ROUGHLY 50 MILES FROM MIAMI is one of three destinations on the globe declared an International Biosphere Reserve, World Heritage Site and Wetland of International Importance. Comprising roughly 1.5 million acres, Everglades National Park is one of the world’s most significant and captivating natural environments. Its numerous bights, basins and banks once provided the most extraordinary inshore fishing opportunities imaginable, though the ecology of Florida Bay has changed dramatically in recent years.
I used to fish out of Flamingo on a regular basis. A typical day would start from my home in Miami around 4:30 a.m. so we could be departing the ramp just as the first traces of gray light pierced the black veil of the waning night sky. Within minutes we would be able to identify channel markers as the pinks of dawn crept over the eastern horizon. From here we had a decision to make. To the east of Flamingo, there were miles and miles of shallows including Snake, Garfield and Rankin bights. In certain areas there were swaths of deeper water that would allow technical poling skiffs access to the mangrove shorelines where small tarpon feasted on shrimp and glass minnows at daybreak. I recall seeing pods of juvenile silver kings busting bait and gulping air all around the boat.
Once the sun cleared the horizon the tarpon disappeared…at least the small ones did. Everyone had an opinion on where they went, but most agreed that the morning bite was over by 9 a.m. At this point, attention shifted from the shorelines to the flats themselves. Most of the vast area east of Flamingo was and remains very shallow, but back in the day, there were acres of turtle grass thriving in a fertile bottom comprising thick mud. It’s been said that seagrass beds are the marine equivalent to tropical rainforests, and their function crucial to the ecological health of Florida’s inshore estuaries. Studies have shown that a single acre of seagrass can produce over ten tons of leaves per year, supporting as many as forty thousand fish and fifty million invertebrates.
Perhaps my favorite area to fish was Snake Bight’s pole and troll zone. The water was usually crystal clear but over the last decade, due to decreased freshwater flow and associated algae blooms, the area has been pretty much devoid of life. Water the color of chocolate milk, dead grass and lack of forage and predator fish were common reports from local guides. Everyone said that we needed a good storm to flush the place out, but that hurricane came and just made everything worse. The remaining turtle grass present before the storm was so weak that it was uprooted and swept away, leaving nothing but a muddy bottom and water with barely six inches of visibility. No shelter for all the tiny critters, no baitfish and no reason for a redfish or snook to ever revisit the area. Making matters worse, locals observed a yellow haze in die-offareas, which we later learned was a result of high salinity, low oxygen, and increased sulfide levels.
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A Whole Different Animal - Wild Cats that Got the Cream
MOST ANGLERS HAVE STRONG BELIEFS ABOUT WHAT HULL TYPE IS BEST. Running hard in rough water requires a seaworthy platform with the strength and stability to keep you safe, comfortable and dry. Among the different trends that have consequently become evident from the evolution of center consoles, boat builders are cornering a new niche of complex and competitive catamarans harnessing more outboard power than ever before. Breaking the barrier with innovative hull designs and deck layouts, the newest catamarans offer unobstructed fishability while providing increased fuel economy and speed per applied horsepower.
Pulley Ridge 2.0 The Jig Is Up
WE’RE FORTUNATE TO HAVE SOME of the most rewarding bottom fishing north of the equator. If the Sunshine State’s countless reefs, wrecks and ledges aren’t enough to keep you entertained, then you should know about a unique deep-water coral community that exists within a day’s boat ride from Key West. For adventurous anglers lucky enough to have experienced these rich waters, the area has proven to yield a bottom fishing bonanza beyond anyone’s imagination. However, the approach at Pulley Ridge has changed dramatically since we first started exploring the depths nearly a decade ago.
The Lotus Effect - Exploring The Science Of The Shine
THERE HAVE BEEN COUNTLESS TECHNOLOGIES AND INNOVATIONS inspired by the animal kingdom, with the science of emulating nature known as biomimetics. Evolution has perfected natural designs and environmental approaches over hundreds of millions of years, providing chemists, biologists and engineers with a perfect platform to advance modern materials and manufacturing processes. Learning the way of the lotus leaf has revealed remarkable self-cleaning properties resulting from the unique flora’s ultrahydrophobic surface architecture producing water droplets in nearly perfect spherical shape.
Ailing Florida Bay Shows Promising Signs of Life
Yellow [Fin] Fever
Amid the Confines of Pristine Natural Habitat, Tuna Aplenty Defines This Pacific Island Hideaway
Secrets Of Sargassum
EXCLUDING FRAGILE CORAL REEFS, aging shipwrecks and massive seamounts, the ocean is a rather featureless expanse. Off the coast of Florida and across much of the tropics, fish migrations are largely dictated by prevailing currents. Caught in the same gyres, floating ecosystems of sargassum seaweed are the basis of life that provide structure and sanctuary for a host of predators and prey.
Tips for Maximizing Rod Storage and Usage
Full Steam Ahead
I RELOCATED TO FLORIDA FROM MARYLAND about a year ago and cherish the year-round opportunities to enjoy the outdoors. Although I have fallen in love with saltwater fishing, I miss crabbing in the Chesapeake Bay. What is the most effective method to catch blue crabs in Florida and what are the rules and regulations for recreational harvesters setting traps here?
REMAINING RATHER UNCHANGED for thousands of years, cast nets appear to be simple tools. Toss atop a school of baitfish and haul in your bounty. However, cast nets are available in a variety of sizes and styles comprising minute differences to suit a host of species and water conditions. Delivery is important, but it is the sewing of panels, lead line weight and mesh size that determines a net’s performance.
BRINGING OVER FOUR DECADES of yacht building excellence to the table, Henriques Yachts has established itself as one of the most reputable manufacturers in the industry with an extensive collection of offshore fishing platforms trusted by big game anglers around the world. Included in the impressive lineup is this well-equipped express with a newly designed deep-V hull, delivering dependable performance and fantastic fishability
Gaming the Gig Economy
A group of DoorDash workers are trying to set a minimum rate for deliveries
MIND GAMES: The Psychology of Board Games
What is the mind? For the ancient Greeks, the idea of the mind was synonymous with the concept of “soul.” Plato believed the psyche was immortal and became wiser and more perceptive after death. More recently, Freud and Jung refined the idea of seele (soul) as a subset of the overall psyche, that which governs thought and behavior — in short, personality. As a game designer and armchair psychologist, I am fascinated by what makes games tick. But even more, I love to discover what makes players tick. Games are products of the human mind, and the mind is the arena on which the contest is played. All the aspects of cognition — perception, thinking, judgment, language, memory, and more — play into the game experience.
The Foo Fighters return with a new album, Medicine At Midnight, with the low end taken care of as always by the great Nate Mendel. Has he fallen for a five‑string yet? Find out here...
Y&R'S RICHARD BURGI: I'M GLAD TO BE BACK.”
With five soap stints under his belt (the last as GH’s Paul Hornsby from 2015-16), Richard Burgi was already a bonafide daytime veteran when he was tapped by Y&R to play the recurring role of the wealthy and ruthless media magnate Ashland Locke. “How my name got bandied about, I have no idea, but they called and said, ‘There’s an offer for you to do YOUNG AND RESTLESS, there’s really no big commitment, it’s superloose,’ and I said, ‘God, that sounds awesome.’ ” the actor relayed on the Dishing With Digest podcast. “I didn’t have to travel, I didn’t have to quarantine, and the hours are brilliant; I love daytime hours and I love the challenge. It was nice to know that I’m still wanted in daytime.
INDIAN LARRY'S BLOCK PARTY - REVISITED
Born To Ride continues to look back at our relationship with Indian Larry. Here is a reprint of an article BTR published in August 2004
WHEN YOU DON'T HIT THE JACKPOT
We all have different lessons at different times, and prosperity might not be up for you right now.
Nothing Goes Over His Head
Despite movie delays, Dave Bautista is bigger than ever.
Hi-Tech Lighting - Installing A LED Headlight!
All headlights are not created equal; they are available in four basic light sources: incandescent, quartz halogen, HID (high-intensity discharge) and LED (light-emitting diode). Some riders think that brighter headlights are better, when in fact it is the color temperature of the light source that gives a rider the ability to see objects at night. A whiter light gives a rider a greater depth of view at night. Incandescent and quartz halogen lights have a yellow cast and HID lights have a blue beam, while hi-output LEDs emit a true white light; their light color is the closest to sunlight’s color.
This Florida Drug Smuggler Escaped 7 Life Sentences—Twice
Dickie Lynn’s story shows how the drug war warped the Criminal Justice System.
HUAWEI UNVEILS FLAGSHIP FOLDABLE SMARTPHONE
Struggling under U.S. sanctions, Huawei unveiled a folding smartphone with an 8-inch (20-centimeter) -widescreen Monday to show off its tech prowess but said it will be sold only in China.