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HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE

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12 DAYS OF

FISHMAS GIVEAWAY VOLUME 23 • ISSUE 274

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A V A I L A B L E

DECEMBER 2017

W O R L D W I D E

11/15/17 10:15 AM


SUZUKI MAKES IT

EASY AS

1-2-3

The leaves might be falling, but the deals are just starting to spring up at your Suzuki Marine dealer. Make your best Fall Boat Show deal on a new Suzuki outboard from 25 to 300 horsepower and take advantage of not just one, but all three special Suzuki offers. See your Suzuki Marine dealer today and get on the water with a powerful, reliable new Suzuki.

REPOWER FINANCE

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

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

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

Gimme Six Extended Protection promo is applicable to new Suzuki Outboard Motors from 25 to 300 HP in inventory which are sold and delivered to buyer between 9/01/17 and 12/31/17 in accordance with the promotion by a Participating Authorized Suzuki Marine dealer in the continental US and Alaska to a purchasing customer who resides in the continental US or Alaska. Customer should expect to receive an acknowledgement letter and full copy of contract including terms, conditions and wallet card from Suzuki Extended Protection within 90 days of purchase. If an acknowledgement letter is not received in time period stated, contact Suzuki Motor of America, Inc. – Marine Marketing via email: marinepromo@suz.com. The Gimme Six Promotion is available for pleasure use only, and is not redeemable for cash. Cash Rebates apply to qualifying purchases of select Suzuki Outboard Motors made between 9/01/17 and 12/31/17. For list of designated models, see participating Dealer or visit www.suzukimarine.com. Customer and participating Dealer must fill out the appropriate rebate form at time of sale. Cash rebate will be applied against the original dealer invoice (Suzuki will credit Dealer parts account). There are no model substitutions, benefit substitutions, rain checks, or extensions. Suzuki reserves the right to change or cancel these promotions at any time without notice or obligation. * Financing offers available through Synchrony Retail Finance. As low as 5.99% APR financing for 60 months on new and unregistered Suzuki Outboard Motors. Subject to credit approval. Not all buyers will qualify. Approval, and any rates and terms provided, are based on credit worthiness. $19.99/month per $1,000 financed for 60 months is based on 5.99% APR. Hypothetical figures used in calculation; your actual monthly payment may differ based on financing terms, credit tier qualification, accessories or other factors such as down payment and fees. Offer effective on new, unregistered Suzuki Outboard Motors purchased from a participating authorized Suzuki dealer between 9/01/17 and 12/31/17. “Gimme Six”, the Suzuki “S” and model names are Suzuki trademarks or ®. Don’t drink and drive. Always wear a USCG-approved life jacket and read your owner’s manual. © 2017 Suzuki Motor of America, Inc.

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

HOW WOULD YOU LIKE TO RUN A FISHING MAGAZINE? We have Franchise locations available in these areas:

FLORIDA

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

SOUTHEAST

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

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

GULF COAST

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

Existing locations: • Greenville/ Spartanburg, S.C. • Destin/Pensacola, FL • Daytona, FL • Miami, FL • Southwest Georgia • Morehead City, N.C.

Brown Trout

on the Move

Icelandic

Salmon Adventure

Local

Fishing Reports Catch Photos News & Events PHOTO COURTESY OF ANDY DELLIVENERI VOLUME 23 • ISSUE 272

F R A N C H I S E

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PENSACOLA/DESTIN/EMERALD COAST EDITION

The Drums Of Houma, La.

New locations: • Raleigh, N.C. • Middle Tennessee • Hilton Head, S.C. • Coastal Georgia • Corpus Cristi, TX

Winter

Chrome In Upstate N.Y.

Local

Fishing Reports Catch Photos News & Events PHOTO COURTESY OF FISHING ADVENTURES WITH BRITTNEY VOLUME 22 • ISSUE 264

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JANUARY 2017

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UPSTATE SOUTH CAROLINA EDITION

Best of ICAST Guide To Adirondacks Bass

Don’t see your area? Call for more information. We are looking to expand throughout the continental US and beyond.

Local

Fishing Reports Catch Photos News & Events

Alaska's Best Fishing Destinations PHOTO COURTESY OF LOUIS TORRES OF LOUISTORRESPHOTOGRAPHY.COM VOLUME 23 • ISSUE 270

F R A N C H I S E

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AUGUST 2017

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GREATER MIAMI EDITION

Fall's Topwater Bonanza No-Pressure Grouper

1-888-800-9794

Local

info@coastalanglermagazine.com

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Fishing Reports Catch Photos News & Events PHOTO COURTESY OF CRYSTAL LAFOSSE

© 2017-2018. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written consent of the publisher. Disclaimer: Coastal Angler Magazine / The Angler Magazine will not be held liable for injuries incurred while partaking in activities described herein, or for claims made against products or services provided by advertisers.

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Banging

GREAT LAKES

PUERTO RICO/VIRGIN ISLANDS : Ace Bassue • (407) 285-9453 • ace@coastalanglermagazine.com COSTA RICA : Mike Erickson • (561) 262-2242 • mike@coastalanglermagazine.com

OCTOBER 2017

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

INTERNATIONAL

FREE

SW GEORGIA/EAST ALABAMA EDITION

VOLUME 23 • ISSUE 271

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DECEMBER 2017

SEPTEMBER 2017

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GIFT IDEAS FOR ANGLERS

C

heck out these great gift ideas for the outdoor enthusiast on your holiday gift list. These local merchants are available to ensure your holiday gift giving satisfaction. We always try to encourage our readers to shop locally. It’s our community and we all benefit from supporting our local businesses. They’re here for us all year long and our personal convenience depends on their sustainability. Tell them Coastal Angler/The Angler Magazine sent you. By the way, if you see something here that you wish could be under the tree with your name on it, just take out a marker and circle it. Then leave this page open for your friends and family to see. Yes, crude but effective. Happy Holidays from all of us at Coastal Angler/The Angler Magazine.

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Gifts for Anglers

GET A GRIP • Safer • Easier • Better

A perfect gift for your favorite angler!

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The Fish Grip is a fish landing device that was developed by avid anglers. The goal was to find a safer way to land a fish — safer for the fish AND the angler.

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SOFGRIP Fillet Knives.

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Gifts for Anglers No More Fish Baskets or Foil! The GrillGrate surface coupled with the GrateTool™ makes lifting & turning fish a snap. Sits on top of any grill.

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©2017 Popticals® • All Rights Reserved • Patent No. 8376544, 8915586, 9310623, additional patents pending.

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Gifts for Anglers

THE XTREME 20 BOAT, MOTOR, TRAILER

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DECEMBER 2017

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Gifts for Anglers

EXPERIENCE THE

FIGHT! Full Variable Speed Control Powerful Brushless Motor Retains Handle Function Digital Line Counter Auto Stop, 12/24VDC Compact & Sleek Design

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PRODUCT SPOTLIGHT PROSHOT CASE With the new ProShot phone cases, there’s no need to ever worr y about dropping your expensive iPhone in the water again. It’s so waterproof, you could even star t using your iPhone to take under water photos of the fish you catch. That’s the idea. It turns your iPhone into an under water camera. The ProShot Touch provides full touch screen access. Rated to 50 feet, it’s the most waterproof touch screen case ever invented. With designs to fit iPhone 6s, 7s and 8s, it is also compatible with all GoPro mounts and includes an optical grade wide angle lens. Think of the cool release photos and videos you could capture using just your phone. For those who desire to take their iPhones a lit tle deeper, divers should take a look at the new ProShot Dive. It turns your iPhone into a dive camera that’s waterproof to 130 feet. This case was designed for SC U B A divers, and it is ex tremely durable to handle the most rugged conditions. The ProShot Dive does not allow touch screen access, so the ProShot Case A pp was developed for full camera functionalit y. It, also, is compatible with GoPro mounts. If you have an iPhone, you’re already carr ying amazing photographic capabilit y in your pocket. For a small fraction of the cost of traditional under water camera equipment, you can turn your phone into a fully functional waterproof camera that’s as bombproof as phone cases come.

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Fish the Phenix Rods East Coast Legends

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Make reel memories.

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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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FLORIDA

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THE ALTERNATIVE TO BUYING A NEW BOAT

Performance Bulletin Available

Suzuki Repower Centers are stationed around Florida to help with your Suzuki service and repower needs.

Lou’s Marine, Inc. Gulf Breeze

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Oyster City Suzuki

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Mastry Engine Center’s 54 years of repower experience now combined with Suzuki outboard motors.

COMING SOON Mastry Engine Center St. Petersburg

Repower packages designed to best fit your needs and not stretch your budget. Financing available.

Bayfront Yacht Works Sarasota

Calusa Certified Marine

All Suzuki repowers come with Suzuki’s “Gimme Six!” 6-year protection.

Cape Coral

Marina One Deerfield Beach

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Boat Services Group Key West

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PRODUCT SPOTLIGHT KLUCH HARPOON COLLECTION Check out the latest collection from Kluch Apparel. Introducing the harpoon collection, inspired by of fshore anglers chasing swordfish on hot days and throughout the night. The harpoon shor t sleeve is available in cardinal or indigo spor ting a light weight print on blended fabric.

When you upgrade your outboards at a Mastry Suzuki Repower Center, you have chosen the best 4-stroke technology available. Plus, you receive the exclusive Owner’s Edge advantage, the benefits of which include:

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SOUTHWEST FLORIDA

By Capt. Cefus McRae, Nuts & Bolts of Fishing Series

I

spend a lot of time on the water, but I still get excited every time I go fishing. The thrill of feeling the strike and hearing a drag sing, and ultimately landing the fish puts a smile on my face that’s hard to wipe off. Years ago, a great friend and charter captain from Steinhatchee, Fla., Capt. Brian Smith, invited me to go on a “thrill fishing” trip. I didn’t know exactly what that meant, and I had certainly never caught a “thrill” fish. Was it some newly discovered deep-water species? As Capt. B explained, the objective was to simply go have fun and experience the thrill of fishing again. We weren’t focusing on

a particular fish or even a particular style of fishing. We were out there to have fun. When I thought about it, this made perfect sense. A lot of us have forgotten the thrill of fishing. We’re so wrapped up in competing in a tournament. Or we’re too serious about catching fish because it’s the only weekend we have to get away. We become so focused on fishing that we forget to have fun. That thrill-fishing experience with Brian brought things back in to perspective. Thrill fishing is pretty easy, especially in a salty environment because the variety is tremendous. You set out a trolling spread of natural and artificial baits and wait for a rod to bend. There’s typically something out there eager to play. One of my favorites is the under-appreciated bonito. When they’re schooling, you can catch them on just about anything shiny that makes a commotion. And they put up a fight that equals a fish twice their size. They are an absolutely beautiful fish, although not at the top of my list for table fare. Enjoy the fight, take a photo, and send them back to the briny depths. Barracuda also rate high on my thrill-fish list. They will eat just about anything, and they are quick to take a trolled lure like a big tube eel. They jump, they tug hard, and there’s the excitement of having something toothy at the boat. Now, thrill fishing doesn’t necessarily mean you’re after “trash fish.” Big grouper will rise off the bottom and attack a big diving plug. It’s kind of like opening presents at Christmas, you don’t really know what might be in the box. It’s all about the experience. This is especially true with kids, or with folks who don’t fish very often. With a crew of kids, the most fun of the day can be when we’re catching bait. A four-inch pinfish is a trophy to a five year old, and a foot-long blue runner is a monster. As many of us know, attitude plays a large role in how your day on the water goes. Since that eye-opening trip with Capt. Brian, I am continually reminded that fishing is as much about the thrill as it is about what you put in the cooler. Capt. Cefus McRae hosts the TV show Nuts & Bolts of Fishing on Fox Sports South.

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or some time I’ve been interested in how fishermen in different times and places fish. I’d like to think I can become a better angler by looking at different cultures and time periods, maybe learning from successful practices around the world and avoiding those that don’t work. Some time ago in this column, I wrote about the fish wheels that natives in Alaska use and suggested other fishermen could employ such wheels in rivers all over the country. This time I’d like to discuss a really unusual type of fishing: from stilts. The Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO) tells us that the world has around 38 million fishermen, including commercial fishermen. I also learned that fisheries and aquaculture operations provide employment to over 500 million people in developing countries. That figure does not include recreational fishermen. The attached photo of stilt fishermen in Sri Lanka by Bernard Gagnon depicts a scene that a lot of us have never seen in person. The fishermen patiently sit on their stilts waiting for the fish that they expect will pass by them in the shallow waters below or over the coral reef. The practice goes back about seven or eight decades and doesn’t seem to have evolved too much. It seems to have begun during World War II, when overcrowded conditions and food shortages forced enterprising fishermen to try different methods of catching fish. After using the wrecks of downed airplanes and capsized ships from which to cast their lines, the men actually built their first stilts over the coral reefs,

which provided a sturdy base on which to build their flimsylooking wooden mini-towers. Or they thrust their poles deep into the sand beneath the water and tied a cross bar to the vertical pole. They would then carefully climb up poles and perch in what seems like a precarious position. The fishermen go out at dawn and dusk, cast their lines into the water, and wait for the passing schools of fish. Lucky anglers can catch herring or mackerel passing by, but the occasional monsoons and tsunamis have altered the coastline too much to make stilt fishing very viable today. It’s true that some of the local fishermen pose on the stilts for camera-toting tourists, especially when the fish are not running or when the threat of monsoons might drive away the fish and the anglers. The practice will probably die out because it is so hard and has diminishing results as the ocean there changes and as villagers move inland to get away from tsunamis. I doubt if the practice of stilt fishing will catch on in Florida, but I still find it useful and informative to see how anglers throughout the world fish. Kevin McCarthy, the award-winning author of “South Florida Waterways” (2013 - available at amazon.com for $7), can be

reached at ceyhankevin@gmail.com.

For more on Kevin McCarthy, go to

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Tales from the Tupperware Navy By: Bruce Butler

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i once again Yak fans, and welcome to December. Wow, another year bites the dust! Time for Christmas cheer and those great winter tides, and presents! Personally, I’ve received so much coal, I bought a Ben Franklin stove. If my wife reads this, I’d like a new kayak. Hint hint. All right, enough of this. Let’s talk about Ozello, located just north of Homosassa in Citrus County. You take Hwy 19 to Ozello Trail (turn at the Circle-K) and head west almost nine miles. Ozello has been featured in just about every fishing show out there, and rightfully so. Ozello is rated as one of the top fishing spots in the state, and it’s right in our backyard! When you go, there are several spots to put in. The first is off Ozello Trail on John Brown Rd. It’s a primitive ramp on the left hand side. This spot will take you on the inside, and provide some great spots for Reds back in the creeks. But, a couple of words of warning about this ramp; there have been several reports of vandalism in the past. Also, it is recommended that you take a GPS, as this area can be a bit confusing. If you don’t have a GPS, then watch your compass and landmarks. Then, continuing on down John Brown Rd. to the end, you come to a pier on the St. Martins river. This is pretty much a kayak spot--no real ramp. I’ve found the best bite on the outside and back in the coves. The next spot is at the end of Ozello Trail and is my favorite spot to put in. This is located by an old “den of iniquity” called Pirate’s Cove. While it is now closed, I would liked to have seen it back in the day. OK. From the parking area (which by the way has always been safe) you put in and have miles of outstanding fishing and touring spots. If you head east, you will find several creeks, islands

and oyster bars with nice deep cuts. The area varies from flats to rocky bays. Again, a good area to take a GPS or compass, as it is confusing. All of the areas around Ozello seem to grow some truly magnificent Reds. They tell me it has nothing to do with the proximity of the Power Plant. Going to the west and north, you have the Gulf and some beautiful grass flats, as well as, many islands. Fishing the cuts and channels and the honey holes in the flats, can be very productive, as well as a scenic paddle. So why does one even go to Ozello? Well, besides the already mentioned Reds, Ozello has great Trout, Cobia and Sea Bass. It even offers spots to fish for inshore Grouper, in the springs and out in the bays. What more could you want? So, if you’ve just started kayaking or you’re an old hand looking for a new spot to try, I would highly recommend a trip or two to Ozello. This is one of the spots that I guide in, and have some nice pictures on my web site from there as well. I’ve also filmed these areas with Glen Pla several times for bright house networks’ The Average Angler Adventures. I want to take a moment to wish us all a happy and healthy holiday, a prayer for our men and women in harms way, and wish each of you good fishing and good luck. Well, once again, time to hit the water for this month. Coming up, more great Nature Coast destinations. Bruce Butler “Stumbling Gypsy” (352) 428-5347 Bruce@IndianBayOutfitters.com www.IndianBayOutfitters.com

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Barracuda Bob’s

Clearwater & Dunedin

By: Capt. Joe Londot

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egardless of which way the weather turns, December always means great fishing along the Dunedin Causeway, Clearwater Bay, St. Joseph Sound and our three barrier islands; Caladesi, Honeymoon and Three Rookers islands. As the water cools into the 60’s the bite for many inshore species like Speckled trout, sheepshead and flounder really picks up. This month we will also see the return of hard fighting Silver trout to our grass flats, and redfish will be patrolling the mangrove shorelines and oyster bars along the mainland shores as well as the insides of the barrier islands. You don’t have to have a boat to catch your share of any of these fish, as they will make their presence known near the Causeway shores and around the two bridges. Shore anglers can extend their range to reach even more productive fishing areas by simply donning chest waders to keep out the cold and wading the shallows along the Causeway. The north side of the Causeway is all lush grass flats that hold plenty of Speckled and Silver trout. Wearing polarized sunglasses makes it easy to target the sand spots and edges of the grass, and this is where I like to cast my baits. A big live shrimp or a Gulp shrimp tail pinned under a Cajun Thunder popping cork are two great ways to find keeper fish. Just remember, if you get into a bunch of smaller fish it’s time to move a couple of hundred yards down. Little trout don’t hang with the big boys, because the big ones will eat them! For flounder and reds, the south side of the Causeway is where you want to be, as the bottom is mostly sand, gravel and rock. Here I like to tail-hook a big live shrimp on a 1/4 oz. jig head (just remember to pinch off the fan of the tail first). I cast out every five degrees from left to right, let the weighted jig hit bottom and then jig it back in using short hops and letting the bait rest for a few moments. With every hop the rig puffs up a little jet of sand that fish key on and the tail-hooked shrimp looks

perfectly natural jetting backwards to escape predators. Sheepshead can be found in good numbers around rock piles, oyster encrusted dock and bridge pilings, and shore bulkheads. While sheepshead will readily take a live shrimp, my favorite bait for these tasty beauties is a live fiddler crab pinned under a popping cork or on a jig head. The floating rig reaches the fish high in the water column and the jig rigged bait will nail the bottom feeders. Offshore there will still be some kingfish hanging around, but the big story here is grouper. As the water cools grouper move closer to shore and can be nailed in as little as ten feet of water. Target wrecks, ledges and rock piles for Gags and hardbottom areas for Red grouper. December is when I like to break out my big diving plugs and troll them behind the boat. I generally start in about 20 feet of water and work my way to 30 feet. Whenever I get a hit on the trolling lures I throw out a marker and go back to study the bottom on my fish finder and drop live baits down wherever I find structure. No matter what type of fishing you plan to do, for the best in frisky live baits, including shrimp, pinfish and fiddler crabs, and to get the lowdown on hot fishing spots in our area, make sure to stop into Barracuda Bob’s on the Dunedin Causeway. Our friendly and knowledgeable crew can help make your fishing trip more fun and productive! Barracuda Bob’s Island Surf & Sports is located at 240 Causeway Blvd. Dunedin, FL 34698. We are the last building on the right before crossing the Causeway to Honeymoon Island. Barracuda Bob’s offers the best in bait and tackle, beach and water toys, kayak and paddle board rentals and much more! Check us out on Facebook or see our website at www.BarracudaBobs.net COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM | DECEMBER 2017 | TAMPA 3

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By: Capt. Joel Gant

Hernando County ‘Tis the Season

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hat’s right, it’s that time of year again, a chill in the air, decorations being hung, Christmas trees up and one of the best fishing times of year. The water temperature has dropped and the fish are eating. From offshore to inshore, the bite is great. On recent trips we have been getting some nice numbers and sizes of gag groupers. With the season ending at the end of this month, now is the time to get out and test your endurance and gear. The size limit is still 24 inches and two per person.

There are many different ways to target these hard fighting fish; most anglers will anchor on structure and bottom fish. Everyone has their own way of gearing up for bottom fishing. I like to use a conventional reel with at least 60 pound mono, about a four ounce egg weight and a 7/0 circle hook (you have to use circle hooks when reef fishing). Baits can range from live baits, frozen or cut baits. Sometimes the bite will be quick or you may need to be patient. Chumming can also turn a slow bite into a feeding frenzy. One of my favorite ways to target grouper is to troll for them. Pick a diving lure that matches the depth your fishing. On charters, this is a good way to kick back and enjoy the anticipation of the drag screaming strike. If the grass is thick on the surface, this can be a difficult method. With the cooler water the grouper will move in closer to shore. A solid grouper on a light inshore spinning outfit can be great fun, make sure your rods are geared up and ready to go. Another species to target offshore is the

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mangrove snapper. Snappers like structure, such as rock piles. Use lighter gear like you would use for inshore snappers. A small hook or a jighead tipped with a piece of shrimp will put a few fish in to the boat. The size limit on these fish is 10 inches in state waters and 12 inches in federal waters. You’re allowed to keep five fish per person. Inshore fishing is also on fire; redfish and trout are moving into the backwater flats. Live shrimp, creek chubs, pinfish or artificial lures are working well on these fish. There are also reports of nice snook being caught in our area. Target the shorelines with any type of structure around it. Always remember fish are structure oriented. 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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Call: (813) 973-7132 Email: atanes@msn.com

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

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

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11/14/2017 5:02:41 PM


Freshwater Fishing Report

By: Ron Schelfo

Lake Alfred, Auburndale, Winter Haven Areas

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pec fishing is on! If you enjoy fishing for specs, this is the time of year to get out there and do it! We are getting reports of a record number of pound to pound and a half specs being caught. Our best reporting lakes at this time are Lakes Haines, Rochelle and Alfred here in Lake Alfred. The best baits are still live minnows, but using ice jigs may also bring you good results. If you’d

like to mix it up, another recommendation is to try using a silver spoon. Find which method works best for you. Prime season for specs should run now through the end of March. Remember, as the weather gets colder, specs are getting closer to the shoreline so try fishing from some of the docks and fishing piers available at many of our area lakes. If you prefer boat fishing, try fishing the canals. The water gets colder in the canals first and provides favorable conditions for both spec and bass fishing. Stop in and see me for directions and current information anytime! Bass are in their pre-spawning season and are looking for food. Now is the time to snag those big ones! All of our area lakes are offering great bass fishing at this time, if you want to catch a big one; our all-time recommended best bait is still the Booyah Lipless Crank Bait in royal color. Using a very large worm or crawfish imitation

will also do the trick, the bigger the bait, the better your results here. We don’t have tournament photos to share this month, but we always like to support our young anglers in the making. The photos are of Johnny Withem (age 6) and dad, Anthony. According to dad, Johnny takes his fishing very seriously and is extremely proud of his first bass which weighed in at four pounds, caught on Lake Howard in October and a nice Catfish that weighed in at six pounds and was caught on Lake Surveyor in November. Good job Johnny, keep it up! Our 19th season of Ron’s Tackle Box Weekly Bass Tournaments is now finished and will not begin again until April 2018. We want to thank everyone for another great season; we appreciate all of our faithful anglers and friends, many of which have participated for all of those 19 years. See everyone next season! Ron Schelfo, Owner RON’S TACKLE BOX, LLC 380 S. Lake Shore Way Lake Alfred, FL 33850 (863) 956-4990 www.ronstacklebox.com “Catch” my Weekly Fishing Report every Saturday (6-8 AM) on 970 WFLA

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11/14/2017 5:02:42 PM


Shoreline Report

By: Paul Presson

War Veterans’ Memorial Park

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he War Memorial Park is located in Bay Pines (St. Petersburg) adjacent to the C. W. Bill Young Veterans Hospital. The land, 122 acres on Boca Ciega Bay was donated as surplus federal property in 1963. Some of the tributes to veterans located in the park are a four man tank nicknamed the “Walker Bulldog” used in the Korean War, a battlefield cross monument and an equatorial sundial. The park includes a 24 hour boat ramp, playgrounds, pavilions, picnic tables, grills and nature walks. Turtle Crawl Point, within the park is a

good place for land based fishing. To the east of the point is a kayak/ canoe launch with freshwater wash downs and easy entry points for wading anglers. This area has mangroves full of snapper, sheepshead and snook. There is a small canal that opens to a nice area with three small spoil islands. Redfish and snook hold in there on higher tides. Wading anglers should be aware, many sections are very mucky and get deep during high tide. For the most effective fishing, go on an incoming or high tide.

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Use a #1 circle hook, 30 pound fluorocarbon, a Cajun Thunder and live shrimp, cast directly in front of or underneath the mangroves. Pop the Cajun Thunder and in minutes you’ll be hooked up. If the float is any further than a couple of inches away from the mangroves, cast again or the fish will not bite. Admission to the War Veterans’ Memorial park is free; the boat ramp costs $6 to launch and $2 for car parking. The park is open 7 a.m. to dusk. Take advantage of these wonderful, free resources, the fish are waiting!

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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Capt. Sergio’s Corner

By: Capt. Sergio Atanes

Winter Snook

best with an incoming tide and the water temperature no lower than 68 degrees. The early bird doesn’t get the worm in this case, because you want the sun up for a while, allowing the sun’s rays to heat the exposed rocks. Gary Loomis (G-Loomis Capt. Sergio with a J. Bates young man As the tide comes in so will the Rods) with Eddie Caldwell nice 42-inch snook with his first snook fish. and Vince Scanio His method is to anchor up aptain Chris Camps, a good friend and part current from the rocks allowing the bait to drift on of the Aventuras De Pesca USA TV show has either side. You can free line your bait, but a float a technique on how to catch big snook in early works, and it allows for better control of the bait. Additionally a float lets you control the drift of the December before the cold weather sets in. After some conversation, Capt. Chris invited bait. We anchored our boat just like Capt. Chris me to go after some big December snook using his technique, and before he could finish his invitation wanted and after tossing some candy to the snook I asked him when and where. I suggested we bring (we use a bait bat with about 20 live sardines), the along the camera crew and film it for my new TV rocks started to blow up with snook attacking the show. We set a time and place, agreeing to avoid baits we had thrown. The first cast I was on with a 10-pounder showing any of his favorite fishing spots. Tuesday morning arrived, and we had making several jumps trying to dislodge the hook, a moderate wind from the northeast with but to no avail. I had him and he was mine. Looking temperatures in the mid 60’s and dropping as the to my right I could see Capt. Chris fighting one of cold front approached. A short trip from my home his own and his fish was a big one. I could tell by his base, the Tampa Harbour Marina, we entered a expression and that beautiful sound of line leaving channel that had old bridge structure on both sides the reel. After what seemed like an eternity, Capt. protecting us from the shifting sands of the flats Chris landed his 38-inch snook. Within a few hours we managed to land over around it. Capt. Chris explained that his technique works 17 snook. I lost several big ones to the rocks and

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left them to battle another day. I learned a new technique on snook fishing that day, and one to pass on to my grandkids and my friends. We were back at the dock by noon with plenty of great footage for the TV show and some nice pictures of big winter snook to boot. The largest snook landed weighed in at 25-pounds. When: Fish ahead of a cold front for best action. Incoming tides work best. Where: Residential canals or channels with structure Baits: Live greenback sardines if available, or live medium shrimp. Tackle suggested for best results: • Seven foot medium action spinning rod. • 3500 Medium size spinning reel. • 15-pound test Windtamer Super Braided line. • 30-pound test fluorocarbon leader. • 2/0 chunk bait or wide gap circle hook. Captain Sergio Atanes is a native resident of Tampa and has been fishing the waters of Tampa Bay and Boca Grande for over 45 years. He is owner and operator of Reelfishy.com which is one the largest charter booking services in the West Coast of Florida with 125 professional captains on staff. Capt. Sergio can be reached at (813) 9737132 or atanes@msn.com Web site: www.reelfishy. com and you tube channel Fishing Adventures USA.

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11/14/2017 5:02:46 PM


South Shore Tampa Bay Holiday Fishing Tips

Accent Marine Sales & Service

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ish Warmer Water: Find inshore fish in shallow dark water, in the cooler months most of your trophy fish want to stay in warmer water. When the water is shallow and murky it tends to be a little warmer than the clear deeper spots. Game fish are more likely to feed in warmer water spots, rather than cold water haunts that makes them lethargic and affects their appetite. Fish the Flow: Snook, redfish, trout, tarpon, mangrove snapper, sharks, ladyfish, jacks, etc. all like to hang out near flowing water this time of year. They use the flowing water to ambush their prey. With the cooler water making the gamefish more lethargic they rely more on the flow spots to feed. Rather than the gamefish expending all of their energy going after the bait, they prefer for the bait to come to them. Use lighter leader: One thing I’ve heard from anglers and experienced myself in the winter months is that the gamefish are leader shy. An example of this is when you chum an area with crippled live baits and gamefish are whacking them; but a cast right in the middle of the mix doesn’t get touched. The water is clearer this time of year, if you were using 30 pound test mono leader in the fall, switch down to 20 or even 15 pound leader now. However, I personally don’t feel that there is a difference between using mono and fluorocarbon as leader material.

Use dead and crippled baits: Because the water cools down and the gamefish become lazy feeders, slow your live, dead and/ or artificial baits down. Rather than using a live bait, just cripple it by taking a pair of scissors and cutting off the tail. If you don’t get a bite after crippling it, cut it in half, and when left with the decision of using heads or tails, choose heads. When using artificials cut your usual retrieval speed in half, and if you don’t get a bite after that cut your speed in half again and again. Everything slows down this time of year. For a charter with Captain Joel Brandenburg of Ana Banana Fishing Company or to purchase a holiday fishing gift certificate for the angler in your life visit www. anabananafishing.com or call 813-267-4401. To find him in person, come down to Hooks Grill at Little Harbor Resort, home of the world famous hook n’ cook! Sign your kid up today for our summer fishing camp, visit www. anabananakidsfishingcamp.com

813-620-1042

accentmarine@verizon.net

www.accentmarine.com

Fishing Team

COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM | DECEMBER 2017 | TAMPA 13

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11/14/2017 5:02:47 PM


Sheepshead Frenzy!

By: Capt. Anthony Corcella G CERTI IFT F AVAIL ICATES ABLE!

WORK

SIDE STEPS

PLAY

HITCHES

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t’s that time again; we pull out the Owner 2/0 hooks and some 20 pound fluorocarbon leader with some half ounce weights. Looking to catch a nice five pound sheepshead? The Dick Misner Bridge should be your go to spot. This is one of the hottest spots in the Tampa Bay area for big sheepshead to hang out. Get some shrimp and fiddler crabs from Mitch’s bait and tackle, they’re always in stock. Also, some of the artificial reefs in the bay will hold some nice ones along with mangrove snappers and Key West grunts. I like to use a 4500 Penn SST reel with 30 pound braided line on a seven foot Star rod. Another thing that you can do during this kind of fishing is to drop down a heavy rig with a 4/0 hook, throw it in a rod holder and let it sit, you may just pull a nice grouper up. When you come home to fillet these great tasting fish, make sure

you have a very sharp knife like a Dexter fillet knife. So now that you have a bunch of filleted fish it’s time to make some blackened fish tacos! 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. Pocket change inshore fishing charters Capt. Anthony Corcella 727-432-6446 www.fishtampacharters.com Check us out on Facebook Pocket Change Inshore Fishing Charter

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www.facebook.com/mitchsbaitandtackle 14 TAMPA | DECEMBER 2017 | COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

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Tampa Bay Fishing Report

By: Woody Gore

Give Me a Call & Let’s Go Fishing 813-477-3814 Captain Woody Gore is the area’s top outdoor fishing guide. Guiding and fishing the west central Florida areas for over fifty years; he offers world class fishing adventures and a lifetime of memories.

Jennifer Davis

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falling tide and a livewell full of whitebait to chum with will draw the snook out of the mangroves, but don’t be surprised if you drag a redfish or gator trout out with them. Always be prepared, especially if you’re looking to snag that snook of a lifetime because there’s a good chance she might be the next one that grabs your bait. If you’re in for something nonnatural, tie on an artificial lure like the world famous MirrOlure Top Dog Jr. and rattle it across a broken bottom grass flat using some walk-the-dog action. The anticipation of a snook or redfish strike is almost more than an angler can stand. When that long expected strike happens, you’ll think your heart is going to stop. Remember this time of year that the big snook are females and probably full of eggs so handle them with care. Snap a quick photo, get her back in the water and revive her slowly; or better yet don’t even lift them out of the water. For those who love drags screaming, hit and run action fishing, this is the time of year. If Spanish mackerel and kingfish are your thing, then get excited because fishing is sure to pick up as water temps come down. Anchor up and chum, or slow troll live baits or spoons along the beaches and hard-bottoms close to shore, for fast, hard hitting action. There are some resident fish, but most being pelagic giants are following the baitfish schools north in spring and south in fall. There are also some big Spanish mackerel around Tampa Bay right now and these fish are huge, when getting to this size they have tremendous speed,

Jimmy Fitzgerald 26 Trout

power and endurance. Mackerel are also good table fare, for those you keep, bleed them and get them on ice quickly. I put mine in a large heavy duty trash bag before putting them in my cooler; it keeps the cooler clean. At the cleaning table, fillet them and remove the skin and bloodline for frying or fillet them and leave the skin on for smoking. Redfish are everywhere in the bay, but if you’re having difficulty finding them simply locate and fish in the middle of a school of large mullet. The redfish bite has been good on live, dead and artificial baits. Every part of Tampa Bay seems to hold a few schools. Daiichi Bleeding Bait wide gap saltwater circle hooks seem to be great for keeping these fish buttoned. The baits of choice have been threadfin herring, broken large greenbacks, cut pinfish, cut ladyfish and cut mullet. The big gator trout have started showing up on Tampa Bay grass flats. Look for a good broken bottom grass flat with plenty of potholes. Start by working the edges of as many potholes as possible; you’re sure to find some worthwhile fish. Trout are a good species to work your artificial skills on, because they are not too picky when it comes to food. One good artificial is a Gulp or DOA shrimp under a popping cork; hook the shrimp just like you would a live one, through the carapace on the head then cast out and pop the cork. The popping sound draws the trout’s attention and you are sure to hook up. Trout no longer have a closed season, so only take what you plan on eating for supper because they

Me & Mike

do not freeze well. Remember they are a fragile species and have a protective slime coat, so please use a de-hooker and not your hands or a net for the ones you release.

Multi-boat Group Charters: With years of organizational experience and access to the areas most experienced captains, Captain Woody can arrange and coordinate any outing or tournament. Just tell him what you need and it’s done. WWW. CAPTAINWOODYGORE.COM, Email: fishing@captainwoodygore. com or give him a call at 813-477-3814.

COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM | DECEMBER 2017 | TAMPA 15

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11/14/2017 5:02:49 PM


Another King is Crowned at the Fall 2017 King of the Beach

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he 24th annual fall King of the Beach king mackerel tournament and festival was held in Madeira Beach with beautiful summer like weather. This fall we had 543 teams registered and eager to take their chance at wearing the crown. It started at the captain’s party as all the teams watched the TWT’s grow to record numbers for payouts. Little did they know the twist it would take. Fishing was a bit slow overall, the wind kept everyone on their toes, but the sun was shining bright. The teams were locked, loaded and ready to roll at the 6 a.m. start time. The weigh in started at 4 p.m. and in order to qualify to weigh you had to be in

line by 5 p.m. The boats rolled back in and teams lined the field with their fish bags in hand looking for what place they would take. As we weighed the fish, one team managed to stay at the top, Team Overdraft. They weighed their 46.99 pound kingfish with great joy. This team was made up of a family with Joe Bodner captaining the crew. Our new king took home $63,744 for his first place win. So, what was the twist? Our record TWT’s didn’t stay with the top three teams as fate would have it. Both first and second place only played in the regular TWT, the high roller TWT rolled down to 3rd, 4th and 5th places making record payouts for these places. Team Fishhawk Charters had a very unexpected day. They started with an entire team but every person bailed save for one,

so the lone angler left went solo, except of course he brought along a cameraman. He managed to drive the boat, hook the fish, catch it, gaff it and weigh it! All of the angler’s hard work paid off, his 3rd place win netted him $29,796. The weigh-in took about four hours and saw 202 total fish weighed. We paid out 35 places in the overall division, five in the single engine division, three in the traveling angler, three in ladies, three in youth, one in greenhorn and 10 in Spanish mackerel which totals to 60 paid places. One out of every 3.4 fish weighed won a prize, Old Salt also gives every kid that comes to weigh a rod/reel combo and soft tackle bag. Friday night we had an awesome band, Tim Montana and the Shrednecks provided live music, they were very well received. Tim happens to like Reef Donkey beer, which just happens to be the “Official Beer of the King of the Beach”. He was able to go

fishing Saturday and learn what a real reef donkey was. Thanks to Captain Pat Young and Crown Auto for this awesome hook up. We want to thank everyone that makes this event so special, our fishing teams, board of directors and core committee members, over 100 volunteers, sponsors and vendors. We also want to mention our beautiful city of Madeira Beach, their staff and support makes this event a true gem. SAVE the DATE: April 26-28th, 2018 is the 25th Anniversary Spring King of the Beach. Stay in touch to see the awesome things we have planned for the event!

16 TAMPA | DECEMBER 2017 | COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

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11/14/2017 5:02:50 PM


In the Wake By: Capt. Jim Kalvin

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etting to that time of the season – where late summer fishing and boating gives way to winter fishing and boating. What does that mean? Well, in case you are relatively new to the area, let me explain: The summer has ended, the north winds will blow. So anglers from offshore to the backwaters will go. The bait pods will scatter, artificials will rule. It’s time to put new mono line on the spool. The Guy Harvey Tees will be hung on their racks, while folks sport Columbia shirts on their backs. Cast nets will be put in the pole barn with care, bait buckets will hang from the boats everywhere. The north winds will blow and the water will chill - and waterfront eateries will jam heel to heel. With waterways crowded and dock spaces scarce, to Tampa Bay and points north and south we’ll disperse. Chasing the trout, flounder, snook, and some snapper, the larger boats won’t even know what we’re after. They watch as we disappear ‘round the bend, wonder how we find our way out once again. The water is skinny, the sun will be vague. But we’ll make the most out of each Winter day.

We’ll wrap up in hoodies, Snikwahs, and socks - while blue jeans might even be seen on the docks! Once back to the ramp, the marina, or home – rinse the gear off, and try to get warm. Cause tomorrow’s a new day to surf the conditions, and carry on our most sacred traditions Of running the back bays – all calm we’re a-wishin. Just living the dream, tryin’ to get paid to go fishin’! Seriously, as the waterways get more crowded, please realize that “you’re already there” even if you’re a mile away from your destination. Remember that the journey is the adventure, and take it slow. Put safety first and Courtesy second. Your schedule should be two or three items down the list from there. If you want to get someplace faster – leave the dock earlier! We’re all in this together, and remember that a collision at sea can ruin your entire afternoon! Captain Jim kalvin is a Florida Native, a USCG Licensed 100 ton master, a local marine contractor, and a grass-roots advocate for recreational boaters. He can be reached at (239) 280-6054, or by emailing james.kalvin61@gmail.com

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1500 US 19 Holiday, FL 34691 (727) 935-7258 www.tarponfishingoutfitters.us www.fishingreelparts.com COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM | DECEMBER 2017 | TAMPA 17

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11/14/2017 5:02:51 PM


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11/14/2017 5:02:53 PM


Nighttime Kayak Fishing

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ant to get out on your kayak more often, but too busy making a living during the day? Can’t get out on the weekends due to chores and catching up? No worries. Instead of sobbing on the couch about how bad your workday was, load your kayak, bring a rod and get out for a sundown session. Just because the sun is going down and light is limited on the water doesn’t mean you’re restricted from chasing fish. Sundown sessions are better described as a kayak fishing trip in the late afternoon until the sun sets into the night. A couple of hours, sometimes less, is all you need to quench your shallow water thirst. Before I go any further we must discuss safety. Nighttime Kayak Fishing Safety Safety is the key to having a good time on the water. Low light and sometimes no light conditions can be tricky to navigate at times, so plan your trip with that in mind. Choose a fishing location that may have lots of man-made lights. Other safety measures to follow are your local fishing laws and regulations. Here in Florida, the Coast Guard requires you to have a light on your vessel that can be seen for 360 degrees, a floatation device and a whistle or horn. All of the above are required, but since you will be on a kayak and are limited to movement, some sort of other source of light like a head lamp or cordless spot light is important to see ahead of you or to give you some light for rigging your rod. I prefer a head lamp since they are hands-free and compact. Do not forget spare batteries, being caught with no light can be dangerous. Last but not least, be sure to

tell someone where you plan to launch from and the area you want to cover. Give that person a check in time that you will call or text message them that you are fine. Most cell phones have coverage in bays and nearshore these days so that should not be a problem. Being able to communicate with others is highly important when fishing after dark. Even a simple device like a Spot may be a good investment as well. It will send alerts out to family and the Coast Guard if submerged, acting like an emergency position indicating radio beacon or EPIRB. Now that we covered the easy part, let’s get in to fishing. Choosing the Right Nighttime Kayak Fishing Tackle I get a lot of phone calls from people asking what size rod or reel to use when fishing at night. To answer that question, I first need to know what type of structure is in the area you’re thinking of fishing in. For instance, when fishing near or at bridges you have rocks, bridge pilings, etc. to worry about. You also have the chance of catching some really big fish. Fishing near mangroves can get your line all tangled up and you can even end up with a broken rod. Therefore, lighter tackle should be left at home. I suggest a reel with a smooth, strong drag in a size no smaller than 20 pound test. If you know that tarpon, black drum, or gag grouper are in the area, beefing up to 40 or more pounds may be the way to go. The reason for this is that the structures near these bridges are a safe haven for the fish. As soon as most fish feel the hook-set their natural reaction is to run for cover and that’s when the reel

By: Derick Burgos

goes to work. A properly set drag will help to give tension against the fish and keep them away from structure and minimize a cut line. In combination with the reel, a quality rod with a strong backbone such as a medium heavy rod helps to”lift” the fish and direct them away from the structure. When fishing the shallow flats where the only structure you may have is sea grass, then lighter tackle can be used and is suggested. In this scenario, 10-20 pound test outfits with a light to medium rod at seven to seven and a half feet will suffice. Flats loaded with only sea grass gives you room to allow the fish to run tired with no worries of cutting the line on solid structure. This setting is great for night fishing since actually seeing structure is limited. Night fishing can be fun and exciting as long as you follow these instructions. Having someone with you or even multiple partners to help you keep an eye out for danger is highly advised. Be sure to plan your trip wisely and you will enjoy many nights on the water doing what we all love to do, fish.

Be safe and I will see you on the water. Derick Burgos is a kayak fishing guide and owner of Phatfish Kayak Charters in Tampa Bay. He has called the area waters his home for over 20 years. He specializes in Snook, Tarpon, Redfis and more on artificial lures, live bait or fly. He can be reached at 813-447-4732 phatfishkayak@yahoo.com www.phatfishkayakcharters.com

COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM | DECEMBER 2017 | TAMPA 19

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11/14/2017 5:02:54 PM


Pecans, Pigs and Country Music Stars for the Holidays

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very year folks try to figure out unique, hand crafted and sought after gifts to give their loved ones for the holidays. You are in luck; I have been searching far and wide to bring you some great ideas that will put you on the top of Santa’s Nice List. Nothing but Nuts – Jimmy Houston Twin Eagle Ranch Pecans are the best tasting in the World. They are fresh and never frozen shaken right off Jimmy’s trees. Jimmy Houston is one of the most beloved and famed fishermen of all time and you can give the gift of his nuts to your loved ones, you know you’re smiling. Jimmy also

told me to tell you that his favorite ones are the custom cracked, they are your best buy those are the ones he and his wife Chris keep for their guests for the Holidays. jimmyhoustonpecans.com Gettin Piggy with it – Pig of the Month Club – Lea Richards the Head Hog and BBQ expert started this awesome Club to bring the best BBQ, bacon and meats to your front door. She searched high and low to find great mail order ribs for her father, when she could not find a good product she took matters into her own hands and created the club. You can order once or get monthly shipments delivered right

By: Misty Wells

to your door. You can order fresh smoked ribs, burgers, smoked sausage, pulled pork, flavored bacons and my favorite, candied bacon. This is a winner gift and 100% satisfaction is guaranteed, you won’t be disappointed. pigofthemonth.com The Gallery at Morgan Farms – have you ever thought “I wish country superstars would make me one-of-a-kind handmade items to give for the holidays?” Well Santa and country superstar Craig Morgan are doing just that with the Farm-to-Home store in Craig’s hometown of Dickson, Tennessee. Craig and his family spend their

extra time bottling honey, sewing quilts, refurbishing reclaimed woods and historic pieces to bring unique items handmade by a Grand Ole Opry inductee from his store to your door. Craig also has some of his country superstar friends in on the fun, Zac Brown, Billy Dean and Eric Pasley. Want to keep the party going? Craig is unveiling a new wine called Lot18; Old Tattoo will be a rustic, refined cabernet. You need to be one of the first to get a bottle or two for some extra holiday cheer. thegalleryatmorganfarms.com Misty Wells Host of “Let’s Take it Outside” Pursuit Channel TV show and National Radio show, Outdoor Pro – Writer and Adventure Guide for Fishing and Hunting trips. Founder of “A Reel Future”, a non-profit organization devoted to sharing knowledge and 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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6710 Cross Bayou Drive, Seminole, FL 33777 727-541-1700 www.marinerebuilds.com 20 TAMPA | DECEMBER 2017 | COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

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11/14/2017 5:02:55 PM


Excellence in Electronics Sales, Installation & Customer Service

RECIPE OF THE MONTH:

MEDITERRANEAN GROUPER

Ingredients: • 1-1/4lb. fresh grouper fillet about 1 inch thick, cut into 2 individual serving size pieces • 1 lemon juiced • ¾ cup large green olives rinsed, and coarsely chopped • 2 Tbsp. capers drained and rinsed • 4 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil • 2 Tbsp. butter • ½ cup parsley leaves loosely packed, coarsely chopped • Salt and pepper to taste

10550 72nd. Street, Ste 506, Largo, FL. 33777 727-546-5029 | www.gsmarine.com

Directions: 1. In a small saucepan over low heat, combine the lemon zest and juice, olives, capers and 3 Tbsp. of olive oil.

Mix and keep warm. Do not boil. 2. Lightly season fillets with salt and pepper. 3. Add the remaining Tbsp. of olive oil to a large nonstick sauté pan over medium-high heat. When the pan is hot, place the fillets top-side down in the pan and cook about 3-4 minutes on each side. The fillets should be golden brown on both sides and flake easily when tested with a fork. Do not overcook! 4. Pour the olive and caper sauce over the fish fillets, garnish with parsley and serve immediately. Enjoy! If you have any questions, comments or would like to share a recipe of your own, contact Michelle at cnmoasis@gmail.com

COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM | DECEMBER 2017 | TAMPA 21

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11/14/2017 5:02:57 PM


Learning to fish west central Florida’s rivers can be key to success on the water in December By: Capt. Mike Anderson

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ooking for a great way to beat the cold and wind of December? Try fishing the five incredible rivers that dump into Tampa Bay. That’s where I spend almost all of my December time on the water. These rivers, the Alafia, Palm, Hillsborough, Little Manatee and Manatee all offer great winter time fishing. They also provide a perfect place to hide from December’s breezy and cooler conditions. Snook take refuge in the rivers where freshwater springs, dark bottoms and deep

channels provide a safe zone from chilly water temps. As water temps cool down snook tend to change their eating habits and save their energy for battling the cold. However, plenty of action can be had by slowing down the presentation of your plastics and by fishing live shrimp. Live shrimp are much easier to digest than a sardine or finger mullet and will often be the food of choice this time of year. Snook aren’t the only action to be had up the rivers though. Speckled trout usually stage near the mouths of the rivers in the deeper holes and they are very tolerant to the cold water and can offer hours of steady action. Artificial lures such as the MirrOlure Lil John, Marsh Minnow’s and MirrODines all work well for trout action in the rivers. Use a quarter ounce jighead to work the deep holes slowly. You’ll also find that the redfish action is steady as well with some great dock fishing in all five of these river systems. Redfish, especially 17 to 23 inchers seem to be creatures of habit in these rivers. Once I find a line of docks that hold good numbers, I make a note of it since redfish seem to hold there year in and year out. You’ll also find good numbers of

ladyfish and jacks in the rivers this time of year which just add to the action of the day. Don’t let Mother Nature foil your December fishing. Spend some time learning the west central Florida river systems and you’ll be rewarded all month long year after year! Catch Capt. Michael Anderson every Saturday morning on News CH8 at 6:30 a.m. for the Reel Animals Fishing Show and Saturdays for Reel Animals Saturday on 970WFLA from 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. Also catch Capt. Mike on Sunday mornings on AM620 for the TA Mahoney Co. Reel Animals Radio Show from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. To book a trip call 1-866-Gamefish.

JASON NIX “Enjoy your waterfront...

just take it in”

• Boathouses • Docks • Seawalls • Erosion Control • Lake Cleanout • Re-vegetation

863-934-6218 Jason Nix - Owner State Certified Marine Contractor SCC131151894 www.JasonNixLLC.com Jason@JasonNixLLC.com 22 TAMPA | DECEMBER 2017 | COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

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11/14/2017 5:02:59 PM


Flats to Nearshore Report By: Capt. Gary Burch

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e’ve had record breaking high temperatures in the first half of November and our water temps were in the upper 70’s, don’t look for this to continue in December. Hopefully these temps will come down slow and steadily instead of a big cold front blast that drastically drops the water temps some 10 to 15 degrees. In December the water temps usually drop to the lower 60 degree range after a few cold fronts but will start a steady increase back to 70 as the sun comes out. I’m sure that the temperatures will drop back below 60 before winter’s end. Fishing in Clearwater Bay and St. Joseph Sound during December will take a lot of patience and a great deal of searching. There should be many good fishing days in and around the cold fronts that pass through our area. Keep in mind that the average water temperatures will most likely be around 60 degrees. Trout will be the targeted species for the winter with redfish, sheepshead, bluefish and the occasional pompano making their appearance as well. As the water temperatures cool down, the white baits become very hard to find. Shrimp under a float will work fine for the winter trout. Bring out your favorite artificial baits because they can catch as many fish as live baits this time of year. You can cover a lot more ground throwing fake baits. Keep your artificials in the shrimp type colors, root beer, dark green and dark new penny with some sparkle will do fine. Finding the trout is easy, but catching the big gator trout is more difficult. Start searching on the numerous grass flats that stretch from north Dunedin to Clearwater in the three to five foot depths. Look for the sand holes that dot the grass areas and

start drifting as many as you can, most of the flats with this type of bottom structure will hold fish. When you find the area that is producing the biggest fish, work it hard, there may be a big 26 inch gator trout lurking. Remember, you can only keep 4 trout measuring between 15 to 20 inches per person and only one of those four trout can be over 20 inches. Redfish are scattered throughout the bays. We caught redfish on some trips and did not locate them on others. Finding redfish in the winter months will take some searching. Use the high tide to look up around the mangroves and grassy flats with sand areas mixed in. Don’t forget to investigate docks during the winter, a lot of dock type structures throughout Clearwater and Dunedin bays will hold fish. All docks are not created equal, so keep moving. If you do decide to dock fish, use live shrimp and cast them directly underneath and let it sink near the pilings. Get ready to pull the red out as soon as it takes the bait; we lose some fish as they wrap themselves around the pilings. Santa Clause may bring you a new outfit and some record catches to go with it. December fishing is here so get on board, grab a jacket and let’s get fishing. Merry Christmas! 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

3450 34th Street North (Hwy 19) Saint Petersburg, FL 33713 (727) 317-4949 www.stpetefishingoutfitters.com COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM | DECEMBER 2017 | TAMPA 23

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11/14/2017 5:03:00 PM


St. Pete Report

By: Capt. Christopher Taylor

Snook for the Holidays

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uring winter mont hs targeting snook can be very challenging. During the majority of the summer you can find snook just about anywhere in the bay; passes, beaches, mangrove estuaries and grass flats. As the water temperature drops snook start to make their way towards the rivers, creeks and canals in search of warmer water havens for their winter stay. When fishing rivers you want to fish areas that have decent tidal flow and a significant change in depth. For example, a point or bend in a river that drops off close to the mangroves, or shoreline. Snook take advantage of trenches, drop-offs and potholes in high current areas of rivers because they can ambush bait easily and stay warm. Many of the residential canals located on the Pinellas side of the bay are sure to hold snook as well. Fishing docks and seawalls can be very

productive day or night. When fishing docks at night you want to take advantage of lights as many baitfish are attracted to them. This makes for an all you can eat buffet for snook. Scaled sardines and live shrimp are your best bet for bait this time of year. You can find live shrimp at just about any bait and tackle store in the area, some bait shops sell scaled sardines, but most of the time you have to use a cast net to catch them. I recommend catching enough to use for bait as well as a few extra to throw as chum. You will be able to find these baitfish at the channel markers and shallow to deep transition areas nearest boat channels. I use a 10 foot Barracuda Pro cast net to gather my bait. I can usually catch enough bait for a trip in one or two casts because of the ease of opening in the net design. If these baits don’t work I recommend using cut threadfin herring or scaled sardines. When snook become lethargic from the cold, cut bait on the bottom makes for a more tempting and easier meal. I present my baits with a 2/0 hook free-lined on 25 pound test fluorocarbon leader. The addition of a few split shot weights may be necessary when fishing areas with current.

When it comes to snook lures, topwater plugs are hard to beat. During the summer or winter months topwater lures produce lots of fish. Working a plug on top of the water and watching a large snook explode on it is probably one of the most exciting things that you can experience in Tampa Bay, second to Tarpon fishing. My favorite topwater lure is the Heddon Super Spook Jr. in bone/silver color. This lure is always on my boat. It is safe to say that many anglers develop their own techniques for catching snook during different seasons. Getting out on the water and casting a line is the one tried and true way to do this. Snook are some of the most sought after inshore sportfish and many times the most challenging to catch. Tampa Bay is home to some of Florida’s greatest snook fishing year round. Feel free to use information from this article and tips from bay area bait stores and other anglers. Local snook guides are always available for hire throughout Tampa Bay. Captain Christopher Taylor Florida Reels Fishing Charters www.floridareelsfishingcharters.com (813) 220-6135

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By Tobin Strickland, CAM special correspondent Photo Courtesy of TroutSupport.com

o doubt Harvey and Irma hit our southern coastline very hard. We as communities mobilized immediately to come to the aid of friends, neighbors and in many cases total strangers. If you fish or live on the coast, no one is a complete stranger. We’ve had several wet years, and these hurricanes have added more water to our estuary systems. They’ve also pushed out the shrimp early this year into the main bays, so that might help a little this year in terms of the typical winter big trout pattern. There will still be a large shrimp crop that will come into the bays later, and it’s the exit of the shrimp and menhaden that typically triggers the typical winter big trout pattern and a move to a more mullet, perch or white bait diet. Big trout also target sand trout or Gulf trout that are working shrimp. So despite the fact that big trout don’t eat a lot of shrimp, the movements of shrimp will still pull big trout to the main bays in the fall. The key is locating trout that ignore this pattern and remain shallow feeding on mullet, perch, white bait and small trout. Also, watch your salinity levels as big sow trout begin to move out of areas that are below 5ppt salinity on the bottom. You might have to target areas closer to inlets and passes this winter to find those big sows in the mud and grass, and mud and oysters. Tobin created TroutSupport.com. Check out his newest creation for catching big trout and reds in sea grass and shallow oyster beds at troutsupport. com.

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18 VOLT, 3/8" CORDLESS 8 CHANNEL SURVEILLANCE DVR 9 PIECE FULLY POLISHED DRILL/DRIVER WITH WITH 4 HD CAMERAS AND MOBILE COMBINATION Customer Rating KEYLESS CHUCK SAVE MONITORING CAPABILITIES WRENCH SETS $120 Customer Rating NOW YOUR CHOICE SAVE

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ITEM 62281/61637 shown

ITEM 61971/61972/98199 shown

MODEL: SM2507LW

$

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Customer Rating

SUPER COUPON • Height range: 12-1/2" to 24"

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7" VARIABLE SPEED POLISHER/SANDER

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Blade sold separately.

199

SUPER COUPON Customer Rating

LIMIT 5 - Coupon valid through 4/1/18*

7 FT. 4" x 9 FT. 6" 1000 LB. CAPACITY ALL PURPOSE WEATHER SWING-BACK RESISTANT TARP TRAILER JACK Customer Rating Cu SAVE NOW

ITEM 69249/69115/69137 69129/69121/877 shown

Customer Rating

MODEL: PKC0TV-R

ITEM 61427/63308 69397/64059/64060 64061/95272 shown

LIMIT 5 - Coupon valid through 4/1/18*

65%

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99

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2999

$84

$

LIMIT 1 coupon per customer per day. Save 20% on any 1 item purchased. *Cannot be used with other discount, coupon or any of the following items or brands: Inside Track Club membership, Extended Service Plan, gift card, open box item, 3 day Parking Lot Sale item, compressors, floor jacks, saw mills, storage cabinets, chests or carts, trailers, trenchers, welders, Admiral, Ames, Bauer, Cobra, CoverPro, Daytona, Earthquake, Fischer, Hercules, Icon, Jupiter, Lynxx, Poulan, Predator, Tailgator, Union, Viking, Vulcan, Zurich. Not valid on prior purchases. Non-transferable. Original coupon must be presented. Valid through 4/1/18.

Customer Rating

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LIMIT 5 - Coupon valid through 4/1/18*

BLUE HAWK

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9 $15 99 $17999

3/8" x 50 FT. 10" SLIDING COMPOUND RETRACTABLE MITER SAW • Powerful 15 amp motor AIR HOSE REEL Customer Rating NOW ITEM 69265 99

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LIMIT 1 - Cannot be used with other discount, coupon or prior purchase. Coupon good at our stores, HarborFreight.com or by calling 800-423-2567. Offer good while supplies last. Shipping & Handling charges may apply if not picked up in-store. Non-transferable. Original coupon must be presented. Valid through 4/1/18. Limit one FREE GIFT coupon per customer per day.

LIMIT 7 - Coupon valid through 4/1/18*

62344 93897 shown

$

COMPARE TO

Includes AC/DC adapter and 12 volt DC cigarette lighter plug.

SUPER COUPON

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KOBALT

1499

ITEM 61960/61777 shown

LIMIT 4 - Coupon valid through 4/1/18*

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$1199

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• 704 lb. capacity • Weighs 120 lbs. NOW

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ITEM 62728/62583 47770/62570 shown

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MODEL: T815016L

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ANY PURCHASE

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ITEM 68053/62160 62496/62516/69252 60569 shown

WITH

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• Magnetic Tips • Ergonomic Handles

Customer Rating

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ITEM 93454/69054 63395/62603 shown

LIMIT 5 - Coupon valid through 4/1/18*

At Harbor Freight Tools, the “Compare to” price means that specified comparison, 2017 which is an item with the same or similar function, COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM I theDECEMBER I NATIONAL 17 was advertised for sale at or above the “Compare to” price by another national retailer in the U.S. within the past 90 days. Prices advertised by others *Original coupon only. No use on prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase or without original receipt. Valid through 4/1/18. may vary by location. No other meaning of “Compare to” should be implied. For more information, go to HarborFreight.com or see store associate.

CANGL_NAT3-NAT18.indd 17 hft_coastalangler_1217_M-REG109350.indd 1

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© 2017 Garmin Ltd. or its subsidiaries

THIS SEEMS TO BE THE PLACE WHERE ALL THE FISH HANG OUT. I THINK I’LL DROP IN.

12”

PROGRAMMABLE

HOT KEYS

PRELOADED

BUILT-IN

BLUECHART® G2 + LAKEVUU¨ HD CHIRP SONAR + CLEARVUU¨ + SIDEVU¨

GPSMAP® 1242xsv

CANGL_NAT3-NAT18.indd 18 Coastal Fishing Ad_US-8.125x10.875-CoatalAngler.indd 1 17-MCJT512 GPSMAP 1224xsv

11/15/17 3/8/17 1:33 9:13 PM AM


COMMON CVRS_1217.indd 3

11/15/17 3:37 PM


COMMON CVRS_1217.indd 4

11/15/17 3:37 PM

Coastal Angler Magazine - December / Tampa Bay  

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

Coastal Angler Magazine - December / Tampa Bay  

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