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EDITOR : Nick Carter • editorial@coastalanglermagazine.com WEBMASTER : Dmitriy Pislyagin • webmaster@coastalanglermagazine.com ADVERTISING INQUIRIES: Corporate Headquarters info@coastalanglermagazine.com • 888-800-9794 BIG BEND : Mike McNamara • (850) 510-7919 • captmike@coastalanglermagazine.com BREVARD : David String • (321) 684-5888 • dstring@coastalanglermagazine.com DAYTONA/NEW SMYRNA BEACH : Don Meadows • (407) 960-2340 • donm@coastalanglermagazine.com FLORIDA KEYS : Ed Gocher • (305) 587-9101 • ed@coastalanglermagazine.com FORT LAUDERDALE : Gene Dyer • (954) 680-3900 • gene@coastalanglermagazine.com FORT MYERS : Nadeen Welch • (239) 595-8265 • nwelch@coastalanglermagazine.com GREATER MIAMI : Scott Deal • (561) 945-6999 • scott@coastalanglermagazine.com Monica Isaza-Deal • (561) 945-8899 • monica@coastalanglermagazine.com GREATER ORLANDO : Phillip & Giselle Wolf • (407) 790-9515 • phillip@coastalanglermagazine.com LAKELAND & SUMTER : Mary Flaitz • (352) 598-4219 • maryf@coastalanglermagazine.com NAPLES : Mike Weber • (414) 531-4172 • mikew@coastalanglermagazine.com NC FLORIDA/NATURE COAST : Cary & Lynn Crutchfield • (352) 372-4237 • crutch@coastalanglermagazine.com NE FLORIDA : Danny Patrick • (904) 742-4696 • danny@coastalanglermagazine.com OKEECHOBEE : Ken Gabryel • (863) 532-3671 • keng@coastalanglermagazine.com PANAMA CITY/FORGOTTEN COAST : Randy Cnota • (229) 834-7880 • randyc@coastalanglermagazine.com PALM BEACH COUNTY : Barbara Ryan • (561) 373-8040 • barbara@coastalanglermagazine.com SARASOTA : Phil Prevoir • (239) 257-4684 • pprevoir@coastalanglermagazine.com TAMPA BAY : Chuck Atkins • (239) 464-5153 • chuck@coastalanglermagazine.com TREASURE COAST : Misti & Gary Guertin • (772) 285-6850 • treasurecoast@coastalanglermagazine.com flahama@coastalanglermagazine.com

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Catching Winter Cobia In The Keys By John Steinhorst

F

ebruary through April offers some of the most productive fishing of the year in the Florida Keys. An amazing variety of migratory fish species travel to the Keys as cold water temperatures push them south in the Gulf of Mexico and on the east coast. The most convenient place to base a Keys fishing adventure is directly out of Marathon, which comfortably rests in the middle of this tropical island chain. Marathon encompasses a unique collection of islands, creating the ideal boating and family destination with access to both ocean and gulf waters but far enough from the crowded streets of Key West. Capt. Chris Morrison, a 20-year Keys veteran who guides out of Marathon, enjoys hooking excited anglers up with these hungry migrating species, which include record-breaking cobia, king and Spanish mackerel, trophy sailfish and several species of jacks. Versatility is the name of the game, and options are abundant. Most often the best plan is to just decide where you want to fish, from the immense Gulf or blue ocean waters to the many reefs and wrecks surrounding the islands. Then be ready for anything when you get there. There are several techniques that work for each species, and Morrison utilizes a wide variety to keep his 8

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Temple Fork Outfitters’ Gary Loomis Inshore boat, although cobia sometimes swim with bull sharks and rays. Start drifting live shrimp back Series rods bending and his clients smiling. Live bait and jigs are most productive to with light monofilament leader and small hooks, ensure positive results. Pinfish and live shrimp and you are bound to get action from one of are among the easiest to obtain, since most local several species of snapper. If you start getting bit bait shops carry them. Deep jigs, such as butterfly off clean, add a piece of leader wire and you will types, and ¼- to 1-ounce bucktails are essential likely get hooked into a cero or king mackerel. to carry in your arsenal. For catching cobia, If you decide to fish the bay or gulf side of the present the pinfish on ocean-side wrecks and Keys island chain, you might want to anchor reefs as well as Gulf waters from 15 to 100 feet in 10 to 15 feet of water and hang that chum using the same rig for grouper down deep. Limit bag for landing Spanish mackerel. Head out to is one per person with a 33-inch size minimum. deeper Gulf waters and expect more cobia, king On sunny days, Morrison likes to spot cobia mackerel, and goliath and gag grouper. The with his polarized sunglasses from the tower of wintertime fishing action in the Florida Keys will his SeaVee boat above the reef line or in blue be sure to heat up your reel. If you need an expert light-tackle fishing water when a color change edge is present. When you see a cobia on the surface, cast the bait in guide, Capt. Chris Morrison has guided anglers front with no weight and at least 60-pound to more than 100 world records and received monofilament leader. Wire is usually necessary a Lifetime Achievement Award from the on your jigs as king, Spanish, and cero mackerel International Game Fishing Association. Visit are numerous throughout these prime fishing www.captchris.com for more info. grounds. John Steinhorst has contributed to many If you do not have a guide, the reef line on the ocean side from 25 to 40 feet is a good place publications during the last 20 years and can to start. Anchor and hang a chum bag over the be contacted at www.JohnSteinhorst.wix.com/ IslandMedia. side with ground-up frozen baitfish. Chum brings the For more Cobia fishing in the Keys, go to party to the back of your COASTALANGLERSALTWATER.COM

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Captain Fantastic.

How have so many of Marathon’s light-tackle guides achieved super-hero status? Because whether it’s tailers in the shallows, migrating tarpon out front or snook and redfish out back, our professional captains come to the rescue by putting you onto some amazing angling action. fla-keys.com/marathon 1.800.262.7284 COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

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RodsandReels Product Review AVET REELS SXJ 6/4 RAPTOR Since 1999, Avet Reels has been bringing to the market revolutionary reel designs that set the standard for performance. Their innovative SXJ 6/4 Raptor lever drag casting reel features Avet’s patented dual carbon fiber drag system, which produces twice the drag of the original Avet reels. The powerful system features adjustable strike pre-set and a strike stop button to prevent accidental advancement. The reel’s one-piece frame is precision machined 6061 T-6 marine grade aluminum with stainless steel components and is anodized for superior corrosion resistance. An offset machined handle arm reduces center-line profile and cranking wobble and is capped with a comfortable soft-touch handle knob. The two-speed transmission has a user-friendly shifting mechanism. Avet’s silent dog and gear anti-reverse system and M.C. Cast adjustable magnetic anti-backlash cast control system, both patented, are some of the most innovative and reliable in the industry. The SXJ 6/4 Raptor has nine stainless ball bearings, an alarm clicker and a light, narrow spool designed for optimal jig casting efficiency and less line leveling on the retrieve. It’s proudly made in the U.S.A.

CANYON REELS EX-80 TWO SPEED TROLLING REEL In case you hadn’t heard, Canyon Reels has redesigned its powerful EX-80 Two Speed Trolling Reel to give anglers the edge when pulling spreads for huge fish. The original EX-80 was extensively tested and matched up very well against the giants off the Northeast coast. When the captains made suggestions, Canyon listened, and the result is an even better EX-80, which features multiple upgrades that make it smoother, and easier to use. The EX-80 is a monster reel. It boasts a max drag of 105 pounds at strike and more than 155 pounds at full drag. A pre-set feature allows for accurate drag settings with an easy one-touch shifter. Upgrades include additional harness lugs that provide better balance control, an all new double drag system for drag runs that are even smoother than the original, and an oversized T-bar handle for additional cranking power. Several other improvements have also been made to increase the durability of this already remarkable reel. The end result is an incredibly smooth and user-friendly reel with the power to stop any fish in the ocean.

WWW.AVETREELS.NET

WWW.CANYONREELS.COM

ENIGMA HPT TITANIUM CASTING RODS

JP ROSS BEAVER MEADOW

Enigma Fishing is raising the bar on performance, while lowering the price point. Every aspect of their HPT Titanium Casting Rods were designed with extreme attention to detail. These high-performance tournament level rods are designed with premium, ultra-light Japanese Toray Carbon proprietary blend blanks. The HPT rods were designed and tested with input from professional anglers such as three-time Bassmaster Elite Series Angler of the Year, Aaron Martens. Enigma Fishing has customized and precision balanced each individual HPT rod to be ultra functional, exceptionally beautiful and tailored to exacting actions and specifications demanded by today’s tournament anglers. All rods feature premium American Tackle components, including the multiaward winning MicroWave Line Control System, which increases casting distance and accuracy. The blank-through reel seats offer finger-to-blank contact for unparalleled sensitivity and incredible ergonomics and palmable comfort, while further reducing weight as well. Premium cork grips balance out each rod perfectly! Enigma Fishing’s new HPT series features a sleek black rod blank, cork handles, stylish purple wraps and chrome accents. Delivering technique-specific performance second-to-none, the all-new HPT series raises the bar for all others!

WWW.ENIGMAFISHING.COM

MUD HOLE TURNKEY INSHORE ROD KIT

The JP Ross Beaver Meadow is a fly rod meticulously designed to fish the beaver dams and plunge pools of small trout streams where an 11-inch fish is a trophy. That’s not to say this rod can’t handle an 18-inch brown on big water, but blue lines are where it shines. It is a short, sensitive rod with the feel needed for the gentlest of nibbles but enough power to reach out 50-plus feet with a hopper-dropper rig. The Beaver Meadow is available in a 5’ 2/3-weight, two-piece and a 6’6” 2/3-weight four-piece for fishing small streams with wet flies and dry flies. The 6’6” also has the ability to cast medium weighted streamers. The 7’6” 4-weight four-piece, the 7’9” 3-weight fourPhoto by Draper White piece, and the 8’0” 5-weight four-piece all have the shorter length required for tight quarters but the backbone to land larger fish and cast streamers and multi-fly rigs. JP Ross rods are custom-made by hand in Upstate New York. Each rod is made to order, so the details are exquisite, and components can be customized from the grip and reel seat to the guides and thread color. The Technology used to achieve this awesome balance of sensitivity and power is breakthrough technology, the joining of carbon fiber and fiberglass that JP Ross calls Carbon Silica Hybrid interface. It makes a beautiful casting and wonderfully sensitive rod.

WWW.JPROSSFLYRODS.COM

Mud Hole Custom Tackle is offering amazing value with its inshore fishing rod building kit. This turnkey kit includes everything you need to build your own custom inshore trout and redfish fishing rod. The kit features the extremely popular and versatile SJ842 rod blank. This 7’0” medium-light power rod features a fast action for throwing soft plastics and topwater lures at wary flats fish. Along with the blank, the kit includes a matched guide set, handle kit and everything from the CRB Wrapper, a CRB rod dryer and ProPaste and ProKote Rod Finish along with all the tools needed to build your own custom rod. This is a great set for the avid fisherman who wants to take his or her fishing to the next level. To get started custom building your own high quality rod, visit www.mudhole.com and check out all our Turn Key Kit options or simply Google: Mud Hole Turnkey.

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RodsandReels Product Review OKUMA KOMODO SS BAITCAST REELS

The original Komodo 350 size baitcast reel has been the recipient of tremendous accolades. It is considered an extremely tough reel and an excellent value. For 2017, the Komodo family welcomes the Komodo SS, featuring a new 450 size and stainless steel drive system. The Komodo SS is built around a heavy-duty stainless steel main gear, pinion gear, drive shaft and spool shaft to deliver an internal foundation of unrelenting strength and corrosion-resistance. Komodo SS reels use rigid, machined aluminum frame and spool, aluminum side plates, high-output Carbonite drag system capable of a maximum drag output of 30 pounds, and updated 6-pin Velocity Cast Control System. Performance features include six or seven (depending upon size) stainless steel High Performance Bearings, plus roller bearing, for outstanding corrosionresistance. The synchronized level-wind system does not disengage for casting, which allows it to maintain alignment at all times and eliminated drag pressure spikes when using braided lines. Bait clickers are standard on all models. The Komodo SS series includes two sizes, 350 and 450. The 350 size includes a 6.4:1 gear ratio and maximum drag output of 25 pounds. There are four models in the 350 size. The 450-size Komodo is available in a 6.3:1 gear ratio and a hyperfast 7.1:1 ratio. Komodo SS series baitcast reels are covered by the Okuma 3-Year Limited Warranty.

WWW.OKUMAFISHING.COM

UGLY STIK BIGWATER SERIES Ugly Stik has refreshed its iconic Bigwater series with all-new Ugly Tuff saltwater guides and an updated look. Beginning with Ugly Tech construction, the Bigwater series maintains the toughness for which all Ugly Stiks are known. One-piece Ugly Tuff stainless steel guides eliminate insert pop-outs and provide durability and corrosion resistance for those harsh saltwater applications. The Bigwater series retains the traditional Ugly Stik Clear Tip design for more strength at the tip of the rod. Comfortable EVA handles and conventional reel seats give anglers a non-slip, comfortable grip no matter the conditions. The fly, standup, downrigger/dipsy diver, surf, spinning and casting models have also been upgraded to include a standard seven-year limited warranty. Four Bigwater spinning combos and two trolling combos for downrigger applications are also available. The combos feature a graphite spinning reel, available in sizes 50, 60 and 70, and have a durable aluminum spool. The reel featured on the Bigwater downrigger combos is a size 30 line counter round reel with a metal handle and power knob.

PENN SLAMMER III The Penn Slammer III, which won Best of Show in the saltwater reel category at iCast 2016, is the reintroduction of the heavy-duty reel that has become trusted by charter captains around the world. Slammer III reels feature a new IPX6 Sealed System, which keeps water out of the gear box and drag system in heavy spray and sea conditions. An updated Slammer Drag System now utilizes a proprietary Dura-Drag material. With the computer-controlled CNC gear technology system, the precision brass main, pinion and oscillation gears are individually machined for exact tolerances to provide the smoothest operation. Eight models of the Slammer III are available, ranging in size from 3500 to 10500 models. Gear ratios range from 6.2:1 with 37 inches of line retrieve on the smaller reels to 4.2:1 with 43 inches of line retrieve on the largest. Maximum drags start at 30lbs in the smaller models and run to 60lbs on the largest. The oversized reel handle grip gives the angler added control during the fight. The 3500 Slammer III is the smallest of the family weighing 13.9oz while the 10500 weighs 43.1oz.

WWW.PENNFISHING.COM

DANCO BAIT STIK Danco’s Bait Stik is the original rod and reel combo developed specifically for catching bait with a sabiki rig, and it is still the best. The rod in this combo is 7’3” and features two-piece construction with an extra-hard phenolic tip for superior strength and extreme sensitivity. Comfortable EVA grips and a gimbal butt with cover means anglers will be yanking bait from the water with ease. Anyone who has ever tried to store a sabiki rigs knows the frustration of attempting to keep them from becoming a tangled mess. With the Bait Stik, that is not a problem. While not in use, the sabiki rig can be safely and conveniently stored inside the rod, which is a huge plus. The combo comes with either a casting or spinning reel. The spinning reel comes with an anodized aluminum spool, a graphite body and rotor and an oversized eggshaped knob. The casting reel has an aluminum body and side covers, brass gearing and a star drag. Catching bait has never been so easy. When the bait tank is full, rinse everything down with fresh water, store the sabiki rig in the rod and forget about it. Look for the Danco Bait Stik in your tackle store.

WWW.SHAKESPEARE-FISHING.COM

OCEAN 2 RIVER TOURNAMENT COMBO

ZEBCO BIG CAT SERIES Zebco is launching an impressive offering of beefedup rods and reels called “Big Cat” to accommodate serious value-minded anglers who passionately pursue catfish. The spincast reels are built with a titanium nitride plated stainless steel spinnerhead to add durability and reduce friction. Big Cat XT conventional-style reels will likely be the top pick for the most avid trophy hunters from the Mississippi River to Santee Cooper and all waters in between. Two conventional reels will be offered. The Big Cat XT 30 conventional trolling reel will hold 455 yards of 30-pound test. The Big Cat XT 350 round baitcasting reel holds 200 yards of 20-pound test. Worth noting is that a headlamp handy for nighttime catfishing will be free to consumers who purchase rods and reels within the very affordable Big Cat and Big Cat XT series.

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Ocean 2 River (O2R) Tournament spinning combos are designed to perform to the exacting standards of serious tournament anglers while standing up to the grueling conditions and treatment offered up by hard-core fishermen in the marine environment. The IM-7 fast action graphite rods come with Seaguide Atlas Performance aluminum oxide guides, comfortable cork split grips and a graphite reel seat with a cork inlay and cushioned stainless steel hoods. These rods combine strength with sensitivity and excellent casting power. They are available in medium and medium heavy weights to suit a range of line and lure weights. The reels feature a solid aluminum frame, graphite side covers and rotor and a double anodized aluminum spool to stand up to the saltwater environment. A 5.1:1 gear ratio is suitable for fishing a wide range of lures all day long without wearing out the angler’s wrists and hands. Stainless ball bearings and a comfortable oversized T-knob provide for longer casts, smoother drag runs and comfort while fighting fish. Look for the O2R combo and other fine Danco products in your tackle store.

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ON THE COVER

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Editor’s Note:

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

COASTAL ANGLER MAGAZINE The Florida Keys, Marathon

FREE

BIG BEND EDITION

The February edition of Coastal Angler Magazine features a cover image of Capt. James Platt with a 35-pound cobia he landed onboard a SeaVee boat about 10 miles out from Marathon’s Tarpon Creek Marina on the ocean side of the Florida Keys. The photo was provided by Capt. Chris Morrison of Keys Light Tackle Fishing Charters, who Local was fishing with Platt when they caught a limit of cobia, along with king mackerel, mangrove snapper and grouper. Morrison uses medium-heavy, Gary Loomis-designed Inshore Series rods from Temple Fork Outfitters along with 30-pound test Cortland Master Braid line to handle cobia and many species he targets in winter months. Home to the world-famous Seven Mile Bridge, Marathon is a group of tropical islands perfectly situated in the middle of the Florida Keys island chain. This ideal boating and family destination offers easy access to the Atlantic Ocean, Florida Bay, Everglades and Gulf of Mexico waters for an amazing diversity. Wintertime in the Florida Keys means anglers see large numbers of migratory fish such as cobia, king and Spanish mackerel, wahoo, sailfish and blackfin tuna pushed down from colder northern waters. Marathon is an excellent destination to base your Keys vacation for an unforgettable adventure. See writer John Steinhorst’s article on winter and early spring fishing out of Marathon in this month’s issue. Fishing Reports Catch Photos News & Events

VOLUME 22 • ISSUE 265

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THE ANGLER MAGAZINE Ice Fishing On Golden Pond, New Hampshire

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This month’s cover image for The Angler Magazine was taken by Chuck Fritz on the ice at Squam Lake in Holderness, New Hampshire. Old Timers might remember the 1981 movie “On Golden Pond.” It was filmed on Squam Lake, and the most interesting storyline in the film had to be the cantankerous Local character Norman’s obsession with catching a humongous rainbow trout named Walter. Squam Lake looks a lot different with a layer of ice over it than it does in the movie, which was shot in the summer. The fishing is still good, though. Just ask Tim Moore, the ice fishing guide who was photographed for the cover with a pretty yellow perch he caught through a hole in the ice. The ice fishing season on Squam and nearby Lake Winnipesaukee generally runs from January through March each year, and anglers target giant white perch and lake trout as well as smallmouth bass, crappie, sunfish and yellow perch. If there’s anyone out there who knows where Walter is hiding after all these years, it has to be Tim. See Tim’s story inside this months issue and check out his website at www.timmooreoutdoors.com. Fishing Reports Catch Photos News & Events

VOLUME 22 • ISSUE 264

F R A N C H I S E

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MERCURY MARINE’S VESSELVIEW MOBILE AVAILABLE FOR DOWNLOAD

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ercury Marine’s VesselView Mobile app is now available for free download on the App Store and Google Play in North America. Available for iOS and Android mobile devices, including smartphones and tablets, the VesselView Mobile app instantly provides users access to their boat’s SmartCraft digital data in the palm of their hand. The product recently won a prestigious IBEX innovation award. The VesselView Mobile module, which is needed to fully utilize the app, is available for purchase at participating Mercury Marine dealers, from the VesselView Mobile app or on www.vesselviewmobile.com. The product is compatible with all Mercury SmartCraftcapable engines built since 2003. One module supports single through quad engine applications. SmartCraft is a fully integrated suite of digital technologies, including marine gauges, sensors, vessel systems and computercontrolled features, giving users a higher level of control over their boat’s propulsion and electrical systems. Now, with Mercury Marine’s VesselView Mobile, users can see SmartCraft engine data right on the screen of their mobile device. The app also includes useful new features such as Fuel Information, Maintenance Reminders, Mapping, Performance Summary, and Fault Code Diagnostics. VesselView Mobile makes preparing for and spending a day on the water easier, safer 14

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and more enjoyable by letting users perform the following functions from their mobile device: • Connect to the SmartCraft data network in your boat from your iOS or Android mobile device via BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy 4.0) • See SmartCraft engine parameters like engine hours, fuel burn, water temperature, battery voltage, RPM, etc. (parameters available are specific to each engine family). • Get fault code diagnostic information so you know and understand if that fault is something to be addressed when you return to the dock, or is more urgent. • Fuel Management provides accurate fuel usage data along with fuel remaining plus indicates time and distance to empty when the user enters fuel added via the app. • Locate your nearest Mercury Marine dealer • Get points of interest information for your body of water, including fuel and restaurant locations, and more • Record a moment on the water for future reference • Access checklists associated with your boating lifestyle • Get maintenance reminders and access historical maintenance information logs. Mercury Marine’s VesselView Mobile app also provides users with a Web-based account that gives them and their preferred dealer app and module will be on display at the 2017 an even deeper connection to their boat. The Miami International Boat Show.

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Core Concepts Make

Ice Fishing Easier By Tim Moore

S

pending hours on a frozen lake isn’t easy. Your body works overtime just to stay warm. Then, add the activity level that often accompanies ice fishing, such as drilling or chiseling holes and chasing tip up flags, and it can be downright exhausting. The degree of difficulty extreme cold temperatures add to fishing is what keeps most people from trying ice fishing. While there is a ton of gear designed to make ice fishing easier, core concepts, such as efficiency and mobility go a long way to make ice fishing easy enough for even the most warm blooded people. When you strengthen your core muscles with exercise, you train the rest of your 16

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muscles to work in harmony, which leads to better balance and stability. The same can be said for ice fishing. Exercising core concepts on a regular basis not only improves technique and lure control, but ice fishing actually becomes easier. The hottest new lures and trending techniques might catch a few fish, but they do little to improve your ability as an angler, especially when everything is frozen. Efficiency is arguably the foundation of any core. A highly efficient ice angler accomplishes more tasks in a shorter amount of time, and therefore catches more fish. Being efficient means eliminating unnecessary steps. Fewer steps means more time fishing, and more time fishing means more fish caught. Every second you spend with your line out of the water is time spent not catching fish. Efficiency begins off the ice. There are many things you can do before you leave your house that will make you more efficient. Start by leaving equipment and lures you won’t need at home. If you’re going fishing for panfish and you have larger rods mixed in with panfish rods, you will have extra gear to deal with on the ice. It doesn’t seem like a big deal until you’re fishing in subzero temperatures and the rods you need get tangled with the rods you don’t need. Rigging multiple rods with different lures before you leave your house will also reduce steps on the ice. Then you can cycle through pre-rigged rods rather than tie new jigs in the cold, wind or snow. Have you ever seen the deck of a tournament bass angler’s boat? They have many rods rigged with different lures so they don’t have to re-tie while they are fishing. The same goes for ice fishing, especially when it’s freezing out. The work you do at home pays off on the ice, but there is more you can do while fishing to make things easier, such as putting gear back in its place when you’re not using it. Then when you want to move you have less equipment to put away. Sometimes we are so

excited to get fishing that we tend to lay gear on the ice when we are done using it rather than put it back where it belongs. By the time we decide to move there is gear all over the place, which makes moving harder. The Godfather of modern ice fishing Dave Genz always says, “If it’s easy you’ll do it.” Focus on ways to make everything easier and you will be more productive. The little things add up. Just as backpackers try to shave ounces off their packs to make hiking easier, successful ice anglers are always trying to shave off unnecessary tasks to make fishing easier. The equipment you use also contributes to your efficiency. A Vexilar sonar flasher removes a lot of the guesswork. Figuring out if there are fish under you and their depth could take hours without a flasher. A sonar flasher is easy to use. It will instantly show you the entire water column including the bottom, your jig, and anything else that shows up under you, such as a fish. All in real time! Clam Outdoors makes a number of items specifically designed to make certain tasks easier on the ice. Prices range from a few dollars into the $1,000 range. The simple lowcost products often make a big difference. The Clam Can allows you to carry bait in your pocket. Not a big thing, but it makes a huge difference when it’s cold. Rod Slicks keep ice rods from getting tangled, and Fish Trap shelters get you out of the cold quickly and allow you to move around easier. The parts all have a sum that equals success. Mobility is another important core element of ice fishing. Mobility allows you to cover more water, which allows you to put your lure in front of more fish. Think of ice fishing the same way you do when open water fishing. We rarely head out onto the water and cast in the same spot over and over again. Ice fishing is no different. Every hole you drill is a cast. Make more casts and you’ll catch more fish. If you make a lot of casts in an area and don’t catch anything, move to another area and repeat. Give yourself a time limit, and don’t stay in the same area if you’re not catching fish. Ice Fishing doesn’t have to be cold and difficult. Core concepts that make ice fishing easier also make it more fun. Establish a routine and it will become second nature. By constantly thinking of ways to strengthen your core, you make ice fishing easier. Before you know it, you will be catching more fish than ever before. And who doesn’t love catching more fish? Tim Moore is a full-time licensed fishing guide in New Hampshire. He owns Tim Moore Outdoors and the New England Ice Fishing Academy. For more information visit www. TimMooreOutdoors.com. For more Tim Moore, go to

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Introducing the Element F21: As low as $25,499* Our largest center console to date, we designed the new Element F21 to be three things; fishable, versatile and affordable. We started with our proven M-Hull™ design, giving it a deeper entry for even more seaworthiness. Then we gave it the features anglers demand to make sure it was serious about catching fish—plus options should you choose to expand your activities. Its most attractive feature could be its price. Shop if you must… we’re pretty sure you’ll end up here. Go to bayliner.com to learn more.

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or those seeking ultimate enjoyment at one of the world’s largest and greatest boat shows, the VIP Experience is the hot ticket for the 2017 Progressive Insurance Miami International Boat Show Feb. 16-20. In its second year at the iconic Miami Marine Stadium Park & Basin, the show will offer more boats, large yachts, marine product debuts, transportation options, dining and fun than ever before. There will be excitement for everyone, but those who prefer more of an upscale experience should treat themselves to the VIP Experience. With ticket packages ranging from $70 to $100 per day, guests will enjoy exclusive access to

the VIP Lounge aboard a 111-foot luxury yacht docked at Pier 9 among more than 100 of the biggest and most extravagant motor, cruising and super yachts ever displayed at the show. The VIP Experience includes upscale dining and beverage service, live music daily, an air conditioned indoor lounge, an open sky deck with stunning views, private restrooms, complimentary Wi-Fi and an array of complimentary services and luxury product displays. All of this comes on top of what the Progressive Insurance Miami International Boat Show is recognized for: a worldclass boat-show experience for more than 100,000 attendees and exhibitors. This year’s show will be the best ever. Organizers anticipate more than 1,300 new boats on display with more new model debuts than ever before. What’s more, the number of boats in-water is expanding to an estimated 550 boats and yachts— all located in the show’s state-of-the-art marina. From sport fishing boats and high performance boats, to personal watercraft and wake sport boats, family cruisers and luxury yachts, there is something for every lifestyle. The show will also once again offer sea trials, where shoppers can take boats out for a spin. This year, more boat exhibitors will participate, giving boat buyers a chance to test-drive a number of options. And be sure to come hungry and thirsty. A highlight of the 2017 show is an enhanced food and beverage program featuring more than 150 options ranging from luxe to casual fare. Whether you choose to come by water taxi, shuttle bus or car, the show offers seamless transportation to and from the show as well as ample and convenient parking options. Show hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day of the show. Regular admission packages range from $25 to $100 for multiple days, and children younger than 15 are free. For more information, go to www.MiamiBoatShow.com. To learn more about last years boat show, go to

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AN AUTUMN SAIL STORY By Michael Landress

W

e blasted through the Boynton Inlet on the first full day of fall and set lines in 33 fathoms near one of the many reefs just a short pelican’s glide offshore. It was ramp-to-reef in minutes for the five of us, Capt. Chris Lemieux, Carson, Jeff, Mike and his father-in-law, Joe. It’s one of the many perks we enjoy fishing out of Boynton Beach, also known as the Gateway to the Gulf Stream. Our goal this day was modest, to catch and release Florida’s premier game fish for our senior angler, Joe. During his 84 years, Joe had never battled a sailfish. Unfortunately, any hope of doing so on the reef was quickly trammeled by a school of ravenous rainbow runners that pillaged our lively baits at an astonishing rate. A relative of the greater amberjack, rainbows are feisty on hook and line, but offered no food value for the men of this vainglorious crew. We decided to run farther offshore into deeper water to hunt the harlequin green and yellow denizens of the deep—dolphin! After a short run on a flat

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sea, we arrived at a large patch of pelagic weed drifting in 800 feet of 86-degree water. Baitfish soon rained down upon the blue water after being violently wacked from a cozy dip net by the well-placed palm of our determined captain. After a few minutes, it became evident this seemingly perfect, floating asylum harbored zilch predators. Then, a dark silhouette suddenly appeared against the morning glare 50 feet from the bow of the Conch Cruiser. Shark or marlin I thought. “Sail, sail, sail!” we screamed like school boys. It was Florida’s fish, the sleek marauder that we sought earlier on the reef. As she laggardly cruised on the surface with sail raised, Chris pitched a live threadfin herring a few feet in front of her… a perfect cast. Enticed by the presentation, she gobbled the bait and the fight was on. Lit-up and furiously angry, she raced across the ocean at warp speed. Chris barked for Joe to take the rod, and the grizzled angler complied. After 20 arduous minutes, first mate Carson captured leader and the billfish was free. Underwater GOPRO footage indicated a successful release as her large symmetrical tail propelled her into the depths. There is no photographic evidence of Joe’s multiple naps later that day, but more importantly a fine and weary man was able to complete one of the items on his (chum) bucket list: dueling an autumn sail! For a great sailfish catch fight, go to

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and deep drop fishing for yelloweye snapper, blackfin snapper, queen snapper and mystic grouper. Even when the east winds are howling in the spring and summer months, comfortable fishing conditions exist on the leeward side of the island. When the wind lays down, The Bridge is a short 16-mile run from the marina. The Bridge runs from the southern tip of Eleuthera to the northern tip of Little San Salvador. It’s a 9-mile underwater ledge that averages depths of 200 feet between the two islands with drop offs to 800 feet on the Exuma Sound side and 3,000 feet on the Atlantic Ocean side. Big wahoo, dolphin and yellowfin tuna can be expected here, and you never know when a blue marlin will show up in your spread. The resort offers world class accommodations in the form of 14 two-story, luxury villas with views of both the sunrise and sunset. There is also a well-stocked ship’s store, a new waterfront restaurant, bar and swimming pool. The marina is a state-of-the-art, Blue Flag awarded facility with average depths of 12 to 14 feet that is flushed on every tide making the waters crystal clear. All slips have 30 and 50 amp power and water with dockage for vessels up to 200 feet. There’s a full fuel dock with both gasoline and diesel. Pump out services are also available. Getting here is relatively easy, as there are several carriers with daily flights to and from Nassau. From Nassau, it’s a very short flight to Rock Sound, which is just 30 miles from the cape. Both Bahamas Air and Pineapple Air offer service to and from Rock Sound several days a week. Watermakers Air offers direct service from Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport to and from Rock Sound four times per week. From Rock sound, a cab ride will cost you about $70. There are also car rentals available. The Stuart Sailfish Club, in its 75th year, has announced a Flotilla to Cape Eleuthera for May 5 to May 14. Fifteen member boats have already signed up. If you would like to participate in the Flotilla to the cape, you must be a member of the club. Family memberships are available for just $200. For more information, visit the club’s website at www.stuartsailfishclub.com. For more information on the Cape Eleuthera Resort and Marina, go to www. capeeleuthera.com.

ESCAPE TO THE CAPE

T

hose living in South Florida are fortunate to have Bimini and West End, Grand Bahama a short boat ride from the shoreline. But there’s an undiscovered jewel of the Out Islands within reach for those looking for something more. Just 56 miles southeast of Nassau, lies the Cape Eleuthera Resort and Marina. From bonefish on the flats to blue marlin on The Bridge, this special place is no less than paradise. Just outside the marina in the Exuma Sound, you will find some of the best yellowtail snapper fishing on the planet, consistent gaffer dolphin action

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SWIMMING WITH SHARKS

can systematically decimate their food sources by feeding so much in one area that they permanently impact the ability of that food source to regenerate. Sharks act as a regulatory body in these instances through their mere presence. Just by having a shark around, fish and other animals are forced to expand their hunting or grazing grounds and seek out food over larger areas, where their impact will be less dramatic. Sharks play such an integral role to the health of marine ecosystems that studies have found a decline in their populations results in a correlating decline of many commercially significant fish species, including those, like tuna, that are a favorite on our dinner plates. Without sharks in our local waters, we would not be able to enjoy the wide variety of fish species and marine animals that we take for granted. As anglers, there are easy ways to “fish friendly” Photo by Melissa Johnson • A scuba diver watches as two when it comes to sharks. If you’re fishing from shore, try Lemon Sharks swim by on a local reef. to keep the shark in water as you release it so they can maintain a constant flow of water through their gills. If very February at Pura Vida Divers, we dedicate a month to it’s hard to remove a hook from the shark, it’s better to cut the line than shedding light onto one of our favorite, but often overlooked, marine animals: sharks. As scuba divers and nature enthusiasts, we spend more time exerting yourself and stressing the animal. Using non-stainless circle hooks helps lower the longevity of the hook rely on this keystone species to help hold in place the precious balance of underwater, which is beneficial to hammerheads and other species that life that allows our coral reef systems to thrive. Sharks are an easy scapegoat, portrayed by films and most media as are particularly susceptible to exhaustion during catch and release. Helping preserve shark populations is one step towards ensuring aggressive predators. In reality, sharks play an important role policing and that the activities and ecosystems we enjoy today remain healthy for even strengthening the populations of their prey. Sharks are opportunistic predators that feed on old, weakened or generations to come. If you’re interested in learning more about sharks or conservation sick fish. This in turn ensures that only the healthiest members of a fish population reproduce, overall strengthening a species gene pool. efforts, we invite you to join us on Friday, Feb. 24 for a fascinating Similarly, by targeting prey made weaker by disease, sharks help prevent presentation by Angela Smith of Shark Team One. The event will be hosted at Pura Vida Divers, and details can be found on our website at the rapid spreading of that disease through a school. If fish or other marine species thrive without a predatory threat, they www.puravidadivers.com.

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

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Center sp By Richard L. Matteson Jr.
 Stuart Rod & Reel Club Staff

Don’t Chase Rust, Protect Your Gear! Save your Fishing Rods, Reels, Tackle Boxes & Especially your Boat!

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ading puts you in the water with the fish. You are now part of their element, and this gives you an advantage over a noisy boat with a motor or trolling motor and anglers bumping around on it. As a wader you can silently fish under piers and under mangrove branches where boats can’t go or even approach without spooking the fish. Winds and Tide When you wade the lagoon, you need to know the tide and the wind. You don’t want to fish during a slack tide, and you might not want to fish if it’s too windy. You might want to fish out of the wind or with the wind at your back. The tide determines if you fish shallow or deep as well as where the fish are.

Finding Fish 
As you enter the water, start looking for signs of bait and fish activity. Look for birds on the water or over the water. Use search lures like C.A.L. jigs that can be cast and retrieved quickly and cover a lot of water area. Use heavier jigs in windy conditions. Move quickly without making noise. Vary the speed of retrieve. Fast retrieves in the top of the water column catch ladyfish, jacks and snook, but you might miss trout, redfish and flounder. When you find fish, slow down and fish the area carefully.

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Areas To Wade The South Indian River Lagoon The South Indian River area I fish stretches from Vero Beach to Stuart. The Bridges: Fort Pierce has two bridges. The north bridge has a boat ramp on the east side from which you can wade, and there’s an area across the bridge from Little Jim’s on either side of the second boat ramp. The south Fort Pierce bridge has an area on the east side that stretches to the inlet. South of the bridge on the west side is a fishing area. In Stuart, the north bridge (Jensen Causeway) can be waded on either side and the same is true of the south Stuart bridge (Earnest Lyons). There are two bridges on the St. Lucie River, but they are hard to access for waders. The Shoreline: My favorite wading areas are Walton Road (Port St. Lucie), Walton Scrub, Midway (Ft. Pierce), and Wilcox Road (Vero Beach). On the east side there’s Herman’s Bay (PSL) and Bear Point (Ft. Pierce). 
Be Respectful Remember the pier owners have the access rights to their piers and don’t want waders parking along the pier areas without permission because it blocks their view of the lagoon. 

Happy wading! For more wading in the Indian River Lagoon, go to

CAMINSHORE.COM

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1/18/17 10:18 AM


CENTRAL FLORIDA

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

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The Gator Den is a brand new, 12 room motel located at Angler’s Resort, on the Withlacoochee River, Dunnellon, FL. We have a Bait & Tackle Shop, Pontoon and Jon Boat Rentals, Airboat Tours and the Blue Gator Tiki Bar Restaurant, all on premise making this a fisherman’s getaway. 12189 S Williams St Dunnellon, FL 34432 | www.AnglersResort.us Motel: 352-489-2397 Restaurant: 352-465-1635 Boat Rentals: 352-489-2397

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“CLUB SHAK” 43’ 2001 RIVIERA CALL JOHN PARRY: 561.510.4024

“GALAXY” 41’ 2007 LUHRS CALL STEVE MOYNIHAN: 561.722.9629

39’ 2008 SEA VEE CALL BRANDON O’CONNOR: 561.723.4737

“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

“DOUBLE SIXES” 35’ 2003 PREDATOR/EGG HARBOR CALL DAVE BERARD, JR: 772.285.0859

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

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

“MY STYLE” 28’ 2005 ALBEMARLE CALL CHRIS VACCHIO: 772.263.0547

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OUTCAST 15DF

OUTCAST 17DF

OUTCAST 21V

PANGA 16

40HP Mercury Outboard, Trailer $14,916

60HP Mercury Outboard, Trailer

150HP Mercury Outboard, Trailer

Package 115 Yamaha, Trailer

Length 15’2”, Beam 6’5”, Approx. Weight 800lbs., Draft 5”-7”, Fuel Capacity 6 Gal. Standard Feature Package.

Length 17’1”, Beam 6’7”, Approx. Weight 950lbs., Draft 6”-8”, Fuel Capacity 6 Gal., Standard Feature Package, High-speed baitwell Pick-up.

Length 21’, Beam 7’10”, Approx. Weight 1540lbs., Draft 8”-10”, Fuel Capacity 37 Gal. Standard Feature Package, High-speed baitwell pickup.

Length 22’10”, Beam 7’, draft 8”, Fuel capacity 49 gal, Hull Weight 1825lbs., Transom 27”, Simrad Multi Funtion Display, Sonar, Nav, WiFi, Engine Monitoring

CAPECRAFT 190 BAY

CLEARWATER 1900CC

CLEARWATER 1900CC

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Boat Only, No Motor. No Trailer

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Length 19’, Beam 7’11”, Approx. Weight 1725lbs., Draft 7”-9”, Fuel Capacity 35 Gal. Standard Feature Package, 12 vertical rod holders, Anchor locker, High-speed baitwell pickup, Large aerated livewell, Tinted windshield, 8 Vert ROD holders.

Length 18’6”, Beam 7’9”, Approx. Weight 1900lbs., Draft 12”-14”, Fuel Capacity 45 Gal. Standard Feature Package, 18 gallon livewell, 10 vertical rod holders, Anchor locker, Cockpit washdown pump, Compass, Composite construction, High-speed baitwell pickup, Hydraulic steering, Large insulated fishbox/ dry storage, Stainless steel parts, Tinted windshield, Under gunnel rod holders.

Length 18’6”, Beam 7’9”, Approx. Weight 1900lbs., Draft 12”-14”, Fuel Capacity 45 Gal. Standard Feature Package, 18 gallon livewell, 10 vertical rod holders, Anchor locker, Cockpit washdown pump, Compass, Composite construction, Highspeed baitwell pickup, Hydraulic steering, Large insulated fishbox/ dry storage, Stainless steel parts, Tinted windshield, Under gunnel rod holders.

Length 20’1”, Beam 8’3”, Approx. Weight 2400lbs., Draft 14”-16”, Fuel Capacity 60 Gal. Standard Feature Package, 18 gallon livewell, 10 vertical rod holders, Anchor locker, Cockpit washdown pump, Compass, Composite construction, High-speed baitwell pickup, Hydraulic steering, Large insulated fishbox/ dry storage, Stainless steel parts, Tinted windshield, Under gunnel rod holders.

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1/13/17 PMPM 1/16/173:32 4:19


Chasing Big Bulls In BC By Cam Sigler Jr.

B

ack in 2014, I went north of the Canadian border to fish for bull trout and westslope cutthroat trout with Gordon Silverthorne, who owns the Kootenay Fly Shop in Fernie, British Columbia. This area west of Calgary is littered with good waters. I have taken large groups up to fish the Elk and surrounding rivers with him. It was on these trips that I found myself focused on catching bull trout. Big bulls on a fly became my quest. I had caught many, up to nine in a day, but had yet to break the 27-inch mark. Bull trout are in the char family with brook trout and Dolly Varden. They range from northern parts of California and Nevada in the south to the Northern Territories of Canada and East to Montana and Alberta. They can grow in excess of 40 inches long and to weights heavier than 30 pounds. They migrate up and down systems based on food sources and into feeder creeks to spawn. They typically inhabit waters that stay under 59 degrees and are one of the most sensitive of the chars, requiring pristine waters to thrive. They are recognized as endangered in most states and protected in most systems in the provinces. A bull trout of 12 pounds might be 10 years old. I was back in Fernie in 2015 chasing trout with a few friends. As usual, we had good fishing for beautiful cutthroats, but I was chasing bulls. We spent a few days on the Elk River and caught a few bulls longer than 20 inches, but not in great numbers. My attention turned to a small pristine river south of Fernie called the Wigwam. In the past I had sent anglers from my groups there, but because of limited daily access, I had not fished it myself. Access is difficult. From the parking area, it’s 800 feet down to the river. It’s a hang-onto-trees steep. It reminded me of some streams I guided in Alaska, cold and clear enough to see pebbles 20 feet deep. The first hole was full of bull trout. After many casts, I landed one longer than 30 inches. As a group, we

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caught many cutts that averaged about 16 inches and juvenile bulls of the 19-inch variety. In conversation, Gordon spoke of the nearby Kootenay River bull trout fishery and about setting up an operation there. The Kootenay is a glacial-fed river formed by runoff and feeder streams primarily out of Kootenay National Park above Cranbrook, Canada. I told him to count me in for an expedition that fall. It didn’t happen because of a landslide in the river’s headwaters that blew the river out for an entire season. It’s tough to fish a fly without visibility. Because of water levels and clarity, the window for fly fishing the Kootenay is about six weeks in fall, if you are lucky. I finally got my chance to fish it in late October of 2016. Author Tom Boyd, who is writing a book on all the char species, and I made the 6-hour drive north from my second home in Washington to a tent camp Gordon and big-game outfitter Eric Grinnell had erected on the river. The camp was great, complete with a stove in every tent and a generator for lights. It was located a good distance between put-in points, and we saw only four other boats over three days. The four of us had a terrific time. We saw a few deer on the river and kept an eye out for grizzly and black bears but saw no evidence of them. I did wake one night to the sound of wolves howling in the distance. Water levels dropped over the three days we fished, and the water cleared even more. The weather was clear and cold. The fishing is primarily from 16-foot boats with outboard jet pumps. The river is braided and skinny in places, so the driver must pay attention. It is glacial fed and there are quarter-mile log jams on the banks. When this river is running 15 feet above the level we fished at, it must be roaring. This is a 7- to 9-weight show with sink tips. I have caught many bulls dead drifting a rabbit strip or synthetic-based fly that swims with this method. This trip, stripping seemed to work the best. We

were on the tail end of the kokanee salmon spawn. Once spawned out, these landlocked sockeye salmon float downriver, and the bull trout key on the spent fish. So we threw lots of 10-inch flies. Bull trout are very aggressive and opportunistic. They have to be in these systems. Bulls can move daily, but once we found them in a section they readily took most flies we threw. Bull trout, like many trout, like structure. Snags, logs, and big rocks in the river often hold them. I caught the biggest fish of our trip on the last cast of the last day in a tail out. It topped 29 inches and took a crawfish pattern I tie for smallmouth. We caught a few juvenile bulls in the 19-inch range and a few cutthroat, but our average bull trout was about 23 inches. I saw a few fish that were clearly bigger than our biggest catch. My guess is there are bulls in the Kootenay pushing the 40-inch mark. The largest we heard of on a fly weighed about 30 pounds. The bull trout fishery in the U.S. and Canada is fragile. I suggest chasing them sooner than later. If you decide to fish the Kootenay next fall, look for the guy holding up the 35-inch fish. Hopefully that’s me, as I will keep going back. For information or to set up a trip, contact Gordon Silverthorne at info@kootenayflyshop.com.

For more Bull Trout Fishing in BC, go to

FISHORDIE.CO

1/18/17 2:08 PM


A WINTER WADE

By Capt. Michael Okruhlik • Photo Courtesy of My Coast Outdoors

A FLY FISHING

s we idled away from the dock on a mild mid-winter morning, we all anticipated that telltale thump of a solid wintertime trout. Although the fall and winter weather had been mild, the big trout had already started finding their way to the normal winter feeding areas where we hoped to intercept them. Armed with slow-sinking soft plastics, we were confident we would be giving our cameras a workout on this trip. As we quietly drifted into our first and what would be our only stop of the day, we noticed a lone angler had beat us to our target area. Showing him the

CHOOSING A SALTWATER FLY ROD

C

hoosing the right fly rod is a personal choice. There are so many rods and various rod actions (fast, moderate, tip flex, full flex, slow etc.) that selecting a rod can be very confusing. It’s confusing to me, and I live a breathe this stuff! Rod Length: 9 feet or Shorter? In most saltwater fly fishing situations the 9-foot rod is standard. It provides enough length to keep a back cast off the water, to pick up fly line off the water to redirect a cast and is the best option for making longer casts. However, in recent years many companies have developed wonderful fly rods that are much shorter and can cast with the best 9-footers on the market. The new short rods are 7 to 8 feet in length and have a moderate (slow) action. The combination of a shorter rod and slower action make these rods a deadly tool when casting larger flies and poppers at close range. Fly fishing for redfish, baby tarpon or other fish that hold tight to cover does not require long casts. And when making short cast, the short rod is a more accurate tool. The Grip And Feel Find a fly rod that feels good while you’re holding it. The feel can be the difference between casting the rod well and not. I have picked up some very high-end rods with grips that felt like tree trunks. I believe a grip with a narrower diameter is best because it allows you to feel the rod load much better. Rod Guides The guides on a fly rod are an important part of the overall

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courtesy he deserved, we anchored up short of the sweet spot and made our first wade out deeper. We pecked away at some mediumsized specks and kept an eye on the lone angler who we felt had the upper hand based on location. We watched him land one trout before he boarded his skiff and slowly idled out of the area. Although we had more action in deeper water than he had up shallow, we still decided to ease into our original planned area as the rising sun increased the water temp on the shallow flat. As the sun rose higher in the sky, the baitfish became more active and helped fine tune our target areas to cast. The water here was shin deep and clear with the bottom structure composed of soft mud with abundant grass and potholes. Using a white, slow-sinking paddle shad, I was slowly swimming it across the flat, pausing to let it slowly descend, and then I’d continue the retrieve and repeat. On one pause, I felt that telltale solid thump and then listened to the drag scream after the hookset. They were here! This was our first solid fish of the day, a thick-shoulder 6-pound trout. After a quick photo and release, we continued to ease down the shoreline sight casting to potholes or mullet. The next strike was hit and run, with the fish staying low and burning drag. After spinning me around a few times, I landed a solid upper-slot red. After several hours on this wade, I finally saw what I had been looking for, fleeing mullet at the edge of a pothole. A few cranks of the reel handle and I was hooked up. Not what I anticipated, but it was a medium-sized trout. I made a second cast to the same pothole, reeled my lure to the far edge and as soon as it paused it was inhaled! This trout sent foaming water sailing through the air while shaking her massive head. She tail walked four times before I had her close enough to verify her true size. The icing on the cake, an 8-pound trout in clear shin-deep water on a south Texas grass flat. Capt. Michael Okruhlik is the inventor of Controlled Descent Lures and the owner of www.MyCoastOutdoors.com. For more wading in the Texas winter waters, go to

PEACEFULWATERS.CO performance. Many rods today are equipped with flexible snake guides, better known as REC Recoil guides, that are lighter than standard snake guides. These REC guides allow the rod to flex between the stripping guides’ footings for a more efficient transfer of energy during the cast. These REC guides add to the rod’s casting performance, creating greater line speed. Another added bonus to these REC guides is they will bend and not break if bumped on a boat rail. Rod Action Rod actions vary greatly. It’s kind of comparing apples and oranges. Some anglers prefer a fast action; some prefer a moderate action. There are benefits to both, but for the beginning or intermediate fly angler, a moderate action rod is the best choice. A moderate action rod will cover a wide spectrum of casting situations and is easier to cast and cast efficiently into a stiff wind. These rods also load a fly line using more of the fly rods taper, making it easier for the angler to feel the rod load. You can always purchase a fast action rod down the road as your skills progress. Rod Balance So, now that you have picked out that perfect saltwater stick, ask yourself… How does it feel in my hand? Is the rod tip heavy? Is the rod butt heavy? Does the rod feel too heavy overall? Too light? These are all question that need to be answered. The best rod is the one that feels well balanced from tip to butt. Balance the rod on your index finger at the top of the full wells grip. A well-balanced rod will balance evenly on your index finger. This is a fly rod’s sweet spot. It will be the optimum place for the thumb of your casting hand every time you cast.

For More Fly Fishing with Bowman, go to

CAMFLYFISHING.COM

1/18/17 2:08 PM


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8th Annual Central Florida Shad and Crappie Derby Update By Charlie McCullough, Orlando Coastal Angler Magazine This is the final month for the Derby! Both shad and crappie categories are still up for grabs – over $7500 in prizes! If you are reading this and have yet to sign up for this free fishing tournament, visit www. cfshadderby.com to find the nearest one of the 25 sign up locations – you will need an official ruler and photo token for this catch-photo-release tourney open to the public FREE through February 28, 2016. Awards will be held on March 16, 2017, 6:30pm at Gander Mountain Lake Mary. The New Year brings change - January saw record numbers of black crappie caught in the 8th Derby. Although not as many 15+ inch speckled perch (crappie) this year so far, but the numbers are staggering and likely one of the best speck fishing seasons in eight years! American shad have shown up in Central Florida, but are not in great numbers as of early January – yet! 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. 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” crappie has not been entered – yet! Current Derby Leaders: Mens Shad: Mark Whitmire Mens Crappie: Chuck Thompson Womens Crappie: Patty Wisner Youth Crappie: Brandon Correia December Big Crappie Winner – Phil Woodham December Big Shad Winner – Mark Whitmire

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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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1/17/17 4:05 PM


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

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Largemouth bass, black crappie and American shad are the trifecta for February. The spawn is on. Shallow beds during full and new moon phases will produce the biggest bass all year. Catch, photo, and release these large female fish for the reproductive cycle to complete. Bass and shiners are synonymous in February. Slow trolling large wild shiners in pre-spawn areas (not more than 500ft. from the beds), can yield the monster you’re looking for. Choose artificial baits that mimic predators of eggs, namely lizards, shiners, and bream. Lipless Rattle Trap style crank baits, plastic lizards, and shallow surface lures work great.

grass shrimp round out their diet. Jigs slowly trolled (tipped with minnows) along channel edges is a sure bet. Watch your depth recorder in the river bends while trolling and you will learn to see them before they strike the lures. Crappie spawn in colonies and bunch up – locate them and troll many passes for a bucketful of good eating. Florida limit is 25 per person. Check local regulations if you fish in lakes. Shad are in full swing; go get them while they last. Small tandem jigs trolled against the current at 1.5 to 2.0 mph should get a strike in shad alley – between Mullet Lake Park and Puzzle Lake.

8th Annual Shad and Crappie Derby – Awards banquet will be help on Thursday March 16, 2017 at Gander Mountain Lake Mary, 630pm. Every photo will be on display – come see the champions receive over $7500 in prizes. Derby ends February 28, 2017 at sunset. Hurry, there is Speckled perch (crappie) are still time to win! feasting every chance they get during the spawn. Minnows are plentiful in the river system and

Winter bass fishing on the Harris Chain of Lakes is heating up nicely. As of this report there have been a couple significant cold snaps that have triggered an early wave of spawning activity and staging for the spawn of largemouth bass. Anglers have landed numerous fish in the six to eight pound range and many stringers of other smaller bass. Largemouth have been hitting live shiners, Texas-rigged worms, lipless and square billed crankbaits, spinnerbaits, chatterbaits and topwater baits like the devils horse and various frog imitations. Of the nine lakes on the chain anglers have been primarily focusing on Dora, Eustis, Harris, Little Harris and Griffin. By the next full moon in early February the spawn will be in full swing. There are several high profile bass tournaments scheduled for the chain this winter and spring including the Bassmaster Southern Open, an FLW event in early March and an open Big Bass competition. In addition to bass anglers have 4 ORLANDO

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fold, keep checking the weather leading up to your planned time of fishing and try and gear it around either the full or new moon phases.

Bass and crappie fishing since early December has been on the upswing mainly due to the cooler air temps coming from the North, lowering the water temperature for the bass and crappie spawn which will continue with each coming month. Specks in Okeechobee last through late springtime. In fact, April of last year offered some of the biggest crappie of the season. For those of you who do not know, new fishing regulations for the State of Florida have been in effect since July, 2016. Check local rules. I’m often asked by customers, “When is the best time to fish the big O for big bass”? It isn’t just a simple answer but bass fishing here during the winter months can be a key time to increase your chances of landing that big bass. The best answer is two-

As for the crappie bite, the colder temperatures will not affect them nearly as much as bass. Areas to try launching on the South-End: parts of Kreamer/Rita Islands; Tree-house area; East-wall and parts of Observation Shoal. Launching North: Horney pond/ Dyess ditch parts of Kings Bar; around Henry Creek and parts of J&S. While in Okeechobee, be sure to stop by the Okeechobee Fishing Headquarters store, they have the largest selection of lures on hand they also have live-bait (shiners/minnows) available; clothing, rods/reels and boating accessories. To book your fun-filled, productive day crappie or bass fishing on Lake Okeechobee call Capt. Angie at 863-228-7263 or email angie@ southfloridabassfishing.com or visit www.southfloridabassfishing.com.

vantage of this time of year and catch a big one.

been landing some sunshine bass, pickerel (jacks) and bowfin (mudfish). The pan fish bite has also picked up on the Harris Chain. Specks (crappie) and sunfish are being taken on small jigs and minnows. Anglers should be aware of new bass fishing regulations that went into effect last July and special regulations on crappie caught in Lake Griffin.   Captain Mick Maynard is a fully insured 100 Ton US Coast Guard Master Captain and guide. He fishes Central Florida lakes from November through mid-April and Lake Champlain in New York and Vermont from mid-April through November. The Captain offers  four-hour, six-hour and marathon (sun up to sun down) trips scheduled to take advantage of low light hours when the Florida strain bass bite is optimal. Visit Captain Mick at www.LargemouthCentral.com or his Facebook page, Fishing The Harris Chain of Lakes, Florida.

Kissimmee Chain and West Lake Toho: The bass bite is right on schedule. The females are in shallow water spawning on the beds. This is the best time to put the trolling motor in and hunt for bass beds. Late morning is best. One of the most important tools is a good pair of polarized glasses to cut the glare off the water. Bait of choice will be anything that you can see the bass picks up while it is on the bed. My favorite color is a white Senko. Most fish are being caught in the Kissimmee grass in 2 to 3 feet of water. Sandy areas are best. Live wild shiners will produce even bigger bass during the spawn. I prefer wild shiners 8 to 12 inches long. The bigger fish have a big appetite and want to feed without exerting a lot of energy. Take ad-

Crappie bite on the Kissimmee Chain: Look for the crappie to be spawning in shallow water around vegetation like lily pads, reeds, and Kissimmee grass. The males will be the first ones in, competing for spawning areas. The males will be smaller and their tails will be all shredded up from fanning the beds. The male crappies will be aggressive, ready to eat anything near their bed. Bait of choice is minnow on a gold hook under a float. Now the key is to keep coming back every few days to find the big females. One other thing to check is the outside the edge of the grass line, sometimes when the males are in shallow the female crappie will slowly move in and you can really work them over. Minnow tipped jigs are great for both lily pad fishing during the full and new moon phases as well as trolling open water.

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407-790-9515

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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 are coming off of the holiday break and getting right back into the swing of things. They have a busy next few months, traveling throughout Florida to compete in events against the best high school teams in the state. The first event is the FLW high school open being held out of Roland Martin Fish Camp on the shores of Lake Okeechobee. This event, on January 15th, will test the anglers’ skills on one of the best fishing lakes in the country. The junior anglers will then compete in the B.A.S.S. State Qualifier, on the Winter Haven Chain of Lakes on February 12th. Just a couple weeks later, the anglers will have the first of back to back events on the St. Johns River out of Palatka. The first event is the FLW State Event, being held on February 26th. The top 10% of the field in this event will qualify to compete in the regional event being held in September. The follow up event, being held March 12th, is the final B.A.S.S Qualifying event for the year. Stay up to date tourney by tourney – check frequently - www. seminolejunioranglers.org and visit the team standings page. Current Team Standings Through January 15, 2017:

Enigma Rods- Setting New Standard By CAM Staff

Central Florida based Enigma Fishing is setting a new standard for reasonably priced bass tournament grade casting and spinning rods. Company Owner and tournament angler Jesse Tacoronte says he is very excited about the newest series of rods that are ready for shipping and delivery. Raising the bar on both price point and performance, every aspect of the HTP Titanium Casting Rods were designed with extreme attention to detail. These highperformance tournament level rods are designed with premium, ultralight Japanese Toray Carbon proprietary blend blanks. The HPT rods were designed and tested with input from professional anglers such as 3-time Bassmaster Elite Series Angler of the Year, Aaron Martens.

34pts- Dylan Westhelle/Joey Bloom 33pts- Bobby Bakewell/Jake Hutcheson                                32pts- Donnor DiMauro/Saxton Dearmin              22pts- Logan Wright/Colin Blanton                        21pts- Matt Suggs/Colton Rands 20pts-  Jackson Decuir/Brandon Simmons     19pts-  J.D Walker/Jake Terrell 16pts- Jacob Rosser/Ian Rife 14pts- Lee Blackwood/Brock Buckner    14pts- Zach Temperly/Ashton Schmitt                    10pts- Fisher Omans/Steven Steinard                                                      9pts- AJ Alameda/Noah Napolitano   2pts- Ryan Plones With four events left to earn points, all of the teams are still within striking distance of earning team of the year. As a reminder, the top three teams qualify to go to the FLW High School World Finals held on Pickwick Lake in Alabama. We would like to take the time to thank all of our sponsors, especially Instant Insurance who makes this space possible, and Orlando Coastal Angler Magazine for their continued support.

Enigma Fishing customizes and precision balances each individual HPT rod to be ultra-functional, exceptionally beautiful and tailored to exacting actions and specifications demanded by today’s tournament anglers. All rods feature premium American Tackle components, including the multi-award winning MicroWave Line Control System which increases casting distance and accuracy. The blank-through reel seats offers finger-to-blank contact for unparalleled sensitivity and offers incredible ergonomics and palmable comfort, while further reducing weight. Premium cork grips balance out each rod perfectly! Enigma Fishing’s new HPT series features a sleek black rod blank, cork handles, stylish purple wraps and chrome accents. Delivering technique-specific performance second-to none, the all new HPT series raises the bar for all others! Enigma Fishing also has a completely new In-Shore Saltwater Series that will be hitting the market place at end of February or early March for the saltwater anglers, Jesse mentioned that they’re are as good or better than the HPT series and he can’t wait to get them in the hands of redfish tournament anglers. Visit www.Enigmafishing.com for more info or to place your order today!

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Inshore on the saltwater flats of the Mosquito Lagoon, good numbers of redfish and black drum have been easy to locate when conditions are calm and sunny, but getting them to eat artificial baits has been challenging. On the sunny mornings, it is not uncommon to find redfish and trout holding in the sandy potholes within the shallow flats where water temperatures raise faster. Additionally, warming water temperatures combined with sunny spring days and cleaner water make February one of the best months to sight fish for redfish, sea trout, and black drum on the lagoon flats. Also, now is the time to target tailing black drum in the Banana River Lagoon “No Motor Zone”. As we move further away from our extreme cold events, the redfish and drum should begin to feed and tail more readily.

On those windy days in February it is a great time to check out those freshwater fishing options on the St Johns River. Currently, the American shad run has been good, but not on fire. The shad run has started slow this year, but my best fishing last year was on the 15th of February, so it’s too soon to judge the magnitude of the run yet. Our average day has been running around a dozen fish, so I’m hoping it will improve. Lastly, the crappie bite has been on fire in the river stretches between the big lakes. Water levels are extremely low making the bait concentrations in the river very high. Also, Hurricane Mathew flood waters have changed the locations of sandbars in the main river, so please be careful when operating your vessel if you haven’t been to the river lately. Tight lines and good fishing! Captain Tom Van Horn, Mosquito Coast Fishing Charters. Visit www.irl-fishing.com or call 407-416-1187 to book your fishing excursion.

February is typically the coldest month of the year and can have some of the most unpredictable weather. One day it can be sunny and warm, the next can be windy and near freezing. Sudden drops in water temperature can send the fish off the flats and into deeper water. Most of the Lagoon, however, has very little deep water. The ICW channel provides the deepest water outside of Haulover Canal. Fishing the ledge between the spoil islands and the channel can be very productive during the cold spells. Moving closer to Ponce Inlet where the water is not as cold is another option. Cold water temperatures do not mean no fish on the flats but the first few days of prolonged low temperatures usually mean the picking are slim in the skinny stuff. After the temperature

Last year this time was the best cobia run. It was even better than March. I’m not sure if you remember but the March cobia run was roughly 2 days long. Take advantage of those sunny days and go look around. I know it sounds like a cliché but straight out and around buoy 2 to 4 have always been a productive area around the 35 foot depths. Patrick AFB has always been a productive area too. Usually, if your south down try the 45 to 50 foot depths. This report has been brought to you by Captain Chris Cameron of Fired Up Fishing Charters, your premier fishing guide charter of shark fishing Cocoa Beach, offshore fishing Port Canaveral, near shore fishing Cape Canaveral, and Orlando charter fishing.

The shrimp are running! Despite the water hovering at above normal temperatures, the shrimp are popping in Titusville. The best advantage in Titusville, (Non-Tidal waters) is from passing cold fronts which turn the winds counter-clockwise creating more favorable conditions. Many full pulls have been reported since late December through January. The Titusville Pier has gotten their fair share of full pulls on the Max Brewer Bridge. A lottery system is in place which gives anglers the ability to choose their spot when their turn is drawn. You need to get into the lottery pool to get a spot on the pier at the beginning of the night. If you want to see/learn how this pier works virtually, you can see my YouTube video, “How To Shrimp Titusville Pier”. At the start of the year there is tremendous pressure on the Brevard hot spots: Railroad Bridge,

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Cool water temps mean big trout on the shallow flats. Sight fishing for these trophy fish requires extreme stealth and patience to put up with a lot of refusals. Even the best of casts can get ignored or cause the fish to flee leaving behind nothing but a cloud of mud. When targeting these fish, I like using the DOA shrimp for casting to fish I see, or a 5.5 inch CAL for blind casting across likely ambush spots. Big trout often hit a lure and make an immediate beeline for the boat making you think you lost them. Don’t be surprised to reel up the slack and find a fish nearly under your feet.

Haulover Canal, and the Titusville Pier. Weekends are the busy. Haulover Canal has not been news worthy yet this season. The Oak Hill sizes are small in the 4 inch range but the larger ones have begun entering our Volusia County waters.

in with kings are sails and some blackfins. We really haven’t gone for mahi but I heard they were scattered around. I’m personally not going to pass fighting chewing fish to go looking for a pretty green fish out deep. Near shore has been great and should continue to produce this month. Massive schools of redfish have been near the port and around the tip of the cape. Look for the birds diving and there’s a good chance that they’re on them. They will eat anything you throw in the school and they’re all big! Use any type of dead chunk bait you can if you can’t find those bunkers. 4/0 circle hook with a slip sinker will do the trick. Many of my offshore trips turned into port trips and beach trips if we were lucky with a west wind.   Offshore fishing on the days we can get out has been great. The kings have been chewing hard on anything you can get in the water. Live bunker work best but frozen cigar minnows work great too. Try the kingfish grounds and I’m sure you’ll do just fine. Mixed

stabilizes, the fish will return to the flats to feed. Since they are cold blooded creatures, they may seem a bit lethargic and you should definitely slow your retrieve. If things are not working on the flats, a lead headed jig with a shad tail bounced slowly along the bottom is the trick to locating the schools. Even depressions of a couple feet deeper than the surrounding flat can hold huge schools of redfish and trout on cold winter days.

Based on personal photos shared with me, the majority of jumbo shrimp have been the summer whites with blue/green tails. (hint – give those away first, they are not as good as pinks or brownies). Shrimp grow 2 inches a month, so grab your hoops and go fill those freezers. Shrimping and navigating 100 boats at night? Please use patience and be careful. Join Capt. Lee Noga at Boater’s Exchange Feb 7th for the Cocoa Beach “How To Shrimp” Seminar. Free to attend and begins at 6:30pm, information to be highlighted - the new computer driven fishing/shrimping “MacDaddy Smart light™” can actually move shrimp into net range! I will be teaching and releasing more of my “shrimp manipulation” research with Orlando Coastal Angler Magazine starting next month and at local seminars. FEBRUARY 2017

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Wednesday February 1 – The FREE 8th Annual Central Florida Shad and Crappie Derby Continues, Just 28 days to fish! Over $7,500.00 in prizes go to the winning anglers. There are over 25 registration locations, one within a short ride of your favorite fishing spot. Derby ends the 28th of February at midnight. It Only Takes One Fish to win!

niques”. This event is open to the public, members and guests. Special guest speakers will be Local Captains and area anglers. Bring a friend and save some bucks, special Bass Pro discounts for all attendees and speakers. For membership information, please contact Bruce Reid at 407-421-0037 or visit www. mycfoa.com.

Wednesday February 1 630 pm, Join the members of the Seminole County Airboat Club at their host Jolly Gator Restaurant and Grill at the St Johns River on SR 46 next to CS Lee Park for their monthly meeting. This is a great club with a loyal following of members involved in several annual charity and River Clean-up events. Come join us for an evening of family fun.

Saturday February 18 – “Sandy’s Open” Bass Tournament sponsored by Southern Tackleworks on the Harris Chain of Lakes, from Buzzard Beach Ramp on Hwy 441 in Eustis, 3rd Saturday of each month $50.00 entry per boat (2 anglers), starts at safe light until 2:30pm, to enter contact Nick or John at 352-742-0036 or sign-up at ramp prior to start, boat number based on time of entry.

Saturday February 4 – Toho Marine Outdoors “Elite One Man” Bass tournament series on the Kissimmee Chain of Lakes out of the Southport Park launch ramp. $100 entry fee fee with annual membership. 100% Pay-back, pays 1 place for every 5 boats, 2 Big 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 352789-5351 or Mark Lundgren 540-809-5238 or visit www. tohomarine.com. Thursday February 9 – 5pm to 8pm, “Alive After 5” in Sanford, join Orlando Coastal Angler Magazine for fun in downtown Sanford. First Street is closed for a block party! Vendors line the street. Shops and restaurants join in with live music. This event is the second Thursday of each month.

Tuesday February 28 – “Midnight” The 8th Annual CF Shad and Crappie Derby concludes. Thanks to all of the registered anglers and those who up loaded the many photos of their great catches this season. Once again over 1000 anglers registered and fished with us. The Grand Prize and Divisional winners will be contacted. Join us at Gander Mountain in Lake Mary on Thursday March 16th at 6:30pm for the awards presentation. Special Certificates for all of the anglers who caught a 15” or larger Crappie – they join the 15” Club! Join Phil and Charlie with Orlando Coastal Anger Magazine for a fun filled evening full of lots of smiling anglers!

If you have an event or meeting you would like included in the “What’s Hitting Around Town” column, send your details to: Phil Wolf phillip@ coastalanglermagazine.com. Thursday February 9 – 7pm, Deadline for inclusion is the Backcountry Fly Fishing As- 10th of the preceding month. sociation, monthly meeting locations change and are TBD monthly, check our web-site just prior to meeting. This is a “Free” club to join for more info contact or visit www. bfaorlando. Monday February 13 – 630 to 830 pm, Central Florida Offshore Anglers (CFOA) will be hosting their monthly social meeting at Bass Pro Shops in Orlando, in the boat showroom area. Topic for instruction: “Bait Rigging & Tech8 ORLANDO

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Typically, the month of February can be one of the coldest months of the year. It can also be an excellent time to catch some quality fish throughout our region. To begin with, the month of February can be a good time to catch flounder. In fact it is one of my favorite species of fish to catch during the cold winter months. It doesn’t take a lot of skill and just a little effort. Typically, flounder feed and can be caught along a sandy bottom adjacent to structure such as bridge pilings or channel drop offs. Most of the time, flounder will sit and wait for a tasty meal to swim by. Anglers will find that flounder can be caught in both inshore and near shore waters. Many anglers will find that flounder are not very picky. Live shrimp, cut mullet or

January was a mild beginning to our winter season in the Lagoon. Now that we are well into the winter season, we need to change up our strategy starting with how we work artificial baits - the slower the better. Slow means count to five between revolutions of the reel handle, maybe more. Dead sticking with a soft plastic sometimes is the answer. Redfish, trout and black drum are all on the lookout for an easy meal. Finger mullet schools have moved south for the cold season and the predators have switched to crabs and shrimp as their forage. Sight fishing is great with clear water this time of year. Drifting sandy potholes with the sun to your back can yield a gator trout with stealthy presentations of long casts and slow retrieve.

cut clams strips, or small bright colored jerk baits will work best when targeting these tasty fish. One of my favorite ways to catch them is to use a medium action spinning reel combo equipped with 20 pound test braided line and 15 pound test mono leader. Unless you are fishing in a strong current, anglers will want to use a 3/8 ounce jig head for attaching shrimp, cut baits, or scented jerk baits. When fishing inshore, anglers should fish around docks with jerk baits. This will allow one to cast to a target area. When fishing inside the port or along the Canaveral buoy line I suggest drifting. Jigging your bait off the bottom while drifting can be an excellent way to catch one. Anglers will find the flounder bite to be the best near the jetties when a strong NE wind is present. The average length of these flounder can be around 15” with some “door mat” size fish measuring over 22”.

Make sure you are throwing the right bait. DOA Shrimp, DOA Crabs or DOA Cal tails on a jig head are all great baits. Fishing these lures on colder days in deeper water near drop offs and channel edges are productive. If there have been some warmer days after the front, look to 2 to 4 feet of water as a good target area, also look for potholes or darker bottom areas to produce better results. On windy days fish the channels and protected areas. What time to fish? No hurry on those cold mornings, cold blooded redfish warm up usually between the hours of 10:00am and 3:00pm producing the best action. Follow nature’s lead and slow down and fish the warmest parts of the days you decide to fish. Tight lines, and remember with low humidity you need more water keep hydrated. And keep our waterways clean - take a trash bag along with you, clean up where you can.

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Pompano Frustration By Paul MacInnis

I know they are a sexy looking fish with a scrappy fight and tasty white fillets, but I still hate them. I’ve been fishing a long time and know catching fish is all about how, when and where. I believe if I put in the time and effort I can dial in most species to the point I can catch them on a consistent basis. I’ve put in the time and effort on pompano and I don’t have them dialed in. Pompano are a quirky fish. I think I have a decent handle on the how part. It’s the where and when parts that has me frustrated and befuddled. Along our stretch of coast, Florida pompano (Trachinotus carolinus) can be caught in the Indian River Lagoon, at Port Canaveral and Sebastian Inlet and of course in the surf all along east central Florida beaches. Pompano feed on mollusks and crustaceans. Probably the top bait is sand fleas, but they are also known to strike pieces of clam and shrimp. Pompano are also taken on jigs with the most popular being hair jigs with their skirt trimmed just past the hook bend and banana shaped jigs from companies like Doc’s Goofy Jigs. Some lucky folks even catch pompano on flies. I’ve never caught a pompano on fly rod, but that is on my bucket list.

means crowds. Pompano experts have an innate sixth sense that allows them to recognize a freshly caught pompano flopping in the cooler from miles away. If you happen to luck into a good pompano bite, expect to be joined by a dozen new “friends” before your second pompano hits the ice. I understand the fervor over pompano. They are a beautiful, sporty fish and many folks consider their fillets to be the finest tasting morsel you can harvest from the sea. If you want to chase pompano make sure you know the limits. Florida pompano must be a minimum length of eleven inches measured to the fork of the tail and the limit is six per person per day. To keep up with the latest rules and regulations on pompano visit http://myfwc.com/fishing/saltwater/ recreational/permit/ .

Pompano are notorious for turning on and off for reasons I’ve never figured out. They can be closed mouth for hours, and then suddenly erupt in a feeding frenzy that would make jack crevalle proud, and then turn off as quick as they started. One guy (often me) can be fishing the right spot for hours with nary a nibble. Another guy (seldom me) comes to the same spot and limits out in twenty minutes. And speaking of the right spot, pompano often school tightly so the right spot can be small indeed. Guys in the sweet spot can haul in pompano as quick as they can get their bait in the water while fishermen fifty feet away can’t scrounge up a single bite. For this reason pompano fishing often COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THE ANGLERMAG.COM

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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

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

7024 S Orange Ave, Orlando FL 32809 www.allamericanmarine.com

Real Apparel for Real People www.hollowpointapparel.com

35 - All Star Marine (407) 423-9953

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 6807 S Orange Ave, Orlando, FL 32809

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

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 10 ORLANDO

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FEBRUARY 2017

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

1/17/17 4:05 PM


We Support Our Community Businesses!!

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COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THE ANGLERMAG.COM

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FEBRUARY 2017

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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

12 ORLANDO

Nations Trucks

FEBRUARY 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

COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THE ANGLERMAG.COM

1/17/17 4:06 PM


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

COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THE ANGLERMAG.COM

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FEBRUARY 2017

ORLANDO 13

1/17/17 4:06 PM


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

14 ORLANDO

Orlando Outfitters

FEBRUARY 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

COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THE ANGLERMAG.COM

1/17/17 4:06 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

COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THE ANGLERMAG.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

16 ORLANDO

Monroe’s on the Lake Hotel & Banquet Hall

FEBRUARY 2017

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

COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THE ANGLERMAG.COM

1/17/17 4:06 PM


UCF Reel Knights By Connor Byrne

The spring semester is in full swing here at UCF and we are excited for what this semesters’ UCF Reel Knights schedule has in store. So far we have had our first club meeting earlier in January and we were greeted with all of our usual returning members as well as a few new faces who were interested in joining the club. The main break down of this meeting was for us to welcome new members, have all of the board members introduce themselves and explain their different fishing backgrounds and love for the outdoors they also told a little history about the club and what we do to help other and the environment. In this meeting we also had the UCF Bass team give an update of their season and fill any members in on how they could become part of the team. Later in the meeting we announced the club Instagram contest winner. This is a relatively new contest we are doing where the board members choose the best catch from a member that posts to our Instagram page. This led into a group discussion of everyone’s experiences and different catches over winter break. Some of the different fish caught varied from big dolphin and blackfin tuna down in Southeast Florida, grouper in the Florida Keys, snook, redfish and tarpon in the Sebastian inlet and tripletail on the west coast of Florida. Along with the usual scheduled events like bowling night, the Bass Bank Hopper tournament and Mosquito Lagoon tournament, we decided to add something new into our spring schedule - a camping trip on the Econlockhatchee River for all members to participate. The Econ River is a tributary of the St. Johns River in the east Orlando area. On this trip we welcomed any member to bring their boats and take a cruise up the river and bass fish and camp for a night at one of the multiple camping areas along the river bank. Needless to say it was a great time and a good bonding experience for everyone. We hope everyone is having a fantastic start to 2017! Be sure to check us out at ucffishingclub.weebly.com and on Facebook at “Reel Knights at UCF”. A very special thank you goes out to Hell’s Bay Boatworks for giving us the opportunity to have a Reel Knights column and thank you to Orlando Coastal Angler Magazine for supporting the UCF Reel Knights Fishing Club!

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

FEBR UA RY 2 0 1 7 Time 1W

2Th

3F

4Sa

5Su

6M

7Tu

8W

9Th

Miami, Government Cut

Height

4:58 AM -0.3 11:39 AM 2.3 5:26 PM -0.3 12:09 AM 2.2 5:50 AM -0.2 12:26 PM 2.2 6:20 PM -0.3 1:05 AM 2.2 6:48 AM -0.1 1:19 PM 2.1 7:20 PM -0.3 2:07 AM 2.2 7:53 AM 0.0 2:20 PM 2.1 8:25 PM -0.4 3:15 AM 2.2 9:01 AM 0.1 3:26 PM 2.1 9:31 PM -0.4 4:23 AM 2.2 10:07 AM 0.0 4:34 PM 2.1 10:35 PM -0.5 5:27 AM 2.3 11:09 AM -0.1 5:39 PM 2.2 11:34 PM -0.6 6:26 AM 2.4 12:06 PM -0.2 6:38 PM 2.3 12:29 AM -0.6 7:18 AM 2.5 12:59 PM -0.3 7:31 PM 2.4

Time

10F

1:20 AM -0.7 8:06 AM

2.6

8:21 PM

2.5

8:51 AM

2.6

9:07 PM

2.5

9:33 AM

2.6

9:51 PM

2.5

Time

18Sa

1:48 PM -0.4 11Sa

2:09 AM -0.7

19Su

2:35 PM -0.4 12Su

2:55 AM -0.6

20M

3:20 PM -0.4 13M

3:39 AM -0.5

10:13 AM 2.5 4:04 PM -0.4

14Tu

10:34 PM 2.4 4:23 AM -0.3

10:52 AM 2.3 4:47 PM -0.3

15W

11:16 PM

2.2

11:31 AM

2.2

5:06 AM -0.1

5:30 PM -0.2 16Th

17F

11:58 PM

2.1

5:51 AM

0.0

6:15 PM

-0.1

6:38 AM

0.2

7:04 PM

0.0

12:10 PM 2.0 12:43 AM 2.0 12:52 PM

1.9

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

21Tu

1:31 AM 7:30 AM 1:38 PM 7:57 PM 2:26 AM 8:27 AM 2:32 PM 8:54 PM 3:26 AM 9:26 AM 3:33 PM

9:51 PM 4:27 AM 10:23 AM 4:35 PM 10:44 PM

22W 5:24 AM 11:14 AM 5:32 PM

Height 1.9 0.3 1.8 0.1 1.8 0.4 1.7 0.1 1.8 0.4 1.7

0.1 1.8 0.4 1.8 0.0 1.9 0.3 1.9

11:32 PM -0.1 23Th 6:15 AM 2.1 12:01 PM 0.2 6:25 PM 2.0 24F 12:18 AM -0.2 7:02 AM 2.2 12:44 PM 0.0 7:13 PM 2.2 25Sa 1:01 AM -0.3 7:45 AM 2.3 1:26 PM -0.2 7:59 PM 2.3

Time

Height

26Su 1:43 AM -0.4

27M

8:27 AM 2.5 2:06 PM -0.3 8:43 PM 2.4 2:25 AM -0.5 9:08 AM 2.5 2:48 PM -0.4

9:28 PM 2.5 28Tu 3:09 AM -0.5

1W

2Th

3F

4Sa

5Su

9:50 AM 2.5 3:31 PM -0.5 10:14 PM 2.6 3:54 AM -0.4 10:32 AM 2.5 4:17 PM -0.5 11:02 PM 4:42 AM 11:18 AM 5:06 PM 11:53 PM

2.5 -0.3 2.4 -0.5 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

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

COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THE ANGLERMAG.COM

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(Approximate Times)

Height

FEBRUARY 2017

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

ORLANDO 17

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Join A Fishing Club for all Saltwater Anglers Rig It Right Seminars Feb. th :::pm Bass Pro Orlando

Internaaonal Drive, Orlando

*Special Bass Pro Discount for Attendees*

Inshore & Offshore Presenters:

Capt. Jim Ross Capt. Glyn Austin Capt. Richard Bradley Capt. Scott Lum Capt. Billy Pettrigrew Fired Up Charters and Capt. Billy Bright Music and Food Provided by: Fish on Fire and Dancing Pigs Deli Buddy-up Program, Fishing Trips, Seminars Prizes, Raffles, Friendly Tournaments Junior, PeeWee & Lady Angler Competitions

t Visit us awww.mycfoa.com

Special Crazy Year with Seafood and Beer By Wiley B Drum

A new year brings a new outlook. My crazy friend Harry is always changing the way he views the world, and 2017 is just an excuse to freshen things up a little. Harry and his illustrious crew have been burning the midnight oil creating something special. A lot of specials really. Spurred on by the locals and regulars who frequent High Tide Harry’s “Reel Seafood” - the chefs have added new culinary creations and over a dozen craft beers to the menu. They have added succulent bacon wrapped diver scallops, tender, sweet and double wrapped in smoky bacon. The scallops are a perfect opener to a fine seafood feast, which as any seafood lover knows HTH is a place to bring an appetite. Mahi Mahi, shrimp, grouper, crab, catfish, steak, you name it, Harry can cook it. Famous for their pound away Thursdays, HTH delivers quality meals at a ridiculously low, low price every Thursday night. You can enjoy a full one pound seafood dinner for $15.99. Choose form Snow Crab, Ahi Tuna, Mahi Mahi, steamed shrimp, fried shrimp or catfish, on or off the bone. Each meal includes two sides, which now may include their new mac and cheese or sweet potato fries. Plus, any other choice, of more than a dozen classic home cooked sides. On Monday’s, Harry goes overboard and offers the readers of Coastal Angler Magazine an incredible 25% off all food and drinks, all day. I told you he was CRAZY! There are crazy specials every day. Drink specials, food specials and daily specials by Chef Ejay. Tuesday features premium fish or shrimp tacos for only $1.99. Harry has gone loco with $2.99 house margaritas with Patron and Cabo specials too. Oyster Wednesdays mean $9.99 raw or steamed oysters anywhere in the restaurant. CAM readers will receive a Harry’s dozen. Harry can’t count very well and always gives an extra oyster, just in case. Sunday is Funday with $1.99 Bloody Mary’s, mimosas, sangrias and mojitos. Sound like a crazy good time. Enjoy a refreshing beer with your meal. Harry has been seeking out some of the hottest craft beers around. Enjoy I-4 IPA on tap or local options from Cigar City Brewing Co. and Funky Budda. High Tide Harry’s Reel Seafood is located just a couple of miles north of Orlando International Airport on Highway 436. The Orlando landmark features one of the last REEL oyster bars in the area and is well known for the freshest crab available. My new favorite is the crab stuffed avocado. Creamy crab salad stuffed in a split avocado half and seasoned to perfection. Snow crab, Dungeness crab, king crab, blue crab, stone crab, and the menu is so chock full of crab, it’s crazy. Come to think about it, so is Harry’s Blue Stu (stew). A rich thick broth swimming with crab. Perfect for those cold, blustery February nights in Florida. Just look for the giant blue crab on the building next door to the out of business chain seafood restaurant. You know it’s good when the big boys run! Harry has so many specials. Too many to remember off the top of my head. Be sure to ask your server, “What kind of crazy specials does Harry have today?” Harry’s is the perfect place to celebrate Valentine’s Day with your sweetie, and a great place to observe lent. Visit every day for something special and tell them Wiley R. Drum sent you.

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FEBRUARY 2017

COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THE ANGLERMAG.COM

1/17/17 4:06 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

COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THE ANGLERMAG.COM

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FEBRUARY 2017

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fishing A pair of Toads from Harris Chain d nar May k Mic t Cap with

Pops from Chuluota Grocery with a nice Black Drum

hine Logan Wright is a Fish Catching Mac

20 ORLANDO

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FEBRUARY 2017

2 1/2 yr. old Caroline Ledesma with her first Bass

COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THE ANGLERMAG.COM

1/17/17 4:06 PM


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From left, Capt. Kevin Rose and Capt. Judy Helmey officiated and witnessed the wedding of Erin Bodnar and Casey Maday, of Des Moines, Iowa, aboard the Miss Judy Too before catching a pile of fish for the reception.

L

ove and the smell of sheepshead were in the air on Jan. 6 aboard the Miss Judy Too out of Savannah, Ga. It was a dream wedding for bride Erin Bodnar and groom Casey Maday, of Des Moines, Iowa. The couple got hitched while bobbing over an artificial reef off the coast of Georgia with captains from Miss Judy Charters officiating and witnessing the event. “It was a grand day for a wedding and fishing,” wrote Capt. Judy Helmey in a special edition of her weekly fishing report. She added that it was a, “one fiddler one fish kind of a catching deal.” And it’s a good thing the bite was so hot. After the ceremony, the newlyweds and the crew burned through 267 fiddler crabs to boat this mixed bag of sheepshead and black drum. They were on a mission, because fish is on the menu for the couple’s wedding reception back in Iowa.

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ne of the first things any angler can improve to catch more fish without getting new gear is to increase his casting distance. The first adjustment to make is the “spool tension” knob on the right hand side of any baitcaster. With the lure just hanging from the end of the rod tip, first tighten the knob, then release your thumb and slowly unscrew the tension knob until the lure just begins to fall. On the left side plate, you’ll see the centrifugal brake external setting. If you are new to throwing a baitcasting reel, start with a setting of about 4-6. If you have an internal centrifugal brake, set at least two brakes “out / engaged.” If you want to cast far, you have to make a powerful, rod-loading, casting stroke. It’s compact and uses 2 hands. It’s not a big one-armed cast. Tighten the spool tension knob about a quarter turn and practice casting hard. Once you’re throwing your hardest without backlash, slowly begin loosening the settings and feathering the spool edge a little. Slowly adjust the centrifugal brake setting looser, one click, or one brake, to maximize cast distance. Then slightly re-adjust the spool tension knob. In the end, I find that I can still adjust slightly lighter and manually feather the spool edge with the thumb. This is where you’ll get your longest cast distances. Cast hard my friends. Tobin Strickland (aka TroutSupport) is a field staff angler for Lews Reels.

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Marsh Harbour, Abaco features its share of quaint resorts, including the Abaco Beach Resort and Boat Harbour Marina the Sandpiper Inn and Cottage and Four Winds Cottages. Treasure Cay boasts the luxury Treasure Cay Beach, Marina and Golf Resort, a highend spot frequented by celebrities. Out on the flats, the water is still, a perfect mirror reflecting the cloudy sky. It is a gorgeous day to bonefish. Albury maneuvers through the flats like only a native could. He swerves through tightly packed mangroves at breakneck speeds until we reach the spot. At that moment, he cuts the engine and begins poling the boat. I sit at the bow, rod in hand with shrimp for bait. Albury surveys the waters and points out a bonefish at my two-o’clock. I cast my line but miss. “Throw it out again,” Albury says. I cast again and reel it in just enough. Suddenly, a splash on the surface and a tight line tell me the fish has the bait. We fight for a moment until I reel him to the edge of the boat. Albury grabs him and turns him on his back sending the fish into a catatonic state. There is excitement onboard. As we surveyed for another catch, I explained to Albury that my father is a bonefish guide in Crooked Island. “I love fishing,” I say to him. “You know if you love fishing once you hook a fish,” Albury says. “If that doesn’t excite you, nothing will.” Interested fishermen can reach Jody at jodysbonefishing.com.

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e set out on a small boat shortly after 8 a.m. on a warm Wednesday morning. For Jody Albury, this is just another day of bonefishing in Abaco, Bahamas. He’s been a professional guide for 10 years, but an avid fisherman since he was a boy. Jody, a quiet yet jovial Abaconian, has serviced fishing enthusiast from the around the world. He quit his day job to make a living doing what he loves, bonefishing. Abaco, one of the 700 islands of The Bahamas, is regarded as one of the world’s premier destinations for bonefishing. Thousands of anglers descend on the Abacos during the winter months in search of the elusive gray ghost. The island and its cays are in the northeast Bahamas 91 miles northeast of Nassau, Bahamas, a 20-minute plane ride, and 120 miles from Miami or an hour plane ride with flights from American Eagle and Silver Airways, to name a few. The Abacos are made up of nearly a dozen cays. Unlike most other islands in The Bahamas, visitors can take a ferry to the various cays including Hope Town, Green Turtle Cay and Great Guana Cay. Some rent yachts or other boats and sail the cays themselves. My first stop in Abaco was Hope Town with its scenic beaches and historic candy striped lighthouse. Hope Town features a small community where most everyone moves around by golf cart or bicycle. The island is quiet yet filled with life, hotels, small properties and bed and breakfasts. The architecture features colonial design, a lingering tradition from the Loyalists who settled in the Abacos centuries ago. Hope Town fuses rustic charm with modern advances. It’s easy to sit on a hammock under two palm trees and watch Netflix.

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SWEET STICKS:

RODS FOR KAYAK FISHING

By Paul Lebowitz

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n nearly 20 years of kayak fishing, I’ve seen the boats radically change. These days they are purpose-built for angling, and much more stable and forgiving. On the other hand, the thinking on what makes a good kayak rod has scarcely evolved. There’s been little need. For most applications, off-the-shelf gear made for the general fishing market works fine. A standard bass or flats quiver will suit you well whether you’re fishing from a ’yak, a powerboat or the shore, although the adjustable butt of Manley Rods’ offerings is a nice feature. It’s only when you get to big game that the need for specialized kayak sticks is magnified. Let’s cover the big exception: the rod tip. When landing a fish from a kayak, you’d do well to have some glass for shock absorption. High-sticking is almost inevitable. Most big game kayak anglers fight their fish while sitting. An intermediate length butt is an advantage, something on the order of 12 to 13 inches, about 2 to 4 inches shorter than normal. That’s just right for tucking into your belly while seated. A strong backbone is a plus for easier fish management, particularly when the battle is in its closing stages. Rod length is a matter of preference. It’s nice to have enough reach to get the tip around the bow, but it isn’t strictly necessary. If you’re hooked up and you point your rod tip at the bow, the fish will pull the kayak around to face it.

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COOL WATER SUSPENDERS

water, but they will still have an eye on what’s going on, as a prey in their stomach is still necessary to fuel them. What I like to do is fish slowly, twitching suspending baits once or twice between long pauses. And sometimes these pauses are truly long pauses. I’ve found that’s one thing most people have a hard time doing. Most are unable to pass the two or three second mark without feeling the need to twitch their bait again. When I’m on a spot that’s worth it, or if I catch a By Patrick Sebile glimpse of a nice fish, I will hold my suspending Stick Shadd still for up to 30 seconds. It might feel like an eternity; it might feel worthless, but some of my best inshore catches came on such long, 15- to 30-second pauses. I keep the rod tip down close to the water, and I don’t rely on feeling a bite. I leave a little slack in my line, no more than 6 or 8 inches, and watch the line very closely. Most of the time the bite is just a tiny tap that is hard to feel but very easy to see on the line. If the line moves just an inch or two, that’s it. Set the hook without delay. You might be surprised at the trophy fish you’ll catch with such minimal action. Another technique that produces well for me on cold water is simply to cast and retrieve my suspending twitch bait super slowly. I sometimes retrieve it so slowly that it This nice trout was caught in Vero Beach, Fla. on a suspending Stick Shadd 114 using won’t even have any side-to-side action at all. Yep, you very minimal action and long pauses. read that right. Just the lure moving through the water straight ahead and slowly is the right presentation on o matter where you are in North America, winter brings cold winds some days. In cold water it will often out-produce the and sore throats to all. And the effect is even more brutal on fish than typical action-packed movement of this type of bait. men. Immersed in the water, in an unstable environment that changes It may seem surprising, but it’s efficient. In both cases, a suspending bait quickly, they have no choice but to exist the best they can where they are. is key, as well as the patience and confidence to resist working it too quickly There’s no option for fish to go on a cruise in the Bahamas to tan their or erratically. scales in the tropical sun. And the shallow-water inhabitants feel the impact Patrick Sebile is the owner and lure designer of Sebile Innovative Fishing even more than the deep-water ones, given that the skinny depth they live (www.sebile.com). in can drop in temperature sharply. Their behavior can turn sluggish, but For more tips on cold water fishing, go to they still need to feed. It is therefore crucial to adjust the lure’s action to their temperature-driven mood. Airline_Ad_CoastalAngler_8-1-14_Layout 1 8/1/14 1:14 PM Page 1 Seatrout and redfish will dive into grass to limit their exposure to colder

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f all the different methods of fishing, fly fishing has a reputation for being one of the more overpriced methods for landing fish. With all of the extremely high-end rod and reel brands in the fly fishing world, it can be a little disheartening for those trying to get started. As a broke college student who has to also buy food, gas and textbooks, purchasing the newest Sage rod and Tibor reel just wasn’t in the budget for me. Since not fly fishing wasn’t an option, I had to find ways to get quality gear at a more reasonable price. Here are a few brands I personally like that have proven to be affordable and reliable pieces of equipment for me. Temple Fork Outfitters produces some fine rods for the money. With all their rods ranging from under $100 to around $450 for their most expensive rod, it’s not hard to find a rod in their line that fits your budget. A rod I highly recommend is the TFO Mangrove. This rod comes in sizes from a 4 weight all the way up to a 12 weight, costing anywhere from $250 to $300. Another thing TFO has going for them is their no-nonsense lifetime warranty. A good warranty is something a lot of fly rod makers provide, and it is an important consideration because rods break. For reels, the best deal I’ve seen are actually some of the off-brand reels found on Amazon and produced by brands like Piscifun or WetFly. The thing about fly reels is you don’t need them to cast. Until you get a fish on and need a smooth drag or to pick up line quickly, all they do is store line. If your targets are panfish, small bass or seatrout, it’s likely you will seldom even need a reel except to hold your line. On the other hand, if you expect to do battle with bonefish, tarpon or redfish, a good reel becomes very important. Although they don’t carry the prestige of the American-made reel companies, reels like the Piscifun Sword are made from 100 percent CNC machined aluminum, and based on my experience and the testimony of other fly fishermen, these reels hold up considerably well. When you also factor in that most of these reels come in under $100, it’s hard to find a reason to not at least give these reels a try. If you are a stickler for only buying American products, I would suggest taking a look at the Waterworks-Lamson Liquid and Remix which both come in at $160 or less and are both assembled in Lamson’s factory in Idaho. At the end of the day, fish don’t care how shiny or expensive your equipment is. The only thing that matters is if you can present a fly to them in a manner realistic enough for them to eat it. So, if you’ve been hit by this incurable disease called fly fishing but can’t afford the high prices, there’s no need to fear thanks to affordable and highperforming rods and reels

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peargun selection is one of the most hotly debated topics on spearfishing forums. Fortunately, there are many great brands nowadays – such as Wong, AB Biller, Riffe, Hammerhead, Cressi, SEAC, Mares, Rob Allen, Koah, Mako, JBL and more. Over the last century, spearfishing equipment has evolved from very simple muscle-powered slings and polespears, made with wood and rubber bands, to the modern-day spearguns equipped with a trigger mechanism and more exotic materials. Interestingly, slings and polespear are making a comeback—but that’s a topic for another month—so let’s concentrate on how to select a modern-day speargun. If you walk into your local dive shop, you will notice there are two main categories of band-powered spearguns: the American style, usually recognized by the wood stock, and the Eurogun, which has a tubular shaped barrel and a rear handle. The Eurogun originated in Europe where most spearfishing is freedive-only, fairly deep, and for small, easily spooked fish. Hence these spearguns have a low-profile, streamlined design and thinner shafts. If you are diving in similar conditions, the Eurogun style might be for you. On the other hand, if you want a sturdy, durable and easy-to-load gun that will handle bigger fish, you might lean toward the American/wood-style gun. This is also the style used for big powerful tuna guns, because they can be ballasted and accommodate up to six bands. There’s also a hybrid design, which incorporates the best elements of both with wood stock in the back and a carbon fiber tube in the front. Once you’ve chosen between styles, the next question is length. Most Eurogun sizes are 90 to 160 centimeters, and most American guns are between 36 and 65 inches. So, with the conversion from centimeters to inches, they have pretty much the same length range. If you are diving in low visibility or hunting in rocks like they have in California or Rhode Island, you would choose a shorter gun. If you are hunting spooky fish in clear waters like mutton snappers in Florida, you would opt for a longer gun. If you are just getting started and expect to dive in variable visibility, 130 centimeters or 50 inches would be a good medium length for an all-around reef gun.

Sheri Daye hunts with a Wong Hybrid Speargun. Photo by Joe Marino.

Here are some additional tips: 1) Join a local spearfishing club and learn from the more experienced people. Observe what equipment they use and ask for advice. 22) Shop at a dive store that caters to spearfishing. They carry more choices and have experienced personnel to help you choose. These include Austin’s in Miami; Florida Freedivers in Palm Beach; James & Josephs in San Diego, Calif.; Freedive Shop in Sacramento, Calif. and more. 3) Check out the custom-gun builders. There are some high-quality builders who will work with you directly, give you advice, and design it to your specs—such as Wong Spearguns from Hawaii or Sea Sniper from California. Most importantly, you should pick a style that suits you and the conditions you dive in. Chances are you will get hooked and add more spearguns to your arsenal in the future! Follow “Sheri Daye” & “The Blue Wild Ocean Adventure Expo” April 22-23, 2017 – Ft. Lauderdale - Instagram and Facebook.

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TIPS FROM A PRO

FRESHWATER THE REBIRTH OF 8- TO 10FOOT BASS RODS BRANDON LESTER

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ver since I can remember, there has been a rule in B.A.S.S. tournaments barring the use of rods longer than 8 feet. To my knowledge, it is because Dee Thomas and other Californians were using 10-foot and longer rods for “flipping” when the technique was first invented. Evidently the powersthat-be back then didn’t like this new way of fishing, so they banned the use of long rods. At the conclusion of 2016, B.A.S.S. decided to change this rule and allow us to use any rod up to 10 feet in length. Bass fishing has evolved

they fight. The extra rod length will help keep the line tight during the fight, giving the fish less opportunity to escape. For the small wooden crankbaits, the longer rod gives control over how deep the bait dives. Hold the rod tip up, and the bait dives shallower. Stick a couple feet of the blank in the water, and it runs deeper. Add longer casting distance and you will be hitting depths never before achieved with some baits. A longer rod will also be beneficial for flipping and pitching. We all know what

tremendously in the past several years, and there is no doubt this rule change will be another big breakthrough. Will long rods become the norm in everyone’s boat? I don’t think so, but I believe these rods will have a time and place in bass fishing. I have been busy building and testing a few of these longer rods with the guys at Mud Hole Custom Tackle. We’ve made encouraging findings. The first long rod I built is a 8’6” medium power spinning rod. I wanted a rod to cast small, wooden crankbaits on light line for more distance. I also wanted this rod to act as a drop shot rod for open-water smallmouth fishing. Although I don’t see myself using this rod all the time for drop shotting, imagine a scenario where you are casting a drop shot in current and need that extra length to control the way the line drifts. Also, anyone who has ever fought a river smallmouth knows how hard

happens when we set the hook on a 12-inch bass with a 7’6” rod, well imagine what will happen when you set the hook on one with a 9-foot flipping stick. We’ll be jerking 3-pounders out of the thickest cover! When that 10-pounder bites, she might not be the one that got away anymore. There might be cases where a long flipping rod is more efficient, as well. The technique of flipping, as it was done originally, by stripping line through the guides and never using the reel, will probably come back to light because we can now use a rod long enough put a bait where it needs to go. I will be building a long flipping stick before the elite series heads to Lake Okeechobee. What better place to try it out than the land of the giants? Keep tabs on 8-foot-plus rod building by visiting www. MudHole.com, and hit me up on Facebook with any questions.

Get more tips from Lester at

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

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

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ackle geeks have climbed high rungs of reel optimization for decades. Their basic game remains the same today: super-tune fishing reels by adding premium components and applying best cleaning and maintenance practices. But better materials and technology have elevated expectations of what fishing reels can be made to do. Russ Lane, who has earned six appearances in the Bassmaster Classic, took his habitual tackle tinkering to high-tech heights several seasons back. Lane today replaces standard reel parts with premium components that extend reel life and enable spools to spin at dazzling RPMs. What’s the fisherman’s takeaway after these reel transformations? The clearest advantages are longer casting distances, better control, heightened casting accuracy, and improved feel and sensitivity. Some premium reel components—strikingly colorful multi-textured reel knobs and anodized star drags and cast control caps, for example—can practically turn reels into showpieces, too. “Fishermen can’t believe what custom components can add to a reel’s capability,” said Noah Arroyo, owner of Off the Hook Reels. “And some fishermen are just as attracted to the unique colors and finishes you can bring to a reel and the rich look of premium parts.” Consider replacing standard reel parts with these upgrades: • Ceramic bearings – Ceramic bearings or ceramic hybrid bearings (the latter feature ceramic balls in a stainless steel or plastic cage) can elevate reel performance dramatically. Ceramic bearings can range up to 60 percent lighter than stainless steel bearings. They generate less heat and lower vibration levels, too, reducing friction as the spool revolves. Spool RPMs may climb dramatically, extending casting distance and improving accuracy by reducing the effort required to execute a cast. They also possess five times the life expectancy of stainless steel bearings. The one downside is that they produce a very audible hum, a turn-off to some anglers. HawgTech promotes its ABEC-7 hybrid bearings in nylon cages as allowing “a more free spinning bearing that also runs quieter.” • Carbon Fiber Reel Handles – Lightweight carbon fiber reel arms are

the most common reel upgrade. The difference in weight and sensitivity from conventional reel handles is discernible. They also give a sleek, skeletal look to the reel. • Winn Reel Knobs – Reel knobs made from Winn’s patented WinnDry polymer deliver the same all-weather “tacky” feel and security that Winn grips bring to fishing rods. “The Winn knobs available from HawgTech are so good, your grip never slips even when hands are wet or coated with fish slime,” said Arroyo. Two of Lew’s Best of Show awards at ICAST 2016 featured fishing reels with Winn reel knobs. HawgTech offers these knobs in several bold colors. • Anodized Aluminum Star Drags, Cast Control Caps – Colorful anodized aluminum can give a reel an “auto show” glow. You can go with matching or complementary color options for star drag controls, cast control caps and related parts. Maintenance steps: Of course, flashy parts alone won’t optimize reel performance. Make sure the internal workings of your reel are flawlessly cleaned and lubricated, too. “You have to optimize everything when you super-tune. Polish and clean ends and shafts and pinion gears,” said Arroyo. “When you do and then add your ceramic bearings and premium parts, you really end up with a great piece of machinery.”

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TAUTEN LINEWELDER Sick of having to learn and tie complex knots? The Tauten LineWelder creates a weld that is actually stronger than any knot. The device creates a “sleeve” of thermoplastic polymer around both ends of a looped line, holding the loop in place without bending or weakening the line. Knots weaken the line, and most lines’ strengths are rated with a knot, so using a Tauten LineWelder in place of tying a knot lets you get a connection that’s stronger than the advertised strength of most lines! The process is quick, easy, consistent and doesn’t require you to tie complicated knots. It’s perfect for new fishermen or veteran anglers who don’t want to bother with finicky knot tying. Just loop the line in the device, pull it taut and push the button to create a weld. This device can help fishermen who don’t want to tie complicated knots by removing the need entirely and allowing anglers to focus on the sport they love. The LineWelder works best on 10- to 12-pound-test monofilament nylon and fluorocarbon lines and 10- to 50-pound-test braided lines. Using an experimental technique, it can even join braided lines with monofilament nylon or fluorocarbon leaders to eliminate the need for a swivel. Accessories to weld a wider variety of lines are currently in development and will be available in the future. Visit tauten.com for more information and to see videos of the LineWelder in action. The Tauten customer service staff is always eager to answer any questions, so don’t hesitate to contact them.

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DEXTER UR-CUT FILLET KNIFE Dexter UR-Cut Fillet knives are the only fillet knives that allow you to custom mold the handle to your hand. UR-Cut provides the ultimate in comfort and control and is virtually non-slip in your hand. It’s simple and takes only minutes to customize UR-Cut to fit your hand. First, grip the handle and determine your grip position, paying attention to your thumb position. Dip and completely submerge the handle in boiling water for 2 minutes. Make sure the pot is deep enough so the handle does not contact the bottom or the sides of the pot. Then dip in cold water for 1 second, grip, squeeze, and hold the handle for 10 seconds. Dip back in cold water for 10 seconds and let cool. You now have a custom fillet knife, molded to fit your hand. Just like other Dexter knives, UR-Cut features the same legendary DEXTSTEEL blade, with super-sharp edges that are easy to re-sharpen and have just-right flexibility. UR-Cut fillet knives are made in the U.S.A. and are available in 6”, 7” and 8” lengths. Available at your local and online retailer. For more information and to view all Dexter fishing knives visit dexteroutdoors.com.

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A DIFFERENT APPROACH MARK SOSIN

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small sign on the corner of my attorney’s desk warns his clients to “Assume Nothing.” That caveat is just as valid on the water as it is in the practice of law. If an angler does not start catching fish within minutes of arriving at a spot, he begins to assume that his quarry must be elsewhere. The assumption, of course, is that he has chosen the right bait or lure and presented it in a natural and appealing manner to a fish that is ready to eat. A fish’s behavioral patterns, honed over eons, follow very specific guidelines with few deviations. Anything that differs from the norm instinctively alerts a fish that something may be amiss and it thinks of its own safety first. Regardless of size, a predator does not expect to be charged or attacked by its prey no matter how small the prey is in relation to the predator. That’s why a 3-inch fly made of feathers can spook a 100-pound fish. And remember that fish do not feed constantly for a variety of reasons. Most species use tidal currents, water flow, or the neck of a funnel to their advantage as they search for food. They either hold facing the current, swim against the flow, or work across it. Whenever you present a bait or lure, it should be upcurrent from where you expect the fish to be so that your offering appears to go with the flow. That tenet even applies when you are casting to a cruising fish. The more natural the presentation, the better the chance of a strike. Your quarry automatically measures energy tradeoff. The idea is to exploit each situation so they will expend the least amount of energy for the value received. That translates into the fact that they frequently refuse to chase a bait or lure very far before turning away. An ambush feeder merely wants to dart out, grab its prey and return to its lair. Bottom denizens follow a similar practice. If your offering isn’t close to the sea floor, it’s difficult to get them to swim toward the surface to get it. Successful bottom bouncing starts upcurrent and allows the bait to drag along in the productive zone. Once it sweeps above the quarry, the potential for getting a strike diminishes rapidly. Water temperature enters the energy tradeoff equation. In cold or even cool water, fish react sluggishly because the water temperature slows down their metabolism. It might even force them out of their usual lair in search of warmer water. In those situations, choose baits or lures that are easy for a fish to catch and slow down the retrieve or the trolling speed. And remember, in cooler water it takes fish longer to digest food so they feed less frequently. Those who catch fish consistently study and comprehend the basics of feeding strategy. You can be sure that the behavioral patterns of each species are not about to change. That puts the onus on you to modify your tactics until you uncover the combination that works. Before you abandon a spot because you think it doesn’t hold fish, make sure you have explored the full gamut of options. If you do make any assumptions, convince yourself that a fish is looking at your bait or lure right now. The results might surprise you.

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WITH

ITEM 69111 62522/62573 69052 shown

Limit 1 coupon per customer per day. Save 20% on any 1 item purchased. *Cannot be used with other discount, coupon or any of the following items or brands: Inside Track Club membership, Extended Service Plan, gift card, open box item, 3 day Parking Lot Sale item, compressors, floor jacks, saw mills, storage cabinets, chests or carts, trailers, trenchers, welders, Admiral, Bauer, CoverPro, Daytona, Earthquake, Hercules, Jupiter, Lynxx, Poulan, Predator, StormCat, Tailgator, Viking, Vulcan. Not valid on prior purchases. Non-transferable. Original coupon must be presented. Valid through 6/1/17.

SUPER COUPON Customer Rating

FREE

ANY SINGLE ITEM

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 6/1/17. Limit one coupon per customer per day.

1/2" ELECTRIC IMPACT WRENCH

SUPER COUPON

SUPER COUPON

Customer Rating

$8499

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 6/1/17. Limit one coupon per customer per day.

comp at

$34.95

SUPER COUPON Customer Rating Weighs 73 lbs.

185 99 $

20"

94 $269.99

comp at

reight.com or by calling our stores or HarborF t or coupon or prior LIMIT 5 - Good at used with other discoun with original receipt. 800-423-2567. Cannot be from original purchase be purchases after 30 dayss last. Non-transferable. Original coupon must day. Offer good while supplie 6/1/17. Limit one coupon per customer per presented. Valid through

• HarborFreight.com • 800-423-2567

COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

11

® RAPID PUMP 3 TON LOW PROFILE HEAVY DUTY STEEL • FLOOR JACK SAVE

SUPER COUPON

comp at

99 $7 99

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 6/1/17. Limit one coupon per customer per day.

ITEM 61282 shown $ 61253/62326

$17.97

SUPER COUPON

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.

FEBRUARY 2017

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FEBRUARY 2017

COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

1/17/17 12:54 PM


PENNFISHING.COM

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

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

1/16/17 3:39 PM


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1/16/17 3:39 PM

Coastal Angler Magazine - Feb. / Orlando