Coastal Angler Magazine | April 2023 | Northeast Florida Edition

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MAHI A Few Facts About Everyone’s Favorite Fish

On the end of a line or wrapped up in a tortilla, dolphin sh are a worldwide fan favorite. Here are a few facts you might not have known about mahi-mahi:

• What’s in a Name? Mahi-mahi is the Hawaiian term for the sh historically called dolphin or dolphin sh in the mainland United States. In Polynesian “mahi” means “strong,” and “mahi-mahi” translates to very strong. Although most U.S. scientist still refer to the species as dolphin sh, the term mahi has become more

prevalent in recent years, perhaps through foodsh marketing or to avoid confusion with the mammal also called dolphin.

Spanish speakers typically refer to the same sh as “dorado,” which means “golden.” Obviously, this comes from the sh’s color, and dorado is also used widely in the Paci c as well as in English-speaking South Africa.

Dolphin sh are found in all the world’s tropical and subtropical oceans. ey go by many names in many languages. ey are Shiira in Japanese, goldmakrele in German, lambuka in Arabic… and the list goes on.

• All the Pretty Colors: Dolphin sh are revered for their gorgeous colors, which change according to their excitement level. ey can change colors and even icker from day-glow green and yellow with blue highlights to lighter blue and metallic silver over the course of a ght. As soon as you pull them out of the water, this brilliance begins to fade. ese changing colors are due to cells called chromatophores in their skin. Chromatophores re ect light, contain pigment, and are controlled by central nervous system, which gives mahi their awesome chameleon-like abilities.

• Rabbit of the Sea: Part of the allure of mahi for anglers is their prevalence. When they are around, there are usually a lot of them around. ey grow quickly and reproduce proli cally, like rabbits. Dolphin sh can grow up to 3 inches in a week and reach sexual maturity in just ve or six months. ey spawn two or three times a year, and each female can release up to a million eggs during each cycle.

• Size Matters: While smaller “peanut” mahi travel and feed in giant schools, larger individuals cruise in smaller packs of two to ve sh. e average dolphin only lives two or three years, and they have a lifespan of ve to seven years. e IGFA all-tackle world record weighed 87 pounds and was caught o Costa Rice in 1976.

• Speed: Dolphin sh are estimated to swim up to 50 nautical mph, which allows them to feed on pretty much anything they can t in their mouths. is includes their little brothers and sisters.

• Management: It’s usually bad news for anglers when the federal acronyms pay special attention to a species. However, years of declining catches have led Florida shermen to call for tighter regulations for dolphin sh in the Atlantic. Currently, NOAA and SAFMC are looking at options.

Florida boasts some of the best dolphin shing in the world. e sharp multi-year decline in the shery is alarming. Last year, while SAFMC mulled potential regulations changes in federal waters, Florida preemptively slashed limits in state waters by half—from 10 sh to ve sh per person, with the vessel limit dropping from 60 to 30 sh per day.

SAFMC did not follow suit. With opposition to tighter regulations from North Carolina, where dolphin shing appears to be getting better, the per-person bag limit in federal waters of the South Atlantic remained at 10 sh per person, while the daily vessel limit was modi ed from 60 sh to 54 sh. ere is a minimum size limit of 20 inches in federal waters o South Carolina, Georgia and Florida. ere is no minimum size limit o North Carolina.

Many Florida anglers were stunned by the decision to pretty much allow federal regulations to remain as they were. Changes, however, are likely on the way. NOAA/SAFMC have initiated a “management strategy evaluation” with a stated goal of annually determining dolphin sh supply before allocating harvest equally to di erent regions and user groups. We might get a look at what that means by 2024.

• Grocery Shopping: Most of the mahi-mahi you nd in restaurants or at the grocery store comes from the Paci c. In the South Atlantic, just seven percent of the total catch limit is allocated to commercial shing.

MAKE IT A DOUBLE!

A“double tackle” is what I call rigging two lures on the same main line. In certain situations, this appearance of a school of eeing bait sh or shrimp is irresistible to predators, and I’ve got a clean and simple way to rig a double tackle.

is the time of year, a double tackle can be deadly in inshore sheries. Spring brings huge schools of small, immature bait rolling up the creeks o the Intracoastal. ey push into the shallow bays and up the rivers trying to nd a place to hide from all the predators. Rigging two identical baits together can be irresistible to predator sh, and at the same it confuses them. I think sh look at this tackle, with baits zigging and zagging, and are forced to decide which one to eat, rather than whether or not to eat.

ere is always the possibility of catching two tackle. It happens a lot.

Speckled trout, striped bass and American shad are a few likely candidates for this tackle. Spring trout sometimes key on juvenile shrimp, and this tackle is a dead-ringer for the job. American and hickory shad are complete idiots for this tackle, as they stage in tight schools and you o en catch doubles. For the speckled trout, I like a 3-inch DOA Shrimp. For shad, I prefer small so -plastic worms.

Depending on water clarity, I sh 20- to 30-pound uoro for trout and 8- to 12-pound uoro for shad. is a very ne line between using a uoro light enough to get the bite and heavy enough to withstand the force of two sh yanking against each other on the line. e knot that connects everything together is pretty simple, but it takes a little practice to get it just right. It is a must to moisten the uoro when cinching the knot

down tight, as it will cut itself if it’s not wet. Test your knots, pulling hard on them, before use.

I’m going to get sporty this year and make a double-squid tackle for the black n tuna. I may get two at once, but that’s a gamble I’m willing to take. Stay in touch to my YouTube channel for video featuring the black ns. I think the black n tackle will be made with 50-pound uoro.

Regardless of the lure, I use jig heads that make baits walk the dog underwater like a Gotsh the front lure with a jig head, and it zigs and zags with the same cadence of the trailing lure, which has no jig head, just a hook. O en the trailing bait gets the bite.

I’m not going into a lengthy explanation in writing about how to make this tackle, but will show an up-close detailed video that explains this simple knot and rigging completely.

To see video instructions on rigging Tim Barefoot’s double tackle, go to https://youtu.be/FsdUGwyM9c4. For more, visit barefootcatsandtackle.com.

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Catch More Springtime Crappie

It’s the time of year when crappie shing can get mighty easy. However, you can always strive to load the cooler with more and bigger sh. Here are a few tips:

• Know Your Prey: Crappie are on the move this time of year. ey might be staged up at prespawn or postspawn depths, or they might be right up on the banks in a foot and a half of water spawning. Knowing their cycles will help you nd them.

Before and a er they spawn, crappie hold on brush and structure just outside of their spawning areas. ey move up into the shallows to spawn in waves, and this can go on for a month or more. So, while some sh are easy targets when they’re spawning or guarding fry on super-shallow brush, there are other, possibly larger, sh feeding a little deeper.

If you’re not catching the numbers or size you’d like to see in the shallows, get on the trolling motor and use your sonar to nd the creek channels and rst drops o the spawning areas. Find some good brush or search the fronts of docks. You might nd big schools slab crappie. Pitch jigs or minnows to individual brushpiles or slow troll these deeper areas to nd sh.

• Ditch the Bobber: A minnow under a bobber is a traditional and e ective crappie rig. It is not, however the most e cient way to catch them in most situations. During the spawn, male crappie are the ones that stay shallow and guard the nests. ey are aggressive, and they are not necessarily feeding when they attack. ese sh are particularly susceptible to gaudy, brightly colored jigs.

Crappie jigs are the best way to cover water both on

spawning banks and on deeper brush. Even when they’re feeding heavily, crappie on brush won’t chase their prey more than a few feet. A jig allows you to make numerous casts and thoroughly cover the water horizontally and vertically in the time it would take to hook and soak a single minnow under a bobber.

Move quickly until you nd the you can slow down and catch them all. If you still want to support the local live bait store, go ahead and buy some minnows and thread them through the lips on a crappie jig.

• Scent: You might not need it all the time to catch sh, but scent helps crappie nd your lure and convinces them to eat. It doesn’t hurt to tip your jig with a minnow, and arti cial attractants like PowerBait Crappie Nibbles or JJ’s Magic can sometimes make them bite when they’ve got lockjaw.

• Network: Make friends with other crappie anglers. ere’s no shortage of available crappie in most lakes. Sharing information with other anglers helps everyone stay on top of the sh. You don’t have to tell anyone where you sunk your Christmas tree in January, but a little give and take doesn’t hurt when you’re talking about stages of the spawn or e ective colors.

For more crappie shing, visit www.coastalanglermag.com.

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BIG BLUEFISH ARE ON THE WAY

With spring nally here, the ocean is open to many possibilities here in South Florida. One of my favorites is the arrival of larger blue sh, which tend to migrate this direction at this time of year.

Blue sh are a popular game sh in almost all the waters surrounding the United States. Smaller blue sh from 7 to 9 inches are sometimes called snapper. ese sh have extremely sharp teeth, with prominent canines on both the top and bottom jaw.

Blue sh are common along the Atlantic coast of the United States, and

range from Cape Cod down through Argentina. eir migrations are a tricky subject. Most people believe blue sh travel from Florida up to New Jersey, and then back down to Florida. However, this has never truly been proven. While doing some research, I found a few studies that never came to a clear conclusion.

What we do know is that blue sh spawn at the edge of the Gulf Stream o Florida in spring. e timing varies from year to year, but there is usually a three to seven-day window when larger blue sh swim closer to shore. For Florida, this is the time when we catch our largest blue sh, and this week is normally sometime in April.

Most smaller “snapper” blue sh tend to hang around mangroves, estuaries and bridges to ensure their safety. is provides them with cover from predators and access to smaller prey also hiding in these “safe” areas. Once they get large enough, they move o the coast to feed on larger, more abundant prey. ey are typically found in inlets, around piers and o the beaches, where large bait schools ensure a better hunt with less energy being exerted.

When hunting for blue sh, you’ll want to start where the bait is. Most of the time you will see blue sh schools popping bait schools on the surface, and other blue sh will be cleaning up the mess below. For this situation, you can use any kind of spoon, X-Raps or jigs. Normally, you’ll want to use a small piece of wire so that they don’t cut you o

If you don’t see blue sh popping baits, you can look for oil slicks. Some experts say they can smell the odor from their oils. But, for those who can’t “sni out” the sh, you can throw chunks of dead le over bait and let it stink up the water to draw them in. Usually a 2-inch chunk of mackerel, jack or even dead bait sh like sardines will attract any blue sh in the area.

Currently, on the east coast of Florida, you can keep three blue sh per person, per day. Many people prefer to use blue sh as bait, while some will make a stew or cook them whole. e IGFA all-tackle world record blue sh was a 31-pound, 12-ounce monster caught out of Hatteras, North Carolina.

Emily Rose Hanzlik holds 56 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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PORGY, SNOWY GROUPER, BLUELINE TILEFISH

At its late February commission meeting, FWC approved regulations changes to cut possession limits for three species and establish new open seasons for two of them in Florida’s Atlantic state waters. e modi cations are consistent with current and pending regulations for federal waters of the Atlantic.

• e bag limit for red porgy will be cut from three to one sh per person, per day. An open season of May-June will be established.

• e snowy grouper bag limit will be one sh per vessel, per day. is is a decrease from one sh per person, per day. An open season of May–June will be established.

• e blueline tile sh bag limit will be reduced from three sh to two sh per person, per day, and for-hire captain and crew will be prohibited from retaining a bag limit.

Last year, the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council approved management changes to help rebuild the red porgy and snowy grouper stocks, which are over shed and undergoing over shing, and to reduce the risk of over shing for blueline tile sh.

e red porgy recreational limits will be e ective April 1 in Atlantic state waters, and the snowy grouper and blueline tile sh regulations will go into e ect at a later date once pending federal regulations have been implemented.

For more information, visit MyFWC.com.

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RELEASE DEVICES Now Required in State Waters

Anglers pursuing reef sh in Florida state waters will now be required to have a descending device or venting tool onboard that is ready for use. ey will also be required to use the device or tool on sh exhibiting signs of barotrauma prior to release. is new rule was scheduled to become e ective April 1 a er being approved by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission at its February meeting.

Release mortality is a top sheries management challenge. As reef sh are reeled up from depth, they can su er a pressure-related injury known as barotrauma. If not treated correctly, barotrauma can be lethal to sh Descending devices or venting tools can help sh recover from the e ects of barotrauma.

Barotrauma mitigation tool requirements have already been adopted in Gulf and Atlantic federal waters. In Gulf federal waters, shers have the choice of possessing either a descending device or a venting tool that is rigged and ready for use. In Atlantic federal waters, shers are required to have a descending device that is readily available for use. is new rule for Gulf and Atlantic state waters allows anglers to choose which type of tool

best ts their circumstances.

A summary of the proposed rule presented at the meeting also indicated a concern about private anglers either not being aware of the requirements or not having con dence with the use of such devices. FWC has committed to an outreach program designed to raise awareness on the proper use of barotrauma mitigation tools.

Find current reef sh gear requirements at MyFWC.com/ReefFishGear. Anyone who plans to harvest or attempt to harvest, including catch and release, certain reef sh species in Gulf or Atlantic waters from a private recreational vessel must sign up for the free State Reef Fish Angler designation and renew it annually. Learn more at MyFWC.com/SRFS and sign up today at GoOutdoorsFlorida.com.

For more information, go to MyFWC.com.

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ANGLERS LAND NEW IGFA WORLD RECORDS

The International Game Fish Association (IGFA) tracks record sh catches around the globe. eir world record database is a great source to see some of the sh anglers are catching around the world. Here are a handful of catches recently approved for the record books. To see all newly approved IGFA records, visit igfa.org.

Pin’s Snakehead

On Aug. 12, 2022, Ng Yam Pin landed this beautiful 28-pound giant snakehead in Rawang, Malaysia to set IGFA’s mens 20-pound line class world record. Pin caught the big snakehead on a Duo Fangbait lure and released the sh a er recording the weight and proper measurements. e IGFA all-tackle world record for giant snakehead was also caught from Rawang. It weighed 30 pounds. Bluch’s

Rainbow Trout

On Nov. 5, 2022, Aussie angler Frank Bluch was shing the Tekapo Canal, New Zealand, with guide Nicor Sutherland, when he landed this impressive 21-pound, 13-ounce rainbow trout. It set the new IGFA men’s 2-pound tippet class world record. e sh ate a y Frank calls the “Orange Monstrosity.” e all-tackle world record rainbow was caught from Lake Diefenbaker, Canada. It weighed 48 pounds.

Ochmann’s Wels

Joachim Ochmann caught this huge 140-pound, 10-ounce wels from Rio Ebro, Spain on Oct. 1, 2022. It took him nearly two hours to land the new IGFA men’s 16-pound line class world record. He released it a er taking proper weight and measurements. e all-tackle world record wels was caught from River Po, Italy in 2010. It weighed 297 pounds, 9 ounces.

Okuyama’s Grass Carp

Fumiya Okuyama holds several IGFA world records for grass carp, and he recently set another with this 109-centimeter (nearly 43-inch) sh he caught on Oct. 20, 2022, to establish the new IGFA all-tackle length y world record. e all-tackle world record by weight was caught at Piasuchnik Dam, Bulgaria in 2009. It weighed 87 pounds, 10 ounces.

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Fishing Report & Forecast St. Augustine Inshore

This has been a wild Winter/Spring we’re coming out of… hot one day and cold the next. As things start to consistently warm up, I’ll be looking for redfish on shallow flats and in the creeks that have a darker mud or oyster-laden bottom. On clear days the sun will warm the water a few degrees in those areas making a great spot for the reds to hang out and warm up a bit. Bait (mullet, minnows, shrimp) will also hold in these “hot” spots and its common knowledge that the reds will be in the same areas the bait is. There hasn’t really been much bait around as of late so if you find an area that is holding some you can be sure there are some redfish close by. Sightfishing for reds has been a little hit or miss this year, again due to the weather. The water has been murky due to warmer than normal conditions and if it continues to warm up quickly this month the water will get murkier as the algae starts to bloom. Not to worry you can still “sight” fish. One way to spot schooled up reds is to look for wakes or “muds” caused by the fish moving. I’ve been locating some big schools this over the last couple of months.

This is my Favorite month of the year to fish for trout. Once the water starts to warm up a bit the trout will be going crazy. There’s nothing like watching that big momma trout come soaring out of the water after your top-water plug. Creek mouths, rip rap, and just about anywhere you have some moving water are going to be great places to target the specs. Remember to loosen the drag just a little when throwing topwater plugs for trout. They have somewhat delicate mouths, and you don’t want to rip the plug away from the fish before they get it. Of course, if top-water isn’t your thing a jig and soft plastic will do the trick for the specs as well. My go-to rig of choice for trout (and reds too!) is a Saltwater Assassin 1/8-ounce jighead with a Saltwater Assassin paddle tail. Jig, jig, then pause... then repeat. Just remember to release those big trout as they are breeders and letting them go to make some babies is a great thing for our fishery!

The sheepshead bite has been steady this Winter and Spring and should continue into late spring. Fiddlers and oyster crabs have been the best baits. Just about any structure with barnacles on it has been holding some “heads”.

The black drum bite has been pretty good over the last couple of months and should continue this month. Most of my fish have been in the 3-8lb range and were caught in the deeper parts of the creeks off the ICW. The best baits have been live/fresh dead shrimp, or a fiddler crab. An hour on either side of low tide has been producing the best bite, especially around the new and full moons..

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Fishing Report & Forecast St. Augustine Offshore

April Fools Fishing

The Pelagic fish are here, we just need the weather to cooperate. Weather is the issue this time of year. The cold fronts are gone but strong winds will still ruin many trips. April is the month for the long run so calm seas are helpful if not necessary. Mahi are pushing north and should be here. Reports are massive weediness are pushing into our

waters and fishing can be good if the weeds are not too thick. Wahoo and Tuna are still around, and the occasional Sailfish and Blue Marlin will be encountered by anglers making the 50+ mile run to the east. Look for water temperature over 72 degrees and bait and you will be in business. Rigged Ballyhoo/bait combos will take the majority of fish. Just about any color combination will work with blue and white, red and black, green and yellow being the most common. If Wahoo are your target wire leaders are a must but Mahi and Tuna are much easier to hook on monofilament. For wire rigs I use number 10 wire, on the monofilament rigs 125 pound. Hook size should match your bait and lure size I usually use medium ballyhoo on a number 8 or 9 mustad 3412c.

On the bottom vermillion snapper will be open and will be everywhere from 100ft on out to the shelf edge. Triggerfish and Red porgy will be plentiful as well and can be caught on squid on the shelf if the trolling fish don’t cooperate. The Manta rays will be migrating north and will be accompanied by some fat Cobia. Jigs tipped with rubber eels or live bait will fool them. Last year also produced some spectacular Triple tail action so a dozen live shrimp in the well is a good idea. This is sight fishing for both species so calm seas and clear skies are a must.

Whatever species you target if the winds cooperate, the fish will be there! “Let’s

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Fishing Report & Forecast Mayport

The weather of March should hold a reminder to us as an example on how quick it can change. That being said I believe the cooler days of late March helped our fishery out on a positive note. Look for the jetties at Mayport to hold good numbers of reds, trout, sheepshead, black drum, and ringtails. High clean water should be what you look for to find the fish. On the high outgoing tides trout will be found by casting float rigs on the edges of the rocks with live shrimp. Cover the shallow and the deep water on each spot .Try to vary the depth based on the areas you fish. The water temps are still in the 60’s and the fish will be in tight schools I prefer a light tackle My favorite is Ugly Stix 7ft with a Penn Slammer 3500. If you haven’t tried this reel out you should. Work in varying depths but look for clean water both inside the rocks and out. The reds will be hunting for food on the high fall so go deep. Pitch a ¼ to a ½ oz jig ten feet out from the rocks up current using a jumbo live shrimp. Many of the fish will be oversized so you might have to throw a few back. Sheeps will also be in the same zone so don’t be surprised if you bang a few of these too!

If you’re targeting sheepshead this is the time of year this is when the final push of big spawners will be around approaching the next full moon. A fiddler, ¼ piece of blue crab, clam, or small shrimp work well. A Carolina rig/egg sinker rig is effective or small ¼ to ½ oz jigs are good methods too!

The big giant black drum have showed up well in March and should be around in April also. The high top of the flood tide on the tips of both rock piles is a great place. A ¼ to ½ of a fresh blue crab is the most effective though I have caught many on a peeled jumbo fresh dead shrimp. Typically we are fishing in 36-46ft of water and sometime deeper. Be patient. Its not always a huge bite that you see. They have a slow mealy kinda of bite that at times looks like a small fish is pecking

on the bait and it’s a huge 60lber. Remember these are our spawners and don’t make good table fair so I really suggest you put them back. Make sure you have a venting tool handy to release the air from the distended bladders=. This way they can swim back down.

The offshore party grounds should still be holding good numbers of sea bass, ringtails, sheepshead, and some trigger fish and the Red Snapper seem to be everywhere. Check the regs for the legal limits as our snapper are still closed.

The beach fishing should start to pick up so begin to look for pogie pods to show if it’s a particularly warm month. Pogies mean big predators like bull reds, triple tail, sharks, Spanish, and cobia. The pogies, though at times scattered, have been around all winter and warming seas will make them school tighter.

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. enterprisefishingcharters.com

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Fishing Report & Forecast Nassau Sound

April has given up more gator trout than any other month of the year! Early morning or later in the day, when low light is present, can be a good time to hunt them. Usually, an incoming tide with clean cool water is a plus. Around the full & new moon when the water moves the strongest and also moves bait, can also be beneficial. Another major factor to remember, is the mullet, pogies and baitfish are usually returning back to North Florida. This is a great time to fish for them. Lures that imitate, mullet and pogies generally produce the best. I find many of the bigger gator trout like to eat big bait Fish. One time we caught a very large gator, trout, and he had a 10 inch mullet hanging out of his mouth with the lure!!!

Good lures include any lure that you can throw a good distance and be in tune with the lure to know what it’s doing at all times so you could be affective. One of the biggest secrets I have to catching large gator trout is having a rod and reel that can throw 40 to 45 yards. Many times that far away from your target in species, they don’t know you’re there and they act more like fish instead of them not eating. Also, remember to throw past your target, so the lure has enough time to reach the proper depth as the manufacturer recommended. And in other words, if I have some structure, and I think there is a Trout behind it, I will approach the target on my trolling motor, make the longest cast I can staying away from the targeted species, however, I want to be able to throw past the target 10 feet so as I start working the lure, it can dive down to the desired depth and come through the targeted zone. If you throw your lure and it lands on the target, you take a chance of spooking your species and as you work the lure, it is already leaving the targeted zone! I like to work top waters and lipped diving plugs for my trout. A lure that imitates baitfish. There

are many methods. However, these are the ones I use, and I’ve had the best success. I also find the tides that I mentioned in the areas that I want to fish and I like to target structure. May be a patch of grass on a flat, or maybe a Point with shells getting divided by the tide or a pile of rocks, etc. A good rule of thumb is stem the tide just far enough to make the cast I talked about. I will throw my lures up current, as fish feed into the Current, and I want them to see the Lure coming. These rules apply whether you’re jigging, using a float rig,  or any other style of angling. Also, as the bait fish enter north Florida, this probably will be the last month for good back country red fishing as schools break up with warmer water and more available food. And along with all the bait fish, there should be plenty of Spanish mackerel, Jack Crevalle, and ladyfish returning for the summer. Clark, spoons rigged with a small trolling or trout weight in front of it to keep it down as you troll around the chips of the jetty should produce plenty of Spanish for you. 00 Clark spoons are my favorite size. You can rig them with heavy Fluorocarbon. However, you probably will have some break offs. I’ll do mine with Fluorocarbon, however, I will put an Albright special of wire in front of the spoon. About 2 or 3 inches. This will help with cut offs. Get out & enjoy what Jacks has to offer, and go fishing!!!!

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Fishing Report & Forecast Fernandina / Amelia Island

Large roe bearing seatrout will be holding in the Amelia Rover on the deep sides of structure including docks, jetties, bridges, and more. Casting a slow sinking plug including the Rapala #11 Countdown Rapala is an extremely deadly trophy seatrout fishing tactic.

During dead high tide, casting a cigar shaped plug, or chugger works well, especially when schools of mullet or menhaden are present. Jesse Stubbs recently guided a client to an 8.3-lb. Amelia River sea trout, however seatrout weighing over the five pound mark are not uncommon.

Drifting a live shrimp, or finger mullet under a small float at the deep sides of oysterbars, docks, and close to bridge pilings is also an excellent Spring time seatrout fishing tactic.

Inshore fishermen can also expect to catch redfish as while employing these very same fishing tactics.

Fishing at the very tip of the St. Mary’s south jetty rocks will produce a variety of big game fish including cobia, red and black drum, a variety of pelagic sharks, and Spanish mackerel. Best fishing tactic includes fishing dead on the bottom with a combination of fresh local shrimp, a quarter blue crab, and fresh conch for red and black drum.

Be sure and have real handy a twenty-pound class spinning rod and reel with a two ounce bucktail jig in the chartreuse color pattern when cobia will actually swim right up to your fishing boat, demanding a good fight!

Whiting, pompano, bluefish, and small sharks will be running along the beaches of Amelia Island during all tidal phases. Best baits include live sand fleas, or fresh dead shrimp. Some of the best beach fishing is available at Fort Clinch and the very southern portion of Amelia Island.

Offshore fishing will begin to heat up for hard fighting and excellent eating cobia, grouper, sheepshead, black sea bass, kingfish, Spanish mackerel, and barracuda. Slow trolling with

net caught live menhaden is a deadly fishing tactic both on the surface and down deep as well.

High speed trolling at the edge of the Gulf Stream for fast swimming wahoo will be excellent as well while rigging high speed lures to large, 10-pound trolling weights with a trolling speed of eighteen knots.

Light tackle fishing far back into the local tidal rivers where salt and fresh water mingle will produce excellent action for largemouth bass, redfish, seatrout and stripers. A longtime favorite plug includes the #11 black back and silver body rapala. The “Redfish Magic” spinner is also an excellent lure for all of these above mentioned species in the white color pattern.

For more fishing and charter information please call Amelia Angler Outfitters at 904-261-2870.

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Fishing Report Pier and Surf

Thismonth looks like the best month in a long time for Pompano. In mid March, we were catching them from Little Talbot Island all the way south to Flagler. At the same time my friends down south, Melbourne to Jupiter, were catching big keepers. So before the hot days in late May drive them north lets go to the beach!

Keep your tackle simple but be prepared to make long casts, especially on flat beaches on a high tide. My go to is a double dropper rig with two 2/0 Eagle Claw circle hooks. A three to five ounce sputnik sinker on the

end. How much weight you ask? Enough to cast where you want to be and then enough to hold it in place.

When it comes to beads and floats, I can tell you this for sure. I have been catching a lot of Pompano since the mid 1970’s and then there were no beads and floats on our rigs! None and we caught a lot of fish. However, now all my rigs have beads and floats. I have over 100 different combinations of little and big floats. Also a lot of different beads both in plastic and glass. With that said, my favorite by far is a white float on the top hook and an orange tangerine translucent bead on the bottom. Why? The white float is the size of a sand flea and lifts the bait off the bottom. It also makes them wiggle in the current. The tangerine orange bead is the color of sand fleas eggs. Boom! You will not scare a fish away with that color combo!

Loosen your drag when you put it in the rod holder. There are some really big Black Drum in the surf right now. Last week I had one on for a few minutes. At first I thought it was a big ball of seaweed or a plastic garbage bag headed south with the rip current. Then I felt that big tail kick in when it’s belly touched the sand. One big run and he straightened out the 2/0 circle hook!

This could very well be the best month for the Pompano run and HUGE whiting. From Fernandina to Flagler, it is go time! See you on the beach.

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Fishing Report & Forecast

Afterthankfully surviving another winter in Jacksonville I’m pleased to predict spring fishing will be coming early this year. After a very warm February the water temperatures are much hotter than usual. Most of the annual trends we typically see are nearly a month early. Pogys have been thick on the beach since the beginning of February and the triple tail run has already come and gone. Cobia are the next star of the beach to show up. If the trend continues the manta rays and cobia should be around Jacksonville’s Beaches by the beginning of April. In the river we are already seeing legal mangrove snapper which we normally do not see until the end of April. The giant black drum bite was wide open around the end of March but unfortunately they do not stick around very long so April will unlikely be a productive

month on the “Big Uglies”. Last but not least,  Jacksonville’s staple, let’s talk Sheepshead. Finally the mid winter lull on sheepshead is over and big fish are around and hungry. The bite has just started to pick up so April is going to be a great month to target convicts around bridges, rocks, jetties, and docks..

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TIDE CHART - April

16 NORTHEAST FLORIDA APRIL 2023 COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM • Date Day Time Hgt TimeHgt Time Hgt Time Hgt 01 Sat 05:55 AM 4.34 H 12:05 PM 0.78 L 06:27 PM 4.16 H 02 Sun 12:26 AM 0.67 L 06:43 AM 4.47 H 12:49 PM 0.53 L 07:10 PM 4.39 H 03 Mon 01:12 AM 0.42 L 07:25 AM 4.58 H 01:29 PM 0.27 L 07:48 PM 4.63 H 04 Tue 01:54 AM 0.18 L 08:04 AM 4.65 H 02:05 PM 0.05 L 08:25 PM 4.87 H 05 Wed 02:34 AM -0.03 L 08:42 AM 4.67 H 02:39 PM -0.11 L 09:00 PM 5.08 H 06 Thu 03:12 AM -0.17 L 09:20 AM 4.63 H 03:12 PM -0.18 L 09:37 PM 5.24 H 07 Fri 03:49 AM -0.23 L 09:59 AM 4.57 H 03:46 PM -0.18 L 10:15 PM 5.35 H 08 Sat 04:29 AM -0.20 L 10:40 AM 4.50 H 04:23 PM -0.10 L 10:56 PM 5.39 H 09 Sun 05:11 AM -0.09 L 11:24 AM 4.42 H 05:05 PM 0.04 L 11:42 PM 5.37 H 10 Mon 05:59 AM 0.07 L 12:10 PM 4.34 H 05:55 PM 0.20 L 11 Tue 12:32 AM 5.29 H 06:54 AM 0.23 L 01:02 PM 4.28 H 06:53 PM 0.35 L 12 Wed 01:28 AM 5.18 H 07:55 AM 0.35 L 01:59 PM 4.24 H 07:59 PM 0.43 L 13 Thu 02:31 AM 5.07 H 08:59 AM 0.37 L 03:04 PM 4.27 H 09:09 PM 0.40 L 14 Fri 03:39 AM 5.03 H 10:01 AM 0.27 L 04:12 PM 4.42 H 10:18 PM 0.25 L 15 Sat 04:48 AM 5.05 H 11:01 AM 0.07 L 05:18 PM 4.69 H 11:24 PM 0.01 L 16 Sun 05:51 AM 5.11 H 11:57 AM -0.20 L 06:17 PM 5.03 H 17 Mon 12:25 AM -0.28 L 06:47 AM 5.15 H 12:48 PM -0.48 L 07:11 PM 5.37 H 18 Tue 01:22 AM -0.56 L 07:39 AM 5.12 H 01:36 PM -0.70 L 08:00 PM 5.65 H 19 Wed 02:14 AM -0.75 L 08:28 AM 5.03 H 02:21 PM -0.81 L 08:46 PM 5.81 H 20 Thu 03:02 AM -0.80 L 09:15 AM 4.86 H 03:04 PM -0.78 L 09:31 PM 5.83 H 21 Fri 03:48 AM -0.71 L 10:01 AM 4.66 H 03:47 PM -0.60 L 10:15 PM 5.71 H 22 Sat 04:34 AM -0.47 L 10:46 AM 4.46 H 04:31 PM -0.30 L 11:00 PM 5.49 H 23 Sun 05:20 AM -0.14 L 11:32 AM 4.26 H 05:17 PM 0.07 L 11:45 PM 5.22 H 24 Mon 06:08 AM 0.22 L 12:18 PM 4.10 H 06:08 PM 0.45 L 25 Tue 12:31 AM 4.93 H 06:59 AM 0.56 L 01:07 PM 3.98 H 07:03 PM 0.80 L 26 Wed 01:21 AM 4.68 H 07:53 AM 0.83 L 01:59 PM 3.90 H 08:02 PM 1.05 L 27 Thu 02:14 AM 4.48 H 08:47 AM 0.98 L 02:57 PM 3.89 H 09:02 PM 1.18 L 28 Fri 03:11 AM 4.36 H 09:40 AM 1.02 L 03:56 PM 3.96 H 10:00 PM 1.20 L 29 Sat 04:09 AM 4.31 H 10:30 AM 0.94 L 04:53 PM 4.13 H 10:55 PM 1.11 L 30 Sun 05:04 AM 4.33 H 11:16 AM 0.78 L 05:43 PM 4.36 H 11:47 PM 0.92 L 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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LARGEMOUTHS ON LAKE SANTA FE Springtime

Iget the springtime bass itch when the azaleas bloom. It’s the time of year when largemouth bass spawn on Lake Santa Fe.

Bass spawn around the full moons of February and March on this 5,000-acre Alachua County reservoir. is year, I planned my annual Santa Fe trip for March 2-3, ahead of the March 7 full moon.

It was like entering another world that morning as my wife Kim and I motored onto the main lake. Mist rose through the lake’s ancient cypress trees. Wood ducks whistled and banked overhead. Ospreys squealed at us from nests high in the cypress, and loons serenaded us from open water.

Just being there made me feel so fortunate. I thought back to when I was 12 years old on my rst Santa Fe trip with my dad and brother. We stayed at Gri ns Lodge, which was a famous destination for speckled perch, bream and bass shermen in the 1960s and 70s. ey had small cottages for rent and a sh camp run by an old

man named Roy Gri n.

Ol’ Roy taught me to sh Santa Fe. Over the years, he kept telling me to get away from the shoreline and to slow troll. I never really understood why until sonar showed me the grasscovered humps and ledges holding congregations of bait and game sh.

On the lake, Kim and I slowed to trolling speed to get lines out. I sh 7-foot mediumaction rods with Ambassadeur 5500s loaded with 15-pound mono. e rig is simple, just a #2 wide-bend hook tied directly to the line. I hook wild-caught shiners through both lips from the bottom up.

We pull baits very slowly with a three-rod spread. Using level-wind reels, I let baits out 50 or 60 yards behind the boat. I leave the spool in cast mode and tighten the anti-backlash knob to provide enough tension to keep the baits from pulling line. You know you’ve got a bite when the line starts running out.

We only got two lines out before our rst

strike. When the middle rig started paying out line fast, I picked up the rod and pointed it at the sh. A er 20 seconds, I engaged the reel, took up the slack and set the hook hard with a sweeping motion. I reeled fast to keep pressure on the sh and kept the rod tip low to discourage the bass from jumping.

e rst sh was a fat 4-pound female that was full of eggs. Kim landed the second sh, a gorgeous 5-pounder. We caught several more in the 4-pound range before I landed a fat 8-pounder to nish an action-packed three-hour morning with eight total sh. We released them all safely a er admiring the beautiful dark coloration characteristic of Santa Fe bass. I believe this is caused by the clear but tannin-stained water.

We experienced a great nature show, and I told Kim the bass we caught were like a bonus.

Oh, how I love Ol’ Santa Fe!

16 FLORIDA APRIL 2023 COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM
Danny Patrick is co-publisher of the Northeast Florida edition of Coastal Angler Magazine. By Danny Patrick
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Ashore-based charter shing group intended to catch the largest shark they could from Pensacola Beach, Fla. on Feb. 12. ey did not, however, expect to crank in the estimated 13-foot great white that picked up their bait.

John McLean, of Big John Shark Fishing Adventures, runs shore-based charter trips for clients who want to catch the sh of lifetime. On this particular trip, his clients wanted to “go big, or go home,” so they used a huge yellow n tuna head for bait and enlisted the help of local charter captain, Capt. David Miller, who paddled a small kayak 900 yards o the beach in rough surf to deploy the bait.

Normally, McLean uses a remote-controlled boat to deploy his baits, but these baits were too large for the RC boat to handle. ey had a big sh on before Miller even made it back to shore.

“As soon as his kayak had hit the sand, we were hooked up to a massive shark,” said McLean in a YouTube video documenting the catch.

“I’ve never seen one that fast before,” he says in the video as line rips o the spool of an oversized big game reel.

All four of his clients took turns cranking the reel while everyone else gathered around to help secure the rod rack Mclean drives into the sand and uses to battle giant sharks. Even with heavy gear, the torque of the ght with heavy braided line loosened the reel from the reel seat.

“ is shark was the strongest sh I had ever had on the line. It took all four of my clients switching in and out to land this shark,” McLean said. “ is is the only time I’ve ever seen my shing gear pushed to the absolute limit.”

It took a little more than an hour to bring the giant shark into the surf, and as soon as McLean realized it was a great white, his attention turned to releasing it as quickly as possible. ey used a tail rope to control the giant white shark, and with the leader removed from its mouth, pulled it into deeper water to revive it before it swam away on its own.

White sharks are federally protected. ey must be released immediately when they are caught, so McLean did not take measurements. However, he has extensive experience with big sharks, and he estimated this one at about 13 feet. A 13-foot white shark can easily weigh more than 1,000 pounds.

Great whites are a rare catch in the Gulf of Mexico, and especially from shore. is was not McLean’s rst monster white shark, though. In early March of 2021, also on a shore-based charter in Pensacola Beach, McLean’s clients caught and released an estimated 12-footer.

Check out Big John Shark Fishing Adventures at bigjohnshark shingadventures.com, and see the video at http://bit.ly/3LjTtyw.

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Famous for its incredible strength, the Palomar knot ties well in all line types. at’s a huge advantage, and few knots can equal it on that front. Tied properly, this knot won’t slip even on braid, making it a popular choice as an all-around knot for securing line to swivels, hooks and pretty much anything else where a snug connection is desired.

It’s also quite easy and fast to tie, though it can be a tricky choice for lures because it requires a large loop to be passed completely over and around your terminal tackle.

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THE ULTIMATE MIXED BAG in the Salmon Capital of the World

The wondrous world of summer shing in Alaska draws anglers from around the world who ock to these rich waters annually. Ketchikan, Alaska, nestled in the heart of the sprawling temperate rainforest known as Tongass National Forest boasts the title of “Salmon Capital of the World,” and for good reason.

But salmon are not all visitors can expect to catch in this world-renowned shery. As an experienced captain who runs daily charters out of Ketchikan during the season, I still nd myself surprised by the productivity of these waters. Along with ve species of salmon, we also land big halibut, giant lingcod, paci c cod and rock sh in our daily catch limits. e shing is superb, and so is the wildlife watching. Hit the water with us, and I will gladly hand over the binoculars when marauding pods of orcas show up on the surface or when magni cent humpback whales breach. We share these waters with eagles, sea lions and so much more. It makes a perfect shing getaway for the entire family.

e awe-inspiring beauty that surrounds Ketchikan is something that must be witnessed to understand. From the rugged terrain of old growth forest in Tongass down to the vibrantly rich waters, each day surprises visitors with landscapes and

wildlife that make Ketchikan a bucket-list destination.

Who doesn’t dream of giant halibut or monstrous king salmon on these scenic waters? Peak season runs from midJune through September, with the absolute best shing during the months of July and August. is occurs when we have an overlapping run of king salmon, silver salmon and pink salmon. All the while, big halibut will have moved in from deep water to feed on the abundance of food present. For these reasons, one can expect to catch all species with potential record catches of halibut, salmon, lingcod and rock sh hitting the docks by day’s end.

Here’s what you might expect on a good fullday charter. We start out bottom shing for halibut in 150 to 400 feet of water until we get a limit. Using deep-water jigging rods, you’ll be tasked with reeling in hard- ghting halibut from the depths. en we switch gears to trolling with electric downriggers, running four rods for all ve species of wild Paci c salmon. Whether or not we hit our limit of salmon, we usually end the day jigging with light tackle for giant lingcod and pelagic rock sh to top o the day’s catch. Why settle for one species

when you can sh for them all?

A processing service will llet, vacuum seal and box up your catch to be shipped home overnight or taken on your ight as a checked bag. Ketchikan is easily accessible with convenient commercial ights, just two-hours out of Seattle, and lodging accommodations are available for groups of all sizes.

Book your dream trip to Alaska with Capt. Lukas Brickweg, of Ketchikan’s Finest Fishing Charters, at www.ketchikan shingtrips.com, call (907) 6174717 or email at ketchikan shingtrips@gmail.com.

COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM APRIL 2023 NATIONAL 9

FEDS SLASH ALABAMA RED SNAPPER QUOTA

is federally imposed catch limit is the latest point of contention in a two-decade-long power struggle between the Gulf states and the federal bureaucracy over management of one of the region’s most iconic and economically important sheries. Recreational red snapper shing brings millions of tourism dollars to the Gulf Coast each summer. In Alabama, o cials say the quota cut will bring an early end to the season.

e cuts are the result of a complicated formula used by NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) to assess red snapper stocks. Federal regulators and environmental groups are pointing to 2022’s reduced red snapper landings as evidence of a depleted shery. In 2020, recreational anglers o Alabama caught 1.1 million pounds of red snapper. In 2022, that gure dropped to less than 500,000 pounds.

AL.com reported that Sean Powers, a leading researcher in the 2020 Great American Red Snapper Count, said the limited landings in 2022 were caused by reduced angler e ort because of high gas prices and poor weather. “ e number of days people went out was half and we caught half of the quota,” Powers told Al.com. “ at’s straight forward. I don’t think it re ects on the health of the stock.”

It’s worth noting that the Great American Red Snapper Count is the study that showed there were more than three times as many red snapper in the Gulf of Mexico than the gures NMFS was previously using to set quotas. For years, sheries managers and politicians from all the Gulf states have been speaking out against NOAA’s “ awed science,” and the Snapper Count seemed to prove their argument. Since the study, NOAA has come up with a new system it says melds the Snapper Count with federal and state surveys. ere is plenty of skepticism over NOAA’s “calibration.”

“Red snapper shing is a huge part of Alabama’s Gulf Coast economy, which is why I’ll continue pushing back against the Department of Commerce’s disastrous proposal to decrease limits for red snapper anglers based on inaccurate data,” said U.S. Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R/Ala.) to Al.com.

Frustration is again mounting over federal management of the red snapper shery in the Gulf of Mexico. is time, the uproar is coming from the Alabama coast, where NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) slashed the state’s 2023 recreational quota by more than 50 percent.

Alabama’s quota this year is 558,200 pounds, down from 1.1 million pounds in 2022. e Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council meets in April, and there is a possibility Alabama’s quota could increase slightly.

See www.al.com to read an excellent article on the issue by John Sharp.

10 NATIONAL APRIL 2023 COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM
ADCNR PHOTO

WALK THE DOG FOR SPRINGTIME BASS

The months of covering water with your favorite topwater are upon us, and what a wonderful time it is! In some parts of the country, bass are already done spawning. While in others, the move to the shallows has only just begun. No matter the circumstances of your sh, they are on the feed and will certainly bite your lure if the right situation presents itself.

Where I live in Florida, the bass have already nished with their spawn. ey are roaming and chasing food to replenish themselves a er a few hard weeks up in the shallows. One of my favorite ways to catch these sh is by covering water with a walk-the-dog style topwater. Not only is it just the coolest bite ever, but it is also a bait that can mimic a ton of di erent food options. is should be used to cover water at a fast pace. Once you locate groups of sh, slow down with something else. row topwater around anything the treble hooks won’t get hung up on, and remember to stay near areas where sh just nished spawning.

In many other parts of the country, bass might currently be up in the shallows spawning. is is another awesome time to throw a walking topwater. Use it to nd sh spawning, and then slow down and pick up a few more sh with a slower bait, if needed. e target options are endless. Grass ats, shallow banks, wood, points, anywhere bass might be spawning is the perfect place to throw a walking bait.

Up North, sh might be in the very early stages of prespawn or even still have ice over their heads. Whatever the case may be, sh will bite a walking bait when the time is right… or when the water is in a liquid form. I have been very successful, especially on smallmouths, throwing a spook-style bait around spawning ats and points for very aggressive sh that are preparing to spawn. Some of the greatest shing memories

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I have from those parts of the country are from the prespawn. row it over rocks or grass points where bass chase bait as they feed up ahead of the spawn. Walk it over open water or down the bank; they will bite it.

Topwater rod and reel setups can be fairly simple. I like a shorter rod, which makes it easier to walk the dog, with a moderate action, so you don’t rip the hooks out of the sh. e 13 Fishing 7’3” Medium Defy is an a ordable rod with the perfect action. I pair this up with a 7:5:1 Concept A2 spooled with 40-pound Seaguar Smackdown braid for long casts and minimal stretch. e 13 Fishing Power Slide is an awesome topwater for these situations, and I always stick to natural bait sh colors. Grab one of these, get out on your favorite body of water and have some fun!

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YAMAHA 22 FT FSH LINE: FISH AND PLAY IN VERSATILE LUXURY

Yamaha’s product line of 22 FT FSH boats has made quite the splash since hitting the water in August of 2022. Building upon the success of Yamaha’s versatile 21-foot center console line that it replaced, there are three separate 22-foot FSH® models that come with Yamaha’s best center console technology and features.

“Speci cally, the new models are 9 inches longer, with gunwales 2 inches higher at the helm and 4 inches higher at the bow than the previous 21-foot line,” said Jon Sutter, Yamaha Boats Product Planning Manager. “And the gunwales are thinner too, which adds to the roominess when passing by the center console.”

is series begins with the value-minded 220 FSH Sport powered by twin 1L TR-1 HO (High Output) engines. Moving up the line is the featurerich 222 FSH Sport, and the premium 222 FSH Sport E being the pinnacle of the series.

O ering sleek lines, agile handling, and superb performance, the new Yamaha 220 and 222 Series center console boats are big, with twin Yamaha marine engines generating up to 360 horsepower. Both 222 FSH models feature added performance delivered by twin 1.8L HO motors. All three models come with a fabric or berglass-molded T-Top with four “rocket launcher” rod holders.

e new 22-foot platform continues Yamaha’s trend toward contemporary design with its deep cockpit and great freeboard, enabling a spacious interior and large bow and cockpit areas.

e center console is nicely nished with plenty of room for Yamaha’s Connext® 5-inch touchscreen that controls the boat’s entertainment and vital system functions, a glass windshield, stainless steel steering wheel, a locking glove box, and a 9-inch Simrad® marine electronics system. And for the rst time on a Yamaha center console boat, all three models get a wirelesscharging phone mount.

ere’s nothing better than hanging out at a favorite cove listening to a great summer playlist. Yamaha has you covered here with its a Hertz® premium sound system that comes standard on the 222 FSH Sport E. is marine sound system comes with a Hertz® head unit, four deck speakers, and two speakers in the color-matched hardtop.

All three 22’ FSH models come standard with mounts for optional swimup seats. At anchor, two removable seats can be attached to the stern. ese seats sit just below the water’s surface, providing comfortable in-water seating facing the transom of the boat. And since the reboarding ladder is located between both seat positions, egress onto the swim platform is a breeze.

Fishing Amenities for Anglers

Understanding that fishing is the heart and soul of this product line, anglers around the globe have the below features to look forward to when purchasing a Yamaha 22FT FSH series boat:

• Storage for eight rods under the gunwales

• Storage for six rods on the side of the console

• Aerated 26-gal stern livewell

• Simrad® multi-function display

• Jet Wash® washdown system

Ultimately, Yamaha’s 22’ FSH models have set the standard in versatile luxury, while continuing to keep the end consumer in mind with its plethora of convenient amenities. Whether you’re enjoying its premium sound system or relaxing with the award-winning swim up stern seating, your days on the water can only be enhanced with Yamaha.

Learn more at YamahaBoats.com

222 FSH Sport E

Doing Your Homework

Eat, sleep, sh, repeat. Although I would love to live this life, it is just not possible… yet. I recently saw a cartoon that listed things I like to do in my spare time. Go shing, buy shing tackle, research shing and talk about shing. is rang true to me since this sport consumes my thoughts as it does many of yours. Here are a few things that I do when I am not shing that help me when I do have the opportunity to go. With the high winds of spring upon us, we all might have a little more dock time than water time.

I’m fascinated with weather. Not only do I look at the current conditions and forecast where I am, but I also look at it in areas where I travel to sh. is does a couple of things for me. First, it allows me to see possible great weather opportunities when I might be able to plan ahead and sneak away. It also keeps me from going on a day when the weather might be great, but the previous several days featured winds blowing strong from an unfavorable direction. For example, here on the Texas coast, southwest is a detrimental direction for high winds. It muddies most bays on our coast. e previous days’ wind velocity and direction are good to know and determine where I head when I launch the boat.

I spend a lot of time on the road, and I like listening to shing podcasts. Some of these give general information, and some are weekly reports covering current conditions and activity. ese can be great to stay in tune with what is happening and to learn from new points of view on approaching certain situations. ey might also cover new products I want to try.

Di erent social media platforms also keep you in tune. Find reputable anglers or guides in your area or an area you plan to go. Some frequently post how-to or what’s been working for them. ey might also talk about how to approach a certain area. If you like to travel to new areas, which I do, knowing how to approach an area can be key. In my local waters, we might approach a spot one way, but if I go to another state they may do the opposite. Knowing the local game plan can save the day.

Last but not least, I look at satellite imagery very o en. One tip is to change the view and the year the image was taken for areas you sh. ese images can be dramatically di erent than the current images, and they might o er a much-improved view of bottom structure to point you to a spot you’ll want to try next time you are on the water.

e weather is warm, don’t forget to take a kid shing!

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How To Rock a Walking Stick

An essential part of a gentleman’s wardrobe

In the 17th century, the walking stick overtook the sword as an essential part of a gentleman’s wardrobe. Though it was primarily used as a decorative accessory, it could also function as a weapon if necessary. For men of the era, these walking sticks were a statement piece, and a way to communicate their wealth and refinement.

carats

Today, walking sticks still represent status and prosperity –– a way to show off your deep pockets without being too flashy. In that vein, we present the Santa Fe Walking Stick. Made of eucalyptus wood painted a glossy black with an antiqued silverfinished sculpted handle, what gives this piece of finery a distinctive edge is an 18-carat turquoise inlay that’s been enhanced to bring out its best blues. Don’t be bashful about your affluence. See why the Santa Fe Walking Stick is the embodiment of sophisticated elegance for the modern gentleman.

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Articles inside

How To Rock a Walking Stick

1min
pages 57-59

Doing Your Homework

2min
page 56

YAMAHA 22 FT FSH LINE: FISH AND PLAY IN VERSATILE LUXURY

2min
page 55

WALK THE DOG FOR SPRINGTIME BASS

2min
pages 53-54

FEDS SLASH ALABAMA RED SNAPPER QUOTA

1min
page 52

THE ULTIMATE MIXED BAG in the Salmon Capital of the World

2min
page 51

Re-Discover Old Florida Waterfront Charm

1min
page 50

LARGEMOUTHS ON LAKE SANTA FE Springtime

4min
pages 42-48

Fishing Report Pier and Surf

3min
pages 34-39, 41

Fishing Report & Forecast Fernandina / Amelia Island

1min
page 33

Fishing Report & Forecast Nassau Sound

2min
page 31

Fishing Report & Forecast Mayport

2min
pages 27-29, 31

Fishing Report & Forecast St. Augustine Offshore

1min
page 26

Fishing Report & Forecast St. Augustine Inshore

2min
pages 24-25

ANGLERS LAND NEW IGFA WORLD RECORDS

1min
pages 22-23

RELEASE DEVICES Now Required in State Waters

1min
pages 18-21

PORGY, SNOWY GROUPER, BLUELINE TILEFISH

1min
page 17

REPOWER

1min
page 15

BIG BLUEFISH ARE ON THE WAY

3min
pages 14-15

Catch More Springtime Crappie

2min
pages 10-11

NORSE BY NORSEWEST?

1min
page 9

MAKE IT A DOUBLE!

2min
page 8

MAHI A Few Facts About Everyone’s Favorite Fish

3min
pages 6-7

Your Silver Passport to Travel the World The

1min
page 5
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