Coastal Angler Magazine | June 2024 | Treasure Coast Edition

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the importance of boat insurance

Do you love boating? Then you know how fun and relaxing it can be on the open water. But you also know that things can go wrong sometimes, like storms, accidents, theft, or injuries. That’s why boat insurance is so important. Here are some reasons why.

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Swordfshing is great any time of the year, but during summer you can justify the fuel burn to get where they live. It’s nearly impossible to run that far ofshore in June and not come across diving birds indicative of mahi or tuna. With minimal efort, this can be a nice score to put something in the box if you don’t have luck with the swords. It is normal to get skunked while swordfshing, and I don’t recommend going if you can’t accept that possibility. Te best way to go into it is to be fully prepared for both a fsh of a lifetime or to just chill with friends. Make no mistake, when you do land one of these beasts, it’s some of the most exciting fshing you can experience, and it’s worth the skunk risk.

Although you don’t have to run as far, the same consolation prize applies to heading out for tilefsh, snowy and yellowedge grouper, queen snapper, barrelfsh and rosies. Mahi fshing to, from and during deep-dropping rounds out a trip nicely.

Be prepared for mahi when heading ofshore in summer. Keep at least four rods designated for working a school and more for trolling. J hooks are a must for these head-shaking, sky-rocketing, fippy-fappy, squirm-fsh, but just about any line and bait will do. Tese tasty little dummies aren’t picky and would strike a banana peel if you jigged it right. Tat said, the speed of the bait is a variable you might have to adapt to. Teir toddler mentality kicks in when you try to take a bait away from them, encouraging them to strike something they just turned their nose up at. If you get hit when reeling in your bait, open your bail and give them a chance to eat.

If you get excited about fsh with pointy faces, be prepared for a marlin encounter this time of year. I keep rigged ballyhoo in a trolling spread and a pitch rod set up. Marlin aren’t overly common here, but when you see one, you want to be prepared for more than to simply wave and think, “that was neat.”


ummer in the Keys, albeit hotter than the devil’s you-know-where, is one of the best times to be on the water. With more calm days, open seasons for most species, and mahi peppering ofshore waters, this is the time of year to boogie out and hunt for whatever tickles your fancy.



of our

Marlin enjoy a mahi snack as much as we do and will pop up unexpectedly while mahi fshing. If you have a large live bait, toss that sucker out. If not, a mahi from the box will do in a pinch. Give her time to eat, hang on and enjoy the ride.

Mahi season is already of to a great start for both size and numbers. Come on down and fll your coolers!

Capt. Quinlyn Haddon; Sweet e’nuf charters, marathon, Florida Keys; @captainquinlyn;; (504) 920-6342.

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The “Grandaddy of all Kingfsh Tournaments” will get the First Coast buzzing July 13-20, as the 44th annual Greater Jacksonville Kingfsh Tournament presented by VyStar Credit Union hosts a full week of tournaments with more than $500,000 in cash and prizes.

Te competition kicks of July 13 with the Kingfsh Kick Of Beach Tournament, in which competitors are limited to state waters within 3 miles of shore. Tis event evens the odds for the smaller boats to haul in the largest kingfsh of the day and collect the $50,000 cash prize.

Fishing for the General Tournament begins Friday morning, July 19. Tis cornerstone event pays out to 20 places for both large fsh and aggregate. First place for largest fsh of the tournament will be awarded a Contender 28T with twin 200 Yamaha outboards, an Ameritrail Trailer and a custom T-top and leaning post by Custom Marine. Tis boat package is valued at more than $225,000.

Junior anglers have a shot at a 16foot boat with a 15 hp Yamaha, and the Junior Ofshore Tournament pays out to 25 places. Te Ladies Division pays out to 10 places.

cold beverages, hot food and vendors. Awards Day on Saturday, July 20 is all about celebration, with Kids Zone activities, rafes and seminars.

For inshore anglers, the popular Redfsh Tournament fshes on Saturday, July 20 with payouts of more than $12,000.

Jacksonville Marine Charities is the operating arm of the event, and it supports non-profts throughout the state. Recently, Child Cancer Fund, the Down Syndrome Association and the Child Guidance Center have beneftted from the organization, which also supports other local charity fshing events like Te Premier Trout, Flounder Pounder, Wounded Heroes on the Water and others.

For complete details, visit king

All the boats and fsh coming to the docks at Jim King Park and Boat Ramp at Sisters Creek Park in Jacksonville creates a festival atmosphere. Te

Trout are Eating Your Nymph More than You Realize

Alarge trout rising to a high-riding dry fy is one of life’s true pleasures. It’s pretty darn easy to see. Te fy is bouncing happily along the surface, and with a splash it’s gone.

On the other hand, that same fat rainbow trout sucking in a nymph 6 feet down in a dark run may not be as obvious. When you’re nymphing, speed is of the essence. In a second, that fsh will expel the fy. Tere are a bunch of diferent strike indicators designed to help you see the sometimes-faint signal of a hit. Some work well, some break, some slide, and some just suck.

I love yarn indicators for their sensitivity and the plastic air-flled bobbers for ease of use. Both styles rigged up the leader about twice the depth of the water you’re fshing help you detect the strike. Any hesitation, dive or shif in direction of your indicator might be a hit.

I tell clients, if they think a fsh might even be breathing on the fy to set the hook! You get a heck of a lot more strikes than you think you do when nymph fshing. Any slack between your indicator and fy allows a fsh eat and spit your nymph out, and sometimes go completely undetected.

At close range, high-stick or Czech-nymphing techniques work great. No indicator is needed, as diferent colored lines or coiled-line indicators that straighten when a fsh takes are the deal. A lot of the time, the trout is felt when it takes the fy, or you will see the line suddenly stop. Tis method is deadly in experienced hands.

Another method of strike indication is the use of a big dry fy as the

indicator. Usually, a piece of fuorocarbon tippet is tied to the hook and a nymph or two hang underneath. Tis is a good when the fsh might spook if a plastic bobber crashes on their heads. A buggy looking dry fy is a lot less scary.

Another cool way to catch trout on subsurface fies is to watch them eat it. I call this ninja fshing! You’ll need the sun at your back or directly overhead. Start by locating a particular fsh, and then tie on a brightly colored fy that stands out and is easy to see. Cast upstream of the fsh, and let it drif down to the fsh. Sometimes a fy bounced right into their face will get a refex strike. Tis is a good way to learn how fsh react to fies and how currents afect your ofering. If you are in a pool with several fsh, you might be amazed at how many fsh take a swipe at it. You will then realize how many strikes you’ve been missing.

David Hulsey is a North Georgia-based guide and fy fshing instructor. Call him at (770) 639-4001 and visit Hulsey Fly Fishing at hulsey fy



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As an authorized service and repower center for many brands including Yamaha, Volvo, Suzuki, Mercury, Evinrude and Cox Diesel, your needs will be covered. With a huge inventory of parts, they’ll likely have what you’re looking for. Advanced has also catalogued an inventory of over 5,000 used parts in case what you are looking for is no longer available or you can’t fnd it anywhere else.

Advanced ofers services such as routine maintenance, custom electronics, trolling motor and power-pole installation. Tey don’t stop there. Rewiring your boat, gauge and switch panel replacements, steering, canvas and Sea-Deck are also in their arsenal. Almost anything you can think of, they can handle including cutting custom dash panels with their computerized CNC router.

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Permit schools have been sighted in the Florida Keys over the past couple of months, and June marks the fnal stretch of their journey. Tese elusive permit are wrapping up their ‘spring break’ routine and are heading to some of our ofshore wrecks to spawn.

Tis time of year can be great for permit, because they school up and provide ample opportunity for hook-ups. Pursuing a permit takes strategy and stamina, since these fsh are known for putting up a serious battle. Any angler who is interested in trying to land one of these

prized sportfsh needs to know what they are signing up for.

When fshing for permit on ofshore wrecks in Islamorada, we usually target schools around wreck sites like the Eagle in June. Tese wrecks are typically on the ocean side in deeper waters, ranging from about 30 to 100 feet deep.

For tackle, we typically use 6500 combos with fuorocarbon leaders and circle hooks. Spotting and sight-casting to permit is usually the goto method. Tis means looking for glimpses of fashing silver just below the surface. Permit love

crabs, and they have great eyesight. fcial crabs like the Savage Gear 3D Crab are very realistic, and they are ective and cost-friendly. However, it’s tough to beat a live blue crab for permit bait. Hook them through the shell to keep them lively. Let the crab swim freely to drif into the school of permit and prepare for action. ght, fne-tuning the drag is crucial with permit because overpowering them won’t do the trick. You want the drag set just right, enough to make progress when reeling in, but allowing the permit to run… and it will run.

Permit are one of the most sought-afer sportfsh in the Keys because they’re notorious for their incredible strength. Anyone who’s ever hooked one can tell you that they’re strong enough to make even the toughest angler break a sweat. Once you do land your frst permit, it is a moment you’ll never forget.

While they are a ton of fun, permit aren’t known as a particularly desirable food fsh. Catch and release is the way to go because they play a crucial role in our ecosystem, and releasing them safely helps ensure we’ll have permit to play with in the future. Land them as quickly as you can. Handle them gently for a quick release to minimize stress and ensure the fshery thrives.

Many times while permit fshing, we encounter exciting bycatch like other jack species, grouper and snapper. It’s all about the thrill of the catch in these beautiful waters of the Florida Keys.

To book a permit charter, visit


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A 9-Year-Old’s First For-Real Fishing Trip

Remember the frst time you went fshing for real? For many of us, the earliest trips elicit memories of a blue plastic container of red wigglers, a red-and-white plastic bobber and the ripe muddy fsh smell of an active bluegill bed. But that’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about the frst time you went fshing for real.

Maybe it was the year you were fnally allowed on the annual charter trip? Or perhaps it was the long-planned bass fshing weekend with Grandpa? Whatever it was, the person who took you decided you were ready to grow beyond the pushbutton-reel stage of fshing. It was on that trip when you became one of the crew instead of the kid who stayed home with mom.

Remember gathering your gear in anticipation? Remember waking up throughout the night and checking the clock to make sure you didn’t sleep through the alarm?

Jackson Willer, 9, of Melbourne, Fla., recently experienced his frst for-real fshing trip. Really, Jackson has fshed most of his life. His frst fsh was a jack crevalle caught with his Pop-Pop, Chris Willer, and his Mimi, Joann Willer, when he was 3 years old. But the Willer men are saltwater people, and when Jackson’s older cousin Ryan Willer, 21, told him to be ready early the next morning because they were going fshing, it was something new and exciting… his frst trip as one of the boys.

In the morning, before Ryan and Jackson lef for Sebastian Inlet, Pop-Pop pulled a special surprise from the back of his truck. He handed the 9-year-old a Penn 450SS mounted on an Ugly Stik. With freshwater wash downs and occasional cleaning, these vintage reels spin smoothly for decades. Chris (aka Pop-Pop) had been fshing this one since he bought it in the 1980s.

“I’m going to take care of it for as long as I possibly can,” said Jackson

on receiving the gif. “It feels really special. He was the one that taught me how to use a shing rod and all that stuf.”

So…armed with the rod and reel and a tank of live shrimp, Jackson and Ryan fshing for “I thought, there he goes. He’s running with the pack now. He doesn’t need us anymore,” said Joann (aka Mimi).

It wasn’t exactly a jam-up day on the water, but that’s fshing, and Jackson had fun.

“First I caught a redfsh, and then I caught a snook,” Jackson said. “It was pretty fun trying to reel it in and everything. It was hard and it was fun.” Jackson also said he doesn’t know when the next trip is, but he’s excited.

And that’s the whole point. Even if it’s just another day on the water for you, remember that the kid you’re taking was likely lying awake last night seeing visions of monster fsh and epic drag-peeling battles.

If you’ve got a great fshing story to tell, email us at





Serving outdoors enthusiasts in Indian River, St. Lucie and Martin counties.

St. Lucie County Artificial Reef Program:


The St. Lucie County Artificial Reef Program will focus on inshore fish communities in the coming years by working on oyster reefs, hardbottoms, and seagrasses in the Indian River Lagoon. Oyster reefs are best situated in the intertidal zone (red mangrove prop roots, bridge piles) or near sources of freshwater (creeks, stormwater outfalls). Hardbottoms are not naturally occurring but can be found in areas of historical dredging (Fort Pierce Inlet) or manmade construction (bridges, riprap shoreline protection). Seagrasses may be found throughout the Indian

River Lagoon but seagrass coverage continues to decline due to a variety of factors including water quality degradation and herbivory.

The importance of inshore habitats on fisheries cannot be overstated. While some species such as snowy grouper (Epinephelus niveatus) spawn offshore and spend their entire life in deep water, other species spawn near the Fort Pierce Inlet on incoming tide and spend the early part of their life history in the Indian River Lagoon. Species such as juvenile yellowtail snapper (Ocyurus chrysurus) and juvenile black seabass (Centropristis striata) have been

seen on artificial reefs offshore and on the Fort Pierce City Marina stormwater protection islands. Of the 30 Snapper-Grouper Complex fish species found on artificial reefs offshore St. Lucie County, 15 of those species have life history stages in the Indian River Lagoon.

Seagrasses are known to provide excellent habitat for numerous fish but their coverage has been diminishing for decades. It is thought there are several reasons for this reduction in coverage,

which is happening throughout Florida. Eutrophication (nutrient enrichment) of coastal waters may be responsible for this diminishment. Although water quality may be acceptable for seagrass survival, evidence that drifting macroalgae, a result of eutrophication, can impact seagrasses exists. Fragments of seagrass have been found in mats of the red algae, Gracillaria spp., after it has drifted across seagrass beds.

SEE SLC REEF............................. PAGE 14
Juvenile yellowtail snapper caught at the Fort Pierce City Marina subtidal oyster reef. PHOTOS COURTESY of St. Lucie County.
Inspection of oyster reefs at Old Fort Park.

The Southern Fortune Fishing Tournament (SFFT) is a yearlong, saltwater, rod and reel only fishing tournament. Entry fee is $199 per angler. Eightypercent (80%) of the proceeds goes to the winners of each of the 30 categories.

Species Categories:

Gag Grouper, Black Grouper, Red Grouper, Scamp Grouper, Yellowedge Grouper, Snowy Grouper, Kitty Mitchell Grouper, Mangrove Snapper, Mutton Snapper, Queen Snapper, Yellow Eye Snapper, Yellowtail Snapper, Cubera Snapper,

Lane Snapper, Red Snapper, Hogfish, Vermillion Snapper, Swordfish, Wahoo, Kingfish, Blackfin Tuna, Yellowfin Tuna, Cobia, Golden Tile, Permit, Mahi Mahi, Greater Amberjack, Florida Pompano, African Pompano, Tripletail.

The SFFT takes place across 8 states: TX, MS, AL, LA, FL, GA, SC, NC. There are 40 weigh-in locations from Corpus Christi, Texas along the Gulf coast down to the Florida Keys and back up the East Coast; with the furthest northeastern weigh-in location in Outer Banks, North Carolina.

The SFFT uses an application platform on both Android and iPhone for video submission of

each catch: Video One is to be taken immediately following the catch, stating details and showing a 360 view of the fish as well as a clear measurement. Video Two is to be taken at one of the 40 participating weigh-in locations within 96 hours of the catch using the SFFT certified weight/measurement tools and then the fish is gutted to show no additional weight. Clear and detailed rules of these video submissions can be found at southernfortunefishing. com Download the Southern Fortune Fishing App on Android or iPhone to follow along with the SFFT. Sign up is active now on the website

Announces Year Three: 2024-2025 Next Tournament Starts
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Southern Fortune Fishing Tournament

The 30 Species Winners for the current tournament are to be announced in August 2024 following the tournament’s end on 7/31/2024.

Eighty-percent (80%) of the proceeds will go to each species winner. The remaining 20% of the proceeds are being distributed to a selected group of amazing nonprofit programs: TCBA, Florida Keys Fishing Guides Association, City of Stuart, and Fish With A Hero.

For more information contact Julie Billings, julie@ and on social media: Instagram, FaceBook and YouTube: Southern Fortune Fishing.

Hobe Sound Nature Center Now Taking Reservations for Evening Turtle Walks

Join turtle scouts and wildlife educators at the Hobe Sound Nature Center for FWC-permitted, guided turtle walks. This educational experience is offered Thursday and Friday evenings during the months of June and July. The turtle walks begin at the Hobe Sound Nature Center. The museum and gift shop opens at 8:00 p.m. for registered guests, followed by a short, presentation in the Nature Center’s classroom at 8:30 p.m. After the presentation, everyone convenes at the Hobe Sound Public Beach.

This event can run late into the evening, depending on when a nesting turtle is identified. Once a turtle is located, the nesting process takes about one hour. Space is limited. Online registration ( turtle-walks) and a non-refundable a fee of $20 is required for each participant over the age of 2. Once a reservation is booked, a confirmation e-mail will be sent within 24 hours. Requests made on weekends may take longer to process. Spaces are limited, but the center can accommodate large groups. A confirmed reservation is required to attend a turtle walk. Fees are used to support HSNC Environmental education and interpretive programs.

The Hobe Sound Nature Center is located at 13640 S.E. Federal Highway, Hobe Sound, Florida 33455.

For more information, e-mail or call (772) 546-2067.

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Capt. Jonathan Earhart

Chaos Fishing Charters (772) 341 – 2274

Juneis a great month for fishing here on the Treasure Coast. Usually, early mornings and late afternoons are the most productive for inshore fishing. Snook fishing at first light with live bait and or artificial baits such as topwaters, subwalks, MirrOlures, and the


Capt. Rocky Carbia

Safari I Deep Sea Fishing Pirates Cove Resort and Marina 4307 SE Bayview St. Port Salerno Reservations: (772) 334-4411

Summer’s curtain call will rise during the days of June, revealing a bright and warm fishing stage for the near coastal anglers of Martin County. Directors of fishing strategies will be inclined to angle towards the naturally occurring, coral reef line south of the St. Lucie Inlet in depths of 65 to 85 feet of water. This “Southern Reef Line” and “Loran Tower Ledge”, east of Hobe Sound and Tequesta, are home to a rich and diverse population of saltwater fish that inhabit all depths of the water column, over top and around these reefs. These structures are fish magnets that will attract many pelagics like cobia, king mackerel and mahi, just to name a few. Several species of grouper and snapper will reside among these coral ledges. Trophy mutton snapper (of 20-pounds or better) will patrol this southern reef line like saltwater bosses and fade off the main rises of the reef structure into a thin veil of visibility along the outer edges of the reef’s footprint. Jumbo cubera snapper (that can achieve weights over 100 pounds) will cruise the same reef contours, like toothy snapper assassins, capable of devouring large live and dead bait offerings. Catch and release

like, is a blast this month when fishing along local beaches in the surf and near local inlets.

Remember to handle the larger breeding fish with care, get a quick picture, and put the fish back in the water gently and safely. Expect some larger tarpon, jacks, redfish, and permit in the mix near local inlets as well. Tarpon fishing near deeper channel edges inshore will produce bigger fish on either tide. Moving water is key, dead or live mullet will usually produce bites if you have the patience.

Nearshore fishing has been red hot for tarpon, jacks, kingfish, bonito, permit, and sharks. Early mornings can be very productive for sight fishing tarpon along local beaches. Find schools of rolling fish and cast crabs or whitebaits to the lead fish for

and crews will be able to target keeper and medium sized bottom fish using lighter tackle and chicken rigs. Mangrove, lane, and vermilion snapper, trigger fish, porgies, and toro fish (aka glass eyed snapper), are all found in large numbers here and can be caught using this technique. They will satisfy the

steady hookups. Same technique will work great for large jack crevalle schools migrating down the beaches this time of year too. Live white baits or pretty much any large artificial will produce bites with a properly placed cast. Also, fishing around white bait schools this month will produce plenty of kingfish, bonito, cobia, sharks, and even the occasional sailfish. Drifting the outskirts of these large bait balls is a great way to bend the rods and you never know what you might hook into.

Snapper fishing has been decent on the nearshore reefs and wrecks for lanes, mangroves, muttons, and the occasional cubera snapper. Fish finder rigs and or chicken rigs with sardines will get the bites.

Tight lines!

fishing appetites of a wide range of anglers, young and old alike.

The fishing theater of June will be filled with a diverse cast of fish actors, that will await the applause of their anglers as they hit fish box ice, along the naturally occurring contour of the southern reef line, east of of Martin County.

of Jurassic sized goliath grouper (between 200 and 400 pounds) occur frequently during any bottom fishing excursion in this reef area. Consequently, heavy tackle and sports-minded, fit anglers will be necessary to wrangle these salty beasts to the surface.

Fishing around the southern reef line offers many fishing opportunities and strategy options for local fishing crews. Along with the potential to tie into large representatives of many bottom dwelling fish in this zone, captains

Located at Pirates Cove Resort and Marina 4307 SE Bayview St. Port Salerno/Stuart, FL WWW.SAFARI1DEEPSEAFISHING.COM Find Us! For Reservations Call (772) 334-4411 TRIP TIMES Monday-Saturday 8:30AM-1:30PM Adults $70; Children $60 Sunday 8:30AM-3:00PM Adults $80; Children $70 GIFT CERTIFICATES AVAILABLE
PHOTO CREDIT: Safari 1 Trophy snapper like this jumbo mutton snapper caught aboard the Safari1 will come out to play during the days of June.
Jason with a nearshore kingfish caught using a 3-foot wire leader with a 5/0 Tsunami Salt-X circle hook and a large throat hooked greenie for bait. PHOTO CREDIT: Capt. Jonathan Earhart.


Capt. Bo Samuel

Pullin Drag Charters (772) 971-6661

Summer is definitely here on the Treasure Coast so expect the hot days to keep on coming! The good thing is that fishing is getting hotter, too, with June being a prime time for muttons and mangos, which makes it one of my favorite months for meat fishing. We know snapper are here feeding and spawning and the local reefs have been very productive with great reports from both area captains and local anglers.

Pilchards, pinfsh, and sardines are some of my top choices when targeting lanes, muttons, greys, and vermillion snapper from 50 to 100 feet. The key is to use sufficient weight to hold bottom with a long enough leader so the bait is not close to the weight. Chumming can

certainly help bring fish up off the bottom and closer to the boat to increase chances of hookups. I also recommend taking advantage of some night fishing around the full moon as the mutton bite should be pretty significant.

Some decent dolphin are landing on decks offshore anywhere from 70 to 150 feet of water and we expect the numbers to only increase this month. Try a slow troll around weed lines, color changes, floating debris, and schools of bait fish for your best chance of reeling in colorful mahi.

The good weather and better water conditions of June mean more days offshore so stay cool out on the blue with us! And since the first week of

June is National Fishing and Boating Week, why not celebrate with a little pullin drag action? Remember to support local bait and tackle shops like DeBrooks Fishing Corner and my awesome home base of Little Jim Bait & Tackle. Beat the heat with Pullin Drag!

PHOTOS CREDIT: Capt. Bo Samuel. ABOVE: Marianne Amato (and husband) hooked up on slot snook with Pullin Drag Charters in May. LEFT: Captain Bo says “mutton to it” with this nice catch.


Capt. Adam White

St. Lucie Flats Fishing Charters (609) 820-6257

Summer has arrived on the Treasure Coast. Expect lots of hot days ahead! Early May gave us a taste of what to expect for the next several months. It is a time to get out early or late in the day and avoid the afternoon heat. Winds will be calmer and water temperatures will be in the mid-80s to the 90s most days. June is always one of my favorite months to enjoy the fishing in the area.

The bait schools should be on the beach by now and the king mackerel will be lingering around looking for an easy meal. Slow or bump trolling live baits in 30-40 feet of water is a good way to target them. There is no mistaking the blistering runs


Capt. Scotty Gold

Miss Fort Pierce Fishing (772) 766-0191

With June, we’re in the mutton and mangrove pre-spawn mode. These fish tend to school up and go in the feed mode right before the big spawn. All the traditional areas on the hard bottom in the sand adjacent to the reefs will all hold fish. You may have to change up your strategies at times, and bait as well, as a fish can become finicky and turn off and turn on throughout the tide.

You will also see the sprinkling of lane snapper, porgies, and triggerfish on the rough bottom as well. Don’t write off the opportunity to possibly catch a grouper.

While you are fishing, make sure you keep a spinning rod rigged up close by as pairs and pods of mahi are making their traditional showing along the reefs offshore.

We eagerly await the National Marine Fisheries announcement if the east coast will have a red snapper season or not, and for how many days. Keep on the lookout.

The Miss Fort Pierce will continue sailing seven days a week and we will also have some 12-hour marathon trips as well. Check out our website for details. The boat

these fish are capable of when you hook up to a smoker king. More often than not these fish are hooked on the side of the face or in their body rather than their mouth when using stinger rigs. Loosen your drag and take your time while working them in to avoid pulling the hooks. A fresh, bled, well iced king is hard to beat on the table.

Snook is another summertime favorite. Since the season closed try to take as best of care of them as possible. Leave them in the water as much as you can during the unhooking process. Have everything ready to go if you’re taking a photo so you can get them back in the water as soon as possible. On the inside, the deeper water around the bridges and inlet will hold good numbers of fish. On foot, walking the beach is another great way to target summertime snook. A 4-inch Zman Jerk Bait or a MirrOdine are great lures to use while sight casting to snook that are out on the beach.

The summers have been hotter the past several years. Take all the proper precautions to mitigate the heat as best as you can.

is also available for your small or large group charter for fishing or cruising.

Keep tight lines and be safe out there.

COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM JUNE 2024 TREASURE COAST 7 For Reservations, Call (772) 766-0191 or Visit: Novice & Experienced Anglers Of All Ages Welcome All Bait, Rods and Tackle Included! No License Required! SAILING DAILY AT 7AM Located at Causeway Cove Marina, 601 Seaway Dr., Fort Pierce
PHOTO CREDIT: Capt. Adam White. Mike with a hefty snook that ate a live croaker under a dock. PHOTOS CREDIT: Miss Fort Pierce Fishing.


Capt. Gus Brugger

Pattern Setter Charters (772) 360-6787

While inshore fishing, especially for snook and tarpon, is still a viable option after June 1, many local anglers like to take advantage of the normally calm and predictable weather conditions of the summer to get outside Sebastian Inlet and target oceanic species that are typically out of reach of small boat fishermen. June sees migrations of glass minnows and greenies within a couple miles of the beach. These are often shadowed by migrating predators ranging from Spanish mackerel to 100-pluspound tarpon. If the weather doesn’t cooperate, a solid day can be had inshore if you start before sunrise targeting trout and reds on the flats then move to targeting snook around cover and shade or go up the Sebastian River for tarpon.


– Be sure

to have some 6- to 10-inch mullet in your livewell and some Sabiki rigs to catch greenies in your tackle box when you head outside Sebastian Inlet. Having live bait to slow troll or pitch at large migrating tarpon, smoker kingfish, jack crevalle, cobia, dolphin, and even sailfish is a must when fishing the nearshore waters. Concentrating your efforts around schools of bait, areas of bottom structure, or keeping a sharp lookout for cruising or feeding schools of fish will increase your chances of putting a fish weighing in the double or even triple digits on the end of your line.

SEBASTIAN RIVER – The top of the list in the Sebastian River in early summer is tarpon. There are tarpon throughout the Sebastian River, but the larger fish seem to frequent the entire north fork and the lower south fork after June 1st. MirrOlure suspending plugs, D.O.A. TerrorEyz jigs, Yo-Zuri 3D minnows and flies are all good artificials for both snook and tarpon. Mullet are the bait of choice in the Sebastian River.


– Since the jetties of Sebastian Inlet are home to numerous large goliath grouper, I will

again advise against overdoing the catch and release snook fishing this summer. Between the goliaths and the bull sharks, not many of the snook let go by fishermen around the north jetty survive to fight another day according to my sources. Try targeting snook west of the A1A bridge where they have a better chance of not being devoured before they make it back to the bottom. Big redfish should be available at the inlet and can be caught on live bait and artificials day and night.


and redfish numbers have rebounded this spring despite a continued lack of expansive seagrass beds. Early morning will provide the best shot at shallow water trout and reds. Find where the bait fish are and there should be some predators nearby. Top-water plugs are a great way to find scattered fish on the flats in the early morning. After the sun is up, a D.O.A. jerkbait or suspending plug may draw more strikes. Snook of all sizes will be laid up tight to docks and mangroves getting out of the sun during the day, pitch a D.O.A. shrimp into the cover on stout tackle and hold on. Tarpon can also be found in the lagoon in June, look for smaller tarpon in the backwaters and larger ones in some of the deeper open water areas.

on a D.O.A. Shrimp. ® CALM-SEAS STAY CHARGED UP WE DELIVER & INSTALL AT YOUR BOAT OR DOCK RV, Golf, Car, Marine Batteries Truck, RV & Trailer Tires Truck RV & Trailer Brake Service Complete Truck, RV & Vehicle Service 800-432-1064
PHOTO CREDIT: Capt. Gus Brugger.
Vogel of Sebastian with a nice snook he dragged out from under


Capt. Terry Wildey

Big Easy Fishing Charters (772) 538 - 1072

Juneis finally here, my favorite month of the year for fishing. The good weather gets us more days offshore, combined with more consistent water quality. Warm clean water equals more consistent fishing. Remember though, when the water gets warm and clear, fish get picky. Light fluorocarbon leaders and live bait will produce more bites. Fortunately, live bait should be more readily present both inside and outside the inlet. We’ll see good catches of mutton snapper, mangrove snapper and kingfish.

Last year we only saw a mild thermocline, but we did have a couple of days fishing the beach reefs, although it passed quickly. Other than that, we should have some good kingfish on the 80-to-90-foot reefs; bigger fish will be hitting live bait. Strip baits trolled behind a Seawitch and 3-1/2 drone spoon works well also.

For those trolling offshore there should be some schooly dolphin some even into the 80- and 90-foot reefs.

They’re always a nice addition to the box. When you’re anchored up and a school swims up, this is when it’s good to have a couple light spinners ready with a #4 or #5 Mustad short shank with a 30-pound fluorocarbon leader. Have some chopped up pieces of squid ready to throw to keep their interest as well as to stick on the hook to capitalize on the opportunity.

Bottom fishing should be good on the reefs in the 80-to-90-foot range. Clear water is going to require light leaders and live bait to entice a bite there as well. As always, the ever-growing shark problem will be something to deal with. If there’s any upside to the abundance of sharks, it’s that they’ve had cobia traveling with them. There’s a thin line between fishing heavy enough line to horse the fish in before the sharks eat them yet light enough to get the fish to bite. I’m hoping some group, individual or fishing club will put together a shark tournament. One tournament of 100 boats would start putting the uneven balance back where it should be. Meat from the shark could be donated to local food banks. Believe me people that are saying this is a sign of a heathy eco system do not see what’s really happening out there.

As always support your local tackle shops, be courteous to your fellow anglers, one day you might need their help, be nice to your law enforcement including our FWC. They’re just doing their job.

“Fish on, gotta go!”

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You are not buying an ad, but investing in your business with Coastal Angler Magazine.

PHOTO CREDIT: Capt. Terry Wildey.
The Wells boys with a nice catch of mangrove snapper.
4 3 2 1 Contact Coastal Angler Magazine -Treasure Coast Publisher Misti Guertin for More Information: 772.285.6850 |




1SA 4:29 AM 2.31 H

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16SU 4:33 AM 1.92 H

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21F 2:19 AM 0.28 L

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22SA 3:03 AM 0.22 L

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24M 4:35 AM 0.1 L

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27TH 1:20 AM 2.46 H

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28F 2:11 AM 2.4 H

8:11 AM -0.14 L

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29SA 3:05 AM 2.33 H

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30SU 4:02 AM 2.27 H

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4:56 PM 2.38 H

10:43 PM 0.23 L


Chris Beachwalker Sharp

(772) 263-0118

BEACH: Summertime is all about snook and tarpon. If you’re new to fishing from shore your set is same you can use in the river. I use a 7’6” medium heavy rod from Blackfin Rods, Penn Slammer with 30 lb. Super Braid from Yo-Zuri, and a 50 lb. leader with a Yo-Zuri Crystal Minnow. This set is all you need to catch big fish from the beach. Snook will be all over the place at first light and then again at dawn. Tarpon bite will be good at night and first light. Best beaches are those with structure—Walton Rocks, St. Lucia and Hobe Sound at the north end. There is still plenty of big jack crevalle around. Throw a spoon or top water to get that exciting bust up top.

RIVER: If you’re wade fishing, head north to around the power plant up to Fort Pierce. Stuart and Jensen don’t have sea grass, so focus on wading in Herman Bay area with a

popping cork and shrimp. Cast net live mullet if you can get them. Trout, redfish and snook will be up against the mangroves so make sure you’re focusing on these areas. On the west side of the river, focus on the docks from Walton Road to Midway Road. Make sure you check the tides and don’t overlook top water lures for the snook and tarpon.

BRIDGE: Bridge fishing will be hot and can be enjoyed by the whole family. Snook fishing is best at night with live mullet or greenies. Tarpon will be around so use heavy equipment to get the fish in fast. The Jensen causeway catwalk on both sides is great. Also, the north side of the Stuart causeway is great with moving current. Fish the lights and use big mullet to get hooked up. There are so many places on the Treasure Coast to explore without a boat. So, get out and enjoy the outdoors. Tight lines!



High Tide -48 min

Low Tide -24 min


High Tide .93 feet

Low Tide 1.0 foot



High Tide +2 hrs; 17 min

Low Tide +3 hrs; 4 min


High Tide .48 feet

Low Tide .92 feet



High Tide -55 min

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High Tide 1.45 feet

Low Tide 1.36 feet



High Tide +55

Low Tide +1 hr; 42 min


High Tide 1 foot

Low Tide .50 feet



High Tide -31 min

Low Tide -18 min


High Tide 1.14 feet

Low Tide 1.50 feet



High Tide -10 min

Low Tide -9 min


High Tide 1.08 feet

Low Tide 1.42 feet

PHOTO CREDIT: Chris Sharp.
FORECASTS FISHING Crow’s Nest 3521 S.E. Dixie Highway, Stuart (one light south of Indian St. on Dixie) 772.341.4474 | 772.361-5599 The Most Interesting Shop...Ever!! We Buy or Consign Your Fishing, Boating & Nautical Treasures... Marine Consignment Estate Buying
Matthew Szabo with a beautiful snook.

Some organisms get a great deal of our attention, and others get ignored. There are acknowledged keystone species in our ecosystems that are recognized as being instrumental to keeping the system functional. Why do we love whales beavers and bison, or wolves and alligators? Partly because of their looks but also because of the majesty of the services they provide to the ecosystems in which they live. There are a multitude of animals and plants that are so important to the ecosystems in which they live that they lend their name to that habitat. Sometimes these species are so iconic or dominant that we can forget that they are just part of complex system. Consider homo sapiens. We are an undeniably charismatic species. But we are also not just an individual animal; we are actually a community. We are not

only social creatures but individually we host a multitude of organisms on us and in us. Many of them symbiotic or parasitic. We cannot thrive without our probiotic culture. We would not survive without exposure to bacteria and viruses throughout our evolution. We are part of very complex ecosystems and complex ecosystems are part of us.

When I think of the place I live, I picture a long lagoon filled with abundant wildlife, oyster reefs and grass meadows bounded by mangrove fringe. That mangrove fringe provides an incredibly valuable service by stabilizing shorelines, reducing the impacts of waves and wind, providing habitat and forage for many species of gamefish, and supporting vast numbers of wildlife while sequestering huge amounts of CO2. There may not be a more valuable plant in Florida. It

Head to Deep Six for all your spearfishing needs! Charisma

Mangrove fringe provides an incredibly valuable service.

is estimated that these incredible forests have been decimated by development by nearly 60%.

The three species of mangroves in Florida are well adapted but not immune to pathogenic disease when they are stressed. They can suffer a “heart attack” when they are flooded for too long, their roots can’t breathe. Mangroves can also be overwhelmed with a recently identified fungal infection that causes their leaves to drop and eventually kill the tree. There are many stressors in the wild, but competing with urbanization is a big one. While researching for

remediation and treatments for these plant ailments we need to also recognize that whole ecosystems are likely impacted by our actions. We should proceed with care. It was not long ago that our society was laid low by a global pandemic caused by a virus related to the common cold. Our natural world depends on the complex interactions of a rich diversity of both macro and microorganisms, along with a particular envelope of environmental conditions to be

COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM JUNE 2024 TREASURE COAST 11 VERO BEACH • 772-562-2883 416 21st St., Vero Beach, FL 32960 STUART • 772-692-2747 2525 NW Federal Hwy., Stuart, FL 34994 DEEP SIX DIVE & WATERSPORTS Largest COSTA Dealer on theTreasure Coast
SEE RIVERKEEPER ..................... PAGE 15

Fly Fishing Corner

THE HEAT IS ON! Summertime Fishing on the Treasure Coast

Few things bring me as much excitement and joy in the morning as running the boat through the inlet and starting on a journey to explore the beaches. Each outing holds the promise of discovery, and even if the initial search yields nothing, there’s always the option to venture a bit further offshore.

Fly fishing by sight is the name of the game, and I can’t think of a single serious angler who doesn’t feel a surge of adrenaline at the sight of a school of tarpon, snook gracefully gliding along the shoreline, or the appearance of tarpon, jacks, albies, or mackerel.

To ensure swift action and immediate casting, I always have an 8, 10, and 12 weight rod at the ready in

the boat. Each rod is equipped with a floating, intermediate, or fast sinking line, offering nine combinations ready to deploy at a moment’s notice. Efficiency is key when it comes to presenting the fly quickly to the fish, as seizing the moment can often be the difference between success and failure.

When it comes to casting, a few key techniques can greatly improve accuracy and distance. Avoiding dropping the tip on the back cast and mastering the double haul are essential. The double haul technique follows quick and efficient casting, the fly farther and faster. Maintaining line speed and achieving a clean turnover, particularly through the line hand, enhances overall efficiency. As we embrace the summer

season, it’s important to cherish our natural surroundings and the opportunities they provide. Despite the challenges posed by environmental issues such as toxic discharges, our coastal paradise remains a place of unparalleled beauty and a sanctuary for those who

love and live life outdoors. So, let’s make the most of it and get out there to fish! Capt. Michael Mauri (772) 485-3321
Ludger from Germany with a nice jack crevalle.
“Wir Sprechen Deutsch” WWW.MAURIFLYFISHING.COM STUART, FL • 772-485-3321 GUIDED TRIPS CASTING LESSONS TAKE YOUR FLY FISHING GAME TO THE NEXT LEVEL! FULLY INSURED USCG LICENSED CAPT. FRIENDLY MANAGERS • ALL GROUND FLOOR UNITS CONVENIENT WEEKEND HOURS WE SELL: MOVING SUPPLIES & LOCKS 772-569-2723 772-286-0996 BOAT & RV STORAGE • SECURITY FENCE • VIDEO CAMERAS WWW.DMSVEROBEACH.COM • WWW.DMSSTUART.COM MENTION THIS AD AND GET A FREE LOCK AT MOVE IN! North Location: 1803 90TH AVE VERO BEACH, FL 32966 South Location: 2601 SE MIAMI ST STUART, FL 34997 You Can’t Catch New Business Without Advertising! REEL IN More Business by Advertising In And Reach The Entire TREASURE COAST Every Month! COASTAL ANGLER LOW RATES, HIGH REACH! Treasure Coast Coastal Angler @TCCoastalAngler To advertise or for more information, call us at (772) 285-6850 or email Magazine and ads also available online, so readers around the world can find you.And, your online ad links to your website! U.S. CIRCULATION 300,000 TREASURE COAST 10,000
PHOTO CREDIT: Capt. Michael Mauri.



Florida law requires that persons born on or after January 1, 1988, complete an approved boater education course prior to operating a vessel. No one under 14 years of age may operate any powered watercraft on Florida waters at anytime, even if such a person possesses a Boating Safety I.D. Card. There is a penalty for not carrying your Boater Education Card and it can result in a fine.

The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, Flotilla 59, Stuart, in partnership with the Austin Blu Foundation just announced the Florida State “Boat America” course will be offered free to all young individuals aged 12-21, along with one parent. These classes are offered at their facility in Sandsprit Park, the third Saturday of every month (18 May, 15 June, 20 July, 17 August, 21 September, 19 October, and 16 November).

The cost for this one-day class is free thanks to donations from the Austin Blu Foundation. The mission of the foundation is dedicated to raising awareness and promoting educational programs designed to improve boater safety. Their goal is to make available to boaters of all ages, tools and technology, which can help prevent near-shore and offshore watercraft accidents, and to improve the chances for survival and recovery should an accident occur.

Each class is a one day in-depth boating safety class taught by experienced Coast Guard Auxiliary members. The class runs from 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. Upon successful completion, the Florida Boating Safety Education I.D. Card will be issued. Register at www.flotilla59. org. Seating is limited. Be safe on the water and get certified.

U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 59, located in Sandsprit Park, has been serving the Treasure Coast for over 80 years. Flotilla 59 is located at 3443 S.E. St. Lucie Blvd. in Stuart and can be reached at, (772) 288-0509 or



New seagrass recruitment modules are being produced in Vero Beach and will be used to test whether seagrasses can be grown inside the module, which consists of a ring of concrete surrounded by flexible blades of stainless steel that resemble turtle grass (Thalassia testudinum).

research project involving the FOS, Florida SeaGrant, DMCES, and Boy Scout Troop 420 can be permitted to include living shorelines, oyster reefs and seagrass restoration.






June 13



What do the ratings mean?

POOR day basically means the fish will either steal all your bait or will not even touch your line.

FAIR day means that you catch one or two fish but you will have to work hard to do so.

GOOD day means that you will catch enough fish to feel gratified.

BEST day means that you will catch something almost every time you cast your line in the water.

SOURCE: The Old Farmers’ 2024 Almanac

Old Fort Park in Fort Pierce may become important in inshore habitat restoration. Florida SeaGrant, the Florida Department of Environmental ProtectionAquatic Preserve (FDEP-AP), and Dredging and Marine Consultants, Engineers, and Scientists (DMCES) have recently met at the park to discuss ways to permit a living shoreline incorporating oyster reefs that were deployed by a Boy Scout troop from Oviedo in 2023. It is hoped that this living shoreline can be used to show other residents along Indian River Drive how to protect their shorelines. The Florida Oceanographic Society (FOS) is conducting seagrass research less than half a mile away from this site and an eagle scout candidate from local Boy Scout Troop 420 is also hoping to conduct his eagle project on the site. Details are still to be finalized but it is hoped that a

To get involved in the eagle project contact Robert Johanssen at (862) 409-1997. For more information on the St. Lucie County Artificial Reef Program or to get involved with inshore reef projects, contact Jim Oppenborn, St. Lucie County Coastal Resources Coordinator, at or (772) 462-1713.

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Juvenile black seabass caught at the Fort Pierce City Marina subtidal oyster reef.
June 1 POOR Morning June 2 POOR Morning June 3 FAIR Morning June 4 POOR Morning June 5 POOR Morning
6 POOR Evening
7 GOOD Evening
PHOTO COURTESY of St. Lucie County.
8 GOOD Evening
9 POOR Evening
10 POOR Evening
11 POOR Evening
12 FAIR Evening
15 POOR Morning June 16 POOR Morning June 17 GOOD Morning June 18 BEST Morning June 19 FAIR Morning June 20 FAIR Morning June 21 GOOD Evening June 22 GOOD Evening June 23 BEST Evening June 24 BEST Evening June 25 GOOD Evening June 26 BEST Evening June 27 BEST Evening June 28 POOR Morning June 29 POOR Morning June 30 FAIR Morning

predictable and sustaining.

Seagrasses, sawfish, manatees, and mangroves are all having a rough time right now, some but not all of the underlying problems they have are understood. These are charismatic and iconic organisms that rely on complex harmonious supporting ecosystems much of which. We don’t recognize. Water and soil quality matter, and achieving biological equilibrium is vital to our survival.

Let’s give nature a chance to shelter and nurture ourselves. Let’s look at the little stuff and examine the system. We must recognize that we have to back off. We should welcome marine protected areas and regulations that are in our longterm best interest. The Indian River Lagoon deserves our best protections for its sake and our own. The Indian River Lagoon and near-shore reef should be a national park.

If you are a business owner and would like to learn more about the benefits of supporting Indian Riverkeeper, email Executive Director Jim Moir at or call (772) 341-4953.



Join MIATC, Florida

Inland Navigation District and hundreds of volunteers for the Annual Treasure Coast Waterway Cleanup working together to scrub 125 miles of local waterways.

This year’s event begins on Saturday, July 20, with a weeklong self-reporting effort. Then, on Saturday, July 27, volunteers will gather at pre-selected sites throughout the Treasure Coast. This event is open to all ages, and is perfect for students, service clubs, yacht clubs or anyone who wants to be part of the solution to pollution.

Nearly 1,200 volunteers participate in this event each year, cleaning up the waterways of Martin, St. Lucie, and Indian River counties. Since 2008, this event has activated more than 13,441 volunteers who have removed more than 100 tons of trash from local waterways.

For more information, visit or email info@

LeeAnn Jones, Gary Jones and Marc Rogolino with a boatload of trash. PHOTO CREDIT: City of Stuart.

“Thought this was a big gag when it hit the rod, then saw it coming to the surface and it was quite clear it was a #warsaw #grouper . I quickly grabbed a picture and used our descending device to send her safely back down.”

COURTESY of Chris Giuffrida, @fishslayer1385.

From Ken Dara: We were fishing south of the Rankin, when I looked back, saw a rocket come out of the water with my ballyhoo in his mouth. He cut me off and then heard my friend yell he is on my line now and the fight was on. We finally got him next to the boat where I was able to gaff him. We were very lucky caught on a ballyhoo rigged with 60lb. mono.

PHOTO CREDIT: Fish Heads Tackle.

Email your information and high-quality (500KB or larger) photos to treasurecoast@ Share Your Brag Photo Here!
PHOTO Candice Tangel with a 30-inch, 10-pound snook, her first keeper. Caught with whiting off the beach just north of the Sebastian Inlet. PHOTO COURTESY of Candice. Melissa Fox, Team Salt Life, caught this 46-inch, 40 lb. cobia while fishing with live bait. It came up and ate two baits, a goggle eye and a threadfin. PHOTO CREDIT: Leonard Fox. Roman Hays catching snappers under the Roosevelt Bridge with mom, all the cool kids do it. PHOTO CREDIT: Lauren Hays. Rosa Fox landed her personal best mahi (the larger one) trolling ballyhoo north of the St. Lucie inlet in 75-90 feet of water. PHOTO CREDIT: Leonard Fox.
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CCA Florida STAR presented by Yamaha launched into year-10 on Memorial Day weekend! For 100 days, this unique fshing competition will award more than $500,000 in prizes and scholarships.

CCA Florida, the state’s leading marine fsheries conservation, habitat restoration, education and advocacy organization, holds the annual event to create awareness for conservation and support the protection and enhancement of Florida’s marine habitat.

Tis year, participating in STAR is easier than ever. Te competition has eight divisions including Tagged Redfsh Division, Tagged Dolphin Division, an Inshore and Ofshore Division, Native Watercraf Kayak Division, Realtree Youth Scholarship Division, Power Pole Conservation Division and Costa Kick Plastic Trash Division, and there are more than $500,000 in prizes and scholarships available!

“We are excited to kick of Florida’s largest family friendly saltwater

fshing competition for the tenth year,” STAR Director Leiza Fitzgerald said. “Tis year, it is easier than ever to participate in STAR because we have simplifed the competition to give anglers and non-anglers the chance to win big. Since 2015, we have given away more than $4 million in prizes, including $900,000 in college scholarships, and we can’t wait to do it again!”

STAR’s signature Tagged Redfsh Division presented by TH Marine ofers fve adult winners the choice of a Contender Boats 22 Sport, Dek Kat Boats 27 Flatz Kat, Spyder Boats FX19, Micro Draf Ski package that includes a Sea-Doo Fish Pro Trophy and a CanAm Defender. Each boat is powered by Yamaha and equipped with an Infnity trailer. For the frst two youth anglers, prizes include a tiller boat powered by Yamaha, a trailer, a Minn Kota trolling motor and Humminbird electronics.

In total, there are more than 160 prize-winning tagged red of Florida’s coastal counties. Citrus and Charlotte counties, STAR’s 2024 Destination Counties, ofer the best shot at a prize-winning received twice as many tagged reds as the other counties.

Te STAR competition also focuses on conservation with its CatchPhoto-Release format and smartphone app. STAR’s Trash Division has set the bar for other fshing tournaments to implement conservation-friendly alternatives.

All STAR entries must be photographed with the o Florida Measuring Device, which is available free of charge at locations throughout the state, including all Florida West Marine stores.

Te CCA Florida STAR competition presented by Yamaha has a division for everyone. Now with only eight divisions, plus ALL saltwater species included in the event and most winners determined by random drawing, anglers of all ages and skill levels can fsh from anywhere in Florida’s saltwater and have greater opportunities to win.

Registration is $40 for current CCA Florida members or $80 for nonmembers, which includes CCA Florida membership. Kids ages 6-17 can register for free with their current ($10) CCA Florida youth membership.

To register, visit today!

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In case you haven’t seen it yet, this enormous 888-pound bluefn tuna caught in late April out of Destin just might be the largest bluefn ever caught of Florida. It was brought to the docks at Boshamps Seafood and Oyster House on Destin Harbor, and although the fsh won’t qualify as a state record because landing it was a team efort, no one in Destin really seems to care. It’s a catch worth celebrating.

According to Te Destin Log, Capt. George Gill was piloting the Flat Dangerous on its frst Gulf of Mexico trip on Wednesday, April 24. About 68 miles out of Destin, the new 80-foot Viking encountered a massive school of surfacefeeding bluefns while the crew was fshing for bait.

With just four baits onboard, some small yellowfn, skipjack and blackfn, the captain gave chase, and the crew tossed baits into the school of bluefns. Tey lost three big fsh in short order, but the fsh of a lifetime for boatowner Warren Williamson, of Alabama, came tight on the fourth and fnal bait.

Te fsh died about an hour into the fght, and it was a team efort to haul it to the surface over the next four hours with 100-pound main line, 150-pound braid and 400-pound leader.

Te fsh measured 110 inches in length and weighed 888 pounds. Tat’s a heck of a fsh to break in a new boat!

Te existing state record, caught by Rick Whitley out of Destin in 2017, weighed 826.5 pounds. Another would-be new record was caught in 2022, also out of Destin by a team of anglers sharing time on the rod. Tat fsh weighed 832 pounds. Te Gulf of Mexico bluefn tuna record stands at 1,152 pounds. Tat fsh, caught of Louisiana in 2003, is the largest fsh caught by rod and reel in state history.

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CCW Petitions Big Sugar Over Everglades Restoration

Captains For Clean Water (CCW), a non-proft organized by fshing guides, is petitioning Big Sugar to drop its lawsuit seeking access to irrigation water from the Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA) Reservoir.

Te EEA reservoir, which is currently under construction, is the centerpiece of Everglades restoration projects designed to provide relief from devastating Lake Okeechobee discharges and restore the fow of freshwater south, as nature intended, through the Everglades to Florida Bay.

Big Sugar, made up of sugar producers United States Sugar Corporation, Okeelanta Corporation (Florida Crystals) and Te Sugar Cane Growers Cooperative of Florida, claims farming interests in South Florida were promised water access by the federal government. Last year a federal judge threw out the case brought by Big Sugar, and this recent lawsuit is in the appeals process, with no projected timeline.

Explanation of the CCW petition reads: “If Big Sugar wins, they could push to use the EAA Reservoir as their personal taxpayer-funded water supply, upending years of restoration progress and sealing the fate of Florida’s future to include more damaging discharges, more toxic algae blooms, and more economic and environmental peril. It could also set a dangerous precedent, forcing Everglades Restoration projects to prioritize Big Sugar’s interests and replace their historical water supply over benefts to South Florida’s waters— regardless of how and when Sugar lost water supply since December 2000.”


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I’ve long been a proponent of chumming up a place on the bottom with squid and then feeding grouper a big live bait.

However, afer the last few trips, I’m starting to rethink this tactic because of the number of sharks we’ve been catching.

I’ve never seen as many sharks as we are seeing right now. Te bottom is covered with them, and the top layer of the water column is full of them. Tis past trip, we put out fve Spanish mackerel on light lines hoping for a wahoo bite. We caught fve sharks almost instantly. One of these bites was the biggest tiger shark I’ve ever seen. It was at least 12 feet long and 2 feet wide across the head. Te rest of them were standard 6- to 9-footers; it takes a toll on you to get them to the boat for dehooking.

apart to create a lot of smell down on the bottom. Ten I drop live pinfsh or small snappers to the grouper drawn in by the “chum.”

Lately, I’ve resorted to dropping big, pretty live baits frst to see if we can get a few grouper bites before the taxman arrives, and it’s become a matter of WHEN rather than IF he shows up. It’s “hit-and-run” fshing. We pull up on a nice mark with pinfsh and grunts already rigged on the jig. I hit the spot lock on the Rhodan and drop in for a few good bites. When the sharks show up, we just move up or down the ledge. Lather, rinse and repeat as ofen as needed. Granted, we haven’t boated as many of the smaller snappers or seabass for the cooler, but we’ve caught some beautiful grouper with this “hitand-run” style of bottom banging. Te wahoo are diferent story. We quit putting the light line out due to the instant shark bite. I’ve got to fgure something out for that. From now until the end of October or the frst of November, wahoo will be everywhere and nowhere at the same time. Tey will come inside the edge of the Gulf Stream following big stacks of bait. As usual, some king mackerel fsherman will catch a 100-pounder on a live menhaden in less than 100 feet of water while chasing a tournamentgrade kingfsh.

Between all the American red snappers—which we aren’t allowed to keep—and all the sharks, we’ve been run of of several square miles of bottom lately. Tankfully, we’ve found some of the grouper we’re looking for, but I’m seriously rethinking the “chumming” part of the tactics I usually employ. Normally, I begin on a spot by dropping whole squid on jigs, which the smaller fsh pick

I said all that to say this: We’re going to take more pinfsh and less squid to catch “hit-and-run” grouper. Someone please educate me on a bait that will not catch a red snapper!

For more info on the jigs and bait, check out Tim Barefoot’s YouTube channel and website,

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C-HAWK MITZI SKIFF: & Two Brands, One Philosophy

In the boating world, brand loyalty is earned. Over years, boater experiences with vessels— good and bad, on and of the water—are what build the reputations of boats. It might, or might not, come as a surprise that two brands that have garnered sterling reputations in the industry for functionality and dependability are manufactured by the same builder.

C-Hawk and Mitzi Skif are both built in the U.S.A. with the same philosophy that simplicity leads to vessels that are easier and more afordable to operate and maintain. A simple, well-designed and well-built boat, comes with less hassle, leaving more time to spend on the water. Especially among anglers, this philosophy has built large followings for both brands among people who are more interested in fshing and boating than they are in pampering their pretty boats.

“We build a keep-it-simple-stupid boat. If you want something you can sof scrub at the end of the day and put it away, you’re my guy,” said Brad Grubbs, the owner and manufacturer of C-Hawk and Mitzi Skif. “We set out to make boats that are afordable to operate and afordable to own, and the philosophy has worked.”

Mitzi Skiff

Although Mitzi Skif originated in the 1990s for a singular purpose, the same philosophy for simplicity applies. Fly fshing the fats drove Tom Mitzlaf to design a skif with quiet maneuverability, extremely shallow draf and a clean deck layout to make him a better fsherman. It was simple by necessity, and it revolutionized the industry.

Tree decades later, Mitzi’s line of 15’, 16’and 17’ skifs achieves those purposes exceptionally well, and they have led the way with innovations that make them the fats boats other boat builders imitate. A Mitzi does everything the pricier skifs do, yet they are afordable enough for any angler to own and operate.

“If it ain’t broke, don’t fx it,” Grubbs quipped. Mitzi builds skifs for anglers more interested in fshing than in spending a lot of money.

Te 15’ remains a purpose-built fats boat for one or two anglers to sneak up on wary fsh in super-skinny water. Te 17’ models are more multi-purpose. Tey can fsh three anglers, and while they are primarily a fats boat, they perform admirably as bay boats with a modifed V-hull and an 11-degree deadrise at transom to reduce hull slap. Rolled gunnels knock down spray for an exceptionally dry ride.

Tey are solid and durable for long years of heavy use, and from hideaway pushpole holders to fush-mount hardware, Mitzi delivers clean and stable casting decks designed specifcally for hard-core anglers.

C-Hawk Boats

C-Hawk has been around since the mid1970s and ofers lines of bombproof 16’ to 29’ center consoles and 22’ to 29’ sport cabins that were originally developed for commercial applications. C-Hawks remain widely used commercially, and many recreational

boaters also see the value in a vessel that’s built to take a beating.

“Really, we just took a commercial-duty boat and put a little lipstick on it,” Grubbs said. “ Te boat is as tough as it ever was. It’s been the same boat for nearly 50 years.”

At their core, C-Hawks are hardcore workhorses, and the center console models have become popular with charter captains because they are built to withstand hard use for years of trouble-free boating. Grubbs pointed to C-Hawk’s 25 CC as a great example of what the brand has become. It’s an extremely stable fshing platform that drafs just 12 inches, and with a 300 horsepower max it’ll take you anywhere you need to go from skinny water to light ofshore duty. What’s more, it’s infnitely customizable from the factory.

“We can mix and match consoles, fsh boxes, full transoms, cut transoms, bare hulls… you name it,” Grubbs said. “ Tere are some recreational guys adding towers and sight fshing for cobia, and such. Everything we do is built around keep it simple, keep it efcient, keep it easy to maintain, keep it cost efective to own and operate. Tey are all unique… no cookie cutter trailer queens here. Te 25 is a great example of what C-Hawk is.”

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Every month, I provide tips to help make you a better angler. Tis month’s tip is one of the most important. With so many tackle and gear options on the market these days, staying organized on the water is difcult. Here are a few things I do that make me a more efcient angler because I know exactly where to go when looking for the right tool for the job.

Storage options vary depending on the type of fshing you do. I’m going to stick to bass fshing, but don’t be afraid to alter these tips to your style of fshing.

When storing baits, hooks, line and gear, your No. 1 enemy is moisture. Keeping your tools dry should be a priority because it keeps hooks sharp and everything else rust-free. I store almost everything in waterproof boxes or bags. Tese storage options might be a little more expensive up-front, but when compared to losing a whole box of lures or hooks to rust, your investment will pay for itself many times over.Another good trick I’ve learned is to use DampRid moisture absorbers. Here in Florida, where humidity is high and temperatures fuctuate, condensation builds up in boat compartments. Te best thing to do is to take your tackle out of the boat and move it inside, but this is not an option if you fsh a lot and have a lot of gear. DampRid containers help keep everything safe and dry by absorbing moisture from the air in your boat’s storage compartments.

Now let’s talk about organization. If you’re a bass angler, you have a ton of sof plastics in diferent styles and colors as well as packs of hooks, jigs and weights to fsh them. I use plastic Sterlite containers with latches to store my bags of sof plastics. You can buy them at Walmart. I organize my baits by the type of sof plastic they are, and I label each container. On the water, this makes it easy grab the style of bait I’m looking for. Also, before I leave the house, labels make it easy to load what I think I’ll need for the day and remove what I don’t.

On the hook side of organization, one mistake people make when organizing hooks is to take them out of the original packaging to place them in compartment boxes. Tis is a huge mistake. Hook packs are clearly labeled by size and style, which allows you to quickly identify them on the water. Also, hook packs are designed to keep hooks sharp, untangled and dry. You can store your hooks in a box, but you should leave them in their original packaging.

Hopefully, these tips help you be more efcient on the water and save you some money by protecting your investments.

Tyler Woolcott is a professional tournament angler and guide. Check out his website at

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These amazing, just released 2024 Silver Passport 5-Coin Sets featuring five popular Silver Dollars from around the world are in stock now.

Don’t wait. Order now and your 2024 Set will ship directly to your door. Order your Silver Passport Set right now—while they last!

2024 World Silver 5-Coin Set

Regular Price $249 – Only $199 per set!

FREE SHIPPING: Standard domestic shipping. Not

SAVE $50.00 (over 20%) + FREE SHIPPING

GovMint • 1300 Corporate Center Curve, Dept. WRD400-09, Eagan, MN 55121
valid on previous purchases. For fastest service call today toll-free 1-888-201-7070 Offer Code WRD400-09 Please mention this code when you call.
The 5 Most Popular Pure Silver Coins on Earth in One Set Asset Marketing Services, LLC d/b/a GovMint is a retail distributor of coin and currency issues and is not afliated with the U.S. government. Te collectible coin market is unregulated, highly speculative and involves risk. Prices, facts, fgures and populations deemed accurate as of the date of publication but may change signifcantly over time. All purchases are expressly conditioned upon your acceptance of AMS’s Terms and Conditions (; to decline, return your purchase pursuant to our Return Policy ( Keeping your purchase means you agree to the Terms and Conditions. © 2024 GovMint. All rights reserved. SPECIAL CALL-IN ONLY OFFER The Royal Not sold yet? To learn more, place your phone camera here >>> or visit BONUS Case! by Emily Damstra’s Eagle Landing reverse. Struck in The New 2024! Just Released and In Stock! 5 Pure Silver Coins!
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