How To

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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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Landing Fish in a Paddle Craft

Proper technique allows kayak and canoe fishermen to land large fish without getting dumped overboard. Offshore kayak fishing is a relatively new technique, and many anglers are learning on the fly. Safety must always be the first priority.

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DIY Kayak

Build a wooden boat for fishing. Catching a fish on a homemade lure or rod is a real thrill. How about catching a fish from a boat you’ve built for yourself?

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Take Your Shiner For a Stroll

It’s not the most glamorous bass tactic, and you’re not likely to see it on the cable TV fishing shows. But there’s a reason why slow-trolling live shiners is the bread and butter technique for bass guides from Lake Okeechobee to Talquin–it works.

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Scuba Diving Ear Equalization Basics

When it comes to diving, whether tank diving or free diving, one of the first problems new divers run into is ear pressure. Unfamiliar with the process of “equalizing”, this sometimes can come as a surprise.

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Drift Boats in Florida

Where teamwork and paddle craft meet. Fly fishers see a picture of a drift boat and think Rocky Mountain river trout fishing. But lately there has been some talk among fly-fishing folk that the drift boat might be just right for Florida bass fishing, too.

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Boat Loading with a Winch

Make easy work of boat loading with a push of the button. No one wants to hand-crank a ton of fiberglass while a Saturday crowd looks on, and the fact is, you shouldn’t need to.

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Spoon Fly: Catch Florida Redfish and More

This imitation of a successful lure works just as well when tied as a fly. All veteran redfishermen are aware of how effective weedless spoons are on reds. Jon Cave knew this as well and wanted to transfer that success to flyfishing.

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Choosing the Right Paddle

You and the paddle are the motor. How hard you have to work to get from point A to point B will influence your success and enjoyment as a fisherman—particularly if you’re covering a lot of water or paddling into a strong wind or current. So choose a quality paddle and save your arm for fighting fish.

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Removing Hull Stains

If you leave your boat in the water for extended periods of time, or even just run in dirty waters, you’ll find yourself dealing with a stubborn yellowish stain from the waterline down. Freshwater and soap won’t even make a dent in removing this discoloration. Having the right cleaner will make the job painless.

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Diving from Kayaks

There’s a cool hookah rig for diving from kayaks, a popular way to get to nearshore dive spots for a lot of Florida divers. Brownie’s Kayak Diving Hose Kits put your tank topside and let divers move about freely and effortlessly down below.

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Small Craft Advisory

When winter 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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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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Keeping Your Dock Lines Shipshape

Most anglers are fairly casual about their seamanship, and that’s understandable. But that shouldn’t stop you from keeping your dock lines shipshape.

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Wiggle and Wobble a Dipstick Worm

The technique is a minimalist approach that lets the two ends of the worm sink slowly to the bottom, pulsating on the drop.

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Freediving 101

Florida Sportsman’s Jeff Weakley joins World Champion freediver Martin Stepanek to go over some basics of freediving.

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Rust-Free Kayak Transportation

A few years ago I bought a lightly used, 4WD 5SPD 1998 Toyota 4Runner. It seemed to be the perfect hauler for kayaks and fishing gear, but one day I noticed a small, ¼-inch hole near one of the screws that secures the roof rack. Removing the rack for closer inspection, I found a hole that could house a golf ball, surrounded by thinning metal.

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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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Casting Weighted Flies

Casting weighted flies certainly brings challenges. An angler might struggle just to get the fly and line out of the water. Then, once the fly is airborne, our favorite rod and our favorite skull are at risk from these sharpened anvils.