On The Cover
Katy Hendee -Mahi Mania
Gale Force Twins
Captain Jeff Leonia Captain Jeff Leonia Sub-headings
and More ...
On the Cover - katy Hendee
From katy Hendee Outdoors
Katy Hendee Mahi Madness Pg 3
Grouper with Ryan Till Pg 12
Family Fishing with Lewis abd Cherlyn pg 22
Big Sword with Jeff leonia pg 26
Heather Smith pg 34
Against The Grain Charters pg 44
Hubbards Marina Reports pg 45
Allison Hendricks - On the Fly pg 61
Southerland Outdoors pg 74
Gale Force Twins Page 84
Readers Features pg 88
In This Issue
Katy Hendee - Mahi Mania
Mahi mahi! So nice they named it twice! Well, actually the fish has several names! It’s scientific name to be exact is Coryphaena hippurus. Its more commonly known as dolphin, dorado, bull (for male mahi because of their big noggins), and also dollies (short for dolphin). This ray-finned surface-dwelling tropical fish is a great catch! Fun fight, slightly easy to target, and oh so pretty! For attention span purposes ill keep this short and sweet, for I could write about mahi all day.
Here in south Florida we love our dolphin. Especially the fishing community who work fishing charters for a living. Any tourist who doesn’t live under a rock has seen mahi mahi on a menu at a restaurant at some point in time in their life. It’s almost like the chicken of the sea, but I wouldn’t want to downplay all it has to offer with that kind of comparison. For fishing charters you’ll get your “easy peasies” to catch, for example kings and bonitas, then come the dolphins, they’re on the list of the easier offshore catches, but it’s the beauty that astounds everyone when it approaches the boat, and not to mention super good eating! You can catch kings and bonitas all day, but they are not good for anything but smoking or bait. You can smoke the king for fish dip and strip the bonitas for bait but that’s about it. It’s safe to say mahi is a desirable catch for tourist, thus great for the fishing community thus great for Florida’s economy.
Usually trolling for mahi you’ll find them anywhere between 200 to 1200 ft of deep water (you really can find them anywhere in deep tropical waters but that’s a more concentrated zone). When we’re out we always keep an eye open for two things, one – the frigate birds diving for bait, and two – anything floating that marine life like bait will be swimming around. The idea here is where there is bait, there are the big predators feasting on the bait, mahi being one of the big predators. My favorite is finding something floating out deep. There’s a variety of fish to choose from and there will most definitely be mahi. You can get them fired up by casting out almost anything at them that jigs fast that’s shiny. I threw out a bread ball on a hook once when they were fired up and by golly it worked!
Link to - katy Hendee Outdoors
If you want to catch mahi mahi I recommend finding an offshore charter out of Florida-- there are some fairly priced and talented fishing charters that won’t disappoint like the BOLO out of Deerfield. When you do catch your mahi (I have faith in you!) I recommend cooking it in my favorite: a white wine lemon capper sauce with asparagus. Google for recipes! Go out there and fight the fight and cook the reward with friends! Tight lines my friends! Katy Hendee editor at Florida Fishermen Magazine
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Calendar will be available in Novemeber at www.Flfishmag.com and at Nicoles website at https://nicolespenc.com
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How To Catch Grouper
Catching Grouper in Southwest Florida
By Ryan Till
[TIP]: Use multiple sources to monitor weather conditions
Grouper fishing around Florida will require some preparation before venturing out. This is primarily because grouper prefer relatively deep water with healthy live bottom, natural ledges, wrecks and artificial reefs. In order to reach these grounds, off SWFL in particular, be prepared to head offshore 15+ miles. The further you go out, chances are, the bigger the grouper!
Nothing ruins the mood on your boat faster than high winds, waves & cold rain! Do yourself a favor and start monitoring weather conditions a couple days before your trip; winds under 10 mph and clear skies are ideal for most vessels. NOAA provides an excellent marine forecast; Windfinder has been a reliable app as well. Be sure to review FL fishing regulations for Open/Close seasons and size limits: Red Grouper (20” / 3 per person); Gag Grouper (24” / 2 per person). Last thing to remember is ALWAYS keep your eyes on the water.. conditions can change in a heartbeat!
Bait & Tackle:
“You reap what you sew!” If your tackle, gear &/or bail are unsatisfactory- expect your results to be the same! Grouper are hungry; but they can be picky eaters. Come prepared with an assortment of bait & tackle.Get good quality frozen: squid, threadfins &/or sardines. Live pin fish and bait fish caught while searching for grouper are also great baits ,Grouper are powerful! Once hooked, they are capable of bending rods past their snapping point. Your line, knots, reels (everything) will be put to the test.
Rod / Reel: The most important piece of the puzzle; there are two options: 1) Spinning reel / size 6000 (or more); or, 2) Conventional reel. We use Seigler LG and small Avet conventional reels- filled with 30-50lb test line; accompanied by a 6-8ft medium to heavy action rod (depending on angler preference.
Bring plenty of egg sinkers 3-8oz depending on depth & speed of drift. Too little weight and your bait will never reach and hold the bottom. Too much weight and you risk not feeling the bite or getting snagged on structure. Use a swivel to keep the weight off the hook. Leader choice is also very important; too light and you will get broke-off; too heavy and the fish will spook. We suggest using 40-80lb fluorocarbon leader. Lastly is your hook choice. Circle hooks are not only preferred; but it is also state law for reef & bottom fishing (as it prevents most gut hooking). We want those small grouper to be released healthy- to catch another day!
A good GPS/Fishfinder unit is an absolute necessity. If you’re lucky enough to get some coordinates from a friend- that is a great place to start. Grouper inhabit live bottom (coral reef), ledges and wrecks. Starting from scratch? Zoom in on your GPS.. look for icons like “Fish Haven” or “Wreck”. While fishing the grounds in SWFL, we like to start our trip from Sanibel Island (specifically, the Boca Grande pass) and head out to the ledge at 55-65ft. Look for a squiggly line on your GPS- running parallel to the coast between 16-27 miles offshore; lots of live bottom around this ledge.
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Pick a spot on your GPS (depending on wind & current); set your boat up to drift across the ledge (squiggly line)- and drop your line with 2-3” chunks of squid or sardines- all the way to the bottom. Common species caught during this drift will be grunts, squirrel-fish, snapper, and of course, grouper. If/When you start catching snapper- mark that spot on your GPS because grouper will be nearby. When you stop getting bites from any fish- it’s time to reset your drift to get another grouper; hopefully bigger than the last. Wishing you all fair weather & tight lines!
Catching Grouper in Southwest Florida
By Ryan Till
Fall is here and Lewis and I are just smiling ear to ear. We are starting to see cooler weather in the early mornings. The snook are fired up, we are starting to see some big girls on the flats
Family Fishing with Lewis and Cherlyn Arnold
Fammily Fishing with Lewis and Cherlyn Arnold
Flounder are also making an appearance, which means good tablefare for dinner! Winter fishing will be amongst us soon enough, which means less traffic on the water, fair weather anglers will be staying home and we will be bundled up and ready to go!
Well another great year in the books.1st I want to thank my strong beauifayul fish slayin wife for holding it down for everything she does.let me tell you shes in charge of the social media for the bcfa and it's not all posting pics peoples.its long hours of not having my wife because shes busy progressing the bcfa page,so next time you see a pic u like double tap that baby.ok with that being said now 2ndly I want to thank chris damon for having my back and being a great partner this year,next years gonna be even better.now i would like to thank foxmarineverobeach for keeping my boat on the water Craig's the guy to see.WEEDLINEAPPAREL for keeping the gear flowing for Cherlyn and i and the bcfa.3rd place ain't bad yyyye. Tsunami Tackle , Salt Life Sunglasses
Capt Jeff Leonia 457 lb Sword
Daytime Swordfishing in recent years has become very popular down in the Florida Keys and Islamorada. Broadbill Swordfish are not an easy species to target, being that during the day they reside at depths ranging from 1,500 feet to 1,800 feet. For this reason, anglers from all over the country gear up and set out offshore in hopes to capture such a trophy
. On September 6th, 2019, my crew consisting of Drake Noble, Lee Tinter, Chris Vanderhoef and Skye Stanley set out to do just that. The day begins just like any other morning by loading the boat with ice, drinks, food and all the tackle and bait necessary for the days adventure. Tackle consisting of a Lindgren Pitman SV-1200 and a Hooker Electric motor mounted on a Shimano Tiagra 80 wide. We are also prepared with a dozen swordfish baits, consisting of a mahi belly with a single hook and topped off with a squid skirt that I spent the previous day rigging up.
As we arrive to the swordfish ledge, the crew plugs in the reels, sets out the baits, attaches the lights and clips on the 10 pound lead as we are all eager to start fishing. Once the bait reaches the bottom and is set, the only thing left to do is wait. We will drift with the gulf stream along the ledge anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour until we reel up the line and reset our bait. Hours go by with no sign of life until on our 5th drop of the day, Skye notices a small irregularity in the tip of the rod and shortly after we get a massive strike. As we get tight to what we all hope and assume is a swordfish, we soon realize whatever we have on the other end of our line is a monster. Several minutes go by of the fish hugging the bottom to the point where we cannot gain an inch until, finally, we start making some headway. Two hours pass before we are finally able to remove the heavy 10-pound lead from our wind-on leader and now it is just us and the fish
. Another hour and a half rolls by before we can heave the harpoon at this massive swordfish and stick it with three gaffs, before the fight is finally over. Once all the commotion settled, we all realize that this fish is a lot larger than we thought, as it takes three of us to pull it into the boat through the dive door in the side. After the photos have been taken, the crew gets the fish iced down for the 30-mile track back to the marina where they will weigh our massive fish. As we pull into Bayside Marina out of World Wide Sportsman in Islamorada, we are greeted by family and friends, along with the dock master and other people who work at the marina and are willing to help. After we all muscle the fish out of the boat and onto the dock it is time to wheel the fish over to the forklift where it will finally be weighed. As the Swordfish rises, we watch the scale as it climbs past 100, 200, 300 pounds until the scale stops at 457.4 pounds.
A few more photos are taken of the crew and myself with the massive trophy swordfish before we load it back into the boat so we can bring it home to clean. Between the five of us having over 50 years of fishing experience in the keys this day was by far the best day on the water for any of us. It being early in my swordfish carrier to catch a fish of this size is a major accomplishment and motivates me to strive for the next level. Some days you will go eight plus hours on the water without even a single bite and some days you can catch the fish of a lifetime. That is why swordfishing has become so popular because it can be very difficult and frustrating, but when you do get tight with and land a broadbill swordfish it makes all those long hours well worth it.
Capt Jeff Leonia
Field Tested by Florida Fishermen Magazine
Against The Grain Charters has tested and Approved
Sam Rayburn Reservoir continues to dominate the rankings as the number one bass fishing lake in the United States. Created in 1965 with an area of 114,500 acres, it is the largest man made lake in Texas. In 1997, Tommy Shelton set the current lake record pulling in a 16.80 pound and 28.75 inch behemoth largemouth bass on a spinner bait. Rayburn is, without a doubt, the most consistent producing tournament lake in the country.
Heather Smith at Sam Rayburn Reservoir
Heather Smith at Sam Rayburn Reservoir
The lake itself is so diverse it presents the opportunity for every angler to haul in their own personal record weighing fish, no matter what technique they are most confident using. Whether you prefer pitching and flipping in Cypress trees or deepwater fishing, Rayburn's deepest point is 72 ft, big fish are abundant in these waters. At first glance, the beauty of the lake is obvious to the naked eye. However, it is what lies below the surface that is true hidden treasure. Rayburn has not one, but two submerged forests - Amber Forest and Black Forest. On any given day you can walk into The Stump Restaurant, a local fisherman's favorite hangout, and hear someone caught a nine pounder in the Black Forest that morning.
There are a plethora of fishing spots on the lake that locals refer to as the perfect storm. It is very common to come across a location that has Cypress trees, lily pads, hydrilla, pepper grass and hay grass (also known as Kissimmee grass) with a fifteen foot drop only twenty feet out and a brush pile in between. There are hundreds of brush piles in Rayburn, making it a phenomenal crappie fishing hot spot as well. North of the 147 bridge you will find more timber than on the south end, a more favorable location for the bigger fish. You can catch schooling fish daily in the canyons, deer stand and the mouths of most major coves. If you catch up to the breaking fish it isn't uncommon to look over and see twenty to thirty bass below you on the sonar.
Carolina rigs are an anglers best friend on this lake but you can be just as successful throwing a Texas Rig. Yesterday, I was throwing a Texas Rig with a plum apple Wild Thang by V&M and to my delight I was getting a bite every single cast. However, it was a frog that brought home the win for Michael Fresco this year with a 10.06 largemouth in Bob Sealy's Big Bass Splash. The Big Bass Splash, an amateur tournament held the third weekend of every April, broke the world record this year with $305,000 for first place. The largest payout that has ever been done for an amateur in bass fishing history. Sealy Outdoors hosts several tournaments thru-out the year. For more information visit their website at www.sealyoutdoors.com
Rayburn has always been a favorite to pros and amateurs alike. It's uniqueness in flexibility and willingness to readily give up prize winning fish cultivates an adoration that no other lake can compete with. Whenever you are ready to set a record for your personal best, Rayburn is waiting for you.
By Heather Smith
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Link To Website
This week the inshore fishing has been pretty darn good with some very active and hungry snook, redfish, trout, and some tarpon around the area day and night. The passes have seen the same species very active at night before sunrise. The mouth of Tampa bay has held some very prolific and aggressive mangrove snapper and those can be found during the day time in most passes too around the structure. The bay’s mitigation sites and rock piles and the ledges adjacent to the shipping channel has produced some nice gag grouper. Plus, mackerel are all over the beaches, local piers, passes, the skyway and all around the mouth of Tampa Bay!
The live bait has been very prolific around the area on the flats, on the bridges, in the passes and on the beaches too. We are seeing some nice sized green backs, plenty of glass minnows and some big threadfins on the beaches. These big schools of bait are holding plenty of predatory fish and making fishing more like catching if you can find them when the tide is moving and the fish are feeding. If the school of bait isn’t excited up on the surface that is a good sign the fish aren’t feeding underneath them. Typically when predators are feeding actively around a school of bait they will be in a tight quickly moving formation right up on the surface or against structure or a shoreline. They will be ‘showering’ which resembles heavy rain on the surface of the water, this is a very clear sign that the bigger fish are going after them under the surface of the water. Keep an eye out for this around the bay, on the flats, or on the beaches this time of year for lots of fun filled fishing action.
If you are looking for something to take home and eat the mackerel and mangrove snapper are your best bet since the snook, redfish and trout are all catch and release only until end of May 2020. Plus, they are lots of fun to catch with the whole family on lighter tackle.
Mangrove snapper are typically around the bridges, piers, jetties or rock piles in the bay. They love shrimp, greenbacks or pieces of clam. You can use cut shrimp or greenbacks too for these aggressive quick biting snapper. They are great eating too, but they are very smart. Due to this, they are a little tricky to get dialed in on as they are a little leader shy and if it’s not looking natural they will not cooperate. This is why lightest possible tackle is always best for these mangrove snapper. I like around 15-20lb floro to start with a 2ot hook and if you struggle to get them going you can even go lighter on the leader and a little smaller on the hook. The best method is free line fishing for these guys as they often will eat your bait as it makes its way to bottom, but if the current is strong sometimes it requires a split shot or super light egg sinker. I like to target these guys at the start or end of the outgoing or incoming when the water is moving but it’s not quite cranking yet because once it’s cranking you can still catch them but it’s much more difficult to present naturally and also tougher to feel the bite as well.
Mackerel are all over the passes, piers, beaches, and mouth of the Bay. They love the free lined greenbacks or the fast moving flashy lures like a Gotcha plug which is my favorite or a casting spoon with a casting weight in line ahead of the lighter spoon. The trick with these guys is covering a large area with a longer rod for big long casts. Let your lure sink deeply before starting a very quick retrieve. We often catch these guys at 7-9kts or around 8-10mph trolling near shore and along the beaches so when fishing for them around the local area you can’t really retrieve too quickly unless you’re pulling your lure out of the water and skipping it on the surface. These guys hang from the bottom up to the surface, but I find often the bigger ones are a little deeper just like their big cousins the king mackerel. This is why a heavier 7/8th oz or 1oz gotcha is my favorite and why I cast it out and let it sink nearly to the bottom before starting my retrieve.
Snook have been very active around the area both day and night, but typically snook are even more cooperative at night and that has held true again this past week. We saw them stacked up in the mornings around Johns Pass and most local passes have reported the same. Plus, the docks with lights around the passes that have plenty of water moving past them have held plentiful snook too. During the day, we are still seeing some smaller male snook out on the beaches in the 18-25 inch range. The bigger female snook can be found around the deeper areas of the passes during the day looking for opportunistic dead chunk baits on the bottom. Were also seeing some great snook action around the flats and mangrove shore lines around the bays and intercostal. Typically, by this time of year the snook start making their way back into the bays and around the mouth of the rivers to hide out for the winter. However, this year we haven’t had our first real big cold snap. In my opinion, this is why we are still seeing plenty of fish around the beaches and passes still. IN the coming weeks these fish will start heading further up into the bays and finally into the rivers and bayous for the winter where temps are more regulated.
The trout have been a little tougher but you can find them during the day on the flats, I like to target the sandy patches around the flats they seem to hug the edges of those sandy patches. Also, often when you find a trout there’s typically a handful more in the exact same area. If you hook a trout on the flats and you want another I always cast nearly in the same exact spot and try to replicate my previous action of the lure or the same live bait. At night, were seeing these guys around the lights of the bridges and dock lights around the passes too. They love live shrimp or the green backs free lined out or the DOA shrimp lures work well.
Tarpon are still around the area too, this warmer October has held them around our area much later than normal. We spot a huge number of tarpon around the Johns Pass bridge nearly every morning hanging fender lights right in the middle of the pass. Clearwater pass has had the same large number of tarpon feeding around the bridge lights once the water gets moving. The Dick Misner bridge and also the Skyway are also holding plenty of these large fun fighting fish! However, if you want a shot a nice tarpon the time to go try is now. I like a small ladyfish, big finger mullet, pass crab or large threadfin for the live bait when targeting the tarpon. However, if you want to use a lure the flairhawks have worked for some of the pass fisherman and also lures like the rapala xrap or bomber windcheater.
The mackerel are still very prolific around our near shore waters, plus now the kingfish are being more and more cooperative around the near shore artificial reefs and bait schools moving along our beautiful beaches. This past Tuesday afternoon our afternoon half day pulled in around a 12-15lb kingfish as we approached the Johns Pass sea buoy which is only a mile from the bridge. Brian Harris, our live bait expert at Hubbard’s Marina, has been catching plenty of mackerel around the beaches and out to around 3 miles lately fishing hard bottom areas that are holding bait. Plus, this time of year the stone crab traps have been placed along our coast line. These guys are essentially a chum block marking a hard bottom area. Plus, they have a line running from the trap up to a buoy to mark the trap’s location. This line often will hold white bait from green backs to threadfins to sardines and more. Between the chum in the trap, the bait hiding around the line, and the sea life hiding under the buoy the mackerel and sometimes even the kingfish will be often found around these crab traps. Also, crabbers will only put their crab lines along the harder bottom where the stone crabs are crawling. They even make it easy by often placing their traps in a straight line! This makes trolling adjacent to the trap line very easy and typically very productive this time of year. However, you have to be super careful not to drag any lures into the crab trap lines. This will make you lose your lure and it’s super dangerous for the crabbers trying to retrieve their traps from the bottom. Around the mackerel are the kingfish, its still a little early and we aren’t seeing them everywhere like we should be soon but we are definitely seeing more and more each week.
The mangrove snapper have been pretty cooperative this past week as well near shore in the deepest near shore waters around 80-100ft of water were seeing some fairly active mangrove snapper bites. Also, many of the fish we are landing are fairly good sized mangrove snapper for how shallow we are catching them.
Hogfish action continues to heat up each week and this week was the same. We saw some really nice hogfish on our private fishing charters and a few on our 5 hour half days and 10 hour all days additionally too. The hogfish love the live shrimp, fiddle crabs, sand fleas or rock shrimp. However, I like to primarily use shrimp because it gives you a shot at a little of everything out there near shore and you have more action and fun while out fishing. Plus, occasionally you can find some lane snapper, mangroves or sea bass while targeting the hogfish around that 30-70ft area where they primarily are found most often. You find plenty of other fish while hog fishing with shrimp too like porgies or the grey snapper (white grunts) and it makes it very active and fun while near shore fishing. Those shrimp can be a little tricky out there in the deeper waters since they come off the hook with the smallest nibble and fishing in 30-70ft with shrimp is a whole lot more challenging than fishing a dock or a flat with shrimp which is already pretty challenging when pinfish or snapper are around.
Lane snapper are very active in the deeper near shore waters around those mangrove snapper and the deepest part of the hogfish territory from around 60-100 foot is where we are seeing the lane snapper. They love the live shrimp, but they will take squid too and they are so good eating. Plus, we have been seeing those lanes more and more often as of late.
******* Notice ******
,RED SNAPPER SEASON DID GET EXTENDED that is the big news offshore right now but this was not applicable to our boats at Hubbard’s Marina unfortunately. This was a private recreational red snapper season extension. This means you have to be on a private boat not any type of charter boat to fish for red snapper during these extra days in federal waters. State water for hire anglers can fish in state waters for red snapper these extra days but in our area that means nothing since we don’t have red snapper of any size or consistency inside state waters which are from the beach out to 9 miles. Federal waters start at 9 miles and extend out to 200 miles from shore. All our boats at Hubbard’s Marina and most any offshore charter boat in the gulf that is running legally is going to be a federally permitted vessel. If you are federally permitted then you are under federal regulation and this means our red snapper season is over and is not being extended like the private recreational red snapper season. All this means, to catch red snapper on these extra days you cannot be on any type of charter boat so no consideration of any kind can be exchanged to land a red snapper legally. If you got your own boat, or if you can join a buddy on his boat then you can get out there after these deep water snapper. The extra days are Fridays and Saturdays only October 12-13th, October 19-20th, and finally October 26-27th. Six extra weekend days to land you some red snapper.
Want to watch Capt Dylan Hubbard’s Daily video reports? Check out the Hubbard’s Marina YouTube channel and don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE! - Hubbard's Marina daily fishing & boating report
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Allison Hendricks - On The Fly
There, in the life, is this thing. It's swishes, it sways, it sings and it runs too. It's your whole life wrapped up in a bow. It works it's way into things, it works it's way out. But in the end, it always comes true. What am I talking about? What is she rambling on about?
You see, I never ever dreamed of becoming a fly fishing guide, or even a fly fisherman. It just sort of showed up in my life at a later age. I was a singer, in the medical field for 15 yrs....and really hadn't fished since I was a kid, but someone very close to me all of those years ago, asked me to go cast a rod to see if I remembered it like I did as a kid. (most of you know, I was raised by a fly fisherman) So I went out one day to try it out. And in that bay where I had played as a child, I found my own loop. I even shed tears that day when I was casting. I thought to myself, good lord, this is what I'm supposed to be doing!
What most don't know though, is that it's the sound of the fly line forming its loop, that has brought me all of this way. And now 12 yrs later, as a professional guide, fly fisher, author and instructor, I can't help but to think how lucky I am.
It took me a long time to find my groove of where I wanted to end up as a guide, but the last several yrs and in just this past summer, is when I knew I had found my place in the world. I've guided professionally out of Texas, The Keys, Tampa/St Petersburg and now Wyoming, but my world has been completed by being able to guide in 2 states throughout the year. Coming out to Wyoming this summer to guide on the Snake and Firehole rivers in the national parks, has been a life changer for me, because guiding the very rivers that I grew up learning to fly fish on, is like coming home again. And to think it all happened because I gave one of our float department managers a fly casting lesson in Daytona, FL of all places....just means it was supposed to be. So now I guide in Wyoming in the summers and Florida in the winters.
What I've learned about myself on this journey, is that sometimes a gift that is given to you in such a huge form like this, means that you have to put your entire soul into it. I've lost longterm relationships, friends....you name it to create this life. I've been kicked off boats, fallen off boats, hooked people in the neck trying to perfect my cast. I've been told no so many times in my business, fallen in life with personal tragedies and have lost nearly everything to my name over the years. However, to find bliss, sometimes you have to fight hard for it. But what always comes back to me in the end....are the smiles on my clients faces, when they catch their first fish. We high five, sometimes hug, sometimes shed tears. And the joy that it brings me, is indescribable.
I'll be frank with you too, my journey in general throughout life, has not been an easy one, but to have found my exact place, exactly what I'm supposed to be doing....and feel happier than I ever have on any given day before, means, I did it. Being a female in the industry is sometimes a bit difficult too. Offers to wear this or wear that half naked. "You're my guide?" That look I get when clients ask if I need help dropping the boat down a ravine, you name it. But throughout the years, I just kept my head down, have worked harder than I ever thought possible, created a business and life that I absolutely love.....and stand super tall now knowing that I never ever let my guard down or did anything inappropriate.
Do you remember the sound I was talking about? The thing that had brought me all of this way? There, in the life, is this thing. It's swishes, it sways, it sings and it runs too. It's your whole life wrapped up in a bow. It works it's way into things, it works it's way out. But in the end, it always comes true. It's that beautiful sound of the fly line that has taken me to these amazing places. I get to guide clients, friends, family and people that I'd never ever get to meet in not only beautiful places, but I get to try and share this amazing experience of fly fishing to these lovely souls. And if just one person can feel what I feel when catching or putting people on fish, then my job is done.
By Allison Hendricks
I've lived all over this country. From Idaho to Indiana, Oregon to Florida, from Texas to Wyoming and several other places along the way.......and I have finally not only found my home, but my very true north. And for all of these incredible things that I get to do in my daily life around this country, I am truly forever blessed. And to my dear friend from all of those long years ago, who I still talk fish and life with, I thank you and God from the bottom of my heart for every single day.
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Freshwater Fishing Reports
with Rick Southerland
Freshwater Editor at FFM
Everyone keeps asking, what is the fall transition? The fall transition is when the nights are cooler and the largemouth bass feeding patterns change. They come out of the deep in search of baitfish. It’s when you put away all the creature baits and worms, and pick up the hard baits like crankbaits and anything resembling baitfish.
So the big question is....Are we there yet?
with Rick Southerland
Freshwater Editor at FFM
First lake we try the theory at was at Lake Apopka. Lake Apopka is the biggest lake on the Harris Chain of Lakes. It’s the 4th largest lake in the state. Once known to be polluted, Lake Apopka has been recently renovated. With a mass filtration of sludge and contamination. Lake Apopka has been stocked with, you guessed it, bass!!! As well as vegetation to help filter the water.
The boat ramp was real shallow. Watch your trailer tires falling off the end of the ramp when you launch. After launch, we noticed the whole lake was real shallow. I’m talking 3-4ft deep. Still, we were there to fish, and that’s just what we did. Using a white chatterbait, I went searching. Several casts in and BAM!!! It was about a pound, but still fun.
The bite was real slow though. My co-Angler got one on a worm, so that told us that it’s not transition time yet.
All and all, Lake Apopka was full of small bass. The basslings are growing up, but not ready yet. It would be a great place to take the kids, but not if you’re Hawg hunting.
Our next stop was a American Bass Anglers tournament of big Lake Harris. Were they in transition here??? My third cast I hooked onto a monster!!! I mean a monster. My drag was screaming and my co-Angler said, “holy cow Rick!!! I’ve never seen your drag pull like that!!!” I’m thinking that I have the state record on the line. I was fishing with a white chatterbait, so it had to be a bass right??? Well I was wrong. I snagged a 4-5ft longnose gar. A massive fish, but not what we were looking for. My co-Angler was using a 10inch Junebug ribbon tailed worm and was catching them in deeper water. I grabbed a couple using a rattling Chug Bug. So no, it’s not fall transition time in Florida yet. Watch the water temp and nighttime temps. When they drop more drastically, get on them!!! And get out in the Outdoors. Southerland Outdoors
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Capt Austin Oskey
Chasin Action Charters
Meet The Captain
Captain Austin Oskey
Captain Austin is a native Floridian and a second generation Charter Captain. Growing up he fished the waters of the Florida Keys and Key West, only to migrate to the waters of Boca Grande in 2004. Since then he has fished several major tournament trails such as The IFA, Flatsmasters, and Oh Boy! Oberto Redfish Cup. In 2010 Captain Austin left his home waters to join the military, only to return to what he loves doing most, putting his clients of a fish of a lifetime.
Fishing Bed and
Make Your Reservation Now
Growing up in South Florida, Emily and Amanda Gale found their love and passion for the water. At an early age, they started fishing off the docks of Islamorada wanting nothing more but to go deep sea fishing. They attended the University of Miami, both earning degrees in Microbiology and Immunology and also competing on the track and field team as pole vaulters. The two of them spent their summer breaks and long weekends working on a busy fishing charter boat out of Key West. It was there that they finished their sea time, honed in on their skills, and earned their USCG 50 Ton Captains Licenses.
After graduating, Emily and Amanda left the academic world and moved to the Florida Keys to pursue a career in charter fishing. They quickly saw a need in the industry for family focused fishing. With this in mind they started their own charter company, Gale Force Fishing, a family fun charter boat that focuses on taking women, children, and families out to experience an unforgettable day on the water. Now fishing out of Hillsboro Inlet, their clients can experience the multitude of fishing that South Florida offers throughout the year. Reef, wreck, trolling, and kite fishing - Gale Force Fishing does it all.
When they’re not chartering, the Gale Twins find themselves chasing bigger tournament fish. They have traveled to Costa Rica, Hawaii, the Bahamas, and more fishing for big game billfish. You can follow their adventures on their YouTube channel, Gale Force Twins, and sign up for their blog at GaleForceFishing.com/Subscribe. You can also check them out on Facebook and Instagram under @GaleForceTwins.
We hope this blog inspires you to explore new places and get out on the water!
The Gale Force Twins
Ben age 9
Link to website
Calendars wil be Available in November at our website and at Nicole's Website
Britt _ Fishing on Instagram
Catch U Later