Features

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Cobia and the Rays

Most of us already know about cobia: great fighters, willing to eat most offerings and awesome tablefare. Sight-fishing is an exciting way to target them. Sometimes you’ll find free-swimming cobia, but often the fish are following large rays.

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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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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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Bull Reds on the Beach

It’s like this: water is clear emerald, beaches are blazing white, the air is brisk and cool, and the winter sun creates a dark shadow on the sandy bottom where a fishing skiff floats over the second bar just off the beach.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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.