, not rust, fly straight in the water, and with a barb that will hold the fish securely. It’s wise to always carry a spare shaft or two on the boat, in case a shaft gets bent or lost. Like shafts, the bands are also replaced periodically, and it’s a good idea to carry spares in case one breaks. When bands get old, they start to get crack lines, or the wishbones can begin to fray, so it’s best to replace them before one snaps. There’s a wider variety of speargun brands than ever on the

market. These include: Wong, AB Biller, Riffe, Hammerhead, Cressi, SEAC, Mares, Rob Allen, Koah, Mako, JBL and more. If you want help selecting your first gun, see if you can find a mentor to help you select one that matches local conditions. Dive shops that specialize in spearfishing can also help. These include Austin’s in Miami, Fla.; Freedivers in Palm Beach, Fla.; James & Josephs in San Diego, Cali.; Freedive Shop in Sacramento, Cali.; and others. There are also Sheri Daye descends with a Wong speargun. custom gun builders who will work with you directly, give you advice, and design a gun to your specs—such as Wong Spearguns from Hawaii or Sea Sniper from California. Good luck and happy hunting! Sheri is a world-record holder, host of Speargun Hunter, and producer of “The Blue Wild Ocean Adventure Expo” in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. Follow “Sheri Daye” and “The Blue Wild” on Facebook and Instagram.

For more Sheri Daye, go to

CAMSPEARFISHING.COM

The Professional Choice For 200 Years SOFGRIP Knives SG132N-10 10” Sportfishing Knife SG133-8 8” Fillet Knife

Ultra-Sharp Holds The Edge Sharpens Quickly Proprietary Steel Ergonomic Handles Made in U.S.A.

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dexteroutdoors.com COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

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PRODUCT SPOTLIGHT OUTDOOR EDGE REEL-FLEX

CO

H

ITEM

119 FT. LB Over the last 30 years, Outdoor Edge has become known as a leading knife brand among hunters and other outdoor enthusiasts. So, what took them so long to enter the fishing world? They were looking for the perfect combination of edge retention, blade flex and handle ergonomics – which they clearly accomplished with their new Reel-Flex fillet knives. Outdoor Edge’s new Reel-Flex knives are crafted from German 4116 stainless steel that is known for its corrosion resistance and excellent edge retention. The blades provide a consistent medium flex during use and are taper ground to eliminate friction and promote an effortless cut. Available in 6-inch, 7.5-inch and 9.5-inch blade lengths, the Reel-Flex series was designed for all fresh and saltwater species. The handles incorporate Jerry Hossom’s iconic tactical design and ergonomics with the safety and function fishermen need.

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Coastal Angler Magazine - February / Northeast Florida  

Coastal Angler Magazine and our interior (freshwater) publication, The Angler Magazine, are monthly editions dedicated to fishing, boating,...

Coastal Angler Magazine - February / Northeast Florida  

Coastal Angler Magazine and our interior (freshwater) publication, The Angler Magazine, are monthly editions dedicated to fishing, boating,...