Let’s start off the New Year with exploration! The January issue takes you places you may have never dreamed of. The cover story by Managing Editor David Conway reveals techniques and targets for deepwater bottom fishing in 240 feet and beyond, including a species most Florida anglers have never seen: the elusive wreckfish. Editor Jeff Weakley offers a firsthand Everglades navigation tutorial; follow him as he charts the Wilderness Waterway and other mythical waters in the Flamingo backcountry. And you’d never guess what’s swimming in the roadside ditches of inland Florida highways. Find out in this issue!
Super-realistic lures are the talk of the coast. Whether it’s picture-perfect plastic shrimp or photorealistic plugs, veteran outdoors writer Frank Sargeant shows you why these lures are producing, big time. You might never go back to live bait. And just in time for the return of Old Man Winter to the Sunshine State, we have a tell-all on fishing warmwater powerplant outfalls on Tampa Bay and elsewhere around the coast. Learn where the redfish, trout, cobia and pompano gang up when water temps dip into the 60s and below.
In the Offshore Seminar, Capt. Eden White, a 30-year contributor to Florida Sportsman Magazine and current co-host of FS Live radio in Palm Beach, offers his list of 10 “Don’t Do Its” for offshore fishing. Among his advice: Don’t get caught with just one gaff; don’t slow down when a big fish takes the hook. And of course, our deepwater feature, “The Easiest Fish You’ve Never Caught,” contains exactly what you need to know to catch great-eating snowy grouper, golden tilefish and others.
January is prime time for waterfowl hunting in Florida. Bet you didn’t know there are decoy-carvers working in the Sunshine State, hunting the same marshes you hunt, examining the same birds, thinking of the same tricky lighting conditions. See what kind of beautiful, useful creations they’re coming up with, in “Gunning Decoy Traditions.” Writer and photographer John Hitchcock is a board member of United Waterfowlers-Florida. Also get the inside scoop on the growing trade, across the nation, in collectible decoys. And don’t forget: Your local Action Spotter reporters, all 11 of them, are checking out public lands opportunities for you.
Proud as a peacock. You can say that for both the Florida butterfly peacock and the Amazon striped peacock. But there are definitely differences between these two fish, one an import, the other a home-grown powerhouse. Larry Larsen, an expert on all things related to peacock bass, offers his commentary for the Fresh Water Seminar.
Building fish habitat is becoming good business for Florida waters, including urban areas. See how the new South Cove Natural Area in downtown Palm Beach is shaping up to become the next great snook hotspot. Learn how mangroves are planted, and who’s involved with funding and installing these vital features (here’s a hint: local anglers are involved!). Find inspiration for waters in your neighborhood, on this month’s “On the Conservation Front,” where we publish thorough, researched, exclusive articles, and not press releases.