Coastal Angler Magazine - Emerald Coast

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Red, White and Blue Water Action in the North Atlantic!

Stephanie Choate lights the fuse once again for an exciting display of Explosive Offshore Fishing!

Bermuda known for its pink sand beaches and azure blue waters, has long been a sought after locale for many offshore fishing aficionados’. Generational blue water purists have traveled near and mostly far to explore and enjoy this little piece of paradise found in the North Atlantic Ocean. Amazingly enough, its archipelago’s chain forms itself into the shape of a hook and offers near perfect conditions each year for Bermuda Billfish Blast tournament.
This year the stakes were as high, as the expectations for their competing fishing teams from the United States, Canada, United Kingdom and Russia. All of which, were looking to catch some braggin’ rights and even a bigger cash prize!
But, as the rest of the teams fired their last bottle rocket, it was the shot heard around the world, by American Stephanie Choate heralding from Florida’s Conch Republic that capped off this fine offshore fishing event. Choate, a great angler team and local Bermuda Captain Cragin Curtis, were fishing his custom 48-foot Carolina, the Reel Addiction that helped Stephanie fire up the fuse and light-up the sky for their very own Grand Finale’ landing her 625-pound Blue Marlin, just in time to win the event!
What is more, Choate was also competing with the world’s elite top anglers from Austria, Switzerland, Germany, Russia, United Kingdom, Netherlands, Belgium, Canada, Cape Verde Islands, Canary Islands, the Azores, Portugal, Spain, Italy, Madeira, New Guinea, Bermuda, Bahamas, United States, Mexico, the Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean, Japan, Hawaii, and the French Polynesia for this year’s World Cup Blue Marlin Championship at the same time. Stephanie’s blue marlin took second place for this year’s world cup, and while the World Cup only allows for 8 hours to fish for there to be just one winner, she had opted for the Blue Challenge Category, which made her catch worth over $340,000.00.
Congratulations to Captain Cragin Curtis’ Reel Addiction team and Stephanie Choate for an amazing win.

Scout Spearman

Waterscape 07/05/2016

Breathe Taking Beauty Emerald Coast

Breathe Taking Beauty Emerald Coast


HOT! HOT! HOT! The tuna bite in June was on fire. We even caught a sailfish, which is not uncommon but rare for the waters off Venice. July should bring things into our typical summer pattern. Live bait has been on the floaters and rip lines. I have been using YOZURI pink 60 pound, or lighter fluorocarbon leader when out in the blue water. I only spool about ten feet of flouro on my reels. Once it gets down to five feet or less, (from replacing hooks taken by toothy critters), I will cut it off and replace it with a new ten-foot piece. This allows me to always be fishing with a fresh leader that isn't full of nics and scrapes that could lead to losing a fish. Top that setup off with a Mustad 7/0 circle hook and you will be on your way to catching Yellowfin Tuna. Keep an eye out for those summertime showers. The rain may be uncomfortable to deal with but it's the lightning that worries me. My vessel is equipped with XM SIRIUS Weather, it's a lifesaver in my opinion when it comes to lightning and storms in the area. If you don't have it on your vessel and you hear me or one of the other captains talking about lightning in the area, feel free to call out to us on the radio. Most of us are always willing to help others on the water when it comes to safety. Enjoy those summertime Bar-B-Ques! Good Luck and Stay Safe out there.

Capt. Brett Ryan


Lost Bay Guide Service

The early mornings have provided a great way to start off these typical hot days of summer. While heading out to what the morning weather and tides offer us for the day ahead, it is quite refreshing to feel the coolness of dawn, as we make way to our first spot of the day. I typically like to “pre-fish” with my clients and walk them through what to expect based on what we are currently targeting. And for the month of July and the upcoming weeks to follow, here’s what we can easily anticipate getting into what day presents its own unique opportunities. We can safely bet to get on some Spanish Mackerel right away. They make for delicious fresh ceviche’, which many folks enjoy eating during the summer time. They tend to hold up in the bays and shorelines surrounding Perdido Key. These hard hitting fast swimmers can be found on the surface in large schools feeding on small bait fish. Most anglers will find them, by spotting the surface activity or a concentration of birds that are feeding on the same bait fish as they are being pushed to the surface by the feeding Mackerel. If light tackle is your thing, then this is the season for you! Try trolling a silver spoon, tied on a swivel with 30 pound mono as a leader. I also like to use live bait, that we can pitch around the feeding frenzy to pick up some bigger “Ax Handles”.
With warm water temperatures we have been seeing some incredible offshore fishing the last several weeks. And the wrecks just off the coast of Perdido Key have produced a solid wahoo bite for anglers making their way to get their quota on their highly anticipated Snapper and Grouper trips. In general, our calm seas most mornings, provide easy access for the smaller boats to enjoy the offshore experience. Don’t forget to keep a cobia set-up onboard too, because there have been many times that you will see them pop up around you looking for something to eat. Feed them whatever dead bait you can get your hands on quickly, while your buddy closest to the rod with a gig can make a shot on it!
Be sure to stop by Grays Tackle in Perdido Key to get maps of the local waters as well as coordinates to the local reefs. Don’t let the hot weather keep you inside! There is a ton of action and really one of the best times to take a young angler out for a day on the water. Just drink lots of water before during and after your time on the water, while finding a nice routine and consistency to stay on bite! The summer can get quite busy and before you know it, it’s back to school and football season before you know! I enjoy helping folks make the most of their time out on the water and if you’re looking to experience some fun fishing with your kids and or buddies without having to hassle with a bunch of boat details, gear and tackle, please give me a call and I will get you scheduled for a charter full of memories. Until next month this is Capt. Bill Willis wishing you “Tight lines & Screaming drags!

Lost Bay Guide Service | 850.748.5076 |
¨You only live once but if you do it right once is enough."



July is here and it’s freaking hot!!! Let’s all just hope that the wind doesn’t blow like it did in the month of June. July is a great month for everything here on the Emerald Coast. Red snapper season is still open till the 10th in state waters and all the billfish tournaments are in full swing.
July is a pretty tough month for the inshore bite but it can be really good, you just have to adjust when you go. Once summer really sets in and the days and nights are hot, fish start to change their patterns just like you and I. They really don’t like the hot water, so they’ll move off the flats during the day out to deeper water. Up in the day the fish are really tough to catch. You can fish the deeper docks and bridges once the sun gets up high and you’ll get some bites. The flats will still be good you just have to fish them the first couple hours of daylight and the last couple hours of daylight. The dock lights at night are great to fish too and if you have the time it’s your best bet to catch your limit of trout. July is usually a tough month to find bait. That includes shrimp at the bait shops. If you know you’re going fishing, try and plan ahead and go find bait. It’s always good to give yourself a little extra time to find them. Try fishing the soft plastic jerk baits along the grass flats if you can’t find live bait.
The offshore bite has been great in the month of June. It seems like most of the snapper are stacked up off the west beach towards P’cola with the east beach being a little slower. For you guys fishing close to the pass it will get tougher to catch your snapper the next week or so, not because the fish aren’t there, but they’ve seen a lot of hooks the last month and have gotten a little more trained up. Try fishing lighter tackle and if possible used cut bait to get them up in the water more. The kingfish bite has been great too and should stay really good. Use lighter wire and match your treble hooks to the size of the bait, you’ll get more bites. Hit up all the inshore barges and bigger artificial wrecks within a few miles of the pass in the early mornings and don’t forget about fishing right out front. As long as we keep the tropical weather away this month we should continue to see a red hot offshore bite. Fishing has been great starting around the ni**le and working offshore. There’s a lot of bait and pretty water pushed in close for this time of year and a lot of guys getting multiple shots at billfish along with mixing in some dolphin and wahoo with the occasional yellowfin tuna.
Pete Wright
Ship’s Chandler | Destin, Florida


It's July and one thing is for sure, its blazing hot outside!! You can still go out and catch any available species in the area, it’s just a little tougher. Bay fisherman will see more action fishing really early in the morning, in late afternoon and around the lights at night. The water in the Choctawhatchee Bay will rise above 90 degrees during the day and slow fishing down. I am not saying you can't find a good bite mid-day with a good tide, it’s just a lot less consistent.
Being on the water before the sun comes up is a good way to start your morning on any fishing trip, however, for this time of year it’s a must when fishing in the bay. The first 2 hours of daylight are going to produce most of the action. When the bay water feels like warm bath water and when you reach in your live well and it feels like you’re slow boiling your bait, you’re going to have to work for it. The sunset bite is your other option if you don't make it out for dawn patrol. Fish the last hour and half of daylight when things are starting to cool down and the sun is really low.
Anglers not wanting to be in the sun at all this time of year will opt to fish at night. Fishing for redfish on the outgoing tide at night under the Destin Bridge is productive year round. Pitching top water lures around the grass on the north side of crab island will yield some nice reds at night too. Last but not least the numerous lighted docks that line the shorelines in our bay will be holding trout and redfish. Fishing the brightest lights that are fixed closest to the water will hold the most trout and reds. Lighted docks in a foot of water and 15ft of water will be holding fish if your fishing a good light.
You have a lot more options when fishing in the gulf than you do in the bay during the hot days of summer. One of these options is bottom fishing at night in the gulf. If you haven't tried it, you are definitely missing out on some nonstop action. Weather should decide if you go or not because it helps to have a calm night when anchoring up. The incoming tide seems to be best for this type of fishing because of the clean water. I first load up on live cigar minnows, threadfins and Spanish sardines. Catch as many as I can before the sun goes down, you’re going to need them. I have found that water less than 100 ft. offers more action. I tend to fish 70-80ft. of water. Once you've anchored over your chosen spot turn on your underwater lights or lower a hydro glow light into the water. You’re definitely going to get your limit of red snapper, but it’s the mangrove snapper I like to go for. Night time fishing for mangroves is the only way to catch good numbers of large mangroves and we usually get our limit. Your standard slip lead rig or knocker rigs will suffice on 30lb main line. Give it a try and you will be surprised by what you see...

Lil' Lucky of Destin LLC
Capt. Sid Little
Florida Fishing Sandestin Golf Beach Resort Bay Gulf Fishing Charters available


Coastal Angler Magazine - Emerald Coast


Coastal Angler Magazine - Emerald Coast's cover photo


The Spanish Fly at ICAST 2014...


2014 world cup winner kona

Looks like the Throwdown got kicked off a little early in Kona Town!!!
Hook Line & Dine Krewe members Stephanie Choate & Lyndsea watch the scales to their namesake Merritt "The Huntress"!
Huge Win! Congrats!!!!!

Stephanie Osgood Choate as she learns that she just won the World Cup Marlin Tournament with a 656 pound blue marlin caught on "Huntress" in Kona, Hawaii. Th... 02/11/2014

Gulf Council signals intention to give more red snapper to recreational anglers The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council, meeting last week in Houston, approved a proposal that ultimately could give recreational anglers a higher percentage of the annual red snapper take than the commercial fleet.By a 9-6 vote, the council approved...


Coastal Angler Magazine - Emerald Coast's cover photo


Coastal Angler Magazine - Emerald Coast's cover photo


Coastal Angler Magazine - Emerald Coast's cover photo


Pompano caught off the beach Holiday Isle, Destin, Florida


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One of the world's largest fishing, boating and conservation publications - find your outdoors here, One of the world's largest fishing, boating and conservation publications - find your outdoors here, news, sport fishing, fishing charters, fishing gear, forecasts, trips, boats.



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