Features

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Fishing the Forgotten Chain: Osceola County Lakes

There’s room to explore on these largely unfished Osceola County lakes. It’s The Rodney Dangerfield Chain O’ Lakes. Right alongside the magnificently named and fun to say Tohopekaliga, it dares names like Coon, Lizzie, Center, Trout for God’s sake, and Alligator, like that’s a species you don’t often find in lakes.

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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.

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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!

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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Florida Chain Pickerel Fishing

Way I see it, there’s not any kind of fishing much more exciting than pulling a buzzbait or weedless in-line spinner across a field of lily pads and having a big pickerel come blasting up to engulf the bait.

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Mexico Beach Mixed Bag

Their idea of a “high-rise?” Fish condos in 60 feet of water. Gotta love this Gulf Coast town.

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Choosing a Kayak Color

Kayak color can enhance more than fishing pictures. Beyond economics, exercise and access to shallow backwaters, a major impetus [...]

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Bass Fishing at Stick Marsh

If you can’t catch a 6-pound bass on this lake near Vero Beach, something’s wrong. What happens when you rear back into the biggest bass of your life, it dives into a hydrilla mat, and your premium grade hook snaps in half?

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Full Moon on Fisheating Creek

Paddle back in time on a storied tributary of Lake Okeechobee.

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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.

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Stealth, Fly Rods and Reluctant Redfish

Get out of the way and into the fish on the Indian River. I had known that there were schools of redfish on the shallow flats at the southern end of Mosquito Lagoon. Until now, however, I had been unable to catch more than one or two fish a day, no matter what I seemed to do. I was about ready to give up.

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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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The Grass Anchor

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.

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Mangrove Snapper Topside

An often fast-paced and highly visual pursuit, snaring mangroves within a rod length of the transom defines “cool,” but it’s also practically advantageous. Normally, when a guy tells me my fishing day will involve glass minnows and pompano jigs, I assume we’re talking flats and beaches.

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Paddle Craft: Bridge Toll

Big rewards lurk under big bridges—if you’re prepared. The same fastidious thought needs to go into a night bridge-fishing expedition as an offshore trip. I admit to being a bit lackadaisical about safety when fishing a foot-deep grassflat far off the beaten-boat path.

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A Step Above the Others

Fly fishing for summer tarpon from a unique perspective. I’ve caught many fish from the comfort and stability of my ladder long after the sea breeze swept waves have chased the others away.

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Kayak Bar-Hopping

There are no overpriced drinks, no shaky sound systems, no shallow conversations. But when inshore anglers long for entertainment seasoned with diversity, many turn to bar-hopping.

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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.

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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.

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Fish a Paddleboard

Maximizing for the minimalist. First, the legal requirements for outfitting a standup paddleboard, or SUP: For most fishing waters, you must have an approved Personal Flotation Device (PFD) and a noise-making device.