Page 1

FREE

TAMPA BAY EDITION

GEAR

Win a

Guide

chance to fish

with Skye Burkhardt

Nosara Billfish

Bonito

On The Fly

PHOTO COURTESY OF TUCKER HARRIS @MACH1TUCK VOLUME 23 • ISSUE 275

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RADAR

REDEFINED Solid-State Doppler Tracking It’s The

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Target AnalyzerTM function, facilitated by Doppler technology, immediately alerts you to targets (displayed in red) that pose a threat to your vessel. Simultaneously track up to 100 moving targets, displaying their speed & course vectors.

RezBoostTM beam sharpening displays higher resolution targets, similar to those from a large open array antenna.

DRS4D-NXT & DRS6A-NXT Doppler Solid State Radar Experience The

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2018 242CC

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THE NEXT GREAT GREAT THE NEXT

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EDITOR IN CHIEF : Ben Martin • camads@coastalanglermagazine.com VICE PRESIDENT : Tracy Patterson • tracy@coastalanglermagazine.com ART DIRECTOR : Rebecca Snowden • graphics@coastalanglermagazine.com EDITORIAL COORDINATOR : Nick Carter • editorial@coastalanglermagazine.com WEBMASTER : Dmitriy Pislyagin • webmaster@coastalanglermagazine.com ADVERTISING INQUIRIES: Corporate Headquarters info@coastalanglermagazine.com • 888-800-9794

Anglers Wanted Dear Reader,

FLORIDA

BIG BEND : Mike McNamara • (850) 510-7919 • captmike@coastalanglermagazine.com BREVARD : David String • (321) 684-5888 • dstring@coastalanglermagazine.com DAYTONA/NEW SMYRNA BEACH : Don Meadows • (321) 436-5895 • donm@coastalanglermagazine.com EMERALD COAST/DESTIN/PENSACOLA : Scott Risher • (850) 428-0996 • srisher@coastalanglermagazine.com FLORIDA KEYS : Cliff Lumpkin • (305) 849-9093 • cliff@coastalanglermagazine.com FORT LAUDERDALE : Gene Dyer • (954) 680-3900 • gene@coastalanglermagazine.com FORT MYERS : Nadeen Welch • (239) 595-8265 • nwelch@coastalanglermagazine.com GREATER MIAMI : Scott Deal • (561) 945-6999 • scott@coastalanglermagazine.com Monica Isaza-Deal • (561) 945-8899 • monica@coastalanglermagazine.com GREATER ORLANDO : Phillip & Giselle Wolf • (407) 790-9515 • phillip@coastalanglermagazine.com LAKELAND & SUMTER : Mary Brasher • (352) 598-4219 • maryf@coastalanglermagazine.com NAPLES : Nadeen Welch • (239) 595-8265 • nwelch@coastalanglermagazine.com NC FLORIDA/NATURE COAST : Cary & Lynn Crutchfield • (352) 372-4237 • crutch@coastalanglermagazine.com NE FLORIDA : Danny Patrick • (904) 742-4696 • danny@coastalanglermagazine.com PANAMA CITY/FORGOTTEN COAST : Randy Cnota • (229) 834-7880 • randyc@coastalanglermagazine.com PALM BEACH COUNTY : Barbara Ryan • (561) 373-8040 • barbara@coastalanglermagazine.com SARASOTA : Phil Prevoir • (239) 257-4684 • pprevoir@coastalanglermagazine.com TAMPA BAY : Chuck Atkins • (239) 464-5153 • chuck@coastalanglermagazine.com TREASURE COAST : Misti & Gary Guertin • (772) 285-6850 • treasurecoast@coastalanglermagazine.com flahama@coastalanglermagazine.com

SOUTHEAST

ATLANTA : Bob & Brenda Rice • (706) 614-8231 • bobr@theanglermagazine.com CHARLESTON : Jane A. Redden • (205) 725-9616 • jane@coastalanglermagazine.com Sam Buckareff • (843) 607-8629 • sam@coastalanglermagazine.com CHARLOTTE/PIEDMONT : Mark & Haley Alberghini • (704) 651-1934 • mark@theanglermagazine.com COLUMBIA/MIDLANDS : John Lux • (803) 807-6885 • jlux@theanglermagazine.com MYRTLE BEACH : Mike Masiero • (732) 674-3019 • mmasiero@coastalanglermagazine.com SW GEORGIA : Bob & Brenda Rice • (706) 614-8231 • bobr@theanglermagazine.com TIDEWATER/OUTER BANKS : John Tiger • (757) 707-9654 • john.tiger@coastalanglermagazine.com Laura Seitz • (757) 707-9655 • laura@coastalanglermagazine.com UPSTATE SOUTH CAROLINA : Gregg Thompson • (864) 542-3112 • gregg@theanglermagazine.com WESTERN NC : Debra & Joe Woody • (828) 775-9663 • woody@theanglermagazine.com WILMINGTON/MOREHEAD : Kenny Ritter • (910) 550-9094 • kenny@coastalanglermagazine.com

NORTHEAST BOSTON : George Regan • (617) 488-2842 • boston@coastalanglermagazine.com LONG ISLAND : Lisa & Michael Danforth • (203) 321-7635 • lisad@coastalanglermagazine.com CONNECTICUT/RHODE ISLAND : Lisa & Michael Danforth • (203) 321-7635 lisad@coastalanglermagazine.com

GULF COAST

GALVESTON/MATAGORDA/UPPER COAST : Chanci & David Mowry • (713) 446-7395 • chancim@coastalanglermagazine.com • davidm@coastalanglermagazine.com MISSISSIPPI GULF COAST : Adam Nelson • (228) 627-5903 • anelson@coastalanglermagazine.com Toby Nelson • (228) 623-1761 • tnelson@coastalanglermagazine.com NEW ORLEANS : Dr. Dave Dunaway • (225) 400-8156 • nola@coastalanglermagazine.com

GREAT LAKES WEST MICHIGAN : Phil Belsito • (616) 957-1714 • phil@theanglermagazine.com

INTERNATIONAL PUERTO RICO/VIRGIN ISLANDS : Ace Bassue • (407) 285-9453 • ace@coastalanglermagazine.com COSTA RICA : Mike Erickson • (561) 262-2242 • mike@coastalanglermagazine.com © 2017-2018. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written consent of the publisher. Disclaimer: Coastal Angler Magazine / The Angler Magazine will not be held liable for injuries incurred while partaking in activities described herein, or for claims made against products or services provided by advertisers.

Coastal Angler Magazine and its freshwater component The Angler Magazine are both part of a unique franchise publishing model developed 10 years ago by duplicating the working elements of the local Coastal Angler Magazine that had been publishing since 1996 in Melbourne, Fla. Today, there are more than 30 franchise locations throughout the Continental U.S., Costa Rica and the U.S. Virgin Islands. We are now one of the largest, most widely read outdoor publications in the country. Guess what? We’re not done yet. Our goal is to have more than 100 franchise editions throughout the U.S. and abroad. We’ve tweaked and refined our systems over the last 10 years, and now we are ready to continue our expansion.

Let’s Grow Again! If you (or someone you know) loves the outdoors and would be comfortable running your own business, please contact us for more information about joining our franchise team. Best regards,

Ben Martin Editor in Chief info@coastalanglermagazine.com

1-888-800-9794

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WE BUILD FUN INTO 26 FEET OF PURE EVERY NAUTICSTAR! FISHING JOY SPORT THE ALL NEW 265XTS DECKS

Step up to NauticStar’s biggest bay boat, the all new 265XTS – Xtreme Tournament Series. The carefully designed hull and deck is optimized for performance, functionality and fishability that will give you capabilities never before seen in a bay boat. Inshore or offshore, the STAR Performance hull is designed to minimize draft for skinny fishing and provide a forgiving ride through tight open chops and coastal swells. Check out all the incredible standard and innovative features of the 265XTS on our website.

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Researchers Embark On $10 Million Gulf Red Snapper Study By CAM Staff

W

ith the ongoing debate over red snapper population estimates in the Gulf of Mexico, researchers from the University of Florida have received a $10 million grant to hopefully settle the dispute and determine what the snapper population actually is. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Marine Fisheries Service and Sea Grant are funding the study, which will be conducted over two years by UF associate professors Robert Ahrens and Will Patterson along with researchers from other institutions from around the Southeast. Currently under a federal recovery plan, the Gulf red snapper fishery has been considered overfished since the 1980s by the federal government. Under the recovery plan, coastal communities and businesses, such as charter boat operations and all the others that benefit from money spent by anglers, have been hurt by extremely limited opportunities to harvest this important recreational and commercial species. All the while, recreational anglers and biologists with Gulf state wildlife agencies have been pointing to flaws in the formal stock assessments. And the structure of the allowed catch has created a rift between recreational and commercial fishermen. Over the vast Gulf of Mexico, it will be one of the largest and most ambitious fish studies ever conducted, and even with $10 million in funding, there are those who doubt the study will achieve its goal of a population estimate with a coefficient variation of 30 percent, according to a UF release. Meeting the requirement would require numerous supplementary samples until the numbers contract into the accept-

Jeff and Payton Oney caught their limit of beautiful Gulf red snapper as well as red and gag grouper and other reef fish while fishing off Anna Maria Island with Capt. Larry McGuire and Show Me The Fish Charters. able range of variance between locations. Researchers will use methods beyond catch data in their study. Remote operated vehicles, camera sleds, acoustics and divers will play a role in producing the estimate. Researchers will also be capturing some fish and taking fin clips to develop genetic tags to be used in future estimates. Along with the snapper study, there is excitement over additional information that can be gathered in a study of this size. The distribution and size of other reef fish, as well as the invasive lionfish are of particular interest.

COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

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GEAR GUIDE Beach Marine Products Bay Buddy Bait pens by Beach Marine Products are not your average bait cages. Built by engineers and hard-core anglers, every care was taken to design bait pens that are rugged, durable, convenient for the angler, and stress-free for the bait. They feature a sloped-bottom design and industry-changing false bottom, making recapturing your bait easy. Heavy duty aluminum construction with zinc anode assures a durable product. All hardware is stainless steel and doubled up. The pens are powder coated with no sharp edges to injure or red nose baits. Large oversize doors allow access for cast nets and large dip nets. Beach Bait Pens come in many different shapes and sizes. Their smallest pen is the Bay Buddy, which is ideal for holding shrimp, crabs and multiple species of live baitfish. The Bay Buddy is 20 inches wide by 18 inches deep.

beachmarineproducts.com

Kaku Kayak Wahoo 10.5 With the release of their new Wahoo 10.5, Kaku Kayak is building on its reputation of excellent stability and performance with a more compact boat that retains all the features and performance of the larger Wahoo 12.5. The Wahoo 10.5 tracks extremely well for a shorter kayak, is easy to stand in and responds to tight turns easily. It has all the features of its older brother, the Wahoo 12.5, with plenty of gear tracks, a raised aluminum seat and integrated mounting for the Power Pole Micro. It is also rudder ready and comes standard with a great looking deck pad. It is an extremely versatile fishing kayak that offers a stable, roomy platform for standing to cast or sight fish. There is also plenty of storage in the bow hatch, rear tankwell and a rear day hatch.

kakukayak.com

Wilderness Systems Kayak Krate Wilderness Systems has built a reputation for producing some of the finest fishing kayaks available. The fishability of their boats is improved with a unique and useful line of accessories designed to help anglers fish harder and more efficiently. The Wilderness Kayak Krate is the ultimate tankwell storage option. The Kayak Krate sophisticates tankwell storage with superior function and a sleek look that make storing and accessing gear hassle-free. An open main compartment accommodates larger gear and tackle boxes and features removable dividers. Smaller items can be stowed in the secondary lid storage. Functional and durable inside and out, the Kayak Krate is blow-molded, water resistant, is easily lashed down and comes with four rod holders.

wildernesssystems.com

Tsunami Forged 12 Lever Drag Reel Tsunami recently introduced its new FORGED 12 lever drag reel. It’s a larger and more powerful version of the popular FORGED 10, and it’s perfect for jigging, bottom fishing and live baiting. The Tsunami FORGED 12 is built to catch the strongest saltwater game fish. Its powder-forged frame is lightweight and precision machined for braided line tolerances and strength. The hardened high-precision stainless steel 4.3:1 ratio drive and pinion gears are strong, tough, and operate smoothly. The completely disengaged “floating” spool rides freely on two shielded stainless steel ball bearings mounted to a spool shaft, giving the FORGED extreme free-spool and maximum castability. The instant anti-reverse bearing, along with two failsafe backup dogs, ensure strong, sure hooksets with no line loss. That is when the smooth, powerful carbon fiber drag comes into play, giving you all the fighting control you need. Look for Tsunami’s FORGED 12 online and at your favorite sporting goods retailer.

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COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

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GEAR GUIDE Vexilar FishPhone Vexilar has launched a game changer in the underwater camera market. The FishPhone takes Vexilar’s proven Fish Scout camera technology and uses an innovative new WiFi transmitting system to send high quality video directly to your smartphone or tablet. FishPhone turns your smart phone or tablet into a fully functional underwater camera monitor by creating its own 100-foot WiFi hotspot that can be shared with friends or kept secure. The FishPhone works anywhere in the world, and you don’t need cell phone coverage to use it. The free software app works with both Android and IOS systems. The FishPhone comes with a unique holder and battery pack system that makes it easy to carry and manage 50 feet of cable. The camera used in the FishPhone system is a Sony Color/ B&W camera that automatically shifts from color to black and white when light conditions are limited.

vexilar.com

Native Eyewear Eddyline Native’s Eddyline model features a wood Trilaminate construction with silver polarized Reflex lenses. These shades are ideal for inshore adventures since they weigh less than an ounce, and their eight-base curvature fits your face perfectly while blocking side light with thicker temple arms. All Native Eyewear lenses are polarized, impact and scratch resistant, include Cushional non-slip nose and temple pads and come with a limited lifetime warranty. Whether you’re hitting the backcountry or going to the inlet, you need a pair of Natives!

Nativeyewear.com

Dexter SOFGRIP Knives Dexter has been famous for their SOFGRIP white-handle knives for years. It’s a handle other companies try to duplicate but can’t match. The handle is soft to the grip, ergonomically perfect in your hand, and the patented textured pattern makes it slip free. The blades are made of DEXSTEEL, a high-carbon, high-alloy stain free steel that is ultra-sharp out of the package, holds its edge and can be easily re-sharpened. Dexter has been manufacturing knives in the U.S.A. for nearly 200 years. They offer proven quality, proven designs and proven reliability. That’s why Dexter is the No. 1 choice for fishermen. The SOFGRIP comes in a large selection of designs and sizes.

dexteroutdoors.com

Phenix Rods RTS Inshore Whether you’re fishing the flats for trout and snook or pulling big reds from the mangroves, Phenix Rods’ new RTS inshore line has the power to deliver. Super light weight and sturdy, RTS rods feature a T-40 carbon fiber blank with Phenix’s own Nanolite resins that produce excellent sensitivity, while retaining the backbone to fight big hard-pulling reds and snook. The RTS series utilizes the new Phenix Essex T-Ring premium carbide guides with Ring Lock to FrameLok technology and premium high density EVA and cork blend grips, with a carbon reel seat. The RTS series, meaning “reds, trout and snook,” promises to be the lightest, most sensitive inshore rod on the market. It offers 5 casting and 5 spinning models to fit your needs.

phenixrods.com COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

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8 CIGARS

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YOUR PERSONAL LIFEGUARD...

ALWAYS ON - NEVER INTRUSIVE

FREEDOM WITH SAFETY The MOB+™ is a life-saving device for your boat. It provides greater freedom of movement than a traditional kill switch, and stops the engine should you fall overboard. Connect up to 4 people at the same time.

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PRODUCT SPOTLIGHT FELL MARINE MOB+ WIRELESS MAN OVERBOARD SYSTEM

Fell Marine has developed a man overboard system that promises to replace the traditional kill-switch lanyard. The MOB+ Wireless Man OverBoard system is an innovative, ABYC compliant, life-saving safety device for your boat. It provides greater freedom of movement than a traditional kill-switch lanyard, and stops the engine should you fall overboard. But its capabilities extend way beyond that. Up to four xFOB’s can be connected to the xHUB at the same time, with one unit acting as the captain’s stop unit, and the additional three as alarm units for passengers. The system consists of an easy to install xHUB (mounted on or near the boat console) and a wearable xFOB. The two communicate wirelessly with each other and stop the engine when the xFOB is submerged in water or is beyond range of the xHUB. The xFOB can be worn on your wrist, around your neck, or clipped to your PFD using xBAND or xTAG accessories. The waterproof xFOB has more than 300 hours of battery life and is powered by an easy to change standard coin cell battery. The xHUB connects to your boat power (12V-24V) and to your engine-stopping system. The system is intuitive and easy to use, and it is compatible with all major outboard and most sterndrive engines.

WWW.FELLMARINE.COM

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Center sp By Matt Jorn

“I

’ve heard people say ‘A bad day of fishing is better than a good day at work,’” said Master Capt. William Mendoza with his trademark wry smile, “I’m not really sure I know the difference.” Capt. Mendoza is a Costa Rica-based charter captain with 30 years of experience. Since 2009 he has run over 250 trips a year on the Wanderer for the FishingNosara team from his home port on the north Pacific coast, making him the busiest charter captain in all of Central America. This area has become a hot spot for anglers because of the nearby bluewater and virtually non-existent commercial pressure; in fact the Costa Rican government has mandated that all commercial fishing must be done at minimum 60 miles from shore. The main fear of men like Captain Mendoza is: will this fishery last? Many have heard stories of Cabo Blanco, Peru and its famous “Marlin Boulevard”. In the 1950s this area produced the most granders in the world, including a 1,560-lb. black marlin catch that is still the world record. Now Cabo Blanco is a ghost town, due to human conceit and greed.

The argument still rages as to why. Some say it was overfishing of the apex predators like marlin and swordfish by sport-fishermen, while others maintain the government opened up the feeder fish, mostly sardines, for overharvesting. Let’s look at the problem from both ends of the food chain. The Costa Rican government enforces their 60-mile line vigorously and is very strong against unlicensed commercial operations. These efforts maintain a healthy number of feeder fish. At the apex level, the preservation of billfish has been spearheaded by groups like the International Billfish Foundation and the IGFA. Costa Rica has also taken the lead in this effort by prohibiting sportsmen from removing billfish from the water (no hero shots allowed) and by banning the sale of meat from marlin and sailfish. “The advantage of catch-and-release billfishing is mainly economical,” noted Capt. Mendoza. “Essentially, we want to create a market where these apex predators are more valuable swimming in the ocean than they are on the scale at a fish market.” On average, a full day of marlin fishing costs $900 and provides renewable income for the captains and mates. Conversely, the value of the same fish at an unlicensed fish market can be as low as pennies per pound. Charter fishing lies somewhere in between the bottom-line driven world of commercial fishing and the fun-loving experience of recreational fishing. “A good charter trip should be fun, productive and educational, especially for novice anglers,” said Capt. Mendoza. “These trips can bring together multiple generations, as fishing tactics are handed down from grandfather to father, father to son.” Capt. Mendoza knows all about that. This season, his 22-year-old son joined him in the mate position on the Wanderer to continue the family legacy. By operating under common-sense regulations, the fishing in Nosara should stay strong for generations to come “The ocean provides me with a livelihood, and I want to protect her the way she’s protected me. My idea of a perfect day is catch billfish, get a nice photo, set it free, and get the lines back out there again. Clearly that’s not a bad day at work.” concluded Capt. Mendoza.

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FLORIDA

By Jennifer Granneman

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o you live on St. Joseph or St. Andrew Bay and have a privately owned dock or a way to get out on the bay (e.g. kayak, boat, paddleboard)? The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is looking for volunteer scallop-sitters. FWC staff will provide you with juvenile scallops and a predator-exclusion cage. We ask that you either hang your cage with scallops from your dock or place your cage in the bay. Additionally, volunteers will be asked to clean their scallops once a month from April 2018-January 2019. We will provide cages, scallops and training to you during our Florida Sea Grant-sponsored scallop restoration workshops taking place in April 2018. If you are interested in volunteering, email us at BayScallops@MyFWC. com. This project is part of an effort that began in 2016 by FWC’s Fish and Wildlife Research Institute to restore bay scallops in Florida’s Panhandle. Bay scallops play a big role in the economies of many coastal Florida towns, and this project is intended to increase scallop abundance and

recreational fishing opportunities in the Florida Panhandle. The goal is to both increase depleted scallop populations in some bays and reintroduce scallops in other suitable areas from which scallops have disappeared. While we only ask volunteers to participate for a period of nine months, the project itself will last until 2026. It is funded by restoration money set aside after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. This project will boost other restoration efforts already in place. Prior to the 2016 and 2017 scallop season, FWC staff enlisted the help of community members in Port St. Joe to collect scallops prior to the opening of the scallop season and place them in cages in a no-entry zone in St. Joseph Bay. In addition, each year FWC collects adult scallops from St. Joseph Bay and brings them to a hatchery, which provides juvenile scallops the following year. There are currently about 50 cages holding both wild and hatchery-produced scallops in the no-entry zone in St. Joseph Bay. Placing scallops in cages protects them from predators and from people harvesting scallops and increases the likelihood scallops will successfully produce offspring during spawning season. Although we have made progress in our efforts to restore scallops, we think this project would be more successful with additional help from the communities around St. Joseph and St. Andrew Bays. To summarize, the only requirements to participate in this program are: • Live near St. Andrew or St. Joseph Bay from April 2018 - January 2019 • Have access to the bay: either a private dock, boat, or kayak • Be willing and able to care for and clean scallops once a month from April 2018 – January 2019 • Attend or view via webinar our scallop-restoration workshop in April 2018 We hope that partnering with the community on this project will increase our chances of successfully restoring scallops to St. Joseph and St. Andrew Bays. If you are interested in volunteering, email us at BayScallops@MyFWC.com. Jennifer Granneman, an Associate Research Scientist at the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, can be reached at Jennifer. Granneman@MyFWC.com.

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t the age of 15, fishing has become as much a part of my life as the food that sustains me. Addicted? Obsessed? Crazed? Yes, yes and yes… Thanks dad! My first experience with fishing was at the age of four while cobia fishing with my dad out of Destin, Fla. The plan was to head out and try to intercept migrating fish early in the season. I spent the day going back and forth between playing with the eels in the livewell and watching Power Rangers on my portable DVD player. Although we never found the cobia, the highlight for me (aside from the eels and Power Rangers) was reeling in a small grouper from 30 feet below the surface. I remember that day as an exciting, fun-filled adventure which ended with me asking, with a big smile on my face, “When are we going again?” Years have passed since my indoctrination. Since then, there have been countless fishing adventures, experiences and learned lessons, all of which have led me here today; writing my first column and sharing with you the first part of what it means to “Take a Kid Fishing.” The significance of this much-used catch phrase is far reaching and encompasses everything from strengthening bonds to protecting our oceans for future generations. This sport presents opportunities on all levels, from the novice angler to the most experienced. However, kids rely heavily on adults to facilitate opportunities for them, to mentor and show them the way. We are the future of fishing; we need adults to help us be the voices of tomorrow. My most recent outing took place out of Crystal River, Fla. We

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hen a team of Kaku Kayak pro-staffers took their boats out at Flamingo in Florida’s Everglades National Park, they were hoping to catch some tarpon or big snook for promotional material on the new Kaku VooDoo. What they ended up catching was perfect testament to the boat’s stability as a fishing platform. For many, the idea of doing battle from a standup paddleboard (SUP) with a nearly 5-foot-long bull shark might seem ridiculous. The VooDoo passed this test with flying colors, which belies the fact that the boat is not really an SUP in its truest form. Kaku owner Kevin Hawkins has designed a boat that melds the best aspects of an SUP, a kayak and a micro-skiff. Flamingo was still a mess of downed trees and debris from Hurricane Irma when the four pro-staffers launched in early December. With channels to the backwater blocked, they were forced to paddle outside into Florida Bay, to fish some small mangrove islands. With a steady wind pushing it, the outgoing tide was ripping, Hawkins said. They hadn’t found the fish they were looking for, so they Power Poled down in a group to snack, talk and soak a cut mullet. “Out of nowhere, this shark jumped up right out of the water so close it splashed one of our kayaks,” Hawkins said. “We couldn’t figure out why a shark would act like that if it wasn’t chasing bait or something.” From aboard a VooDoo, pro-staffer Preston Haytac had an idea. He asked to see the cut-bait rod from the rod-holder on another team member’s boat. He cranked up the slack, and a sleigh ride ensued. “The shark must have grabbed the bait and run right toward our boats,” Hawkins said. It only took about five minutes for Haytac to battle the beast to the side of his VooDoo. Hoisting it onto the deck for the hero shot was an ordeal in itself, and further testament to the boat’s stability. It was an exciting catch that seems unimaginable from the deck of an SUP. Of course, even though it’s got the wide-open deck and stand-up capabilities of an SUP, Hawkins doesn’t really consider it an SUP. At 13 feet long, with a width of 35 inches, and weighing less than 80 pounds, the boat boasts off-the-charts stability and paddles well from seated or standing positions. The design of the chair makes the Voodoo a fantastic sight-fishing vessel. Without need for adjustment, the chair offers two seating positions and can be used as a sight-casting/poling platform. It can be adjusted forward or back on tracks to suit angler preference, load and water conditions. The vessel’s stern also sets it apart. It features five molded-in Power Pole mounts to allow for single or dual Power Pole Micros, and the options also include the ability to motorize the VooDoo along with those Power Pole mounts. Check out all of the capabilities of Kaku’s new VooDoo at kakukayak.com.

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SOUTHWEST FLORIDA

By Capt. Roan Z.

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ingfish season has come again to southwest Florida waters, and for fly fishers and conventional anglers alike, these super speedsters offer exciting action. Kingfish are migratory and follow water temperature and baitfish migrations, but they are also structure related. Structure such as wrecks or reefs or just hard bottom areas in the Gulf of Mexico will hold concentrations of baitfish, which in turn congregate the kingfish. This makes them a great target for fly anglers, and if you have ever hooked a 30-lb. king on a 9- or 10-weight fly rod, you will quickly know why they are popular. You will need to equip yourself with at least an 8-weight fly rod and reel, but no more than a 10-weight. The reel needs to hold a minimum of

200 yards of backing and have a very sound saltwater drag system. When these fish take a fly, the first run can be at blinding speeds. I have seen lesser-quality reels explode under the heat and strain. Also, you never know what other creatures are lurking with kingfish, especially if you are on some type of a wreck structure. We have caught false albacore, sharks and amberjack, along with other species. I recommend either an intermediate sinking fly line or a 250- to 350-grain sink-tip line. A sturdy fly leader should be about 8 feet long and consist of a 50-lb.-test butt section, 2 to 3 feet of 40-lb. and 2 to 3 feet of 30-lb. You can use a 20-lb. class, but that is up to you. Connect to the class section a foot-long piece of coffee-colored wire, like Malin in size 4 or 5 attached with an Albright knot and a haywire twist to the fly, which rounds out the rig. Synthetic baitfish flies from 3 to 6 inches on 3/0 to 4/0 size hooks and in various colors can be used. I suggest weighted patterns of the same flies tied on jig hooks to be included in your arsenal. Now, how do you go about catching these critters? My favorite way is to load up my livewells with frisky pilchards and travel to my secret fishing spot offshore. This can be an artificial reef or some type of hard bottom, wreck or just structure that can be as close as a couple miles out and as far as 40 miles. Usually bait and tackle shops are good sources of where the highest concentrations of fish are. I like to power drift with my trolling motor down so I can control my speed over my target spot. Starting up-wind makes it is easier to cast as I cross over the area pitching stunned pilchards to hopefully send silver rockets skying out of the water. Make long casts, letting the fly settle a bit and use a somewhat slow retrieve, pausing occasionally. Strip the fly all the way back to the boat, because on many occasions I’ve had fish take right at the boat. If nothing happens on the first drift, change the angle of the drift and try again. Sometimes fish will hold off one side of the structure or the other. Contact Capt. Roan Z. at Mike’s Bait House on Danford Street in Naples. Phone: 239-775-2248 or cell: 239-269-4426. See www. indianpassoutfitters.com and www.mikesbaithouse.com.

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Tales from the Tupperware Navy By: Bruce Butler

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elcome back yak fans. Well, another year; another Christmas; another Birthday! As the old saying goes, “If I’d known I was going to live this long, I would’ve taken better care of myself.” The generation of “don’t trust anybody over 30” and “hope I die before I get old”, “my generation” is meeting AARP! 2017 gave us some scary weather and a few other weird things; but, we came through it all to a new year and, hopefully, a resolution to fish often, enjoy life more, stay close to those who count, and read my column once a month (LOL). On to fishing. As the days get colder, it offers some great fishing for the intrepid among us. The out flow at the power plant on the Anclote is a great spot in the winter months, either from the pier or in your kayak along the barrels. You will find cobia, pompano, reds and, of course, lady fish, jacks and other species stacking up in there when the plant is running. Please be aware, this is a on demand plant and it doesn’t run all the time. Soft plastics, shrimp, pompano jigs and cut bait work well; also, this is a good place to work a spoon, if it’s not too crowded. Ozello reports a good trout bite but the reds are scattered I wish I knew where the schools are running. Maybe I’ll find them this weekend, as I need my monthly Ozello fix. In the local news. one of my favorite species, the Sheepshead, seem to be up and down the coast right now with some as big as ten pounds being spotted. I was able to bring in four my last trip, and they are some of the best eating you will ever find! For the shore guys, another place that’s on fire right now is Jenkins Creek Pier in Hernando County. Friends of mine caught reds and trout

there the other day using an electric chicken fluke tail jig. Jenkins Creek Pier is a good winter spot due to the spring directly behind it in Linda Pedersen Park. In your areas, any spring-fed creek, should be holding fish looking for warmer winter temps. Locally, the black drum are moving in, usually on the incoming tide. The drum are usually only going to hit a shrimp. I’ve found that pinching the head on the shrimp works best to get the scent out. On an interesting note, the best way I’ve found to carry live bait (i.e. shrimp) on the kayak is with a soft pack cooler. What you do is put a brick of blue ice in the bottom, then make a nest for the shrimp with newspaper. Moisten the paper (in salt water) and put your shrimp in dry. In other words, don’t add any more water than the wet newspaper. This will keep the shrimp alive and kicking for over 24 hours. The last time I went out, I picked up some bait at 6 a.m. Saturday and forgot about them. Then, at around 6 p.m. Sunday, I went to the car, opened the cooler and six shrimp jumped out at me. This system works! The other nice thing is there is no bait bucket bubbler or O2 to deal with; and, it’s compact. Give it a try and let me know. I’d like to mention that this is my ninth New Year with The Coastal Angler and their success is all because of you, our readers and advertisers. Thanks. All right, I’m going to wrap it up for this month, so here’s wishing you all a Happy New Year. Tight Lines. Bruce Butler “Stumbling Gypsy” (352) 428-5347 Bruce@IndianBayOutfitters.com www.IndianBayOutfitters.com

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Barracuda Bob’s

Clearwater & Dunedin

By: Capt. Joe Londot

I

f fishing in January holds to December’s standards, anglers who are prepared to weather colder temps should clean up around here. Silver trout and sheepshead, two winter time species that are fun to fish for and great to eat are currently in abundance. Silver trout only appear on the grass flats of Clearwater Bay and Saint Joseph’s Sound after the first cold front of the season, and disappear just as quickly once our waters start to warm. They don’t grow as large as speckled trout, but they are very plentiful, great eating and pound for pound put up a much more determined fight than specs on hook and line. Better yet, there’s no size or bag limit on silvers so it’s relatively easy to fill a cooler! Catching these guys is pretty simple since they hang out in the same tall grass as their spotted cousins, the waters around here are literally covered in lush seagrass where they love to hunker down and ambush any unwary bait that passes overhead. A big live shrimp hooked under a noisy popping cork like a Cajun Thunder and floated just above the tops of the grass is probably the surest way to score. Jig and tail combos like a Gulp shrimp pinned to a one sixteenth of an ounce Mission Fishin jighead will also work. Shore anglers will do well wading the grass flats on the north side of the Dunedin Causeway, but anglers with boats or kayaks will also find plenty of fish in the deeper troughs between flats. This is where the jig and tail combos really shine, just toss one out over the deeper water, let it sink to the tops of the grass and start jigging it back to you with slow, short strokes. I particularly like to use a Trout Master tandem rig with two different colored Gulp tails; expect plenty of double hook-ups! As far as the other star of this article is concerned, sheepshead, the big ones move in this time of year. They can almost always be found grubbing for crabs, oysters and

barnacles around pier and bridge pilings, and any rock piles that you can find. My favorite bait for these fish is live fiddler crabs, no sheepshead worth its salt can resist a live fiddler, but live shrimp work too. If you really want to fire up the sheepshead, chum them up. Take a shovel or other yard tool and scrape the oysters and barnacles off the pilings where you’re fishing. Chopping up some frozen shrimp or a few fiddler crabs and spreading them around is also a sure-fire technique. Some people say that you have to set the hook a half second before the bite because they are notorious bait stealers. Be ready. Prepared properly, sheepshead taste just like lobster, so here is my favorite recipe: Scale and filet your fish Bring a quarter inch of salted water to boil in a large, flatbottomed pot Lay the sheepshead filets skin side down in the water and poach until the flesh is white and chunky Peel the meat off the skin with a fork, dunk in melted butter and enjoy! For more information on how and where to catch fish in the Dunedin area, and for the best in live, frozen and artificial baits, just stop into Barracuda Bob’s Island Surf & Sports on the Dunedin Causeway. Our friendly and knowledgeable crew is standing by to help you make the most of your time on the water! See y’all out there! Barracuda Bob’s Island Surf & Sports is located at 240 Causeway Blvd. Dunedin, FL 34698. We are the last building on the right before crossing the Causeway to Honeymoon Island. Barracuda Bob’s offers the best in bait and tackle, beach and water toys, kayak and paddle board rentals and much more! Check us out on Facebook or see our website at www.BarracudaBobs.net COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM | JANUARY 2018 | TAMPA 3

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12/13/2017 6:31:38 PM


By: Capt. Joel Gant

Hernando County New Year

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s we start the New Year, try setting some new fishing resolutions, by this I mean spend time enjoying why you started fishing. Remember as a kid fishing from the bank of a lake or from a saltwater shoreline or pier. Remember fishing with your friends or for me, my grandparents and family. I remember big family mullet fish fries in Aripeka at Norfleets. I remember the adrenaline rush and feeling a

little shaky when landing a big fish after a long fight. We’ve all had that one fish that spooled our reel and never let us find out what it was. The unknown of when or what will be on the line next and the excitement of getting ready the night before and of the morning you go fishing is amazing. I’ve asked many friends, “What keeps us going out fishing?” With all of the above, I believe once you get the fishing bug, you’re hooked. It’s hard to explain to someone that doesn’t have it, but to most of you readers, you understand. This is a good time to say, get a kid hooked and they will have the bug for life. Looking offshore, gag grouper season has closed. During the last few weeks it was open, the winds made it challenging, but a lot of fish were still caught this season. You can still catch gags; you’re just not allowed to keep them. Other species to target are red grouper, amberjack,

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hogfish, triggerfish and Spanish mackerel, which are still abundant. As always, check the regulations at myfwc. com to make sure which ones you can keep this year. The silver snapper (grunts), mangrove snapper and sea bass are still plentiful. There are also still kingfish in the area; this is a migrating fish so the time is limited on these line screamers. Moving inshore, I look for redfish, sea trout and snook to move up into the shallows. Search areas that are spring fed, with the colder water they will migrate to these warmer areas. Artificial lures like twitch baits or jigs with a jerk bait will produce action. If the bite is slow, try pinfish or select shrimp on a bobber. Get out there on the water and make some memories with friends and family! I’m always looking for reports and pictures. You can email me or stop by my website and become a “FISHHEAD”. Capt. Joel Gant operates Fishdaddy Charters out of Hernando Beach, he knows the local waters like the back of his hand, and works both inshore and offshore trips. Check him out on face book or you can reach him at (352) 279-1615. Visit his website, www.fishdaddycharter.com

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Capt. Sergio’s Corner

By: Capt. Sergio Atanes

January is time for a change

John Martinez

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f all goes as planned and we get some strong cold fronts and water temperatures drop into the low 60’s or mid 50’s, my plan is sheepshead fishing. Sheepshead are known for their bait stealing abilities, thus their nickname, Thieves of Tampa Bay for their cunning ability to steal your bait before it even hits bottom. Look for sheepshead around pilings, rocky areas, bridges and wrecks. Although they are here all year long, the big females come into Tampa Bay and the near shore wrecks to spawn during the peak of winter, which could start mid-December to early January. It’s all about water temperature, some years they don’t move in until mid-January. Finding the big one is not easy as they like deep water to spawn, so rock piles, ledges, wrecks or bridges are your best bets. Not to say you can’t

find them around docks or rocky shorelines, but they just prefer deeper and colder water. Tackle changes depending where you are fishing. Around bridges and docks, I use medium spinning tackle; 15-pound test braided line and 20-pound test Jeff Hyden fluorocarbon leader with a #1 circle hook. Fish hanging around these areas tend to be smaller; most are males in the one to four pound range. The big females on the other hand prefer the deeper waters of the bay, hanging around the ledges, wrecks and rock piles in anywhere from 12 to 30 feet of water and average in size from 4 to 12 pounds. Here I prefer to use medium tackle, a seven foot medium action rod with a larger spinning reel spooled with 20-pound test braided line and 30-pound test leader tied with a loop knot to a 1/0 hook. I use a sliding sinker rig where the sinker slides on the leader just ahead of the hook. I also use a small, glow soft bead because this keeps the sinker from hitting the knot and seems to draw the attention of the larger fish. Kids love to fish for them since they can be seen swimming around the bridge pilings and

rocky shorelines. Try using a float with a live shrimp or fiddler crab on a #1 circle hook around the concrete walls of the bridges or letting it drift over rocky areas. Favorite baits for sheepshead include live shrimp, fiddler crabs, bloodworms and sand fleas. Fiddlers work best, but lack of time on my part to catch them drops them behind live shrimp. Since sheepshead are bait stealers, start with regular sized live shrimp and as the bite turns on switch to fresh cut medium live or dead shrimp. Remember sheepshead are schooling this time of year and all it takes is to get a few chewing and the bite is on. Good locations include the St. Pete side of the Gandy Bridge, Picnic Island Park pier and Weedon Island pier. For boaters, the Gandy and Howard Frankland bridges plus the artificial reefs from upper Tampa Bay to Egmont Key all hold fish. Sheepshead are a great eating fish, a little difficult to clean but well worth the time and effort. Once you try it you’re hooked for life. Captain Sergio Atanes is a native resident of Tampa and has been fishing the water of Tampa Bay and Boca Grande for over 45 years. He is the owner and operator of S & I Charters which is one of the largest charter booking services in the West Coast of Florida with 55 professional captains on staff. Capt. Sergio Atanes can be reached at (813) 973-7132 or www.reelfishy.com

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Tarpon Springs

1500 US 19. Holiday, FL.

Hernando Beach, Rocky Creek, Little Pine Island

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Call: (813) 973-7132 Email: atanes@msn.com

Capt. Sergio’s Fishing School will cover some of the basics and advance methods of fishing. We have 3 local captains working with Capt. Sergio each teaching their own techniques to help you catch more fish.

Some of the items covered in the class: • Rigging techniques (knot tying - leaders - hooks - tackle) • Our class covers areas to fish both for shore anglers and boaters • When and where to fish (from Double Branch to Fort DeSoto) • How to catch Snook - Redfish - Trout - Cobia - Flounder - Mackerel - Tarpon • Understanding Tides and Solunar Tables and making them work for you • How to throw a bait net

Saturday, February 24th 8:30 am to 4 pm.

Tampa Fishing Outfitters 3916 West Osbourne Ave. Tampa, FL. 33614

The school is sponsored by: Southeastern Fishing Tackle, Loadmaster Trailers, Eupro Hooks, Yamaha, Fins Braided lines, Power Pole and Stadium Toyota, Pathfinder Boats. COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM | JANUARY 2018 | TAMPA 7

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Freshwater Fishing Report

By: Ron Schelfo

Lake Alfred, Auburndale, Winter Haven Areas Photo credit goes to Nathan Hitt.

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appy New Year! This is one of the best times of the year to go fishing, the speckled perch are on! As the temperatures drop, fishing gets better. Specs can be found on area shorelines. Using jigs is a good method to target these fish,

but the best bait recommended for specs is live minnows. Our local spec fishermen are bringing in reports of large limits, especially on Lakes Haines, Rochelle and Alfred as well as Lakes Howard, Shipp and Hartridge on the north and south Winter Haven chains. Other reports are recommending fishing the canals on the chain that is producing the best results. The success of canal fishing can be attributed to the water getting colder in the shallow areas first and encouraging the fish to enter these areas. We will remain in prime season for specs from now through the end of March. If you’re over in our area, stop in anytime and see me for directions and current information. Bass fishing in our central Florida area is always good. The north and south Winter Haven chain is showing signs of bass starting to stage. We’ve been getting reports of some large eight pound plus bass lately. It’s best to fish along the shorelines, not

toward the shorelines. As the water gets colder, you need to fish slower and deeper to snag the larger fish. All of our area lakes have reports of great bass fishing at this time. If you want that catch of a lifetime, our all-time recommended best bait is still the Booyah lipless crankbait in royal color. Another great bait would be the Bass Assassin boss shiner swimbaits rigged with a weighted swim hook. Our 19th season of Ron’s Tackle Box Weekly Bass Tournaments is now finished and will not begin again until April, 2018. We want to thank everyone for another great season. We appreciate all of our faithful anglers and friends, many of which have participated for all of those 19 years. See everyone next season! Ron Schelfo, Owner RON’S TACKLE BOX, LLC 380 S. Lake Shore Way Lake Alfred, FL 33850 (863) 956-4990 www.ronstacklebox.com “Catch” my Weekly Fishing Report every Saturday (6-8 AM) on 970 WFLA

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8 TAMPA | JANUARY 2018 | COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

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Tampa Bay Fishing Report

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nook (Closed) – You can still catch snook, however if the water temperatures are lower than normal you might want to fish areas like creeks, canals and rivers, especially those with muddy bottoms and deep water docks. On cool or cold days snook also like hanging out around sunny sandy bottoms along a shallow shoreline because the sun tends to quickly warm the water. Redfish – You can usually find redfish during the winter. Cut bait, shrimp and artificial lures are your best bet. Many times they’re not going to be large fish, but many rats can make a good fishing trip, especially for the kids.

Don’t forget canals, creeks, deep oyster bars and docks. Spotted Sea Trout – Tampa Bay seems to be full of nice trout, especially around broken bottom grass flats with sandy pot holes. Plenty of trout should show up through the winter months. Most grass flats with moving water seem to produce the best bite using shrimp free-lined or under a popping cork and artificial lures. However, some deeper river channels, canals and creeks will also hold nice fish and often plenty of silver trout as well. Mackerel, cobia and sharks – When trout fishing the flats it’s not unusual to get a decent

By: Woody Gore

mackerel bite going. Macks like hanging around chasing schools of glass minnows that may be on the flats. Additionally, many times we’ve landed some really nice pompano off the same trout flats, so when running the flats looking for your favorite spot watch the wake behind your boat for pompano skipping the wake. As temperatures drop and waters cool, the power plants are the place to look for cobia and sharks. But be alert, as other species also frequent the warm water discharges during the winter. Sheepshead – Sheepshead should start moving in for their spawn, we should begin to see some nice sized fish on the rock piles throughout the bay. Also look for quality fish around bridges, pilings, docks, oyster bars and artificial reefs. Lots of folks don’t like to keep sheepshead because they don’t like to clean

them. I actually can’t think of anyone who really does, however if you’ve got yourself a mess of larger fish, go ahead and bite the bullet and clean them, because the fish dinner is well worth the effort. Give Me a Call & Let’s Go Fishing 813-477-3814 Captain Woody Gore is the area’s top outdoor fishing guide. Guiding and fishing the west central Florida areas for over fifty years; he offers world class fishing adventures and a lifetime of memories. Multi-boat Group Charters: With years of organizational experience and access to the areas most experienced captains, Captain Woody can arrange and coordinate any outing or tournament. Just tell him what you need and it’s done. WWW. CAPTAINWOODYGORE.COM, Email: fishing@captainwoodygore. com or give him a call at 813-477-3814.

COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM | JANUARY 2018 | TAMPA 9

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Product Spotlight

Vibe Maverick 120 SUP Angler Package

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f you are looking for a light weight and maneuverable fishing platform, take a look at Vibe’s Maverick 120 SUP Angler Package. The Maverick 120 is constructed using a rotomolded single piece polyethylene hull which is foam filled. The No-Flex deck provides superior stability and comfort. Features include five gear tracks, multiple paddle parks and front and

rear bungee tie-down systems. Built for one or two paddlers. You can pick one up at Jack’s Kayaks. 1764 Missouri Ave. N. Largo, FL. 33770. 727-452-4684. Specs: Length: 12’ Width: 33.5” Weight: 72 pounds Capacity: 475 pounds

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12/13/2017 6:31:45 PM


Trolling for a Good Time

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he winter months in Florida bring big surprises when it comes to inshore fishing in Tampa Bay, like monster gag grouper, snook and tarpon. Yes you heard me right, you can catch all of these species and more right now in Tampa Bay. All you need to do to accomplish this is slow troll in about 20 feet of water. As the water temps cool off the bait and smaller fish move inshore, the gags are right behind them. I have always heard about folks trolling in the bay for grouper, but I had to check it out for myself. Trolling in the bay is pretty easy, here is a list of things you need. Get a rod with a 4/0 reel, you will need a #3 planer and three and four ounce lead heads with a six inch curly tail pumpkin jig.

The diversity of fish you will catch will amaze you, we caught five different species trolling with this set up. You can pick up one of these jigs up at Mahoney’s in Tampa; if they don’t have it you don’t need it. Right away we started catching some short gags, but they started getting bigger and bigger, and before the night was over we caught that 14 pounder. We came across a school of tarpon after that and started hooking a few smaller tarpon and several Spanish mackerel. My daughter Hudson jumped a 150 pound tarpon that launched itself nearly five feet in the air and almost landed in the boat! I proceeded to catch a really nice 31 inch snook that I took a quick photo with and released back into the bay to be caught another

By: Misty Wells

day. I was amazed at the diversity of the fish you can catch in the bay right now and how simple it was. There are also some monster kingfish in the bay and around the Skyway right now. Kings are great to smoke and make fish dip, unfortunately we did not hook any on our trip though. For a great day on the water go slow trolling in the bay, you won’t regret it and you might catch some pretty amazing fish. Misty Wells hosts the National Radio and Television show “Let’s Take it Outside” which airs on the Pursuit Channel in 2018. Misty is an outdoor professional, writer and adventure, guide for fishing and hunting trips. She is the founder of “A Reel Future” for show info or to be a guest go to www.mistywells.com

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RECIPE OF THE MONTH:

SEA SCALLOPS WRAPPED IN BACON OVER PASTA WITH CREAMED SPINACH AND CHERRY TOMATOES

Ingredients: • 4 sea scallops • 2 slices of bacon • 2 wood skewers • 1/2 box favorite pasta. I use spaghetti • 1 box creamed spinach • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes • Smoked paprika Directions: Preheat oven to 425. Wash scallops, pat dry. Take bacon and cut each slice in 1/2. Wrap each slice of bacon around each scallop and place on skewer.

Sprinkle both sides with smoked paprika. Place in oven on a non-stick pan and bake 25 minutes on 1 side and 15 on the other side. Make sure to cook them long enough or they will be soft and gummy in the center. While that is cooking, boil package of creamed spinach in a pot and cut the tomatoes in 1/2. Place pot on stove with water boiling and add pasta. Place creamed spinach and tomatoes in a pan and cook and stir on low for a few minutes. Drain pasta. Remove scallops from oven. Place mixture on top of pasta or mix into pasta, that is your choice. Remove scallops from skewers and place on top of dish. Looks good and tastes good. Enjoy!

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12/13/2017 6:31:47 PM


South Shore Tampa Bay Winter Fishing is Hot By: Capt. Joel Brandenburg

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inter is a great time of the year to catch a vast variety of fish. I always ask my clients if it’s more important to target fish to eat or just to target big fish that fight. I normally get one of three answers, they answer, only fish that they can eat or only fish that put up a big fight or both. Once I know what they want to target, I know how to map our approach. If they are a group that wants to only catch fish to eat, I might target trout on the grass flats first using greenbacks or trout in the residential canals using shrimp. Next, we would target sheepshead, seabass, Spanish mackerel and mangrove snappers on rocky reefs near the shipping channels by deep dropping shrimp on jigheads. After the shipping channel we might go to the sand flats near the power plant looking for cobia, black tips and/or bonnetheads. Finally, we could possibly head into the rivers and estuaries dead sticking for redfish underneath the mangroves. For the group that doesn’t care about catching table fare and only cares about their rods bending and drags screaming, we might start out catching ladyfish and jacks on the flats using shrimp or greenbacks. We’d take the small ladyfish and jacks and keep them alive in the livewell and the large ladyfish would be put on ice to be cut up for chunk bait and chum. Our next move would be to fish live free lined ladyfish for huge jack crevalles, bull sharks and tarpon. After fishing the power plant we’d take the live jacks and deep drop them near the shipping channel for fifty to five hundred-

pound goliath grouper. For the group that says they want both, we might head into the river and target snook, redfish and trout on shrimp and greenbacks on oyster bars and mangroves. After chasing snook, reds and trout, we would possibly fish the mouth of the Little Manatee River and/or Teco power plant for pompano using yellow or pink Silly Willy jigs. Finally, we might head near shore for kingfish and Spanish mackerel as well as looking for tripletail around crab buoys and markers. For those who don’t want to fish during the winter months, Ana Banana Fishing Company offers hunting excursions targeting ducks during the day and hog hunting at night. We also offer spear fishing wrecks and reefs as well as sightseeing, eco tours, dolphin/manatee/bird watching and shelling/shark teeth gathering on various deserted islands. No matter what your passion or pleasure our bay and gulf waters offer a lot of promise during winter time! For a charter with Captain Joel Brandenburg of Ana Banana Fishing Company or to purchase a holiday fishing gift certificate for the angler in your life visit www. anabananafishing.com or call 813-267-4401. To find him in person, come down to Hooks Grill at Little Harbor Resort, home of the world famous hook n’ cook! Sign your kid up today for our summer fishing camp, visit www. anabananakidsfishingcamp.com

Fishing Team

COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM | JANUARY 2018 | TAMPA 13

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Nearshore Hog Dogging

By: Capt. Anthony Corcella that you will have to work through before you get to the hogs. This process of getting through the grunts will take roughly 30 to 40 minutes. The ideal set up for this type of fishing is a light spinning rod, somewhere around seven feet with 10 to 17 pound line on a 4000-size reel. I prefer a Star Rod with a Penn 4500 SSV spooled with 30 pound braid. I like to use a knocker rig with 25 to 30 pound fluorocarbon leader and a 3/0 or 4/0 Owner hook. As for the sinker, a three quarter ounce weight will work just fine. I hope these tips will help next time you’re out looking for hogfish. Take these tips and get out there and fish!

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ith the temperature dropping in the Gulf the hogfish will come out to play.

If you’re going to be doing this type of fishing, make sure you keep your eye on the bottom machine for small ledges, we have been fishing in about 35 feet of water somewhere around the eight-mile mark as of late. We have caught big hogfish off some of the smaller spots, so don’t overlook these. Keep in mind that if you’re fishing for hogs on hook and line that you will need to bring at least 20 dozen shrimp with you. There will be plenty of Key West grunts

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12/13/2017 6:31:48 PM


Product Spotlight: JV’s Spring Connect

JV’s Spring Connect is a universal hook-up for anything that connects to your line.

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hen John V. Vogel, a lifelong Florida fisherman, saw a spring, fishhook and 22-bullet shell scattered on his workbench, he was struck by an idea. After a bit of cutting and crimping, he had developed a prototype for JV’s Spring Connect. He tested it on his next fishing trip and found it was stronger and easier to use than anything on the market. So, he made a few more. He found that the Spring Connect not only secured his lure, but could be used to secure anything else he attached to his fishing line. Realizing

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he had something special, John started JV’s Spring Connect, LLC. Now, his patent pending design is in full production and available on our website, www.jvspringconnect.com and the following local retailers: T.A. Mahoney Company, Hooked Up Bait and Tackle, Below the Waterline Fishing. To watch John demonstrate the versatility and simplicity of JV’s Spring Connect, visit jvspringconnect on FB, Youtube or our website.

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Shoreline Report

By: Paul Presson

Cypress Point Park

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ypress Point Park can be easily overlooked by anglers searching for new grounds. Tucked in between the Howard Franklin bridge and the Courtney Campbell Causeway, this is a playground for anglers. Land based, wade and kayak anglers can all enjoy this small, seldom fished park. The park has pavilions, a volleyball court, frisbee golf, grills, a small beach and a swimming area. Parking is plentiful and is a short stroll to the water. Kayakers will want to bring a caddie, there is no dedicated put-in for yaks. Heading south from the park’s beach, toward

Anthony Veliz caught this trout using a Calico Jack seven foot medium action rod, Tsunami Sheild 3000 reel, KastKing 10 pound Braid, KastKing 30 pound FluorKote and an Owner #2 J hook with live shrimp. the Howard Franklin Bridge, a plethora of different fish species can be caught. Anything from cobia to bonnet head sharks is a possibility for anglers fishing here. Wading anglers beware, there are large holes and one misstep could put you in over your head. Heading north from the beach, a slam can easily be obtained. There are deep channels and mangrove areas that hold plenty of snook, redfish and trout. Make sure to use geographic imaging software before your trip, get a good idea of where the channels and holes can be found. This is a great fishing area on

Christopher PJ Carro Villarini managed to get his first slam (red fish, trout and snook) using a Bull Bay seven foot, six inch rod, 6-12 pound medium action, Tsunami Sheild 3000 reel, 15 pound Invisibraid, 30 pound KastKing FluorKote and a #3 Mustad weighted hook with live shrimp. both, low and high tides. There are downfalls to fishing this area, the sounds of the traffic traveling over the bridge and the constant airplanes landing are reminders that this is an urban area. A good majority of these fishing grounds have a mucky bottom, make sure to wear the appropriate shoes. Cypress Point Park is open from sunrise to sunset and admission is free. If you want to try a new fishing area or just take the family out to a nice park, Cypress Point Park is the place to go.

Paul Presson, outdoor writer and published cartoonist. He has fished the coastlines of Tampa Bay for 28 years, land based, wade, kayak and by flats boat. If he is not writing, he is out on the water!

*For complete warranty, safety and product information, consult your local Kubota dealer and the product operator’s manual. Power (HP/KW) and other speciications are based on various standards or recommended practices. Optional equipment may be shown. © 16 TAMPA | JANUARY 2018 | COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

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12/13/2017 6:31:50 PM


St. Pete Report

Floundering About By: Capt. Christopher Taylor

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ith the full force of winter many anglers are looking to wet their lines by targeting winter time species. Flounder have made their way into Tampa Bay in great force, they are well known for their dominant presence during the winter months. They can be found at any of the Saint Petersburg grass flats, docks, seawalls and jetties. I always head to my favorite trout spots this time of year to find them, flounder desire the same structure and environment as trout. These hungry shallow water predators can be found stacked up anywhere that has a drop in depth adjacent to a sandbar, or sandy patches and potholes on grass flats. Take advantage of the cooler water temperatures as the fish are more active in the shallows. You can sight cast, or drift fish for flounder as well. Choice baits to use are live shrimp and scaled sardines. These

baits should be presented on a size 1/0 hook free-lined, or with a split shot, or even with your favorite eighth to quarter ounce jighead. MirrOlure Mirrodines or Trout Master gold colored, spade tail grubs are my top choice of artificials to use if you want to cover a large area in a small amount of time. You can find live shrimp at just about any bait and tackle store in the area. Some bait shops sell scaled sardines, but most of the time you have to use a cast net to catch them. I recommend catching enough to use for bait as well as a few extra for chuming. You will be able to find these baitfish at the channel markers and shallow to deep transition areas nearest boat channels. I use a 10 foot Barracuda Pro cast net to gather my bait. I can usually catch enough bait for a trip in one or two casts because of the ease of opening in the net design. Remember when flounder fishing where there’s one there’s more than one, keeping count is important when catching these guys because you can fill a cooler when the bite is right. If you’re fishing the bay side of St. Petersburg I recommend stopping at “Mitch’s Bait and Tackle” off of 62nd Ave and 4th St. Mitch always has everything you need for a good day of fishing. Captain Christopher Taylor Florida Reels Fishing Charters www.floridareelsfishingcharters.com (813) 220-6135

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Fishing January Can be Challenging By: Capt. Mike Anderson

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anuary is one of our trickiest weather months to figure out. It could be 80 degrees with light winds or could be 65 degrees with 15-20 knot north winds! You just never know what you’re going to face, but you can find success in either condition. Learning to fish what Mother Nature gives you will make your days on the water

both more plentiful and rewarding. If water temps are down in the upper 50’s to low 60’s and winds are high use the residential canals and intercostal waterways to your advantage, they give you protection from the cold winds and plenty of structure to hold lots of fish. Speckled trout, sheepshead, jacks, snook and ladyfish will all find refuge in these man- made estuaries. Fishing live shrimp either free lined or under a cork will work great in these conditions as will your favorite plastic jigs. Shrimp digest faster than pilchards or pinfish so gamefish tend to feed better on them in cooler conditions. Find those canals with really dark mud bottoms as they will heat up fastest from the sun. Even a slight uptick in water temp could make a difference in your bite. If we get lucky enough to have another very mild January with water temps staying closer to 70 degrees the bait will remain thick which means kingfish on the hard bottom areas and nearshore wrecks, as well as snook, redfish and trout remaining on the flats feeding with a vengeance. Artificial baits will definitely get their attention as mild water temps keep them aggressive and feeding. These mild conditions also make it much easier to get

offshore for blackfin tuna, amberjack and red and gag grouper. All of these species move into shallower water in the cooler months. January on Florida’s west coast can be challenging with the weather but you can still find success as long as you play the game. Catch Capt. Michael Anderson every Saturday morning on News CH8 at 6:30 a.m. for the Reel Animals Fishing Show and Saturdays for Reel Animals Saturday on 970WFLA from 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. Also catch Capt. Mike on Sunday mornings on AM620 for the TA Mahoney Co. Reel Animals Radio Show from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. To book a trip call 1-866-Gamefish.

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Flats to Nearshore Report By: Capt. Gary Burch

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learwater flats fishing has been one of the most enjoyable encounters that vacationers and locals alike have taken part in during the winter months. Clearwater Pass is a major waterway from the intercostal waters into the Gulf of Mexico. Clearwater Pass sits next to the world famous Clearwater Beach, which was voted one of the best beaches in the country. January is one of the most sought after times of the year to be visiting this area and to get out fishing. Inside Clearwater Bay there are numerous, incredible grass flats that attract many of the local species of fish. Redfish, trout, bluefish, pompano and many other fish can be caught during the winter on a Clearwater fishing charter. Fishing the incoming and outgoing tides around the pass is always a challenge but can be very productive when looking for all of these species, especially the gator trout (a trout over 20 inches). January is here, temperatures are cold and our fish are in there lethargic mood. This time of year when fishing for gator trout, the best place to start is just inside the passes, drifting grass and sandy areas in two to four feet of water. Try casting artificials like an eighth or quarter of an ounce lead head with a plastic tail. I like my plastic tail jigs to have a white belly and either root beer, dark green or new penny type color. Also, some flashy glitter mixed in helps the action. Bounce your artificial along the bottom and through the sand holes as you drift along, keep the movement and retrieve slow. In the winter, these fish are not going to be very active, so if there are no takers try a different drift until fish are found. Once found, usually there are more in the same location so

bring out some live shrimp and catch some gator trout. Trout regulations for our region are as follows : January, minimum size is 15 inches, maximum size is 20 inches. Harvest limits are four per person per day. Only one of the four harvested fish can be over 20 inches. My suggestion is to keep only the fish that will be eaten fresh, I do not freeze trout. For the basic recreational saltwater fishing regulations for Florida waters, go to the Fish and Wildlife Conservation web site here; http://www.eregulations. com/f lorida/fishing/saltwater/ basic-recreational-saltwater-fishingregulations-for-state-waters-offlorida/ Don’t let the cold fronts keep you dry docked. There are plenty of beautiful days to be on the water. Fishing is excellent in the winter, grab your jackets and come on out. Capt. Gary Burch owns and operates All Catch Charters and specializes in live baits and artificials. He guides inshore, flats and backcountry from Clearwater to Tarpon Springs. To reach Capt. Gary for a charter, please call 727 458-6335 or visit his website: www.allcatchcharters.com

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Targeting Tailing Winter Redfish

T

is the season to target Tampa Bay’s redfish on fly. As cooler temperatures bring cleaner water to the flats, sight fishing will be at its best. During the winter months tides play an enormous factor, some of the year’s best red fishing will occur around the extreme morning low tides. Look for schools of fish to congregate just off the edges of flats as they anticipate the crustacean buffet sure to commence once the tide rushes onto the flat. If your favorite flat has the right bottom and depth, chances are good that you will witness fish tailing. There are several schools of thought when it comes to fishing for tailing redfish. I have two approaches that I’ve found to

work well depending on the bottom composition. For soft mud bottoms, I prefer a heavily weighted crab pattern. Typically these flies are weighted with a medium dumbbell eye to help get the fly down in front of the fish quickly. Keep in mind, the chances of spooking the fish are greatly reduced when their heads are down and tails are waving above the surface of the water. Once an accurate cast has been made and the fly has settled in front of the fish, a proper strip must be executed. The biggest mistake an angler can make is stripping the fly too quickly, thus removing it from the fish’s cone of awareness. Patience is paramount to ensure the feeding redfish notices your fly.

By: Captain Shawn McCole

I’ll often have my angler “bump” the fly once or twice in hopes of creating slight mud puffs similar to a crab burrowing for safety. Typically this will get a reaction, but if your fish is still oblivious to your efforts switch to a long, slow strip. The slower the better as you’re ultimately attempting to mimic a walking crab taking up a defensive position. Often, the fish will inhale the crab. If you fail to recognize the take, the long strip will increase your chances of a solid hookup. Tampa Bay redfish commonly tail over shallow grass flats, this requires a completely different approach regarding fly selection, casting techniques and stripping patterns. In these moments, I will select a weightless and weedless shrimp or small baitfish pattern. Once a fish is engaged in tailing behavior and the target is visible, I’ll have my angler cast just beyond the fish utilizing a 10-12 foot stealth leader. While the fish’s

head is down, slowly slide the fly in front of the fish and hold. You may be forced to continue to pause the fly for a few seconds while the fish has his head down, blind to your actions. Once the tail disappears below the water, its head and field of vision will be level with your fly in the water column. This is when we strip the fly and hopefully come tight once the fish sees a potential meal fleeing for its life. Through preparation and study, seeking out ideal flats and using these techniques, I’m confident you’ll be successful in taking advantage of numerous winter redfish opportunities. Capt. Shawn McCole’s specialty is inshore fly fishing and light tackle. You can contact him by calling 863608-3758 or CaptShawnMcCole@ gmail.com. Visit his website: CaptainShawnMcCole.com. or visit Capt. Shawn at Bill Jackson’s on weekends.

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Endeavor exhibited its catamarans at the Ft. Lauderdale International Boat Show and the St. Petersburg Boat Show to rave reviews and great success. Show attendees explored the ArrowCat 420, ArrowCat 320, Endeavour 500, Endeavour 450 and the Endeavour 340. New owners were welcomed to the ArrowCat and Endeavour family, and word is an Endeavour 500 is taking on the Great Loop and an ArrowCat 420 will be out cruising, fishing and exploring Florida waterways. Plan on visiting the Endeavor and ArrowCat display at the Miami International Boat Show Feb. 15-19. In Development

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ndeavour Corporation—home of ArrowCat Performance and Endeavour Luxury Cruising Catamarans—has some exciting news for 2018. With several spectacular new models in the works, they are opening up their boatyard to the public and showing off their boats at the Miami International Boat Show. Open House & Demo Days Jan. 12-13

Save the date for Endeavor’s Open House & Demo Days Jan. 12-13. The Endeavor Boatyard in sunny St. Petersburg, Fla. will be opened to the public, allowing visitors the opportunity to tour various catamarans at their leisure. No reservations are needed, but those interested in a particular model should let Endeavor know in advance. For those ready to take the next step, demonstration rides will be offered, but those require advance reservations. These will be on a limited basis, and more details on how to sign up will appear soon on the Endeavor website. For directions to the Endeavour Boatyard and to see current models, visit www.endeavourcats.com.

All new catamarans are in development this year to fill the needs of boaters. ArrowCat 421: An open flybridge model suited for the weather and conditions found in Florida and the East Coast. Naval architects have just about finished the drawings and should anyone have input or would like to see the first draft, please let Endeavor know. ArrowCat 321: This is a version suited for the East Coast and Gulf Coast. Instead of an enclosed salon/helm area, the new 321 will be open with fiberglass hardtop and half-windshield to enjoy the great outdoors. Endeavour 440: One of Endeavor’s most popular hulls is getting a makeover with a redesign of the topsides. The 440’s stately presence is giving way to a more updated style from the rub rail up, while making more efficient and effective use of the topsides space. Better yet, they are now offering outboards as a new power option! More information and registration information will be coming soon for the Open House and Demo Days at the marina. Keep an eye on endeavorcats.com or contact Endeavor at 877-ARROW99, info@ arrowcat.com or info@endeavorcats.com.

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By Capt. Randy Cnota

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ecently, I was enjoying a quiet morning on the boat, all by myself, catching several fish in a remote place on the lower end of the Apalachicola River system. The bass were chomping on my topwater jerkbait like they’d never seen one before, and I got complacent while de-hooking one. The fish made a sudden, violent shake and suddenly I had two hooks in my hand with a flopping fish on the jerkbait’s third hook. This is one of the many hazards anglers should be prepared for when they occur; and hazards WILL occur, it’s just a matter of time. Being an old experienced salt, the removal of those hooks from my hand was not that big of a deal; it just took some time because I was alone and had only one hand to use. Had that happened to an angler who’s never had a hook in his hand, it might have been a different story. Imagine this happening to your child, an elderly person or a loved one… would you know what to do? Obvious hazards like foul weather, high winds and extreme cold are easy to negotiate as a recreational angler; you just don’t go that day! It’s the calm, pleasant, inviting days when you least expect some hazardous event to take place that they seem to occur. My intent is to inspire you to prepare for the unexpected as best you can. There are way too many hazardous scenarios that could play out in a day of fishing, so the following is just an overview of a strategy. People getting hooked, cut or falling in or out of a boat are likely the most common hazards anglers experience. Make sure everyone on board knows exactly where lifejackets and throw cushions are located and how and why to use them. Lifejackets are obvious, but some might not realize the importance of the throw

cushion. When someone falls overboard, it’s imperative that someone keeps their eyes on him to maintain his location and get a cushion tossed to him immediately! You’d be surprised how quickly this scenario can turn bad, so make sure all aboard know the drill. A basic first-aid kit on board is a good start for tending to cuts, sprains and burns, but be sure to take the next step and keep a few extra items like duct tape, rescue tape, zip ties, super glue etc. Also, make sure you know how to remove hooks and be able to determine if a hooked situation is something that can be treated on the water or if a trip to the ER is required. As a licensed captain and retired military, I’ve had plenty of training with first aid, CPR and other emergency matters, but many folks on the water have not. If you captain a vessel, be sure to get this kind of training. You owe it to the people who rely on you out there. Capt. Randy “C-note” Cnota is co-publisher of the Panama City/ Forgotten Coast edition of Coastal Angler Magazine.

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inter is a very important time for the southern California saltwater fly fisherman. This time of year means transition, and with this transition comes the seasonal migration of Pacific bonito to the nearshore waters off southern California. Although SoCal has a yearround population of bonito, many of the fish who take up residence here from early fall and through winter are the larger pelagic bonito that trek to our coast from southern waters. These fish can range in size between 5 to 15 pounds and are probably the hardest fighting fish readily available to fly fishermen off the southern

can be put in the path of the moving fish. The fly tackle best suited for bonito fishing includes 9-foot, 6- to 10-weight rods matched with a good directdrive saltwater fly reel with a minimum of 120 yards of 20to 30-lb. Dacron backing. In terms of fly lines, a shooting head with a built-in running line in weights of 175 to 350 grains will work best. Tippets should be 8 to 12 pounds, and abrasion-resistant fluorocarbon works wonders on leader-shy fish. As for flies, Clousers, Deceivers, Crazy Charlies and any anchovy pattern in sizes

California coast. These fish are found both inshore and offshore, however, most of the offshore bonito are in 30 fathoms (150 feet) or less. When fishing for openwater bonito, the angler’s best approach is to look for birds and schools working along current or temperature breaks. Once these areas are found, look for bonito chasing anchovies or sardines near the surface. Bonito can be very shy, so cutting the engine and sidling up on the fish is very important. Once the boat is in position, a 40- to 80-foot cast placed to the outside edge of the schooling fish is best. The angler should make sure the fish are moving either toward the skiff or in a crossing direction so the cast

8 through 2 will do the trick. Color is an important factor, so match the fly color to the color of the bait being taken. Green/ white and blue/white are great choices, however, chartreuse/ white is always a great attractor color. Fighting a bonito once it is hooked is an exciting and sometimes exhausting experience for the fly angler. Because the bonito is built like a mini rocket, it will make some amazing runs and will usually take line well into the angler’s backing. It’s worth a trip to southern California where fly anglers can take part in the famous bonito run.

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n their profession, surgeons require the most accurate and precise cutting tools. Professional taxidermists figured out long ago that a scalpel is the best tool for carefully cutting through all kinds of fish and animal hides. Now sportsmen can enjoy the same level of precision in knives designed to be taken into the field or out on the water. Havalon has revolutionized the market for sportsmen’s knives with surgical-edge technology redesigned for use by hunters and anglers. And they know their business. Havalon’s parent company, Havel, provided surgical cutlery to doctors and hospitals long before they brought them to the outdoors market. What Havalon dreamed up was a line of high quality folding and now fixed-blade knives that feature replaceable surgical-quality cutting edges. Whether gutting and skinning game or filleting fish, sportsmen can now enjoy the advantages of a scalpel edge in the field. And the easily replaceable blades not only ensure the knife will be scalpel sharp and ready for use without any sharpening, it opens up the opportunity for one knife to serve many purposes by switching out the style of the blade. Need a fine-bladed fillet knife that doubles as a limb saw and game-skinner, Havalon has you covered with products like the Havalon Hydra Kit, which includes 17 blades in seven different styles to fill all your needs with one tool. The latest innovation from Havalon, which every angler should have in the arsenal is the Havalon Talon. Set to hit the market this spring, the Talon is the first high-quality, surgically sharp, longest lasting replaceable fixed blade knife system. The Talon provides a firm, safe grip on heavier, stronger, larger sized

versions of the company’s already proven fillet blades, as well as a few new ones. It is the most versatile and sharpest “in-the-wild” quick-change cutlery set there is. A military-grade polymer handle has many functional features, from a Easy-Clean opening chamber to a super easy, strong and safe Quik-Change II Thumb Release Blade System. Within a water resistant roll-up pack, the Talon Fishing Pack includes the Talon handle, a serrated blade, two 5-inch fillet blades and a 7-inch fillet blade. A separately sold 9-inch fillet blade is also available. Professional captains, guides and outfitters have already discovered the benefits of using surgical-grade cutlery in the field and on the water, making Havalon a staple in the market for serious outdoorsmen. Which leaves the question: Why wouldn’t you want the most precise, accurate and versatile cutting tools in your pack or on the deck? Check out all the innovative tools Havalon has to offer at www.havalon.com.

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UNDER THE SEA 18

King of Sling – Art Pinder

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n the spearfishing community, there is one man everyone agrees deserves the title of “legend.” That is Art Pinder. Art was born in Miami in 1929, the fourth of five children. He looked up to his father and older brothers and wanted to follow in their footsteps. His father was an outdoorsman and worked his way up to captain of the Miami Beach lifeguards. Naturally, the children grew up around the water, and they learned to hunt at a very young age with homemade equipment. Their slings were different from modern spearguns, and consisted of a free-flying shaft inserted into a cylindrical wooden “shooter.” Similar to a slingshot, the shaft was powered by pulling a band back and letting go. This primitive form is making a comeback, and is the only allowable method of spearfishing in the Bahamas. The Pinder brothers dove and speared at a time when the ocean was considered mysterious and dangerous. The brothers dominated and won every tournament. Meanwhile, Art worked as a lifeguard and crewed for big-game fishermen such as Walter Clay, Bob Stewart and Tommy Gifford. He later served in the U.S. Coast Guard, stationed at the Carysfort Reef Lighthouse. In the water, Art accomplished feats that might never be duplicated. He slinged a 7-foot sailfish, a 135-pound cubera snapper and a 584-pound Goliath grouper. Outside of spearfishing, he was credited with saving many lives, including a challenging rescue of 23 people whose boat had capsized in rough waters. As Art became known for his spearfishing achievements, opportunities arose. He appeared in magazine and TV ads for liquor companies even though he didn’t drink. He graced the cover of Sports Illustrated in 1955 and was featured in a three-part series. His most uncomfortable assignment was modeling Jantzen bathing suits. They paid more in one day than he got in a whole month of lifeguarding, so he put up with the embarrassment. He did

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several shoots with Frank Gifford (NFL MVP), Bob Cousy (NBA MVP) and Ken Venturi (golfer). Art wondered why they picked him alongside these sports giants, though he did believe spearfishing combined the best of many sports. It required strength and coordination, involved body contact with 300-pound fish, had danger and excitement—all set against a backdrop of unimaginable beauty. In later life, Art became a pilot, a professional captain and a business owner, and he never stopped Above: Even later in spearfishing. I had life, Art Pinder could the honor of diving capture fish like a with him in his 20-year-old. Photo by sunset years, when Chad Carney. he could still capture Left: Art Pinder fish like a 20-yearappeared on the cover old. Art passed away of Sports Illustrated in 2014 at the age of in 1955. 84 and is survived by his loving wife, Alice. Rest in peace, Art. Sheri is a world-record holder, host of Speargun Hunter, and producer of “The Blue Wild Ocean Adventure Expo” in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. Follow “Sheri Daye” and “The Blue Wild” on Facebook and Instagram.

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ome people don’t go fishing when it’s cold. That’s a huge mistake. Some of my most memorable days on the water have come this time of the year. If you outfit yourself properly, it will increase your winter fishing success astronomically. The Proper Gear First, dress properly. Layers are important, but don’t bulk up so much that it affects your mobility. I start with thermals, both the shirt and pants. My next layer is jeans and a thick hooded sweatshirt. I sometimes add a fleece jacket and then put on an outer-layer suit. You want a suit that blocks the wind and is waterproof. There are a lot of good Gore-Tex suits on the market. Headgear is also important. A fleece beanie and a neck gaiter make all the difference. A good pair of thick socks, boots and a pair of gloves, and you will be good to go. Last winter, a friend and I went fishing when it was 12 degrees. We caught 19 smallmouth. It was

cold, but we were dressed properly and had the lake to ourselves. Use Proper Equipment Fishing tackle needs to be finetuned for winter. First, I use Winn grips on all the rods I build. Most gloves have a sticky grip material on the palms. When that material meets the Winn material, it gives you unbelievable grip on your rod; it does the same for bare hands. Winn also has a new product called Winn Reel Sleeves. They are made of the same great grip material and slide over the handles of your reel. When it comes to finicky fish in the winter, you can’t afford for your hand to slip off the reel for a split second. I will have Reel Sleeves on every reel I own for the 2018 season. Check out all the Winn products and custom rod building materials at www.mudhole.com. Winter is a great time to learn how to build your own rods for 2018.

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FISH & FISHING 22

Words Of Wisdom MARK SOSIN

D

id you ever wonder how leading charter captains produce consistent catches on a daily basis in heavily fished waters. I asked a long-time friend of mine who chartered for years out of a center console, and I think you’ll find his answer of interest. By the way, his methods can be adapted to any segment of coastline and a wide variety of species. Success centers on three primary approaches. You must constantly cover the maximum amount of water with your baits. They must be fished in a totally natural manner. And, baits must be kept in the productive zone or proper depth as long as possible. One way of doing this is to fish two or three baits from a kite or two kites. By using small weights in a corner of each kite, you can keep them spread so that they do not tangle in the air. For the starboard kite, the weight goes in the upper right hand corner and just the opposite for the port kite. Assuming the seas are moderate, start by positioning upwind from the spot you want to fish. By working the engines between neutral and reverse, you can back into the wind when necessary to keep the boat at a predetermined depth. This allows the baits to hang directly below the kites and look natural. Currents will push the boat over new areas. While the kites are flying, this skipper streams a couple of flat lines 50 to 125 feet from the boat. Finally, he works two more lines, one at a depth of 50 feet and the second at a depth of 75 or 80 feet. Rougher seas dictate the use of sea anchors and they also make sense when maintaining a specific depth is not paramount. A single sea anchor tied off midships will keep the boat broadside to the wind or current. One off the bow and a second off the stern is an even better setup. At times, this captain will drag a frozen block of chum in a mesh bag in front of one or two of the baits. All this is a lot of work, but you are covering close to 100 yards of water from

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a depth of 100 feet to the surface, and this approach can produce strikes when many anglers go fishless. Weekenders often wonder why professional skippers succeed day after day, even with boats all around them. Some observers simply suggest that regulars know the spots. That’s partially true, but there is much more to the total package. It takes continuous effort to tend all those rods, monitor conditions, and handle the boat all at the same time. You can certainly get by with less, but in the tradeoff, you can expect fewer fish. Whether you decide to follow this method, modify this skipper’s approaches to your needs, or you decide you really don’t want to work that hard, you can’t overlook the obvious. Aggressive anglers catch more fish consistently, even when Lady Luck isn’t sitting on their shoulders.

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Coastal Angler Magazine - January / Tampa bay  

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

Coastal Angler Magazine - January / Tampa bay  

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