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Outdoor Apparel Palm Beach International Boat Show March 22-25, 2018

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Llebroc Changes The Game

Fishing Reports Catch Photos News & Events

PHOTO COURTESY OF MICHAEL GRANT – TEAM THREE BUOYS VOLUME 23 • ISSUE 277

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BOOST YOUR CATCH w/RezBoostTM Technology

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

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

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

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

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BLEED TRIM

SAFETY

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

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BIG BEND : Mike McNamara • (850) 510-7919 • captmike@coastalanglermagazine.com BREVARD : Chris Milner • (321) 631-1001 • cmilner@coastalanglermagazine.com DAYTONA/NEW SMYRNA BEACH : Don Meadows • (321) 436-5895 • donm@coastalanglermagazine.com FLORIDA KEYS : Cliff Lumpkin • (305) 849-9093 • cliff@coastalanglermagazine.com FORT LAUDERDALE : Gene Dyer • (954) 680-3900 • gene@coastalanglermagazine.com FORT MYERS : Nadeen Welch • (239) 595-8265 • nwelch@coastalanglermagazine.com GREATER ORLANDO : Phillip & Giselle Wolf • (407) 790-9515 • phillip@coastalanglermagazine.com GREATER MIAMI : Gene Dyer • (954) 680-3900 • gene@coastalanglermagazine.com LAKELAND & SUMTER : Mary Brasher • (352) 598-4219 • maryf@coastalanglermagazine.com NAPLES : Nadeen Welch • (239) 595-8265 • nwelch@coastalanglermagazine.com NC FLORIDA/NATURE COAST : Cary & Lynn Crutchfield • (352) 372-4237 • crutch@coastalanglermagazine.com NE FLORIDA : Danny Patrick • (904) 742-4696 • danny@coastalanglermagazine.com PANAMA CITY/FORGOTTEN COAST : Randy Cnota • (229) 834-7880 • randyc@coastalanglermagazine.com PALM BEACH COUNTY : Barbara Ryan • (561) 373-8040 • barbara@coastalanglermagazine.com SARASOTA : Phil Prevoir • (239) 257-4684 • pprevoir@coastalanglermagazine.com TAMPA BAY : Chuck Atkins • (239) 464-5153 • chuck@coastalanglermagazine.com TREASURE COAST : Misti & Gary Guertin • (772) 285-6850 • treasurecoast@coastalanglermagazine.com

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Laura Tiger • (757) 707-9655 • laura@coastalanglermagazine.com

WESTERN NC : Debra & Joe Woody • (828) 775-9663 • woody@theanglermagazine.com WILMINGTON/MOREHEAD : Kenny Ritter • (910) 550-9094 • kenny@coastalanglermagazine.com

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

GULF COAST MISSISSIPPI GULF COAST : Adam Nelson • (228) 627-5903 • anelson@coastalanglermagazine.com

Owning a Fishing Magazine

This edition of the magazine is being brought to you by your local publisher. Their contact information is shown on the left of this page. They’re doing a great job to make sure that you receive accurate fishing forecasts and marine related information every month. They also ensure that you can easily find a copy of the magazine throughout your community. They also make sure that this magazine continues to be available to you for free. As you read the magazine, you’ll notice that business owners place their ads in the magazine. That’s what keeps this magazine free to the public. Your local publisher of the magazine would appreciate you letting these businesses know that you saw their ad in the magazine and that you appreciate their support of this resource. Our publishers do a great job of providing this resource to your community. You might even consider sending them an email or a call to let them know you appreciate what they do. Everybody enjoys hearing “Good job” from time to time. If you or someone you know would be interested in learning about our franchise opportunities, we would love to hear from you. We want to expand our magazine throughout the country. Owning your own fishing magazine requires hard work and dedication, but it can be a very rewarding profession. Some say “the best job you’ll ever have.” We currently have over 30 locations, and we have been franchising the magazine for 10 years. If you would like to turn your passion for the outdoors into a profession, give us a call. We may have just what you’ve been looking for. Best regards,

Toby Nelson • (228) 623-1761 • tnelson@coastalanglermagazine.com

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

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

Ben Martin Editor in Chief info@coastalanglermagazine.com

1-888-800-9794

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Outdoor Apparel FISH HIPPIE FLATWATER COLLECTION SHUCKERHUT PLAID Those who live an outdoor life should be able to represent it in their casual lives as well as “out there.” That’s the idea behind Fish Hippie, which was created by anglers who favor good times with friends, time on the water and “drifting off course” as often as life allows. New for spring 2018 from the Fish Hippie Flatwater Collection, the Shuckerhut Plaid blends on-the-water comfort with casual style of the highest quality. Designed with comfort and versatility in mind, the Shuckerhut delivers a silky-smooth touch with an apt range of movement and flexibility. Hidden-button collars prevent dreaded “collar flare,” while double chest pockets and two back shoulder pleats converge for an elevated level of functional, yet casual, style. The specially created four-way stretch fabric is 30+ upf, wrinkle and stain resistant and is easily worn fishing, as well as to the office or a night on the town. The Flatwater Collection is the latest offering from Fish Hippie for those more at home on the road less traveled. Learn more about Fish Hippie and survey all the lifestyle-driven gear and apparel at www.fishhippie.com.

WWW.FISHHIPPIE.COM

L.L.BEAN ULTIMATE FISHING SHIRT L.L.Bean recently introduced its new Ultimate Fishing Shirt, and it’s exactly what you need for a long day on the flats or a wade trip up your favorite stream. The Ultimate Fishing Shirt is a technical fishing shirt, thoughtfully designed with a combination of fabrics for ease of movement, comfort and durability. It looks good and keeps you dry with moisturewicking fabrics, but what makes it the Ultimate Fishing Shirt is its ability to provide protection from both biting insects and the sun’s harmful rays. With UPF 50+ sun protection and No Fly Zone technology to repel insects, this shirt eliminates two of the most prominent factors that lead to discomfort on the water. It features four chest pockets to hold essential gear, it can be worn tucked or untucked, the sleeves can be rolled up and secured, and an extended collar unrolls from hidden snaps to provide added protection from the sun. The slightly fitted design offers a relaxed fit through the chest and sleeve, with a slightly slimmer waist to both look good and provide for unhindered movement. The Ultimate Fishing Shirt is available in Dusty Sage, Marine Blue and Graystone colors.

WWW.LLBEAN.COM

CAPSMITH REEL ANGLER HEADWEAR

SHIMANO EVAIR BOAT SHOES

Do you need custom headwear? Capsmith Inc. is the No. 1 trusted source for fishing and outdoor enthusiasts with more than 33 years of experience in the headwear industry. A wholesale distributor of fishing headwear, Capsmith has a line of stylish hats designed specifically for anglers. Their Reel Angler headwear collection celebrates life out on the water. Their in-stock Reel Angler collection comes in a variety of cool fish designs including dolphin, marlin, tarpon, sailfish, yellowfin, bass, snook, seatrout and redfish. These five-panel caps feature sublimation printed crown and bill inspired by nautical maps. A 3D embroidered Reel Angler logo on crown adds a premium look to this one-of-a-kind cap that features an extended bill with a green undervisor to avoid water glare. A soft performance mesh back and snapback closure ensures comfort for extended wear. Wholesalers, distributors or custom-made customers can contact Capsmith at 1-800-228-3889 or sales@capsmith.com.

Perfect on the deck of or a boat, Shimano’s new Evair boat shoes offer both style and function for all kinds of fishing. The ultra lightweight EVA midsole provides all-day comfort, and if they get wet, the upper mesh is made from a quick dry fabric. The heel can be bent down to wear like a sandal. Relying on its expertise with cycling shoes from its bicycle components division, and Shimano’s success with its Evair marine/ fishing sandal and award-wining Evair flats boots, Evair boat shoes include design features like a exposed EVA soft material on the inside front sole to better grip a trolling motor pedal. The non-marking sole is welcomed on any boat, plus it provides traction on a wet surface. Designed, developed and manufactured by Shimano, Evair boat shoes are offered in two colors – blue and navy – and in whole sizes from 7 through 13.

WWW.CAPSMITH.COM COLUMBIA PFG SOLAR SHADE ZERO

This woven button-up, longsleeved shirt is fully featured with Columbia’s new Omni-Shade Sun Deflector and OmniFreeze Zero to help keep you cool and protected for long days on the water. This key style for Columbia PFG is strategically zoned and offers the sun-deflecting dots exactly where you need it on the shoulders and back, to help protect against harmful UVA and UVB rays. In addition, this shirt has a sun protection collar, roll-up sleeves, rod holder and Light Rail zippered chest pockets.

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CAPITAL SPORTSMAN ULTIMATE HYBRID The Ultimate Hybrid from Capital Sportsman is more than a great fishing shirt. Capital Sportsman set out to design one shirt that would be functional for any outdoor activity, while being stylish enough for indoor activities – the ultimate

hybrid shirt. Available in three original patterns, four solid colors and limited-edition seasonal patterns, it was designed for comfort and is made of a 100% cotton twill fabric with a baby-soft hand. It also has a special “soft-as-butter” under the arms and in a back vent which provides exceptional ventilation. A relaxed fit provides freedom of movement for casting. Other features include a roll-up sleeve tab, two easy-access chest pockets and a secured zipper pocket for important documents such as a license or passport. There is also a utility loop, which is important if you need to keep that extra fly handy. The Ultimate hybrid already has people talking. Cory “Ruthless” Routh of Ruthless Outdoor Adventures said the Ultimate Hybrid is, “more comfortable than anything I’ve ever tried on. I can go from the field to the office, no problem.”

WWW.CAPITALSPORTSMAN.COM

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Product Reviews

SIMMS CHALLENGER JACKET

KLUCH MAKIN’ MOVES COLLECTION

From bitter early morning cold through late-afternoon storms, the outside elements can be a distraction when you’re zoning in on the end of your line. Simms’ men’s Challenger Jacket fights back against the elements with heavy-duty Toray fabric and fully taped seams for completely waterproof, breathable comfort. Fleece-lined pockets warm your hands in the most numbing weather. An adjustable storm hood packs away in the collar, and a storm flap with water-resistant zippers adds protection from the driving rain. This jacket will keep you warm and dry while you fish, regardless of the type of fishing you do.

Whether you’re making a move toward the hot bite or looking to reset your spread, the new Kluch Makin’ Moves collection has the perfect shirt for every offshore angler. These shirts are available in short or long sleeve cotton. Each shirt sports a classic distressed design with comfort in mind. Head on over to Kluch.com today and get your hands on one before they’re gone!

WWW.SIMMSFISHING.COM

Hooked Soul is an outdoor apparel company offering premium men’s and women’s clothing, specifically designed for extended wear, comfort and with anglers and outdoor enthusiasts in mind. Hooked Soul is an extension of the wearer’s passion for sports, hobbies, and lifestyle experiences with family and friends. Whether fishing in the blue waters of the ocean or freshwater lakes, rivers and streams, each outdoorsman demands comfort and protection from the elements. Hooked Soul was founded in 2014 by three friends and fishing enthusiasts. The inspiration for Hooked Soul came from being outside, the camaraderie and the thrill of the day’s catch. Their passion for an outdoor lifestyle led these three friends to research and bring to market superior performance clothing, the kind they always wanted for themselves. Today Hooked Soul has become an expression and a lifestyle. Hooked Soul, do you have it?

HOOKED SOUL

WWW.KLUCH.COM REALTREE FISHING HAT Realtree has always been about family, friends and the outdoors. As the America’s No. 1 camo pattern, the iconic brand has been providing quality to those who love the outdoors since the 1980s. Last year, Realtree entered into the fishing world with a lifestyle brand ideal for sportsmen and women who trade their bows and guns for fishing rods during the summer months. Realtree Fishing gives an additional connection to the brand they know and respect. Check out their good-looking Realtree fishing hats. They come in several different colors and designs perfect for fishing or everyday wear. These mid-profile hats feature the cool fishhook Realtree Fishing logo embroidered in the front panel, mesh backing and plastic snap closure.

WWW.REALTREE.COM SOFTSCIENCE FIN 3.0

WWW.HOOKEDSOUL.COM

DICKIES WATERPROOF BREATHABLE REFLECTIVE JACKET From the job site to the boat deck, Dickies’ Waterproof Breathable Reflective Jacket has it all. It keeps you comfortable, dry and protected from the elements while providing greater visibility in low light conditions. • Waterproof: The jacket is water resistant and its chest and lower pockets feature waterproof zippers. • Breathable: At just 5.6 ozs., this jacket is lightweight and breathable to keep you comfortable no matter the conditions. • Reflective: For safety, this jacket features enhanced visibility in low light conditions. It appears to light up when light is flashed upon it. 100% Polyester reflective print 10K/10K lamination.

WWW.DICKIES.COM OT WEAR CUSTOM APPAREL OT Wear designs using vivid colors and unique, custom graphics to exceed their customers’ expectations. Their professional designers create custom jerseys and athletic apparel for whatever activity you choose. Distinctive dye-sublimated graphics combined with vivid colors on high performing, comfortable and durable apparel will give you a distinctive edge to stand out from the crowd. Your sponsors will be blown away with how their logos are showcased on your jersey. Let OT Wear outfit you or your team in style with a range of men’s and women’s cuts and

The Fin 3.0 fishing shoe adds a four-eye textile lacing system, an easy-on pull tab and EVA reinforcements on critical toe, forefoot and ankle locations to provide maximum stability in virtually any weather condition. Like all SoftScience shoes, it is lightweight, superbly cushioned and stable, with a woven, breathable reinforced upper. The forefoot water flow system is ideal for worryfree water activity, keeping your feet stable and not slippery. A relaxed fit, the shoes have a removable, washable Trileon insole and Trileon nonmarking, slip-resistant outsole.

WWW.SOFTSCIENCE.COM choice of performance fabrics. They can give you true brand consistency by matching your other marketing materials. Submit your own artwork or let the designers work with your graphics to create highperformance apparel that is unique to you. You will have a stunning, unique look that won’t be matched by others. All of OT’s apparel is made in the USA, from fabric to finished product. Contact them today and let them help you create an extraordinary new look for you or your team.

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2018 242CC

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For over a century, a league of canned crusaders have been fighting to keep boats safe from barnacles, slime, algae and other aquatic evils that rob your boat of its true performance. With advanced know-how and unique capabilities, each antifouling is tailored to different conditions, and has the power to defeat fouling in all its forms. Micron® Extra leads the charge in all waters. Using its signature dual-protection with boosting Biolux® technology, it provides high-quality, multi-season protection that survives hauling and relaunch without the need for repainting. For super-powered antifouling protection and proven performance, choose Interlux®.

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FISH & FISHING

Finding The Touch MARK SOSIN

T

oo many anglers blame what they consider the obvious when they are not catching fish. They reason that the fish aren’t hungry, they’re not fishing in the right spot, or the lure they have chosen is not producing the results they expected. Sometimes, it merely takes a subtle touch to turn frustration into success. Although my father fished around the bend many years ago, I still marvel at his skill working a yellow Upperman bucktail in the ¼- or 3/8-ounce size. To this day, I have never met an angler who could come close to matching his success with that single lure. He caught countless species on that bucktail, from striped bass, bluefish and weakfish, to redfish, trout, bonefish, permit and tarpon. Even when I stood next to him and tried to match his every move, I fell far short. What that taught me is that some simple thing in the retrieve (or lack of one) can make a major difference. Let me share a few examples with you. Two of us fishing side-by-side were casting MirrOlures. They were the same model and the same color. He would get strike after strike, while I could barely get a fish to hit my lure. No matter how closely I watched him, I couldn’t detect any difference in the area we fished and the speed of the retrieve. I had to threaten to physically harm him if he didn’t tell me what he was doing. The only difference was that he occasionally vibrated his wrist on the hand

holding the rod. That caused the lure to flash just like a baitfish, and a predator reacted to that instantly. In another example, my friend and I were both fishing a swimming plug with a lip. During the retrieve, it would dive down, but if you stopped reeling the lure would start to float back to the surface. Once again, my partner got strike after strike, and I could barely catch an occasional fish. All he was doing was swimming the plug for a short distance, pausing for an instant, and then continuing the retrieve. Every time he paused, the plug would start to rise in the water column and then dive again when he resumed reeling. The sudden dive made it appear the lure was trying to escape from a predator. That’s all it took. Here’s one more example. The successful angler would start with a rather slow retrieve and then speed it up about halfway back to the boat. If a fish happened to see the plug, the change in speed would make it appear as if the plug were trying to get away and that’s a trigger mechanism. Seasoned anglers who fish artificials and score frequently limit the number of lures they carry and develop a touch for each one that produces strikes. Basically, there is more than one way to fish any artificial. My suggestion is that you keep trying a variety of subtle approaches until you become the angler that others envy and try to copy.

For more about artifical lures with Mark Sosin, visit

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FLY FISHING

Fly Reel Backing

L

osing a big saltwater gamefish after it is hooked and decides to head for the horizon is, in many instances, the result of filling your reel with backing that is either too short or too light. It can ruin an otherwise wonderful trip. Also, making wrong choice in backing can lose you not only your fish, but worse, it can cost you a very expensive fly line. Twenty-pound backing is a good choice for most inshore saltwater fly fishing situations, and 30-pound backing will more than fill the bill in getting you through a tussle with an uncooperative bluewater gamefish. The Old School Frame Of Mind: Dacron These days there are many choices when it comes to choosing backing for your fly reels. Some anglers prefer braided backing because of its small diameter. I prefer the tested and trued performance of standard hi-vis Dacron. Why? Because, It’s easier on the fingers while fighting big fish, and it does not have the tendency—as braid does—to dig into itself when reeled back onto the fly reel. How Much Do You Need? Your fly reel should house a minimum of 175 yards of 20-pound Dacron backing. Many inshore saltwater gamefish will make initial runs of from 75 to 100 yards before they turn and settle into a fighting mode. For bluewater fly fishing, 30-pound Dacron or gel spun is standard. A minimum of 300 yards should fill these reels. Big bluewater gamefish like the tuna and marlin will run off 200

yards of backing before you’ve had time to say, “Come back and fight like a man!” These fish can also dive to great depths, thus making essential an abundant supply of backing. One caveat to remember is “Don’t short-line your backing.” Best Color For Backing? The phrase “getting into your backing” always arouses excitement through a saltwater fly fisherman’s being each time he hears it. There is nothing more exciting than witnessing one hundred yards of water-shedding backing slicing through the water, pulled by a bonefish, tarpon, sailfish or marlin. It’s a common occurrence in saltwater fly fishing. When this happens, the color of your backing is essential in tracking the fish’s direction. Is it swimming at an angle or is it sounding. Make no mistake, eventually every saltwater fisherman experiences this. High-visibility backing will help determine how to fight the fish. For instance, when tarpon fishing it is important that you are able to turn a tarpon’s head during the tussle, a move aimed at keeping the tarpon off balance and assuring the fish is brought quickly to the boat. Also, the use of hivis backing allows the angler a better sight-line in tracking the fish’s direction so pressure may be applied in an opposite direction. The best colors? As I stated above, I prefer hi-vis backing in bright yellow or bright orange, both highly visible backing regardless of weather conditions or water coloration.

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You could get a discount when you combine your auto and boat policies.

geico.com | 1-800-865-4846 | Local Office Some discounts, coverages, payment plans and features are not available in all states or all GEICO companies. Boat and PWC coverages are underwritten by GEICO Marine Insurance Company. Multi-Policy Discount available to auto insureds that have purchased a boat policy through the GEICO Marine Insurance Company. GEICO is a registered service mark of Government Employees Insurance Company, Washington, D.C. 20076; a Berkshire Hathaway Inc. subsidiary. © 2018 GEICO

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W

hen Yamaha introduced the 19-foot 190 FSH center console boat in 2016, the company tapped into a segment of boaters who want to fish more than runabout owners, but who also want to tow and entertain more than other center console owners. By all accounts, Yamaha’s “family sports hybrid” concept proved to be a success. Featuring an innovative, yet familiar, center console deck design, a performance sports boat hull, and the versatility unique to jet power, the 190 FSH is attracting more younger, first-time buyers than traditional center console brands, and is already the second best seller in the category. For 2018, Yamaha is expanding their FSH offering to include a 21-foot model that is better suited for rougher waters and delivers the added peace of mind that comes with dual engines. And because the motors and driveline are tucked in the hull underneath the captain’s leaning post, the boat provides an open 360-degree experience that fishermen love. The 210 FSH includes all the features that fishing enthusiasts require, along with family features that are perfect for an entire day out on the water to include water sports, swimming and lounging—all in the same boat, and at a competitive price starting under $40,000. The 210 FSH is available in three variations that include the base model 210 FSH, an upgraded 210 FSH Deluxe, and the flagship 210 FSH Sport that offers the features of the Deluxe with the addition of a custom T-top. All three models come with Yamaha’s award-winning TR-1 High Output marine engines. 210 FSH Walkthrough Starting at the bow, there is comfortable, padded seating with ample room for four adults. The padded cushions snap off, so they are easy to store or leave at home when you are heading out for a fishing trip. Under the starboard bow seat is an insulated fish locker, and there is a dedicated locker for a full-size Danforth anchor. There is more storage below the port bow seat, in the sole, and inside two large consoles. In front of the helm console is more seating, and the console lifts up to reveal a cavernous storage area that also serves as a changing room or a head compartment thanks to the curtain enclosure included on the Deluxe and Sport models. The 210 FSH is loaded with the angling features one would ex-

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pect in a premium center console boat to include coaming pads, vertical and horizontal holders for 14 rods and a 26-gallon aerated live well. A cool feature you won’t find on other center console boats is Yamaha’s exclusive Jet Wash system that uses pressure from the jet pumps for easy cleanup of the cockpit, whether you land a big fish or the kids fill the boat full of sand. The Helm The helm is thoughtfully designed with a simple-to-remove windshield for low profile storage, a stainless-steel sports steering wheel, easy access to all boat control switches, a locking glove box and an open area to flush mount electronics such as a fishfinder, a GPS unit and other marine electronics. The 210 FSH comes equipped with Yamaha’s 4.3” Connext Touchscreen Display, which is NMEA compatible to send vital engine information to third-party electronics. Behind the helm is a padded leaning post with a backrest (on Deluxe and Sport). Under the leaning post is a dedicated space for a removable cooler. The Transom The transom area on the FSH Series is unlike any other center console boat on the market. Since the engines and drivetrain are in the hull, the entire back of the 201 FSH is open for unobstructed casting and watersports towing. The 210 FSH features Yamaha’s signature two-tier swim platform that sits low at the water’s edge. A retractable stern ladder makes reboarding after swimming a breeze. The transom also includes a tow eye for watersports. Like all Yamaha boats, the 210 FSH features Yamaha’s patented clean-out ports that allow for the removal of debris from the jet pump without having to get in the water or swim under the boat. Rounding out the FSH’s list of innovations is the addition of Yamaha’s Articulating Keel, the latest in Yamaha’s Advanced Responsive Handling features. The Articulating Keel is an extension of the boat’s keel that moves and tracks along with the jet pump nozzle to provide comfort, stability and straight-line tracking at all speeds. For buyers attracted to the iconic styling of a center console boat, but need more versatility to appease the family, look no further than the Yamaha 210 FSH.

For more on Yamaha’s 210 FSH Series, go to

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Center sp W

ho doesn’t have a smile on their face when they’re spending time on the water? You can’t help yourself. Boating is getting away from it all. And getting away from it all is always more fun with friends. This is where the United States Power Squadrons – America’s Boating Club comes in. Enjoying your time on the water with family and friends starts with being safe and responsible while having fun. That’s what makes America’s Boating Club different than most boating organizations. For over a hundred years, the organization’s focus has been on providing unsurpassed boating safety education. But the organization’s leadership and members are passionate about a membership that doesn’t end on Sunday and doesn’t care if the calendar says it’s winter. It’s about being together and building a community through a variety of events like parties, meetings and even just getting together for no reason at all. Driven by this passion, United States Power Squadrons – America’s Boating Club, the country’s largest nonprofit boating organization, just launched its new logo. This is the first of several planned updates in the organization’s new brand image and identity. Changes to the organization’s website, social media platforms and collateral are expected in the coming weeks. “We are United States Power Squadrons, but we are also America’s Boating Club,” said Louie Ojeda, chief commander, United States Power Squadrons. “This is not just a name change, it describes what we do. We go boating and have fun doing it. Over time, our squadrons have evolved to become social clubs as well as providers of high quality boating education – allowing members to enjoy the sport and camaraderie of boating and any number of activities that keep us together. Togetherness is what this lifestyle is all about. We joined the organization for the boating education, but we stayed for the friends.” Offering classes For Boaters, By Boaters in boat handling, navigation, boat maintenance, weather and related subjects, United States

Power Squadrons – America’s Boating Club serves as a virtual “yacht club” with boating and social activities for all types of recreational boaters. With over 27,000 members organized into 356 squadrons across the country, America’s Boating Club is comprised of families who contribute to their communities by promoting safe boating through education. Squadron members are vital to strengthening the communities

they live in and know it’s important to live their values by giving back through public service and volunteer opportunities. Members provide courtesy vessel safety checks, help the NOAA’s National Ocean Service keep nautical charts accurate and organize beach cleanups. “Our commitment is to continue learning, teaching, laughing and helping our fellow members enjoy boating,” continued Ojeda. “Whether you’re passionate about cruising, racing, making new friends, volunteering in your community or learning from experienced boaters, your local squadron has the resources you need to engage your passions and, perhaps, instill some new ones.” In February of 2017, the United States Power Squadrons announced its America’s Boating Club co-brand to its squadrons, following an almost yearlong re-naming exercise. To learn more about United States Power Squadrons – America’s Boating Club, visit www.americasboatingclub.org.

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United States Power Squadrons is America’s Boating Club Learn boating skills. Engage with boating friends. Connect with the boating community.

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FLORIDA

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By Nick Carter

eam Beach Marine Products is riding a high headed into the second leg of the Meat Mayhem Tournament series at Palm Beach March 8-10. Rod man Teddy Beach used one word to describe their $10,000 win at the January Key West Kingfish Mayhem: “Monumental.” In rough conditions, the team weighed in a 65.2-pound kingfish on day two to win the first event of the three-leg series. But things weren’t so rosy on day one. With a 6:30 a.m. Bimini start, the team headed west out of Key West Harbour Marina aboard their 39’ SeaHunter “Prowess” toward the Dry Tortugas. Passing Marquesas Key, there were 8- to 10-foot swells. Beach said they were glad to have their Seakeeper stabilizer when it came time to set out the spread. “When we got to the fort, in 120 feet of water, the waves were stacking up past 10 feet,” he said. “Fishing conditions were tough. Water clarity was junk; it was just milky.” Team Beach Marine fought all day to find clean water. They lost four fish on the first day of the tournament and did not land a single king mackerel. The team, captained by Billy Delph, decided to make a move on day two. They left the docks that morning in 35 mph winds with 10- to 12-

foot seas. They headed west where they had located a temperature break in 95 feet of water. “We knew the area we were targeting,” Beach said. “And we knew it would pay off when the water clarity was good and the temperature was right at 78 degrees.” Several days prior, they began catching blue runners and penned them in two 300-gallon Beach Marine Pro Pens with false bottoms. So, they were fishing good, fresh and healthy bait as they slow trolled the break. The results were impressive. Along with two sailfish, they caught 15 kingfish. The smallest weighed 28 pounds, and they had four heavier than 40 pounds. Their back-up fish weighed well over 50 pounds, but the largest of the day was a 65.2-pound king mackerel. “When Daniel Delph stuck that fish, the mood on the boat was monumental,” said Beach. “We called it a day. We were sitting at the dock at 1:45 waiting for weigh-in.” Watching the weights after the 4:30 p.m. check-in, Beach Marine’s 65.2 was enough for the win. Team Xtended Play took second with a 62.4, and Team Tuppens took third with a 59.2. “Team Beach Marine Products is blessed to have such a great group of fishermen on board,” Beach said. “Our team efficiency and confidence are incredible. It just flows.” The team consists of: Billy Delph, Travis Holeman, Teddy Beach, Daniel Delph and David Delph. They thanked their sponsors: SeaHunter Boats, Furuno Electronics, Beach Marine Products, JL Audio, Seakeeper and Bass Pro Shops. Following the March 8-10 Palm Beach Mayhem, the third leg of the series is the Ft. Lauderdale Meat Mayhem April 26-29. Teams with the heaviest combined weight of one kingfish from each event will be competing for more than $20,000 in prizes. For more on Meat Mayhem tournaments, go to www.meatmayhemtournaments.com. For information on Beach Marine Products’ bait pens, go to beachmarineproducts.com.

For more on the Beach Marine Products, go to

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DO THE MATH!

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Center sp last major international yacht show of the yearly boat show season and therefore, is well attended by serious shoppers as well as many key industry executives. It’s a great show to do business and make a deal.” New this year, show guests are invited to enhance their visit with the Palm Beach International Boat Show VIP Experience. The private club will provide guests with fine food and refreshments in an artfully-designed, air-conditioned space with comfortable seating. One of the most attractive benefits of the VIP Experience is a dedicated concierge team to arrange yacht tours, dining reservations, private transportation and other personalized services. In addition to the large selection of boats and exhibits, the show offers fun and educational activities for the whole family, including free youth fishing clinics, sportfishing seminars, long-range cruising clinics and on-the-water boat handling classes. Attendees also enjoy live music and refreshments at the show’s famous floating cocktail lounges. Guests are invited to come by boat and tie up to free docks. General admission tickets cost $24 for adults and $14 for children 6 to 15 years old. Children under 6 are free. The show runs from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Thursday, March 22, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Friday, March 23, and Saturday, March 24, and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday, March 25.

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he 33rd annual Palm Beach International Boat Show is March 22-25 along Flagler Drive in downtown West Palm Beach, directly across the Intracoastal Waterway from Palm Beach Is-

land. An annual mainstay of the yachting community, the Palm Beach International Boat Show attracts high-level boat buyers, charter clients, sportfishing enthusiasts and blue water anglers. Many of the world’s most renowned shipyards prize the show as a platform for conducting business with the global elite. “The Palm Beach International Boat Show holds a special place on many boating and yachting enthusiasts’ calendars,” said Mary Bender, vice president of marketing for Informa, the show’s producer. “It’s the

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By Randy Cnota

S

pring means one thing to me… bedding bass! This is that magical time of the year when giant bass come to the shallows to procreate. Depending on where you fish, the first waves of bedding bass could show up in February or earlier, and in some places the spawn stretches through the spring and into summer. Their movement is affected by moon phases somewhat, but more so by water temperature. Once it’s in the 60-degree range, start combing the shallows for white spots where they’ve fanned out a bed with their tails. Once you’ve located them, it is important to understand that they’ve

located you. Bass are extremely aware of their surroundings. This makes it difficult at times to trigger a fish to take a lure. I like to run through an area with the trolling motor on high and put a 6-foot tomato stake right smack in the middle of the bed that’s holding the fish I intend to catch. Then I leave the area and allow the fish to calm down. During this waiting period, I might spend an hour doing the same thing in another area or probe the deeper areas surrounding the flat looking for pre- or post-spawn fish. Fish will be in all three spawning stages throughout spring, and any shallows that hold fish will have fish in the deeper water nearby. After an hour or so, sneak back quietly into the area you’ve staked out. Pole in, let the wind blow you in or troll in at a very low speed. Remember, you must be quiet, which means no banging around. Have everything you need on the deck of the boat. This is when a shallow-water anchoring system is worth its weight in gold. Minn Kota Talons and Power Poles are the premier systems available. Other less costly ways to anchor a boat are available as well, like Boatsticks at boatsticks.com. You’ll want to position your boat far enough from the bed to not spook the fish, but close enough to cast several yards beyond the target. You need two Texas-rigged baits—a Z-Man Grass KickerZ and a Punch CrawZ. These baits float in the upright position, which tells a bass that something is feeding on her eggs. Swim the Grass Kicker over the bed several times. This will get the fish fired up. Then hop it right into the bed and stop it. Give it a pulsating action. If this doesn’t provoke the fish to eat, try hopping the Punch CrawZ on the bed. Sometimes you have to go back and forth with those baits to entice a strike, but often you will get them to eat right away. When you do this enough, you’ll learn to understand the fish’s behavior. If a fish runs big circles away from the bed and is slow to come back, it might not be catchable. If she displays aggression and stays close to the bed, that’s a catchable fish. Randy Cnota is co-publisher of the Panama City/Forgotten Coast edition of Coastal Angler Magazine.

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By Will Robinson

C

hoosing the right fly reel can really make your head spin. From basic drags to sealed-disk braking systems, the prices and quality vary dramatically. My gut always tells me to get the best that I can. Buy it once and you won’t be replacing it in a couple of years. While this typically holds true for fly reels, there are instances when it can be overkill. If you are looking for an inshore 8-weight and will be typically chasing snook in the backcountry, the need for

a reel with a silky smooth drag and 300 yards of backing is pointless. You will likely be fighting most fish within 50 feet of you. And much of the time, you’ll be hand-lining them and have no need for a fancy drag system. In these situations, the reel is more of a line holder and can be much less expensive than their highly tuned cousins. A good starting point is deciding if you need a sealed drag reel. They are nice, and most are very well made with super smooth drags, but that comes at a price. A great advantage of these reels is that they are virtually maintenance free. The sealed drag keeps water out, so rinse them down well after fishing and, you are pretty much done. The negative is they are typically higher-end reels and a bit pricey. For nearly two decades I have fished with non-sealed drags and have never had an issue, but I need to do a little more maintenance and cleaning on those reels. Also, if you primarily fish from a boat where dunking a reel is not likely, this could be a great way to save some dough. Another important question is size, which often has to do with how much backing you think you will need. Since the tackle is lighter, it’s nice to have the line for long runs when fishing open areas, but again, if you typically fish tight spots there might not be a need for 300 yards of backing. Conversely, if you are looking to chase large tarpon or go offshore, you need plenty of backing. Larger arbors are great, even with limited backing. They allow you to pick up line at a much faster pace, making life easier on both the fish and fisher. Finally, opt for ported reels, as they are lighter and allow your backing to dry much faster. This is important for the longevity of the line. Smooth drags and plenty of backing are always nice. But be honest with yourself, this is an instance in which you can save a considerable amount of weight and money depending on the type of fishing you will be doing. Will Robinson is a seasoned tournament angler and has been writing about fishing for more than two decades. His picks for the best reels can be found at Galvanflyreels.com and Nautilusreels.com.

FWC Photo

I

n February, the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management council took steps toward turning over management of the Gulf red snapper fishery to the Gulf states. By approving Exempted Fishing Permit (EFP) applications for each of the five states on the Gulf of Mexico, the council opened the door for a pilot program that would allow each state to manage recreational fishing for red snapper during 2018 and 2019. Seasons for red snapper harvest would be determined by the respective states, and red snapper landings would be monitored by the states. State seasons would close when a state’s quota is caught. These EFPs are issued for scientific studies, and this study will determine the effectiveness of state management of the recreational red snapper fishery. At the federal level, NOAA Fisheries now must rule on whether or not to approve the program for implementation. COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

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andy Moret pointed to port: “10 o’clock!” he said in a hushed voice. “Lead them.” It took a second for me to sight in, but a moving shadow just beyond the bow brought things into focus. A pod of 70-pound tarpon were running a channel edge and we were perfectly positioned for an intercept. Late with the cast, I dropped my streamer on the nose of the lead fish, which promptly turned and powered into oblivion across the shallow flats of Florida Bay, compatriots in tow. Moret smiled and politely let me off the hook. “Happens all the time down here,” he said. “We’ll get another shot.” Chalk one up to lessons learned. A heavy front was moving in, and what had been a drizzly morning suddenly turned threatening, sending us racing back to port for a round of refreshments at the Lorelei Marina (www.loreleicabanabar.com/ marina-and-fishing). With the Florida Keys steadily rebounding from the devastating effects of Hurricane Irma, anglers across the country are once again making plans for an assault on the stellar flats fishery here. Featuring tarpon, bonefish, redfish, snook and sea trout, the shallows of Florida Bay and Everglades National Park on the village’s lee side are ideal for fly fishing and Moret, one of the founding fathers of long-wand sport in these waters, couldn’t be happier. “We still have a way to go before everyone is back on their feet, but we are getting there,” he said in a recent interview. “As for the fishing, it’s bounced back nicely.” As a guide and outfitter, Moret (www.floridakeysoutfitters. com) logically suggests first-timers to the area head out with a professional skipper. “It’s the quickest way to learn the intricacies of tempting local gamefish,” he explained. Still, he noted that the

fishing in these parts is consistent enough that those launching a kayak or even fishing from shore around bridges and passes have a chance to score. “The most important thing in the Keys is to practice your casting – especially when flyfishing,” he advised. “It’s vital to make a few casts in every spot you stop to factor in the wind, current and water depth courtesy of Sandy Moret before you even see the Photo Sandy Moret shows off a chunky Islamorada fish.” snook taken on the fly. Moret, recently honored with 2018 Fly Fisherman Conservationist of the Year Award by the Bonefish Tarpon Trust (www.bonefishtarpontrust.org), works a wide range of patterns but does have several favorites. He likes a size 4 creamand-tan Merkin with lead eyes for bonefish. For silver kings, a Keys Tarpon Streamer in purple and black is his choice for murky water. To target snook and redfish, he throws purple Deceivers in discolored water and yellow and white in clear water. Concentrate your efforts on rising tides to avoid groundings, he cautions, and keep moving until you find the fish. Getting to Islamorada is easy. Find your way to Miami or Fort Lauderdale and head south on U.S. 1. Once there, you’ll find plenty of places to stay including the world class Cheeca Lodge (www. cheeca.com) and Amara Cay Resort (www.amaracayresort.com).


Lake Erie Experienced

Record Walleye Fishing In 2017

Photo courtesy of Capt. Wes Carlton

D

uring the 2017 season, walleye anglers on Lake Erie experienced the highest recorded success in nearly 30 years. “The New York State waters of Lake Erie are world famous for outstanding angling opportunities for walleye, smallmouth bass and yellow perch,” said DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos. “Our Lake Erie waters have consistently ranked among

the top three most heavily fished waters in the state, and the fishery generates more than $26 million in economic activity annually. Anglers should take advantage of Lake Erie’s current conditions and experience this world-class walleye fishery for themselves in 2018.” DEC has conducted an angler survey on Lake Erie to estimate fishing quality and fish harvest annually since 1988. In recent years, walleye fishing quality has been generally increasing. Survey results for 2017 revealed record-high walleye catch rates that are nearly three times greater than the 30-year average. DEC estimates that anglers harvested more than 70,000 walleyes in 2017, a level not achieved since 1989. This exceptional fishing was due in large part to contributions of strong walleye reproductive success in 2010, 2012, 2014, and 2015. Recent evidence also suggests that walleye reproduction was strong again in 2016. Walleye are one of the most popular gamefish in New York, as they put up an exciting fight during the catch and make for tasty meal on the table. Walleye are aptly named because of their unique eyes that have a reflective layer of pigment called the tapetum lucidum, which allows them to see very well at night and during other low-light periods. This layer also gives walleye their “glassy-eyed” or “wall-eyed” appearance. Lake Erie is continually ranked among the world’s top walleye fishing destinations by angler publications, with an abundance of trophy-size walleye ranging from 8 to 10 pounds. Local tournament winners often score fish exceeding 11 lbs. Given that walleye typically live 10 years or more in Lake Erie combined with excellent reproduction rates in recent years, anglers should experience continued, exceptional walleye fishing in future years.

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Serving Up More.

Fishing Report & Forecast Mayport By Capt. Kirk Waltz

T

he weather continues to be a major factor in the fishing this month. Sharp temperature fluctuations to the cold side have proven to slow things down a bit inshore. The most effective days to fish with the optimum results are the warm weather window days. Try to fish late morning into early afternoon when the sun is at its warmest. Reds, trout, black drum, and sheepshead will be the predominate species. The high outgoing to dead low tides seem to be the best. The jetties will hold trout on the high outgoing and the reds will stage on the dead low. Fish slowly and methodically using live shrimp, fiddlers, cut blue crab, and mud minnows for best results. A typical 1/4oz jig on a light spin rod is effective, the old standard float rig works, and one of my favorite old reliable rigs, the egg sinker/leader combo. Try to remember the water is cold and so are the fish. The bite will be subtle and light. This doesn’t mean it’s a small fish so be mindful when you go to set the hook. Be methodical and work both the inside and outside of the jetties. The ringtail porgies and sheepshead should really fire off this month. Both species will eagerly eat a shrimp or fiddler and are dynamite fighters on light tackle. The tips of the rocks usually are my favorite areas to search first. The Mayport Basin area from White Shell rocks to the Navy base is a great area to catch good sized trout this time of the year. High clean water is best right as the river begins to flow out. Live shrimp on a float rig or a 1/4oz jig with a white or new penny 3in swimming Gulp bait seem to be my go to bait. Chartreuse tails seem to a major trigger this time of the year for me and again it’s really important to work the baits slowly. Also, look for the big black drum to push into the rocks in large numbers. A quarter piece of blue crab soaked at the ends of the jetties in 38-42ft of water to be most effective. Remember these are the breeding 2 NE FLORIDA

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stock so let the big ones go. The local party grounds right off the beach will hold good numbers of sea bass, ringtails, some triggers, and lots of red snapper. Cut squid, cuttlefish, cigars, live shrimp, and even mud minnows are great baits to use. I fished offshore a few times last month and had a blast catching what I could eat and released the rest back. On one particular day I ran with Capt. Steve Mullen on the Fishhunter and we had to work out to 20 miles in order to find water warm enough to catch decent fish and any numbers. It was around 90ft of water and temps were topped out at 47 degrees. We even managed to find a fairly large school of bull reds out there. Always vent those fish that need it and be gentle as this cold water the last few months has truly stressed these guys out. Please be sure to check the regs for what you can and cannot keep. Remember you can’t catch them from the couch. To book a charter for 3 or 50ppl Capt. Kirk can be reached by calling 904.241.7560 or 904.626.1128 or go to www.Enterprisefishingcharters. com .Capt. Kirk can be heard each and every Saturday morning on the Outdoors Show on 1010am or 92.5fmfrom 7am to 10am.

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JOSFC - March Captain Trina M. Polkey

M

arch is always a big month for us here at the Offshore Club as it can only mean one thing - EL CHEAPO! These finicky boogers, also commonly known as Sheepshead, are the top of our minds this month as they are the main focus of our yearly club fundraiser tournament. We had a lot of great participants back in February for the tune up tournament bringing in monster numbers of three fish aggregates! 9 of the 17 registered boats weighed in with the first place going to Jerry McCoy, with a whopping 20.7lb total! If finicky crab stealers aren’t your speciality, the club is also looking forward to next month, for the Safe Harbor Boys Home’s annual redfish roundup - a fun tournament not based on weight, but on spots! Community support and focus are very important to us at the club and we look forward to partnering with this organization to help their

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tournament become a success as well! As always, we would like to invite everyone, members or not, to our monthly meetings which take place the first and third Thursday of the month at the clubhouse at 7pm!

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2/13/18 12:06 PM


ess as ike to r not, which third at the

Fishing Report & Forecast Nassau Sound By Capt. Tony Bozzella

M

arch is a great time of the year to start to fish for multiple species, despite lots of wind in March, towards the end of the month in past years I have seen bluefish, ladyfish,Jack Crevalle, & Spanish Mackerel start showing up. Of course this is still weather dependent, however, I like the water temperature to hover the 65°, to 70 degree mark, that seems like the magic temperature for bait fish to return to the St. Johns River and Mayport area. This is also a good time to try your luck

at a gator trout, my records show March can be a good time to pick up a 5 lber or bigger!! In the past, I have had clients catch trout as big as 9 lbs!!! Diving lipped & topwaters lures that imitate mullet and natural baits will be a great choice. Float and live bait rigs take a number of quality trout as well. Fish the way you know best! Also, the redfish will still be in the backcountry mud flats, creeks and surrounding tidal marshes. Outgoing tide around the oysters with a TBS jig & shrimp can be a good pick. Dead stick the bait, ( no movement) and wait for the bite, 20 minutes, no bite, move. You can also get Sheephead & black drum this way. Using shrimp over mud minnows will give you a chase at these tasty fish. Lures will take their fare share of redfish as well, as their diet will start to include more baitfish as it arrives. This will be the last month before the water starts to “cloud up” with the water warming and bait returning to truly sight fish a red. Keep fishing, all months can be good, and you don’t get better at it sitting on the couch!…..  

Capt. Tony Bozzella / TBS JIGS www.tonybozzella.com 904 651 0182 Captain Bozella shows off his big trout

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Fishing Report Pier and Surf By: Noel Kuhn

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his was one of the coldest years for water temperature is a long time. The fact that our surf temp dropped down to 48 degrees is just crazy. As of mid February it was back up to 54. So here we are in the transition month were spring has sprung. The sun is finally warming or waters again. The magic number for the Pompano’s return is 65. However, before that big whiting and a few black drum can be had. To catch some yummy whiting for dinner this time of year I like to downsize. 15 to 20 pound leader with a #1 or #2 hook tipped with fresh shrimp get the job done. Fresh clams are always good to have along.

Sometimes even whiting will get picky. It’s still too cold for local sand fleas but a hungry Whiting or Black Drum will never pass up a sweet juicy piece of fresh clam. Finding a deep wide trough is your key to success. Do not just set up at the closest place to the ramp. When you get to the beach take your time and look to the north then to the south. Find the deepest, darkest, and widest trough or slough that you can see. What you are looking for is dark water versus bubbles or foamy water. You may have to walk hundreds of yards down the beach but its worth it! One particular trip my two amigos and I had already walked 700 yards to a deep spot. However, after fishing for a couple of hours we had very little to show for it. Once the sun came up higher, I spotted an even deeper trough another 200 yards down the beach. It was 200 yards into a head wind in soft sand. My amigos elected not to make the additional march. What happen when I finally made it there was amazing. Almost every cast resulted in a Redfish or Blackdrum. Sometimes they were doubles! Even after texting my amigos they still would not make the march to join in on the action. The picture is just some of the results from moving one more time to a better looking spot! Tight lines! Noel Kuhn Surf fishing guide and long distance casting coach. 904-945-0660 www.TheSurfAngler.com

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Fishing Report & Forecast Flagler Inshore By Captain Chris Herrera

T

he cold is turning to warmth and the bait fish are starting to flush out to the open flats. Finding the schools of bait is the key to finding game fish like redfish,

trout and flounder. Working the bait fish schools with soft plastic baits like slayer inc paddle tails rigged on a 1/4 oz jighead or a 5

8 NE FLORIDA

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inch jerk bait on a weedless hook slowly jigged will trigger a bite. During low tides freeline a live shrimp on a 1/0 Daiichi circle hook through deeper creek holes where trout will be hiding ambushing bait.This is Gator Trout time. Spawning season for Trout. Some of the largest are caught this time of year. As the tide gets higher move over to the oyster bars to find black drum using live or dead shrimp weighted down on the bottom.. . Capt. Chris Herrera Serving Flagler Beach, Palm Coast, St. Augustine www.palmcoastfishing.com 386-503-6338

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Keeping it Simple By Tim Stouder & Katie Blunk

T

he goal of HOW has always been to “Keep It Simple.” It’s not about what we are having for lunch that day. It’s not about having the top of the line kayaks or fishing equipment. It’s not about having a professional fishing captain to take someone right to the “honey hole” or even the promise of catching something at every event. It’s not about the free swag and giveaways that may happen. It’s simply about getting butts in seats. Our main goal is to keep it simple by getting a Veteran and/or First Responder into a kayak. From there, we simply let them figure out what comes after that. Maybe they need to just sit in the silence, feel the sun on their skin and the rocking of the kayak. Maybe they need to get some physical action going by paddling around and getting any pent up anxiety out. Possibly they want to work on casting, using soft baits, tying knots, bring a fish home for dinner. Perhaps they need to talk to their volunteer guide, talk about some frustrations they’ve been having, or frankly talk about anything but what they are going through at the time. Everyone has their own reason to be at an event. Regardless of what the Veteran/First Responder choses to get out of their experience with HOW, they always reap some sort of benefit that can simply be defined as “Priceless.” We wanted to stress to our donors, our supporters, and our volunteers the impact that they truly have within the HOW world. Thank you for your support throughout the year, each hour given, each event that you participate in, lunch you help to provide, equipment you help to repair and purchase. Thank you for what you do to deliver this experience. We will be having our first event on February 11th at Palm Valley

Outdoors, underneath the 210 bridge (377 S. Roscoe Rd. Ponte Vedra, FL). Palm Valley Outdoors will be sponsoring the bait, ice, and providing lunch for the Feb event. Our March event registration will be posting this coming weekend on eventbrite. The date is March 11th and will take place at Guana Preserve. We are still looking for a restaurant, group, or whomever to sponsor the lunch for March at this time. About Heroes on the Water Heroes on The Water is a non-profit organization that helps injured service members with their physical and mental recovery using the therapeutic qualities of fishing from kayaks. Every HOW event across the country brings together wounded military personnel for guided kayak fishing excursions. Founded in 2007, HOW has served more than 42,794 wounded Veterans and their family members. The service is provided to the Veterans for free. HOW is a non-profit organization under IRS Code Chapter 501(c)(3). Donations are taxdeductible to the extent allowed by law. Visit www.HeroesOnTheWater. org If you are a Veteran, know of one that would like to participate, or if you are interested in volunteering or any other questions please contact northeastflorida@heroesonthewater.org If you would like to follow us on Facebook or make a donation to Heroes on the Water, you can do so at https://www.facebook.com/ HeroesOnTheWaterNortheastFloridaChapter..

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2/13/18 12:06 PM


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

TIDE CHART - March

Mayport Degaussing Structure 30.3967° N, 81.3950° W Date Day Time

Hgt

Time

Hgt

Time

Hgt

Time

Hgt

Bings Landing: H: +2:57 L: +2:44

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

Major Feeding Periods

01 Thu 01:11 AM -1.38 L

07:35 AM 5.56 H 01:40 PM -1.17 L 07:58 PM 5.18 H

12:25 PM-2:25 PM

02 Fri 02:02 AM -1.49 L

08:24 AM 5.52 H 02:26 PM -1.23 L 08:46 PM 5.28 H

12:45 AM-2:45 AM • 1:20 PM-3:20 PM

03 Sat 02:50 AM -1.42 L

09:11 AM 5.36 H 03:11 PM -1.13 L 09:32 PM 5.29 H

04 Sun 03:39 AM -1.17 L

09:56 AM 5.11 H 03:55 PM -0.90 L 10:18 PM 5.20 H

05 Mon 04:27 AM -0.80 L 10:42 AM 4.81 H 04:40 PM -0.56 L 11:04 PM 5.04 H

1:40 AM-3:40 AM • 2:10 PM-4:10 PM 2:30 AM-4:30 AM • 3:00 PM-5:00 PM 3:15 AM-5:15 AM • 3:45 PM-5:45 PM 4:05 AM-6:05 AM • 4:35 PM-6:35 PM

06 Tue 05:18 AM -0.37 L

11:27 AM 4.51 H 05:27 PM -0.18 L 11:51 PM 4.83 H

07 Wed 06:10 AM 0.05 L

12:14 PM 4.23 H 06:18 PM 0.20 L

08 Thu 12:40 AM 4.60 H

07:04 AM 0.41 L

01:05 PM 4.00 H 07:12 PM 0.52 L

09 Fri 01:33 AM 4.40 H

08:00 AM 0.67 L

02:00 PM 3.84 H 08:10 PM 0.74 L

10 Sat 02:33 AM 4.25 H

08:56 AM 0.82 L

03:02 PM 3.78 H 09:08 PM 0.83 L

r is on ice hysical sing es

11 Sun 04:36 AM 4.21 H

10:52 AM 0.83 L

05:04 PM 3.83 H 11:06 PM 0.78 L

12 Mon 05:36 AM 4.28 H

11:45 AM 0.71 L

05:59 PM 3.97 H

13 Tue 12:00 AM 0.61 L

06:28 AM 4.42 H 12:34 PM 0.49 L

06:47 PM 4.16 H

14 Wed 12:50 AM 0.36 L

07:13 AM 4.59 H 01:19 PM 0.23 L

07:30 PM 4.37 H

15 Thu 01:34 AM 0.09 L

07:55 AM 4.75 H 01:59 PM -0.04 L 08:09 PM 4.60 H

oss ether onnel ng n d The

16 Fri 02:15 AM -0.17 L

08:34 AM 4.86 H 02:36 PM -0.26 L 08:47 PM 4.81 H

17 Sat 02:53 AM -0.36 L

09:13 AM 4.93 H 03:12 PM -0.42 L 9:25 PM 5.01 H

18 Sun 03:31 AM -0.47 L

09:52 AM 4.94 H 03:48 PM -0.49 L 10:05 PM 5.17 H

xWater.

22 Thu 12:18 AM 5.34 H

06:32 AM -0.14 L 12:50 PM 4.59 H 06:46 PM -0.08 L

23 Fri 01:10 AM 5.28 H

07:31 AM 0.01 L

01:44 PM 4.47 H 07:46 PM 0.05 L

or if ontact

24 Sat 02:08 AM 5.18 H

08:34 AM 0.11 L

02:46 PM 4.38 H 08:51 PM 0.09 L

8:20 AM-10:20 AM

25 Sun 03:13 AM 5.09 H

09:38 AM 0.12 L

03:53 PM 4.39 H 09:58 PM 0.03 L

8:50 PM-10:50 PM

26 Mon 04:23 AM 5.07 H

10:42 AM 0.02 L

05:02 PM 4.52 H 11:04 PM -0.16 L

9:20 AM-11:20 AM • 9:45 PM-11:45 PM

27 Tue 05:30 AM 5.14 H

11:42 AM -0.18 L 06:04 PM 4.75 H

e

to /

4:50 AM-6:50 AM • 5:20 PM-7:20 PM

6:25 AM-8:25 AM • 6:50 PM-8:50 PM 7:15 AM-9:15 AM • 8:10 PM-10:10 PM 9:05 AM-11:05 AM • 9:25 PM-11:25 PM 9:50 AM-11:50 AM • 10:15 PM-11:59 PM

19 Mon 04:11 AM -0.50 L 10:32 AM 4.89 H 04:25 PM -0.48 L 10:46 PM 5.29 H 20 Tue 04:53 AM -0.43 L

5:40 AM-7:40 AM • 6:05 PM-8:05 PM

11:15 AM 4.82 H 05:06 PM -0.39 L 11:31 PM 5.35 H

21 Wed 05:39 AM -0.30 L 12:00 PM 4.71 H 05:53 PM -0.24 L

10:40 AM-12:40 PM • 11:00 PM-11:59 PM 11:25 AM-1:25 PM • 11:45 PM-11:59 PM 12:15 PM-2:15 PM 12:35 AM-2:35 AM • 1:00 PM-3:00 PM 1:50 PM-3:50 PM • 9:55 PM-11:55 PM 2:05 AM-4:05 AM • 6:30 PM-8:30 PM 3:25 PM-5:25 PM 3:45 AM-5:45 AM • 4:15 PM-6:15 PM 4:35 AM-6:35 AM • 5:05 PM-7:05 PM 5:25 AM-7:25 AM • 6:00 PM-8:00 PM 6:25 AM-8:25 AM • 6:55 PM-8:55 PM 7:20 AM-9:20 AM • 7:50 PM-9:50 PM

10:20 AM-12:20 PM • 10:40 PM-11:59 PM

28 Wed 12:06 AM -0.42 L 06:31 AM 5.24 H 12:38 PM -0.43 L 07:01 PM 5.02 H

11:15 AM-1:15 PM • 11:35 PM-11:59 PM

29 Thu 01:04 AM -0.71 L

07:26 AM 5.32 H 01:30 PM -0.68 L 07:52 PM 5.27 H

12:05 PM-2:05 PM

30 Fri 01:57 AM -0.94 L

08:16 AM 5.32 H 02:16 PM -0.84 L 08:39 PM 5.45 H

12:25 AM-2:25 AM • 1:00 PM-3:00 PM

31 Sat 02:46 AM -1.04 L

09:03 AM 5.24 H 03:00 PM -0.89 L 09:25 PM 5.53 H

1:15 AM-3:15 AM • 1:50 PM-3:50 PM

U

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MARCH 2018

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FLAGLER SPORTFISHING CLUB The Northeast Florida By Scheyenne Welch

Upcoming Events: March 6: Monthly club meeting March 17: FREE Member’s only Count the Spots TournamentHerschel King March 24: New Member’s ClinicHammock Community CenterDetails to Come This month, our Quick Tips speaker will be club member and director, Peter Bessette. He will be speaking about our Fish of the Month, which is Trout, and how to catch them using both artificial and live bait, as well as where to go and how to target them! He especially enjoys trout fishing at nighttime, when you can see them jumping around under the lights. Peter is also in charge of the clubs Facebook page! Our guest speaker this month will be our own club member Andy Block who will be talking about fishing for red fish in preparation for our upcoming member’s only Count the Spots tournament. Andy is an active member in the 14 NE FLORIDA

MARCH 2018

CAM_JAX_MAR2017.indd 14

club and has been a director of the Flagler Sportfishing Club since 2013. In addition, he has been teaching surf fishing classes at Gamble Rogers Memorial Stage Park in Flagler Beach since 2014 to help raise money for Friends of Gamble Rogers State Park (FROGRS). The Quick Tips begins at 7:00pm, with the meeting following at 7:30pm. Meeting held at the VFW on Old Kings Rd. in Palm Coast. Nomination of Officers and Swap & Shop will also be taking place. Members: bring your nautical treasures out and you can buy/sell/trade! Be on the lookout for details regarding our upcoming Spring Classic Tournament, which will take place on April 28, with the Captain’s meeting being held on April 27. This year, we will be raising money for the local DAV (Disabled American Veterans). Check out www.fcsportfishing. com or our Facebook page: Flagler Sportfishing Club

Marlin Association

W

e just wrapped up the First Annual Don Combs Wahoo Challenge. With 42 boats and a captains choice of 2 days to fish out of a total of 40 we recorded some nice fish. Captain Don Frattle on the Fratt House managed to capture a 73.3 lb. fish on his first day that held first throughout the tournament. Callahan Hood was second with a 68.48 lb. fish, his boat the Reel Rowdy had a second fish of 63.7 lbs. The weather did not cooperate many days but as Don Combs would say when you do get out “you have to grind”. Speaking of Wahoo we recently had Steve Grant a local Wahoo fishing expert from Diamond Fishing Products give a Wahoo Trolling seminar at our club house. We had a packed house and I expect these guys are sharpening their hooks and their techniques. March is a bit of a transition month for the Blue Water guys. As the Wahoo fishing wraps up

we will be looking forward to our Dolphin and Marlin run. As the water begins to warm we will venture a little further out in search of the temperature breaks and weed lines. Then in April NEFMA will host one of the regions oldest and most significant tournaments, the Bluewater Tournament. This is the 46th year of the tournament which provides a pick two days format that many captains and smaller boats appreciate. There will be a mandatory Captains Meeting Thursday April 26 at the NEFMA Club house located in Camachee Cove Marina in St Augustine. The fishing days be April 27, 28 and 29 with expected prize money to exceed $35,000. This will be a Billfish and Striking fish tournament. For more information please go to NEFMA.com or email us at clubnefma@gmail.com.

COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

2/13/18 12:06 PM


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

W

e’ve had some rather cold and rainy weather this winter (at least we haven’t had snow!). It’s been a little tough to pattern the fish with the funky weather patterns but get out there because they are still chewin! Redfish, trout, and black drum will be the main focus inshore this month. Look for redfish in shallow flats and creeks that have a darker mud or oyster-laden bottom. On clear days the sun will warm the water a few degrees in those areas making a great spot for the reds to hang out and warm up a bit. Bait (mullet, minnows, shrimp) will also hold in these “hot” spots and it’s common knowledge that the reds will be in the same areas the bait is. Sight-fishing for reds has been a little hit or miss this year, again due to the weather. If it warms up quickly this month the water will start to get murky as the algae starts to bloom. Not to worry you can still “sight” fish… One way to spot schooled up reds is to look for wakes or “muds” caused by the fish moving. I’ve been locating some big schools this way just about all winter. The latter half of this month marks the start to my favorite time of year to fish for trout. Once the water starts to warm up a bit the trout will be going crazy. There’s nothing like watching that big momma trout come soaring out of the water after your top-water plug. Creek mouths, rip rap, and just about anywhere you have some moving water are going to be great places to target the specs. Remember to loosen the drag just a little when throwing top-water plugs for trout. They have somewhat

delicate mouths and you don’t want to rip the plug away from the fish before they actually get it. Of course if top-water isn’t your thing a jig and soft plastic will do the trick for the specs as well. My go-to rig of choice for trout (and reds too!) is a Slayer Inc. 1/8 ounce Predator jighead with a Slayer Inc. SST paddle tail. Jig, jig, then pause... then repeat. The sheepshead bite has been strong all winter and should continue into early spring. Fiddlers and oyster crabs have been the best baits. Just about any structure with barnacles on it has been holding some “heads” but some of the bigger ones have been coming out of deeper water around the big bridges and jetties. We’ve also been catching quite a few big ones in the creeks around the oyster bars. I think it’s safe to say that sheepshead like cold weather and we’ve had plenty of that this winter. The black drum bite has been pretty good over the last couple of months and should continue this month. Most of my fish have been in the 3-8lb range and were caught in the deeper parts of the creeks off the ICW. The best baits have been live/fresh dead shrimp, or a fiddler crab. An hour on either side of low tide has been producing the best bite, especially around the new and full moons.  Capt. Tommy Derringer 904-377-3734 www.InshoreAdventures.net

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NE FLORIDA 15

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March’s “Best Bet” Bass Fishing in the St. Johns River Will Deliver Your Best Bet for Catching Warming Water Temperatures Trigger Excellent “Gator” Trout Fishing! By Terry Newsome

E

arly spring is one of my favorite times of the year for spectacular speckled trout fishing in Northeast Florida; and for good reason! Every year, from early March to late April you can find good numbers of “Gator” speckled trout in Northeast Florida from Fernandina Beach to Matanzas Inlet. Referred to by local coastal anglers as “Gator Trout;” (speckled trout in the 5 to 10-pound class,) this majestic, “crown-jewel” of our coastal waters and lower estuaries will begin to spawn this month as water temperatures in local shallow coastal creeks begin to rise. Look for increasing numbers of huge speckled trout to showup in the month of March in larger feeder-creeks of the Intracoastal Waterways and in the Pine Island Area just north of St. Augustine. Good numbers of “Gator Trout” in the 10-pound class are also caught every March near the inlet jetty rocks at the mouth of the St. Johns River, Fernandina Beach and St. Augustine Inlet. TIPS FOR CATCHING “GATOR” SPECKLED TROUT Speckled trout are more abundant in Northeast Florida than anywhere else in the state! The slot limit for speckled trout in the State of Florida is: “more than 15” and less than 20” inches in length.” (The state record for speckled trout is 17-pounds 7 ounces!) You may possess one trout over 20” included in your daily bag limit of 6 speckled trout per harvester per day. For best results, be sure to monitor weather patterns this month as periodic cold-fronts sweep down from the north frequently in March and quickly pass over Northeast Florida. The best time to catch big speckled trout is a few days after a “cold-front” passes through (and just before the next one arrives) when the temperatures rises to above the “normal average” range. Significant “cold-fronts” may briefly slowdown the trout fishing for a day or two… but warming temperatures will trigger aggressive feeding activity in the upper reaches of major saltwater tidal creeks and along the banks of the Intracoastal Waterways. Top-water lures, stick-baits, “suspended” hard baits, bright-colored “swimming” plastics, jig-head shrimp (or mud minnow) combination and yes, the oldfaithful “slip knot” float rigs are your best bet for catching big speckled trout. For decades, my favorite method of catching speckled trout was using a float-rig with live shrimp. However, my good friend and fishing partner David Yarber “converted” me into a die-hard artificial lure angler! David is a Jacksonville native and is truly one of the most talented and versatile coastal anglers in Northeast Florida. (You should see his fishing “digital scrapbook” and videos!!) He began fishing for trout and redfish in the Pine Island area with his father at a very young age. He loves to fish the creeks in this area and a few weeks ago, David 16 NE FLORIDA

MARCH 2018

CAM_JAX_MAR2017.indd 16

and I met at Palm Valley Outdoors to do some speckled trout fishing. David fishes exclusively with artificial lures… but I could not help myself! I just had to buy a few dozen Live Shrimp (as back-up) for the trip. We arrived at David’s trout spot and within minutes, he caught 5 nice speckled trout (before I caught my first trout on a float rig using hand-selected, perfect-sized live shrimp!) Eventually I swallowed my pride and switched over to what David was fishing with (New Penny DOA #404 and Root beer with Chart/Tail #351.) We caught 16 trout including a nice redfish in just a few hours. Even though we did not catch any Gator Trout that day, David caught more trout that I did and confirmed (once again) how effective artificial lures can be for all types of fishing in Northeast Florida! FROM THE TACKLE BOX OF DAVID YARBER David Yarber’s time-tested favorite lures include the Rapala Skitter V Series Gold Olive or Red Ghost; Tim Horton’s Bomber Pro-Long A Watermelon Pearl or Pewter Pearl and H&H Lure’s Usual Suspects Swagger Tail Shad #159 (all available at Strike Zone Fishing.) David replaces standard factory-rigged treble hooks (found on hard-baits) with VMC in-line single hooks (see photo.) “Single hooks help to prevent foul hook-ups” says David “…and promotes more effective catch and release practices for a healthier speckled trout fishery.” David and I both use a medium/heavy action 7-foot Hurricane Calico Jack graphite spinning rod (model CAJ-456) and with a perfectlybalanced Daiwa Legalis LT 4000 D-C spinning reel. We prefer Spider Wire (or Power Pro) stealth braid 20-pound test (8-pound diameter) with an 18-inch Berkley fluorocarbon 20-pound test leader. (David also uses Norman’s speed clips, so he can quickly change lures.) However, if you prefer to use the “old-school” timetested method of using live shrimp with a barrel-cork “slip knot” float rig, I recommend using a 7 to 7 ½ foot (medium to heavy action) graphite spinning rod (…Temple Fork Outfitters Spinning Series or the low-cost Ugly Stik GX2 Spinning Rod series.) You will also need a good quality (4 or 5 bearing) spinning reel as well (Penn and Okuma are excellent brands) or a bait-casting reel (Abu Garcia Ambassador 6500 Series.) I prefer to use 17-pound test quality monofilament line (Berkley Trilene XL Smooth Casting CLEAR) with a 14-pound monofilament leader (to prevent losing your entire float rig if get snagged on the bottom.)

COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

2/13/18 12:06 PM

GATO One is Cap Magaz I have featur I head trout. (abou last of 18 to 2 rig an 30-inc one of experi at leas drift b and D Gator

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GATOR TROUT FISHING WITH DANNY PATRICK One on the best speckled trout fishermen in Northeast Florida is Captain Danny Patrick; Owner and Editor of Coastal Angler Magazine Northeast Florida Edition (see photo.) Over the years, I have personally filmed and produced several outdoor TV Shows featuring Danny catching Gator Trout! Every March, Danny and I head to the St. Johns River “south jetties” to catch BIG speckled trout. We always head straight for Danny’s favorite “trout spot” (about half-way down the river-side of the south jetties) on the very last of outgoing tide. We usually catch the oversized trout in about 18 to 25 feet of water (just off the bottom) using a “slip-knot” floatrig and large live shrimp. On our last trip, we were catching 25 to 30-inch redfish when suddenly the Gator Trout showed-up! It was one of the most exciting inshore saltwater fishing adventures I had experienced in years! When fishing the jetties, be sure to anchor at least 60-feet from your “trout drop” then simply let your float rig drift back to your “spot.” Can’t wait to get back out there with David and Danny this month! Hope you catch and release your share of Gator Trout this month! Be safe and enjoy the great outdoors With over 25 years of corporate experience as a writer, director and producer, Terry Newsome has personally filmed and produced over 100 outdoor television shows and instructional fishing videos internationally. He is an avid coastal angler and is a former co-owner of Pine Island Fish Camp on the Intracoastal Waterway near St. Augustine, Florida.

ACGFA - March News By John Jordan

T

he Ancient City Game Fish Association will meet on Tuesday, March 20th at the St Augustine Shrine Club. Their clubhouse is located in St Augustine south at 250 Brainard Street. Social will begin at 6 o’clock, followed by light food and the general meeting. The junior anglers club will meet to finalize their involvement in the kids clinic. The seventh annual free kids clinic will be held on March 17th. It is open to the public for all kids 12 and under. Registration begins at 7:30 AM. All children must be accompanied by an adult. The location is at the Saint Augustine Marina and Vilano Beach pier. We thank Jimmy Beach for his commitment and support of this event. Saint Augustine Marina is your local full service boat, motor, and trailer dealership. We also thank Saint Johns County parks and recreation and our county commissioners for making the pier available for our kids to fish. The fishing and safety clinic will begin at 8 AM. There will be presentations by Saint Johns County Marine and fire rescue, and Seatow. The rods used in the fishing portion of the clinic were donated by Brad Reeves with

Bombardier Recreation Products. Other fishing supplies were given by the Bait Shack and Fish bites. Thanks to Andy’s Taylor Rental for their help with the facility set up. Free lunch will be provided by McDonalds. Awards, raffle prizes, and goodie bags will be given to the first 150 kids around 11:30. For more information call Donna at 904-814-0515. Special thanks to members of the Ancient City Game Fish Association for their time and commitment to make this happen. This months meeting will have results from the Inshore Spring Kick Off tournament held in February. There will be awards and who knows maybe a “blooper”. Topics of concern and discussion will be the recommendation of the Federal Fisheries to limit our rights to fish. Don’t get me started but everyone needs to get involved with their local fishing community to make your voice heard. Get involved on some level and make your voice count. For more information call Captain Chip at 904806-7172, Facebook or ACGFA.com

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CAM_JAX_MAR2017.indd 17

MARCH 2018

NE FLORIDA 17

2/13/18 12:06 PM


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

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lack drum begin their annual spawn when water temperatures heat up from 60-63 degrees during late February and right through the month of May. The full moon arrives on March 1st and on March 31st which many seasoned black drum fishermen will bet the best black drum bite will come during the last of March. Tides are also critical with the middle half of the in-coming tide producing the best black drum action. Add to the mix if there is an in-coming tide and a full, or new moon at sunset, all of these factors add up to ideal black drum fishing conditions. Look for excellent black drum fishing this spring to come from Nassau Sound, just off from “Main Beach” and St. Mary’s inlets.Inlet drum typically stage at the very tip of jetty rocks where there is a deep slough and sandbar. Spawning drum will also migrate up into the inlets where deep holes offer excellent drum fishing action during the flooding tide as well. Drum fishing is also very productive along the beaches of Northeast Florida where there is a slight depression and a hard shell bottom, particularly during an incoming tide and at sundown. Blue crabs continue to be the best black drum bait when the hard shell is removed and the crab is cut in half. Barb the piece of crab with a 7/0 kahle hook right through the body and leg, then add a peeled fresh shrimp, or clam. Most drum fishermen prefer fifty pound tackle with a five foot section of 100-pound shock leader. A 6-8 ounce egg sinker is threaded onto the fishing line to hold the drum baits dead on the bottom. Placing the drum rod in the rod holder and watching the rod tip for any indication of a drum bite avoids jerking the drum bait away from the feeding drum. Once a drum has picked up the crab, slowly reel in the slack fishing line, feel if the drum is still there and set the hook hard and hang on. The current Florida drum fishing regulations include a five fish per day bag limit, with a minimum size limit of 14-inches and one black drum over the 24-inches. The many sweet water creeks that feed both the Nassau and St. Mary’s Rivers offer excellent largemouth bass fishing during the month of March as well. Many seasoned bass fishermen look for some of the best action to come from the middle reaches of Lofton Creek and all of Thomas’Creek. Best lure includes a white spinner bait rigged with a gold Colorado blade, or a #11 Gold colored rapala during slower moving tides and when there is less wind. 22 NE FLORIDA

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However floating a wild shiner close river snags and vegetation is a sure tactic in catch heavy weight river bass. Beach fishing produces good catches of whiting during the first of the out-going tide while fishing with ultra-fresh shrimp rigged to a double hook bottom fishing rig. Beach fishermen can also expect to catch excellent eating pompano while fishing with small pieces of blue crab, or fresh sand fleas. Consistently one of the better areas to surf fish from includes the beach just adjacent to the St. Mary’s south jetty rocks, just off from “Main Beach” and the very southern portion of Amelia Island. Offshore fishermen will be looking for excellent eating and fighting cobia at FB, FA and HH fish havens. Drifting over a wreck or lime rock ledge while free lining live menhaden, mullet or grunts is key. If this doesn’t work, anchor just up current of the structure and fish with live baits right on the bottom. Big game t ro l l i n g at Amelia Is l a n d’s C ont i ne nt a l Shelf produces w a h o o , dolphin and the occasional sailfish, or blue marlin during the month of March. Best fishing tactic is to speed troll from 14 – 16 knots with high speed plastics until you find an area that is producing striking fish. Giant sea trout will taking a 52-M Mirr-o-lure fished close to large concentrations of oyster beds, or a the deep sides of boat docks during the first of the falling tide. Finally flounder fishing is excellent at the footsteps of historic Fort Clinch during all of the falling tide. Fish right on the bottom and in between the jetty rocks with live fingerling mullet. For more fishing information please call Amelia Angler Outfitters (904) 261-2870 or visit www.ameliaangler .com

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Great White Lands in Boat Snapper Fishing Surprise By Terry D. Lacoss

M

y wife Tabatha and I were both hooked up with large red snapper, just offshore of the Jacksonville jetties,” Jacob Cannady said. “I soon noticed a very large dark shadow following our hooked fish, the next thing we knew a 12-14 foot great white shark landed right in my 22-foot Pathfinder fishing boat”! Earlier that morning Jacob Cannady, wife Tabatha and Derik Smith boarded Jacob’s 22-foot Pathfinder bay boat out of Jacksonville, just before the Christmas Holiday. “We had been catching several nice cobia at BR fish haven,” Jacob said. “However when we arrived at the popular Jacksonville fishing waters, there were several fishing boats there already. This prompted us to move to CH reef where right away we began hooking up to large red snapper”. “Derik had just caught and released a tagged red snapper and was now hooked up to a small shark that was soon eaten by a larger shark. The fishing action was picking up which prompted Derik to start videoing the action with his cell phone. In the meantime Tabatha and I were hooked up to large red snapper that were putting a deep bend in our bottom fishing tackle. A very large dark shadow appeared below our struggling snapper and before we could think, a 12-14 foot great white “Great White” shark had literally jumped right in the boat with us! I knew its head was a foot and a half wide and estimated to weight at well over 1,000-pounds! It was very fat too. Seconds later that huge shark jumped back in the water and simply disappeared.” Without saying a word Jacob fired up his outboard engine was soon navigating back to his Jacksonville home port! “We certainly did not wish to have that Great White shark jump in our boat a second time as that recent encounter was very nerve shaking,” Jacob said. “What was really concerning is that there were several divers working offshore of Jacksonville as well, thankfully they were not harmed. That big shark did try to eat my boat though leaving several large teeth marks in my boat before leaping back into the water”! In recent years Northeast Florida has been showcased during the

•F •B •P •M •T •S

Derik Smith is pictured with a tagged red snapper minutes before a very large great white sharked leaped into Jacob Cannady’s fishing boat.

winter months where great white sharks have frequently visited our coastal waters, just off our pristine beaches and inlets. NOAA tracks a variety of large sharks including great white sharks by installing a tracking device on the back of the shark and on one side of the dorsal fin. “Old Betsy” has been tracked right off our coast and was named after the first prototype Caterpillar diesel engine. Measuring 12-feet 7-inches “Old Betsy” presently weighs 1,400-pounds, was tagged on August 13, 2013 and has traveled a total of 9,021-miles. For more information on tagged shark tracking, visit www.osearch.

Visual damage is seen on Jacob Cannady’s 22-foot bay boat after a very large great white shark leaped into his fishing boat and began taking massive bites on his transom. Luckily not on the fishermen! 24 NE FLORIDA

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Fishing Report St. Johns River By: Richard Hamilton

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ell, we’ll start with the specks. They’re going, going, and probably gone by the end of the month.  They’ll hit the right temp to drop those eggs and move on so if you are so inclined, you’ll want to hit the creeks about mid-depth, say six to eight feet, and around shallow ‘til you locate them.  Then just hooking. Next will be the bass.  They’ll be looking for the nice firm bottoms of canals, bars, flats et al; and the bucks will start making a home for the female that they have to convince to be in it.  So they, with will power and persuasion, will finally get that heavy weight females to lay those eggs and then the male duties come into play.  While all of the above is going on, you’ll catch them on shiners, crabs, lizards, worms and tubes.  Lest we forget, spinner bait ran across the top of bed eventually get them piled up for a great reaction bite.  So grab a bucket full of shiners or other bait and go for it. Bream will be starting and going strong.  Bedding activity will be in the same areas as the large mouth, with the exception of shell crackers who’ll  be hittin’ it heavy on the shell bars.  Baits of choice will be grunt worms, wigglers

and crickets. So if at all possible, give them a try.  You’ll be happy you did. Oh!  I almost forgot the overlooked but as tasty as anything, the war mouth.  They’ll be in the pads and more than willing to nibble on a minnow or on a nice worm.  These tasty little beauties are about as much fun as there is.  They fight like a fish twice their size and will let you have all you want on a bream buster. Now onto the salty side of life.  Reds, smallish, but out there, will eat plastic swim baits, shiners, bait shrimp, crabs and spinner baits.  Fish near and parallel to the grass line and work it.  Don’t give up--they may be deeper, but will show up to eat.  So go already. Stripers and hybrids will be around the end piers and then bridge pilings.  They’ll hit lipless crank baits as well as shiners, top water or plastic swim baits.. Well, that’s it for now.  ‘Til next time--Keep your line wet and your lure movin’.  --  Richard

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MARCH 2018

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GEAR BY: Columbia Wear, Salt Life, Guy Harvey, MoJo, Huk, Tormentor, Smith and more! www.ameliaangler.com 904-261-2870 111 Centre St, Fernandina Bch., Fl. 32034

Nassau Sport Fishing Association -March

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he Nassau Sport Fishing Association is non-profit organization dedicated to develop and promote salt water fishing in the Nassau County area while adhering to state, federal and local regulations, to encourage compliance with rules of water safety by club members and the general public, and to promote youth related community activities. Our next educational event will be a special treat! Mr. Larry “The Fishman” Finch will be our speaker. Larry has visited us before and is always informative as well as entertaining. A former IFA Pro Redfish Tour Open Champion, Larry is also a regular contributor to Florida Sportsman Magazine clinics and First Coast Outdoors TV shows. His primary target these days is the elusive Pompano. Larry is considered to be in the top one or two surf fisherman in the state of Florida.

This clinic will be held rain or shine. We will be meeting at one of the shelter houses at Peters Point Beachfront Park on Amelia Island. Don’t forget to bring your lawn chairs as seating is limited. Public is invited.March 24 from 1-3PM

196 acre south Ga farm for sale @ $ 2,450 per acre 55 arces of cultivated rich tifton soil and 100 acres of pine plantation present value on pines at $100,000 and grow 10% per year., 41 acres of hardwood bottoms.For a total of 196 acres. Including a 1967 block house 1200 sq ft. New roof new carpet and tile. A 3 bebroom and 1 bath.. The house is rented for $500 per month and the cultivated 55 acres brings in $300 per month so total $800 per month income from farm. 8 acre lake loaded fish, ducks and deer and turkey, this property is a very diverse tract. Dove Hunting is especially good. 15 acres of planted sunflowers and corn dove field. Several old

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out buildings and 2 grain bens. Around the old homestead are 6 mature pecan trees that produce big sweet pecans. An old pear tree that still produces and a small grove of Blueberry bushes that produce lots of Blueberrys. The Hunting is the best for deer and turkey and ducks and doves....This is a must see tract. Owner financing possible Call 904-742-4696 or email danny@coastalanglermagazine.com

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

March Madness March is a transitional month in NE FL. Water temperature is everything. If it is in the 70s the fish will be there. I expect double digit days on Wahoo and Blackfin Tuna. If Wahoo are your target look for structure=bait. We start looking in 23 fathoms. Some of the larger ledges we like to bottom fish consistently hold Wahoo in March. If

the temperature is to cool we go east until we reach the edge of the continental shelf or Ledge as it is referred to locally. I like to bait fish so larger baits rigged on wire are the best. I prefer an Islander Hawaiian eye but jet-head’s or any lure with a little weight works great. If Tuna are your target then smaller baits rigged on mono are the way to go. Just expect some bite offs. Wahoo seem to know which ones are rigged on mono a pile on. Late March usually brings in the first significant numbers of Mahi to NE FL. Look for temperature breaks or hard changes. Mahi will eat just about anything you put in front of them but smaller baits will increase you hook up ratio. Bottom fishing is mostly a fall back option. There will be plenty of Vermillion, Red Porgy and trigger-fish to take up the slack if the trolling fish do not cooperate. There is no reason to fish big baits so double hook rigs with cut squid is all you need. If you do want a big pull, Amberjack re-open in March. I prefer to use 8 oz. jigs worked vertically through the water column. Stay safe and “Let’s Go Fishing” Captain Robert Johnson Jodie Lynn Charters wwwJodieLynnCharters.com (904)540-2628 jlfishing@bellsouth.net

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New IGFA Observer Training in Mattituck, Long Island

Photo courtesy of Casa Vieja Lodge, Guatemala ver wonder what it would be like to sit on a big, beautiful sportfishing boat and watch a top-notch crew work their magic against monster marlin and schools of sailfish? Can you hear the lines going off? Can you hear yourself screaming “release!” Then you’re ready to become an observer. All observers must take the IGFA Observer Training Course. It takes about four hours, it’s a great way to meet other fishing enthusiast and there’s no test or exam. The International Game Fish Association will conduct an observer training courses in New York on Long Island at Strong’s Water Club and Marina in Mattituck, Long Island, New York on Saturday, May 19. The half-day session teaches observer responsibilities and duties, billfish identification, and IGFA’s International Angling Rules. The class will run from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., includes a training manual, two DVD’s, a one-year IGFA membership and costs just $150. Take the course, and observe in luxurious resorts in Aruba, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Nicaragua and the U.S. Virgin Islands. To learn more, go to igfto.org. To sign up, go to igfa.org/Educate/ Observer-Training.aspx.

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By Doug Haddaway

Photo courtesy of Capt. Mike Weinhoffer

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By Capt. Michael Okruhlik

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pring is around the corner, and a lot of fishermen who hang up their gear for the winter can’t wait for the temps to rise. Although the enthusiasm is high, spring can be a difficult season to successfully pattern and consistently catch fish inshore. Most fish are still in transition between the deep mud and the shallow sand and grass flats, which has them spread out through the bays. Add high winds, cool fronts, the small size of the forage, and you have a tougher puzzle to put together than the other three seasons. I have put together a few tips to help you sort though this maze and hopefully land a few more fish this spring. First and foremost, the size of the baitfish is extremely small this time of year. It is not uncommon to find dozens of small glass minnows in the bellies of trout and reds in spring. This makes my first tip very obvious. Downsize your lure presentation if you can. Obviously, this can impact one’s casting abilities, so rigging small lures in tandem can be a plus and increase casting distance. Something else I like to use in the spring is a clear or transparent lure with some glitter or maybe one with a light translucent color. I choose these

because it’s more difficult for the fish to see its actual size and gives the appearance of being smaller than it actually is. I’ve found this to be a productive alternative to downsizing my lure. While choosing a typical size trout and red lure for this application, I look for one with subtle movements. I like either a darting-style bait or a very subtle vibrating paddle lure. Strong, big vibrating tails have their place, but early spring is not one of them. One thing I notice about schools of small baitfish is that when they are displaced they seldom dart deeper before quickly regrouping. Most of their movement is to the side and up. Due to this characteristic, I also like a light lure that has a slow sink rate. I feel this imitates the spring forage movements and increases my strikes. I like a lure you can twitch from side to side that doesn’t sink very fast on the pause. In early spring while the fish are in transition, they will start to congregate on sandy shores with grass. This will be the main cover for the small fry. While employing these techniques and lure choices, concentrate your efforts on broken grass flats with potholes and distinct edges. Early in the season, areas like these near deeper water is where I would start. I hope you find these tactics helpful. As the weather warms and you enjoy the outdoors, don’t forget to take a kid fishing! Capt. Michael Okruhlik is the inventor of Controlled Descent Lures and the owner of www.MyCoastOutdoors.com.

Photo courtesy of Controlled Descent Lures

Photo by WIDTTF

J

ust in case you were unaware, the Gulf cobia limit in Florida state waters of the Gulf of Mexico was reduced from two fish to one fish per person in February. The 33-inch minimum size limit did not change. Also, the recreational vessel limit in Gulf state waters was reduced from six per vessel to two per vessel, per day. These changes were approved by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) at their December meeting. They were based on stakeholder input and concerns from anglers and will further promote sustainable management of this fishery. In addition to the limit changes, a Gulf/Atlantic management boundary was created, defining all state waters north of the Monroe-Collier county line as “Gulf state waters” for purposes of managing cobia. For more information or to view the presentations given at the Commission meeting, visit MyFWC.com/Commission and select “Commission Meetings,” then click on the link below “Next Meeting.”

D O O R -TO - D O O R D I R EC T I O N S • T R AV E L T I M E S PERSONALIZED ALERTS • TR AFFIC CAMER A VIEWS A toll-free service of the Florida Department of Transportation.

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By Janice Nieman • Photo by Aladair Ritchie

“F

ish happy my friends.” Those are the words James “Docky” Smith wrote when he autographed his new book, “Through a Guide’s Eye.” Ironically, he wrote them when happiness and fishing were words I couldn’t say in the same breath. That wasn’t always the case. I love everything about bonefishing so passionately that my husband and I decided to buy a house in the Bahamas after fishing five days straight with Docky Smith. It was not a difficult decision. Out on the flats, one is lured into a Zen-like tranquility surrounded by miles and miles of every shade of aqua marine. Gin clear waters

reveal a buffet of ocean life, starfish, conch, stingrays, turtles, crabs… everything but bonefish. To the unpracticed eye, they are “ghosts.” Their silvery, translucent scales seamlessly blend with the white sands below. For Docky, however, spotting them is a “piece of cake.” I have never known anyone with more extraordinary eyesight. When fishing with Docky, one of the most challenging aspects of bonefishing is served up on plate. Poling the flats, the quiet is punctuated by the gentle shifting of the pole and the eerie wail of the mangroves. I am poised with fly rod in hand, and Docky will say, “Okay get ready for me now.” My body tenses with anticipation. “10 o’clock, 30 feet out,” Docky says. “Oh please, let this be a good cast, not one that flops down or gets carried in the wind or worse, ends up in my bun,” I think. I cast, not great but good enough for Docky to say, “Now strip slowly.” Then… his magic words: “Set it.” The fish takes off like a rocket, draining your reel of line, and every thrilling moment vibrates in your hand. That is fishing happy. It doesn’t always transpire like that. Sometimes the fish elude you, sometimes they spook, or sometimes you can’t get your fly in front of them. But I still love it and come back year after year. Last fall I was out with Docky wading. The fish were in range. I cast and cast, but I wasn’t casting! I’d invented a whole other movement that couldn’t have been more wrong. It was such a bad feeling. I stepped aside for my husband, and he pulled out three from the school. I went home with my tail between my legs. I was angry and disgusted. We returned to Long Island six weeks later, and the gloom of my previous pathetic performance still lingered. “Fish happy. Fish happy. Fish happy.” All of a sudden it came back to me. Docky had me casting correctly in less than five minutes. Moments later, I was hooked up with a gorgeous Bahamas bonefish. James “Docky” Smith has over 25 years of bonefish guiding experience and is owner/operator of Bonafide Bonefishing in Long Island, Bahamas, operating out of Stella Maris Resort Club.

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fter a launch at their recent January show, Surf Expo will be expanding the new Bluewater section in the upcoming Sept. 6-8 show in Orlando. Bluewater showcases inshore and offshore apparel and accessory companies. The January show was anchored by outdoor industry company leaders Yeti, Salt Life and Bimini Bay.

“One of the ideas behind Bluewater was to centralize our saltwater apparel and accessory exhibitors to make them easier to find for the buyers who come to the show,” said Surf Expo Show Director Roy Turner. “The response from both attendees and exhibitors was resounding approval.” “It’s a brand new section and it’s perfect for us. It fits our lifestyle,” Jeff Stillwell, president of Salt Life said about the Bluewater section. “Everything we do is connected to the water. Where some people may be just a surf shop or sell surfboards or one particular thing, we’re everything fishing, diving, surfing, so it’s perfect for us. I hope they expand it.” Jon Staton, owner of Hooked Soul said, “This was our fifth year at Surf Expo and our first time in the Bluewater section. Our location and neighbors were great and a success was had by many we could see. We look forward to growing our business in the new section.” Inspired by like-minded watersports brands, the Bluewater section connects to the waterman lifestyle that has always been a part of Surf Expo’s DNA. Featured products ranged from performance and lifestyle apparel, accessories, outerwear, footwear, sportswear, dive and much more. The new section also had a Bluewater lounge sponsored by Hell’s Bay Boatworks and a guest appearance by legendary waterman Flip Pallot. “For us, Surf Expo is an additional branding opportunity; another place for us to see our customers and meet potential customers. With the Bluewater section, it just brings more and more of our type of customers to Surf Expo,” added Chris Peterson, owner/president of Hell’s Bay Boatworks. The Bluewater section for the September show will be centrally located on Surf Expo’s show floor. It will be bordered by the Paddle and Surf sections, offering crossover opportunities for buyers and sellers alike. Surf Expo is a trade-only event. For more information contact Kenneth Andres at Kenneth. Andres@surfexpo.com. More information about Surf Expo can be found at www.surfexpo.com.

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Make reel memories.

Stuart, located in Martin County, is known as the Sailfish Capital of the World. Sitting on the most biodiverse estuary in the Northern Hemisphere, and the northernmost point of the South Florida Reef, Martin County is home to 100 artificial reef systems and over 800 species of fish. Its climate, waterways and natural environment make it a mecca for fishermen and nautical explorers year-round. An array of unique shops, fine restaurants, great golf courses and quiet beaches make a day ashore fun, too. Inshore, offshore, salt water or fresh, head out for an adventure and reel in the memories.

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By Capt. Nate Wheeler • Photo by Dan Gray/flickr

“W

hen is the best time to fish?” has to be the most common question I am asked as a captain in the Florida Keys. Any time of the year can be the best time of year depending on what you’re looking for. The constantly changing weather and the different fishing it provides is what makes fishing here very special. All in the same day, you can cast at large fish in inches of water and feed baits to legendary deep-water gamefish. Having an open mind, being properly informed and preparing in advance are the keys to ensuring a fishing trip to the Keys is the adventure of a lifetime. First you have to determine your priorities. Are you looking to catch fish to eat, like tasty grouper? Are you looking to target legendary catchand-release gamefish, such as the mighty tarpon? Is there a particular time of year you want to fish and target the best bite, or is there a particular species to cross off your bucket list? The Keys are completely surrounded by the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean. The two are connected by a complex system of channels that snake between the islands. The inshore scene is dominated by the “slam,” or tarpon, permit and bonefish. Methods for targeting these fish include sight fishing in shallow water or drifting the edges of deep-water channels. Unusually warm weather in winter can create short windows of incredible fishing, but north winds shut these species down. Early bites in late February to March can be red hot. They can be the best bite of the year, especially for trophy fish with a fly rod. However, if your trip occurs during a cold snap, fishing can get real tough. Summer and early fall have the most consistent weather. It is prime time for targeting bonefish and small tarpon. These smaller fish are more aggressive and are a great way to break into the sport.

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If you desire a short run to the open ocean, the Florida Keys are also the place for you. Most fishing occurs within a mile of the reef line, which is only about 7 miles offshore. In addition to catch-andrelease billfish, many tasty species inhabit these waters, such as blackfin tuna, cobia, king mackerel, wahoo and dolphin. The “season” for these fish starts in the fall, when cooling waters push bait into the area. Big-time gamefish can be seen blowing up baits in as little as 15 feet of water, offering a unique sight fishing opportunity. Once the water heats up, you get the spring migration. When Gulf Stream currents push in close to the reef, fish move in to feast as they work toward summer spawning grounds. Whatever fish you crave, the Florida Keys has the trip for you. The best way to plan a trip is to talk to the right guide. Speak directly with a captain who will provide the best answers to your questions. Contact Capt. Nate Wheeler at (305) 394-2177 or capt.natewheeler@aol.com. See his website at www.waypointfishing.net.

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Angler Chuck Hanford and Capt. Alex with a 60-pound roosterfish released on the Harvester in February.

T

he 2018 season is in full swing in Nosara, Costa Rica. The five boats of the FishingNosara team have already run 225 trips since our season kicked-off in November, and show no signs of slowing down. As usual, the flagship Wanderer has led the charge with great action this season. One of our favorite anglers Leah Merryfield helped the Wanderer ring in the New Year with a great day of action on Jan. 1. Capt. William found a 40-plus-pound dorado lurking offshore, and Miss Merryfield was there to land the monster. Mate Johnny had his work cut out for him to filet this big green beast. With dinner on ice, Mike battled a big sailfish all the way in for the release. Filets for the table and another trophy release for the scrapbook… that’s a perfect day of fishing to kick off 2018. On Jan. 9, Soren and Marianne Dalberg-Pedersen had a big day with

Capt. William, highlighted by a pair of awesome marlin releases. They added a big dorado for the icebox, and all of this happened on just a fivehour, half-day trip! Our big battleship Discoverer also has been delivering big fish and big smiles. Our dear friend Jerome McKown continues to add to his FishingNosara Hall of Fame resume with a great day of action for his group on Feb. 1. After a sweet sailfish release, these Texas anglers scored a nice yellowfin tuna with a baitcaster reel he brought from home. Ryan McPherson joined Capt. Carlos and had the best five-hour trip you can imagine on Jan. 31. First up was a big blue marlin release. The blue water kept producing with an excellent sailfish backed up by a tasty yellowfin tuna. Our newest weapon, the 32-foot Eduardono mega-panga Harvester, has already redefined the potential of panga fishing in Central America. After three full days of fishing, angler Chuck Hanford saved the best for last with a mammoth roosterfish release on his final day of action on Feb. 5. This monster was a legitimate 60 pounds, proven by Captain Alex’s Bogagrip. Great work by the mega-panga to photograph and release this monster. Meanwhile, our smaller pangas, the Explorer and Adventurer, are delivering the best bang-for-your-buck fishing action in all of Central America. The Explorer put on a show for Maurycy Krzastek, of Poland, with a wonderful day of action on Jan. 12. The fish were fired-up as the Explorer released not one but two mighty marlins. This amazing feat was backedup with plenty of dorado, so these boys will be well fed. Great work by Capt. Fico! The Adventurer scored a swarm of permit, snappers and yellowfin tuna on Jan. 6. Want to have ceviche, sushi and filets all in one meal? Capt. David is known for delivering a wide variety of edible delights every time he hits the water. Daily updates on the team’s catches are available at blog.fishingnosara.com and on the major social media platforms.

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FRESHWATER

By TAM Staff

T

his is the time of year when crappie anglers flock to the water. The predictability and seemingly never-ending abundance of these tasty fish make them a springtime tradition with a community feel. No one’s going to fight you for crappie; there are plenty for everyone. Here are a few tips to help you load a cooler this spring. • Fish The Right Areas: This time of year, crappie are either shallow or thinking about moving shallow, depending on where you fish. With warming waters, the spring spawn will find them right up on the banks in water as shallow as 1 ½ feet. Explore backs of the creeks that feed reservoirs or the flats adjacent to creek channels. Crappie use those channels to travel in and out of their spawning areas, so they’ll be stacked up in shallow brush near those slightly deeper areas when they move up. They’ll be holding in those slightly deeper channels before and after the spawn. • Brush, Brush, Brush: The necessity for cover cannot be overstated. Crappie seek out hard bottoms with abundant cover to hide and

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protect their beds. Laydowns on the bank, shallow docks, timber and brush stacked up by currents, angler-placed brush in shallow water, all of it will hold spawning crappie as long as there is firm bottom for them to build their nests and something to conceal them. • Tactics: Male crappie are usually the target when fishing during the spawn. Males are the ones that guard the beds, and while they are in protector mode they are aggressive. They are not necessarily feeding; they are attacking. Minnows under a float are the traditional bait for crappie fishing, and it is a tactic that works any time of year. But during the spawn, minnows can actually hurt your productivity because fishing them out of the livewell and hooking them up is time consuming. If they will take a jig, there is no reason not to use one. Jigs are just more efficient. This time of year, bright and gaudy colors are the way to go. Angry fish don’t need to be enticed into feeding, just getting their attention is often enough to make them strike. Whether you’re vertical jigging thick cover or casting to the banks, move quickly until you find crappie and then slow down to catch all of them that will bite. • Remember: When you find a good spot, mark it on the graph or remember where it is. Crappie know where to go to spawn successfully and comfortably. They will utilize the same areas year after year, and so should you. This holds true on a short-term basis also. Catch a limit one day, and you might think you’ve fished a particular bank out. Don’t count on it. Those good spawning sites reload. New fish will move in to take the place of the ones you took home to the fryer. That spot is worth checking again as early as tomorrow or even this afternoon.

For more on fishing Crappie in the spring, go to

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TIPS FROM A PRO

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he first pro event of the 2018 Bassmaster schedule was the Bassmaster Eastern Open in Kissimmee, Fla. I love Florida in winter, and love it even more now. I finished the event in second place, my highest professional finish to date. To notch that result, I had to adapt. Here’s how I did it. In practice and early on day one I was catching fish on a prop bait. The fish were eating it, but I started catching smaller fish as time wore on. I knew big fish were in the area but weren’t willing to hit a topwater. They were buried in the cover, and I needed to go in after them. That meant punching the heavy mats. My arsenal for approaching the thickest Florida cover is simple but vital. I like to

use a MHX FP936 flipping stick with a 1 ½-ounce tungsten weight. I like a 4/0 Mustad 3X Grip Pin Max flipping hook, which helps keep a compact creature bait on the hook shank while penetrating abrasive cover. I pair it with 65-pound Vicious No Fade Braid to a high-speed reel to ensure I can muscle trophy fish from matted cover. A big key to punching heavy cover is the bait. It must have a compact shape to slip through the mats behind that big weight. I worked with X Zone Lures to create a new punching bait that does just that and is a new look for the fish. The Muscle Back Finesse Craw is the result. You can find them on the X Zone website (www.xzonelures.com). I relied on the Okeechobee Craw and Black/Blue Flake colors, which are both Florida staples.

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FRESHWATER PRODUCT SPOTLIGHT

Fishmaster has unveiled a new line of folding aftermarket T-tops suitable for inshore or offshore applications. The first model in Fishmaster’s new Pro Series features industry leading 2.25-inch aviation grade 6061 T6 schedule 40 aluminum for optimum strength-to-weight ratio. Its patent pending design features sleek lines, integral grab handles and lateral support bars for superior stability. The top provides more than 35 square feet of coverage and features Sunbrella fabric for weather protection and comfort. The top can be folded without the use of tools to accommodate storage, trailering and low bridge or tree clearance. It is available in bone white powder coating or polished and anodized finish for maximum corrosion resistance. This Pro Series model adjusts from 24-50 inches wide to fit virtually any center console on the market. Each Fishmaster top can be customized with a wide array of accessories including rod holders, lights, antenna brackets, an electronics box and more. Fishmaster T-Tops can be installed by a do-it-yourselfer or by a dedicated Fishmaster marine dealer. For more information about the new Pro Series or the name of your local Fishmaster dealer, call 877-777-8693 or visit Fishmaster.com.

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UNDER THE SEA

What To Wear?

W

ho says you can’t have it all? When it comes to wetsuits—whether man or woman, warm or cold water, scuba or freediver—there are many great choices on the market. They are more comfortable, better-fitting, and more fashionable than ever. Pioneers in the dive world had to endure cold temperatures sometimes. Finally, in 1952, a University of California physicist invented the wetsuit. Water conducts heat away from the body about 20 times more efficiently than air, which is why an unprotected individual feels cold even in “warmish” water. The inventor created a foam-like material to cover the body, which reduced the water’s ability to conduct heat away from the body. This, plus the fact that water is warmed by your body and trapped inside the suit, made for a more comfortable experience. Previous materials were very fragile or very rigid. Due to product innovation, wetsuits are more flexible, warm, and come in many different colors—even camouflage patterns. Better-fitting designs and new methods of joining the seams make today’s suits even more waterproof and reduce “flushing,” which is the seeping in of cold water. In the warmest parts of the world, divers may opt for a simple “lycra skin” for protection from jellyfish, coral and sunburns. However, even in the summer, most will still wear at least a 2-mil wetsuit. On the other end of the scale, my very admirable friends in northern California wear two-piece 8-mil wetsuits complemented by thick neoprene boots, gloves and hoods. As an example, someone in the Bahamas might wear a skin for the summer and a 2-mil in the winter. Someone in Florida might own a 3-mil for the summer and a two-piece 5-mil for the winter. A Californian would probably own a two-piece 5-mil for the summer and 8-mil for winter.

The rule of thumb is that you want to wear the thinnest possible wetsuit, but enough to feel comfortable throughout the dive. That’s because you want to maintain maximum Photo by Jose Fernandez flexibility and reduce the amount of lead needed on your weight belt to submerge (wetsuit material is buoyant). The beauty of owning two-piece suits (hooded top and farmer john bottoms) is that you can switch pieces around for the perfect combination—such as wearing a 5-mil bottom with a 3-mil top. Along these lines, it’s also possible to buy a sleeveless vest for more layering options. With just a few basic pieces, many different combinations are available. This is especially handy if traveling and exact conditions are unknown or could change. The following brands are available at your local dive shop: Yazbeck, Mares, Riffe, Omer, Cressi and more. If an off-the-rack suit does not fit, there are several affordable custom manufacturers who will tailor one to your measurements, such as Polosub or Elios. These days, there’s no reason to be uncomfortable in the water. Happy diving! Sheri is a world-record holder, host of Speargun Hunter, and producer of “The Blue Wild Ocean Adventure Expo” in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. Follow “Sheri Daye” and “The Blue Wild” on Facebook and Instagram.

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ichael Clark’s 9.66-pound sheepshead might not be the biggest ever caught, but it’s the heaviest officially recognized sheep ever caught on a fly rod in Louisiana. Clark, of Charleston, S.C., and his father-in-law Craig Pagels booked a couple days with Louisiana Low Tide Charters and Capt. Lucas Bissett last January to fish the marshes of Delacroix. The big sheepshead came on the second afternoon of the trip. The day had dawned clear and calm, but when winds picked up in the afternoon it stirred up the mud bottom they were fishing. Capt. Bissett made the call to move in search of a sand bottom and clear water. It was a good call. Bissett spotted two sheepshead from the poling platform. “He told me to strip out all my line and said ‘four o’clock, four o’clock,’” Clark said. “I threw it out there and dropped it right on the shadow. Then I waited for what seemed like forever. Then I twitched it once and it took the fly.” The fish ate Bissett’s own pattern, a Bissett’s Mud Bug, which has a deer hair head and a baitfish profile. It was caught on a 10-weight Orvis Helios. The Louisiana Outdoor Writers Association (LOWA) recognized it as the fly-caught state record. The all-tackle LOWA record for sheepshead was caught in 1982 by Wayne Desselle. That one weighed 21.25 pounds.

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COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

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

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By Tobin Strickland - CAM Special Correspondent Photo Courtesy of Capt. Ernest Cisneros - Simms Ambassador

pring temperatures can swing widely; the morning can start very cold with late season frontal passages, or strong winds with clouds or fog. Even warm days can feel cold due to the water’s ability to cool the near surface layer of air. However, those cold mornings can warm to hot afternoons and back to cold. First, start with a thermal layer that breathes well that can be worn on its own if it warms up. I prefer merino wool for this, but cotton thermals are fine as well if that’s your budget. The merino seems to wick and dry better and is comfortable in a wider range. Next comes a hoodie of some sort, whether that be heavy cotton, fleece or poly, and on your legs either poly sweats or jeans are usually enough for spring. The hoodie will be a welcome addition over your hat of choice at dawn, during high winds, or evening low-light conditions. The final layer should be some sort of windproof and waterproof layer. For wade fishing or rough water conditions, I like a pair of Simms fishing waders and a jacket. I can’t stress enough how important it is to block the wind and water on the top layer. Spring fishing brings variable conditions that require you to layer your clothes so you can adjust through the day. The mornings may be cold, but the mid afternoon leaves you peeling off clothes and sweating. You’ll be ready if you layer. Tobin created TroutSupport.com - Tech Support for inshore fisherman wanting to take it beyond the basics.

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PRODUCT SPOTLIGHT LLEBROC GAME CHANGER Llebroc Industries teamed up with Shockwave to create Game Changer, the ultimate shock seat. The S5 military-grade shock mitigation system is the real thing, and boat owners owe it to their backs to check out this product. By combining the finest-riding seat on the market with the finest shock-mediating system, Llebroc has the solution to rough seas at an affordable price. Whether it’s helm seats, benches or bass-boat seats, Llebroc is already renowned for producing functional and comfortable marine seats. Every Llebroc chair features rugged durability, extraordinary comfort, functional design, an impressive set of standard features and an affordable price. With a wide variety of different chair styles and custom features, customers can create the exact chair they want. Shockwave’s shock-mitigating suspension has won more military awards after extensive review than any other manufacturer. The Game Changer is a combination that will allow you to fish longer and harder. Your ride can be completely customized with the S5 system. Dual dampener controls allow for adjustment of the suspension to make the ride harder or softer and dictate how fast the unit rebounds. An air pump provides additional control, allowing the system to be customized based on the weight of the person sitting in the chair. When you’re ready to experience the most comfortable, smoothest riding helm chair available, check out the Game Changer. For more information and to see all the different products Llebroc has to offer, go to www.llebroc.com.

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At Harbor Freight Tools, the “Compare to” price means that the specifi ed comparison, which is an item the same or similar function, 850 Stores Nationwide or HarborFreight.com COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM I MARCH 2018 I with NATIONAL 33 was advertised for sale at or above the “Compare to” price by another national retailer in the U.S. within the past 90 days. Prices advertised by others

*Original coupon only. No use on prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase or without original receipt. Valid through 7/1/18.

CANGL_NAT3-NAT34.indd 33

may vary by location. No other meaning of “Compare to” should be implied. For more information, go to HarborFreight.com or see store associate.

2/16/18 PM 2/1/18 12:35 3:26 PM


SUZUKI MAKES IT EASY AS

1-2-3

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

2. SEL

These are limited time offers. See your participating Suzuki Marine dealer for all the details or visit www.suzukimarine.com.

N SO S NG ARD AVI TBO T S I OU TANUZUK INSECT S

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

3. Rates as low as 5.99% on new Suzuki outboards (OAC).*

REPOWER FINANCE

Gimme Six Extended Protection promo is applicable to new Suzuki Outboard Motors from 25 to 350 HP in inventory which are sold and delivered to buyer between 01/01/18 and 03/31/18 in accordance with the promotion by a Participating Authorized Suzuki Marine dealer in the continental US and Alaska to a purchasing customer who resides in the continental US or Alaska. Customer should expect to receive an acknowledgement letter and full copy of contract including terms, conditions and wallet card from Suzuki Extended Protection within 90 days of purchase. If an acknowledgement letter is not received in time period stated, contact Suzuki Motor of America, Inc. – Marine Marketing via email: marinepromo@suz.com. The Gimme Six Promotion is available for pleasure use only, and is not redeemable for cash. Instant Savings apply to qualifying purchases of select Suzuki Outboard Motors made between 01/01/18 and 03/31/18. For list of designated models, see participating Dealer or visit www.suzukimarine.com. Customer and participating Dealer must fill out the appropriate form at time of sale. Instant Savings will be applied against the original dealer invoice (Suzuki will credit Dealer parts account). There are no model substitutions, benefit substitutions, rain checks, or extensions. Suzuki reserves the right to change or cancel these promotions at any time without notice or obligation. * Financing offers available through Synchrony Retail Finance. As low as 5.99% APR financing for 60 months on new and unregistered Suzuki Outboard Motors. Subject to credit approval. Not all buyers will qualify. Approval, and any rates and terms provided, are based on credit worthiness. $19.99/month per $1,000 financed for 60 months is based on 5.99% APR. Hypothetical figures used in calculation; your actual monthly payment may differ based on financing terms, credit tier qualification, accessories or other factors such as down payment and fees. Offer effective on new, unregistered Suzuki Outboard Motors purchased from a participating authorized Suzuki dealer between 01/01/18 and 03/31/18. “Gimme Six”, the Suzuki “S” and model names are Suzuki trademarks or ®. Don’t drink and drive. Always wear a USCG-approved life jacket and read your owner’s manual. © 2018 Suzuki Motor of America, Inc.

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Coastal Angler Magazine - March / Northeast Florida  

Coastal Angler Magazine and our interior (freshwater) publication, The Angler Magazine, are monthly editions dedicated to fishing, boating,...

Coastal Angler Magazine - March / Northeast Florida  

Coastal Angler Magazine and our interior (freshwater) publication, The Angler Magazine, are monthly editions dedicated to fishing, boating,...