The Hidden Coast
The Last of Old Florida
48th Annual Cedar Key Seafood Festival Oct 21 - Oct 22
Clyde Butcher Visits Cedar Key Pg. 6
Bowlegs Town History, Artifacts Unearthed Pg. 11
Pirate Invasion Cedar Key Pg. 13
see page 12 for more info! Cedar Key, Steinhatchee & All In Between!
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2 • Florida’s The Hidden Coast
TheHiddenCoastMag.com â€¢ 3
HHH FREE ADMISSION HHH Smokin’ In The Pines BBQ Festival September 22-23, 2017
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The Hidden Coast
The Last of Old Florida
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Volume 2 Edition 5
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TheHiddenCoastMag.com • 5
Renown Naturalist Landscape Photographer
Clyde Butcher Visits Cedar Key By Mandy Offerle ©
From Florida’s Everglades, Waccasassa River, Myaka State Park, Apalachicola, and the Hillsborough River Rapids, to the Red Rocks of California and more, internationally renowned landscape photographer Clyde Butcher has photographed the best of America…and well beyond. Butcher’s black and white fine art photogrphy are as classic as those of Ansel Adams. Devoted to conservation efforts, he has just recently published his 2018 Calendar Florida State Parks, loaded with magnificent shots,
some panoramic, some less broad. Easy access to his website may be found at https:// clydebutcher.com/ Butcher’s devotion to conservation is intmately lived by him. “At some time, you need to walk the talk,” said he. He and his wife Niki have a home in and live a good portion of their time in the middle of the River of Grass, the Everglades, with no neighbors for indeterminate miles. They photograph in and out of the water, haul photographic equipment for miles in watercrafts, and deal with mosquitoes and alligators regularly. These places are where Butcher sees his pictures-to-be. Cedar Key’s good fortune to have the Clyde and wife Niki Butcher visit Cedar Key is a function of the vision and perseverance of Cedar Key’s own Dr. Maria Sgambati and Amy Gernhardt.
6 • Florida’s The Hidden Coast
reported Sgambati. After several years of correspondence, the Butchers busy schedule finally allowed them to visit Cedar Key this August 18 through the 20. While in Cedar Key, the Butchers spent time at Dennis Creek and the Lukens Tract in the Cedar Keys National Wildlife Refuge.
Sgambati, past Education and Outreach Director with the University of Florida Marine Lab a Seahorse Key, has long been devoted to conservation issues, as has Amy Gernhardt, local artist and potter. Sgambati’s immediate past presidency of the Friends of the Cedar Keys and Wildlife Refuges and Gernhardt’s executive directorship at the Cedar Key Historical Society bound the two together in their penchant for inviting and showing the Cedar Key and Big Bend area to Butcher personally.
Clyde Butcher plans to return to Cedar Key for his upcoming March and April 2018 gallery exhibition at the Cedar Key Arts Center. Not only will Butcher’s fine art grace the Arts Center, but Butcher also plans to give talks about his photography and his experiences in capturing them. The March and April exhibit at the Cedar Key Arts Center will focus on Butcher’s photographic images of Florida: the Waccasassa area, Santa Fe River, Cedar Key, Apalachicola, Gainesville’s Devils Millhopper, and more. The Cedar Key community is delighted, inspired, honored, and buoyant that Butcher plans to return, photograph more of the area, exhibit his work, and speak about his art.
The Butchers did respond, Clyde saying, he had “always wanted to photograph that area,”
Clyde Butcher plans to return to Cedar Key for his upcoming March and April 2018 gallery exhibition at the Cedar Key Arts Center.
TheHiddenCoastMag.com • 7
A Local Perspective
H. DALE HERRING Author, Businessman, Rancher
The Hidden Coast is... Home. Undiscovered by the masses. A great place to spend time with family, visit and enjoy old Florida. While you are here... Visit the clear springs along the Suwannee River. Stay and dine at the historical Putnam Lodge. Go scalloping. Kayak the Suwannee River. Fish the Gulf of Mexico. Just ride and explore. If you see someone sitting on their front porch, stop and say howdy. One of my favorite things... Scalloping at Steinhatchee. It’s like Easter egg hunting in the clear bay water. Riding horses. Spending time on the Suwannee River and Gulf of Mexico. The people. Locals know... Where to get Mullet and Swamp Cabbage every Friday.
Capt. Tom Cushman | 386-623-0243 firstname.lastname@example.org
Runnin’ Out Fishing Charters
Photo courtesy Carrie Mizel
Come Visit Hart Springs, One of the Largest Spring-Fed Swimming Areas in the State of Florida!
4240 SW 86th Ave Bell, Florida 352-463-3444 • HartSprings.com 8 • Florida’s The Hidden Coast
PO Box 1397, Chiefland, Florida 32644 Ph: 352-493-1849 www.chieflandchamber.com ChieflandChamber@bellsouth.net The 14th Annual Chiefland Christmas Festival SATURDAY, DECEMBER 9th 10 am to 8 pm Location: In the field on US 19, across from Train Depot Park
Fall Kingfish Run in Steinhatchee by Danielle Norwood
When driving down the road and you see the miles of purple and pink wildflowers, think KINGFISH! Kingfish usually run off the coastline of Steinhatchee between the months of September through October if the weather is consistent (i.e. no long extended summer or early winter cold fronts). The general fall migration of kingfish will come when the water temperatures drop into the mid-seventy degree range. When the waters around Steinhatchee get to about 77 degrees, it’s time to fish for kingfish. A good water temperature range is from about 70 to 77 degrees. Many anglers say the ideal temperature is 72 degrees at the height of the migration. Look for diving birds and pods of bait. Sometimes you’ll find them in the middle of nowhere. Sometimes they are associated with an artificial reef, a wreck, or a giant natural ledge. Regardless, there will be a time when you enter an area where as far as you can see are schools of bait hitting the surface. If they appear nervous or are visibly being worked, check it out. Be careful that you do not drive through the center of the pod though. Jump from bait pod to bait pod until you find the group holding the big kingfish. King mackerel are voracious feeders that will hit a variety of baits. One setup is slow-trolling pods or reefs with about 300 yards of 30-pound
braided line, plus 10 yards of monofilament leader for shock absorbance. Attach a wire leader to the mono leader with a 1/0 to 3/0 hook in the nose of the bait with a treble stinger. Keep your drag loose. Anglers that tighten up the drag as the kingfish peels it off, leads to pulled hooks and line breaks. Try baits like thread herring, northern mackerel and cigar minnows or other live bait fish that you catch. Kingfish are sometimes present when you’re bottom fishing over active rocky or live bottom, so always put out a line with a live, free-lined bait. A big pinfish rigged with a stinger treble hook is perfect for this type of fishing. (see picture)
Try some Buckeye Reef Numbers: N29º 38.190 W83º 54.706 N29º 38.400 W83º 54.310 N29º 38.718 W83º 54.758 N29º 39.003 W83º 54.245 So don’t forget, when you’re driving down the road and you see the miles of purple and pink wildflowers, get ready for some kingfish action!
Danielle Norwood, Owner Sea Hag Marina | Steinhatchee, FL
352-498-3008 TheHiddenCoastMag.com • 9
Horseshoe Beach From the Mayor’s Pen
I can’t believe how fast summer is passing! For me, scallop season is a calendar for the summer.The season comes in during June when the kids get out of school and ends close to the time they start back in September. All in All it has been a very good scallop season for everyone. In our area, we did not have any water related accidents during the harvest season.
The Marina 262 3rd St. • Horseshoe Beach Florida’s Last Frontier
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The Angler Inn 22 Main Street
Off Season Tax Included
The season does not end until September 10. The heavy rainfall we experienced in early August should clear out in a couple of weeks and the water should return to normal again. This should make our Labor Day week-end a really good time to finish the season off with a “bang”.
Efficiencies with A/C’s, BBQ Grill, Washer/Dryer, Picnic Tables, TV’s, Cable, Plus Great Boat Parking!
I do want to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to Governor Scott, the state cabinet and the Federal Marine Fisheries for allowing our coastal communities to enjoy the extended season from June to September. It really gave our local economies a big boost.
Thanks to everyone who came to our little Town of Horseshoe and made great family memories “scalloping”. God Bless You all! Mayor Talmadge Bennett The Marina in Horseshoe Beach Sends One Big, Big Thank You to Governor Scott!
10 • Florida’s The Hidden Coast
Off Season Weekends Off Season Weeks
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BOWLEGS TOWN HISTORY, ARTIFACTS UNEARTHED By: Toni C. Collins
What would you do if you discovered that your property was the 1818 site of an 80-acre Seminole Indian town? You would allow professional archaeologists to undertake a thorough examination of the site. And that is just what property owner, H. Dale Herring did. Herring invited representatives of the Seminole Indian nation to visit his property in Old Town to direct him in what he should do. “I want the history associated with this important site to be preserved and protected,” said Herring. “I want to do the right thing out here. You folks need to tell me what I should do.” The “folks” advising Herring were an archaeology team which included Tribal historian and Seminole Chief Justice Willie Johns, Tribal citizens Quenton Cypress and Tucomah Robbins, Andrew Weidman from the Seminole Tribal Historic Preservation Office (THPO), Ah-TahPhoto: Culver Pictures, Inc., New York, NY. Thi-Ki Museum Director Paul Backhouse and Newnan wiped out a Seminole camp at Paynes THPO chief data an lyst Juan Cancel. Prairie south of present day Gainesville, killing The subject of Bowlegs Town emerged on the their leader Payne. Many Seminoles fled to South Seminole radar three years ago when Silver River Florida but many fled 60-miles west to settle near Museum Director, Scott Mitchell borrowed the Suwannee River. several cases of artifacts unearthed on the Herring property to show his friend, Mary Jene When Andrew Jackson, with 3,000 troops, stormed across the Florida border into Spanish Koenes in Big Cypress. Florida without congressional permission, the “It is quite remarkable to find a private site this first of three Seminole Indian wars was begun. important which has an owner who is totally Historians interested in the lives of Seminole dedicated to historical research and preservation, Indians will enjoy Herring’s book BOWLEGS who will protect the site from those who would TOWN which will be available in October. The plunder it for profit,” said Weidman. Both book is a story about the Seminole Indians, Weidman and Backhouse praised amateur Bowlegs Town, and Billy Bowlegs. archaeologist, John Edwards, a surveyor by trade, who has carefully documented the site with To reserve a copy of the book and learn more about drawings and photographs of each musket ball, Herring’s schedule of book signing appearances, email at tool, blade, beat, pot, etc., found on the site. email@example.com Bowlegs Town gained prominence among the Seminoles after a force led by Colonel Daniel
TheHiddenCoastMag.com • 11
Cedar Key Seafood Festival – “Celebrate Island Lifestyle” Saturday & Sunday, October 21-22, 2017 Food • Fun • Arts • Crafts • Music & More
Over 100 Arts & Crafts Vendors Line 2nd & “C” Streets in Downtown Cedar Key Vendor Stands Open 9:00AM to 5:00PM Saturday & Sunday Handmade Jewelry, Wood Carvings, Funky Coconut Fish, Original Artwork, Fine Pottery, Great Sauces, Hand Sewn Quilts, Soaps & Lotions, Decorative Wreaths, And Much, Much More….
City Park Food Vendors* Open 10:00AM to 4:00PM Saturday & Sunday Fresh Cedar Key Clams, Luscious Cedar Key Oysters, Delicious Crab Cakes, Succulent Fish Sandwiches, Tasty Fried Shrimp, Juicy Corn on the Cob, Landlubber Burgers, Yummy Desserts, Ice Cold Tea, Water & Soda, And Much, Much More…. *Purchases Support Cedar Key’s Non Profit Organizations
Continuous Live Music Performances Cedar Key City Park – Clam Boat Stage 10:00AM to 4:00PM Saturday & Sunday
Cedar Key Seafood Festival Parade 11:00AM Saturday “Celebrate Island Lifestyle” Parade Route includes G St., 1st St. and Dock St.
It has been rumored that Jean Lafitte, the famous privateer, had buried some treasure somewhere in Cedar Key. He is coming back to town under cover of darkness, with pirates from all over the eastern seaboard and a small armada of ships. A contingent from the St. Augustine Garrison has been sent to Cedar Key to help protect the townfolks and try to keep some semblance of order. It is rumored that the pirates will be setting up camp in the city park and taking over Dock street until the treasure is found. Come, celebrate with the pirates. See how they lived on land when ashore. Learn from some of the finest re-enactors on the East Coast. Watch and listen as the pirates set up an outpost in the city park, complete with trade and commerce. Come and purchase wares and clothing from foreign lands. Listen to rousing, toe tapping sea shanties. Prepare for the parade Saturday morning. All the scallawags in town will be in attendance. For the Little Pirates, a treasure hunt with Bloody Sam Rackham, Face Painting, a costume contest and an all-day search for the most infamous pirates in town. The Wanted Poster will be inside your program found around town and at the Info Booth. (see full schedule) For the adult pirates, sample piratical libations all over town, be entertained by the finest pirate musicians in the land, find treasures beyond measure at the thieves market.
cedarkeypiratefest.com for more information and daily schedules TheHiddenCoastMag.com â€˘ 13
Starts with Today's Generation
By Capt Brian Smith, Big Bend Charters Steinhatchee
The first Fishing 4 Tomorrow Kids Fishing Clinic was hosted for members of the Steinhatchee and Shady Grove Units, Boys & Girls Clubs of North Central Florida on July 31, 2017 at Keaton Beach park. Eighty plus kids participated in the event sponsored in part by Florida Fish. “F4T” was created to educate our future anglers in the skills of fishing, as well as, the need for conservation. Victor Blanco, Marine Agent at Sea Grant UF/IFAS Extension, discussed the marine environment and conservation in an entertaining show-and-tell manner. All the children learned something about the ecosystem and its importance even if a few were tricked in to it. Other learning stations included: Touch Tank 4 Education which was a mobile marine life traveling exhibit put on by the Gulf Specimen Marine Lab. The kids loved touching the critters though some had to be coaxed to put their hands in the tanks. Some facial expressions were priceless. Knot 4 You knot tying was lead by Capt. Mike McNamara from St. Marks Outfitters and Coastal Angler Magazine. Knot only— pardon the pun—did he demonstrate how to tie a Uni knot and the knots importance to keeping us connected to the fish, but the value of hook removal to save the fish if released. It is a difficult task keeping a child’s interest in twisting line, however Capt. Mike made it happen like Capt. Kangaroo. Casting 4 Practice was lead by Capt. Kyle Skipper of Marker One Charters assisted by Kolton Ogletree of Adel, Ga. Those two stood on the hot beach for hours dodging plastic casting weights and untangling lines as a row 14 • Florida’s The Hidden Coast
of children flung ostensibly toward targets on the beach. With a long line of patience, they turned catastrophe into casters. Rigged 4 Success was conducted after knottying and casting. The kids, armed with push-button Zebco combos loaded with squid, marched knee deep into the Gulf and began their assault on the fish, as well as, the volunteers. Special thanks to Clayton and Taylor McNamara, sons of Capt. Mike, Kevin Boswell from the Steinhatchee school and Tammy Giallombardo from Steinhatchee Bait and Tackle for putting your lives in the lines. Incidentally, many of the reels were subjected to a military grade saltwater immersion test. No fish were harmed during this exercise. Grateful thanks to Pam Revels for providing the much needed chill of a snow-cone machine and Walter B’s Hot Dog Stand for supplying power to run it. Snow-cone baristas were Rhonda Bardsley, Athena Hurtubise and Crissy Harper. Fantastic photography was taken by Sherry Riddle from Fin Action Charters, Rhonda Bardsley of Social Planning, Inc. Thankful for parents who came and jumped in to help! Also present Officer Chad Albritton of FWC and Taylor County EMS. Special donations by Roys Restaurant, River Haven Marina, Big Bend Charters, Steinhatchee Bait and Tackle, Perry Plaza Florist and Shady Grove Citizen Council for the tshirts and other supplies.
We are looking forward to the Second Annual “F4T” and other events next year.
Victor Blanco, Marine Agent at Sea Grant UF/IFAS Extension teaching students about marine life and conservation.
Hands on learning is always the best, students enjoyed touch tanks, microscopes and more provided by Gulf Specimen Marine Lab.
Knot 4 You was lead by Capt. Mike McNamara of St. Marks Outfitters and Coastal Angler Magazine. Capt Mike teaches students, so they can teach others.
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16 • Florida’s The Hidden Coast
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By: Micheal S. Allen The UF/IFAS Nature Coast Biological Station
The Nature Coast spans the Big Bend of Florida on the Gulf of Mexico (984,000 acres) and contains one of North America’s most pristine coastlines, with extensive seagrass meadows, valuable recreational and commercial fisheries and healthy wildlife populations of marine mammals, water birds, and sea turtles. The unique aspect of Florida’s Nature Coast is that it includes one of the largest undammed river in the country, the Suwannee River. The Nature Coast, rich in natural resources, provides various economic opportunities (farming, forestry, fishing, and aquaculture) to these coastal communities and the entire state. The hard clam aquaculture industry plays a key role in the economy and produces $40 million dollar statewide impact annually and supports over 500 jobs, mostly in the Cedar Key area. The region also supports important commercial fisheries for crabs, oyster, and reef fishes, and contributes to Florida’s $8 billion dollar recreational fishing industry. The Nature Coast was designated as part of the Big Bend Seagrass Aquatic Preserve by the Florida Legislature in 1985 in recognition of the area’s exceptional biological, aesthetic, and scientific value. The UF/IFAS Nature Coast Biological Station (NCBS) is a new station created by the Institute of Food and Agriculture Sciences from the University of Florida (UF/IFAS) in 2015. The construction of modern facilities to expand research, training and public outreach will substantially improve capacity for research by faculty and students at UF. The NCBS is strategically located in Cedar Key, Florida, and provides the only modern laboratory space for 259 miles along the Gulf Coast of Florida. The UF/IFAS has conducted extensive research in the Nature Coast since 1960’s and has a long history of ecological work in the region. However, to date there has been no location providing lab facilities and the ability to do experiments to address ecological questions in the region. Given the land-grant mission of UF, the NCBS will provide opportunities to advance in education and public outreach. The facility will ultimately have an aquarium where the public can learn about ongoing research and the ecology of plants and animals in the region. Within the NCBS facilities, UF/IFAS promotes long-term studies in the Nature Coast, education and extension activities, primarily focused on coastal-marine organisms and their ecosystems, so it can serve as a focal point for a growing marine science community in the region.
The UF/IFAS created NCBS at Cedar Key to meet the increasing need for long-term research, public engagement, and collaborations with state and federal agency partners along the Nature Coast. Key collaborators of the NCBS include the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the US Fish and Wildlife Service, and the US Geological Survey, who will collaborate with UF faculty even more strongly following improvements to the NCBS site. The NCBS is well positioned to serve as a base for researchers working along the Nature Coast in the Big Bend Seagrasses Aquatic Preserve of Florida, expanding the capacity of the UF/IFAS to study the extensive seagrass beds, mangroves, estuaries and oyster bars in the region. The UF/ IFAS NCBS will capitalize on the collaborations across the university and with key agency partners, and the wet lab, dock, and office complex will serve as a base for field operations, research, and teaching for faculty and students from more than 18 UF departments and centers, and about 100 undergraduate students from the Marine Sciences Major program. The NCBS wet lab and office complex will allow researchers to have excellent access to the area and logistic support for their projects (replicated tanks, water filtration, grow out facilities, work space, field equipment, vessels, etc.). The NCBS strengthens the relationship with communities in the region, including local and county governments, economic development organizations, industries, NGO’s and academic/ research institutions. The permanent presence of the UF/IFAS NCBS personnel in the area also enhances the communication with the public and improves their engagement with research and conservation initiatives derived from it. The NCBS building will have it’s grand opening and open house on September 23, 2017, which is open to the public from 10-3 PM.
TheHiddenCoastMag.com • 17
A Local Perspective
KRISTIN SKIPPER Marketing Director Sea Hag Marina
The Hidden Coast is... uncharted terrain waiting to be discovered. While you are here... you must relax and enjoy the serenity of Steinhatchee. The Steinhatchee Falls is a good location for everyone to check out. One of my favorite things... Fishing the flats in the fall for big redfish and gator trout.
Locals know... to always carry bug spray at dust and dawn.
Beth Davis Owner
Look for our NEW sign!
434 2nd St., Cedar Key Phone: (352) 543-9779
331 Dock St. Cedar Key, FL (352) 543-9992
email@example.com Hours: 10a–5:00p Monday – Saturday thesaltyneedlequiltshop.com
Capt. Dave & Pat Ludwick Port of Call - Steinhatchee, FL (850) 498-5450 Office (850) 686-5813 Cell (850) 686-5814 Cell
P.O. Box 1059 Steinhatchee, FL 32359
BOATU.S. 24 Hr. Dispatch (800) 391-4869 • VHF Ch. 16 TowBoatU.S.
18 • Florida’s The Hidden Coast
Fishing Around Horseshoe Beach Where did the summer go? It has been a fun filled several months in Horseshoe Beach. Scallop season has been very good and kept plenty of folks on the water when it seems too hot to do anything else. Water clarity hasn’t been great south of Pepperfish Keys but it hasn’t slowed us down. Luckily North of Pepperfish has held a ton of scallops all year long and kept most people “who are serious about scavenging in the water” a full day’s limit. With the recent heavy rain and the woods full of fresh water running off into the Gulf, I’m sure that its going to wrap up scalloping about the time the season ends. We sure don’t have anything to complain about there. I’ve seen scallop season last a lot shorter due to Mother Nature. Offshore fishing has been a lot of fun this year. The extension of Red Snapper season was a great blessing and sure makes those trips offshore worthwhile. We have consistently been able to catch a limit of snapper and come home with some Grouper, Cobia and other fish, making a good haul and a great box of fish on most trips. Even though snapper season is coming to an end, I hope everyone that was able enjoyed pulling these fish off the bottom. Continue to be diligent and stayed informed and ready to send a message next year when it comes time for decisions to be made about our ARS season. This year has been a great opportunity to educate yourself on how government works when it comes to regulation to one of our public resources. Inshore fishing hasn’t been all that hot, except for temperature hot. Offshore grass beds have produced some nice trout. These fish should start moving into the shallower grass flats through the month of September and October. When we start to see a slight temperature change start fishing deeper outside grass and move
By: Captian Tom Cushman, Runnin’ Out Fishing Charters shallower until you find the fish. Cajun thunder rigged with about 18-20 inches of fluorocarbon underneath it and a live shrimp or gulp shrimp should get it done. Redfish are just starting to show back up in decent numbers and later this month and October are prime months to target Redfish. Outer bars, grass point and creek mouths should produce a limit of Redfish. Keep informed also, there is a lot of momentum behind a 4-year moratorium on Redfish. Other areas along the gulf coast are experiencing suppose decreased Redfish numbers. There is momentum to shut it down for several years. One per person is fair to me and I wish we could get some more enforcement of the 1 fish Law. I know a lot of you are not much in favor of seeing FWC patrol heavily, however there is a lot of overfishing Redfish and anglers coming to the hill exceeding the limit. Some of these people have fish in the freezer that been in there for months. I’m the first to support eating fish, especially a Redfish grilled on the half shell, But its best fresh. And there is my opinionated comment for this month.
Fall is near and its starts a favorite time of the year to fish for many of us. Horseshoe has an awesome inshore fishery and this is the time of year to see it at its best. Spend some time enjoying seeking out new areas to fish, Being responsible with laws and conservation and remember we all want this to be available to other generations to come. Horseshoe is a great place to come see the beautiful sunsets, Shrimpboats and a very simple, quiet way of life. Come see us. u Runnin Out Fishing Charters Captian Tom Cushman 386-623-0243 firstname.lastname@example.org
TheHiddenCoastMag.com • 19
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Welcome to Inglis & Yankeetown! At the mouth of the Withlacoochee River.
Mar 24TH, 2018 2pm-8pm
For more event details: inglisyankeetownchamber.com Elvis Presley Was Here!
Follow That Dream is a 1962 musical film starring Elvis Presley made by Mirisch Productions. Filming began July 6, 1961 in the summer heat of Florida. It was filmed in Citrus, Marion, and Levy Counties, specifically Inverness, Ocala, Yankeetown, Inglisn... (To read more go to inglisyankeetownchamber.com)
20 • Florida’s The Hidden Coast
Fall Fishing By: Capt Mike Farmer. Salt Addiction Charters
Nestled away along the Hidden Coast lies the little town of Steinhatchee. A wild summer has just passed with the local waters being pounded by those in search of scallops. Thousands of folks have visited our little slice of paradise here during this years scallop season. We really enjoyed the season and seeing many families that we had not seen since the previous scallop season. It’s nice to see the town and it’s people flourish and do well but all good things must come to an end and that time is near. Scallop season will come to an official end on Sept 10th and then it will be time once again for scallops to take the back seat and be no more than a fleeting memory and part of history for the year 2017. It is now time for fishing to step back onto the stage and be the star once again.
the prey that is readily available during this time. Colors from solid white, green moon and chicken on a chain are good choices to imitate baitfish which will be abundant and a primary food source during this time. As we move into October shrimp will be readily available to the fish as well. To mimic this bait colors such as new penny, good penny and copper juice are favorites of mine. These baits can be cast out and slowly retrieved back to the boat or you may impart a bounce into your retrieve to add a little more action.
Redfish will also be feeding up and hungry during this time as well. Look to the shallows in areas with a shell or rocky bottom. The same methods can be used to catch this fish as well but there is something else to try that adds some great excitement to the trip. Fall is a great time for top water action when pursuing Redfish. A bait with a walk the dog action such as a Zara Spook or Skitterwalk are great choices. It takes a little practice but it shouldn’t take you long and The Autumnal Equinox will usher in you can have the bait moving in a the fall season on September 22nd rhythmic side to side action that this year and Fall will officially be the fish can’t refrain from eating here. September is a month that even as it passes by. Not only do Redfish though turns to fall on our calendars love these baits but really big trout do as well. for the most part summer patterns will still bring you the most success. This means deeper water, areas with a grassy bottom from the 6-12 foot range. Which this If you have never been to Steinhatchee then this is the plays well into the big scheme of things as something time of year to come join us. If you have witnessed what magical happens here on our waters during this time of our fall fishing is like then you already know how great year. A slight drop in water temperatures in the North- it can be. There are plenty of places available for lodging ern Gulf region above us signals many species that it is to suit your budget and taste. Several Marinas and boat time to head south for the winter. Our area just happens ramps to launch your boat as well. If you aren’t familiar with the waters then I suggest hiring a guide for at least to be a major highway for many of these fish. your first trip. As a matter of fact I would love to have King Mackerel, Spanish Mackerel, Bluefish and many you on board with me. Weekends book up well in adother fish including large schools of baitfish pass through vance so plan ahead or try to make plans for a weekday our waters on their journey southward. But not only are trip when things aren’t quite as crowded. I hope to see these fish passing through but they are feeding up for you soon. the winter on the abundance of baitfish that are headed south as well. During this same time our beloved Speckled Trout feel the slight drop in water temperatures and they know it is time for them to put weight on for the cold winter which lies ahead. All of this going on at once creates some of the best fishing of the year. So many species of fish are available at once and they are all hungry and putting on fat stores for the winter.
Capt Mike Farmer Salt Addiction Charters 352-210-1551
Fishing is pretty simple for the most part as you pursue your quary during this fall season. My bait of choice is either a 3” Saltwater Assassin Sea Shad or a Saltwater Assassin 5” Jerk Shad. Both of these baits can be rigged on an 1/8 oz jig head. Colors should be chosen to mimic
TheHiddenCoastMag.com • 21
SEPTEMBER TIDE CHARTS
Cedar Key, FL
Horseshoe Beach, FL
For more information: http://tbone.biol.sc.edu/tide/sites_usgulf.html 22 • Florida’s The Hidden Coast
THE FLORIDA SPONGE FISHERY By: Toni C. Collins
Sponges were discovered in Florida waters around 1822 and by 1852 Florida sponges were of such good quality they competed with imported sponges from the Mediterranean. The Florida caught sponges were shipped to markets in New York and sold for domestic cleaning and personal hygiene, as upholstery stuffing and packing material, and for cleaning military cannons. Sponges are primitive multicellular colonies that resemble strange terrestrial plants. There are three principal components of a sponge: small chambers, a system of canals, and a fibrous skeleton that makes up most of the body. The fibers are joined together in a complex framework that supports the soft, loosely connected tissues and are pierced by many small pores. These pores open into chambers that are lined with layers of flagellated cells that are constantly in motion. This motion creates a vacuum that sucks water into the chambers.
The sponge fishery vessels were beamy, shallow draft, center-board schooners and typically ranged from 5 to 15 tons. Each vessel carried a number of small skiffs with low freeboard which made it easier for the “hooker,” the man who hooks the sponges from the bottom with a special hooking device, detach the sponge from the substrate and bring it to the surface. The Florida sponge fishery increased steadily from its inception as supplies could not meet the demand. The introduction of Mediterranean hard-hat diving in 1905 at Tarpon Springs opened deeper sponge beds unavailable to hooking. The Florida sponge fishery flourished until the sponge blight in 1939. The sponge fishery industry never fully recovered before the introduction of artificial sponges in the 1950s. Today, some Florida sea sponges are still harvested by hook and sold to speciality bath shops and tourists.
What has holes, and still holds water?
Florida’s sponge fishing grounds included three areas. The Keys fishery extended south from Key Biscayne to Key West and included all the Florida Keys and associated reefs, bays, and sounds. The bay fishing grounds were found from Anclote Keys to the Cedar Keys, and north of the Cedar Keys to St. Mark’s in Apalachee Bay. The fishing depths ranged from 2 to 15 m over a coralline hard bottom or coral reefs, covering an area of just over 3,000 square miles. The photo is dated 1909 and the source is the FloridaMemory.com photo collection.
TheHiddenCoastMag.com • 23
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