Coastal Angler Magazine | May 2024 | Volusia County Edition

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Over the last few years, a burgeoning fshery has established the Gulf Stream out of Charleston as a big-time billfsh destination. Te ofshore trolling bite has been very good.

Capt. Mike Able keeps close tabs on the fshery. He and his brother, Graham, run Haddrell’s Point Tackle and Supply, a familyowned hunting and fshing store, which has grown to two locations and a fy shop in the Charleston area since their father, Mike Sr., started the business in 1983.

“Charleston has defnitely been put on the map with the billfshing we’ve had the last several years. It’s really been phenomenal,” Able said. “I mean, look at the Carolina Billfsh Classic. In the CBC last year there were outriggers full of sailfsh fags… we’re talking double-digit stuf. And not just the big boats. I mean, the big boats have an advantage, but guys are catching blue marlin from center consoles, too. You know the fsh are really chewing when the center-console guys are hitting fsh like that.”

Te Carolina Billfsh Classic (CBC) is one leg of the South Carolina Governor’s Cup Billfshing Series. It is held out of Mt. Pleasant each June. Last year, with poor weather

conditions during the one-day shootout, 47 boats released nine blue marlin and 53 sailfsh. Te top boat released four blue marlin. Te second-place boat released seven sailfsh and a blue marlin.

Able said conservation eforts, particularly from the Governor’s Cup, have led to healthier stocks. He also thinks anglers are getting better at fnding and catching billfsh. Te run outside the ledge is still 50 to 55 miles, but these days captains can go straight to potentially productive water. Satellite services make it easy to identify blue water, weed lines, temperature breaks and color changes to make a solid gameplan before leaving the docks. Additionally, technology like Omni Sonar can pinpoint fsh with an efective range of 5,000 feet.

“You could mark a fsh from a half mile away and go over and drop baits,” he said. “It doesn’t mean you can make them bite, but you know they’re in the area.”

Peak season for blue marlin and sailfsh is May and June, but blues will be in the area all summer. Sailfsh can be good into October or November, when wahoo enter the mix heavily. Able said a lot of marlin they catch are 150- to 200-pound “rats,” but they see some 300- to 400-pounders and an occasional 500-pluspound blue marlin. White marlin might also show up in a spread.

One of the perks of trolling out of Charleston in spring is you’ll also likely fll the box with dolphin and blackfin tuna. Capt. Able hung up his charter captain hat a few years back.

Now he fun-fshes with pretty remarkable success for billfsh and meat fsh by pulling a mixed spread with dredges, squid chains and circle-hooked ballyhoo from a ’34 Regulator.

Check out Haddrell’s Point Tackle & Supply at


Instead of going “bottom fshing” this season, I would focus on going “grouper fshing”… at least for gags while the season lasts. You can go ‘bottom fshing” for the next seven months, but let’s put some gags in the boat while the law allows it! Here are some tips to help you bag some gags.

• Having the right bait is a major part of this puzzle. A pinfsh trap in a productive area for just a few hours and an (otter-proof) foating bait pen at the marina are priceless.

• You must anchor up or use the trolling motor in “spot lock” to properly fsh any piece of good bottom.

• When I frst post up on a good-looking mark on the recorder, I have everyone else on the boat fre down whole frozen squid on a jig. At the same time, I use a sabiki to catch whatever baitfsh are available on the structure. Here’s how it works:

1) Te squid might catch a handful “bottom fsh,” and maybe a grouper or two.

2) Most importantly, it sets a nice chum slick on the bottom that attracts the real predators of the structure directly under

your boat, and they will be ready to eat.

3) Afer four or fve volleys of squid, everyone baits up with a beautiful baseball-in-diameter-sized live bait and sends them back down to the bottom together. Tese baits are too big for most bottom fsh to get their mouths around.

4) Now, the grouper appear on the scene, curious about all the noise and the good smell. What do they see? Tey see a pinfsh from the marina or whatever came up on the sabiki. I like to fsh these baits on one of my Crab Decoy Jigs, which makes it look like the bait is struggling in the grasp of a hungry crab or squid. A big grouper, and especially a gag grouper, sees this as a Happy Meal. Tey love crabs, squid and baitfsh, and with this rig they think they’re getting it all in one bite.

5) An added bonus is that this is clean tackle, free of excess hardware, that sends the correct signal to grouper and results in bites.

• Te downside to this style of fshing is it will attract sharks. It’s all fun and games until the man in the gray suit shows up. Ten it becomes hard work. Sharks of all kinds are drawn to struggling snapper.

For more info on the jig, tackle and/or bait, check out Tim Barefoot’s YouTube channel and website at

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May 1 marks the reopening of Atlantic grouper season here in the Florida Keys. Over the past four months of season closure, a multitude of released catches taunted local fshermen, and now the hunt is ofcially back on!

While the Keys might not be well known for grouper, there is no reason why they shouldn’t be. Between the reef, wrecks and ofshore deep-dropping, the Keys are home to a plethora of grouper species. Te reopening of red, black, gag and snowy grouper vastly

increases fshing opportunities here in our Atlantic waters.

When fshing for grouper on the reef, keeping your rig from getting rockedup on the bottom is the biggest challenge. Do not overweight your rig, and keep an angler on or near the rod at all times. Grouper are notorious for grabbing a bait and taking it back into their homes immediately. When you lose a big grouper, especially with a mouthful of your tackle, they grunt a warning to the other fsh. Tis shuts down the grouper bite. It is best to keep the grouper rod in your hand when possible and be ready to crank them away from their hidey-holes. Tere isn’t much room or time for error on the initial bite.

Fishing for grouper over wrecks can also be highly productive. Amberjacks, which received a short closure in April, can be caught as bycatch while wreck fshing for grouper. Teir season also reopens in May.

Deep-dropping ofshore also expands greatly this month, as snowy grouper and blueline tilefsh reopen. Yellowedge grouper remains year-round, but even with large grouper hooks, tilefsh can be a frequent bycatch. Deep-drop rigs can be modifed this time of year to include smaller hooks that welcome the tilefsh bite and increase productivity of each drop.

Te abundance of mahi-mahi this month sweetens the deal for heading shore to deep-drop. Not only can you fsh for mahi-mahi on the route to, from and on your deep-drop numbers, you can also chase birds for a chance to read the bottom for new deep-drop spots. Tere is nothing quite like fnding a new fshing spot, and with so much in season right now, it is the perfect time of year to scout.

Remember to check fshing regulations, as there are ofen surprise closures on many species. Venting and descending tools are required when fshing for grouper and are especially important at the depths where snowy grouper are found. One look at the bug-eyed balloon face of barotrauma will tell you these fsh cannot return home safely without help. It is easy to go over a limit of snowy grouper by accident, so have your gear ready and know how to use it.

Sweet E’nuf Charters specializes in grouper and is already booking up quickly for the much anticipated reopening. Give us a call to get tight!

Capt. Quinlyn Haddon guides with Sweet E’nuf Charters out of Marathon, Florida Keys. Contact her at (504) 920-6342 or

Find her on social @captainquinlyn.



Julia Bernstein, 12, of Miami, had a record-setting day fshing of Key West on Jan. 5. She set two new state records in a day by catching a 20-pound, 15-ounce cobia and a 1-pound, 8-ounce mangrove snapper while fshing with Capt. Dale Bittner.

Bernstein’s records were the frst two fsh certifed in Florida’s new saltwater record categories, which were launched in January. Tey both set the bar in the new Youth All-Tackle Weight category. Florida is also now recognizing state records for Youth and Adult Length Categories.

“‘Are those all cobia?’ I couldn’t believe it, as we pulled up to the wreck, there was a dark cloud on the surface of the ocean. Sure enough, it was a large school of hungry cobia, and they were ready to eat!” Bernstein said. She quickly hooked up to two smaller fsh, but in her words, “Tird time was the charm; it was an even larger cobia! We had a great afernoon, we caught six fsh from that school, one of which became the Florida state record and one of which is a pending IGFA Junior Record.”

Bernstein already holds 11 IGFA world records.

To fnish the day, they made one last stop, where Bernstein hooked up with her record mango.

“I worked hard to get it of the bottom and then reeled as fast as I could. Good thing I did, turned out to be a state record mangrove snapper!” she said.

Joseph Ingold set the bar for the redfsh length state record with an impressive 36.25-inch red he caught from a Kayak in Panama City in February. His story is of a slow day that turned exciting in a hurry.

“About halfway down, I hadn’t gotten a single hit, so I cast my paddletail and let it sink to the bottom while I grabbed a new lure to tie on. Once I got my new lure ready, I started to reel in my paddletail to switch it out,” he said. “About fve seconds afer I started to reel it back in, the redfsh hit.”

Ingold thought he had snagged the bottom, but then the fsh began to run.

“I got super excited and loosened up my drag at that point. I really didn’t want to break her of since I was only using 10-pound test,” he said. “When I landed the fsh, I honestly didn’t even think about submitting it for the new length record. I actively participate in the Catch a Florida Memory programs, so I just took pictures for myself and for the Reel Big Fish program. Afer I submitted for a Reel Big Fish, I was curious if anyone had submitted for the new length record and, to my surprise, it was still vacant. So, I took all the pictures I had and put in my application.” CALL

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You know spring has ofcially arrived when the eastern seaboard welcomes the arrival of voracious blackfn tuna! What better way to shake of the winter doldrums than to get out and target these small but mighty speedsters.

May and June are great months to target these fsh. Tey enjoy a wide range from Cape Cod to South Florida, and during the summer they migrate to temperate waters that remain above 70 degrees. Tey inhabit the warmest waters of all tuna species.

Blackfns are a schooling fsh and feed on migratory baitfsh, squid and shrimp. Tey frequently hunt the deeper side of the ledges and reefs common to the eastern seaboard. Tey commonly range from 5 to 20 pounds, with the occasional 30-pounder blowing up your bait!

Live bait is best for bigger tuna. I prefer goggle eyes, which can be caught or bought. Due to their hardiness, they are worth the cost to have on hand.

For live baiting, I use a Shimano Baitrunner OC size 6000 reel spooled with FINS 40G Braid. With the diameter of 6-pound mono, this braid has a tensile breaking strength of 45 pounds. I pair this reel with the Shimano Terez model TZS69M, 6-foot, 9-inch medium action spinning rod. I use a 6-foot section of Seaguar fuorocarbon in the 30-pound range for leader and Owner SSW 6/0 or 7/0 cutting point hooks. Blackfn are leader shy, so start with a 30-pound leader and move up to 40 only if you are experiencing breakofs.

I combine live bait with jigging techniques when targeting tuna. For high-speed retrieval of lures through the water column, which these fsh prefer, I use the Penn Battle III 4000 HS (high-speed) spinning reel. I pair this with a 6-foot, 6-inch Shimano Trevala B. I start of using Rapala Williamson Kensaki jigs in the 120- to 220-gram range.

Pro tip: Switch sizes and colors until you fnd what best “matches the hatch” rather than switching jigs.

I fsh early mornings, as tuna can be both light and boat shy. During a full moon cycle, the bite can turn of quickly as the fsh have been feeding most of the night. Once on my target area, I set up for a drif just outside the frst reef system, past the drop-of in deeper water to avoid bonito, sharks and kingfsh. Tis is typically in the 225- to 300-foot range. I deploy two live baits—one in the bow and the other in the stern—then jig in the middle. Check your fshfnder ofen to identify “scratches,” or fsh moving through, and mark the depth they appear in the water column. Target these fsh while jigging.

Te food quality of blackfn depends on proper bleeding when they are frst caught. Make a small incision behind the pectoral fn on both sides of the fsh to ensure the highest quality meat. Catching these speedsters will quickly become an addiction, and now is the time to make it happen!

Find Mark Ambert on Instagram @marksgonefshing_™; email:


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Since early November, when the frst reports came in from the Florida Keys, scientists have been looking into reports of fsh exhibiting abnormal behavior referred to as “the spins.” Bonefsh & Tarpon Trust (BT&T) recently pointed its fnger at harmful algae as a likely reason for this phenomenon that has killed numerous endangered sawfsh and afected fsh of 30 diferent species.

Fish with the spins lose equilibrium and swim upside down in circles, ofen following a stressful or stimulating event. According to BT&T, a majority of reports for this behavior originated in the Lower Keys, between Big Pine Key and Sugarloaf Key, but there have been reports farther west toward Key West as well as in Miami north of Biscayne Bay National Park. Among the species afected are popular sport and food fsh such as tarpon, permit, snook, jack crevalle, mutton snapper, mangrove snapper, cubera snapper, goliath grouper and redfsh.

In January, BT&T and the Lower Keys Guides Association launched a study with the assistance of numerous other organizations to determine the cause of these events. BT&T stopped short of calling its results conclusive, because there’s still testing to be done, but they indicated occurrences of harmful algae blooms in the gambierdiscus family are the likely culprit.

Saltwater anglers will likely be familiar with ciguatera poisoning caused by the accumulation of ciguatoxin in predatory food fsh. Gambierdiscus is known to produce ciguatoxin and other neurotoxins that can have diferent efects on human and marine life. BT&T in not yet sure whether this variant of gambierdiscus is producing any cytotoxin that would move up the food web, but evidence indicates it is such a toxin that is afecting fsh.

Tese harmful algae are more common in reef areas that are environmentally stressed, according to BT&T. Testing continues and should hopefully provide more insight into this algae’s potential impact to the fsheries.

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Franchise owners Jamie & Deidra Thrappas

Contributing Writers :

Marco PoMPano Freak on the Beach 386-212-4838

caPt. JaMie thraPPas Ponce Inlet and Backwaters

caPt. Michael savedow Edgewater Backcountry

caPt. Bryn adaMs Central St. Johns River

caPt. evan sanders Sol Fishing with the Captain & Kids

Blake aBBey Kayaking @kayakkingcharters

caPt. Barry englehardt Tomoka

caPt. reeF Fly Fishing 386-679-6997

For advertising inquiries, call Jamie at 386.366.3424 or email

I’ll tell you what happened to me one day when I was fishing, minding my own business.

I had four poles out for some reason or another. I was spacing out. I wasn’t watching my poles. All of a sudden, I hear the whoop! whoop! whoop! of the Sheriff’s patrol siren coming down the beach. I saw the Sheriff hanging out of his car, pointing to my middle pole. It’s bending down to the ground.

I immediately jumped to attention and grabbed the pole. It was a good one, line running like crazy, a full-blown pompano attack!

A few minutes later, with the Sheriff taking pictures, I landed a 21-inch, 5-pound tank of a pompano. The sheriff took a selfie of me and him for proof, and he gave me a warning for ‘texting while fishing’!

Double ya, mon!!

Springtime has officially arrived with the water temperature at 68° and the scout pompano arriving daily with them, along with really big sheepshead, a very rare catch on the beach, and black drum.

So. yeah, without further ado. it’s time to get to the beach with some great bait: live blue crab to make into crab knuckles, and sand fleas. I know today’s the day, with wind out of the southwest at 10 miles an hour. The current is running a little bit north, my 3-ounce sputniks from the sinker guy are holding fantastically.

I’m set up with four rods, and, as usual, Pompano Pat (my oldest, favorite rod) is going off with sand fleazzz. I threw it in close and the line’s doing all kinds of things. making me think sheepshead.

It’s making a little run. Scraping on the sand, onto the beach, a convict fish (sheepshead), to be exact.

After a few minutes of waiting and re-baiting with fleas, it goes again, same way, another convict (because the stripes are black and white).

These are my wife Sophie’s, and many other people I know, favorite fillets. They only feed on shrimp, crab and shellfish, and taste just like that.

My last pole, something nibbling at it, and over it goes, it’s in free fall. I grabbed it before it’s launched. Feels like an anchor on it. Many head shakes. It’s trying hard not to come in. Could it be a shark? I don’t think so. Let’s see! It’s too big - I’ll drag it in: A fantastic, big, ugly, black drum picked out of the sudsy water. Ya, mon!

So today, with the great bait and conditions, we landed black drum, pompano, and sheepshead. Exactly what we were targeting today.

And, yes, the island reggae music is starting to play. Yellow Man is singing something about a chicken, pig, and a goat, and I spiced these fish up really hot. The coals are just about ready, so me and the catch are heading in for the smoker.

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Fishing Captain Directory

reel harMony

reel harMony

Fishing charters

Fishing charters

Capt Marty Goldys

Capt Marty Goldys

Call for a 5 star Fishing Experience

Call for a 5 star Fishing Experience

Inshore • Snook • Redfish

Inshore • Snook • Redfish

Tarpon • Flounder

Tarpon • Flounder



new legacy Fishing charters

new legacy Fishing charters

Capt Marshal Wallot

Capt Marshal Wallot

Nearshore and Inshore Fishing Trophy Redfish & Black Drum

Nearshore and Inshore Fishing Trophy Redfish & Black Drum

Tarpon • Snook & More

Tarpon • Snook & More



yellow dawg

yellow dawg

Fishing charters

Fishing charters

Capt JaMie thrappas

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Capt kevin Gill

Ponce Inlet

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Pole dancer

Pole dancer

Fishin’ charters

Fishin’ charters

Capt Jeff patterson

Capt Jeff patterson

Inshore & Nearshore Fishing

Inshore & Nearshore Fishing

Daytona Beach

Daytona Beach

Redfish • Snook • Triple Tail • Trout

Redfish • Snook • Triple Tail • Trout



caught uP Fishing charters

caught uP Fishing charters

Capt Bruno iMBrunone

Capt Bruno iMBrunone

Inshore and Offshore Fishing New Smyrna Beach

Inshore and Offshore Fishing New

Smyrna Beach

Snook • Redfish • Tarpon • Cobia Snapper • Flounder

Snook • Redfish • Tarpon • Cobia Snapper • Flounder



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Captain & The Kids strives to always promote youth anglers both at the local level as well as nationally through our “Youth Angler Program.” If it was not for passing down techniques, traditions, and the love for the water, it would slowly fade away. It is our mission to always instill conservation and ethical fishing to our youth!

This month we are showcasing grayson Wilkie, who is a Youth Angler from the new Smyrna Beach area! grayson loves everything to do with fishing from rigging tackle the day before to reeling in the big catch like pictured above with a BIg BULL REDFISH!! grayson’s latest fishing trip was off of the Ponce Inlet Jetty where he dropped his bait down waiting for a bite. It did not take long before his rod was bent over and the fight was on with this 40+ inch redfish! After what grayson describes it as the best fight of his life, they safely took a few pictures and returned the fish back to the water to get caught again one day. Besides being an avid angler, grayson is also heavily involved in travel soccer for Volusia County. Keep an eye out for this youth angler while on the water and be sure to congratulate him on the big catch!

Capt. Evan started the Youth Angler Program after finding out how many kids in the new Smyrna Beach area had never been fishing, never been on a boat, and was born and raised in the area. Since that day Capt. Evan strives to getting more and more youth anglers on the water each and every year! Sol Fishing will do everything possible to make every young man or ladies fishing dreams come true. It does not matter if the kids want to go offshore or inshore, Sol Fishing will target whichever species they want to catch. Some of the most recent species that the youth anglers have been wanting to target are red snapper, lane snapper, cobia, amberjack, sharks, barracuda, redfish, and snook.

Captain & The Kids program is made possible by all of our retailers who stock Sol Fishing gear such as our hats, decals, shirts, and other apparel. Stop by New Smyrna Beach Outfitters, Outriggers, Yellow Dawg Bait & Tackle, Donald’s Bait & Tackle, 38 Live Bait, E & J Bait & Tackle, Sunglass Cabana, Shades of New Smyrna Beach, Boaters Exchange, and Pedego of NSB to get your Sol Fishing gear to help support Captain & The Kids! Sol Fishing’s amazing sponsors Daiichi Hooks, Powerpole, Fitzgerald Fishing, Navico, Florida Marine Tracks / ISLA Mapping, Seadek Marine, Custom Marine Volusia, and Castaway Customs also play a huge roll in the program!

capT. EVan SanDErS Sol Fishing Charters & Gear 407-796-2088 located at the daytona beach flea market 1425 tomoka farms rd, daytona beach, fl 32124 We have what you need ! Central Florida’s Newest Fiberglass Supply Shop! Bicycles • sales • service • rentals E-BIKES • BEACH CRUISERS • HYBRIDS MOUNTAIN BIKES • TRIKES • KIDS BIKES • BMX 386 . 410 . 3744 Wide range of parts & accessories readily available $50 OFF a new Bicycle over $400 excluding tax. Must present coupon. liMit one per custoMer. not valid with any other offer. localpickup delivery& 1609 Canal St. New Smyrna Beach Locally Owned & Operated Scan me with your phone camera to visit us on the web


May is one of my favorite months to fish! The sun is rising early, it’s not crazy hot yet, but thing’s usually are on fire! While there’s not officially a spring mullet run since mullet don’t spawn in the spring, they do school up and move all into the creeks meaning one thing … snook! I love fishing all the creeks from Dunlawton south to the inlet early in the morning as these line siders will be chewing! If you can time a high switch to outgoing at first light and know where fish are or should be you will produce! In recent years I’ve really dialed down my presentation to 15 lb Flouro in these situations. While I certainly get more hookups you do loose a few fish with going so light in leader so even 20 lb will work. Free lined live shrimp, small pin fish, and believe it or not big ol mud minnows work freak in the creeks! Soft plastic paddle tails and jerk baits also will get you hooked up! After that first hour of light, I tend to wonder to the inlet and will try my luck on the reds, I’ve had days in late April and early May where schools of slot fish push through and we have boated 20+ fish. While not every day is like that if you do find yourself there on a hot bite you won’t forget it anytime soon. on those calm days I’ll also still poke out and run the beach looking for cobia, a few stragglers moving north will be around and while I’m out there I’ve always got my eyes peeled looking for my wife’s favorite fish to eat, triple tail! Finally good weather is here, get out and explore. If you see us on the water say hello!


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

Chilly Spring Black Drum in Edgewater Backcountry

capT. JaMiE ThrappaS

Yellow Dawg Fishing

(386) 366-3424

the top of the water. They are notoriously picky so patience is a must. A live shrimp, silver dollar blue crab, live finger mullet, plastic swim baits or lures are good to try. The Tarpon is a top challenge for fly fishers, with the sight casting chance at a silver king hookup. Larger Redfish will again be along the ICW channel. Watch for surface activity with a lower profile, big boils and surface strikes as they eat drifting blue crabs or baitfish. To give the best chance for a pick up use a free

lined whole or half crab, large live shrimp, pinfish, pigfish, croaker, and/or spots. Use heavier tackle for the big Reds and Tarpon for a shorter fight and healthy release. Hold these bigger fish horizontally for a photo not hanging from the lip which can damage these valuable breeder size fish. Remember only Tarpon under 40” are legally allowed to be removed from the water so a photo with the fish in the water is needed on bigger fish. Summer is the best time of year for night time dock light fishing, the lights attract bait fish and shrimp which in turn bring in the trout, jacks, ladyfish, snook, and redfish. A free lined live shrimp can be the go to bait or match the hatch of which type of bait you are seeing. Try a small size lure, swim bait, jig, twitch bait, or soft plastic shrimp. Anchor just up tide and cast out from the light, throw your bait up current from the circle of light on the water and allow it to “swim” naturally through the target area. outgoing tide can be best, but a moving tide in either direction is a must for a good bite.

capT. MichaEl SaVEDow

Edgewater River Guide

(386) 689-3781



Let’s face it. There’s two different kinds of flies out there. ones that catch fish and ones that catch anglers. We’re all guilty of it. My fly box is no different. I have my handful of trusty flies that gets taken out every trip. And as much as I love trying new flies out, I keep coming back to the same og flies. now the easiest way to narrow down some fishy flies without dealing with a surplus of flies and a handful of fly boxes is to hunt down some local tyers. Do some research, check out those Ig photos, see who’s using them, send that dm, ask questions, or better yet go out to a fly night at your local fly shop and introduce yourself. If there’s one thing I’ve noticed that makes fly fishing different and in my opinion better than any other fishing style, is it’s community. The knowledge, wisdom, and passion is second to none. Take the time to have a conversation with local fly anglers. Ask who’s flies they enjoy using. You’ll start to hear the same few tyers names come up. Start there. Ask why they use what they use and how they use it. next step is to buy some flies! Buy a few that cover the water column. Don’t get in the habit of just throwing topwater! no matter how awesome it is! You have to work the water column! All joking aside get a little variety started in that box. once you start sticking some fish with those flies make sure to show some love. Tag them in your pictures if you do social media. If you don’t do social media send some other fly anglers their way.

now my waters range from St. Augustine to mosquito lagoon with a lot of my time between fishing the surf and back waters of Tomoka basin. These are my favorite fly tyers. You can find all of them on Instagram. @joeyhpresson @ alden_himself @tomokafly @w8ight_flies and @ blacksailflies. There’s many more on our area. These are just a few of the ones I use. not only are these guys great tyers, their great anglers. These are some fishy dudes that have a wealth of knowledge. Don’t be scared to reach out and ask some questions.

lo C al F ishi N g reports highlights.

Palm coast surf fishing has been great early morning. Lots of jacks, blues, and ladyfish willing to hit poppers and gurglers.

Tomoka area has had a solid snook bite lately. Everglades special style of fly has been putting in some work.

new Smyrna to the lagoon has had some nice reds and trout being caught lately if you can get through the pufferfish. Ep baitfish patters and clouser minnows (old faithful) always getting the job done.

good luck out there! Hope to see you out on the water. Check out this month’s events.

Fly Nights Cale N dar:

Old city Fly Shop May 9th

Harry Goods Outfitters May 9th and 23rd

capT. rEEF

Captain Reef’s Guide Service

Instagram: Captain Reef’s guide service


Italian Restaurant & Sports Bar
S. Ridgewood Ave.
Orange, Fl. 32127
386-675-6066 |
Classic Italian dishes, pizza, pasta, and more NFL Ticket & Game Day Specials
De Leon Inlet South, FL -
2024 Date High Low AM ft PM ft AM ft PM ft Rise Set Moon 1 Wed 2:33 3.1 3:02 2.4 9:04 0.3 9:02 0.2 6:40 8:01 2 Thu 3:39 3.1 4:15 2.7 9:59 0.2 10:10 0.1 6:39 8:01 3 Fri 4:45 3.1 5:18 3.0 10:53 0.0 11:18 0.0 6:38 8:02 4 Sat 5:43 3.1 6:15 3.3 11:45 -0.2 6:37 8:03 5 Sun 6:36 3.1 7:07 3.6 12:22 -0.1 12:34 -0.3 6:36 8:03 6 Mon 7:29 3.0 7:59 3.9 1:22 -0.3 1:23 -0.5 6:36 8:04 7 Tue 8:21 3.0 8:50 4.0 2:18 -0.3 2:11 -0.5 6:35 8:04 8 Wed 9:12 2.9 9:40 4.0 3:11 -0.3 2:58 -0.5 6:34 8:05 9 Thu 10:02 2.8 10:28 3.8 4:01 -0.3 3:44 -0.4 6:34 8:06 10 Fri 10:51 2.7 11:16 3.6 4:50 -0.1 4:31 -0.2 6:33 8:06 11 Sat 11:40 2.6 5:43 0.0 5:22 0.0 6:32 8:07 12 Sun 12:05 3.4 12:32 2.4 6:38 0.2 6:19 0.2 6:32 8:07 13 Mon 12:55 3.2 1:25 2.4 7:33 0.3 7:19 0.3 6:31 8:08 14 Tue 1:46 2.9 2:21 2.3 8:24 0.3 8:18 0.4 6:30 8:09 15 Wed 2:39 2.8 3:21 2.4 9:12 0.3 9:14 0.5 6:30 8:09 16 Thu 3:35 2.6 4:20 2.5 9:58 0.3 10:12 0.5 6:29 8:10 17 Fri 4:30 2.6 5:13 2.7 10:42 0.2 11:09 0.5 6:29 8:11 18 Sat 5:21 2.5 6:00 2.8 11:24 0.2 6:28 8:11 19 Sun 6:07 2.5 6:43 3.0 12:03 0.4 12:05 0.1 6:28 8:12 20 Mon 6:50 2.4 7:25 3.2 12:54 0.3 12:44 0.0 6:27 8:12 21 Tue 7:34 2.4 8:06 3.3 1:41 0.3 1:23 0.0 6:27 8:13 22 Wed 8:18 2.4 8:48 3.4 2:25 0.2 2:01 -0.1 6:26 8:14 23 Thu 9:02 2.3 9:29 3.4 3:06 0.1 2:39 -0.1 6:26 8:14 24 Fri 9:44 2.3 10:09 3.4 3:46 0.1 3:17 -0.1 6:25 8:15 25 Sat 10:25 2.3 10:52 3.4 4:27 0.1 3:58 -0.1 6:25 8:15 26 Sun 11:08 2.3 11:37 3.4 5:12 0.2 4:43 -0.1 6:25 8:16 27 Mon 11:56 2.3 6:03 0.2 5:37 0.0 6:24 8:16 28 Tue 12:25 3.3 12:49 2.3 6:58 0.1 6:41 0.0 6:24 8:17 29 Wed 1:18 3.2 1:48 2.4 7:51 0.1 7:48 0.0 6:24 8:18 30 Thu 2:14 3.1 2:52 2.6 8:42 -0.1 8:53 0.0 6:24 8:18 31 Fri 3:14 2.9 3:59 2.8 9:32 -0.2 10:00 0.0 6:23 8:19 Ormond Beach, Halifax River, FL - May 2024 Date High Low AM ft PM ft AM ft PM ft Rise Set Moon 1 Wed 6:10 0.7 6:43 0.6 12:47 0.3 1:50 0.3 6:40 8:02 2 Thu 7:17 0.7 7:50 0.6 1:58 0.3 2:50 0.2 6:39 8:02 3 Fri 8:23 0.7 8:55 0.7 3:07 0.2 3:47 0.0 6:38 8:03 4 Sat 9:26 0.7 9:57 0.7 4:12 0.1 4:42 -0.1 6:37 8:03 5 Sun 10:25 0.7 10:54 0.8 5:14 -0.1 5:35 -0.2 6:37 8:04 6 Mon 11:20 0.7 11:47 0.8 6:14 -0.2 6:27 -0.3 6:36 8:05 7 Tue 12:11 0.7 7:09 -0.3 7:16 -0.4 6:35 8:05 8 Wed 12:38 0.8 1:02 0.7 8:00 -0.3 8:03 -0.4 6:34 8:06 9 Thu 1:28 0.8 1:52 0.7 8:50 -0.2 8:50 -0.3 6:34 8:07 10 Fri 2:18 0.8 2:42 0.6 9:39 -0.1 9:37 -0.1 6:33 8:07 11 Sat 3:07 0.8 3:32 0.6 10:28 0.0 10:25 0.1 6:32 8:08 12 Sun 3:55 0.7 4:21 0.6 11:18 0.2 11:17 0.2 6:32 8:08 13 Mon 4:43 0.7 5:10 0.6 12:11 0.3 6:31 8:09 14 Tue 5:31 0.6 6:03 0.6 12:12 0.4 1:06 0.4 6:30 8:10 15 Wed 6:22 0.6 6:58 0.6 1:13 0.5 2:00 0.4 6:30 8:10 16 Thu 7:14 0.6 7:53 0.6 2:15 0.6 2:49 0.4 6:29 8:11 17 Fri 8:07 0.6 8:46 0.6 3:12 0.5 3:35 0.4 6:29 8:12 18 Sat 8:58 0.6 9:36 0.6 4:05 0.5 4:18 0.3 6:28 8:12 19 Sun 9:48 0.6 10:23 0.7 4:56 0.4 5:01 0.3 6:28 8:13 20 Mon 10:35 0.6 11:06 0.7 5:45 0.3 5:42 0.2 6:27 8:13 21 Tue 11:19 0.6 11:48 0.7 6:31 0.3 6:23 0.1 6:27 8:14 22 Wed 12:02 0.6 7:13 0.2 7:02 0.1 6:26 8:15 23 Thu 12:28 0.7 12:43 0.6 7:54 0.1 7:41 0.0 6:26 8:15 24 Fri 1:08 0.7 1:26 0.6 8:34 0.1 8:20 0.0 6:26 8:16 25 Sat 1:50 0.7 2:10 0.6 9:15 0.1 9:02 0.0 6:25 8:16 26 Sun 2:34 0.7 2:57 0.6 9:58 0.1 9:47 0.0 6:25 8:17 27 Mon 3:21 0.7 3:45 0.6 10:44 0.1 10:37 0.1 6:24 8:17 28 Tue 4:10 0.7 4:36 0.6 11:35 0.1 11:34 0.1 6:24 8:18 29 Wed 5:02 0.7 5:32 0.6 12:31 0.1 6:24 8:19 30 Thu 5:58 0.7 6:32 0.6 12:38 0.2 1:29 0.1 6:24 8:19 31 Fri 6:58 0.7 7:35 0.7 1:47 0.2 2:26 0.0 6:23 8:20 Fishing charters Daytonas Favorite oFF shore & i nshore Fishing e xperience call today for rates and availability. capt Jamie thrappas — 386-366-3424 @yellow_dawg_fishingYellow Dawg Fishing Boats availaBle 17ft Flats skiff ( Back country) 25ft Bay Boat (Inshore & Nearshore) 30 ft center console (Offshore)

Come Experience


The snook have really turned on lately up in the area around Yellow Dawg Bait & Tackle in ormond. Both south in the “toilet bowl’ area and to the north but south of the 100 bridge all of the back creeks have had a lot of good fish being caught. Seems like the high switch to outgoing has had them fired up, with pinch points and deep channels with overhanging trees really holding fish. There have been good numbers of redfish being caught in the further back areas where you can find bait you should find fish. Also on the beach the guys have been getting the mix bag of whiting, pompano, and even some flounder in the surf. As the weather gets warmer and the fronts stop pushing through, the fishing in the river and beach will just keep getting better! Come see us at 35 high bridge road in ormond , we have a free fishing pier, free kayak launch, and a free boat ramp right on the intercoastal!

capT. JaMiE ThrappaS

Yellow Dawg Bait & Tackle

35 High Bridge Road • Ormond by the sea

Instagram: @yellow_dawg_bait_and_tackle

Facebook: Yellow Dawg Bait & Tackle


Rod & Reel
TheFishin’HoleDifference Off Shore & In Shore Tackle Live
Frozen Bait Expert
450 N. Beach Street Downtown Daytona Beach 386-252-9804 OPEN




ay is arguably one of the best months of the year for bass fishing action. With water temperatures rising, all methods will work, including buzz baits, spinner baits, crank baits, and live bait like shiners and thread fin shad. With warmer water temperatures, the threadfin shad will move to the surface and create a feeding frenzy. Bass go crazy for this and it’s a perfect opportunity to try all of your top water lures. A favorite top water lure is a devils horse, working it over the grass beds. Spinner baits fished in the same area will also be a productive tactic.

Pan fish will also turn on this month with strong catches of bluegill already being brought in throughout the month of April. Pitch live crickets or minnows close to the bank in the norris Dead River to target bluegill, warmouth, and shell cracker. You can also use a 1/32 oz beetle spin. Black with a yellow stripe is a classic color. Pay attention to the moon phases for the month. Around the full moon, the shellcracker will move to the shell beds of Lake Woodruff. You can use live worms or crickets and surely catch a limit. We have already seen shellcracker up to pounds being brought it. Stop in Highland Park Fish Camp in DeLand, and we’ll mark a free map with all the best spots.

capT. Bryn aDaMS

Highland Park Fish Camp


FOLLOW Us To Stay Updated! @boondocksrestaurantfl

Port o range, FL

209 Dunlawton Ave. #7 386-846-2657

Daytona Beach, FL

260 Daytona Blvd. D-440, 386-871-9319

n ew Smyrna Beach, FL 394 N Causeway, 386-295-3203

FL ag L er Beach

701 N Ocean Shore Blvd. 386-481-0593

Locally Owned With A Chef Inspired Menu

Locally Owned With A Chef Inspired Menu

Locally Owned With A Chef Inspired Menu

With A Menu seafood

With A Menu seafood

Locally Owned With A Chef Inspired Menu

Locally Owned With A Chef Inspired Menu

Locally Owned With A Chef Inspired Menu

Millie’s offers fresh LOCAL seafood, meat and produce.

Millie’s offers fresh LOCAL seafood, meat and produce.

Millie’s offers fresh LOCAL seafood, meat and produce.

Millie’s south

3218 S. Atlantic Avenue

Millie’s offers fresh LOCAL seafood, meat and produce.

Millie’s offers fresh LOCAL seafood, meat and produce.

3218 S. Atlantic Ave, Daytona Beach Shores 386-275-1492

Daytona Beach Shores, FL 32118

Millie’s offers fresh LOCAL seafood, meat and produce.

3218 S. Atlantic Avenue

Millie’s south

Millie’s south

3218 S. Atlantic Avenue


3218 S. Atlantic Ave, Daytona Beach Shores 386-275-1492

Daytona Beach Shores, FL 32118

Millie’s North

Daytona Beach Shores, FL 32118

3218 S. Atlantic Avenue

3218 S. Atlantic Avenue

3218 S. Atlantic Ave, Daytona Beach Shores 386-275-1492



Daytona Beach Shores, FL 32118

3218 S. Atlantic Avenue

Monday 11am-9pm

With A Menu offers seafood ,

Daytona Beach Shores, FL 32118


330 S. Atlantic Ave, Ormond Beach 386-238-9756

Millie’s North

• Tuesday closed



Daytona Beach Shores, FL 32118


Millie’s North

Wednesday - Saturday 11am-9pm


330 S. Atlantic Ave, Ormond Beach

Monday 11am-9pm

Monday 11am-9pm


• Tuesday closed

Monday: 11am - 9pm


Sunday 9am-9pm


Monday 11am-9pm

• Tuesday closed

330 S. Atlantic Ave, Ormond Beach 386-238-9756

Wednesday - Saturday 11am-9pm

tuesday: Closed


Monday 11am-9pm

• Tuesday closed

Wednesday - Saturday 11am-9pm


Sunday 9am-9pm

Wednesday - sat: 11am - 9pm sunday: 8am - 9pm

Monday 11am-9pm

Monday: 11am - 9pm

Sunday 9am-9pm

Wednesday - Saturday 11am-9pm

• Tuesday closed

tuesday: Closed

• Tuesday closed

Monday: 11am - 9pm

Sunday 9am-9pm

Wednesday - Saturday 11am-9pm

Wednesday - sat: 11am - 9pm

sunday: 8am - 9pm

Sunday 9am-9pm

Wednesday - Saturday 11am-9pm

tuesday: Closed

Wednesday - sat: 11am - 9pm sunday: 8am - 9pm

Sunday 9am-9pm

Order Online
locatioNs to eNjoy poke bowls! S toke D-P Now!opeN! we cater as well! dowNload our app!

• Dry Storage & Slips Available

• live & Frozen Bait

• Gifts & Tackle Shop

• pet Friendly

• Boat & Kayak launch Ramps

• Beer / Wine / ice

• Sandwiches & Snacks

• Old Florida Ambiance

• live Music


1001 uS-1, Ormond Beach, Fl 32174


Our raining season gives light-tackle and fly fishermen a chance at snook and tarpon that go into feeding modes in fresh water rivers, creeks, and canals. The runoff brings a flow of natural forage like mud minnows, pin fish, and pig fish. Culverts draining the runoff nearly always develop into a hotspot. Vegetated shorelines, docks, and bridges tend to hold bait. Becoming feeding zones for the snook and tarpon. The Tomoka has all of the above. Fly fishermen try a white sinking fly which has been successful for both snook and tarpon.  Spinning and casting rod fishermen try Zman’s scented 3 or 4 inch white paddle tail with a 1/4 oz. jig head. Enjoy-good fishing

TomokaBoatClub Tomoka_boats

Under NEW Ownership by Cody Moore, Third Generation Fisherman

NSB Outfitters specializes in offshore bait and tackle, as well as inshore, flats, and fly fishing gear, with extensive options in apparel and accessories. New Smyrna Outfitters has the knowledge and experience to guide through whatever type of fishing you’re looking to do.


223a Canal St. |

(386) 402-8853

Mon-Sat 9am-6pm | Sunday Closed

Winter Caught Bally Hoo

Your Boating & Fishing Convenience Shop on the Tomoka River
Come by Car or Boat! Open TO The puBliC

Dolphin & Manatee tours

Boat Rentals Parasail rides Guided Jet Ski Tours

Fishing Charters

Fun, Sun!& WateR,
(386) 405
4958 S. Peninsula Dr. Ponce
Beach ParasaIl (386) 547 - 6067
4936 S. Peninsula Dr. Ponce Inlet, FL
Inlet Jet skI tours (386) 872 - 1157
4936 S. Peninsula Dr. Ponce Inlet, FL Boat rentals noW avaIlaBle BaIt & tackle comIng soon!
Ponce Inlet WatersPorts
- 3445

As we approach the summer months, I can only hope that the windy days give us a little break. Being an avid kayaker, I’ve been blown off the water almost every weekend this month. I’ve really been honing in on targeting spawning largemouth bass in the Tomoka River, but with so many consecutive days of high winds the lack of water clarity is making it difficult. The area that I’ve been doing really well in the mornings is closer to the Tomoka Basin area. There is an awesome kayak launch located at:

2099 n. Beach St.

ormond Beach FL 32174

In the mornings I’ve been catching lots of snook on topwater plugs. There’s also a few reds here and there that will commit to a fluke or a paddle tail. There’s kayak friendly water all around the state park area as well as tons of parking and a kayak launch site. There is a $5 fee for daily parking. native Americans once dwelled here, living off fish-filled lagoons. Today, these waters are popular for canoeing, boating, and fishing. The main thing I enjoy about this area is the ability to navigate in very skinny water on a kayak. Some days on the low tides I’ll go all day without seeing a single boat. I’m always going to bring three rods with me. I’m using 30lb braid with a 20lb mono liter. The topwater bite has been heating up.


I will always take a topwater blow up over anything else. There’s nothing quite like it.  If you want to fish live bait, I would recommend free-lining live finger mullet or live shrimp. If you want to use a bobber to keep an eye on your bait that will work too. It’s really a preference thing. I like using smaller circle hooks than most people. I use a 1/0 or 2/0 owner hook. This area is absolutely unbeatable when it comes to scenic views as well.

I saw a few manatees making their way up river this past weekend which is always cool to see on the kayak. My favorite time to fish is the last hour of the incoming tide. That’s been the hottest bite for me lately. I highly recommend checking out what this area has to offer. If you are new to kayaking and want a tour guide give me a call and we can set something up! Tight lines!

SPECIAL FORECAST BlakE aBBEy Kayak King Charters 916-476-1403 @kayakkingcharters DM Coastal Angler Volusia on Facebook or Instagram with your photos for a chance to get featured! Want to shoW off your catch?
Amy Brown St. Johns River John Theil Out of Ponce Inlet Sam Brick New Smyrna Beach Wesson Tripp Oak Hill Biggest red he’s ever caught!
COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM may 2024 volusia county 15 No Job too big or too small Residential and Commercial Services including: - Land Clearing and Site Development - Asphalt paving ,milling services, and material by the load. - Concrete - foundations , slabs, driveways, and commercial services - Demolition & Site Cleanup - Fill and Compaction - Bobcat & Excavator services including pond digging Call us today! (386) 218-6969 1980 Cameron a ve. Sanford, f L 32771 | a LLterraintra C tor S ervi C e. C om Now offering Hook & Cook options for those who fish with our local charter Fleet! 4511 South Atlantic Ave. Ponce Inlet, FL 32127 386-322-3258

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Pasco County scallopers will get a 40-day season in 2024 afer the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission approved a change to the management region during a February meeting. Te season for the Pasco County Zone will begin July 10 and run through Aug. 18, annually.

Tese long-term season dates were informed by the 2023 post-season monitoring results by FWC’s Fish and Wildlife Research Institute as well as input received from stakeholders at virtual public workshops, in-person meetings and public comments.

“Along with moving away from the Independence Day holiday, the longer season will increase both the public’s safety and access to one of our state’s most fun family resources,” said FWC Commissioner Preston Farrier. “ Tere will be many positive impacts for the local communities.”

Te Pasco Zone bay scallop region includes all state waters between the Hernando/Pasco county line and the Anclote Key Lighthouse in northern Pinellas County, and includes all waters of the Anclote River. For complete regulations, visit

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You’ll fnd some real giants lurking in Florida waters, ofen hanging out near wrecks, structures and mangrove roots. Te notorious Goliath grouper is a massive, territorial and iconic Florida fsh that has experienced a remarkable comeback in recent years, prompting the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) to introduce a lottery system for limited harvest.

It’s been quite the journey for these giants of the sea. Back in the 1990s, they were critically endangered, and conservation eforts swung into action

to protect them. Trough the 2000s, Goliath grouper started reappearing in South Florida’s coastal waters in greater numbers. Some saw this as a positive thing, while others focused on the negative potential impact on the marine ecosystem.

With their enormous size, reaching lengths of over 8 feet and weighing up to 800 pounds, these beasts could easily throw of the delicate balance of fsh populations and reef habitats. Despite the initial concerns, strict conservation measures and protective regulations led to a remarkable population rebound. Tey once again rule as apex predators; some would even call them bullies!

We were lucky to receive one of the tags to harvest a Goliath this year. Tere were specifc protocols to follow. Te FWC divided it into Category I and Category II, restricting the fshing areas. Additionally, there was a stipulation to use non-ofset, non-stainless steel hooks to improve survival chances. Tere was also a research element involved. We were issued a kit for taking samples and instructions on where to drop of the carcass afer our fsh was cleaned.

Goliath grouper have big appetites, eating large quantities of food to sustain their massive size. Tese underwater monsters can consume up to 5 percent of their body weight in a single feeding, so an average adult weighing around 400 pounds might eat 20 pounds. Tat’s a hefy meal by any standard. Tey also eat pretty much anything that moves, and they love crustaceans, especially stone crabs.

With our tag, we managed to catch one that fell within the slot size of 24 to 36 inches set by the lottery. We gave it a try, and to our surprise, it tasted great, like a meatier version of traditional grouper: white, faky and juicy, probably due to their diet.

Goliaths are a lesson in how tricky the balance can be between preserving our marine life and using it responsibly. From nearly disappearing to bouncing back in a big way, these amazing creatures keep us hooked on their journey. Tey remind us how everything in the ocean is connected and how important balance is. Whether we’re rallying to protect them or frying them up for dinner, Goliath grouper are a signifcant part of what makes Florida’s marine ecosystem so unique.

To see the episode of our Goliath Grouper Catch & Cook, go to “Bean Sportfshing TV” on YouTube. For more information about FWC’s Goliath Grouper harvest program, visit:

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Jigging or Baiting for Big Amberjacks

Amberjacks are powerful fsh with a never-quit attitude that makes them prized among anglers who live for the battle. Tey are a widespread species, with a pretty much worldwide range and prefer depths from 60 to 250 feet. Typically, they live near reefs and shipwrecks in small schools. Tis is due to their diet being mostly smaller fsh, crustaceans and squid that live around these structures.

An amberjack might live its whole life around these structures and only move due to lack of prey or for spawning. Amberjacks broadcast spawn, but usually in smaller groups. A single female can produce anywhere between 20 and 50 million eggs. Afer spawning, these fsh participate in some sort of courting and will stay in pairs. Adults can weigh up to 200 pounds and grow to 6 feet in length with a lifespan of more than 15 years. Most angler encounters are with fsh up into the 40-pound range.

Ofshore and nearshore in appropriate depths, you’ll want to look for AJs around structure. Most depthfnders identify structure as dark red patches that jut up from the baseline of the ocean foor. Good structure will have plenty of life around it, which will be represented on the screen as yellow and green blotches of bait and baitfsh.

Once you fnd your spot, use a typical bottom rig with enough weight to keep your bait on bottom in the current. Both live and dead baits work. It’s a good idea to butterfy larger baits, which is cutting the spine and ribs out while leaving the head and skin-on flets intact. For live baits, fsh any baitfsh in the 3- to 5-inch range.

Jigging is another fun way to target these monsters. My friend Nick DeGannaro recently caught a giant AJ on a jig, and here are a few tips he provided.

“Dropping a slim-profled jigging spoon and ripping it back up towards the surface usually elicits the bite, which will stop all motion you had going as the rod doubles over and line starts disappearing of the spool,” he said. “It really is a thrilling fshery, but one you have to show up prepared for, as it will push your tackle to the limits.”

DeGannaro’s go-to outft for speed jigging is an 8000-sized reel flled with 30-lb. braid paired with an E-Fish-Ent Custom Rods Phantom Jigger 250. He fshes a 40- to 60-lb. fuorocarbon leader, depending on water clarity, and either a glow or shiny jig.

Amberjack regulations vary on the Atlantic and Gulf coasts, so check the regs before you go. While some enjoy the buttery favor of amberjack, others are turned of by the tapeworms most AJs have in their meat. Whether you plan to keep one or not, these reef bullies sure are a lot of fun to do battle with.

Emily Rose Hanzlik has caught more than 60 IGFA world records in various categories. Find her on social media @emilyhanzlikoutdoors.

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Surf casting is a great and inexpensive way to catch quality fsh. I’ve landed big tarpon and snook from the beach and small panfsh like whiting and croaker. You can catch dinner or experience the thrill of battling some the top sportfsh in the world.

GEAR: I carry two rods, one for big fsh and one for smaller fsh, so I’ll be prepared for whatever I encounter. My lighter set-up is an 8-foot mediumaction rod with a spinning reel flled with 10- to 20-lb. braid attached to 12 inches of clear 30-lb. fuorocarbon leader.

For tarpon, big snook, sharks and big jacks, you need 40- to 60-lb. braid (200-300 yards) with a 60- to 80-lb. clear fuorocarbon leader. For big fsh, you need a heavier rod and 6000-8000 reel with a bigger spool for more line.

LURES: Tie your lures to your leaders with a loop knot. My favorite lures include 4-inch DOA paddletail (pearl white or silver sparkle) rigged on a 3/8oz. chartreuse jig head; a 1- or 2-oz. spoon (silver Krocodile or gold Johnson); topwater plugs (Skitterwalk, Zara Spook, or various chug plugs); and shallow running crankbaits. If it’s windy or rough, you might need to fsh heavier jigs or spoons.

BEST TIMES TO FISH: First light and an hour before dark are the best times to fsh. Te best tides are early incoming and early outgoing. Avoid slack tides. I also use moon phases, which regulate the amount of rise and fall during each tide.

FIND THE FISH: Find the bait, and you’ll fnd the fsh. Bird activity is the most obvious sign of bait in an area. Tis could be pelicans, gulls or even small terns nipping at baitfsh. You also need to be able to spot baitfsh. Identifying the little splashes or dark mass of a school is critical.

I walk the beach looking for bait. When I see bait, I stop and fsh. Birds aren’t always there, and the bait just pops up for a few seconds and you need to be ready. Go to a beach access, get out of the car and scan for birds. If you don’t see any birds, it might be worth going to another beach access, but remember that fnding bait is sometimes just a matter of moving down the beach a hundred yards.

TECHNIQUE: Identify the feeders. Bluefsh, jacks, mackerel, ladyfsh, kingfsh and barracuda are all aggressive feeders that like fashy lures and fast retrieves. If you’re fshing for tarpon, a slow steady retrieve is better. Snook will hit a slow retrieve and can also be caught in shallower water by jigging of the bottom around the frst cut. Whiting, pompano and croakers are all easily caught twitching a lure of the bottom, but you must get it out to them.

Richard L. Matteson is a long-time contributor to Coastal Angler Magazine who reports for the Stuart Rod and Reel Club. Contact him at (336) 414-3440.

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Out Here

The fight for an unforgettable catch begins here, where 100,000 square miles of deep blue waters play home to speedy blue marlin and wahoo, massive tuna and brawny mahi mahi. Deep sea fishing in The Out Islands is a battle of wits, a test of perseverance, and a chance to prove your angler’s instinct. See what could be waiting on the other side of your line.


Summer Fsing ALASKA’S


is true for human visitors, too. Te summertime fshing in Alaska can be astoundingly good.

Imagine awe-inspiring natural landscapes cascading into a sea teeming with marine life. I’ve lived and fshed in Fiji, Te Bahamas, Hawaii and Florida. Tey are all spectacular, but there’s nothing like an Alaskan summer.

My own journey to Alaska began as a young man when I dreamed of one day fshing there. Like most young adults, I strived to get good grades and work jobs to pay bills and tuition. I took the mainstream approach of university studies. Shortly afer graduation, I obtained a position with a fnancial frm. I loved the work; I hated the monotony of a nine-to-fve work life. Afer a year and a half, I called it quits and fed to Alaska with no contacts or the faintest idea of what it would be like. It’s now been 12 years, and I still call Alaska home for the summer fshing season.

I operate Ketchikan’s Finest Fishing Charters. My fshing partner, Jake Smith, and I consider ourselves lucky for the opportunity to provide topfight experiences for clients every day.

Te prime fshing season in Ketchikan is May through September, and we provide customized charters for any group, regardless of age or experience. You can expect to catch halibut, salmon, rockfsh, cod and even Dungeness crab. We ofer full-day and multi-day packages, with daily catches aggregating over hundreds of pounds. In addition, we ofer cruise ship charters for salmon and halibut to ft each visitor’s port times. With pick-up and drop-of from downtown ports, it’s the best way to fsh during an Alaskan cruise.

John Muir, the famous naturalist, wrote that you should never go to Alaska as a young man because you’ll never be satisfed with any other place as long as you live. From frst-hand experience, I believe this to be true.

Alaska still holds riches beyond one’s wildest dreams. Hundreds of millions of salmon food into their native streams and rivers to spawn each year. Giant barn-door halibut scour the deep seas. Humpback whales migrate thousands of miles to feast on Alaska’s annual summer bounty. Eagles, bears and other wildlife abound and celebrate summer, when it’s a feast for all. Tis

Imagine riding to the richest Alaskan fshing grounds with humpback whales breaching on the horizon. Eagles soar overhead and swoop to pluck salmon from the sea. Te fshing is insane, with massive halibut and lightsout salmon fshing. It’s sensory overload in a good way, and an experience that should be at the top of everyone’s bucket list.

If planning a fshing trip in Alaska seems daunting, know that modernday Alaska is accessible to all. Tere’s no need for foat planes or dog sleds. Ketchikan is a two-hour plain ride from Seattle in a commercial airliner that touches down in a modern airport. From there, everything is at your fngertips.

Check out Ketchikan’s Finest Fishing Charters at Contact them (907) 617-4717 or e-mail


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The year is 2024, and technology is getting better and better. Whether it be the retail tech business or the fshing industry, there are tools now available that a few years ago we would have never thought were even possible. One of those technologies is forward-facing sonar (FFS). Tere’s a lot of debate about FFS in the fshing these days, but there’s no denying it’s an amazing tool when used correctly.

I have been using this technology since its earliest stages, and catching fsh while looking at my screens has become one of my favorite ways to fsh. It is extremely cool to watch a fsh eat your lure in real time, and it can also teach you a tremendous amount about what is happening under the water. Not only do I use this tech to fnd and catch fsh, I use it to pinpoint bait and areas with life, fnd sweet spots and diferentiations in an area, and eliminate dead water much faster ever before.

Figuring out how to use this new technology can be a little frustrating at frst if you don’t quite understand what’s going on. Spending time on the water, doing as much research as possible or getting someone experienced to teach you are the best ways to get an upper

hand. Fishing lakes where catching fsh isn’t very hard in general helped

me tremendously with deciphering what I saw using FFS. Smallmouth fshing in the north country was a big helper, as these fsh are aggressive and you get many opportunities to present baits and dial in your skills.

Another thing that helps you understand the picture on your screen is objects that are visible above the water. Point your transducer at a bridge, dock, tree or grass, and picture in your head what should be under the water while also watching your screen. Tis will help beginners dial in settings and get a better understanding of what is displayed. It takes time, patience and dedication to learn, but don’t get frustrated and try to have fun with it.

Tere are varied opinions on forwardfacing sonar and its place in the fshing industry, but it isn’t going away, it will only get better! Some of the coolest things I’ve witnessed and some of my best fshing days were due to the electronics on my boat.

Spending the time to learn how to use FFS is well worth the efort. Te technology is dominating pretty much every tournament right now, and it absolutely revolutionized the way I break down a body of water.

Tere are many resources out there to help you in your learning process and people like me who are always willing to answer questions. Don’t be afraid to reach out, tight lines!

Tyler Woolcott is a professional tournament angler and guide. Check out his website at



It’s well known that some of the best kingfsh fshing starts with a livewell full of frisky baits. Unfortunately, catching them can eat up much of your fshing time. Afer that, it can be hours of bump trolling waiting for a fsh to hit. Fortunately, for those who just want to head out for a couple hours of fun and blistering runs, it can be accomplished with artifcials. Besides getting you straight to the fshing, you can cover a lot more ground by pulling hardware, and it is not nearly as tedious.

Like using live bait, wire leader is crucial. Kingfsh have razor sharp teeth that will go through even stout mono with little efort. I prefer single-strand wire and usually opt for at least #7 (80-lb.). Single strand tends to kink afer just one fsh, but that’s not always a problem when pulling big plugs, as they will pull the wire straight. Also, watch your split rings. Tey can weaken the loop where it attaches to the lure, so be sure to constantly inspect your connections. I like to cover many diferent depths in the water column when trolling. I

start with a shallow runner like the Nomad 190 AT that runs 3 to 5 feet deep, which I set way back. I also like the Nomad Madmacs that run just slightly deeper. I run it 30 to 50 feet in front of my shallow long-bait to facilitate turning. Ten I like to go deeper with a DTX Minnow 165. I run that close to the boat and right under the prop wash. Tis is hands down my most productive bait. I fnd speeds of 6 to 8 knots usually work well. Tis allows me to cover a lot of ground and is fast enough to elicit a strike. I ofen fnd any slower and the fsh don’t seem interested. Te other great thing about these lures is the hooks are very large, and they stick once they make contact.

When you’re trolling the deeper-diving DTX 165s, you will need a reel with some signifcant drag, as these big-lipped plugs take a lot to hold in place. Te Accurate BV600, with its dual drag system, is a great reel for the job. Te BV X76H matches perfectly with it and is a great multi-duty trolling rig that doubles as an awesome grouper rod. Even though you don’t need a super-light tip, like with live bait, a rod that gives is a plus with these sof-mouthed fsh.

As for spots, look for hard bottom that holds bait. Wrecks and reefs are great, too. It sometimes pays to make wider circles around these structures to get away from the barracudas.

With a few lures and some know-how, you can easily head out and catch some kings without dedicating an entire day to your eforts.

The Return of a

Will Schmidt is a seasoned tournament anglers who has been writing about fshing for more than three decades.

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The heritage of American Silver Dollars is rich and diverse, marked by stunningly beautiful designs, leading to an enduring desirability in the hearts of collectors around the world. In this iconic U.S. Silver Dollar set, spanning nearly 150 years, you’re getting FIVE American Silver Dollars issued over the last 15 decades that each reflect the history, culture and economic aspects of the United States.

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