Coastal Angler Magazine | June 2022 | Northeast Florida Edition

Page 1

NORTHEAST FLORIDA EDITION

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’HOOS & GROUPER

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SHORT-LINE FOR MAHI PHOTO COURTESY OF: HAMMER DOWN FISHING TEAM IG: @HAMMERDOWNFISHINGTEAM VOLUME 27 • ISSUE 327

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SHORT LINES

By Capt. Quinlyn Haddon

LEAD TO

MORE

MAHI T

he transition into the summer months brings calmer days more viable for offshore fishing. This is the season when waterways become flooded with snowbirds and weekend warriors, although current fuel prices may keep the pressure off those hot offshore numbers. With mahi season in full swing in the Atlantic, scouting the ocean for signs of life offshore is easily most exciting this time of year. Trolling for mahi near weedlines, diving birds and floating debris is extremely productive. These fish will eat just about anything they see, so much so that I wouldn’t be surprised if you could get a hookup on a banana peel. A trolling spread for mahi doesn’t have to be elaborate. Four lines or less will get the job done. Their penchant for jumping and swimming zigzags on the surface makes tangles in the spread an unfortunate reality. Lines can be kept short, as mahi will eat near a moving boat. While fishing in heavier weeds, shorter lines allow lures to skip more to kick off grass. Lures that don’t like to rid themselves of grass can alternatively be more easily observed and manually cleared with this method. Keeping the lines short also increases the chances of a hooked fish bringing the school of mahi-mahi with them to the boat. The farther back the lines are when a mahi is hooked, the more

6 NATIONAL

JUNE 2022

time the rest of the school has to lose interest in following their buddy. Once a hooked mahi is boatside, leave them in the water as a swimming, codependent chumbag. The rest of the school often follows them, giving you a chance to hook up to more. Have something on your boat to cast out in this situation. Nearly anything will do when the school is in a frenzy. Jigs, lures, cut bait, live bait, possibly banana peels. Sometimes mahi will turn their nose up at certain baits, but the key can be entirely within the presentation. They usually prefer a bait that is teasing them and just almost out of reach. Alternate between letting the bait fall and twitching it away from them. At times, you might get ready to leave a closed-mouth school only to finally have your bait crushed as you quickly reel in the pitch bait. If this is the case, they might just be in a mood to chase something moving more quickly, and getting back on the troll may be a better idea. Diving frigates and floating debris attract more than just mahi-mahi, and there are epic sightings to be had in the open water, everywhere in between.

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LESS IS MORE WHEN RIGGING THE BOAT

Tim Barefoot

I

n a time when we are in full-throated offshore (and inshore) fishing, I’d like to address the meaning of the title of this article. We all want to put gadgets on the boat to make it more efficient and comfortable. What I’m getting ready to say may offend some folks, but the ones who actually fish for results—rather than to look good or appease mom and the kids—will get it. Less is more means the more open deck space I have, the better the dance floor is when the action starts. Period. I want a clean deck, free of “toe breakers” and stumbling blocks commonly referred to as seats and coolers I have to squeeze by. When there’s a fish ripping off drag and changing directions, I want open lanes to move up to the front of the boat or around back. You see, I’ve reached a point in life that I’m going to catch the fish I want to catch, the way I want to catch them. I troll some, but it’s early in the day to locate stacks of bait and fish. When the sun comes up to the 10 or 11 o’clock position, I start posting up with the Rhodan or drifting with a kite or float baits out. I keep a bait near the bottom and baits in

the middle water column if they are marking on the recorder or when we are getting bites on the deeper baits. What we do mid-morning is a result of how hard the current is running, the wind direction and speed or a combination of these things. If I could recommend one thing to make your boat rigging most complete, it would be a Rhodan or some other trolling motor that will keep you in place, or slow your drift with the kite directly out behind you, like you are trolling with the kite out. This will allow you to fish the lower levels of the water column for the wahoo bite in the middle of the day with lighter tackle and lighter weight jigs, and also drop a bait in front of Mr. Grouper while on the drift. Keep an eye on the recorder as you are making these long drifts, and mark the areas of bait, fish and bites so you can run back up and make the same drift again. I said all that to say this: Who says you have to use a ballyhoo trolled at 6 or 8 knots to catch fish? Slow it down to a drift or post up on a mark and catch the pelagic and bottom fish while flying the kite or with float baits. When you’ve got all that going on, excess comforts or gadgetry sometimes impede your fishing rather than making it easier. Stay tuned to upcoming videos illustrating this style fishing, but remember to keep the deck clean. Less is more. See more from Tim Barefoot at barefootcatsandtackle.com.

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hen your famous father appoints you Caesar at age 7, you’re stepping into some very big sandals. But when that father is Emperor Constantine the Great, those sandals can be epic! Constantius II, became Caesar at 7, and a Roman Emperor at age 20. Today, he is remembered for helping continue his father’s work of bringing Christianity to the Roman Empire, as well as for his valiant leadership in battle. But for many collectors, his strongest legacy is having created one of the most fascinating and unique bronze coins in the history of the Roman Empire: the “Gladiator’s Paycheck”.

the Gladiators Paycheck

Roman bronze coins were the “silver dollars” of their day. They were the coins used for daily purchases, as well as for the payment of wages. Elite Roman Gladiators—paid to do battle before cheering crowds in the Colosseum—often received their monthly ‘paycheck’ in the form of Roman bronze coins. But this particular Roman bronze has a gladiator pedigree like no other! Minted between 348 to 361 AD, the Emperor’s portrait appears on one side of this coin. The other side depicts a literal clash of the gladiators. One warrior raises his spear menacingly at a second warrior on horseback. Frozen in bronze for over 1,600 years, the drama of this moment can still be felt when you hold the coin. Surrounding this dramatic scene is a Latin inscription—a phrase you would never expect in a million years!

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FOR ANY

S I T U AT I O N By Gary Turner

W

hether it’s a mess of channel catfish for supper or trophy blue cats, I love catfishing! From Texas to Virgina and Nebraska to Florida, I have caught catfish all over the country. Some of my favorite locations are the Santee Cooper reservoirs in South Carolina and the mighty Tennessee River in the stretch from Tennessee into Alabama. Here’s some information on how I catch them in lakes and rivers. These fishing styles will work for catfish all over the country.

ON THE LAKE

I use Abu Garcia 7000 reels with an egg sinker, swivel and 6/0 to 8/0 circle hook. If you are looking for smaller fish, downsize your hooks and baits. Bait can be fresh cut bream, shad, hotdogs, nightcrawlers or even chicken breast chunks. All of these work. On Moultrie, you can anchor up and wait, but usually you can cover more area drifting. Set your rods all on one side of the boat and let them drag along beside or behind the boat. If there is no wind, you might need to troll. If there’s lots of wind, you might need to drop drift socks or a bucket to slow your drift. For this setup, you can use the same reels and baits, but you will need to change your terminal tackle. Use a three-way swivel to attach a slinky, Lindy weight to the bottom eye on 6- to 12-inch piece of 10- to 20-pound leader. You want your weight line to be lighter than your main so if the weight snags you don’t lose your whole rig. On the back eye, use 24 to 36 inches of heavier leader to your hook. Some people also put a small cork a few inches in front of the hook to keep the bait just off the bottom.

Santee Cooper is one of my favorite destinations for big catfish and smaller eaters, too. It’s actually two lakes, Lake Marion, the upper lake, and Moultrie, the lower lake. These lakes both have giant flatheads, huge blues and eating-sized channels. When fishing Lake Marion, I like to anchor up, cast out a bunch of baits and wait. If no bites in 30 minutes, I change locations and try again. There ON THE RIVER are flats and standing timber, and you just keep When fishing the Tennessee River from moving until you find feeding fish. Sometimes you Lake Chickamauga in Tennessee to Alabama’s mark lots of fish that aren’t feeding. Lake Pickwick, I usually go much heavier on

equipment. I go with Penn Fathoms on Big Cat Fever Rods with 80-pound braid main and 100-pound leaders, sinker slides for bigger weights, and 8/0 to 10/0 hooks, depending on how big the baits are. Sometimes a double-hook rig improves your odds. Skipjack, fresh or frozen, is the preferred bait, with bream and shad as backups. Don’t be afraid to use giant baits in big water. There are some giant fish down there! In rivers, where’s there’s a good current, you can bottom bump. This technique is also popular on the Mississippi River. You slow the boat so the current carries your lines downstream. Use just enough weight so your baits walk and bounce along the bottom. This is very productive and allows you to cover lots of water. Another thing we do sometimes where the river is fairly flat and slow is to slow drift with all the rods and lines straight down and the hooks just off the bottom. If you are marking good fish, make several passes over them. Sometimes this will fire them up. I hope this helps you catch more and bigger catfish next time you go. Please remember, if you are not going to eat it, don’t kill it. Gary Turner is a regular contributor to Coastal Angler and The Angler magazines. Contact him at gary@purgeright.com.


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HUNTING

GIANT PERMIT IN THE SURF

By Emily Rose Hanzlik

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reshwater or salt, I enjoy fishing for anything that swims. Specifically targeting the largest fish of a species is what I enjoy most. Whether it’s grass carp or jack crevalle, I actively seek out IGFA records to try and break. Right now, permit is on my hit list. Permit inhabit the western Atlantic from Massachusetts to southeastern

Brazil. They occur throughout the West Indies and the Gulf of Mexico, and less-frequently in Bermuda. The species is most abundant in southern Florida, where they can primarily be found inshore around bridges, inlets, on flats, deep cuts, channels and holes adjacent to these areas. They will, however, also frequent offshore wrecks, oil platforms and artificial reefs. Due to its striking similarity to the Florida pompano, in its juvenile stage, many anglers often misidentify young permit. You can distinguish the two from each other by the color of their chins, fins or bellies. Pompano will have a more yellow coloring, where a permit will be more orange in color. Permit and pompano are both members of the jack family, Carangidae, which includes about 140 species worldwide. Permit primarily feed on crustaceans and mollusks, which they crush between a pharyngeal bony plate at the back of their mouth and granular teeth on their tongue. Most fishing guides prefer to use blue crabs in the 2- to 3-inch range. Since I am specifically targeting large fish, I prefer to use fullgrown speckled crabs, which can range anywhere from 4 to 6 inches. The smallest permit I’ve caught on these big baits weighed right at the 20-pound mark. The All-Tackle IGFA World Record permit weighed in at an amazing 60 pounds and was caught out of Brazil in 2002. When fishing for permit from the beach, it’s best to know your surroundings. I always fish the holes adjacent to rip currents. To find these, you first need to locate the sandbars, which are the “whitewater areas” in the surf where the waves are breaking the most. Next, you need to find a spot along the sandbar where the wave action seems to settle. That is the cut. It is a break in the sandbar where water is forced out on a falling tide. The water rushing out causes a rip current, which is most prevalent on both sides of the cut. Finally, the areas immediately to the left and right of the rip current and just behind the sandbars are where the holes are usually located. These features can change location depending on the strength of the tide. Permit can be found in these holes at any time. However, late spring through early fall is the best season to target large permit from the beach.

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Emily Rose Hanzlik holds 45 IGFA world records in various women’s categories. She hails from West Palm Beach, where she has a part-time bowfin guide service as well as fishing classes for Jr. Anglers. Find her on Social Media @emilyhanzlikoutdoors.

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Tips for Catching Your “PB” This Summer By CAM Staff

W

ith texting and social media pushing the English language in an inexorable backward slide toward a form of communication that resembles hieroglyphs of the ancients, the abbreviation “PB” has become common in angler jargon. In case you didn’t already know, PB is short for personal best. You’ll often see it used on online forums and social media alongside photos of enthusiastic anglers holding large bass. “PB! Texas-rigged Ol’ Monster. 8-2,” such a post might read. Translated, the author of the post is indicating Lewis Smelcer caught this monster they caught the largest bass 14-pound, 4-ounce largemouth at they’ve ever caught on a large Porter Lake on March 5. plastic worm. It weighed FWC TROPHY CATCH PHOTO. 8-pounds, 2-ounces. If you bass fish, catching a 10-pound-plus fish is kind of the ultimate goal. However, the PB concept allows for legitimate celebration for the somewhat lesser achievement of catching a very nice fish that might not weigh 10 pounds. On the other hand, true lunker hunters might have surpassed the 10-pound mark many times, and PB provides another goal to strive for. Whichever camp you fall in, here are some tips that might help you make a PB post this summer: • Fish Where Your PB Lives. Do your research and find out where anglers are catching big fish. Florida’s TrophyCatch program has an online database where anglers report catching bass heavier than 8 pounds. Information provided includes date, size and location of the catch. All sorts of trends can be mined from the site’s searchable data. Find a trophy bass factory near you and fish it. • Fish For One Bite. When you specifically target big fish, sometimes you won’t catch anything else... or anything at all. The lures, tactics and locations for large bass are not the same for more aggressive smaller bass. Prepare to fish hard and fish patiently for just a few bites. Be ready to set the hook when it happens. • Fish The Thick Stuff. In summer, fish have settled into predictable patterns. The big fish are going to be holed up in the thickest cover they can find, whether that’s matted grass or a logjam. If you have to worry about how you’re going to get a fish out of a hole, that’s where your lure needs to be. • Fish Large Lures. Large bass have life figured out. They are lazy and are not likely to be out in open water chasing 2-inch shad around. They put on all that weight by expending as little energy as possible while consuming as many calories as possible. They eat the large, infrequent meals that show up right in front of them. Big 6-inch swimbaits, large jigs or huge plastic worms, if it looks like a slow-moving mouthful a large bass is more likely to eat it. It’s up to you to fish methodically and put your lure right in a fish’s face. For more bass fishing tips, visit coastalanglermag.com.

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Gulf Anglers Offered Free Release Gear R eturn ’Em Right, a program that aims to reduce catch-and-release mortality for Gulf of Mexico fish suffering from barotrauma, has launched a new program for anglers throughout the Gulf of Mexico. By participating in a short online review of best practices, anglers can receive free release gear valued at $100 to help reef fish survive release. Each year, more than 10 million federally managed reef fish are released, and at least one million of those will die soon after being released. A main reason is barotrauma, a pressure-related injury fish experience when reeled up from depth. Anglers may observe barotrauma when they release a fish, only to see it float away on the surface. For every one percent of landed and released fish anglers save through learning and using best release practices, over 100,000 reef fish could survive to grow, possibly spawn and be caught again. “I have enjoyed teaching my daughter to fish and know one way to keep the fisheries healthy for her generation is to release them properly. I hope Gulf anglers take advantage of Return ’Em Right. Free gear and training to benefit the fishery is a win-win,” said JD Dugas, a recreational angler from Louisiana.

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Return ’Em Right promotes best release practices, with an emphasis on proper use of descending devices, which research shows can improve long-term survival of reef fish by up to three times. Descending devices are weighted devices that help fish overcome buoyancy and injury by releasing them at depth. These devices come in a variety of forms FLORIDA SEA GRANT PHOTO including weighted inverted hooks, lip clamp devices and weighted crates and boxes. to be a resource to a community committed “I used descending devices for the first time to preserving the future of the sport,” said Nick recently, and I’ve seen them work firsthand. Not a Haddad, Fisheries Communications Manager, single fish floated back up the entire day offshore Return ’Em Right. Return ’Em Right is a program led by fishing,” said Alexandra Spring, three-time IGFA Florida Sea Grant, University of Florida, Gulf World Record Holder. Gulf of Mexico reef fish anglers 18 years and States Marine Fisheries Commission, NOAA older are now eligible to visit the Return ’Em Right and a coalition of anglers, industry groups, website, review best release practices and receive state agencies, universities, government and a package of release gear to use on the water. The non-government organizations committed to educational review is available to all individuals maintaining healthy fish stocks and fishing access who are interested in learning best practices in the Gulf of Mexico. The project was selected by when encountering barotrauma, regardless of age, the Deepwater Horizon Open Ocean Trustee’s as part of a 2019 Restoration Plan. location or role in the fishery. “Return ’Em Right welcomes all anglers to To participate in the Return ’Em Right program participate in the program and we are excited and get your free gear, go to returnemright.org.

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T OFFICE OF THE MAYOR LENNY CURRY

CITY HALL SUITE 400 117 W. DUVAL STREET JACKSONVILLE, FL 32202

MAYOR

April 29, 2022

Dear Friends: I am proud to welcome you to the 2022 Greater Jacksonville Kingfish Tournament! This event has been one of Northeast Florida’s greatest traditions for more than four decades. As a lifelong fishing enthusiast who greatly enjoys time on the water with family and friends, I am excited for this wonderful tradition continue in our great city. For more than 40 years, this event has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars in support of many local charitable organizations through Jacksonville Marine Charities, Inc. In addition, to its time-honored community support, the tournament engages thousands of sponsors, residents and volunteers who contribute innumerable hours to make this tournament a success. I am confident that you will feel a true sense of comradery as you support anglers and captains of all ages and skill levels. For those who are visiting Northeast Florida, I hope you will make the time to explore all that makes Jacksonville such a unique and special place. From the miles of pristine coastline to all the dining, shopping, sports, culture, and entertainment that Jacksonville has to offer. I am sure that you will find Northeast Florida is the place to be, and why so many people are proud to call our city home. Enjoy a great day on the water and best of luck. I sincerely thank you for your participation and support of our community! Sincerely,

Lenny Curry Mayor

A.

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Jacksonville Marine Charities In 1980, a small group of local businessmen wanted to organize a fishing tournament, similar to those in which they had participated in other coastal areas. They thought Jacksonville was an ideal location for such an endeavor and plans were made to launch the First Annual Greater Jacksonville Kingfish Tournament, held in July 1981. Since then, the GJKT has become one of the largest events in Jacksonville. Jacksonville Marine Charities, Inc, the 501 c(3) organization behind the Greater Jacksonville Kingfish Tournament, evolved through the success of the GJKT and utilizes its proceeds to support marine science research, preservation, and education.

Ultimately, our goal remains what it was when we were founded 40 years ago, to deliver to the fishermen and our community a first class Tournament and generate support for local marine charities. Over the past 42 years, Jacksonville Marine Charities, Inc has donated over $650,000 to the First Coast family. The Greater Jacksonville Kingfish tournament itself, however, remains the Jacksonville Marine Charitis greatest gift to the First Coast community.

Chairman of the Board

Captain Jim Suber

JMC is proud to support a variety of marine-focused charitable programs within the community including:

• Host of the ‘Down at the Dock’ Derby in partnership with Down Syndrome Association of Jacksonville. • Safe Harbor Boys Home Spot Tournament • North Florida Women Veterans Organization • Jacksonville School of Autism Flounder Pounder Tournament • Linda Netti Memorial Kayak Challenge Tournament • Jacksonville University’s Marine Science Research Institute • Development of Sisters Creek Park as the permanent site of the GJKT • Support of the MaliVai Washington Kids Foundation • Support along with the City of Jacksonville offshore & inshore reef programs • Support of the St. Johns Riverkeeper • Support of the Florida Lure Anglers Banding for Austin & Clay Roberts Inshore youth tournaments • Support of the Heroes on the Water. • Support of the Florida Wildlife Commission. • As an advocate of coastal conservation along with CCA of Florida. • Support of Duval County Maritime Management Plan

“It is all the good things that sport,

volunteerism, and charity are supposed to be—all rolled into one event.”

• Support of Hunger Fight of North Florida

-Senator Jim King

• Wounded Hero’s of America • Child Cancer Fund 4 NORTHEAST FLORIDA

JUNE 2022

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• KINGFISH EDITION


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2022 Greater Jacksonville Kingfish Tournament Board of Directors Jeff Lentz Glenn Morningstar Steve Thompson Dave Workmann, Jr. Steve Hould, Attorney of Record

Jim Suber, Chairman of the Board Bob Brindle, Vice Chairman Rita Contos, Treasurer Inez Higginbotham, Secretary Mel Hammock, Tournament Chairman Tom Anderson Howard Collins Charles Darner Carl DiSalvo Robert Gipson Fred Holmes

2022 Greater Jacksonville Vice Chair and Committee Chairmen Tournament Chairman: Mel Hammock

Vice Chairman Technology: Larry Rouse Certification: Jason Gibson Tech Support: MaryAnn Rouse Radio Room: Chuck Hayes

Office Administration: Sherrie Blunk Vice Chairman Administration: Terri Thomas Boutique: Elaine Wozny Banking: Marilyn Ratliff Volunteers: Terri Thomas Vice Chairman Administration: Fran Beach Registration: Marilyn Remm Vice Chairman Prizes: Caren Hammock Raffles: Melody Williams Prizes: Nandra Weeks Kidz Zone: Kathy Suber Jr Angler Dock Events: Tom Darga

Vice Chairman Site: Chris Ebreo Signage: Jim Mobley Liar’s Tent: Barbara Sparks Site: Elmo Bailey Security & Parking: Cal Ray Vice Chairman Water Activities: Priority Boats: John LaForge Weighmaster: Caroline Birtalan Redfish Tournament: Jim Wilson Biology: Dr. Daniel McCarthy Dr. Gerry Pinto Emeritus, Dr. Quinto White

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• KINGFISH EDITION


WHEN ONLY THE BEST CAN BE TRUSTED


MY NAME IS MEL HAMMOCK, THIS YEAR’S TOURNAMENT CHAIRMAN. It is indeed a great pleasure, on behalf of Jacksonville Marine Charities and myself to welcome you to the “42nd 121 Greater Jacksonville Kingfish Tournament”. I grew up in this waterway city enjoying the gifts of the mighty St. John’s River and the great Atlantic beyond. Fishing and boating has always been a big part of my outdoor activities. There is a greater consciousness towards family quality time these days and being outdoors. We should all do more of this…and bring some of the neighbors with you too. Let’s all enjoy and care for this slice of paradise. Roughly four decades ago a group came together to form an offshore fishing tournament and event for the engagement and participation of many anglers, entrepreneurs, businesses and families to call their own. This tournament keeps trolling along through whatever challenges has come its way. I want to thank the Board of Directors for their behind the scene and seemingly non-stop work to make this happen. It takes many hours and continued effort to keep this Tournament thriving in a more competitive age. I also want to give a huge thanks to our many fantastic volunteers who make the plan all come together. This event would not be possible without their dedication. You are going to notice a few tweaks here and there. The

ones can still join in the Jr. Angler Dock tournament July 20th. We have other happenings on site as well. There will be a Cornhole Tournament on site July 23rd with two divisions. Sign-

North and South boundaries have been extended; Brunswick to

up to come throw some bags, eat, have a cool drink and brag!

the North and Ponce Inlet to the South. No East Boundary. You

Sign up early as the Teams are limited.

can white knuckle as much as you can stand or hang closer for your prize fish. Winners have come from both near and far. Further more, you may leave from the inlet of your choice from

There will be Seafood at the Kingfish Kafe and many exhibitors to visit most of the week. So you can see, through the help of our sponsors, anglers

Brunswick to Ponce. You may also bring your fish to the scales

and all our friends ,we have a great event planned for you

by vehicle if you wish … or the traditional way via boat.

that also allows us to support many other charities in our

The 1st Place Grand Prize is Outstanding! We again have a Contender 25T with Twin 150hp Yamaha quality outboards,

community. Bring in some big fish and bigger smiles, Be extra safe and I’ll see you there. Thanks Everyone!

Custom T-Top w/ electronics box by Custom Marine and an Ameritrail Trailer. The total package is valued at near $170,000! We have expanded the Prize Structure payouts to 20 places in Big Fish and Aggregate! The Lady Angler 1st prize is $2000 and you should come see the beautiful Crystal trophy that is awarded. We all love the Junior Angler Offshore Tournament. Best part

Good Luck to all, Mel Hammock Tournament Chairman 2022

is seeing the faces shine with delight for their photo with their catch. We are proud of the youths that participate and knowing the protection of our future fisheries will be in good hands. We have prize packages thru 25 places for these young Anglers starting with the 1st Prize Ohana 14 Skiff with 25hp Yamaha and trailer valued at $14,000. Don’t have a boat ? The young

10 NORTHEAST FLORIDA

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• KINGFISH EDITION


IN REMEMBRANCE . . .

Don Pittman

Gay Septon

Henry Madsen

Board of Directors

Boatique

Liar’s Tent

Good Luck Participants!

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2022 GENERAL TOURNAMENT PRIZE STRUCTURE

$252,000 TOTAL PAYOUTS

1 PLACE 2ND PLACE 3RD PLACE 4TH PLACE 5TH PLACE 6TH PLACE 7TH PLACE 8TH PLACE 9TH PLACE 10TH PLACE ST

LARGEST FISH $160,000 BOAT, MOTOR, TRAILER* 11TH PLACE $1,000 $11,975 150 HP YAMAHA* 12TH PLACE $925 $5,000 13TH PLACE $875 $4,000 14TH PLACE $825 $3,000 15TH PLACE $775 $2,000 16TH PLACE $725 TH $1,250 17 PLACE $675 $1,200 18TH PLACE $625 $1,150 19TH PLACE $575 $1,100 20TH PLACE $525 TOTAL VALUE $198,200 AGGREGATE

1 PLACE 2ND PLACE 3RD PLACE 4TH PLACE 5TH PLACE 6TH PLACE 7TH PLACE 8TH PLACE 9TH PLACE 10TH PLACE ST

1ST PLACE BIG FISH CONTENDER25T, Twin 150 Yamaha Outboards, Ameritrail Trailer, Custom T-Top & Electronics box by Custom Marine

$12,000 $7,500 $4,500 $3,500 $2,500 $1,500 $1,225 $1,175 $1,125 $1,025

11TH PLACE $950 12TH PLACE $900 13TH PLACE $850 14TH PLACE $800 15TH PLACE $750 16TH PLACE $700 TH 17 PLACE $650 18TH PLACE $600 19TH PLACE $550 20TH PLACE $500 TOTAL VALUE $43,300

LADY ANGLER 1ST PLACE $2,000 + CRYSTAL 2nd PLACE $1,500 3rd PLACE $800 $700 4TH PLACE $600 5TH PLACE $500 6TH PLACE $400 7TH PLACE $300 8TH PLACE $250 9TH PLACE $200 10TH PLACE TOTAL VALUE $7,250

1st PLACE AGGREGATE $12,000 CASH Sponsored by Custom Tree Surgeons For every 10 boats over 300, we will add 1 place to Large & 1 place to Aggregate

General Tournament TWT’s include $50 Big Fish, Agg & Single Engine. $250 Mega for Large; 200 Mega for Single Engine; $500 Super TWT. BONU$- Additional Cash Prizes for TBD: Sponsored by North Florida Marine Association, in memory of John Lowe & Pete Lofton 1ST PLACE $1,000 2ND PLACE $500 3RD PLACE $250 Mystery Weight Fish. $1,000 for the King. Donate your extra fish & get a ticket for the drawing of 5 $100 bills. *MSRP Value Prize Structure subject to change. Totals include Jr Angler & Redfish prizes 14 NORTHEAST FLORIDA

JUNE 2022

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• KINGFISH EDITION


ONE CHANCE…..GET READY !! As you all know by now, this year’s GJKT is effectively a one-day tournament, held on Friday with the Jr Angler event held Saturday. With that said, strategies change. Chasing fish that were caught the day before, is not an option. So, what can you do to help yourself prepare for a one-day tournament? Well, here’s a few things you can do, from my perspective of fishing many kingfish tournaments over the years. First and foremost is “have a plan”. This may involve networking with your closest friends, or even pre-fishing yourself, so that you have a place to start. Then once there, stick to it….turn your VHF down and fish with confidence. If you pre-fish a week or so in advance, make notes on what tides you are catching fish on, and what baits they are eating. If you plan on using pogies, get valuable intel on where the bait is at, as close to tournament day as possible. If they are hanging off Hannah Park, chances are they will be there the next day as well….so that would be a good place to head straight to on tournament morning. Likewise, if you purchase bait, reserve yours as early in advance as you can, so you are not left out. If you like pulling ribbonfish, then get them as early in advance as well too. So now you have your plan, and your bait plan…..did you remember to make a bunch of rigs in advance too? I usually leave the inlet with 6 to 12 ribbonfish rigs already made, and I also will have at least 50 kingfish “pogy rigs”….which would vary in sizes, depending on what bait I intend to use. These are already made up and marked in packages as to what they are. You want to be setting out baits when the sun starts breaking the horizon. Hopefully by July, your boat will be serviced up and running well, as July is the peak of the Kingfish run on the Atlantic coast, namely the Northeast Florida area. If not, better make sure it is….you do not want to be “that guy” who gets towed in with a 40 pound king in the box!! Another important aspect is to have your kingfish rods full of fresh line, and your rods are in good repair. Many a

ready. I think if we had theme music for this year’s tournament, it would be from Eminem himself…..as his lyrics say it best: “You only get one shot, do not miss your chance to catch” “This opportunity comes once in a lifetime…..so get ready” (yeah I changed it a bit, whatever) So, there you have it from my simple perspective, use what you can, and be ready when luck comes your way, in the form of a 45 pound Smoker!! And I’ll see you at the scales!!

good money winning king has been lost due to tackle failure or sticking drags, when he makes one of his last runs…..so needless to say, check your tackle. Oh, and when you do have that big smoker kingfish in the boat…make sure he is iced, and iced well. Ice melts, so I like to pack as much ice as I can on

Steve Thompson Captain of the “Sea Snake”

my boat while tournament fishing, 200 to 300 pounds minimum, and more if you have room. So, in short, these are just a few things you can do to be

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• KINGFISH EDITION 5/7/14 4:20 PM


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Schedule of Events:

41th Annual Greater Jacksonville Kingfish Tournament & Festival July 13 - 23, 2022 Jim King Park & Boat Ramp at Sisters Creek Park WEDNESDAY, July 13

Media Day • DOWN AT THE DOCK DERBY FRIDAY, July 15 12:00 PM—8:00 Registration Opens 6:30 PM Redfish Captain Meeting SATURDAY, July 16 • REDFISH TOURNAMENT 2:00 PM Close of weigh-in WEDNESDAY, July 20 • JR. ANGLER DOCK TOURNAMENT 10:30 AM—12:00 PM Captains Meeting GT and Jr. 6:30 PM FRIDAY, July 22 • GENERAL TOURNAMENT FISHING 3:00 PM Weigh in opens 5:30 PM Fishing ends SATURDAY, July 23 • JR ANGLER OFFSHORE TOURNAMENT 7:30 am 9:00 am Corn Hole Tournament 2:00 PM Jr Angler ends. Close of weigh-in 2:00 PM-5:00 PM Kidz Zone • JR. ANGLER FISHING SEMINAR 4:00 PM 5:00 PM— In Association with Fish Florida & Sponsored by Salt Life Food Shack • AWARDS CEREMONIES 6:00 PM General Tournament Awards Schedules Subject to Change • Visit www.kingfishtournament.com for details

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Down at the Dock Fishing Derby Jacksonville Marine Charities and

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Inc. Together we have created an event

launched an Employment

for their members to participate in-the

Program which serves those

“Down at The Dock Fishing Derby”. This fishing derby gives

with Down syndrome who

individuals the opportunity to experience the excitement of fishing

are interested in future

and the chance to enjoy the wonderful outdoor environment that

employment. Monthly socials

we have in N. Fla. The derby includes lunch, then fishing on the

for each age group are a

docks at Sisters Creek Park. The GJKT and JMC once again look

definite plus for members.

forward to this event as we continue to serve our community. We

It not only offers fun and

support the DSAJ and hope you will

relationship building but

too.

also respite for the caregiver.

The following is a short bio on the

The DSAJ supports The

DSAJ and some of the services they

Arc Village, On-Campus

provide.

Transition Program at UNF as well as summer camp at North

The Down Syndrome Association of Jacksonville Inc.

Florida School of Special Education. We are pleased to partner with the GJKT in this event.

was established in 1989 as a To learn more about the DSAJ visit www.dsaj.org or you may contact them @ 904-353-6300 email: admin@dsaj.org.

non-profit to serve families with individuals who have Down syndrome. Since that time they have grown from meeting at kitchen tables to hosting events and activities on a weekly basis throughout the community. They are committed to helping people with Down syndrome achieve their full potential, while working to create a community that is educated, supportive, and inclusive of individuals with Down syndrome. The DSAJ also serves all ages-from birth through adult. They serve six

Se

counties and partner with many agencies that serve families in

Of Fo We

the way of Speech, Physical and occupational Therapy as well as Computer Tutoring and IEP funding assistance. Outside of services, they offer many programs, including a wellness/fitness

An

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THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM….BOAT !! As most of you already know, we have changed the format to the 2022 GJKT to a simple one-day tournament, with a bonus

aggregate, and the top 10 lady angler fish tabulated. On Saturday, we will hold our annual Kid’s boat

Kid’s tourney. In this format, we will be fishing the general

tournament…..we will end fishing that day at 2pm….meaning

tournament on Friday July 22nd, and the Kid’s tournament on

you will have to be at the weigh in line by 2pm. We shortened it

Saturday July 23rd.

up a little so that we can have time to get all the prizes ready for

On Friday, you will be able to bring and weigh in up to 2

awards Saturday evening. We anticipate pushing the awards

fish on the scales…..the biggest fish will be sorted out and the

back to around 6 o’clock, to give anglers time to go home, clean

largest 2 fish aggregate will be sorted out, and if you have a

up and still have time to make it back to the tournament site. But

lady angler, one for the lady angler. Just make sure you sort and

make sure to attend the mandatory Captain’s meeting for final

TAG them out at the dock, the computer will not automatically

details.

put a ladies’ fish in the category. At the conclusion of Friday’s tourney, we will have the top 20 big fish and the top 20

This new format will have you here ONLY ONE evening Kingfish week, for the mandatory captains meeting, then fish Friday, and if you have a junior angler to fish, you’ll fish a shortened day Saturday. (Hopefully for your junior, you took notes on Friday) then awards Saturday evening. And somebody will walk away with a boat worth more than 150,000 thousand bucks! New this year also, you may leave from any inlet, from Brunswick to Ponce. Which BTW are the boundaries….Ponce inlet north, to Brunswick inlet south. You can’t fish south of Ponce Or north of Brunswick. Not even for bait. Also new this year, is you can bring your fish to the weigh scales at the tournament site, via your vehicle. BUT, if you do that, be advised that it will shorten your fishing day considerably, also be aware of traffic and heat (as in keeping your fish freshly iced) as major factors. There will be explicit instructions at the captains meeting on this procedure. Basically, that fish needs to be heavily iced and in a fish bag. The Tory Meter will be in full swing. All fish weighed by boat will have to bring the fish to the scales at the tournament site. You WILL be able to “run the ditch” if you want to. Again, just be aware of no wake zones, because if the “MAN” stops you, you may face disqualification…..so follow the rules. Let me add, these changes are made, so that we can be proactive during difficult times. And with this new format we intend to maintain the growth we have started. All these decisions were made with genuine intent. So, make your plans now to be a part of the action. And I hope to see you all at the tournament scales!!

Capt Steve Thompson Sea Snake

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Jacksonville REDFISH Tournament Saturday 16, July 2022

Presented by Jacksonville Marine Charities Sponsored by C & L Landscaping

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15 Places to be awarded Largest - Boat Most Spots /Boat & Kayak 1st Place - $2,500 1st Place - $2,500 2nd Place - $1,000 2nd Place - $1,000 3rd Place - $500 3rd Place - $500 4th Place - $300 4th Place - $300 5th Place - $200 5th Place - $200

Kayak Weight 1st Place - $2,500 2nd Place - $500 3rd Place - $250 4th Place - $200 5th Place - $100

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We want to be your driller! For business inquiries, call our Business Development Manager Johnny at 904-832-1720

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In Memory of a a dedicated member of our fishing community and the Greater Jacksonville Kingfish Tournament - Donald Pittman Don was one of the original members of our community who was in the room where it happened. His vision, along with other strong community leaders, founded the Greater Jacksonville Kingfish Tournament in 1981. Don was an

and fishing categories, along with spending countless hours volunteering and lobbying for the tournament. Don’s love and commitment to the tournament was shared by his family. Don’s wife, Carol, and daughter, Susie Slappey,

original board member

both served on the board for many years and chaired the

and went on to chair the

tournament in 1997 and 2001, respectively. His children and

tournament in 1986. He

grandchildren fished the tournament for years. Son, Matt

was also an inaugural

Pitman, was crew on the tournament winning boat in 1999

VIP Captain and fished

and grandson, Will Parry, won the Junior Angler tournament in

boat number 11 for many

2011.

years. He was passionate and instrumental in

Don’s legacy to the Greater Jacksonville Kingfish Tournament will be long remembered.

working with city leaders to secure a permanent site for the tournament. Over the years, he sponsored many tournament events

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TAKE A KID FISHING! It’s time once again for the 2022 edition of the Greater Jacksonville Kingfish Tournament. And with that comes

and enjoying a day on the water and wonders of the great outdoors, and especially our magnificent ocean. Since it’s inception, the Junior angler entry fee has been only

the annual Junior Angler portion of the tournament. A day

s

dedicated only to the

$10 for boats that are entered in the general tournament. If you

Juniors.

so desire, and are not registered in the general tournament,

This year the

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Junior Angler boat

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you can enter your Junior to only fish the Junior angler day for $50.

tournament will be

We generally have upwards of 200 or more juniors fishing

held on July 23rd….

with us, as anyone 16 years or younger can fish. Once again,

that’s a Saturday…..

we will be awarding prizes for the top 25 kingfish weighed,

the day after the

with the grand prize package of a boat motor trailer package!

general tournament

Hard to beat that. So, come on out and be a part of making a special day for

which will be held on Friday. The concept of

your junior angler, and I’m just betting your blessings will be tenfold.

- Chuck Darner

the Junior angler tournament is to get the kids off the couches, away from the video games,

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Redfish Tournament Tips There are so many reasons to do a redfish tournament!

hot. In the

Not only is the friendly competition fun, but you can learn a lot

Greater

about how to find, pattern, and catch redfish while competing. I

Jacksonville

don’t fish quite as many tournaments as I did in the past, but let

Redfish

me tell you, I learned a lot of the techniques that I now use every

Tournament,

day as a guide while on the tournament trail. While this article

you can

may be more geared toward the serious tournament angler,

use live or

anyone can use these tips and techniques when you’re on the

artificial

water to help you catch more redfish.

baits. That’s

First things first... have fun! That’s really what it’s all about.

a great thing

Get your best friend, wife, husband, or maybe your son or

because

daughter out there to compete with you. It’s a great excuse to

it can be a little tough to get redfish to take an artificial when

spend a whole day fishing with somebody, when you wouldn’t

the water is hot and murky. That being said, a top-water plug

normally have the chance. I have fished in a lot of tournaments

is almost always my go-to first thing in the morning this time

with some of my best friends and I’m looking forward to doing

of year. One little trick we do while tournament fishing is we’ll

some with my daughters when they get a little bit older. I’ve

have one person toss a top-water plug and the other(s) toss a

made some great memories that I’ll never forget while fishing in

soft plastic or in this case you could toss a live shrimp. That

tournaments. And maybe, just maybe, I have won a few bucks

way if you have a redfish chase down your top-water plug but

too. Funny enough, it always seems like the less seriously we

miss it, you can get the sub-surface lure or bait in front of him

take ourselves, the better we do. That’s not to say we don’t fish

right away. Usually that results in a bite! If you get a chance

hard and try to catch the fish we need, but having a laid-back

to do some “pre-fishing” and you’ve located some redfish that

attitude can go a long way towards having a good time and

are tournament worthy, it may be a good idea to put the lures

again, that’s really the whole point.

away and just soak a chunk of blue crab or even a piece of cut

Have you ever heard the line, “Never leave fish to find fish”?

mullet. When “pre-fishing” we sometimes toss a top-water plug

It holds true almost any time you’re out fishing...but not so much

with no hooks just to locate the fish. That way the fish might still

for redfish tournament fishing. Sometimes you might be on a

be there during tournament day, and you can use something

great bite, but the redfish just aren’t the right size. Because most

with a higher percentage of catch rate like a live bait or a soft

redfish tournaments are scored by the weight of slot redfish,

plastic. My soft plastic of choice for this time of year would be

numbers won’t do much for you unless you are upgrading

a Saltwater Assassin Paddle tail on a 1/8 or 1/4 oz jighead. You

your fish. It can be hard to leave a spot where you’re catching

can just cast and reel that rig and cover a ton of water. We’ve

numbers of fish, but sometimes it’s totally necessary. I would

placed in the top 5 many times tossing that setup all day.

say once you have a couple fish in the livewell it may be time to

One last thing I must mention is regarding your tackle.

move to an area where you think a heavier-weight fish might be

Even for a typical day of fishing I will check out all my tackle

hanging out. Redfish of similar size tend to hang out together.

and make sure everything is rigged just right, with no old

If you’re catching a bunch of 20” fish, that’s usually a good

leaders or a rig that’s been tied on the line for a long time. But

indicator that most of them will be right around that size. We

it’s especially important to double check your gear before a

always hoped to find the perfect 26.99” fish, but if we found a

tournament. You may only hook that one big fish during the day

spot where we were catching fish that were just slightly over the

and you don’t want him to break off because you were using

slot, we would stick with it. That would be a good spot to weed

older line or a frayed leader. I even go as far as to grab a good

through the ones that were too big and try get one right at the

file and sharpen the hook I plan to use during the tournament.

top of the slot. In the Greater Jacksonville Redfish Tournament

It’s one easy (and cheap) way to give you the best chance at

there’s a (most) spots division as well. That really comes down

landing that big, tournament winning redfish.

to getting lucky and finding a redfish with multiple spots. So in

The Greater Jacksonville Redfish Tournament is a fun, family-

that case, if you’re catching a bunch of slot reds in one area, it’s

friendly event with some great prizes for boats and kayaks. Sign

probably worth staying to see if you can get lucky and score a

up and have a fun day of fishing with a chance to win some big

spotty one, regardless of their (slot) size.

money!!

We are getting into the time of year when the water is getting COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

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Junior Angler Offshore Tournament Saturday, July 23nd– Jim King Park and Boat Ramp at Sisters Creek

Presented by TB Landmark Construction, Summit Contracting, Palms Fish Camp, Fish Florida, Atlantic Coast Marine

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The Jr. Angler Offshore Tournament, established in 1991, promotes the participation of youthful fishing in a sporting event which encourages conservation of marine life and awareness of

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25 PRIZE PLACES!! First place, largest fish will be a custom All juniors who weigh a fish (excluding First Place winner), will be entered in a random drawing for a $500 Cruises & Tours

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gift Certificate (Must be present to win. Drawing to be held Saturdayon ‘Awards Day’). The GJKT, in association with Fish Florida and Sponsored by Salt Life Food Shack are continuing the Junior Angler seminar program in 2022. The seminar will be held on Saturday of Tournament Week. The seminar is approximately 45 minutes in length. The first 100 Junior Anglers participating in

5:17 PM

the seminar will receive a complimentary rod and reel, courtesy of Fish Florida.

JUNIOR ANGLER KINGFISH TOURNAMENT Jr. Angler Captain’s Meeting: Wednesday, July 20, 6:30PM Jr. Angler Offshore Tournament: Saturday, July 23, 7:30AM - 2:00 PM Jr. Angler Awards Ceremony: Saturday, July 23, 6:00 PM

REGISTRATION: Registration Fee $10.00 / $50 per child, without a GT entry! Registration ends at 6:30 PM on Wed, July 20th

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Kids Dock Fishing Tournament

Wednesday, July 20th from 9:30 am. to 11:30 a.m. Located right at Sisters Creek Marina, on our 14’ wide floating docks and pier

TOURNAMENT INFORMATION: • Registration fee is $ 10 per child. A parent or guardian must register each child. • Registration form must be received at the Greater Jacksonville Kingfish Tournament registration area no later than 18 July 2022. • The winner will be determined by measuring the total length of all fish caught. All fish will be measured nose to a pinched tail. • All participants are required to provide their own equipment and bait. • The Fishing Tournament will run from 9:30am to 11:00am July 20, 2022. • Hot dog lunch immediately following the Tournament.

TOURNAMENT RULES: • FWCC Catch and Release rules apply. All fish caught will be eligible for weigh in with the exception of stingrays and invertebrates such as crabs & jellyfish. In case of a tie the earliest recorded measurement time will be declared the winner.

• Only one rod per angler will be allowed. • Participants must be 15 years or younger as of Kids Dock Tournament date. • Only one parent or adult guardian will be allowed to accompany a child on the dock. • The Greater Jacksonville Kingfish Tournament recommends that ALL children wear approved personal flotation device while on the dock. • Shoes or sandals must be worn at all times while on the dock. • Wrist bands will be provided to all registered participants and must be worn to gain access to the dock. • Due to the size of the dock the tournament is limited to 100 participants.

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The Tale of a Winning Fish On the second day of the 2021 Greater Jacksonville

tense as it did a few death circles around the boat just out of

Kingfish Tournament, we went to one of our favorite fishing

reach. Finally Reid Parry was able to get a shot with the gaff

spots just East of Jacksonville. The team, including Reid Parry,

and landed the fish in the boat. We knew it was a good fish,

Jarrod Hodgkins, Ryan Hagins, Logan Varn, and myself fishing

but we weren’t sure if it was a winner. We headed to weigh in

aboard our Mercury powered Contender. We were fishing in

back in Jacksonville. Shortly after 6 pm we got the call that we

roughly 100 foot of water around 10:30 am when the big fish

had been able to hold off the other competitors to take first

decided to make our day. Jarrod Hodgkins made quick work

place. Winning Greater Jax is a great memory none of us will

of the 42-pound kingfish after it blistered off 100 yards of line.

forget.

-Spencer Ross

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Good Luck to the participants in the 42nd Greater Jacksonville Kingfish Tournament.

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HOOK TO GAFF By Terry Lacoss

Greater Jacksonville kingfish teams take plenty of time in

hooked kingfish are played with ultra-fine drags set at their weakest

planning their fishing waters, securing live baits, and setting up a

advantage. When a kingfish makes that speedy getaway run, the

productive both live and dead bait kingfish spread. However, once

kingfish rod is held high allowing the hooked king mackerel to

a potential tournament winning kingfish is hooked, special angling

showcase their speedy exit, ultimately running out of energy and a

techniques will need to be applied in cashing your check.

getaway plan.

Through many past kingfish seasons, successful king mackerel

At the end of the kingfish battle, the navigator eases up to the

fishermen have down-sized their kingfish tackle in order to entice

tiring king mackerel as it makes wide deep circles just below the

tournament size king mackerel to take a live, or dead kingfish bait.

surface. Deep under the surface a long silvery fish begins to show

Fishing lines have dropped from 30, to 20-lb test. Wire kingfish

its size as the sun’s ray’s shine on the silvery sides of the king

leaders have also been downsized as well. A deadly game king

mackerel.

mackerel fishermen play, dropping their fishing line size and piano

Suddenly the hooked kingfish beats it’s long, narrow tail like an

wire leader size down until they unfortunately begin to have wire

eggbeater, propelling it to the surface like a rocket. At the same

leaders bitten into by the sharp teeth of the king mackerel, or an

time, the boat driver gives the outboard just enough throttle to put

ultra-light main fishing line is parted during a high-speed kingfish

the gaffer in range of making a successful strike with his 12-foot,

run.

two-piece kingfish gaff.

Small kingfish hooks are always subject to loosening their grip

The angler steps off to the side while maintaining constant rod

when foul hooked on the side of a kingfish and holding onto by just

pressure on the head of the king mackerel, allowing the gaffer to get

a fragment of skin.

into position. Keeping the gaff in a low position, the team member

Taking all this light tackle kingfish tactic into consideration,

reaches way out over the water and positions the point of the 3-inch

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gaff just behind the head of the hooked kingfish. Seconds later, a

When king fishing first became popular, many of the gaffs

short stroke is made with the gaff and the exhausted king mackerel

designed to land sizeable king mackerel were bare aluminum

is hauled into the kingfish boat, headfirst!

that shined brightly on a sunny day. As king mackerel fishing

At his point you can always tell if the kingfish is a money winner

techniques progressed, king mackerel fishermen began painting

as the kingfish team will be showing signs of glory with high fives

their gaffs black, so they did not spook hooked kingfish into making

and shouts of success.

a final dash for freedom.

Aftco manufactures a two-piece, 12-foot kingfish gaff with the

While I often see fishermen holding their ready gaff in a high

3-inch hook. King mackerel teams are also recommended to have

position, this also spooks kingfish! Hold the gaff in a low position,

on board a second 8-foot gaff. When bringing over the side a real

don’t wave that gaff at a hooked king mackerel!

“Smoker” mackerel fishing teams are always ready with a second

Waiting for the right moment to stick a hooked kingfish with a

gaff when needed. When gaffing a kingfish at the bow, a 12-foot

long kingfish gaff is extremely critical in landing your catch. Always

gaff works best and when gaffing along the side, the 8-foot gaff is a

wait for the king to swim within gaffing range, wait until the king

better choice.

is swimming away from you and approach the king from the tail to

Aftco also offers a lightweight, fiberglass kingfish gaff with a

the head. Lay the point of the gaff just behind the head and stick

3-inch hook. In some cases, a lightweight, flexible gaff is preferred

the king, using a short jerking motion. By gaffing the kingfish just

over aluminum gaffs because they have some flex when a big king

behind the head, you will be able to lift the kingfish headfirst out of

decides to take off when you stick the king in the back with your

the water and onto the deck of your kingfish boat.

gaff. That little bit of flex in the gaff helps keep the hook in the king,

Gaffing a hooked kingfish behind the dorsal fin and towards the

instead of having the hook rip free when a rigid aluminum gaff is

tail allows the gaffed kingfish to dive headfirst and rip the gaff free.

used.

Finally, always place a round cork float over the point of the gaff to

Seasoned king mackerel fishermen have also custom built

avoid any nasty accidents.

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Fishing Report & Forecast Nassau Sound By Capt. Tony Bozzella

D

epending on the tide I like to be very methodical on how I approach fishing in June July and August. The hot months can be a little more challenging therefore I like to make my mornings fish specific. If we have a low tide in the morning hours, I will set my sights on fishing redfish in the back country, either site fishing a backing fish or blind fishing run outs and oyster rips. I like a 1/4 oz TBS jig, paired with a shrimp or mud minnow or a

finger mullet. All good baits. Get out very early when things are still & uninterrupted. A great time to be on the poling platform being stealthy quiet. Remember, the red schools are broken up & most fish will be cruising single. One shot one chance! If the water is high or incoming, top water & lipped diving artificials can be very effective. Know how to use your lure of choice, be in tune with it, and know what it’s doing on the pause etc. I like to work points with bait & current, and over structure. Pick out several good places & work them at the correct times. After the sea breezes pick up and the water starts to get dirty, I usually call it a day. Often times beach runs become good with high sun, & you can see bait pods. I find that as the day warms up and mid day hot weather bite slows inshore, I work deeper and deeper as the day warms. So go deep or plan the next mornings trip!! Tight lines.

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

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FLOAT FISHING (OLD SCHOOL YOU SAY) By Frank Gregg

T

he year was 1970. I had just turned 24 years old and ready to start my sales career in Jacksonville, a city I was soon to learn after getting lost several times going back and forth over many bridges, was surrounded by water. Coming from a state that was also surrounded by water (Michigan) and growing up with a fishing pole in my hand, I couldn’t wait to see what the fishing was like in these southern brackish waters. It wasn’t long after getting settled in that I found a local tackle shop called Crady’s Bait and Tackle on Main St. After a lengthy conversation with the owner, it was recommended I hire a local fishing guide named John Dyrssen. I was soon to learn that my fresh water fishing skills would be of little help and I was in for re-educating my fishing skills to master

trim the knot as he did not want it to untie itself as the knot is slid up and down the main line above the float to determine how deep the bait is fished. After making several drifts I could see the true genius of the float-rig since the fishing line stops running through the float once the Uni-Knot jams against the bead above the float. Depending on our location that day, John would continually position the stopper knot up the fishing line until the float rested on it’s side, he said once the float laid over the lead weight was on the bottom, he then would move the stopper knot slightly down the line so the float would then sit upright in the water, this will position the bait and weight slightly above and just off the bottom. John believed most trout and redfish live and feed at that level.

fishing in tidal waters that rise and fall as much a 5 to 6 feet on a daily basis. I was also soon to learn that fishing these tidal waters required a method that would allow you to drift with the tide, presenting a live bait (shrimp) effectively at depths from 2 to 30 feet or more. On my first trip with John, he would describe his sliding - bobber set up as a floatrig and the float-rig is best fished from a anchored boat, anchoring up current from a likely seatrout or redfish spot is the key. Another key to this float-rig fishing is the terminal tackle set up. Johns set up that day, was a 7 foot rod with a bait caster reel, spooled with 20 pound test mono line. I watched as he set up the float-rig, first he slipped on one of the orange colored beads, next he slid on the a 10 inch balsa float with the bright colored end toward the reel, the white end to the line end, he then slide on the second bead and tied the fishing line to one end of a 11/2 oz oblong sinker, he then took a 3 foot piece of 17 lb. mono leader material and tied it to the swivel end of the sinker, he then tied a number 2 wide bend hook to the opposite end of the leader. John stated the reason for the leader material to be less in test than the fishing line so if the hook becomes snagged on the bottom only the leader and the hook are lost, not the entire float-rig. Probably the most important thing John taught me that day was the stopper knot he tied onto the fishing line with a short length of 20lb. mono above the whole rig, he referred to the knot made as a Uni-Knot, he did not

How time passes by, looking back over my 52 years in this great city, nothing can replace the years I have spent float fishing. This method has allowed me to catch many gator trout over 5 lbs., the largest being a 33 inch fish that was 17.5 inches in girth and weighed right at 12.4 pounds, I released this fish and later had a replica mount done. I am honored to have fished with iconic anglers and guides such as John Dyrssen, Abe Diamond, Dave Fincel and others who made their living using the float rig. Float fishing as John describes it, is a drift and retrieve method of fishing, you must keep the cork moving slowly with the tide, sometimes as far back as 50 yards until you find that precise spot and the cork disappears, being pulled down by that giant trout or redfish. This time tested float-rig can be your best friend, it is a proven method that can be used from a boat, kayak, bridge or dock. For those who will take the time to use it correctly, I guarantee it will put more fish in your cooler than all other lures and rigs combined.

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

Snapper Time

T

hat’s right June is snapper time. We are fortunate here in NE Florida to have a variety of snapper species to choose from. With the federal government continuing to ignore the obvious by keeping the Red Snapper closed we are forced to target other snapper species. June marks the beginning of the Mangrove snapper season. Mangrove

or Gray snapper run large in our waters with 5 to 10# fish being the norm. Look for mangos in 80 to 140 ft of waters especially on the higher profile ledges and wrecks. This is light tackle fishing due to their habit of being leader shy. Just enough lead to get to the bottom is the preferred method. The only issue is keeping the pesky Red Snapper off your baits. In addition to Mangos large Mutton snapper will inhabit the same areas as well as Vermillion snapper. Chumming is helpful just don’t go to heavy or the Red Snapper will take over. We normally cut up Spanish sardines for chum. There will still be some Grouper around especially in the deeper water. On the trolling scene King mackerel will start to appear nearshore as water temps rise. Hard to beat a slow trolled live Menhaden for bait. This is a slow speed game, and the results can be some spectacular bites. Looking forward to the calm seas of summer and warm temperatures.

“Let’s Go Fishing” Captain Robert Johnson (904)540-2628 Jodielynncharters.com Jlfishing@bellsouth.net

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

W

ith air temps getting into the mid to upper 90’s the next few months it’s a good idea to get on the water as early, or as late as possible as the fish will be on the feed during those times and laying low during the heat of the day. Inshore toss your favorite top-water plug at first light for exciting redfish and trout blowups. If you’re not an “early bird” check out the dusk bite using the same lures. The fishing right off the beach really comes alive this time of year. Huge sharks, tarpon, kingfish, and many more will be chowing down on the giant pods of pogies right behind the breakers. It’s a great time to put your heavier tackle to the test! When looking to catch some redfish be on the lookout for concentrations of finger mullet or pogies on the flats. You can be guaranteed that at least a redfish or two will be hanging nearby a big school of baitfish this time of year. During the higher tide stages one of my favorite lures to toss this time of year

64 NORTHEAST FLORIDA

JUNE 2022

is the spinner bait as it nicely mimics a finger mullet. The water is murky right now and the bright flash of the spinners blade and the thump it creates while going through the water will be sure to get the fishes attention. On the lower tide stages a lot of the bigger fish will move to slightly deeper water where it’s a little cooler. Any kind of live or chunked bait will work well for reds, trout, and flounder when fishing deeper. A scented soft plastic fished very, very slow will also be a good bet. The flounder bite should be good at the St. Augustine and Mantanzas inlets and just about all the regular inshore flatty haunts. Fishing around the slack tides will give you the best chance to get your bait on the bottom where the flounder hide. Small to medium sized finger mullet on a fish finder rig can be deadly... Don’t be afraid to use a good sized mullet to catch the doormats… just remember to let the flounder chew on the bait a few moments before setting the hook. One of my favorite fish, the tarpon, should be showing up along the beach gorging themselves on the bait (pogy) pods just about now. The best bite will be early morning and just before or after the afternoon summer rainstorms. Rig a live pogy on a large 6/0-10/0 circle hook and fish the outside of the bait pods. Sometimes a little weight to help the pogy get down will help. After a somewhat slow start to the cobia season last month it might be worth an extra look around the pogy pods just in case there’s a brown bomber still lurking around.

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

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Fishing Report & Forecast Mayport By Capt. Kirk Waltz

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ummer is upon us and I look forward to calm seas and the right amount of ocean swell. The month of May started out with a bang with a few crazy weather fronts. A cool frontal boundary in May brought us an unexpected NE flow that made going offshore a bit tough. The crazy NE winds kept the water from climbing and kept the sheepshead biting but that should change. I believe that our normal Bermuda High weather patterns will begin to dominate our weather soon. Look for copious amounts of bait to push into the beach and bring bull reds, sharks, tarpon, kings ,bonita, sailfish, cuda’s, and cobia. Catch a live well full of these and pitch back into the pods. I try to find big swirling black or dark bait pods that have not had a net tossed on them. Big fish can be easily spooked and stealth will pay big dividends. Just toss a med heavy spinner like a Shimano Saragosa Spinner 6000 and a med heavy rod rigged with a 2-3oz egg sinker and a 4 ft length of 60-80 shock leader with a 5/0 live bait hook back into the foray and hang on. If there is any fish in the pod they should whack it! Look for the striking fish to hit these live baits trolled over the regular haunts both on the beach and the local party ground hot spots. We had striking fish show in early May and I think it’s only going to get better. Kings, cudas, sharks, bonita, sails, and cobia will lurk around the hot spots and should 66 NORTHEAST FLORIDA

JUNE 2022

readily take these frisky baits .When pogies can’t be found you better have some Sabiki rigs . I like a No#6 Sabiki in green or red to catch a few live baits to fill my live well. Take these offshore and hit any of the local party ground spots. I usually put out a spread with a Shimano Speedmaster II Trolling reel with 20-30lb line. This works best and a short piece of wire for slow trolling rigs can be easily made or stop by Strike Zone or B&M and the boys will sell you premade rigs or show you how to make ‘em.The bottom fishing can be good this month for seabass, grouper, beeliners, triggers, and snapper. Check the regs for what you can and cannot keep as they vary. The big rocks will hold redfish and trout with a small amount of action for Spanish on the higher tides. A Clark spoon or Seahawk work well for the Spanish with a small length of wire attached. As the heat builds the reds and trout seek cooler water so try to keep that in mind when you check the rocks. The rip outside of the rocks will hold kings, cudas, sharks, cobia, and an occasional sailfish. Slow troll this area on the bottom of the outgoing tide for best results. The inshore Mayport basin both north and south from the little jetties will hold trout, reds, some drum, sheepshead, and flounder along with lots of jacks and ladyfish. The falling outgoing tide produces the best result. Try topwater plugs early like a Bomber-Long A or a white gulp swimming minnow for positive results.Remember as it gets hot these fish feed early and late in the back country. I also go to my old standby of mud minnows or shrimp on a 1/4oz jig to catch a few fish for the cooler.. Bookings for charters can be done by email or phone. Go to Enterprisefishingcharters.com for more info or call 904-626-1128

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Fishing Report & Forecast Flagler/Palm Coast By Captain Shane Stover

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ummer is here and so are the fish. Look for Redfish,Trout, and Flounder to be on the flats and creeks throwing a paddle tail or a live bait like a Mud Minnow, live shrimp or mullet will work well at first or last light to target these species. Look for the Trout and Snook bite to still hold steady around bridges and dock lights a free line live shrimp or mullet will work well to target these fish just make sure you have tide moving and you will produce some fish. As the water warms up look for fish to hold in the deeper parts of creeks and along

the ICW . Inlet bite should be good this month look for big Redfish,Blackdrum,Flounder, and jacks etc to be holding around rock piles the last of a outgoing to the first hour or so of incoming tide will be your best luck, chunks of Crab,Mullet,or live shrimp will do the trick! Nearshore fishing will be great this month look for schools of Pogies along the beach and you will find Tarpon,Kingfish,and Sharks. Hook size will depend on size of baits but anything around a #6 should do the trick on the Sharks and Kingish make sure to use a wire leader to keep from getting cut off. Bonito will also be showing up look for birds diving and fish busting underneath them Spoons or small plugs will work well rigged on some light tackle!.

CAPTAIN SHANE STOVER (386)931-1219 CAPTAINSHANEFISHING@GMAIL.COM

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Red Snapper is coming up. Are you ready? PRESS RELEASE h Snap! Fishing is thrilled to introduce our 2nd Annual Charitable Event that includes 2 days of Sea, Sun, and Red Snapper, taking place Friday July 8th & Saturday July 9th 2022 in Jacksonville, Florida at the Joe Carlucci Sisters Creek Boat Ramp during a brief 3 day Red Snapper Season to harvest Red Snapper on the Atlantic waters. Oh Snap! Fishing’s overall mission is to support nonprofit organizations within our First Coast community through fundraising and financial expansion, with a special focus this year on helping sponsor a Child’s Dream with Dreams Come True & The Jacksonville School for Autism. Dreams Come True, Bringing hope & joy to every First Coast Child battling a life-threatening illness. www.dreamscometrue.org; Jacksonville School for Autism, Helping individuals with Autism & their families by tapping into all available resources to provide “outside the desk” thinking. www.jsakids.org This tournament was created in order to have some fun while doing some good! Oh Snap Fishing’s primary goal is to raise money for the children of Dreams Come True and the Jacksonville School for Autism. Enjoy some time with friends and family in the beautiful waters surrounding Jacksonville FL. It’s all for Charity! Our goal is impossible without your help! Oh Snap Fiashing & Dreams come True are seeking sponsor for this year’s Tournament. Dreams Come True has extended a personal invite for the Title Sponsor to join them for an exclusive Dream Party for the Child they sponsored with their donation. The Dream party is a special celebration to inform the Child and their family of their child’s dream trip including the details of the trip helping their Dream come True. Oh Snap Fishing is a 501c3 non-profit organization so all

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donations are 100% tax deductible. Captain’s Meeting; Thurs. July 7, 6-8pm - Mavi Waterfront Bar & Grill Weigh-In; Fri. July 8, 1-4pm - Joe Carlucci Sisters Creek Boat Ramp Weigh-In; Sat. July 9, 1-4pm - Joe Carlucci Sisters Creek Boat Ramp Award Ceremony; July 10, 2-4pm - Mavi Waterfront Bar & Grill 2022 REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN. Go to www.ohsnapfishing. com. Step 1 - Complete Registration Form. Step 2 - Complete PayPal Checkout (PayPal account not needed). Early Registration $250; Registration $350 (after June 30th); Late Registration $450 (July 7th). Registration payment must be received in full by 8pm on July 7th, 2022 in order to enter tournament. Registration includes: One main contest entry (1 boat, 8 anglers max); One (1) Lady Angler entry; One (1) JR angler entry; One mystery weight contest entry. Each paid registration includes entry into each above contest so make sure to bring the whole family to take advantage! When it comes to snapper fishing, big baits catch the big chunky reds. Frozen Boston mackerel is effective, although you can’t go wrong with grunt plugs, live grunts and live pogies. A fool-proof rig is a modified fish finder rig made of 100-lb leader. Sandwich a sliding egg sinker of appropriate weight between two sliding beads and two swivels connected by roughly 18 inches of leader. Then attach roughly six feet of leader to a strong circle hook. Use crimps or a knot appropriate for heavy lines, like a 3-turn clinch that’s been well lubricated before properly seated. Remember these fish will grow weary after the first day of battle — Stealthy presentation is key. Good Luck

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

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ing mackerel will be prowling along the beaches during the month of June where big concentrations of baitfish are present including menhaden and greenies. Summer kings can weigh up to fifty-pounds, but a more common weight is 15-pounds. Two of the best summer kingfish spots inshore includes both Nassau Sound and the St. Mary’s inlet. Look for the first of the incoming tide to harbor the best kingfish action while live bait trolling or anchored up at your favorite kingfish waters and chum fishing for kings that could weigh up to the fiftypound mark. Spanish mackerel will be schooling at the mouth of the St. Mary’s jetty rocks during an in-coming tide as well and should provide both excellent eating and a good fight while trolling with a small Clark spoon light tackle as well. Live Spanish mackerel also provide excellent live baits for kingfish as well.

Captain and mates are not included. Backwater fishermen will find the numbers of mullet schools have increased during the month of June where schooling redfish and sea trout will find an easy meal. Best action comes when there is an incoming tide flooding oysterbars at sunrise while casting a surface plug including the Storm “Chug Bug” or “Zara Spook” in a chrome and blue color pattern. During muddy water conditions, a chartreuse colored surface plug works best. Be sure and work your surface plug slow but deliberately as both redfish and sea trout take extra time in honing into a noisy surface plug. Look for areas where a sandbar or oyster bar falls out into a nearby deep channel and there are schools of mullet passing the ambush point. Small creek mouths that empty out into large bays from a large spartina marsh are great fishing waters when targeting redfish that are

Hard fighting and excellent eating cobia will be holding along the beaches of Amelia Island where menhaden schools are the big attraction. Offshore wrecks and big ledges where large concentrations of bait fish are common will also harbor excellent cobia action as well. Also be sure and check out the channel buoys located at the St. Mary’s shipping channel where cobia will be foraging on baitfish holding on the chain of the buoy. During past cobia runs a live menhaden fished under a small float for surface cobia, or deep jigging a barbed menhaden on a 4-ounce led head jig works best. Bright chartreuse bucktail jigs with a streak of bright red hair is also a deadly fishing tactic when inquisitive cobia swim right up to your sport fishing boat. Be sure and have a 20 to 30-pound spinning rod and reel ready in a nearby rod holder when cobia suddenly follow up a hooked cobia, or deep-water game fish! Offshore bottom fishermen will find good numbers of gag grouper at FA, FC and HH fish havens while fishing dead on the bottom with a “Knocker” setup. This includes a four-ounce egg weigh threaded onto your 100-pound monofilament shock leader which rests right against your 7/0 kahle hook. This setup fishes the live or dead bait smack on the bottom where gag grouper will more than likely take you bottom bait. Best grouper bait is a pinfish fileted on both sides leaving the sides of the fish on, so the fish smell attracts nearby grouper. Current FWC gag grouper regulations allow fishermen to keep one grouper per day measuring at least 24-inches with a four fish aggregate per boat.

waiting for bait fish to fall out from the fishy marshes. Drift a large live shrimp, or small finger mullet under a brightly colored float for best results. The little jetty rocks located at the very southern portion of Amelia Island should offer excellent sea trout action during an early morning or late afternoon in-coming tide. Fish a ¼ ounce chartreuse colored led head jig rigged with a curly tail plastic in the clear color pattern with blue metal flakes, super slow and close to the rocks. The tip of the southern portion of these small jetty rocks offers the best action. Sea trout, redfish, flounder, jack crevalle, blues and lady fish will provide excellent light tackle action while casting a 3/8ths ounce led head and white Berkley Gulp shrimp combo along the edge of the St. Mary’s jetty rocks. Look for some of the best action to come at the inside of the south jetty rocks during the falling tide. Tarpon will be arriving in Amelia Island waters as well during the month of June as well. The tip of the St. Mary’s rock jetties offers some of Florida’s best tarpon action while fishing all the in-coming tide. Fish dead on the bottom with cut baits including menhaden, mullet, croaker, yellowmouth trout or Spanish mackerel. The beaches located at the southern portion of Amelia Island also will harbor excellent tarpon fishing where schools of menhaden are the big attraction. For more information and charters, call Amelia Angler Outfitters (904) 261-2870, or visit www.ameliaangler.com

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TIDE CHART - June

Mayport Degaussing Structure 30.3967° N, 81.3950° W Date Day Time Hgt 01 Wed 04:23 AM 0.14 L 02 Thu 05:04 AM 0.32 L 03 Fri 05:46 AM 0.51 L 04 Sat 12:05 AM 4.76 H 05 Sun 12:49 AM 4.68 H 06 Mon 01:34 AM 4.60 H 07 Tue 02:22 AM 4.52 H 08 Wed 03:14 AM 4.44 H 09 Thu 04:09 AM 4.39 H 10 Fri 05:05 AM 4.37 H 11 Sat 12:00 AM 0.11 L 12 Sun 12:54 AM -0.27 L 13 Mon 01:47 AM -0.61 L 14 Tue 02:38 AM -0.84 L 15 Wed 03:29 AM -0.94 L 16 Thu 04:22 AM -0.90 L 17 Fri 05:17 AM -0.78 L 18 Sat 06:14 AM -0.61 L 19 Sun 12:51 AM 5.39 H 20 Mon 01:48 AM 5.09 H 21 Tue 02:46 AM 4.78 H 22 Wed 03:44 AM 4.49 H 23 Thu 04:42 AM 4.25 H 24 Fri 05:38 AM 4.09 H 25 Sat 12:25 AM 0.44 L 26 Sun 01:14 AM 0.34 L 27 Mon 01:58 AM 0.23 L 28 Tue 02:40 AM 0.15 L 29 Wed 03:20 AM 0.13 L 30 Thu 03:59 AM 0.17 L

Time 10:33 11:14 11:56 06:31 07:16 08:01 08:46 09:31 10:18 11:07 06:01 06:55 07:49 08:42 09:36 10:32 11:28 12:25 07:11 08:07 09:00 09:51 10:41 11:29 06:30 07:18 08:03 08:46 09:27 10:08

AM AM AM AM AM AM AM AM AM AM AM AM AM AM AM AM AM PM AM AM AM AM AM AM AM AM AM AM AM AM

Hgt 3.88 H 3.81 H 3.77 H 0.66 L 0.74 L 0.72 L 0.61 L 0.42 L 0.16 L -0.14 L 4.41 H 4.48 H 4.55 H 4.61 H 4.64 H 4.65 H 4.64 H 4.64 H -0.45 L -0.32 L -0.22 L -0.13 L -0.06 L -0.01 L 3.99 H 3.94 H 3.92 H 3.89 H 3.86 H 3.82 H

Time 04:13 04:54 05:38 12:39 01:23 02:11 03:01 03:55 04:49 05:42 11:58 12:50 01:42 02:34 03:27 04:23 05:21 06:24 01:24 02:24 03:25 04:23 05:18 06:08 12:17 01:04 01:48 02:30 03:11 03:50

Approximate Correction Times Palm Valley ICW: H: +2:20 L: +2:00 +/- for Other regional Locations JAX Beach: H: -:29 L: -:20 Bings Landing: H: +2:57 L: +2:44

Hgt PM 0.34 L PM 0.57 L PM 0.79 L PM 3.78 H PM 3.86 H PM 4.02 H PM 4.25 H PM 4.56 H PM 4.91 H PM 5.28 H AM -0.45 L PM -0.74 L PM -0.96 L PM -1.07 L PM -1.04 L PM -0.88 L PM -0.61 L PM -0.30 L PM 4.66 H PM 4.72 H PM 4.81 H PM 4.91 H PM 5.00 H PM 5.06 H PM 0.01 L PM 0.02 L PM 0.03 L PM 0.06 L PM 0.14 L PM 0.27 L

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

Time Hgt 10:42 PM 4.96 H 11:23 PM 4.85 H 06:25 07:18 08:14 09:11 10:08 11:05

PM PM PM PM PM PM

0.97 1.07 1.07 0.98 0.77 0.47

L L L L L L

06:34 07:26 08:18 09:11 10:05 11:00 11:56

PM PM PM PM PM PM PM

5.62 5.88 6.04 6.09 6.03 5.88 5.67

H H H H H H H

07:29 08:34 09:36 10:36 11:32

PM PM PM PM PM

0.00 0.24 0.41 0.49 0.50

L L L L L

06:55 07:38 08:19 08:59 09:39 10:19

PM PM PM PM PM PM

5.09 5.09 5.07 5.03 4.99 4.94

H H H H H H

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DEALING WITH

HIGH WINDS INSHORE By Capt. Michael Okruhlik

PHOTO COURTESY OF KNOCKIN TAIL LURES

he wind was unrelenting this spring. It kept me off the water more than I prefer. I have high hopes it will subside by the time this article is published, but if not, here is an approach that saved the day more than once this spring. If you find yourself facing high winds, consider the following. Safety is always No. 1 on the water, so let’s keep that in the forefront as you read. On windy days, the majority of the time, I seek shelter and fish the lee shoreline. First and foremost, it is the most comfortable place to fish, and the safest depending on wind velocity. Unfortunately, the fish don’t always spend their time feeding looking for a protected and calm area. Think about it like this, turbid water can disorient smaller bait fish easier than it will the larger gamefish we all seek. Therefore, the windward shore is at times where the fish will feed more frequently. For one, it is simply an easier meal. Secondly, the wind current can blow and congregate smaller fish in that area, shoreline or cove. With the why out of the way, here is how I fished this approach on a recent trip. The cove I describe opens to the bay on the west, has two drains on the north and east, and I had a southeast wind of 15 to 20 knots. I started with the comfortable approach and one that, in general, made the most sense. I waded the protected shore and fished in front of the two

drains. The water color was clean, and there was some bait tight to the shoreline in very skinny water. For all practical purposes, it was too skinny to fish and grassy. After thoroughly working the lee shore and drains without a bite, I rounded the curve and focused my attention on the windward, dirty north shore. Upon approach, I noticed the bait was farther out than it had been on the lee shore. This was key, because it was hovering in a fishable depth. My weedless rattling paddletail drew attention to my lure in this dirty turbid water. After making several cast directly downwind to the bank, I quickly determined the distance from the shore where the water was deep enough to not foul my hook. Once I knew the zone, I angled my cast at 45 degrees from the bank. This allowed me to fish somewhat parallel to the shore and keep my lure in the bait zone. Although it was less comfortable casting across the wind with waves crashing me from behind in muddy water, this saved the day and is where all the reds and trout were caught. Remember, when fishing the windward shore, be mindful of where you anchor your vessel and keep safety first. Capt. Michael Okruhlik is the inventor of Knockin Tail Lures with the built-in tail rattle, Controlled Descent Lures and the owner of www.MyCoastOutdoors.com.

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Summer-Long, Statewide Fishing Competition Launches Memorial Day Weekend

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CA Florida, the state’s leading organization dedicated to marine fisheries conservation, education and advocacy, will launch the eighth-annual West Marine CCA Florida STAR competition presented by Yamaha on May 28. The summer-long event invites anglers and nonanglers to participate and win their share of prizes valued at almost $500,000, including boats, motors, scholarships and more. Launched in 2015, STAR focuses on conservation with its technology-based, catchphoto-release format. STAR’s dedicated smartphone app promotes proper handling of species and allows participants to upload competition photos, eliminating the requirement to harvest or capture and transport fish. CCA Florida also uses data collected from the app to educate the public on the importance of protecting Florida’s marine resources. This important data is also available to other conservation organizations and universities for use in their studies on conservation, habitat and stock assessments. “In the past seven years, it’s been amazing to see STAR participants support conservation by embracing the catch-photo format and picking up garbage during the annual competition,” CCA Florida STAR Director Leiza Fitzgerald said. “Even more exciting is awarding more than $2.1 million in prizes, with $700,000 specifically awarded in

youth scholarships, to the thousands of statewide STAR registrants.” The 2022 STAR competition has 17 divisions targeting 12 inshore and offshore species plus the cleanup of trash. STAR’s signature Tagged Redfish Division offers winners the choice of a Contender Boats 22 Sport, Pathfinder Boats 2200 TRS or Spyder Boats Vapor 19FX, all powered by Yamaha Outboards. In addition, this year’s competition is debuting the Alta Equipment Super STAR Tagged Redfish prize, which if caught, will give the winner $50,000. The two winning youth anglers in the signature division can also win new boats powered with Yamaha Outboards, trailers, Minn Kota trolling motors and Humminbird electronics. The best opportunity to catch this year’s tagged redfish will be in Brevard, Citrus and Charlotte Counties, STAR’s 2022 Destination Counties which each have eight tagged redfish in their coastal waters. One of the newest divisions, the Tigress Outriggers and Gear Tagged Dolphin Division offers one winner a $10,000 cash prize. The first STAR registrant and CCA Florida member who catches a tagged dolphin, released in the coastal waters of Florida for STAR by the Dolphin Research program implemented by the Beyond Our Shores foundation, will win. STAR is a family-friendly competition, and

CCA Florida youth members (ages 6 to 17) can participate for free. Kids are encouraged to submit entries in the Youth Scholarship Division presented by Realtree Fishing for an opportunity to win one of 12 scholarships totaling $100,000. Other divisions include ladies, kayak, conservation, guides and more. Since most division winners are determined by a random drawing, it is not about catching the biggest fish, any size fish can win. Registration is open and ends Sept. 5. To register for STAR 2022 or receive additional information on divisions, prizes and more, visit ccaflstar.com or Facebook.

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Emerald Coast Blue Marlin Classic Celebrates 20 Years

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ne of the most popular events of the Gulf Coast big-game tournament circuit is celebrating 20 years of exciting, high-stakes competition. The 20th annual Emerald Coast Blue Marlin Classic is set to get underway June 22 and continue through June 26 at the Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort. This year’s platinum anniversary will showcase some of the sport’s top boats vying for million-dollar cash prizes. The Wind Creek Casino & Hotel-Atmore is the 2022 presenting sponsor. “We are celebrating 20 years of the Classic in style,” said Tournament Director Jason Draughn. “I’d like to welcome back all our valued contestants and Wind Creek, our presenting sponsor. I’d also like to welcome our two new tournament partners, MarineMax/Grady-White and Pelagic, Jack Daniels and SeaKeeper as new sponsors and Krueger, Fosdyck & Associates/Merrill Lynch once again, along with our fantastic line-up of other sponsors and supporters. We couldn’t have had this much fun for 20 years without every one of them!” Participants will be competing for awards and more than two million dollars in cash with blue marlin the top prize. Eligible fish must be at least 110 inches long to qualify. That minimum is measured from the tip of the fish’s lower jaw to the fork of the tail. Qualifiers typically average 500 pounds or heavier. In addition to the blue marlin weight category, smaller blues, white marlin, sailfish and spearfish that are successfully released earn points in the competitive release division. Releases are verified by video footage. Yellowfin and bigeye tuna, wahoo and dolphin are scored one point per pound. The ECBC attracts multi-million dollar sport-fishing yachts from across the Gulf of Mexico as well as the southeastern United States. Fishing begins after Thursday’s noon start from the Destin Pass and concludes Saturday afternoon. Eligible fish are weighed Friday and Saturday evenings at the Baytowne Marina. Viewing is free and open to the public. Hancock Whitney Bank is sponsoring the ECBC Golf Scramble, which is open to participants and sponsors. Final details are in the works. This year, entries made at the kick-off on June 22 will be charged a late fee, so early registration is recommended.

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hanges to Florida’s redfish management took another step forward at the May meeting of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC). Staff will now continue gathering input on the proposed rules and return to the commission for a Final Rule Hearing later this year. The proposed rule changes would:

PHOTO COURTESY OF CAPT. KIRK WALTZ

• Modify the redfish management regions into nine regions, each smaller than the current three redfish management zones. • Prohibit captain and crew from retaining a bag limit when on a for-hire trip. • Reduce the off-the-water transport limit from six to four fish per person. • Increase the bag limit for the Big Bend region from one to two fish per person. • Reduce the eight-fish vessel limit in each of the proposed management regions: • Panhandle, Big Bend, Northeast: four fish. • Tampa Bay, Sarasota Bay, Charlotte Harbor, Southwest, Southeast: two fish. • Allow only catch-and-release fishing for redfish in the Indian River Lagoon region. “With this new management approach, this agency is committed to continuing to work with our partners and stakeholders in finding solutions for redfish,” said FWC Chairman Rodney Barreto. According to FWC, the modification of redfish management regions and regulations, as part of the new management approach, will better capture regional differences and improve angler satisfaction. For current recreational redfish regulations, visit MyFWC.com. 20 FLORIDA

JUNE 2022

COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM


CRAPPIE REGS CHANGES PROPOSED

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everal regulations changes for black crappie fishing in Florida are moving ahead after gaining approval at the May meeting of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC). The commission unanimously approved proposed regulations changes to size and/or bag limits for black crappie on specific Florida waterbodies. A final hearing will be held at a future meeting after collection of public input. Here are the proposed changes: • Remove the 12” minimum length limit on Lake Jackson (Osceola County). • Remove specific size and bag limits on the following Fish Management Areas (they will return to statewide regulations of 25 fish daily bag limit and no minimum size limit): • Montgomery Lake • Watertown Lake • Suwannee Lake • Hardee County Park • Bobby Hicks Park Pond • Gadsden Park Pond • Manatee Lake •Largo Central Park Nature Preserve

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“Anglers fish for specks (black crappie) when they want to have a fish fry,” said FWC Commissioner Gary Lester. “Black crappie remains a popular target for anglers, and we commend staff ’s dedication to ensuring crappie fisheries thrive in Florida.” Staff completed a Black Crappie Management Plan in 2019 that called for a comprehensive review of black crappie regulations. Staff reviewed the biological aspects of regulations and gathered stakeholder input. While many anglers asked for a statewide minimum length limit, biological data indicated such a regulation would not improve most fisheries across the state and would unnecessarily restrict angler harvest opportunities. Therefore, no statewide length limit was proposed.

ges

If you have questions about the proposed rules or the Black Crappie Management Plan, send an email to Crappie@MyFWC.com.

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WORLD RECORD REDBREAST?

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ester Roberts, of Blackshear, Ga., was slinging a crankbait during a bass tournament on south Georgia’s Satilla River when he came tight on what could be a tie for the world record for redbreast sunfish. The current IGFA all-tackle world record for the species is a Florida fish, caught by Alvin Buchanan from the Suwannee River in 1984. Both big redbreasts weighed 1 pound, 12 ounces, which is an impressive individual for a species that rarely grows to even a pound. Roberts caught his record fish on May 7 from a stretch of river near Folkston, Ga. It measured 11 3/8 inches in length and beat out the previous Georgia state record by an ounce. The previous record, which had stood since 1998, weighed 1 pound, 11 ounces. Redbreast sunfish are a species that prefer to live in rivers and streams. They are native to the eastern United States. Their bellies are yellow to orangered or crimson red. Their heads have blue or blue-green stripes. In recent years Georgia’s Wildlife Resources Division has been working to save habitat for redbreast on the Satilla. The introduction of invasive and highly predatory flathead catfish is a threat to the native fish species. If left unchecked, flatheads could decimate sunfish populations in one of the world’s best redbreast rivers. See more record fish at www.coastalanglermag.com.

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Mark Your Calendars for the 2022 Greater Jacksonville Kingfish Tournament!

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ong considered the granddaddy of all kingfish tournaments, the 42nd year of the Greater Jacksonville Kingfish Tournament (GJKT) is slated for July 22-23 out of Jacksonville, Fla.’s Jim King Park at the confluence of Sisters Creek and the St. Johns River. Started by local businessmen in 1980, the GJKT has spawned the interest of generations of anglers, and the inaugural event was held in July of 1981. Out of its success, Jacksonville Marine Charities was born and serves as the operating arm of the GJKT. Proceeds from the event will support marine science research, preservation and education. To date, well over $400,000 have supported these ventures. Traditionally the tournament draws thousands of spectators, who enjoy the daily events and the parade of boats arriving to weigh their catch. This is as close to stadium spectating as it gets, because boats of all sizes and almost every make will make their way to weigh in. It’s great to root for the underdogs in the small boats. There will also be good food and plenty of drinks in the Liar’s Tent as well as entertainment. And don’t forget the Boatique, where you can purchase some very nice tournament shirts. Since it’s inception, the GJKT has been a multi-day event, but with the

uncertainty of fuel prices, as well as a sputtering economy, the board of directors of the GJKT has adopted a format change. This year we have moved the tournament fishing days to Friday and Saturday. Friday will be the General Tournament Day. That’s right, it is a one-day general tournament day. Anglers may weigh in two of their biggest fish and the Ladies can weigh a Lady Angler fish. The Largest Kingfish and Largest Aggregate places, as well as Largest Ladies will all come from that one day of fishing. Saturday is dedicated to the Kids Jr. Angler Tournament, and fishing will end at 2 p.m. on Saturday. All awards will be Saturday evening. These changes will save you the whole second day of expenses that normally come with tournament week, such as lodging, fuel, bait, etc., as well as saving you from using up vacation days from work. The tournament payout will still be the same! Anglers still fish for the best prize in the game, a 25-foot Contender with twin Yamaha 150s, rigged out and valued at over $160,000. Also new this year, the tournament will pay down to 20 places in Big Fish and 20 places in Aggregate as well as 10 places for Ladies! The rewards are bigger than ever, and you’ll save the added expense and wear and tear of that second day. So do your homework and be ready for game day! The GJKT looks forward to having a great event. For more information, please visit kingfishtournament.com

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LURES

CASTING FAR FROM SHORE: THE DYNAMICS OF LONG DISTANCE LURES PATRICK SEBILE

If you read my column last month, I introduced the topic of true long-distance lures. This month, I’m going to present the elements of a lure that allow it to be cast a long way. I hope this helps you select lures that achieve excellent distance and action. Shape: A lure that’s built for distance is elongated so that the widest diameter or width is no more than a quarter of the lure length. Width adds air resistance, which results in lost momentum and poorer performance. On the other hand, counter to what some may think, very slim lures are also not the best. Unless most of the weight is at the very end of the tail, a super slim lure will These see-through pencil lures illustrate tumble with air resistance weight placement for an optimized on a cast, which has balance of casting distance and fishing a negative effect on action. They also demonstrate proper distance. ratios between length and width. The longest distance lures have their widest diameter at a fifth and a third of the length of the lure, from the tail. Buoyancy: There is no doubt that sinking lures cast farther than floating lures with a similar shape. Within reason, the more dense a lure is, the farther it will fly. Depending on the brand, these can be called “Super Long Distance,” “Bullet” or “Rocket” type lures. Unless you specifically want a topwater presentation, you want a lure that sinks at rest if you’re after distance. Weight Position: To impart the most momentum to a lure in the casting movement, the majority of weight should be located between the tail and a third of the length from the tail. Total Weight: This one depends on angler preference as well as the rod being used. There are situations when light tackle is called for. However, for pure distance, regardless of a lure’s dimensions, there’s a weight range between 1.5 and 4 ounces for most anglers and most rods to deliver the most efficient casts. That can be narrowed down to a sweet spot of 2.5 to 3 ounces in most cases. Only trial and error will dial in what works best for you and your needs. Appendages: The denser the lure, the better it is for the distance. The catch is, high density may impact swimming action. The best lures offer the best of both worlds. Appendages such as side wings provide lift in the water when a lure is retrieved, which provides action without sacrificing casting distance. Next month, we’ll speak about types of long distance lures. Legendary angler Patrick Sebile is a world record holder and an award-winning designer of innovative lures and fishing gear. Check out his creations at abandofanglers.com.

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Enter To Win! DF2.5 PORTABLE OUTBOARD

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he Suzuki DF2.5 portable outboard is the smallest Suzuki 4-stroke to date. Weighing just 30 pounds, the DF2.5 is the lightest Suzuki 4-stroke motor ever built. Suzuki is also proud to note that the DF2.5 meets the rigorous EPA 2010 and CARB 3-Star Ultra Low emissions standards. A 2.5 HP single cylinder OHV 4-stroke engine, with 4.15 cu. in. displacement, generates plenty of power for small tenders and inflatables. It features easy-to-pull recoil starting with Suzuki Pointless Electronic Ignition. No battery is required for this remarkably simple and reliable system. Drawing held 8/1/22. Winners announced on Facebook.

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MITZI SKIFF:

the marketplace. Mitzi Skiff became the brand for skinny-water anglers who value simplicity and functionality. A Mitzi does everything the pricier skiffs do, yet they are affordable enough for any angler to own and operate. About 30 years later, Mitzi has expanded to offer 15’, 16’ and 17’ skiffs that all perform the purposes of the original design exceptionally well. Continued innovation has made Mitzi a boat other builders imitate, and they still come at a significantly lower price point than the competition. The 17’ and the 17’ Tournament have become the brand’s hottest sellers. “The 15’ took the micro-skiff market by storm,” said Brad Grubbs, who owns and manufactures Mitzi Skiffs in North Carolina. “Since then, the brand has sort of evolved toward the 17’, which works just fine as a multi-purpose boat. It really is a very nice boat, notwithstanding the price point.” The Mitzi Skiff 17’ is a stripped-down and customizable version of the 17’ Tournament, which comes with the options Grubbs said most of his fishing customers were asking for. Both boats draft just 7 inches loaded, they pole easily, they pole straight, and they reach speeds into the 40s with a 60 hp engine. While the 15’ is a one or two-man boat that’s at-home on the flats, the 17’ can fish three people and it’s got better range. The 17’s primary purpose is still as a flats boat, yet it also doubles admirably as bay boat. “It’s not just a flats boats; it’s a little bit of an open water boat, too,” Grubbs said. The 17’ features a modified V-hull with an 11-degree deadrise at transom. There’s no hull slap, and rolled gunnels knock down spray for an exceptionally dry ride. They are built for light weight to run shallow, yet they are solid and durable to stand up to long years of heavy use. From hideaway pushpole holders to flush-mount hardware, Mitzi has obviously put some thought into making decks clean and fishable for fly anglers. Large, clean and stable casting decks are something Mitzi has become known for. “Keep it simple stupid, and if it ain’t broke don’t fix it,” Grubbs quipped. f you’re a shallow-water angler, you might already know the story behind the legendary Mitzi Skiff. In the mid-1990s, Tom Mitzlaff started toying For nearly three decades, Mitzi has built skiffs for anglers more interested in with ideas to build a boat for his own use. There was nothing affordable fishing than in spending a lot of money. It’s a philosophy that works. on the market with the shallow draft, clean layout and quiet maneuverability Mitzi Skiff boats are available exclusively through select dealers. needed for fly fishing the flats. So, Mitzlaff built the original 15-foot Mitzi Skiff. For more on Mitzi Skiffs, go to www.mitziskiffs.com. It didn’t take long for anglers to take notice, and that boat revolutionized

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CHOOSE FIBERGLASS PONTOON HULLS FOR THE BEST BOAT RIDE EVER StyleCraft Boats Makes Proprietary Fiberglass Pontoon Hulls

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luminum has dominated the platform boat industry for years, until now. Move over aluminum, fiberglass pontoon hulls are the way to go for so many reasons. StyleCraft Boats creates multiple versions of the popular pontoon boat, all based on proprietary fiberglass pontoons with a racing hull design. The advantages of fiberglass over aluminum are great for the boat owner. Starting with the design, StyleCraft Boats uses A&M Manufacturing fiberglass pontoon hulls with a successful track record of a quarter century. The unique design is not round but flat on the bottom. This produces a very shallow-running boat with a draft of just 8 to 10 inches. The flat bottom pontoon also enhances the boat’s performance. Getting on a plane is much quicker, and the boat quietly glides across the water with less friction. As a result, less engine horsepower is needed. Less horsepower means less fuel demand. With today’s gasoline prices, this is a huge plus. Ever see an aluminum hull with welding scars that weaken the aluminum, bent fins or creased sides? The durability of fiberglass eliminates these issues. The fiberglass on a StyleCraft Boat is 1/2 inch thick, with much more body than aluminum of equivalent weight. StyleCraft Boats can take the abuse and mishaps with little to no harm. And should the boat have an accident, the fiberglass can be repaired back to new condition. No one enjoys boat maintenance, and fiberglass pontoon hulls are extremely user friendly. The very nature of aluminum causes electrolysis in saltwater, which deteriorates from corrosion on the hull surface in a big way. Not so with fiberglass. StyleCraft even coats the bottom of the pontoons with a special “SharkSkin” paint layer to reduce biological

growth of both plants and animals such as algae and barnacles. StyleCraft fiberglass pontoons always look clean, sleek and higher end. So, what’s it going to be? The smart STYLECRAFT BOATS.COM choice is fiberglass pontoon hulls from 1-855-STYLECRAFT StyleCraft Boats for that next boat purchase.

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ere’s a memorable beach moment: You’re basking in the warm sun, toes in the sand, letting the gentle turn of the foam-capped waves lull you into a state of complete relaxation. As your eyes scan the endless horizon of blue on blue, you’re rewarded with a school of dolphins making their way across the sea. There’s no denying their signature shape as they leap from the water. If you don’t see anything else extraordinary the rest of the day, you can take solace knowing you’ve witnessed one of nature’s most playful and intelligent creatures in their natural habitat. Why not re-create that special toes-in-the-sand moment with our Blue Topaz Dolphin Pendant? The beloved sea mammal has been captured mid-jump in sterling silver. And, tucked into its fins is a full two carats of shimmering blue topaz. Nothing captures the shimmering color of the ocean in the midday sun like blue topaz. With its sparkling clear blue color and high refractive index, blue topaz is one of the top-selling blue gemstones. And with our special price, you have quite the catch. Satisfaction guaranteed or your money back. Enjoy the Blue Topaz Dolphin Pendant for 30 days. If it doesn’t pass the test swimmingly, send it back for a full refund of the item price.

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BUSINESS

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uccess stories are often driven by individuals with the ingenuity and work ethic to recognize and fill a need in the marketplace. The longevity of a dream results from a commitment to quality and continued innovation. Parkit360° is such a story. In 2009, when founder Steve Houle brought his electric trailer dollies to market, it was the culmination of years working to fill a niche need. About a decade later, with business booming, Steve has passed down the same work ethic and problem-solving spirit to his son Stefan Houle, who now manages the company and continues to produce the planet’s most advanced trailer dollies for happy customers worldwide. None of this happened overnight. Steve is a problem solver and the son of a millwright. He grew up around a machine shop using his mind, hands and machines to build things. He credits his father for instilling in him work ethic as well as the business sense to turn good ideas into marketable solutions. “I’ve always enjoyed building solutions to problems I saw around me,” Steve said. “Being able to turn this hobby of mine into a career has been hands down the greatest experience of my life.” Years ago, a problem manifested itself in dramatic fashion when Steve and his wife purchased a 27-foot cabin cruiser. On their maiden voyage, the wind blew them into another boat while maneuvering out of the docks. That costly mishap set Steve on a career path devising tools to maneuver large objects safely in small spaces. “The same week, out of pure necessity, I developed my own bow thruster, spending countless days testing, developing, and finally bringing this product to the market,” he said. “We received great feedback from the release.” That bow thruster became Sideshift, which revolutionized bow and stern thruster technology to make docking large boats easier. But Steve didn’t stop there. “Backing a trailer into a tight spot can be the most frustrating experience in the world. I know firsthand,” Steve said. “I found this gap in the market and I aimed to do my best to fill it.” Thus, Parkit360° was born. Steve started small, collecting feedback from RV enthusiasts and boaters and building prototype trailer dollies in his garage shop. “My number one priority was to help individuals trying to fit their boats or RVs into a small spot in their garage or yard,” he said. After seven prototypes, Steve finally built a product he was satisfied with. He began selling units one-off on ebay. Since then, Parkit360° has grown along with its reputation as a superior product. The company now

occupies a 12,000 square foot facility with numerous employees building thousands of units per year. And as the passion for a product passes on to the next generation, Stefan is tasked with continued improvement to trailer dollies that are already more powerful, more versatile and easier to use than anything else on the market. Check out Parkit360° at https://parkit360.ca.

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