*Click to enlarge contents
Start off the New Year right: Become a better, more well-informed angler! The January 2012 print issue of Florida Sportsman brings editorial expertise and eye-catching images to newsstands throughout Florida and beyond. Some highlights: A double-header of sailfish how-to, for trolling or livebait anglers. Inshore tech pieces, on cornering the hard-to-catch bonefish. Bagging a limit of good-eating drum. Taking your skiff to the ocean for some of Florida’s best “surf” fishing. Plus our local experts in the Action Spotter section divulge winter favorites for all kinds of fishing, from largemouth bass to wahoo.
As water temps plummet, you’ll hear more and more anglers talking about black drum. These hardy relatives of the ever-popular redfish seem to get hungrier and hungrier as winter sets in. Bridges, docks and oyster bars are great places to anchor up and catch these fish, and writer Peter Slis offers some inside tips on finding the very best spots.
On the other end of the sportfish spectrum, we look at the tropical bonefish. Editor Jeff Weakley explores some Lower Keys flats and offers critical insight on how to use a chartplotter to locate fish and stay out of trouble on the shallows. Plus, a unique approach to surf fishing—motor outside the inlet on a calm day, and see what unfolds! Watch what happens when a team of FS staffers takes a skiff to the stunning beaches of Destin.
Just in time for prime time: Sailfish Tech, times two! A pair of Florida’s top captains offer exclusive reports in this issue. Capt. Scott Fawcett, of Stuart, gives valuable tips for anglers who may be downsizing, taking big-boat style trolling tactics to center consoles. From Miami, Capt. Dean Panos describes tournament-secret methods for flying fishing kites under any wind—or none at all. Learn how to make a kite veer left with a helium balloon. Learn how to tweak your trolling spread to capitalize on dredge teasers, on any size boat. This is cutting-edge stuff you won’t find anywhere else.
In the Bass Seminar, tournament pro Bernie Schultz delivers a great tutorial on fishing crankbaits in heavy cover, a surprisingly productive method on Florida waters. Farther afield, travel writer Larry Larson flies into some of the most remote waters of Brazil, where he tackles big peacocks and other hard-fighting fish—including some that are downright dangerous. And on the lighter side, Tom Levine offers his unique musings on small lake fisheries around the state. If you drive by a little pond on the way to work or school, check out Levine’s article, “The Secret Lake.”
In On the Conservation Front, find out recreational fishermen helped stop the FWC from opening up a net fishery for spotted seatrout. And what’s that exclamation about “Women!” on the January cover? They deserve a ton of credit, those members of the International Women’s Fishing Association: Almost a half-million dollars in scholarship donations from a group of ladies who put together tournaments in the Keys and elsewhere. Tournament reporter Brett Fitzgerald checks in with the IWFA.
Want specific advice on where to go this month in your region? Turn to the back half of the January issue. Our Field Editors give directions for all kinds of hotspots: Hawk Channel cobia fishing in the Keys. Sailfish Alley off Miami. Loxahatchee River in Jupiter. Lake George in Northeast Florida. Big redfish on Panhandle beaches. Find out exactly where and how to enjoy hot fishing action in one of Florida’s coldest months. Plus check out recent catches from Florida Sportsman readers. Sawfish out of a kayak. A lady’s first bonefish on fly. Albino flounder from St. Augustine. Check it out!