Coastal Angler Magazine - September / North Central Florida

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NORTH CENTRAL FLORIDA/NATURE COAST EDITION

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Fishing Reports Catch Photos News & Events PHOTO COURTESY OF KACIE OLSEN “KNOCKOUTDOORS” VOLUME 23 • ISSUE 283

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BOOST YOUR CATCH w/RezBoostTM Technology

Interested in getting the most out of your own trusted transducer, or not sure you’re ready for the expense of installing a new CHIRP transducer? Furuno has a solution that will get the very best performance from your traditional narrowband transducer. Our RezBoostTM Fish Finders deliver clearer images than ever before, we’re talking up to 8x sharper. Whether it’s NavNet TZtouch2 or the FCV588/FCV628 stand-alone Fish Finders, RezBoostTM will boost your catch!

Get up to 8x sharper resolution, using a standard narrow band transducer, to more clearly define fish targets.

Assess individual fish size and depth based on echo strength for fish from 4 inches to over 6 feet.

Identify the sea floor composition from four types (Rocks/Sand/Gravel/Mud).

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THE LIGHTEST PENN REEL EVER MADE The Lightest PENN Reel Ever Made. The all new Conflict II matches an extremely light weight design with PENN’s legendary durability. Featuring our RR30 body, CNC Gear Technology and HT-100 Drag system, the Conflict II is the ultimate inshore reel.

PENNFISHING.COM COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

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© 2018 PENN is a registered trademark of Pure Fishing, Inc.

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BLEED TRIM

SAFETY

EDITOR IN CHIEF : Ben Martin • camads@coastalanglermagazine.com COO : Tracy Patterson • tracy@coastalanglermagazine.com ART DIRECTOR : Rebecca Snowden • graphics@coastalanglermagazine.com EDITORIAL COORDINATOR : Nick Carter • editorial@coastalanglermagazine.com WEBMASTER : Nick Barna • webmaster@coastalanglermagazine.comw ADVERTISING INQUIRIES: Corporate Headquarters info@coastalanglermagazine.com • 888-800-9794

FRANCHISE DIRECTORY FLORIDA BIG BEND : Mike McNamara • (850) 510-7919 • captmike@coastalanglermagazine.com BREVARD : Chris Milner • (321) 631-1001 • cmilner@coastalanglermagazine.com DAYTONA/NEW SMYRNA/DELAND : Amy Chibbaro • (386) 478-3812 • achibbaro@coastalanglermagazine.com Chris Chibbaro • (386) 478-9234 • cchibbaro@coastalanglermagazine.com FLORIDA KEYS : Cliff Lumpkin • (305) 849-9093 • cliff@coastalanglermagazine.com FORT LAUDERDALE : Gene Dyer • (954) 680-3900 • gene@coastalanglermagazine.com FORT MYERS : Nadeen Welch • (239) 595-8265 • nwelch@coastalanglermagazine.com GREATER ORLANDO : Phillip & Giselle Wolf • (407) 790-9515 • phillip@coastalanglermagazine.com GREATER MIAMI : Gene Dyer • (954) 680-3900 • gene@coastalanglermagazine.com LAKELAND & SUMTER : Mary Brasher • (352) 598-4219 • maryf@coastalanglermagazine.com NAPLES : Nadeen Welch • (239) 595-8265 • nwelch@coastalanglermagazine.com NC FLORIDA/NATURE COAST : Cary & Lynn Crutchfield • (352) 372-4237 • crutch@coastalanglermagazine.com NE FLORIDA : Danny Patrick • (904) 742-4696 • danny@coastalanglermagazine.com PANAMA CITY/FORGOTTEN COAST : Randy Cnota • (229) 834-7880 • randyc@coastalanglermagazine.com PALM BEACH COUNTY : Barbara Ryan • (561) 373-8040 • barbara@coastalanglermagazine.com SARASOTA : Phil Prevoir • (239) 257-4684 • pprevoir@coastalanglermagazine.com TAMPA BAY : Chuck Atkins • (239) 464-5153 • chuck@coastalanglermagazine.com TREASURE COAST : Misti & Gary Guertin • (772) 285-6850 • treasurecoast@coastalanglermagazine.com flahama@coastalanglermagazine.com

SOUTHEAST ATLANTA : Bob & Brenda Rice • (706) 614-8231 • bobr@theanglermagazine.com CHARLESTON : Sam Buckareff • (843) 607-8629 • sam@coastalanglermagazine.com CHARLOTTE/PIEDMONT : Doug Simmons • (704) 361-6189 • simmons@theanglermagazine.com Juli Simmons • (980) 333-7273 • simmons@theanglermagazine.com COLUMBIA/MIDLANDS : John Lux • (803) 807-6885 • jlux@theanglermagazine.com MYRTLE BEACH : Mike Masiero • (732) 674-3019 • mmasiero@coastalanglermagazine.com TIDEWATER/OUTER BANKS : John Tiger • (757) 707-9654 • john.tiger@coastalanglermagazine.com Laura Tiger • (757) 707-9655 • laura@coastalanglermagazine.com WESTERN NC : Debra & Joe Woody • (828) 775-9663 • woody@theanglermagazine.com

NORTHEAST BOSTON : George Regan • (617) 488-2842 • boston@coastalanglermagazine.com LONG ISLAND : Lisa & Michael Danforth • (203) 321-7635 • lisad@coastalanglermagazine.com CONNECTICUT/RHODE ISLAND : Lisa & Michael Danforth • (203) 321-7635 lisad@coastalanglermagazine.com

GULF COAST MISSISSIPPI GULF COAST : Adam Nelson • (228) 627-5903 • anelson@coastalanglermagazine.com Toby Nelson • (228) 623-1761 • tnelson@coastalanglermagazine.com ALABAMA/PENSACOLA : Paul Caruso • (239) 980-7738 • paul@coastalanglermagazine.com

GREAT LAKES WEST MICHIGAN : Phil Belsito • (616) 957-1714 • phil@theanglermagazine.com

INTERNATIONAL PUERTO RICO/VIRGIN ISLANDS : Ace Bassue • (407) 285-9453 • ace@coastalanglermagazine.com COSTA RICA : Mike Erickson • (561) 262-2242 • mike@coastalanglermagazine.com © 2018. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written consent of the publisher. Disclaimer: Coastal Angler Magazine / The Angler Magazine will not be held liable for injuries incurred while partaking in activities described herein, or for claims made against products or services provided by advertisers. SAFETY

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REPOWER FINANCE Six Years of Protection at no extra charge on all new outboards 25 to 350 HP.

Instant Savings of up to $800 on select models. See your dealer for details.

Rates as low as 5.99% on new Suzuki outboards on approved credit.*

For a limited time, get Suzuki Extended Protection, Instant Savings and attractive financing on select Suzuki outboards from 25 to 350 horspower. See your participating Suzuki Marine dealer for details or visit www.suzukimarine.com.

Gimme Six Extended Protection promo is applicable to new Suzuki Outboard Motors from 25 to 350 HP in inventory which are sold and delivered to buyer between 07/01/18 and 09/30/18 in accordance with the promotion by a Participating Authorized Suzuki Marine dealer in the continental US and Alaska to a purchasing customer who resides in the continental US or Alaska. Customer should expect to receive an acknowledgement letter and full copy of contract including terms, conditions and wallet card from Suzuki Extended Protection within 90 days of purchase. If an acknowledgement letter is not received in time period stated, contact Suzuki Motor of America, Inc. – Marine Marketing via email: marinepromo@suz.com. The Gimme Six Promotion is available for pleasure use only, and is not redeemable for cash. Instant Savings apply to qualifying purchases of select Suzuki Outboard Motors made between 07/01/18 and 09/30/18. For list of designated models, see participating Dealer or visit www.suzukimarine.com. Instant Savings must be applied against the agreed-upon selling price of the outboard motor and reflected in the bill of sale. (Suzuki will, in turn, credit Dealer’s parts account.) There are no model substitutions, benefit substitutions, rain checks, or extensions. Suzuki reserves the right to change or cancel these promotions at any time without notice or obligation. * Financing offers available through Synchrony Retail Finance. As low as 5.99% APR financing for 60 months on new and unregistered Suzuki Outboard Motors. Subject to credit approval. Not all buyers will qualify. Approval, and any rates and terms provided, are based on credit worthiness. $19.99/month per $1,000 financed for 60 months is based on 5.99% APR. Hypothetical figures used in calculation; your actual monthly payment may differ based on financing terms, credit tier qualification, accessories or other factors such as down payment and fees. Offer effective on new, unregistered Suzuki Outboard Motors purchased from a participating authorized Suzuki dealer between 07/01/18 and 09/30/18. “Gimme Six”, the Suzuki “S” and model names are Suzuki trademarks or ®. Don’t drink and drive. Always wear a USCG-approved life jacket and read your owner’s manual. © 2018 Suzuki Motor of America, Inc.

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The Rise of Patrick Sebile and his Band of Anglers

By Ben Martin, Editor In Chief

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or those who are familiar with legendary angler and lure inventor Patrick Sebile, it comes as no surprise that he would once again enter the realm of lure and fishing tackle manufacturing and development. A review of his contributions, influence and participation in the world of fishing is a testament to this man’s unmatched devotion and passionate dedication to every element of the sport. A brief review of the Patrick Sebile bona fides: • Holder of nearly 370 records (IGFA, EFSA & FFPM), such as largemouth bass world record by length, but also guided for more than 200 record catches like the All Tackle IGFA tarpon of 286 pounds, 9 ounces. • Top 10 all time biggest fish ever caught. • Voted one of the 10 best anglers in the world several times. • Once voted the world’s best saltwater captain. • Travelled and fished 64 countries to date. • Image/photo on more than 190 magazine covers. • Ranked No. 2 in IGFA’s “most species caught” with 774 different species. • Published in more than 800 magazines, newspapers and journals. • Inventor of more than 200 lures, rods, hooks, reels and various fishing tackle. • Author of seven books. With this extraordinary industry involvement and a lifetime of a passionate love for all aspects of fishing, it seems only natural and appropriate that Mr. Sebile would reunite with the fishing industry under the banner of A Band of Anglers. Welcome back, Patrick. Yes, your new lures are remarkable… as are you.

KEEP IT GENUINE PRECISION PROTECTION Whether you take your boat out to the lake or the ocean, your 4-stroke outboard needs ECSTAR Suzuki Semi-Synthetic Engine Oil so it can run long and strong. ECSTAR features special additives that protect the engine in harsh salt and fresh water environments, advanced detergents that keep engine parts clean, and viscosity index improvements that help the engine start in cold conditions. No matter where your next boat ride takes you, go confidently with ECSTAR.

RUN LONG. RUN CLEAN. RUN STRONG.

Don’t drink and drive. Always wear a USCG-Approved life jacket and read your owner’s manual. Suzuki, the Suzuki “S” ECSTAR and Suzuki model and product names are Suzuki trademarks or ®. © 2018 Suzuki Motor of America, Inc.

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For over a century, a league of canned crusaders have been fighting to keep boats safe from barnacles, slime, algae and other aquatic evils that rob your boat of its true performance. With advanced know-how and unique capabilities, each antifouling is tailored to different conditions, and has the power to defeat fouling in all its forms. Micron® WA is a water-based formula that’s powered with advanced Water Activated Matrix technology to efficiently release active ingredients over time for valiant multi-season protection. Micron® WA is easy to apply and clean up, making it ideal for boaters in all waters and regions. For super-powered antifouling protection and proven performance, choose Interlux®.

The hero your boat deserves!

All trademarks mentioned are owned by, or licensed to, the AkzoNobel group of companies. © AkzoNobel 2018.

interlux.com

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Coastal Angler & The Angler Magazine’s Best Of

I eScope noptix Liv a P in m r a G T 2018 w At ICAS o h S f O t s Wins Be

CAST is the world’s largest fishing trade show. Each year one of the highlights of the show is the New Product Showcase, in which companies roll out their newest and best. Coastal Angler and The Angler were there at Orlando’s Orange County Convention Center in July, sifting through all the offerings of the ICAST New Product Showcase. The following are ICAST winners as well as the new products we feel are some of the most innovative, functional and… frankly impressive, offerings of the year.

ICAST 2018 OVERALL Best OF SHOW AWARD Garmin Panoptix Livescope

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or anglers, sonar technology is the most rapidly advancing and functional tool in the boat when it comes to catching more and better fish. At the Orlando ICAST in July, Garmin blew the lid off the electronics industry with the introduction of its new Panoptix LiveScope. At the world’s largest sportfishing trade show, the most anticipated event each year is the New Product Showcase, in which companies present their latest and greatest in hopes of being named Best of Category. Awards are decided by a vote of media in attendance, and the Panoptix Livescope was not only awarded “Best Electonics,” it was named “Best of Show” out of 974 new products introduced in 2018. “To not only win the ICAST Best Electronics award, but the Best of Show award, too—it’s an honor we’re incredibly proud of,” said Dan Bartel, Garmin vice president of global consumer sales. “Panoptix LiveScope delivers the best of both scanning and live sonar technologies, and there’s nothing out there even close to it. These awards solidify our commitment to giving anglers and mariners the most innovative technology on the water, and they further strengthen our desire to be the top marine electronics brand in the world.” Panoptix LiveScope is a live-scanning sonar that gives anglers higher resolution and easier-to-interpret images of structure, bait and fish swimming below and around the boat than ever before. Garmin’s revolutionary Panoptix all-seeing sonar technology was the first to deliver live sonar images in real-time—forwards, backwards, sideways and below the boat—even while stationary. Now, thanks to the active scanning capabilities of Panoptix LiveScope, anglers can see images and movement so clear and precise that it’s even possible to distinguish between species of fish. “Panoptix changed the electronics game a couple of years ago,” said Jason Christie, Bassmaster Elite Series and Garmin pro. “Now, LiveScope is even taking it to the next level. The cool thing about it is the simplicity of it. What you see is what is there. The only picture that could be better is if you dive into the water with goggles, and I’m not sure that’s really even better.” Like other Garmin Panoptix transducers, LiveScope features two modes in one transducer—LiveScope Down and LiveScope Forward— and can be installed on a trolling motor or the transom. Depending on

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the angler’s fishing preferences and techniques, LiveScope can easily be adjusted to change views. Point the LiveScope transducer down to see directly below the boat or forward to see around the boat. Either view provides incredibly sharp, real-time scanning sonar images up to 200 feet out, even when the boat is stationary. The Panoptix LiveScope system includes a compact GLS 10 sonar black box with an LVS32 transducer and a simple plug-and-play Garmin Marine Network connector for easy installation and integration with a compatible Garmin chartplotter. A trolling motor barrel and shaft mounting kit and a transom mounting kit are also included.

www.GARMIN.com/PANOPTIX Best Tackle Management Lure Lock Lure Locker

A patented gel material paved the way for one of the most innovative tackle management solutions on the market. Lure Lock’s Lure Locker was awarded “Best Tackle Management” at ICAST 2018. Lure Lock’s proprietary ELASTAK GEL securely holds lures and terminal tackle in place. Even with the lid of a Lure Lock case open, you can turn it upside down and shake it and your lures stay in the box. Don’t believe it? Go to the website and watch the videos. The Lure Locker was designed to allow anglers to keep all their Lure Lock cases organized and ready. Constructed with durable ABS plastic, the Lure Locker securely stores up to five Lure Lock cases for ease of transport. It is available in three models, each designed to accept its corresponding Lure Lock case. The Lure Locker is also designed to hang on a wall or pegboard when not in use. The Lure Locker will be available at www.lurelock.com, Bass Pro Shops, Cabela’s, Academy, Sportsman’s Warehouse, Scheel’s, Mill’s Fleet Farm, Field & Stream, Tackle Warehouse, Tackle Direct and independent sporting goods dealers. Different Lure Locker models have an MSRP range from $24.99 to $34.99.

www.lurelock.com

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Best Saltwater Lure Ocean Born Flying Series Ocean Born Lures has come out with two new hardbaits destined to become go-to lures for anglers who love fooling saltwater fish with artificials. What else would you expect from the brainchild of awardwinning tackle designer Patrick Sebile and his company A Band Of Anglers? The Flying Pencill 160 and the Flying Popper 140 were designed to dramatically increase casting distance while also improving action. Each model features design elements that allow them to slice through the air to reach fish other lures can’t. Once they splash down, these lures are incredibly versatile. The Flying Pencill 160 has a common body shape but uncommon castability and action. Side wings enhance aerodynamics and provide lift once in the water. Reduced air friction ribs, which work like dimples

Best SUP Body Glove Mariner Need an SUP designed specifically for fishing? Want one that’s completely portable, allowing you to launch wherever there’s access to water? The Body Glove Mariner is a groundbreaking fishing-specific inflatable standup paddleboard that caters to both casual fishing enthusiasts and hardcore anglers. Designed by paddling champion and recreational fisherman Luke Hopkins, this feature-rich board is the ideal paddling platform for the active angler. From the backwaters to the bays, it will stealthily take you where you need to go, which is where most other anglers can’t go. Once you get there, the Mariner is a perfect fishing platform.

on a golf ball, reduce air resistance and add water turbulence. An angler can pop, spit, walk the dog, surface skip or slow swim below the surface with the Flying Pencill. The Flying Popper 140 is a leap forward in design for the classic narrow-neck popper. It’s perfect for all conditions, including rough water and current. It utilizes the same side wings and ribs as the Flying Pencill for the same performance enhancements during cast and retrieve. It can pop, spit, walk or create a bubble trail, and comes in Floating, Sinking and Super Long Distance models. Both the Flying Pencil and the Flying Popper come in eight fishcatching colors. With extreme castability and nearly unlimited versatility, these two lures are a game-changer for saltwater lures.

www.abandofanglers.com The Mariner is durable, stable, convenient to transport and can be customized to suit your fishing preferences. It features attachment points to add any one of over 70 Railblaza fishing accessories, including rod holders. The Mariner includes an anchor line guide system, cooler tie-downs, permanent, unbreakable fins and a patented multi-purpose handle to hold a water bottle or the included adjustable 3-piece paddle. The Mariner comes with a cell phone dry bag, a pump, an ankle leash and a wheeled backpack.

www.bodyglove.com

Best Affordable Saltwater Rods Enigma Rods With a trio of high-performing and affordable new saltwater rods, Enigma is bringing the performance and durability of its freshwater rods to the salt. With the Flats Master, Jetty Master and Saltwater Performance Series, Enigma has built rods to tangle with everything from inshore trout and snook to monsters hiding in the surf. Flats Master rods retail for just $99.99 and are available in six spinning models designed to tackle snook, redfish and trout with quality design, cutting-edge technology, and top-grade saltwater components. Lightweight and durable, select Flats Master rods feature a gimbal butt. Jetty Master rods are ideal for anglers who fish in extreme

Best Spinning Reel PENN Spinfisher VI The PENN Spinfisher is more than 50 years old and still going strong. The latest version introduced this year, the Spinfisher VI, is more durable, even better sealed from water and features the CNC Gear system to handle the heaviest of loads. It’s available in array of models, one of which is perfectly suited to the fishing you do. Updated with IPX5 sealing, the Spinfisher VI keeps saltwater out of the gearbox and drag system. Whether it gets hit by a wave or rides in the spray all the way home, there’s no need to worry.

Best Fishing Line PowerPro Super8Slick V2 Re-engineered with added abrasion toughness, the new PowerPro Super8Slick V2 braided fishing line combines a new eight-end dense weave fiber construction with proven ‘Enhanced Body Technology’ (EBT) process. The new braid is offered in nine different pound test designations. As with the original Super8Slick braid, the new ‘V2’ version is the smoothest, softest and longest-casting braid in the PowerPro line. Its use of Honeywell Spectra fiber provides a stronger, tougher braid, while the PowerPro EBT process makes the Super8Slick V2 structurally rounder. The process floods propriety resin through the finished braid, resulting

conditions, with big surf and big jigs. This collection of rods leverages the latest in design and technology to provide extraordinary performance not available anywhere else for $149.99. Designed for maximum casting distance and superior fishfighting performance, it is the meeting point of value and functionality. Saltwater Performance Series (SPS) rods are designed for extreme pounding of sand, surf and salt. They provide a pinnacle of performance for an affordable price of $179.99. SPS rods are designed to provide incredible casting distance along with exceptional performance for anglers seeking the best quality rod and the best price point.

www.EnigmaFishing.com

Housed within a fully sealed spool, PENN’s HT-100 drag washers supply the stopping power needed for big saltwater fish. A full metal body and sideplate keep the CNC Gear System in precise alignment under heavy loads. Available in standard, Live Liner, Long Cast and bail-less models, the Spinfisher VI has all the durability and performance anglers have come to expect from PENN, only better.

www.pennfishing.com in a smoother line that reduces backlashes, increases casting distance, makes it easier to tie knots, and offers superior strength to size ratio. Super8Slick V2 is extremely silent as it passes over the rod guides. With multiple color options in nine line tests, from 8-lb. to 80-lb., Super8Slick V2 braid offers superior performance for all anglers, in fresh or salt. It is available in 100, 150- and 300-yards spools and 1500- and 3000-yard bulk filler spools.

www.PowerPro.com

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Best Boat Seat Llebroc Industries Series 2 Helm Chair ICAST had a lot of newcomers as well as industry leaders. Among the leaders is Llebroc Industries. Greg Carman and his team have created the highest quality seats, benches and other boating accessories throughout the marine industry. Anyone who has ever sat in a Llebroc chair can attest to the quality and comfort that goes into every product. Llebroc Series 2 Helm Chairs come with an array of options. Whether you are in a cabin or riding in a center console, your chair will withstand the elements and keep your ride comfortable. Depending on how you drive, you can sit in style or lean in comfort with the Flip Bolster

option. Just raise your seat and lean back into a secure rest. Comfort is not the only benefit Llebroc has to offer. Customize your seats to match your boat with a wide array of color options. Choose the style of stitching, materials, or embroidery for your home away from home. From start to finish Llebroc ensures your seats are specifically tailored to suit your needs. Once you choose Llebroc Industries, you will never look back.

www.llebroc.com

Best Tackle TRANSPORT

Plano’s new A-Series 2.0 fish contained but at your fingertips with oversized, Tackle Bag is as functional as it is molded zippers. The bag also sports a large exterior good looking. mesh pocket. With four 3650 Stowaway boxes, it is the ideal Soft corners and a padded shoulder strap make the bag for a day on the stream or paddling to a secret bag comfortable to carry at your side while wading or fishing location. The boxes act as separate storage hiking. The strap is removable, adding more options devices to hold the basics or hand-picked tackle for for stowing, while the 1.5-inch heavy-duty molded a day on the water. hardware improves ergonomics while dramatically The main compartment is easily accessed improving strength. with an adjustable metal snap closure. The top The Plano A-Series offers complete storage compartment of the bag is expandable, allowing solutions for the serious angler. The A-Series includes extra capacity for raingear, other soft-side tackle classically styled bags in a backpack, duffel, and three bags and a quick shore lunch. Side and front tackle bag options. compartments hold the tools you’ll need when you land a www.planomolding.com

Plano A-Series 2.0 Tackle Bag

Best Lure System

Odin Lure Company Frigg Popper/Fish Smack Odin Lure Company’s novel approach appeals to all of a fish’s senses. They’ve equipped productive lures with a BaitWell that holds a powerful scent attractant called Fish Smack. The Frigg 1.5-oz. Floating Top-Water Popper walks seductively across glassy water to bring home the bacon with the addition of Fish Smack. Inject Fish Smack into the integral BaitWell and ring the dinner bell for your targeted species. You will call in stripers, pike, mahi-mahi and more. Like your favorite BFF, work this in the mornings and evenings, when it’s dead quiet. Built like a brick outhouse with super strong VMC hooks and Wolverine triple wrap snap rings, this lure will handle big trophy fish muscle and speed.

• 5.5” long X 1” thick body. • Cupped face churns a ton of water. • Incredible walking, popping action. • Has an integrated rechargeable BaitWell. • Houses a fish attracting rattle chamber. • Leaves an irresistible Fish Smack scent trail. Odin Lure Company partnered with BioEdge Fishing Products to make Fish Smack attractant. It’s the perfect mixture, designed for the BaitWell on all Odin lures. The grease-like mix slowly releases scent as the lure is retrieved. Fish Smack attracts fish from afar and stimulates them to feed. It also masks undesirable scents like gas and sunscreen.

www.odinlures.com

Best Kids’ Apparel

Local Boy Sharpe Angler Dress Shirt Your little fishing buddy will look as sharp as he is comfortable, whether it’s on the deck of the boat, attending church, school or a weekend play date. Local Boy’s Sharpe Angler Dress Shirt is the go-to youth shirt for fall. This button-down dress shirt is truly fit for any occasion. Crafted from 100 percent lightweight cotton material and featuring a fishing-style vent back, the Sharpe Angler shirt offers breathable, allday comfort that’ll keep Little Locals feeling cool,

while still looking sharp. If it gets warm, Little Locals can roll up their sleeves with the side-button roll-cuffs, providing versatility in style and wear as the seasons change. Accented with the embroidered dog-and-moon logo, the Sharpe Angler Dress Shirt is available in two plaid patterns: Green/Blue/White and Blue/Mango/ White. Sizes start at Youth X-Small (4T) up to Youth X-Large.

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Best Cutlery Outdoor Edge ReelFlex Pak Outdoor Edge’s new ReelFlex Pak is the ultimate fillet knife kit for the serious fisherman. The kit includes three fillet knives, in 6-, 7.5- and 9.5-inch blade lengths so you have the right knife to match your catch. Designed to meet the cutting demands for all fresh and saltwater species, the knives are crafted from German 4116 stainless steel, known for its corrosion resistance and excellent edge retention. The blades are double tempered to provide a consistent flex and taper, ground to eliminate friction and promote an effortless cut while filleting fish. The handles incorporate Jerry Hossom’s iconic design and ergonomics with the safety and function fishermen need. The handles are constructed of blue rubberized TPR to ensure a comfortable, non-slip grip, even when your hands are wet and slimy and also feature a polypropylene core for the

Best Eyewear Unsinkable Polarized Rival Sunglasses

correct amount of rigidity. Everyone hates a dull knife, so Outdoor Edge has included a two-stage knife sharpener to keep your edges razor sharp. Finally, Outdoor Edge designed a durable hard-side carry case to keep you organized on the boat and at the dock. With an MSRP of $64.95, be sure to look for the ReelFlex Pak this fall and holiday season.

www.outdooredge.com

The featured Rival sunglasses are in Raven color with a ColorBlast Grey Lens. These are perfect for spending long days on the water because of their larger fit and full-wrap coverage. The ColorBlast polarized lens technology filters blue light, which makes colors blast. Rivals retail for about $139. For more details on all styles, colors, and technology, visit the Unsinkable Polarized website.

Unsinkable Polarized had a groundbreaking, and perhaps a little crazy, idea. Because they are so confident in their products being the ultimate watersports sunglasses, they offer them with a Lifetime + Loss Warranty. With floating frames, all polarized lenses and that warranty, there should be nothing stopping anyone from getting a pair of Unsinkable Polarized sunglasses. Unsinkable developed a naturally buoyant frame material known as Vaporlite. It floats, it’s 20 percent lighter than what most sunglasses are made of, yet the frames retain the look and feel of ordinary sunglasses. And in the unlikely event that your Unsinkables float away, the ground-breaking Lifetime + Loss Warranty has you completely covered. www.unsinkablepolarized.com

Best Boating Accessory Minn Kota Built-In MEGA Down Imaging For the first time, anglers have the option of a trolling motor with built-in Down Imaging sonar. Minn Kota’s new Built-In MEGA Down Imaging earned “Best Boating Accessory” at ICAST 2018. Anglers can select a Minn Kota Ulterra, Terrova, Ultrex or Fortrex with the Humminbird Down Imaging transducer integrated into the trolling motor. Humminbird’s ultra-clear MEGA Imaging is the first Down Imaging technology to enter the megahertz range with performance nearly three times greater than traditional 455 kHz frequencies. It results in the clearest, sharpest on-screen images ever seen. With Built-In MEGA Down Imaging, the transducer is housed in the indestructible lower motor unit and the wiring runs through the composite shaft providing clean rigging that is protected from wear and tear.

Best Towing Accessory B&W Tow & Stow Adjustable Ball Mount B&W’s Tow & Stow Adjustable Ball Mount is the most innovative product in recent history when it comes to towing. It seems B&W thought of everything when they designed this receiver hitch. Because of that, it’ll be the last one you’ll ever buy. The Tow & Stow is adjustable to the height of your trailer, which is an important safety consideration, and it’s also super convenient for folks who have different trailers. Whether you’re pulling your boat, camper or equipment trailer, the Tow & Stow quickly and easily adjusts to the proper height, making towing less stressful and safer. For the same reasons, multiple ball sizes accommodate your boat, lawn mower or ATV trailer. This one hitch can be locked into your

As part of the OneBoat Network, Minn Kota trolling motors with BuiltIn MEGA Down Imaging feature i-Pilot Link GPS technology. Anglers can operate their trolling motor from the Humminbird unit, the app or the i-Pilot remote to “follow” a contour at a set speed with the press of a button. The new trolling motors are compatible with Humminbird SOLIX, second generation HELIX, and ONIX models and will be available in fall.

www.MinnKotaMotors.com receiver, and you don’t ever have to worry about changing ball mounts. The Tow & Stow also stows behind the bumper when not in use. This will save wear and tear on your shins and garage doors. With steel construction and a two-step ecoat and powdercoat finish, the Tow & Stow is bombproof and 100-percent made in America with stainless steel pins. It is available in multiple drops and shank sizes with two or three ball size combinations. It is also available in black, chrome and Browning colors.

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FLORIDA

Team Murderized with the catch that won last year’s Wahoo Smackdown.

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imini Big Game Club Resort and Marina is pleased to announce dates for this year’s Wahoo Smackdown fishing tournament. Slated to take place Nov. 8-11, this year’s event will feature the same prizes, parties and access to Bimini’s plentiful wahoo that have made this one of the most prestigious and popular fishing tournaments in The Bahamas. Just 50 miles east of south Florida in The Bahamas, Bimini is considered by many to be the “Sport Fishing Capital” of the world. More than 50 record-setting catches have been made in the waters surrounding Bimini Big Game Club, which has long been a favorite destination for anglers, including famed author, Ernest Hemingway. This year’s tournament, which will be led by longtime Bimini Big Game Club dockmaster Captain Robbie Smith, will kick-off Thursday, Nov. 8 with a captain’s meeting and conclude on Nov. 11 with an awards gala. The registration fee is $1,500 per boat (this includes four anglers, tournament shirts and entry to all of the tournament’s social events). Additional anglers (anything more than four) are $250 each. Extra social tickets are $150 each. Total payout is $25,000 based on 25 registered boats. The Registration fee is 100 percent refundable if the tournament is canceled due to weather. A $300 instant credit will be issued to participants who book both hotel and boat slip at Bimini Big Game Club for a minimum of four consecutive nights. The $300 credit can be used against the guests’ total resort bill. Sponsors for this year’s tournament include American Beverage Marketers www.masterofmixes.com as the Title Sponsor, Bahamian Brewery and Beverage (Sands) www.bahamianbrewery. com, artist David Dunleavy www.dunleavyart.com and Tropic Ocean Airways www.flytropic.com. To register, visit www.wahoosmackdown.net. For sponsorship opportunities, contact Beth Watson at BWatson@biggameclubbimini.com or call (954) 467-1231.

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By Capt. Joseph Ierna Jr. • Photo Caption: Boats moored in one of the ECLSP Mooring Fields, which help to protect the seabed of the park.

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he Bahamas National Trust is the only non-governmental organization in the world mandated to manage a country’s entire national park system, which includes 32 national parks that protect over 2.2 million acres of Bahamian biodiversity. The Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park was the first National Park in The Bahamas and was the first to be designated as a “No Take” marine reserve in the wider Caribbean in 1986. Protected by The Bahamas National Trust since 1959, the Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park provides a look back at how coral reefs once were and a glimmer of hope for the future. Seen from the surface, the waters of the Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park are enchanting, with more shades of blue than Crayola offers. The real magic, however, is under the water where vibrant reefs teem with life. This is the result of almost 60 years of protection as a marine park.

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In 1986, the Bahamas National Trust took the bold step of making the park a no-take marine reserve. The success of the Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park for protecting populations of key species and preserving the health of coral reef ecosystems is a testament to the foresight of its founders, who recommended protecting an entire landscape. This includes islands, nearshore habitats, like mangroves and seagrass beds that serve as nursery areas for many species, inshore and offshore reefs, and deep-sea areas. In doing so, they recognized how all of these areas are connected and how effective conservation includes protecting intact ecosystems rather than small pieces. In the 1980s the idea of ecosystem protection was advanced further by making the park a refuge for marine life where any removal of marine life or other resources was prohibited. Active management of users by The Bahamas National Park, including patrols of the park and installation of moorings for visitors to prevent damage from anchoring in sensitive areas has further promoted conservation of the park, resulting in the healthy reefs and marine life that we see today. The Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park is not without its threats, however, illegal poaching remains an issue in some parts of the park. As the wonders of the park attract more visitors, balancing ecosystem protection with visitor use is also a challenge. The case of the Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park highlights the ability of a large and well-managed marine park to not just preserve the beauty of an area, but also provide critical protection to marine life to maintain the delicate balance and health of coral reefs and other marine ecosystems. The Bahamas National Trust is a non-governmental, non-profit, membership organization working to protect Bahamian natural resources by building a network of national parks and promoting environmental stewardship. For more information, visit https://bnt.bs/donate/ or contact Lynn Gape: lgape@bnt.bs.

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Sheri Daye

ahis, with their dazzling colors, are one of the most beautiful and tasty fish in the sea. They are pelagic and roam the open ocean, spawning year-round in the warm ocean currents. They reach sexual maturity quickly and spawn two to three times per year, releasing up to a million eggs. The good news is they are a fast-growing and abundant species, which makes them an ideal target for conservation-minded hunters. More good news—they are a perfect “starter fish” for anglers who want to give spearfishing a try. Most hook-and-line anglers are already experts at finding them, often looking for seaweed or floating debris. Whether you want to jump in because they are not biting, or you simply want to try something new, bluewater diving can be an exhilarating experience. When jumping on a weedline, you are treated to a beautiful sight of crystal blue water, bright orange Sargasso weed, and cute little jacks and sea creatures who will come by to check you out. It’s even more spectacular when you see the brightly colored mahi show up. They swim at the surface, so you don’t have to be an expert freediver to hunt them. They are not overly wary, if you don’t spook them. I always tell people, “pretend you are a log, and let them come to you.” Here are some tips for landing a mahi: 1. Use the right equipment. Even though you are at the surface, deeper water requires bluewater equipment with surface floatation (in case you spear a big one and it decides to go down). The float will do the work for you. Your local dive shop should be happy to advise you on the right set-up. 2. Use flashers and chum to increase your chances of attract-

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ing them. Dive shops carry readymade flashers that hang from a float, or you can make your own (instructions online). 3. Move in a slow and relaxed way. Mahi are fast swimmers, reaching up to 55 mph, so if you do scare them, you will not catch them. 4. Extend your speargun slowly and take careful aim. If they are close and not moving fast, aim for the head (killshot). If they are far, aim for center mass. 5. As most anglers know, once on a line, mahis are fast, flashy and acrobatic. When speared, they sometimes make figure-eight moves, rather than swimming straight away from you like most other fish. Do not let them circle or make loops around you – just swim away from them and keep tension on the line. 6. Once a mahi is tired and ready to be subdued, hold it by the gills. 7. Once you’ve mastered spearing mahis with a speargun, you can try using a polespear for an added challenge. Sheri is a world-record holder, host of Speargun Hunter, and producer of “The Blue Wild Ocean Adventure Expo” in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. Follow “Sheri Daye” and “The Blue Wild” on Facebook and Instagram.

For more Sheri Daye, go to

CAMSPEARFISHING.COM

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8/20/18 11:50 AM


Infinity 822MLT Marine coaxial 450W peak 8” titanium speaker.

JBL MS8W Marine coaxial 450W peak 8” white speaker.

RGB illumination standard 7 colors to choose from.

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Meet and purchase the rest of our product family at www.prospecelectronics.com

State of the Art Marina Opening Soon on South Hutchinson Island!

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 Include:

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GET THE MASTRY REPOWER CENTERS

OWNER’S EDGE ADVANTAGE SUZUKI REPOWER THE ALTERNATIVE TO BUYING A NEW BOAT With the Mastry RePower Centers Owner’s Edge the benefits extend long past just buying a motor. When you purchase a new Suzuki outboard from an authorized Marstry RePower Center you qualify to become a member of the Mastry Suzuki Owner’s Edge. You receive an identification card that provides you with important information about your Suzuki outboard motor as well as a passport to additional benefits during ownership. Members enjoy the following benefits and there will be more to come: · • Detailed Engine Maintenance Schedule - Owner’s Edge members receive a detailed Suzuki factory engine maintenance schedule that spans the life of your motor which includes outlines of the special member pricing. • Suzuki Repower Trade Allowance Program - A trade allowance program that provides members a trade allowance based on age and hours of your Suzuki outboard. • Special Pricing - Including special pricing on Reverso Pumps Automatic Flushing System.

• Reward Partners - Barracuda Tackle is pleased to be a rewards partner with Mastry RePower Owner’s Edge program. New Suzuki outboard owners receive a 25% discount certificate on a Barracuda cast net or other Barracuda Tackle products. • The Owner’s Edge Card - You receive an Owner’s Edge card which is your passport to discounts on product and services at any of the Mastry RePower Centers throughout Florida.

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THE ALTERNATIVE TO BUYING A NEW BOAT

Suzuki Repower Centers are stationed around the southeast to help with your Suzuki service and repower needs.

Performance Bulletin Available

St. Augustine Marine Center

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Repower packages designed to best fit your needs and not stretch your budget. Financing available. All Suzuki repowers come with Suzuki’s “Gimme Six!” 6-year protection.

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Access weather and fishing data via satellite up to 200 miles from the contiguous U.S. shoreline.

SiriusXM Marine Weather overlays directly on your chartplotter while fishing coastal or offshore waters and provides two vital services for anglers. First, and most importantly, it helps you detect, monitor and avoid bad weather without needing a cell signal. Storms can build quickly at sea, and the numerous, selectable overlay options within the SiriusXM menu let you tailor the display to your desired level to increase your comfort and situational awareness aboard. Secondly, SiriusXM overlays graphic displays of sea surface temperature contours to help you locate where bait fish might be stacked up, giving you a definitive edge when trying to find the bite. With key information needed to find the locations in which fish are most likely to appear, anglers can save time and fuel while fishing.

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DETAILS: Hardware and subscription sold separately. The subscription plan you choose will automatically renew and you will be charged according to your chosen payment method at then-current rates. Please see our Customer Agreement at www.siriusxm.com for complete terms and how to cancel, which includes calling us at 1-800-985-9200. Note: Not all devices are capable of receiving all services offered by SiriusXM. Current information and features may not be available in all locations, or on all receivers. Data displays vary by device; images are representative only. SiriusXM Services may include weather and other content and emergency alert information. Such information and data is not for safety for life, but is merely supplemental and advisory in nature, and therefore cannot be relied upon as safety critical in connection with any aircraft, sea craft, automobile, or any other usage. SiriusXM is not responsible for any errors or inaccuracies in the data services or their use. © 2018 Sirius XM Radio Inc. Sirius, XM and all related marks and logos are trademarks of Sirius XM Radio Inc. All other marks and logos are the property of their respective owners. All rights reserved.

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Fishing Shirts for the Entire Angler Family • Comfort First Apparel • Active Wear for Men, Women, Boys & Girls • Outstanding Selection • Shirts, Hats & Accessories

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FLY FISHING

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his is a good question. An answer, however, is not a simple matter, as there are some specific characteristics to be considered. Baitfish If you are using a fly that imitates the movements of a baitfish, it is recommended that where and when possible, you observe the behavior patterns of actual baitfish. How fast are they swimming? Are they swimming in schools or small groups when being chased by game fish? Are they stunned by game fish before being eaten as they are sinking, or in fishing lingo, “on the fall?” Most injured baitfish swim in a frenzied motion, so quick and short strips is the best retrieval method. In conditions where the baitfish are lazily swimming about, try a slower, longer strip to get your adversary’s attention. Keep in mind that baitfish always swim into the current. When fishing from a drifting boat, cast your fly up-current, let it sink and drift in the current until the fly swings at the boat’s stern into its wake. At the end of the drift, allow the fly to gyrate, lifelike, in the current for a few seconds before beginning stripping. This technique often results in a strike, so hang on! Crab or Shrimp If your intent upon attempting to imitate a crab or shrimp, make short, small strips giving the fly the look of a scurrying crab or shrimp. This move usually gets a fish’s attention. Upon spotting the game fish eyeing the fly and beginning his approach, stop the fly, allowing it to sit mo-

tionless. Then move it again in short spurts. This move often results in a hookup. Fish that follow the fly but don’t eat it? A very frustrating incident when saltwater fly fishing is when a fish follows the fly but refuses to strike. Many saltwater gamefish, slashing and contorting, will closely tail a fly right to the rod’s tip without taking the fly. It’s a very frustrating experience that often leads to the angler scratching his head and feeling totally hopeless. There is, however, an easy way to get a picky fish to take the fly. I call it “sweeping the fly.” When a fish has followed the fly to within a few feet of your rod tip (usually you’ll have 5 to 10 feet of line outside the rod tip), lower your rod tip and make a sweeping motion as if you were going to make a side-armed back cast. Don’t pull the fly out of the water, but keep it moving. On the sweep, the fly will move smoothly through the water, doing a great impersonation of a fidgety baitfish attempting to escape a predator. This move enjoys a high percentage of success. The trick is to exercise control over your emotions and not pull the fly from the fish’s mouth when it strikes. The hook set is always very close to you, so be prepared to allow the fish to run. That means being able to manage the fly line as it shoots through the guides.

For more Bowman, go to

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nglers came from across the country Aug. 4-5 to participate in the 15th Annual Kingfish Shootout in Carabelle, Fla. The event, presented by C-Quarters Marina, featured 49 teams, and more than 200 anglers hit the waters off Franklin County to land the prized king mackerel. They were met with wonderful weather and favorable seas. Capt. Joe Jernigan, of Tifton, Ga., led Team Outta Sight and steered his 26’ Pro Line Super Sport roughly 30 miles offshore to the winning fish. Their kingfish weighed a whopping 39 pounds, 1 ounce to claim the $5,000 purse. The giant king ate a free-lined pinfish just seconds before the team was about to reel it in and move. Spencer Ensley fought the fish for nearly 45 minutes using a 4500 series Saragosa reel with light line and light leader material. Spencer noted that the kings seemed scat-

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tered and that good live bait was hard to come by. At least six other kings they had hooked got away; one was clearly bigger than their winning fish. Light line and slow trolling in the clear Gulf waters were keys to their success. Capt. Joe, Spencer, Eric Moore and Jacob Smith have fished this event for the last eight years, and they really enjoy the great fishing and supporting a great charity. That they won was just an added bonus, but like all competitors, they really wanted that win and will be back next year to defend their title. Coming in second was the Outlaw Oyster Co. with a 37.4-pound bruiser that paid $4,000. Third place went to T-Time. Their 34.7-pounder earned $3,000. In the Spanish mackerel division, Team Reel Skills II brought in a 5.7-pound Spanish for the winning payout of $2,000. Not a bad prize for a little fish! The kingfish division paid 10 places and the Spanish division paid three. Youth Angler winner Colton Humphries and Lady Angler winner Denita Sasser took home additional fishing tackle and equipment prizes for hauling in the biggest fish in those respective categories. Prizes were provided courtesy of Coastal Angler Magazine, Fisherman’s Choice and Howell Tackle. This event raised $85,025 for the Leukemia Research Foundation and pushed the total money raised to over $1 million! The Crowder family and volunteers run this event every year, keeping their promise to the late Lisa Crowder Jackson, to do everything they can to fight leukemia, the disease that took her way too early in life. Come out to Carrabelle next year and spend a weekend experiencing what this amazing part of old Florida has to offer. The food is spectacular, the scenery is breathtaking, the fish peel drag like freight trains, and the cause is one you’ll feel great about supporting while you fish for a cure. For more information go to http://www.c-quartersmarina.com/ or call C-quarters Marina at (850) 697- 8400.

GREAT FISHING REQUIRES GREAT REST!

Boater’s Welcome! Capt. Mike McNamara

(850) 510-7919

or email redfish@stmarksoutfitters.com

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SEPTEMBER 2018

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By Roger Walker

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ast month, happy days were here again for recreational anglers on the Atlantic coast of the southern United States. Even though it was short lived, there was a red snapper season for two weekends in August. The South Atlantic Marine Fisheries Council (SAMFC) and the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) control fisheries in South Atlantic federal waters. In 2010, they shut down the harvest of red snapper based on a 2008 population assessment that determined red snapper were overfished and undergoing overfishing. Since 2010, there have been three other short seasons and a limited-harvest season for anglers to keep red snapper. The seasons consisted of three-day weekends for about 40 days total of red snapper fishing since 2010. So how did it go this season? Well, if you judge it by the fact that tackle shops were running out of tackle, bait and ice; that boat ramps were over-crowded with anglers; that local charters were booked solid, well the answer to the question is: the season went very well. There is a huge positive economic impact when red snapper harvest is allowed. In Florida alone, the total economic impact of recreational fishing exceeds 8 billion dollars a year. So, how do we get a longer season for the South Atlantic? The length of a season is based on the amount of fish available to be caught while leaving enough to sustain populations in the future. It’s based on stock assessments. One of the problems with stock assessments is getting accurate data. One solution could be to charge an additional license fee to anglers who want to fish for offshore reef fish. Give them a Reef Fish endorsement on their regular fishing license. This would give the SAMFC and NOAA more accurate data from a pool of anglers who actually fish for red snapper. Here are a couple of other ideas that have been circulating.

2) Have a slot size for red snapper. It’s worked for redfish and snook, so why not for red snapper? An angler could only keep fish within a determined slot size. Fish longer or shorter than that slot would be released immediately. The limit could be one fish per day, per angler. Small fish would remain in the population to grow into the slot, and larger fish would be protected to make more small fish. This option would keep anglers on the water year-round. Think of the economic impact. This years’ red snapper season on the east coast was wonderful! There were boats full of anglers everywhere. Some caught big fish. Some caught small fish. Some, well they had a great time trying. If all those boats and anglers ever band together, that’s when fishing for red snapper will truly return.

1) Distribute tags to reef fish-permitted anglers. Catch a fish, tag that fish and keep it. When an angler runs out of tags, he’s done keeping red snapper for the season. This option would spread angling effort over a longer season and relieve the rodeo aspect of a short season.

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Sneak Peek Giveaway

Coastal Angler/The Angler Magazine will be giving away 2 Brand NEW PENN® Spinfisher® VI Reels on September 30th, 2018. Only available here as these new reels are not available to the public until October 2018.

• The smallest size Spinfisher® ever! • IPX5 sealed - perfect for kayak anglers!

ENTER TO WIN AT

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By Capt. Michael Okruhlik Photo courtesy of Controlled Descent Lures

lthough the first day of fall occurs in the month of September, it sure doesn’t feel like it in any waters where redfish live. Fortunately, redfish don’t mind the heat and can be an easy target in the shallow marsh. September is a great month for kayak anglers who love the adrenaline rush of sight casting to shallow-water reds. The shrimp are maturing and abundant this time of year. On a recent trip where I fish in Texas, I had shrimp jumping into the kayak on every muddy shoreline I traveled. When fishing in scenarios such as this, I prefer to throw soft-plastic paddletails. Locating the reds from a distance can be easy when the water is this shallow and the bait is this plentiful. One key giveaway is hovering seagulls. You can bet if a gull is snatching shrimp out of the air, there are hungry fish below them. When kayaking, it depends on the distance as to whether or not I will try to chase down the hungry and potentially fast-moving school. If I am not willing to make the move, I try to watch for a pattern as to where the fish are feeding and stage my kayak in a similar location nearby. This could be along points, in the middle, or in front of drains.

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On this particular trip, I noticed skittish bait and distant birds along a north shoreline. I positioned my kayak within casting distance of that shore and fan casted until I saw nervous bait. Once spotted, I would wait for them to cruise the shore into range. When the time was right, I placed my lure with the fleeing shrimp resulting in aggressive strikes. This was the pattern they held most of the day; however I did catch a few in the middle of the cove as well. If I was not seeing nervous bait, I would fan cast 360 degrees to cover more water. I even had a few keeper-sized trout hanging out in the hot, shallow and muddy marsh. This area was roughly 10 feet deep throughout with a silty mud bottom, and the water color closely resembled chocolate milk. The air temp was in the mid 90s, but that didn’t deter the fish from feeding midday through 5 p.m. The strikes were violent and gave the illusion of each fish being larger than they were upon landing them. September brings a change in the season, but it is much more noticeable on the calendar than on the water. Capt. Michael Okruhlik is the inventor of Controlled Descent Lures and the owner of www.MyCoastOutdoors.com.

8/20/18 1:22 PM


COASTAL ANGLER North Central Florida/Nature Coast

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

S

SEPTEMBER

eptember is finally here, and that means October, and cooler weather, are not far behind. I do love the rain, but my swamp is full and the river is at a moderate level. A big rain event such as a tropical storm or hurricane, could cause a flood and (Dare I say it?) we are overdue for a flood. The state-permitted gator hunting season started August 15th. If you were lucky enough to score a permit, and need help, give us a call. Cary has about 30 years of gator hunting experience and all the necessary equipment, plus a boat that he modified specifically for gator hunting. References available. I found his month’s recipe, page 16, Sautéed Shrimp Cakes with Lemon Aioli Sauce on a friend’s Facebook post. Thank you, Gail; they are delicious! See page 2 for registration info for The Saltwater Classic, a fundraiser tournament for the Children’s Brain Tumor Foundation, in Crystal River at Plantation on October 13th. Another tournament at Plantation, the Plantation Redfish Classic on September 22nd, benefiting A Reel Future and the American Military Veteran’s Foundation. See page 9. Do you need some help with home or office cleaning? (Who doesn’t?) See page 10 for Top Notch Quality Services. Rosa owns this business, and helps us with magazine delivery. Please thank the folks at the location where you picked up this fabulous FREE magazine and visit our advertisers and thank them for their support. Don’t forget to thank our world-famous writers/guides. Without the three mentioned above, there would be no Coastal Angler North Central Florida/ Nature Coast, and that is a scary thought! Send me your catch photos.

Lynn Crutchfield Co-Publisher Coastal Angler Magazine of North Central Florida /Nature Coast

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SEPTEMBER 2018 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

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Dr. Kevin McCarthy Bruce Butler John Freeze Noel Kuhn Capt. Jason Clark Capt. Dan Clymer Capt. Tommy Derringer Capt. Stacy Horak Capt. Jimbo Keith Capt. Pat McGriff Capt. Clay Shidler Capt. Brian Smith Capt. Dan Smith Capt. Craig Spitznogle

CONTACT INFORMATION

crutch@coastalanglermagazine.com 352-372-4237 www.CoastalAnglerMag.com/NC-Florida

INSIDE THIS ISSUE Tide Charts Local Fishing Forecasts Monthly Recipe

Photo by: Suwannee River Water Management District

8/19/18 2:41 PM


Presents the

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TOURNAMENT Saturday, October 13, 2018 7:00 am sharp • Cash prizes for Trout, Grouper, Redfish and Snook • Prizes and trophies for kids.

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4:00 pm – Weigh in at Plantation Inn 9301 W. Fort Island Trail Crystal River, FL

Cary A. Crutchfield Registered Real Estate Broker GRI and CRS Designations

352.372.4237

Queries 352.207.3925

TIDES • North Central Florida Time Height

1Sa 2Su

3M

4Tu

5W 6Th

7F

8Sa

5:41 AM 12:34 PM 6:45 PM 12:30 AM 6:25 AM 1:38 PM 8:05 PM 1:26 AM 7:23 AM 2:58 PM 9:43 PM 2:43 AM 8:40 AM 4:26 PM 11:16 PM 4:12 AM 10:05 AM 5:42 PM 12:23 AM 5:30 AM 11:20 AM 6:42 PM 1:12 AM 6:33 AM 12:24 PM 7:32 PM 1:52 AM 7:25 AM 1:20 PM 8:16 PM

3.9 0.7 3.3 1.5 3.9 0.7 3.0 1.8 3.8 0.7 2.9 2.0 3.8 0.5 3.0 2.1 3.9 0.2 3.2 1.9 4.1 -0.1 3.4 1.6 4.4 -0.2 3.6 1.2 4.5 -0.2

HERNANDO BEACH

SEPTEMBER 2018

9Su

Time Height

2:27 AM 8:13 AM 2:11 PM 8:56 PM 10M 2:59 AM 8:58 AM 2:59 PM 9:34 PM 11Tu 3:30 AM 9:41 AM 3:45 PM 10:09 PM 12W 4:01 AM 10:24 AM 4:31 PM 10:43 PM 13Th 4:31 AM 11:07 AM 5:17 PM 11:16 PM 14F 5:03 AM 11:51 AM 6:07 PM 11:51 PM 15Sa 5:38 AM 12:40 PM 7:05 PM 16Su 12:30 AM 6:20 AM 1:39 PM 8:17 PM

3.8 0.9 4.6 -0.1 3.8 0.6 4.5 0.2 3.9 0.4 4.3 0.5 4.0 0.4 4.0 0.8 4.0 0.4 3.7 1.1 3.9 0.5 3.4 1.4 3.9 0.6 3.0 1.7 3.7 0.8 2.8

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

17M

18Tu

19W 20Th

21F

22Sa

23Su

24M

1:20 AM 7:16 AM 2:54 PM 9:47 PM 2:31 AM 8:31 AM 4:21 PM 11:10 PM 3:58 AM 9:54 AM 5:33 PM 12:06 AM 5:14 AM 11:06 AM 6:24 PM 12:46 AM 6:12 AM 12:04 PM 7:04 PM 1:18 AM 6:58 AM 12:52 PM 7:38 PM 1:47 AM 7:38 AM 1:33 PM 8:09 PM 2:13 AM 8:15 AM 2:12 PM 8:38 PM

Time Height

25Tu 2:38 AM 8:51 AM 2:50 PM 9:08 PM 26W 3:03 AM 9:26 AM 3:29 PM 9:39 PM 27Th 3:28 AM 10:02 AM 4:08 PM 10:11 PM 28F 3:55 AM 10:41 AM 4:52 PM 10:45 PM 29Sa 4:26 AM 11:24 AM 5:41 PM 11:23 PM 30Su 5:03 AM 12:15 PM 6:42 PM

3.8 0.5 4.0 0.6 3.9 0.4 4.0 0.7 4.0 0.3 3.8 0.9 4.0 0.2 3.6 1.1 4.0 0.2 3.4 1.4 4.0 0.3 3.1

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

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2.0 3.6 0.9 2.7 2.1 3.4 0.9 2.8 2.1 3.4 0.8 3.0 1.9 3.6 0.6 3.2 1.6 3.8 0.5 3.4 1.3 3.9 0.4 3.6 1.0 4.0 0.4 3.7 0.7 4.1 0.5

High Tide 12 min Low Tide 20 min

High Tide 2 min Low Tide 0 min

SEPTEMBER 2018

CARY CRUTCHFIELD ALLIGATOR GUIDE FLORIDA CRACKER ALLIGATOR, INC.

Guiding State Permitted Hunts in Central & North Florida

352.372.4237

Gator8Crutch@aol.com Your permit or mine Gator Season - Aug 15 thru Oct 31 COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

8/19/18 2:41 PM


FLORIDA WATERWAYS

Lake Alto

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ake Alto is a 573-acre waterway in Melrose and Waldo show pictures and Alachua County, south of Waldo. models of the steamboats that used to go through the lakes and two canals. The lake and the much larger Santa Freezes in the 1890s wiped out the citrus Fe Lake, are industry in the area, but the canals, when the headwaters dredged from time to time, make the lakes for the Santa accessible to a wide variety of boats. Fe River and Those lucky enough to discover the the highest lake, or even to live along it, are able to points in the enjoy one of the hidden gems of a pristine county. There are relatively few waterway in north-central Florida. Those who come upon it by chance, or homeowners By Kevin McCarthy who have read about it in the histories around the of Melrose and Waldo, can sample an lake (maybe two dozen), partly because the important lake in the history of our land along the northern edge of the lake is state, and some good fishing. swampy and unsuitable for building. Non-resident boaters can access the Kevin McCarthy, the author of lake by a decent boat ramp at Lake Alto “Melrose, Florida: An Illustrated Park, located at N.E. 134th Place off U.S. History (2017 - available at amazon.com), 301, south of Waldo and north of Orange can be reached at ceyhankevin@gmail.com. Heights. The park there has a kiosk that fishermen use, and a display for LEAFS (the Longleaf Ecology and Forestry Society), but no restrooms. Hiking trails there, are in the midst of a native longleaf pine ecosystem that has been restored by LEAFS, which has also put up displays and maps for the area. Two nearby residents, Donna and Bob, took me around the whole lake in their boat and pointed out that the depth of the waterway is about sixteen feet. The sandy bottom lake is good for catching bass, brim, and catfish, as well as swimming, but the lake does have alligators that need to be avoided. The lake also has entrances to canals that played a major role in Good fishing sp ot in the lake the economic development of the area in th the late 19 century. Located at both ends, and sometimes overgrown with weeds, the canals connect with Little Santa Fe Lake at the southeastern entrance, and that leads to Santa Fe Lake and Melrose Bay. The canal at the northwestern edge of Lake Alto connects to the town of Waldo. In the 1880s and 1890s those canals allowed farmers in the Melrose area to ship produce, especially citrus, to the railroad at Waldo and then to markets lake A dock along the elsewhere. DisplaysCOASTALANGLERMAG.COM in museums in • THEANGLERMAG.COM SEPTEMBER 2018

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The red arrow points to

Lake Alto.

The boat ramp in

Lake Alto Park

Displays about LEAFS

The entrance to the can

al leading to Waldo

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8/19/18 2:41 PM


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8/19/18 2:41 PM


CRYSTAL RIVER

SEAFOOD AT ITS BEST!

September Specials

$1 OFF Fresh Clam Strips Basket or Appetizer 50¢ OFF Cup of New England Clam Chowder $1 OFF Bowl of New England Clam Chowder EAT IN • TAKE OUT Closed 7364 W. Grover Cleveland 2315 N. Sunshine Path Homosassa, FL 34446 Sunday and Crystal River, FL 34429

352-628-9588

I

n the past, the fishing in the late summer and early fall, can be one of the more difficult times of year to be successful on the water, but if anglers are willing to change their tactics, and target different species, the can still have a great time on the water, and bring home some tasty fish for the dinner table. Fishing around the many shallow water rock piles, produces a great mixed bag this time of year, including mangrove snapper, grunts, mackerel, flounder, gag grouper, and the occasional cobia. The best way to fish these natural structures is to anchor up-current of a rock, and put out a chum bag to help ignite the bite, and then, fish with either live or fresh dead shrimp on a 1/8ounce jig head. This set-up will allow you to catch almost anything that swims around these rocks. As we get towards the end of September, more and more flounder will begin to show up around the rocks, and they are some of the best eating fish that you will find. On the inshore front, the redfish bite will continue to stay strong through the end of the month, with most of the fish being around the spoil islands and the exterior mangrove shorelines. Look for areas

with lots of current and rocks, and fish with live pinfish, either on the bottom or under a cork. The trout bite continues to be frustrating with a few fish caught in the back creeks, as well as offshore on the deep-water grass flats. There doesn’t seem to be one area where the trout are really congregated. As always, if you adapt with the changing seasons, you can find yourself in the winners’ circle any day of the year. If you haven’t given the shallow water rock piles a try in the late summer, it can be a very enjoyable way to spend the day. Capt. Clay Shidler ClayShidler@Yahoo.com

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Monday

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SEPTEMBER 2018

NORTH CENTRAL FLORIDA/NATURE COAST 5

8/19/18 2:41 PM


SUWANNEE Motel and Campground Accommodations

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63 219th St. Suwannee, Florida • 352-542-7086

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SEPTEMBER 2018

ey everyone, hopefully by time you read this, we haven't had storm after storm, and in case we do, I hope you are all safe. Now, on to some fish talk. For the water to still be high 80's to low 90's, the bite has been amazingly great, especially the redfish bite. Honestly, that has pretty much been my main target lately, just because of how strong the bite has truly been. We have been pairing up Jim's Jigs, with a b-52 popping cork for most of our bites, using live shrimp, cut mullet, or a 12-fathom paddle tail mullet. We have also had great luck free-lining pinfish as well and even managed some cobia and snook with that technique. Now, as far as the fishing in the next couple weeks, look for the trout bite to pick up on the shallow flats. Trout, love that cooler water and in case you were wondering why picking up slot trout on the shallow flats has been a little tougher? It's because they went out a little deeper to escape the heat. Once that water drops back in the 70's, you can pretty much bet that no matter what your favorite technique, it will work for trout on the shallow grass flats. Here's a quick safety tip for all the boaters out there. With us getting into storm season, be sure to keep an eye on the weather. Heavy winds

and thunderstorms are no joke, and if you do plan on going out in the rain, make sure you have a working bilge pump. I know most boats won't sink in the rain, but let's face it, fishing while sloshing around in water puddles in your boat, is just no fun! Well everyone, I hope you enjoyed the read. Until next month stay safe out there. See you on the water! Capt. Jason Clark In The Slot Fishing www.intheslotfishing.com Capt.jasonclark@gmail.com 352-639-3209

COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

8/19/18 2:41 PM


STEINHATCHEE

S

eptember will bring a subtle cooling that won't be felt until the end of the month. However, the slight drop in water temperature will signal to the fish that seasonal change is on its way. Their response will be an increased interest in feeding. Fishermen will have an increase in happy. Scallop season ends mid-month. That means there will be fewer boats buzzing over the grass flats, like a horde of drunken howler monkeys, giving both the fish and the fishermen a bit of peace. For those scallopers finishing up the season, this is the time of year when the jellyfish move in, in mass, so wear a T-shirt and bring a bottle of vinegar to kill the sting. I would expect trout to remain in the cooler waters of the deeper grass. Small live pinfish, “shiner tails” or jigs, slow bopped, should do the trick on a moving tide. Redfish will be most active in the early morning or late evening, if the tide is up; unless you're in an airboat then things are a bit different. Grouper fishing can be difficult due to the abundance of red snapper. A means to get around the snapper, is to use live or cut bait, normally too large for the snapper to eat. It reduces the number of bites, but the ones you get are good. Also, keeping mobile will help.

Amberjack are opened up! There have been some tremendous donkeys on most wrecks and high relief areas, especially those well offshore. Live bait is an automatic hookup, but jigs and single hook jerk baits work well too. For the fun of it, try a live bait that you think is a tad bit too large. You never know until you try. Don't be surprised if some cobia swim up within the mass of AJ's. A handful of chum will keep them hanging around. This is the time of year when huge cobia are caught offshore. Be prepared! Always! I realize it is hot, but a brief troll when moving from A to B could produce a fine kingfish. It has to do with ubiquitous schools of glass minnows that bring in bonita, that draw the attention of large kingfish. Oily bonita are great kingfish fuel. When I go fishing, there are a variety of rods set-up in multiple ways so that I'm ready for almost any opportunity that comes my way. Those that are driven by a single style of fishing, often miss opportunities that would have made memories. Brian Smith | BIG BEND CHARTERS www.BigBendCharters.com CaptBrian@bellsouth.net 877.852.3474 | 352.210.3050

Cary and 17-year-old grandson, Stephen, with flounder that Stephen spotted, and gigged. They also got two meal’s worth of mullet (my favorite fish for frying). COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

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SEPTEMBER 2018

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Marine Sporting Goods, Inc.

Come in to gear up for the fall season. Great financing available. Great deals on new and used inventory. 1866 West US 90, Lake City, FL 386-752-2500 www.mcduffiemarine.com

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8 NORTH CENTRAL FLORIDA/NATURE COAST

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SEPTEMBER 2018

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SEPTEMBER 2018

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SUWANNEE RIVER/CEDAR KEY

420 Dock Street Cedar Key, FL 32625 352-543-5142 steamerscedarkey.com info@steamerscedarkey.com Like us on Facebook! We will cook your catch. We serve fresh local Cedar Key oysters and clams. Try our delicious Gator. We get it directly from the Gator Man himself.

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10 NORTH CENTRAL FLORIDA/NATURE COAST

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SEPTEMBER 2018

H

ey Folks, I surely hope y’all had a good summer on the water. By the end of this month, the temps should start to drop just a little bit, and the days will be a little shorter. The bite is awesome right now and will continue to get better. The hottest bite going on in Cedar Key is redfish. We are catching fish around the islands and on the shoreline. Both slot-fish and oversize fish are moving around and feeding on the moving tides. Like I say every month, cut mullet is our go-to bait. We fish it right on the bottom around the oyster bars. The trout bite is also firing off this month, and it will get better over the next two months as well. The grass flats are alive with schools of bait. The jacks and lady fish are starting to school up and the trout will be around those schools. So,

watch for them to pop up and move to them. The B52 cork, rigged with a Saltwater Assassin’s Sea Shad tail, is an awesome fish-catching combination! Well folks, I hope y’all get a chance to get out there, and enjoy what God has made for us. Capt.Jimbo Keith FishCedarKey.com Saltwater Assassin Fishing Charters 352-535-5083

COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

8/19/18 2:41 PM


CEDAR KEY PADDLING

A

hhhh. “September, we meet again.” What will you have in store for us this year? If I were a betting man, I would say, that, that dreadful water conditions way south of us will be pushing a lot of fish in our direction, which means, while some of you knuckleheads choose to sit in a tree, and watch football, here in Cedar Key Florida, the bite of a life time could very well be going on. September and October are two of my favorite months here in Cedar Key, because its quiet, the kids are in school, and it hasn't frozen up north yet, sending us our snowbirds. I cannot stress enough, that if you love Florida, nature, fishing, and peace and quiet, these two months will be your favorite here. As I write this, we are already having an absolute amazing redfish bite. We are hammering them on live pin fish, under a popper and a nice chunk of fresh mullet, or lady fish (poor man’s tarpon). Get these baits on the edges and points of our many oyster bars. If you do not get one within 15 minutes, MOVE and repeat. Do not be surprised if you hook up with a nice snook; every day more and more are swimming into our area,

(352) 493-0878 Fax (352) 493-0879

and they are big. Don't forget about their sharp hill plate. Be prepared for them. so you do not just get to hook one up, and then watch it swim away. I hope this helps and I hope to see you at the shop. Swing on in for all the latest tips and tricks! One more thing, get those kids out on the water after school! Capt. Daniel Cedar Key Paddling 352-665-1276 Dan_Gator@yahoo.com

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SEPTEMBER 2018

NORTH CENTRAL FLORIDA/NATURE COAST 11

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INGLIS/YANKEETOWN

S

eptember is here and we are finally starting to get a little break as far as the temperatures go. Over the next few months, we are going to start to see the fish transition into their fall phases. I really love this time of year; the fishing is really going to get good. The redfish the past month have been sluggish, due to the high water temps, and abundance of boat traffic on the water. The water temps this month will start to fall, making these fish more active, so your catch ratios should go up. My go-to bait here lately

Available in 17', 20', 22' and 24'

12 NORTH CENTRAL FLORIDA/NATURE COAST

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SEPTEMBER 2018

has been the Zman diezel minnowz in the redfish toad pattern. Rig it with a ¼ or 3/8 oz jighead, depending on the water depth, and vary your retrieve speeds until you find what the fish are looking for. The areas north of Inglis have been holding good fish, but you need to pay attention to water clarity, and with all the recent rain, look out for the fresh water influx. The trout will start to move back in, as the water cools. I would still focus on the 4 to 5-foot range. You really can’t beat the Zman trout trick, in the fried chicken pattern. I am in love with this bait. My clients have been boating extremely good numbers with this bait, and above average size too. You can always fall back on a live shrimp to get the job done, but if you are an artificial enthusiast like myself, this is the bait of choice. You can still find a tripletail or two hanging around floating grass mats, or crab trap buoys. This is always a bonus, and something great for the table. A zman scented shrimpz will definitely get you tied into one of these guys. On a more serious note, everyone has seen the effects of the red tide working its way up the West Coast. It has not affected our area, but if you’re like me, and fish all up and down the coast, it does affect you. We need to step up and help our friends with CCA and Captains for Clean Water, so we can keep our waters safe and in great condition for generations to come. You don’t have to be a captain or guide to join; every voice counts. If you have any questions about either organization or how you can help, please give me a call. Until next month, have fun, be safe and take your kids fishing. Capt. Craig Spitznogle www.floridaflatscharterco.com Florida Flats Charter Company (352)445-4978

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TALES FROM THE TUPPERWARE NAVY

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elcome back yak fans. Here we are in September, and hopefully, by the time you read this, it will have stopped raining. I don't think I can remember a time in the last 30 years, when it rained for this many days straight. The waters are like dark tea, which on an interesting note, makes the reds turn into bright orange pumpkins. Fishing the dark water brings on a few challenges. The visibility is very low, which means the fish can't see very far. Also, we have been experiencing some rather high tides, which means they have a lot of places to go hide, but never fear, I'll share with you how to find them! While Little John's gulps, etc., have been working, I found that putting something out there they can smell, such as cut pin fish, or cut ladyfish, gets a scent into the water and helps produce a better and more consistent bite. Shrimp are working as well, but they seem to be most effective at the lower end of the tide. Fishing the cuts and potholes, where the reds and snook seem to congregate on the lower end, as usual, the window just before the low, to the first hour or so of the incoming, has been productive. I did notice, that it seems the most consistent bite was on the last of the outgoing, to the low, and slows down as the tide turned and started to come in. This is a little different than it had been, as the first of the incoming had been more active on past trips. The last trip out, we hit the water in the morning on a high tide, and I have to tell you, it was a little slow, as well as hot, but hey, at least it wasn't raining for the first time in two weeks. I was thankful just to be on the water. The bite stayed slow until the tide

finally started to drop low enough to bring the fish back out of the marshes; the more it dropped, the better the bite. As always, it helps to know your terrain because fishing the potholes, cuts, and creek mouths are where you can find the fish at the lower end of the tide. Fishing in the back cuts north of Pine Island, we sat for about an hour and were picking up reds, snook, and sheepshead on almost every cast probably. We should've moved, because that hole was holding mostly just under-slot reds, but hey, we were having fun. I mean they can't all be monster breeders. The snook were hitting both on bait and lures, which of course means my trusty Zara Spook Junior in bone. One of the mediumsized ones must've blown the lure 15 feet in the air, and coming nearly a foot out of the water itself. You gotta love that stuff. What I don't love though, is trying to figure out where all our trout went. I've hardly seen any trout this year and of course, here I am with visions of a double, or even a triple inshore slam, except I can't find a trout. This has been the same report up and down this coast. No matter which local fishermen or guide I've talked to, nobody seems to be able to find trout. If you get lucky, please let me know. I'd love to hear a good trout report from somebody! Well that's it for this month. I'll close as I started, with a prayer for fishable weather, and some decent tides. You give me those, and I'll find the fish. Bruce Butler | "Stumbling Gypsy" (352) 428-5347 Bruce@IndianBayOutfitters.com Web: www.IndianBayOutfitters.com

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CENTRAL FLORIDA INLAND

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lright folks, one more month, and the storm season is behind us. I'm writing this article halfway through August, and so far, so good. Tree damage is a part of life here in the National Forest, but trees that fall into our lakes and rivers, become prime habitat for all types of aquatic life. The bait population has improved dramatically, because of last year's storms. Algae has started growing in the prairies, and on the new brush piles. This gives bait fish a safe source of food, which helps them grow and reproduce quicker. Note: The more brush piles a lake has, the better the quality of it's fishing will be. For bass anglers, finding a brush pile that no one knows about, is like finding a pot of gold. Groups of bass patrol the surrounding area, waiting for an easy meal. Junior sized flukes and swimbaits are key lures, because they imitate baitfish, and can be rigged weedlessly. That allows you to slowly crawl your lure over limbs without getting snagged. This technique is a great way to get older, more finicky bass to bite. Everyone knows that bass are extra chunky during their pre-spawn phase. However, most people are unaware that they become just as heavy this month, and they're much easier catch. My biggest bass ever, was caught during the beginning of September. Most of my fishing buddies also caught their biggest around this time of year. I got mine by flipping craws on a hot sunny day, while my buddies used swimming frogs or live shiners during overcast conditions. Warmouth, sunfish, and specks (crappie) love brush piles too. The speck fishing usually starts heating up at the end of fall. However, I've spoken to several anglers who told SEPTEMBER 2018

me they've already been catching a few while fishing for bream. Even stranger, is that I actually just caught my biggest speck ever, while searching for hybrid stripers on Lake George. It weighed a whopping 3 pounds, and fought so hard that I thought it was a big bass or catfish. I had noticed a huge submerged tree on my depth finder, so I dropped a tiny panfish jig down, and instantly got slammed. When I finally saw that tell-tale emerald sheen, I literally flipped out. The trophy "slab" was released and swam away healthy. It won't take long for it to grow to record size. One thing's for sure, it's gonna be one heck of a speck season! Along with exceptional fishing, the shrimp run (St. john's River) and gator hunting season, are also happening this month. I've seen more gators this year, than I have in the last decade. The shrimp run will provide you with enough shrimp to last until next year's run, and the feeding frenzies make fish easier to locate and catch. No matter what you're after, this is a month you don't want to miss out on. John Freeze Writer/Photographer Kayak and Shoreside Fishing Tours 352-216-5798 Swampsurf@embarqmail.com

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HOMOSASSA

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"G

rouper Diggers”, this is the month we’ve been waiting for. September starts off our fall grouper season and the shorter days, and slightly cooling water temperature, put the gag grouper in an aggressive feeding mood. Ledges, rock piles, artificial reefs and wrecks from 10 to 70 feet, will be holding better numbers of grouper. Many of the offshore locations have been a little slow this year from the summer hot water temperatures. However, there should be some hefty gags ready for a oneon-one battle, taking up residence on your favorite grouper structures in the coming weeks. Depending on the floating grass, this time of year is ideal for tolling large lipped plugs such as Yo-Zuri mag minnows or Rapala X-raps over your favorite grouper bottom. Experiment with natural and brightly colored combinations, to see what flavor the grouper area wants. For the bottom fisherman, always start the bite with frozen sardines or threadfin herring, and then send down that frisky live pinfish and “hold on”. On the inshore scene, the speckled trout will start moving back inshore from their deep summer haunts. Look for shallow “yellow” hard bottom areas in 3 to 4 feet of water, with kelp grass growing on it. The grass has been growing all summer, and is a haven for both bait fish and trout. DOA deadly combos, with the glow, or holographic root beer s h r i m p combinations are very effective. The floating grass

that has made top water lure fishing almost impossible all summer, is now going away; so, bring out the top water plugs again. Rapala Skitter walks, MirrOLure top dogs and Yo-Zuri hydro-pencils, are all great top water choices. The big red fish are always a favorite for the early fall time of year. Cut baits, such as mullet and lady fish are hard to beat, as well as free-lined live shrimp, to get the job done. Islands with good current flow, and limestone bottom, are always good starting points. There’s lots of snook holding in the same locations too, so I recommend upping your leader to at least 30lb to save a snook from sawing through your line. Capt. Dan Clymer | 352.418.2160 www.crystalriver-fishing.com

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STA-SEA’S NATURE COAST ADVENTURES

s a captain, I’m going to give you some insight as to what it takes to succeed. You obviously have to take the course to get your license, and that’s the easy part. After that’s complete, and you've filed all your paperwork, then you receive your license. Now, it’s time to buy a boat, not just any boat, but a boat that will accommodate your needs. If you are an inshore guide on the Nature Coast, then you need a boat that can handle very shallow water, be semi comfortable for your clients, and efficient for you. You've got your boat, and you're gonna start guiding! Now, the hard part--find fish, not just once, but every single day! You may have found a couple great slot-sized redfish yesterday, but today they are gone. Do you have a back-up plan? If not, you better get one asap. You can't find the redfish today, but you know out in 6 feet of water, the trout are biting. When I say back-up plan, I mean do the work. I fish every day possible, so that I know where the fish are. There are days that the burning heat, or the constant storms, make me want to go home and lie in bed and watch movies. In this business, you have to be able to adapt and overcome. Develop a support system. Respect other guides and stay out of their way. They've worked longer and harder, and they deserve the respect. It’s a great comrade, if you go about it the right way. The captains in these parts hold a very special place in my heart. Without them, I never would have come so far! It’s still work every

single day, but the benefits far outweigh the sacrifice. Clients want fish, but they also want a safe and pleasurable day. Being a guide takes customer service. Go above and beyond to make sure your clients are happy. Make sure you are stocked with plenty of water, sunblock, etc. Do your absolute best and go home at the end if every day, knowing that you put forth the effort to make people happy. They made lasting memories on your trip, and it's not just because they caught some fish! Speaking of fish, I'd like to give a shout-out to Captain Robert McClinnis and Captain Marrio Costello for two great fun days on the water catching reds! It was nice to be the guest, and not the captain for a change. Fishing with Captain Stacy 352-553-3604 Facebook CaptainStacy Horak Instagram captain_stacyhorakfishing Email freeinajeep@gmail.com www.fishingwithcaptainstacy.com

SEPTEMBER 2018

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SAUTÉED SHRIMP CAKES WITH LEMON AIOLI SAUCE

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 10:005:30, 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

INGREDIENTS

(YIELDS 8 SMALL OR 4 LARGE) • 4 tablespoons scallions, white FOR THE SHRIMP CAKES and green, chopped • 1 pound large raw shrimp • 1 large garlic clove minced peeled and deveined • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt or to • 4 ounces mozzarella cheese (1 taste 1/2 cups shredded) • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper • 1 large egg • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour or • 1/4 cup mayonnaise gluten free flour • 2 tablespoons. parsley finely • 2 tablespoons light olive oil, or chopped, plus more to garnish high heat cooking oil of choice FOR THE SAUCE • 1/4 cup mayo • 1 teaspoon lemon zest

• 1 tablespoon lemon juice • 1 garlic clove pressed or finely minced

COOKING DIRECTIONS FOR CAKES Pat shrimp dry with paper towels, then dice into pea-sized pieces. In large bowl, mix egg, mayo, shredded mozzarella, parsley, scallions, garlic, salt and pepper. Stir in chopped shrimp. Add flour and mix until batter is well combined. Heat a large non-stick pan over medium heat and add oil. Add 1 heaping tablespoon at a time, and flatten out the tops of your cakes as you go, so they are about 1/2 inch thick. Sauté about 3 to 5 minutes per side, or until golden brown on the edges and cooked through. Serve with lemon aioli sauce.

COOKING DIRECTIONS FOR SAUCE In a small bowl, add mayo, lemon zest, lemon juice and pressed garlic clove. Stir. Note: We don’t like raw garlic, so I put the minced garlic in a tiny glass bowl, with a teaspoon of lemon juice, and microwaved it for 60 seconds. I could have used a bit of oil or water.

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KEATON BEACH

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This 29-inch red had’a go back, for Capt. Pat!

rout fishing has been good, provided you have a decent breeze to move you along, and with sufficient tide, to move the water along. That given, we have produced nice trout, including a 24-inch sow for young six-year old George Thurman on July 28th, despite heat, hot water and stain so dark, you can hardly see 12 inches in many places north of Spring Warrior. Live pinfish continue to be the ticket for my charters, while some folks have eked out a limit using Assassin plastic, rigged up under Original Cajun Thunders. We have fished from 4.5 to 7 feet so far in August, for trout, and I would expect to do the same in September, until at least the nights begin to start cooling off. Wouldn’t be surprised if it is October before that happens. Trout will prefer pinfish or pigfish as their easy meal in water temps over 85 degrees, as it has been of late. They certainly aren’t willing to move far for a bait and the use of a float is highly recommended now, (today is August 13th) and in September as well. Long casts help immensely in heavily stained water, as trout are afraid to move too much and are more weary of the boat than when they can see what’s coming at them. Don’t misunderstand me, I never fish close to the boat; but high, long casts produce louder entry splashes, and attract more trout which won’t commit to less sound on the initial attraction. Use simple white, yellow or fluorescent solids with your plastic color choice now, as the stain demands it. No point in “glitter” if the light won’t penetrate to your bait? Fish smart and cover a lot of water, fast, if the water is stained. The presence of bait is always great;

but not a requirement if active fish are feeding in stained water. Shorten your patience with less “wait time” and move the bait. Redfish have been caught from 3.5 feet, to out as much as 6.5 feet on board my boat, and will be moving away from the too-fresh water close to the hill, and looking for food, which may have already left the shallows. September could see this fresh water thinning out some if the rains subside. If so, toss jigspinners, like the Thunder-Spin and weedless Spoons like the HEX Intruders for more redfish in shallow water. Meanwhile, Let's Go Fishing! Pat McGriff dba One More Cast guide service for 28 years! www.onemorecast.net onemorecast@gtcom.net 850.838.7541

David Hall of Waldo, Florida with a whopping 24-inch trout, taken in late July

Marty Zorn of Tennessee with a beautiful redfish!

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ST. AUGUSTINE

SURF & PIER

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ou have no idea how glad I am to say good bye to August. Brutal hot days and dirty water made for tough fishing! September is an awesome transition month as the water temperature starts to drop and our surf and pier action heats up. The mullet run will be in full swing this month. With that, everything that eats mullet will also be in the surf. Bluefish, redfish, tarpon, ladyfish, trout, flounder, and sharks, all cruise the bar looking for mullet. The inlets always attract redfish during the fall. During the mullet run, the redfish action is at its best. You don’t have to be in an inlet, just within 500 yards of one. My favorite rig is a heavy-duty fish finder or sinker slider rig. Tie it with 100- pound mono, and end it with a 5/0 to 7/0 circle hook. The reason for the 100-pound mono is bluefish and tarpon. Tip this with a 4 to 6-inch mullet. Cast this to a near shore deep slough, or just on the outside of the sand bar. Hang on and enjoy the fight! If you want to make things more interesting, try this. Drop down to 20-pound leader and use a #1 circle hook. This does two things. The

smaller hook does less damage to the mullet and the 20-pound leader allows the mullet more swimming action. Last year, I caught more trout and redfish on this light rig. However, the tradeoff was losing more bluefish, jacks, and tarpon. Smaller mullet on this rig is just about a guaranteed strike. I even landed a few mangrove snapper last September, dragging small mullet near the jetties. When the mullet run ends, it will be pompano time! During the mullet run, the shallows are full of fish that will eat pompano. After the run, is when I like to refocus on pompano. As the water cools, the pomps will be more plentiful, and will eagerly gobble up sand fleas, clams, and crab knuckles. We will focus on that in the October issue. Until then, do not go to the beach without your cast net. 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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SEPTEMBER 2018

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t’s still hot out there (the fishing and the air temps) but Fall is coming. How do you still beat the lingering heat? Get out at first light, or wait for the last few hours of daylight, right around dusk. Those times are typically the best to catch the fish feeding this time of year. It’s a great time of year to toss topwater plugs inshore during those lower light conditions, and along the beach, the tarpon will be feeding early and late as well. One very important ingredient for catching fish this time of year, is to look for the bait. Whether it's finger mullet, shrimp, or pogys, if you find the bait, you'll find the fish. The bait can be easily located by looking for nervous water (small disruptions on the surface, similar to a very small boat wake). You can be sure that redfish, trout, and flounder will be hanging around the schools of bait looking for an easy meal. Don't overlook the banks along the ICW on the lower tide stages this month. A lot of the baitfish will come out of the creeks, and hang along those ICW banks, especially the ones that have oysters scattered on them. Again, the bigger fish will be in close pursuit. September brings one of the most unique and exciting ways to catch redfish on the First Coast. We will have some great "flood" tides this month, and the reds will be up in the grass tailing away. You can use a trolling motor to scout out the best grass flats, but wading or poling your boat is usually the most effective way to catch the tailing reds. Start looking for the fish before the tide gets too high (usually at

least an hour or two before the high tide, depending on how high it will get). Small plastic baits, like those made by Saltwater Assassin, will work great in the grass. Rig your lure weedless on a Saltwater Assassin hook, and try to present it well in front of, or past the fish, and then slowly drag it towards him. A direct hit to a tailing red will usually send him darting off the flat like an out-of- control torpedo. Sometimes, they are so focused on finding food that they seem to never look up to find your lure. That's when a small glass rattle inserted into your soft plastic, or tied to your favorite fly, will do wonders to get their attention. This month, will still be a good month to look for the silver kings to be feeding early in the morning on the bait pods, just off the beach, as well as the big schools of mullet at all the area inlets. Free-line a pogy or mullet around the bait pods, and hold on. You’ll also find some big tarpon behind the shrimp boats in the by-catch slicks. If the tarpon don't want to play, do some trolling along the beach for some line-screaming kingfish action. (There will be plenty of them out there). There will also be plenty of smaller tarpon inshore in the canals and deeper creeks and flats. A back hooked free-lined finger mullet, a free lined select shrimp, or medium sized pogy, will all make for a great tarpon snack. Capt. Tommy Derringer www.InshoreAdventures.net 904-377-3734

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F

FISH & FISHING

LW Tour pro Clent Davis, of Montevallo, Ala., brought a fivebass limit to the scale Sunday, Aug. 12 that was the heaviest sack of the three-day 2018 Forrest Wood Cup on Lake Ouachita, Arkansas. Davis’ final day weight of 17 pounds, 13 ounces catapulted him from 10th to first place and earned him the $300,000 top prize. With a three-day total of 15 fish and 36 pounds, 13 ounces, Davis beat out second-place Cabela’s/Bass Pro Shops pro James Niggemeyer, of Van, Texas, by more than seven pounds. “I don’t believe that I just won this,” said Davis, a former FLW College Fishing standout for the University of Montevallo. “I almost walked away from professional bass fishing last year. I was burned out on fishing. I sold all of my gear – my boat, all of my rods, my reels, every piece of equipment that I had. It wasn’t from failure, it was because I was burned out. Davis’ decision to rejoin the tour—after some prompting by FLW Tour Senior Tournament Director Bill Taylor—was definitely the correct one. He finished the season ranked No. 25 in the Angler of the Year race—his best finish since his rookie season. He cashed checks totaling more than $62,000 in seven events and qualified for his third Forrest Wood Cup appearance. “I knew that the only way that I was going to win this week was fishing brushpiles,” Davis said. “There are so many ways to catch fish on this lake, but if it was going to happen for me, it was going to be offshore, fishing out of the brush.” Davis relied on a 12-inch, plum-colored Mister Twister Mag Buzz Worm fished in the 22- to 30-foot depths. “I fished awful all week, losing fish, but I caught enough to squeak into the top-10 by 1 ounce,” Davis said. “I’m not supposed to win

Look Down

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MARK SOSIN

t times, success on the water comes from changing your approach. Let me share some examples. No matter what lure you choose, there’s a compelling desire to cast it as far as you can and retrieve it on the surface or just below it. Trollers insist on a full spread well behind the boat on top of the water. Anglers who prefer to drift with the current fish natural baits or artificials a distance from the boat on the upcurrent side and closer to the surface. Even those who fly kites on the offshore grounds keep live baits barely splashing on the skin of the water. The tendency in all of these examples lies in ignoring the fact that distance on the water must be measured vertically as well as horizontally. Most fish species spend the major portion of their existence at or near the bottom of the water. Consider, too, that there are some species that will suspend at mid-depth or cruise somewhere between top and bottom in search of food. Even moderate attempts to cover vertical distance as well as horizontal can make a difference. If you enjoy casting and retrieving an artificial and you have two outfits, rig one with an artificial that skims the surface or just below it and put an offering on the other that will sink to the bottom. Alternate them on casts, and you will quickly learn where the fish are in that spot. If trolling becomes your technique of choice, rig one line on a downrigger or weight it sufficiently so that it covers the mid-depth or close to the bottom. And, if you are just drifting with offerings streamed on the upcurrent side, fish at least one of the baits or lures at a reasonable depth. Probing the depths becomes even more important when there is structure on the bottom that attracts fish. Some species will hug the structure while others will probe and prowl the area. Fishing a bait or working a lure from the bottom to the surface in these waters

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coming out in 10th FLW Photo place, so I went out today and just had fun. I had an incredible day on the water today and finally got lucky, catching my 5-pound kicker. I guess it was just my time.” The top 10 pros at the 2018 Forrest Wood Cup on Lake Ouachita finished: 1st: Clent Davis, Montevallo, Ala., 15 bass, 36-13, $300,000 2nd: James Niggemeyer, Van, Texas, 14 bass, 29-9, $60,000 3rd: Berkley pro Justin Atkins, Florence, Ala., 15 bass, 28-12, $50,000 4th: Nick LeBrun, Bossier City, La., 12 bass, 28-6, $37,500 5th: Jason Lambert, Michie, Tenn., 15 bass, 27-15, $30,000 6th: Zack Birge, Blanchard, Okla., 15 bass, 26-13, $24,000 7th: Wes Logan, Springville, Ala., 11 bass, 25-9, $23,000 8th: John Cox, DeBary, Fla., 13 bass, 24-7, $22,000 9th: Brandon Cobb, Greenwood, S.C., 12 bass, 23-1, $21,000 10th: Bradford Beavers, Summerville, S.C., nine bass, 20-8, $20,000 Full results for the entire field can be found at FLWFishing.com.

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often is paramount to success. It is usually more productive if you focus on the upcurrent side of the structure. Veteran anglers keep an outfit on board expressly for deep jigging. It’s rigged with a leadheaded bucktail or some other type of metal that boasts the weight to get the offering to the bottom. It can be rigged with natural bait, a natural bait tail behind the bucktail or an artificial tail such as a plastic worm. It works on countless species. The key is to drop it to the bottom straight up and down and then retrieve it with a bunch of moves with the rod. You’ll find it is much more productive when the retrieve is close to the boat rather than working it to the surface at an angle. Vertical jigging won’t work every time, nothing does, but it’s a method you want to remember and use when other approaches don’t produce fish.

For more from Mark Sosin, visit

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By Capt. Tom Bailas

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ach June my family and I take a break from our Venice, Fla. charter operation and head to the Florida Keys to do some fun-fishing. This year we fished from Tavernier and caught mahi, tuna and a big beautiful sailfish. We hosted some special guests on the boat this year. It was a family chosen by the Catch-A-Dream Foundation (catchadream. org). Gavin, who is 11, his little sister, mother and father came to fish with us for three days, accompanied by a Catch-A-Dream volunteer host named Adam. Catch-A-Dream Foundation provides children with life-threatening illnesses the opportunity to go on a hunting or fishing adventure of a lifetime with all expenses paid. Everyone had high hopes of Gavin catching his first mahi. As we cut through Tavernier Creek, I could see several thunder-

Ng

storms building offshore. We would have limited time to catch some fish and get back safely. I saw an opening in the sky and headed that way. We ran about 12 miles, and I started seeing bird action and three huge patches of weeds. My wife, Trisha, steered the boat as I put out the spread of lures and fresh ballyhoo. We immediately hooked a 12-pound bull mahi, and in short order Gavin had accomplished the first goal of the trip. But the day was not over. Things were getting ready to get very exciting. As we reeled in a small fish on our second pass, it started to rain. Out of nowhere Gavin yelled, “Look at the that BIG fish in the water!” It was a huge bull mahi, maybe 60 pounds. I grabbed a spinning rod and tossed a bait to it, but it just swam off. After seeing that fish, we had to try another pass. As I was letting it out a ballyhoo line, it came tight. The head of a big mahi pushed water toward the bait. Five seconds later, we had a huge fish on! Gavin grabbed the rod, and after a few jumps we had the cow mahi boat-side. I gaffed the fish, but it flew off and into the water. Everyone aboard went dead silent. Then my wife said, “Tom, it’s going to be OK,” before praying, “Oh please God let this fish come back to us.” It did! Gavin battled the jumping fish back to the boat. This time I got it over the rail. It measured 65 inches long. I have never seen anyone catch a cow mahi that long. There is not a doubt in my mind that God was in control and gave Gavin the strength to catch this fish of a lifetime! It was an experience of a lifetime for all of us. Gavin is a wonderful child, full of life despite his illness. Catch-A-Dream Foundation is an amazing organization that provides these deserving kids and their families a trip of a lifetime. Capt. Tom and Trisha Bailas run TNT Fishing Charters out of Venice, Fla. Check them out at www.tntfishingcharters.com and on Facebook @tntfishingchartersvenice.

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By Danny Goode, Elusive Bait Co.

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n an early afternoon in mid-June, my wife and I had dropped our son at swim lessons in Jensen Beach when I realized how close we were to the causeway. Of course, I made her stop so I could fish. Conditions were perfect. In the middle of an outgoing tide, the water was a little milky and churned up. A small school of glass minnows showered the surface, and pelicans dove on finger mullet schooling through the span of the bridge. Prior to leaving the house, I had just tied up a 1-ounce white-and-blue flair hawk jig and was really anticipating putting it to use. If you’ve ever caught a snook on a flair hawk, you know the feeling when they thump the jig. That happened on my third cast, and as I set the hook the fish did not hesitate to run straight under the catwalk with about 20 yards of line. About to lose her on a piling, I cupped the spool hard and managed to turn her head. I got a few cranks on her and began a battle like I’ve never experienced. The pure power is absolutely amazing. After what seemed an eternity, I brought the fish to the top. I handed the rod to my wife so I could hop the railing to balance on a piling cap no wider than 8 inches. Careful not to fall in or injure the fish, I brought it over the railing for a few photos before release. It was the fish of a lifetime.

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TIPS FROM A PRO 22

MY ALL-TIME FAVORITE BAIT

I

BRANDON LESTER

f you want to be a successful bass angler, you have to learn to fish a jig. I don’t know anybody, anywhere, who’s a successful bass angler, who doesn’t know how to fish a jig well. It is so versatile, and it catches quality fish. Personally, I love a good jig bite, so it’s also one of the most fun ways to fish. There’s not another lure on the market that has been tweaked and built to fish different types of cover and structure like a jig, and that’s part of its appeal. Jigs come in so many different shapes and sizes that the possibilities are endless. Changing out the jig’s trailer can make all the difference in the world, too. If you are just starting to get serious about jig fishing, an “Arkie”-style jig would be best to learn with. A 3/8- to ½-ounce size, really the first kind of bass jig head that ever came out, is where to begin. I use it for flipping, as it works well around wood, rock, gravel, ledges, and you can even swim it. You basically fish it like a soft plastic worm. Cast it out and let it go all the to the bottom on a slack line. Pull it off the bottom a few inches and then crawl it along. Most of the time when you’re casting or flipping, you’re imitating a crawfish, so think about a one of those walking around on the bottom. He’s not going to be jumping around a lot. If something chases him, he might scurry along quickly, but they usually move fairly slowly. Fishing a jig does take the right gear. I fish 20-lb. Vicious fluorocarbon with an improved clinch knot, a good high-speed reel and an NEPS 90HF rod from MHX. It is a 7’6” heavy-action rod with a fast tip. That rod is absolutely perfect for jig fishing. You can make accurate presentations with this fast-action tip, and the heavy power gives you the backbone to pull fish out of

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the cover. There are tons of jigs with this style. The best ones always have a good Mustad hook. Keep the colors simple; green pumpkin and orange in clear water and black and blue in dirty water. Jigs are weedless and made to be fished in heavy cover. Give them a try, and you’ll soon see why everyone who bass fishes likes a jig.

Get more tips from Lester at

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ike most southern ports, Charleston, S.C. offers plenty of inshore angling opportunities. You’ll find redfish in the bays, seatrout in the channels, plus flounder, cobia and spadefish on local wrecks. “Those are all fun,” said Darcy Hill (#fishcharleston), but if you want to hook something with a real sense of Southern hospitality, the inshore sheepshead fishery is tough to beat. From Isle of Palms to Folly Island, and right on up into the confluence of the Ashley and Cooper rivers surrounding the city, you’ll find these battle-ready fish hugging structure.” An abundance of sheepshead doesn’t mean they’re pushovers. Quite the contrary, Hill pointed out, “Sheepshead can be challenging to catch. You have to poke into all the nooks and crannies amongst structure points, and keep moving until you get on them.” For bank fishermen, Hill recommended public access points like the Folly beach, Isle of Palms or Mount Pleasant piers. Boaters should tie-up to pilings, docks or other structure (where legal) and fish each piece thoroughly. Sometimes, she said, moving your bait just 5 or 6 inches to one side or the other makes a ton of difference. “We generally use fiddler crabs or oysters for bait,” explained the 32-year old Folly Island resident. Bury the hook in your offering and hide the point. To get the bite started, chum with crushed oysters or barnacles. Fiddlers work best from May through February while oysters rule in cooler months. Get your line tight to structure, then lift it up slightly and drop it down slowly. Most bites come on the drop. The end of the ebb and start of the flood usually see the best scores.” Setting up for sheepshead, Hill uses a Carolina-rig with a size 1 Owner Mosquito hook, a ¾-ounce egg sinker and a 1-foot length of 30-pound test mono leader. She’ll team this with a fast-tip rod and KaskKing 3,000 series Kodiak spinning reel filled with 40-pound test KastKing Super Power or KastPro braided line. “I like the abrasion resistance of these lines,” she noted, “and that Kodiak reel just gets the job done. Last week it out-muscled a 15-pound spadefish.” Keep in mind, Hill added, that sheepshead can be light biters, so watch for line twitches in addition to feeling for strikes. Set the hook hard because these fish have a big set of teeth and tough lips. Pull straight up, not to the side. Keep your rod high and walk the fish away from the nastiest tangles as you reel up. Charleston’s inshore sheepshead average 3 pounds but can push into double-digits. Two years ago, Hill took fellow KastKing pro staffer Christin Kruger on her first sheepshead foray. “She caught a 10-pounder!” laughed Hill. Now she’s a sheepshead fan for life.” October is prime time for Charleston’s sheepshead. Boaters can launch at Shem Creek (free) (www.ccprc.com/3301/Boat-Landings) in Mount Pleasant, or at Isle of Palms Marina (www.iopmarina.com; $15 weekdays/$20 weekends). For overnight accommodations, consider Shem Creek Inn (www.shemcreekinn.com) in Mount Pleasant or Sea Side Inn (www.seasideinniop.com) on Isle of Palms.

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he action peaked at the end of August here in northern Costa Rica, with multiple sailfish releases and daily shots at marlin battles. Frank Bellizio, Bob Sherley and Chet Jasak had the trip of a lifetime with sweet sailfish and mighty marlin releases. Once they got home we received this: “I returned last week from my trip to Nosara,” wrote Frank Bellizio, of Tampa, Fla. “It was great to finally get to go fish with your team in Costa Rica. I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed the trip and will recommend Fishing Nosara to everyone. “Bob has ALS and his mobility and strength are not the best. Both Capt. William and Capt. Francisco really accommodated us so that we were able to help our friend land both a sailfish and marlin. “Bob was a diver and commercial fisherman in his earlier years. We are all 71 or older, and he said this was probably his last chance to catch a sailfish or marlin. Capt. William on the Wanderer and Capt. Francisco on the Explorer made it happen. “If Capt. Francisco wanted to, he could have ended our day earlier, but he hung in and we got the sailfish late in the day. Capt. William had to work the Wanderer over and over to keep the marlin in position so Bob and I could get it landed. These men and their crew (Johnny and Elias) are much more than just employees, they have heart, and you are blessed to have them on your staff.” Kathleen Clarke of Ottawa, Ontario came to us as a novice angler, but after her trip on the Discoverer she is a full-fledged big-time bluewater angler. “Just wanted to let you know that we had an incredibly amazing time on our fishing trip,” Kathleen wrote in an email. “I don’t think that it could have been any better. Capt. Carlos and Mate Kevin were stellar. I would highly recommend that crew to anyone. “Kevin kept the boat very clean and tidy and made sure we all had everything we needed. Lunch was excellent, also, as was the fruit. We caught a mix of mahi-mahi and sailfish, also saw porpoises and turtles.” Most recently we received this one: “Just wanted to say an enthusiastic thank you for the incredible trip we had thanks to your team,” wrote Jeff Broom, of Jacksonville, Fla. “In three days we got three marlin, two blues and a massive black, three sailfish, a huge dorado, and a good deal more tuna and mahi. “Thanks to Capt. Alex and his hard working deckhand Wilson, I was able to cross marlin off my bucket list of fish to catch. It was definitely a dream for me, and I know I speak for all the guys in our group that it was definitely the fishing trip of a lifetime! “You could tell how passionate Alex was about fishing. His favorite thing to say after we brought in a catch was, ‘Let’s get another one!’”

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By Ken Kastorff • Photo by Pia Waugh/flickr.com

W

hen the Spanish conquistadors came to Ecuador, they were in search of gold. The Incas found most of their gold in the headwaters of the Amazon. I recently found gold in the Ecuadorian Amazon… golden dorado. I’ve spent 25 years on the rivers of Ecuador leading kayak and fishing trips. Three years ago, I decided to find golden dorado. Most dorado fishing occurs in Bolivia or northern Argentina. It just didn’t make sense to me that Ecuador, with such similar topography didn’t also have golden dorado. As a fly fishing guide, one of the most fun and sometimes challenging aspects of the job is finding new fishing opportunities. It isn’t unusual for my friend and co-guide, Bob Gernandt, and I to float some stretch of river we’ve never seen to develop a new fishing destination. Doing this in another country can be a bit more complicated, especially when you are heading into one of the biggest jungles in the world. Having a lodge in the cloud forest of the Amazon has allowed me to tap into local knowledge. It also helps to have a partner in-country who knows the lay of the land and can speak the language. Last February, my partner Angel and I spent a month tracking down dorado leads. Angel visited one community after another with photos of golden dorados. The first breakthrough was learning that indigenous communities call the fish by its Ketchua name, Gualo. That led us to a handful of possible rivers to check. We were dependent on local river transportation. The indigenous communities have used dugout canoes for centuries to transport people and goods in the roadless jungle. These canoes are 12-meter-long boats carved out of a tree trunk. We were able to check out three different sections of rivers using these narrow and incredibly tippy canoes. The advantage is these boats can negotiate whitewater while being pushed upstream by a 40-horse outboard. They are almost impossible to stand in, so they are not the best platform to cast an 8-weight fly rod from. We eventually transported a raft and fishing frame upstream in order to float a section of river. It didn’t take long to catch several Ecuadorian golden dorado as well as another species of fish call sabalo. Sabalo fry are the favorite food for dorado, so they are likely found together. If the sabalo survive the dorado, they grow into great sport fish. Their shape is similar to a largemouth bass, but they are much more aggressive and hard fighting. The golden dorado prefer rapids and fast water at the washout of rapids, while sabalo like smooth fast water between rapids. It presents an ideal situation for fishing because there’s no down time! Once you catch a golden dorado, you are hooked for life. These are some of the hardest hitting, hardest fighting, highest jumping fish in the world. I can’t wait to hook into more gold. Ken can be contacted at Endless River Adventures, 800-2247238, endrivadv@cs.com, www.endlessriveradventures.com. COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

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N

ick Ratliff, 21, of Elizabethtown, Ky., a senior at Campbellsville University, will be fishing the big show when the Bassmaster Classic launches on the Tennessee River at Knoxville in March. He’s also riding around in a fully rigged Toyota Tundra that’s pulling a Nitro Z20 bass boat, and he’s holding a check for $7,500 for tournament entry fees. It’s all thanks to some last-minute heroics that helped him win the 2018 Carhartt Bassmaster College Series Classic Bracket. Ratliff fought down to the final minutes of the third day in an oh-soclose bracket against a scrappy West Virginia University junior, Nolan Minor of Charlottesville, Va. The anglers wrapped up the day with the two biggest bags of the tournament; Ratliff with 13 pounds, 8 ounces and Minor with 13-4. Ratliff, who is majoring in business administration with an emphasis in marketing, plugged along consistently, throwing a weightless wackyrigged stickworm and keeping his faith. “I had the feeling I was behind,” he said. “I kept my head down, and I knew if the Lord meant it to be, then it would be.” With just 30 minutes left in fishing time, Ratliff picked up three more fish that allowed him to cull up to his winning 13-8. Ratliff was emotional and stunned as family and friends hugged and congratulated him. “It hasn’t sunk in yet,” he said of the win and the Classic berth. “It was so close. I thought I’d lost. I really did.” For more information, visit Bassmaster.com/college.

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