Coastal Angler Magazine | June 2021 | North Central Florida/Nature Coast Edition

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NORTH CENTRAL FLORIDA/NATURE COAST EDITION

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$160K (Value) JULY 12-17

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VOLUME 26 • ISSUE 315

SATELLITE SCOUT THE BACKWATERS

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A V A I L A B L E

W O R L D W I D E

JUNE 2021


GO FROM FISH TO WAKE TO DAD OF THE YEAR IN THE SAME AFTERNOON.

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©2021 Yamaha Motor Corporation, U.S.A. All rights reserved. Follow instructional materials and obey all laws. Drive responsibly, wearing protective apparel. Always drive within your capabilities, allowing time and distance for maneuvers, and respect others around you. Don’t drink and drive. Any references to other companies or their products are for identification purposes only, and are not intended to be an endorsement. FOR MORE INFORMATION, VISIT OUR WEBSITE AT YAMAHABOATS.COM OR CALL 1.800.88.YAMAHA.


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deep waters it was designed to explore and it’s sporty screw-down crown can take the pressure in stride. Your satisfaction is 100% guaranteed. If you are not completely convinced you got excellence for less, simply return the Explorer Dive Watch within 30 days for a refund of the item price. At Stauer, we never leave our customers high and dry. Limited Edition. Sure you could give your hard-earned money to those other guys, but why would you? We’ve got the thinking man’s timepiece right here. This watch takes six months to engineer and it’s already making waves, so we can’t guarantee it will be around for long. Call today, and experience how good it feels to get true luxury for less.

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FRANCHISOR-CORPORATE DIRECTORY

EDITOR IN CHIEF : Ben Martin • camads@coastalanglermagazine.com COO : Tracy Patterson • tracy@coastalanglermagazine.com ART DIRECTOR : Laura Kelly • graphics@coastalanglermagazine.com EDITORIAL COORDINATOR : Nick Carter • editorial@coastalanglermagazine.com WEBMASTER : Ryan Clapper • webmaster@coastalanglermagazine.com ADVERTISING & FRANCHISE INQUIRIES:

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$375K GJKT Slated for July 12-17

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his month’s CAM cover is dedicated to the Greater Jacksonville Kingfish Tournament (GJKT) and all of the die-hard kingfish anglers out there. The GJKT, from July 12-17, is a weeklong celebration of fishing in one the East Coast’s great fishing communities. With a festival featuring food, exhibitors and all things nautical, along with several different tournaments, including kids’ tournaments and a redfish tournament, the GJKT has grown into a lot more than just a spectacular kingfish tournament. With the traditional king mackerel tournament season upon us, GJKT is holding one of its richest tournaments ever. Teams will fish July 15-16 out of Jim King Park in Jacksonville, Fla. This year, teams will compete for a first-place prize package valued at more than $160,000. Catch the largest kingfish over two days of fishing, and you could be the proud new owner of a brand new 25T Contender sport fishing boat powered by twin 150hp Yamaha motors. If that’s not the biggest single prize in kingfishing, it has to be close. Fifty other places and divisions will also be paid out, including Lady and Junior Angler prizes, so anglers can still win big even if they aren’t the lucky angler to catch the largest kingfish. The weigh-ins are a sight for spectators to behold, and the total purse is valued at $375,000. The GJKT, one of the oldest kingfish tournaments around, is now in its 41st year. The tournament reached 1,000 entrants before the COVID-19 pandemic hit the United States, and it is now on the way back up. Jacksonville Marine Charities (JMC), a 501c3 corporation, is the

parent organization of the GJKT, and all proceeds from the tournament are used to promote and enhance fishing in Northeast Florida. To date, several hundred thousand dollars have been donated for such projects as reef enhancement, marine science education and boater safety issues, to name a few. For more information about the GJKT or JMC, visit kingfishtournament.com.

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JUNE 2021

NATIONAL 7


FOR GROUPER SEASON, IT’S... By Capt. Quinlyn Haddon

W

ith the opening of gag grouper this month throughout the Gulf of Mexico, Florida grouper season is basically open across the board. The regulations for grouper vary greatly from state to state and even within specific regions of each state, so make sure to the latest legal harvest information in the location you plan to fish. With that out of the way, game-on and good luck; it sure will be nice not to have to vent and release these chubby, spotted, pre-sandwiches. Grouper fishing can be a challenge in regions that don’t have surface markings, where anglers rely primarily on coordinates of small hard-bottom patches. The numbers that aren’t completely overfished have been acquired by fishermen who’ve spent years cruising the ocean. Hiring a salty and experienced charter captain is highly recommended for targeting grouper; paying attention to what they tell you is equally as important. If you choose to go it alone, there are a few things recommended to ensure your best chances of success. As opposed to pelagic fishing, where a school of fish can move through, and it may be better to have lighter leader starting out just to entice a bite, you’ll want to gear-up for grouper.

8 NATIONAL

JUNE 2021

Losing that first grouper bite can result in shutting down the entire spot. When a large grouper breaks off, especially if it takes the entire rig with the hook and lead with it, that fish will swim back down to its home—where all the other fish are—and sound the danger alarm by grunting. It’s best to start out with heavy line to avoid this, especially if you don’t have more bottom numbers nearby to bounce around to. Make sure your drags are set tight, your gear is on the heavy side, and that you are paying attention when you first arrive at a spot. Cigars can be lit, beers can be shotgunned and rod-holders may be utilized only after you have been at a spot for the second half, or immediately after losing a big fish. If you want to catch spotted sandwiches, or just not cripple your anchor-pulling deckhand, this is important information to apply to your trip. When fishing for grouper, there are many ways to rig for them. Utilizing 60-plus-pound leader, the correct lead for your current and a large circle hook, many different kinds of baits will work. Experiment with squid, shrimp, crab, sardines, live bait and pieces of fresh fish cut a number of different ways. Keep a variety going down, and pay attention to what is getting bites. Don’t forget that if you lose a big one, you are on the right tide and are still marking fish, that you

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might have chased the bite away. This is the time to take your lunch break, light that cigar, or move spots entirely. If you come visit Marathon this grouper season, there are several restaurants that will cook your catch, but none more specialized in preparing this species for the table than Castaway Restaurant. Their Dijonnaise-style grouper, which is a heavy cream reduction sauce loaded with mushrooms, is top of the line. Remember to ask your crew to cut out the cheeks while they fillet your grouper, especially if you harvested enough of them to add up. Happy hunting, and good luck out there. Capt. Quinlyn Haddon guides with Blue Magic Charters, docked at Castaway Restaurant in Marathon, Fla. Contact Blue Magic at (504) 920-6342 and keep up with Quinlyn through her social media @CaptainQuinlyn.


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Fish Mapping gives you 8 dedicated fishing features plus all SiriusXM Marine weather information directly on your boat’s display, relative to your boat’s location. The service is delivered via satellite and is available offshore well beyond cell range. Add SiriusXM entertainment and you’re all set for an incredible day fishing.

“Navigating around storms, locating the best fishing spots and rocking out on the water… SiriusXM Marine has me covered!” — Shane Murray, Team Total Vision, 35' Marlago Boater receives complimentary subscription.

OFFER DETAILS: Activate a new monthly subscription to either: (i) SiriusXM Marine Fish Mapping or (ii) SiriusXM Marine Fish Mapping and SiriusXM All Access audio on the same device, and receive your first (1) month free for each activated service (a savings of $99.99 on Fish Mapping and $21.99 on All Access), plus get free device activation (an additional savings of $25). A credit card is required on this offer. Service will automatically renew every month thereafter and, at the beginning of your second month, you will be charged at then-current rates. Fees and taxes apply. You must cancel your subscriptions during your promotional period(s) to avoid future charges. Please see our Customer Agreement at siriusxm.com for complete terms and how to cancel, which includes calling us at 1-800-985-9200. All fees, content and features are subject to change. This offer may be modified, suspended or cancelled at any time. Subscription and hardware sold separately.$100 Rebate from SiriusXM available through Dec 31, 2021 with hardware and subscription purchase, see Rebate Offer Details at siriusxm.com/fishmapping. © 2021 Sirius XM Radio Inc. SiriusXM and all related logos are trademarks of Sirius XM Radio Inc. and its respective subsidiaries. All rights reserved.


Defender C-Hawk 23 Center Console

Marine Outfitter of Choice Since 1938

With a 14-degree deadrise hull, the 23 Center Console C-Hawk gives you a better ride in rough water. It is designed to be versatile—equally at home on bays, inlets and flats as it is graceful offshore. With plenty of room to move around, this model can be rigged out to suit whatever style of fishing you do, from fly fishing to bottom dropping. The large console offers plenty of storage space. Add a T-top, and you’ve got a boat for all seasons. The flat gunnel appeals to recreational and commercial anglers alike. A long list of options lets you set this boat up for family fishing, as well. Have one built with a leaning post, livewell and raw water wash down to further enhance your fishing experience. FOR MORE INFORMATION, VISIT CHAWKBOATS.NET.

SPECIFICATIONS C-Hawk Center Console

LENGTH: 22’4” BEAM: 8’ DRAFT: 12” DRY WEIGHT: 2,430 lbs. COCKPIT DEPTH: 22” Fwd/ 20” Aft FUEL CAPACITY: 66 Gal. MAXIMUM HP: 225 DEADRISE: 14 degrees TRANSOM: 25”

FISH THE BACKWATERS BAY OR NEARSHORE CHawk 23

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JUNE 2021

NATIONAL 11


FIND SOME

SUMMER SOLITUDE S

By Capt. Michael Okruhlik

chool is out! This has always been my marker for the official beginning of summer. I know the bays will be filled with everyone getting out to enjoy Mother Nature, so finding solitude is key to catching fish. My family and I will be there too, but if I’m lucky, you won’t see me. Here are some methods to avoid the crowds and catch a lot of fish! Let’s focus on kayaks and areas only small vessels can access. Small, shallow-draft watercraft help us elude the summer crowds and find our solitude. Pushing farther back into the shallows and marsh areas requires some planning, so let’s start with some satellite scouting on the computer. The first thing to do is find areas that have tidal movement. One way to determine this via satellite is to zoom in on the openings of bayous and drains. If you notice a deeper hole at the mouth, this lets you know it has good current flow, which is what causes a washout in the mouth. If the mouth looks shallow or silted in, search for another spot.

PHOTO COURTESY OF KNOCKIN TAIL LURES

Once you have identified areas with sufficient current, find the structure. I like areas with scattered grass, shell, or both. Add in some depth changes around bends, and you are set. Depending how deep into the marsh you are going, and if you are new to the area, taking a GPS is a great idea. Once you get in the marsh, it looks completely different on the way out. Cell phone service might not always be reliable, and I know on my phone the bright sun really makes it hard to see the satellite imagery. Now let’s get down to the business end and talk about lures and presentation. I generally like to throw a paddle tail. If I am fishing a new area, I’ll have one rigged weedless on a weighted swimbait hook. I prefer this style of lure for a couple of reasons. One, it is a great search bait. I can simply

cast, reel and cover a lot of water. It is also my preferred soft plastic when fishing shallow water, which is what you find in the marsh. Redfish will not hesitate to hit a lure reeled in a straight line with a vibrating tail. Adding sound into the mix really grabs their attention. Like the clicking sound of a fleeing shrimp, the Knockin Tail Lure, with its built-in tail rattle is my lure of choice in this scenario. These swimbaits rattle on a steady retrieve and can make the difference between just fishing and catching. Be safe, find an out-of-the-way area, and catch some fish! I know my family and I will be tucked away in the backwaters in June. Capt. Michael Okruhlik is the inventor of Knockin Tail Lures, Controlled Descent Lures and the owner of www.MyCoastOutdoors.com.

LET US SHOW YOU HOW TO

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! N IO T C U D O R P Y C N E G R E EM

Actual size is 40.6 mm

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Tied for 4th Lowest Mintage (1 million)

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2021 San Francisco (S) 1oz (31.101 grams) 99.9% Silver 40.6 mm 1,000,000 Mint State-69 (MS69) Emergency Production

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This year marks the 35th anniversary of the Silver Eagle. It’s also the final mintage to feature the coin’s original eagle design by John Mercanti, 12th Chief Engraver of the U.S. Mint. “Lasts” are always a big deal for collectors—almost as big as low populations. This Emergency Production release is both. In fact, it’s tied for the fourth lowest bullion Silver Eagle mintage ever! But how do we tell which coins are from the Emergency Production run?

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The End of an Era

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Due to the pandemic, the West Point Mint—the U.S. Mint branch that normally strikes Brilliant Uncirculated (BU) Silver Eagles—temporarily locked down. Demand was skyrocking, and so the U.S. Mint turned to its other branches, ordering them to strike special “Emergency Production” runs of Silver Eagles. It was great news for silver buyers, and even better news for collectors. Here’s why:

Silver Eagles have no mint mark to tell us where they were produced. But thanks to some skilled detective work, the experts at Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC), one of the world’s leading third-party grading services, were able to certify our coins as being struck at the San Francisco Mint during this Emergency Production run. What’s more, a number of these coins have been graded as Mint State-69 (MS69) condition—just one grade point away from perfection—and sealed with labels certifying them as being struck at the San Francisco Mint during the series’ 35th anniversary!

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Certified “Struck at” with Special Anniversary Labels

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ne of the most popular ways to buy silver is the Silver Eagle— legal-tender U.S. Silver Dollars struck in one ounce of 99.9% pure silver. When the COVID-19 pandemic began sweeping the world, demand skyrocketed. But there was a problem...

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IN THE LAND OF THE MAYA

t incited excited Spanish chatter from the crew when the fish’s bill slashed the surface. “Marlin blanco?” was the only phrase I could decipher. I clung to the rod as Tony Tuz and his father Lorenzo cleared lines. “Billfish! Billfish!” Tony barked so the gringos understood. Then my 10-year-old son gasped. A 7-foot sailfish went airborne and tail-walked for 20 yards off the stern. It was awesome, exactly what I envisioned while e-mailing Charter Fishing Cancun prior to a recent family vacation. My son and I were the only anglers aboard the 35-foot Bertram Xaviera III. We could have used some help cranking in all those fish. Cancun, Mexico is a great place to fish. The resorts overlook the Straits of Yucatan on the northeast tip of the Yucatan Peninsula. It’s the pinch point between the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico, a highway for pelagic species. In March, we were early for the headliner species. From April through July, summer is peak season for blue and white marlin, sailfish, tuna, wahoo and mahi-mahi—which they call Dorado. Snapper and grouper species, as well as amberjack

By Nick Carter and huge barracuda can be caught year-round. No matter. We just wanted bent rods, and Capt. Jorge Rivas steered us toward open water with baitwell full of small jacks and blue runners. The action began almost as soon as Tony and Lorenzo got lines out. We pulled a spread with bird teasers, a squid chain, skirted ballyhoo and several flat-lined live baits, which almost immediately brought up a big Dorado that came unbuttoned. Then we drove into birds. Gulls diving on flying fish were enough to get me excited. Tony was not impressed. “Bonito,” he said with a shrug. “Sea gulls mean bonito. Frigate birds mean tuna.” Sure enough, my son took the rod to catch bonito for the bait bucket until big fork-tailed frigate birds

started diving all around the boat. The boy could definitely tell the difference when a gorgeous 20-pound blackfin tuna took the bait. It wasn’t even 8:30 a.m., and we had seen a lot of action. But the captain and crew had more to show us. When the tuna bite died, we stopped over a ledge in 350 feet of water. Lorenzo worked quickly to cut bonito into baits. He sliced away the entire dorsal section and tail of each fish to leave streamlined head-and-belly baits. We jigged them deep, and in short order were tripling up on amberjacks up to 40 pounds. We battled big AJs until weary arms begged for mercy and then headed to deeper water and the sailfish. We finished the day with three big barracuda, which are a ton of fun when they’re 4 to 5 feet long. After all that activity, my son crashed in the shade for the ride back. Seeing him smile in his sleep is something I’ll never forget. To book an inshore or offshore trip out of Cancun, contact Charter Fishing Cancun at cfishingcancun@gmail.com. Check out their website www.charterfishingcancun.com.

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Meet the Beauty in the Beast Discover this spectacular 6½-carat green treasure from Mount St. Helens!

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or almost a hundred years it lay dormant. Silently building strength. At 10,000 feet high, it was truly a sleeping giant. Until May 18, 1980, when the beast awoke with violent force and revealed its greatest secret. Mount St. Helens erupted, sending up a 80,000-foot column of ash and smoke. From that chaos, something beautiful emerged… our spectacular Helenite Necklace.

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Helenite is produced from the heated volcanic rock of Mount St. Helens and the brilliant green creation has captured the eye of jewelry designers worldwide. Today you can wear this massive 6½-carat stunner for only $149! Make your emeralds jealous. Our Helenite Necklace puts the green stone center stage, with a faceted pear-cut set in .925 sterling silver finished in luxurious gold. The explosive origins of the stone are echoed in the flashes of light that radiate as the piece swings gracefully from its 18" luxurious gold-finished sterling silver chain. Today the volcano sits quiet, but this unique piece of American natural history continues to erupt with gorgeous green fire.

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I By Richard L. Matteson

Follow the

BAIT POD

2 FLORIDA

JUNE 2021

n June and July, small glass minnows school together and form bait pods here on the Atlantic Coast of Florida. The pods move up and down the beach. These bait pods are easy to spot by looking for diving birds and feeding fish thrashing the surface. Sometimes the bait pods come near shore and go out, but usually they move parallel to the shore and well within casting range. What kind of fish can you catch surf casting in these bait pods? In June, tarpon move around the inlets and start cruising the beach looking for bait pods. Large female snook swim along the trough under the bait pods. Schools of large jack bust the surface, and the occasional schools of bluefish and ladyfish are there, along with mackerel that haven’t yet moved north. Around the trough, smaller table fare like whiting and croaker will be caught with regular 4-inch shad tail jigs or more easily on smaller jigs and spoons. If you let the jig hit the bottom and snap it up quickly, you’ll catch lots of these great-eating panfish. Anatomy of a Bait Pod: Most of the time, a bait pod moves north or south. On slack tide, the pod will slow down. I’ve even seen them stop for 30 minutes in one place. Croaker and whiting will be on the bottom under the pod. Or if the pod is shallow, croaker and whiting will be under the first breakers and can be caught in the wash. Jerk your jig off the bottom, letting it hit for a second each time. Jerk, reel some, let it sit. Usually the tarpon are on the outside of the pod farthest from the beach. For tarpon, cast as far out over the pod as possible and use a slow steady retrieve. Snook are almost always on the shallow side near the trough and the first breakers. Cast more parallel to shore using a steady lifting and releasing movement with the rod tip. Jack can be anywhere, and I like fishing near the surface with a brisker retrieve when targeting jacks. Also use the brisk retrieve for bluefish, ladyfish and mackerel. My favorite June lures are a 3/8-ounce chartreuse jig with a 4-inch pearl white shad tail and a shallow running Yo-Zuri crankbait in white. I also throw a Skitter-Walk (topwater plug) when the water heats up. Remember, for the best summertime surf action: Follow the bait pod. Richard Matteson writes for Stuart Rod and Reel Club. Contact him at (336) 414-3440.

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Be a STAR Garbage-olist this Summer!

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n its seventh year, STAR remains the largest, family-friendly saltwater fishing competition in Florida. The summer-long event invites anglers and non-anglers of all ages and skill levels to participate in 17 divisions and win their share of prizes valued at almost $500,000, including boats, motors, scholarships and more. For anyone who enjoys trash-free fishing and boating, the Costa Kick Plastic Trash Division presented by Papa’s Pilar gives conservation enthusiasts the chance to win big just by collecting five-gallon buckets of trash. Trash Division participants can win by gathering five-gallon buckets of garbage from a coastline or while fishing and submitting photos of their collection through the dedicated STAR App. The Trash Division welcomes participants of all ages, but has become a favorite among youth registrants, as it gives students the opportunity to complete community service hours and improve coastal habitats too. For every five-gallon bucket of trash collected, disposed of and submitted through the STAR App, it not only increases opportunities for winning but equates to 30 minutes of community service time, too. “Unlike traditional fishing tournaments, STAR focuses on conservation, family participation and fun,” CCA Florida STAR Director Leiza Fitzgerald

said. “From Memorial Day to Labor Day, STAR gives families the shot to win prizes, youth scholarships and more while being outdoors, conserving coastal resources and making lifelong memories.” This year, Trash Division participants can also submit entries for two special photo opportunities including the “Reel Life & Thrash Can Bucket STAR Photo” and “Reel Life & Tacklewebs Fun Fishing Photo” awards. To enter, participants must wear Reel Life apparel and use a Trash Can Bucket Topper or wear Reel Life Apparel and include a Tacklewebs product, respectively. Additionally, the Trash Division will also name three randomly drawn winners and award “Most Buckets Gathered” at the end of the competition. STAR 2021 is the 101-day event that gives registrants countless fishing memories and opportunities to win. To register or learn more, visit ccaflstar.com today.

Cle Because every fish could be a winner!

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PLANTING CORAL, By John Christopher Fine

D

eath of coral reefs is a worldwide dilemma. In the Florida Keys, Richard Stanczyk has watched it happen. A fisherman for 70 years, Stanczyk has spent a lot of time on the ocean. He and his family own the fabled Bud n’ Mary’s Marina in Islamorada. “I witnessed a lot of things. It took 25 years to put in sewers. I’m a bonefisherman. The bay was smothered by brown algae. It is from human waste and farming. There is acid rain,” Stanczyk said from his office at the marina, where the walls are covered with memories of great fish, major fishing tournaments and trophies. Stanczyk sees the environment married to the economy. “There has been a tremendous reduction in fish stocks due to technology and long-liners. I’d fish for swordfish at night. It didn’t take long for long-liners to wipe it out. The Gulf Stream is slowing down. It used to take 15 pounds to hold bottom.

Now only 5. Scientists say it now,” he said. “This coral restoration project is a grass roots effort. I have four grandchildren. I want them to enjoy the ocean as I have, as my children have.” The Stanczyk family contributed use of land on the ocean to a fledgling coral restoration project begun a year ago by Dr. Kylie Smith, with Clemson University and Mote Marine Laboratory, and Mike Goldberg, owner of Key Dives, Islamorada. They call the project I.CARE (Islamorada Conservation and Restoration Education). Mote established a coral nursery at Bud n’ Mary’s Marina. Pumping equipment, an insulated water-storage tank and banks of coral nursery tanks were set up along with an office trailer for researchers. Stony corals from Mote’s nursery on Summerland Key were replanted on substrate in the open ocean under permit and with the cooperation of NOAA and Marine sanctuary officials as well as widespread support from Keys

PHOTO BY JOHN CHRISTOPHER FINE

New Hope for the Oceans Live brain coral head underwater off Islamorada.

dive operations, businesses and individuals. “The science behind it is extraordinary,” Goldberg said. “Corals are being taken from disease resistant stock gathered by micro-harvesting and grown in laboratory conditions. Temperature and PH are carefully adjusted in the nursery to simulate ocean conditions in the future, when scientists predict temperature rise and acid rain will affect corals.” Coral is an animal. It begins as free-swimming larvae that settle on substrate and grow. A plant called zooxanthellae lives in symbiosis inside the coral polyp. The plant needs sunlight for photosynthesis to produce carbohydrates and oxygen that corals

use. The plant helps dispose of the coral’s waste. When water is turbid or when temperatures rise above 70 to 85 degrees, the plants die. Coral bleaches white and also dies in most cases. Coral wasting disease and bleaching have been devastating in the Keys. Dr. Smith said the 60 to 70 percent live coral coverage of the 1970s has fallen to just 3 to 5 percent. I.CARE’s program should hopefully turn the tide. Coral reefs provide critical habitat for fish and marine organisms. “If you lose the habitat, you lose everything,” Stanczyk concluded. For more on I.CARE, visit www.icareaboutcoral.org.

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COASTAL ANGLER North Central Florida/Nature Coast

Cary & Lynn Crutchfield ALACHUA, MARION, COLUMBIA, GILCHRIST, BRADFORD, DIXIE, LEVY, CITRUS

A

JUNE

year ago, June 2020, I began this column by saying that I wanted to crawl into a hole until June 2021, and maybe the pandemic would be over. I didn’t crawl into a hole (I couldn’t find one.) but thanks to masks, social distancing and definitely the miracle of vaccine, Cary and I have survived, and we can finally see an end to the pandemic soon. Our children and grandchildren are good also. Several friends became ill, but all are fully recovered. My heart breaks for the thousands of lost Americans, and the millions of people lost worldwide. Today is a gorgeous day in late May. There are lots of folks enjoying my beautiful river and I still see an occasional sturgeon, leaving his world for a second, to catch a glimpse of my world. This month’s recipe, Shrimp, Bacon and Asparagus over Spaghetti, earned the “You can make this again.” award from Cary. What’s not to love about shrimp and bacon? If you don’t love asparagus (Cary doesn’t.) you can substitute broccoli, brussels sprouts or snow peas and it is so fast and easy. See page 2. We welcome a new writer this month, for SUWANNEE, Captain Tony Johns. See page 9. Brent Woodard is writing exclusively for HORSESHOE BEACH on page 7. While we are talking about writers, they are the experts about all things fishing in North Central Florida and Nature Coast. Call them or send them an email with your questions or to let them know that they are appreciated. See page 11 for something a little different from Bruce Butler. Thank you, John Freeze, for the beautiful photo of the sunset (or sunrise?) on this page. Stay SMART; get your vaccine and let’s be done with this pandemic before June 2022! Lynn Crutchfield Co-Publisher Coastal Angler Magazine of North Central Florida/Nature Coast

JUNE 2021 EDITION

Find Your Outdoors Here! North Central Florida Nature Coast Staff SALES

Cary Crutchfield

EDITING & PRODUCTION Lynn Crutchfield

DISTRIBUTION Rosa Crisman

GRAPHIC ARTS & DESIGN Kathleen Stemley

WEB DESIGN Kristi Williams

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Dr. Kevin McCarthy Bruce Butler John Freeze Noel Kuhn Capt. Jason Clark Capt. Dan Clymer Capt. Katie Jo Davis Capt. Tommy Derringer Capt. Andrew Fagan Capt. Tony Johns Capt. James Kerr Capt. Pat McGriff Capt. Brent Woodard

CONTACT INFORMATION

crutch@coastalanglermagazine.com 352-542-0356 www.CoastalAnglerMag.com/NC-Florida

INSIDE THIS ISSUE Tide Charts Local Fishing Forecasts Monthly Recipe

Photo by: Suwannee River Water Management District


SHRIMP, ASPARAGUS AND BACON OVER SPAGHETTI (FOR TWO)

F

Wr

M

ship a hundr from Given the he

Thank you to The Crab Plant for the shrimp. Visit their Fresh Seafood Market or enjoy Cooked Seafood to go. You are welcome to sit at their table and view beautiful Kings Bay while you enjoy your delicious, freshly prepared meal, watching manatees, dolphins, pelicans and boats. Or, you can carry it home; your choice. Open Tues-Thurs 10:00-5:30, Fri-Sat 10:00-8:00. 201 NW 5th St. Crystal River 352-795-4700.

Lynn Crutchfield, Co-Publisher Coastal Angler Magazine of North Central Florida

COOKING DIRECTIONS

TIDES • North Central Florida Time Height

1Tu

2W

3Th

4F

5Sa 6Su

7M

8Tu

1:21 AM 8:08 AM 1:24 PM 7:04 PM 2:15 AM 8:58 AM 2:38 PM 8:24 PM 3:13 AM 9:48 AM 3:56 PM 9:54 PM 4:10 AM 10:32 AM 5:04 PM 11:12 PM 5:00 AM 11:12 AM 6:01 PM 12:16 AM 5:46 AM 11:48 AM 6:49 PM 1:11 AM 6:29 AM 12:22 PM 7:32 PM 1:58 AM 7:09 AM 12:55 PM 8:11 PM

0.3 3.0 1.8 3.4 0.7 3.0 1.6 3.1 1.0 3.2 1.3 3.0 1.2 3.3 1.0 3.0 1.4 3.5 0.7 3.0 1.5 3.7 0.3 3.1 1.6 3.8 0.1 3.2 1.7 3.9 -0.1

HERNANDO BEACH

JUNE 2021

9W

Time Height

2:41 AM 7:48 AM 1:27 PM 8:47 PM 10Th 3:22 AM 8:25 AM 1:58 PM 9:22 PM 11F 4:02 AM 9:02 AM 2:31 PM 9:57 PM 12Sa 4:41 AM 9:39 AM 3:06 PM 10:33 PM 13Su 5:20 AM 10:19 AM 3:45 PM 11:11 PM 14M 5:57 AM 11:03 AM 4:30 PM 11:52 PM 15Tu 6:35 AM 11:51 AM 5:22 PM 16W 12:36 AM 7:15 AM 12:46 PM 6:22 PM

3.2 1.8 4.0 -0.2 3.2 1.9 4.0 -0.2 3.2 1.9 4.0 -0.2 3.2 1.9 4.0 -0.2 3.2 1.9 4.0 -0.1 3.2 1.9 3.9 0.0 3.2 1.8 3.8 0.1 3.2 1.7 3.6

KINGS BAY

High Tide -20 min Low Tide 58 min

High Tide 2 hrs, 20 min Low Tide 3 hrs, 7 min

CRYSTAL RIVER

WITHLACOOCHEE ENT

High Tide 36 min Low Tide 1 hr, 30 min

High Tide 7 min Low Tide 55 min

CEDAR KEY

Time Height

17Th 1:24 AM 7:59 AM 1:49 PM 7:31 PM 18F 2:18 AM 8:47 AM 3:01 PM 8:54 PM 19Sa 3:18 AM 9:36 AM 4:13 PM 10:21 PM 20Su 4:18 AM 10:24 AM 5:19 PM 11:40 PM 21M 5:15 AM 11:10 AM 6:20 PM 22Tu 12:52 AM 6:09 AM 11:56 AM 7:18 PM 23W 1:57 AM 7:02 AM 12:42 PM 8:11 PM 24Th 2:54 AM 7:54 AM 1:29 PM 9:02 PM

0.4 3.3 1.5 3.4 0.6 3.4 1.2 3.3 0.9 3.6 0.9 3.2 1.2 3.8 0.4 3.3 1.4 4.1 -0.1 3.4 1.6 4.3 -0.5 3.4 1.8 4.5 -0.7 3.4 1.9 4.5 -0.8

Time Height

25F

26Sa

27Su

28M 29Tu

30W

3:48 AM 8:43 AM 2:17 PM 9:50 PM 4:38 AM 9:31 AM 3:06 PM 10:37 PM 5:24 AM 10:21 AM 3:56 PM 11:23 PM 6:05 AM 11:12 AM 4:51 PM 12:05 AM 6:41 AM 12:06 PM 5:48 PM 12:46 AM 7:17 AM 1:02 PM 6:48 PM

3.4 1.9 4.5 -0.7 3.3 1.9 4.4 -0.5 3.3 1.8 4.3 -0.2 3.2 1.7 4.0 0.1 3.3 1.6 3.7 0.5 3.3 1.5 3.4

HOMOSASSA RIVER ENT

HORSESHOE BEACH

SUWANNEE ENT

STEINHATCHEE RIVER ENT

High Tide 4 hr, 30 min Low Tide 5 hr, 41 min High Tide 6 min Low Tide 18 min

2 NORTH CENTRAL FLORIDA/NATURE COAST

High Tide 12 min Low Tide 20 min

High Tide 2 min Low Tide 0 min

JUNE 2021

INGREDIENTS

Cook bacon in large skillet • 20 Jumbo Shrimp over medium heat until • 4 slices Bacon browned. Transfer to paper • 20 Asparagus spears towel lined plate. Remove all (tender tops only) but one tablespoon fat from • Salt and Pepper skillet. • 2 tablespoons Olive Oil Add asparagus to skillet and • Spaghetti (or pasta of cook over low heat until crisp your choice) for two tender. Transfer to plate with servings bacon. • 2 cloves fresh garlic Meanwhile, cook pasta in minced large pot of boiling salted water • ½ cup grated Parmesan, until al dente. Drain, reserving plus more for serving pasta water. Keep pasta warm. Add oil to skillet and heat over medium. Season shrimp with salt and pepper and add to skillet. Cook 2 to 3 minutes on each side. Add garlic to skillet. Cook over low for about a minute, stirring constantly. (Garlic burns easily.) Add pasta, cheese and 1 cup pasta water to skillet. Stir to coat. Add more water as needed for pasta to be very wet. Taste and add salt if needed. Serve immediately, topped with crumbled bacon, asparagus and more cheese. If you prefer, you may substitute thinly sliced Brussels Sprouts, Broccoli or Snow Peas for the Asparagus. All delicious! (For more servings, multiply ingredients as needed.)

COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

By

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FLORIDA WATERWAYS Wrecked Boats in our Waterways

M

arch of this year, an unlucky or negligent captain managed to run his gigantic container ship aground in the Suez Canal, blocking hundreds of ships going north and south from using the canal. The ship, named Ever Given, was some 1,300 feet long, about the height of the Empire State Building, and carried over 20,000 shipping containers. What caused the accident, whether negligence, strong By Kevin McCarthy winds or a malfunctioning steering mechanism, was yet to be determined, but the captain/pilot will probably not be manning such a ship again. Having sailed through the Suez Canal and given a commentary from the ship’s bridge to over 2,000 passengers, I know how straight the waterway is and how unlikely it is for a pilot to steer into the side of the canal. One wonders if the captain’s boss said something like, “What part of the instruction ‘Just keep the ship straight’ did you not understand?” That accident got me thinking about wrecked boats in our own Florida waters. I know that we have shipwrecks, and some deliberately scuttled vessels in our rivers, the Gulf, and the ocean, but we also have abandoned, deteriorating, rotten hulks all over the state. It’s always sad for me to see such wrecks and I try to imagine what their many adventures might have been. The picture of the deteriorating yacht on Drayton Island in the St. Johns River shows what happens when the owner of such a vessel apparently just walks away from the beached boat in hopes that others will take care of disposing of it. Such vessels pose serious hazards if the boats get out into the main channel or even just below the surface of the water.

A sunken boat off

Drayton Island

Abandoned boat in Florida

Hurricanes, of course, have caused many vessels to wreck along our Florida coast. I remember reading how some boat owners took their boats way up the Caloosahatchee River near Fort Myers as a hurricane approached, and that succeeded in saving the boats. The Florida Keys have their share of wrecked vessels, some of them destroyed by storms, others deliberately abandoned by refugees fleeing from Haiti and Cuba. I hate to see abandoned, destroyed, deteriorating boats and ships on our waterways. When I do, I try to imagine what the history of those vessels was and what their glory days must have been like. We congratulate the tug captains and workers who finally succeeded in dislodging the Ever Given from its ignominious resting place in the Suez Canal. And we hope that the captain/pilot of that ship has a Plan B for what his career will be from now on.

Wrecked boat in Flo rid

a

A rotting, abandoned boat

Kevin McCarthy, the author of North Florida Waterways (2013 - available at amazon.com), can be reached at ceyhankevin@gmail.com.

An abandoned im

migrant boat in the

Keys

da Keys

A deteriorating shipwreck in the Flori

COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

JUNE 2021

NORTH CENTRAL FLORIDA/NATURE COAST 3


FLORIDA SUWANNEE RIVER WATERFRONT

KATIE JO’S NATURE COAST ADVENTURES

FOR SALE

43 acres (+or-) 1100 feet (+or-) on Suwannee River in Lafayette County at US 27, across river from Branford. Heavily wooded, perfect for residence, camp ground or hunting lodge. Elec. and well.

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352-542-0356

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For Tyler

yler Hunt, son of Ronnie & Marie Hunt of Old Town, FL. is a house mover with Hunt's House Moving. He was severely injured in a freak accident while moving a home on Monday, March 15th. Tyler was struck in the head by a power line resulting in 140,000+ volts entering his body. The damage done to his body is severe and resulted in burns on over 40% of his body. Tyler's liver, kidneys and lower extremities were also severely affected. Tyler is an avid outdoorsman and spent every spare second hunting and fishing with his family and friends. He was recently married to Savannah, the last weekend in January. This young man has a very rough road ahead of him. If you would like to help him and his family, there has been an account set up for him at all Drummond Community Bank locations (Carol West-Hunt Benefit) is the name of the account. You can also donate through his home church, Faith Baptist Church, P.O Box 787, Old Town, Fl. 32680. Just mark it as "For Tyler". Any help would be greatly appreciated. Please keep him and his family in your prayers. If you want to make other arrangements, you can contact Pastor Dwayne Kight @ (352)-210-6389. Thank you and God Bless You! 4 NORTH CENTRAL FLORIDA/NATURE COAST

JUNE 2021

hings are really heating up along Florida's Nature Coast, and I am not only talking about the temperature, but more so the fishing! With water temps reaching 85 degrees, the black drum bite is hot during this time of the year and will continue to be great throughout the summer. Reeling in a 35 to 55-pound black drum takes work, but definitely has an awarding payoff, along with sore arms. These fish enjoy munching on small blue crabs (dead or alive) on the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico, and are a blast to catch on light tackle. I recommend using a 15-pound braid with 30-pound fluorocarbon, and 3/0 circle hook. Using a leader tied directly to the braid line, I always keep it around 2 feet long and add a single size 2 split shot, about halfway between the braid and hook. If the current is strong, adding a second weight is helpful to keep it on the bottom. When trying to find the black drum, I tend to look for deeper holes near oyster bars, and in deep channels that are very shallow on either side. Often you will see them tailing similar to redfish, as they

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keep their heads down, searching for food on the bottom. They tend to eat better on an incoming tide, and don't be surprised if you have double hookups on them, as they enjoy being in large schools with others. These fish are not recommended for consumption as most of that larger size have worms in their meat, however, they are definitely worth the fight and always make a great photo. If you begin to feel one tug on your line, hold on tight, as they are strong fish and don't always like getting reeled in boat side. Capt. Katie Jo Davis www.fishcrystalriverflorida.com 772-882-8932

COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

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CRYSTAL RIVER

CENTRAL FLORIDA INLAND

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ello from Crystal River. Hopefully everyone is enjoying the warm weather and sunshine. Redfish have been really fired up and we’ve been getting some nice ones. While targeting reds, I look for mullet on the points and near island shorelines. Pinfish are always a great live bait. I prefer to freeline on a #3 or #4 circle hook. Shrimp and cut bait are always good for catching reds. Snook are always around, and fun fish to target for catch and release, because that the season is closed. The trick to snook is know where they are staged and make long casts. Live pinfish are always a good choice. I prefer the bigger ones and a 40 lb. leader at a minimum. Early mornings or late evenings are always great times to catch quality snook. Trout have moved to the deeper flats with the warmer water temps and can be found on spotty bottom. I prefer a Little Jon on a 1/8 oz. jig head. Work the bait slowly. Give me a call to get on the water. Capt. James Kerr 352-362-6893 Citrusfishingchaters.com

Y

es, Fellow Forest Anglers, we've reached the time of year when your friends will always have an excuse why they haven't been fishing lately. Whether it's too hot, or too rainy, it will be their loss if they don't join in. These are the months when everything's biting. No matter what species you are after, the key to success is knowing when to fish certain areas, according to whatever weather conditions you may be facing. So right off the bat, most people will shy away from fishing when the forecast calls for hot, blue-bird skies. That's a classic rookie mistake. You have to realize, it's a "glass half full" situation. Fish want to keep out of the sun just like we do, but that doesn't mean they'll stop feeding. What it means is, you can eliminate most areas where you would get sunburned, and focus on fishing the more comfortable, shaded parts of a lake. Tip: Use "Google Maps" to search for lakes with tree-lines closer to shore. Now, obviously prairies don't have overhanging tree limbs to produce shade. What they do have though, is a healthy supply of lily pads for fish to hide under. Plus, they get far less pressure than our widely known public lakes, making those fish far more aggressive, especially the bass. On sunny days, there's a short but chaotic open-water feeding window during sunrise/ sunset. Cast moving, or top-water baits to cover water and get more strikes. When it's overcast, the open-water feed doesn't stop! A few years back, while exploring, I stumbled upon a prairie that is now one of my all time favorite bass fishing spots. Honestly, when I first paddled out there in my kayak, I didn't think I'd even get a bite. I was wrong! On the very first cast, I got

COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

JUNE 2021

slammed so hard, my rod almost got ripped out of my hands! After one of the toughest fights to date, I knew I had found something special. From that point on, I was hooked on fishing prairies. The Ocala National Forest is filled with beautiful, thriving prairies. During heavy rains, all of the large lakes overflow into prairies that surround them. Then there are secluded and thriving prairies, with monster fish lurking in the shallows, just waiting for you to stumble upon. John Freeze Kayak Fishing and Nature Tours OurNationalForrest@gmail.com 352-216-5798

NORTH CENTRAL FLORIDA/NATURE COAST 5


CEDAR KEY

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JUNE 2021

ey everyone, what a crazy May we had. As I write this it is 50 something degrees outside. I honestly don't remember the last time there were cold fronts this late in the spring, but it is what it is, and we have to adjust. Even with these late cold fronts, fishing has been pretty good. There have been a lot of big girl trout swimming around on the flats, but remember, in this area of Florida, you can only keep one over 19 inches per vessel, and I gotta be honest, that has made getting limits a bit difficult. The big girls have been loving white C & M jerkbaits, and a lot over 19 inches have been caught and released. As far as red fishing goes in Cedar Key, normally this time of year I’m ripping more lips than I can count around all our keys, but this year they are hanging out a heck of a lot more along the shoreline. For those guys, I've been throwing a lot of searching baits, especially gold spoons, and that has been the ticket here lately. Get out and enjoy these cooler temps. The heat of the summer is just around the corner. Until next month stay, stay safe out there! Capt. Jason Clark In The Slot Fishing Charters 352-639-3209 www.intheslotfishing.com Check out our new Popping Cork line @ www.intheslotfishing.com/ william-wade-tackle.html

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HORSESHOE BEACH

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ello Guys and Gals! May has come and gone, and we are now getting into some June summer patterns. Boat traffic has ramped up big time, so everybody, be careful. Please don’t cut in between people who are fishing the marsh line, and please keep your distance. Trout haven’t fully reached their deep summer spots, trying to hide from the warm water temperatures. So, this month, you will be able to find them scattered from two feet, all the way out to six or seven feet. No worries though, use the same tactics to catch them. Just make long drifts over the flats, and if you happen to find them a little better in a certain depth, just make a mental note of it and re-drift. I always tell my clients, “Catching one is luck, two is a coincidence and three’s a pattern.” But, I’m definitely gonna say, “Don’t be scared to try deep toward the end of this month.” Redfish are also on the flats, mixed in with these trout, especially up in more shallow waters. The biggest fight your gonna have with these reds, believe it or not, is not the catch itself; it’s actually trying not to spook them. I’ve seen reds spook over the smallest thing from slamming cooler lids, to dropping something on the boat floor. So just be mindful when approaching a good area. Cobia are in full swing and the local favorite, triple tail, are as well. This is usually about the time of the year that we start seeing some random tarpon catches as well. The

BAIT & TACKLE IN NORTH CENTRAL FLORIDA

biggest advice I can give you with the tarpon is, don’t give up. For every ten that break off or throw the hook, you will catch one, and that just makes it all the more rewarding. Target these fish in the rivers and passes, or on glass calm days, spot them rolling. Make sure you have at least a 5000 series reel with at least 200 yards of some 60 lb. braid, with about five feet of 80 lb. leader, and pair that with a stiff rod. For bait, I like live finger mullet with a circle hook through the nose. That wraps up this month’s forecast. Feel free to reach out with any questions. I’m booked pretty solid this month, so if you want to plan a trip, please give us some notice. Until next time keep it Reel Native. Captain Brent Woodard Reel Native Fishing Charters ReelNativeFishing.com 352-284-5514

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Call Lynn at 352-542-0356

JUNE 2021

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SUWANNEE

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Levi Nash, from Warner Robbins, GA, with his first ever redfish, measuring 24.5 inches.

une is the beginning of the summer months, but as I am writing this article (5/12) spring is still holding on tight! Tonight, another cool front is pushing into North Florida, and we will see nighttime temps in the low 60’s for the next couple of nights. These cooler nights will not cause a drop in water temps but, they will slow the warming cycle. June is a great month to target redfish using artificial baits. With water temps in the mid to upper 70’s the redfish are very active, as they are chasing schools of bait fish. The bait to use many times, depends on the angler, and what they are comfortable doing. If the angler likes to cast and work the bait, then a top-water plug, and/or shallow diving pug can be very effective. For the angler who doesn’t want to fish that hard, they can go to a popping cork with 12 to 18 inches of 25 lb. test leader, tied to an 1/8-ounce wide gap jig head with rubber grub or scented tail. Let’s take a minute to talk about scented baits. For the last decade, the go-to scented bait for most saltwater anglers has been Berkley Gulp; I know, I have purchased hundreds of dollars of them! I recently started using a new scented bait, the company is not new, but they are producing some new style baits. Fish Bites is now using their years of experience producing scented strip bait, to produce the new Fishbites Fight Cub saltwater

Teresa Scott, from Orlando, with a 25-inch red.

Levi Nash again.

scented baits. So far, I am very pleased with the baits; look for more info as I catch more fish using them. Captain Tony Johns 352-221-2510 Lower Suwannee River Fishing Adventures www.lowersuwanneriverfishing.com

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JUNE 2021

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TALES FROM THE TUPPERWARE NAVY

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elcome back Yak fans. This month, the old stumbling gypsy wants to share a story written by my new friend Brian Mueller. He's an admin with the Tampa Bay Kayak Club and on the Pro Staff with Vibe Kayaks. The story works well as a prequel to next month's Pedal Power, or Paddle What's Right for You! It's also very similar to my very first article with Coastal Angler nearly 12 years ago, back when I was younger and better-looking. Well, at least I was younger! If you are new to kayaking, or want to upgrade, but need some help, below is a guide to assist you. Nothing here is set in stone. Note: There is no perfect kayak; you will most likely be sacrificing one thing to gain another. If you ask 100 people, "What kayak do I get?", you will get 100 different answers. There is however, the kayak out there to suit your needs. 1. What types of water will you be using it in (inshore, offshore, rivers, lakes, etc.)? Typically, that will determine the length you want. You would want a

shorter kayak in rivers for quick maneuvering, and a longer one in large bodies of water to handle any chop. 2. What will you be using it for? For recreation, go with a narrower kayak for more speed. For fishing, most seek a wider kayak for stability. The tradeoff for speed is stability. So, a fishing kayak will most likely be slower. 3. Weight/capacity. Consider how much it weighs and how you will transport it. Kayaks range in weight from around 40 to over 100 lbs. Can you load and unload a 100 lb. kayak up on the roof of your SUV? Also, consider the capacity of the kayak (how much weight it can safely accommodate). That's your weight plus the gear your bringing. 4. Must haves/preferences. By now you probably have an idea of what you want. Now, you just need to fine tune it. There are three types of vessels, a sit inside,

a sit on top, and a stand-up paddle board. If you are on the river in fast current/white water, you want a sit in. They also make angling sit ins as well. If standing is a must have, you'll want a wide, open deck, stable sit on top, or a paddle board 5. Paddles. Cheap paddles are okay; they get the job done, but cheap paddles are usually constructed of aluminum, and are heavy. They can tire you out rather quickly, and that's no good on a long journey. If it's not in the budget at first, save up for a really nice light weight paddle. Instead of upgrading to a slightly nicer one every so often, just buy the nicest one you can afford. Save the money from upgrading through several. My personal limit was $150.00. and I feel like I'm paddling a missile with a feather. 6. Research, research, research. YouTube alone is a fantastic resource for reviews, and walk throughs for tons of kayaks.

COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

JUNE 2021

7. After you've done some research: Demo, demo, demo. You'll probably have several, if not more models in mind to try out. Go to kayak shops, and ask this group if anyone has what you are looking to try. With all these members, chances are someone will have what you're interested in, and be happy to let you demo their yak, and they can tell you their pros and cons on it as well. Win-Win. I hope this helps. Search the group page for keywords; ask questions. If you have someone looking to get a kayak, this info will be very helpful and for you old timers, hey, I got to put something out for the new guys now and then. Tight lines and calm water. Bruce Butler | "Stumbling Gypsy" (352) 428-5347 Bruce@IndianBayOutfitters.com Web: www.IndianBayOutfitters.com

NORTH CENTRAL FLORIDA/NATURE COAST 11


INGLIS/YANKEETOWN

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12 NORTH CENTRAL FLORIDA/NATURE COAST

JUNE 2021

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ith Summer approaching and Spring coming to an end, cobia season remains strong, but the next big excitement comes in June. specifically, gag grouper. June always seems to be the epicenter of offshore/nearshore fishing. Now, all those healthy gag grouper that you have been throwing back for the last few months, can now be harvested and brought home for dinner. Gag grouper are one of my favorite fish to target for many reasons; The table fare is phenomenal, their willingness to eat just about anything that fits into their mouth, and lastly, they put up a great fight (which makes trolling for them the best option). Trolling can be a very expensive hobby starting out, because you are guaranteed to lose plugs on the rocks. It is very tough, learning how fast and deep you need to keep the plug to be consistently effective. Start out trolling slower in the 4 to 4.5 mph range, and make a few passes over top of some promising looking structure. If you catch a few fish, then continue to drive at that speed for the remainder of the day. If you don’t catch anything after trolling over a promising spot, I will generally troll over the spot a couple different directions before I determine the speed is or isn’t productive. Trolling rod and reel setups are very simple for a spinning setup, I like a 5 to 6000 sized reel with 40 to 65 lb. braided line and a medium heavy action rod in the six foot six inch to seven foot size, and for casting rod setups, I prefer a slightly heavier action rod. Monofilament fishing line provides a little bit of stretch when trolling at high speeds to keep that big fish hooked when he is making those hard surges towards the rocks, so that is my leader of choice for trolling. When it comes to lures, I am a bit of a brand snob, as I prefer Rapala lures over them all, although the new Savage gear trolling lures come in a variety of bright and

natural colors that I think will catch a pile of fish during in this grouper season. My main reasoning for loving Rapala lures so much is that they design a lure to catch them at almost any depth. So whether I’m fishing in the winter casting onto rockpiles in four to six feet of water, or trolling in 40 feet deep water offshore, they design a plug for it. As always, I have to give the good folks at Captains Cove Outfitters a lot of credit. They know exactly what reels and rods to use and will point you in the right direction so you will have success in catching some gag grouper. They will show you what color of lures have been hot that week, so you can ensure that you and your family will put some grouper on the dinner plate after the next fishing trip.

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Capt. ANDREW FAGAN 352-818-8927 Instagram:@redfish_drew EBB Tide Fishing Charters

co he and red the mu red sna anglers tasty m fishing snappe site. Ty offshor and a r necessa Howev on the s there, a let you groupe snappe structu lighter snappe off the shrimp will hel the coo a stand fish for cruisin Red species heat, an inshore months piece o fish aro put the for mul ensure The areas in multitu macker flounde trout sc deeper, Lil’ Joh root be twitche dragged baits pr it’s a go handy, the gue


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couple big openers for us this month here in Citrus County are gag grouper and red snapper. For the offshore fans, the much-anticipated gag grouper and red snapper season will be sure to excite anglers looking for a great fight and tasty meal. Having several months of no fishing pressure, your favorite grouper/ snapper locations should have plenty on site. Typically, the grouper migrate a ways offshore during the summer months, and a run to the 50 foot range may be necessary to find steady keeper-sized gags. However, it’s always worth a quick stop on the shallower spots to see what’s down there, and a live frisky pin fish will usually let you know in a hurry, if there’s a resident grouper nearby. As a bonus, the mangrove snapper will be holding on the same structures as the grouper, so have some lighter tackle on board to outsmart the snapper. Chumming brings the “mangos” off the structure, and a free-lined live shrimp with as little weight as possible will help add a couple extra groceries to the cooler. Another great idea is to have a standby rod rigged with a jig or live pin fish for a summer cobia who may come cruising by. Red fish are one of our shallow water species who show little effect from the heat, and they are the best bet for the inshore anglers during these hot summer months. A good incoming tide and fresh piece of cut mullet, lady fish or live pin fish around a mangrove rocky point, will put the odds in your favor. Always look for mullet activity along the shoreline to ensure a likely location. The grass patches or spotty bottom areas in the 8 to12 foot range offer a multitude of species, including Spanish mackerel, blue fish, trout, sea bass, flounder, cobia, etc. The majority of the trout schools will be taking comfort in the deeper, cooler water. I prefer MirrOlure Lil’ Johns, D.O.A. cal shad tails and D.O.A. root beer colored holographic shrimp twitched along the bottom, or even dragged on some occasions to present the baits properly. When the fish are located, it’s a good idea to have a throw marker handy, so an easy repeated drift will take the guesswork out of where the fish are.

This tool is really handy, and I insure your catch rates will improve the more you use it. On a final note, keep an eye out for migrating tarpon schools. Always have a stout spinning rod ready with a hogy soft plastic jerk bait or a DOA bait buster, for when the situation presents itself. Capt. Dan Clymer 352.418.2160 www.crystalriver-fishing.com

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JUNE 2021

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ST. AUGUSTINE

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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. My favorite topwater plugs are those that have the “walk the dog” type action. Click, clack, click, clack--boom! It’s one of the most exciting ways to catch a redfish or trout this time of year! 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 pod of baitfish this time of year. During the higher tide stages, one of my favorite lures to toss this time of year is the spinner bait, as it nicely mimics a flashing 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 like those from Fishbites fished very, very slowly, 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 thick 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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une is the month of the kings, King Mackerel that is. The big pods of bait have shown up, and any day now the big reels will be singing as the line rips out. Catching these big fish is the pinnacle of pier fishing. The most successful anglers use two rods at once; one is called the mud rod and the other is the trolley rig rod. If you’ve never done this type of fishing, it would behoove you to go to your favorite pier, and watch and learn before you buy any gear. A few years ago at the Jacksonville Beach pier, over 100 kings were caught. This type of trolley rig fishing also accounts for nice catches of barracuda, cobia, jacks and sharks. Along with the kings feasting on the abundance of bait, will be redfish and sea trout. There will also be nice Capt. Tommy Derringer catches of whiting and pompano in www.InshoreAdventures.net the shallow parts of the pier near the 904-377-3734 sand bars. Fresh dead shrimp and fresh clams will produce your best chance of having a fish fry. In the surf, it is game on! All the species of shallow water fish are here. You can choose to bait and wait, or throw lures. Either way, you are going to get some action. When it comes to lures, you can’t

COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

JUNE 2021

go wrong with a sliver spoon, if the first trough is deep with fairly clean water. Lurking in the trough will be Spanish Mackerel, bluefish, trout, and flounder. If you are on a shallower beach, like Jax or St Aug, then you are better off with a topwater plug. Later in the month, don’t be surprised if a tarpon crashes your plug. If you want to fill the cooler with some good eats, then bait and wait is the way to go. In the surf, the most effective tackle is a double dropper rig. A 2/0 circle hook will catch whiting, reds, blues, drum, pompano, and just about everything else that swims along the bar. FKS (fresh killed shrimp) has proven itself to be the #1 bait. Get out there and have some fun before the dog days of summer kick in! Noel Kuhn 43 years of surf fishing experience, surf fishing guide and long distance casting coach. Founding member of Florida Surf Casters club. 904-945-0660 www.TheSurfAngler.com

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TALES FROM THE TUPPERWARE NAVY

KEATON BEACH

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Bill Cochran of Leslie, Ga. with a nice trout 4/26/21

an, these every-week cold fronts just won’t give up and let the trout settle into their regular pre-spawn early summer pattern. We have managed limits on most of my One More Cast trips, but it has been tough for most folks fishing out of Keaton this month. The high-pressure days, with little to no breeze, surely do make it tough. But hey, we have caught some great fish and had some great days like 15 trout in less than two hours, with 30 reds caught on one pinning of my WANG anchor pole. Yep, caught and released 30 and kept four of those. That was for Matt Chastain, with Jarrod and Jeremy Sellers of Elijay, Ga. While most of our fish have come in on live pinfish rigged up under Back Bay Thunders, we have landed some fine keepers on Assassin’s 5 inch Shads in Grey Ghost, Northern Minnow, Green Moon, Panhandle Moon and Pink Ghost. Our water has cleared up considerably since last month and we have yet to see a bunch of Ballyhoo or other pelagic white bait schools. Our Gulf water temps are running right at 80, this week, while we had reached 87 degrees last week before our weekly cold front. Lol. Doug Garwood, a friend down from Dalton, Ga. landed the second cobia (keeper) which I have heard of at Keaton, so far this year, so the ling are lingering (sic) a bit behind, as far as their usual season here on the grass flats. Topwater stickbaits have brought in a few trout but haven’t had their normal time on the water, again probably due to the lack of bait on the surface. The trout I have cleaned are

Bert Deener of Waycross, Ga. with a trout taken on an Assassin Grey Ghost 5 inch Shad.

Gwen Stalnaker of Ft. White, Florida with a 36 inch redfish 5/10/21

showing eggs, which will most likely be ripe and laid out in June; I look for June to be outstanding as far as the trout spawn goes. Reds are being caught to the south of Keaton more regularly than up north towards Warrior, again the lack of bait in close may be the key to why. Pat McGriff dba One More Cast guide service for 30 years! www.onemorecast.net onemorecast@gtcom.net cell: 850.838.7541

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elcome back yak fans, and welcome to April. When spring is in the air and a young man’s fancy turns to love, and mine turns to Ozello. (Yah, I'm so old I'd rather fish) If Ozello isn't on your bucket list as a kayak fisherman, you need to rewrite it; this is one of those special places for my one tank trip articles. I've had many charters, as well as shooting three “TV on Ozello Trail” shows in the area, with my buddy "The Average Angler" Glen Pla. (He's really not bad once you get to know him.) Just kidding Glen. Ozello is located between Homosassa and Crystal River and is a fisherman's dream. Putins start from the first bridge on Ozello trail, to the end at Pirate Point. April, was when I picked my largest red on a top water lure (my favorite Zara spook Jr. in bone) a beautiful 35 inch female, who hit the lure so hard that the entire rear hook assembly was ripped completely off the lure. A little background, this was a morning bite on the outside from Pirates Point, working around the oyster bars. She tried for it three times, till she got frustrated and ate the whole thing. I got back the lure minus the rear hook assembly (never figured out where that rear hook went) but after I revived her, she swam away, hopefully no worse for the wear. Top spots for the land of "OZ", as I mentioned putting in at the bridges, can be very productive for reds, trout and snook. After that, a little further out Ozello trail is John Brown Road. On the left side, there's a public boat ramp, and then, and then, down to the end, is a fishing pier on the St Martins River. I haven't fished the inside, but the outside can be a lot of fun. That's where Glen and I caught and released two King snakes. I don't know about you, but for me, that was really cool. Oh, and we caught fish too! Then a little past the Island Outpost (more about that later) you come to Estuary. On the left, you go to the end, left again, and then left again, and you have to pay to launch. A place on Fish Creek my old buddies (and I stress

old--dirt calls them Sir) Rich and Henry told me about this spot and I have done well there. On the outside, follow the markers toward the islands. I've always said that Henry is a hellava fisherman and someday, he'll teach Rich how too. From there, you go on to the causeway, where you can put in at Pecks Old Port Cove Restaurant, a great place to eat, known for their blue crabs, grouper, ambiance, and the best gator you have ever eaten! It's worth the trip, even if you don't fish. From Pecks and the causeway, you can go to the inside or the outside and do well. The outside takes you toward Bear Island and some great fishing spots, and the inside does too. From there, you come to the end of Ozello Trail and the launch at Pirates Point, the most popular launch site. You have 180 degrees of choices straight out, outside or inside, all good all with beautiful grass flats, oyster bars, deep channels and holes and some monster reds and trout. What else do you need to know? Load the kayak get in the car and go. You can spend a year up there and never hit all the spots this place offers. I rate it up there with Mosquito Lagoon and the glades, and it’s in your back yard. HELLO! Start the car!! Ok, I talked about Pecks, so now let’s talk about my friends Diane and John at The island Outpost, home of John's world famous BBQ , ice cold beer, tiki bar, and friendly down home people. They close on Monday and Tuesday and have a free fish fry on Sundays Bring a covered dish if you can, or fresh fish is always welcome. If you stop in, tell them I said, “Hi.” and sit down for a visit. Diane told me that the bait shop reopened on Ozella Trail, so you can get your shrimp and whatever on the island now. That’s it for this month. I’ve got a fish fry to go to! Tight lines and good fishing, Bruce. Bruce Butler | "Stumbling Gypsy" (352) 428-5347 Bruce@IndianBayOutfitters.com Web: www.IndianBayOutfitters.com

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WHAT DOES YOUR CORK SOUND LIKE?

species, but let’s explore the topic a little deeper. The reasoning behind making a certain type noise with your cork is to imitate the sound of fish busting bait on the surface. In the case of striped bass and snook, they make a popping sound when they eat a bait on the surface, as opposed to a speckled trout that “slurps” a bait off the surface or a red drum that has a mouth on the Tim Barefoot underside of its head and has to get on top of a bait to eat it. There is a lot here to unpack regarding the size, shape and how have started using fixed-position as well as sliding corks more much weight you’re trying to suspend and more over the past few years. under the cork—too much to cover in this Recognizing the effectiveness of article. The point is, don’t just stick with the different styles of cork is important for same cork you’ve always fished. Just like you different situations. Considerations include change lures or baits when the bite slows, water depth and temperature, current—or try experimenting with different cork sizes lack of current—and target species. and styles. Pay attention to the way your Also, it has become evident that not all lure or bait is presented as well as how the corks make the same noise. That can be a fish react. turn on—or a turn off—to fish at different I’ve evolved to fishing a ¾-ounce jig times of the day, and especially in different and 7-inch Super Fluke under a cork for currents and/or depths. larger fish, so a 3-inch cigar float is not an For example: A couple weekends ago, we option for this size bait. The 3-inch cigar had a great morning bite from striped bass float is perfect for the 3/8-ounce jig/shrimp using a 2-inch oval (chugging) cork. It was combo, and it makes the perfect sound for one of those bite-on-every-cast situations speckled trout and drum in the backwater. everyone dreams of. I’ll close with this: Check out my We noticed the bite slowing down a little videos that describe the different size and as the sun got higher. A simple switch to a shape of floats I use and what type sounds much quieter pencil-shaped cork brought they make. Here’s a teaser: Have you ever the bite back to almost every cast again. We thought of using a popping cork offshore? were fishing the same lure under the cork; For more details, check all this out on the the only change we made was the cork itself. website. The more current, and the more brokenup current you have, the more noise you For more from Capt. Tim Barefoot, visit his want your cork to make as an attractant. website at barefootcatsandtackle.com. This holds true for pretty much every

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ast month, FWC sawfish biologists responded to sawfish hotline reports of two large smalltooth sawfish that died in the Florida Keys. Sawfish are shark-like rays named for their saw-shaped snouts. With dramatic reductions in their numbers and range over the years, they are listed as Endangered under the Endangered Species Act. They are regularly found only in southwest Florida, especially around Everglades National Park. One of the two dead sawfish in the Keys was a mature 16-foot female that weighed an estimated 800-1,000 pounds. The other was an immature female measuring 12 feet, 4 inches long and weighing an estimated 400-500 pounds. The 16-foot sawfish is the longest measured by scientists since research began on the species. There was no obvious cause of death for either sawfish; however, valuable life history information was and will continue to be collected from both carcasses due to the swift response from Keys-based FWC staff and Monroe County Sheriff ’s Office. Sawfish biologists are working to learn as much as possible from samples. For example, the vertebrae will be used to determine the ages of both sawfish, the DNA will be sequenced to compare to other sawfish that have been studied throughout Florida, and the length at maturity for females will be fine-tuned based on these data. If you see or catch a sawfish, report it by calling 844-4SAWFISH or e-mailing sawfish@myfwc.com

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CustomBilt Pondtoons

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NATIONAL 19


SUMMER IS HERE Time to Get Out There!

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he long days of summer are here, and we all know what that means—more time to fish. It also means blazing sun and stifling heat. That’s reason enough to take inventory of your gear to make sure you’re prepared to take on the summer heat. GILLZ technical fishing apparel is designed in Florida, one of the hottest places on the planet in summer. Gear that keeps you cool and comfortable here will keep you cool anywhere! Constant innovation has led to superior fabrics and designs that push performance to new heights. This gear is designed with the single goal of allowing you to fish longer and harder in total comfort. Consider the Flex Mesh Woven Short Sleeve shirt. On the boat or at the bar dockside, this shirt is up to the task. The incredibly unique fabric has thousands of micro holes acting as vents, keeping you cool and comfortable. Performance features include UPF 30+, two chest pockets, snap collar and quick dry. Plus, the shirt comes in three colors: Aquatic Water, Hawaiian Ocean Grunge, and Hi Rise Grey Grunge. So, you don’t have to wear the same one every day, because trust us, you’ll want to. Next, check out the new Men’s Tournament Short Sleeve. Proprietary, chemical-free GillzTec fabric provides 30 percent better cooling than other shirts. The revolutionary cross-breeze ventilation system brings another blast of cooling air, making it the coolest shirt you’ll ever own! Featuring incredible stretch that effortlessly moves as you move, this is a must-have shirt for any serious angler. Check out the website at gillz-gear.com

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22 NATIONAL

JUNE 2021

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HYDRASTEPP’S NEW 18’ FLATS-BOAT By CAM Orlando Owner Phil Wolf

T

he new Hydrastepp 18’ is a high-performance flats boat resulting from years of trial and improvement by renowned racing boat designer/ builder Steve Stepp. With 35 years in the industry, Stepp racked up 14 world records with his company, Velocity Powerboats, of Sanford, Fla. His advanced designs achieve performance and efficiency most manufacturers are unable to match. His latest venture, Hydrastepp Boats, manufactures this new vessel in Lake Mary, Fla. As owner and co-publisher of the Orlando edition of Coastal Angler Magazine, I wanted to see if Stepp’s newest production vessel could measure up to claims made in their advertisement with us. Eager to climb aboard, I met Stepp at Lake Monroe and the I-4 Bridge on the St. Johns River. The boat was equipped with a 140 hp Suzuki 4-stroke with half tank of gas,

Coast Guard-required equipment and a modest amount of gear. Stepp said it would get on plane in less than three seconds with both of us in it. Each of us weighs more than 200 pounds, and it did just that… effortlessly. Heading into a moderate quartered-sea chop at about 32 to 34 mph, the ride was extremely smooth and incredibly dry. With those boxes checked, we returned to calm water in the river. This boat has a large gunnel and a 94” beam, extremely wide for an 18’ boat. It was very stable when I walked around on the gunnel. It has a huge storage compartment up front, with a removable tackle-storage system, and two large storage compartments in the rear. There are front and rear livewells. The custom, divided sport seat with a removable backrest is like those on offshore racing boats. The console is sleek and sports a 9” monitor screen/fish-finder/ GPS and all the normal gauges: tachometer, water pressure, temperature, gas, speed by GPS, all linked to the motor and fuel system. Very cool! This boat gets up to 10 mpg while cruising between 30 and 32 mph at 3,400 to 3,600 rpms. Back in the river, we cruised at about 32 mph and the monitor read 3,400 rpms. Then Stepp hammered the throttle, and the boat quickly achieved over 65 mph at 6,200 rpms with a little throttle left. It was very impressive for a stock 140 hp engine with a rear poling platform creating drag. I jumped at the chance to drive back to the ramp. Once acquainted with the throttle and trim, I drove with confidence. Cruising over 55 mph, we only burned about 6 gallons per hour on the gauge. This boat also floats in 10” or less and has room for four anglers with a huge front deck. If you’re in the market for a flats boat, the new Hydrastepp is worth a test ride. Hydrastepp is taking production orders, so get in line! This vessel is nicely equipped at around $60,000 for boat, 115 hp motor and custom trailer by Ameratrail. Or, you can upgrade to the fully loaded version with a 140 hp for $75,000. See this boat online at www.HYDRASTEPP.com.

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NATIONAL 23


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JUNE 2021

Angler Lands World Record Shellcracker

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hen sunfish get this big, are they still considered panfish? On Tuesday, May 4, Thomas Farchione, of Wisconsin, caught this 6.3-pound redear sunfish at Lake Havasu on the Arizona/ California border. The fish, which measured 17 inches in length, with a 20inch girth, is a potential world record if accepted by the International Game Fish Association. The existing IGFA All-Tackle World Record was caught in Feb. 2014 by Hector Brito. It weighed 5-pounds, 12.8 ounces (5.8 pounds). Brito’s fish was also caught from Lake Havasu. Wait… it gets better. Before Brito caught his fish, the world record for redear was 5 pounds, 8 ounces. Can you guess where it was caught? You got it. In May of 2011 Robert Lawler landed a 5-pound, 8-ounce record redear at Lake Havasu to set the mark at the time. Obviously, this 19,300-acre impoundment of the Colorado River has earned its reputation as the best place in the world to catch enormous redear sunfish, which are also known as shellcrackers because they feed on snails, mussels and other mollusks using teeth in their throat to crush the shells. According to USA Today, invasive quagga mussels were discovered in Havasu in 2007. The fast-spreading mussels have provided an abundant food source to grow the largest shellcrackers in the world. Farchione caught his monster redear drop-shotting a nightcrawler in 25 feet of water. For more information, see www.azgfd.com.

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TIPS FROM A PRO

FROG FISHING FOR HUNGRY POST-SPAWN BASS

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hat a fun time of year to fish! In most parts of the country, bass are finishing up with spawning. This leads to awesome fishing as bass feed up after coming off the beds. You will find very aggressive fry guarders, often times a shad spawn, and also fish roaming the banks feeding on bluegill and other forage. There are many ways to catch these hungry and aggressive bass, and a hollow-body frog is one of the most fun and effective techniques. A frog duplicates many different types of baitfish, it can be fished through a wide variety of cover, and it flat out puts big fish in the boat! There are many different styles, sizes and colors of frogs on the market. When choosing, think about the forage, the type of cover and the size of fish you are targeting. My favorite frog is a 13 Fishing Trash Panda. It comes in a walking model and a popping model in a variety of colors.

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JUNE 2020

LOCATION 1

A fry guarder is a bass guarding a big ball of tiny bass hatchlings. These bass are extremely aggressive and territorial and will chase and eat pretty much any fish that gets near the babies. In this scenario, I go down banks through areas where bass have recently spawned. I stay off the cover and cast a frog through it. I like a bluegill-colored walking frog in this scenario, which means the lure will have a yellow or orange belly. Bluegill are a common nemesis to the bass and their fry. This color pattern drives bass crazy when they spot it near their babies. Often, you can find a shad spawn in the low light of early mornings and evenings. Look for birds lined up along the banks to find spawning shad. The shad often relate to hard cover (rocks and wood), grass lines and slow tapering points. A shad-colored popping frog in a white or silver color is an awesome lure to pick up bass feeding on shad. With the hollow-body frog being so weedless, it can be thrown where many other baits would get hung up. These are the places where shad spawns occur. A hollow-body frog is an awesome way to cover a lot of water, and it can produce some extremely fun topwater strikes. Whether you’re targeting late spawners, fry guarders or fish that are on the feed, a frog puts fish in the boat this time of year. Frog Fishing Gear: Typically, you will be fishing a frog around some type of heavy cover, which calls for some heavy gear. I like to throw a 13 Fishing 7’4H Omen Black rod paired with a Concept A 8.3 reel spooled with Seaguar 50-pound Smackdown braid. This setup allows you to haul fish out of heavy cover and into the boat! Tyler Woolcott is a professional tournament angler and guide. Check out his website at www.tylerwoolcottfishing.com. COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

JUNE 2021

NATIONAL 25


G o to An ch or Pu lle ri st he W ay or Be lo w ,E -Z D ec k Ab ov e Above-deck on the 3025 GFX or below-deck inside the rope locker of the 35’ Sea Chaser HFC, the Rebel drum anchor winch is included as the standard or optional upgrade feature on these and other 2021 models. The compact design and 316 stainless steel components ensure E-Z Anchor Puller drum anchor winches can be retrofitted into tight spaces and perform in harsh, saltwater environments.

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E-Z ANCHOR PULLER MFG. CO. DEBUTS NEW PRODUCTS IN 2021 New Offers Include Pre-Spooled Rope Kits, Bowsprits and a Break-Away Anchor Design

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fter 30-plus years of specializing in the windlass-replacement anchoring solution, E-Z Anchor Puller debuts its branded anchoring products engineered to suit each drum anchor winch. Widely used anchoring accessories such as hawse pipes, bowsprits, guide rollers and more have been added to the catalog, manufactured specifically to accommodate the Hero, Patriot and Rebel drum anchor winches. “To offer improved level winding of the rode onto the drum, we now have 4-inch wide flat rollers that let the rode wander back and forth to create a better spooling onto the drum,” said company President Aaron Knopp. “The 4-inch wide flat rollers allow more travel to ensure the rope is not centered onto the drum.” “We knew our catalog needed to include inventory totally unique to our drum anchor winch dimensions,” said Sara Hitchins, Office & Trade Show Manager. “The standard anchoring accessories you see on the market now cater to the traditional windlass, for example, narrower guides on the roller, however, narrower guide rollers mean pile-up in the middle of the winch.” Hitchins said the company’s expanded inventory will enhance boaters’ experiences on

the water, as well as improve the buying process for customers who prefer a “one-stop-shop” experience over researching and selecting other brand accessories. “For a while, we’ve identified ourselves as the drum anchor winch experts, but really, having dealt with various consultations and unique boating experiences over the years, we’ve really become boat anchoring experts along the way,” Hitchins said. Two other notable products, the Shear Magic galvanized plow anchor and the pontoon anchoring solution are also on sale. The 15-, 22and 35-pound anchors were designed with a shear pin designed to break, so boaters no longer have to worry about cutting away their anchor rope and anchor when they get caught in coral reefs or other obstructions on the seabed. With the pontoon anchoring solution, an under-deck mounted configuration utilizes the structural integrity of the pontoon and is powered by the drum anchor winch. To further compliment the

catalog, the company will begin offering spools of anchor rope in July, 2021, further eliminating guesswork and wait time for customers. Vice President Christy Funk said the pre-cut nylon and dyneema will be shipped the same day as the customer’s anchor winch. “We’ve offered consultations on winch size and appropriate rope configurations based on boating needs for years,” said Funk, “so it’s exciting to be able to provide them with what they need right off the bat, when they need it, rather than ordering the winch first, then ordering the rope and having to wait for that.” E-Z Anchor Puller will attend the in-person ICAST boat show, July 20 at Booth 3817 as well as the 30th anniversary IBEX show in late September, Booth 3-2130. The “Trade Only” Tampa-based event caters to marine industry professionals and is “dedicated to advancing the business of boating.” For information, go to www.ezanchorpuller.com.

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n April, the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council approved a slight increase in the annual catch limit for red snapper for 2021. It’s nowhere near the increase some expected after the Congressionally funded Great Red Snapper Count (GRSC) indicated an abundance of red snapper far higher than estimates being used to set regulations in the fishery. The Gulf Council’s scientific review committee chose not to include GRSC data in its 2021 acceptable catch recommendation. However, the Gulf Council requested catch level recommendations for 2021 and beyond be revisited with consideration of the GRSC final report. The Gulf red snapper season for federally permitted vessels is June 1-Aug. 2. Each Gulf state sets its own season for private recreational angling and charter operations without federal permits. Check state regulations for gear and reporting requirements. The daily limit is two fish per person, with a 16-inch minimum size, except in Texas state waters, where the limit is four fish per person with a 15-inch minimum size. State seasons are as follows: Florida: June 4-July 28. Alabama: Four-day weekends, Fridays-Mondays, beginning May 28 and continuing until the private angler quota is projected to be met. Mississippi: Opened Friday, May 28, with an expected mid-season closure on July 5 to compile data and examine the potential for a season extension. Louisiana: Weekends only (Friday-Sunday), including Memorial Day, Labor Day and the 4th of July regardless of the day of the week; Season subject to change. Texas: Open year-round in state waters until the quota is met.


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trailer? Easily move any ball mounted, fifth wheel or gooseneck trailer up to 15,000 pounds with our standard adapters, or try the Telescopic Hitch Adapter. It’s a non-invasive, alternative connection point that bolts around your existing trailer frame. Parkit360° dollies are built strong and secure to safely move on firm grass, packed gravel, and 4- to 6-percent inclines. Want a Dolly that’s ready to park, right out of the box? Most models include a 12V U1 Interstate Battery with all required cables and hardware. With existing features like the Built-in Battery Charger, Electric/Surge Brake Controller and a full 2 Year Warranty, Parkit360° has truly made parking simple for every trailer. Parkit360° has been in business for more than 10 years and has shipped more than 15,000 trailer

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