How To

Snook like this one are worth missing some sleep.

Docklight Fly Fishing

For snook, trout and other inshore predators, docklights provide easy pickings at an all-night buffet of crustaceans and minnows flowing through with the tide.

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Fishing Fast with a Worm

A slow-moving, bottom-bouncing worm is great for thoroughly working a small area. But there are situations where getting that worm off the bottom can be a better bet. Here are three ways to turn that bait into a faster-moving lure.

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Small Craft Advisory

When winds blow, pack your socks. If you get a rare day this month that allows kayak fishing off the beach, don’t even think about fishing for big game offshore without a drift chute.

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Hot Topic

Boat fires are rare, potentially devastating and mostly preventable. Here’s the scoop. After witnessing a bad boat fire that completely destroyed two boats, I wondered what the three main causes of boat fires might be.

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Blind Casting with a Fly Rod

If conditions aren’t suitable for sight-fishing, you can improve your odds of catching fish by limiting the search area and, like a good chess player, thinking a few moves ahead.

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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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Screen Care and Feeding

Glass or plastic? Touchscreen or traditional? Secrets to keeping them clean and bright. Saltwater and sunshine are not kind to marine electronics. One especially sensitive area of any plotter or fishfinder is the display screen.

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Fishing the Feeding Lane

On Florida’s clear spring runs and tannin-stained rivers alike, reading the water and knowing where a feeding lane is can be the difference between a nice day casting and a great day catching.

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Clear Water Bass Tactics

Many of Florida’s rivers and lakes are fed by springs, and the water tends to be very clear year-round. But even on waterbodies fed primarily by surface runoff, late winter and spring can see exceptionally clear conditions, due to the cool water and limited growth of algae. This puts us anglers at a disadvantage.

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DIY Cooler Slide

For years, I struggled every time I wanted to open the lid on the big cooler under my bayboat’s leaning post. The cooler serves as a fish box and the top of it sits only a few inches below the seat support. It was impossible to lift the lid more than a few inches and difficult at best to slide the cooler far enough out to be able to open it, especially if the box was filled with enough ice to chill a catch.

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Pier Trolling

You don’t need a boat and a motor to go trolling for big snook. But a strong pair of legs and a stout rod will go a long way to landing some monster linesiders.

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Wind-on Swivels

There is one time where we always include a swivel in our wind-on leader system: when we are chunking dead bait for yellowfin tuna. Unlike all of the other wind-on leader applications such as trolling and live baiting, retrieving chunked dead bait can cause severe twist in your main line and leader. To help reduce line twist, we connect the wind-on leader to the main line with a high quality barrel swivel.

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New Outboards for 2015

Every year outboard engine manufacturers look into their crystal balls to anticipate what new products the boating industry needs, as well as what new products the boating public will buy. Sometimes, changes in a product line are brought on just for the sake of change, but there are also real innovations that will make your boating experience better.

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Florida Gar Fishing

Gar range from the Everglades to the Georgia border and west to Alabama. However, for some fast and fun gar fishing, potential gar anglers might want to journey to the rivers of Panhandle Florida and look for gar as they come to the surface to take breaths of air.

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Bass Fishing Toads

Toads kick up a topwater frenzy on Florida bass lakes. Most bass anglers are familiar with soft-plastic frog lures. Some would think that a toad would be a similar squatty amphibian-type bait. But, they’d be wrong.

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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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Ferrule Maintenance

As mainstream and convenient as multi-piece fly rods are, there is a shortcoming: ferrule slippage. It can be just an annoyance, or it can cause a costly mishap.

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Basic Florida Seagrass Facts

A primer on the favorite flats habitat. They say Inuit people can identify seven different kinds of snow. There are almost that many kinds of sea grass on Florida’s flats, but if you can tell the difference between just three varieties, it’s likely to make you a considerably better angler.

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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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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.