Coastal Angler Magazine | October 2019 | Volusia/Daytona/New Smyrna/Deland

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DAYTONA/NEW SMYRNA/DELAND EDITION

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Fly Fishing PRODUCT REVIEW PHOTO COURTESY OF MICHAEL BOOTH VOLUME 24 • ISSUE 295

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F R A N C H I S E

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

A V A I L A B L E

OCTOBER 2019

W O R L D W I D E


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Gimme Six Extended Protection promo is applicable to new Suzuki Outboard Motors from 25 to 350 HP in inventory which are sold and delivered to buyer between 10/01/19 and 12/31/19 in accordance with the promotion by a Participating Authorized Suzuki Marine dealer in the continental US and Alaska to a purchasing customer who resides in the continental US or Alaska. Customer should expect to receive an acknowledgement letter and full copy of contract including terms, conditions and wallet card from Suzuki Extended Protection within 90 days of purchase. If an acknowledgement letter is not received in time period stated, contact Suzuki Motor of America, Inc. – Marine Marketing via email: marinepromo@suz.com. The Gimme Six Promotion is available for pleasure use only, and is not redeemable for cash. Instant Savings apply to qualifying purchases of select Suzuki Outboard Motors made between 10/01/19 and 12/31/19. For list of designated models, see participating Dealer or visit www.suzukimarine. com. Instant Savings must be applied against the agreed-upon selling price of the outboard motor and reflected in the bill of sale. (Suzuki will, in turn, credit Dealer’s parts account.) There are no model substitutions, benefit substitutions, rain checks, or extensions. Suzuki reserves the right to change or cancel these promotions at any time without notice or obligation. * Financing offers available through Synchrony Retail Finance. As low as 5.99% APR financing for 60 months on new and unregistered Suzuki Outboard Motors. Subject to credit approval. Not all buyers will qualify. Approval, and any rates and terms provided, are based on credit worthiness. $19.99/month per $1,000 financed for 60 months is based on 5.99% APR. Hypothetical figures used in calculation; your actual monthly payment may differ based on financing terms, credit tier qualification, accessories or other factors such as down payment and fees. Offer effective on new, unregistered Suzuki Outboard Motors purchased from a participating authorized Suzuki dealer between 10/01/19 and 12/31/19. “Gimme Six”, the Suzuki “S” and model names are Suzuki trademarks or ®. Don’t drink and drive. Always wear a USCG-approved life jacket and read your owner’s manual. © 2019 Suzuki Motor of America, Inc.

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NEW PRODUCT

Fly Fishing

REVIEW

Abel VAYA Vaya is Spanish for “GO!” as in go outside, go on an adventure or go fishing. Crafted by avid Colorado anglers, Abel’s VAYA series of fly reels introduces an allnew technical look and feel, paired with outstanding performance. The partially-ported VAYA frame offers the unique combination of minimized weight, incredible rigidity and just enough surface area to highlight Abel’s hand-anodized finishes, which are offered in numerous awesome colors and patterns, from flat black to brown trout, dorado and many more. Available in sizes 4/5, 5/6 and 7/8.

Filson Rugged Twill Compact Rod Case Filson has earned its reputation for sturdy quality construction and products that are overbuilt to handle the rigors sportsmen put their gear through. The Rugged Twill Compact Rod Case holds two 9-foot, 4-piece rods in their tubes with exterior pockets to hold reels and accessories. This lightweight yet durable case is perfect for days when you’ll need two rods and want to keep them safe when not in use. It’s constructed of water-repellant and abrasion-resistant 100 percent cotton Rugged Twill with brass hardware and bridle leather straps.

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Ross Reels Animas

Rod Vault ST Why waste time threading line through the guides? The vehicle-mounted fly rod storage solution from Denver Outfitter allows recreational anglers and professionals to arrive at their fishing destination with fly rods and reels intact, fully-rigged and ready to fish. Two roof-mounted aircraft grade anodized aluminum tubes hold two, three or four fully rigged fly rods up to 10’6 in length, and a locking reel housing area easily fits most fly reels. Protective polypropylene liners inside the Rod Vault eliminate rod on metal contact protecting guides and rod tips from abrasion. The Rod Vault was specifically over-engineered to keep valuable equipment safe in almost any circumstance. Stainless steel hardware ensures the RodVault will remain rust free no matter the fishing environment and fiberglass infused nylon construction protects the reel housing, mounting hardware and aerodynamic nose cone from UV degradation. Whether storing rods to fish before or after work or traveling across the country on an epic fishing trip the Rod Vault is designed to keep gear safe. Available in three models, the Rod Vault 2 holds two fly rods, the Rod Vault Original for three fly rods and the Rod Vault 4 holding four fly rods.

Ross Reels has taken the time-proven features that made the original Animas a guide favorite and introduced new machined features to bring the new Animas fly reel into the modern era of Ross. Proudly Americanmade in Colorado and weighing just over 4 ounces, the new Animas features a compositedisc drag system and an ultra-light canvas phenolic handle, which gets tackier when wet. A new troublefree spool release yields zeromaintenance performance, allowing the Animas to be ready for any fresh or saltwater excursion. The new Animas is available in sizes 4/5, 5/6 and 7/8.

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THE BAHAMAS: BEAUTIFUL, DANGEROUS

although great variability exists between the northern and southern islands. This variability is most easily seen on Andros, the largest Bahamian island, where pine forests dominate in the north and give way to more tropical vegetation in the south. The majority of The Bahamas are low lying, with about 80 percent of the islands less than 15 feet above sea level. This, along with the fact that the islands span a great distance in warm tropical waters, make them attractive to tourists, who flock in for beautiful beaches, friendly faces and fantastic fishing. The Bahamas are heavily reliant on tourism, and for many “Family Islands,” angling tourism is vital for their survival. Unfortunately, these geographical traits also make The Bahamas susceptible to flooding and damage from tropical storms and hurricanes. The expansive nature of the islands of The Bahamas is a mixed blessing. Being large means Bahamians are more likely to be impacted somewhere in the chain by severe weather, but it also means many areas will remain untouched. This was the case with Hurricane Dorian, which devastated the two most northern islands, Abaco and Grand Bahama, but left countless others unharmed. The impact from Dorian on Abaco and Grand Bahama is catastrophic, and the outpourings of aid a blessing. One of the best ways to help The Bahamas overcome this tragedy, and future events, is to help the tourism-based economy by travelling to untouched parts of the islands. The author with a Bahamian bonefish caught from Andros Island while fishing out of the Two Boys Inn with one of the many legendary Neymour For anglers, this is a great opportunity to fish new waters. If you have family of guides. never been, try Andros, the Exumas, Long Island, Bimini, Acklins Island, Crooked Island, Mayaguana, Inagua or many other fantastic destinations By Tom Karrow throughout The Bahamas. he Bahamas are roughly 700 islands and cays with an additionIn this time of need, take the opportunity to help The Bahamas and Baal 5,000 low-lying rocks. Only about 30 of the 700 islands are hamians by simply booking a trip and getting on the water. Grab your fainhabited, leaving hundreds of tropical islands for wildlife. The vorite rods, reels, lines and leaders, tie up some Gotcha flies and give it a go. chain stretches more than 500 miles from the Island of Inagua in the Tom Karrow, PhDc, MES, BES, BED, is nearing completion of a PhD in Gesoutheast, to the northernmost island of Grand Bahama, an economic ography and Environmental Management, focused on sustainability of The Bahahub for the islands. mian bonefishing industry through ethnography. He was a research fellow at the Situated off the southeast coast of the continental United States, University of The Bahamas and is sponsored by R.L.Winston Fly Rods, Nautilus the climate is dominated by warm tropical-like air and water currents, Fly Reels, FishPond Gear, Costa Sunglasses and Simms.

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n the early 1930s watch manufacturers took a clue from Henry Ford’s favorite quote concerning his automobiles, “You can have any color as long as it is black.” Black dialed watches became the rage especially with pilots and race drivers. Of course, since the black dial went well with a black tuxedo, the adventurer’s black dial watch easily moved from the airplane hangar to dancing at the nightclub. Now, Stauer brings back the “Noire”, a design based 27 jewels and handon an elegant timepiece built in 1936. Black dialed, assembled parts drive complex automatics from the 1930s have recently hit this classic masterpiece. new heights at auction. One was sold for in excess of $600,000. We thought that you might like to have an affordable version that will be much more accurate than the original. Basic black with a twist. Not only are the dial, hands and face vintage, but we used a 27-jeweled automatic movement. This is the kind of engineering desired by fine watch collectors worldwide. But since we design this classic movement on state of the art computer-controlled Swiss built machines, the accuracy is excellent. Three interior dials display day, month and date. We have priced the luxurious Stauer Noire at a price to keep you in the black… only 3 payments of $33. So slip into the back of your black limousine, savor some rich tasting black coffee and look at your wrist knowing that you have some great times on your hands.

An offer that will make you dig out your old tux. The movement of the Stauer Noire wrist watch carries an extended two year warranty. But first enjoy this handsome timepiece risk-free for 30 days for the extraordinary price of only 3 payments of $33. If you are not thrilled with the quality and rare design, simply send it back for a full refund of the item price. But once you strap on the Noire you’ll want to stay in the black.

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FLORIDA

NIGHTTIME

SNOOK

TAC T I C S

By John Saporito

L

ike many predatory fish, snook are more active under cover of darkness. In fact, fishing at night might be the single biggest thing you can do to increase your odds of connecting with quality snook. Night fishing is, however, a much different game than fishing under the sun. When the sun goes down, many snook leave their daytime habitat and head into shallow water to hunt. They can often be found in the shadow lines around piers and bridges, and may be holding tight to

shore in canals and bays. Many anglers are stunned to come across snook that are right at their feet as they fish shorelines at night. Snook make this move because the darkness gives them both a sense of security and a feeding advantage over their prey. It’s important, therefore, that you be cautious when stalking these fish. Move quietly and be careful not to produce any vibrations that will reach the fish and scare them away. The night is generally much quieter than the day, and clumsy movements are likely to be picked up by wary snook. In addition, you should never shine a flashlight on the water you will be fishing. This is a surefire way to doom your chances of hooking up. Although fish may be attracted to consistent light sources—such as lampposts on bridges and docks—erratic, unpredictable lights will spook them in a hurry. The lure types and colors you choose should be different from what you carry in your daytime arsenal. Snook switch from using the color-sensitive cone cells in their eyes to using their rod cells, which are honed to capture silhouette and profile rather than color and fine detail. It’s a good practice to choose your offerings accordingly. Dark lures, especially black and purple, are deadly at night. For a snook looking up from below, a dark lure will stand out well against the night sky, which is bright compared to the water beneath it. The more contrast you provide, the easier it is for these gamefish to find your lure. Baitfish and other prey items will also actively feed in the darkness, and swimming plugs are extremely effective at night as a result. Lures with rattles and those that produce enticing ultra-sonic vibrations will do well for you, as snook favor audible cues and vibration detection by both their inner ear and lateral line in the absence of color vision. A word of caution to those who choose to pursue snook at night: Although your catch numbers may increase dramatically, night fishing can be a dangerous game. Always have a fishing buddy with you and be extra careful around slick surfaces such as seawalls, jetties and rock pilings. Be sure to have your phone charged in case of emergency—and also to take photos of your trophy snook before you release it. John Saporito is a lifelong fisherman and student of the seas. Visit him online at guerillaangling.com and follow on Instagram @guerilla_angling

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CHEECA LODGE ALL AMERICAN BACKCOUNTRY TOURNAMENT

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ar heroes will compete with world-class anglers at the Seventh Annual Cheeca Lodge All American Backcountry Fishing Tournament Nov. 7-9, 2019 at Cheeca Lodge & Spa in Islamorada, Fla. In honor of Veteran’s Day, the event invites two war heroes to join the tournament inspired by 41st President George Bush, who frequented Cheeca and the Florida Keys to pursue his love of fishing. Proceeds from the tournament benefit the Bonefish & Tarpon Trust, a non-profit organization whose mission is to conserve and restore bonefish, tarpon and permit fisheries and habitats through research, stewardship, education and advocacy. “The All American Backcountry Fishing Tournament is part of Cheeca Lodge’s iconic legacy,” said Paul Burke, of Cheeca Lodge & Spa. “We’re excited to partner with Bonefish & Tarpon Trust and to welcome Bruce Melnick, a former American astronaut and retired U.S. Coast Guard officer, who will fish the tournament.” All American anglers fish on a guided charter boat or their own boat

with a licensed guide. They compete for trophies and awards for releasing five different species of inshore fish: snook, redfish, bonefish, tarpon and permit. Individual and team trophies will be awarded for fly, general tackle/spinning/conventional and artificial lure divisions. Live bait is permitted in the general tackle division. Tournament entry fee is $1,500 per angler, offering two social events with dinner and beverages for four people, including the angler, guide and one guest each. Also included is a daily continental breakfast dockside at World Wide Sportsman, boxed lunches for anglers and guides and a gift bag per person. Social events will be held at the Cheeca Lodge & Spa, a sportsman paradise renowned for barefoot elegance, with fishing departing from nearby World Wide Sportsman. This first-class tournament will kick-off on Thursday, Nov. 7 with a cocktail reception, rules meeting, patriotic banquet on the beach and live auction. Competitive fishing hours are from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 8-9. The tournament culminates on Saturday with an awards ceremony and banquet, where anglers can mingle with fishing celebrities such as world-famous fly angler, Stu Apte. Awards for Individual Grand Champion, Individual Runner-Up, Grand Champion Team, Runner-Up Grand Champion Team, Champions in the Fly, Artificial and General Tackle Divisions and Best Photo will be presented. New for 2019 is a Friday evening reception and presentation by Bruce Melnick from 5:30-6:30 p.m. at Cheeca, included in the entry fee. While the tournament’s social events are included in the tournament registration, social-only tickets for the public are available in limited quantity by calling (305) 517-4512 or e-mailing lthornhill@cheeca.com to reserve. Social tickets are $70 for Thursday’s kickoff dinner and auction; $25 for the reception with Bruce Melnick and $95 for Saturday’s Awards Banquet. Cheeca will also host the 30th Annual Cheeca Lodge Presidential Sailfish Tournament Jan. 24-26, 2020, the second leg of the Florida Keys Gold Cup Sailfish Championship.

For more information, visit www.cheeca.com/all-american, www.cheeca.com/presidential or call (305) 517-4512.

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***


Does Age Matter?

Photo by Zachary Nolan Divers swim over the deck of the Ana Cecilia.

By John Lidington pril, 1968—a time early in Palm Beach County’s history of artificial-reef-building. The Mizpah floats about a mile off of Singer Island. That’s a problem. She’s supposed to be on the bottom 200 feet below, but refuses to sink. More holes are cut in her hull, and eventually she goes under. During that prolonged descent, the Gulf Stream has intervened, pushing her into shallower water. She lands upright on the sand, less than 100 feet down. Fast forward to July, 2016. About 150 yards south of Mizpah’s position, the Ana Cecilia is set to become the next addition to Palm Beach County’s artificial reef system. Her interior has been stripped of potential snags, and doors and hatches have been removed to allow access to her interior. The goal is to attract divers and fish. Unlike Mizpah, Ana Cecilia slips swiftly beneath the waves to her resting place 85 feet below.

A

The two ships’ proximity makes it easy to explore both on a single dive. That’s my plan as I ready my gear aboard Pura Vida Divers’ boat Sirena. I want to see just what 50 years of immersion does to a wreck. Similar in size (Ana Cecilia, 170 feet; Mizpah, 185 feet), the ships were sunk with outer structures intact and rest in the same environment. The big difference? Mizpah has been submerged 48 years longer. As the current carries me swiftly along the bottom, I see the Ana Cecilia’s bow emerging from the blue. She looks like a wreck should look—a ship on a journey that was interrupted. Encrusting sponges, hydroids and bryozoans are taking hold, but paint still shows in a few spots. Swimming through her open interior, I can imagine refloating her, scrubbing her and proceeding to port. Mizpah offers a very different experience. She’s now a true bottom feature. Most of her superstructure has collapsed. Marine growth is luxurious and includes gorgonians and cup corals. While both wrecks have plenty of fish (including goliath groupers), Mizpah’s increased growth attracts greater variety. Comparing the two, it’s obvious that wrecks don’t last forever. They create homes for marine life for a long, long time. But there’s a limit to how long a wreck will offer divers safe, easy penetration. Fresh wrecks keep the dive scene vibrant. To this end, the Palm Beach County Diving Association is working with Palm Beach County Environmental Resource Management to sink a new wreck every year for the next three years. To help fund this program, they host an annual Artificial Reef Fundraiser, which will take place on Saturday, Oct. 5 at Loggerhead Marine Life Center in Juno Beach, Fla. Tickets can be purchased at Pura Vida Divers, at any other PBCDA member, or online at https://divepbc.com/events. To check out these wrecks for yourself, give Pura Vida Divers a call (561-840-8750) or make an online reservation through their website at www.puravidadivers.com. For a well-researched history of the Mizpah, check out Walt Stearns’ article at https://xray-mag.com/blog/diving-mizpah.

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Pelagic Rockstar Ready To Rock Central America’s Richest Offshore Tourney is Jan. 10-12 out of Quepos

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ith more than half a million bucks on the line, the Pelagic Rockstar Offshore Tournament will descend upon Marina Pez Vela in Quepos, Costa Rica Jan. 10-12 in what promises to be Central America’s richest fishing tournament. The Pelagic Rockstar is a fish all day, party all night kind of affair. With 60-plus boats expected to compete for more than $500,000, it is serious offshore competition. Back at the docks, it’s a massive party featuring multiple marina-side bashes and live rock ‘n’ roll. In the world’s premier offshore waters of the Pacific, target species for the tournament are sailfish, blue marlin, black marlin, striped

marlin, tuna and dorado. During last year’s Rockstar, fishing was off the chain. The fleet released a staggering 424 sailfish and marlin, while the weigh station was kept busy with piles of big yellowfin tuna and dorado. The Pelagic Rockstar kicks off Friday, Jan. 10 with check-ins, happy hour at Marina Pez Vela’s Pura Vida Beach Club and a Captain’s Meeting followed by the Kick-Off Party Extravaganza and Concert. On Saturday, Jan. 11, the tournament procession will depart Marina Pez Vela at 6:30 a.m. to stage at the starting line for the customary 7 a.m. shotgun start. Day One weigh-ins will be from 3 to 6 p.m. The Docktail Party and music begin at 4:30 p.m. Tournament Day 2 is lines in at 7 a.m., lines out at 3 p.m. The awards ceremony and farewell bash concert begin at 7 p.m. General Entry is $3,500. All-In is $17,500. Save $500 with early bird registration before Dec. 1 and get a free Official Tournament Apparel Package. Gather your crew and head on down to Quepos for “Costa Rica’s Funnest Big Game Fishing Event.” For information and to register, go to www.pelagictournaments.com.

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2020 21 LS Dual

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LLEBROC UPS THE ANTE WITH THE NEW SV SERIES

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lebroc Industries, a name synonymous with high-quality seats, has once again raised the bar for the marine industry. The SV Series will be unveiled at IBEX and The Fort Lauder-

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dale Boat Show this fall and will quickly become the industry standard. With new stitching patterns and colors combinations, the SV Series is comparable to the cockpit of a Lamborghini. No matter the style or design of your boat, Llebroc will rise to the challenge and ensure your vessel is both stylish and comfortable. From helm chairs to bench seats and leaning posts, Llebroc is capable of designing and installing the very best seating available. Based out of Texas, Llebroc Industries has a long-standing tradition of working with any vessel big or small. From bass boats to yachts, they are equipped to handle any project no matter how big or small. One of the latest projects was outfitting the 45-Foot tender of an Ocean Alexander. “I love e ver yt hing I do, and that’s why we work on e ver yt hing no matter how big or small,” said Greg Carman of Llebroc Industries. This attitude has helped Llebroc Industries develop a brand that is a thoroughbred of design, comfort, and stability. You can see Llebroc seating and helm chairs throughout the marine industry. From Viking Yachts to Boston Whalers, every boat company is looking to have the best quality boat and that is why they turn to Llebroc for their seating. So, if you are in the market for a new seating set up on your vessel, be sure to stop by Llebroc Industries and talk to Greg Carman. You won’t be disappointed. For more information, go to www.llebroc.com.

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ON THE MOVE MARK SOSIN

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t happens every year. No one really knows whether it’s shorter days, a slight drop in water temperature, or something else that triggers baitfish and predators to gather in schools and start moving south. This annual migration in September and October provides some of the best fishing on all coasts. Whether you prefer trolling baits or casting into the schools, success depends on getting an offering in front of the fish without frightening the schools into diving for sanctuary. The problem is, when you discover a school of fish, you are seldom alone. Instead of approaching the fringes of the school, boats race toward the fish at full throttle. The perfect position is on the seaward side of the school just off the forward edge and moving slowly with the school. If you’re trolling, this puts your baits where they can be seen easily. Casters can work the edges of the school, working their offering close to the main body and in the direction the fish are moving. In real life, it seldom works this perfectly. Boats tend to continuously jockey for position, while trollers move right through the middle of the school, forcing fish into the depths. Most of the action takes place when predators find a school of baitfish and begin to feed. Often gulls and terns

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squawking overhead tell anglers there is action below. When the big guys aren’t feeding, it’s much harder to find them. You just have to keep studying the water’s surface until you see signs of fish. Baitfish have a habit of moving into an inlet and holding there for a period. Most of the time, you won’t see the action of breaking fish, but where there is prey, you can bet predators are nearby. As an angler, check every inlet carefully at this time of year. It could make your day. Whether you are retrieving a cast or trolling, baits should be moving in the same direction as the predators or not much of an angle to either side. Fish are not going to leave the school and chase something in the opposite direction. They will ease out of the main body, but they are going to maintain the direction of the school. Keep in mind that predators focus on one victim at a time. By working your offering on the edges of the school, but moving it in the same direction, it becomes an easy meal for them. For the surf fisherman, if you are working an area where mobility is possible, it pays to work up and down the beach until you find a school of bait or predators. Remember that casts must allow a retrieve in the direction the school is traveling. A single fish seldom goes against the direction that the main body is moving. This is the time of the year when coastal fishing can be spectacular. Take advantage of it. For more from Mark Sosin, visit

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Fall Fishing And The Mullet Run

Mullet along with other smaller baitfish bring in tarpon, snook, sharks and a variety of schooling bluefish, jacks, blue runners and mackerel. Fishing the ocean shoreline, the St. Lucie River and in the lagoon all pick up with the presence of mullet. The easiest way to follow the baitfish is to watch the birds, as flocks of pelicans chase bait along the shoreline. Sometimes there are so many birds you can’t cast. Bring lots of extra lures (spoons, jigs), because feeding bluefish will cut your line. Schools of baitfish run along the lagoon shorelines with snook, bluefish and jack in hot pursuit. Suddenly the mullet will erupt into the air with a half dozen snook leaping in the air after them. For waders, it’s easy to follow the trail of mullet and cast into the schools of baitfish. Boaters will need to deal with shallow water and piers blocking the way. Although using live mullet would seem to be the best way to have hookups, a topwater or a 4-inch paddletail jig fished near the surface will stand out more than one mullet amongst a school of a thousand. Locating the mullet schools is easy since they are everywhere. Some locations may not be as good. Look for feeding fish and birds. If there are no active feeders, find another spot. Cooling weather also turns on other lagoon and river favorites like trout and redfish. Both species like flats with vegetation. Some areas in Ft. Pierce have spotty grass (Bear Point), but Vero is still the best local area to find vegetation, with flats on the east side from Round Island to The Moorings the prime locations. I usually fish with a spinning rod and reel with light braided line and a 30-pound fluorocarbon leader. If you use a light color braid (white), you can see your line better. On the beach, heavier line with a 40-pound leader will help land bigger fish. I prefer to use search lures like 4-inch DOA paddletail on a 1/8-ounce jig, a spoon or a shalBy Richard Matteson low-running Yozuri crankbait to locate feeding fish quickly around the ooler weather brings hot fishing to the Indian River Lagoon, schools of baitfish. Fall fishing on the Treasure Coast is one of the best times to the St. Lucie River and the beaches of central Florida’s Atlango fishing. tic Coast. The mullet run began in late September and will stretch into October as huge schools of mullet make their way south Richard Matteson is staff writer for the Stuart Rod and Reel Club. to winter spawning grounds. For information, call 336-414-3440.

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IRL CLAM PROJECT TO RESTORE THE INDIAN RIVER LAGOON

Photo courtesy of IRL Clam Project. Members of the IRL Clam Project Team, including Capt. Blair Wiggins (center), reintroduce native clams to filter the Indian River Lagoon.

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y some estimates, a million hard clams are capable of filtering 28 million gallons of water a day. It’s figures like these that drive the Indian River Lagoon Clam Project. Everyone who fishes or plays in the Indian River Lagoon has seen the decline in water quality. An excess of nutrients has led to huge losses of seagrass habitat as well as proliferation of harmful algae that has devastated estuaries that are world renowned for inshore fishing. Capt. Blair Wiggins, “The Mogan Man” from the show Addictive Fishing, decided something needed to be done about it. In partnership with CCA-Florida, FWC and the University of Florida’s Whitney Labs, the IRL Clam Project was launched a few years ago to reintroduce native clams to the system.

Wiggins tells of the damage done in the 1990s when commercial clammers were set loose on the waters he’s fished since childhood. He saw the reduction in water clarity and the resulting decline in seagrass that has afflicted the fishery. He said bringing large colonies of filter feeding clams back to the system will dramatically improve water quality and help bring back lost habitat. “If we can improve water quality by improving water clarity—and that’s what our filter feeders do so well—then we can re-establish seagrasses,” said Dr. Todd Osborne with Whitney Lab. “And those seagrasses then bring habitat and food sources to all the other organisms, the higher organisms like fish and manatees and turtles and things.” Clams require a certain number of individuals within an area to reproduce, which is why they need a little help repopulating the lagoon. So far, the IRL Clam Project has spawned 6 million clams from 24 big breeder clams collected from the lagoon. They are being introduced back to their native waters in colonies, where they will continue reproducing as they filter harmful nutrients from the water. The idea behind the whole project is to help return the Indian River Lagoon to its former glory. Goals like this require funding, and along with multiple other fundraising avenues, the IRL Clam Team is hosting an event Saturday, Oct. 5 at the Downtown Cocoa Civic Center and River Front Park to have a little fun raising money for an important cause. Celebrities like Capt. Blair Wiggins, Roland Martin, Shaw Grigsby, Capt. CA Richardson, Capt. Bear Holeman, Carter Andrews, Capt. Rob Fordyce, Capt. Jim Ross, Krissy Wejebe, Bobby Lane, Capt. Mike Anderson, Capt. Scott Martin, Josh Jorgenson and more will be on-hand at the evening’s Celebrity Dinner/Banquet. The festivities will begin with a Kids’ Fishing Derby in the morning and lead up to silent and live auctions and dinner. VIP tickets for $200 include a Private Celebrity Dinner in the Porcher House. General admission for $50 includes a Fish Fry and BBQ Dinner. Space is limited, so book now. All proceeds got to the IRL Clam Project.

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IRL Clam Project Banquet & Auction Saturday, October 5 - 5:30 - 10:30pm Cocoa Civic Center and Porcher House

Come and enjoy an evening with some of fishings legendary captains and personalities For ticket info: IRLclamproject.com

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Kids Fishing Derby and Expo with Capt. Blair Wiggins & Special Guests Saturday, October 5 - 8:00am - 12pm River Front Park Cocoa Village

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OCTOBER 2019

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For more information, go to www.irlclamproject.com.

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BIG TROUT OR EASY TROUT ON THE NANTAHALA DH

Editor’s Note: In honor of delayed harvest trout regulations opening across the Southeast, here’s a look at one of North Carolina’s best. This description of the Nantahala River between Murphy and Bryson City is an abbreviated excerpt from the book “Flyfisher’s Guide to North Carolina & Georgia.”

By Nick Carter

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easy or difficult as you make it, although frequently the water gets quite high with winter rains. Don’t let heavy flow and a little bit of a stain deter you. Murky water combined with the right nymph or streamer can be the right combination to fool big fish that see a lot of flies. And there are some big fish. North Carolina does a great job of sprinkling trophy-sized individuals in with its stockings. For years, the Nantahala DH was a destination location for me before a move to Graham County just a few miles from the river made it a back-up plan. At the time, I was a wild trout snob. I can’t count the times I drove past easier fishing and larger fish to hike into remote streams where 5-inch fish were the norm. I don’t regret that. It was fun. What I do regret since moving away from Graham County are the Wednesday afternoons I had off work when I passed on the opportunity to fish the DH. I did, however, fish it a lot. What I learned was the fishing can be ridiculously easy for numbers after a stocking, but the better fish require a little work. The river can also be downright difficult once the fish wise up. Showing them either something natural or something out of the ordinary can be productive. Patience is also a virtue. Moving quickly and picking off the eager feeders is a good way to land a bunch of standard hatchery fish. Moving slowly and stealthily, watching the water and carefully picking your casts helps for those larger fish. In a place where almost all the fish come to hand with lip piercings, there are individuals that become reluctant to eat. Egg patterns, Buggers, mop flies and flashy nymphs get the most attention after a stocking. But bugs will be on the water, with winter stones, blue winged olives, midges and maybe some small caddis popping off in sunny spots during winter. Come spring, the river is a riot of bug activity, and dry fly fishing gets very good. At any given time, there might be black and tan caddis, small dark stoneflies, yellow sallies, midges and a variety of mayflies on the water.

ith special regulations calling for catch and release, sin“Flyfisher’s Guide to North Carolina & Georgia” includes maps, GPS gle-hook, artificial only October into June, a nearly 4-mile stretch of North Carolina’s Nantahala River is very popular access points and detailed descriptions of the region’s best trout fishing. this time of year. There is easy roadside access and wading can be as It is available on Amazon, at fly shops or by contacting the author at nsc8957@gmail.com.

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FROM THE PUBLISHER’S DESK

ctober is here!!! This excites me for several reasons, but most of them having to do with inshore fishing. Snook is my all time favorite target species and I see more opportunities for big snook in October than in any other month. Schools are in full swing, and midweek fishing can be a ghost town on the river and in the basin. For me, there is nothing better than a quiet stretch of river, creek, or bay and limitless possibilities. Although I love the solitude, I do take this time of year as a chance to help someone else catch the fish of a lifetime. I often run in to people who say “I have never caught a snook, no matter what I do, they always seem to elude me.” If you know me, you know I take immense joy in watching other people succeed, and October is a great month to help

some others out and finally check the snook box off of many new anglers checklist. Other than my love for chasing snook, the mullet run will be in full effect and that means bull redfish in the inlet. If you know your tides and when the bite is, fishing for these monsters can feel like cheating. This is another great opportunity to get some less experienced anglers on the fish of a lifetime. Or my favorite, is to get kids out on some big fish. It is not often that you can take some children out to catch fish of this size, while still in calm waters, and the trip doesn’t have to bee an all day affair. So get out there and fish! October is THE MONTH!!! Tight lines The Chibbaro Family

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FISHING REPORT & FORECAST DAVE FARLOW

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hh the start of fall is upon us. My personal favorite time of year to fish our local waters here. As temperatures start to drop and the mid-day heat doesn’t beat you down quite as bad, the fishing ramps up and the stringers start to get a little more weight to them. Catching the tail end of the mullet run will prove fruitful for most anglers out there. Nice redfish, black drum and even tarpon can be targeted from the beach. Using live shrimp or live and even frozen mullet will prove to be successful with any one of the species just mentioned. Hitting the backwaters early will still be in your best interest. There is nothing like getting on the water just before the sun starts to rise and seeing that light fog skimming across the surface of the water. Just as you get to your favorite spot that dog gets interrupted by an explosion of bait getting feasted upon by some unknown predatory species of fish just below the surface. Is it trout? Maybe redfish? Or with any luck, hopefully that elusive slot size snook? Only one way to find out... grab your favorite lure, or scoop out your favorite live bait and put either one right in the middle of the chaos!! For me personally, I’m going to throw a skitter walk to start then grab my soft plastic paddle tail. That combo seems to catch me more fish than anything else. Some will prefer to toss a mirrordine or even a shallow diving jerk bait of some sort. Whatever your poison, with the start of fall here, get out and slay away!!! Until next time, keep your lines wet and your rods bent!!! Dave Farlow is the co-owner of Salty Dawg Outfitters @ High Bridge

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tempe ideal a The m East C bull re eggs a river. S the m Fis tide dr pig fish your b Th outgoi of the shrimp Fly fishing Creek. Pompa


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FISHING REPORT & FORECAST CAPT. BARRY ENGLEHARDT

Tomoka Report

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ctober may be the choice of many fisherman as the best month to fish. The temperature of the water is usually ideal along with the air temperature. The mullet run is in full swing for East Central Florida along with the bull reds entering the inlet to lay eggs and filtering up and down the river. Snook and Tarpon are also in the mix. Fish the basin with an outgoing tide drifting crabs, mullet, pin fish, pig fish, and large shrimp. Free line your bait with no weight over oyster beds and along drop offs of the ICW. The last two hours of the incoming and the first two hours of the outgoing produces good fishing for Snook, Reds and Trout in the canals of the basin. Casting soft and hard baits along with a popping cork with shrimp, mullet and pinfish work well. Fly fishing is very productive in the basin in and around the high tide fishing the banks of the basin and of the Tomoka River and Strickland Creek. For Snook and Trout use an Orvis Crazy Charlie in white and for Pompano use an Orvis Vahos Marbled Sand Flea.

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FISHING REPORT & FORECAST CAPT JAMIE THRAPPAS

Ponce Inlet & Backwaters

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ctober is by far probably my favorite month to fish. I will spend most of my charters down at the inlet looking for the big bull redfish staging up to spawn. You can catch them on a variety of bait by keeping it on the bottom with a fish finder / carolina type rig. On the heavy out-going tide you will probably need somewhere around 4 to 5 ounces to hold the bottom while anchored on the edge of the channel or along the rocks. Live mullet, larger pinfish, cut lady or mullet, or blue crab all work. I take a variety and try to figure out what the meal of choice is that day. Remember anything over 27 “ is over the slot and must be released. I have a rule of 60 seconds or less from the time I net the fish, snap a couple pictures, and get them revived. Please be respectful to these reds so we can catch them again next year! The snook bite will also be good along the docks and rocks during outgoing tides in the evening. Lighter weights with baits drifted down low work well, I usually find a few of those over slots in the fall so hold on tight! Also keep an eye out for a tarpon rolling while your fishing on the bottom, I keep a chug plug on a rod at all times, or if you have the time to get a mullet on throw it right in their swimming path. For fun I will be fishing the dock lights at night looking for slot snook and sea trout, one of my favorite things to do in the fall as it cools and the bugs seem to be less of a pain. If you just want some fish to eat, grab a bucket of live shrimp and hit the creeks, you should be able to fill a cooler with some mangroves around deeper holes along the shoreline and oyster beds. Hope to see ya out there! James Thrappas | Splash Brand Representation LLC | 386-366-3424 splashbrandsllc@gmail.com | NATIVE EYEWEAR

FISHING REPORT & FORECAST CAPT. BRYN RAWLINS

Central St. Johns River

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ctober is one of my favorite months of the year to fish. It’s a wonderful transition from a long hot summer to the beginning of fall. As the first north winds begin to cool the water down, it excites the fisherman and the fish. With cooler water temperatures the Bass and Speckled Perch begin their feeding and fattening in preparation for the spawning periods that occur several times throughout the season. Bass will be more active this month, and wild river shiners are a great live bait that will almost always produce this time of year. October provides excellent top water action as well. The Devils Horse is a proven bait in the dark tannic stained water of the great St. Johns River and connecting Lakes. Another favorite will be the buzz bait, it is one of the easiest lures to use. Just cast and retrieve over many types of vegetation. October is also the month that really kicks off the Speckled Perch season. With water temperatures dropping, Specks start to feed more aggressively. Early in the season you can use a variety of different methods. Open water fishing usually is the best in the beginning of the season. Drifting lives minnows or slow trolling 1/32 oz hard heads or plastic jigs are a local favorite here at Highland Park Fish Camp. Using light line, 10 pounds or less is essential. Anglers have already been productive using these methods on Lake Woodruff in the last two months, with Specks being weighed in up to a pound and a half. Highland Park Fish Camp is the closest access to Lake Woodruff. Call us for an up to date fishing report. Capt. Bryn Rawlins | Highland Park Fish Camp, DeLand, FL 1-800-525-3477 | www.highlandparkfishcamp.com

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BACK TO BLUE OUTDOORS

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OCTOBER 2019 BACK TO BLUE OUTDOORS

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DAYTONA/NEW SMYRNA/DELAND 5


BACK TO BLUE OUTDOORS

The Importance of Catch and Release they are causing our future breeders. I am deeply passionate, and my catch is and will always be my focal point. Handling them properly and being sure of a safe release back to their habitat. Have you ever considered the physical impact to that fish and what happens to it once it is released? Think about it, while fish are in the water their natural buoyancy of the liquid medium holds and supports the fish’s organs in the correct position. So, to hold them in an absolutely unnatural position by holding the fish vertical can cause unnecessary stress on the heart and other organs. So the next fish you catch and release remember the damage you can prevent by properly handling the fish.

T

here are many opportunities the October mullet run presents to us anglers from boats to piers, beaches, docks, and bridges. Landing a Bull Red this time of the year comes quite easily. With the mullet running you can simply free line mullet or drop weight and land that trophy Redfish! This is the time of year us anglers have been waiting for. One tug of that big Red Drum and were hooked but we need to greet these beauties knowing they MUST be released. This doesn’t necessarily happen due to LACK OF KNOWLEDGE of our breeder Red drum or the care to learn how important these fish are to our fishery. I understand some are limited to where they can fish and not everyone has a boat. But I cannot explain how heart-breaking it is to see a breeder fish floating dead due to one’s carelessness. It is devastating seeing “fishermen” on piers and bridges reeling in our breeders and pulling them up hitting rocks hanging vertically. There is no way to safely release her back to her waters when doing so and tossing her over the side is not okay. There is no way to ensure that she survives so that she can bless our estuaries with future fish!

RESPECT THE FISH It isn’t just a saying or a quote. I myself am a deeply passionate angler and practice proper fish care. When being on the water I become one with nature and the feeling I get when out there sigh casting Reds is unexplainable. Since it is the Mullet run, Bull Reds are the target and as we all know must be released back to their habitat. They are the future of fishing. I hope us anglers can come together and understand the importance of our estuary and breeders. So please do everything in your power to ensure the healthy release of your fish.

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

PROPER FISH HANDLING As we all know fish swim and live in the water horizontally. Due to the lack of knowledge or just trying to get that epic shot for social media a large percent of “lady anglers” make themselves the focal point. But they don’t understand the damage

BACK TO BLUE OUTDOORS


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BACK TO BLUE OUTDOORS

Ponce Inlet & Backwaters

O

ctober is one of those months that can drag summer through it, or we can start getting some cold fronts heading in to our territory. That weather pattern is what will determine if we have a trolling bite or not. If we get some small stretches of cold weather, the sailfish bite will start to pick up on dink ballyhoos and Bonita strips. A hot sailfish bite can create the memories of a lifetime for you and your crew, so pay close attention to air and water temps. If it stays warm, the bottom fishing will be the best bet. Plenty of Mutton’s this year if you know where to look along with nice triggerfish and Vermillion Snapper. Great fishing for a lot of action. Be prepared with some of your stout rods as you always a shot at picking of a nice sized grouper on that bottom as well. I like to set up with 4 rods with 2-3 on chicken rigs with squid and 1-2 rods dropping rigs with 8-10’ of fluorocarbon leader ranging from 60-120 depending on the bite. I prefer anchoring and chumming just a bit to allow the scent to build the bite. Great way to get some table fish and have a low pressure time on the water. Get out there and catch ‘em up! Capt Shane Ryan | Back to Blue Outdoors

Lure Review Yo-zuri Crystal Minnow

I

n this month’s “Lure Review” we will look at the Yo-zuri Crystal Minnow. I have routinely had a Crystal Minnow in my tackle bag for over a decade. If a big fish eats little fish, it will eat a Yo-zuri Crystal Minnow. I can remember one of the first times I used this lure was at the ever-sosnooky Tomoka Bridge. I was on the bank casting down-current of the pilings. It was a simple cast and retrieve presentation and within the first few casts…….. BANG! It was a big snook and off it went. I though I was gaining on her when she jumped in the air and spit the hook. The lure actually landed at my feet. I looked down at the red and white lure and I knew right then and there that I found a new favorite hard body plug. The Crystal Minnow comes in an assortment of reflective colors and can be found at just about any tackle shop. When cruising the aisles you will surely see many imitators, and these days the prices are as shocking as the designs, however I skip over many knew lures to pick up the Yozuri Crystal Minnow. These lures will work on almost any targeted game fish from redfish, snook, trout, tarpon, even flounder! So go get yours today.

BACK TO BLUE OUTDOORS


Ponce Inlet

NSB SURF FISHING REPORT & FORECAST THE OPINIONATED SPORTS GUY

TIDE CHART W

September Surf Update

OCTOBER 2019

9/14/2019

Tide times and charts for Ponce Inlet (Halifax River), Florida (East Coast) and weather forecast for fishing in Ponce Inlet (Halifax Riv…

PONCE INLET (HALIFAX RIVER)

October, 2019 TIDES FOR PONCE INLET (HALIFAX RIVER)

DAY

st

2nd TIDE

1 TIDE

1 Tue 2 Wed 3 Thu 4 Fri 5 Sat 6 Sun 7 Mon 8 Tue 9 Wed 10 Thu 11 Fri 12 Sat 13 Sun 14 Mon 15 Tue 16 Wed 17 Thu 18 Fri 19 Sat 20 Sun 21 Mon 22 Tue 23 Wed 24 Thu 25 Fri 26 Sat 27 Sun 28 Mon 29 Tue 30 Wed 31 Thu

                                                            

 7:17 am 7:09 pm

5:12 am -0.1 ft

 7:18 am 7:08 pm

6:02 am

 7:18 am 7:07 pm

12:31 am3.6 ft

 7:19 am 7:06 pm

3rd TIDE

SOLUNAR ACTIVITY

4th TIDE

11:28 am4.0 ft

5:41 pm

0.3 ft 

0.0 ft 

12:18 pm3.9 ft

6:33 pm

0.5 ft 

11:41 pm3.8 ft

COEFFICIENT 

6:56 am

0.2 ft 

1:11 pm

3.6 ft 

7:29 pm

0.7 ft 

1:23 am

3.4 ft 

7:53 am

0.4 ft 

2:07 pm

3.4 ft 

8:29 pm

0.9 ft 

 7:19 am 7:05 pm

2:19 am

3.2 ft 

8:55 am

0.6 ft 

3:06 pm

3.2 ft 

9:33 pm

1.0 ft 

 7:20 am 7:04 pm

3:20 am

3.0 ft 

9:59 am

0.7 ft 

4:08 pm

3.1 ft 

10:37 pm1.0 ft

 7:20 am 7:02 pm

4:24 am

3.0 ft 

11:01 am0.8 ft

5:09 pm

3.1 ft 

11:35 pm1.0 ft

 7:21 am 7:01 pm

5:25 am

3.0 ft 

11:57 am0.8 ft

6:03 pm

3.1 ft 

 7:21 am 7:00 pm

12:26 am0.9 ft

 7:22 am 6:59 pm

6:20 am

3.1 ft 

12:46 pm0.7 ft

6:50 pm

3.2 ft 

1:11 am

0.8 ft 

7:08 am

3.2 ft 

1:30 pm

0.7 ft 

7:31 pm

3.3 ft 

 7:23 am 6:58 pm

1:51 am

0.7 ft 

7:50 am

3.3 ft 

2:10 pm

0.6 ft 

8:08 pm

3.4 ft 

 7:23 am 6:57 pm

2:28 am

0.6 ft 

 7:24 am 6:56 pm

3:03 am

0.5 ft 

8:30 am

3.4 ft 

2:47 pm

0.6 ft 

8:45 pm

3.4 ft 

9:08 am

3.5 ft 

3:23 pm

0.6 ft 

9:21 pm

3.4 ft 

 7:24 am 6:55 pm

3:36 am

0.5 ft 

9:46 am

3.6 ft 

3:57 pm

0.6 ft 

9:56 pm

3.4 ft 

 7:25 am 6:54 pm

4:09 am

0.4 ft 

10:24 am3.6 ft

4:32 pm

0.7 ft 

10:32 pm3.4 ft

 7:26 am 6:53 pm

4:43 am

0.4 ft 

11:03 am3.5 ft

5:08 pm

0.7 ft 

11:09 pm3.3 ft

 7:26 am 6:51 pm

5:19 am

0.4 ft 

11:45 am3.5 ft

5:46 pm

0.8 ft 

11:48 pm3.2 ft

 7:27 am 6:50 pm

6:00 am

0.5 ft 

12:29 pm3.4 ft

6:30 pm

0.9 ft 

 7:28 am 6:49 pm

12:32 am3.1 ft

 7:28 am 6:48 pm

6:48 am

0.5 ft 

1:19 pm

3.3 ft 

7:22 pm

0.9 ft 

1:24 am

3.1 ft 

7:45 am

0.6 ft 

2:16 pm

3.2 ft 

8:25 pm

1.0 ft 

 7:29 am 6:47 pm

2:25 am

3.0 ft 

8:51 am

0.6 ft 

3:18 pm

3.2 ft 

9:34 pm

0.9 ft 

 7:30 am 6:47 pm

3:35 am

3.1 ft 

10:03 am0.6 ft

4:23 pm

3.3 ft 

10:43 pm0.8 ft

 7:30 am 6:46 pm

4:45 am

3.2 ft 

11:11 am0.5 ft 

5:25 pm

3.4 ft 

11:45 pm0.6 ft

 7:31 am 6:45 pm

5:52 am

3.5 ft 

12:12 pm0.4 ft

6:23 pm

3.6 ft 

 7:32 am 6:44 pm

12:41 am0.3 ft

 7:32 am 6:43 pm

1:33 am

 7:33 am 6:42 pm

2:23 am -0.1 ft

 7:34 am 6:41 pm

6:52 am

3.7 ft 

1:09 pm

0.3 ft 

7:16 pm

3.7 ft 

0.1 ft 

7:48 am

3.9 ft 

2:01 pm

0.2 ft 

8:06 pm

3.9 ft 

8:40 am

4.1 ft 

2:52 pm

0.2 ft 

8:54 pm

3.9 ft 

3:12 am -0.2 ft

9:29 am

4.2 ft 

3:41 pm

0.2 ft 

9:42 pm

3.9 ft 

 7:34 am 6:40 pm

3:59 am -0.2 ft

10:18 am4.1 ft

4:29 pm

0.3 ft 

10:28 pm3.8 ft

 7:35 am 6:39 pm

4:47 am -0.1 ft

11:06 am4.0 ft

5:18 pm

0.4 ft 

11:15 pm3.6 ft

 7:36 am 6:39 pm

5:36 am

0.1 ft 

11:54 am3.8 ft

6:08 pm

0.6 ft 

  64 average    49 low  low 37  34 low  40 low  49 low  60 average    69 average    77 high    83 high    87 high    88 high    86 high    82 high    74 high    65 average    54 average    45 low  42 low  48 low  average 62  78 high    93 very high    105 very high    110 very high    109 very high    103 very high    91 very high    77 high    97

very high

81

high

ell, this month’s report from New Smyrna Beach is a happy one. Hurricane Dorian missed our coastline by almost 50 miles and we were spared the worst of what it ultimately delivered to the east coast. Historically, it was one of the most powerful storms ever to hit the Bahama islands; let’s hope they will recover soon. It’s great to see local captains and others make contributions to the relief effort. Here in NSB, we had 60 or 70 mph gusts at the very worst, some very high surf and a Labor Day weekend lost that should have been amazing. That being said ...let’s get to fishing !!!! The good news is that the with the storm, there should be some debris in the water which makes a good breeding ground for little creatures that ultimately feed the bigger creatures and so on. Also, during this time of year there will be tons of baitfish just off the shore and they will continue to be in the water for the next month’s fall cycle. This will bring additional game fish closer to the shore. Now is the time to catch a huge red fish tor black drum, as they will be cruising around looking for an easy meal. If you’re looking for a little bit of live action, I would suggest the old-time silver or gold spoon! Any time there’s a lot of activity in the water, that flash of prey is irresistible to some fish. The key is to work the artificial bait and make it look like an actual fish and not a piece of metal moving through the water. Try mixing it up now and then, bringing it in slow sometimes if you’re able to drag it off the bottom and jerk it now and then you might snag a bottom feeder. Bringing in fast works too, as you would be surprised how quickly a predator can actually swim to catch something it wants to eat. Last month the tarpon had made their way up not only to the river but also just off the shore. With everything going on they should be just as thick as usual, because they love to feed off our coast this time of year. The weather outside doesn’t necessarily indicate that it’s almost fall. With temperatures still 90s, the trend in the water will continue to be one of time for the most part. Mother Nature is a clock and the time of year will suggest which fish will start grouping for migration for the upcoming winter. I would suggest either live mullet or cut bait if you’re looking to grab something a little larger in the surf, but shrimp (and sand fleas if you can find them) will still work this time of year as well. There may still be a few leftover pompano, sand perch and, of course, whiting are a constant. I think everyone is ready for some cooler weather, as we have seen some brutal summer heat. The good news is that the fishing is always steady here at the beach, whether you are on the intracoastal or you decide to walk across the street to the ocean. New Smyrna will always be a fun place to hang out and catch some great fish.

©2019 tides4 shing.com

8 DAYTONA/NEW SMYRNA/DELAND

https://tides4fishing.com/us/florida-east-coast/ponce-inlet-halifax-river#_tide_table

OCTOBER 2019

COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

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FISHING REPORT & FORECAST CAPT. MICHAEL SAVEDOW

Edgewater Backcountry and Mosquito Lagoon

W

e should feel the moderating air and water temperatures by the end of October, fall weather patterns emerging with the first cool fronts of the season pushing south through Central Florida bringing breezes off the ocean after a summer of calm mornings. East winds will raise water Hampton caught unusual double levels in the Intracoastal Waterway lateral line Snook in Edgewater and Mosquito Lagoon and cool Backcountry breezes will be a welcome change. In the backcountry with higher water levels, fish up close to shorelines for shallow Redfish, they will be feeding tight to mangrove edges, flooded oyster bars and shorelines which are the only skinny spots during high water. Live finger mullet, soft plastics, and top water lures fished as close as possible to the edges will be the ticket. The lagoon will also likely have high water. The shallowest grass flats, flooded wetlands and island shorelines will be the only shallows. Hunt for single Redfish and small schools, also be on the lookout for solitary large Spotted Seatrout, this is strictly sight fishing. Try smaller soft plastic lures, select size shrimp, live or cut mullet. Also this is prime for fly fishing. Early fall can have some of the biggest Mangrove Snapper of the year in the inshore waters, they have grown in the

backwaters all season long and are getting ready to move to the ocean for their adult stage of life. Many of them are in the inlet area, along the jetties, docks, bridges, also in the backwaters. Fish bigger baits to attract larger snapper, shrimp, finger mullet, and cut bait, Mangrove regulations are 10” size and bag limit of 5 per person. Tarpon can still be in the old channel at Edgewater, along the ICW and deeper water of the lagoon, watch for surface rolling fish, throw live baits, jigs, or DOA TerrorEyz, and a great challenge for fly fishers. The fall mullet run should be in full swing on the beach, inlet, and Intracoastal waterway with easy bait catching, watch for game fish busting mullet schools, Jack Crevalle and Bluefish can account for most of this surface action. A live mullet or topwater lure can be best for a quick hookup here. Ponce Inlet can be the center of attention for spawning Redfish, averaging 20 to 40 lbs, feeding on drifting blue crabs, mullet, and baitfish being pulled through the inlet on the outgoing tide. Boats can drift or anchor, in the western inlet entrance, inner channel edges, and the jetty tip area, also look for Tarpon, Snook and Shovelnose Sharks in the inlet channel. Dock light fishing can be really good in fall, Oak Hill and Edgewater lights can hold mostly Trout, also Snook, outgoing tides usually best bet, but moving water a must, free line live shrimp go to bait. Closer to the inlet, lights can have more Blues, Jacks and Snook, Ladyfish are big night feeders, mostly outside the lights, all along the ICW channel, shrimp, lures, or fly casting makes fun catching on big fall ladys. Capt Michael Savedow / Edgewater River Guide www.EdgewaterRiverGuide.com / 386-689-3781

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all. e one ear ming to if you l be a ant. n

ch, street catch

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

SAME STREET, NEW LOCATION! 223a Canal St. | NewSmyrnaOutfitters.com (386) 402-8853 Mon-Sat 9am-6pm | Sunday Closed

Winter Caught Bally Hoo

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OCTOBER 2019

DAYTONA/NEW SMYRNA/DELAND 9


Bragboard regular Eric Christian with a beauty of a sea trout

Captain Dave of Strippin Lips Charters guided his client to this inshore tarpon Benjamin Torsiello with a beautiful grouper

Nick Marra with a Ponce Inlet Bull

Eric Rutkosky with friends Carlos and Jordan wrestled this 12ft lizard This beautiful Mahi was caught aboard the Reel Compulsive Charter vessel

10 DAYTONA/NEW SMYRNA/DELAND

OCTOBER 2019

COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM


CAPTAIN’S SPOTLIGHT

Strippin Lips Charters

T

his month we headed offshore to film a video (check it out on our Facebook page) with Captain David Caruthers of Strippin Lips Charters to see if he could set us up with some quality fish, and he did not disappoint! We met Capt Dave and one of our favorite lady anglers, Shayna Foster at the Dunlawton boat ramp at 6am and we promptly headed for the inlet. One of the things I liked about Capt Dave was that he was prepared for everything. We heard the ocean was going to be a little rough so Captain informed us we will just start running out there and adjust to the conditions. We weren’t sure what we would be able to do, but we were ready for everything. That can be a make or break of a charter trip. Some Captains have a plan and stick to it no matter what, when a well rounded Captain can adjust and bring fish over the rail no matter what. Our first stop we wanted to put a few quick fish in the box and we did just that. Within the first 30 minutes we had a mahi, bonita, and kingfish over the rail. The seas were calm enough for us to anchor up on some of Captain’s secret numbers and then it was game on. We caught vermillions, lane snapper, big red snapper, a 6ft shark, and more. The highlight of the day was definitely Shayna’s first ever grouper. She was able to wrestle a 27” 17lb Warsaw grouper to the boat for some great photos and a quality release. A big thank you to Captain Dave and Strippin Lips Charters for a fantastic day on the water. Follow Strippin Lips on both Instagram and Facebook to keep up with his catches. He can do it all! Strippin Lips Charters / 386-383-9881

Specializing in Daytona’s Exciting Fishing Action

386-366-3424

Follow us on Facebook & Instagram

For advertising opportunities contact

Chris Chibbaro

386-478-9234 cchibbaro@coastalanglermagazine.com

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OCTOBER 2019

DAYTONA/NEW SMYRNA/DELAND 11


SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL CAPTAINS Inshore Offshore Outdoors

Specializing in Daytona’s Exciting Fishing Action

386-366-3424

Follow us on Facebook & Instagram

www.gobblerslodge3darchery.com 386-341-0792 • Daniel Levesque • Osteen, Florida

TOURNAMENT CENTRAL Halifax Sport Fishing Club OCTOBER TIPS

I

n this month’s column we are going to talk about several tips that can help you be successful in a tournament, even if you are outside your normal fishing area. We all look forward to our “home court advantage” when entering tournaments in our region, but what do anglers need to do when traveling?

1 Start Early

As soon as you know where and when you will be fishing, start researching the area. I like to research in a multitude of ways. If fishing inshore I look at tide tables and satellite photos of the areas, looking for points, possible holes, and most importantly possible “fish highways”. If we are fishing offshore I like to look at sea surface temps and any possible eddys, as well as where I believe the gulf stream is in relation to where we are fishing. Also I take to the forums and social media groups and just join conversations about fishing that specific area. *Hint* I try and offer some type of tip that works

12 DAYTONA/NEW SMYRNA/DELAND

OCTOBER 2019

in my area to the conversation. I find if you bring something to the table, people are more likely to give some information to you.

2 Scouting trip

If at all possible, get out and take a dry run and fish that area any time you can before the tournament. When scouting for tournaments, this is not the time to try and fill your cooler. If I find some fish biting on a certain bait, lure, or tactic I take note of it and move on. Save the fish catching for the day of the tournament, you are looking for information. If you have fish biting, try different baits and lures. Pay attention to what works and what doesn’t. It may save you time on the big day, and extra time often means more chance of success

We can go on and on about other tips, but this is a good start. Make sure you pick up the next issue of Coastal Angler to see our next tips to get you on the podium!

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HSFC ACTIVITIES Go to our website

www.hsfc.com for more club information.



FREE

Snapper pens! Season O + Smoker Kings

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TESY OF DISTR PHOTO COUR VOLUME 24

ALABAMA ADDS THREE-DAY FALL RED SNAPPER SEASON

T

hose looking to fill the freezer with tasty red snapper will have a few more days in Alabama thanks to a three-day fall season announced for the weekend of Oct. 4-6. The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources will open an additional three-day private angler recreational season for red snapper at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 4 until midnight on Sunday, Oct. 6. The possession limit is two fish per person with a minimum size limit of 16 inches total length. Anglers are reminded that as of Sept. 1, 2019, any angler age 16 and older must have a Reef Fish Endorsement to possess any species of Gulf reef fish. For more information about the Reef Fish Endorsement, visit www.outdooralabama.com/saltwater-fishing/saltwater-reef-fish-endorsement. Landing estimates are derived from mandatory angler reports submitted through Alabama’s Snapper Check Program. Anglers are reminded that greater amberjack is available for voluntary reporting through the Snapper Check app. Detailed red snapper landing information from the 2018 and 2019 seasons is available at www.outdooralabama.com/saltwater-fishing/ exempted-fishing-permit.

• ISSUE 292

JULY 2019

I S E F R A N C H

Florida Coastal Angler Franchise Locations Now Available MIAMI • FLORDIA KEYS OKEECHOBEE The Coastal Angler Magazine Franchise systems enable individuals with no prior publishing experience to publish a credible and profitable localized version of our award winning magazine. If you love the outdoors, there’s nothing better! What we’re offering is a proven method to generate income in a field that you’re passionate about.

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Color Choices DRIVE YOUR

For Inshore Lures BAITS WITH THE KING POMPANO GOLF RIG

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By CAM Staff

E

veryone has a theory on colors when it comes to selecting lures for inshore fishing. The generally accepted rule, and this applies everywhere in freshwater and salt, is to fish dark colors in stained water and more natural colors when the water is clearer. It makes sense. Most of the time, our favorite inshore species, whether they be trout, reds, flounder or snook, are feeding on shrimp or baitfish that are pale, sometimes translucent in color. In clear water, there is more visibility and more opportunity for gamefish to inspect an offering before taking it. This explains the natural colors in clear water theory. It calls for soft plastics in clear-sparkle, bone or pearl colors and hard baits in white or light gray with some silver flash. But what about dark colors in muddy water? Color selection becomes more about visibility than natural appearance in dingy water. Without the added attraction of scent, sound and vibration—all which can be remedied by lure selection— we’re relying on fish to see the offering. Darker colors show up better in murky water, and twotone combinations of colors provide contrast. This calls for plum, purple, motor oil, pumpkinseed or combinations thereof. And then there’s chartreuse. No color in the spectrum has proven more effective at catching fish, and this is a tough one to explain. Nothing fish eat even closely resembles this ridiculous bright green. But it works. No matter when, where or the conditions, it rarely hurts to choose a bait with a little chartreuse in it. To dive a little deeper, keeping up with the seasonal patterns on your bay, marsh or flat also makes sense. When glass minnows or small mullet are thick, obviously lighter-colored baits best “match the hatch.” A silver spoon with a white bucktail can be killer when trout and reds are keying on finfish. When shrimp are on the move, everything eats them. Browns and pinks become important. You might want to break out that gold spoon or any number of soft-plastic shrimp imitations. Of course, we’ve all been in situations when one color outperforms another for no apparent reason. That’s why it’s good to fish with a buddy. Start out throwing different baits and then hone in on a pattern once one of you starts getting bites. Gamefish survive feeding on forage that is often very hard for them to see. Vibration, sound, scent and movement are key to their ability to hunt. For this reason, lure choice and the way an angler fishes it are usually more important than color. Color can be like fine-tuning the presentation. Finding the right color definitely makes a difference, but first you’ve got to check the other variables off the list.

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f you’re halfway handy with a driver on the links, the New King Pompano Golf Rig is a new and very interesting way to get more range on your casts when fishing from the surf. Developed by Manuel Briceno, owner of King Pompano Bait & Tackle Shop in Vero Beach, the King Pompano Golf Rig is a fishing rig attached to a golf ball. To achieve much longer distances than a conventional cast, simply tee up and drive your ball and bait way past the breakers. Here’s how you do it: • Tie your mainline to the swivel on the rig. • Bait the hook. • Place your rod in a sand spike. • Open the bail on your reel. • Tee up in hard, wet sand. • Drive the ball and bait out to where the fish are! Included with each rig are: • One golf ball • One Eagle Claw 2/0 circle hook • Two #3 crane swivels • Two tees • 80-lb. test monofilament For more information, drop by the shop in Vero Beach or call 772-234-9300. Check out their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/kingpompanoshop/.

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TAMPA BAY WATCH SEEKS VOLUNTEERS U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Tori Long

T

ampa Bay Watch is seeking volunteers for two upcoming programs designed to restore lost habitat in Tampa Bay waters. The first, slated for Oct. 3-4, will install an oyster shell bar on the shoreline of MacDill Air Force Base from 9 a.m. to noon on each day. The goal is to prevent further erosion of the shoreline and improve water quality through natural biological filtration. Oyster bars also make excellent habitat for gamefish. The second project, being conducted on weekday mornings of October 2, 15, 21 and 23, needs hard workers to help build oyster domes at the Marine Center in Terra Verde. The project involves pouring marine-friendly concrete into a fiberglass mold to create oyster domes and taking apart the molds that were previously poured. This project is physically demanding in requiring bending, crouching, and some heavy lifting. It is entirely on land, and the domes will be installed at a later date to provide hard structure for oysters to grow. Oyster communities help stabilize shorelines, provide hard bottom habitats for fish and wildlife resources, and promote water quality improvements in the Tampa Bay ecosystem. For more information and to register for these events, go to www.tampabaywatch.org.

PERFECT FILLETS!

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Sheri Daye

fter all the time, effort and determination it takes to land that beautiful fish, you don’t want to compromise the quality of your dinner by improper handling at the end. Here are some tips I’ve learned over the years: 1) Dispatching/ bleeding: Whether you are fishing or spearfishing, try to minimize the amount of time the fish is under stress, as this can produce lactic acid which affects taste. Dispatching as soon as possible is humane and helps maintain quality. Bleeding also helps, especially for raw consumption. Spearfishermen can do it in the water, but if you don’t want to attract sharks, you Sheri Daye with a big Keys wahoo. can also do it on the boat. Cut the throat and place it in a bucket of water for a few minutes or use scissors and cut the gills. 2) Icing: Make sure you have plenty of ice, two pounds for every pound of fish. Saltwater ice is best if you can get it, and crushed

ice is optimal because it covers more surface area. Heat and air are the enemies, so ice your fish immediately. If you don’t plan to fillet soon, remove the guts and gills and fill the cavity with ice before burying it in the cooler. Drain and replace ice often to ensure fish stays cold and is not sitting in water, which will cause the fish to get mushy. 3) Filleting: When the flesh is chilled and firm, cutting is much easier, and a razor sharp knife makes quick work of filleting. After filleting, try not to rinse the meat, as water degrades the fillets and produces a breeding ground for bacteria. If you keep your knife clean, don’t puncture the gut cavity and you bled your fish beforehand, you should not have to rinse fillets. If the fillet is exposed to water, dry it promptly with paper towels. 4) Refrigeration: Fish can be stored in your refrigerator at 40 degrees for about three days. Wrap the fish in plastic-wrap and place in crushed ice. It is still best to store fish surrounded by crushed ice because the cooler you can keep it, the better. 5) Freezing: Store in the freezer at 0 degrees or lower. Lean fish (snapper or grouper) will keep for about six months. Fatty fish (salmon, tuna and mackerel) will keep for about three months. I like to vacuum-pack fillets. Vacuum packers are relatively inexpensive, easy to use, and available at Target. Fill pre-cut bags with fillets and follow the directions on the vacuum packer. This keeps fillets airtight to prevent freezer burn. 6) Thawing: The safest way to thaw fish is in the refrigerator for 12 to 24 hours. Plan to cook immediately after thawing. Do not thaw fish at room temperature, and never refreeze fish. Sheri is a world-record holder, host of Speargun Hunter, and producer of “The Blue Wild Ocean Adventure Expo” in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. Follow “Sheri Daye” and “The Blue Wild” on Facebook and Instagram.

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NOTHING IS OFF LIMITS FROM A KAYAK Photo courtesy of Justin Ritchey

By FWC Staff ayak fishing is a growing sport, and it’s easy to see why. Kayaks are nimble, less expensive than most motorized boats and provide access to places even the best casts from land just can’t reach. But those who love the sport1say kayak fishing is more than just Airline_Ad_CoastalAngler_8-1-14_Layout 8/1/14 1:14 PM Page 1 a quick and less expensive way to get on the water.

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“You are more in tune with what is going on,” said avid kayak angler Tony Hart, who runs YakOutlaws.com, a website dedicated to kayak and SUP angling. “The slower approach gives you an opportunity to take in more. It’s almost as though you become a part of what’s around you.” “Because you are so low in the water, there is this sense of vulnerability when you start fishing, but you also have this feeling of freedom and accomplishment, blood, sweat and tears,” said Justin Ritchey, who has been kayak fishing for more than a decade. “I’m very passionate about it, it’s a huge part of my life.” Like many kayak anglers, Hart and Ritchey got into kayak fishing for similar reasons: they loved fishing and didn’t have access to a boat. Ritchey got his start in college with two-person rental kayaks. He would ask classmates to foot the rental fee. Ritchey would provide the car, fishing gear and knowledge. Hart was fishing from a dock in Jacksonville when he noticed fish off a point too far for him to reach casting. “That’s when two young guys paddled by and I thought, that’s the smartest thing in world,” said Hart. “The next weekend I got two kayaks.” What often gets people into kayak fishing is the ability to access places they can’t reach from shore. “You can go anywhere you want with no stress of a motor breaking down or electronic failure,” Ritchey said. “And because you are quiet, you can often get closer than boat anglers can get.” Some might think kayaks are great for seatrout and redfish, but they can also be used for monster tarpon and sailfish. While what you catch within paddling distance will vary according to where in Florida you are fishing, if you can catch it, your kayak can take it. “Being able to catch every species from a kayak is personal goal of mine,” said Ritchey, who has personally caught sailfish, blackfin tuna, mutton snapper, kingfish and tarpon from his kayak. “In a boat, when a fish takes a lot of line, you have less control. In a kayak, you might be getting towed, but you are never too far away from the fish, which allows you to get the fish in much faster.”

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FLY FISHING

There are two schools of thoughts regarding bite-proof tippet. One school favors the soft, stainless-steel leader when fishing toothed game fish. The other school leans to the single-strand stainless-wire leader. Let’s compare the two.

BUILD THE PERFECT SALTWATER LEADER AND BITE TIPPET The basic fly leader is the saltwater fisherman’s most important connection between him and the fish. Tied incorrectly, it will place the angler at a distinct disadvantage when casting, especially under windy conditions. Simple in its design, the saltwater fly leader can meet the demands in almost every saltwater fly fishing situation. A leader’s length varies depending on conditions, but a 9-foot leader will work in most situations. A “4-3-2 combo” works well, as it allows the fly to roll over as it is cast. Creating this leader is fairly simple. First tie a two-turn surgeon’s loop of 40- or 50-pound soft monofilament at the fly line’s terminal. Then join the sections of your leader with blood knots, applying saliva to the knots to guarantee a solid connection. Take care to test the strength of each knot as you complete tying them. 4 feet of 40# soft mono 3 feet of 30# mono 2 feet of 20# mono Best Material for a Wire Leader When you fly fish in saltwater, there will be times when you deal with toothy critters like barracudas, sharks, needle fish, mackerel and numerous other fish sporting “ivories” capable of severing the heaviest monofilament and fluorocarbon leaders. It is the savvy saltwater fly fisherman who has learned to attach a bite-proof tippet to his fly line.

Soft Stainless Steel Wire Soft stainless wire is a good alternative to single-strand wire. It works well on smaller saltwater gamefish like Pacific barracuda, bonito and other toothy critters the fly rodder will encounter in many nearshore fisheries. The best attribute of the soft stainless wire is you can tie a loop knot in it rather than going through the time consuming process of making the haywire twist commonly used with single-strand wire. Single Strand Wire The second option, and my personal preference, is the single-strand stainless wire leader. The wire is tough, able to stand the raking teeth of a shark far better than its softer counterpart. Also, the advantage of using this type of leader is its small diameter. Like a piece of dental floss, it fits nicely between the fish’s teeth. As the battle rages, the wire does not wear against razor sharp teeth, giving the advantage to the angler in a difficult and prolonged fight. If your choice is the single-strand wire leader, the most commonly used knot is the reliable haywire twist. Although there are tools to assist you in the tying of this knot, I recommend the “old school” method you will find in numerous books and pamphlets, many currently available at your local fly shop.

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ELITE SERIES TO OPEN SEASON AT ST. JOHNS RIVER B.A.S.S. photo by James Overstreet

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n Feb. 6-9, the Bassmaster Elite Series will begin its 2020 season with an event on the St. John’s River out of Palatka, Fla. Last year’s tournament on the St. Johns was one of the most exciting in history, with Rick Clunn weighing a 34-pounds, 14-ounce sack on Championship Sunday to complete an amazing come-frombehind win with 98-14. That final-day bag included two bass over 9 pounds. The big-fish factory is an apt location to launch a 2020 schedule that was designed for fans who love watching professional anglers catch big bass. With the St. Johns event, the world’s best professional bass

fishermen will embark on a journey that spans six states and nine events on some of the most storied fisheries in the sport’s history. “This year, we unveiled the mantra ‘Big Bass. Big Stage. Big Dreams.,’” said B.A.S.S. CEO Bruce Akin. “Fans will have an opportunity to see our anglers compete on some of the best big-bass lakes in America.” On Feb. 14-17, the Elite Series will shift focus to a location that has yet to be announced. The Bassmaster Classic takes the stage in March, when the Super Bowl of Bass Fishing descends upon Alabama’s Lake Guntersville, with weigh-ins and the Bassmaster Classic Outdoors Expo taking place in nearby Birmingham. When regular season Elite competition resumes, B.A.S.S. will take a trip down memory lane with a return to Alabama’s Lake Eufaula on April 2-5. B.A.S.S. hasn’t visited Eufaula since 2006. But the lake on the Alabama/ Georgia border has been the site of 18 major B.A.S.S. events, dating back to 1968. The fourth Elite Series event will be in Manning, S.C., on the Santee Cooper Lakes. Lakes Marion and Moultrie, which have been on fire recently. A BFL event held on the Santee Cooper Lakes in March was won with five bass that weighed just over 30 pounds. The next fishery on the schedule is known for producing big crowds— the Sabine River in Orange, Texas. The 2020 event will be held May 29-June 1 and could challenge the fan attendance record of 36,200. The site for the Toyota Bassmaster Texas Fest will be announced at a later time. But the dates have been tentatively set for June 5-9 — just before the Elite Series makes its New York swing. That swing begins with a trip to smallmouth fishing’s holy country, the St. Lawrence River in Waddington, N.Y., on July 23-26. The 2019 Elite Series event on the river was won by Georgia pro Micah Frazier with an average of more than 20 pounds of smallmouth each day. The pros will then head to Plattsburg, N.Y., for an event at Lake Champlain on July 30-Aug. 2, where Vermont angler Bryan Labelle won with an average of almost 20 pounds of largemouth per day in 2018. With the Bassmaster Angler of the Year title and numerous Bassmaster Classic berths hanging in the balance, the Elites will finish their season in Macomb County, Mich., at Lake St. Clair on Aug. 20-23.

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he Gulf of Mexico gag grouper recreational season opened on Sept. 1 in state waters off Franklin, Wakulla, Jefferson and Taylor counties, Fla. The season will remain open through Dec. 31. The season for all other Gulf state and federal waters is June 1 through Dec. 31. The minimum size limit for gag grouper is 24 inches total length and the daily bag limit is two fish per harvester within the four fish aggregate bag limit. Charter captains and crew have a zero bag limit. If you plan to fish for gag grouper in Gulf state or federal waters from a private recreational vessel, you must sign up as a Gulf Reef Fish Angler prior to your fishing trip (renew annually). To learn more, visit MyFWC. com/Marine and click on “Recreational Regulations” and “Gulf Reef Fish Survey” under “Reef Fish.” Sign up today at GoOutdoorsFlorida.com. Learn more about grouper regulations at MyFWC.com/Marine by clicking on “Recreational Regulations” and “Grouper” under the “Reef Fish” tab.

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ONGOING BTT I

PERMIT PROJECTS

Photo by Tom Purves/flickr

Bonefish & Tarpon Trust’s Project Permit has reached a major milestone of 150 permit tagged with acoustic transmitters in south Florida since March 2016. Scientists track the movement patterns of tagged fish for up to five years, providing important information on habitat use and spawning locations. This information is essential to guide permit conservation efforts, and data from Project Permit have already influenced permit harvest regulations, such as the expansion of the permit harvest season closure in the Special Permit Zone (SPZ) to include the month of April. Recently BTT Collaborating Scientist Dr. Jake Brownscombe tagged 14 permit on the flats of Biscayne Bay with fishing guides Capt. Augie Moss and Capt. Carl Ball. Project Permit would not be possible without the help of the dozens of fishing guides who generously donate time and expertise to catch and tag fish with BTT scientists. Currently BTT is also seeking information on juvenile permit to gain a better understanding of the habitats that support the juveniles and sub-adults. For permit in the Keys, abundant newborns form 1 to 3 inches can be found on sandy beaches. Adults and larger sub-adults greater than 15 inches live on the flats or reefs and wrecks. However, fish between 4 and 14 inches are surprisingly rare. These 4- to 14-inch fish might be absent because the habitats they use are becoming degraded, and as a result, there are less of that size. Or, scientists haven’t yet looked in the right places for them. In either case, BTT seeks to identify the habitats these fish are using to restore them if they are unhealthy, or protect them so permit have a place to grow into adults. Report sightings and catches of permit in the 4- to 14-inch range to Florida Keys Initiative Manager Dr. Ross Boucek. Email Dr. Boucek at ross@bonefishtarpontrust.org.

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FLY FISHING’S

WARMWATER REVOLUTION By Nick Carter

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here’s a brutish undercurrent gaining momentum in fly fishing. Whether it’s river-run striped bass, muskie or carp, long-rodders are targeting freshwater’s most powerful fish. Here are a few destinations where you can get in on the action. James River Photo courtesy of Matt Miles Muskie, Virginia The James River is one of the few rivers in the east that supports a fishable wild muskie population. Guide Matt Miles eagerly pointed out that most of the fish they catch, the 35- to 42-inchers, were spawned wild in the upper James. He said the monster 50-inchers might have originally come from the hatchery, but they still prowl the river, ready to give anglers the adrenaline rush of a lifetime. Between Iron Gate and Lynchburg, Va., more than 80 miles of the James are considered muskie water. The relatively shallow pool and riffle habitat is uniquely suited to hunting freshwater’s biggest, toothiest fish with a fly rod. But muskie fishing isn’t for everyone. Casting waterlogged, 14-inch-long streamers on sinking lines with 10- and 11-weight rods is a workout. Doing it all day in hope of a single take requires mental fortitude. Peak muskie season is October through mid-March.

Saluda & Congaree River Striper, South Carolina Each spring, South Carolina striped bass go on the move. From the Santee-Cooper Lakes between Columbia and Charleston, fish run some 60 miles up the Congaree and arrive in Columbia to spawn in April. By early May they push into the lower Saluda, where they spend the summer in the cold-water refuge of a 10-mile stretch of tailwater. Jake Howard, of Saluda Valley Guides, tapes his thumbs during the June through August heart of the striper season because they become raw from lipping fish. He told of huge numbers of stripers and said 60-fish days are possible for anglers who can lay out line with a 10-weight rod and 350-grain sinking lines. The standard fish weighs 4 to 8 pounds, but 20-, 30- and even 50-pounders are caught each season. Catawba Chain Carp, North Carolina More than 15 years ago, Capt. Paul Rose left the Texas coast with his flats skiff in tow. He settled in the North Carolina Piedmont, far from the salt marshes he loves. But he found a new passion in the clear Catawba River lakes between Asheville and Charlotte, N.C. In the shallows, he watched carp tailing like redfish. The fishing style that arose is a lot like sight casting to bonefish. Rose poles anglers over clear-water flats, searching for pods of carp rooting and feeding. Many clients hire Rose to practice before a trip to the Bahamas. They return because carp are so much fun. Fish from 3 pounds up to 20 pounds call for a 6- or 7-weight rod. The peak season on impoundments like Lake Norman and Lake James runs from May through September. Nick Carter is the author of “Flyfisher’s Guide to North Carolina & Georgia.” It is available on Amazon.com, and autographed copies are available by emailing the author at nsc8957@gmail.com. COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

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n enormous 40-pound, 6-ounce brown trout caught at Lake Taneycomo in southwest Missouri is a new state record and just a couple pounds shy of the IGFA all-tackle world record. Bill Babler, a veteran fishing guide from Blue Eye, Mo., caught the monster brown on Sept. 4 using a pink Berkley plastic worm. He caught it on 6x tippet, which equates to less than 4-pound test, making his catch 2 ounces heavier than the current IGFA 4-pound line class record. The previous state record, set just seven months, weighed 34 pounds, 10 ounces. It was also caught at Lake Taneycomo. Babler told the Springfield News-Leader he’d only been out fishing for a few minutes when he caught his new state record. “As soon as I set the hook it came to the top and I knew we had a good fish on,” Babler told the newspaper. “We positioned the boat in an unobstructed area. It was pulling drag pretty good!” Babler attempted to keep the behemoth alive in an aerated tank, but unfortunately the trout died before it could be released. Fisheries Biologist Shane Bush said the fish was eight or nine-years-old. For more information on Missouri state-record fish, visit the MDC website at https://short.mdc.mo.gov/Z3t.

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Ultimate Control For Saltwater Fishing Boats The Dometic Group Introduces New Optimus Electric Steering Actuator

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altwater anglers who fish aboard today’s large center console fishing machines and other high-performance outboard powered boats will soon be able to experience a new level of precision steering and vessel control. The Dometic Group is introducing its new Optimus Universal Electric Steering Actuator. Incorporating proprietary technology and several new components designed and manufactured by Dometic, this new actuator is built exclusively for use with its Optimus Joystick and Electric Power Steering Systems. About the same size as the Dometic Tournament Cylinder, the Optimus Electric Steering Actuator mounts directly on the outboard in place of the present hydraulic cylinder. With its powerful drive train, integrated proprietary position sensors and embedded electronics, it eliminates the need for separately mounted hydraulic actuators used in the Optimus Joystick and EPS systems. This means no more Pump Control Module, no more hydraulic pump, no more hoses, hydraulic cylinders and fluid, and no more purging the system. “We are continually inventing ways to make boat building more efficient and boating more enjoyable,” said Eric Fetchko, President of Dometic Marine Americas. “Once again, we have taken marine steering to the next level. You have my word that we will never stop innovating and solving industry problems.” In terms of performance underway, ease of installation and seasonafter-season reliability, the new Optimus Electric Steering Actuator will provide substantial benefits to boat builder and skipper alike. With the present system, the signal from the Optimus electronic helm goes to the Pump Control Module, which activates an electro-hydraulic steering system. Even though it is “by-wire,” hydraulic fluid is still pumped through hoses and into the steering cylinders on the outboard(s) which act on the tiller arms of the outboards to move left or right. With the new Optimus Electric Steering Actuator, the electronic helm signal goes directly to the actuator which instantly moves the outboard. The “brains” of the Pump Control Module, including ECM, rudder position circuit and CANbus communication, have been

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transplanted into the new Optimus Electric Steering Actuator itself. Steering power is delivered by a proprietary high-torque high-efficiency brushless DC electric motor, designed and manufactured by Dometic, and a patented compact roller-screw drive system, also a proprietary Dometic design. Both the motor and power train reside within the steering actuator. In terms of steering performance, skippers will sense a marked improvement in handling. Steering response will be immediate, smooth and precise, thanks to this robust, industry-leading drive train that provides unparalleled performance and system rigidity when needed most. Programmable steering settings, including adjustable speed-sensitive lockto-lock turns, adjustable speed sensitive wheel effort, and speed-sensitive rudder angle limits to ensure safe steering, continue to be available, now without the need for any extra components. Installation of the new system is a snap, with just three CANbus connections plus power. Twin, triple and quad outboard installations will be set up similar to the present design, with Optimus Electric Steering Actuators controlling adjacent outboards via tie-bars. In addition, the new Electric Steering Actuator will interface with compatible autopilot systems in the same manner as the present Optimus systems. Dometic’s SeaWays Autopilot and SeaStation GPS Anchoring functionality are also built in. The Dometic Optimus Electric Steering Actuator exceeds all applicable marine standards, including NMMA, ABYC, CE and SAE electrical and environmental requirements. The actuators are maintenance free, except for regular greasing of the steering ram via installed zerk fittings. Over 100,000 hours of rigorous testing during development assures safe and reliable performance under harsh salt and freshwater conditions, all in keeping with Dometic’s proven reputation for superior quality. To learn more, visit seastarsolutions.com

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He’ll typically kick the morning off with redfish encounters in depths of 2 feet or less. As the sun grows stronger, he’ll probe docks and structure looking for summer flounder before finishing off with feisty seatrout in feeder creeks. “I’m thinking this season will be a special one if we don’t get smacked by any major storms,” said Collins. “There’s tons of bait around already, and it’s been a long time since I’ve seen as many mullet as we have this year. Crabs and small menhaden are abundant, too. Plus we have tons of shrimp; everything loves shrimp.” By Tom Schlichter Collins targets early morning reds around oyster bars, oyster reefs and oyster rocks in water that is generally hip-deep or less. He’ll work shoal areas and Seatrout: Dale Collins puts a fare even dig into the grass on White Oak Sound, White Oak River and the area on a pretty Oak River area sea trout. Photo courtesy of Do or Die surrounding Swansboro with a 7-foot, 6- to 10-pound class Star Seagis rod. His Charters, Swansboro, N.C. lure of choice for the reds is a Skitter Walk SW11 in a golden mullet pattern that always seems to bring surface thrills. Backing off the edges and working near docks and structure, he’ll switch to a ¾-ounce white Spro bucktail tipped with a 4-inch Berkley Gulp! pearl-white shrimp for the flatties. “For the reds,” disclosed Collins, “I keep a second rod rigged with a Z-Man soft plastic or Gulp! Jerk Shad impaled on a weedless screw-style hook. If a redfish blows up on the topwater but misses, I immediately send the soft plastic his way. He’ll slam that as soon as it starts to sink.” For flounder, Collins hops his bucktail about a foot at a time, but it’s vital you actually feel it strike bottom on the drop. “Most hits come as the lure falls, and if you don’t feel it hit bottom it’s probably in a fish’s mouth,” he said. “Strike immediately, because those flounder spit a lure out quickly once they realize it’s a fake.” As for the specks, Collins recommends getting on them as soon as possible. “You’ll find the biggest fish arrive first,” he said. Throw a Mirrolure MR 17 or ou’ve got to love fall’s promise here in North Carolina,” said Capt. Dale 18, or try my personal favorite: a Zoom Golden Bream on a 1/16-ounce jighead. Collins, of Fish or Die Charters (www.fishordiecharters; 252-422- Man can that lure catch some fish! Just work it slow and allow time for it to get 4236) in Swansboro, North Carolina. “The water temperatures are down deep. If you think you are fishing slowly enough, slow down a little more.” starting to cool and there’s plenty of red drum, flounder and big seatrout in our bays and creeks. Indeed, it’s my favorite time of year to fish around here.” If you’d like to fish the Swansboro area on your own, Collins suggests Collins should know. He’s built a reputation putting fares on big fish in launching from Cedar Point Wildlife Ramp near Dudley’s Marina (https:// skinny water in this area west of Morehead City and separated from Pamlico www.dudleysmarinanc.com; 252-393-2204) in Swansboro. For overnight accommodations Best Western Plus (252-393-9015) is right near the launch. Sound on the southern side of Cape Lookout.

SWANSBORO, NC: FALL ROCKS WITH REDS, FLOUNDER AND SEATROUT

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SIGHT CASTING TO LOUISIANA’S BIG BULL REDS ON THE FLY

Photo courtesy of Michael Booth Jr.

I

t’s no secret that the Louisiana coast is an inshore angler’s dream. A seemingly endless tangle of interconnected waterways, with big salt lakes, canals, grass, oysters and mud flats make the bayous south of New Orleans the No. 1 destination in the world for redfish. Places like Grand Isle, Cocodrie, Venice, Delacroix and Hopedale are the destinations for redfish anglers seeking out some of the best fishing on the planet. The region is filthy with reds, and targeting big bulls with a fly rod is the ultimate thrill. Angler Michael Booth Jr. and his buddies, many who are local captains, have made a practice of sight fishing these monsters. Instead of working the grass to find individual bulls or pods of slotsized redfish, they move out deeper on the big lakes in search of

schools of big bulls, which usually hunt in the 3- to 4-foot depths 100 to 200 yards off the grass. “The weather has to be good for a couple weeks beforehand for the water to be clean enough to see them,” said Booth “When we go out looking for schools of big fish, we start about 20 yards out and pole that line until we figure out where the reds are holding that day. Then they’ll usually all be in that same area.” On certain special days, when a strong northeast wind and a low tide suck the water out of the marsh around Hopedale, those 4-foot depths become 2 feet and spotting fish is easy. “Those big bulls will all be belly crawling with their backs out of the water,” said Booth. But normally, finding fish means looking for the telltale dark triangles of tails and fins or fish pushing water as they chase bait and root for crabs. Booth said a good pair of green-mirror glasses with amber lenses makes it easier to distinguish the shadows and colors of a big redfish in tannic-stained water. Once you find them, tempting them to eat a fly is a matter of trial and error to find the fly and retrieve they want on a given day. Booth prefers fishing on top, and a size 2 Surface Seducer Double Barrel popper is the hot bait at the moment. Booth likes purple, gold, chartreuse, black and combinations of those colors. Sometimes, when the fish aren’t feeding as actively, Booth said he’s forced to fish something that sinks. A size 2 shrimp pattern with extra large dumbbell eyes becomes the bait of choice. Again, purple and chartreuse work well, as do more natural tan or olive patterns. A 10-weight rod, floating line and a 50-40-30 leader with 12 to 18 inches of 16- to 20-pound tippet are in order. Booth said he’s seen days that brought 10 fish over 20 pounds to the rail and others when a single 40-pound red was reason for rejoicing. “Any day you’re able to catch a 20-plus-pound bull red on a fly is pretty awesome,” he said.

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The hunt for the perfect outdoorsman knife is over. There’s only one tool you need: the Whitetail™ Hunting Knife—now ONLY $49!

T

he consummate outdoorsman never goes on deep woods hunting trips without the essentials. Not just the basics for every hunting trip, but the items he’s come to depend on over the years. Our new Whitetail™ Hunting Knife will quickly become your go-to blade for every expedition. The Whitetail™ is a premium fixed-blade hunting knife that’s perfect for skinning. With the Whitetail at hand, you’ll be ready for field dressing in only seconds, and you’ll never need a separate gut hook tool ever again. The Whitetail™ boasts a mighty 420 high carbon, full tang stainless steel blade, meaning the blade doesn’t stop at the handle, it runs the full length of the knife. According to Gear Patrol, a full tang blade is key, saying “A full tang lends structural strength to the knife, allowing for better leverage ...think one long steel beam versus two.” The comfortable handle is made from pakkawood—moisture-resistant and more durable than hardwood. If hunting is your life, then the Whitetail™ Knife was designed to make your life easier. With our limited edition Whitetail™ Hunting Knife you’re getting the best in 21st-century construction with a classic look inspired by legendary American pioneers. What you won’t get is the trumped up price tag. We know a thing or two about the hunt–– like how to seek BONUS! Call today and you’ll also receive this out and capture an outstanding, collector’s-quality knife that won’t cut heavy duty sheath! into your bank account. This knife can be yours to use out in the field or to display as the EXCLUSIVE art piece it truly is. But don’t wait. A knife of this caliber typically cost hundreds. Priced at an amazing $49, we can’t guarantee this knife will stick around for long. So call today! Stauer® 8x21 Your satisfaction is 100% guaranteed. Feel the knife in Compact your hands, wear it on your hip, inspect the craftsmanship. Binoculars If you don’t feel like we What customers are saying -a $99 valuecut you a fair deal, send it with purchase of about Stauer knives... Whitetail™ Hunting back within 30 days for a Knife complete refund of the êêêêê item sale price. But we “Good value. Great looking. believe that once you wrap Sufficiently sharp. Overall your fingers around the an “A” purchase and Whitetail’s handle, you’ll I ordered three.” be ready to carve your own — B. of Maryland niche into the wild frontier.

FREE

Whitetail™ Hunting Knife $79*

Offer Code Price Only $49 + S&P Save $30 PLUS Free Stauer Compact Binoculars

1-800-333-2045

TAKE 38 % OFF INST ANTLY! When you use

your

INSIDER OFFER CO DE

Your Insider Offer Code: WHK291-01 You must use the insider offer code to get our special price.

Stauer

® 14101 Southcross Drive W., Ste 155, Dept. WHK291-01

Burnsville, Minnesota 55337

www.stauer.com

Not shown actual size.

*Discount is only for customers who use the offer code versus the listed original Stauer.com price.

Rating of A+

• 5 ¼” 420HC stainless steel blade • Full-tang design with gut hook • Pakkawood handle with brass pins • Bonus heavy duty nylon sheath

Stauer… Afford the Extraordinary ®


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