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Florida Sportsman

Florida Sportsman

May 2021
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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.

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United States
KSE Sportsman Media, Inc.
12 Issues

in this issue

3 min.
time to recharge

There I was, smug and satisfied with technology. Nothing for me to do, really, other than verify that my motorized kayak was on course. A quartering sea off the port bow lent a fine rhythm to the Old Town Sportsman 106, just about rocking me to sleep. Closing my eyes for a second and breathing deeply of the trade winds, I felt a rogue wave of anxiety roll through my gut. How much charge remained in the battery? Did I run this thing too long at full throttle? I’d circumnavigated Boot Key, about a 5-mile course, and been on the water for at least six hours, some of it paddle-poling the flats. I was dog-tired. I do enjoy paddling, but at day s end when you’ve got a throttle lever, well... Behind…

3 min.
don't let your spot be next

NO FISHING, the newly installed sign read. My inbox lit up. I got three emails from anglers who thought Florida Sportsman should know about this, that Florida Sportsman could do something about this. Hardly I thought, we’re a statewide magazine, how could we be expected to intervene at such a local level. Except, in this case, the said “No Fishing” sign on the Jensen Beach causeway is just a few miles from our Stuart, FL office. The Florida Department of Transportation, FDOT, installed the signs a year after removing similar but unauthorized signs, for which no one has ever claimed responsibility. Based on comments by some Martin County Commissioners, it soon became clear that local lawmakers were linking discarded McDonald’s bags, which when found on a causeway used by anglers, to the…

2 min.
fred howard park: boundary waters

A unique, man-made causeway and island near Tarpon Springs, Florida, comes up frequently in discussions about Florida fishing regulations. Regional boundaries for two very popular saltwater species, spotted seatrout and redfish, name Fred Howard Park as a boundary line. As it happens, all but a teeny strip of tide water at the terminus of the Fred Howard causeway and island are actually in the “South” zone. North of latitude 28 degrees, 9.35’ (minutes) is what the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) considers the “Big Bend” for seatrout management, with a bag limit of 5 for the species. Fishing the beach and causeway, you’d abide by the South bag limit of 3 per person. The “South” and “Northwest” zones for red drum also split here, but bag limit is the same…

1 min.
if you go

WHERE: Pinellas County’s northernmost park, Fred Howard sits due west of the famed Tarpon Springs Sponge Docks and faces the pass between Three Rooker Bar’s northern shoal and the southern end of Anclote Key. WHAT’S IN A NAME: Fred H. Howard served as Mayor of Tarpon Springs (elected in 1945) and also a City Commissioner and Vice Chair of the Pinellas Park Board. Howard’s efforts to secure the park for residents and visitors earned him a bronze plaque at the base of the property’s flagpole. GAME PLAN: Wade, paddle or shore fish from the causeway (check the two flow-throughs on moving water), enjoy a picnic lunch under a covered shelter, catch some rays on the 12-acre beach and watch a brilliant Gulf of Mexico sunset. WHEN: Spring through fall finds a mix of…

6 min.
kayak fishing fun

OLD TOWN SPORTSMAN AUTOPILOT 136 The Old Town Sportsman AutoPilot 136 does things no ordinary kayak or powerboat can accomplish—and when you get it wired, we promise you will be the envy of both cultures. The removable propulsion module is a 45-pound thrust Minn Kota electric trolling motor, powered by a lead acid or (lighter, more expensive) lithium cell. Company testing using a 100 amp hour battery indicates about 8 hours of typical use at full charge, 2 hours at full throttle, and potentially two days on light-duty. Not only can you steer and adjust speed to get where you’re going, you can hit the anchor key and “Spot Lock” yourself exactly where you want to stay—the motor uses an internal GPS receiver to determine its own thrust and steerage to…

4 min.
earning your keep

When I fished at Nosara Paradise Rentals in Costa Rica last year, I was pleased to meet a young man who was redeeming a trip he had recently won on our Jacksonville Florida Sportsman Radio Show. My new friend Zeke Mears was so excited to have his dad with him in Costa Rica, and it wasn’t long before we were making plans to fish back in Jacksonville aboard my Young 27. From the very first trip with Zeke, he was most definitely a different kind of guest. When he stepped aboard the boat, he noticed he left footprints, so he immediately reached for a rag. We were bottom fishing for triggerfish and beeliners that day, and at first I thought it was strange that every stop we got ready to make,…