How To

short fly rods

Short Fly Rods: Improve Accuracy, Decrease Fatigue

Well, I hope you don’t work a fly rod like a whip, and some of the fly rods out there aren’t so long. They can be pretty short in fact. And short can be better, in some situations. I fish a variety of short rods, from 7-foot to 8-foot, 4 inches.

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Lobster Diving Basics

In this FS Seminar, Publisher Blair Wickstrom dives with his long time friend Juan Comendeiro to find lobsters off of Bimini, Bahamas. They give a few basic tips on how to find and successfully catch lobster.

florida bass lakes

Top Five Florida Bass Lakes

With hundreds of publicly-accessible lakes and river fisheries, the Sunshine State offers tremendous opportunities to stretch a line with big largemouth bass. Everyone has their favorite fishin’ hole, but to fairly rank a top-5, we sought relevant perspective from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s TrophyCatch program

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Five Essential Florida Hunting Firearms

When I started noodling what collection of guns would be most suitable for hunting in Florida, I considered three criteria: versatility, functionality, and availability.

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Top Five Tarpon Flies

Stick with these basic fly styles wherever you fish for tarpon.

Feel like fishing onshore today? Kayak doubles as a surf fishing cart.

Kayak Surf Fishing

The fall bait run along the beach is some of the most exciting fishing you can do in Florida. And a kayak is a great vehicle for getting in on the action.

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Offshore Techniques for Bay Boats

Larger bay boats have become increasingly popular in recent years, mainly due to their versatility inshore and offshore.

Bobber Fishing Catfish

Bobber Fishing Catfish

Looking to catch delicious freshwater catfish—big ones—in broad daylight, one after the other? In many Florida watersheds, the key is finding the right tree. Mature catfish hang around the submerged root systems of old, large trees.

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Cold Water Wetsuit Advice

A bit of advice on buying a wetsuit in Florida. As we get in to our colder seasons here in Florida, wearing a wetsuit while diving is necessary as water temperatures drop about 10 to 15 degrees. There are many different factors that go into buying a wetsuit including the style of suit, the thickness, and color.

Bait struggling against a float rings the dinner bell for dolphin. The float itself may be an appetizer of sorts.

Fishing a Float Offshore

I’m convinced that pegging a foam cork about four feet above a live bait is one of the best tactics for mixed-bag drift-fishing on the summer ocean.

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How to Cast a Popper Fly Better

Heart-stopping topwater strikes don’t have to be followed by casting fatigue or an aching elbow or wrist. Fly casting, if your mechanics are poor, can cause physical pain. Throw a big ol’ popper into the mix and it can get worse. But that is avoidable—all it takes is some adjustments in both the construction of a popper and in the way you cast it.

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Flip a Worm for Bass

Flipping the reeds is classic Florida bass fishing. It works basically year-round on our shallow, bowl lakes where bulrush, cattail and Kissimmee grass comprise the dominant bass habitat.

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How to Find Lobster Lairs

Over the years we accumulate hundreds of fishing and diving spots and one of the interesting things I’ve found is there are three types of spots: Fishing, lobstering, and those where you can do both.

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Fly Fishing for Bonito

False albie. Bonito. Football. Hardhead. Bomber. These are only a few of the nicknames for the little tunny. All around the Florida coastline, from the northern Gulf of Mexico to the Florida-Georgia line, this small member of the tuna family can be caught in good numbers on fly tackle.

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Trolling Hard Plastics for Pelagics

During this FS Seminar, Rick Ryals ventures 60 miles offshore of Jacksonville Beach in search of fast-moving pelagics. Bruiser blackfin tuna, wahoo, and dolphin gobbled hard-plastic lipped diving plugs, in favor of natural presentations.

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Finding the Secret Creeks

I remember vividly the day I discovered the pleasure of fishing water with current. One day, on a whim, I took my boys—they were very young then—to the Santa Fe River north of Gainesville. We found gin-clear springs spaced perfectly for swim breaks. Eel grass waved in the current. Silver mullet darted, while golden shiners and snails slowly foraged on the algae growing on the blades of grass.

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Check Your Permits

Impending collapse of ocean fisheries? Not happening here in the United States, and definitely not here in Florida. If anything, recreational anglers are likely feeling over-regulated at this point.

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Backwards Texas Rig

Hidden in the name is the essence of the concept—a backward Texas rig. Tekisasu—Texas, in Japanese—is phonetically reversed to form sasuteki, just as the weight is placed below the lure to turn the Texas rig itself upside down.

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Fly Line Management

Line management is the single biggest issue for fly fishermen. A wet beach towel placed over offending projections might solve your problems. Sometimes duct tape will do it. When that isn’t enough, you may need a line management tool.

flounder

Rigs for Catching Flounder

Flounder—the southern and Gulf varieties— are the ultimate bottom-dwellers, shuffling into sand or mud to lie in ambush. Flatties, or “doormats” when they get big, like their meals low and tight, so you’ll do best to keep a tempting bait in their zone.