Tuesday , July 22 2014
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Lady Angler’s Corner

Let’s Go Fishing!

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LADY ANGLERS Captain Mary A. Fink islandgirlscharters.com Southwest Florida summers are hot and steamy and a perfect time to enjoy fishing with family and friends. The experience doesn’t have to be all about the fish either. The quiet, scenic mystique of the area’s Ten Thousand Islands is about so much more than that! Manatee and dolphin sightings are likely, and the peaceful beaches found along some of the keys provide excellent shelling and swimming opportunities. It’s very possible that you may not see another person on the island you choose to explore! The best advice I can give to you ... Read More »

The Reel and the Rod Tip

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LADY ANGLERS Captain Mary A. Fink islandgirlscharters.com There are many successful fishing techniques that can be utilized depending on your fishing location and targeted species. Some of the more common techniques used include fly fishing, trolling, bottom fishing, kite fishing and cast and retrieve. In the local back country areas of the Ten Thousand Islands and Everglades National Park, I have experimented with numerous techniques, but have found one, in particular, to be most effective which I will share with you in this article. I prefer to fish with light to ultra-light spinning tackle, a light- to medium-weight rod between ... Read More »

Expert Tips About Fishing Live Bait

Capt. Mark Fink (front left) and the lady anglers of  the 2014 March FLIP Trip. SUBMITTED PHOTOS

LADY ANGLERS Captain Mary A. Fink islandgirlscharters.com When you are serious about catching, and not just fishing, use live bait. The most common local natural baits include shrimp, minnows or baitfish, sand fleas and crabs. Shrimp are devoured by virtually all game fish, as shrimp make up a large part of just about any marine fishes diet. The advantages of using shrimp are numerous. Crustacean eaters, such as sheepshead and black drum, can be caught on shrimp and crabs, but not live baitfish. Shrimp can be rigged on a simple bare hook or tipped on a jig head of your ... Read More »

Keep It Light

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LADY ANGLERS Captain Mary A. Fink islandgirlscharters.com Although the sport of fishing is great fun, the excitement of catching is even more so. One sure bet to increase the action on your next trip is to use light tackle. Light tackle can be defined as a reel with a line capacity and strength in the 8-15 lb. range and a rod that is much lighter and shorter than average, say between 4-6 feet. Consider ultra light tackle being on the lowest end of this range. Keep in mind that fly fishing is light tackle fishing in a category all of its ... Read More »

Land More Fish

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LADY ANGLERS Captain Mary A. Fink islandgirlscharters.com One of the most rewarding things about being a fishing guide is sharing the excitement and joy experienced through others when they hook and land fish. It has been my experience, however, that many less-experienced anglers lose a good number of fish through improper retrieval technique. Often, fish are lost due to over excitement when the angler tries to rush the fish into the boat. Others are lost due to excessive slack in the line or improper rod tip position where leverage is lost. Although not every fish hooked will be landed, there are ... Read More »

Preparation, Key to Success, Comfort, Safety

A guide can help you learn the local catch, use the right bait, keep you from getting lost and even provide you with fresh filleted fish to take home!

LADY ANGLERS Captain Mary A. Fink islandgirlscharters.com Among the characteristics most all successful anglers possess is that of proper preparation for a day of fishing. Preparation involves things like the selection of a fishing location, tackle and bait requirements, targeting specific species, awareness of tidal exchange and weather, as well as packing proper clothing and gear. When these factors are carefully considered prior to departing for a day on the water, your chance for success, safety and comfort will be greatly enhanced. Once you have determined your preferred fishing location, the next step is to get acquainted with the tidal exchange ... Read More »

Better a Reel than a Shovel

Oyster beds and birds can be a good combination with backwater fishing. PHOTO BY NOELLE H. LOWERY

LADY ANGLERS Captain Mary A. Fink islandgirlscharters.com Most of the snowbirds have returned from their northern residences, and for good reason. When it comes to beautiful weather and excellent fishing, the winter months in southwest Florida are hard to beat, especially in the beautiful mangrove maze of the Ten Thousand Islands and Everglades National Park. While fishing offshore can often prove to be challenging during winter months due to higher winds associated with frequent cold fronts, backcountry fishing can be quite comfortable because of the protection provided by the numerous mangrove islands, which comprise these areas. The mangrove islands provide structure, ... Read More »

For a Mixed Bag, Choose Shrimp

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LADY ANGLERS Captain Mary A. Fink islandgirlscharters.com Very few people can deny that shrimp are a tasty treat, and nearly all salt water fish concur. In fact, local species like sheepshead and black drum can be caught only on shrimp or other crustaceans. It is my belief that shrimp provide enticing bait offerings, but this is especially true during the winter months when water temperatures are cooler making it easier to keep the shrimp alive for extended periods, as shrimp are delicate crustaceans that tend to perish quickly. Additionally, finding and catching baitfish is more challenging during cooler winter months when ... Read More »

Fishing: A Natural Stress Reliever!

Sometimes it’s not always about the big catch. PHOTO BY NATALIE STROM

LADY ANGLERS Captain Mary A. Fink islandgirlscharters.com The great sport of fishing provides both intrinsic (internal) and extrinsic (external) rewards. The most obvious extrinsic reward for many is the excitement and thrill of battling a fish on the end of the line and possibly the pleasure of a delicious meal to follow! Most fishing programs and articles relating to fishing deal primarily with the extrinsic reward the sport provides when all goes well. This includes tips relating to tackle, bait presentation, types of fish caught and other tangible and quantifiable qualities relating to fishing. In this article, the intrinsic value of ... Read More »

Want to Fish the Islands? Choose a Guide!

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LADY ANGLERS Captain Mary A. Fink islandgirlscharters.com Whether you are a novice or an experienced angler, it is wise to hire a guide to take you on a memorable fishing experience in our pristine islands. I don’t recommend this simply because I am a fishing guide; rather, I do so because it is the most effective and comfortable way to become familiar with the area, the types of fish found in the area and to expose you to numerous fishing techniques to help you succeed in catching. Our Ten Thousand Islands areas as well as Everglades National Park provide some of ... Read More »

Florida Keys Summer Fishing Trips

Captain Mary and guest reel in a 25 inch speckled trout. SUBMITTED PHOTO

LADY ANGLERS Captain Mary A. Fink islandgirlscharters.com The Florida Keys provide an angler with nearly limitless options when it comes to fishing. Sight fishing, trolling, back country as well as reef and wreck fishing can be enjoyed all year round along the numerous beautiful islands stretching over 100 miles, connected by the chain of bridges called the scenic overseas highway. This article will address some basic tips for increasing your chances of enjoying a successful fishing day in the fabulous Florida Keys, only a short drive from our area. First, listen to Mother Nature. The single most important environmental factor to ... Read More »

To Jig or not to Jig

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LADY ANGLERS Captain Mary A. Fink islandgirlscharters.com The word “jig” has two meanings relating to fishing. The noun “jig” relates to a type of artificial lure or “jig head” which is usually tipped with some form of live or cut bait. The other meaning, used as a verb; to “jig,” relates to the physical movement of the rod tip that will often entice fish to strike more readily. This article will address each meaning of the word and its relevance when fishing our fish rich waters. When fishing our beautiful local back country bays and mangrove islands, jig heads are most ... Read More »

Keys to Fishing Success: Concentration and Presentation

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LADY ANGLER’S CORNER Captain Mary   One observation I have made with many people who try fishing and have had limited success is that they often lack two important components to successful fishing: concentration and effective bait presentation. I find that many enthusiasts begin fishing by casting in an arbitrary fashion with no real cognizance of where their bait is or how it is being presented. This often results in lines drifting under the boat, tangles with other anglers, or becoming hooked up on bottom structure. This article will address some effective tips on how to improve overall environmental awareness, ... Read More »

Fishing Safety Tips: Good & Bad Slack

Grandmother Pat and her grandson Brett with a beautiful speckled sea trout. PHOTO BY MARY FINK

LADY ANGLERS Captain Mary A. Fink islandgirlscharters.com We’ve all heard the phrase “safety first.” Safety should be of primary importance for all who enjoy a day of fishing from a boat. Fishing tackle can pose many safety hazards when utilized carelessly and without caution. Rod tips and hooks can be dangerous for obvious reasons. In this article, I will address some basic tackle handling tips so that you can enjoy a safe and enjoyable day on your boat with family and friends. Keep in mind that although you may have experience handling tackle properly, your guests and friends may not. ... Read More »

Back Country Fish Finding Tips

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LADY ANGLERS Captain Mary A. Fink islandgirlscharters.com It is safe to say that all anglers, regardless of experience level, enjoy being on the water. What’s not to like? The beauty of the water, bountiful wildlife, serenity and the wonders of nature all come together to make a memorable experience. Finding and catching fish on a regular basis will only enhance your days on the water, whether in a boat or fishing from a beach, dock or bridge. In this article, I will share with you some very simple, yet effective ways to locate fish in our local back country areas ... Read More »

What type of angler are you?

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After many years of fishing, I have come to the conclusion that there are basically two types of angling enthusiasts: Proactive anglers and reactive anglers. Both types serve preferred individual purposes and one is not necessarily better than the other. The reactive angler is patient and waits for fishing opportunities to present themselves. An example of this may be making the choice to anchor in an area and remain there until there is a change in tidal movement or when the fish may start to bite. This angler can remain quite content and patient in fishing one or two places ... Read More »

Angling Wisdom From Local Lady Captain

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I so enjoyed the recent conversation I shared with Everglades Fishing Guide, Becky Campbell. She revealed little pearls of wisdom describing her vast experience “hunting” for fish. Becky speaks of fishing with a gleeful glimmer in her eye and prefers to refer to her experiences as “catching” rather than simply “fishing.” I thought it most appropriate to share my conversation with Captain Becky with other angling enthusiasts because expert tips like these are few and far between. Becky grew up in Clearwater, where she describes the water as being a beautiful crystal clear green. Due to the amazing water clarity, ... Read More »

Fishing with Live Minnows

Live bait makes for great results. PHOTO BY MARY FINK

By Captain Mary A. Fink islandgirlscharters.com Bait selection is one of the most common topics discussed among angling enthusiasts. The two basic bait types are natural and artificial. Artificial baits include a wide variety of options including soft plastics, top water plugs, buck tail jigs, assorted trolling lures, flies and jigs. Natural salt water baits which are most commonly used include live crabs, shrimp, small fish such as mullet as well as a wide variety minnows or baitfish. If given a choice, I prefer baitfish over all others especially in the back country regions of south Florida, and more specifically, ... Read More »

Mangrove Snapper Fishing

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LADY ANGLERS Captain Mary A. Fink islandgirlscharters.com The first three articles of the “Lady Anglers Corner” in Coastal Breeze addressed the many benefits sport fishing provides, tackle selection and what conditions and structure to look for when seeking fish. Now it’s time to start fishing using the skills mentioned in previous articles to your benefit! This author suggests testing your skills with local mangrove or gray snapper fishing. Mangrove or gray snappers are quite common around mangrove edges, reefs, rocks, docks and other structures. This is one reason why starting with snapper fishing is a good idea as your likelihood of ... Read More »

GETTING STARTED: Expert tips on where and how to

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LADY ANGLER’S CORNER Capt. Mary Fink  islandgirls123@yahoo.com  In the mangrove maze of South Florida’s Ten Thousand Islands, fish are plentiful. The key to productive fishing, however, often depends upon your ability to find the fish and to use the existing environmental conditions to your advantage. Among these conditions are factors like water temperature, depth, wind direction and strength, tidal exchange, moon phase and structure. This author believes that, of these factors, tidal exchange and the presence of structure are most important, as structure provides habitat and tidal movement provides forage or food for fish, especially during an incoming tide. Structure ... Read More »