Coastal Angler Magazine | September 2023 | Northeast Florida Edition

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This is a hard time of year for most Southern trout anglers. Water temperatures are warm all over, and most of our trout shing has slowed way down or is just plain over for a bit.

Here in East Tennessee, we are currently bringing 5- and 6-weight y rods and dri shing topwater poppers for spotted and smallmouth bass on several local rivers. We are catching some nice sh, and we’re also catching very good numbers, all on top.

It’s like hopper shing, just on the warm-water side of things. e bass are happy and should be looking up for the remainder of the summer through October, depending on water ows and weather.

It’s a nice change of pace for a bit, with many sh being in the 15- to 16-inch range and averaging a pound and a half or two, with shots at larger sh on any given dri . Giant pumpkinseed bream will also come up and hammer a popper on occasion.

If you’re getting into the bassy side of things, I recommend 2x leaders, 5- and 6-weight rods and your favorite color poppers. e occasional pop and twitch is just a way to say hello to let them know it’s there and see who comes up.

If you want to catch some hard- ghting sh and have a fun day on the water, give us a call before it’s over.

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Fall Snook


Fall is a ne time to be an angler on the Florida coast. e summer crowds dwindle as the summer heat begins to taper o , and snook season opens Sept. 1 ahead of the mullet run.

Capt. Adam White, of St. Lucie Flats Fishing on Florida’s Treasure Coast, said this time of year o ers good snook and tarpon shing in his area. Whether he’s shing bridges at night or inshore structure during the day, there are a lot of snook to be caught around Fort Pierce and a lot of places to catch them.

“From the beach to the inlet, the bridges at night and the seawalls during the day, there’s a lot

of di erent places to sh for them,” he said. “You’ll only get four or ve bites per spot, and if you don’t get a bite in 10 minutes or so, leave. I don’t let grass grow under my feet.”

Run-and-gun tactics make for fun shing, with spurts of activity between quick boat rides. Capt. White said he can’t guarantee a one- sh-perperson snook limit because the 28- to 32-inch slot is a small window, but he said anglers can expect consistent action from under-slot snook or a shot at a big over-slot sh.

Inshore, White likes light (up to 15-pound)

spinning rigs for pitching live baits to currentswept structure, such as mangrove islands, spoil bars and docks. Snook are strong, and a decent one will take you for a ride on light tackle.

e best shot at a big snook is out in the inlet, where White will anchor up and drop baits to the bottom in hopes of just three or four bites over the course of a trip. e payo might be a snook in the 35- to 38-inch range with an outside shot at a 40-incher. ese sh might weigh 15 to 20-plus pounds.

Live bait is the best bet, and snook will eat whatever is available at the time. Live mullet or croakers are White’s preferred baits, and he doesn’t shy away from using bigger 5- to 8-inch baits, which even small snook will hammer.

Anglers who prefer arti cials will nd good action at night at the bridges. White suggested lipped-plugs like the Bomber Windcheater, which has a good mullet-like pro le in the 4 ½-inch size. Another great lure is the locally made so -plastic umper Shrimp. Rig one on a jig head with enough weight to get it down and work it slowly across the bottom.

As for the annual mullet run, when predators hound millions of mullet pushing south to spawning grounds o south Florida, White said he likes the front end of the migration. O St. Lucie County, the shing is best around the second week of September, when mullet begin trickling into the shery. Once the migration is full-blown, there are so many bait sh in the water that it’s hard to get sh to notice your bait.

Contact Capt. Adam White through his website at stlucie ats, or call (609) 820-6257.

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Never ones to miss an opportunity, we carefully steadied our glasses of bubbly and climbed into the car’s long front seat. Among the many opulent features on display was a series of dashboard dials that accentuated the car’s lavish aura. One of those dials inspired our 1920s Retrograde Watch, a genuinely unique timepiece that marries timeless style with modern technology.

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chinook are Running in the Pacific Northwest

Right now, there’s a migration gearing up in the Paci c Northwest. Chinook salmon are staged to push up out of the cold Paci c and into the inlets and coastal rivers of Washington, Oregon and Northern California. Just like they do in the famed Alaskan runs, big king salmon are making a nal return to the spawning grounds where they hatched to begin the next generation before they die.

With his father, Trevor Pelland, has shed these runs on the Hoh and Sol Duk rivers of Washington’s Olympic Peninsula since he was 8 or 9 years old. His dad was doing it before him. It’s an annual event with a time window that runs from August through December, depending on the particular drainage along this long stretch of coastline. e allure is large, hard ghting sh that are delicious seared, grilled or smoked. It’s a shing tradition that existed since long before Europeans arrived on the continent.

Fall runs are famous in places like the Columbia, the rivers that feed Tillamook Bay and others. Chinook push into the main stems and larger tributaries of many coastal rivers and as far up them as the water will allow. Pelland said backtrolling plugs tempts these big sh in the rivers. He’s caught 20-, 30- and 40-pound kings,

which proves it works.

In Oregon, District Fish Biologist Robert Bradley has watched these runs dwindle in recent years. He said the sheries are still worthwhile and draw anglers from all over, but that size and numbers of sh have been falling since at least 2015, due to ocean and environmental conditions. He said the projections for this fall are well below average.

“ e draw is the size of the sh,” he said. “Historically, you could see 60- and 70-pounders, but you could still reasonably expect to catch a 20or 30-pound sh. An average is probably 10 to 15 pounds.”

e states have been hatching and releasing chinook salmon smolt for decades to coincide with the natural progression of sh moving out to sea. Bradley said chinook spend one to ve years growing up in the Paci c o British Columbia and Alaska. e hatchery sh and wild sh return with similar survival rates, but not many of the stocked sh spawn with the wild group. He said most hatchery sh return to the hatchery.

e stocking does give anglers something else to sh for. Hatchery reared chinook have clipped adipose ns and don’t count toward a wild sh limit in most sheries. e seasons and regulations can be confusing and vary widely

from place to place and year to year, but one wild chinook per person, per day is the norm. Check the regulations before you go or hire a guide who knows.

e runs ramp up when fall rains spur the sh to push upriver into the current, Bradley said. In some places, the coho salmon and chinook runs coincide. Make plans now, because runs on most rivers peak in mid-October.

For up-to-date information on Oregon’s salmon sheries, go to


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BOWFIN An Overlooked Adversary:

sh to introduce me to shing with light lines in search of line-class records. With bursts of energy and jumps during the ght, landing them takes a bit of skill.

Bow n are similar in appearance to non-native snakeheads; however, they are brown in color. ese sh can also be tinted green or red, depending on their region. Bow n have a long dorsal n that extends more than half the length of their back and a long cylindrical body to burrow in the mud. eir tails are rounded, and just before the tail is a red and black eyespot that serves to confuse predators. An average bow n weighs between 5 and 7 pounds; however, they can grow up to 21 pounds.

Bow n prefer the hottest and muckiest water they can nd. ey thrive in water with dense plant life, which helps them stalk prey and nd hiding spots. e Everglades o er plenty of bow n habitat, and they love swampy backwaters of bayous and canals.

In oxygen-poor, shallow, standing water, bow n can breathe air from the surface. ey have extra blood vessels in their swim bladder, which acts almost like a human lung.

ere are many ways to go about shing for bow n. e most common method is to cast dead bait, like bluegills or sardines, and wait. Usually, no weight is needed since they live where there is little current. Just match the size of your hook to the size of the bait.

I also enjoy throwing lures for bow n, and frogs and swimbaits will grab their attention. Savage Gear makes great bluegill and frog imitations. Fish lures around and on top of vegetation to draw bow n out. O en, you’ll be surprised by other species like bass, gar and cat sh.

Bow n, also known as mud an overlooked native species that freshwater anglers owe it to themselves to take a closer look at. From sight to just leaving out a dead bait, bow game and will always put up a fun, strong Bow n were the seeking out IGFA records at the age of 12, and I have 10 current bow n records in the book. ey were an amazing

My personal favorite method for bow n is sight casting with a y rod. ey prefer slow-sinking white ies that you can drop right on their faces. I like to kayak into extremely shallow areas. Most of the time, they sit in the silt or in the weeds. ey don’t spook easily, so you can mess around with them and convince them to bite.

e IGFA all-tackle world record bow n weighed 21 pounds, 8 ounces. It was caught in South Carolina in 1980.

Emily Rose Hanzlik holds 62 IGFA world records in various categories. She hails from West Palm Beach, where she has a part time Bow n Guide Service as well as shing classes for Jr. Anglers. Find her on social media @emilyhanzlikoutdoors.

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Snappin’ SupperUp

The Florida Keys attract anglers from around the world. While there are many species exciting sport sh, a variety of snappers are particularly popular because of their abundance, striking colors, thrilling ghts and delectable taste. Here’s a quick look at some Keys favorites.

1) Yellowtail Snapper: At the top the list is the iconic yellowtail snapper. Renowned for their vibrant yellow tails, these snappers live on reefs and wrecks. Catching one can be exhilarating on lighter tackle, as they are speedy and tenacious ghters. When grilled or fried, their delicate, aky meat is a culinary delight that perfectly embodies the taste of the Keys.

2) Mangrove Snapper: e well-loved mangrove snapper is a prized

catch in the Keys. With cool colorings and a distinctive dark stripe across their eyes, these snappers are known for a willingness to strike various baits. Anglers who venture into the shallower water in pursuit of mangs are rewarded with erce battles and the satisfaction of landing a delectable dinner. ese can be found in the backcountry and o shore areas.

3) Mutton Snapper: Mutton snapper hold a special place in the hearts of anglers. Residing around deeper wrecks and reefs, these snappers are highly sought a er for remarkable size and avorful meat. eir pink-like coloration, coupled with a distinct black spot they use as a false eye, adds to their allure. Anglers o en recount tales of adrenaline-pumping battles while trying to reel in a trophy-sized mutton.

4) Lane Snapper: Lane snapper are lively and energetic. With brilliant reddish hues and striking yellow lines along their bodies, these snappers captivate the eyes as well as the shing rod. Lane snapper are voracious eaters, making them eager participants for anglers. ey might be small, but their sweet and tender meat brings joy to every sh lover’s palate.

5) Cubera Snapper: e cubera snapper aka, “El Diablo,” awaits in deeper waters surrounding the Keys. Occasionally caught in excess of 100 pounds, they are the largest snapper species in this part of the world. Anglers targeting cubera snapper should employ heavy tackle and stout gear to overcome the intense ghts these brutes o er. Landing a trophy-sized cubera is a feat that will test your strength and your gear.

Whether you’re shing for the acrobatic yellowtail, maneuvering through the backcountry for cra y mangrove snapper, or testing your strength and skill against the mighty cubera, the opportunities for unforgettable shing experiences are endless in the Keys.

Tune in to the latest episode of Bean Sport shing TV on YouTube.


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Three Florida Bass Fisheries Named Top 10 in the Nation

Each year, Bassmaster Magazine releases its list of the Top-100 bass lakes in the nation. For 2023, Florida landed three lakes in the top-10 of this prestigious list. For anyone who bass shes, it comes as no surprise that the Sunshine State annually ranks as one of the top largemouth states in the entire country.

Bassmaster is the o cial publication of B.A.S.S., which is an enormous tournament organization with branches that hold bass tournaments and tournament series all over the nation. To compile the Top-100 list, editors scour tournament data from the last 12 months and mine data from state wildlife agency programs like Florida’s TrophyCatch.

O.H. Ivie Lake in Texas was named the best bass lake of the year for the second year in a row thanks to an almost unbelievable string of giant bass that have come from this Colorado River impoundment. An incredible 15 bass heavier than 13 pounds came from O.H. Ivie and were registered with the Texas Sharelunker program over the last year. e largest was a 17.03-pound monster.

Texas grows big bass, and so does Florida. Coming in at No. 5 on the list, Fellsmere (Headwaters), Stick Marsh and Kenansville Lake, were grouped into a single shery. Fellsmere led the

way with an awesome 73 largemouths heavier than 8 pounds reported to TrophyCatch over the last year. Fellsmere’s largest was an 11-pound, 8-ounce sh. Stick Marsh, which has been drawn down for habitat enhancements and is kayak only, produced two TrophyCatch sh, including a 9-pound, 6-ounce sh. Kenansville pitched in with seven 8-plus pounders, including a 13-pound, 10-ouncer.

Orange Lake weighed in at No. 8 in the top-10 list. is should come as no surprise if you are a regular Coastal Angler/ e Angler reader. Orange Lake has been in the headlines a lot recently, with four 13-plus-pounders including a giant 14-pound, 1-ounce sh that to-date is the largest Florida bass of the year. Orange Lake produced 50 TrophyCatch sh heavier than 8 pounds over the last 12 months. Seventeen of those were heavier than 10 pounds.

e “Big O” slid into the No. 10 spot of the best bass lakes in the nation. is historic heavyweight has solidly rebounded as one of the country’s best bass sheries. Okeechobee’s Roland Martin Marine Center Series events have produced some astounding sacks for tournament anglers. In June, Coastal Angler/ e Angler reported on a singleday event that produced 20 30-pound ve- sh limits. It took 36.82 to win, and a 29-pound sack

didn’t even crack the top 25. ose are some of, if not the best, tournament numbers we’ve ever heard of.

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Adding to the previously announced fall season, Florida anglers will get an additional 17 days to harvest red snapper in the Gulf of Mexico this fall. e additional harvest dates will be every Friday through Sunday in September, Labor Day and anksgiving Day. is is on top of the previously announced season, and brings the 2023 season to a total of 87 days, the longest combined season since the state assumed management of Gulf red snapper.

e Gulf red snapper season brings anglers from across the country to enjoy this recreational opportunity,” said FWC Executive Director Roger Young. “Being able to extend the season 17 days will allow additional access and opportunities to all who want to experience the Fishing Capital of the World.”

ose shing from private recreational vessels in state and federal waters of the Gulf and charter

vessels without a federal reef sh permit that are limited to shing in state waters, will be able to participate in the 2023 Gulf red snapper season. e fall season now includes every Friday–Sunday throughout the months of September, October and November as well as Labor Day and anksgiving Day. See the updated fall season dates below:

• September 1–4 (Friday–Monday of Labor Day Weekend)

• September 8–10

• September 15–17

• September 22–24

• September 29–October 1

• October 6–8

• October 13–15

• October 20–22

• October 27–29

• November 3–5

• November 10–12

( Veterans Day Weekend)

• November 17–19

• November 23–26

( Thanksgiving Weekend)

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Fishing Report & Forecast Mayport

Ihopeeveryone had a great summer boating and enjoying the quality fishing we are well known for. The conditions for last month were at times brutally hot but, so was the fishing. I really don’t see this changing at all but, actually getting better in some areas. Looking into the crystal ball I see the heat and the slight cooling of the water temps to drive the tarpon into and around the mouth of the St. John’s River. Look for some mullet schools to move out of the river if we get some good rains and wind. This will most likely occur if a small tropical weather pattern shows itself. The bull reds, tarpon, and sharks will make small work of these schools if it does happen. If you can get a net on a hand full peg some on the bottom on the high outgoing tide alive with a stout rod. I like a Saragosa 6000 spinning rod with 50lb PowerPro Braid. I use a 3-way swivel rig and a 4 to 5ft leader in 80lb fluorocarbon coupled to a 7/0 Owner Circle hook. This braided line cuts the water with minimum drag and the extra long leader allows the bait to swim freely. Bull reds, tarpon and the occasional shark will grab this rig with a vengeance.

Also this month look for our pogie/menhaden schools to stay out on the areas beaches from the Red Tops to Amelia Island. These are excellent baits for trolling and bottom fishing offshore on the local party grounds from Ponte Vedra to Rabbits Lair. Grab a net full and check the pods for action from reds, sharks, and tarpon as they will feed in this moving buffet and offer many opportunities to bag a few. If the pods are quiet pop offshore and drag a few around on 30lb wire king rigs for kings, sharks, cudas, cobia, tunny, aj’s and sailfish. If the troll bite is slow drop some whole or cut into plugs for snapper, sea bass, sharks, cobia, aj’s, and grouper. The local party ground numbers can be found at the FWC website by going to and searching for reef spots. It’s fairly easy and it’s separated by county for easy access.

This month the big bull reds will start their annual migration into the

river to spawn. They can be caught from the big rocks up past the fuel docks west of Blount Island. Crabs, pogies whole and cut, mullet, and fresh cut ladyfish can all be deadly baits. Work the high outgoing tides for best results but, they can be caught on any tide if you know where to look. Just remember these big fish are our breeding stock. Handle them gently and carefully with the knowledge that most of them must be vented to survive. Use heavy tackle to reduce any unnecessary stress and try to get them back into the water quickly. Like us they can’t hold their breath much longer than us. Enjoy the fishery and remember you can’t catch them on the couch..

For more fishing tips listen to the Outdoorshow radio program on 1010am or 92.5fm every Saturday from 7am to 10am. He can be reached at 904.241.7560 or 904.626.1128 or go to www.

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Fishing Report & Forecast St. Augustine Inshore

It’sbeach time baby! Right now, along our beaches, just outside the surf, there are pogies (menhaden) getting chased, thrashed, and eaten by one of many predatory fish that roam our waters this time of year. Tarpon, kingfish, huge jacks and sharks are just some of the monster sea creatures waiting for you to hook into for the fight of your life! A great all-around rig to catch just about all those fish is to put a live pogy on a circle hook and cast just around the edges of the pods. Getting an early start will also increase your chances of hooking up along the beach as the feeding frenzy tends to taper off as it heats up and the sun gets higher in the sky.

By now tarpon should be thick along the beach gorging themselves on the pogys, but another fun way to catch the silver king in our region is to hunt them behind the shrimp boats. Summertime brings the shrimp boats within a mile or so of the beach. Look for the boats that have birds hanging around, as those are the ones getting ready to or just recently dumped their by-catch overboard. Approach the shrimp boats from behind and be very aware

of any rigging they may have in the water. It’s as simple as going slow and looking at what’s feeding on the by-catch. Net a few of the floating fish and use them for bait. When you see a tarpon gulping down bycatch just toss your bait in the chum line and hold on. If you don’t see any tarpon you’re sure to see a ton of big sharks and they will definitely put a bend in the rod.

Inshore, the best bite will be early from first light to about 9am when things start to heat up. When it gets hot the fish will slow down and not be nearly as aggressive. At first light a top-water really can’t be beat this time of year as redfish and trout will be willing to give serious chase and devour a Berkley J-Walker plug. Once the sun gets up a bit, you’ll want to change to something sub-surface like the Saltwater Assassin paddle tail. I like to rig them on a 1/8 oz. or ¼ oz. jighead to help keep the bait down where the fish will be. The deeper creek holes will be a good bet once the heat of the day sets in. A live mud minnow or shrimp pegged to a jighead will also work well when fishing deeper.

With the murky “Summer” water settling in it’s a great time to use some baits with either scent, flash, or noise makers in them. One of the offerings from Fishbites under a popping cork is a no-brainer for this time of year as it cover the scent and the noise. A gold spoon or spinner bait is also a good choice when searching for redfish on a higher tide in murky water. They give off plenty of flash and the thump from the spoon or spinner blade can call a fish in in the murkiest of waters.

Capt. Tommy Derringer 904-377-3734 •

Nassau Fishing Club

TheNassau Sport Fishing Association is a non-profit organization dedicated to develop and promote saltwater fishing in the Nassau County area while adhering to state, federal and local regulations, to encourage compliance with rules of water safety by club members and the general public, and to promote youth related community activities.

On August 12, NSFA hosted the 40th annual Fernandina Beach Kingfish Tournament and Fishing Rodeo with over $50,000 in cash and prizes to be won. We had a great turnout of competitors with 110 captains and their crews competing for the kingfish prize. This year, NSFA eliminated the small boat division and implemented a 3 mile from the beach eastern boundary so that all kingfish competitors had an equal opportunity to find the prize fish. With the beginning of the fall mullet run, the kingfish were on the beach and 50 teams were able to take advantage, bringing fish to the scales.

Congratulations to our winning team on Tak’n The Bait captained by Justin Hammons with a 47.7# fish.

NSFA also had 24 crews competing in the rodeo tournament targeting Redfish, Sea Trout, Flounder, and Sheepshead. Despite the high temperatures of the day and the corresponding high water temperatures, our competitors were able to coax some fine catches with 2 teams weighing in the local Slam of Redfish, Trout, and Flounder on the same day. Not an easy feat on such a warm day.

Congratulations to our winning captains:

• Redfish, Devin Durance, 6.92

• Trout, Brad Ecklof, 5.98

• Flounder, Austin Stallard, 3.4

• Redfish Spots, Ken McKuhen,5

• Sheepshead,Tom Riley,4.64

Many thanks to our partners, The city of Fernandina Beach, Amelia Island Tourist Development, and the Southern Kingfish Association. We would also like to thank all our generous sponsors, particularly our platinum sponsors, NEFL Sales and Budwiser, the Fernandina Beach NewsLeader, Key West Ocean Outboard Marine, Ameris Bank, and Dave Turner Plumbing. Because of them, NSFA is able to continue our tradition of giving back by funding and awarding the NSFA Merit Scholarships and contributing to other charitable organizations supporting the youth of Nassau County.

For a complete leaderboard, visit leaderboard

NSFA meets on the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of each month at Kraft Athletic Club on Amelia Island. Join us 27-September for our monthly social gathering. If interested in joining, please visit our website at NSFAFISH.NET or stop by one of our meetings.

As always, Stay Safe, healthy, and we will see you on the water!

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16 NORTHEAST FLORIDA SEPTEMBER 2023 COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM • KINGFISH EDITION Date Day Time Hgt Time Hgt Time Hgt Time Hgt 01 Fri 03:32 AM -0.66 L 09:49 AM 5.89 H 03:53 PM -0.58 L 10:17 PM 6.04 H 02 Sat 04:19 AM -0.61 L 10:41 AM 5.98 H 04:47 PM -0.31 L 11:07 PM 5.74 H 03 Sun 05:08 AM -0.41 L 11:33 AM 5.98 H 05:44 PM 0.06 L 11:58 PM 5.39 H 04 Mon 05:59 AM -0.11 L 12:25 PM 5.89 H 06:43 PM 0.46 L 05 Tue 12:51 AM 5.06 H 06:53 AM 0.24 L 01:20 PM 5.72 H 07:44 PM 0.83 L 06 Wed 01:46 AM 4.77 H 07:50 AM 0.57 L 02:18 PM 5.53 H 08:45 PM 1.12 L 07 Thu 02:46 AM 4.57 H 08:49 AM 0.83 L 03:19 PM 5.37 H 09:44 PM 1.32 L 08 Fri 03:49 AM 4.47 H 09:48 AM 1.00 L 04:22 PM 5.27 H 10:41 PM 1.41 L 09 Sat 04:51 AM 4.48 H 10:46 AM 1.06 L 05:21 PM 5.26 H 11:35 PM 1.38 L 10 Sun 05:48 AM 4.56 H 11:41 AM 1.03 L 06:14 PM 5.32 H 11 Mon 12:25 AM 1.25 L 06:39 AM 4.68 H 12:31 PM 0.95 L 06:59 PM 5.40 H 12 Tue 01:10 AM 1.05 L 07:23 AM 4.81 H 01:18 PM 0.84 L 07:40 PM 5.47 H 13 Wed 01:50 AM 0.85 L 08:04 AM 4.93 H 02:00 PM 0.75 L 08:19 PM 5.51 H 14 Thu 02:27 AM 0.69 L 08:41 AM 5.05 H 02:40 PM 0.70 L 08:55 PM 5.48 H 15 Fri 03:01 AM 0.61 L 09:17 AM 5.16 H 03:17 PM 0.72 L 09:32 PM 5.39 H 16 Sat 03:33 AM 0.62 L 09:53 AM 5.26 H 03:54 PM 0.79 L 10:08 PM 5.26 H 17 Sun 04:05 AM 0.70 L 10:29 AM 5.35 H 04:32 PM 0.92 L 10:46 PM 5.11 H 18 Mon 04:37 AM 0.82 L 11:06 AM 5.43 H 05:12 PM 1.08 L 11:25 PM 4.96 H 19 Tue 05:12 AM 0.95 L 11:47 AM 5.50 H 05:57 PM 1.24 L 20 Wed 12:07 AM 4.85 H 05:54 AM 1.07 L 12:32 PM 5.55 H 06:48 PM 1.38 L 21 Thu 12:53 AM 4.76 H 06:44 AM 1.15 L 01:24 PM 5.58 H 07:47 PM 1.46 L 22 Fri 01:44 AM 4.71 H 07:43 AM 1.16 L 02:22 PM 5.61 H 08:49 PM 1.45 L 23 Sat 02:44 AM 4.72 H 08:48 AM 1.07 L 03:27 PM 5.69 H 09:51 PM 1.31 L 24 Sun 03:49 AM 4.82 H 09:55 AM 0.87 L 04:34 PM 5.84 H 10:52 PM 1.05 L 25 Mon 04:55 AM 5.03 H 10:59 AM 0.59 L 05:36 PM 6.04 H 11:49 PM 0.69 L 26 Tue 05:57 AM 5.34 H 12:01 PM 0.26 L 06:34 PM 6.22 H 27 Wed 12:43 AM 0.28 L 06:54 AM 5.70 H 12:59 PM -0.05 L 07:27 PM 6.32 H 28 Thu 01:33 AM -0.08 L 07:47 AM 6.05 H 01:54 PM -0.27 L 08:17 PM 6.30 H 29 Fri 02:20 AM -0.33 L 08:38 AM 6.31 H 02:46 PM -0.36 L 09:06 PM 6.17 H 30 Sat 03:05 AM -0.42 L 09:27 AM 6.46 H 03:37 PM -0.27 L 09:55 PM 5.93 H Approximate Correction Times +/- for Other regional Locations Palm Valley ICW: H: +2:20 L: +2:00 JAX Beach: H: -:29 L: -:20 St. Augustine Beach: H: -:07 L: -:15 St. A City Dock: H: -:04 L: +:09 Bings Landing: H: +2:57 L: +2:44
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Summer’s End CAN BE


With summer tourism starting to slow down, this month can be one of the better times to visit the Florida Keys. As demand for accommodations drop, so do prices around the Keys. Wait times are less, and charters have more availability for last-minute travelers.

Provided that the hurricanes are playing nice, September o ers a nice opportunity to hit the end of mahi season, or to enjoy a reef that’s less crowded than normal.

All the snapper shes are red up this time of year, but the most notable are the mangrove snapper. Mangrove snapper are spawning and there are epic catching days to be had before and a er the full moon. Knocker rigs or jig heads will snipe them o the bottom with just about any bait. Small live pin sh and ballyhoo are very e ective. When using dead ballyhoo, the whole bait can be dropped, or cut in half. Break the beak o and hook through the head side, or cut the tail o ever so slightly, and hook them through that cut, making sure the hook loops around the spine.

Sword shing is another great option right now. ere are still mahi to be found on your way to and from the swordgrounds, but not so many that you feel obligated to stop on every cluster of red-up diving birds. Fishing for sword sh can be a large undertaking for time, tackle and fuel, with a high skunk-out risk rate involved, so it’s always nice to have the chance at some other species along the way. Unlike in the middle of summer, when the ocean is alive with feasting mahi, you can actually make it out there without stopping every mile along the way.

Snowy grouper is closed, but deep dropping o shore is still a viable way to ll the cooler with rosies, tile sh, yellowedge grouper and barrel sh.

As we transition into the autumn shing season, many factors are at play for predicting our shery this month. Call a local captain to nd out the latest report, and come visit the Keys during the cheapest travel month of the year!

Capt. Quinlyn Haddon shes with Sweet E’Nuf Charters out of Marathon, Florida Keys. Contact her at (504) 920-6342, check out her website and her social @captainquinlyn.

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A10-pound, 10-ounce seatrout caught in Ponte Vedra was recently certi ed as a new IGFA men’s 20-lb. tippet class world record.

e gator trout was caught on the Dr. Jay Wright on March 23.

Wright was shing with guide Matt Chipper eld of Chip’s Coastal Charters when the big girl ate a bait sh pattern. e sh was documented and weighed on IGFA certi ed scales to ll the world record category, which was previously vacant.

In an Instagram post, Chipper eld said he and Wright had been pursuing the record sh for ve years and gave the measurements for the huge ycaught trout. It was 30 inches long with a 17-inch girth. A er documenting, the big breeder female was carefully released.

“Catching a speckled trout of this size is special on any tackle. But doing this on y… it’s HARD,” wrote Chipper eld. “It requires discipline, patience and skill. Guiding “ e Doc” to this sh is a moment that I will cherish for the rest of my life.”

Wright is no stranger to the record books. He holds several IGFA y tackle world records for seatrout. Along with this most recent 20-pound tippet record, he also holds the 12- and 2-pound tippet class world records for seatrout. His 2-pound tippet record was a 9-pound trout caught from Mosquito Lagoon in 2018. His 12-pound tippet record weighed 11 pounds, 8 ounces and was caught o Fort Pierce in 2007.

For more record sh, go to

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September is a new beginning of sorts when it comes to saltwater shing on the Gulf Coast. First, it is somewhat cooler, although some of our visiting northern neighbors might not agree. Many anglers nd themselves torn between other passions and obligations, some of which include school in session, weekend sporting events, dove and deer hunting, and the list goes on. ese activities thin the herd of boats on the water and opens the bays back up for those of us who focus all of our free time on the water.

is is de nitely noticeable at the boat ramp the rst weekend a er Labor Day, and I can’t wait!

Less boat tra c means shing the mouths of bayou drains is wide open. I avoid these areas for safety reasons when there’s heavy boat tra c. I just don’t like boats driving over my lines or waking me, which is what happens if you sh in a boat lane during peak season. I like drains in back lakes this time of the year, because they hold “the big three”: trout, red sh and ounder.

I will speci cally target ounder in these areas in September and early October. Since the spring migration, these tasty morsels have been working their way as far back in the marsh as they could get. With autumn around the corner, they start to congregate in these drains. Outside of the fall run, many anglers do not target these ground huggers. With the pressure light,

the ounder bite can be lights out for those who know where and how to target them. part is you might not see another boat all day!

An outgoing tide is optimal to stake out one of these drains. e tide carries bait out of the deeper bayou and adjacent marsh grass and sends it on a deadly path with hungry ounder fattening up for their winter spawn. When the bite is on, it is not uncommon to see ounder breaking free of the water’s surface chasing a meal. e time I witnessed this years ago, it took me awhile to gure out what was jumping. I will never forget that day!

Paddletail so plastics are my go-to in this situation. I like bright colors such as white lightning, chartreuse with glitter, or pearl with a chartreuse tail in a 4-inch or 3.25-inch bait. Keep the lure twitching along the bottom. Quick jerks with the rod tip pointing down activates the tail vibration and kicks up clouds of mud, which really grabs their attention. A so plastic with a tail rattle adds an extra attractant.

Get a jump start on your ounder x before the rst cold front and the long lines of anglers targeting them during the fall run.

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Fish know fall is coming because of the reduction of daylight minutes in a day. e shorter days make a lot of species start a whole new pattern of activities. For example, the grouper complex will start the process of moving into traditional spawning areas. at migration mirrors the cigar minnows, sardines and squid. I’ve always said this and will say it again: Find the bait, nd the sh!

e cigs and sardines form large schools that attract a number of predators including kings and sail sh on the surface, and the big snappers and grouper will be on them as well. e shortened daylight hours become obvious during the middle of this month, when it triggers the “feed” to fatten up for winter and the spawn. Go to the traditional areas you’ve found bait in the past, and that’s a great place to start shing.

Another thing I’ve said in the past is: don’t go to a Chinese restaurant and order a pizza, meaning don’t drop baits that are foreign to sh that are working a school of cigs and sardines. Always have a couple boxes of frozen cigs and/ or sardines just in case you can’t nd the

bait. At least you’ll have bait that “matches the hatch” of what they normally eat.

I try to stay on the sabiki catching baits while everyone else on the boat is shing with grass grunts, sailors choice, cigs/sardines, etc. If you get on a big knot of cigs or sardines, it might be helpful to have two people on the sabiki lling the livewell. e best bait of all is whatever is there. Just put it right back down.

is is also the time of year to nd squid inshore, mixed in with cigs and sardines. If you have a live squid for bait, its life expectancy is under 10 seconds once it touches the bottom on a jig. It’s an instant bite, just like several other baits mentioned above.

e only problem I have with the live or frozen minnows is everything on the bottom will give them a whack, and you wind up catching a lot more snapper and smaller bass than if you use a larger live bait. We almost always have live pin sh from the marina that eliminate most of the trash bites. If you have a larger pin sh, grass grunt or sailor’s choice on the jig, nothing but larger bass, grouper, jacks and big snapper can put it in their mouth. I like to speci cally target grouper by putting the larger live baits down on the jig that eliminate the undesirable bites. Of course, this is a very attractive bait to the sharks, also. Every now and then you have to pay the “tax man” in a grey suit, but that’s just the chance I take. Check out some of the rigging and shing videos on the website or on youtube to see what I’m talking about.

See more from Tim Barefoot at

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Alaska’s new state record shortraker rock sh was caught in late July. On uncerti ed scales at a remote shing lodge, it weighed 48 pounds, which would have crushed the existing IGFA world record by about 4 pounds. e angler, charter guide Keith DeGra , however, chose to preserve the meat by bleeding the sh instead of waiting to get an o cial weight on certi ed scales.

Days later, when DeGra nally got a certi ed weight in front of an Alaska Game and Fish representative, the sh weighed 42.4 pounds, which was good enough to set a new Alaska state record.

“It feels like the biggest accomplishment of my shing career,” DeGra said. “ is species takes time and dedication to drop down to such huge depths, and I spent a whole lot of hours and reeled miles of line trying to break this record, and it nally came to fruition.”

DeGra caught the sh from Prince William Sound on July 28 with his ancée and some friends from a rented boat. DeGra was shing 1,000 feet deep with a conventional (non-electric) Avet 2-speed 30/2 reel, a custombuilt Adventurous Custom rod built by Derwood Roberts, 3-pounds of weight, 80-pound braid and a circle hook baited with salmon and herring. e previous Alaska state record shortraker rock sh weighed 39.1 pounds. It was caught by Henry Liebman in 2013. e IGFA all tackle world record weighed 44.1 pounds. It was caught in 2017 by Angelo Sciubba at Cross Sound, Alaska, but it’s not recognized in the Alaska Game and Fish list. For more information, see

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right, shrimp, crabs, ounder and more oat to the surface in the shallows, where people just scoop them up.

In one of his weekly columns, David Rainer, with the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources explained these uncommon events: e event starts with an incoming tide with very warm, still water, followed by organic load that creates a situation that depletes the oxygen in the water. O en, jubilees follow an a ernoon rain shower and an easterly or northeasterly wind. e Mobile Bay National Estuary Program explains that phytoplankton also contributes to this phenomenon by consuming oxygen near the surface of the water. When the easterly breeze starts blowing, this creates a water current that causes the oxygen-poor water to migrate toward the shore. is has a corralling e ect, herding the bottom-dwelling species into the shallows. ere those species become so lethargic that people can just pick them up. ese events usually lasts two to three hours.

Because they are short lived and rare, jubilees are a source of excitement for some Mobile Bay families who send word out to friends and loved ones to drop what they’re doing and go collect some seafood. However, Rainer warned in his column that a jubilee is not a free-for-all. Normal size and creel limits remain in e ect during the phenomenon. Alabama Marine Resources Division Director Scott Bannon said most species survive to swim or scuttle away when dissolved oxygen levels return to more normal levels.

or most folks, a jubilee is an anniversary celebration, or maybe it’s a ambe dessert made with cherries. For people in the know on the Eastern Shore of Alabama’s Mobile Bay, a jubilee is a natural phenomenon that leads to ridiculously easy seafood. When weather, water and tidal conditions occasionally align just

In case you were wondering whether Mobile Bay’s jubilees are the result of climate change or pollution, know that they have a very long history going back to a time when bells would ring to sound the jubilee because locals were dependent on seafood to feed their families.

“Nowadays, it’s more of an interesting phenomenon that occurs in only two places in the world, Mobile Bay and Tokyo Bay in Japan,” Bannon said.

August and September are the best months to encounter an Alabama jubilee, but it’s not the kind of thing you can predict. You just have to be there and hope to encounter it… or have friends in the know on social media.

For more information, see Rainer’s detailed article on jubilees at

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If you aren’t familiar with it, a Carolina rig is when you put a bullet weight and then a bead on your line and then tie a swivel to the end. To the swivel, I use about a 2-foot section of leader and then a worm hook to put a bait on. is rig gets deep, and the leader with a weightless bait provides a more subtle presentation than a traditional Texas rig.

Obviously, you want to drag this rig around some sort of cover that bass are attracted to. I use it everywhere from Southern largemouth in deep grass to deep smallmouth on rock up north. With the weight clicking against the bead and the free action of the bait, this old-school rig still dominates a lot of tournaments to this day.

ere are two presentations I go for when choosing a so plastic to Carolina rig. I like either a bait sh or a craw sh. If the available forage is bait sh, I use a uke-style bait in a natural bait sh color. If the bass are eating craw sh, I like a Zoom Speed Craw or a Strike King Menace grub in green pumpkin or some type of brown or orange color. ese two baits have a lot of action and small bodies to keep the bait streamlined while dragging. My go-to hook is a 4/0 Hayabusa WRM956 wide gap.


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eptember is supposed to be the beginning of fall, but the reality— at least in the South—is the month is just a continuation of summer. Bass can be pretty tricky, but there are ways to target sh in cooler, deeper water. Dragging a Carolina rig is one of my favorites.You can play around with the size of the weight and the diameter of your leader line. In shallower 5- to 10-foot depths, a lighter weight can help your bait look more natural. I’d suggest ¼ to ½ ounce in that depth range. If you’re shing deeper water in 15 to 30 feet, shing a heavier ¾ to 1 ounce weight gets you down more quickly and allows you to cover bottom more e ectively.

I like the leader between my swivel and hook to be lighter than my main line because it’s less visible to the sh and allows better bait action. If I’m shing 15-pound mainline, I’ll use a 10- to 12-pound leader.

Carolina Rig Gear:

When using this rig, making long casts to cover water is a must, and being able to hook a sh at the end of a long cast is critical. For these reasons, I use a pretty long rod. My go to is a 13 Fishing 7’6” MH Omen Black Casting rod.

You’ll also need to pick line up fast with the reel to remove slack on the take. I use a 13 Fishing Concept A 8:3:1 reel, which eats up line quickly. Spool this reel with 15-pound Seaguar uorocarbon, and grab a small spool of 10- or 12-pound line for leaders.

Tyler Woolcott is a professional tournament angler and guide. Check out his website at www.tylerwoolcott

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