Features


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Spoil Island Camping and Fishing

We’d beached the kayaks on the Indian River Lagoon spoil island half an hour earlier. We agreed—at least I agreed—that the kids would set up the tent while I built a fire and got lunch started.

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Skipcasting from Kayaks

Fishing mangroves and docks requires being able to cast your presentation underneath overhanging structure using a method called the skipcast.

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Bluegill Fishing on the Fly

Tricks to take big bream on fly. Several years ago, I caught a mixed bag of four dozen bluegills and shellcrackers during a single, glorious afternoon. While that was practically all the law allowed, the real kicker is that these fish weighed close to a pound apiece.

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Homework For Florida Deer Hunters

The white-tailed deer is the most heavily hunted of all Florida’s game species. During the 2011-2012 hunting season, approximately 137,000 hunters in Florida spent more than 2.8 million days afield.

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Pop the Top on Big O

Classic summer Okeechobee bass-bugging at its best. By early June last year, Lake Okeechobee was low, 11 feet, three inches, so low bass and panfish were jammed into natural depressions and manmade canals around Belle Glade.

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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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Fishing the No Motor Zone

This is East Central Florida’s fabled No Motor Zone, 10,600 acres of water nestled in the Banana River, east of the Indian River Lagoon. It was established in 1990 to protect the manatee population. Merritt Island forms the west bank of the N.M.Z.; the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station is the barrier from the Atlantic Ocean.

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Where to Fish for Tarpon

Update on where and when to go for silver king action in the Sunshine State. Where do you want to fish for tarpon this year? For Florida boat-owners and even many shore fishermen, the answer may be as simple as, how long do you want to wait for them to arrive?

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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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Technicolor Flats of the Purple Isle

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.

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Florida Freshwater Catfishing

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.

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FS Classics: Fly Fishing For Tarpon

The idea of catching a 100-pound tarpon on “regula­tion” tackle was looked upon by most fly fishermen as not merely a dream, but a fantasy as far-fetched as interstellar travel.

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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.

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Fishing for Carp: Grass Carp and Tilapia

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.

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Rum Cay Artist Turning Trash into Treasures

As the old saying goes, “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure” and for artist and sculptor Bobby Little, recycling discarded materials into art has literally become a larger than life mission.

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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.