Coastal Angler Magazine-Jan. /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 FISHING ADVENTURES WITH BRITTNEY VOLUME 22 • ISSUE 264

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Heads Of Cold Steel Winter Steelheading In Upstate New York By Frank Geremski -The Angler Magazine of Upstate NY publisher

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inter steelhead fishing can be chilling, but once you hook into a 10-pound, lightning-fast bolt of silver, your blood will be boiling. The speed and explosion are what lures steelheaders to expose themselves to harsh Great Lakes winters. And there’s more. On Upstate New York’s Salmon River, there are plenty of beautiful, large, lake-run brown trout mixed in. Plus, today’s lightweight protective clothing provides comfort between strikes. The Salmon River in Oswego County, N.Y. (www.visitoswegocounty.com) offers consistent steelhead fishing during the late fall, winter and spring. In fact, the river has runs of trout and salmon from Lake Ontario all year long. With many quality tributaries along its length and a hatchery, this highquality wilderness river once was home to a legendary Atlantic salmon run. Rebounding populations of Atlantics still exist due to restoration projects, but Pacific salmon dominate the scene in late summer and fall. Huge chinook salmon, some heavier than 30 pounds, and coho salmon run up 14 miles of prime spawning and fishing waters each fall. A good number of steelhead (rainbow trout) follow the salmon to feed on the eggs dropped during this legendary fall salmon run. The steelhead feed aggressively during the salmon run, and they remain in this beautiful blue-ribbon river all winter, providing more than six months of explosive action. Winter thaws and early spring rains invite the remaining Lake Ontario steelhead to spawn and join their riverwintering kin. It’s a truly dynamic trophy trout experience. The Salmon River holds big fish. Ten-pound steelhead are commonplace. Fish in the teens are a definite possibility, and persistent steelheaders get chances every year on specimens in the 20-pound range. When salmon first enter the Salmon River in September and October, steelhead and lake-run brown trout mix in with pacific salmon making their spawning run. Both trout species feed on salmon eggs, and just when the salmon die off, the brown trout begin to spawn. Their eggs supplement the steelheads’ diet. Large numbers of giant trout and steelhead winter in the river, with additional fish running up from Lake Ontario all winter and early spring. When they first enter the river, these brightly colored bullets aggressively strike offerings like egg sacks, bright Estaz flies or beads that imitate eggs. Midriver matriculation brings them past the village of Pulaski, where there are about 10 miles of mostly public fishing access to deep holes, runs, rapids and every kind of trout water. Several high-quality tributaries flow in along the way and provide excellent spawning grounds up to what’s considered the upper section of the river. Natural reproduction does occur, and New York state operates a large hatchery on the upper end of the Salmon River. Since the Salmon River is a tailwater, this upper section is fishable all winter and never ices up. With egg availability diminishing, the winter steelhead diet evolves to more nymphs and stoneflies. Fly fishing is effective yet challenging. This section of river is ideal for fighting and landing large fish, with catch and release encouraged. Many trophy steelhead in the teens are photographed for replica mounts, and brown trout in the 5- to 10-pound range are caught regularly, with fish in the teens a possibility. 8

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The Salmon River has a reputation for tight quarters during the peak of the salmon run. Crowds diminish during winter steelhead season. Weekdays bring even less competition. Two very select permit-only resort properties are located on the two best sections of river offering managed access and exclusive riverside lodging. On the upper river, The Tailwater Lodge in Altmar, N.Y. has private southside access to Schoolhouse Pool and the runs and holes above and below. This is the prime wintering spot for a large percentage of steelhead and the best access for ice-free angling. The Tailwater is an Orvis-endorsed lodge, which includes an on-site fly shop, “The Woodshed.” Zero Limit Adventures Guide Service, also Orvis endorsed, has a collaborative relationship with Tailwater Lodge and provides outstanding guidance to this section and the entire Salmon River. They’ll get you dialed into current river conditions and what the fish are feeding on. The Tailwater Lodge’s opulent accommodations coupled with their location on the river and exclusive access make it the Mecca for Salmon River steelheading. This large section of river provides various speeds of current and holding water with ice-free conditions all winter. Tactics for hooking these giants include fly fishing, spinning, float fishing and center-pin techniques. The Angler Magazine highly recommends booking an experienced licensed guide on your first day to instruct you on equipment, fly or bait selection and technique. Allow Tailwater Lodge (www.tailwaterlodge.com) and Zero Limit Adventures (www. zerolimitadventures.com) ease the entry into this elite pursuit. Douglaston Salmon Run (DSR) manages more than 2 1/2 miles of exclusive access in the lower end of the Salmon River where steelhead first enter from Lake Ontario. Early steelhead action can be fast and furious. Winter access is dependent on weather conditions, as the middle and lower sections of the Salmon River get slushy or iced over during mid-winter cold speels. DSR (www. douglastonsalmonrun.com) publishes an accurate and honest daily report that functions as a great information source for river conditions and fish movement. The highly challenging adventure of hooking and battling your first 10-pound-plus Great Lakes steelhead will certainly not be your last. This divine experience will put you in a league of sportsmen who are the only ones to understand this trophy steelhead quest. It’s a feeling like the adrenaline rush of your first buck or sailfish. This heart-pounding adventure on a beautiful river will provide a memory that can be yours forever. To check out the “Men of Steel” video, go to

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12/15/16 3:09 PM


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ON THE COVER

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Editor’s Note: Each month, Coastal Angler Magazine and The Angler Magazine staff search our vast coverage area for photos that will grace our covers. With well over a million readers in diverse coastal and inland markets, our magazines strive for broad national appeal as well as local-level intelligence to put anglers on fish. The cover is different depending on which edition you, the reader, are holding. The following is a little information about this month’s covers.

COASTAL ANGLER MAGAZINE Houma, Louisiana

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The big black drum on the cover of Coastal Angler’s January editions was caught by Banging The Drums Of Jacki Shae, whose south Florida upbringing Houma, La. taught her a love of fishing from an early age. Winter Chrome In On a recent ladies-only fishing trip to the Upstate N.Y. marshes around Houma, Louisiana, Jacki learned a newfound respect for black drum. Local This often overlooked cousin to the everpopular red drum might not be much on looks, but it puts up a heck of a fight and grows even larger than the big bull reds prized by so many anglers. Rumor has it the fish on the cover was caught with one of those kids’ Barbie rods spooled with 30-pound test. With tutelage from their guide Brittney Novalsky, the ladies also did battle with some of the big redfish Louisiana is famous for. Four young women staying on a houseboat and hauling big fish from the Louisiana mud… what more could anyone ask for from a fishing expedition?

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The covers of this month’s editions of The Angler feature a beautiful chrome steelhead Winter Chrome In caught by Zero Limit Adventures Guide Rob Upstate N.Y. Reynolds. The photo was taken by Zero Limit Banging The Drums Of Adventures Guide Matthew DeRosa. The fish was caught on the Salmon River in Oswego County, New York. To learn more Local about this fantastic fishery view this month’s article “Heads of Cold Steel” by The Angler Magazine Upstate New York publisher Frank Geremski. Zero Limit’s diverse team of guides offer tailored trips of a lifetime and expertly fish many tributaries of central and western New York. They can be reached by e-mail via mderosa@zerolimitadventures.com by phone at 585-766-2421, or view their website at www.zerolimitadventures.com. Zero Limit has a collaborative relationship with the opulent Tailwater Lodge www.TailwaterLodge.com in Oswego County. Tailwater Lodge offers exclusive access and wonderful accommodations on the banks of the Salmon River, home of legendary trophy salmon, steelhead and brown trout runs from Lake Ontario. Call Tailwater Lodge for availability and reservations at 315-298-3434. To learn more about Lake Ontario, the Salmon River and Oswego County fishing go to www. visitoswegocounty.com or call 1-800-248-4FUN. Houma, La.

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LADIES DRUM UP ACTION IN THE LOUISIANA MARSH By Jacki Shea

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find myself staying in the strangest places when I go on fishing adventures. But as long as it involves fishing, sleeping on a couch or on the ground really doesn’t matter. On this particular trip, my friends and I found ourselves in a small houseboat on a river in the Louisiana marshes west of New Orleans. It was tiny, there was only one bathroom (picture four girls trying to use one bathroom), and the bed sheets smelled like a man after a long day of fishing. You might be wondering what brought us to such a place, and I will give you two very good reasons: redfish and black drum. Enormous specimens of these two drum species come into the marsh each fall and winter, 20 to 30 pounds to be more specific. If you plan on making the trip to Louisiana to do some inshore fishing, it is not necessary to stay on a houseboat; however, I highly recommend it. When

you wake up each morning, you are on the water ready to fish with your boat tied up next to you. Of the drum family, redfish seem to be the most popular inshore species. Redfish are always a great fight, especially the big bulls. But many anglers seem to overlook black drum, which are sometimes referred to as a “mud donkeys.” It is not an attractive fish, nor is it great for eating; therefore, it is not commonly targeted. This fish does, however, grow the largest of the drum species, and it fights with the same action and power as a bull red. Now that I’ve caught a few, I believe black drum can look very pretty once the Louisiana sun hits those scales just right. Redfish and black drum are thick in the Louisiana marshes all year, but the season for the monsters runs from September to January, when big fish move from offshore into the marsh following migrating baitfish. When the baitfish show up inshore, the big fish won’t be far behind. For bait you can use live or artificial depending on whether you are trying to sight fish or just toss a line out and wait. On our trip, we used a standard knocker rig, with an egg sinker and a hook, and sank split live blue crabs and shrimp to the bottom and waited. The fishing is quite simple when you know where the fish are, although a guide is recommended for those unfamiliar with the waters because it’s easy to get lost in the marsh. Keep an eye out for cold fronts. The cold fronts clean up the water and bring the fish closer to the surface, which makes for perfect sight fishing. The fish also enjoy the cooler inshore water, so they will be more abundant and active. Check out Jacki’s YouTube channel Jacki Shea Fishing for videos of her fishing adventures. Her guide for the Louisiana trip was Brittney Novalsky who can be contacted through www.fishingadventureswithbrittney.com. For more fishing with Jacki Shea, go to

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By Tom Karrow Researcher Tom Karrow assessing fishery health in Abaco with a Bahamian angling guide from the Delphi Club. Photo by Andrew O’Neill

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hen I first started fly fishing in the 80s, the sport was not nearly as popular as it is today. Shops carrying fly tackle were sparse, people with knowledge of the sport were few and far between and getting lessons was nearly impossible. When I think back to those days, recalling the number of flies I lost in trees, the frequent tangles I developed and the shear lack of fish I caught, it is a wonder that I kept with it. Indeed, if it were not for the fly tying component of the sport, I might well have thrown in the towel. I love fly tying; being able to create something to fool fish with is a marvelous achievement. In contrast to my early fly fishing days, today there is a seeming abundance of information on the sport, from equipment, to angling destinations; everyone seems to have some insights. On top of this has been the advent of the Internet, a treasure trove of information and misinformation. The fact of the matter is, fly fishing is not nearly as complicated as it may seem. It is simply a form of fishing that allows for lightweight or nearly weightless “lures” to be used, which without the added weight in the line could not be presented to a fish. In some cases, fly fishing is a far superior method for fooling fish and in others, deep waters for example, far more challenging. When it comes to heavily pressured or sensitive fish, especially those inhabiting shallow inshore waters, I would argue fly fishing can often out-produce other techniques. Being able to imperceptibly drop a fly in front of fish when they are used to loud splashes from heavy lures or live baits can often result in fooled fish. Fly fishing is sometimes called an art, perhaps because of the apparent delicateness of the cast, the manner in which the line travels out over the water, or because many incorrectly, consider it hard. So let me correct this fallacy. Fly fishing is not hard, it does not need to be complicated and it can be very easily learned. If you really want to learn to fly fish, I would suggest a trip to the Bahamas. The weather is beautiful, the waters are stunning, and the people, culture and food are marvelous. The chance of catching fish is very high, as the guides are great instructors and a week’s worth of fly fishing immersion would provide incredible advancement in understanding and skill level. Throughout my travels in the Bahamas, I have met many wonderful guides and visited many top-notch facilities. To highlight one Bahamian guide or lodge is simply impossible. However, when it comes to learning the sport, be honest. When booking a trip to a lodge, perhaps directly or through a travel company like Yellow Dog Fly Fishing or Frontiers International, tell them what you want. Tell them you are a beginner. Tell them you want to learn. Through this strategy, those in the know will put you with facilities and personnel best suited to an instructional 12

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Great equipment meets great Bahamian culture. Photo by Tom Karrow

environment. You want a location that offers everything, lodging and food of course but also equipment, casting lessons, fly tying lessons, safety instruction along with patient and professional guides. One common thread that has become apparent through my research in the Bahamas is the respect that Bahamians have for travelers, specifically bonefish anglers. Bahamians openly welcome tourists, recognizing the importance that bonefishing has on local Family Island communities. Bonefishing on some Bahamian islands provides employment for up to 80 percent of the local population. With that level of economic importance, industry professionalism is critical along with healthy fisheries. In the Bahamas you will find both a high degree of angling knowledge and amazing fisheries. The Bahamas are certainly an excellent place to consider taking a trip and a phenomenal place to learn to fly fish. What I find most attractive about the Bahamas is the shear diversity available. With more than 700 islands, there is something for everyone. And for anglers, old and new, there are always new opportunities to learn from. Tom Karrow is a sustainable tourism scholar from the University of Waterloo. His research focuses on the Bahamian bonefishing industry, centered on the guides and their knowledge, stories and experiences. For more on his research see: http://tomkarrow.wixsite.com/bahamasguide-tek, and follow Coastal Angler Magazine for updates and more. Tom Karrow can be reached at tkarrow@uwaterloo.ca or tomkarrow@ gmail.com. For more Bonefishing in the Bahamas, go to

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no weight reduction had gone into the components above the handle. The guides were large and weighty. As a result, the rod was annoyingly front-heavy, even when I mounted two of the spinning reels I had tabbed for the task. Lost balance led to lost feel and sense of control over my bait. It took an oversized reel to bring anything resembling “balance” to this rod, and the resultant combo was still cumbersome. “It’s hard to get a rod perfectly balanced without knowing the reel a guy plans to put on it,” said Russ Lane, a Bassmaster Elite Series angler known for his talent for tackle tinkering. Lane wraps many of his rods with Winn Superior Rod Wrap (www.winngrips.com) to give them the same advantages of hand control and comfort that he gets with the Denali Attax rods and other rods in his arsenal already fitted with Winn grips. But at times there’s a secondary benefit to the wrap. “Sometimes adding the Winn rod wrap can add just enough weight to balance a rod,” noted Lane. He faced a formidable “weight-forward” balance challenge with the flipping/pitching rod he uses to punch matted vegetation with soft plastic lures and 1.5-ounce tungsten By Mike Pehanich weights. “I needed to add more weight to the handle,” Lane recalled. As usual, he covered the cork mid-grip of this 7-foot, 6-inch Denali Lithium Flipping Stick (Xtra Heavy) with the ightness” has been the dominant thrust of rod evolution for years. Lightweight guides, skeletal reel seats, split grips… these and other polymer overwrap. Before he added the wrap to the butt grip, however, he developments have served rod builders in their ongoing quest to added Storm SuspenStrips—adhesive-backed rectangles of soft lead that he reduce rod weight and, in turn, diminish fatigue and enhance angler comfort generally uses to add weight to his jerkbaits—to the tapered butt grip. “You can get the balance perfect by adding just enough lead tape over the and feel on the water. Oddly enough, radical downsizing of rod components sometimes produces butt grip before adding Winn overwrap on top of it,” explained Lane. “Balance the opposite of its intended effect if rod balance is significantly compromised makes a big difference when you are flipping those heavy tungsten weights in along the way or when heavier-than-usual lures or terminal tackle enter the heavy cover all day long.” picture. Several seasons ago, a rod manufacturer asked me to road test a new midFor a word from Lester on the benefits of Winn Grips, go to priced spinning rod the company was planning to bring to market. The design team had taken the split grip concept to an extreme, virtually eliminating the mid (rear) grip altogether and adding a very airy foam to the butt grip. However,

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hat’s a real mouthful of salutations, but the winner of Coastal Angler and The Angler Magazine’s Boat Giveaway contest is certainly deserving of all three. Danny Amador was drawn as the winner of the 15’10” Cape Craft boat with 75 hp Honda engine and a Coyote trailer. A massive fire at H20 Sports Manufacturing delayed much of their manufacturing, and Danny Amador had to wait until Dec. 9 to pick up his brand new Cape Craft vessel. That’s where the story gets really interesting. Dec. 9 is Danny’s birthday. Yep, and as all December birthday people know it’s always “Happy Birthday and Merry Christmas.” Coastal Angler Magazine would like to salute Danny Amador for his patience in receiving his boat. Unforeseen circumstances can sometimes alter even the best of transactions. Danny Amador’s patience and H20’s commitment to fulfilling the contest award represented the best of our industry. In addition to Danny’s boat, motor and trailer, Chad Roberson, H20 Sports Manufacturing’s President, insisted on

throwing in a free bimini top and invited Danny Amador to pick his favorite custom color for the boat. Good things are worth waiting for. Special thanks to Top Notch Marine in Fort H2O Staff and Danny Amador shown at H2O Sports headquarters. Pierce, Fla. for their assistance in titling this boat to our Florida winner. Once again to Danny Amador: “Congratulations, Happy Birthday and Merry Christmas!”

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lthough beautiful to look at, the invasive lionfish poses a severe threat to Atlantic and Gulf waters. They are known for having spines that can sting if not handled properly, but the meat is perfectly safe and delicious to eat. In other words, they are venomous but not poisonous. Lionfish is becoming increasingly common on restaurant menus and is even available at Whole Foods grocery stores. Connoisseurs often compare the quality to hogfish – a fine, delicate white meat. The scientific community concluded that home aquarists are to blame. Much like the python in the Everglades, it only took a few released invasive individuals to begin the breeding cycle. Since they are a new and strange looking species, native fish are not consuming lionfish. Yet lionfish are consuming juvenile native species at an alarming rate. Adding to the problem, they also breed at an amazing rate. Females reach sexual maturity at six months and release up to 30,000 eggs every five days. They now cover the east coast of the U.S., the entire Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, Atlantic side of Central and South America, and can be found between 2 and 1,000 feet deep. The most effective way of hunting them, by far, is spearfishing. Since they have no natural predators, they are not wary which makes them easy to spear. Just handle the spines with care and you will be rewarded with a delicious meal while helping the environment! Lionfish hunting tips: 1. First, you must find them! Unfortunately, they are everywhere—look on reefs, wrecks, sometimes out in the open and often in ledges and holes. 2. Handle them carefully and do not to let the fins puncture your skin. If stung on the hand, remove any rings right away. The best treatment is heat, which breaks down the venom. Heat packs or hot water collected from the boat exhaust can be used. 3. Use the specially designed pole spears (such as Neritic) and use lionfish containers (such as the Zookeeper), which are puncture-proof. These specialty items can be found on the LionfishHunting.com website or your local dive shop.

4. Once back on the boat/shore, place lionfish into cooler and continue to handle with care. The protein-based venom is broken down by heat but preserved by cold. 5. Lionfish can be filleted just like any other fish. See LionfishHunting.com for a good set of instructions with photos on how to fillet. 6. Lionfish can be prepared like any other white-meat fish. Many recipes can be found online. For an impressive presentation, they can even be cooked whole as cooking neutralizes the venom. P. S. The Blue Wild Ocean Adventure Expo, which takes place April 2017 in Ft. Lauderdale, will have a Lionfish Pavilion featuring several exhibitors along with a cook-off event where several chefs will be showing off their best recipes and giving samples. Happy Hunting! Sheri Daye 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.

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The event also features Port Salerno’s finest restaurants. For the fourth consecutive year, the festival was voted the “Best Local Event in Martin County” by TC Palm Newspaper’s readers. This year will see continued enhancement of the Fishermen’s Village and Market. Here you can learn about the history of Port Salerno and go home with some locally caught fish. The festival features three stages with some of the area’s top bands performing, and a new Kids Fun Zone. Advance tickets are just $7 on our website and Facebook page. These tickets will be available for purchase until January 20 or until supplies run out. Admission at the gate will be $10 for adults, children 12 and under are free. The festival will also provide complimentary transportation to and from the event via trolley or water taxi. A portion of the festival proceeds is distributed to local charities. For complete festival information go to the website www. PortSalernoSeafoodFestival.org or call 888612-4192.

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et in the mood for seafood! It’s time for the 11th Annual Port Salerno Seafood Festival. The fun begins The Port Salerno Seafood Festival Inc. is Saturday, Jan. 28 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. This local event a not-for-profit trade association dedicated boasts the best seafood that you will find at any festival, a great to preserving the heritage and integrity of the music line-up, arts, crafts and local business vendors, a Kids commercial fishing industry in Port Salerno. Fun Zone, mermaids, pirates and more. “There is a reason why the seafood is so delicious,” said Edward “Butch” Olsen, Jr., president of the Port Salerno To learn more about last years Port Salerno Festival, go to Commercial Fishing Dock Authority. “We serve the freshest seafood and locally caught fish when possible. The majority of our seafood is prepared by BluewaterSFC_half_pg_Feb2017 FOR PRINT.qxp_Layout the fishermen and their families. This is truly a family affair.” 1 12/7/16 11:18 AM Page 1

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s anglers, SCUBA divers and Florida beachgoers, using sustainable practices. we all have a stake in maintaining the health of One of the easiest ways to choose sustainable the natural areas that bring us so much joy. By seafood is to keep it local. Many restaurants and seafood integrating sustainable fishing and seafood practices markets throughout Florida feature the “Fresh from into our daily lives, we can ensure that local ecosystems Florida” designation. This endorsement by the Florida thrive for generations to come. Department of Agriculture guarantees foods and In fact, as an angler, you are probably already their ingredients are sourced from local suppliers and choosing your seafood in an eco-friendly way. Rod- producers, including seafood caught by local fishermen. and-reel fishing is one of the most environmentally Visit www.freshfromflorida.com for a list of restaurants beneficial ways to source our seafood. Staying within throughout the state that feature “Fresh from Florida” catch limits and taking home fish to feed your family food. lowers our dependence on commercial fishing. RodWhen local favorites aren’t available, or if you are and-reel catch practices facilitate natural fish stock new to the intricacies of sourcing sustainably caught replenishment, both inshore and on our reef systems. seafood, programs like the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Smaller, locally caught fish are also lower on the Seafood Watch can provide great guidance to help you food chain than their predators, like tuna, salmon and make informed choices. swordfish. Although popular on the dinner plate, larger Their straightforward system categorizes seafood predatory fish are more likely to accumulate toxins by location and ranks them into one of three groupings: within their systems. Catching fish puts you in direct “Avoid,” “Good Alternative” and “Best Choice.” The control over what reaches your dinner plate, ensuring Seafood Watch program comprehensively evaluates each you are able to make informed, healthy choices. fishery, so the same species may fall into two different The relatively recent introduction of biodegradable categories, based on how and where it was sourced. fishing line and the prevalence of monofilament Once you have the right tools, it is easy to choose recycling stations throughout local parks and piers sustainably caught seafood and improve your fishing are further increasing the long-term sustainability practices. Join Pura Vida Divers in January for a fun of fishing. Check out the Florida Fish and Wildlife social night and engaging presentation that will teach Conservation Commission’s Monofilament Recycling you the basics to sourcing seafood that’s best for your Program website to learn more about these important family and our planet. Visit the events page on our stations: www.mrrp.myfwc.com. website at www.puravidadivers.com for details, or call When species seasonality, weather conditions or us at 561-840-8750. the day-to-day bustle limits your ability to get out on the water and For more about choosing sustainably sourced seafood, go to catch your own seafood, there are still many ways to ensure the food on your plate was sourced

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accomplished, as they examine hundreds of species of local invertebrates, sea turtles, algae and fish from the Gulf, including sharks. The facility in Panacea, which is south of Tallahassee on the Gulf, is open at 222 Clark Drive most weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Sundays from noon to 4 p.m. For a modest entrance fee, a fee that

that’s where the staff of Gulf Specimen Lab comes in. Knowing the Gulf really well from years of exploring it, they go out in their boats, collect the requested specimens, take them back to their lab, carefully package them, and send them off to labs in the United States, Canada, Europe, and even outer space for use on the Space Shuttle and International Space Station. All the while, the specimen collectors are very careful not to damage the coral and delicate ecosystems of the Gulf. Begun in 1963 by a truly remarkable man, Jack Rudloe, the lab is an independent, non-profit organization that has engaged in mariculture, farming the depths of the sea, studying endangered species, and—maybe most importantly for future generations— opening up their facilities to thousands of school children in hopes of educating the youngsters and maybe inspiring some of them to study marine science as their career. Every year thousands of school children and more than 20,000 ordinary visitors visit the facility and probably come away with awe and admiration for what the lab has

goes to the maintenance of the many tanks of live sea animals, visitors can photograph, read about and marvel at the exhibits, and even touch and hold some of the live animals. The facility has knowledgeable staff and interns who are eager to share their knowledge and answer questions. If you’re really lucky, you’ll get to meet and interact with the founder of the Lab, Jack Rudloe, author of fascinating books like “The Living Dock at Panacea,” “Potluck,” “Search for the Great Turtle Mother,” “The Erotic Ocean,” “The Wilderness Coast,” and—with his late wife, Anne—“Shrimp.” If you do meet the man, ask him about the influence of Nobel-Prize-winning author John Steinbeck on his own career. You’ll no doubt come away with an appreciation of a new kind of Florida fisherman: one who collects fish and other specimens for use in the fight against cancer and other terrible diseases.

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They’re baaack. Not long after Thanksgiving, anglers on Florida’s Treasure Coast set sights on the warm-water eddies spinning westward from the Gulf Stream. Typically, December and January make up the sailfish season in this region, as thousands of sailfish migrate south along the coastline to their winter spots off Mexico. Four tournaments take place on the Treasure Coast each season. For much of the last two sailfish seasons, the sailfish have been few in numbers. That all changed this year. The fourth annual Fish Heads Invitational Sailfish Tournament sailed out of Sailfish Marina on Stuart’s Manatee Pocket Nov. 29-30. A fleet of 18 boats compiled the young event’s catch record of 108 sailfish releases. Martha D with Capt. Scott Fawcett, owner Ryan Dayton of Wellington and Maryland, angler Dan Hall and mates Kyle Francis and Matt Coppelletta caught 14 sailfish to win the tournament. Miss Victoria led by Capt. Brian Speedy caught 12 to finish second. Ohana led by Capt. Eddie Wheeler placed third with 11 releases. Fawcett said his team’s big day, where they caught nine, came to the south of Stuart, off Juno Beach, in about 120 to 200 feet of water. The weather was oddly spring-like–warm with southeasterly winds. The 28th Pirates Cove Sailfish Classic saw 24 boats enter the tournament. Fishing patterns continued the same way for the three-day event, and the sailfishing was good. The tournament fleet racked up 222 sailfish. Capt. Josh Chaney led Champagne Lady with owner Tony Ingram of Stuart, anglers Carl Repetto, Rob Miller and Mark Donohue, and crewmen Connor Tillman, Mark McDevitt and Sean Young, to a day-high nine releases on the final day for a fleet-best 20 releases. Showtime! With Capt. Wink Doerzbacher and Vintage with owner and Capt. Hans Kraaz each caught 18 sails and placed second and third, respectively. Nice start to the month-long tournament season, but the area’s longestrunning event, the Stuart Sailfish Club’s 63rd annual Light Tackle Sailfish Tournament was next. And the sea conditions did not remain the same. The weekend of Dec. 9-11, the Light Tackle swung into action from Sailfish Point Marina. A fleet of 24 boats competing in traditional and amateur divisions endured very rough seas and high winds. The fishing was still pretty good, as the fleet caught and released 152 sailfish. Toast with Capt. Newt Cagle, owners Jared and Michael Gillman of Palm Beach, anglers Ron Martin, Anthony Rizzo, and Jimbo Brogan, caught and released 14 sailfish to win the event. Cagle and crew caught the go-ahead sailfish about 35 minutes before the tournament’s lines out call to edge out Showtime!, Challenge with Capt. Jim Hardee and Floridian with Capt. Glenn Cameron, each with 13 releases. Marlin Hunter with owner and team captain Kurt Von Seekamm of Sewall’s Point won the amateur division with six sailfish releases. So, with 75 percent of the Treasure Coast sailfish tournament season in the books, it’s good to see the area will not have to relinquish its earned nickname from the 1930s – Sailfish Capital of the World. Ed Killer is the outdoors columnist for Treasure Coast Newspapers and is part of the USA Today network.

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iami is the place to be over President’s Day weekend as more than 100,000 boating enthusiasts from around the globe are expected to flock to the Progressive Insurance Miami International Boat Show. Recognized as one of the world’s largest and greatest boat shows, 2017 marks the show’s second year at the Miami Marine Stadium Park & Basin, where it will unveil a number of elements expected to further solidify Miami’s position as the boating capital of the world. Building on its 2016 success, the Miami Boat Show will unveil a number of enhancements in 2017—from transportation and product offerings to food and beverage—while maintaining all the elements that make the Miami Boat Show such a beloved experience for attendees and exhibitors. Highlights include: More Boats to Browse, Board and Buy: Organizers anticipate more than 1,300 new boats on display throughout this year’s show with more new model debuts than ever before. The number of boats in-water is expanding 35 percent to an estimated 550 boats and yachts—all located in the show’s marina. From

sport fishing and high performance boats to personal watercraft and wake sport boats, family cruisers and luxury yachts, there is something for every lifestyle and budget. More to Taste and Toast: The 2017 Miami Boat Show encourages attendees to come hungry and thirsty! A highlight of the 2017 show is an enhanced food and beverage program featuring more than 150 options ranging from luxe to casual fare. More Large Yachts: More than 100 new luxury yachts for sale, makes the Miami Boat Show one of the largest yachting exhibitions in the country. Attendees seeking the VIP treatment will have exclusive access to everything from premium bites and live music, to concierge services, VIP parking, and an exclusive on-water VIP lounge aboard the 111-foot Biscayne Lady. More Strictly Sail: The show’s second location, Strictly Sail Miami, will dock at Miamarina at Bayside and feature approximately 130 sailboats, a large selection of sailing and power catamarans, seminars and sailing gear. Free water taxis and shuttle buses run until 7 p.m. More On-Water Experiences: Sea trials will allow interested shoppers to take the boat of their dreams for a spin. This year, more boat exhibitors will participate, giving boat buyers a chance to test-drive a number of options. In addition, the show will offer its Discover Boating Hands-On Skills Training. Space is limited; advance registration is recommended. More Parking and Transportation Options: The Miami Boat Show will offer seamless transportation to and from Miami Marine Stadium Park & Basin with water taxis, shuttle buses and abundant parking. The show will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day. Tickets may be purchased in advance at www.miamiboatshow.com. For more information, see www.miamiboatshow.com or search the show on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. The phone number for the Florida office is 954-441-3220.

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Center colors and feather pattern selection for the avid fly tyer is endless. If you are willing to put in several days of hard hunting this winter, at the end of the season you very well could end up with enough waterfowl plumage to last you an entire year of fly tying. To add icing on the cake, as if harvesting your own fly tying material wasn’t enough motivation, wild duck will provide you with some of the most highquality table fare the Sunshine State has to offer. For those new to hunting, here are the licenses and permits you will need to hunt ducks in Florida; that way you can avoid an unpleasant encounter with the game warden. If you’ve never bought a hunting permit before, you will first need to take the online hunter safety coarse at www. myfwc.com. Once you have completed that, you will then need to purchase a standard Florida hunting license, a Florida By Brandon Tourigny • Photo Courtesy of Cohutta Fishing Company waterfowl permit, a migratory bird permit (which is free), and if you intend to hunt public land you will also need a Wildlife or all of us fly tyers, the cost of materials always seems to be a big set back, as it is with many art forms. The more addicted to the art of fly tying one Management Area (WMA) permit. The final thing you will need to purchase gets, the faster money will seem to fly out of the wallet. However, for those before you hit the marsh is the annual Federal Duck Stamp, which can also be who consider themselves all-around outdoorsmen, I have a simple solution to purchased at www.myfwc.com. Catching fish on your own handmade flies is one of the most rewarding help ease the pain of buying fly tying material: go duck hunting! Why would you go spend crazy amounts of money at fly shops to buy high- experiences in our sport, and using feathers that came off of waterfowl you quality waterfowl plumage when the great state of Florida is home to millions harvested makes the experience even better. Duck season is in full swing now of ducks and other waterfowl all found on public land. In the Sunshine State, until the end of January, so go get your license, pull out the old 12 gauge, and any duck hunter is allotted 6 ducks a day (with certain species restrictions), and go hunt! when push comes to shove a single medium sized duck such as a wood duck For more duck hunting and fly fishing, go to will provide you with a wealth of material to tie from. As it just so happens, nearly every single species of migratory duck that frequents North American flyways can be found within our borders, so the

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COASTAL ANGLER North Central Florida/Nature Coast

JANUARY 2017 EDITION

Find Your Outdoors Here!

Cary & Lynn Crutchfield

North Central FL/Nature Coast Staff

ALACHUA, MARION, COLUMBIA, GILCHRIST, BRADFORD, DIXIE, LEVY AND CITRUS COUNTIES

Cary Crutchfield

EDITING & PRODUCTION Lynn Crutchfield

A

s I write tonight in the last days of 2016, the warm weather does not feel much like winter, but I am not complaining. I am seeing a lot of boaters on the river enjoying this great weather. Our friends and family in the north are enjoying snow and low, low temps tonight. 2016 brought us a new daughter-in-law, when our son Stacy, married his long time love, Danielle. Our grandsons, Stephen and Spencer are crazy about her and that makes us all very happy. Adding to our real estate holdings, we purchased a very large (11,000 sq. feet) building on SR 349, north of Old Town. We have space (about 600 sq. feet) to share; for storage only, no retail. Call us if you are interested. Captain Clay Shidler is our new writer for CRYSTAL RIVER. See his forecast and guide contact info on page 5. Kelly Kofmehl has retired from Coastal Angler to devote more time to his seafood shop and restaurant, The Crab Plant in Crystal River. Kelly will continue to provide the delicious seafood that I cook for our recipe each month. This month’s recipe, Lynn’s Gumbo, on page 14, is the perfect dish for a cold January dinner. I served it to guests with a crusty bread and a fancy dessert. I added grated carrots. You can also “hide” other nutritious veggies like broccoli, cauliflower and spinach if you chop them and add with the shrimp. We welcome several new advertising partners this month. Sleepy Hollow Resort in Floral City, a cool waterfront, boater/biker restaurant and bar on the Tsala Apopka Apopka chain. They serve the very best gator. (They buy it from us.) See them on page 13. On page 1, we introduce Outback Services and Supplies. Do you need a pole barn or other service building? Give them a call. Don’t you want your own private island on the Nature Coast in the Yankeetown area? (I do!) See page 12 for details and call Ryan with Wooten Real Estate. See page 7 for Paul’s Boat Repair in Jena (Steinhatchee) a full service marine repair facility. If you have not visited our website, www. CoastalAnglerMagazine.com lately, you are missing a lot! You will find more great fishing/outdoor stories, catch photos, contests to win great prizes and you can link to all the local editions in the country. Check it out and let me know what you think. Contact our guides for answers to your fishing questions and they will even take you fishing in their boats. They are on the water as often as weather allows and they are your best resource to know exactly what is happening today. Be sure to thank them for taking their time to write their forecast each month. Also thank our advertisers and the generous folks at our distribution locations. It takes a lot of people to bring you Lynn Crutchfield Co-Publisher Coastal Angler Magazine of North Central Florida /Nature Coast

CAM_NCFL_0117.indd 1

SALES

DISTRIBUTION Rosa Crisman

GRAPHIC ARTS & DESIGN Kathleen Stemley

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Dr. Kevin McCarthy Debby Knopf Bruce Butler Noel Kuhn Capt. Jimbo Keith Capt. Brian Smith Capt. Pat McGriff Capt. Dan Clymer Capt. Craig Spitznogle Capt. Dan Smith Capt. Tom Cushman Capt. Tommy Derringer Capt. Clay Shidler John Freeze Cliff Clark

CONTACT INFORMATION

crutch@coastalanglermagazine.com 352-372-4237

INSIDE THIS ISSUE Tide Charts Local Fishing Forecasts Monthly Recipe

Photo by: Suwannee River Water Management District Photo by: Suwannee River Water Management District

12/15/16 6:14 PM


Debby's

POINT of VIEW By Debby Knopf

TIDES • North Central Florida Time Height

1Su

2M

3Tu

4W 5Th

6F

7Sa

8Su

2:46 AM 9:48 AM 4:19 PM 9:58 PM 3:29 AM 10:25 AM 4:54 PM 10:44 PM 4:17 AM 11:05 AM 5:32 PM 11:36 PM 5:14 AM 11:50 AM 6:15 PM 12:38 AM 6:25 AM 12:42 PM 7:06 PM 1:50 AM 7:52 AM 1:44 PM 8:02 PM 3:08 AM 9:25 AM 2:56 PM 9:02 PM 4:22 AM 10:51 AM 4:09 PM 10:02 PM

3.7 -0.6 3.1 1.0 3.6 -0.4 3.1 0.9 3.4 -0.2 3.2 0.8 3.1 0.1 3.2 0.7 2.8 0.5 3.2 0.5 2.6 0.8 3.3 0.2 2.5 1.1 3.4 -0.2 2.7 1.3 3.6

HERNANDO BEACH

JANUARY 2017 Time Height

9M

10Tu

11W 12Th

13F

14Sa

15Su

16M

5:26 AM 12:02 PM 5:14 PM 10:58 PM 6:22 AM 12:59 PM 6:11 PM 11:51 PM 7:12 AM 1:47 PM 7:02 PM 12:40 AM 7:57 AM 2:30 PM 7:49 PM 1:28 AM 8:40 AM 3:08 PM 8:34 PM 2:14 AM 9:19 AM 3:43 PM 9:18 PM 2:59 AM 9:56 AM 4:15 PM 10:01 PM 3:45 AM 10:31 AM 4:48 PM 10:45 PM

-0.6 2.8 1.3 3.7 -0.9 3.0 1.2 3.9 -1.1 3.1 1.1 4.0 -1.2 3.1 1.0 4.0 -1.1 3.2 0.9 3.9 -0.9 3.1 0.8 3.7 -0.6 3.1 0.7 3.5 -0.3 3.1 0.7

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

17Tu 4:31 AM 11:05 AM 5:21 PM 11:32 PM 18W 5:22 AM 11:40 AM 5:57 PM 19Th 12:25 AM 6:23 AM 12:19 PM 6:38 PM 20F 1:28 AM 7:38 AM 1:07 PM 7:28 PM 21Sa 2:42 AM 9:06 AM 2:10 PM 8:25 PM 22Su 3:58 AM 10:32 AM 3:23 PM 9:25 PM 23M 5:02 AM 11:40 AM 4:32 PM 10:21 PM 24Tu 5:53 AM 12:31 PM 5:30 PM 11:12 PM

Time Height

25W 6:35 AM 1:11 PM 6:19 PM 11:58 PM 26Th 7:13 AM 1:47 PM 7:03 PM 27F 12:40 AM 7:48 AM 2:19 PM 7:44 PM 28Sa 1:21 AM 8:22 AM 2:49 PM 8:24 PM 29Su 2:01 AM 8:55 AM 3:18 PM 9:03 PM 30M 2:42 AM 9:29 AM 3:47 PM 9:44 PM 31Tu 3:25 AM 10:04 AM 4:18 PM 10:28 PM

-0.5 2.8 1.3 3.5 -0.6 2.9 1.1 3.6 -0.7 3.0 1.0 3.7 -0.7 3.1 0.8 3.7 -0.7 3.2 0.7 3.7 -0.6 3.3 0.5 3.6 -0.4 3.3 0.4

HOMOSASSA RIVER ENT

HORSESHOE BEACH

SUWANNEE ENT

STEINHATCHEE RIVER ENT

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

2 NORTH CENTRAL FLORIDA/NATURE COAST

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3.2 0.1 3.1 0.6 2.8 0.4 3.1 0.6 2.5 0.8 3.1 0.6 2.3 1.1 3.1 0.5 2.2 1.3 3.1 0.3 2.3 1.5 3.2 0.0 2.4 1.5 3.3 -0.3 2.6 1.4 3.4

High Tide 12 min Low Tide 20 min

High Tide 2 min Low Tide 0 min

JANUARY 2017

J

anuary is already here as we celebrated the last day of 2016. Traditionally we look back on the year and then look ahead and make our goals or resolutions. Looking back is the easy part. We had a great year and I am thankful for our many blessings. We accomplished goals, caught some great fish, and traveled. I semi-retired in May and we celebrated by spending a week in Key West. Then we welcomed a new grandson in July. Since then, my fishing has been moved to a lower priority. I enjoyed the year and for me, it was a good fishing year. It began with a few trips out for sheepshead and grouper, followed by our Florida Keys trip, and a couple guided fishing

trips. The most fun I had last year, though, was trying to catch a big amberjack before the season closed. Looking ahead is more difficult. We have set our goals, which will include fishing, travel, and lots of family time. Whether or not I go fishing on any particular day doesn’t really matter in the general scheme of things. But, being on or in the water is a good place to be, so I guess one resolution I will accomplish is to fish a little more this year. As resolutions go, that one should be easy to keep. It’s catching a Gainesville Offshore Fishing Club record amberjack that will be a little more difficult, but, that’s just my point of view!

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12/15/16 6:14 PM


W

FLORIDA WATERWAYS

F

“The Santa Fe Canal”

as the steamboats on Wh e n other lakes. Farmers w e and citrus-growers think of had high hopes of North Florida doing very well once waterways, the canals were finished we probably and the steamboats took their picture the Passengers on a boat on produce to A t l a n t i c the canal the railroad Ocean, the By Kevin McCarthy at Waldo, for Gulf Stream, to rivers, lakes, ponds, and creeks. But not shipment in necessarily canals. And yet, we used to have a markets North. very important waterway called the Santa Fe the Canal, which linked Waldo with four different However, very severe freezes lakes and the growing town of Melrose. During the 1870s and 1880s, before in 1894 and A map of the lakes area railroads began connecting many towns 1895 destroyed of north-central Florida throughout Florida, water was the primary most citrus crops means of transportation in the state, whether in the Melrose for people or cargo. Entrepreneurs reasoned, area, put many farmers out of business, and that if the beautiful waterways between began a period of slow decline, leading to the A sign on a local bridge Waldo and Melrose (Lakes Alto, Santa Fe, exodus of many settlers for good. over the canal Citrus growers and other farmers would Little Santa Fe, and Melrose Bay) could be connected by canals, then people and cargo not readily return, but enough new settlers could easily move between the places. The would move into what is called the “lakes cargo included lumber and building materials area” of north-central Florida to take for new settlers to build their farms and then advantage of recreational facilities that citrus and cotton to be shipped to markets included boating and fishing. The little unincorporated town of Melrose, has elsewhere. Melrose, which had been established in attracted commuters from Gainesville, but 1877, was a long four hours away from Waldo, also retirees and those who want to enjoy A boat in the new canal by dirt roads, and needed a means to bring in the good life that Florida offers. The man-made canals that connected more settlers and take out produce. The town on Melrose Bay was at the south end of Santa Waldo with Melrose through four lakes Fe Lake (see the red arrow in the map here). became less important in the 20th century, Canals out of Waldo would greatly alleviate when highways enabled cars and trucks the means of getting to and from Melrose (see to reach towns throughout the state and the green arrows for the man-made canals on hyacinths clogged the canals and slowed down the boats using them. One can still the map here). Interested officials chartered the Santa see remnants of the canal Fe Canal Company in 1877 and had a large around Waldo and even The steamboat dredge begin the hard work of digging the words on bridges that now “Alert” on the canal canals and clearing out the weeds. Soon, go over the canal. steamboats like the “F.S. Lewis” and the “Alert”, began making the daily trip between Kevin McCarthy, the Waldo and Melrose. After the “F.S. Lewis” author of the forthcoming sank, the “Alert” took over, carrying cargo Melrose: An Illustrated History and some passengers, often on top of the boat co-authored with Rosemary Daurer - 2017 - (available at or at its bow. The sixty-foot-long “Alert” was sturdy amazon.com), can be reached The canal today ceyhankevin@gmail.com. JANUARY 2017 NORTH and hard-working, ifCOASTALANGLERMAG.COM not as elegant in looks •atTHEANGLERMAG.COM CENTRAL FLORIDA/NATURE COAST

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s we approach the Holiday season, many people are looking to cash in on the fall bite, and for good reason, as many of our area’s favorite fish are “on the bite” right now. The three main species that we have been targeting out of the Citrus County area this time of year are grouper, trout, and redfish, and the bite has been very good. Grouper- The best grouper bite has been in 25 to 55 feet of water. We have employed both trolling plugs and live bait to catch our gags, with the average fish being in the 25 to 28 inch range. For the trolling, I typically start each day trolling a bright color like an orange or chartreuse on one rod, and a natural color on the other rod, to see what color the fish want on that particular day. When bait fishing this time of year, I tend to use large cut-baits like mullet or bonito to try to get the attention of the biggest fish on the rock pile. As the water continues to get colder, the grouper fishing is only going to get better, but be sure to watch the weather, as the coming fronts can really hit hard. Trout- Possibly the most popular inshore species in our area, the speckled trout can be found all over the place, including the grass flats and oyster beds near the mouths of the rivers. We are targeting the bigger trout on the shallower flats on the incoming tides with DOA shrimp, and Unfair Lures Rip N Slash in colors white and watermelon

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red flake. Typically, when you find the trout in the late fall and early winter, they will be schooled up, so it’s best to only take a few fish from each group so that the fish won’t leave the area. Redfish- Unfortunately with the lower tides that we usually see this time of year, can make targeting redfish in the backcountry a bit more challenging, but the cooling temperatures have begun to push the fish into the river, where they can be caught on nearly any stage of the tide around the rock piles. If you do plan on chasing them in the backcountry, I would suggest fishing live shrimp or cut pinfish on the leeward side of islands and oyster bars, on the highest part of the tide. These fish will begin to get very picky as the weather gets colder, so be patient once you find a school of fish.

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STEINHATCHEE

KEATON BEACH

Amazing Steinhatchee

George and Cale Pierce of Opp, Alabama with a "double" of nice bull reds caught on board with Capt. Dave Malone of Cedar Isle, Fl. off Keaton Beach 11/19/16

I

f you missed fishing Keaton Beach in November, I'm sorry 'cause as of today, December 13, the trout bite has slowed considerably due to the recent cold snap; our second frost, and dropped the water temps down below 55 degrees. Several days of warming trend could recover a bite lasting an hour or so, usually in the afternoons on the first hour of the

Clay Jackson of Opp, Alabama with a nice 22 inch trout taken 11/19/16

falling tide. Concentrate on flats with rocks and mud adjacent to the larger creeks. Some of the larger trout which are close to the creek mouths will begin to migrate into the creeks and rivers once the Gulf temperature holds below 55 degrees. The last hour, just before the stand of tide at the high, and the first of the fall, seems to be some of the best creek fishing, although this is not a style of fishing I do. If you can't get a bite on live bait, try the suspending family of baits made by L&S, the Catch 2000's, Catch Juniors, MirrOdines, SoftDines and the Paul Brown baits including the Softdine, Original, FatBoy and Devil. Now is the time to throw these baits and work them as s-l-o-w-l-y as possible. January can be tough, so pick your days with an early afternoon high and watch the temperature gauge. Pat McGriff dba One More Cast guide service for 26 years! www.onemorecast.net 850.838.7541

S

teinhatchee and the entire Big Bend area are amazing. The fishing is fine all the time. Yes, we do experience winter more than those further south of Tampa, but the reality is, the cooler weather blesses us with seasons- fishing seasons. The necessity to change fishing tactics during those transition times is one major aspect that keeps fishing interesting here, yearlong. I, for one, wouldn’t enjoy fishing as much if Mother Nature didn’t change-up to force me to be a better adapted angler. I, on the other hand, wouldn’t enjoy living well north where the winter weather would change liquid water to ice. Life is a sequence of adaptations, regardless of any issue. Fishing, during winter, in and around Steinhatchee, requires a change of tactics. Pinfish have left the flats due to cooler water temperature being uncomfortable. They move offshore, because the deeper water is relatively warmer and less likely to have a wild temperature variation. I found this to be true by blind circumstance when we found an aggregate of genuine pinfish—not spot-tail pinfish-- in 20 to 40 feet of water during winter. Translation: The food chain has drastically changed

on the flats leaving the resident fish with less foodstuff; they are forced to adapt, as are we. Trout and redfish are seeking warmth, as well as food. Warmth comes when the incoming tide flows across darker bottom, that was previously exposed and warmed by the sun. The water may only be warmed up a couple degrees, but that is a fish favorable improvement. That means, fishing trips are best scheduled on the incoming tide in areas where the bottom is dark, such as mud banks and oyster beds. Still or slow-fished shrimp, or cut baits are best. Of course, there is the river. The Steinhatchee River is known to become flooded with trout after a cold front, especially if it is prolonged. Suspending jerk baits and jigs are tried-and-true trout catchers. To find out what is working best, go to one of local tackle shops and ask. Sometimes an obscure lure will be the current fish trigger. Remember, always be polite, everyone else is trying to have fun just like you.

Brian Smith | BIG BEND CHARTERS www.BigBendCharters.com CaptBrian@bellsouth.net 877.852.3474 | 352.210.3050

Capt Bert Deener with a nice red caught on a live shrimp under a Back Bay Thunder using a Star Aerial reel matched on a Star Stellar Lite Fast Taper 7 foot 6 inch rod. 6 NORTH CENTRAL FLORIDA/NATURE COAST

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HORSESHOE BEACH Happy New Year

Dixie Salvage Auto & Truck Parts Foreign & Domestic Scott Ambrose 21214 S.E. Hwy-19 Old Town, FL 32680 Tanner Sikes with his first redfish.

A

s we close the curtain on 2016, time seems to be a blur from one weekend to the next. 2016 was a year for the record books, Fishing was great, scalloping was awesome and the hurricane was mighty, but we welcome a new year with promises to ourselves and others, about the things we want to change about ourselves or our surroundings. Some do, some just learn to live with it the way it is. I look forward to the new year. I hope to spend much, more time on the water this year. I am finishing up a boat I started on back in August. I hope to have it complete by the end of January. I built it just for a charter boat, to accommodate six people, have plenty of room to fish, and still be able to get in skinny water. It also should be perfect for scalloping. We also had an opportunity to repower our offshore boat with four strokes, and looking forward to many trips offshore this year. I had someone tell me the other day, “It must be nice to go to the gulf and fish all the time.” Well, it hasn’t been fishing. We have been busy working on the house, dock, painting and much more that needed to be done, and was escalated by the hurricane, but I think we are seeing the end near, and 2017 should be a great year on the water. Fishing has been excellent. Fall fishing was great with a lot of big

trout caught, and plenty of redfish. Winter seems fairly mild as we speak, with only a couple cold fronts bringing the water temperature down into the 50s, but give it a couple days, and we are back up into the low to mid-sixties and the large trout show up. Tides can be a little bit of a challenge, seeing negative tides can make navigating the shallows quite the challenge, but this is the best time of year to learn your way around. Take time to mark oyster bars that are new to you, explore new country and find new areas to fish. As you do this, you can discover new go-to areas. Seems like we fish a lot of the same water over and over and that’s great, as long as it produces fish, but when it doesn’t, discovering a new creek, creek mouth or oyster bar can make a good day, a great day. Hopefully, the weather will continue to treat us fairly. Fishing just before these cold fronts and waiting on the 3 to 4 day warming pattern after these fronts pass through, seem to be the best times to fish. I hope everyone brings in the new year safely and looking forward to getting out this new year, meeting new people and seeing more people come aboard with us and enjoy a great day on the water.

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352-498-7000 1-800-226-7077 Fax 352-498-8012

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SUWANNEE

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ell here is to another new year! Temps have been falling and the fish know it. Redfish and trout have been on fire over the past few months. They are stacking up like cord wood in the creeks and deep holes. Warm river water calls them in! You will catch many over-slot fish. Be patient and enjoy the bite. Sheepshead are biting everywhere and, will begin to show up in large numbers offshore very soon. Another 13 plus plunder will be taken for sure.

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Off shore grouper have moved in and the bite is strong. It seems to me as if mangrove and red snapper are taking. It is hard to get baits down to the grouper. Goliath grouper are a sight to be seen. Book a Dive/Spearfishing trip. You will glad you did! Get out there and see what Suwannee has to offer. Rig it up charters Capt. Cliff Clark | 1(352)362-1463

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Day:FRI Date:04/01/16Date:04/01/16 Day:FRI Size:1X4 Cust:651486 Size:1X4 Cust:651486 Salesperson:814 Last Salesperson:814 Last Size:1X4 Cust:651486 Edited By:JMOYER 5 TO Salesperson:814 Last 5 REASONS 5 REASONS REASONS TO TO Edited By:JMOYER Pub:CITRUS COUNTY Edited By:JMOYER AT DAN’S Pub:CITRUS COUNTY EAT AT DAN’S EAT AT Pub:CITRUSEAT COUNTY CHRONICLE Tag CHRONICLE Tag Ad#:000NR98 DAN’S FAMOUS DAN’S FAMOUS Date:04/01/16 Day:FRI Line:APRIL AD Color DAN’S FAMOUS Line:APRIL AD Color CHRONICLE Tag BURGER & FRIES Size:1X4 Cust:651486 Info: BURGER BURGER & & FRIES FRIES Salesperson:814 Last Info: 6.95 Line:APRIL AD 6.95 000NR98 - Page 1 - Composite 6.95 EditedColor By:JMOYER Pub:CITRUS COUNTY 6 LUNCH SPECIALS 6 LUNCH SPECIALS 6 LUNCH SPECIALS Info: CHRONICLE Tag 000NR98 - Page 1 - Composite Line:APRIL AD Color 5 REASONS TO 6.99 Info: 6.99 6.99 000NR98 - Page 1 - EARLY Composite 000NR98 -EARLY Page 1 Composite SPECIALS BIRDS EARLYBIRDS BIRDSSPECIALS SPECIALS EAT AT DAN’S 5 REASONS TO FAMOUS 10.50 DAN’S 5 REASONS TO 10.50 10.50 $ $ $

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ow, another great year is behind us and I wish all you anglers another fish-catching prosperous year in 2017. As you all know, it’s the winter time, and between the weather and the conditions, fishing can be a bit challenging. There is still some great fishing to be had and many opportunities are just a close ride from the boat ramp. Our area is very unique as opposed to other parts of the state; having several fresh water springs feeding our rivers leading to the gulf, is a “reel” treat. If the conditions don’t allow you venture on the outside, the rivers can save a day on the water. The warm flowing spring water is a constant 72 degrees and when the gulf water temperature drops in the low 60’s and cooler, many inshore species will run towards the warm head waters looking for comfort. Trout, red fish, black drum, sheepshead, mangrove snapper, snook, lady fish and jacks will venture all the way in to the fresh water, and many of these species can be caught in one day. Target the various rocky points, boat docks and any sharp drop off in the river for a mixed days catch.

SNOWCRAB SNOWCRAB EAT SNOWCRAB AT DAN’S

8.99 10.99

Thurs., March 31 b 10 FRIED SHRIMP W/FRIES SO COME

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7364 Grover Cleveland Blvd., Homosassa

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ey there folks, Happy New Year! This year is going to be a great one. The fishing is going to be awesome. The bite is pretty strong in the creeks and rivers in our area. The Waccassassa River has the slam covered. You will be able to catch trout, reds and even snook. The trout fishing is pretty decent with good numbers of undersized trout, so you'll have plenty of action with a few nice keepers mixed in. My favorite way to target these fish is with a simple jig. I use a 1/4oz Jim's Jig with a Saltwater Assassin Sea Shad tail in Stinky Pink or Green Moon. I think the paddle tail of the Sea Shad is a must. It has great action and really helps get that reaction bite. You

will also get a hit or two by redfish using this technique, but live shrimp or fresh cut mullet fished on the bottom will be your most productive pattern. Under water oyster bars and rocks are the best places to use this technique. Snook are also starting to show up this time of year, looking for warmer water from the spring-fed rivers. If you have a few consecutive warm days, you can catch them top water, around the laying trees! Other than top water, casting swim jigs along the river bank on the drop offs seems to work. Once you catch one there will probably be a few more in that area, so make consecutive casts to the same spot after catching one. The Suwannee Rive is also producing a different kind of slam this time of year. This slam includes trout, reds, and bass. I like to use the same trout baits in the Suwannee as the other rivers. I do change things up a bit when red fishing. This time of year, you can catch redfish one cast and a bass the next! This can be great fun when they stack up together! There are a few baits that seem to produce more fish than others. Spinner baits, crank baits and jerk baits seem to work great. Color may vary a little, but pretty much anything in gold or silver will work. Well folks, I hope you can get out on the water for some winter time creek fishing. Just remember to dress in layers. You can always take off clothes but you can't add them if you don't have them. Until next time, get outdoors and enjoy what God has made for us. Saltwater Assassin Fishing Charters Capt.Jimbo Keith 352-535-5083

10 NORTH CENTRAL FLORIDA/NATURE COAST

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CEDAR KEY PADDLING

F

ishing is life filled with lessons, if we choose to, or are lucky enough to open our eyes, hearts and minds to what we can learn. If I haven't lost you yet, what's the first lesson that pops in your mind? Patience? That is what I was told, and maybe you also, but we are not going to beat on that horse today. Today, I want to bring up failure and repeated failures, and not giving up. Sometimes for us to recognize Heaven, we have to go through Hell first. So with this new year that we have before us, when you are going through a tough time learning a new knot, fishing spot, or this wonderful sport all together is new to you, even though it can seem to be unbearable and or not even worth it at times, don't give up, but learn from the failures. I bet I had at least five or six 10 lb plus-size large mouth bass on the hook before I finally learned from enough failed processes or wrong tackle, that I finally landed that big girl. I hope you come and give Cedar Key a shot at your dream catch this year and let's make sure

these kids get out on the water and spend some quality time getting to know them, and them know us. One last shout out to Jacob. You will be missed, and we will meet again. Tight lines. Capt. Daniel | Cedar Key Paddling 352-665-1276 Dan_Gator@yahoo.com

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ER G AT KIN W R IN- PA AT O B

an y Bri d w ou ng e r c in fo wil atc rf lc h re oo e. k it

INGLIS/YANKEETOWN

Visit Exit Realty Leaders upstairs for all your real estate needs.

J

anuary is here. Time to break out the long handles and foul weather gear, if you are going to get out on the water. People tend to put all their fishing gear away until spring at this point, but not me. January is one of my top three months to fish. The water turns gin clear, the fish pack in tight and site fishing is king. You don’t have to get out of bed at the crack of dawn. I tend to wait until an hour or two after sun up to get on the water and 9 times out of 10, after about two or three hours on the water, I am in a light long sleeved shirt or sweatshirt. You will have to deal with the constant cold fronts moving through and pick your days, but trust me, this is a month to be on the water. One of my favorite baits to throw this time of year is the Paul Brown Lil Devil. This is a slow moving twitch bait that will produce some monster gator trout and redfish. The key word in that last sentence is SLOW! If you are like me and you fish wide open all the time, you need to pull back the rains with this bait. If you fish it properly, it will get the job done. You should start by looking for the deeper area of a flat or creek. The water temperature will stay more constant there, and the fish will hold in these areas. Try to locate some darker bottom in these areas or rock. This area will hold the most heat. Make a cast a few feet past the pot hole, and work the Paul Brown just over it, and let it fall into it. Most of the strikes you will have will come on the drop, just before it hits bottom. If you are fishing post frontal conditions, and the fish don’t want to touch anything, a BTB jig by Zman will usually get them to open their mouths. If you can see the fish on the bottom, make a presentation a few feet past the fish and slowly bring it into the strike zone. Once you are within about six or eight inches of the fish, 12 NORTH CENTRAL FLORIDA/NATURE COAST

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leave the jig alone. The biggest mistake most anglers make is popping the jig one more time and spooking that fish off. I promise, that fish knows that jig is there; he has known for awhile. Let it sit and the water flowing through the skirt will move it enough to provoke a strike. Another good piece of advice for a slow bite is to downsize. Smaller baits such as the MirrOminnow by Mirrolure can be a big time player this time of year. Elephants eat peanuts; just remember that. Don’t let a little cold weather run you off the water. Get out and experience this time of year on our amazing stretch of water. If you have any questions about our area or you would like to schedule a trip, give me a call anytime and we will make it happen. For any of the baits I mentioned above, stop by Captain’s Cove Outfitters in Inglis and get everything you need. Until next month, have fun, be safe and take your kids fishing. Capt. Craig Spitznogle Florida Flats Charter Company (352)445-4978

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SIGNS BANNERS

CENTRAL FLORIDA INLAND

Copies Fax

Forms Letterhead We also offer apparel and promotional items. Envelopes Business Cards Brochures Newsletters & More Invitations Located in Chiefland Shopping Center Wedding & Graduation 208 N Main Street, Chiefland, FL 32626

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inter is here and the fishing is great! Every lake and river in the Ocala National Forest is showing above average catches this year. Speckled perch are the goal for most anglers right now. Beautiful, chunky specks are being caught by the dozens, and the Ocklawaha River is always a good place to fill a cooler. Boaters should target Sharpe’s Ferry Bridge, the lock at Eureka, or Rodman Reservoir. As for shoreside fishers, the dams at Moss Bluff and Rodman are easily accessed and full of fish. Minnows and multicolored jigs (white,chartreuse,pink) fished deep under a bobber are the preferred baits to use. Trolling along underwater ledges (rapid drops in depth) is the best way to locate

schools. Once you catch a fish, you can either circle that area, or stop and verticle jig/fish to claim the rest. Tip: If you have a depth finder, note the depth of water where each fish is caught, and target that depth. The lakes out here are fishing great as well. Lake George and Lake Bryant have been producing good numbers of large specks and hybrid stripers on jigs and minnows. Lake Eaton has some big specks as well, and it also features a huge fishing dock for shore-side anglers. Bass, bream, and warmouth are still being caught everywhere and are much heavier this time of year. Using smaller lures, or live bait, will ensure getting bit during the cold winter months. The bass spawn is right around the corner, and some of those big females should start bedding as early as the end of this month. Keep an eye out for large white circles of sand (beds) along the shallow grassy edges. Check out next month’s report for tips and tricks on how to catch one of these world class lunkers. Happy New Years and best of luck bending your rods everyone! John Freeze | 352-216-5798 Swampsurf@embarqmail.com

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

Val’s Complete Auto Repair Inc. MV#:60926

15 NW 1st Avenue - P.O. Box 1205 Chiefland, FL 32644

JANUARY 2017

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Lynn’s Gumbo

COOKING DIRECTIONS For the roux, heat 2 T oil in heavy skillet. Add 2 T flour and cook over med. heat stirring constantly until the color of peanut butter. Heat oil and butter in lg. heavy pot. Add onion and celery and cook until soft. Cut chicken into I inch pieces. Add to pot and brown slightly. Add garlic, green pepper, tomatoes, parsley, carrots, bay leaf, chicken broth, green onions, most of the okra and the roux. Simmer for about 30 minutes. Add salt, pepper and hot sauce to taste. Add shrimp and cook another 3 minutes. Serve over rice. Garnish with reserved okra for color and crunch.

Thank you to The Crab Plant for the beautiful shrimp. Visit their Fresh Seafood Market or enjoy Cooked Seafood to go. You are welcome to sit at their table and view beautiful Kings Bay while you enjoy your delicious, freshly prepared meal, watching manatees, dolphins, pelicans and boats. Or, you can carry it home; your choice. Open Tues-Thurs 10:00-5:30, Fri-Sat 10:008:00. 201 NW 5th St. Crystal River 352-795-4700.

Any combination of seafood is wonderful. Some folks think it isn’t gumbo without Andouille sausage, but I don’t like it. If you do, add it with the chicken. I included the carrots because I had them in the fridge and they upped the nutritional value a bit. (I have to hide carrots to get Cary to eat them!)

INGREDIENTS Title • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

2 T oil or bacon grease 2 T butter 2 T flour 1 cup chopped onion 2 cloves garlic 1 cup chopped green pepper 1 28 oz. can stewed tomatoes & liquid 1 bunch chopped parsley 3 grated carrots 1 bay leaf 1 qt. chicken broth 1 boneless/skinless chicken breast 1 bunch green onions chopped 2 cups sliced okra Salt & Pepper and hot sauce 1 lb. shelled/deveined shrimp Hot cooked rice

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

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TUPPERWARE NAVY

TWIN RIVERS MARINA AND BOAT RENTALS

2880 N Seabreeze Point crystal River, FL 34429 352-795-3552

W

elcome back Yak fans. Here's hoping that you all had a great holiday and welcome to a new year! I want to share some ideas about survival tips for winter fishing, apologies, and a fishing story. I know in some of my articles, I have dealt with recreational sites, but let’s be honest, I’m primarily a fishing fanatic, though I do enjoy a good paddling on occasion. So, if you were as crazy as we were to go out in the cold snaps, here are some tips to beat the cold. First, like Mom always told you, “dress warm”. Layers of clothes work best. Waders, hip boots or such help keep your feet from freezing, and a trick from Uncle Lew, put a heat pack in the bottom of each boot and you’ll be good for several hours. Be sure to let some air in on occasion to allow the pack to work properly. Another great idea, because for me, it’s always my hands that suffer, is to use Playtex gloves or something similar, under your regular gloves, and put Ben-Gay on your hands. Don’t laugh. It works! As to apologies, on a past trip out, we three hardy soul, hit the frigid water in the midst of the cold snap. My friend Brian, had no waders, so I brought him a pair of my old ones to use. I swear to God, I didn't know they had a hole in them. He suffered the first couple of hours before he had to head in. They say they can save most of his toes, so I can’t understand why he’s complaining. No, he’s fine - once he got the feeling back in his feet. Anybody want to buy some used waders? (Sold As Is.) Anyway, on a recent trip to Hernando County’s pristine shores, my buddy Lew and I set out to do a little spring fishing. This area of the coast is loaded up with springs, fed by the Floridian aquifer; Weekie Wachee and the Chaz, to mention a couple. As the gulf temp drops, the fish head for warmer waters and can stack up.

We put in at one of my favorite spots and worked our way across the bay, and picked up some nice trout on a mixed bag of lures; top water on a Zara spook Jr. in bone, mirro-dine, little john in glow, and Lew's favorite, Gulp glow shrimp, all worked well. Paddling back to the spring, I couldn't get the old Jeannie C. Reilly song, Harper Valley PTA, out of my head. It had played the day before on a country channel, and I was wishing it would go away. As we set up at the spring, the bite was a little slow and somehow, I let loose with a verse from Harper Valley and wham, I hooked into a nice black drum. I'm thinking, I'm on to something. Another verse, another blackie. Lew is shaking his head and refusing to join me in a chorus (his loss). Seven drum later, he finally caught his first fish. I accused him of humming it, but he won't admit it. We were primarily fishing straight down the spring with live shrimp, at about the 25 to 30 foot depth. This is kind of neat, considering that a few feet to either side, you could get out and walk. The sides were producing some nice reds, one over thirty, a twenty-nine and two nice keepers . As I hummed one more verse of Harper Valley, I landed a dogfish rod and reel combo, that someone had recently lost, at which point Lew started muttering something about karma, to which I replied, "The day my momma socked it to the Harper Valley PTA". Well if you've made it this far, I'd like to say, “Hi.” to everyone in the Tampa bay area, as well as all my friends here on the Nature coast. Tight lines Y'all Bruce Bruce Butler The Stumbling Gypsy (352) 428-5347 Bruce@IndianBayOutfitters .com Web: www.IndianBayOutfitters.com

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BAIT & TACKLE IN NORTH CENTRAL FLORIDA HIGH ROLLER LURES 4613 NW 6th St-D Gainesville, FL 32609 877.205.1764

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FLORAL CITY BAIT & TACKLE OUTFITTERS

JANUARY 2017

44 TACKLE CO.

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ST. AUGUSTINE

PIER & SURF

I

D

ecember 2016 was one of the most memorable ones in my fishing life. The water stayed in the mid 60’s for long enough for the pompano and whiting to mass in big schools. The bite was awesome! Now, the water has cooled even further and I’m hoping it stays above 60. That is the temperature where whiting will leave the surf for warmer waters off shore. For this month, we will focus on the three species of whiting we catch here in NE Florida. They are the Gulf Kingfish, Southern Kingfish, and Northern Kingfish. The Gulf Kingfish are mostly silver with a little black tip on top of their tail, whereas both the Southern and Northern Kingfish are over all a little darker and have faint vertical bars. The black tip on the tail is absent. Oh yeah, they have teeth! These larger more aggressive “whiting” will chase down any fish that they can swallow. I have caught them in the surf with finger mullet and mud minnows! The best bait to use is still good fresh shrimp. Clam, crab, and sand fleas also work just fine. If you get on a real hot bite, cut small belly strips from a whiting. You can catch two or three kingfish before the belly strip wears out. What type of rig to use? Fish

finder rig or double dropper rig? I prefer the double dropper 100 to 1 and here is why; two baits instead of one. You can use the sputnik style sinkers. With the fish finder or sinker slider rig, you cannot use the sputniks because your trace, tag, snood, or leader will wrap around the wires of the sputnik. Sputniks have superior holding power, along with the fact that they are ten times more aero dynamic than a pyramid sinker. Smaller hook size will increase your catch rate. Most of the year, I use a 2/0 circle hook for almost everything, however, when it comes to cool weather whiting fishing, I drop down to a #1 or #2 circle. Some successful fishermen drop down to a very small #4. The disadvantage of a #4 is if a black drum comes along, it will be tough to land it. Keep your eye on the surf temp. If it gets down to 59 degrees or below, stay home and tie some rigs. See you on the beach.

To set up your own surf fishing adventure or long distance casting lesson please visit www.thesurfangler.com or call Noel at 904-945-0660

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t’s sight fishing time! It’s sight fishing time! It’s sight fishing time! Can you tell I’m a little excited? The next few months will give anglers in Northeast Florida the best chance to get out there and sight fish a redfish in the shallows. As air temps drop, the water will clear up. The colder it gets, the clearer the water will be (The colder water will kill off the algae that makes our waters so murky much of the year). This also marks the time of year when our inshore fish really get schooled up, both on the flats and in the creeks. Clear water, schooled up redfish, and not many boats on the water, does it get any better? Slot-sized redfish will be schooled up this time of year. Locating the larger schools of fish can be tough, but if you know what to look for, it may be easier than you think. I like to scout for schools of fish on the lower tide stage, as it gets them more bunched up. Look for the areas on a flat that will hold just enough water for the fish at dead low tide. You can bet that if a large flat just about dries up at low tide, all the fish that live there will be in the spots holding just enough water for them to swim in. Those shallow areas will warm up on sunny days, creating an ideal place for the redfish to hang out and warm up a bit. If the flat goes completely dry, check the edges or troughs. When you find the fish there, wait for the tide to come back in and follow the fish back up onto the flat to see where they like to go. You can be a real flats fishing “ninja” once you pattern wintertime schooled-up reds. My go-to lure for wintertime

sight fishing is the Slayer Inc. SST paddle tail. I like to pair it up with either a 1/8oz Slayer Inc. jighead or weedless hook, depending on bottom conditions. It’s important to stay lightweight if at all possible, because sometimes with clearer water, comes spookier fish. Using a light setup will allow you to make less splash when the lure enters the water, thus allowing you to cast closer to the fish without spooking him. If you are casting to a school of fish, lead them by as much as you can. If your bait or lure lands too close to just one fish, you may spook the whole school. A couple other species we’ll be targeting this time of year will be trout, black drum, and sheepshead. If you find a nice warm spot up on the flats this time of year, you may just run into some really big, laid-up trout. The smaller schooling trout will be thick in the deeper creek holes. The drum and sheepshead can be found in the same creek holes, especially on the lower tide stages. If you’re targeting the trout, use a rig that allows you to fish in the middle of the water column. If you’re looking to get the drum and sheepies, go to the bottom with fiddler crabs or shrimp. Stay safe out there and have a Happy New Year!!! Capt. Tommy Derringer www.InshoreAdventures.net 904-377-3734

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MICANOPY Pearl Country Store Reddick Bros. Hardware

CHIEFLAND Drummond Bank BubbaQue’s The Deer Camp The Print Shop 208 N. Main The Gathering Table Sully’s New Day Wellness NAPA 1523 N Young Blvd (US 19-98) Shep’s Welding Beachamp Saw Shop Suwannee River Kubota Val’s Complete Auto 15 NW 1st Ave Bill’s BBQ

STARKE/ WALDO Murray Ford Bryan’s Ace Hardware Cedar River Restaurant Revels Fast Lube Murray Chrysler/Dodge Huddle House Sav-A-Lot

MELROSE Lake Area Watersports 829 N SR 21 Williamson’s Grocery Melrose Cafe

OCALA

OCKLAWAHA/BELLEVIEW UMATILA/WEIRSDALE)

GTO Airboats Tex Trail Jerry’s Pawn & Gun Miller Boating Center Ace Hardware (Weirsdale) RideNow Power Sports Still Water Marine (Belleview) Gator Joe’s Rest. (Ocklawaha) Southern Blade Alfie’s Restaurant (Ocklawaha) Fat Daddy’s Bait Wiggler’s Bait Oklawaha Bait & Tackle Northern Tool (Ocklawaha) Bi Lo Lake Weir Marine (Belleview) Gander Mountain Dick’s Sporting Goods HAWTHORNE Flint Creek Outfitters Battery Source Hitchcocks Toomey’s Tools Ace Hardware

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Adkin’s BBQ (Bell) Cherry’s Restaurant (Trenton) Hobos (Trenton) Green’s Outdoors & More (Trenton) NAPA (Trenton) 1620 E. Wade

NEWBERRY Backyard BarBQ Picketts Weaponry Newberry Feed & Seed Ace Hardware NAPA 25235 W Newberry Rd (SR 26) Hitchcocks

ALACHUA/HIGH SPRINGS JD Sanders RV Center 12380 US 441 Oaks Pawn (High Springs) Polaris of Gainesville 12556 NW US 441 (Alachua) Alachua Farm & Lumber (Alachua) Hitchcocks (Alachua)

Sonny’s BarBQ (Alachua) Springs Diner (High Springs) Allstate Ins. Hugh Cain LTD Motors (High Springs) Alice’s Parkside Rest. (High Springs) Bennett’s True Value (High Springs) ACE Hardware (High Springs)

BRONSON/WILLISTON Ace Hardware (Bronson) NAPA (Bronson) 809 E Hathway (US A 27) NAPA (Williston) 412 E Noble (US 27) Grocery Depot (Williston) Bubbaque’s (Williston) Do Right Cookin (Bronson)

LAKE CITY McDuffie’s Marine 1866 W US 90 Wilson’s Hardware B&B Marine Green’s Marine Nettles Sausage Co. Pickett Weaponry B&B Marine Harvey Foods Boat Doctor Spring Food Store

DUNNELLON Ace Hardware Angler’s Resort/Blue Gator Riverside Trading & Pawn Stumpknockers Bubbaques BBQ Swampy’s Rest. NAPA 11473 N Williams (US 41)

ARCHER Sav-A-Lot

CROSS CITY Dixie Salvage Drummond Bank Putnam Lodge Ace Hardware Max & Ruby’s NAPA 15717 US 19/98 Quicken Mfg.

HORSESHOE BEACH Compass Realty Panama Paul’s Main Street Diner The Marina

SUWANNEE Salt Creek Restaurant Suwannee Marina Gateway Marina Waterfront Market Bill’s Fish Camp 63 219th St.

CEDAR KEY

INVERNESS

Cedar Key Marina II 12780 SR 24 Cedar Key Marina Dock River Coast Realty Island Hotel DW&D Bait & Tackle 12831 Whiddon Ave. Drummond Bank Annie’s Café CK Paddling Steamers 420 Dock St. Chamber of Commerce The Market CK General Store Robinson’s

McPherson’s Outdoors Apopka Marine Gulf to Lake Marine Fisherman’s Restaurant Wild Bill’s Air Boat Tours Stumpknockers Coach’s Nick Nicholas Ford Riverside Lodge Resort Brown Water Airboats

INGLIS/YANKEETOWN Young Boats (Inglis) NAPA (Inglis) 24 US 19/98 N Drummond Bank Capt Cove Outfitters 39 W SR 40 Shrimp Landing Riverside Inn 6301 Riverside Dr.

L

Pawn Shop

TA

Gary’s Tackle Box 5721 NW 13th St. Batteries Plus Zell’s Hardware AAA Refrigeration Play It Again Sports Lloyd Bailey Scuba The Short Stop Oak’s Pawn Hobby Town Winn-Dixie BubbaQue’s L&S Auto Trim 5721 NW 13th St Agri-Grow Equipment Ward’s Market The Donut Connection Sapp’s Pawn & Gun P&J Marine 100 NE 23rd Ave. Sonny’s BBQ Mirage Manufacturing Town Tire Rapid Service Winn-Dixie Po’ Boys Seafood FL Citizens Bank NF Express Care Care Spot Powder Coating of Gainesville Heritage Bank Dick’s Sporting Goods

(and many more)

AS

GAINESVILLE

COASTAL ANGLER at These Locations

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CRYSTAL RIVER Moore Bait & Tackle Twin Rivers Marina 2880 N Seabreeze Pt Plantation Inn West Marine Coldwell Banker 6212 W Corporate Oaks Dr Pete’s Pier Rural King Dan’s Clam Stand 2315 N Sunshine Path AAA Marine Good Times Restaurant The Crab Plant 201 NW 5th St American Pro Dive Seafood Seller Citrus County C of C 915 N Suncoast Blvd

HOMOSASSA Bluewater Bait & Tackle Homosassa Marine Dan’s Clam Stand 7364 W Grover Cleve. Loves Motorsports Seagrass Resort Mike’s Trailers 2560 S US 19/98 LTD Motors

Coldwell Banker

155 Douglas St.-B Back Water Fins Marine Service 6521 S Suncoast Blvd Homosassa Springs Marina

2013 2012 | 13

If you have a suggestion for a distribution location for COASTAL ANGLER MAGAZINE, please let us know. We can be reached at 352-372-4237 or Crutch@CoastalAnglerMagazine.com. You can view all sixty magazines in the US, including Hawaii and the Bahamas, at www.CoastalAnglerMagazine.com. 20 NORTH CENTRAL FLORIDA/NATURE COAST

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LICE TOWN, BIMINI—Wahoo Smackdown VIII, hosted by the historic Bimini Big Game Club Resort and Marina on Nov. 10-12, saw more than 150 anglers competing for more than $25,000 in cash and prizes and landing over a ton-and-a-half (3,253.5 pounds) of fish in the process. With more than 50 record-setting catches in the waters around the island, Bimini has often been referred to as the Sport Fishing Capital of the World. “Bimini’s legendary fishing action held true once again,” said tournament director Capt. Robbie Smith. “Fish were everywhere, the action was competitive, and the fishing gods were with us.” A fleet of 35 boats fished, with 25 making it to the leaderboard. Over the two days, 133 fish were caught, the largest weighing over 84 pounds. Team Murderized, out of Grand Bahama, took top team honors with 11 fish weighing a total of 292.5-pounds, taking home $15,000 in cash winnings. Second place Team Monster Catch, out of Miami, earning $7,500 in cash winnings, caught the largest fish of the tournament, an 84.7-pound monster. They weighed eight fish for a total catch weight By Dr. Stefan Harzen • Photos Courtesy of Harzen/Brunnick, of 285.6 pounds. Team Box N Bull, out of Fort Lauderdale, finished third, taking Taras Oceanographic Foundation home $2,500 in cash winnings, with a total catch of 13 fish with a total catch weight of 262.8 pounds. tournament, and a closing awards party on the great lawn, featuring a buffet, Tournament coordinator Beth Watson said the weekend “went flawlessly,” live entertainment and a full open bar. adding the announced plan to refund tournament entry fees if the tournament Sponsors included Sysco, David Dunleavy Performance Fishing apparel, was called due to weather, attracted the largest number of entries since the Bost Lures, Sands Beer, InTheBite, Flanigan’s Seafood Bar and Grill, Faro Blanco tournament’s inception. Resort and Yacht Club, Reef Safe Suncare, Bacardi Oakhart Key West Marlin Tournament festivities included live local entertainment nightly, a cocktail Tournament, Roffs, Tito’s Vodka, Tropic Ocean Airways, and Island Glass Art. reception poolside for the captains meeting, a cookout on day one of the

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Anglers For Conservation wishes to thank all of our Paddleboard SponsorS sponsors who generously Raffle Nance Cacciatore contributed to our 2016 Paddleboard House, Indialantic ProteCt our WAters Aloha Shirt Sponsor Blue Turtle Magazine fundraising event. Surf Silent Auction Sponsors

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TIPS FROM A PRO

FRESHWATER WINTERTIME CRAPPIE FISHING

BRANDON LESTER

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very year as my bass tournament season comes to an end, I start thinking about crappie fishing. I like to take a break and let the competitive flames refuel a bit. When the calendar strikes November and water temperatures dip into the 50s in Tennessee, I take several days to go crappie fishing. These fish make really good table fare, they are also very fun to catch, especially the big ones like you find in winter. I am well aware of how good crappie fishing is in spring. But for the way I fish for them around home, fall and winter are when you can really fill the livewell.

It works the same way when fishing laydowns. I look for laydowns on vertical banks that have a good-sized trunk. If they have a big trunk, I know there is a good-sized treetop out in the water. If they are there, I will see them on my SideVision. Once you find fish, cast exactly where they are or just beyond them, not 3 feet to the left or right. If you miss a crappie’s strike zone by 6 inches, you’ve missed it by a mile. Make the cast, count your bait down to the desired depth and reel just fast enough to maintain that depth. No jigging, nothing fancy, just a

Crappie stack up in large schools this time of year, at it’s not hard to catch them if you know what to look for. Crappie always hang around cover of some type. The two key pieces of structure on my home water are boat docks and laydowns. There are a few docks that seem to always hold fish, but I like to hunt for them with my Raymarine electronics. I turn on SideVision mode and start searching. Crappie will be in big schools, and I might go down a line of 50 docks with only one dock holding the mother lode. To see how big they are and to make sure they are crappie, I will put an Aqua Vu camera down there and check them out. Most of the docks I fish are floating, and the magical depth is normally at least 20 feet of water under the dock. The crappie will normally be suspended under these docks anywhere from 8 to 15 feet down, depending on the water clarity.

slow reel. My favorite jig head is a 1/32-ounce ball-shaped jig head with a good sharp Mustad hook, but I will go up to a 1/16-ounce if the wind is blowing or I’m fishing deeper than normal. Any soft plastic minnow imitation in the 2-inch range with a straight tail will work. Stay away from twist-tail grubs for this method because they cause your bait to rise too much. I use a S721 MHX rod built with supplies from Mud Hole Custom Tackle, including a Winn grip. It is 6-foot-long, super-sensitive and has the perfect action for controlling small baits. I team it with a 1000-size spinning reel and 4-pound Vicious Panfish line in fluorescent green. The green line helps me detect light strikes. These tips will help you all the way up until crappie start moving shallow to spawn. These fish are fat and healthy this time of year. So get out and have some fun this winter.

Get more tips from Lester at

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Surprising Winter is the Best Planting Time

I am often asked when is the best time to plant fruiting plants. My answer is usually the same; the best time is 20 years ago or today. The second best time to plant is during the winter months. Plants are dormant, and can be easily shipped and planted with no stress on the plant because there is not a lot of maintenance once the plant or tree has been planted. Simply dig a good hole, water thoroughly

at planting, and take the rest of the winter off. Even though there are no signs of growth above ground, the root systems will have time to get adjusted to their new location and begin to initiate new root growth. There are plenty of advantages of growing your own edibles. First of all, you know what has been done over the course of the growing season from a chemical stand point. Second, the fruit just taste

better coming out of your home orchard versus buying fruit from the grocers that have little to no flavors. Thirdly, it is good for your soul and you will feel more connected to the environment and nature. Whether it is an apple tree, muscadine vine or a blueberry bush; now is the time to plant. Let’s Grow Together. Greg Ison, Ison’s Nursery and Vineyards, 800733-0324, www.isons.com

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estled in the picturesque Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina, Jackson County is home to the Western North Carolina Fly Fishing Trail and its centerpiece, the Tuckasegee River, which dissects the county as it flows north to Fontana Lake. The “Tuck,” as it is known to the locals, is a beautiful tailwater trout fishery used for the 2011 USA Fly Fishing Championships, in which the Gold Medal was won by Team USA member Logan Egan. The most popular time to fish the Tuck is during the delayed harvest (DH) fishing season from Oct. 1 to the first Friday in June each year. During this time frame, the Tuck is a catchand-release fishery with artificial-lure, single-hook restrictions. This stretch of specially regulated water runs about 5.5 miles outside the small towns of Dillsboro, Sylva and Cullowhee. The boundaries of the DH are marked by signage on the banks. These regulations appeal to fly fishers and spin fishers alike. You will not only see anglers stripping streamers, drifting nymphs, and casting dries, but you will see a fair number of spinner fishermen taking good numbers of brook, rainbow and brown trout. Jackson County receives an annual stocking of 92,800 trout, the most in the state of North Carolina. In October and November 2016, the Tuck DH section was stocked with 19,600 trout. Rainbow and brook trout made up about 80 percent of this number, and the other 20 percent were brown trout. Normally, trout reach 12 inches in length before making it into the Tuck, but anglers should expect to see, and potentially land, some trophy-sized trout on any drift or presentation. Many anglers wade the river, and drift boats are also popular. Stream flow is controlled by Duke Energy, which posts three days of release schedules on their website, www.duke-energy. com under the Nantahala link. Duke Energy has also provided boat ramps on Old Cullowhee Road and North River Road that many drifters use while floating the Tuck. South River Road is a popular area for anglers and guides due to the number of pull-offs that parallel the river and make accessing the river easy. Access to the Tuckasegee is great compared to some other rivers in the area, but there is some posted private property. Be sure to avoid it. The Tuck is also part of the North Carolina Mountain Heritage Trout Waters program, which allows anglers to fish with a special three-day license that costs only $5. Many anglers opt to purchase a regular fishing license with a trout stamp since the fee is fair and it gives access to almost all the state’s trout waters. A non-resident can purchase a 10-day fishing license and trout stamp for $33 or an annual fishing license and trout stamp for $51. The Tuck DH runs very close to downtown Sylva, yet its beauty catches most first-time anglers off guard.

In fall, the red, yellow and orange leaves dancing on the trees highlight the contours of the surrounding mountains. A bald eagle might closely judge your fishing skills, watching for its opportunity to show you how it’s done. Winter brings cleansing and the occasional snowfall, in which many local anglers find solitude chasing trout on tiny midges. Winter fishing pressure is minimal, which makes it a great time to land a large trout if you’re willing to test your mental toughness wading in cold water. Spring comes to life with budding trees and insects hatching, signaling the coming summer. Anglers spend late evenings on the Tuck sight casting to rising trout honed in on larger dry flies and emerger patterns. Spring evenings can be very peaceful, since most anglers have broken down their rods by 6 p.m. and are headed to the local brewery or one of the many unique restaurants or food trailers in downtown Sylva or Dillsboro. There is a list of local restaurants and breweries at www.mountainlovers.com, or just ask local fly shop employees for their recommendation. In 2016, the North Carolina General Assembly proclaimed Jackson County the Official Trout Capital of North Carolina. Jackson County is home to 4,600 miles of trout streams with a good mixture of hatchery supported streams and wild streams. Check out www.NCTroutcapital.com for more information. Jackson County was also the first to have an officially designated Fly Fishing Trail, which highlights 15 different streams and rivers for any angler to test their skills. Many have taken the challenge of catching and releasing trout or smallmouth bass in each location. There is a map that gives detailed information about each stream, directions, and the type of fish anglers can expect to catch. More information is available at www. flyfishingtrail.com. If you are looking for a fishery with plenty of trout and the opportunity to catch a 25-incher, the Tuck is for you. It is relatively close to Atlanta, Knoxville, Charleston and Charlotte. The Tuck is just an hour west of Asheville, N.C., and it is at the base of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Blue Ridge Parkway. This makes for a nice and easy weekend retreat, or it can be a popular destination for longer stays due to accessibility and other local attractions. Come and experience North Carolina trout fishing at its best! Shannon Messer owns Appalachian Flies and manages and guides at Blackrock Outdoors Orvis Authorized Fly Shop at 570 West Main Street, Sylva NC 28779. Contact him at 828-6314453 or appalachianflies@gmail.com.

North Carolina’s Tuckasegee River, A Southern Gem By Shannon Messer

For more fishin’ on the North Carolina Tuckasegee River, go to

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FISH & FISHING

A DIFFERENT APPROACH MARK SOSIN

I

t’s commonplace today, but more than a halfcentury ago few anglers even thought about it. The late Dr. Webster Robinson wanted to catch either a sailfish or striped marlin on a fly rod while casting from a boat that was out of gear so that the fly was not being trolled. Working with his skipper, Capt. Lefty Reagan, these angling legends fathered the concept of teasing a fish. They reasoned that if they could raise a billfish on a hookless bait, capture its total attention by keeping the tasty morsel just out of reach, work the fish within casting range and substitute a different offering at the last minute, the mission would be successful. I knew both men well and listened intently as Web Robinson described the process to me in detail. He even gave me a copy of the fly he used. Teasing ranks as an extremely effective technique for countless species in a variety of situations. Working on sailfish or marlin on the offshore grounds is just one phase. Sometimes known as bait-andswitch, it’s nothing more than using a live bait, dead bait or a certain artificial to excite a fish enough so it will eat the lure or bait you want it to devour on the tackle of your choice. Very light tackle enthusiasts often tease their quarry into striking so that the line doesn’t break on the initial contact. I’ve teased countless species from sharks, albacore and tuna to striped bass, redfish, barracuda, amberjack, snook and many more. Let me share a couple examples to show you how effective teasing can be. Using a spinning outfit, I rigged a plastic worm exactly the same way as I would for largemouth bass. Pacific sailfish normally don’t include plastic worms as part of their diet. We teased one with a bonito belly and, once the boat was out of gear, I cast the worm. My partner yanked the teaser out of the water and the fish inhaled a plastic worm faster than you can read this.

I met a man who showed me beautiful flies for offshore species. When I told him I could catch a sailfish on a cigar just as easily as with one of his flies, he laughed at me. We were shooting a television show in Panama, and late in the day Capt. Karl Anderson asked if I had a cigar. He rigged it with a leader and hook, attached it to a flyrod and waited for a sailfish to show in the trolled teasers. We stopped the boat, Karl yanked the teaser away from the fish, and I cast the cigar. Within seconds, the sailfish crashed the cigar, went airborne, and all you could see was tobacco showering through the air. As Karl put it, that’s no longer theory. Teasing fish opens a broad new dimension to the sport. As an angler, it allows you to hook fish on all types of tackle using any bait or lure you choose including cigars and plastic worms. Try it and you’ll become hooked on the technique just as I am.

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FLY FISHING

CASTING FOR REDFISH: BEYOND THE DOUBLE HAUL

I

t is well-known that the double haul and the back cast are essential for fly fishing for redfish. Here are three more casts I believe are very important when targeting winter reds with a fly. Fly Repositioning Cast This cast is wonderful when you need to recast a fly to a redfish that refused it or when you missed your target. It works best when 20 or more feet of line are outside the tip-top. It is essential to the success of this cast to not rush picking the fly line up off the water. The key is to load for the back cast by beginning with the rod tip close to the water and slowly lifting the line off the water. Then wait to feel the rod load on the back cast. Once you feel the rod load, make a forward cast, allowing the fly to hit the mark. I’ve witnessed far too many fishermen rush to recast, and in doing so, miss their target on the second cast. The Quick-Cast For The Short Game When sight casting, you will need to execute some short, quick accurate casts. The short cast is one of the most difficult casts to make because a fly rod made for short casting has yet to be built. When red fishing, unless I know I’ll be making long casts, I keep roughly 40 feet of fly line stripped into a line management basket (a bucket if fishing from a skiff) and 20 feet of line outside the fly rod’s tip-top. The first 15 feet of the belly section of the line will easily load the fly rod with minimal false casting. Place the fly between the index finger and thumb of the hand not holding the rod. If a redfish is spotted at close range, make a back cast while at the same time releasing the fly from your hand and cast to the redfish.

Master The Cross-Wind Cast The wind blows where redfish live. The most difficult winds to a fly flinger are the cross-wind and the following-wind. Both are guaranteed to give the angler fits. The best cast for these challenging situations is the Belgian cast, a very quick cast that when executed correctly presents the fly under challenging conditions. The key is to make an extended side-armed back cast, followed by a high extended-arm overhead cast that will provide the angler distance when working in a big wind. A word of caution: The side cast may produce the painful problem of a fly imbedded in the angler if the wind is blowing toward the casting arm. Put It To The Test When targeting winter redfish, the fly angler will be presented with many different casting situations depending on weather conditions. It’s important to understand and execute each of the casting techniques discussed. Once mastered, a trophy redfish is only a cast away! Conway Bowman caught this 41.65-pound IGFA fly-caught world record redfish out of Hopedale, La.

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FISHING AND DIVING

The Maldives

By Capt. Terry Fisher

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t had been 20 years since I had boarded a followed by fishing. The Maldivian government live-a-board to fish and dive. My friend, Capt. is famous for it’s eco-friendly approach and Wayne Hasson, president of Aggressor and serious application to fish conservation. The Dancer Fleets, invited me to accompany him to government’s prohibition of net and long-line the Maldives for a world-class fishing and diving fishing for commercial purposes has sustained the expedition. Over the years, Wayne and I have abundance of fisheries. Commercial fishermen use fished and dived many exotic locations, including line and pole, preventing by-catch of species other waters of the Caribbean, Mediterranean, Pacific than their main target, which is tuna. Sport fishing, and Atlantic. This was my first visit to the Indian therefore, has thrived. Among the game fish found Ocean. are giant trevally, barracuda, wahoo, dorado, A three-leg flight from Miami through New yellowfin tuna, sailfish and marlin. Bonefish and York and Dubai landed us in Male, the small, permit inhabit the flats. bustling capital of the Maldives. Upon arrival, There are many charter fishing operations Wayne and I quickly cleared customs and were in the Maldives. I had numerous opportunities to assisted by a friendly and helpful crew of the be transported to beautiful sand beaches in the mother ship. We were transported aboard a ‘Dhoni’ middle of the Indian Ocean to fish for bonefish, (dinghy) by water, to lush accommodations aboard giant trevally, jack crevalle and other species. the Maldives Aggressor. This live-a-board vessel While sailing to new dive sites, we used a ‘Dohni’ boasts a full-service galley, huge salon, 10 guest to troll and catch tuna, sailfish, wahoo and dorado. state rooms and decks for relaxing, sunbathing, At night aboard the Maldives Aggressor, we dining under the stars or just getting away for bottom fished for grouper and snapper. some private time. This luxury yacht offered all Trolling, spinning, fly-fishing gear, including of the comforts and amenities of a five-star, land- lures and fly presentations are basically the same as based property with toilets, lavatory and shower we use in the states. Diving various locations and facilities to satisfy the most demanding guests. seeing up close the numerous species that I would This voyage, Dive with the Owners Week, fish for was an added and educational bonus. provided me the benefit of being surrounded Perfect water clarity offered a vast array of marine by a number of crew, divers and fishermen, life at every dive destination. representing more than 10 different countries. The Maldives is a nation of islands. It is also For information on this trip of a lifetime, visit the “Honeymoon Capital” of Europe and parts www.maldivesfishing.com or www.aggressorfleet. of Asia. Temperatures range from 77 to 86. There com. Contact Capt. Terry Fisher of Cape Coral, are 26 atolls with 1,190 islands. One island boasts Florida’s Fish Face Charters at fishfacecharters@ a rainforest. Only 209 of the islands are inhabited yahoo.com. with a total population For more fishing in the Maldives, go to of only 400,000. Tourism is the leading industry,

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A

ll tournament anglers want to win. The questions are: How bad do you want that win? How much are you willing to sacrifice? How much are you willing to put on the line chasing the big win? The answers aren’t cut-and-dry or crystal clear. Most tournament anglers I know are perfectly content competing at the club and local level for beer money. But don’t underestimate the will of those guys either. I recently competed in a Deerpoint Team Trail event with Travis Poole in which a win would have been a few hundred dollars for us to split. It was low threat, low entry fee and big fun. You’d think that given the conditions that day, any sane man would’ve stayed at home. Approximately 4 inches of rain fell that day, the wind blew and lightning popped around our heads all day. Still, most guys that entered the event that morning brought their catch to the scales in the pouring rain hoping to claim the prize. The weather didn’t seem to dampen their desires one bit. They wanted it bad enough, at least they did that day. For the professional angler, the weather is just one of many elements they must fight to stay in the game. Family, sponsorship obligations, mechanical problems and financial burdens are just a few of the non-fishing issues that require an angler to do a gut-check nearly every day. All these things must be tended to before the angler can even set out to find fish for a coming event, and he’s usually a one-man crew. Some of the top touring anglers have support networks taking on some of this for them, but rest assured, they didn’t get there with them. Stories from many of the top pros sound the same, tales about sleeping in the cab of their trucks for weeks on end, dining on peanut butter day after day, selling possessions off to fund the next event, and practicing in horrible weather because they only have two days to figure out unknown waters. If there was one thing I could define that separates the successful tournament angler from the others, it’s this: he wanted more. The guy in this picture is my friend Johnny Nguyen. He is a great example of what I just described. I can’t tell you how bad he wants it, but I can tell you he possesses at least one critical element for fishing success: the undeniable, unflappable, hard-core love for the sport. No tournament here, just him out fishing on a day he probably shouldn’t have been. But there he is, doing what he loves. Some get it, others never will. Randy Cnota is the co-publisher of Coastal Angler/The Angler Magazine’s Panama City/Forgotten Coast edition.

For More fishing with Randy ‘C-Note’ Cnota, go to

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hose of us who live life outdoors know it’s not always sunny. It can get downright ugly, and many times the best bite of the year is on the leading edge of a nasty front. With good foul weather gear, wind and rain should never stand between anglers and feeding fish. Pelagic Gear, a company founded on and devoted to the ocean lifestyle, has developed a line of gear that guarantees anglers will stay happy and dry, no matter what Mother Nature sends rolling in. Pelagic’s Dri-Flex Lightweight Jacket is perfect to throw in the bag for those dewy mornings or windy evenings when there’s a slight chill. Pelagic’s DRI-FLEX fabric provides the comfort of a lightweight jacket while protecting you from the elements with water repellant technology. When it’s time to take protection from the elements up a notch, anglers shouldn’t get caught on the water without

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Pelagic’s Hurricane Jacket. For more than a decade, this 100-percent waterproof outerwear has been the choice of hardcore captains around the world. It was designed specifically for the harsh conditions of the marine environment with technical features that cater to the needs of anglers. With welded zipper technology, reflective hex-safety patches and a moisture-wicking liner, the Hurricane Jacket keeps anglers dry and shielded in bad weather. And then there are those times when you need protection all over. Pelagic’s Stormbreaker Foul Weather Jacket and Bib are a full barrier to the elements. The suit is made of a lightweight PVC that is 100-percent waterproof, yet comfortable to wear. Again, it was designed specifically for anglers, with a loose cut for optimal maneuverability and plenty of ventilation. This is also the perfect rain barrier for the traveling angler. It is lightweight and packs easily, so an angler never has to leave the docks without the full protection from harsh conditions. Good foul weather gear is essential to every angler. When it comes to selecting protection from the elements, it makes sense to choose gear designed specifically for fishing. Any outerwear will do if the mission is a stroll through the park. Pelagic Gear’s line protects anglers and keeps them fishing in the kind of brutal conditions only found on open water. To learn more about the Pelagic Lifestyle, go to

ANGLERSDREAM.CO

COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

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WAHOO “COWBELLS’’ & ‘’SNAGGER’’ DOLPHIN LURES

44

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6-pak Special $69.00 w/ FREE Case

www.BALLYHOOD.com

FITEC CAST NETS Fitec International has been providing the very best cast nets available to anglers for over 50 years. They are the world’s largest manufacturer of cast nets and their products are in stock or online with all major retailers and distributors where cast nets are sold. The superior quality in their handmade nets gives anglers the fun and performance they deserve while out on the water. Hold a Fitec net next to a competitor and you will see there is no comparison. Fitec’s Super Spreader and Ultra Spreader cast nets are simply the best! Fitec offers four distinct categories to ensure you are able to get the net you need. The patented EZ throw cast net is designed with a disc feature that is perfect for the novice. The RS, or Recreational Series, is designed for shallow waters or for the person who wants a lighter net. The SS, or Sport Series, nets are designed with a 1-pound per radius foot weight system and are the No. 1 selling cast net in the country. Finally, the GS, or Guide Series, nets are designed for the serious angler, built with the highest quality standards and the fastest sink rate. Fitec values your business. They go to work every day with you, their customer, in mind. Their mission is to “bring innovative quality products to customers, with drive and passion every day.”

WWW.CASTNETS.COM

Seeking to become the leading and most comprehensive manufacturer of all things diving and fishing, Hammerhead Spearguns has made another addition to its lineup of gear. They are proud to announce the launch of the Dentex NT, a utility glove so durable yet flexible it’s almost like having a second skin on the hands. The Dentex NT comes with an ANSI Cut Level 5 and Puncture Level 3 and is woven from Hammerhead’s signature red Dentex fabric, but now it has a Sandy Nitrile coating on the palm and fingers, giving it increased resistance to heat and chemicals, plus additional grip. The Dentex NT is also known to be extremely pliant, molding seamlessly into your hands, so no clumsy mitten-hands here. You can even pick up a penny while wearing them! The wide range of things you can do with the Dentex NT gloves is staggering. You can use them not just when you fish or handle tricky, spiny sea critters but also when doing repairs or squaring off with hazardous materials. Welding a piece of metal to fix your boat? Piece of cake! Filleting tuna? Sure thing! Changing lines and hooks? Say goodbye to line abrasions and getting pricked, stabbed, or poked on your fingers. Sharp tools and hot objects no longer pose a threat to your valuable hands.

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Airline_CoastalAnglerAd_3-2016_Layout 1 3/18/16 1:07 PM Page 1

PRODUCT SPOTLIGHT ERGODOCK OFFERS IMPROVED RESILIENCE, AESTHETICS AND SAFETY

While many docks along the Florida coastline buckled to the force of Hurricane Matthew this fall, widespread reports from boaters and anglers indicated that docks utilizing ErgoDock technologies held up considerably better. With the damage and debris left in Matthew’s wake, the resilience of ErgoDock proved significant—not only because of its strength, but because of expected durability against future hurricanes that routinely batter the coast. The ErgoDock difference is its inherent structural augmentation. ErgoDock is designed to provide a matrix that evolves the dock into a single structural component instead of a succession of individual parts like most marine docks are constructed. Independent tests report that ErgoDock significantly outperforms all other dock options in comfort, safety and customization. ErgoDock’s unique texture, for example, enhances safety with a far more slip resistant material than wood or composite decking. The ErgoDock surface also is designed to allow more “give,” increasing comfort and safety by easing stress on ErgoDock owners’ feet, back and joints while also mitigating any potential injury from a fall. ErgoDock prevents deterioration, therefore reducing the need for maintenance. Its products adhere with an impervious membrane to seal all decking materials and are self-draining, to prevent UV or water degradation of existing decking or concrete surfaces. “Our purpose was to create a material that far outperforms all other dock options when it comes to safety, comfort, customization and longevity,” said Kent Weisenberg, founder and CEO of ErgoDock LLC. “There is nothing like it on the market. ErgoDock is a multi patent-pending marine surfacing system that is revolutionizing the dock design and repair industries.” Weisenberg, the sole named inventor on 28 U.S. and foreign patents, added, “We passionately pursue improving the world’s infrastructure with green technology. ErgoDock surfaces are made of sustainable materials that fight the depletion of our environment.” ErgoDock products can be used in various stages of a dock’s life whether for preservation, safety, aesthetics or for any combination of the three. Still want that traditional wood dock look? ErgoDock offers ErgoWood Decking, which is select-treated wood that is pre-dried and then encased in ErgoDock’s patented SafeTread material and prevents deterioration from sun and water while increasing a dock’s life by as much as 10 years over current decking materials. “Add it all up, and ErgoDock products represent a major leap forward in dock design and repair,” Weisenberg said. “We want people to know that there is another option out there–one that comes with ergonomic elegance and represents a resilient, safe and viable option that contractors will want to offer their customers.”

COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

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PRODUCT SPOTLIGHT XTRATUF CAMO-LINED LEGACY BOOT Designed to keep fishermen sure-footed on the water, XTRATUF’s Camo-Lined Legacy Boot is the ideal boot for fishing in the elements. An interior camo lining and XTRATUF logo that are visible when the boot is rolled down adds a pop of color to XTRATUF’s classic performance boot. Not your typical rubber boot, the Legacy is triple-dipped to create a seamless coating of rubber that further strengthens an already watertight material, thus sealing the boots and making them impervious to fish oils and chemicals. The soft, pliable and lightweight neoprene latex rubber gives the Legacy boots unparalleled comfort and flexibility. The hand-laye r e d construction allows for flex and strength at critical stress points on the boot. A signature chevron outsole design and unique rubber compound provides maximum surface contact for ultimate traction and stability in even the most severe fishing and work conditions. These 100 percent waterproof boots will keep the warmth in and the cold out when the temperature drops.

P SU CO

LIMIT 800-42 purcha Offer presen

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2000 WATT CONTINUOUS/ 4000 WATT PEAK SAVE POWER INVERTER

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6" VARIABLE SPEED DUAL ACTION POLISHER Customer Rating ITEM 69924 shown 62403/62862

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How Does Harbor Freight Sell GREAT QUALITY Tools at the LOWEST Prices? We have invested millions of dollars in our own state-of-the-art quality test labs and millions more in our factories, so our tools will go toe-to-toe with the top professional brands. And we can sell them for a fraction of the price because we cut out the middle man and pass the savings on to you. It’s just that simple! Come visit one of our 700+ Stores Nationwide. R PE ON SU UP CO

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R PE ON SU UP CO

ITEM 69651/62868 62873/68239 shown

Includes one 18V NiCd battery and charger.

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ITEM 69249/69115/69137 69129/69121/877 shown

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RETRACTABLE AIR HOSE REEL R PE ON WITH 3/8" x 50 FT. HOSE SU UPCustomer Rating ITEM 93897 shown CO 69265/62344

$ $

2999

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Blade sold separately.

12" SLIDING COMPOUND DOUBLE-BEVEL MITER SAW WITH LASER GUIDE

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12 VOLT, 10/2/50 AMP BATTERY CHARGER/ ENGINE STARTER Customer Rating

LIMIT 3 - Good at our stores or HarborFreight.com or by calling 800-423-2567. Cannot be used with other discount or coupon or prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase with original receipt. Offer good while supplies last. Non-transferable. Original coupon must be presented. Valid through 5/1/17. Limit one coupon per customer per day.

SAVE $499 64% comp at $8.48

LIMIT 8 - Good at our stores or HarborFreight.com or by calling 800-423-2567. Cannot be used with other discount or coupon or prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase with original receipt. Offer good while supplies last. Non-transferable. Original coupon must be presented. Valid through 5/1/17. Limit one coupon per customer per day.

ITEM 60581/60653 shown

comp at

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5999 $98.62

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7 FT. 4" x 9 FT. 6" ALL PURPOSE WEATHER RESISTANT TARP

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Customer Rating

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At Harbor Freight Tools, the "comp at" price means that the same • 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed • 700+ Stores Nationwide • HarborFreight.com item or a similar functioning item was advertised for sale at or above the "comp at" price by another retailer in the U.S. within the • Over 30 Million Satisfied Customers • Lifetime Warranty • 800-423-2567 past 180 days. Prices advertised by others may vary by location. No other meaning of "comp at" should be implied. For more On All Hand Tools information, go to HarborFreight.com or see store associate. • No Hassle Return Policy COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM JANUARY 2017 NATIONAL 33

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PENNFISHING.COM

LET THE BATTLE BEGIN The Slammer is back! Featuring a full metal body and rotor, IPX6 sealed gear box and spool design, a full Brass CNC Gear system,

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and a smooth yet powerful Dura Drag System. The Slammer is not only back…. it’s better than ever before.

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