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Live Bait Trolling (Bump Trolling)

Florida Sportsman’s Rick Ryals gives advice on how-to most effectively slow troll live baits while offshore fishing. It’s important to note that trolling live bait is not the same as trolling dead baits and lures. Live baits would quickly die if pulled at similar speeds. Not to mention, look very unnatural.

Some courses authorize, or even encourage, fishing.

Golf Course Bass Fishing

Any way you slice it, golf course ponds can be prime sites for hooking largemouths. I learned to enjoy the best of both worlds long ago as a caddy at the Doral Open in Miami. After lugging around the bag for Julius Boros during a practice round, we small-talked a bit until the conversation swung to our mutual fondness for fishing.


After the Cast

Basic tips on how to move the food. What’s the ideal stripping cadence? Mostly, it depends on the species you’re seeking and the fly pattern you’re using. First, the basics: Learn to use both your stripping hand and rod hand correctly.


Crystal River Snook Bite

Florida Sportsman Member: Biggary16 Hammerhead Ted and I got out there early to catch the outgoing tide. Ted is the king of topwater snookin and he hooked a giant one on his 3rd or 4th cast. He fought it for a long time but it scraped his 40 pound leader up and broke off.

Jenna Helfferich, of Oak Hill, landed this Mosquito Lagoon redfish measuring 22 inches.

Lighten Up on the Lagoon

Paddle, pole or troll your way to world-class flats fishing on the Mosquito Lagoon before it’s too late. Heighten pressure from reckless boaters may trample a once-glorious seagrass estuary.


Day Trip Success

Florida Sportsman member: OneFastt997 On Friday I got a call with an opportunity to cross to the Bahamas to target yellowfins with a friend of a friend. After my trip two weeks ago where we saw them but didn’t hook up I knew I had to go back over and redeem myself.


Fooling Them with Plastic

Florida Sportsman member: Austins26 The last few weeks my buddy and I have hit a few lakes when the planets were in perfect alignment. We had a more than a few two an half hour trips when we caught 30 to 50 bass between us. A few were 6 to 8 pounds and most came during the hottest part of the day.


Fishing for Juvenile Tarpon

Find a dark, stagnant pool or stream tucked way back in a mangrove swamp and there’s a good chance you’ll spot little silver fish rolling at the surface. Odds are they are tarpon, very small ones, only 1 to 3 feet long, and they are gulping air—a survival tactic that enables these fish to survive in habitats that repel most others.

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Topwater Time

Florida Sportsman member: Net 30 Went out at 6:00pm and fished for 90 minutes last evening before lightning chased us off the water. Found a nice little piece of shoreline with good bait and had a blast with my oldest son.

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Permit, Cobia and a Surprise

Florida Sportsman member: NauticalWheeler The real surprise at this location was when I saw a small shark with interesting markings cruising around the boat. I thought it might resemble a tiger shark, but wasn’t sure. I threw out a live bait in haste and was only using 40 pound mono for a leader and was lucky to not get bitten off, but the hook was right in the corner of the mouth.


Un-Reel, Cane Pole Fishing

Besides that, sometimes it’s just fun to shed the gadgets and drift back to basics. Relax. Kick your shoes off. Set a spell and harken back to a simpler time.


Lochloosa on My Mind

A story about passing time, cracker style. The beauty here is unique: 1.5 miles of black, deep creek water curving through swamplands. The water seems to flow at about the same pace as fingernail growth. Such is Cross Creek, capped by Lakes Lochloosa and Orange.

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Upper Tampa Bay Fishing

Florida Sportsman member: BryanC While I was taking pics of that, my rod bent over in the rod holder and I was hooked into a big snook! Unfortunately, she broke me off. Another one bit a little later, and I got her close to the boat, this one looked smaller, possibly a slot fish, but once again my 20 pound leader broke.


Ponce Offshore Fun

Florida Sportsman member: Koifarmer We then freelined some squid wrapped in chumdrop chum balls and it did not take long before we were hooked up . The fish were shy , 15 pound fluorocarbon and a small circle hook did the trick. We lost many many fish , but did manage to get 4 fish up to 9 pounds.


Reaction Strikes

Yet, if you dangle a ball of yarn in front of that cat it will take a swipe at it. Toss a ball and the dog will chase it. Bass are hard-wired with the same predatory responses. Given the right stimulus they will strike a lure, even if they are not feeding. Call this a reaction strike. The right lure presentation will trigger it.


Three Tips On The Hook Set

It is one of the set-apart moments of our sport. In the instant we connect to the fish, we are still anticipating the excitement of the strike and the satisfaction of success.