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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.