Coastal Angler Magazine | March 2020 | Daytona/New Smyrna/Deland Edition

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DAYTONA/NEW SMYRNA/DELAND EDITION

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@CAMTAMagazine view online at issuu.com

Palm Beach International Boat Show March 26-29

PHOTO COURTESY OF GILLZ VOLUME 25 • ISSUE 300

COASTALANGLERMAG.COM

F R A N C H I S E

O P P O R T U N I T I E S

A V A I L A B L E

W O R L D W I D E

MARCH 2020


THE STRONGEST SPINFISHER YET!!! The 6th generation Spinfisher is now stronger and more water resistant than ever. With machined CNC gearing and an IPX5 water resistant rating, the newest Spinfisher is ready for anything.

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Progressive Casualty Ins. Co. & affiliates. Annual premium for a basic liability policy not available all states. Prices vary based on how you buy.

There’s a reason they say, Curse like a sailor. That’s why we offer basic plans starting at $100 a year and options with On-Water Towing. 1.800.PROGRESSIVE | PROGRESSIVE.COM COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM I MARCH 2020

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The easiest way to find bait when you’re ready to go fishing is by using the new Baitfinder App available for free download on both Apple and Android devices. Bait shops are the best possible resource for local information from what’s biting, and on what bait, to ensure you have the right equipment and knowledge before you head out to target a specific species of fish. Everything about Baitfinder is designed for anglers, by anglers, allowing all bait shops in your area to advertise their bait availability in real-time. There’s no more last-minute anxiety about locating bait or driving all over to locate the bait you’re looking for. Anglers can reserve their bait of choice prior to getting to their favorite bait shop to pick it up and it’s all easily done on the app! Let your friends know of this free app and encourage all your local bait shops to enroll at: WWW.BAITFINDER.COM

COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

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OUTDOOR APPAREL REVIEW Gillz 2020 Tournament Series Shirt

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illz has re-invented the original vented fishing shirt, and if you liked the original, you’ll love the new 2020 Tournament Series Shirt. They took the best features from the original and added a few sweet twists. First, the side vents were re-engineered to pull cooling air more efficiently through and around your body, keeping you cooler than ever. On top of that, it’s made from the proprietary and innovative GillzTec fabric. This interlocking fabric is engineered to quickly distribute moisture 360 degrees across the garment for better cooling. Since the moisture spreads throughout the garment, it dries and evaporates much faster, keeping you cool and comfortable and essentially eliminates any sweat spots that would normally appear. In fact, it’s 30 percent cooler than competitors! Lightweight and providing UPF 50+ protection, the shirt blocks 98 percent of UVA/UVB rays. Plus, it’s chemical free and looks pretty awesome. Gillz. The coolest gear on the planet.

Pelagic Blue Water Fishing Short

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esigned at sea, the Blue Water Fishing Short is your offshore hombre for all things fish. It has four-way stretch for maneuverability, a TightLines internal drawcord for a custom fit, and water repellency with stain guard for the inevitable elements. Made with REPREVE recycled fibers, this is the gateway short to your bluewater addiction.

Features: • 21” Outseam • 4-Way Stretch Fabric • REPREVE Recycled Fibers • Tightlines Adjustable Waistband • Water Repellency & Stain Guard • Side Zip Cargo Pocket W/ Reinforced Tool Pocket • Mesh Lined Back Zip Pockets

pelagicgear.com

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Reel Angler Saltwater Arm Sleeves

Frogg Toggs Pilot Pro Jacket in Realtree Fishing

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he Frogg Toggs Realtree Pilot PRO Jacket in the Realtree Fishing pattern is designed to handle whatever Mother Nature throws at you. Internal zips hold the Co-Pilot liner, while the full-front zip closure with splash-proof YKK zippers and internal storm flap keep you dry and warm. A fitted, three-way adjustable and removable hood with full-face closure protects your head and face with the help of the integrated fleece-lined, high-rise collar. An internal storm flap and two-way splash-proof front closure keeps water at bay. The jacket features an internal, zippered storage pocket and chest storage pockets, as well as zippered, oversized, fleece-lined handwarmer pockets.

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nglers need protection from the sun more than just about anyone. With Real Angler Saltwater Arm Sleeves from Solar Sleeves, you can protect your arms from the sun’s damaging rays and look cool doing it. With UPF factor of 40+, these sleeves offer excellent solar protection. They are made of super-comfortable stretch fabric that resists slipping for all day comfort on the water. If that wasn’t enough, you can represent your passion while protecting yourself. The vivid sublimation print is sure to be an eye catcher. Go fishing or spend the day on the boat in style with Reel Angler Arm Sleeves in Saltwater print. Retail stores shop online at capsmith.com.

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EXO-TECH HOODED PERFORMANCE FISHING SHIRT •86% POLYESTER, 14% ELASTANE •UPF 50+ SUN PROTECTION •ANTI-MICROBIAL •MESH SIDE PANELS FOR VENTILATION •VENTED MESH HOODIE •QUICK DRYING

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Secrets of a Billionaire Revealed “Price is what you pay; value is what you get. Whether we’re talking about socks or stocks, I like buying quality merchandise when it is marked down.” — wisdom from the most successful investor of all time

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e’re going to let you in on a secret. Billionaires have billions because they know value is not increased by an inflated price. They avoid big name markups, and aren’t swayed by flashy advertising. When you look on their wrist you’ll find a classic timepiece, not a cry for attention–– because they know true value comes from keeping more money in their pocket. We agree with this thinking wholeheartedly. And, so do our two-and-a-half million clients. It’s time you got in on the secret too. The Jet-Setter Chronograph can go up against the best chronographs in the market, deliver more accuracy and style than the “luxury” brands, and all for far, far less. $1,150 is what the Jet-Setter Chronograph would cost you with nothing more than a different name on the face. With over two million timepieces sold (and counting), we know a thing or two about creating watches people love. The Jet-Setter Chronograph gives you what you need to master time and keeps the superfluous stuff out of the equation. A classic in the looks department and a stainless steel power tool of construction, this is all the watch you need. And, then some. Your satisfaction is 100% guaranteed. Experience the Jet-Setter Chronograph for 30 days. If you’re not convinced you got excellence for less, send it back for a refund of the item price. Time is running out. Now CLIENTS LOVE that the secret’s out, we STAUER WATCHES… can’t guarantee this $39 chronograph will stick around long. Don’t overpay to be “The quality of their underwhelmed. Put a precision watches is equal to many chronograph on your wrist for that can go for ten times just $39 and laugh all the way the price or more.” to the bank. Call today! — Jeff from McKinney, TX

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Hook, Line & Sea Eagle Inflatable Sea Eagle FishSkiff™ 16

The super sleek, super stable inflatable FishSkiff™ 16 holds 1-3 anglers and all their gear. It’s low profile with nearly zero draft make landing fish & shallow water fishing easier and quicker. With a 6hp motor, it can reach 17 mph. Catch fish all day with 1 tank of gas. Add a bow mounted trolling motor for stealthy maneuverability. On shore just deflate & fold it up. Packs small to fit in a car trunk, SUV or RV and stores in a closet.

* 16’ long x 54” wide * Weighs just 99 lbs. (hull only) * Holds up to 3 people or 1765 lbs of people & gear * Inflates & sets up in 17 minutes

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ach year, millions of collectors and silver stackers around the world secure freshly struck American Eagle Silver Dollars. They are perhaps the most widely collected silver bullion coins in the world, and right now, you can be among the first to secure coins from the U.S. Mint’s brand-new 2020 mintage!

2019 Was a Great Year for Silver. What Will 2020 Hold?

In 2019, silver prices saw a significant increase. Between Sept 2018 and Sept 2019, silver values increased by 25%! No one can say for sure what the future holds, but these freshly struck, 99.9% pure U.S. Silver Dollars are finally available — meaning the time to buy is NOW! $20

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Each hefty U.S. Silver Dollar contains one Troy ounce of U.S. silver, struck in Brilliant Uncirculated (BU) condition by the United States Mint. The 100-year-old design features a walking Lady Liberty draped in a U.S. flag on one side and a majestic U.S. Eagle and shield on the other. These coins are as beautiful as they are desirable — and when silver prices rise, so does demand for these silver coins!

Final Year of Original Design

After 34 years of the Silver Eagle, the U.S. Mint has announced it will change the reverse design for 2021. That makes the 2020 Silver Eagle the last-year of the original design—something collectors crave!

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GovMint.com • 14101 Southcross Dr. W., Suite 175, Dept. AEB296-04 • Burnsville, MN 55337 GovMint.com® is a retail distributor of coin and currency issues and is not affiliated with the U.S. government. The collectible coin market is unregulated, highly speculative and involves risk. GovMint.com reserves the right to decline to consummate any sale, within its discretion, including due to pricing errors. Prices, facts, figures and populations deemed accurate as of the date of publication but may change significantly over time. All purchases are expressly conditioned upon your acceptance of GovMint.com’s Terms and Conditions (www.govmint.com/terms-conditions or call 1-800-721-0320); to decline, • THEANGLERMAG.COM I MARCH 2020 I NATIONAL return your purchase pursuant to GovMint.com’s Return Policy. © 2020COASTALANGLERMAG.COM GovMint.com. All rights reserved.

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3 6 0 - D E G R E E AC C E S S TO AN OCE AN OF POSSIBILITIES The engineless design of the FSH Series gives owners a spacious stern area, as well as 360-degree uninterrupted access to the water. With enhanced saltwater corrosion protection and a host of fishing and family-friendly features, Yamaha’s 2020 FSH Series is the best way to experience everything the coast has to offer. YA M A H A B OAT S . C O M

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©2020 Yamaha Motor Corporation, U.S.A. All rights reserved. Follow instructional materials and obey all laws. Drive responsibly, wearing protective apparel. Always drive within your capabilities, allowing time and distance for maneuvers, and respect others around you. Don’t drink and drive. FOR MORE INFORMATION, VISIT OUR WEBSITE COASTALANGLERMAG.COM AT YAMAHABOATS.COM OR CALL 1.800.88.YAMAHA. NATIONAL MARCH 2020 • THEANGLERMAG.COM

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he International Game Fish Association (IGFA) tracks record fish catches around the globe, and they have been busy. Since December, they have approved 65 new entries, including line class, fly-caught and youth records for different species. More than 30 of those records are all-tackle records, which means they are the largest individuals ever documented with IGFA. Here’s a quick look at some highlights: Tan’s Nile Perch Christopher Tan of Malaysia caught and released an incredible 146-centimeter (4.8-foot) Nile perch to set the IGFA All-Tackle Length World Record. In early August, Tan was casting a Halco Laser Pro 190 in Murchison Falls, Uganda. Pitman’s Golden Trevally Aussie angler Sahra Pitman caught a beautiful 12.25-kilogram (27-pound, 1-ounce) golden trevally to set the new IGFA Women’s 6-kg (12-lb.) Line Class World Record while fishing in Shark Bay, Western Australia. The record fish hit a McCarthy soft plastic and put up a 20-minute fight. It is currently the largest Line Class record of any received for golden trevally. Weeks’ Green Humphead Parrotfish Mark Weeks set the bar high with the first green humphead parrotfish submitted for an IGFA All-Tackle World Record, with a massive 46.35-kilogram (102-pound, 3-ounce) fish he caught and released while fly fishing the flats of Providence, Seychelles. The record parrotfish sucked up a crab pattern and took off across the flat.

Christopher Tan with the nearly 5-foot Nile perch he caught in Uganda.

Allum’s Rainbow Trout Emily Allum caught and released an impressive 13.30-kilogram (29-pound, 5-ounce) rainbow trout to set the new IGFA Women’s 4-kg (8-lb.) Line Class World Record. Allum was casting a Glo Bug in the Tekapo Canal, New Zealand, and fought the record trout for 10-minutes prior to weighing and releasing it. Schmid’s Arctic Char James Schmid recently set the new IGFA All-Tackle Length World Record for Arctic char with a gorgeous 93-centimeter (nearly 17-inch) fish. The char ate a Vibrax Blue Fox spinner in the Red Belly Lake, Victoria Island, Canada. After an 8-minute fight, James took the required measurement and released the fish.

(Left) Mark Weeks’ Seychelles parrotfish weighed more than 100 pounds. (Right) Emily Allum’s New Zealand rainbow is a new line-class record.

The U.S. Coast Guard recently approved the use of Serious Signal’s flagship electronic visual distress signal device as a nighttime distress signal. The C-1002 is the industry’s first and only two-color distress light approved for carriage, which completely and legally replaces the need to carry marine pyrotechnic flares. The C-1002 also includes features that enhance its functionality to the level of an alert and notification system. “We’re thrilled that the C-1002 Electronic LED Flare passed the extremely challenging laboratory testing required by the Coast Guard,” said Anthony Covelli, Sirius Signal CEO. “It’s the brightest multi-LED handheld SOS device on the planet—one that required sophisticated engineering and many new innovative solutions to overcome daunting challenges.” The C-1002 flashes the SOS distress signal—three short flashes, three long flashes, three short flashes, using a two-color plus infrared SOS flash pattern (red/ orange and cyan) that has been found more effective against shoreline background light clutter, according to studies conducted by the U.S. Coast Guard R&D Center. The C-1002 is also Bluetooth-enabled with advanced mobile app connectivity, providing an additional layer of protection and communication for recreational boaters— and its infrared signal will be recognized by SAR aircraft from miles overhead. “Based on our review… we acknowledge that the subject device, as tested, meets the performance criteria as specified in the policy letter and may be carried to meet regulatory requirements as a nighttime distress signal per 33 CFR 175.130,” noted the letter Sirius Signal received from the Coast Guard. In time for the 2020 boating season, the C-1002 will be available for purchase on the Sirius Signal website and Amazon.com, as well as at premier marine distributors.

COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

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Some discounts, coverages, payment plans and features are not available in all states, in all GEICO companies, or in all situations. Boat and PWC coverages are underwritten by GEICO Marine Insurance Company. In the state of CA, program provided through Boat Association Insurance Services, license #0H87086. GEICO is a registered service mark of Government Employees Insurance Company, Washington, DC 20076; a Berkshire Hathaway Inc. subsidiary. Š 2019 GEICO

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THE ALTERNATIVE TO BUYING A NEW BOAT

Suzuki Repower Centers are stationed around the southeast to help with your Suzuki service and repower needs.

Performance Bulletin Available

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Atlantic Marine Store Hialeah

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Save The Date! Palm Beach International Boat Show March 26-29 Superyacht Show Palm Beach Dubuts March 26-28

The 35th annual Palm Beach International Boat Show (PBIBS) pulls into port March 26 - 29, featuring hundreds of boats from around the world, ranging from 8-foot inflatables to super yachts nearly 300 feet long. As one of the top five boat shows in the country, owned by the Marine Industries Association of Palm Beach County, Inc. (MIAPBC) and produced by Informa Markets, PBIBS will feature more than $1.2 billion worth of yachts and accessories while offering fun and educational activities, including free youth fishing clinics presented by Hook the Future and IGFA School of Sportfishing seminars. Attendees will also enjoy live music and refreshments at the show’s famous floating cocktail lounges. Guests are invited to come by boat and tie up to free docks located south of the in-water displays. The show’s Windward VIP Experience includes admission to the show and VIP lounge featuring a premium open bar, sumptuous lunch, late afternoon tapas, pop-up events as well as concierge service in an indoor and outdoor exclusive setting in the heart of the show. Overlooking beautiful Flagler Drive at the Lakeside Pavilion, the Windward VIP is sponsored by Bradford Marine and Compass real estate. New to the show this year is Superyacht Show Palm Beach, which will host 10 to 12 superyachts, ranging in size from 180 to 300 feet long. The invitation-only event will be held at the Flagler Museum in the town of Palm Beach and is expected to attract highly qualified buyers from across the U.S. and around the globe. Superyacht Show Palm Beach will offer an exclusive display of the Show’s most luxurious superyachts, while featuring a mix of entertainment, luxury experiences, Superyacht seminars, and private evening events. Invited guests will be treated to valet parking, private tenders and limousine service to and from the airport. Superyacht Show Palm Beach will take place on March 26-28.

General Admission: • Adults (16 & over): $28 • Adult 2-Day Ticket: $52 • Children (ages 6 -15): $18 • Children (6 and under): FREE Windward VIP Experience: For an enhanced boat show experience, guests can purchase tickets to the Windward VIP Club. Each ticket includes show entry, access to the Windward VIP Club, a private luxury VIP Lounge, featuring an airconditioned indoor space, complimentary chef-drive cuisine, premium beverages and daily special events. Ticket price is $150. Superyacht Show Palm Beach After two years of planning and permitting, approval was granted by the Palm Beach Town Council to install temporary docks in the deep waters of the Intracoastal Waterway behind the Flagler Museum to host the new superyacht destination. This exclusive event is invite-only and will bring together builders of the world’s most luxurious superyachts and highly qualified clientele from around the world from March 26-28.

For additional information, including parking details, please visit the website www.pbboatshow.com. 2

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By John Lidington

t’s no secret that I love diving the Blue Heron Bridge (BHB). When it comes to photo subjects, I crave critters. While I’ve been to many locales seeking specific subjects—dolphins, whale sharks, longsnout butterfly fish, etc.—if I had to choose a single spot for all my diving it would be the BHB. At the beginning of any dive there, I usually have some specific subjects in mind. Yet even when the targeted critters elude me, I’ve never had to end a dive without some equally, or even more interesting images. To boost the number of those special encounters that keep me so happy, I practice “stop, look, wait” (SLW). The idea of SLW is to plan

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a shorter route of travel, with long stops along the way to allow the local inhabitants to become accustomed to my presence. At the start of the dive, I swim out toward the snorkel trail, looking for an interesting stretch of bottom. Finding a likely spot, I check the area where I will alight for any sensitive marine life and then “settle in.” “Settling in” doesn’t mean lying on the bottom. To remain stationary and motionless in the current, I do have to touch the bottom. But it’s with a three-point stance. I keep my fins at right angles to my legs so only their two tips touch the bottom. The third point of contact is a muck stick in my left hand. Using those three contact points, I can keep my body several inches above the bottom. Then I wait. If I’m lucky, after a minute or two, the nearby critters relax and interesting things happen. On my last BHB dive, I was able to watch a spotfin jawfish rearrange the shells paving the entrance to his hole. During the previous dive, while photographing a pair of hermit crabs investigating a discarded glass jar, I looked up to see a longarm octopus stretched up in its tripod stance checking me out. I also stop when I find something that will make a dramatic background. Then the wait is for something interesting to swim by in that frame. Recently, I found a spot where a starfish had climbed one of the pilings. It took almost 10 minutes, but ultimately I got the shot I envisioned—a sergeant major backed by a vertical star. Just about every SLW dive produces something very special. For optimal results, let Pura Vida Divers hook you up with a guide for the first dive. Guides are in the water almost every day, and they are well acquainted with the secret spots at Blue Heron Bridge where you find the most interesting creatures. Once you’re acquainted with the site, add a muck stick to your dive kit, head to the bridge, get in the water—and wait. You’ll be surprised at what turns up!

Contact Pura Vida Divers through their website at www.puravidadivers.com.

COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM


DO THE MATH!

SUZUKI REPOWER OWNER’S EDGE

TRADE ALLOWANCE PROGRAM

The Suzuki Repower Trade Allowance Program is exclusive for members of Owner’s Edge. Members receive a trade allowance based on the age and hours of their original engine toward a new Suzuki outboard as detailed below.

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t just 19 years old, Capt. KC Spaulding, of charter boat Caribsea, became the youngest captain ever to win the Florida Keys Gold Cup Fishing Championship Series. Fishing with anglers Kenny Spaulding, Lee Gahagen, Phillip Bryan and Sam Milazzo, all of Islamorada, Fla, and Kevin Taylor from Port Orange, Fla., the team released a total of 23 sailfish and hoisted the perpetual Florida Keys Gold Cup Sailfish trophy when the series concluded at the Islamorada Fishing Club Captain’s Cup Sailfish Tournament Jan. 30.

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The team started out strong with a win in the 56th Annual Islamorada Sailfish Tournament, releasing 19 sailfish. The team would release another three sails during the Cheeca Lodge Presidential Sailfish Tournament Jan. 24 and 26, followed by one release to conclude the trifecta at the Islamorada Fishing Club Captain’s Cup Tournament. The combined total of 23 releases crowned the Caribsea Grand Champions with Caribee Boat Sales—and Yamaha Outboards—sponsored gold cups along with trophies for the captain and mate. The team took home a check for $13,000. Second place went to Capt. JC Cleare aboard the Remix. Anglers John and Ben Dorton of Weston, Fla., along with Nick Carullo, George Corzo, Sarah Melia and Madison Wright, from Miami, Fla., and Doug Meintkiewicz of Islamorada, Fla., released a total of 19 fish. The team released 12 fish in the Islamorada Sailfish Tournament, five in the Cheeca Presidential and two in the Islamorada Fishing Club Tournament. The team’s 19 releases on-time sealed second place for trophies and a check for $7,200. Contagious took home third-place honors. Contagious Capt. Brian Cone led the team to 16 sailfish releases in the first leg of the series. Anglers Mark Mitchell and Kenneth Padgett, from Charlotte, N.C., photographer Tim Rahn, from Islamorada, Fla., along with Travis Bennett and Capt. Brian’s son Andy Cone, from Tavernier, Fla., had one more release at the Cheeca Presidential Tournament and two releases in the Islamorada Fishing Club Tournament for 19 total releases. The team received trophies and a check for $4,800. It was a close battle for the High Point Angler Championship Ring, sponsored by Tackle Center of Islamorada. Local artist and Capt. Sam Milazzo aboard the Caribsea started on top with eight releases in the first tournament, and although the field was nipping at his heels, his two releases in the Cheeca and one in the Islamorada Fishing Club tournaments gave him 11 total to join the elite crowd of championship ring winners. In total, 168 sailfish were released by 73 anglers participating in this season’s event. The Florida Keys Gold Cup Championship Series is a fundraiser for the Islamorada Charter Boat Association. The Series would like to thank major sponsors, Caribee Boat Sales, Yamaha Outboards, Tackle Center of Islamorada and Mangrove Mike’s Cafe. The hosts of the events included Whale Harbor Restaurants and Marina, Cheeca Lodge and Spa and the Islamorada Fishing Club. For more information, visit www.islamoradasailfishtournament.com.

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SAVINGS ON DECK

AT YOUR LOCAL GEICO OFFICE. GILBERT SUAREZ 305-914-9220 13631 Biscayne Blvd North Miami geico.com/northmiami Some discounts, coverages, payment plans and features are not available in all states or all GEICO companies. Boat and PWC coverages are underwritten by GEICO Marine Insurance Company. GEICO is a registered service mark of Government Employees Insurance Company, Washington, D.C. 20076; a Berkshire Hathaway Inc. subsidiary. GEICO Gecko image © 1999-2019. © 2019 GEICO 19_216446

Springtime is the official start of the fishing season. Many of us will stick to our tested and trued methods for targeting a variety of both fresh and saltwater species. Whether you’re a diehard spin-caster or a master of the plug rod, I always encourage anglers to learn a new fishing technique to add to their arsenal. Learning the basic skills of fly fishing will open up more fishing opportunities to put more fish in the net! Getting started: Choose the Correct Saltwater Outfit Getting started in saltwater fly fishing can seem like and overwhelming task, but it is really uncomplicated. It’s most important to purchase the right rod and reel for the type of fly fishing you’ll be doing. The East Coast striper fly fisherman will require a different outfit than the West Coast surf perch fisherman, and the guy interested in catching redfish in the Louisiana marsh will have a different rig than the angler casting to bonito off a jetty in Southern California.

Here are my suggestions The Rod: Choose a 7- or 8-weight rod. This rod is the perfect starter rod for the beginning saltwater fly fisherman. It’s heavy enough to punch a fly into a stiff wind, yet light enough to cast all day. The Reel: A good direct-drive reel that can hold a minimum 200 yards of 30-pound Dacron backing will work well in most saltwater fly fishing situations. Currently, fly reels designed for saltwater fishing are more than adequate in handling fish up to 50 pounds. To save you the price of an extra reel, buy an extra spool for your reel to hold your shooting head. Fly Lines: This is where it can get complicated, but fear not, it really is not that involved. Here is what you’ll need: 1) A basic weight-forward floating line matched to the weight of your fly rod. The WF floating line is a great all-around fly line for sight casting in shallow water. Don’t get confused by all the marketing of “Saltwater Taper,” “Bonefish Taper,” and “Redfish Taper;” all are lines suitable for the expert, but not for the beginner. 2) A weighted shooting head line combines the weighted front taper and an intermediate running line and is great for sub-surface fishing or fishing riptides from the beach. When fish are feeding below the surface, the shooting head will keep your fly in the hit zone longer. I would choose a 250 to 300 grain. The grain weight equals the sink rate of the fly line, so a 250 to 300 grain line will sink between 5 and 8 inches per second. This is plenty of sink rate to get you down to subsurface feeding fish. A basic, solid rod reel and line combo will ensure you get the most enjoyment out of saltwater fly fishing and prepare you for the next step.

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ake a deep breath, and then think about how different your life would be if you couldn’t. Cystic fibrosis is a progressive, genetic disease that causes persistent lung infections and limits the ability to breathe. Travis Suit’s daughter Piper was diagnosed with “CF” when she was four. When Travis learned that saltwater could help alleviate the symptoms of CF, he immersed Piper in saltwater activities, and became inspired to create an ocean-based event that could raise awareness and funds to help CF patients everywhere. Thus was born the Crossing For Cystic Fibrosis (formerly known as the Crossing For A Cure), an 80-mile self-propelled journey from the Bahamas to Florida. Travis made his first Crossing in 2013 with three stalwart friends on standup paddleboards who came to be known as “Piper’s Angels.” Since then, their ranks have grown to include hundreds of inspired paddlers, dedicated volunteers and generous sponsors. The Crossing For CF is the top paddle fundraising event in the world, and has grown into one of the largest boating events in the Bahamas. Travis sees this amazing endeavor as a valuable life lesson for everyone involved. “When you fear your struggles, they consume you, but when you confront your challenges, you overcome them. The Crossing For Cystic Fibrosis provides a great opportunity to show that—no matter what obstacles we face in life—we can always choose to persevere.” Registration is open for the 2020 Crossing, which will take place on June 20, and anyone can become part of the Crossing. You can paddle, captain a support vessel, volunteer at the landing or sponsor a paddler, a team, or the Foundation in any amount. Check it out, learn how the foundation has grown into one of the most impactful grassroots organizations for cystic fibrosis in the country. A whole lotta LOVE awaits you.

(Above) Piper and Scott Henley, President of Bahama on the podium. (Below) Travis Suit and Piper share triumph on Father’s Day weekend.

www.crossingforc ysticfibrosis.com www.pipersangels.org

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ishing line and other tackle cause problems when they enter the aquatic environment untethered to your reel. Monofilament is not biodegradable and lasts up to 600 years, depending on environmental conditions. It is very difficult for birds and animals to see, and this can lead to them becoming entangled, resulting in injuries. Monofilament can also entangle habitats, causing damage to coral reefs and posing a threat to scuba divers. Help prevent these issues by properly disposing of used line through the FWC’s Monofilament Recovery and Recycling Program. MRRP is a statewide project dedicated to reducing damage caused by monofilament and fluorocarbon line through a network of volunteers, recycling bins and drop-off locations. Place used monofilament or fluorocarbon in one of the PVC MRRP bins found at many boat ramps and piers. Many tackle shops also act as line recycling drop off locations. Collected line is cleaned by volunteers and shipped to the Berkley Pure Fishing company in Iowa for recycling. To discard non-monofilament line, such as braid or wire, cut the line into 12-inch or smaller pieces and place into a covered trash receptacle, where it will not blow away.

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over them. Make sure you don’t get the boot size too small—regular waders with attached boots are very uncomfortable if they are too tight—wear socks and get a larger boot. Gear: I recommend a good spinning reel with a 9- or 10-foot rod for longer casts. I use 6- to 10-pound braid most of the time with a 2-foot leader of 25-pound fluorocarbon. Take extra leaders and lures in case your line breaks. Lures: What most people think of as search baits are great for wading. They allow you to make lots of casts and cover a wide area of water quickly. My favorite lure is 1/8-ounce jig with a soft-plastic tail. I usually use D.O.A. jigs with a chartreuse head rigged with a pearl white paddletail. It swims but is not erratic. It’s easy for fish to locate by sight and vibration. The jig covers both shallow and deep water and can be skipped under piers and mangroves. It’s more versatile and has a better hook-up to release ratio since there’s a single hook. The other search lures I use are shallow-running crankbaits (Yo-zuri, pearl white), topwater lures (Skitterwalk/Zara Spook or chug plugs), and spoons (Johnson, saltwater silver or gold). Wind and tide: Wind is always a consideration. Too much wind makes it too hard to fish; not enough wind makes fish hard to catch. It’s easier to fish with the wind at your back because you can cast farther. To get the right wind, select either the east side (near Ocean) or the west side of the lagoon. If it’s too windy, fish around one of the Stuart bridges which almost completely block the wind. Locations: I wade the Southern Indian River Lagoon from Sebastian to Jupiter. Most of my wading is between Fort Pierce and Stuart. Here are my favorite spots: West Side—Walton Rd. (intersection with Indian River Rd.) and Walton Scrub also Midway Rd. and Old Fort Park in Fort Pierce, both Stuart Bridges. East Side—Bear Point then Blind Creek (Ft. Pierce), North and South Herman’s Bay (St. Lucie) and both Stuart Bridges.

By Richard Matteson

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n my years of fishing the Indian River Lagoon, some of my best fishing has been wading. There’s nothing like being in water with the fish. When you’re fishing piers or mangroves you have an advantage wading that you don’t have in a boat. Wading is not expensive. There are lots of places to access the lagoon, and all of them have fish. Waders: Because of changing water quality, you need a pair of chest waders for the lagoon. Waders protect you from underwater obstructions as well as cold or dirty water. Neoprene is too hot for Florida most of the year. I prefer vinyl waders. They are inexpensive, and if it’s cold you can wear jogging pants under them. Waders come with boots atRichard Matteson is staff writer for the Stuart Rod and Reel Club. For tached or soft shoe, which require you to wear regular rubber boots information, call 336-414-3440.

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he organizers of the Blue Marlin Grand Championship, one of the cornerstone tournaments on the Gulf of Mexico marlin circuit, have announced a new event. The Invitational, slated for August 6-8, will feature a field of just 30 teams and a first-place prize of $1 million. “We asked a number of the top boat owners and captains that are currently fishing in these tournaments in the Gulf about what they would like to see in a new event,” said tournament promoter Scott Burt. “Their overwhelming response was two-fold: They wanted to know who they were fishing against, and they wanted to fish for a million dollars for the winner.” With a minimum qualifying length of 112 inches LJFL, blue marlin will be scored at one point per pound. Released blue marlin are worth 625 points, although it’s clearly stated in the rules that the heaviest qualifying blue marlin will win first place. Second through fourth place will be decided by a combination of release and weighed fish points. However, in the event that no qualifying fish are weighed, release points decide the overall winner. Therefore, a seven-figure payday is possible for billfish releases in the Gulf. The Invitational is an all-in format, with a flat entry fee of $50,000 per boat. Aside from the million dollars awarded to first, second place will earn $145,000, third place is worth $100,000 and fourth, $75,000. Boats may depart from any port in the Gulf of Mexico, with the weigh-in held at The Wharf Marina in Orange Beach, Ala. To request an invitation, contact Jim Cox at (251) 802-2664 or TheInvitational@CMMMarinas.com. Visit www.milliondollarmarlin.com.

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B.A.S.S. photo by Seigo Saito

t all depends on the weather, but the Bassmaster Classic could produce some serious sacks of fish when some of the world’s best bass tournament anglers descend on Alabama’s Lake Guntersville March 6-8. On the 50th anniversary of the iconic championship event, 53 anglers who have qualified through the B.A.S.S. tournament season will launch on the sprawling, grass-filled impoundment of the Tennessee River during what has historically been prime time for big bass on the “Big G.” Pre-spawn activity was already ramping up during an early-February warm spell, although heavy rains, high waters and the cold front that followed pushed the fish right back out in the middle of the month. What that should mean is bass are primed to move up as soon as conditions stabilize. And when they move up, they will feed up in preparation for the spawn. If the first week of March sees warmer weather and rains hold off, this year’s Classic could become a shootout featuring heavy five-fish limits and some monster bass. Some of the largest fish of the year are usually caught during the early stages of the spawn. On the other hand, north Alabama is a place where early spring could bring 75 degree temperatures or snow flurries. Sometimes tough fishing conditions are just the thing to separate great anglers from good ones. Either way, with a more than $1 million purse, $300,000 for the winner and all of the industry perks that come with a Classic victory, it will be a lifechanging event for at least one angler. For more information, go to www.bassmaster.com.

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n Jan. 25, Forrest Lee Wood, the iconic sportsman and founder of Ranger Boats, died at the age of 87. An early pioneer of tournament bass fishing, Wood was an entrepreneur who left an indelible mark on the angling world. He is widely credited with development of the modern bass boat. Wood began his career in the outdoors as a trout fishing guide on the White River in Arkansas. In 1968, he and his wife, Nina, founded Wood Manufacturing Co., and he built his first six boats behind a service station in Flippin, Ark. His fledgling company, renamed Ranger Boats in honor of the Texas Rangers and U.S. Army Rangers, flourished along with the exploding popularity of tournament bass fishing through the 1970s. A competitive angler himself, Wood qualified for two Bassmaster Classics. He fished 101 B.A.S.S. tournaments with a good deal of success, and his knowledge of what bass anglers want in a boat led to the prototypes that influenced all bass boats that followed. Ranger was the official boat of B.A.S.S. from 1972-2000. In 1996, Wood’s initials were used to rename the Operation Bass tournament series, and the FLW Tour was born with its championship event the Forrest Wood Cup. In addition to his involvement in boat building and tournament bass fishing, Wood was a sportsman and a conservationist who served as commissioner of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission.


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pring is almost upon us and as usual we wait to see if mother nature will give us the “in like a lion” type of weather for the early spring. If you can time your weather patterns right, and pay close attention to when the bait migrations are happening, it can be a very fruitful time of year. In the month of March you will find us bouncing back and forth between “spring cleaning” projects, and the boat ramp. One of my favorite things about spring cleaning projects is all of the lures and gadgets I find that were purchased or given in the previous year. Every once in a while, I will knock some dust off a new lure and it quickly becomes my new favorite. I can already tell this year will be the year of crab imitations. I have a few of Chase Baits Smash Crab that I had forgotten all about until a recent cleanout of a garage cabinet.

Tight lines,

The Chibbaro Family

Contact Information: Chris Chibbaro | Coastal Angler Magazine | Daytona, New Smyrna and Deland | 386-478-9234 | cchibbaro@coastalanglermagazine.com

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These baits look so realistic, I can wait to see what species will smash them. So get into your garage, shed, tackle bag, or boat and get cleaning! You never know what you will find. At the end of this month we will find ourselves smack in the middle of Volusia County spring break. I know I sound like a broken record here but, TAKE A KID FISHING!!! Even if it just to the local pond or pier, or perhaps a day on a local head boat. The more we keep kids outdoors and teach them the joys of our natural world, the more likely they are to help us conserve it for future generations.

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elcome to spring!!! With the colder weather all but gone, March will be the beginning of fish getting back into their warmer weather feeding patterns. Look for the redfish to be breaking away from the schools they’ve been huddled up with all winter. Look to the shallow sandy banks at the beginning of an incoming tide and you’ll be sure to see the sun glistening off that beautiful copper exterior of the redfish back that’s protruding out of the water. The oyster beds will be teaming again as well with bait. And where there is bait there is likely to be redfish, trout and maybe a sheepshead or two. Hopefully everyone is adjusting well to the new trout regulations for Volusia county. If not be sure to pick up a regulations magazine at your local bait shop to catch up on the new changes. Snook will most definitely be coming alive again. Looks like with the mild winter, we ought to have one heck of a snook season this year. Flounder are sure to be on the move again as well this time of year. Pick up some mud minnows and hit a nice sandy bottom with good flowing water and you should be able to hook up with a couple nice flatties. All in all, spring time fishing here in our area can be extremely productive to those who get out to their favorite honey holes!! Remember until next time, keep your lines wet and your rods bent!!!

MARCH 2020

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FISHING REPORT & FORECAST CAPT. BARRY ENGLEHARDT

Tomoka Report

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arch is a good month to get your boat and motor serviced (if you own one). Fishing equipment needs to be tuned as well: such as new line, oil reels, new hooks, leaders and other fishing accessories. As most of you are aware largemouth bass are prevalent in the upper Tomoka and March is a great month to target them. Last year we had many catches of snook that were all released. The Tomoka Basin is a great snook fishery and March generally is their breakout month. Remember catch and release builds the amount of fish for the future. Other fish that peak in March are black drum, lady fish, sheepshead and pompano. Following that group are reds, flounder and sea trout. Some people may wonder why I mentioned Pompano in the Tomoka. Last year we boated many Pompano in the basin including a one day catch of nine. This winter was warmer than normal and as the water temperature in the river increases to 70-75 degrees the Pompano will move in through Ponce Inlet and make their way to the warm Tomoka Basin. Pompano are bottom feeders and travel in tight schools. In the basin they tend to settle in 3-5 feet of water. Use a Pompano rig with shrimp or sand fleas for best results. Good fishing Captain Barry Englehardt | fishwithcaptainbarry.com

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FISHING REPORT & FORECAST INSHORE ADVENTURES WITH SKYE

March In The lagoon and backwaters

T

he lagoon and backwaters this past month were just wonderful. The water quality was great, and I spent many days just marveling at its beauty. I’m very excited about March as I personally feel extremely connected with that month. We should see further improvement of the water quality through March and although fishing can be challenging, you have the opportunity to score some really great flats action if you can use the breaks in the weather to your advantage.

Trout

March is a great month for trout and all the usual tactics will be in play. In lower light conditions, it is top water time for sure. The sea trout is a favorite of anglers for lots of reasons, did someone say fish tacos at Millie’s restaurant!? My favorite part of the sea trout fishing is the classic head shake you can feel at the end of your line. There is no better than feeling that headshake and knowing it’s a trout and feeling him take drag as you realize it is a monster gator trout.

Redfish

The red fish can be a bit tricky in March as they will move around quite a bit during the windy and cooler days. Search for them up on the Leeward banks in the sun on colder days, however during the warmer stretches you will find them out in the larger expensive grass flats roaming around waiting for you. Remember if you don’t go, you’ll never know so get out there and fish!!!!

Sheepshead

One species that is always overlooked in the lagoon and flats are sheepshead. It can be a ton of fun to go and catch these convicts as they are affectionately called. You are going to want to target these fish along oyster bars with deep drop offs and of course the pilings along the channel are the main places to look for them. For sheepshead fishing I mostly use live or for frozen fiddler crabs or shrimp, if using frozen shrimp I like to peel them before I put them on the hook I find it really increases my bite to hookup ratio.

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INSHORE ADVENTURES WITH SKYE Feel free to check out my inshore fishing adventures on Facebook @ Inshore Adventures with Skye and on Instagram brassyhooker87

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Ponce Inlet

FISHING REPORT & FORECAST CAPT. SHANE RYAN

TIDE CHART

Offshore Fishing

MARCH 2020

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arch fishing is literally the middle of the best fishing this area has to offer. On any given day trolling offshore we are catching Sailfish, Tunas, Wahoo, Mahi’s and kingfish. Typically transitioning into trolling Ballyhoos and Bonita strips at around 6-7 knots on 25-50 wide reels. We like to look for bigger structures and changes in water temperature or color is usually where you find the bait in the water column. Once you find the bites, stay close and pick away at it. I will burn a hole in good area knowing that when the bite turns on, I’m where I need to be. Our typical spread on these days consist of a shotgun for black fins or wahoo primarily and usually a ballyhoo with a Sea Witch. Our outside lines are the same or naked depending on the target species. Our short lines will have a naked and an islander on wire with a larger bait or strip. The flatline is naked and always a plainer in the mix. Last month we had at least half our fish come off the plainer so definitely keep one in the mix. The bottom will be wide open for triggers, jacks and red eyes. It’s the same old drill of double rigs with squid and a live rod down for the jacks. Shouldn’t take much time at it so bring some jigs for cobias or some kingfish spoons to burn the rest of the day up. Basically, get out there if you can an enjoy the day. Tight Lines! Capt Shane Ryan | Back to Blue Outdoors

1

Sun

12:19

3.0

12:34

2.5

6:49

0.7

6:45

0.5

2

Mon

1:08

3.0

1:24

2.4

7:43

0.8

7:35

0.5

3

Tue

2:06

3.0

2:27

2.3

8:41

0.7

8:32

0.4

4

Wed

3:14

3.1

3:39

2.4

9:43

0.7

9:34

0.3

5

Thu

4:20

3.3

4:44

2.6

10:43

0.5

10:36

0.1

6

Fri

5:18

3.5

5:39

2.8

11:37

0.3

11:35

-0.1

7

Sat

6:11

3.7

6:31

3.1

12:28

0.1

8

Sun

8:02

3.9

8:23

3.4

12:30

-0.3

2:15

-0.1

9

Mon

8:51

3.9

9:14

3.6

2:24

-0.5

3:01

-0.3

10

Tue

9:40

3.9

10:03

3.8

3:16

-0.6

3:45

-0.4

11

Wed

10:27

3.8

10:53

3.9

4:08

-0.5

4:30

-0.4

12

Thu

11:15

3.6

11:44

3.9

5:01

-0.4

5:18

-0.4

13

Fri

12:04

3.3

5:58

-0.2

6:10

-0.2

14

Sat

12:39

3.8

12:58

3.0

7:00

0.0

7:07

-0.1

15

Sun

1:37

3.7

1:57

2.8

8:04

0.2

8:06

0.1

16

Mon

2:38

3.5

3:00

2.6

9:07

0.4

9:07

0.2

17

Tue

3:44

3.4

4:09

2.6

10:10

0.5

10:09

0.3

18

Wed

4:50

3.3

5:15

2.6

11:13

0.5

11:13

0.3

19

Thu

5:49

3.3

6:11

2.7

12:09

0.4

20

Fri

6:40

3.3

7:01

2.9

12:12

0.3

12:58

0.4

21

Sat

7:26

3.3

7:46

3.0

1:04

0.2

1:41

0.3

22

Sun

8:08

3.3

8:29

3.1

1:50

0.2

2:19

0.2

23

Mon

8:48

3.3

9:09

3.2

2:33

0.1

2:53

0.1

24

Tue

9:26

3.2

9:46

3.3

3:12

0.1

3:26

0.1

25

Wed

10:02

3.2

10:21

3.3

3:48

0.2

3:57

0.1

26

Thu

10:37

3.0

10:54

3.3

4:25

0.2

4:28

0.2

27

Fri

11:11

2.9

11:28

3.3

5:02

0.3

5:00

0.3

28

Sat

11:45

2.7

5:42

0.4

5:35

0.3

29

Sun

12:04

3.2

12:23

2.6

6:28

0.5

6:16

0.4

30

Mon

12:45

3.2

1:06

2.5

7:21

0.6

7:06

0.5

31

Tue

1:34

3.2

1:57

2.4

8:16

0.6

8:03

0.5

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FISHING REPORT & FORECAST CAPT JAMIE THRAPPAS

Ponce Inlet & Backwaters

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live or cut bait on the bottom and focus on the outgoing tide. Put your time in and your going to find a few quality redfish. As the water warms up later in the month, look for the snook bite to get better, especially in the evening and night along the dock lights, I know I will be putting in some time finding some line siders for the grill! Live pinfish, select shrimp, and your favorite artificial should do the trick. Good luck out there and as always look for us out on the water and say hello!

arch will still have its fair share of cold fronts pushing through, helping to keep the water temps down and keeping me using my winter tactics at least early in the month. I usually find plenty of quality sheepshead at the inlet and the docks both to the north and south using sand fleas and fiddler crabs when I can get them. On outgoing tides I’ll look for deeper cuts along mangroves and float shrimp on popping cork in search of both trout and pompano. I will also focus on some deeper holes with cut bait looking for a few quality black drum and the always welcome redfish. March can be a hit or miss at the inlet but your best bet would be a

James Thrappas | Splash Brand Representation LLC | 386-366-3424 splashbrandsllc@gmail.com | NATIVE EYEWEAR

HSFC’S 20TH ANNUAL OFFSHORE CHALLENGE STARTS THIS MONTH Captains meeting March 19th 6:00 pm at the HSFC Headquarters We have some great raffle items to give away, so even if you’re not fishing you can still win. Information can also be found on the club website at www.hsfc.com. HSFC will also be conducting our bi-annual Halifax River clean up on March 7th 7:30am under the West side of the Dunlawton bridge. Bring your boat or hop on a member’s boat for a river cruse cleaning up our waterways. This is an open to the public event, which ends at down the hatch restaurant with pizza and drinks. This is a great way to make new friends. We will also be presenting our prestigious “Odd Item” award to the person with the most unusual item/trash found. — Capt. Jesse Jones

For more information visit www.hsfc.com 6 DAYTONA/NEW SMYRNA/DELAND

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FISHING REPORT & FORECAST CAPT. MICHAEL SAVEDOW

Edgewater Report

E

dgewater Backcountry fishing comes alive with the arrival of spring. Rising water temperatures during March signal the northward migration of all sorts of both inshore and offshore fish along the Atlantic coast. Bait fish such as mullet, pilchards, and glass minnows, along with game fish being jack crevalle, Courtney caught Edgewater Backcountry Redfish ladyfish, bluefish, black drum, tarpon, with Capt Michael Savedow spanish mackerel, and pompano are among the inshore species that winter in the warmer waters of Central Florida. Schools of jacks, blues, and ladies come through the ICW during early spring making for fast action with these hard fighting, catch and release game fish. Early morning can see surface striking activity along the intracoastal or

old channel in Edgewater, fish attacking spring run shrimp or glass minnows, cast a shrimp, baitfish, artificial imitation, or fly in the busting fish for a fast hook up, mackerel or trout can also be caught in this surface activity. Look for diving birds or surface strikes, not always visible on top, they can be stacked up down deep on channel edges, shoreline drop-offs, points and creek mouths with good current flow. We will hope for a good spring shrimp run this year, every fish big and small swimming in our inshore waters eats shrimp, so you can’t go wrong using them for bait. Select size shrimp, hooked through the trimmed tail for a long cast to sight fished reds and trout in skinny water. Or regular size shrimp free lined or with a small split shot on the drop offs and in holes for mixed bag action. Throw them at surface feeding fish in the channel, on the bottom in black drum spots, and at the Ponce Inlet jetties. Another northbound migrating fish to target in March (and April) are the adult giant black drum which will pass through our area along the bottom of the ICW channel and along the near shore Atlantic ocean coast. Fish at night with half a blue crab or a jumbo shrimp on the bottom of the channel in Oak Hill, Edgewater, or around the bridges in New Smyrna. On some calm quiet nights the “drumming” sounds of these big fish on the bottom can be heard coming up out of the water. Use heavy enough tackle to subdue these large fish which are 30 to 50 lbs and larger in a shorter length of time for a healthy release. Capt Michael Savedow / Edgewater River Guide www.EdgewaterRiverGuide.com / 386-689-3781

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Local fly tier highflies386 with a beautiful redfish

Bragboard regular Amy Beuschel with a nice snook

Capt Marshall of New Legacy Charters brought in this keeper. Congratulations Captain!!

Capt. David with a blackfin Tuna from Strippin Lips Charters

R.J. with a beautiful Ponce Inlet Permit aboard Yellow Dawg Charters

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ANGLER EXTRAS

Fishin With Gramps

T

he cast of characters that my Grandfather fished and hung out with spanned all shapes, sizes, colors, and personalities. There were some of his friends that I absolutely loved to fish with, like Freddy the Belgian man whom my Gramps met at a fishing pier one day and invited him on the boat with us. Freddy fished on Gramps’ boat with him for over 20 years and was the kindest, most compassionate man aboard. He would set his own rod down at the drop of a hat to help someone else with a tangle, or to land a fish, or just to clean up the boat if it got dirty. Freddy was one of a kind, and as a young kid he was maybe my favorite to fish with. On the other end of that spectrum was Herman, he was downright grumpy, and some days bordered on mean. Herman was on the boat almost every day we fished, and sometimes I wasn’t the happiest to see him. He (Herman) would hide the best baits on the boat right next to him, he wouldn’t move if someone was fighting a fish around him, and if he wasn’t high hook for the day, he was mad. Yet Gramps still brought him fishing every trip, even would go to his house and pick him up after he couldn’t drive any longer. I couldn’t understand why Gramps put so much effort into what I saw as a toxic person. “The people who are hardest to love, often need it the most.” Gramps knew this, and lived it. Gramps didn’t see the person, he saw the potential of the person. As for Herman, I saw him as a pain in the butt, and a mean old man, but my Gramps saw the kind heart that was beneath the surface and I think he knew that he was one of Herman’s only real friends. Herman had real pain in his life, and I believe Gramps enjoyed seeing him happy while fishing, even if was only for a short time. My Grandfather would always say, “If we all put our problems on the table, we would end up taking our own back”. We were fortunate, Gramps knew that, and was grateful for it. He chose to bring other people joy and comfort whenever he could. I saw my Gramps defend Herman’s actions over and over and I just didn’t understand it as a child. It wasn’t until my Grandfather’s death that I realized how important it was to love EVERYONE, regardless of whether it was easy or not. I had too many people to count that came to me when Gramps passed to tell me how nice he was to them, or their family members. I heard his fishing buddies that were still alive that day tell stories about Herman, and some of the other “toxic” people that Gramps befriended. A really awesome thing was happening that day. Nobody was talking about how grumpy Herman always was, instead they were talking about how much they missed fishing with Gramps and Herman. I will never know what kind of an impact my Grandfather had on Herman, but I know because of Gramps, more people loved that grumpy old man than before they met, and more love in this world, makes it a little better place to be. Gramps is gone now and it is up to us to make this world a better place. I say we do it with love and compassion, just like Gramps did Thank you Gramps for leading by example.

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O

ne of the best things about fishing on the beach, is the brotherhood of the fishermen, and the wonderful people you meet on the beach. On this particular day, I was loaded up with salted clams and live sandfleas. I had just pedaled the tricycle down to the beach again where the weather was typical terrible February weather. There was too much wind and too much current, not ideal fishing conditions. But I wanted to give it a shot anyway, I was lucky I did! I put out two poles with sandfleas, and one pole in close with salted clams. Then BOOM a pompano, then BOOM again another 2 pompano, and they were hitting the clams. I certainly didn’t think I would catch anything that day but like Nike says, “Just Do it”! That day the pompano had either made a migratory u-turn (the

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big mass of fish had migrated far south of us already), or perhaps the resident pompano from the river had spilled out of the inlet. Either way, it left me smiling ear to ear on an otherwise poor fishing condition day. Thankfully I was using some triple rigs that my friend Kalib made for me so I was well equipped to bring some tasty fish to the dinner table. Some wandering tourists stopped to talked with me and peered into my bucket. They had no clue what the fish in there were and when I told them they were pompano, the tourists said they had just eaten them at Millie’s Restaurant and they LOVED THEM! February can be hit or miss but you never know. Life is great! The front is coming through tomorrow so that means the fish are biting today. Well, these fish are heading to the smoker, and so am I!!!

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offers views out to the side of your boat underwater upwards of 180 feet on either side. This locates fish you would not see using standard down-pointing sonar. It enables me to discover potentially productive areas without making a cast. With functional electronics, you cut a lot of time searching and focus on productive areas. What You Need: A tournament angler might feel the need for all the bells and whistles to be competitive. This can lead to six or more graphs on the boat. That’s ok, but it can be overkill for someone who is recreational fishing. Some basic features, however, have become must-haves. Navigation and mapping systems are important. Speed, time and temperature data are useful. A color monitor of 9 inches or larger is nice for ease of use. I would choose a unit with a few buttons and smooth functionality. Any of the notable three brands will suffice. However, having too much information can be overwhelming. Paying The Price: When you see boats with four 16-inch TVs on the console and more on the front deck, rest assured that it set the owner back a bit. You can leave a hole in your wallet if you’re not careful. I believe in buying what you need, not what you see. For a few hundred bucks, you can get a decent sonar fish finder that will cover basic needs. However, if you find you need an upgrade, there are units out there that cost more than a small compact car. But really ask yourself: “Do I need the electronics to play YouTube videos, or do I need them to navigate, locate and catch fish?” It’s purely personal and a choice for each to make. Electronics are an excellent tool to help you catch more fish. They make fishing more enjoyable, but it’s wise to consider what you want and need. Learning to use all the available tools is another subject all together.

By Jay Striker ou’ve seen those bass boats with two or three large monitors at the console and just as many on the front deck. There are good reasons for having these electronics, but I believe there’s also overkill. As a tournament bass angler, having good electronics allows you to compete against the fish in ways that did not exist in the past. Although sonar capability has been around for decades, using this technology to locate fish and eventually catch them is a game-changer. Let’s discuss the benefits of electronics, how much you need, and the cost associated with them. Benefits: Competitive bass anglers must make pressure-packed decisions. Many of them are made based on data picked up from electronics on the boat. When I’m pre-fishing, I really try to cover Follow Jay Striker on social media @JayStriker52 on IG or check water using side imaging, which higher-end electronics provide. It him out at www.jaystriker.com.

Y

Photo courtesy of Capt. Bob Strange

J

By Tom Schlichter

ust a 20-minute drive north of Myrtle Beach, S.C., Little River Inlet and the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW) that snakes behind it offer yearround fishing in generally calm, shallow water. Check it out on a map, and you’ll instantly know this is a fishy place. The inside waters here are bordered by marshes, parklands and plenty of drainages positioned perfectly for pumping baitfish, small shrimp and other tasty fodder right into the main channels on a dropping tide. It’s an ideal set-up for anglers to connect with speckled trout, red-

fish, black drum, flounder, sheepshead and even an occasional gray trout (a.k.a. weakfish). “The ocean water from Little River Inlet refreshes this strip of Intracoastal Waterway,” said Capt. Bob Strange, of Strange Magic Fishing Charters (www. strangemagiccharters.com; 843-274-1082). “We spend a lot of time working the backwaters here—the creeks, the drainages, the coves.” Strange predominately targets speckled trout, redfish and sheepshead in early spring, adding black drum and flounder in April. He’ll expand his efforts to waters outside Little River Inlet once the waters stabilize at about 70 degrees in May and June, as Spanish mackerel, king mackerel and additional species arrive. “Our early-season action is a lot fun,” noted Strange. “The ICW can be a busy place once the summer gets rolling, but in March and April it sees very little boating traffic. That means once you find the speckled trout you can usually have ’em all to yourself.” From his 22’ Pathfinder, Strange arms clients with 6’6” Shimano spinning rods with a medium action and fast tips. Shimano 2500 or 3000 series reels filled with 10- to 20-pound braid are a good match. He uses a 15- to 20-pound fluorocarbon leader and then the terminal tackle. Strange fishes live mud minnows, cut bait or fresh shrimp about 25 percent of the time and artificials the rest of the way. He favors small jigs tipped with Berkley Gulp! Swim Mullets, Z-Man trailers or similar soft plastics with white or chartreuse his most productive colors. The lures can be cast and jigged back to the boat or worked beneath popping corks. “Oyster bars make a great starting point, but don’t overlook creek bends, docks and the like,” explained Strange. “Any of these can be a hot spot. Transition areas work great, too, especially where you find shell banks changing over to grass or a drainage emptying onto a flat. Add in a little structure, and you’re in great shape.” While it is advisable to start your search with some hired help, anglers looking to trailer their own vessels can launch at a public ramp at the base of the RT. 17 bridge where it crosses the ICW between Little River and North Myrtle Beach. Bait and tackle along with info are available at Cricket Cove Marina in Little River (843-249-7169; www.cricketcovemarina.com).


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n mid-February, the St. Johns River Water Management District and Brevard County, Fla. reached agreement on a project to capture thousands of pounds of nutrients annually before they can reach the Indian River Lagoon. The Crane Creek/M-1 Canal Project, located in West Melbourne, Melbourne Village and portions of unincorporated Brevard County, will reduce the loading of nitrogen, phosphorus and sediments to the lagoon by restoring billions of gallons of cleansed freshwater each year to the St. Johns River. Major project components include an operable weir located near the natural coastal ridge, a stormwater pump station and a stormwater treatment area to ensure nutrients and sediments are removed prior to the water’s return to the St. Johns River. The Brevard County Save Our Indian River Lagoon Program contributed more than $2 million and DEP provided nearly $2.5 million, with the district funding the remainder of this project, which will cost an estimated $10.5 million. The district is managing design and construction of the project as well as operating and maintaining the system. Construction is anticipated to begin in August 2020.

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n 2019, CCA Florida, the University of Florida Whitney Lab and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission teamed together to win a $103,322 grant from the Indian River Lagoon National Estuary Program for clam restoration in the IRL. This year, CCA Florida and its partners from last year, along with Addictive Fishing, won the grant again in the amount of $122,020. The grant titled, “Habitat Restoration Proposal: Restoration of clam populations in the Indian River Lagoon for water quality improvement,” included an additional $24,040 in-kind match by CCA Florida. The first 4 million superclams will be deployed into the IRL this spring. By some estimates, a million hard clams are capable of filtering 28 million gallons of water a day. Reintroduction of these creatures that once thrived in the lagoon will go a long way toward restoring the water quality and seagrass habitat that supported a world-class inshore fishery.

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T

homas Hendel, of Lake Placid, Fla., reeled in 2020’s first Hall of Fame largemouth in FWC’s TrophyCatch program on Jan. 31. It was a monster, weighing in a 14 pounds, 2 ounces. He caught the big fish on Lake Placid in Highlands County, which is well-known for pumping out trophy bass. It is a 3,400-acre lake on the south side of the town of Lake Placid. It offers great opportunities for those looking to catch a high number of fish, as well as the chance at a lunker. This unique lake has a variety of vegetation and quality habitat types, including deep flats, ledges and humps not typical of most Florida lakes. “I was excited to learn I caught the first TrophyCatch Hall of Fame bass of the season and amazed at the size of my catch,” said Hendel. “This is the first bass I’ve submitted to TrophyCatch. I look forward to continuing my participation in this program for years to come.” For more information about the TrophyCatch program, visit www.trophycatchflorida.com.

S

malltooth sawfish have been on the endangered species list since 2003. These shark-like rays with snouts that look like saws once inhabited coastal waters from Texas to North Carolina. Now they are only found regularly in southwest Florida, especially around Everglades National Park. As part of an ongoing collaborative research project, scientists have been tracking the movements of smalltooth sawfish using passive acoustic telemetry. Sawfish are tagged and data are collected using stationary receivers whenever the sawfish swims by. In 2019, Tonya Wiley, of Havenworth Coastal Conservation, and Dr. Jayne Gardiner, of New College of Florida, downloaded receivers in the Tampa Bay area. In total, five sawfish have been detected in Tampa Bay including three females. In addition, in the summer of 2019, a couple of sawfish were caught in permitted turtle relocator trawls during a dredging in the Tampa Bay ship channel. The receivers are still in the water listening for tagged sawfish which swim near them. Wiley plans to add more receivers in 2020 in hopes of getting a better understanding of the use of the Tampa Bay area by these endangered rays. For more information about sawfish, visit www.SawfishRecovery.org.

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“We took it out to the Bahamas and this thing was flawless; we never had to worry about it getting tangled.” —Barry Berhoff, CEO of Shurhold Industries Barry Berhoff is an avid diver off the coasts of Florida and the Bahamas. After discovering E-Z Anchor Puller at the 2017 IBEX boat builder show, Berhoff decided to install the Rebel EZ-4 on his 40’ SeaVee. “Once I got this in, I was really, really impressed because of the build quality,” he said. “…The other cool thing about this was that we were able to go to a much thinner anchor line.” E-Z Anchor Puller Mfg. Co’s Rebel EZ-4 drum anchor winch is the perfect option for serious fishing and diving boats on the Florida scene. Known for its capabilities of holding nearly 1,000 feet of spectra or dyneema ¼-inch line, the Rebel EZ-4 is completely manufactured from 316 stainless steel and is IP68 rated water submersible. One of the most popular options of E-Z Anchor’s free-fall series, the drum will spool out line as fast as gravity allows the anchor to fall after a quick, two-second touch of a button. Press the “power up” side to neatly and quickly retract the line back onto the drum. “Without a doubt,” Berhoff said, “the guys at E-Z Anchor Puller built a spectacular, strong marine-grade piece of equipment. I cannot recommend it enough.”

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ears ago, Z-Man introduced the Original Chatterbait, and it proved to be a true fish-catcher for thousands of anglers. Today you’ll find many versions of the Z-Man Chatterbait as well as many other manufacturers offering their version of a bladed jig. The shuddering action of these baits entices reaction strikes better than just about anything.

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As bass transition into spring patterns and move shallow to spawn, you can choose from a wide variety of lures and presentations to get bites. There will be situations when fishing very slowly with soft plastics is extremely productive, but first you’ve got to find fish. You need a reliable search tool to do this. The beauty of the bladed jig is you can vary the weights, colors and trailer types to suit any type of pattern. If fish are feeding on shad along weed lines and channel breaks, a ½- to ¾-ounce bladed jig in a shad pattern is my first choice. I can slow roll this lure along fairly shallow breaks and let it flutter down into the deeper haunts with a lift and fall action. Bass will often move up and down contour lines feeding before they head into really shallow water to spawn. A swimbait trailer is a good bet here. Choose your line size based on how deep you want your lure to run and water clarity. If you want to get a ½-ounce lure down 10 feet, use 15-pound-test fluorocarbon. If you want to keep it shallower or if water is stained with lots of timber, move up to 20-pound fluorocarbon or 50-pound braid. A 7-foot or longer rod designed for medium-diving crankbaits works best here. Not all bass move shallow at the same time on a body of water, and usually you can count on some being very shallow even before water temps hit the 60s. Often, the ones that do move up early are monsters, like the 8.6-pounder pictured here that fell for a bladed jig. For searching shallow flats, it’s hard to beat a 3/8-ounce bladed jig in brown, green or black patterns with matching swimbait or craw trailers. For clear water, I like green pumpkin. For stained water, I choose black and blue. The biggest enemy to spawning bass is bream and bluegill. These nest robbers are hungry and follow bass to the shallows for a chance at eggs. Most small bass don’t pay much attention to the thieves, but big bass will turn a bream’s good day into its last one. Rigged on 50-pound braid, I can cast bladed jigs to skinny water and work quickly around grass and timber to cover a lot of water. Let the lure get down into the grass, and then rip it out and let it flutter back down before retrieving again. Just be sure to hold on. This is usually when the biggest bass bite these lures. Give bladed jigs a try, and you’ll see why they live up to the hype.

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Photo courtesy of Capt. Bob Strange

By Tom Schlichter

J

ust a 20-minute drive north of Myrtle Beach, S.C., Little River Inlet and the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW) that snakes behind it offer year-round fishing in generally calm, shallow water. Check it out on a map, and you’ll instantly know this is a fishy place. The inside waters here are bordered by marshes, parklands and plenty of drainages positioned perfectly for pumping baitfish, small shrimp and other tasty fodder right into the main channels on a dropping tide. It’s an ideal set-up for anglers to connect with speckled trout, redfish, black drum, flounder, sheepshead and even an occasional gray trout (a.k.a. weakfish). “The ocean water from Little River Inlet refreshes this strip of Intracoastal Waterway,” said Capt. Bob Strange, of Strange Magic Fishing Charters (www.strangemagiccharters.com; 843-274-1082). “We spend a lot of time working the backwaters here—the creeks, the drainages, the coves.” Strange predominately targets speckled trout, redfish and sheepshead in early spring, adding black drum and flounder in April. He’ll expand his efforts to waters outside Little River Inlet once the waters stabilize at about 70 degrees in May and June, as Spanish mackerel, king mackerel and additional species arrive. “Our early-season action is a lot fun,” noted Strange. “The ICW can be a busy place once the summer gets rolling, but in March and April it sees very little boating traffic. That means once you find the speckled trout you can usually have ’em all to yourself.” From his 22’ Pathfinder, Strange arms clients with 6’6” Shimano spinning rods with a medium action and fast tips. Shimano 2500 or 3000 series reels filled with 10- to 20-pound braid are a good match. He uses a 15- to 20-pound fluorocarbon leader and then the terminal tackle. Strange fishes live mud minnows, cut bait or fresh shrimp about 25 percent of the time and artificials the rest of the way. He favors small jigs tipped with Berkley Gulp! Swim Mullets, Z-Man trailers or similar soft plastics with white or chartreuse his most productive colors. The lures can be cast and jigged back to the boat or worked beneath popping corks. “Oyster bars make a great starting point, but don’t overlook creek bends, docks and the like,” explained Strange. “Any of these can be a hot spot. Transition areas work great, too, especially where you find shell banks changing over to grass or a drainage emptying onto a flat. Add in a little structure, and you’re in great shape.” While it is advisable to start your search with some hired help, anglers looking to trailer their own vessels can launch at a public ramp at the base of the RT. 17 bridge where it crosses the ICW between Little River and North Myrtle Beach. Bait and tackle along with info are available at Cricket Cove Marina in Little River (843-249-7169; www.cricketcovemarina.com).

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By CAM Staff mall boats with tall towers have become a harbinger of spring on coastal waters. It began as a northern Gulf Coast phenomenon, when anglers developed run-and-gun sight-fishing tactics for spring-run cobia. But the technique has migrated like the fish. The timing varies according to the arrival of cobia in various locations around the Gulf and up the Atlantic Coast. In waters off Virginia and up into Chesapeake Bay, it’s more of a summer deal. But

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sight fishing has to be the most exciting way to catch brown bombers. These days cobia boats with elevated towers are almost as common off the coast of North Carolina as they are off Panama City, Fla. When cobia are on the move, they migrate as singles or in small pods. They like structure when they’re not moving, and the same is true on the migration. They can often be found holding tight to moving structure, which means big rays or turtles. Spotting them is the trick. Presenting baits or lures to cobia you see is much more effective than trying to blind-fish for them. Most cobia trips involve a lot more cruising and looking than casting, so vigilance and being ready when the chance arrives are imperative. Most captains opt for a late-morning start because fish are easier to spot when the sun is high and there’s less glare on the water. Once fish are located, getting into casting range is the goal. Cobia are funny. The steady growl of the motor doesn’t usually put them down unless you get too close, but popping it in and out of gear will cause them to disappear in a heartbeat. If they do go down, don’t fret. Migrating fish are on a mission. They will continue on the same heading at roughly the same speed. With a little patience, it is often possible to reconnect with a fish that has spooked by staying on its course and watching for it to resurface. When you do get a shot, be ready with an array of rods with different lures and baits. Cobia can be picky, and they’ll let you know whether or not they’re interested if you work a bait or jig high in the water column where the fish’s reaction is visible. Medium-heavy spinning tackle with 25- or 30-pound braided line and a 60-pound fluorocarbon leader is a good starting point. You’ll have the casting distance and the power to fight big fish in open water. Be ready with ½ to 1 ½-ounce jigs. Bucktails are good and so are an array of soft plastics that mimick eels or baitfish. Color choice will depend on where you’re fishing, so trust your captain or ask a local tackle shop. Keep a few live baits rigged and ready in buckets in case your jig is snubbed. Eels are great. But if you end up taking multiple shots at a fish, follow up with mullet, pinfish, whole squid or a big shrimp. Sometimes you have to just figure out what they want.

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P

eople who love boating know it’s more than just a hobby; it’s a way of life. Being on the water is a more than just a break from the mundane day-to-day grind, it’s a passion that fills your heart and captures your sense of adventure. Whether you are the weekend warrior and love to go offshore fishing or if you like exploring backwater creeks and rivers, you are a part of that community. As part of the boating world, you have also come to know Llebroc Industries as a leader in design and comfort. Today, Llebroc continues to develop the most influential and sought-after seating throughout the boating industry. If you have ever been to ICAST or walked a boat show, you have seen Llebroc Industries work on display. On brands like Blazer, Phoenix, Falcon and Vexus, you can find Llebroc’s handy-work. There is a reason why Llebroc has been an industry leader for more than 35 years. The proof is in the product, and Llebroc has put its name to the test over and over and come out on top. The Llebroc team has once again created a unique design in their SV Series of seating. Stitching and color patterns are the first to catch your eye. But as soon as you sit down on one of their chairs, you come to realize it’s more than just a great looking seat. Comfort and durability really bring home the total package for your next seat or bench. So, as you are searching for the perfect accessories for your new boat or you’re looking to upgrade your seating, make sure to go to the best name on the market: Llebroc Industries. You will find Llebroc seating on display on Grady White, Ocean Alexander, Freeman and Cobia boats at the Palm Beach International Boat Show March 26-29. For more information, go to www.llebroc.com.

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ohn Cox, of DeBary, Fla., started the FLW Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit with a bang Jan. 26 with a wire-to-wire first-place finish on Sam Rayburn Reservoir in Texas. In the first Pro Circuit event of the season, Cox weighed a four-day total of 65 pounds, 15 ounces to add yet another accolade to his impressive FLW resume. It was his fifth FLW Tour win, which ties him for No. 6 in all-time career wins with David Dudley. His Rayburn trophy will look good with his others, which include an FLW Angler of the Year and the 2016 FLW Cup Championship. “This was the best win I’ve ever had,” Cox said. “I usually start off the year pretty slow and get better through the season. To start the season with a win, I don’t even know what to say. I’m so thankful – this is just incredible.” Starting with a win must be more important this season than ever for Cox. He’s the only angler who qualified and committed to fish both the FLW Pro Circuit and the B.A.S.S. Elite Series in 2020. Entry fees alone will cost more than $80,000 to fish both tours, and the more than $100,000 in earnings from Rayburn will go a long way toward keeping him on the road.

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ampa Bay Watch is recruiting 20 hard-working volunteers to build oyster reef balls at its Marine Center in Tierra Verde on specified weekday mornings. There are four days in March when assistance is needed. The project involves pouring marine-friendly concrete into a fiberglass mold to create oyster reef balls and taking apart the molds that were previously poured. Oyster reef balls help replace oyster populations in struggling habitat areas. Originally designed to rebuild coral reefs, oyster reef balls have been an integral part of Tampa Bay Watch’s restoration programs for years and have been previously installed in numerous locations that lack natural buffers that help reduce pollutants from flowing off streets and into Tampa Bay. Oysters need to attach to a hard structure to grow into adults, and the rough texture of the reef balls makes it easier for oysters to grow. Oyster communities help stabilize shorelines, provide hard bottom habitats for fish, and promote water quality improvements. Tampa Bay Watch builds about 1,000 oyster reef balls each year in at least two large-scale projects. Reef balls can vary in size, but most weigh about 200 pounds. They are installed along seawalls and shorelines to provide habitat. It’s a dirty job, but it’ll make a difference for Tampa Bay! Remaining volunteer dates this spring are: March 3, March 11, March 17 and March 23. For more information and to sign up, go to www.tampabaywatch.org.

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Great Streams and Craft Beverages Await in Hendersonville, N.C. Photo by Nick Carter

I

f you’re an angler who enjoys following up a day on mountain trout streams with a refreshing craft beverage or two, cast your attention to the Blue Ridge mountain town of Hendersonville. This North Carolina town, about 22 miles south of Asheville, offers miles of stocked trout waters, as well as the popular Hendersonville Cheers! Trail. The two resources make it possible to spend the day catching three types of trout – rainbow, brown and brook – while spending an evening exploring three types of craft beverages – beer, wine and hard cider. First, the fishing part. North Mills River is the prime trout stream in the Hendersonville area. The river’s 4-mile section of delayed harvest waters receives an annual infusion of 11,000 trout from N.C. Wildlife, divvied between brook, rainbow and brown. Spring is a great time to fly fish the delayed harvest waters of North Mills River because no trout have been harvested since Sept. 30. Another hot spot for trout fishing is just across the Henderson County line toward Brevard. The Davidson River offers miles of public trout waters that receive annual stockings of 16,500 fish. Other lesser-known spots for fishing near Hendersonville include

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three streams on the eastern side of Henderson County, about 20 to 30 minutes from downtown. Rocky Broad River has a 1.2-mile stretch of hatchery support waters from Rocky River Lane to the Rutherford County line near Chimney Rock, while Cane Creek, near the Fletcher community, has 1.5-mile stretch of hatchery supported waters. For those who really want a unique experience, Little River in DuPont State Recreational Forest provides not only a scenic setting for trout fishing, but also a unique one. Delayed harvest waters flow through undisturbed mountains and over several notable waterfalls. Those waterfalls were immortalized on Hollywood’s silver screen in The Last of the Mohicans, as well as the backdrop for the exploits of Katniss Everdeen in the original Hunger Games movie. When the fishing is done, the Cheers! Trail awaits. The trail is one of North Carolina’s best, featuring 16 craft producers offering a variety of experiences. Beer fans love Sierra Nevada’s tasting room, which is one of the largest on the East Coast and features an expansive patio and outdoor amphitheater, while Bold Rock Hard Cider has emerged as a national leader in the hard cider industry and regularly hosts live music (indoors and outdoors), along with cidery tours and a food truck. Several craft producers on the trail create small-batch beverages prized for their quality and originality. Three breweries – Southern Appalachian, Triskelion and Guidon – are within a few blocks of each other in the Depot District, while Sanctuary Brewing Co. is only a few blocks away on Main Street. Sanctuary is pet-friendly with a commitment to pet rescue. Three wineries produce high-quality wines from European varietals. The newest – Point Lookout Vineyards – is located atop a 3,000-foot mountain with panoramic views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Saint Paul Mountain Vineyards, the area’s first vineyard, is on farmland that’s been in the family for more than nine generations. And two miles from Saint Paul, Burntshirt Vineyards offers tastings in its renovated farmhouse overlooking rolling hills of vines. For complete Hendersonville information and lodging details, call 800-828-4244 or go to: www.VisitHendersonvilleNC.org.

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MARK SOSIN

othing is more demanding in light-tackle fishing than to spot a fish and make a cast to it without much time to get ready. Speed and accuracy are the keys to a perfect presentation that results in a strike. Several species of gamefish invade relatively shallow water in search of food as the incoming tide floods an area. Catching them sometimes requires you to see them so you can present a bait or lure. Your target species might be striped bass in San Francisco Bay or in coastal areas throughout the northeast. Jumbo bluefish charge across the skinny portions of Chesapeake Bay each spring because the menhaden are there. Redfish might be your target in Texas and along the Gulf Coast. Down in Florida, the shallows are full of life with species such as bonefish, permit, tarpon, jacks, sharks and other critters. Concentration is critical in spotting fish or in determining signs of fish. It’s a mental discipline as well as a physical one. If you’re working off-color water, start by scouting the surface for any signs of activity. It could be a swirl or a boil or surface water being pushed by moving fish. Your goal is to identify anything different from the surrounding water. Expand your search area to waters a considerable distance away. Don’t overlook slicks, muds or anything else out of the ordinary.

When the water is shallow and a fish noses down to eat something on or near the bottom, its tail often lifts above the surface and can be spotted at a significant distance. Species such as redfish may lift their caudal fin in the air and it, too, can be seen. Tails or fins may only show for a moment or two, but if you are concentrating, you should be able to spot them. It takes practice to see fish, even in clear water. The trick involves staring through the surface of the water as if it were a pane of glass. Focus on the bottom or just above it. Your eyes should scan the area as if they were a radar antenna, moving right, left and center. And don’t forget to look far out across the water to detect the flash of a tail, wakes, birds or any other signs of activity. Some species may lie motionless waiting to ambush a tasty meal, while others keep moving. As you scan through the surface, a silver colored fish might look black. When a fish picks a morsel off the bottom, it creates a small puff of mud. Experienced eyes identify this very slight discoloration in the water, and the angler knows that something was just there. If you continue to see fresh puffs, cast a bait or lure in the area. The results could be impressive. Presenting a bait or lure to a fish you can see is certainly the ultimate angling challenge. Putting yourself in those situations can be very demanding, requires total concentration, and, at times can prove frustrating. At the end of the day, you might be tired, but the successful experience will brighten your memory for days to come.

For more from Mark Sosin, visit

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At Harbor Freight Tools, the “Compare to” price means that the specified comparison, which is an item with the same or similar function, was 1,000+ Stores Nationwide • HarborFreight.com advertised for sale at or • above the “Compare to” price by another national Iretailer in the U.S. 2020 within the past I 90NATIONAL days. Prices advertised by 19 others COASTALANGLERMAG.COM THEANGLERMAG.COM MARCH *Original coupon only. No use on prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase or without original receipt. Valid through 5/3/20. may vary by location. No other meaning of “Compare to” should be implied. For more information, go to HarborFreight.com or see store associate.

2/6/20 4:01 PM


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t’s official! After years of drastically curtailed federal seasons and bag limits, NOAA fisheries voted in February to implement state management for private anglers fishing for red snapper in the Gulf of Mexico. Under an exempted fishing permit (EFP), the five Gulf Coast states—Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas— managed the private recreational Photo courtesy of Capt. Chester Reese, red snapper fishery in the Gulf Natural World Charters. of Mexico for the 2018 and 2019 fishing seasons and saw remarkable success. The EFP was the result of a multi-year effort to give the states control after the status quo federal management approach reduced the Gulf red snapper season to an astounding three days for private anglers in federal waters. “State management of Gulf red snapper has been a game-changer for anglers,” said Kellie Ralston, with the American Sportfishing Association. “Because of their targeted data collection and their ability to quickly respond to what’s going on inseason, each of the Gulf states has been able to provide substantial red snapper seasons for the private recreational sector. None of this would have been possible without the leadership of the states, the Secretary of Commerce and our Congressional champions. Making this management a long-term reality through the formal approval of Amendment 50 ensures this great success story will continue for years to come.” At the Gulf Council meeting in January, each state gave a report on their data collection program and emphasized their ability to incorporate local factors to ground-truth the harvest data and to nimbly adjust the season. This state-level approach provides far greater flexibility in fishery management versus the federal one-size-fits-all, static regulations. Anglers trust the state systems because they are responsive and the regulations match the conditions seen on the water. With an independent analysis of red snapper populations set to be released in the next few months, anglers are hopeful for continued gains in the management of the Gulf red snapper fishery.

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To learn more, visit www.suzukimarine.com. Gimme Six Extended Protection promotion applies to new Suzuki Outboard Motors from 25 to 350 HP in inventory which are sold and delivered to buyer between 01/01/20 and 03/31/20 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. The Gimme Six Promotion is available for pleasure use only, and is not redeemable for cash. Instant Savings applies to qualifying purchases of select Suzuki Outboard Motors made between 01/01/20 and 03/31/20. For list of designated models, see participating Dealer or visit www.suzukimarine.com. Instant Savings must be applied against the agreed-upon selling price of the outboard motor and reflected in the bill of sale. There are no model substitutions, benefit substitutions, rain checks, or extensions. Suzuki reserves the right to change or cancel these promotions at any time without notice or obligation. * Financing offers available through Synchrony Retail Finance. As low as 5.99% APR financing for 60 months on new and unregistered Suzuki Outboard Motors. Subject to credit approval. Not all buyers will qualify. Approval, and any rates and terms provided, are based on creditworthiness. $19.99/month per $1,000 financed for 60 months is based on 5.99% APR. Hypothetical figures used in calculation; your actual monthly payment may differ based on financing terms, credit tier qualification, accessories or other factors such as down payment and fees. Offer effective on new, unregistered Suzuki Outboard Motors purchased from a participating authorized Suzuki dealer between 01/01/20 and 03/31/20. “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. © 2020 Suzuki Motor of America, Inc.

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GET UP TO 700 OFF SELECT OUTBOARDS! $ JANUARY 2, 2020-MARCH 31, 2020, ONLY AT PARTICIPATING DEALERS

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*At participating dealers only. Qualifying retail customers may receive instant savings off the selling price of a Honda powered boat package or Honda Marine engine(s) sold for repower. This promotion is limited to new Honda Marine 40 HP through 250 HP outboard engines, 2014 and newer models, sold and delivered between January 2, 2020 and March 31, 2020 and registered by the Dealer in accordance with American Honda Motor Co., Inc.’s sales registration requirements. Only Honda Marine outboard engines sold for personal use qualify for this promotion. Fleet, commercial & government sales are ineligible. Engines sold under special pricing / promotions including (but not limited to) demo and tournament fisherman engines are also excluded. Honda Marine reserves the right to modify, amend, cancel or revoke, in whole or in part, this promotion at any time without prior notice. © 2020 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.

HondaMarine_TheAngler_2020_700Off_8.125x10.875.indd 1

1/17/20 9:01 AM


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