Features

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Redo a Canoe for Better Fishing

Rowing kits give canoes speed, power. The great thing about rowing a canoe, as opposed to paddling, is that it’s fast and easy. The light, narrow hulls are very efficient.

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Florida Varmint Hunting

Mention varmint hunting to the seasoned outdoors person and the talk will turn to prairie dogs, coyotes in the snow, and other critters of the mountains and prairies. Even many seasoned varmint hunters don’t realize that Florida, too, can be a good place for this style of hunting.

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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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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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Mud Crabs

Fisherman get a clear picture of the little-known, but widely distributed, mud crab. As Florida anglers know, there are a lot of fish that will gladly take various crabs as bait. For tarpon, permit, cobia and redfish, we often turn to blue crabs or swimming crabs.

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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.

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Wintertime Trout Fishing

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.

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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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Scouting Days

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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Florida Daytime Swordfish

We tell you exactly how to catch a huge Florida swordfish during the day. “There was talk the only way to catch them was to do it at night when thefish were closer to the surface feeding,” said Taute, smiling. “That’s not true any longer.”

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Bass in the ‘Burbs

A streetwise fishing quest amid the sprawling city scape of Orlando. As a 12-year-old in ’62 Orlando, I mostly fished four nearby lakes. Equipped with the normal fascination with any tap transmitted from an artificial worm.

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Ten Thousand Islands Backcountry Kayaking

My quest for solitude and hidden fishing hot spots that didn’t involve a multi-day, overnight paddle or motor boat had started a few days earlier with Capt. Charles Wright, local ecotour operator and fishing guru.

Slick calm days are fewer than in summer, but the average fish is bigger. This one's 130 pounds, taken by the Three Buoys crew off Palm Beach County.

Warming Up to Winter Swordfish

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.

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Florida Snipe Hunting

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.

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Fishing Lake Okeechobee

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.

FWC officers display a captured Burmese python which is a nonvenomous but invasive snake

Gear up for the Python Challenge

If you haven’t done so yet, register for the 2016 Python Challenge™ Python Removal competition to see if you can harvest the longest or the most Burmese pythons.

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Southwest Florida Freshwater Fishing

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.

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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Century 2901

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.

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Contender 24 Sport

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.