Get out there and catch a grouper! This month’s cover photo says it all, and the accompanying feature tells it all. In “The Numbers Game,” Managing Editor David Conway reveals secrets to locating deep bottom structure in the Gulf of Mexico and really anywhere. How can you find the best ledges and breaks? How will you record those latitude and longitude numbers for reference? Read and find out!
On a sad note, we begin the issue with memorials to the late Vic Dunaway, whose “Waterfront View” column and many articles were perennial favorites of readers. Following Karl Wickstrom’s reminiscences in “Openers” is a tribute to Dunaway’s career, which included 43 years of association with Florida Sportsman.
For anglers passionate about hooking big tarpon, midsummer is prime time. Want to do it out of a kayak? Author Larry Stephens tells about his tactics in “Tarpon Quest.” For a quieter, more subdued day of fishing, try for tailing redfish on the flats, using the advice of veteran outdoor writer Tom Levine in “Tails, You Win.” And when you’re ready to celebrate after a successful day on the water, check out our Field Editors’ advice for the best places to dock and eat; Tommy Thompson assembled the exclusive list for this month’s Sportsman’s Kitchen.
Kingfish on bass tackle: What a rush! Just the kind of fishing for Contributing Editor David Brown, who writes about tackle and tactics in this month’s Sportsman’s Seminar: Offshore. If big-game is your thing, we’re providing more Bahamas coverage in our Tropical Roundup department, where Publisher Blair Wickstrom gives valuable advice for planning adventures out of Grand Cay. Grand—and specifically Rosie’s Place—picks up where Walker’s Cay left out some years ago.
Hunting and Freshwater
It’s a sportsman’s dream destination whose founders, until now, didn’t even know they were building! That’s the “Okeechobee Shooting Trail,” formally unveiled this month by Editor Jeff Weakley. So, while you’re checking up on those quota permits and sharing scouting tips, don’t forget to dedicate some time to improving your aim. And for those midsummer Florida bass, check out a pond near you. We show you the way, in the Fresh Water Seminar.
We can’t write about tarpon fishing in the bait pods without asking a vital question: How are those forage fish holding up? Menhaden and mullet, both critical to the coastal ecosystems, have long been targeted by commercial net fisheries. Doug Kelly and Grant Gilmore, FS Contributing Editors, team up this month to explore the recovery of these underappreciated species. Restrictions on the big nets are clearly benefiting predators and prey alike. State and federal commitments to habitat protection are also vital.