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Venice, Louisiana:

A Paddler's Heaven

Local

Bass Pro

Mike Iaconelli

Fishing Reports Catch Photos News & Events

Talks Kayaks Inshore

PHOTO COURTESY OF JEFF SCHNEIDER VOLUME 22 • ISSUE 267

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Each month, Coastal Angler Magazine and The Angler Magazine staff search our vast coverage area for photos that will grace our covers. With well over a million readers in diverse coastal and inland markets, our magazines strive for broad national appeal as well as local-level intelligence to put anglers on fish. The cover is different depending on which edition you, the reader, are holding. The following is a little information about this month’s covers.

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The cover of this month’s Coastal Angler Venice, Louisiana: editions features a gorgeous Louisiana red A Paddler's caught by Kaku pro-staffer and Louisiana Heaven tuna captain Jeff Schneider while fishing from the deck of a Kahuna SUP. There is perhaps no better place in the world to chase redfish from a paddle-powered boat Local Bass Pro Mike Iaconelli than Venice, Louisiana. Kaku’s president Talks Kayaks Inshore Kevin Hawkins tells us all about it in this issue. With thousands upon thousands of acres of marshland situated around the mouth of the Mississippi Delta, it is a paradise for inshore species and the anglers who target them. There are so many options for kayak and paddleboard anglers around Venice. They range from mothership trips out in the Gulf of Mexico for big cobia, jacks and bull reds to easier hand-launch expeditions off the side of the road in Venice, where marsh ponds and canals in tall grass make it easier to find fishing out of the wind. No matter where or how one decides to deploy a little plastic boat in the waters around the Delta, the fishing will be fantastic. It truly is heaven for anglers under paddle power.

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Professional bass tournament angler and Mike Iaconelli TV personality Mike Iaconelli is one of the most recognized anglers in the world. The 2003 Bassmaster Classic Champion and 2006 Make New Lures Angler of the Year, “Ike” can claim to have won Confidence Lures Local almost every major award in professional bass fishing. But he’s also a self-described fish-head, who will fish anywhere, any way for anything that will pull on the other end of a line. It’s fitting that the rig pulling his stateof-the-art Bass Cat boat also has a Hobie kayak strapped to the roof for quick and easy, on-the-spot fun fishing. In this month’s magazine, Ike tells us about his love of kayak fishing in a question-and-answer session that delves into some of the tools and techniques he uses inshore. Ike is one of the best bass fishermen in the world, and his tournament skills translate well to saltwater. The cover of this month’s The Angler Magazines is of “Ike” with a good redfish caught while filming for his TV show “Going Ike” in Port Fourchon, Louisiana. We interviewed him in the run-up to this year’s Bassmaster Classic, and taking a moment to talk kayaks seemed a breathe of fresh air for him during crunch time. Talks Kayaks Inshore

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Kayakin’ The Spring

By Patrick Sebile

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ife is getting vibrant. Things are warming up, and spring is here. As a ritual long established, I feel the need to be close to nature. And to me there’s no better way to experience the feeling of life awakening than riding a kayak with a rod in my hand. I have fished and guided from all kinds of boats, from small skiffs to majestic deep-sea vessels, but a small plastic shell puts me right next to the fish, my hands always a few inches from the water’s surface. It’s not a money matter, as I own boats. Perhaps it is the challenge? I definitively spend more time each year fishing from my skiff or bass boat, and surely catch more fish from these boats. They are true fishing machines, helping me cover lots of water to find fish. And they can carry all the gear necessary for any situation. On my kayak, I have to think effectively about what my needs are and carefully consider every single thing I will bring onboard. It’s a good way to find the balance between needs and wants. So how do I fish while kayaking? In freshwater and saltwater, my approach is to slowly and surely cover every spot. In a kayak, I am much more aware of, and more capable of, targeting the places where fish hide. Superbly silent, my Pro Angler carries me at the edge of two worlds, above the surface where we

live and the liquid world, which holds the object of all our passions. My kayak tackle boxes have a variety of carefully selected key lures that will help in different situations and environments, nothing more than what I will need. I carry Magic Swimmers, hard for open water and soft for heavy cover and structure. A Flatt Shad snagless is effective in both open and snaggy areas. Twitch baits like the Stick Shadd definitely go into my box, as they are needed if fish are active. A handful of plastic worms, a couple of bucktails, and then a topwater or a pivot frog will complete this set to fish from a ’yak. Seated just above the water, gliding silently with gentle movements of my feet on the pedals, rod in hand and with eyes searching, I use the smooth approach to get as close as I can to the spot or to the fish. Then all that’s left is a short but accurate cast. Proximity also gives me greater enjoyment of seeing the fish and seeing it bite. That’s why I love kayak fishing this time of the year. And you never know; I may let my lures sit in the tackle box and simply hook a shiner or a shrimp and let it swim. Or maybe I won’t even do a thing, just watch the water and the life that surrounds it—just enjoy life… and a kayak ride. Patrick Sebile is the owner and lure designer of Sebile Innovative Fishing (www.sebile.com).

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Mike Iaconelli Talks Kayaks And Redfish

Editor Nick Carter had the chance to interview professional bass angler Mike Iaconelli just before the Bassmaster Classic. We didn’t want to jinx Ike by talking about the Classic, so we asked the Hobie pro about his love of kayak fishing.

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hat’s the appeal in stepping down from the deck of a bass boat into a kayak? Ike: Growing up in southern New Jersey, I consider myself a small-boat angler first. Many of my early childhood experiences fishing involved fishing from the bank, rowing a small jonboat or paddling a canoe. Kayak fishing fills a huge niche in my fishing life. Outside of competitive bass tournament fishing, I’m still a huge fish head. That means fishing for all freshwater and saltwater species in my down time. When I’m fun fishing or filming for TV shows, I love to access remote places that I can’t get into with my full size bass boat. Kayak fishing is also a HUGE breath of fresh air to leave behind the big boat and all of the time and preparation that go along with launching and running that boat. With your tournament schedule, do you get to spend much time on the salt? Ike: I definitely try to go inshore and offshore fishing each fall when the tournament season concludes. This past fall, I spent a week in Port Fourchon, Louisiana hanging out at Hobie Worlds 6 and filming a kayak fishing episode for season two of my TV show, Going Ike, which premiers this spring on the Pursuit Channel! I had a great time catching big redfish and trout, plus it was awesome meeting the Hobie World Championship competitors from all over the world who love fishing as much as I do. I also had a chance to go offshore fishing with my buddy Ish Monroe in San Francisco during November. We were mainly targeting lingcod, and it was an amazing day of fishing! Where do you put your kayak in and what do you fish for in New Jersey? Ike: I mostly fish the small lake behind my house, which has largemouth bass, northern chain pickerel, crappie and sunfish. My son, Vegas, got a brand new Hobie kayak from Santa for Christmas this year. The fish in our lake better watch out this summer! I’m really looking forward to spending time with my family and pursuing exciting new fishing adventures. How do redfish compare to “green fish?” Ike: Anyone who has caught a big redfish would agree that they are definitely more powerful and are a very aggressive fish in general. One of my favorite things about targeting redfish is that most of the time I can focus on shallow-water power-fishing techniques and search for active, feeding reds. With the “green fish,” there are a lot of times that I have to slow down and present a bait to them slowly such as with a jig, worm or finesse fishing.

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What skills, techniques and gear from your bass arsenal translate well to inshore? Ike: Casting accuracy/ presentation, reading tides and powerfishing techniques are the first three that come to my mind. Often when I’m inshore fishing, I am targeting fish that are relating to a grass edge or current break. If I can make accurate, quiet casts, there’s a good chance I’m going to catch more fish! Having grown up fishing the Delaware River, which can have up to a 7-foot tide swing between low and high tides, I’ve spent much of my life learning how fish position based on the tide level and current. This experience translates extremely well to inshore fishing…. I bring a lot of traditional power-fishing gear that you’d also find in my Bass Cat boat when I’m fishing for bass: Abu Garcia “Ike” Series Rods, Berkley Trilene braided/ monofilament/ fluorocarbon fishing lines, Rapala Skitter Walk and Skitter V topwaters, VMC jigheads, and Berkley Powerbait and Gulp swimbaits, grubs, and more soft plastics. How is your Hobie rigged out? Ike: I have a Power Pole Micro Anchor to stop the kayak on a dime. This is a very crucial piece of equipment, which allows me to quickly stop and fish an area without the kayak drifting with the current or wind. This is huge when you are fishing specific targets such as points, current breaks, laydowns, docks and more. I also have a Lowrance HDS 9 Touch unit, a storage crate for my Flambeau Zerust tackle boxes and tackle bags, landing net, rod holders, and of course, Hobie’s Mirage Drive pedals so I can keep my hands fishing instead of paddling! Electronics play a huge role on the bass tournament scene, what’re your thoughts on electronics in kayaks? Ike: Electronics play just as huge of a role in kayak fishing. I really use it the same as with my Bass Cat boat! As I just mentioned, I run a Lowrance HDS 9 Touch unit on my Hobie for its GPS/ sonar abilities. I rely heavily on the information I can gather from the Lowrance such as mapping/ bottom contours, reading the water temperature, and using the sonar for locating fish, cover and structure to name a few. I may mount a Hydrowave on the Hobie as well soon. It’s another great innovation in electronics, and I use it often in my boat to fire up fish. I’m always interested in adding tools to my boat or kayak that help me catch more fish!

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By Nick Carter - Photos Courtesy of Kaku

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f there’s a heaven for folks who fish from paddle-powered boats, it must look a lot like Venice, Louisiana. This narrow spit of marshland at the Mississippi River Delta is a maze of canals and bays that flush into the Gulf of Mexico with fecundity born of joining waters. Channels and marsh ponds tucked into thousands of acres of wetlands make it the perfect habitat for redfish, seatrout, flounder and other species. It’s like the landscape was designed for fishing and exploring with a paddle. Kevin Hawkins was born and raised in Tarpon Springs, Fla. He is the president of Kaku Kayaks & Paddleboards but calls himself the company’s chief pro-staffer. He prides himself on the amount of fishing he does and designs his boats on experience. Venice is one of his favorite testing grounds. Whether its launching roadside into the marsh, a trip outside the pass from remote Port Eads or a mothership expedition to the Gulf ’s famous oil rigs, it’s the perfect setting to test his boats. It doesn’t hurt that the fishing is awesome. When the seas aren’t too rough, there’s no adventure quite like a mothership trip out to the oilrigs in search of cobia, kingfish and bull reds. Kaku pro-staffer Capt. Jeff Schneider is also a tuna captain who runs a 36-foot Contender when he’s not paddling a small plastic boat. With kayaks loaded, it’s about an hour and a half run from Venice Marina out to 50-foot-deep rigs in West Bay. Hawkins described a day he fished with Schneider, and although the primary target was cobia, a big 45-inch redfish was the highlight. Armed with big 5000 reels and 40- to 50-pound tackle, they dropped Kaku Wahoo kayaks into 2- to 3-foot seas. Even on the stable fishing platform, Hawkins said it might have been a bit much for new paddlers. For a veteran it was fun. “It’s awesome, man. I love paddling a good kayak in that stuff and busting over big waves,” said Hawkins. “When it gets rough like that, it’s fun.” They fished a series of four or five structures linked by a bridge, which gave space to paddle around and explore. Hawkins said he paddled right up to the corner of a pier, dropped his jig straight down and began back paddling before jigging. That’s when the big bull red ate. “When you’re in the shallows and they pull you around, they call that the Cajun sleigh ride,” Hawkins said. “When you’re in deep water like that, he heads straight down. He was pulling me, and that kayak was smashing straight down on those waves. It was pretty intense.” Invariably, fish seek something to wrap the line around, and only by kicking off a beam was Hawkins able to keep himself from going

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under the rig and losing the fish. He gave a piece of advice for battling big fish from a kayak in deep water. “Keep the tip of the rod toward the front of the boat,” he said. “When the rod goes to the side, that’s when you run the risk of flipping.” If an open-water mothership trip seems a little much, Port Eads sits on the southernmost tip of Louisiana, right at the end of the Mississippi River. It’s only accessible by boat, and reasonable prices buy lodging and good meals. Also known as South Pass, the location is a few minutes paddle from the open Gulf and offers excellent fishing for big jacks, reds, cobia, blacktip sharks and any number of other species big enough to warrant medium-heavy rods, 3000 to 4000 reels and 30- to 40-pound-test lines. Hawkins likes artificials and prefers Slayer Inc.’s Sinister Swim Tail rigged on a 4/0 jig head. For him, sinking bait outside the pass would detract from the reason he fishes from kayaks and SUPs in the first place. “Kayaks are about stalking and hunting the fish,” he said. “You’ve got to use your instincts to find them. I don’t like to just sit on a hole and fish bait.” It’s as much fun as you can have sitting down… or standing up if seas are calm enough for an SUP like Kaku’s Kahuna, which is specifically designed for fishing. But perhaps the best bet for calm waters is a third Venice option, to launch roadside. Highway 23 runs from New Orleans to Venice, and Tidewater Road is where the pavement ends. There are any number of places to hand-launch a kayak or paddleboard. Hawkins mentioned Yellow Cotton Bay as well as a series of marsh ponds and cuts at a circular canal known as The Pinwheel. Once you find fish off the grass edges, it’s probably the best inshore action in the world, and it’s easily accessible to paddlers. Popping cork rigs are a no-brainer, but Hawkins said once you get tired of catching scads of rat reds and trout, it’s time to switch to the paddletail rig he likes to fish outside the pass. “We’re looking for the big ones,” he said. “You’ve still got to be ready for the big ones. No matter where I am in Venice, I’ve got a 30-pound rig.” For more information on Kaku Kayaks & SUPs, see kakukayak. com.

To learn more about fishing from a Kahuna Paddleboard, go to

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The 12.5′ length of the Wahoo helps ensure stability. The Wahoo spans 33″ wide, great for fishing! Weighing only 74 lbs, the Wahoo is WWW.kakukayak.com lightweight, but incredibly stable. The Wahoo has a capacity of 400lbs.

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The Most Versatile Paddle Craft… Ever! The new Kahuna offers extreme stability, versatility and durability. Mount coolers, seats, storage boxes, rod holders and more to its rugged frame. It’s the first paddle craft of its kind to offer fully integrated mounting for the Micro Power Pole Shallow Water Anchor!

THE DAY’S BIG CATCH SHOULD BE YOUR ONLY FOCUS Insurance coverage through BoatU.S. makes for a great start to what could be an epic day of fishing. Our policies are designed with coverages custom-made for Anglers and include 24/7 claims service from boating experts. • Agreed Value Coverage for Your Boat, Engine(s) and Boating Equipment • Broad Cruising Areas • Charter and Guide Coverage Options Available • Coverage for Fishing Gear • Tournament Coverage • Water Towing and Roadside Assistance from TowBoatU.S. – the Nation’s Largest Fleet

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Paddlesports Product Review COVERALLS KAYAK COVER

CREEKKOOLER FLOATING COOLER

Who says kayak covers need to be bulky and thick? CoverAlls kayak covers deliver protection, strength and durability in a lightweight, tough material that keeps your kayak clean and dry year-round. Protect your kayak from nature and the elements. Prevent dirt, debris, pollen and leaves from piling up in the cockpit and seat. Block bugs and critters before they move in. Keep water out with material that’s not just water-resistant—it’s water-PROOF. Our covers are also UV-resistant to preserve your kayak’s hull and rigging from the sun’s damaging rays. Best of all, CoverAlls kayak covers are a breeze to use. They slip on quickly, draw closed with a single poly cord and cam lock—not zippers—and get snug with durable Velcro straps. There’s even a built-in red flag for transport. The cover slips off easily and stows neatly in an included compact stuff bag that even fits in most deck hatches. Spend more time with a rod and reel and less time with a hose and scrub brush. See how much better protection can be at www.coveralls.biz!

Space is always at a premium when you’re on the water in a paddle-powered vessel. Whether it’s a kayak, canoe or stand-up paddleboard, a lack of stowage often forces us to leave behind the things not absolutely necessary for the activity at hand. On a larger boat where there’s plenty of room, many anglers wouldn’t think of going fishing without a cooler full of iced-down beverages. With the new Creekkooler, those navigating under paddle power can have the same luxury. The Creekkooler is an innovative floating cooler designed with dual-wall construction and top-quality insulation to retain ice and keep things cold for extended periods. Its shape cuts through the water, limiting drag and allowing it to be pulled easily behind a boat. Creekkooler has a 30-quart capacity and will hold 30 12-ounce cans and 20 pounds of ice. It has four drink holders on deck and a 1/8-turn watertight lid that makes it a great tool for extra dry storage, too. Whether it’s for keeping drinks cold during a day on the water with buddies, packing in provisions for a multi-day float trip, or extra dry storage for the stuff you need but don’t have room in the boat for, Creekkooler is an innovative new product that will make your excursion under paddle power more comfortable.

WWW.COVERALLS.BIZ

KANOOLERPRODUCTS.COM

WHALEBACK PADDLEBOARDS TORTUGA

When I’m not in the studio or at the racetrack, I’m fishing. Every chance I get. I recently started SUP fishing, and the 12’6” Tortuga by Whaleback Paddleboards is a real game changer. At 12’6” x 34” x 10.5”, with twin pontoons, the stability is ridiculous. I can walk nose to tail and all around the rails to reel in fish from any direction. Its 3-inch side bite tracking fins allow me to squeeze into shallow flats, and its maneuverability and stability is great offshore as well. With a fullcoverage, water-resistant traction pad, the deck space is unmatched. And its 28 customizable

By Matt Nix, Racin’ Nation Radio

WWW.WHALEBACKPADDLEBOARDS.COM

JACKSON KAYAK KRAKEN 13.5

Jackson Kayak’s Kraken 13.5 is an all-new option for paddlers looking to tackle big water. Based on The Kraken 15.5 platform, the 13.5 sheds some length for more maneuverability but with all the punch of its big brother. This kayak, just like the original, is designed for the most challenging paddling environments and intended for the offshore and big-lake kayak angler. It’s a natural follow up to the first collaborative design between legendary kayak angler, Jim Sammons and Jackson Kayak’s design team led by Tony Lee. The new Kraken 13.5 is a boat shaped and built to accommodate those hitting the open water in a nimble, smaller footprint but still capable of big water management. It’s designed for punching through surf, handling rough offshore currents, swells, beach landings and those who desire ultimate performance and maneuverability. With more features than can be listed, Jackson has considered all the needs of bigwater anglers and packed them thoughtfully into this kayak. Its great-tracking hull has the speed to cover miles and the volume and storage to carry you and your gear comfortably on long outings. 16

inserts and deck tie downs let me rig up my YakAttack lean post, rod holders, GPS and paddle holder and still have room for the cooler, cup holder and lawn chair. Because let’s face it, nothing’s better than celebrating a good catch with a cold one. Whether you’re an experienced SUP fisherman or just getting started, the 12’6’ Tortuga is the board for you. It sets you up with everything you need. You just have to find the fish. All Whaleback boards are made in the USA. Visit www.whalebackpaddleboards.com or call 561-3361612 for a dealer near you.

PAU HANA BIG EZ ANGLER At 11 feet long and available in both 32 and 36 inches of width, Pau Hana’s Big EZ Angler is built to be stable, the perfect platform for fighting any game fish. This paddleboard is derived from the classic Big EZ, and is shaped to provide anglers the balance they need while remaining easy to maneuver in shallow water without disrupting fish underneath. It is lightweight at just over 30-pounds, which means it is easy to launch anywhere there’s a place to carry it to the water. It can be rigged up for any kind of fishing, can handle heavy loads and carry all the gear you need. With a soft and stylish deck and space in between the pieces for water drainage, the Angler comes pre-equipped with 25 multiple threaded mount attachment points using Pau Hana’s innovative SeaMount System. Coolers, tackle boxes, anchors, nets, rod holders, paddle clips, lights and anything else an angler needs can be easily mounted on deck. The Big EZ Angler is a real teak paddleboard with the capacity to carry everything an angler needs and provide a stable platform to fish from.

WWW.PAUHANASURFCO.COM WWW.JACKSONKAYAK.COM APRIL 2017 COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

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Paddlesports Product Review RAM MOUNTING SYSTEMS Whether you are on a lake, stream, whitewater, inlet or ocean, kayaking is all about adaptability. RAM has created a complete line of rust-resistant mounting solutions for kayaks that allow anglers to mount items where they are needed. RAM Mounting systems offer the widest selection of kayak fishing accessories to adapt to a wide range of fishing scenarios. With a patented ball-and-socket design, RAM mounts allow anglers to mount almost anything at the perfect angle. This provides flexibility to mount equipment within reach, but out of the way. RAM’s kayak mounts and fishing accessories are rugged, compact, and have no sharp edges or points. All of our kayak mounts are backed by a lifetime warranty and are made in the USA. RAM mounts are the solution for mounting anything you might need on the water. A full line of rod holders covers everything from fly rods to conventional baitcasters and spinning rods of all sizes. Electronics, like fishfinders, chartplotters, phones, tablets and cameras can be mounted securely where they are needed. RAM even has a special system for mounting transducers for depthfinders. If there is something that needs to be mounted on a kayak, chances are RAM has thought of it and designed a product to hold it.

WWW.RAMMOUNT.COM

THE SKIMMER KAYAK MOTOR KIT Paddle fatigue getting to you? Want to motorize your kayak or canoe? There’s no need to pay $2,000 for a motorized kayak. Watercraft Technologies’ The Skimmer is a simple system for motorizing your kayak or canoe, and it costs less than $400. It is a lightweight, portable motor that mounts easily to your stern. Just snap it on when you need it. Fishing has never been easier, safer and more convenient. Go farther and save your energy for fishing! Increase your range! Catch more fish! The Skimmer weighs only 6 pounds. It’s 12v battery operated. There are easy controls for steering and motor lift. It’s environmentally safe, with no pollution, oil or gas spills. The Skimmer is made for saltwater, but does great in brackish or fresh water. It is able to propel a craft 2-4 knots and lasts two to five hours per charge. Imagine running your kayak at that speed and that long with zero effort! This propulsion system is great for people who want to get on the water and not worry about paddling hard into a swift current or strong wind. It is also great for those with shoulder, back or elbow issues. This kayak trolling motor kit carries a one-year, full parts replacement policy. See The Skimmer in action and order online at www.kayaktrollingmotor.com or order by phone at 631-848-3119.

WWW.KAYAKTROLLINGMOTOR.COM

MALIBU X-WING CONSOLE

Storage is a huge issue when all the gear you need at hand must fit in a space the size of your legs and lap. Malibu’s X-Wing Console is a fantastic option for storing and organizing gear in the cockpit of a kayak. Mounting of electronics, rod holders and other accessories can all be accomplished on one unit without drilling unnecessary holes in a kayak’s deck. A dry-storage compartment included in the unit makes the perfect place for valuables as well as being a great place for a battery. The X-Wing slides back and forth on a track mounted to the gunnel, so placement can be customized on the fly so it’s there when you need it and out of the way when you don’t. It’s also completely removable for storage and transportation. The X-Wing fits Malibu Kayaks, and modifications and adapters can be used to make the console fit other brands.

WWW.MALIBUKAYAKS.COM

YAKGEAR COOLER SEAT A cooler is one of the most valuable tools in most anglers’ arsenals. It goes everywhere and serves as a refrigerator, stepladder, poling platform, storage box and even a seat. YakGear’s Cooler Seat and Rigging Kit allows anglers to turn their cooler into a more comfortable and practical seating platform. Perfect for fishing, paddling, camping, tailgating and hunting, the YakGear Cooler Seat and Rigging Kit consists of the YakGear Sting Ray Seat and the necessary hardware to mount and secure the seat to a cooler. The kit is compatible with all coolers that feature “Front Locking Holes” including Yeti, Grizzly, Engel, Yukon, Icehole, some of the Bison models, and many more. The YakGear Sting Ray Seat features built-in back braces, which allow rigid back support without pressure from an exterior backrest. While most seats slouch down or fold over, the YakGear back braces hold the seat in place. As an additional feature, the seat has an aggressive non-slip pad to prevent unwarranted movement while sitting.

YAKGEAR.COM APRIL 2017

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NEW KOMODO SS REELS & SHADOW STALKER GULF COAST RODS Powered by aluminum framing, stainless steel drive and high-output Carbonite drag, Komodo SS reels in 350 and 450 sizes are instant favorites. Compact and comfortable with enough line capacity for incredible versatility inshore and offshore.Œ•ŒShadow Stalker Gulf Coast 1-piece rod actions deliver superior sensitivity and back it with OC-9 carbon reinforcement for amazing strength when the fish of a lifetime strikes. okumafishingusa.com

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FLY FISHING A Modern Take On Booking Fishing Guides And Charters

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a better way. In April 2016, Fisher Guiding was founded. Since then, Hill has been working full time to turn his dream of easy one-stop shopping for charters and guided trips into reality. Fisher Guiding is a web-based service that lets anglers book trips with guides and charters online. It allows potential customers to search, review, message and pay guides all through an easy-to-use website. This service allows guides and captains to advertise and book clients based on available dates. It makes payment hassle free and allows guides and captains to market to customers in a way never before available. For some independent guides, the local fly shop is the only avenue available for them to book clients. Fisher Guiding is looking to supplement and modernize by offering a variety of scheduling and booking tools. Right now, Fisher Guiding currently has booking options from Alaska to the East Coast, Bahamas, Belize and Costa Rica. Although the consumer website just launched eight days ago, Fisher is already off to a great start with trips booked and new guides joining daily making for a constantly growing community. “Ultimately, the goal is to have guides and charters representing every market and fishing destination in the USA and around the world,” said Hill. It will be interesting to see how Fisher Guiding impacts the industry. The advantages are obvious for guides and charter services, but the greatest benefit may be for the consumer. Customers can read reviews and even message guides right through the website. Booking and paying for trips can be handled in two easy steps. While all change forces adaptation, a more competitive and transparent system will serve both the professionals and consumers. Ultimately the goal of Fisher Guiding is to make guides and charters more accessible to the public and contribute to the growth of the sport. A high tide will raise all the boats. See for yourself at www.fisherguiding.com.

FLY FISHING

ooking fishing guides and charters has not really changed at all for 50 years, so the industry is ripe for change and improvement. That is what Edward Hill—founder of Fisher Guiding– thought before launching his online service for guides and captains and the anglers who use them. Hill worked at Front Range Anglers before By Charlie Warfield graduating from the University of Colorado. There he saw firsthand how the guiding business worked in the local area. After school, he did private sector work in Washington, D.C., but after a couple years felt the need for a change and a new challenge. He began planning a trip to the Everglades with his father to do some fishing and reflection. Hill began searching the Internet for local guides. He was frustrated by the lack of information and the hoops he had to jump through to get hold of a guide. He had to look up guides and then call them for available dates and rates. It was a hassle, and it then turned out the guides he tracked down didn’t have the dates available he was looking for. Hill thought there must be

CHOOSING THE CORRECT BAITFISH FLY

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f you look in many fly anglers’ boxes, you will see a huge array of flies in all shapes, sizes and colors. However, having the one correct fly in the box is the key to fishing success. Picking the correct flies for any saltwater fly fishing situation is key to whether or not you’ll be catching fish. Walking into a fly shop and looking into the fly bins can prove mindboggling to the uninitiated. The bins are filled with so many flies with which the fledgling saltwater fly fisher has little or no knowledge. Saltwater flies differ from their freshwater cousins in size and dress. Sometimes, like the kid in a candy store who is more influenced by the attractive wrapper than its contents, the beginning saltwater fly angler often chooses the eye-candy, over-dressed flies far too bulky to resemble a baitfish or a crab, flies that hook fishermen rather than fish.

Baitfish patterns

I believe a sparsely dressed baitfish pattern is preferable to a bulked up flashy fly. Why? The sparsely dressed fly will have a more natural look than will an all-too-spruced-up fly. Also, my experience has shown that a fish is far less selective when presented the sparsely dressed fly. The fly is only an imitation, a hint, of what the fish is feeding on, producing in the fish a reflexive action to strike. Perhaps one of the most important parts of the saltwater fly is its large eye that resembles closely the good-sized eyes on baitfish such as sardines, pilchards, and anchovies. Game fish zero in on that oversized eye when chasing and feeding on baitfish. Focusing on that eye results in fewer lost meals.

Color

Natural colors work best. Olive green, browns, tans and

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FLY FISHING Upstate New York

Bass On The Fly! By Mathew DeRosa

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t was a very successful spring steelhead season on New York’s Salmon River. Approaching the tail end of the season, a friend and I made a “last chance” trip in hopes of finding a few final drop-back steelhead left in the system. We fished the lower section of the river, near Lake Ontario, to increase our chances of a tight line. It was one of those days when spring starts meshing into summer. The sun was shining with a few high clouds, the warm breeze was 70 degrees, and we had the river to ourselves. For an angler, being outside and fishing in a short sleeve shirt with no one around should be enough to call any day a success. This day was about to get better. As we cast into a river with increasing water temps and a majority of the steelhead already back in Lake Ontario, our expectations of a tight line were low. Soon enough, as we launched large flies

into the water, the addicting tight line grabs began. These fierce strikes were not steelhead, but hungry smallmouth bass. We enjoyed a full day on the river swinging 4-plus-inch flies and catching more than 25 smallmouth bass apiece. Are you a bass fisherman? Have you experienced the power of a bass on a fly rod? Smallmouth and largemouth bass will aggressively hunt down prey, which makes catching them on a fly rod extremely enjoyable. The late spring and early summer months are perfect to experience bass on the fly in Upstate New York. Altmar, N.Y. is on the Salmon River a short drive from the Tug Hill Sportsman Club. Both the Salmon River and the Tug Hill Sportsman’s Club are great places to learn how to fly fish and test your skills on bass. The beautiful scenery and vast expanse of meandering clear water make the Salmon River a top-priority fishing location in late spring. Favorable river conditions draw in large numbers of smallmouth bass. The river has more than 12 miles of public fishing property, and you can fish all day without encountering another angler. Smallmouth enter the river in April to spawn and remain in the system until September. Average Salmon River smallmouth bass range from 2 to 3 pounds; some weigh more than 5 pounds. Bass are present the entire length of the river from Altmar to the Douglaston Salmon Run. Tug Hill Sportsman Club The Tug Hill Sportsman Club is located on 450 acres of gently rolling land and is home to four lakes. The lakes make up about 45 acres of pristine largemouth bass-infested water. New to fly fishing or experienced, the opportunity to catch a world-class largemouth is there. The fish in these small lakes have had unpressured feeding, growing and reproductive conditions as the property has been carefully managed for more than 25 years. The goal is to provide guests with the highest quality angling. Enjoy Tailwater Lodge’s relaxing accommodations and fish the Tug Hill Sporting Club with Zero Limit Adventures! Matthew DeRosa is a guide with Zero Limit Adventures. For more information on the Tug Hill Sportsman’s Club and Zero Limit Adventures, visit www.zerolimitadventures.com.

whites are all great color combos for baitfish patterns. You should, however, carry a selection of blue and white, red and white and, of course, chartreuse and white in your fly box.

Size

Depending on what type of fish you’re pursuing, the size of your flies will vary. But, in most saltwater fly fishing situations, you’ll also need baitfish patterns that range from a small anchovy patterns in size 6 to large sardine or pilchard patterns in size 2/0. Remember, just as it is on the spring creek or on the large river, it’s all about matching the hatch, weather it’s insects or baitfish.

For more flyfishing with Bowman, go to

CAMFLYFISHING.COM

35 Acres of Private Access to the World-Renowned Salmon River 42 Luxurious Accommodations On-Site Bar and Restaurant • Daily Hot Breakfast Included Salmon River, Altmar, NY 315-298-3434

TailwaterLodge.com

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You could get a discount when you combine your auto and boat policies.

for your boat geico.com | 1-800-865-4846 | Local Office Some discounts, coverages, payment plans and features are not available in all states or all GEICO companies. Boat and PWC coverages are underwritten by GEICO Marine Insurance Company. Multi-Policy Discount available to auto insureds that have purchased a boat policy through the GEICO Marine Insurance Company. GEICO is a registered service mark of Government Employees Insurance Company, Washington, D.C. 20076; a Berkshire Hathaway Inc. subsidiary. © 2017 GEICO

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FLORIDA

Elite Series Anglers Visit The Big O

By Steve Daniel, the voice of Okeechobee fishing

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hen Bassmasters Elite Series competitors came to the Big O in February, they went all out to showcase our great fishing. In the end, Timmy Horton came out on top. He did most of his fishing with a jig in the bulrushes on the south end of the lake. He knew if the wind got up it could spell trouble, and it did. Even though he carried a 7-pound lead into the final day, it would be nerve racking to finish the job. He ran back to the Harney Pond area and caught 12 pounds to win by about a pound over Tennessee angler Ott Defoe.

At the weigh in, Horton’s daughter showed up with a pizza box, and no one knew what that was all about, but my wife Deb and I knew; we were there. Horton won an event on New York’s Lake Champlain several years ago. On the final day he made a long run, over 60 miles, to catch a 20-pound bag. The only way he could lose the event was if the weather got bad and he could not get back to the weigh in on time. Being aware of this, he returned early and tied his boat to the dock. Rules state that an angler can’t leave the boat unless there’s an emergency. After approval from Tripp Welden, tournament director, Horton’s cameraman, who was his observer and could not get out of the boat either, ordered a large pizza to the boat. They enjoyed a long afternoon tied to the dock. Here on Okeechobee, Horton also enjoyed a big lead going into the last day. The plan was to go to the south end, get a heavy bag and return early to have an early lunch tied to the dock. It didn’t happen that way. The wind got up and changed the area he was fishing, and it took Horton until 11:30 a.m. to even catch his first bass. In the end, Horton caught enough to win, and the rest is history, but that is what the box of pizza was all about. I bet the pizza got cold waiting the docks. With water levels falling here on the Big O, we will be fishing some really shallow water going into April. Here is a tip: Get a 4-foot stick and keep it by the driver’s seat to feel the bottom. If you feel sand and the water is deep enough to get on plain, you will be fine. If the bottom feels hard, keep idling out until you have deeper water. Use a little common sense. Fishing in April will be incredible. An extremely successful professional bass tournament angler, Steve Daniel is 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

To learn more about fishing in the Big O, go to

ANGLERLIFE.CO

BEACHMARINEPRODUCTS.COM

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DINNER AND

A SHOW By Michael Landress

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riskly driven by warm sea breezes, we drifted in 26-fathoms—three grizzled and oft impatient anglers awaiting a bite. Biker Brad and I chartered Capt. Chris Le-Mieux and his 27foot Conch Cruiser out of Boynton Beach with expectations of catching summer dolphin. Joggling in 2-foot seas, Chris set the lines. After a few minutes, we noticed the spinning rod baited with a lively threadfin at the transom presenting a tad odd. The monofilament was loosely wrapped around the reel’s handle and bail. The line was straight down from the rod tip and disappeared beneath the Conch Cruiser. Chris seized the rod and quickly untangled the quandary then began a feverish retrieval of slack line. A tenacious, girly mahi gobbled the jittery herring then torpedoed toward the vessel. I reached for the camera in an effort to capture images of her aerial assault for freedom, but missed the opportunity because Chris forced the straining rod in my face barking, “REEL . . . REEL . . . REEL!” We watched in awe as the flailing dolphin rocketed through the air twisting and turning with great energy. Perhaps, the mahi is the prettiest fish in the world’s oceans. The brilliant harlequin green and cyber yellow of its lit skin, embellished with ultramarine specks in contrast with blue water, is spectacular. Having missed two epic jumps, I couldn’t resist the temptation. I passed

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the rod to Brad so I could focus on capturing the final flurry of vaults with a camera. But, as quickly as the acrobatic breaches had begun, they ceased. The worn dolphin laggardly cruised near the surface. Her brilliant color quickly faded as she succumbed to a well-placed, razor sharp gaff. Wild-eyed and grinning from ear to ear like yellow cartoon sponges, we extended our gratitude for the show by welcoming her aboard for a dinner engagement. Dinner and a show is how we roll!

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FISH THE GREATER JACKSONVILLE KINGFISH TOURNAMENT

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ingfish anglers will converge on Jacksonville the week of July 17 for the 37th edition of the Greater Jacksonville Kingfish Tournament. Steve Thompson, Captain of the Sea Snake, will once again serve as tournament chairman. With more than 30 years of experience on the SKA circuit, he brings unique insight to the Jacksonville tournament. The traditional two-day, Thursday/Friday format returns this year. Each angling boat will be allowed to weigh one fish Thursday and up to two fish Friday. Boats that made a wrong turn on day one still have a fighting chance on day two. Also returning is the single-engine class, where payouts go to the top 10 largest fish only. This year’s event, unlike last year, will not pay big fish or aggregate. The wildly popular ladies division will be expanded for 2017 and payouts will go out to the top 10 largest fish caught by ladies. Last year there were more ladies than ever arriving at the weigh scales, and with expanded payouts more are expected this year. As usual, there will be fun for all the kiddos. Junior anglers will have their own offshore day on the boats on Tuesday, and there will be a juniors dock tournament. As bonus prizes, there will be treasure chest drawings. Every boat that weighs a fish on Friday will receive a treasure chest key. Lucky keys open one of 10 treasure chests valued at more than $700 each! With donated fish, organizers will

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also be handing out tickets for $100 drawings. Again this year, an awesome gas-powered, customized golf cart will be raffled off. This isn’t your grandad’s golf cart; this one has 14-inch offroad tires, a Yamaha gas engine, Bluetooth sound system and lights all around. It is worth more than $9,000, and raffle tickets can be purchased with a $10 donation. New this year is a traveling angler prize, where one lucky angler from outside of 75 miles of Jacksonville will win cash. This is for the heaviest king outside the perimeter. It’s this, especially for an entry fee of only $345. just another way Jacksonville On top of all that, there is the seafood festival. Marine Charities and the GJKT says thanks for Don’t forget to visit Ship2Shore, the tournament’s fishing with us. And let’s not forget the grand prize. Once seafood vendor, and enjoy some fresh cooked again, the GJKT is proud to award, for the seafood. Make plans now to attend this year’s event. heaviest kingfish of the tournament, a Contender 22 Sport boat, powered by a 250 hp Yamaha 4 The weather is predictable in July, and big fish stroke outboard. Sitting on a brand new Trailer, are always plentiful. Over the years, several with a custom T-top by Pelagic Fabrications and tournament winners have come from within 5 a custom boat cover made by Mousa’s Auto & miles of the inlet. Marine trim shop, this To learn more about last years event, go to prize is valued at more than $86,000 dollars. No one offers a prize value like

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ishing in the Big Pine Key area can be the experience of a lifetime. The areas around Big Pine Key have a deep history that includes a large range of visits by famous explorers, pirates and American industrialists. Hundreds of years ago Native American tribes made frequent visits to harvest the Florida Keys’ rich abundance of seafood the area provided. Now many years later and well into the 21st century the combination of flowing Gulf Stream waters, coral reefs, lush mangrove islands, shallow flats and a complex interconnection of deep channels make this area unlike anywhere else in the world. Due to the ability to easily access both the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico, the variety of fishing is absolutely endless. Directly offshore is the famous Looe Key Reef. Tournament sport

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fishing boats often travel many miles to target a great sailfish bite off these reefs. Other pelagic gamefish such as black fin tuna, dolphin and speedy/yummy wahoo can also be targeted. Big schools of the very tasty reef fish such as mutton, mangrove, lane and yellowtail snappers are plentiful in these areas. Between May 1 and Dec. 31, grouper is open to harvest. Very nice black, gag, and red groupers can be caught around all sorts of bottom ranging from inshore patches close to shore all the way to the outer reef. If the inshore gamefish are your preference, there may be no better location in the world than Big Pine Key area. Close proximity to the famous Bahia Honda Bridge provides some of the best live bait tarpon action in all of the Keys. The shorelines, channels and bays in the area provide some of the very best habitat there is to target these giants with a fly rod. Endless amounts of shallow flats in close proximity to deep channels provide miles and miles of habitat for much sought after permit and bonefish. You could fish a lifetime in the area and only discover half of what the region is capable of providing. No matter what style of fishing you prefer, no matter what time of year, Big Pine Key is an incredible area capable of catering to both the diehard enthusiast and the casual recreational angler! Contact Capt. Nate Wheeler and Waypoint Fishing Charters at 305394-2177 or captnatewheeler@aol.com, and see the website at www. waypointfishing.net.

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Center sp Rookie Wins FLW Tour on Harris Chain

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ot a newcomer to the bass-tournament crowd but a rookie this season on the FLW Tour, Enigma Pro Bradley Dortch came from fifth place to win the third stop on the Harris Chain of Lakes in Leesburg, Fla. Unlike a lot of the top finishers who were sight fishing for bedding bass, Dortch caught his fish on championship Sunday switching between a lipless crankbait and a large plastic worm in junebug color to sack up 22-2 pounds of Florida largemouths. Starting the day off with a 7-pounder and a fish nearly 4 pounds right behind it proved that deciding to go winding instead of pitching a soft stick bait to grass and lily pads was a great idea. His gut instinct was right. He figured a lot of the fish had moved due to the incoming front. The decision to move as well as picking up a large worm late in the morning and making a long casts to catch a second bass of nearly 7 pounds was right-on. Dortch sacked up his huge bag on FLW Live with the huge smile on his face while the current leader Debary Florida native, John Cox was struggling to get his bedding fish to bite. In the end, Dortch bested the three-day leader by about 4 pounds to take home the Tour Trophy and a $100,000 grand check. All the while, another well-known Florida pro, J.T. Kenny, was having a great day, bringing a huge 27-pound-plus sack to the scale. It was the tournament’s largest five-fish limit, and Kenny came all the way from tenth place to take second, less than 2 pounds behind Dortch. Only the top five anglers had the FLW-Live cameras on board, so the updates to the FLW site were coming in via an I-Pad from the Marshall onboard J.T. Kenny’s boat. Kenny’s huge sack had him on the hotseat until Dortch brought his 22-pound plus sack to the scale. The three-day leader, Mud Hole Custom Tackle Pro John Cox was last to the weigh scale, and after a tough day1:14 trying get1several bedAirline_Ad_CoastalAngler_8-1-14_Layout 1 8/1/14 PM to Page

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ding fish in the 5-pound-plus class to bite, he brought in a limit of just over 14 pounds. He ended up placing third right behind Kenny. The “Angler of the Year” points leader, FLW Pro Brian Thrift, ended up in sixth place after finishing second in the last three tournaments he has fished. This makes five straight top-10 finishes for Thrift, which is the longest streak for any tour angler since Kevin Van Dam had 10 in a row. With his tournament win, Dortch has now earned 500 total Angler of the Year points on the season and is in second place in the coveted Rookie of the Year (ROY) race. Justin Atkins, of Florence, Ala., the current ROY leader, is one spot ahead of Dortch with 502.

To watch his announced win, go to

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CENTRAL FLORIDA

Catching Snook from a Kayak

– By Eric Henson

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atching snook from a kayak can be lots of fun, whether it’s pitching baits on the beaches, stalking them on the flats or trolling creeks and rivers. There are many ways to target them from a kayak. These fish are constantly on the move, so it really comes down to finding a location where there are good numbers depending on the time of year. Snook are extremely temperature sensitive. This is one of the main reasons they are constantly moving. Their migration ranges from offshore reefs and beaches, all the way back into where creeks and rivers turn to freshwater. Once you’ve zeroed in on their location, you better have the right gear and tactics to get the job done. My personal favorite way to target them is with artificial lures. I try to match what they are eating at that specific time of year. If it is during the shrimp run, I use a life-like softplastic shrimp called a Monster 3X X-MOVE. For the mullet run, I use a Yo-Zuri 3D Inshore Series Twitchbait (SS). For the white bait run I use Mirrodines or paddle tails. And for flies I do the same thing… “match the hatch.” My

absolute favorite way to target them is with topwater lures and flies. Where I do most of my fishing around Sarasota, Fla., spring finds snook in a transition. They will be fattening up as they make their way into the passes, beaches and nearshore reefs for the big summer spawn. A lot of people will paddle into the passes and get close to some type of structure to target these fish. Dropping a live finger mullet, ladyfish or pinfish near structure on a circle hook that matches the size of the bait is a recipe for success. Make sure to use nothing less than 30-pound fluorocarbon leader because their sharp gill plates will cut through lesser line like butter. I enjoy hitting dock or bridge lights in the passes on the full and new moons. Most of the time you will see them stacked around the lights. If they are hanging near the surface, I will first pitch topwater lures like Yo-Zuri 3DB Pencil at them. If that doesn’t get the bite, I will watch the type and size of bait passing through the light. Then I will

Eric Henson is the owner of Casting Kayaks LLC, a guided kayak fishing company out of Sarasota, Fla. He specializes in inshore light tackle or fly fishing from Tampa Bay to Charlotte Harbor. Check out his website www.CastingKayaks.com or give him a call at 941-504-1349.

free line a similar size and color soft plastic like the Monster 3X BIG-M or X-SWIM. If the fish are hanging a little deeper, I will add weight to get it in the strike zone. Be sure to look for larger snook lurking in the shadow lines. Although targeting these fish in the passes from kayaks can be lots of fun, the water can be rushing at times, and I always take safety precautions. Wearing a life jacket at all times and the buddy system work best. Know your limits.

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COLOR Me Caught…Choosing Lure COLORS

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water. Colors, shapes and patterns are likely more important when fishing a particular run. If you are fishing the mullet run or a menhaden migration, matching the natural appearance of the food is pretty important. How to put this to use: • Black is generally the most visible color and creates the best contrast in low visibility. • Create contrast by using dark colors next to light colors. In dirty water or lowlight situations, more contrast is better. Bright clear conditions call for less contrast. • When using lures deep, use blues and greens as they are the last colors absorbed. • Consider the visible colors of natural prey at the depth you will be fishing and match that, not the surface colors. Studies show that fish react to specific colors. Maybe it is a color that occurs during mating or a color that triggers another response. However, what fish see and react to varies species to species. Also, unlike humans, fish can see ultraviolet light, which leads to options when tying flies or using skirted lures. Many materials can bring this into play. There is no doubt that color plays an important role in lure selection. Utilizing colors that show up at the depth you are fishing is a good strategy. Also, use colors that create contrast and make your bait visible under the conditions you are fishing. Photo courtesy of Controlled Descent Lures

veryone has their go to lure or fly, that certain color and pattern that always gets the job done. But why is that one lure so effective? Is it the color, shape, action or just the fact that you have confidence in it? Undoubtedly it is a combination of all of the above, especially when you consider what the fish sees. The colors fish can see are limited by the light absorbing characteristics of water as well as the amount of light and the water clarity. In water, the longest color wavelengths are absorbed first. Red is affected nearly immediately, transitioning to a shade of gray within depths of just 15 feet in clear water. The absorption continues in the order of the color spectrum to affect orange, yellow, green and finally blue. It is important to note color absorption occurs both vertically and horizontally. No matter the depth, red will appear gray to a fish that is 15 feet away from the lure. The distance is shortened in stained water. Conversely, with blue being visible to about 90 feet in clear open water, it will show up pretty well. So does that mean color has little bearing? Absolutely not; while colors might not pop bright and vivid, they have a profound effect on contrast. This might be of even more importance in fishing. Many anglers have discovered that dark colors work better at night, in low light and in dirty water. This may seem counter-intuitive, but consider that fish see the contrast of a bait to its surroundings. Using baits with two colors boosts the contrast when fishing in turbid

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Fantini wins Backcountry Fishing Association's March Tourney

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field of 39 boats fished the Backcountry Fishing Association’s third tournament of the 2017 season on March 4 under very breezy conditions. Even with strong easterly winds anglers, were able to bring in the Indian River Lagoon snook, trout and redfish with artificial lures for cash prizes. Solo angler Andy Fantini won first place and $682.50 for his 9.91-pound snook and 1.37-pound trout. The team of Dana Blackburn and Jamie Williams took second place and $409.50 for their 3.05-pound trout and a 6.32-pound snook. Third place was claimed by Zack Foltz and Loraé Simpson with a 4.56-pound trout and a 2.96-pound redfish. Dana Blackburn and Jamie Williams They took home won second place and $409.50 with a $273.00. 3.05-pound trout and 6.32-pound snook. The biggest snook Calcutta prize of $330.00 went to Troy and Taylor Wilson with a 7.15-pound fish. The Calcutta was a rollover jackpot from last month. The duo also placed fourth overall. The biggest redfish Calcutta prize, $160.00, went to Darren Frost and Dustin Bragman with a 4.09-pound redfish. They also placed fifth place overall with a 2.23-pound trout. The Backcountry Fishing Association is an artificial lure only tournament series which will wind up with a two-day Classic in October for the chance to win a 14-foot Billfish Boatworks skiff, motor and trailer. The next tournament is scheduled for April 1. The team of Darren Frost and Dustin

Bragman and a 4.09-pound redfish, which earned them the big redfish Calcutta of $160.00. The pair also placed fifth overall with a 2.23-pound trout.

For more information, visit Backcountry Fishing Association on Facebook.

Andy Fantini won first place and $682.50. PHOTO CREDITS: Backcounty Fishing Association.

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Explore Florida’s Wildlife Management Areas With Fwc’s Geocaching Challenge! Grab your smartphone or GPS unit and go looking for geocaches scattered over Florida’s Wildlife Management Areas. It’s your chance to join a modernday treasure hunt while soaking in the beauty of the wildlife and scenery on lead WMAs managed by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC). The Geocaching Challenge, celebrating the 75th anniversary of Florida’s WMA system, officially begins March 13, when people of all ages can get started on finding one or more of the 49 geocaches hidden on the lead WMAs. If you get lucky, you may find the two 75th WMA Anniversary Geocoins! “Go geocaching on a Florida Wildlife Management Area if you

want the excitement of a modernday treasure hunt set in incredibly beautiful places where you can experience wild Florida at its best,” said Jerrie Lindsey, director of FWC’s Public Access and Wildlife Viewing Services Office. “While you are out geocaching, you also get the chance to explore our WMAs and all the outdoor recreational opportunities they provide, from wildlife viewing to fishing, hiking, paddling and hunting.” “The Geocoin Journey is part of the fun,” Lindsey said. “The goal is to get the two trackable geocoins to all of the 49 geocache locations, with your help of course!” Ready to get started? Go to MyFWC.com/WMA75 and click on “Find a Treasure! Join our Geocaching Challenge.” There you will get

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you should be able to use a GPS unit or the GPS signal on your cellphone, which should work even when you can’t get a phone connection. More on the WMA 75th anniversary, including upcoming events, the 75 Years Wild photo contest and how to find a WMA near you, is at MyFWC.com/WMA75.

FWC Needs Your Feedback on Flounder, Sheepshead, Tripletail FWC is collecting feedback on Florida’s flounder, sheepshead and tripletail fisheries. If you fish for any of these three species, we’d like to know more about: • If you actively target them or if you catch them while targeting other species • How you fish for them (hook-and-line, etc.) • If those fisheries are seasonal in your area • When and where you target them • Your thoughts on how these fisheries are doing, compared to the past and/or compared to other fisheries • Your thoughts on current management of these species Provide comments online at MyFWC.com/SaltwaterComments.

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Intro to Coral Reef Resources in Southeast Florida By Jessica Garland, Assistant Project Engineer, Martin County Engineering Dept.

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outheast Florida’s coral-rich communities are more valuable than the Spanish treasures that sank in this region many years ago. Like the lost treasures, these amazing reefs lie just a few hundred yards off the shores of Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach and Martin counties where more than onethird of Florida’s 19 million residents live. Fishing, diving and boating help attract millions of visitors to this region each year (30 million in 2008-09). Reef-related expenditures generate $5.7 billion annually in income and sales, and support more than 61,000 local jobs (Johns et al. 2001). Coral reefs are highly diverse and productive. In southeast Florida alone, coral reefs support hundreds of different commercially and recreationally important species of fish and other animals, including grunts, snapper, grouper, crabs, and lobster, which have made Florida’s reefs such an attractive fishing destination for decades. Many of these fish depend on Florida’s coral reefs and they play an important role in the reef ecosystem. Healthy reefs and healthy fish populations are intimately linked and are vital to our food supply and economy. Despite this strong connection to our communities, these

reefs are surprisingly fragile ecosystems. Many local threats harm southeast Florida’s coral reef ecosystems, including land-based sources of pollution, coastal development, vessel groundings and anchoring incidents, diver impacts, invasive species and marine debris. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Coral Reef Conservation Program (CRCP) manages the northern third of the Florida Reef Tract (approximately 105 linear miles of reef) and the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary in partnership with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. These programs coordinate research, monitoring and response to coral reef injuries, develop management strategies and promote partnerships and stakeholder participation to advance protection of Florida’s reefs. DEP’s CRCP leads the implementation of numerous programs and projects including the Southeast Florida Coral Reef Initiative (SEFCRI), Marine Debris Reporting and Removal Program, Reef Injury Prevention and Response Program, Southeast Florida Action Network (SEAFAN), water quality monitoring and coral disease response efforts.

Citation: Johns, G.M., Leeworthy, V.R., Bell, F.W., and M.A. Bonn. 2001. Socioeconomic study of reefs in southeast Florida: final report. Hazen and Sawyer Environmental Engineers & Scientists. 349 pp.

PUBLISHER’S NOTE: This is the first of a four-part series on water quality monitoring and disease and coral bleaching.

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SHE, WHO FISHES By Christina Weber

It’s the One Boat…

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here do you want to go? How much are you willing to risk? Oh, the mischievous sport of kayak fishing. With its limitless power to go wherever your heart seeks most. Only if you’re willing to take the risk. Most kayak fisherman will tell you they stumbled into plastic boat world to reach areas nobody else could reach. In fact, this is exactly why I got into it. Let’s stop for a second. Just by saying you wanted to fish areas that nobody else could reach makes you something special. Kayak fishing is one of those hidden secret types of deals. Yes, it might be popular and yes it might be easier to manage. What is really behind the greatest of kayak fishing though? I was recently reminded as to why I love kayak fishing so much, and why I haven’t purchased a boat again. It has zero to do with maintenance or cost. It has everything to do with its limitless power. Everything do with my style of fishing and that’s to fish for everything.

It’s the one boat that takes me everywhere. It’s the one boat that challenges me to bring out the best of my abilities in every fishery. It’s the one boat that caters to a fisherman who is limitless. It’s the one boat that you can drag across the country coast to coast, freshwater to saltwater, inshore to offshore, all while allowing you to fish it productively. True fishermen are truly limitless. They do not pick and choose the best conditions to fish, they do not choose the easiest bodies of water and they do not only fish for one species. They are not afraid to be challenged nor will they turn their nose up at an under-powered boat. If it gets us to the fish, we’re designed to do the rest. That’s where the fun begins. Fishing is not about rules, fishing is the sport of finding the abnormal, finding the one thing that doesn't look right. On any body of water, you find that one thing that doesn't fit and you fish it. Fishing is what we make it. You have to take chances, you have to

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Christina Weber in the boat that takes her everywhere. PHOTO CREDIT: Christina Weber.

make changes, you have to risk taker. You have to go out there and throw things no one else is willing to throw. You will find this mentality buried to the core of every fisherman. Taking all that I know about fishing and throwing it into a boat that was designed to take me everywhere makes me the most dangerous type of fisherman. It may sound silly or look silly or be silly, but the only true silliness comes from those who think they're bigger and better plastic. At the end of the day, I’m just here to go fishing.

Christina Weber is a born and raised South Florida fisherman utilizing the fishing capital to the full extent. For her, kayak fishing happened by accident when she wanted to venture into uncharted waters that she couldn’t reach by motor boat. Over time, she realized that a kayak could take her anywhere, and fish freshwater, saltwater, inshore and offshore all from her Hobie Outback. Christina has been competing in tournaments for over 10 years. For more on Christina, visit www.christinaweberfishing.com.

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fishing forecasts

martin county inshore nearshore

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

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pring is in the air and the fish now due to more bait fish showing up in the river and off the beach. Along with the presence of more bait, comes the aggressive feeding habit of snook, tarpon, trout, reds and jacks. April is a good month to break

out the Spooks, Skitterwalks, Blades and Poppers as we will have a great topwater bite in the mornings and late afternoons. The snook will be on a feeding binge getting ready for the hormonal instincts to fatten up for an early spawn. Due to the hot weather, the push towards the inlet should be sooner than expected. Fish the edges of the mangroves and near docks with live bait or a well-placed topwater plug to get their attention. With the clear water conditions you can spot the snook on the flats and sight cast. Clear water means drop down on leader size and stay low to the water so they don’t see you. Stealth approach is best. The Roosevelt Bridge and Ten Cent Bridge always have big mommas hanging out on the structure. Elephants eat peanuts, so a shrimp and jig head will work fine dropped near the pilings.

Tarpon are cruising with the tide near the crossroads and up in the forks of the St. Lucie River. D.O.A. TerrorEyz twitched near the bottom is a good lure in the St. Lucie. Put your time in at the crossroads with a big mullet and wait for the tarpon bite. The Indian River flats have a good trout bite going on with topwater and soft baits. D.O.A. C.A.L. jigs on a 1/8 head bounced through the pot holes and bar edges is a sure bet to hook up. If, you’re hunting gator trout, I would suggest a topwater plug to get their attention and to witness the plug getting blasted. Flip the dock lines and mangroves for reds hanging near structure. Any irregular bottom contour going from shallow to deep or deep to shallow is a place that will hold fish. Run the beach looking for cobia or head out to the secret spots (ha ha)

martin county offshore

Capt. Scott Fawcett

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

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ee you later March! April is here with calmer seas and better fishing. The warmer temps of spring kick off our yellowfin tuna fishing along with most other pelagics that swim off our coast. In early spring, just 65 miles towards the Canaveral Sea Buoy, you'll often find packs of birds swarming above massive schools of big yellowfin and blackfin tuna. Using your radar to mark the birds coupled with a run and gun approach can often produce banner days this time of year. Try trolling ballyhoo covered by sea witches or even use artificials as simple as feathers to entice these tasty brutes. Try fishing your baits much further back than

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Jim Kreamer with one of many nice dolphin he and his son caught on a half-day charter aboard Off the Chain. PHOTO CREDIT: Capt. Scott Fawcett.

normal. First and foremost, it's better to give them space and continue to fish circles around them, than to run right through the middle and possibly put them down for the day. Don't get

frustrated, you'll get your bites. While you're that far out, there's always a good possibility of coming across float, major weed lines or extreme current edges. These often

Snooking at the Roosevelt Bridge was good for Marty L'Heureux fishing with Capt. John Young of Bites On Charters. PHOTO CREDIT: Capt. John Young.

with live bait and cobia jigs. When you hook up, get them in quick before the sharks zero in on them. Wear your Costas and keep the waterway clean. yield quality size dolphin and the occasional wahoo and blue marlin. It's always a good idea to give conditions like this a shot for a little bit before moving on to the next spot. For those of you who are not interested in the 65-mile run to the northeast, we have plenty of great fishing right off our coast. Trolling or live baiting for mahi-mahi, kingfish, cobia, wahoo or sailfish along with sight fishing for permit, tarpon and cobia, will keep anglers busy and on their toes. Bottom fishing for grouper, seabass and snapper now is top notch although grouper is still catch and release till May. This is also a great time of year to try daytime swordfish trips. While this can be a long day while putting your efforts in towards one of these amazing creatures, when it comes together and you're tight on one, it's the trip of a lifetime. Give me a call to get out on the water and take advantage of any of these wonderful opportunities the Treasure Coast offers this spring. Looking forward to fishing with you soon.

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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

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s March blows out of the area, you can still plan on some windy days ahead in April. The transition into the summer pattern is well underway and soon the winds will die down and you can enjoy those calm days of summer once again. Expect the fishing to be especially good this April as water temperatures warm up and spring takes over the area. As the river fills with bait schools, you can bet the fish are hungry and will be

feeding heavily. Have fun! Redfish and trout will become more active around the flats. They will be shallow early and gradually move to the edges of the flats as the sun gets higher in the sky. Look to areas like Bear Point, Harbor Branch and Round Island for trout to be feeding on the flats. On a calm morning, break out the top water lures and switch to jerk baits, like a D.O.A. C.A.L. 4-inch Arkansas Glow or Watermelon. Shallow running MirrOlures will also entice the trout into biting. Don’t forget to use the Deadly Combo or C.A.L. Airhead for more exciting trout action on the grass flats. Throughout March, there was a lot of redfish activity and it should make April a fantastic month. Redfish can be found on sandy flats around the docks, or try the Moorings and Bear Point for a chance at a nice size red. D.O.A. shrimp or C.A.L. grub tails in root beer or glow colors are great ways to find a redfish along with a trusty gold spoon. The snook season has many

deep sea

Capt. Rocky Carbia

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

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Large mutton snapper will be one of the treasured prizes of April's offshore anglers, like this jumbo caught aboard the Safari1. PHOTO CREDIT: Safari 1 Deep Sea Fishing.

pring will be in full swing during the golden days of April as longer daylight hours will allow near coastal anglers to enjoy the lighter winds and calm seas that can typify this month`s offshore scenario. A userfriendly ocean and extra daytime will allow captains and their fish hungry crews to explore the farther edges of their fishing perimeter at all angles of east, offshore of the St. Lucie Inlet. Meat hunting, bottom fishermen

anglers out seeking that slot fish this year. The bite has been good around the inlets and will improve on the flats as well. Snook season will close May 31st so you still have time to find that slot fish. We have had good luck with the D.O.A. TerrorEyz on snook this winter. Docks will hold sheepshead, jacks, redfish and many other species. I like either a D.O.A. shrimp or TerrorEyz around docks. Fish them slowly to keep them under the dock

as long as possible. Drop a live shrimp or pinfish under a dock as well for a great chance at hooking up. There are many great areas to fish so plan on getting some fishing in this month. Bridges will continue to hold sheepshead, jacks, bluefish and some black drum. The big jacks will be invading the river this month. They are not great to eat, but provide a tough battle on light tackle. Ladyfish will be all over the river and keep the kids smiling. The inlet will continue to hold bluefish, jacks and mackerel. While April might be a little windy, it is still a great month to fish the Indian River. April is the first month that fish can enjoy all the many baitfish schools and they will be feeding heavily on the schools around the flats. The water has already been warming up and you can see the changes in the bite already. Early morning can bring lots of good results this time of year. It was a warm winter this year and the fish are anxious to enjoy the arrival of the bait schools...and so are we!

will make the 8- to 10-mile run to the southeast to fish the Loran Tower ledges, a series of naturally occurring coral reef that run approximately north to south in depths from about 65 feet out to 85 feet of water. These coral reef ledges have very well developed horizontal structure and vertical profile, which rises from the ocean floor towards the surface. The Loran Tower Ledge reef zone is a very expansive area with dynamic configurations of natural reef structures, which include reef caves, large voids (fish holes), pinnacles, bowls, over hangs, and innumerable smaller out-croppings, that are all associated with this reef system. This reef zone is a magnet for all saltwater fish, especially members of the snapper family that post up, feed, and spawn on top, inside, and around these types of structures. Vermilion snapper will begin their

spawning period this month and will be one of the “grocery targets” a top of this ledge. Lane, mangrove, and mutton snapper will also be found here and will be caught on most cut baits deployed with lead sinkers to reach and hold the bottom. Large representatives of these species cruise this reef zone. Large mutton snapper from 12- to 20-pounds can regularly be found here along the outer edges of the reef line and in gulley’s between pinnacles. Huge cubera snapper can also be found along the outline of the reef ’s contours. Successfully catching a big snapper is highly dependent on pinpoint boat positioning along the reef line, specialty terminal tackle rigging, velocity of the current, and proper deployment of baits. April will allow near coastal anglers to spring into the season’s offshore grocery collection with all species of snapper high on their list.

Mike with a nice croaker that are abundant this month. PHOTO CREDIT: Capt. Charlie Conner.

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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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ook for a good snapper bite along the channel edges around the full moon. Try a live shrimp fished on a #2 hook and a half-ounce weight. I like a 20-pound fluorocarbon leader and about 24-inches long. Places like the North Bridge, Harbor Branch to the north and south of the South Bridge should produce some nice fish for a dinner. As the water warms up the trout bite should be good at places like

Bear Point, Round Island or the Midway Road area. Live pilchards will be your best choice and free line them using a 4/0 or 5/0 Kahle hook and a 20- to 30-pound leader. If it is redfish you seek, the flats and mangroves around Jack Island will be your best place and hard to beat. Try a live shrimp, small crab or a piece of cut ladyfish and fish it under a popping cork. The snook fishing should also be red hot around the Fort Pierce Inlet and around the North Bridge when using live pilchards, pinfish or a select live shrimp. Fish these baits around the lighted docks at night or drifting the Fort Piece Inlet on the tide changes. The bottom fishing for black drum, sheepshead and croakers will be good for anglers using a live shrimp on a bottom rig, and fish

st. lucie county offshore

Capt. Danny Markowski

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

Clinton and Daniel had a great day trolling and bottom fishing on the LottaBull! Some smaller schoolie mahi were caught trolling live baits in 150 feet of water. The variety of bottom fish were all caught on cut baits in 80 feet of water. The trophy fish of the day were a 6-pound mangrove snapper and a 6-pound sheepshead. PHOTO CREDIT: Capt. Danny Markowski.

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pril is here and the spring mahi run begins! This is the time of year when the cooler water temperatures will start receding back to the north and mahi (dolphin fish) will be starting to come through the area from the south. Mahi are always in the water off the Treasure Coast, but with the fish working their way north, there will be even more and bigger fish in the area. There will be a lot of fish caught in the 30- to 40-pound range and some upwards to the 50-pound range. There is even a chance to catch a few fish in the 60-pound range. Mahi are a great fish to catch with

their spectacular aerial display of jumps and beautiful colors, a few in the fish box will make for a great day. To end a day of catching, the mahi will make a great dinner! When heading offshore always have live bait, if possible. Start your search for mahi in the 75-to-80-foot range and head out towards deeper depths until you can find the mahi. To begin, troll ballyhoo, naked and skirted, at 5 to 8 knots, in order to cover more ground. Look for weed lines, rips, color changes and floating debris along with live bait under this cover. While looking always have your trolling baits in the water, mahi will often stray from their cover and can be caught in the open water. When cover is found with mahi life holding on it, I like to switch to live baits trolled at idle speed. Mahi can’t resist a nice lively bait. If by chance you find the mahi but they won’t eat your offerings, try catching whatever kind of bait are under the cover and use them since chances are the mahi are eating those baits. While fishing for the mahi, a colorful or shiny dredge behind the boat will enhance your chances of hooking up, this will look like a bait ball on the move. After getting a mahi to the boat, always leave it in the water for a

Theresa Gilson with a sheepshead she caught from her dock in the Fort Pierce Inlet.

PHOTO CREDIT: Capt. Joe Ward.

around the area bridges or rock piles. You could also get a few tripletail from the channel markers in the Intracoastal. A live shrimp on a Troll-Rite hook is the way to go. Along the beaches the pompano

bite should improve and the whiting and croaker bite will continue to be good. Try using a pompano rig with a sand flea or clam for the pompano and a piece of fresh dead or frozen shrimp for the whiting and croakers.

few seconds to see if there are any followers. If more mahi are around the boat, start using chunk bait or squid to entice them to bite. The bigger mahi usually will only have one or two fish that will but follow, but smaller ones can have many. Preferred tackle would be 3-pound set-ups with 30-pound mono. The mono line is best used for trolling to absorb any stretch from a

hook-up while the boat is moving. If using ballyhoo, you can use up to 80-pound leader due to faster trolling speeds since it won’t be seen as easily. If you are using live bait, 50-pound mono leader is quite sufficient and less visible. This is a great time to find the bigger mahi. So get out there and hook ’em up! Be aware of the rules, regulations, limits and current lengths prior to fishing.

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fishing forecasts

sebastian inshore

Capt. Gus Brugger

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

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t has certainly been a mild winter here in the Sebastian area, so we could be a bit ahead of schedule as far as spring fishing is concerned. Regardless, April is always a wellrounded month for anglers in the Sebastian area. From the upper reaches of the Sebastian River to the Gulfstream, anglers will have plenty of options and plenty of opportunities to put together a legendary day. Sebastian River – Snook, tarpon and big bull sharks are available in good numbers in the Sebastian River in April. Whether you prefer to fly cast to rolling tarpon in the jungle like the setting of the upper south fork, or sit and soak a 12-inch live mullet on a grouper rod off the US 1 bridge you will

probably catch something picture worthy this month. D.O.A. Shrimp and TerrorEyz jigs, MirrOLures and live mullet will catch just about everything you can encounter in the Sebastian River. Throw to rolling tarpon in both forks of the river and work the docks and shoreline cover for snook. Bull sharks can be caught on live and dead baits in the lower river between the railroad and US 1 bridges, a little patience and a bit of chum will help. Indian River Lagoon – April’s list of available species is the most extensive of the year. The techniques used to catch just about all the species can be as simple as live shrimp below a float or bouncing a D.O.A. jig. This is family vacation time in Florida and the fishing in the Indian River Lagoon is tailored perfectly to anglers of all ages and skill levels. Whether you fish from shore, wading or in a boat you have a good chance of making a memory this time of year. April is also the most likely month for seasoned anglers to catch a Sebastian Slam consisting of a trout, redfish, snook and tarpon. Sebastian Inlet – Whether it was the warm winter, the closure of the end of the North Jetty or just the payoff of decades of exemplary

April is a great month to wade the shallows with a live shrimp for big trout, redfish and snook. PHOTO CREDIT: Capt. Gus Brugger.

management, I can’t say, but the fishing at Sebastian Inlet has been off the charts for the last six months or more. The snook have remained stacked up at the inlet this winter. By day and at night anglers using live shrimp, greenies and croakers have consistently had great catches.

Jigs, plugs and D.O.A Shrimp have also taken more than their share of inlet snook lately. Redfish, big jack crevalle, bluefish and Spanish mackerel will also add to the action in and around Sebastian Inlet in April, if you can keep the snook off your hook. Near Shore Atlantic – Anything can be feeding along the beaches in April. The waters within a couple miles of the beach can boil with schools of Spanish mackerel. Bluefish are schooled up just outside the breakers. Big tarpon, cobia, king mackerel, bonito and spinner sharks can be pursued by kayak fishermen launching from the beach. Jigs and spoons catch the Spanish and blues, while live baits, plugs and swimbaits get the attention of the larger predators. For more Sebastian Area fishing or to check into becoming Sebastian’s newest resident check out my website www.WelcomeToSebastian.com. Tight Lines.

Fishing the sebastian area? Catch ! sh! More Fi

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Mon - Sat 6aM-6PM Sun 6aM-4PM The mahi bite has been a little slower than normal, but fish are being caught slow-trolling in the 80-to-260-foot range offshore. PHOTO CREDIT: Capt. Doug Kaska.

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et’s talk cobia. I did get my fair share of cobia. The cobia are still around and should be around for a little longer. The weather is getting better and the water temperature is starting to rise. Bottom fishing has been very productive, the American red snapper, mangrove, mutton, and lane snapper have been very good along with trigger fish and black seabass. The grouper season will reopen May 1, so be ready to work the muscles hard. You will need to go deep to get them look around the 110-to-200foot areas to get the bigger size.

Tripletails are still being caught in good numbers, look for weeds, debris or other floating matter. Once you hook into a tripletail it’s game on. This fish is great to catch on light tackle. I enjoy that the best. The mahi-mahi bite has been a little slower than normal so far this year, not seeing the numbers as before. I can’t stress enough to watch the waters as you head out to deep water, I have heard and seen mahimahi being caught in 80-to-260 feet of water, remember the waters have been going through so many changes. I have been slow trolling to get them to bite. If you are running the beach, look for the big schools of jacks and tarpon. Hooking either one of these fish will test you and your equipment. The sharks are on the move so be ready to tangle with a few of these. ‘Til May have fun on the water and always be safe.

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OKEECHOBEE NORTH END

Capt. Nathan M. Shellen Okeechobee Bass Guide Service (772) 501-6886 Okeechobeebassfishing.com sjmike7@aol.com

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his time of year, the bass are on the move toward spawning areas and we have been catching some really big bass here on the Big O. It will only get better as we move into April and May. It has been a great season thus far here on Okeechobee and it seems to be getting better daily. We have had a couple of cold fronts that slowed fishing down for a few days, but then we are right back to catching lots of fish. The water level is around 12.5-feet above sea level and in my opinion that is just about right for this time of the year. I have been fishing from Harney Pond, Horse Island, and Dupree Bar with the wind being a deciding factor each day. The main concentration of bass still seem to be on that outside grass line close to open water. When the wind really blows, moving back

OKEECHOBEE SOUTH END

Capt. Mark Shepard

Lake Okeechobee Fishing Guide (863) 673-4966 www.lakeokeechobeeguide.com

L

ake Okeechobee fishing has been exceptional this time of year. The lake is a breath-taking place filled with some of the best fishing you could ask for. The multiple species of fish make for a great fishing adventure. Lake Okeechobee holds a great deal of water but the levels tend to consistently change. The water level on the lake is decreasing and will continue to decrease into this month. No need to worry as there will still be plenty of water to fish and navigate. When the levels get like this, I caution you to be knowledgeable about where you are running. If you are going to run in places you are not familiar with, trim up your motor. Getting with a guide is one of the best ways to become knowledgeable about the waters. This fishing report and update is from the waters South of the Monkey Box. All up and down the shoal there has been amazing fishing. The lake has just produced the best fish I have seen recently. For artificial, I would

in until you find clean water will help you locate the fish. The bass on the outsides are fresh bass moving in off the main lake headed toward traditional spawning areas so be ready for this bite to start happening. The bite on wild shiners has been fantastic! Five to six dozen shiners usually only last for three to four hours, and then it is off to catch some on artificial lures. The bite on artificial lures has picked up some as more bass move into their spawning areas throughout most of the lake. The Senko has been my choice for soft plastic lures and a Gambler Big Easy or Reaction Innovations Skinny Dipper has been my choice for swim baits. For all my northern friends, be sure and come armed to catch; get these Lake Okeechobee bass out of the heavy grass. I prefer a heavy action rod and braided line, at least in the 50-pound test range. The bluegill and shellcracker bite will be on as well this spring. Start by using live worms, crickets or grass shrimp. These are the go to baits for these fish. Look for clear water and the fish spawning on sandy white spots in the hydrilla or other grasses. These fish make great table fare and are super fun to catch on an ultra-

May is the best chance to catch that once in a lifetime fish. PHOTO CREDIT: Capt. Nathan M. Shellen.

light rod or even an ol’ cane pole. Fish in the 10-foot to 12-foot range will be easy to find once the fish move on to their beds. The crappie bite has been very good from the reports I have been getting and areas north of Uncle Joe’s cut, around Bird Island, and Horse Island and Whidden's Pass have been the areas that have been producing here on the south end of the lake. Jigging and minnows are both working. Now is the time to be on Lake Okeechobee catching bass; we do catch bass year-round but now through May is the best chance Florida fishing Lake Okeechobee has been exceptional this time of year!

the flats. If the water is stained, you will be able to hear them cracking the surface of the water. I would highly advise you get a bucket of crickets and go find you some. Crappie fishing is slowing down but they are still out there. The outside grass and the rim canal are holding crappie. I would advise you get some minnows and jigs to hunt them out, while they are still biting. Largemouth bass will be roaming around, seeing if they could pick off a few of the smaller pan fish. All away around the south end of the lake PHOTO CREDIT: Capt. Mark Shepard. contains great fishing spots. This is Capt. Mark Shepard, come As the month rolls on, the pan throw a rattle trap or spinner bait on the outside edge. The water has some fish like blue gill and redear sunfish catch your Florida fishing adventure color there and it provides a perfect (shell cracker) start moving up on to of a life time. opportunity to throw flashy imitation baits The flats also provide a prime opportunity to catch some schooling fish. One of the baits that become essential here are swim baits like the Bass Assassin 5” Die Dapper. In a black and blue color, swimming that bait along the surface of the water almost guarantees a massive blow up. If you prefer something with a skirt, throw a swim jig with a good trailer on it. Big spawning female largemouth bass are still rolling in, getting ready to stage. They are filling up on all the food they can before and after they spawn. COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

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to catch that once in a lifetime fish. Couple of tips for out of state boaters new to Okeechobee. We have a tons of boat trails in the reeds and I would like to stress that these are boat trails NOT fishing trails. Fishing in these trails is a good way to get run over and we don’t want to see anyone get hurt. The other thing is common courtesy among fishermen; treat people like you would want to be treated and I think we all will get along just fine out there on the water. Until next report good luck, tight lines, and Bucket Lips. I hope to see everyone on the water!

APRIL 2017

TREASURE COAST 9

3/18/17 9:04 PM


COASTAL ANGLER

fishing forecasts

Treasure Coast

BOATLESS

Capt. Chris Sharp

Beachwalker Guide Service (772) 475 8412 beachwalker32@gmail.com www.facebook.com/ BeachwalkerGuideService

APRIL Day 1SA 2SU 3M 4TU 5W 6TH 7F 8SA 9SU 10M

Time 12:38 AM 6:20 AM 12:51 PM 6:45 PM 1:34 AM 7:19 AM 1:48 PM 7:47 PM 2:34 AM 8:24 AM 2:51 PM 8:54 PM 3:40 AM 9:33 AM 4:00 PM 10:02 PM 4:47 AM 10:39 AM 5:10 PM 11:07 PM 5:50 AM 11:40 AM 6:14 PM 12:06 AM 6:46 AM 12:34 PM 7:10 PM 12:58 AM 7:36 AM 1:22 PM 8:00 PM 1:46 AM 8:20 AM 2:06 PM 8:44 PM 2:29 AM 8:59 AM 2:47 PM 9:24 PM

height 2.72 -0.09 2.51 -0.39 2.59 0.05 2.39 -0.24 2.46 0.17 2.29 -0.12 2.36 0.21 2.24 -0.05 2.33 0.19 2.26 -0.03 2.36 0.11 2.34 -0.05 2.41 0.01 2.44 -0.07 2.47 -0.09 2.52 -0.09 2.51 -0.17 2.58 -0.09 2.51 -0.22 2.61

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

11TU 3:10 AM 9:37 AM 3:25 PM 10:02 PM 12W 3:48 AM 10:12 AM 4:02 PM 10:39 PM 13TH 4:26 AM 10:47 AM 4:39 PM 11:16 PM 14F 5:02 AM 11:23 AM 5:15 PM 11:53 PM 15SA 5:39 AM 11:59 AM 5:52 PM 16SU 12:33 AM 6:18 AM 12:39 PM 6:32 PM 17M 1:15 AM 7:01 AM 1:22 PM 7:17 PM 18TU 2:03 AM 7:52 AM 2:13 PM 8:12 PM 19W 2:57 AM 8:51 AM 3:12 PM 9:14 PM 20TH 3:56 AM 9:53 AM 4:16 PM 10:17 PM

-0.06 2.49 -0.22 2.59 0 2.45 -0.18 2.55 0.08 2.38 -0.12 2.48 0.18 2.29 -0.03 2.38 0.29 2.2 0.08 2.28 0.4 2.1 0.19 2.18 0.49 2.01 0.28 2.1 0.56 1.95 0.35 2.05 0.57 1.93 0.37 2.06 0.51 1.98 0.32

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

21F 4:56 AM 10:52 AM 5:21 PM 11:16 PM 22SA 5:53 AM 11:45 AM 6:21 PM 23SU 12:10 AM 6:46 AM 12:35 PM 7:16 PM 24M 1:02 AM 7:37 AM 1:24 PM 8:09 PM 25TU 1:51 AM 8:25 AM 2:11 PM 8:59 PM 26W 2:40 AM 9:13 AM 2:59 PM 9:48 PM 27TH 3:29 AM 10:01 AM 3:48 PM 10:38 PM 28F 4:19 AM 10:51 AM 4:39 PM 11:30 PM 29SA 5:11 AM 11:42 AM 5:33 PM 30SU 12:22 AM 6:07 AM 12:37 PM 6:30 PM

2.12 0.37 2.11 0.23 2.23 0.18 2.3 0.1 2.38 -0.05 2.51 -0.04 2.52 -0.27 2.72 -0.16 2.65 -0.47 2.89 -0.24 2.74 -0.6 2.99 -0.27 2.79 -0.65 3.01 -0.24 2.78 -0.63 2.97 -0.17 2.71 -0.52 2.86 -0.06 2.61 -0.36

Sebastian (Inlet)

Vero (Ocean) TIME OFFSET High Tide -55 min Low Tide -35 min HEIGHT OFFSET High Tide 1.45 feet Low Tide 1.36 feet

TIME OFFSET High Tide -31 min Low Tide -18 min HEIGHT OFFSET High Tide 1.14 feet Low Tide 1.50 feet

Jensen Beach (Indian River)

St. Lucie Inlet

Jupiter Inlet

TIME OFFSET High Tide -48 min Low Tide -24 min HEIGHT OFFSET High Tide .93 feet Low Tide 1.0 foot

TIME OFFSET High Tide +2 hrs; 17 min Low Tide +3 hrs; 4 min HEIGHT OFFSET High Tide .48 feet Low Tide .92 feet

10 TREASURE COAST

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TIME OFFSET High Tide +55 Low Tide +1 hr; 42 min HEIGHT OFFSET High Tide 1 foot Low Tide .50 feet

APRIL 2017

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

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big tarpon up to 150 pounds so don’t be shy using heavy gear. Number 9 circle hook tied to 80-pound leader, main line being 65-pound braid to get it done. A nice stiff rod like Fin 12 from Blackfin Rods, an 8-foot rod with a lot of backbone. Throw Hogy Lures in black and white to get on the bottom and also big lip plugs will work. But nothing is better than menhaden, or better known as bunker, to get these fish. Throw in the direction the current is running and hold on. In the surf, use big spoons to target rolling fish. Take off the treble and replace it with a number 8 or 9 circle hook. Best places are the old Roosevelt Bridge, Walton Rocks Beach, north

nook will be on everyone’s mind this month and it should be. This is the time of year they start to leave deep holes of winter for inlets and beaches along the Treasure Coast. The spawn for snook starts at the end of April and lasts all the way up to July. Warmer weather means water temps are up and longer days to get a slot fish and over slot. If the water stays clean, there should be no problem site casting for them along the beaches. First light is always a good time to get a chance for some really big snook. Contributor Chris Sharp with a surf snook. Get to the beaches an hour PHOTO CREDITS: Chris Sharp. before sunrise and you will be on them at high tide. Best near the boils, and the House of beaches are Bathtub Beach, Walton Refuge. Pompano fishing will be Rocks and House of Refuge. Throw gone but big brother, the permit, some plugs like the Yo-Zuri Crystal will be around and there isn’t any Minnow in silver and black. Also better place then Walton Rocks try some soft rubber baits D.O.A. Beach to target these fish. They C.A.L. silver and black and Monster come from the deeper water of the X Shrimp in root beer color. Snook boils to feed off the up-close reefs fishing at bridges will still be good of Walton Rocks. Look for schools but look for windy days to produce at first light and during high tide. the best times, and also at the inlets. Use shrimp on a jig head and throw Tarpon fishing right before the full right in front of them. Small crabs moon and a week after will be hot. will work too. Good luck and tight lines! Bridges like the Roosevelt will hold

Fort Pierce

TIME OFFSET High Tide -10 min Low Tide -9 min HEIGHT OFFSET High Tide 1.08 feet Low Tide 1.42 feet

Drake Cottin with a jack he caught on a spoon while surf fishing in Martin County.

COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

3/18/17 9:04 PM


ook.

Cottin ack he on a while ing in ounty.

diving forecast

Steve Wood

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

A

pril marks the return of sea turtles in large numbers to south Florida and as spring gets underway divers should expect to see an increase in sightings on area reefs. Hunters should know lobster season closed April 1st and grouper season continues to be closed through the end of the month. Water temps are starting to warm up, which is always nice! When the water hits 80°, many local divers in south Florida consider this the start of ‘dive season’ and with such a mild winter this year, it is entirely possible this will happen this month. Early in March, divers were already reporting temps in the upper 70s! Warmer temps also signal turtle nesting season is approaching.

April marks the return of sea turtles in large numbers to south Florida and as spring gets underway divers should expect to see an increase in sightings on area reefs. PHOTO CREDIT: Deep Six Dive and Watersports.

Florida coastal waters are home to five different species of marine sea turtles that divers have the opportunity to encounter while underwater. Loggerheads, hawksbill, and green turtles are relatively common whereas leatherback and Kemp’s ridley are a rare treat. This time of year, mated pairs of loggerheads are frequently seen on the surface and once begun, mating can last for several hours. This leaves them vulnerable to passing boat traffic. Care should be taken to avoid disturbing breeding activities.

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All Florida sea turtles are protected by the endangered species act making it against the law to harass or otherwise interfere with their normal behavior. Many consider it a violation to impede their direction of travel underwater. Divers are encouraged to report sightings of tagged hawksbill to the Florida Hawksbill Project (floridahawksbills.com) to aid ongoing research. Small silver tags are located on the back of the front flippers, near the ‘armpit’ area. Since grouper season remains

closed through the end of the month, spearfishermen should consider targeting snappers, cobia, triggerfish and amberjacks for smoked fish dip this time of year. Each of these can easily be found in the coastal waters off the Treasure Coast and make great table fare, although landing one is easier said than done. Big mutton and dog snapper are notoriously smart and hard to approach, so many hunters will load spear guns on the way down and be ready when they hit the bottom. A diver may only have a few seconds to make a shot before the fish hide into structure or scatter out in the sand and being ready will help make the most of a short opportunity. A good flashlight comes in handy too when fish duck into holes. Cobia and amberjacks are usually out in the open but still are a tough fish to land since the minimum size limits are 28-inches and 33-inches respectively. Staying clear of shooting lines and being aware where buddies are can lower the risk of becoming tangled or a fish getting away. Some may even experience a little-known rite of passage called a South Florida Sleigh Ride. This happens when a big fish takes off down the reef with the diver dragging behind, holding on to the spear gun for dear life. Teamwork really helps.

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APRIL 2017

TREASURE COAST 11

3/18/17 9:04 PM


Great Places to Launch Your SUP and Explore Around Jupiter and Stuart By Sierra Groth

Cove Road Launch from the sandy beach at the end of Cove Road. There is a beautiful loop paddle around St. Lucie Inlet Preserve. As you paddle through the mangroves keep an eye out for the wading birds that linger on the edge of the mangroves, great blue herons, brown pelicans and piping plovers have been seen on the trail. If you pass the southern exit of the loop you will run into a small sandy pathway that leads you to a secluded protected beach. Catch your breath, eat a snack and enjoy the view before finishing your paddle. You may also land your boards on the dock across from Cove Road and walk to the beach. There are ANDbathrooms and a nice easy to follow trail. (Best accessed at high tide).

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Coral Cove Crystal clear water and a legendary lighthouse awaits. Take South Beach Road onto Jupiter Island. Park in the sandy lot that lines the right and left side of the road and take the short pathway down to the water. Want a day of fun, friends, and good times? Paddle north about a mile to the sandbar. Want a day of snorkeling and sight-seeing? Pack a mask, fins, and lunch and paddle south. Cato’s Bridge is full of life right under the surface. Try to spot the massive illusive snook or the ever so popular hogfish. Just past the bridge you will find sand mountain, which is a very popular hangout spot and a great place for a lunch break. Next, cross the Intracoastal and head towards Discover how much fun you’ll the Jupiter Outdoor center where have with Hobie. you canby relax in a hammock Powered Hobie’s patented MirageDrive, and the Hobie Mirage Revolution 13 leaves admire thefree view of the picture-perfect your hands to Discover how much fun you’ll Discover how much fun you’ll have with Hobie. have with Hobie.

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Cato’s Bridge in Jupiter-Tequesta is full of life right under the surface. PHOTO CREDIT: Sierra Groth.

lighthouse. (Boards can be rented have a go at fishing on the flats. Pompano, tarpon, snook, jack and from the Jupiter Outdoor Center.) ladyfish are among the frequent species caught out on the flats. Flying Fish Paddle Sports You may rent boards here or bring your own, there is a public dock Riverbend Trade in the mangroves for right out back to launch from. Port Salerno is a small fishing town with cypress trees and dolphin for unbeatable charm. The commercial alligators. A paddle through fishing dock is always loaded with Riverbend Park is a must do when fisherman bringing in their catch in the Jupiter area. Towards the back along with the hungry pelicans that of the park there is a launch area or follow them in. Your paddle can go you can rent a canoe or kayak from one of two ways, easy cruise exploring Canoe Outfitters on site. A few miles the old Florida houses with a stop at down the twisty and narrow river is one of the many delicious restaurants Trapper Nelson’s Cabin. Nelson built on the water. Or a day long paddle a zoo and garden, which the State out to Boy Scout Island with a high took over after he passed away and chance to see some playful dolphin made it into a historical site. This is and maybe even a manatee or two. a great place to stop and explore and You can also bring fishing gear and learn a bit about Florida History.

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APRIL 2017

KAYAK FISHING forecast

Brian Nelli

Pushin’ Water Kayak Charters (772) 201-5899 Brian@tckayakfishing.com www.tckayakfishing.com

Nice tripletail by yours truly. PHOTO CREDIT: Brian Nelli.

should be in full force.

Trolling

INSHORE — Glass minnows have Sealime Lures should pick up both

species as well as other pelagics. Vertical jigging 230-350 feet will also produce blackfin tuna and bonito. The fishing grounds off our coast are anywhere from 1-to-3 miles. Look to work the normal 90-to-200 foot depths. Finally, don’t forget about the cobia. Bouncing the reef will put you in line for one of these tasty fish. Check us out Pushin’ Water Kayak Charters on Facebook, Instagram and Offshore — April is the best Youtube for all the latest adventures month of the year! Tuna and mahi my clients and I get into. showed up in good numbers and our weak spring mullet run will be right around corner. Artificial baits like D.O.A. C.A.L. Shad Tails, jerk bait and TerrorEyz will work well around the mangroves, docks and bridges. April also brings tripletail into our river system. Look to target crab trap buoys and channel markers with live shrimp to bring in these tasty fish.

COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

3/18/17 9:04 PM


Celebrate U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 59’s ‘Diamond Anniversary’ with Open House WAT ER SPORT S and Cook-Out, April 29 772-334-1999 S VIBE FISHING KAYAKS $649-$899

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andsprit Park, located on the doorstep of U.S Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 59, is one of the most Page popular boating areas in ge in 2:46 PM /14 1 Martin County. Flotilla 59’s facility questa has been at the location since 1986, e right however, its history dates back urface. 75 years to April 11, 1942. Born during the first part of World War II, when German U-Boat activity was suspected off the South Florida shores, Flotilla 59 members have been on duty ever since. These members rode horseback along the Treasure Coast beaches, manned the tower at the House of Refuge on Hutchinson Island, and served as off shore patrols. This all civilian arm of the United States Coast Guard provides boating safety classes, vessel safety checks and still provides routine patrols along the waterways. The Flotilla 59’s missions provide more than 400

hours of community service, more than 400 vessel safety inspections, more than 150 hours of boating safety courses, and more than 100 hours of safety patrols annually. Throughout 2017, Flotilla 59 will continue to serve the community with various celebrations. Martin County and the City of Stuart will present proclamations to the organization for its service and in turn, the Flotilla will thank the community with an Open House and Community Appreciation Cook-Out on Saturday, April 29th from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Sandsprit Park, Stuart. The Martin County Sheriff ’s Barbeque Grill Team will be manning the grills. The cook-out is free to the public. For more information, contact the Flotilla 59 at Flotilla 59@gmail.com or www.uscgaux59.org, or call (772) 288-0509.

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APRIL 2017

TREASURE COAST 13

3/18/17 9:04 PM


Visit the Best Kept Secret in Martin County! THE HISTORIC...

now open! & Gallery

On THE waTERfROnT In PORT SalERnO

Come by Boat or Car and Stroll our “Boardwalk” or as it is known, the “PocketWalk” to get a Danuta’s Den feel for this Unique Artists’ Community. Danuta Rothschild 772-233-6020 Browse the quality, handmade art; danutastudio@yahoo.com www.danutastudio.com enjoy delicious treats, fresh smoothies, Elizabeth Esther Kelly craft beers and eclectic wines at The Weaving Studio Gallery 845-443-3665 elizabeth@gatewaytotibet.com Twisted Craft & Creamery; or take www.gatewaytotibet.com an exciting boat ride or ghost tour! Clay Space Gail Kosowski 561-762-4527 gailnaomi14@gmail.com

Originals Art Studio

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Cristina de la Vega Studio 772-233-6020 cmdelavega@gmail.com www.cristinadelavega.com

Havana Artist Boutique Raida Disbrow 954-464-1360 raidisbrow@aol.com www.havanabeads.etsy.com

Virginia Breault Art Studio 339-203-1637 VirginiaBreault@gmail.com

378_Treasure_Coast_FINAL.indd 14

PoCKeT HoPPeR BoAT RIDeS

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4745 SE Desoto Ave | Port Salerno

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3/18/17 9:04 PM


!

ar it a y. t; s, e ke r!

WHATSUP! By Jennifer Hoard

Y

Securing Your Paddle Board (and Kayak)

ou’ve recently invested in a standup paddle board (SUP) and have visions of taking it with you on your next vacation. Before you go, don’t forget a security system to keep your board safe and secure when you’re not on it. Fortunately, there are great options on the market in a variety of price points. First, purchase a bag for your board. Your board is less likely to be targeted by thieves if they are unable to tell what brand or type of board is in it. A bag will also keep your board cool, clean and provide UV protection from the sun. Next consider what type of board security system is right for you. There are a couple of options that attach to the paddle board. The Fin Box Lock, at $25, is one of the simplest types of security gear available for SUPs and surfboards. It’s a two-piece locking system that fits in the center fin box. Once in place, a cable (not included) is fed through the locking system. Finally, secure the cable to the roof rack or something that cannot

be easily removed from your vehicle. The Fin Box Lock fits into standard fin boxes and can be used whether the fin is in the board or removed. Another option is DocksLocks ($49.95). It uses either the fin box or leash plug to attach the DocksLocks “Jaws”. This system also allows the fin to stay in place or be removed. The DocksLocks Complete SUP system includes a cable with customized combination lock that is fed through the “Jaws”. In case you need it, the Paddle Lock is an accessory to keep your paddle secure with the board. Like the previous locking system, the cable must be attached to something that cannot be easily removed. Another effective way to secure your board to your vehicle is to use locking tie-down straps. Kanulock Lockable Tie-downs are a great theft deterrent. Like other tie-down straps, the straps wrap around the board and roof rack to hold your board in place. Kanulock tie-down straps have buckles that are locked securely with

The newly released LOCKRACK is a favorite among water sport enthusiasts because it doesn’t require straps or cables to keep your board secure. PHOTO SUPPLIED by Jennifer Hoard.

a key. The straps are reinforced with two stainless steel cables and cannot be cut by a knife. The 13-foot length, at $89.95, is perfect for securing up to two standup paddle boards to your roof rack. Kanulock’s Key Vault is a small, customized combination box that attaches to your car in a variety of places. It is large enough for you to store your electronic car keys and buckle keys securely while you enjoy the water. Locking paddle board carriers that attach to your vehicle’s roof rack are another option to consider. The Thule SUP Taxi ($269.95) attaches to most factory racks and holds up to two SUPs. The carrier locks to the roof rack. Once boards are on the carrier, steel reinforced straps are secured around the boards and locked in place. Another option, the inventive LOCKRACK vehicle roof carrier, was

recently introduced in the U.S. and has become an instant favorite among water sport enthusiasts. LOCKRACK does away with tie-down straps and cables by using rubberized lockable bars that adjust to the width and shape of your paddle board, then snaps into place. It also attaches to factory and aftermarket roof racks and is made of rust resistant materials. Available for one ($260) or two SUPs ($285), LOCKRACK also has carriers for kayaks, surfboards and several other watercrafts. Jennifer Hoard and her husband's Sea Sup Go Paddle & Surf Company in Vero Beach carries all the products mentioned, and can answer questions about board security and recommend which system is right for you. For more information, call (772) 217-8708 or visit www.seasupgo.com.

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WIND, WATER & WAVES By Capt. Bill Swezey

Everything You Will Learn in the First 10 Minutes of Your First Kiteboard Lesson

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hroughout your first kiteboard lesson, you will learn a ton of new things. Some may agree with your expectations of the sport and some may contradict what you may have previously thought. Though most of everything you will learn throughout your first lesson is important, the first ten minutes may be the most important. This part of the lesson is all about the wind and how different aspects of the wind relate to what we do. This sets the stage for the entire sport. The first thing we have to take a good look at when planning a kiteboard session is the wind direction. Most people kiteboard on the ocean in Florida after they have taken a few lessons and

become self-sufficient. The beaches in Florida generally run north and south. The best wind directions for kiteboarding off the beach in Florida are north to northeast and south to southeast. A north or south wind is a “sideshore” wind and is blowing parallel to shore. This wind makes it easy to ride out into the ocean and ride back to shore. Even if you can’t stay upwind you can get back to the beach and walk upwind to where you started. A northeast or southeast wind is a “side-onshore” wind and has the same benefits as a side-shore wind although it may blow you back to shore a little sooner. An east wind is an “onshore” wind and is tough for beginners and sometimes even intermediate riders because

Student dives the kite into the power zone to get a ride on the board.

the wind tends to blow them back onto the shore rather quickly. A west wind is an “offshore” wind and no one should ever kite in an offshore wind or anything with an offshore component on the ocean. Once you decide it is a good wind direction, you need to decide what size kite you are going to use. This depends on three things: weight, skill level, and wind speed. Wind speed for kiteboarding is broken up into three simple groups: light wind 1015 knots, medium wind 15-20 knots, and heavy wind 20-30 knots. We have covered this topic in previous articles but for quick reference a perfect quiver for a self-sufficient 170-pound rider would be an 8m for heavy wind, an 11m for medium

wind and a 15m for lighter wind give or take a kite size. Most beginners start with just one or two kites based on their weight and what the conditions are usually like in their area. When we say 15m this means the surface area of the kite is 15 square meters. For your first lesson, you will use a kite a few sizes smaller than what you would normally use but even this will be plenty of power to get up on the board. The wind window is best explained visually and with a quick Google search you will come across multiple 3D diagrams showing exactly what the wind window is. We always assess the wind window with the wind directly at our back. If we were to point our hands straight

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s the power a ride ard.

overhead we would be pointing to 12 o’clock or the neutral zone. Just to the right and down from that is 1 o’clock, a bit further is 2 and on the water to your right is 3 o’clock. If you point to 3 o’clock you would be pointing almost directly perpendicular to the wind. The opposite side would be 11, 10, and 9 o’clock where 9 o’clock is on the water to your left. These numbers and semi-circle shape are the “edge of the wind window” and when the kite is nice and steady on the edge of the wind window there is relatively little power. We always launch and land at 9 and 3. Directly downwind of us is the “power zone” and the closer we fly the kite into the center of the “power zone” the more power we will get from the kite. If you are brand new to the sport, there is no doubt your head is already spinning with information. It is at this point in a lesson where we begin to get hands on and instead of thinking and theorizing about aspects of the wind and kiteboarding we start to be able to “feel” everything. Through feel we begin to understand very well where the edge of the wind window is and where the power zone is. So, if you are thinking of taking a kiteboard lesson don’t get hung up on something you may

Student body dragging to get comfortable with the wind. PHOTOS CREDIT: Capt. Bill Swezey.

not understand or a concept that is foreign to you in words but wait until you can get your hands on a kite and you will gain a great sense of what the sport is all about. For more information, contact Capt. Bill Swezey or Jeremy Lund, lead instructor/owner of New Wave Kiteboarding, Stuart, FL. (561) 633-9362 NewWaveKiteboarding.com

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Recent OWG excursions have included pairing up with the St. Lucie Sailing Club for a sail along the north fork of the St. Lucie River and a guided hike of the Barley Barber Swamp in Indiantown. PHOTO CREDIT: Patricia Strutz.

4903 SE Dixie Hwy. Stuart, FL 34997 (772) 220-3287 (EATS) www.prawnbroker.com

New Outdoor Women’s Group Focuses on Outdoor Fun with Like-Minded Women

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he newly formed Outdoor Women’s Group (OWG), provides women who enjoy the outdoors a platform to participate in outdoor activities with like-minded women. Formed by Patricia Strutz and Cheryl Wlodarski of Stuart, the group is comprised of women of all ages who reside on the Treasure Coast to West Palm Beach. "I started a similar group when I lived in northern Wisconsin," said Strutz. "It was a great way to enjoy outdoor activities in a safe environment, as well as learn about new places and make new friends." The group holds a dedicated

outing the first Saturday of every month and hopes to add on more outings as participation grows. Activities include hiking, biking, boating, fishing, kayaking, sailing, snorkeling, “Just about anything outdoors that someone has an interest in,” said Strutz. Activities range from easy to moderate in exercise level with an emphasis on just enjoying the beautiful outdoors along the Treasure Coast. There are no fees to join.

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APRIL 2017

TREASURE COAST 19

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Krischke, Evans Take First Place in Treasure Coast Casters February Tournament

reasure Coast Casters held its February Senior Division inshore tournament on February 12 and the fish of the day unquestionably was sheepshead. Twelve fish species were on the “hit list”, but besides the sheepshead, the only other species pulled in were two mangrove snappers.

Here’s the catch list: Brayden Adams, two sheepshead, with one weighting 2.12-pounds; Colt Krischke, one snapper and two sheepshead, with one weighing 2.05-pounds; Andrew Evans, one snapper; Nicholas Rosario, two Nicholas Rosario, Andrew Evans, Colt Krischke, sheepshead, with one weighing Kaitlyn Ward, and Ciara Franqui. 3.09-pounds; Ciara Franqui, a PHOTO CREDITS: Treasure Coast Casters. 1.10-pound sheepshead; and Kailtyn Biggest fish of the tournament experiences that educate young Ward, two sheepshead with the went to Nicholas Rosario for his anglers on the importance of marine heaviest weighing 2.12-pounds. 3.09-pound sheepshead. He took conservation, while maintaining MIDDLE SCHOOL Results home a trophy, as well as a framed a sustainable and healthy estuary poster of the Florida Snapper, and marine environment. The all1st: Colt Krischke, 45 points donated by the Florida Fish and volunteer non-profit offers two 2nd: Nicolas Rosario, 30 points Wildlife Commission. Krischke and fishing tournament divisions, a Junior 3rd: Kaitlyn Ward, 30 points Evans also received $25 Bass Pro gift Division for youth 5-11, and a Senior Nicholas Rosario and Kaitlyn cards, among other items in their Division for youth 12-18. There is no cost to join or to fish a tournament. Ward tied in points but Rosario took tournament bag. the second-place slot since he had Jason Franqui, of J.F. Custom Anglers bring their own bait and the heavier fish. Fishing Rods, was on hand to show fishing gear.

High School RESULTS

Nicholas Rosario with his 3.09-pound sheepshead.

1st: Andrew Evans, 15 points 2nd and 3rd: No fish weighed

the anglers how a rod is made. The junior anglers also helped Franqui put eyes on a fishing rod. Treasure Coast Casters offers

For more information, visit www.treasurecoastcasters.org or visit Treasure Coast Casters on Facebook.

… S y A D R E G N O L WARmER . .. R E h t A E W

236 Fisherman

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APRIL 2017

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PHOTO CREDIT: Anglers for Conservation.

TREASURE COAST CASTERS RECAPS


PHOTO CREDIT: Anglers for Conservation.

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his free event provides an opportunity for youth to learn the basics of casting and fishing time at a stocked pond. Day begins on Saturday, April 8, 2017, at 8 a.m. with registration, followed by an orientation, with lines in the water at 9:30 a.m., and lines out at 11 a.m. Anglers should bring their own fishing tackle and eye protection, such as sunglasses. Bait will be provided and trophies will be

awarded in two age groups, up to 11 years and 12-16. Rod and reels will be available to borrow on a limited firstcome first-serve basis. This is a catch and release tournament. The event will be held at the Port St. Lucie Botanical Gardens, located at 2410 SE Westmoreland Boulevard, Port St. Lucie. For more details, call Dave Brigida at (772) 834-7599 or visit www.pslangler.com.

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Battling Red Snapper to the Kayak By Matthew Vann, 2016 Hobie Fishing Top Gun

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his is one of the strongest fish you will ever fight. Don’t drop your bait until you are ready to do battle,” I warn my first-time red snapper anglers. “You need to move the fish ten feet in two seconds. Pump the rod up and reel down, never stopping. Get the kayak moving by using the MirageDrive® to pull the fish away from the structure. If a snapper gets its head turned back towards the reef, it’s game over. Now let’s get them,” I say, ending my pep talk. Red snapper are plentiful and within easy kayak range along the Gulf coast of Florida. We have the best near shore fishing for this highly sought saltwater reef species. They are

excellent table fare. Red snapper are extremely strong and once hooked very determined to take you back into the reef. Red snapper live around artificial reefs, near bridges and over live bottom – areas where soft corals, sponges and sea fans cover limestone ledges and outcroppings. The waters from Panama City Beach to Pensacola Beach offer access to five piers, numerous artificial reefs and large areas of live bottom. Pensacola Bay’s deep water, artificial reefs and three-mile bridge are home to some of the meanest snapper that swim. The first step is to find areas that hold red snapper. A good depth finder/chart plotter is the most

important tool for this task. I use my Lowrance to locate suspended bait and scan the bottom for structure. Structure is crucial. The more relief the better. Large areas of live bottom also hold bait and likely red snapper. Once a productive area is located, the second step is figuring out how the snapper are relating to the structure and bait. Current, water clarity, time of year, the amount of pressure from anglers as well as the presence of large predatory fish in the area are all

factors that will determine where the fish are holding and if they will eat. Kayak positioning and bait presentation are critical components to success. Current and wind are the two main factors. The current affects the bait while the wind affects kayak positioning. Keeping the kayak pointed into the wind and using the MirageDrive to hold position or slow the drift will keep the bait in the strike zone longer. The longer the bait is in the sweet spot the better. For live

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APRIL 2017

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320CC POWERED BY

PHOTO CREDITS: Matthew Vann.

THE EDGE OF POSSIBILITY What is impossible is only impossible until it is not. We set out to build a boat that was not just unsinkable, but also one-of-a-kind; unmatched in safety, while delivering the beauty, versatility, and performance to inspire envy in all who behold it. We did it because we never want you to have to choose between the safety of your children and the adventure of a lifetime. bait, I use cigar minnows, threadfin, speedos, croakers and pinfish. For cut bait, I use bonito, mackerel and menhaden. The tackle and technique determine how to set up on the reef. Bottom dropping is the most common way to catch snapper. I use two different rigs. The Carolina rig and knocker rig both use 3- to 5-ounce egg sinkers on 50-pound braided main line, with a 40- to 60-pound fluorocarbon leader tied to a 5/0- to 7/0-circle hook. The Carolina rig has a swivel and 3-foot section of leader that works well with less current and allows the bait more freedom to move. The knocker rig has a 7- to 10-foot section of leader connected directly to the mainline allowing the sinker to slide all the way to the hook, which drops through the water column faster in stronger current. I also use one-quarter to 1-ounce circle hook jigs on 40- to 60-pound fluorocarbon leader to target suspended fish higher in the water column. This technique often produces the largest fish. Chunking is my favorite way to

catch red snapper. After positioning the kayak up current of the reef, I throw small pieces of cut bait into the water. As the chunks descend towards the reef, the fish swim up in the water column right under the kayak. Once I see the snapper, I cast up current and free line a small piece of cut bait the same size as the chunks into the current using 10 to 12 feet of 40- to 50-pound fluorocarbon leader connected directly to 30- to 50-pound braided mainline with a 6/0 circle hook. It is critical for the bait to sink at the same rate as the chunks. Watching a large snapper sip down your bait on lighter tackle 15 feet below the kayak gets the adrenaline pumping. There is no more exciting way to hook these fish. Landing them can be a great challenge. Every year anglers travel from far and wide to the northern Gulf of Mexico to do battle with the red snapper. No matter how or where you catch a red snapper in your kayak, you have earned it! One thing is for certain, you will enjoy eating or releasing your prize catch.

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TREASURE COAST 23

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Cucumber Slaw Julienne one cucumber down to seeds, combine with sesame seeds, season with salt and pepper, then set aside. For Vinaigrette Combine in a small bowl the sake miso and rice wine vinegar. Slowly whisk in the 4-ounces canola oil until mixture has emulsified. For Cobia In a hot wok or frying pan, place 1/4 cup of Canola oil, wait 2 minutes until oil is hot, then gently place fish in pan and sear on both sides for 2 minutes, remove from pan, then place on heat proof pan and place in 350-degree oven for 5 minutes. Cut rice paper wrapper in 1/2 inch strips fry in canola oil for 2 minutes and reserve. To Plate Toss cucumber with a small amount of vinaigrette and place on center of plate. Place fish on top, place vinaigrette around cucumber and fish, then top with rice paper and finish.

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TREASURE COAST 25

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PHOTO CREDIT: Marisol’s Photography, Inc.

21nual An

St. Lucie County Chamber of Commerce and Geico Treasure Coast Present the 21st Annual

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May 12&13

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772.595.9999 StLucieChamber.org 26 TREASURE COAST

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APRIL 2017

he St. Lucie County Chamber of Commerce will host its 21st annual Fishing Frenzy, presented by Geico Treasure Coast on May 12-13, 2017 at the City Marina in Historic Downtown Fort Pierce. This offshore dolphin (mahimahi) fishing tournament offers $16,000 in cash and prizes, with a $10,000 grand prize for the heaviest Dolphin. Last year’s tournament welcomed a fleet of 110 boats and results were close with less than eight pounds separating first and fourth place. Capt. Laird Summerlin and his anglers made their way to the stage where their 33.5-pound dolphin inched out the competition to claim first place while Capt. Jessica Manuel and her crew took home second place with a 32.3-pounder, Capt. Josh Tripp and company’s 31-pounder earned third place, and Capt. Mike Bartus and his anglers took home fourth place with a 25.95-pound dolphin. Jessica Manuel was the Lady

Angler winner with a respectable 26.3-pound dolphin while James Ivey was the Junior Angler winner with a 22.55-pounder. Boat entry fee is $250 before May 1st and $275 after May 1st. There is no cost to sit and enjoy the excitement as the weigh-in takes place! There will also be trivia and prizes between weigh-ins for the audience. Weigh-in is Saturday, May 13th from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. The parking garage is open and free for parking convenience. To register for the tournament online, or for sponsorship information, please visit www. StLucieChamber.org or call the Chamber at (772) 595-9999. The Unified Chamber of St. Lucie County is an organization of business owners working together to help grow their business through advocacy, education and exposure.

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BAHAMAS NEWS West End International boat races kick off April 21 Event organizers are planning for the inaugural West End International race day April 22 and 23 at West End Village, Grand Bahama. The high-speed boat races will be held from 9:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. on Sat., April 22 and Sun., April 23 with a kickoff party Friday night, April 21, at the Old Bahama Bay Resort and Yacht Harbour. Racers from all over the world will compete at the West End International, with hydroplanes, Jersey skiffs and power boats hurtling up to 170 m.p.h. speeds in the high-paced, high-energy events. In addition to the races, the event will feature food, drinks, music, vendors, shopping and activities for the whole family. "We're very excited to host the first ever West End International," said Betty Bethel, Bahamas Ministry of Tourism (BMOT) Director for Grand Bahama. "The event promises fun and excitement for our residents and visitors alike, and we are very excited to host them at the beautiful Old Bahama Bay and the surrounding resorts on West End." General admission to the races is free. VIP tickets for the races are $60 and the Friday night VIP kickoff party is $75. Tickets are on sale now at WestEndBoatRaces.com. Information on accommodations at West End is also available on the website. The West End International is powered by The Islands of the Bahamas, Old Bahama Bay Resort and Yacht Harbour, Island Coastal Charters and Environmental Manufacturing Solutions.

FWC Reminder on Bringing Fish Back to Florida from Bahamas If you are considering fishing in the Bahamas and bringing fish back to the U.S. by water, here is what you need to know: • Bahamian and U.S. fishing regulations are not always the same. • When fishing in the Bahamas, follow Bahamian Sportfishing Regulations External Website • Follow the more restrictive bag and possession limit when traveling to and from the Bahamas. • Private vessel owners must visit Bahamian Customs and Immigration and have a stamped passport

and valid Bahamian cruising and sportfishing permits. Visit Bahamas. gov.bs for more information. • Check with Bahamian authorities for all legal requirements. • Passengers must possess a valid government passport with current Bahamian stamps and travel dates. Fish: • Reef fish (managed as snapper grouper in the U.S.) as well as dolphin and wahoo may be brought back from the Bahamas as fillets. • All other species must be brought back in the condition specified in U.S. federal rules (example: cobia, tuna, swordfish must be brought back in whole condition). For fish brought back as fillets: • Skin must remain on the entire fillet • Two fillets, regardless of their size, count as one fish toward the bag limit • Follow U.S. Atlantic federal bag and vessel limits, as well as seasons • Fish brought into the U.S. cannot be sold • Travel through U.S. federal and Florida state waters must be continuous and gear must remain stowed. (Terminal gear such as hooks, leaders, sinkers, etc. must be disconnected and stowed separately from rod and reel.) Spiny Lobster: • Bahamian rules allow you to possess whole and wrung (tailed) lobster; however, when returning to Florida, lobster must be in whole condition (head and tail intact). • Can only be transported into U.S. waters during the Florida recreational season (Aug. 6-March 31) • Spiny lobster cannot be brought back into U.S. waters during the 2-day sport season (last consecutive Wednesday and Thursday of July) because, in the Bahamas, the season is closed during that time period. • Lobster lawfully harvested by spear in The Bahamas can be returned to Florida. Prohibited species: • Species prohibited from harvest in U.S. (queen conch, Nassau/goliath grouper, etc.) cannot be transported through U.S. federal and Florida state waters by boat. Contact the US Fish and Wildlife Service for regulations related to transporting fish or conch by air carrier back to Florida or other locations in the U.S. (CITES documents may be required.)

APRIL FISHING CONDITIONS April 1

POOR

Evening

April 22

BEST

Morning

April 2

BEST

Evening

April 23

POOR

Morning

April 3

BEST

Morning

April 24

POOR

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April 4

POOR

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April 25

POOR

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April 5

POOR

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April 26

POOR

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April 6

POOR

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April 27

POOR

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April 7

FAIR

Morning

April 28

POOR

Evening

April 8

GOOD

Morning

April 29

BEST

Evening

April 9

FAIR

Morning

April 30

BEST

Evening

April 10

FAIR

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April 11

BEST

Morning

April 12

BEST

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April 13

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April 14

FAIR

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April 15

POOR

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April 16

FAIR

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April 17

FAIR

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April 18

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April 19

GOOD

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April 20

GOOD

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April 21

BEST

Morning

COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

378_Treasure_Coast_FINAL.indd 27

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

APRIL 2017

TREASURE COAST 27

3/18/17 9:05 PM


BOARD

Share Yooutor Brag Phere! H

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

A 28.5-inch snook caught in the St. Lucie River by by Kyle Bradley. Photo CREDIT: Austin Funk.

Tyler Fischer-Rasmussen, 6, caught this 15.5-inch sheepshead at the Jensen Beach causeway pier over spring break using a live shrimp. Tyler loves to fish and dreams of catching a river monster one day! Photo credit: Melissa Puechner Fischer-Rasmussen.

John Glenton with a black drum caught on a Treasure Coast Boat Rentals Bait and Tackle live shrimp in the Fort Pierce basin. Photo supplied by Treasure Coast Boat Rentals, Bait and Tackle.

Karen Wongken caught this 18-inch sheepshead from the dock of the Dockside Inn using a live shrimp. Photo CREDIT: Capt. Joe Ward.

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Jerry with a near slot snook caught while fishing with his wife, Lindy, out of Fort Pierce. Photo CREDIT: Capt. Charlie Conner.

Cherlyn Arnold's best trout yet! Caught on a D.O.A. C.A.L while drifting the flats in Vero Beach. Photo CREDIT: Lewis Arnold.

3/18/17 9:05 PM


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APRIL 2017

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3/20/17 12:13 PM


Finding Fish in the Indian River Lagoon By Richard Matteson, Staff writer for The Stuart Rod and Reel Club

M

ost anglers can catch a fish but few know how to find them. Here are a few tips for finding fish in the Indian River Lagoon. Remember, the fish are moving with the tide and weather conditions. Know the Tide. The tide determines where you fish, when you fish and the direction you fish. You don’t want to fish shallow on a low tide, the fish have moved out to the breakline. In many areas of the lagoon, there’s a shallow shelf along the shore. Fish the breakline where it’s deeper on low tide. Find water that’s 2 to 3 feet deep, because the fish are not usually on the shore on low tide. Fish near deeper water. Conversely, if it’s high tide, the fish will be in the mangroves or pushing bait on the shore. The tide is pulling the bait in a certain direction, and the fish face into the tide. Pulling your lure in the same direction means the fish will see it better. Know the wind and weather. You want wind, it moves the bait and gets fish feeding. Fish are not as spooky when there’s wind. The fish can ambush bait better if there’s wind. You don’t want too much wind, though. Too much wind creates turbidity, and fish have trouble finding bait and your lure when the water is cloudy. Try to fish areas where there’s wind, but not too much wind. The weather, whether it’s sunny, cloudy or rainy, is always a factor. So is the water temperature. Know the water temperature. Snook don’t like cold water, and they’ll be in shallows warming in the sun on cold days. Trout might not hit a topwater when it’s cold. Know where the bait is. There are fish where there’s no bait, and

there’s bait where there are no fish, but the fish will be looking for bait. Fish in areas with bait. Look for bait. If you can’t see any bait, look for birds. If you see three pelicans in the water near each other, they wouldn’t be there unless there’s some bait. Look for fish feeding. Look for dolphins feeding. These are all signs of fish in an area. This may be the most important axiom for finding fish: know where the bait is.

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By Capt. Michael Okruhlik

of Braid I

Photo Courtesy of Controlled Descent Lures

The POWER

often tell people the power of braid will instantly make them better fishermen. I truly believe that. In last month’s article, I mentioned a very popular slow-sinking lure that everyone raved about but that I could not catch a fish with. Well, the power of braid changed that.

Somewhere in the 1990s, I jumped on the bandwagon and bought several of these popular slow-sinking lures. I read all of the articles that were written about it and tried to follow the directions on how to properly fish it, especially in the winter for large speckled trout. Occasionally, I would catch a fish or two, but most cast came back empty handed. Fast-forward about 10 years, and one day while wade fishing Shamrock Cove in Texas’ Corpus Christi Bay with three friends, it all changed. We were lined up walking this grass flat and throwing the same famous lure. Yes, I was throwing the lure I had not been able to catch many fish on for over a decade. I tied one on because a buddy said he had been killing the trout on it. I waded alongside the three of them watching them catch trout after trout. As frustration settled in, I started to mimic my friend closest to me. I would cast within 10 yards of his cast and mirror his rod movement. I still didn’t catch a fish, while he continued to do so. By now I was completely clueless on why I couldn’t work this lure properly. I ask him to cast his lure a few feet in front of and several yards past me. Once it passed by, I could see the movement of the lure and how it twitched, paused and darted. I made my next cast in a direction where I could clearly see my lure moving through the water. No matter how vigorously I worked my rod, my lure moved almost in a straight line through the water. What I discovered was I was the only one not using braid. The non-stretch and sensitivity of the braid is what made the lure twitch and dart to attract the fish. On my next trip, I was spooled up with braid, and finally caught fish on this famous lure. Simply by using braid, I became a better fisherman, and this lure soon became one of my favorites. There are still instances when I do not use braid, but for those who have not tried it, or have not tried it in years, spool up with the newest braid technology. It can instantly make you a better fisherman. Capt. Michael Okruhlik is the inventor of Controlled Descent Lures and the owner of www.MyCoastOutdoors.com.

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3/20/17 12:14 PM


Picking the Right Inshore Rod By Tobin Strickland CAM Special Correspondent

M

MON-FRI 4-7pm

any overlook the importance of selecting the right rod for the job as it relates to casting artificial lures. There are five things to consider with casting performance in regard to graphite rods. The first is the modulus of the graphite in the blank. Higher modulus graphite weighs less and is stiffer. Then there’s power of the blank, the tip action, the weight rating for the blank, and finally the rod length. For example, a medium power 6’6” or 6’9” rod, with a fast tip rated for 1/8 to 1/2 oz. is a great rod for inshore casting and fighting speckled trout and redfish with lures that range from 1/8 to ¾ oz. This rod specification will be well suited for topwaters and subsurface walkers. A medium light rod power with a fast action tip may cast the smaller lures slightly better, lures like the Mirrolure Little John on 1/16- or 1/8-oz. jig head or a swimbait hook. The higher the graphite modulus of the blank, the lighter the blank will be and still keep the performance. For example, for my soft plastic rod I use a Lew’s Custom Lite Speed Stick in a medium lite action, 6’10” and rated for 1/8 to ½ oz. It’s constructed from 85 million modulus graphite. It’s light, casts far and accurately and is extremely sensitive. I can still cast larger lures such as She Dogs on this blank, and it makes for a lighter stick working lures all day. Tobin Strickland created TroutSupport.com - Tech Support for speckled trout and redfish anglers

11 CENTRAL FLORIDA

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r spread ACR ELECTRONICS GLOBALFIX V4 Global leader in safety and survival technologies, ACR Electronics, Inc., recently released the GlobalFIX V4 Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB). ACR has taken its world-renowned EPIRB manufacturing expertise to create one of the highest quality and lowest-cost EPIRBs available. The GlobalFIX V4 is competitively priced and offers tremendous value with new features. Notable features include: user-replaceable battery with a 10year battery life, internal 66 channel GPS, a four LED array strobe light, and a new wrist strap for handsfree carrying in an emergency evacuation. The GlobalFIX V4 applies three levels of integrated signal technology: an internal GPS for pinpoint positioning, a powerful 406 MHz distress alert, and 121.5 MHz homing capability to effectively conclude final stages of rescue. The on-board GPS can quickly pinpoint the sender’s position to within 100 meters. As search-and-rescue personnel are deployed, a separate homing signal and integrated LED strobe light guide rescuers to the beacon’s exact position. For more than 60 years, ACR has been designing and manufacturing quality products to save lives. The new GlobalFIX V4 has gone through months of independent testing to ensure the design, functionality and performance live up to the ACR standard of excellence. The GlobalFIX V4 is also compact enough to be stored in your ACR RapidDitch abandon-ship bag along with all of your other safety gear. For mariners who want an EPIRB with longer operational life and more output power, ACR will continue to offer the GlobalFix iPRO and PRO range of EPIRBs.

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3/20/17 3:22 PM


Bimini Bliss At The Inaugural World Resorts Bimini Wahoo Challenge

By Travis Cartwright

A

tense silence filled the Resorts World Bimini marina. A crowd of onlookers sat near the weighing station waiting for the next boat to arrive. Anglers from across the United States had descended on the tiny island of Bimini for the Inaugural Resorts World Wahoo Challenge Feb. 2-5. There were 25 boats, with men and women from as far away as Texas battling it out for the top prize of $35,000. Everyone at the weigh-station lingered anxiously, sipping on free rum punches and Kalik, the native beer of the Bahamas. Suddenly the silence was broken by a boisterous sound. It was music, more specifically a guitar solo. Someone was blaring George Thorogood’s “Bad to the Bone” loudly. As Team Bad Habits idled into the marina, an angler on deck was rocking out to the music, beer in hand. A group

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bikini-clad girls flocked to the men. It was obvious that Bad Habits was having a good day. “We went out early and kept hunting,” one of the men said. “It was a lot of fun being out there.” The team caught several wahoo, and they found mahi-mahi too. The event was sponsored by the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism in collaboration with Resorts World Bimini and the Bahamas Ocean Sports Authority. Team Who’s Your Daddy from Miami, Fla. caught an 80.3-pound wahoo on the first day of the tournament. Who’s Your Daddy took first place with a total combined weight of 261.5 pounds. Second place went to Bad Habits with a total weight of 248.6 pounds. Third place went to Fishin’ A Loan with a total weight of 191.3 pounds. The tournament was a celebration of all things Bahamian, and the anglers were treated to authentic Bahamian food, drinks, music and hospitality. Bimini consists of two main islands, North Bimini and South Bimini, and numerous cays just 50 miles south of Florida. It has a history of entertaining fishermen. People use golf carts to get around on North Bimini, as the island is only 7 miles long. Many visitors even rent bicycles and spend their days having picnics on the island’s gorgeous beaches. Bimini is no stranger to hosting lively and exciting events or personalities. The Spanish explorer Ponce de Leon believed the fountain of youth was located somewhere on the island. Many famous Americans visited the island during the 1960s and 70s, too, including Ernest Hemmingway, Jimmy Buffet and Martin Luther King. King, the late great civil rights leader, wrote parts of his Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech in Bimini. He stayed at the Bimini Big Game Club. The legendary Bimini Big Game Club, located in Alice Town, caters to visitors in search of world-class fishing experiences that range from bonefishing and deep sea fishing, and there’s incredible shark diving as well. Today, Bimini hosts scores of visitors in search of their own fountain of youth. The island, with its close-knit community, offers an escape from the modern world.

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3/20/17 3:23 PM


Blue Wild Ocean Adventure Expo Celebrates 10th Anniversary April 22-23

S

Photo courtesy of Controlled Descent Lures

heri Daye, producer of the 10th Annual Blue Wild Ocean Adventure Expo announced the popular water sports expo, which features exhibits, seminars, demos, marine art and more, will return to the Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center April 2223. What began as a small charity event has evolved over the past decade and flourished into an exciting, two-day event. The 2017 Blue Wild Ocean Adventure Expo will exceed 65,000 square feet, host 160 exhibitors and anticipates 5,000 attendees. Highlights include seminars and exhibits on freediving, scuba, spearfishing, fishing, marine art, underwater photography and videography, paddle boarding, adventure travel and more. The popular Kids Zone will offer face painting, art classes and crab races. The event offers activities for the whole family to enjoy. Attendees will be fascinated by the variety of celebrity speakers like TV personality Manny Puig and other experts who are a “who’s who” in the underwater worlds of freediving, spearfishing, photography, video and more. Hands-on workshops offer proven techniques and include: Yoga Session, Lionfish Preparation and Sampling, Marine Art Printmaking, Fish Filleting Demos, How to Hunt Off Your SUP and more. “I’m thrilled to be celebrating our tenth anniversary this year. We strive to offer an exciting atmosphere where like-minded ocean lovers and watersport enthusiasts of all ages can meet up and socialize,” said Daye. “I’ve crafted the expo be both educational and entertaining, where attendees can learn about latest techniques and products, shop for great deals, listen to the best speakers and network with one another.” For marine art fans, The Blue Wild Ocean Adventure Expo has one of the most impressive collections—from the world-renowned to the local scene with artists such as Carey Chen, Don Ray, Randall Scott, Jason Mathias and many more. Returning exhibitors include Aqua Lung, Mares, Cressi, SEAC,

16

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PADI, Pelagic, Bass Pro, YETI, Florida Freedivers, Island Water Sports, Nautical Ventures, Wong Spearguns and many more. The Expo is pleased to welcome several new exhibitors such as NAUI, Reef Photo and Video, and Coco View Resort. Adding to the excitement, the Expo also has state-of-the-art water toys, kayaks and Contender Boats. The Blue Wild Ocean Adventure Expo is known for its high-energy crowds and fun vibe. The diverse crowd includes visitors, experts and exhibitors from all over the world who flock to Fort Lauderdale for its desirable and central location. Water-lovers can also take advantage of the year-round tropical weather and warm waters. Entry is $20 at the door and includes a free goodie bag (while supplies last) and free entry to the Saturday night After-Party at the Fort Lauderdale Beach Courtyard Marriott. For more information, visit www. TheBlueWild.com or check out a video from last year at...

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

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A TRIBUTE TO

Legendary Boat Builder

Curt Whiticar

“Millennium is a leader in our industry and makes quality products that I’m proud to represent!” - BILL DANCE Bill Dance Outdoors

1OO

BOAT SEAT From left are Coastal Angler Magazine Co-Publisher Gary Guertin, Curt Whiticar and Jim Dragseth, president of Whiticar Boat Works. Photo courtesy of CAM/Treasure Coast.

By Ed Killer, Outdoors columnist for USA Today Network

O

ver the course of a life spanning more than a century, Curt Whiticar earned quite the reputation. He was the patriarch of the Stuart family best known for building classic sport fishing boats and died March 7 of prolonged congestive heart failure and kidney issues. He was 106.  “Through his life, he touched so many people’s lives,” remembered his son 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.” George Curtis Whiticar was born Feb. 13, 1911 to Capt. Add Whiticar, a commercial fisherman and charter captain who fished out of New Jersey. Curt Whiticar was the oldest of three brothers who all followed in their father’s fishing footsteps. They took paying customers on fishing adventures through the St. Lucie Inlet. But when customers were thin, they fished commercially. Curt Whiticar’s dad first came to Stuart to scout the bluefish and Spanish mackerel commercial fishery in 1917. The family settled in Stuart full time in 1926. 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 wanted boats built to handle the sometimes-choppy Treasure Coast offshore waters. Whiticar boats were known for 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, 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, overbuilt, if anything.” Bell was one of many Stuart-area captains to come to the area from the Delmarva Peninsula. Many of them came as mates working for Capt. Ray Parker, who owned a red-hulled Whiticar named Hobo. They stayed for the great sailfishing—a sport fishery pioneered by Whiticar and his family. They were among the first in the area to promote conservation of sailfish. The Whiticars were also among those who founded the Stuart Sailfish Club. Whiticar retired from boat building in 1986 at age 75. He received a number of awards and recognition for his service as a craftsman and a leader in conservation. Last month, he was inducted into the International Game Fish Association’s Captain and Crew Hall of Fame. There will be a celebration of Whiticar’s life April 9 at Indian Riverside Park in Jensen Beach. 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.

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anhandle lionfish hunters only have until May 19 to compete in the Panhandle Pilot Program. This yearlong lionfish removal incentive program rewards divers for harvesting lionfish off Escambia through Franklin counties. The program may be ending, but lionfish are open for harvest year-round, and there are no bag or size limits. For every 100 lionfish removed, divers receive a tag that allows them to take an additional cobia or red grouper in state waters, but this tag must be used before May 19. The first 10 teams who remove 500 or more lionfish also qualify to name an artificial reef in the Panhandle. To date, six groups have qualified to rename an artificial reef. The program ends the day before the annual Lionfish Removal and Awareness Day Festival, which is May 20-21 at Plaza de Luna in Pensacola. A revamp of the statewide Lionfish Challenge will also be launched that same weekend. More information on this program will be coming soon. Learn more about the Panhandle Pilot Program and how you can get rewarded for your lionfish removals by visiting MyFWC.com/ Lionfish.

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What to Wearipsum Lorem WheN KAYAK FISHING

By Nick Paul Carter Lebowitz By

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im Salazar has been kayak fishing Southern California since the 1990s. He’s old school. Floridian Brandon Barton started in 2010. He’s from the new school. Both are elite-level Hobie fishing team members, a pair of Top Guns. For Salazar, the water is sizzling when it hits the relatively frigid 70s. He dresses accordingly, in a shorty farmer john wetsuit worn over a pair of fishing board shorts. For UV protection, he tops the ensemble with a hooded polyester sun shirt. His feet have it easy. “In the summer you can’t get me out of my flip flops,” he said. Where Salazar is traditional, Barton is modern. Comfort in hot weather and protection from insects are Barton’s major concerns. In the summer and spring he wears lightweight nylon fishing pants paired with a long-sleeve sun shirt. He tops them with a hat and a neck gaiter—popularly known as a buff. “The sun beats down on the water. I keep my whole body covered up,” he said. Some warm water anglers wear shoes made for the water. Barton prefers to slather sunscreen on his bare feet. If he’s fishing offshore or for dinosaurs, he adds fingerless fishing gloves. “For tarpon and sailfish, you need some hand protection,” he added. Although they fish in different climates, both pros avoid cotton. They dress for the conditions in clothing built to shed water and dry fast. You should too. Photo: Brandon Barton dressed for the warm Florida climate in lightweight sun-protective fishing clothes. Photo courtesy Brandon Barton.

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Tackle Corner:

By Mike Pehanich

Angling for comfort and joint health

O

nce upon a time, fishing was deemed a passive, even contemplative game, a quiet pastime spent under a straw hat and a warming sun. No more! Modern angling is an active endeavor generally characterized by energetic casts, and plenty of them. The aggressive style of the modern angler takes its toll on the body with back, wrist, elbow and shoulder injuries. “As we get older, our bodies kind of fall apart,” said Bassmaster Elite Series angler Mark Menendez during an outing on Kentucky Lake. Menendez has developed tendinitis in his elbow. “I have had to figure out ways to fish that are less taxing on my body.” He has changed technique and equipment to reduce the wear. He fishes soft swimbaits like the Strike King Shadalicious far more these days, working them on relatively light spinning tackle and line testing no more than 10 pounds. It’s effective and easier on his elbow. The other adjustments he makes relate to his tackle. He lauds the Winn grips now featured on Lew’s Custom Lite, Lew’s Tournament Performance TP1 Speed Stick and Lew’s Mach Speed Stick rods. “The advantage to the angler is that the Winn grip adheres to your hand, but it’s not sticky,” he explained. “It just makes you feel you have a good grip on your rod and reel. The grips also allow me to make longer casts because I have better control of my rod and reel.” Musky and saltwater anglers are also taking advantage of the “tacky” feel and security of the non-slip polymer to protect against joint stress. Eavesdrop on a group of musky fishers for long and you’re bound to hear complaints of sore elbows and forearms. Many musky anglers are building custom rods with Winn grips, employing larger 1.25-inch Straight Taper split grips or a Straight Taper fore

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grip coupled with a 15-inch Straight Cylinder Saltwater grip capped with a fighting butt to extend the rear handle to 18-plus inches. Winn will add a new 18-inch grip to the Saltwater line this spring. Builders of custom surf and offshore rods are already making plans for its use. But oversized grips and rod wraps are finding favor with other anglers, too. At the Bassmaster Elite Series event at Lake Okeechobee in February, anglers with arthritic hands and joint issues noticed the booth Winn shared with North Fork Bait & Tackle owner and rod builder Steve Keller, who also operates a Winn Authorized Service Center at his store in Jensen Beach, Fla. Arthritis sufferers noted their preference for larger grip diameters to ease gripping pressure. The 1.25-inch Winn grips caught their attention, as did the array of offerings in the Winn Superior Rod Wrap line of overwraps, which enable the angler to put a layer of non-slip Winn polymer over existing cork or EVA grips. Winn grips and rod wraps (www.winngrips.com) are available in a wide range of sizes and colors. The Winn interchangeable grip system offers an endless combination of configurations.

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TIPS FROM A PRO

FRESHWATER LEARN CONFIDENCE IN NEW TECHNIQUES

BRANDON LESTER

G

rowing up in southern middle Tennessee, I was fortunate to have a lot of really good fisheries within a couple hours of my house. I had my choice between the Tennessee River lakes like Guntersville, Wheeler and Wilson or the typical highland reservoirs located in the hills of Tennessee. I spent many days fishing club events and absorbing every bit of knowledge I could. It helped me become a versatile angler and to stay in tune with the seasonal movements of bass. These things helped prepare me for the situations I would later face on

the Bassmaster Elite Series. I remember my very first Elite Series event. It was at Lake Seminole. I had never been to the lake and didn’t know a thing about it. After a tough first day of practice, I ran way up the Flint River to see if I could find something up there all to myself. What I found was a couple of small backwaters with clear water and fish that were setting up to spawn. These places had been completely overlooked, and I finished 21st in that tournament. I caught almost every fish on a floating worm, something that is very popular during the spawn around my home waters. That tournament and many others since have taught me that no matter where you go in the country, or what body of water you’re on, there will always be something that fits your fishing style. It may not always be the winning pattern,

but more times than not, I would rather be fishing for fewer fish with more confidence. The very best lure in any tackle box is confidence. But this doesn’t mean I stubbornly sticking to the same techniques I’m comfortable with. Successful tournament anglers must keep up with the latest trends. Lures, line, rods, reels and everything else are constantly evolving. It helps to stay on the forefront. As I travel the country, I learn a lot of new techniques and about new baits that work in particular regions. Every time I go to a tournament and a new technique arises that I’m not familiar with, the first thing I do when I get home is take it to a nearby lake and try to learn it. When trying to learn something new, it’s best to do it in areas you know hold fish. A good example of this was at the first Elite Series event of this year at Lake Cherokee. Cherokee is in east Tennessee, but it is much different than my home waters. There is a hot new trend among the locals there called the “Damiki rig” that is dynamite for catching smallmouth relating to baitfish. It is a small fluke-style lure rigged on a Lake Erie-style jig head that allows for precise placement of the lure at depth. I had heard about the rig leading up to the tournament and tried it in practice, but I never could figure it out. Our tournament was actually won on that rig, and several of the top guys were doing it. After that tournament was over, I spent the next day on my home lake with nothing but that rig. I wanted to learn everything there was to know about it. I went on to catch some big smallmouth on my home lake with it, and although I still don’t consider myself an expert, I feel like I can catch them on it next time the opportunity arises.

Get more tips from Lester at

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FRESHWATER BIRDIE BLOCKER Tired of scrubbing bird droppings from the tops and decks of your boat? If you’ve got a problem with birds using the railings of your craft to roost, Birdie Blocker is the solution that will keep your boat free of roosting birds and the nasty mess they make. Birdie Blocker is an easy-to-use and extremely effective bird deterrent to protect any boat with 7/8- to 1-inch railings. It is a simple system using fishing components and some high-quality UV clips. It can be installed in about five minutes, and it’s just as convenient to remove and stow when it’s time to head out for a cruise. A barrier of monofilament held up with easy-to-mount clips deters birds from landing on your rails and roosting on your craft. It is tangle-free and simple, and at less than $100 it will cover about 40 feet of railings. Two Birdie Blockers are the ideal solution for larger boats. The clips are also multi-purpose and can also be used to hang lighting, decorations or double as a make-shift clothesline. The Birdie Blocker is a great gift for any boater. These quality systems arrive pre-assembled and can begin protecting your boat in about five minutes with simple set-up that requires no measuring. It’s a no-brainer for anyone who is sick and tired of cleaning up after birds. Call Birdie Blocker at 440-231-4767 to order or email birdieblocker@ gmail.com. Visit www.birdieblocker.com to see an easy to use video.

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Endless Fishing Opportunities

In Marathon

By Capt. Chris Johnson, SeaSquared Charters Marathon, the very heart of the Florida Keys, offers fishing options as vast as the crystal blue waters that surround the islands. to experience the exhilaration of big game sport fishing closer to shore and easier on your budget. Rounding out the sport fishing options in Marathon are bonefish, snook, Goliath grouper, permit and barracuda. Each challenging in its own right and all worthy of a place of honor on your trophy wall.

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ill Your Trophy Wall With visions of Ernest Hemingway’s exploits in their heads, adventurers flock to Marathon from around the globe to fulfill their dreams of catching the sportfish of a lifetime. The offshore deep blue waters are the realm of the mighty swordfish, who live in the 1,500-plus-foot depths. Fishing for swordfish is highly technical and is best done with an electric set-up. While a magnificent creature to display above the fireplace, swordfish are also prized for their food value. Closer inshore are sailfish, which are unsurpassed in their size range for combined strength and spectacle. These silver speedsters, with their distinctive blue fan-shaped fin, are free-roamers that seem to prefer the coral reef areas. They are best fished for where their favorite foods are plentiful, such as along weed lines or around schools of blue runners, goggle eyes or pilchards. Perhaps the most elusive of all the sportfish in the Marathon waters is the Silver King. The tarpon that visit the Middle Florida Keys each spring love to hang out at bridge passes, where their food of choice is easily obtainable. These areas are known for their relative calm conditions, making tarpon fishing a comfortable experience for all anglers, even those prone to seasickness. Using light spinning tackle and circle hooks, fishing for tarpon is about as sporting as it gets. And, to hook one and chase it through the bridge pilings, hoping to be rewarded with a few jumps and maybe a picture at the side of the boat is an unforgettable experience. With a plethora of media coverage of sharks, catch-and-release fishing for them has become increasingly popular. The Marathon area sees a vast spectrum of sharks, including lemons, blacktips, bulls, blacknoses, nurse, spinners, hammerheads and tigers. These range in size from little guys to behemoths at 12 to 15 feet in length. Light tackle, shallow water angling for sharks in the Middle Florida Keys presents the opportunity 30

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Fill Your Dinner Plate When it comes to catching fish with a top-quality food value, you’d be hard-pressed to find a greater bounty than contained in the waters surrounding Marathon. On the Atlantic coral reefs and wrecks, snapper of all variety are plentiful for the taking year-round. Yellowtails, mangroves, muttons and lanes offer endless rod-bending entertainment and fill the bellies of hungry anglers at the end of the day. Grouper – blacks, reds and gags – are ever-present as well, although they tend to retreat to deeper waters during the summer heat. Additionally, the season is closed for them from January 1 to May 1. There are many more species that provide high-quality table fare – too many to list – but include amberjack, cobia, kingfish, Spanish mackerel, cero mackerel, pompano and on and on. Marathon’s offshore waters are fishing central for pelagic species that provide angling excitement. Venture 26 miles out to the Marathon Humps and you will be in tuna heaven. Blackfin and skipjack tuna are abundant year-round, and the only thing that can prevent you from getting there to catch them on any given day are the winds. But, on a calm day, the ride out and back is comfortable and the catching typically rapid-fire. Dolphin (mahi) and wahoo roam the open sea in a continuous hunt for food. Anglers seek them along weed lines and around any sort of floating debris. Feeding birds, particularly frigates, also indicate their presence. The spectacle of the blue and yellow blaze of a dolphin or the blue and white zebra-like stripes of a wahoo on the end of your line is indelible. Entertain The Family. There’s nothing finer for family bonding than spending quality time together on the water, away from the interruptions of everyday life. Marathon boasts multiple venues that are ideal for a day of family fun fishing. The patch reefs, Hawk Channel, the Seven Mile Bridge and the nearshore bay waters are chock-full of fun-catching fish. Snapper, hogfish, porgy, yellowjack, maybe even grouper, keep the rods bent with tasty rewards at the end of the day. Just for fun, there are sharks, barracuda, jacks and more. Catch ’em and release ’em and on to the next! So, whether you’re looking to fill your trophy wall or your dinner plate, or just have a great day out with the family, Marathon offers the fishing opportunities to make your dreams come true. Capt. Chris Johnson specializes in offshore, gulf/bay, reef/wreck, sailfish, shark and tarpon fishing with SeaSquared Charters, docked at Faro Blanco Resort and Yacht Club in Marathon. You can reach him at 305-743-5305, http://SeaSquaredCharters.com and http://Facebook. com/MarathonFishing.

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Register For

The Bahamas Extreme Kayak Fishing Tournament

A

Photo courtesy of Controlled Descent Lures

nglers with the guts to mix big-game tournament fishing with kayaking will head to beautiful Grand Bahama this month to compete in the Extreme Kayak Fishing Tournament April 2023. This two-day kayak fishing tournament will attract anglers and their family members from all over the world for a chance to win more than $40,000 in cash and prizes, and all to help raise funds for the Humane Society of Grand Bahama. There will be free entertainment, food, drinks, a huge raffle and lots of fun for the entire family! “This event, now in its fourth year, has gained tremendous interest and notoriety for anglers and sporting enthusiasts from throughout the USA, Canada, China and Brazil. We have seen the competition grow each year from 40 anglers in our inaugural year in 2014 to some 280 participants last year,” said Bahamas Ministry of Tourism (BMOT) spokesman Richard Treco, Sr. “The high level of competition, coupled with our incredible on-island authentic cultural experiences and diverse product offering, makes this event most attractive for the seasoned as well as relatively new to the sport, angler.” Joe Hector, of Extreme Kayak Fishing International and organizer of the event, said he is excited to work with The BMOT on this tournament, and is particularly pleased with its rapid growth. “The Bahamas Extreme Kayak Fishing Tournament truly is the gold standard for kayak fishing in the world, as it provides everything into one great getaway: fun and family adventures, awesome fishing from white and blue marlins to huge mutton snappers, friendly people and the most beautiful destination in the world,” said Hector. Pre- and post-tournament packages range from $595 triple or qua-

druple occupancy for a three nights stay to $1,370 single occupancy for a seven nights stay, which includes tournament registration, hotel accommodations at the Flamingo Bay Hotel and Marina, round-trip transportation for the angler and his/her kayak from Port Everglades to Grand Bahama, a cocktail reception and awards dinner. Fish caught during the tournament will be given to the Grand Bahama Children’s Home, Flamingo Bay Hotel and Marina, and volunteers assisting with the project. For more information or to register for the tournament, visit www. extremekayakfishing.com or call 954-661-0175.

To learn more about the event and how to register, go to

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UNDER THE SEA

SLINGS AND POLESPEARS

from companies have challenged this SHERI DAYE traditional design by changing the here’s a fun retro-movement taking hand position. The place in spearfishing—a trend toward Headhunter Guerilla primitive hunting gear. Slings and Sling has a comfortable polespears are used in places that do not allow trigger mechanisms, such as Bermuda or the grip, which transfers the weight load from Bahamas, but they are growing in popularity the wrist and distributes the force throughout the forearm. Sea Archer slings look like an outside these regions too. This could be attributed to the new Sling/ underwater bow and arrow. The user holds Polespear category for world records, run by the body of the sling just as they would with a the International Underwater Spearfishing bow and arrow. There’s nothing more beautiful Association (IUSA). However, I suspect the than watching a skilled underwater hunter real reason is that many hunters appreciate using a sling and hitting the mark with a freethe challenge and simplicity, not unlike land- flying shaft! Polespears are another fun option. hunters opting for bow-and-arrow over rifles. It’s a beautiful art form that evokes images of They can be made of fiberglass, aluminum Indians using extreme stealth and having great or carbon fiber. The tip can have a flopper, three-prong paralyzer tip or a slip-tip. Neritic respect for their prey. Slings and polespears are great tools for Diving company makes polespears with someone who is either learning how to spearfish interchangeable sections that can be assembled or interested in improving their hunting skills. in different length configurations. Users may Compared to modern spearguns, they force a choose to use a shorter polespear when hunting diver to become calmer and stealthier because in dirtier water or in tight spaces. When diving of their shorter range. One must slow down and in deep clear water, fish may not be cooperative study the behavior of fish in order to get closer and a longer polespear may be desired. The to them. While both slings and polespears are ability to quickly construct your weapon of powered using rubber bands without trigger choice is one of the best recent innovations, along with magnetic slip-tips that don’t fall off mechanisms, these two styles differ. Slings, sometimes called “Hawaiian slings,” while diving. I must admit that I can’t help feeling a are similar to a slingshot where the band is pulled back to launch the spear. Traditionally, smug sense of satisfaction when I land an the shooter was a tubular-shaped piece of wood elusive fish with a simple stick and rubber with a hole drilled down the center so the shaft band. Regardless if you are a novice or could slide through when being launched professional, primitive hunting offers a forward by the band. Recent innovations fun and entertaining challenge. Why not

T

Charles Duffie with a polespeared hogfish. Photo by James Ferrara.

add another skill to your spearfishing resume and another choice in your toolkit? It will double your fun and make you a better hunter! Sheri is a world-record holder, host of Speargun Hunter and producer of “The Blue Wild Ocean Adventure Expo” in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. Follow “Sheri Daye” and “The Blue Wild” on Facebook and Instagram.

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Spearfishing Course for Freedivers

By Capt. Chad Carney Photo courtesy of Controlled Descent Lures

I

n 2016, Freediving Instructors International (FII) presented their new spearfishing course at The Blue Wild Expo in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. If you’re new to spearfishing or a veteran, this wealthof-knowledge course, from many of the world’s best spearfishermen and freedivers will be invaluable. All students must already have a Level 1 freediving certification from an internationally recognized agency. FII founder Martin Stepanek, and freediving instructors John Dornellas and Cameron Kirkconnell, wrote the textbook for the course, called FII Spearfishing. The first course was taught by Martin and John at Florida Freedivers, Jonathan and Kelsey Dickinson’s dive shop in North Palm Beach, Fla. just days before The Blue Wild. Jonathan became a FII Spearfishing Instructor in September and taught the course to most of his staff and several customers since. The classroom section of the course runs a half day and is packed with great content including spearfishing ethics, freediving safety, location safety about dive planning, site obstructions, currents, marine animals, divers and boats. Information about spearfishing gear, it’s handling and use is covered thoroughly along with underwater hunting skills and techniques. The second half of the day is the pool training, where speargun handling and float line training is hands-on. The provided spearguns are unique in that they can be loaded in the water with total safety, because their shafts are completely stationary, as they are permanently bolted to the muzzles and mechanisms. Otherwise, the spearguns are fully functional and allow the best practice for pool or confined water training. Hunting styles and tricks are also taught and practiced in the pool around a portable artificial reef at the pool bottom where students will stalk a foam fish. Certification is completed with the classroom and pool session, along with a written test. A day of real ocean spearfishing is an option and may vary from location to location, but in the Palm Beaches, Jonathan says they plan for a day of spearfishing in moderate depths where water entries with gear can be polished, and also float lines can be used in currents. Reefs with low structure are available for stalking with, aspetto and agguatto techniques. The photo is Jonathan Dickinson with a recent 70-pound amberjack!

Check out www.floridafreedivers.com and www.freedivinginstructors.com for more information about the course and spearfishing and freediving equipment. Capt. Chad Carney runs diving and spearfishing charters in southeast Florida and can be reached at 727-4237775 or chad.carney@yahoo.com.

To learn more about Florida Free Divers, go to

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FISH & FISHING

THE LIGHT WAND MARK SOSIN

L

earning to fish a fly in saltwater adds a new and extremely challenging dimension to the sport. Light-wand enthusiasts on the marine scene don’t have to trip over tradition that sometimes limits the thinking and performance of their brethren who focus attention solely on trout and salmon. There are differences. When you work over fish in a stream, you often have ample time to contemplate the situation, change flies if the first one doesn’t work, and even try several approaches. Even a shoreline largemouth bass lays claim to a stationary feeding station near a log or under the lip of a lily pad. Saltwater critters remain on the move, probing and prowling continuously or they hold on a seat in the restaurant until the water level rises or falls a certain amount. Then, they change position. If you happen to spot your quarry, you only have seconds to get a fly in front of it. The first cast has to count. Simple hesitation can cause you to miss the opportunity. When you are blind casting, it’s important to read the water and recognize another set of signals. Predators frequently follow a feeding rhythm tied directly to the stage of the tide. Since they are not restricted to a few deep pools or the tail end of a run, finding them and presenting a fly with accuracy requires detailed knowledge of their habits and habitat. Casting in saltwater demands a bit more distance than it does in many freshwater settings. False casting becomes a handicap when you’re trying to drop a fly in the path of a cruising gamefish. You won’t have time to admire the tight loops or match the distance to the target precisely before dropping the fly gently on the skin of the water. The repeated surges of a powerful marine denizen tethered to flyline, leader and backing, or the task of driving a fly into the wind and in front of a cruising fish have no parallels in other forms of angling. Once experienced, these challenges trigger an insatiable appetite that demands more.

For smaller species of fish, a 9-weight fly rod that is 9-feet long would be my first choice. The reel should be single action, hold adequate backing, and left or right hand retrieve. You should turn the handle with your primary hand rather than what many fly fishermen do today. With a 9-weight rod, the reel should hold at least 200 yards of 20-pound dacron or braid. The second outfit for larger fish starts with a 12-weight or 13-weight rod and a reel that holds at least 275 yards of backing. Again, if you are right handed, choose a right hand retrieve. If you’re new to fly fishing, the time to break out the fly rod is when fishing is very good and your chances of success are boosted. It pays to keep it rigged and handy all the time. Let me warn you that catching fish on a fly rod becomes addictive. Once you start hooking fish on the light wand you will also be hooked.

For more Mark Sosin visit

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UR-Cut

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A slippery knife can make filleting fish a difficult chore. Dexter UR-Cut Fillet knives were designed to eliminate this problem, while providing comfort and control by custom molding the grip to a user’s hand. Coastal Angler put Dexter’s design to the test at the docks with a cooler full of sheepshead, which are known to be difficult to clean. The customization involves boiling the handle before dipping it in cold water and gripping it tightly so the owner’s grip is impressed on the handle. With attention to thumb position during the process, we were able to customize the grip to the exact position our fillet men prefer. It took just a few minutes, and the result was a well-balanced tool that felt secure and comfortable in the hand. Then we took our blades to the cutting table. Dexters are known for maintaining a super-sharp edge, and having just the right amount of flexibility. Past experience has taught us they are also easy to sharpen. We were not surprised to find the blade on our new UR-Cut knives performed flawlessly working along spines and ribcages. Our hands and the table were coated in slime, and this is where the URCut showed why it is more than just a good knife. We intentionally created a slippery situation by not washing down, and the non-slip properties of the custom handles performed as advertised. For more information, visit...

UR-Cut features the same legendary DEXSTEEL, super-sharp edge, and just-right flexibility that you are used to with Dexter... 1.Dip handle in boiling water for 2 minutes. 2. Dip in cold water for 1 second. 3. Grip and form handle for 10 seconds. 4. Put back in cold water for 10 seconds and your done.

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O/B MOTOR BRACKET Mounts to your existing swim platform

RATED FOR 2 & 4-STROKE ENGINES UP TO 15 HP OR 132 LBS.

ADD SOME KICK WITH PANTHER’S ALL-NEW SWIM PLATFORM O/B MOTOR BRACKET Transform your boat into a fishing machine and make trolling for your favorite species more efficient and productive. www.MarineTechProducts.com

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PANTHER SWIM PLATFORM OUTBOARD MOTOR BRACKET Now, with the new Panther Swim Platform Outboard Motor Bracket you can transform the family boat or even the work boat into a fishing machine. The convenience of having a kicker motor makes slow trolling for your favorite species much more efficient and productive. The new bracket easily mounts to most swim platforms and features three levels of convenient height adjustment to accommodate most platform heights and motor shaft lengths, for optimal prop depth and performance. • Rated for two- and four-stroke motors up to 20 hp with max motor weight of 195 pounds • Constructed of black powder coat aluminum • Comes complete with transom support bar for weight support torque resistance For more information, contact MarineTech Products at 1 651-486-2010 or visit

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ost anglers would probably enjoy a shopping spree in the fishing section of the local Walmart. An Ohio man allegedly helped himself to not one, but two free-ofcharge shopping sprees last October, and has now been charged with stealing an estimated $3,800 worth of fishing gear, according to NBC affiliate WLWT. Warren County, Ohio prosecutor David Fornshell told reporters that Derrick Marcum, “pretty much cleared out the aisle.” According to the WLWT report, Marcum was arrested last October when he attempted to carry two backpacks stuffed with fishing gear out of an Ohio Walmart. He was arrested that same day for the theft of $1,300 worth of gear. But it wasn’t until recently that investigators connected that incident with another theft that occurred the previous day at another Ohio Walmart. Marcum allegedly filled five plastic bins with tackle and then proceeded to the self-checkout, where he paid only for the bins. Investigators valued that heist at about $2,500. A grand jury indicted Marcum, and he waits in jail for his arraignment, according to reports. Jail time seems a pretty steep price, even for thousands of dollars worth of fishing gear.

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Customer Rating

ITEM 69676/69729/63080/63079 shown ITEM 69675/69728/63090/63089 CALIFORNIA ONLY

SAVE $149

7 $15.99

LIMIT 8 - Original coupon only. No use on prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase or without original receipt. Valid through 8/1/17.

SUPER COUPON

$ 99 Compare $34.99

Customer Rating

$ 99

Compare

ITEM 69594/69955 42292 shown

$

339

Wheel kit sold separately.

SUPER COUPON

99 9 8 $2 99 Compare

$439

LIMIT 3 - Original coupon only. No use on prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase or without original receipt. Valid through 8/1/17. At Harbor Freight Tools, the “Compare” or “comp at” price means that the same item or a similar functioning item was advertised for sale at or above the “Compare” or “comp at” price by another retailer in the U.S. within the past 180 days. Prices advertised by others may vary by location. No other meaning of “Compare” or "comp at" should be implied. For more information, go toHarborFreight.com or see store associate.

Use Coupons:COASTALANGLERMAG.COM In-Store, HarborFreight.com or 800-423-2567 • THEANGLERMAG.COM APRIL 2017

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suzuki spring savings Three Limited Time Offers Make A Good Deal Even Better Suzuki Gives You All Three So You Don’t Have To Choose One Or The Other

Buy a new Suzuki outboard from 25 to 300 horsepower and take advantage of not just one, but ALL THREE Suzuki Spring promotional offers.

Add cash rebates on select models and you can get up to $800 cash back. Plus our Repower Financing is available at attractive interest rates (on approved credit.*)

Just say, “Gimme Six!” and you’ll get six years of product protection. That’s right, you’ll get Suzuki’s three-year limited warranty and Suzuki’s 3-Year Extended Protection Plan at no extra charge.

See your participating Suzuki Marine dealer today and find out how you can get the ultimate deal on the Ultimate 4-Stroke Outboard.

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

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

REPOWER FINANCE

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

For details and the name of your nearest participating Suzuki Marine dealer, visit www.suzukimarine.com

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 4/01/17 and 6/30/17 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 4/01/17 and 6/30/17. 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. Customer will have the choice to either apply the cash rebate against the original dealer invoice (Suzuki will credit Dealer parts account) or have a check sent directly to the customer. 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 4/01/17 and 6/30/17. “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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COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

3/20/17 3:41 PM


PENNFISHING.COM

LET THE BATTLE BEGIN The Slammer is back! Featuring a full metal body and rotor, IPX6 sealed gear box and spool design, a full Brass CNC Gear system,

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and a smooth yet powerful Dura Drag System. The Slammer is not only back…. it’s better than ever before.

3/19/17 2:26 PM


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3/19/17 2:26 PM

Coastal Angler Magazine - April / Treasure Coast  

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

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