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TAMPA BAY EDITION

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Edition

Skinny Water Tactics Summertime

Offshore Local

Fishing Reports Catch Photos News & Events PHOTO COURTESY OF DAVE RADEBACH VOLUME 23 • ISSUE 281

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F R A N C H I S E

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

A V A I L A B L E

JULY 2018

W O R L D W I D E

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RADAR

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It’s the comfort of knowing you are safe. It’s Doppler Radar echoes changing color, showing which targets are a threat to you. It’s instant tracking of up to 100 moving targets. It’s Furuno’s Bird Mode tracking birds to find the best fishing grounds. It’s the “NXT” innovation in Radar, the all-new NXT Solid-State Doppler Radar for NavNet TZtouch & TZtouch2.

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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FAMILY LEGENDS

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210 FSH ® SERIES Go where no other boat has gone before. With powerful twin TR-1® Yamaha Marine Engines, ample storage and comfortable bow seating, the all-new 210 FSH provides the shallow-water capability to get to those hard-to-reach fishing spots and the versatility to enjoy watersports with your family.

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©2018 Yamaha Motor Corporation, U.S.A. All rights reserved. Follow instructional materials and obey all laws. Drive responsibly, wearing protective apparel. Always drive within your capabilities, allowing time and distance for maneuvers, and respect others around you. Don’t drink and drive. FOR MORE INFORMATION, VISIT OUR WEBSITE AT YAMAHABOATS. COM OR CALL 1.800.88.YAMAHA.

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A Rare Medium Well Done CEO / EDITOR IN CHIEF : Ben Martin • camads@coastalanglermagazine.com COO : Tracy Patterson • tracy@coastalanglermagazine.com ART DIRECTOR : Rebecca Snowden • graphics@coastalanglermagazine.com EDITORIAL COORDINATOR : Nick Carter • editorial@coastalanglermagazine.com WEBMASTER : webmaster@coastalanglermagazine.com ADVERTISING INQUIRIES: Corporate Headquarters info@coastalanglermagazine.com • 888-800-9794

FLORIDA

BIG BEND : Mike McNamara • (850) 510-7919 • captmike@coastalanglermagazine.com BREVARD : Chris Milner • (321) 631-1001 • cmilner@coastalanglermagazine.com DAYTONA/NEW SMYRNA/DELAND : Amy Chibbaro • (386) 478-3812 • achibbaro@coastalanglermagazine.com

Chris Chibbaro • (386) 478-9234 • cchibbaro@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 ORLANDO : Phillip & Giselle Wolf • (407) 790-9515 • phillip@coastalanglermagazine.com GREATER MIAMI : Gene Dyer • (954) 680-3900 • gene@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

BEN MARTIN EDITOR IN CHIEF

Dear Reader, Fishing magazines are not really that common, but Coastal Angler Magazine and its interior freshwater publication, The Angler Magazine, are changing the landscape of the publishing industry. Today, these localized fishing magazines are available for the marine enthusiast throughout the continental U.S and Costa Rica. These publications are distinctly different, but all provide great information for anyone interested in the pursuit of fishing. Coastal Angler and The Angler’s franchise publishing system have produced a field of co-publishers united in their mission of giving the best local fishing information possible. By working with the local fishing guides and charter captains, these co-publishers have their fingers on the pulse of what’s happening across the different fishing areas every month – month in, month out. If your plans have you traveling to a new area this summer, check out www.coastalanglermag.com and review the same quality of fishing information, that you are used to reading in your area, from any area in the magazine’s current footprint. Want more information about joining Coastal Angler or The Angler Magazine’s team of local fishing magazine publishers? Just give us a call. We are interested in expanding throughout the U.S. and abroad. For more information, call 321.777.2773, email info@ coastalanglermagazine.com or visit franchise.coastalanglermag. com.

CHARLESTON : Sam Buckareff • (843) 607-8629 • sam@coastalanglermagazine.com CHARLOTTE/PIEDMONT : Doug Simmons • (704) 361-6189 • simmons@theanglermagazine.com

Juli Simmons • (980) 333-7273 • simmons@theanglermagazine.com

COLUMBIA/MIDLANDS : John Lux • (803) 807-6885 • jlux@theanglermagazine.com MYRTLE BEACH : Mike Masiero • (732) 674-3019 • mmasiero@coastalanglermagazine.com TIDEWATER/OUTER BANKS : John Tiger • (757) 707-9654 • john.tiger@coastalanglermagazine.com

Laura Tiger • (757) 707-9655 • laura@coastalanglermagazine.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

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LONG ISLAND : Lisa & Michael Danforth • (203) 321-7635 • lisad@coastalanglermagazine.com CONNECTICUT/RHODE ISLAND : Lisa & Michael Danforth • (203) 321-7635

Handmade, custom colored, extremely tough, functional handles for all your stainless steel cups. Universal fit for most popular brands. Made from marine grade shock cord and true 550 paracord. Pull all you want. We can handle it.

lisad@coastalanglermagazine.com

GULF COAST MISSISSIPPI GULF COAST : Adam Nelson • (228) 627-5903 • anelson@coastalanglermagazine.com

Toby Nelson • (228) 623-1761 • tnelson@coastalanglermagazine.com

ALABAMA/PENSACOLA : Paul Caruso • (239) 980-7738 • paul@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 © 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.

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THE LIGHTEST PENN REEL EVER MADE The Lightest PENN Reel Ever Made. The all new Conflict II matches an extremely light weight design with PENN’s legendary durability. Featuring our RR30 body, CNC Gear Technology and HT-100 Drag system, the Conflict II is the ultimate inshore reel.

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SUNGLASSES OAKLEY PRIZM

NATIVE EYEWEAR SIGHTCASTER

Oakley’s new Prizm lens collection finetunes vision for different sports and environments. They’ve created the perfect lenses for several outdoor endeavors, and

of course they’ve got anglers covered as well. In fact, they’ve developed two different formulas tailored to whatever type fishing you do. The Prizm Shallow Water is perfect for sightcasters and skinny-water anglers, whether it’s in the mangroves or on a trout stream. Prizm Deep Water is for open-water anglers who need the ability to peer into the depths. Prizm Shallow Water enhances greens and coppers and keeps whites bright so anglers can better see hiding spots and fish shadows. The added polarization cuts through the glare of the water. Prizm Deep Water filters out the shades of blue that overwhelm your vision on open water, while boosting greens and reds and keeping whites bright, so anglers can spot flashing fish and see what’s beneath the surface. The added polarization cuts through the water’s glare, and the dark lens provides comfort on long days out on the water. With a renowned brand like Oakley, you can rest assured the optical clarity and fit of their Prizm line will be second to none. Now there’s a pair of Oakleys designed specifically for the sport you enjoy.

From fishing the flats to backcountry fly, the fish are biting for the Native Eyewear SIGHTCASTER. Weighing less than an ounce, the SIGHTCASTER is the right pair for the pursuit of a good catch. Color-enhancing, high-def optics allow you to see deeper and 99.9 percent polarization efficiency cuts through glare. The frame’s wrap enhances protection and coverage while nonslip CUSHINOL rubber temples and nose pads ensure all-day comfort and a secure fit. Starting at just $109, you won’t find a better value for a quality piece of gear.

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WWW.OAKLEY.COM MAKO EYEWEAR BLADE The Mako Polarized sunglass collection launched this year in the United States, featuring a range of technical lenses created for outdoor sports with a particular focus on fishing. One of the best-selling Mako Polarized sunglasses is the Blade, offering a comfortable fit without sacrificing style. An eight-base design, the Blade wraps close to your face, reducing side light and improving line-of-sight and peripheral vision. Thin arms reduce pressure over the ears and are excellent for fishermen who always wear a hat. Mako sunglasses are available in four polarized glare-reducing lens types, all made from glass for its scratch-resistant properties and ultimate clarity. All of our sunglasses have an industry-leading 12+ anti-reflective coatings, advanced polarization, and oleophobic and hydrophobic coatings to repel oil, dust, dirt and water. The featured lens for the Blade is the Green Mirror (G2H5), polarized lens, featuring a special rose base color which helps you see enhanced detail at a greater depth. The internal green mirror reflects the brightest sunlight while its high definition filter removes harmful UV light rays, enhances color and increases contrast.

WWW.MAKOEYEWEAR.COM COSTA CAPE Costa’s new Cape style is an extra-large frame that offers massive lenses and ultra-wide temples to provide the most protection from the sun’s harmful rays. Manufactured from biodegradable resins sourced from reclaimed castor oil, Costa’s new frame withstands the elements of adventure while also providing comfort and wearability. Cape features Costa’s new innovative sweat management system, with ventilation ducting allowing air to flow through the end piece of the frame, which reduces lens fogging. Sweat management temple channels enable airflow from the vents to cool, wick away and drain sweat and moisture through openings on the temple tips. In addition, a thinned out inner bottom eyewire tucks closely into the back surface of the lens, which allows sweat and moisture to drain down the back of the lens and off the frame. The new style also features Costa’s patented 580 lens technology, providing 100 percent UV protection and polarization to give anglers the clearest lenses on the planet. Color-enhancing technology filters out harsh yellow light for superior contrast and definition and absorbs high-energy blue light to cut haze and enhance sharpness. Cape is available in matte black ultra, shiny steel gray metallic, bowfin and matte russet, with lenses in seven lens colors, including Sunrise Silver Mirror and Gray Silver Mirror. The new frame can also be customized with prescription lenses.

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S RE VIEW2018 RCI OPTICS POWER PLANT

OCEAN WAVES JAX BEACH Ocean Waves Sunglasses, renowned for fishing eyewear, has produced an excellent and versatile pair of fishing glasses with their Jax Beach frame. The Jax Beach comes in tortoise or matte black and has the widest range of size flexibility and wrap to fit anyone’s head. From small to XL head sizes, the Jax Beach provides a great wrap look, excellent coverage, and comfortable fit and feel. The Jax Beach can be paired with any of Ocean Waves’ specialized lens types according to the angler’s personal preference and visual needs. Ocean Waves Sunglasses customizes fit, utilizing two lens curvatures, which can be selected in any of the company’s high-quality mirrored lenses: Offshore Blue (OSB), Backwater Green (BWG), Lunar Silver (LS – ultra dark), or Luminator Purple (LP – light enhancing) as well as non-mirrored Grey and Amber. Piece together the perfect shades to fit your style and needs.

WWW.OCEANWAVES.COM

RIO RAY MALIBU Rio Ray Optics is the best new affordable polarized brand on the market. Designed for the outdoor lifestyle, all Rio Ray sunglasses come with 100-percent optically correct polarized CR39 lenses, frames with indestructible TR90, acetate and memory metal titanium with optical spring hinges for maximum comfort and a hassle-free lifetime warranty. All Rio Ray hard-coated polarized lenses are made of the highest quality CR39 and contain nine layers of protection with 100 percent UV protection. A hydrophobic coating on the front repels water, sunscreen and dirt, which makes cleaning and maintenance easy. A vibrant flash mirror provides additional glare reduction, and a superior scratch resistant coating prevents lens damage. The backside anti-reflective coating eliminates bounce-back glare. Rio Ray MaxFlex frame technology makes these the most comfortable sunglasses on the market, utilizing lightweight TR90 nylon, which maintains frame shape and offers incredible durability. Frames are prescription ready, and each pair comes with a full array of accessories including a hard and soft case and cleaning cloth. The frames here are Rio Ray’s Malibus. Go to their website to see all their stylish models. For dealer inquires, call 800-498-2104 or email jarrod@riorayoptics.com.

American-owned and based in Florida, RCI Optics is producing the most advanced sunglasses, equipped with more features than any other brand. These glasses, manufactured in Italy, are lightweight and incredibly durable, with optics that are crisp and clean with unbeatable polarization. Built for the elite waterman and outdoor enthusiast, RCI’s glasses are in a league of their own. RCI’s Power Plants are made with a Ballista 2.0 frame material that’s virtually bombproof. The Helius 2.2 lens material is six times denser than standard polycarbonate lenses. An ANSI Z87.1 safety rating meets OSHA requirements for safety glasses, and a Mil Std 662 military rating stops a .15 caliber projectile fired at 650 ft. per second. How’s that for durability? Well, they’re also top-notch in terms of optics. RCT (Radius Curving Technology) offers distortion-free optics for the clearest vision. These shades are 99.9 percent polarized, using injected polarization, not laminated. H780 Infrared blocking technology eliminates harmful radiation. Multilayered antireflective coatings eliminate distracting internal reflections, and permanent hydrophobic, oleophobic and antistatic coatings are applied to both sides of the lenses. Try a pair for yourself and you will see why they say, “The Advantage is Clear.”

WWW.RCIOPTICS.COM SALT LIFE ANDROS

The most recognizable name on the water, Salt Life, is also the maker of stellar sunglasses. Their Andros Matte Black sunglasses are performance designed and lightweight, offering extreme comfort for extended wear in the sun. Made in Italy with highquality glass lenses, they allow you to see images crisper and clearer. Andros are available in lens colors of Smoke Blue and Copper Green. Their lenses are 100-percent UV protected with five layers of anti-glare reflective coating that completely eliminates glare. Go out and get noticed in Salt Life sunglasses.

WWW.SALTLIFE.COM

WWW.RIORAYOPTICS.COM SKELETON OPTICS MOSSY OAK BREAK-UP COUNTRY SCOUT Skeleton Optics high performance eyewear delivers superb craftsmanship, trendforward innovation and advanced technology for Outdoor enthusiasts everywhere. From the Rocky Mountains to the Atlantic Ocean, Skeleton Optics sunglasses are designed to empower ordinary people to do extraordinary things, inspiring them to live the “No Boundaries” lifestyle. The Skeleton Optics Mossy Oak Break-Up Country Scout sunglasses are a product of that thought process. Working with experts at Mossy Oak and Zeiss, Skeleton Optics is pleased to provide hunters and sportsmen with sunglasses featuring the most true-to-nature elements ever produced on camo. Mossy Oak Break-Up Country combines digitally enhanced, life-sized natural elements with perfect color tones to help you blend in and shadowing elements that break up your outline like no other pattern available. A blaze orange nosepiece has been fitted for anti-slip and moisture wicking, and to complete the look,

the Skeleton logo has been hand-painted in blaze orange. No two frames look exactly alike! So, no matter where you hunt, becoming a part of your surroundings won’t be a problem. Every pair of Scouts include polarized polycarbonate lenses by Zeiss, designed using an advanced Tri-pel coating to promote clear vision, amazing visibility and clarity, while reducing discomfort caused by glare during outdoor activities. Designed for those who don’t go where the path leads, the Mossy Oak Break-Up Country® Scout sunglasses are intended for those who instead forge their own trail.

SKELETONOPTICS.COM

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QUIK-CHANGE II ™ Our Innovative, Interchangeable Fixed Blade Cutlery System 9” FILLET 7” FILLET 5” FILLET 3” SERRATED

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By CAM Staff • Photo by Jean-Pierre Bazard

E

very blade-handy angler has their own techniques and tricks for peeling the perfect fillet off a fish. But anyone who has spent enough time around a cutting board knows the perfect way to fillet is a combination of three crucial elements: technique, tools and practice. Whether it’s a 15-pound red snapper or a 6-ounce bream, the basics of filleting a fish are the same. The idea is to remove the meat along the fish’s flanks, while leaving behind the head, bones and guts. Step 1: Make a vertical cut just behind the fish’s gill plate and pectoral fin. This cut should go all the way down to the bone and

extend from back to belly. Step 2: Run the blade from the first cut all the way down the top of the fish, along the backbone to the tail, making a shallow incision as close to the backbone as you can get it. Step 3: Using that long cut along the backbone, utilize smooth, light strokes to work the fillet away from the bones moving from the back to the belly. The other hand can be used to peel back the meat as you go. Cut around the ribcage when you arrive at it. Step 4: With step 3 completed, you should have a beautiful skinon fillet. To remove the skin, place the fillet on the board skin side down. Start from the tail and insert the knife through the meat down to the skin, leaving a tab of meat and skin at the tail to hold onto. Turn the knife horizontal and run the blade up the skin to remove the meat. Step 5: Use tweezers to pick out any pin bones left in the fillet. The technique seems simple enough, but if you don’t have good, sharp, flexible knives that are sized correctly for the fish on the board, you’re going to make a mess out of your fillets. Havalon has come up with an all-in-one solution for this issue with its Talon system. With five styles of high-quality blades that all fit on the same handle, switching from a 7-inch blade down to a 5-incher or even down to a 3.5-inch utility blade is as easy as pressing a button with their Quik-Change II blade replacement system. The blades can be resharpened as well as replaced to make sure they are razor sharp when you need them. Also, with a handle that opens up, clean-up is both thorough and easy with the Havalon Talon system. Rinse your tools down and roll them up in the included canvas kit so they’ll be ready the next time you need them. And next time should be soon, because practice is the final and most important element in the perfect way to fillet. Go fishing enough, and you’ll be peeling off perfect fillets for the table in no time. Check out the Havalon Talon System at www.havalon.com.

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TOW & STOW ®

THE LAST HITCH YOU’LL EVER NEED

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American-Made Innovation At

B&W Trailer Hitches S ince 1987, B&W Trailer Hitches has been using quality and innovation to build one of the most trustworthy names in the industry. Employee-owned and all American, B&W manufactures towing products with the kind of quality that can only be delivered when pride of ownership goes into every step of the process, from design to the final customer experience. While most other manufacturers have shipped their operations overseas, this commitment to excellence has made B&W one of the few remaining hitch makers in America. Like many American success stories, B&W’s began in a garage. It was 1987 in the Midwestern town of Humboldt, Kansas. Roger Baker was experiencing declining demand for his skills as a classic-car restorer, and Joe Works had endured several tough years on the family farm. To provide for their families, they began applying their skills in a new way—building custom truck beds under the name B&W. They quickly recognized a way to remove the inconvenience of a gooseneck ball permanently welded in the bed of a truck. They designed a gooseneck hitch with the mounting hardware underneath the bed and a ball that turned over and stowed in place. The Turnoverball Gooseneck Hitch was born. They didn’t know it would revolutionize the industry the way it did, but today nearly every gooseneck manufacturer uses this type of ball storage and mounting system. They didn’t invent the trailer hitch, but they made everyone else reinvent theirs. A few years later, they applied the same

concepts to fifth-wheel hitches. Using the same under-bed mounting hardware and hole in the bed, they designed a Companion with a single point attachment that was removable when not towing. They also designed the Companion to provide a quiet and smooth ride for the user. From there, they kept solving problems other hitch manufacturers weren’t, always thinking of the customer’s towing experience. They set the bar high and built a company that continues to raise it. Baker retired in 1999, and in 2007, Works began transferring ownership to the company’s 390 employees, who are now employee-owners. With a vested interest in their products, the employee-owners are more dedicated than ever to making the best hitches and accessories possible. Their product line now includes all types of innovative towing products manufactured on-site in their nearly 500,000-square-foot facility, where they can oversee every detail. Their steel comes straight from the American Heartland and is forged in mills they’ve known and trusted for years. Because the best labor doesn’t come from the lowest bidder overseas, B&W’s craftsmen are some of the best and brightest in the industry. “We know that what you tow matters— and so does what you tow it with,” is a company motto. B&W Trailer Hitches is a shining example of American-made quality and American ingenuity. For more information, go to www. bwtrailerhitches.com.

There’s a lot going inside a 4-Stroke engine. Keep it protected with ECSTAR Suzuki Genuine Oil. Available in Gallons or Quarts at a Suzuki Marine Dealer Near You.

RUN LONG. RUN CLEAN. RUN STRONG.

ECSTAR. the Suzuki “S” and model names are Suzuki trademarks or ®. Always wear a USCG-approved life jacket when on the water and read your owner’s manual. © 2018 Suzuki Motor of Ameria, Inc.

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E

veryone who goes out on the water wants to have a good time and come home safely. No matter what boating activity you take part in, there is something freeing about that feeling of the wind in your face, the gentle rocking of the hull and the sound of the waves. Unlike cars, there are no yellow lines to stay between; you can go anywhere you want. But just like in a car, there are some rules you must follow. The Navigation Rules and Regulations Handbook, published by the U.S. Coast Guard, includes the U.S. Inland Navigation Rules or NAVRULES and the international rules known as the COLREGS. These rules were developed for the purpose of avoiding collisions and keeping boaters safe. Every boat owner should have a copy and spend some time understanding them. It is mandatory to have a copy onboard any vessel over 39.4 feet in length. Taking a class on the rules can also be extremely helpful. To break it down, the rules tell you what to do when you come across another vessel. In this case, the term “vessel” is used to classify almost anything that floats on water that can be used for transportation. That means there is a rule that applies to almost every situation involving everything from a kayak to a seaplane. They cover steering regulations as well as sound signaling equipment and navigation lights. As a responsible boater, you should not only be familiar with the basics of how the regulations apply to the specific situations for where you are fishing but should try to know and understand all the requirements. If you regularly go fishing on a small lake or kayak fishing in a river, it is probably rare for you to come into contact with commercial vessels, but you still should know how to handle those situations. Also, just because you are fishing, does not mean you are always a “stand-on”

vessel like a commercial fishing vessel using nets or longlines. Knowing the different rules that apply to all of these situations can mean the difference between a good day on the water and tragedy. At a minimum, you should always have a proper lookout, operate at a safe speed and yield or give-way to another vessel when in doubt and to always avoid a collision, even if that means breaking a navigation rule to save lives and avoid damaging property. Don’t leave the dock without knowing the rules of the road. The United States Power Squadrons–America’s Boating Club offers a seminar that simplifies the sometimes complex COLREGS for the recreational boater. Through examples, you’ll discover how to avoid collisions in various situations, the differences between power and sailboat rules, and the special rules for fishing vessels. This seminar includes student notes with slides. The downloadable U.S. Coast Guard’s Navigation Rules and Regulations Handbook is the supporting text. This seminar is also a starting point for study preparation for the USCG License examination. For more information on how to sign-up for the seminar, visit www. americasboatingclub.org.

Join in the Fun!

United States Power Squadrons is America’s Boating Club Learn boating skills. Engage with boating friends. Connect with the boating community.

Learn more at www.americasboatingclub.org

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FOR WORRY-FREE FISHING ALL YEAR

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ith bay scallop seasons in full swing for all but the two smallest harvest regions, the state of Florida is encouraging scallopers to stay safe and to use their mandatory dive flags. A divers-down flag displayed on a boat must be at least 20 inches by 24 inches and displayed at the highest point where it can be observed from 360 degrees. A divers-down flag or buoy, displayed from the water, must be at least 12 inches by 12 inches. A flag must have a wire or other stiffener to hold it open, and a buoy may be three- or four-sided. All divers must prominently display a divers-down device. All vessels must make reasonable effort to stay at least 100 feet away from a divers-down device within a river, inlet or channel. In open waters, vessels must make reasonable effort to stay 300 feet away. For safety, divers should stay within those same distances of their displayed device. A vessel that approaches closer must be fully off plane and at idle speed. Scalloping season is opened July 1 for the waters off Franklin, Wakulla and northwestern Taylor counties as well as Levy, Citrus and Hernando counties. It will remain open through Sept. 24 in these zones. Harvest is also open for the rest of Taylor County and all of Dixie County, where it will remain open through Sept. 10. In Gulf County, including St. Joseph Bay, scalloping season will open Aug. 17 and continue through Sept. 30. Pasco County will open July 2029. For more information, including bag limits, go to the scalloping page at myfwc.com.

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By Matthew G. Okell

Carey Chen directs artists at the 2018 Canvas & Cocktails event. Photo by Leonard Bryant Photography.

O

n May 9, Chasen’Tailz hosted “Canvas and Cocktails,” featuring world-renowned artist Carey Chen. Carey is well known throughout the marine community for his love of the ocean and marine life, as illustrated through his incredible artwork. What some may not know is that Carey has been a supporter of the Chasen’Tailz KDW Fishing Tournament since day one. He has donated his time and artwork for every tournament and has, once again, stepped up to the plate to assist with this incredible event. Carey showed his dedication to the local community by leading the night’s events. Thirty-five guests spent the evening painting a blue marlin under Carey’s direction. Attendees enjoyed a spread of food donated by Bravo, at Harbourside Place, which will once again be the host location for this year’s tournament on Sept. 8. Guests enjoyed wine from Salute Market in Palm Beach Gardens and, as always, Tito’s vodka. Whole Foods, in West Palm Beach, was another great supporter of the event and provided a delectable spread of cheeses and MidCi provided salads and charcuterie. Without a doubt, this was another exciting and funfilled evening adding to the Chasen’Tailz series of events. The Chasen’Tailz KDW Fishing Tournament was founded by Summer and Jay Warren in memory of their son Chase, who passed away from the complications of Type 2 Gaucher Disease. This year, Chasen’Tailz is donating proceeds to families with children with life-threatening illnesses. It is their current and future mission to improve the lives of sick children. Jay and Summer were determined to create a legacy in memory of Chase to spread awareness about rare childhood diseases and assist families in need. Since its beginning, the tournament has grown to include a multitude of events during the tournament weekend and events, such as “Canvas and Cocktails,” throughout the year. According to Assistant Tournament Director Heather Oblaczynski, “The continued support of businesses and individuals such as Carey Chen are the backbone of the tournament. This event was a ton of fun for all who participated. The support of all the businesses made it happen and we couldn’t be more thankful. We look forward to many more events like this in the future.” Check out Cary Chen’s incredible artwork and don’t miss your chance to sign up for the 2018 Chasen’Tailz KDW Fishing Tournament on Sept. 8, 2018 at Harbourside Place in Jupiter, Fla. For more information, visit www.chasentailz.com.

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FLORIDA

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fter a pursuit lasting more than a decade, Team Reel Addiction finally topped the field of 117 boats to win the 2018 Mississippi Gulf Coast Billfish Classic June 4-10. Angler Chase Pate, of Pensacola, Fla., Capt. Scooter Porto, owners Rocky and Laurie Jones, and mates Zach Taylor, Seth Brennan and Nate Dennis boated a 796.9-pound blue marlin after a 30-minute fight Saturday, June 9. The largest marlin of the week earned the team $405,705 for the top tournament award and optional entries. The overall tournament prize money was nearly $2.2 million. “Winning this one was on my bucket list,” Rocky Jones explained. “We won top release boat 12 years ago, and I’ve been trying to win the whole shooting match ever since. We finally did it!” Reel Addiction, a 56 Viking and a regular on the Gulf big-game circuit, is based in Pensacola Beach. With the win, the team also earned an invitation to the 2019 Offshore World Championship in Quepos, Costa Rica.

Team Supreme, with anglers Alex Krake, Chris Howell and Capt. Chase Lake, didn’t go home empty-handed, even though their Friday night marlin weighed 739.1 pounds. The 76 Viking from Destin went back out and caught a 156.6-pound yellowfin to boost the overall winnings to $313,115 for the second-place tournament award and optionals. Pearl took the third-place tournament award and pocketed $122,970. Angler Edgar McKee and Capt. Shawnie Clemons and the team aboard the 48 Viking based in Orange Beach boated a 611.5-pound blue to earn that payout. The Catch and Release Division was close and final standings were determined by time of catch. Relentless Pursuit was the overall winner with 1,800 points (three blue releases), earning a check of $265,050. Done Deal came in second in the division, also with 1,800 points. Money Shot was the third-place release team with 1,200 points, good for a $12,000 payday. Angler Robeau Whibbs and the team aboard Swee Pea, a 50 Topaz from Pensacola, captured the top tuna. Their yellowfin weighed 182.3 pounds, good for $24,000. Anthony Stauffer (Hayride) boated the largest swordfish, a 144.1 broadbill, good for $39,600. Johnny Moore, fishing aboard Alma-Ann, a 48 Cabo (Capt. Nick Jones), made MGCBC tournament history when he finally landed the new record dolphin after a two-hour waiting game. The 57.2-pound bull earned the team $66,750. The wahoo this year didn’t quite meet normal Classic averages but were respectable fish nonetheless and earned nice payouts. Lined Out and Jeff Dees caught the largest, 61.4 pounds, good for $48,300. Seament’s Doug Lake was second with a 48.5 wahoo ($37,125) and Neal Foster, betting heavily on Team Intensity, took home $82,425 for three entries in the optional categories. The Golden Nugget Casino and Hotel was this year’s tournament host. High Roller sponsors included the City of Biloxi, Release Marine, Visit Mississippi Gulf Coast, Gorenflo’s Tackle and Marina Store and Yeti Coolers. Next year’s tournament is slated for June 3-9. For more on the Mississippi Gulf Coast Billfish Classic, go to mgcbc. com.

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Registration open until September 3, 2018

A tagged redfish from last year’s STAR event

May 26 - Sept 3, 2018 | 101 days of fishing

A

lex Hensley, of Fort Walton Beach, caught a 22-inch STAR-tagged redfish on June 12 near Rocky Creek in Okaloosa County. He is now the new owner of a Pathfinder 2200TRS with a Yamaha 150, Humminbird Solix electronics and a Minn Kota Terova trolling motor. This awesome prize package was the first of the major prizes to be awarded in CCA-Florida’s signature event for 2018. The statewide fishing contest kicked-off May 26 and will run through Sept. 3. If you fish in Florida and are not registered for CCA-Florida STAR, you could be missing out on hundreds of thousands of dollars in prizes. CCA Florida STAR, presented by Yamaha, is the largest family friendly saltwater fishing competition in Florida. Unlike traditional fishing tournaments, STAR focuses on conservation and offers up to $500,000 in prizes and scholarships. CCA Florida is using the social media-based, 101-day event to educate the public on the importance of protecting Florida’s marine resources. Recognized as a “catch, photo and release” competition, STAR’s smart phone app eliminates the requirement for anglers to harvest or capture and transport fish. “Our state’s natural resources and fisheries are here for our enjoyment, and we understand that smart fishing will preserve these resources for the future,” said Brian Gorski, CCA Florida executive director. Remaining prizes in the event’s STAR Signature Division include a new GMC Sierra Pickup or one of several Yamaha-powered boat packages including a Contender 22 Sport, a Hewes Redfisher 16, a Carolina Skiff 21 Ultra and a Cottonmouth Aluminum Bay/Flats boat. “It really can happen, you just need to be registered for STAR when you go fishing said Leiza Fitzgerald, STAR director. With 17 divisions, 11 species included in the event, and most winners determined by random drawing, anglers of all ages and skill levels have opportunities to win. Registration is $40 for current CCA Florida members, or $75 for non-members, which includes CCA Florida membership. Kids ages 6-17 can register for free with their current ($10) CCA Florida youth membership. Alex Hensley has been a member of nonprofit CCA-Florida, the state’s leading marine fisheries conservation, education and advocacy organization, since May of 2017. “I knew the rules and followed them, then the excitement set in,” said Hensley. “I’m still in shock and incredibly blessed to be the first registered angler.” Register today, go fishing, and like Alex you could be the shocked and incredibly blessed owner of a new truck or Yamaha-powered boat package. For more information on STAR, or to register, visit their Facebook page or ccaflstar.com.

6

FLORIDA

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Make reel memories.

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CR Electronics, a long-time friend of Coastal Angler Magazine, was recently recognized as one of the highest-performing manufacturers in Florida as a winner at the annual Florida Sterling Manufacturing Business Excellence Award Ceremony. The Broward County-based company supplies safety and survival equipment crucial to boaters, aviators and military personnel everywhere. At the June ceremony in Orlando, the company was presented with the top award in the category for companies with up to 199 employees. It is the second prestigious manufacturing award f o r ACR Electronics this year. In March, it was named South Florida’s Manufacturer of the Year by the South Florida Manufacturers Association.

ACR was selected as the outstanding candidate for its exceptional leadership, strategic planning, customer and market focus, measurement, analysis and knowledge management, workforce and operations. ACR employees were also praised for their commitment to saving lives. “We accept this award with great pride with the knowledge that this achievement is only possible with an exceptional team doing exceptional work,” said ACR Executive Vice President Gerry Angeli. “I was particularly pleased to hear feedback that a key determinant of our success was how enthusiastic, engaged and involved our employees are about saving lives. “Our products must work the first time, every time, and that requires strong leadership with a dedication to quality from everyone that works at ACR Electronics.” For more information on ACR Electronics and ARTEX beacons and other safety equipment, go to www. acrartex.com.

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

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SOUTHWEST FLORIDA

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By Capt. James Marko • Capt. James Marco with a giant Goliath grouper caught in southwest Florida.

o Bananas! I’ve always told my clients to never bring my worst enemy on the water... the banana. It may sound crazy, but this amazing fruit has caused more hassle than anything else on my boat. Call it superstition, call it bad luck, but I hate them on my boat. I won’t even eat one before I go on the boat. I’m sure many of you have heard about the banana myth. Here are a couple explanations of how the fear of bananas on boats got started.

I’ll start with the spider myth. Back in the 1700s, when shiploads of bananas were being brought over from Africa, they were loaded with small spiders. Spiders become most active at night. So, imagine sailors are carrying the banana cargo in their hold. When they go to bed for the evening, they get bitten by poisonous African spiders. No one can figure out why the crew is dying. When they finally arrive in their destination port with a big chunk of their crew dead, you can see just how easy a rumor could spread that bananas were bad luck on board. Second, back in the 1700s, all boats were made of wood. It was said that some banana-rich areas of Africa and the Caribbean had some of the most destructive wood-eating termites in the world. So, you can imagine that sometimes these termites would cling to the banana trees as they were dragged across the land to the docks where they were loaded on the ship. When the termites realized they were in a wooden ship, it was madness. Needless to say, the termites went to town on the wooden ship, causing tons of damage and in some cases eating holes in the hull that were not repairable. Third, is my experience. When clients have brought this vicious fruit on board, I’ve had several rods and reels damaged. I once ran aground on an oyster bed that I’ve driven around my whole life. I once had a client Goliath grouper fishing, waiting for a bite, when all of sudden his buddy whips out a banana. I immediately yanked it from his hand and tossed it off my boat. Within seconds after tossing the banana off the vessel, we hooked up and landed a 300-pound Goliath. So, that’s why I HATE BANANAS, but only on my boat or any time I go fishing. You can take your risk with the banana myth, but I’m going to play it safe. If we’ve learned anything from history, it’s that bananas and boats don’t mix. Follow Capt. Marko on Instagram @captjamesmarko and Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/james.markovits?fref=search for our daily catches. Check out the website at www.Goliathfishing.com.

COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

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Leaving Fish To Find Fish MARK SOSIN

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ost of us are seldom satisfied. Picture those days when you are in the right spot and fishing is really good. Suddenly, an almost irresistible urge tries to force you to search for an even better area. Who among us at one time or another has not abandoned fast action with smaller fish to search for even larger quarry or a different species. We quickly convince ourselves that if we fail to find better sport, we can always come back to what we are presently enjoying. It doesn’t work that way. Repeated failures and frustrations over the years have taught veteran anglers that it can be a losing gamble to leave fish in the hope of finding larger critters or even faster action. Conditions on the water can change so rapidly that the good thing you had going for you has long since stopped before get back. Keep in mind that fish feed for a limited time and then they spend hours digesting their food. And, the colder the water, the longer digestion takes. Fish are unpredictable. Anyone who puts in time on the water learns that there is no clear-cut method of determining when fish will feed and when they will stop. Even in a chum slick, where anglers are ladling food into the water and tossing handfuls of goodies behind the boat to keep fish in a feeding mood, the action varies. At times, the fishing can be impressive, but it can also slow down without warning. Rules have exceptions and this one does, too. Every fisherman can point to the times when he violated this basic rule and found even

better fishing. And, there are instances when an angler returns to the area of the initial action and it is still going on. It does happen, but the odds are strongly against it. Inshore fishing in saltwater frequently depends on a particular stage of the tide or force of the current. To take advantage of different areas at the peak time, you often have to leave one spot while the action is still in progress. Veteran guides, for example, work a pattern tailored to tidal stages. They know the best fishing in a place occurs when the water is just the right depth or the current is flowing at the proper force. Some of these experts rely more on a clock than any other tool, and they time their arrival at each spot to coincide with optimum conditions. I have fished with guides who work a pattern with great success, and they have no problem leaving fish to find fish based on the stage of the tide. There are also times when that doesn’t work for some unknown reason. I can think of a case in point when I fished a shallow flat loaded with fish. I could hardly wait for the next morning. On the exact same stage of the tide the next day, with the weather absolutely the same, there wasn’t a single fish on that flat. The important thing to remember is that changing spots when the fish are feeding can be a major decision. Too many anglers fall into the trap of thinking they can return if they fail elsewhere and the fish in the first spot will still be feeding. That’s why experienced fishermen seldom leave fish to find fish.

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6/18/18 2:28 PM


31 Days of

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The entire month of July, we will be giving away Sunglasses daily via social media.

Check our social media pages for the link to enter to win daily!

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Destination Fishing

Hide And Seek With World Record Stripers By Tom Schlichter

I

t’s no secret really big stripers patrol the eastern end of Long Island Sound. Just ask Greg Myerson; he found the biggest one in August of 2012 – the IGFA world record, which weighed 81 pounds 14 ounces! Lucky catch? Hardly. Myerson, 50, of Wallingford, Connecticut, has targeted big bass in these waters since childhood. Over last decade he’s hauled in numerous 50- and 60-pounders, plus a 73-pound behemoth, in addition to the top prize. “I’ve released some others,” he said, “that might have broken my own record.” What draws such big fish into the area? Myerson believes it’s a search for lobster. “The eastern end of Long Island Sound is very rocky and, until recently, it held a ton of lobsters,” he said. “Big bass are lazy. They don’t like

fighting strong currents, so they slip in behind submerged boulders or hold in the lee of outcroppings and reefs. That’s where lobsters like to feed, too, so it’s a convenient ambush spot for the bass.” Myerson noted there is plenty of good bottom to investigate here. “Southwest Ledge and Southwest Reef make good starting points,” he stated, “but there are other obvious opportunities if you poke around.” Once he finds a spot, the current striper king follows a specific routine. He’ll chart a path that avoids lobster pots but still allows access to the lee side of submerged boulders. He’ll fish when the tide is flowing slowly and prefers to ply his trade after dark, just past slack high water, and on the last quarter of the moon. “Lobster feed best from 0 to 1.4 knots of current,” he explained, “so that’s when the biggest bass chew, too.” Myerson’s secret weapon is a special sinker he’s developed and now markets through his business, World Record Striper Company (worldrecordstripercompany.com). Called a Rattlesinker, it rattles at the same 10-decibel sound level lobsters use to send out a buzzing underwater warning when danger enters the area. When bass hear the rattle, they start looking for food. Myerson uses a clip to attach the sinker to a three-way swivel and a 5-foot length of fluorocarbon leader that terminates in 5/0 eel hook to present an eel. Using conventional tackle and a braided main line, he bounces the sinker across the bottom as the eel follows behind. The rattling sound and sea snake have proven to be a lethal combination cow bass just can’t resist. Myerson said he’s sure there’s bigger bass still to be caught in Connecticut’s waters. “I think it’s possible to break 100 pounds here someday,” he stated, “at least as long as the lobsters stay around.” If you’d like to give the cow stripers of Eastern Long Island Sound a shot, you can stay at The Water’s Edge Resort and Spa (www.watersedgeresortandspa.com) in Old Saybrook or The Madison Beach Hotel (@madisonbeachhotel). For a charter trip, consider Flying Connie Charters (www.flyingconnie.com) out of Clinton or fish with Myerson though his World Record Striper Company (www.worldrecordstripercompany.com), the same place you can purchase Rattlesinkers should you want to give them a try.

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TAMPA BAY FISHING REPORT BY: CAPT. WOODY GORE

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uly remains hot without much relief--at least for another couple of months. In spite of the heat, anglers willing to endure high temperatures and humidity can look forward to catching plenty of fish. From mackerel to tarpon, everything cooperates and eats just about anything from live bait to artificial’s tossed in their direction. As water temperatures climb through mid-to-late afternoon, the shallow backcountry water has a tendency to become oxygen depleted. So, if you’re fishing live bait, be sure to keep an eye on it. If your bait starts swimming in circles, on its side and turning belly up, it’s time to get out into deeper waters. Snook season remains closed. Snook, redfish and trout have remained strong through the beginning of summer. Snook seem to be everywhere, especially around the flats and mangrove shorelines, willing

to take greenbacks or artificial lures tossed in their direction. Speaking of greenbacks, they are everywhere one day and then disappear the next day. Redfish action throughout the bay seems consistent with a few slot fish waiting to tug on your line. Trout, snook and redfish usually haunt the same areas, often cruising open flats and sandy patches early, then moving into the mangrove shade during the day. However, the trout will usually stay on the open grass flats hanging around broken bottom potholes. Anglers favoring artificial lures should try topwater action with lures like the new MirrOLure Series III S7MR, the Top Dog 74MR, or Top Dog Jr. 84MR. Later in the day, soft plastic jerk baits like the favorite Gulp Shad rigged using their new 1/16 or 1/8 once heavy hooks assure success. Mackerel fishing is on fire and Tampa Bay is loaded--July

fishing should be no exception. Just find schools of threadfins or greenbacks, net a few, put out a chum bag, and hold onto your rod and reel. This means some real excitement on spinning tackle using 50 to 60-pound Seaguar leader and 2/0 long Daiichi shank hooks. Markers and sandy broken bottom grass flats (especially those holding bait,) equal cobia. These fish also frequent markers (especially those holding bait.) They often cruise the miles of open grass flats following rays and manatee--always on the lookout for a quick snack. When fishing open water flats, it’s always a good idea to have a rod and reel rigged for something larger--you never know when one might slide by. Tarpon fishing should continue this month. Many begin moving offshore to spawn. Threadfin hearing, crabs, and larger greenbacks are all over Tampa Bay and work very well

for tarpon. The Skyway Bridge, Anna Maria, St. Pete Beaches and Egmont Key should be holding plenty of fish this month. Give Me a Call & Let’s Go Fishing – 813-477-3814 The area’s top outdoor fishing guide, Captain Woody Gore has guided and fished the Tampa, St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Tarpon Springs, Bradenton and Sarasota areas for over fifty years; his charters offer world class fishing adventures and a lifetime of memories. Single or Multi-boat Group Charters are all the same. With years of organizational experience and access to the areas most experienced professional guides and captains, I can arrange and coordinate any outing or tournament. Just tell me what you need and it’s done. For more information please visit my website at: www.captainwoodygore. com, or email me at fishing@ captainwoodygore.com or give me a call at 813-477-3814.

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TALES FROM THE TUPPERWARE NAVY BY: BRUCE BUTLER

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elcome back Yak fans. This month we’re taking a road trip. I like to do a destination piece now and then, because I get to go there. I also love old Florida stories and this one is both. So, we’re heading to Cedar Key. With miles of shallow water flats and huge oyster bars, this area is a shallow water fisherman’s dream--more on that later. Cedar Key’s first (non-native) permanent occupation came in 1839 and according to accounts, is Florida’s second oldest town. It was an active port during the Civil War and was the Western station on the Florida Railroad in 1861. The last train saw service in 1932. The boom years were between 1880 and 1890, with the Sawmills established to mill the cedar that was locally cut. They were built on Open Water keys so that the boats could come in. The keys were virtually destroyed in 1896 by a hurricane; however, not before reducing a huge forest of cedar. The Mills were never rebuilt and the keys make an interesting kayak trip. One key has an old cemetery, if you’re into that sort of thing. The town has many structures dating back to the late 1800s, one of which is the Island hotel. The bar has a huge painting of King Neptune painted in 1948 by Helen Tooker in exchange for room and board. She was quite a character herself, and well worth a google. The hotel has been visited over the years by Jimmy Buffett, Richard Boone (of Paladin Fame), Myrna Loy and Tennessee Ernie Ford among others. Okay, that’s all well and good but what about the fishing? I hadn’t fished this area before so, with a little help from my friend and fellow Coastal Angler writer Daniel (the owner of Cedar Key Paddling), it is definitely the place to stop. Daniel put me on to all three launch sites that I used and I caught fish at all of them. Though

I caught some reds, the target species for me was the monster black drum. This was not the fish I set out to catch but, when you see those tails sticking up out of the water literally everywhere along the banks, grass lines, and open shallow bays, I knew what I had to do. So, for the next three days, I went monster hunting. The water in the Cedar Key area is very muddy and dark. You couldn’t tell if you were in six inches or six feet of water--it’s that dark, so accuracy is vital. I didn’t have any crabs, but shrimp work fine as long as you dropped it right on their head. This can lead to a lot of frustration as they swam around and past the bait that you thought you had placed perfectly. The terrain is so Rocky that everybody uses some sort of float. I did catch some on a bobber rig, but the best was free line and drop it right in front of them. Be warned, you will lose setups that way from snagging on the oyster bars, so bring plenty of hooks! I was using 10-pound braid and 30-pound leader with a 1/0 hook which, when you hook into a 35 to 40 inch, 20 to 30-pound drum, it’s quite a battle. At the end of the trip, I guess I hooked into about 15 of those monsters. It’s like hooking into a freight train and at least a 20 minute or more battle. I love the sound of drag screaming! So, head up to Cedar Key. Truly a step back in time with no chain stores and no fast food. I loved it and the laid-back attitude. Bruce Butler of Indian Bay Outfitters is Hernando County’s premier kayak fishing guide with full and half-day charters available. Kayaks, tackle and gear provided. Just bring your lucky hat and a good attitude and be ready to see some pristine shoreline and great fishing. Bruce Butler “Stumbling Gypsy” (352) 428-5347 Bruce@IndianBayOutfitters.com www.IndianBayOutfitters.com

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RECIPE OF THE MONTH SHRIMP SALAD BY: MICHELLE ATKINS • Pinch of jerk seasoning • 1 teaspoon of celery seed Directions:

Ingredients: • 1 pound of shrimp (I use large shrimp) • 2 tablespoons of good mayonnaise (I use Dukes) • 2 celery stalks • Salt to taste

• Place shrimp in a pot of boiling water and cook until bright pink. • Remove shrimp and place in ice water until cold. • Remove shell and devein, cut them into small pieces. • Place in a bowl. • Cut celery into

small pieces. • Add the rest of the seasonings and the mayonnaise into the bowl and mix. • You can adjust any ingredient to taste. It is my favorite shrimp salad recipe.

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4 TAMPA | JULY 2018 | COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

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6/17/2018 3:32:58 PM


BARRACUDA BOB’S CLEARWATER & DUNEDIN

BY: CAPT. JOE LONDOT

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hose of you who read my column know that I am rarely at a loss for words. However, just now, I hardly know where to start, or what to cover, since there’s so much going on out here on the water right now! Here’s just a partial list of what anglers have been catching through the last few weeks, as I write this: • snook • tarpon • redfish

• trout • sharks • pompano • whiting • kings

Tarpon have been ripping baits for anglers right off the beaches, and even off the Causeway, but few are being landed. Anglers simply weren’t prepared to deal with 100 to 200-pound fish with mouths like iron. Getting a tarpon to bite is easy enough: but, if you want to land one of these big boys (girls), you have to be set up with heavy spinning tackle with a 6000 to 8000 class reel, heavy action 7 to 8-foot rod, 30 to 40-pound test braided line, 60 to 80-pound fluorocarbon leader and a razor sharp 6 to 9-ought circle hook. The key here is the razor-sharp hook to set in their mouths; so, if you don’t own a hook sharpener, get one! Serious anglers, and more than a few amateurs, have ben slaying big snook off Hurricane Pass and the gulf beaches. Baits of choice are colossal live shrimp, big grass grunts and big pinfish. Free-line your baits in the current of the pass or the surf and hold on. The snook are really plentiful! Another good spot is the rocks off the north beach on Honeymoon. Just wade out past the rocks and free line a jumbo live shrimp along the outer face of the rocks. Quite a few big kingfish are being landed right off the point at Pet Beach. Just toss a big Threadfin herring or pinfish out about eight feet under a balloon and let the tide take it out. One angler brought a 54-inch monster into Barracuda Bob’s the other day that he had fought on light tackle for an hour. Pompano, whiting, trout and flounder are biting all up and down the beaches of Honeymoon and Caladesi Islands. The bait of choice is small to medium live shrimp tailhooked on a jig head or bottom rig

and bounced along the bottom over the sand bars. The key here is to bounce your bait every so often to create a little jet of sand every time the bait bounces. Everything that moves on that bottom is food to these fish, and everything that moves creates that jet of sand. It drives the fish crazy! Big reds are hitting almost everything they see out there, and the best places to find them are along Edgewater Drive on the Dunedin mainland or on the back sides of the big islands along the mangrove shorelines and oyster bars. Top water baits work wonders early in the mornings in shallow water, but switch to big live shrimp or half a fresh cut pinfish as the sun gets higher in the sky. There’s absolutely no way to cover everything that’s going on around here in this short column, so the best advice I can give you is to stop into Barracuda Bob’s for updated info about where to fish-the best in live, frozen and artificial baits and expert advice on how to best rig for whatever species you want to target. Our crew has their finger on the pulse of the fishing action along our coast, and we are glad to share our best advice with you. We also just took delivery of hundreds of absolutely new closeout rods and reels in every size and weight class and have priced them right to give our customers the best deals possible. If you’ve never done business with us, maybe it’s time you try. We excel at making great anglers out of so-so ones! See y’all on the water! Barracuda Bob’s is your sportfishing headquarters on the Dunedin Causeway and is the big yellow building on the right as you’re heading towards the water. We carry everything you might need to enjoy a day of productive fishing, no matter your targeted species. Our knowledgeable crew is happy to help you get rigged up with the right gear and baits to bust the big one; we’ll even tell you where the fish are biting! Visit us at 240 Causeway Blvd. Dunedin, FL. 34698 (727) 466-1776. Check us out on Facebook or on our website at www.BarracudaBobs.net COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM | JULY 2018 | TAMPA 5

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6/17/2018 3:33:00 PM


SOUTH SHORE TAMPA BAY BY: CAPT. JOEL BRANDENBURG

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his time of year, the bay and gulf waters heat up and so can the fishing. During the heat of summer, focus on shady spots inshore and deep holes offshore. Fish tend to group up in cool water spots. For example, snook and redfish are hanging out under residential docks, mangrove canopies, ledges and boats in marinas. Mangrove snapper, sharks, From left to right: Capt. Joel grouper, cobia, Spanish mackerel, sea Brandenburg of Ana Banana bass, sheepshead, tripletail and other Fishing Company; Gregg Ritz, fish in the bay can be found in deep host of Hunt Masters on the holes, under towers, buoys, shipping Outdoor Channel; and, Jon channel cans, ship docks, reef ledges and weed lines. It’s also a great time of Brunson, host of Addicted to the year to night fish. You can target the Outdoors on the Outdoor gamefish under dock lights and also Channel with a huge cobia find gamefish over lights. When I while filming a show. mentioned over lights, I’m talking about the underwater green lights that sit on the bottom and shine up toward the surface. Gamefish get a little lethargic and lazy when the water temperature heats up. They find places to ambush bait using less activity to attack. Dock lights and under water lights bring in baitfish, shrimp and crabs that show up to feed on minnows, brine and microscopic organisms. Gamefish stalk their prey in the shadows around the light’s glow which makes for an easy kill. Think like a lethargic gamefish when picking your summer fishing haunts, think of places where bait is plentiful and fish in those spots.

Tips on catching lazy fish in warm water: * Chum a lot and make the gamefish hungry and active. I like to call it forcing the frenzy. * Cut the tails off your bait to slow them down. Use scissors to cut the tails off of your baitfish and shrimp. Make it easier for the lethargic gamefish to stalk and kill your hooked bait. * Slow your retrieval down. Give the lazy gamefish a chance to catch up to your hooked bait. Sometimes they’ll watch it for a while before they decide to exert the energy to run it down and eat it. * Use lighter leader, smaller hooks, lighter weights/split shots and smaller bobbers/corks. Try to eliminate anything that may turn that gamefish off. They tend to give up easier in warmer water and they are spookier in warmer water. * Keep the noise down. Use your trolling motor or pole into your spots. Refrain from slamming boat hatches and cooler lids. You can talk as loud as you’d like and even play music. Fish don’t like rap music, I’m guessing it’s the boom of the base. However, they seem to love Lynyrd Skynyrd. Hope these warm water tips will help you have a successful fishing experience. Safe boating and watch out for lighting this time of year. See ya’ll in the line up! For a charter with Captain Joel of Ana Banana Fishing Company call 813-267-4401 or visit www.anabananafishing.com or Find him at Village Marina at Little Harbor under the big yellow Ana Banana sign. For information on Ana Banana Kids Fishing Camp visit www. anabananakidsfishingcamp.com

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6/17/2018 3:33:01 PM


“GONE FISHING” WORDS TO LIVE BY BY: MISTY WELLS

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e are all dreaming of the days when we can just put our email on auto reply saying, “Gone Fishing” and go hit the water. Bass Pro stores are kicking things into high gear by donating to local youth nonprofits and organizations nationwide. Bass Pro has proudly donated over 50,000 rods and reels to help get more kids outside, off the couch and off their video games. Local nonprofits such as mine, A Reel Future, William Dunn’s Take a Kid fishing, Christina Y and many more have been included in this pledge. Did you know that you can take old video games into your local Bass Pro stores and get a credit towards a rod and reel purchase? Summertime is here and all parents are thinking the same thing, “What are we going to do with the kids this summer?” Well, you know what I am going to say, “take them fishing.” Did you know that kids who fish are less likely to get into trouble? There are many benefits to teaching a kid to fish-let me share a few. Number one, you are creating good memories-everyone remembers their first or biggest fish (do you remember what video game you played last?) Kids are also learning patience while they fish--learning what it’s like to work for something like “catching the BIG ONE.” While fishing, kids learn about their outdoor environment, conservation and what to keep or not, (the size and species.) These days, the thing most parents see is the top of their kids heads while they look down at the screen and grunt a reply when you speak to them. Fishing actually opens up real conversations between people--telling fish stories, sharing

memories and connecting. I should also bring up the health benefits of fishing-you are getting exercise and you don’t even realize it, plus it’s fun exercise. One last benefit I am going to share is survival-if they ever go on the show Naked & Afraid, they won’t go hungry. There are so many different kinds of organizations and clubs that teach kids to fish. So, why don’t you find one in your area and volunteer or donate. My nonprofit is called A Reel Future. I have been working with kids in group foster care for over four years and taking them fishing. To date, I have personally gone on every trip for A Reel Future and taken over 2,000 foster children fishing with growing numbers every month. These children have lost the most important thing in their life, their family. They do not have very many good memories, or much to celebrate in their lives; but, through fishing I am replacing bad memories with good memories. Watching these kids catch their first fish, learn how to bait their hooks, laugh and forget about their troubles for a little while is worth all the work, fund raising and time. I feel like all the good that has happened to me in my pursuit of the outdoors has stemmed from the work I am doing with these kids-- and I am loving every minute. Make the commitment. Take your kids, volunteer, donate and be sure to change your auto reply to “Gone Fishing”. Misty Wells is the host of “Let’s Take It Outside” TV show & National Radio show, Outdoor Pro –Writer & Adventure Guide for the Outdoors. Founder of “A Reel Future” a nonprofit organization devoted to sharing knowledge & passion of fishing and the great outdoors to foster kids Statewide. Show info or be a guest go to www.mistywells.com

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PRODUCT SPOTLIGHT

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eating for your kayak or SUP has made another advance with the Aluminum Larry Chair from Vibe Kayaks. The Larry Chair folds down; therefore, it can also travel with you to the beach, camping or anywhere you need portability. There is an optional SUP Seat Strap Kit available for fast and easy installation and removal. Transitioning from sitting to standing is made easy by the 10inch elevated seating position. The anodized aluminum frame and

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6/17/2018 3:33:03 PM


FLATS TO NEARSHORE REPORT BY: CAPT. GARY BURCH

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uly is a very exciting and busy month for catching a number of different fish around the Clearwater and Dunedin waters. Yes, the weather has been downright hot and the water temperature has been on the warm side. But, that does not get in the way of some great fishing my clients will enjoy during the month. This month should produce good catches of snook, redfish, trout, ladyfish and sharks. Be on the look for snook, redfish and trout. So many of my clients want to catch all three on their charter trip and secure the fame of catching a “Slam.” This time of year, look for snook to be on the beaches and in the passes of Anclote, Dunedin and Clearwater. If you search the passes, make sure you check both sides. Some sides will hold the fish better than the others. Look for areas like small docks, rocks and deeper cuts within the shallow water--some grass in the area would not hurt either. The water is so clean, you might be able to spot the fish before you spook them. If so, back off and set up within casting range. A nice 3 to 4-inch green back will be your best bait. Don’t pass up a small pin fish, grunt or large shrimp--they have all caught their share of snook. After taking a photo of your snook, move to the shallow waters and scout for redfish. Use an incoming tide and get near the mangroves and oyster beds. Keep moving as you are looking, because you never know when you might find a

nice school of fish. The redfish have been scattered around and will move daily. Live shrimp and cut white bait will be your prime baits. To find trout--the third catch of your slam--drift the grass flats inside the passes with an incoming or outgoing tide. Fish around 3 to 5-feet of water and have your baits near the bottom. White baits and live shrimp will be your top baits for trout. Don’t forget the artificials, as they work very well on trout. July will turn out to be another great summer month for fishing in the Clearwater/ Dunedin area. It goes to show you that there is a lot of catching going on in the hot days ahead. The most important factor is to follow the tides. Even though the bay water may be 90 degrees, a good incoming tide will refresh and turn the bite on. So, get out there and catch a “Slam.” Have your camera ready to snap a quick picture and release alive. Catching a trophy fish on our pristine waters in July is waiting. 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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WE LOST A GOOD ONE— TWO YEAR ANNIVERSARY BY: CAPT. WOODY GORE

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wo years ago, we lost a really good man. Gregory Patterson, friend and officer with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, was killed Wednesday morning July 13, 2016, while riding his bike along the Courtney Campbell Causeway. He ran over a downed power line. Three years ago, I was fortunate to meet and finally become friends with Officer Greg Patterson. When Greg first showed up in the area, we had several discussions that concluded with a meeting of the minds and a solid friendship. We often spoke at the Gandy ramp, discussing various issues

that usually ended in laughter concerning some silly thing that happened to either one us while on the water. Greg was a stern, but dedicated, officer with genuine concerns for the environment, wildlife, fish and the general public. He strived to stay abreast of changes in public and marine safety and was always there when needed. In June of 2016, I sponsored a fishing event for a group of children named Horses, Inc. This is a 4-H Club for special needs children and an extension of Hillsborough County. Captain Eddie Caldwell assisted me in taking the children fishing. When I mentioned it to Officer Greg Patterson, he was eager to jump on board and showed up with a small alligator, albino possum and a talking crow named, of all things, Eddie. Greg introduced the kids to the alligator explaining that wildlife can be interesting, as well as, dangerous and must be respected. Greg spent all morning helping the kids fish and talking fishing. Greg is missed by me, Capt. Eddie, his family, and others who knew the local hero. Rest in peace my friend, and thanks for your contributions to our world--it was a pleasure knowing you.

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6/17/2018 3:33:05 PM


FRESHWATER FISHING REPORT

LAKE ALFRED, AUBURNDALE, WINTER HAVEN AREAS BY: RON SCHELFO

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uring these hot summer months, we have to try different methods when going after bass. In general, slow way down when working your baits. During the hottest time of the day, you have to fish deeper and during the cooler times in the morning and evening, you should fish along the shore line. My recommended top water bait to use this time of year are Cotton Cordell Pencil Poppers in trout color, Booyah Pad Crasher Frogs, and Heddon Chug’n Spooks in bone color. These are the baits that are working! We’re getting multiple bass reports of 6 pounds and up when using these recommended top water baits. During the hot time of day, we recommend using a Booyah Lipless Crank Bait in royalty color. Let me tell you, this bait works! The majority of our big bass reports are coming in from Lakes Shipp and Summit in the South Winter Chain, and in the North Winter Haven Chain, Lakes Haines and Rochelle in Lake Alfred. It’s still a great time to fish for blue gill and crackers, if that’s what you’re after. The abundance of rain

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is creating favorable running water situations. You will catch your limit! Our weekly bass tournaments are going strong with premium catches reported as shown in the enclosed photo of Big Bass (9 lbs. 11 oz.) and 1st Place Winners, Hagan (BB) and Ron Dowdy, displaying their winning catch (Total 16lbs. 14 oz.) caught on Lake Juliana on Thursday, May 31st. The 20th season of Ron’s Tackle Box Weekly Bass Tournaments is in full swing! Weekly registration is $30.00 per boat (1 or 2-man) and the tournaments run from 6:00 PM to 9:30 PM each Thursday through the end of October. Prizes are awarded for Big Bass and 1st, 2nd and 3rd Place categories. The location each week is not revealed until Thursday mornings and is announced in “The Ledger” and on our FaceBook page. Of course, you may always call Ron at (863) 956-4990 for tournament information and fishing reports. Our tournaments are all around great fun. Come out and join us! 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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PRODUCT REVIEW: SKELETON OPTICS SUN GLASSES BY: MICHELLE ATKINS

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un glasses are critical to protecting your eyes year-round, especially in the summer. I received a pair of Skeleton Optics sun glasses a few months back. I decided that I would wear them for a while before giving them a review. At first look, they are very stylish and I love the tortoiseshell look. They are light enough, fit well and cover my eyes completely, so there isn’t sun sneaking in on the sides. As for the quality of the lenses, all I can say is fantastic! They are crisp, clear and, on more than one occasion,

I have forgotten they are on--that includes being indoors. I thought the other day; how nice it is to not have a headache from the glare that we all get this time of year in Florida. Overall, I would recommend these fantastic glasses to anyone. So, when I do get a compliment (and I do) I say these are Skelton Optics sun glasses. Go check out their website! Michelle Atkins is a contributing writer and editor for the Tampa Bay edition of the Coastal Angler Magazine.

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IT’S PERMIT AND BIG SNOOK FOR ME THIS TIME OF YEAR BY: CAPT. MIKE ANDERSON

The Fisherman’s Candy Store

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ermit and big snook rank right at the top my list of favorite fish to catch in July! Permit can be caught in all Florida waters, as well as, the Bahamas and Caribbean. Here on Florida’s west coast, I target nearshore and offshore wrecks and reefs. Occasionally, we catch them around the passes in May, June and July on the full and new moon tide phases while they search for crabs flushing on the outgoing tides. Stalking permit on the flats is mostly a Florida Keys thing; but, is very exciting and something you should consider doing for sure. P Permit as large as 40 to 50-pounds are possible, with fish in the 15 to 25-pound range much more common. Small live crabs are by far the best bait. Dead pieces of crab will also work and they have been known to take a live shrimp. Small hooks on light leader work best. I use my 30-pound class Bull Bay spinning rods with a fast tip and team it up with a Quantum Smoke 50 spinning reel with 30-pound Spiderwire Ultracast Invisabraid and a 25 or 30-pound fluorocarbon leader. The offshore water in the summer is often times very clean; so, dropping down to even a 20-pound fluorocarbon leader can help at times. You may lose a few; but, getting bit sometimes is the hardest part.

The beach is where I stalk my big snook, as this is the time of year they go there to spawn. Big snook in the 40-inch class are getting harder to catch these days on Florida’s west coast. July on the beach is probably your best bet! Live free-lined pilchards, threadfin herring or pinfish will all work well. Threadfins are my favorite, as the oily flesh seems to really attract the big ones this time of year. Normally, the water in July is very clean; so, try to use as light a leader as you can. A 25 to 30-pound fluorocarbon leader is my normal go to. You want a rod with some back bone, as really big snook will battle you, and the sand-paperlike mouth will wear through your leader. So, getting them to the boat as quickly as you can is a must. Target the passes and areas of good moving water for best results. Add permit and big snook to your summer catch list! They’re both a great fight and will leave you with fish memories for a lifetime! Catch Capt. Michael Anderson every Saturday morning on News CH8 at 6:30am for the Reel Animals Fishing Show, Saturdays for Reel Animals Saturday on 970WFLA from 6:00am to 8:00am and Sunday mornings on AM620 for the TA Mahoney Co. Reel Animals Radio Show from 7am to 9am. Or, to book a trip call 1-866-Gamefish.

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SHORELINE REPORT PASS-A-GRILLE

BY: PAUL PRESSON

Charles Gallo fishes with a Penn Fierce 3000, Penn rod, 15-pound braid, 30-pound fluorocarbon, 1 once weight and a #2 circle hook.

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rom 1000 to 1700 A.D. the Tocobaga Indians hunted and fished the waters of Pass-A-Grille. Spanish explorers anchored off the shore of this island in 1528. Pass-AGrille has been a “go to” destination for anglers for over a hundred years. Legend has it that the island’s name came from the French “passé aux grilleurs”. Translated it means, the passage of grillers, due to the many anglers that camped there years ago. Pass-A-Grille is located at the southern end of St Petersburg Beach. In 1989 the area was recognized as a registered historic site. This quaint beach community

is only one block wide and 22 blocks long. For an area this small, there are quite a few places to fish. The East side of Pass-A-Grille is on the Pass-A-Grille Channel and the Little McPherson Bayou. This area has a sea wall and dock. This is a great place for land-based fishing opportunities. The Merry Pier is also located on the east side and has a bait and tackle shop and deep-sea fishing excursions. To the west of Pass-A-Grille is the Gulf of Mexico. The island boasts a beautiful beach area with a great snack bar. At the south end of the island, there is a very productive jetty. Snook, sheepshead, whiting,

silver trout and a myriad of other species of fish can be landed there. With its fast-moving water, the channel to the south can also yield plenty of species of fish. This is a beautiful area. There are restaurants and shops to enjoy after your day of fishing. Whether it is land-based, surf, wader, yak or boat fishing, Pass-A-Grille is an area that has a lot to offer. 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!

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HERNANDO COUNTY SCALLOP SEASON OPENS

BY: CAPT. JOEL GANT

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hat’s right fishheads, what you’ve been waiting for, “SCALLOPS”. The season opens from the Hernando/Pasco line north, from July 1st until September 24th. For you Pasco folks, after many years of being closed, you can harvest scallops starting July 20th only. I know--only nine days--but, hopefully, longer in the future. The regulation on scallops are: two gallons whole bay scallops in shell or, one pint of bay scallop meat per person; a maximum of ten gallons of whole bay scallops in the shell or, 1/2-gallon bay scallop meat per vessel. As with any species, always check the regulation on myfwc.com. People ask me all the time, “Where are the best spots to get scallops?” Off Hernando Beach, I usually head north towards Chassahowitzka and Homosassa. Once you get north, you will see groups of boats and that’s a good starting point. These waters can be anywhere from 4 to 8-feet deep. Most people use just a mask, fins and a mesh net. Take your time and just look until you see one. Before diving down, look around, sometimes you will see a few more. Always have your divers down flag (it’s the law) and be careful when motoring in to a busy area. Scalloping can be a fun time for the whole family. The gag grouper season has been good.

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These fish are being caught in 15 to 60-feet of water. It seems like the closer-in areas have been fished pretty heavy. You may need to move a little deeper as the season and warmer waters moves the grouper out farther. So, if the fishing is slow at one spot, move to the next. Baits like live pinfish, fresh cut baits or frozen threadfins will usually get the bite going. Tackle should be stout and strong. Use at least 60-pound line with a 7/0 circle hook and enough weight to keep the bait on the bottom. Be ready when these bad boys hit--they will make you go to the chiropractor the next day. You’re allowed two per person, and they must be a minimum of 24 inches. 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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SUMMERTIME SNAPPER BY: CAPT. ANTHONY CORCELLA

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t’s summertime, and that means it’s hot out! It’s hot for us and hot for the fish. Good thing there is an easy answer to the heat--fish at night. The summer months mean nighttime snapper fishing is at its peak. These tasty mangrove snapper will feed ravenously during the night at the local piers, bridges, passes and bay rock piles. While these wiley snapper are known for their keen eyesight, at night they let down their guard and feed like crazy. Top baits include live or cut shrimp, live or cut small pinfish, live or cut small whitebait and other cut baits like bonita or threadfin. Most of the cut baits can be fished on a ¼ ounce jig or, a ¼ ounce knocker rig with a 2/0 circle hook. Fish the live baits on a slider rig with a ¼ ounce slip lead above four feet of 20 to 30-pound

fluorocarbon leader. You might get more bites on the 20-pound but might also be kicking yourself when you get broken off by a keeper grouper, cobia, or an over slot release snook that hunt the same areas as the snapper. If by chance a goliath grabs your snapper, it doesn’t matter either way. The best tide is incoming, carrying the cleaner water. That doesn’t mean you can’t catch a 5-snapper limit on the outgoing tide. The bite is strongest around the full moon, but again, any moving tide will produce fish. As they say, the best time to go fishing is anytime you can go. While the boating angler has more opportunities at bigger fish, land-based fishermen can catch their limits at most local piers or rock lined bridge approaches. The Skyway area is famous for land-based snapper. The lesser known bay rock piles will produce some spectacular fish--many five pound plus fish are caught weekly. Even the public fishing spots will produce a fine dinner’s worth of fish. Bay snapper tackle and set-ups are the same as for trout, reds, or snook. Use 7.5-foot 6 to 12 or 8 to 17-pound class rods, 15 to 20-pound braid on 3000 to 4000 size reels and, 20 to 30-pound fluorocarbon leader. 2/0 to 4/0 hooks

and ¼ to 1-ounce leads (Skyway will need the heavier end) and a ¼ ounce bighead. Snapper are notorious bait stealers. For the first timers, go with cut bait like pinfish or bonita. These baits will stay on the hook longer. Live bait can be king, so always bring as much of a variety as you can. Tight lines and stay cool out there. I can’t predict the bite, but I know the temperature is going to be hot. All the tackle that we mention in this report can be purchased at St. Pete Fishing Outfitters. Now it’s time to take these tips and get out there and fish! What makes our charter service unique is that we cater to disabled veterans and wheel chair bound clients! Our boat is able to accommodate wheelchairs and is ADA compliant. IF YOU’RE A DISABLED VETERAN YOUR TRIP IS FREE!!! This is our way we give back to our veterans. Capt. Anthony Corcella Pocket Change Inshore Fishing Charter 727-432-6446 www.fishtampacharters.com Check us out on Facebook

18 TAMPA | JULY 2018 | COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

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ST. PETE REPORT BY: CAPT. CHRISTOPHER TAYLOR

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he heat is on and so is the bite. July is the month for half-day trips in the morning and long siestas in the afternoon. Many anglers find new friends in cloud cover and light breezes. Knowing the feeding patterns of fish in relation to the time of day and tidal movement is key. Sometimes, during mid-day, when the heat is at its worst, can be the best time to catch them. Many fish will be found on the flats during incoming tides and high water. When the tide starts to flow out, however, focus on deeper cuts and ledges to fish. The snook fishing has been excellent the past month and is expected to sustain that trend. On a fast-incoming tide, double and triple hookups are not uncommon. Most of the snook caught have been smaller at 24 to 28-inches. However, many snook 32 to 38-inches are caught on trips as well. Just a few weeks ago, a client brought in a 40-inch fish. Scaled sardines, and small pinfish are choice baits to use for snook this month. The Spanish mackerel action has also been very good. The bite is hot when the water is moving.

The preferred setting would be low to incoming tide. Popular places for finding Spanish mackerel are around bridges, rock piles, and heavy structure surrounded by open water. The average size of Spanish mackerel being caught are fish in the 12 to 16-inch range. This is a good factor for hungry anglers. When fishing these areas, I recommend free-lining live or cut scaled sardines within the target area or “strike-zone” using 30-pound fluorocarbon leader and a size 1 long shank beak style hook. The addition of a split-shot may be necessary to keep baits in the specific location during stronger tides. The phrase “match the hatch” is a tried and true method used to select the proper bait for fishing any given area. The Tampa Bay waterways are filled with pinfish, and scaled sardines. These palm size bait-fish are great for catching snook, especially when there are many swimming about. Scaled sardines and pinfish can be caught by throwing a cast net or, can be bought at most bait shops. There’s no time like the present to get out on the water and go fishing. Remember to wear sunscreen as the UV rays are in full force. Stay hydrated--it’s hot outside. Captain Christopher Taylor Florida Reels Fishing Charters www.floridareelsfishingcharters.com (813) 220-6135

3450 34th Street North (Hwy 19) Saint Petersburg, FL 33713 (727) 317-4949 www.stpetefishingoutfitters.com

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PASCO COUNTY THE HEAT IS ON

BY: CAPT. BOBBY CARROLL

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he heat is on--both with the weather and the fishing! The key to this time of the year, is to get out early and be back in by the time the sun is at its highest. If you are using live bait, catch your bait as soon as possible, so you can get to your fist spot to have the most production out of it. Snook have been hit or miss on the beach so far; but, I expect once the weather regulates to more of its summer patterns, the fish will be more aggressive. We have been

catching quite a bit of quality snook in the backwaters using greenbacks. Free-line them into the stronger currents and troughs. Redfish have been absolutely on fire! They are schooled up in big numbers when found. It’s not uncommon to have a day of catching 1520 reds in a couple of hours. First thing in the morning, look for oyster bars with depressions around them, along with big schools of mullet. You can also throw cut bait free-lined; or, your favorite baitfish under a cork. Topwater

has been simply amazing at first light. We’ve had great production working across open flats at the low tide. Try fan casting and you’ll get some amazing blasts from these aggressive fish. We’ve seen small schools of tarpon starting to come through lately; but, they’re hard to locate with the windy mornings. Drift a crab or pinfish under a cork in the pass or on the beach. Pair up your line with an 8000 series reel and a heavy action rod. When there’s a slick calm morning, idle around until you see the tarpon rolling. Try to get ahead of the school, setup and wait. It’s challenging, but worth the wait! To book a charter with Captain Bobby Carroll and the Florida Fishing Experience please call (727) 271-3257

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20 TAMPA | JULY 2018 | COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

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THE TWILIGHT VOYAGER BY: PAUL PRESSON

Photo Credit: Travis & Heather Lanphar and Janet Jordan

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MARINE AUDIO SPECIALISTS 4315 W. Osborne Ave. Tampa, FL. 33614 813-876-0373 | www.tampaautosports.com

s she sits at the launch, she is not a thing of beauty, she is a workhorse. Handmade, her original purpose was to be a Jon boat. With aluminum planks from a citrus trailer for structure, her platform will hold steadfast. An engine, generators, a trolling motor and LED lights will power and illuminate this unique vessel through the night. For thousands of years, people have been harvesting fish with the use of bow and arrow. Today, from Amazon Indians traversing creeks and rivers for pacu, to Floridians bowfishing in fresh and saltwater, this is still an effective and exciting way to fish. As the mighty hunters begin to board the vessel, she has no problem with the weight distribution, she was built for this. She motors out to an area she has been a hundred times before. Tonight is a saltwater trip-many nights are freshwater. As she reaches her destination, her motor stops and the trolling begins. Her LED lights illuminate the mangrove-laden waters. With experienced anglers on board, they are aware of the species that are to be targeted and are legal. They all know that water refracts light, so the name of this game is to aim low to hit “the meat” and reel in the reward. As she

makes her way through the night, shots are taken and fish quickly fill the cooler. Nothing will go to waste. If not eaten, it will be used for bait on another outing. Once again, she has had a successful trip. As she heads home, the anglers tell their fishing tales, the coolers are full and she is ready for a good cleaning to get ready for the next “night voyage”. This “fishing machine” is the creation of Travis Lanphar. He has bounced between Michigan and Florida and he loves hunting and fishing. He has created the perfect boat for both addictions. Travis is a bowfishing guide, a gatorhunting guide, and a nuisance alligator trapper. If that is not enough, he also does the five-daya-week grind as a site construction estimator. You will be hard pressed to meet a nicer guy. For more information, contact: Twisted Limbs Bowfishing Facebook page or www. twistedlimbsbowfishing.com 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!

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22 TAMPA | JULY 2018 | COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

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CAPT. SERGIO’S CORNER TAMPA BAY AS I KNEW IT (PART III)

BY: CAPT. SERGIO ATANES what remains of the old pylons left from the loading dock of the BeeLine ferry landing.

Bishop Harbor

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rowing up in Tampa Bay in the 50’s and 60’s had so much to offer when it came to fishing. When we were not going to Boca Grande for the weekends, we spent a lot of time exploring new spots and there were plenty of places to find. In the 50s and 60s, the mindset was to fish offshore and very little attention was given to the inshore areas. Last month, I covered the upper part of the bay in the 50s and 60s. This month I have some stories about how it was in lower Tampa Bay.

Bayside Power Station (Port Sutton Road) We called the area Black Docks-the winter fishing was terrific. The colder it got, the hotter the bite. In those days, we were allowed to fish from the bank or run your boat right up to the hot water runoff. The bank would have elbow-toelbow fishermen catching pompano, redfish, snook, trout, sharks and sheepshead; and yes, sometimes a school of catfish would move in and mess up the bite. I can’t remember the year; but, I do remember the story of an angler falling into the water from the bank and drowning. After that, all fishing from shore was stopped and “No Trespassing” signs were put up.

Bullfrog Creek Crossing

Railroad

There’s a railroad crossing on Bullfrog creek that I remember well. Before there was a catch limit or size on redfish, we would sit next to the crossing and load up on 12-inch redfish all morning long, using fiddler crabs or shrimp. The

last time I stopped by was 10 years ago. An old lady, with her cane pole, was fishing the same spot we used to and had several undersize redfish on a stringer. I walked the area where I saw several large redfish and sheepshead hanging around the pilling. So, I guess the fishing was still pretty good at the old crossing.

Little Manatee River

There used to be a small boat ramp off the old Highway 41 road that took you to the Skyway Bridge. From that ramp we could access the fertile grounds of Bishop Harbor in our little boat. Mariposa Key, at the entrance to the harbor, was a home base for mullet fishermen in the 30’s. To this day, there still exists some of the remains of their cabin and part of the dock. I look forward to hearing from my readers for any fishing stories they have from the 50’s and 60’s fishing in Tampa Bay. Thanks to my uncle, who took the time to teach me how to

fish, he made me the angler I am today. 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

We didn’t fish the area much, since it was a long run for us from the old boat ramp on 22nd street causeway next to the Seabreeze restaurant. When we did make the run, one of our favorite spots was the broken-down bridge area and the mouth of the river. Winter was our most productive time, as during the summer months we were too busy fishing Boca Grande or Courtney Campbell Causeway.

Piney Point In the 40’s through the mid 50’s, there was the Bee-Line ferry that went from Piney Point to Pinellas Point--the original site of O’Neal’s Bait Shop. It was a 69-mile drive down US Highway 41 and this took about 55 minutes to get across. It saved a long drive if you wanted to go from Pinellas to Manatee County. The original two-lane Bridge (currently known as the Sunshine Skyway Bridge) did not open until 1954. The bridge was the downfall of the Bee-Line ferry. The fishing around the docks was fantastic all year round and produced some of the biggest snook and redfish for residents. Still today, in the spring, its one of the best places for large snook--if you can get them out of

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orthern snakeheads are a nasty invasive species, which makes them all the more fun to shoot with a bow and arrow. Andrew Fox, of Mechanicsville, Maryland, spent Memorial Day weekend bowfishing with buddies at Mattawoman Creek in Charles County, Maryland. He came home with a new state record. The trio was out on the water for a few hours the night of May 24, waiting for low tide, but despite the favorable tides, recent rains made visibility nearly impossible. By pure luck, Fox caught a glimpse of a fish illuminated in the glare of the boat’s lights. Thinking it might be carp, Fox said he was slow to respond, but after a few seconds determined it was a snakehead. “That’s the biggest snakehead I’ve ever seen,” said Fox. Pulling back his bow, Fox struck the snakehead and hauled in the monster “frankenfish.” With the snakehead in the boat’s hull, Fox removed the arrow and said, “This might be a new state record.” In fact, it is now the biggest northern snakehead caught in the state of Maryland. Fox’s snakehead tipped the scales at 19.9 pounds with a length of 35.157 inches, breaking a 2-year-old record.

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The team that accumulates the most points for blue marlin, white marlin and spearfish during the event’s three fishing days earns $25,000, while second- and third-place prizes are $10,000 and $5,000, respectively. All billfish must be released, except potentially record-setting blue marlin that exceed 600 pounds. Teams also can enter one fun fish (tuna, dolphin, wahoo or released sailfish) per boat per day for additional points. Marlin division competitors can pay an additional fee to compete for $10,000 in the fun fish division. Cash prizes await anglers who catch the three heaviest dolphin, three heaviest tuna (yellowfin, blackfin and skipjack) and three heaviest wahoo. The Key West Marlin Tournament is to begin with a 4 to 6 p.m. final registration Wednesday, July 18, at the Waterfront Brewery, 201 William St. A captains meeting, auction and raffle are to follow. Fishing is set for 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday and Friday, July 19 and 20, and 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, July 21. Weighins take place after each day’s fishing on the dock behind the Waterfront Brewery. Tournament social events include cocktail gatherings, an island-style pig roast and a fish fry. An awards banquet at the Margaritaville Key West Resort & Marina, 245 Front St., is scheduled Saturday night. Entry fees are $1,800 per boat before June 15 ($2,100 thereafter) for two anglers, a captain and mate to compete in the marlin division and attend social events. Each additional angler per boat must pay $200 to fish. Entry in the fun fish division is an additional $300 per boat. For more information and to register, visit KeyWestMarlin.com.

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egendary author Ernest Hemingway fished for “big game” in Key West waters during the 1930s, and contemporary anglers can follow his lead Wednesday through Saturday, July 18-21. Anglers targeting marlin and other fish are to compete for $50,000 in guaranteed cash prizes in the 2018 Havana Club Key West Marlin Tournament, held in conjunction with the island city’s annual Hemingway Days celebration. The tournament concludes on the 119th anniversary of Hemingway’s birth.

Our stars come out at night.

From bridges teeming with tarpon and snook to swordfish prowling down deep, the night fishing in The Florida Keys is out of this world. In fact, it’s right up there with the daytime fishing, which is nothing short of stellar. fla-keys.com 1.800.fla.keys

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e call them “dinks” here on the Gulf Coast of Texas. They are the spotted seatrout that are undersize or just barely legal. There are many anglers out there this summer who will be happy to catch a limit of trout, even though they are dinks. But there is also a strong contingent of anglers, like me, who would rather catch trout in the Derek Change caught this nice trout 18- to 20-inch or larger range on a TroutSupport GrassWalker lure. or go catch redfish. You can put several things in your favor to help you catch better quality summertime trout. One of those is not fishing too shallow during the heat of summer. The forage better quality trout eat is oxygen level dependent. Species such as glass minnows, silversides and menhaden move deeper in the summer heat. Continuing to fish shallow grass flat edges during July and August is a great recipe for catching smaller-than-average, undersized spotted seatrout. Look for structure that is deeper than 8 feet in your bay system. If it has good current, you’ll find it also has better quality seatrout during the heat of the summer. On rare occasions, a very large trout will be feeding on the small trout and mullet in shallow water. But trying to target fish in this scenario tends to be a Hail Mary more than a good plan, unless it’s an area that typically holds big trout. Big trout can be caught on structure at the edge of deep water pre-dawn until about sunrise, but many will just stay deep during this period. Hunt the fish, and you should have better results. Tobin created TroutSupport.com - Precision Teaching and Tools for Speckled Trout and Redfish.

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WEST COAST FLORIDA

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By CAM Staff

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pring and early summer were good to bass fishermen on Lake Istokpoga. Between February and the middle of June this year, the 27,692-acre lake in Highlands County produced nearly 100 largemouth bass registered with Florida’s TrophyCatch program and weighing heavier than 8 pounds. And that’s only the fish that were reported. There’s no telling how many big bass were actually caught. The highlights this year from the big-bass factory northwest of Lake Okeechobee were two largemouth bass that qualified for Tro-

By Michael Okruhlik Photo courtesy of Controlled Descent Lures.

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he heat this summer has arrived with a vengeance. And for an angler, the best way to beat the heat is to do a little fishing in the dark. Typically, daytime fishing is tough during a full moon. I have not consistently been able to pattern fish during this lunar event, unless it’s at night. The darkness offers two advantages, cooler temps and a way for me to catch fish during what I consider the toughest moon phase. When the subject of night fishing in saltwater arises, it is generally followed by a discussion of lights. PAR 64 1,000 watt or under-

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phyCatch’s Hall of Fame, which means they weighed more than 13 pounds. On March 25, Syl Sims caught a 13-pound, 4-ounce bass from Istokpoga. He caught it with the Enigma fishing rod he won for catching a Hall of Fame bass last year. That fish weighed 13-pounds, 2-ounces and was caught out of Huckleberry Lake in Orlando. The second Istokpoga hall of famer was caught by Adrian “Lunker Louie” Echols, who has 50 bass heavier than 8 pounds and registered with TrophyCatch. Although he has come close before, the 13-pound, 14-ounce fish he caught from Istokpoga on June 6 is his first to qualify for Hall of Fame status. Since TrophyCatch was launched in 2012, there have been 430 TrophyCatch-approved largemouth bass weighing 8 pounds or heavier caught on Lake Istokpoga. A total of 347 fish have been entered into the Lunker Club (8-9.99 pounds), 81 into the Trophy Club (10-12.99 pounds), and Syl and Louie’s Hall of Fame catches make the first two Hall of Fame Club bass caught on Lake Istokpoga. As an integral part of the TrophyCatch program, all of these bass were released, so these trophies still swim in Lake Istokpoga. TrophyCatch Hall of Fame anglers each receive Bass Pro Shops gift cards, Spiderwire merchandise, a custom fiberglass replica mount made by New Wave Taxidermy, an Enigma fishing rod and a plaque from American Registry commemorating their catch. For more information on TrophyCatch, go to www.trophycatchflorida.com. water green lights are two of the most common types anglers use. Although I enjoy fishing with lights, in this column I’m going to cover fishing in the dark. First and foremost, always proceed with caution after the sun sets. This includes boating, kayaking or wading in from shore. Be prepared for the unexpected, let others know your location, bring ample lighting, and make sure your phone is fully charged. I find a headlamp to be ideal, and I can still use it with my head mounted GoPro. Not only does this hands-free light source come in handy for tying knots and unhooking fish, but it also illuminates the area for some cool videos. Another useful tool that helps me find my way back is a satellite map app on my phone. A clear satellite image can lead you back exactly to where you parked. I prefer to do my night angling from a kayak. Although wade fishing is my favorite method overall, I typically stay in the kayak at night to minimize some risk. I like to start excursions in the late evening, when I can still see and get an idea of where the bait is and the type of structure it is holding over. This not only points me to the right location, it also allows me to catch that sunset bite. Being on the water to see the day fade away is a relaxing bonus. As far as lure choice, I avoid treble hooks when fishing in the dark. I like to minimize risks when night fishing, and trebles are two more problems than I need dangling around in the dark. I switch out the trebles on my hard baits to single hooks prior to the trip in case the need arises to throw them. Overall, I prefer to fish weedless soft plastics. Often times, if your lure is not in the grass or touching the shell, you are not catching fish, and fish are what I want to catch, not the structure. Beat the heat this summer by fishing in the dark. It adds a whole new experience to catching! Capt. Michael Okruhlik is the inventor of Controlled Descent Lures and the owner of www.MyCoastOutdoors.com

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UNDER THE SEA 16

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hen diving, your ease of movement sends a message to the inhabitants of the ocean. Move smoothly and easily, and fish will believe you belong there. If your movements are clumsy and erratic, they will be wary of you. How fish react to you is one of the best measures of your diving ability. If they scatter when you get near, you need to work on your body language and kicking technique. Navy Seals are taught that, “slow is smooth, and smooth is fast.” There’s no reason to rush anything. If you slow things down, you will avoid missteps. Not only that, but your breathing and heartrate will be lower, which is a huge advantage in the water. If scuba diving, you will conserve air. If freediving, you will be able to hold your breath longer. In either case, more bottom time translates into higher probability of landing that special fish you are looking for. Besides working on your diving technique, you might want to think about upgrading your fins. They are one of the most important pieces of equipment and will help you move smoothly. There have been many advances in technology in recent years. Fins tend to be lighter and longer, and freediving “longfins” tend to be sold separately. In other words, you buy the foot pockets and the blades from different manufacturers, so you can choose exactly what works for you. Some dive shops will marry the two for you, or you can assemble them yourself using marine glue. When choosing foot pockets, the most important aspects are fit and comfort. When choosing blades, check out the newer carbon fiber materials, which are stronger, lighter and more efficient than plastic. Fiberglass blades are a less-expensive, more-durable option. They both come in different stiffnesses. Firm fins are ¬efficient for going up and down. If diving all day with a lot of surface swimming, then softer blades would be more appropriate. The latest trends are

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toward striking, colorful designs and patterns. After all, we want fins that feel good and look good in our Instagram pics.

Sheri dives with the dolphins. Photo by J. Ferrara.

Tips for Divers: 1. Practice slow and smooth movements, and watch how fish react to you. 2. Observe and imitate someone who is better than you. 3. Have someone videotape you while diving so you can analyze yourself. 4. Do leg-strengthening exercises. The stronger you are, the more effortless your kicking will be. 5. Use long, smooth strides originating at the hip. 6. When ascending, use a dolphin kick, which offers greater streamlining and engages more muscle groups including your core. 7. Make sure you have the right amount of weight so you are not kicking to maintain buoyancy. 8. Use a Lycra or neoprene sock/bootie to avoid blisters. 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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By Richard Matteson

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he surface pops, and I watch my line take off at 25 mph toward the open water. Snook on! This one is the largest of the day, maybe 27 inches, almost a slot. I keep my rod tip down, but she jumps out of the water then runs toward me. By the time I get the slack reeled, she’s past me and jumping again. That was my seventh snook of the morning, and I pulled her up take a photo with my phone before releasing her. I also managed to catch a 5-pound trout that was longer than 24 inches and broke my line as I tried to get a photo before the release. Like Mark Nichols, founder of the Stuart, Fla. lure company D.O.A, I like to wade when I fish skinny water. Whether you have a flats boat or wade, the same shallow-water tactics apply. You gotta put the lure where the fish are, and that day, two of the snook were so far under the mangrove branches that unless you skipped the lure perfectly, you had no chance of catching the fish. Most days I use a 1/16-ounce D.O.A. jig in chartreuse with a 4-inch pearl white paddle-tail. The light jig is best for skinny water because it stays near the top, and that’s what the fish want. You can fish it four main ways: 1) Jig it off the bottom, dead-stick it (let it sit), then repeat. This style of slow jigging works for redfish and trout, but anything will take it. Use this technique if you know fish are in an area or the bite is slow.
 2) Swim the jig. The paddletail will move, and you use a steady slow retrieve, keeping the lure off the bottom. This method is easy, and it’s easy for fish to find the lure. 3) Use the jig like a jerkbait, giving it a lot of action. Pull it up to the top and keep it moving and then stop it so it suspends. This is the style I use most of the time. In this instance, the jig is a search bait. You fish fast and cover a lot of water. 4) Use the jig as a top-water lure. Jerk the jig up to the top after casting and keep the rod tip as high as possible. Twitch the jig on top of the water while reeling in so it can’t fall. This is a technique not many people use in skinny water, and it works very well for getting reaction bites. You’ll miss more fish, but sometimes the splashing on top is what turns the fish on. On my seven-snook day, I caught two in open water. There was a lot of bait, and the trout and snook were in the trough between the sandbar and the shore. Usually the best place to catch snook, reds and sometimes trout is around structure— piers, rocks, walls, docks, boats and mangroves. Two of the snook were in the mangroves, and when you fish under limbs and docks you have to skip the jig by throwing sidearm so the lure skips several times before it stops. If the target is far away, practice skipping nearer to you and bouncing the lure 25 feet on the first skip. It will usually skip again when it hits. Always skip across the shadow or into the shadow and twitch. Usually the fish will be in the shadow waiting for bait to come through. 
I usually skip a lure under piers and out the other side. If you skip under a pier and get a fish on, immediately wade or get on

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the trolling motor to get away from the pier. Try to work the fish i n t o open water quickly. If you can’t get her out or she’s on the other side and the line is moving against the pier pilings, open the bail immediately, let line out and go under the pier. If you’re in a boat, go up to the pier and stick the rod under to the other side to see if you’ll get lucky. If you’re wading, after you go under the pier, you reel up the slack and see if the fish is still on. Many times it still is. This time of the year, head for the skinny water. One foot of water is enough. Richard Matteson is staff writer for the Stuart Rod and Reel Club. He does most of his fishing in the Indian River Lagoon.

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TIPS FROM A PRO

THE NEKO RIG FOR SUMMER BASS

BRANDON LESTER

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’m headed to Pickwick Lake today and have a Neko rig tied on. Don’t know what a Neko rig is? It’s a pretty simple rig that really works no matter where you fish. You’ll probably start catching so many fish with it that you’ll turn pro soon and try to beat me on the Elite Series! OK, maybe I’m exaggerating a little, but it does catch fish—and good ones too. The big bass shown here was one I caught on the rig in the Bassmaster Elite Series event

sluggish bass into biting. As more and more anglers get better at learning to fish offshore, the fish get more and more conditioned and tough to catch. The drop-shot rig was a technique I started to use when fish weren’t biting out deep in recent years. A Neko rig fits into that same category, but I think you can catch bigger fish with it. The main reason for that is you can use bigger worms and bigger hooks. For depths of less than 10 feet, I use a 1/32- or 3/64-size nail weight. Out deep, I go with a 1/16 to 1/8, depending on the depth and current in the lake. The best hook for this technique hands-down is the Mustad Titan X Wacky/Neko hook. Once you get a hook in them on this rig, they don’t come off. I throw the Neko rig on an MHX NEPS 81MXF spinning rod. It is 6’9” with medium action and I pair it with 10-pound Vicious braid and 10-pound Pro Elite Fluorocarbon. The bait of choice the majority of the time is a X Zone Fat Finesse Worm. When I’m out fishing deep on ledges, I’m not afraid to rig up an 8- or 9-inch straight tail worm as well. Green pumpkin works best around beds, and a plum color is good for deeper water applications. Have fun and let me know on social media if this works for you. Facebook – Pro Angler Brandon Lester and Instagram @brandonlesterfishing.

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this year in Oklahoma. From the photo, you can see the bait is rigged wackystyle, with the hook in the middle of the worm. A light nail weight is inserted into the head of the bait, which makes the bait stand on its head when it reaches the bottom. The fish can’t stand it.

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n the 20-year history of the Pompano Beach Saltwater Circuit, only two teams have brought a fish heavier than 80 pounds to the scale. That changed Saturday, June 9, when team No Plan/ Contagious pulled up to the weigh-in on their Mercury-powered 34’ SeaVee with a fish bag that looked like it had a submarine in it. They pulled out a wahoo that tipped the scales at 85.7 pounds— the second largest fish in the history of the PBSC series! In addition to weighing the heaviest fish of the tournament, they also had four

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nice kingfish from 11.9 to 40.3 pounds. The fish netted a total weight of 181.2 pounds that was enough to seal the victory in the 23rd Annual Mercury/SeaVee Pompano Beach Saltwater Slam and a check for $35,808! Team Doing it All/Hard Way, winners of the Saltwater Shootout in May, stayed hot in the Slam with a great catch of four tunas and four kings that tallied 164.9 pounds. Their second-place finish earned a $10,612 check and put them in strong contention in the season-long points race. No Plan/Contagious sits in second for the Showdown Crown points race followed by Gator One in third. The Top 5 in the Slam tournament were rounded out with Living Water in third with 139.6 pounds, followed by O-Sea-D in fourth with 129.6 pounds and Native Son in fifth with 116.4 pounds. Team Going Reel Deep weighed the heaviest kingfish of the tournament at 45 pounds. The big king and their eighth place finish netted them a check for $9,563. Team Offshore Warrior weighed the second heaviest king at 44.4 pounds. Their big king was worth $12,432, including a $7,000 check for the heaviest kingfish weighed by a member of the Southern Kingfish Association. Team Hoke’d Up had the heaviest cobia of the tournament at 34.7 pounds. They were also the top small boat and top non-pro team with total winnings of $4,527. Doing It All/Hard Way had the heaviest tuna at 32.2 pounds and Runnin’ Game had the largest dolphin at 12.7 pounds. The final leg of the PBSC series, the Mercury/SeaVee Pompano Beach Saltwater Showdown is scheduled for Aug. 4. There was no winner for the Pick 3 prize category at the Slam, which means the pot is expected to reach more than $35,000 at the Showdown in August. The Showdown is open to all teams whether they have fished any prior legs of the PBSC series. For a complete list of results from the Saltwater Slam visit www. saltwaterslam.com. To register for the Saltwater Showdown visit www.saltwatershowdown.com.

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By Capt. Randy Cnota

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t all started for me when I began focusing on the big bull reds that prowl the waters around the St. Andrews Pass and the bridges in Panama City, Fla. I knew many of them lurked in those deep waters, and using live bait was usually a sure bet, but I get such a kick out of fooling fish with artificial lures that I had to explore the world of deep jigs like the Shimano Butterfly jig and the Offshore Angler Freestyle jig. When attempting to fool fish holding in water 50 to 100 feet deep, or more, you need a lure that gets down in a hurry. Not many tools can fill this niche, but these heavy, lead, streamlined jigs with the cool paint jobs come through in spades. Equipped with one or two hooks on a short tether, these jigs produce a wild, erratic fluttering on the fall, and when worked correctly, produce an enticing jumping action when ripped up off the bottom with the rod. The action is similar to a spoon more than a conventional jig, and fish of all species fall for it. It’s crucial to team your jig up with a properly rated rod. Deep jigging rods are usually short and work very well, but many rod types will get the job done. Spinning reels work fine, but I’ve found reels built for bottom fishing, like the Shimano Torium, to be my favorite. They’re smooth and fast, perfect for this technique. Spool up with 50• Safer to 80-pound test braid and a shock • Easier leader made of • Better 30- to 60-pound monofilament or fluorocarbon. Typically this is a vertical presentation with your boat positioned right on top of your target. Casting the jig, however, can be a very effective way of targeting fish that may be suspended somewhere in the water column and away from the boat. You can cover a lot of water using these jigs as a searchbait. Cast or drop the jig and let it settle to the bottom.

Then begin pumping it back to the boat. Work it with hard jerks several feet off the bottom, and let it settle on a semi slack line. Usually, a hard jerk works best. This triggers a strike without giving the fish time to think about what it’s looking at. You will feel the strike, and it will likely be on the fall, so hold on! I once had a large fish rip a rod right out of my hand. Down it went, the whole rig. That was a learning moment! Adjust your drag properly. I have experienced several days, both nearshore and offshore, when I caught fish about four to one against my partners using live bait. This is due to the bait’s ability to cover a lot of water in a short time with extremely effective results. I’ve caught reds, grouper, bonito, snapper, Spanish and king mackerel, trout, amberjacks, mahi and more using these jigs. It is an extremely exciting and productive fishing technique; give it a try! Randy “C-Note” Cnota is co-publisher of the Panama City/Forgotten Coast edition of Coastal Angler Magazine and owner of C-note Charters in Panama City, Fla. Check him out at cnotecharters.com.

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here’s no denying the effectiveness of presenting lively, active baits on the surface for just about any predatory offshore species. And kite fishing has to be the ultimate way to do it. With live bait rigs suspended beneath a kite flown off the stern, live baits remain right on the surface, where they are free to skitter and thrash to draw in kingfish, mahi, tuna, sailfish, marlin and just about any other species that prowls the open water. With the leader and line hanging out of the sky, there’s no line in the water to tip-off a hungry predator. It is a presentation that catches a whole lot of fish when practiced correctly. For anyone who has thought of adding kites to their offshore arsenal, Taco Marine has released a video that takes all the complications out of rigging and flying kites. Capt. Mark Henderson, 2008 Angler of the Year on the Yamaha Professional Kingfish Tour, lays it all out while catching kings off the coast of North Carolina. Working with his team, the Liquid Fire Fishing Team, he discusses the benefits of kite fishing, techniques for deploying a kite, what types of rods and reels to use and how to prepare a basic rigging kit. While walking the viewer through the process of launching and rigging his kites, Capt. Henderson shares useful tips such as the best way to rig live baits for kite fishing—with a live bait hook just in front of the dorsal to keep the bait’s nose in the water, and a treble just behind the dorsal for better hookups. He also discusses positioning of kites and rods for more effective line management as well as all the gear one needs to kite fish effectively. The video also features TACO Marine Straight and Offset Trident Rod Holders with a Tool Caddy. These high-polished, aluminum Trident Rod Holders have a detachable tackle tray Tool Caddy designed to conveniently and safely hold fishing gear, including hooks, pliers, knives, rigs, lures, spoons and a beverage. For more information, go to tacomarine.com.

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FRESHWATER

T Buy 3 Bass Bug Poppers Get 1 FREE! Use offer code: ANGLERMAG Offer good through August 2018

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he Surface Seducer Double Barrel Bass Bug is a no-nonsense popper fly designed with one thing in mind—generating a massive pop to trigger attacks from predatory fish! This foam popper fly won Flymen Fishing Co. the Best of Show—Fly Pattern Freshwater award at the 2017 International Fly Tackle Dealer Show and is now better than ever with a new and improved no-epoxy design. This popper is impossible to crack because there is nothing to crack. You can literally hit it with a hammer multiple times and it will still be fishable (we know because we’ve tried). Fishing guides such as Blane Chocklett report catching dozens and dozens of fish on a single bass bug. How does this bass bug take a beating so well? The Double Barrel popper body (also available as a fly tying material) is made of durable, soft EVA closed-cell foam, which means it will never get saturated with water. It is made to catch fish over and over and over again. Because it cannot become waterlogged, it remains lightweight and easy to cast. The Surface Seducer gets its powerful popping action from the deep front cup and extended top lip of the foam Surface Seducer Double Barrel popper body, which allows you to effortlessly trigger loud pops with strong splashes when working your fly. If you’d like to fish the Bass Bug, it’s available at fly shops, at retailers such as Bass Pro, and at www.flymenfishingcompany.com. Flymen is running a promotion exclusively for Coastal Angler and The Angler readers. Enter the code ANGLERMAG at checkout on the Flymen website to get a free Bass Bug Popper when you buy three. Don’t wait! This promotion is only available through August.

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PRODUCT SPOTLIGHT Popticals Sunglasses There is a $200 piece of equipment every angler needs. It is indispensible to our sport. Yet we store this expensive piece of equipment in unsafe ways. Breaking a $200 fishing rod after less than a year of use would be a major loss. Why do we treat our high-quality sunglasses like they are disposable? The answer: because there’s no easy, safe way to store sunglasses. Popticals has come up with a new solution to this dilemma that has frustrated anglers since the first pair of polarized sunglasses fell off someone’s head and sank into the depths. Popticals’ innovative new FL2 Micro Rail system allows you to fold your glasses down to fit into a compact protective case. Sure, all high-end sunglasses come with a case. No one uses them. They are bulky, inconvenient and don’t fit in your pocket. As a result, those highperformance lenses get scratched up or lost when they fall from the front of your shirt or fly off the top of your head. Popticals are different. The slim case slides easily into your pocket, or you can clip it with the included carabiner to the T-top. Because it is easier to take care of them, Popticals might be the last pair of sunglasses you’ll ever need to buy. Popticals are also high-quality sunglasses. With NYDEF nylon lenses manufactured by Carl Zeiss Vision, they provide all the clarity of glass and weigh 18 percent lighter than polycarbonate. In optics, they outperform the market’s premier brands. When you’re tired of looking through scratched lenses and replacing expensive sunglasses, give Popticals a try. You’ll be glad you did.

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he oldest fishing tournament on the Gulf Coast, The Deep Sea Roundup will return July 12-15 to the Texas Gulf Coast to celebrate its 83rd year. Hurricane Harvey roared into the Coastal Bend last year and left its mark on Port Aransas, but the PABA will hold the 2018 Deep Sea Roundup with the help of volunteer and the community fishing spirit. The Deep Sea Roundup began in 1932 as the Tarpon Roundup and has grown from a handful of Port Aransas fishing and hunting guides pitting their skills against one another to the largest family fishing tournament on the Texas Gulf Coast. The Roundup attracts anglers of all ages and skill levels, drawing over 800 contestants annually. The Deep Sea roundup is a volunteer effort that includes the chairmen, judges, dockmasters, master of ceremonies, weighmasters, photographers and more. This year’s tournament will include a silent auction for the Port Aransas Volunteer Fire Department, benefiting those firefighters who lost equipment during Harvey. As part of the Rebuild Texas Project, Tito’s Handmade Vodka has entered the tournament and will support the cause through both monetary and silent auction donations. Deep Sea Roundup includes Offshore, Bay Surf, Fly Fishing and Junior Division plus a free Piggy Perch contest for the little guys and gals. The historic fishing tournament is a weekend filled with great food, fun and some of the best fishing in Texas! For more information, go to www.deepsearoundup.com.

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FLY FISHING

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t’s summertime, and that means mako sharks on the fly in southern California! If you ever get a chance to try it, mako sharks are the premier summertime gamefish off our coast, and being able to sight fish a fly to them is an experience like no other in fly fishing. Here are some suggestions on tackle and flies to get you into the Mako shark game. Rods The fly rod used when mako shark fishing is more a fish fighting tool rather than a casting tool. Fly rods in the 12- to 15-weight range are what I recommend. These rods easily cast a large fly and have enough lifting power to fight a mako shark from deep water. For larger makos, I use one-piece custom rods that are 7 ½ feet to 8 feet in length and can cast a fly to 30 feet quickly and accurately. They are great fish-fighting tools, especially for makos in to 200- to 400-pound range. Reel The drag system must be able to apply at least 18 pounds of drag pressure at its maximum setting. Most fly reels used in the saltwater these days are designed to apply up to 20 pounds of drag pressure. The reason you want a reel to have this amount of drag pressure is to be able to apply maximum pressure on the fish when it is swimming away from the boat and during the final moments of the fight. You want to be able to “lock down” on the mako and hold it at the boat so you can get a quick release. If the drag is too light (not enough drag pressure), you will never get the mako to the boat. Line retrieval The rate at which the fly line can be retrieved depends on the size of the reel’s arbor. The larger the arbor, the more line you can retrieve in one revolution of the fly reel spool. I recommend using the largest arbor reel possible. Many fly reel companies make reels with large arbors specifically for big saltwater gamefish like makos, tuna and marlin.

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Flies The flies I use for mako sharks are large-profiled flies with a foam popper head. These flies are typically 8 to 12 inches long and tied on plastic tubing. I prefer tube flies because they are able to slide up and down the steel leader, saving the fly from getting eaten up by the shark. My hook size varies from 6/0 to very large 10/0. As for fly colors, red/orange combo is what I like best. This color combo is easy to see in tough lighting conditions. However, I will have one rig with a different color fly. The reason I do this is if the mako gets turned off by the red/orange color combo, a change in fly color can get the mako to react to a different color fly. Now go catch some Makos on the fly!!

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$

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Item 64033 shown

99

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At Harbor Freight Tools, the “Compare to” price means that the specifiIed comparison, which is an item with the same or similar function, COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM JULY 2018 I NATIONAL 33 was 900 Stores Nationwide or HarborFreight.com advertised for sale at or above the “Compare to” price by another national retailer in the U.S. within the past 90 days. Prices advertised by others

*Original coupon only. No use on prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase or without original receipt. Valid through 11/1/18.

CANGL_NAT3-NAT42.indd 33

may vary by location. No other meaning of “Compare to” should be implied. For more information, go to HarborFreight.com or see store associate.

6/18/18 6/4/18 2:59 1:09 PM PM


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34

NATIONAL

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COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

CANGL_NAT3-NAT42.indd 34

6/18/18 2:59 PM

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