In today’s day and age, most dedicated anglers practice catch and release techniques because they know the future of our fisheries is on the brink of disaster; not to mention the hefty fines and penalties associated with unethical fishing practices. While there is nothing better than grilling freshly caught fillets after a long day on the water, most of the species we target for table-fare are regulated with closed seasons and tight bag and size limits.
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With increasing fishing pressure and rising fuel prices, anglers are constantly on the hunt for an advantageous edge. When targeting sharp-toothed predators like sharks, barracuda, wahoo, king and Spanish mackerel, most anglers currently employ single-strand stainless-steel wire rigs that more often than not, must be re-rigged or discarded after each catch.
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The vertical jigging craze has hit Florida full-force; however, this deep-jigging technique is not a novel concept. Anglers in Scandinavia, Australia, New Zealand, Europe, Asia and California have been deep-jigging for decades. It wasn't until the early 90s when Japanese anglers reinvented this technique with the introduction of specialized equipment and terminal tackle, and brought this exciting style of light-tackle fishing to a whole new level called, "Vertical Jigging."
Fish Beware…I’ve got Braid! In a simpler time, all fishermen had to do was decide what lb. test monofilament to load on their reels, but today, a plethora of colors, sizes and styles, including fluorocarbon, hybrid, and fused line make selecting a fishing line a challenge in itself. The real winners, however, are you and I as we now have the ability to truly match our line to the precise application our angling adventures demand.
There is no question that sharks are the most misunderstood fish in the sea. With increasing popularity of Shark Week and other marine related TV broadcasts, sharks have gained the reputation of savage beasts hungry for blood. While this may be true to a certain degree, sharks are not out prowling for human flesh at our favorite coastal beaches. Most so-called “shark attacks” are simply a case of mistaken identity. They may be perfect eating machines, but the damage we cause them and their ecosystem heavily outweighs the damage they do to us.
There is no question that a large percentage of the most commonly targeted species sought after statewide, are members of the snapper complex. Tasty, hard fighting, and often fairly easy to locate and catch during just about any month of the year, snapper simply rule! Yellowtail, lane, vermillion, mangrove, mutton, red, cubera, dog snapper, you name it, and a group of anglers somewhere around Florida are getting ready to go hunt them down. And while there are as many opinions as to the perfect snapper rig as there are different species of snapper, a few have time and again proven their effectiveness in a wide array of situations. Nevertheless, serious anglers can’t get complacent.