Page 1

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TREASURE COAST EDITION

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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T

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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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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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

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Fall's Topwater Bonanza No-Pressure Grouper

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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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INTERNATIONAL

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SW GEORGIA/EAST ALABAMA EDITION

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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

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Gifts for Anglers

EXPERIENCE THE

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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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THE ALTERNATIVE TO BUYING A NEW BOAT

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By Richard Matteson

O

ne of the best places to consistently find fish in the Indian River Lagoon and St. Lucie River is the bridges. Bridges are ideal places for concentrations of fish and usually have the largest snook and tarpon hanging around. The water is deeper, there are ambush points around the bridge abutments, water is funneled through small areas, and baitfish are concentrated there. You need to have current and know the tides. As long as the water’s moving, the action will be better. You need to know the water depth and structures and fish the shadow lines. Bridges are also some of the top night fishing spots, and shadow lines result from the lights over the bridge. Fishing under bridges is easy because you can fish from the shore, wade or fish from a boat. Every way works. There are different techniques for bridge fishing. I use different lures, the main ones are topwaters, Yo-Zuri crankbaits, CAL jigs with a 4” paddletail, and TerrorEyz. With the CAL jigs and TerrorEyz, you want to cast to the abut-

ments and let the jig fall near the bottom and jerk it up. I like the 4” Yo-Zuri minnow crankbaits, which you crank down and then use as a jerkbait. I use 6- to 8-lb. white braid with a 2-foot, clear, 20-lb. leader. If you’re fishing for big fish, you might want to bump it up to 20-lb. braid with 40-lb. leader. A great technique for giant snook is using heavy 1- to 2-oz. Redtail Hawk jigs at night. Fishing at night is awesome, and it’s cool in the summer. St. Lucie River Bridges The three top St. Lucie River bridges are Roosevelt Bridge, Palm City Bridge, Evans Crary Bridge (Sewall’s Point Bridge or Ten Cent Bridge). The Roosevelt Bridge is known for giant snook and the monsters of the deep—Goliath grouper. Fish the south end of the bridge, which gets very shallow around the concrete abutments the farther south you go. The seawall around the marina is also good, and the seawall that stretches under the railroad bridge is excellent. I’ve caught many snook in that area using topwater lures. Both the Palm City Bridge and the Ten-Cent Bridge can be excellent. I like the south side of the Ten-Cent around the large abutments. That’s one of local legend Jim Harter’s favorite spots. Stuart Bridges The north bridge (Jensen Bridge) is awesome and can be waded around as well as fished under from the shore or from a boat. I like fishing under the east section on the north side. Recently, I caught 10 jacks, three mangrove snapper, a mackerel and a snook there in about an hour around 10 a.m. using a 4” Yo-Zuki minnow. The south Stuart bridge is my favorite. I like wading the sandy shallow area on the north side and fishing under the east span. Recently I caught eight snook there on an evening-night trip. Richard is staff writer for the Stuart Rod and Reel Club. For information on the club, call 336-414-3440.

Where the Fun Begins! Conveniently located in beautiful and historic Fort Pierce

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I By Terry Gibson

n the November edition of Coastal Angler Magazine, I highlighted the stories of boaters who have been victimized by a handful of maritime salvage and towing companies. While it’s been my experience that most of these kinds of companies operate with a high level of professional integrity, some of them resort to predatory practices to rake in substantial fees for so-called “salvage claims.” In one boater’s story, the salvage claim bill was more than $30,000 for minor assistance that took less than five minutes. And this was no fly-by-night operator making this outlandish charge, it was a popular national company. Now two Florida lawmakers from the Tampa Bay area have taken a strong interest in this issue, and they recently filed legislation (Senate Bill 664 and House Bill 469) that would require all maritime salvage and towing companies to provide a written estimate to boaters. This is clearly a common-sense idea that should sail through the Florida Legislature. After all, when you bring your car to a mechanic, Florida law requires that you receive an estimate about what it will cost. It’s hard to argue that boaters on the water shouldn’t have those same consumer protections. The legislators who are being such good friends to boaters are State Senator Dana Young and State Representative Shawn Harrison. Their legislation would require that whenever the cost of a service could exceed $500, the salvor must provide a written estimate that discloses the cost to the boater. Boaters love the freedom of the open water, and it’s important that everyone understand that the legislation does not implement some new over-aggressive government regulation. The proposal does not in any way regulate what these companies may charge or force them to provide services they don’t want to. Thanks to a very simple half-page form, it will make sure boaters can have the costs disclosed up front, so they can make an informed decision. We’ve all heard the joke that “a boat is a hole in the water into which you pour money.” The truth is, boaters love the water and have made a thoughtful, informed choice to devote some of their resources to this joyous pursuit. They shouldn’t be victimized by those who would take even more of their money for no good reason. The proposed legislation will put an end to some unwelcome practices, and boaters throughout Florida should do what they can to see that this proposal becomes law.

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12 DAYS OF FISHMAS New Prizes Everyday! Check it out on 1 of our Social Media Pages

December 11 - 22 Brought to you by

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COASTAL ANGLER Treasure Coast edition Co-Publishers Gary and Misti Guertin

Anglers Hooked on Recognition Program

Lily Naylor adds a spotted seatrout to her Saltwater Fish Life List, with brother Peyton cheering her on.

Martin County First Destination to Officially Support Initiative

T

he Martin County Office of Tourism and Marketing is partnering with the Florida Fish Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) to reel in anglers with the Catch a Florida Memory program. This program recognizes saltwater anglers for their fishing skills and encourages them to target multiple species, decreasing fishing pressure on the most commonly sought-after species. Anglers of all ages and skills can earn prizes, recognition and bragging rights while supporting marine fisheries conservation. FWC offers three Saltwater Angler Recognition Programs - Saltwater Reel Big Fish, Grand Slam or Saltwater Life List. Angler-submitted photos are highlighted in the Club Members section on FWC's website at www. CatchaFloridaMemory.com and their Facebook page at www.Facebook. com/CatchaFLMemory. Charters, local residents and anglers fishing in Martin County are also encouraged to submit their fishing photos via email to info@discovermartin.com, or by the use of #discovermartin to be featured in ongoing promotional efforts and on numerous Martin County social media channels. Martin County is the first destination to officially support this program. Dual-branded Tervis® tumblers will be added to the prizes offered, and both organizations are exploring joint opportunities for cross-promotion. "With 100 artificial reef systems and over 800 species of fish, fisherman from all over the world come to fish our waters," said Nerissa Okiye, Martin County Office of Tourism & Marketing Manager. "There's no

better way to promote the impressive array of fishing opportunities, charters and tournaments in Martin County, than to partner with FWC," Okiye continued. Along with encouraging anglers to target multiple species, FWC promotes responsible angling, including proper catch and release techniques. Anglers do not have to harvest their fish to be eligible for the program and are, in fact, encouraged to release their catch after documentation. Catchand-release procedures are regularly employed when anglers fish Martin County waters for sailfish and other species. To learn more about proper fish handling techniques, visit http:// www.myfwc.com/fishing/saltwater/ recreational/fish-handling/. Martin County fishing charters, marinas and event organizers can submit images and descriptions of their businesses to info@ discovermartin.com to be listed at no charge on the tourism page of Discover Martin's website. There they also have the option to add events and special offers directly to the website. Learn more about Catch a Florida Memory by visiting www.CatchaFloridaMemory.com and explore fishing opportunities at www.discovermartin.com/ see-do/world-class-fishing/. Follow Discover Martin on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ DiscoverMartin and Twitter @ DiscoverMartin.

PHOTO CREDIT: Jeff Naylor. PHOTO CREDITS: X

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Florida Fish and Wildlife

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Approaching Atlantic Closures

• Snook: December 15-January 31, excluding Monroe County • Grouper (includes gag, black, red, scamp, rock hind, red hind, coney, graysby, yellowfin, yellowmouth and tiger): January 1-April 30, including Monroe County. NOTE: Hogfish remains closed until May 1.

Attention Seasonal Residents – Freshwater Rule Changes

Statewide black bass rules changed in 2016-2017. The statewide bag and length limits for black bass are: 5 Black bass (including largemouth, Suwannee, spotted, Choctaw, and shoal bass, individually or in total), only one of which may be 16 inches or longer in total length. There is no statewide minimum length limit for largemouth bass. Regulations for black bass species including Suwannee, shoal, spotted, and Choctaw bass changed in 2016. No person shall kill or possess any Suwannee, shoal, spotted, or Choctaw bass that is less than 12 inches in total length. For additional information, visit www.MyFWC.com/Fishing/ Freshwater.

Buy Your License Online

You can obtain a license 24-hours a day at GoOutdoorsFlorida. com and begin fishing immediately! Licenses are also available toll-free at 1-888-FISHFLORIDA (1-888-347-4356). Processing fees apply to telephone and Internet sales.

Florida Fishing Regulations On the Go

Florida Saltwater and Freshwater Fishing Regulations are available through your mobile device. Visit www.eRegulations.com.

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Florida Public Boat Ramp Finder

The Boat Ramp Finder provides descriptive information, maps and photographs for hundreds of public boat ramps throughout Florida. The Find-A-Boat-Ramp menu on the left side of this page provides several options to search for the particular type of boat ramp you want to visit. The Boat Ramp Finder provides information about both public maintained and commercially maintained boat ramps. Some of these boat ramps might require a user fee. As the condition and operation of boat ramps can change rather quickly, boaters are advised to check ahead before making a trip to an unfamiliar boat ramp. Staff of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and collaborating agencies continuously update this information. However, no warranty is made as to completeness or accuracy of this information. Boaters are encouraged to report updates or corrections via email to BoatRamps@myFWC.com.

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DECEMBER FISHING CONDITIONS

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December 1

GOOD

Morning

December 22

GOOD

Evening

December 2

FAIR

Morning

December 23

BEST

Evening

December 3

FAIR

Evening

December 24

BEST

Evening

December 4

BEST

Evening

December 25

POOR

Evening

December 5

BEST

Evening

December 26

POOR

Morning

December 6

FAIR

Evening

December 27

POOR

Morning

December 7

POOR

Evening

December 28

FAIR

Morning

December 8

FAIR

Evening

December 29

GOOD

Morning

December 9

FAIR

Evening

December 30

FAIR

Morning

December 10

FAIR

Morning

December 31

FAIR

Morning

December 11

POOR

Morning

December 12

POOR

Morning

December 13

GOOD

Morning

December 14

GOOD

Morning

December 15

POOR

Morning

December 16

POOR

Morning

December 17

POOR

Morning

December 18

POOR

Evening

December 19

POOR

Evening

December 20

FAIR

Evening

December 21

GOOD

Evening

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’ 2017 Almanac

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fishing forecasts

martin county offshore

Capt. Scott Fawcett

Off the Chain Fishing Charters (772) 285-1055 fishscottyf@bellsouth.net offthechainfishing.com

D

ear Santa for Christmas I’m asking for a 37 Stuart Boatworks, with a pair of 400 hp Yamaha outboards, Rupp outriggers, Garmin electronics, a few more Blackfin rods with FinNor reels and most of all, better weather for 2018 please. It’s been extremely windy, rainy and rough this past year and if this December is anything like most, I’m sure that it’s going to continue. But there is a silver lining, the northwest winds, bigger swells and colder temperatures push large numbers of sailfish, dolphin, blackfin tuna and wahoo down our coastline. This is another one of my favorite times of year to fish here. I love trolling dead ballyhoo while using

dredges to attract the fish closer to the boat. ‘Tis the season to pull a spread focusing more towards sailfish and dolphin using small naked ballyhoo rigged on circle hooks and maybe a big bait in the short rigger if it’s not too windy. I also like pulling a squid chain on the other side of the spread when we can. If targeting wahoo while we’re still targeting the sails and mahi, I normally sacrifice a flatline and the second dredge and put a planer or one of our Canon 10TS downriggers down with double-hooked mullet or ballyhoo and a Scylla Lure over top of it. Try to fish it just above the thermocline, and if you happen to have the same downrigger, there is a cycle function, I definitely recommend using it. This time of year, the fish typically travel down our reef systems and 85, 135, and 175 feet traditionally seem to be pretty good depths to look for edges and bait to fish on. Obviously, there are no fences out there and if conditions are right inshore or offshore of those areas, there’s a good possibility of capitalizing there. Live bait has been pretty easy to catch lately and there is a boat selling it at the mouth of the Pocket again. It’s a great time of year to fish it. Slow trolling, drifting, or kite fishing

Steve, Greg and Amy had a great half-day charter in early November. We caught our limit of genuine red snapper in the first 30 seconds and then moved on to some other things, including grouper and a limit of extra-large sea bass.

PHOTO CREDIT: Off The Chain Fishing Charters.

will all work well, especially when you have one of those holographic stripteaser dredges drifting along with you. Just make sure you’ve got your Costa Sunglasses on so you can see the fish when they fire in there, that’s my favorite part. The water has been extremely

warm this year and I expect bottom fishing and cobia fishing to continue and be pretty good as well. Check out Capt. Rocky’s report to find out more about that. Hope y’all have a great holiday season and hope to see you aboard Off the Chain Fishing Charters.

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martin county inshore nearshore

Capt. John Young Bites On Guide Service (772) 708-3593 snoooky12@yahoo.com

T

here’s plenty of fish to be caught in December. Winds will be picking up out of the north with temps dropping, which will make fishing a little bit challenging at times. Stay on the leeward side of the shoreline for wind protection and you will be fine. In the surf, bluefish will be feeding on anything that moves and can be caught with Krocodile spoons or noisy topwater chuggers. For sport or meat, the blues will give you a good fight, but watch their teeth chompers. The main concentration of Spanish macs will be down around Peck Lake and

riding the incoming tide into the river. A fast retrieve with a green jig on 60-pound leader will do the trick filling up the box if that’s what you desire. Try drifting the Sailfish Point flats for pompano and the edges of the channel heading up to the Twenty-Five Cent Bridge. Goofy jigs in yellow or pink bounced right off the bottom will get their attention. A couple good cold fronts should move the flounder into the inlet and river. A simple rig to use is a live finger mullet on a jig head around channel edges and points of land. The black drum, sheepshead and croaker bite is hot around the bridges and inlet. Shrimp tipped jigs or small crabs pinned on a jig head near the bridge pilings and over the rocky bottom around the inlet is the ticket. Snook season is closed but you can still fish for them. If the water stays in the 70s, the fish will feed. Snook will get lock jaw in cold water but if you put a bait in front of their nose they will eat it. I have been writing this forecast

MARTIN COUNTY deep sea

Capt. Rocky Carbia

Safari I Deep Sea Fishing Pirates Cove Resort and Marina 4307 SE Bayview St. Port Salerno Reservations: (772) 334-4411 Safari-1.com

H The days of December will mark the final hours for the grouper "Catch and Keep" season. Nice gag grouper here, caught by this lucky Safari 1 angler. PHOTO CREDIT: Safari 1 Deep Sea Fishing.

oliday excitement will clamor inside the souls of all in December. Like many gifts under a decorated tree, a multitude of saltwater fish species will wait just below the choppy surface, and avail themselves as trophy saltwater presents to the offshore anglers of this month. A steady procession of cold fronts will produce “fresh” winds that will in turn rough up the ocean, and oxygenate the near

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Big jacks roaming the St. Lucie can be caught on top-water plugs, such as these hooked up by Don Liang and Ed while fishing with Capt. John Young. PHOTO CREDIT: Capt. John Young/Bites On Guide Service.

since 2009 and it is time to take a break to let somebody new take over. It has been a pleasure writing the articles and meeting new people. The fishing community on the Treasure Coast are all highly rated anglers and outdoorsman and I wish all of you the best in the new year. Aloha and good luck.

PUBLISHER’S NOTE: Capt. John, thank you for your contributions to the magazine over the past nine years! We’ll forever consider you part of the Coastal Angler Magazine family. Don’t be a stranger— remember to send in those catch photos for the Brag Board. Tight lines and good fishing!

coastal waters, from the northwest, northeast and east. Fish will be active, on the move, and hungry across the entire offshore playing field. King mackerel, mahi, snapper, and grouper will be the preferred targets of captains and crews plying the waters from 50 to 150 feet as choppy and rough ocean conditions will dictate strategies and force boats to “fish for position” by steering towards wave conditions that will offer the path of least resistance to a fishing spot and create the opportunity for a more comfortable ride home after the fishing day is done. “Fishing for position” will be key this month, as it will allow boats to fish marginal conditions on what is typically a rough ocean during December. Natural and artificial reefs that are positioned just east and northeast

of the St. Lucie Inlet by three to four nautical miles will be a go to fishing zone for all species this month, especially mutton and lane snapper. Lane snapper will congregate in large schools at the base of these reefs and will be caught on 30- to 50-pound tackle, using all types of cut bait, presented on 3/0 to 5/0 size hooks. While several of these reefs will lend themselves to a “drifting strategy”, fishing from an anchored boat will be the more preferable strategy, as the majority of these reefs are relatively small in size, moreover, steep December waves will make a drifting strategy dicey and prohibitive. Have a good anchor, with a sizeable amount of chain, and rode (anchor line) to increase one`s potential for success. December will be the final month

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SEE MC DEEP SEA................ PAGE 8

BITES ON GUIDE SERVICE

Capt. John Young USCG License & Insured

(772) 708-3593 • Inshore, Light Offshore • Day or Night • St. Lucie & Indian River • License & Equipment Provided Snook • Trout • Redfish • Tarpon • Kingfish

DECEMBER 2017

TREASURE COAST 5

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fishing forecasts

south indian river lagoon

Capt. Charlie Conner

Capt. Charlie’s Fish Tales Charters (772) 284-3852 captaincharlie@fishtalescharter.com www.fishtalescharter.com

H

ere it is December already and the holidays are almost upon us. Where has this year gone? I must say 2017 has been another great year for fishing all along the Treasure Coast. Both inshore and offshore have provided anglers with many great fishing adventures. Lots of things happened in 2017. Hurricane Irma bought rain and that has ruined the water quality in lots of areas as Lake Okeechobee continues to get drained. Hopefully, this winter will be milder, the water quality improves, and the fishing is great for everyone. December brings on the winter months and changes fishing tactics on the river. The water temperatures continue to fall, and your fishing must adjust to the weather. Water temps can dictate where you fish and how you fish. Finding water a few

the catwalks. There is a good degrees warmer than normal variety of fish to target on can mean the difference in any given day in any kind of catching and fishing. We weather conditions. will get many days of breezy Redfish can be found winds that will hinder around local docks during getting to some favorite the winter months and a live spots out there. That's one shrimp or D.O.A. Shrimp of the reasons I love fishing can entice them into striking. in this area—you can always Don't forget about the deeper find somewhere to fish! Not cuts along the mangroves only does the cooler weather for redfish and snook in affect the fish, it also requires December. Using stealth is us to dig out the ol' winter Don Schilling caught and released this nice essential when fishing the fishing clothes. I’m not too 29-inch redfish while fishing with his buddies, shallow waters for redfish. proud to get out the long Art and Marty. The guys loaded up on We had very good success at johns on a cold winter day. croakers, sheepshead and snapper. finding the reds in shallow It can get pretty chilly some PHOTO CREDIT: Capt. Charlie Conner. on sunny days on the grass mornings! Trout, redfish and snook will be snook and redfish hanging around flats. A mild winter will have them feeding in the shallows this month. targets throughout the winter. Snook those areas as well. Pompano have already arrived in It was a fantastic redfish bite all last season closes December 15th, but many anglers will still play catch and the area and not only provide great winter and I am looking for it to be release with them. Fishing around fishing action, but fantastic table just as good this year. Winter fishing is already here. bridges, docks and inlets can bring fare. Spanish mackerel and bluefish great action with snook hanging will continue to hang out in their Change your tactics with the weather around the deeper waters of the river. favorite haunts of the river. Fish the and follow the water temperatures Using live bait, D.O.A. Baitbusters inlet, turning basin and channels for more closely to make your fishing and TerrorEyz, jigs and Bomber them. Jack crevalle will be traveling more productive. Let’s make 2018 Lures can help you catch one worth around in packs chasing bait all over the year that we see improvements to a photo opportunity. Trout will tend the river. Flounder should arrive the water quality in our area. If we all to hang around the deeper cuts of soon and hang around the inlets, do our share to protect our rivers, we the river. Move off to three to six docks and sandy flats of the river. can insure the future generations will feet of water for trout. Live shrimp Ladyfish is a great way to spend a few enjoy the same experiences we have on popping corks or D.O.A. Deadly hours with the kids on the water. The been blessed with. Remember, fishing is not just Combos will work the best for them. bridges will be holding sheepshead, I love to work D.O.A. C.A.L. jerk black drum, croakers and sand another hobby, it's an ADVENTURE! Merry Christmas and Happy baits or C.A.L. Air Heads this time perch for those anglers. Live or dead of year on the flats. You can also find shrimp is always the best bet from New Year!

just about everything and everyone is in a bit of a frenzy. From the bottom to the top of the water column the bottom, fishing will yield cheer in December. Capt.'s Cole and During this festive time of year, Zach Hazellief the grouper are frisky, the snapper are Lady Chris Charters biting hard, and the sailfish and cobia (772) 971-7179 will join in on the festivities. All of TheLadyChris.com this action will be going on while we deal with shorter days and the winterecember is the season of joy and time weather patterns. Last call for grouper! When holiday cheer, and it seems that

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fishing for these grumpy sea beasts, our number one recommendation is to opt for live bait and a rod with some backbone. There is no time to waste, the grouper season will be closing December 31st, so take this opportunity to bring yours home before the year ends. The snapper will continue to bite with plentiful catches and variety. The lane snapper will be nice and fat from the summer months and December will be great month to best your record. There will also be plenty of mutton and gray snappers to fill the fish box. The sailfish will make their presence known with spectacular runs and aerial acrobatics. Fighting one of these beautiful, high-speed fish will leave you breathless and with an impression that lasts a lifetime. Look for the baitfish around the reefs as a good indicator of where to throw the lines out. Cobia will also surface and can make for a pleasant addition to a day of fishing. Lastly, the merry mackerel will join the rest of the choir and make your reel sing a joyful carol! Be sure to take advantage of weather windows as fishing will be

We look forward to cobia joining in on the holiday festivities. Bragging rights to John Hodur and Sam Hazellief on this nice pair of cobia. PHOTO CREDIT: Lady Chris Charters.

hot and the weather nice and cool. We want to thank all of you that sailed with us this year, and wish all the readers happy holidays from the Captain and Crew on The Lady Chris. Tight lines and good vibes!

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st. lucie county inshore

Capt. Joe Ward

Capt. Joe’s River Charters (772) 201-5770 or (772) 461-1335 CWard11605@aol.com captjoeward.com

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he inshore fishing in December should be red hot as the macks, bluefish, pompano and croakers start working their way in the inlet. For the macks and blues, try trolling or casting small shiny jigs or spoons. These will be your best choice to use, just remember to use a

st. lucie county offshore

Capt. Danny Markowski

LottaBull Fishing Charters (772) 370-8329 lottabull4@bellsouth.net lottabullfishingcharters.com

W

e now have December upon us. We will see a lot of cool and cold fronts approaching from the north bringing cooler temperatures and wind. Along with cooler air temperatures we will be seeing cooler water temperatures. December will have the sailfish migrating south and travelling right through the Treasure Coast waters. Even though sailfish can be caught in our water all through the year, this is the time of year that we will have the biggest abundance of them and they will be hungry. Sailfish seem to like rougher days with a lot of chop on top of the water. The average boater will not have as many days

small piece of wire at the end of your leader to prevent cutoffs. Just look for the birds diving on the baits and the fish will be close by. For the pompano, you will want to use sand fleas and a pompano rig or if you are in the deeper water, try using a pompano jig. The bottom fishing around the bridges and in the Fort Pierce Inlet should be good for anglers using live shrimp for croakers, sheepshead and black drum. Try using a 1-ounce weight, 18-inches of 20-pound fluorocarbon and a #2 long shank hook. The docks along Indian River Drive will also be a good place to catch the sheepshead and black drum, as well as a redfish or two. For the redfish try a live shrimp and ⅛-

or a ¼-ounce Troll-Rite hook and a 20-pound fluorocarbon leader. Fish under the docks on the high tide. The trout fishing should be good on the flats at Bear Point, Harbor Branch and at Herman's Bay. Live shrimp fished under a popping cork is one of my favorites but, you can also try a soft plastic bait and fish it a little slower as the water temps start to drop. Snook season closes on the 15th but until then the bite should be good around the Fort Pierce Inlet and the bridges. Use a live bait fish and a 40-pound fluorocarbon leader with a 5/0 live bait hook and enough weight to hold the bottom. At night, try throwing a Flair Hawk around the bridges or in the inlet.

to get out and look for these fish due to the fronts making water conditions rough. It will be best to watch the pre-frontal and post-frontal forecast and pick your days. Sailfish will be in depths of 80 foot on out. There are many ways to fish for sailfish. These fish can be caught slow trolling live baits such as sardines, threadfin herring or a larger blue runner. The most common method for targeting sailfish is to troll rigged ballyhoo with a circle hook on 25-to-30-pound tackle. This range is enough for a good fight and will allow you to quickly get the fish to the boat without tiring them out too much. The circle hook rig will allow the hook to get hooked in the corner of the mouth instead of a jay hook in which the sailfish could swallow causing internal damage. One recommended way to get the sailfish’s attention is by dragging a couple of dredges behind your boat and in the prop-wash. Dredges

invitation to bring a sailfish up to the surface. Keep a watch in the water behind what you are pulling and when a sailfish surfaces, drop a circle hook rigged ballyhoo back to the sailfish and reel or pull in the teaser and/or dredge back to the boat so he will eat the rigged ballyhoo.This method is used by most sailfish tournament anglers. When hooked up with a sailfish, you will experience some magnificent jumps and speed combined into a great acrobatic show. After fighting Capt. Danny Markowski with a 28-pound a sailfish and getting it to the kingfish caught in 35 feet of water out of boat and getting your pictures, the Fort Pierce Inlet. This fish ate a big blue please take some care and runner slow trolled behind the boat. revive the sailfish. This can be PHOTO PROVIDED by Capt. Danny Markowski. done by holding the sailfish vary in price and in looks. If you boat-side with the sailfish facing don’t have a dredge, you should go the bow of the boat and slowly to your local tackle shop and see idling the boat forward to allow the the different selections they have water to wash over the gills until the available and prices then decide fish is strong enough to swim on its on which one fits your budget the own. Be safe on the water and catch best. You can also place some squid teasers off outriggers as an added them up!

Capt. Joe with a redfish.

PHOTO CREDIT: Capt. Joe Ward.

Capt. Danny Markowski U.S.C.G. Lic. Captain

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fishing forecasts

sebastian inshore

Capt. Gus Brugger

Pattern Setter Charters (772) 360-6787 www.WelcomeToSebastian.com

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he first cold front that forces anglers into wearing long pants and jackets is what local flounder and pompano fishermen in the Sebastian Area are waiting for. These cold fronts should clear lagoon waters and allow for sight-fishing of reds along shoreline cover. It’s light tackle time in Sebastian, so get out and enjoy the fast action and wide variety of species that December ushers in. Sebastian River – The Sebastian River’s main role this time of year is that of a sanctuary. Anglers can slip into the river and have every cast action on jacks and ladyfish when the less stout of heart decide to stay home and wait for the wind to lie down and temperatures to return to Florida levels. This is great fun for family groups and jigs or live shrimp

are all you need. Trout, bluefish, pompano and even a resident snook or tarpon can surprise anglers jigging the deeper areas of the north fork. Trout and reds seek shelter in the river during cold spells and can be targeted in the lower river with plugs, jigs, and live bait. Anglers looking for that last snook or tarpon of the season will find the Sebastian River the right place in December. The key is to fish the nice days when water temps get into the 70s. Indian River Lagoon – Redfish are a favorite target in the lagoon in December. This is because the reds are available in good numbers, and also because as waters cool they also become clear allowing for some of the best sight fishing opportunities of the year. Flyfishermen and light tackle anglers can stalk along mangrove shorelines and get shot after shot at single reds and occasionally pods of up to a dozen fish. Delicate presentation is more important than lure or bait choice, as once the redfish realize they are no longer cloaked by the usually murky lagoon waters, they can get very spooky. Seatrout fishing will remain solid with the larger fish still preferring shallow waters and schoolie trout beginning to group up around the

edges of the flats and drop-offs of the spoil islands. Working D.O.A. C.A.L. jigs or “Goofy Jigs” in deeper areas is a great way to tighten a line. Trout, pompano, bluefish, jacks, ladyfish, flounder, snappers, grouper, Spanish mackerel, and whatever else decides to swim in Sebastian Inlet will hit jigs, plugs and live shrimp. Sebastian Inlet – Flounder take center stage at Sebastian Inlet from Thanksgiving on. Gulf flounder A.K.A. three spot flounder, are leaving the inlet in December, but the larger southern flounder are just beginning their run. Land-bound and boating anglers both find soaking live finger mullet on areas of broken rocky/sandy bottom is the best way to put a doormat in the cooler. Flatties up to 15 pounds are an annual catch at Sebastian. Snook season will close December 15 and depending on ocean water temps, legal fish can be caught right up to the deadline. Bluefish are usually abundant in and around the inlet and some of the

biggest reds of the year can show up with the cold fronts. Near Shore Atlantic – The beaches begin to fill up with snowbird surf fishermen in December, and for good reason. Schools of pompano cruise the troughs and sandbars along the coast hunting down sand fleas, crabs, clams, and glass minnows. Pompano, a favorite eating fish, is also an excellent gamefish on light tackle. Ten plus foot surf rods with three hook pompano rigs is the standard technique for both pompano and the tasty whiting that share the surf with them, but casting Goofy Jigs on light spinning gear can be very productive when the surf is calm and clean. Live sand fleas are top bait followed by cut clams and pieces of fresh shrimp. Blues and Spanish macks will also keep surf fishermen and boaters busy along the coast in December. Cut bait, spoons, jigs and gotcha plugs are all good choices for these toothy gamesters. Happy Holidays and tight lines!

MC DEEP SEA...........FROM PAGE 5

to be able to catch and keep grouper before a seasonal closure goes into effect January 1st. With this in mind, holiday meat hunters will try to make good on their grouper grabbing skills, which will include fishing heavy tackle over naturally occurring reefs in 100 to 150 feet of water. The Eight Mile Reef, east to northeast of Salerno, will be the best zone to find bruiser gag and red grouper. Live baits and large cut baits will provoke the best grouper bites in Grouper presents will be high 140 feet of water, over top of these on the holiday wish list, like this reef areas. sturdy red grouper caught by The anglers of December will Alek Loudakis aboard the Safari 1. hope for stockings stuffed with fishing tackle and dream of freshly PHOTO CREDIT: Safari 1 Deep Sea Fishing. caught filets in Ziploc bags. So, in December, keep a close eye on the your fishing visions on our near offshore weather to determine a coastal waters. user-friendly window and realize Happy Holidays to all!

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sebastian area offshore

Capt. Randy Lang

Sebastian Gypsy Fishing Charters Email: gypsycharters@gmail.com www.sebastianfishingcharter.com

D

ecember can be a great month for offshore fishing out of Sebastian. We usually get some gorgeous fall/winter weather days and the crowds are thin due to the holidays. Bottom fishing gets back into full swing this month. Grouper and snapper get back into those winter patterns in the water depths of 60 to 100 feet. Look for the reefs that mark with a few big individual fish rather than massive fish schools. Often these massive schools are smaller fish that will nibble you crazy, while the individual marks will get your rod seriously bent. Go with the live bait if you can and slow drift fishy areas. Anchoring slightly up current of fishy areas and chumming will work too. Keep your eye out for threadfin herring (aka greenies) outside of the inlet. Watch for birds, flipping bait and red masses on your depth finder. A few

dozen greenies in the live well is well worth spending that precious hour in the morning. Sebastian can be ground zero for sail fishing this month. Most years the area between Sebastian and Fort Pierce, in that 130 to 200-foot range, produces lots of sails. The theory is that they bunch up in this area before the cold fronts of late December and January push them south. It is a time when the sailfish boys from Jupiter, Stuart and Palm Beach envy us. The best action comes from drifting and slow trolling live bait but trolling with specialized gear like dredges, teasers and swimming ballyhoo/ mullet will score too. Of course, dolphin, blackfins and other fish will be mixed in. December is also the month when kingfish start to congregate in large schools and as a result, the commercial boats often converge on our area. These fish will be in the 10to 20-pound range and will bunch up at various depths between 50 and 100 feet. Often, you will notice schools of bait on your depth finder at mid-depths. The big red marks just below the bait are typically kings. They will come to the surface especially early and late in the day for trolled ballyhoo rigs. The sure-fire way is to drift live baits down to the

Ay Any d THE G RIDIN S WAVE is A GreAt dAy!

Mark Koopman of Sebastian with a beautiful red snapper. The crew was okay with releasing this one just hours before the opening of ARS season. The fight was awesome. PHOTO CREDIT: Capt. Randy Lang.

depths they are patrolling. Use light tackle to really enjoy these gamesters and don’t forget to use a few inches of wire to prevent cut-offs. Well, the Federal government did end up allowing recreation anglers six days to harvest red snapper last month. Unfortunately,

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The Florida-wide cold front that rolled through in late October, kicked-started the process that we have been looking for all year. Fishing has turned back on! PHOTO CREDIT: Capt. Mark Shepard.

OKEECHOBEE SOUTH END

Capt. Mark Shepard

Lake Okeechobee Fishing Guide (888) 321-0202 www.lakeokeechobeeguide.com

Y

ou may be wondering when Lake Okeechobee bass fishing turns back on again and the answer is NOW. Your December Lake Okeechobee Forecast will provide you with details about how Lake Okeechobee is fishing and what it will be like in the upcoming month. Capt. Mark Shepard has daily and up-to-date information on the condition of the Big O. Two main factors come into play in this forecast: temperature changes and water levels. Capt. Mark couldn’t be more excited for the season that has just begun. New adventures and waters are opening up for exploration and discovery. Water levels are extremely high and will take some time before they return back to normal. Levels are at 19.10 feet above sea level. Do not let this discourage you about finding fish. High water levels aren’t a bad thing when it comes to Lake Okeechobee. Levels in this range are allowing the largemouth bass to push back into areas they haven’t seen before. They are pushing deep in the grass where you will have to search them out but are locatable. Schooling bass are starting to roam into the shallow waters. Captain Mark has been seeing big numbers on his fishing trips. This is a small indication that the process of spawning has begun. The males are beginning to pave the way for females to roam in. We all wait for this moment on Lake Okeechobee. Changes in temperatures also have

helped this movement begin. Florida recently experienced a cold front that rolled over the whole state. You would expect this to shut fisheries down but it surely did not. It kicked-started the process that we have been looking for all year. It dropped the water temperatures and cooled things off. The largemouth bass have been looking for this as a signal to start moving off the main lake. Waves of fish are continuing to move in which is making for exciting times for our visitors and travelers or fisherman alike. The upcoming weeks should not experience any other drastic changes in temperatures. This will allow for a variety of techniques to still be highly productive. As the fish move back in the grass, hollow body or moving frogs can be very effective. You can also throw a Bass Assassin “Die-Dapper” swim bait as well to entice the same style of bite. Cover water with this bait to locate the fish and then slow down the presentation with the hollow body frog. Also, if conditions or the bite gets tough, flip into the thicker grass structures. Outside edges will also produce fish with bright spinner baits and rattle traps. When the temperature changes for a longer period of time, the pattern and techniques will as well but those will be present in our next forecast. Crappies are also beginning to make their way in as the temperature changes which is always a signal that things are about to begin for largemouth bass fishing. Don’t miss out on an excellent season. The new waters will make for exciting fishing adventures that we haven’t seen in many years. Capt. Mark Shepard is looking forward to fishing with you on his boat where you can catch the largemouth bass of your dreams on Lake Okeechobee today with Bass Online!

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diving forecast

Steve Wood

Deep Six Watersports - Stuart (772) 288-3999 Stuart (772) 562-2883 Vero Steve.wood@deepsix.com www.deepsixintl.com

A

s 2017 comes to a close, divers still have a chance to make some great dives since grouper and lobster season are both still open. Freshwater releases are unfortunately still happening, but the good news is these plumes are limited to inshore and nearshore waters and have minimal effect a few miles out. After Hurricane Irma, hunters have noticed red grouper have moved into area waters in abundance and some have discovered they tend to follow lobster hunters around the reef, apparently looking for a hand out! It has been noticed that small red grouper will clean up lobster leg and antennae left behind after grabbing a bug or two and will tail divers 10-to-20 feet back. It’s worth noting the limit for red grouper is

Divers still have a chance to make some great dives since grouper and lobster season are both still open. PHOTOS COURTESY of Steve Wood.

only 20-inches (versus 24-inches for gags and black), plus up to three in the aggregate bag limit. Grouper season closes at the end of December through April of next year. While its true freshwater releases continue to plague the St Lucie river, lagoon and inlet, it’s surprising how much misinformation there is surrounding the effects of reefs offshore. Inshore waters are for sure brown and even reefs near the St Lucie Inlet, like Peck Lake are affected too, but that’s not the

case once divers venture a few miles offshore. Reefs offshore, and especially south of the St Lucie Inlet, do not experience the same impacts as those close to shore. For example, Loran Tower Ledge is around 12 miles southeast from the inlet and is relatively unaffected by the releases since the prevailing north current does not allow water to make it this far offshore; same is true for the south end of the Six Mile Reef. These are great places to explore without having the deal with freshwater

from inshore waters. While closer to shore, it’s been noted that, since freshwater is less dense then salt water, it floats near the surface. This means a murky layer in the first 10to-15 feet will dissipate giving way to clear water beneath. Diving the Treasure Coast in December can be very exciting since there are good chances of seeing large grouper roaming the reefs. Savvy divers with a bit of local knowledge can find great places to dive this time of year too.

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11/15/17 4:33 PM


Fly Fishing Corner By Capt. Michael Mauri

S

Slow Down!

ometimes it’s good to slow down. Our tendencies, especially in saltwater flyfishing, are to speed up our flies and fish them as fast as possible. In many situations this works just fine, but in other situations we fail, and it might be good to change tactics. Slow down your fly. In some fishing situations, the fly can’t be too slow. In other situations, fishing as slow as possible means that you only want to be connected to your fly even when not stripping. Many times, my clients hear me instructing them repeatedly to slow down their fly. Once they listen, suddenly they start catching fish. Check the direction of the current and you may need to reposition yourself. I normally like to fish down current because it is easier for most people to keep in contact with their fly. Up current can also be very successful but is much harder to keep in contact with the fly without

being too fast. If there is no current, good luck to you. Just kidding! Try my tips in the first bullet below for a variety of situations. • Present your fly across the current and strip with your line hand very small one-inch to twoinch long strips coming out of your wrist without stops but very consistent. If the short strips are not working, change to super slow smooth and consistent arm long strips. • If both of the above techniques are not working, try my personal favorite way to fish for snook and other species. I love to swing my flies with the current similar to what I did when I was a guide working in Norway for Atlantic Salmon. • Cast your fly across the current, make sure that your line and leader are straightened out, and just hold your line. The current will move your fly through the water similar to flyfishing in river currents. You

Marc Humpfer, from Germany, got this snook in muggy brown water on a swung finger mullet pattern. PHOTO CREDIT: Mauri Flyfishing.

will be surprised how successful fish taking your fly so be ready to strip strip strike! this can be! If you fish your fly slow, the fish will typically take your fly very Capt. Michael Mauri gently. Sometimes it feels like you Mauri Flyfishing got stuck on a pile or someone is www.mauriflyfishing.com just holding your fly, but that’s the Email: michael@mauriflyfishing.com

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DECEMBER 2017

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Annual Magazine in Honor of Mr. Curt Whiticar

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Dear Anglers & Participants -

On behalf of the members and sponsors of the Stuart Sailfish Club Foundation, welcome to the 64th Annual Light Tackle Tournament. It is pretty amazing to stop and consider that Dwight Eisenhower was in office when the first Light Tackle Tournament was held in 1955. In that first tournament, there were 31 anglers fishing on 10 boats. The tournament was won by Mrs. Jean Stark fishing aboard “Hobo”. At the Awards banquet that year, Ernest Lyon, the famed editorial columnist for the Stuart News said “The Stuart Sailfish Club deserves praise for its first annual Light Tackle Tournament. Stuart has set the pace for other South Florida communities in the release of sailfish alive. Now, our town, through its long-established angling club, is promoting the capture of this great game fish on lighter and more sportsmanlike tackle.” Mr. Lyons statement is relevant because it captures the mission of the Stuart Sailfish Club Foundation in one statement. That is to promote enjoyment and conservation of our marine resources through sport. It is through experiencing firsthand the wonder of our offshore ecosystem that one can truly appreciate and understand the need to make conservation a priority. Your continued participation in the Light Tackle Tournament goes a very long way to helping the Club continue to carry on the commitment to conservation and sport. Your enthusiasm for the sport will go a long way to developing a passion in young anglers that they will use to help carry the mission forward. This year the tournament has moved over to the Hutchinson Island Marriott Beach Resort & Marina. Participants and guests will be able to take advantage of all of the resort amenities. With a full schedule of nightly events we hope that fun and comradery will match well with the first-class competition on the docks. I would ask you to please take a moment to both reflect and acknowledge the efforts of those who have taken part in the previous 63 Light Tackle Tournaments. Please be assured that your participation in the 64th Light Tackle Tournament is a substantial contribution to our mission and an important addition to the legacy that we will carry on for many years to come. We hope that you truly enjoy this years’ Light Tackle Tournament. Good Luck & Tight Lines, Dave Astras 76th Anniversary Magazine

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2018 Stuart Sailfish Club Foundation Schedule

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January 17

Board Meeting

TBD

January 20

Annual Meeting & 2017 Awards Dinner

September 14-15 Saltwater Sisters Ladies Tournament

February 15

Sponsor Appreciation

TBD

Captains Meeting

February 21

Board Meeting

September 19

Board Meeting

TBD

Docktail Party

October 16

Docktail Party

March 9-11

Fort Pierce Marina Rendezvous

October 17

Board Meeting

March 21

Board Meeting

November 16

Docktail Party

April 18

Board Meeting

November 21

Board Meeting

April 20

Docktail Party

December 6-9

Light Tackle Tournament

May 11-12

Fishing Classic Tournament

TBD

Captains Meeting

TBD

Captains Meeting

December 19

Board Meeting

May 16

Board Meeting

TBD

Board Christmas Party

June 20

Board Meeting

July 18

Board Meeting

July 19-22

Blue Marlin Cove Rendezvous

(This schedule will change

August 10-11

Junior Angler Tournament

with TBD dates updated .

TBD

Captains Meeting

Please call the office

August 15

Board Meeting

or check the web site

August 23-26

Bimini Bash Lobster Fest Flotilla

to verify a date.)

Stuart Sailfish Club

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Docktail Party

76th Anniversary Magazine

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Thank You, Light Tackle Committee Tournament Chairman Charlie Conigliaro Tournament Director Cheryl Bragg Marriott Marina Harbormaster Richard Nooan

By Ed Killer Of TCPalm.com for the Stuart Sailfish Club

Observer Coordinator Greg Moore

One sailfish.

Volunteer Coordinator Pat Moore Rules Committee Chairman Captain VJ Bell Magazine Credits Editor Jeannette Weiss Contributing Writers Ed Killer and Jeannette Weiss Photography Leonard Bryant and Ashley Dillon Cover Artwork – Photo provided by Whiticar Family Printing and Production Coastal Angler Layout and Design FCEdge, Inc. Thank you to all the members and sponsors of the Stuart Sailfish Club. Without you and your support there would not be a Club. Based upon a legacy of conservation, education and comradery, the Stuart Sailfish Club will emphasize activities supporting the local marine industry.

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Toast tops on crazy final day of 63rd Light Tackle Sailfish Tournament

Stuart Sailfish Club

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Somewhere out there in the rough and white-capped waves of the Atlantic Ocean swims a sailfish with a special designation: the winning sailfish. For the guys fishing aboard the boat Toast, that one sailfish meant the difference that gave it victory in the Light Tackle Sailfish Tournament. For the tournament teams fishing aboard Showtime!, Challenge and Floridian, that one sailfish proved to be elusive. On the final day of fishing in the Stuart Sailfish Club’s 63rd annual Light Tackle Sailfish Tournament, winds were howling before dawn and didn’t let it up by dusk. Seas were rough and, at times, downright uncomfortable for the anglers, captains and crews. And the sailfish were, at times, hard to get biting. Toast and Capt. Newt Cagle began the day in the tournament lead with 10 sailfish overall. However, right below Toast in the standings were about six former Light Tackle tournament-winning teams. The competitors knew it was going to be one of those days where every catch would be hard-earned, and the margin of victory would be the narrowest. The action did not disappoint. By 11:28 a.m., Showtime! — with Capt. Wink Doerzbacher and anglers Fred and Nancy Hardwick of Sailfish Point, Tom Russell and Howard Webb — had its fourth fish of the day and 13th sailfish overall to move into the lead with four hours yet to fish. By 12:49, Challenge — with Capt. Jim Hardee and anglers Michael and Jodi Fogel of Palm City, James Robinson, Dave Dalfo and Tommy Farella — had the team’s fifth sailfish of the day and 13th overall to pull into a tie with Showtime!

Toast — with Cagle and anglers Jared Gillman, Michael Gillman, Anthony Rizzo, Ron Martin and Jimbo Brogan — caught the team’s third sailfish of the day, which was also its 13th sailfish, at 1:37. Floridian — with Capt. Glenn Cameron and anglers Rob Miller of Palm City, Darren Helwig and Robert Hollinsworth — was just one sailfish back at the time with 12 overall, and caught its 13th at 3:20 p.m. With three boats tied with 13 sailfish apiece with two hours to fish, it made the next sailfish caught by one of the teams potentially the winning sailfish. Then, it happened. Not long after setting lines back out, a sailfish came into the spread and Brogan, of Hobe Sound, fed the hungry sail. The fish eagerly took the bait, and Brogan reeled it in, recording the team’s 14th and eventual tournament-winning release at 2:54 p.m. There was barely more than 30 minutes left in the tournament. Ohana, led by Capt. Eddie Wheeler, won the daily award with seven sailfish. Showtime! wound up second, Challenge in third and Floridian in fourth, all with 13 releases, but in order based on time of last release. The fleet combined to catch and release 58 sailfish on the final day for a total of 152 sailfish overall. It was the 25th-highest total catch in the 63-year history of the tournament. In the amateur division, Kurt Von Seekamm, of Sewall’s Point and New Jersey, steered his crew of anglers — his son, Kurt Von Seekamm Jr.; Larry Brosnan; Travis Keon; Joe Albiez; Justin Brown; Jeff Theil; and Schuyler Kelley — to four sailfish releases Sunday and six over two days of fishing to win. It was the second time Von Seekamm had entered the tournament.

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Stuart Sailfish Club Lifetime Members Michael Bartoy

Joe Lehner

Robert & Mendy Coker

Robert & Patricia Miller

Charlie & Donna Conigliaro

Dave & Jodi Mills

Dean & Laura Crawford

Greg & Pat Moore

Eugene Detmer

Dave & Joyce Powell

Thomas H. & Margaret Dyer

Michael C. & Nancy Rand

George & Jilline Fearons

Neil & Carla Subin

Ted & Lynne Glasrud

Edward & Willy Welter

Fred & Nancy Hardwick

Tom & Sarah Wichers

Thomas & Katherine Howd

Don & Jacki Wilson

Patti Lambrecht

In discovering Hutchinson Island Marriott Resort, you will find our 200-acre tropical resort embraces you with splendor and world class service and is the perfect location for your meeting. Tucked away from the hustle and bustle of South Florida, yet conveniently located just 45 minutes, 38 miles from the Palm Beach International Airport, our barrier island resort is nestled between the Indian River/Intra-coastal Waterway and the Atlantic Ocean with miles of pristine beaches. Our acclaimed resort is filled with inspiring views, spectacular recreation options and trusted Marriott service. The newly renovated guest rooms, meeting space and lobby at our main hotel complement our tranquil environment blended with exhilarating options of an array of activities. Meanwhile, our attentive professional staff will assure your guests a restful stay and productive event. 555 NE Ocean Blvd. Stuart, FL. 34996 Direct: 772-225-6803 10

Stuart Sailfish Club

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Bonnie Powell, a fixture at Light Tackle Tournament Bonnie Powell has been a fixture at the Stuart Sailfish Club’s Light Tackle Tournament for so long, that it’s hard to fathom the event without her. But it’s Powell’s turn to relax and enjoy the tournament without having the responsibility of keeping track of the boats participating. Powell, a resident of Brandon Florida, has been with the tournament for almost a third of its existence, originally assisting Alice Whiticar with the radio confirmations of sailfish releases. When Whiticar was unable to continue, Powell took over. And the rest, some would say, is history. Powell has been the Tournament Communications Officer now for more than 30 years. As such, she is responsible for making sure that all sailfish releases are recorded, that she knows which boats are out on the water, and when each boat arrives back at dock. In an interview with Stuart News Fishing Sports Writer Ed Killer many years ago, Powell said “I like to know when each boat has reached the dock. In case help is needed, the captains need to know that someone is here. I would feel terrible if something happened and I was not at my post.” Powell has been so good at this job that she has been sought after and hired by many other tournaments. Traveling to the Keys, Mexico and other locales has given her a sort of notoriety within the world of sportfishing. Powell, who was born in Dayton, Ohio and moved to Tampa in 1945, has been a resident of Brandon since 1962. Although her first sailfish was caught during the Tampa Tarpon Tournament, she soon thereafter fished in the inaugural Sailfish Club Small Boat Tournament. She is also an avid largemouth bass fisherman. Powell is retiring from the Light Tackle Tournament, but her mark will be on the event forever. And those that have volunteered with her will surely be thinking of her for years to come. Thank you for your years of service to the club, Bonnie!

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Stuart Sailfish Club Hosts Annual Awards Dinner The Stuart Sailfish Club Club celebrated the previous year’s accomplishments at their annual meeting and awards dinner on the evening of January 19, 2017. The event offers a time for club members to meet and install new board members as well as to recognize outstanding achievements of its members and review the programs and progress of the club in the past year. Master of Ceremonies, Thomas Dyer, was recognized for his leadership of the past three years and was installed as Board Chairman by incoming President David Astras. Joining the Executive Board members in 2017 was Charlie Conigliaro as Vice President. 2016 marked the club’s 75th Anniversary and members took pride in several events that honored the occasion, among them a formal 75th Anniversary Gala and the most complex undertaking of the club to date, a flotilla of 53 boats and over 300 members and friends to Havana, Cuba to fish the International Hemingway Billfish Tournament, where the Club took 1st, 2nd and 3rd prizes. Also of note was the club’s achievement of a 501c3 status as a non-profit, a yearlong endeavor that also included a formal name change and the creation of the Stuart Sailfish Foundation Endowment Fund. Plans for a future, permanent clubhouse were revealed and a fundraising effort for the project was kicked off with a raffle for a Stuart Sailfish Club 75th Anniversary logo engraved Rolex Submariner Watch. Announced winners for the 2016 Awards included Club Members and Non-members. Some standings are the result of a yearlong members tournament of reported Gamefish catches and Billfish releases;

Top Catches; Adult Division- Conrad Casselli, Erika Long; Junior Angler Division – Devin Snow, Ashley Dunnick Top Member Boat; Sailfish Releases; Showtime, Fred & Nancy Hardwick; Providence, Angelo Durante; Della Ann, Gardner Britt Top Charter Boat; C  hallenge, owners Mike & Judy Fogel; Wet N Wild, owners Tony Ross & Denise Weber, Dog House Fishing Charters, Russel & Terri Frederick Lady Angler Billfish Release; Nancy Hardwick, Jodi Fogel, Jody Robinson Adult Billfish Release; Nancy Hardwick, Angelo Durante, Fred Hardwick Jim Brogan of Toast was awarded Mate of the Year, Nancy Hardwick was awarded the 2016 Ed Sellian Billfish Release award for 29 releases and Ron Martin was awarded the Stuart Sailfish Club Light Tackle 21st Century Joe Lehner award.

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39th Annual Junior Angler Tournament At Stuart Sailfish Club The Stuart Sailfish Club’s 39th Annual Junior Angler Tournament started off very wet with 2” of rain during the Friday evening registration. Seventy-seven young anglers from Boy Scout troops 888 and 840, Lahia House kids, Florida Sheriff Youth Ranch (FSYR) kids from Bartow and Live Oak and Stuart Sailfish Club members kids and grandkids were on hand to register to fish. Huddling under a large tent at Sailfish Marina, the willing anglers met their Captains for Saturday’s event and enjoyed pizza, hoping the skies would clear. Early Saturday did bring clear skies as 18 local fishing boats headed out to fish. Boats that took some of the kids fishing were led by head boat “Safari 1”, charter boat “Wet and Wild”, brokerage boats from Sovereign Yachts and Marine Max and some private member boats like Dr. Paul Shoppe’s “Fifth Day”. The results were a mix of 15 species with everything from sailfish, dolphin, kings, grouper, corkies, large bonita, amber jacks, tuna and cobia resulting in 40 trophies for the young anglers. The “Safari 1” had the wild finish with 3 big cobia weighing up to 44 pounds. After an official weigh-in by Alicia Fischer, Marena and Kaysea Shoup, photographs were taken and anglers learned new fishing skills from Captains Chris Callaway and Richard Shoup before a BBQ lunch. Every kid won a raffle prize that included 19 bikes and assorted sporting equipment, all donated by club members and sponsors. Many of the local kids who won bikes generously donated them back to kids from FSYR and LAHIA HOUSE. A 4 HP Yamaha outboard motor, donated by Manatee Marine, was raffled off and won by Jim Penix of Sovereign Yachts. The wild day finished with each kid receiving a rod and reel from Fish Florida. $2,000 of the tournament proceeds were donated to Florida Sheriff’s Youth Ranch by the Stuart Sailfish Club. The primary sponsor of the tournament was Ted and Lynne Glasrud along with Sailfish Marina, Manatee Marina, Fish Heads, Whiticar, Shurhold, Lewis Marine, Ferreira Construction, Tentlogix, Marine Max, Fish Florida, Procedures Solutions Management and Carlson Enterprises. A team of 24 volunteers was led by Dave Powell the tournament chairperson for the ninth year in a row. Significant catches included: Austin (FSYR-Safari 1) Cobia 44 lbs., Andrea (FSYR-Safari 1) Cobia 31lbs., Willow (LAHIA-Safari 1) Cobia – 28 lbs., Zane Price (Daymaker) Amberjack 22lbs., Kyle Hann (First Draw) Tuna 13 lbs., Annabell Begna (My Horse) Kingfish 11lbs., Michael Hines (Blue Fins) Dolphin 10 lbs. Camden Konesco (Hope) Bonita 9lbs., Connor Grout (Charlies Dream) Sailfish release. Zane Price won this year’s Ted Glasrud Perpetual Trophy for 2017 outstanding junior angler.

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Stuart Sailfish Club hosts Flotilla to Cape Eleuthera, Bahamas May 5th was the planned departing date for a flotilla of 11 boats to Cape Eleuthera, Bahamas, involving a cross of the Gulf Stream to Nassau and an overnight stay at Atlantis Marina. Looking ahead at weather, some boats elected to depart earlier but all eventually made their way across the Yellow Banks and 58 miles to Cape Eleuthera by Sunday May 7th, postponing the fishing tournament and shortening it by just one day. Festivities and day trips included a welcome cocktail party and fish fry at the pool deck, a sunset beach party and cookout with lobster and a bonfire, and a day trip mini-flotilla to Staniel Cay to swim with the wild pigs. Also on the list for exploration was Rock Sound (the location of the island’s most southern airport) and Lighthouse Beach with its gorgeous pink sand beach. Fishing days turned up Kingfish, Dolphin, Tuna and Grouper and the Awards Cocktail Party included a combination of Auctions to benefit One Eleuthera and provided fundraising for Bahamian Breast Cancer Patients. The flotilla checked out of Cape Eleuthera on May 13th for the two-day passage back to Florida and all, depending on size and weather, eventually returned safely to the St. Lucie Inlet and memories of some rough seas, tranquil island days, and beautiful turquoise waters.

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Crossing The Bar: Curt Whiticar, A Huge Influence In Stuart Sailfish Club’s Formative Years By Ed Killer of TCPalm.com for the Stuart Sailfish Club (Editor’s note: This story originally ran March 9, 2017 in the Stuart News)

Over the course of a life spanning more than a century, Curt Whiticar earned quite the reputation. Chief among them, according to his son, John, was a knack for being very good at many things — many of which are not necessarily easy to be very good at. Whiticar, patriarch of the Stuart family best known for building a line of classic sport fishing boats with roots extending back to the 1920s, died March 7 as a result of prolonged congestive heart failure and kidney issues. He was 106. “Through his life, he touched so many people’s lives,” remember John Whiticar, 67, of Jensen Beach. “He was one for getting things done. And he was so proficient at whatever he would set about to accomplish.” John Whiticar uses words like “proficient” and “accomplished” when speaking of his dad. “He was accomplished at painting boat signs,” he said. “Then, he was accomplished at fishing. He was an accomplished boat builder. He was an accomplished golfer. He was an accomplished artist.” John Whiticar, and his sisters, Laura Kay Darvill of Stuart, and Joanne Talley of Hobe Sound, and their children and grandchildren, will miss their dad. They will miss his incredible knowledge of so many subjects and his meticulous attention to detail. They will cherish memories of vacations to Sanibel Island, the Keys, North Carolina, or back to their father’s birthplace of Fairton, New Jersey. John Whiticar remembers summer afternoons fondly with his dad and family on the sand bar inside St. Lucie Inlet when the water was much more full of marine life than it is now.

A Fisherman’s Son George Curtis Whiticar, was born Feb. 13, 1911 to Capt. Add Whiticar, a commercial fisherman and budding charter boat captain who fished out of Fortescue, New Jersey. He was the oldest of three brothers — Andrew Johnson Whiticar, born in 1914, and Jack Hogate Whiticar, born in 1916 — who followed in their father’s footsteps in careers in fishing. They took paying customers to Atlantic Ocean fishing adventures through the St. Lucie Inlet. But when customers were thin and the price of fish was good, they fished commercially and sold their catch at market where most fish caught in the area were shipped north. Curt Whiticar’s dad first came to Stuart to scout the bluefish and Spanish mackerel commercial fishery in 1917. They were seasonal fishing residents each winter until 1926 when the family settled in Stuart full time. Longtime Stuart News editor and columnist Ernie Lyons once wrote about a fishing trip with Curt Whiticar. They had gone commercial fishing on the Howdee on Labor Day 1941. “Curtis Whiticar is one of the ace charter captains of Martin County,” Lyons wrote. According to the column, Whiticar had slowed the Howdee as it passed a houseboat so as not to rock the boat, as a measure of courtesy. Later, Whiticar would steer Lyons and the Howdee to a small red buoy he had used to mark a reef offshore where the two men hand-lined 30 and 35-pound amberjacks into the boat until Lyons was worn out. A bad storm finally chased them back into the inlet. Whiticar was very involved with the Stuart Sailfish Club’s philosophy of conservation. He designed the original bronze pins the club awarded to anglers who caught and released their first sailfish. His design was later adopted in logos. He also painted an oil painting of the Gannett entering the St. Lucie Inlet during an ebb tide. At the helm on top of the bridge is his father, Capt. Add Whiticar, and the inlet is sloppy, the skies blustery. A framed print of the painting was awarded to the Light Tackle Tournament’s top captain each year and the award is named after Capt. Add.

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A Good Sea Boat Curt Whiticar built his first boat in 1921 and by the late 1930s, had begun to make a name for the family with his craftsmanship. By the 1950s, his boats were in demand by anglers who wished for good sea boats built to handle the sometime choppy Treasure Coast waters offshore. They were known to have a sharp entry bow and steep deadrise, which made them perfect for slicing into a 4-to-5 foot high wave. More than 60 Whiticar boats have been built since Whiticar assembled his first. Capt. V.J. Bell of Stuart, skipper of Unbelievable currently fishing in Isla Mujeres, Mexico, ran the Bone Shaker, a 40-foot Whiticar, for Stuart’s Joe Lehner for more than 10 years. “It was a great headsea boat which was Whiticar Boats’ claim to fame,” said Bell. “It had a sharp entry, and ran really well into a sea or a chop. And once we got to where we were going, it was a fish-raising machine. It had a clean wash, small propellers. It was a very strong boat, too, over-built, if anything. It was as strong as it needed to be, and then some.” Bell was one of many Stuart-area captains to come to the area from small bayside towns on the Delmarva Peninsula. Many of them came here as mates working for Capt. Ray Parker, who owned a red-hulled Whiticar named Hobo. They stayed for the great sailfishing — a catch and release sport fishery pioneered by Whiticar and his family. They were among the first in the area to promote conservation of sailfish in an effort to preserve good quality charter fishing here. The Whiticars were part of a group of people who founded the Stuart Sailfish Club.

A Window To The Past “He was a remarkable man, and a living library full of history of Martin County,” said Rick Crary, himself a member of a longtime local family and historian. “I had dinner with him a few years ago and the story that impressed me most was when he told us about the day Gov. John Martin came to Stuart to celebrate the creation of the new county bearing his name. Curt pointed out the spot where Martin gave his speech in 1926, a few months after the county was formed in 1925. Curt remembered because he was there, a teenager of about 14.” Whiticar retired from the boat building business in 1986 when he was 75. But he continued to play golf three times a week at Martin County Golf and Country Club well into his mid-90s. He may have played longer except a friend accidentally hit him in the knee with a golf cart and he was unable to play without pain after that. Shortly after retiring, Whiticar took up painting. After completing an oil painting, he numbered it and hand-built a cedar and cypress frame for each one in the woodworking shop of the Whiticar boatyard next door to his home on Willoughby Creek in Stuart. The last painting he completed was for John Whiticar. It was number 1,913. It’s a sunset scene on Willoughby Creek. A fiery red and orange sky is above the boat house behind the home where his son docks his center console boat. John Whiticar said it’s the rebuilt version of the original boathouse, which was demolished by the Hurricane of 1949. Whiticar has received a number of awards and recognition for his service and reputation as a craftsman and leader in conservation. Last month, he was inducted into the International Game Fish Association’s Captain and Crew Hall of Fame. He attended the ceremony with his family and was honored to be included, John Whiticar said.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks to make contributions in his name to the Stuart Sailfish Club, the Stuart Heritage Museum or Treasure Coast Hospice. Ed Killer is the outdoors columnist for Treasure Coast Newspapers, TCPalm.com and the USA Today Network, and this column reflects his opinion. Friend him on Facebook at Ed Killer, follow him on Twitter @tcpalmekiller, email him at ed.killer@tcpalm.com or call him at 772-221-4201.

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Stuart Sailfish Club Hosts Bimini Bash The Stuart Sailfish Club hosted a weekend trip to Bimini Sands in August of this year. Eight boats ferrying 42 guests left Stuart on August 3rd or 4th and returned on August 7th.

The

Chair of the event, Club Vice-President Charlie Conigliaro, said the idea was to give the members of the club another fun family event. “We felt after the Cape Eleuthera trip that our members really enjoy this type of event. Plus, we wanted to do something special for members, so we suggested the trip and got a great response.”

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The in Fo

Departure date was split with some choosing to go over on Friday due to rough weather on Thursday. Everyone arrived safely though and enjoyed a variety of different outings. “Some chartered captains to go fishing and diving,” Conigliaro said. “Others went to the famous SS Sapona, a concrete-hulled ship used during prohibition as a liquor warehouse that sunk and is now a great diving and snorkeling spot. Some took advantage of having a beach and snorkeling day at Honey Moon Harbor, swimming with the popular and friendly stingrays. There are nature trails, a shark lab, the straw market, the casino, and several great restaurants on the island. There is so much to do on Bimini for families, it’s a great place to go for a weekend.”

The Cov Tour

The the mus

Dye sea also

The itinerary was full beginning with a welcome reception on Friday night, and ending with a farewell lobster dinner on Sunday night.

For char canc we h “Wi

“We plan on doing this again next year, Conigliaro stated. “It’s important for kids to explore the world around them and see how other countries are involved in marine conservation while having fun at the same time. In fact, we’re planning on quite a few family outings and events like this for 2018. I invite all club members and their friends and families to take part in these fun excursions.”

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Saltwater Sisters Hosts Successful Lady Angler Tournament The Stuart Sailfish Club hosed the 32nd Annual Saltwater Sisters Lady Angler Tournament and the event was a great success. The tournament started out with a Pre-Party September 28th at the Square Grouper Tiki Bar in Fort Pierce. Guests enjoyed music, raffles and drink and food specials. “We were really excited to have a pre-tournament party at the Square Grouper this year,” said Margaret Dyer, chair of the tournament. “It was a really fun event and the Square Grouper is a new and popular local Tiki Bar on the inlet in Fort Pierce We were able to get in front of a whole new market by hosting an event here. I am so pleased the owners at Square Grouper reached out to us.” The 32nd Annual Saltwater Sisters Lady Angler Tournament was held October 13 & 14 at Pirate’s Cove Resort & Marina. The Captain’s Party was held on Friday evening, the night before the Tournament, with heavy hors d’ouevres, entertainment and a costume contest with a “Heroes and Heroines” theme. The Tournament began Saturday morning with a shot gun start at 7:00 a.m. at the Red Inlet Sea Buoy. The waters were a bit rough and the day saw lots of rain. That evening guests enjoyed a fabulous live and silent auction, a wonderful dinner of Paella by The Paella King, music and dancing at Pirate’s Cove Resort and Marina. Famed marine artist Carey Chen was the honorary chair of the event. Dyer said they added a new element this year to anyone who wanted to fish but doesn’t have a boat. “We contracted with Safari 1 deep sea fishing charter boat. Teams and individuals were able to sign up in advance and this included rod, reel and bait. The committee is also holding a raffle of a street legal ready golf cart valued at $6,500. Tickets for the golf cart raffle are $20 each or 6 for $100. For the fourth year in a row, part of the proceeds from this year’s tournament will benefit local 501(c)(3) charities. This year the chosen charities are Friends in Pink, a local organization that provides financial assistance for those on the Treasure Coast battling breast cancer; and Windsor Community Angels, an organization that pays for free mammograms for Treasure Coast residents. “Every year we have been able to substantially increase the amount of our donations to support work of the charities in our community,” Dyer said. “With the help of our many volunteers, I expect to increase our donation again this year.” Sponsors included HMY Yachts, Your Voice Weekly, Coastal Angler Magazine, TentLogix, Ferreira Construction, Pirate’s Cove Resort & Marina, Bonner Mobile Bar and the Paella King, Whiticar, Shurhold Industries, J. Weiss PR, Windsor Imaging, Lewis Marine Supply, Ted Glasrud Associates, Fogel Capital Management, WAVE 92.7, Coast 101.3 and Rosie’s Place.

Tournament Winners Sailfish Release 1st Place: Jennifer Cameron, 2nd Place: Lisa Leonard Dolphin 1st Place: Leighann Brogan, 17.4lbs., 2nd Place: Sheri Mercer, 16.5lbs. Kingfish 1st Place: Jenna Jones, 7.68lbs., 2nd Place: Beth Hannen, 6.68lbs. Snapper 1st Place: Sarah McIlhinney, 3.8lbs., 2nd Place: Nikki Lesarra, 2.35 Polly Whippen Lady Angler Members Trophy: Jennifer Cameron Safari 1 Heaviest Fish: Sarah McIlhinney, Dolphin 7.3lbs.

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Top Angler: Jennifer Cameron, Floridian, 71.08 pts.

Top Jr. Angler: Alexis McMath, Dolphin, 6.4lbs.

Golf Cart Raffle Winner: Rick Creech

Stuart Sailfish Club

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Bob Schneider Lures BobSchneiderLures@gmail.com

561•891•0260 New web page will be up soon, Contact me by phone or email

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www.d-dey.com 1-866-444-2091 • 360-632-1230 don@d-dey.com 24

Stuart Sailfish Club

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Champagne Lady Wins Sailfish Classic By Ed Killer of TCPalm.com for the Stuart Sailfish Club Someone pop open a bottle of champagne: Champagne Lady is in the winner’s circle. Capt. Josh Chaney led anglers Tony Ingram, Carl Repetto, Rob Miller and Mark Donohue, and crewmen Connor Tillman, Mark McDevitt and Sean Young, to a day-high nine sailfish releases Sunday to wind up with a fleet-best 20 releases overall to win the Pirates Cove Resort and Marina Sailfish Classic. The fleet of 24 boats enjoyed its third straight day of good sailfish action combining for 76 sailfish to give the 28th annual affair a total of 222 sailfish caught and released. While many anglers, captains and crews are celebrating the return of good sailfishing to the Treasure Coast, those close to Chaney are helping him celebrate his first tournament victory as a skipper. “We went to a spot we’ve been fishing all week where we knew there would be sails,” said Chaney, 37, of Stuart, who has been working for Champagne Lady owner Ingram, of Stuart, for five years now. “There was lots of bait there, and lots of sails, and we ended up catching them all day.” Chaney said he relied on the experience of tournament-winning captains he had worked for in the past to help him make key decisions throughout the weekend. “I give a lot of credit to guys like Scott Fawcett and V.J. Bell who helped me out with figuring out my strategy,” said Chaney, adding that Fawcett even helped him adjust his fish finding electronics to better differentiate where bait and sailfish can be found. “We entered the day Sunday in fourth place, so we were closely behind the leaders. We didn’t need a Hail Mary, but I wanted to make sure we could be in position to win if we had a good day of fishing.” Chaney returned to an area east of Jupiter Inlet in 120 to 220 feet of water where the conditions lined up perfectly. It was also a spot Champagne Lady had fished Saturday morning when his anglers got really hot and caught six sailfish in about 90 minutes. “Saturday, we had great sailfishing to start off with, and were in an area by ourselves a little to the south of where a lot of the other boats were,” he said. “After the sixth fish I looked up on the horizon to the north and said, ‘Guys, you better hurry up and reel ‘em in, because here they come.’ You could see practically the whole fleet was charging right at us. Once they got there, we didn’t get another bite all day.”

That Wasn’t The Case Sunday. Veteran tournament winners were atop the leader board when Sunday’s action began. Vintage led by Capt. Hans Kraaz opened the day atop the standings with 14 sailfish. Ohana with Capt. Eddie Wheeler stood second with 13 and Showtime! with Capt. Wink Doerzbacher stood third with 12 sailfish. But Champagne Lady was able to find fish steadily through the day and rise up through the standings, even as the other boats began to find sailfish. Where the sailfish bite ended for Champagne Lady at about 11 a.m. Saturday, the team was able to catch five of its nine fish after that time Sunday. Showtime! caught six sailfish Sunday to wind up in second place overall with 18 sailfish overall. Fishing with Doerzbacher were owners Fred and Nancy Hardwick of Sailfish Point, Tom Russell, Howard Webb and Jon Meade. Vintage caught four sailfish Sunday to finish third with 18 sailfish overall. Kraaz fished with sons Hans Kraaz Jr.,19, Hunter Kraaz, 17, Joey Trefelner, Jason Brown and Kevin Paul.

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Final Results 1. 20, Champagne Lady, Capt. Josh Chaney 2. 18, Showtime!, Capt. Wink Doerzbacher 3. 18, Vintage, Capt. Hans Kraaz 14, Ohana; Fa La Me 11, Motivation; Cowpoke 10, Rebel; Wrapped Up; Miss Victoria 9, Toast; Lisa K; Intents 8, Easy Rider 7, Why Knot?; Martha D 6, Boseifus; Krazy Salts; Grand Slam 4, China Time; Viking 80; Sneaky Pete; Tighten Up 3, Jackpot Fleet totals: 222 sailfish, 24 boats Daily award winners: Friday — Vintage, 7; Ohana 10; Champagne Lady, 9 76th Anniversary Magazine

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Congratulations to the 2017 Stuart Sailfish Club Scholarship Winners Every year the Stuart Sailfish Club awards scholarships to local graduating high school students. These students must meet certain criteria and will soon start their studies in a marine related field. This year the Club awarded five scholarships to graduating seniors and former graduates now in college. Congratulations to all of you and best of luck in your studies.

Scholarship Winners For 2017: Martin County HS: Cole Robinson—Cole is attending FAU and demonstrates great leadership, volunteerism and had very strong reference letters. Cole is Majoring in Marine Science and Marine Ecology. Jensen Beach HS Alexander Kennedy – Alexander has applied to the University of South Florida. He is majoring in Biology. He is a AFJROTC Corps Commander, an athlete, an Environmental Studies Center Volunteer for two summers and Student of the Month. Alexander plans to join the Navy ROTC at University of South Florida to help fund college. Jayci Grosso – Jayci is applying to Florida Universities. She hopes to Major in Environmental Studies at the University of Florida, Gainesville. She participated in Leadership, Athletics as well as volunteering in the community. Jayci held a five point plus GPA while attending Jensen Beach High School.

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Rachel Barham— Rachel is applying to University of South Florida as a Major in Biology. She shows strong leadership and volunteerism. Chris Keyes—is attending California State University Maritime in Vallejo, CA. He is working diligently to acquire a competitive class standing to reach his career goals and summer internship. Chris was a 2015 Scholarship winner who has excelled in his college studies and was awarded an additional scholarship in 2017 and continues to stay in touch. “The past year and a half have been difficult to say the least. My classes are all challenging in their own way but it helps that I am passionate about this field of study. I have managed to secure Deans list for all three of the past semesters that I have completed and I continue to work hard this semester. My current GPA is standing at 3.5. I have been working diligently to acquire a competitive class standing the pick list for this year’s commercial cruise internship that I will be participating in this summer. This will be a long 100-day cruise but I am anxious to finish out these next two years and get to work as soon as possible and hopefully spend more time back home out of the rain and in the sunshine state.” “I just finished my summer internship aboard the USNS Amelia Earhart. While I was onboard I stood navigational watches and I helped with general ship maintenance and cargo operations. The mission of the vessel was to supply US and aide warships with ammunition, food, fuel, and other general supplies. I was on board for 57 days. I learned a great deal during this voyage and I am eager to get back out on another ship.”

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The President’s Message I want to thank all of you for participating either by sponsoring, volunteering or fishing. This tournament will once again, in part, allow us to continue our mission of providing scholarships to local well-deserving students who are planning on majoring in the marine science and conservation industry. These young people are critical to the future conservation of our waterways and the threatened wildlife that live there. I also want to take the opportunity to brag about several highlights our Club has seen this past year. The Stuart Sailfish Club hosted two very successful flotillas this year. In June, club members and guests motored to beautiful Cape Eleuthera. In September, they ventured to Bimini. Both flotillas were great fun and we cannot wait to host these again next year. Our Members Tournament went off without a hitch thanks to a great committee and wonderful group of volunteers. Our Junior Angler Tournament, one of our most meaningful events, was well attended and it was with great joy that we watched these youngsters fish. The Saltwater Sisters Lady Angler Tournament raises much needed money to provide free mammograms through Windsor Community Angels and pay medical bills of those with breast cancer through Friends in Pink. I know I speak for all our members when I say that we are all proud to be able to help these two organizations. Another very important and special event is our members’ attendance at the Florida Sheriffs Youth Ranch in Bartow. This is our opportunity to see where the very kids that fish in our Jr. Angler Tournament live. Members spent the day playing volley ball, softball, horseshoes and a great BBQ was provided for all. What a memorable day this was for all who attended. More news from the club is the hiring of our new Executive Director, Cheryl Braggs. Cheryl is a great addition to our team and we all look forward to working with her The future looks very bright for the Stuart Sailfish Club. We are working on becoming a more family friendly club, thus the move of the Light Tackle Tournament to its current home at the Hutchinson Island Marriott Beach Resort & Marina. We continue to work diligently towards having a permanent home of our own. And while we all want to grow our tournaments, we also know that it is more important to have a strong Club that provides great experiences for our members and sincere recognition for our generous sponsors. This has been a great year to be President of the Stuart Sailfish Club and I have been honored to hold this position. I’m really excited about the future of our Club and will always be on hand to provide leadership, support and friendship. Thank you for the honor. Sincerely, Dave Astras

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WIND, WATER & WAVES By Jeremy Lund

Winter is Here T

Having the proper wetsuit for kiteboarding will make or break your day.

Wetsuit Tips for Kiters

gravity will slowly drain the water from the suit and take a good amount of your body heat with it. To counter-act this, some wetsuits are lined with synthetic wool-like fibers to help retain a very thin layer of water against your skin. When choosing a wetsuit for kiteboarding, there are a few other factors you will want to consider. High-speed falls associated with kiting can often “pack” the wetsuit with water and some wetsuits will retain this water almost like a water balloon. Wetsuits with strategically placed drain holes can help drain water quickly before absorbing your body heat. The second factor to consider is wind resistance. Although neoprene does not typically breath, some suits tend to let the wind in. I recommend looking for suits with non-porous exteriors as well as glued

his fall brought some great winds to our area and with it colder sea temperatures. As the seas cool, I am often asked about choosing the proper wetsuit for our region’s conditions. Although the winter water temperature averages around 70° and rarely drops below 65, having the proper wetsuit will still make or break your day. One of the first things to account for when shopping for a kiteboarding wetsuit is the fact that you will have less time in the water when compared to diving or surfing. Although this would seem advantageous to staying warm, this actually causes some wetsuits to not function properly. As many of you may already know, wetsuits actually use the water around you to create a warm layer between the neoprene and your skin. While kiteboarding,

PHOTO CREDIT: Lori Griffith.

and taped seams. This will greatly enhance the suit’s abilities to block the wind. No matter how nice a wetsuit is, it will not work properly if it is not the correct thickness and fit. For our area, most kiters and surfers can stay warm with a 3/2 full suit on the colder days and a 3/2 shorty on the slightly warmer ones. The term 3/2 means that the chest portion of the wetsuit is 3mm thick, while the arms and legs are 2mm thick. As far as determining size, it is important to get the tightest fitting suit that you still feel comfortable in. Any baggy areas will fill with water and cost you

valuable warmth. It is important that the wrist, ankle and neck cuffs are tight enough to block excess water from entering while still allowing you to move freely and comfortably. I hope this guide helps give you a little extra knowledge when it comes to purchasing your next wetsuit. As always stay safe, warm, and respect your fellow beach goers. See you on the water! Jeremy Lund is lead instructor and owner of New Wave Kiteboarding at Sailfish Marina in Stuart, FL. (561) 633-9362 NewWaveKiteboarding.com

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DECEMBER 2017

TREASURE COAST 15 3/3/17 10:20 AM

11/15/17 4:33 PM


Chase with the largest fish he has ever sight fished on fly in Florida.

Chasing Redfish

on the Canaveral National Seashore By Capt. Chase Cornell / Indian River Fishing Company

T

his last weekend I was invited to fish the Mosquito Lagoon with good friend Diogo Lira, a fly fishing junkie who feels most at home stalking the shallow back bays and shorelines of the Canaveral National Seashore. He picked me up at 4:30 a.m., his classic Gheenoe in tow, and we made the two-hour journey North to Titusville. From the moment we arrived at the boat ramp, it was evident we were going to be in for a challenging day of fishing. The wind was whipping in from the east and whitecaps lined the bay as solid chop broke against the western shore. Launching the Gheenoe, Diogo nearly got blown into some treacherous rocks and had several waves break in the back of the boat. About half way across the lagoon, we were met by even larger waves. The bow of the small craft would split the waves and when they redirected up into the air, the wind sent spray back down on us in a water hose fashion. We were a couple of drowned rats when we reached the calm waters of the east side of the lagoon. Excited to fish, Diogo went to get on the poling platform and I went to go to the bow at the same

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time, and we dunked the side of the Gheenoe under water, almost tipping over. Diogo had to launch himself into the water to keep us from flipping. After draining out another deck full of water, we were again poised to start fishing. The high waters of fall had the redfish pushed deep in the marshes of the seashore and the wind had silted the water. As we crept through the mouth of a narrow creek into an open bay, I noticed a fish laying on sand bottom about 100 feet off the bow. As we got closer, the massive size of the redfish was blatantly apparent. It was without question the biggest redfish I had ever seen in Mosquito Lagoon. The fish began to lumber away and Diogo feverishly poled after it. The fish finally came to a stop and turned broadside. I shot the fly out in front and stripped it back past its eyes. The fish spun towards the fly, rose up and opened its mouth, gills flaring and completely missed the fly. As the fish’s tail thrashed on the surface of the water, the fish saw the boat and shot off into the deep never to be seen again. For the rest of the morning that fish was all we could talk about. Then, as if the fishing gods had been watching us endure COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

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the tortures of the day, I heard Diogo say, “There is redfish right here off my push pole.” I looked back to my right and saw the fish floating half way off the bottom on the deep side of the boat. Without so much as a backcast, I brought the fly across my backhand and dropped the fly in the bread basket. Two twitches and the fish inhaled the fly. Line danced off the deck and the reel screamed into the backing. An epic battle ensued. Diogo came down off the platform and got his paws on the biggest redfish I had

ever sight fished on fly in Florida. It was not the trophy we saw earlier, but it was a beautiful fish. We snapped some pictures before sending the redfish back to the lagoon. That was the only fish we caught that day, but it was a day of fishing I will never forget. I also got the reminder of why I love fishing so much. For that I am most thankful. Chase lives in Vero Beach and loves to fish and write about his adventures. Read more of his fishing escapades at bitepress.wordpress.com.

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1F 6:18 AM 12:01 PM 6:28 PM 2SA 12:20 AM 7:11 AM 12:51 PM 7:20 PM 3SU 1:10 AM 8:02 AM 1:41 PM 8:11 PM 4M 2:01 AM 8:53 AM 2:32 PM 9:03 PM 5TU 2:52 AM 9:44 AM 3:25 PM 9:57 PM 6W 3:46 AM 10:36 AM 4:20 PM 10:51 PM 7TH 4:42 AM 11:30 AM 5:18 PM 11:49 PM 8F 5:41 AM 12:25 PM 6:19 PM 9SA 12:49 AM 6:44 AM 1:22 PM 7:23 PM 10SU 1:52 AM 7:49 AM 2:20 PM 8:25 PM 11M 2:57 AM 8:52 AM 3:19 PM 9:24 PM

height 2.89 0.23 2.77 -0.27 3.05 0.11 2.88 -0.42 3.15 0.02 2.94 -0.5 3.2 -0.02 2.97 -0.49 3.18 -0.01 2.93 -0.41 3.1 0.03 2.85 -0.27 2.98 0.09 2.74 -0.09 2.83 0.15 2.62 0.08 2.69 0.18 2.52 0.23 2.56 0.18 2.46 0.32 2.47 0.15

H L H L H L H L H L H L H L H L H L H L H L H L H L H L H L H L H L H L H L H L H L

12TU 4:00 AM 9:52 AM 4:16 PM 10:18 PM 13W 4:58 AM 10:46 AM 5:09 PM 11:07 PM 14TH 5:50 AM 11:35 AM 5:57 PM 11:52 PM 15F 6:36 AM 12:20 PM 6:40 PM 16SA 12:34 AM 7:17 AM 1:01 PM 7:21 PM 17SU 1:14 AM 7:57 AM 1:41 PM 8:00 PM 18M 1:52 AM 8:34 AM 2:19 PM 8:38 PM 19TU 2:29 AM 9:12 AM 2:56 PM 9:16 PM 20W 3:05 AM 9:49 AM 3:33 PM 9:55 PM 21TH 3:41 AM 10:27 AM 4:10 PM 10:35 PM

2.44 0.37 2.41 0.1 2.46 0.38 2.38 0.04 2.5 0.36 2.38 -0.01 2.53 0.34 2.38 -0.04 2.55 0.31 2.38 -0.07 2.56 0.29 2.37 -0.07 2.56 0.28 2.35 -0.05 2.54 0.29 2.32 -0.02 2.5 0.31 2.26 0.04 2.44 0.33 2.2

H L H L H L H L H L H L H L H L H L H L H L H L H L H L H L H L H L H L H L H

22F 4:18 AM 11:06 AM 4:48 PM 11:17 PM 23SA 4:57 AM 11:46 AM 5:30 PM 24SU 12:03 AM 5:42 AM 12:29 PM 6:18 PM 25M 12:53 AM 6:34 AM 1:15 PM 7:11 PM 26TU 1:49 AM 7:34 AM 2:07 PM 8:10 PM 27W 2:50 AM 8:37 AM 3:04 PM 9:09 PM 28TH 3:54 AM 9:40 AM 4:04 PM 10:08 PM 29F 4:57 AM 10:40 AM 5:05 PM 11:04 PM 30SA 5:56 AM 11:37 AM 6:04 PM 11:59 PM 31SU 6:52 AM 12:31 PM 6:59 PM

0.11 2.37 0.34 2.14 0.18 2.29 0.34 2.09 0.25 2.23 0.31 2.07 0.31 2.18 0.25 2.08 0.35 2.15 0.15 2.14 0.33 2.17 -0.01 2.25 0.26 2.23 -0.19 2.4 0.15 2.33 -0.39 2.56 0.01 2.45 -0.57 2.72 -0.12 2.58

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Going Below the Surface

By Matthew Vann, a 2017 Hobie Top Gun

PHOTO CR

EDITS: M

M

ost anglers agree that the most effective way to consistently put fish in the kayak is to fish sub surface. I love to fish top water and enjoy the explosive strikes as much as anyone, but I catch the majority of my fish below the surface. When fishing the bays and inshore flats, I like to have a combination of lures that I can present throughout the water column. I target redfish, speckled trout, flounder, jack crevalle and many other species using this “top to bottom” approach. My sub-surface arsenal consists mainly of four types of lures; the suspending jerk bait, suspending twitch bait, crank bait and swim bait jig combo. My favorite way to search, find and catch fish sub-surface is with suspending jerk baits. Depending on the lure, I fish an erratic-fast-retrieve to a twitch-pause-rise cadence and everything in between. These types of lures allow you to fish from just below the surface all the way to or near the bottom. The length of its bill determines how deep the bait will run. Jerk baits can entice powerful reaction strikes as well as lure in wary fish that may not be actively feeding. Some of my go-to jerk baits are the Rapala Shadow Rap Shad, standard and deep diver, the LiveTarget Glass Minnow, Yearling and Shiner Jerkbaits and the Lucky Craft Pointer Minnow. Suspending twitch baits offer a more subtle approach. Like jerk baits, these lures can also be fished just below the surface all the way to the bottom. The weight of the lure will determine what depth you can effectively fish it. I use my twitch

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baits when the water is really clear or under calm conditions. These lures are typically fished with a slower retrieve. The strikes often come on the pause when your line is slack. Having new sharp hooks is imperative. I upgrade all my jerk bait and twitch bait hooks to Owner 2X stinger trebles. In my twitch tackle box you will find the MirrOlure MR17 MirrOdine, Catch 5 and Catch 2000 as well as the Paul Brown Original, Fat Boy and Soft-Dine lures. The Rapala Twitchin’ Minnow and Twitchin’ Mullet both cast great and work well on all retrieves. They also come stock with inline J hooks, which help when fishing with floating grass. With both Jerk and Twitch baits, it’s all about the cadence. I switch up my twitch and pause combinations as well as the speed of retrieve and length of pauses. When you get a strike, repeat that cadence. When needing to cover a large amount of water, I tie on a lipless crankbait the appropriate weight to work the water depth I am fishing. Some crank baits come in

DECEMBER 2017

hard and soft versions. These lures make plenty of noise and work great on a steady retrieve. A rip-pause retrieve will often result in violent reaction strikes. In deeper water a yo-yo or vertical jigging style can precisely pick apart the entire water column. The LiveTarget Pinfish and Sebile Flatt Shad both come in three different sizes and great colors and are staples in my tackle box. And finally, I always have a soft plastic paddle tail swimbait jig combo. This versatile bait allows me to cover the entire water column with many different presentations. I carry jigs from 1/16 ounce all the way up to 2 ounces and swim baits 2 to 14 inches long. I jig, swim, hop, drag and dead stick these lures depending on the situation. For my smaller swim baits, I use the Slayer Inc. SST XL and SSB. The Hogy Lures 6.5 and 9-inch Pro Tails are pre-rigged swim baits molded around weighted VMC Barbarian Jig Hooks and are hard to beat when casting to big game inshore species. Hogy also has the HDUV (heavy duty ultra violet) Jiggin’ Eels and Paddle Tails in 7- to

atthew Va

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9-inch offerings which can be rigged on Barbarian Jigs. I use these four bait types to effectively cover the water column and consistently put fish in my Hobie kayak on saltwater flats, and in bays and passes. These lures and techniques can be utilized in any body of water, fresh or salt from coast to coast with success. Using the “top to bottom” approach to cover the water column sub surface will help you find where the fish are & hopefully get the strike you are looking for. Native Floridian Matthew Vann is an inshore and offshore double threat. He specializes in big bull reds and giant snapper, and has angling skills up to the task. He’s even fooled a bull shark with a swimbait, bringing the beast to heel with just a bass rod. “My favorite days are when the water is clear, the bait is plentiful, the drags are screaming and the adrenaline is rushing. My greatest accomplishment is consistently helping others catch the fish of their dreams. There really is nothing like the feeling of someone telling you ‘this has been the best day ever!’” he says.

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Come by boat or car and stroll our “Boardwalk” or as it is known, the “PocketWalk.” Browse the two story “Gallery” with fine art and jewelry, architectural salvage, and eclectic nautical home décor, as well as the finest tattoo studio on the Treasure Coast.

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Get a feel for the unique artists’ community with eight different artist; enjoy craft beers, fine wines and 24 flavors of ice cream at the Twisted Craft and Creamery; or take an exciting boat ride on the Pocket Hopper!

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TREASURE COAST 23

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St. Lucie County Artificial Reef Update:

Oyster Restoration Season I

t’s oyster restoration season again and as temperatures start to fall volunteers will be constructing oyster modules for placement around the Indian River Lagoon. On September 30, several volunteers were helped by the Jitters & Critters 4H Club in creating 150 modules in one hour. Jack and Jill of the Treasure Coast, Inc. has already requested three bagging days this winter. If you or your group would like to join in their bagging, Jack and Jill will work with other volunteers. Upon request, other Saturdays are available for separate bagging events. Volunteers construct oyster modules at Harbour Pointe Park and have developed a quick and efficient procedure for standardizing the modules. The volunteers first cut a length of Naltex netting and close one end with a hog nose ring and pliers. The netting is then stretched over a 10-inch diameter piece of PVC tube. The tube is inverted and the

open end is fitted with an oversized funnel. Four-gallon buckets are used to pour oyster shell (a.k.a. culture material or “cultch”) into the funnel and down into the PVC tube. The tube is then lifted, exposing the oyster module, and the open end is then closed with a second hog nose ring. The type of netting used in oyster reef restoration is very important to the St. Lucie County Artificial Reef Program, the Florida Oceanographic Society, and other oyster reef programs around the area. Naltex netting is the industry standard and is totally enveloped by oyster and invertebrate growth within one to two years. Concern with microplastics in the environment has led to the use of three types of biodegradable mesh. The latest material, produced by the bacterial polymerization of coconut palm oil, lasted two months in Wildcat Cove. This product shows promise

Happy volunteers with oyster modules.

and the County is awaiting a second strengthened version of the netting this month. There are three oyster reef projects that St. Lucie County wants to start in 2018. The Indian Hills Oyster Reef will be designed to deflect stormwater emanating from the Indian Hills

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Stormwater Treatment Area. This stormwater has been cleaned and the volume of the discharges has been reduced but the velocity of discharge, especially after storms like Hurricane Irma, still causes scouring of adjacent seagrass beds. An oyster bed in this area will also provide additional

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Volunteers creating an oyster module. PHOTO CREDITS: St. Lucie County Artificial Reef Program.

habitat for the juvenile snook that frequent this area. The second oyster reef that volunteers can help with is the Wildcat Cove oyster reef. Oyster reefs deployed in this water body have done exceptionally well.

Wildcat Cove also has very limited wave energy and few seagrasses. This is an excellent location to test the durability of biodegradable netting. Wesley’s Island is the site of a third oyster reef that volunteers may help with in 2018. Exotic vegetation on the island has been removed and replanted by the St. Lucie County Environmental Resources Department (ERD) and numerous volunteers. Early November, MMPS Environmental, Inc. (adopter of the island) visited Wesley’s Island to check the status of the island. Although the plantings have benefitted from rainfall, the shoreline continues to erode on the northwestern side of the island. ERD has offered plants to minimize the erosion on this side. Hopefully once this shoreline is stabilized, volunteers led by local resident Charlie Hayek, can begin to construct oyster reefs in this area.

For more information on the St. Lucie County Artificial Reef Program or volunteering for oyster reef project or contributing to MMPS Environment —a 501(c)3—for the purchase of large trees (cabbage palms, slash pine) on Wesley’s Island, contact Jim Oppenborn, St. Lucie County Coastal Resources Coordinator, at oppenbornj@stlucieco.org or (772) 462-1713. The program is also looking for donations of used four-gallon buckets for use by volunteers and sponsorship of T-shirts for oyster reef volunteers.

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11/15/17 4:34 PM


HOLIDAY GIFT IDEAS

Sometimes it’s just plain hard to figure out the “perfect” holiday gift for the outdoor enthusiast on your list. Well, we’re here to help you out this holiday season, so we gathered a few suggestions from some of our local Treasure Coast retailers on items they expect to be hot sellers this year or what they believe outdoor enthusiasts might like to receive from Santa. You can buy all those suggested below locally, and if you do, please mention you read about the gift suggestion in Coastal Angler Magazine!

HybridLight’s The Journey 250 Hybrid Flashlight/Charger

>>

Chris at Deep Six Dive and Watersports (located in Vero Beach and Stuart/Jensen Beach) suggested this multifunctional workhorse. It’s a waterproof flashlight with a super-bright LED at 250 lumens. One full charge of the 4800 mAh lithium-ion battery (holds a charge for 7 years) will give you 18 hours of light. It has a USB port for charging your mobile devices, a Micro USB port for rapid charging the flashlight, or you can use any light source to keep the flashlight charged through its built in solar panel. Measuring 8.5-inches in length and only weighing 7-ounces, this is the perfect item for your car, boat, kayak, or fishing backpack, not to mention, hurricane kit!

>>

>>

YETI LoadOut™ Bucket

Sperry Gold Cup Billfish ASV Boat Shoe

Chris from Deep Six Dive and Watersports also suggested this super comfortable Sperry Gold Cup Collection boat shoe, which has premium leather linings that provide plush, ultrasoft comfort around the foot, memory foam on the bottom and Sperry’s Anti Shock and Vibration technology to reduce the effects of shock by up to 30% and the ultimate wet/dry traction and nonmarking rubber outsoles perfect for the Captain in your life to wear to a tournament awards dinner or for a night out to your favorite waterfront restaurant.

XTRATUF® Ankle Deck Boot

>>

Also suggested by Capt. Scott Crippen from White’s Tackle, this deck boot is crafted specifically for offshore anglers. Anglers are athletes, and like any athlete they need the best footwear. The lightweight design, slip-resistant Chevron outsole with slipon-and-go styling is the perfect ankle deck boot for any on the water athlete seeking protection. If you need a commercial version (one that withstands oils and chemicals), check out the Legacy line of boots.

Suggested by Capt. Scott Crippen from White’s Tackle, meet the LoadOut™ Bucket. Available in four different colors, this five-gallon, injection-molded essential is 100% YETI tough and designed to exceed any need from the boat to the backyard. “It’s the only bucket we trust to get the job done right each and every time we need it." The LoadOut™ Bucket holds its own. And pretty much anything else, and it’s food safe just in case!

DockGrip

From seniors to children (and publishers with bad knees), DockGrip gives you a steady hand when stepping into or out of a boat. Mountable to docks of any surface with six heavy steel screws (included), DockGrip is designed to maximize stability when boarding or exiting watercraft. Backed by a 20-year warranty, it’s hand-welded aluminum is professional powdercoated to withstand shoreline weather. (Not in stores yet, but may order online at dockgrip.com.)

Danco Pro Series Knives

>>

Quality fishing products that every Santa can afford is what Danco is all about. Danco Pro Series knives feature an ultra-sharp blade made with German 4116 stainless steel with a Dupont Teflon coating and are available in these variations: 7” flex, 9” flex, 9” stout, 9” serrated, 11” boning, and 13” boning. The comfortable, textured seafoam handle adds slip resistance. The Pro Series ranges from $19.99 to $29.99, comes with a molded nylon sheath, lifetime warranty, and ships for free. Visit www.dancopliers.com.

And, of course we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention the following possibilities that many of our readers would love to receive: • • • •

A A A A

gift certificate for a half-day or full-day of fishing with your favorite captain. pair of tickets for a day of fishing fun on one of our local deep-sea fishing boats. gift certificate for a scuba diving trip or to earn that Open Water Certification. gift certificate to your outdoor enthusiast’s favorite outfitter, kayak store, or SUP shop.

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11/15/17 4:34 PM


BOARD

Share Yooutor Brag Phere! H

Luke Hodur with a nice pair of the many snapper he has caught on the Lady Chris.

Email your information ality and high-qu rger) (500KB or la @ easurecoast photos to tr e.com. lerMagazin CoastalAng

Nicole Sullivan caught (and released) this 29-inch red drum on a live mullet in the Sebastian Inlet. Photo SUBMITTED by Nicole.

While fishing with Jayson Arman of That's R-Man Land Based Fishing, Steve caught this great pompano on the beach using clams and fish bites. Photo CREDIT: Jayson Arman.

Photo CREDIT: Lady Chris Charters.

Red grouper fishing will continue to be hot during December. Pretty grouper caught by Amy Hess aboard the Safari 1. Photo CREDIT: Safari 1.

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Don Gould with a 40-inch snook caught at the Fort Pierce Inlet on light tackle and help from Kenny Muscanera. Photo supplied by Don.

Bridget Skiles with an estimated 5.5- to 6-foot blacktip shark caught and successfully released off the beach in Fort Pierce. Bridget was using a Carnage 2 10-foot surf rod paired with a Penn Clash 6000, 50-pound braid Spiderwire with 3-feet 400-pound mono and 3-feet of wire with a 16/0 circle hook. Bait was live whiting fished from the surf on a smaller rig. Photo credit: Susan Skiles.

11/15/17 4:34 PM


N

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.

It's been an unbelievable year and we would like to say a big "Thank You" to all our customers and dealers for helping make it happen! Let's make 2018 even better!

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Franchise Opportunities Available

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Our franchisees enjoy the freedom to manage their own time and, to a great extent, their incomes, as well. If you see being involved in your local fishing community as a job that you would truly enjoy then you owe it to yourself to check out our franchise opportunities. We’re looking for avid anglers who want to earn their living in the marine industry. Our franchise system is a great way to earn money doing what you love. Our training program and support system enables individuals with no prior publishing experience to publish viable and profitable localized editions of the magazine and to build sustainable careers in publishing. Yes, its work, and yes there is some sales effort involved in running your own fishing magazine but

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By Steve Daniel

A

s a professional angler and guide for 30 years, there’s something I’ve noticed about the mechanics of bass fishing that differentiates a pro from most amateurs. As soon it hits the water, a pro is in control of the lure. A common mistake I see while fishing with novice anglers is control. They cast their lure, they let it free fall, and as soon as it hits the grass it hangs up… a wasted cast. In most situations where I do most of my fishing, on Lake Okeechobee, the lure should be working the instant it hits the water. A pro casts his lure, and as soon as it hits the water the reel is engaged, the rod is up and the lure is working efficiently all the way back to the boat. Learn how to cast and engage the lure with your rod up; this is very important. I see so many anglers with their rod pointing at their lure on the retrieve. Generally, if your rod is pointing at the lure, bad things can happen. You are not in control, and you can actually keep a fish from getting the lure. A big bass usually sucks a lure in from a distance. If you don’t have your rod up, you can keep the lure from reaching the fish. The action of your rod will let the lure go to the fish, and you will hook them deeper in their mouths. When you are fishing moving lures like crankbaits and spinnerbaits, you need a rod that has a softer tip for this reason. If you are using a stiff rod and braided line that has no stretch, when that big bass hits your lure you will feel the bite but you will keep the fish from getting it. Many years ago, Gary Cline—one of the best anglers ever—realized that when graphite rods came on the scene back in the 70s that he was losing a lot more fish than when he used the softer glass rods. He went back to the soft-tip glass rods for all his moving baits, and it made a big difference. Since then, rod companies have made graphite rods with softer tips. I remember a tournament in Texas many years ago. I was casting a Shad Rap on my glass rod, and my partner was fishing the same lure on his new graphite rod. All the fish he caught were on the back hook, while every bass I caught had the whole lure deep in their mouths. This taught us a lot about how the action of a rod can help you catch more fish. Bottom line is: when you make a cast, engage the reel as soon as the lure hits the water and hold your rod up to feel the lure. This tip will help you catch more fish and make you a better angler. An extremely successful professional bass tournament angler, Steve Daniel is a 30-year veteran Okeechobee guide and the voice of Okeechobee fishing on WRVO Radio Network 1’s Hooked up with Steve and Deb. Check out the show at www.renoviolaoutdoors. com. Contact Steve at stevedaniel84@yahoo.com or 239-560-2704.

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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.

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Coastal Angler Magazine - December / Treasure Coast  

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

Coastal Angler Magazine - December / Treasure Coast  

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