How To

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Fishing Fake Figs for Tilapia

Catching ficus-chummed tilapia is great fun, but the fish are more wary than you might imagine. To be successful you’ll need a stealthy approach and a fly which closely mimics the falling ficus berries. The fruits range in color from yellow to very dark purple, with the ripest berries sporting the darkest hues.

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Peacock Bass – Florida Butterfly vs. Brazilian Speckled

But how do the butterfly peacocks of South Florida stand up to speckled peacocks of the Amazon Basin? A look at the similarities and differences of the Florida Butterfly Peacock versus the Brazilian Speckled Peacock.

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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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FS Seminar – Dive Safety

Florida Sportsman Editor David Conway meets up with diver/spearfisherman Rob Murphy and talks about safety techniques that should always be exercised while diving.

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The Heart of the System

Keep your electronics going strong. Modern marine electronics (engines, too!) are sensitive to a voltage drop and frequently go offline or sound an alarm with even a small reduction in input voltage.

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Cleaning an Alligator

In the seminar above, Florida Sportsman’s Trey Wheeler met up with the staff at All American Gator Products in Ft. Pierce, FL to learn how to properly skin and clean a Florida ‘gator.

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Fly Casting Into the Wind

Tips for casting into headwinds. Quite simply, you should aim right at your target, rather than aiming your forward cast above the water, to let the line and fly settle as the line unrolls.

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Fishing a Spinnerbait Early

Explosive bass fishing doesn’t end with the coming of these hot, still days of midsummer. If you can urge yourself out of bed early, there’s a window of fast action to enjoy.

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Camping Via Kayak

No bugs, no sweat, and an actual use for campfire besides cooking. Most outdoorsmen agree: Camping in Florida is best done in the winter time. Kayakers and other fishermen that use paddle craft are ideal candidates for camping trips.

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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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Power Fishing for Bass

There’s something to be said for one big hook. Stick a trophy fish, and you can apply the full pressure the tackle will deliver, muscle it out of whatever cover it was hiding in and bring the fish to the boat quickly

A tarpon on fly can be a long, grueling battle.

Fly Fishing First Aid and Prevention

Fly-fishing is fun. As Suncoast Fly Fisher Carl Hanson said: ” It’s the most fun you can have standing up”. But do you ever have pain while fishing or afterward? Have you ever had to stop fishing or miss an outing because of pain?

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The Devil in Your Fuel

If it’s been three months or longer since you last ran your boat, consider having the fuel system serviced. If you’re buying a used boat which has sat idle for an indeterminate time, definitely get her in the shop before firing her up.

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Fly Line Backing

Since fly line backing can cost only pennies per foot, the function of taking up space is cheaper with backing. Most importantly, backing helps you catch fish. In Florida, we grow fish that require long casts and that run when struck with the hook. They will bring your backing to hand and make you glad that you paid attention to it.

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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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The Grass Anchor

Spoil the reed and spare the fish. Let’s face it. Dropping even the smallest anchor in a tidal creek or wilderness canal can turn off the fish. Whether it’s the splash, or simply because fish sense your presence, they can be frightened by anchors, particularly in tight quarters.

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Soft Sell

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.

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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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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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Live Bait Rigging Methods

The way a live bait is rigged when trolling can make a world of a difference when it comes to the way the bait swims through the water. Florida Sportsman’s Rick Ryals explains a few simple techniques that will get your bait swimming the right way, depending on they type of fishing you want to do.