I knew I was in trouble when I opened my eyes and felt well-rested. No one goes on a serious duck hunt well-rested, do they? As a fabulous sunrise unfolded I felt foolish for nearly calling off the hunt just because there had not been time enough to deploy decoys.
Proper technique allows kayak and canoe fishermen to land large fish without getting dumped overboard. Offshore kayak fishing is a relatively new technique, and many anglers are learning on the fly. Safety must always be the first priority.
Islamorada earned her place among bonefish and tarpon anglers, but today caters to a more diverse crowd. Recently I sampled the modern array of flats fishing possibilities out of Islamorada in the Florida Keys. I was on a two-day trip based at La Siesta Resort and Marina.
Sketchy low tides and a minefield of oyster shell? No problem for these Northeast Florida kayakers. Edward Abbey once said if you want to see the desert, get down on your knees and start crawling. Kayaking is the boating equivalent, with fish and other wildlife only inches away.
Not too long ago if you wanted to fish for largemouth bass in one of Florida’s reclaimed phosphate pits, you had to be a V.I.P., trespass, or visit Tenoroc. Some new waters have been made available recently, though (see sidebar). If you want to fish in a pit you now have more options than ever. It’s still not a bad thing to be a V.I.P., though.
Besides their willingness to bite when other fish won’t, catfish are crowd favorites at fish fries. The farm-raised channel cats, in fact, are among the few seafood offerings I find consistently satisfying at restaurants. Shrimp, salmon, lobster, and saltwater catches of the day such as mahi and grouper seem to arrive at my table in varying and unpredictable degrees of freshness and doneness—usually over-doneness.
Florida anglers know it’s not always a fish-eatfish world out there. Vegetarian fish lack innate regard for the ingenuity lavished on modern sportfishing tackle and artificial lures. Florida’s fresh water hosts a few such ingrates, whose office it is to torture young anglers, frustrate them with their large bodies and small, declining mouths.
The 2016 Pursuit OS355 represents a keel-up redesign based on the 345 model introduced in 2008. “We had one goal, which was to maintain tradition but bring new, clean styling and exterior lines,” said Chris Gratz, Pursuit Director of Engineering. The team brought to the OS355 some 80 new design features, which are on display literally from stem to stern.
Spoil the reed and spare the fish. Let’s face it. Dropping even the smallest anchor in a tidal creek or wilderness canal can turn off the fish. Whether it’s the splash, or simply because fish sense your presence, they can be frightened by anchors, particularly in tight quarters.
Looking down into water that resembled the crystal clear salt water of the Keys, I had almost forgotten where I was: 60 miles inland of the coast, bass fishing! That was of course until I noticed a 4-pounder swim by. With its gin clear water, cypress swamps and superb fishing, the Butler Chain of lakes has a lot to offer the angler.
Easy ways to find currents and eddies offshore. Tracking weather fronts has long been a big part of offshore fishing. Pretty easy, too. Just turn on the TV or check the Internet. No excuse for getting caught in a norther on your way to the marlin grounds.
How would you handle fishing for one particular kind of fish, hundreds of miles from home, on a random calendar date? What would be your strategy? What resources might you use? What tackle would you bring?These are the kinds of questions tournament fishermen routinely answer.
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