Coastal Angler Magazine | May 2022 | Daytona/New Smyrna/Deland Edition

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DAYTONA/NEW SMYRNA/DELAND EDITION

FREE

DRUM BEAT

LONG DISTANCE LURES

LOCAL REPORTS

GROUPER TIME!

@CAMTAMagazine

OF THE WORKING MAN

PHOTO COURTESY OF LAURA CHERIE IG: @LAURALOVES2FISH

VOLUME 27 • ISSUE 326

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The Workingman’s Drum By CAM Staff

Young angler Hayes Grinnell did battle with this big black drum while fishing the Texas coast with Slinging Mullet Guide Service and Get Em Guide Service.

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n some circles, black drum don’t get the respect they deserve. Maybe it’s their appearance? With weird chin barbells and a humped head, they hug the bottom, looking like the hunchbacked cousins of the sleeker redfish inshore anglers adore. Or maybe it’s their reluctance to take a lure? Black drum feed primarily by scent, and while you might catch one slinging a spoon, targeting them requires bait, which is more effort than plug and paddletail aficionados are willing to put forth. However, for anglers who aren’t too prissy to get their hands dirty, black drum have a whole lot to offer. They are the workingman’s drum, found nearshore and inshore throughout the Gulf of Mexico and up the Atlantic seaboard to New England. Black drum pull hard, with powerful bulldogging runs regardless of size. And they grow quite large, reaching weights well over 100 pounds. On top of that, they provide consistent action in a wide range of areas where they can be caught. Shore-bound anglers can target them from docks, bridges, jetties and piers, where drum hunt crustaceans around structure. Surf anglers often connect with them on quartered blue crabs cast outside the breakers. From a boat, passes and inlets are prime feeding grounds as is nearshore structure. Shallow-water anglers find younger specimens way up in the estuaries tailing like redfish for fiddler crabs in tidal creeks.

Their movements are seasonal, but as long as you’ve got bait, you can pursue black drum pretty much anywhere you choose. Like most fish, they bite best on a moving tide, when your bait’s scent disperses over a wide area. They’ll eat halved blue crabs, whole fiddler crabs or mud crabs with backs cracked to let a little scent out, and also live or dead shrimp or fresh cut bait. On the northern end of their range, anglers add clams, mussels and blood worms to the array of baits a drum will eat. As long as your bait is on the bottom and smelling like food, it’s likely to draw the attention of a drum. Rigging and gear are pretty simple. A classic Carolina rig with just enough weight to keep the bait on bottom will get the job done in most situations. Up in the creeks, where you’ll be doing more casting and maybe even sight fishing, baits can be fished on a jighead or even a simple hook with a split shot. Tackle in the 20-pound class is a good starting point, and it’s wise to beef up to pull big drum off structure. They do get big. The IGFA world record, caught in 1975 off Delaware, weighed 113 pounds, 1 ounce. Fish in the 40- to 50-pound range are regular catches across the drum’s range. Those big fish aren’t good to eat, though. The meat is often full of worms by the time fish reach weights heavier than about 15 pounds. Smaller drum are excellent table fare. For more information, go to coastalanglermag.com.

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IT’S GROUPER TIME AGAIN! By Capt. Quinlyn Haddon

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ay is finally here, opening grouper season for fishermen on the Atlantic Coast. For the past several months of the season closure, charter captains in the Florida Keys have been boasting incredible throw-back grouper catches. The reopening of this species enriches each fishing trip with an extra opportunity for a great fighting fish, which is also excellent tablefare. Grouper fishing can easily be peppered into a day of fishing by dropping a bottom rig down while yellowtail fishing, trolling lures or stopping offshore to deep-drop for snowy grouper while on the mahi hunt. While the fishery in the Keys may not be famous for its bottom fishing, there is no reason it shouldn’t be. Red, black and gag grouper are plentiful and close to land. Snowy grouper aren’t too far either, and can be reasonably reliable to target. Snowy grouper are found within 1,000 feet, and can be targeted with electric or hand-crank set ups. Electric reels are advisable when mahi season is in full swing, as to make quick work of the one-per-boat limit of snowy grouper. The trek offshore for a single fish might seem like a waste of time, but there is a little more to it. Snowy grouper can get quite large and yield impressively sized, excellent tasting fillets. There

are also the welcomed bycatches of rosies, barrelfish and tilefish while deep dropping in these areas. Furthermore, there should be ample opportunities for mahi fishing on the way to and from the spot. Another reason the electric reel is preferable is an 8-pound weight should be used to keep your bait on the bottom in the heavy current. Keep your weight as close to the bottom as you can and utilize a chicken rig, with multiple hooks along the leader, baited with just about anything. Continuously recheck the bottom to make sure it hasn’t gotten away from you, and bring a spare weight or two, as it isn’t overly difficult to lose one while fishing this way. Targeting red, black and gag grouper on the reef can be a little different than typical grouper fishing on the west coast of Florida. Heavy weights can easily get snagged on the rocky bottom in the heavy current, potentially making inexperience quite expensive in terms of lost tackle. There are also plenty of smaller reef fish waiting to pick apart your bait. Over-baiting can be a good tactic, but the most reliable way to bypass these conditions, is to simply freeline a live bait on a jighead. After breaking client’s hearts by releasing trophy grouper throughout the closed season, we are thrilled to be able to add these tasty critters to the icebox yet again. Right now is an excellent time to visit the Florida Keys and enjoy our full fishery. Capt. Quinlyn Haddon guides with Blue Magic Charters out of Marathon, Fla.


LURES

CASTING FAR: THE DYNAMICS OF LONG DISTANCE LURES

PATRICK SEBILE

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’ve enjoyed fishing from the shore since I was a teen angler, and one thing that became obvious to me very quickly was there are numerous situations when casts are a tad bit short to reach targeted fish in specific situations. This is a constant truism when fishing from the bank, the beach, a pier or jetty, but it also applies to boat anglers. Quick, long casts are often required for fastmoving fish like tuna. Long casts are also useful when it’s necessary to keep the boat away from reefs, boulders and breakers for safety or to avoid spooking fish. Long ago, I began making sure to always have lures in my possession that

were especially efficient for reaching out long distances. These lures sometimes trade realistic swimming action for distance, yet there are also a few that find a balance between great range and great action. When you read the packaging of a saltwater lure, and especially a surffishing lure, it often mentions how good the lure is for longdistance casts— or how good it is supposed to be. The problem is, there is no scale. There is no quantifiable reference for comparing lures that honestly presents the real numbers of yards any given lure will deliver. Marketing promises do not

always translate into real performance. To make things more complex, there is theoretical and real distance. A lure that casts great on a parking lot with no breeze can turn into a disaster when casting into an onshore breeze at night, which are conditions many serious fishermen face in the surf. There’s no magic, and what makes some lures reach farther distances than others is a mix between their concept, their balance and, to a certain extent, the gear used to throw them when the goal is to reach a little bit farther than other anglers. This conversation is all about the physics that translates to longer casting distance for better fishing results. The key points that will help you pick the proper lures to do the job are shape, buoyancy, the position of weight on the lure, the total weight and sometimes extra appendages, such as side wings that really help a lure fly as far as possible. These elements are just a primer to a discussion on lures designed for distance. Next month, I plan to go in-depth on ways you can select lures that will truly help you cast super-long distances to reach fish other lures cannot. Arming yourself with a longcasting arsenal gives you an edge in catching fish, simply because you’ll be able put a lure in front of them.

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Legendary angler Patrick Sebile is a world record holder and an award-winning designer of innovative lures and fishing gear. Check out his creations at abandofanglers.com.

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Shiner Fishing for Giant Florida

LARGEMOUTHS

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ass tournament anglers get excited about 20-pound five-fish limits, and a 30-pound tournament sack is a lifetime achievement for most. It takes a little bit more to impress hawg hunter Sean Rush. Rush makes a living guiding clients to trophy largemouth bass, mostly on Rodman Reservoir in north Florida. The best five fish haul his boat has seen weighed 61 pounds, 9 ounces. Think about that. That’s a more than 12-pound average. Rush said it was the best fishing day he’s ever witnessed, with two fish well over 13 pounds and the smallest of the five weighing a measly 11 pounds, 1 ounce. Most bass anglers across the country spend a lifetime seeking out a single 10-pound-plus largemouth. Rush’s anglers did five lifetime’s worth of trophy catching in a single day on April 26 of 2021. “And we probably lost between three and six fish that were that big or bigger,” Rush added after rattling off the astounding statistics. “Those guys were from New Jersey. They had never done any Florida shiner fishing before. I told them it was all downhill from there.” The downhill slide, however, is not too steep. Even a decent day using Rush’s techniques on Rodman produces results that would impress just about anyone. When it comes to catching big largemouths, he’s got several advantages over your average angler. Location is a big factor. Rodman is a 9,500acre giant bass factory. It is a 15-mile long stump field with a deep river channel running down the middle of it and the matted vegetation Florida

By Nick Carter

fisheries are known for. In more than three decades guiding, Rush said his clients have boated close to 1,000 bass better than 10 pounds. He landed 73 10-plus-pounders last year alone and has overseen the landing of eight fish on FWC’s TrophyCatch Hall of Fame list, which is for fish heavier than 13 pounds. He does 95 percent of his trips on Rodman. “If fishing is good, we commonly catch 30 to 60 fish a day,” he said. “The average size at Rodman is pretty solid. Usually we’ll have fish in the 8- to 10-pound class on the top end of that range.” Tactics are everything when it comes to catching fish like that. Live bait provides a huge advantage over the lures tournament anglers must fish. Rush fishes exclusively with live, wildcaught shiners, which he keeps lively in a huge bait tank on his custom-built, 22-foot Prodigy Razor. The tournament guys can keep their fiberglass glitter rockets. Rush’s sturdy aluminum boat is rigged out for the style of fishing he does, and it’s powered by a 150 hp Mercury with a power-assisted hand tiller. The tackle is also sturdy. Rush pairs heavy duty Daiwa 300 Lexa baitcasting reels with super heavy 7 ½- and 8-foot rods he said are essentially musky rods. He fishes straight 20-pound Berkley Big Game in green, which is thin enough for low visibility and strong enough to get the job done. He hooks his shiners through the tail above the anal fin with 3/0, 4/0 or 5/0 Eagle Claw 84s, which

are standard J hooks with a slight offset. In a typical spread, his anglers will work shiners under bobbers set 3 to 5 feet deep, and he’ll throw out one or two shiners on freelines to swim up under the vegetation. For big fish, he prefers shiners 7 to 9 inches long. Rush’s big-fish reputation has gotten around, so he stays booked 300-plus days a year. His favorite time of year is fall, before the December through February spawn. “It’s prespawn, the fishing pressure is lower and the fish are feeding up that time of year,” he said. “The fish are also big then. They look like gorillas.” Late spring and summer are also good, once fish settle back into normal patterns after the spawn. Most of the year he targets them around floating mats of vegetation and deep river bends. The exception is during the spawn, when bass push up on the flats. Rush does not bed fish, though. He’ll set up on mats near known spawning flats and try to catch big females staging. One more thing: don’t call Rush if you want to eat bass or have a trophy mounted. Rodman is managed under regular Florida regulations— which allow five fish, with one fish longer than 16 inches—but Rush’s trips are catch-and-release. “I’m up front and honest about it on the phone,” he said. “If they even talk like they want to keep one, I just won’t take them.” Contact Capt. Sean Rush and Trophy Bass Expeditions of Central Florida through the website at www.floridatrophybass.com.


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Monster Blue Cat Smashes Mississippi Record By CAM Staff

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he Mississippi River near Natchez, Miss. has a history of producing giant blue cats. The most recent monster catfish, caught on April 7, weighed 131 pounds and absolutely crushed the existing state rod-and-reel state record. Eugene Cronley, of Brandon, Mississippi, had just set up in a 90-foot-deep hole downstream of Natchez. About five minutes after making his first cast, the big fish took the cut skipjack he was using as bait, according to a report in the Mississippi Clarion Ledger. “He hit the rod and started pulling drag,”

Cronley told the Clarion Ledger. “We had to untie the boat and float down the river. “I couldn’t move him. I’d pull on him and take in a foot of line and he’d pull and take 10 feet. I just sat there like I was hung up.” After a 40-minute fight on 30-pound line, the angler’s exhaustion made hauling the fish into the boat a chore. Cronley has caught 50-pound fish from the area before, and he didn’t

realize exactly how big this fish was until he put eyes on it. Then, it was time to start looking for a certified scale with the capacity to weigh such an enormous fish. Cronley’s fish waited on ice for three days before he was able to get a certified weight. Fish lose weight when they are out of the water. The Clarion Ledger reported that the fish had an initial weight of 138 pounds on uncertified scales. Even out of the water for three days, Cronley’s blue cat shattered the previous rod-and-reel state record of 95 pounds, caught from the Mississippi near Natchez in 2009. In 1997, a 101-pound Mississippi trophy record blue catfish was caught in the same stretch of river. The IGFA all-tackle world record for blue catfish is 143 pounds. It was caught from Kerr Lake, Buggs Island, Virginia in 2011. Cronley’s catch, if certified by IGFA, would possibly be a new 30-pound line class record. The 30-pound line class record stands at 111 pounds. It was caught in 1996 from Wheeler Reservoir in Alabama. For more Mississippi fishing records, visit mdwfp.com.

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Permit Monitoring Funded for Western Dry Rocks

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PHOTO COURTESY OF DAVE POWELL

ast year, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), initiated an annual total fishing closure from April through July at a popular fishing location off Key West known as Western Dry Rocks. Bonefish & Tarpon Trust (BTT) recently announced a $600,000 investment to monitor the effectiveness of the closure in protecting spawning permit. Western Dry Rocks is an area of reef and rock about 10 miles southwest of Key West that hosts large spawning aggregations of permit and various snapper and grouper species each year. Its proximity to Key West and the dependable nature of the fishery make it a popular spot for bountiful half-day trips. The intent of the closure, which bans fishing in a 1 square-mile area from April through July for seven years, is to protect populations of several species

by allowing them to spawn unmolested by anglers. Permit, yellowtail snapper, mutton snapper and gray snapper are all known to aggregate at Western Dry Rocks from April through July. These spawning aggregations, along with the swirling currents that sweep past Western Dry Rocks are thought to play a role in the distribution of fish eggs and larvae throughout the Florida Keys and up the Atlantic coast of southern Florida. BTT’s investment will fund a monitoring program for three years. “We can’t overstate the importance of this analysis for fisheries management and how appreciative we are to our partners at Bonefish & Tarpon Trust,” said FWC Chairman Rodney Barreto. “Working together on this important research initiative helps to ensure Florida’s status as the Fishing Capital of the World.” FWC is requiring updates on regulation effectiveness at three, five and seven years, with a sunset clause at seven years if the closure is not meeting expectations. BTT scientists expect the spawning-season closure will have positive impacts on the behavior of permit at Western Dry Rocks, resulting in more relaxed schooling behaviors and enabling spawning fish to remain at the site longer. BTT will work with collaborators from previous permit research projects to test these predictions by comparing data collected at Western Dry Rocks (WDR) with data from other known permit spawning locations where fishing is allowed. “The monitoring will build on datasets that measured depredation, spawning permit aggregation characteristics, and permit spawning migrations at key spawning sites prior to the closure,” said Dr. Ross Boucek, BTT Florida Keys Initiative Manager. “By studying permit at WDR and comparing the WDR data to information gathered at other permit spawning sites that aren’t protected, we’ll be able to assess the effectiveness of a spawning season closure at WDR as a management tool.” The monitoring program will utilize acoustic telemetry, sonar technology and laser-mount underwater cameras to monitor permit spawning behaviors, estimate permit abundance and estimate permit size. The program will also employ methods previously used at WDR to determine rates of depredation at spawning locations that are still fished. For more information, visit myFWC.com.

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here’s a whole lot of gift-card money out there for the lucky anglers who catch one of 10 pink-tagged largemouth bass that were distributed around Florida waters this spring. To celebrate the tenth season of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s (FWC) TrophyCatch program, biologists stocked 10 trophysized largemouth bass with bright pink tags into 10 different freshwater fisheries. Each angler who catches and documents a pink-tagged bass will score a $5,000 gift card to Bass Pro Shops, $1,000 to shop at AFTCO, and secure a chance to win an additional $10,000. “Our freshwater biologists tagged 10 huge bass across the state – just about everyone is within a day-trip’s distance to fish for one of these tagged bass from a boat, kayak or even the bank. Now comes the fun part for anglers!” said TrophyCatch Director KP Clements. “Get out there and catch one! Tag, you’re it!” FWC’s TrophyCatch program is a valuable tool for freshwater fisheries research and management. It provides reward incentives to encourage anglers to catch, release and report trophy-sized (weighing 8 pounds or more) largemouth bass in Florida. The program develops public-private partnerships to protect trophy bass, promote fishing and support fisheries conservation programs. TrophyCatch anglers with approved bass receive rewards from program partners while FWC biologists learn more about producing and sustaining the best trophy bass fishery in the world. Here’s a list of the waters where pink-tagged bass are swimming: • Newnans Lake, Alachua County • Lake George, Putnam/Volusia counties • Lake Talquin, Gadsden/Leon counties • Lake Walk-in-Water, Polk County • Tenoroc Fish Management Area, Polk County • Lake Trafford, Collier County • Lake Istokpoga, Highlands County • Lake Griffin, Lake/Orange counties • Lake Rousseau, Levy/Citrus counties • Johns Lake, Orange County For more information, visit www.trophycatchflorida.com.

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ecently, federal fisheries managers approved cuts to cobia harvest in federal waters of the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. At the May 4 meeting of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, FWC staff will recommend regulations for state waters that are consistent with the new federal regulations. The proposed rule would: • Increase the minimum size limit from 33 to 36 inches fork length in all state waters. • Reduce the commercial bag limit from two to one fish per harvester, per day for Atlantic state waters. • Reduce the recreational and commercial vessel limit from six to two fish per vessel, per day for Atlantic State waters. These regulations changes were spurred by a recent stock assessment that shows cobia are undergoing overfishing. According to the proposal, a substantial portion of Florida’s cobia harvest comes from state waters. Staff is recommending the commission adopt these new regulations without further hearing. For more information, go to MyFWC.com.

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Summer-Long Statewide Fishing Competition Launches May 28 F or the first time in the history of Florida STAR, CCA Florida, will launch the annual STAR competition presented by Yamaha with a Title sponsor. CCA Florida STAR is proud to announce West Marine as the Title sponsor of the 2022 competition. West Marine began its support of the STAR competition in 2016 and each year has stepped up to a greater level of sponsorship. For 2022, West Marine has chosen to title the competition in order to increase awareness of the company’s commitment to the conservation of our fisheries resources for future viability which is so important to the future of its business. The West Marine CCA Florida STAR competition kicks off on May 28, the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend. The 101-day, summerlong event invites anglers and non-anglers to participate and win their share of prizes valued at almost $500,000, including boats, motors, scholarships and more. Launched in 2015, STAR focuses on conservation with its technology-based, catch-photo-release format. STAR’s dedicated smartphone app promotes the proper handling of species and allows participants to upload competition photos, eliminating the requirement to harvest or capture and transport fish. CCA Florida also uses data collected from the app to educate the public on the importance of protecting Florida’s marine resources. This

10 FLORIDA

MAY 2022

important data is also available to other conservation organizations and universities for use in their studies on conservation, habitat and stock assessments. “In the past seven years, it’s been amazing to see STAR participants support conservation by embracing the catch-photo format and picking up garbage during the annual competition” CCA Florida STAR Director Leiza Fitzgerald said. “Even more exciting is the participation of over 7,000 registrants annually and awarding more than $2.1 million in prizes, with $700,000 specifically awarded in youth scholarships.” The 2022 STAR competition is comprised of 17 divisions targeting 12 inshore and offshore species plus the cleanup of trash. STAR’s signature Tagged Redfish Division offers winners the choice of a Contender Boats 22 Sport, Pathfinder Boats 2200 TRS or Spyder Boats FX19 Vapor, all powered by Yamaha Outboards. For the first two youth anglers who win this division, prizes include two tiller boats powered with Yamaha Outboards, trailers, Minn Kota trolling motors and Humminbird electronics. The best opportunity to catch this year’s tagged redfish will be in Brevard, Citrus and Charlotte counties, STAR’s 2022 Destination Counties which each have eight tagged redfish in their coastal waters. There will be on average four STAR tagged redfish in every other coastal county of Florida for a total of nearly 170 released

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tagged fish. There is one tagged fish that is worth $50,000 cash. This special tag is sponsored by Alta Equipment Company. For offshore anglers, the Tigress Outriggers and Gear Tagged Dolphin Division offers one winner a $10,000 cash prize. The first STAR registrant and CCA Florida member who catches one of the tagged dolphin will win. These dolphin will be tagged and released in the coastal waters of Florida for STAR by the Dolphin Research program implemented by the Beyond Our Shores foundation. STAR is a family-friendly competition, and CCA Florida youth members (ages 6 to 17) can participate for free. Kids are encouraged to submit entries in the Youth Scholarship Division presented by Realtree Fishing for an opportunity to win one of 12 scholarships totaling $100,000. Other divisions include ladies, kayak, conservation, guides and many more. Since most division winners are determined by a random drawing, it is not about catching the biggest fish. Any size fish can win. Registration is open throughout the competition, but anglers who register before May 28 will be entered in the Engel Early Bird Drawings for weekly prizes. To register for STAR 2022 or receive additional information on divisions, prizes and more, visit ccaflstar.com or Facebook.

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CAPE CANAVERAL

nesses

MAY 2022

0

)

CAPE CANAVERAL

© 2022 tides4fishing.com

Height

17 AM -0.2 :50 AM 2.2 42 PM 0.0 06 PM 2.0 55 AM 0.0 25 AM 2.1 21 PM 0.0 46 PM 2.0 35 AM 0.1 :02 PM 2.0 01 PM 0.0 :30 AM 1.9 17 AM 0.2 :41 PM 1.9 45 PM 0.1 8 AM 1.8 06 AM 0.3 24 PM 1.8 34 PM 0.1 11 AM 1.8 02 AM 0.4 15 PM 1.7 29 PM 0.1 12 AM 1.8 02 AM 0.4 13 PM 1.7 27 PM 0.0 15 AM 1.9 :02 AM 0.4 16 PM 1.8 :24 PM -0.1 16 AM 2.0 :59 AM 0.3 18 PM 1.9 19 PM -0.3

ute s n utes

1 Sun 2 Mon 3 Tue 4 Wed 5 Thu 6 Fri 7 Sat 8 Sun 9 Mon 10 Tue 11 Wed 12 Thu 13 Fri 14 Sat 15 Sun 16 Mon 17 Tue 18 Wed 19 Thu 20 Fri 21 Sat 22 Sun 23 Mon 24 Tue

17 min ute s 4 min ute s

25 Wed

13 min ute s , 9 min ute s

27 Fri

ute s te s

g Basin te s ute s

26 Thu

28 Sat 29 Sun 30 Mon 31 Tue

May, 2022

TIDES FOR CAPE CANAVERAL

DAY

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PORT CANAVERAL OFFSHORE FORECAST

TIDE CHARTS

arts

1st TIDE

� � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � �

2nd TIDE

3rd TIDE

4th TIDE

SOLUNAR ACTIVITY COEFFICIENT

� 6:41 am� 7:57 pm

2:39 am 0.1 ft � 8:37 am 3.6 ft � 2:50 pm -0.3 ft � 9:10 pm 3.9 ft �

85

� 6:40 am� 7:57 pm

3:17 am 0.2 ft � 9:13 am 3.5 ft � 3:28 pm -0.2 ft � 9:47 pm 3.8 ft �

79

� 6:39 am� 7:58 pm

3:55 am 0.4 ft � 9:49 am 3.4 ft � 4:05 pm -0.1 ft � 10:25 pm3.6 ft �

71

� 6:38 am� 7:59 pm

4:32 am 0.5 ft � 10:26 am3.3 ft � 4:43 pm 0.1 ft � 11:04 pm3.4 ft �

62

��� ��� high �� average �

� 6:38 am� 8:00 pm

5:12 am 0.7 ft � 11:05 am3.1 ft � 5:23 pm 0.3 ft � 11:46 pm3.3 ft �

52

average

� 6:37 am� 8:00 pm

5:55 am 0.8 ft � 11:48 am3.0 ft � 6:08 pm 0.4 ft �

43

low

� 6:36 am� 8:01 pm

12:32 am3.1 ft � 6:44 am 0.9 ft � 12:37 pm2.9 ft � 7:00 pm 0.6 ft �

35

low

� 6:36 am� 8:02 pm

1:23 am 3.0 ft � 7:42 am 0.9 ft � 1:34 pm 2.8 ft � 7:59 pm 0.6 ft �

33

low

� 6:35 am� 8:02 pm

2:17 am 3.0 ft � 8:42 am 0.8 ft � 2:37 pm 2.9 ft � 9:02 pm 0.6 ft �

37

low

� 6:34 am� 8:03 pm

3:14 am 3.1 ft � 9:39 am 0.7 ft � 3:42 pm 3.0 ft � 10:01 pm0.6 ft �

47

low

� 6:33 am� 8:03 pm

4:09 am 3.2 ft � 10:31 am0.4 ft � 4:42 pm 3.2 ft � 10:55 pm0.4 ft �

60

average

� 6:33 am� 8:04 pm

5:01 am 3.3 ft � 11:19 am0.1 ft � 5:38 pm 3.5 ft � 11:46 pm0.3 ft �

73

high

� 6:32 am� 8:05 pm

5:51 am 3.5 ft � 12:05 pm-0.2 ft � 6:30 pm 3.8 ft �

85

high

� 6:32 am� 8:05 pm

12:35 am0.1 ft � 6:39 am 3.6 ft � 12:52 pm-0.5 ft � 7:20 pm 4.1 ft �

� 6:31 am� 8:06 pm

1:23 am 0.0 ft � 7:27 am 3.8 ft � 1:39 pm -0.7 ft � 8:09 pm 4.3 ft �

� 6:30 am� 8:06 pm

2:11 am -0.1 ft � 8:15 am 3.9 ft � 2:27 pm -0.8 ft � 8:59 pm 4.3 ft �

� 6:30 am� 8:07 pm

3:00 am -0.1 ft � 9:05 am 3.9 ft � 3:17 pm -0.9 ft � 9:50 pm 4.3 ft �

� 6:29 am� 8:08 pm

3:51 am 0.0 ft � 9:56 am 3.9 ft � 4:10 pm -0.8 ft � 10:42 pm4.2 ft �

� 6:29 am� 8:08 pm

4:45 am 0.1 ft � 10:51 am3.8 ft � 5:07 pm -0.6 ft � 11:37 pm4.0 ft �

75

high

� 6:28 am� 8:09 pm

5:44 am 0.2 ft �

63

average

� 6:28 am� 8:09 pm

12:34 am3.8 ft � 6:47 am 0.2 ft � 12:51 pm3.5 ft � 7:12 pm -0.1 ft �

55

average

� 6:28 am� 8:10 pm

1:33 am 3.7 ft � 7:53 am 0.2 ft � 1:57 pm 3.4 ft � 8:19 pm 0.1 ft �

51

� 6:27 am� 8:10 pm

2:33 am 3.6 ft � 8:57 am 0.2 ft � 3:04 pm 3.4 ft � 9:24 pm 0.2 ft �

53

� �� average �� average �

� 6:27 am� 8:11 pm

3:32 am 3.5 ft � 9:57 am 0.1 ft � 4:09 pm 3.5 ft � 10:24 pm0.3 ft �

59

average

� 6:26 am� 8:12 pm

4:28 am 3.5 ft � 10:50 am-0.1 ft � 5:08 pm 3.6 ft � 11:18 pm0.3 ft �

65

average

� 6:26 am� 8:12 pm

5:20 am 3.4 ft � 11:39 am-0.2 ft � 6:00 pm 3.6 ft �

70

high

� 6:26 am� 8:13 pm

12:06 am0.3 ft � 6:07 am 3.4 ft � 12:23 pm-0.2 ft � 6:46 pm 3.7 ft �

74

high

� 6:25 am� 8:13 pm

12:51 am0.3 ft � 6:49 am 3.4 ft � 1:05 pm -0.3 ft � 7:28 pm 3.7 ft �

76

high

� 6:25 am� 8:14 pm

1:33 am 0.3 ft � 7:30 am 3.4 ft � 1:44 pm -0.3 ft � 8:08 pm 3.7 ft �

77

high

� 6:25 am� 8:14 pm

2:13 am 0.3 ft � 8:08 am 3.3 ft � 2:23 pm -0.2 ft � 8:46 pm 3.7 ft �

75

high

� 6:25 am� 8:15 pm

2:51 am 0.4 ft � 8:46 am 3.3 ft � 3:01 pm -0.2 ft � 9:24 pm 3.6 ft �

72

high

6 BREVARD/VOLUSIA OM • THE ANGLERMAG.COM

11:49 am3.7 ft �

6:07 pm -0.3 ft �

high high

� �� �� �� ��

� � 94 very high � 100 very high � � � 100 very high � � � 95 very high � � 86 high �

I

s it just me or is anyone else wondering where all the cobia went? Who knows? We had a few good days, then beautiful weather with an empty ocean. We even saw a few hundred rays with nothing on them. Odd. But the good news is that this is also the time frame we start seeing them free swimming out on the reefs. While you’re out there slow trolling for kings, keep an eye out the back of the boat for that cobia trailing you. If you’re bottom fishing, keep an eye on what follows your fish up to the boat. The sand bar sharks seem to be holding… Good numbers of dolphin have been caught the last few weeks and should only increase this month. Start in the 90-120 foot range as many seem to think you have to go to 300 feet right off the get go. Unless someone is out there telling you to “C’mon,” start shallow. Start looking for color changes and temp breaks. Also look for weed lines and currents, as that is a good place to start. I like to use smaller islander lures with small ballyhoo or strip baits. On bright sunny days go with the yellows, pinks and bright blues. On darker days, go with black, red and purple colors. Kingfish will continue to do well this month, too. Best bait is going to be the bunker. Now that the water is warming up, live bait is much more consistent. Some days you may have to ride far south to get it and some days its right there in the port, but at least it’s around. Beach fishing is really starting to heat up as well. We’ve already seen some nice buoy line kings and tarpon. If the bait’s around, chances are there will be larger fish feeding. I like to start with 60# mono until I start getting cut off, then I switch to #4 wire. Shark fishing has been on fire. Hammer I know many say they don’t want Time! to deal with sharks or you can’t eat them, but you are completely wrong. On light tackle, they are so much fun, and blacktips are great to eat. Ever wonder why Grills always runs out of the shark kabobs? And I assure you, there’s no shark shortage. Just take what you will eat! No waste. We need there to be plenty of sharks—and every other species—for our future kids.

� � �� �� ��� ��� ���

CAPT. CHRIS CAMERON

Fired Up Fishing Charters www.firedupcharters.com www.sharkfishingcocoabeach.com (407) 222-3573

©2022 tides4+shing.com

Ladies Day aboard the Fire Fight always ends in satisfaction, catching limits of kings, big reds and all the sharks they could want with Capt. Joe. MAY 2022

COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

12/13/2019 10:24:07 AM


L

g limits oe. January layout.indd 15

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MAY 2022

BREVARD/VOLUSIA 12/13/2019 10:24:28 AM 7


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BANANA RIVER LAGOON FORECAST B

lack drum, speckled trout, and a few snook and redfish can be found in our lagoon waters this month. Live shrimp and fingerling mullet will get most of these fish to strike. The mangrove islands, vegetated residential canals edges, and docks are great places to toss one of these types of live baits. Soft plastic Don and Elisabeth Carlow with a nice jerk baits like the 4 mangrove shoreline black drum. or 5-inch Saltwater Assassin “fluke” style lures are top choices for targeting these fish as well. The black drum will usually only hit plastics if they have a scent product applied to them, but the others will strike out of reaction on most days. Look for schooling mullet along the flats because most of these fish will hold around them on most days. Give us a call and book your trip today! Until next time…Catch a memory!

CAPT. JIM ROSS

Fineline Fishing Charters www.FinelineFishingCharters.com (321) 636-3728

COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM


m will m, but ooling em on

SURF FISHING FORECAST S

urf fishing anglers scattered across Space Coast beaches celebrated many catches during the month of April. Pompano fishing near Melbourne Beach and Cocoa Beach hit spurts of schooling fish with excellent catches, followed up by a whiting bite that created nonstop action. Everything from bluefish to jack crevalle, croakers and bonnet head sharks made it a scenario when one could only guess what was on the line. Rounding off this diversified fish species list were the blacktip sharks that continue their presence off local beaches. For the most part, surf fishing conditions for May look to hold a similar pattern from April, with the addition of flounder and snook beginning to roam local beaches in the first trough. With that being said, I still expect large pompano ranging from 16” to 19” in the mix. Fresh peeled shrimp or sandfleas will be the baits of choice, rigged with Fishbites in the crab or clam flavor on a standard pompano rig. While many of the fish roam the outside sandbars, there will be a decent percentage that come from the first and second trough. With all the pompano, whiting and bluefish catches to keep one running, the trophy catches will be in the mix. Giant jack crevalle and sharks will, by far, be the largest species caught. Jack crevalle exceeding 40 pounds have been blitzing up and down the coast from Sebastian Inlet to Port Canaveral. While many of the fish tend to be out of range of surf fisherman, they occasionally skim in range of shore casting anglers. This has resulted in some giants being landed on light tackle and a feet to be recognized. Shark fishing charters paved the way for big time catches of blacktip sharks using fresh chunked bait. Often seen jumping and crashing through the surf

There’s quite a diversified mix of fish in the waters for Space Coast anglers hitting the shores for surf fishing fun this time of year.

this time of year, they are extremely prevalent currently. You might lose a few of your fish catches to them as inundated as the Space Coast waters are with sharks at the moment. Regardless, when targeting sharks they make for one heck of a fight and a memory for all. Heavy tackle with a quick battle to the shore and an expeditious release ensures we’ll maintain this fishery for generations to come.

CAPT. LUKAS BRICKWEG

Cocoa Beach Surf Fishing Charters cocoabeachsurffishingcharters@gmail.com www.cocoabeachsurffishingcharters.com (321) 205-4672

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MAY 2022

BREVARD/VOLUSIA 9


TIDE CHARTS

SEBASTIAN INLET MAY 2022

SEBASTIAN INLET

© 2022 tides4fishing.com

TIDES FOR SEBASTIAN INLET

DAY

1 Sun 2 Mon 3 Tue 4 Wed 5 Thu 6 Fri 7 Sat 8 Sun 9 Mon 10 Tue 11 Wed 12 Thu 13 Fri 14 Sat 15 Sun 16 Mon 17 Tue 18 Wed 19 Thu 20 Fri 21 Sat 22 Sun 23 Mon 24 Tue 25 Wed 26 Thu 27 Fri 28 Sat 29 Sun 30 Mon 31 Tue

May, 2022

1st TIDE

� � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � �

2nd TIDE

3rd TIDE

4th TIDE

SOLUNAR ACTIVITY COEFFICIENT

� 6:41 am� 7:55 pm

2:59 am 0.1 ft � 8:55 am 2.2 ft � 3:10 pm -0.2 ft � 9:28 pm 2.4 ft �

85

� 6:40 am� 7:56 pm

3:37 am 0.2 ft � 9:31 am 2.2 ft � 3:48 pm -0.2 ft � 10:05 pm2.3 ft �

79

� 6:40 am� 7:57 pm

4:15 am 0.3 ft � 10:07 am2.1 ft � 4:25 pm -0.1 ft � 10:43 pm2.2 ft �

71

� 6:39 am� 7:57 pm

4:52 am 0.4 ft � 10:44 am2.0 ft � 5:03 pm 0.1 ft � 11:22 pm2.1 ft �

62

��� ��� high �� average �

� 6:38 am� 7:58 pm

5:32 am 0.5 ft � 11:23 am1.9 ft � 5:43 pm 0.2 ft �

52

average

� 6:37 am� 7:58 pm

12:04 am2.0 ft � 6:15 am 0.6 ft � 12:06 pm1.8 ft � 6:28 pm 0.3 ft �

43

low

� 6:37 am� 8:00 pm

12:50 am1.9 ft � 7:04 am 0.6 ft � 12:55 pm1.8 ft � 7:20 pm 0.4 ft �

35

low

� 6:36 am� 8:00 pm

1:41 am 1.9 ft � 8:02 am 0.7 ft � 1:52 pm 1.7 ft � 8:19 pm 0.4 ft �

33

low

� 6:35 am� 8:01 pm

2:35 am 1.9 ft � 9:02 am 0.6 ft � 2:55 pm 1.8 ft � 9:22 pm 0.4 ft �

37

low

� 6:35 am� 8:01 pm

3:32 am 1.9 ft � 9:59 am 0.5 ft � 4:00 pm 1.9 ft � 10:21 pm0.4 ft �

47

low

� 6:34 am� 8:02 pm

4:27 am 2.0 ft � 10:51 am0.3 ft � 5:00 pm 2.0 ft � 11:15 pm0.3 ft �

60

average

� 6:33 am� 8:03 pm

5:19 am 2.0 ft � 11:39 am0.1 ft � 5:56 pm 2.2 ft �

73

high

� 6:33 am� 8:03 pm

12:06 am0.2 ft � 6:09 am 2.1 ft � 12:25 pm-0.2 ft � 6:48 pm 2.4 ft �

85

high

� 6:32 am� 8:04 pm

12:55 am0.1 ft � 6:57 am 2.3 ft � 1:12 pm -0.4 ft � 7:38 pm 2.5 ft �

� 6:32 am� 8:04 pm

1:43 am 0.0 ft � 7:45 am 2.3 ft � 1:59 pm -0.5 ft � 8:27 pm 2.6 ft �

� 6:31 am� 8:05 pm

2:31 am 0.0 ft � 8:33 am 2.4 ft � 2:47 pm -0.6 ft � 9:17 pm 2.7 ft �

� 6:31 am� 8:05 pm

3:20 am -0.1 ft � 9:23 am 2.4 ft � 3:37 pm -0.6 ft � 10:08 pm2.7 ft �

� 6:30 am� 8:06 pm

4:11 am 0.0 ft � 10:14 am2.4 ft � 4:30 pm -0.5 ft � 11:00 pm2.6 ft �

� 6:30 am� 8:07 pm

5:05 am 0.0 ft � 11:09 am2.3 ft � 5:27 pm -0.4 ft � 11:55 pm2.5 ft �

75

high

� 6:29 am� 8:07 pm

6:04 am 0.1 ft �

63

average

� 6:29 am� 8:08 pm

12:52 am2.4 ft � 7:07 am 0.2 ft � 1:09 pm 2.2 ft � 7:32 pm -0.1 ft �

55

average

� 6:28 am� 8:08 pm

1:51 am 2.3 ft � 8:13 am 0.2 ft � 2:15 pm 2.1 ft � 8:39 pm 0.0 ft �

51

� 6:28 am� 8:09 pm

2:51 am 2.2 ft � 9:17 am 0.1 ft � 3:22 pm 2.1 ft � 9:44 pm 0.1 ft �

53

� �� average �� average �

� 6:27 am� 8:09 pm

3:50 am 2.2 ft � 10:17 am0.0 ft � 4:27 pm 2.1 ft � 10:44 pm0.2 ft �

59

average

� 6:27 am� 8:10 pm

4:46 am 2.1 ft � 11:10 am0.0 ft � 5:26 pm 2.2 ft � 11:38 pm0.2 ft �

65

average

� 6:27 am� 8:10 pm

5:38 am 2.1 ft � 11:59 am-0.1 ft � 6:18 pm 2.3 ft �

70

high

� 6:27 am� 8:11 pm

12:26 am0.2 ft � 6:25 am 2.1 ft � 12:43 pm-0.2 ft � 7:04 pm 2.3 ft �

74

high

� 6:26 am� 8:12 pm

1:11 am 0.2 ft � 7:07 am 2.1 ft � 1:25 pm -0.2 ft � 7:46 pm 2.3 ft �

76

high

� 6:26 am� 8:12 pm

1:53 am 0.2 ft � 7:48 am 2.1 ft � 2:04 pm -0.2 ft � 8:26 pm 2.3 ft �

77

high

� 6:26 am� 8:13 pm

2:33 am 0.2 ft � 8:26 am 2.1 ft � 2:43 pm -0.2 ft � 9:04 pm 2.3 ft �

75

high

� 6:26 am� 8:13 pm

3:11 am 0.3 ft � 9:04 am 2.0 ft � 3:21 pm -0.1 ft � 9:42 pm 2.2 ft �

72

high

12:07 pm2.3 ft �

6:27 pm -0.2 ft �

high high

� �� �� �� ��

� � 94 very high � 100 very high � � � 100 very high � � � 95 very high � � 86 high �

� � �� �� ��� ��� ���

©2022 tides4+shing.com

SEBASTIAN INLET TO EAU GALLIE CAUSEWAY FORECAST T

he winter/spring snook bite has a bit slower than normal this year both inshore and in the inlet. Snook are being caught with some very good days to be had, but overall bite has been slow. Live mojarra and threadfins have been the best live bait to use, and artificials work well early morning and early evening. The redfish bite hasn’t been as good as last year, but there are still some around eating live baits at the tip of the jetty. The beach bite should be pretty good in may with some bonito, big jacks, kingfish and sharks on the menu. Depending on weather, the mutton snapper will move inshore and some nice fish will be caught close to the beach. It has been a little slower than normal inshore around the flats and spoil islands this winter. However, there has been some mullet coming into the lagoon from the ocean which should turn on the bite. If you can find the schools concentrated, you should be able to find big trout on Rapala’s Skitterwalk V and X-Rap Pops around the bait pods as well as snook, reds and jacks. The mullet will be making their home along the mangrove shorelines in Honest John’s canals, Snag Harbor, Hog Point, and all the coves along the shorelines as well as most of the spoil islands and some of the few flats with grass along them—and the gamefish wont be far behind. The bull sharks, jack crevalle, tarpon and snook are active Scott and his kids came down from Illinois in all of the creeks for some early late spring/early summer from Sebastian to beach fishing and it didn’t disappoint Melbourne and should be there throughout the month of May. Rapala Skitterwalk V topwater baits or the Shadow Rap Shad are “go-to” hard baits, the D.O.A. Shrimp & Terror Eyz are “go-to” soft baits, and live finger mullet are the “go-to” baits for the live bait guys. Look for shorelines and or docks with mullet or other baits around and key in on those areas. The mullet can be either free lined or fished under a natural cork. Best bite is early morning and at dusk.

CAPT. GLYN AUSTIN

Going Coastal Charters www.goingcoastalcharters.com (321) 863-8085 10 BREVARD/VOLUSIA

MAY 2022

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SEBASTIAN BLUE WATER OPEN SET FOR JUNE 4

P

lanning for the 28th annual Sebastian Exchange Club Foundation Blue Water Open Charity Offshore Fishing Tournament is well under way and the excitement is building! The tournament is scheduled for June 4. Through the years, the Exchange Club of Sebastian has raised over $853,000 through this tournament. All the proceeds go to non-profit organizations whose goals are to prevent child abuse, support youth, and make a difference in the community. Some of the organizations that have benefitted from this event are Youth Guidance, Boys and Girls Club, Nana’s House, Guardians for New Futures, Veterans Counsel, Roseland Ecumenical Food Pantry, and many others. Tournament headquarters will be at Capt. Hiram’s Resort in Sebastian. The festivities begin on Friday, June 3, at 5 p.m. at Capt. Hiram’s with registration, captain’s meeting, raffles, 50/50, and more. The tournament committee switched things up this year by bumping up the prize money and changing some of the fish species, so check out the details. $21,000 is up for grabs for those fishing the tournament, with 31 opportunities of winning some of the purse. The main board and bonus board fish categories are dolphin, kingfish, tilefish, and grouper. Additionally, there are $1,000 awards for the biggest amberjack and wahoo, and $1,500 for the biggest swordfish. Top boat gets you $2,500. Plus, there’s the Capt. William Charles Memorial Catchin’ and Cookin’ Award for $1,000 to the largest board grouper. And prizes for Top Lady Angler and Top Junior

COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

Angler! All the rules and payouts can be found at www.bluewateropen.com. All boats must be registered in person on Friday night between 5-7 p.m. The captain’s meeting begins at approximately 6 p.m. Boats can leave out of any inlet, but no lines in the water before 6 a.m. Saturday morning. Weigh-in is 2-5 p.m.. Boats must check-in with the committee boat promptly by 5 p.m. to weigh fish. More details are available at www. bluewateropen.com. The Sebastian Exchange Club is actively looking for sponsors for the event. Besides lots of exposure for the business during the tournament, sponsors will receive a boat entry and be invited to the awesome VIP Party on Friday night, held exclusively for tournament sponsors. Drinks and appetizers are included. Should you be interested in helping the cause of preventing child abuse and fostering youth activities, please contact Eva Chapman at (772) 300-2156 or visit www.bluewateropen.com. Whether you fish or just enjoy a good time, plan on attending The Sebastian Exchange Club Foundation Blue Water Open Charity Offshore Fishing Tournament June 3-4, 2022 at Capt. Hiram’s. The Sebastian Exchange Club has been an active part of our community since 1982. Should you be interested in working to prevent child abuse, foster youth, encourage Americanism or just promote good citizenship in the community, consider attending a noontime luncheon at Capt. Hiram’s any Wednesday, except the first Wednesday of each month. For more information, visit www.bluewateropen.com

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SOL FISHING

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P

eyton Williams of New Smyrna Beach, Florida was selected as the inaugural winner of the 2022 Sol Fishing College Scholarship! Peyton was selected for the Sol Fishing Scholarship for her excellence in art as well as her dedication and love for the ocean! Peyton aspires to be a Middle School Art teacher for Volusia County Schools. As the winner of the scholarship, Peyton put her art skills to work in order to design a Limited Edition Performance shirt with her design featured on the back. After various designs and changes, Peyton completed her design which was an elaborate sea turtle! These limited edition “Peyton Williams” shirts were pre sold to over 117 people and local stores surrounding the New Smyrna Beach area. All of the sales/ proceeds from the shirts all went to Peyton for the scholarship. The total amount presented to Peyton was over $2,000 which will go to her college fund. If you are wanting to purchase one of these Limited Edition “Peyton Williams” series shirts you can visit The Fishing store which is located at Outriggers Bar & Grill as well as Shades of New Smyrna Beach which is located on Flagler Avenue. Sol Fishing would like to say thank you to all the local organizations and companies that jumped in to donate items to be added to the 2022 Sol Fishing Scholarship. For example, Coastal Conservation Association “CCA” donated a fishing rod & reel combo and swag bag. Ultimate Steele donated a custom metal surfboard made out of aluminum. Sol Fishing would like to give a huge shoutout to Outriggers Tiki Bar & Grille for hosting us for the 2022 Scholarship dinner & award ceremony! Chef Erik Amalfitano provided an amazing spread of food which included sweet chili meatballs, chicken sliders, and a smoked fish dip! On behalf of everyone from — Capt. Evan Sanders | Sol Fishing Sol Fishing and from all who donated to this amazing Scholarship, we all wanted to congratulate Peyton Williams for being the first ever recipient for the Sol Fishing Scholarship!! 14 BREVARD/VOLUSIA

MAY 2022

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FIS

CA

Just to let you know I have a new Irish wolfhound puppy name Ula. She loves fish. I just poach them in a little pan and feed her the fish with the water, full of all that good fish oil. She seems to be thriving. Ula also likes the sounds of Collie Buds, who I am playing now Drinking a Red Stripe and seasoning up the fish, because me and those fish are heading to the smoker. Pompano are delicious to eat, my wife and I (my little cannibal) like to have them whole and roasted on a grill. To prepare them clean thoroughly inside and make three slices on each side to the bone. So they poach open. Some people like to add teriyaki or rub Cajun, if you like spice, or just some salt and pepper and lime juice. On the grill cook it thoroughly on one side so it won’t stick. Flip it over after 10 to 15 t’s on, they have arrived. All the crew that went down south to follow minutes on a hot grill don’t be afraid to burn the outside a little. It tastes the herd of pompano just returned. For good reason, pompano finally great. There is much more meat to be gotten, eating a whole fish and showed up in the Ponce Inlet area. Pompano like to stay in water fillets. You some sauce wasabi soy barbecue and as the French say ya mon which is no higher than mid 70° and no lower-then 68 for they travel bon apatite. from North Carolina down to South Florida in a migration. They like to feed on the inner sandbar or just in front of it in the — Marcopompano@gmail.com | Surf Fishing Guide | 386-212-4838 trough at higher tides, just like black drum, redfish and whiting which feed off the bottom. They like to hang out by the coquina shells and small run outs were they like to feed. It happened all at once. I turned, looked and my fishing pole was standing straight up like an infield fly. I knew right away I was in the Ula also likes the sounds game as soon as I touched the pole. It of Collie Buds, who I am bent and was almost pulled out of my playing now. Drinking hands. The pompano made its run. I a Red Stripe and seasoning could tell it was a scout - a big boy. It up the fish, because me and wanted to Bamba. I tightened up the drag a little and those fish are heading let it come to me. It swam down the beach and I did my famous little back to the smoker. up dance and it was mine! It turned out to be a monster pompano (see photo). Ya, mon! It’s definitely one of the biggest I have caught. It’s my fourth one of the day so I’m definitely making some fish dip later. The season started slow and sporadic. We keep hearing reports from Merritt Island and Hutchinson Island that the fish in the herd are south. The sand-fleas are almost nonexistent right now. We are waiting for them to come back in amounts we can harves, so I’ve been catching fish on crab knuckles and frozen salted clams which I’ve been sharing back and forth with my good buddy Glen who has also landed some monsters lately. So, like I always say, you have to put in the time. But with the wrong bait, you’re really not in the game. So take your time to get the fresh crab, clams and fleas when you can. It makes all the difference. And put on small pieces, the pompano‘s mouth is small.

I

16 BREVARD/VOLUSIA

MAY 2022

COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

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FISHING REPORT & FORECAST CAPT. MICHAEL SAVEDOW

Edgewater Report

M

ay is the transition month leaving spring and starting the summer fishing patterns, time again to start serious trips before sunrise to take advantage of the first light feeding period, more baitfish will be appearing in the ICW including Darin and Edgewater Black Drum Edgewater Backcountry and Mosquito Lagoon, finger mullet, pigfish, croakers, spots, small menhaden and pilchards. Early morning is topwater lure time, use smaller and quieter styles when conditions are calm, try larger and louder lures on choppy water, walk the dog types or chugger heads, I like Skitter Walk, Super Spook Jr, Chug Bug, and Zara Puppy, work top waters tight to oyster bars, shorelines, shallow back bays, and flats. Fish the top waters early, then switch to sub surface lures after the sun is up a bit, like twitch baits, Mirrodines, spoons, soft plastic jerk baits, and DOA or Gulp shrimp. Finger mullet will again be coming into shallow water, fish them free-lined, tail hooked, around the shallow oysters, flats, and shorelines for redfish and trout. On deeper drop offs fish lip hooked mullet, mud minnows, or live shrimp with split shot or ¼ oz sinker. Tarpon and Bull Redfish return to the intracoastal waterway, backcountry and Lagoon waters, for Tarpon they will show themselves on the surface by rolling and gulping air, as they

roll, their dorsal fin and tail break the top of the water, they are notoriously picky so patience is a must, a live shrimp, silver dollar blue crab, live finger mullet, plastic swim baits or lures are good to try, the Tarpon is a top challenge for fly fishers, with the sight casting chance at a silver king hookup. Larger Redfish will again be along the ICW channel, watch for surface activity with a lower profile, big boils and surface strikes as they eat drifting blue crabs or baitfish, a free lined whole or half crab, large live shrimp, pinfish, pigfish, croaker, spots, give the best chance of a pick up, use heavier tackle for the big Reds and Tarpon for a shorter fight and healthy release, hold these bigger fish horizontally for a photo not hanging from the lip which can damage these valuable breeder size fish, remember only Tarpon under 40” are legally allowed to be removed from the water so a photo with the fish in the water is needed on bigger fish. Summer is the best time of year for night time dock light fishing, the lights attract bait fish and shrimp which in turn bring in the trout, jacks, ladyfish, snook, and redfish to name a few, a free lined live shrimp can be the go to bait or match the hatch of which type of bait you are seeing, try a small size lure, swim bait, jig, twitch bait, or soft plastic shrimp. Anchor just up tide and a cast out from the light, throw your bait up current from the circle of light on the water and allow it to “swim” naturally through the target area. Out going tide can be best, but a moving tide in either direction is a must for a good bite. — Capt Michael Savedow https://EdgewaterRiverGuide.com / 386-689-3781

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Fish Tales

T

Ponce

Da 1 2 3 4 5 6

Freshwater Fever

7

M

8

y wife, Melanie Dean and I were fishing somewhere in the Tomoka Basin on a brisk Sunday afternoon in January when she caught this many spotted redfish on suicide shrimp from Ike’s Granada Bridge Bait & Tackle. We were amazed when we counted at least 35 spots on one side and another 28 or more spots on the opposite side before releasing this beautiful fish. — Tom

9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17

Late Spawners

J

axson with his biggest fish caught to date! Some may call the Bowfin a prehistoric trash fish, but on this day it was a “Memory Maker” There is nothing more rewarding than seeing a smile on a young child’s face after fighting in a big fish and getting it in solo. It gives them such a boost in confidence and deepens their passion for the sport. This create the kind of memories that will last a life time. I try and take my grandkids fishing as much as possible, after all I owe the passion for fishing that I have to my Dad and Grandad for the time they spent insuring I enjoyed each of the trips we took. So no matter which Red Fever species of fish they reel in on the end of their line, it will become a treasured memory they will revisit down the ooks like the Red Snapper have made a strong comeback in the past few years in their road. Florida offers an unlimited opportunity to catch an recovery from overfishing pressure. Every trip offshore to local artificial and natural reefs provide a boundless supply of snapper at the end of your rods. They are always great to catch, abundance of different species from shore or by boat. Take a kid fishing today, it will be rewarding for the both of you! but hard to send home. Maybe soon the season will be extended once their numbers have been “Tight Lines” verified. Until then guess we will just continue to enjoy the trips and mark spots to revisit on July 8th. Cant wait to invite one home for Dinner! — “Big B” — Gary Carney, GO2 Weapons Inc., www.go2weapons.com

L

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18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31


may s more after m for ast a as ave ring ch will he h an Take f you!

Ponce Inlet

INCREASE YOUR FISHING

TIDECHART MAY 2022

Ponce De Leon Inlet South, FL - May 2022 High

Date

PERFORMANCE

www.USHarbors.com

Low

AM

ft

PM

ft

AM

ft

PM

ft

Rise

Set

1

Sun

9:35

2.9

9:58

3.7

3:35

0.1

3:24

0.0

6:40

8:00

2

Mon 10:16

2.8

10:37

3.6

4:16

0.2

4:00

0.1

6:39

8:01

3

Tue

10:56

2.6

11:15

3.5

4:57

0.3

4:37

0.2

6:38

8:02

4

Wed 11:37

2.5

11:55

3.3

5:41

0.5

5:16

0.4

6:38

8:02

5

Thu

12:19

2.4

6:28

0.6

6:00

0.5

6:37

8:03

6

Fri

12:37

3.2

1:06

2.3

7:19

0.7

6:52

0.6

6:36

8:03

7

Sat

1:23

3.1

1:55

2.3

8:08

0.7

7:47

0.7

6:35

8:04

8

Sun

2:12

3.0

2:49

2.3

8:54

0.7

8:42

0.7

6:35

8:05

9

Mon

3:05

2.9

3:47

2.4

9:40

0.6

9:38

0.6

6:34

8:05

10

Tue

4:01

2.9

4:45

2.7

10:26

0.5

10:37

0.5

6:33

8:06

11

Wed

4:58

3.0

5:37

2.9

11:11

0.3

11:35

0.4

6:33

8:07

12

Thu

5:49

3.0

6:24

3.3

11:56

0.2

6:32

8:07

13

Fri

6:37

3.0

7:11

3.6

12:30

0.2

12:40

0.0

6:31

8:08

14

Sat

7:25

3.0

7:58

3.8

1:23

0.1

1:25

-0.2

6:31

8:08

15

Sun

8:14

3.0

8:47

4.1

2:14

-0.1

2:10

-0.3

6:30

8:09

16

Mon

9:04

3.0

9:37

4.2

3:05

-0.1

2:57

-0.4

6:29

8:10

17

Tue

9:55

3.0

10:28

4.2

3:56

-0.1

3:45

-0.4

6:29

8:10

18

Wed 10:47

2.9

11:21

4.1

4:49

-0.1

4:37

-0.3

6:28

8:11

19

Thu

11:41

2.8

5:46

0.0

5:35

-0.2

6:28

8:11

20

Fri

12:17

4.0

12:40

2.8

6:47

0.1

6:40

0.0

6:27

8:12

21

Sat

1:15

3.8

1:43

2.8

7:48

0.2

7:48

0.1

6:27

8:13

22

Sun

2:15

3.6

2:48

2.8

8:45

0.1

8:53

0.2

6:26

8:13

23

Mon

3:15

3.4

3:53

3.0

9:39

0.1

9:57

0.3

6:26

8:14

24

Tue

4:15

3.2

4:56

3.1

10:32

0.1

11:01

0.3

6:26

8:14

25

Wed

5:13

3.1

5:51

3.3

11:22

0.0

6:25

8:15

26

Thu

6:05

3.0

6:41

3.5

12:01

0.3

12:09

0.0

6:25

8:16

27

Fri

6:53

2.9

7:27

3.6

12:57

0.3

12:53

0.0

6:25

8:16

28

Sat

7:40

2.8

8:11

3.6

1:47

0.3

1:35

0.0

6:24

8:17

29

Sun

8:25

2.7

8:53

3.6

2:34

0.3

2:16

0.0

6:24

8:17

30

Mon

9:10

2.7

9:34

3.6

3:17

0.3

2:55

0.1

6:24

8:18

31

Tue

9:53

2.6

10:14

3.5

3:57

0.3

3:33

0.2

6:23

8:18

Moon

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Tomoka Tomoka Report Report

D

uring the month of May the tarpon begin to make their presence. They will enter the river and travel up and down following the mullet. Morning and evening are the best times. Great time for snook. They will begin preparing for spawning by eating as much as possible. Night is a good time to fish the lighted docks across from the basin for the snook and trout. Free line shrimp or bait fish down current for best results. Good fishing and enjoy the weather — Captain Barry Englehardt fishwithcaptainbarry.com

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JUNE 11, 2022

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FISHING REPORT & FORECAST INSHORE ADVENTURES WITH SKYE

Mosquito Lagoon and the back country of the Tomoka Basin Redfish

This month may be a little thing when targeting Redfish as you will find them moving around more. During those cooler and windy days you will find them up against the leeward banks basking in the sun. I suggest looking for those large grassy flats where you are sure to find some Reds roaming around waiting for you.

Fo

Sheepshead

Such a fun and simple species to target. Sheepshead is one species that’s typically overlooked in the lagoon. With the water clarity they are easily spooked due to them seeing you before you see then on the run, those Convicts! You want to target them along oyster bars with deep dropoffs, pilings along the channel and docks are the main places to target this species. I mainly use live fiddler crabs and live shrimp, to increase your bite action peel back your shrimp before baiting.

S

pring has sprung and we are starting to feel those warmer temperatures. I spent the past February in mosquito lagoon playing with tailing reds in solo swimmers. As far as the water clarity goes, I must say it is looking great! We should Trout start to see more improvement in the water quality. During the month of March is a great month for catching Trout. I drift the grassy weedlines May, fishing can be a but challenging with using the breaks in the weather and mangroves edges in the morning lower light tossing a top-water. to your advantage you should score some nice action! However in the day I switch to soft plastics, hitting those sandy pot holes with a live shrimp and a popping cork Trout cannot resist it. Lets Talk Bait As you all know I am all about Remember fishing can be a little more challenging this month with the my artificial! But being prepared when hitting the water is important, warmer temperatures. So step out of your comfort zone and try new tactics, lures and approaches to help you grow and become a better angler. I urge you you never know what the fish are biting on that day, I always have live to study the waters you fish. Study your tide charts, learn you moon phases and artificial baits. Live bait can be a and when the fish are feeding, fish new areas to expand and grow to be the best little scarce in March so I find myself angler you can be. If you’re an early bird typically using artificials more so a too water makes for a than often. This month you can fun bite. Poppin corks, find me in the grassy flats tossing Bomber Lures, Bodonk a a D.O.A paddle tail and jerk baits donk, D.O.A Shrimp and rigged weedless. paddle tails, gold spoons, those are just some of my Black Drum favorites to target these It sure is something seeing those big uglies pushsing across the species. You never know shallows. I’m finding them in schools throughout the south end of the lagoon to the railroad trestles in Indian River Lagoon. Dropping chunks of unless you try, so get out blue carbon those deep waters and shadow lines of haulover canal you are there and fish! certain to hook up to a slob drum! You will also find drum in the shallows INSHORE ADVENTURES WITH SKYE of the grassy flats during high tide and hissing out in the sand holes during Feel free to check out my inshore fishing adventures on Facebook @ the low tides. Inshore Adventures with Skye and on Instagram brassyangler 22 BREVARD/VOLUSIA

MAY 2022

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AS The Ed Kei


nd

Halifax Sport Fishing Club is pleased to announce our Special Needs Tournament For Mentally and Physically Challenged Kids and Young Adults All kids must be accompanied by an adult Saturday, May 7 2022 Dunlawton Bridge Pier: 93 Dunlawton Ave, Port Orange from 9AM to 12PM This is absolutely FREE to all.

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A Special Thanks To The Fishin’ Hole Ed Gardner Keith Myhre

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386-345-0746 HAVE YOU SEEN THE DIGITAL VERSION OF THIS MAGAZINE? Coastal Angler Magazine Volusia Edition is also available as a digital version online. See all the same great articles, photos and advertisements anytime from your phone, computer or tablet. It’s just a click away. While you’re there, explore the sight for links to editions from other locations along with lots of other useful information just for anglers like you.

FISHING REPORT & FORECAST CAPT JAMIE THRAPPAS

Ponce Inlet and Backwaters

M

ay means longer days and warmer weather finally! I love targeting flounder in may and as the summer season moves in it only gets better. My favorite bait for flounder is mud minnows however shrimp and smaller finger mullet also do the trick. I like a 1ft to 1 and half foot leader at most as you want the bait to be close to the bottom. A fishfinder rig with an egg weight is my preferred rig. 20 lb fourocarbon is best for leader and a #1 & #2 circle hook will do the trick. With flounder, if you get a bite the biggest thing is actually not to yank. I actually will take the tension out of the line and let them hold the bait for a few seconds. I will then lightly pull on the line and entice them to eat the bait a little more before I slowly reel them in. I also, almost always, net my flounder as I have had one to many keepers fall off trying to lift them in the boat. Please keep in mind that flounder regulations changed and the minimum size is now 14” and the per person bag limit is set at 5 fish. I will also be spending a ton of time at the inlet in May focusing on the sheepshead , black drum, and redfish . The slot redfish bite usually gets good on the outgoing tide. I like blue crab, cut mullet, cut ladyfish, and live mullet this time of the year. Look for them on your fishfinder or side scan and set up ahead of them with the outgoing tide. Lastly In may I like to focus on mangroves in the river. These fish are probably my favorite fish to target for food. They are aggressive and fun to catch not to mention amazing table fare. I like using light tackle and shrimp is my go to bait for them. I catch them both under docks and in deeper channels in mangroves. Once you find out where they are spend some time as there are always a few big ones mixed in the school of them. Get out there and get some time in on the water this month and as always if you see us out there say hello! — Capt. James Thrappas | Splash Brand Representation LLC 386-366-3424 yellowdawgfishing@gmail.com

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FWC CONSIDERS STATEWIDE REDFISH MANAGEMENT CHANGES

A

t the May 4 meeting of the Florida Wildlife Resources Commission, staff plans to propose several changes that will alter the way redfish are managed statewide. This initial presentation is a first step that seeks to obtain approval to publish the proposed rule changes and begin public workshops for stakeholder engagement. Here are the proposed rule changes: • Modify the redfish management regions • Prohibit captain and crew from retaining a bag limit during for-hire trips • Reduce the off-the-water transport limit from 6 to 4 fish per person • Increase the bag limit for the Big Bend region from 1 to 2 fish per person • Reduce the 8-fish vessel limit in each of the proposed management regions: » Panhandle, Big Bend, Northeast: 4 fish » Tampa Bay, Sarasota Bay, Charlotte Harbor, Southwest, Southeast: 2 fish • Only allow catch-and-release fishing for redfish in the Indian River Lagoon region Along with altering bag limits, these rule changes would allow FWC to utilize smaller regional units and annual reviews to evaluate redfish fisheries using six metrics: habitat, harmful

Figure 1. Proposed redfish management regions.

algal blooms, escapement, relative abundance, fishing effort and stakeholder feedback. A summary of the proposed changes reads: “Anglers primarily target redfish inshore, so an angler’s redfish fishing experience is closely linked to local environmental conditions as well as local fishing effort. Given this link and stakeholder feedback in support of a new management approach, the FWC is using a new approach that incorporates a holistic review of ecological and human factors. Applying the new approach, staff

evaluated the nine proposed management regions (at left) and prepared the first Annual Reviews.” Jumping out ahead of the proposal, CCA Florida has issued a call to its members to oppose the increase in bag limits from one fish to two in the new, smaller Big Bend region, which would stretch from Wakulla County to Pasco County. The current region covers this area, but also includes Escambia County. CCA Florida commended FWC for its other management redfish management efforts. These rule changes will be introduced at the May 4 FWC meeting beginning at 8:30 a.m. at the Hilton University of Florida Conference Center in Gainesville. The meeting is open to the public. For more information, see the “Commission Meetings” link at MyFWC.com.

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LIONFISH REMOVAL EVENTS MAY 8-15 M ay is Lionfish month in Florida. In a continuing effort to raise awareness and combat this invasive pest that populates Florida reefs, there’s a host of activities centered around Destin this month. The 2022 Lionfish Removal and Awareness Day Festival will be held May 14-15 at HarborWalk Willage in Destin. The two-day festival includes lionfish tastings, fillet demonstrations, conservation and art booths, an interactive Kids’ Zone and more. For more information on the festival, go to FWCReefRangers.com. The Emerald Coast Open, the largest lionfish tournament in the world, will be held in conjunction with the Lionfish Festival. With big cash prizes as well as tens of thousands of dollars in gear prizes, divers will compete for most, largest and smallest lionfish. There will also be raffles for gear. Pre-tournament runs through May 12. The tournament will be held May 13-14. Final weigh ins will be held at AJ’s Seafood and Oyster Bar in Destin at 11 a.m. on May 15. Registration is $100 at emeraldcoastopen.com. May 8-14 also brings on Emerald Coast Open Restaurant Week, when the chefs of Destin-Fort Walton Beach’s featured 18 FLORIDA

MAY 2022

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restaurants will highlight lionfish in unique and delicious dishes. Here’s the daily line-up of featured restaurants: DEWEY DESTIN’S - MAY 8 CRAB TRAP DESTIN - MAY 9 HARBOR DOCKS - MAY 10 LA PAZ - MAY 11 BROTULAS - MAY 12 AJ’S SEAFOOD & OYSTER BAR - MAY 14

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he Florida Fish and Wildlife Conser vation Commission will seek final approval for regulations changes to facilitate management for trophy largemouth bass at Fellsmere Water Management Area, also known as Headwaters Lake, in Indian River County. Fellsmere, which was designed to become a trophy bass fishery when it was impounded more than a decade ago, is already renowned as a trophy bass fishery. It is believed custom regulations will help the fishery grow bass 15 pounds and larger. Special regulations for Fellsmere would include catch and release of all largemouth bass and circle hook requirements when fishing live bait greater than 3 inches in length. These measures were previously approved at the December 2021 meeting of the commission. FWC staff will request final approval at the May 4 meeting of the commission in Gainesville.

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REPORT YOUR COBIA CATCH

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PHOTO COURTESY OF CAPT. CEFUS MCRAE

f you catch a Florida cobia, scientists want to know. FWC is researching reproduction and movement of cobia in Florida waters, and anglers are being asked to help by reporting their cobia catches through September. Cobia along Florida’s coasts have been fitted with conventional dart tags and surgically implanted with acoustic transmitters. Data collected by acoustic receivers along the coasts allows researchers to track cobia movements and learn more about the spawning migrations of the Gulf and Atlantic stocks. Scientists are also working with the public to sample the reproductive organs of harvested cobia. This data will allow scientists to determine if and where cobia are spawning along Florida’s coasts. If you catch a cobia from now until September, call (561) 882-5975 to arrange for a biologist to meet you and get a $50 reward. Fish must be kept whole or filleted with the carcass and organs intact on ice. If you catch a tagged cobia: • For the purpose of this study, harvest of tagged cobia is discouraged. • Photograph the tag. • Record the tag number, fork length, date and general location of catch. • Release the fish in good condition with tags still intact.Call (561) 8825975 to report the cobia and get a reward and shirt. Releasing tagged cobia will allow researchers to continue gathering valuable data. If you harvest a tagged cobia: • Report all information listed above for tagged cobia. • Return both the internal acoustic transmitter and plastic dart tags to: Attn: Jim Whittington Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Tequesta Field Laboratory 19100 SE Federal Hwy. Tequesta, FL 33469 The internal acoustic transmitter can be found implanted just inside the body cavity on the underside of the fish. This will provide valuable information to researchers. E-mail questions to Joy.Young@MyFWC.com or Jim.Whittington@MyFWC.com.

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n Illinois angler broke the Missouri state record for paddlefish in March. He snagged a 140-pound, 10-ounce paddlefish at Lake of the Ozarks. It beat out the previous record— set in 2015 at Table Rock Lake—by just one ounce. Record-breaking angler Jim Dain, of Pittsfield, Ill., was on a family fishing trip and almost decided not to take the boat out because of shifting weather conditions the day he caught his monster fish. “The forecast was calling for storms, and then it changed to no rain, so we went out, but it just kept getting colder,” Dain said. “We weren’t having much luck, but decided to fish for another hour. So we took another turn, and that’s when the drag on the reel started. It felt like a tree was on the line!” Paddlefish are an interesting target for anglers because they are filter feeders and will not take lures or baited hooks. The most popular method for catching them is to troll large, un-baited treble hooks to cover water and hopefully snag one. “We got 16 one-gallon bags of meat out of this catch,” laughed Dain. “We’ve fried it, grilled it and made paddlefish tacos the other night. We’ll be having paddlefish for a while!” Missouri’s paddlefish seasons run March 15-April 30 on its major paddlefish snagging waters: Lake of the Ozarks, Table Rock Lake, Truman Lake and their tributaries. There is a minimum length limit of 32 inches. The paddlefish season for the Mississippi River is March 15 through May 15 with a fall season of Sept. 15 through Dec. 15. For more information, see the Missouri DNR website at dnr.mo.gov.

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CoastalAnglerMag.com/contest 14 NATIONAL

MAY 2022

FLEXIBLE LIMIT

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PROPOSED FOR MAKOS

OAA Fisheries has proposed establishment of a flexible retention limit for shortfin mako sharks with a default limit of zero in commercial and recreational highly migratory fisheries. This measure follows a 2021 approval to ban mako shark harvest in the North Atlantic in 2022 and 2023 in a decision handed down by the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT). ICCAT’s juridiction is over highly migratory species, like sharks, which cross international boundaries. NOAA’s flexible retention limit would fulfill ICCAT’s recommendation, while allowing flexibility if conditions change. During the fishing year, NOAA Fisheries could increase the shortfin mako shark retention limit from the default, or subsequently decrease the retention limit, for the commercial fishery, the recreational fishery, or both, based on regulatory criteria and retention allowed by ICCAT. Strict conservation measures have been on the table for mako sharks since 2017, when a stock assessment indicated the species was being overfished. Annual take from both sides of the Atlantic ranged between 3,600 and 4,675 tons, mostly caught with commercial gear. ICCAT warned that catches must be kept below 1,000 tons to rebuild the population. Off the U.S. east coast, Atlantic shortfin mako sharks are found from New England to Florida, in the Gulf of Mexico from Florida to Texas, and in the Caribbean Sea. For more details or to comment on the proposal, see www.fisheries.noaa.gov.

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t’s tarpon time, and as big fish flood the channels, bays, flats, beaches and passes up the Gulf and Atlantic coasts, every angler with a monster silver king on the bucket list hopes to get a piece of the biggest show on water. Most of the time, all they’ll get is the aerial show. Whether it’s a thrown hook from a head-shaking leap, a sharp gill plate that cuts the line, or a big hammerhead that makes the line go slack, hooking a big tarpon is a lot easier than putting hands on one. Studies have shown less than 40 percent of hooked tarpon make it boatside to have their photo taken. Here are a few tips to help you turn a hook-up into a great release photo.

TARPON FIGHTING TIPS By CAM Staff

1) Bow to the King:

If you have any interest in tarpon at all, you’ve heard this one already, but let’s just get it out of the way for those who don’t know. When a tarpon jumps, stop reeling, drop your rod tip and point it at the fish. When the fish is doing all its head shaking and tailwalking, a slack line doesn’t provide as much leverage to throw the hook. When the fish lands, lift the rod tip back to about 45 degrees and reel quickly to take up the slack.

2) Predict the Jump: Watch the fish’s behavior and you can often predict when it will go airborne. A hard run usually culminates with a big jump. Also, when you see the line angling up, it means the fish is headed to the surface. Pay attention and you won’t be caught off guard.

PHOTO COURTESY OF CAPT. JEFF MAGGIO

3) Go Hard on Them: Tarpon are big and powerful. If you don’t break their spirit quickly, they just might break yours. Use heavy tackle and do everything you can to get them in quickly. Use an anchor buoy to quickly unhook and chase fish down. This allows you to gain line and maintain the upper hand. By adjusting the drag, you can let the fish tire itself out more quickly. Start with the drag lower in the early stages of the fight, when the fish is still making long powerful runs that can break the line. As it begins to tire from running and jumping, start ramping up the drag pressure and continue pumping and reeling. If you’re good enough, palming the reel allows you to manually control drag pressure without committing to a higher setting. This can save you if a fish has a sudden second wind. Keep the heat on a big fish from start to finish. If it runs to the right, swing your rod to the left and vice versa. By keeping constant pressure against the direction the fish is trying to go, it is sometimes possible to convince them to give up.

4) Don’t Feed the Sharks: Sharks always seem to show up when there’s tarpon fishing going on, and it’s a pity so many big tarpon end up getting sharked on the end of a line. When sharks show up, ethical anglers pull lines up and move. Reeling in half a fish is worse than reeling in no fish at all. If a big shark shows up during the fight, clamp down on the drag and try to break the line. For more, go to coastalanglermag.com.


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THE SCREEN TELLS ALL

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Tim Barefoot

s you should know by now if you read my articles or subscribe to my YouTube channel, I like to fish for everything with fins. From offshore in 300plus feet of water to creeks, there is one thing that makes us more effective now than we were years ago: electronics! When I was very young, we went to the very first mark off the beach and loaded up on sea bass, gray trout (weakfish), flounder and whatever else would bite a crude chicken rig with cut mullet. Those days are gone. Now, we have evolved to using the most advanced electronics available to locate and stay on fish. We’ve got side imaging and live imaging technology, which is not (almost) cheating, to… screw it… It’s cheating, and I’m doing it. I love a gag grouper like Peter loved the Lord, and I also like to fish for bass as well as drum, trout and snook. Electronics like side scan make me dangerous. They are the difference between being close to a good place on a ledge or wreck versus being ON THE SPOT. It’s now possible to see whether you’re close to a stack of baitfish or on it. The stack of bait is the key to catching instead of just soaking baits. Look for the giant stack of bait, because that is what holds

predators, bottom fish below and pelagics above. For example: The video link at the end of this article as well as the blue photo on this page are a prime example of electronics telling us what’s below us and how deep. The marks near the bottom are African pompano and other bottom fish. The marks in the 100-foot range are blackfin tuna. The other photo is of crappie in a creek. I was watching them in real time using Garmin LiveScope. Regardless if you’re fishing in 300 or 15 feet of water, having the correct electronics will make a huge difference. We rely on our fishing instincts to catch fish. I’m a believer in the “cleanest” terminal tackle being the most effective tackle. The most important thing of all, though, is to position your boat on top of fish. For this, proper electronics have become essential. Check out barefootcatsandtackle.com, and watch this video https://youtu.be/qGzW6QFZHKE on using electronics offshore.

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MAY 2022

NATIONAL 19


Making Memories M

ay is a great month to take or introduce a child to the sport of fishing. The summer crowds haven’t arrived, the weather is tolerable, and there should be a nice breeze to keep it comfortable. If your child is already catching more than you, this is a great time to teach them some new techniques or how to use a new lure. Jetties, piers or docks are great locations to target this month, and sheepshead can be an entertaining target for the beginner. They can be corporative, and a nice trophy for a child. At times, they can be easy to catch and will provide a solid fight for the saltiest of anglers. Sheepshead love structure. Focus your attention on the most barnacle-encrusted structure you can find. At times you can hear them munching on those barnacles! If it is legal in the area you are fishing, scraping barnacles off the structure is a great way to chum for sheepshead and really gets them fired up. Small live or fresh dead shrimp are great, readily available bait. Small jacks, croaker, pinfish and whitting are also good options to give young anglers a strong tug and a good time. Once again, live and dead shrimp are a good choice to lure in these aggressive feeders. Beach fronts, jetties and structure are good areas to target them. If your child is up for a challenge and wants to learn something new, like my 11-year-old, May

By Capt. Michael Okruhlik

is a good month to explore. With optimal water temperatures that keep fish aggressive, May is ideal. My son and I were in our favorite local tackle shop one day, and he picked up a custom painted lure and showed it to me. The owner, Mike, had painted these and they are renowned for catching big trout. My son had never fished one, but wanted to learn and catch a big one! For a few weeks, every time my son walked into the lure room and saw the Corky hanging on the rack, he would say, “Dad let’s go fishing.” He wanted to use the lure from Mr. Mike and catch a big trout. When we finally had a chance to hit the water, conditions were not ideal. We went to learn how to work the lure, if nothing else. My son did accomplish catching his first fish on a Corky. Even though it was not the big trout he planned on, it gave us a good laugh and memories that will last forever. This photo shows his first fish on that style of lure… the first of many I am certain. Go grow up little pinfish. Hopefully the next time we meet you are in the belly of a big trout! Take a kid fishing, leave the electronics at home, and everyone will have fun learning something from each other!

The Return of a

PHOTO COURTESY OF KNOCKIN TAIL LURES

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Offshore,

conversations. Satellite phones are an option but are cost prohibitive for most of us. Luckily, the satellite network has created a new choice with two-way texting devices like the Garmin inReach Mini, which I find offers a great mix of features, affordability, size and peace of mind. All these devices require a subscription plan, but most are affordable and allow you to pause them during off seasons. There are several manufacturers and options on the market, and they have many different features. Some have built-in keypads for easy composition of messages, but that makes the size larger. Most will pair with your cell phone, making it simple to create and send messages. They all also have SOS buttons that send a distress message along with your location to a communication center. Like EPIRBs and PLBs, they will continually transmit your location to By Will Schmidt search and rescue, helping them to find you quickly. Unlike the others, you are notified when your SOS is received. You can also communicate the nature of your emergency and answer vital questions from rescuers via text. The small size and waterproof rating means you can clip these devices to a life vest and continue sending and receiving information should you need to abandon ship. Furthermore, you can send non-emergency messages to check in with others. The inReach Mini allows you to create three preset messages that can be quickly sent and have unlimited sends on each of their data plans. This is a great feature for sending useful updates and non-emergency messages such as: “Just checking in, everything is fine.” Or “Everything is ok, but we are running late.” Other features many of these devices offer are waypoint navigation, tracking and weather reports. If navigation features are of primary importance to you, a larger device with a bigger screen might suit you better. Since mine is a backup navigation device, the connection to my phone is sufficient. I can even pair my inReach with my chart plotters to quickly send and read messages while underway. Whether you travel offshore, into the backwoods or to a remote island ith technology helping us get farther away from shore, it is lodge, if you want the ability to summon help or just check in at home when imperative that we have a reliable way to communicate with others. off the grid, these satellite devices offer great usability in an affordable easyIt’s not unheard of for people to take a bay boat 40 miles offshore to-use option. where VHF might not be heard. While Emergency Position Indicating Will Schmidt is a seasoned tournament angler who has been writing Radio Beacons (EPIRB) and Personal Locator Beacons (PLB) are a great about fishing from more than two decades. way to request assistance in an emergency, they lack the ability for two-way

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IT MIGHT JUST BE CRAZY ENOUGH TO WORK! Berkley played a pretty good gag for April fools that likely sent a group of very specialized anglers to the store looking for a product that doesn’t exist. The company, which produces scented and flavored artificial baits, announced the release of the Berkley PowerBait Noodling Glove. “Infused with PowerBait, this glove is designed to give noodlers a way to successfully wrangle catfish and give the fish a flavor so good, they’ll never let go,” read the press release. Berkley went on to tell sportsmen the following: Originally designed to withstand the fight of giant catfish, the team at Berkley Labs quickly discovered that the PowerBait Noodling Glove can be effective on more than just catfish. Extensive field testing proved that the PowerBait Noodling Glove increased angler catch rates for bass, trout and other species. The team even tested the glove with local hunters and found it’s just as effective in luring white-tailed deer as it is in luring catfish. There is nothing that can’t be caught using the PowerBait Noodling Glove. The Berkley PowerBait Noodling Glove may also get its time to shine on the bass tournament trails this year thanks to Berkley Pro Angler John Cox. Cox says, “The way I fish is very similar to noodlers; they go down the bank and look for holes. Well, I go down the bank looking for a 5 or 6 pounder either on a bed or chasing bluegill. So, when I heard about noodlers using the Berkley PowerBait Noodling Glove, I thought ‘Hey, this might work really well for me.’ Noodling is definitely not for just catfishing anymore. That was a pretty good one, Berkley.

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PARTING WATERS

LIKE NO OTHER INNOVATION DRIVES SUZUKI ON THE WATER Unparalleled throttle response and silky-smooth shifting along with the outboard industry’s first Contrarotating Dual–Prop design, the 350hp outboard is in a class of it’s own. With Suzuki Marine’s reputation for performance and reliability, you can rest assured your boating day is going to make memories that will last for years to come.

YEAR LIMITED WARRANTY

5 YEAR LIMITED WARRANTY applies to qualifying purchases of Suzuki outboard motors sold and delivered to the retail purchaser, for pleasure (non-commercial) use only, from April 1, 2021 through June 30, 2022. See Suzuki Limited Warranty for additional details. Suzuki, the “S” logo, and Suzuki model and product names are Suzuki Trademarks or ®. Don’t drink and drive. Always wear a USCG-approved life jacket and read your owner’s manual. © 2022 Suzuki Marine USA, LLC. All rights reserved.


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