Coastal Angler Magazine | September 2020 | Northeast Florida Edition

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NORTHEAST FLORIDA EDITION

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Mullet Run TARPON

Slob

Snook From The Beach

PHOTO COURTESY OF RYAN IZQUIERDO YOUTUBE: RYAN IZ FISHING VOLUME 25 • ISSUE 306

GIANT BLUEFINS

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SLOB SNOOK By Ryan Izquierdo

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he anticipation is over. Snook season opened Sept. 1 on Florida’s Atlantic coast, and I know a lot of anglers who are excited to get that thump, fire up the skillet and enjoy a beautiful keeper snook with friends and family. Snook, in case you didn’t know it, are pretty much the most awesome inshore gamefish around. They grow large, up into the 30- and 40-pound range. They are aggressive feeders, and the fight is definitely something to write home about. Florida anglers are lucky to live in one of the world’s best places to catch snook. For everyone else, it’s definitely worth a fall trip to the Sunshine State to do battle with these tacklebusters. Regulations allow you to keep just one fish a day in the 28- to 32-inch slot limit. One of the best ways to catch that one keeper—or a giant slob snook—is beach fishing. You don’t need a fancy boat. All you need is your own two legs, a rod and reel and the appropriate tackle. Location — When fishing for snook, tarpon

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and other gamefish, there are a few key things to look for: birds flying/diving, baitfish being ambushed, obvious structure and current flow. I always bring binoculars to the beach and scan the shoreline for birds and baitfish. If you don’t see any action, keep moving down the beach. I drive my truck to every beach access, quickly hop out and scout. This is the fastest way to cover ground and scan for what you are looking for! The more you fish the beach, the more you will learn and understand a pattern. Snook are hunters; they stage up in obvious areas ready to ambush prey. The beach may all look the same on the surface, but underwater is a different story. Be on the lookout for deep holes, rocks, grass, dropoffs, swash channels and any other structure you might find. Any time sand meets grass or rocks, that’s a great area to fish. Look past the obvious structure, and sometimes that will yield fish other anglers fail to notice. Equipment — When it comes to beach snook fishing, finesse is everything. However, the goal is to get the fish in quickly to ensure a healthy release if it’s not a keeper. Typically, you want to

downscale your line, leader, and hook when beach fishing. My go-to set up is a 4000 spinning reel; 10- to 20-lb. braid; a 7-foot medium action rod; 3 to 4 feet of 30-lb. fluorocarbon leader; a 1/4- to 3/8-ounce jig-head; and 3- to 6-inch swimbaits, depending on the forage, depth and fishing conditions. Jerkbaits and plugs that dive 3 to 5 feet are also a good option. Matching the hatch is key. Use lures that look similar in size and color to what the fish are feeding on. Fishing with live bait is also a good option. I always keep a 5- or 6-foot cast net in the bed of my truck. It’s lightweight, easy, and gets the job done. Pilchards, threadfin, mullet, croaker and whiting are all great baits found on Florida’s east coast beaches. Keep an aerator and bucket with a lid to ensure the baits are alive and cool. The bigger the bait, the bigger the tackle you will need. I like to free line baits, but I carry pinchon split shot weights if I need to get baits down into the strike zone. I recommend 2/0 to 6/0 circle hooks for the best hook up ratio. Time — The best times to go fishing are at dawn and dusk. Tides are also extremely important. The best time to fish for beach snook is the first hour before and after incoming and outgoing tides. I’ve had the best results right before and after high tide. It is important to check the tides and plan ahead. I also log my catches in a small notebook, where I write down the date, tide, time, tackle/bait used. Start a logbook, and you will eventually have excellent data to use in planning. That is the best way to truly learn and master beach snook fishing. Follow Ryan Izquierdo on YouTube (RyanIzFishing) and Instagram (Instagram.com/Ryan_Izquierdo) to check out his fishing adventures.


Spider Rigging To Catch

Crappie C

By Darcie Arahill

rappie, also known as “specks,” and “sac-a-lait” and a host of other names, depending on where you live, are absolutely delicious and are easy to catch for the whole family. I grew up saltwater fishing and did not know much about crappie. However, all it took was one trip to the lake and I was hooked on these fish; on the correct light tackle crappie are just as much fun as larger fish, and more “yummy” than most! Crappie, both white and black variations, can be found in almost any body of freshwater from Michigan to Florida. I usually catch them in Lake

Okeechobee, Fla. Depending on the time of year, you will catch them in grass mats, along edges, in deep holes, and even through the ice. They generally hold tight to some type of cover like brushpiles or sunken timber, and they eat primarily smaller fish. Small minnows or baits that mimic small minnows work best. When the fish are biting, it is easy on many lakes to see where crappie are by the dozens of boats seeking to catch what I call “lake lobster!” This type of fishing is a way of life for many lake anglers. My favorite way to catch them is often called “spider rigging.” Anglers set out multiple specially designed rods, up to 20 sometimes, such as the BP Crappie Max Crappie Rod, with very light line and leader (no more than 4- to 8-lb. test), a bobber, then a split shot and a small hook. We generally use size #1, #2 or #4 Mustad Aberdeen hooks, and you can try different color hooks as well—gold, bronze or red. The easiest bait to catch crappie with is tiny live minnows from the local tackle shop. Set your rods at varying depths, and discover where they are biting! If you want to up your game, try jigging for them. Mustad crappie jigs are usually “ball head” jigs and come in a variety of colors. Drop your jig into deep holes and along grass mats or slow troll a spread of jigs around the mouths of creeks. You can attach a variety of trailers, curly tails, minnows and some even add spinners to the jig. Lastly, to really make it fun you can even fly fish for crappie. They will hit many types of flies, and be sure to focus on the size of the fly as much as anything. In conclusion, the only way to catch crappie is to GO, get out there! It’s time to bring the entire family, kids and everyone, for a wonderful day on the water and an even better dinner. This type of fishing is a great way to introduce young kids to fishing because it’s hard to not catch a crappie or other by-catch like bass, catfish, sunfish and bluegills when out the lake. Find “Darcizzle Offshore” on all the major social media platforms. Darcie has more than 850 videos of her fishing adventures on YouTube and would love to hear from you.

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hoisted and weighed when Backstabber brought in a 687.5-pound behemoth that launched them into first place. Capt. Kevin Lord (Square Footage) shuffled the deck again after lunch with a 547 pounder. Here’s the list of the top-10: 1st: Pete Speeches - Backstabber - 687.5 - $6,250 2nd: Keith Jordan - Bailey & Bella - 679.5 - $3,250 3rd: Kurt Christensen - Molly Jane - 671.5 - $1,500 4th: Keith Jordan - Bailey & Bella - 637 - $1,000 5th: Kevin Lord - 547 - $500 6th: Kurt Christensen - Molly Jane - 538 7th: Nate Bolduc - Cecelia Jean - 501.5 8th: Rusty Parmenter - Patricia Ann - 483 9th: Jeremy Loomis - Kelsey Anne - 466 10th: Shawn Moore - Katelyn A – 462

Dr. Walt Golet, adjunct professor from the University of Maine, and team members with the Gulf of Maine Research Institute collected biological samples from all fish landed for continuing work on bluefin tuna. In its second year, the Casco Bay Bluefin Bonanza is a charitable organization dedicated to raising funds for scholarships to Maine’s community college system. In 2019, the Bonanza

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FLORIDA 5


MASSIVE FORT LAUDERDALE’S

MULLET RUN

TARPON C apt. Jeff Maggio said it’s been a great summer for tarpon in Fort Lauderdale, and he’s anxiously awaiting the fall migration of massive mullet schools through south Florida. This is the fabled mullet run down Florida’s Atlantic coast, when every predator that swims the beaches and inlets can be caught following and feeding on enormous schools of baitfish. “It’s so visual,” Maggio said. “You see the massive schools of bait, and the birds, and the fish busting on the surface. It’s really spectacular. It’s the kind of thing where even if you only catch a couple fish, you’ll think you had the best fishing of your life just because you witnessed it.” Most years, smaller finger mullet show up on the beaches and in the Intracoastal Waterway around Sept. 1, said Maggio. Everything—the bait, the schools and the fish chasing them—gets larger as the migration progresses. By October, the mullet run is usually in full effect, and big tarpon, giant snook, jack crevalle, bluefish, Spanish mackerel, spinner sharks and others will all be hounding southbound mullet. Capt. Maggio is a tarpon specialist. He spends summer evenings putting anglers on big tarpon off the beaches and using light tackle or fly rods to catch juveniles in the canals. The mullet run is a phenomenon that puts 100-plus-pound tarpon in everyone’s reach. “This time of year when there’s no wrong place to be,” he said. “We call it happy bait. It’s the time when everybody can get bait, everybody’s catching fish, and everybody’s having a good time.” The key is to encounter the massive schools of bait. Maggio said they keep a close eye on bird action off the beaches. Mullet run tight to Fort Lauderdale beaches, usually inside the swim buoys, which puts big tarpon, snook and everything else in range of shore anglers. “It depends on the tides,” he said. “On the lower tides, it’s better to be in a boat. On the higher tides, it’s better to be on the sand.” From either side of the action, a live mullet netted straight out of the school and freelined with no weight or big soft baits like a Hogy or a SpoolTek are good bets for tempting tarpon. Add some weight if you want a giant snook. They typically feed near the bottom. “If fish are feeding aggressively, you can do anything and be successful,” he said. “But you’re waiting for yours to be found among millions of others.” 6 FLORIDA

SEPTEMBER 2020

By Nick Carter

Maggio said he prefers when fish are running parallel with the schools and not actively crashing them. In these conditions, a well-presented bait on the edge of a mullet school is likely to get hit. On the Intracoastal, Maggio likes to stake out a pinch point and wait as the action passes in waves. From Boca Inlet in Boca Raton south to Haulover Inlet at the north end of Biscayne Bay, the Intracoastal is squeezed down into a bottleneck. Pinch points funnel fish along the way. “Because it’s so tight, it just magnifies everything,” he said. Competent anglers might bring three or four big tarpon to Maggio’s boat on a good day, which means they’ll have jumped 10. Several big jack crevalle, some spinner sharks and often a giant 20-plus-pound snook might be considered bycatch. But Maggio, an active steward of the waters, threw in a big disclaimer. “We’re on pins and needles waiting to see what happens this year,” he said. “I’ve been fishing Fort Lauderdale since I was a kid in the 70s, and last year was the worst I’ve ever seen. We think it was the red tides, but it was the first time in my life I didn’t see the mullet run come through.” Here’s hoping, for the sake of fish and anglers, that the 2020 mullet run marks a return to the norm.

Photos courtesy of Capt. Jeff Maggio

COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

Contact Capt. Jeff Maggio by email at jeff@ lunkerdog.com. See his website www.lunkerdog.com, and check out his podcast “Lunker Dogs Reel Guy Show” on all the major the major platforms.


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SEPTEMBER 2020

FLORIDA 7


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Jake Hester, nephew of the late Michael Shields for whom the tournament is named, looks on as Captain Ed Zyak catches a 240-pound tarpon during the 2017 Open.

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t’s fitting that the Michael Shields Memorial Inshore Open benefits Project LIFT. Part of the inspiration for the non-profit’s unique model came from fishing. As a psychotherapist working with mostly teenage boys, Project LIFT CEO Bob Zaccheo discovered that getting troubled teens out of a counseling office and putting a fishing rod in their hands was the catalyst he needed to get them talking. He ran with that concept, and today Project LIFT has provided mental health and substance abuse treatment to more than 4,000 kids by weaving therapy into hands-on vocational skills training like auto repair, welding, HVAC, screen printing and more. The 12th Annual Michael Shields Memorial Tournament takes place Sept. 25-26 in Jensen Beach. The Open is named after longtime Martin County resident Michael Shields, who died at the age of 23 from bone cancer, and the event has raised more than $400,000 for non-profits over the years. The tournament follows a catch-and-release format, with separate categories for snook, tarpon, trout and redfish. There are guided and unguided divisions, and iAngler is used for registration and scoring. In order to follow COVID-19 protocols, much of the event has gone virtual, including the awards ceremony, which will be streamed live on Facebook. The hosting sponsor is River Palm Cottages, but there are no restrictions as to fishing locations, and unguided anglers can fish from a boat, the shore, or anything in between. Lines in for unguided anglers is at noon on Friday, Sept. 25, while guided teams can begin fishing at 5 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 26. Guided teams consist of up to three anglers and an assigned guide. The guide is considered the team captain, and may fish if the team chooses. This year’s Presenting Sponsor is Merrill Lynch Wealth Management, Bank of America Corporation. All fish complete with a photo must be logged into the Michael Shields Memorial iAngler Tournament Page/App by no later than 3 p.m. on Sept. 26, 2020. All proceeds benefit Project LIFT, a program that reimagines counseling for teens by disrupting traditional mental health service delivery systems. Program participants choose from one of 13 skilled trades to learn on site, using industry standard equipment. By getting the teens into a hands-on working environment, trust is built alongside work ethic, and teens gain tools for a healthy, productive future. For more information, or to register as an angler, visit fishforthekids.org, or contact Juliet@projectliftmc.com. 10 FLORIDA

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he 2020 bay scallop seasons got off to a slow start with low visibility and deep scallops, but things really took off for most of the west coast in July, as reports of easy limits started piling up from 6 or 7 feet of water in most areas. This month, scallopers will be getting in those last-chance trips to pick up the tasty little morsels. The short 10-day Pasco County season came and went in July, but the rest of the zones remain open into September. The St. Joseph Bay/Gulf County season is a good bet for water that hasn’t been picked over. It was the last zone to open on Aug. 16, and it remains open through Sept. 24. Steer clear of the scallop restoration area marked with FWC buoys south of Black’s Island. Levy, Citrus and Hernando counties (including Cedar Key, Crystal River and Homosassa) remain open through Sept. 24. Franklin County through northwestern Taylor County (including Carrabelle, Lanark and St. Marks) also remains open through Sept. 24. The remaining portion of Taylor County and all of Dixie County (including Keaton Beach and the Steinhatchee area) closes on Labor Day Sept. 7. Bag and vessel limits are 2 gallons of whole bay scallops in the shell or 1 pint of bay scallop meat per person, with a maximum of 10 gallons of whole bay scallops in the shell or a 1/2 gallon (4 pints) bay scallop meat per vessel. Vessel limits do not allow an individual to exceed their personal bag limit. Be safe when diving for scallops. Wear a life jacket when underway, and do not drink and boat. When scalloping in open water, divers should stay within 300 feet of a properly displayed divers-down flag or device, and within 100 feet of a properly displayed divers-down flag or device if on a river, inlet or navigation channel. Boat operators traveling within 300 feet of a divers-down flag or device in open water or within 100 feet of one on a river, inlet or navigational channel must slow to idle speed. Do not discard scallop shells in inshore waters commonly used for recreational activities such as near boat ramps or swimming areas. Piles of discarded scallop shells can create hazards for swimmers and damage seagrass habitat. Scallop shells can be discarded in a trash receptacle or in larger bodies of water where they are more likely to disperse. After you return from your trip, help FWC’s scallop researchers by completing an online survey at svy.mk/bayscallops. Harvesters can indicate where they harvested scallops, how many they collected and how long it took to harvest them. Participants can email BayScallops@MyFWC.com to ask questions or send additional information.

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Team Sheldon/Craven Wins Jacksonville IFA Redfish Event D anny Sheldon, of Steinhatchee, Fla., and Kyle Craven, of Macclenny, Fla., weighed a twofish limit of 14.64 pounds to win the final regular-season event for the Florida East Division of the IFA Redfish Tour on Aug. 1 at Jacksonville. The team won a fully rigged Ranger RB190 boat prize package powered by a 90-horsepower, four-stroke Mercury outboard. “I have to thank my partner Kyle,” said Sheldon. “He is absolutely awesome. He did all the pre-fishing and we caught fish at every spot except one. It was probably my best day fishing I have ever had over here.” The team fished just north of Sisters Creek in the ICW. They blind-casted Berkley Gulp! on spinnerbaits and sight-fished Berkley Gulp! Shrimp once the water got out of the grass. “It was a great day,” said Sheldon. “Having a good teammate is key to a win.” The anglers’ 7.59-pound redfish was the heaviest of the day, earning the $500 Berkley Big Redfish award along with $250 in credit to the Berkley website. Adding $2,100 in Anglers Advantage cash brought the total winnings to $30,100. Second-place finishers Matt Davis and Nathan Morgan, both of Jacksonville, weighed a total of 14.29 pounds. The duo took advantage of

the Anglers Advantage contingency program and added $1,050 in cash. Joe Wortham, of Oak Hill, Fla., and Preston Pineiro took third place with 13.37 pounds. The team ran 25 miles to catch their limit. For their efforts, they took home a total of $2,936 in winnings. The next stop for the IFA Redfish Tour was to Beaufort, South Carolina, on August 22. Teams that compete in at least two regular-season events qualify for the 2020 IFA Redfish Tour Championship. IFA events are made possible through the sponsorship and continued support of these well-respected brands: Ascend, Ranger Boats, Bass Pro Shops, Cabela’s, Mercury Marine, Sunline, AFTCO, Garmin, Lucas Oil, Berkley Gulp!, Berkley Gulp! Alive!, PENN Reels, Spiderwire, Navionics, Power-Pole, Valley Fashions, T-H Marine, ATLAS, G-Juice, and Powertex Group. For more information or to become a member of the IFA, visit www.ifatours.com.

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ATLANTIC BLUEFISH BAG LIMIT SLASHED

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t its July Commission meeting, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) approved changes to Florida’s Atlantic bluefish regulations. Bluefish from Maine through the Atlantic coast of Florida make up a single population. A 2019 federal stock assessment found that this Atlantic population of bluefish is overfished. Because of the assessment results, federal fishery managers adopted more restrictive recreational bag limits in federal waters, and the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission is requesting states implement similar regulations. Changes approved by FWC include: • Reducing the recreational daily bag limit from 10 to three fish per person along the Atlantic coast from Nassau through Miami-Dade counties. • Clarifying that FWC regulations for bluefish do not extend into federal waters of the Atlantic. The effective date for these changes is to be determined. Learn more about bluefish recreational regulations at MyFWC.com/ Marine by clicking on “Recreational Regulations” and “Bluefish,” which is under the “Regulations By Species – General Species” section.

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Preserving The Quality Of Your Catch H

ow you handle your freshly caught fish can make all the difference when it comes time to pull it out of the freezer. By following a few simple steps, you can ensure your catch remains firm, flavorful and delicious. 1) Whether it’s bound for the freezer or straight to the fryer, quickly cooling fish is the first step in preserving its quality. Kill the fish

with a club or a quick slice of the knife as soon as you bring it onboard and then put it on ice immediately. Crushed ice works more quickly than cubed ice because it covers more surface area. If you can find it, saltwater ice is an excellent way to preserve fish. Make sure your ice is distributed evenly around your fish, and leave the drain

plug open so your supper isn’t soaking in bloody slush. 2) If you find a little free time on the boat when the bite slows down, it’s a good idea to go ahead and gut your fish and pack the cavity with ice. Refresh ice as needed. 3) Once you clean your catch, it will keep well in the refrigerator for several days. Pat fillets dry with a paper towel, and then wrap them tightly in plastic wrap. For the best results, store them in a bowl of ice or put a bag of ice on top of them. 4) Frozen fish retains its quality for months and up to a year depending on the type of fish and if it is stored properly. Lean fish like snapper, grouper or walleye does better in the freezer than fatty fish like tuna, salmon or trout. With any fish, the key is to avoid freezer burn, which means eliminating contact with air. If you catch and eat a lot of fish, it’s worth investing in a vacuum sealer to package fish before freezing. If you don’t have a vacuum sealer, use a freezer bag and push all the air you can out of the bag. 5) Freezing fish in water is another option that completely eliminates air contact. Use saltwater for saltwater fish and freshwater for freshwater fish. Place fillets in a freezer bag, fill it with water, seal it up and freeze. 6) Properly thawing your catch is also very important to the finished product. Think ahead and thaw it in the refrigerator overnight. If you’re short on time, place the sealed bag in a bowl of cold water. Water that is circulating thaws meat faster than still water, so leave the bowl in the sink and let cold water trickle into it continuously to speed up the process.

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TRANSITIONS

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s summer gives way to fall, the days get shorter, and nights become cooler. These factors convince fish to start migrations to their winter hangouts. Essentially, you’re dealing with springtime fishing in reverse. In September, and into October, water temperatures can still be quite warm, but to a fish, even a couple degrees can make a difference. On offshore trips looking for king mackerel, I’ve found a 2 degree temperature differential made a significant difference in the number of fish caught. Inshore, the trout and flounder that have been hanging out in their summertime deep holes will move onto the grass flats and oyster bars. Stripers and bass will start to move from their deep-water haunts up to the 6 NORTH FLORIDA

SEPTEMBER 2020

shallow humps and points looking for bait schools. The number of daylight hours also plays a key role. As we go from 15 hours of daylight down to 10 or 12 hours, fish sense a changing of the seasons, and the transition begins. It’s the same natural phenomenon that heralds in the rut for deer. The seasonal change is one type of transition for anglers to think about, but the word ‘transition’ also conjures up several other thoughts. One of the first images that come to mind, and also a key factor to finding fish, are underwater topographical transitions. Offshore, we are constantly looking for ledges, rock piles, sandy bottom transitioning to live bottom and reefs. These places are congregating areas for baitfish, which attract game fish. Wrecks and artificial reefs present vertical relief and hold everything from grouper to amberjack, to kingfish and cobia. Even a small crack or ledge that’s barely visible on sonar can be prime ambush habitat for mondo grouper and snapper. That’s where high-tech electronics become your best friends. Grass flats might seem like a huge underwater pasture to us, but a depression that drops one foot is a guaranteed fish attractor. Creek channels that empty onto a flat are another sure-fire hangout for big trout, reds and even cobia. Bass anglers know the fish-attracting power of underwater structure. Long points, rock outcroppings and submerged timber all offer prime hunting grounds for freshwater predators. As the water begins to cool, start to look for those situations in shallower water. Another piece of ‘gotta-have’ technology is SiriusXM Marine’s newest service: Fish Mapping. For offshore anglers, you can see Surface Temperature Contours, Plankton Concentrations, Surface Height Anomalies, even Fishing Recommendations… all on your chartplotter. This single tool can help you plan your trip and maximize your fishcatching potential. The lesson here is to look at the changes that are about to occur, both in the weather and the changes that happen below the surface, and take advantage of them. Understanding how to take advantage of them will definitely improve your fishy adventures this fall. Capt. Cefus McRae is the host of the Nuts & Bolts of Fishing Series. Check it out at nutsandboltsfishing.com.

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LIONFISH REMOVAL

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ith the cancelation of the Sept. 12-13 Lionfish Removal and Awareness Festival in Destin, it’s more important than ever to keep the ball rolling when it comes to removing these nasty little invasive fish from Florida’s reefs. The 2020 Lionfish Challenge, which awards lionfish harvesters with prizes, is still ongoing and has been extended to Nov. 1. At that time, the recreational participant who removes the most lionfish will be crowned 2020 Recreational Lionfish King/Queen. The commercial harvester who bags the most lionfish will be named the 2020 Commercial Champion. Here’s a look at some other incentive programs the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is conducting to help combat the spread of lionfish: Lionfish Educational Exhibit Program—Public awareness of the threats presented by lionfish is a key to controlling them. FWC is supporting the creation of educational exhibits on lionfish in public facilities around the state by awarding funds to offset the costs of such exhibits. Approved participants may be awarded up to $2,499 per year. The program is open to facilities with existing educational exhibits as well as those interested in erecting new exhibits. Exhibits must display FWCapproved information and they must be in publicly accessible areas. For more information, go to FWCreefrangers.com. Recreational Lionfish Harvest Program—The FWC Lionfish Control Team is asking for assistance from Florida divers and dive charters to increase lionfish harvest. Charters that conduct lionfish-specific harvest trips are eligible for reimbursement if the trips harvest enough lionfish. Charters will be reimbursed $50 per diver upon valid submission of a harvest report for trips through June 15, 2021. FWC approval must be obtained prior to qualifying trips. For more information, go to FWCreefrangers.com. Commercial Lionfish Harvest Program—FWC will provide additional monetary incentive to divers who hold a Saltwater Products License and harvest and sell lionfish to licensed wholesale dealers. There is no minimum or maximum poundage for lionfish sold, and participants will be reimbursed $3 per pound on top of what they receive from the wholesaler for their catch. For more information, go to FWCreefrangers.com. The 2019 Lionfish Removal and Awareness Festival was responsible for the harvest of nearly 20,000 lionfish from Florida waters. The 2021 festival is slated for May 15-16, 2021 at AJ’s in Destin.

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NORTH FLORIDA 7


BUILD YOUR OWN FISH CLEANING TABLE Tim Barefoot

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f you catch a lot of fish and spend time at the cutting board, you know the back pain of a cleaning table that forces you to stoop to clean your fish. It’s OK to fillet a fish or two off a cooler, but when you’re dealing with a pile of them, the correct table height is a necessity. Here’s how to make your own fish cleaning station that attaches to a chain link or wooden fence in your backyard and folds down when you’re not using it. For most of us, it rests at a comfortable height for cleaning fish. The only materials you’ll need are: 1. 24 inches of 3/8” (1.375”) aluminum tubing 2. 24 inches of 1 ½” (1.500”) aluminum angle 3. 24” x 40” slab of ¾” Starboard marine plastic 4. Stainless wood screws For a chain link fence, you’ll need to accurately measure the top rail of the fence to determine the correct size aluminum tubing needed. The typical size for the top rail of chain link fence is 1 5/16” (1.312”). Aluminum tubing with a 1 3/8” (1.375”) inside diameter is the correct size for the table. You’ll have to saw the top rail in two (with a metal cutting saw or disc grinder with a cut off wheel) and slide the aluminum tubing over the cut. Put the cut line in the center of the tubing. This will not weaken the fence. The snug-fitting aluminum

tubing is extremely strong. My table has weathered several hurricanes without a problem. After drilling the 3/16-inch clearance holes in the aluminum angle, you’ll need to weld the tubing to the angle and screw the Starboard to the angle. A standard-size curb trashcan is a perfect height to match most fences, and serves as a sturdy support for the cleaning table. After the fish cleaning is complete, simply pull the trash can out, and the table folds down to be neatly stored until it’s needed. For a detailed video on making the collapsible table, visit

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GULF AMBERJACK FLOUNDER REGS IS OPEN T A FWC MOVES TO TIGHTEN

ighter regulations for Atlantic coast flounder could be on the way if draft changes are adopted by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission at their October meeting. Those rule changes include: • Increase minimum PHOTO BY MICK JOHNSON size limit from 12 inches to 14 inches total length (recreational and commercial). • Reduce recreational bag limit from 10 to five fish per person. • Establish a November closure (recreational). • Establish a commercial trip and vessel limit of 150 flounder when using allowable gear for all months outside of November. • Establish a November commercial trip and vessel limit of 50 pounds when using allowable gear. • Extend all FWC flounder regulations into federal waters. The reason for the changes is a stock status update suggesting the flounder fishery statewide has been in a general declining trend in recent years and is likely overfished and undergoing overfishing on the Atlantic coast of Florida. Other states have also reported declines in flounder populations and have been making their own regulation changes. To share your input on this draft proposal, visit MyFWC.com/SaltwaterComments

8 NORTH FLORIDA

SEPTEMBER 2020

s of August 1, the recreational harvest of greater amberjack is allowed in Gulf of Mexico state and federal waters. The season is expected to remain open through Oct. 31. The minimum size limit is 34 inches fork length. The daily bag limit is one fish per person. Here’s a list of some other tasty fish you can keep when you go fishing in the Gulf of Mexico this month: gag grouper, permit, snook (catch and release only in some areas), spotted seatrout (catch and release only in some areas), king mackerel, sheepshead, spanish mackerel, all snappers except red snapper, most grouper species, cobia, tripletail, redfish (catch and release only in some areas), black sea bass, mahi, flounder and more. Although red snapper isn’t on the list, there are still plenty of options to fill a cooler this month. Check the regulations for closed areas as well as bag and size limits for each species. Be sure to have the State Reef Fish Angler designation on your license if you plan to fish for reef species. For more information, go to myfwc.com.

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RATTLING UP EVERGLADES SNOOK By Capt. Michael Okruhlik

A

s with any saltwater fish, tide is of extreme importance when it comes to catching snook. Not only does the tide need to be moving, but with the large tidal swings in the Everglades, there needs to be ample water in the area you choose to fish. During stronger tidal movement, it is to your advantage to retrieve your lure with the current or at a slight angle crossing it. A lure worked upstream will most likely go untouched. When it comes to structure in the Everglades, you will find as many options as you will opinions and approaches to fish them. The most popular, and what comes to mind first are the vast picturesque mangrove shorelines. These are the areas where fishing shows are made, but I’m not convinced they are the best for catching mature snook. The Glades have an abundance of shell bottoms and islands, points littered with dead mangroves that mark the underwater jungle lying beneath. Then you have the less obvious, but productive, submerged sand flats that were once their own island before Mother Nature dwindled them down to what they are today, fish magnets! Granted, I’m no expert in fishing the Everglades. But in the 20-plus years I have been fishing there, I have noticed a few things on how larger snook relate to specific structure, water depth and the presence of different baits. The mangroves are the most obvious structure, and they are also the most heavily fished. Although popular, I don’t feel they are the most productive for the larger snook. All the large snook I have caught are 20 to 30 yards away from the shoreline in 4 to 7 feet of water. For me, currentswept points with a shell bottom have been the most consistent producer of big snook. Submerged sandbar points are also productive as long as there is current and bait. Surprisingly, small 1- to 2-inch minnows appear to be the best signal that large snook are in the area. For whatever reason, these tiny fish are followed by some monsters. When I see these small baitfish schooling around, I thoroughly cover that area with my Knockin Tail swimbaits. Snook rely heavily on their distinctive lateral line to feed, and I believe the rattle embedded in these paddletails draws them in for the strike. The next time you target snook in an area of mangroves, do not pitch into the roots and lose your lure. Fish the deeper water off the points, and be ready for that sudden thump from a heavy snook.

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Fall Fishing The IRL and Treasure Coast Beaches

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By Richard L. Matteson Jr.

eptember is an exciting month for surf fishing the beaches of the Treasure Coast and the Indian River Lagoon. It’s the beginning of the mullet run, which begins around mid-September and will stretch into October as shorter days and cooling weather bring mullet to their spawning grounds. Mullet and other baitfish are fodder for tarpon, snook, sharks and schooling bluefish, jacks, blue runners and mackerel. Fishing on the ocean shoreline, the St. Lucie River and in the lagoon will begin to pick up. The easiest way to follow baitfish is to watch for birds, as flocks of pelicans chase bait. Sometimes there are so many birds you can’t cast. Bring extra spoons and jigs, because bluefish and mackerel will cut your line. Tarpon: Silver kings are one of the prize gamefish of the world, and fall is a great time to hook and land one. Hooking a tarpon is one thing; landing one is another. Heavy 60-pound braid with an 80-pound clear leader is standard. Your reel should hold 250 to 300 yards of line. I have a Shimano Baitrunner with 40-pound power pro. I caught and landed a 40-pound tarpon a few weeks ago on a topwater plug. Tarpon like a slow and steady retrieve. I use standard jigs, shallow-diving plugs, porgies, silver spoons, 1- and 2-ounce Crocodile Spoons, rootbeer-color TerrorEyz and topwater plugs. Live bait works well, as do fresh cut ladyfish.

Make sure your hooks are strong enough to handle a tarpon. I use single hooks instead of treble hooks on my plugs. Setting the hook is important, as tarpon have hard mouths. When a tarpon jumps, give them a little slack while keeping in contact with the lure. Snook: In the lagoon, snook like structure (piers, bridges, mangroves). In the ocean, they cruise beaches and inlets following bait. Snook are rarely far from shore and can be caught in the first cut around the trough in early mornings and evenings. I recommend 20-pound braid with a 40-pound leader, although lighter tackle will also work. My favorite lure is a 3/8-ounce DOA jig with a 4-inch paddletail. I prefer pearl white or silver sparkle DOA baits. Bigger lures catch bigger fish, and I sometimes use a 1-ounce Tomahawk Jig in chartreuse with a curly white plastic trailer. Snook make a powerful first run, so don’t set your drag too tight. They’ll hit almost any type of lure from topwaters and jigs to crankbaits and jerkbaits. They also eat live bait like pilchards, greenies and sardines. Schooling Predators: Mackerel, bluefish, jacks and ladyfish are all schooling predators that like fast retrieves and shiny lures like silver or gold spoons. They provide lots of action during the mullet run. Bluefish and mackerel have sharp teeth, so expect your line to be cut, and be careful getting them off the hook. For more information about the Stuart Rod and Reel Club, call (336) -414-3440 or visit www.stuartrodandreel.com.

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atience. Any serious underwater photographer has to develop it, but mine was wearing thin. For 10 minutes I had been out-waiting a flamefish I discovered while poking around the Blue Heron Bridge snorkel trail in Palm Beach County. Slowly, the fish inched toward where I wanted him to be. Finally, he was sitting in the right spot. I snapped one picture, then a second. He seemed willing to pose. “Great!” I thought. “Now I can concentrate on getting something good.” Then suddenly my viewfinder was just showing haze. I looked up. Visibility had just been 20 feet. Now, parts of the reef structure were disappearing in murk. Photos were suddenly out of the question. Moving back from the reef, I looked around. About 5 yards up-current, five divers were treading water to converse at the surface. The flow from their fins was creating a silt storm on the bottom, destroying visibility. Seething, I swam off to find a new shooting locale. Although I’ve had time to cool off, I still think about that incident because it was unnecessary. If they had inflated their BCs while talking, there would have been no problem. But the Blue Heron Bridge is considered suitable for divers of all skill levels, and silting up your surroundings is rarely covered outside of cave or wreck diving courses. There’s no reason to expect every diver to have learned anti-silting techniques. Although it’s a relatively straightforward dive, BHB diving involves quite a bit of specialized knowledge. The more you know about tide windows, finding and identifying interesting critters, locating attractions like the shark statues or sunken boats, and, of course, perfecting buoyancy control, the more comfortable and enjoyable your dive will be. None of this is difficult, but acquiring that knowledge typically takes many dives. However, there is a shortcut to gaining this knowledge over time: Pura Vida Divers’ exclusive PADI Blue Heron Bridge course, a PADI Distinctive Specialty. Their course aims “to produce better divers at this unique dive site.” During the class, students are introduced to a broad cross-section of useful information pertinent to diving “the Bridge.” Andrea Whitaker, who frequently teaches the course, had some comments about the problem I encountered. “One of the most common mistakes I have seen over the years is overkicking at the dive site,” she said. “This will undoubtedly decrease the visibility for you and others around you, as well as disturb the incredibly interesting critters we are all there to see. As one key topic in the Blue Heron Bridge Specialty course, we discuss proper kick techniques and good buoyancy skills to truly enhance your dive experience there. By adjusting how you maneuver at this impressive dive site, you give yourself the opportunity to slow down and increase your luck at finding the incredible critters hiding there.” Give Pura Vida Divers a call at 561-840-8750, or check out their website www.puravidadivers.com to get started on your Blue Heron Bridge Diver course.

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saw my first large striped bass near Eureka on the Ocklawaha River in the 1960s. I was a kid watching a boat return from a day of fishing, and being unfamiliar with stripers, I was amazed at the size of fish that came from my river. I had a talk with Dad about upgrading my Zebco 404! In 1983, we started the first pontoon charter offering family fishing on central Florida’s Ocklawaha River. By then, catching a striper was rare. You knew immediately you had hooked something more than just a largemouth. With a striper on the run, you’re left praying your gear is heavy enough and that the drag is set right. The captain must be ready to up-anchor and chase a big fish! “Have you seen any stripers running?” used to be a topic of conversation between anglers, but it’s been a long time since this question was asked on the Ocklawaha. Striped bass are anadromous by nature, meaning they live in saltwater and run up rivers to spawn. Florida was once home to the southernmost native populations of Atlantic striped bass; however, due to loss of river habitat and water quality, natural reproduction ceased in the St. Johns River by the early 1970s. Stripers in Florida today are stocked and considered riverine. Stocked stripers spend their lives in rivers and lakes, and the long stretches of cool swift water necessary for them to reproduce no longer exist. Rodman Dam, completed in 1968, cut off migratory species from the Ocklawaha River. The Ocklawaha’s full length of swift cool current was the only river on Florida’s east coast that could support successful spawning. Rodman’s construction was part of a plan for the Cross Florida Barge Canal, which has pitted environmentalists against industry since the 1930s. An ongoing effort to restore the river continues today. For striped bass, Rodman Dam was devastating. Historic reports tell of fish weighing up to 30 pounds near the confluence of the Silver and Ocklawaha rivers. These fish, which came from the Atlantic through the St. Johns, utilized the 64-mile-long, spring-fed Ocklawaha to spawn. Progressively, stripers disappeared from the Ocklawaha along with the eels they loved to eat. You can still catch stocked stripers in the St. Johns. In summer, they can be found in cool spring runs like Silver Glenn, Salt Springs and Croaker Hole, near Welaka. In winter, stripers are caught in the St. Johns up to Jacksonville. Farther north, the St. Marys River is an option. Stripers in winter have been caught below Rodman Dam on the Ocklawaha River. Various lures and live bait are options. Stripers like shad, eels and shiners, and anything silver catches their attention. Due to the warm water, stocked stripers in Florida don’t grow as large as those up north, but you will need to bump-up your bass tackle. Contact Capt. Erika Ritter, of A Cruising Down The River, at (352) 299-0282 and check out www.captainerikasfloridaboatcharters.com.

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f you have been in the offshore game long enough, you know pelagics don’t always cooperate. Luckily, in south Florida, you can almost always score some tasty bottom dwellers for dinner before you head back to the dock. Blackbelly rosefish make for some incredible table fare and are very easy to catch with the right equipment and a little local knowledge. Most important is a good bottom machine that gives you accurate depths to over 1,000 feet. Though you can hand crank with a pound or two of lead, you won’t ever want to do it again if you come up empty on the first drop. Electric reels are a must. It’s nice to have a modern, high-speed electric reel, but a 9/0 Penn Senator with a Fish Winch or Electra-Mate will get the job done. Rosies can be caught in depths between 650 and 1,100 feet, but I believe the sweet spot is around 850 feet. They like hard rocky bottom, but can also be caught on muddy bottom as long as there is some structure close by. The go-to rig is a chicken rig with five or six hooks. You can get away with 9/0 circle hooks, but some of the best in the game go as big at 12/0 or 13/0 because a snowy grouper or big golden tilefish may come calling. Depending on the amount of current, you will need 3 to 8 pounds of lead to keep your baits on the bottom. The best bait is squid, but chunks of bonito, barracuda or even dolphin bellies will work just fine. Don’t forget to add a light source to your rig. The small, water activated strobe lights in green or blue work best. Rosies have big yellow eyes, but it’s pretty dark on the bottom in 800 feet. Don’t skimp on the light. You can locate potential honey holes by watching your bottom machine while you are on the troll for dolphin. Pay close attention when you are between 700 and 900 feet. Mark any spots where you see a 5 to 10 foot depth change. Name those marks as prospective spots and try them out. Once you find a productive spot, don’t think that you have to go back to that same spot for each drop. Many times, the bite gets better a bit north of the starting point. Keep in mind that when you hit bottom, you will have to make adjustments to keep your baits on the bottom. When you get the first bite, don’t start coming up. Leave your rig on the bottom so you can get a few more bites and bring up 3 or 4 fish at a time. Be mindful to release the smaller fish, as they don’t yield enough meat to warrant dulling your fillet knife and don’t ever keep more than you need. The next time you get skunked offshore, try a little deep droppin’ for groceries! Gene Dyer is editor/publisher of Coastal Angler Magazine—Fort Lauderdale.

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’ve fished the Shinnecock Inlet in Hampton Bays, N.Y. for many years and have usually found plenty of striped bass and bluefish to keep me occupied. One afternoon last September, I pulled into the parking lot on the inlet’s west side, took a look at the water and smiled as I saw a large school of bait flashing on the surface. Something, or a lot of somethings were feeding on them. There was a flotilla of maybe 15 boats chasing the school, including a party boat, which was crammed with weekend anglers. The school moved quickly and as I worked my way along the jetty, I could just make out larger predator fish thrashing about on the surface. It was a real blitz! On the shore with me were 20 or so anglers, all trying to keep up as fish zipped north to south and back north again. At times, they were too far away to cast to, and all we could do was watch as the boats tried to corral the school. The fish repeatedly slid through the gaps and veered off in another direction. Even though there were close to 100 anglers involved in this melee, all of whom at one point or another were able to cast into the midst of the feeding frenzy, no one got so much as a strike. Except for the guy standing just off to my left. He had driven from in Montauk, where he had spent a fruitless morning looking for stripers. He was tired when he got to the inlet, so he parked his vehicle and settled in for a nap. When he opened his eyes, the school was right in front of him. Maybe because he was more rested than anyone else, or perhaps because he was simply a better angler, he hooked into two different fish on a pencil popper. The first spat the hook quickly, but the second stayed on. It didn’t take long for him to realize what he’d laced into. It was a false albacore. Albies are not huge, but they fight like a fish of much greater size. The runs this guy’s fish made were extraordinary, both for their length and speed. It never jumped, as the other blitzing albies had while gorging on the baitfish, but his fish did come within view a couple of times. It looked to be close to 10 pounds, which the guy confirmed once he’d landed and released it. “That was my first albie!” he shouted. It was the first time I’d even seen one, so I walked over to offer congratulations and we chatted for a bit. The other anglers were too busy trying to get their lures back into the water to join us. Peter Cammann has been writing fishing stories for magazines and newspapers for over 30 years. He is the author of three books: Fishing Vermont’s Streams and Lakes, Ultralight Spin Fishing, and a novel titled SlipNot, all of which are available on amazon.com.

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ummertime means catfish to a lot of anglers, and it was one heck of a summer for catfish in North Carolina. In July, two state catfish records were broken. The first, an enormous Lake Gaston blue cat, weighed more than 120 pounds. The second, a 78-pound, 14-ounce Neuse River flathead broke a record that has stood for 15 years. Joey Baird, of Lawrenceville, Va., caught his state record 121-pound, 9-ounce blue catfish out of Six Pound Creek at Lake Gaston on July 5. The

monster fish, which ate a chunk of cut bait, was more than 5 feet long, with a girth of 40.5 inches. It broke a 117-pound, 8-ounce record that has stood since June 2016. Lake Gaston is a 20,000-acre reservoir of the Roanoke River up on North Carolina’s northern border with Virginia. It has a history of producing giant blue catfish, as this is the fourth North Carolina record blue to come from its waters. The Roanoke River system also lays claim to the world record blue catfish. The largest blue catfish ever certified came from Kerr Lake, Virginia, which is one dam upstream of Lake Gaston on the Roanoke. That fish, which weighed 143 pounds, was caught in June 2011. The new North Carolina record flathead was caught by Pikeville angler Tyler Barns. The 78-pound, 14-ounce beast ate a live bream fished in the Neuse River on July 20. Barns’ monster fish was more than 4 feet long and had a girth of more than 3 feet. It bested the 78-pound record flathead caught from the Cape Fear River in 2005. The Neuse River runs from Falls Lake north of Raleigh all the way to the coast to feed the Atlantic Ocean at Pamlico Sound.

COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

SEPTEMBER 2020

NATIONAL 11


W FOR YOUR O N E V R E RES CAPE!!! WINTER ES

State of the Art Marina in Ft. Pierce, Florida

Located on the Ft. Pierce Inlet, one mile from the ocean, finest deep-water inlet on Florida’s east coast, 13 miles from the Gulf Stream for some of the best fishing in Florida!

Marina Amenities: 58 Slips Accommodating Vessels Up to 200 ft.

24-Hr. Security • Gated Dock Access Pump Out Stations • Ship’s Store • Bait & Tackle Shop Electric Service: 480 Volt – 100 amp-3 phase 240 Volt – 30-50-100 amp • 110 Volt – 20 amp

Resort Amenities: 35 Unit Hotel – Poolside, Waterfront and 1-Bedroom Apartments

Housekeeping Service • Cable TV • Free WiFi Laundry Facilities • Two Pools (One Heated) Pet Friendly • Continental Breakfast Onsite Restaurant & Tiki Bar

DOMETIC SEASTAR HYDRAULIC STEERING KITS

T

he Dometic SeaStar Hydraulic Steering Kit is the world’s most popular outboard hydraulic steering system, offering unmatched comfort and control. These kits provide smooth, super-efficient steering for today’s highperformance hulls, with single and multiple engine capability. The Dometic SeaStar Hydraulic Steering Kit includes helm, front mount steering cylinder and hydraulic oil. Hoses are not included. The Dometic SeaStar Hydraulic Steering Kit is recommended for single and dual non-power-assisted outboard engines up to 350 HP (700 combined HP for counter-rotating duals). The system is ideal for cruisers, runabouts, center console boats, offshore fishing boats and many more. It’s suitable for speeds up to 60 MPH. With additional accessories, this is also suitable for dual station use.

Hydraulic Steering Fluid

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EMAIL: INFO@DOCKSIDEINN.COM MARINA RESERVATIONS/INFORMATION (772) 201–5773 RESORT RESERVATIONS/INFORMATION (772) 468–3555

12 NATIONAL

SEPTEMBER 2020

SeaStar/BayStar hydraulic steering fluid is formulated to provide the best performance for your SeaStar/BayStar steering system. A perfect blend of viscosity stabilizers, anti-wear agents and corrosion inhibitors ensure maximum steering life performance. Due to previous upgrades to our steering system components, Dometic recommends use of Dometic SeaStar Steering Fluid only in our hydraulic steering systems.

COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

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SEPTEMBER 2020

NATIONAL 13


J.O. SPICE COMPANY CELEBRATES 75 YEARS AND 4 GENERATIONS

S

teamed blue crabs seasoned with J.O. No.2 or a custom blend that J.O. manufactures is the flavor people experience at crab establishments all over. Most people credit this crab house seasoning to another product but J.O. has been the crab houses’ seasoning of choice since 1945. J.O. Spice, started by J.O. (James Ozzle) Strigle and his wife Dot in Baltimore City in 1945, is celebrating its 75th Anniversary. A native of Tangier Island, Va., J.O. Strigle brought the seafood spice blend he created in his kitchen on the island to Maryland. Jane McPhaul, J.O.’s daughter took over operations of the family business in the late eighties while her son, Don Ports, was serving in the Marine Corps. In 1990 Don joined his mother in the family business with a vision to expand. In the summer of 1991 Don met his spice girl, Ginger, with the pick up line, “you’re destined to be mine; you’re named for a spice,” said J.O. Spice Company president Don Ports to wife Ginger Ports the moment they met. Twenty eight years later, Don and Ginger- alongside their children Brittany, Tyler and Bethany, are continuing the family traditions of quality seasonings, spices, and more at reasonable prices at their Halethorpe based J.O. Spice Company. “We can provide crab houses everything they need for the crab eating experience, minus the crabs”, Don says. The company added crab boxes, crab paper, bushel baskets, crab knives, crab mallets and a variety of other items to their offerings. “We purchased our first laser engraver and that opened the door to the retail gift world and personalized options,” Don says. J.O. specializes in custom blended seasonings for pizza companies, pit beef stands, butchers, potato chip companies and more. We are more than seafood seasonings. “My children, the fourth generation, and our amazing team work side-by-side to make all of this happen,” Ginger says. “At J.O., we are all family who enjoy working with so many other family businesses. We are blessed.” Please visit us at jospices.com.

NO COU

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Pricing, promotions, and availability may vary by location and at www.harborfreight.com and are subject to change without notice. We reserve the right to limit quantities. “Compare to” advertised price means that the specified comparison, which is an item with the same or similar function, was advertised for sale at or above the “Compare to” price by another national retailer in the U.S. within the past 90 days. Prices advertised by others may vary by location. No other meaning of “Compare to” should be implied. Although we make every effort to assure that our prices and products are advertised as accurately as possible, we are only human and in the event an error is made, we reserve the right to correct it.

8/6/20 3:32 PM



Three Cheers For FREE!

Not feeling so free these days? How about something absolutely stunning that is!

PRAISE FOR STAUER BLUE TOPAZ

PRAISE FOR STAUER GARNET JEWELRY

“Love at first sight! Without a doubt - one of my favorite pieces from Stauer!”

“It was beautiful and it made my day. Buy it you won’t regret it. Love it!”

Pendants enlarged to show exquisite color. Chain sold separately.

– H., Spokane WA

A

fter months of “together time” she deserves something truly special. You do too. How about a genuine gemstone pendant at a price worth raising a glass to–– FREE!* We can’t think of a better way to introduce you to the fine art of affording the extraordinary than with an absolutely extraordinary offer. Delight her with nearly 3 total carats of perfectly-faceted cushion cut genuine gemstones. You pay only $2495, our regular charge for shipping, processing and insurance. We’ll even pay you back with $30 in Stauer Dollars to use on future Stauer orders— that’s our Better Than Free Shipping®! This awesome deal is a no-brainer. The hard part is deciding which one, so maybe start with her favorite color. Choose from vibrant green Verdant Peridot, golden Champagne Citrine, dreamy Sky Blue Topaz, lush Cabernet Garnet, or decadent Royal Amethyst. Set in .925 sterling silver finished in lustrous gold or in gleaming sterling silver, you really can’t go wrong–– A. no matter which gemstone you choose.

“The best color in the whole world is the one that looks good on you.” — Gabrielle Bonheur ‘Coco’ Chanel

– N. B., Mattapoisett, MA

Now you could spend nearly $1,700 on a sterling silver pendant set with just one blue topaz stone. But, with Stauer in your corner, you can give her even more for FREE! LIMITED AVAILABILITY. No one has an offer that even comes close to this, so we can’t guarantee our supplies will last long. Call today for your FREE ThreeStone Gemstone Pendant and enjoy oohs and ahhs without the ouch. Call now!

Three-Stone Gemstone Pendant $299† Choose Peridot, Citrine, Blue Topaz, Red Garnet or Amethyst

Your Pendant Cost With Offer Code — FREE*

*pay only shipping & processing of $2495 and receive $30 in Stauer Dollars toward your next order! You must use the offer code to get our special free pendant.

1-800-333-2045

Your Insider Offer Code: TSP143-01 Please use this code when you order to receive our free offer.

Stauer

®

14101 Southcross Drive W., Ste 155, Dept. TSP143-01, Burnsville, Minnesota 55337 www.stauer.com

Rating of A+

• 3 ctw each: Verdant peridot, Champagne citrine, Sky Blue topaz, Cabernet garnet, Royal amethyst • white zircon accents • .925 sterling silver or yellow gold-finished .925 sterling silver settings • Chain sold separately * This offer is valid in the United States (and Puerto Rico) except in TX, FL, CO, OK, RI, NH, WV, OR, SC, VA, ID and CA. These state residents will be charged one cent ($.01) + shipping & processing for the item. Void where prohibited or restricted by law. Offer subject to state and local regulations. Not valid with any other offers and only while supplies last. This offer is limited to one item per shipping address. † Free is only for customers using the offer code versus the price on Stauer.com without your offer code.

Stauer… Afford the Extraordinary.®



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