Lighten up and go easy to entice hard-pressured fish. After September 11, 2001, the east side of the no motor zone in the Banana River Lagoon was closed to all entry for four and a half years. On the day it opened again (to badged NASA personnel and their guests only) I was there with Tom Van Horn.
Knowing how to properly use your boat’s livewell system can make a notable difference in your bait’s liveliness. In this FS Seminar, Reel Time Florida Sportsman host, Capt. George Gozdz, discusses tips and techniques about caring for your live bait and livewell systems.
A basic knowledge of bass habits, combined with keen observation, can make for a very productive day. A spot gives an angler a general area to fish. A pattern tells the angler the specific depth and cover situations within that area where his casts need to go—and those areas that can be ignored.
Maximize scent and keep baits just off the bottom for backwater redfish and more. The fireball float rig is a favorite among North Carolina surf casters chasing redfish, bluefish and flounder. It consists of two brightly painted styrofoam balls and two 3/0 to 5/0 baitholder hooks tethered by a light braided wire leader.
When it’s calm enough, troll the beaches to pick up awesome bluewater live baits. Abundant around the state, a 6- to 9-inch runner is perfect for big kings, sailfish, wahoo, you name it. Fishing in hard-pressured Palm Beach County, I’ve found one method that, with a little tweaking, quickly accounts for enough runners to fill a day: trolling with small jigs.
When a hooked fish darts under mangroves, docks or other structure, it’s easy for the line to break. Reel Time Florida Sportsman host, Capt. George Gozdz discusses tips and techniques on how to improve your odds of landing big fish in heavy structure.
Quick trip on the Loxahatchee River. Imagine a time-traveling Indian trying to reconcile his senses on the present Loxahatchee River in Palm Beach County. Girding his loins for a fishing trip, he lets the silent brown water carry him slowly downstream surrounded by towering cypress and ferns, amid the growing, alien hum of the unseen Interstate 95.
Tips for planning a center console outrigger installation. Want to build a wider trolling spread for sailfish or dolphin season? Modern T-tops are commonly built to accommodate topmount outriggers, preserving the fisharound quality of a center console vessel.
You can do a lot more with this lure than just cast and reel it. There are a lot of ways to use a spinnerbait, and a number of different retrieves that can make it more effective. Here are three retrieve methods that can increase your catch.
Coolers aren’t only used for storing things such as drinks, food or fish. In this FS Seminar, Reel Time Florida Sportsman host, Capt. George Gozdz discusses how elevating your view with a cooler when sight fishing can greatly improve your chances of catching fish.
Let your live baits do the work offshore. Drifting live baits from a kayak is a great way to catch ocean fish, from sailfish to wahoo. But as you drift, you can pull the bait and take away from the natural presentation. Freelining provides for a more natural-running bait and will give you a big advantage as you make your drift.
Inshore Florida applications for a Pacific coast lure style. Florida’s inshore grassflats in midsummer are a little like the kelp beds of Southern California, only in miniature. When our turtlegrass (flat blades) and manatee grass (corkscrew-shaped) tops out, seatrout, snook and redfish dig deep into the shady tunnels.
Florida fishing boats require special attention to cooling systems. It’s easy to lose track of time during those long summer days on the water. It’s also easy to forget that grasses and stirred-up sediments may compromise your engine’s cooling system. On coastal water, salt water itself, over the long term, is a threat.
Release your catch—safely. That we need government to require dehookers on reef fishing trips is absurd, given that we’ve always had handy pliers or disgorgers to retrieve hooks from spiky, toothy critters caught far from shore. Still, it’s worth pointing out that state and federal fishing regulations for both the Gulf and Atlantic sides of Florida[...]
Roll-your-own or commercial mix—they all do the job. There’s no question that the classic mix for chumming scaled sardines, pinfish and other bait—canned jack mackerel and whole wheat bread—is highly effective. It’s moderate in cost, and if kept on ice you can use one bucket for several days. (If you forget to ice it, on the other hand, you may not be able to use your boat for several days!)