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VOLUME 23 • ISSUE 273

COASTALANGLERMAG.COM

F R A N C H I S E

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

FLORIDA

BIG BEND : Mike McNamara • (850) 510-7919 • captmike@coastalanglermagazine.com BREVARD : David String • (321) 684-5888 • dstring@coastalanglermagazine.com DAYTONA/NEW SMYRNA BEACH : Don Meadows • (321) 436-5895 • donm@coastalanglermagazine.com EMERALD COAST/DESTIN/PENSACOLA : Scott Risher • (850) 428-0996 • srisher@coastalanglermagazine.com FLORIDA KEYS : Cliff Lumpkin • (305) 849-9093 • cliff@coastalanglermagazine.com FORT LAUDERDALE : Gene Dyer • (954) 680-3900 • gene@coastalanglermagazine.com FORT MYERS : Nadeen Welch • (239) 595-8265 • nwelch@coastalanglermagazine.com GREATER MIAMI : Scott Deal • (561) 945-6999 • scott@coastalanglermagazine.com Monica Isaza-Deal • (561) 945-8899 • monica@coastalanglermagazine.com GREATER ORLANDO : Phillip & Giselle Wolf • (407) 790-9515 • phillip@coastalanglermagazine.com LAKELAND & SUMTER : Mary Brasher • (352) 598-4219 • maryf@coastalanglermagazine.com NAPLES : Nadeen Welch • (239) 595-8265 • nwelch@coastalanglermagazine.com NC FLORIDA/NATURE COAST : Cary & Lynn Crutchfield • (352) 372-4237 • crutch@coastalanglermagazine.com NE FLORIDA : Danny Patrick • (904) 742-4696 • danny@coastalanglermagazine.com PANAMA CITY/FORGOTTEN COAST : Randy Cnota • (229) 834-7880 • randyc@coastalanglermagazine.com PALM BEACH COUNTY : Barbara Ryan • (561) 373-8040 • barbara@coastalanglermagazine.com SARASOTA : Phil Prevoir • (239) 257-4684 • pprevoir@coastalanglermagazine.com TAMPA BAY : Chuck Atkins • (239) 464-5153 • chuck@coastalanglermagazine.com TREASURE COAST : Misti & Gary Guertin • (772) 285-6850 • treasurecoast@coastalanglermagazine.com flahama@coastalanglermagazine.com

SOUTHEAST

ATLANTA/SW GEORGIA : Bob & Brenda Rice • (706) 614-8231 • bobr@theanglermagazine.com CHARLESTON : Jane A. Redden • (205) 725-9616 • jane@coastalanglermagazine.com Sam Buckareff • (843) 607-8629 • sam@coastalanglermagazine.com CHARLOTTE/PIEDMONT : Mark & Haley Alberghini • (704) 651-1934 • mark@theanglermagazine.com MYRTLE BEACH : Mike Masiero • (732) 674-3019 • mmasiero@coastalanglermagazine.com TIDEWATER/OUTER BANKS : John Tiger • (757) 707-9654 • john.tiger@coastalanglermagazine.com Laura Seitz • (757) 707-9655 • laura@coastalanglermagazine.com UPSTATE SOUTH CAROLINA : Gregg Thompson • (864) 542-3112 • gregg@theanglermagazine.com WESTERN NC : Debra & Joe Woody • (828) 775-9663 • woody@theanglermagazine.com WILMINGTON/MOREHEAD : Kenny Ritter • (910) 550-9094 • kenny@coastalanglermagazine.com

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

GULF COAST

GALVESTON/MATAGORDA/UPPER COAST : Chanci & David Mowry • (713) 446-7395 • chancim@coastalanglermagazine.com • davidm@coastalanglermagazine.com MISSISSIPPI GULF COAST : Adam Nelson • (228) 627-5903 • anelson@coastalanglermagazine.com Toby Nelson • (228) 623-1761 • tnelson@coastalanglermagazine.com NEW ORLEANS : Dr. Dave Dunaway • (225) 400-8156 • nola@coastalanglermagazine.com

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

INTERNATIONAL PUERTO RICO/VIRGIN ISLANDS : Ace Bassue • (407) 285-9453 • ace@coastalanglermagazine.com COSTA RICA : Mike Erickson • (561) 262-2242 • mike@coastalanglermagazine.com

Cover Image Credits: (Clockwise from top left) Sailfish: Alphonse Fishing Co., Wesley Rapson; Bumphead Parrotfish: Alphonse Fishing Co., Andre Henn; Salmon: Scott Norton; Trout: Big Cedar Lodge; Bass: Nick Carter; Roosterfish: Francisco Mejias © 2017. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written consent of the publisher. Disclaimer: Coastal Angler Magazine / The Angler Magazine will not be held liable for injuries incurred while partaking in activities described herein, or for claims made against products or services provided by advertisers.

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FLY FISHING By Nick Carter

F

ly fishing for bonefish and permit might have originated on the flats of the Bahamas and the Florida Keys, but these islands hardly hold a monopoly on the style of fishing. In the Indian Ocean, about 1,000 miles off the east coast of Africa, there is an archipelago that claims the highest density of bonefish in the world on one of its outer island groups. The Alphonse Group is three small islets on the southwestern end of the Seychelles, a nation of 115 islands in gorgeous tropical waters northeast of Madagascar. Within the Alphonse Group, Alphonse Atoll and St. Francois Atoll offer more 10,000 acres of hard, white-sand bonefish flats as well as a lagoon with channels, finger flats and coral heads where fly fishers sight fish in clear water to more than 60 species of fish. There are characters familiar to Atlantic flats—bonefish and permit—and there are also species exotic to North American fly rodders, like milkfish, colorful triggerfish and seven species of trevally. Instead of tarpon, the Seychelles offer up the giant trevally, which can weigh in excess of 120 pounds. And with a 10-minute boat ride out of Alphonse Island, anglers can access reef species and big pelagics like sailfish, wahoo, dorado, dogtooth and yellowfin tuna. Either trolling or teasing them up and casting flies to them, these offshore species offer a delightful break from the flats as well as a dinnertime treat on the island. “The Seychelles has become known as the best giant trevally fishery in the world and has become the benchmark for anglers searching for an outstanding saltwater flats fishing experience,” said Keith RoseInnes, managing director of Alphonse Fishing Company. “The sheer numbers and variety of fish species has amazed the fly fishing world, with anglers from across the globe queuing up to sample this ultimate fishing playground.” St. Francois is most well known for its bonefish, with ridiculous

numbers of 4to 6-pound fish and the occasional 8-pounder in the mix. “On falling tides, it is often the case that huge shoals of bonefish can be targeted when leaving the flats in what has been described as a continuous river of bonefish,” said Rose-Innes. “You hunt them on foot and not from a skiff, as the sand flats are hard and white.” It’s also as close to a sure thing as it gets for anglers seeking the Holy Grail of saltwater fly fishing. Good numbers of Indo-Pacific permit populate the flats, and Rose-Innes said his guides have near-perfected the art of catching them. Along with natural environs conducive to awesome fishing, a strong conservation ethic ensures an incredible angling experience. Alphonse Fishing Company tightly controls the amount and type of fishing pressure its waters see, and the fisheries are completely closed a minimum of three months per year. That’s the fishing side of the conservation effort. Alphonse also protects the unique flora and fauna of the islands, which makes for a sensational overall vacation experience, with comfortable lodging among beautiful tropical forests and beaches. For more information, see www.alphonsefishingco.com.

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Craig Sutton with a Costa Rica yellowfin.

“M

ost people my age buy a house in Costa Rica to retire,” said Craig Sutton, of Nosara Paradise Rentals and FishingNosara. “When I bought my first house in Costa Rica, my life was just starting to get interesting.” Craig first discovered Nosara, Costa Rica on a surfing trip in the late 1990s and immediately fell in love with the people, the culture and the year-round excellent surfing. He purchased a small house near Guiones Beach, bought out his neighbors’ land, and spent the next 15 years building a nature preserve campus of 14 houses plus a pool, common areas and maintenance facilities. One thing was missing from this surfer’s paradise: good fishing. As a native Floridian, Craig’s passion for fishing runs deep. He has been a regular on the kingfish tournament scene for years, with his boat Fishtastic posting top-5 finishes in the several tournaments.

“The problem with fishing in Costa Rica is that fish are so big and so harsh that they will destroy your tackle, plus the costs for fuel is astronomical at $7 a gallon and rising,” said Sutton. “Captains trying to make ends meet would have to choose between new lines, new tackle and a full tank of gas, or putting food on the family table.” After years of struggling to find a captain in Costa Rica who was willing and able to fish aggressively, Sutton realized his only option was to build his own boats and crew them with hand-picked locals. “These guys had the drive and the talent to be great fishermen, they just lacked the tools and the logistical support,” said Sutton. “The team-centered approach allows FishingNosara captains to pursue the fish as aggressively as a professional tournament boat without being distracted by losing lures or running up the gas bill.” FishingNosara launched their first boat, The Wanderer, in 2009 and have added a boat every year since. The results have been astounding. In the 2017 season, the five-boat FishingNosara team ran over 730 trips with over 80 marlin releases and 800 sailfish releases. More importantly, the team inflicted zero billfish fatalities. “Reviving and releasing billfish is a sacred priority to us as conservationists, plus it makes good business sense,” said Sutton. “We have created a market of charter fishermen, which means billfish are worth more money alive and swimming than they are on a scale at the meat market.” As for retirement for Sutton, don’t bet on it anytime soon. Last April he scored a billfish grand slam (blue marlin, striped marlin and sailfish) to win the Ship of Fools Billfish Tournament in Costa Rica. Sutton is looking to up-the-ante again in 2018. Back in the States, a new version of the Fishtastic came online this year. It’s an exact copy of the 32’ Eduardono Harvester currently in Nosara, and Sutton is already amped up for a new challenge. “My goal with the new boat is to snag a tournament winning king mackeral in July then go catch marlin in August… seems like a good way to bring two worlds together.”

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By CAM Staff

M

urrells Inlet, S.C. has always been a fishing town. Long before Myrtle Beach and the Grand Strand began drawing tourists to experience the beaches, shopping, golf and nightlife that have made it famous, Murrells Inlet was a fishing village. And it’s no wonder. The inlet itself is an inshore angler’s dream. It’s an enclosed system, one of very few inlets on the east coast free from the influence of the Intracoastal Waterway or coastal rivers.

There’s no dirty water flowing in from upstream, and this system of marshes and backwaters is a completely saltwater environment, with no freshwater pumping in to reduce salinity. The result is excellent fishing and exploration of backwater creeks for speckled trout, redfish and the doormat flounder that Murrells Inlet has gained a reputation for. Another thing the area has a well-earned reputation for is huge red drum, which hang out around the jetties to provide anglers with the bulldog runs only a big bull red can provide. It’s some of the best red fishing on the east coast, with fish in the 20- to 40-pound range arriving in numbers in both spring and fall. For those who don’t mind a short boat ride to fill the cooler,

there are numerous nearshore reefs that can be easily accessed with a half-day trip and a run of less than 5 miles. Mackerel, sharks, black sea bass, reds, flounder, bluefish, spadefish and more make for an exciting outing even for the family, and you’ll come back with a cooler full of delicious fish. Out to 15 or 30 miles, there is also excellent trolling for king and Spanish mackerel, cobia and amberjack, as well as bottom fishing for snappers, groupers and sea bass. But those who want to get serious should look into a full-day trip to the Gulf Stream. From 55 to 70 miles offshore, opportunities for tuna, dolphin, wahoo, marlin and sailfish abound. Trolling the Gulf Stream for big-game species off the lower end of the Grand Strand is tough to beat anywhere. So… it’s easy to see why Murrells Inlet has always been a fishing village, and perhaps the best way to experience it is from a base camp at the Inlet Sports Lodge. Located at the heart of Murrells Inlet, the Inlet Sports Lodge is a comfortable and classy boutique hotel that caters to anglers and golfers with the finest amenities in the area. It’s minutes away from three marinas, works closely with the area’s best charter captains and can accommodate boats up to 25 feet. There’s a fish cleaning room for prep, as well as gas and charcoal grills available in the courtyard to cook your catch. Or, for those who’d rather let someone else do the cooking, the COSTA Coastal Kitchen and Bar on-site offers up fine, fresh Italian and seafood fare. There are also several other restaurants nearby that prepare the kind of delicious right-out-of-the-water dishes that have made Murrells Inlet the “Seafood Capital of South Carolina.” And don’t forget the golf. If days on the water paired with days on the links sounds like the perfect way to relax, the Inlet Sports Lodge has you covered. With golf packages booking a wide variety of the Grand Strand’s famous courses, there’s more golf than you can swing a stick at, including two award-winning courses with the same ownership as the Inlet Sports Lodge. Caledonia Golf & Fish Club and True Blue Plantation are two of the finest courses in the area as well as the nation. For more information on fishing, golfing and the Inlet Sports Lodge at Murrells Inlet, S.C., go to www.inletsportslodge.com/ or call 877-585-9360.

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FLORIDA

By Dianne Poston

T

he South Atlantic Fishery Management Council (SAC) recently issued a news release stating that they have approved a request to NOAA Fisheries that would allow fishermen access to red snapper in federal waters off the coast of the Carolinas, Georgia and the east coast of Florida. The Council is requesting that NOAA Fisheries allow an interim annual catch limit (recreational and commercial) of 42,510 fish for 2017 via an emergency rule. The annual catch limit would allow for a recreational mini-season with six to 12 days of fishing over a few weekends beginning in late October. The recreational bag limit would be 1 fish per person/day with no minimum size limit. The recreational sector is allocated 71.93 percent of the total catch limit of 42,510 fish for 2017. The Council also approved measures in Amendment 43 to the Snapper Grouper Fishery Management Plan with

the intent to have a red snapper season in 2018. If allowed, the recreational fishery would open the second Friday in July (July 13, 2018) and the commercial fishery the second Monday in July (July 9, 2018). SEDAR 41 is 805 pages and contains all the information on how the South Atlantic Council arrives at the numbers of fish that fishermen are allowed to catch. During the last season in 2014, biology tables were set up at the boat ramps to assess the red snapper stock. We fished in this last season and believed that the council was interested in how many older, breeding red snapper were available. We noted that the only fish that were making it to the biology table were the older, large fish and no one brought in the smaller red snapper to be assessed. As a result of this, there was a spike in the number of older fish being included in the council’s data. They assumed that fishermen had been discarding the smaller red snapper, allowing them to become dead discards, to catch the larger snapper. The council believed that the dead discards were greater than the allocated number of red snapper to be caught and therefore closed red snapper harvest for 2015 and 2016. During the 2017 season there will also be biology tables to assess our catch. Please be responsible fishermen and report all your catches, large and small, and also the ones you released. Private recreational fishermen will also have an opportunity to report their catch information as part of a voluntary pilot project using the mobile iAngler tournament app. Dr. Duval, of the SAC, is recommending practices such as moving off areas when you have caught your limit and if you need to release fish to use a descending device. Washington state, Oregon and California recently mandated fish descending devices for all bottom fishing. California reopened rock fish harvest after a study using descending devices showed that mortality was significantly reduced when using a descending device. There are several other states currently looking at mandating fish descending devices. There are many fish descending devices on the market. A good one is the Fish Saver by Roy’s Electric Reels. For more information, go to Fishsaverdevice.com.

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nglers in search of big-game sportfishing have chosen the Palm Beaches since the 1900s. Some of the earliest sportfishing boats were built in the area. With the Gulf Stream waters passing closer to the coast than anywhere in the continental United States, the annual migration of Atlantic sailfish to Palm Beach County sets the stage for Operation Sailfish on Dec. 6-10, hosted by the Sailfish Marina and Resort in Palm Beach Shores, Fla. Operation Sailfish is the first leg of the Quest for the Crest series, where the world’s best sail-fishing teams will compete. Prior to the

start of the competition, there is a special event, “Take a Hero Fishing Day.” Men and women of the United States military are invited to join the fishing teams for a fun day of fishing on Dec. 7. Active duty men and women, veterans and wounded warriors are eligible to participate in this event, created to honor and thank them for their service. The Quest for the Crest four-leg series teams are expected to compete for an estimated purse of $3,000,000 in 2018. The series begins at the historic Sailfish Marina and Resort in December. The Sailfish 400, the second leg will be January in Miami. The largest sailfish tournament in the country is the third leg of the series, known as The Sailfish Challenge, with a three-inlet format; Ft. Lauderdale will be the home base. The series wraps up with the Final Sail in Key West in April. The Sailfish Marina and Resort is the perfect venue for the tournament, with accommodations, the waterfront restaurant, ship’s store, dockage, fuel, heated pool and a weekly sunset celebration featuring live music. Many tournaments enjoy the amenities of the resort throughout the year, including The Big Dog Fat Cat KDW, The Silver Sailfish Derby and Blue Water Babes. A family tradition since 1952, the Sailfish Resort and Marina offers transient and annual docking, a charter fleet, 32 hotel accommodations, Peanut Island shuttle, as well as a snorkel trail and beach just a few blocks away. If you don’t compete in any of the tournaments based at the resort, come make some memories of your own. For more information, visit www.sailfishmarina.com.

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By Terry Gibson • Photo by Pete Markham/flickr.com

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he maritime salvage laws on the books today originated well before the days of Christopher Columbus. Today, salvage laws remain relatively unchanged. Boaters in Florida and across the nation should understand how and when these laws apply to them. Otherwise, you could end up with a shocking bill for even basic assistance on the water. A long-time friend of mine is a charter captain in Sebastian, Fla. He was fishing offshore with clients and noticed a slight crack in the hull, which let water in below decks. With an abundance of caution, he headed back to shore and contacted a popular maritime salvage and towing company to provide assistance. This company rushed a boat to his location and tossed him a pump to help minimize the effects of the leak. The company representative never set foot on my friend’s boat. A couple weeks later, my friend received a shocker of a bill—for $3,800. I recently learned about another individual who received a bill for a salvage claim that was several times that amount. This particular individual was a few hundred yards from shore while traveling to Key West when he saw there was more water in the bilge than normal. He got on the radio and called for a friend to help, but a maritime salvage company met him and helped pump water from the bilge. The company employee was on the boat for less than five minutes. Because the company classified the service as “salvage,” this boat owner received a bill for $30,000 even though he had a membership agreement with this company. I don’t share these stories to make people distrust maritime salvage and towing companies. I personally have a membership with one of these companies, and all the assistance they’ve provided was swift and above board. More than half of Florida boat owners invest in a membership for maritime assistance. Every boater should be aware that when you receive assistance on the water, you could be on the hook for a huge bill–even if you have a membership. Unless you have a pre-arranged contract with a salver that protects you, that individual or company has the right to make what’s called a “salvage claim” against the value of your vessel if it’s in “impending peril.” According to numerous maritime attorneys, the salvage fee amount depends upon factors including but not limited to the value of your vessel, the direness of the situation and the risk the salver took. Dishonest salvers know there’s legal gray area and that most salvage claims are settled in or out of admiralty courts. You can prevent an unexpected bill when you need assistance by negotiating a fixed fee or a set hourly rate. That way everyone is clear on what assistance will be provided and what it will cost. Mechanical and hull-integrity issues happen on the water; that’s the nature of boats. When they do, it’s good to know there are services available to help. To keep these challenging moments from turning into real financial problems, know what’s in store before calling on the help of a maritime salvage and towing company. To learn more about this issue or to share you own story about a salvage experience, visit StopSeaPiracy.com.

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By Costa Rica Pro Staff

Photos by Francisco Mejias

W

orld-class sportfishing and the sexy big-game species get a lot of attention on Costa Rica’s Pacific coast, and for good reason. However, the inshore fishing can be just exciting. It is action-packed and diverse, utilizing different techniques to target more than a dozen different species. The main target of inshore anglers in Costa Rica is the hard-hitting and powerful roosterfish. They will smash artificials, and even topwater plugs, but the easiest way to catch them is with live bait. We bridle a live runner, sardine, lookdown or even a skipjack tuna on a 9/0 Trokar circle hook. Slow trolling around rocky structure or along beaches is a surefire way to draw strikes. Once hooked, the average 20-pound rooster is as ferocious as it is beautiful, and these beasts can get a whole lot bigger than average. We very often encounter fish in the jack family, including jack crevalle and different species of trevally in many of the same areas as the roosterfish. These can also be caught on live bait but are even more responsive than roosterfish to topwater baits such as poppers and stick baits. The lures are rigged with one or two in-line hooks from Lazer Sharp. We replace the factory treble hooks, which makes the fight much cleaner, the fish handling safer and does a lot less damage to the fish. These are fast fish, and quick retrieves often get the fish’s attention. Topwater does also work for smaller roosterfish, but the larger ones are harder to lure to the surface. Not so for the snappers, including cubera snapper, which will rise from 100 feet to smash a well-worked popper. This is one of the ultimate challenges in inshore fishing. They dive right back down to the rocks, often leaving the angler with a cut leader. Heavy popping gear, with 80- to 100-lb. line is necessary for the big ones. We have put 44 pounds of drag on big cuberas, and they keep going like there is no drag at all! Jigging is also a popular and fun technique we use a lot. Jacks,

trevally, seabass, snappers, groupers and mackerel are common catches. We look for underwater structure like rocks and drop jigs ranging from 2 to 9 ounces. The jigs are rigged with a pair of the new Eagle Claw Trokar assist hooks. On and close to the bottom, a slow jigging pace interests the snappers, groupers and seabass. As you move higher in the water column, a speed-jig style approach with rapid jerks gets the bite from the pelagics. Bottom fishing is also an option we sometimes use for an even larger variety of fish. Costa Rica does have some big bottom fish like giant grouper, broomtail grouper, cubera snapper and big stingrays. Live or dead bait gets the job done. Snook can be found in and around river mouths and are a fun species to target. Live bait works, but artificials like a small stick baits or jigs are more common and more fun. Wazo jigs with a Mr. Twister tail and a Trokar hook have resulted in many double-digit snook. If you haven’t tried inshore fishing in Costa Rica, take the time to try it. It’s great fun.

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Fishing Report & Forecast Mayport By Capt. Kirk Waltz

T

he last months report was not included with any hurricane predictions and was not something that we expected. Hurricane Irma hit us with a decent lick and affected the fishery somewhat for a couple of weeks. The water is still pretty dirty but, we are starting to see it clear up slowly. The bull reds are still chewing really well and until the water temps really start to drop I don’t see that changing. They can be found from West of the Dames Point Bridge to the mouth of the St. John’s River. Try soaking fresh blue crab halves or quarters, cut or whole mullet, or any type of cut bait on the edges of deep water around the channel drops. Heavy tackle is preferred with these fish to avoid stressing them out and it’s pertinent to vent these beautiful breeders for survival. A failure to properly vent a bull red can on many occasions kill them. Good numbers of yellowmouthed trout and croakers have begun to follow the large number of shrimp and small mullet migrating out with the huge tides we have had from the effects of Hurricane Irma. I look for this to continue thru the month. Hop around the river and the feeds into the ICW both north and south for decent numbers of these great 2 NE FLORIDA

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fighters and good eating fish. I like a 1/4oz jig tipped with shrimp or even a light egg sinker rig with a small piece of shrimp attached. The high outgoing tides are preferred but, on occasion they can be caught on incoming high water. The speckled trout bite continues to get better as the water slightly cools and clears up. Decent numbers have been found from Blount Island to the big rocks at Mayport. I really prefer a float rig with live shrimp on a high outgoing tide but topwater plugs and soft plastic twitch baits can result in some decent catches. I like a Mirrorlure 52M and a gulp 3in swimming mullet in white or Dark with a green tail on a 1/4oz jig. Work around the areas docks, pilings, rocks, and oyster bars for best results. The big rocks at Mayport should start to give up good numbers of reds, trout, ringtails, sheepshead, and drum this month. Try fishing the high outgoing tides when you can with shrimp, fiddlers, cut crab, and mullet for good results. Float rigs, jigs, and Carolina rigs can be great ways to target these fish but be aware you will lose some tackle. The offshore scene at the end of October was not too good as the results of all the rain and wind we had associated with Hurricane Irma. I do believe however that it will improve with some stable normal weather and provide us with some stellar action. Look for seabass, snapper, ringtails, and trigger fish to be around on the wrecks, reefs, and hard bottom spots. Fish fresh Boston mackerel, cigars, cuttlefish, and any live bait you can get on the bottom.. Capt. Kirk Waltz can be reached at 904.241.7560 or 904.626.1128 for info on charters from 2 to 50 ppl. Listen every Saturday Morning on 1010am or 92.5 fm for The Outdoors Show from 7am to 10am for fishing reports, conditions, and weather. Go to www.Enterprisefishingcharters. com

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JOSFC - November Captain Trina M. Polkey

I

t is November and our membership drive is in full swing! Fishing boards are now open and our first club tournament will be taking place very soon. With memberships starting at $40.00 for individuals and $50.00 for the whole family, we are a very affordable, family friendly fishing club. We meet twice a month, have 11 club tournaments a year where we compete for Captain of the Year, and we have 10 Fishing Boards that we try to win throughout the year for some very nice prizes. We would love to have you! Please help us welcome the incoming Board of Directors; Tom Darga - Tournament Director, Cassandra Washington - Awards and Events, Tom Ruggles – Newsletter and Website, Greg Wallace – Fishing Director, Sara Carpenter – Media, Tasha Mincey – Hospitality, (temp), Captain Chris Rooney - Advisor, Gary Lock – Treasurer, Lori Dahl Morris – Secretary, Anthony

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Thompson – Vice President, and Captain Trina Polkey – President. We wish them the best of luck in leading the JOSFC this year! We meet at 7:00pm the 1st and 3rd Thursday of each month at the clubhouse on the east side of the parking lot at Mayport Boat Ramp. The second meeting of this month will be our Thanksgiving Dinner, we will provide the meats and you all bring the fixin’s! You do not have to be a member to attend and we are a family friendly club… you can bring the kids! Visit us at www.jaxfish.com to learn more.

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Fishing Report & Forecast Nassau Sound By Capt. Tony Bozzella

J

ust as most Anglers might think that fishing is getting slow and summer is over, November can be great for Redfish. The beginning of the month has some good tides reaching the 5.5 mark combined with healthy NE winds can bring some tailing redfish action. This will most likely be the last of that style of fishing for them as it also tapers with the cooler months. Many of the backcountry Oyster bars will hold a hatch of smaller fish. Many of the juveniles Redfish commonly known as “rats” have a big appetite. Often very cooperative Reds will slam a TBS Jig and bait combo with usually high number  catches. Fun for kids, and anglers looking for fast action. The reds do not take long to hit if they are there. Fish an outgoing tide and be “intune” with your bait. No slack lines. Know what is happening and feel the jig on the bottom, when the “thump” hits, drop your tip allowing the fish to eat the bait and come tight, normally feeling the weight of the fish and set the hook hard. Shrimp, mud minnows, mullet  and

crab are all great baits. Shrimp and crab are good choices because it allows you to pick up a black drum which normally do not take fish baits. The smaller black drum, 2-8 lbs, will be holding in many of the same areas. Black drum in  the legal  size make excellent table fare. Anglers will still be able to pick up a flounder as well, however, that bite will start to taper down as we get closer to the winter months. Trout will continue to be good with many fish heading to deeper holes and bends of creeks with many of the fish being undersize. Numbers can be high if you get into a school of them. Often a TBS jig rigged with a soft plastic in a brighter color has proved in the past to be a great  choice of lure.  Use an adequate amount of weight in your jig selection to reach and feel the bottom without overdoing it. Generally the lightest amount of weight you can get away with is usually the best. A jig and shrimp / mud minnow will be another good choice for the bait / float anglers. As far as the fun fish, bluefish will be holding on many points in  sounds, Inter coastal Waterway, jetties and the river.  They are not picky, mullet imitations, spoons, and jigs all work well. Use something you know how to use and you will have an excellent chance of success. Bluefish will hit just about every bait you can think of being very optimistic feeders. Until next time get out and enjoy what mother nature is allowing us to do at this time, there is usually something that is happening best!!!  

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Capt. Tony Bozzella / TBS JIGS www.tonybozzella.com 904 651 0182 NOVEMBER 2017

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Fishing Report Pier and Surf By: Noel Kuhn

T

he good news is that Irma did not destroy our fishing like Matthew did. Just one week after Irma the surf fishing is hot once again. The mullet run is in full swing unlike last year when Matthew wiped it out. So grab your cast net and get to the beach or pier ASAP. Everything that eats a mullet is jammed up next to the beach and munching on these Tarpon, redfish, bluefish, sailcats, jack cravalle, spanish, ladyfish, trout, and several species of shark are all here now.

make a long cast. Use a sliding egg sinker followed by a swivel and one foot of twenty pound mono. Then end it with a 2/0 kahle hook. Tip this with a frisky 3” to 6” mullet and drag it slowly across the sand bars and sloughs to score a flatty! Now that the water temp is finally dropping its Pompano time! Target the sand bars where the waves are just starting to break over. My favorite time is an out going tide. As the tide falls the waves will start to break on the bar. In that white foamy water is where you want your bait. As long as there is three feet of water on the bar you’re in the strike zone. Pompano, whiting, and puppy drum have small mouths. So, keep your bait to about 1” X ¾”. This is the appx size of a sand flea or a crab knuckle. Cut down your shrimp or clams to this size and you’ll have more hook ups and less stolen bait. Remember, you can catch a huge fish on a small bait but you can’t catch a small fish with a big bait! From now until our surf water temperature drops below 65 degrees is the best time of year. If you would like to catch more fish every time you go to the beach call or email me and we will set up a one on one charter/ coaching lesson. Check out this huge red caught in the surf. Angler Scott Donelenko from Gainsville, Fl

Oh yeah, let’s not forget the ugliest fish in the surf. If you’d like to bag a nice flounder target the inlets near the slack tides. During October I’ve stepped on so many flounder while wading across the sand bar to

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

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Ancient City Game Fish Association By John Jordan

T

he next meeting of the Ancient City Game Fish Association will be on Tuesday, November 21st at the St Augustine Shrine Club. The Shriner’s clubhouse is located at 250 Brainard Dr in St Augustine South. Social begins at 6 and light food will start around 6:30. This month is “walking tacos”. We thank Joyce Luker and all of her helpers for serving as social director and food coordinator for the last year. The meeting will start at 7:00 for adults and junior anglers. Our new junior anglers director is Abby Blocker. She grew up in the club and is now volunteering and giving back. Thanks Abby! The newly elected president will take his turn in the “fighting chair”. Congratulations to all new officers and board members for the commitment of time and energy that it takes to manage the Ancient City Game Fish Association. They have many duties to fulfill including establishing new committee chairpersons and many, many, decisions. Now is the time for volunteers to step up and get involved. You don’t have to do it all. When you get involved in your local fish club, you will have more fun. Try it! Regular 8 NE FLORIDA

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business will include awards for Angler of the month and awards for the month long Bottom fishing and Redfish spots tournaments. This month we are asking all members to bring canned goods and non perishable food items for our annual food drive. We work with local churches and other not for profits to locate families in need. The fish club will add gift certificates for turkey or ham to the basket in hopes that the family will have a happy holiday. All members that brought 5 items or more will have a chance to win gift certificates in a special raffle. It’s a win win for everyone. All this followed by a great raffle. Something for everyone. For more information check us out at acgfa. com or Facebook.

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SWIMMING JOINTED WAKE BAITS By Capt. Chris Holleman

S

o I guess you could say I have been over-fishing these style lures. For years I have been experimenting with jointed or broken back shallow diving shallow lipped crank baits without much success. Yet my number one producing technique happens to be fishing shallow diving lipped crank baits. Just not the jointed variety. My retrieve with the very similar but non-jointed baits has been to crank the lure down as deep as I can to about 3 feet and to pause it. Most strikes come on the pause while the lure is suspended beneath the surface. This doesn’t work very well with the broken back lures as they tend to roll up on their side when you crank them too far down and they don’t seem to draw many strikes for me with such a retrieve. Turns out they weren’t designed to be fished the way I was attempting to work them. A few months ago I fished with Bomber Lure Product Representative Russell Garner who shared with me the proper way to work these jointed lures. Russell and I were field testing a prototype of the new Bomber Jointed Wake Minnow in hopes of getting some photos and testing the lure with a few different hooks to see which hooks would produce the best action. Getting hung up and losing prototype lures is forbidden so I had to bring my A-Game to the St. Johns River on this particular day. Russell explained to me that a Shallow slow steady retrieve seems to be the ticket when fishing jointed minnows. The key word is “Wake Minnow”, the idea is to steadily swim the lure so that it produces a wake on the surface. It’s O.K to pause it but not to make it dive very far down. Russell explained that the Cotton Cordel Jointed Red Fin was an extremely popular lure for striped bass in areas where Striped Bass prosper. In fact over the years fishing the Nassau River in Yulee, FL I have often heard that the Silver-Sided Blue-Back Rebel Jointed Minnow was a great producer for stripers around the I-95 bridge and Railroad Trestle near the U.S. 17 bridge. In fact I have personally caught striped bass in both spots with unjointed Silver Side Black Back and Gold Side Black Back Cotton Cordel Red Fins. I tried the jointed lures back then but now I know I was fishing them wrong. I made it way too complex, the key is to simply slowly retrieve the lure carefully keeping your retrieve slow enough not to make the bait dive beneath the surface. I prefer baitcastng tackle for casting these lures. Both the cast and the retrieve seem more natural to me with baitcasting gear. I also prefer monofilament or fluorocarbon line for casting jointed minnows. If you use braid definitely use a fluorocarbon leader for best action. With straight braid I have issues hooking my main line with the tail hook so a leader is a must. Of all the different brands and style Wake Minnows on the market today I think with a close inspection you will agree the Bomber Wake Minnow is among the sturdiest and truest swimming wake baits available for anglers. It’s built with sturdy split rings and strong black nickel hooks. It also comes in a wide variety of productive color patterns and it has a nice wide wobble that puts out a lot significant amount of vibration which is a classic characteristic of jointed minnows. The Bomber Jointed Wake Minnow was built with Snook, Striped Bass, Tarpon and Redfish in mind as they are all brutal fighters that can torque down on a weak lure. There are several situations in which I have become fond of this lure. I love the Bomber Wake Minnow around Oyster Mounds in the ICW and it’s backwater tributaries. You can slowly wake this lure over the top of and on the edges of Redfish inhabited Oyster Mounds. It’s no secret that redfish hold on top of and on the edges of most ICW Oyster Bars and these style lures can be worked tightly around the mounds without hanging up. My favorite 10 NE FLORIDA

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CAM_JAX_NOV2017.indd 10

tide phase is an outgoing tide about 3 hours into the outgoing or 3 hours before low tide. Just before the shell mounds uncover the current seems to be top speed and the redfish are in an aggressive feeding stage during this tide when the current is slightly faster. I like casting these wake baits over the top of the mounds while there is just enough water to get the baits on top before the shells uncover completely. I used to prefer walking the dog with topwater in this situation but the hookup ratio is much better with these shallow diving wake baits. I also like these baits around low tide because I can cast against a shoreline and slowly swim them back without cranking them too close to the bottom and burying them in the mud like I used to do with unbroken back models. In fact in the past I didn’t find crankbaits very productive for redfish at the lower ends of the tides simply because I couldn’t keep from cranking them too deep inside the mud bottoms. This 5 3/8 inch bait is fairly heavy which allows you to make long casts to spooky fish and the it’s slightly larger size seems to produce better quality size fish such as Gator Trout and Upper Slot and Over Slot Size Redfish. I am no stranger to live bait fishing. One of my favorite techniques is to use a Bomber Paradise Popper and a live mullet. I love it when the mullet is dancing on the surface just before the strike. If you can relate to this situation then you can imagine the wake baits action on the surface. It mimics a live mullet dancing on the surface just before getting crushed by a gamefish. Giant trout will crush the Bomber Wake Minnow very similar to a topwater lure but I find the hookup ratio to be much better. In fact I have found that after a strike and a miss I am able to crank the bait down slightly beneath the surface making it easier for the fish to get a good hold on the bait. The question is how slow can you go? My biggest challenge has been to slow myself down with this lure. If you’re not already fishing Wake Baits I hope you give them a try. I have found them to be a great new tool in my tackle box, particularly in situations during certain tide phases where my game was previously weak and in need of tweaking.

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Fishing Report & Forecast Flagler Inshore By Captain Chris Herrera

C

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

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

Dave Jones holds jig caught flatty from Matanzas inlet COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

CAM_JAX_NOV2017.indd 11

NOVEMBER 2017

NE FLORIDA 11

10/19/17 2:18 PM


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

TIDE CHART - November

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

Hgt

Time

Hgt

Time

Hgt

Time

Hgt

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

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

Major Feeding Periods 11:00 AM-1:00 PM • 11:30 PM-11:59 PM

01 Wed 12:10 AM 0.72 L

06:26 AM 5.69 H 12:36 PM 0.68 L 06:53 PM 5.65 H

02 Thu 12:56 AM 0.30 L

07:14 AM 6.04 H 01:25 PM 0.29 L 07:40 PM 5.77 H

11:50 AM-1:50 PM

03 Fri 01:41 AM -0.08 L

08:01 AM 6.35 H 02:13 PM -0.03 L 08:28 PM 5.85 H

12:20 AM-2:20 AM • 2:40 PM-2:40 PM

04 Sat 02:26 AM -0.36 L

08:49 AM 6.57 H 03:01 PM -0.24 L 09:16 PM 5.87 H

1:15 AM-3:15 AM • 1:35 PM-3:35 PM

05 Sun 02:12 AM -0.50 L

08:38 AM 6.68 H 02:49 PM -0.29 L 09:06 PM 5.82 H

1:40 AM-3:40 AM • 1:40 PM-3:40 PM

06 Mon 03:01 AM -0.47 L 09:29 AM 6.67 H 03:40 PM -0.20 L 09:57 PM 5.71 H

2:10 AM-4:10 AM • 2:40 PM-4:40 PM

07 Tue 03:53 AM -0.31 L

10:22 AM 6.56 H 04:35 PM -0.01 L 10:51 PM 5.58 H

3:10 AM-5:10 AM • 3:40 PM-5:40 PM

08 Wed 04:49 AM -0.06 L 11:17 AM 6.38 H 05:34 PM 0.23 L 11:48 PM 5.44 H

4:10 AM-6:10 AM • 4:40 PM-6:40 PM

09 Thu 05:50 AM 0.22 L

12:15 PM 6.15 H 06:36 PM 0.43 L

5:10 AM-7:10 AM • 5:40 PM-7:40 PM

10 Fri 12:48 AM 5.32 H

06:55 AM 0.45 L 01:16 PM 5.92 H 07:38 PM 0.57 L

6:05 AM-8:05 AM • 6:35 PM-8:35 PM

11 Sat 01:53 AM 5.25 H

08:00 AM 0.61 L 02:20 PM 5.71 H 08:38 PM 0.63 L

7:00 AM-9:00 AM • 7:30 PM-9:30 PM

12 Sun 02:59 AM 5.28 H

09:04 AM 0.68 L 03:24 PM 5.55 H 09:35 PM 0.61 L

7:50 AM-9:50 AM • 8:15 PM-10:15 PM

13 Mon 04:02 AM 5.38 H

10:04 AM 0.67 L 04:24 PM 5.44 H 10:28 PM 0.54 L

8:35 AM-10:35 AM • 9:05 PM-11:05 PM

14 Tue 04:59 AM 5.52 H

11:02 AM 0.60 L 05:19 PM 5.37 H 11:19 PM 0.42 L

9:20 AM-11:20 AM • 9:50 PM-11:50 PM

15 Wed 05:51 AM 5.65 H

11:55 AM 0.48 L 06:09 PM 5.30 H

10:05 AM-12:05 PM • 10:35 PM-11:59 PM

16 Thu 12:06 AM 0.30 L

06:37 AM 5.75 H 12:43 PM 0.36 L 06:54 PM 5.23 H

10:50 AM-12:50 PM • 11:20 PM-11:59 PM

17 Fri 12:49 AM 0.21 L

07:19 AM 5.78 H 01:27 PM 0.29 L 07:36 PM 5.14 H

11:35 AM-1:35 PM

18 Sat 01:30 AM 0.19 L

07:59 AM 5.76 H 02:08 PM 0.28 L 08:17 PM 5.04 H

12:05 AM-2:05 AM • 12:20 PM-2:20 PM

19 Sun 02:09 AM 0.26 L

08:37 AM 5.69 H 02:48 PM 0.36 L 08:56 PM 4.93 H

12:50 AM-2:50 AM • 1:10 PM-3:10 PM

20 Mon 02:48 AM 0.40 L

09:16 AM 5.58 H 03:28 PM 0.52 L 09:35 PM 4.80 H

1:35 AM-3:35 AM • 2:00 PM-4:00 PM

21 Tue 03:26 AM 0.62 L

09:55 AM 5.46 H 04:08 PM 0.73 L 10:14 PM 4.69 H

2:25 AM-4:25 AM • 2:50 PM-4:50 PM

22 Wed 04:04 AM 0.86 L

10:34 AM 5.34 H 04:50 PM 0.96 L 10:54 PM 4.59 H

3:10 AM-5:10 AM • 3:35 PM-5:35 PM

23 Thu 04:45 AM 1.10 L

11:16 AM 5.23 H 05:35 PM 1.15 L 11:36 PM 4.53 H

4:00 AM-6:00 AM • 4:25 PM-6:25 PM

24 Fri 05:29 AM 1.30 L

11:59 AM 5.13 H 06:21 PM 1.28 L

4:45 AM-6:45 AM • 5:10 PM-7:10 PM

25 Sat 12:20 AM 4.52 H

06:20 AM 1.42 L 12:46 PM 5.04 H 07:10 PM 1.30 L

5:30 AM-7:30 AM • 6:00 PM-8:00 PM

26 Sun 01:09 AM 4.57 H

07:16 AM 1.44 L 01:36 PM 4.97 H 07:59 PM 1.21 L

6:15 AM-8:15 AM • 6:45 PM-8:45 PM

27 Mon 02:02 AM 4.70 H

08:14 AM 1.34 L 02:32 PM 4.93 H 08:49 PM 1.00 L

7:05 AM-9:05 AM • 7:30 PM-9:30 PM

28 Tue 03:00 AM 4.91 H

09:13 AM 1.13 L 03:29 PM 4.95 H 09:40 PM 0.70 L

7:50 AM-9:50 AM • 7:50 PM-9:50 PM

29 Wed 03:58 AM 5.20 H

10:11 AM 0.80 L 04:26 PM 5.03 H 10:31 PM 0.31 L

3:30 AM-5:30 AM • 4:30 PM-6:30 PM

30 Thu 04:53 AM 5.55 H

11:08 AM 0.40 L 05:21 PM 5.16 H 11:22 PM -0.12 L

9:25 AM-11:25 AM • 10:00 PM-11:59

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Fishing Report & Forecast St. Augustine Inshore

F

By Capt. Tommy Derringer

I

t’s “flatty” time!.... I’m talking about big “doormat” flounder. Traditionally the Fall is a great time to target and catch big flounder in St. Augustine. A live finger mullet or a big mud minnow rigged on a jighead or fish-finder rig is the go-to setup. Flounder will be holding in deep cuts in the creeks at lower tide stages as well as just about any small creek mouth or runout. It’s not uncommon to find them stacked up in these areas so if you get one make sure to try a few more casts in the same spot. Another popular spot to target the flat fish is at the inlets. They will hold close to the jetties… you’ll know you’re fishing the right spot after you’ve lost a rig or three to the rocks. It seems like every year most of the monster “doormat” founder come from in and around the inlets. As our weather continues to cool off trout catches should be on the increase both in size and in numbers. Hopefully some of the fresh water that was dumped by hurricane Irma will be making its way out of the backcountry this month. The trout seem to like the saltier water and the best bite has been closer to the inlets where the ocean water is making its way in. Toss a top-water or sub-surface plug for trout around first and last light. Two of my favorite top-water lures for trout (and redfish) are the Rapala Skitterwalk and the Rapala Skitter V. Your best bet when targeting trout is to look for moving water at creek mouths, around oyster bars, and along the ICW banks, again closer to the inlets. Sea walls, jetties, and rip-rap are also good trout haunts. The good ‘ole live shrimp under a float is always a sure thing for trout. The soft plastic STB jerkbaits from Slayer Inc. imitates a finger mullet perfectly and they have been producing some nice trout (redfish and flounder seem to love them as well). Pair them up with a 1/8 or ¼ ounce Slayer Inc. jighead 16 NE FLORIDA

NOVEMBER 2017

CAM_JAX_NOV2017.indd 16

and you’ve got a deadly trout combo. Our redfish love the cooler weather and this is such a great time of year to get out there and catch them. Redfish will continue to shadow finger mullet schools this month. There should be a ton of finger mullet around so when you find a really good concentration of them you can be sure the reds won’t be far behind. Low tide creek hole fishing for reds should be hot this month as well as the banks of the ICW at low tide. Many people overlook these banks but when the tide is low and the mullet are schooled up Mr. redfish will be on the prowl! The water will continue to be fairly murky at least until the water temps really drop down so using a bait or lure with some really good action or some good scent is the best way to spark interest from a redfish. One go-to Fall redfish lure is a Gulp jerkbait… the darting action and scent helps the fish locate the bait in our murky water. Happy Thanksgiving and Tight Lines! Be sure to check out my Daily Fishing Reports online @www. InshoreAdventures.net...

Capt. Tommy Derringer 904-377-3734 www.InshoreAdventures.net

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prior to the meeting. The topic will be “Tying a cleat hitch to secure November 14: Monthly club your boat quickly and safely.” meeting. Meeting will be held at We will also be holding our War 7pm at the VFW in Palm Coast. of the Wings contest at the meeting! Our guest speaker this month For more information, contact will be Norm Manley. Norm is socialmedia@fcsportfishing.com. currently employed by Towboat US, and has been since 2007. November 11-12: Once again, He’s the guy you may see out the club will host a booth at the and about in the red boat pulling Creekside Festival to gain new people off of sand bars, delivering members and get the word out fuel to people who may have run about the club. out, and even pulling boats off Saturday 10am-5pm - - Sunday lawns after a hurricane. He will 10am-4pm $7 per car admission be giving a boating hurricane For more information, visit www. update (including showing flaglerchamber.org boating aftermath of hurricanes Matthew and Irma), as well as November 18: Flounder/Redfish presenting personal boating safety Tournament – FINAL tournament experiences. He is a United States of the year! FREE member’s tournament. Coast Guard licensed Captain (50 ton Master) with a towing Sign up at the November meeting!! endorsement. He has also been a Contact Jim & Roseanne Ilardo at member of the Flagler Sportfishing ilardojames@gmail.com or (386) 585-0234 for more information on Club since 2006. Norm will also be hosting the this tournament! Quick Tips seminar at 7:15pm,

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NE FLORIDA 17

10/19/17 2:18 PM


Down to the Wire. By Tim Stouder & Katie Blunk

T

his year has seen some of the craziest weather the southeast has experienced in over a decade. Florida is no stranger to Hurricanes, but just a short time ago we experienced IRMA and everything she had to offer. As many people are still recovering the show must go on. November 11th will mark our final and largest event of the year; Veterans Day Celebration. This month’s event is our largest of all the events that Heroes on the Water Northeast Florida puts on, and possibly one of the largest of HOW nationally. Our NEFL HOW Leadership and volunteers start preparing for this event mid-year and typically see between 200-250

sponsors. The contribution that these businesses and individuals make is so gracious. I always like to start with my two favorit local Bait and tackle shopes Browns Creek and Palm Valley outdoors. You both have provided the bait we use each month for the 7 years we have operated. We have to add an extra thanks to Browns for letting us store our big trailer at their facility. So to Rachel, Mike and Toni without you we would not be able to do what we do. To the masses and regulars that volunteer for our events. Where do I begin? You guys are all the spokes in our wheel. Your dedication and desire to help has made every event we have had to date a huge success and we can’t thank you enough. Next year stay tuned as we are going to new fathoms to make NEFL HOW a huge success. Semper Fi 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 30,000 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 Nov 11 @ Morocco Shrine Auditorium. 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 Veterans, family members, and volunteers at this event each year. This to Heroes on the Water, you can do so at https://www.facebook.com/ year will see similar numbers again at the Morocco Shrine banquet on HeroesOnTheWaterNortheastFloridaChapter. Saturday November 11th. At the time of this writing we are literally one month away from the Veterans Day celebration. We are down to the wire in gaining our last few donations for the event and want to say thank you to all those that have donated thus far as well as thanks to the ones that are planning on donating. Each year we can’t say enough about our volunteers or major

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ell, the fishing is really fine. The higher than normal waters have allowed a bunch of food to filter into the river so they’re biting fine. Mullet fishing should be going great guns.  This is assuming that the temperatures haven’t dropped so all the roe fish will be here and willing to bite.  So go at it. Croaker should be fine with the biggest ones of the year out there biting up a storm.  Baits of choice are shrimp followed by night crawlers as they’ll bite until you get tired of catching them given the chance.  So go at it. Reds have decided that a crab bite is good for them.  Also bait shrimp

works. Followed by plastics or top water lures.  Grass lines and then the bars are a safe bet, so go to it. Flounder are being caught in and around Doctors Lake.  Baits of choice are live finger mullet or shiners.  Also plastic worms or grubs will work.  So go for it. Largemouth are slamming bars; crank over and beside bars.  The bites have been good to great.  Also start exploring creek mouths with shiners to see if they’ll entertain you. Bream in the creeks should be great.  Assuming the water recedes, then they won’t be in the woods but out in the bonnets and grass.  Use crickets, worms, beetle spins, et al. Speck should be showing up in the creeks.  Remember the structure and the bottoms have changed drastically.  Baits needed, road runners, minnows or your choice of jigs.  The biggest fish have been caught early in the season, so keep that in mind. Well, got to finish up for now.  So ‘til next time, keep your line wet and your lure movin.’  -- Richard

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November’s “Best Bet” Cooling Water Temperatures Trigger Spectacular Speckled Trout Fishing! By Terry Newsome

T

he record flooding and lingering effects of Hurricane Irma combined with the severe Nor’easter that raged for 5 days in early October had a major impact on tide levels and water conditions throughout Northeast Florida. However, even with poor visibility and lower salinity levels in the lower St. Johns River, flounder fishing rebounded extremely well in mid-October as record numbers of “doormat” sized flatfish were caught from Blount Island to the Mayport Jetties. Several coastal anglers reported catching huge numbers of flounder near the Mayport Ferry slip under docks and near structures along Heckscher Drive. In fact, one group of anglers (with plenty of finger mullet) caught over 40 flounder in one tide phase! Extremely high tides and murky water conditions in October had a negative effect on local speckled trout fishing in recent weeks but surprisingly the trout “bite” has improved substantially in the past few days in the lower St. Johns River, Intracoastal Waterways and in the Pine Island Area just north of St. Augustine. Solid numbers of big “doormat” flounder and bull redfish will be caught throughout the month of November as local gamefish return to their normal fall feeding patterns. Look for big schools of slotsized redfish, yellowmouth trout, black drum, croaker and bluefish to also aggressively feed as water temperatures continue to drop. There are several excellent options in November for local anglers to enjoy quality fishing… however, I feel that your BEST BET for this month is speckled trout fishing!

harvester per day. However, there is NO LIMIT on how many speckled trout you can CATCH (and release.) This is good news for sportfisherman (like me!) In fact, last November I enjoyed several fishing trips where I caught between 10 and 30 speckled trout fishing from the BANK with a simple float rig and live shrimp! One of my favorite bank-fishing “trout spots” is just a few hundred yards west of the Joe Carlucci Park and Boat Ramp (near the mouth of Sister’s Creek.) Carefully watching and monitoring weather patterns this month will be one of the keys to your success. Periodic cold-fronts (“cool-snaps”) sweep down from the north frequently in November and quickly pass over Northeast Florida. These brief weather “changes” combined with cooling water temperatures trigger “pre-winter” behavioral patterns. In mid-November, speckled trout begin to congregate in larger schools and spend much of their time in the upper reaches of major saltwater tidal creeks and along the banks of the Intracoastal Waterways. Look for huge numbers of yellow-mouth and speckled trout “up the creek” in deep bends and holes this month. Once you locate a school of trout, you can usually catch (and release) huge numbers of quality fish. Bright-colored “swimming” plastics, jig-head shrimp (or mud minnow) combination and “slip knot” float rigs are your best bet for locating and catching speckled trout. “SLIP-KNOT” FLOAT FISHING METHOD Casting for BIG TROUT at first light with top-water lures, swimming tail soft baits or suspended hard baits (like the Rapala Skitter V Series or Bomber Pro-Long A Watermelon Pearl) is extremely exciting and one of my favorite methods for catching trout in the 3 to 5 pound class. However, I prefer to use the “old-school” time-tested method of using live shrimp with a barrel-cork float rig. A “slip knot” float rig is simple to make and easy to use. I recommend using a 7 to 7 ½ foot (medium to light heavy) graphite spinning rod (…the low-cost Ugly Stik GX2 Spinning Rod series is an excellent value.) You will also need a good quality (4 or 5 bearing) spinning reel as well (Penn and Okuma are excellent brands) or a bait-casting reel (Abu Garcia Ambassador 6500 Series.) I prefer to use 17-pound test quality monofilament line (Berkley Trilene XL Smooth Casting CLEAR) with a 14-pound monofilament leader (to prevent losing your entire float rig if get snagged on the bottom.) To get started, thread your monofilament line through your rod

Captain Tommy Derringer with a St. Augustine “Gator” trout

TIPS FOR CATCHING SPECKLED TROUT I absolutely LOVE to fish for speckled trout and the month November marks the official beginning of “trout season.” There is NO DOUBT the most sought-after inshore saltwater gamefish in Northeast Florida (and beyond) is the spotted seatrout (locally referred to as “speckled trout.”) Speckled trout are more abundant in Northeast Florida than anywhere else in the state! Even with a thriving trout population in our region, the slot limit for speckled trout in the State of Florida is: “more than 15” and less than 20” inches in length.” (The state record for speckled trout is 17-pounds 7 ounces!) You may possess one trout over 20” included in your daily bag limit of 6 speckled trout per 20 NE FLORIDA

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guides and tie-on a pre-manufactured florescent green or orange “slip knot” (made by Eagle Claw) then slip on a small stopper bead. Make sure the stopper bead is small as the larger beads have larger holes that tend to be problematic if your “skip-knot” passes through the bead hole. Next, thread your line through a 10” to 12” barrel float and tie your line to the “top-side” of a 1 ½ to 2-ounce barrel-sinker or “trout-sinker.” Then, attach a 18” to 24” leader to the bottom swivel of the barrel sinker. Finally, tie on a #2 wide-bend bronze hook (or a #4 Kahle hook.) Trout fishing with a float rig will enable you to modify the depth of your live bait (using the “slip knot”) to locate the school of fish you are targeting. Be sure to anchor at least 30 feet from your “trout drop” then simply let your float rig drift back to your “spot” (the edge of a shell mound, drop or deep hole in a creek bend) and adjust your depth until you get a strike. Trout can be caught at different depths usually in 6 to 12 feet of water. Most of the time, the trout are holding just off the bottom. Once you have located exactly where the fish are holding and feeding, you can enjoy quality fishing with a fish finder bottom rig, soft plastic lures or whatever method you prefer! Finding clear water and “local” native live shrimp will be key elements to your success. Be sure to hook your live shrimp on as far forward (on the “horn”) as possible to ensure the shrimp swims naturally. Once you experience the THRILL of watching your barrel float disappear at lightning speed, (knowing that you have a hooked up with a big speckled trout…) you will be hooked on “slipknot” float fishing for life! Hope you catch a ton of speckled trout this month and enjoy the great outdoors! - 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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Fishing Report & Forecast Fernandina / Amelia Island By Terry D. Lacoss

T

he month of November provides a variety of fishing action both in the many tidal rivers that feed both the Nassau and St. Mary’s rivers and nearby offshore fish havens. Barring any passing tropical storms, locating clean water conditions is key when hooking up to excellent fishing action. Numerous schools of mullet in all sizes will be key in both finding game fish and more importantly having on board a live well of one of saltwater’s very best live and dead baits. Look for all of the falling tides to hold good numbers of mullet along the beaches of Amelia Island, both the Nassau and St. Mary’s inlets and nearby tidal rivers as well. Best technique for cast netting mullet is to engage your boat’s electric motor while navigating head first into a school of mullet. Chasing them with your boat’s big motor seldom puts live mullet in your boats live well! Certainly having on board live baits including mullet, menhaden, pinfish, croaker or cigar minnows is key in hooking up to a variety of offshore bottom feeders. Look for FA, FC, FB, Shultz’s, AH and HH fish haven’s to hold good numbers of gag grouper, red snapper, black sea bass, flounder, triggerfish and the occasional amberjack. Large black and red drum will be running at both of Amelia Island’s inlets including the Nassau and Cumberland Sounds. Fishing all of the in-coming tide and the first hour of the falling tide is key while fishing dead on the bottom with a nice chunk of blue crab. If crabs are not available, ultra fresh shrimp works well too. Flounder will be running along the St. Mary’s rock jetties during all tide phases with the best action coming during the last of the incoming tide while fishing dead on the bottom with bullhead minnows, cut bait, or live finger mullet. Tony Reagan recently fish all of the incoming tide with live finger mullet at many of downtown Fernandina

Beach’s city docks and caught a limit of southern flounder weighing to six-pounds. Sea trout and redfish will offer excellent inshore action during the last few hours of the in-coming tide while casting a slow sinking minnow type lure in the chrome and green back color pattern. Obviously seasoned back country fishermen are imitating the big run of mullet with their mullet type imitations. The Mirr-O-Lure 19MR is an all-time favorite luring vicious strikes with its slow sinking, twitching action. Striped bass fishermen navigating further up river in both the Nassau and St. Mary’s Rivers will also have access to excellent stocks of Florida striped bass which are maintained by the Florida Wildlife Commission. Sunshine bass have also been stocked by the FWC and are more plentiful than striped bass. Best lures for stripers include a slow sinking minnow type plug in the blue back and silver color pattern, white “Swim Bait” or a ½ ounce white spinner with a silver #5 willow leaf blade. Largemouth bass will be on a big feed before the cold waters of winter arrive in Lofton and Boggy Creeks. Casting a white spinner bait with a gold blade is key when targeting big mouth bass that could possibly push the ten pound mark! For more fishing information, please visit www.ameliaangler.com, or call 904-261-2870. “Good Luck”!

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

Fall is here Fall is here or at least the cold fronts with 25 to 30 knots are. It has been a long time since we had this windy of a fall. The fish must be hungry because no one has been feeding them. I expect the Fall Cobia migration to be in full swing this month. Look on any of the wrecks and larger ledges in 80 to 120 ft. Cobia can be targeted with jigs worked vertically through the water column. A live grunt fished on a drift line with a light weight is another tactic. There will be some

large fish in the 40 to 60-pound class taken. Grouper should be on the feed as well stocking up for the upcoming spawn. This is heavy tackle territory with 80 # mainline and 100 # leader. Live grunts or pinfish is the bait of choice. In addition to the heavy weights there will be plenty of vermillion snapper available. As the water starts to cool Black Sea bass should also start to show. On the trolling scene if you are willing to make the trip there will be some sailfish on the bait pods in 140 to 160 ft. Slow speeds and small ballyhoo rigged on mono is the way to go. It remains to be seen if there will be a Red Snapper season this year. The SAFMC did vote to approve a limited opening but the dates have not been published yet. Hopefully by the time this reaches the stands there will be some fishing allowed. As to where and how to catch them? Just go fishing, they are everywhere. Captain Robert Johnson Jodie Lynn Charters wwwJodieLynnCharters.com (904)540-2628 jlfishing@bellsouth.net

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Nassau Sport Fishing Association -November events

N

assau Sport Fishing Association is a family friendly fishing club with business meetings held on the second Wednesday of the month on Amelia Island at the Kraft Ten Acres Main Building meeting room and we welcome everyone to come see what we are all about. We regularly host public educational seminars and we welcome newcomers to come learn how fishing here is different from other areas. Our scheduled activities in November include a Kayak Fishing Outing November 4th 8am – 1pm at the Alamacani Ramp on Ft. George Island and an Advanced Saltwater Fly Fishing Techniques seminar in the grassy area next to the Fernandina City

Marina South Parking Lot. This is an advanced class and anglers should bring their own fly fishing equipment. For more information or directions, please visit our website at: www.nsfafish.net

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A Few Ideas To Consider This Deer Season By Nick Carter

I

f your goal is to fill the freezer, by all means set up over that deer super highway that’s worn to the dirt with use. And when the bucks start actively chasing does, this is also a good place to be if you’re hunting antlers. However, during the pre-rut, mature bucks in pressured areas will seldom be found in the open woods using the same travel routes as the herds of does. If your target is a mature buck, instead of setting up over the main trails, search for secondary trails that may parallel those super highways. Bucks will often move through heavy cover or utilize depressions or low areas for concealment. That’s why you’ll often find scrape lines in this type of cover. A good tip is to search for these secondary trails downwind of the predominant winds of the area. Mature bucks like to travel downwind of the does to scent out those that may be coming into estrous. If you’re looking for freezer meat, try using a fawn bleat early in the season. Bleat cans or grunts with a setting for fawn bleats both work. It may seem a little dirty, but mama deer have a hard time ignoring a fawn in distress. At the very least, they will sometimes show up just to see what’s going on. Like any type of calling for deer, it sometimes works and sometimes doesn’t. But it’ll give you something to do in the stand, and every now and then it will draw in a curious or protective doe. These days it might bring in a coyote, too. So be ready if you feel the need to drop a nuisance songdog. Take clues from droppings. Some folks say you can determine the size and sex of deer by the size and shape of droppings. While it’s sometimes true that buck droppings will be larger and clumped into cylindrical shapes and younger deer will leave smaller separated “pellets,” you may be better off looking at location for clues. Fresh clumped droppings along a rub or scrape line, or along an isolated travel corridor from feeding to bedding areas will tell you a buck has been using the area recently. Obviously, it’s also wise to consider the freshness of droppings as an indicator of whether or not the area is currently being used. Shiny, wet or even warm droppings are what you’re looking for. Those dried up, dull piles mean it’s been a while since deer have been using the area. Finally, consider the amount of droppings, especially if you’re targeting a feeding area or setting up on a travel route to and from a feeding area. There’s no sense in setting up over any old pile of poo. Find a food source with numerous piles of droppings around it, and

you’ve found an area where deer hang out and feed comfortably. Consider hunting from the ground. Most hunters prefer setting up in an elevated position, whether it be a climbing stand or a tower set up over a field. The advantages are obvious; it allows for better vision and it gets the hunter and his scent up off the ground.

But in certain situations you’re better off hunting from a small portable ground blind or just tucked into the brush. In the thick cover deer love, there sometimes aren’t any trees big enough to climb. Building a stand or bringing in a tripod is too disruptive in a hot area you hope to hunt in the near future. Sometimes, when you find good sign in the thick stuff, it’s a good idea to just sit down. The field of vision may not be spectacular, but it’s hard to beat a close encounter with a good buck from the ground. Remember, though, hunters must be very careful about scent and movement when set up at eye/nose level with deer.

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Make reel memories. By Ed Killer - This 6-pound pompano was caught with Native Salt Clam bait in Vero Beach, Fla. Photo by Manuel Briceno.

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all and winter along Treasure Coast beaches offer up some of the finest fishing there is. Surf fishing is fun, fulfilling and best of all, can fill a freezer in a couple of trips. Whiting, pompano, croaker, bluefish and Spanish mackerel are prime targets. While none of these species will ever earn acclaim for their size, they earn high marks at the dinner table. The hours of the incoming tide and beginning of the outgoing tide are the best time to go. Seas don’t have to be flat calm, but there is a threshold where if the shorebreak is too heavy, it might not be worth the effort. Surf fishing is generally a modified form of bottom fishing. If the waves are too large and require too much lead weight to hold bottom, it makes it impractical to fish. Plus, fish move out beyond casting range when the water is too sandy near the beach. Tackle requirements include a long 9- to 12-foot rod. Some anglers prefer spinning reels, however, the professionals keep one or more conventional reels in play, which helps reduce the potential for line being “spun” up by jacks and bluefish. Light line is the norm, too, about 10-pound test, but no more than 15. Most use monofilament with 1/0 or 2/0 hooks in a double-hook rig. Small pieces of bait like clam strips, pieces of shrimp, sand fleas or artificial bait like Fish Bites work well, as many of the targeted species feed using scent. Using a clip swivel, hook on a sinker heavy enough to hold bottom. Sometimes that weight might be 2 ounces; sometimes it might be a Buick. Whiting are nice to catch, and croaker mix into the cooler just as well. Both produce white flaky fillets and can be prepared in any number of ways. Take the skin off the fillet and bread for frying. Or try a whiting Reuben on rye bread with cole slaw and Thousand Island dressing for a true delight. Bluefish are voracious predators that feed in schools reminiscent of toothy piranhas, except larger. They are fun to catch, peeling off line and pulling like a jack crevalle. The Florida state record was caught in Jensen Beach in 1972. It was a whopper of a chopper, weighing 22 pounds. Spanish mackerel are also a fan favorite, and both macks and blues can be caught with topwater plugs, large spoons like Krocodiles and fast-reeled jigs. Bluefish taste fishy. Spanish mackerel are flavorful, but are best day-of fresh, and not great otherwise. But pompano really draw the crowds. In case there is any question, stop by a fish market and check the price per pound, which hovers around $19.99. Pompano have a delicate, rich flavor and elegant texture. Fillet with the skin on, which leaves them perfect for grilling or broiling. Lemon and pepper and a little tartar sauce make for a great reward for taking one’s fishing rod to a Martin County beach. Ed Killer is an outdoors columnist with Treasure Coast Newspapers and the USA Today Network.

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Stuart, located in Martin County, is known as the Sailfish Capital of the World. Sitting on the most biodiverse estuary in the Northern Hemisphere, Martin County is home to 100 artificial reef systems and over 800 species of fish. Its climate, waterways, natural environment and opportunity for diverse catches make it a mecca for fishermen and nautical explorers year-round. An array of unique shops, fine restaurants, great golf courses and quiet beaches make a day ashore fun, too. Inshore, offshore, saltwater or fresh, head out for an adventure and reel in the memories.

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T

he Bassmaster Classic stands out as one of the biggest bass fishing events each year, and this year three pro anglers will don the signature Mud Hole colors on South Carolina’s Lake Hartwell for the 2018 Classic in March. Joining the Classic line-up is a huge accomplishment for any angler, so let’s take a look at how Bassmaster Elite pros Brandon Lester and Bradley Roy as well as FLW veteran John Cox were able to capitalize on their opportunities to make the cut. Brandon Lester Captures His Spot Heading into Mille Lacs Lake in Onamia, Minnesota, Bassmaster Elite pro Brandon Lester found himself on the Classic bubble. On

the verge of either making the Classic or watching his bubble burst, Brandon knew it wouldn’t be easy, but welcomed the challenge. After three days of tight competition and a lot of learning on the lake, Lester caught 43 pounds, 1 ounce to finish in the money and leave with a qualifying ticket for his third Bassmaster Classic appearance. Although he was nervous coming off the lake, he later left weigh-in with a huge smile knowing he’ll be fishing Hartwell in March. Bradley Roy’s Big Return Like Brandon, Bassmaster Elite pro Bradley Roy entered the Mille Lacs event with his mind focused on making the Classic cut and his custom MHX Rods dialed in for smallmouth fishing. But after just day two, Roy could rest easy knowing he bagged 36 pounds, 13 ounces, which also gained him enough points to seal a place in the 2018 Classic. Bradley ultimately finished with 52 pounds, 1 ounce of Mille Lacs bass, a nice check to cash, and a ticket to his second straight Bassmaster Classic. Considering this will be his second Classic and he placed seventh in his first appearance, Bradley is incredibly hungry for a strong return. John Cox Fishing Familiar Water When John Cox finished on top of the B.A.S.S. Southern Open at Chickamauga Lake in Dayton, Tenn. with 68 pounds, 3 ounces, his big win came with more than just a check, it also included a spot in the 2018 Bassmaster Classic. After hoisting the Forrest Wood Cup and making a major splash on the FLW Tour, Cox and his custom MHX Rods are crossing over to fish in the Classic. The sight fishing phenom is excited for the opportunity, especially considering this Classic will be held on Lake Hartwell, where he secured a huge Tour win back in 2016. With his spots and some new rod builds in mind, Cox is a dangerous competitor looking to capitalize on his knowledge and experience of Lake Hartwell. To fish the Pro Tour Rods these pro anglers are taking to the Classic, visit www.mudhole.com/pro-kits.

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FISH & FISHING

MARK SOSIN

S

ounds transmitted into the water can either repel or attract fish. The key, of course, is to avoid driving fish away with the wrong kind of sound and, instead, arouse their curiosity or gain their attention with the right kind of sound. Keep in mind that sound travels five times faster in water than it does in air and that fish are extremely sensitive to a wide range of frequencies. You will hardly ever see a fish make a mistake and swim toward an alarming sound. However, the gentle splat of a bait or lure at a respectable distance from the fish will often attract its attention. Although fish don’t have protruding earflaps like those of humans and other mammals, they do have ears buried on either side of the head protected by skin, flesh and bone. In addition to their ears, fish have a second sound-detecting organ known as the lateral line, which is unique in the animal kingdom. Vibrations in the water pass through thousands of openings along the lateral line alerting a fish to their presence. The lateral line works within 20 to 30 feet of the fish. As the fish gets closer to the source of the sound (a baitfish or a lure), it can locate its prey even if it can’t see it. Within 5 feet or so, a fish can accurately strike its prey or a lure without actually seeing it. Sound plays a vital role in the daily activities of fish. Using their ears and lateral line, they can detect any disturbance in the water and react to it, whether

it is food or a predator ready to target them or simply some foreign sound that puts them on the alert. From a fishing standpoint, the key lies in eliminating alarming sounds. You can talk all you want, and the sound will bounce off the surface of the water. If you’re aboard a boat and you scrape a tackle box or bang your feet on the deck, that noise will transmit through the water. On clear shallow flats, it’s easy to see the effect of noise. Drop a lure too close to a bonefish, a 100-pound tarpon or even a large shark, and you can bet it will vacate the area. Even if it doesn’t go far, it’s on the alert and difficult to get to strike. One reason that fishing with live bait proves to be very effective is that its swimming ability is restricted and it sends out signals that it is in trouble. If you can keep the live bait on the surface where it continuously splashes, the results can be even more positive. That’s one reason why kite fishing with live bait proves so effective, particularly if you change baits frequently. Researchers tell us there is little doubt that sound with all its ramifications is a critical factor in the life of a fish, and it is equally important from a fisherman’s standpoint. As an angler, you should be totally aware of the effects of sound on fish and make them work for you both in attracting fish and by avoiding those sounds that would frighten fish or alert them that something is not right.

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ne of my favorite places for fishing, boating and enjoying nature is Hontoon Island in the St. Johns River in Volusia County. Accessible only by private boat or the park ferry, the island offers something for everyone, including the fisherman, canoer, hiker or archaeologist. A walk through the park or a stop in the visitor center can tell one about those who inhabited the island hundreds of years ago, for example Native Americans. The parking lot for the park’s ferry, which operates daily from 8 a.m. to right before sunset, is six miles west of Deland off State Road 44. The boat ride takes just a few minutes, but takes one into a world that seems little changed for hundreds of years. The 1,650-acre island has over three miles of hiking trails and cabins for rent for those who want to spend even more time fishing and swimming and exploring the river. One may learn in the museum there how the island once functioned as a center for commercial fishing. As in many places along the river, fish caught near the island and in the river waters offshore include bass, bream, catfish, crappie, perch and sunfish. What I have particularly enjoyed is boating the side streams around Hontoon Island, where one can find a wide variety of fish hiding in the grasses along the edge of the water. Nearby Lake Beresford, which is two miles long and a half-mile wide, is the site of the Stetson University Crew Boathouse, near which one can see boat crews racing along the waterway. South of Hontoon Island is the very popular Blue Spring State Park, which has the largest spring on the St. Johns River and is a designated manatee refuge. The most amazing finds on the island by archaeologists include wooden effigies called totems. They include what early visitors called a large owl totem carved from a log, a smaller carving of a pelican, and one of an otter holding a fish. One can see replicas of the totems on the grounds, whereas the so-called owl totem is at Fort Caroline National Monument Museum near the mouth of the St. Johns River north of Jacksonville and

near Mayport. The replica on Hontoon Island may represent the largest wooden effigy ever found in a North American archaeological site and the only totem of its kind in the eastern United States. All in all, a visit to Hontoon Island can satisfy the angler in the family as well as those interested in one of the jewels of the St. Johns River.

Whenever I walk the really old paths around the island, I can picture how Native Americans lived and fished there. The island still retains much of the charm of a pristine wilderness in the midst of the river that was the lifeblood of those who lived in Central Florida over a thousand years ago. Kevin McCarthy, the award-winning author of “South Florida Waterways” (2013 - available at amazon.com for $7), can be reached at ceyhankevin@gmail.com.

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ello, and welcome to the scuba diving column in Coastal Angler Magazine! Each month we fill you in on what’s happening below the surface here in Palm Beach County. This month we’d like to give you some basics about diving in Palm Beach County and why it’s so spectacular. To begin with, Palm Beach is perfectly positioned to take advantage of the blue waters provided by the Gulf Stream. The Gulf Stream flows east along the equator turning north as it swings by Florida and up the eastern seaboard. Its clear-blue, warm waters dip closest to the continental United States right here in Palm Beach, and that’s great for us. This current swings in delivering a bounty of underwater creatures in its flowing tropical waters. Everything from small tropical fish to giant whalesharks gather in our local waters, and different creatures show up in abundance at different times of the year. Because the Gulf Stream brings warm water year-round, we dive all year long. Winter water temps average around 72 degrees and summer temps get as high as 84. The cooler winter waters bring big creatures to our area like migratory whales, whalesharks, and many species of shark, including the migratory lemons and spinner sharks. Spring kicks off our sea turtle nesting season with the giant leatherbacks arriving first, followed by loggerheads and then green turtles. By the time summer hits, it’s sea turtle craziness with nests hatching out and frisky adults lounging on the reefs. Fall brings the giant Goliath grouper in by the hundreds to spawn just offshore on our wrecks and artificial reefs. It’s not uncommon to see more than 50 500-pound grouper on one dive here in August and September. And people come from all over the world just to have a chance to dive with our amazing creatures! Palm Beach is home to the third largest barrier reef in the world, stretching from the Florida Keys up through Jupiter and just into Martin County. Because we have thousands of different species on our reefs, no matter what you enjoy seeing, chances are you don’t have to leave the “backyard” in Palm Beach. So, what are you waiting for? Get out there and enjoy the beautiful Florida waters. As a good friend used to say, “Don’t take Florida for granted... she’s good to ya!”

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lorida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) fisheries biologists certified a new state record jaguar guapote, weighing 2.78 pounds and measuring 16.7 inches long. It was caught by 14-year-old angler Jerry Martin from Miami. Martin was thrilled to catch his jaguar guapote in the Snapper Creek Canal (C-2) with live bait. “When I caught it, I freaked out,” said Martin. “I was excited because I knew it could be a state record.” Martin has never targeted jaguar guapote before. He most often fishes for largemouth bass and peacock bass. “It was an accident to catch the state record jaguar, but now I’m planning to start fishing for more records,” he said. Jaguar guapote are primarily known to exist in the urban canal systems of southeast Florida, ranging as far north as West Palm Beach. The species was first reported in 1992 from a photograph of two specimens caught in a farm pond near Miami Canal. The jaguar guapote was made eligible for state record status in 2012, and this is the first confirmed record for this species. Jaguar guapote is one of 34 nonnative freshwater fish species that have become established in Florida. The FWC strongly encourages anglers to catch, keep and eat nonnative fish (except legally-introduced peacock bass and triploid grass carp), as many nonnative fishes provide excellent table fare. In addition, releasing fish from aquariums or moving them between water systems is illegal and could produce detrimental effects.

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TIPS FROM A PRO

FRESHWATER BRANDON LESTER

B

eing from middle Tennessee, I was introduced to many diverse fisheries in my younger years. This area of the country has long been known for great smallmouth bass fishing, as it should be, but in my opinion it can’t compare to the smallmouth fishing in the Great Lakes region right now. I am certainly not bashing the smallmouth fishing down south, but fishing the Elite Series allows me to see some of the best lakes in the country, and the “good ole days” of smallmouth bass fishing on the Great Lakes is right now. Flowing out of Lake Ontario, the St. Lawrence River is one of my favorites on our schedule because it fishes similar to the rivers back home. The river has a lot of current, which positions the fish. The water is clear, and you can catch smallmouth from 2 feet deep all the way out to 60 feet. The St. Lawrence is absolutely full of smallmouth, and 30- to 40fish days are just another day on the water. In addition to the fishing, the area is also just an awesome place to spend time. Waddington, N.Y., which is our host city when we go, is in a very rural part of New York with lots of cropland and cattle farms. If you’ve not visited this fishery, I strongly suggest you do. Lake St. Clair is on fire right now. The final Elite Series tournament of the regular season was held there this year, and overall bass weights were absolutely phenomenal. The big smallmouth of the tournament weighed almost 7 pounds. In the past, tournaments on St. Clair were won by guys who ran to Lake Erie or Lake Huron, but not anymore. It seems now that St. Clair is the place to be. The style of fishing is different than most smallmouth destinations. Lake St. Clair is just a big bowl-shaped lake with a shipping channel running through the middle of it. That’s about the only real contour change on the whole lake. The big keys are

looking for clean spots in the grass and finding bait. If that doesn’t fit your style, you can run up the river toward Huron or down the Detroit River toward Erie. Both rivers have plenty of current and plenty of smallmouth. After fishing a tournament on Lake Champlain this year, it is my new favorite lake in the country. The smallmouth fishing is phenomenal, and you can catch big largemouth, too. The smallmouth hang out on offshore shoals, old bridge blow-throughs and rocky structure around the shoreline. If you get tired of catching them, there is an abundance of milfoil, docks and reeds where largemouth bass are willing and ready to bite. Lake Champlain, in my opinion, has the healthiest population of bass of anywhere I have ever fished, and that makes it fun, period. Plattsburg, N.Y. is a great place to visit, as well, with lots of cool sites to see. If you make one of these trips, be sure you’re prepared with the right MHX rods, Mustad hooks and Vicious fishing line. Hit Brandon up on Facebook or Instagram with any questions.

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By CAM Staff

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t’s got the beaches, with fine white sand and the emerald green waters of the gorgeous northern Gulf of Mexico. It’s got the nightlife, the shopping and fine dining, the beautiful golf courses and everything else that draws vacationers from around the world. But what Destin, Fort Walton Beach and Okaloosa Island—the heart of northwest Florida’s Emerald Coast—have more of than anything else is fishing. Back in 1956, Florida Gov. Leroy Collins called Destin “The World’s Luckiest Fishing Village” after catching a big king mackerel on a 15-minute photo-op boat ride during the Destin Fishing Rodeo. More than 60 years later, the historic Destin Fishing Rodeo just wrapped up its 69th annual October-long event, proving once again that this fishing village is just as lucky as ever. Daily weigh-ins at the rodeo give spectators a close look at what the waters off the Emerald Coast have to offer. Excitement builds on the docks in front of the landmark AJ’s Seafood & Oyster Bar when big tuna, wahoo, king mackerel, dolphin, groupers and snappers come to the scales. And in the Billfish Division, the big sportfishing yachts are out there pulling spreads for sailfish—and marlin that easily eclipse the 500-pound mark. There have been a couple grander blue marlin caught on the northern Gulf Coast over the years and a few more that came very close to tipping the scales past the 1,000-pound mark. Even swordfish show up pretty regularly, meaning there’s a real possibility for a grand slam fishing out of the marinas of Okaloosa County. It’s world-class fishing on the Panhandle, which in recent years has seen the big pelagic species moving closer to shore with changing currents. And what’s more, the action is yearround. There’s a good reason the world’s largest charter fishing fleet is based out of Destin Harbor.

Nearshore

Nearshore, warm and fertile Gulf waters coupled with numerous wrecks and reefs to create some of the most bountiful fishing Florida has to offer. With a short boat ride less than 8 miles off the beach, anglers can bottom fish or troll with family pleasing and cooler-filling consistency for amberjack, numerous snapper and grouper species, cobia, blackfin tuna, king and Spanish mackerel and more.

Offshore

Due south about 25 to 30 miles out, the continental shelf drops and there are multiple renowned hotspots, with some of the best big game fishing in the Gulf. South Florida seems to get most of the bright, hot spotlight when it comes to the big pelagics, but serious anglers out of the Emerald Coast quietly and consistently catch serious fish. Whether it’s a full-day trolling trip or an overnight expedition deep into the Gulf, dolphin, blue marlin, tuna and

wahoo are available to those who mean business when it comes to fishing.

Inshore

Those who would rather explore grass flats and oyster beds in search of trout or tailing redfish will also find that on the Emerald Coast. Inside East Pass and Okaloosa Island, Choctawhatchee Bay spreads out vast and shallow. It’s the perfect place to launch a skiff or a kayak into 130 square miles of inshore action that’s some of the best on the Panhandle.

Spring Cobia

Finally, any discussion of fishing options around the Emerald Coast has to include the cobia run, which is one of the best on the planet. Book your charter now, because in spring—peaking in April—cobia that have migrated north along the Gulf Coast arrive off the beaches bringing some of the most exciting fishing there is. This is sight fishing for one of the ocean’s tastiest and hardest fighting fish, and during this spring run they can arrive with weights in excess of 100 pounds. With a spotter in the tower, you cruise the clear blue-green waters looking for the telltale brown shadows of a pod of cobia doggedly pushing west. With a Airline_CoastalAnglerAd_3-2016_Layout 1 3/18/16 1:07 PM Page 1 smooth approach, the boat moves to intercept, and then it’s up to the angler to make an accurate cast with a live bait or a jig. Anticipation is almost unbearable for a few seconds before the take, and then bedlam breaks loose. Cobia put up the most unpredictable fight in fishing. They are capable of long, drag-burning runs, leaps, rolls and deep dives, but sometimes they save the thrashing until they hit the deck. Either way, catching a big cobia is exciting, and there’s no better grilling fish that swims. So, while the Emerald Coast offers gorgeous beaches and all the activity of a top-notch beach vacation destination, on the water it remains what it was before the Miracle Strip and Harbor Boulevard grew up around it. It’s one of the best fishing destinations in the world in terms of quality, quantity and variety of angling opportunities. For information, go to www.emeraldcoastfl. com. COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

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FALL FISHING IS HERE! E! ME! COM ELCO WEL ERSS W ATER BOAT BO es ut es in ut M in ly Only M On ks arks Mar St M Thee St om Th From Fr ge fu ge Re fu e Re lif e ild lif W Wild

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A 71-Room Lodge with Meeting Rooms • Group Rates Available Located 30 miles south of Tallahassee • Just minutes to the Gulf of Mexico Restaurant & Bar for Private Events • Banquet and Meeting Rooms for Groups Boat Parking Available • Centrally located for several Nature Tours

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hft_coastalangler_1117_M-REG109349.indd 1 CANGL_NAT3-NAT18.indd 17

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M-REG109349_CoastalAnglerMagazine

DEWALT

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NOVEMBER 2017

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10/6/17 9:40 3:42 AM PM 10/19/17


SUZUKI MAKES IT

EASY AS

1-2-3

The leaves might be falling, but the deals are just starting to spring up at your Suzuki Marine dealer. Make your best Fall Boat Show deal on a new Suzuki outboard from 25 to 300 horsepower and take advantage of not just one, but all three special Suzuki offers. See your Suzuki Marine dealer today and get on the water with a powerful, reliable new Suzuki.

REPOWER FINANCE

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

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

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

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 9/01/17 and 12/31/17 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 9/01/17 and 12/31/17. 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. Cash rebate will be applied against the original dealer invoice (Suzuki will credit Dealer parts account). There are no model substitutions, benefit substitutions, rain checks, or extensions. Suzuki reserves the right to change or cancel these promotions at any time without notice or obligation. * Financing offers available through Synchrony Retail Finance. As low as 5.99% APR financing for 60 months on new and unregistered Suzuki Outboard Motors. Subject to credit approval. Not all buyers will qualify. Approval, and any rates and terms provided, are based on credit worthiness. $19.99/month per $1,000 financed for 60 months is based on 5.99% APR. Hypothetical figures used in calculation; your actual monthly payment may differ based on financing terms, credit tier qualification, accessories or other factors such as down payment and fees. Offer effective on new, unregistered Suzuki Outboard Motors purchased from a participating authorized Suzuki dealer between 9/01/17 and 12/31/17. “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.

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© 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

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

GPSMAP® 1242xsv

COMMON CVRS_1117.indd 4 17-MCJT512 GPSMAP 1224xsv Coastal Fishing Ad_US-8.125x10.875-CoatalAngler.indd 1

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Coastal Angler Magazine - November / Northeast Florida  
Coastal Angler Magazine - November / Northeast Florida  

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