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PELAGICS From Little Plastic Boats

PATTERN SPRING SPECKS PHOTO BY JORGE BUSTAMANTE, COURTESY OF BRIAN NELLI - WWW.TCKAYAKFISHING.COM VOLUME 25 • ISSUE 301

COASTALANGLERMAG.COM

F R A N C H I S E

O P P O R T U N I T I E S

A V A I L A B L E

APRIL 2020

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Photo courtesy of Knockin Tail Lures

By Capt. Michael Okruhlik

F

or those who want to catch a heavy speckled trout, April is perhaps your best opportunity. April trout are still heavy from their lowered metabolism of winter. They are heavy with eggs and about to spawn. This makes April a prime month for heavy fish. The warmer water also makes them extremely aggressive and more willing to strike artificial lures of all styles. Let’s go over the how, when and where to target trophy trout in the spring. How: When water temp reaches the low to mid 70s, topwater action can be some of the best of the year. Aggressive trout are attracted by the rattling sound and erratic sway of the cigarshaped lures. You can’t go wrong with bone/white/ silver or a combination of these colors. I like to match the size to the conditions and forage in the immediate area. Required casting distance and surface conditions also play a vital role in my decision making. In rougher conditions, I typically use a large lure. The rattles of various lures also have different pitch. I prefer to use the higher pitch over a muddy bottom and a lower tone over sand, grass or shell. Slow-sinking, rattling, shad-style twitch baits

are also a good choice when trout don’t want to “rise” to the occasion. I prefer these lures with near-mirror reflective finishes. They do an excellent job of impersonating a wounded baitfish, and no large spawning trout in its right mind will pass up an injured baitfish. I can’t leave out the most versatile trout lure of all, the soft plastic. There are many styles, sizes and colors, but I prefer those that give more bang for the buck. When the fish are aggressive, I steer toward a soft plastic with a larger paddle that vibrates, creates a great swimming motion even on the pause, and one that rattles. These three components stimulate a fish’s lateral line, and they can’t resist the need to feed. When: I plan trips according to the solunar tables. I make every effort to be at my spot fishing during peak feeding times so that I’m not traveling from spot to spot when the fish are eating. Where: In spring, I direct my attention to grass flats. Wading is the superior method to consistently catch large trout, but you can still target flats from a boat. I prefer a flat with broken grass patches, potholes, channels, the dreaded prop scar or anything else that breaks up the grass to create ambush points for trout. Try to cover each transition from multiple angles, as trout will

stage on the edge of the sand against the grass. Pay attention to the where, when and how on your next trip. It will increase your odds of landing a trophy trout. It never hurts to practice catch and release on these beautiful fish. Capt. Michael Okruhlik is the inventor of Knockin Tail Lures, Controlled Descent Lures and the owner of www.MyCoastOutdoors.com.

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ew for 2020, Outcast Sporting Gear released a sweet little inflatable kayak with the performance, portability and comfort to take you wherever the fish are. The OSG IK Angler 11 was recently awarded Best of Show for boats/ personal watercraft at the American Fly Fishing Trade Association show in Denver. It was designed specifically for avid anglers seeking to access more open water. Weighing just 32 pounds, the IK Angler 11 is lightweight and compact, making it easy to take with you on those trips to out-of-the way places that are difficult to access with bigger boats. And it will haul a load, too. With a 350-pound capacity, it’ll carry even the largest anglers and all their gear. This kayak was built for all-day fishing in comfort, with an adjustable seat that sits high off the water for easy casting. It is a stable platform to fish from, and a removable fin provides straight tracking on long paddles as well as a shallow draft for skinny water. Other features include a quick, one-handed paddle holder; a self-baling floor; interior cargo loops for lashing gear; and an innovative Integrated Gear System, which incorporates a moveable base in a sleeve that accepts cargo pockets, rod holders and anchor mounts. At just under 11 feet in length and 37 inches wide, the OSG IK Angler 11 is a compact boat that delivers on the water. It comes with a www.outcastboats.com 5-year warranty.   COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

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atching big pelagics is one of those “someday” goals for many kayak anglers. Venturing into the open ocean under paddle power after species like kingfish, mahi, sailfish and tuna can seem daunting to anglers accustomed to inshore waters or freshwater lakes and rivers. The first question you might have is: “Where am I going to find them?” Inshore, there are grass flats, mangroves and channels drop-offs that offer kayak anglers good places to start. Offshore waters don’t always give up information quite as easily, but the clues are out there. You just have to know what you’re looking for. The ocean is a big place, but I believe 10 percent of the water holds 90 percent of the fish. Narrowing it down to that 10 percent is the first step. Start your research off the water by locating a beach or other launch point that is close to hard bottom, wrecks or a reef line. This can be done with a little online research and a good mapping chip for your GPS. When the day comes to venture into the pelagic zone, take some time on the beach before heading out. Know the current, wind and water conditions. Is it calm? Is it rough? Are there a lot of weeds on the beach? Is there bait close to shore? Which way is the wind blowing? Answering these questions helps you decide what baits to use and at what depths to fish them. In general, calm days call for running baits deeper in the water column. With some surface chop or visible action on top—like bait jumping or fish breaking the water—run baits closer to the surface. Other things to look for are rips, color changes, birds and weed lines. A rip is an area where two currents meet. The water will look more turbulent than surrounding areas. A defined color change will have strong current running along its edge. Usually these color breaks and rips consolidate debris and weeds, and often birds will hover over these areas. The weeds and current attract bait, which in turn attract the pelagics. When you’re offshore, you have to take what the ocean gives you. Anything that looks different than the surrounding water is a place to put baits out. If you find yourself on the water with no wind, surface activity or weeds, look to your GPS to show you the way to hard bottom, structure, rock piles or reefs. There will always be some type of baitfish around these areas to attract pelagics. Find the bait, and you will find the fish. If you are new to offshore kayak fishing or are thinking about trying it, this information should give you a start on your quest to land a pelagic from your kayak.

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By Brian Nelli

Brian Nelli operates south Florida’s Pushin’ Water Kayak Charters. Check them out at www.tckayakfishing.com and email Brian at brian@tckayakfishing.com.

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he sun rises and sets at peak travel periods, during the early morning and afternoon rush hours and many drivers find themselves temporarily blinded while driving directly into the glare of the sun. Deadly accidents are regularly caused by such blinding glare with danger arising from reflected light off another vehicle, the pavement, or even from waxed and oily windshields that can make matters worse. Early morning dew can exacerbate this situation. Yet, motorists struggle on despite being blinded by the sun’s glare that can cause countless accidents every year. Not all sunglasses are created equal. Protecting your eyes is serious business. With all the fancy fashion frames out there it can be easy to overlook what really matters––the lenses. So we did our research and looked to the very best in optic innovation and technology. Sometimes it does take a rocket scientist. A NASA rocket scientist. Some ordinary sunglasses can obscure your vision by exposing your eyes to harmful UV rays, blue light, and reflective glare. They can also darken useful vision-enhancing light. But now, independent research conducted by scientists from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory has brought forth ground-breaking technology to help protect human eyesight from the harmful effects of solar radiation

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FORCE ISC™ 10K B2

By Nick Carter

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ennessee’s Lake Chickamauga has garnered a lot of press in recent years for giant largemouth bass. The introduction of Florida-strain largemouths certainly paid off for this 60-mile-long Tennessee River impoundment. The thing is, all the hype over bucketmouths has overshadowed world-class fisheries that already existed on the Tennessee River from Chickamauga down through Chattanooga. Flowing between high ridges of The Scenic City, the big river pumps out some pretty spectacular action for catfish and smallmouth bass. Richard Simms, of Scenic City Charters, said the fishing heats up with water temperatures this time of year. Whether you’re looking for bigshouldered river smallies, giant blue cats—or a little bit of both—right now is the time to be on the water. Smallmouth Bass: The Chickamauga tailrace lights up with aggressive smallies in spring. They feed up in a 10-mile stretch below the dam. Simms said fishing jigs and soft plastics around rip-rap, current seams and edges is productive. But drifting live threadfin shad or shiners with the current leads to faster action. With light 6-poundtest line enticing the most bites, any smallmouth is a handful. They typically run from 2 to 4 pounds on the river, and a decent day will produce 10 to 15 of

these scrappy bronzebacks. Simms said to expect a mixed bag on live bait. Everything eats shiners, so anglers will also catch white bass, spotted bass, largemouth bass, crappie, yellow bass, catfish and maybe a striped bass. Catfish: Big blue catfish are abundant on the Tennessee River from Chickamauga Dam all the way down through Chattanooga. When flows are right, the tailrace can be very good. When too much water is being released from the dam, Simms heads up to the reservoir. Either side of the dam, the prespawn bite peaks in April. “Both fisheries hold great big catfish,” said Simms, “and pre-spawn is a great time for catching trophy fish.” On the reservoir, deep drop-offs and river channel holes with structure are the places to vertical drop cut skipjack herring, bluegill or chicken breast. Below the dam, Simms drift fishes those same baits on light 10-pound tackle. In 2009, Simms’ client, Jerry Uhrine, caught a 52-inch-long, 75-pound blue catfish on 10-poundtest line. It is a National Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame line-class record. “That light tackle technique is really fun because the average catfish we catch is 5 to 10 pounds,” said Simms. “Those 10 to 20 pounders aren’t unusual,

Photos courtesy of Scenic City Charters.

and every now and then we get one of those really big fish.” An average half-day trip from April through October typically yields 50 to 100 pounds of catfish. “It’s real easy to stock a freezer,” said Simms. Check out Scenic City Fishing Charters at www.sceniccityfishing.com.

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Photos courtesy of Tuna Duck Charters, Hatteras, NC.

April action can be fast and furious off the Outer Banks. Here’s one on deck and another on the line.

By Tom Schlichter

T

he Outer Banks of North Carolina needs little introduction to fishing fans. A true angling Mecca, it boasts super action with striped bass, red drum, cobia, sea trout and a host of inshore species while also offering tremendous offshore action for tuna, billfish, wahoo, mahi and additional pelagic favorites. These ocean predators really get your blood boiling in April, when the action comes alive 25 to 30 miles offshore. “We really do see a great mix of blue water species in April,” said charter Capt. Dan Rooks of the 51-foot custom Carolina Sportfisher, Tuna Duck (252-216-6160; http://tunaduck.com) which sails out of Hatteras Harbor Marina (252-986-2166; https://www.hatterasharbor.com.) “Typical action this month sees yellowfins in the 40- to 70-pound class, blackfin tuna weighing 20 to 25 pounds, and wahoo to 60 pounds. Early in the month, you might also deck a bluefin while the end of the month sees white marlin, blue marlin and sailfish arrive on the scene. Many of the big blues will top 400 pounds.” It’s the combination of bottom structure and a meeting of offshore currents that draws big game species to these waters, explained Rooks. The warm waters of the Gulf Stream flowing up from the south and cool waters of the Labrador Current dropping down from the north meet along the edge of the continental shelf, providing sharp temperature breaks that stack squid, ballyhoo, flying fish and other baitfish. Match a Anglers aboard Capt. Dan Rook’s Tuna Duck Charters celebrate a break over some structure, and you have a great spot to start hefty tuna that slammed a popper off North Carolina’s Outer Banks. your search. “It’s not as important that the temperature break be large as that it be well-defined,” noted Rooks. “I’ve seen breaks here as small as half-a- said. “A storm might push the cool water farther out or bring warmer water degree and as large as 20 degrees. Any break can produce if the surrounding closer in, so you constantly need to make adjustments. Expect to spend some conditions are right. Look for clean water, active baitfish and plenty of life. time searching out the fish even if they were stacked up just a day before. That’s one plus for heading out with a charter skipper; we’re on the water daily, Those are tip-offs that you are in the right area.” Although he’ll sometimes jig or work poppers for tuna, Rooks spends which helps us keep track of shifting currents, temperature breaks and baitfish most of his time trolling. His favorite setup is a natural dead-bait spread, with schools. Some days you find the predators sooner than others – but never give eight ballyhoo trolled in a V-pattern at 7 knots. He works hard to drag his up hope because once you dial ’em in, the fishing here is as good as it gets.” Anglers looking to trailer to this area can find transient dockage, fuel, hotel offerings across structure points, where temperature breaks are discovered accommodations and a boat launch ($10) all at Village Marina (252-986-2522; using on-board temperature gauges and satellite imagery. “The breaks move, of course, and you need to be aware of that,” Rooks www.villagemarinahatteras.com) in Hatteras. COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

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n today’s uncertain world, everyone, especially kids, welcomes an opportunity for stability. One obvious source is family, and any activity that strengthens family will pay dividends. Snorkeling certainly qualifies as a family building activity. The family that plays together stays together. Having fun is important for building family unity if for no other reason than it makes you want to continue what you are doing. But it’s what happens during play that creates feelings of strength and security that make family members see family as a source of support. Building family strength requires communication, shared responsibility, commitment, shared chores and established routines. Snorkeling together fits this framework well. It gives adults and children the chance to demonstrate and practice these behaviors. Consider what goes into planning a dive outing—and how each family member can have a role: • Where do we go? Everyone can have a say on the big trips, while choice of quick local trips could rotate among family members. • What do we bring? Deciding what gear will be needed and how to organize and pack it may require adult oversight, but kids can, and should, take part. • How do we stay safe? Again, age may dictate how you buddy up, but even youngsters should understand they have a responsibility to stay close and check on their partner. Who tows the dive flag this time? • How do we finish up? Everyone needs to take on chores to pack up,

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unpack, clean, dry and store the gear once home. So, when should you introduce your child to snorkeling? Plant the seeds early. I think using a mask and fins should be part of learning to swim. A mask gives clear underwater vision and forces mouth breathing. Fins greatly increase kicking efficiency, boosting a child’s confidence. As soon as they are comfortable swimming and diving with the mask and fins, add a snorkel. While teaching basic snorkeling skills is a family affair, there are other fun ways to strengthen and add to those skills. Pura Vida Divers’ offers a summer Kids’ Snorkel Camp for kids 8–12, built around the PADI’s Skin Diver program. This day camp uses exciting, interactive games and group activities to enhance skills ranging from marine life identification to underwater buddy rescue. The last day brings the whole family together for a pizza party and snorkel outing. The ultimate memory maker is a family snorkeling vacation. There’s no shortage of locations offering interesting aquatic environments for snorkeling. Two very special snorkeling trips are offered each year by Pura Vida Divers—a manatee watching trip to Crystal River, Fla. and swimming alongside whalesharks off of Isla Mujeres, Mexico. For information on the Kids’ Snorkel Camp, guided snorkeling at the Blue Heron Bridge or manatee and whale shark trips, call Pura Vida divers at 561-840-8750 or visit their website at www.puravidadivers.com.

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By Capt. Kirk Waltz

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n a lifelong pursuit of many fish up and down the East Coast, I finally found the species that constantly holds me in awe when I planted roots in northeast Florida more than 30 years ago. With their beauty, strength and tenacity, redfish are second to none. At one point not too many years back, redfish were almost was wiped out, but with good conservation they bounced back in a big way. They have become one of Florida’s pet fish, a favorite of many anglers, that have provided untold hours of fun. Of all the redfish studies conducted, one intensive study by South Carolina’s Dr. Charles Wenner stands out as one of the best. He dissected the habitat of the species and really gives insight as to where, when and what they do. North Florida’s Atlantic coast offers prime habitat that allows redfish to grow to enormous size. Here are some interesting tidbits gleaned from Dr. Wenner’s study. The world record redfish weighed 94 pounds, 2 ounces and was caught out of Avon, N.C. on the Outer Banks. With a range that extends from the Texas Gulf Coast all the way to Maryland and Delaware in the Atlantic, they are also called red drum, spottails, channel bass, redfish and puppy drum. After hatching, juvenile reds grow to about a half-inch in a short period of time and then move from deep water to shallow estuaries. They love our spartina grass flats, where they begin the transition from fry to sub-adults. This occurs during the fall and winter, when they don’t eat much. They remain fairly inactive while waiting for spring. When spring sets in, their metabolism kicks into high gear. By July, juveniles can grow to 7 to 8 inches or longer by

eating small crabs, shrimp and small fish. Redfish mature at about 33 inches and 5 years of age. They typically begin the spawning cycle around the last moon of August and peak from October into November, depending on water temperature. Males produce a drum-like sound, hence the name red drum, which draws the females close and lets the school know it’s time to spawn. Dr. Wenner studied eight females and 22 males in a huge tank. They produced 60 million eggs in a three-month period. Large individuals reach a ripe old age of 45 to 50 years. That’s a long time for a fish to live, so be sure to handle big ones carefully. One of the coolest things I learned was that a redfish tagged in Bulls Bay, S.C. was caught 189 days later in Mantanzas Inlet, Fla. That’s quite a journey for a fish that measured 18 inches to start. Most redfish only travel about 5 to 10 nautical miles from where they were hatched. Capt. Kirk Waltz is a radio talk show host, writer and charter captain who runs Enterprise Fishing Charters. Like them on Facebook or Instagram or go to www.Enterprisefishingcharters.com. Listen to the Outdoors Show in the First Coast area every Saturday on 1010am or 92.5fm from 7-10 a.m.

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Photo courtesy of Capt. Scott Burgess, Skinny Situation Charters

By John Saporito

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n fishing, it often pays to be suspicious. Unchecked hearsay saturates the pursuit, and it all amounts to an unfortunate barrier that every novice angler must confront. As a result, few people ever really get good at this sport. For the proficient angler, a thorough understanding of fish and their habitat ushers fishing far closer to a science than it does to a crapshoot. As humans, we are born only with an understanding of how to operate on dry land. We are able to breathe, to move about, and we know how to seek out comforts and avoid dangers. These capacities do not translate to the marine environment. We are biologically unfit to survive beneath the water’s surface, and most people, therefore, cannot empathize with the aquatic world. Water is an incredibly different medium than air. The most tangible distinction is the tremendous shift in density from one medium to the next. The sea is roughly 800 times denser than the air. Think about that for a moment. Sea creatures, as a result, don’t experience the constraints of gravity that land-based organisms endure. Their bodies are perpetually supported by water. This leads to a phenomenon known as indeterminate growth, which allows fish to continue growing throughout their lives. If a fish keeps living, it keeps growing. Such a trait can give rise to colossal specimens, but it requires a feat of survival. The sea is the ultimate crucible of life and death—a domain where mistakes spell doom and second chances are nonexistent. A seemingly endless, hopelessly convoluted food web blankets the planet’s marine ecosystems, bridging regions that are separated by immense distances and orchestrating the fates of all organisms that make their home in the sea. There is no getting ahead in this world; survival ensues on a meal-by-meal basis. Predatory fish, masters of instantaneous evaluation, must promptly determine the risk and reward in every feeding opportunity. Each decision a gamefish makes will dictate whether it perishes or lives long enough to feed again. The fundamental duty of all fish is to eat without being eaten by something else. From its earliest days as a fledgling hunter, the survival of any gamefish is contingent on its ability to carry out this task. Most will not even have the good fortune of transcending their formative stage as hunters of plankton. The minority that survive long enough to contribute a new generation to the sea will do so by becoming proficient in sensing danger and making good predatory choices. This is why big gamefish are so hard to catch; their size is a reflection of a lifetime of excellent judgment. A big fish is a smart fish, an experienced fish. John Saporito is a lifelong fisherman and student of the seas. Visit him online at www.guerillaangling.com.

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A BUCKET-LIST FISH WORTH CROWING ABOUT Photo courtesy of Crocodile Bay

By Todd Staley

W

hen anglers think of the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica, they usually think about billfish. Costa Rica is one of the top destinations in the world to chase these pointy-nose acrobats. Many folks travel to Costa Rica with billfish fever and are not even aware of the great inshore fishery available. A fish many anglers have never even heard about before their arrival in Costa Rica is the roosterfish. This unique-looking fish with seven combs as a dorsal fin is only found in the Eastern Tropical Pacific between southern Mexico and Ecuador. In its most northern and southern ranges, the fish move as the seasonal drop in water temperature arrives. Costa Rica, being in the smack-dab middle of Roosterfish’s range, enjoys a fairly constant water temperature and a year-round fishery. In many places, roosterfish are only available by fishing the surf break. Not in Costa Rica. Of course they cruise the beaches looking for an easy meal, but they also roam the many volcanic reefs. One area that is extremely productive is the Golfo Dulce on the Osa Peninsula in southern Costa Rica, a 32-mile-long tropical fjord. Here you find roosters almost everywhere, along the beaches and even over reefs in 200 feet of water. This allows anglers to target them using several different fishing styles. The locals also catch them with dead bait using handlines off the beach. Roosterfish in the Golfo Dulce average 15 pounds, and fish over 50 pounds are taken weekly. The resort record at Crocodile Bay is 106 pounds. Live bait is most always a sure bet. Blue runners, goggle-eyes, sardines and lookdowns are the favorite choices and are readily available. If you are looking for a monster and have the patience to wait it out, bridle up a 3- to 5-pound live bonito and hang on. The best method to fish live bait is to either slow troll behind the surf line or drift fish over volcanic structure. In the deeper areas, a 2- to 6-ounce weight is added to send the bait closer to the top of the reef. In Costa Rica, circle hooks are required by law when using bait, so it is best to have the “crank don’t yank,” mentality firmly planted in one’s brain. Popper fishing is also popular. Fish will often rise to a lure that is really ripped through the water. This is not a walk-the-dog fishing. The faster you work the popper, with lots of splash, the more hits you will get. At times, you will be surprised by a big orange flash as a hefty cubera snapper comes up from 80 feet to smash a popper. If a fish misses its target, don’t stop. They will often come back and strike again. A long stiff rod and six weeks of dumbbell curls are required to cast poppers any length of time.

Photos by Capt. Allan Smith Jigging will also get you your first rooster, but they are a little shyer to a jig than live bait or poppers. White or chartreuse bucktails produce in the shallow water and mental jigs work in the deep areas. Just about any brand of jig will work as long as it is worked fast. No one I know has found the “Holy Grail” for taking roosterfish on a fly. If you are looking for a real challenge, it’s game on. If you are looking for big numbers on a fly, roosterfish is probably not a good choice of adversary. There has been some success by teasing up roosters, much like you would a sailfish. They can be teased with a lure or live bait or by casting a popper with the hooks removed. To get a fly in front of charged-up rooster though, you have to have the speed of a Western gunslinger and the accuracy of William Tell. If you happen to be lucky enough to be on top of a school of bait and a herd of roosterfish charge in on them, you can get your fly in the middle of that action and have a good chance of hooking up. Some have had success trolling the fly, but that is taboo in many a fly guys’ book. To sum it up, if someone tells me they regularly catch roosterfish on a fly, I certainly wouldn’t leave my wife alone with them. Surely they can’t be trusted. Anyone thinking about a Costa Rica billfish vacation should really book at least one day inshore. Roosterfish are a strong and beautiful fish with an iridescent hue. Their unique dorsal cuts the surface as it hones in on its target. When hooked, they make powerful runs and sometimes clear the water in an aerial display. They make for an exciting sporting challenge and a replica makes for a great conversation piece on the wall. They really are a fish to crow about. More information can be found at www.crocodilebay.com or by calling (800) 733 1115.


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MATCH YOUR TACKLE TO THE FISH

By Robert Wiggers

F

or fish that are released, their survival often depends on the rod and reel used to catch them. Fish naturally don’t want to have a hook in their mouth, attached to a line, being pulled in a direction they don’t want to go. So, like any animal, they resist in an attempt to free themselves. The longer they fight, the more exhausted they become, and in some instances they deplete every amount of available energy in an effort to escape. The battle is over and the angler has won. Unfortunately, when it comes time to release the fish, it’s too exhausted to swim away on its own. Even if it is able to swim away, it certainly doesn’t have the energy to avoid predators that may be lurking around waiting for an easy meal.

Hooking and fighting a fish is an exhilarating experience. There was a time when it was considered to be more “sporting” to catch a large fish on very light tackle. A long fight requires a degree of skill and finesse in order to successfully bring a large fish to the boat. Anglers are recognized for such achievements through acknowledgement in the record books. However, the majority of recreational anglers don’t go fishing with the sole intent of trying to break a line-class record for a specific species. We go fishing simply to catch fish. Some anglers want something for the table, while others just want the satisfaction of catch and release. Regardless of reason, we usually choose a rod and reel that gives us the best chance of successfully landing the species we are targeting. Most anglers wouldn’t use freshwater bass tackle if they were trying to catch a billfish. The rod and reel you choose to use when fishing for a particular species should be carefully considered when practicing catch and release. Nowadays, the options for rod and reels are endless. Rods come in all lengths and are designed with different actions ranging from ultra light to heavy. Reels also range in size to match the rod, but have different gear ratios that allow an angler to retrieve the bait at a faster pace with less effort. Each combination performs differently. For this reason, many anglers carry a number of rods with them on any given trip. While it may be more fun to use a light rod and reel for catching a big fish, it’s simply not good for the fish or its chances of survival after being released. Studies have even shown that mortality of released fish can happen several hours after being released. There are always instances when anglers unexpectedly hook an exceptionally large fish on light tackle. But if you know beforehand that you are going to fish specifically for large fish, be sure to use appropriate tackle that reduces the fight time. I don’t know of any conservationminded angler that wouldn’t be heartbroken to see a large fish float away knowing the fish was potentially older than they were or that they just killed a spawning fish that could contribute more to the population.


Capt. Neil Eisner reels and 8 foot with conventional reels. I then asked about

Tarpon Fishing

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his bait of choice. Thread herring and shade work best for your live bait and catfish, ladyfish, shad when your bottom fishing. Mark sits up in his tower looking over the water. He’s looking for a splash in the water or a fish rolling. When he spots that it won’t be long before it’s fish on. Once the fish are spotted he gets in front of the school and drifts letting the tarpon come to him. If the fish are just milling around, Capt. Mark will anchor up, and start to chum. He’ll use a 3/4 oz weight and fishes the bottom. He noted he might put out as many as ten rods “it’s old school fishing” they don’t do that anymore he said. Join your local tarpon clubs to learn more. They love to help beginners, so join up.

was asked to write something about tarpon fishing, so I contacted longtime friend Captain Mark Combs. Capt. Combs is regarded as one of the best tarpon anglers in this area. He was named angler of the year twice for most tarpon caught and released and twice for most tarpon caught and released on light tackle 20# test or less, by his local tarpon club. I asked Capt. Mark if he would share some of his secrets and he agreed. He uses a 5/0 circle hook with live bait and an 8/0 for bottom fishing dead baits. The leader is an 80-pound test but he said if the fishing is slow he moves Want to learn more, email or call me. it down to 60-pound test. He likes 40-pound braid on his spinning reel and 80-pound mono on his conventional reels. Fishing the Flats Fishing Charters The rods are medium to a heavy rod, 7 foot for spinning

FACEBOOK.COM/COASTALANGLERMAGAZINESARASOTA/ | APRIL 2020 | SARASOTA / BRADENTON 1


Kayak

Eric Henson With the huge fish kills from red tide, the FWC had to jump in

Fishing

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he FWC just recently released that there will be another year of closure on redfish, trout, and snook in our area. This doesn’t mean that you may not target these species but that they may not be harvested. I know this is a sore subject to some people but, a blessing to others. No matter what side of the spectrum you are on, I completely understand both sides. I also know this: since it has been closed, I have seen a huge number of adolescent fish in areas where our fishery had been depleted in earlier years. I know a lot of people fish to eat fish. Why buy fish at the market

when you can catch fresh! If that’s you, there are plenty of other species, like snapper, flounder, pompano, etc. out there that you may harvest in the meantime if you want fresh fish to eat.

and do something before it was too late for species hit the hardest. Thankfully, with the closures and the fish releases with CCA/ Duke Energy program, the redfish, trout, and snook populations are on the up and up. Now, we all must do our best to work on the problems causing the fish kills in the first place. A few things you can do to get involved or help your fishery… • Look into joining or working with groups like the FWC, CCA, Captains for Clean Water,tc. These organizations will be able to help point you in the right direction. • Consider the chemicals that you are using on your lawn like pesticides, weed killersand fertilizers. These are a big source of our problems. I know we all want green andbug free lawns, but all those pollutants pour into our waters. There are many differentnatural alternative solutions that work great! • Join a water cleanup party every now and then. Or if you are on the water and seesomething that shouldn’t be there, take an extra second to pick it up. • Handle fish with care and practice safe releases. • Finally, we all must do a better job cleaning up after ourselves. As of now, I feel like we are starting to get on the right track, helping our fishery flourish. If we all keep doing our part to help in any way we can, I think our fishery could be world class once again! :) Thank you all for your efforts in keeping our waters clean! Until next time... Tight Lines and Tight Knots to everyone! Thanks, Eric Henson

Eric Henson @ 941-504-1349

2 SARASOTA / BRADENTON | APRIL 2020 | COASTALANGLERMAG.COM/SARASOTA/


Just Kickin Back

Capt. Philip Watson and mark where

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here is no doubt about it, Spring is here! The fish of the month are kingfish and Spanish mackerel. These fish will load up on any piece of hardbottom, ledge, or wreck. All you have to do is find the bait and you will find the fish. Typically, kingfish aren’t picky about what they eat. My favorite is a live Spanish sardine, (which usually doesn’t last long out there) but I always have great success with frozen sardine, threadfins, and risky pinfish. These fish however, can become leader shy. When your flatlines are behind the boat and not getting touched, try scaling your wire size down a little. I like to use a 30lb wire on the days when they are finicky; it will kink more on short strike and you will tie more leaders, but at least it will increase your bites. Another tactic that has a lot of success is trolling for these fish. My favorite lures to use are Yo-Zuri Crystal minnow deep divers, but your Rapala and Mann’s lures will work just the same. Planer boards and spoons work well too, especially when you’re in the thick of the school. Troll these lures around wrecks and bait balls until you get a bite

you get your bites. Continue trolling that area, as they usually don’t move far or fast. We had a particularly awesome group of anglers who were part of the FC Cincinnati Soccer team. They booked a half day trip with us in between tournaments and they had great time. We started the trip in 70’ of water on hard bottom, fishing for grouper. After a couple short fish and a few nice porgy, we moved a little deeper. We anchored on our new spot, which was a ledge in 80’ and had a nice show of snapper. We dropped baits down while I got a chum slick going and had some nice Key West grunts come up. A few minutes later the mangrove snapper turned on! We had two solid hours of fishing at this spot pulling up mangrove snapper, gag grouper, scamp grouper, Key West grunts, and porgy. Once the cooler was full, we headed east back to the dock where I cleaned and bagged their catch. The soccer team took their big bag of fillets over to a local restaurant that cooked their catch. It doesn’t get any fresher than that! Just Kickin Back Charters Anna Maria Island Florida

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April

T

Capt. Matt Fueyo

“Bait” Showers

he bait fish are back and it’s great to see how healthy and plentiful they are! The cool Winter to Spring weather/ temperature change is in full swing in Sarasota Bay. Schools of bait will be showing up and the fish feeding on them will have no problem seeking them out. While the bait fish are occupied by eating smaller micro baits, the larger predators will be in search of these tightly balled fish. All species of pelagic fish are on the move this time of year, including kingfish, barracuda, cobia, sharks and tuna are all making their way up and down the coastline. As a charter boat service, we teach our guests how to use a technique/tool called a Sabiki rig. This rig consists of 6 gold hooks tied in succession with 6” between each hook. While in route to the artificial reef, you will see what looks like a violent rain storm on the surface. These are usually schools of threadfin herring that can be found at any depth. What will give away their location is the way they feed on the surface. When approaching these schools of bait, it’s best to try not to spook them or they will quickly dive under the surface. This makes them less visible, and sometimes they will pop up 50-100 yards in the opposite direction you’re heading. If you are persistent and continue to cast weighted lines on their heads, they will stay low and become even more difficult to catch. What I usually do is stop the boat 25 feet short of the school in the direction they’re heading and wait for them to swim up to or next to the boat. You can watch

4 SARASOTA / BRADENTON | APRIL 2020 | COASTALANGLERMAG.COM/SARASOTA/


the bottom machine and see the red clutter of fish, which will indicate you’re in the zone. Sometimes I will bait my bottom two or three hooks with small pieces of squid. This will attract the blue runners and pinfish that might be below the bait school or closer to the bottom. Remember, with a Sabiki rig, you never set the hook! Reel up your baits (quickly) and treat them like gold. They are the ones doing all the work out there! Now that you’ve filled the live well with a few dozen baits, you’re ready to live bait troll the artificial reefs! I prefer to use conventional reels with 20-30-pound line and a 40-60-pound leader. The secret to success is to keep your leader line light and your presentation simple. I like to use a 40# wire leader with a 1/0-3/0 circle hook. What’s nice about the circle hook is that the fish will hook themselves once they turn with the bait in its mouth. Now the fight is on! I set the drag fairly light because of the light leader. I also want the fish to tire out before bringing it boat side. Gaffing a lively fish is never a good idea, especially with guests on the boat that might be unfamiliar with the species and the potential danger inside their mouths. Always take your fish right to the cooler and allow the fish to “calm down” out of harm’s way. I have personally been injured in situations like this, which resulted in stitches and a flight home from the Bahamas. We will save that story for another day… This is why a tourniquet is necessary on all vessels, with a high dollar first aid kit and all

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the necessary items for a potentially serious injury. Once your fish is calm, feel free to pull it out of the coffin, rinse the blood off and get your photo. No matter where you’re fishing this Spring, keep an eye out for your fellow boaters and anglers. Not everybody knows what you’re doing or what your intentions are. Everybody has different techniques and styles. Divers will be seen on these artificial reefs and structures, so make sure you keep your distance from them. Be safe, and always check your equipment before heading offshore and down the beaches. The artificial reefs are full of life this time of year, so be ready to share these marine oases with all who want to enjoy them.

www.reeltightfishingcharters.com FACEBOOK.COM/COASTALANGLERMAGAZINESARASOTA/ | APRIL 2020 | SARASOTA / BRADENTON 5


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How a Southwest Florida Mother’s Love for Fishing Grew into Ocean-Sized Opportunities ince I was a kid, I’ve always loved fishing! I spent my summers in New Hampshire at a family cottage on a small lake. I spent every hour of sunlight fishing for dinner, which usually consisted of pickerel, bass or trout. I grew a full appreciation for nature and the environment around me. Little did I know this would plant the seed for the future and lead me to bigger opportunities than I had ever imagined possible. Those childhood years fostered my love for aquatic life, which led me to Michigan State University (Go Green) where I earned a degree in fisheries and wildlife management. There, I completed two study abroad programs, one in the Bahamas studying tropical fish ecology and the other in Western Australia studying conservation and environmental management. After college, I moved to the Florida Keys, where I taught marine science education at the Newfound Harbor Marine Institute. I frequently fished for nurse and bonnethead sharks to stock our educational shark holding pond. Later, I moved to southwest Florida and taught science in the Florida public school system before becoming a stay-at-home mother. When it was time to go back to work, I wanted to educate children beyond my classroom and bring meaning to my life by directly protecting our oceans. With this in mind, I combined my love for the ocean, education, and playing games to start a business, Ocean Family Games. Ocean Family Games’ mission is to create ocean-themed games and children’s books that educate people on the importance of our oceans and how to help protect them. Last year, I decided to donate a portion of our profits to shark research. We connected with OCEARCH and are now proud partners. OCEARCH is a non-profit shark research organization with a mission to accelerate the ocean’s return to balance and abundance, through scientific research and education. They opensource data so the public has access to tracking sharks in real time. Through this research, we learn about migration patterns, reproduction, and nursery area locations. Knowing this can improve global conservation and public safety awareness. Ocean Family Games partnership with OCEARCH makes us truly unique because it allows us to fuse their scientific data into our games to further educate people on the most current research. Due to our love for sharks, this past October, we launched our first co-branded product, a deck of OCEARCH Shark Playing Cards that allows players to track sharks in real time. This is a standard deck of playing cards that includes 12 of OCEARCH’s tagged sharks, several shark tooth illustrations and a shark tooth identification guide. Ten percent of sales go toward funding OCEARCH’s shark research and

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6 SARASOTA / BRADENTON | APRIL 2020 | COASTALANGLERMAG.COM/SARASOTA/


education programs. Since launching our product, we’ve sold thousands of units and are in locally owned stores throughout southwest Florida, including marinas, gift shops, aquariums, and museums. Since partnering with OCEARCH, I have joined them on several expeditions including Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, Jacksonville, Florida and Brunswick, Georgia. In Nova Scotia, I witnessed the tagging of Vimy, a 1,164 pound, 12’ 9” adult great white shark. You haven’t lived life until you’ve seen a shark of this magnitude up close and personal. Why focus on sharks? Sharks are important because they are an indicator species, meaning when shark populations are healthy, the oceans are healthy, too. Sharks remove sick and weak animals, which allows for a healthier and stronger gene pool. Sharks are also important because they are apex predators, meaning they are at the top of the food chain and help balance the ecosystem. For example, sharks eat grouper, grouper eat parrotfish, and parrotfish eat algae off of coral reefs. When shark populations are unhealthy, the grouper population is more abundant, causing the parrotfish population to decline. The problem with this is that parrotfish eat algae off of coral reefs. So, when there aren’t enough parrotfish, algae can overtake the reef and the coral can die due to lack of sunlight. This could be catastrophic to our oceans. Coral reefs provide habitat for over 4,000 species of fish and provide vast economic resources for millions of people.

Looking into the future, I am planning to launch several cobranded games and children’s books with OCEARCH and other non-profit marine science organizations. All of the products promote education, conservation and healthy oceans for future generations. To learn more, you can sign up for our newsletter at www.oceanfamilygames.com or follow us on social media at Ocean Family Games. Katharine Baumgartner President, Ocean Family Games. Play Games. Save Oceans. FACEBOOK.COM/COASTALANGLERMAGAZINESARASOTA/ | APRIL 2020 | SARASOTA / BRADENTON 7


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you can Capt. Bart Marx natural underwater chum slick. And if you have live baits, 3/27/19 8:11 AM

ello fellow anglers! April in S.W. Florida brings changing water temperatures. As the waters warm up the migration of the pelagic species gets in full travel mode. The king mackerel tend to like the waters from 68° to 74°. This too is when there is plenty of bait around, from just off the beach out to thirty miles. Rely on your eyes to spot the diving birds to let you know where there is bait. Trolling is a great method to harvest king mackerel, match the hatch with trolling spoons. Also, this time of year the red and gag grouper start to migrate, the reds start to come closer to shore. The gag grouper, as the waters warm, tend to go out deeper. As they transition, the reds will come as close as the 60’ range, where the gags will move out to 60’ to 80’. To harvest grouper, some like to drift fish. Drifting takes lots of weight to keep your bait in the strike zone. You can also bottom fish, anchoring up your boat and build life and draw the fish closer to your boats strike zone. This way, I like to start with frozen baits that I have onboard. You can chum or not, as the fish that you catch purge and create a

use them as the bite slows with the frozen stuff. Also, you can have a bonus rod drifting out behind the boat for a king or Bonita. If you are fishing a structure you can chum and possibly get some snapper, like yellowtail or mangroves. And this Sheepshead on shrimp. time of year, there should be some hungry predators like sharks to deal with. So don’t be surprised if they steal part of your catch before you get it to the boat! For yellowtail, you may have to free-line some baits to harvest these guys. When you free- line, that is just a hook and a bait and strip the line off the spool so the bait floats down with the other pieces of chum and bait. It all should fall at the same rate. This is where fluorocarbon may produce better bites; you may even have to use twenty-pound test. When using braid, you may have to use a longer leader, 6’ to 8’ long, to get the hook away from the colored braid. If you do not have a boat that is capable of venturing out to these depths you can call Capt. Bart Marx or e-mail me to book. Check my website for charter information, alphaomegacharters. com and always remember singing drags and tight lines make me smile. <*(((((>{

Alpha Omega Charters @ 941-979-6517

8 SARASOTA / BRADENTON | APRIL 2020 | COASTALANGLERMAG.COM/SARASOTA/


Watery

I

Dan Carns attacks from even larger predators. Sea turtles as large as a bathtub

Paradise

magine for a moment that you want to go to paradise, so you begin to conjure up a map of this place in your mind and it begins to unfold all around you. It’s subtropical and warm, has miles upon miles of pristine barrier islands with sandy shell strewn beaches being held together by only the hardiest lush green plants and tall golden sea oats. The upper beaches are home to trees that must stand year round against the forces of nature and stand watch over huge numbers of shore birds, crabs, and even the diminutive Beach Mouse with an occasional visit from raccoons in search of a seafood dinner. These beaches are bathed in gentle, warm, sea mist colored waters flowing up and around them through deep water passes that hold masses of fish, some little, by the millions and some large solitary predator types like the mighty tarpon, who themselves succumb to

visit these beaches every year, leaving behind a new generation to fend for themselves and begin the long journey to adulthood. This barrier island chain is strung out for fifty miles or so and is the armor for an even more spectacular inland waterway that includes marshes and flats, harbors and bays, all of whom share in the gifts that the gulf water delivers to them twice a day on the incoming tide. This watery paradise is the estuarial home to an even greater number of species both terrestrial and aquatic as it is the nursery of the ocean where baby shrimp and larval fish are born and learn how to survive, mangrove seedlings take root and countless roosts hold flocks of birds safely overnight. As you travel farther inland the salty water slows down and takes on a stained tannin color as a whole new feeling begins to emerge; tall trees bend down from their dry banks, ducks are dipping and diving as water from enormous inland rivers pour precious nutrient-rich cargo mixing with salty water to form a brackish backwater playground for you and all manner of wildlife. Playful dolphins, usually in small family groups, probe the coves and canals for breakfast, occasionally asking for handouts from fishermen while manatee graze on unseen forests of seagrass seemingly unaware of the hazards of boat traffic overhead. Slowly you begin to emerge from this imaginary trip to paradise only to realize that you’re in S.W. Florida! Visitors and residents alike share in this watery world that we call home and there are endless ways to access this playground, by boat or kayak, by car, bus or bike and even by foot. The rules that govern your newly imagined paradise are entirely independent of our input and without us would continue unobserved hour by hour, year after year, following the rules of nature. Although ungoverned buy us it is affected by us, so care must be given in all the ways we engage with our Paradise! It’s a Wild World-Get Out There!

FACEBOOK.COM/COASTALANGLERMAGAZINESARASOTA/ | APRIL 2020 | SARASOTA / BRADENTON 9


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Capt. Terry Fisher gear strong enough to handle anything from a 60 to 150lb fish.

April Fishing in SW FL T

he month of April is the beginning of the tarpon migration to SWFL and the ‘setting of the stage’ for one of the most spectacular, natural displays of God’s gift to anglers, ‘The World’s Biggest Tarpon Migration’, in all of its splendor. For only a couple of months, especially during the month of May, Boca Grande Pass (‘Pass’) becomes the central focal point for the best tarpon fishing in the world. Whether a fisherman or not, this natural display of wild life beauty is worth a boat ride to the ‘Pass’, if only to see. Each spring, thousands of these prehistoric fish make their appearance in the ‘Pass’ to mate and do whatever they do to replenish, grow and survive their species. The April Tarpon Migration becomes the ‘Promised Land’ for big game hunters looking for their fish of a lifetime-----A BIG TARPON! April Tarpon will be found cruising the beaches. Live/dead ‘baits of choice’ include ‘dollar size’ blue crabs, mullet, pinfish, threadfins, mackerel and catfish fillets. These baits may be fished stationery on the bottom of the seabed or under corks/floats. Use

Spinning reels in the 6000-8000 series loaded with 30-40lb. rated rods with 65lb. test line and 80lb. leader should do the job. Use 6/0 to 8/0 circle hooks. Sharks will likely pick up any slack, as they are following the tarpon. INSHORE: Expect to catch seatrout, Spanish mackerel, pompano and ladyfish on the grass flats in and around 5’ of water. Snook should be plentiful in the passes, just off the beaches and around mangrove islands as water levels begin to rise. Fish for Spanish mackerel concentrations in the bay and passes using pilchards or silver spoons for best action. Redfish should be easy to locate on high tides in the shallows. A few sheepshead will remain in deeper water and under docks while many will revert offshore to deeper/cooler water locations. Black drum will be caught in areas one expects to find sheepshead. All inshore species (expect maybe sheepshead and black drum) may be caught using artificial presentations, however live shrimps will produce many more bites and hookups. OFFSHORE will offer anglers more success on the reefs within state waters (9 miles) as permit, cobia, blackfin, kingfish and other migratory species begin to move through. Decent size mangrove snapper and sheepshead will be caught on shallower reefs around 35’ of water. Larger groupers and other reef species will be caught around the deeper reefs of 80’ or more. To catch these fish, one needs to have a boat or a friend with a boat, with a gas range to go out there and back safely. Otherwise, hire a ‘longrange’ charter captain with a Federal License. Wind will be the only caveat to when one may go. Follow me on FB and Instagram at Fish Face Charters.

12 SARASOTA / BRADENTON | APRIL 2020 | COASTALANGLERMAG.COM/SARASOTA/

Fish Face Charters


Thriving!

Capt. James Vadas

T

he sheepshead we have caught over these past few months have definitely been bigger and in greater numbers than in years prior. I think all the anglers around Anna Maria Island would agree with me. Plenty of sheepshead to go around and they are delicious! I think it’s good conservation to release large females full of eggs and keep enough nice-sized ones for a good dinner. The really good sheepshead season could be the result of recent size limit increase from 10 to 12 inches from the FWC. We ultimately expect that the conservation efforts today will improve the size and quality of the fish in the future. However, the Spanish mackerel are REALL big this year too and there have been a bunch of them to go around and no recent size limit changes. Anna Maria Island fish populations are thriving either way and I’m always happy to report good sizes and numbers of fish. Now as the water is warming up so will the snook activity. I’m really looking forward to sight fishing these monsters from the tower of the new boat we have recently been blessed with. She’s

a 25’ Man O War custom rigged with all the latest electronics. Designed to comfortably take six people across the shallow flats of Anna Maria Island to hunt redfish, flounder, trout and snook or we can run a few miles offshore to wrestle grouper, barracuda and sharks. God bless and tight lines. Captain James

Living Water Charters @ 941-812-1245

FACEBOOK.COM/COASTALANGLERMAGAZINESARASOTA/ | APRIL 2020 | SARASOTA / BRADENTON 13


Snook H

Capt. Justin Napior favorite trips! I got everything

Slayers

appy April! We’re off to a killer start. The snook fishing is on fire and the tarpon are roaming! Live bait has been hard to beat and can be found pretty easy along the beach. A well placed artificial will also do the trick, three- and five-inch white paddle tails have been working well. Try to match the size or your lure to the size of the bait in the area. Rig them on a twist lock hook 3/0 or a ¼ ounce jig head, I prefer the twist lock hook unweighted for skipping mangroves and the jig head for deeper cuts and creeks. The early morning bite is your best bet, beat the heat and get an early start or try some night time snook and tarpon fishing for a different experience. I wanted to share a little fishing adventure I had recently. These two snook slayers fished with me last year with their dad; they had a blast catching snook for the first time! And I had a blast watching them. Fast forward to this year and their dad contacted me to say they were coming back and wanted to fish with me again! I was pretty excited because kids’ trips are some of my

ready the night before, got some awesome bait in the morning and met them at the ramp ready to fish. These two can cast pilchards like pros! They caught snook and jacks all morning. Dad hooked a monster snook first thing in the morning but she got the best of us- another fish story to tell. Lots of laughs and smiles all day long! Fishing trips like this are the things kids will remember when they grow up. I also enjoy teaching them about proper fish handling and why its’s important to take care of your local waters, and I always try to pick up at least one piece of trash every time I go out. I look forward to fishing with these guys every year and this is one of the many reasons I love doing this! Next time you’re planning a fun trip, I highly recommend adding a fishing excursion. Hope everyone has a great m ont h , Tight lines!!

14 SARASOTA / BRADENTON | APRIL 2020 | COASTALANGLERMAG.COM/SARASOTA/

Back Country Culture


Hello,

S

Capt. Billy Norris with lures is also effective, although not my preferred method of

Springtime!

pring is finally here and along with it come our springtime fish! Get the tarpon rods ready, gear up for permit, and get ready for some of the best snook fishing of the year! This past month, we have still been in more of a wintertime fishing pattern. This whole winter, the kingfish bite has been amazing, with fish ranging from 15-40 pounds being common catches and limiting out has been the norm. Kingfish are large, hard-fighting pelagic fish, which once caught, make excellent table fare if cooked fresh or smoked. Live baits like threadfins or pilchards are a go-to bait for kingfish, and larger kings will also readily take blue runners. Ensure that you are using steel leaders however, as their teeth will make short work of any monofilament or braided line. Trolling for kingfish

fishing, as I find trolling boring. In addition, large little tunnys, Spanish mackerel, and a variety of big sharks have kept rods bent. Fishing live bottom made for some great snapper fishing this past month. Mangrove snapper have started to come closer to shore, with fish ranging from 12-18 inches readily taking baits. Mixed in with the snapper have been several nice cobia catches, as well as large barracudas. High winds have definitely forced us into the backwater on multiple trips, but the backwater bite hasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t disappointed either. With the cold fronts pushing through, sheepshead and black drum have been everywhere. Fishing oyster bars, mangrove islands, docks and passes have all produced sheepshead and drum. Baits of choice for sheepshead are shrimp or crabs. Use light tackle, with a small hook to ensure that they donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t rob you blind cast after cast. Patience is the key when targeting sheepies. The snook bite is slower, as expected for wintertime, but should start to get red hot with the arrival of spring. Redfish and jacks have bit well, and trout have finally reappeared in our local area after being absent for nearly two years as a result of the 2018 red tide disaster. April should provide fantastic fishing! Tarpon will be here, and in numbers. Check out our article on tarpon fishing in next month's May issue of Coastal Angler Magazine! In addition, permit will be on the wrecks, and the backwater bite will be on fire! Spring is here, so bye-bye snowbirds, goodbye traffic, and hello great fishing! You can contact Captain Billy of Pale Horse Fishing Charters by phone and be sure to check out our website at www. PaleHorseFishingCharters.com and follow us on Facebook for daily fishing updates!

Pale Horse Fishing Charters

FACEBOOK.COM/COASTALANGLERMAGAZINESARASOTA/ | APRIL 2020 | SARASOTA / BRADENTON 15


Getting Silly on the Beach

Joe Sheaffer

A

couple of years ago, I observed a man on the Venice Jetty catching a Pompano on this weird looking lure. Being curious, I asked him “What is that thing?” he said “It is a Silly Jig.” Others call it a Wacky Jig or Banana Jig, most people refer to it as a Pompano Jig. I bought a few and tried them without much success and basically thought, these things don’t work. With time and persistence, I continued to try these Silly Jigs and have had success using them in the surf, especially along passes and heavy current areas. I have caught many species, including pompano, Spanish mackerel, snook, flounder, bluefish and many others. A few keys that help me have success with these lures may help you catch a few more fish using this presentation. These jigs come in various colors, single color, twotone colors and extreme bright colors. I have had the best results with the pink and white. Other popular choices are just pink, chartreuse, chartreuse and white, and just white. I would encourage you to try a few different schemes because one might work better for you. I prefer jigs with a small skirted stinger hook attached to the eye, usually a different color from the jig itself. I usually use a pink and white jig with a chartreuse stinger. I have found that many of

the fish I catch with this lure will be hooked with the stinger. That extra flash and erratic action can be the key to getting a bite with these lures. Having a selection of various weights can be the main key in getting bites with these jigs. I usually will have jigs from ¼ oz all the way up to 2 oz. Having the correct weight for the current flow is very important. The jig needs to get to the bottom so it can bounce and puff up the sand, especially targeting pompano. They are attracted to the sand puffing up on the bottom, thinking it is a crab, shrimp, or sand flea. Most of the success that I have had with these jigs is bouncing or popping it off the bottom with the current. Sometimes aggressive popping works, but many times more subtle bounces can be very effective. Having a few of these jigs in your tackle box the next time you go to the beach may be the presentation that saves the day. Good luck and keep on casting.

16 SARASOTA / BRADENTON | APRIL 2020 | COASTALANGLERMAG.COM/SARASOTA/


Brag Board

The Best Angler Photos From Southwest Florida!

Capt. James Vadas puts smiles on his clients’ faces.

Mike Abernathy with a Shell Creek 7 pounder!

Capt. Dan Kubal and guests got their limit with Fish Face Charters!

The FC Cincinnati Soccer team Kicked it out of the park with Just Kickin’ Back FC. Happy catching on the Living Waters FC!

Capt. Billy Norris is your guy for the monsters! Cobia dinner and a great fight on Pale Horse FC.

Found the mackerel with Capt. Terry Fisher.

Photos submitted Courtesy of Coastal Angler Readers and Contributing Writers

Submit pics to: camswfl@gmail.com or text to 239.595.8265 FACEBOOK.COM/COASTALANGLERMAGAZINESARASOTA/ | APRIL 2020 | SARASOTA / BRADENTON 17


18 SARASOTA / BRADENTON | APRIL 2020 | COASTALANGLERMAG.COM/SARASOTA/


FACEBOOK.COM/COASTALANGLERMAGAZINESARASOTA/ | APRIL 2020 | SARASOTA / BRADENTON 19


20 SARASOTA / BRADENTON | APRIL 2020 | COASTALANGLERMAG.COM/SARASOTA/


AO Coolers Releases New Insulated Fish and Fillet Mylar Bags

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READING THE BEACH

Photo by Paul Brennan

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o the uninitiated, surf fishing might seem easy. Stake out some rods, sit back in a chair and enjoy a cold one, right? Well, if you actually want to catch fish, it’s necessary to read the surf. For beginners seeking to catch fish from the beach, setting up in the right place is the first step to success. Ask the local tackle shop about baits, rigs and appropriate gear. This article should get you started seeking out productive water. Ever notice five or six dudes clustered on one short stretch of beach with an array of rods stuck in the sand just a few yards apart? These guys know what they’re doing. They’ve found structure that consolidates bait and fish. Don’t assume there’s an invitation to plop down and fish with them. But be polite, don’t crowd them, and they might share advice. Notice what the beach and the surf look like where they are fishing, and 18

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try to find something similar somewhere else. Scouting begins with a long walk on the beach. Low tide might not be the best time to fish the surf, but it’s a great time to see how the bottom will lay out when the tide rolls in. Bottom contours manipulate current, and any irregularity on a flat expanse off the beach will draw bait and fish. Often, fine sand indicates a bottom with a gradual slope and little structure. Coarse sand with crushed shell or gravel points the way to steeper drops or deeper holes. Pay attention while you’re walking, and you’ll likely see the sand change character. The most common structure you’ll find off the beach is a sandbar. This is where the waves begin to break as they approach the shore. Inside of this sandbar there is a trough of deeper water between the sandbar and shore. There’s another drop off the ocean side of the sandbar. Fish of all kinds utilize these slightly deeper waters to move along the beach, hunting smaller fish or crustaceans. Dropping baits in the trough or on the backside of the sandbar can lead to hookups, but your odds increase if you can find a break in the sandbar, where a large tide, a rip current or a storm surge has punched a hole in the bar. Sand stacks up on either side of the cut, leaving shallow points on either side of a deeper bottom. These spots are obvious when the tide is out. When the tide is in, it’s the spot where waves don’t break as they pass over the sandbar. On a falling tide, you might notice faster water being sucked out through the cut. Fish use these breaks to move in and out of the trough. Current rushing through sandbar breaks also disorients baitfish, and predators will line up. Keep in mind that the sand is always moving. It changes day-today, and being cognizant of even small irregularities on an otherwise featureless bottom can help locate fish.

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Clean Up Florida Waters July 11

F Reel in the memories. Sitting on the most biodiverse estuary in the Northern Hemisphere, Martin County is a fisherman’s paradise. Ocean, lake and river ecosystems are home to more than 800 species of fish, from the ever-popular sailfish and snook to largemouth bass and perch. Forget your gear? Visit one of Martin’s many bait and tackle shops or outdoor retailers. Inshore, offshore, saltwater or fresh, head out for an adventure and reel in the memories.

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lorida Realtors, the state’s largest trade association, is organizing a statewide event slated for July 11 to clean up Florida waters. Drawing from the organization’s extensive reach and calling out to all marine enthusiasts and conservationists, the event is aimed at cleaning up lakes, rivers, streams, retention ponds, bays, Intracoastal Waterways, the Gulf and Atlantic Ocean. The event was dreamed up between Orlando and Jacksonville realtors Mark Feagle Jr. and Jeff Fagan, who are avid anglers and Coastal Conservation Association members. The idea was quickly adopted by the trade association, which has the manpower of 195,000 members. The goal is to remove tons of trash and debris from waterways statewide in a single day, utilizing volunteers on land and water. “As a native Floridian, I have always enjoyed surfing, fishing and diving in our local waters. I want the natural beauty of this state to endure for my daughter and future generations,” said Feagle. “When you ask tourists or future residents what attracted them to Florida, the answers are typically: white sand beaches, lakes for boating, rivers for kayaking and our natural springs. Yet, many of our waterways are littered with bottles, cans and other debris. The good news is, trash is a people problem, which means we are also the solution.” On July 11, join thousands of Florida realtors to clean up Florida waters. Every effort   makes a difference. To get involved, visit www.floridarealtors.org/events/clean-up-florida-waters or contact your local real estate offices to get details on local efforts. Use the hashtag #cleanupfloridawaters on social media to find local events and support the effort.

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elebrate the fight against invasive lionfish at the sixth-annual Lionfish Removal and Awareness Festival May 16-17 at AJ’s Seafood and Oyster Bar and HarborWalk Village in Destin. Activities will include fillet demonstrations; family friendly games and activities; art, diving and conservation booths; and the world’s largest lionfish spearfishing tournament, the Emerald Coast Open. Satisfy your taste buds by visiting any of the participating locations of Lionfish Restaurant Week (May 11-14) for your chance to try this delicious invasive. Learn more by visiting FWCReefRangers.com. The 2020 Lionfish Challenge removal incentive program will begin May 22 and continue through the Pensacola Lionfish Classic on Oct 11.   Register for the tournament at EmeraldCoastOpen.com. For more information on FWC’s lionfish awareness programs go to FWCReefRangers.com and MyFWC. com/Lionfish.

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SOUTHWEST FLORIDA SEAGRASS RESTORATION UNDERWAY

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apid fluctuations in salinity due to freshwater releases from Lake Okeechobee have caused the loss of up to 1,200 acres of seagrass beds in NOAA photo by Heather Dine Caloosahatchee Estuary on Florida’s southwest coast. For more than a decade, prime habitat for inshore gamefish has dwindled. In 2018, an ambitious project began to restore seagrass to Caloosahatchee Estuary. Spurred by the Angler Action Foundation and funded by the state of Florida, the first stage of plantings appear to be thriving. In late 2018, about 20 acres of tape grass and widgeon grass were planted in areas decimated by excessive freshwater releases. Widgeon grass was selected for its ability to pioneer new habitat and tolerate a wide range of salinity. Tape grass, also known as eelgrass or wild celery, is more tolerant of freshwater than other grasses. Planting these two species provides some insurance that seagrass beds will establish and remain intact under widely varying salinity levels. Seagrass plantings were protected by wire-mesh exclosures to protect them from turtles and manatees, to allow the plants to take root. Initial surveys indicate very high survival rate, with up to 95 percent of plantings thriving and producing seeds and rhizomes that will disperse and hopefully establish themselves in adjacent areas, resulting in a self-sustaining seagrass meadow. Future plans are to expand the footprint of the planted areas. It is hoped the same methods can be used in other parts of Florida, such as the Indian River Lagoon, which has also suffered devastating losses of seagrass habitat.

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his is the time of year I start organizing for the upcoming fishing season. Whether I’m traveling abroad or staying close to home (which might be the case with current Covid-Virus situation), being practical and thorough are the keys to success. Pack Light: Many fly fisherman decorate themselves with useless stuff: dull-bladed scissors, moth-eaten fly patches and rust-encrusted hemostats; in addition, vest pockets are crammed with fly boxes of every size, each pocket on the verge of popping its stitching. On occasion, I have noted fly fishermen toting as many as three tackle bags, each bag containing enough stuff to stock a small fly shop. When saltwater fly fishing, dispense with the stuff and use the less is more approach. One box of flies will cover your targeted species, and you’ll need small spools of tippet material, nippers and pliers. If you’re fishing with a guide, he or she will have most of these items available to you. Know What the Fish Eat: Research flies you’ll need for the location and if your guide will provide them for you. Far too many anglers allow ego to take over their thinking in the selection of flies, resulting in the purchase of flies ill-suited for the targeted species. Ask the guide what flies are appropriate.

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Traveling Abroad? If you’re fishing in a foreign country, investigate the culture, customs and perhaps the language spoken. Doing so will ensure your trip’s success and impress the natives. Don’t forget your passport and an extra copy placed in another piece of luggage or carry on. Leave a copy of it at home just in case! And get a Trusted Traveler card (formally Global Enter card). It’s well worth the $100 and saves you from suffering the long customs lines when re-entering the United States. Cast: Prior to your trip, spend a half-hour each day casting into the wind, a practice that will prepare you for unforgiving, blustery winds you will encounter on the flats and offshore. Work on distance. Casts of 40 to 50 feet with no more than two false casts are a must. Find A Guide: A good fishing guide is an outstanding provider of the information you need when fly fishing unfamiliar waters or in distant fly fishing destinations. Your guide has logged hundreds of hours studying the local fish and has honed saltwater fly fishing skills. Listening is guaranteed to make you a better fly fisherman. Hiring a guide and lending him your ear is a giant step in the right direction if learning to saltwater fly fish is your goal. Once you have enlisted his assistance, pay attention; listen and learn. You’ll find most saltwater fishing guides are good listeners, and often they become good and trusted friends. However, avoid bending his ear too much with stories about your skills as a freshwater fly-flinger. You are there to learn from him, not vice-versa.

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TONS OF TRASH Removed From Broward Waters

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Rick Gibbs - Agent

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ore than 1,000 volunteers showed up in early March for the 43rd Broward County Waterway Cleanup. On land and in water with 120 vessels, including boats, kayaks and paddleboards, volunteers collected nearly 25 tons of trash and debris from 35 sites around the county. The event was presented by the Florida Inland Navigation District (F.I.N.D.) and National Marine Suppliers and organized by the Marine Industries Association of South Florida (MIASF). “We had beautiful weather, dedicated volunteers and a great time,” said Event Coordinator, Nicole Hoekstra, “The annual Waterway Cleanup is a perfect day to celebrate all that Broward County has to offer, while taking part in keeping it clean,” Following the cleanup, volunteers were invited to attend the Trash Bash Thank You party at MIASF Headquarters, where participants were treated to live music, free food and beverages, and more than a dozen raffle prizes.  For more information, visit www.waterwaycleanup.org.

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CHERRY DOMINATES THE CLASSIC

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here was no denying Elite Series veteran Hank Cherry. Riding a first-day sack of nearly 30 pounds, he led wireto-wire during the 50th anniversary Bassmaster Classic at Lake Guntersville to capture the most coveted title in tournament bass fishing. The 46-year-old B.A.S.S. photo by Gary Tramontina from Lincolnton, N.C. hoisted the trophy on championship Sunday March 8 and accepted his winnings of $307,500 as the Classic champion. It was sweet redemption for a man who’s fished the Classic five times and came heartbreakingly close to winning the whole enchilada back in 2013. During the 2013 Classic at Grand Lake, Oklahoma, a lost jerkbait fish dropped Cherry into third place. It’s safe to say his luck held on Guntersville, where limits of 29-3, 16-10 and 19-8 gave him a three-day total of 65 pounds, 5 ounces. He did most of his damage during Friday’s first round with a Z-Man Jack Hammer. The pattern led to a tournamentbest bag that featured a pair of 7-2 largemouths. On Days 2 and 3, he relied on his own Hank Cherry Signature Series Jig from Picasso in green pumpkin with a matching Berkley MaxScent Chunk trailer and a jerkbait—a Megabass 110+1 in the French pearl OB color. He spent practically the whole event fishing one causeway and one grass flat after a Day 1 arm injury limited his travel in windy conditions. “I never put gas in the boat all week,” Cherry said. “Y’all know me. If it’s windy, I’m not going to be making a lot of long runs—and anyway, I just didn’t need to.” South Carolina pro Todd Auten finished second with 58-10. Arkansas angler Stetson Blaylock took third with 58-1. The Berkley Big Bass award went to Auten for a 7-9 he caught on Day 1.

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nglers looking for a two-man raft as versatile as it is portable and functional will have a hard time finding anything that tops Dave Scadden’s Dragonfly XT2. At 10 feet long, 54 inches wide and weighing just 100 pounds, the Dragonfly XT2 can be thrown in the back of a pickup truck, yet it fishes and handles as well as a much bigger boat. It can be set up one person frameless, two-person frameless or decked out to the moon with Dave’s Dragonfly travel frame. It is super lightweight and portable yet offers performance levels never before achieved in the inflatable world. The Dragonfly XT2 is so outrageously tricked out that there are just too many cool gadgets to list. Go to www. davescaddenpaddlesports.com and watch the videos. You’ll see why professional guides around the country are choosing this boat for their river trips. All Dragonfly models are bladderless, miterless and fully rockered with rigid dropstitch technology and removable self-bailing floor systems. They are rated for Class V whitewater, have a 1,500-pound weight capacity and are backed by an exclusive unconditional lifetime warranty.  

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ound is critical to a fish’s survival beneath the surface of the water. They rely on sound to signal the presence of prey or warn them of impending danger. Since sound travels five times faster in water than it does in air, it becomes a critical factor in a fish’s daily life. If you have watched fish for any period of time, you know they instinctively become alert to unfamiliar sounds or noise and tend to move away from the source. I watched a scientific experiment with trout in a clear water stream from a concealed tower. As an associate approached the edge of the stream from wooded concealment on the opposite bank, the trout became instantly alert. A few slipped back into protective cover, while the rest became motionless and waited to see what would happen. Every fish within view stopped feeding. Large predators sometimes invade a chum slick simply because they respond to the sound of smaller fish feeding. They can actually hear potential prey as the little guys devour the chum. The sound of other fish feeding will often trigger additional fish to begin feeding. Game fish are intensely aware of the distress vibrations given off by injured or impaired fish and usually are attracted to move in closer. These distress vibrations telegraph the

presence of an easy meal. That’s why a larger predator often attacks a hooked fish as you struggle to land it. Unique in the animal kingdom, the lateral line on either side of a fish is an extremely precise sound-detecting organ. It responds to low frequency sound within relatively short range in a system known as near-field displacement. Anything moving through the water disturbs the molecules and this is detected by neuromasts in the fish’s body. The accuracy of the system is nothing less than amazing. A fish can strike prey it cannot see with incredible accuracy. Negative sounds or noises are equally important. Too many anglers ignore the damage that noises can cause. Once a fish is alerted that something is not right, it seldom will risk striking a bait or lure. A plug landing too close to an oversized shark or a 100-pound tarpon can send that critter scurrying for safety. The noise of an outboard can eliminate fish in a given spot. Racing to reach a spot or to get to breaking Photo by Nick Carter fish as quickly as possible can shut down the activity. And making noise aboard a boat, particularly when it is easily transmitted through the hull has negative effects. The shallower the water, the more damaging noise can be. All it takes is dropping a pair of pliers, sliding a tackle box so it scrapes or making heavy sounds of any type. It pays to live by the rule that silence is golden. If you do, you’ll catch more fish.

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NOAA CLAMPS DOWN

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n early March, NOAA Fisheries announced that red snapper season in the South Atlantic, from the Carolinas to Florida, will be a scant three days long with a one-fish per person daily limit… if there is to be a snapper season at all. It’s frustrating news for anglers, who are experiencing a similar situation to what occurred in the Gulf of Mexico prior to states taking control of red snapper management. While anglers and charter captains report plentiful and increasing red snapper catches, federal managers continue clamping down on regulations. And even the three-day season is contingent on a change to regulatory framework, which currently does not allow a season at all if NOAA determines it will be three days or less. According to a release from the South Atlantic Fisheries Management Council (SAFMC), the change that would allow a three-day season is expected to be in place before the 2020 season. Since 2010, recreational anglers have been allowed just 37 days total to harvest red snapper in the South Atlantic. NOAA’s decision on the 2020 season is based on landing estimates from 2019, when a five-day recreational season produced an estimated 49,674 fish and exceeded the annual catch limit. The current annual catch limit is set at 29,656 fish.

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E-Z ANCHOR PULLER PATRIOT SERIES

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-Z Anchor Puller Mfg. Co. provides a solid, reliable, easy-to-use solution for anchoring. As a leading drum anchor winch manufacturer, our products are a safe, consistent launch and retrieval system for vessels in calm or rough seas. No more trips toward the front of your boat to untangle line and chain: we have a drum anchor winch that provides years of dependability and safety for you and your anchor, from 18-foot all the way up to 55-foot vessels! The Patriot series is especially developed for fiberglass fishing boats in shallow coastal waters. Before purchasing his E-Z Anchor Puller unit, Jarrett Sanchez pulled up a 22-pound anchor and 230 feet of rope and chain onto his 1977, 25’ Mako Center Console all by himself, by hand. Now, he can simply press a button to drop his anchor to the bottom, then simply push “up” for three seconds to ensure his line is nice and tight. Manufactured completely from 316 stainless steel and rated IP68 waterproof submersible, the Patriot series is immune to saltwater environments, whether it’s exposed on the deck or hidden away in the rope locker while you’re out on the water. With three sizes (EZ-1, EZ-2 and EZ-3) in the series, the Patriot is the winch of choice for Florida boaters who own vessels 18 to 35 feet, and can hold between 175 and 325 feet of ⅜-inch line, or 150 to 200 feet of ½-ich line depending on preference and need. The power-up, power-down direct drive button gives boaters more control over deployment and retrieval with an average of 100 feet per minute for deployment and retrieval. Sanchez’s particular unit, the Patriot EZ-2, holds 150 feet of ½-inch line where he boats off of the coast of Treasure Island, Fla. Even though his decision to buy our unit was, “99.9 percent his wife and family,” we think Sanchez is one happy customer, too! No drifting, no tangled lines and one less thing to worry about on the open water. To check out the Patriot series in its entirety, visit our website at ezanchorpuller.com/collections/anchor-winch

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arine growth on the transducer inhibits the performance your sonar. A fouled transducer reduces sensitivity, bottom-echo returns and positive fish targets. In other words, when the transducer is dirty, you’re not seeing what’s down there. Also, transducers perform best when there’s minimal turbulence over their surface during operation. Consider this next time you’re idling over structure looking for bait and fish. With streamlined water flow over your equipment, you’ll get a better image of what’s below. To solve these performance issues, Propspeed, a leading innovator of underwater coatings, developed a revolutionary foul-release coating designed specifically for transducers. Foulfree is a biocide-free coating that when cured creates a super-slippery surface over the transducer. It prevents marine growth without poisons to keep your transducer clean, streamlined and performing at its peak. One application lasts through an entire year of service and even longer in cooler climates. “Foulfree is an exciting new coating specifically made to enhance the performance of transducers,” said Chris Baird, CEO of Propspeed. “Bringing together our revolutionary product design and working with the experts in transducer functionality from Airmar, we are able to offer boaters around the world a new solution to an age-old problem and improve sonar performance for anglers and cruisers alike.” Foulfree joins Propspeed’s award-winning product line which includes Propspeed an industry-leading foul-release system for propellers and running gear and the groundbreaking transparent foulrelease coating specifically formulated www.oceanmax.com for underwater lights, Lightspeed.

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he dawning of the new year has been good to West Virginia anglers who are setting new state records. A monster blue catfish and a big grass carp were certified as state length records by the West Virginia Division of Naturaral Resources, and then the grass carp record was broken again. On Jan. 3, Zachary Adkins, of Cabins, W.Va., caught a 53.1-inch, 59-pound grass carp from Warden Lake, a 44-acre state-managed reservoir in the northeastern corner of the state. Adkins used a large swimbait to catch the fish, which broke the previous length record of 50.75 inches. Then, on Feb. 18, John Miller, of Lost City, W.Va., bested Adkins’ mark with a 54.75-inch, 67.4-pound grass carp, also from Warden Lake. Warden Lake is apparently a hotbed for big carp. The state weight record of 71.69 pounds also came from Warden. It was caught by William Tucker in 2005. On Jan. 11, Justin Conner, of Culloden, W.Va., caught his 49.84-inch, 58.38-pound blue catfish on the Ohio River over on the Ohio border. Conner’s big blue ate a chunk of cut shad. It broke the previous length record of 47.75 inches. Mark Blauvelt still holds the weight record with a 59.74-pound blue catfish caught on the Ohio River in 2016. The IGFA alltackle world record blue catfish weighed 143 pounds. It was caught out of Kerr Lake, Va. in 2011. COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

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RIDE THE BULL In Grand Isle Louisiana

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he maze of bayous around the mouth of the Mississippi River south of New Orleans holds the best redfish fishing in the world. This unique system of waterways on Louisiana’s Gulf Coast also lays out perfectly for anglers fishing from kayaks. It’s fitting that the world’s largest kayak fishing tournament should be held out of Grand Isle, Louisiana. On Aug. 28-29, Ride the Bull will flood Caminada Pass with hundreds of kayak anglers chasing the event’s heaviest single redfish. It will be the 11th edition of this catch-and-release bull redfish tournament hosted by CCA Louisiana. And whether you’re a competitor or one of the hundreds of spectators, it’s an event you need to see. Because of the tournament’s boundaries within Caminada pass, it is suitable for anglers of all ages and experience levels. The fishing, however, can be pretty serious, with a leaderboard filled by redfish approaching 30 pounds. In addition to the fishing on Saturday, Aug. 29, vendors will be there displaying their wares, and usually there’s live music on Friday night after the captains meeting. Registration opens June 1 and hotel rooms on Grand Isle fill up quickly, so make reservations early. For more information, go to ccalouisiana.com.

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At Harbor Freight Tools, the “Compare to” price means that the specified comparison, which is an item with the same or similar function, was advertised for sale at or above the “Compare to” price by another national retailer in the U.S. within the past 90 days. Prices advertised by others may vary by location. No other meaning of “Compare to” should be implied. For more information, go to HarborFreight.com or see store associate.

3/6/20 4:13 PM


Time to get to your local Suzuki Marine Dealer for the Ultimate Outboard Motors. Buy during our Spring Sales Event and get Suzuki’s 3-Year Limited Warranty plus 3 years of Time to get to your local for the Ultimate Outboard Motors. Extended Protection at noSuzuki extra Marine charge.Dealer There are Instant Savings on select models,Buy and during ourFinancing Spring Sales Event and get Suzuki’s 3-Year Limited Warranty plus 3 years of Low-Rate is also available. Extended Protection atSuzuki no extra charge. There are Instant Savings on select models, and See your participating Marine Low-Rate is also available. dealer for Financing all the details. See your participating Suzuki Marine dealer for all the details.

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Gimme Six Extended Protection promotion applies to new Suzuki Outboard Motors from 25 to 350 HP in inventory which are sold and delivered to buyer between 04/01/20 and 06/30/20 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. The Gimme Six Promotion is available for pleasure use only, and is not redeemable for cash. Instant Savings applies to qualifying purchases of select Suzuki Outboard Motors made between 04/01/20 and 06/30/20. For list of designated models, Gimme Six Extended Protection promotion applies to new Suzuki Outboard Motors from 25 to 350 HP in inventory which are sold and delivered to buyer between 04/01/20 and 06/30/20 in accordance with see participating Dealer or visit www.suzukimarine.com. Instant Savings must be applied against the agreed-upon selling price of the outboard motor and reflected in the bill of sale. There are no model 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. The Gimme Six Promotion is available 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 for pleasure use only, and is not redeemable for cash. Instant Savings applies to qualifying purchases of select Suzuki Outboard Motors made between 04/01/20 and 06/30/20. For list of designated models, 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 see participating Dealer or visit www.suzukimarine.com. Instant Savings must be applied against the agreed-upon selling price of the outboard motor and reflected in the bill of sale. There are no model terms provided, are based on creditworthiness. $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 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 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 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 authorized Suzuki dealer between 04/01/20 and 06/30/20. “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 terms provided, are based on creditworthiness. $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 read your owner’s manual. © 2020 Suzuki Motor of America, Inc. 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 04/01/20 and 06/30/20. “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. © 2020 Suzuki Motor of America, Inc. NATIONAL APRIL 2020 COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

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or centuries, a Damascus steel blade was instantly recognizable and commanded immediate respect. Recognizable because the unique and mysterious smelting process left a one-of-a-kind, rippled texture on the steel, and respected because Damascus steel’s sharp edge and resistance to shattering were the stuff of legend. If you carried Damascus steel, you were ahead of the curve. Today, you can own the legend.

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• Damascus steel blade & bolster • Buffalo horn & colored bone handle • Liner lock • Overall length, open : 7 ½" • Includes genuine leather sheath

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Profile for Coastal Angler Magazine

Coastal Angler Magazine | April 2020 | Sarasota Edition   

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

Coastal Angler Magazine | April 2020 | Sarasota Edition   

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

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