Bought a boat? Let’s avoid that sinking feeling. Here’s how – Daytona Beach News-Journal

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So, Popeye, you bought yourself a boat.  

Got yourself some angling gear, the latest Yeti knockoff, and even outfitted yourself with all colors of Columbia shirts, some clearance-rack Tommy Bahama shorts, and… what’s that? A Tilley hat up top plus Hey Dude slip-ons down below?  

Stylin’ and profilin’.  

Well, at least you’ll look good when Sea Tow unbeaches you from Disappearing Island . Or when you enter dozens of cellphone photo files after your fourth attempt to get your boat trailered at the all-too-public boat ramp.

But wait, you might be able to avoid the potential of embarrassment that comes with boat ownership.  

“You should probably go ahead and take a Florida boater safety course, ” says Capt. Charlie Beardsley. “It’ll make you a better boater. Every time on water, it’s  a different situation. ”

Or, for starters, you can take advantage of the particular Halifax Sport Fishing Club’s next monthly seminar, next Thursday (June 16) at its Port Orange headquarters (3431 S. Ridgewood).

Beardsley, a 12-year staffer for the New Smyrna Beach Coast Guard Auxiliary, will dish out pointers and answer questions regarding the operation associated with boats in our local waters, as well as the safety issues to keep in mind.

First, the issue that will makes men like Beardsley quite necessary: If you were born before Jan. 1, 1988, you don’t have in order to take a boater safety course in Florida. So if you’re 34 (like Capt. Beardsley, by the way) but basically a newbie at the helm (unlike Beardsley, by the way), you may trailer your boat from the dealership to the ramp and be throttle-up faster than you can scream mayday.

But, it goes without saying, you might want to slow your own wake. In terms of potentially bad outcomes, boating probably ranks behind flying, but still…

“No rules associated with the road, just drop your boat in, ” says Beardsley. “But we try to help people avoid the big mistakes. ”

Such because?

“New boaters often underestimate the wind, ” he says. “They don’t factor in the blowing wind when piloting the boat. Wind and current are big factors, particularly when bringing the boat to dock.  

“Also, just knowing the rules of the road, what side of the particular channel to be on, how to pass another boat, looking out for paddle craft —  a person see a ton of paddle boards out there, and you need in order to know how to react around them. ”

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It’s also a good idea to double-check, maybe triple-check, your vests, fire extinguisher and other safety items to make sure you’re up to code and, by the way, safe.  

Beardsley has recently started working with local vessel dealerships in an effort to set up instructional classes with new boat owners. But if you’ve already been there and done that, or just want to learn some things you thought you knew, you don’t have to buy a new motorboat.

You can sign up for a free look-see and/or lesson. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission offers free online lessons at BoatEd. com.  

And you can go through the Coast Guard Auxiliary in order to find out about upcoming classes or schedule the free exam of your boat and accessories ( CGaux. org) .

Or simply get started by attending Capt. Charlie’s seminar next Thursday night, starting at 7: 30. More info: HSFC. com.

Halifax/Indian River

Whether it’s the popular relief bridge on the Port Orange causeway, feeder creeks throughout the intracoastal, or those ever-populated dock lights in night, the speckled seatrout has gotten the attention of local anglers.

“They’re the buzz, ” says Craig Patterson (Donald’s Bait & Tackle in Port Orange). When they’re buzzing, practically all live bait will work: “Pigfish, pinfish, croakers or shrimp, ” Patterson adds.

Some associated with the usuals are also being pulled up during favorable fishing hours —  reds, flounder and mangrove snapper. Some reports of tarpon continue to get into the conversation.  

Up in Ormond Beach from the Granada Pier, Ike Leary says the shrimp are starting to function their way into the particular river, and you know what that means.

“Where there’s bait, there’s fish, ” Ike states.

Flagler County

Capt. Mike Vickers (Hammock Bait & Tackle) says the flounder bite is on through High Bridge to the Matanzas Inlet. There’s furthermore luck to be had with the particular wide range of river offerings —  mangrove snapper, jacks, ladyfish, drum, trout, reds and, yes, sharks.  

Capt. Mike says you may find some snook away there, but don’t forget, they recently went off-limits and will remain catch-and-release until Sept. 1. And be careful with that release —  keep them horizontal, don’t  tear apart that tender mouth, and watch out for those sharp gill plates.

Meanwhile, regarding last week’s talk about increasing the size associated with your bait (and hooks) as the hot months arrive, Capt. Mike takes a different approach with the prized redfish. He compares them to the overfed American male who gorges himself while piled up in the den watching a ballgame.  

“We don’t sit on the couch eating a 10-pound bag of baked potatoes, ” he says. “We tear open party-packs of chips! Fish do the same thing; they take huge mouthfuls associated with glass minnows, mud minnows, small crabs, and small white river shrimp —  that’s their bags of chips. ”

For artificials, he suggests small Z-man lures, as well since smaller top-water and suspending baits.  

“In short, gear straight down your bait size, ” he says.

Surf

You still hear about the odd pompano grabbing a hook, but mostly it’s whiting. And catfish, of course. Oh, and sharks.

BJ Taylor (Southern Bred Charters) says he’s also seeing croakers plus a few bull reds. Fresh shrimp and sand fleas, if you may find them, are the favored baits, he says.

“For the sharks and redfish, ” Taylor says, “look for the particular birds working the mullet and bait pods along the beach. With live mullet and fresh-cut bait being the baits associated with choice. ”

Offshore

The Halifax Sport Fishing Club’s 34th annual Lady Angler Tournament is Saturday, along with mahi being the target. Weigh-in is from 5-7 p. m. at the pavilion near the Dunlawton Bridge’s fishing pier. Always a good time.

Judging from the variety of the haul brought back in recent Sea Spirit trips, the lady anglers will be wading through lots of competing fish while looking for mahi.  

Up to the north in Flagler County, Capt. Vickers says his shop has weighed a few big mahi in recent days, while also hearing chatter about cobia and kingfish.  

St. Johns

The St. Johns River, along with its many lakes, is a wonderful place to spend almost all or part of the day in a boat. So much untouched, unspoiled beauty, you’ll fancy yourself a nature photographer by day’s end.  

But, if you’re looking to catch fish, you might want to set the alarm.

“With the weather heating up, it’s so important to make the most of the first few hours of daylight, ” says Capt. Bryn Adams (Highland Park Fish Camp in DeLand).  

During those early-morning hours, she says, the bass are still getting after it in the main river.  

“Now is a great time to use your artificial lures, like swim baits or a classic Whopper Plopper, ” she says. “But after the drinking water temperature heats up, it makes bass less aggressive. ”

Same story with bluegill, Bryn says: “Still strong, pitching worms, crickets or synthetic jigs against the bank or structure. We’re  seeing strong limits coming within. ”

To the north several miles, in Astor, Kerry McPherson (South Moon Fish Camp) says both early morning and the periods close to sundown are productive these days.

“Had a few guys have decent luck on bream last weekend, ” he says. “The stripers are pretty much hitting anything silver, through silver spoons to silver top-water plugs. When they’re hitting like that, it doesn’t much matter. ”

Hook, line plus clicker

We want to see your own most recent catch. Email your fish photos to ken. [email protected] com.

Please include first and last name of angler(s), as well as type of fish (we’re occasionally stumped). All are included with our online fishing report, plus some occasionally make the particular print edition.

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