Coastal Angler Magazine - March / Pensacola-Destin-Emerald Coast

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PENSACOLA/DESTIN/EMERALD COAST EDITION

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

W

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

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

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For more tuna fishing in the Keys, go to

FISHINGLIFE.CO

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Fight the blues.

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

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MCTKW-2653 Coastal Angler LO1 • March 2017

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ON THE COVER Editor’s Note:

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

COASTAL ANGLER MAGAZINE Freeport, Bahamas Yellowfin

FREE

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

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

Fishing Reports Catch Photos News & Events

VOLUME 22 • ISSUE 266

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THE ANGLER MAGAZINE Lake Erie, Smallmouth Bass

FREE

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

VOLUME 22 • ISSUE 265

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

WWW.XTRATUFBOOTS.COM

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

WWW.LLBEAN.COM

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

REEF CONTOURED CUSHIONED SANDALS

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

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

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

BODY GLOVE 3T BAREFOOT WARRIOR

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

WWW.BODYGLOVE.COM OLUKAI PA‘A SANDALS

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

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

WWW.HOOKANDTACKLE.COM

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Lake Erie’s

Big Brown Bass L

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

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

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The Freeport Meat Run

Lorem ipsum

An Annual Trip Of A Lifetime By Nick Carter

By CAM Staff - Photos Courtesy of Picture Perfect Charters

F

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

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

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Spawning Phase Will Play A Big Role In Conroe Bassmaster Classic

K

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

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

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FLY FISHING

WADE FISHING ESSENTIALS

W

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

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

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

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FLORIDA

Why Just By Tom Karrow

Bonefish?

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

A

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

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

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Cool Water Wading

T

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

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

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

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

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

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Snook Season Is Open! FWC Photo

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

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

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Spring Boat Shows

Mix Boats With Seafood And Live Music

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

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

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The Wharf Boat & Yacht Show Returns March 23-26

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oming off a record-setting 2016, which saw more than $21 million in inventory sold, The Wharf Boat and Yacht Show returns to Orange Beach, Ala. March 23-26. In addition to record sales in 2016, the show drew over 12,000 attendees and 39 dogs. Local dealers and national manufacturers will display 160 in-water yachts and more than 600 boats on trailers totaling over $110 million dollars of marine inventory, a record for this show at The Wharf. The Wharf Boat and Yacht show continues to expand its footprint within The Wharf, the premier destination resort and marina on Al-

abama’s Gulf Coast. This spring, the show has added 50,000 square feet of new outdoor exhibitor display space. This additional space has created an opportunity for new and existing dealers to showcase the latest boat models, as again this year all of the exhibitor space has been sold-out for months. “2017 marks a year of tremendous growth for our show,” said Chris Miller, of The Wharf Boat and Yacht Show. “The success of this show is a result of our exhibiting dealer partners delivering the absolute best of the best in the boating market to Orange Beach. Our partnership has transformed this show, in just a few short years, from a local show to a regional event that attracts boat buyers from the entire Southeast and beyond.” “The Wharf Boat and Yacht Show continues to expand, and with that growth this show has shifted the purchasing habits of boat buyers from not only the Gulf Coast but places like Atlanta, New Orleans, Nashville and the Florida Panhandle,” said Andrew Jones, a partner with American Marine Brokerage. “Buyers now know, the boats they are interested in are available in Orange Beach.” This year The Wharf Boat and Yacht Show will also grow into the Orange Beach Event Center with 20,000 square feet of climate-controlled exhibit space. The Orange Beach Event Center is located next to the new Marriott SpringHill Suites Hotel at The Wharf. Inside the Event Center will be the Lifestyle & Marine Center, which will feature merchandise and seminars for boaters and fishermen as well as something for everyone who enjoys the Gulf Coast lifestyle. Throughout the four-day event, there will be fishing and boating seminars, kids art classes as well as exhibitor displays from world’s best boating, fishing, watercraft, marine electronics and accessory companies. There will also be live music daily and the Triple Crown Fighting Chair Challenge raising money for St. Jude Children’s Hospital. For tickets, a complete schedule, a list of exhibitors and all other details visit www.wharfboatshow.com.

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Sea Chaser 21LX $30,485

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Feathering a Baitcaster To Cast Farther By Tobin Strickland • Photo courtesy of Troutsupport.com

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he final step to casting farther is learning to “feather” the reel spool. Feathering the reel spool edge or the line on the spool is accomplished by using the thumb to ever so slightly brush the spool edge during the initial one-third of the cast. With the increased power being loaded into the cast now, you have to control the spool speed during at the beginning of the cast until downrange velocity is a little more constant. This takes practice, practice, practice. Start by not fully removing your thumb from the spool during a cast. Instead of fully removing the thumb off the spool at the beginning of the cast, just leave the thumb to barely brush the line or the spool edge as the line leaves the spool. I find feathering is more consistently accomplished on the edge of the spool. As you practice, your touch will be become lighter and more precise. You’ll begin to feel the point where the spool is running smoothly, and at that point in the cast you can completely remove the thumb from the spool and let the reel do all the work. Here on the flats, we’re using the Team Lews Lite and ProG to consistently make very long casts working structure such as potholes and edges of grass and oyster. Many times catching fish at the end of the cast and adding fish that weren’t reachable prior to using these tools Tobin Strickland (aka TroutSupport.com) is a Lew’s Field Staff member.

Spring Boat Shows

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Attention Advertising Sales Reps Have you ever wondered what it would be like to own the media company that you were selling advertising for? Ever considered how different your life would be if you didn’t have to hand over the bulk of your sales revenue to your employer? Have you ever thought about how much easier your sales job could be if you didn’t have to beg your sales manager for every little extra thing that you wanted to give your customer? Ever wondered what it would be like to control your own time? You don’t have to wonder anymore. Coastal Angler and its freshwater component The Angler Magazine are offering magazine franchises throughout the continental U.S. and abroad. Now, you can be the publisher and completely control the advertising department of your magazine. After nine years of franchising this magazine and with 42 current locations, we can say with confidence that these home-based magazine locations can be opened in nearly any location with a minimum population base of 500,000 and an active angling community. We have also identified our ideal candidate as being someone with previous media sales experience. Male or female, success in this endeavor is gauged more on advertising sales than fishing prowess.

Michigan Offers $1 Mil To Stop Asian Carp

If you are a current or former media advertising sales rep, you owe it to yourself to check out our franchise opportunities. For more information, call 888-800-9794 or email info@ coastalanglermagazine.com.

Photo by Jason Jenkins

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he Michigan Department of Natural Resources has put out a global call to the public, offering $1 million for the best proposal to stop invasive Asian carp from reaching the Great Lakes. These carp are the ones everyone knows from videos of big fish jumping in the air when startled by passing boats. They are fast-growing filter feeders that can reach weights up to 100 pounds, and they are highly prolific, producing as many as a million eggs. They have the potential to disrupt entire ecosystems, and have been called an immediate and grave biological threat to the Great Lakes. Currently, silver and bighead carp are backed up in Chicago waterways just 10 miles from Lake Michigan at three electric barriers. Despite these barriers and rotenone treatments, which kill all fish species in an area, environmental DNA testing suggests that some silver and bighead carp have made it past the barriers toward Lake Michigan. Researchers predict bighead and silver carp pose a significant threat to disrupt the food chain that supports the native fish of the Great Lakes, such as walleye, yellow perch and lake whitefish. Such a disruption may result in diminished recreational and commercial fishing opportunities. The Associated Press reports that the federal government recently approved $42 million to prevent these carp from reaching the Great Lakes. If you are the one with the million-dollar idea that will stop the scourge, submit proposals at www.michigan.gov.

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Media Sales Representatives wanted immediately for fishing magazine franchisee opportunity. Must have 2 to 5 years media sales experience. Dependable transporation, a love of the outdoors and a good solid work ethic. Type A’s welcome.

For Information Contact Editor in Chief Ben Martin at 888-800-7974 or email at camads@coastalanglermagazine.com

2/14/17 5:02 PM


DESTIN REPORT By: Peter Wright Jr. Come on Spring!!!! March is really the start of the new year when it comes to fishing on the Emerald Coast. With spring finally showing its face, fishermen start getting together their tackle, they start going through their boat and making sure everything is in tip top shape, and they start discussing with their family and friends about what days they’re going to take off work to go fishing. Throughout the month the air and water temps slowly start to rise and every day we start to see more and more fish show up here on the coast. Just this month alone we see Cobia, Spanish mackerel, King Mackerel, Jack Crevalle, Pompano, Bluefish, and more, that that finally show their faces. Both inshore and offshore fishing during this month are terrific, so get your stuff together, because when that first sunny mid 70’s with a light southeaster blowing day presents itself, you don’t want to be scrambling.

Inshore/Nearshore Perhaps the most desired fish to catch all year long shows up this month migrating from the east to west, the Cobia. This fish is also known as ling or lemon fish. On their way to spawn in the Mississippi River Delta, they pass along the emerald green waters of the emerald coast. The Emerald Coast has some of the best cobia fishing in the country and arguably the most entertaining. Fishermen cruise along the beach between 1/8 mile to 2 miles away from shore at a slow pace sight fishing for these fish. Having the clear water and the white sand bottom makes for a very easy spot and cast situation for these fish that average from 30-40lbs and will get up to 100lbs. Since they are bigger fish you want to use larger spinning tackle like a 20-40lb outfit. The majority of fish you see are hungry and will eat almost anything you throw in front of them, but their favorites include live eels, live fin baits, mullet, squid balls, and crabs. Artificial baits can be very deadly, sometimes better, and there’s no better artificial than the classic Frank Helton Ding-A-Ling Jig. The cobia typically start showing up around the first of the month or when the water temp hits the magic number of 68 degrees. The fish migrate from east to west and use the wave and current direction to help them along the way. If you’re going to take a day off from work make sure if possible it’s a nice sunny day with a southeast breeze blowing around 10-15kts. The fish will get up high in the water and use the waves to their advantage cruising the tops of them headed west and making it very easy to spot them. There’s a lot more to talk about when discussing cobia fishing but I only have so much room, so make sure and swing by our tackle store and get the latest and greatest on how to catch cobia. March is one of my favorite months for redfish and trout. The fish start to get out of their winter routines of holding up in creeks and rivers and start to move along with the bait back out to more open water. The warmer the month is, the better the fishing. If it stays cold for a couple more weeks you can

count on the fish staying put where they’ve been the last couple months. If we start getting some days with highs in the 70’s though, those fish will be on the move. One hint too is to hit the lights this time of year. For some reason people always wait until summer to fish the lights but March is a great time. Live shrimp is always one of the best baits to use regardless of the time of year, but what’s great is in March they are usually plentiful at the bait shops so hit them up. On the grass flats you can use them too on grass flats throwing them behind popping corks with about a 24” fluorocarbon leader of 15lb test. Redfish will also be moving out of the rivers and creeks and towards the flats and bridges. In the spring they can really stack up together, so when you catch one you’ll usually find some more. With the water warming up you’ll be able to find bait easier, but check the bayous, creeks, and harbors first for pinfish and finger mullet. Sheepshead will continue to stack up on the bridges and docks this month. They are finishing up spawning so if you really want to capitalize on them the time is NOW. Along the beach, especially towards the end of the month you’ll start to see the beach fishing get better and better. The pompano, jack crevalle, Spanish mackerel, bluefish and more will start running the beach in large schools. What’s nice about these fish is that anyone can be successful whether you’re fishing from the beach, on the jetties, pier, or by a boat. Early in the mornings or late afternoons and during an incoming tide is the best time for all species listed above. You can do very well with diamond jigs, gotcha jigs, and spoons. You can blind cast these into the surf or go along looking for a school. Work them fast and aggressive and they’ll get you more bites.

Offshore Spring is always a great time of year for Amberjack. These fish tend to stack up on anything steel. Any big steel you have marked in your gps is worth going to and checking out. Usually this is one of the first places that bait starts to hang out on and the jacks will start to stack up on. Even the public spots will have plenty of fish on them, especially after being left alone for the most part over the last couple months. The biggest issue is finding bait, but you can catch some good baits on the inshore wrecks so be sure to stop on the way out. This time of year the fish are usually hungry too, so artificial lures such as butterfly jigs and vertical jigs are very good.

Peter Wright Jr The Ships Chandler 646 E. Hwy 98 Destin, FL 32541 850-837-9306

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VISIT: Anglers vacation in Destin, Florida. There’s no questioning this quaint coastal community’s claim to fame as “The World’s Luckiest Fishing Village.” Optimally positioned a mere 30 miles from the celebrated 100-fathom curve, the abundant deep waters hosted here are packed full of a wide variety of serious sized fish that are just waiting to be reeled in.

Destin was founded on fishing and it’s more than a hobby along our coast - it’s a way of life. Anyone who considers themselves an Angler knows about spending time on the water here. However what you may not know is this special Fisherman’s paradise is it’s also the go-to vacation destination for the whole family.

and something you have to see to believe. Popular pursuits include an array of watersports as well as our favorite activity, sitting in the sand with a drink in our hand. Off the beach, rousing escapades include an active nightlife, delectable dining, world-class golf, and significant shopping.

charter boats in the entire Gulf of Mexico. In addition, there are several “party boats” that offer an affordable way to hook ‘em. Other excursions include inshore fishing on the abundant Choctawhatchee Bay, fly fishing along its tributaries, and surf fishing on our sugary white shores.

Of course there are the pristine sugar white sand beaches that frame our Emerald-toned Gulf waters. The sand is cool, even on hot summer days and the water is vibrantly colored

We do have to admit though; most of your time will be enjoyed casting a line. Deep sea fishing here is big business and you can choose your vessel among the largest fleet of private

Come catch memories and fish in Desitn, Florida. For accommodations ranging from intimate studios to estate-sized beachfront homes visit us online at oceanreefresorts.com.

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Mar 01, 2017 POOR Evening

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Mar 04, 2017 POOR Evening

Mar 15, 2017 BEST Evening

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NAUTICSTAR’S VERSATILE 2602 LEGACY It’ll change the way you boat

Length: 25’ | Beam: 102” Max Horse Power: 400 HP (Twin 200 HP) Max Horse Power: 350 HP (Single) Approx. Draft: 15” Transom Height: 25” Twins / 30” Single

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auticStar Boats 2602 Legacy is the newest in their Legacy series designed to merge family friendly recreational boating with a fishing boat fit for the professional or recreational angler. The 2602 center console is loaded with many standard features for a great fishing boat but also comfort features to entertain the entire family. Forward, the plush “leather-touch” bow seating is made of Syntec vinyl with Nano-Block stain protection, flip-out backrests for added comfort, and cockpit bolster pads. Under the seating there are port and starboard, 25-gallon fish boxes with overboard drains. There is a in-floor cast net/bucket storage hatch with a washdown station. The console has a forward facing seat, integrated powder coated fiberglass T-top, side window port, SeaDek® top, kick panel with foot pad, and a large, fully fiberglass lined head compartment with a sink and mirror with option for a portable toilet. The helm offers space for a pair of 12-inch electronics. There is a curved windshield and flush mount compass and custom stainless steel wheel with power knob. It also has a Infinity® stereo system with Bluetooth, preset capability and 4-speakers. The ergonomically correct leaning post with flip-up bolsters is not just a comfortable place to rest while cruising, it also houses a number of components for convenience. It has a 21-gallon baitwell with lid and bait prep station, two tackle

drawers, freshwater washdown station, batteries and battery switches, and rocket launchers. Aft, the Legacy features three-across seating that flipsup to reveal a 18-gallon cooler and oversized insulated–50 gallon fish box. Portside is a 30-gallon baitwell. SeaDek® finishing on the boarding ladder and port and aft transom landings provide reassurance when taking a dip or wrestling a fish aboard. The beauty and performance of the 2602 is only matched by NauticStar’s high quality wood-free construction processes. Its one-piece, molded and foam-filled stringer system is tougher than those made of components which allows NauticStar to offer a limited lifetime hull warranty. A vinylester barrier coat provides a durable, crack and corrosion resistant hull that is always shiny. Visit NauticStarBoats.com for more information on the 2602 Legacy and the more than two dozen models of bay, offshore, and deck boats. You can also find your local NauticStar Dealer.

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“I’m on Top of the World” by Big “O” Charters

How do you like the title of this article? Why am I so happy? Well the easy answer is that it’s spring. Flowers blooming, birds singing, garden’s growing, fish jumping. Whoa! There’s the answer. Fish are jumping. Yes, I’m a fisherman, and a fishing guide. I love to fish at any time of year, but spring is something special. Where I fish, along the marshes of our Gulf Coast, most of our inshore species, namely trout and reds, have been a little hard to find. Not anymore. And what’s even better, this is the time of year they are willing to hit our lure on “TOP”. It’s Top water time! Spring time is not the only time to Top fish, but the species I mentioned are getting ready for the annual spawn and they need to fatten up after hiding in the deep holes of winter. Female trout, the big girls, will be spawning for 5 months. This will take a big toll on their bodies, so for a month or so, they will eat anything and everything. Everyone likes to say that top water is the most fun and for good reason-it is. I absolutely love the “walk the dog” type of baits. Top Dogs, She Dogs, Spooks, etc. come to mind. I call these the “plop-plop” lures, because, with a little practice, you can make them go plop-plop. This is called “walking-the-dog”. Most of these lures have rattles in them which make the Plopping sound even louder and hopefully more irritating to the fish. Yes, I said irritating. I feel that this is one of the reasons the fish hit these lures. Have you ever had a leaky faucet in your house going “drip-drip-drip”? I can only stand it for a short period of time before I have to fix it. The noise is so irritating that I want to throw something at it. I can just imagine old “yellow mouth” lying down there listening to her “leaky faucet”. She or he will only take it so long before they rise up off the bottom and attempt to knock the c..p out of it. Yes, they’ll eat it but initially they just want to kill it. You’ll sometimes have a trout knock your lure two to three feet pot of the water. This is why I like top water. If you don’t have coronary, and 6 EMERALD COAST

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you manage to keep your cool, just let the lure fall back into the water. Count to five. Then count to five again. Hold your breath and twitch your dog. The strike will be vicious. You won’t have to set the hook, because momma trout just swallowed your Spook. Awesome! Red fish. The red fish likes the “dog-baits” this time of year, also. However, they are a little different from their speckled cousins. The next time you catch a red fish, pick him up and hold him sideways. You’ll notice that his mouth is angled downwards. This is Mother Nature’s way of helping the redfish feed on the bottom. They do a lot of bottom feeding, but this doesn’t mean they won’t hit on the top. They just do it a little differently from the trout. When Big Red decides to hit your dog, he wants to eat it. The trout wants to kill it; the red wants to kill, also, but kill it in his stomach. In order to get it in his downward turned mouth, he has to get above it. This is the time for your second coronary of the morning. The red fish will rise up out of the water and slam down on top of your lure. He’s hooked. The lure will be stuck in his gullet sideways. The fight will be on. Don’t lose him. If you do you’ll lose an $8 dollar lure. Believe me 8 dollars is a cheap price to pay for the thrill you just had. So there you have it. That’s why I’m on top of the world. Spring time brings in some of the best top water bites of the year. So if you’re fishing this spring, and you see an old fella, by himself, fishing and laughing like he’s having the time of his life, it’s just me, Big “O”, enjoying another “Top Water” morning. Captain Owen Langridge Big “O” Charters L.L.C. 225 978 1136 www.bigocharters.com

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2/14/17 1:25 AM


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Date Day 2017/02/27 Mon 2017/03/01 Wed 2017/03/02 Thu 2017/03/03 Fri 2017/03/04 Sat 2017/03/05 Sun 2017/03/06 Mon 2017/03/07 Tue 2017/03/08 Wed 2017/03/09 Thu 2017/03/10 Fri 2017/03/11 Sat 2017/03/12 Sun 2017/03/13 Mon 2017/03/14 Tue 2017/03/15 Wed 2017/03/16 Thu 2017/03/17 Fri 2017/03/18 Sat 2017/03/19 Sun

DESTIN EAST PASS TIDE CHART Date Day Time Time Hgt Time Hgt

11:50 PM 01:08 AM 12:58 PM 01:09 PM 01:42 PM 12:13 AM 01:52 AM 03:11 AM 04:15 AM 05:09 AM 05:54 AM 06:28 AM 06:48 AM 07:50 AM

0.37 H 0.28 H 0.25 H 0.35 H 0.44 H -0.06 L -0.1 L -0.13 L -0.15 L -0.15 L -0.12 L -0.08 L -0.02 L 0.04 L

12:17 AM 01:12 PM 01:24 AM 12:59 PM 03:09 AM 01:06 PM 01:25 PM 01:53 PM 12:22 AM 01:46 AM

0.35 H 0.24 H 0.27 H 0.31 H 0.21 H 0.39 H 0.44 H 0.48 H 0.0 L -0.02 L

07:19 AM 0.1 L 08:12 PM 0.03 L 10:14 PM -0.01 L 02:30 PM 03:32 PM 04:45 PM 06:02 PM 07:15 PM 08:21 PM 09:21 PM 10:18 PM 02:27 PM 04:31 PM 07:31 AM 06:53 PM 06:50 AM 08:24 PM 05:26 AM 09:43 PM 11:00 PM

0.51 H 0.56 H 0.59 H 0.6 H 0.59 H 0.56 H 0.5 H 0.43 H 0.17 H 0.11 L 0.09 L 0.09 L 0.13 L 0.07 L 0.14 L 0.04 L 0.02 L

2017/03/20 Mon 2017/03/21 Tue 2017/03/22 Wed 2017/03/23 Thu 2017/03/24 Fri 2017/03/25 Sat 2017/03/26 Sun 2017/03/27 Mon

02:59 AM 03:59 AM 04:47 AM 05:27 AM 06:01 AM 06:29 AM 06:48 AM 06:56 AM

-0.03 L -0.05 L -0.06 L -0.06 L -0.04 L -0.01 L 0.04 L 0.1 L

2017/03/28 Tue

12:47 AM 11:51 AM 03:07 AM 11:54 AM 12:18 PM 12:56 PM

0.37 H 0.34 H 0.31 H 0.44 H 0.54 H 0.62 H

2017/03/29 Wed 2017/03/30 Thu 2017/03/31 Fri

Time

Hgt

04:11 PM 05:18 PM 06:30 PM 07:41 PM 08:51 PM 10:01 PM 11:17 PM 12:19 PM 05:36 PM 06:39 AM 07:11 PM 05:18 AM 08:35 PM 10:01 PM 11:32 PM

0.54 H 0.55 H 0.56 H 0.55 H 0.53 H 0.49 H 0.44 H 0.25 H 0.11 L 0.17 L 0.06 L 0.21 L 0.01 L -0.03 L -0.06 L

Harbor Walk Destin Cobia Tournament Date: March Through April 30th Location: HarborWalk Marina in Destin, Florida Contact: 850.650.2400

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VENICE OFFSHORE REPORT By: Captain Brett Ryan

The Lumps have been producing some very nice Yellowfin over the past months. We have already seen signs of spring down here in Venice. We have been catching schoolie Yellowfin Tuna on poppers at the Floaters. My popper setup is as follows. Shimano Saragosa 18000 spinning reel spooled with 65lb super slick Power Pro and a 7’2 Shimano Travala rod. I use an assortment of poppers but Frenzy’s Angry Popper is my favorite. I tie the popper using a two foot long, 80lb flourocarbon leader to the braid with a double uni knot. That setup was deadly for many 60-80 pound fish last summer. The fog will continue to be bad here until May so monitor channel 67 in the Mississippi River and channel 13 in the Passes. I have been doing 30 second daily video reports on my Facebook. We have included them on my website now. So check them out for the most current info on

what’s happening in Venice Hook, Line & Dine Krewe will host the 6th Annual Jazzfest Kickoff Party Wednesday April 19th at The Maple Leaf Bar in New Orleans. Last year was awesome!There was so much going on I can’t write about it all here. It’s a must go to event for the Seafood and Music lovers out there. For tickets and more info check out Hook, Line & Dine on Facebook at.....www.facebook.com/hooklinedine Thanks and Stay safe out there

Plaquemines Parish | Venice, Louisiana Capt. Brett Ryan Venice, La 504-231-1842 www.captainbrettryan.com

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You can go fishing or you can go RELENTLESS Power. Luxury. Elegance. Adventure. Whether you are a novice seeking a fun day with your family or a serious tournament fisherman, Power. Luxury. Elegance. Adventure. we offer a trip to meet your needs. The RELENTLESS is our 65’ x 20’ custom built sportsfisherman and

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is available for daily trips from 4 hours up to 18 hours. With a captain who has over thirty five years Whether you are a novice seeking a fun day with your family or a serious tournament fisherman, of fishing in the Gulf of Mexico the RELENTLESS specializes in overnight trips of 24 to 72 hours if you we offer a trip to meet your needs. The RELENTLESS is our 65’ x 20’ custom built sportsfisherman and prefer to stay longer and “fish bigger” for marlin, tuna & swordfish. is available for daily trips from 4 hours up to 18 hours. With a captain who has over thirty five years of fishing in the Gulf of Mexico the RELENTLESS specializes in overnight trips of 24 to 72 hours if you You to can fishing orbigger” you can go tuna RELENTLESS prefer staygo longer and “fish for marlin, & swordfish.

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SANDESTIN REPORT By: Captain Sid Little March is always a great month to get out on the water and fish. Redfish will be around docks, bridge pilings, jetty rocks and out in open water schooled up. Black Drum will be mixed in with them around these structures as well. So be ready for a good fight as these fish are going rip your line off fast. And once you starting to yell “Fish On!!!” they’re heading for the nearest barnacle to cut you off! Once this happens they’ll get back to eating their lunch after they just ate yours! Sheepheads will be showing up in great numbers to do their annual spawn throughout the area. Light tackle is what works best with these sneaky fish. A little trick that works is sending down a live fiddler crab on a small hook. A popular set up is the Spanish mackerel, Pompano, Jack Crevelle and Cobia will be showing up towards the end of the month depending on water temp. Speckled Trout should be on everyone’s hit list. Most of the fish should be holding over muddy bottom in 2-6 feet of water. Free line a live shrimp with no weight, or from a popping cork, or throw DOA and Gulp shrimp. Try drifting and casting till you find a fish or two and then work that area for more fish. Typically where you find one there will be more in that area. March is a great month to find some big trout! Redfish should be around just about every dock, you

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might have to work through the rat reds because they come in full force this time of year and can sometimes be a hassle. Jetty rocks and the bridge pilings will be holding larger fish from slot reds up to bull reds. Keep an eye out on Choctawhatchee Bay for big bull reds feeding under diving birds. If you’re a lil’ lucky you’ll find them churning up the water on the surface in a frenzy. Black Drum will be mixed in with the reds around the docks, bridge pilings and jetty rocks too. Sheepheads will be showing up in large number to spawn all throughout the bay, but mainly around the jetties and Destin Bridge. On clear incoming tide days you can sometimes look down to see hundreds of Sheephead covering the bottom like a checker board as they feed and get into their spawning behavior. We typically see the water temps start to rise later into the month of March. The first sign you know that this is occurring when you start getting hook-ups and you’re and then off again with a frayed end line. It’s time to switch up your tackle, because more than likely you got robbed by a Spanish Mackerel! If you are fishing on the calmer days after our cold fronts blow through in around the sand bars start looking for the pompano and Cobia, because they’re coming next. If you see birds flying around in a low circling manner pull out your gotcha plugs, because the Spanish mackerel will be found jumping out of the water as the feed on the small sardines in and around the Destin Pass and also when you head back in around Crab Island. If you work through the small ones you should find some nice ones mixed in while fishing small spoons and mackerel tree rigs. When the Pompano show up off the beaches and around the jetty rocks, make sure you have some live sand fleas along with some cut pieces of shrimp, Even better is live shrimp, or pompano jigs to get their attention. Keep a larger rig ready if you want to try your luck with some large Jack Crevelle coming down the beach by the hundreds feeding while being chased and eaten by flipper. The main reason you want to have a larger rod ready is for the early season Cobia showing up along the beach. Hopefully everyone will start their season off right by having Cobia steaks for dinner.

Captain Sid Little ph: 850-699-2286 850-246-5874

21 Via de Luna Dr. | Pensacola Beach, Florida Call us for more details! (850) 554-7888

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Planning your next financial journey?

Better to know before you go!

Chris J . Ogle, AAMS

Financial Advisor Senior Vice President - Investment Officer Wells Fargo Advisors 625 Grand Blvd. Suite 200 Miramar Beach, FL 32550

chris.ogle@wfadvisors.com www.wfadvisors.com/chris.ogle Phone: 850 837-5366 TollFree: 800 456-5365

Today’s top angler adventurers rely on seasoned guides to get them onto the fish. I believe as a seasoned financial guide that I can help you plan your journey.

CHRISTOPHER OGLE is a financial advisor for Wells Fargo Advisors in the Destin, Florida area and can offer you a wide range of financial and investment services.

Wells Fargo Advisors LLC Member SIPC *CAR #0516-03281

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COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THE ANGLERMAG.COM

2/14/17 1:25 AM


VENICE INSHORE REPORT By: Captain Owen Langridge

There’s a hint of spring in the air. Yes, it’s a little warmer after a frigid winter. Birds are singing, trees are budding, and spring turkey season starts this month. The warming atmosphere will start warming the waters of south Plaquemines and that should get the juices flowing, both in the fish and the fishermen. Behind Buras, around mid- month, the old yellow mouth trout will come out of their winter holes and start patrolling the shallows trying to fatten up before the spawn of spring. This is a great time to be a fisherman! I like to start out on top. Once the sun starts warming the water I’ll be throwing a top water plug. Any of the walk-the-dog types will do. One of my favorites is the “Top Dog Jr.” You won’t catch many, but the ones you catch will be big. They think the plug is a wounded mullet and is easy pickins on top. Then I’ll switch to a “jerk” bait. There are many and I like them all. The Mirrodine is hard to beat in March. It runs about a foot under the water and suspends when we are not pulling. I normally like two short jerks and a pause. The pause is the killer. They can’t stand it. Red fish will swallow it also, so be ready. Stick baits work well. The Rogues and Rapellas are great bass baits but also great on trout and reds. One hard jerk will send

PERDIDO KEY FISHING REPORT Spring is just around the corner and the fishing is on fire. With the Sheepshead spawn getting underway anglers are finding that not only are they a great fight on light tackle but great on the grill as well. As the water continues to warm up Cobia are starting to be one of the biggest draws. The Gulf Coast is known worldwide as the premier fishing destination for Cobia in the Spring. Sight fishing the shallow waters just off the surf can be very productive and many are also caught around the near shore wrecks while bottom fishing. Favorite baits for these fish vary from angler to angler but my two go to baits are feather jigs and live eels. If inshore fishing is your thing the Bull Redfish are still around in good numbers and never disappoint anglers with their drag pulling and rod bending battles. Speckled Trout are moving out of the rivers and are starting to eat their way Southward. If your thinking

Lost Bay Guide Service Capt. Bill Willis 850-748-5076 www.lostbayfishing.com

it wiggling down about 18 inches and then it will start a slow float to the surface. I like to jerk it again before it reaches the surface. There are many stick baits out there and I like them all. There are many colors, but green and or white work great. Down river will have the influx of the Mississippi so the water will be cold and off color. Don’t let this discourage you. If you can find “cleaner” water you will find a concentration of fish. We get a lot of fresh water strata this time of year. This means the fresh water is on top and the salty water on bottom. Therefore I fish close to the bottom, even in 3 feet of water. One of my favorite colors this time of year is “electric chicken”. The green/ pink blend of colors seems to be easy for the fish to locate. I’ll throw it on a jig under a “noisy” cork or bounce it along the bottom. I’ll, also, tip it with market shrimp. This usually will help the red fish to hone in on your offering. The ‘bulls” will be patrolling the rock jetties at the ends of the passes and the sand bars too. On the bars I like a big piece of shrimp on a 2ought kale hook and dangled under a cork. Pop it to make plenty of noise and wait. Give the bull time to find it and then hold on. The warmer water will have these fish fighting for their lives- great fun! So there you have it. March will have me coming out of my winter den and honing my skills, getting ready for summer.

Capt. Owen Langridge Big “O” Charters L.L.C. 225 978 1136 www.bigocharters.com of buying a new boat Spring is the time. With several boat shows in the area now is when you can save thousands in manufacture and dealer incentives. Legendary Marine in Gulf Shores has a tremendous inventory and a full line of Skeeter boats. Being on the water almost daily and having a Skeeter myself I can attest to their performance and reliability. As always if your new to the area or on vacation and would like to ask questions or book a charter feel free to give me a call. Until next month this is Capt. Bill wishing you Tight Lines and Screaming Drags!

¨You only live once but if you do it right once is enough.”

Guide Service

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2/14/17 1:25 AM


IT'S BOAT SHOW TIME! www.

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Rod Actions for

Coastal Fishing By CAM Staff • Photo Courtesy of Matt Holder

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roomstick. That’s what I started out coastal fishing with nearly 20 years ago. I had done quite well bass fishing with heavy-action rods growing up fishing freshwater lakes and ponds. When I began fishing saltwater bays, I was quite fond of my medium-heavy and heavy action broomsticks. Of course I was using them to ‘horse’ 8to 11-pound bass out of heavy cover and matted vegetation. Those actions are fine to start with in saltwater bays, but fishing for speckled trout and redfish in most bays doesn’t require bringing out the heavy artillery. In fact, going lighter and allowing today’s more precisely built fishing tools to do their job at the upper end of their limits is much more effective in catching more and bigger speckled trout, and they do fine on most slot and oversized reds up to almost 42 inches. Lately I have seen quite a few inquiries on the saltwater inshore boards asking “is this rod ok, or can I use that rod action for trout?” I thought I’d cover some rod actions that handle the bays, flats and marshes a little more like Craig Biggio handled a baseball bat. That guy was awesome in the field, didn’t swing a big bat but produced big results with consistency. That is what we are after. For saltwater inshore fishing with a casting rod and reel for speckled trout and redfish, the most used rod and action would be something in the realm of a 6’6” medium-power rod with a fast tip. It should be rated to throw lures weighing from 1/8 to 5/8-ounce. I regularly throw lures up to ¾-ounce, such as Super Spooks or other

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large topwater plugs, on this specific rod rating. Line ratings will fall generally between 8- to 15-pound test. Each rod maker will have a little different variation on this, but they’ll be close to this range. This rod will cast a large variety of saltwater inshore lures ranging from soft plastics on 1/16-ounce lead or bismuth jig heads all the way to 3/4 or 1-ounce topwaters. Overall, it will function best and cast the longest with lure weights that fall within its rated specification. For example, one can certainly cast a ¾-ounce MirrOlure Paul Brown slow sinking FatBoy or Mirrodine XL on a rod that’s rated for 1/8 to 5/8-ounce, but I find that it may not cast as far since it’s slightly over-loading the blank. A fast-action tip will help mitigate some of the distance loss (and we’re just splitting hairs here) but it’s going to get the job done and allow you to fish with that one rod all day with just about any lure in the box. I recently switched over to Lew’s Inshore rod series with blanks that are specifically made for saltwater inshore anglers. I’m really liking them.

2/14/17 5:02 PM


B.A.S.S. Calls Anti-Lead Edict Anti-Fishing

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n the day before President Barack Obama left office, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) issued an edict to ban lead fishing tackle and ammunition from hundreds of thousands of acres of land and water managed by that agency. Executed without stakeholder input, the controversial action has sparked outrage from fishing and hunting communities. B.A.S.S. joined with state fisheries management agencies and the American Sportfishing Association (ASA) in calling on the new administration and FWS to put a hold on the order. “This 11th hour order, just hours before the new administration was to take office, was an obvious attempt to push through an order that is part of the previous administration’s environmental agenda without full consultation among all the stakeholders,” said B.A.S.S. Conservation Director Gene Gilliland. Scott Gudes, ASA’s vice president of government affairs, added, “The sportfishing industry views this unilateral policy to ban lead fishing tackle, which was developed without any input from the industry, other angling organizations and state fish and wildlife agencies, as a complete disregard for the economic and social impact it will have on anglers and the recreational fishing industry.” Signed by FWS Director Dan Ash, Order No. 219 requires “the use of nontoxic ammunition and fishing tackle to the fullest extent practicable for all activities on service lands, waters and facilities.” Fortunately, action was taken by the new Trump administration that could hinder its effectiveness. A memorandum issued from the White House to departments and agencies announced a freeze on implementing new regulations, pending review. Still, individual jurisdictions within FWS might choose to enforce the rule. For years, environmentalists have attempted to gain a complete ban on lead ammunition and fishing tackle by filing lawsuits. They’ve done so, Gilliland said, “despite the lack of a clear connection in many cases of negative population-level impacts on fish and wildlife.” Their arguments have been rejected by the courts. At the same time, selective bans have been

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implemented where research suggests a need for them, such as in some northern waters, where loons ingest lead shot. “In the limited instances where lead fishing tackle is demonstrated to harm local wildlife populations, the sportfishing industry supports actions to minimize or eliminate these impacts,” Gudes said. “However, unnecessary and sweeping bans such as this director’s order will do nothing to benefit wildlife populations and instead will penalize the nation’s 46 million anglers and hurt recreational fishing-dependent jobs.” If not rescinded, it also will damage the partnership between the federal agency and the states, according to Nick Wiley, president of the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies. “This action flies squarely in the face of a long and constructive tradition of states working in partnership with the service to effectively manage fish and wildlife resources,” he said. “The Association views this order as a breach of trust and deeply disappointing given that it was a complete surprise and there was no current dialogue or input from state fish and wildlife agencies prior to issuance. It does a disservice to hunters and anglers, the firearms and angling industries, and the many professionals on staff with the USFWS who desire a trusting and transparent relationship with their state partners.”

2/14/17 5:03 PM


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COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

2/14/17 12:24 PM


The Florida Panhand le’s B Come see what sets our marinas apart and explore the Gulf of Mexico and Intracoastal Waterways along the Forgotten Coast

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COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

2/14/17 12:24 PM


s Boating Paradise...

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A boater’s paradise, Bay Point Marina is gently tucked away along the Grand Lagoon in Panama City Beach, Florida, yet conveniently located just five minutes from the beautiful Gulf of Mexico and 15 minutes from the Intracoastal Waterway. The location, the amenities and the people all set Bay Point apart as one of the best marinas in Northwest Florida. The quiet, full-service marina offers world-class facilities and services including 180 protected slips, housing for boats up to 125 feet and luxury pontoon boat rentals at a relaxing price. Here, you’ll find a place for the finest boating on the Panhandle.

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7 GULF COAST

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Easily accessible from the Gulf of Mexico through St. Andrew’s Bay, the marina is only minutes from prime Gulf fishing and a great “jumping off” port for a southern trip across the Gulf. Fortunately for patrons and guests, Bay Point Marina is also just minutes by boat from Shell Island, which offers Bay Point Marina boaters excellent snorkeling, superb fishing and some of the most secluded beaches available in North Florida. Bay Point’s top-notch amenities and relaxing atmosphere alone are enough to inspire a visit, but the warm hospitality and exceptional service keep boaters coming back for more.

MARCH 2017 COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM Boating is our business. Having fun is yours! 2/14/17 12:24 PM


WE BUILD FUN INTO EVERY NAUTICSTAR! SPORT DECKS

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2/14/17 12:24 PM


Florida Trash Tour Begins March 25 at Cedar Key

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Photo by Michael Pereckas

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

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

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Will Florida Allow Goliath Grouper Harvest? FWC Photo

F

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

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

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

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

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Fishing Line And Tackle Disposal

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

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Not Just

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

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

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UNDER THE SEA

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

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TIPS FROM A PRO

FRESHWATER THE THINGS WE WEAR

O

BRANDON LESTER

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

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

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

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

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FISH & FISHING

PRIORITIES

A

MARK SOSIN

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

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

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COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

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TACKLE CORNER:

GETTING A FRESH HANDLE ON SPINNING RODS By Mike Pehanich

T

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

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

COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

2/14/17 1:46 PM


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

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“I have had this aid two days and all I can say is WOW!” --Terrsa H., Grove, NJ

BE ONE WITH THE FISH An Aqua-Vu HD underwater camera is the quickest way to find big bass. Unlike pixels and mysterious sonar signals, an Aqua-Vu reveals a live, crystal clear image of the underwater world. See largemouths buried in vegetation and brush, smallmouths hidden beside boulders, suspended spots and everything else beneath your boat.

DISCOVER THE TRUE UNDERWATER WORLD, IN REAL TIME AND FULL COLOR HD. > XD Camera with ultraclear 720p resolution > Waterproof & Sunlight Viewable 7-inch LCD > Anti-Spook IR Underwater Lights > 100-feet HD Cable, Charger & Custom Storage Bag www.aquavu.com

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Nothing gets you closer to the fish than your small craft. And nothing anchors you better than a Power-Pole Micro anchor made just for your vessel. Add the Micro Battery Pak and you’re ready to go wherever adventure takes you.

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RHODAN INTRODUCES 72� SHAFT GPS GUIDED TROLLING MOTOR

New Longer Shaft for High Bow Boats Excellent for Offshore Fishing Same Superior GPS Technology

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Cobia Harvest Megan Willard with a stud cobia caught offshore of Hilton Head Island, S.C.

R

ecreational anglers are again feeling the sting of federal regulations. NOAA Fisheries announced in late January that cobia harvest in federal waters of the Atlantic from Georgia through New York will be closed for the remainder of 2017. As recreational anglers continue to scream of arbitrary data being used to set catch limits and estimate annual landings, NOAA says the recreational landings of Atlantic migratory group cobia exceeded 1.3 million pounds, more than double the annual allowable catch for 2016. These numbers came despite a closure in federal waters for nearly half of 2016, which was spurred when catch data from 2015 indicated an even larger recreational catch of 1.55 million pounds. Federal waters begin outside of three miles in the Atlantic, and a large majority of the recreational cobia catch occurs within state waters when these brown bombers migrate to shore and northward in the warming waters of spring and summer. NOAA has predicted the annual catch limit will again be exceeded in 2017, as state marine fisheries managers refuse to fall into line with strict federal regulations. NOAA has said the federal closure will be reevaluated if state regulations change in 2017. This federal closure does not apply to cobia on the Atlantic coast of Florida, which are part of the Gulf of Mexico migratory group. It also does not change regulations for commercial anglers, who will still be allowed two cobia per day.

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presented. Valid through 7/1/17. Limit one coupon per customer per day.

1500 LB. CAPACITY DUAL WHEEL SWING-BACK BOAT SAVE 37% TRAILER JACK

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Customer Rating

ITEM 6922 6922

ITEM 62443 68751 shown

LIMIT 6 - Good at our stores or HarborFreight.com or by calling 800-423-2567. Cannot be used with other discount or coupon or prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase with original receipt. Offer good while supplies last. Non-transferable. Original coupon must be presented. Valid through 7/1/17. Limit one coupon per customer per day.

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LIMIT 800-423 purchas Offer g present

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NAT_0317.indd 40

5999 comp at

29 PIECE TITANIUM NITRIDE COATED ITEM 62281/61637 shown HIGH SPEED STEEL DRILL BIT SET

purchases after 30 days from original purchase with original receipt. purchases after 30 days from original purchase with original receipt. COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM Offer good while supplies last. Non-transferable. Original coupon must be Offer good while supplies last. Non-transferable. Original coupon must be

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$

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SUPER COUPON ITEM 62279/62302/62866 68861 shown

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$10.99

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ITEM 69043/63282/42304 shown ITEM 42305/69044/63171

SAVE 59%

YOUR CHOICE

49 $2999 $69.99 $

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$ 99 comp at

comp at

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40

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SAVE 57%

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Cu

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A

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ITEM 60581/60653 shown

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79

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Customer Rating

SAVE RETRACTABLE AIR HOSE REEL $138 WITH 3/8" x 50 FT. HOSE ITEM 93897 shown

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S

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comp at 99 $28.83

LIMIT 6 - Good at our stores or HarborFreight.com or by calling 800-423-2567. Cannot be used with other discount or coupon or prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase with original receipt. Offer good while supplies last. Non-transferable. Original coupon must be presented. Valid through 7/1/17. Limit one coupon per customer per day.

Customer Rating

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JACKS IN AMERICA

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comp at

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75


OG

own

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ITEM 93068 shown 69590/61910/62447 Customer Rating

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9

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ITEM 69778

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NAT_0317.indd 41

• No Gas Required

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ITEM 61849/62719 Customer Rating 68887 shown

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ITEM 63024 63025 shown

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$8999

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

SAVE NOW

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ITEM 69651 62868/62873 68239 shown

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Blade sold separately.

• 1000 lb. capacity

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inal day.

SS RS

SUPER COUPON

SUPER COUPON

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

$1699

Customer Rating

Includes one 18V NiCd battery and charger.

SAVE $ 65%

1999 $49 comp at

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

ITEM 69924 shown 62403/62862 Customer Rating

SUPER COUPON

6" VARIABLE SPEED DUAL ACTION POLISHER SAVE $95

SUPER COUPON comp at SAVE $ 99 71% $24.15

9

$

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

SUPER COUPON

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

$

SUPER COUPON

$699

MULTI-USE TRANSFER PUMP

ITEM 62961/63144/61364 63591/66418 shown

SAVE 59%

$65

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

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

$149.99

SUPER COUPON

SUPER COUPON

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

comp at

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

3999 $3499

comp at

6999

$5499

Customer Rating

SUPER COUPON

6

$499

$ 99 comp at $12.39

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

purchases after2017 30 days MARCH Offer good while supplies

NATIONAL

41

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


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

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

REPOWER FINANCE

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

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

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

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

42

Gimme Six Extended Protection promo is applicable to new Suzuki Outboard Motors from 25 to 300 HP in inventory which are sold and delivered to buyer between 01/01/17 and 3/31/17 in accordance with the promotion by a Participating Authorized Suzuki Marine dealer in the continental US and Alaska to a purchasing customer who resides in the continental US or Alaska. Customer should expect to receive an acknowledgement letter and full copy of contract including terms, conditions and wallet card from Suzuki Extended Protection within 90 days of purchase. If an acknowledgement letter is not received in time period stated, contact Suzuki Motor of America, Inc. – Marine Marketing via email: marinepromo@suz.com. The Gimme Six Promotion is available for pleasure use only, and is not redeemable for cash. Cash Rebates apply to qualifying purchases of select Suzuki Outboard Motors made between 01/01/17 and 3/31/17. For list of designated models, see participating Dealer or visit www.suzukimarine.com. Customer and participating Dealer must fill out the appropriate rebate form at time of sale. Customer will have the choice to either apply the cash rebate against the original dealer invoice (Suzuki will credit Dealer parts account) or have a check sent directly to the customer. There are no model substitutions, benefit substitutions, rain checks, or extensions. Suzuki reserves the right to change or cancel these promotions at any time without notice or obligation. * Financing offers available through Synchrony Retail Finance. As low as 5.99% APR financing for 60 months on new and unregistered Suzuki Outboard Motors. Subject to credit approval. Not all buyers will qualify. Approval, and any rates and terms provided, are based on credit worthiness. $19.99/month per $1,000 financed for 60 months is based on 5.99% APR. Hypothetical figures used in calculation; your actual monthly payment may differ based on financing terms, credit tier qualification, accessories or other factors such as down payment and fees. Offer effective on new, unregistered Suzuki Outboard Motors purchased from a participating authorized Suzuki dealer between 01/01/17 and 3/31/17.“Gimme Six”, the Suzuki “S” and model names are Suzuki trademarks or ®. Don’t drink and drive. Always wear a USCG-approved life jacket and read your owner’s manual. © 2017 Suzuki Motor of America, Inc.

NATIONAL

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SZ_Q1Promo_WIP.indd 1

MARCH 2017

COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

2/14/17 1:46 PM

12/4/16 1:46 PM


SPIDERWIRE® STEALTH™

EXTREMELY STRONG EXTREMELY CASTABLE

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

SPIDERWIRE.COM COMMON CVRS_0317.indd 3

2/13/17 11:38 AM


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

Kryptek Pontus Kryptek Yeti

www.xtratuf.com © 2017 Honeywell International Inc.

COMMON CVRS_0317.indd 4

INTRODUCING THE NEW KRYPTEK ANKLE DECK BOOT

2/13/17 11:38 AM


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