How To

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Everglades Camping With Kayaks

Kayaker Jerry McBride recounts his camping trip to the Everglades, just in time for you to plan one for yourself. Included are photos and planning tips to make your trip a success.

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.

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Maintaining Your Boat’s Cooling System

Florida fishing boats require special attention to cooling systems. It’s easy to lose track of time during those long summer days on the water. It’s also easy to forget that grasses and stirred-up sediments may compromise your engine’s cooling system. On coastal water, salt water itself, over the long term, is a threat.

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Battery Maintenance

Florida Sportsman Publisher Blair Wickstrom joins Ralph Baker of RJ Marine Group to talk about maintaining a vital piece of boat equipment, the batteries.

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Planers for Wahoo

In the clear Gulf Stream water that sweeps along the coast of South Florida, wahoo aficionados use the scaled-down planer method to entice more strikes than they might otherwise get with the heavy lures and steel cable leaders used in high-speed trolling.

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Basics of Lobster Diving

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.

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Good Vibrations

Some noises draw fish closer, some put them off. Some boats are lucky, some not so much. Mostly that’s the result of the guy at the controls putting the boat in the right place at the right time.

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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.

Sharp entry of this deep V hull design allows this boat to track well in a turn and ride smooth in a chop.

Right Tool for the Job

Identify optimal hull design for the waters you plan to fish. What separates similar boats more than anything is the design of the hull, or more importantly the running surface. Know going in when you start your search for that perfect boat, you may have to give up a shallow draft to get a softer ride.

Keeping low, author delivers a fly to a bullseye snakehead.

Aim for a Bullseye

As a Florida invasive, bullseye snakeheads began in Tamarac, and have spread throughout most of the neighborhoods above Ft. Lauderdale and below Palm Beach. Any body of water in these areas on any given day can hold snakeheads.

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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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Using the Rest of the Clock

A good fly fisherman understands that time, effort and practice cultivate technique and successful execution. Among those techniques is the dreaded “wrong side” cast. Adding this to your arsenal will greatly improve the outcome of each day on the water.

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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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Restoring Fiberglass Color & Shine

In this FS Seminar, FS Boating Forum Moderator Dan McCarthy shows how-to keep your hull in tip-top shape. If your hull is looking dull and faded, you can bring back its original luster and shine with ease. For more information on the products used visit www.starbrite.com.

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Tying a Realistic Crab Fly

Crabs can make up as much as 70 percent of a redfish’s diet in many areas along the Florida coast. Shallow grassflats and mangrove prop roots offer ideal habitat for a variety of crabs. Redfish and many other species love to root around for these delicacies.

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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.