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By Capt. Mike Weinhofer hen I arrived in Key West more than 30 years ago, there was a sign on the fence at the airport that said “Sportfishing Capital of the World.” At the time I had no idea how special Key West was as a fishing destination. It isn’t that it’s the best fishery for any one species. The opportunities here are endless. It has a lot to do with Key West’s location and topography. Key West is a tiny island 120 miles out in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean on one side and the Gulf of Mexico on the other. It has shallow waters surrounding it to hold bait and deep water near to shore. It’s a very unique ecosystem. It’s a natural migration point for many species to feed and breed. Shallow flats surround Key West and serve as a breeding ground for bait and shallow-water trophy fish. The tarpon migration is world famous. Whether you want to fly fish or bait fish for tarpon, they are always willing to entertain. The shallow flats are also home to bonefish and permit, the hardest fish in the world to catch on a fly. But while the flats are loaded with fish, it’s not just the shallow water that mesmerizes. The call of bluewater seems to ring in everyone’s ears. Just 5 miles offshore on the Atlantic side lies the shallow-water reef. The reef is home to grouper, snapper and all types of tropical fish as well as myriad baitfish. The reef is also a congregation point for bluewater fish. The small ballyhoo and other baitfish attract larger and larger fish to the shallows. It is not uncommon in the winter months to watch sailfish chase ballyhoo in less than 15 feet of water. Just outside of the reef, the water drops to about 120 feet in 500 yards, and then there is an area called “The Bar.” It’s the old coral reef from when the water table was 40 feet lower. The Bar is about 200 yards wide and holds all kinds of fish. It shadows the reef for about 20 miles to the west. The west end of the bar is a magical place, with east-bound current upwelling on the end, bait feeds on pushed-up nutrients, and where bait congregates fish follow. Now for the offshore bluewater. “Woods Wall” is named after the man that discovered it, the famous Keys fisherman Norman Woods. At

W

make even more structure. So close to shore and holding such a variety of fish, it is a bluewater angler’s dream. Amazingly enough, we have not even touched on the fishing west or the north of Key West yet. To the west lie shallow flats and a string of islands that hold bait, tarpon, permit, sharks and many more species. Then, when you get about 20 miles west of Key West there is an island atoll call the Marquesas. It is a special place. Flats fishers come from all around the world to fish this little island. Many stories have been written about epic battles with tarpon and permit and what a magical place it is at sunrise, when anglers watch shallow-water fisheries come to life. Farther to the west are 10 or so wrecks in less than 15 feet of water. Fishing around these wrecks is like fishing in an aquarium. The water is crystal clear and bait is everywhere. Whether it is barracuda, permit, cobia or sharks, the wrecks are alive with activity. Another magical place 64 miles west of Key West is the Dry Tortugas, a group of small islands surrounded by shallow water and some of the best bottom fishing in the world. The Dry Tortugas is home to Fort Jefferson, a national park and a whole other ecosystem I could spend an entire article describing. To the north of Key West lies the Gulf of Mexico, a shallow basin for the nearshore that drops to about 100 feet in depth at 40 miles. The Gulf is loaded with wrecks that hold all kinds of bottom fish. Grouper, snapper and cobia fishing is a blast, as is the jewfish and shark fishing. Never mind fishing behind the shrimp boats for blackfin tuna, bonitas, cobia and other fish. And there are the radio towers that stand tall out in 80 to 120 feet of water that hold all kinds of bottom fishing opportunities as well as kingfish, amberjacks, sharks and cobia. In short Key West is not the best fishery for any one thing, it has it all. The topography makes it like no place else in the world to fish. Its unique layout allows us to hide from prevailing winds and make even the worst winds fishable. Quite often the hardest decision is which way to turn in the morning, left or right can make all the difference. It is one of the few places you can catch tarpon in the morning, sailfish in the mid day and dolphin or tuna in the afternoon. Everything is just so close, and there are just so many choices it makes each morning a debate. After 30 years, I still enjoy all the hard choices. Capt. Weinhofer runs charters on the Compass Rose. Visit www. KeyWestFloridaFishing.com or call 305-395-3474.

the edge of the continental shelf, the top of the wall is 800 feet deep with a shear drop to deeper than 1,800 feet in a mere 100 yards. The Gulf Stream slams into this shear face and makes rips and upwellings. If that weren’t enough, there are cracks in the wall that extend inshore to 8

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FISHINGLIFE.CO

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Fight the blues.

If nothing makes you happier than battling a billfish, you’ll find plenty to smile about in Key West. Minutes from shore you can go toe-to-toe with behemoth blue marlin, the greatest gamefish of them all. You can chase after tuna and dolphin, too. Wahoo! fla-keys.com/keywest 1.800.527.8539 COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

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ON THE COVER 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 Freeport, Bahamas Yellowfin

FREE

Sushi doesn’t come any fresher than it does Outdoor 32nd Annual on the deck of the Finster when yellowfin Palm Beach Apparel International Edition Boat Show tuna are pushing bait off of Freeport in the Bahamas. This month’s Coastal Angler Magazine cover photo, courtesy of Picture Perfect Charters, is of Capt. Pete Milisci with a nice tuna that has an imminent encounter Local with a fillet knife and some soy sauce. Team Finster is an offshore tournament team based out of Fort Myers, Fla. They fish sailfish tournaments on the east coast of Florida as well as some offshore stuff on the west coast. All that sounds fun, but so does their annual spring tuna outing across the Gulf Stream from Fort Lauderdale. It’s the kind of trip most occasional anglers dream of, and these guys do it pretty much every year when the yellowfin show up. They spend the better part of a week operating out of a condo in Port Lucaya, venturing out just 10 miles from the docks each day to chase birds and catch big tuna. They load coolers with mahi, blackfin and yellowfin tuna, and even the occasional mutton snapper caught from the dock while they are cleaning the day’s catch. What more could an angler ask for? March 23-26

WHOLESALE CUSTOMERS WANTED! The Best American Hooks & Weights For Better #Fishing

Fishing Reports Catch Photos News & Events

VOLUME 22 • ISSUE 266

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THE ANGLER MAGAZINE Lake Erie, Smallmouth Bass

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Over the last decade or so, Lake Erie, the fourth largest of the Great Lakes, has really taken off Outdoor Apparel as one of the best smallmouth bass fisheries in Edition the world. This has been widely credited to the arrival of the invasive round goby, a bottomdwelling species that has become a staple in Local the diet of bass and other game fish. Biologists have reported impressive growth rates of smallmouth bass in Lake Erie since the gobies took hold there. The long-term impact these invasive fish will have is not completely understood, but for the meantime they are propping up a great fishery. The photo on the cover of this month’s editions of The Angler Magazine is of Kayla Culp, of Ridgeway, Ontario and a chunky bronzeback she caught while drop shotting soft plastics in Lake Erie’s East Basin. She mainly fishes the Canadian side of the lake, where bass season doesn’t begin until early summer. Anglers on the U.S. side of the lake also get to experience fishing through the stages of the spawn, which typically begin with a pre-spawn push to shallower water in April and run into June when the fish retreat back to the depths. The photo was taken by her boyfriend, fishing buddy and all-around lucky dude Matt Sirianni. Fishing Reports Catch Photos News & Events

VOLUME 22 • ISSUE 265

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APPAREL Product Review XTRATUF KRYPTEK ANKLE DECK BOOT Introducing the Kryptek Ankle Deck Boot from XTRATUF, a beloved fishing boot brand popular amongst recreational and commercial fisherman alike. XTRATUF boots are a gear staple of every man, woman and child in Alaska and the Pacific Northwest and beyond, not only for the protective properties that have made them must-have gear for boating, sailing and fishing enthusiasts, but as a fashion and trend statement around the world. This boot is a simple, wearable way to achieve a fashion-forward look in a truly iconic boot with significant brand heritage. New for spring 2017, XTRATUF and Kryptek, camouflage design innovators, are collaborating on a new deck boot collection that combines the technology of the popular XTRATUF Performance Ankle Deck Boot with sleek Kryptek camo designs, including the Yeti and Pontus patterns (MSRP $90). It features a 1mm Neoprene XpressCool bootie that surrounds the whole foot and ankle providing all day comfort. Like all XTRATUF footwear, the Kryptek Ankle Deck Boot is 100 percent waterproof, and it includes a boatload of performance features. • XpressCool lining to keep feet cool in warmer weather • Full-rubber, lightweight silhouettes • Slip-resistant chevron outsole • Pull-on tabs for easy on and off

WWW.XTRATUFBOOTS.COM

L.L. BEAN HYBRID FISHING SHIRT With a unique combination of fabrics, excellent ventilation and built-in sun protection, L.L. Bean’s Hybrid Fishing Shirt delivers unbeatable performance. This shirt is slightly fitted to provide on-thewater functionality while looking good. A relaxed fit through the chest and sleeve as well as stretchy knit upper arms with built-in articulation allow for a full range of motion when casting. A slightly slimmer waist keeps uneccesary fabric out of the way when you’re fishing. The Hybrid Fishing Shirt features a blend of woven and knit nylon and polyester with built-in UPF 50+ sun protection. It’s breathable, and a caped back for ventilation will keep you cool and comfortable during long days on the water. Polygiene treatment prevents the growth of odor causing bacteria to keep you from smelling worse than the fish you catch. L.L. Bean has designed a performance fishing shirt that looks as good as it performs on the water. Trim for attaching zingers and forceps and streamlined pockets for gear complete the package.

WWW.LLBEAN.COM

SCALESKINZ MULTIFUNCTIONAL HEADWEAR Capsmith Inc. is the No. 1 trusted source for fishing and outdoor enthusiasts with more than 32 years of experience in the headwear industry. Scaleskinz Multifunctional Headwear can be worn many different ways, and will attract all the right attention with colorful detail and sun protection. Scaleskinz feature a seamless tubular design that can be worn in 12 different ways, including a cap, scarf, facemask, headband, neck shade or shape it to fit your needs. This exclusive product offers maximum protection against sun, wind and rain. Scaleskinz are the perfect addition to retail stores that cater to fishing enthusiasts. Available designs include Dolphin, Tarpon, Marlin, Redfish and Bass. One Size Fits Most. For wholesale Scaleskinz inquiries, contact Capsmith Inc. at 1-800-228-3889, or buy online at www.ihatehats.com.

REEF CONTOURED CUSHIONED SANDALS

Reef has become the go-to purveyor of sandals that look as good as they feel on your feet. Their new Contoured Cushioned Sandals are so comfortable you might not even take them off to go to bed. These sandals feature molded rubber sponge footbeds, so you really are wearing pillows on the soles of your feet. Synthetic-nubuck-leather uppers are stylish and durable, and they are padded with jersey lining to feel super soft against your skin. Finally, these shoes are outfitted with anatomical arch support to keep you comfortable all day long, through any adventure. What more could you expect from a company that is world-renowned for making high-quality footwear for those who enjoy life on the water. Whether you’re headed offshore or to the tiki bar, Reef’s Contoured Cushioned Sandals will keep your feet looking as good as they feel.

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APPAREL Product Review PELAGIC BATTLE GLOVES Ever look at an old salt’s hands? Fishermen are right up there with mechanics for having the most abused hands out there. Pelagic, a company that designs clothing specifically for protecting anglers from the harsh marine environment, has the perfect solution for protecting your hands while they’re doing battle. Pelagic Battle Gloves give anglers an edge when fighting monsters of the deep. These heavy-duty “Sure Grip” fishing gloves are ideal for fishing heavy mono, braid or wire lines and are Kevlar reinforced for maximum protection from line cuts, blisters, sharp fins and teeth. Made with open fingertips for maximum dexterity and finger maneuverability, they protect your hands while allowing you to do the intricate work of rigging lines and baits and tying knots. These gloves increase angler endurance, yet are versatile enough to use for fish handling, bill grabbing, fish filleting, and many other offshore purposes. With Velcro security and stamped with the Pelagic deluxe logo, Battle Gloves are a must-have for any offshore adventure.

WWW.PELAGICGEAR.COM IN GOGS WE TRUST! The Kluch Signature Gog Tee features a simulated goggle eye portrait complete with $100 bill background and Kluch lettering. Available in a variety of styles, this shirt is built of a 100 percent ringspun cotton fabric for that true comfort fit. When it comes to sport fishing, having the right bait means everything! The “In Gogs We Trust” collection was inspired by those brutal days fishing tournaments and being down a release needing another bite to edge into first. After countless attempts of creating luck, teams turn to their wells in search of the best-looking bait to catapult them onto the podium. When all of a sudden the right short starts acting up and there he is!

BODY GLOVE 3T BAREFOOT WARRIOR

Many watersports require toe dexterity, and that’s where the Body Glove’s 3T Barefoot line of water shoes shines. Whether you’re a top athlete, a beginner, or somewhere in between, 3T Barefoot shoes are the perfect footwear for everything water. It doesn’t matter if it’s Stand-up paddleboarding, kayaking or just swimming off a rocky shore, the 3T Barefoot is up to the task. A patented three-toe design allows for dexterity in the toes that need it. A minimalist, neutral-balance foot bed allows for maximum ground feel while keeping your foot protected. Body Glove’s Integrated Drainage System (IDS) lets water drain out while preventing debris from entering the shoe. It can be worn either in or out of the water. Other features of the 3T Barefoot include adjustable shocklaces, easy slipon design, hybrid use for in or out of the water, zero heel lift, and the drainage system, which cools the foot with air circulation when out of water.

WWW.BODYGLOVE.COM OLUKAI PA‘A SANDALS

WWW.KLUCH.COM A good pair of sandals is as important to life on the water as a boat, maybe more important. The Hawaiian company OluKai knows this well, which is why they make footwear designed specifically for the ocean lifestyle. At the core of OluKai’s philosophy are quality, durability, comfort and craftsmanship, which means their sandals are crafted to perform and last. OluKai’s new PA‘A sandals were designed with on-the-water action in mind. Translated, PA‘A means secure in English, and these flip-flop-style kicks provide secure footing while battling fish from the deck of a boat or while scrambling out on a jetty to cast. They are fully adjustable on both straps with molded D-rings and micro hookand-loop to ensure a snug fit so the sandals won’t fall off your feet. Water resistant synthetic straps and soft, quick-drying jersey knit lining provide comfort in and out of the water. The footbed is crafted of anatomical, compression-molded EVA midsole with a brushed ICEVA drop-in. The outsole features a non-marking, wetgrip sticky rubber base enhanced with rubber pods for durability and maximum water traction. If you’re looking for a sandal that offers all-day comfort and secure footing in any situation, PA‘A sandals are about as good as it gets.

WICKED DRY & COOL PERFORMANCE SHIRTS Hook & Tackle, designers, manufacturers and distributors of authentic performance fishing apparel since 1963, introduces the new Wicked Dry & Cool collection. Designed with a breakthrough Wicked Dry & Cool proprietary fabric that wicks moisture while keeping you cool, the shirts feature radial sleeves for expansive arm movement. The extremely light yet durable fabrication offers UPF 50+ sun protection, quick dryness and odor resistance. Tested and proven to be the coolest shirts in the market, they are now available in four designs from sizes XS-3XL. For more information, contact Stan at srudman@sportailor.com or visit the site.

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Lake Erie’s

Big Brown Bass L

By Nick Carter ake Erie boasts some of the best smallmouth bass fishing in the world. And over the nearly 10,000 square miles of surface area on this massive lake, the Eastern Basin offers some of the best habitat for bronzebacks. The Eastern Basin is the deepest part of the lake and is separated by a ridge that runs north to south from Long Point in Ontario, Canada to Erie, Pennsylvania. Buffalo New York sits on the eastern shore at the mouth of the Niagara River. Anglers visiting Niagara Falls would be foolish not to set aside a day for fishing the irregular near-shore topography that makes the Eastern Basin such a good fishery. Biologists see incredible growth rates from smallmouth in this area, and 5- to 7-pound fish are a regular occurrence. Kayla Culp, a teacher from Ridgeway, Ontario, has spent years patterning smallies on the Canadian side of the lake. In the Canadian waters of Erie, bass season is closed in spring to protect bedding fish. This is not the case for U.S. waters, where anglers take advantage of pre-spawn migrations as early as April. When the fish move up onto sand flats and chunk rock and into the bays and major tributaries in early spring, it is a time for bumping the bottom in 15 to 20 feet of water with spoons, tube jigs or blades. It can be a grind to find fish, but anglers who set up over a school will find plenty of action and potential for giant smallmouth bass. Lakewide, bed fishing is generally frowned upon. When the Canadian season opens in late June, smallmouth are typically feeding aggressively during their post-spawn transition to deeper water. Culp

said early summer is a fun time to fish the lake. Smallies will be on the weed edges, and they are susceptible to run-and-gun tactics or trolling with fast-moving lures like jerkbaits, spinnerbaits and crankbaits. Location is everything when fish are spread out over so much water. Some enjoy drift fishing to find fish. Culp said to trust your fishfinder and cruise, looking for rock-to-sand transitions. This is especially important as fish move deeper. In summer, big smallies will hang around structure or transitions just off the bottom. The depth can go from 10 to 15 feet in early summer out to 30 feet as the water warms. This summer bite is Culp’s favorite of the year. She enjoys drop shotting soft plastics and tubes into schooled-up fish. When it’s on, 30 fish or more from 2 to 5 pounds and larger are a definite possibility. A natural approach is best in Erie’s clear waters. Dark colors like green and brown make up the majority of Culp’s soft-plastic arsenal. This makes sense. It fits the color scheme of the round goby. These little bottom dwellers invaded the lake in the mid 1990s, and smallies developed a taste for them. Biologists have estimated that gobies account for up to 75 percent of an Erie smallmouth’s diet. The goby invasion is widely credited for accelerated growth rates of smallmouth in the lake. For more bass fishing on Lake Erie, go to

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The Freeport Meat Run

Lorem ipsum

An Annual Trip Of A Lifetime By Nick Carter

By CAM Staff - Photos Courtesy of Picture Perfect Charters

F

or some anglers, the fishing trip of a lifetime is an annual event. Team Finster, out of Fort Myers, Fla., fishes top offshore tournaments, but one of the highlights of their fishing year is an annual spring meat trip that coincides with the arrival of big yellowfin tuna in the Bahamas. Team member Pete Milisci, who operates Picture Perfect Charters out of Fort Myers, feels it’s well worth hauling Team Captain Zac Carpenter’s 34’ SeaVee three hours across the peninsula to launch off Florida’s east coast near Fort Lauderdale. Big yellowfin move through in late April and early May, and five guys spend the better part of the week chasing birds and filling fish boxes. The trip starts with provisioning and bait. As charter captains, team members begin saving and freezing leftover bait from charter trips a month in advance because chumming is key. They prefer fishing live bait, so the livewell is loaded with pilchards and threadfins before they leave. Provisions and gear are crammed into every available hold before they set out on what should be a couple hour run in front of twin Mercury Verado 300s across the Gulf Stream to Carpenter’s condo in Port Lucaya, Freeport, Grand Bahama. The crossing always takes longer than it should. It’s difficult for a boatload of anglers to pass up fish along the way. “Last trip, we had all the fish boxes full before we even got there,” Milisci said. “We came upon a whole tree adrift with mahi all over it. They were good mahi, too, all gaffers.” It’s a good thing there’s an ice machine at the condo. Even when cleaning fish at the dock, there is opportunity to put more meat on ice. Milisci said tarpon and big mutton snapper appear to clean up the scraps. Cooked whole and fresh, those snapper are fine eating. The main event begins after checking in with customs and unloading. “The fishing is right out front. It’s within 10 miles,” Milisci said. “You lose sight of land, and you’re in ’em.” Tuna move constantly, and they move fast. Finding fish is a matter of finding birds on the radar. Huge groups of birds are typically found over bonito, so Team Finster is looking for smaller pockets of birds that are a giveaway for tuna. They never pass a frigatebird without checking it.

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When fish are found, the boat is maneuvered in front of the anticipated direction of the school’s travel. The engines drop into neutral and heavy chumming begins with a month’s worth of frozen baitfish. “The fish are on the surface. They’re coming up blasting baits, and the birds are diving on the bait they push up,” Milisci said. “Sometimes you’ll see fins coming up on your bait.” When fishing in a maelstrom of 10- to 15-pound blackfin tuna and yellowfins weighing 30 to well over 100-pounds, it’s important to fish heavy gear. There are also sharks mixed in, and they will leave nothing but a fish head at the first hint of blood in the water. Anglers must crank hard and fast with 60w and 80w Penn Internationals spooled with 200-pound-test mono and 200- to 300-pound leaders. Anglers either reel fish in from the rod holder with bent-butt rods or fight them with a belt. Tuna will eat dead bait, but the team prefers presenting pilchards and threads on a slack line until they run out of live bait. Milisci said the fish are smart enough to let a bait go if they feel the slightest amount of tension on the line, so that slack is important until a fish eats. Then it becomes a grueling race against the sharks. The reward is almost immediate when a fish hits the deck. Wasabi and soy sauce are kept on-hand, and knives go to work while the rod-man catches his breath. For more on Team Finster or to contact Zac Carpenter or Pete Milisci, see finsterfishing.com. To book an inshore trip with Milisci out of Fort Myers, go to www.pictureperfectcharters.com. For highlights from this Tuna catch, go to

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Spawning Phase Will Play A Big Role In Conroe Bassmaster Classic

K

elly Jordon is not a weatherman. He can’t say for sure what the conditions will be when 52 of the world’s best anglers descend on Lake Conroe, an hour outside of Houston, Texas for the GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods, March 24-26. But as a Texas native and a 22-year veteran of the Bassmaster Tournament Trail, Jordon knows bass are likely to be in some phase of the spring spawn— and he said the angler who best identifies that phase is likely to be the winner of the event. “If I was going to guess—depending on what the weather does—I’d say we’ll be toward the final quarter of the spawn,” said Jordon. “There will still be some fish on the beds, but there will also be a lot of postspawn fish.” A spawn/postspawn scenario could provide a lot of options, and it could certainly lead to some giant fish being brought to the scales at the Houston Astros’ Minute Maid Park. Jordon said the bluegill will likely be coming up to spawn, and big bass can often be found feeding around bluegill beds. Male bass are also likely to be guarding recently hatched fry, and big females that are hungry from the spawn could be roaming the shallows. Though some bass are likely to still be on the beds, Jordon said he doesn’t expect sight fishing to be a dominant technique. “I don’t think somebody can win on sight fishing alone,” he said. “You’re likely to see several giant fish caught off beds or maybe a key 5-pounder at a time when someone really needs it. But I don’t think it’s something you’ll be able to totally hang your hat on.” As for the type of structure that’s likely to be most popular, Jordon said anglers will have their pick. “The water color will depend on how much rain we get and which part of the river you’re fishing,” he said. “The water way up on the upper end could be a lot more stained than the lower end. But when you get up there, you’ll find plenty of backwater stuff, some side creeks, some marinas, some residential

areas with canals, big gigantic flats—a little bit of everything.” The lower end of the lake could appeal to dock fishing specialists. “The lower half of the lake—if not more than half—is pretty much wall-to-wall boat docks and seawalls,” Jordon said. “Whether you want to fish shallow shoreline cover or deep shoreline Bassmaster Elite Series angler and cover, there’s tons of it Classic competitor Bradley Roy caught available. You can find this giant largemouth during pre-pracseawalls that may have tice on Lake Conroe. 10 feet of water around them. “You’ll find flat banks and deep banks. It’s a really dynamic place—and since we’ll be in the spring spawning season, the person who finds not only where the fish are, but where they’re headed, is going to be the one who’s in the best position to win.” With the phases of the spawn playing a major role and Conroe’s reputation for producing big bass, there’s a good chance there will be some 30-pound sacks brought to weigh-ins. For more on last years Bassmaster Classic, go to

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FLY FISHING

WADE FISHING ESSENTIALS

W

ade fishing is one of the most rewarding ways to target shallow-water fish like bonefish or redfish. However, there is more to wade fishing than just walking on a white sand flat or beach and casting to fish. To make the wade fishing experience more enjoyable, here are a few tips to help you make longer casts, protect your feet, blend into your environment, stay safe and catch more fish! Stripping Basket There is nothing more frustrating than fishing from the beach and having your fly line wrap and tangle around your legs and feet especially after you have made a perfect cast to a school of stripers, a corbina or surf perch. The simplest way to solve this problem is to invest in a stripping basket. Made from a variety of materials and available in many styles, a stripping basket will assist you in managing your line. Removing your concern for loose line will allow you more time to concentrate on improving your casting and distance. A stripping basket is not limited to beach fishing, either. More and more anglers are also accepting the value of the stripping basket on boats. A taller free-standing cousin to the wearable basket allows you to keep your line off the deck and avoid its many potential hang-ups including boat cleats, shoe laces, coolers and the other obstructions on a boat’s deck. Wading Footwear There are hundreds of different types of practical shoes for fishing. Select a shoe with high ankle support, a firm and solid toe and stiff arch support. Since you’ll be wading in a variety of bottom conditions from soft mud, soft sand, hard sand and even reefs or oyster beds, it’s a good idea to get a shoe that has a thick sole to prevent punctures. Blend In Blend into your environment. Match your clothes to your

surroundings. If you are fishing the beach, wear neutral colors like tan, light green or even brown. When fishing the flats, a light blue shirt, and stone-colored shirts or pants are your best choice. Also don’t overlook camouflage outfits when stalking spooky fish in shallow water. There are plenty of camo patterns on today’s market, and aside from looking good, wearing camouflage allows you to blend into the environment. Don’t Get Lost One of the worst fishing nightmares is becoming lost or disoriented on the ocean, on the flats or in a marsh’s maze. A handheld GPS can prevent this terrifying situation. Also, if you find an outstanding area where the fishing is red-hot, you can mark it in your GPS and return to the exact spot whenever you choose. Most GPS units contain moon phase and tidal information, which are keys to successful saltwater fly fishing.

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ass anglers use lipless crankbaits in many circumstances and ways. I believe it is not used enough for reds, trout, tarpon and snook. In fact, a lipless crankbait is one of the most effective baits to catch fish in shallow water, and it’s definitively one of those I use often. And I’m not alone. When Louisiana’s famous Team Broussard was at the very top of their tournament career a few years ago, “Cajun” Phil and Capt. Kevin had many wins including the Redfish Cup and Team of the Year titles. The secret weapon they were hiding from media and competitors alike was a Flatt Shadd 50 snagless. That small, compact, lipless crankbait puts out vibrations that travel far through the water, catching the predator’s attention as if it was of a much larger bait. The quick, side-to-side motion also creates a lot of flash, adding visual attraction. When I was the Mepps spinner designer 20 years ago, I worked closely with scientists who had an understanding of the factors that attract predatory fish. The type of vibration and its volume were key. Both with inline spinners and lipless crankbaits, moving a significant amount of water is essential for creating signals that are much larger than many other types of baits. This is why baits with spinning blades and those that emit vibrations commonly catch large fish, even when the lures are small. Often, a predatory fish is first alerted to a potential meal by its lateral line, a natural radar. These small baits fool the fish into thinking it is chasing down much larger and more significant prey. How do you use a lipless crankbait best when you’re on the flats or casting close to the mangroves? If it is deep enough, you can cast and burn it or slow roll it to offer consistent action and cover lots of water as a search bait. This is the main way I use a lipless bait when targeting tarpon or large channel bass (red drum) in main inlets, estuaries and anywhere there is enough depth and preferably some current. But for the true, shallow inshore and backcountry fishing, I use them as I would a soft jerkbait rigged on a jig head. I twitch-twitch-pause and yo-yo it. The great thing with a vibrating bait is every time you pull on the rod, you can feel the bait reacting. Action can be constant when fish are aggressive, but for cold water or finicky fish, don’t hesitate to let the lure pause on the ground for a few seconds here and there. You might be surprised to find the majority of bites happen on the drop, or even when the lure is lying motionless. Fish can be so hungry for it that they swallow it in a snap, resulting more than you can imagine in hook sets deep within the fish’s mouth. If you haven’t thrown a small lipless crankbait around in the shallows, give it a try. You might be pleasantly surprised. Patrick Sebile is the owner and lure designer of Sebile Innovative Fishing (www.sebile.com).

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FLORIDA

Why Just By Tom Karrow

Bonefish?

“While Pursuing bonesfish, many anglers overlook the boxfish.”

A

s a bonefish researcher in the Bahamas, I often hear “bonefish” anglers saying they only cast to bonefish while fishing the flats. Somehow this statement is supposed to elevate their angling prowess, but to me, these people are really missing out on fun and great learning opportunities. While bonefish seem to dominate the species that anglers pursue, there are a host of other fascinating creatures that inhabit similar ecosystems, each utterly fantastic to catch. If you are rigged for bonefish, do not hesitate to throw at a barracuda, jack or other fish you encounter. I often carry a larger fly for predators like barracuda and to quickly attach it, I simply use the hook of my bonefish fly through the eye of the larger fly to provide me with a quick tie, which can just as easily be removed. Species like jack and barracuda both offer great sport and are usually readily available. Look for barracuda in ambush locations, over dark patches, deep holes or cuts and remember to use wire or you will lose flies, lures or bait. I often blind cast into suspect areas, and the reward often outweighs these minor efforts! Tube flies or lures commonly fool barracudas, but I have caught them on just about everything, including bonefish flies. In addition to permit, jack and barracuda, mutton snapper, triggerfish, jacks, boxfish, puffer fish, needlefish and many other potential quarry roam the flats. Most bonefish anglers overlook these fish, but in pursuing them, anglers increase their chances of bending their rod. Fights from many of these species rival or even surpass those of a bonefish, and many times these species fill the emptiness in flats void of bonefish. They can be just as finicky or more so than bonefish and make great camera fare. Many of these species tail like bonefish, cruise behind rays like bonefish, and they can be as selective as bonefish or even more so. Triggerfish, pufferfish and boxfish have tiny mouths that require tiny flies on strong hooks and

usually a slow deliberate retrieve. These fish have tough mouths with loads of teeth perfect for grazing on coral; hooks must be sharp and strong. I have many times fought triggerfish for some time only to have the fly fall from their mouth as they come to hand. An interesting fact I have learned from several elder guides I have interviewed is that triggerfish are great table fare and their skin is highly abrasive. In days gone by, the skin of triggerfish was dried and used for scrubbing floors and general cleaning in many family island communities. For more on the research I have been undertaking in the Bahamas or to contact me, visit tomkarrow.wix.com/bahamas-guide-tek. Thanks to Coastal Angler Magazine for continued support of this research along with Bonefish and Tarpon Trust, The University of the Bahamas and BFFIA.

BluewaterSFC_half_pg_Mar2017 FOR PRINT.qxp_Layout 1 1/18/17 8:06 PM Page 1

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Cool Water Wading

T

he water is still cool but the fishing can be hot. Strap on your waders and head for the Indian River Lagoon. Drainage from Okeechobee has stopped since fall, the water is clear and there are signs the grass might start coming back. North of Fort Pierce inlet has already shown signs of growth. Look for areas of rock kelp growing north near the first Vero Bridge. Early spring means pompano. They will be cruising the lagoon on deep-water edges for the next month and will take a 4-inch C.A.L. jig or smaller pompano jigs. Look for pompano skipping in the water. If you scare one to the surface, there will be more. Make sure to keep your jig bumping the bottom, which will also entice redfish and trout that like a slow presentation. Use a jig of 1/8-ounce or heavier. It’ll help keep your presentation on the bottom. Cool water also means bluefish and mackerel. Both are line cutters with sharp teeth. They school up and cruise the shorelines. Both like fast presentations and hit near the top. Move the jig quickly in areas with bait. Make sure you use pliers and keep your fingers out

of their mouths. As the water warms into the mid-70s, big snook start biting. In the spring, big females head for shallow water on the shoreline of the lagoon. Instead of catching 18- to 23-inch male snook, you’ll run into some over-slot females. You’ll find snook around the mangroves during high tide and around structure like walls and docks. Look for them to go shallow when the sun is up. Look for bait and try the St. Lucie River. The South Fork is good for numbers, and 10 snook a day is not unusual. Trout have been hard to find. Look to sandy points on the east side of the lagoon in the Stuart area. Higher tides are best. There are some trout in the Vero area if you wade the west side at Wilcox Road. High outgoing is best. The Moorings area is good on the east side if you can get access. 

Fishing for jack and ladyfish has continued to be excellent, and 20-jack days are typical. Jacks are schooling inside the sandbar. If you get a strike, you’ll probably get two more and catch one. The lagoon and river jacks have been averaging 1 to 3 pounds. They are very aggressive. I recently caught a jack when my lure was out of the water. Here’s a trick for fishing in high wind. If you have to fish in a crosswind, there’ll be a big bow in your line, and you’ll lose touch with your lure. Keep your rod tip down an inch or two above the water. Your line will be in the water except for a few feet at the rod tip. When your line’s in the water, the wind can’t bow it. 
For info on the Stuart Rod & Reel Club, call 336-414-3440. For more wade fishing in the Indian River Lagoon, go to

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male mako shark named Hell’s Bay has broken a record, traveling more than 13,000 miles, equal to over half-way around the planet, in 600 days. It is the longest track ever in the Atlantic Ocean by a mako shark tagged by researchers in Nova Southeastern University’s (NSU) Guy Harvey Research Institute (GHRI). “We’ve had some of our tagged makos take some pretty interesting tracks over the years, but this one swims above the rest,” said Mahmood Shivji, a professor at NSU and the director of GHRI. “Having Hell’s Bay report for as long as he has is fantastic because we’re able to really get a detailed look at mako migration behavior over a good amount of time. He was like the Energizer bunny—he kept going and going and going, and luckily did not get captured like many of our other sharks.” The 600-day track of Hell’s Bay mako can be seen at: nova.edu/ sharktracking (select Project 3). Hell’s Bay was tagged in May 2015 off the coast of Ocean City, Md. In the first year, Hell’s Bay traveled north along the east coast and then returned close to the tagging site. Hell’s Bay spent 2016 hanging around the coast of Maryland and taking jaunts throughout the Atlantic traveling east of Nova Scotia to just south of Bermuda before returning to Ocean City. In 2017, it repeated a similar path closer to the coast. Hell’s Bay showed clear seasonal patterns to its movements, spending the winter and early spring far offshore, and the rest of the year on or close to the continental shelf. The closest relative to the white shark, makos are the cheetahs of the shark species. As the fastest shark species, makos can swim up to 60 mph. The tags are funded by the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation (GHOF), a not-for-profit organization that conducts scientific research and hosts educational programs aimed at conserving the marine environment. “These satellite tags allow us to follow sharks in near-real time,” said

Greg Jacoski, executive director of the GHOF. “Understanding where these animals travel and the habitat that they use is the first step to better conserving the species.” Hell’s Bay was named after Hell’s Bay Boatworks, a boat manufacturer based in Titusville, Fla. The tag was sponsored by Capt. Chris Peterson, who owns Hell’s Bay Boatworks. A new GHRI study has just reported that 22 percent of the makos that have been satellite tagged were caught or killed by commercial or recreation fishermen. Shivji indicated that worldwide, sharks are being killed off in unimaginable numbers – some estimates say between 70100 million sharks per year. Clearly, that is not a sustainable level of removal, since many shark species, including makos, reproduce at low rates. For more information about the GHOF and GHRI, visit www. guyharvey.com. To see Hell’s Bay’s journey as well as other sharks tagged by GHRI researchers, visit nova.edu/sharktracking. For more about tracking Mako Sharks, go to

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s of March 1, it’s open season in all state waters for Florida’s favorite inshore fish: snook. On the Atlantic side, recreational snook season opened Feb. 1 in Florida’s Atlantic and inland waters from the Miami-Dade/Monroe County line north, including Lake Okeechobee and the Kissimmee River. In the Atlantic, anglers may keep one snook per day that is not less than 28 or more than 32 inches total length, which is measured from the most forward point of the head with the mouth closed to the farthest tip of the tail with the tail compressed or squeezed while the fish is lying on its side. A snook permit is required to keep snook, along with a saltwater fishing license, unless the angler is exempt from the license requirements. The harvest of snook in all of Florida’s Gulf of Mexico state waters, including Everglades National Park and all of Monroe County opened March 1. The limit on the Gulf side is one fish per angler, per day that is not less than 28 or more than 33 inches total length. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) encourages anglers to use moderation when determining whether or not to take a snook home. Researchers ask anglers who harvest the fish to save their filleted carcasses and provide them to the FWC by dropping them off at a participating bait and tackle store. For a county-by-county list, go to MyFWC.com/Research and click on “Saltwater,” “Snook” under the heading “Saltwater Fish,” and “Snook Anglers Asked to Help with Research.”

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NAVICO ELECTRONICS CONNECTED GLOBALLY International marine electronics company, Navico, is bringing global connectivity to its GoFree product suite, providing boaters, fleet managers and service technicians the ability to monitor, log, transmit and report important vessel information in real-time around the globe. This upgrade is made possible through Vodafone’s Internet of Things Technology (IoT). With Vodafone’s global network and Global IoT SIM, Navico’s GoFree Track and GoFree Vessel products will be connected across the Americas, Europe, and Asia-Pacific regions for all types of marine vessels including local boats or cargo ships traveling internationally. With the connectivity, GoFree Track, an affordable hardware system, can track critical vessel information like engine hours, battery status, oil pressure, coolant temperature, fuel consumption and more. By tracking these on-board assets, boaters can instantly access details of potential mechanical problems and share them with technicians to service the specific area in need. Vodafone’s IoT technology allows GoFree Track to monitor bilge levels and alarms letting boaters know if the vessel is taking on water and allowing them to react accordingly, as well as notifying them when there is loss of shore power, which can drain batteries and potentially damage onboard systems that are running. All data collected is transmitted back to the GoFree Vessel online module for immediate viewing, giving consumers better access and control over vessel details. GoFree Vessel allows users to play back different boating trips to share with friends or service partners. GoFree Track is offered with a variety of communication options including the Track-WiFi or Track-CellFi, which leverages Vodafone’s Global SIM to connect users to 2G or 3G networks throughout the world.

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pring boat shows really are easy as 1- 2- 3! Current Productions is bringing their unique twist to the boat show for three major boating markets. Current Productions has been producing successful marine events for 20-plus years. They are proud to kick off spring with The Southeast US Boat Show. This major event has been anchoring the spring boating schedule for many years, and that means it has evolved and improved beyond just acres of boats on display on land and in a marina filled with boats and yachts. Current Productions now puts what they have learned into the form of a very fun and cool twist on all three of their spring events. Jimmy Hill, show producer, explained that bringing the fun to the waterfront with a big music and seafood festival onsite at the same time as the boat show is the key to their success. Separating the commerce

area and treating the fun festivals as a major feature inside the shows works to make Current Production events that much better. Jacksonville, Fla. has been home to the region’s largest event, The Southeast US Boat Show, scheduled for April 21-23, and featuring The Oyster Jam Music Festival. It has become a huge deal with thousands of folks out on the riverfront jamming out to great live music, amazing food and the best boat deals around. Central Florida has always been its own boating hot spot, so it only made sense that the Daytona and Orlando boat dealers are gearing up for their own in-water, major boating expo—the Florida Boat Show and Dock Jam, the regions biggest boating event to be held May 19-21 at Halifax Harbor Marina and Grounds. The event features everything: boating, yachting, including all the accessories, and fun. But, don’t forget the music and seafood festival in an awesome setting right on the water at the best marina around. This event quickly established itself as the marine industries’ favorite for Central Florida and is expected to grow with more dealers and the bigger focus on the regions amazing seafood. It’s a must attend event for anyone in the area. The third event is the one that has everyone talking in the Panhandle this year—The Florida Panhandle Boat Show to be hosted at the City Marina in downtown Panama City this June 16-18. Locals know that this is the perfect weekend to catch the bulk of the boating community as they gather to enjoy the beautiful emerald waters of this part of Florida. The festival is live on the pier at the City Marina downtown. The boating industry is excited to bring the best deals to the best venue for the best show in the Panhandle. Activities and fun will center around the water and include great music on stage and the area’s best seafood vendors. The kids will enjoy the pier-side fishing experience, and there are seminars for the whole crew. For more information on all of these awesome events, visit currentproductions.us. For more about these great events, go to

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8th Annual Central Florida Shad and Crappie Derby Update By Charlie McCullough, Orlando Coastal Angler Magazine Another year goes in the books! Congratulations to all the 1,114 anglers who registered to fish in the Derby. At the time of this article, there is still 2 weeks left to enter your fish. Therefore, the best way to find out who won is to attend the awards ceremony. Awards will take place March 16, 2017 at 6:30 pm, Gander Mountain Lake Mary. All entries this year will be displayed on the big screen at the awards ceremony – you will still have fun if you did not win, and the winners might tell some secrets, well worth your time! Come cheer for the winners as they receive over $7500 in prizes! Award Categories: Mens Shad, Mens Crappie, Ladies Shad, Ladies Crappie, Youth Shad, Youth Crappie, Monthly Shad (4), Monthly Crappie (4), Overall Grand Champion Shad, Overall Grand Champion Crappie, 15-Inch Crappie Club and Photo-of-the-Year. This Derby has seen one of the best years for black crappie in its 8-year history. Many, many more fish were caught than were entered and we received more crappie pictures this year than ever before. American shad and Hickory shad did not have the run in great numbers as in years past. The Derby did however receive their fair share of shad photos. Shad travel from the Bay of Fundi in Nova Scotia all the way down the eastern United States to inlets as far south as the St. Johns River when they reach the 4-year old maturity mark. February is usually the month the shad schools will fill the river bends near the mouth of the Econlockhatchee River and south to Puzzle Lake. Don’t forget to thank all the sponsors listed on the right side of this column. If you are doing business in Central Florida needing goods or services in these industries, give them a call. The sponsors are open year round, hint, hint. Also, check the center of this magazine for fishing friendly businesses that cater to our readers. This year we will not be releasing the size in inches of the crappie and shad entered – until the awards ceremony – as soon as the sizes are listed online or in print, folks are not inclined to upload their trophy catches…However the names of the leaders are not a secret! Hint: 16 1/2” crappie has not been entered – yet! Current Derby Leaders: Mens Shad: Ron Presley Mens Crappie: Mike Cloud Womens Crappie: Patty Wisner Youth Crappie: Brandon Correia January Big Crappie Winner – Richard Wisner January Big Shad Winner – Ron Presley

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2016-2017 Sign-Up Locations: 28 Central Florida Locations! Gander Mountain - Lake Mary Dick’s Sporting Goods – Millennium Mall, Fashion Square Mall, Sanford Mall, Florida Mall, Clermont, Alafaya Trail Nobles Marine – Leesburg, Crystal River Boat Tree Marina - Sanford Pier 44 - Deland Owen’s Marine & Tackle - Eustis Lakeside Bait & Tackle - Tavares Southern Tackle Works - Tavares Highbanks Marina - Debary Bitters Bait & Tackle - Longwood Bithlo Bait & Tackle - East Orlando Thomas Lumber Company - Downtown Orlando Ace Hardware – Avalon Park, East Orlando Mudhole Custom Tackle - Oviedo Bagg’s Produce - Sanford Big Toho Marina - Kissimmee Gibson’s Truck World - Sanford Orlando Outfitters - Orlando Wojo’s Bait & Tackle - St.Cloud Southeast Marine – Orange Avenue South Orlando Richardson’s Fish Camp - Kissimmee FWC – Kissimmee Office

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Join us at Gander Mountain in Lake Mary Thursday March 16th at 6:30pm for Awards presentation.

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such as the Kissimmee River; the Pass; Monkey box area and parts of the Shoal. Most anglers are in the shallows though, catching them off the beds with small jigs and live minnows.

of water. Another great bait in March is a Carolina rigged soft plastic worm or lizard. (Carolina Rig: pin a quarter ounce weight 15-18 inches above the worm – so the weight goes thru the grass and the worm is still exposed) The spawn is on! March freshwater fishing trips will be rewarded with many different species notably largemouth bass, sunshine bass (hybrid stripers), catfish, bluegill, shell cracker, crappie, shad, tilapia and mullet. A good way to tell when a weather change signals a fishing season - orange blossoms signals bluegills are biting. Go cat-fishing a day after the rain, and fish near moving water along a dropoff or in a deep river bend. Bass are most active before and during the rain. Largemouth bass will be halfway or more into their spawn. Use baits that imitate critters who steal their eggs - salamanders, craw fish, bluegills, and shiners. Try a Rattle Trap type lure in a fan cast pattern to find fish. The bass will be bedding all along the shores of the lakes in 1-3 feet

The bite has been on and off for both bass and crappie on the chain of lakes. Some good catches have been coming on or around the New and Full moon phases. It seems that they bite better 2 to 3 days before the moon phases or for several days just after. The bass spawn has been a little slower this year due to the mild winter we are having. Get out on the water in between the fronts on the second or third day after it passes for the best results. The bass have been staging in the deeper grass edges along eel grass beds or in the lily pads close to the spawning areas. The mouths of canals, both ends of Dead River, Haynes Creek, 9th Street area, and Little Lake Harris have all been good places to check. Lipless crank baits, chatter baits and swim baits have all been producing bites. Once you get a bite or two in the same area slow down and work through the same area with a Junebug or Black-blue trick worm or senko style worm texas rigged or wacky style. 4 ORLANDO

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Panfish time is here! Bluegill and shell cracker begin their spawn this month. Find bedding areas and catch fish. Look along the banks of the river not necessarily in the bends. Sandy bottom or shell bottom should produce. Red worms and/or crickets on a #4 hook and a spit shot is all you need.

Lake Okeechobee’s fishery is very healthy! Each full and new moon phase brings in another wave of bass and crappie wanting to spawn in the shallows. The crappie anglers are still out in open water drifting or slow trolling for specks that are schooling up before moving in to spawn. These anglers are having the Crappie and shad are at the end best luck fishing with small to of their spawning run. Best bet medium size live minnows. for crappie is to jig fish structure in the river. If you’re going to try The weather pattern has been full moon fishing in the lakes, pretty much all over the board March may be your last shot. bringing a mixed-bag ranging Shad are hit and miss south of from low/mid 80 temps for the high and cooler early morning Lake Harney. temps dipping down to the low Tilapia are being taken with bow 40’s with wind, sun, clouds and and arrow and gigs along the everything in-between. This type shores of Lake Jessup in skinny of weather pattern can cause the water. Mullet are beginning to bite to come in spurts but all-inshow along the seawall, down- all the bite has remained pretty good. Some crappie anglers town Sanford. are still fishing offshore in areas

Check the canals during moon phases for the buck bass and big females as they push up into those areas when they are ready to lay their eggs. Some huge bass have been caught in the recent Bassmaster Southern Open and the Oakley Big Bass tournament that were on the Harris Chain. The FLW Tour bass event is also on the chain March 9th to the 12th. The crappie bite has been good, with some days better than others. The recent full-moon phase did have several days when they were up shallow and really biting. Most are coming on Ron’s Zip Jigs, Road-Runners tipped with a minnow, or just a plain live minnow. Eustis, Little Lake Harris and Lake Dora have all been producing limits when the bite is on. Report by Capt. Mick Maynard 518-578-9273 www.largemouthcentral.com

Bass anglers have been mainly concentrating on the North shore area; Observation Island area from the 1st pole to Cochran’s pass area; Pelican bay (Belle Glade); parts of the East wall and Uncle Joe’s area. The water on the east side hasn’t been the best but there are pockets of clearer water to fish. Color patterns for soft plastics for bass can be watermelon-red, redbug, junebug, black/blue and green-pumpkin/ gold flake. Top water lures worked slowly will produce big bites. Devil’s Horse and Zara spook need to be in your tackle arsenal. The flipping/pitching bite has been producing using creature-style lures such as crawdads, tubes and Hoo-Daddy’s by Gene Larew.

worms) in watermelon red color have been hot!  FWC just recently put new fish attractors out on Lake Toho. Everyone is waiting to see how productive they will become. March is here, and  spring is in the air on the Kissimmee chain of lakes.  The bass are spawning just like they should be this time of year. As the water temperatures warm the bass are spawning out in deeper water in shallow depths up to 5 feet deep. Look for good sandy spawning areas. Put the trolling motor down and start hunting for beds. The key is to go right back to where you were catching bass in early February and just move out until you see the beds. Polarized glasses are a must.  Open water hydrilla patches are holding good numbers of bass that have already spawned. Bait of choice is live wild shiners for big bass. Artificial baits of choice will be rattle traps in chrome and black color, plastic baits (senkos, jerk baits, speed

Crappies are finishing up the spawn in shallow water making their way out to open water. Fish the pads and reeds that are clean with no hydrilla. Minnows  on a  gold hook work best.  Start looking for shell cracker beds in 2 feet of water. Sandy areas are best. The blue gill will also start spawning on the full moons when the water temps are warming. Another good place to look will be the canals where there is running water. Walk along the banks and look down to find beds on the edges. A good pair of polarized sun glasses is as important as the fishing rods you use.

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of the winter, nothing beats a 3” DOA shad tail on a jighead bounced along the bottom.

crevale, large redfish, and sharks shadowing bait schools.

As spring approaches, the magnificent blooms of the azaleas and camellias, combined with the sweet fragrance of orange blossoms carried across the water, are all signs of spring’s arrival and the excellent fishing March brings to the east central coast of Florida. When the ocean begins its warming phase, 67 to 68 degrees, watch for the progression of baits schools (Atlantic menhaden and silver mullet) from warmer waters into the near-shore waters bringing the cobia and other predators with them. The warmer waters also draw manta rays into the shallows shadowed by pods of cobia. Other notable species are tripletail around the buoys and under flotsam, heavy weight jack

On the lagoon, rising water levels will draw the slot size redfish schools up onto the shallow flats, with the larger breeder schools holding along the deeper edges and sand bars. On the cooler days, focus your attention on sand pockets or potholes, and once the afternoon sun warms the water, look for tailing fish on the shallow flats. Also, April signals the return of silver mullet to the estuary and the beginning of early morning top water sea trout and redfish action near the end of the month. On the freshwater side, look for schooling bass and the resurgence of sunshine bass feeding heavily on schools of small shad at first light in the bends of the St Johns River and the mouths of the big lakes. Remember to match the hatch by fishing artificial baits that mimic small menhaden shad.

This month will hopefully complete the last of the winter cold fronts that bring days of high winds behind them to central Florida. Both air and water temperatures will begin to stabilize making the fishing more consistent. Redfish and trout will continue to be the main species for this month. Hopefully the cleaner water conditions we have been experiencing will stick around for a while. Sunny skies and clean water mean it’s time for sight fishing on the shallow flats. The low winter water conditions combined with the now limited areas with grass left means there are fewer and fewer places to fish traditional grass flats. If the grass is sticking out of the water, it is too shallow for most of the fish. Sandbars, drop offs, depressions, and points are all holding fish when they cannot get to the grass. As is the case for much

frozen minnows work great too. Try all your favorite king grounds and I’m sure you’ll do just fine. Mixed in with kings are sails and some blackfin tuna. We really haven’t gone for mahi but I heard they were scattered around. I’m personally not going to pass I think I may start writing the near chewing fish to go looking for a Volusia County continues to proshore reports because of all this straggler green fish. duce high yields. 2017 has been March wind. Near shore has fantastic for shrimpers! Night Last year this time was the been great and should continue time shrimping will continue into best cobia run many fish were to produce this month. Massive the spring - hurry though beschools of redfish have been caught this month of March. Take cause the cold weather will blow advantage of those sunny days near the port and around the tip by with March’s winds. of the cape. Look for the birds and go look around. I know it diving and there’s a good chance sounds like a cliché but straight The warmer winter waters have that there on reds. They will eat out and around buoys 2 and 4 caused both bait fish and catfish anything you throw in the school have always been a productive to dim out the lights in Edgewater and they’re all big! Use any type area around the 35 foot depths. and Oak Hill. It has been reportof dead chunk bait you can if you Patrick has always been a pro- ed by many consumers that the can’t find those bunkers! Use a ductive area too. Usually if your MacDaddy smart lights “strobe” 4/0 circle hook with a slip sink- down there try the 45 to 50 foot function helps shake both the er - should do the trick. Many of range. schooling bait and catfish off the my offshore trips turned into port lights. Jelly fish have been a big trips and beach trips if we were This report has been brought to nuisance for Edgewater and Oak you by Captain Chris Cameron of lucky with a west wind. Fired Up Fishing Charters, your Hill preventing the deployment Offshore fishing on the days we premier fishing guide charter of of a box or frame net. Dipping can get out have been great. The shark fishing Cocoa Beach, off- is the way to go when condikings have been chewing hard shore fishing Port Canaveral, tions are tough. Many Railroad on anything you can get in the near shore fishing Cape Canav- Bridge shrimpers leave early with low counts. Those that put water. Live bunker work best but eral, Orlando charter fishing. 6 ORLANDO

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Many of the redfish will still be in schools this month. Some schools have 5 or 10 fish, some have hundreds. One thing they all have in common is they know their food does not fall from the sky and plop into the middle of the schools. Do that with your lure or bait and most times you will end up scaring them all away. Land your baits 5-10 feet away from the school and then reel up to the edge of them for better results. Georges Bar, Hong Kong flats, Plantation Island, Orange Island, Turtle Mound Creek, and the flats off Slippery Creek are all great places to find shallow water schools of redfish and some gator sized spotted sea trout as well. Approach them with stealth or you may never get close enough for a cast.

in 10 hours at RRB leave with larger pulls. Haulover was off to a late start but fell into the “full pull bucket brigade” which like Brevard can change like the wind. This is the time of season where a back net is your best friend. We can quickly cull out the smaller ones and keep the larger ones. Haulover Canal is under bridge maintenance and is closed till April 2017. The South side and ramp area are open. Titusville pier (Max Brewer Bridge) remains the most popular pier to catch shrimp for the non-boaters. The lottery system draws numbers at 6pm, and you choose your spot. The pier is reporting many of the 7 inch and up are the summer/fall “whites” (blue/ green tail). If you are looking to start shrimping in Edgewater and Oak Hill, grab a map of the inter-coastal and anchor down in the narrowest part on the edge of the channel. Join us on Facebook: “Florida Shrimping Academy – Tips & Tricks”

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Tuesday February 28 - Midnight - The 8th Annual Central Florida Shad and Crappie Derby conclude. Thanks to all of the registered anglers and those who uploaded photos of their trophy catches this season. Once again over 1000 anglers registered at one of more than 25 locations and fished with us. The Grand Prize and Divisional winners will be contacted via the email address used to enter angler’s entries. Join us at Gander Mountain in Lake Mary on Thursday March 16th at 6:30 pm for the awards presentations. Who made the 15” Crappie Club? All entries will be displayed on the big screen during the awards. Join Phil and Charlie from Orlando Coastal Anger Magazine in congratulating the champions. Free door prizes for everyone who attends!

Bass cash prizes. Angler of the Year gets FREE Entry to next season’s events. Looking for the best anglers in the area. Contact Tournament Directors: Jimmie Murphy 352-789-5351 or Mark Lundgren 540-8095238 or visit tohomarine.com

Monday March 13 – 630 to 900 pm, Central Florida Offshore Anglers (CFOA) will be hosting their monthly social meeting at their new meeting location, the Community Center at 721 W. New England Ave., Winter Park. This event is open to the public, members and guests. Special guest speakers will be Captains Billy and Bear Bright, topic for instruction, Tournament Prep! Food will be available from start till end! Bring a friend and learn some new techniques. For membership information, please contact Bruce Wednesday March 1 - 630 Reid at 407-421-0037 or visit pm, Join the members of the www.mycfoa.com Seminole County Airboat Club at their host Jolly Gator Restau- Tuesday March 14,21,28 – 5 rant and Grill at the St Johns pm till Dusk, Jolly Gator EveRiver on SR 46 next to CS Lee ning Bass Series begins. RegPark for their monthly meeting. ister at the ramp before it starts This is a great club with a loyal at CS Lee Park, SR 46 at the following of members involved St. John’s River Bridge, east of in several annual charity and Sanford next to Jolly Gator Fish River Clean-up events. Come Camp. 2 angler team event, join us for an evening of fami- weigh-in at Jolly Gator, hostly fun. New Owners at the Jolly ed by Orlando Coastal Angler Gator and great food and cus- Magazine. For info Contact Jim tomer service! “Squirt” Chaudion at 407- 4322822 Tuesday March 7 – 6pm, Jolly Gator Bass Tournament Series, Saturday March 18 – “Sandy’s Angler meeting and team reg- Open” Bass Tournament sponistration. Hosted at Jolly Gator sored by Southern Tackleworks Fish Camp & Grill, on SR 46 on the Harris Chain of Lakes, east of Sanford. If you attend from Buzzard Beach Ramp on you can vote on schedule, fees, Hwy 441 in Eustis, 3rd Saturday dates, etc. Drink specials for all of each month $50.00 entry per anglers, FREE raffle tickets for boat (2 anglers), starts at safe all attendees. First tournament light until 2:30pm, to enter conevent on Tuesday March 14! tact Nick or John at 352-7420036 or sign-up at ramp prior Thursday March 9 – 5pm to to start, boat number based on 8pm, Alive After 5 in Sanford, time of entry. The staff of Orlando Coastal Angler Magazine would like you Friday March 31- 6pm till join us for an evening of Fun in 10pm, CCA Orlando Annual downtown Sanford. Block party Spring Banquet, to be hosted at on First Street! Fun, vendors, the Community Center in Winfood, and live entertainment - ter Park at 721 W. New England This event is the second Thurs- Ave. Lots of raffle items, silent day each month rain or shine. and live auction items and a Thursday March 9 – 7pm, Back- great meal with open bar. Join country Fly Fishing Association, us and the local supporters for monthly meeting locations a fun evening for a great cause! change and are TBD monthly, For more info or to purchase check our web-site just prior to tickets contact www.ccaflorida. meeting. This is a “Free” club to org/orlando join for more info contact or visit www.bfaorlando If you have an event or meeting you would like included in the Saturday March 11 – Toho Ma- “What’s Hitting Around Town” rine Outdoors “Elite One Man” column, send your details to: Bass tournament series on Phil Wolf phillip@coastalanglthe Kissimmee Chain of Lakes ermagazine.com. Deadline for launch site to be at Camp Mack, inclusion is the 10th of the preLk Wales in Polk county. $100 ceding month. entry fee and $5 processing fee. Annual membership fee is $25. 100% Pay-back, pays 1 place for every 5 boats, 2 Big 8 ORLANDO

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ming action just below the surface of the water. Also, it is slow sinking which allows anglers to fish the lure longer in the targeted area. Anglers will find that using this lure during calm conditions will be best when fishing in 4 feet of water or less. During this time of year many of our trout can measure up to 20” and redfish can measure above the legal slot size limit of 18 to 27”.

Spring is here! This brings in another new season of angling opportunities along Florida’s Space Coast. During the month of March, anglers will have a wide variety of game fish to choose Also, anglers can experience from, many trophy catches are some of the best explosive top waiting for that lure to swim by... water action in our region near the port. One fish that can do During the early morning and this is the jack crevalle (Caranx mid-morning hours, angers hippos). Jacks typically feed on will want to fish along the flats. small bait fish at the surface of Throughout this area, fish such the water. A sure fire way to catch as trout or redfish will be in one of these fish is to use a noisy search of an easy meal. One of top water that has plenty of acthe best ways to attract one of tion such like Rapala’s Saltwater these fish into biting is to use a Skitter Walk. Did you know that noisy surface or sub surface lure. the state record for a jack is 57 One of my favorite lures is Rapa- pounds? la’s X-RAP Saltwater Sub Walk (07). This lure is built to cast to a targeted area, find and still catch fish. It has a side to side swim-

Try to use the wind to your advantage. Set up wind drifts to cut down on noise. Use your trolling motor to keep the bow of your boat pointed into the wind, and try using a windsock to slow your drift. Fish can be a little finicky this time of year - this guide likes to take a variety of baits both live and frozen. Shrimp, crabs, squid, sand fleas, mullet, pinfish, pigfish and mud minnows are all great choices. As far as lures go, try tying on gold spoons, DOA Crab, DOA Shrimp, and small lipless crank baits.

Changes are coming – redfish, trout, black drum, snook, whiting, flounder, Spanish mackerel, bluefish, and cobia are all up for grabs. The back country estuaries will come alive. Anglers will be able to find mullet schools returning from their southerly winter migration, just in time for a Don’t let the winds of March keep springtime feeding frenzy! you on the porch. Get out and March will bring winds and enjoy the spring fishing season warmer temperatures. Get a because as it’s been said, any game plan together so you’re not day on the water is a great day caught off guard, the winds in to enjoy! Tight lines and take a March will be the biggest issue. kid fishing, the smiles will last a With a little planning, you can lifetime. find some great fishing opportunities. Look to back water bays, protected shorelines, and the lee side of islands, the ports and inlets. On days when you have an off shore wind, fish the beaches.

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March 14th at 5pm

Jolly Gator Evening Bass Series Begins, March 7th at 6 pm Anglers meeting and Team Registration. Hosted at Jolly Gator Fish Camp & Grill, Every Tuesday Evening at 5 pm till Dusk, $30 per team The Seminole Junior Anglers Tournament season is reaching the half way point, and the teams are looking to expand their successful season thus far. On January 15th, a number of the Seminole Junior Anglers competed against a 61 team field in a no-entry fee tournament hosted by The Bass Federation out of Roland and Mary Ann Martin’s Marina and Resort in Clewiston, FL. The team of Colton Rands and Matt Suggs had a great performance, finishing 18th and weighing in 11 pounds 14 ounces. The team focused on throwing search baits in their quest to secure their solid finish. A number of teams also competed in the new Central Florida High School B.A.S.S. Series event held on the Winter Haven Chain of Lakes. Out of the 40 teams entered, the team of Logan Wright and Fisher Omans had the SJA’s best bag weighing in a limit of five bass that tipped the scales at 11 lbs. This solidified a 7th place finish for the team, and got them one step closer to make it to the B.A.S.S High School National Championship. The following weeks brought several big events for the anglers. On February 19th, they compete in another Florida B.A.S.S. Nation Event being held on the Winter Haven Chain. The anglers are hoping to use some of the knowledge they gained in the Central Florida Series event to help in their success for this tournament. Next, they will switch gears and head to the St. Johns River in Palatka to compete in the FLW/TBF High School State Championship. This will be the first time fishing in this area of the St. Johns River for many of the anglers. They’ll get another shot at it though two weeks later when they head back to Palatka to compete in final B.A.S.S. Nation State Qualifier. This will be the last opportunity for the anglers to earn a berth to the B.A.S.S. Nation State Championship begin held April 8-9th out of Venetian Gardens on the Harris Chain of Lakes. We would like to take this opportunity to thank all of the volunteer captains that provide boats for the students. If you are interested in getting involved, contact seminolejunioranglers@ gmail.com. We would also like to thank Instant Insurance in Sorrento for sponsoring our page in the Orlando edition of Coastal Angler Magazine.

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Orlando Outfitters Attention Fly Anglers: visiting Orlando Outfitters in central Florida is like a kid taking a trip to the candy store! Orlando Outfitters has their store filled with all the things you dream of to catch predatory fish from all over the world including fly rods and reels, an excellent selection of fly lines, waders and boots, specialty sun protective clothing, sunglasses, fishing packs, and much more. In addition to the usual items you would expect to see in a fly shop, they have one of the best selections of flies and fly tying material you will find anywhere. If you don’t see what you are looking for, just ask. Chances are there is an ideal alternative to get the item you are after. If you are coming from out of town and are looking for specific items let them know ahead of time and they will set aside your order saving time to browse all the lures when you arrive. Orlando Outfitters will send your order to wherever you will be staying if stopping by the shop is not possible. With sufficient notice the store will special order hard to find items not in stock and have them waiting when you arrive. Contact by phone 407-896-8220, or by visiting www.orlandooutfitters. com., however the real way to do it is stop by! Located on the northeast side of Downtown Orlando, close to I-4, the 408 and Highway 50 you’ll find them at 2814 Corrine Drive, Orlando, FL 32803. This means drive-times are easily 25 to 30 minutes from Orlando International Airport and 30 to 40 minutes from the Disney area. They are about an hour from the Mosquito Lagoon and other nearby east Coast saltwater fishing, a little further from Tampa, and minutes from the nearest freshwater. Stop in and have a look around you won’t be disappointed! Tell TJ that the folks from Orlando Coastal Angler Magazine sent you.

Millennium Electric Since before the turn of the century and year 2000, Millennium Electric has been providing top quality installations for local contractors and builders as well as quick and efficient electrical service for home owners and realty companies. They specialize in new construction and tenant build out work focusing on design build services including, conceptual drawings and cost estimates for commercial and industrial properties. Their service department is open 24 hours a day, seven days per week giving them the ability to seamlessly service all the many products they install. Their service-oriented attitude coupled with prompt response time puts Millennium Electric head and shoulders above any competition. Then there is price - the cost of the job is always an issue and at Millennium they will always do their best to propose solutions within a reasonable budget. One of the owner’s Gary Trotter says, “If you have a cost concern or budget limits, we will do what it takes to help make reasonable options to get to the budget number for our contractor or builder’s cost needs.” They are not always the cheapest but are always willing to look at ways of getting to the contract sum that both parties can be happy about. With a strong, skilled trade staff, and a great group of supervisors and office support staff, they provide high quality installations and service no matter how big or small of a job.

407-790-9515

For all your electric services don’t forget to call 407-420-2001 or visit their website to schedule an appointment www.millennium-electric. com. Stop by to meet them in person at 4340 Edgewater Dr., Orlando, 32804. They are at the west end of Fairbanks Avenue where it hits Edgewater Drive right on Lake Fairview. Tell them Orlando Coastal Angler Magazine sent you!

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Boat Dealers New & Consignment Sales 1 - Astor Marine (352) 759-3655 24535 FL-40, Astor, FL 32102 www.astormarine.com

15 - Fiberglass Plus (407) 915-6089

1470 Kastner Pl, Suite 100,Sanford, FL 32771

18 - Monroe Harbor Marina (407) 322-2910 31 N Palmetto Ave, Sanford, FL 32771 www.moroneharbor.com

2 - Nobles Marine (352) 787-5792

437 N Palmetto St, Leesburg, FL 34748 or 1931 N. Hwy 19, Crystal River www.noblesmarine.com

6 - Sea Tow of Central Florida Lakes

3 - Holiday Marine (352) 787-4824

1126 North Blvd E, Leesburg, FL 34748 www.deckboats.com

9 - Instant Insurance Agency (352) 735-5560 25833 State Road 46, Sorrento, FL 32776 www.instantinsuranceagency.com

4 - Triangle Marine (352) 343-6146

51 - A & D Custom Canvas (407) 331-8184

(877) 800-1492 12307 Wedgefield Drive , Grand Island, FL 32735

725 Montana St. Orlando 32803

11415 US-441, Tavares, FL 32778 www.trianglemarinecenter.biz

Bait & Tackle Shops / Outfitters / Apparel

30 - Sonny’s Marine (407) 293-7174

5820 W Colonial Dr., Orlando, FL 32808 www.sonnysmarine.com

5 - Lakeside Bait & Tackle (352) 742-3336

25 - Central Florida Marine (407) 647-6262 1021 N Orlando Ave, Maitland, FL 32751 www.centralfloridamarine.com

6 - Southern Tackleworks (352) 742-0036 325 E Burleigh Blvd, Tavares, FL 32778

38 - Orlando Boat Sales (407) 253-7111

935 N Bay St, Eustis, FL 32726

1000 W Burleigh Blvd, Tavares, FL 32778

3165 N John Young Pkwy, Orlando, FL 32804 www.orlandoboatsales.com

21 - Bitters Bait & Tackle (407) 699-6619 65 N US Hwy 17 92, Longwood, FL 32750 www.bittersbaitandtackle.com 43 - Bithlo Bait & Tackle (321) 355-0591

17162 Old Cheney Hwy, Orlando, FL 32833

10 - Get Hooked Bait & Tackle (407) 704-8755 670 Kissimmee Ave, Ocoee, FL 34761

44 - Big Toho Marina (407) 846-2124

69 Lakeview Dr., Kissimmee, FL 34741

Boat improvement / Service & Repair Centers / Replacement Parts 36 - All American Marine (407) 855-9988 7024 S Orange Ave, Orlando FL 32809 www.allamericanmarine.com

35 - All Star Marine (407) 423-9953

45 - Wojo’s Bait & Tackle (407) 891-1003 Oak Park Center, 4245 13th St, St Cloud, FL 34769 57 - Hollow Point Apparel (386) 547-5455 Real Apparel for Real People www.hollowpointapparel.com

48 - Mud Hole Custom Tackle, Inc.

28 W Jersey St, Orlando, FL 32806 www.manta.com

29 - Lake Fairview Marina (407) 295-0117 503 N Orange Blossom Trail, Orlando, FL 32804 www. Lakefairviewmarina.com

49 - Martin Tree Service, Inc. (407) 359-1119 1215 Bob White Trail, Chuluota, FL 32766 www.martintreeserviceinc.com 50 - Campbell Renovations Inc. (407) 947-0016 285 Campbell Ranch Run, Geneva, FL 32732 www.campbellrenovationsinc.com 55 - Vapor and Company (407) 878-7397 3617 S. Orlando Dr., Sanford, FL 32773 www.vaporandco.com 56 - Ice Age Air Conditioning (407) 324-7283

Areas Best Picks for Restaurants 47 - Jolly Gator Fish Camp Bar & Grill (407) 349-5554 4650 E State Rd 46, Geneva, FL 32732 www.thejollygator.com

39 - Fish on Fire (407) 812-6881

7937 Daetwyler Dr, Orlando, FL 32812 www.fishonfireorlando.com

40 - High Tide Harry’s (407) 273-4422

4645 S Semoran Blvd, Orlando, FL 32822 www.hightideharrys.com

33 - Boston’s Fish House (407) 678-2107

Aloma Square Shopping Center, 6860 Aloma Ave, Winter Park, FL 32792 www.bostonsfishhouse.com

17 - St. Johns River Steak & Seafood (407) 878-0980 550 N Palmetto Ave, Sanford, FL 32771

16 - Monroe’s on the Lake Hotel & Banquet Hall (407) 878-1861 530 N Palmetto Ave, Sanford, FL 32771

(407) 447-7637 400 Kane Ct, Oviedo, FL 32765 www.mudhole.com

37 - Dancing Pig Deli (407) 270-5976

56 - Orlando Outfitters (407) 896-8220

22 - Huey Magoo’s (407) 706-6004

2814 Corrine Dr., Orlando, FL 32803 www.orlandooutfitters.com

Home Improvement Contractors & Service Providers

32 - Portside Marine (407) 249-1124 2730 Forsyth Rd, Orlando, FL 32792 www.portsideorlando.com

231 W Gore St, Orlando, FL 32806, www.thomaslumber.com

-DK Plumbing (321) 303-1426 Licensed and Insured dkplumbing@cfl.rr.com

14 - Boat Tree Marina (407) 322-1610 4370 Carraway Pl, Sanford, FL 32771 www.boattree.com

381 Evangeline Way, Sanford, FL 32771 www.rothrockmarine.com

34 - Thomas Lumber Company (407) 841-1250

11 - Highbanks Marina & Camp Resort

24 - Boat Max USA (321) 866-0306

12 - Rothrock Marine (866) 375-6143

451 Fairvilla Road, Orlando, FL 32808 www.codepyramid.com

7 - Owens Fishing & Marine (352) 357-3030

(386) 668-4491 488 W Highbanks Rd, DeBary, FL 32713 www.campresort.com

2953 Alafaya Trail, Oviedo, FL 32765 www.boatmaxusa.com 46 - Nations Trucks (888) 929-0482 3700 S Orlando Dr. Sanford, FL 32773 www.nationstrucks.com 14 - Boat Tree Marina (407) 322-1610 4370 Carraway Pl, Sanford, FL 32771 www.boattree.com

31 - Pyramid Cabinets (407) 947-8499

You Can Reach Us 24/7 www.iceageac.com

37 - Southeast Marine (407) 851-1965

7576 S Orange Ave, Pine Castle, FL 32809 www.southeastmarinesales.com

42 - Prestigious Landscaping (407) 242-1503 3410 Seminole Ave., Oviedo, Fl 32765 www.Prestigiouslandscaping.com

6807 S Orange Ave, Orlando, FL 32809

160 Tuskawilla Rd #1204, Winter Springs, FL 32708 www.hueymagoos.com 3 Locations – Winter Springs – Altamonte Springs – Oviedo

23 - Talon Marine Services (407) 542-7600 439 Aulin Ave, Oviedo, FL 32765 www.talonmarineservices.com

6344 All American Blvd, Orlando, FL 32810

13 - Camp House Restaurant (407) 915-5401 100 S White Cedar Rd, Sanford, FL 32771 www.camphousebarandgrill.com

20 - Orlando Marine Services (407) 963-7157 756 Business Park Blvd., Winter Garden, 34787 www.orlandomarineservices.com

27 - Orlando Painting Service (407) 896-0839 65 Harold Ave, suite B, Winter Park, FL 32789 www.orlandopaintingservice.com

52 - The Deli (407) 332-8800 4360 Carraway Pl, Sanford, FL 32771

19 - Ahoy Marine (407) 323-8373 511 E 25th St, Sanford, FL 32771 www.superpages.com 12 ORLANDO

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26 - DWR Plumbing LLC. (407) 293-3717

28 - Millennium Electric (407) 420-2001 4340 Edgewater Dr, Orlando, FL 32804 www.millennium-electric.com

41 - Water Works Pressure Cleaning & Sealing

(407) 376-9526 490 Buck Lake Lane, Geneva, FL 32732 www.jmwaterworksinc.com COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THE ANGLERMAG.COM

53 - T J’s Seafood Shack (407) 365-3365

197 E Mitchell Hammock Rd, Oviedo, FL 32765 www.tjsseafoodshack.com

54 - Otters On The River (407) 636-6300 4380 Carraway Place, Sanford, FL 32771

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Boat & Truck Dealers New & Consignment Sales Astor Marine

24535 FL-40, Astor, FL 32102 Phone:(352) 759-3655 www.astormarine.com

Nations Trucks

Specializing in Ford, Chevy, and Dodge Ram Pre-Owned Trucks Since 1969

Nobles Marine

Southeast Marine

Mako – Tracker – Nitro – Tahoe - Sportsman Yamaha - Mercury

Sylvan Pontoons – Stringray Boats – Blue Wave – Sea Doo Yamaha – Volvo Penta - BRP

Holiday Marine

Boat Max USA

Ranger – Nautic Star - Hurricane – Sweetwater – Bayliner Yamaha, Mercury and Evinrude

Blazer – Consignment Sales - Yamaha

Triangle Marine

Orlando Boat Sales

7576 S Orange Ave, Pine Castle, FL 32809 Phone: (407) 851-1965 www.southeastmarinesales.com

1126 North Blvd E, Leesburg, FL 34748 Phone: (352) 787-4824 www.deckboats.com

11415 US-441, Tavares, FL 32778 Phone:(352) 343-6146 www.trianglemarinecenter.biz Bennington Pontoons – TideWater Johnson – Evinrude – Yamaha

2953 Alafaya Trail, Oviedo, FL 32765 Phone: (321) 866-0306 www.boatmaxusa.com

Orlando Boat Sales

3165 N John Young Pkwy, Orlando, FL 32804 Phone: (407) 253-7111 www.orlandoboatsales.com “Your Pontoon Superstore” Avalon Poontoons Yamaha – Evinrude – BRP

Sonny’s Marine

Boat Tree Marina

Skeeter – G-3 – Sun Catcher Pontoons Yamaha

Crest Pontoon – Yamaha – Suzuki – Volvo Penta

Central Florida Marine

Rothrock Marine

Pathfinder – Hewes – Maverick – Mitzi Siff – Gheenoe – Yamaha Your Shallow Specialists

Spyder – Sea Born – Sundance – Yamaha – Suzuki

5820 W Colonial Dr., Orlando, FL 32808 Phone: (407) 293-7174 www.sonnysmarine.com

1021 N Orlando Ave, Maitland, FL 32751 Phone: (407) 647-6262 www.centralfloridamarine.com

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3700 S Orlando Dr. Sanford, FL 32773 Phone:(888) 929-0482 www.nationstrucks.com

Sylvan – Oasis - Sun Chaser Pontoon Boats Honda – Mercury – Suzuki - Yamaha

437 N Palmetto St, Leesburg, FL 34748 or 1931 N. Hwy 19, Crystal River Phone: (352) 787-5792 www.noblesmarine.com

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Nations Trucks

MARCH 2017

4370 Carraway Pl, Sanford, FL 32771 Phone: (407) 322-1610 www.boattree.com

381 Evangeline Way, Sanford, FL 32771 Phone: (866) 375-6143 www.rothrockmarine.com

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Boat Improvement / Service & Repair Centers / Replacement Parts All American Marine

Orlando Marine Services

Service All Outboard Brands – Stern Drives – Canvas – Interiors – Trailer Repair

Central Fl Authorized Volvo Penta Sales and Service - Mercury - Yamaha - Suzuki Evinrude - OEM Factory Trained & Certified Techs

All Star Marine

Ahoy Marine

7024 S Orange Ave, Orlando, FL 32809 Phone: (407) 855-9988 www.allamericanmarine.com

28 W Jersey St, Orlando, FL 32806 Phone: 407) 423-9953 www.manta.com Service for:Mercury – Yamaha – OMC – Suzuki – Mercuiser – Volvo Detailing - Boat Restoration – Fiberglass Gelcoat Repair – Trailer Repairs

Lake Fairview Marina

4503 N Orange Blossom Trail, Orlando, FL 32804 Phone: (407) 295-0117 www. Lakefairviewmarina.com Consignment Sales – Outboard Service – Storage – Ship Store – Sailing Classes

756 Business Park Blvd., Winter Garden, 34787 Phone: (407) 963-7157 www.orlandomarineservices.com

AHOY MARINE INC.

511 E 25th St, Sanford, FL 32771 Phone: (407) 323-8373 Mercury Marine Premier Service Center Mercury Marine Repower Center Factory Authorized Parts and Service Mariner Parts and Service

Fiberglass Plus

1470 Kastner Pl, Suite 100,Sanford, FL 32771 Phone: (407) 915-6089 Fiberglass Products – Compounds – Gelcoats – Tools – Resins – Boat Repairs

Portside Marine

Monroe Harbour Marina

Service for: Mercury – Yamaha – OMC – Mercruiser – Volvo Replacement Parts – Trailer Service & Repair

Wet / Dry Slip Storage – 35 Ton Haul-out Lift – Ships Store Service for: Johnson – Evinrude – Mercury – Honda – Force

Talon Marine Services

Sea Tow of Central Florida Lakes

Sea Ark Aluminum Boats – Suzuki – Yamaha

Free Member Towing – Captain Kerry Kline, Serving All of our Central Fl Area – One Call Service

Instant Insurance Agency

A & D Custom Canvas

Progressive Auto – Motorcycle – Boats

Boat Covers – Canvas & Bemini Tops – Custom Upholstery – Side Curtains

2730 Forsyth Rd, Orlando, FL 32792 Phone: 407) 249-1124 www.portsideorlando.com

439 Aulin Ave, Oviedo, FL 32765 Phone: (407) 542-7600 www.talonmarineservices.com

25833 State Road 46, Sorrento, FL 32776 Phone:(352) 735-5560 www.instantinsuranceagency.com

31 N Palmetto Ave, Sanford, FL 32771 Phone: (407) 322-2910 www.monroeharbour.com

12307 Wedgefield Drive , Grand Island, FL 32735-8413 Phone: (877) 800-1492

725 Montana St. Orlando 32803 Phone:(407) 331-8184

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Bait & Tackle Shops / Outfitters / Apparel Lakeside Bait &Tackle

1000 W Burleigh Blvd, Tavares, FL 32778 Phone: (352) 742-3336 Freshwater Tackle – Live Bait – Wild Shiners – Guide Service - Water Sports

Southern Tackleworks

325 E Burleigh Blvd, Tavares, FL 32778 Phone: (352) 742-0036

Fly fishing rods, reels and accessories. Fly tying tools and materials. Clothing and gear including Costa del Mar and Smith sunglasses, OluKai sandals, Tilley hats, and YETI products.

Hollow Point Apparel

Freshwater Tackle – Live Bait – Wild Shiners – Rod & Reel Repairs – Free Ice

Owens Fishing & Marine

Big Toho Marina

69 Lakeview Dr., Kissimmee, FL 34741 Phone:(407) 846-2124 Freshwater Tackle – Live Bait – Frozen Bait Wild Shiners – Rods /Reels – Apparel Breakfast & Lunch Grill -

Highbanks Marina & Camp Resort

Wojo’s Bait & Tackle

Freshwater Tackle – Live Bait- Fuel – Pontoon Rentals – Cold Beer – Snacks

Freshwater / Saltwater / Offshore Tackle – Live Bait – Frozen Bait - Wild Shiners – Rods /Reels Bulk Ice – Marine Boat Batteries

Boat Tree Marina

Toho Marine & Outdoors

Ships Store – Tackle - Live Bait – NonEthanol Fuel

Ranger – Triton – Blazer – Pheonix – Strato -- Express Yamaha – Mercury - Evinrude

Bitters Bait & Tackle

Mud Hole Custom Tackle, Inc.

Freshwater / Saltwater / Offshore Tackle – Live Bait – Frozen Bait - Wild Shiners – Rods /Reels – Apparel – Sunglasses

Rod Building Classes – Rod Components & Supplies – Tackle Crafting

488 W Highbanks Rd, DeBary, FL 32713 Phone:(386) 668-4491 www.campresort.com

4370 Carraway Pl, Sanford, FL 32771 Phone: (407) 322-1610 www.boattree.com

65 N US Hwy 17 92, Longwood, FL 32750 Phone:(407) 699-6619 www.bittersbaitandtackle.com

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2814 Corrine Dr., Orlando FL 32803 Phone:(407) 896-8220 www.orlandooutfitters.com

We Got You Covered! Real Apparel for Real People Michelle Campbell 386.547.5455 www.HollowpointApparel.com

935 N Bay St, Eustis, FL 32726 Phone: (352) 357-3030 Saltwater Tackle & Bait - Ballyhoo, Freshwater Tackle - Live Bait - Wild Shiners Costa - Shimano Top Shelf Dealer Outboard Service & Boat Parts Hunting & Snorkeling Accessories Bow Fishing

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Orlando Outfitters

MARCH 2017

Oak Park Center, 4245 13th St, St Cloud, FL 34769 Phone: (407) 891-1003

1621 13th St, St Cloud, FL 34769 Phone:(407) 892-3200 www.tohomarine.com

400 Kane Ct, Oviedo, FL 32765 Phone:(407) 447-7637 www.mudhole.com

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2/13/17 8:13 PM


Home Improvement Contractors & Service Providers DWR Plumbing LLC.

6344 All American Blvd, Orlando, FL 32810 Phone: (407) 293-3717 Commercial – Residential – Re-Piping – Licensed – Insured – State Certified

Pyramid Cabinets

451 Fairvilla Road, Orlando, FL 32808 Phone: (407) 947-8499 Email: pyramidcab@live.com www.codepyramid.com Custom Cabinets Commercial / Residential – Kitchens – Entertainment Centers – Custom Closets

Orlando Painting Service

Thomas Lumber Company

Commercial – Residential Custom Homes – Re-Paint Specialist – Pressure Washing

Old Fashion Lumber Yard – Lumber – Trim – Custom Doors – Hardware – Delivery – Customer Service

65 Harold Ave, suite B, Winter Park, FL 32789 Phone: 407) 896-0839 www.orlandopaintingservice.com

Millennium Electric

4340 Edgewater Dr, Orlando, FL 32804 Phone: (407) 420-2001 www.millennium-electric.com Commercial – Industrial – Residential Service, Wiring & Repairs

231 W Gore St, Orlando, FL 32806, Phone: (407) 841-1250 www.thomaslumber.com

Prestigious Landscaping & Maintenance

3410 Seminole Ave., Oviedo, Fl 32765 Phone: 407-242-1503 www.Prestigiouslandscaping.com Landscaping – Lawn Maintenance – Mulch & Rock – Clean ups

Water Works Pressure Cleaning & Sealing

Campbell Renovations Inc.

Residential – Commercial – Fences – Walks – Driveways – Paver / Re-sand / Seal – Screen Enclosures

State Certified Contractor CBC 1255779 Residential & Commercial New Construction – Renovations – Kitchens – Bathrooms – Additions – Tenant Build Out

Martin Tree Service, Inc.

Vapor and Company

Residential & Commercial - Trimming & Removal – Stump Grinding

Electronic Cigarettes and E-Liquid Experts in Smoking Cessation Orlando Coastal Angler Magazine Approved! Altamonte Springs Location Too

Ice Age Air Conditioning

DK Plumbing

Residential + Commercial Service, Repair, Install Marine A/C Service Too!

Commercial, Residential and 24 Hr. Service

490 Buck Lake Lane, Geneva, FL 32732 Phone: (407) 376-9526 www.jmwaterworksinc.com

1215 Bob White Trail, Chuluota, FL 32766 Phone:(407) 359-1119 www.martintreeserviceinc.com

You Can Reach Us 24/7 407.324.7283 www.iceageac.com

285 Campbell Ranch Run, Geneva, FL 32732 Phone:(407) 349-0016 Cell: 407-947-5460 www.campbellrenovationsinc.com

3617 S. Orlando Dr. Sanford FL 32773 Phone:(407) 878-7397 www.vaporandco.com

You Can Reach Us 24/7 321.303.1426 Fax: 407.732.4058 dkplumbing@cfl.rr.com

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Areas Best Picks for Restaurants Otters On The River

4380 Carraway Place, Sanford, FL 32771 Phone:(407) 636-6300 River Side Fine Dining and Much More Free Docking for Lunch and Dinner 10AM – 10PM Landlubbers take Exit 104 on Interstate 4 Next to Boat Tree Marina on the St. Johns River

Fish on Fire

7937 Daetwyler Dr, Orlando, FL 32812 Phone: (407) 812-6881 www.fishonfireorlando.com Full Bar – Fresh Seafood – Steaks – Prime Rib – Chicken – Entertainment – Special Events

High Tide Harry’s

4645 S Semoran Blvd, Orlando, FL 32822 Phone:(407) 273-4422 www.hightideharrys.com Full Bar – Raw Bar / Oysters - Fresh Seafood – Steaks – Chicken

Boston’s Fish House

Aloma Square Shopping Center, 6860 Aloma Ave, Winter Park, FL 32792 Phone: (407) 678-2107 www.bostonsfishhouse.com Fresh Seafood Flown in Daily from New England – Beer – Wine

Motel – On Water Location - Special Events – Catering – Banquet Hall

Dancing Pig Deli

6807 S Orange Ave, Orlando, FL 32809 Phone: (407) 270-5976 Specialty Deli – Fresh Deli Meats -Cuban / American Sandwiches – Catering

Huey Magoo’s

160 Tuskawilla Rd #1204, Winter Springs, FL 32708 Phone: (407) 706-6004 www.hueymagoos.com Fresh Chicken Tenders - 3 Locations – Winter Springs – Altamonte Springs – Oviedo

Camp House Restaurant

100 S White Cedar Rd, Sanford, FL 32771 Phone: (407) 915-5401 www.camphousebarandgrill.com American Grill – Full Bar – Cold Beer Wings – Burgers – Sandwiches – Salads

The Deli

On Water Location – Special Events – Full Bar – Steaks – Fresh Seafoodel

Best Philly Cheesesteak in Town

4360 Carraway Pl, Sanford, FL 32771 (407) 322-8800 Open: 8AM–2:30PM

T J’s Seafood Shack

Jolly Gator Fish Camp Bar & Grill

Award winning Fish Tacos - Fresh Seafood Specialties - Raw Bar 2 Locations - Oviedo - East Orlando

Gatortail – Seafood – Burgers – Wings – Entertainment – Airboat Tour Rides

197 E Mitchell Hammock Rd, Oviedo, FL 32765 Phone:(407) 365-3365

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530 N Palmetto Ave, Sanford, FL 32771 Phone:(407) 878-1861

St. Johns River Steak & Seafood

550 N Palmetto Ave, Sanford, FL 32771 Phone: (407) 878-0980

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Monroe’s on the Lake Hotel & Banquet Hall

MARCH 2017

4650 E State Rd 46, Geneva, FL 32732 Phone: (407) 349-5554 www.thejollygator.com

COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THE ANGLERMAG.COM

2/13/17 8:13 PM


A great friend and a well accomplished angler once said the best time to go fishing is when you can! The best time of year for catching bass comes and goes - But the month of March has always been magic for catching huge bass! March in Florida produces the years’ largest female bass because their weight is naturally increased by Mother Nature’s call to reproduce. Early spring offers the best chance for catching a “Trophy Bass”, 8lbs. or larger. The egg laying females begin their annual migration to the shallows following the smaller male ”Buck” bass, typically around the changing moon phases. The thinner, smaller and super aggressive males move into the shallows first - finding the best and most protected places to prepare their beds for the females to lay her eggs.

By Phil Wolf, Co-Publisher Orlando Coastal Angler Magazine

Central Florida’s frontal conditions are constantly changing this time of year, with fronts blowing through every 7 to 10 days and in March the winds howl greatest behind the front. If we get a short warming trend, a spike in water temperature between 62 to 66 degrees or higher and combined with a full moon or new moon phase, it will send these larger egg filled females quickly into the shallows from their near-by staging locations. The females will search out the buck bass who have already prepared a bed by fanning a roundish area of lake bottom with his tail until it is free and clear from sediment or debris. These beds are usually about 36 inches in diameter made of clean sandy bottom which can be spotted from a distance with polarized sunglasses. The females will arrive to the bedding areas, seek out a bed that suits them, lay more than a thousand eggs and then return to the staging areas all within a few days. The aggressive bucks are left behind in the bedding areas to protect the beds from the natural predators such as the bluegill, shiners and even other bass that will eat their own fry (fresh hatched eggs). The bucks protect these small schools of fry until they there are large enough to move off to grow up on their own. The spawning season lasts several months in Central Florida. The month of March is the peak month. The aggressive bites you get from buck bass will be some of the years’ best. In the cleaner shallow water, sight fishing for aggressive males and large females can be exciting but equally frustrating. The aggressive bucks will protect a prepared bed with their life. Once locked on the bed, the bucks will pick up your bait, remove it from its bed then spit the bait out – all while you watch, never even feeling the bite. A buck bass may remove the same bait multiple times off his bed before he gets mad enough to eat your presentation and a chance to hook him. A few days prior to, or just following the changing moon phase, the big bass move to the deeper water staging locations close to the bedding areas. This is when they will bite just about anything - more aggressively than any other time of year! In between the moon phases search baits like large 4” to 5” swim baits, plastic frog baits, top water poppers and fast moving chatter baits will get super aggressive strikes. As multiple bucks will be in the same areas, these bucks will compete with one another trying to grab a meal. When you see these aggressive fish pushing a wake and zooming in on a slow rolled swim bait, it is very hard not to set the hook before they can swallow your presentation. At no other time during the year will the fish fight harder or be happier to eat most any bait you present. As you search your local lakes looking for the best bedding locations, look for areas most protected from the northeasterly winds. These areas will be the most protected and will warm up the fastest. Look for areas with hard, sandy and shell covered bottoms with the cleanest water you can find in shallow water of four feet or less. Find areas with scattered vegetation like Kissimmee grass, cattails, hard reeds or buggy whips, thin lily pads both large and small with deeper water and heavier vegetation close by. The areas on the lakes most protected or to the north-side will warm-up the fastest as the winds will push the cooler water towards the southern lake areas. Having a good pair of polarized sunglasses is a must. As you spot existing beds in the shallows or smaller buck bass moving about in these areas, you can bet the larger females are close by. On days between the moon phases fish the thicker cover adjacent to the beds you see or close to these spawning areas. The larger females will be waiting for Mother Natures’ time clock which will move them into the bedding areas where the bucks are hard at work prior to their arrival. Flipping or pitching heavy weighted creature baits in the holes and pockets of the densest grass or mats will produce rod jarring bites. The egg bearing females are heaviest at this time of year. A normal female 8 pound bass will be 2 to 3 pounds heavier at this time due to feeding aggressively and the weight of the eggs they carry. To help protect these egg carriers and insure future largemouth fish stocks, please take great care when handling large bass. Make sure to remove the hook quickly and return the fish to the water; try to keep the fish out of the water only as long as you can hold your breath. Upon reviving the fish get your camera and measuring tape ready, position the boat for a good photo. Then take the fish out of the water for photos, remember only hold them out as long as you can hold your breath. Measure the fish and release it to finish its spawning cycle and fight another day. At no time of year are these large females more vulnerable to death due to miss handling of caught fish. Please help make the practice of catch-photorelease the norm for these large females and pass on what you learn to other anglers and to your children. The best chance of catching a “Trophy Bass” of your lifetime is during the spring-time spawn, so get out there…Tight lines and good luck!

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Springtime Sea Trout By Capt. Alex Gorichky

March is typically a month of transition on the Space Coast, though this has certainly not been your typical central Florida winter. Some late fronts will most certainly sweep down the peninsula, and our early spring winds from the south will work hard to bring the water back to our lagoons. The water temperature on the beaches never got cold this winter so the chance of cobia off the beaches early is very good. In fact, a few have been seen already along with the bait pods that never left for the winter and its mid-February! Be sure to have your gear ready and take a shot if the seas look right. I’ll hit the cobia tips next month for kayak anglers headed to the space coast. The highlight of March kayak fishing on both east and west coast lagoons is the start of springtime spotted sea trout spawning. Dust off those topwater plugs and hit those flats early as they warm throughout the month. Days around the moon events (new and full) can fill a flat with trout from the 18 to 22 inch male suitors, to the 26 inch plus “Gator-sized” females. These highly carnivorous croakers have evolved into an apex position on the lagoons of east and west central Florida. The spotted sides of the sea trout are dark on top and mirrored on its flanks. This allows the trout to “lay” in thick sea grass undetected by prey. Then with a great burst they utilize their K-9 like fangs and up-slung mouths to blast pray or lures from below. This makes the sea trout perfect for one of my favorite types of fishing; plugging with walk-the-dog topwater lures. Many manufactures produce the lures known to do the side to side motion that really seems to get the trout going. I tend to stick to a few rules when picking a plug. First; I like to use a loud rattle and a larger plug (5 inches plus) when the water has a chop on it, but when the lagoon is slick calm and still I use a smaller (3 inch) plug with little or no rattle noise. Second; I typically choose among four base colors of red head/white body, chartreuse/white, bone/white, and natural/ mullet. All will work at times so I tend to carry a variation of each. I never jump in my kayak without a sea trout colored plug, because these fish are highly predatory and by nature cannibalistic. Another consideration when sea trout fishing is their soft delicate mouth. Many hooks are pulled on big trout from setting the hook too hard, heavy drags, and heavy handed fighting. I prefer to use mono line when plugging for sea trout or when using braid, extend the leader to twice the size and use mono leader.

UCF Reel Knights By Connor Byrne

March is a big month for the members of the UCF Fishing Club. Our most important event is the inshore fishing tournament in Mosquito Lagoon coming up on March 25th. This is an artificial lure only tournament composed of the length of the biggest redfish up to 30 inches and single biggest trout (no limit) added together. There is also a prize for biggest redfish (free pair of Costas). Teams must attend the captains meeting to be given more details on the rules as well as receive their captain’s bag and token. This tournament is open to the public and we encourage everyone to participate and enter! 1st place $300 - 2nd place $200 - 3rd Place $100 More details can be found on the flyer below and on our website at www.ucffishingclub.weebly.com.

Early in the spring can be great on those warm evenings with southerly winds. As the sun falls the trout will turn on. Towards the end of the month look to the predawn morning magic to happen, but this bite will typically shut down after sun gets up a bit. All sea trout over the 24 inch range are females thus the breeders of our rebounding stocks. I tend to photo release all larger females, not to mention the prevalence of parasitic worms in the larger sea trout’s flesh make it less desirable table fare. How do you know it’s a female? Any trout over 25 inches is likely 100% female, push that size past 26 inches and you’re guaranteed it’s a girl!

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COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THE ANGLERMAG.COM

2/13/17 8:13 PM


Fishing with the Pros By Paul MacInnis

Writing for Orlando Coastal Angler Magazine occasionally provides awesome fishing opportunities. So was the case in late January. The Crappie Masters All American Tournament Trail held its first National Qualifier tournament on the St Johns River on January 27th and 28th. The day before the tournament I met Mike Vallentine, president of Crappie Masters, and cameraman Bo Newsome at Ed Stone Park near Deland. Crappie Masters (www.crappiemasters.net) holds 18 to 20 tournaments a year. Around those tournaments they film 12 television shows. The shows are a mixture of information on the destination, tips and techniques to catch crappie, and tournament footage. Newsome videotaped Vallentine and I as we tried to demonstrate a technique called dipping. Using 10 foot long rods we dropped crappie jigs into little holes among the lily pads, jiggled them a few times and then moved to the next hole. Vallentine explained this was not necessarily the technique to load up a cooler full of crappie, but it could be a good way to catch a few really big fish. “Could” was the key word for our morning of fishing. We dipped and dipped and dipped our way along hundreds of yards of the prettiest, fishiest lily pads you ever saw. Everybody but the fish knew they should’ve been there. Finally I got our lone bite, a hand sized crappie that fell off the hook before I got it in the boat. Several of the competitors were scouting the river for tournament day. Most of them were spider rigging, a technique that involves spreading eight or more rods over a 180 degree span across the bow of the boat. Some teams even added more rods to the back of the boat. The rods were ten to 16 feet long and from each were pinned two minnows to either bare hooks or jigs. With their manmade school of minnows deployed they would use the trolling motor to inch along bottom contours, weed lines or other fish holding features until their minnow found a hungry crappie. Vallentine, feeling sorry about our fishless plight, eased up to one of the tournament teams who graciously allowed me to take the front seat and man the spider rods until I caught my one and only crappie of the morning. At about a pound it wasn’t a tournament quality fish, but it was fine by my standards. A bunch of the crappie pros and some other media folks met back at Ed Stone Park for a delicious shore lunch of fried crappie, baked beans and coleslaw. After lunch, Captain Ron Presley, editor of Catfish Now Magazine (www.catfishnow.com), asked me if I wanted to try a little catfishing. He said he needed pictures for the magazine. I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to fish with Presley and have a shot at getting my picture in Catfish Now Magazine. At various spots along the river we’d cast out chunks of cut shiner on bottom rigs and I would toss a small jig while waiting for a bite on the catfish rods. After a few hours of fishing we got eight or so bites and caught exactly zero catfish and one sunfish, one bowfin and one big, ornery gar. I have to say, with banks lined with towering, moss draped cypress trees; the St Johns River around Deland is beautiful. With the wonderful company and gorgeous scenery, I had a great day of fishing even though the catching was not so good. Perhaps the approaching cold front, moon alignment or just plain bad luck was responsible for the slow bite. Regardless, I can’t wait to get back to Ed Stone Park and fish that beautiful stretch of river again. I’d like to thank Georgia Carter Turner from the West Volusia Tourism Advertising Authority (www.visitwestvolusia.com) for setting up such a wonderful day on the St Johns River.

401 Commerce Way Suite 101, Longwood FL 32750 www.respitecmedical.com • 407-834-2266 and 1-800-945-6685 Specializing in meeting rhe needs of the home respiratory and sleep therapy patients.

East Coast Tide Charts Tide Charts brought to you by these businesses

MARCH 2017 Time 1W

2Th

3F

4Sa

5Su

6M

7Tu

8W

9Th

Miami, Government Cut

Height

3:54 AM -0.4 10:32 AM 2.5 4:17 PM -0.5 11:02 PM 2.5 4:42 AM -0.3 11:18 AM 2.4 5:06 PM -0.5 11:53 PM 2.5 5:34 AM -0.2 12:07 PM 2.3 6:01 PM -0.4 12:49 AM 2.4 6:32 AM 0.0 1:02 PM 2.2 7:02 PM -0.3 1:50 AM 2.3 7:37 AM 0.1 2:04 PM 2.2 8:08 PM -0.3 2:57 AM 2.2 8:46 AM 0.1 3:13 PM 2.1 9:17 PM -0.3 4:06 AM 2.2 9:53 AM 0.1 4:23 PM 2.2 10:22 PM -0.3 5:11 AM 2.3 10:56 AM 0.0 5:28 PM 2.3 11:22 PM -0.3 6:09 AM 2.4 11:52 AM -0.1 6:26 PM 2.4

Time

10F

11Sa

12Su

13M

14Tu

15W

16Th 17F

18Sa

12:16 AM -0.4 7:00 AM 2.5 12:43 PM -0.2 7:18 PM 2.5 1:05 AM -0.4 7:46 AM 2.5 1:29 PM -0.3 8:04 PM 2.5 1:51 AM -0.4 9:27 AM 2.6 3:13 PM -0.4 9:47 PM 2.6 3:33 AM -0.3 10:06 AM 2.5 3:54 PM -0.4 10:27 PM 2.5 4:14 AM -0.3 10:43 AM 2.5 4:33 PM -0.3 11:06 PM 2.5 4:54 AM -0.1 11:19 AM 2.4 5:12 PM -0.2 11:44 PM 2.4 5:33 AM 0.0 11:55 AM 2.2 5:50 PM -0.1 12:23 AM 2.3 6:12 AM 0.2 12:31 PM 2.1 6:30 PM 0.0 1:04 AM 2.1 6:54 AM 0.3 1:11 PM 2.0 7:13 PM 0.1

Po nce de Leo n Inlet Hig h Ti de -11 m in ute s Lo w Ti de +19 m in ute s

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(Approximate Times)

Height

Time

19Su

20M

21Tu

22W

23Th

24F 25Sa

26Su

27M

Height

1:48 AM 2.0 7:41 AM 0.4 1:55 PM 1.9 8:03 PM 0.2 2:39 AM 1.9 8:35 AM 0.5 2:48 PM 1.8 9:00 PM 0.3 3:38 AM 1.9 9:37 AM 0.6 3:49 PM 1.8 10:02 PM 0.3 4:41 AM 1.9 10:38 AM 0.5 4:54 PM 1.9 11:01 PM 0.2 5:41 AM 2.0 11:34 AM 0.4 5:57 PM 2.0 11:55 PM 0.1 6:36 AM 2.2 12:24 PM 0.2 6:54 PM 2.2 12:45 AM 0.0 7:26 AM 2.3 1:10 PM 0.0 7:45 PM 2.4 1:32 AM -0.2 8:12 AM 2.5 1:55 PM -0.2 8:34 PM 2.6 2:18 AM -0.3 8:56 AM 2.6 2:39 PM -0.4 9:21 PM 2.7

Time

Height

28Tu 3:03 AM -0.4 9:40 AM 2.7 3:23 PM -0.5 10:08 PM 2.8 29W 3:49 AM -0.4 10:25 AM 2.7 4:09 PM -0.6 10:56 PM 2.9 30Th 4:37 AM -0.3 11:11 AM 2.7 4:57 PM -0.6 11:46 PM 2.8 31F 5:26 AM -0.2 11:59 AM 2.6 5:49 PM -0.5 1Sa 12:38 AM 2.7 6:20 AM -0.1 12:51 PM 2.5 6:45 PM -0.4 2Su 1:34 AM 2.6 7:19 AM 0.1 1:48 PM 2.4 7:47 PM -0.2 3M 2:34 AM 2.5 8:24 AM 0.2 2:51 PM 2.3 8:54 PM -0.1 4Tu 3:40 AM 2.4 9:33 AM 0.2 4:00 PM 2.2 10:02 PM -0.1 5W 4:47 AM 2.3 10:39 AM 0.2 5:10 PM 2.3 11:07 PM 0.0

Ft. Pie rce Inlet, S. Jetty Hig h Ti de -31 m in ute s Lo w Ti de -18 m in utes

Po nce Inlet, Halifax Rive r Hig h Ti de +5 m in ute s Lo w Ti de +33 m in ute s

Jensen Beach Hig h Ti de +2 ho u r s, 17 m in ute s Lo w Ti de +3 ho u r s, 4 m in ute s

Po rt Canave ral (Tr i dent Pie r) Daily Pre dictio ns

Sewell Pt Hig h Ti de Lo w Ti de

Patr ick Air Fo rce Base Hig h Ti de -1 ho u r, 4 m in ute Lo w Ti de -38 m in ute s

Ju pite r Inlet, S.Jetty Hig h Ti de -10 m in ute s Lo w Ti de -9 m in ute s

Sebastian Inlet Br i dg e Hig h Ti de -48 m in ute s Lo w Ti de -24 m in ute s

Po rt Eve rgla de s - Tu r n in g Basin Hig h Ti de -31 m in ute s Lo w Ti de -13 m in ute s

+1 ho u r s, 13 m in ute s +2 ho u r s, 9 m in ute s

COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THE ANGLERMAG.COM

2/13/17 8:13 PM


Jolly Gator Fish Camp Bar and Grill By Wiley B Drum

As a young boy growing up in Central Florida in the near-by town of Mel-

bourne, visiting the local fish camp was an everyday thing during the summer months. While Melbourne is many miles upstream on the same St. John’s River system, the history of the local fish camps like Lake Washington Fish Camp and Camp Holly are mostly a thing of the past. Many memories are of fun filled days fishing and hanging around the old fish camp and talking (lying) to the seasoned anglers (drunks). Zoom ahead 35 years now. Most of the small Maw & Paw Fish Camps are long since closed up or completely gone. One of the few that still remains is just east of Sanford on SR 46 at the St. John’s River, is the Jolly Gator Fish Camp and Grill. This place has history dating back to the early 1930’s when the river was used as a water highway. The current owners have been working hard to restore the old “Fish Camp” feel and also have revitalized the restaurant and menu. Serving some of the finest, fresh Gator Tail - cooked fried, grilled, blackened or tossed in sauce, this place is to die-for! Burgers, Chicken Sandwiches or Tenders, seafood baskets and several nightly specials delight their customers. Wednesday is “All You Can Eat” catfish, by far the area’s best. Wing Night is every Thursday from 3pm until 7pm serving 60 cent wings. Beer Battered Cod can be found hot on the menu every Friday. Not only is the food the best in the local area you get to enjoy it while sitting along the banks of the picturesque of the St. John’s River. I have sampled just about every item on the menu; one thing is for sure that everything I’ve ordered tasted great and was always served with a smile. The French fries and onion ring baskets are huge. They come with special sauce and crunchy goodness! Then there is the reason that a lot of folks and the regular crowd comes and hangs out, “Entertainment” and the ‘coldest’ beer around including most all brands. On Friday evening there is Karaoke Night from 7pm till 11pm. This is family filled and kid friendly fun night and gets quite crowded. Live music on Sunday afternoons and starting again on March 14th is the return of the “Jolly Gator Evening Bass Series”. The Jolly Gator’s owner Jim, aka “Squirt”, puts on a weekly bass tournament every Tuesday evening starting at 5pm. The staff of Orlando Coastal Angler Magazine provides their services at each event to weigh in the anglers catches and take photos for the monthly tournament, team standings, up-dates and social media placements. Starting in April there will also be one weekend tournament a month. If you have never seen a live weigh-in this is the place to check it up close! The local teams can catch them you will see, in less than 4 hours it can take well over 20 pounds in 5 bass limit to take away the winning honors. Big bass takes a 7 pounder to grab the win on any given Tuesday fishing the St. Johns and nearby lakes and tributaries. This is a 2 man team event with the top 15 teams qualifying for the end of season classic. Tuesday evening bass series teams weigh-in about dusk, see you there March 14th. Take a detour - visit Jolly Gator Fish Camp Bar and Grill…it is one of the last places where that time honored traditional Florida survives. The fish camps that once dotted the river between Melbourne and Jacksonville still live and breathe in Greater Orlando – detour now, head east on highway 46 out of Sanford. Not only will you be delighted, you will feel thankful you did. Ask for Kandi or Squirt and tell them Wiley sent you!

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2/13/17 8:13 PM


Top Shelf Tuesdays Premium Fish or Shrimp Tacos $1.99

Maniac Mondays 25% Off All Food and Drinks

“WHERE THE LOCALS EAT”

Crab House - Snow, Dungeness, King, Blues, Garlics, Stones (Seasonal/Subject to availability)

LIVE SHUCKING OYSTER BAR Also serving Steaks, Ribs, Chicken and Burgers Come try one of our 13 new craft beer choices including local breweries like Funky Buddha and Cigar City!

High Tide Harry’s 4645 S. Semoran Blvd., Orlando, FL 32822 Phone: (407) 273-4422 • www.hightideharrys.com Sunday-Thursday 11:00 AM - 10:00 PM Friday-Saturday 11:00 AM - 11:00 PM

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2/13/17 8:13 PM


“Shrimp are Running”!!

2 Lake Harris Chain Toads caught with Capt Mick Maynard

River Bass Ava Martin with a nice St Johns

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MARCH 2017

Josh Wolf with a sack of “Tubs” at Lk. Okeechobee

COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THE ANGLERMAG.COM

2/13/17 8:13 PM


Free Admission

Nautical Flea Market

Free Parking

Boat Show

BOATING & FISHING EXPO Saturday, April 22nd 9am -5pm 2145 U.S. Highway 1 Rockledge, FL 32955 1-888-935-8826

• Nautical Flea Market • Food • Kid Zone • Over 40 Vendors • Music • Boat Show • Win A Yeti Cooler in Our Free Raffle

FISHING SEMINARS ALL DAY

OUTDOOR PATIO

Catch a Memory Radio Show Live Remote Capt. Jim Ross & Friends – FineLineFishingCharters.com Capt. Alex Gorichky – LocalLinesCharters.com Capt. Scott Lum – CentralFloridaCharters.com Capt. Lee Noga – LeeNoga.com

Keynote Speaker

Capt. Rick Murphy

Executive Producer of the Sportsman’s Adventures, Chevy Florida insider fishing report 12:30pm - 2:00pm

to WIN e c n a h C FREE Boat s e d a l g r e an Ev rance lass Insu

y At Sponsored b

Sign up for th e entered to w Central Florida Shootou t at the Exp in a Nautic S o and be tar 22XS w / a BT’s We CentralFlo ld in g T-Top ridaShoot

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CENTRAL FLORIDA 5

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CA_HM

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2/14/17 11:21 AM


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“FIRST CLASS” 52’ 1988 HATTERAS CALL JERRY GILPIN: 772.359.5745

“CONNIE KAY” 50’ 1999 VIKING CALL TONY MAGGIO: 561.818.1442

“GOOD VIBRATIONS” 48’ 1998 OCEAN CALL BRIAN WEAVER: 561.308.0939

“ROLLING ROCK” 45’ 1969 HATTERAS CALL JIM HENSON: 206.949.1647

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“MARSHALL TIME” 38’ 1988 HATTERAS CALL MARK MITCHELL: 407.435.6982

“EVELYN” 37’ 2002 EGG HARBOR CALL CHRIS VACCHIO: 772.263.0547

“LADY IRISH” 36’ 2009 ALBEMARLE CALL SCOTT LEVIN: 772.263.1208

“FINTASIM” 35’ 2014 EVERGLADES CALL MIKE McCARTHY: 772.631.2838

“PANDEMONIUM” 34’ 1983 HINES FARLEY CALL JERRY GILPIN: 772.359.5745

“CHINA LADY” 33’ 2006 RAMPAGE CALL GREG HUNT: 561.926.8017

“FISH ON” 32’ 2004 ALBEMARLE CALL JERRY GILPIN: 772.359.5745

“LIQUID ASSETS” 32’ 2004 LUHRS CALL SCOTT LEVIN: 772.263.1208

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2/14/17 11:21 AM


Florida Trash Tour Begins March 25 at Cedar Key

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Photo by Michael Pereckas

he Coastal Conservation Association (CCA) and Swamp Head Brewery are teaming up for the 2017 Florida Trash Tour, a series of tournament-style trash round ups that will award prizes in a number of different categories. Swamp Head will bring free beer! Throughout 2017, the tour will have several events all over the state to clean up Florida waters. The first stop is at Cedar Key on Saturday, March 25 from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Registration is free, and so is food and beer at the after party. This is, however, a family friendly event, so sodas and water will be available for anyone under the age of 21. Those who need a place to stay should contact Cedar Key Cove Marina for discounts and availability at 352-543-6148. In each event, there will be divisions for boaters and walkers, so a boat is not necessary. Prizes will be awarded for the most trash collected. Other Tour Stop Dates: Titusville - April 22 Jacksonville - June 10 Steinhatchee - August 26 St. Augustine - November 4

For information, contact Caitlin Mitchell with CCA at cmitchell@ ccaflorida.org or 407-401-7677. To register online, go to the CCA Florida website at www.ccaflorida.org and find the event on the Airline_Ad_CoastalAngler_8-1-14_Layout 1 8/1/14 1:14 PM Page 1 “Calendar of Events” page.

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Will Florida Allow Goliath Grouper Harvest? FWC Photo

F

lorida Today is reporting that the mighty goliath grouper might soon be fair game for anglers in Florida. The topic spurred some heated discussion at the February Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) meeting in Crystal River. FWC staff members have begun the outreach for input that will help determine the future of management for the high-profile species and how a limited harvest might work. This data will be considered at the FWC meetings next fall or winter. Once known as jewfish, harvest of goliath grouper has been off limits for 27 years. Since catch data is important to research and population estimates, researchers have little data from which to assess populations. A strictly controlled and limited harvest of these huge grouper would help the FWC more accurately determine how many of them are actually out there. According to FLKeysNews.com, public input at the Crystal River meeting was varied. Diving interests spoke in opposition to harvest because of the huge fish’s attraction for divers. Recreational anglers spoke in favor of a limited harvest, saying the species is overpopulated in some areas and threatening stocks of other species.

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The Changing Face of the Indian River Lagoon Estuary By Zack Jud, Ph.D.

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lear water! As I poled a Fort Pierce shoreline, I was thrilled to see last year’s environmental disaster had finally relaxed its grip. I had all but forgotten how exceptional the sight fishing can be without the ubiquitous green and brown water we’ve all slowly accepted as the new normal. I could see bottom for the first time in more than a year. Even better, I was seeing gamefish—a mix of snook, reds and trout that provided ample opportunity for a carefully placed cast. More important than what I saw was what I didn’t see. Seagrass was conspicuously absent from an area that was blanketed in green just a few years ago. With clear water comes the frightening realization that most of the Indian River Lagoon system is devoid of seagrass. Aside from a few ever-shrinking patches that I fished over in the Mosquito Lagoon this winter, I’ve been seeing nothing but bare bottom. Similar reports are rolling in from anglers throughout the system. An excited phone call about seagrass recovery from a friend who makes his living guiding on the Banana River turned out to be yet another letdown. From the bow of his skiff a few days later, it became apparent that the green carpet of “seagrass” was actually an aggressive species of bottom-dwelling Caulerpa algae—a seagrass lookalike that provides few benefits to our ecosystems. This shift from seagrass to macroalgae is occurring throughout the Indian River Lagoon system. It might have cascading consequences that go far beyond the gamefish we so deeply value. To make matters worse, the clear water we’re enjoying this winter has nothing to do with improved management practices. It has nothing to do with the dedicated efforts of concerned anglers and citizens. There were no hard-earned environmental victories for conservation groups, no

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game-changing environmental legislation. To the contrary, last year’s environmental catastrophe has resulted in little change to Florida’s troubled water infrastructure. Improving conditions in our estuaries are nothing more than Mother Nature giving us a few minutes to catch our breath in the corner before the inevitable round ahead. Unless substantial changes occur, Lake Okeechobee discharges and agricultural runoff in the southern Indian River Lagoon, along with septic tanks, sewage treatment plants and residential fertilizer use in the central and northern lagoon, will continue pushing the Indian River Lagoon–and its valuable sport fishery–to the brink of ecological collapse. Thankfully, there is some positive news to report. It seems our voices are finally being heard by a handful of legislators, and lawmakers are getting involved in meaningful discussions that might result in improved water quality for our estuaries and the Everglades. Most important to anglers is Florida Senate Bill 10, a law that if passed would facilitate water storage and filtration in the Everglades Agricultural Area south of Lake Okeechobee. By storing and cleaning Okeechobee’s polluted water using enormous filtration marshes, we can reduce harmful freshwater discharges to coastal areas, while simultaneously providing the Everglades with the water it desperately needs. No other single component of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP) has this much potential to improve the health of Florida’s waters. Clear water? Don’t count on it lasting. The bottom of our estuary, now devoid of seagrasses and their stabilizing root systems, is easily stirred up by wind and waves. Human factors that led to last year’s algae blooms, fish kills and massive freshwater discharges are still in place. While our inshore waters may be clear right now, the next disaster is looming. Sure, there are still gamefish to be found, but not in the numbers we remember from even a few years ago. More concerning is the lack of bottom-dwelling prey species—the base of the estuarine food web. While midwater forage fish like mullet, anchovies and pilchards will probably remain abundant for a while, crabs, shrimp and pinfish—species that depend on healthy seagrass—are becoming as scarce as rocking horse manure. Without clean water, without sea grass, without forage species, without nursery habitats, the fishery we cherish may be taking its last gasps. Dr. Zack Jud is the director of education at Florida Oceanographic Society, a coastal ecologist, and a fly casting instructor. Contact him at zjud@ floridaocean.org. Check out the Florida Oceanographic Coastal Center’s cool kids’ fishing programs at www.floridaocean.org.

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2/14/17 11:48 AM


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FLORIDA

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2/14/17 11:48 AM


Fishing Line And Tackle Disposal

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ishing is a key component of the Florida lifestyle as well as the state’s economy. But fishing line and other fishing tackle frequently enter Florida’s aquatic systems creating potential traps for unsuspecting wildlife. Monofilament is the most common type of fishing line, however, modern advances have produced several other varieties with higher tensile strength, reduced visibility and greater abrasion resistance. While fluorocarbon can be recycled in the same manner as mono, braided line and wire leaders must be disposed of differently. Anglers can purchase or make their own fishing line storage bins to keep with them so that line can be stored securely and out of the way. Products such as the Monomaster and Line Snatcher help anglers store unwanted fishing line; however, homemade versions can be made by cutting an “X” in the lid of something as simple as a coffee can. Once on shore, mono and fluorocarbon line can be recycled in designated bins found at boat ramps, piers and tackle shops. Anglers should not use these bins to discard any other type of fishing line or leader material such as braid or wire. Also, the bins should not be used to discard tackle, such as hooks, lures or soft plastics. To discard non-monofilament line, such as braid or wire, cut the line into 12inch or smaller pieces and place into a covered trash receptacle. You can learn how to make your own monofilament recycling bin by visiting our FWC Saltwater Fishing YouTube channel. For more information on the statewide Monofilament Recovery & Recycling Program, visit MRRP.MyFWC.com. As part of the “Pitch It” campaign, soft plastic baits with the hook or jig head removed can be discarded in special program containers that are separate from monofilament recycling bins. Learn more about soft bait disposal and the “Pitch It” campaign by visiting Pledgetopitchit.org. For more on how to make a monofilament recycling bin, go to

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Not Just

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The perfect fishing knot is not a knot, but a weld!

By Brandon Tourigny

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et’s face it… the majority of us who hear the title “safety class” usually aren’t thrilled at the prospect of sitting through hours of cliché safety lectures. Boater safety classes are something a lot of us put up with to move forward with getting a boating license or captain’s license. We read about all the horror stories of boating Brandon Tourigny with a nice accidents but Crystal River trout. never think it could happen to us. For me, things like life jackets, up-to-date fire extinguishers, or proper flares were just things that seemed more like hassles to keep on-hand because I didn’t want to receive a ticket from the game warden. However, when the unexpected does happen, when the worst possible scenario unfolds before your eyes, there is no telling how much time you will have to react. How you react in these situations could very well be the difference of life and death. This past month a friend and I were given a rude awakening on the importance of emergency preparedness during a fishing trip into the heart of the Crystal River. After a long day of fishing through the backcountry, we experienced engine failure on our way back to the boat ramp at about 7:30 p.m. With wet clothes, dropping temperatures, howling winds, and only one working phone with 30 percent battery life, it would be an understatement to say that nothing was going our way. Thankfully this story has a happy ending since an unsung hero, who will remain nameless, went the extra mile to see us to safety. Had we been forced to stay the night on the boat, one thing could have become a serious risk for us, hypothermia. With the temperature supposed to drop into the 40s, we had no dry clothes, and hypothermia was a real threat. Emergency situations are actually very preventable if you take the effort to prepare for the worst. Situations such as being stranded due to engine failure, being stuck due to low tide, or a sinking vessel are why having a strong working knowledge of maritime law, safety and emergency preparedness are not something to be taken lightly. Also, the simple step of having an emergency bag containing fire starting materials, nonperishable foods, blankets or towels, some dry clothes and rain ponchos can very well mean the difference between a miserable or life threatening experience or just an inconvenient yet nonthreatening wait for help. When getting ready to go out on the boat to fish or just to enjoy the water, safety should never be taken lightly, because emergency situations can happen to anyone at any time. As a friend of mine’s father once told me, the smartest people don’t learn from experience but from the experiences of others. These are the people who go out more prepared the next time.

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ishermen have been on an eternal quest for the perfect knot. This effort is futile because the line must bend to tie any knot, which always weakens the line, in many cases, substantially! Tauten has replaced the knot with a polymer line weld which results in virtually no loss in system strength. Instead of the line breaking at the weld, the line itself will fail first. Works on braid, mono or fluorocarbon Simply run line through lure/hook and back over device, push button and line is welded to itself in seconds Takes easily replaced and inexpensive polymer cartridges (up to 12 welds per) Device derived from one used by surgeons to tie surgical knots and is extremely durable, lightweight and it floats! Allows you to use smaller diameter line or increases the breaking strength of existing line No more failed knots!

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UNDER THE SEA

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by blending into the reef, and some just want SHERI DAYE to look cool. Ladies, if you’re looking for he popularity of spearfishing in the “skins” for the summer U.S. has grown significantly, and it in attractive patterns, has spawned product innovation and improvements—not only with spearguns, check out Slipins. You might not blend into but with associated dive apparel. Believe it the reef, but you will look amazing! 2) Gloves: There are more sizes, or not, how you dress can play an important thicknesses and features now. I’ve been part of the hunt. Here are some examples: 1) Wetsuits: It’s important for a hunter to diving in water so cold that I lost feeling be comfortable in the water. If you are cold in my hands and couldn’t feel the trigger. and shivering, if your suit is rubbing the I should have sprung for a thicker pair of back of your legs, if it feels too tight in the gloves when I traveled to California. With the popularity of polespearing, chest—you will not perform as effectively. In this regard, new wetsuits with open-cell there’s a need for gloves that make it easy to technology and newer materials have been hold a loaded polespear, so the grip is made a godsend. They are softer, stretchier and of nitrile or latex while the rest of the gloves thinner, yet they keep you warmer than the (back of hand and wrists) are a dynema/ old materials. A good wetsuit should feel Kevlar composition. The all-Kevlar gloves like a second skin and should not let water are useful for handling fish or lobsters. It’s in anywhere. The following brands are not uncommon to get cut by gill rakers when available at your local dive shop: Yazbeck, dispatching bigger fish. Wearing solid gloves will give you confidence when handling fish. Mares, Riffe, Omer, Cressi and more. Most spearfishing wetsuit brands now Check out Neritic and Akona, among others. 3) Booties: With the advent of long fins have both a men’s and women’s cut, resulting in a better fit. The new stretchy materials for spearfishing, it’s become more important are forgiving enough to fit most bodies. for the fin-pocket/bootie combination to Still not happy with the fit? No worries; form a good fit. An ill-fitting fin will greatly there are several affordable custom wetsuit reduce efficiency in the water. As with gloves, manufacturers who will tailor one to your there’s a greater variety of choices, and it’s important to try them on with the foot measurements. Try Oceanos or Elios. Another recent development is the pocket you plan to wear. Next time you go spearfishing, make wide variety of camouflage patterns. Some hunters believe it allows them to be stealthier sure you are dressed for success!

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TIPS FROM A PRO

FRESHWATER THE THINGS WE WEAR

O

BRANDON LESTER

utdoor apparel isn’t as much fun to talk about as how to catch big bass, but it’s important for those of us who spend a lot of time on a boat. I’m not sponsored by any clothing companies or anything like that, but I do know what I like. Let’s start with hoodies. You just can’t beat a quality hoodie for chilly mornings and running down the lake. Most of my sponsors have sent me a hoodie or two, but I have to say my all-time favorite one is from Raymarine. There’s something about the texture of the hoodie. It’s manufactured by

cover up from the sun as well. They keep me cool and really make a difference in how much energy I have after a long day on the water. I also like MHX’s lightweight hat as well as a trucker hat I have from Phoenix Boats. A rain suit is key for me too. Mud Hole was nice enough to send me one from Gill that really works well. They make good stuff. Raymarine sent one made by Stormr, and it is my favorite for cold weather. Mercury provided me one from Simms that is really nice, and it has held

Sport-Tek and is just extremely comfortable. It looks good too. For those cold mornings, I really like to have on a beanie, too. I have accumulated several from Mercury, and I really like theirs. Mercury’s are good quality and don’t shrink. I’ve had others that got loose and feel like they were going to fly off. Everything has to be tight when running at 70-plus mph. Buff USA makes good beanies, as well, and several other cold weather products I like. Most of us think of Buff for sun protection, but they perform in the cold too. Speaking of sun protection, I will indeed have a UV Buff around my neck 95 percent of the time. I also wear their gloves, and honestly it feels a little strange to not fish with gloves on anymore. As younger anglers, we’ve heard stories and seen pictures of sun-damaged skin. Most of us heed the warnings. I wear MHX sun shirts to

up very well. You can never have too many rain suits. You never know when you’ll need a backup for either yourself or someone fishing with you. To complete the look and feel, I like to wear lightweight, comfortable fishing shorts from Mercury. You see a ton of anglers wearing the Mercury shorts, so it was obviously a brilliant marketing move for them to send them to us. It just feels like “game day” when I have them on. Did I mention all this stuff is wrinkle free. Even our jerseys are wrinkle-free. I usually stay in hotels, and I’m thankful to be able to pull my gear out of the suitcase or out of a boat compartment and have it look good. Valley Fashions does a good job with our jerseys. That’s enough about clothing. Next month we will get back to fishing. If you ever have any topics you would like me to cover, hit me up on Facebook or Instagram.

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FISH & FISHING

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A

MARK SOSIN

nglers tend to reverse priorities. Instead of focusing on fishing an artificial effectively, they worry more about choosing some magical fly or lure guaranteed to produce a spectacular catch simply by being in the water. Success seldom happens that way. If you have confidence in your choice and believe it will work, it probably will, provided your presentation and retrieve are effective. The best bait in the box will bomb unless it looks realistic and natural to your quarry. Fishing an artificial is a mental game. It’s easy to be distracted and simply cast and retrieve without any purpose or thought behind each presentation. Every cast should be made to correctly cover a specific segment of water and effectively put an offering in front of a fish. Simple things can make a difference. Here are a couple of examples. I watched an angler cast a swimming plug with a lip into the shallows, crank the reel handle four to six times so the plug dove downward along the dropoff, pause for a moment until the plug began to rise, and then continue the retrieve. If you stood next to him and simply retrieved the plug without pausing so it could rise, you couldn’t buy a strike. Another time, a friend who had been a guide was fishing with me. He kept getting strikes on his lure, while I became more frustrated with every cast, and we were using the same artificial. I watched his every move and tried to duplicate it to no avail. Finally, I asked him what he was doing that was different than my retrieve. As he worked his lure, he kept vibrating his hand. It was too subtle to see. Vibrating his wrist caused his lure to flash underwater just like a real baitfish. That made all the difference. Finding a school of breaking fish on the surface stirs the soul and telegraphs the imminent success to every fiber in your body. The key is to keep the boat away from the school while moving up ahead of it. Casts should be made in front of the school when possible or

at least close to it so that the retrieve follows the basic path of the school. Assuming the school is moving north, you want your retrieve to cover the northeast or northwest quadrant. It should move in the general direction of the main body of fish. Not very often will a school member chase a lure going in a direction opposite that of the main body of fish. Retrieving an artificial must make it appear to the fish that it is trying to escape. If the predator senses that the lure is moving toward it, you can bet it will spook. Every cast should be carefully calculated to make the lure look realistic. If a fish fails to strike, vary the retrieve. And, in cooler water, don’t overlook a slower retrieve. Those anglers who set the standards fishing artificial baits make every cast count. Follow their lead and you should begin to catch more and more fish on artificial lures.

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TACKLE CORNER:

GETTING A FRESH HANDLE ON SPINNING RODS By Mike Pehanich

T

he topic of spinning tackle can be a lightning rod among fishermen. Opinions on it vary greatly across the angling spectrum. Some rely on spinning tackle and, literally, can’t fish without it. Some hate it and can hardly broach discussion of this “down-side” style of fishing without a snide aside (“a birdsnest waiting to happen”) or epithet challenging the user’s manhood (“fairy wand”). In recent years, effective finesse techniques in the bass world have taken the fire out of the debate, and a sober “it’sjust-a-tool” mentality has cleared a place for spinning in the arsenals of most serious anglers. Design Disadvantage Outside the realm of partisan debate, however, spinning tackle has remained open to at least one legitimate complaint. The design of most spinning rods compels the fishermen to grip the rod across the reel seat and straddle the reel stem, leaving the angler’s hand little or no grip security and comfort. The design leads to particular disadvantage when fighting big fish or fishing in adverse weather conditions, from snowstorms and freezing cold to tropical humidity and lightning bolts. Fortunately, solutions have come to the fore. Here are three options to answer the spinning rod conundrum. Hooded Reel Seat With Polymer Grip: Hooded reel seats,

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such as those in Fuji’s VSS series, are designed for a grip shaped to extend over the reel seat. The design provides palm support—grip comfort and security at the palm interface—even with fingers straddling the spinning reel stem. Fuji, through its exclusive American distributor Anglers Resource, introduced a proprietary set of Winn grips (WVSS1615, WVS17), tailored to fit precisely with two of its newest and most popular spinning reel seats and its Perfect Fit Trim. This combination of grip and reel seat adds ergonomic benefit and puts more of the hand into contact with the non-slip Winn grip polymer. Aero Comfort Finish Reel Seat: American Tackle offers a spinning reel seat with a topside extension that delivers palm support. Like hooded reel seats, the design provides ergonomic benefit by supporting the palm, but it is a hood-like portion of the reel seat rather than grip material that reaches up to meet the palm. The “comfort finish” reduces the degree of hand slippage. Mummy wrap: West Coast saltwater anglers were the first to overwrap spinning rod handles with Winn Superior Rod Wrap, a “skin” of patented Winn polymer, known for its tackiness in adverse weather conditions. The tape-like material is backed with a forgiving adhesive that wraps easily around rod handles. The “mummy wrap” approach adds a continuous wrap from rod butt to foregrip with the reel already in place. The mummy wrap straddles the reel stem over both ends of the reel foot. Palm and fingers have complete contact with the non-slip polymer covering the entire handle. Check out the spinning rods in your arsenal, and see if one of these solutions can add comfort and effectiveness to your fishing. Rod wraps are simple solutions. Check with a custom rod builder or rod repairmen about retrofitting spinning rods with a new grip or reel seat.

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EAGLE MARINE TRIO ROD HOLDER Eagle Marine’s new Trio Rod Holder conveniently stores three rods while only utilizing one rod holder in your boat’s gunnel. This setup is ideal for kite fishing or anytime when multiple rods will be used. All aluminum construction is bright dipped anodized to ensure many years of protection from the harsh marine environment. Custom soft PVC Liners help create a secure fit into the tapered rod holders that feature a welded cross pin. The Trio Rod Holder fits standard gunnel-mount rod holders. It features three 8 ½-inch tapered and flared rod holders with custom fitted white PVC liners. These rod holders are ideal for kite fishing or any time an angler needs to add more rods to a spread. For more information on this and all of Eagle Marine’s fine products, see www.eagleproducts.us/ eagle-marine/.

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comp at

LIMIT 4 - Good at our stores or HarborFreight.com or by calling 800-423-2567. Cannot be used with other discount or coupon or prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase with original receipt. Offer good while supplies last. Non-transferable. Original coupon must be presented. Valid through 7/1/17. Limit one coupon per customer per day.

ITEM 63024 63025 shown

SUPER COUPON

$8999 $10999

99

comp at 99 $149.99

$8999

LIMIT 4 - Good at our stores or HarborFreight.com or by calling 800-423-2567. Cannot be used with other discount or coupon or prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase with original receipt. Offer good while supplies last. Non-transferable. Original coupon must be presented. Valid through 7/1/17. Limit one coupon per customer per day.

SAVE NOW

LIMIT 5 - Good at our stores or HarborFreight.com or by calling 800-423-2567. Cannot be used with other discount or coupon or prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase with original receipt. Offer good while supplies last. Non-transferable. Original coupon must be presented. Valid through 7/1/17. Limit one coupon per customer per day.

SUPER COUPON

3

SAVE 85%

3799 $106.34

SUPER COUPON

18 VOLT CORDLESS 3/8" DRILL/DRIVER WITH KEYLESS CHUCK SUPER COUPON

comp at

wn

ing rior ipt. be day.

SUPER COUPON

130 PIECE TOOL KIT WITH CASE

ITEM 69651 62868/62873 68239 shown

$13499

$

comp at

9

$ 99 $19.97

LIMIT 5 - Good at our stores or HarborFreight.com or by calling 800-423-2567. Cannot be used with other discount or coupon or prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase with original receipt. Offer good while supplies last. Non-transferable. Original coupon must be presented. Valid through 7/1/17. Limit one coupon per customer per day.

SUPER COUPON

SUPER COUPON

Blade sold separately.

• 1000 lb. capacity

LIMIT 1 - Cannot be used with other discount, coupon or prior purchase. Coupon good at our stores, HarborFreight.com or by calling 800-423-2567. Offer good while supplies last. Shipping & Handling charges may apply if not picked up in-store. Non-transferable. Original coupon must be presented. Valid through 7/1/17. Limit one FREE GIFT coupon per customer per day.

SAVE $204

ON

ON

$7

99

VALUE

SUPER COUPON

ITEM 61969/61970 69684 shown

62

ing rior ipt. be day.

SAVE $106

SAVE 59%

SUPER COUPON

Customer Rating

E

3

ITEM 60497/93888 shown 61899/62399/63095/63096 63098/63097

4

SUPER COUPON

E %

N

MOVER'S DOLLY

Customer Rating

$ 97

LIMIT 4 - Good at our stores or HarborFreight.com or by calling 800-423-2567. Cannot be used with other discount or coupon or prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase with original receipt. Offer good while supplies last. Non-transferable. Original coupon must be presented. Valid through 7/1/17. Limit one coupon per customer per day.

15

9

ANY PURCHASE

SUPER COUPON

3-1/2" SUPER BRIGHT NINE LED ALUMINUM FLASHLIGHT

KE

L T

10 FT. x 20 FT. PORTABLE CAR CANOPY

ITEM 63054/60728/69034/62858 shown

own

alling prior ceipt. be day.

FREE

SUPER COUPON ™

inal day.

SS RS

SUPER COUPON

SUPER COUPON

80 PIECE ROTARY TOOL KIT ITEM 97626 shown 68986/69451 63235/63292

$1699

Customer Rating

Includes one 18V NiCd battery and charger.

SAVE $ 65%

1999 $49 comp at

LIMIT 4 - Good at our stores or HarborFreight.com or by calling 800-423-2567. Cannot be used with other discount or coupon or prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase with original receipt. Offer good while supplies last. Non-transferable. Original coupon must be presented. Valid through 7/1/17. Limit one coupon per customer per day.

ITEM 69924 shown 62403/62862 Customer Rating

SUPER COUPON

6" VARIABLE SPEED DUAL ACTION POLISHER SAVE $95

SUPER COUPON comp at SAVE $ 99 71% $24.15

9

$

LIMIT 7 - Good at our stores or HarborFreight.com or by calling 800-423-2567. Cannot be used with other discount or coupon or prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase with original receipt. Offer good while supplies last. Non-transferable. Original coupon must be presented. Valid through 7/1/17. Limit one coupon per customer per day.

SUPER COUPON

PORTABLE FISH FINDER ITEM 62675/94511 SAVE Customer Rating 46%

$

SUPER COUPON

$699

MULTI-USE TRANSFER PUMP

ITEM 62961/63144/61364 63591/66418 shown

SAVE 59%

$65

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.

HarborFreight.com • 800-423-2567 COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

$149.99

SUPER COUPON

SUPER COUPON

LIMIT 3 - Good at our stores or HarborFreight.com or by calling 800-423-2567. Cannot be used with other discount or coupon or prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase with original receipt. Offer good while supplies last. Non-transferable. Original coupon must be presented. Valid through 7/1/17. Limit one coupon per customer per day.

comp at

LIMIT 5 - Good at our stores or HarborFreight.com or by calling 800-423-2567. Cannot be used with other discount or coupon or prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase with original receipt. Offer good while supplies last. Non-transferable. Original coupon must be presented. Valid through 7/1/17. Limit one coupon per customer per day.

3999 $3499

comp at

6999

$5499

Customer Rating

SUPER COUPON

6

$499

$ 99 comp at $12.39

LIMIT 7 - Good at our stores or HarborFreight.com or by calling 800-423-2567. Cannot be used with other discount or coupon or prior from original purchase with original receipt. last. Non-transferable. Original coupon must be presented. Valid through 7/1/17. Limit one coupon per customer per day.

purchases after2017 30 days MARCH Offer good while supplies

NATIONAL

41

2/14/17 1:46 PM 2/13/17 10:14 AM


THIS YEAR, MAKE THE MOST OF EVERY DAY ON THE WATER

OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE MATCHED BY EXCEPTIONAL VALUE TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THESE SPECIAL BOAT SHOW OFFERS FROM SUZUKI MARINE

REPOWER FINANCE

Six Years of Protection at no extra charge on all new outboards 25 to 300 HP.

Cash Rebates on select models. See your dealer for details.

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

Offers end March 31, 2017. See your participating Suzuki Marine dealer for details or visit www.suzukimarine.com.

42

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 01/01/17 and 3/31/17 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 Outboard Motors made between 01/01/17 and 3/31/17. 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 Outboard Motors. Subject to credit approval. Not all buyers will qualify. Approval, and any rates and terms provided, are based on credit worthiness. $19.99/month per $1,000 financed for 60 months is based on 5.99% APR. Hypothetical figures used in calculation; your actual monthly payment may differ based on financing terms, credit tier qualification, accessories or other factors such as down payment and fees. Offer effective on new, unregistered Suzuki Outboard Motors purchased from a participating authorized Suzuki dealer between 01/01/17 and 3/31/17.“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. © 2017 Suzuki Motor of America, Inc.

NATIONAL

NAT_0317.indd 42

SZ_Q1Promo_WIP.indd 1

MARCH 2017

COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

2/14/17 1:46 PM

12/4/16 1:46 PM


SPIDERWIRE® STEALTH™

EXTREMELY STRONG EXTREMELY CASTABLE

GO THE DISTANCE WITH STEALTH SMOOTH 8 CARRIER TIGHT-WEAVE BRAID WITH A SUPER SMOOTH, SUPER THIN COATING FOR QUIET AND EFFORTLESS CASTING

SPIDERWIRE.COM COMMON CVRS_0317.indd 3

2/13/17 11:38 AM


WHATEVER THE SEA THROWS AT YOU, STAND YOUR GROUND. BUILT FOR ALASKA, FIT FOR EVERYONE XTRATUF boots have been proven and tested in the unforgiving Alaskan seas. Now, that same toughness is available in the XTRATUF Performance Deck Boot. With a non-marking, slip-resistant Chevron outsole, these 100% waterproof boots are as tough as the elements.

Kryptek Pontus Kryptek Yeti

www.xtratuf.com © 2017 Honeywell International Inc.

COMMON CVRS_0317.indd 4

INTRODUCING THE NEW KRYPTEK ANKLE DECK BOOT

2/13/17 11:38 AM

Coastal Angler Magazine - March / Greater Orlando  

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

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