How To


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Customizing Your Spinnerbait

Bent-wire spinnerbaits have been around since the 1950s, and today are available in countless sizes, colors and patterns. And, with the online availability (www.mudhole.com and other sites) of components like skirts, trailers and blades, you have the ability to come up with baits bass have never seen: flashy blades of all sizes, shapes and color. Unlimited skirt colors and patterns. Trailers. Unusual heads and eyes.

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Presenting a Fly

You’re on the flats, hunting. You’ve spotted a fish, or perhaps a school. What you do in the next 60 seconds determines whether you taste the thrill of victory, or the agony of defeat.

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Dive Certification

What’s the going rate for group open-water diving certification? What do FS members think are the best places to get certification in your area? What should you look for in an instructor and a dive shop when you’re thinking about taking scuba lessons?

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Sight Fish on the Drift

Some days, silence is more important than mobility. It’s the classic image of sight fishing the flats: A skiff with a man high atop an aft poling platform, using a long pole to urge the boat along in search of bonefish, tarpon or redfish.

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FS Seminar – Survival Bag

Florida Sportsman boating editor Dave East reviews the essential items to pack in a survival bag in case of an emergency. Check out Dave East’s boating seminar “Backcountry Ditch Bag” in the April 2013 issue of Florida Sportsman magazine for more information.

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Maxims for the Flats

Tips for more successful saltwater fly fishing. The old saw, “Ten percent of fishermen catch 90 percent of the fish” might go double for saltwater fly fishers, given the technical nature of fly fishing. Even more so for sight fishing the flats.

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Removing Hull Stains

If you leave your boat in the water for extended periods of time, or even just run in dirty waters, you’ll find yourself dealing with a stubborn yellowish stain from the waterline down. Freshwater and soap won’t even make a dent in removing this discoloration. Having the right cleaner will make the job painless.

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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Keeping Your Dock Lines Shipshape

Most anglers are fairly casual about their seamanship, and that’s understandable. But that shouldn’t stop you from keeping your dock lines shipshape.

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Mexico Bass Fishing: Lake El Salto

Lake El Salto is Mexico’s hottest Florida-strain bass factory. A glimmer of light silhouetted arid foothills as we motored through flooded timber and around a few small islands into the main arm of the big lake.

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Three Tips for Summer Boating

Three easy safety and fishing tips from BoatUS that will help you get safely through the fishing season. People are asking when did spring end and summer begin? Anglers and boaters are taking advantage of the warm weather.

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Pattern Your Bass

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.

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Catching Mullet on Fly

Solving the jumping enigma with flies. When you think about it, the “game” in gamefish says a lot about a fish. It helps explain why one man’s grunting and sweating aboard a drifting sportfisherman seems so far removed from another’s grilled swordfish in a restaurant.

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Best Rigs for Bottom Fishing

When thinking of bottom fishing, most imagine a cooler full of fish and a hot meal on the table. What about the days you can’t convince a keeper to eat? Fishing with the right rig can make all the difference.

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Boat Loading with a Winch

Make easy work of boat loading with a push of the button. No one wants to hand-crank a ton of fiberglass while a Saturday crowd looks on, and the fact is, you shouldn’t need to.

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Kayak Transportation-On a Roll

Ease your way to the water. Rather than deal with slippery concrete boat ramps, many kayak fishermen prefer launching in a crevice in the mangroves or spartina grass.