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TREASURE COAST EDITION

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GIFT GUIDE

Local

Fishing Reports Catch Photos News & Events

VOLUME 22 • ISSUE 263

COASTALANGLERMAG.COM

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The Suzuki Savings Season 2016 ends soon so see your participating Suzuki Marine dealer today – or visit suzukimarine.com – for details on these special offers.

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 10/01/16 and 12/31/16 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 outboards made between 10/01/16 and 12/31/16. 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 marine engines. 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 marine engines purchased from a participating authorized Suzuki dealer between 10/01/16 and 12/31/16.“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. © 2016 Suzuki Motor of America, Inc.

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More Of A World Traveler’s Top Fishing Destinations By Patrick Sebile

L

ast month in these pages, I laid out what in my opinion are the top-5 fishing destinations in the world. It was a list of the most impressive fisheries I have experienced in a career spent traveling to fish the most renowned waters on this planet. From southern Africa’s Atlantic coast to Scandanavia, Panama, Australia and Venice, Louisiana, those five destinations topped the list among the 64 countries where I have fished. But there are other destinations well worth mention as some of the top fisheries in the world. With this article I will touch on five more destinations I believe to be some of the best on the planet. • Florida, U.S.A: Choosing a whole state and calling it a destination might be a stretch. However, the variety of great fisheries offered by this peninsula is what makes it one of the best places in the world for anglers. With fantastic inshore and offshore fishing, seasonal highlights like the east coast mullet run and some of the best bass fishing anywhere, Florida’s patchwork of options make it a great place for fishing. • South Island, New Zealand: This place is as wild as wilderness can get. Fishing for trout in New Zealand streams with the backdrop that was the set from the “Lord of the Rings” movies has to be one of the most incredible experiences of my life. Also, the north island offers great saltwater fishing for humphead snapper and yellowtail amberjack, which is one of the meanest and most powerful fish that lives in the world’s oceans. • Lake Biwa, Japan: This 259-square-mile lake is surrounded with history as one of the oldest lakes in the world. It is filled with millions of ayu—a small trout-related fish—that turned out to be the major food for a population of largemouth bass. There are consistently more

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Photo Courtesy of Al Stewart Photography

big bass in Lake Biwa than anywhere else I know of. It is where the longtime IGFA All Tackle world record was tied just a few years ago with a bass that weighed 22-pounds, 5-ounces. • Ivory Coast, Africa: Years ago, I ran a lodge on the Ivory Coast, not far from the city of San Pedro, where Stuart Campbell used to come targeting record blue marlin. He succeeded a number of times. From April to June, my average day consisted of three to five fish in the 300- to 600-pound range. • Massachusetts, U.S.A.: I’m a striped bass addict, and fishing the shores of Massachusetts is a pilgrimage I must make on an annual basis, period! There’s nothing like fishing for striped bass when they’re blitzing bait on the shorelines of the northeastern states. Patrick Sebile is the owner and lure designer of Sebile Innovative Fishing (www.sebile.com).

COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM


It’s the Honda of Outboards. Literally.

Quality, reliability, technology and fuel-efficiency have made Honda an automotive legend. You’ll find those same strengths in every Honda Marine outboard. Honda outboards deliver best-of-class features in models ranging from 2.3 to 250 hp. Many even share engine technology and components used in Honda vehicles like the Accord, Odyssey, Fit and Pilot — vehicles that have proven themselves over millions of miles. No wonder all Honda outboards are backed by the only 5-year manufacturer’s warranty in the industry. Power your boat with the brand that offers millions of miles of proven performance — Honda Marine.

Take Advantage Of 2.49% APR Financing On All New Honda Outboards Or 4.49% APR Financing On All New Honda Outboard Engines Or Boat/Motor Packages — Going On Now! To Find Your Nearest Authorized Honda Marine Dealer, Visit Our Website Now From Your QR-Enabled Phone, Or Go To ca.hondamarine.com *APR financing available on all new Honda outboard engines through American Honda Finance Corporation upon approved credit. 2.49% APR financing for 24 – 48 months, available to customers who qualify for the AHFC super preferred credit tier. Example for new Honda outboard engines: 2.49% APR for 36 months financing at $28.86 a month for every $1,000 financed. 3.49% APR for 60 months financing at $18.19 a month for every $1,000 financed. 3.49% APR for 84 months financing at $13.44 a month for every $1,000 financed. Offer good on any new and unregistered Honda outboard engine, with a minimum amount financed of $1,000 and a minimum monthly payment of $100. Check with participating dealers for complete details. Dealers set actual sales prices. For well-qualified buyers, not all buyers may qualify. Higher rates apply for different terms and/or buyers with lower credit rating. Lower rates may also be available. Offer valid through 01/03/17, on new and unregistered Honda outboard engines (2hp – 250hp) and only on approved credit by Honda Financial Services through participating dealers. Honda Financial Services’ standard credit criteria apply. **APR financing available on all new Honda outboard engines or packages (boat, motor and trailer, where Honda outboard engine is the main source of power) through American Honda Finance Corporation upon approved credit. 4.49% APR financing for 12 – 180 months (term and rate based on amount financed) available to customers who qualify for the AHFC Super Preferred credit tier. Example for new Honda outboard engines or packages: 4.49% APR for 84 months financing at $13.90 a month for every $1,000 financed. 4.49% APR for 144 months financing at $9.00 a month for every $1,000 financed. 4.49% APR for 180 months financing at $7.64 a month for every $1,000 financed. Offer good on any new and unregistered Honda outboard engine or package, with a minimum amount financed of $1,000 and a minimum monthly payment of $100. Check with participating dealers for complete details. Dealers set actual sales prices. For well-qualified buyers, not all buyers may qualify. Higher rates apply for different terms and/or buyers with lower credit rating. APR may be subject to dealer mark-up. Offer valid through 01/03/17, on new and unregistered Honda outboard engines or packages and only on approved credit by Honda Financial Services through participating dealers. Honda Financial Services’ standard credit criteria apply. ©2016 American Honda Motor Co., Inc. Always wear a personal flotation device while boating and read your owner’s manual. All Honda outboards meet EPA and CARB emission levels. COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM DECEMBER 2016 NATIONAL 7


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WEST MICHIGAN : Phil Belsito • (616) 957-1714 • phil@theanglermagazine.com UPSTATE NEW YORK : Frank Geremski • (518) 898-6484 • frankie@theanglermagazine.com

INTERNATIONAL BAHAMAS : Misti & Gary Guertin • (772) 285-6850 • treasurecoast@coastalanglermagazine.com flahama@coastalanglermagazine.com COSTA RICA : Thomas Hauer, Jr. • (321) 445-1557 • thomash@coastalanglermagazine.com Thomas Hauer • tomh@coastalanglermagazine.com PUERTO RICO/VIRGIN ISLANDS : Ace Bassue • (407) 285-9453 • ace@coastalanglermagazine.com © 2016. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written consent of the publisher. Disclaimer: Coastal Angler Magazine / The Angler Magazine will not be held liable for injuries incurred while partaking in activities described herein, or for claims made against products or services provided by advertisers.

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Editor’s Note: 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.

COASTAL ANGLER MAGAZINE Eleuthera, Bahamas

FREE

This year’s December holiday editions of Coastal Angler Magazine feature an image Holiday of Gene Dyer and a 30-pound mahi caught GIFT while fishing aboard Uncle Tom Dyer’s GUIDE 55-foot Hatteras off Eleuthera, Bahamas. Dyer is Coastal Angler’s newest franchisee, having recently taken over the Fort Local Lauderdale franchise location. Gene comes to Coastal Angler as a former advertising sales executive for Florida Sport Fishing. Eleuthera is one of the long skinny Out Islands that make up the eastern edge of the Bahamian archipelago. It is a spectacular vacation destination with miles of pink sand beaches, and for anglers it is a renowned bonefish destination, noted for expansive and easily accessible flats. As evidenced by Dyer’s Mahi, Eleuthera is also a fantastic jumpingoff place for the reef, spearfishing and sport fishing the Bahamas are famous for. Excellent reefs such as Devil’s Backbone are teeming with snappers, groupers and amberjack. And with depths of thousands of feet a few miles offshore, anglers can take a quick boat ride and tangle with tuna, marlin, snapper, mahi-mahi, sailfish and some huge wahoo. Fishing Reports Catch Photos News & Events

VOLUME 22 • ISSUE 263

COASTALA NGLERMA G.COM

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THE ANGLER MAGAZINE Southeastern Mountain Trout

WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA EDITION

FREE

There is no better gift for a trout angler than the opportunity to cast to gorgeous fish in the streams of southern Appalachia. The cover image for our holiday editions of The Angler Holiday Magazine comes from the north Georgia GIFT GUIDE mountains, where Tommy Nicodemus caught this big rainbow trout from Noontootla Creek Local while fishing with guide Chuck Head of Unicoi Outfitters. Noontootla Creek is one of the best small trout streams in Georgia, and it feeds the larger Toccoa River, which boasts one the Southeast’s premier tailwater trout fisheries. Noontootla itself flows from high-headwaters through public land on Blue Ridge Wildlife Management Area, where it is a small stream offering wild brown and rainbow trout. For decades it has been managed under special regulations, which have produced a great, if sometimes challenging, fishery. Our cover fish was caught from an extensively managed private trophy stretch of Noontootla Creek called Noontootla Creek Farms. The image was captured by Jason Weldon. PHOTO COURTESY OF JASON WELDON

VOLUME 22 • ISSUE 263

F R A N C H I S E

Fishing Reports Catch Photos News & Events

FISHING WITH UNICOI OUTFITTERS

THEANGLE RMAG.COM O P P O R T U N I T I E S

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DECEMBER 2016

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inter means giant redfish on the fly. From Florida to Texas and up the east coast of the United States, giant redfish are a prime target species for many saltwater fly anglers. In my opinion, there is no finer wintertime saltwater species to sight fish a fly too. The fishing opportunities are endless, and the chance to hook a true giant heavier than 30 pounds is very likely. However, for the fly angler to be successful he/she must be able to make the cast. First Things First The first thing I suggest to anglers before they jump into saltwater fly fishing is to really learn how to cast a fly line to 40 feet quickly and accurately. We are often led to believe that if the angler can cast a long distance then he or she will be a successful fly angler. There is nothing further from the truth. I’ve seen wonderful fly casters become frustrated when sight casting to redfish. They are so focused on making a long cast that they miss the f ish-catching opportunities within 40 feet of their rod tip. Casting to redfish is more about accuracy and quickness than is distance. Learn The Double Haul Developing a solid double-haul is the foundation of a quick and accurate cast. Not only does the double-haul help with distance, if executed correctly, it reduces the number of backcasts the angler must make. It is well to remember that the more time the fly line is in the air, the less time the fly is on the water. The best way to learn the double haul is to find a grassy area like a park. Next, strip out 40 feet of fly line and make a forward cast, allowing the fly line to lie on the grass in front of you. Next, lower your rod tip to where it is touching the ground in front of you. Then, pick up the fly line and make a back cast, laying the line out behind you. This is the single haul. Next, pull the fly line off the grass behind you with your line hand while the fly rod is moving forward, and with the rod moving forward, pull the line down towards your belt line. As you feel the fly rod load while it bends on the forward cast, release the line from your line hand, allowing the fly line to shoot forward through the guides. This is the second haul of the double haul, an effective cast when long- distance casts are required, but also important for the short, quick accurate cast needed when fishing red fish. The Back Cast Is Important Much of your success in fly casting is dependent upon the development of a smooth back cast, that is the ability to cast 20 to 30 feet of line behind you whenever demanded. Remember the fly fisherman’s adage that “your forward cast is only as good as your back cast,” and a good cast is the “rule-of thumb” when casting flies to redfish. If a redfish appears behind you, simply make a forward cast. With your fly line on the water, simply pick up the line, and shoot it behind you. Retain eye contact with the redfish’s position. In next month’s column, Casting to Redfish Part Two, I will write about the importance of the repositioning cast and quick cast.

FLY FISHING

ON THE COVER

CASTING FOR THE REDFISH GAME: PART ONE

Follow Conway Bowman at www.conwybowman.com, on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

For More Fly Fishing with Bowman, go to

CAMFLYFISHING.COM

COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

DECEMBER 2016

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Gift Ideas FOR ANGLERS

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

Happy Holidays from all of us at Coastal Angler/The Angler Magazine.

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Gifts for Anglers By Paul Lebowitz

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lthough winter’s here, it won’t stay cold forever. The holiday season is a great opportunity to pick up a catch bag so your favorite kayak angler will be ready to go come springtime. Also known as soft cooler bags, they keep a catch fresh, out of the sun and stashed safely away from predators. Consider the following to make sure your investment is a good one. The most durable catch bags are constructed of vinyl-coated polyester. Look for at least a half-inch of closed cell foam insulation under the tough fish spine-resistant exterior. If the closures use zippers, they should have large teeth that can handle sand and sun. I prefer a YKK zipper. Kayak catch bags come in multiple sizes. Large bags in the 70-quart capacity range are about three feet long. They are suitable for big fish and are most often mounted atop a kayak’s deck, either on the bow or in the stern storage area. Therefore, it’s important these bags come outfitted with multiple tie-downs or attachment points so they can be safely secured. A quality large bag retails for $180-$200. Check out Hobie’s new Soft Cooler Bag as a good example of what to look for. If your kayak angler prefers to keep the deck clear, consider a medium-size catch bag in the 26-quart range. About two feet long, they fit inside the bow hatch of many kayaks. These bags should open from the top to make for easier access. They retail for $130-$150. Other desirable features include carrying handles, easy-access drain plugs, and integrated shock cords for storage of additional accessories.

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CENTRAL FLORIDA

By Richard Matteson, Stuart Rod-and -Reel Club

N

ow that the winter bite is on, it’s time put on waders and catch some fish. The water’s up, and the fish are moving in the shallows. Wading is a great shallow-water technique. Even if the wind’s blowing 15 mph, you can stay in the prime spots without getting blown around. The last two days wading, I caught an inshore slam (trout, redfish and snook) each day, and today I had a quadruple slam (4 redfish, 4 snook and 4 trout) as well as a dozen more trout, a flounder, jacks and ladyfish. The reason I’m out-fishing the boaters is because when I find fish I can just stay there, I never spook the fish by running a trolling motor or banging the side of the boat. I usually fish 1/8-ounce DOA jig with a 4-inch plastic paddletail. My favorite colors are clear sparkle, white, electric chicken and yellow sparkle. They are action lures and search baits. You can cover a lot of water quickly. I also bring one topwater and usually a jigging spoon. Those are my top winter lures. When the water cools into the 70s, the snook go shallow since the sun warms the shoreline first. Look for reds and snook around the mangroves and under piers. The trout also move shallow and stay around the first shelf inside the sandbar so they can cruise up and down looking for schools of bait. There are lots of jack busting bait near the top. When you see them you can catch them one after another until the bait moves. The key to success when you’re wading is knowing the tide and finding the bait. If the fish are biting shallow on the bank, you don’t want to fish at low tide. A deep bite on the river side of the sandbar will work at low tide. My favorite winter tide is the first part of the outgoing tide. As always, look for bait. Look for birds. When you see them you know where the bait is.

Fishing The Wind There are two main ways to fish the wind, with the wind or against the wind. If you fish with the wind, your line and lure will move faster—against the wind, your line and lure will move slower. You have to figure out what the fish want, but it’s easier to catch redfish, trout and flounder by fishing slower. The usual northeast winter wind blows the bait to the west side of the lagoon, so Walton and Midway are two ideal areas for the winter bite.

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W

hen you ask people about their favorite fish species in Florida, you will undoubtedly get a wide array of answers—from the ever popular redfish and spotted seatrout found in inshore waters, to the snappers and groupers found on Florida’s many offshore reefs, to the billfish and dolphin found in Florida’s bluewater. These are some of the classic species that make fishing in Florida so popular. Personally though, I’ve always been a fan of the oddballs and the underdogs. In this case, I’m talking about bluefish. My first memory of bluefish goes back to my childhood, fishing in New England with my dad in our 17-foot Boston Whaler. We were fishing for the usual fare, summer flounder and porgy, but there was one big rod set off the back of the boat, rigged with heavy tackle and baited with a fish I deemed too small to keep, but too large to be bait for any normal-sized fish. I remember asking my dad what kind of fish would eat something that big. The tone of his voice gave me the impression that bluefish were something very special. If you are not familiar with bluefish, I admit they can look like just another generic silver fish. Coupled with the frequent distinction of being too oily or fishy for most typical fish dishes, it’s not hard to see why these guys may not win the popularity contest. But, there are more to bluefish than meets the eye. Bluefish, Pomatomus saltatrix, are a one-of-a-kind fish. They are the only living fish species in their family, which means nothing else in the ocean looks, tastes or fights like a bluefish. Take notice of their razor-sharp pointed teeth, used for chomping and tearing large bites out of their desired prey. Examine further their ferocious behavior, in a feeding aggregation known as a “bluefish blitz,” churning the water so violently it resembles a washing machine. Add to that the stamina to migrate from New England to Florida and back again each year, and that bluefish starts sounding like a formidable opponent, especially at sizes in excess of 36 inches. Beginning to sound more like a fish you’d want on the end of your

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JILL CHRISTOFERSON line? Well, once the water cools in winter, find a decent inlet, shoal or rip with some lively bait schooling action and drop a line. They’ll take a nice-sized plug just as readily as they will live or cut bait. You’ll want to make sure your tackle is heavy enough to combat one of these power machines and your leader is strong enough to stand up to those sharp bluefish chompers. If you’re willing to give them a whirl, there are some great recipes spanning a number of different cuisines from around the globe. You’ll also want to eat them soon after catching since, as top predators, they have strong digestive enzymes that cause their meat to have a short shelf life. Still not convinced they’ll be the best table fare? Catch-and-release is a great option too. For more about bluefish, visit MyFWC.com/WildlifeHabitats and click on “Species Profiles,” “Saltwater” and “Bluefish.”

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

A

s we close out another year, we wish our advertisers, writers and readers a fish-filled holiday season, along with tight lines, prosperity and good health in the coming New Year!

~ Gary and Misti Guertin, Co-Publishers

‘Twas the Night Before Christmas: An Angler’s View Adaptation of version by Clair Pavlik Purgus

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‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the Indian River Lagoon, All the fish were rejoicing—the fishermen were away! The fishing rods were all hung in the garage with great care, In hopes the snook and redfish soon would be there. The fishermen were nestled all sung in their beds, While visions of “goin’ fishin’” danced through their heads. The boats were all tied in their slips very tight, All settled at dock for a long winter’s night, When out on the water there arose such a clatter, I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter! Away to the dock I ran like a flash, Just in time to be witness another big splash! The moon on the crest of the newly-made waves Gave rise to the lust for night-fishing I craved! When what to my wondering eyes should appear, But the Grandma of snook—and she was right here! With a shimmer of scales and a snout sharp and long, I knew in a moment she must weigh a ton! More rapid than ospreys I ran to my garage, And I whistled and hollered and turned red in the head: Now, tackle and lures! Now, net and best rod! On back to the dock I ran like a foal! My legs were like jelly, my stomach in knots, I just had to catch her—my God—would I not? I tried all my lures and flies—the Mirr-o-dine and Yo-Zuri Crystal Minnow, The D.O.A. Shad Tail, a Clouser and Deceiver, not to mention a Rapala X-Rap! But that Grandma of snook—she just wouldn’t bite! She danced and she pranced under yonder moonlight! Just when I thought I’d ran out of luck, I looked once again to my fishing lure and fly stock. As I lowered my head and was jiggling the box ‘round, Out of the corner frozen bait for the game fish I had found! It barely hit water and my line got real tight… I set the hook and then on with the fight! The rod it bent double and the drag steady bellowed! I fought her it seemed like hours—my muscles were Jello’d! Finally landed, I laughed and pranced and I looked at my prize! But I couldn’t keep her, you have to realize, She was over-slot and fishing’s for fun out here in the Lagoon, Catch and release is the game of the day. So I released the great fish, who’d sapped every shred of my might, And I heard her exclaim as she swam out of sight— “Happy holidays to all and to all a good night!”

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St Lucie County’s Barge-Concrete Reefs S

t. Lucie County has accepted a 70-foot-long by 30-foot-wide by 6-foot-high barge from Qualmann Marine Construction. McCulley Marine Services has towed the barge to the Harbour Pointe Park artificial reef staging area where it will be cleaned thoroughly then deployed on the County’s Lee E. Harris Memorial Site. Artificial reefs on this site have provided habitat for large schools of baitfish (blue runners and cigar minnows), which provide bait for anglers and forage for larger fish. Reefs on this site have also provided daytime foraging habitat and nighttime resting habitat for the threatened loggerhead turtle. The Qualmann barge will be deployed in a 50-to-60-foot depth range, and enhanced with 1,000 tons of secondary concrete objects, such as bridge rail and decking, concrete culverts, and concrete light poles. Addition of diverse concrete objects to the reef adds complexity, and creates additional habitat for many different species and life history stages of fish. These concrete objects are already stockpiled at Harbour Pointe Park

and will be deployed with Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission grant funding. Combination barge/concrete reefs have made excellent reefs offshore St. Lucie County and have enhanced recreational opportunities for watermen while providing habitat for many diverse species of fish. In 2006-7 the first of the reefs, the Civic Center Reef was deployed on the Stan Blum Memorial Site. In the first two years, 34 species of fish were recorded using this reef, including 13 snapper-grouper complex species, baitfish, forage species, and nonreef associated sportfish (flounder, permit, snook). In 2009 the FishAmerica Foundation reef was deployed on the Lee E. Harris Memorial Site. In the first two years, 37 species of fish were recorded on this reef, including 10 snapper-grouper complex species, baitfish, forage species, and non-reef associated sportfish (cobia, snook). Barge reefs on the Lee Harris Memorial Site are designed to create additional recreational opportunities for watermen. All reefs on the Stan

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Blum Memorial Site, including the Civic Center Reef, however, have Special Management Zone regulations (enacted in 1990) that prohibit spearfishing. Allowing spearfishing on the Lee E. Harris Memorial site gives recreational divers, including freediving clubs, additional places to harvest fish. After a period of warnings, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission will start issuing citations for spearfishing on the Stan Blum Memorial Site. St. Lucie County is also interested in deploying a 195-foot McCulley Marine Services barge on the Fort Pierce Sportfishing Site in deeper water (180-200 feet of depth) to serve as habitat for deeper water grouper species. The barge is large enough that even at these greater depths,

clean concrete objects (i.e. culverts, light poles) deployed from the surface of the ocean should land on top of the barge. Additional concrete on the McCulley barge would provide added complexity and increase fish habitat in the area. Special Management Zone restrictions on the Fort Pierce Sportfishing Site do not restrict spearfishing but are concentrated on eliminating commercial overfishing by prohibiting commercial fishing gear (i.e. trawl netting, powered reels--electric and hydraulic unless connected to a hand-held rod). To learn more about St. Lucie County’s Special Management Zones, contact Jim Oppenborn, St. Lucie County Coastal Resources Supervisor at (772) 462-1713 or oppenbornj@stlucieco.org.

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11/17/16 Stuart, Florida 349972:46 PM


Florida Fish and Wildlife

FWC

news updates

Approaching Atlantic Closures • Snook: December 15-January 31, excluding Monroe County • Grouper (includes gag, black, red, scamp, rock hind, red hind, coney, graysby, yellowfin, yellowmouth and tiger): January 1-April 30, including Monroe County.

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

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

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

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

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DECEMBER 2016

TREASURE COAST 3

11/17/16 2:46 PM


SHE, WHO FISHES By Christina Weber

Holiday Gift Buying:

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T

his might be a repetitive topic, but I think it's a great topic. This gives me an opportunity to talk about all my favorite things and the things people actually use versus the silly things you waste money on. I usually try to encourage folks not to purchase actual lures because this is tough. You have sizes, colors, weights, and styles all working against you. If you know of a brand this person uses most then you can probably play semi-safe. • Leader: If you really love someone you'll purchase fluorocarbon leader. We always need this and couldn't possible have enough. YoZuri has a new leader on the market that's absolutely amazing. I have completely switched everything over. It's specifically the Yo-Zuri TopKnot. A spool or two and you'll look like a hero. • Waterproof bags/cases: I have three waterproof bags and my need

for more grows daily. Whether your angler fishes by foot, kayak or boat, they can always use a waterproof bag. Between the small electronics we have or larger items we just want to keep dry these are going to be the bag or case to fit your need. I use the mess out of my little Pelican cases for small items. You can always count on Pelican to keep things not only dry but protected from any element. For a soft bag, I use Watershed. There's a variety of sizes that I can cross use from kayak to boat. Backpack options always make for the best multipurpose equipment. • Gear Ties: Nite Ize is the gift that keeps giving. Between their Gear Ties and S-Biners, I don't know a single soul who doesn't use these tools to the full extent. You cannot go wrong with stuffing a stocking full of Gear Ties. I use the 12-inch and 18-inch sizes the most. Nite Ize also

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adventures that might bring me around wet rocky terrain. In the winter months, I use the women's XtraTuf boots that almost never leave my feet. They keep me dry and warm in the worst conditions. Plus, they actually make them for women which isn't easy to find. There's so many things in fishing that go a long way. From little itty bitty tools of the trade, to rod and reel combos that can have a lifetime Christina treating the fish to a of use. Don't hesitate to reach out little holiday spirit. if you have more questions. This PHOTO PROVIDED by Christina Weber. is such a wonderful time of year to released their Marine Grad S-Biner spoil those you hold near and dear. in August, which has us saltwater folks stoked. These are just two tools Christina Weber is a born and raised Nite Ize produces that go a long way South Florida fisherman utilizing for every angler. the fishing capital to the full extent. • Water Shoes: This might seem For her, kayak fishing happened like a silly gift and it's a tough gift to by accident when she wanted to buy. We all have someone in our life venture into uncharted waters that who blows through water shoes or she couldn’t reach by motor boat. maybe has given up on water shoes Over time, she realized that a kayak completely. There's two brands I could take her anywhere, and fish use and absolutely love - Astral and freshwater, saltwater, inshore and XtraTuf. For kayak fishing they both offshore all from her Hobie Outback. have a water shoe. I use the Astral Christina has been competing in Loyaks and the XtraTuf Riptide. I tournaments for over 10 years. do prefer the Riptides on the boat For more on Christina, visit and prefer the Loyaks for any kayak www.christinaweberfishing.com.

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fishing forecasts

martin county inshore nearshore

Capt. Giles Murphy Stuart Angler Bait & Tackle (772) 288-1219 giles@stuartangler.com www.stuartangler.com

A

s the weather gets cooler, the fishing gets hotter! Here on the Treasure Coast, we see lots of seasonal changes for inshore fishing. The snook have moved back up river where they stay for the winter in more brackish water. They can be caught fishing

bottom baits along the bridges and deep channels. Lots of big snook are caught using First Light Jigs. The technique for using these 1-to-2-ounce jigs involves casting up-current and retrieving down-current at a speed that keeps your jig very close to the bottom. No jigging action necessary. These snook will sit belly-down on the bottom where the water is usually warmer during the colder months. The snook will usually be close to the bridge abutments to get out of the current. We also find snook sitting along seawalls that face the sun in the morning back in the St. Lucie River. For those snook, we use topwater lures and flies to simply cast close parallel and pop down the wall. The pompano have started

meat, shrimp, and flavored FishBites artificial bait strips. Pompano surf-casting rigs have 2 or 3 hooks with 3-to5-ounce pyramid weight or “sputnick” weight on the bottom. Incoming tides is much preferred with fishing from the beach for pompano. The pompano will also come inshore and school up on the flats. Inshore, we use jigs, sand fleas, and shrimp. The Spanish mackerel are also showing up along the beaches and the wellLucas and James with some fat known Pecks Lake Reef where keepers, stopping in to the Stuart hundreds of anglers and Angler to win lucky Stuart Angler hats. commercial fishermen can be found throwing jigs and PHOTO CREDIT: Stuart Angler. gotcha lures. It’s a great type showing up along the beaches for of fishing for family members and surf-casting using 9-to-12-foot rods. inexperienced anglers to easily get For bait, we use sand fleas, clams hooked up!

martin county offshore

Capt. Scott Fawcett

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

D

ecember is here and it's not just the holidays that we have to look forward to. With every cold front this month, a new body of fish should push down the beach in search of warmer water and a constant food source. Sailfish, dolphin, blackfin tuna and everything else will migrate south along our reef systems and current edges. Focus around faint temperature breaks and color changes with both dead or live bait for success. That being said, this is my favorite time of year to

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Matt Coppoletta, Grant Fawcett, and Dave Delpho with a nice daytime sword caught while fishing with Capt. Scott Fawcett aboard Off the Chain. PHOTO CREDIT: Capt. Scott Fawcett.

troll. Especially pulling dredges as your teasers. Cannon 10 TS downrigger's are an ideal way to pull these umbrella like bait schools with almost guaranteed results and

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a squid chain out there as well. A lighter set of rods will increase your hook up ratio, which is key to a successful day of catching. Blackfin Rods makes an Off the Chain sailfish rod that is great for both trolling and live baiting. It's recommended for lines 12-to-20-pounds. When weather permits, this is also a great time of year to go swordfishing. Over the last 10 years, daytime swordfishing has become extremely popular and the Treasure Coast offers great opportunities at catching these gladiators. Fishing dead baits a quarter-mile below the surface can provide one of the most exciting days of fishing you've ever had when it all comes together. These fish are sometimes more than 500 pounds and will test every aspect of your fishing game. Whatever it is you decide to do this winter, I hope your trip is Off The Chain. Looking forward to fishing with you soon.

DECEMBER 2016

TREASURE COAST 5

11/17/16 2:46 PM


fishing forecasts

south indian river lagoon

Capt. Charlie Conner

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

H

ere it is December already and the holidays are almost upon us. Where has this year gone? I must say 2016 has been another great year for fishing all along the Treasure Coast. Both inshore and offshore have provided anglers with many great fishing adventures. Hopefully, this winter will be milder and the fishing great for everyone. December brings on the winter months and changes fishing tactics on the river. The water temperatures continue to fall and your fishing must adjust to the weather. Water temps can dictate where you fish and how you fish. Finding water a few degrees warmer than normal can mean the difference in catching and fishing. We

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

H

appy December and Happy Holidays to all! `Tis the season to fish, as December will roll out stockings stuffed with salty presents in the form of the many offshore species of fish that inhabit the coastal

will get many days of breezy winds that will hinder getting to some favorite spots out there. That's one of the reasons I love fishing in this area, you can always find somewhere to fish! Not only does the cooler weather affect the fish, it also requires us to dig out the ol' winter fishing clothes. I’m not too proud to get out the long johns on a cold winter day. It can get chilly some mornings! Trout, redfish and snook will be targets throughout the winter. Snook season closes December 15th, but many anglers will still play catch and release with them. Fishing around bridges, docks and inlets can bring great action with snook hanging around the deeper waters of the river. Using live bait, D.O.A. Baitbusters and TerrorEyz, jigs and bomber lures can help you catch one worth a photo opportunity. Trout will tend to hang around the deeper cuts of the river. Move off to three to six feet of water for trout. Live shrimp on popping corks or D.O.A. Deadly Combos will work the best for them. I love to work D.O.A. C.A.L. jerk baits or C.A.L. Air Heads this time of year on the flats. You can also find snook and redfish hanging around those areas as well. Pompano have already arrived in

is a good variety of fish to target on any given day in any kind of weather conditions. Redfish can be found around local docks during the winter months and a live shrimp or D.O.A. Shrimp can entice them into striking. Don't forget about the deeper cuts along the mangroves for redfish and snook in December. Using stealth is Ralph caught this nice black drum essential when fishing the shallow while on a fishing adventure with two waters for redfish. We had very high school buddies, Don and Jim. The good success at finding the reds guys caught trout, sheepshead and in shallow on sunny days on the many other species on that morning. grass flats. A mild winter will have PHOTO CREDIT: Capt. Charlie Conner. them feeding in the shallows this month. It was a fantastic redfish the area and not only provide great bite all last winter and I am looking fishing action, but fantastic table fare. for it to be just as good this year. Winter fishing is already here. Spanish mackerel and bluefish will continue to hang out in their favorite Change your tactics with the weather haunts of the river. Fish the inlet, and follow the water temperatures turning basin and channels for them. more closely to make your fishing Jack crevalle will be traveling around more productive. Let’s make 2017 the in packs chasing bait all over the river. year that we see improvements to the Flounder should arrive soon and water quality in our area. If we all do hang around the inlets, docks and our share to protect our rivers, we sandy flats of the river. Ladyfish is a can insure the future generations will great way to spend a few hours with enjoy the same experiences we have the kids on the water. The bridges will been blessed with. Remember, fishing is not just be holding sheephead, black drum, croakers and sand perch for those another hobby, it's an ADVENTURE! Merry Christmas and Happy New anglers. Live or dead shrimp is always the best bet from the catwalks. There Year!

waters of Martin County. Local anglers will be able to enjoy the seasonal excitement of being able to intersect and catch an all-star lineup of offshore gamefish like sailfish, dolphin, king and Spanish mackerel, grouper, and snapper. Florida`s winter weather will be in full swing this month, hosting the typical procession of cold fronts that will pass over our peninsula with fresh breezes. These fronts and the winds associated with them, will directly determine offshore conditions and force anglers to plan their ocean fishing trips around daily weather forecasts and the sea states

they encounter. While there will be many rough ocean days this month, there will also be many favorable weather windows for fishing in between the arrival of cold fronts. During these user-friendly days, fishing crews will want to target reef structures in 50 to 180 feet of water, as these reefs will be holding various baitfish that will prove to attract top water pelagics like sailfish, cobia, dolphin, and king mackerel, as well as bottom dwellers like snapper and grouper. Locating bottom structure to employ one's fishing strategies upon, will be the key component to catching success during the month of December. Trolling, drifting, and anchoring strategies for deploying baits is always enhanced when doing so around and over top of some bottom (reef structures). Grouper will be at the top of the holiday fish wish list, as December will be the last month of an open catch and keep season that will close at midnight, December 31. The last chance to gather grouper groceries will have anglers targeting reef zones in 130 to 180 feet of water. Live baits of all flavors and heavy tackle will yield the best chances for success while bottom fishing for grouper. Lane, mangrove, and mutton snapper will also be high on the wish

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DECEMBER 2016

Mahi will be a welcome present this December, like this pretty dolphin caught by Jason Bourque aboard the Safari 1. PHOTO CREDIT: Safari 1 Deep Sea Fishing.

list and will be found in good numbers from 50 to 90 feet of water, especially around artificial reefs just east and northeast of our St. Lucie Inlet. So, in December, make your fish wishes come true by fishing around "bottom" and post up on one of the many "honey holes" that make up the reef system, offshore of Stuart.

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11/17/16 2:46 PM


st. lucie county offshore

Capt. Danny Markowski

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

W

ith cooling water and air temperatures, December is here. With that being said, it is sailfish time! This is the time to find a more abundant stock of sailfish in the waters off the Treasure Coast. With the water temperatures dropping to our north, this will push the sailfish into the area and they will join with the resident sailfish that are here throughout the year. Sailfish are the most sought

after sportfish in our local offshore Matt with a 30 lb kingfish waters. These fish can be found caught out of Ft. Pierce from 80 foot depths on out. inlet in 65ft of water on The most common method for a live blue runner trolled targeting sailfish is to troll rigged behind a dredge. ballyhoo with a circle hook on 25-to-30-pound tackle. This tackle is enough for a good fight and will allow you to quickly get the fish to the boat without tiring them out too much. The circle hook rig will allow the hook to get hooked in the corner of the mouth instead of a jay hook in which the sailfish could swallow causing internal damage. When getting a sailfish boat side, please get a quick picture without handling the fish too much and revive it as soon as possible to fight another fight. During this time of year, if wanting to get out and get hooked PHOTO CREDIT: LottaBull Fishing Charters. up with a sailfish please watch the weather forecast. With the cool and area, the winds will pick up and is great, but keep it safe and have a cold fronts coming through the sea conditions will build. Catching good time. Catch them up!

st. lucie county inshore

up around the deeper sides of the flats at places like Round Island, Queen's Cove to the north and to the south it will be Bear Point. Live shrimp fished under a popping cork or a piece of cut ladyfish for the reds will work. Remember that snook season

Capt. Joe Ward

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

closes on the 15th and reopens on February 1st. On the beaches the pompano bite should improve for anglers using sand fleas, clams or small live crabs fished on a pompano rig and the weight will depend on the ocean conditions.

L

ook for the action around the Fort Pierce Inlet and the deeper cuts and channels to really pick up with Spanish mackerel, bluefish and big jacks taking spoons, jigs or anything shiny. On the end of your 20-pound fluorocarbon leader, try a small piece of wire to keep the macks and blues from cutting your line and taking your lure. On the bottom in that same area look for croakers, black drum and sheepshead to start moving in. The bait of choice will be shrimp or fiddler crabs fished on

John Gilson with a nice sheepshead he caught in the Fort Pierce Inlet. PHOTO COURTESY of Capt. Joe’s River Charters.

a #2 long shank hook, a 20-pound fluorocarbon leader and a half-ounce to one-ounce lead, just depending on where you fish. The trout and redfish should pick

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DECEMBER 2016

TREASURE COAST 7

11/17/16 2:46 PM


fishing forecasts

sebastian inshore

Capt. Gus Brugger

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

T

he inshore fishing in the Sebastian area has been exceptional this fall. Sebastian Inlet has been red hot regardless of tide or time of day per Eddie Riga, who fishes for snook, reds, flounder and pompano on an almost daily basis. Per Captain Mike Peppe, the lagoon is producing excellent numbers of seatrout and snook. Many of the trout are solid fish over two pounds with more than the occasional “gator trout.” The next big thing Sebastian area anglers look forward to in the late fall and winter months is the arrival of flounder and pompano. Warm weather and water temps have not allowed these fisheries to kick off early this year, but the first good cold front that forces anglers into wearing long pants and jackets

is sure to change that. These same cold fronts should clear lagoon waters and allow for sight-fishing of reds along shoreline cover. It’s time to blow the dust off the light tackle and enjoy the fast action and diversity that December ushers in. Sebastian River: The Sebastian River plays several roles during the winter season. To me, its main role this time of year is that of a sanctuary from the sometimes lack luster winter weather. I can slip into the river and have every cast action on jacks and ladyfish, when most other anglers decide to stay home and wait for the wind to lie down and temperatures to return to Florida levels. This is great fun for family groups and jigs or live shrimp are all you need. Trout, bluefish, pompano and even a resident snook or tarpon, can surprise anglers jigging the deeper areas of the north fork. Trout and reds seek shelter in the river during cold spells and can be targeted in the lower river with plugs, jigs, and live bait. Anglers looking for that last snook or tarpon of the season will find the Sebastian River the right

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DECEMBER 2016

mackerel, and whatever else decides to swim in Sebastian Inlet to enjoy the bounty of the lagoon will hit jigs, plugs and live shrimp. Sebastian Inlet: Flounder take center stage at Sebastian Inlet from Thanksgiving on. Gulf flounder, A.K.A. three spot flounder, are leaving the inlet in December, but the larger southern flounder are just beginning their run. Landbound and boating anglers both find soaking live finger After the first cold front, pompano mullet on areas of broken show up in good numbers in the rocky/sandy bottom is the lagoon and around Sebastian Inlet. best way to put a doormat PHOTO CREDIT: Capt. Gus Brugger. in the cooler. Flatties up place in December. The key is to fish to 15 pounds are an annual catch at the nice days when water temps get Sebastian. Snook season will close December 15 and depending on into the 70s. Indian River Lagoon: ocean water temps, legal fish can Redfish have historically been be caught right up to the deadline. my favorite target in the lagoon Bluefish are usually abundant in and in December. This is because the around the inlet and some of the reds are usually very available in biggest reds of the year can show up December, and because as lagoon with the cold fronts. Near shore Atlantic: waters cool they also become clear and allow for some of the best sight The beaches all along the Treasure fishing opportunities of the year. Coast begin to fill up with snowbird Flyfishermen and light tackle anglers surf fishermen in December, and for can stalk along mangrove shorelines good reason. Schools of pompano and get shot after shot at individual cruise the troughs and sandbars reds, as well as pods of up to a dozen along the coast hunting down fish. Delicate presentation is more sand fleas, crabs, clams, and glass important than fly pattern or lure or minnows. Pompano, my favorite bait choice. Seatrout fishing remains eating fish, is also an excellent solid in December, with the larger gamefish. Ten-plus-foot surf rods fish still preferring shallow waters with three hook pompano rigs is and the schoolie trout beginning the standard technique for both to group up around the edges of pompano and the tasty whiting that the flats and drop-offs of the spoil share the surf with them. Live sand islands. The action fishing that I look fleas are top bait followed by cut forward to this time of year can also clams and pieces of fresh shrimp. be found in these areas, as well as Blues and Spanish macks will also over deeper flats. Working D.O.A. keep surf fishermen and boaters C.A.L. jigs or “Goofy Jigs” in these busy along the coast in December. deeper areas is a great way to tighten Cut bait, spoons, jigs and Got-Cha a line. Trout, weakfish, pompano, plugs are all good choices for these bluefish, jacks, ladyfish, flounder, toothy gamesters. Happy Holidays and tight lines! snappers, juvenile grouper, Spanish

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11/17/16 2:46 PM


sebastian area offshore

Capt. Bill Stewart

Rogue Wave Fishing Charters (772) 388-2950 roguewavefishing@gmail.com www.roguewavefishing.com

I

t's the last month to take a shot at grouper. The closure starts in January for spawning season and will run all the way through April. The grouper will start to stage and group together as females seek out the larger males to spawn with. If you're lucky enough to find a pre-spawning group, you can catch one grouper after another. Most of them will be in the

as slow trolling live bait, is deeper water off Sebastian. the way to go. The ledges starting in 160 Look for shrimp boats a foot and as far out as 300 little south of the inlet, out feet can be red hot. If the in the 140 foot grounds, current is relatively slack, as they spend the day drop anchor and use a 20anchored up. If you get out foot leader with about a there at daybreak, when pound of weight and a big they are culling their catch, slab of kingfish for bait. If you can run into all kinds you're on a good rock, it of fish. It's a chum slick shouldn't take long for a that attracts fish from miles solid hookup. Leave the away. As you approach the rod in a holder and when shrimp boats, do so with it bends down to the water, Tom Skelley with a nice catch caught stealth. Put an angler on you've got one. Drifting aboard the Rogue Wave. the bow with a rod ready with live grunts, pinfish to make a cast toward and beeliners is productive PHOTO CREDIT: Rogue Wave Fishing Charters. any targets that present as well. December is the month for sailfish! and any kind of fishy looking edge themselves. Expect to find dolphin, Head out near the Gulfstream and (i.e. weedlines) you can find. Trolling cobia, sailfish and blackfin tuna and check out rips, temperature changes with ballyhoo or skirted lures, as well many other rod bending species. your best bet and casting a plastic worm or a fluke after the sun comes up is a good follow-up. Flipping mats Capt. Eddie Perry and hard edges is also good this time of Okeechobee Adventures year if you are looking for that big bite. Guide Service Eagle Bay and the inside of Kings Bar have some of the best flipping water we (863) 763-7722 have. Flip a 1-ounce to 1.5-ouce jig or eperry@embarqmail.com creature bait to punch through these www.OkeechobeeAdventures.com thicker mats and edges. You may not get a bunch of bites but it will probably t’s that special time of year where be a big one. even the worst of fisherman can catch fish. It’s called “Fall” and it is in full swing. Cooler temperatures bring the first signs of pre-staging bass and in some cases bass may have already made their first trip to the beds. Remember that our bass on the Big ‘O’ start spawning in October and that usually starts on the east side of the lake around the Henry Creek and J & S (Chauncey Bay) areas. Bass that live in the open lake are moving into areas of submerged grasses, outside edges and open trails in anticipation of moving even further into the marsh areas to fan beds and do what comes natural. Just remember this is just the beginning, this will continue up into May, and truth be known, bass have been known to Chris Shaw spawn in every month of the year on with a this lake. However the main timeframe 7.4-pound is from October to May with the bulk bass. of the spawn occurring from February PHOTO CREDIT: Capt. Eddie Perry. through April. Speck fishing is also picking up. With the bass fatting up for the spawn, the live bait action has been Boats that are drifting in the open lake excellent. Half day trips have produced off of Grassy Island are catching their catches up to forty bass per trip with daily limits. The specks are ranging up full day trips boating 60 to 70 fish per to the 14-to-15-inch class which makes outing. We’re also seeing the bigger fish for some fine fillets. Jig fishermen are show up, those in the 8-to-9-pound catching specks in the grass in a few range. Buckhead Ridge, Tin House areas from Horse Island to Taylor Creek. Cove, Kings Bar and Grassy Island are Though they are catching smaller fish, good places to start your day. Artificial they’re still managing to catch enough fishing on the other hand has had its to make a fine meal or two. Good fishin’! ups and downs. Topwater early is still

okeechobee

Michael, James and Jensen at a spillway catching snook on Yo-Zuri Crystal Minnows.

I

PHOTO CREDIT: Chris Sharp.

boatless

Capt. Chris Sharp

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

S

nook season will soon end but you still have time to catch some big ones and possibly a keeper or two. When it rains, the locks must open and this is the place to be when they are opened. You can catch over 30 snook a trip. Just being there at the right time is all the battle. The fish hang out there when the water is flowing to eat all the little baits that come over it. Look for pools of calm areas. I use plugs that look like mullet to get best results. Swim baits like Storms work well, but if water is running hard, it is better to use plastic to get the bite. Bridge fishing will be good,

but you must get deep to get where they are feeding. Flair Hawks will help here. Docks will also hold some snook. Bluefish have moved in and the best place to get these guys is Hobe Sound Public Beach on cut bait like mullet and spoon lures. Tie a 50-pound mono leader on and then hold on. There will be plenty of sharks in the area, so get the blues in quick. Pompano guys, if the wind stays strong like it has been, look to the river and bridges. Jigs will be your best bet. Jensen Beach and Little Jim bridge are hot spots. You can’t miss where it is because everyone will be lined up jigging. Look for Walton Rocks Beach to be the very best place if the wind lays down. River wading will be hot for trout and redfish. You also can’t beat the places north of the powerlines. Shrimp under a popping cork is the way to go but topwater and plugs will work great.

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DECEMBER 2016

TREASURE COAST 9

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diving forecast

A

s the year winds down and 2016 approaches, many know this time of year is the last chance to land a grouper in the 2016 season on the east coast, since after the first of January, shallow water grouper season will be closed until May. The good news is dive conditions are usually pretty easy to predict and opportunities to sneak out local inlets can be timed to line up with passing cold fronts rolling through the area. Divers can expect good visibility provided rainfall is low and big swells avoid the area throughout the month of December. Passing weather systems may help divers make the most of the dwindling opportunity to catch a slob gag or black. Cold fronts are a part of life on the Treasure Coast this time of year and overcast days may be a blessing in disguise for the savvy hunter. Cloudy days mean less sunlight on the bottom, making it easier to sneak up on smart fish that would otherwise see a diver coming and take off. Less ambient light at depth may also confuse large

PHOTOS COURTESY of Steve Wood.

Steve Wood

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

ABOVE: Conditions might be bumpy at times, but there is still good lobster action offshore. RIGHT: This is the last chance to land a grouper in the 2016 season.

fish into thinking darkness is approaching too. It has been noted that big hogfish come into shallow water to sleep and on overcast days they may be found in much shallower water than usual. After hitting the bottom, many times spearfishermen have only seconds to react before large fish swim off out of reach. Loading spearguns while descending may help divers capitalize on an early shot and increase the chances of landing a nice fish. Cooler water temps, especially below 72° may also drive grouper south into local water as they avoid cooler waters to the north and prepare to spawn. Look for fish to be on the move as water temps cool. Visibility in December can be determined by

paying attention to wind patterns, rainfall and passing low pressure systems. Historically, low rainfall typical of winter in south Florida means less water being discharged from local canals and drainage ditches and better visibility close to shore. Further out in deeper water, conditions remain nice provided large swells don’t churn the water column Diving the Treasure Coast in December can be very exciting since there are good chances of seeing large grouper roaming the reefs. Cloudy skies, cooler water temps and the last chance to bag the big one make each dive an adventure and smart divers can use these conditions to their advantage when searching for dinner.

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DECEMBER FISHING CONDITIONS December 1

POOR

Evening

December 22

POOR

Morning

December 2

FAIR

Evening

December 23

GOOD

Morning

December 3

GOOD

Evening

December 24

GOOD

Morning

December 4

GOOD

Evening

December 25

POOR

Morning

December 5

BEST

Evening

December 26

POOR

Morning

December 6

BEST

Evening

December 27

POOR

Morning

December 7

BEST

Morning

December 28

POOR

Morning

December 8

POOR

Morning

December 29

POOR

Evening

December 9

POOR

Morning

December 30

FAIR

Evening

December 10

GOOD

Morning

December 31

FAIR

Evening

December 11

GOOD

Morning

December 12

FAIR

Morning

December 13

FAIR

Evening

December 14

BEST

Evening

December 15

BEST

Evening

December 16

FAIR

Evening

December 17

POOR

Evening

December 18

FAIR

Evening

December 19

FAIR

Evening

December 20

POOR

Morning

December 21

POOR

Morning

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DECEMBER 2016

TREASURE COAST 11

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Palm City Yachts Treasure Coast Nautical Flea Market Opens New Stuart January 14, 2017, Port St. Lucie Sales Center T he Port St. Lucie Anglers, a fishing club that's all about fishing, is holding its seventh annual Nautical Flea Market from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, January 14, 2017, once again at the Botanical Gardens, located at 2310 SE Westmoreland Boulevard in Port St. Lucie. As in years past, there will be dozens of tables filled with

Established in 2001, Palm City Yachts added a new Stuart sales center to its lineup at the end of October. The center is located at 612 S.W. Federal Highway in Stuart. Stop in, check out their Suzuki re-power options, and be sure to tell them Coastal Angler Magazine sent you in!

new and used fishing tackle, boats and nautical gear at low prices. A full day of cash and carry shopping and swapping fish stories. Free admission and parking. Vendors call Frank Gamber (443) 992-8428 or (772) 237-2238 or visit www.pslanglers.com for more information.

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DECEMBER Day

Time

height

1Th 2:50 AM 0.15 L 9:37 AM 2.72 H 3:17 PM 0.49 L 9:43 PM 2.48 H 2F 3:25 AM 0.18 L 10:17 AM 2.66 H 3:54 PM 0.51 L 10:23 PM 2.42 H 3SA 4:03 AM 0.23 L 10:58 AM 2.6 H 4:34 PM 0.52 L 11:06 PM 2.36 H 4SU 4:45 AM 0.28 L 11:40 AM 2.53 H 5:19 PM 0.52 L 11:53 PM 2.32 H 5M 5:33 AM 0.34 L 12:26 PM 2.48 H 6:11 PM 0.49 L 6TU 12:46 AM 2.3 H 6:29 AM 0.4 L 1:16 PM 2.44 H 7:09 PM 0.42 L 7W 1:46 AM 2.32 H 7:32 AM 0.42 L 2:11 PM 2.43 H 8:10 PM 0.3 L 8TH 2:50 AM 2.4 H 8:38 AM 0.4 L 3:10 PM 2.45 H 9:12 PM 0.13 L 9F 3:55 AM 2.52 H 9:42 AM 0.32 L 4:10 PM 2.52 H 10:11 PM -0.07 L 10SA 4:57 AM 2.68 H 10:42 AM 0.21 L 5:10 PM 2.62 H 11:07 PM -0.28 L

Sebastian (Inlet) TIME OFFSET High Tide -48 min Low Tide -24 min HEIGHT OFFSET High Tide .93 feet Low Tide 1.0 foot

Jensen Beach (Indian River)

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

22TH 3:10 AM 2.14 11SU 5:56 AM 2.85 H 9:08 AM 0.44 11:39 AM 0.09 L 1 3:23 PM 2.13 6:07 PM 2.73 H Project1:Layout 6/12/14 9:36 PM 0.2 12M 12:01 AM -0.45 L 23F 4:07 AM 2.13 6:52 AM 2.99 H 10:02 AM 0.46 12:33 PM -0.03 L 4:16 PM 2.09 7:02 PM 2.83 H 10:26 PM 0.15 13TU 12:54 AM -0.57 L 24SA 5:01 AM 2.16 7:45 AM 3.08 H 10:52 AM 0.44 1:25 PM -0.11 L 5:06 PM 2.1 7:55 PM 2.89 H 11:12 PM 0.09 14W 1:46 AM -0.62 L 25SU 5:49 AM 2.23 8:37 AM 3.11 H 11:38 AM 0.39 2:17 PM -0.15 L 5:53 PM 2.13 8:48 PM 2.9 H 11:54 PM 0.01 15TH 2:38 AM -0.59 L 26M 6:34 AM 2.3 9:27 AM 3.08 H 12:21 PM 0.33 3:09 PM -0.14 L 6:37 PM 2.18 9:40 PM 2.85 H 27TU 12:35 AM -0.06 16F 3:30 AM -0.48 L 7:16 AM 2.37 10:16 AM 2.98 H 1:02 PM 0.27 4:02 PM -0.09 L 7:20 PM 2.22 10:31 PM 2.75 H 28W 1:13 AM -0.12 17SA 4:22 AM -0.32 L 7:57 AM 2.43 11:06 AM 2.84 H 1:40 PM 0.21 4:55 PM -0.01 L 8:02 PM 2.26 11:24 PM 2.61 H 29TH 1:51 AM -0.16 18SU 5:16 AM -0.13 L 8:37 AM 2.47 11:55 AM 2.68 H 2:18 PM 0.17 5:51 PM 0.08 L 8:42 PM 2.27 19M 12:18 AM 2.45 H 30F 2:28 AM -0.18 6:12 AM 0.07 L 9:16 AM 2.49 12:46 PM 2.5 H 2:55 PM 0.13 6:48 PM 0.16 L 9:23 PM 2.27 20TU 1:13 AM 2.31 H 31SA 3:05 AM -0.19 7:11 AM 0.24 L 9:56 AM 2.47 1:37 PM 2.34 H 3:33 PM 0.1 7:46 PM 0.2 L 10:05 PM 2.26 21W 2:11 AM 2.2 H 8:10 AM 0.37 L 2:30 PM 2.21 H 8:43 PM 0.22 L

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TREASURE COAST 13

11/17/16 2:46 PM


5

PHOTO SUPPLIED by Brandon Barton.

TIPS for a Safer Day on the Water

By Brandon Barton, 2016 Hobie Fishing Top Gun

W

hile fishing a bridge for bull reds at night in Pensacola Bay, a surprise lightning storm caught a friend and I on the water. We took shelter under the bridge. The storm winds

14 TREASURE COAST

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whipped the seas up to a nasty three feet. We held tightly to the pilings as the conditions deteriorated. I was never so glad we’d prepared for the worst. Here are five tips that helped us ride out the storm. 1. We Were Wearing Our PFDs. If we’d been separated from our kayaks during the height of the

DECEMBER 2016

Brandon Barton with a bull red.

storm, our PFDs would have saved our lives, period. Choose a PFD that is comfortable to wear all day. Non inflatable PFDs are the safest but can be bulky and hot. Auto Inflatable and manual inflatable PFDs are a great option and can be very comfortable while fishing out on the kayak. The only down side to them is the auto inflate can be activated from taking waves over the kayak or a simple turtle of the ‘yak. The manual inflatable downside is if you somehow become unconscious you won’t be able to pull the cord. Try out different PFDs and choose one that fits you and your conditions. 2. We’d Filed a Float Plan. Making a float plan is great way to ensure a safe return when planning a fishing trip on the kayak. I always tell someone I trust to notify the Coast Guard or other authorities in the event I suffer an emergency on the water and don’t return. Tell them your launch and return locations, and give your launch and arrival times. Letting them know what kayak type and its color and who will be out with you is important. Also let them know you plan on taking your cell phone and VHF radio with you and the radio channel you will be on. Float plans help speed up recovery efforts in the event of an emergency. The storm broke before we were reported missing. If it hadn’t, help would have been on the way. 3. We Used the Buddy System. If we’d gotten into trouble during the storm we could have aided each other. It is always important to go out with a buddy especially when fishing new waters or venturing on a long trip. The buddy system not

only gives you some company on the water but also gives you a little extra insurance in case something happens on the water. Make sure your buddy also has shared his float plan with someone and this will ensure you have taken every precautious you can. It also helps having a buddy with you on the water to get those sweet fish pictures. 4. We Carried a Few Safety Essentials. A VHF radio is must while on the water. Know what channel to contact the Coast Guard and the proper way to communicate with them. A cell phone is great to bring along in a dry box or bag as a backup communication device. Make sure you have it fully charged before your trip. A whistle is an important signaling device and it is the law to have one at all times on the kayak. A 360-degree white light is also required while kayak fishing at night or even during low light. I also like to bring a bright flashlight or spotlight to flash at oncoming boaters to let them know I am there. A small first aid kit is another item that can be stashed away in a hatch or a dry bag for those emergency situations. 5. We Knew Our Limits. And your kayak’s limits is one of the most important steps for having a safe and fun day while on the water. I trusted my Hobie® Mirage Outback could handle the waves and swells that were pounding that night under the bridge. I also knew my physical strength could keep me holding on to that piling until I could make it to safety. Don’t push your body and overdo it. Take a bunch of short trips till you figure out what your body and kayak can handle.

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11/17/16 2:46 PM


PHOTO SUPPLIED by Brandon Barton.

WIND, WATER & WAVES By Jeremy Lund

Making the Most of Rough Conditions

T

his fall kiteboarding season has been one to remember. October proved to be a great month with more than 15 knots almost every day. November slowed down a little but still had some great days. With all this great wind came a very large shore break with strong rip currents and punishing waves. These conditions were great for some and too much for others. In this article, I am going to share a few tricks that may help you be more successful when riding in these conditions. If you are trying to kiteboard in the ocean with direct onshore winds and a strong shore break, you should have already mastered riding upwind and tacking during more favorable conditions. One of the first things to look for when trying to break out through the rough surf, is the rip currents. These rips can be used to aid you in successfully tacking against the wind and large breakers.

When I find a rip current, I will typically tack back and forth in the general area while edging slow and hard against the rip current, using its energy to pull me out. These rips are the same that have claimed many swimmers lives. Make sure to be very careful and have a full understanding of how to get out of them, in case you have to ditch your kite/board. Next on the list is, “don’t try too hard”. Stay relaxed and let the conditions and the equipment do the work. Take your time and look for breaks in the waves. Wait for a good opportunity to break through the initial shore break. Those who are impatient are often humbly reminded of the power of the ocean as they become washed back ashore by a breaking wave. If this happens to you, stay calm, focus on your kite, go back to the beach, regroup and try again when you’re ready. Do not rush it!

Riding in direct onshore conditions with a large shore break, can be mastered with technique and patience.

PHOTO COURTESY of Jeremy Lund.

As the waves become larger and more powerful, the above will not be enough. You will need to be a master of jumping and landing. There will be times in large waves when the only way out is up. Practice your jumps carefully and in calmer conditions or a flat water area. Jumping straight up and down is not what will save you in a large wave situation. You will need to know how to jump with good distance and land carrying speed. This allows you to ride away quickly after landing and get out of the way of the next wave. This is a technique that we often teach at my school (NewWaveKiteboarding.com) in a flat water scenario. I remember when I was first learning to ride in direct onshore

conditions with large shore break. It took many days of trying for hours until I could learn to break free of the initial shore break. All I really needed was a couple tips from a local and I broke free instantly. The combination of the above techniques will aid you greatly in our area if you plan to ride on the ocean side. Just make sure to pick your days. If you don’t feel comfortable swimming in it, you should not kite in it. As it’s often said, when in doubt, don’t go out. Jeremy Lund is lead instructor and owner of New Wave Kiteboarding at Sailfish Marina in Stuart, FL. Jeremy@newwavekiteboarding.com NewWaveKiteboarding.com (561) 633-9362

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DECEMBER 2016

TREASURE COAST 15

11/17/16 2:46 PM


Treasure Coast Casters

11th Annual

T

November Junior Division Inshore Tournament Recap

he first Sunday of November, Treasure Coast Casters Junior Division’s bi-monthly from shore tournament took place despite windy conditions and a smaller than normal angler turnout. A variety of fish were weighed in, including a 1.1-pound jack and an eel by Thomas Parramore, a couple of jacks, with one weighing 1.3-pounds by Brexton Hager, a ladyfish by Jeremy Beausolie (his first ever fish), and three puffers by Noah Westbury. The biggest fish of the tournament went to Brexton Hager for his 1.3-pound jack, earning him a D.O.A. Lures tournament box filled with soft plastic baits.

TOURNAMENT Results 1st Place: Noah Westbury, 3rd grade, Manatee Elementary, Port St. Lucie 2nd Place: Brexton Hager, 2nd grade, Weatherbee Elementary, Fort Pierce 3rd Place: Thomas Parramore, 3rd grade, Fairlawn Elementary, Fort Pierce

Saturday January 28, 2017 10am-8pm

Many thanks to weigh-master-in-training, Kaitlyn Ward, who in despite of cutting her finger, did an awesome job weighing fish. And, special mention to LottaBull Fishing charters for the donated first aid kit to the Junior Division, which was pulled into action during the tournament! The next Junior Division Inshore Tournament will be Sunday, January 8, 2017. Cammie & Capt. Joe Ward Treasure Coast Casters (772) 201-5773 Follow us on Facebook (Treasure Coast Casters) for the latest news and tournament results.

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DECEMBER 2016

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November tournament placers Noah Westbury, Brexton Hager, and Thomas Parramore.

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3160 SE Gran Parkway Stuart, FL 34997 Phone: (772) 223-4014 Mon. – Thurs. 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Cell: (561) 704-3152 Fri. 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Email: chtrailer1@bellsouth.net Closed Sat. & Sun.

FloRida’s oldEst aNd Most CoMplEtE FishiNg taCklE stoRE! Now with thREE CoNvENiENt tREasuRE Coast loCatioNs!

Ft. Pierce

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1106 U.S. Hwy. 1 4271 SE Federal Hwy. 3006 Cardinal Dr. Ft. Pierce, FL 34950 Stuart, FL 34997 Vero Beach, FL 32963 (772) 461-6909 (772) 266-4010 (772) 492-6203

www.whitEstaCklE.CoM Email: info@whitestackle.com Featuring: • Rods & Reels: Shimano-Penn-Daiwa-GLoomis-Blackfin-Crowder-Tibor-Nautilus-Sage • Apparel & Soft Goods: Simms-Avid-Patagonia-Olukai and more…. • Sunglasses: Costa Del Mar-Maui Jim-Smith-Ocean Eyes • Services: Rod and Reel Repair-Custom Rigging • Huge Variety of Frozen Bait • Full Annual Schedule of Seminars and Programs • Knowledgeable, Experienced and Energetic Staff to Serve You

8 am - 6 pm mon-Fri • 8 am - 5 pm Sat

Whether your passion is inshore, offshore, freshwater, or fly fishing, we have everything to make your next fishing adventure… the adventure of a lifetime.

Call or stop in for our Daily HoliDay speCials! COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

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EvEry PiEcE Has a uniquE, soFlo vibE!

Real Estate for the Serious Angler! No one knows Sebastian area properties suited for anglers better than Capt. Gus Brugger.

Use code HOLLY16 for 20% OFF Your ENTIRE Purchase!

After 25 years of guiding anglers to trophy catches, let him use his extensive “local knowledge” to guide you to your next Fisherman Friendly Home.

Buying or selling in Indian River or Brevard County?

Call Capt. Gus Brugger!

Handmade, unique jewelry, custom painted shoes & hats, surf art, ornaments & more!

Check Out Sebastian & Vero Beach, Exit 156 off I-95

www.Etsy.com/Shop/PiscesIsland Follow us on instagram/PiscEsisland

RE/MAX Crown Realty 1603 US Highway 1, Sebastian, FL 32958 Phone: (772) 360-6787 Email: captaingusrealtor@gmail.com www.WelcomeToSebastian.com

LONG RANGE SERIOUS FISHING MACHINES Ocean Master has a 40 year track record of building serious fishing machines for serious anglers. Every Ocean Master boat is designed for stability, comfort, speed and economy.

Visit our new factory in Stuart and see how our boats are built and rigged!

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8751 SW Old Kansas Ave., Stuart, FL 34997 | 772.210.2554 | OceanMasterBoats.com 18 TREASURE COAST

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DECEMBER 2016

COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

11/17/16 2:47 PM


Vamos Amigos! By Chase Cornel

T

he first week in November, I finished work early and hit the water around 3 p.m. to catch bait. I put out a block of chum at a trusty bait hole and had the pinfish and pigfish swarming behind the boat. After about two hours the well was full with fresh bait to deploy on the outgoing tide that evening. The rest of the guys got off work around 5 p.m. and all met me at the ramp. From where I caught the bait to where we fish is a long run in open water for the small skiff, so we closed off the drain valve to the bait well and pulled the boat out of the water. My buddies loaded their gear in the boat. Beau busted out dinner and we chilled out in the parking lot, eating our subs and drinking those mini cocoa colas as the sun began to retreat below the western sky. A father and his son were fishing from the end of one of the docks at the boat ramp, the wind was rustling through the palm trees and those Publix subs were delicious. Just as we were about to load up in the

truck and make the ride up to the inlet, the young boy fishing from the boat ramp dock set the hook on a fish. His rod was bent over so far that at first we were all making our guesses, “stingray, trophy catfish, nurse shark.” Something sparked my interest about the situation and I began walking over towards the father and his boy who was struggling mightily with the weight of the fish on the other end of his line. As I neared the dock I caught a glimpse of the unmistakable yellow dorsal fin of a giant snook break the surface of the water for a split second. “Get the net, it’s a huge snook,” I shouted back to Matt. Matt was still in the boat at this point and grabbed our landing net and leapt out of the boat and sprinted for the dock. By this point, the fish had swum around the father’s line and was thrashing around underneath the boat ramp dock in an angry fury. The fish popped its head out from under the dock for a split second and Matt awkwardly finessed the fish into the landing net. It barely fit in our net. Once on

Publix subs fuel slot snook action by Beau Sommers, Travis Whitfield, Matt Fahmie and Chase Cornell. PHOTO SUPPLIED by Chase Cornell.

the dock the fish was giant. It had to weigh 25-pounds and be over 40-inches in length. In an act of exuberance, the young boy put his rod on the dock and threw his hands up in the air and let out a shout. An old man cheered from the pavilion opposite the dock and the father gave his son a hug. He was so excited that he began speaking rapidly in Spanish and only his father could communicate with him. Matt, Beau, Travis and I went

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on to catch a limit of snook that night up at the inlet, but we could not stop talking about that little boy that caught his trophy snook at the boat ramp. We all got a little closer sharing that moment and were reminded why we love fishing so much. Chase lives in Vero Beach and loves to fish and write about his adventures. Read more of his fishing escapades at bitepress.wordpress.com.

DECEMBER 2016

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Understanding Total Maximum Daily Load typically terms used by the coastal community to describe their impression about the clout and power of these organizations. When thinking of Big Ag, people think of Monsanto and tens of thousands of acres of crops. To better understand, I was in Marianna, Florida out in the panhandle for a natural resource class focused on the interactions of the aquifers/ springs and agriculture. Marianna is a small town with an extensive history dating back to the civil war. We toured a 600-cow milk operation and a 7500-acre cotton/ peanut/ corn/cattle and hay farming operation. The 10-year-old milk operation was a small family business that is a member of a milk coop that does supply Publix. The operation is based on the most current conservation BMPs. Every drop of water, all animal waste and feed

By Capt. Donald Voss, Director, One Florida Foundation, Inc.

W

hat are BMAPs and how do they work and how do they affect the way we think about agriculture? The BMAP represents a comprehensive set of strategies--permit limits on wastewater facilities, urban and agricultural best management practices, conservation programs, financial assistance and revenue generating activities, etc.--designed to implement the pollutant reductions established by the Total Maximun Daily Load (TMDL). Based on the requirements of the Clean Water Act, states are required to develop lists of impaired waters. A TMDL is a calculation of the maximum amount of a pollutant that a water body can receive and still safely meet designated

uses, such as water supply and recreation. The biggest issues are those related to the accumulation of nutrients and pathogens. TMDLs are needed to ensure the protection and restoration of our water bodies. During winter months, Florida feeds the Nation. Agriculture is the major economic giant in this state followed closely by tourism. The most surprising detail that seems to come up is just how little people understand farming, the economics and what this all means to our ability to live. I have heard people state in open meetings that farmers have it made. I have heard others state things like, “How hard can it be, all you do is go to Publix and there it is.” Big AG and Big Sugar are

were used and reused throughout the farm. Their product is measured in pounds and priced at pennies per 100 pounds. Instead of a massive production,

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DECEMBER 2016

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11/17/16 2:47 PM


f O t if G e h T Give

! G n i T a BO Delivering Boats on Christmas Eve for Nearly 60 Years...

Florida farms feed the nation and are leveraging BMAP to minimize impacts upon the environment. PHOTO CREDIT: Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

what I witnessed was a small family that has a love for cattle and they work a 12-hour day using practices that protects the aquifers and protect the quality of their product. As we toured, I learned that milk is currently down $0.05 per hundred pounds. The owners have hedged their operation with a side-business of a very popular ice creamery, although currently, it too is just breaking even. Additionally, we toured a fourth-generation farm that operated land both owned and leased that added up to 7500 acres. This farm rotated crops around their acres to keep the soil properly and chemically primed needing as little fertilizers and water as possible. Currently, this area has accepted the BMAP program and has bought into the entire system of drone farming, computerizing their entire operations. They were forced to make this change to stay competitive in their operations. The operator described his day as this. When I get up, my first action is turning on our computer and check weather, wind, water saturation and chemical load to address the BMAP’s TMDLs or daily loading. This farmer uses GPS and drone input to such a degree, using the exact same amount of land, they have increased output

by 28% using 34% less water and chemicals. We looked at dozens of charts of data fed into the tractor’s computer to eliminate deploying to little or too much water, as well as eliminating dead spaces or overruns. Watering devices now only sprinkle downwards which reduces evaporation. But just as with the dairy operation, cotton was down $0.25 per thousand pounds. It turns out Big Ag is more groupings of smaller farms. It appears that farmers are working to eliminate pollution, excess use of chemicals and resources than their coastal neighbors. These operations bought into the concepts of BMAPs early and took advantage of the program. The daily operation began their farm using these BMPs 10 years ago. Farmers are working to improve their practices. We should celebrate this and join them in conserving and protecting our own natural resources. Recently, Commissioner Putnam stated that around the country, people plan their whole lives to move here. As Floridian’s we need to embrace our industries and better understand them. The fresh foods we all eat come from this land and these waters. We must all use them wisely and celebrate our successes.

from our crew to yours...

Award Winning Sales, Service and Waterfront Ships Store 12 Royal Palm Pointe, Vero Beach

772-562-7922 • www.veromarine.com

GO BEYOND THE HORIZON

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DECEMBER 2016

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HOLIDAY GIFT IDEAS

Pedal SUPs

Ed Stout at South River Outfitters in Stuart is stocking the new Hobie Mirage and he says “It’s been a huge hit.” There are two models, the 10-5 and the 12-0, and appropriately the first is 10-feet, 6-inches long with a capacity to support up to 225-pounds; the 12-0 is 12-feet long and can support up to 275-pounds. They are incredibly stable, you just get on and go using leg power. Lightweight, durable, minimal setup, go from the car, the dock or your boat to the water in minutes.

We all have family and friends who are hard to buy for, so to help you out this holiday season, we asked a few local Treasure Coast retailers what item they expected to be a hot seller this year or what outdoor enthusiasts might like to receive from Santa. Here are some of their suggestions. Be sure to visit our website and Facebook Page to see (and hear) more of their suggestions!

Aria Full Face Snorkel Mask

Suggested by our dive forecaster, Steve Wood at Deep Six Dive and Watersports, this is a fun option for the novice snorkeler or someone who just can’t stand a snorkel in their mouth. The mask also has a docking station to mount a sports camera (GoPro) and say goodbye to water in your snorkel and fogging.

Nautilus Lifeline

Another suggestion from Steve Wood, which is also locally available at Deep Six, this great, electronic safety device fits nicely into a BC pocket and allows the diver with a push of the button to talk to every boat around them with a VHF radio within an 8-mile range. It also has GPS, so that the diver’s location can be pinpointed.

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772-288-1191

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In StoCK!

AVALon AmBASSADor In StoCK!

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(At the intersection of Indian Street and Dixie Hwy.)

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Come See US At the StUArt BoAt Show JAnUArY 13 – 15 22 TREASURE COAST

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DECEMBER 2016

COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

11/17/16 2:47 PM


Best Holiday Gifts on the Treasure Coast for Your Outdoor Enthusiast Apparel Costa Sunglasses, Tormenter Ocean Board Shorts, Zep-Pro Wallets, sporting a variety of fish designs, as well as Zep-Pro belts, and even collars for man’s best friend, were suggested by Chuck Haefner at Lewis Marine Supply in Stuart. And for the ladies, Brittany at Deep Dive Six Dive and Watersports suggested a Cabana Life Tunic Dress that is perfectly pack-able, provides 50+ UV protection, and which will take you from the sand to sidewalk. Both the Stuart and Vero Deep Six stores offer plenty of other UV protection apparel for both men and women, as well as a great assortment of hats, sandals and even ukulele’s for the strummer in your life.

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Fishing Gear A Shimano Stradic, a pair of good pliers, like Van Staal’s, Fathom lures for the offshore angler, and a good backpack, like a Simms Dry Creek Backpack or Sling Pack, were suggested by Geoff Quatraro at White’s Tackle Shop. Per Geoff, the Sling Packs have been hot this fall, and the Fathom lures, which are all rigged and ready, are perfect for the stocking. Brent Kane at Fish Heads in Stuart, suggested the new Penn Slammer, Shimano Talica Lever Drag reel series-for the discerning angler, a Fin Nor Marquessa Lever Drag, and when in doubt, a Fish Heads Gift Card of course!

LOWEST PRICES!

Stocking Stuffers A few have been mentioned above, but Angela at Native Tackle and Supply in Sebastian, reminds you not to forget that Hoo-Rags, headlamps, or even a new combo would make any angler happy.

VISIPole

Another suggestion from Ed Stout at South River Outfitters, this one for kayakers. Safety is always an issue on the water and the VISIPole doubles as a flag and a light post. It has a floating base, so you don’t have to worry about losing it in the @ The SE Corner of Luckhardt Street in front water. of The B&A Flea Market

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Any 5’x8’ or Larger Wool Rug or 10% OFF Any 5’x8’ or Larger Poly, Acrylic or

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Share Yooutor Brag Phere! H

Kurt Rohl, of Port St. Lucie, with a 50-inch mahi-mahi, which hit a live sardine on a flat line. Photo CREDIT: Dan Ziegler.

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

Tim Graul with a 42-inch red, his biggest yet, caught in south Vero Beach while fishing in his Hobie kayak with a MirrOlure MirrOdine. The red took Tim for about a 15 minute ride. Fish was successfully released. PHOTO provided by Tim Graul.

Diver Matson, 3, caught (and released) this fish – his first ever-- off a dock on the south side of Sebastian Inlet. Photo CREDIT: Heather Matson.

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A 36-inch snook caught by Brandi Simmons, from Port St. Lucie, on live sardine, six miles off the St. Lucie Inlet. Photo CREDIT: Chad Simmons.

Samuel Gundry with a 6-pound, 24-inch bass caught in Port St. Lucie. Photo CREDIT: Mason Gundry.

Two big mutton snappers for anglers fishing aboard the Lady Stuart party boat out of Hutchinson Island Marriott Marina. Photo contributed by William Miller.

11/17/16 2:47 PM


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PRODUCT SPOTLIGHT KLUCH WAHOO COLLECTION It’s time to highspeed troll over to W W W.K LUCH.COM today and get your hands on the latest Kluch Wahoo Collection. If you are looking to stay cool while trolling for hoos, we have the perfect performance long sleeve shirts available for both men and women. The Kluch Wahoo Performance Long Sleeve offers superior sun protection and performance qualities. Featuring up to UPF +50 solar protection, the Kluch Wahoo Performance Long Sleeve is lightweight, comfortable, and sure to keep the sun’s rays from penetrating through to your skin. This fabric is powered by PURE-tech™ moisture wicking technology.

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We've Got You Hooked Up at Our Resort, restaurant and bars make Capt Hiram’s Marina a prized spot for those looking for their perfect fishing getaway, as well as fun times on shore. After your successful fishing trip, relax with a cold beer while we cook your catch. It's everything a fisherman could want in one location!

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T

he Dry Tortugas are a group of seven small islands 67 miles west of Key West. Encompassed within a 100-acre national park, the islands are best known for Fort Jefferson, a 19th century brick fort on a tiny island in the middle of the ocean. The history of the Dry Tortugas is pretty amazing, and so is the fishing. Fort Jefferson was built to protect the busiest shipping lanes between the Gulf Coast and the eastern seaboard. During the civil war, the fort was used by the Union army to disrupt shipping to confederate forces. During that same period, the fort was also used as a prison. The most famous prisoner held at the fort was Dr. Samuel Mudd, who mended John Wilkes Booth’s leg. In 1874, the army abandoned the fort and it was used solely as a coaling station for resupply. The Dry Tortugas received their name because there was no water on the island and the turtles prevalent on the beach made a good food source. The fort itself was never finished completely, but it is a testament to determination. All the building materials needed to build the fort were brought down by barge. The scope of it doesn’t hit you until you sit in the archways of the fort and think back in history of them hauling 14 million bricks 70 miles from Key West and roughly 200 miles from the mainland out in the middle of the ocean. Those arches of bricks often are made of six different angles meeting together to make the complex ceiling. A walk around the fort and climbing the walls is a must for anyone traveling to Dry Tortuga. Plan on just relaxing and watching the sunset from inside the fort. For anglers, the true magic happens when you go fishing off Fort Jefferson. The waters surrounding the fort are crystal clear. Often, when fishing in 30 or 40 feet of water you can watch groupers swim out of a hole and eat your bait. Whether you decide to fish K Buoy on the north side of the fort for yellowtails, East Key for groupers and mutton, or the south side of the fort for big groupers or kings, it is magical. The fishing at the fort is like going back 30 years in time and catching fish of yester-year. When you see a boat come back from the fort with its catch, you can tell where they have been without even asking. The fish are larger and more 14 FLORIDA

CANGL_FL1-FL24.indd 14

DECEMBER 2016

colorful, and there’s just more of them. I think the remoteness of the fort has kept the fishing pristine. You know the king fishing at the fort is amazing when you see tournament teams run hundreds of miles to catch a fish there to win a tournament. I think there have been more winning kingfish caught at the fort than any place else, but the fort is known for its bottom fishing. Whether you decide to bottom fish on the Atlantic side of the fort or the Gulf of Mexico on the north side, be ready for some awesome action. On the Atlantic side, you can anchor down and chum up the yellowtails on the reef edge or drift fish the different drops. These drops are bottom contours that often only change by a couple of feet, but those edges hold myriad fish. The 204 drop or the 250 drop edges are loaded with fish, but you have to use the right tackle. I prefer braid when bottom fishing. The difference with braid when you are fishing deep is it takes half the weight to get down, and you can feel exactly what is going on with your bait. The amount of weight will vary every day, you want to make sure you have enough weight to hold bottom; you do not want your line scoping out away from the boat. When the line scopes out, you have to put more and more line out to find the bottom. Ideally, you want your bait a foot off the bottom. If you scope out, you also have a great tendency to hang the bottom. It can often be hard to get the feel for it for new anglers. Bait options are endless, whether you fish live bait (pinfish, pilchards, mullet) or dead bait, there is a time for each. There are days when they only want dead bait like bonita strips, ballyhoo or squid, and they will out fish live 10 to one. Then sometimes jigs with tails or ballyhoo are the secret. The best advice I can give is take it all: dead bait, live bait and artificials. It is a long way to the nearest tackle shop. Don’t be afraid to try different things at different locations. When it comes to jigs, I prefer white and everything from 1-ounce to 10-once. The current can be still, or it could be flying along at 3 knots. For I like to drift fish at the fort. There is so much bottom to cover and so many places I

want to get to that I rarely anchor. A perfect drift for me is 1 1/2 to 2 knots. If there is no current, typically there are no fish. Different times of day are better in different areas. I believe the fish migrate during the day from south to north or vice versa depending on where you are. When you setup a drift over a migration, you will know it instantly by the constant action. When you look at a chart of the Dry Tortugas, your imagination runs wild with all the great bottom contours to fish and different spots that just look fishy. Be mindful of the closed areas and restricted areas around the fort; the fines are expensive. The best part of fishing the Dry Tortugas is exploring a new fishery that is so widespread and alive with fish. You can expect to come home with stories and photos of a lifetime. So take the time to go down West and experience history. Visit the Dry Tortugas web page for more information (www.nps.gov/drto/index.htm). Contact Capt. Mike Weinhoffer and Key West Florida Fishing through their website www. Keywestfloridafishing.com or call 305-395-3474.

More Fishing in the Dry Tortugas, go to

ANGLERSDREAM.CO

COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

11/17/16 2:34 PM


Get Bent.

If you think you can triumph over anything that swims, we suggest you go straight to Key West. Because from mighty offshore gamesters including sails, tuna and marlin to backcountry stars such as bonefish, permit, tarpon and snook, you’ll discover your breaking point a lot sooner than you might think. fla-keys.com/keywest 1.800.527.8539

By Tom Warnke

T

he gift of peak experiences happens to all of us. Sometimes we set them up, and sometimes they’re gifts from heaven. We all do our best to orchestrate memorable experiences. For me, a common denominator has been the ocean. Diving, surfing, sailing and fishing are all included. During the 18 years I handled sales and marketing at Costa Del Mar Sunglasses, I was fortunate to witness blue marlin tournaments in St. Thomas, the first Redbone tournament in Islamorada and good times at the Sailfish Marina with the West Palm Beach Fishing Club. Another thread has been the fishing/surfing connection. Having an affinity for the ocean is common to people who fish, and for surfers. Ben Hartig, longtime member of the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council, was one of the most revered surfers at Reef Road in Palm Beach. Nobody dropped in on Ben Hartig. Bill Holmes, who manufactured legendary “Holmesy Surfboards” in Juno Beach, also had the woodworking talents to do custom interiors for Rybovich Boat Company for many years. The late Ted James started Fox Surfboards in Palm Beach County in 1968 while he was catching monster tarpon and snook in the area, and later fished the Outer Banks of North Carolina while manufacturing Fox Surfboards and Sailboards there. Mark Castlow of Fort Pierce started Atlantis Surfboards in the 1960s, and then moved into manufacturing world class Maverick flats boats and Dragonfly Boatworks today. Ralph Boynton, long time Lake Worth pier surfer, won the West Palm Beach Fishing Club’s annual Nora Award for the heaviest snook three times, and holds the 50-year record at 42.08 lbs. Kristy Murphy grew up fishing and diving in the Bahamas before moving to Jupiter. She was so good in the water she could free dive 30 feet, spear a grouper and grab a lobster with the same breath. Kristy went on to win the Women’s World Longboard Championships in big waves. One of the world’s best big-wave surfers, Mark Healy, often free dives 100 feet deep as a volunteer to tag sharks for conservation. The historic Sea Mist drift fishing boat out of Boynton Inlet has had two of the best local surf-

ers as long time captains: Burt Garnsey and Charlie Brown. And don’t forget our own Florida fishing guides/writers Capt. Mike Holliday and Capt. Rodney Smith, both also hooked on surfing. Holmesy Surfboards, Fox Surfboards and Kristy Murphy are all featured in the grand opening of the new Surfing Museum in the Lake Park Arts District on Dec. 9. The Surfing History Museum recently moved from Delray Beach to Lake Park at 738 Park Avenue and the grand opening includes the premier of the new surfing film Ted James with a gift from the ocean, “Dream Steeple.” The museum a 41.75-pound snook, circa 1967. showcases the 100-year history Photo by Ralph Boynton. of surfing in Florida. We hope to see you there, and “talk story” about peak experiences and gifts from the ocean. Tom Warnke is a Trustee and Historian for the Palm Beach County Surfing History Project. Email Tom at trwarnke@hotmail.com or click on surfhistoryproject.org for additional info.

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f there is a point at which the world of art and the world of sport fishing came together, it can be found in fly tying. If you take a brief moment to scour the internet for videos on tying different types of flies anglers have developed, you’ll see that making flies is in a class all of its own when it comes to our world of fishing. Taking time to use natural or synthetic materials and making them look like something that will fool the wary eye of an elusive sport fish like bonefish or tarpon is a challenge to both our creativity and our knowledge as fishermen. However, learning to become a successful fly tyer can be one the most rewarding experiences in your fishing adventures, and it will force you to heighten your awareness of what your quarry is looking for. But let’s face it, it can be intimidating when you see pictures of some of the masterpiece flies that have been developed by more experienced tyers. Believe it or not, with only a few simple materials, some hooks, a vice, a bobbin, and tying thread, you can begin making quality flies all on your own in a very short amount of time. For the beginning fly tyer planning to fish fresh or saltwater in Florida, there are five flies I feel are not only very effective, but

are also very simple to begin tying on your own. Woolly Buggers, Clouser Minnows, Lefty’s Deceiver, gurglers, and polar fiber minnows are all flies that are a simple and effective launching pad for the beginning tyer. For the Woolly Bugger, you’ll need chenille, marabou and rooster neck hackle. The Clouser Minnow only requires two different colors of buck tail, painted dumbbell eyes and some Flashabou. Lefty’s Deceivers require matching (or varying if you choose) colors of rooster saddle and buck tail, along with some Flashabou and maybe a little paint to make the eyes. A simple gurgler only requires some marabou, chenille and foam, and for a polar fiber minnow, you only need one color of polar fiber, some fish eyes, and five-minute epoxy. For in depth instructions on all five of these flies, there are some great Youtube channels like Fly Fish Food, In The Riffle, or Tight Lines Video that offer great instructional videos for any one of these five flies and a multitude of other fantastic fly patterns. So as a fellow angler, I challenge you to head down to your nearest fly shop, pick up some of these materials and begin not only making your own flies, but catching fish on flies that you made! Good luck and tight lines.

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or more than 50 years, the Islamorada Sailfish Tournament has kicked off the renowned triple-crown Florida Keys Gold Cup Sailfish Championship Series. This year’s tournament dates are Thursday through Sunday, Dec. 1-4. The all-release challenge, a primary fundraiser for the Islamorada Charter Boat Association, allows an unlimited number of anglers per vessel to participate. Tournament events are to be headquartered at the Whale Harbor Inn and Marina complex, located at mile marker 83 in Islamorada, and open with pre-registration and a kickoff banquet Thursday, Dec. 1. Fishing is scheduled Friday through Sunday, Dec. 2-4, with an awards ceremony Sunday. Entry fees after Nov. 15 are $750 and $650, respectively. The junior angler entry fee is $250 regardless of entry date. Specially priced Islamorada lodging rates are available for the weekend event. The second event in the Gold Cup Series is the Cheeca Lodge Presidential Sailfish Tournament set for Jan. 19-21, 2017. The third is the Islamorada Fishing Club Sailfish Tournament scheduled Jan. 25-26, 2017, when the series culminates and the overall Gold Cup champions are crowned. For registration and information go to islamoradasailfishtournament. com/ or contact Dianne Harbaugh 305-522-4868.

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y earliest introduction to the Bahamas was Andros, and I really feel at home when I go back. Although I am blessed to have traveled throughout the Bahamas for my ongoing research of bonefish and the bonefishing industry, it was my initial angling trip to Andros that created ties to the Bahamas that draw me back. This, the largest and most sparsely developed of the Bahamian islands, offers some of the best fishing in the world. Andros is truncated by extensive, deep and vital oceanic creeks referred to as bights that act as fish highways, transporting rich nutrients from region to region and tremendous numbers of fish. North Andros, separated from Mangrove Cay by the north bight, extends roughly from Bering Point all the way north to the Joulters. Like the rest of Andros, a single road on the eastern fringe allows for travel from north to south. The western side of Andros is largely undeveloped, is challenging to reach and is now the largest Marine Protected Area in the Bahamas. Bering Point can be considered an epicenter of bonefishing on Andros and in the Bahamas for that matter. This small fishing community lies on the southeastern tip of Andros, south of Fresh Creek one of the largest settlements on Andros, and just south of the AUTEC naval base. Bering Point is home to many long-time lodges and some of the best-known guides in the world. Guides like Ivan Neymour, Charlie Smith, and Rupert Leadon started guiding anglers in the 40s and 50s, working to develop a premier bonefishing destination. Indeed, the flats of Andros are unriveled in their sheer size and many areas on the west side of Andros remain relatively untouched. Anglers visiting north Andros have a wide array of accommodations to choose from and while I was conducting interviews in the area, I stayed at the Andros Island Bonefish Club, founded by local legend Rupert Leadon, who passed in 2012. Although I was unable to interview Rupert for my research, I met and interviewed many of his family members. Through conversing with family and community members, it is very clear how much Mr. Leadon helped the local economy. Like the Leadon family, many guides working in Andros are descended from guiding greats, those men who ventured into a new industry receiving little credit for their tremendous efforts, until now. Flats within easy wading from Bering Point are extensive and varied. Anglers should have wading boots and larger flies for deeper water and larger fish. Double-digit bonefish are common in Andros. Fish the tides, look for moving water, look for places that get less pressure and do not be afraid to wade deep for big fish... however, watch for sharks. You can bet that if you find good bonefishing, you will also find sharks. Be wary of sharks while releasing bonefish, and reduce the potential for predation of your released bonefish. Do this by using adequate rods, reels and lines, by reducing fight time, by eliminating handling and using barbless hooks. “Keep ’em wet.” If you have to have a photo, consider waterproof cameras for interesting perspectives of you and your fish. North Andros is very interesting geographically. The south by Bering Point is sub-tropical. In the north, starting roughly near Stafford Creek, where the beautiful Stafford Creek Lodge is located, are extensive pine forests and some agriculture creating a significant change from the south. Bonefish angling is available all along the eastern shores, and creeks are great places to start. Car rentals are readily available from local airports and adventuresome anglers can reap great rewards for getting off the proverbial beaten path. Some creek 20 FLORIDA

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systems are extensive, and as with all of Andros, traveling to the west side requires a boat and expert local knowledge... a guide. The northern tip of Andros is known as the Joulters, recently hit hard by Hurricane Matthew. Local guide Phillip Rolle graciously showed me some of the Joulters, and I can genuinely say the habitat is rich and the fishing is amazing. Miles and miles of hard white sandy bottom flats welcome anglers venturing to the area. I get the impression less angling pressure has permitted the continued health of local fish stocks. Huge schools of large fish move through countless cuts, bars and shoals, making the need for a guide critical. Given the size of the Joulters and all of Andros for that matter, finding fish is a daunting task; local guides who fish every day will greatly improve your odds of catching fish. Although the fishing on Andros is outstanding, there is much to do for non-anglers or on days away from the flats. Many blue holes dot the landscape, fantastic diving and snorkelling are easy to access, world-class birding and ecotours are available, and a rich culture including festivals like Crab Fest make for a great trip. For much more on this research please visit: http://tomkarrow.wixsite.com/ bahamas-guide-tek. Tom Karrow is a doctoral researcher evaluating the sustainability of the Bahamas bonefishing industry through accessing local guide knowledge and history. Tom works in conjunction with Bonefish and Tarpon Trust, The University of the Bahamas and the Bahamas Fly Fishing Industry Association. Research is funded in part through partnerships with Nautilus Reels, R.L.Winston Fly Rods, FishPond, 12 Weight, Costa and World Angling.

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By Bert Marcus Last week I got a call from my friend Bill Washburn in Sarasota. He knew I had been running a Sailfish for the past seven years and wanted to know if I had seen the new Sailfish 236CC yet. I told him that I hadn’t and asked him why he cared. “Well I’ve got one tied up at my dock,” he replied. “I wanted to see if you wanted to go out with me tomorrow on my new boat.” I have never been one to turn down a fishing trip. We made plans to meet at his house on Longboat Key the next morning and said goodbye.

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After fighting a little traffic the next morning, I pulled back behind Bill’s House to his dock and there was Bill loading some rods and a cooler into what I could tell from a distance from its distinctive bow flare was a Sailfish, but the more modern profile and the hard-top frame integrated into the console were attractive new additions. “Get aboard,” he said, beaming with pride. “Just got it over the weekend.” He filled me in on all the details. The 236CC was a brand new Sailfish model, in fact this was number seven. “They’ve taken the best of your boat and added a lot of new innovations,” he explained, while starting to show me around the boat. “He really thought this one through, from the keel up – it’s got form and function.” I could see many of the old standards features from my old Sailfish – deep gunwales, built-in transom bait well, well-laid-out console, big fish boxes in he bow. However, there was plenty of “new” in this new model. “Look how they handled the transom seating,” Bill said, pointing to a fold-up seat attached to the transom. “And the whole thing lifts up to give you easy access to the bilge.” He then pointed to the leaning post lifted up the cushion on the passenger’s side and said, “look at this, a second live well build into the leaning post.” He also pointed out the tackle storage and stowable bait station built into the leaning post before getting behind the helm, tapping on the passenger seat and telling me to get ready to go. “I’ve put about 15 hours on the motor since Saturday,” Bill explained, “I could have gotten it with a 200 or 300 Yamaha, but I went with the 250.” “It runs 47 mph wide open,” Bill boasted. “And like all Sailfish’s, the VDS hull cuts into the water and the ride is real smooth.” As I said earlier, I have been running a Sailfish for the past seven years, and one thing that I have always appreciated is the way she handles in rough water. I have to admit, I was jealous of Bill and I spent most of the trip calculating what I could get for trading in my 218CC and what color my new 236CC would be.

CONNER’S NUTTER BUTTER Most fishermen will tell you they have a favorite color when it comes to specific fly patterns or lures. As a general rule, especially with streamers, it’s a good idea to have a range of colors to cycle through until you find what the fish are keyed in on. The Nutter Butter is a great pattern that falls toward the natural color palette, featuring mostly tans and browns and natural material like coyote fur. Something I have noticed is these subtle colors can draw a strike when brighter colors will not, making streamers like the Nutter Butter a staple for any streamer fisher’s box. In addition to color, the action and profile of the Nutter Butter are perfectly suited to drawing strikes from predatory fish. This fly really dances underwater. Rear Hook Hook: Gamakatsu B10S Size 2 Tail: Tan Extra Select Craft Fur Body: Tan Ice Dub Hackle: Polar Chenille Olive Copper UV Collar: Coyote Fur in a dubbing loop Front Hook Articulation: Senyo’s Intruder Wire and 2 6mm beads Hook: Gamakatsu B10S Size 1/0 Rattle: Hareline Plastic Rattle Medium Tail: Tan Craft Fur Body: Tan Ice Dub Hackle: Polar Chenille Olive Copper UV Collar: Coyote Fur in a dubbing loop Head: Brown Laser Dub Over Tan Eyes: 8mm CCG Eyes Tempt Head: CCG Flex

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By Capt. Michael Okruhlik

I

t’s December. I’m ready for some winter wade fishing, and I am sure you are, too. Now the question, is our equipment ready? The last thing I want to happen… again, is to be waist deep in 45-degree water and 40-degree air temp and realize my waders have sprung a leak. Let’s go over a few things to prevent this. First, I start with storage last spring. I store all of my waders and jackets in a climate-controlled environment. I also make sure to hang them up to avoid items getting tossed on top of them. Well in advance of my first trip, I will do a thorough inspection in search of pin holes and abrasions. The best method I have found for this is to turn my waders inside out, grab a spotlight and head for a dark room. I shine the spotlight inside and look for any light shining through. In the event I spot a hole, I will circle that area with a permanent marker. Once identified, I then use the appropriate patch adhesive for my waders and make the necessary repair. After this, I like to fill them with water as a secondary check. Now, when it comes to the type of equipment to buy, there are endless options from economical to expensive. There are two trains of thought here, and over my career I have subscribed to both. I used to purchase the more economical prod-

ucts, and for the most part they served me well, but I have had those occasional uncomfortable long, wet and cold days. My thought process was I could buy 6 to 10 pairs of these waders or buy one pair of the expensive ones. The 6 to 10 might last me a lifetime. It was hard for me to see the benefits to spending substantially more money for what I felt was the same product. I heard reviews that the others were warmer etc., but I just didn’t see it since they are both fairly thin and breathable. Once I tried a pair of the more expensive brands, I was hooked! It was a night and day difference in the feel, comfort and warmth. Not to mention the more expensive ones typically come with some type of warranty. Although I have not had any problems to find out first-hand, I hear customer service is top notch if something does fail. As I mentioned, both price points will work, but there is something to be said for buying quality when it comes to winter wade fishing gear. So whatever your preference, always take the time to check your equipment prior to that first wade in search of those winter trophy speckled trout. Capt. Michael Okruhlik is the inventor of Controlled Descent Lures and the owner of www.MyCoastOutdoors.com.

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New African Surf Rod Design Promises ‘Seven Seas’ Success By Mike Pehanich

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he landscape is stark off Namibia’s South Atlantic Coast. Sands end in sea, and, well, that’s about all there is to see! But these coastal waters where Jeri Drake and wife Sue fish and train for international surf fishing competition are loaded with game species, including copper sharks (“bronzies”), spotted gully, cow sharks, blue rays, smooth hounds and many more. You might never make it to Africa to fish these waters, but the tackle and techniques that Jeri—a master rod builder, innovator, member of Namibian President’s fishing team, and owner of Excalibur Tackle (www. excalibur-tackle.com ) in the town of Henties Bay—takes to the surf could find application on your coastal waters, too. Fishing is serious sport along the “Skeleton Coast,” particularly for tournament anglers who, armed with long rods and a fighting belt, often wade out several hundred yards to sandbanks, routinely casting 6- to 7-once sinkers and bait 100 to 160 yards or more to reach hard-fighting game fish. Rod design for Jeri Drake, known simply as “Jeri” in southern African fishing circles, has evolved into 14-foot and longer rods. He has developed his own blanks for this style of fishing, with unique handles featuring short butt sections and long fore grips, the latter measuring around 28 inches. The essential difference to U.S. style blanks is a ‘faster’ action, as opposed to the usual ‘through’ action. Jeri employs the same “reel down” design—reel positioned relatively close to the fighting belt—with surf rods he builds for both “fixed spool” (spinning) reels and conventional reels. The long fore grips allow fishermen to change the fulcrum point while fighting the fish. The “reel down” design also makes it easier to master more powerful casting techniques and thus achieve better distances. Wading through troughs and casting and fighting fish in sea spray calls

for a non-slip rod grip material. Jeri crafts his rod handles individually, wrapping Winn Superior Rod Wrap (www.winngrips.com ) directly over the large butt section of the rod blank. The all-weather WinnDry polymer, which also wraps easily over existing cork or EVA grips with its tape-like backing, retains its tacky feel even when he’s immersed in sea spray. In lieu of finishing tape, Jeri terminates the ends of the rod wrap with thread wrap and a finishing coat. This prevents seawater, sand particles and any other substance to undermine the grip material by seeping in between the wrap and blank. It also gives the handle a more finished look. To protect the polymer material from wear and punishment where rod butt meets rod belt, Jeri places a woven carbon sleeve above the butt button. The base of the rod wrap starts above the sleeve. This keeps the polymer from contacting the rod portal of the belt. Adapt some of Jeri’s surf rod tips to the rods in your arsenal. You’ll be tipping your cap to the tackle innovations of the avid anglers of southern Africa!

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No more cork tape! No more bike wrap! Now you can apply the patented WinnDry polymer of the all-weather rod grips from Winn to your own rod handles in minutes with just a pair of scissors and a marking pen for instant comfort and rod control. Available in 96- and 44-inch rolls, Winn Superior Rod Wrap brings bold color, style, elegance and fashion to any rod arsenal with seven solid colors: lime green, dark gray, red, yellow, pink, black and purple—and seven hot and trending camo color patterns: Wildfire, Desert Camo, Blue Camo, Lime Green Camo, Gray Camo, White Blue Camo and Pink Camo. The Saltwater Series (96-inch only) features three solid embossed “Tuna” wraps and an elegant camo-style “Dorado.” This versatile rod wrap, which comes complete with finishing tape, can perform double duty on landing nets, boat handles, gaffs and other surfaces upon which the non-slip properties of Winn polymers offer tactile advantage. Now anyone can put a Winn “skin” over the grips of their favorite rods. Finishing tape included.

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UNDER THE SEA

SPEARFISHING WORLD RECORDS SHERI DAYE

M

ost people have heard of IGFA (International Game Fish Association), which manages world records for fishermen. But have you heard of IUSA (International Underwater Spearfishing Association)? IUSA keeps track of spearfishing world records. Both were founded more than 65 years ago and have a rich history—and both pride themselves for providing a universal code of sporting ethics as well as record keeping. The IUSA rules are fairly simple: the fish must be taken while freediving and using a muscle-powered speargun, sling or polespear. The catch must be legal, unassisted and weighed on a certified scale. The application must include photos of the weighing, dimensions and witness information. The categories are: men and women, saltwater and freshwater, speargun and sling/polespear. In other words, a woman can have a record black grouper taken by polespear in the ocean; a man can have a record walleye taken by a speargun in a lake, and so forth. I was inspired a few years ago to see if I could get a world record yellowfin tuna. That led me to learn to hold my breath, educate myself on equipment, get in better shape, learn all about tunas, save money for trips and make friends with other bluewater hunters. Having that goal set many other activities in motion.

I was fortunate to achieve my goal with a 179-pound tuna in Mexico. While the catch itself was exciting, I now realize that it’s the hunt, not the catch—or as they say, “it’s the journey, not the destination.” The lessons learned, the new friends made along the way, the memories—that is what becomes most precious over time. If you’re interested in pursuing a world record, here’s some quick tips: 1. Go where the fish are! Investigate areas, charters, and recent catches. 2. Use the right tool for the job. For example, Wong guns are known for bluewater hunting, Hammerhead is known for slings/polespears, etc. 3. Know the rules in advance so you don’t unwittingly disqualify a record. They can be found on the IUSA website at www. iusarecords.com. 4. Pack a certified scale and tape measure in your dive bag. You never know when that special catch will take place! Chatillon scales are known for being accurate and “certifiable.” 5. Above all, be safe and have fun. Records are an enjoyable pursuit, but they don’t compare to your health and wellbeing. With a bit of persistence and some luck, you might be able to immortalize the fish of a lifetime by claiming a world record. Life is short, so get out and enjoy it! Follow “Sheri Daye” & “The Blue Wild Ocean Adventure Expo” April 22-23, 2017 – Ft. Lauderdale - Instagram and Facebook.

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Team MHX finds Success in 2016

H

FLW Photo

ow does a team that collectively won over $425K in 2015 go out and improve? “Maintaining the incredible work ethic of our anglers while working directly with our team to continue to develop the best blanks out there,” said Bob McKamey who is The Man when it comes to rod building and managing the team. FLW Tour pro John Cox started off the year with a bang at Lake Okeechobee with a top-12 cut and valuable AOY points. John narrowly missed the Angler of the Year in 2015 but had and extra spark when starting out the new season. An interesting side note to that Okeechobee event was Brad Hallman from Norman, Oklahoma, who was flipping dense reed heads with a custom-built MHX-FS966. “We didn’t initially know Brad was using our blanks until after the win,” Bob said. Come to find out, one of the MHX Regional Staff members Brandon Mosley, who fishes the COSTA series built Hallman’s rods before the event. So with just one event down in the FLW Tour, MHX Blanks had accounted for over $100k, not a bad start. Less than a month later, the Elite Series was on the St. Johns River in Palatka, Fla., and MHX Pro Brandon Lester found himself in the Day 1 lead and newest Team Member Bradley Roy was not far behind. Although he relinquished the lead over the next few days, Brandon and Bradley finished in the Top 20 to earn valuable AOY Points and nice paydays. Not to be outdone, John Cox and the FLW Tour were on Lake Hartwell in South Carolina the very same weekend, and Cox had the lead in that event. Although he did not win wire to wire, he was at the top when the smoke cleared on Sunday. With a Top-12 in the first event and a win in the second event, it seemed Cox wasted no time getting back to his

2015 form. On the regional event side, team member Brandon Mosley maintained a hot hand through the Costa Series and made two out of three cuts while building his rods as well as Hallman’s out on the FLW Tour. As the FLW Tour and Elite Series went on throughout the year, Cox, Roy and Lester continued to produce all while building their own rods. Cox, the most notable, who builds lake-specific rods in his hotel room during practice also has fellow anglers coming to him to fix a tip-top or a guide in an emergency. As the 2016 Season comes to a close, MHX has had an incredible year with multiple titles, a FLW Cup Championship and even team members headed to the Classic for the first time in their careers. Keep an eye out for the MHX Team as 2017 Season begins in January. If you are looking to build your own fishing rods check out MHX Rods at www.fishmhx.com and Mud Hole Custom Tackle at www.MudHole.com.

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Coastal Angler Magazine-Dec. / Treasure Coast  

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

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