Coastal Angler Magazine | November 2022 | Volusia County Edition

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Aboard The Hard Merchandise

icked Tuna is a show my ancé, Capt. Brandon Storin, and I like to watch. As an avid angler betrothed to a charter captain, I think it’s pretty cool to watch these guys reel in giants, but it’s even cooler to do it Brandon and I wanted this experience, so we went on a charter with the legendary crew of the “Hard Merchandise.” Docked in Gloucester, Mass., the boat is very spacious with a heated cabin, full head and all the latest electronics. Capt. Joe Marciano and his Mate, Jay, are exactly as they are from the show, and their skillsets for catching

During our time with them, conditions were a bit rough. It called for us leaving the docks earlier than anyone else, and while riding out, you could really see how meticulous they are in each part of the rigging and set up. During the boat ride, conversation was great, with plenty of laughs to go around. Before we knew it, we were at the tuna grounds.

In the midst of catching and soaking baits and waiting for the bite, the crew made us fresh breakfast and it was amazing. We had bacon and scrambled eggs with lobster.

e experience is very much like what you would expect from watching the show. ere’s lots of refreshing baits and waiting for a bite. When they mark sh on the sonar, the enthusiasm from the crew is amazing, just like on television. Capt. Joe and Jay jump up, yelling “WE’RE MARKING!” Adrenaline starts pumping with anticipation as you hope everything is lined up perfect enough to get a bite.

Fortunately, we did get tight, and I have never seen a sh take such a wild and ferocious run… several times. I was up to battle this sh with coaching from Capt. Joe and Jay. ere is nesse needed to ght a giant like this, and a cra in staying tight and knowing when to let him run. Every second spent reeling elevated the hope that we might land this big tuna. Yet there was also anxiety. If you’ve watched the show, you know that losing one of these monsters is a very real possibility.

We battled the sh for a while. Gaining where I could, adrenaline kept me pumping while the crew maneuvered the boat. e communication is constant as everyone works together.

Finally, I saw this huge beast start surfacing. Capt. Joe moved in with the harpoon, ready to take the shot. Everything happened so quickly! e beast surfaced, and Capt. Joe drilled it with a perfect gill shot. It wasn’t over yet, but it was just a matter of time. A er the sh made one last run, taking a bunch of rope, we hauled it back in and roped its tail. At that point, I knew I had landed my top bucket-list sh.

It was an amazing experience, and it felt like we were literally in an episode of Wicked Tuna. What you see from the show is what you get in person. ere is no script; nothing is fake. ere is only grit, talent and hope, and these guys have all that.

e Hard Merchandise team recently launched Angelica Seafoods, where one can order fresh blue n, lobster, scallops, oysters and more to be delivered to your door. If you plan a trip to Boston and want to catch a sh of a lifetime, book a charter with the Hard Merchandise.

For more information on the Hard Merchandise, visit www.angelica

IG: @catching_astrid @bnmbean @hardmerchjoe @melodyredwing @hardmerchandisejay.

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That’s quite a headline for a 17-year-old high school student from Clewiston, Fla. who loves bass shing.

I spoke with Hilary while she was in Palatka, Fla. preparing to sh the Florida Bass Nation tournaments on the St. Johns River, and her enthusiasm and passion for the sport of bass shing were impressive.

Last year, at 16, she nished h at the State Championship of the Florida Bass Nation with a total weight heavier than 19 pounds. She’s hoping to do even better this year.

I asked her if she could remember when she rst started shing, and she laughed as she guessed that she was “probably only 2 years old.” A er all, she does come from a pretty well-known family of professional bass shermen.

Her grandfather, the legendary Roland Martin, is one of the greatest bass shermen of all time. Her father, Scott, won the 2011 Forest Wood Cup Championship, and also has 45 top-ten nishes and eight tour victories in the FLW and hosts the Scott Martin Challenge.

But things are di erent today than they were

Iin the past. Today, social media is the key to reaching your audience, and Hilary has done an incredible job on both YouTube, with over 100,000 subscribers, and Instagram with 103,000 followers.

Most of her videos are bass shing, although she’s had some very interesting saltwater shing videos, as well.

Hilary said she started taking bass shing seriously when she was 15 years old, and at 16, joined the Florida Bass Nation Series.

She has her own bass boat, a 20’ Skeeter FXR, with a 250hp Yamaha, but she also shes out of her dad’s boat from time to time, because, “it’s got all the goodies,” she laughed.

Her biggest bass, a whopping 9.1-pounder was caught ipping a black/blue Sweet Beaver along the edges of cattails on Lake Okeechobee when she was only 14 years old. She hopes to break that personal best soon.

Her shing arsenal includes a Favorite Phantom Series shing rod, a Shimano Curado reel and braided or uorocarbon line, along with her favorite bait, a Zoom Speed Worm.

“I was shing out of a kayak and I saw this

far away, so I threw my Speed Worm just past the mark,” she recounted. “I started a fast retrieve when a big bass came up and just exploded on it. at sh drug me around for what seemed like forever before I nally landed it. It weighed just over ve pounds. e cover picture of me holding a bass was taken the day a er.”

Listening to her tell that story, her excitement, enthusiasm and passion for bass shing became even more obvious.

If you haven’t seen one of her videos on YouTube ( eReelHilarySue), I’d strongly recommend you check them out. ey’re fun to watch, and you might just learn something. She’s a natural.

What an incredible future this beautiful, talented young lady has in store. I think she’ll be one of the biggest names in professional bass shing in the years to come.

Don Norton is co-publisher of the Okeechobee edition of e Angler Magazine.


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GULF RED SNAPPER HARVEST Open for Two Weekends in November


shing the Gulf of Mexico out of Florida have two weekends remaining in November to harvest red snapper. is special fall season announced by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) opened a total of ve weekends for snapper harvest in October and November. e remaining dates are Nov. 11-13 and Nov. 25-27.

e fall red snapper season is open for recreational anglers and for-hire operations in the Gulf of Mexico. During this season, private recreational anglers may harvest red snapper in Gulf state and federal waters. However, state for-hire operations are limited to shing for red snapper in Gulf state waters only. Gulf state waters extend to 9 miles o shore, where federal waters begin.

e bag limit during the fall season is the same as the regular summerseason bag limit. Anglers may keep two red snapper per person, within the 10-per-person daily aggregate snapper bag limit. e minimum size limit is 16 inches tail length. Charter captains and guides may not keep a limit on top of those retained by their anglers. A descending device or venting tool is required to be rigged and ready for use while shing for reef sh in Gulf federal waters. FWC will continue to monitor harvest relative to Florida’s available quota.

ese additional days were made possible by the State Reef Fish Survey, which was developed to provide better data for management of red snapper and other reef sh. It has allowed FWC the unprecedented opportunity to manage Gulf red snapper in state and federal waters.

All anglers shing from private recreational vessels are required to sign up as a State Reef Fish Angler if they target red snapper or other reef sh in state and federal waters, even if they are exempt from shing license requirements. Sign up for no cost at or by visiting any location where you can purchase a Florida shing license.

State Reef Fish Anglers may receive a questionnaire in the mail regarding their reef sh trips as part of Florida’s State Reef Fish Survey. If you receive a survey, please respond whether you shed this season or not or whether you’ve submitted data via other methods.

For more information, see the Florida red snapper regulations at


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$1 MILLION PURSE GUARANTEED atJimmyJohnson’s“QuestfortheRing”ChampionshipFishingWeek

Brought to you by Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Fla., the 12th Annual Jimmy Johnson’s “Quest for the Ring” Championship Fishing Week will take over South Florida March 7-11, 2023, additionally hosted by Visit Lauderdale, with tournament headquarters based at Seminole Hard Rock in Broward.

e annual four-day tournament includes the 2-day Quest for the Ring Catch & Release Championship and the National Sport sh Championship Weighted Tournament, which takes place as a separate tournament during the event week. Hosted by Contender Boats, powered by Yamaha and fueled by Papa’s Pilar Rum, the 2-Day Catch & Release Championship features the World’s RICHEST guaranteed purse of $1 million, in partnership with Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Fla, making it the longest-running guaranteed purse in history.

Jimmy Johnson’s “Quest for the Ring” Championship Fishing Week is “all about the ring!” according to Coach Johnson. Each year teams vie for their champion rings and entrance into the highly coveted Ring of Honor, an elite group of champions who have taken home the top prize at this exciting competition in the Catch & Release Championship. Each year, overall champions receive Jimmy’s famed National Championship Ring. Renowned for the best parties, which are

Palm Beach’s TEAM LUNATICO won the 2022 Championship, taking home $321,500 and entrance into Coach’s coveted RING OF HONOR on a 42’ Invincible owned by Lance Converse.

back at Hard Rock, the highest guaranteed purse and the ultimate week of shing, tournament highlights include celebrity charity days and highly competitive tournament showdowns. Registration will end with the captain’s meeting on Tuesday, March 7, if spots are still available.

“ e best wasn’t the Super Bowl, the best was not University of Miami, the best is right now!” said Coach Johnson. “ ese teams are part of THE BEST. We continue to grow each year, and I am thrilled to have our partners at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood join us as we

showcase the thrilling challenge of sport shing and to move our hosting of our event to such a beautiful destination in Broward County. We look forward to seeing everyone in March!”

Contender Boats is the o cial center console boat sponsor and a presenting sponsor of the tournament along with the o cial outboard sponsor, Yamaha, and o cial spirits partner, Papa’s Pilar. Additional Hosting sponsors include Oakley Prizm, Michelob Ultra, GED Lawyers, Visit Lauderdale, Garmin, Celebrity Cruises, Hines Securities, Titos Vodka, Atlantic Radio Telephone, and Cadillac. Miami Retail Partner is Crook and Crook and Broward Retail Partner is Big Dog Tackle. e o cial tournament artist and apparel provider is Connected by Water. Additional event sponsors can be found on the event website. e tournament is produced by Fish Hard Events.

Boat Entry information and the full schedule of events can be found at www.jj Registration starts at $5,000 for the Quest for the Ring Bill sh Tournament and $2,500 for the Sport sh Weighted Championship. Register on the tournament website or by contact the tournament o ce at info@jj or (305) 255-3500 for more information.

Follow @JJFishWeek on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for up to date tournament information.

The Peacock Bass in Florida From The Amazon to Your Backyard:

There’s an eruption during your retrieve that’s immediately followed by one of the most vicious strikes you’ve ever encountered. e unknown assailant pulls drag, digging deeper only to reverse course and perform one of the most acrobatic aerial shows you’ve ever witnessed. Your rst thought is a monster largemouth, but that idea vanishes when you see the color scheme and the large bump on the sh’s forehead. A er a trying and equipment-testing battle, before you lies an unmistakable dream about or watch on television shows recorded in exotic locations. It’s a butter y peacock bass.

Peacock bass are native to South America, where they are most commonly found in the Amazon and Orinoco river basins. Because of their appearance and name, there’s a common misconception that they are members of the bass family. Actually, they are cichlids.

Peacock bass were introduced to South Florida by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) in 1984. ey are nonnative, but they are considered noninvasive. ree stocks of sh were imported from Brazil, Guyana and Peru. A er spawning at the FWC Non Native Research Lab and being tested for disease and parasites by both the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Auburn University, they were released to combat exotic invasive snakeheads, clown knife sh and oscars.

Peacock Bass have a body similar to largemouth bass, but the color scheme is noticeably di younger examples are generally golden/green with three black bars that fade as the sh matures. is also usually a prominent black spot with a yellow/ gold halo on the tail. Peacock bass are fast growing, pushing an inch a month from one year to 18 months. A 19-inch sh can weigh 5 pounds. While the Florida state record butter

undocumented catches of 12 pounds and e IGFA all-tackle world record is 12.6 pounds and was caught in Venezuela. y peacock bass are intolerant of cold water and high salinity. ere have been reports of sh north of Palm Beach County, but they cannot survive temperatures below 60 degrees or salinity above 18 parts per million. is species is commonly found in canals, lakes and ponds, and prefers to feed and spawn in shallow water with vegetation.

Live bait is the easiest way to catch these amazing sh, and they will also strike arti cial lures and ies. Butter y peacock bass prefer feeding during daylight hours, when they use their great speed to pursue

y peacock bass are edible, but the FWC recommends catch and release due to the valuable service they provide in keeping invasive species in e pursuit of this species is also an economic boon to the state. It is estimated that anglers spend more than $8 million a year chasing peacock bass in y peacock bass are another example of shing opportunities.

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In this series on long-distance lures, we’ve covered just about everything about the cast and equipment. Now that you’ve made that super-long cast—beating other anglers’ distance by 50 feet, or maybe 50 yards—you are presenting your lure to sh that others can’t reach.

What’s next the next step? is is where we enter the heart of the action, where things get fun and exciting. First thing rst, start working your lure.

e long distance between your rod tip and the lure means more line is on the water. You will have less control of the lure’s action, and the delay between when the sh strikes and when you feel it will be longer. e hook set is also a ected. Waves, wind and current all amplify this lag.

e type of lure will determine how you should alter your retrieve to achieve the proper action. Darters, heavy spoons, billed minnows, bottleneck swimplugs and jointed swimbaits are all designed to provide their own action, and they will start swimming when you begin your retrieve.

Lures that require more angler interaction

will require you to adapt your retrieve to compensate for the extra distance and diminished control. A popper

hand what I am trying to impart. You’ll need practice to adjust the way you work a lure at distance, and by paying attention to the way di erent lures react, you will learn to sh them more e ectively.

might require harder pulls to pop. A stick bait or pencil might need a slower cadence and sharper rod twitches to achieve the desired action.

ese details might seem insigni cant as you read this, but go give it a try on the water, preferably in calm conditions. At the end of a super-long cast, you’ll experience rst-

Now, with the current ripping and wave action pulling the line and lure side to side, there’s no way to avoid losing some control over the quality of a lure’s action. e good thing is, sh in such conditions are usually less picky and more aggressive. Still, the better the action you provide to your lure, the better your results will be. en suddenly, the bite happens! A long belly of line in uenced by current and waves increases the delay between your hook set and the moment it translates to the lure. Also, some energy will be lost. Use a wide, sweeping rod movement to set the hook when the lure is far away. is generates a long pull that provides the most energy possible to drive the hook into a sh’s mouth. Also, sh a tight drag when you’re casting for distance. I’ve seen many anglers miss sh when the drag gives line on the hook set. Be ready to adjust the drag lighter based on the power of the sh once you have it hooked.

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

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With the pompano run upon us and the mullet run still trickling through, Space Coast surf fishing has taken off! November is one of my favorite months to surf fish because of the variety of species and transitioning of seasons. If you’re surfing or swimming, pick up your toes! It’s lively out there. If you’re fishing, be ready for anything to grab the bait. Sharks, snook, jack crevalle, tarpon and pompano are crushing the surf from Cape Canaveral to Sebastian Inlet.

The seaweed has abated for the most part, with certain areas clearing more than others. During tides it will wash along the bottom with broken bits of sargassum and sticks from the storm. On a lower tide cast out further, and on the higher tide it seems the inside trough has better conditions. No matter what you’re after, I would definitely take advantage of the season by exploring the methods to catch the species currently active.

Pompano rigs with Fishbites and fresh peeled shrimp have been responsible for small

black drum, whiting and pompano. Lots of small pompano are making up the majority of catches, with a few keepers in the mix. The larger migration of pompano should be arriving at anytime in November once the water temperature begins its decline. Until then, if it’s table fare in mind, pick away at the aforementioned species. For traditional methods with pompano rigs, cast out and set in the rod holders.

With that being said, the name of the game until the water temperature drops will

continue to be the mullet run. Take advantage of this by using a freelined mullet or Rapala plug. Bucktails and swim baits are also accounting for great catches of snook, tarpon and jack crevalle. When you see the surface foaming with frantic baits, cast beyond and retrieve on the edges of the bait schools. Use anything from 20-40 lb. braid and 3060 lb. fluorocarbon leader.

There’s plenty of opportunities in the surf here in the Central East Coast region. If you’re new to the area or want to learn more about surf fishing the Space Coast, give us a call or visit our website to book a trip. We specialize in private lessons and charters to get you up to speed on the surf fishing tactics that will ensure you see success.

Have fun and get out there to enjoy this special time of year.

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PORT CANAVERAL INSHORE: Let the cool winds blow! This month is all about cooling water temperatures and the plethora of species that will show up in our near-coastal waters around the Port Canaveral area. My favorite of these is tripletail. These odd-looking fish are some of the most fun and tasty fish we target all year. Look for them around any type of floating debris, along slicks or scum lines, around buoys, and under many of the docks inside of the Port. A nice live shrimp or fairly large pilchard will be what you want to adorn your circle hook or jig head with to get these fish to strike.

Two other species that will come into play with the northerly fetch of the November winds are pompano and whiting. Like the tripletail, these are also great tasting fish. I try to target them on sunny days in the Canaveral Bight area. They tend to school up just outside of the surf break and will hit goofy jigs, short-tailed pompano jigs, and cut shrimp or sand fleas. You can also find these fish around the jetties at Port Canaveral and inside some of the turning basins, at times, if the water on the beach gets too dirty.

Lastly are the “hold-over” species from the fall mullet run. These would be bluefish, jack, redfish and snook. These, and a few other species that will undoubtedly join them, can be found along the deeper beach troughs, and near the north and south jetties. Live croakers, fingerling mullet,

and large pilchards rigged on a knocker rig are fantastic baits to use for all of these predators.

yet adversely affected our redfish and trout bite, but the water was starting to change for the worse, so only time will tell the eventual outcome. Let’s look at the positives, and try to set up a game plan for success in this estuary.

BANANA RIVER LAGOON: If things continue to go well for the water quality in the Banana River Lagoon, it could be a hot spot for redfish, trout, black drum and snook this month. Last month’s daily deluge, topped off with excessive rainfall from Hurricane Ian, had our monthly rainfall totals pushing 25- to 28-inches in most places. As of this article’s deadline, this stormwater had not

Live shrimp or fingerling mullet will be two very important types of baits to have with you on your outings. The snook, larger trout and big redfish will be focused on large meals rather than smaller ones as they will still be trying to pack on some additional weight in preparation for the upcoming winter months. The larger specimens will want to feed on larger offerings and expend as little energy as possible this month. Cut baits can sometimes be as effective as live ones when targeting fish around mangrove islands, channel edges and deeper drop offs along the flats. Smaller fish will strike live shrimp around mangrove edges, docks, and other types of cover. Trout and slot-sized redfish will also forage tight to the shorelines where the dolphin have a harder time getting to them. Look for redfish and snook in particular to “snoop” around looking for a meal. The trout will normally set up an ambush point near a deadfall, rocky outcropping, or other piece of structure when they want to feed. Don’t be afraid to fish along the windy side of an island or shoreline as long as you see mullet working that area. These fish will use the wave action as cover to pounce on unsuspecting prey.

Until next month…Catch a memory!!!


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FORECAST Last month’s epic mullet run may continue into early November. If it does, look for apex predators such as this large snook to be right on their tails. 300 Christopher Columbus Drive Port Canaveral, FL 32920 OPEN DAILY 6AM-6PM Bait & Tackle Cafe Call in orders are a great way to maximize your morning and enjoy more time on our deck. A GREAT START TO YOUR DAY! OPEN FOR BREAKFAST 7AM-NOON THURSDAY-TUESDAY Closed Wednesday 321.868.1929 *Located at Public Boat Ramps Just Past New Terminal 3 Live & Frozen Bait Full Line of Rods & Reels Clothing & Ice Beer & Soda 321.868.0400 Grab & Go Breakfast Sandwiches Fresh Made Deli Sandwiches THE ONE STOP BAIT SHOP FOR YOUR DAY ON THE WATER!


Wehad a good start to the mullet run, but Hurricane Ian threw us a curve ball as it was getting into full swing in October. As we move into November, the mullet should still be pretty thick and the fishing for snook, redfish and trout should stay good through mid- to the end of November in the Indian River Lagoon and on the nearshore beaches from Melbourne Beach to Sebastian Inlet, with the trout bite getting better as the temps cool down.

Fishing the Inlet from a boat and off the jetty should be pretty good for much of November as long as the bait stays consistent and we don’t get too many cold fronts. Plenty of snook, reds and jacks, as well as a few tarpon and sharks, should be hitting live baits during the day and eating lures at night. Anglers at the Inlet will still be able to fish the rocks west of the jetty as well as the catwalks and west of the catwalks along the rocks. Bucktails, Rapala X-Raps and Hogy Eels should give anglers throwing artificials plenty of action.

Ben hooked a nice redfish on a birthday trip with his mom and dad!

Novemeber is also the time anglers start catching the big flounder in the Inlet west of the bridge as well as in the lagoon. Live bait anglers looking for big flounder in the Inlet will have the best success with live finger mullet and mud minnows soaked on the bottom. I prefer to jig ½ ounce or ¾ ounce jigs with D.O.A. paddletails or 4” jerkbaits on the bottom using either Pro Cure or strips of mullet or pinfish as an attractant. We catch a lot of flounder jigging, but not as many bigger fish with that technique. I also like to fish the mangrove shorelines with D.O.A. C.A.L. jigs or 4” jerkbaits rigged on VMC ¼ ounce jigheads.

Mackerel, bluefish and jacks will start piling up along the beaches all along the Space Coast, with the blacktip shark migration soon behind. There will be plenty of action with artificial baits as well as live baits, and if you haven’t caught a blacktip shark on topwater, you don’t know what you’re missing!

Pompano are showing up and should be good through the month of November in the Inlet as well as along the flats from Melbourne Beach down to Sebastian as long as the water cleans up from the hurricane. Goofy jigs, MirrOlure Lil John or D.O.A. jerkbaits will work well when targeting pompano, and you’ll even will get some on hard baits as well.

CAPT. GLYN AUSTIN Going Coastal Charters
(321) 863-8085

Fis Fes ish

Brevard Surf

It’s a good time to get out to fish the Space Coast beaches for multiple species. Now that the fall mullet run has passed, and the water temperature is starting to fall, a lot of whiting and pompano are showing up in the surf. The best way to start the day is fishing at daybreak in the first or second trough until you find the bite, then move all your poles to the same distance from shore for a fun filled day. By 9 a.m., when the beach walkers and swimmers start showing up, your cooler should be full of the day’s catch and ready to go. I usually use my homemade pompano rigs that I build from kits purchased off Amazon and, depending on the wave heights and currents, start with a 3 oz. pyramid sinker. Some of the best bait I have found to use for catching pompano and whiting are a

combo of cut pieces of shrimp and tip the hook with a fish bite in orange and white or electric chicken color. The thing about fishing the surf is you never really know for sure what you will hook up with. I have caught several different species from one cast to the next at the same spot. But you can be assured this time of the year you will be catching some nice sized whiting and some pompano in the mix. Those together will make a great day of fun, excitement and provide the family with a nice meal that afternoon. So, get out early, find the fish and treat yourself to some fresh Florida seafood. Don’t forget to ice them down and clean them as soon as possible.

“Keep Your Toes in the Sand and Those Reels Cranking!”

Thismonth’s topic is ice, the least talked about tool on any skiff. It has an obvious, yet important job on the skiff: keeping things cold. As a full time guide with over 200 days a year on the water, I go through large amounts of ice. Quick math: $3 a bag, times 200 days, equals $600. Purchasing ice is easy, convenient and readily available at most gas stations. But is the convenience worth the cost? Six hundred dollars per year is an expense that is easily avoided in just a few quick steps.

Instead of using ice consider these tips to help save money.

Reusable Ice Packs: There are multiple companies that sell reusable ice packs. These inexpensive ice packs are a great alternative to purchasing ice. It only takes a minute to throw the ice packs in the freezer and put them in the cooler the next morning before going fishing. At the end of the day clean them with hot, soapy water, and back in the freezer they go to be ready for the next fishing trip.

Freeze Water Bottles: Freezing water bottles is another alternative to purchasing ice. Frozen bottles don’t take up a lot of space and as they melt, the ice water can be consumed. Like ice packs, the bottles will need to be cleaned at the end of the day so you can refill and reuse them for your next trip. I have observed, though, that bottles that have been frozen do not last very long. The plastic is forced to expand when the water freezes and this tends to wear out the water bottle quickly.

D.I.B.Y.: Icon Coolers out of Wilmington, North Carolina makes a product called the D.I.B.Y., which stands for “Drop In Bin and You.” It is a perfect name, as it is a bin to be hung in the upper quarter portion of the cooler. The D.I.B.Y. has many uses. It can be a dry ice storage bin. (Dry ice is an alternative to regular ice, but is more expensive.) It can also be a dry storage tray for your cooler. But this article is about ice. The D.I.B.Y. can be used to make ice. Merely fill the D.I.B.Y with water and let freeze overnight. In the morning while loading the cooler, empty the ice block out of the D.I.B.Y. That’s cheap ice! Then dry the D.I.B.Y. after you take out the ice block so you can use it as a dry storage tray in the cooler. One more fun fact about this great product: the D.I.B.Y. lid can be used as a cutting board. The D.I.B.Y. retails for $59.99 and is a tool used on my skiff daily. Visit for more information.

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Novembercan begin the transition from warm Florida to early winter fishing patterns. If we have chilly weather this month, the subtropical coastal migrating species will begin moving south where they spend the winter, including tarpon, jack crevalle, ladyfish, pompano and Spanish mackerel. The mullet run follows the same southbound route; how soon and how low the water temperatures drop will determine the timing. While resident fish—redfish, snook, seatrout, snapper, etc.—remain in our waters through winter, cold water species will begin to move in, including sheepshead, black drum and bluefish.

Mosquito Lagoon water levels can remain high after a flooded autumn. In the lagoon and backcountry, shorelines can still be a good bet with high water, as well as shallow grass and the flooded marsh. More sight fishing if clearer water; more blind casting soft plastics and soaking cut or live finger mullet/mud minnows in cloudy water. In early morning, throw topwater lures over shallow edges and over top of submerged dropoffs; after the sun is up switch to sub surface, soft plastics with 1/8 or 1/16 jig head for deeper water, or weedless jerkbaits in the shallows.

In the backwaters, free lined live shrimp or finger mullet are always a go-to bait; hard plastics like MirrOdines and twitch baits also work well.

For pompano in the surf, look for clean water

and fish the sloughs between sand bars. Sand fleas, cut clam, “fish bites” and peeled shrimp can be best choices for bait. Some pomps also find their way into the backwaters.

Snook season is still open, with a 28” to 32” slot size limit, 1 per person a day, and a snook permit on your fishing license is needed to keep one. To target bigger fish, go with bigger baits like mullet, pinfish and select shrimp free lined for surface action, with small weight for deeper spots. On artificials, larger swimming lures for surface, jigs and bucktails for

Radius Verandah Beam

Choice over the last two years



deeper. Fish Ponce Inlet jetties and channel, bridge pilings, docks, Spruce Creek and Tomoka areas and Haulover Canal at nightime or early morning before sunrise; moving water can be best in the tidal areas.

November also continues the bull redfish spawn. Ponce Inlet is the center of attention, though they can also be found along the Intracoastal Waterway, NSB bridges and Haulover Canal. Anchor or drift and soak half or whole blue crabs, croaker, spot, pinfish or mullet. Before the chill comes, snook, tarpon and sharks can also be in the inlet with the big reds. In past years, the first cold spell usually happens in November. If it’s fast and hard, lagoon fish can get a little “shocky” after a year of warm water as they get used to the first cold water of the year.

The nearshore ocean this month can be very good for southward migrating schools of Spanish mackerel and bluefish from near the beach out to about a mile; watch for surface activity like white water strikes and diving birds as they will be feeding on smaller size baitfish. Match the hatch with small, long-casting shiny spoons, Gotcha plugs and flies.

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Quoting some old fishing buddies, “I got 99 problems, but catching fish ain’t one.”

Don’t tell me that fishing isn’t a contact sport. When the fish sets the hook, that’s contact. (Ya, Mon!)

I’m fishing from dusk till dawn and even more if the bite’s still on. We love it!

As I’m writing this article, Florida is being wrecked by Hurricane Ian. Our beach ramp in Wilbur By the Sea is gone, and so much more.

The storms from the South are starting to come up, and the swells in the ocean are gigantic. It’s hurricane season in the Caribbean. (Ya, Mon!) With that happening, it pushes some different and rare species of fish to the beach.

Before the storm, in the first surges I caught a tripletail on the beach. Super rare. Then, a whole bunch of big mangrove snappers.

Ian has gouged out and destroyed not just our beach ramp, but just about all of them. Our neighbors who have houses on the beach are seeing their houses teetering,

about to fall into the ocean. It’s bad. My heart goes out to them, and the rest of the people affected, especially in the Fort Myers area.

A day after the storm passed the giant sea surge came. High tide wreaked havoc on our dunes in Wilbur By the Sea. In Ponce Inlet it’s amazing how much has been gouged out, like a melting sugar cube. The sea walls have collapsed, and I’m sure the turtle season is over.

We were on the back end of the storm, but the eye passed over us. The tides are exceptionally high and still wrecking the dunes by where we live. It’s definitely going to take a while to put things back, not the way they were—that would be impossible right now—but, at least, functional.

There are giant logs and stairways and decks and hot tubs and palm trees floating in the ocean right now. It is not fishable. It’s time to clean up. Even though I haven’t been fishing because of the weather, I’m heading to the smoker anyway. Adios!

— | Surf Fishing Guide | (386) 212-4838
“Don’t tell me that fishing isn’t a contact sport. When the fish sets the hook, that’s contact...”
ANCHOR HARDWARE & STORAGE OPEN 7 DAYS SOUTHEAST VOLUSIA’S LARGEST SELECTION OF INSHORE SALTWATER TACKLE Live Shrimp, Seasonal Fish, Blue Crabs and Fiddlers Shrimp Nets & Underwater LED Lights ANCHOR HARDWARE & STORAGE OPEN 7 DAYS MARINE & TRAILER SUPPLY (Located a 1/4 mile from Riverbreeze Park) 726 North US1, Oak Hill, Florida 386-345-0746 SEE THE FULL LINE OF MICROWAVE GUIDES AT PERFORMANCE INCREASE YOUR FISHING ABOVE: Rare tripletail caught on the beach during Hurricane Ian’s first surges. LEFT: Battered dunes threaten beachfront homes.
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Our 2022-2023 season is in full swing for our SJA High School Anglers. Our squad is made up of 2-man teams from Seminole County Schools and one team from Lutz, FL. Boone, Oviedo, Tavares, Winter Springs, OCP, Lake Howell, Hagerty, and International Community School are the schools that our anglers attend. We are always looking for great additions to our squad. A big shout out to the new teams of Patrick Bartolotta and Brady Biles and Ben Brackett and James Crews. Our most recent winners at the Winter Haven Chain again were Trevor Lane and Gage Judson. Their first-place finish, along with a 5th and 7th place finish will keep us at the top of the Club of the year standings once again.

Our next event is October 15 and 16 out of Trout Creek on the St. John’s River. With hurricane Ian destroying our coastline and dumping more than 2 feet of water in some locations, it will make fishing super tough. The strong current and the high-water pushes fish back into creeks and small pockets off the main river channel. Finding shell beds and hard bottoms in the early morning will be key for teams that want to win.

I would like to thank Gumbo Wars for helping to keep our teams on the water. Their annual Gumbo War was on October 8th and we helped volunteer during the day to help out. We are grateful for a dedicated sponsor who loves to give back to our youth. Also a big thank you to: Coastal Angler Magazine, Airport Chrysler Jeep, Prime Construction, Massey Services, Oakley, Starbrite, Kysek coolers, Mud Hole, DBG Promotions, Boat Tree, Huey Magoos, Aloma Church and many more! If you would like to make a contribution to our SJA organization we are a Non-Profit 5013C, please contact Dave DiMauro 407-353-4575 or email

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1Tu 2:42 AM 2.7 8:44 AM 0.5

PM 2.8 9:26 PM 0.8

2W 3:54 AM 2.7 9:55 AM 0.5 4:36 PM 2.8 10:32 PM 0.6

3Th 5:04 AM 2.8 11:00 AM 0.5 5:35 PM 2.9 11:30 PM 0.5

6:06 AM 2.9 11:57 AM 0.5

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November 1 - the 14th Annual Shad and Crappie Derby begins! Visit https://coastalanglermag. com/orlando/shad-crappie-derby/ for complete information.

High water from Hurricane Ian continues. Let’s hope the folks living near the overflowed river get back to normal. Please watch your wake when the river swells!

Lake fishing in November yields big black crappie. Deep river bends don’t frequently produce big fish until after the second cold front. In Lake Harney, you’ll find folks drifting minnows under a bobber on windy days and lim its will happen – same for Lake Monroe and Jessup. During the full and new moon phases the lily pads near deep water will be the place to find slab sized fish. For the folks trolling, speed is important. Longline speeds in

the 1.0 to 2.0 mph range do well with 1/16th to 1/8th oz. jigs, a lit tle slower for spider rigging .5 to 1.2 mph. Jig colors and depth is also a big factor. Set your baits at different depths and change colors until you find what the fish prefer. Heavier jig heads and slower speeds will allow the baits to run deeper. Crappie like to hug the bottom and bite upwards –notice they have up-sloping head and mouth. Crappie jigs that work great in the Derby: Road runner lures, Mister Crappie, 2” curly tails in all colors, mylar jigs, and ice jigs. Colors: Pink, green, chartreuse, red/white, black, blue/ white, yellow, orange, purple, and combinations thereof. Good luck it only takes one fish to win!

In December we will look for the return of hickory shad, American shad, and blue back herring for their 4-year life cycle returning to the waters they were born. 2019 was the first time a Derby shad won in November – they love small spoons and shad darts. Al though the shad are not supposed to eat during their spawning run, they bite!

With the recent passing of hurricane Ian, the high water conditions all throughout the Harris Chain are causing lots of current flow. The fish are schooling up and feeding on bait near mouths of creeks, canals and both ends of all the rivers. The cooler weather, shorter days and water temps have started the fish in their annual transition to the shal lows to seek out locations for spawning. The cooler water temps will not only turn-on the top-water bite for bass it will also trigger the crappie into their spawning mode as well.

Schooling bass are biting lipless rattle traps baits around the eel grass in both Lake Harris and Lake Eustis, also

reports on both zoom speed worms & 10” old monster worms in dark colors along the deeper edges of the Kis simmee grass and the deeper water between the offshore eel grass. If we get a good cold snap before the moon phases the bass will be on the move. Look for the staging ar eas close to both deep main lake areas that are close to a flat. Deeper water out in front of canals, mouths of the rivers and Haynes Creek.

Anglers are already catching some nice specs all through out the chain. As the moon phases get close the males will be moving shallower. Look for them near the lilly pads and edges of the grass. Get registered for the 14th Annual CF Shad and Crappie Derby as it gets started on Novem ber 1st.

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0.4 6:35 PM 2.5 East Coast Tide Charts Tide Charts brought to you by these businesses November 2022 Miami, Government Cut (Approximate Times) Time Height Time Height Time Height Time Height Ponce de Leon Inlet High Tide -11 minutes Low Tide +19 minutes Ft. Pierce Inlet, S. Jetty High Tide -31 minutes Low Tide -18 minutes Ponce Inlet, Halifax River High Tide +5 minutes Low Tide +33 minutes Jensen Beach High Tide +2 hours, 17 minutes Low Tide +3 hours, 4 minutes Port Canaveral (Trident Pier) Daily Predictions Sewell Pt High Tide +1 hours, 13 minutes Low Tide +2 hours, 9 minutes Patrick Air Force Base High Tide -1 hour, 4 minute Low Tide -38 minutes Jupiter Inlet, S.Jetty High Tide -10 minutes Low Tide -9 minutes Sebastian Inlet Bridge High Tide -48 minutes Low Tide -24 minutes Port Everglades - Turning Basin High Tide -31 minutes Low Tide -13 minutes

Boat Dealers New & Consignment Sales

- Astor Marine (352) 759-3655

FL-40, Astor, FL 32102

- Nobles Marine (352) 787-5792

N Palmetto St, Leesburg, FL 34748 or 1931 N. Hwy 19, Crystal River

- Craig Catamaran (407) 290-8778

Silver Star Rd. #100 Orlando, FL 32808

- Triangle Marine (352) 343-6146

US-441, Tavares, FL 32778

- Aamco East Orlando (407) 277-3311

E. Colonial Dr. Orlando FL 32807

Service Mechanics

- Central Florida Marine (407) 647-6262

N Orlando Ave, Maitland, FL 32751

- Orlando Boat Sales (407) 253-7111

N John Young Pkwy, Orlando, FL 32804

- Boat Max USA (321) 866-0306

E. Colonial Drive, Orlando FL 32817

- Gibson Truck World (407) 321-0660

S. Orlando Dr. Sanford, FL 32773

- Boat Tree Marina (407) 322-1610

Carraway Pl, Sanford, FL 32771

- Next Level Inc.“Florida Marine Customs”

6 - Sea Tow of Central Florida Lakes (877) 800-1492 12307 Wedgefield Drive , Grand Island, FL 32735

9 - Instant Insurance Agency (352) 735-5560 25833 State Road 46, Sorrento, FL 32776

Bait & Tackle Shops / Outfitters / Apparel

15 - American Tackle Co. (800) 516-1750

2133 Component Loop, Suite 1031, Oveido, 32765

5 - Lakeside Bait & Tackle (352) 742-3336 1000 W Burleigh Blvd, Tavares, FL 32778

7 - Owens Fishing & Marine (352) 357-3030 935 N Bay St, Eustis, FL 32726

11 - Highbanks Marina & Camp Resort (386) 668-4491

488 W Highbanks Rd, DeBary, FL 32713

14 - Boat Tree Marina (407) 322-1610 4370 Carraway Pl, Sanford, FL 32771

21 - Bitters Bait & Tackle (407) 699-6619 65 N US Hwy 17 92, Longwood, FL 32750

43 - Academy Sports + Outdoors

East Colonial 11955 E. Colonial Dr Orlando, FL Lee Vista 6640 Eagle Watch Drive Orlando, FL Millenia 3557 Gardens Ridge Way Orlando, FL Lake Mary 3641 Lake Emaa Road Lake Mary FL

45 - Wojo’s Bait & Tackle (407) 891-1003 Oak Park Center, 4245 13th St, St Cloud, FL 34769

31 - Pyramid Cabinets (407) 947-8499 451 Fairvilla Road, Orlando, FL 32808

31 - Pyramid Cabinets (407) 947-8499 451 Fairvilla Road, Orlando, FL 32808

34 - Thomas Lumber Company (407) 841-1250 231 W Gore St, Orlando, FL 32806,

34 - Thomas Lumber Company (407) 841-1250 231 W Gore St, Orlando, FL 32806,

49 - Martin Tree Service, Inc. (407) 359-1119 1215 Bob White Trail, Chuluota, FL 32766

49 - Martin Tree Service, Inc. (407) 359-1119 1215 Bob White Trail, Chuluota, FL 32766

50 - Campbell Renovations Inc. (407) 947-0016

285 Campbell Ranch Run, Geneva, FL 32732

50 - Campbell Renovations Inc. (407) 947-0016 285 Campbell Ranch Run, Geneva, FL 32732

51 - Vapor and Company (407) 878-7397

51 - Vapor and Company (407) 878-7397

3621 S. Orlando Dr., Sanford, FL 32773 SR 436 Altamonte Springs East SR 50 Orlando

3621 S. Orlando Dr., Sanford, FL 32773

SR 436 Altamonte Springs East SR 50 Orlando

Areas Best Picks for Restaurants

Areas Best Picks for Restaurants

47 - Jolly Gator Fish Camp Bar & Grill (407) 349-5554

47 - Jolly Gator Fish Camp Bar & Grill

(407) 349-5554

4650 E State Rd 46, Geneva, FL 32732

4650 E State Rd 46, Geneva, FL 32732

39 - Fish on Fire (407) 812-6881 7937 Daetwyler Dr, Orlando, FL 32812

39 - Fish on Fire (407) 812-6881 7937 Daetwyler Dr, Orlando, FL 32812

40 - High Tide Harry’s (407) 273-4422 4645 S Semoran Blvd, Orlando, FL 32822

40 - High Tide Harry’s (407) 273-4422 4645 S Semoran Blvd, Orlando, FL 32822

33 - Boston’s Fish House (407) 678-2107

33 - Boston’s Fish House (407) 678-2107

Aloma Square Shopping Center, 6860 Aloma Ave, Winter Park, FL 32792

Aloma Square Shopping Center, 6860 Aloma Ave, Winter Park, FL 32792

17 - St. Johns River Steak & Seafood

17 - St. Johns River Steak & Seafood

(407) 878-0980

(407) 878-0980


87 W. Michigan St. Orlando, FL 32806

Boat improvement / Service & Repair Centers / Replacement Parts

- All American Marine (407) 855-9988

S Orange Ave, Orlando FL 32809

- All Star Marine (407) 423-9953

W Jersey St, Orlando, FL 32806

Lake Fairview Marina (407) 295-0117

N Orange Blossom Trail, Orlando, FL 32804

- Portside Marine (407) 249-1124

Forsyth Rd, Orlando, FL 32792

- Talon Marine Services (407) 542-7600

Aulin Ave, Oviedo, FL 32765

- Team Marine Services (407) 260-8326

28th Street,


48 - Mud Hole Custom Tackle, Inc. (407) 447-7637 2133 Componet Loop Suite 1001, Oveido, FL 32765

56 - Orlando Outfitters (407) 896-8220 2814 Corrine Dr., Orlando, FL 32803

Home Improvement Contractors & Service Providers

26 - DWR Plumbing LLC. (407) 293-3717 6344 All American Blvd, Orlando, FL 32810

27 - Orlando Painting Service (407) 896-0839 65 Harold Ave, suite B, Winter Park, FL 32789

28 - Millennium Electric (407) 420-2001 4340 Edgewater Dr, Orlando, FL 32804

41 - Water Works Pressure Cleaning & Sealing (407) 376-9526 490 Buck Lake Lane, Geneva, FL 32732

550 N Palmetto Ave, Sanford, FL 32771

550 N Palmetto Ave, Sanford, FL 32771

37 - The Steer (407) 286-6802 8015 S. Orange Ave., Orlando FL

37 - The Steer (407) 286-6802 8015 S. Orange Ave., Orlando FL

22 - Huey Magoo’s (407) 706-6004

22 - Huey Magoo’s (407) 706-6004

10 Locations – See our ad on Restaurant Page

10 Locations – See our ad on Restaurant Page

13 - Camp House Restaurant (407) 915-5401 100 S White Cedar Rd, Sanford, FL 32771

13 - Camp House Restaurant (407) 915-5401 100 S White Cedar Rd, Sanford, FL 32771

52 - The Deli (407) 332-8800 4360 Carraway Pl, Sanford, FL 32771

52 - The Deli (407) 332-8800 4360 Carraway Pl, Sanford, FL 32771

53 - T J’s Seafood Shack (407) 365-3365 197 E Mitchell Hammock Rd, Oviedo, FL 32765 12231 E Colonial Dr. #230, Orlando(407) 250-4191

53 - T J’s Seafood Shack (407) 365-3365 197 E Mitchell Hammock Rd, Oviedo, FL 32765 12231 E Colonial Dr. #230, Orlando(407) 250-4191

54 - Oasis On The River (407) 636-6300 4380 Carraway Place, Sanford, FL 32771

54 - Oasis On The River (407) 636-6300 4380 Carraway Place, Sanford, FL 32771

56 - Celery City Craft (407) 915-5541

114 S. Palmetto Ave., Sanford FL 32771

56 - Celery City Craft (407) 915-5541 114 S. Palmetto Ave., Sanford FL 32771

55 -West End Trading Co. (407) 322-7475 202 Sanford Ave, Sanford, FL 32771

55 -West End Trading Co. (407) 322-7475 202 Sanford Ave, Sanford, FL 32771

7024 35
28 29 -
2730 23
439 20
Orlando FL 32805 19 - Ahoy Marine (407) 323-8373 511 E 25th
Sanford, FL 32771
1 4 25 24 46 14 36 35 29 32 23 20 19 6 5 7 11 21 43 9 10 45 26 27 28 4131 34 47 39 40 17 37 22 13 48 49 50 52 53 51 56 57 2 We Support Our Community Businesses!! 30 59 3 15 60 51 54 55 56 51 43 43 6 6 6

Saturday July 1 thru September 5 - CCA Star Tourney, Catch, Photo, Release, Win! Over $500,000 in prizes. Catch a Tagged Redfish and Win Boat/Motor/ Trailer packages, lots of prizes non-tagged species as well, $40 per angler to register, prizes for Trash Pick-up as well, visit CCAFLSTAR. COM to register or more info.

Tuesday August 2, 95pm till dusk, Jolly Gator Bass Tournament Series, every Tuesday evening plus 1 Saturday per month until the Classic on August 13th. Cost is $40 per event, 2 anglers per team. Teams that finish in the Top 10 in points or win an event and fish at least 20 events will qualify for the end of year Classic. Some of the best river anglers in the area fish this Bass Series. The staff of Orlando Coastal Angler Magazine is the official weigh-masters for this fun tournament series, come out and join us for the weekly weigh-ins. All Tuesday events start at 5pm till dusk, Saturday events (1 per month) are safe-light till 2pm. Launch ramp at CS Lee Park next to Jolly Gator Fish Camp on SR 46 east of Sanford at St. Johns River Bridge. For questions or more info contact Jim “Squirt” Chaudoin at 407432-2822 or Phil Wolf from Coastal Angler Magazine at 407-790-9515.

Thursday August 4th – 2nd Annual Swordfish Shootout –Strike Zone Fishing Melbourne sponsored with $10,000 first place up for grabs! August 4th Captain’s Party at 6pm at Sebastian Saltwater Marina, Friday August 5th Lines in at 9pm, Saturday August 6th Lines out at 9pm, Sunday August 7th Weigh-in: Sebastian Saltwater Marina from 11am-3pm Awards: Following Weigh-in

Saturday August 13 –Safe-light till 3pm, Jolly Gator Bass Tournament Series Classic end of this

year’s season, Launch ramp at CS Lee Park next to Jolly Gator Fish Camp on SR 46 east of Sanford at St. Johns River Bridge. This event is for those teams who finish in the Top-10 in points or have won an event and fished a least 20 of our events this season. Our “Team of the Year” and “Big Bass of the Year” will also be awarded along with pay-outs for all teams that qualify after final weigh-in is complete. More than $10,000 will be paid out this season to our qualifying teams. Come join us for the weigh-in and see the huge bags that will be brought to our weigh-master from the area’s best bass fishing teams! For info or questions contact, Phil Wolf from Coastal Angler Magazine at 407-790-9515.

Thursday August 115pm to 8pm, “Alive After 5” in Sanford - The staff of Orlando Coastal Angler Magazine would like you to join us for an evening of fun in downtown Sanford. This event is the second Thursday of each month downtown. Block Party on First Street! Don’t miss the chance for a fun night on the town.

August 7, 15, 17, 23, 28 - “Happy Birthday” to Orlando Editor Charlie McCullough and his son Andrew McCullough, to our son Josh Wolf turning 37, son Jason Wolf turning 39 and Grandson Gunner Wolf turning the big 10 years old! The staff of Coastal Angler Magazine Orlando, friends and family all hope you each have a special day and enjoy many more trips around the sun!

If you have an event or meeting you would like included in the “What’s Hitting Around Town” column, send your details to: Phil Wolf phillip@ coastalanglermagazine. com. Deadline for inclusion is the 10th of the preceding month.

Small Tackle Shops Big on Service

Most of all visit the big box stores. You know the ones, Bass Pro Shops, Academy Sports, Dick’s Sporting Goods, just to name a few. Yes some of them carry most major brands, but what about personal service? To get local info that you can trust as well as personal service it is the small and almost extinct tackle shops where you should spend your hard earned dollars. The small shops would love to share some local info for the exchange of some of those bucks. Yes it is much harder to compete with the Big Box Stores who buy at prices cheaper than the little guys. Most small shops tell us that those big guys can sell their products with a small margin cheaper than we can even buy them from their distributors. Personal service is where the small shops shine! We visit these shops each and every month to drop our monthly new issue and to get updated on how the local bite is going. In most cases the owners are always there to greet us!

They all need new clients and repeat business, what you will get is honest local info, a decent price for what you are buying and most times the convenience of not having to deal with parking, traffic, other shoppers and most times the small stores will have what you are looking for in stock. Oh, did I mention most open several hours prior to those Big-Box stores and are close to where you will be fishing.

Several of these small shops still exist. Some you drive right bye and don’t even know they are there. Several of these shops within our 4 county foot-print are very close to some of Florida’s best fishing hot spots. All within an hour or less of where you live and most very close to where fish are biting. Bitter’s Bait & Tackle in Longwood, 1 block north of SR 434 on US 17/92 is packed with Tackle. Bitter’s friendly staff is always willing to help you find you’re looking for and share local fishing info. Bitter’s own brand of soft- plastics are better than most name brands and are half of the cost saving you lots of bucks. Down to the south in St. Cloud is WoJo’s Bait & Tackle at the corner of SR 192 & Kissimmee Park Rd. This small store is loaded with inventory as well as lots of saltwater tackle and frozen baits, lots of live bait for freshwater fishing. Just to the west at down town Kissimmee Lake Front Park is Big Toho Marina, with new owner they server the best breakfast sandwiches & burgers in the area, with lots of live bait and large freshwater inventory and right next to the launch ramp. To the north in Lake County is Owens Fishing and Marine located in Eustis on SR19, they have lots of inventory of the hard to find tackle and baits. In Tavares on the east side of US 441 is Lakeside Bait and Tackle. You have passed this for years on your way to the Harris Chain and Buzzard Beach launch ramp. Stop and visit with the owners Mark or Heidi Bass for the latest info on what is biting on the Chain. Back to the east in Debary and right on the St. John’s River is Highbanks Resort & Marina, boat rentals, live bait, gas, cold beer and freshwater inventory. A must stop in the fall and winter months as this area is one of Florida’s best crappie catching areas!

Do yourself and the small shop owners a favor, stop buy and spend a few bucks at one of these shops. Tell them you read about them in the Orlando Coastal Angler Magazine local section.


West Lake Toho - The summer bass bite has been improving with the best times to fish in the early morning and late evening. Summer rains have kept the flood control gates open every few days. The water quality is clear.

popping bug. I have thoroughly enjoyed hearing the popping bug get hit. Daytime anglers are catching good numbers fishing the shallow bedding areas. Bait of choice is crickets fished under a float.Another good area to fish is canals when the water is flowing, trolling will only trigger more bites. Crappie - Anglers are fishing open water for crappie using jigs tipped with a minnow. Anglers trolling jigs are catching good limits of crappie. The key is to find them suspended in open water.

East Lake Toho - Bass fishing on East Lake has been good using artificial baits early morning. The best place to fish will be at the edges of the cattails. Then move to open water as the morning progresses. Most anglers are flipping open water pepper grass matts with good success. Fish the deeper edges of the grasswatermelon seed, Junebug, and

Panfish - Fish open water shell beds with red wigglers. If you are looking to fill the cooler for dinner, the open water shell beds are

time of year.

What’s biting now?I’ve been taking bream trips; fingerling catfish and

bass trips which are typical for this time of year. The month of September is when to start thinking of booking your bass fishing trip, as the females start to feed up while they make their way into the shallows for the early spawn time. It’s also the time to book your fall crappie trip too. Good fishing areas: parts of the shoal; Dupree Bar; Dyess ditch and Horse Island and Indian Prairie. Tin house has been solid throughout the season for crappie, bass and bream, work your way up towards 3rd and 2nd point where you’ll find some bass feeding on the bedding bream. A few areas on Kings Bar have been good and

To book you’re next fun-filled, productive and educational fishing trip call me at 863-228-7263 or log onto my website to check out the customers and their catches; hotel recommendations; guide rates and etc. Capt Angie’s sponsors are: Caymas boats and Toho Marine; South Tackle; Maui Jim; Gill; Bullet Weights; Road Runner; Real Magic; Tru Turn hooks; Mega Strike; Gene Larew; Pradco Brands and BUFF

COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THE ANGLERMAG.COM NOVEMBER 2022 CENTRAL FLORIDA 21COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM AUGUST 2022 ORLANDO 13COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM AUGUST 2022 \ ® membership and all the benefits that come with it. 25% of our service calls are resolved without towing and Sea Tow members are always served first. SEE THE FULL LINE OF MICROWAVE GUIDES AT PERFORMANCE INCREASE YOUR FISHING 9700 E. Colonial Dr. / SR 50 We Need Boats Now! Any Size, Any Age Always Looking Good Contact Us Today 321-866-0306 Pioneer - Glasstream - Aquasport - Stottcraft New Boats Sales - Authorized Yamaha and Suzuki Dealer Parts and Service (407) 841-1250 Doors, Trim, Lumber, Hardware, Customer Service Serving CF Fla since 1925

November means Hurricane season is over, and the ducks are showing up in masses. The bass are getting ready to go into pre-spawning mode. The water levels are up for the winter. Crap pie season starts now. Grab your fishing poles and let’s go!

Zoom Vibe worms and flukes. If fishing open water hydrilla, throw Rattle Traps, Yozuri 3d minnows or Rapala X Raps. If your lure snags in the vegetation make sure to rip it out and shake the rod tip to clear the lure during the retrieve – many times the fish strike when the lure is full of grass screaming out of the veg etation. My personal favorite is live wild shiners fished under a float for trophy lunker black bass.

August can be considered a tough time to fish in East Central Florida for several reasons, but that does not mean you can’t find plenty of opportunities to bend the rod and do battle with some awesome fish. The most notable factor that effects our lagoon fishing is the sweltering summer heat and how it plays into the day for most of our desired gamefish targets. There is only one way to beat the heat and stay catching regardless of how hot it gets. Fishing in the cooler times of the day is a sure way to keep yourself a bit more comfortable and achieve your goal of some solid catches. Hitting the water very early or late in the afternoon and even exploring your local night fishing is a spectacular work around keeping you off the water in those times of high sun and maximum heat.

Male bass are schooling up feed ing on bait making their way into shallow water to compete for spawning areas. The big females will not be far behind, feeding on anything they can find. When the water temperatures drop in the low 70s and as the cold fronts ap proach, the fish will keep going in shallower as the water cools off. The first spawn will take place in less than 12 inches of waterusually in December around the first full or new moon.

Shallow sandy areas and hydrilla are your best bets.

Crappie will still be in deeper water until the first of the year. Fish open water edges of hydril la patches. East lake Toho is a good bet for big crappie. Jigs tipped with a minnow are the norm; put as many rods out as you can manage. Blue gills are scattered all over, use red wig glers fished on the bottom.

Call to check out duck hunting and fishing charter dates. Capt. Randy DuMars can be reached at 407-908-8498

Ok, the bait of choice in October on the Kissimmee Chain will be

With little tidal current until you get to the Ponce Inlet area in the north or Sebastian Inlet to the south, we do not have the relief of cooler ocean water flooding the shallows multiple times a day regardless of where the sun is. In those nontidal areas, the water temperatures climb as the sun does and by midday it is uncomfortably hot. Just like ourselves the fish also react to the oppressive heat and look to find some refuge. For us some cold drinks and a little shade with some breeze is exactly what we look for to cool down and relax, maybe a little time in the AC even. Typically, the last thing we look for is a giant meal. Fish do the same and look to find cooler deeper water or some shade to ride out the heat. Much like colder weather the heat also causes fish to become lethargic and many time unwilling to feed or do anything but sulk. If you do find yourself looking to catch in the heat, baits like live shrimp are a good choice as they fit the bill of a lite snack and not a full meal. In the cooler times like early morning, late evening, and even nighttime you can look to utilize more substantial offerings and the topwater plug excels at this. With the summer waters heavy bait presence those topwater plugs will get a look and can even be fished at night with great success. Also, live baits like mullet will get plenty of looks and are a great choice in the dark. Don’t let the dog days of summer get your fishing in a slump! Beat the heat and keep catching.

Hurricane Ian hit the city of Okeechobee hard in some areas and other areas many of us were lucky. Once the weather calmed down, I loaded up my dog Max, and we went looking. Despite the heavy winds and heavy rain, the lake faired the storm very well. The most obvious change was in Cody’s Cove, where the whole outer vegetation line is completely gone and has really opened the cove like it once looked like many years ago. The water clarity is very tan nic-colored in some parts, but clear.

Since the storm, I’ve had guide trips for bass with artificial lures, success fully getting bites with a worm rigged with a light bullet weight sinker; pop ping frog; swim bait; chatter bait and some top water using a spook or dev ils horse worked slowly. The bite will only get better as the water tempera tures cool down and bass and crap pie start moving in for the beginning of the spawn season.

I’m receiving calls for booked trips and the people I talk to are excited

about seeing/fishing the lake and having a great time. If you’re look ing for another fun/stellar year now is the time to book your bass and crappie trips! I want to take this time to thank my sponsors; re-peat clientele and newbie’s that book my guide services. For additional guide trip information, check out my newly revamped website, phone number to book your trip, hotel information, up-to-date fishing reports and etc. If you’re booking a trip to learn the layout of the lake, gather fishing tips; bringing the kids/grandkids for a fun day or just to relax and take in all the beauty, now is the time to book your fun-filled and productive day fishing the big O.

Lures for bass are mentioned above, for areas to fish can be: J&S area around the lock; parts of Hendry Creek area (middle section); areas out in front of the Okeechobee Pier; East side of Grassy; some parts of Kings Bar (back in); Buckhead Pole on down to 3rd point (middle to back section); Tin House (outer-middle areas); some parts of Indian Prairie/ Horse Island; North side of Dupree Bar and definitely Dyess Ditch area in 3 ft deep throwing some top water lures) and some parts of the Shoal. Give Capt. Angie a call and visit her website for more info.

As water temperatures cool and the mullet run wanes, look for cobia and tripletail numbers to improve on the Port Canaveral buoy line and on flotsam, both near-shore, off the bight of the Cape and offshore. Small jigs tipped with shrimp work well when targeting these brim on ste roids. Fishing later in the day keeping the sun to your back will improve your range of sight, and always remember to keep a medium heavy rod rigged with a one-ounce buck tail jig ready to throw to any cruising cobia.

August fishing can be a challenge sometimes, but it’s always a fun time. The cold-water upwelling is still around and causing issues for bottom fishing and finding bait. By cold water, I’m talking about the yearly thermocline. Just because you can’t get a bottom bite going doesn’t mean the bottom fish don’t come up in the water column a little. Get on the wrecks and chum. You will find the cold pushes the fish up. They try to get to the warm water level. It’s not uncommon at all to see amberjack, snapper, cobia, mangroves, and many other species not far from the surface. Picking out the biggest fish can be fun especially for your charters.

November is also one of the

Kingfish should continue to do

well, many fish in the 40/50lb class have been caught recently. Captain Joe of the FireFight had a 48-pound kingfish last week. Stud of a king. Nice work Joey Lee!

Sea trout and redfish are the primary targets for anglers on the Lagoon flats. Anglers should focus their efforts in areas of mullet schools, throwing top water plugs in the early morning and late afternoon hours, or at night. Once the day gets hot and the top water bite slows, switch your tactics to live bait (pigfish) or DOACAL Jigs fished on the deeper edges of the flats, and don’t overlook the large ladyfish schools shadowing glass minnows out in the deeper water.

If the ocean water stays warm (above 80 degrees) along the near-shore coast, look for pods of baitfish to

November is a great time of year for fishing along the east coast of Florida. The offshore really starts to get Fired Up so to speak. Bun kers are normally in the basins more consistently and much eas ier to get. Remember to use that large heavy sinking net. If you still can’t locate or catch them, a box of frozen cigars works just fine. Head out to the reefs or ridge line and start from there for many spe cies - kingfish and blackfin tuna or even sailfish! Typically, this time of year we see a daily clean line. (Where the water goes from muddy to clear). Fish that clean water side break and you should increase your chances. Normally Thanksgiving is that time frame that everything really turns on but typically this whole month is a FireFight. The typical stinger wire rigs work well with a size 4 treble

best months to target snook at Sebastian Inlet. In addition, large flounder and oversized redfish have begun to show up on the Port Canaveral buoy line and in the inlets of Ponce De Leon and Sebas tian, and their numbers will in crease as the flounder begin their seaward migration out of the lagoon. Small finger mullet and artificial baits that imitate them are the go-to.

are there and rolling every day.

Elevated water levels on the St Johns River system have all access points closed until water levels recede. Hopeful ly water levels will drop quick ly, so we can start focusing on shad and crappie fishing.

Bonita and king are an excellent

Nearshore beach fishing is going to really be picking up. Tarpons are there and rolling every day. You can slow troll them or just drift in the mornings with live bait. We have caught them on everything. Chunk baits, live baits and artificial. There is not much they won’t eat. Beach fishing in 20-30 feet is a blast. You’d be amazed how shallow all these fish come in. Kings, bonito, jack crevalle and many other extreme fighting fish. Look for the schools of bunker. If you find them, you will find the fish. Shark fishing is about as good as it gets right now. If you’re looking for some fun with the kids, anchor up in 20 feet off the beach and hold on. Bonita and king are an excellent bait for the toothy critters.

hook. Just go see Nick at the Fish and Dive shop and he will hook you up with whatever you need along with some great looking fresh cigar minnows.

up are mahi and wahoo. There’s no to

Other species that show up well are mahi and wahoo. There’s no secret here to this kind of fishing. Use your normal ballyhoo rigs and smaller chuggers and find your weed lines, edges or just fish the stream. The fall ran can be just as good or better than the spring run.

move in close. Pods of Atlantic menhaden (pogies), thread fin herring (greenies), and bay anchovies (glass minnows) will all be shadowed by predator species like large tarpon, smoker kings, blacktip and spinner sharks, jack crevalle, bonitoand redfish. Focus your attention on bait pods where there are visible predators, feeding activity and active bird feeding.

If you’re looking to keep busy and it’s too rough to go out, fish the jet ties with live mullet or live shrimp on a small knocker rig. Fluorocar bon is not a bad idea either. Snook and redfish have been doing well and should continue to Fire.

As we approach the end of the month and the beginning of the fall mullet run, look for snook fishing in the surf to improve as they move into the surf break to feed. Remember snook season is closed in August, so please handle, and release them with extreme care. The snook populations in our area are elevated this year due to the warmer than usual winter we experienced.

Most of all Happy Thanksgiving and I hope we all have a great rest of the year fishing. If you need any assistance, please don’t hesitate to contact us or meet us down at Bluepoints Marina for a few bluegills. Good Luck. www.

Team Second Circle Kitchen, Winners of Gumbo Wars 2022! John Miller and Will Harrison with a 40 lb. plus GagGrouper caught aboard “No Shot” out of Ponce Inlet Nice 7lb plus Bass caught at LakeOkeechobee fishing with Capt. Angie Douthit Fishing is Hot aboard Fired-Up Charters!! Huge crowd at “Gumbo Wars” 2022

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time… ounder time! e fall migration typically reaches its peak in November along the Gulf Coast and more ounder are sure to reach their spawning grounds in this Gulf this year. Louisiana has joined Texas and Florida with their closed season during the peak of the run. However, the fact that you can’t keep any atties during this time doesn’t mean you can’t catch them.

Flounder will be migrating into the Gulf, so the obvious ambush areas will be around passes that lead to open water. e ounder will position themselves in di erent areas based on the tide level and current strength. In addition to using their burying-in-the-sand ambush technique, they also like to utilize structure in a couple of ways.

First, any object that protrudes above the bottom is a great ambush point. is o ers a current break for forage sh to gather directly above a buried ounder, which makes for an easy meal. Objects such as bulkheads are also great ambush points. Flounder like to position themselves against the solid barrier. I think this can be for two separate reasons depending on what other factors are at play. As mentioned above, it could be a current break, especially if the bulkhead has a corrugated shape. When a ounder settles against a bulkhead, its prey has fewer directions to ee, allowing the ounder greater odds of capturing it. When targeting ounder, never pass up a bulkhead.

Second, ounder can be caught on a variety of lures and live bait if you keep it in contact with the bottom to increase your odds for a strike. On the live-bait options, a frisky mullet will produce larger ounder, so if you want to increase your opportunity of landing a trophy, this is the way to go. I prefer to sh with lures and lean heavily on the paddletail style. Twitching these hard along the bottom sends a pulsating sound and vibration that really grabs their attention. Jerk-style so plastics and bucktails can also be e ective worked in the same manner.

If I had to pick a tide to maximize time on the water, I would choose a medium- ow outgoing. Although there are no set rules that sh always follow, ounder feed more on their way out to the Gulf and utilize the current to ease their journey. During the incoming tide, they bury themselves rather than ght the current.

Don’t let the closed season discourage you from targeting ounder during this migration. It will have its advantages. Going forward, we will undoubtedly have a larger ounder population, but the instant grati cation will be a lot less tra c in our favorite ounder spot! I will use the closed season to target a new personal best this season, and so should you.

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Tourney Time In South Florida

Winter in south Florida brings an awesome collision of ballyhoo and sail sh that makes for some of the best shing of the year. It’s also the time of year for some of the richest and most fun tournaments. If you’re interested, right now is the time to register. Here’s a list of some good events:

Nov. 30 – Dec. 4, 2022 Dust ’Em O Sail sh Warmup

Fort Lauderdale • www.dustemo sail

December 1-4, 2022 Pirate’s Cove Sail sh Classic

Pirate’s Cove Resort & Marina, Port Salerno www.piratescovesail

Dec. 2-4, 2022 Islamorada Sail sh Tournament

1st Event of the Florida Keys Gold Cup Sail sh Championship Whale Harbor, Islamorada www.islamoradasail

Dec. 7-10, 2022 Stuart Light Tackle Sail sh Tournament Stuart • stuartsail

Dec. 16-18, 2022 Islamorada Junior Sail sh Tournament Islamorada •

Jan. 5-7, 2023 86th Annual Silver Sail sh Derby Sail sh Marina, Singer Island westpalmbeach

Jan. 6-7, 2023 Fish for Holly Sail sh Tournament Islamorada •

Jan. 11-15, 2023 Operation Sail sh

Leg One of the Quest for the Crest Sail sh Series Sail sh Resort & Marina, Palm Beach

Jan. 17-21 Buccaneer Cup Sail sh Release Tournament

Buccaneer Marina Resort, Riviera Beach

Jan. 18, 2023 Cheeca Lodge Presidential Sail sh Tournament

2nd Event of the Florida Keys Gold Cup Sail sh Championship Cheeca Lodge, Islamorada www.islamoradasail

Jan. 21-22, 2023

Islamorada Fishing Club Sail sh Tournament

3rd Event of the Florida Keys Gold Cup Sail sh Championship Whale Harbor, Islamorada www.islamoradasail

February 22-26, 2023 Sail sh Challenge

Leg Two of the Quest for the Crest Sail sh Series

Three checkpoints: Miami, Pompano Beach, West Palm

April 12-15, 2023 Final Sail

Leg Three of the Quest for the Crest Sail sh Series Miami Beach •

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Target SeatroutIn Fall ’s Cooling Waters

Florida region you’re shing.

during the colder months, where they gather together. Due to them being more condensed during the colder months, it makes them easier to catch.

While smaller seatrout school up and are most e ectively caught with live bait, larger individuals are more solitary. Mature individuals and breeding females longer than 20 or even 25 inches might pair up with another large sh, but they are rarely found schooling.

As the colder months arrive in Florida, the spotted seatrout bite will begin to pick up. ese gorgeously speckled sh are a nearly year-round target for anglers in Florida, and their meat is so and aky with a mild avor.

Seatrout typically lurk in shallow murky waters of estuaries. Usually, these areas consist of seagrass and oyster beds that are hot spots for juvenile prey. While being able to hunt on smaller prey like shrimp, crabs, and bait sh, trout also are able to escape larger predators like sharks, big snook and jacks. Most trout move into deeper bay waters

Seatrout in Florida are having a hard time. eir numbers have dwindled on the east and west coasts because of red tides, the disappearance of sea grass and other factors. ey were once a great option for lling coolers for a sh fry, but limits have been tightened to protect overall populations as well as breeding-sized females. ere is a slot limit in Florida, which allows anglers to keep only sh measuring 15 to 19 inches. ere is an allowance for one sh longer than 19 inches per vessel, per day—or one sh longer than 19 inches per person, if shing from shore. e bag limit ranges from two per person to ve per person, depending on which

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ere are many ways to catch trout. e most e ective way to catch numbers is to nd a school and sh live shrimp under a cork cork. Live bait such as pilchards, mojarras, pin sh and nger mullet used with a oat also work well. If you’re an arti cial-lure person, you can have a blast casting topwater plugs. Using this method allows you to cover a lot more area in search of larger sh.

If you’re targeting huge gator trout, use live baits in the 6- to 10-inch range. Gator trout have a ferocious appetite and would much rather grab one large meal than chase around a bunch of small ones. Silver mullet, as well as pin sh, snappers and grunts in that size range work best. You’ll want to target structure, as larger trout are ambush predators. Spoil islands, docks, oyster bars and rock jetties are prime places to nd a gator trout like the IGFA all-tackle world record, which weighed 17 pounds, 7 ounces and was caught out of Ft. Pierce, Fla.

Emily Rose Hanzlik holds 56 IGFA world records in various categories. She hails from West Palm Beach, where she has a part time Bow n Guide Service as well as shing classes for Jr. Anglers. Find her on Social Media @emilyhanzlikoutdoors.

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as “the world’s largest wahoo tournament,” the Northeast Florida Wahoo Shootout Presented by Yellow n will run from February 4-March 26, 2023 and allows anglers to select three days to sh within this 50-day window.

It’s a very cool format, because all wahoo anglers know just how ckle the bite can be when it comes to timing the moon phases and weather systems. Captains are required to notify tournament o cials the night before they plan to sh, and the heaviest three- sh aggregate wins the tournament. Each boat will be allowed to weigh two wahoo per declared shing day. If more than three sh are weighed for a boat through the course of the tournament, the lower weights are dropped. All eligible sh must be weighed at Strike Zone Fishing in Jacksonville or Melbourne.

e rst-place prize is a 21’ Yellow n Bay Boat with a 200 HP Yamaha 4-stroke and an AmeraTrail Trailer, all valued at $95,000. Second place wins a Kubota RTV valued at $16,000. e tournament pays cash through 10th place.

Registration for the Northeast Florida Wahoo Shootout is open now through Feb. 3. Early entry is $550 through Dec. 31. General entry is $600 through Jan. 26. Late entry is $750 until registration closes.

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In September, I embarked on one of the craziest adventures I’ve ever experienced to sh for crazy exotic species on the Rio Guaviare deep in Columbia’s Mapiri Jungle.

Just getting there was an adventure. We spent two days ying from Miami to Bogata and then to San Jose, Colombia, which was a buzzing little town where we picked up last minute supplies, ate a breakfast of pirahana head soup and got wrist bands tied by an elderly women and her pet spider monkey, Kiki.

At the port, we loaded gear in a small shaded boat powered by a Yamaha 200 2-stroke, with a spare lower unit tied on top. I was accompanied by my cameraman Adrian, from Poland, good friends Jake, Derek, Karl, and our jungle guide Diego, from Chile.

We set out downstream and rode for hours, passing through two army checkpoints, before we reached our halfway point at 118 miles. We stopped for lunch and to refuel at an isolated jungle town only accessible by boat. As we creeped up muddy stone steps, we were shocked to see a small town with convenience stores, restaurants, a playground, a basketball court, and happy people everywhere. It was a cool window into a di erent reality.

A er playing soccer with the local kids and a delicious fried sh lunch, we headed farther downstream. When darkness arrived, the jungle came alive and our driver did not feel comfortable navigating the rapids at night. So we stopped and Diego traded goods with an indigenous man for permission to sleep at his house. Some opted to sleep in the boat. e mosquitoes, hornets and massive cockroaches made it tough to sleep. A er long hours, the sun nally rose, and we headed another 45 minutes downriver to base camp, where we discovered we were in for even more travel.

We packed lighter for three days of shing and camping at a sacred waterfall inhabited by one of the jungle tribes. It was another 2.5 hours downstream to a small creek that would lead us up to a second camp. We shed our way up the creek.

On my rst cast, a 15-pound sardinata exploded on my popper boatside. Imagine a huge pilchard but with sharp teeth and hyper-aggressive topwater strikes. Fully grown, Sardinata can weigh 25 pounds. is one threw the hooks, and shing only got crazier from there.

I was throwing a 9-inch Countdown Rapala in Firetiger at the tree line and retrieving it to the boat. Almost every cast we hooked massive payara. is sh is similar to a tarpon, with silver scales, acrobatic leaps and a bony mouth that made hook sets di cult. Payara have long fangs on their lower jaw capable of slicing thick-scaled sh and shing line with ease. ey are without a doubt the most challenging, unique and aggressive jungle predators I’ve ever targeted. I managed to catch quite a few on y and spin tackle.

Another unique species was a matrinxa, a silver-scaled delicacy. ey are omnivorous and sit below trees to eat dropping fruits and nuts. ey also hit lures with insane power. ese sh were extremely hard ghting and very tasty. ey have teeth like human molars for cracking hard nuts.

Red bellied pacu are another ferocious species we caught. ey have a similar ambush style and diet to the matrinxa. ey are equally aggressive and display gorgeous hues of purple and black

Iwith a blood orange/red underbelly. Black and red bellied pirahana were in no shortage, either. A er three days of shing by the waterfall, we headed back to base camp for new species.

Heavy rains raised water levels, which busted our hopes to catch big peacock bass. But it opened a new door: catching monster cat sh.

I caught several new species of large cat sh. One of the most unique was a ripsaw cat sh. ey have so lips and a long face, similar to carp. ey also have a sharp chainsaw blade for a lateral line, earning them the nickname “Caiman Killer.” I caught small tiger shovelnose cat sh, as well as red tail cat sh. Red tail cat sh are one of the strongest ghting cat sh I’ve ever encountered. It took three days of break-o s before I was able to muscle one up. It weighed 40 pounds.

Fishing the jungle is tough, and it is not for everyone. is trip scarred me with bug bites from head to toe, and I su ered many bee and hornet stings. It is not comfortable in any sense, but it is good for the mind. ere’s no cell phone reception; you are stripped of everything. e only thing that matters is the present moment. For me, it is the biggest adrenaline rush to travel into the unknown and learn about new shing and culture.

Check out Ryan Izquierdo’s YouTube Channel, “Ryan Iz Fishing” for a series called “Jungle Jeopardy.” E-mail him at Ryanizquierdoyt@ with questions or to nd out how you can go on one of these trips.

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more to Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula than world-famous salmon runs. e saltwater shing is also phenomenal, with species like halibut, salmon shark, ounder, yelloweye rock sh and ling cod being primary targets.

When you run out of Seward to Resurrection Bay, you might see some of the Deadliest Catch boats, and you might see multiple species of whale. We saw a lot of humpbacks this past summer. At more than 900 feet deep, with glaciers around the rim, the bay is awe-inspiring. ere are several good charter operations. Some make long runs for big halibut, while some o er shing that’s a little more local. Check with J Dock Fishing Co. in Seward for the latest shing information and charters. If you’re more of a DIY angler, Miller’s Landing in Seward o ers lodging and charters, and they also rent boats and shing equipment. If you want this option, book early. I have mine booked for next year, already.

Homer is the Halibut Capital of the World,

and it’s another great Kenai destination. We went with some friends and got on some good Halibut! I’m new to the electric reels we used. You had to time the hook-set just right. It took several bites to gure it out, but we caught sh once we got the hang of it. I pulled one a good way o the bottom before it decided it wasn’t coming in and broke a 150-pound-mono leader! We caught several good keepers and turned the smaller ones loose. ere are plenty of charters in Homer. North Country Charters is a great one that o ers halibut and salmon trips. ey will put you on some big halibut. My largest weighed 99 pounds, but North Country catches sh that are much larger.

If you want a long-run charter, check out Casino Charters. If you want to catch sh from the beach, check out Family Shore Fishing. ey set you up with a guide, shing rods and bait at Lands End, which juts out into the bay. Fishing low tide on the shelf, you can catch cod, ounder and halibut. We lled a cart with cod

and ounder in less than two hours shing from shore. en we went back another day without a guide and wore them out again!

Fishing in Alaska is just like anywhere else, once you learn what works, you can do it over and over. ere are lots of di erent kinds of shing there, but once you learn where and how to catch them, you can do it yourself.

On this past summer’s trip, as we were headed to the airport to go home, we drove along Cook Inlet and spotted a school of beluga whales swimming the shoreline. You never know what you’ll see in Alaska. Some things are just so amazing!

I’m currently pulling together next summer’s trip to Kenai, and I’m making a short guide of things traveling anglers might want to know. Feel free to shoot me an email with questions.

For more information, contact Gary Turner at


About 50 years ago, Ralph Vodicka lost one of his favorite rod and reel combos when his boat capsized in North Carolina’s unpredictable Oregon Inlet. Recently, Vodicka was reunited with his 9-foot rod equipped with a Fin-Nor 4 spinning reel, and it still works!

Here is a brief recount of the amazing story reported by Summer Stevens in e Coastland Times.

In fair weather in the early 1970s, Vodicka and three buddies attempted to return through Oregon Inlet a er shing o Hatteras National Seashore in a 17-foot 1966 Boston Whaler. e outgoing tide colliding with incoming rollers created rough conditions, even for a large trawler the anglers watched navigating the inlet. Vodicka was faced with a decision. ey could either wait for the tide change, which would force them to make their run in the dark. Or they could go for it.

“Waiting it out would put us in the middle of the night,” Vodicka remembered. “We decided that the best choice was to race on in while we could see. I told everyone, ‘Hold on, don’t move. We’ll ride on the back of one of the breaking waves. Even if it takes a little water, it’ll be ok.’”

In the middle of the inlet, as they were taking on water, a line caught in the prop and it stopped turning. e boat was at the mercy of the tide and waves, and an 8-foot breaker ipped it end over end. e story of the exciting rescue is reported in detail in e Coastland Times. It involves the captain of an old 25-foot boat and his grandson risking great peril to time the waves and rescue each of the anglers one at a time. Vodicka’s badly damaged Whaler was later recovered, and he lost a bunch of shing gear, including the rod and reel that began this story.

e details are lost to time, but apparently the Fin-Nor reel and the rod were hauled up in a commercial angler’s net. e unique set-up ended up doing decades of duty as a showpiece on the wall in Dennis Dudley’s Elizabeth City, North Carolina home.

Vodicka,” and Dudley tried to locate the Fin-Nor’s owner when he received the rod in the mid-1970s. Dudley’s phone book searches came up empty, and the search was forgotten… until recently.

Dudley, 78, remembered the mystery of the reel’s owner while going through his possessions. A quick Google search turned up Vodicka, who is 89 and living in Raleigh, N.C. e men met to eat lunch, and Vodicka was reunited with the beautiful rod and reel he lost half a century ago.

Amazingly, the antique Fin-Nor is already back in action. Instead of hanging it on the wall, Vodicka had it serviced and used it on the Neuse River over Labor Day weekend.

The Return of a

e reel was equipped with a custom plate engraved with “Ralph E.

“It worked. It worked ne,” he said. “It’s amazing that a er 50 years you get your favorite rod and reel back.”

To read the whole story, go to

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Everyone hates a cheater, which is why it’s no surprise that tempers ared when two cheaters were caught red-handed at a Lake Erie Walleye Tour (LEWT) event on Oct. 1. e event was the tour championship for the series, and the Team of the Year would also be crowned a er weigh-ins. Team Crankin’ Hogs brought to the scales a ve- sh limit that weighed more than 33-pounds. It It would have secured Jake Runyan and Chase Cominsky well over $20,000 for the championship win and for Team of the Year honors. ey overplayed their dirty hand.

Tournament Director Jason Fischer suspected something was amiss when the sh hit the scales. Fischer later told CNN that the sh looked like they should have weighed 4 pounds each, but the total weight indicated they were much heavier. He handled the sh and felt something hard inside one of them.

In a now-viral YouTube Video, Fischer guts the sh as the cheaters stand by silently. “We have weights in the sh!” Fischer announced, and that’s when the shouting started as other anglers hurled obscenities at Runyan and Cominsky.

All-told, there were 8 pounds worth of lead weights, llets from other walleye and a pair of pliers inside Team Crankin’ Hogs’ sh. ey were immediately disquali ed and banned from the tournament series. Both men were later indicted by an Ohio grand jury on charges of cheating and attempted grand the .

It will be interesting to see if the team’s other tournament wins are called into question. ey have won numerous events over the last couple of years, including the 2021 LEWT Championship.

For more information, go to

You raise the flags of the fish just caught to show you weren’t skunked.
Once onshore you can take it a step further showing your fellow anglers your catch of the day wearing “slippahs” from Scott Hawaii.
Hanapa‘a - Marlin Hanapa‘a - Ahi

Berkeley County, South Carolina

Experience History, Culture & Adventure Like No Other!

Berkeley County is a wonderland for outdoor enthusiasts, sports bu s, adventure seekers, and water lovers. From exemplary fishing for striped bass, or a trophy largemouth bass, to our hiking trails and water activities, along with scenic outdoors where you can catch a glimpse of white tail deer and gators, Berkeley County has activities to fit all visitors and families.

Learn more about Berkeley County at:



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