How To


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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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Cell Signal Booster Kits

Reviews are mixed on whether or not cellular phone boosters give an adequate increase in range to justify their price, but there’s no question that an additional antenna connected wirelessly to the tiny one inside your phone can perhaps double your range, and that can make a big difference to those of us who depend on cellphones to stay in touch inshore and nearshore.

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Fishing the Edges for Redfish

Haines made a long strip, resulting in a good hookset, then raised his rod as the fish powered back onto the oyster-laden mud flat. Playing his fish with the line in his hand, Haines brought the fish safely to the boat for release. We hoped for another shot, but the school of reds had simply disappeared.

When to check the safety of those tanks?

Checking Old Dive Tanks

What’s the routine for dive tank safety? How often should you get the integrity of your tanks tested, and where do you go to get them checked? FS member saltydog251 came across a few old tanks and wondered if he could use them–if they would be safe.

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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Swamp Bass

The next morning in Jeff’s truck, he explained what lay ahead of us. Years ago, he discovered a trail into a hidden lake, a long way back through a swamp. He’d even hauled an aluminum boat out there. I asked him how many buddies used his boat. He told me he’d never seen another soul out there. I knew right then that this was going to be very special.

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Hinge and Hide It

Keeping your rig at home in the garage has multiple advantages. First, it is out of thieves’ sights. Second, indoor protection against UV light, heat and outdoors elements keeps your boat new-looking. And lastly, your boat will always be prepared because you can leave tackle and electronics in place.

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Phosphate Lake Bass Fishing

Phosphate pits are unique in Florida for their underwater terrain. Unlike our natural lakes, which are mostly shallow bowls, the dug pits contain humps, deep holes and even hilltops projecting above the submerged landscape.

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Organize Your Hooks

One of the keys to successful live bait fishing is matching the size and style hook to the bait you fish. Regardless of whether you catch or buy your bait, baits vary in size from trip to trip. That’s why we’ve developed a hook box system so that we are always prepared to find the right hook for the bait at hand and the species of fish that we are targeting.

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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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Crankbaits in Grass

Jerk those lipless crankbaits through heavy cover. It works! Loud, flashy and long-casting, lipless crankbaits are the lure of choice when searching for bass in submerged hydrilla.

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Applying Non-Skid

As I get the opportunity to test many boats throughout the year, one thing I see all too often is manufacturers that don’t spend enough time on the water using their own products. If they did, switches would be easier to see and systems would have better access. Along these same lines some boat builders use anti-skid as more of a design pattern instead of its intended use of a secure place to step.

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Fly Fishing Around Structure

When you hook a big fish on a grassflat, you just let it run. When you hook a big fish under a dock or around pilings you can’t do that, unless you want to lose your expensive fly line as well as the fish.

Marble-size balls are perfect for bullhead and channel catfish. Next step is a one-minute boil to firm up the baits.

Make Your Own Dough Balls

Doughballs are time-honored baits for sunfish, catfish and even some saltwater panfish.

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Bow Mount Sonar

Now, every boat has sonar, and a lot of flats and bass rigs have sonar at both ends. In fact, for those who fish with a trolling motor, a sonar system up front has become pretty much standard equipment—and some of the bass guys even have a couple of big-screens mounted on the front deck.

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Bluegill Bounty

Flies fool plenty of panfish. They’re often underrated as a sportfish; often overlooked by Floridians whose egos tell them they’ve advanced beyond their panfish beginnings. Nevertheless, bluegill present a ton of rod bending opportunity and catching these precocious panfish on flies is some of the most fun you’ll have in fresh water.