Coastal Angler Magazine | February 2023 | Volusia County/Daytona/Beach/New Smyrna/Deland Edition

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200-foot-deep structure.

Capt. Rick Croson, of Living Water Guide Service, showed Barefoot this bite for the rst time, and on that trip, they caught African pompano until they were tired of reeling them in as well as amberjack, dolphin and black n tuna. e widely accepted best way to catch African pompano is with a utter jig. However, Barefoot is never content with a tool or technique until he tries to nd a better way to do it.

“ ey are extremely susceptible to utter jigs, but the problem with those is the teaser assist hooks. We kept hooking them on the outside of the face with those wired stinger hooks,” he said. “With their thin, delicate skin, it’s tough to get a hook set. We were losing a lot of sh.”

e technique Barefoot settled on is to use his own 4-ounce Squid Decoy Jigs.

For most anglers, African pompano are welcome bycatch on bottom- shing trips for other species. But restrictive seasons on standard structure-oriented o shore species like grouper and snapper have made African pomps a primary target. In terms of gameness and quality as table fare, some might argue they belonged near the top of the list the whole time.

“ ey shut down grouper shing in January, and I’m not going to stop going o shore, so they’re the next likely candidate,” said Coastal Angler’s own Capt. Tim Barefoot. “ ey pull hard, they bite and they taste great. I’d put them

up in the top ve of my favorite sh to eat.”

African pompano school up on nearshore and o shore structure in late winter and early spring on the Atlantic and Gulf coasts. A couple of years ago, Barefoot was introduced to a ridiculously good bite for 15- to 45-pounders out of Wrightsville Beach, N.C., and what he learned might help you dial in the bite where you sh.

Cold water consolidates African Pompano to their comfort zone this time of year, and out of Wrightsville Beach anglers nd the magic 65- to 67-degree temps 45 to 60 miles out on 120- to

“African pompano are very close to the bottom,” he said. “We drop that squid down to the bottom and pull it up just a few feet. Sometimes you can just set it in the rod holder and wait for it to get slammed. Sometimes you might want to give some action, but don’t overdo it. Squid are their primary food source. When they see it, they’re not shopping… they’re buying.”

Barefoot uses 40-pound braid to an 80-pound uorocarbon leader. He ties on his jig with a loop knot. e thing about squid is sh always attack them from behind to disable their beak. Barefoot said sh take the squid jig deep, and the result is a solid hook set in the mouth.

Find Capt. Rick Croson at and check out the Squid Decoy Jig at


With big trout on my mind, I hooked up the boat and headed to deep south Texas. An approaching cold front was going to shorten my trip to a single day, but I felt con dent it would be worth the 5-hour drive. As the cold front swept across north Texas, my anticipation was high as I headed south to warmer temperatures and extra hours before the frigid air and high-powered north wind turned a nice winter’s day into artic conditions. e morning greeted me with calm winds and dense fog, which is not typical south Texas

weather 14 hours prior to the strongest cold front of the year. e norm is 25 knots from the south or southeast with a storm of this magnitude on the doorstep.

I headed to my pre-determined location at a safe speed considering the conditions. I was in no hurry, as the prime bite was not until 10 a.m. e forecast was sunny, calm and 70 degrees for the day, followed by north at 35 knots and a low of 28 the next morning. I was certain the approaching weather would have the bite red up, and it did not disappoint. e sh didn’t feed on everything

I tied on, but once I homed in on what they wanted it was nonstop!

I pulled up to a favorite cove, positioned the boat well outside the prime area and quietly slipped into air-clear, knee-deep water of the grass at. I had a 5-inch paddletail ready at the end of my rod. A er covering the prime area with only one follow by a small red, it was time to change. I downsized to a 3.25-inch paddletail with a light purple back and a pearl belly. As I looked up a er rigging my lure, I spotted a huge trout about 5 yards in front of me. She was there for several seconds and then slowly disappeared. I knew she was aware of my presence even though she didn’t spook, and I didn’t have high hopes of catching her, but I did try. I was excited knowing my plan had me in the area of the trophy-size trout I was targeting.

I noticed nervous mullet about 40 yards away and slowly made my way in that direction. It was nonstop action on reds in the 26-inch range, and I caught one 3-pound trout. ese sh were a little deeper in thigh-deep, crystal-clear water over grass and potholes.

roughout the day, I tossed three sizes of similar body-style paddletails, all with built-in tail rattles. e smallest, a 3.25-inch lure, was the only one that caught sh. I used three di erent colors, so it was only the size that mattered on this day under pre-front conditions. Although I did not land the big trout I was targeting, I am satis ed that I was in the right place and will go back soon.

Capt. Michael Okruhlik is the inventor of Knockin Tail Lures®, and the owner of

Capt. Michael Okruhlik

Some years ago, my girlfriend and I visited the Southwest town of Sedona. It’s a wonderful place. While jewelry stores, art galleries and upscale boutiques have crept into Sedona’s downtown, the air still maintains an electric charge. In one of these Sedona stores I acquired a Bowie knife that soon proved well worth the sticker price.

Disappearing into the stunning red rock formations that Sedona is known for, my girlfriend and I set out to hike Bell Rock, a butte just south of that famous desert town. We couldn’t have been happier.

Our happiness didn’t last long. Before we knew it, we stumbled upon a rather nasty diamondback rattlesnake. Acting quickly, I pulled my Bowie knife out of its holster and gave Mr. Snake a quick shave. We were lucky. Not only did my skill with a knife ensure our safety, but I had the makings for a new rattlesnake belt.

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Asingle-handed y rod, which you might refer to as a “normal” y rod, is the tool of choice for most anglers seeking trout or other species on our inland rivers. But I’m here to tell you there’s a revolution building steam. Don’t be surprised when someone on your local river shows up wielding a two-handed spey rod. ese long rods are gaining popularity because they o er certain advantages.

For centuries, two-handed spey gear has been used only in pursuit of big anadromous sh such as salmon or steelhead on the huge coastal rivers of many continents. However, in the last decade or so, micro or trout spey rods have found their way into the hands of anglers. is smaller trout-sized spey gear opens the door for shing areas and for species that inhabit some of our beloved rivers and mediumsized streams.

If it lives in moving water, it can be caught with spey gear. Trout, of course, are the main quarry, but other sh such as smallmouth, spotted bass, largemouth, white bass and stripers are also fair game. Smaller-sized spey rods in 4-, 3-, or even 2-weight sizes are extremely e ective tools for reaching sh in big water with dicey wading areas.

Besides being loads of fun to sh and cast, a spey rod is designed to launch ies into the next county with little or no back-cast room available. Most troutsized spey rods are less than 12 feet long, with longer rods up to 16 feet reserved for big steelhead or salmon. A 2-weight spey rod is similar to casting a 4- or 5-weight single-hand y rod. A 3-weight spey rod can handle ies in sizes that a 5- or 6-weight single-hand can cast, and so on.

Here’s the main advantage of two-handed gear: Easy casts of 70 or more

feet can be launched from positions that are impossible with a single-hand y rod. Right now, the wheels in your head should be turning about places on your home river you have always wanted to run a y through but couldn’t reach.

Fishing is done down and across current to carefully swing ies through likely runs or holes, and the angler waits for the electric jolt of a trout or bass. Flies imitating bait sh, emerging insects, and even brightly colored Atlantic salmon or steelhead ies in smaller sizes are readily taken by sh. A well-tied y sweeping in front of a predator can draw a hunger reaction or a re ex strike in almost any condition.

Casting and shing micro spey gear is extremely fun and e ective. I hope you will join the trout spey revolution!

David Hulsey is a north Georgia guide who also teaches spey and regular y shing classes. Contact him through his website at www.hulsey y
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Elite Series Descends on Okeechobee

The Bassmaster Elite Series opens its 2023 season Feb. 16-19 with a stop at Lake Okeechobee. It’s the rst time since 2017 that B.A.S.S.’s top pros have competed at the “Big O,” and depending on the weather, most pundits are predicting heavy sacks from some of the world’s best bass anglers.

Last time Elite Series anglers descended on Florida’s largest lake in 2017, they also shed in late February. A monster 9-pounder turned heads as the big sh of the tournament. Alabama pro Tim Horton topped the eld with a four-day total of 83 pounds, 5 ounces. at’s a better-than 20-pounds-per-day average, which is strong for any shery, but it’s not as good as it gets for this historic big-bass factory.

Back in December, locals Jerod Boltz and Jon Bowman secured the 2022 Roland Martin Marine Center Series Championship with an awesome, nearly 30-pound nal day on Dec. 11. eir big sh of the day was an 8.15-pound Okeechobee giant. ey caught most of their sh on chatterbaits, an Okeechobee favorite, and spent some time shing speed worms and ipping cattails.

With two months separating the Roland Martin event from the Elite Series event, there’s no doubt some things will change, but Florida’s mild winters mean some things will likely remain the same. Okeechobee is typically primed for big sh in the month of February, and there might be some bed shing going on. “Big O” bass will likely be up shallow in all stages of the spawn.

As with any shery, weather patterns have a way of ruining the best laid plans. February fronts from the north are notorious for shutting down hot Florida bass bites in a hurry. Last February, Coastal Angler contributor Capt. Angie Douthit reported consistent action with spinnerbaits, worms and chatterbaits, and said they were also catching sh ipping and pitching.

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over to the other side of their head and they spend the rest of their lives looking up with one side of their body at on the bottom. ere are several species of ounder with overlapping ranges. Summer ounder are what northern anglers call ukes, their range in the Atlantic stretches from Nova Scotia down to Florida. Southern ounder inhabit the Atlantic coast as well as the Gulf of Mexico, while Gulf ounder can be found in the Gulf of Mexico from Florida to Texas. Southern ounder can be identi ed by their white underbelly and an absence of the ocellated spots the other two species have. ese spots resemble eyes, which are thought to trick predators. For southern ounder, males don’t grow much longer than 12 inches, while females can reach about 25 inches.

Southern ounder range from North Carolina to Texas, however, they do not migrate besides going o shore for mating and then returning inshore. While inshore, they prefer shallow muddy and grassy ats, where they hide on the bottom and ambush prey.

When the mating season rolls around in late fall and early winter, ounder migrate out of the passes. At the end of winter into early spring, all of the females and some males head back inshore.

Flounder can be caught with arti cial and live bait. Arti cial lures such as jigs, small swimbaits and spoons worked near the bottom can all produce sh. Small live bait works the best, with nger mullet being my personal favorite. Small pilchards, mojarra and mud minnows will also do the trick.

Light tackle is all that is needed to catch them. A small weight, 1-ounce, or so, with a short 12- to 16-inch sh- nder rig works best. A live shrimp on a jig head, such as a Troll Rite, jigged along the bottom can also work great and is a good way to cover more area with a live bait.

Some of the best places to nd ounder are on inlet rock piles and bridge or pier pilings. Cast upstream and work lures downstream, or let your bait dri downstream.

With the cold fading away, so will the ounder, but they return with spring. Many anglers believe the second cold snap is prime time, when southern ounder begin moving through the inlets. e timing varies greatly, but it can be gangbusters in the inlets if you catch it right. Even if you don’t, there will likely be some stragglers moving through.

Flounder are interesting sh. As hatchlings, they swim upright with eyes on both sides of their heads, just like most sh. As they mature, one eye moves

e IGFA all-tackle record for Southern Flounder is 20 pounds, 9 ounces. It was caught out of Nassau Sound, 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.

It’s 8:17 p.m. Been out on the lake for hours.

But there are more fsh in the water.

And my LBP batteries are still going strong. Maybe One More Cast . . . the offcial battery of “One More Cast...”

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1.9 6:45 PM 0.1

1Sa 1:18 AM 1.8 7:06 AM 0.3 1:24 PM 1.8 7:34 PM 0.1 2Su 2:11 AM 1.8 8:02 AM 0.4 2:15 PM 1.7 8:29 PM 0.1

3M 3:12 AM 1.8 9:02 AM 0.4 3:13 PM 1.7 9:27 PM 0.0 4Tu 4:15 AM 1.9 10:02 AM 0.4 4:16 PM 1.8 10:24 PM -0.1 5W 5:16 AM 2.0 10:59 AM 0.3 5:18 PM 1.9 11:19 PM -0.3

8:05 AM 0.5 2:18 PM 1.9 8:37 PM 0.3 4Sa 3:02 AM 1.9 9:01 AM 0.5 3:10 PM 1.9 9:27 PM 0.2 5Su 4:00 AM 2.0 9:56 AM 0.5 4:04 PM 1.9 10:16 PM 0.1 6M 4:57 AM 2.1 10:46 AM 0.4 4:59 PM 2.0 11:03 PM -0.1 7Tu 5:50 AM 2.2 11:34 AM 0.3 5:51 PM 2.0 11:49 PM -0.2 8W 6:40 AM 2.3 12:21 PM 0.2 6:42 PM 2.1 9Th 12:35 AM -0.4 7:28 AM 2.4 1:06 PM 0.1 7:31 PM 2.2 9:47 AM 2.6 3:26 PM -0.2 9:58 PM 2.4 13M 3:44 AM -0.6 10:34 AM 2.6 4:16 PM -0.3 10:50 PM 2.4 14Tu 4:36 AM -0.5 11:22 AM 2.6 5:08 PM -0.3 11:44 PM 2.4 15W 5:31 AM -0.3 12:11 PM 2.5 6:04 PM -0.3 16Th 12:42 AM 2.3 6:30 AM -0.2 1:04 PM 2.4 7:04 PM -0.3 17F 1:43 AM 2.3 7:33 AM 0.0 2:00 PM 2.2 8:05 PM -0.3 18Sa 2:48 AM 2.2 8:37 AM 0.1 3:00 PM 2.2 9:07 PM -0.3 11:38 AM 0.1 6:03 PM 2.1 11:58 PM -0.4 22W 6:50 AM 2.3 12:29 PM 0.0 6:55 PM 2.2 23Th 12:48 AM -0.5 7:38 AM 2.4 1:17 PM 0.0 7:42 PM 2.2 24F 1:34 AM -0.5 8:21 AM 2.4 2:02 PM -0.1 8:26 PM 2.2 25Sa 2:17 AM -0.4 9:01 AM 2.4 2:44 PM -0.1 9:07 PM 2.2 26Su 2:59 AM -0.4 9:38 AM 2.3 3:25 PM -0.1 9:47 PM 2.2 27M 3:38 AM -0.3 10:14 AM 2.3 4:04 PM -0.1 10:26 PM 2.1 12:02 PM 2.0 6:01 PM 0.0 31F 12:30 AM 1.9 6:17 AM 0.2 12:41 PM
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Hello and welcome to another edition of Pro Tips! My name is Capt. Jonathan Moss and I am addicted to fishing. Few things get my heart pumping like fishing. The pursuit of fish, whether on the flats, offshore, on the beach or bass fishing the local pond, is always a thrill. Some anglers prefer specific techniques. For example, some prefer using only live or cut bait, while others are die hard artificial lure users. As for me, it depends on who is on board my skiff, but my preference is artificial lures.

Artificial lures come in a variety of styles and colors, and each has their own special use and purpose. With it now being wintertime, specifically February, I prefer to use an artificial shrimp. Now, there are many different versions and colors of the artificial shrimp, but my favorite option is the 3-inch D.O.A. Shrimp in clear/gold glitter, model number 413. The color, flash, action and fish catching ability has proved itself worthy of space in my tackle box time and time again.

During the winter months, our lagoons have less baitfish around, but our shrimp population is through the roof. If you pay close attention while on the water you can see shrimp skipping across the water frequently. This is a great clue as to what our redfish, black drum and speckled sea trout population are foraging on.

Additionally, wintertime brings cooler water

temperatures and this pushes fish to dropoffs and ledges in the early morning hours to stay warm and ambush easy prey. Cast the artificial shrimp across the ledge and slowly let it drop into the

zone and you are sure to get a bite from a hungry speckled sea trout and/or redfish.

As the sun rises in the sky, redfish and speckled sea trout will move from the dropoffs/ ledges to potholes, mud, sand and mangrove shorelines adjacent to the flats. Cast and slowly work your artificial shrimp with a twitch and pause technique.

When redfish are tailing, they are actively stirring up the bottom, searching and feeding for

shrimp and crabs. Casting two feet beyond and two feet in front of the tailing fish allows you to slowly work the artificial shrimp in the feeding zone. It will be very difficult for a tailing redfish to refuse such a presentation, but be careful not to cast directly on the feeding fish, as this will cause it to spook.

Pictured are fish caught in the Mosquito Lagoon using a D.O.A. Shrimp. One is rigged weedless, using an Owner 3/0 1/8th TwistLock hook, and the other was caught on a D.O.A. Shrimp rigged with the J hook it comes with right out of the package.


Go Castaway Fishing Charters (407) 760-8593

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11SA 5:29 AM 0.09 L

11:58 AM 1.96 H

5:52 PM -0.15 L

12SU 12:39 AM 1.98 H

6:17 AM 0.2 L 12:40 PM 1.89 H 6:43 PM -0.15 L

13M 1:34 AM 1.95 H

7:14 AM 0.29 L

1:31 PM 1.84 H

7:43 PM -0.16 L

21TU 2:44 AM -0.72 L

9:22 AM 2.71 H

3:09 PM -0.65 L

9:45 PM 2.7 H

22W 3:33 AM -0.62 L

10:06 AM 2.66 H

3:57 PM -0.67 L

10:34 PM 2.65 H

23TH 4:22 AM -0.45 L

10:50 AM 2.54 H

4:45 PM -0.6 L

Wind, wind and more wind, go away already!

Nearshore fishing has been great and should continue this month. Massive schools of redfish have been near the port and around the tip of the Cape. Look for the birds diving and good chance that they’re on them. There have been large bunker schools around, so take the time and look. They may not be flipping, so watch your machine and the mud balls. The reds will eat anything you throw in the school, buck tails, bunker and, I’m sure, even a hot dog. They’re all big and upwards of 35 pounds!

04SA 1:12 AM -0.21 L 7:54 AM 2.11 H 1:38 PM 0.13 L 7:56 PM 1.99 H

05SU 1:51 AM -0.23 L 8:31 AM 2.17 H 2:16 PM 0.06 L 8:36 PM 2.04 H

06M 2:27 AM -0.24 L 9:06 AM 2.2 H

2:51 PM -0.01 L

9:14 PM 2.07 H

07TU 3:02 AM -0.21 L 9:40 AM 2.2 H 3:25 PM -0.06 L 9:52 PM 2.08 H

08W 3:36 AM -0.17 L 10:14 AM 2.17 H 3:58 PM -0.09 L 10:31 PM 2.08 H

09TH 4:11 AM -0.1 L

10:47 AM 2.11 H

4:32 PM -0.12 L 11:10 PM 2.06 H

10F 4:47 AM -0.01 L 11:21 AM 2.04 H 5:09 PM -0.14 L 11:52 PM 2.02 H

14TU 2:38 AM 1.93 H

8:21 AM 0.34 L 2:35 PM 1.82 H

8:52 PM -0.2 L

15W 3:49 AM 1.98 H

9:32 AM 0.31 L

3:49 PM 1.88 H

10:01 PM -0.3 L

16TH 4:59 AM 2.09 H

10:39 AM 0.19 L

5:02 PM 2.01 H

11:05 PM -0.44 L

17F 6:02 AM 2.26 H

11:40 AM 0.02 L

6:08 PM 2.2 H

18SA 12:05 AM -0.59 L

6:58 AM 2.44 H

12:37 PM -0.19 L

7:08 PM 2.4 H

19SU 1:01 AM -0.7 L

7:48 AM 2.59 H

1:30 PM -0.4 L

8:03 PM 2.57 H

20M 1:53 AM -0.75 L

8:36 AM 2.69 H

2:20 PM -0.56 L

8:55 PM 2.68 H

11:22 PM 2.52 H

24F 5:11 AM -0.25 L

11:34 AM 2.37 H

5:34 PM -0.47 L

25SA 12:12 AM 2.35 H

6:02 AM -0.02 L

12:20 PM 2.17 H

6:26 PM -0.3 L

26SU 1:03 AM 2.15 H

6:56 AM 0.19 L

1:09 PM 1.98 H

7:22 PM -0.12 L

27M 2:00 AM 1.97 H

7:55 AM 0.36 L

2:03 PM 1.83 H

8:22 PM 0.02 L

28TU 3:02 AM 1.84 H

8:58 AM 0.46 L

3:04 PM 1.73 H

Many of my offshore trips turned into port trips and beach trips if we were lucky with a west wind. If you want to catch a bunch of stuff and keep the kids happy, get a few dozen live shrimp and have fun. The way we do our beach fishing is with medium rods and light tackle while using a 1/0 circle hook with a #20 leader to a small swivel, then mainline. On the mainline use a 1- or 1.5-oz. egg sinker. This is the typical fish finder rig; works great, very basic. Everything eats a shrimp.

Shark fishing has been on fire. Large hammerhead, blacktip and blacknose have been plentiful. A bunch of bulls too. This time last year the big extinct sandbar sharks moved in, so we’re hoping they do the same thing this year. They are a blast to catch in shallow water.

Offshore on the days we can get out have been great, but this is also the time of year that the kings are picky. If they don’t have a live bunker or threadfin flashed in front of their face they wont eat. You will literally watch everyone around you get hooked up, but they will not touch a dead spinner bait. You really have to put the effort in right now to catch the live baits.

February of last year was the best ling run we had as many fish were caught this month. Many of them giants. It was even better than March. Take advantage of those sunny days and go look around. Depths of 55-foot seem to be the most productive this time of year. Patrick has always been a productive spot.

And, finally, the rays are showing up! Have a great month and good luck out there.

CAPT. CHRIS CAMERON Fired Up Fishing Charters |
Setting the bar high on the first day of 2023 on the Seas Fire.
(407) 222-3573 CENTRAL EAST COAST
01W 5:42 AM 1.92 H 11:25 AM 0.33 L 5:41 PM 1.8 H 11:43 PM -0.12 L
02TH 6:32 AM 1.97 H 12:13 PM 0.28 L 6:31 PM 1.86 H 03F 12:30 AM -0.17 L 7:15 AM 2.04 H 12:58 PM 0.21 L 7:15 PM 1.93 H
9:25 PM 0.1 L DAY TIME HEIGHT Miami Beach, Government Cut
(Halifax River)
OFFSET High +5 min / Low +33 min
OFFSET High *1.18 ft / Low *1 ft
OFFSET High -64 min / Low -38 min
OFFSET High *1.5 ft / Low *1.43 ft
High -48 min / Low -24 min
OFFSET High *.93 ft / Low *1.0 ft
-66 min / Low -44 min
High *1.5 ft / Low *1.42 ft
-53 min / Low -26 min
High *1.49 ft / Low *1.5 ft
+92 min / Low +156 min
High *.15 ft / Low *.5 ft

PORT CANAVERAL: The fishing action in and around the Port Canaveral area will all depend on what the water temperatures are in February. If we have a typical winter with the near-coastal ocean water ranging from 65 to 68 degrees, anglers can expect weakfish, pompano, whiting and sheepshead. These species are good eating and, even though they have small fillets, they have fairly liberal bag limits. It’s never a bad day when you can exchange a piece of shrimp on a bottom rig for a tasty fillet from one of these types of fish. The pompano and whiting are usually receptive to small jigs tipped with shrimp as well, and this is a great way to keep busy while covering water in search of a good bite. Try fishing for them in the surf zones north of the port. The sandy bars and trough there provide good places for these fish to stage looking for a meal. If the winds blow out of

the north this area is fairly protected and fishable. The other place that I like to target these species is along the deeper drop-offs between the entrance of the port and the middle basin area. Sheepshead are fond of rocky structure and will be holding along the rocky areas on the north side of the shipping channel. Small pieces of shrimp, fiddler crabs and sand fleas are their favorite things to munch on. Put these on a short-shank, heavy-wire hook so you have a chance at pulling these tough fighting fish away from the structures that they call home.

on their sides. They prefer to suspend 5- to 10-feet above the bottom on most days. A live shrimp or soft plastic Saltwater Assassin jig tail can be very effective offerings when they are schooling in the channel area. These fish tend to group in better numbers if we get an exceptionally cold winter, but they can be found on most days in February no matter what type of winter we have.

If this winter is warmer than usual, anglers could find tripletail near floating debris or buoys in the area known as the Bight. Here, big black drum and huge “bull” redfish may be possible while fishing with cut crab, jumbo shrimp or cut bluefish on a bottom rig.

BANANA RIVER LAGOON: Deeper sections of this body of water are going to be the best areas to target speckled trout and black drum if we get our usual cold temperatures. Residential canals, dredge holes and areas near causeway bridges that span this lagoon are fantastic places to search for these fish as well. Redfish will also seek refuge from cold temps in the deeper areas, but usually move right back out onto the flats once the sun starts to warm them after each frontal passage. Cut baits, live shrimp or 2- to 4-inch Assassin sea shad generally work on these cold water reds. If the weather is warmer this year than what we normally have in February, anglers will probably find the trout and redfish on the shallow flats looking for small crustaceans and minnows to eat.

Weakfish are a visitor to the Canaveral area each winter and the main shipping channel is one place that anglers can target them. These fish look like speckled trout but have dashes instead of spots

PORT CANAVERAL NEARSHORE & BANANA RIVER LAGOON CAPT. JIM ROSS Fineline Fishing Charters (321) 636-3728 FORECAST 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! ABOVE: Giant drum often hold in 20 to 30 feet of water just outside Port Canaveral this month. RIGHT: A free lined live shrimp was all that was needed to entice this black drum to strike.

February is the start to our snook season for 2023 and Sebastian Inlet is where most anglers will be. Live pilchards, greenies, croakers and pigfish will be the baits of choice depending on water temps and whats around the inlet at the time. Shrimp is also a great bait for wintertime snook in the inlet. The redfish bite will be best on live pigfish and croakers. There should still be some black drum around as they came in late December with the cold fronts and hung around in January. However, if the temps aren’t too cold, the snook bite in the lagoon and the Sebastian River will be decent as well. Live bait is usually best, but D.O.A. C.A.L. paddletails and jerk baits work very well on 1/8 or 1/4 ounce jigheads. If there’s a lot of bait around, Rapala Skitterwalks are always a key topwater bait.

Pompano, bluefish, jacks and mackerel should be in the inlet, along the beaches and scattered thoughout the lagoon. Doc’s Goofy jigs will normally work well for pompano in the inlet and along the beaches and the flats of the lagoon from Sebastian to Melbourne; bycatch will be jacks, bluefish, trout and Spanish mackerel as well as a few big gafftopsail cats. We have also caught a few pompano on the Rapala Twitchin’ Minnow fishing the bait pods we can find for trout and snook. If you are fishing Sebastian Inlet and the pompano action is slow, you can try jigging the shallow parts of the inlet for flounder using a 1/2 ounce jighead with a D.O.A. Paddletail scented with Pro-Cure.

If you can get out on the beach, you can jig for pompano, mackerel, jacks and bluefish. Following those species at the end of February and March are blacktip sharks. You can have some great action fishing live bait or even Rapala poppers for blacktips that are mixed in and feeding on the mackerel and blues. Keep an eye out for manta rays and, if you find them, the cobia should be tagging along. Most live baits and bucktails work well for the cobia.

The big jacks, sail cats and a few tarpon are up in the Sebastian River as well as Turkey Creek in Palm Bay and Crane Creek in Melbourne. Snook are around the docks, and tarpon are far back in the creeks. Live bait is best, but the fish will eat soft plastics and some topwater on warmer days.

Bundle up and stay warm as there should be plenty of action throughout the month of February for anglers looking to get out of the house on the nice days.

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CAPT. GLYN AUSTIN Going Coastal Charters


Space Coast anglers, ready yourselves for an incredible February surf fishing forecast! February, hands down, has to be one of my favorite months to fish the surf in Brevard County. Not only the mention of pompano has everyone fired up, but giant black drum schools will be working the coastline from Port Canaveral to Sebastian Inlet as well. In addition, the red slime from summer and fall has finally retreated, and the hurricane debris has cleared out from local beaches. It’s all shaping up to be a phenomenal month of surf fishing.

Shoveling snow out of the driveway, or catching pompano with your toes in the sand? This is the question I pose to all of our fellow readers. We choose the latter as surf fishing delight happens to be on tap for local residents and snowbirds alike. February fishing welcomes the cool breeze of the Atlantic Ocean, and gives anglers an opportunity to catch pompano, black drum, whiting, bluefish and sharks.

Pompano fishing typically headlines surf fishing reports in the winter months, and understandably so. But I want to bring the attention to this once-a-year opportunity to catch giant black drum in the surf. Traditionally, February holds the key ingredients for catching plenty of black drum, and schools of giants will be roaming as well. Our surf fishing charters generally target these schools of fish with beefed up pompano rigs consisting of 40 lb. leader, and 3/0 circle hooks baited with Fishbites combined with sand fleas. This combination seems irresistible to black drum if presented correctly, so be sure to cast on the edge of the schools for your highest probability of hooking up.

With all this mention of giants, let us not forget the bread and butter of the Space Coast surf fishery—pompano, whiting and bluefish. So far, 2023 has been off to a great start for pompano fishing in the surf, and this looks to continue well into February and March as long as temperatures don’t fall too low. These water temperatures of mid to upper 60’s and into the low 70’s also seems to bring with it the larger bull whiting, a celebrated site. In addition, the bluefish will be out in force! So if there’s ever a dull moment you can always rely on cut bait or a casting spoon to hook up with fun, fast action on the bluefish.

Get out there to enjoy the opportunity of great surf fishing conditions and kick the 2023 year off with memorable catches.

CAPT. LUKAS BRICKWEG Cocoa Beach Surf Fishing Charters (321)
SPACE COAST SURF FISHING FORECAST ENROLL IN OUR MONTHLY SURF FISHING SEMINAR & email: 321.205.4672 NO EXPERIENCE NECESSARY! ALL AGES WELCOME! LEARN TO SURF FISH! Learn the techniques that will set you apart and bring you big fishing success from the beach. Join us on the beach the first Saturday of each month for a 4-hour, hands-on, comprehensive seminar on how to effectively surf fish. Topics include: SURF FISHING EQUIPMENT • RIGGING TACTICS • HOW TO READ THE WATER BAIT • SURF CASTING LESSONS & MORE! $150/Angler • All Fishing Gear & Bait Provided



Kane Lewis, 3, casted his live shrimp along the IRL mangroves and hooked this nice redfish, and said,”I felt the ‘thump’ and set the hook on the fishing rod my daddy made me. I even fought the fish all the way to the boat all by myself! After many high fives and a tight hug, my daddy said I am on the path to becoming a great outdoorsman and fisherman.” We agree, Kane!

Dolores Gregg reeled in a nice pompano (alongside son in law Capt. George Brannan, left) while celebrating her 87th birthday! She’s still got it!

Mike DePietro caught this 31.75-inch Indian River snook on a live shrimp.

Christopher Lewis, 12, got this bass out of a small pond near his home in Mims — a pond that he and his father have fished several times, catching small bream and turtles, but never a bass! He took this “selfie” then released it to catch again...

Will Harrison with a sweet mangrove snapper he landed offshore near Ponce Inlet.

For a chance to be featured on the Brag Board, upload your high-quality photos (at least 1MB) along with all the details at: WWW.COASTALANGLERMAG.COM


Yellow Dawg Bait & Tackle Grand Opening March 4

There’s a new shop in Volusia County that everyone should be excited about! Yellow Dawg Bait & Tackle, located at 35 High Bridge Road in Ormond By the Sea.

Local charter captain and owner Jamie Thrappas and his wife, Deidra, are extremely excited about their new endeavor and look forward to seeing everyone from the community stopping by for their grand opening on Saturday, March 4, to check out this great little shop. They will be having a free kids fishing tournament from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. with a bunch of great prizes, and free hot dogs and hamburgers for all attendees. They will also have vendors attending the grand opening including demo boats from Floyd Skiff, reels to try out and purchase from

Florida Fishing Products, sunglasses to try out and purchase from local sunglass company Bajio, as well as a few other brands that they carry in the shop for you to check out in person.

For those of you not familiar with the area, the shop is located right at the boat ramp in Volusia County’s High Bridge Park in Ormond by the Sea, which gives you full access right into the ICW, the Tomoka Basin, and all of the flats and feeder creeks headed north towards Flagler Beach and the Matanzas Inlet. Capt. Jamie reports that the area is one of the most healthy fisheries in the greater Volusia area and says there is a very good snook and redfish bite there that doesn’t get the pressure of certain areas to the south.

“It’s a perfect place to explore with a center console, a flats skiff, a kayak or a paddleboard, so plan a day and come check out this beautiful area of old Florida for yourself,” said Capt. Jamie.

Yellow Dawg Bait & Tackle carries a variety of bait, including live bait frozen bait, and all of your tackle needs for inshore fishing and surf fishing. They also offer fishing charters, kayak charters, surf fishing charters, sight seeing tours, and also kayak and paddleboard rentals.

If you’re looking for something fun to do, visit Yellow Dawg Bait & Tackle on Saturday, March 4, and join fellow anglers and the communty for their grand opening celebration, or swing by the shop the next time you are in the area and take a look.



February is a chillier month for us here in the Volusia area. While we will have a few nice days, the water temperature tends to be a little chilly which can make the bite a bit slower. I will focus on species similar to those I do in January like black drum and sheepshead. This year has been difficult to obtain bait that we like to use for sheepshead such as sand fleas and fiddler crabs; most people think the sand flea shortage was from a combination of the spring king tide and then the two hurricanes we got in late summer/early fall. Nonetheless, I still have been producing good catch numbers by using shrimp combined with sand flea flavored Fishbites. The sheepshead love structure, so you have to find docks with good growth on them like oysters and barnacles. Also, all of the ICW causeways are a pretty sure bet on getting a few for the cooler, and I even like fishing deep channels with mangroves. Use a jig head or a Carolina rig with a short fluorocarbon leader to feel the bite and remember its a numbers game with sheeps; they don’t call them Convicts just because of their white and black stripes...they are some bait robbing fools!

The black drum bite is also best in my opinion

when the water is colder, so I will spend a good deal of time targeting these guys near the causeways and at the Inlet. My favorite approach for black drum is halved or quartered blue crab, and I like to use at least a 4/0 circle hook. These fish can range in size from a pound or so all the way up to pushing 80 pounds, so make sure you are set up properly if you are going to target big black drum as they are no joke.

Lastly, in February I tend to catch a few permit. Yes, that’s correct, permit. These fish are usually suspended in the water column down around the inlet in schools. I like to use a pinch weight with

15 or 20 lb. fluorocarbon leader to get them to bite. While most fish are smaller, I have gotten a few 20-pound fish over the years.

Spring is right around the corner, but that’s no excuse to not get out on the water this winter and have some fun.

As always, if you see us on the water say, “Hello.” Good luck out there!


Yellow Dawg Fishing (386) 366-3424

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What is Sol Fishing’s “Youth Angler Program?”

Capt. Evan Sanders and Capt. Adam Coniglio, owners of Sol Fishing, take anywhere between 70 and 100 youth anglers out fishing free of charge every year! Youth anglers must be between the ages of 5 to 17 years old and are allowed to be accompanied by one of their parents for the trip.

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

Sol Fishing has expanded their Youth Angler Program to be nationwide! Sol Fishing sponsors youth-based fishing charters all over the United States. We have teamed up with the best captains to make this happen, such as our latest addition, Capt. Marshall Wallot. Capt. Wallot is the owner of New Legacy

Charters out of Port Orange, Fla. We are thrilled to have him as one of our Youth Angler Captains. Capt. Wallot goes above and beyond for the kids to land the fish of their dreams!

The Youth Angler Program is made possible by all our retailers who stock Sol Fishing’s gear such as our hats, decals, performance shirts and more. Stop by Outriggers, Donald’s Bait & Tackle, 38 Live Bait & Tackle, E & J Bait & Tackle, Sunglass Cabana, Shades of New Smyrna Beach, Boaters Exchange and Pedago of NSB to get your Sol Fishing gear to help support the Youth Angler Program.

Sol Fishing’s amazing sponsors such as Sportsman Boats, Simrad, SeaDek Marine, Custom Marine Volusia and Castaway Customs also play a huge roll in the program.


Sol Fishing Charters & Gear (407) 529-5896

Outfitters specializes in offshore bait and tackle, as well as inshore, flats, and fly fishing gear, with extensive options in apparel and accessories. New Smyrna Outfitters has the knowledge and experience to guide through whatever type of fishing you’re looking to do. SAME STREET, NEW LOCATION! 223a Canal St. | (386) 402-8853 Mon-Sat 9am-6pm | Sunday Closed Winter Caught Bally Hoo Under NEW Ownership by
Third Generation Fisherman
Cody Moore,

February can continue the winter pattern or, if we are having warm temperatures, can be an early start of spring fishing, If we do have an early spring, expect the early return of coastal migratory fish, including schooling jack crevalle, bluefish, ladyfish, pompano, Spanish mackerel and the oversized, jumbo black drum.

Remember Mosquito Lagoon redfish are now catch and release only. Lagoon reds are on shallow water flats, sloughs, creeks and dropoff edges. Deep water larger reds can be found in the ICW channel, New Smyrna bridges, Ponce Inlet and Haulover Canal. Shallow reds are a sight fishing target in winter; search slow and quiet as our skinny water schools are notoriously spooky. Selectsize shrimp, small live finger mullet, mud minnows and crab parts are the best natural baits. Small soft plastics, Gulp baits, and shrimp or crab patterns on fly can be good artificial choices.

Seatrout can also be shallow or deep. Most flats trout are bigger-sized fish; free lined finger mullet are the most popular live bait for soaking. Big specks are skittish in the shallows. Sight fishing usually requires long distance sighting and an accurate cast. Mullet, select shrimp and larger plastics can get bit. We should all consider

releasing all larger seatrout, which are the most valuable breeder females. School-sized trout are usually deeper on drop offs, holes, and channels.

Snook season reopens February 1. Slot limit is 28” to 32”, just 1 fish per person, with a snook permit on your fishing license. Linesiders are ambush feeders so live bait, artificial lures and fly will catch them near man-made structures

like jetties, bridges and docks, as well as natural spots in the backwaters and Lagoon with downed mangrove bushes, branches, dropoffs and points.

Sheepshead are always a winter/ spring fish. They will eat fiddler crabs, small live or peeled frozen shrimp, pieces of clam, oyster or any crab. They have a small, hard mouth, so use a sharp hook of #2 to 1/0 range, and as little hardware and weight as possible to make your rig stealthy in the clear winter water. Fish sheepshead’s favorite hangouts—bridge or dock pilings, rock piles, inlet jetties, and oyster bars. You can chum them in with crushed oysters or barnacles scraped off pilings.

Bluefish are open water fish and you’ll find them in the river, backcountry, inlet, and surf. They are not picky. Minnows, shrimp, flies, topwater lures and flashy small lures are all good choices. Entice them out near spots holding bait fish schools, jetties, bridges, backwater points with current and ambush spots.

EDGEWATER BACKCOUNTRY FORECAST CAPT. MICHAEL SAVEDOW Edgewater River Guide (386) 689-3781 Remember, Mosquito Lagoon redfish are now catch and release only.

February is one of those months that is up and down due to the fronts that role in and out. However, those same fronts can be very productive depending on which side of the front the fish are feeding.

Look for the trout to be on the deep side of the oyster beds and the deep side of the ledges. I found the hurricanes created some of those ledges and the trout were stacked up!

As far as the reds go, they move on the mud flats when we have a bright sunny day late morning and mid afternoon.

Throughout the month of February, sheepshead should be hanging around the docks in the ICW, and fiddlers work well.

Finger mullet and mud minnows will work well on the sandy points in the basin for flounder.

Keep your eyes open for tarpon in the river and be prepared to throw a paddletail jig or a live mullet under a popping cork.

Upriver, the bass should be active on those warm days.

Folks, if you catch a snakehead please kill it or throw it in the garbage.

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Iput on five layers of sweatshirts and an outside slicker today, the last day of 2022.

How to get motivated this morning? It’s so cold outside! So I put on the good reggae music, Stick Figure (of course). They’re playing “I Love the Ocean.” Now, if that don’t get you going down there, I don’t know what will. Ya, mon! And, as Jimmy Cliff said, “The harder they come the harder they fall,” and it’s been just like that.

The cold front just hit. It’s the coldest weather in Florida that anyone remembers, down in the 20s. But just before we were ready for them, for two days before the cold blast, the fish were extremely hungry.

I had to hide behind a seawall half the time, the wind was so hard, but the fish didn’t seem to notice. From the first cast, which bent my pole in half, the pompano were fighting to feed. Ya, mon! Ni-i-ice!

After a few minutes I didn’t even notice the cold. My adrenaline was peaking, speed-running from pole to pole! It was on and they were big. Then, all of a sudden, my pole was spinning in the holder! I grabbed it and after a few minutes reeled in a nice black drum. I turned around and my other pole was spinning. After a few more minutes a nice redfish was in the slot. Definitely one of my best days.

I gave a call to my pal Tommy, the fillet master, to sharpen his knives and he was up to the task. He uses an electric fillet knife for the redfish and the black drum. He says it cuts through the scales better. He chooses a regular fillet knife for the pompano, which have no scales.

We are still fishing in front of all the wrecked houses from the hurricanes here in Volusia. It’s a slow process to fix them. And now we have to share the beach with huge trucks, cranes and plows. They’re trying, without much success, to race the ocean, which just keeps taking away what they keep replacing. It’s a very sad situation. The beach ramps, most of them, are still in total disrepair.

There are only a few entrances to get onto the beach, so we do what we can. It’s going to take years to repair the beach, but somehow it’s still beautiful and the place to go if you want to get back to nature.

The ocean is rebounding. It has cleaned up tremendously, but it just seems like it’s still ticked off. The tides are tremendously higher than they were before the hurricanes, which gives us fewer hours to fish because the high tide comes up to the seawalls. So, there are fewer hours for the workmen to drive their trucks onto the beach. It’s like a race against time, and you know Mother Nature is going to win.

So as the beautiful winter sun starts to set and the temperature goes down, it’s time to wrap up these great days and go home to eat, drink and replenish the super energy we burnt off. It’s time for me and these fish to head to the smoker.

— | Surf Fishing Guide | (386) 212-4838
“The ocean is rebounding. It has cleaned up tremendously, but it just seems like it’s still ticked off...”
5 YEAR LIMITED WARRANTY applies to qualifying purchases of Suzuki outboard motors sold and delivered to the retail purchaser, for pleasure (non-commercial) use only, from April 1, 2021 through March 31, 2022. See Suzuki Limited Warranty for additional details. Suzuki, the “S” logo, and Suzuki model and product names are Suzuki Trademarks or ®. Don’t drink and drive.Always wear a USCG-approved life jacket and read your owner’s manual. © 2021 Suzuki Marine USA, LLC.All rights reserved. YEAR LIMITED WARRANTY Among the many advantages of Suzuki’s proven technologies are simplified rigging and installation, silky smooth shifting, instant throttle response, enhanced performance, and superior fuel economy. With Suzuki Marine’s reputation for performance and reliability, you can rest assured your fishing day is going to make memories that will last for years to come. RELIABILITY TO FISH ALL DAY WITH CONFIDENCE FULL MARINE SERVICE, PARTS, REPAIR, SALES CENTER 386-424-9000 | 911 N Dixie Freeway • New Smyrna Beach, FL 32168 CHECK OUT OUR GREAT DEALS ON USED VEHICLES AT: Your Florida Authorized Suzuki Repower Center Repower Financing Available 5 YEAR LIMITED WARRANTY applies to qualifying purchases of Suzuki outboard motors sold and delivered to the retail purchaser, for pleasure (non-commercial) use only, from April 1, 2021 through March 31, 2022. See Suzuki Limited Warranty for additional details. Suzuki, the “S” logo, and Suzuki model and product names are Suzuki Trademarks or ®. Don’t drink and drive. Always wear a USCG-approved life jacket and read your owner’s manual. © 2021 Suzuki Marine USA, LLC. All rights reserved.
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Over the next few months, waves of sh will ood the shallows to spawn. is presents the opportunity to catch some monster bass, and a plastic worm is always a main player for me when it comes to the spawn.

A Texas-rigged stickbait is a very common technique, but many people use it ine ciently by casting to a lot of dead water. I try to maximize productivity by casting to high-percentage targets. I focus on isolated cover. In the South, this could be small patches of grass and groups of pads, where spawning females are hidden from the naked eye. In other parts of the country, the structure might be wood or rock. Make multiple casts and work these areas slowly. I use a bigger-style stick bait, normally in the 6” version. Darker colors like a black and blue tip are my go-to. I use lighter 1/16- or 1/8-ounce weights to keep the bait looking natural. Use heavier line to cast around thick cover for large sh, but avoid braid which might be visible to sh in shallow water. I like 17- to 20-pound uorocarbon.

When I want to cover more water and locate sh, slowly reeling a big speed worm-style bait works great. e vibration the tail gives o drives sh crazy. It’s an awesome way to nd sh before slowing down to pick the area apart. I like darker colors like a junebug when the water has some stain and gravitate to more natural green pumpkin with some ake when the water is cleaner. I use ¼- to 1/8-ounce of weight and 15- to 17-pound uorocarbon.

A wacky rig is also e ective when sh are shallow. I sh it just like the Texas-rig in isolated cover, but I sh it weightless. is is great for heavily pressured sh. I use lighter line in the 10- to 15-pound range and a spinning rod for a wacky rig.

Flipping a worm is the last technique I will cover. is allows you to put a bait in places other styles don’t allow and e ciently pick apart heavy cover. I use a large Senko-style so plastic, and braided line is a must. I like 3/8 to ¾-ounce of weight, depending on the thickness of the cover. Remember, the only way to set yourself apart is to slow down and put your bait in places nobody else has.

Except for the wacky worm, rod and reel choices for each technique are similar. I like a longer 7’6” medium-heavy to heavy action rod for most worm shing. e 13 Fishing Omen Series has a few rods that are perfect for the job. I use a faster-speed reel like the Concept A 7:5:1.

For the wacky worm, I like a 7’ 3” spinning rod in medium-heavy. A reel with good drag is important, and I’d recommend the Axum from 13 Fishing.

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

The fght for an unforgettable catch begins here. From elusive bonefsh to massive tarpon and beyond, fy fshing adventures across The Out Islands’ shallow-water fats offer more thrills and tales for even the most experienced anglers. See what could be waiting on the other side of your line. Discover our specials at 300
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NEW YEAR NEW PROJECTS TO TACKLE JOHN DEERE TRACTOR TAKE ON ANY TASK WITH A BRAND NEW Some exclusions apply. See dealer for details. Offer ends 2/28/23. FOR MONTHS 0% 60 1025R & 3025E

Since 1990, CraigCat has offered big performance in a compact, easy-to-use package! Their (DSTS) Dynamic Sport Tuned Suspension system, and (CHD) Calibrated Hull Design give you the smoothest ride and high-performance fun that no one else can duplicate, even in less than favorable conditions. Their (ASC) Automatic Stability Control gives the driver and passenger confdence in almost any conditions.

Whether it is fresh or saltwater, fshing or sightseeing, CraigCat has the right model for you! They have taken the CraigCat to a whole new level with the exclusive package. Loaded with amenities, the CraigCat E2 Elite features a premium JBL highdefnition sound system with USB and Bluetooth connectivity, custom deluxe bucket seats, full-width composite storage compartment, convertible Bimini top, ion docking, NAV, position, and LED courtesy deck light. They offer a wide range of accessories like the very popular GPS navigation system with down imaging sonar, wing storage racks for additional storage, polished stainlesssteel propeller, and the list goes on.

Portability is a big thing when it comes to boats. Not only is a CraigCat very portable with a total weight of 550 pounds, practically any car can tow a CraigCat with the combined weight of 800 pounds, boat and trailer. High quality and great value are what you get with a CraigCat.

With costs sky rocketing out of sight in the marine business, the CraigCat is very affordable. The E2 Elite 25hp model complete is only $13,485!

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Here’s a memorable beach moment: You’re basking in the warm sun, toes in the sand, letting the gentle turn of the foam-capped waves lull you into a state of complete relaxation. As your eyes scan the endless horizon of blue on blue, you’re rewarded with a school of dolphins making their way across the sea. There’s no denying their signature shape as they leap from the water. If you don’t see anything else extraordinary the rest of the day, you can take solace knowing you’ve witnessed one of nature’s most playful and intelligent creatures in their natural habitat.

Why not re-create that special toes-in-the-sand moment with our Blue Topaz Dolphin Pendant? The beloved sea mammal has been captured mid-jump in sterling silver. And, tucked into its fins is a full two carats of shimmering blue topaz. Nothing captures the shimmering color of the ocean in the midday sun like blue topaz. With its sparkling clear blue color and high refractive index, blue topaz is one of the top-selling blue gemstones. And with our special price, you have quite the catch. Satisfaction guaranteed or your money back. Enjoy the Blue Topaz Dolphin Pendant for 30 days. If it doesn’t pass the test swimmingly, send it back for a full refund of the item price.

Limited Reserves. A full two carats of genuine blue topaz set in sterling silver for this price is as rare as a dolphin sighting. We cannot guarantee availability for long. Call today!

Stauer… Afford the Extraordinary ®

Flip Flip Hooray! • 2 ctw blue topaz; ½ ctw Ultimate Diamond Alternative®, DiamondAura® • .925 sterling silver setting • Sterling silver chain sold separately 14101 Southcross Drive W., Ste 155, Dept. DPP343-03, Burnsville, Minnesota 55337 Rating of A+ Stauer ® A perfect symbol of fun in the sun for only $79 † Special price only for customers using the offer code versus the price on without your offer code. You must use the insider offer code to get our special price. 1-800-333-2045 Your Insider Offer Code: DPP343-03 Please use this code when you order to receive your discount. Blue Topaz Dolphin Pendant non-offer code price $395 † Offer Code Price Only $79 + S&P Save $316! Limited to the first 1900 responders to this ad only! To show exquisite details, pendant shown is not exact size. Chain sold separately. A full two carats of shimmering blue topaz set in sterling silver “Enormously popular, significantly intelligent and scientifically sophisticated, dolphins are amidst the most beloved animals among people.” — Dolphins-World êêêêê “This sterling silver dolphin is absolutely beautiful and the blue topaz is like the color of the ocean” — Vivian, Cabool, MO


The 2023 Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Classic—widely known as the “Super Bowl of Bass Fishing”—will be held March 24-26 in downtown Knoxville, Tennessee and on the University of Tennessee Campus.

e Bassmaster Classic is one of the world’s most prestigious championship tournaments and pits 55 of the world’s best bass anglers against one another for the title of Bassmaster Classic Champion. e Classic is a catch-and-release event, with bass being returned to the shery under the supervision of the TWRA.

Daily takeo s will be from Volunteer Landing on the Tennessee River in downtown Knoxville each competition day, and weigh-ins will take place in the ompson-Boling Arena on the University of Tennessee campus. e fan favorite Bassmaster Classic Outdoors Expo will be held Friday through Sunday, March 24-26 in the Knoxville Convention Center and the adjacent World’s Fair Exhibition Hall.

All activities and venues are free and open to the public.

For more information, visit

COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM FEBRUARY 2023 NATIONAL 11 The biggest and best fleet of towboats are on your waterways, ready to jump into action when you need help on the water. For peaceful, worry-free boating, be sure to get Unlimited towing from TowBoatU.S. Get Towing and Get Going! 800-395-2628 Details of services provided can be found online at TowBoatU.S. is not a rescue service. In an emergency situation, you must contact the Coast Guard or a government agency immediately.

C-Hawk Boats has made a name for itself among boaters who want no-nonsense, custom-purpose vessels that are designed to perform and built to last. Owner Brad Grubbs said their C-Hawk 25 Center Console is an endlessly customizable boat that has gained a lot of fans among charter captains who fsh them hard every day. “We have 10-plus guides using them on the west coast of Florida,” he said. “In Georgia and South Carolina, they’re using it as a small passenger ferry. In Chesapeake Bay, it’s a crab boat.”

At its core, the C-Hawk 25cc is a hard-core workhorse with a 300 horsepower maximum that will take you anywhere you need to go. Its 9’6” beam allows it to foat in very skinny water with just a 12” draft, and it is also extremely stable, which should appeal for bottomfshing, diving and any other pursuit where a stable platform is preferred. Whatever you plan to do with it, all C-Hawk boats are built battleship tough to commercial-application standards. They are designed to withstand hard use for years of trouble-free boating, and you can customize your C-Hawk from the factory in any way that suits your purpose.

“We can mix and match consoles, fsh boxes, full transoms, cut transoms, bare hulls… you name it,” Grubbs said. “There are some recreational guys adding towers and sight fshing for cobia, and such. Everything we do is built around keep it simple, keep it effcient, keep it easy to maintain, keep it cost effective to own and operate. They are all unique… no cookie cutter trailer queens here. The 25 is a great example of what C-Hawk is.”

LENGTH: 24’11” BEAM: 9’6” DRAFT: 12” DRY WEIGHT: 2,800 lbs. COCKPIT DEPTH: 26” Fwd/ 23” Aft FUEL CAPACITY: 112 Gal. MAXIMUM HP: 300 DEADRISE: 12 degrees TRANSOM: 25”/30”

Old Pete was a retired stuntman bursting with stories. There was the time he stared down a grizzly bear. There was the time he won a competition and got to kiss a Hollywood starlet as the prize. And there was the time he got into a fistfight with the Duke. Many stories. Some were probably even true. I know two things for sure: that he had an excellent collection of turquoise and that he owed me for a poker game he lost. The last time I saw him, he opened a drawer and pulled out a collection of beautiful Navajo turquoise jewelry to repay his debt. Pete’s jewelry inspired our Tucson Sun Turquoise Collection. This jewelry set features turquoise that’s been gently enhanced to bring out its finest shades in a Southwestern motif. Finished with oxidized silver, this jewelry set captures the beauty and mystery of the Arizona desert. The rarest and most valuable turquoise is found right here in the American Southwest, but the future of the blue beauty is unclear. I recently spoke with turquoise traders who explained that less than 5% of turquoise mined worldwide can be set into jewelry. Once thriving, many Southwest mines have closed.

But Stauer saw this coming and is now one of the largest owners of gem-grade turquoise in the U.S. Don’t miss your chance to own the diamond of the desert. Act now. This is one of our fastest sellers, and we only have a limited supply of Arizona turquoise available for this ad. See why Stauer remains the best bang for your buck!

Jewelry Speci cations:

• Arizona turquoise. Oxidized silver finish. Ring: whole sizes 5-10. Pendant: 1 ¾" drop. Cuff: fits wrist to 7 ¼".

Stauer, 14101 Southcross Drive W., Ste 155, Dept. TSC130-01, Burnsville, MN 55337

$299 $59* + S&P Save $240 B. Pendant (7 ½ ctw) $399 $79* + S&P Save $320 C. Cu (11 ctw) $499 $149* + S&P Save $350 18" Sterling Silver Rope Chain $59 + S&P Pendant & Chain $458 $129 + S&P Save $329 *Special price only for customers using the offer code. Own the diamond of the desert! Gambling Debt Reveals Stunning Turquoise Jewelry C. B. A. What customers are saying about Stauer turquoise:  “Simply perfect” — Tom J. “Stunning pieces” — Marilyn W. “So pleased!” — Linda K. Genuine Arizona turquoise starting at $59 1-800-333-2045 Your Insider Offer Code: TSC130-01
Tucson Sun Turquoise Collection A. Ring (1 4/5 ctw)
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Introduced in the New Product Showcase at ICAST 2022, the all-new MHX HD Rod Rack is the ultimate shing rod storage system with space for up to 20 of your favorite rods.

Constructed from Marine Grade HDPE material, it will never rot, warp or damage your tackle. Assembled with stainless steel hardware, no environment is o limits. Whether used on the dock for a post-trip wash down or just to help organize your garage and tackle room, this rod rack is a solid piece of equipment designed for serious anglers.

From y and light-tackle rods to heavy o shore rods, each rod’s ghting butt sits in CNC Milled recessed cups to add stability to all handle styles. e MHX HD Rod Rack has the size and the brawn to handle your full arsenal, indoors or outside. It even comes with four supports that lock in heavy duty bent butt o shore rods.

Measuring 26” x 16” x 8”, this heavy-duty, multi-purpose rod rack is easy to assemble and will nd a perfect place on your boat or dock, in the garage, or at the shop.

e MHX Rod Rack securely stores your rods, so they are ready at a moment’s notice. With an MSRP of only $229.95, you won’t nd a tougher, more versatile rod rack at such an amazing price. Shop for the MHX HD Rod Rack at today!

The Return of a

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Berkeley County, South Carolina

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:

Culture & Adventure Like No Other!
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SAVOR THE SEASONS in Upcountry South Carolina
Every season is the best season to explore the many treasures in the Upcountry.
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