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Offshore Blog at Florida Sportsman


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The Winter of My Discontent

Just about every local bottom fishing seminar I help deliver, I start out by telling the attendees how lucky they are to live in Northeast Florida. “You couldn’t move me to Miami on a bet,” I’ll tell them.

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The Ghost of 1983

Captain George Strate of the Mayport Princess is one of my all time heroes. He whips the 68 foot Princess between a cruise ship, and a shrimp boat with a few feet to spare, and then parks her crosswise, on a dime, with all kinds of screaming tide. No bow thrusters, nothing.

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It’s the Process

I have long pondered on what’s the difference in fishermen and people who like to fish. Believe me, they are not the same thing. Many years ago a super nice guy who shall remain nameless started fishing with me. He has been with me through a half dozen or more offshore boats, and he’s the perfect companion on any trip.

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Offshore Blog: Please Hear Me Out

I am as fed up with federal government intervention into our fisheries management as the next guy, but here I am calling for us to pay more money, and buy another “license”  to bottom fish for the species in the snapper grouper complex.

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If Only I Could Ask Him

Dean Burnett, Vice President of Yamaha Marine, is a great guy, and a good friend. He was about as excited as he gets last week, when he was debuting the future of outboard power from Yamaha. He was addressing a bunch of us outdoor writer types at the Yamaha test facility, and what he showed us was borderline unbelievable.

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Offshore Blog: No Truth to It…

Suddenly the stories of fishing the DA III were right there in front of me. There was my daughter and I holding up her first sailfish. I’m so glad the camera focus was poor. You couldn’t see the seasickness in her face, or the tears in our eyes. Uh oh, there’s our first blue marlin…

If all you're catching is sea bass, maybe...

The Beauty of Tough Fishing

Brad Reed was as good a childhood friend as a young man could have. We first fished together off Jacksonville some 40 years ago. We barely had a truck between us, what we did have was capable of pulling a 16 foot non-seaworthy boat to the closest ramp, from which we would run way too far offshore.

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My Favorite Tournament

My favorite tournament is coming up on September 9th. I guess I helped start it, but it really began as a bet between Charlie Hamaker and me.

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I Told You They Were Learning!

Finally, I can prove my point that fish are more capable of learning what we’re up to, more than we’ve ever believed. I was silly enough to raise the question, “If we ain’t catching them, how will you know how many there are?”

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Who’s Outsmarting Who?

I’m afraid fish are very capable of learning. In fact, I’m beginning to think they are learning at a much faster rate than I am.

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The Real Story of Chicken Little

Federal fisheries management has become our worst nightmare. And yes, I’m now aware there are groups acting under the guise of environmentalism that think all the hooks should be taken out of our waters.

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Beat it to Boat Harbour

For the first time ever the Dos Amigos was flying four marlin flags. The truth is, billfishing in the Abacos has been improving for at least the last 4 years.

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If I Only Had One Day Left to Fish

The Dos Amigos is moored in Boat Harbor for May and June of this year, and true to form I ran about a mile southeast of the lighthouse last Sunday, to start our summers fishing.

NOAA says ......

Lessons I’ve learned the hard way!

I clearly remember taking science classes all the way through college, and we talked about weather patterns, and the effects of wind and currents on the surface of the ocean. But I must have dozed off during certain lectures…

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95 Percent Rule

I call it the 95 percent rule. Essentially it means that the rigging, tackle, bait, boat handling, and angling skills that work for you on 95 percent of the fish you catch, are worthless when the very fish you dream about comes along.

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About the Captain

My name is Captain Rick Ryals, and I have recently entered my 50th year of offshore fishing. Most of my fishing has been off Northeast Florida, but I’ve spent plenty of time off Ft. Pierce, Palm Beach, and throughout the Abacos.