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Entries in Florida (219)


Trik Fish Introduces Fluorocarbon For Flipping, Pitching

Stealth fishing just got stealthier with new Flippin'/Pitchin' Fluorocarbon line by Trik Fish, a company in Clermont, Fla., owned by my good friend Dave Burkhardt.

 Just introduced at the ICAST show in Orlando, the new line is tough enough to fish in the heaviest cover, yet, unlike braid, it "disappears" in the water. That makes it especially effective on bright days, in clear water, or when bass have lockjaw.

"I like to use the 20- or 25-pound test when I have to fish slower and they are looking at the bait longer," said Florida tournament angler Uby Rosell. "Bass are more likely to see the braid than the fluorocarbon."

Additionally, fluorocarbon keeps baits in the strike zone longer. Because it is more dense, it sinks faster than monofilament and copolymers, but not as fast as braid, allowing the bait a slower and more natural fall. That's another plus when the bite is tough.

Also available in 15-pound test, this is the first fluorocarbon packaged specifically for bass anglers who flip and pitch cover. "It's on 150-yard spools so this German-engineered line is perfect for the bass guy with low-profile reels," said Burkhardt.

Rosell added that he uses the 15 for flipping and pitching to grass edges with a smaller bait. "Also, I'm a co-angler," he said. "While the guys up front are using braid, I'm using fluorocarbon to get the bites they miss, especially when the fish are sensitive."

FLW pro Troy Gibson especially likes the 15-pound line. "I really am pleased with the minimum stretch that is delivered by Trik Fish and the super stealth that this line provides," he said.

" I cannot say enough about this line and will not use anything else when the money is on the line."  

Besides minimum stretch, Trik Fish Flippin'/Pitchin' Fluorocarbon doesn't absorb water, meaning it won't lose strength when wet. It is extremely UV resistant. Plus it has great knot strength and is highly abrasion-resistant with virtually no memory.

Finally, braid, no matter its color,  has a distinct visual presence, meaning fish can see it in even the dingiest of waters. On the other hand, Trik Fish Flippin'/Pitchin' Fluorocarbon refracts light nearly the same as water, meaning it disappears. That translates into more takes, especially when the bite is tough.  

"More and more of the pros are rigging with Trik Fish Fippin'/Pitchin' Fluorocarbon to get more bites," said Burkhardt.

(You also can check out Trik Fish on Facebook.)


More than 5,000 Lionfish Removed From Florida Waters

Already this year, more than 5,000 invasive lionfish have been removed from Florida waters as part of the annual  campaign that runs from Lionfish Removal and Awareness Day on May 20 and ends Sept. 4.

"There’s still plenty of time to compete in this year’s Lionfish Challenge," said the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

"Over 5,000 lionfish have been removed from Florida waters thanks to the program, including nearly 3,700 recreational fish removals and more than 1,200 pounds commercially (equates to about 1,400 fish)."

The challenge rewards lionfish harvesters with prizes such as T-shirts, tumblers, heat packs for stings, pole spears, an extra spiny lobster per day during the two-day sport season, and much more. It only takes 25 lionfish (or 25 pounds commercially) to qualify for the program and the more lionfish you enter, the more prizes you will receive. Plus, all participants are entered into a raffle to win even more prizes such as Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium gift bags, ZombieStickz pole spears and customized ZooKeeper Lionfish Containment Units.

The persons with the most lionfish at the end of the competition will be crowned the Lionfish King or Queen (recreational category) and the Commercial Champion at the Lionfish Safari tournament in St. Petersburg the weekend of Sept. 9.

To find out how to participate in the challenge, go here.


Listen to the BaitBitch

Fishing is supposed to be fun. But sometimes we forget.

That's why it's a good thing to have the BaitBitches around to remind us.

You read that right. A mother and daughter in Florida, along with some of their friends, founded this little company with the oh-so-politically-incorrect name: BaitBitch.

"Why not create a lure that would catch fish and add some extra fun while you're at it?" said Mindy Hayden, the creative force behind this business that has added some new and bordering-on-naughty words to fishing, including "boobhookles."

 “Some of the best times of my life have been spent drifting on a boat, with a line out,” she continued.  “I want to help everyone capture that simple joy.”

The lure created--- the "Bitch"--- is a soft plastic split-tail in a variety of colors. And since it's made without phthalates, it's more environmentally friendly than many plastic baits. Phthalates give flexibility to plastic, but they also have been linked to many human health threats, including asthma, ADHD, breast cancer, and diabetes.

It comes in a variety of colors, all of them named. Options include "Eat Schmidt" and "Ta Ta's."


In a quick field test, I found hot pink "Lucky Lani" true to her name, as the photos show. I rigged it Texas-style, with a belly weight, and fished it like a plastic frog. But you also can peg it on a jighead and swim it or bounce it on the bottom.

BaitBitch also sells shirts and sun guards, including one for your dog. And let's not forget the stickers, including "Bitch, Please," and the dip net, named--- what else?--- "Annette."

Every item, in one way or another, is intended to remind anglers of BaitBitch's motto: "Soft lures. Serious fun."


Paddle Board Fishing Boat Takes Best of Show at ICAST

The world’s largest sportfishing trade show, the International Convention of Allied Sportfishing Trades, better known as ICAST, just ended at the Orange County Convention Center  in Orlando, Fla.

One of the most important features for ICAST exhibitors and attendees alike is the New Product Showcase. Sponsored by Fishing Tackle Retailer,  it embodies the sportfishing industry's innovative and entrepreneurial spirit and rewards that ingenuity through the New Product Showcase awards competition.

This year, 1,263 products, accessories and apparel were entered by 280 companies into 26 “Best of Category” awards in the New Product Showcase, all vying for the overall ICAST 2017 “Best of Show” award. This year, the Lure category was divided into hard and soft Freshwater and Saltwater lures.

BOTE's Rover was voted by buyers and media as the best product in both the Boat Accessories category and the overall “Best of Show.” In a year when "alternative" watercraft were hot items, with lots of innovative designs, this paddle board fishing boat as best overall product was no surprise.

“My congratulations go to all of the winners and everyone who participated in the New Product Showcase. The entrepreneurial spirit that exists within our member companies is what adds excitement to the fishing experience,” said Mike Nussman, President and CEO of the American Sportfishing Association (ASA).

Produced by ASA, the industry’s trade association, ICAST, in its 60th year as the industry’s trade show, is the annual destination for representatives from the global recreational fishing industry to see the latest innovations in tackle, gear, accessories and apparel.

This year is the second year that the National Marine Manufacturers Association hosted a Marine Accessories Pavilion on the show floor. The American Fly Fishing Trade Association  also once again located  its International Fly Tackle Dealer show with ICAST.

2017 ICAST New Product Showcase Award Winners

ICAST 2017 Overall Best of Show – Bote

Best of Category – Boating Accessories – Yeti Coolers
LoadOut Bucket

Best of Category – Boats and Watercraft – Bote

Best of Category – EyewearCosta
The Sunrise Mirror Lens

Best of Category – Footwear – Huk Performance Fishing

Best of Category – Giftware – The Catch and Release Print Shop
Fish Prints – Actual Size

Best of Category – Lifestyle Apparel – Frogg Toggs
Prym1 Series Pilot II Jacket & Bibs

Best of Category – Technical Apparel – Frogg Toggs
Sierran Transition Wader

Best of Category – Electronics – Johnson Outdoors Marine Electronics, Inc.

Best of Category – Fishing Accessory – YETI Coolers
Panga Duffel

Best of Category – Fly Fishing Accessory – Simms Fishing Products
G3 Guide™ Stockingfoot Wader

Best of Category – Fishing Line – Pure Fishing Inc.
Berkley Fireline Ultra 8

Best of Category – FishSmart – Eagle Claw Fishing Tackle
2017 Flounder Sample Pack

Best of Category – Kids’ Tackle – 13 Fishing
Ambition Combo

Best of Category – Tackle Management – Daiwa Corporation
Tactical Backpack

Best of Category – Terminal Tackle – Trapper Tackle
Trapper Round Bend Treble

Best of Category – Freshwater Hard Lure – Okuma Fishing Tackle Corp.
Savage Gear 3D Topwater Bat

Best of Category – Saltwater Hard Lure – Rapala
: X-Rap Magnum 40

Best of Category – Freshwater Soft Lure – Lunkerhunt LP
Prop Series

Best of Category – Saltwater Soft Lure – LIVETARGET
LIVETARGET Hollow Body Mullet

Best of Category – Fly Reel – Pure Fishing, Inc.
Pflueger Supreme QRS Fly Reel

Best of Category – Freshwater Reel – Shimano American Corp.
Curado K Baitcasting Reels

Best of Category – Saltwater Reel – Shimano American Corp.
Sustain Reels C4000/5000

Best of Category – Rod & Reel Combo – Lew’s Fishing Tackle
Mach Crush Speed Spool Combo

Best of Category – Fly Fishing Rod – G. Loomis, Inc.
IMX-Pro Fly Rod

Best of Category – Freshwater Rod – 13 Fishing
Fate Black

Best of Category –Saltwater Rod – St. Croix Rods
Legend Tournament Inshore


Okeechobee Water Storage Reservoir Receives Funding Boost

A bill signed into law by Florida Gov. Rick Scott will provide additional funding and accelerate the strategy to build a water storage reservoir south of Lake Okeechobee, with the goal of reducing harmful, nutrient-laden releases into coastal estuaries.

"With today's signing of Senate Bill 10, Governor Scott has shown his strong commitment to advancing Everglades restoration," said Kellie Ralston, Florida Fishery Policy Director of the American Sportfishing Association.

Directing excess water south also will help replenish the Everglades and provided much needed freshwater flow into Florida Bay. That occurred naturally before the lake was impounded decades ago to protect towns and farm lands on the south side from flooding, especially during hurricanes.

Enacting Lake Okeechobee Water Resources Legislation has been a top priority of Senate President Joe Negron.

"Thank you to Governor Rick Scott, Senate President Joe Negron and House Speaker Richard Corcoran for their leadership in preserving and protecting Florida's natural resources," said Gary Jennings, Director of Keep Florida Fishing. "This will ensure that Florida remains the 'Fishing Capital of the World' for generations to come."

Meanwhile, plans to build a storage reservoir north of Lake Okeechobee continue to be advanced as well. Late last year, the project team for the Lake Okeechobee Watershed Project (LOWP) evaluated possible sites for storage and treatment of the nutrient-rich water that flows into the lake from the Kissimmee River watershed.

LOWP is part of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP), which is focused on restoration from the Kissimmee River to Florida Bay. CERP was authorized by Congress in 2000 "to restore, preserve, and protect the south Florida ecosystem, while providing for other water-related needs of the region, including water supply and flood protection." It's a $10.5 billion project expected to require 35 years for completion.

In addition to considering location options for a reservoir, the project team also is considering aquifer storage and recovery wells. Wetlands restoration is a part of the plan as well, but the emphasis is on storing water, not water quality.

“At the end of the day, we want a project that ultimately will result in Congressional authorization,” said John Campbell, a spokesman for the Army Corps of Engineers. “We know we can do that by focusing on storage.”

He added that the public will invited to review options sometime during 2017. "By 2018, we would select one of those alternatives and start developing details," Campbell said.

Environmental and sportsmen groups argue that a reservoir south of Lake Okeechobee, with a return to more natural flow, is best way to deal with excess water that has caused algae blooms and fish kills on both coasts. Communities and agricultural interests to the south of the lake generally favor storage on the north end.