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Florida SportsmanFlorida Sportsman

Florida Sportsman April 2019

Florida Sportsman is the complete fishing magazine for Florida and the Tropics. Devoted to fishing, boating, and outdoor activities in the Sunshine State, Florida Sportsman is the authoritative source for Florida's most active fishermen.

United States
KSE Sportsman Media, Inc.
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CHF 26.67
12 Ausgaben


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fish with hope on your side

When you bait your hook with your heart the fish always bite. John Burroughs penned that line around 1870 in an essay on trout fishing in the Catskill Mountains. Burroughs was a famous naturalist and friend of Theodore Roosevelt. Fish deliberately, Burroughs tells us. Understand the moods of your quarry. Fish with hope. There’s a spot on my boat for a guy like that any day. Take last Saturday. I’d all but given up on the dolphin bite. I was trying for seabass but fighting off sharpnose sharks. I was also daydreaming. And I was alone. None of which bodes well for when a pair of 20-pound dolphin swims up to investigate yet another shark you’re reeling in. I should’ve had a juicy chunk bait ready to throw. But I didn’t. Instead, I hastily grabbed a…

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out-bait the best

If you freshwater fish, folks in a small North Florida town say there is nothing better than a Sopchoppy worm as a line offering. Catching the best crawlers in the Apalachicola National Forest, which surrounds Sopchoppy, comes down to a ground-shaking witchcraft called grunting, and every spring this “Worm Gruntin Capital of the World” hosts a free public party—celebrating live bait. The grueling craft was big industry, before the 1970s invention of the plastic lure, but Sopchoppy as a destination dates back to its founding, as a depot, for the CT&G Railroad in 1894, and a deep woods nightspot, for nearby Camp Gordon Johnson recruits in WWII. It’s a place where you can buy groceries in a gallon can that holds 500 worms. Tallying them is how children learned to count. Local pride…

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if you go

WHAT: Worm Gruntin' Festival WHERE: Sopchoppy Depot Park WHEN: Every second Saturday in April; April 13, 2019; 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. WHAT ELSE: Sopchoppy Depot Museum: Saturdays 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Built in 1891, locals refer to it as the Gopher, Frog and Alligator Depot. MYRON B. HODGE CITY PARK: Located on the Sopchoppy River, the 35 acres provides an elegant setting for camping with 26 RV plus primitive sites, baths, dual boat launch facility and fishing piers. OCHLOCKNEE RIVER STATE PARK: This is where salty Apalachee Bay meets laid-back Mashes Sands beach. Angelo and Son’s seafood restaurant sits over the water, where it was built with lumber salvaged from Camp Gordon Johnson. Holiday Campground is a popular home base for explorers. FOR THE RECORD BOOKS: 2003 “Worm Queen,” 76-year-old Lossie Mae Rosier started…

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best boat

MERCURY 5-HP PROPANE FOUR STROKE Mercury Marine’s new 5-HP Propane Four Stroke is a 123cc powerhouse weighing just under 60 pounds. Running propane makes sense on a few levels. Propane doesn’t degrade or contain ethanol, so no more concerns over how fresh your fuel is. They’re easier to start than conventional gas outboards and store easier in a garage with no fuel cell attached, eliminating gas spills and odors. A standard 20-pound tank from your gas grill will run the 5-HP motor at full throttle for 10 hours. It features six tilt positions including a “shallow-water drive” setting. MSRP starting at $1,905. www.mercurymarine.com NAUTICSTAR 32XS OFFSHORE New for 2019 from NauticStar is a move into the 30-foot-plus category with the 32XS Offshore. This represents an opportunity to bring features unavailable in their smaller…

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planer… and simpler

I’ve always had a love/hate relationship with planers. I loved them while serving my time as a charterboat mate. We would run a ballyhoo and Sea Witch on a 6/0 Penn with a stiff rod. Once a strike tripped the planer, the customer would reel the planer to the boat and I would get the fun of hauling in the fish on a 100-foot leader, hand-over-hand. Conversely, I’ve hated them every time I’ve needed to get them up and stowed in a hurry. There’s a reason why you’ll rarely set foot on a charterboat that doesn’t pull a planer rod. They have to produce fish every day, and getting a bait down off the surface is key to getting their job done. Planers can be deployed a few different ways, while trolling at…

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new gear

RAYMARINE DOCKSENSE Just go ahead and try to ram the dock. We tried. Can’t do it. Not with DockSense engaged. The intelligent object recognition system developed by Raymarine was on display at Mercury Marine’s Lake X testing center. Five small machine vision cameras mounted around the top of a 330 Boston Whaler Outrage measured distance to seawalls, boats and other structures. Working in concert with software on the Raymarine Axiom navigator, and Mercury’s Joystick piloting system, the cameras autonomously maintained a “Virtual Bumper” zone around the vessel. Pretty slick .…