Warming Up to Winter Swordfish
Florida east coast fisherman often associate sailfish with the cooling winter weather, often overlooking other big billfish lurking in the depths. Seasoned swordfish anglers will tell you that some of the largest broadbills are caught during the winter months. So, when the sailfish bite slows and the ocean becomes tame, this may be best time of year to target a trophy swordfish. Captain of Team Three Buoys, Michael Grant, hones in on some of the finer points of targeting these burly swordfish during the daylight hours in his feature “Warming Up to Winter Swordfish.”
As flounder begin their impressive fall migration inshore, many anglers from Pensacola to Port Saint Joe will be gearing up and heading out only when the sun begins to fade behind the horizon. Why? In order to target this tasty, white meat species the old fashioned way: gigging. Spearing flatfish with a gig in the cover of night takes some local knowledge, the right platform (think shallow), some underwater lighting (usually homemade), and of course, a gig. Pin ’em down, Corey Decker gives some solid strategies for gigging flounder in his feature “Night Raid for Fall Flounder.”
St. Vincent Island off Northwest Florida offers outdoorsman something unique, something prehistoric. Every year only 200 permits are drawn to hunt the sambar deer, a species native to India and Southeastern Asia, weighing up to a whopping 1200 pounds. Originally introduced to St. Vincent in 1908 with a herd of other exotic species, only the sambar remains, commingling with a healthy population of whitetails. Bob Stapleton was lucky enough to have drawn one of those few permits, and offers a firsthand account of his successful primitive hunt on prehistoric St. Vincent Island.