Coastal Angler Magazine | February 2021 | Daytona/New Smyrna/Deland Edition

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DAYTONA/NEW SMYRNA/DELAND EDITION

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FLOUNDER KAYAKING FOR 'HOOS & SAILS! PHOTO COURTESY OF MALLORY HENDRIX INSTAGRAM: @MALLORY_HENDRIX VOLUME 26 • ISSUE 311

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W O R L D W I D E


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Why Are Dealers Hoarding These 100-Year-Old U.S. Silver Dollars?

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hen it comes to collecting, few coins are as coveted as the first and last of a series. And when big anniversaries for those “firsts” and “lasts” come around, these coins become even more coveted. Take, for example, the 1921 Morgan Silver Dollars. These 90% pure silver coins were the last of their kind, a special one-year-only resurrection of the classic Wild West Silver Dollar. Three years prior, the Pittman Act authorized the melting of more than 270 million Morgan Silver Dollars so their silver could be sold to our allies in the United Kingdom. Facing our own Silver Dollar shortage, the world’s favorite vintage U.S. Silver Dollar was brought back for one year only while the U.S. Mint worked on its successor, the Peace Silver Dollar.

Dealers Begin Stockpiling Last-Year Morgans

Knowing what we’ve told you about special anniversaries, dealers around the country are preparing for a surge in demand. 2021 will mark the 100th anniversary of the 1921 Morgan Silver Dollar—the last-yearof-issue for the most popular vintage U.S. Silver Dollar ever minted. But slow-moving collectors may be disappointed in what they find when they seek out these coins. Since the days of the Pittman Act, millions more U.S. Silver Dollars have been melted or worn down in commerce. It’s been estimated that as few as 15% of all the Morgan Dollars ever minted have survived to the present day. That number grows smaller each year, with private hoards now accounting for virtually all the surviving Morgan Silver Dollars. And that was before silver values started to rise...

Interest in Silver Is on the Rise

19 19 19 19 19 19 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 LY G T T V C N B R R Y E LY G JU AU SEP OC NO DE JA FE MA AP MA JUN JU AU

Silver Trend Chart: Prices based on monthly averages. ©2020, AMS

As you can see from the chart on the left, in 2020, we’ve seen daily silver prices close as low as $12.01 per ounce and as high as $28.33 per ounce. That rise in value has led to a sharp increase in buyers’ interest in silver. We’re already seeing a surge of interest from collectors wanting to add vintage Morgan Silver Dollars to their collections. But at what price?

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Find & Catch Deep Winter Flounder

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By Capt. Michael Okruhlik

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PHOTO COURTESY OF KNOCKIN TAIL LURES

o all flounder migrate offshore during the winter? I can’t be certain, but I have caught them in every month of the year. Those latewinter catches may have been flounder that never left, or they might be some that returned early. But one thing is for sure, during cold weather is when I have caught my largest flounder. Let it be known that I am a lure fisherman at heart, but if you want to consistently target the largest flounder this time of year, live and dead bait rule supreme. A large mullet or shad in the 6-inch range is ideal. Any type of fishfinder rig will suffice with the appropriate weight for the depth of water and strength of current you are fishing. You just need enough weight to keep your bait in contact with the bottom, where flounder live. The method I use for flounder catching is to keep the bait in constant contact with the bottom. Pointing the rod tip toward the water and utilizing a sweeping motion, I twitch my rod, kicking up mud and sand to create a trail of dust that attracts fish. This way I can cover some water in search of a hungry doormat. Once I feel the first tap from the flounder, I pause. I wait patiently for the second and usually a quick third tap. Then I give it a solid hook-set! Flounder will hold on to a bait longer than most inshore species, and they don’t always engulf it all at once. I feel they want to injure their meal before swallowing it, which is why it pays to be patient and wait until they’ve got the hook in their mouth before driving the point home. The best area to target the largest of the species is near structure, specifically bulkheads. Flounder like to bed down next to seawalls, where baitfish have fewer angles of escape. Other structure like rock jetties are also great areas to try. On an outgoing tide, I target drain openings where high tide flows out of the marshes. These drains can be small, 1 to 2 feet of width is all it takes. As long as the marsh behind the drain has enough water to hold bait, it’s perfect. Flounder will stage at the opening of a large drain as well, but no drain is too small, and I feel the smaller ones can easily be dismissed and easily missed. One final note is on tide direction and strength. During a strong outgoing tide, flounder use the tide as easy transportation to open water and focus more on swimming than feeding. I tend to avoid the strong outgoing tide when targeting migrating flounder. Be safe, stay warm, and get out there to catch the largest flounder of your life.

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KAYAKING FOR

A DAY OF DOUBLES By Brian Nelli

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n offshore kayak fishing, many of the milestones we pursue come in the form of knocking off “bucket list” fish. Sailfish is at the top of that list for a lot of anglers in South Florida. The sailfish is a great achievement, but there is one fish that many either write off as improbable or just a dream. That fish is the wahoo. One of the fastest fish in the ocean, it bounces around in kayak anglers’ heads with the question of could today be the day. I’ve been a South Florida kayak fishing guide since 2010. Here, where the currents of the Gulf Stream swing so close to coast, it is possible to launch a kayak from the beach in pursuit of offshore species. I have been fortunate to assist clients in catching multiple wahoo over the years. To give an idea of how special this is, my best year for wahoo saw just six of these speedy fish landed in 150 offshore kayak trips. Now what do you think the chances are of catching two in one trip? How about two at the same time? That is where our story begins. Two days after the December new moon phase, winds were light and the ocean was flat calm. My two clients and I were running live goggle eyes on 60-pound wire stinger rigs tied to 40-pound Yozuri Hybrid Line. We were geared with Shimano Spheros 10k reels paired with Crowder Rods E-Namic 6’6” 15- to 40-pound rods. At dawn, we headed roughly a mile from shore and started slow trolling. All hell broke loose within the first hour. It was a double hook-up on sailfish! The fish pulled my two clients in opposite directions. After screaming directions and running back and forth to each angler, we managed to secure both fish for a great photo before release. That sailfish double already made it a great day, but there was more to come.

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We regrouped and got baits back out in search of another bite. At about 11 a.m., we approached a slight rip line near 150 feet of water. There was very little current and next to no surface action for most of the day, so we slowed down to stick in the rip area. Ten minutes in, I noticed one rod bounce hard and then take off. It was a good high-speed run and then line went slack. I screamed to keep reeling no matter what, as this is typical for a wahoo strike. Sure enough, the fish came tight again for another run to the bottom. As I yelled to one angler, the other client’s rod started bouncing. He reeled down, and there was head thrashing on surface. The fish circled the yak twice, and I

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gaffed the 29-pound wahoo within minutes. Once we got that one, I knew by its behavior the first fish was going to be a wahoo, as well. I was excited and shaking. I’ve been hunting a double wahoo for a decade or more. Ten minutes later, with that first fish safely in-hand, I let out a scream heard round the world, “We did it! DOUBLE WAHOO!” Brian Nelli operates Pushin’ Water Kayak Charters offering inshore and offshore kayak fishing trips out of South Florida. Contact him at Brian@tckayakfishing.com and check out his website at www.tckayakfishing.com.

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he very best hunting knives possess a perfect balance of form and function. They’re carefully constructed from fine materials, but also have that little something extra to connect the owner with nature. If you’re on the hunt for a knife that combines impeccable craftsmanship with a sense of wonder, the $79 Huntsman Blade is the trophy you’re looking for. The blade is full tang, meaning it doesn’t stop at the handle but extends to the length of the grip for the ultimate in strength. The blade is made from 420 surgical steel, famed for its sharpness and its resistance to corrosion. The handle is made from genuine natural bone, and features decorative wood spacers and a hand-carved motif of two overlapping feathers— a reminder for you to respect and connect with the natural world. This fusion of substance and style can garner a high price tag out in the marketplace. In fact, we found full tang, stainless steel blades with bone handles in excess of $2,000. Well, that won’t cut it around here. We have mastered the hunt for the best deal, and in turn pass the spoils on to our customers. But we don’t stop there. While supplies last, we’ll include a pair of $99 8x21 power compact binoculars and a genuine leather sheath FREE when you purchase the Huntsman Blade. Your satisfaction is 100% guaranteed. Feel the knife in your hands, wear it on your hip, inspect the impeccable craftsmanship. If you don’t feel like we cut you a fair deal, send it back within 30 days for a complete refund of the item price. Limited Reserves. A deal like this won’t last long. We have only 1120 Huntsman Blades for this ad only. Don’t let this BONUS! Call today and beauty slip through your fingers. Call today! you’ll also receive this

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earlier, the biggest trout caught during February and March will eat crappie-sized jigs… so, there goes that theory. For the most part, though, I like bigger shrimp to eliminate as many of the dink trout bites as possible, but even the dinks will give the biggest shrimp you throw a whack. When you miss a bite, I always say, “don’t Tim Barefoot worry about it, it’s a dink.” Trout always eat a shrimp from behind, so they can fold the shrimp up and swallow it with the horn going forward. his is the time of year when the inshore bite can slow down or get hot as a firecracker, especially for speckled trout. Always. A missed bite usually means the fish didn’t have a mouth large Right now, bait size can make all the difference between enough to “inhale” your shrimp backwards. Another key ingredient stacking ’em up and getting to getting bites in cold water skunked. Live baits are is the speed of the retrieve. really the best bet when This is a perfect situation to things get tough, but for use a sliding cork or a fixedhard-headed anglers—like depth cork. For example: If me—who prefer artificials, you’re in water 6 feet deep it’s important to use smaller and you want to slow the profile baits and slow down bait way down, set the stop the retrieve considerably. at 5 feet and just let the As a matter of fact, I cork stand up and drift the know a guy who scales same speed as the current, down to crappie-size or if there is no current, jigs through the coldest just barely slow-take a stretches of February and wind on the reel to keep March. the bait moving forward. I prefer a smaller Don’t twitch the bait, just version of the same shrimp barely move it forward, and I always use. I normally always use a shrimp scent throw the 4-inch shrimp on like Pro Cure Shrimp. a jig head, but when it gets cold, I like the 3-inch size. There is not a time of the year when fish won’t eat a shrimp; there’s only a Videos for this style fishing will soon be available at: few weeks of the year when they won’t eat the 4-inch version. The reason I normally throw the bigger shrimp is that the old saying, BAREFOOTCATSANDTACKLE.COM “bigger bait, bigger fish” kind of holds true for seatrout. But like I said

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Uniquely American stone ignites romance

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n May 18, 1980, the once-slumbering Mount St. Helens erupted in the Pacific Northwest. It was the most impressive display of nature’s power in North America’s recorded history. But even more impressive is what emerged from the chaos... a spectacular new creation born of ancient minerals named Helenite. Its lush, vivid color and amazing story instantly captured the attention of jewelry connoisseurs worldwide. You can now have four carats of the world’s newest stone for an absolutely unbelievable price. Known as America’s emerald, Helenite makes it possible to give her a stone that’s brighter and has more fire than any emerald without paying the exorbitant price. In fact, this many carats of an emerald that looks this perfect and glows this green would cost you upwards of $80,000. Your more beautiful and much more affordable option features a perfect teardrop of Helenite set in gold-covered sterling silver suspended from a chain accented with even more verdant Helenite. Limited Reserves. As one of the largest EXCLUSIVE gemstone dealers in the world, we buy more carats of Helenite than anyone, which lets us give you a great price. However, this much gorgeous green Helenite Earrings for this price won’t last long. Don’t miss out. Helenite is only found in -a one section of Washington State, so with purchase of call today! Helenite Necklace Romance guaranteed or your money back. Experience the scintillating beauty of the Helenite Teardrop Necklace for 30 days and if she isn’t completely in love with it send it back for a full refund of the item price. You can even keep the stud earrings as our thank you for giving us a try.

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Winter Surf Fishing Forecast

W

ith beach erosion from the fall hurricanes, some areas of the Treasure Coast have developed a sandbar. To get to the best water, surf casters need to think about getting their baits farther out past the sandbar. You’ll need to go across the sandbar with longer casts by using heavy spoons or jigs or wade across the trough and fish from the sandbar. On low tide, you absolutely need to fish from the sandbar to get good results. Surf cast with 3/8-ounce chartreuse jig with a 4-inch plastic bait in pearl white. One- or 2-ounce silver crocodile spoons are another good choice, and you can cast them a mile. Bait schools have been sporadic recently, so look for birds to locate feeding fish. No birds, no fish. Schools of jacks, mackerel and bluefish are cruising the beach. They are in the trough early in the morning on medium to high tides. It’s best to fish the trough at around 7 a.m., when the sun rises. If cold weather has kept you out of the surf or from getting out to the sandbar, consider using neoprene waders. Waders are also great for fishing the Indian River Lagoon. There are a lot of jacks in the lagoon right now, with larger ones hanging around the bridges and deeper water. Pompano are being caught on sand fleas and fish bites on the incoming tide from Fort Pierce Inlet to the St. Lucie Inlet. Some are nice sized, but the numbers aren’t great. Whiting and croaker are being caught on shrimp, sand fleas and cut bait. I’ve caught some on small jigs and spoons at high tide around the trough. There are a lot of beach accesses from Fort Pierce Inlet to Bathtub Beach and St. Lucie Inlet. Although Bathtub Beach is closed, the St. Lucie inlet is within walking distance from other beach accesses. Stop and look for bird or bait activity before you decide to fish. Although the feeders are in the trough early in the morning, you’ll need to find baitfish to have success during the day. I use a medium-action, 7-foot spinning rod and 10- to 20-pound braid. I like white line, for its visibility, and I use a 30- or 40-pound fluorocarbon leader in the winter months. Make sure you retie your lure after catching a few mackerel, ladyfish or bluefish so you don’t lose the big one because of frayed line.

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THE PERFECT GRIP By John Saporito

A

handle is much more than just the part by which you hold the rod. It is the conduit that transmits strikes to your hands and the trusted grip that ensures a hold on the fish of your dreams. But not all handles are created equal, and each material has strengths and weaknesses. Whether buying a factory rod, building your own or having a custom rod built for you, it pays to know which handle style is the best choice for the job. This primer will give you a “grip” on which one is right for you. EVA Foam: Foam handles are common across all types of fishing rods. They are inexpensive and durable, making them a go-to option for anglers. However, foam is neither the most comfortable choice nor the best in terms of grip. It can become slippery when wet or after handling fish. It also lacks true sensitivity, muffling what is transmitted from hook to hand rather than delivering it directly. Cork: A fan favorite, cork is as comfortable as it is elegant. However, it is less durable and more expensive than foam. A lightweight material, cork offers good sensitivity and a solid grip—even when wet. Split Grip: A split grip is simply a handle that is partly covered with foam, cork or another material, and partly left bare. The narrow diameter of the naked rod won’t tire out a hand over long periods

of use and allows for maximum sensitivity, translating whatever is happening on the end of the line to the hand as efficiently as possible. Lacking coverage of their entire length, split grips are also very lightweight. The gripping potential depends on the material. The main concern of split grips is durability, as the unprotected portion is damaged more easily than a fully covered handle. Cork Tape: A favorite of surf fishermen, cork tape offers an incredibly reliable grip under all conditions. Its “sandpaper” texture may scare some anglers off, but it is actually quite comfortable. Cork tape is durable, although it may need replacing after seasons of use—much like the grip on a golf club. It promotes good sensitivity due to the thin and firm nature of the material. It is perhaps the most underutilized handle type of all. Heat-Shrink Vinyl: A cork-tape lookalike, vinyl permits excellent sensitivity, is comfortable, and provides good gripping grip materials are available for the rods that meet ability. It is both durable and inexpensive. Many anglers turn to heat-shrink vinyl as an easy your needs. Then, the decision will practically make itself. replacement for worn handles on well-used rods. In the end, selecting a handle doesn’t need to be a confusing affair. Evaluate which qualities you Lifelong fisherman and student of predatory fish, seek in a rod, how the rod will be used, and which visit John Saporito online at guerillaangling.com.

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FEBRUARY 2021

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good eating. Florida limit is 25 per person. Check local regulations if you fish in lakes.

12th Annual Shad and Crappie Derby – Derby ends February 28, 2021 at sunset. Hurry, there is still time to win! Visit www. coastalanglermag.com/orlando to learn how to register. Water levels have dropped, and the water flow has slowed. Largemouth bass, black crappie and American shad are February target species. The spawn is on! Speckled perch (crappie) are feasting every chance they get during the spawn. Minnows are plentiful in the river system and grass shrimp round out their diet. Jigs slowly trolled (tipped with minnows) along channel edges is a sure bet. Watch your depth recorder in the river bends while trolling and you will learn to see them before they strike the lures. Crappie spawn in colonies and bunch up – locate them and troll many passes for a bucketful of

Shallow beds during full and new moon phases will produce the biggest bass all year. Bass and shiners are synonymous in February. Slow trolling large wild shiners in pre-spawn areas (not more than 500ft. from the beds), can yield the monster you’re looking for. Catch, photo, and release these large female fish for the reproductive cycle to complete. Choose artificial baits that mimic predators of eggs, namely: lizards, shiners, and bream. Lipless Rattle Trap style crank baits, plastic lizards, and shallow surface lures work great. Look for sunshine bass feeding at first light near the mouth of the lakes, especially the west side of Lake Monroe near Interstate 4. Shad are in full swing; go get them while they last. Small tandem jigs trolled against the current at 1.5 to 2.0 mph should get a strike in shad alley – between Mullet Lake Park and Puzzle Lake.

long because the bigger fish have a big appetite and want to feed without exerting a lot of energy.

In West lake Toho, the bass bite is right on schedule. The females are in shallow water spawning on the beds. This is the best time to put the trolling motor in and hunt for bass beds. One of the most important tools is a good pair of polarized glasses to cut the glare off the water. Bait of choice will be anything that you can see in the bass bed that the fish will pick up. My favorite color and soft plastic is a white senko. Most fish are being caught in the Kissimmee grass in 2 to 3 feet of water. Sandy areas are best. Bass will go back to the same bedding areas, and in a month’s time, several bass will use the same bed over and over. Live wild shiners will produce even bigger bass during the spawn. I prefer wild shiners 8 to 12 inches 8 CENTRAL FLORIDA

The crappie bite is right on time in the Kissimmee chain. Look for the crappie to be spawning in shallow water around any vegetation like lily pads, reeds, and Kissimmee grass. The males will be the first ones in, competing for spawning areas. The males will be smaller and their tails will be all shredded up from fanning the beds. The male crappies will be aggressive, ready to eat anything near the bed. Bait of choice is minnow on a gold hook under a float. Now the key is to keep coming back every few days and you will find the big females will come in. One other thing to check is, outside the edge of the grass line, sometimes when the males are in the female crappie stack outside, then slowly move in and you can really work them over. Florida crappie bag limit is 25 per person any size.

FEBRUARY 2021

Reminder - our Seminole Junior Angler Annual Fundraiser is February 13 - Saturday. Boat Tree Marina hosts our St Johns River Bass Bash. This is an open tournament everyone can enter – tell your bass fishing friends weigh-in will be at 2:30 pm. Please share this on Facebook and all social media outlets. We would like to shoot for 75 boats this year. Boat Tree Marina for the weigh-in is located off Interstate 4 at exit 104, 4370 Carraway Place, Sanford, FL 32771. Registration at 5:30am at St Johns River Lake Monroe Wayside Park, launching at safe light. Looks like we all made it to the second month of 2021. I am hoping and praying this year treats us all much better. It certainly looks like the fishing is picking up where it left off. Most Central Florida lakes are perfect temperature for the big girls to move on up to the shallows to do their thing. Some big fish are being caught in Lake Harris. I fished the New Year’s Day tournament, and it took a whopping 37 lbs. to win. Our SJA team is currently in 11th place in Club of Year Standings for Florida Bass Nation High School. We are a young squad this year losing 7 seniors last year. The team of Wright / Blevins is new to us and they are leading our squad with a top 20 in Team of the Year for BASS Nation High School Series. We are fishing on Big O in February and hope to catch some monster bags. The water temp and moon phase should be setting up perfectly for every team to do very well. Thank you again to our volunteers, captains, and each sponsor that helps us along the way. Tight Lines to all. If you have a high school aged son or daughter who would like to fish competitively for a great team, please contact Dave DiMauro, Director, 407-353-4575.

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Saturday, February 13th 2021 5:30AM-Safe Light : Registration / Launch

1st Place Guaranteed $1500*

St. John's River Lake Monroe Wayside Park * $125/boat (includes Big Bass) *

2:30PM : Weigh In 3:30PM : Raffle Drawing & Trophy Presentation at Boat Tree Marina

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Come out for a day of fun for the whole family! Eat, Drink, and check out the local vendor booths Enter the raffle for a chance to win awesome prizes! Cheer on the anglers as they weigh-in big St. John's River Bass! Contact Dave DiMauro 407-353-4575

Proceeds Benefit Seminole Junior Anglers High School Fishing Organization Tournament and Travel Costs for the 2020-2021 Season *Based on 50+ boats (if under 30 boats, 1st place guarantee will be $1,000)

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Boat Dealers New & Consignment Sales 1 - Astor Marine (352) 759-3655

24535 FL-40, Astor, FL 32102 www.astormarine.com

2 - Nobles Marine (352) 787-5792

437 N Palmetto St, Leesburg, FL 34748 or 1931 N. Hwy 19, Crystal River www.noblesmarine.com

3 - Craig Catamaran (407) 290-8778 4333 Silver Star Rd. #100 Orlando, FL 32808

4 - Triangle Marine (352) 343-6146

18 - Monroe Harbor Marina (407) 322-2910 31 N Palmetto Ave, Sanford, FL 32771 www.moroneharbor.com

42 - Central Florida Airboat Tours (407) 32107534650 E State Rd 46, Geneva, FL 32732 www.centralfloridaairboattours.com

6 - Sea Tow of Central Florida Lakes

31 - Pyramid Cabinets (407) 947-8499

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

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

51 - A & D Custom Canvas (407) 331-8184 725 Montana St. Orlando 32803

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

(877) 800-1492 12307 Wedgefield Drive , Grand Island, FL 32735

Bait & Tackle Shops / Outfitters / Apparel

451 Fairvilla Road, Orlando, FL 32808 www.codepyramid.com

15 - The Florida Angler (352) 708-8290

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

5 - Lakeside Bait & Tackle (352) 742-3336

1000 W Burleigh Blvd, Tavares, FL 32778

55 - Vapor and Company (407) 878-7397 3621 S. Orlando Dr., Sanford, FL 32773 www.vaporandco.com

1021 N Orlando Ave, Maitland, FL 32751 www.centralfloridamarine.com

7 - Owens Fishing & Marine (352) 357-3030

59 - Celery City Craft (407) 915-5541

38 - Orlando Boat Sales (407) 253-7111

11 - Highbanks Marina & Camp Resort

11415 US-441, Tavares, FL 32778 www.trianglemarinecenter.biz

30 - Aamco East Orlando (407) 277-3311 6304 E. Colonial Dr. Orlando FL 32807 Full Service Mechanics

25 - Central Florida Marine (407) 647-6262

3165 N John Young Pkwy, Orlando, FL 32804 www.orlandoboatsales.com

37 - Southeast Marine (407) 851-1965

7576 S Orange Ave, Pine Castle, FL 32809 www.southeastmarinesales.com

24 - Boat Max USA (321) 866-0306

9700 E. Colonial Drive, Orlando FL 32817 www.boatmaxusa.com

46 - Gibson Truck World (407) 321-0660 3455 S. Orlando Dr. Sanford, FL 32773 www.gibsontruckworld.com 14 - Boat Tree Marina (407) 322-1610 4370 Carraway Pl, Sanford, FL 32771 www.boattree.com

60 - Next Level Inc. “Florida Marine Customs”

(407) 704-5676 • 87 W. Michigan St. Orlando, FL 32806 info@floridamarinecustoms.com

Boat improvement / Service & Repair Centers / Replacement Parts 36 - All American Marine (407) 855-9988 7024 S Orange Ave, Orlando FL 32809 www.allamericanmarineorlando.com

35 - All Star Marine (407) 423-9953 28 W Jersey St, Orlando, FL 32806 www.manta.com

29 - Lake Fairview Marina (407) 295-0117 4503 N Orange Blossom Trail, Orlando, FL 32804 www. Lakefairviewmarina.com

786 Montose St., Clermont, Fl 34711 www.thefloridaangler.com

935 N Bay St, Eustis, FL 32726

(386) 668-4491 488 W Highbanks Rd, DeBary, FL 32713 www.campresort.com

114 S. Palmetto Ave., Sanford FL 32771 celerycitycraft.com

54 -West End Trading Co. (407) 322-7475 202 Sanford Ave, Sanford, FL 32771 www.drinkatwestend.com

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

Areas Best Picks for Restaurants 47 - Jolly Gator Fish Camp Bar & Grill

21 - Bitters Bait & Tackle (407) 699-6619

(407) 349-5554 4650 E State Rd 46, Geneva, FL 32732 www.thejollygator.com

43 - Bithlo Bait & Tackle (321) 355-0591

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

10 - Get Hooked Bait & Tackle (407) 704-8755 670 Kissimmee Ave, Ocoee, FL 34761

40 - High Tide Harry’s (407) 273-4422

65 N US Hwy 17 92, Longwood, FL 32750 www.bittersbaitandtackle.com

17162 Old Cheney Hwy, Orlando, FL 32833

44 - Big Toho Marina (407) 846-2124 69 Lakeview Dr., Kissimmee, FL 34741

4645 S Semoran Blvd, Orlando, FL 32822 www.hightideharrys.com

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

33 - Boston’s Fish House (407) 678-2107 Aloma Square Shopping Center, 6860 Aloma Ave, Winter Park, FL 32792 www.bostonsfishhouse.com

48 - Mud Hole Custom Tackle, Inc.

17 - St. Johns River Steak & Seafood

56 - Orlando Outfitters (407) 896-8220

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

(407) 447-7637 2133 Componet Loop Suite 1001, Oveido, FL 32765 www.mudhole.com 2814 Corrine Dr., Orlando, FL 32803 www.orlandooutfitters.com

Home Improvement Contractors & Service Providers

(407) 878-0980 550 N Palmetto Ave, Sanford, FL 32771

22 - Huey Magoo’s (407) 706-6004

www.hueymagoos.com 10 Locations – See our ad on Restaurant Page

26 - DWR Plumbing LLC. (407) 293-3717

6344 All American Blvd, Orlando, FL 32810

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

32 - Portside Marine (407) 249-1124 2730 Forsyth Rd, Orlando, FL 32792 www.portsideorlando.com

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

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

23 - Talon Marine Services (407) 542-7600

28 - Millennium Electric (407) 420-2001

www.orlandopaintingservice.com

53 - T J’s Seafood Shack (407) 365-3365

439 Aulin Ave, Oviedo, FL 32765 www.talonmarineservices.com

4340 Edgewater Dr, Orlando, FL 32804 www.millennium-electric.com

197 E Mitchell Hammock Rd, Oviedo, FL 32765 12231 E Colonial Dr. #230, Orlando(407) 250-4191 www.tjsseafoodshack.com

20 - Team Marine Services (407) 260-8326 1350 28th Street, Orlando FL 32805 www.teammarineservices.com

41 - Water Works Pressure Cleaning & Sealing

54 - Otters On The River (407) 636-6300

19 - Ahoy Marine (407) 323-8373 511 E 25th St, Sanford, FL 32771 www.superpages.com 10 CENTRAL FLORIDA

FEBRUARY 2021

(407) 376-9526 490 Buck Lake Lane, Geneva, FL 32732 www.jmwaterworksinc.com

4380 Carraway Place, Sanford, FL 32771

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30

32 60 35 36

53

47 42

43

41

40

37 39

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401

44 45

2765 0-4191

COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

FEBRUARY 2021

CENTRAL FLORIDA 11




bait, lighter leaders, and slower presentation. For larger sea trout, target areas where mangrove edges, docks, and other structure are adjacent to deep water dredge holes, sloughs, or canals. When targeting redfish, black drum, and sea trout during the colder months, I like to downsize my bait and fish with shrimp or crab imitation baits like the D.O.A. Shrimp and D.O.A. Crab. February is also a key month for targeting tailing black drum and finding them in deeper channels and around bridge structure.

As water levels and temperatures drop, look for shallow clear conditions on the Mosquito, Indian River, and Banana River Lagoon flats to create some of the best sight fishing experienced all year. On clear sunny days, successful anglers focus on quietly polling the flats in search of redfish and sea Last but not lease, The American trout holed up on shallow sandbars shad run is in full swing on the St soaking up the sun’s warmth. Johns River, and catching shad on ultra-light spin and fly rod is On colder days, an early start as close as you can get to stream is not necessary unless it’s a fishing without leaving Central weekend with limited parking, so Florida. Also, the Coastal Angler read the paper and have an extra Magazine’s Shad and Crappie cup of coffee before heading to the Derby on the St Johns River is in lagoon. Additionally, mullet and progress, so be sure to sign up at other finfish have migrated out of one of the registration locations. the area for the winter, so as the predators feeding habits switch to smaller shrimp and crabs, anglers should switch to a smaller

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East Coast Tide Charts Tide Charts brought to you by these businesses

FEBRUARY 2021 Time

1M

2Tu

3W

4Th

5F

Cobia Time! Last year February was the best ling run we had. Many of the giants were caught in February and March. Take advantage of those sunny days and go look around the 55-foot depths off Patrick Air Force Base, south of the Port. The rays are showing up! Massive schools of redfish have been near the Port and around the tip of the Cape Canaveral. Look for the birds diving and there is a good chance you find ‘School X’, nicknamed by local guides. The reds will eat anything you throw in the school, buck tails, bunker, and I’m sure even a hotdog. 35lbs plus sized fish! Large bunker schools are here, so take the time and cast net some. They may not be flipping so watch your machine and the mud balls. Offshore on the days we can get out have been great, but this is 14 CENTRAL FLORIDA

also the time of year that the kings are picky. If the kingfish don’t have a live bunker or threadfin flashed in front of their face they won’t eat. You will literally watch everyone around you hooked up and they will not touch a dead spinner bait. Put the effort in to catch live baits! Many of my offshore trips turn into port trips and beach trips if we are 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 20lb test leader to a small swivel then mainline. On the mainline use a 1 or 1.5 oz egg sinker - this is a typical fish finder rig. Everything eats a shrimp. Shark fishing has been on fire as well. Large blacktip, hammerhead and blacknose have been plentiful. A bunch of bull sharks too. This time last year the big extinct sandbar sharks moved in, so we are hoping they do the same thing. They are a blast to catch in shallow water.

FEBRUARY 2021

6Sa

7Su

8M

9Tu

Miami, Government Cut

Height

4:30 AM -0.4 11:12 AM 2.4 4:58 PM -0.4 11:38 PM 2.3 5:21 AM -0.3 11:57 AM 2.3 5:49 PM -0.4 12:33 AM 2.3 6:16 AM -0.1 12:46 PM 2.2 6:46 PM -0.4 1:32 AM 2.2 7:17 AM 0.0 1:41 PM 2.1 7:48 PM -0.4 2:36 AM 2.2 8:23 AM 0.1 2:44 PM 2.0 8:53 PM -0.4 3:45 AM 2.1 9:31 AM 0.2 3:52 PM 2.0 9:59 PM -0.4 4:53 AM 2.2 10:35 AM 0.1 5:00 PM 2.0 11:01 PM -0.4 5:56 AM 2.3 11:35 AM 0.0 6:03 PM 2.1 11:58 PM -0.5 6:51 AM 2.3 12:30 PM -0.1 6:59 PM 2.2

10W

11Th

12F

13Sa

14Su

15M

16Tu

17W

18Th

Time

Height

12:51 AM -0.5 7:41 AM 2.4 1:20 PM -0.2 7:50 PM 2.3 1:40 AM -0.6 8:25 AM 2.5 2:07 PM -0.2 8:36 PM 2.3 2:26 AM -0.5 9:06 AM 2.4 2:51 PM -0.3 9:19 PM 2.3 3:09 AM -0.4 9:45 AM 2.4 3:33 PM -0.3 10:01 PM 2.3 3:50 AM -0.3 10:21 AM 2.3 4:13 PM -0.3 10:41 PM 2.2 4:31 AM -0.2 10:57 AM 2.2 4:53 PM -0.2 11:20 PM 2.1 5:11 AM 0.0 11:32 AM 2.1 5:32 PM -0.1 12:01 AM 2.0 5:52 AM 0.2 12:08 PM 2.0 6:14 PM 0.0 12:44 AM 1.9 6:37 AM 0.3 12:48 PM 1.8 7:00 PM 0.1

Po nce de Leo n Inlet Hig h Ti de -11 m in ute s Lo w Ti de +19 m in ute s

(Approximate Times)

19F

20Sa

21Su

22M

23Tu

24W

25Th

26F

27Sa

Time

Height

1:32 AM 1.8 7:27 AM 0.4 1:34 PM 1.7 7:52 PM 0.1 2:28 AM 1.8 8:25 AM 0.5 2:28 PM 1.7 8:50 PM 0.1 3:31 AM 1.8 9:27 AM 0.5 3:32 PM 1.7 9:50 PM 0.1 4:35 AM 1.8 10:26 AM 0.5 4:37 PM 1.7 10:45 PM 0.0 5:34 AM 1.9 11:19 AM 0.3 5:37 PM 1.9 11:37 PM -0.1 6:26 AM 2.1 12:08 PM 0.2 6:32 PM 2.0 12:25 AM -0.3 7:13 AM 2.3 12:53 PM 0.0 7:22 PM 2.2 1:10 AM -0.4 7:57 AM 2.4 1:37 PM -0.2 8:10 PM 2.4 1:55 AM -0.5 8:39 AM 2.5 2:20 PM -0.4 8:56 PM 2.5

Time

Height

28Su 2:40 AM -0.5 9:21 AM 2.6 3:04 PM -0.5 9:43 PM 2.6 1M 3:26 AM -0.5 10:04 AM 2.6 3:49 PM -0.6 10:31 PM 2.6 2Tu 4:14 AM -0.4 10:48 AM 2.5 4:37 PM -0.6 11:22 PM 2.6 3W 5:04 AM -0.2 11:34 AM 2.4 5:28 PM -0.5 4Th 12:15 AM 2.5 5:59 AM -0.1 12:25 PM 2.3 6:25 PM -0.4 5F 1:13 AM 2.3 6:59 AM 0.1 1:22 PM 2.2 7:28 PM -0.3

Ft. Pie rce Inlet, S. Jetty Hig h Ti de -31 m in ute s Lo w Ti de -18 m in utes

Po nce Inlet, Halifax Rive r Hig h Ti de +5 m in ute s Lo w Ti de +33 m in ute s

Jensen Beach Hig h Ti de +2 ho u r s, 17 m in ute s Lo w Ti de +3 ho u r s, 4 m in ute s

Po rt Canave ral (Tr i dent Pie r) Daily Pre dictio ns

Sewell Pt Hig h Ti de Lo w Ti de

Patr ick Air Fo rce Base Hig h Ti de -1 ho u r, 4 m in ute Lo w Ti de -38 m in ute s

Ju pite r Inlet, S.Jetty Hig h Ti de -10 m in ute s Lo w Ti de -9 m in ute s

Sebastian Inlet Br i dg e Hig h Ti de -48 m in ute s Lo w Ti de -24 m in ute s

Po rt Eve rgla de s - Tu r n in g Basin Hig h Ti de -31 m in ute s Lo w Ti de -13 m in ute s

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+1 ho u r s, 13 m in ute s +2 ho u r s, 9 m in ute s


85

ts

ses

Height

-0.5 2.6 -0.5 2.6 -0.5 M 2.6 -0.6 2.6 -0.4 M 2.5 -0.6 2.6 -0.2 2.4 -0.5 2.5 -0.1 M 2.3 -0.4 2.3 0.1 2.2 -0.3

n ute s n ute s

in ute s n ute s

in

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By Capt. Alex Locallinescharters.com

February is always an interesting month for us fishing the Central East Coast of Florida in kayaks. It can be considered the end of winter and spring settles in quickly. This year seems to be normal for cooler winters like we have had. With this significantly cooler weather we will see many species on the inshore waters look to find deeper warmer waters where they are safe from temperatures dipping too low. One of the most notable of our fish that will do this is the spotted seatrout. In danger of cold water kill offs, they are super smart. The largest trout will hole up in these areas and only leave when the threat of freezing temps is gone and when the urge to partake in the spring spawn becomes too strong for resistance. Large trout that are over 24 inches are more of a solitary fish, but cooler waters will bring these fish together as deeper holes are at a premium on our lagoons. February can be a great month to target them for some amazing catch and release action! These large fish are 100% females and as the matriarchs are the cornerstone of our trout populations, they deserve a pass from the grease pan. Look for areas adjacent to deeper canals and holes that have shallow muddy (preferred) bottoms that will warm quickly as the sun rises. This gives the biggest trout an opportunity to sun and warm themselves then look for a little bite to eat. Unlike the springtime trout bite when warming waters and an influx of bait send pre-spawn trout on the feed with reckless abandon. These February fish will be looking for something a little more subtle than the go to spring topwater lures that get so many great bites. Soft plastics or even a nice live shrimp will be your best baits. With a 3-to-5-inch paddle tail like the SlayerInc.com SST series of plastics rigged on a jig head or weedless being my top choice. Typically, I look to use more natural colors and slowly roll these baits across the bottom. Not only is our lure choice for these fish a little different than in the warmer months, but our prime fishing time alters as well. It’s well known that the best time for those big trout in the warm water is at daybreak and you might not even have a bite after 9 am. For the cool water fish, we sometimes won’t even hit the water until 9 am with the best bite happening as the sun warms those suitable areas. Large seatrout are a bucket list fish no doubt and you would be surprised how many of them come on kayak fishing charters in February.

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CENTRAL FLORIDA 17


FISHING REPORT & FORECAST

F

INSHORE ADVENTURES WITH SKYE

C

February Bite

Po

T

he lagoon and backwaters this past month have been just wonderful! The water quality was great and I spent many days just marveling at its beauty, we have right here in our backyard. I’m really excited this month as I feel we should see further improvement of the water quality and although fishing can be challenging with the wind and colder days on the flats, you have the opportunity to score some really great flats action if you can use the brakes in the weather to your advantage.

Bait movement

I have been watching mullet running in large schools all across the flats, but as it warms up it can be scarce. That means you will find yourself using artificials more often than not, you all know I love my artificials! You will find me on the flights with My favorite DOA paddle tails or jerk baits rigged weedless. We all have our favorite Lures and I am guilty of this as well, but I implore you to use different Lure tactics, spending some time outside of your comfort zone is when you can really grow as an angler.

Trout February is a great month for Trout. In all the usual tactics will be in play and lower light conditions it is top water time for sure however you can toss on a popping cork and hit those Sandy potholes, you can feel at the end of your line there is no better than feeling that rod tip bending and your drag screaming and watching a beautiful Gator Trout Surface. In these cooler Temps you can find these large Trout in the deeper holes bends and cuts schooled up against the mangroves. 18 CENTRAL FLORIDA

FEBRUARY 2021

Sheepshead

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

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Redfish

this is my favorite time to catch these beauties. During these colder Temps Millie’s offers out in the flats, back creeks, and canals. You can find then schooled up fresh LOCALroots seafood in large and small groups. Nestled up against the mangrove hiding , by structure, the Redfish bite is fire right now. We are definitely having a meat and produce. lot of windy and cooler days you will find them up on the leeward banks basking the sun for warmer water temps! However, during the warmer stretches you will find them out in the larger3218 expansive grass flAvenue at roaming S. Atlantic around waiting for you. Wind or cold the fish areBeach there, and the bite on. Daytona Shores, FLis32118 Remember if you don’t go you’ll never know so get out there. So wait are you waiting for get out there and fish!!!!

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FISHING REPORT & FORECAST CAPT JAMIE THRAPPAS

Ponce Inlet & Backwaters

F

ebruary is usually another cold month for us, but it doesn’t mean the fishing can’t be hot! Pompano, sheepshead, mangrove snapper, and black drum should be able to be targeted and help you achieve some meat for the freezer! Pompano will be in deeper channels and along the rocks at the inlet. Sand fleas, shrimp, and even artificial baits like fish bites, and (don’t be afraid to try) banana jigs will help you boat them. Sheepshead also will be a sure go to this month. If you can find fiddler crabs (that is my favorite bait) but a shrimp or sand flea will also do the trick. They will be feeding on structure so rocks, docks, and even mangrove roots covered in growth will help get you in the general area. Just keep

moving around till you find them. Another sure bet this time of the year will be black drum. I use blue

crab quarters or halves for them, but I also get my fair share on shrimp. They tend to be in deeper holes in the back waters, around the bridges north and south of the inlet, and around the tip of the north jetty. The bite windows on tide swings can be a little smaller on the cold days but get out there and catch some fish! As always if you see us on the water say hello! James Thrappas | Yellow Dawg Fishing Charters | 386-366-3424 splashbrandsllc@gmail.com | NATIVE EYEWEAR

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KYE closed ook @ ker87 -9pm COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

FEBRUARY 2021

CENTRAL FLORIDA 19


Ponce Inlet

FISHING REPORT & FORECAST CAPT. MICHAEL SAVEDOW

TIDE CHART F

Edgewater Report

FEBRUARY 2021 High

Date

Low

Moon

ft

PM

AM

ft

PM

11:19

4:27

-0.1

5:05

5:24

0.1

5:54

6:26

0.2

6:46

1

Mon

3.6

2

Tue

3.4

3

Wed

3.3

12:26

4

Thu

1:10

3.4

1:22

2.9

7:29

0.3

7:40

0.0

5

Fri

2:13

3.4

2:26

2.7

8:33

0.4

8:37

0.0

6

Sat

3:21

3.5

3:36

2.6

9:39

0.4

9:38

0.0

7

Sun

3.6

4:43

10:46

0.4

10:41

8

Mon

3.7

5:42

11:46

0.3

11:40

9

Tue

3.8

6:37

10

Wed

3.9

7:29

12:35

-0.2

1:31

11

Thu

3.9

8:17

1:27

-0.2

2:16

12

Fri

8:44

3.8

9:03

3.2

2:15

-0.2

2:56

0.0

12:41

13

Sat

9:26

3.7

9:45

3.2

3:00

-0.1

3:35

0.0

14

Sun

10:06

3.5

10:27

3.1

3:44

0.0

4:13

0.1

15

Mon

3.2

11:09

4:29

0.2

4:52

16

Tue

3.0

11:52

5:17

0.4

5:33

17

Wed

12:05

6:08

0.6

6:15

18

Thu

2.9

12:49

7:01

0.8

6:59

19

Fri

2.9

1:38

7:54

0.8

7:45

20

Sat

2.9

2:37

8:49

0.9

8:35

21

Sun

2.9

3:43

9:47

0.9

9:31

22

Mon

3.1

4:42

10:44

0.8

10:28

23

Tue

3.2

5:33

11:35

0.6

11:22

24

Wed

3.4

6:21

25

Thu

6:49

3.6

7:07

3.0

12:13

0.0

1:05

0.2

26

Fri

7:34

3.7

7:52

3.2

1:01

-0.2

1:46

0.0

27

Sat

8:18

3.8

8:38

3.4

1:49

-0.3

2:26

-0.1

28

Sun

9:01

3.8

9:23

3.5

2:36

-0.4

3:06

-0.2

12:22

ebruary will bring the last few weeks of the winter pattern in Edgewater Backcountry and Mosquito Lagoon if chilly temperatures continue. Late winter targets include redfish, seatrout, sheepshead, black drum, snook and bluefish. Redfish are primarily on the shallow water flats, in the sloughs & creeks. You will also find them at drop off edges in the backwaters and Lagoon. Shallow reds are a common sight fishing target in winter. Search slow and quiet as our skinny water schools are notoriously spooky. Select size shrimp, small live finger mullet, mud minnows, and crab parts best natural baits. Small soft plastics, Gulp baits, and shrimp or crab patterns on fly can be good artificial choices. Sheepshead are always a winter/spring fish that is readily available in our area. They will eat fiddler crabs, small live or peeled frozen shrimp, pieces of clam, oyster or crab. They have a small hard mouth so use a sharp hook of #2 to 1/0 range, as little hardware and weight as possible to make your rig stealthy in the clear winter water. Fish sheepshead’s favorite hangouts; bridges or dock pilings, rock piles, inlet jetties, and oyster bars. You can chum them in with crushed oysters or barnacles scraped off pilings. Black drum also can be caught either deep or shallow, holes, channels, and drop offs in the ICW Georgia caught a nice Black Drum with Capt and backcountry, Michael Savedow in Edgewater Backcountry favorite area winter deep spots again being Ponce Inlet and Haulover Canal where drum, reds, and sheepshead can all be found. Shallow flats can hold schooling black drum, fish them same techniques as redfish with shrimp or crab baits.

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Freak’s Ceviche Will Make You Strong!

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et ready for the Freak’s ceviche! The best, the one and only, with fresh lime juice. We’ve talked about catching pompano, redfish and whiting. Now it’s time for a great recipe for your fish after you catch them. Today, my friends, it’s the ceviche recipe. First, you must catch and filet the fish (no bones!) then chop the filets into small pieces. You will need 1lb of cut fish, 1 Bermuda onion, as much

22 CENTRAL FLORIDA

FEBRUARY 2021

cilantro as you like, 1 tomato, jalepeno to taste, and 1 avocado. Squeeze lime juice, chop tomato, jalapeno, avocado, and onion in a bowl, add the lime juice, salt and pepper, and fish mix and let it stand in the fridge for six hours to marinate and let the acid in the lime do its duty, preferably overnight. Now get some crackers and you are in the game! Put on some island music, get the Red Stripe flowing, invite some friends over to have a nice session. This ceviche will make you strong! Now it’s time for both the fish and myself to head to the smoker!

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A

Jaxx Bock with this Ponce Inlet sheepshead

Samantha Ladanyi caught this beautiful redfish

Bryan Burgess braved the cold for this black drum

Bragboard regular BJ Beuschel took advantage of a sunny day for this redfish on fly

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FISHING REPORT & FORECAST CAPTAIN VINNY

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he first month of the new year is behind us and as for the fishing, it’s off to an excellent start. The fish are on their winter patterns, and with the continued pressure systems coming through have kept the fish feeding heavily. During this time of the year, I can’t stress enough SLOW DOWN YOUR RETRIEVE when throwing artificials. Small twitch baits and paddle tails have been producing most of the action lately. If throwing bait is your choice, stick with some mullet or mud minnows to connect with some reds, trout, or even some nice flounder. I am so happy to share two young anglers who have caught some of their first fish. First is Daxon (aka Dax dynamite) with his first ever snook caught from his backyard. This young man has the bug, and we know we will be seeing some great catches from him in the future. Next up is Aiden Boyer. What a night he had beating up on the black drum at the bridge. I am so happy to see these young guns getting out and fishing. I have built my charter around promoting children to fish and not be on the streets. (Burn drags not drugs) We live by it, and congratulations to you both on some great catches. Hope everyone has a great month and gets out and does some fishing. Tight lines Captain Vinny | Back water outfitters | 631-662-5029

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SEBASTIAN INLET TO FORECAST EAU GALLIE CAUSEWAY BY CAPT. GLYN AUSTIN

J

If the weather stays warms up, the snook and anuary turned out to be a cool month with water temps ranging from 51 degrees to the mid 60s Redfish bite in the inlet will remain strong. Live and the action hasn’t been great in the Lagoon and bait is the key in the daytime and at night artificials the inlet bite has been hit or miss for Redfish and will work well. Bucktail Jigs work well and the Snook. However, the Flounder bite has been better Rapala XRap 14 and the Long Cast 14 are great plugs to fish from the jettys and the rocks along the this year than the past few years. Doc’s Goofy jigs will normally work well in west side of the bridge. The Tarpon will continue the inlet and along the beaches and flats of the to feed on outgoing tide through February during the strong cold fronts lagoon from Sebastian and the above lures will to Melbourne for work as well as Hogy Pompano and bycatch Eels and Paddletails will be jacks, bluefish, and DOA Baitbusters. trout and Spanish If you can get out on Mackerel as well as a the beach, you can jig few big Gafftop Sailcats. for Pompano, Mackerel, We have also caught a Jacks and Bluefish. few Pompano lately on Following those species the Rapala Twitchin in February and March Minnow as well fishing are Blacktip Sharks. You the bait pods we can find can have some great for Trout and Snook. If Eric and his gang with a nice bull red! action Fishing live bait you are fishing Sebastian or even Topwater baits Inlet and the pompano action is slow, you can try jigging the shallow parts for Blacktips that are mixed in and feeding on the of the inlet for flounder using a ½ ounce jighead mackerel and Blues. Keep an eye out for Manta with a Storm 360 Paddletail or a DOA Paddle Tail Rays and if you find them, the cobia should be tagging along. Most live baits and bucktails work with pro cure. 28 CENTRAL FLORIDA

FEBRUARY 2021

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.

CAPT. GLYN AUSTIN Going Coastal Charters www.goingcoastalcharters.com (321) 863-8085 Capt. Glyn Austin and Capt. Jesse Austin are both lifelong Brevard County residents and full-time inshore/nearshore fishing guides. Glyn runs a 23’ Shoalwater tunnel boat and 24’ Wellcraft Bay Boat which are comfortable for up to four anglers and lets them get shallow for inshore fishing and offers a smooth dry ride when fishing the Inlet and nearshore waters of Brevard County.

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SURF FORECAST FISHING

WE REPAIR PENN REELS AND ALL RODS

BY CAPT. LUKAS BRICKWEG

P

ompano fishing Florida’s Central East Coast remains the hot topic for this month’s surf fishing report. Substantially favorable weather patterns have taken hold providing surf fishing anglers with plenty of excuses to hit the beach. With conditions like this, it behooves anybody who’s been waiting for the right opportunity to hit the surf now. Minimal swell and ideal winds have persisted throughout our Space Coast region, creating clean water and light current. In response to the weather patterns and water temps, the fish have responded positively. Consistent catches of pompano and whiting are being reported throughout the entire region, with southern Brevard County beaches having more consistency on a day-to-day basis. Depending on the day and location, it’s been common to find high numbers of short pompano coinciding with the keeper size fish. If you’re engaged in the above-mentioned scenario, you have two options to pursue. Option one is to change location and try to locate larger size fish or, two, you can weed through the shorts as bigger fish will roam through at periods throughout the day. Whichever method suits you best depends on the duration of your surf fishing day, tides—and ambition. It’s always encouraged to make a move if you’re seeing little to no activity. With that being said, if there’s enough activity to keep you hopeful, then it may pay off to stick it out. Tide changes will be critical this month, with their ability to turn on and off like a light switch. Be sure to fish through these tide changes Last year, local youth angler, Abram, to realize what opportunities partnered with Capt. Lukas to take await for those surf fishing first place overall in the Roy’s Surf anglers willing to endure. Fishing Challenge held along the Surf fishing charters have entire East Coast of Florida. had clients reeling in pompano, large bull whiting, and Spanish mackerel. The highlight species, being pompano, reigned in attention, while larger bull whiting exceeding 1.5 lbs didn’t go unnoticed. Commonly, these multiple species are caught around a mass of fish feeding in schools. Once located, it’s very common to have pompano and whiting hitting the beach in rhythm, one after another. These “hot” bites may diminish with a specific tide and then fire back up when the water reaches suitable depths. If you find these larger bull whiting and mackerel around, be sure that you are in a good position to capitalize on the pompano that mix in together. Surf fishing tactics for February would be to hit the beach early for that first light bite, which has proven to be particularly effective as of late. Second, have live or blanched sand fleas, as it seems to be the most productive option for preferred species. As mentioned before in prior articles, be sure to fish multiple zones from the shore, especially at a higher tide. Surf fishing equipment built to send pompano rigs past the breakers need to be reined in and disciplined to cover the troughs closer to shore. I, personally, have a tendency to overcast fish before I have a strategy talk with myself. Proportionally larger numbers of pompano are running the outer zones of casting, but plenty of days have produced well in the short and medium range casts. Good luck and tight lines!

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

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PORT CANAVERAL/ BANANA RIVER LAGOON BY CAPT. JIM ROSS PORT CANAVERAL: It’s anyone’s guess as to what the weather will be like this month, but if it follows the milder, warmer trend we have experienced over the past few year, anglers could hit the jackpot with a variety of great tasting species. On calm days, boaters need to look outside of the Ports basins in the near-shore waters for tripletail and cobia. Floating debris and weeds can often work into the area known as Canaveral Bight if light easterly breezes are blowing. Look for these weeds or flotsam between the Cocoa Beach Pier and tip of the Cape. Sometimes flotsam can be found within a mile of the beaches, but more likely will be slightly farther from shore at about the 3 to 6-mile range. Casting a live shrimp to one of these fish should have your rod bent in no time. Other species that should be possible are whiting and pompano. Look for these two species along the beaches, just outside of the surf break, or near the entrance to the Port. Small pieces of shrimp, clam, or Fish Bites are great choices to tip a ¼ to ½-ounce “pompano style” jig with. You can also use these types of baits on a standard 2 or 3-drop surf fishing rig while fishing from the beaches in Cape Canaveral and Cocoa Beach. Bluefish and small jack are almost a given this month. Small Rapala Lures like the X-Rap (in size 10) can be extremely effective if you are looking for an action-packed day near the bulkheads and jetties. If the winds blow cold most of these fish will move on to warmer waters to our south, but weakfish often replace these other species along the main shipping channel leading into the Ports Basins. Live shrimp on a 3/8 to ½-ounce jig head, or lightly weighted fish finder style rig will usually interest them as they suspend 5 to 15-feet above the Tripletail snap up live shrimp bottom. casted t them as they wait in ambush near floating debris BANANA RIVER LAGOON: outside of Port Canveral. Though this portion of the lagoon has been hit with another fish kill over the past year due to rampant pollution caused by lawn fertilizers, and raw sewage dumping, there are still a few species that are trying their best to make a comeback in these once pristine waters. The canals in the Satellite Beach and Cocoa Beach areas may hold some speckled and silver trout, small redfish, and possibly black drum. This will all be dependent on how the lagoon responds to the continual abuse we put it through on a daily basis. Out on the flats away from these two residential areas there should be some slot sized redfish and trout. Look for them sunning themselves during the mid-day periods. You may also see them slowly cruising along looking for small crabs or shrimp to eat as they get warm in the midday sun. These two species will often congregate near schools or 10 to 15-inch mullet. They won’t necessarily be feeding on the large mullet, but they will use them as sentries to alert the presents of predators such as dolphin. The other reason they mill around with the mullet is to ambush baitfish and shrimp that may be flushed out of the sand by the mullets’ feeding activities. Anglers should cast lightly weighted soft plastics or free line a live shrimp near the mullet schools where the trout and reds are usually waiting to strike. Area bridges may hold big black drum. These fish will usually strike cut crab, sand fleas, or shrimp on a jig head or split shot rig.

CAPT. JIM ROSS

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

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Vincent Canabal got this shot of a lemon shark swimming gracefully over a shallow reef.

SHARK

AWARENESS W

By John Lidington

intertime is shark time off south Florida’s Atlantic coast! Yearround populations of lemon, bull and reef sharks swell as thousands of migrating blacktip sharks move through. The concentration of hammerheads, which feed on blacktips, also goes up. If you poll dive tourists on what marine animals they most want to see, you’ll find sharks at the top of the list. In Palm Beach County, Pura Vida Divers focuses on February as “Shark Month.” This “sharky” time maximizes the probability divers will encounter sharks in the wild. But for those who want more than a passing encounter, February is a great time to take the PADI AWARE Shark Conservation Specialty course. Anyone diving in the ocean will have some thought of sharks lurking

in the back of their mind. But whether of curiosity, anxiety or excitement, these thoughts generally center on shark behavior. When they think of sharks, few divers relate those thoughts to a need for conservation. The shark conservation course aims to change that. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) maintains the “red list” of species threatened with extinction. Of the 1,000 or so shark and ray species, over 30 percent are on that red list. Unfortunately, it’s a downhill trend. In 2019, the IUCN increased the threat level of both the great hammerhead and scalloped hammerhead from “Endangered” to “Critically Endangered” (their highest threat classification) and jumped the oceanic whitetip two levels to “Critically Endangered” from its 2015 ranking of “Vulnerable.” The shark conservation course includes a morning classroom session, followed by a two-tank charter dive in the afternoon. “The course revolves around creating diver awareness of sharks, the threats they face, and the conservation initiatives that strive to protect them,” said Jillian, Pura Vida Divers’ Director of Training. “Students will learn about these themes during the classroom session, along with details about local shark species. Once students have a baseline understanding of sharks as a whole, they’ll learn more about why shark populations are declining and what they can do to make a difference.” After the classroom session, students will head out on two dives. The dives are planned to maximize the chance of shark encounters in a natural setting. “The course is tailored to local shark species, which divers will aim to see and study during the specialty dives,” Jillian said. “Typically, these dives take place at deeper sites—the 70- to 90-foot wrecks and reefs—since that’s where we tend to see more sharks. Since winter is prime shark season, we’re usually lucky enough to see sharks on most dives. As we drift along the reefs or wrecks, students will find and identify different shark species, observe their natural behavior, and identify potential threats.” Nitrox is recommended, though not required, for these dives. If you aren’t enriched-air certified yet, ask about that, too. Contact Pura Vida Divers at (561) 840-8750 and see their website at www.puravidadivers.com.

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Gyotaku G yotaku is a Japanese art form that replicates a catch with a print made from the actual fish. Gyotaku artists can produce a beautiful representation of your catch at a fraction of the cost of traditional taxidermy, and the final product might also compliment your home better than a giant 3D mount. Even better, you can attempt this art for yourself. While providing the satisfaction of catching and memorializing the fish yourself, if you’re quick enough with the process, you can still enjoy eating it. You will need: • A fish • Acrylic paint and paintbrushes • Paper towel • Rice paper or cloth After a long day on the water, the last thing you’ll want to do is start painting a fish. The sooner you get to a print, the better the final product will be. However, it is fine to leave your catch on ice overnight or even freeze it. If you freeze it, make sure it’s as flat as possible and its fins aren’t squished. Fins damage easily when shoved up against the back of the freezer. When you’re ready to start, the first step is to dry the fish. Open all the fins and dry out all the crevices. The drier the fish is, the more readily it will receive paint and transfer it back to your canvas. Next, use rolls of paper towels to prop open and extend the dorsal, pelvic and anal fins and tail. Use bits of paper towel shoved into the gills to give them depth in the final product, as well as propping up the pectoral fin for the same reason. Consider colors of the fish for your paints as well as for which color

16 FLORIDA

FEBRUARY 2021

By Capt. Quinlyn Haddon

paper or cloth you want to use for the background. Then cut a manageable sized piece. Typically, white or black backgrounds produce the best outcome. Apply paint directly to the fish while standing above it. Keep in mind that you want to achieve a two-dimensional image. If you paint too far over the top of its head or too far under its belly, your final image will look obese. This is especially important to keep in mind with rounder fish, like tuna. Have fun with all the details, and don’t forget the eyeball and even small amounts of paint on the teeth. Next, lay the cloth or paper over the painted fish and rub your fingers over it, starting from the center and working to the edges. Be delicate and thorough, touching every ridge on every fin, every contour, every scale and every tooth you painted. Slowly peel off the paper or cloth, let it dry, and then touch up the details. Any fish works for this process, but ones with more pronounced scales, like a snapper, produce a much more detailed print. Capt. Quinlyn Haddon guides with Reel Lucky Fishing Charters out of St. Petersburg, Fla. Contact them at (504) 920-6342.

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Impressive IGFA

By CAM Staff

2020 World Records R

ecords are made to be broken, and with so many species and line-class records out there for anglers to chase, the International Game Fish Association (IGFA) is constantly updating its records. Here’s a quick look at some of the most impressive IGFA records caught and confirmed in 2020.

JUDY LANGENHOVEN Giant African threadfin inhabit waters of the Atlantic coast of Africa and grow quite large. The IGFA all-tackle world record weighed more than 122 pounds. Last July, Judy Langenhoven used a McCarthy paddletail and 30-lb. test to land a 93-pound,11-ounce behemoth from Angola’s Kwanza River. It took her more than an hour to subdue the beast, which set a new Women’s 30-lb. line class record.

JULIETH CASTRO SANCHEZ

RAY YAMAO A big brown trout from Japan might be the most impressive salmonid record from 2020. Angler Ray Yamoa caught the monster 26-lb., 10-oz. brown on Aug. 8, while trolling an Ora Minnow plug on Japan’s Lake Shikotsu. Averaging 870 feet deep, Shikotsu is a 30-squaremile caldera lake that maintains stable temperatures year-round thanks to volcanic influence. It is most famous among anglers for salmon, but it obviously grows big trout, too. Yamoa’s giant brown trout set a new 30-lb. line class world record.

EMILY ROSE HANZLIK

How’d you like to haul up something like this on your next bottom-fishing trip? Julieth Castro Sanchez was jigging a Williamson jig out of Esterillos Oeste, Costa Rica when a giant Pacific cubera snapper yanked on her line. The big snapper weighed in at 70 pounds, 8 ounces, which was good enough for a new Women’s 50-pound line class record. The all-tackle world record, caught off Costa Rica in 1988, weighed 78 pounds, 12 ounces.

Hanzlik is a 15-year-old fishing fanatic with 29 IGFA world records to her name. In 2020, she tallied two records that have already been accepted by IGFA, and her third of the year was still pending at presstime. Last June was good to Hanzlik. On June 12, she set a new women’s 20-lb. line class record with a 22-lb., 6-oz. grass carp from the canals of West Palm Beach, Fla. Then, on June 23, she set the junior class record for jack crevalle at 32 lbs., 10 oz. The jack crevalle Hanzlik is holding in this photo is a pending record. If accepted by IGFA, this 35-lb., 6-oz. jack will be a new women’s 50-lb. line class world record. Hanzlik caught it fishing from the shore in West Palm Beach. COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

FEBRUARY 2021

FLORIDA 19


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PHOTO COURTESY OF BTT

The Deal With

WESTERN DRY ROCKS

A

bout 10 miles southwest of Key West, Western Dry Rocks is an area of reef and rocks known for large spawning aggregations of permit and various snapper and grouper species. Its proximity to Key West as well as the dependable nature of the fishery make it a popular fishing spot, especially for charter captains and private anglers in search of

bountiful half-day trips. Over the past few months, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Resources Commission (FWC) has been mulling a seasonal closure at Western Dry Rocks to allow some of these spawning aggregations to go unmolested by angling pressure. Most recently, FWC held workshops and gathered public input on a proposal to close fishing at a 1-square-mile area at Western Dry Rocks from May through June for the next five years. This time period is the heart of the season when several species congregate to spawn in a relatively small area, which leads to the kind of spectacular fishing that can do damage to overall populations. Western Dry Rocks is a unique environment where it is thought these aggregations play a role in supporting fish populations throughout the Florida Keys and up into nearshore waters of South Florida. Swirling ocean currents collect fish eggs and larvae and carry them northeast up the coast, where they are deposited. Also, Bonefish & Tarpon Trust (BTT) has conducted tagging studies, which show permit from throughout the Lower Keys travel up to 50 miles to the annual aggregation at Western Dry Rocks. FWC data shows angler effort absolutely centers around known aggregation areas, which makes sense. Numerous Keys fishing guides are understandably unhappy about the prospect of a closure. Permit, yellowtail snapper, mutton snapper and gray snapper are all known to aggregate at Western Dry Rocks from April through July. Other species, such as black, Nassau and gag groupers, aggregate at Western Dry Rocks during the cooler months, and they are already protected by seasonal bag limits. BTT has called out for an even longer, four-month closure from April to July at Western Dry Rocks, to encompass the entire spawning season for permit. Permit harvest is already closed throughout the Keys from April through July; however, BTT studies show up to 39 percent of hooked permit at Western Dry Rocks were eaten by sharks before they made it to the boat. “When spawning aggregations are protected, the predictable outcomes are more abundant fish populations with a greater abundance of larger fish in the surrounding area,” reads the BTT press release. At presstime, FWC was collecting public input prior to taking action on the proposal for a seasonal closure at Western Dry Rocks.

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lounder regulations on Florida’s Atlantic coast will be tightened as part of a package designed to restore flounder numbers. Both increased size limits and reduced bag numbers were approved at the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s December meeting. The regulations changes become effective on March 1, 2021. A stock status update suggested the flounder fishery statewide has been in a general declining trend in recent years and is likely overfished and undergoing overfishing on the Atlantic coast of Florida. Other south Atlantic and Gulf states have also reported declines in flounder populations and have been making their own regulation changes. Changes include: • Extend all FWC flounder regulations into federal waters. • Increase the minimum size limit from 12 inches to 14 inches total length. • Reduce recreational daily bag limit from 10 to five fish per person. • Establish an Oct. 15 – Nov. 30 recreational closed season. • For commercial harvesters using allowable gear: Establish a commercial trip and vessel limit of 150 fish from Dec. 1 – Oct. 14, and 50 fish from Oct. 15 – Nov. 30. • Modify incidental bycatch limit for commercial harvesters using non-allowable gear from 50 pounds to 50 fish per trip. • Create a federal waters trawl bycatch limit of 150 flounder per trip from Dec. 1 – Oct. 14, and 50 fish per trip from Oct. 15 – Nov. 30. Learn more about flounder regulations at MyFWC.com/Marine.

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elebrate the fight against invasive lionfish at the seventh-annual Lionfish Removal and Awareness Festival May 15-16 at AJ’s Seafood and Oyster Bar in Harbor Walk Village, Destin. Activities will include fillet demonstrations; family-friendly games and activities; art, diving and conservation booths; and the world’s largest lionfish spearfishing tournament, the Emerald Coast Open. Satisfy your taste buds by visiting any of the participating locations of Lionfish Restaurant Week May 10-14 to try this delicious invasive. The event is currently seeking vendors for the festival and divers for the tournament. Booth space is being implemented to abide by COVID-19 guidelines and allow for social distancing. Learn more by visiting FWCReefRangers.com. Divers interested in competing in the Emerald Coast Open lionfish tournament should register at EmeraldCoastOpen.com. The tournament is currently seeking sponsors and volunteers. The state’s 2021 Lionfish Challenge removal incentive program will begin May 21 and continue through Labor Day, Sept. 6. More details on how to get rewarded for your harvest is coming soon to FWCReefRangers.com.

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Catch A Florida Memory Closed On Banner Year

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ast year was record setting for the state’s Catch a Florida Memory program. The FWC angler-recognition program sent out a thank you to nearly 1,400 program participants who have sent in more than 15,000 submissions for recognition of about 2,800 achievements over the years. One headline-making fish in 2020 was a monster catch coming out of the 2020 Pelagic Shamrock Shootout in Palm Beach in March. The first fish to hit the scales in the tournament was a 194.8-pound big eye tuna caught by Team HYJENX. The species didn’t qualify for the tournament, but it did qualify Anthony Beau Kelly and his fishing buddies for a Florida state record. The monster tuna measured 71 inches in length. Catch a Florida Memory also recognized three new additions to their Grand Slam Tier 1 list. Grand Slams require anglers to catch three specified species in a 24-hour period. There are nine different Grand Slams anglers can pursue for different habitats and styles of fishing. Those appearing on the Grand Slam Tier 1 list must achieve three Grand Slams. Richard Brundage, John Dobbins and George Saridakis landed on the Tier 1 list in 2020. Dobbins qualified with several Family Grand Slams, a Bay and Estuary Grand Slam and multiple Inshore Grand Slams, while Saridakis got on the list with a Reefs and Rubble Grand Slam, an Inshore Grand Slam and a Family Grand Slam. Brundage made the list, with an Inshore Grand Slam, Family Grand Slam and Shoreline Grand Slam. Adam Ball and JD Malone became the second and third anglers to ever reach the Saltwater Fish Life List 50-Fish Club, which is quite an achievement. The two anglers have landed some special catches like Malone’s bull red drum earlier this year and Ball’s yellowfin tuna from back in 1986. It was a

24 FLORIDA

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This 194.8-pound state-record big eye tuna was caught during the 2020 Pelagic Shamrock Shootout.

spectacular adventure for both anglers to reach this milestone. Lastly, Catch a Florida Memory saw countless anglers reach the Life List 10-Fish Club in 2020. This is exciting because it shows new anglers catching a diverse array of saltwater species, not just the same few. In fact, the over 5,200 fish that were submitted in 2020 by nearly 700 different anglers reached close to 1,000 achievements. Find out how to participate by visiting CatchaFloridaMemory.com. Follow the action at the Catch a Florida Memory Facebook page.

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ulf of Mexico anglers have a couple new reasons to be excited as we head into the spring and summer fishing seasons. NOAA is looking at loosening regulations for both Gulf red snapper and gray triggerfish. That should help fill some coolers for bottom-fishers who’ve found it’s sometimes tough these days to catch anything other than snapper and triggerfish. New catch level recommendations for red snapper are expected in time for

the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council’s April 2021 meeting, which should provide time for adjustments prior to the traditional summer peak in recreational snapper fishing. This good news is the result of a massive study called “The Great Red Snapper Count,” a $10-million, congressionally funded, independent stock assessment initiated in 2016 and conducted by 21 scientists and 12 institutions across the Gulf. The Great Red Snapper Count showed red snapper are far more abundant than previously estimated using the Southeast Data, Assessment, and Review stock assessment process that has been used to all but shut down snapper seasons over the last decade. The Great Red Snapper Count estimates that for 2-year-old-plus red snapper there are 23 million off Texas, 29 million off Louisiana, 10 million off Mississippi and Alabama, and 48 million off Florida. It also showed that large fish are comparatively more abundant in the western Gulf than the eastern Gulf. NOAA’s plan is to integrate the Great Red Snapper Count’s findings into its interim analysis for Gulf red snapper. It is worth noting that even though anglers and researchers are seeing more and larger red snapper, the spawning potential of the population is still below the original target of NOAA’s rebuilding plan. Adjustments to the state-specific catch limits are being considered to account for the harvest monitoring programs used by each state. Loosened restrictions on gray triggerfish are being considered following an interim analysis, using video surveys to estimate abundance, that showed the stock size has been increasing, especially in the eastern Gulf, and that catch limits can be increased. The Gulf Council’s Scientific and Statistical Committee recommended increasing the gray triggerfish acceptable biological catch limit to 456,900 pounds whole weight, which allows an increase in the gray triggerfish annual catch limit. Action is expected prior to the end of the 2021 recreational fishing season. The Council is also considering modifications to the gray triggerfish recreational fixed closed seasons and will consider that action in a separate framework action that will also address changes to the vermilion snapper recreational bag limit.

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FEBRUARY 2021

NATIONAL 13


TIPS FOR DIALING ’EM IN

By Nick Carter

A

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here’s no mistaking it when a monster striped bass blows up on the surface. At a slow troll just after first light, you can almost feel it’s going to happen. Behind a planer board, the stinger-hooked gizzard shad begins to struggle. Anticipation goes through the roof as the bait flees for its life. “When you see that big shad get exploded on, it’s like a bowling ball dropped out of the sky,” said Shane Goebel, of Big Ol’ Fish Guiding Service. “The planer board streaks across the water, and it’s on! There’s really nothing else like it.” Goebel has watched this scene take place hundreds of times while guiding the mountain lakes that straddle the Georgia/North Carolina border. He knows what it takes to boat striped bass in the 30- to 40-plus-pound range. Here are Goebel’s tips for dialing in the big-fish bite: 1) Fish Trophy Striper Season: Giants are caught year-round, but fate favors the uncomfortable angler. When the water is cold, baitfish and big stripers are forced into the shallows in search of warmer water. They push out of the main lake and into the backs of creeks and rivers, where big fish are more predictable than when they’ve got the whole lake to roam. 2) Offer Them Everything: By putting out a large spread of different baits, you’re more likely to troll a preferred meal past that big girl’s nose. Goebel fishes as many baits as the confines of a 14 NATIONAL

FEBRUARY 2021

creek allow. He might run a couple planer boards out each side of the boat, a couple freelines off the stern and a couple of balloon baits way in back. He staggers distance and depth to cover water both horizontally and vertically. Goebel fishes a mix of baits, too. Big gizzard shad and rainbow trout are big striper baits, but when blueback herring are the predominant forage, he’ll fish all three at the same time. You never know which bait will get hit. 3) Stay With the Baitfish: You’re probably sick of hearing this, but… “find the bait, and you’ll find the fish.”

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Goebel starts cold mornings in the backs of the creeks looking for baitfish. When he sees what he likes, he deploys his spread and works from the shallows out to the creek mouth as the day advances to follow the movement of baitfish and stripers. On some lakes, diving birds are a dead giveaway. Keep binoculars on the console to scout for gulls. Also, especially on warmer days, don’t be afraid to drop downlines if you mark bait deep in a creek mouth. 4) Keep a Pitch Rod Ready: Goebel keeps lightweight spinning rods rigged and ready with Flukes and Redfins. Those casting rods come in handy when feeding breaks loose on the surface. It’s quicker and easier to cast lures to visible fish than it is to steer a trolling spread over them. And nothing beats fighting a big striper on light tackle. Check out Big Ol’ Fish Guiding Service at bigolfish.com.


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ome days you battle the fish. Some days you battle the elements. Some days you battle both. You know the kind of day. The one that’s chilly, windy and choppy, with spray everywhere. But you’re determined to stay out until you get a few hits. These are the times GILLZ gear was made for. Innovative gear, with performance in every stitch, is designed with a single goal: for you to be able to fish better, longer and harder— in total comfort! Take the Pro Series Full Zip Storm Fleece. Engineered with air pockets embedded in the fabric, it provides insulation and temperature regulation while keeping the hoodie lightweight. This soft, warm hoodie can handle light rain, boat spray and features four-way stretch comfort, three zippered front pockets, a rear key pocket, and is fully lined. The Waterman Pant is ideal on cooler days. Extensively field-tested on the ocean, these pants are made with heavy-duty polyester, yet are amazingly lightweight and durable. Add a quick-dry, stretch fabric for maximum comfort, UV 50+ sun protection, water-repellant coating, security zipper pockets, and these may become your favorite fishing pant. Whatever the conditions, GILLZ has www.gillz-gear.com the gear.

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TACTICS FOR TOUGH DELAYED HARVEST TROUT E By CAM Staff

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ven in the depths of winter, there is trout action to be found on delayed harvest (DH) streams where state agencies stock trout heavily under catch-and-release regulations. DH stretches offer high densities of trout that grow progressively wilder through winter into spring. And while stocked trout are renowned for their gullibility, they can also be difficult at times. Bill Stranahan, a veteran guide with Southeastern Anglers has a few tricks up his sleeve for catching DH trout. Bugger Time: “Wooly Buggers are so important this time of year,” Stranahan said. “You’re looking for that reaction strike. Swing and strip. Keep it moving.” Olive and black are perennial favorite colors whenever and wherever, and for winter fishing he prefers smaller Buggers in sizes 6 to 10. The primary DH stretches he fishes are Tennessee’s Hiwassee tailrace and the Tellico River, which is a freestone. They are very different fisheries, yet swinging and stripping Buggers is pretty much universally productive. Get Down On It: If catching numbers of fish is the goal, nymphing is normally the best tactic. When the trout are less active—especially when they’re holed up in deeper, slower runs during a cold snap—it might be the only way to catch fish. The key to catching fish in these conditions is depth. Trout won’t move far to feed when they’re hunkered down, so getting your nymphs down to them is imperative. Stranahan likes a weighted Pat’s Rubber Legs, or a similar heavy stonefly nymph in sizes 6 to 10. It’s a big buggy-looking mouthful, and it’s also a great anchor fly to fish in tandem with other nymphs. Depending on what the fish want, the Pat’s could be fished below “junk food” like a Squirmy Worm, a mop or egg pattern, or flashy attractor nymphs like a Rainbow Warrior or Lightning Bug. Or, if trout want something more natural, the Pat’s could anchor a small black stonefly nymph, a Hare’s Ear or a Prince. Again, depth is the key, so Stranahan likes a good sliding indicator that’s easy to adjust. Judge the depth of each hole, and try to get your anchor fly to drift just off the bottom. Headhunting: “Depending on how froggy you feel as an angler on a given day, you can go out running and gunning with big streamers,” Stranahan said. On a large tailwater or in deep holes on a smaller stream, big streamers have a way of turning the biggest fish. A big Zonker, a Swimmin’ Jimmy, a Zoo Cougar or one of Kelly Galloup’s other articulated patterns make a commotion when fished on sinking line. You’re trying to get their attention. If you don’t get chased in one hole, switch something up and move until you find what’s working. Sticking to the plan is important, though. You’re hunting a few fish large and aggressive enough to eat a raucous fly. Check out Southeastern Anglers at www.southeasternanglers.com.

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ong recognized for strength, smoothness and durability, PENN Battle spinning reels are revered as reliable workhorses. With upgraded gears and technology, new Battle III spinning reels and combos offer enhanced performance for inshore, offshore and surf fishing, while remaining one of the most accessible reels available. The Battle III is equipped with PENN’s proprietary CNC Gear Technology, which ensures pinion and drive gears are cut to exact tolerances using premium metals. The PENN HT-100 Carbon Fiber Drag System is smooth under the strain of hard-fighting saltwater fish. With a full-metal body and sideplate, Battle III reels stand up to the harsh marine environment. These features make Battle III extremely durable and high performing across a wide range of applications, at a price point that encourages anglers to get down and dirty with fish. Additional features include a superline-ready spool, line capacity rings for easy reference and 5+1 sealed, stainless ball bearings. Battle III comes in nine sizes, from 1000 to 10000. Three high-speed configurations, designated by an eye-catching red-and-black trim package, are also available. Battle III Combos feature graphite composite blanks with updated actions for inshore models, PENN Dura-Guides and a Sea-Guide double locking nut reel seat. Also new for 2020 are two new travel models, which include a case, reel and spare spool. If you’re looking for high-end performance and durability at a surprisingly low cost, check out PENN’s new Battle III reels and combos. They’ll serve you for years in the surf, on the deck of a skiff www.pennfishing.com or out on the open blue.

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ebuting the Hinged Pontoon Anchoring Solution and Retractable Tritoon Anchoring Solution at Pennsylvania’s Lake Youghiogheny, E-Z Anchor Puller president Aaron Knopp and system installer Don Snyder spoke about and demonstrated the ease-of-use of these two permanent solutions. Underneath the crossmembers of a 24-foot Playbouy pontoon, a Hero EX-1 drum anchor winch was paired with the Hinged Solution, while the Retractable Solution was retrofitted to the 24-foot SouthBay tritoon sporting the Hero EX-2. Read on to discover the similarities and differences between these two innovative solutions that anyone can install! Aesthetics: The difference between the two is a matter of visibility; the Hinged protrudes ever-so-slightly underneath the deck in order to lift and drop the river anchor out of the water, whereas the Retractable remains completely invisible until it slides out from underneath the boat to release anchor, rode and chain in one sweeping motion. While some prefer to see the river or mushroom anchor lifted and held by the Hinged, a waterproof, wifi camera is also available so the operator can watch their Hero EX-1, EX-2 or Patriot EZ-1 deploy the rode from their smartphone. Mechanics: Each system’s operational differences lie within hollow-tube raceways. While the Hinged system has a folding bow roller that lifts when the anchor makes contact, the Retractable system has an internal spring that compresses with deployment and retrieval. Installation: For the Hinged solution, place the bow roller head so it protrudes slightly from under the deck. Keep trailering in mind, and plot where the best-suited location is in tangent when trafficking your boat to and from the water. The sleeve of the hollow raceway, which is immediately connected to the hinged bow roller’s head, is placed directly on the edge of the bullnose/front of the decking bracket that secures the square hollow raceway

Scan the QR code with your smartphone to watch the full review of the Hinged and Retractable solutions’ performance, installation, drum winch stats and more.

to the vessel’s crossmembers. For the Retractable, install the raceway 10 to 12 inches from the front of the boat. Both solutions have four drilled holes at the opposite end of the solution (the drum winch end) to allow for further flexibility when mounting to the crossmembers of the boat. Hardware: Both solution kits come with a universal underside mounting plate with pre-drilled holes for the winch selected. Elongated slots are designed to fit any crossmember, no matter how close or far apart they may be. Additional mounting hardware includes required mounting brackets, hex bolts, lock nuts and flat washers. Both solution raceways have several predrilled holes to correctly locate the included mounting tabs and brackets to the crossmembers, and both can be powered by the Hero EX-1, EX-2 or Patriot EZ-1. The drum anchor winch of choice is sold separately.

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NATIONAL 23


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4-1/2" Angle Grinder

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Compare to Ironton 61451 $22.99

56%

Use Online & In-Store

*56291813 * LIMIT 4 - Exp. 3/3/21* 56291813

ITEM 69645/60625 shown

$

$

$

ITEM 56621/56622/56623/56624 shown

Use Online & In-Store

*56293492 * LIMIT 1 - Exp. 3/3/21* 56293492

115

Compare to ShelterLogic 76377 $290.75

199Use Online & In-Store 99 ITEM 62859/63055/62860 shown

99 *56312091* LIMIT 1 - Exp. 3/3/21*

ITEM 61277/63881

3/8" Drive 1/2" Drive

$

ITEM 62431/63882 shown

Compare to Husky H2DTWA $89.97

9

*56323345* 56323345

LIMIT 4 - Exp. 3/3/21*

*Original coupon only. No use on prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase or without original receipt. Valid through 3/3/21.

hft_coastalangler_0221_M-REG176349.indd 1

Compare to Neocraft 60635 $51.45

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*56282372 * LIMIT 3 - Exp. 3/3/21* 56282372

ITEM 62515/66911 shown

SUPER COUPON (4094)

230

ITEM 60363/69730 shown

Use Online & In-Store

*56299466 * LIMIT 3 - Exp. 3/3/21* 56299466

Compare to Honda GX200UT2QX2 $329.99

ITEM 68121/69727 CALIFORNIA ONLY

69

99

Save Compare to Ironton 54123 $84.99

29%

Use Online & In-Store

*56301321 * LIMIT 2 - Exp. 3/3/21* 56301321

SUPER COUPON (2300)

5999

$ 99

Use Online & In-Store

1,100+ Stores Nationwide • HarborFreight.com

99

99

2500 lb. Capacity Electric Winch with Wireless Remote Control

YOUR CHOICE

1999

$

$

ITEM 68998/63248 64080/64263 shown

$

88%

1999 27

$

(2580)

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ITEM 61276/63880

18" Working Platform Step Stool

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Compare to Anvil A137HOS $75.88

$

1/4" Drive

(5547 )

SUPER COUPON

Click-Type Torque Wrenches

$

SUPER COUPON

$ 99 $ 12499

60%

40

56252177

6.5 HP (212 CC) OHV Horizontal Shaft Gas Engine

3999

(4271)

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56312091

56277684

2999

SUPER COUPON

10 ft. x 17 ft. Portable Garage

174

*56277684 * LIMIT 1 - Exp. 3/3/21*

Save

(2259)

$

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ITEM 64031, 64722, 64030, 64721, 64061, 64720, 56429

10499

SUPER COUPON

$

Compare to Snap-on Blue-Point KRBC10TBPES $830

$

94

Compare to Powerbuilt 647593 $135.27

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*56252177 * LIMIT 3 - Exp. 3/3/21*

ITEM 63750/56810/63181 shown

61%

130 Piece Tool Kit with Case

99

Save

Compare to Game Winner FSGWHE1030 $24.99

(4522)

Rapid Pump® 3 Ton Steel Heavy Duty Floor Jack

$

1499

Save

(1116) 1 SELLING JACKS IN AMERICA

(2535)

1199

SUPER COUPON

#

9

YOUR CHOICE OF 7 COLORS

630

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(7151)

$ 99 $ 99 13

Side tray sold separately.

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ITEM 69269/97080 shown

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19999

23999

LIMIT 1 - Exp. 3/3/21*

$

(1878)

$

Hot Dog

Compare to Porter-Cable PCFP02003 $98.62

*56231627 * LIMIT 1 - Exp. 3/3/21*

$

1899

ITEM 60637 61615 shown

59%

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30", 5 Drawer Mechanic's Cart

99

56208312

SUPER COUPON 0.50 cal. Metal Ammo Can

SUPER COUPON

10

$

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*56208312*

ITEM 64008/64011 shown

52%

(5605)

29 Piece Titanium Drill Bit Set

Contents not included.

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56231627

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3 Gallon, 100 PSI Oil-Free Air Compressors

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79

ITEM 64520

(4565)

5499

$

158

Compare to Stack-On SS-16-MB-E $438.70

$

Save

ITEM 56862

56214959

99

Case contents and locks not included.

Tan

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*56209438 * *56214959 * LIMIT 4 - Exp. 3/3/21* LIMIT 4 - Exp. 3/3/21* 56209438

(828)

YOUR CHOICE OF COLOR

73%

Compare to Go Green Power GG-113-30LPOP $14.99

Exp. 3/3/21*

Model 9800

Save

4

$ 99

$

56203480

Waterproof Protective Rifle Cases

$ 99

4

$ 99

3999

*56203480*

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250 Lumen Pop-Up Lantern

3

CA DOJ Compliant

LIMIT 3 ITEM 61319/64073/64145/63958 shown

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(4480)

$ 99

60%

2

$ 89

Compare to Energizer HDB32EH $15.98

*56338012*

SUPER COUPON

40" x 72" Moving Blanket

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89 ¢

Wheel kit and battery sold separately.

Compare to Honda EM6500SXK2AT $2,929

34999 $

2,279

ITEM 63969/63968 CALIFORNIA ONLY

27999

Save

(5636)

$

$

99

Save

SUPER COUPON

Compare to Pratt Retail Specialties HDMOVBLAN $9.98

$

64999 699 $

WHILE SUPPLIES LAST

66%

10 Gun Electronic Security Safe

(972)

Less Than 30¢ per Mask

$ 99

Swivel Lens Headlamp

(373)

9000w Max. Starting Extra Long Life Gas Powered Generator

YOUR CHOICE OF COLOR

$ 99

(4614)

S

SUPER COUPON

SUPER COUPON

SAVE 94%

4 AMP High Frequency Battery Charger/Maintainer

27

$ 99 $ 3999 Save $

ITEM 61297/63476/61840 shown

Use Online & In-Store

*56328352* 56328352

LIMIT 1 - Exp. 3/3/21*

83

Compare to Snap-on EEBM500A $111

ITEM 63350

Use Online & In-Store

*56329809* 56329809

LIMIT 3 - Exp. 3/3/21*

Pricing, promotions, and availability may vary by location and at www.harborfreight.com and are subject to change without notice. We reserve the right to limit quantities. “Compare to” advertised price means that the specified comparison, which is an item with the same or similar function, was advertised for sale at or above the “Compare to” price by another national retailer in the U.S. within the past 90 days. Prices advertised by others may vary by location. No other meaning of “Compare to” should be implied. Although we make every effort to assure that our prices and products are advertised as accurately as possible, we are only human and in the event an error is made, we reserve the right to correct it.

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