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FREE

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Local

Fishing Reports Catch Photos News & Events

VOLUME 22 • ISSUE 263

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The Suzuki Savings Season 2016 ends soon so see your participating Suzuki Marine dealer today – or visit suzukimarine.com – for details on these special offers.

Gimme Six Extended Protection promo is applicable to new Suzuki outboard motors from 25 to 300 HP in inventory which are sold and delivered to buyer between 10/01/16 and 12/31/16 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. Cash Rebates apply to qualifying purchases of select Suzuki outboards made between 10/01/16 and 12/31/16. For list of designated models, see participating Dealer or visit www.suzukimarine.com. Customer and participating Dealer must fill out the appropriate rebate form at time of sale. Customer will have the choice to either apply the cash rebate against the original dealer invoice (Suzuki will credit Dealer parts account) or have a check sent directly to the customer. 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 marine engines. 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 marine engines purchased from a participating authorized Suzuki dealer between 10/01/16 and 12/31/16.“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. © 2016 Suzuki Motor of America, Inc.

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More Of A World Traveler’s Top Fishing Destinations By Patrick Sebile

L

ast month in these pages, I laid out what in my opinion are the top-5 fishing destinations in the world. It was a list of the most impressive fisheries I have experienced in a career spent traveling to fish the most renowned waters on this planet. From southern Africa’s Atlantic coast to Scandanavia, Panama, Australia and Venice, Louisiana, those five destinations topped the list among the 64 countries where I have fished. But there are other destinations well worth mention as some of the top fisheries in the world. With this article I will touch on five more destinations I believe to be some of the best on the planet. • Florida, U.S.A: Choosing a whole state and calling it a destination might be a stretch. However, the variety of great fisheries offered by this peninsula is what makes it one of the best places in the world for anglers. With fantastic inshore and offshore fishing, seasonal highlights like the east coast mullet run and some of the best bass fishing anywhere, Florida’s patchwork of options make it a great place for fishing. • South Island, New Zealand: This place is as wild as wilderness can get. Fishing for trout in New Zealand streams with the backdrop that was the set from the “Lord of the Rings” movies has to be one of the most incredible experiences of my life. Also, the north island offers great saltwater fishing for humphead snapper and yellowtail amberjack, which is one of the meanest and most powerful fish that lives in the world’s oceans. • Lake Biwa, Japan: This 259-square-mile lake is surrounded with history as one of the oldest lakes in the world. It is filled with millions of ayu—a small trout-related fish—that turned out to be the major food for a population of largemouth bass. There are consistently more

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Photo Courtesy of Al Stewart Photography

big bass in Lake Biwa than anywhere else I know of. It is where the longtime IGFA All Tackle world record was tied just a few years ago with a bass that weighed 22-pounds, 5-ounces. • Ivory Coast, Africa: Years ago, I ran a lodge on the Ivory Coast, not far from the city of San Pedro, where Stuart Campbell used to come targeting record blue marlin. He succeeded a number of times. From April to June, my average day consisted of three to five fish in the 300- to 600-pound range. • Massachusetts, U.S.A.: I’m a striped bass addict, and fishing the shores of Massachusetts is a pilgrimage I must make on an annual basis, period! There’s nothing like fishing for striped bass when they’re blitzing bait on the shorelines of the northeastern states. Patrick Sebile is the owner and lure designer of Sebile Innovative Fishing (www.sebile.com).

COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM


It’s the Honda of Outboards. Literally.

Quality, reliability, technology and fuel-efficiency have made Honda an automotive legend. You’ll find those same strengths in every Honda Marine outboard. Honda outboards deliver best-of-class features in models ranging from 2.3 to 250 hp. Many even share engine technology and components used in Honda vehicles like the Accord, Odyssey, Fit and Pilot — vehicles that have proven themselves over millions of miles. No wonder all Honda outboards are backed by the only 5-year manufacturer’s warranty in the industry. Power your boat with the brand that offers millions of miles of proven performance — Honda Marine.

Take Advantage Of 2.49% APR Financing On All New Honda Outboards Or 4.49% APR Financing On All New Honda Outboard Engines Or Boat/Motor Packages — Going On Now! To Find Your Nearest Authorized Honda Marine Dealer, Visit Our Website Now From Your QR-Enabled Phone, Or Go To ca.hondamarine.com *APR financing available on all new Honda outboard engines through American Honda Finance Corporation upon approved credit. 2.49% APR financing for 24 – 48 months, available to customers who qualify for the AHFC super preferred credit tier. Example for new Honda outboard engines: 2.49% APR for 36 months financing at $28.86 a month for every $1,000 financed. 3.49% APR for 60 months financing at $18.19 a month for every $1,000 financed. 3.49% APR for 84 months financing at $13.44 a month for every $1,000 financed. Offer good on any new and unregistered Honda outboard engine, with a minimum amount financed of $1,000 and a minimum monthly payment of $100. Check with participating dealers for complete details. Dealers set actual sales prices. For well-qualified buyers, not all buyers may qualify. Higher rates apply for different terms and/or buyers with lower credit rating. Lower rates may also be available. Offer valid through 01/03/17, on new and unregistered Honda outboard engines (2hp – 250hp) and only on approved credit by Honda Financial Services through participating dealers. Honda Financial Services’ standard credit criteria apply. **APR financing available on all new Honda outboard engines or packages (boat, motor and trailer, where Honda outboard engine is the main source of power) through American Honda Finance Corporation upon approved credit. 4.49% APR financing for 12 – 180 months (term and rate based on amount financed) available to customers who qualify for the AHFC Super Preferred credit tier. Example for new Honda outboard engines or packages: 4.49% APR for 84 months financing at $13.90 a month for every $1,000 financed. 4.49% APR for 144 months financing at $9.00 a month for every $1,000 financed. 4.49% APR for 180 months financing at $7.64 a month for every $1,000 financed. Offer good on any new and unregistered Honda outboard engine or package, with a minimum amount financed of $1,000 and a minimum monthly payment of $100. Check with participating dealers for complete details. Dealers set actual sales prices. For well-qualified buyers, not all buyers may qualify. Higher rates apply for different terms and/or buyers with lower credit rating. APR may be subject to dealer mark-up. Offer valid through 01/03/17, on new and unregistered Honda outboard engines or packages and only on approved credit by Honda Financial Services through participating dealers. Honda Financial Services’ standard credit criteria apply. ©2016 American Honda Motor Co., Inc. Always wear a personal flotation device while boating and read your owner’s manual. All Honda outboards meet EPA and CARB emission levels. COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM DECEMBER 2016 NATIONAL 7


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WEST MICHIGAN : Phil Belsito • (616) 957-1714 • phil@theanglermagazine.com UPSTATE NEW YORK : Frank Geremski • (518) 898-6484 • frankie@theanglermagazine.com

INTERNATIONAL BAHAMAS : Misti & Gary Guertin • (772) 285-6850 • treasurecoast@coastalanglermagazine.com flahama@coastalanglermagazine.com COSTA RICA : Thomas Hauer, Jr. • (321) 445-1557 • thomash@coastalanglermagazine.com Thomas Hauer • tomh@coastalanglermagazine.com PUERTO RICO/VIRGIN ISLANDS : Ace Bassue • (407) 285-9453 • ace@coastalanglermagazine.com © 2016. 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.

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

COASTAL ANGLER MAGAZINE Eleuthera, Bahamas

FREE

This year’s December holiday editions of Coastal Angler Magazine feature an image Holiday of Gene Dyer and a 30-pound mahi caught GIFT while fishing aboard Uncle Tom Dyer’s GUIDE 55-foot Hatteras off Eleuthera, Bahamas. Dyer is Coastal Angler’s newest franchisee, having recently taken over the Fort Local Lauderdale franchise location. Gene comes to Coastal Angler as a former advertising sales executive for Florida Sport Fishing. Eleuthera is one of the long skinny Out Islands that make up the eastern edge of the Bahamian archipelago. It is a spectacular vacation destination with miles of pink sand beaches, and for anglers it is a renowned bonefish destination, noted for expansive and easily accessible flats. As evidenced by Dyer’s Mahi, Eleuthera is also a fantastic jumpingoff place for the reef, spearfishing and sport fishing the Bahamas are famous for. Excellent reefs such as Devil’s Backbone are teeming with snappers, groupers and amberjack. And with depths of thousands of feet a few miles offshore, anglers can take a quick boat ride and tangle with tuna, marlin, snapper, mahi-mahi, sailfish and some huge wahoo. Fishing Reports Catch Photos News & Events

VOLUME 22 • ISSUE 263

COASTALA NGLERMA G.COM

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THE ANGLER MAGAZINE Southeastern Mountain Trout

WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA EDITION

FREE

There is no better gift for a trout angler than the opportunity to cast to gorgeous fish in the streams of southern Appalachia. The cover image for our holiday editions of The Angler Holiday Magazine comes from the north Georgia GIFT GUIDE mountains, where Tommy Nicodemus caught this big rainbow trout from Noontootla Creek Local while fishing with guide Chuck Head of Unicoi Outfitters. Noontootla Creek is one of the best small trout streams in Georgia, and it feeds the larger Toccoa River, which boasts one the Southeast’s premier tailwater trout fisheries. Noontootla itself flows from high-headwaters through public land on Blue Ridge Wildlife Management Area, where it is a small stream offering wild brown and rainbow trout. For decades it has been managed under special regulations, which have produced a great, if sometimes challenging, fishery. Our cover fish was caught from an extensively managed private trophy stretch of Noontootla Creek called Noontootla Creek Farms. The image was captured by Jason Weldon. PHOTO COURTESY OF JASON WELDON

VOLUME 22 • ISSUE 263

F R A N C H I S E

Fishing Reports Catch Photos News & Events

FISHING WITH UNICOI OUTFITTERS

THEANGLE RMAG.COM O P P O R T U N I T I E S

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DECEMBER 2016

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inter means giant redfish on the fly. From Florida to Texas and up the east coast of the United States, giant redfish are a prime target species for many saltwater fly anglers. In my opinion, there is no finer wintertime saltwater species to sight fish a fly too. The fishing opportunities are endless, and the chance to hook a true giant heavier than 30 pounds is very likely. However, for the fly angler to be successful he/she must be able to make the cast. First Things First The first thing I suggest to anglers before they jump into saltwater fly fishing is to really learn how to cast a fly line to 40 feet quickly and accurately. We are often led to believe that if the angler can cast a long distance then he or she will be a successful fly angler. There is nothing further from the truth. I’ve seen wonderful fly casters become frustrated when sight casting to redfish. They are so focused on making a long cast that they miss the f ish-catching opportunities within 40 feet of their rod tip. Casting to redfish is more about accuracy and quickness than is distance. Learn The Double Haul Developing a solid double-haul is the foundation of a quick and accurate cast. Not only does the double-haul help with distance, if executed correctly, it reduces the number of backcasts the angler must make. It is well to remember that the more time the fly line is in the air, the less time the fly is on the water. The best way to learn the double haul is to find a grassy area like a park. Next, strip out 40 feet of fly line and make a forward cast, allowing the fly line to lie on the grass in front of you. Next, lower your rod tip to where it is touching the ground in front of you. Then, pick up the fly line and make a back cast, laying the line out behind you. This is the single haul. Next, pull the fly line off the grass behind you with your line hand while the fly rod is moving forward, and with the rod moving forward, pull the line down towards your belt line. As you feel the fly rod load while it bends on the forward cast, release the line from your line hand, allowing the fly line to shoot forward through the guides. This is the second haul of the double haul, an effective cast when long- distance casts are required, but also important for the short, quick accurate cast needed when fishing red fish. The Back Cast Is Important Much of your success in fly casting is dependent upon the development of a smooth back cast, that is the ability to cast 20 to 30 feet of line behind you whenever demanded. Remember the fly fisherman’s adage that “your forward cast is only as good as your back cast,” and a good cast is the “rule-of thumb” when casting flies to redfish. If a redfish appears behind you, simply make a forward cast. With your fly line on the water, simply pick up the line, and shoot it behind you. Retain eye contact with the redfish’s position. In next month’s column, Casting to Redfish Part Two, I will write about the importance of the repositioning cast and quick cast.

FLY FISHING

ON THE COVER

CASTING FOR THE REDFISH GAME: PART ONE

Follow Conway Bowman at www.conwybowman.com, on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

For More Fly Fishing with Bowman, go to

CAMFLYFISHING.COM

COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

DECEMBER 2016

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Gift Ideas FOR ANGLERS

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heck out these great gift ideas for the outdoor enthusiast on your holiday gift list. These local merchants are available to ensure your holiday gift giving satisfaction. We always try to encourage our readers to shop locally. It’s our community and we all benefit from supporting our local businesses. They’re here for us all year long and our personal convenience depends on their sustainability. Tell them Coastal Angler/The Angler Magazine sent you. By the way, if you see something here that you wish could be under the tree with your name on it, just take out a marker and circle it. Then leave this page open for your friends and family to see. Yes, crude but effective.

Happy Holidays from all of us at Coastal Angler/The Angler Magazine.

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lthough winter’s here, it won’t stay cold forever. The holiday season is a great opportunity to pick up a catch bag so your favorite kayak angler will be ready to go come springtime. Also known as soft cooler bags, they keep a catch fresh, out of the sun and stashed safely away from predators. Consider the following to make sure your investment is a good one. The most durable catch bags are constructed of vinyl-coated polyester. Look for at least a half-inch of closed cell foam insulation under the tough fish spine-resistant exterior. If the closures use zippers, they should have large teeth that can handle sand and sun. I prefer a YKK zipper. Kayak catch bags come in multiple sizes. Large bags in the 70-quart capacity range are about three feet long. They are suitable for big fish and are most often mounted atop a kayak’s deck, either on the bow or in the stern storage area. Therefore, it’s important these bags come outfitted with multiple tie-downs or attachment points so they can be safely secured. A quality large bag retails for $180-$200. Check out Hobie’s new Soft Cooler Bag as a good example of what to look for. If your kayak angler prefers to keep the deck clear, consider a medium-size catch bag in the 26-quart range. About two feet long, they fit inside the bow hatch of many kayaks. These bags should open from the top to make for easier access. They retail for $130-$150. Other desirable features include carrying handles, easy-access drain plugs, and integrated shock cords for storage of additional accessories.

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W H A T ’ S

T R E N D I N G

OKEECHOBEE

SERVING OKEECHOBEE, HIGHLANDS, GLADES, AND HENDRY COUNTIES Welcome to the Okeechobee edition of Coastal Angler Magazine. December is a great time of year here in south central Florida; the weather should be cool, our visiting family and friends should be arriving and the mosquitos should be retiring for the winter. In the local lakes, the fishing should be very active with pre-spawn and spawning bass. Lake Okeechobee usually gets the season started but the smaller lakes will see plenty of spawning activity when the weather is right. As water temperatures begin to fall, anticipate the bass returning to the shallows once the heat of the day warms the shoreline waters. Speck fishermen should enjoy a steady bite and see specks beginning to form schools for their annual spawning period. Along with cooling temperatures, winter brings the return of windy conditions. Though it seemed like the wind never left us this past summer, winter cold fronts shift the wind to the north and northwest so you’ll need to be mindful of the weather forecast for the waves on our shallow water lakes pick up extremely quickly and can make for challenging conditions. Also keep in mind that the bite after a major cold front will be depressed for the first 48 hours after the front passes so plan your trips according. For hunters, hunting is in full swing with general gun season in effect for deer, fall turkey, and waterfowl. With the fields and brush dying off for the winter, it becomes less of a chore walking in the fields and stalking your prey so enjoy the best hunting conditions of the year. December brings us some great opportunities for all outdoor enthusiasts including camping, hiking, biking, canoeing, kayaking and bird watching. For bird watchers this is the time of year where migratory birds make Florida home so take advantage of our extensive system of parks, bird continued on page 2

The Smithsonian Comes to Okeechobee! By Sharie Turgeon, Tourism Coordinator

O

keechobee County has been selected as one of thirty-six communities throughout the United States to host an interactive and unique exhibit that speaks about our relationship to water. This wonderful opportunity began with a local visit from a representative of the Florida Humanities Council who said he was scouting for a Smithsonian Museum on Main Street exhibit that was all about water. Considering Lake Okeechobee is the center piece of a vast watershed running from Orlando to Florida Bay and connected to both coasts, it is only fitting that this great lake and the community of Okeechobee was selected. Okeechobee County Tourist Development Council (TDC) applied to host the event and was awarded the exhibit along with a State Grant from the Florida Humanities Council. The request was to encourage the community to come together in a cooperative effort to not only celebrate our local waterways but to educate the community on the importance of water in our lives. Okeechobee County TDC has joined in partnership with Okeechobee Main Street and the local Heartland Library Cooperative to develop a program that will make this exhibit one to remember. A committee was formed to plan the exhibit and promote the event. This committee consists of Sharie Turgeon, Tourism Coordinator for Okeechobee County; Magi Cable, President of Okeechobee Historical Society; Brittany Carner, Executive Director; Okeechobee Main Street; Kresta King, Library Administrator; Angie Griffin, Vice President Okeechobee Main Street; Bridgette Waldau, Arts and Culture Director Okeechobee Main Street; and Gary Ritter, Assistant Director of Government and Community Affairs for the Farm Bureau. In addition to the main exhibit, Okeechobee Main Street Arts and Culture Director Bridgette Waldau was able to connect with the wellknown and respected water conservationist Guy Harvey. Through the Guy Harvey team

and the Main Street Arts and Culture Director, the Okeechobee exhibit will also feature a series of Guy Harvey freshwater prints varying in size and subject. The local library, who is a part of the Heartland Library Cooperative, has been hosting a smaller exhibit of model steamships used to tell the story of waterways throughout Florida. This exhibit will be included in the showing as well as a special opening night only (December 17th) aquatic adventure with a large aquarium that will host a variety of fish on loan from the Florida Wildlife Commission. As this exhibit will be gracing the halls of our Historic County Courthouse located at 304 N 2nd St. Okeechobee, FL. 34972 during the holidays, all decorations will be coordinating with the water theme in blues and silvers. The exhibit will be free and open to the public December 17 – January 28, Monday through Friday. Saturday December 17 will be a special opening reception hosted by Okeechobee Main Street from 5-8 pm with a local speaker, light refreshments and wine. A ribbon cutting will officially introduce this engaging exhibit. For more information please contact Sharie Turgeon, Tourism Coordinator at 863-7633959 or tourism@co.okeechobee.fl.us. Large educational groups are especially welcome though please contact Sharie for arrangements. This will be an event your family won’t want to miss!

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FISHING REPORT

BY CAPTAIN EDDIE PERRY | LAKE OKEECHOBEE – NORTH END

I

t’s that special time of year where even the worst of fisherman can catch fish. It’s called Fall and it is in full swing. Cooler temperatures bring the first signs of pre-staging bass and in some cases bass may have already made their first trip to the beds. Remember that our bass on the Big ‘O’ start spawning in October and that usually starts on the east side of the lake around the Henry Creek and J & S (Chauncey Bay) areas. Bass that live in the open lake are moving into areas of submerged grasses, outside edges and open trails in anticipation of moving even further into the marsh areas to fan beds and do what comes natural. Just remember this is just the beginning, this will continue up into May, and truth be known, bass have been known to spawn in every month of the year on this lake. However the main timeframe is from October to May with the bulk of the spawn occurring from February through April. With the bass fatting up for the spawn, the live bait action has been excellent. Half day trips have produced catches up to forty bass per trip with full day trips boating sixty to seventy fish per outing. We’re also seeing the bigger fish show up, those in the 8-lb to 9-lb range. Buckhead Ridge, Tin House Cove, Kings Bar and Grassy Island are good places to start your day. Artificial fishing on the other hand has had its ups and downs. Topwater early is still your best bet and casting a plastic worm or a fluke after the sun comes up is a good follow-up. Flipping mats and hard edges is also good this time of year if you are looking for that big bite. Eagle Bay and the inside of Kings Bar have some of the best flipping water we have. Flip a 1-oz to 1 ½-oz jig or creature bait to punch through these thicker mats and edges. You may not get a bunch of bites but it will probably be a big one.

Welcome

Speck fishing is also picking up. Boats that are drifting in the open lake off of Grassy Island are catching their daily limits. The Specks are ranging up to the 14 to 15 inch class which makes for some fine fillets. Jig fishermen are catching Specks in the grass in a few areas from Horse Island to Taylor Creek. Though they are catching smaller fish, they’re still managing to catch enough to make a fine meal or two. Be sure to stop by Garrard’s Bait and Tackle for all your fishing needs, live or artificial bait they have it, or just stop in and say Hi. GOOD FISHIN Capt. Eddie Perry

Chris Shaw, 7lb 4oz

Capt. Eddie Perry is a 5th generation Floridian and owner of Okeechobee Adventures Guide Service. He has fished the Big ‘O’ since he was a little boy and has professionally guided on the lake since 1996. There isn’t much that he hasn’t seen on the lake. He can be reached by telephone at (863) 763-7722, web www.OkeechobeeAdventures.com, Facebook.com/ OkeechobeeAdventures, or at Garrard’s Bait and Tackle.

continued from page 1

trails and sanctuaries to view and photograph the wild range of visiting species. With all this outdoor activity there is one important point to remember, winter is Florida’s peak season for brush and forest wild fires. With little rain our environment dries out quickly so when outdoors, do not leave unattended campfires or drop burning cigarettes or other sources of heat in the brush. The extremely dry grass is a fire waiting to irrupt and even idling your car, truck or ATV on a patch of roadside grass is enough to start a wild fire. So let’s be careful out there. Finally, with the Holiday Season approaching let’s remember what the Holidays are all about, it’s the time of year to reflect and appreciate our friends and family. It’s also the time of year to reach out to those that we have drifted away from and a chance at a new beginning. So have a healthy and happy holiday season and see you in January. Ken Gabryel Co-Publisher Coastal Angler Magazine - Okeechobee

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FISHING REPORT

BY CAPTAIN MARK KING | LAKE OKEECHOBEE - SOUTH END

D

ecember is here and that means it is time to get ready for the Christmas holidays, but here on Lake Okeechobee we will be getting ready for spawning bass to be on the move toward the shallow water spawning areas. Now that the water has finally cooled off and the water level is below fifteen feet above sea level, everything is getting right for another great season here on Lake Okeechobee. We are beginning to see a good number of fish moving in off the main lake to areas that we typically fish though the winter months. Areas like East Wall, Rita Island, Long Point, Grassy, and Pelican Bay are all starting to get real active and will be good fishing though the spring. The artificial bite has been improving almost daily with good numbers being caught on worms and swim jigs. Pitching jigs and craw type baits to reed heads and thicker mats have been producing the bigger fish. The live bait bite with wild shiners has been great and will continue to produce big numbers and big bass throughout the season. We are typically using 5 to 6 dozen shiners on a six-hour charter and usually still have time for an hour or two of casting some artificial lures. I like to start my day by throwing some topwater swimbaits like a Gambler EZ Swimmer in the hay field areas that are closest to the open water but still have clean water qualities. I will then keep moving back into the thicker grass areas as long as I am still catching bass. If you get back too far off the main lake sometimes the water quality will start to deteriorate due to low oxygen levels created by decaying vegetation. Your nose will let you know when you’ve gone too far. If you try to stay in good clean water as close to the open water part of the lake you can’t go wrong.

As far as lures, what I have been using lately is Gambler EZ Swimmers in junebug and ice breaker colors, Gambler Ace and Super Studs in junebug and watermelon-red, and a 10” Charlie’s Worm in black or junebug color. The bite on artificial lures has been all over the place so don’t be afraid to try any of your favorite lures. I like to start the day out fishing lighter colored lures but as the sun gets up higher in the sky I move to darker colored lures with junebug being my favorite color here on Okeechobee. With Christmas just around the corner a fishing trip for your favorite fisherman is a great gift. Now is the time to book a trip as dates are filling up fast along with motel rooms. It’s going to be a great season here on Lake Okeechobee and you won’t want to miss out on it. Don’t forget to check out Roland Martin’s Marina for all you fishing needs including boat rentals, hotel rooms, camping, and all your fishing tackle needs. I will have gift certificates available for that hard to shop for fisher-person in your life. I just want to wish everyone a very Merry and Blessed Christmas and I hope to see everyone on the water soon. Capt. Mark King Captain Mark King is a full time guide and tournament angler guiding out of the world famous Roland Martin’s Marina and Resort in Clewiston Florida and also in the Florida Keys out of Marathon area. Mark is an IGFA Certified Captain, active member of the Florida Guide Association and the Florida Outdoor Writers Association. Mark can be contacted to book a guide trip, seminars, personal appearances, test rides in his Evinrude powered Ranger, or to fish a tournament with him at 863-677-0983 or at www.markkingfishing. com and www.tarponinthekeys.com

FISHING REPORT

BY SALLY HERNANDEZ - SLIM’S FISH CAMP | LAKE OKEECHOBEE - PALM BEACH

G

ood news for our local anglers! The fish have been biting really well on the southeast side of the lake. The Largemouth Bass have been chasing shiners just inside the cuts off the rim ditch. The cuts at Dead River, Boy Scout Cut, the First Dynamite Hole, and Houseboat Cut have all been producing great results! Our anglers have been having a lot of luck with both artificial and live bait but most of our locals have reported catching the larger fish on wild shiners. The Speck fisherman are also limiting-out and have been using mostly minnows to haul in their large catches. With the cooler weather upon us, there is no better time to enjoy an exciting day on the lake. Slim’s Fish Camp carries both live bait and artificial baits, so feel free to stop in and let us hook you up for your fishing trip. Happy Angling Sally Hernandez You can reach Slim’s Fish Camp via telephone at (561) 996-3844 and follow us on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/slimsfishcamp

WWW.COASTALANGLERMAG.COM/okeechobee • THEANGLERMAG.COM

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Hey Joe, where are they bittin? They’re in the Grass! By: Steve Daniel “The Voice of Lake Okeechobee Fishing”

H

Steve Daniel

ow many times have you heard that phrase before? Right off the top of my head I can recall about fifteen different types of grass that bass like to relate to, so when you hear that statement you might want to dig a little deeper for the answer. The one thing that we all know is that bass like vegetation but sometimes they will prefer one type of grass over the others for many different reasons. Usually while you are out fishing you will encounter many different types of grass so every time you get a bite you need to really look at the grass that the bite came from. Any angler that knows anything about bass fishing knows the importance of pattern fishing and in a lot of cases the type of grass the bass are relating to is a pattern. There are many different lures or tools that will fish the vegetation here on Lake Okeechobee, some more effectively than others. Looking back over the years and remembering the lures we had to choose from way back then, we basically had plastic worms and Johnson spoons. Today the spoon has been replaced with buzz frogs and soft swim baits and joined by dozens of other different style lures. I know that the spoon will still catch a lot of bass in the thickest grasses here on the Big ‘O’ but the introduction of the swim bait has revolutionized the world we live in today. For the novice angler and the top pros that will tackle the Big ‘O’ this season, the swim bait will be the number one lure for angling on the Big ‘O’. It’s like an all terrain vehicle, it will go anywhere and is very efficient. Having a lure that you can cast into the thickest grass and get it back to the boat with no grass on it makes fishing the heaviest grass enjoyable. Remember, lures are tools and the swim bait is a tool you must have in your arsenal when you are angling here on the best bass fishing lake in the world, Lake Okeechobee. The one thing all the great bass fishing lakes have in common is they all have some type of grass and we have a lot of grass here on the Big ‘O’. Eelgrass, hydrilla, pepper grass, coon tail, reeds, bulrushes and many types of pads. Patterning a lake like the Big ‘O’ is not that hard if you will take the time to just look around every time you catch a fish and see where it came from, the type of grass, color of the water and probably the most important thing, the depth of the water. All the great anglers know that when you can see a pattern you can start eliminating a lot of areas and just start targeting the areas that have 4 OKEECHOBEE

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the right grass and depth that the bass are relating too. Just remember, the next time you hear that the bass are in the grass, dig a little deeper and see if you can get a little more information about the type of grass and don’t forget to look at where you are getting your bites, this could be the start of a great pattern and a very good day of fishing. Finally keep in mind, what happened today may not be what is happening tomorrow. That is what makes the sport of bass fishing such a great challenge. Until next month, Tight Lines Debs studio Steve Daniel For more information on the fishing catch HOOKED UP WITH STEVE & DEB the voice of Okeechobee fishing starting Friday 1, 7am, & 4pm, Saturday & Sunday 10am east, renoviolaoutdoors. com, Saturdays 100.9fm, wokc.com, & Sunday 100.5fm wafcamfm.com 5am east. For more information visit www. OkeechobeeProSteveDaniel.com. or call 239.560.2704

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11/17/16 7:42 PM


FISHING REPORT BY CAPTAIN BRIAN NELLI | PALM BEACH KAYAK

Atlantic Coast Inshore

December will start to bring a few cold fronts our way. During the winter months, when water temps drop, targeting areas that warm quickly like docks, mangroves, mud flats and potholes will be the best bet. Getting out a little later in the day to allow those areas to warm will help you put more fish in the yak. Sight fishing can be great this time of year when the water clears. Standing in a kayak drifting a flat is a great way to see your targets. Getting up and down can be difficult for some. There are some great products out there can make it easier. Hobie Kayak’s Stand Up H Bar and Yakattack’s Command Stand are two quality products.

Atlantic Coast Offshore

Winter month opportunities in the kayak are always weather dependent. If there is a day where the seas allow you to get out, take advantage of it. Sailfish, mahi, kings and wahoo should be your targets. Frisky google eyes and blue runners will be your best options. Trolling the 90-200ft depths through Palm Beach County will put you in line for a bite. Finally don’t forget your flag or another type of visual device to keep yourself safe on the water and in view of other boats. Check us out Pushin’ Water Kayak Charters on Facebook, Instagram and Youtube for all the latest adventures my clients and I

Sailfish

get into. See you on the water! Brian Nelli | 772-201-5899 Brian@tckayakfishing.com | www.tckayakfishing.com

HIGHLANDS LAKE PROFILE LAKE JACKSON | BY GEOFF BALOG

L

ake Jackson is a lake that is quite visible and pronounced as you travel through Sebring FL. The lake is a sizable lake and covers approximately 9,212 acres and consists of two lakes, Lake Jackson and Little Lake Jackson which are interconnected via a short channel which passes under US Route 27. The main lake has a maximum depth of approximately 26-feet while Little Lake Jackson has a depth of 21-feet. Lake Jackson is one of the many lakes in Highlands County that is frequently targeted by local fishing clubs and trail tournaments. Weights are generally average (2-4 lbs) with a few nice sized kickers in the mix. To date there has been only one bass registered to FWC’s Trophy Catch program in excess of 10-lbs and that was an 11.0 lbs fish caught by Dean Harcourt in May of 2014. Both lakes have developed shorelines with residential communities and a condo unit surrounding the lake. The lake has various private boat ramps and one public boat ramp at Veterans Beach located on the west side of the lake. There are also three public swimming beaches as well as a public pier on the east side of the lake from which you can fish from. Most residences have docks which provide some structure for fish to hold to. Pleasure craft and water sport activities such as tubing, water skiing and jet skiing are common especially in the summer months. Lake Jackson is one if the clearest lakes in Highlands County. This can make for difficult fishing. Light line and natural colors are important for successful fishing.

The main lake has a bowl shape with a sizable cove off to the north. Contours within the main lake are gradual slopping along most of the shoreline. The majority of the lake is structure free at depths over 5-feet and has a sandy bottom with little vegetation such as hydrilla and submerged grasses. Most bass will be holding to the shoreline and at depths greater than 15-feet. The overall shoreline has short emergent grass edges and weed lines to fish topwater baits, frogs, flukes and swim baits. Offshore there are a few man-made tree piles which can be fished with shaky heads, drop shots and plastic worms. Little Lake Jackson is also bowl shaped but it has much more in the way of structure. Edges are lined with cattails, buggy whips and Kissimmee grass. The canal that connects the two lakes often creates a current when the winds blows out of the east which attracts many fish. In addition to Carolina rigs and drop-shots, there are also some areas where flipping is productive especially during the spawn. Since both lakes are clear water lakes, natural colors like watermelon, green pumpkin, and natural shades produce the best. These two lakes are also very friendly to wild shiner fishermen. Both Lake Jackson and Little Jackson hold a nice population of pan fish including specks and bluegills. The specks are nice sized and seem to favor jig-heads tipped with minnows. Good luck and see you on the water.

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HIGHLANDS FISHING REPORT BY LY NGUYEN | HIGHLANDS COUNTY

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ecember in Highlands County usually brings our first taste of Winter’s cold temperatures. As these cold fronts push through, lake temperatures will fluctuate and our local fishing can be greatly impacted. Depending on the severity of the winter, lake temperatures can fall into the 50’s, which is a far cry from the upper 80’s and 90’s of summer time. Florida Largemouth Bass generally enjoy moderate temperatures and the slow moving waters of our lakes and rivers. In Highlands County we have two types of lakes, deep water lakes and shallow water lakes. Both lakes offer vast amounts of shelter in the way of vegetation, rocks, over hanging cliffs, sunken trees, logs, brush piles as well as docks. These environments offer excellent cover and food that enables bass to grow very quickly over their northern counterparts. During December our shallower lakes such as Istokpoga and Josephine will continue to have fish feeding in their typical fall pattern but the deeper lakes will change somewhat. In lakes such as Lake Placid (Childs) the bass begin moving from the deeper ledges and structure to the shallower, warmer waters nearer shore. During this period the bass are transitioning to or may have begun to spawn. If air and lake temperatures remain warm then this movement will not be as pronounced. But don’t worry for unlike northern large mouths, the Florida Largemouth spawn for several months and the fluctuation in temperatures only prolongs the spawn. If the fish in your area lake are still in pre-spawn then the fishing results can still be very good with more catches on moving baits. The first cold front that drops the air and water temperatures will slow the fish down. Experienced Florida Largemouth Bass anglers recommend using a topwater bait such as a Cotton Cordell Boy Howdy in silver with black back or similar style prop-topwater bait. The best way to move this lure 6 OKEECHOBEE

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through the water is through a steady retreive and the occasional twitch and pause as it is move through the weeds. The front and rear propeller helps this lure move through the weeds effectively. For calm days on the lake, use a long Rapala with small twitches and pauses. Once you get a strike, set the hook immediately as the Florida Largemouth Bass usually swallow the lure in one gulp. However, if a breeze picks up, switch to a buzz bait with a white skirt, a trailer hook and trailer. Once you get a strike, give a second or two before setting the hook. For most lakes, the color scheme should be black and blue at night or cloudy conditions and white or chartreuse for the day. Spinnerbaits are effective lake lures in weeds, grass and timber locations where there is a light wind. Try using a silver Colorado blade towards the front followed by a larger gold willow leaf in the back. The best weight to use is a 1/4 to 3/8 ounce. If you happen to use a double Colorado blade, use a skirt color of chartreuse. However, when working over weeds and grass, maintain a steady retrieve and set the hook immediately upon a strike. Cold fronts have a direct impact on lake fishing in Florida. During November, cold fronts stimulate the Florida Largemouth Bass to feed. These fronts usually result in cooler water surface temperatures, which is conducive to catching bass on the surface with rattletraps and crankbaits. However, once the temperatures drop down below 70-degrees, switch to crankbaits and Carolina style presentations. Once December arrives, the cold fronts cool the water to the mid to high 50’s in Central Florida, and like bass everywhere, the Florida Largemouth Bass becomes inactive. The best way to catch them in these months is using lures that appeal to their sense and will irritate them. Buzz baits, spinner baits and spoons are all very effective lures at creating vibrations and annoying Florida largemouth bass. Just make sure that you cast your bait

DECEMBER 2016

within a few feet of the bass. The crappie reports have been consistent and Lake Istokpoga seems to be the go to place. I was recently out there and as many as 30 boats scattered across the lake drifting for the tasty fish. Most anglers seem to be reporting the catches on a mix of live minnows, jigs or jigs with minnow trailing. Others find success with trolling for them. I honestly prefer a natural drift letting the breeze move the boat. Ideally if drifting, a speed of less then 0.8MPH seems to be most productive. Other local lakes with decent reports of Crappie catches include Little Lake Jackson, Lake Josephine, Lake Sebring and Lake Arbuckle. Good Luck and see you on the water.

Area Fishing Guides Capt. Mark King Reel Dreams Fishing: Bass, Lake ‘O’, Florida Keys Live bait & Artificial Clewiston, FL Ph: (863) 677-0983 www.MarkKingFishing.com Capt. Dave Stephens Back Bay Xtremes Charters Fishing: Snook, Tarpon, Redfish Peace River - Port Charlotte Ph: (941) 916-5769 web www.BackBayXtremes.com Capt. Brian Nelli TC Kayak Fishing Fishing: Palm Beach Kayaking Palm Beach, FL Ph: (772) 201-5899 www.TCKayakFishing.com

Steve Daniel Steve Daniel Guide Service Fishing: Bass Lake Okeechobee Live Bait & Artificial Clewiston, FL Ph: (863) 885-2230 www.OkeechobeeProSteveDaniel. com Capt. Chris Chesley World Wide Charter Fishing: Bass, Lake ‘O’ Hunting: Ducks, Lake ‘O’ Lakeport, FL Ph: (863) 946-2736 www.CaptChris-Okeechobee.com

Capt Eddie Perry Fishing: Bass & Panfish Lake ‘O’ Live Bait & Artificial Okeechobee, FL Ph: (863) 763-7722 www.OkeechobeeAdventures. FloridaBoyArt.com/

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11/17/16 7:42 PM


Canal Recreation Area Free - Boat ramps, bank fishing, picnic shelters with tables & grills, water, restrooms, raised scenic viewing platform

anal (Bare Beach) Free - Boat ramps, bank fishing Canal Free - Boat ramp, bank fishing

ecreation Area - C. Scott Driver Park - Boat ramp, marina, bank fishing, bait, fishing license, guide service, ice, picnic shelters with tables & grills, water, showers, camping

HIGHLANDS LAKE MAP TROUT DAMON

ADELAIDE CHILTON OLIVIA LILLIAN EAGLE POND

64

64

PYTHIAS PIONEER

BYRD

SILVER LELIA

DUCK DEER

FOX ISIS VIOLA VERONA

TULANE ANOKA

LOTELA GLENADA

ANGELO

LITTLE LAKE BONNET BONNET LITTLE RED WATER BASKET

SEBRING

ARBUCKLE CREEK ROAD

DINNER 17

LUCAS

SEBRING

JACKSON 17A

LITTLE JACKSON

27

RED BEACH

CHARLOTTE

BLUE CHRISTY

WOLF

823

17

HUCKLEBERRY

EDILA

GRASSY POND

MUD

COUNTERFEIT

LETTA

LOST SUBMARINE

ARBUCKLE CREEK

AVON PARK

DENTON GRANADA

AVON PARK BOMBING RANGE

98

RUTH

66

LYNN

JOESPHINE

JOSEPHINE CREEK

17

HILL

HARRY

PERSIMMON REDWATER FRANCIS

CARRIE

NELLIE APRHORPE SIMMONS

HENRY

BLUE

621

JUNE IN WINTER LACHARD SIRENA

CREWS

LAKE PLACID

ISTOKPOGA

SADDLE BAGS HUNTLEY

LOST

AUGUST

821

CLAY

MIRRIR

MCCOY

29

PEARL GRASSY

PLACID DIANE

LITTLE GRASSY

29

BUCK 70

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70

ANNIE

DECEMBER 2016

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FISHING REPORT

SECRETS OF CHARLOTTE HARBOR, FT MYERS | BY FISHN’ FRANKS

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ne of the m o r e sought after Florida game fish are sea trout. These fish are located on both coasts, are easy to target in inshore waters, and are great table fare. Over the years I have uncovered a few things about the Spotted/ Speckled Sea Trout. Take for instance how long their lifespan is. On average a typical Sea Trout will have a very short lifespan. Male Sea Trout live to about three years old and will grow to approximately 18-inches. Females live a little longer and survive to five years of age and grow into the mid 20-inch range. The Florida record for a Sea Trout is 17.7 pounds which by my estimate would make that fish about 34-inches long and within the 5-year old age slot. Sea Trout are part of the drum family which may explain their propensity to make grunting sounds when caught. Their range is from Delaware, through-out Florida’s coast and out to Texas. So they have a wide range and are a favorite target for thousands of fishermen. Here in south Florida, November and December are the two best months for Trout fishing though they are active all the way through March. But December is one of the best. Trout spawn for at least five months a year making them hard to find when they are spawning. Being temperature sensitive there is usually a one or two month difference from the Pan Handle to parts of south Florida. If you find yourself landing a large trout and troubled over whether to keep the trout or to release it, well from what I learned about their average lifespan and things, I would say keep that big trout. However, if that big ole 28inch female trout is full of eggs I would release it gently to help maintain the stock. But truth be 8 OKEECHOBEE

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told, it will soon die of old age so don’t feel that bad if you take her home for dinner. As for eating Sea Trout, well they’re quite edible though the flavor is somewhat unique. You either like them or you don’t unless you’re one of those cooks that can make anything taste good. So as the saying goes, “Try it Mikey, and see if you like the flavor”. Though I am not a fan of trout my dad was so I learned to eat what was placed in front of me. A very good friend of mine likes to prepare trout Ceviche style, which is cooking it in lime juice. Bathe the fish in lime juice with cucumber, chopped onions, cilantro, and black pepper and let the acids do their thing. They love it. As for my family, our history is of troglodyte, which means a long family tradition of cooking over fire. So, I will continue to use my grill or deep fryer. If you’re going to deep fry your trout, buy a box of instant pancake or waffle mix. Replace the water in the recipe with a good strong beer from one of the small breweries with an alcohol content of at least 5% or more for a real beer flavor. Mix as directed and dredge towel dried chunked trout fillets in the batter and then deep fry to golden brown. Hey I just made myself hungry. The bad news about Sea Trout the Spotted Sea Trout is they share the same problem as Red Grouper, Sail-cats and Black Drum, they get parasites. These parasites look a lot like a super-giant sperm with a large white head and a long thin squiggly tail. If you eat fish on a regular basis you probably have eaten one at one time or another without knowing it so they won’t kill you. They are thought to be the young larvae of the shark parasites. These worms live in the trout’s flesh and then emerge through the scales near the tail to seek out a passing shark to use as a host. You’re more likely to see these pests during the summer or early part of the fall when the water is still warm. If you run across one

DECEMBER 2016

or two of them, just cut them out as you would a small worm in an apple. If your fish holds a large number of them, just toss it in the garbage, for even a troglodyte like me won’t eat these fish. Large trout will hit lures on the surface or jigs hopped across the flats. Now this is weird, if you are using a lure with two treble hooks, the catch and release ratio could be as high as 97%. With a single hook jig, it drops to 91%. This kind of freaked me out until I thought about it. The single hook jig is much more likely to be swallowed farther down in the mouth of a

your body for germs to enter. So by protecting the slim coat of a fish greatly increases the odds of that fish surviving, so make it a habit to keep your hands and gear wet when handling fish destined for release. I will leave you with one last thought. A Sea Trout grows up with shrimp as its primary diet, not until they reach about 16 inches do they even think about eating baitfish. Shrimp is the number one bait for trout. However, if you are looking for only the big-giant ones, switch to baitfish and fish it near schools of mullet. For the

fish than a lure with two treble hooks. A good compromise is the new Rapala lures with two single hooks. These lures are sized properly so the trout can’t inhale them deep into their mouth and the single point hook minimizes the damage from the extra points of the treble hook. I believe Rapala got this one dead on. Great job Rapala! If fishing trout as catch and release, the proper handling of a trout can reduce its mortality by 20% or more. The first point is to set the hook when the fish strikes to keep it from going down into the fish too far. The second point is to always use a wet rag, hand or towel when handling the fish. Handling a trout with dry hands, a dry rag, or placing it on a hot dry boat surface harms the fish’s slime layer. The slime layer is a thin film on the surface of the skin which serves as the fish’s first layer of protection against bacteria, parasites and infection. It functions similar to a human’s epidermal skin layer. When you cut your finger, the cut provides an easy pathway into

largest trout, those over 25-inches, mullet schools are where the big trout will be found. Whether the trout are feeding on the mullet or the mullet are scaring up the other food sources that trout like to feed on, looking the schools of mullet are where you’ll find trophy sized Sea Trout. Anyways, the next time you’re in North Fort Myers, stop by your new store and say hi. I would like to meet you and you can tell me if a am right, wrong, full of it, or doing ok. Tight Lines Fishin’ Frank Charlotte Harbor Secrets is written by Fishin’Franks, located at 4425-D Tamiami Trail, Port Charlotte, FL and 14531 N. Cleveland Ave, Ft Myers FL. We may not always be politically correct, but you can be guaranteed that, we will write it as how we see it! If you plan on visiting just remember, “This ain’t no Boutique, this is a Fishin’ store!” We can reached by telephone (941) 625-3888 or on the web at http://www.FishinFranks.com

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11/17/16 7:42 PM


HUNTING REPORT

CAST & BLAST:

CAPTAIN CHRIS CHESLEY

Not much to report as of this writing date, Nov. 11th. I went scouting on my airboat yesterday along the northwest marshes of Lake Okeechobee and found only a few ducks here and there. About eighteen Florida Mallards, eleven Blue-winged Teal, three Woodies and one crippled Pintail hen that could fly but will be an easy shot come opening day. From early November to opening weekend on November 19th things change almost daily. Going out to scout as much as you can will improve your harvest rate especially after a cold front moves through. Down here in south central Florida we depend heavily on cold and snowy weather up north to push the birds south. So stay ahead of the pattern and you’ll have better success. As always, the harvest quota here in Florida is a bit complicated but this year’s daily bag limit is six ducks, of which no more than four mallards (of which only two can be females), four scoters, four elders, four long-tailed ducks, three wood ducks, two redheads, two pintails, two scaup, two canvasbacks, one black duck, one mottled duck (Florida duck) and one fulvous whistling-duck. Be sure to have your license and stamps in order for the FWC routinely visits the lake during the season. Capt. Chris hunts and fishes Lake Okeechobee from Lakeport, Florida A good tip to remember is to keep your gun swinging-through after and can be reached via telephone at (863) 946-2736, email at capt.chris@ you pull the trigger! Try it if you are missing some early season shots, worldwidecharters.net or via the web at www.WorldWideCharters.net. that’s probably what you forgot to do. “THERE IS NO SECURITY ON THIS EARTH; Good luck, be safe and take out a new hunter, they will get hooked and THERE IS ONLY OPPORTUNITY” never forget their first thrill of the wild. - General Douglas MacArthurCatch’ya in the marsh.

KAYAK FISHING 101 BY ROBERT FARABEE

Diversity

S

teady winds out of the North East at 10 mph, waves on the Atlantic cresting at 3 feet. Seems like a rough day to be on the water but not for some folks who will place themselves and their kayaks right in the middle of the chaos for “Over the bump”. A training symposium being taught by Tom Nickels an ACA accredited instructor. Tom will be teaching kayakers over three days how to maintain themselves in rough water just offshore. While participating in Over the Bump I couldn’t help but observe the diversity of the participants while surrounded by the beauty that is St. Augustine. I have always said that kayaking’s best benefit was that it brought people together who love the outdoors. In this class of eight students, 6 men and 2 women and 4 instructors, the diversity of the class was immense. There was Steve from Nebraska, Gil from Spain, Omar and Luis from Puerto Rico, also there was Chevaugn from Jamaica but to round out the class yes there were a couple of us from Florida like Jackie from Leesburg and Jackie from Tampa. We had lawyers, store owners, and military represented. The ages ranged from mid 20’s to over 60. All of this placed together in one location with nothing in common except the love of the outdoors and kayaking. Kayaking transcends race, age, and gender. Kayaking unifies. You depend on each other for your safety. While having a small lunch on a secluded beach there was no talk about politics, religion, or any subjects that we see dividing our country today. It was 12 people

giving fist bumps and high fives as they motivated each other to complete the tasks set before them. There was no judgment, just acceptance. Several participants shared the experience with others through social media or by live streaming the experience as it occurred. I guess in hopes that others would be able to see what an incredible adventure you can have with just a few friends who just days before were total strangers. After just three short days the end was bitter sweet. New friends had been made and the goodbyes would have a stronger meaning than the greetings three days prior. Most were already talking about their next planned adventure and inviting each other like they were family. I would highly recommend taking a kayak class regardless of your skill level. It’s a great opportunity to meet new people and share an experience that you’ll remember for a lifetime. You can contact Tom at Riverwind Kayak 843-817-3138 or americancanoe.org for classes near you. So, take the time, find yourself, and go yaking Rent or buy but give it a try. You’ll find many manufacturers and models of kayaks to choose from for the type of experience you’re looking for like, angling to tandem models which can be found at GS Outdoors located at 5621 U.S. Hwy 27 N. Sebring, Fl. 33870 Robert Farabee • Pro Staff GS Outdoors | reelitinrob@gmail.com

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TOURNAMENT NEWS OCT 22-23, 2016 HIGHLANDS COUNTY BASS ANGLERS TOURNAMENT TRAIL CLASSIC

INDUSTRY NEWS

Venue: Lake Okeechobee By: Ly Nguyen Comments: Our club concluded the 2016 season with a 2-day classic on Lake Okeechobee over the weekend of Oct 22-23. The windy conditions made fishing somewhat tough but a few teams found success in areas protected from the winds. To start off the event, our day 1 leaders were the team of Dick Morgan and John Bennett with 3 fish limit weighing 9.46 lb. That bag was anchored with a 5.3 lb beauty that secured them the prizes of big fish of the day and Day 1 weight winners. Those honors won them $200. Day 2 started with only 4 pounds separating the top 5 teams in the 2-day event. The lake was slightly less windy with clear blue skies. The big winners of Day 2 was the team of Mike Winker and Jr. Cook. They arrived at the weigh-in with a 3 fish limit weighing 7.28 lb. That bag secured the big bag for day 2 and the $100 prize for that. Within that bag they had a 3.81 lb. fish that won the prize for big bass Day 2. After 2 tough days fishing Lake

Okeechobee, the team of Dick Morgan and John Bennett rose above the rest to finish in 1st place with a total weight of 15.05 lb and winning $730. Second place was claimed by the team of Joe Conley and Norman Riggles after catching a tournament weight of 13.92 netting them $365. Rounding out the podium was the team of Mike WInker and Jr. Cook. They were edged out of second by ounces with a weight of 13.81 lb. In all, over $1600 was paid out over the 2 days. All fish were released alive and well to fight another day and everyone seemed to have a great time. Thanks again to everyone that was part of our club and look forward to seeing everyone again in January when our 2017 trail is set to begin!

First Place:

Dick Morgan & John Bennett, 15.05 lbs Second Place: Joe Conley & Norman Riggles, 13.92 lbs Third Place: Mike Winker & Jr. Cook, 13.81 lbs Big Fish: Dick Morgan & John Bennett, 5.3 lbs Next Tournament: The 2017 season begins in January so visit our facebook page (www.facebook.com/highlandsbassanglers) for details and the 2017 schedule.

FEMALE FLORIDA PANTHER NORTH OF CALOOSAHATCHEE RIVER

NOVEMBER 14, 2016 | BY: CARLI SEGELSON, FWC The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) Panther Team has collected strong evidence of a Florida panther having crossed the Caloosahatchee River in southwest Florida. Currently, the only known breeding population of panthers is south of the Caloosahatchee River. This is the first evidence of a wild female panther north of the river since 1973. “We have had regular documentation of males north of the Caloosahatchee, but this is the first time we have solid evidence of a female being this far north in more than 40 years,” said Kipp Frohlich, deputy division director for Habitat and Species Conservation. “This is a big deal for panther conservation. An expansion of the panther’s breeding range should improve the prospects for recovery.” Using trail cameras, biologist have monitored male panthers on various public and private lands north of the Caloosahatchee River for several years. In 2015, biologists collected a photo of what appeared to be a female panther in Charlotte County. They deployed additional cameras in the summer of 2016 and captured more images of what they believe is a female panther. However, the photographs did not positively confirm the gender.

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DECEMBER 2016

NOV 5-6, 2016 LAKELAND JUNIOR BASSMASTERS 2016 CLASSIC TOURNAMENT

Venue: Lake Kissimmee By: Martin Bozeman and staff Comments: The Lakeland Junior Bassmasters ended their 2016 season with a 2-day shoot-out on Kissimmee Lake. Fishing conditions were windy which made getting around the lake difficult and the bite a little off. Still these young anglers powered through the day and brought back some quality fish. For information on the 2017 season, contact Martin Bozeman at (863) 6408349 or visit their website at www. LakelandJuniorBassmasters.com

Division 8-14 years old First Place: Garrett Thomas, 14.23 lbs Second Place: Chase Givens, 6.29 lbs Third Place: Sammy Acree 6.13 lbs Big Fish: Fisher Cusic 4.64 Division 15-18 years old First Place: Roger Weigel 13.64 lbs Second Place: Bryce Goff: 12.33 lbs Third Place: Stanley Flesher: 8.36 lbs Big Fish: Bryce Goff: 5.70 lbs

Next Tournament: the Bobby Lane Cup to be held at Lake Kissimmee on Dec 3, 2016

In early November, a biologist discovered female panther tracks near a camera that had captured some of the photos in question. Because male panther tracks are larger than female panthers, the track provided strong evidence of a female at this location. “This appears to be the milestone we’ve hoped for. We have been working with landowners to secure wildlife corridors to help panthers travel from south Florida, cross the river and reach this important panther habitat,” said Larry Williams, state ecological services supervisor for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. “While we do not know if this female used these tracts of land, we do know that securing lands that facilitate the natural expansion of the panther population are critical to achieving full recovery.” With documentation of male panthers in the same area, biologists are hopeful the panther breeding population will begin to expand here. “Florida panthers are a part of our state heritage. They’re our state animal,” said Frohlich. “We want to ensure these majestic animals are here for future generations of Floridians. Female panthers moving north of the river on their own is a big step toward this goal.” Florida residents can support panther conservation efforts by purchasing a “Protect the Panther” license plate at BuyaPalte.com. Fees from license plate sales are the primary funding source for the FWC’s research and management of Florida panthers.

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11/17/16 7:43 PM


10 John Stretch Park Free - Boat ramp, bank fishing, picnic shelters with tables & grills, water, restrooms, scenic viewpoint, play area, dump station 11 Clewiston City Park Free - Boat ramps, bank fishing, picnic shelters with tables & grills, scenic viewpoint 12 Alvin Ward Park Free - Boat ramp, bank & pier fishing, picnic shelters with tables & grills, water, restrooms, play area 13 Moore Haven Lock & Dam Free - Bank & pier fishing (south side of river) 14 Old Sportsmans Village Free - Boat ramp, bank fishing, picnic tables 15 Fisheating Creek Free - Boat ramp, bank fishing 16 Harney Pond Canal Recreation Area Free - Boat ramps, bank fishing, picnic shelters with tables & grills, water, restrooms, raised scenic viewing platform 17 Dyess Ditch Canal (Bare Beach) Free - Boat ramps, bank fishing 18 Indian Prairie Canal Free - Boat ramp, bank fishing

LAKE OKEECHOBEE

19 Okee-Tantie Recreation Area - C. Scott Driver Park - Boat ramp, marina, bank fishing, bait, fishing license, guide service, ice, picnic shelters with tables & grills, water, showers, camping

R A M PS

Jaycee Park Free - Boat ramp, bank & pier fishing, water, scenic viewpoint, picnic tables 2 Nubbin Slough Free - Bank fishing, scenic viewpoint 3 Henry Creek Free - Boat ramp, bank fishing 4 Chancy Bay Free - Boat ramp, bank fishing, equestrian access 5 Port Mayaca North Free - Boat ramp, bank fishing, scenic viewpoint Port Mayaca South Free - Bank fishing, scenic viewpoint 6 Canal Point Picnic Area Free - Boat ramp, bank fishing, picnic shelters with tables & grills

98

to Arcadia

70

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15A

Buckhead Ridge

2nd Point

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17

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Iron Stake Hole

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Monkey Box

tio Moonshine Bay

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441

Moo

6

Old

Turner’s Cove

Gator Hole

720

Be

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C

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Road

Ritta Island

South Bay

Bo

Torry Island

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Bay

9

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South Bay

80

Hooker Highway

W

Ca

441

to West Palm Beach

Belle Glade

nal

St.

N

Botto

27/80

441

715

North New River Canal

Lake Harbor

8

Pass

NW 1st Avenue

Moore Haven Lock & Dam Free Bank & pier fishing (south side of river) 14 Old Sportsmans Village Free Boat ramp, bank fishing, picnic tables 15 Fisheating Creek Free - Boat ramp, bank fishing 16 Harney Pond Canal Recreation Area Free Boat ramps, bank fishing, picnic shelters with tables & grills, water, restrooms, raised scenic viewing platform

Morgan

Bay

12

The

’s nie

11

11 Clewiston

West

Kreamer Pelican Bay Island

East Wall

10

13

m

Glades Airport Coot Bay

Win

19

Pahokee Marina/Campground - Boat ramp, boat rentals, marina, camping, bank & pier fishing, cabin rentals, water, restrooms, pool Paul Rardin Park Free - Boat ramp, bank fishing, picnic shelters with tables & grills, water, restrooms, scenic viewpoint Slim’s Fish Camp - Guide services, bait & tackle, RV & camping, marina John Stretch Park Free - Boat ramp, bank fishing, picnic shelters with tables & grills, water, restrooms, scenic viewpoint, play area, dump station Clewiston City Park Free - Boat ramps, bank fishing, picnic shelters with tables & grills, scenic viewpoint Alvin Ward Park Free - Boat ramp, bank & pier fishing, picnic shelters with tables & grills, water, restrooms, play area

27/80

tP al

The Water Tank West Wall

Industrial Canal

9

80

717

Pahokee

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The Vee Grass Island

27

7

Iron C

Joe Moore Hole Mayaca Cut

i C an

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Rive

es

98

am

Moore Haven

Observation Island

Mi

13 12

W

Canal Point

Blue Hole

720

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Dyess Ditch Canal (Bare Beach) Free - Boat ramps, bank fishing Indian Prairie Canal Free - Boat ramp, bank fishing Okee-Tantie Recreation Area - C. Scott Driver Park - Boat ramp, marina, bank fishing, bait, fishing license, guide service, ice, picnic shelters with tables & grills, water, showers, camping

RV sites rentals • Cabin rentals • Boat rentals Bait & Tackle Shop • Tavern • Live Music Sat & Sun Family, pet and motorcycle friendly 9500 SW Conners Hwy, Okeechobee, FL Mon-Thur 12 Noon – 8:00pm • Fri-Sun 10:00am – 10:00pm

(772) 597-4455 www.JandSFishCamp.net

WWW.COASTALANGLERMAG.COM/okeechobee • THEANGLERMAG.COM

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TROPHY CATCH

& BIG CATCH

ANGLER RECOGNITION PROGRAMS

Big Catch Award Levels Trophy Catch: • Specialist 3 Easy Steps • Master Angler • Photo with weight visible on scale and entire bass body visible • Elite Angler • For Details Visit: • Bass must be released www.MYFWC.com/BigCatch • Submit entry to TrophyCatchFlorida.com Earn rewards for release trophy catch!

NEW 2016-17 Leader Sam Davis, 12.0 lbs., St Johns River

Noah, Redear Sunfish, 9-in, Palm Beach Mike Smith, Peacock Bass, 6-lbs, Palm Beach

Travis Vonneimann,Suwanee Bass, 14-in Santa Fe River

Notable catches

Top (L to R): Charles Peck, 10.0 lbs., Huckleberry Lake Brian Draper, 9.31 lbs., Blue Lake

Royce Burt, Chain Pickerel 26-in

Bottom (L to R): William Lewis 8.94 lbs., Lake Huntley Paul Converse, 8.625 lbs., Lake June in Winter

Scott Bisping, Shoal Bass, 21.5 inch, Chipola River 12 OKEECHOBEE

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WWW.COASTALANGLERMAG.COM/okeechobee • THEANGLERMAG.COM

11/17/16 7:43 PM


Board

BRAG

Garland Wilmoth, warmouth-1lbs, Waltn Cty Pond

Top row, left to right: David Cepeck, 8.25 lbs, Lake Okeechobee Alex, 8.44 lbs, Lake Okeechobee Second row, left to right: Jon Wickersham, 5.4 lbs, Lake Okeechobee w-Larry Wright Jon Wickersham, 6.4 lbs, Lake Okeechobee w-Larry Wright Jonathan Liptak, 8.5 lbs, Saddle Creek.tif

Be sure to submit your Brag Board pictures to pics@okeechobeecam.com

Third row, left to right: Michael Meisenheimer, 8.0 lbs, Lake Placid Ray Andersen 8.625 lbs, Lake Walk in Water William Lewis Jr, 8.0 lbs, Lake Huntley

WWW.COASTALANGLERMAG.COM/okeechobee • THEANGLERMAG.COM

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TOURNAMENTS, CLAYS, AND GUNS DECEMBER 2 Westminster Academy Fundraiser Shoot Venue: Quail Creek Plantation www.QuailCreekPlantation.com

DECEMBER 3

Southend Challenge Classic Venue: Lake Okeechobee Ramp: Roland & MaryAnn Martins City: Clewiston www.facebook.com/SouthendChallenge Bass Busters Toys For Kids Venue: Lake Okeechobee Ramp: Roland & Mary Ann Martin’s City: Clewiston www.BassBustersFlorida.com Lake Mary Bassmasters Venue: Lake Istokpoga Ramp: Trails End www.facebook.com/lakemary.bassmasters South Pasco Bassmasters Classic Venue: Lake Okeechobee Ramp: Roland & Mary Ann Martin’s City: Clewiston www.SouthPascoBassmasters.com

IDPA Venue: Okeechobee Shooting Sports City: Okeechobee www.OkShooting.com Jupiter Christian Fundraiser Shoot Venue: Quail Creek Plantation www.QuailCreekPlantation.com

DECEMBER 4

Southend Challenge Classic Venue: Lake Okeechobee Ramp: Roland & MaryAnn Martins City: Clewiston www.facebook.com/SouthendChallenge Gambler Baits Free Entry Tournament Venue: Lake Okeechobee Ramp: Roland and Mary Ann Martin’s City: Clewiston www.Gambler-Bang.com Lake Mary Bassmasters Venue: Lake Istokpoga Ramp: Trails End City: Lorida www.facebook.com/lakemary.bassmasters

2017 Highlands Bass Angler Tournament Trail 100% Payout UNDER 10 BOATS 10 BOATS OR MORE 70% 1st place 60% 1st place 30% 2nd place 25% 2nd place 15% 3rd place

Schedule

January 21 — Lake Kissimmee June 24 — Lake Istokpoga February 18 — Walk in Water August 12 — Lake June March 4 — Lake Okeechobee September 16 — Lake Arbuckle April 15 — Lake Jackson October 14 — Lake Josephine May 6 — Crooked Lake Nov. 4 - 5 — 2 Day Classic Membership fee is $20/angler. Substitutes will be assessed $10 one week membership fee. $60/boat per event.

For information call director Ly Nguyen 863-381-2310 14 OKEECHOBEE

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South Pasco Bassmasters Classic Venue: Lake Okeechobee Ramp: Roland & Mary Ann Martin’s City: Clewiston www.SouthPascoBassmasters.com Concelaed Carry Encounter Venue: Okeechobee Shooting Sports City: Okeechobee www.OkShooting.com NSCA Monthly Shoot, Annual Bike and Toy Drive Venue: Quail Creek Plantation www.QuailCreekPlantation.com

DECEMBER 9

Cardio Vascular Institue Foundation Shoot Venue: Quail Creek Plantation www.QuailCreekPlantation.com

DECEMBER 10 Roland Martin Marine Series Classic Venue: Lake Okeechobee Ramp: Clewiston Ramp City: Clewiston www.RMMCSeries.com

Heartland Bass Anglers Club Venue: Lake Jackson City: Sebring www.facebook.com/HeartlandBassAnglers South Florida Bass Rattlers Venue: Lake Okeechobee Ramp: Clewiston Ramp City: Clewiston Ft Myers Gun Show Venue: Lee Civic Center City: Ft Myers www.FloridaGunShows.com Sponsor: Florida Gun Shows

Highland’s County Citrus Grower’s Assoc Fun Shoot Venue: Quail Creek Plantation www.QuailCreekPlantation.com NSSF Rimfire Challenge Venue: Okeechobee Shooting Sports City: Okeechobee www.OkShooting.com DECEMBER 11 Roland Martin Marine Series Classic Venue: Lake Okeechobee Ramp: Clewiston Ramp City: Clewiston www.RMMCSeries.com Lake Placid Team Trail Venue: Lake June Ramp: Ball Field City: Lake Placid Ft Myers Gun Show Venue: Lee Civic Center City: Ft Myers www.FloridaGunShows.com Sponsor: Florida Gun Shows

Be sure to submit tournament results and pictures to pics@okeechobeecam.com Glock ‘Style’ Fall League Venue: Okeechobee Shooting Sports City: Okeechobee www.OkShooting.com

DECEMBER 17 West Palm Beach Gun & Knife Show Venue: South Florida Fair grounds City: West Palm Beach www.FloridaGunShows.com Sponsor: Sport Show Specialists

DECEMBER 18

IDPA Venue: Okeechobee Shooting Sports City: Okeechobee www.OkShooting.com West Palm Beach Gun & Knife Show Venue: South Florida Fair grounds City: West Palm Beach www.FloridaGunShows.com Sponsor: Sport Show Specialists

DECEMBER 24

Steel Challenge Venue: Okeechobee Shooting Sports City: Okeechobee www.OkShooting.com

JANUARY 7 ABA RAM Open Series FL South Venue: Lake Okeechobee Ramp: C. Scott Driver City: Okeechobee www.RamOpenSeries.com

JANUARY 8

NSCA Monthly Shoot Venue: Quail Creek Plantation www.QuailCreekPlantation.com

WWW.COASTALANGLERMAG.COM/okeechobee • THEANGLERMAG.COM

11/17/16 7:43 PM


COMMUNITY EVENTS Brandenton Blues Festival Venue: Riverwalk Pavilion City: Brandenton www.BradentonBluesFestival.org St Perersburg Boat Show Venue: Mahaffey Thearter Yachy Basin City: St Petersburg www.ShowManagement.com

Seminole Hard Rock Winterfest Boat Parade Venue: Intercoastal Waterway City: Ft Lauderdale www.WinterFestParade.com Top of the Lake Festival Venue: Flagler Park City: Okeechobee www.OkeechobeeMainStreet.org

DECEMBER 2

e ports

Brandenton Blues Festival Venue: Riverwalk Pavilion City: Brandenton www.BradentonBluesFestival.org Sebring Christmas Parade Venue: A Mountaintop Christmas’ City: Sebring www.DowntownSebring.org Avon Park - Sebring Jaycees St Perersburg Boat Show Venue: Mahaffey Thearter Yachy Basin City: St Petersburg www.ShowManagement.com

DECEMBER 3

nds

ports

Brandenton Blues Festival Venue: Riverwalk Pavilion City: Brandenton www.BradentonBluesFestival.org Lake Placid Wild Game Dinner Venue: Parker Island City: Lake Placid www.lpnr.com St Perersburg Boat Show Venue: Mahaffey Thearter Yachy Basin City: St Petersburg www.ShowManagement.com

nds

DECEMBER 4

ports

L

Lake Placid Christmas Parade City: Lake Placid www.lpfla.com

DECEMBER 1

St Perersburg Boat Show Venue: Mahaffey Thearter Yachy Basin City: St Petersburg www.ShowManagement.com

DECEMBER 16 Be sure to submit community events to info@okeechobeecam.com DECEMBER 8

Florida Flywheelers Venue: Christmas Village Ramp: Flywheeler Park City: Fort Meade www.FloridaFlywheelers.org

Sebring Thursday Night Drag Racing Venue: Sebring Raceway City: Sebring www.SebringRaceway.com

DECEMBER 17 Florida Flywheelers Venue: Christmas Village Ramp: Flywheeler Park City: Fort Meade www.FloridaFlywheelers.org Garrard’s Bait & Tackle Customer Appreciation Day City: Okeechobee www.OkeechobeeBassGuides.com Hometown Christmas Venue: Heritage Park City: Wauchula www.CityofWauchula.com

DECEMBER 17- JAN 5 Smithsonian Waterways Venue: Smithsonian Exhibit City: Opening Ceremonies City: Okeechobee www.OkeechobeeBassGuides.com Closed on Dec 26 and Jan 2

DECEMBER 9 Florida Flywheelers Venue: Christmas Village Ramp: Flywheeler Park City: Fort Meade www.FloridaFlywheelers.org

DECEMBER 10 Florida Flywheelers Venue: Christmas Village Ramp: Flywheeler Park City: Fort Meade www.FloridaFlywheelers.org Garrard’s Bait & Tackle Customer Appreciation Day City: Okeechobee www.OkeechobeeBassGuides.com Kissimmee’s Festival of Lights Parade Venue: Lakefront Park City: Kissimmee www.Kissimmee.org

‘Over the Bump’ kayak certification class WWW.COASTALANGLERMAG.COM/okeechobee • THEANGLERMAG.COM

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BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY: okeechobee

COASTAL ANGLER

FRANCHISE FOR SALE

The Okeechobee Franchise of Coastal Angler Magazine Is For Sale n

Do you enjoy fishing and the great outdoors? Are you a self-starter? n Have you ever wanted to be your own boss? n

The Lake Okeechobee franchise of Coastal Angler Magazine is for sale. This great magazine allows you to meet and work with some of the best professional anglers in the area as well as great local business people. A successful franchise owner has an outgoing personality, likes to meet and help others and is a self-starter. Past advertising and outside sales experience is preferred but not required. Some financial commitments are required and you should have some general knowledge of business. Most people will ask, why is this business for sale? Simply put, I’m preparing to start up another franchise outside the state of Florida and need to turn this franchise over to a new owner. If interested, please contact Ken Gabryel at (863) 532-3671 or KenG@CoastalAnglerMagazine.com. Serious inquiries only. Ken Gabryel Editor/owner, Coastal Angler Magazine - Okeechobee

RIVERWATCH

This Fishing and Hunting Resource for the Okeechobee Area Includes Okeechobee, Highlands, Glades, and Hendry Counties.

Coastal Angler Magazine is a FREE, Local Publication for All Outdoor Enthusiasts.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT Ken Gabryel • 863.532.3671 keng@coastalanglermagazine.com 16 OKEECHOBEE

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We are in a seasonal transition here in southwest Florida and the implications for fish and wildlife and water quality will bring change as well. As most everyone is aware, our coastal systems were heavily impacted this year. The damage resulted from historic and partly out of season rainfall driven by the el nino phenomena and a management system that could not cope with all the demands of it. The abrupt change from too much runoff to not enough occurs almost every year and stalls the recovery of water bodies in the region, especially the estuarine systems that depend on the right mix of fresh and saltwater. Already it appears this year will be no exception due to the lack of rainfall. Some areas have not seen rain for over three weeks. The contrasting hydrology reeks havoc on the ecology of the estuaries and not only affects reproductive success of important sport and commercial fish species, but impacts their habitats, particularly seagrass, creating a potentially longer and more serious impediment to recovery. The Caloosahatchee Waterkeeper program is stepping up its ability to monitor and communicate the events and conditions of our regional network of waters. Generous donations to the program are helping to recruit an army of Waterkeeper Rangers working in specific regions. The observations and monitoring results will be posted on our web site for public viewing and coordinated with the appropriate authorities. The map below identifies the seven regions where Waterkeeper volunteers will monitor the water. If you have a boat and would be interested in becoming a Ranger and working with the Waterkeeper program please send your contact information to: Riverwatch@ caloosahatchee.org

WWW.COASTALANGLERMAG.COM/okeechobee • THEANGLERMAG.COM

11/17/16 7:43 PM


PRODUCT SPOTLIGHT KLUCH WAHOO COLLECTION It’s time to highspeed troll over to W W W.K LUCH.COM today and get your hands on the latest Kluch Wahoo Collection. If you are looking to stay cool while trolling for hoos, we have the perfect performance long sleeve shirts available for both men and women. The Kluch Wahoo Performance Long Sleeve offers superior sun protection and performance qualities. Featuring up to UPF +50 solar protection, the Kluch Wahoo Performance Long Sleeve is lightweight, comfortable, and sure to keep the sun’s rays from penetrating through to your skin. This fabric is powered by PURE-tech™ moisture wicking technology.

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Call today or visit HIRAMS.COM for more information ask for the "Hook Up" hotel rate when you make your reservations

1606 Indian River Drive, Sebastian Florida, 32958 • Capt Hiram's Resort: 1-888-hirams1 • www.hirams.com

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COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

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T

he Dry Tortugas are a group of seven small islands 67 miles west of Key West. Encompassed within a 100-acre national park, the islands are best known for Fort Jefferson, a 19th century brick fort on a tiny island in the middle of the ocean. The history of the Dry Tortugas is pretty amazing, and so is the fishing. Fort Jefferson was built to protect the busiest shipping lanes between the Gulf Coast and the eastern seaboard. During the civil war, the fort was used by the Union army to disrupt shipping to confederate forces. During that same period, the fort was also used as a prison. The most famous prisoner held at the fort was Dr. Samuel Mudd, who mended John Wilkes Booth’s leg. In 1874, the army abandoned the fort and it was used solely as a coaling station for resupply. The Dry Tortugas received their name because there was no water on the island and the turtles prevalent on the beach made a good food source. The fort itself was never finished completely, but it is a testament to determination. All the building materials needed to build the fort were brought down by barge. The scope of it doesn’t hit you until you sit in the archways of the fort and think back in history of them hauling 14 million bricks 70 miles from Key West and roughly 200 miles from the mainland out in the middle of the ocean. Those arches of bricks often are made of six different angles meeting together to make the complex ceiling. A walk around the fort and climbing the walls is a must for anyone traveling to Dry Tortuga. Plan on just relaxing and watching the sunset from inside the fort. For anglers, the true magic happens when you go fishing off Fort Jefferson. The waters surrounding the fort are crystal clear. Often, when fishing in 30 or 40 feet of water you can watch groupers swim out of a hole and eat your bait. Whether you decide to fish K Buoy on the north side of the fort for yellowtails, East Key for groupers and mutton, or the south side of the fort for big groupers or kings, it is magical. The fishing at the fort is like going back 30 years in time and catching fish of yester-year. When you see a boat come back from the fort with its catch, you can tell where they have been without even asking. The fish are larger and more 14 FLORIDA

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colorful, and there’s just more of them. I think the remoteness of the fort has kept the fishing pristine. You know the king fishing at the fort is amazing when you see tournament teams run hundreds of miles to catch a fish there to win a tournament. I think there have been more winning kingfish caught at the fort than any place else, but the fort is known for its bottom fishing. Whether you decide to bottom fish on the Atlantic side of the fort or the Gulf of Mexico on the north side, be ready for some awesome action. On the Atlantic side, you can anchor down and chum up the yellowtails on the reef edge or drift fish the different drops. These drops are bottom contours that often only change by a couple of feet, but those edges hold myriad fish. The 204 drop or the 250 drop edges are loaded with fish, but you have to use the right tackle. I prefer braid when bottom fishing. The difference with braid when you are fishing deep is it takes half the weight to get down, and you can feel exactly what is going on with your bait. The amount of weight will vary every day, you want to make sure you have enough weight to hold bottom; you do not want your line scoping out away from the boat. When the line scopes out, you have to put more and more line out to find the bottom. Ideally, you want your bait a foot off the bottom. If you scope out, you also have a great tendency to hang the bottom. It can often be hard to get the feel for it for new anglers. Bait options are endless, whether you fish live bait (pinfish, pilchards, mullet) or dead bait, there is a time for each. There are days when they only want dead bait like bonita strips, ballyhoo or squid, and they will out fish live 10 to one. Then sometimes jigs with tails or ballyhoo are the secret. The best advice I can give is take it all: dead bait, live bait and artificials. It is a long way to the nearest tackle shop. Don’t be afraid to try different things at different locations. When it comes to jigs, I prefer white and everything from 1-ounce to 10-once. The current can be still, or it could be flying along at 3 knots. For I like to drift fish at the fort. There is so much bottom to cover and so many places I

want to get to that I rarely anchor. A perfect drift for me is 1 1/2 to 2 knots. If there is no current, typically there are no fish. Different times of day are better in different areas. I believe the fish migrate during the day from south to north or vice versa depending on where you are. When you setup a drift over a migration, you will know it instantly by the constant action. When you look at a chart of the Dry Tortugas, your imagination runs wild with all the great bottom contours to fish and different spots that just look fishy. Be mindful of the closed areas and restricted areas around the fort; the fines are expensive. The best part of fishing the Dry Tortugas is exploring a new fishery that is so widespread and alive with fish. You can expect to come home with stories and photos of a lifetime. So take the time to go down West and experience history. Visit the Dry Tortugas web page for more information (www.nps.gov/drto/index.htm). Contact Capt. Mike Weinhoffer and Key West Florida Fishing through their website www. Keywestfloridafishing.com or call 305-395-3474.

More Fishing in the Dry Tortugas, go to

ANGLERSDREAM.CO

COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

11/17/16 2:34 PM


Get Bent.

If you think you can triumph over anything that swims, we suggest you go straight to Key West. Because from mighty offshore gamesters including sails, tuna and marlin to backcountry stars such as bonefish, permit, tarpon and snook, you’ll discover your breaking point a lot sooner than you might think. fla-keys.com/keywest 1.800.527.8539

By Tom Warnke

T

he gift of peak experiences happens to all of us. Sometimes we set them up, and sometimes they’re gifts from heaven. We all do our best to orchestrate memorable experiences. For me, a common denominator has been the ocean. Diving, surfing, sailing and fishing are all included. During the 18 years I handled sales and marketing at Costa Del Mar Sunglasses, I was fortunate to witness blue marlin tournaments in St. Thomas, the first Redbone tournament in Islamorada and good times at the Sailfish Marina with the West Palm Beach Fishing Club. Another thread has been the fishing/surfing connection. Having an affinity for the ocean is common to people who fish, and for surfers. Ben Hartig, longtime member of the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council, was one of the most revered surfers at Reef Road in Palm Beach. Nobody dropped in on Ben Hartig. Bill Holmes, who manufactured legendary “Holmesy Surfboards” in Juno Beach, also had the woodworking talents to do custom interiors for Rybovich Boat Company for many years. The late Ted James started Fox Surfboards in Palm Beach County in 1968 while he was catching monster tarpon and snook in the area, and later fished the Outer Banks of North Carolina while manufacturing Fox Surfboards and Sailboards there. Mark Castlow of Fort Pierce started Atlantis Surfboards in the 1960s, and then moved into manufacturing world class Maverick flats boats and Dragonfly Boatworks today. Ralph Boynton, long time Lake Worth pier surfer, won the West Palm Beach Fishing Club’s annual Nora Award for the heaviest snook three times, and holds the 50-year record at 42.08 lbs. Kristy Murphy grew up fishing and diving in the Bahamas before moving to Jupiter. She was so good in the water she could free dive 30 feet, spear a grouper and grab a lobster with the same breath. Kristy went on to win the Women’s World Longboard Championships in big waves. One of the world’s best big-wave surfers, Mark Healy, often free dives 100 feet deep as a volunteer to tag sharks for conservation. The historic Sea Mist drift fishing boat out of Boynton Inlet has had two of the best local surf-

ers as long time captains: Burt Garnsey and Charlie Brown. And don’t forget our own Florida fishing guides/writers Capt. Mike Holliday and Capt. Rodney Smith, both also hooked on surfing. Holmesy Surfboards, Fox Surfboards and Kristy Murphy are all featured in the grand opening of the new Surfing Museum in the Lake Park Arts District on Dec. 9. The Surfing History Museum recently moved from Delray Beach to Lake Park at 738 Park Avenue and the grand opening includes the premier of the new surfing film Ted James with a gift from the ocean, “Dream Steeple.” The museum a 41.75-pound snook, circa 1967. showcases the 100-year history Photo by Ralph Boynton. of surfing in Florida. We hope to see you there, and “talk story” about peak experiences and gifts from the ocean. Tom Warnke is a Trustee and Historian for the Palm Beach County Surfing History Project. Email Tom at trwarnke@hotmail.com or click on surfhistoryproject.org for additional info.

For More on the Surf History Project visit

FISHINGWATERS.CO

COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

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I

f there is a point at which the world of art and the world of sport fishing came together, it can be found in fly tying. If you take a brief moment to scour the internet for videos on tying different types of flies anglers have developed, you’ll see that making flies is in a class all of its own when it comes to our world of fishing. Taking time to use natural or synthetic materials and making them look like something that will fool the wary eye of an elusive sport fish like bonefish or tarpon is a challenge to both our creativity and our knowledge as fishermen. However, learning to become a successful fly tyer can be one the most rewarding experiences in your fishing adventures, and it will force you to heighten your awareness of what your quarry is looking for. But let’s face it, it can be intimidating when you see pictures of some of the masterpiece flies that have been developed by more experienced tyers. Believe it or not, with only a few simple materials, some hooks, a vice, a bobbin, and tying thread, you can begin making quality flies all on your own in a very short amount of time. For the beginning fly tyer planning to fish fresh or saltwater in Florida, there are five flies I feel are not only very effective, but

are also very simple to begin tying on your own. Woolly Buggers, Clouser Minnows, Lefty’s Deceiver, gurglers, and polar fiber minnows are all flies that are a simple and effective launching pad for the beginning tyer. For the Woolly Bugger, you’ll need chenille, marabou and rooster neck hackle. The Clouser Minnow only requires two different colors of buck tail, painted dumbbell eyes and some Flashabou. Lefty’s Deceivers require matching (or varying if you choose) colors of rooster saddle and buck tail, along with some Flashabou and maybe a little paint to make the eyes. A simple gurgler only requires some marabou, chenille and foam, and for a polar fiber minnow, you only need one color of polar fiber, some fish eyes, and five-minute epoxy. For in depth instructions on all five of these flies, there are some great Youtube channels like Fly Fish Food, In The Riffle, or Tight Lines Video that offer great instructional videos for any one of these five flies and a multitude of other fantastic fly patterns. So as a fellow angler, I challenge you to head down to your nearest fly shop, pick up some of these materials and begin not only making your own flies, but catching fish on flies that you made! Good luck and tight lines.

For more fly tying tips, go to

ANGLERMAGFISHING.CO

16 FLORIDA

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Offshore-Inshore-Nearshore...

The Choice Is Yours. Photo Courtesy CFOceanimages

F

or more than 50 years, the Islamorada Sailfish Tournament has kicked off the renowned triple-crown Florida Keys Gold Cup Sailfish Championship Series. This year’s tournament dates are Thursday through Sunday, Dec. 1-4. The all-release challenge, a primary fundraiser for the Islamorada Charter Boat Association, allows an unlimited number of anglers per vessel to participate. Tournament events are to be headquartered at the Whale Harbor Inn and Marina complex, located at mile marker 83 in Islamorada, and open with pre-registration and a kickoff banquet Thursday, Dec. 1. Fishing is scheduled Friday through Sunday, Dec. 2-4, with an awards ceremony Sunday. Entry fees after Nov. 15 are $750 and $650, respectively. The junior angler entry fee is $250 regardless of entry date. Specially priced Islamorada lodging rates are available for the weekend event. The second event in the Gold Cup Series is the Cheeca Lodge Presidential Sailfish Tournament set for Jan. 19-21, 2017. The third is the Islamorada Fishing Club Sailfish Tournament scheduled Jan. 25-26, 2017, when the series culminates and the overall Gold Cup champions are crowned. For registration and information go to islamoradasailfishtournament. com/ or contact Dianne Harbaugh 305-522-4868.

Sailfish Capital of the World.

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M

y earliest introduction to the Bahamas was Andros, and I really feel at home when I go back. Although I am blessed to have traveled throughout the Bahamas for my ongoing research of bonefish and the bonefishing industry, it was my initial angling trip to Andros that created ties to the Bahamas that draw me back. This, the largest and most sparsely developed of the Bahamian islands, offers some of the best fishing in the world. Andros is truncated by extensive, deep and vital oceanic creeks referred to as bights that act as fish highways, transporting rich nutrients from region to region and tremendous numbers of fish. North Andros, separated from Mangrove Cay by the north bight, extends roughly from Bering Point all the way north to the Joulters. Like the rest of Andros, a single road on the eastern fringe allows for travel from north to south. The western side of Andros is largely undeveloped, is challenging to reach and is now the largest Marine Protected Area in the Bahamas. Bering Point can be considered an epicenter of bonefishing on Andros and in the Bahamas for that matter. This small fishing community lies on the southeastern tip of Andros, south of Fresh Creek one of the largest settlements on Andros, and just south of the AUTEC naval base. Bering Point is home to many long-time lodges and some of the best-known guides in the world. Guides like Ivan Neymour, Charlie Smith, and Rupert Leadon started guiding anglers in the 40s and 50s, working to develop a premier bonefishing destination. Indeed, the flats of Andros are unriveled in their sheer size and many areas on the west side of Andros remain relatively untouched. Anglers visiting north Andros have a wide array of accommodations to choose from and while I was conducting interviews in the area, I stayed at the Andros Island Bonefish Club, founded by local legend Rupert Leadon, who passed in 2012. Although I was unable to interview Rupert for my research, I met and interviewed many of his family members. Through conversing with family and community members, it is very clear how much Mr. Leadon helped the local economy. Like the Leadon family, many guides working in Andros are descended from guiding greats, those men who ventured into a new industry receiving little credit for their tremendous efforts, until now. Flats within easy wading from Bering Point are extensive and varied. Anglers should have wading boots and larger flies for deeper water and larger fish. Double-digit bonefish are common in Andros. Fish the tides, look for moving water, look for places that get less pressure and do not be afraid to wade deep for big fish... however, watch for sharks. You can bet that if you find good bonefishing, you will also find sharks. Be wary of sharks while releasing bonefish, and reduce the potential for predation of your released bonefish. Do this by using adequate rods, reels and lines, by reducing fight time, by eliminating handling and using barbless hooks. “Keep ’em wet.” If you have to have a photo, consider waterproof cameras for interesting perspectives of you and your fish. North Andros is very interesting geographically. The south by Bering Point is sub-tropical. In the north, starting roughly near Stafford Creek, where the beautiful Stafford Creek Lodge is located, are extensive pine forests and some agriculture creating a significant change from the south. Bonefish angling is available all along the eastern shores, and creeks are great places to start. Car rentals are readily available from local airports and adventuresome anglers can reap great rewards for getting off the proverbial beaten path. Some creek 20 FLORIDA

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systems are extensive, and as with all of Andros, traveling to the west side requires a boat and expert local knowledge... a guide. The northern tip of Andros is known as the Joulters, recently hit hard by Hurricane Matthew. Local guide Phillip Rolle graciously showed me some of the Joulters, and I can genuinely say the habitat is rich and the fishing is amazing. Miles and miles of hard white sandy bottom flats welcome anglers venturing to the area. I get the impression less angling pressure has permitted the continued health of local fish stocks. Huge schools of large fish move through countless cuts, bars and shoals, making the need for a guide critical. Given the size of the Joulters and all of Andros for that matter, finding fish is a daunting task; local guides who fish every day will greatly improve your odds of catching fish. Although the fishing on Andros is outstanding, there is much to do for non-anglers or on days away from the flats. Many blue holes dot the landscape, fantastic diving and snorkelling are easy to access, world-class birding and ecotours are available, and a rich culture including festivals like Crab Fest make for a great trip. For much more on this research please visit: http://tomkarrow.wixsite.com/ bahamas-guide-tek. Tom Karrow is a doctoral researcher evaluating the sustainability of the Bahamas bonefishing industry through accessing local guide knowledge and history. Tom works in conjunction with Bonefish and Tarpon Trust, The University of the Bahamas and the Bahamas Fly Fishing Industry Association. Research is funded in part through partnerships with Nautilus Reels, R.L.Winston Fly Rods, FishPond, 12 Weight, Costa and World Angling.

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By Bert Marcus Last week I got a call from my friend Bill Washburn in Sarasota. He knew I had been running a Sailfish for the past seven years and wanted to know if I had seen the new Sailfish 236CC yet. I told him that I hadn’t and asked him why he cared. “Well I’ve got one tied up at my dock,” he replied. “I wanted to see if you wanted to go out with me tomorrow on my new boat.” I have never been one to turn down a fishing trip. We made plans to meet at his house on Longboat Key the next morning and said goodbye.

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After fighting a little traffic the next morning, I pulled back behind Bill’s House to his dock and there was Bill loading some rods and a cooler into what I could tell from a distance from its distinctive bow flare was a Sailfish, but the more modern profile and the hard-top frame integrated into the console were attractive new additions. “Get aboard,” he said, beaming with pride. “Just got it over the weekend.” He filled me in on all the details. The 236CC was a brand new Sailfish model, in fact this was number seven. “They’ve taken the best of your boat and added a lot of new innovations,” he explained, while starting to show me around the boat. “He really thought this one through, from the keel up – it’s got form and function.” I could see many of the old standards features from my old Sailfish – deep gunwales, built-in transom bait well, well-laid-out console, big fish boxes in he bow. However, there was plenty of “new” in this new model. “Look how they handled the transom seating,” Bill said, pointing to a fold-up seat attached to the transom. “And the whole thing lifts up to give you easy access to the bilge.” He then pointed to the leaning post lifted up the cushion on the passenger’s side and said, “look at this, a second live well build into the leaning post.” He also pointed out the tackle storage and stowable bait station built into the leaning post before getting behind the helm, tapping on the passenger seat and telling me to get ready to go. “I’ve put about 15 hours on the motor since Saturday,” Bill explained, “I could have gotten it with a 200 or 300 Yamaha, but I went with the 250.” “It runs 47 mph wide open,” Bill boasted. “And like all Sailfish’s, the VDS hull cuts into the water and the ride is real smooth.” As I said earlier, I have been running a Sailfish for the past seven years, and one thing that I have always appreciated is the way she handles in rough water. I have to admit, I was jealous of Bill and I spent most of the trip calculating what I could get for trading in my 218CC and what color my new 236CC would be.

CONNER’S NUTTER BUTTER Most fishermen will tell you they have a favorite color when it comes to specific fly patterns or lures. As a general rule, especially with streamers, it’s a good idea to have a range of colors to cycle through until you find what the fish are keyed in on. The Nutter Butter is a great pattern that falls toward the natural color palette, featuring mostly tans and browns and natural material like coyote fur. Something I have noticed is these subtle colors can draw a strike when brighter colors will not, making streamers like the Nutter Butter a staple for any streamer fisher’s box. In addition to color, the action and profile of the Nutter Butter are perfectly suited to drawing strikes from predatory fish. This fly really dances underwater. Rear Hook Hook: Gamakatsu B10S Size 2 Tail: Tan Extra Select Craft Fur Body: Tan Ice Dub Hackle: Polar Chenille Olive Copper UV Collar: Coyote Fur in a dubbing loop Front Hook Articulation: Senyo’s Intruder Wire and 2 6mm beads Hook: Gamakatsu B10S Size 1/0 Rattle: Hareline Plastic Rattle Medium Tail: Tan Craft Fur Body: Tan Ice Dub Hackle: Polar Chenille Olive Copper UV Collar: Coyote Fur in a dubbing loop Head: Brown Laser Dub Over Tan Eyes: 8mm CCG Eyes Tempt Head: CCG Flex

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By Capt. Michael Okruhlik

I

t’s December. I’m ready for some winter wade fishing, and I am sure you are, too. Now the question, is our equipment ready? The last thing I want to happen… again, is to be waist deep in 45-degree water and 40-degree air temp and realize my waders have sprung a leak. Let’s go over a few things to prevent this. First, I start with storage last spring. I store all of my waders and jackets in a climate-controlled environment. I also make sure to hang them up to avoid items getting tossed on top of them. Well in advance of my first trip, I will do a thorough inspection in search of pin holes and abrasions. The best method I have found for this is to turn my waders inside out, grab a spotlight and head for a dark room. I shine the spotlight inside and look for any light shining through. In the event I spot a hole, I will circle that area with a permanent marker. Once identified, I then use the appropriate patch adhesive for my waders and make the necessary repair. After this, I like to fill them with water as a secondary check. Now, when it comes to the type of equipment to buy, there are endless options from economical to expensive. There are two trains of thought here, and over my career I have subscribed to both. I used to purchase the more economical prod-

ucts, and for the most part they served me well, but I have had those occasional uncomfortable long, wet and cold days. My thought process was I could buy 6 to 10 pairs of these waders or buy one pair of the expensive ones. The 6 to 10 might last me a lifetime. It was hard for me to see the benefits to spending substantially more money for what I felt was the same product. I heard reviews that the others were warmer etc., but I just didn’t see it since they are both fairly thin and breathable. Once I tried a pair of the more expensive brands, I was hooked! It was a night and day difference in the feel, comfort and warmth. Not to mention the more expensive ones typically come with some type of warranty. Although I have not had any problems to find out first-hand, I hear customer service is top notch if something does fail. As I mentioned, both price points will work, but there is something to be said for buying quality when it comes to winter wade fishing gear. So whatever your preference, always take the time to check your equipment prior to that first wade in search of those winter trophy speckled trout. Capt. Michael Okruhlik is the inventor of Controlled Descent Lures and the owner of www.MyCoastOutdoors.com.

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New African Surf Rod Design Promises ‘Seven Seas’ Success By Mike Pehanich

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he landscape is stark off Namibia’s South Atlantic Coast. Sands end in sea, and, well, that’s about all there is to see! But these coastal waters where Jeri Drake and wife Sue fish and train for international surf fishing competition are loaded with game species, including copper sharks (“bronzies”), spotted gully, cow sharks, blue rays, smooth hounds and many more. You might never make it to Africa to fish these waters, but the tackle and techniques that Jeri—a master rod builder, innovator, member of Namibian President’s fishing team, and owner of Excalibur Tackle (www. excalibur-tackle.com ) in the town of Henties Bay—takes to the surf could find application on your coastal waters, too. Fishing is serious sport along the “Skeleton Coast,” particularly for tournament anglers who, armed with long rods and a fighting belt, often wade out several hundred yards to sandbanks, routinely casting 6- to 7-once sinkers and bait 100 to 160 yards or more to reach hard-fighting game fish. Rod design for Jeri Drake, known simply as “Jeri” in southern African fishing circles, has evolved into 14-foot and longer rods. He has developed his own blanks for this style of fishing, with unique handles featuring short butt sections and long fore grips, the latter measuring around 28 inches. The essential difference to U.S. style blanks is a ‘faster’ action, as opposed to the usual ‘through’ action. Jeri employs the same “reel down” design—reel positioned relatively close to the fighting belt—with surf rods he builds for both “fixed spool” (spinning) reels and conventional reels. The long fore grips allow fishermen to change the fulcrum point while fighting the fish. The “reel down” design also makes it easier to master more powerful casting techniques and thus achieve better distances. Wading through troughs and casting and fighting fish in sea spray calls

for a non-slip rod grip material. Jeri crafts his rod handles individually, wrapping Winn Superior Rod Wrap (www.winngrips.com ) directly over the large butt section of the rod blank. The all-weather WinnDry polymer, which also wraps easily over existing cork or EVA grips with its tape-like backing, retains its tacky feel even when he’s immersed in sea spray. In lieu of finishing tape, Jeri terminates the ends of the rod wrap with thread wrap and a finishing coat. This prevents seawater, sand particles and any other substance to undermine the grip material by seeping in between the wrap and blank. It also gives the handle a more finished look. To protect the polymer material from wear and punishment where rod butt meets rod belt, Jeri places a woven carbon sleeve above the butt button. The base of the rod wrap starts above the sleeve. This keeps the polymer from contacting the rod portal of the belt. Adapt some of Jeri’s surf rod tips to the rods in your arsenal. You’ll be tipping your cap to the tackle innovations of the avid anglers of southern Africa!

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UNDER THE SEA

SPEARFISHING WORLD RECORDS SHERI DAYE

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ost people have heard of IGFA (International Game Fish Association), which manages world records for fishermen. But have you heard of IUSA (International Underwater Spearfishing Association)? IUSA keeps track of spearfishing world records. Both were founded more than 65 years ago and have a rich history—and both pride themselves for providing a universal code of sporting ethics as well as record keeping. The IUSA rules are fairly simple: the fish must be taken while freediving and using a muscle-powered speargun, sling or polespear. The catch must be legal, unassisted and weighed on a certified scale. The application must include photos of the weighing, dimensions and witness information. The categories are: men and women, saltwater and freshwater, speargun and sling/polespear. In other words, a woman can have a record black grouper taken by polespear in the ocean; a man can have a record walleye taken by a speargun in a lake, and so forth. I was inspired a few years ago to see if I could get a world record yellowfin tuna. That led me to learn to hold my breath, educate myself on equipment, get in better shape, learn all about tunas, save money for trips and make friends with other bluewater hunters. Having that goal set many other activities in motion.

I was fortunate to achieve my goal with a 179-pound tuna in Mexico. While the catch itself was exciting, I now realize that it’s the hunt, not the catch—or as they say, “it’s the journey, not the destination.” The lessons learned, the new friends made along the way, the memories—that is what becomes most precious over time. If you’re interested in pursuing a world record, here’s some quick tips: 1. Go where the fish are! Investigate areas, charters, and recent catches. 2. Use the right tool for the job. For example, Wong guns are known for bluewater hunting, Hammerhead is known for slings/polespears, etc. 3. Know the rules in advance so you don’t unwittingly disqualify a record. They can be found on the IUSA website at www. iusarecords.com. 4. Pack a certified scale and tape measure in your dive bag. You never know when that special catch will take place! Chatillon scales are known for being accurate and “certifiable.” 5. Above all, be safe and have fun. Records are an enjoyable pursuit, but they don’t compare to your health and wellbeing. With a bit of persistence and some luck, you might be able to immortalize the fish of a lifetime by claiming a world record. Life is short, so get out and enjoy it! Follow “Sheri Daye” & “The Blue Wild Ocean Adventure Expo” April 22-23, 2017 – Ft. Lauderdale - Instagram and Facebook.

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Team MHX finds Success in 2016

H

FLW Photo

ow does a team that collectively won over $425K in 2015 go out and improve? “Maintaining the incredible work ethic of our anglers while working directly with our team to continue to develop the best blanks out there,” said Bob McKamey who is The Man when it comes to rod building and managing the team. FLW Tour pro John Cox started off the year with a bang at Lake Okeechobee with a top-12 cut and valuable AOY points. John narrowly missed the Angler of the Year in 2015 but had and extra spark when starting out the new season. An interesting side note to that Okeechobee event was Brad Hallman from Norman, Oklahoma, who was flipping dense reed heads with a custom-built MHX-FS966. “We didn’t initially know Brad was using our blanks until after the win,” Bob said. Come to find out, one of the MHX Regional Staff members Brandon Mosley, who fishes the COSTA series built Hallman’s rods before the event. So with just one event down in the FLW Tour, MHX Blanks had accounted for over $100k, not a bad start. Less than a month later, the Elite Series was on the St. Johns River in Palatka, Fla., and MHX Pro Brandon Lester found himself in the Day 1 lead and newest Team Member Bradley Roy was not far behind. Although he relinquished the lead over the next few days, Brandon and Bradley finished in the Top 20 to earn valuable AOY Points and nice paydays. Not to be outdone, John Cox and the FLW Tour were on Lake Hartwell in South Carolina the very same weekend, and Cox had the lead in that event. Although he did not win wire to wire, he was at the top when the smoke cleared on Sunday. With a Top-12 in the first event and a win in the second event, it seemed Cox wasted no time getting back to his

2015 form. On the regional event side, team member Brandon Mosley maintained a hot hand through the Costa Series and made two out of three cuts while building his rods as well as Hallman’s out on the FLW Tour. As the FLW Tour and Elite Series went on throughout the year, Cox, Roy and Lester continued to produce all while building their own rods. Cox, the most notable, who builds lake-specific rods in his hotel room during practice also has fellow anglers coming to him to fix a tip-top or a guide in an emergency. As the 2016 Season comes to a close, MHX has had an incredible year with multiple titles, a FLW Cup Championship and even team members headed to the Classic for the first time in their careers. Keep an eye out for the MHX Team as 2017 Season begins in January. If you are looking to build your own fishing rods check out MHX Rods at www.fishmhx.com and Mud Hole Custom Tackle at www.MudHole.com.

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How Does Harbor Freight Sell GREAT QUALITY Tools at the LOWEST Prices?

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ITEM 63100/69626

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At Harbor Freight Tools, the “comp at” price means that the same item or a similar functioning item was advertised for sale at or above the "comp at" price by another retailer in the U.S. within the past 180 days. Prices advertised by others may vary by location. No other meaning of "comp at" should be implied. For more information, go to HarborFreight.com or see store associate.

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Customer Rating

R R 12 VOLT MAGNETIC PE ON PE ON SU UP Customer Rating TOWING LIGHT KIT SU UP CO CO

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OOD 60", 4 DRAWER HARDWENC WORKB H

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ITEM 68784 shown 69387/62270/62744

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44", 13 DRAWER INDUSTRIAL QUALITY ROLLER CABINET

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ITEM 69331/63091/63248 68998 shown

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Coastal Angler Magazine-Dec. / Okeechobee  

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

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