Sport Fishing

Sport Fishing September/October 2019

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Sport Fishing is one of the most respected magazines of its genre; the brand also reaches its audience via a popular and trusted website and social-networking outlets such as its Facebook fan page. Through Sport Fishing’s well-researched content and expert advice, its audience continually discovers fresh new techniques and destinations, and gains insight about buying and using tackle and boats. On behalf of their audience, Sport Fishing’s award-winning editors are outspoken in defense of sound fisheries conservation, sensible management and safeguarding angler access to fishing.

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3 min.
gray ghosts

THOUSANDS OF ADULT BONEFISH CAN CONVENE IN ONE SMALL AREA BEFORE SPAWNING. In several areas of the world, recreational fisheries for bonefish contribute vitally to local economies. Certainly, bonefish are important in Miami’s Biscayne Bay, where anglers spend big bucks to fish shallow water for trophy bones—see this issue’s feature “Bountiful Biscayne.” And it’s certainly true in the Bahamas, where the recreational bonefish fishery exceeds an estimated $140 million and supports thousands of jobs. Yet beyond a fairly basic understanding, relatively little is known of bonefish populations or their life history, but a recent report from Bonefish & Tarpon Trust, posted on the Fisheries Research Foundation website (, offers fascinating insight into these popular gamefish. Entitled “Bonefish Spawning in the Bahamas,” the report was written by Aaron Adams, Ph.D., BTT director of…

6 min.
long live dead bait

Given a choice, most off shore and inshore anglers would fish live bait for everything, from seatrout and sailfish to tarpon and tuna. But sometimes, fishermen deliberately choose dead bait, and not just when they run out of liveys or during a dead-bait-only tournament. Dead ballyhoo, menhaden, mullet and bonito, as well as strips and chunks of those baitfish, can at times actually be more effective than live bait. A dead bait can be deployed exactly where and how it needs to be fished, whereas a live bait can swim out of the target zone or tangle another line. In addition, the scent of a fresh dead bait can prove more attractive to predators than the nervousness of a live bait. Some predators also prefer an easy meal over chasing a…

1 min.
odds are good on a black jack

Q I caught this fish 120 miles offshore out of Freeport, Texas, while chunking for tuna at Hoover Spar. No one aboard had seen one before. What in the world did I come across? Mikkel Simoes-Correia Spring, Texas A Mikkel, you caught a real prize: That’s a black jack, Caranx lugubris. And it is for sure a rarity in the northern Gulf. But the species is exceptionally widespread, found in all of our planet’s major tropical oceans, especially around oceanic islands. Since it favors offshore waters, usually in depths of more than several hundred feet, not a whole lot is known about the species. Although I’ve not seen one more than 20 pounds, they do get larger: The IGFA all-tackle world record weighed 41 pounds, 7 ounces, caught in the Pacific at…

1 min.
challenge our experts

(And Win Up to 10,800 Yards of Line!) SEND IN YOUR QUESTION and any relevant photos of your mysterious catch or observation for our experts’ ID and feedback. If we publish your question and you have a shipping address within the United States or Canada, you’ll win a 3-pound spool of Berkley Pro Spec ocean-blue or fluorescent-yellow monofilament (1,000 to 10,800 yards, depending on line strength) or a 1,500-yard spool of Spiderwire Stealth braid up to 100-pound-test! Send questions and images via email to (include your hometown) or via post to Sport Fishing Fish Facts, 460 N. Orlando Ave., Suite 200, Winter Park, FL 32789. SPONSORED BY SF FISH FACTS EXPERTS NORTHEAST Mike Fahay, Sandy Hook Marine Lab, New Jersey SOUTHEAST Ray Waldner, Ph.D., Palm Beach Atlantic University, Florida GULF OF MEXICO Bob Shipp, Ph.D., University of South…

1 min.
painful discovery

Q Our skipper out of Port Canaveral, Florida, hauled in his cast net early on a winter morning, along with a passel of pogies and—most unfortunately—a man-of-war jellyfish. Along with some surprise stings from tentacles stuck in the net, we saw this little feller (page 22) drop out onto the deck. Its unusual color pattern caught our eye, but no one knew for sure what it might be. Scott Salyers Miami A That’s an interesting little fish, Scott: a juvenile man-of-war fish, Nomeus gronovii. As its name implies, juveniles live in a symbiotic relationship with Portuguese man-of-war, Physalia physalis. Although it somewhat resembles a jellyfish, the Portuguese man-of-war is actually a colonial hydrozoan that is more closely related to fire corals, Millepora spp. (which are not true corals) than it is to…

1 min.
fish facts expert’s new guide now available

Sport Fishing’s Fish Facts expert on pelagic species, John Graves, has co-authored—with Bruce Collette—a new and definitive resource, Tunas and Billfishes of the World. With impressively detailed, precise color illustrations by Val Kells, the 352-page volume describes 61 species of mackerels, tunas, swordfish, sailfishes and marlins. The book is certain to become an essential addition to the library of any angler who is serious about bluewater gamefish. Visit for more information or to order a copy.…