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Dive Into Bluewater Spearfishing

Plunging into the blue abyss for the first time is something that I will always remember. It was a completely different environment than I was used to spearfishing in. Looking through your mask, all you see is blue, in every direction.

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Way Down on the Econ

If Stephen Foster had known about the Econlockhatchee, or Econ, the lyrics to his famous song may have been different.
The Econ doesn’t come up in discussions of great Florida fishing waters. Fishing the Econ is usually a lovely day on the water with a few beautiful fish thrown in. It can be better than that, but you really can’t expect it to be.

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A Step Above the Others

Fly fishing for summer tarpon from a unique perspective. I’ve caught many fish from the comfort and stability of my ladder long after the sea breeze swept waves have chased the others away.

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Blackfin Tuna Basics

Right here in Florida, the fisheries lab at Nova Southeastern University (NSU), in Fort Lauderdale, has emerged as a fountain of useful research into blackfin tuna. Under the direction of Assistant Professor Dr. David Kerstetter, three research papers have contributed much to the scientific and common understanding of the species’ habitat, growth and reproduction.

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South Florida Peacock Bass

When you hear the word bass, most think of sparkly boats, baitcasters and big tournament payouts. But for fisherman in South Florida, the peacock bass is the staple in the local freshwater systems. With their aggressive eats, strong runs and beautiful colors, these fish have become prized gamefish.

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Finesse the Pads

Lily pads make great sunshades for late-summer largemouth, but they are difficult to fish without snagging. One solution that works very well is casting small, weedless-rigged soft plastics along the outer edges of shoreline pads.

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Buying the Right Kayak

How to choose a purpose-built fishing platform. The sit-on-top kayak in the 12- to 14-foot range has become the most popular paddle craft for fishing, and for good reason.

Redfish like this one caught by Jerry Coleman can be sight fished via kayak by standing and poling the flats.

On the Spot

Feel the urge to hunt? Now’s the time to give standup redfishing a shot. When kayakers ask about sight-fishing for giant Indian River Lagoon spotted seatrout, most recommend they stay seated and content themselves with casting. Redfish may be another story.

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Live Chum for Offshore Flyfishing

The first time I live chummed offshore I had my angler standing beside me with a fly in the water waiting for a fish to cast at, only to have a 15-pound bonito make an arrival that just about ripped the rod out of his hand. There was no need to set the hook, as all his concentration and strength went into retaining possession of the rod as the fish dumped the 8-weight well into the backing.

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Kayak Pedal Drive and Other Propulsion Systems

Paddles, pedals and power: Expanding the range of kayaks on the flats. Paddling saltwater grassflats today, it’s obvious that kayaks have supplanted canoes as Florida’s personal fishing craft of choice.

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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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Kite Fishing for Kingfish

Florida anglers have access to a year-round fishery for these speedy predators. While there are many techniques for landing a big kingfish, one that you’ll want to have in your bag of tricks is kite fishing live baits. This method is especially productive along the edge of the reef while drifting or anchored over a wreck.

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Stick it to a Drum

Cedar Key residents seem resigned to having so many big black drum in their backyards, waggling their tails in broad daylight during summer months.

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Six Ways to See Fish Better

Sight fishing is one of the most exciting ways to fish inshore, whether it is a school of redfish feeding on a grassflat, a snook roaming a shoreline, or a laid up tarpon in the back-country. To be successful at sight fishing, you must see the fish. Obvious, right? But to the untrained eye, this can be difficult and very frustrating.

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Small Lake Bass

Within minutes we boated a fat 3-pound bass, and that was the start of a steady parade of fish. By the time an early afternoon thunderstorm ended our day, we had tallied over 20 bass. The best was pushing 7 pounds.

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DIY Kayak

Build a wooden boat for fishing. Catching a fish on a homemade lure or rod is a real thrill. How about catching a fish from a boat you’ve built for yourself?