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.
Many of the largest swordfish of the year are caught as they migrate through our waters in winter. Each year as the weather turns cold, Florida east coast anglers begin targeting sailfish as they migrate south with each passing cold front. When chasing sailfish, the best fishing usually occurs on the leading edge of the cold front when the wind is blowing the hardest and the seas are rough.
Bird hunting can be a passion that consumes a big part of a hunter’s life; maintaining and training dogs year-round, traveling from state to state with changing seasons, maybe flying to Argentina for fast and furious shooting, rising at 3 a.m. to lug and set decoys, and even raising and stocking quail to ensure action on hunts. This is all well and good, but what about the hunter who just wants a Saturday morning outing in the Florida outdoors with a bit of wingshooting? The answer is snipe, the perfect game bird for the solitary hunter, a pair of hunters, or a group of hunters with or without dogs. They are easy to find, hard to hit, and even warn you when they up and fly! The bag limit is generous enough to supply a few hours of fun and exercise.
Winter is a great time to target trout, but the setting and methods may differ sharply around the state. According to our updated Florida climate data in the 2015 Fishing Planner, average low temps for the month of December differ greatly from one end of the Florida peninsula to the other.
Located in the eastern middle of the state, Lake Okeechobee is truly a huge body of water. Miles of shoreline, bays, airboat trails, grass edges, floating hyacinth islands and a host of other bass habitat await anglers. It seems that every foot of it is prime bass water. The lake also holds stable populations of black crappie, shellcrackers, bluegill, channel catfish, gar and a host of other freshwater fishes.
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.
Why bother with largemouth bass in the land of giant tarpon, exotic snook and big sharks? If you’re one of the droves of anglers visiting or relocating to Southwest Florida, it’s a question worth asking. That’s assuming, of course, that you’re even aware of the excellent bass fishing in the region. Sure, you’ve heard of Lake Okeechobee. But in between the big lake and the saltwater flats, there are countless small lakes, canal systems and even some substantial rivers which hold good populations of bass, not to mention other freshwater species.
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.
If you want your new boat to be more of a family cruiser that can also fish with the best of them, start up at the bow and look for wide cushions in a wraparound seating configuration. Throw in a removable picnic table and opposing seats on the front of the center console and you have a forward area set up for entertaining.
If your fishing machine has to pull double duty as a family cruiser, look for features such as built-in forward seating, aft flip-up jump seats and a step down console with a head. The Contender 24 Sport is a pure fishing machine with all the amenities your family needs for a day on the water.
1 of 40