Chasing the Tide, photo by Richard Santos from the 2015 Sportsman HD calendar. Kayaker watches for red drum, which raid the spartina grass on flood tide to eat snails and crabs. An hour ago, this was dry ground. And an hour from now, dry ground it will be again.
What determines tarpon fishing success? Casting distance and fly selection are secondary and tertiary to a simple function of line management: You have a fly ready to cast, enough line outside the rod tip, and the nerve to make your delivery with minimal fuss.
Hunting the Cypress, photo by Collin Ross, from the 2015 Sportsman HD Calendar. The swamp awakens around you. Squawking herons. Hooting owls. The occasional wood duck squeal. And then you pick it up: a few simple yelps, a hen turkey. You tense up, hoping she’s not alone.
Frigate Low, photo by Jason Stemple. Professional photographer Jason Stemple (www.jasonstemple.com) shot this frigate bird snagging a ballyhoo offshore out of Hawks Cay. What a nice sight to see as the spring dolphin season gets set to start around Florida. D300s, 70-200mm 2.8, 1/1250, f5.6.
“A good snook release comes when the fish bites down on the thumb just before you let go, leaving a sandpaper-rough feeling on your skin, which to me is the best part of the catch,” says Drew, who is the art director and frequent feature photographer for Florida Sportsman magazine.
Tampa Electric Redfish, photo by Sam Root. On cold winter days, redfish, seatrout and other fish congregate near the warm water downstream of powerplants, such as this redfish at Tampa Electric at Apollo Beach. Read Ed Mashburn’s story, “Hot Spots,” coming in the February issue of Florida Sportsman magazine.
Reds on the Beach, photo by Nick Binnings. In a “secret” location on Florida’s Panhandle, anglers scan the brilliant waters for schools of cruising redfish. Read about it in Ed Mashburn’s story, “Bull Reds on the Beach” in January’s Florida Sportsman magazine.