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NORTHEAST FLORIDA EDITION

Pacific Sails

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Electronics Edition

Striped Bass Are Running

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Fishing Reports Catch Photos News & Events

PHOTO COURTESY OF FRANCISCO MEJIAS, COSTA RICA PROSTAFF VOLUME 22 • ISSUE 267

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BOOST YOUR CATCH w/RezBoostTM Technology

Interested in getting the most out of your own trusted transducer, or not sure you’re ready for the expense of installing a new CHIRP transducer? Furuno has a solution that will get the very best performance from your traditional narrowband transducer. Our RezBoostTM Fish Finders deliver clearer images than ever before, we’re talking up to 8x sharper. Whether it’s NavNet TZtouch2 or the FCV588/FCV628 stand-alone Fish Finders, RezBoostTM will boost your catch!

Get up to 8x sharper resolution, using a standard narrow band transducer, to more clearly define fish targets.

Assess individual fish size and depth based on echo strength for fish from 4 inches to over 6 feet.

Identify the sea floor composition from four types (Rocks/Sand/Gravel/Mud).

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Electronics GARMIN INREACH EXPLORER+ Going where the fish are often means exploring places where communication becomes very difficult. Whether you’re far offshore, deep in a marshy backwater or high up a remote mountain stream, wouldn’t it be reassuring to know you can connect with someone in the event of an emergency? Or you might just need to let someone know where the fish are biting? The Garmin inReach Explorer+ is a handheld GPS navigator and satellite communicator that allows you to explore anywhere and communicate everywhere. It is a rugged, compact unit that uses 100 percent global Iridium coverage for two-way text messaging and tracking anywhere in the world. Navigate with detailed, preloaded TOPO maps, follow routes, mark waypoints and find your way back with a high-detail bread-crumb trail. Using GPS tracking, you can easily share your location with family, friends, social media or emergency responders. In case of emergency, the interactive SOS allows you to communicate back and forth and receive confirmation that help is on the way. For added capability, use the free Earthmate app to pair your inReach Explorer+ with mobile devices and access unlimited maps, aerial imagery, NOAA charts, weather and more.

WWW.GARMIN.COM FURUNO DFF3D Turn your NavNet TZtouch or TZtouch2 MFD into a multi-beam sonar that can see 120 degrees port to starboard, allowing you to see the depth and direction fish schools are moving, while displaying the seabed condition in real time. Furuno’s DFF3D gives you real-time 120-degree port-starboard view of the water column and seabed in deeper than 650 feet of water, allowing you to find fish in deep water faster than conventional

single-beam sounders. Cross-Section displays the real-time sea column echo in 120 degrees port and starboard. This mode aids in understanding the distribution of baitfish and water column conditions. The 3D Sounder History provides an intuitive and easyto-understand 3D image of the seafloor, along with fish school icons. A single or triple-direction fishfinder image can be displayed. The triple beam display helps you understand the depth of fish and seabed condition in each direction, as well as the direction target fish are moving. Side scan clearly displays the shape of structure to port and starboard as a high definition image.

WWW.FURUNO.COM STANDARD HORIZON EXPLORER GX1700 GPS VHF RADIO The GX1700 makes DSC easy. With an internal 12 Channel GPS built into the front panel, there is no need to hassle with wiring the radio to a GPS for DSC. Out of the box and ready to go, DSC calling, position sharing, waypoint navigation and navigation to DSC distress calls can all be performed with just a few simple steps. The Explorer GPS VHF radio has a compact rear case of only 3.5 inches. The Built-In WAAS GPS receiver and antenna give flexibility to flush mount the radio in tight areas. The GX1700 is capable of entering and saving up to 100 waypoints, which may be navigated to by using a unique navigation compass display that shows bearing and distance to the waypoint. GX1700 is an ITU-R M493 Class D class VHF with a separate Channel 70 receiver, which allows DSC calls to be received even when listening to communications. The DSC DISTRESS function transmits a digital MAYDAY including vessel identification, latitude/longitude and time, to facilitate prompt response. Other features include a big, bold display; RAM3+ remote mic capability, easy position sharing, Clearvoice noise reduction technology, programmable channel names, NOAA Weather channels and Weather Alert. And it’s all backed by a 3-year waterproof warranty.

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Product Review ACR ELECTRONICS RESQLINK PLB

At 4.6 ounces, the ResQLink distress beacon weighs less than a couple of energy bars, and it’s smaller than the cell phone in your pocket. Small and mighty, the ResQLink PLB is a full-powered, GPS-enabled rescue beacon designed for anglers, pilots and backcountry sportsmen. With three levels of integrated signal technology—GPS positioning, a powerful 406 MHz signal, and 121.5 MHz homing capability—the ResQLink PLB quickly and accurately relays your position to a worldwide network of search and rescue satellites. A built-in strobe light provides visibility during night rescues. Even in extreme conditions and situations, the ResQLink activates easily. With its powerful 66-channel GPS, the ResQLink guides rescuers to within 100 meters of your position. And, in the continental U.S., search and rescue personnel are typically alerted in as little as five minutes. Other features include: no subscription fees, self-test and GPS-test features and typical performance 30 hours. If you have to use your ResQLink PLB, ACR will replace it free of charge.

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JL AUDIO MEDIAMASTER 100S BLACK EDITION The MM100s-BE is hitting the market just in time for summer. This latest Black Edition of JL Audio’s MediaMaster was introduced with an updated user interface that offers enhanced volume control flexibility and four fully variable zones, each with independent feature/control options; Volume, Tone, and Naming. NMEA 2000 interconnectivity is built into it and equipped with a NMEA2K Connector to integrate into existing networks, enabling MFD control functionality with Lowrance, Simrad and Garmin. Designed for today’s modern media environment, the MM100s-BE features a Digital AM/FM/Weather Band Tuner, Bluetooth connectivity, separate line level AUX and USB/iPhone inputs, and it’s SiriusXM-Ready. Available with an optional MMR-20BE Wired Remote. The MM100s-BE is a premium, single-chassis source unit with superb audio performance, excellent ergonomics and advanced audio features, specifically designed for marine applications. Check it out at http://www.jlaudio.com/. Available at HIGH TECH MARINE in Hialeah, Fla. 305-883-9700.

WWW.HIGHTECHMARINE.COM ANGLER’S PAL ELECTRONICS MOUNTS AND TROLLING MOTOR STABILIZERS

Boaters and anglers invest a small fortune in their equipment. Fishermen, for example, know that quality sonar, GPS, chart plotters and electric motors are vital tools that enhance their experience. For that reason, MarineTech Products, manufactures the Angler’s Pal line of electronics mounts and trolling motor stabilizers. Angler’s Pal mounts are designed to withstand the harsh marine environment and provide rock solid stability with minimal space requirements. The patented universal Ball Locking Device provides 360-degree adjustability and the strength to support the heaviest equipment without “drift.” The Angler’s Pal Trolling Motor Mounts feature a unique rubber lock-down strap that protects your trolling motor from accidental deployment or excessive vibration that can damage the shaft. Overall length: 10” and now THE NEW 14” model for longer shafts and deeper gunnels. They are made of corrosion-resistant stainless steel and hardanodized aluminum for fresh and saltwater use. They are available in a variety of lengths, and all Angler’s Pal mounts can be easily removed for storage. Angler’s Pal also manufactures 700 and 800 Series Rod Holders. For information, contact Marine Tech Products at 1 651-4862010.

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Garmin Introduces

W

hether it’s by land, air or sea, Garmin has made a name for itself as the industry leader in navigational electronics. Its popular and varied GPSMAP product line offers the perfect tool for anyone who needs to know where they’re going. In November, Garmin brought powerful new tools to the realm of marine electronics with the introduction of several new networking chartplotters and combination models to the GPSMAP line. Unveiled at the Fort Lauderdale Boat Show, these units lured in boaters and anglers with high-end features at a more than reasonable price point. “These new GPSMAPs are designed for the budget-conscious customer who desires premium features typically found only in a higher-end product,” said Dan Bartel, Garmin vice president of worldwide sales. “We’ve packed these plotters with industry-leading features, builtin conveniences, and we’ve added two new screen sizes to our lineup—a 9-inch touchscreen and a 12-inch keyed—to offer something for every boater.” Ranging in size from 7- to 12-inches, these new plotters are available with and without built-in sonar.

gration, and a 10Hz GPS/GLONASS receiver for smooth on-screen navigation. These compact plotters offer full-network compatibility for the Garmin Marine Network, which allows support for sharing sonar, maps, user data, radar, IP cameras and Panoptix all-seeing sonar among multiple units. Plus, there’s NMEA 2000 and NMEA 0183 support for autopilots, digital switching, weather, VHF, AIS and other sensors. Anglers, cruisers and sailors alike will benefit from the xs series that comes equipped with built-in 1kW traditional CHIRP sonar and CHIRP ClearVü scanning sonar capability for a near-picture quality view of what’s beneath the boat. Preloaded premium mapping features can be found on the GPSMAP 742/742xs and the GPSMAP 942/942xs, including both BlueChart g2 HD charts for the U.S., Canada and Bahamas and LakeVü HD maps. The GPSMAP 722/722xs and GPSMAP 922/922xs come preloaded with a worldwide basemap for general reference with support for optional mapping available at garmin.com.

GPSMAP 7x2/9x2 and GPSMAP 7x2xs/9x2xs Touchscreen Series

GPSMAP 10x2xsv/12x2xsv and GPSMAP 10x2/12x2 and Keyed Series

The GPSMAP 7x2/9x2 series plotters are 7- and 9-inch sunlight-readable touchscreen chartplotters perfect for any boater. The xs series offers the perfect solution for anglers with chartplotter/sonar combination units. These compact and powerful units are exactly what’s needed when functionality is essential and cockpit or deck space is at a premium. Building on the popularity of the 7-inch touchscreen Garmin pioneered in 2010, this series introduces a 9-inch touchscreen to the Garmin line. Both serve customers who value screen size as a compelling option. They feature builtin wireless connectivity for Garmin mobile apps and VIRB action camera inte10

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For those who prefer using a keypad, the all-in-one solutions offered by the new 10-inch GPSMAP 10x2xsv and the 12-inch GPSMAP 12xsv can’t be beat. With an all-new industrial design, these combos feature a large, sunlight-readable screen coupled with a keypad interface and new multifunction rotary control knob that offers precise, simple control for easy menu navigation and setting control, even in rough water. These units also offer four user-programmable hot keys for one-touch access to favorite features and functions. In addition to GPS and connectivity features also found in the GPSMAP 7x2/9x2xs series, the GPSMAP 10x2xsv and GPSMAP 12x2xsv also offer impressive sonar capabilities with built-in

CHIRP sonar, CHIRP ClearVü and CHIRP SideVü as well as support for Panoptix all-seeing sonar. Other premium Garmin sonar modules are also available, including two new CHIRP transducer options–the GT8HW-IH and GT15MTM. The GPSMAP 1042xs/1242xs come preloaded with BlueChart g2 coastal charts and U.S. LakeVü HD, while the GPSMAP 1022xs/1222xs offer a worldwide basemap. Two non-sonar versions, the GPSMAP 1022 and GPSMAP 1222 are also available with a preloaded worldwide basemap.

Advanced Features For Sailors

Premium sailing features have also been integrated into both new series, offering laylines, tidal information, enhanced wind rose, a current slider and other elements that prove beneficial to sailors. All new models also offer integrated ANT support for use with the quatix 3 marine smartwatch, the Garmin Nautix in-view display, gWind Wireless 2 transducer, GNX Wind marine instrument and wireless remote controls. Additionally, all sonar-enabled models feature built-in Quickdraw Contours software, a free, easy-to-use tool that lets mariners instantly create personalized HD maps with 1-foot contours on any body of water.

An Attractive Price Point

The GPSMAP 7x2/9x2 and xs series will range from $799.99 to $1299.99, while the GPSMAP 10x2/12x2xsv and non-xsv series will be priced from $1699.99 to $2999.99. This is exceptionally affordable pricing for top-quality electronics with so many sophisticated yet easy-to-use features. What more could you expect from Garmin, the company that was recently named Manufacturer of the Year for the second year in a row by the National Marine Electronics Association. For a full list of features and more information, visit garmin.com/newmarine.

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Adjustable cap with brim UV-blocking polarized sunglasses

F

Photo courtesy of Controlled Descent Lures

or nearly a century, Eagle Claw has provided premium hooks for all kinds of anglers using American steel and designing and manufacturing them right here in the U.S.A. Founded in 1925 in Denver, Colo., Eagle Claw is extremely proud of its long history of American-made fish hooks. And it is also proud of the high-quality product it produces. Trokar Eagle Claw’s Trokar hooks offer a competitive advantage for serious saltwater competitors. These premium quality hooks offer a faster, deeper, surer point penetration that requires half the pressure of the competition. Manufactured using cold forged high-carbon American-Made steel, they offer better durability and stronger holds for hard-fighting, big-game species. Trokar hooks are surgically sharpened, and their triple-sided points are regarded as the most innovative, sharpest, and most durable on the market today. The Platinum Black finish is designed to withstand repeated use in saltwater and harsh marine conditions. There are more than 20 models of Trokar hooks available for fresh and saltwater. A highlight of the Trokar saltwater line is the TK197 Primal Circle Hook, which is an awesome all-purpose bait hook with an offset, light-wire design. Made of high-carbon steel wire for strength and durability, this hook has a highly durable point and a salt-resistant coating. It offers stronger hold for battling fast and hard-fighting big game fish, and it is a dream come true for serious competition anglers who fish for serious saltwater species. Lazer Sharp Eagle Claw’s Lazer Sharp hooks are designed to be “Sharper, Stronger, Longer,” which means the patented Lazer Sharp needlepoint and forged technology ensures a sharper, stronger, longer hold than the leading competition. Lazer Sharp hooks feature uniquely blended coatings—Sea Guard, Platinum Black and Nickel— which are designed to be more durable and abrasion resistant after repeated use in saltwater. There are more than 30 Lazer Sharp saltwater models available. The L2004EL has become a staple on the boats of big-time billfish anglers. They are approved by the Billfish Foundation for tournament use, and were the original and once the only tournament-approved circle sea hook. The design of this non-offset, circle sea, with a wide gap, light wire and a forged point, results in more solid hook-ups and a much higher rate of fish hooked in the corner of the mouth, which equates to fewer escaping fish as well as less-stressful releases. To this day, the L2004EL is still the single best option for pro and amateur billfish tournament anglers looking for proven performance stemming from a decade of making champions out of competitors. Eagle Claw Fishing Tackle, Co. is an American-based company that has been designing and manufacturing innovative, high-quality fishhooks and fishing equipment for more than 90 years. Its family of brands includes Eagle Claw, Lazer Sharp, TroKar, Wright & McGill and Shappell. For more information about Eagle Claw Fishing Tackle Co. and its family of brands, visit www.eagleclaw.com, find them on Facebook at facebook. com/eagleclaw/, facebook.com/TroKarHooks/ and facebook. com/shappellcorp/ or call 720-941-8700.

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ON THE COVER Editor’s Note:

Each month, Coastal Angler Magazine and The Angler Magazine staff search our vast coverage area for photos that will grace our covers. With well over a million readers in diverse coastal and inland markets, our magazines strive for broad national appeal as well as local-level intelligence to put anglers on fish. The cover is different depending on which edition you, the reader, are holding. The following is a little information about this month’s covers.

COASTAL ANGLER MAGAZINE Costa Rica Sailfish

FREE

The great shot of a Pacific sailfish that graces Pacific Sails the covers of this month’s Coastal Angler In Costa Rica Electronics Edition editions comes from Costa Rica Pro Staff member Francisco Mejias. Francisco is one of the great captains who provide monthly Striped Bass forecasts for our local Costa Rica edition, Are Running Local and he captures some stunning photography as well. Knowing one’s way around a camera is important for getting cover-worthy shots. And it definitely doesn’t hurt to have a target-rich environment like Costa Rica’s beautiful Pacific coast to snap photos of trophy fish. Inside this month’s magazine, Francisco and several other Costa Rica Pro Staff members came together to share the Pacific sailfish experience with our readers. From smaller boats, they pull spreads for sails that can top 200 pounds. The techniques and tools for catching and releasing them safely are laid out in the article, and they are techniques honed by the knowledge that can be gathered during 50-sailfish days. No kidding. The fishing down there can be that good. Fishing Reports Catch Photos News & Events

PHOTO COURTESY OF FRANCISCO MEJIAS, VOLUME 22 • ISSUE 267

COSTA RICA PROSTAFF

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THE ANGLER MAGAZINE Hudson River Striped Bass

FREE

All over the country, wherever striped bass Striped Bass live, spring incites migrations of these bruisers Are Running up the rivers to spawn. This is the time of year when very large fish can be caught in skinny water. In the Southeast, runs of landlocked Electronics stripes can be roughly timed by the blooming Edition Local of the dogwoods. In the Northeast, anglers Picky-Trout Tactics await the arrival of the Alewives. Dave Maneri, of Tivoli, N.Y., caught the big striper on the covers of this month’s The Angler editions. His buddy Paul Hughes Jr. snapped the photo while they were fishing the striped bass run on the Hudson River, which feeds the Atlantic Ocean at New York City. It was an epic day for the two anglers. They caught multiple fish, including the cover fish and another one about the same size, which Paul is holding in the photo that appears with the article. In that article, Dave tells us all about the Hudson River striped bass run and how he goes about catching big stripers from the shore as well as from a boat. The uninformed might assume there’s no fishing to be done in such close proximity to one of the biggest and busiest cities in the world. But striped bass and baitfish still run up the Hudson each year to spawn, just like they have since time immemorial. Fishing Reports Catch Photos News & Events

PHOTO COURTESY OF PAUL HUGHES JR. VOLUME 22 • ISSUE 267

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By Pro Staff Costa Rica • Photos by Francisco Mejias

T

he Pacific sailfish is one of the most sought after offshore game fish in Costa Rica. Growing larger than their Atlantic

counterpart, sailfish in Costa Rica average 60 to 80 pounds, but big ones can surpass 200 pounds! They are migratory, with the main concentration of fish arriving in our area of the Central Pacific as the dry season sets in the end of December. They move away as the wet season kicks in during early May. Even though this is the main migration, there are always sailfish present in our waters year round. We fish from smaller boats, so we use the traditional five-rod setup. A combination of natural baits and lures are used, and our main baits are ballyhoo. Our lures of choice are the Magna series from Santos. Variations of pink, lumo and blue combined with a Trokar hook are deadly combinations. If the bite is slow, we often sew a belly flap or strip bait into the lures for a more enticing bait. On the outriggers, we use teasers. A squid chain in pink on one side and a bigger lure like a Santos Carolina Seastalker on the other is a good start. The shotgun gets a Santos lure as well as the long rigger. The short rigger and the two corners are set up with naked swimming ballyhoos on Trokar 7/0 circle hooks. It is also handy to have a mullet, horse ballyhoo or tuna

rigged and ready to go as a pitch bait in case a marlin decides to crash the party. Once the fish is caught it is time for a few photos. This is a critical part of the process, as it involves fish handling. Even though some boats still bring up a sailfish for a photo, it is highly recommended to not do so, as it can be extremely harmful to the fish. It is the process of pulling the fish over the rail of the boat that causes problems. The protective mucus covering is scraped off, leaving an area of skin exposed to bacterial and fungal attack. This can result in death of the fish at a later time. Leave the fish in the water, and with a good pair of AFTCO gloves, grab the outer part of the bill and push the fish as far out from the boat as possible. Keep the head of the fish in the water as much as possible, and lift it briefly for a good photo. Take the shot from the tail end of the fish looking forward or from above if possible. Alternatively, grab the front part of the sail, pull it up and hold the bill with your other hand. Make sure the bill is always pointing away from you and not at you. Take the photo from the front of the fish. If you have never been to Costa Rica fishing, it is definitely worth it and you will be hooked! Pro Staff Costa Rica provides monthly reports for Coastal Angler Magazine’s Costa Rica edition. Search out Pro Staff Costa Rica on Facebook for more great photography, videos and fishing content.

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Spring Striped Bass Run The Hudson River By Nick Carter

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ach spring, through the Hudson River’s mouth at bustling New York Harbor, a massive spawning migration of Atlantic stripers pushes some 150 miles upstream to the Federal Dam at Troy, N.Y. In this long stretch of tidally influenced river, striped bass show up when water temps reach the 60s. Dave Maneri, of Tivoli, N.Y., said the trick is to keep up with the migration and put yourself in the right place at the right time to intercept pods of transient stripers. “They move in big schools,” Maneri said. “Some days they’re there and you can catch them; other days they’re not. You gotta stay on the reports. They’re running the whole river, so you could travel to where the fish are or wait until they’re where you are.” Smaller schoolie striped bass show up first. They come with the spawning alewives, which are baitfish commonly called herring. Schoolies remain in the river for a couple months some years, and there’s also a year-round resident population. But Maneri said the big cows remain only for a week or two each season. They are always on the move, and connecting with them can lead to unbelievable action with big fish measuring past the 40-inch mark with weights heavier than 30 pounds. Fishing bait is generally the most productive tactic. The best bait is herring pulled right out of the river, either live or chunked. Most locals use a scap net to catch herring. A scap net is essentially a 4’x4’ dip net. The schooling herring will follow a swimbait right up to the net where they are captured. Maneri fishes his herring off the bottom using medium and medium-heavy rods with baitrunner-style reels that allow fish to run with the bait on free spool before the angler strikes to set the hook and engage the drag. He employs a main line of 30-pound braid with a 1 ½-foot leader of 15- to 20-pound fluorocarbon. A 7/0 Gamakatsu Octopus should be hooked through the bait’s mouth, and the whole rig is kept down with a 2- or 3-ounce slide swivel teardrop sinker. Maneri said stripers don’t relate to any kind of structure on their spawning run, so the good spots are the drop offs, channels and shallows where baitfish might be funneled. Obviously, a boat gives anglers the ability to move and seek out fish. But fishing from shore is also productive. When he fishes from the shore, Maneri uses rod holders made from PVC pipe and rebar. They can be wedged into rip-rap to free up the angler while waiting on a bite. And the bite can be a tricky thing. Maneri said these stripers have a knack for spitting the bait. One thing is for sure, though; when the hook sets solid and the drag is engaged, a big striped bass in heavy current is a formidable opponent. Dave Maneri is a team member of Catskill Outdoors. Look them up on Facebook.

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Tips For Catching Picky Trout

By Charlie Warfield • Photo by John Winkler, redhouseflyfishing.com

T

he upper end of the Delaware River, and more specifically the West Branch of the Delaware in the Catskill Mountains, is a favorite of many fly anglers in Pennsylvania and Upstate New York. It can also be frustrating place, as it holds some very picky trout. The river has a reputation for crystal clear water, and because it is a bottom-release tailwater, it has a very consistent temperature, which makes for great hatches and healthy fish year round. It is known for being very technical, and this is just a nice way of saying it will sometimes make you want to pull your hair out. The first time I fished it, I was tested, even frustrated by this beautiful waterway. But besides the beautiful mountain setting and endless hatches, it is in part the challenge that drove me to go back time after time. I persisted and figured out ways of tricking the beautiful native fish. I learned lessons there that have made me a better angler. The following are some insights that will give you a leg up when you go fish the Delaware or any other technical stream. Downstream Presentation: Many anglers learned to cast upstream and let the fly drift down. But when fishing for spooky or educated fish, this method can sometimes leave you frustrated. It’s harder to get a good, long drift with a downstream presentation, but many times it is your best bet. Next time you’re having a hard time getting a take, cast out at about 90 degrees to the bank, and quickly give an upstream mend, this will help you keep a drag free drift for as long as possible. Keep mending as often as needed, letting the fly swing to its full downstream position. Sweep-Style Hook Set: The downstream presentation should be matched with a sweep-style hook set. To use this technique, swing the rod downstream and strip the line at the same time, this will pull the line through the water, creating tension and giving a good hook set. By swinging the rod downstream, you are also pulling the hook into the corner of the fish’s mouth rather than pulling it up and away from the fish. Slow Down Your Hook Set: Ok, we have all done it before. It’s a tough day on the water and all of the sudden you get a strike, BAM you set the hook… and nothing. I have heard people say things like, “Next time, set the hook faster.” But most of the time the opposite is true. A good technique is to wait one second and then give the rod a gentle lift or sweep. Match the Hatch: Picky fish know what they want to eat. There can be significant variation in color, size and body shape in the same species of fly from region to region, and there are many subspecies for each type of fly we fish. So do your homework. I suggest hiring a local guide or at least stopping in at the local fly shop. It is good to support the community, and you can never beat local knowledge.

For more tips on trout fishing, go to

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FLORIDA

By Randy Cnota

F

olks are ramping up for grouper season. If you’re not geared up and properly prepared, you might be one of the many people at the dock talking about the one that got away. Here are some tips that work well when grouper are the target. Grouper are notorious for shattering an angler’s hopes of a fresh grouper dinner. Often, bait must be presented very close to the reefs grouper inhabit, and the reef is where they run the second they eat your bait. If they get back in their hole, it’s often game over! I try to up my odds of landing grouper by building leaders that can withstand the line-gnawing reefs. My grouper rig is simple; it consists of a 6- to 8-foot long leader of 300-pound-test monofilament with a 9/0 to 11/0 circle hook. Above that, I have a 4- to 8-ounce slip-sinker on a 12-inch leader of 300-pound monofilament. These two pieces are connected by a 250-pound-test barrel swivel. All swivels and the hooks are attached to the line using 1.9 mm crimp sleeves. Start your leader production by cutting the desired length of line for the hook leader. Crimp your hook to one end and a swivel to the other. Next cut a 12-inch piece of line and crimp a swivel to one end. Slide your weight onto the line, and then attach the opposite end to the swivel on the long leader. Be sure to crimp the center portion of the sleeve and then work your crimping tool toward the edge of the sleeve, but leave a slight flaring on the edges. If you crimp the edge of the sleeve, it can cut into your line. A fighting rod of 5’8” or longer, rated for line up to 200-pound test will do in most cases. My reel of choice is the Shimano Torium 30HG spooled with 65-pound-test braided line. The 6.2:1 gear ratio makes it fast and powerful enough to move big grouper in a hurry. The goal is to keep them out of the reef, but if they do get back to their hole, you’re prepared with a leader that can survive the fight. When I hooked the gag grouper in this picture, he immediately ran

back into his hole in the reef. For a few minutes he wouldn’t budge. I simply held pressure on him for a while and bounced the weight up and down. Then I just let the line go slack for a few minutes. Suddenly, he came out and it was game on again! I think when this happens the fish have forgotten they were hooked and decide to come back out of their holes. Other times, I’ve literally yanked these bruisers right out of their lairs. Either way, you need gear that will withstand the power of the fish and the perils of the reef. Required items to build your own grouper-busting leader: • 9/0 to 11/0 circle hook • Two 250-pound-test barrel swivels • Four 1.9 mm crimping sleeves • 10 feet of 300-pound-test mono • Crimping tool Randy Cnota is the co-publisher of Coastal Angler/The Angler Magazine’s Panama City/Forgotten Coast edition.

For more fishing with Randy Cnota, go to

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Fine Tuning Fishing

By Patrick Sebile

M

any years ago I was a guide, making a living by taking anglers fishing all around the world—well, in 40 countries at least. I specialized in inshore and nearshore fishing, with some bluewater-specific trips. Besides that, I fished even more destinations just for fun or when I was sent to write articles for magazines. In total, I’ve fished in 64 different countries. Why do I tell you all this? Well, when I was focusing a lot on my lodges in Morocco, Guinea Bissau and Ivory coast, where I spent years guiding, it gave me the chance to learn little by little the best spots and how to fish them. But the majority of places where I traveled to fish, I only had a few days to find the hot spots before receiving a group of anglers. When they arrived, I wanted them to have the best chances of doing well and having fun. I didn’t have much time, usually three days up to a week, to seek out key places. In many cases, a local guide would give me hints; a good tip is always useful in that regard. But other than a direction and the approximate location of a day beacon, there was not much more helpful information out there. These areas had to be finetuned by reading and understanding them. These are two key steps for any successful fishing trip. The primary tool for achieving these two steps is the combination of GPS and fishfinder. Most of the time I travelled with a portable unit, just in case there weren’t electronics on the boats I was supposed to be using, and also in case they weren’t working properly. I experienced that problem a number of times in remote locations and developing countries. With this powerful technology, suddenly the bottom shape and depth were illuminated on the screen… and in my mind. I was picturing it as a three-dimensional image as best as I was able. The bottom structure and the currents were key to understanding water flow, which gives clues of where the food will pass through and where different fish species hold in the current or hidden from it. At that time, I remember dreaming of glasses that would see into the depths, turning the liquid into an invisible substance like the air, to actually see the fish and the bottom. This is a dream I believe has existed since the first boatman went on the water, or even before. Now it has pretty much become reality thanks to the incredible electronics of today. They show us the sea floor exactly as it is, and record true bottom shape and depth on maps thanks to Navionics. We can even see the fish down there. A new age of fishing is here thanks to this revolution. Now it’s possible to know, when fishing a new spot or an old one, just what it looks like under the waves. It’s even possible to target a fish and drop or cast a lure right in front of it. This is fine-tuned fishing at its best.

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Our offshore banks Chasing Tarpon generate more interest.

From Big Pine sKey knab erohsffo ruO

.tseretni erom etareneg

By Nick Carter

T

here is no fish more iconically associated with the Florida Keys than tarpon. The allure of hooking into one of the ocean’s most powerful and aerobatic fish in skinny water draws anglers from all over the world to test their mettle on the flats and in the bays the silver king inhabits. Those who desire to concentrate singly-mindedly on that pursuit would be well served to spend some time at Big Pine Key. At mile marker 33 on Highway 1, Big Pine is situated on the top end of the Lower Keys, far enough from the bustling tourist activity of Key West and slap in the middle of some of the best tarpon fishing in the world. Capt. Nate Wheeler, of Waypoint Fishing Charters, specializes in these prehistoric beasts. Although he also runs jam-up inshore and offshore trips for all the awesome fishing the area has to offer, staying on top of often-difficult tarpon is a constant pursuit. Capt. Nate said smaller tarpon can be found year-round, but the action begins when water temperatures break the 72-degree mark. This is the magic temperature at which tarpon begin to feed, and the warm-up coincides with a large influx of big migrating tarpon. Generally there is some consistency to the bite beginning in mid to late April each year. This year, Nate said the Keys experienced a “Marchuary,” which means cool weather hung around longer than usual. As a result, tarpon fishing was a little slow in the early season, but by mid-April water temps had risen into the mid 70s and the silver king began to feed. “Tarpon are a real finicky fish. They are very sensitive to conditions,” Capt. Nate said. “It can be feast or famine, and that’s why guides do so well as compared to the do-it-yourself angler. We’ve spent years following them, and if they’re here, we know where they are.” The limestone strata of the Lower Keys and the north to south alignment of the islands have created a unique habitat of channels, shallow bays, flats and mangrove islands. Nate said laid-up tarpon can often be found on the flats and in shallow bays. It is an early season staple. This laid-up behavior, in which big tarpon lie at rest just under the surface, is something the waters around Big Pine Key have become known for. “Laid-up fish in the bays is the one time that fly fishermen have an advantage,” Nate said. Sight fishing for big, easily spooked fish when they aren’t actively feeding is best done with delicate presentations. In water seemingly too shallow for the size of the fish, floating lines and pinpoint accuracy with casts become paramount. That challenge, as well as the potentially explosive results of a take, are what many anglers live for. But there are easier ways to do it for those who want to maximize

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their chances of experiencing that explosion of activity. In spring and summer, big pods of tarpon push into the bridge channels. The Bahia Honda and Seven Mile bridges just east of Big Pine Key become an epicenter for anglers seeking the flashes and rolls of active tarpon. They can be caught on artificials and flies, but suspending and drifting a blue crab beneath a float offers as close to a guaranteed hookup as exists in tarpon fishing. Nate said fishing the tide windows is critical to maximizing chances of a bite. “We crush them in the summertime,” Nate said. “Especially on the fly.” That statement might have been directed toward the worm hatch. In summer, when tarpon are thick in the channel, the world’s most famous palolo worm hatch occurs at Bahia Honda. No one has it exactly figured out, but somehow the tide and moon phases trigger thousands of 3-inch long burnt orange sea worms to wriggle to the surface to reproduce. Tarpon go out of their minds when palolo worms swarm in the thousands. Giant fish can be seen gulping the little morsels on the surface and sometimes rising completely out of the water for them. Just to witness it is a spectacle. For those lucky enough to encounter it with a rod in hand, it is something else. But if baking in the summer sun is something to be avoided, Capt. Nate threw out one more option for anglers who want to tangle with a silver king. “The most consistent way to get them is at night, after dark,” he said. Tarpon need to eat to feed their massive bodies. During the daytime, that feeding is mainly opportunistic, an “it’s there so I might as well eat it” scenario. Nighttime is generally when tarpon actively seek out their meals and feed most aggressively. Capt. Nate said he’s had some tremendous evenings catching small tarpon as well as 40- to 50-pounders fishing with artificials and live bait. So, those are a few of the ways anglers can get their tarpon fix during the spring and summer out of Big Pine Key. Probably the most important piece of advice is to hire a guide for the best chance of achieving your goal of catching this notoriously finicky beast. s“Usually r ef fo y eK eniPbite gi Bpretty , sl aohconsistently S n a ci r e mat A the ot bridges, yeK eo”oCapt. L m oNate rF they’ll na nifilrthey’re am ,hsnot ifliasthere, morwe’ll F .hsifollow femagthem emitto -githe b fobays htlaand ew the a said. d “But flats andhfind t ailothem G dnwherever a kcajrebthey ma are. dez” is-tluav ot pot pu hsifgnik

ni fCapt. lesruoNate y t isWheeler op e d e mand oc Waypoint o S .p e e d Fishing n wod rCharters ep uo r Gat Contact 305-394-2177 .nruor tercaptnatewheeler@aol.com, ni hcum os teg ll’uoY .syand eK rsee ewothe L swebsite ’adirolFat www.waypointfishing.net. 2 2 73 . 2 78 . 0 0 8 .1 s yek r ewol / m oc. s yek - afl

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Our offshore banks generate more interest.

From Looe Key to American Shoals, Big Pine Key offers a wealth of big-time gamefish. From sailfish, marlin and kingfish up top to vault-sized amberjack and Goliath Grouper down deep. So come deposit yourself in Florida’s Lower Keys. You’ll get so much in return. fla-keys.com/lowerkeys 1.800.872.3722 COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

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FISH & FISHING

MAKE IT COUNT

Y

MARK SOSIN

ou’ve heard it said before. The key to catching fish centers on presentation, presentation, presentation. Too many anglers nod in agreement, but fail to focus on it constantly. Whether you prefer natural bait or artificials, the best offering will bomb unless it looks realistic and natural to your quarry. Whether you are staring eyeball to eyeball with the fish of your dreams or simply covering the water with blind cast after blind cast, it all necks down to your ability to make your bait or lure tempt a fish into striking. My father was the consummate example. His lure of choice was a ¼-ounce or 3/8-ounce yellow Upperman bucktail. Dad would put a half-dozen of them in his jacket pocket and challenge dozens of species in saltwater or fresh. That artificial didn’t look like it would catch anything, yet Dad could outfish anyone in the boat with him. Professional guides were amazed what he could do with that lure. He was perfect proof that presentation was the key rather than the choice of lure. Almost all of his casts were blind, but somehow he managed to put that bucktail where the fish were and in a manner that they would eat it. No matter how hard I tried year after year, I have never come close to catching as many fish as he could on that bucktail. He never understood the technicalities of fish behavior. As an example, fish holding in any type of current face into it, expecting their food to be swept to them by the flow of water. Even in shallow water, predators tend to work into the current or across it. It’s essential to know where in the water column the species you seek happens to be. If you had to ask a successful angler one question, find out how deep the water was where he caught his fish. You don’t have to know the spot as long as you learn the depth. And remember, a fish hugging the bottom is not going to rise very far to inhale a bait. There are also places I refer to as seats in a restaurant. These are

very precise spots where a fish can hold easily with a minimum of current and then dart out to grab food being pushed along by the flow of water. If you catch a fish in a particular spot today, it could be a seat in the restaurant. By tomorrow or the day after, you can bet that another fish will be in that exact same spot. Predators do not expect to be attacked by their prey. Any retrieve that drags a bait toward your target will spook the larger fish. Your offering has to look like it is trying to escape. That also holds when you cast toward a particular spot where you think a fish is holding. If your bait or lure lands too close, it will scare your quarry. Instead, cast slightly away from the spot and let the current or your retrieve drag the bait past where your target is. No matter what bait or lure you choose, it still centers on presentation. When you present your offering correctly, your catch rate will rise and the smile on your face will telegraph the results.

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welcome. Fishing grounds are located just offshore of the two host marinas. There are no long runs to get to the fish. The two-leg tournament begins in Varadero June 5-8. Boats fish from the Marina Gaviota, the beautiful, modern 1,100-slip marina located on the tip of the Varadero peninsula. From Varadero, boats travel 90 miles west to Marina Hemingway in Havana for the second leg. Visas, flights and accommodations can be arranged by Cuba Travel Services, the travel company for the Gamefish Grande. Contact Marlen Batista for assistance. Marlen Batista Product Assistant/Specialist Cuba Travel Services 10 NW 42 Avenue, Suite 400 Miami, FL 33126 Email: marlen@cubatravelservices.com Office/Fax: 305-929-8790

H

ave you ever wanted to fish in Cuba? Fishing grounds that were once untouchable are now open to anglers! It is easy to take your boat to Cuba and fish. Simply file Form 3300 with the U.S. Coast Guard. They will approve your travel to Cuban waters and away you go! One of the best things about Cuba is its proximity to south Florida. Taking your center console can be a simple trip. You don’t need to have a sportfish to compete in the Gamefish Grande tournament this June–center consoles are

Participants will fish for three days in Varadero and then have a day to tour and experience Cuba before fishing the final three days in Havana. In an effort to preserve the future of big game fishing in Cuba, the Gamefish Grande is an all-release tournament. For online entry, rules and travel resources, visit www.gamefishgrande.com. Schedule of Events June 5: Arrive Marina Gaviota, Varadero Captain’s Meeting and Dinner June 6-8: Fishing Days June 8: Awards Dinner June 9: Travel to Marina Hemingway Tour Cuba (optional) June 10: Havana Captain’s Meeting and Dinner June 11-13: Fishing Days June 13: Awards Dinner For online registration go to: https://www.regonline.com/gamefishgrande2017registration To access Form 3300 go to: https://www.uscg.mil/d7/docs/Cuban%20permitCG3300.pdf

FISH THE 2ND ANNUAL GAMEFISH GRANDE IN CUBA Varadero: June 5 – 8, 2017 Havana: June 10 – 13, 2017

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urrent Productions is excited to announce The Florida Boat Show at Halifax Harbor and Marina May 19-21 in Daytona Beach. The marine industry will come together to highlight new boats and exciting festivities. Halifax Harbor will come alive for a whole weekend of family fun. Power boats, sailboats, kayaks and marine accessories of all types will be featured throughout the 4 acres of dry park space and ‘in-water’ marina dock. The area’s industry leaders will be showcasing their best for the boating and fishing enthusiasts of the Southeast. Included in the $10 adult paid admission, all attendees will have access to the following exciting features in 2017: • New Boats and marine accessories for all types of boating • Boating Safety and Seminars • A Fishing Village hosted by pros and guides

• and Vendors GALORE!

• The Dock Jam Seafood Music Festival (Saturday and Sunday) • Cold Beers—sponsored by Budweiser • LIVE Music – Saturday & Sunday including Brent Byrd, J Collins, Emma Moseley Band, Hayfire, DJ Bash, Hot Stuff - Donna Summer, Chieforia, Propaganjah, Groove Coalition, Diamond Dixie and Divided Hwy • Stand Up Paddleboard and Kayak Race and Demos • Hands-on Sailing Techniques • Boat Show Bikini Contest • World Famous Easy Tiki Bar with great specialty drinks and happy hour each morning from 10am-noon. • Variety of SEAFOOD Food Trucks including Willy T’s Crabshack, Marco’s Seafood, Big Island Bowls, Liberty Foods. Foodies, don’t worry, we have Manny’s Cuban Truck, Treemendous BBQ and Eat n Run American Grill. • Children under 16 are FREE

DATE: May 19-21 TIMES: Friday & Saturday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. LOCATION: Halifax Harbor and Marina 450 Basin St. Daytona Beach, FL 32114 CONTACT INFORMATION: www.thefloridaboatshow.com; Facebook Page: The Florida Boat Show www.thedockjam.com; Facebook Page: The Dock Jam Seafood Music Festival

IMMERSE YOURSELF IN UNDERWATER ADVENTURES Catch the true spirit of the natural Florida Gulf Coast lifestyle in Crystal River. Whether you are looking for freshwater fishing, a calm day of inshore angling, or the thrill of the offshore—Citrus County has got what you need. Now’s the time to kick off those shoes, get your feet wet, and catch an adventure.

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CA_HM

A Reminder To Renew Gulf Reef Surveys

Photo courtesy of Larry McGuire, Show Me The Fish Charters

S

napper and grouper seasons are opening, and the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is reminding anglers who plan to fish the Gulf of Mexico that it is time to sign up for or renew participation in the Gulf Reef Fish Survey. Participation in the survey is for anglers who plan to fish from a private vessel for red and vermilion snapper; gag, red and black grouper; greater amberjack banded rudderfish; almaco jack; and gray triggerfish. To renew online, visit GoOutdoorsFlorida.com. Renewing the survey does not renew a fishing license. Anglers who do not plan to fish for these reef species in the Gulf of Mexico are encouraged not to renew participation in the Gulf Reef Survey. By only sampling anglers who plan on fishing for these species, Florida is improving recreational data collection. Contact FWC at marine@myfwc.com with questions regarding the Gulf Reef Survey.

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Fuel up. Cast out. GATE has what you need to make a day on the water even better. Fuel up on ethanol-free gasoline at participating GATE locations. And with GATE’s To-Go Kitchen, you can pack a quality, fresh meal that will keep you reeling in the big ones. Stop by a GATE store today!

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Serving Up More.

Fishing Report & Forecast Nassau Sound By Capt. Tony Bozzella

M

ay is a great month for fishing Trout & many of the migrating species. Past years in May Will Felner, on his first cast which can be your best shot, caught a 29 inch / 91/2 lb trout!!! Great job to Will!! Artificial’s can be a great bet for all saltwater species at this time. We should be seeing all the pelagic’s around in full swing. The fun fish Jacks, Ladyfish, Spanish mackerel,bluefish and maybe a Tarpon.  Anglers who enjoy Topwater fishing, this can be a great time as well to get an explosive strike!! Jacks, blues & ladyfish, Not always everybody’s favorite catch, however it makes for some great action for lure fisherman and it keeps you in tune!! They take a wide variety of flys as well. Gummy minnows and poppers can be fun! These species are the ones that can be caught while fishing Redfish and Trout and more desirable fish. Remember, fish are fish, if one fish likes that area other fish will seek interest as well. You have to get out and fish and take note what tide, conditions etc. Many times when blues  are in an area, Trout are close by. Standard slip float, Jig and bait combo’s and lures all work well for these tasty trout, Remember 2 NE FLorida

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as the water warms with summer like temps, start your days very early and use the tides to your advantage. if its low early look for backing reds in the shallows. If the tide is higher and incoming, look to through lures for trout and fun fish? Give yourself a good reason to do what you plan?There will be some big trout taken this month, remember to be a good conservationist and let the big ones go, the 15 - 20 inch are your best table fare. Lures and bait along grass lines in the back country can produce a redfish if you really want one. I try and do what produces best at the time I am going to fish. Many times areas will also give up some big redfish while trying to fish for trout. Often times different species will share the same areas and give up some action. Flounder will be in the bag and around as a bonus and should steadily pick up as the summer progresses. spinner baits and spoons slow rolled along grass lines and structure are a sure bet. A TBS jig combined with a mud minnow or finger mullet fished in the same area can produce. Remember to focus on moving water, bait and some sort of structure.  A lot of different species are out and about, get out and get some action!!  

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

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Fishing Report & Forecast Flagler Inshore By Captain Chris Herrera

I

t’s time to pray for west winds and hit the beach as cobia will be invading our nearshore waters. Hit the beach when the sun is up and watch for cobia piggy backing on Manta rays as long as water temps stay in their comfort zone (68-72). Unpressured cobia will eat just about anything (flies to plugs) but for picky eaters keep some live bait (pogies, mullet, shrimp or even mud minnows) handy and ready to fire. Fishing at first light or last light still proves to be successful with topwater plugs. Rapala Skitter Walks, Top Dogs and Zara spooks are top water lures that has proved to be the gator trout lures of choice along with any kind of popper top water for those that cannot “walk the dog”. When the topwater bite tapers off go for subsurface suspending baits like a Sebile Magic Swimmer or lipped diving plugs worked with a stop and go retrieve. Live shrimp and a bb split shot

tossed up current along the ICW will produce trout for live bait fisherman. Redfish continue to shadow mullet seeking refuge on top of oyster beds and will be fooled by Fishbites Extreme jerk baits, gold spoons and a Sebile Stick Shadd. Bouncing jigs with shrimp or mud minnows around oyster beds will also produce good catches of reds and flounder. Slot snook are starting to show up this month, local bridges, docks and seawalls fished at night will produce linesiders. Live select shrimp, pinfish and lipped diving plugs are local favorites when chasing snook but remember to use a minimum of 30lb. leaders to avoid cut offs. Topwater enthusiast can also trick snook into biting at first light off the ICW where bait is available. Inlets and nearby creeks with drop offs will hold flatties and doormats waiting to eat a live mullet on a fish finder rig or mud minnow pinned on a jig head. Best tides or during change of tides at area inlets or outgoing tides at creek mouths. For shallow water flounder try a Slayer Inc. spinner baits or inline spinners.   Spanish Mackerel, blues and jacks will invade our near coastal waters just outside of Matanzas Inlet, proven techniques for Spanish is to slow troll spoons or look for acres size schools chasing bait on the surface. It’s a great time to grab a fly rod and practice catching as spanish mackerel are ferocious eaters.. Capt. Chris Herrera Serving Flagler Beach, Palm Coast, St. Augustine www.palmcoastfishing.com 386-503-6338

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Fishing Report & Forecast Mayport By Capt. Kirk Waltz

T

he weather continues to be somewhat of a factor for the fishing. The final days of April we had a decent run of Sheepshead and I really think we will see one more spawn before the month ends. Try fishing the falling tides at clear water spots for better results with fiddlers or live shrimp. The most effective guys even chum a little crushed oyster to get them to bite more aggressively. The big rocks, pilings, and oyster bars should hold a good number of fish. The reds will push into the inlet and begin to feed around the rocks more aggressively. Pogie pods having been showing up in good numbers and these reds love them. Try using a ¼ to ½ oz jig with the pogies

hooked thru the nose for bait. Work the edges of the rocks methodically either on a drift or trolling motor tossing the bait up current letting it drift back. The pogie pods should get thicker so grab some and start searching for cobia around the pods, free swimming, or on manta rays that should begin to show. Jigs, single hooks, or small float rigs are great ways to rig for them and can be highly effective. I like a stiff 7ft rod and spinning outfit. My preferred weapon is a Slammer 3 5500 on a 7ft Allegiance medium heavy rod with 45braided Ultra cast. A small Thill balsa cork with about 2ft of 50lb floro attached and a single 4/0 Owner hook attached completes the outfit ready for battle. Speckled trout can be caught this month in decent numbers on the high outgoing clear tides with a Mirrolure 52m or a float rig with a big live shrimp. Again look for high clean water for the best results. The offshore scene will begin to hop this month with striking fish beginning their annual migration north. Look for kings, amberjack, dolphin, cobia, sharks, and sailfish to feed on the party ground wrecks and reefs. Bag a few pogies off the beach or jig some bait with Sabiki rigs offshore for some hot action. When the troll slows drop the same baits down for snapper, sea bass, and bottom dwellers for some hot action. Remember you can’t catch them on the couch. To book a charter go to www.Enterprisefishingcharters.com or call 904-626-1128 for groups from 4 to 40ppl.Listen to the Outdoors Show on Sat from 7-10am on 1010am or 92.5fm for tips, tides, and reports.

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JOSFC - May Captain Trina M. Polkey

S

pring has sprung and boy has the fishing has been fired up! With the lack of winter our fish aren’t really sure what they should be doing right now, but they are biting! There have been some great reds and trout caught in the river, and the pompano bite is looking to be one of the best we’ve seen in a while. Cobia have been hanging out on the wrecks and will be on beaches soon if they are not already. Mahi will be showing up offshore in numbers soon so it’s time to get your gear ready to rock. The JOSFC Trolling Tournament will be held on the 20st of May. This is a free tournament for members and all fish must be hooked while the boat is under power and moving. This tournament counts as 10 points towards Captain of the Year and comes with free bragging rights for days. With all the fish biting right now, this should be a great one - we’d love to see you out there! If you are not yet a member,

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there is plenty of time to join or make friends with a member to fish with. Meetings are held the first and third Thursday of each month in the clubhouse at the Mayport Boat Ramp. We start at 7:00 with dinner followed with a quick club meeting at 7:30, a guest speaker or activity, and an awesome raffle. You do not have to be a member to attend and we would love to have you! Please visit www.jaxfish.com to learn more.

COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

4/17/17 12:11 PM


Fishing Report St. Johns River By: Richard Hamilton

W

e have had a very unique winter with record heat. So with the record heat, the following has occurred.  Weakfish are on fire.  Marker 18 and 19 seem to be a good bet.  Baits of choice:  bait shrimp, cut bait, e., small croaker work very well.  Catches thus far have been really, really good.  Redfish are here cruising the grass lines for small crabs and bait shrimp.  You’ll catch a fair amount of these beauties, but legal ones are a little harder to do.  Once again, bait shrimp, frozen, works.  Speaking of shrimp, remember the season is closed, until June 1st. The creeks and Doctor’s Lake are giving up Flounder, some big flatties and a fair amount of small ones.  Baits have been speck minnows, shiners, grubs (plastic) and even night crawlers. But remember if using croakers, you are probably subject to a million bream nibbles.

Bream and shell crackers: both have a love of grunt worms.  You’ll find them on hard shell bottoms doing their thing. And more than likely, cause that’s how odd the start of this year has been. You’ll start seeing bass beds or areas where they have been.  These beauties will hit shiners, spinner baits, chatter baits and plastic.  Prespawners are trying to get strength for their labors.  Post-spawners are now wanting to eat.  So they’ll be attacking those baits.  The bedders can be aggravated into biting with plastic thrown past the bed and slowly drug back into the bed. Bream will be spawning at the moons this month.  Baits:  wigglers, red wigglers and earth worms.  Night crawlers will work but their kind of big.  Also by the later part of this month, crickets will do a big number on them. Warmouth in the pads:  dipping minnows or worms or crickets.  Some of these are very respectable fish. Catfish will be moving toward the back of weeds and into creeks to do their thing.  Bait shrimp, night crawlers and, yes, even shiners work very well. The gar will be thick in the smaller creeks doing the spawn thing.  The bad thing is they run off the other fish so fish areas accordingly. Mullet will be starting their thing by middle to end of the month, so it will soon be time to start getting your tackle ready for the Spring and Summer.  So ‘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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NEFMA - MAY I

t’s springtime in Northeast Florida and the “Bite” is officially on in the Bluewater. March came in like a lion but the warm weather and Gulfstream currents have come together to create ideal conditions for Game fishing and Bluewater trolling in our region. Captains will still have to pick their days and work around the last of the cold fronts, but by mid-April and into May the good days should finally outnumber the bad days and the challenge comes down to finding the fish. This time of year the Tuna and Dolphin fish arrive by the thousands and the Marlin will follow, looking for the same tasty fin-fish that we pursue. Some days you’ll see dozens of Tuna and Dolphin per boat hit the dock, other days you’ll have to work harder but there’s no time like the

spring to chase the trophy offshore fish in our region. The Northeast Florida Marlin Association hosts several tournaments in the spring and events all year. For information about membership, tournaments or just where to find the fish, contact the Northeast Florida Marlin Association at clubnefma@gmail.com and check out our website www.NEFMA. com or come by the clubhouse for one of our events. Northeast Florida Marlin Association Paul Raudenbush – President . For more information please go to NEFMA.COM or email us at  clubnefma@gmail.com .    

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estled in the Ortega River, a noted hurricane hole along the St. Johns River, Sadler Point Marine Center has developed as West Jacksonville’s go-to location for marine services. Sadler’s commitment to customer service, communication, ongoing crew training for our crew and constant improvement sets Sadler apart from its competitors. Sadler is Yamaha’s only dealer in West Jacksonville with a Master Technician. Our training program ensures our techs are always up to date with today’s high performance machinery. We stock a large array of parts and lubricants for Yamaha, Kohler and many other manufacturers in our well equipped ship’s store and parts department. Sadler’s waterfront location enables us to haul everything from small skiffs to 60’ yachts for storage and maintenance. We have built and nurtured an impressive team of talented craftsmen, technicians and support staff which enable us to assist our customers with all kinds of carpentry, fiberglass, gelcoat and engine repairs. In addition, we maintain relationships with the best subcontractors in town who provide ancillary support with things like

propeller work, canvas and electronics. We recently partnered as North Florida’s sole dealer for Kencraft Boats, a 43 year old high quality boat builder located in Wilson, NC.  Kencraft is a small family owned business much like ours.  Because of that,  we appreciate their own commitment to quality and customer service. Kencraft builds boats in the 17’ to 24’ size range with a eye toward quality and a commitment to value. Kencraft’s methods and components rival  builders of much more expensive boats at a price that is affordable. Their 238 Bayboat has sold well in our area as boaters learn about the brand and what they have to offer.  All Kencrafts come PowerMatched with factory rigged Yamaha outboards. In addition to storage, service and new boat sales, Sadler recently hired a yacht broker to round out our offerings. We truly provide a one stop location to help get you out on the water. Come see us and let us know how we can help you!    

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vice site

0 2 8

4 6 8

09 21 88

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

TIDE CHART - May

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

Hgt

Time

Hgt

Time

Hgt

Time

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

Hgt

6:10 AM-8:10 AM • 6:35 PM-8:35 PM

01 Mon 12:45 AM 5.73 H

07:08 AM -0.41 L 01:23 PM 4.79 H 07:24 PM -0.13 L

02 Tue 01:44 AM 5.45 H

08:09 AM -0.18 L 02:25 PM 4.71 H 08:29 PM 0.1 L

7:05 AM-9:05 AM • 7:30 PM-9:30 PM

03 Wed 02:46 AM 5.18 H

09:09 AM -0.02 L 03:30 PM 4.7 H

09:34 PM 0.24 L

8:00 AM-10:00 AM • 8:20 PM-10:20 PM

04 Thu 03:50 AM 4.97 H

10:06 AM 0.06 L 04:34 PM 4.77 H 10:36 PM 0.29 L

8:50 AM-10:50 AM • 9:10 PM-11:10 PM

05 Fri 04:53 AM 4.82 H

11:00 AM 0.07 L 05:33 PM 4.9 H

9:40 AM-11:40 AM • 9:55 PM-11:55 PM

06 Sat 05:51 AM 4.72 H

11:52 AM 0.02 L 06:26 PM 5.05 H

10:25 AM-12:25 PM • 10:40 PM-11:59 PM

07 Sun 12:29 AM 0.15 L

06:42 AM 4.65 H 12:39 PM -0.06 L 07:13 PM 5.18 H

11:10 AM-1:10 PM • 11:25 PM-11:59 PM

08 Mon 01:19 AM 0.03 L

07:29 AM 4.6 H

11:50 AM-1:50 PM

09 Tue 02:05 AM -0.09 L

08:13 AM 4.53 H 02:05 PM -0.17 L 08:35 PM 5.28 H

11:35 PM 0.25 L

01:24 PM -0.14 L 07:56 PM 5.26 H

10 Wed 02:47 AM -0.15 L 08:54 AM 4.46 H Wed 02:44 PM -0.13 L

12:05 AM-2:05 AM • 12:35 PM-2:35 PM

09:13 PM 5.26 H 12:50 AM-2:50 AM • 1:20 PM-3:20 PM 1:40 AM-3:40 AM • 2:05 PM-4:05 PM

11 Thu 03:27 AM -0.14 L

09:34 AM 4.37 H 03:22 PM 0.0 L

09:50 PM 5.19 H

12 Fri 04:06 AM -0.05 L

10:14 AM 4.28 H 03:59 PM 0.19 L 10:28 PM 5.1 H

2:25 AM-4:25 AM • 2:50 PM-4:50 PM

13 Sat 04:45 AM 0.11 L

10:53 AM 4.18 H 04:36 PM 0.43 L 11:06 PM 5.0 H

3:10 AM-5:10 AM • 3:35 PM-5:35 PM

14 Sun 05:26 AM 0.31 L

11:33 AM 4.1 H

4:00 AM-6:00 AM • 4:25 PM-6:25 PM

15 Mon 06:08 AM 0.5 L

12:14 PM 4.07 H 05:57 PM 0.88 L

4:50 AM-6:50 AM • 5:10 PM-7:10 PM

16 Tue 12:28 AM 4.82 H

06:53 AM 0.65 L 12:57 PM 4.08 H 06:46 PM 1.01 L

5:35 AM-7:35 AM • 6:00 PM-8:00 PM

17 Wed 01:13 AM 4.76 H

07:40 AM 0.71 L 01:44 PM 4.15 H 07:40 PM 1.06 L

6:25 AM-8:25 AM • 6:45 PM-8:45 PM

18 Thu 02:02 AM 4.7 H

08:29 AM 0.66 L 02:34 PM 4.3 H

7:15 AM-9:15 AM • 7:35 PM-9:35 PM

19 Fri 02:55 AM 4.66 H

09:18 AM 0.51 L 03:29 PM 4.52 H 09:38 PM 0.81 L

8:00 AM-10:00 AM • 8:20 PM-10:20 PM

20 Sat 03:53 AM 4.65 H

10:08 AM 0.26 L 04:26 PM 4.82 H 10:38 PM 0.51 L

8:50 AM-10:50 AM • 9:10 PM-11:10 PM

21 Sun 04:51 AM 4.7 H

10:59 AM -0.07 L 05:22 PM 5.18 H 11:36 PM 0.13 L

9:40 AM-11:40 AM • 9:15 PM-11:15 PM

22 Mon 05:48 AM 4.78 H

11:51 AM -0.44 L 06:17 PM 5.55 H

3:50 PM-5:50 PM

23 Tue 12:32 AM -0.29 L

06:43 AM 4.89 H 12:42 PM -0.8 L

07:09 PM 5.89 H

11:25 AM-1:25 PM • 11:45 PM-11:59 PM

24 Wed 01:26 AM -0.69 L 07:37 AM 4.98 H 01:34 PM -1.1 L

08:01 PM 6.14 H

12:20 PM-2:20 PM

05:15 PM 0.67 L 11:46 PM 4.91 H

08:39 PM 0.99 L

25 Thu 02:18 AM -1.0 L

08:30 AM 5.04 H 02:24 PM -1.27 L 08:53 PM 6.27 H

12:45 AM-2:45 AM • 1:20 PM-3:20 PM

26 Fri 03:10 AM -1.17 L

09:23 AM 5.04 H 03:16 PM -1.29 L 09:45 PM 6.27 H

1:50 AM-3:50 AM • 2:20 PM-4:20 PM

27 Sat 04:01 AM -1.17 L

10:17 AM 4.99 H 04:08 PM -1.15 L 10:38 PM 6.15 H

2:50 AM-4:50 AM • 3:25 PM-5:25 PM

28 Sun 04:55 AM -1.03 L

11:12 AM 4.92 H 05:04 PM -0.87 L 11:32 PM 5.93 H

3:55 AM-5:55 AM • 4:25 PM-6:25 PM

29 Mon 05:51 AM -0.81 L 12:08 PM 4.83 H 06:04 PM -0.54 L

4:55 AM-6:55 AM • 5:20 PM-7:20 PM

30 Tue 12:28 AM 5.65 H

06:49 AM -0.56 L 01:06 PM 4.76 H 07:06 PM -0.2 L

5:55 AM-7:55 AM • 6:15 PM-8:15 PM

31 Wed 01:24 AM 5.35 H

07:47 AM -0.34 L 02:06 PM 4.72 H 08:10 PM 0.08 L

6:45 AM-8:45 AM • 7:05 PM-9:05 PM

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May’s “Best Bet”

At Last… Huge Migrating COBIA Have Finally Arrived in Northeast Florida! By Terry Newsome

W

hen it comes to chasing the ultimate coastal angling experience in Northeast Florida, very few outdoor adventures can deliver the overwhelming excitement of stalking and landing a 40-pound Cobia! At last, good numbers of huge migrating Cobia have finally arrived in the coastal waters of Northeast Florida. The Cobia bite is on… but remember, the minimum size limit for Cobia is 33 inches (at the fork) and the daily bag limit is 1 per harvester per day (with a maximum of 6 per vessel.) There is no closed season for Cobia and the official Florida state record for Cobia is 130.1 pounds. The best time to catch that 40-pound Cobia you’ve always dreamed about is right now… so don’t miss your window of opportunity! TIPS FOR CATCHING COBIA IN MAY Cobia (or commonly referred to locally as “Ling”) are one of the most popular sport fish in the entire state of Florida; and for good reason. Cobia can be found year-round in good numbers throughout Florida’s vast coastal waters and marine environment. (This hard-fighting sport fish is also excellent table fare and one of my favorites!) Cobia are highly-mobile and the best time to catch Cobia in Northeast Florida is during their migration. Cobia prefer warm water temperatures (above 68 degrees) and begin migrating south from mid-Atlantic coastal waters in October to avoid the colder water temperatures of late fall and winter. In the spring, Cobia begin to migrate north (from south Florida) in search of warmer water temperatures and huge pods of migrating baitfish. Historically, coastal anglers targeting Cobia simply look for migrating Manta Rays in late April and May as the primary signal that the Cobia bite was on. Cobia love to follow huge Manta Rays as the migrate from south Florida. If you can find the Manta Rays, you will find Cobia! However, the latest “alternative theory “on Cobia migratory patterns suggest that Cobia move from east to west (in the spring) from deeper off-shore reefs and natural ledges to shallower reefs (around 100 feet) then eventually to within 100 yards of the beach. This new theory is based on fishing reports and “harvest data” collected over the last 20 to 30 years and implies that Cobia migrate to the shoreline first and THEN start following the Manta Rays as they migrate up the coastline. Either way, when the water temperatures hit 70 degrees in Northeast Florida, the Cobia are usually within 100 yards to 5 miles from the beach chasing Manta Rays and following huge pods of Menhaden (“pogies.”) The best strategy for catching Cobia is to employ the proven “sightfishing” or “visual targeting” method and be sure it is a bright sunny day! (If it is overcast, you will be wasting your time.) Your best bet, is

to slowly approach floating buoys, channel markers, floating objects, tide lines, weed lines etc. and search for feeding Cobia near the surface of the water; (polarized sunglasses are a must!) If you approach too fast, you can easily “spook” the Cobia which will significantly diminish your chances for success. Using a slow, deliberate “stealth” approach, many times you “sneak up” on huge Cobia holding close to these “structures” feeding on fish, crabs, shrimp and squid. Also, (as you will discover later in this article) Cobia can also be found in shallow water along the beaches, over sandy flats around inlet “bays” and even inside the Mayport jetties in the lower St. John’s River! And when it comes to the best baits to use, a hungry Cobia will take almost any “live” bait including live eels, pinfish, menhaden (pogies,) mullet and even large live shrimp! However, most local Cobia anglers prefer whole frozen squid or live menhaden. Large artificial top-water and suspending lures can also be effective for catching Cobia in certain conditions. In fact, swimming soft plastics like the 4.5” to 5.5” Strike King’s Shadalicious lure (available at Strike Zone) can be deadly for catching hungry Cobia! For best results, use a premium spinning or bait-casting reel with a quality graphite rod (heavy-action) and 20 to 30-pound test monofilament line with a 6 foot, 40 to 50-pound fluorocarbon leader. Be sure to use a laser sharp, 4/0 to 6/0 live bait hook to improve your success rate! Let the chase begin! CHRIS PATRICK’S 40-POUND COBIA The owner and editor of Coastal Angler Magazine (Northeast Florida Edition) is my good friend, Captain Danny Patrick. Danny is one of the most talented and versatile coastal anglers in the entire state of Florida. Two of Danny’s favorite sport fish to target in the month of May are Tarpon and the hard-fighting Cobia!!! Every year, (during the full moon in May,) Danny travels to the Florida Gulf Coast to the north tip of Anna Maria Island (near Sarasota) and fishes for schooling trophy Tarpon at the infamous Bean Point. Last May, Danny and his son (Chris Patrick) finished fishing for Tarpon around 10:00AM and decided to go fishing for Speckled Trout near Long Point inside Sarasota Bay. “My son Chris and I were Trout fishing with light spinning tackle in 6 feet of water over a grassy flat area in Sarasota Bay near the Intracoastal Waterway several miles inland from the open Gulf of Mexico” Danny explained. “Chris was fishing with a small live menhaden (pogie) under a small cork using 15-pound test line and a #4 wide-bend hook” says Danny, “then the surface of the water exploded around Chris’s live bait!” When the strike first occurred, Danny and Chris knew it was a nice fish, but did not realize that Chris

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had hooked into a 40-pound Cobia! “We had no doubt that the fish was huge… and with 15-pound test line and a small hook, we knew the chase was on,” added Danny, “and with the line screaming of the spinning reel, we quickly picked up the anchor and aggressively chased the 40-pound Cobia into deeper water. Chris would not give up the fight and after 1 ½ hours of intense concentration and excitement, Chris finally landed his 40-pound Cobia; and it was a sight to behold!”

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 co-owner of Pine Island Fish Camp on the Intracoastal Waterway in St. Augustine, Florida.

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r.

er.

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

The most wonderful time of the year!

N

ot quite spring anymore and not quiet summer yet. I’m talking about May fishing in North East FL. This time of year is looked forward to. Just about all species. What do you want to catch? May is the peak season for Gulf Stream fishing. Mahi, Tuna,

and Sailfish are just extra gifts and always a possibility. The 30 fathom ledge area is a favorite area. Mahi will eat just about anything, and I like to use monofilament leaders. It increase your hook up ratio considerably. But I also pull a couple larger baits in the spread rigged on wire for Wahoo. Running bait down deep on a planner or downrigger will increase your odds. Teasers are important and we pull one from each side. The typical daisy chain of squid works well. We pull a naked ballyhoo 10 to 15 feet behind our teasers and some of the most exciting bites come on those baits. On the bottom Grouper reopen May first. In addition to Grouper, Vermillion snapper, Red porgy, Trigger fish and many others will be willing as well. Red Snapper are still CLOSED and Snowy Grouper are 1 fish per vessel per day. Make sure and check current FEDERAL regulations if in doubt.

Captain Robert Johnson Jodie Lynn Charters wwwJodieLynnCharters.com (904)540-2628 jlfishing@bellsouth.net Wahoo, Sailfish and Blue Marlin are all caught this time of year. Large catches of Mahi are the norm. Wahoo and Tuna as well. Blue Marlin COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

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

G

ag grouper season opens on May 1st where bottom fishermen will be targeting these hard fighting, delicious eating bottom dwellers with fairly heavy fishing gear. Fifty-pound terminal fishing line is a must! Best bottom fishing bait includes live pinfish, grunts or fresh squid. Offshore, inlet and beach fishermen will be targeting excellent fighting and delicious eating cobia during the month of May where sight fishing is often key. Cobia weighing to 80-pounds will hold close to working shrimp boats, channel buoys and close to the surf where large concentrations of menhaden are schooling. Offshore fishermen will also find cobia following hooked bottom fish up to the boat often completely catching fishermen off guard. A premium pair of polarized sunglasses with

amber lens will enable fishermen to see under the surface of the water when sight fishing for hard fighting cobia. Look for cobia weighing to 80-pounds to be holding in the deep jetty waters of the St. Mary’s inlet during the last of the in-coming tide while fishing on the bottom with live menhaden, croaker or mullet. Shark fishing also improves during the month of May both at offshore wrecks, ledges and nearshore inlets too. Some of the best shark action comes while drifting dead baits with behind a working shrimp boat that has just cleaned it’s catch. Shrimp boats discarding their bicatch will also attract hard fighting tarpon, cobia and fast swimming kingfish too. Offshore live bait trolling at the “Amberjack Hole” and “East FC” live bottoms will produce king mackerel, Spanish mackerel, cobia, barracuda and the occasional blackfin tuna. A solid game plan is to jig up a live baitwell full of Spanish sardines and cigar minnows at a nearby live bottom and rig them to your terminal trolling tackle. During the early morning hours striking fish are more apt to feed close to the surface and then deep during the heat of day. Giant schools of red drum will be prowling the beaches offering some of the very best light tackle fishing of the year for both light tackle spin fishermen and fly fishermen too. Simply look for large areas of surface disturbance where red drum weighing to 40-pounds are ravaging large schools of menhaden. Excellent sea trout and redfish fishing is also available during the month of May in the back country. Timing is critical as fishing is best when a good running tide is flooding oyster beds where huge concentrations of finger mullet are present as well. A flooding early morning tide is key, particularly when arriving around mid morning. As days grow longer the heat of the day seems to slow down the trout bite. Some of the larger sea trout and redfish are taking surface plugs fished along the edges of finger mullet schools. A local favorite is the Storm “Chug Bug” head and white body color pattern. The popular trout lure also has a sound chamber where lead balls rattle against their plastic chamber, which ultimately imitates croaker grunting. Also the loud popping sounds created by the “Chug Bug”, imitates game fish smacking live shrimp right on the surface. When mullet schools are not numerous, a variety of sub surface plugs work will for summer sea trout. Include the Mirror Lure’s S25MR/ Catch 5 in the mullet color pattern. And don’t overlook casting a ¼ ounce led head jig rigged with a 3-inch Berkley Gulp shrimp in the white, or new penny color patterns. Finally drifting a 3-5 inch live finger mullet, or pogy under a small float is also a deadly fishing tactic for summer sea trout and redfish. Surf fishermen will be targeting excellent eating whiting, pompano, yellow mouth trout and more. Fishing with fresh shrimp, or sand fleas during a flooding tide is key. Look for some of the best surf fishing action to come where shallow bars offer an ambush point for game fish. For more fishing and charter information please call Amelia Angler Outfitters at 904-261-2870.

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assau Sport Fishing Association business meetings are 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. May is a busy time for NSFA as we will have our food booth in full operation for the three days of the 54th Annual Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival at the Fernandina Beach Marina May 5th – 7th. On May 13th we will provide volunteers to assist FWC host the annual Kids Fishing Clinic. This year the clinic will be held on the George Crady Bridge Fishing Pier at the south end of Amelia Island due to the severe hurricane damage to the pier at Ft. Clinch. 20 NE FLorida

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NSFA is already busy preparing for the 35th Annual Fernandina Beach Fishing Rodeo which is an SKA Division 5 sanctioned Kingfish tournament and an In/ Off Shore Rodeo tournament for 8 different species to be held August 5th. We will continue to hold as yet unscheduled surf fishing outings and kayak fishing outings that all are welcome to attend. Please visit our website for up to date information on these as well as links to other local fishing tournaments not directly hosted by NSFA. For more information or directions to any of these activities or events please visit our website at: www.nsfafish.net

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What does Heroes on the Water mean? By Tim Stouder

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any times we meet new people at our events. These people are special in one way or another and they are true HEROES. At the Southeast Boat Show we manned a booth to get the word out. At these types of events it is just amazing the number of people that have no idea who we are and what we do.

coming back. Many times we hear that these events are more therapeutic than an office or class visit. The following excerpts are from a letter we received anonymously from one of our Veterans. This truly depicts what many veterans are going through and the struggles they have finding their place back in society. “Whether a veteran of the United States Armed Forces served in wartime or peacetime, overseas, or solely in the United States, one never knows by looking at her what she’s been through.” “For decades after leaving the military I continued to be timid. I let people walk all over me. I was always worried, scared to trust anyone or to share my own opinions or feelings. I was insecure about every decision I made. I was frightened of my own shadow.” “I have grown stronger, more confident, less critical of myself, and better able to form lasting relationships where I’m able to express my feelings without fear.” “How in the world does paddling the water and catching fish in a kayak do all of that for a person? I don’t really know for sure, but I am pretty sure it’s not JUST the kayak, the water, the fishing gear, and the fish. I have never been part of something as profound as HOW, and the people who volunteer their times to this great organization” Read the full article at http://heroesonthewater.org/thank-youheroes-on-the-water-you-have-changed-my-soul/ The beginning of this article I stated that our response is, “We are Heroes on the Water”. This word ‘Heroes’ means something a little different to everyone. There is no doubt in my mind that anyone who has ever served or is serving now is truly a hero. On the flip side there every day ordinary people who are also heroes. Every person has someone out there that will always be their hero. So to each person that comes to our event, or volunteer just trying to do their part, Heroes on the Water means something to everyone. It is this special meaning that allows us to keep going and giving back. 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 6,100 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 May 5th-7th @ Sebastian Inlet state Park. 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 www.facebook.com/ HeroesOnTheWaterNortheast FloridaChapter.

As a member of the Northeast Florida HOW leadership it takes a lot to plan and organize our monthly events. It is the smiles and new people that we meet each month that keeps us going. HOW is a place where veterans of all armed services come together and not feel alone. It is this feeling that they have someone they can relate to that keeps them 22 NE FLorida

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ur regular monthly meeting will be on May 16th, at the St Augustine Shrine Club located at 250 Brainard Rd in St Augustine south. Social begins at 6:00 followed by light food and the general meeting. Our junior anglers club will meet during the general meeting. There will be monthly fishing awards, good food, great raffle, and lots of fun for all. The final drop of the Jimmy Blalock Reef has been completed on our reef site. The new Reef will be dedicated to “Honest Jim” to thank him for all the years of service he has put into our club. Jim Blalock is known throughout north east Florida for serving as weigh master in local tournaments for over two decades THANK YOU JIM! The club members are now focusing on the “Challenge” to be held July 6th9th. The four day event includes SKA Kingfish, Redfish, and Junior Angler tournaments. Mark your calendars now. For more information on the tournaments or the club check us out on ACGFA Facebook or text me at 904-501-1772. The “Know Before You Go” fishing seminar will continue this month at

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the St Johns County Southeast Public Library. The program is designed to introduce residents to local fishing techniques and areas. On May 4th, the topic will include navigational rules and current Coast Guard regulations. On May 11th, there will be discussions on rods, reels, rigs, and baits commonly used in our area. The hosts of the series are accomplished captains and fish club members. Presentations will start around 7:00. The Library is located at 6670 US1 South, near SR 206. Our club will once again be providing manpower for the “North East Florida Marlin Association Bluewater Tournament” to be held May 27th, through May 30th. The captains meeting will be held on Thursday and you can fish any of the next three days. All activities will be at their banquet facility in Camachee Cove Marina. For more info go to www.nefma.com.

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or a state with millions of residents and visitors who fish, one can find a number of Florida towns named after fish. Tarpon Springs in Pinellas County, for example, took its name from the many tarpon seen in the area. Florida place names from Native American phrases that referred to fish include Charlie Apopka Creek in Hardee County, which meant “trout- or bass-eating place” in an old Native American language. The same Creek word “apopka” is found in Citrus County’s name of Lake Tsala Apopka, meaning “a place for eating trout/bass.” Olustee in Baker County has a name that derives from the Seminole–Creek word “oklasti,” meaning “blackfish.” The former site of Charley Emathla in Marion County was named after a Seminole of the same name who agreed to federal efforts to move the Native Americans to the West, and that led to his execution by Seminoles led by Osceola, who did not want his followers to emigrate. The name of the Native American, Charley Emathla, and of the site comes from a Creek word meaning “trout.” Fisheating Creek in Highlands and Glades counties has a name derived from a Seminole phrase meaning “the creek where fish are eaten.” Someone thought the community of

Fisheating Creek needed a more “dignified” name and changed it to Tasmania. Devilfish Key in Lee County takes its name from a large manta ray, called the Devilfish (see photo). The key/island took its name from a large, 30-foot-wide devilfish President Theodore Roosevelt caught near Captiva Key in the early 1900s. After an allday battle with the fish, the president beached the creature on a small island in Blind Pass, an event that gave the name Devilfish to that island from then on. An unusual name that derives from a method of cooking fish is Pass-A-Grille Beach in Pinellas County. Allen Morris, in “Florida Place Names,” wrote that the English spelling of the site goes back to the French “Passeaux-Grilleurs” and referred to the fact that fishermen there who “passed over/crossed” the island stopped to “grill/cook” their meals. Pompano Beach in Broward County has a name going back to a survey party for the Florida East Coast Railway who were treated by a local family to a pompano dinner. To inform future survey parties about the delicious fish

they ate there, the surveyors wrote the word “pompano” on their charts. Those who later followed thought that “pompano” referred to the name of the settlement, added “Beach,” and the name stuck. Fish-sounding names that were not named after fish, include Fish Island, which was named during the British control of Florida (1763 – 1783) in St. Johns County after Jesse Fish, an important resident of the area. If some of this sounds fishy to you, check out the definite “Florida Place Names” mentioned above. Kevin McCarthy, the award-winning author of “South Florida Waterways” (2013 - available at amazon.com for $7), can be reached at ceyhankevin@gmail.com. For more on Kevin McCarthy, go to

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ach spring, anglers are greeted with big winds, big tides and small baitfish. There is no time when the size of your lure is more important than the spring season. With the abundance of small baitfish in the water, it can be difficult to get the attention of your target species, especially when you are fishing with artificial lures. It is very common to find game fish gorging themselves on tiny glass minnows. This is routinely evident when you land a fish and they spit up these miniature meals. As anglers, we have two obstacles here: the sheer amount of forage in the water competing with your lure and the small size of the lure required. What I have found to be the most successful tactic is to use the smallest lure I can cast and appropriately present to the fish. Both hard and soft lures can be effective. Another key to success is color. I prefer a white-and-silver combination that closely matches the available forage. I like to fish these lures on the edge of large bait balls when possible. I try to keep my lure on the edge or under the school to let the fish focus on a single target rather than a large mass. Using a slow-sinking lure is also an advantage this time of the year. A lure that will suspend or sink slowly is ideal. This allows the predator time to target the lure and also gives the appearance that the lure is a wounded baitfish, which is always a plus. When the bait is this thick, every advantage to stand out is needed, but you still need to match the forage in size and color. The use of tandem rigs can allow a couple of advantages. Casting two smaller lures could equal the weight of one of your typical offerings. This allows you to cast farther and still have the appropriate size lure. Rigging two small silver spoons with a white bucktail is a great combination when fishing glass minnow schools. I also like to use a small floater diver with a small spoon trailer. The diving action in conjunction with the added weight of the spoon is a unique combination of action to entice a strike. Downsizing your lure presentation in the spring can definitely upsize your catch.

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By Chris Beardsley

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imple for me means dumbing down my gear and dumbing down my approach. There are endless articles surrounding what bait to use, which rod is the most sensitive or casts the farthest and which reel provides the smoothest or strongest drag. Everyone has their favorite and my recommendation is to use it. For most inshore fishing a 7- to 10-foot medium to medium-heavy rod and a good reel that will hold 200 yards of 15-pound monofilament fits the bill perfectly. There are many other options regarding hook shape, leader material, line weight, rod constructions, etc. It can get complicated and overwhelming. Use what you’re the most comfortable and confident with, and go fishing. My favorite is a 7-foot medium-heavy rod and a 5000 series reel spooled with 15-pound Trilene Big Game mono. The business end consists of a 2-foot fluorocarbon leader and 2/0 circle hook rigged below

a swivel and a 1- to 3-ounce barrel or pyramid sinker. Tipped with a live shrimp, this simple fish-finder rig can be left to soak or dragged slowly across the bottom. I have found this to be very effective around oyster bars or grass flats and also extremely deadly fishing in the surf. One of my favorite techniques is to tip my fish-finder rig with a live, whole shrimp. I’ve used bits and pieces of shrimp, sand fleas, assorted cut bait with varying and sometimes very good success, but it seems the whole shrimp is just too much to pass up for most fish. It’s like that house you go to on Halloween that’s giving away the large size Snickers bars; you just have to get one. The whole live shrimp is like that Snickers bar, and fish just have to have one. Another simple addition is a popping cork. The ubiquitous bobber is familiar to anyone who has soaked a worm. Besides, the visual of a bobber disappearing below the waves is great fun. For pelagics in the surf or bull reds in the bay, the popping cork is a great addition to any tackle box. Artificial baits are hard to beat when fishing at daybreak or just before the sun starts to make some heat. A trusty gold spoon is by far the best lure for getting the attention of virtually anything that swims. It produces in salt and fresh water and is a common denominator in most tackle boxes. Trout love them, and it is my preferred method for putting one or more of those beautiful fish in the cooler. Granted, I have enough Gotchas, Gulps and Goofys to float a battleship, but some of my most successful days have been with the most basic setup. While it’s easy to get caught up buying the latest and greatest gear, it isn’t necessary. I love looking at and sometimes buying something new and shiny, but I often find myself going back to the old standbys because sometimes simple is better. Chris is a freelance writer from Wisconsin with an obsession for all things saltwater. Though growing up hunting and fishing in Wisconsin, an introduction to Florida’s Forgotten Coast provided a new outlet and exciting new challenges for anything with a forked tail.

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By Steve Daniel here is nothing that gets my blood boiling like seeing a bass club killing bass released at their weigh ins. The top tournaments in the country pride themselves in having a 100 percent release rate, which is hard to achieve in the hot summer months. Here are my thoughts on conducting a summer weigh in. • Never allow anglers to use their own bags. No more than three official bags should be available. What this does is ensure bass come straight from the livewell to the scales. It eliminates time spent standing in line, when the bass are sitting in a bag with no aeration.

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• In the summer months, try to have an earlier weigh in, say 1 p.m. instead of the normal 3 p.m. Most summer fish are caught in the morning, and riding them around in boats the last hours of a tournament is the reason for a lot of the weak and dead bass. Remember, a weak fish usually dies later even if it was alive at the scales. • Get bass back into the water as soon as possible with the least amount of stress.

Tips For A Healthy Livewell

• Get fresh water in the morning and use a catch-and-release chemical. Put a bag of ice in the well if it’s hot. Ice in a cooler can be used later in the day. • Only recirculate water from the morning. Never run warm water from the lake into the well. • Use a scale to keep up with your catch. This will keep you from dragging bass out of the comfort of your well-maintained livewell for culling. • If you hook a fish deep, cut the hook off and leave it in the bass. The bass will do much better than you trying to remove it and possibly cutting a gill. • This is my last tip, and it works great in the summer here on lake Okeechobee where the water gets as hot as 96 degrees. I use an air pump, the same one I use to keep live bait alive. I hook it up to the trolling motor batteries. The pump, a Power Bubbles, is the size of a small brick and has two air lines that I run to the livewell. I put the air pump in a soft cooler with ice packs. It pumps cold air from my Techni Ice cooler into the livewell. At the end of the day, bass are harder to catch in the livewell than they were in Lake Okeechobee. An extremely successful professional bass tournament angler, Steve Daniel is a 30-year veteran Okeechobee guide and the voice of Okeechobee fishing on WRVO Radio Network 1’s Hooked up with Steve and Deb. Check out the show at www.renoviolaoutdoors.com. Contact Steve and Deb at stevedaniel84@yahoo.com or 239-5602704.

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he importance of modern electronics in bass fishing can’t be overstated. Having the best, and more importantly knowing how to use it, is crucial to the competitive angler. For weekenders, you’ll enjoy trips more when catching fish, so I think everyone needs good GPS units, maps and sonar. There are a lot of very smart people working at the electronics companies, and they continue to provide great advancements. I work closely with Raymarine, which is owned by FLIR. I’ve run their units since turning pro and

seeing on my electronics. How many times have you seen fish on the screen and thought they were the target species only to spend time fishing for them and they end up being something else? In a bass tournament, I don’t need to spend time targeting walleye or pike. This integration of the camera as another tool in the same system is very handy. Chalk it up to Raymarine and Aqua Vu for making that possible. New to the market from Raymarine are the Axiom units with 3D. I got to see them in

absolutely love their products. I run three of their units on my boat. On the bow, I have mounted an ES128. I also have an ES128 on the console next to an ES127. Having these units really eliminates fishing a lot of unproductive water. With GPS and charts, they are incredibly useful for navigation. They also display Chirp Downvision, which is Raymarine’s sonar fishfinder. I can do a scan of an area and know where the baitfish and the fish themselves are instead of going on history and fishing blind. These tools are invaluable for any angler, and these days competitive anglers cannot compete without good navigation and sonar equipment. Another great thing about Raymarine is that my Aqua Vu Multi-Vu camera displays on my unit. It’s an underwater camera that helps me determine the actual species of fish I am

action at the Bassmaster Classic last month, and what I saw was crazy cool. I think it’s going to be the next level. It’s called RealVision 3D sonar and paints a real-time, three-dimensional picture. It’s a lot easier to tell how far fish are holding off the bottom and how they’re relating to certain structure. It’s a new look that we haven’t seen, and I can’t wait to get my hands on it very soon. The Raymarine Dragonfly series is one for those of you with smaller craft. All of their units are great value, but the Dragonfly puts a lot of technology in your hands at a very low price. There are models from 4 inches to 7 inches and you’ll absolutely thank me for telling you about these if you fish from a kayak, jonboat or other small craft. There’s never been a better time technology-wise to fish and I, for one, am thankful for that.

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By Nadeen Welch

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oing on vacation and trying to decide where your next excursion should be? Fort Myers and Sanibel, Fla. offer something for everyone. Beaches, hiking, kayaking, fishing, camping, birdwatching and shelling abound here. With mild temperatures and low humidity, outside is Photo courtesy of Capt. Terry Fisher/ where you want to be Fish Face Charters after being cooped up through the winter! If fishing is your activity of choice, you have made a great decision. You can take the whole family, only those interested or go it alone. Your best bet for a great day on the water is to hire a professional captain or guide. You can go out on a private charter, where you and your family are the only ones on board, or you may choose a “head boat” where there will be 50 other people fishing with you. Either way, almost everything needed will be provided—boat, license, rod and reel, bait, and a good time. Usually the only things not included are sunscreen and alcoholic beverages. Make sure you ask what is included, just to make sure. Charter guides usually specialize in a certain type of fishing. Inshore fishing trips will have you fishing the flats, mangroves and back-bays. The advantage of inshore fishing is it is usually a more active fishing day, and a windy day won’t ruin your day of fishing. Your guide will move to

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different locations to find the fish, which are not sitting still waiting for you, and provide you with a better experience. This time of year, redfish, snook, mangrove snapper, sea trout and tarpon are what you will catch. These fish will give you a good fight and provide an exciting day on the water. Offshore fishing trips will still provide most required items. The captain will travel anywhere from 20 to 50 miles or more offshore to find fish. While you may not catch as many fish, you Photo courtesy of Capt. Larry McGuire/Show will catch larg- Me the Fish Charters er fish like king mackerel, Spanish mackerel, snapper, grouper and sharks, such as blacktips, spinners, bulls, and possibly hammerheads. This is an entirely different type of fishing from inshore and just as fun. Then you have tarpon fishing. The “silver king” is world famous in these waters, and people come from around the world for the opportunity to land one. The food of choice for a tarpon is a pass crab. Boca Grande is famous for its tarpon fishing history and provides a beautiful environment, if you are here specifically for tarpon fishing and a laidback island environment. If fishing is not up your alley, visiting Sanibel and Captiva will offer you many options. J.N. Ding-Darling National Wildlife Refuge is located on Sanibel Island. It is home to one of the country’s largest undeveloped mangrove ecosystems and is well known for its migratory bird populations. Captiva Cruises operates in two locations on the island and can take you to the private island of Useppa, Cayo Costa State Park, Cabbage Key and Boca Grande, as well as many other options. On the island’s beaches, shelling like you wouldn’t expect is the norm. Whatever you decide to do, relax and enjoy our “IslandOlogy.” Nadeen Welch is co-publisher of the Fort Myers edition of Coastal Angler Magazine.

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estled in the south Georgia pines just southwest of Adel, Ga. is 3,500 acres of sportsman’s paradise known as Live Oak Plantation. Campbell Roberts and I arrived with Ranger bass boat in tow via a fence-lined, well-manicured slice of green earth that led us to the lodge at Live Oak Plantation. This is where we met our expert bass fishing guide, Max Gresham. Max is a seasoned bass angler and a member of the Valdosta State Blazers bass fishing team. Max perfectly planned our day of bass fishing. With 10 ponds and more than 500 acres of fishable water to choose from, he had his sights

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set on two main bodies of water that had been producing quantity as well as quality bass for the past several days. What a breathtaking sight it was as we traveled the winding road past Jim’s Backyard Pond just as the fog was lifting off the water. We made our way to our first destination, Gator Pond and launched at about 7:45 a.m. Yes, there is a reason they call it Gator Pond and yes, we did see a couple of resident gators. The pond was impeccable, with its splendor of bass cover including grass, dollar pads, lily pads and submerged timber. We had a deck full of rods with an arsenal of big bass lures tied on: buzzbaits, frogs, flukes, trick worms and jigs. Campbell was first to hook up on 3-pound bass swimming a fluke across visible grass structure. Max and I followed with several bass including two massive topwater explosions on frogs that resulted in the big bass of the day. Gator Pond was very good to us that morning, yielding about 25 bass in about four hours. We took a break and headed back to the lodge for a quick lunch and then it was back to fishing. This time we launched the boat in Outback Pond. This pond was heavy in willow trees, laydowns and grass. The bass numbers rose quickly in this pond, one after another. The action was nonstop, cast after cast, bass after bass. We located a ball of baitfish, and the bass were close by. The fluke bite was the strongest around these schoolers, and we managed to bag another 40 bass in about four hours. We all caught our fair share of bass on both of these fine bodies of water. You would need a week or two to thoroughly fish all the beautiful ponds Live Oak Plantation has to offer. When you visit, you must stay and dine at the lodge. The lodge will accommodate up to 12 guests in 10 rooms. There is a conference center that will accommodate groups up to 20. In addition to some of the best bass fishing in the state, Live Oak Plantation offers quail, deer and turkey hunting. They also offer tower pheasant shoots. For additional recreation, there is a well-manicured golf course that has three greens and three tee boxes per hole that allows for nine different holes of golf, and there is also a driving range. For additional Information on Live Oak Plantation, visit their websites www.fishliveoak.com and www.huntliveoak.com or call direct at 800-682-4868. Live Oak Plantation is located at 675 Plantation Road, Adel, GA 31620.

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UNDER THE SEA 26

Diving in Tonga with my new PLB

A

fter several years of traveling for work, I had enough frequent flyer miles to take my family to Australia to dive on the Great Barrier Reef. After returning home, we heard on the news that two Americans had accidentally been left at sea by the same dive operator we had chartered. The crew miscounted when tracking divers, and by the time the search began, they most likely suffered a slow, agonizing death. That nightmare incident was portrayed in a Hollywood movie. Unfortunately, these “left-at-sea” stories are not uncommon. Boats can become incapacitated; divers can get caught in a current; the possibilities are endless. According to U.S. Coast Guard rescue swimmers, the key to getting rescued is to make yourself visible. A whistle or Dive Alert air horn might be enough to catch the attention of your boat if it is nearby. If lost, it helps if you are wearing a brightly colored wetsuit hood or deploy a brightly colored safety sausage. Even better, you can carry signaling devices such as flares, a mirror (requires sun), or glow sticks (at night). A small LED dive flashlight or strobe can be seen from afar—especially if the USCG is searching with night vision goggles. But what if your boat sank and no one was called? What if you are in a country where there is no coast guard? These thoughts rattled around in my head before a recent trip to a remote island off of Tonga. Fortunately, advances in technology continue to provide new solutions. PLBs (Personal Locator Beacons) on the market today are small, waterproof devices designed to alert search and rescue services of your location anywhere in the world. When activated, it transmits a message on the 406 MHz distress frequency which is monitored by the COSPASSARSAT satellite system. The alert is relayed to the nearest Rescue Coordination Center. Once in the area, rescue services pinpoint your location using the 121.5 MHz homing transmitter. Unlike EPIRBs, which are registered to a specific vessel, a PLB is registered to a person and can be carried wherever you go. Before my trip, I bought an ACR ResQLink PLB from Bass Pro for

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$249. It can be used on land or sea, but divers need to know that taking it deeper than 5 meters could cause the device to activate due to pressure changes, so it should either be secured to a flag float on the surface or stored in a dive canister if taken underwater. The increased peace of mind was well worth the price. There are several similar products on the market. The Ocean Signal rescueME PLB1 operates in a similar manner. Nautilus Lifeline makes a “Marine Rescue GPS” which broadcasts a distress message to all AIS equipped ships up to 34 miles away and to the marine radio on your own vessel. The ultimate survival tool is your ability to keep calm and maintain a positive attitude while taking action to make yourself visible. Prepare ahead of time, and your chances of rescue are very good. Safe diving! Sheri Daye is a world-record holder, host of Speargun Hunter, and producer of “The Blue Wild Ocean Adventure Expo” in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Follow “Sheri Daye” and “The Blue Wild” on Facebook and Instagram.

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CAPTAINS OF FISHER GUIDING 28

A CAPTAIN AND HIS LUCKY LADY, FISHING THE VIRGIN ISLANDS

BY LUKE CAMBELL

R

obert Mitchell hasn’t stopped chasing marlin since childhood, when he would see the species or its larger-finned counterpart, the sailfish, mounted on walls of seafood restaurants. After catching plenty wall-worthy fish in the Atlantic, Pacific, and Gulf of Mexico over the years, Robert chose the Virgin Islands to begin living his dream as a charter captain. Now, he takes guests on his boat, The Lucky Lady, to catch marlin and other trophy fish surrounding St. Thomas and St. John. After visiting St. Thomas frequently over the last 10 years, local mainstays on the island have helped Capt. Mitchell settle in since moving there permanently in January. Mitchell said, “Jimmy Loveland has been great to go over to and get advice. Getting to talk to a legend like Jimmy has been fantastic. Jim on the Black Pearl (a fellow USVI sportfishing charter) came over and welcomed me into town. He is a good guy, and I would do anything for these two people.” The name Jimmy Loveland may be familiar to those who follow sportfishing. Loveland founded Marlin Magazine and the USVI Open/Atlantic Blue Marlin Tournament that runs every August in St. Thomas. In addition to advice from fellow anglers, Lady Luck has loyally followed Capt. Mitchell to teach him the nuances of fishing here. Mitchell explained, “Everywhere I have fished, I have been blessed with good luck in finding boils, birds and porpoise. Birds down here are very few. When you see a bird, you better follow it. When you see the porpoise, you might make one or two passes, but that’s it. The lonely bird has been far more successful. The other places I have fished, you looked for a flock of birds and when following the porpoise, you were just about guaranteed a tuna strike.”

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Another key difference anglers find in the Virgin Islands is distance. In contrast to other destinations Mitchell has fished, the boat ride is short. The South Drop is 6 miles from dock, and the North Drop is only 20 miles. These drops are famous. While fishing, Mitchell has watched the bottom drop from 90 to deeper than 3,000 feet in a matter of minutes. Paying close attention, and staying over the intended depth is important. Capt. Mitchell described a recent trip aboard The Lucky Lady when that awareness paid off for anglers. They started the day trolling around a FAD (fish-attracting device) when four out of six lines hit on a school of blackfin tuna. They put their spread out again, started trolling, and then the line popped with a 180-pound blue marlin. The group also caught a wahoo of about 45 pounds and a 25-pound kingfish. “It was a great day on the boat, and everybody got a chance to sit in the (fighting) chair and take a turn,” said the new captain. Luke Cambell is a co-founder of Fisher Guiding, an online marketplace to find and book fishing guides, which is proud to partner with Capt. Mitchell and The Lucky Lady.

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C

ustom rod building has entered an era of resurgence, with new components, fresh design concepts, and, most importantly, a broad base of sophisticated anglers and creative rod builders driving developments on multiple levels. Today’s avid angler understands the importance of the rod with respect to a given approach or technique. Credit this recognition in large part to the broader segmentation of the markets for fishing rods and lines. Anglers have a much broader selection of both to choose from. More importantly, they have learned to discriminate and apply the right variations to the proper settings. With better understanding and experience, a fisherman begins to dial in on the nuances that make a rod better suited to the technique and personal preferences. Custom rod makers can give an angler everything he wants from essential components to bells and whistles. While “personalization,” artistry and uniqueness drove custom rod making in the past, functionality and comfort are driving custom rod projects today. “I used to have three to five rods that I would use for a given technique,” recalls bass tournament angler and rod builder Chris Adams of Mud Hole Custom Tackle and a member of the Winn Grips pro staff. “One had the guides I liked. Another had a more comfortable reel seat that added to the rod’s sensitivity, but it didn’t have the backbone or action I wanted. Another had the right power and action but didn’t have the components I liked. I realized the easiest way for me to get everything I wanted into one rod was to build it myself, the way I wanted it!” Adams notes that rod grips from Winn (www.winngrips.com) factor into

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many rod-making decisions. The comfort and tackiness of these all-weather grips provide sure-handed angler control. Bass fishermen have driven a lot of technique-specific rod customization. But more and more saltwater anglers are tailoring rods to their task. Many saltwater anglers have taken up custom rod building as hobby or a basement business to build their own rod arsenals. Classes in rod building are available across the country. At the Saltwater Fishing Expo in Somerset, New Jersey, in March, the custom rod craze was evident. Fishermen were building rods for everything from flounder fishing to trolling for big game species. Saltwater anglers often have a more complex set of needs, from guides resistant to corrosion to rod handles that provide adequate control and comfort. A lot of attention at the Winn booth centered around the sneak preview of new tapered rod grips for heavy-duty saltwater fishing, available in multiple lengths and diameters, and the new Winn Rod Handle System. Winn also unveiled a durable and versatile extension of its very popular overwrap, Winn Superior Rod Wrap. Like its predecessor, it can be the primary material in an original rod handle or applied over an existing cork or EVA grip. Winn also will expand its Saltwater Straight Cylinder line of 1.25-inch diameter grips this summer with black grips ranging to 18 inches in length. Get to know a rod builder in your area to create the perfect rod for any technique or style of fishing. Or take up the practice yourself!

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ack when everyone else was rocking a 3.5-inch grayscale fishfinder, Gary sported a color 7. He always seemed to catch fish. One day I had the nerve to ask him, “Hey Gary, how much did that thing cost?” “More than the kayak,” was the deadpan response. That was years ago. Since then, sonars are more and more capable and feature rich, for less scratch. A Lowrance Hook-7 will run you $449, much less than the kayak. Downscan and side imagining are commonplace. Over time, screen sizes grew until Gary was no longer the exception, he was the rule. So how big is too big? The answer depends on your bank balance and risk tolerance as well as the water you fish and the kayak you captain. Five to 7 inches seems like the sweet spot for kayak use. The screens are wide enough to offer high-resolution readability, yet compact enough to stay out of the way of a cast—or your foot. These days the better question might be, “How big is the transducer?” For peak performance, it’s best to mount a modern transducer in direct contact with the water. Some transducers require adapters such as the Lowrance Ready Total Scan plate to fit properly. Alternatively, kayak anglers can go the MacGyver route and craft their own adapters. Where there’s a will and fish to be caught, there’s a way. Just ask Gary.

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SAVE $70

$3999

B

$

Voted Best Winches

SUPER COUPON 2500 LB. ELECTRIC WINCH WITH WIRELESS REMOTE CONTROL

5499

Compare

Customer Rating

$98.62

ITEM 61258 shown 61840/61297 68146/63476

Customer Rating

$

SUPER COUPON

$4999

6999 $119.99

Compare

• Weighs 14.3 lbs. • 11-1/4" W x 4-1/8" H

SAVE $70

Customer Rating LIMIT 3 - Original coupon only. No use on prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase or without original receipt. Valid through 9/1/17.

LIMIT 3 - Original coupon only. No use on prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase or without original receipt. Valid through 9/1/17.

SUPER COUPON

MOVER'S DOLLY

• 1000 lb. capacity

ITEM 60497/93888 shown 61899/62399/63095/63096 63098/63097

ITEM 69249/69115/69137 69129/69121/877 shown

$2

99

4

Compare $ 34 $8.48

LIMIT 9 - Original coupon only. No use on prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase or without original receipt. Valid through 9/1/17.

SUPER COUPON

$799

$

ITEM 93454/69054 63395 62603 shown Tools sold separately.

SAVE $265

SUPER COUPON

$129

99

Customer Rating

$

15999

SIZE MED LG X-LG

ITEM 62434/62426 62433/62428 62432/62429

SAVE 60% $ 99

YOUR CHOICE

$399 Customer Rating

Compare

5

$9.98

$99

99

METRIC

7

$ 99 $14.97

LIMIT 9 - Original coupon only. No use on prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase or without original receipt. Valid through 9/1/17.

CANGL_NAT3-NAT42.indd 33 hft_coastalangler_0517_M-REG109337.indd 1

SAVE $106

$

2000 WATT CONTINUOUS/ 4000 WATT PEAK POWER INVERTER

Customer Rating

SUPER COUPON Customer Rating

ITEM 60432/69662 shown

$

3/8" x 50 FT. RETRACTABLE

SAVE $138

AIR HOSE REEL ITEM 93897 shown 69265/62344

SUPER COUPON

$5999

$119

13999 $215.41 SUPER COUPON

12999 $205.99

Compare

LIMIT 3 - Original coupon only. No use on prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase or without original receipt. Valid through 9/1/17.

ITEM 69651 18 VOLT CORDLESS 3/8" DRILL/ 62868/62873 68239 shown DRIVER WITH KEYLESS CHUCK

Includes one 18V NiCd battery and charger.

Customer Rating

$

Compare

LIMIT 4 - Original coupon only. No use on prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase or without original receipt. Valid through 9/1/17.

SUPER COUPON

SUPER COUPON

ITEM 69043/63282/42304 shown

Blade sold separately.

SUPER COUPON

Customer Rating

10 FT. x 20 FT. PORTABLE CAR CANOPY

SAE

Compare

$339

99

ITEM 63054 69034/62858 shown

9 PIECE FULLY POLISHED COMBINATION WRENCH SETS

$599

Compare

SUPER COUPON

LIMIT 9 - Original coupon only. No use on prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase or without original receipt. Valid through 9/1/17.

YOUR CHOICE

19999 SAVE $95

Item 62429 shown

$395

ITEM 42305/69044/63171

$13499

LIMIT 4 - Original coupon only. No use on prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase or without original receipt. Valid through 9/1/17.

MECHANIC'S GLOVES

Compare

SUPER COUPON

Customer Rating

$

Compare

Customer Rating

SUPER COUPON

• With Laser Guide

SUPER COUPON

LIMIT 5 - Original coupon only. No use on prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase or without original receipt. Valid through 9/1/17.

SAVE 59%

ITEM 69684 shown 61969/61970

1099 $19.97

LIMIT 9 - Original coupon only. No use on prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase or without original receipt. Valid through 9/1/17.

204

$

12" SLIDING COMPOUND DOUBLE-BEVEL MITER SAW

Customer Rating

SUPER COUPON

60", 4 DRAWER HARDWOOD WORKBENCH

SUPER COUPON SAVE

SAVE 59%

SUPER COUPON

Customer Rating

LIMIT 4 - Original coupon only. No use on prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase or without original receipt. Valid through 9/1/17.

SUPER COUPON

7 FT. 4" x 9 FT. 6" ALL PURPOSE WEATHER RESISTANT TARP

SAVE 64%

7

$ 97 VALUE

Limit 1 coupon per customer per day. Save 20% on any 1 item purchased. *Cannot be used with other discount, coupon or any of the following items or brands: Inside Track Club membership, Extended Service Plan, gift card, open box item, 3 day Parking Lot Sale item, compressors, floor jacks, saw mills, storage cabinets, chests or carts, trailers, trenchers, welders, Admiral, Bauer, CoverPro, Daytona, Earthquake, Hercules, Jupiter, Lynxx, Poulan, Predator, StormCat, Tailgator, Viking, Vulcan, Zurich. Not valid on prior purchases. Non-transferable. Original coupon must be presented. Valid through 9/1/17.

Compare

ANY PURCHASE

7999 $198.45

Compare

LIMIT 5 - Original coupon only. No use on prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase or without original receipt. Valid through 9/1/17.

SUPER COUPON

900 PEAK/700 RUNNING WATTS 2 HP (63 CC) 2 CYCLE GAS GENERATOR

ITEM 63024/63025 shown

SUPER COUPON

SUPER COUPON

$1699

SAVE 65% $1999 Compare $49

LIMIT 7 - Original coupon only. No use on prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase or without original receipt. Valid through 9/1/17.

COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM Use Coupons: In-Store, HarborFreight.com or 800-423-2567

$8999

Customer Rating

SAVE NOW

$

10999

LIMIT 3 - Original coupon only. No use on prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase or without original receipt. Valid through 9/1/17. At Harbor Freight Tools, the “Compare” or “comp at” price means that the same item or a similar functioning item was advertised for sale at or above the “Compare” or “comp at”

price2017 by another retailer in the U.S. within the past 180 days. MAY NATIONAL 33 Prices advertised by others may vary by location. No other

meaning of “Compare” or "comp at" should be implied. For more information, go toHarborFreight.com or see store associate.

4/17/17 3:04 PM PM 4/6/17 4:35


suzuki spring savings Three Limited Time Offers Make A Good Deal Even Better Suzuki Gives You All Three So You Don’t Have To Choose One Or The Other

Buy a new Suzuki outboard from 25 to 300 horsepower and take advantage of not just one, but ALL THREE Suzuki Spring promotional offers.

Add cash rebates on select models and you can get up to $800 cash back. Plus our Repower Financing is available at attractive interest rates (on approved credit.*)

Just say, “Gimme Six!” and you’ll get six years of product protection. That’s right, you’ll get Suzuki’s three-year limited warranty and Suzuki’s 3-Year Extended Protection Plan at no extra charge.

See your participating Suzuki Marine dealer today and find out how you can get the ultimate deal on the Ultimate 4-Stroke Outboard.

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

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

REPOWER FINANCE

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

For details and the name of your nearest participating Suzuki Marine dealer, visit www.suzukimarine.com

Gimme Six Extended Protection promo is applicable to new Suzuki Outboard Motors from 25 to 300 HP in inventory which are sold and delivered to buyer between 4/01/17 and 6/30/17 in accordance with the promotion by a Participating Authorized Suzuki Marine dealer in the continental US and Alaska to a purchasing customer who resides in the continental US or Alaska. Customer should expect to receive an acknowledgement letter and full copy of contract including terms, conditions and wallet card from Suzuki Extended Protection within 90 days of purchase. If an acknowledgement letter is not received in time period stated, contact Suzuki Motor of America, Inc. – Marine Marketing via email: marinepromo@suz.com. The Gimme Six Promotion is available for pleasure use only, and is not redeemable for cash. Cash Rebates apply to qualifying purchases of select Suzuki Outboard Motors made between 4/01/17 and 6/30/17. For list of designated models, see participating Dealer or visit www.suzukimarine.com. Customer and participating Dealer must fill out the appropriate rebate form at time of sale. Customer will have the choice to either apply the cash rebate against the original dealer invoice (Suzuki will credit Dealer parts account) or have a check sent directly to the customer. There are no model substitutions, benefit substitutions, rain checks, or extensions. Suzuki reserves the right to change or cancel these promotions at any time without notice or obligation. * Financing offers available through Synchrony Retail Finance. As low as 5.99% APR financing for 60 months on new and unregistered Suzuki Outboard Motors. Subject to credit approval. Not all buyers will qualify. Approval, and any rates and terms provided, are based on credit worthiness. $19.99/month per $1,000 financed for 60 months is based on 5.99% APR. Hypothetical figures used in calculation; your actual monthly payment may differ based on financing terms, credit tier qualification, accessories or other factors such as down payment and fees. Offer effective on new, unregistered Suzuki Outboard Motors purchased from a participating authorized Suzuki dealer between 4/01/17 and 6/30/17. “Gimme Six”, the Suzuki “S” and model names are Suzuki trademarks or ®. Don’t drink and drive. Always wear a USCG-approved life jacket and read your owner’s manual. © 2017 Suzuki Motor of America, Inc.

34

NATIONAL

MAY 2017

CANGL_NAT3-NAT42.indd 34 SZ_Q2Promo_1PG_WIPv2.indd 1

COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

4/17/17 3:04 PM 3/12/17 5:04 PM


You could get a discount when you combine your auto and boat policies.

for your boat geico.com | 1-800-865-4846 | Local Office Some discounts, coverages, payment plans and features are not available in all states or all GEICO companies. Boat and PWC coverages are underwritten by GEICO Marine Insurance Company. Multi-Policy Discount available to auto insureds that have purchased a boat policy through the GEICO Marine Insurance Company. GEICO is a registered service mark of Government Employees Insurance Company, Washington, D.C. 20076; a Berkshire Hathaway Inc. subsidiary. Š 2017 GEICO

COMMON CVRS_0517.indd 3

4/17/17 12:07 PM


© 2017 Garmin Ltd. or its subsidiaries

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

12”

PROGRAMMABLE

HOT KEYS

PRELOADED

BUILT-IN

BLUECHART® G2 + LAKEVUU¨ HD CHIRP SONAR + CLEARVUU¨ + SIDEVU¨

GPSMAP® 1242xsv

COMMON CVRS_0517.indd 4 Coastal Fishing Ad_US-8.125x10.875-CoatalAngler.indd 1 17-MCJT512 GPSMAP 1224xsv

4/17/17 PM 3/8/17 12:07 9:13 AM

Coastal Angler Magazine - May / Northeast Florida  
Coastal Angler Magazine - May / Northeast Florida  

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