Marine researcher Aaron Adams shares his knowledge about sea grass, mangroves, salt marshes, oyster bars, shorelines, beaches, sand flats, and coral reefs from the Caribbean to the Carolinas, the Gulf of Mexico to the Florida coast, to give reader swhat they need to know to fish for tropical, subtropical, and warm-water species. Behavior, life cycles, and fishing tips for 25 marine gamefish and their prey are included. Species include red drum, spotted seatrout, permit, bonefish, snook, tarpon, barracuda, snapper, ladyfish, weakfish, bluefish, striped bass, cobia, cero mackerel, Spanish mackerel, and jacks.
The updated and revised new edition contains new chapters as well as an all-new art program.
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For Aaron Adams, the line between science and fishing blurred long ago, and Adams uses his fish research to formulate his fishing strategies, and his fishing to help guide some of his research. Adams has a Ph.D. in environmental biology, holds a Coast Guard Captain’s license, and has lived, worked, and fished in Maryland, North Carolina, California, Virginia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Massachusetts, and Florida, and conducted fish research throughout the Caribbean. He is presently a Senior Scientist at Mote Marine Laboratory and Director of Operations for the non-profit Bonefish & Tarpon Trust.Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:
(from Chapter 6: Oyster Bars)
My favorite series of oyster bars lies in knee-deep water along the deep edge of a large, shallow grass bed. The oyster bars protect the grass bed from waves that build under south winds whipping across two miles of open water. These disconnected patches of oyster bar also break up incoming tidal currents whose diversions have carved small sand potholes, about five feet across, at the ends of the bars. Baitfish will temporarily congregate in the shelter provided by the oyster bars, taking refuge from the forceful currents and seeking escape from foraging gamefish.
Unfortunately for the schooling baitfish, the oyster bars render a false haven. At low tide the shallow oyster bars provide shelter from gamefish, but the baitfish are at the mercy of wading birds like blue heron. At high tide, when water covers the bars, this is an easy place for gamefish to corral and feed on the baitfish because of the bars= proximity to deeper water. I have witnessed snook, tarpon, red drum, and spotted seatrout feeding on sardines, mullet, and anchovies that have sought shelter in the shadows of these oyster bars. When the baitfish and gamefish are both present, an appropriately sized streamer cast into the mix almost always results in a strike.
In contrast, a whole community of potential gamefish prey lives permanently among the oyster shells, and takes advantage of food and shelter provided by oyster bars= many crevices. These residents seem to live a less frantic existence than the baitfish. When gamefish feed on the resident prey their feeding is more methodical, and your fly fishing approach must follow suit. This chapter will introduce you to the intricacies of oyster bars so you can interpret how these habitats are used by gamefish, and devise strategies for fishing these habitats at different tides, locations, and times of year.
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