Features

tarpon_oldie

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.

bf

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.

scenic route2

Take the Scenic Route

Redfish and seatrout, solitude and scenery along the Big Bend Saltwater Paddling Trail. A 5-pound redfish towing a 45-pound kayak, burdened further by angler and gear, harnessed by a wisp of 10-pound-test thread. This surely mocks some obscure law of physics.

florida_duck_hunting_3

Florida Duck Hunting

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.

canoe-fisherman

Landing Fish in a Paddle Craft

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.

alligatorbonefish1004-1

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.

pbass

Phosphate Pit Bass Fishing

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.

cat

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.

003_7

Reds Love Flies

Around the state, redfish on the flats provide a nearly perfect target for flycasters. As a fly fisherman’s meat and potatoes, you could hardly dish out anything to improve on the redfish.

carpfly

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.

spoil_island_camping_fishing_1

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.

IMG_8098

Pursuit OS355

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.

lighthouse

Fishing St. Marks

Less than 20 miles from Tallahassee, there’s a magic place where anglers can find quiet and solitude on the water—except when speckled trout, redfish, flounder and other inshore species of fish insist on crushing baits presented to them!

ed

Butler Chain Bass Fishing

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.

Father  Son, John & Patrick Murphy from Tucson Arizona. The Wahoo & dolphin were caught as a double hookup 14 miles off of Grassy key (Marathon). John And Patrick caught 27 dolphin up to 16 lbs ,most were released but a few did join them for dinner. If photo is good enough to publish I'll send them a gift subscription. Father and son team, John and Patrick Murphy, landed this wahoo and dolphin 14 miles off of Grassy Key (Marathon) near an offshore current edge.

Finding Offshore Currents and Eddies

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.

FLSP-120600-SemPad-04

Pedal Drive Maintenance

How to care for state-of-the-art foot-propulsion systems. Florida has thousands of miles of coastal shoreline to cover, not to mention a few lakes here and there. Paddling can be strenuous, even if the rewards are many.

BlueWave24_9164

Blue Wave 2400 Pure Bay

Performance meets style is the best way to describe the Blue Wave 2400 Pure Bay. Computer engineering combined with over 40 years of boat building experience has produced a bay boat that meets the needs of the most demanding angler and looks good doing it.

tail

Mud Crabs

Fisherman get a clear picture of the little-known, but widely distributed, mud crab.

Flyhoo

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.

9711-37-tripletail

Triple Trouble

Tripletail offer a curious challenge to the fly angler, and they are available around the state. Days and nights of stiff northeasterly winds had hampered our attempts to venture into the windblown Atlantic for more than a week. But now the long wait had ended with the arrival of calm winds and moderate ground swells.