Sunday, December 31, 2006

Another new book announcement...

In addition to specializing in Florida flats fishing, another passion of mine has been traveling the world in search of light tackle fishing in exotic destinations. Oftentimes, I chronicle and review my angling experiences at lodges that represent the very best there is to offer in places like Sandy Point, Green Turtle Cay, The Marls, Andros, British Columbia, Key West, Sanibel, and Cozumel. Other times, I'd pick a great location and arrange angling with some of the best guides I could find: Puerta Vallarta, Little Torch Key, Ketchikan/Alaska and Antigua are typical examples of such instances.

I'd made up my mind that I'd compile these adventures in story form and share them with the world-traveling angling community in the hopes of making their efforts easier as well as more fruitful. I also included some pieces on techniques like advanced wading and microbraid line developments.

All of this data came together in another new book of mine called, " Fishing Tips, Tales, and Travels". This volume should become available by March 2007. It will first appear on my website and spread to, Barnes and, and as well as other established online booksellers as the distribution channels mature.

Be on the lookout for it!


Saturday, December 30, 2006

A Happy Book Announcement!

I'm very pleased to announce that my upcoming book, "Fishing Florida's Flats: A Guide To Bonefish, Tarpon, Permit and Much More" has been given the expected publication date of November 2007 by University Press of Florida( I'm especially proud that some of Florida's flats finest have joined me to offer their technical, angling, and artistic gifts in the book. They include Captains Bill Curtis, Tom Rowland, Greg Poland, Bob "R.T." Trosett, Butch Constable, Mike Locklear, Jon Cooper, and John Kumiski. I'm honored that artist Vaughn Cochran and artist-writer Tim Borski have contributed. Scott Heywood of Angling Destinations as well as Ranger Boats and Heritage Kayaks have brought in some great images.

This is a project long in the making and it has the kind of thorough content that is sure to add to the knowledge base of all the skill levels and specialties of shallow water anglers that fish- or will fish- Florida's beautiful flats.

Although the book is not physically ready, it can be ordered at any time. The easiest way to find the web page is to go to and type in Jan Stephen Maizler in the Search for Books by author box.


As the year ends...

Life in SOFLA. and its "capital" Miami (America's Casablanca or Babylon-take your pick) is even crazier as the region poises and poses for the advent of 2007. Shoppers and celebrants glut Lincoln Road and Aventura Mall: they swirl, climb, engulf and consume like locusts ruled by the Dark Force. Cold fronts attempting winter have reached the tip of our peninsula only to be engulfed in the sultry heat of a globally-warmed world.

Father Time leans over to pick up his fallen fly rod only to get butt-kicked into history by a fresh-born blonde brat wearing a Columbia diaper that sports "2007" on its stern. Joining Father on his way to the spinning hypnosis-wheel vortex are Saddam (resplendent but crooked in his hemp necktie), James Brown (with a brand-new bag), and Gerry Ford (pan lower, please... he's fallen!).

Refuge with purity exists on a more timeless and eventless basis for those obsessed with fishing: things like the immutable rises and falls of tides and changing moons, winds, as well as light and dark grab us out of the world of people and their quirks. Despite the changing faces and associations that life has dealt me, angling has given me something so powerful and unchanging, I'd even call fishing Religion!


Monday, December 25, 2006

1963...Then and Now

Something I recall like yesterday was my senior year in high school. A parade of exciting, triumphing, and promising images, events, and incidents begin their march down the main street of my mind. Though I had the academics easily "knocked", my focus was on far more important things: beautiful girls, a burgeoning taste for my father's Jack Daniels Black Label, and most importantly, lots and lots of fishing.

The priority of the last item became strikingly clear when I made my Prom date from the night before wait in my midnight blue Grand Prix as I fished dawn's light for snook around the docks of Biscayne Point. I released a 15-pounder in short order- it was caught on a Pfleuger Supreme plug reel, custom rod, and rainbow-colored Zara Spook plug. As I returned to the car, the sweet fishy odor on my hands followed me into the parlor of my vehicle already scented by Canoe, Jack Black, and primordial passion. I'm not sure I've changed all that much as to what I consider really important.

This was also a year of heroes for me- especially the Fallen Angel, Good but Bad types. My religion was Doo Wop, Rock and Roll, and Soul, Soul, Soul. A gas station became the place where I would meet my Burning Bush. Prior to biking to Sunny Isles Pier for the mackeral run, I'd stopped for my roady predawn breakfast of peanut butter crackers and ice-cold coke. As I finished, a huge black limo pulled up to the gas pump island and stopped. One of the rear doors swung open and out came James Brown himself. He was all gassed-up with a light blue tuxedo and perfect pomp atop jet black conked-back hair. As the Godfather passed by, he turned to me and said, "hello, son." I felt like I'd been blessed.

This morning I learned that James Brown died. Since I've always believed that James is the Molar Tooth of Soul, the ache of his loss is a hell of a pain. And James, I'll say to you as you sang so many times before... " Baby, please don't go- I love you so."


Friday, December 22, 2006

A Fine Day...

My good friend, Captain Jon Cooper, and I picked it right as we ventured into South Biscayne Bay today. The last week of fierce onshore winds died down enough to make a soiree on my sixteen-foot Hewes Bonefisher quite doable.

Jon and I had superb nonstop action on ladyfish to three pounds along with a few fat seatrout: the large live shrimp of November were just the ticket! As we drifted along, I hooked a tarpon weighing around sixty pounds. Although my only leader was a double line, I was able to get the fish on the leader after thirty minutes. The silver king fought spectacularly with an initial series of about a dozen greyhounding leaps.

After that, we ran to the flats for our remaining hour of fishing. The skies were cloudy and the winds were gusting to twenty knots. When we got a dark cloud behind our chum, visibility picked up. I spotted one large bonefish bolt in, then out of the chum. Ten minutes later, I hooked and released a ten-pound bonnethead shark.

Then, time to go in for chores and such- all in all, a fine day!


Sunday, December 17, 2006

Remote Rendezvous

Remote Rendezvous


by Jan S. Maizler
The Ultimate Mothership Adventure

The captain gently eased off the two throttles of the vessel Outpost. It coasted slowly to a silky stop over the crystal clear waters of the Great Bahama Bank. Gentle wavelets lapped against her shiny white hull. Far aloft of the Outpost, a lone seabird flew a long, lazy circle in the deep blue sky.The angler-passengers, guides, and crew onboard were flushed with excitement and anticipation as they waited for the “drop anchor” signal to be given.

Their fervor was understandable — not far in the distance lay the “Horn” of Andros Island’s fabled West Side. The Outpost got its passengers from Red Bays to the Horn in only three hours, briskly yet comfortably. The group had now arrived at their first delicious destination. The time of the cruise en route was filled with dreams of a bonefish, tarpon, and permit bounty that these virgin waters should yield. Clearly, the visions of explorers!

The five anglers and their two Bahamian guides, Stanford and Percy, had another goal besides fishing these new flats and shallows. This was to learn, document, and possibly map out new West Andros hotspots, a bit like Columbus. The prospect for the entire party was electrifying!The anchor was carefully dropped and more line was played out to ensure a good anchor set.

Head guide Stanford Johnson smiled as he gazed at the green mangrove shoreline.For him, this was a return to the home waters of his youth. Recollections of his deep past filled his head — a childhood in the small settlement of Red Bays, with the West side sea at his feet, and planted vegetable gardens inland to feed his village.As he became a teenager, he learned of a growing need of sponges in the markets of Europe. He knew that there were treasure troves of sponges far to the south, deep into the wild West Side. He set forth, and explored as he went, learning the shorelines as he harvested his sponges.Stanford would venture deep into the creeks to catch snappers and crabs for his meals. If he went deeper into the Andros interior, he would eventually find good, drinkable, “sweet water.”

Practically every shoreline and creek was filled with bonefish, and he learned their habits as he worked.When his boat was filled to the brim with sponges, he would travel far north to his village, where a hot meal of conch and vegetables was inevitably waiting. Then, the sponges would have to be pounded into their smooth, familiar pliability; hard work for anyone.These trips not only forged Stanford’s growth into manhood — they also created West Andros’ premier flats guide!

A friendly tap on his shoulder from Scott Heywood pulled him back into real time. Scott told him that both skiffs were being readied. In went the ice chests filled with food and plenty of water. Each skiff was then loaded with a full complement of fly rods and every conceivable “killer” fly. Each boat was then topped off with three anglers and their guide.Stanford would man the lead skiff. Both four stroke engines fired up quickly and quietly, and off they flew towards the Horn of west Andros to make mothership history.

The next seven days of fishing and exploration brought weather both fair and foul, calm and windy, yet the intricacy of the West Andros shorelines and creeks offered features to make fishing possible in almost any conditions.Under the guidance of Stanford and Percy, Scott and his party caught and released tailing bonefish, mudding bonefish, cruising bonefish; fish both large and small, and in every possible way. As a bonus, a nice permit was caught and released.As the West Andros leg of the mothership journey came to an end that evening, the entire group agreed that the week was a resounding success!

The afterglow and joy of fishing The Horn slowly gave way to the excitement of what their next Bahamian destination would offer.The background and operation of the Bahamian mothership Outpost is quite interesting. Scott Heywood and Brad Wolfe at Angling Destinations (; 1-800-211-8530) had, and still enjoy tremendous success putting their client-anglers on traveling motherships in Belize and in the faraway, exotic Seychelles. What they needed was a vessel to explore and fish the most remote and least-pressured parts of the Bahamas.

It was a stroke of good fortune that Scott and Brad were contacted by Captain Fred and Penny Wheeler, who had been running the Outpost in the Key West-Marquesas area.What they found with the Outpost was a vessel that exceeded all the necessary requirements for a Bahamas mothership. Long and spacious as a 61 foot Hatteras yacht, she sported two powerful Isuzu “workhorse” engines. Her hull type was of a shoal draft vessel, an absolute necessity for cruising across the shallow Bahamas Banks. Her reverse osmosis water production plant provided lots of fresh water that would easily meet all daily needs. The Outpost’s air conditioning was so efficient that the guests “hollered uncle” as the temperature plummeted to 68 degrees. Full communications systems were onboard for any and all contingencies. In addition, a satellite T.V. entertained all on onboard, as well as keeping everyone informed.The fishing skiffs and other auxiliary vessels that accompany the Outpost met all needs. There are two flats boats outfitted with quiet four stroke engines, trim tabs and modern pushpoles. There is a flat-bottomed Carolina Skiff for snorkellers and scuba divers. Topping off the vessel selection are kayaks for exploratory eco-tours, or just plain fun.Scott also reported to me that the Outpost can take as many as six passenger-anglers, who can look forward not only to the excellent lodgings, but to delicious meals as well.

I asked Scott to elaborate about Angling Destinations’ commitment to motherships. He responded, “we’re sold completely on the mothership concept.” “It provides so many desirable characteristics. The first, of course, is the freedom to establish a base of operations where there are no existing or desirable facilities — often the case in unpressured, virgin waters. The second is that the mothership provides portability that drastically reduces the length of fishing boat runs to and from the fishing grounds.” The third factor he emphasized was the immense control and consistency in food, lodgings, and clients that chartering a mothership affords.

This intimate experience creates significant interaction between guests, guides, and crew, and Angling Destinations either books groups of pre-existing friends or carefully composes a group of individuals they know quite well. This creates friendships and fellowships that far outlast this exciting voyage!The mothership experience not only creates friendship bonds; it also creates family bonding.

The Outpost is perfect for the needs of any average family, because it has the diversity of features that will please every member: “unlimited” fishing for dad, loads of indoor pleasures for mom, and kayaks and snorkeling for the kids. Each family can begin and end their days together at the galley table, and spend time eating great food and sharing their exciting experiences. Come nightfall, the family can go on deck and enjoy intensely starry heavens unmarred by the bright lights of cities. You can be sure the Outpost will be comfortably moored in the lee of an island, yet far from any bugs, or she’ll be underway to a new destination.Scott feels so enthusiastic about using the mothership for enhanced family experiences.

He said, “the main goal of Angling Destinations is for our clients to enjoy themselves and have fun.”Scott went on to relate an extremely moving story that will soon involve the mothership Outpost. He was recently contacted by the sons and daughters of an aging father whose time “was short.” They said to Scott, “we want to give him the dream trip of a lifetime.” Much like a master chef, Scott prepared an experience on the Outpost for this man and his family sure to leave stardust memories.So, the Outpost literally becomes a family’s private traveling hotel or cruise ship, where the dream of a distant Bahamian island is yours for the asking!

The Outpost also has distinct advantages over land-based camps in the Bahamas. The Outpost’s portability can immediately respond and change cruise plans to avoid severe weather, while a land-based lodge must grin and bear it. The Itinerary can also be immediately modified because of any personal urgency or emergency. Compare this to a land-based camp that often must juggle your needs with ten other anglers — you rightfully begin to get the idea that the mothership is ideal for those needing a high level of personal control and personal freedom.

In small measure, I could appreciate their pioneering efforts, having experienced some great fishing in Mexico, Tahiti, Fanning Island, and Belize. Scott and Brad have created the ultimate freedom where anglers transcend themselves. The Outpost provides such a special and unique opportunity for growth and exploration because of the intimacy of the voyage and the frontier virginity of the areas it visits.

The next chartered destination offered a new group of angler-guests another piece of the “Holy Grail” of Bahamas flats fishing — the fabled Marls of Abaco. The Outpost would arrive at its mooring area west of the Marls and north of Moores Island in a few hours. The Outpost’s positioning strategy was designed to fish the least - visited flats — not only would this offer the most productive flats fishing, it would also coordinate angling efforts not to overlap areas reached and fished by the land-based guides.Abaco, so different from Andros, is more like a fertile, magic crescent. The larger outside of the arc to the north, east, and south of the island offered the sapphire deeps that lured so many bluewater anglers in their huge fifty foot vessels.

Yet, it was the inside of Abaco’s crescent on its west side that pulled on the Outposts’ anglers like a fishy magnet. The Marls of Abaco was calling them! The draw for everyone aboard was to explore the almost infinite number of islands and cays that comprise the area. The anglers knew they would be fishing the epicenter of Abaco’s flats nursery that would offer huge quantities of bonefish.Soon, the Outpost would again drop anchor. Then, starry-eyed anglers and their hawk-eyed guides would man the shallow draft skiffs. Trusty engines would fire up quickly. As the guides pushed their throttles forward, they were also pushing their angler-clients towards shallow water habitat that may have never seen a boat or even a person.

It will be a rare and wonderful opportunity to fish truly new and virgin waters. It will be even more wonderful to do this on flats where the encounter with truly brand-new fish is from sighting to cast, battle, and release. There may very well be seas of silvery bonefish tails grazing over sandy flats only a short distance away. You squat down and slowly begin the Walk of all Walks. You have to contain your excitement. You ease forward like a wading bird, striving for not even the slightest pressure wave. After a million heartbeats, you’re in range for a cast. Breathing deep to steady yourself, you make your presentation perfectly. A dozen fish quickly converge on your fly, and tail up all over it. You strip-strike to a hookup that dumps yards of line off your reel in seconds. Tight lines over white sands under blue skies. You’re in Paradise in another day of life for the Outpost!

Jan Maizler

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Rainy Days...

I've always opted for summer as the model for weather predictability. Wintertime in SOFLA. often means working the weather between fronts for fishable times, yet the severity of the just-past front as well as its duration can feature cool dirty water under sunny warming skies. Add the prefrontal lip of a front and you might add a few more days of rainy, cloudy weather-like we're having now.

This is a time for me to work on the boat and the tackle, as well as picking up backburnered projects for completion. One of these is development of a top secret fishery on a South Pacific island. This suits me just fine.


Monday, December 11, 2006

Back from the Cheeca...

Although a front which blew like a freight train kept me and Captain Greg Poland off the water this weekend, it did nothing to diminish four thoroughly satisfying days at the Cheeca Lodge ( This destination- which had its roots as THE PLACE for the fishing elite- has truly come of age as the ultimate full service resort for travelers to the Florida Keys. I and Florida Sport Fishing Magazine ( ) look forward to telling The Cheeca story.

With the windfall (because it didn't) of extra time on land, my explorations turned up two more jewels which sit on the Purple Islands. One was The Stacie Krupa Gallery(305-517-2631). I spoke with Stacie, who is a Mighty Aphrodite of a woman and a multi media artist steeped in a knowledge of art history. Once I mentioned Oscar Kokoschka, we were off and running. Her work is bold, striking, and often technically perfect.

The other jewel was the impeccable Pierre's at Morada Bay ( I cannot recall such superb food and beverage on the shores of Florida Bay before. Their wine selection, food presentations, and marvelous decor make this a must-visit destination for those that appreciate fine dining.


Friday, December 01, 2006

Bluff House - Green Turtle Cay - Abaco- Bahamas...

Florida Sport Fishing Magazine

DESTINATION FISH: This is no bluff!

AS SEEN IN THE MAY/JUNE 2006 ISSUE By Jan Stephen Maizler

Even though I have always felt that the Abacos offer a rainbow of fishing venues, my recent experience at Green Turtle Cay delivered the proverbial light tackle pot of gold. In retrospect, I cannot recall such large numbers of trophy-sized Bahamian bonefish per square mile in addition to so many strong, hungry reef gamesters tucked into such shallow water.The reasons for this bounty are clear. While Green Turtle Cay is separated from the northeast Abaco mainland by close to two miles of bay, the northeast side of this island features a barrier reef, and then a steep drop into a near abyssal pond called the Atlantic Ocean- where all sorts of fish grow big!

The comparatively small size of Green Turtle Cay and its oceanic position, coupled with the nearby cuts in the reef, allow larger gamesters to approach the island along its eastern shores and work their way west into the bay. But let’s scroll back to the beginning of this adventure, which had its own special brand of excitement.

The planning for my trip and my destination of Bluff House Beach Hotel and fishing with the area’s top flats and light tackle guide, Captain Rick Sawyer, was carefully set in October. This month was supposedly a time of year when hurricanes are on the wane and winter fronts belong to the future. However, a late season storm by the name of Wilma changed all of that. South Florida took a severe beating, as did the northernmost Bahamas. Finally, a month after my original plan called for, I was on a flight from Fort Lauderdale to Treasure Cay, which is on the Abaco mainland, only a couple of miles inshore of Green Turtle.

November brought inevitable changes in climate that ushers in winter to this region. As the plane touched down on the Treasure Cay runway, it was easy to feel the powerful winds of a recently passed front. I grabbed a quick taxi ride to the ferry that would shuttle me across the bay to Green Turtle. As I boarded the vessel with my luggage and rod tube, the cool brisk winds were now joined by a substantial shower, yet the vessel’s ample cabin kept all the passengers snug and dry. The passage to the White Sound area of Green Turtle Cay featured stiff 20 mph winds that created little whitecaps that were barely visible in the waning light. As we got into the lee of the Sound, the wavelets were replaced by the constant splashes of huge schools of balao being savaged by aggressive schools of tarpon. The kings fed with abandon; one forty-pound fish exploded within a few feet of our ferry vessel as it pursued a tasty baitfish. The white water that accompanied its strike gave off a luminous flash that quickly subsided in the darkness.

All these conditions gave me a magic kind of introduction to the Bluff House. The ferry had radioed Bluff House of my arrival, so an attendant with raincoat and a covered golf cart eased my transfer into the resort. My evening registration was accomplished at Bluff House’s Jolly Roger Bar & Bistro. A few quick formalities were followed by friendly welcomes by staff while a colorful libation called a Tranquil Turtle started my evening’s refreshments. I settled into a comfortable waterfront table and dined on a late, first-rate supper of conch, lobster, steak, and Key lime pie.

When my meal was at an end, a staff member drove me to the top of the hill where my room stood. The interior was huge and was set off with luxurious Caribbean appointments. However, the most striking element of this grand room was its exquisite balcony view which overlooked the ocean below.

After settling in, I gave my Green Turtle guide, Captain Rick Sawyer, a call. When we discussed the weather, he said we were in a “squeeze play” between a departing front and an approaching low-pressure system. He said that unless the conditions worsened, we’d be able to fish the next day and would hopefully be able to find some decent action. Those reassuring words, plus my striking nighttime entrance to the island, made deep sleep easy to attain.

Morning came quickly. After preparation, I left my room atop the bluff. As I strolled down the hill towards the Jolly Roger for breakfast, I watched an early morning unfolding which featured a brisk northeast wind under a partly cloudy sky. A hearty breakfast was satisfying and temporarily took away my weather doubts. As I was finishing the last few drops of coffee, I noticed Captain Rick approaching the dock adjacent to my waterfront table. I was pleased to see that his flats fishing rig was a 17 ft. Maverick paired with a 90 horsepower Yamaha four-stroke. The rig looked quite capable of easily handling rough open waters.

As we eased out of White Sound Harbor, we began to lay out our battle plans. It was good that we’d chosen a lunar period that featured neap tides, since the now-rising tide turbocharged by the strong onshore winds made the ocean flats quite deep. Rick said we’d fish the lee sides and western flats of Green Turtle and the cay’s adjoining keys. Our specific poling strategy was to work the sandy strips alongside the pine tree-lined shoreline where visibility would be at its best.In contrast to my own two-stroke engine, Rick’s four-stroke remained quiet when he advanced the throttle.

As we came on plane, he turned his skiff northward and hugged the rocky slopes of the island for wind protection. We crossed a windy cut quite comfortably, and Rick slid his skiff into a winding creek that eventually led to calm water. Around the bend, I could make out another white-capped ocean inlet.As Rick climbed to the poling tower, he encouraged me to use a fresh shrimp with 10lb. spin tackle. He felt spinning gear offered the best cast control during such adverse conditions. The large shrimp would be fine since the wind-riffled surface would muffle the landing of the big bait. As we began to work the sandy shoreline, we spotted a hefty mutton snapper of about 15 pounds roll up along a nearby edge, but the colorful fish quickly bolted at the sight of our skiff. However, this was a good sign that fish were feeding on the flats. Within another minute of poling, Rick spotted a shadow in the distance and instructed me to cast the bait to the two o’clock position within six feet of the shoreline. I quickly complied with an accurate cast, and as the bait settled to the bottom in about twelve inches of water, I too saw the large silhouette ease up to the presentation. It felt like my heart stopped beating as I stood motionless in anticipation. My bait disappeared and instantly my line tightened. I quickly jab-struck the fish a few times for good measure. The line flew off the reel, and I knew I was into a healthy bonefish. In about five minutes, we released a very respectable seven to eight pound bone.

We poled for another half hour without seeing too much. As we rounded another bend, Rick and I both spotted a good-sized ocean tally of about ten pounds tailing forty feet from us next to the shoreline. I simply couldn’t resist, as this is not a typical fish in my home waters of Biscayne Bay. I had an instant take and struck the fish. Much like its predecessor, it gave an excellent fight. As I brought the exhausted battler to the boat, Rick climbed out to unhook and revive the tally before releasing her back into the tropical water. As he climbed back to the poling platform, Rick called my attention to a huge squall line headed our way. Wisely, he felt we should head back to port rather than suffer through this huge gray monster. It was a wise move, since the storm generated gale force winds and torrential rain that blotted out any safe fishing chances for the remainder of the afternoon. Rick and I mapped our contingency plans for the next day as we listened to weather reports back on the island.

Day Two- Hopes of a better day were realized when dawn revealed vastly diminished winds and a greater percentage of blue skies. We left early to maximize the fishing hours I had left. With the high water and low sun, Captain Rick could not resist the opportunity to take me to one of his favorite sunken wrecks. He had no problem finding the site with his handheld GPS and the obvious showering balao. In the few hours we waited for the falling tide, I quickly lost count of the large cero mackerel, big yellowtails, and fat mutton snapper I released using nothing more than an 8lb. spinning rig topped off with a short length of fluorocarbon leader. A white Spro bucktail sweetened with a fresh balao strip was all that was necessary.

As the tide finally began to fall, it was time to head back to the ultra-clear shallows. We quickly ran to a flat on the south side of the island. As we ran the drop-off, we flew over a school of about a hundred bonefish, all of them truly huge. Though the winds were picking up again, Captain Rick ably turned his skiff in pursuit and poled down the flat. We spotted a large mud about fifty feet away, and I made a good cast to the freshest part. In a replay of the day before, my line tightened up and I struck the fish. This was a longer fight, which resulted in the capture and release of a trophy ten-pound bonefish. Though we saw more bonefish on that flat, and all of them were quite large, a freshening wind and time constraints forced us to call it a day. All in all, I had an excellent experience with Captain Rick Sawyer, who expertly guided me in a habitat that may very well be home to the largest bonefish per square mile than any other destination in the Bahamas!

Bluff House Beach Hotel- Bluff House, as I call it, is one of the most beautiful island destinations in the world. Its noble Loyalist past helps create a historically based, Caribbean-motif resort that sits along the slopes atop one of the rare hills not just in the Abacos, but in all of the Bahamas. All the deluxe rooms and suites feature striking ocean views.The activities at Bluff House center around some of the finest fishing, boating, beaching, yachting, trekking, and exploring in the world. Do as little or as much as you want!

Bluff House has been consistent with their Atlantic hideaway philosophy: there are no televisions or phones in the rooms. However, there is a television in the lounge of the Clubhouse. There are also televisions with tapes and videos for rent. In the event of necessary communications, there are fax, internet, and phone services available in the main office.*Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are served waterside at the Jolly Roger Bar and Bistro. Other special events can be handled at the Clubhouse atop the hill.* Bluff House features a delightful fresh water pool and newly refurbished tennis court. There are two gift shops at Bluff House. Aladdin’s Cave is located in the main office and The Low Tide Gift Shop is located next to the Jolly Roger* Bluff House offers a total range of top guides, services, and rentals for every conceivable fishing, boating, diving, and beach activity.*Golf cart rentals are available so you can explore the entirety of this magnificent island on your own.

Bluff House Beach Hotel,
Green Turtle CayAbaco, Bahamas

Captain Rick Sawyer
Green Turtle CayAbaco, Bahamas

TRANSPORTATION- You can fly direct from Fort Lauderdale on Continental/Gulfstream to Treasure Cay, Abaco. Take a five- minute taxi ride from the airport to the Ferry Dock. The ferry, which runs every hour, will whisk you to Green Turtle Cay for $10.00 per person. Tell the pilot you’re going to Bluff House and they’ll have someone waiting as you get off right at the Bluff House Dock.NEW PLYMOUTH- Be sure to rent a golf cart and visit New Plymouth, which is the main town of Green Turtle Cay. Located on the southwest side of the island, it is one of the oldest townships in the Bahamas. Plan on visiting the Albert Lowe Museum, Vert’s Model Ships, The Loyalists’ Sculpture Garden, The Historic Jail, and the fine local restaurants and shops.

Jan Maizler for
Florida Sport Fishing Magazine

Back at Biscayne Bay...

Windy weather is prevailing out of the southeast at 20 knots- this did not make the tarpon happy. In contrast, silver kings like the gusty stuff at nights to push crunchy snacks like crabs towards bridge pilings. But in the rising sun and open water situations, not so. I saw a few roll quickly- not the slow tipping or slurping rolls I like to see. I did catch a small king mackeral of 4 lbs. and a large gray snapper of 3 lbs., both of which made it pleasant. As I worked a seawall, 2 large jacks pushing 20 lbs. blasted one of the remaining finger mullet of a tepid fall run. I flipped a TerrorEyz into the melee, but the bullies wanted real meat.


Monday, November 27, 2006

Looking Back Over the Year...

It's time to say "thanks" to some fantastic people and incredible destinations that have made it a banner year for this writer.

* Captain Tadd Van Der Mark and Ranger Boats- Florida Bay, Florida
* Buck Buchenroth and Southern Cross Club- Little Cayman Island, BWI
* Captain Samuel Knowles and Samuel Knowles Bonefish Adventures- Long Island, Bahamas
* Captain Brian Hillier and Naden Lodge- Queen Charlotte Islands, British Columbia
* Captain Clint Goyette, Valley Fishing Guide Service- Whistler, British Columbia
* The Space Coast Office of Tourism- Melbourne, Cocoa, Titusville, Florida
* Captain Brian Pahmeier and East Cape Canoe Boats- Titusville, Florida
* Saint Johns Tourist Authority- Saint Johns, New Brunswick
* Destination Halifax (Deanna Wilmshurst)- Halifax, Nova Scotia
* and Captain Alan Zaremba-Miami. Florida
* Bobby Settles and Casa Blanca Lodge- Ascension Bay, Quintana Roo, Mexico
* Cheeca Lodge- Islamorada, Florida Keys, Florida


Friday, November 24, 2006

Attractions for Angling Families in the Canadian Maritimes- Part 2

Attractions for Angling Families in the Canadian Maritimes- Part 2


Jan Stephen Maizler

As our Peggy’s Cove experience came to an end, Deanna headed back to the city for our next destination. As our sojourn took us through multi-colored forests set off by striking coves, bays, and lakes, Deanna told us more about the people and fishing of Halifax and its surrounds.

Halifax boasts a population of over 300,000 and its people are called Haligonians. A large number of these people are employed in some water-based enterprise since Halifax has one of the largest ports in the hemisphere.

The major fishing operations out of Halifax are seasonal commercial harvesting of herring and lobster- this is generally done offshore. Regarding sport fishing out of the harbor, there are some party boats that take out customers during the summer for bottom fishing as well as jigging for mackerel.

The inland fisheries north of Halifax offer fly and light tackle sport fishing for salmon, trout, and smallmouth bass. On the most northern fringes of Nova Scotia, there is excellent ocean sport fishing for bluefin tuna and swordfish.

In the Nova Scotia countryside there are numerous bed and breakfasts. The most common recreational activities are trekking, cycling, horseback riding, kayaking, and sailing. The outside orientation of these offerings makes them especially desirable and appropriate for anglers and their families. There are numerous four-star restaurants that offer just the right cuisine choices to fuel or top off a day in the outdoors.

In what seemed in no time at all, we were climbing a hill in which the expansive Halifax Citadel came into view ( - National Historic Sites). After parking, we were joined at the entrance by a 78th Highlander who gave us a thorough tour and history of this fascinating structure. We also heard a live performance of the bagpipes, saw the noon cannon firing ceremony, and enjoyed a delightful lunch with the same 78th Highlander. The Halifax Citadel is a must-see attraction in this wonderful city.

Our next step was a tour of the Halifax waterfront. What made this an especially exciting prospect was that this would be done on the land and water via the amphibious Harbour Hopper ( ). After we boarded this impressive car-vessel, we received some safety and comfort tips. After touring downtown Halifax, we headed towards the harbor. After turning a corner, we eased down a launch ramp into the water and embarked on a pleasant tour with striking views.

The last attraction of our day in Halifax was Pier 21 ( ), which is Canada’s Ellis Island. Stefani Angelopoulos, the Communications Manager of Pier 21, made this experience unforgettable. After we toured the museum, we attended the multi-media film and video presentation. This was extremely moving and a dry eye was a rarity in my group.

Pier 21 chronicles Canada’s humane open-arms approach to the people of our planet. Pier 21 and indeed, my entire time in the Canadian Maritimes emphasized again and again why America is lucky to have Canada as its northern neighbor.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Jan Maizler Field Test #2- Yucatan Mexico

When I traveled to Casa Blanca Lodge in Ascension Bay last week, I relied on Spro bucktails for my artificial lure needs. On the flats, I used the 1/8 ounce yellow Baby Bucktail. In deeper waters, I used the 1/2 ounce white Prime Bucktail.

Here are the species I hooked and/or caught with both of these lures: bonefish, tarpon, permit, barracuda, ladyfish, jacks, blue runners, mutton snapper, lane snapper, mangrove snapper, and cero mackeral. These lures performed beautifully with tantalizing action. It was easy to get solid hookups with the Gamakatsu razor- sharp hooks. I experienced minimal bucktail breakup because of the lure's excellent construction.

Jan Maizler

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Attractions for Angling Families in the Canadian Maritimes- Part 1

Attractions for Angling Families in the Canadian Maritimes- Part 1


Jan Stephen Maizler

I realized a life long dream in visiting the Canadian Atlantic and Maritimes areas this October. It turned out to be everything I’d hoped it would, and so much more. The people are incredibly friendly, a pleasantry that visitors to Canada are made aware of again and again. The habitat of the region is striking and replete with verdant multi-colored forests, streams, rivers, and coves with waterfront homes and sailboats moored a short way off. The coastlines were sculpted with bold gray rocks and topped off with lighthouses, almost like a grand ice cream sundae concocted for fall adventurers touring the region.

Although I was to fish my way through the entire region, the second massive cold front of the season dropped temperatures, added rain, and served up some very chilly temps. This was no problem for me, because this weather belongs to the Maritimes during this season. More importantly, I’d have more time to explore the sights, sounds, offerings, and the attractions that would be of appeal to the anglers- as well as their families- who would come to fish here in the future.

I booked passage on the Carnival Victory ( This turned out to be an ideal mode of transportation. Every need was taken care of and we sailed around the area on high seas, bays, and inlets.

Saint John/Bay of Fundy, New Brunswick-

The first Maritimes port of call was Saint John/ Bay of Fundy, New Brunswick ( Our actual arrival was on an early morning that featured cool, brisk weather with an occasional light shower. As the ship docked and prepared for disembarking, I was ready for a tour that I’d worked out and chosen months earlier. Based on thorough research of this destination, I’d chosen a venue that included the city of Saint John itself, City Market, Reversing Falls Rapids, and the village of St. Martins.

As the ship was “cleared”, I was excited to be in a coastal destination that featured the world’s highest tides. As a Florida angler, my usual tide-change heights of a few feet were no match for this exciting region which featured rises and falls of as much as 28 feet! The daylong sojourn was being handled by Aquila Tours (

Once onboard the comfortable Tourbus, we made the short trip through Saint John to the Reversing Falls Rapids. The sight of such huge volumes of water racing at breakneck speed in multiple directions was novel, exciting, and downright humbling. A thorough discussion by our guide made this magnificent spectacle quite meaningful. As the bus resumed its journey back to the town’s center, afterimages of the river cascaded through my mind’s eye.

The next stop was Market Square in Saint John. This centralized attraction features delectable fresh fruits, vegetables, meats, (of course) local seafood, and practically any larder for the northern kitchen. The proprietors arranged their food items for display in floral patterns reminiscent of the shops of Nice and Barcelona. In addition, don’t be surprised if a shop owner presses you to sample a piece of dried dulce seaweed!

Our next destination was the quaint and idyllic fishing village of St. Martins. We arrived at low tide to find the lobster and herring fleet sitting on wood frames that would help buttress the boat’s keels as the vessels were completely aground at low tide! This quaint and extremely pleasurable village features a small lighthouse, two covered bridges, and a tidal cove that would satisfy the most demanding travelers or traveling photographers.

The climax of our St. Martins excursion was twofold. We lunched at the Huttge’s family’s famous oceanside Caves Restaurant on homemade biscuits and rich seafood chowder. After our repast, our guide encouraged us to explore the tidal caves in the distance. She advised us as well to scour the rocky low tide beach for “rocks with rings” that were sure to bring good luck.

When we returned to the Saint John seaport in the evening, it was time for the Victory to set sail for Halifax: one night and a full day would bring us to this must-see destination.

Halifax, Nova Scotia-

My party and I were especially lucky to plan and spend our day in Halifax with someone so qualified to familiarize us so completely: Deanna Wilmshurst, the Communications Manager of Destination Halifax ( ). Our itinerary was such an exciting and thorough venue: Peggy’s Cove, the Halifax Citadel, the Halifax Waterfront via the Harbour Hopper, and finally, Pier 21. These wonderful attractions are “stand-alone” excellent, yet when they’re combined with a fishing trip in this region, memorable becomes unforgettable, as it did for me.

Upon arrival, our ship debarked in cold clear weather- a perfect day for touring! Deanna picked us up in her spacious van and whisked us off to Peggy’s Cove. On the hour-long drive, we passed through countless hills, lakes, and multi-colored forests of fall. I did spot some fish that I was relatively sure were smallmouth bass. Peggy’s Cove is an unforgettably beautiful rugged coastal fishing village. It is highlighted by some of the most majestic rocks and lighthouse scenes I have ever seen. In the cold high winds, we climbed the rocks to the base of the lighthouse, which had a cozy post office at its base. In the enveloping warm sanctuary, postal officials were proud to tell us this was their nation’s smallest post office! Upon our descent, Deanna surprised us with hot gingerbread and lemon sauce and took us into a native watercolorist’s art gallery for an excellent display of painted work.

(to be continued)…

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Back From Casa Blanca...

It truly was a week to remember at Casa Blanca Lodge ( . Managing owner/partner Bobby Settles, fishing and fleet coordinator Mark Hamilton as well as hotel operator Maria work together to create and maintain an operation with "Swiss watch" efficiency in the midst of a splendid Mayan wonderland. In a cascade of days that bought all kinds of weather-sunny, cloudy, windy, and calm-the flats fishing remained steady. My personal results were the hunting, catching, and releasing of 14 bonefish to 4 pounds and 4 permit to 27 pounds.

Casa Blanca Lodge and its sister lodge Playa Blanca lie in the midst of the Sian Ka'an Biosphere- Mayan for Birthplace of the Sky-on the Quintana Roo coast of the Yucatan peninsula. Both of these magnificent destinations offer a cornucopia of life replete with palms, rocky beaches, sugar sand beaches, pelicans, dolphins, frigate birds, iguanas, caimans, and of course, the Big Three of flats fishing.

On one star-studded night off Casa's pier, I jumped a 40-pound tarpon on one cast and hooked and released a 10-pound permit on the next cast! One memorable afternoon, I caught and released 2 bonefish right in the midst of their bonefish skiffs which are moored against the beach. Experiences like this are quite unusual for Caribbean fishing destinations and make magical memories. The rest of the time, my fishing was from a 16-foot Dolphin Super Skiff under the able guidance of guide Agustin.

There's a great deal more to be shared about my Casa Blanca Experience.


Friday, November 03, 2006

Bounty on the Fringe of a Front....

Under the leaky, leaden skies of prefrontal Florida, sight fishing for bones under a dawn high tide was a bad idea. Last week's fishing provided more than enough data that the open parts of North Biscayne Bay were too chilly and fresh for tarpon. In this transitional time, it was a good idea to fish the calmer, more enclosed adjacent canals that lead inland-this turned out to be the right strategy. I found a swarm of tarpon far up a SFWMD canal, and released two out of three fish hooked. These fall tarpon generally run to thirty pounds, and are delightful high-jumping battlers. Coupled with the news from my editor that my new book on fishing the flats of Florida was entering production made it a fine morning indeed!

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Fall's Realization at Self-Assertion...

As a full-fledged front sweeps the state of Florida-its "foot" giving a little taste to the Yucatan Channel as well-the fishing is changing in SOFLA. It's now a windier, cooler world down here, with daylight savings poised for another clock change and as jack o' lanterns go up in the windows and porches of traditional Americanos.

My scouting trip yesterday in North Biscayne Bay was a sour soupy enterprise and yielded few happy discoveries. Prefrontal winds were up to 20 mph and the Bay was baitless from Haulover to Government Cut, save a patch of finger mullet tucked up into the lee of a Miami Beach indentation. All of that had me rethinking that better plans would have inculded catching the incoming tide at Stiltsville for bonefish. I took refuge in the mantra, "such is fishing", but wondered whether that self-utterance wasn't becomimg my consolation prize of the last two weeks.

That said, I headed to the grass flats in the hopes of some action. The final results were a few nice seatrout that would only strike fresh pinfish fillets. I was glad that hair hooks, split shot, and a bit o' bait are always part of my North Bay kit!


Sunday, October 22, 2006

Looking Forward to Casa Blanca Lodge...

It's with great pleasure and excitement that I look forward to traveling to Casa Blanca Lodge right in the midst of Ascension Bay off Mexico's Quintana Roo state. Their website is .

For traveling anglers headed to the Yucatan Peninsula, visiting this destination is like getting a new Lexus on Christmas morning. In other words, their reputation is stellar. In addition, I'll be visiting its sister lodge, Playa Blanca, on Espirito Santo Bay. Both habitats offer vast flats for bonefish and permit as well as lagoons, canals, and bays for snook and tarpon. Florida Sport Fishing Magazine looks forward to telling the Casa Blanca story to all of its readers.


Sunday, October 15, 2006

Fall's Arrival in South Florida

It has been torrid in SOFLA. To this angler, it looked like the days of summer would never scram, despite the daily shortening of daylight. This morning carries gustier, drier and cooler air from the Far North and the Gulf Stream is "humping up." These are welcome signs!

Two days ago, on a much too August-like Friday, I fished the flats around Key Biscayne and northern Stiltsville. There were a few schools of finger mullet showing up. When these schools passed through structure like pilings or over rocks, the snook came out to feed on them. Using a small DOA TerrorEyz, I released two small snook. I pulled in a school of bonefish from the crown of a flat and hooked a honker, but lost the fish as it ran into a channel and hung me on a submerged lobster trap line.


Saturday, October 14, 2006

Canadian Maritimes....


If you are a Florida writer-like myself- who also covers destinations outside this state, you know the importance of developing and maintaining solid contacts in these venues. I’ve just returned from the Canadian Maritimes and Atlantic Coast. The following contact data is composed of professionals who were profoundly helpful in the generation of ideas, facts, and services for story development and image support. If you are headed towards this region or mulling over international destinations, you’ll find these good people invaluable.

Saint John/Bay of Fundy, New Brunswick, Canada

1.Margaret Totten
Tourism Saint John
POBox 1971
Saint John, NB, Ca. E2L 4L1
Telephone: 506-649-6046
Fax: 506-632-6118

2.Beth Kelly, CTP
Aquila Tours
POBox 6895
Saint John, NB, Ca. E2L 4S3
Direct Line Telephone: 506-631-0142
Telephone: 506-633-1224
Fax: 506-658-0969

Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

1.Deanna Wilmshurst
Communications Manager
Destination Halifax
1800 Argyle Street, suite 802
Halifax, NS, Ca. B3J 3N8
Phone: 902-423-1133
Fax: 902-492-3175

It appeared to me that the lake, stream, coastline, and offshore sportfishery had not been developed fully: this fact gives the region and its beautiful habitat excellent potential. Wildlife is prevalent in this region and the whole area had striking fall colors at the time of my visit. I’m happy to answer any further questions.

Jan Maizler

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Thanks, Captain Alan !

A fishing trip today with Captain Alan Zaremba was a great way to ease back into Miami urban life. Under his tutellage, we fished the Magic City's canal system and did remarkably well using lures with light spin and plug tackle. By 11 a.m. this morning, we had released 26 peacock bass, 5 largemouth bass, and 1 jaguar guapote. It was a pleasure fishing with him, and it's likely he is South Florida's Supreme Peacock Authority.

Captain Alan's website is and his email is . His phone is 954-961-0877.

While we fished, he told me of some adventurous tales of huge peacocks in the rivers of the Brazilian rain forest. Captain Alan offers wilderness Peacock charters in Brazil as well as his marvelous mainstay Peacock fishing in Dade and Broward counties. I'll be writing a great deal more on Captain Alan in the near future.


Saturday, October 07, 2006

Back From The Canadian Maritimes...

There is so much to say about this magical region. My travels focused on Halifax, Nova Scotia as well as Saint John, New Brunswick.

These provinces are abundant with fish, lots of wildlife, and some unforgettable geography. Like a fine wine, these regions will be slowly savored on the palette of my experiences and ultimately well-and-thoughtfully described. What a marvelous corner of the earth!


Friday, September 29, 2006

Fall's Attempt at Self-Assertion...

The day began chilly, featuring northwest winds of 15 mph- and did the tarpon ever feel it! Bushwacked by the half-alive ghost of a front from Canada, the silver kings rolled less and struck less. I jumped off one fish of fifty pounds and had another forty-pounder do a see-saw/channel drop cutoff of my double line just before the leader touched the tip-top of my rod. Such is fishing!

Disappointed but not dejected, I ran to the grassflats and consoled myself by catching and releasing a few small seatrout. By midday, the cumulus clouds were building up with the radiant heat of Indian Summer in South Florida, giving fall's early morning strut a real slapdown!

The whole outing would have been far more fertile had the mullet run reached Biscayne Bay. It has not, but hopes run high.


Friday, September 22, 2006

Fall Staging Begins...

As Helen gets punted towards England by a "cold front", Florida East Coast anglers await the muller run. Though the little critters have not appeared, tarpon and snook are staging at ocean junctures and feeding quite well. On plug tackle armed with a DOA BaitBuster, I caught one 6-pound snook, jumped 2 tarpon around 60-pounds, and released a tiny tarpon around 10-pounds. Waiting for the fall migration is a bit like the savoring anticipation of a first date kiss.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Clash of the Titans?

It's quiet on the beaches of Miami. Stars shimmer in the cloudness heavens-all of it bathed in silence. Yet for all the Gold Coast calm, if our limited senses lost limits, we'd be soul-traveling to the east far out to the high seas of the Atlantic where two giant forces are moving towards collision. Though this event may be silent for others, it won't be for me. That's the magic and inspiration.

In a practical sense, I feel every good angler should have a keen weather sense to achieve optimized results and personal evolution.

I don't think it's often we find a front and a 'cane so "on course" with each other. Presumably, the 'cane will slide to the North-Northeast as the front eases it up and along.

For me, it's another addition to the planetary scrapbook that keeps me in perpetual awe.


Saturday, September 16, 2006

Space Coast Fishing Bonanza with Get1Charters...

Space Coast Fishing Bonanza


Jan Maizler

Photography by Jan Maizler

Even though it would take another month to complete the angling portion of my Space Coast expedition, the results could not have been any better. Under the shrewd guidance of Captain Bryan Pahmeier, the Indian River off Titusville, Florida yielded a bounty of gamefish.

Fitting in this fishing trip was a bit like people squeezing in the subway- a bit of pushing, shoving, and rearranging, but generally leading to "all hands on deck." What this looked like was a "night-before" scoot from Miami to Titusville on I-95, a trip of four hours. I spent the night at the crisp Hampton Inn at Exit 215, which put me only twenty minutes away from Parish Park where Bryan would launch his boat.

After a night of the excited, tossing and turning sleep that only a true angler understands, I prepared myself and drove down to the boat ramp. I recognized Bryan and his impressive flats rig: it was an 18-foot East Cape Skiff powered by a brand new Honda electrostart tiller handle model.

It was important for us to get a quick start so we could arrive on the flats as early as possible. This strategy would place us at the epicenter of the rising and tipping redfish tails that would greet the early light of dawn. As we headed away from the ramp into a patch of lighter sky that would eventually become the day, Bryan remarked on the excellent conditions.

In no more than twenty minutes, Bryan slowed his skiff down and cut the engine. In five minutes more, he was pointing out the first school of tailing redfish with his trusty pushpole. I flicked out a fifty- foot cast with one of his spin outfits and the plastic jerkbait landed right in front of the tailing fish. It took two easy flicks of my wrist and...pow!... I was hooked up. After an excellent ten minute fight of two long runs and lots of surface thrashes, we released a big redfish over 15 pounds.

Over the next four hours, I stopped counting after redfish number twelve. Amidst countless leaping mullet, rolling dolphin, bellowing 'gators, and circling osprey, we enjoyed nonstop action with Captain Bryan's excellent guiding.

We also spotted numerous tarpon, but I was far more interested in plugging for the snook that Bryan was pointing out. I used a dancing surface plug at first and had three good snook strikes: they would not connect because the bow wave of the strike shoved the plug into the air. As soon as I tossed a jerkbait under that same mangrove point, I had a solid hookup and was soon releasing a 5-pound snook.

We reached a point where I had to call it a day for other commitments, yet I was thoroughly satisfied. There'll be more to report on Captain Bryan and his Space Coast bonanza, but that story and its telling belongs to another place and time...

Captain Bryan Pahmeier
Get 1 Charters
Titusville, Florida
Telephones- 1-321-698-4381, 1-321-268-5266

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Looking Forward to Cheeca Lodge...

I am pleased to announce that the world-famous Cheeca Lodge ( is on my list of destinations. The location of this magnificent resort is in the heart of Islamorada in the Florida Keys- " The Sport Fishing Capital of the World." Flats Grand Slams are common here, and Islamorada has the largest numbers of huge trophy bonefish in the entire Western Hemisphere, if not the world. Last year, the winter sailfishing offshore featured record numbers of spindlebeaks- over two hundred-being released in three-day tournaments.

The Cheeca mirrors and embodies the same five-star status of the fishing and waters that surrounds it! I'll be writing a great deal more about The Cheeca in the future.


Friday, September 08, 2006

A Bone is a Bone Wherever It Be...

A fine full moon Friday it was today. The rising sun carved a cornflower blue pocket out of the indigo night sky, providing me with a heavenly bearing as I steered my skiff towards a mangrove-studded beach. Behind me, the moon was dropping down into the horizon, surrendering the very same firmament to the bright yellow adversary it had bested during yesterday's dusk.

This "lune" of a moon was pushing a thick boiling incoming tide around Key Biscayne and into Biscayne Bay. As soon as my depth recorder showed the 15- foot deep channel shallowing where the flat begun, I cut my engine, and eased the anchor overboard. As my skiff pulled tight against the anchor line, I could hear the water rushing by my skiff with a momentum that would demand a bucktail jig of at least 1/2-ounce. In the low light, it was impossible to sight fish the beach flat, so I planned on casting the contoured dropoff until I could see into the water.

I rigged my plug tackle with a 1/2 ounce white Spro bucktail and tipped it with a shrimp tail. I cast the lure upcurrent and fished it along the bottom. The line came tight on the second sweep of the rod and I struck my unseen opponent. After a strong five minute battle, I brought a six-pound green jack alongside my skiff and released it. The next cast produced a five-pound mutton snapper, which I released. Two casts later, I'd caught a three-pound mojarra-this was quite large for this species. The next hour of incoming tide produced this same kind of delightful potluck merry-go-round action.

At this point, the rising sun had given me the visibility into the water I needed. I repositioned the boat farther onto the flat and tossed out a chum tube full of chopped live shrimp about 15 feet "downstream" of my bow. It took about twenty minutes for the scent to do its work, but the wait paid off as two big submarine forms tracked towards the skiff. I made a perfect cast and the lead fish of the pair gobbled my crunchy breakfast offering. The fish fought with the renewed vigor a spring tide current usually bestows on summer's heat-besotted waters. It made three good runs of at least seventy yards, then fifty yards, then twenty yards.

As I brought the fish alongside my skiff, I could see it was between between nine and ten pounds. I reflected that this trophy fish was taken no more that fifteen minutes from the boat ramp and in clear sight of Miami's skyscrapers. I considered the fact that this fish would not have been the slightest bit more exciting if it had been hooked on the atoll flats of the South Pacific or the pancake flats or beaches of Los Roques. Even though travel is one of my greatest passions- even bordering on obsession- ultimately, when I "wet" a line, for me it's always the fish, the fish, the fish!


Monday, September 04, 2006

Goodbye, Steve...

In South Florida this morning, the copious showers morphed to heavenly sobs as I opened YahooNews and read the headlines that Steve Irwin was killed by a stingray today in the waters off Cairns.

Steve had a profoundly personal meaning for me- not the least of which were his total lack of pretension, infectious enthusiam, love of adventure, and love for the animal world. He knew nothing of boredom and better yet, no need to be "cool." In this day where matching Supplex ensembles, scarves, and tented caps spawn Lawrence of Arabia clones, Steve's khakis and boots were a real breath of fresh air.

As he swam over a creature that he meant no harm to, the ray reacted wildly as it flexed its body, and drove its barb into his chest in a moment of underwater Caeserian irony. Yet the ray was doing "what it does", as was Steve and he died in his greatest moments of love and inspiration. How many people can lay claim to that? For the future finger-waggers, I'll also point out that "caution" is a relative term that rarely finds its way alongside inspiration or, take your choice. He did!


Sunday, September 03, 2006

A British Columbia Fishing Adventure

A British Columbia Fishing Adventure

By Jan Stephen Maizler

Photography by Art Blank

The plans to fish the fabulous rivers and streams of British Columbia with Professional Angling Guide Clint Goyette of Valley Fishing Guides were long in the making: by winter of 2005, my photographer Art Blank and I knew we’d be there in July of 2006. Though there were some interesting assignments that kept me busy in the interim, I especially hankered for Canadian fishing where sight casting for trout and salmon in crystal clear knee-deep water was the method.

The time finally arrived and we landed in Vancouver. We’d secured a rental car well in advance knowing we’d probably be meeting Clint in Squamish or Whistler, which are both simple one or two hours drives from the Vancouver International Airport. A quick call from my cell phone confirmed we’d meet in Squamish. The drive through the beautiful Vancouver was simple, and the further north we went, the more striking the terrain became- it was as if with each few miles traveled on the Sea to Sky Highway, snow-capped mountains sprouted up for our pleasure.

It wasn’t long before Art had driven into the center of Squamish, where we spotted Clint’s SUV. After we picked up some terminal tackle, we lunched at a popular restaurant set right alongside the Squamish River. As we dined on pasta, salads, and cold Molson beer, Clint explained that the recent hot weather that had melted some snow up in the mountains had the rivers swollen with “glacially-silted “ water- this would limit the number of choices of streams, but would not be an overwhelming problem.

After lunch, we caravanned to Whistler, which turned out to be an exquisite resort city. Clint then checked us in to the beautiful Greystone Lodge ( We found our two-bedroom suite to be luxurious and provided with all the amenities. After check-in, the afternoon had matured and dusk was not far off. It was time to fish!

We hopped in Clint’s vehicle and he drove us to nearby Green Lake. We geared up with waders, flippers, and float tubes and walked a short distance to the lake’s edge. After a short period of instruction by Clint, we eased into the water and over to the area where an underwater bank dropped off from three feet to ten feet. As the sun set over snow-capped glorious mountains, the trout started rising on insects. In the next two hours, we released about twenty rainbow trout to 12 inches on ultralight fly and spin tackle. Before we knew it, pitch darkness emerged and encouraged us to quit fishing for that day. After a quick dinner at a fashionable crepe restaurant in Whistler, we retired for the night feeling thoroughly satisfied looking back on the day’s action, and looking forward to the wake-up by Clint six a.m.the next morning for more adventure.

The wake-up knock seemed only an hour or two later, but clearly an eight-hour night had passed. In seemingly no time at all, we were headed north to the streams of Pemberton. We had to access the streams through the bush and when we emerged, Clint found their condition and fishability to be in excellent shape. We were geared up with light spinning tackle and small spoons as well as large spinners. Art recorded our every move with his trusty digital camera. The first few streams held some nice char, and I released one beautiful specimen about five pounds and pulled the hook on two more. As we trekked further down the river system, we saw many Chinook salmon from twenty to thirty pounds. I briefly hooked one of these magnificent fish in knee-deep water, but its’ violent head thrashing threw the barbless hook on the spoon I’d been using. We saw many more salmon on this day, but they were slow to strike. Clint laughed as he explained the advantage a giant Chinook has over the angler once the fish “got its head” and rocketed downstream- there would be no stopping it! As the day neared an end, Art and I were thoroughly impressed: the size of this fish, racing waters, and snow-capped mountains created an enormous thrill for two Florida flats fishermen.

Oufitter: Clint Goyette/Valley Fishing Guides, Ltd.
Telephone: 1-877-85TROUT, 1-604-938-4458
Website: -

Thursday, August 31, 2006

At the Crossroads of Indian Summer with Big "E"...

Even though using the term, " Post-Ernesto," has the same oxymoronic tribute and shaky credence as genuflecting to a wind devil of newspapers in some Manhattan alley, we could say conditions momentarily changed-but not much. I only keep my eyes on NOAA, since the commercial channels-mindful of the Nielsen ratings given off by spectacularity ("look at that palm frond wiggling!")- had reporters out in droves in their all-too-familiar foul weather gear. Problem was, there was not much of a problem. It is crucial to be cautious, but "incautious" to go crazy when a threat is not a threat. SOFla. residents engulfed the gas stations and food stores either stoked by commercial TV's Ernesto fanfare or under the dark spell of the PTSD panic Ernesto dug up from the cyclone graveyard with not-yet-dead ghosts like Wilma, Katrina, Ivan, et. al. Max Mayfield called the storm "mediocre", which may be a meteorological way of saying, "not much."

So the secret, then, is really, stay calm and carefully watch the development or devolvement of the storm system, prepare with temperate timeliness, and stay abreast with NOAA.

Back in the world of summer, early mornings on the flats of South Biscayne Bay has some bonefish moving along and some rolling tarpon in some basins and channels-if you know where to look.

I'll be looking towards reporting on a July trip I made to the streams of British Columbia with Valley Fishing's Clint Goyette for char and chinook as well as look forward to Space Coast redfish and Maine stripers.


Sunday, August 20, 2006

Indian Summer Bonefish and Travel Talk...

This last Friday saw good numbers of dawn tarpon, permit, and bonefish. As a " Japanese sunrise" unfolded, I tossed a live crab upcurrent of a stilt house. In moments, a big permit's bulged head surged through the water's surface, gulped the crab, and cut me off on the pilings in less time than this sentence takes to read. After running a mile north to Mashta Point, I found tarpon rolling in Cape Florida-they were "happy," but unresponsive to flies, jigs, plugs, crabs, or shrimp. How different these fish are from their silvery comrades in North Bay! As the sun rose, I eased up on a sandbar that featured a good flow of falling tide: a bit of chum and in a flew a nice-sized bonefish. A quick cast well upcurrent of the fish sunk the shrimp to its level and the bone gulped it down. Five minutes later, I released a beautiful six-pound specimen into summer seas and an eastern sun.

When my engine starting tilting up by itself moments later, I tried the engine tilt switch and found it was shorting out. I managed to stabilize it long enough to come back to the marina and made a short day of it. I later learned more about what I could have disconnected to stop that "Sorcerer's Apprentice" behavior from my mechanic-next time (never, I hope), I'll know better.

Back in the shade, I dwelled on rememberances of "places past". I had some time and chronicled some destinations-each place was a uniquely-colored building block that, together with the rest, made a mosaic of recollected adventures, pleasures, and friends. Some destinations were deliberately for fishing, where I lugged rod tubes all over the globe. Other destinations offered fishing as a co-feature rather than a primary purpose, and then I generally toted a small travel pack with a five-piece rod and ultralight reels. Still others revealed fishing I did not anticipate and the best I could do was dream and drool. Here are some of them. Maybe you've been there or you plan on going....In any case, good luck and safe traveling!

Jan Maizler Angling Partial Travelography

-Prince of Wales Island

--The Marls
--Sandy Point
--Green Turtle Cay
--North and Middle Bights
--Fresh and Cargill Creek
--Small Hope Bay
-Bimini, North and South
-Grand Bahama Island-
--Water Cay
--South Side
-Long Island-
--Deadman’s Cay Region
-Little San Salvador Island
-Coco Cay (Little Stirrup)

-Goff’s Caye
-Belize City
-Belize River
-"Big" Flat

-Salinas/salt pans
-Lac Bay

British Columbia-
-Masset, Queen Charlotte Islands

Central America-
-Costa Rica- Tortuguero Canals
-Panama- Gatun Lake


Fanning Island, South Pacific-English Harbor

-Sanibel/Captiva/Pine Island/San Carlos Bay
-Rookery Bay/Naples
-Biscayne Bay
-Key Largo
-Little Torch Key/Contents
-Key West
-Punta Gorda
-Charlotte Harbor/Cape Haze
-Mosquito Lagoon/Indian River

-Port Antonio
-Black River

Grand Cayman Island, British West Indies
Little Cayman Island, British West Indies

Mexico- Riviera Section-
-Cabo San Lucas
-Puerto Vallarta

Mexico- Yucatan/Quintana Roo State-
-Cozumel- flats, drop, and offshore
-Xel Ha/ Tulum south flats
-Ascension Bay
-Bahia Espiritu Santo

Bay Islands, Honduras-

Windward and Leeward Islands
-Jost Van Dyke, British Virgin Islands
-St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands
-St. Martin
-Saint Lucia

American Errata-
-Cape Hatteras, North Carolina
-Franklin, North Carolina
-Cowee Valley, North Carolina
-Long Island, New York
-Portland, Maine
-Ocean City, Maryland
-Savannah, Georgia
-St. Augustine, Florida
-San Francisco Bay, California
-Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Jan Maizler Partial Travelography/Residence

Antilles-Lesser and Greater-
San Juan, Puerto Rico

-Montego Bay
-Ocho Rios
-Spanish Town

-New Providence/Nassau
-Salt Cay

Central America-
-Mexico City- Residence
-Playa del Carmen

Costa Rica-

-Panama Canal

-Belize City










-St.Tropez/Nice/Blue Coast



-Lake Como

-Golan Heights/Mount Herman
-Dead Sea/Masada
-Tel Aviv


Morocco, Spanish-


Windward, Leeward, and ABC Islands-
-St. Johns, Trunk Bay
-St. Kitts

South Pacific-
-Tahitian Islands-
-Hawaiian Islands
--Hawaii/Big Island

Canadian Maritimes-
--Saint Martins, New Brunswick
--Saint John, New Brunswick
--Halifax, Nova Scotia

Jan Maizler

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

The Dog Days

Ambient heat pervades the biosphere. Nightime sweltering skies sound soft, unless the rolling leviathan thunderheads move in, throwing fiery bolts and heaven-shaking booms that say, "Thor's hammer is here." The rising sun burns up the blustering buildup bullies. Later in the afternoon, the very same heat will recreate them over the Everglades when they'll begin their seaward march. But midday, things go hot and flat, save the leg-grinding droning chirp of Cicadas, cocky in the shaded sanctuary of seagrape trees.

The tarpon still are providing early morning excitements that break this monotony. But the vibrancy comes from dreams of mullet streaming down the coast, bringing the Fall Run Circus- the sooner, the better. The headlines this dawn announce actor Bruno Kirby's death and a resolute inner voice says once again, "make the most of this very tiny window" as the day's heat ramps up to pull the sweat from us all.


Sunday, August 13, 2006

Florida's Space Coast

Space Coast Florida Attractions and Features for Fishing Families


Jan Stephen Maizler

Up until the present, my contact with Florida’s Space Coast was basic. Yet in the overall planning I did for an upcoming story on Space Coast redfishing with Captain Brian Pahmeier (, I learned a great deal more. The cities of Palm Bay, Melbourne, Cocoa Beach, and Titusville comprise the major cities of the Space Coast. While four cities may seem a modest constituency, you’ll quickly learn - as did I - that this covers a huge amount of pristine lagoon, river, marsh, and “beach and bluff” habitat. If you’re arriving from an urban area, you’ll quickly realize that the local populace has succeeded in preserving not just the land, but the sky as well: there are blessedly few high-rise buildings. In Miami, these structures are a blight to sighting the Heavens - not so, on the Space Coast!

It would take many days to deeply experience all the wonderful features and attractions that would delight the traveling angler and their family. What really ramped up my familiarity (and subsequent love of this area) was my involvement in the Florida’s Space Coast “Blast-Off” Media Tour. What follows is a gosh-honest chronicle of what I experienced there and my appraisals for outdoors readers who are devoted to exploration and adventure as well as fishing.

We arrived at the Crowne Plaza Melbourne Oceanfront (1-321-777-4100) at 2605 North A1A Highway in Melbourne. This was to be the place we would be lodged and our base of operations. I do not recall seeing a single boat in the ocean behind this hotel resort for three days! Surf conditions were likewise calm and pristine. Pelicans would gather every morning and evening to dive on the copious bait schools: in observing this, I was glad I’d brought some light tackle up from Miami. I fished to the bait schools during low light times with white Spro bucktails and DOA small TerrorEyz with good effect, catching jacks, mackerel, and even a small bonito. I found I had to wade out to waist deep water to get off a far-enough cast.

As to the rooms and amenities at the Crowne Plaza, I was thoroughly satisfied. The bedrooms were extremely sumptuous and well appointed with a full complement of snacks and electronic features, which included wireless Internet capabilities. The staff was friendly. Before leaving, we enjoyed the breakfast buffet, which featured the full array of fresh and chef-prepared foods as well as fresh raspberries, huckleberries, smoked salmon, and croissants as pleasant additions. The view from our room on the sixth floor featured an ocean expanse of an uncluttered sea and sky. Indeed, the conditions were so calm that the sky and ocean blended into a huge blue-green medium unfettered by a horizon line. Of note is that the hotel sits near the south end of the Space Coast, which would mean planning on drives of about an hour to get around the region.

Our first stop featured a drive along the Indian River up to Historic Cocoa Village for dinner at the Cara Mia Riverside Grill (1-321-639-3388). While the group bonded, Captain Rodney Smith joined us and talked about the specifics of the Space Coast sport fishery. The food was entirely pleasing and featured Italian dishes cooked with subtle skills. The main courses were supplemented with appetizers like fresh bruschetta and tasty mussels in tomato garlic broth. The wines were quite good as well. My impression of this friendly, well-situated establishment included visualizing Cara Mia as an ideal setting for recounting and celebrating a day of fishing the Cocoa Area.

Our drive from the restaurant to our next stop was but a few minutes. We arrived at a pier where Island Boat Lines ( ( 1-321-302-0544) had a large old-style paddleboat awaiting us for a sunset cruise. Our group boarded the vessel and in no time at all, we eased off into the calm river waters under the setting sun. We declined some sumptuous dishes, but gladly grabbed some ice cold Heinekens and headed for the top deck to get the best view. It again became instantly apparent that Big Development had not been allowed or encouraged to sink its teeth into this delightful region. As we eased along and dusk blended into night, we saw jumping mullet and rolling porpoises galore. It occurred to me that the best way to end a day on the water is to spend the evening on it as well!

The next day dawned with a full morning to night schedule, and thus demanded a hearty breakfast to provide nutrient and caloric fuel. Our two-car SUV caravan headed to Cape Canaveral Inlet, where a large table at Grills Tiki Bar and Restaurant (1-321-868-2226) awaited us. This was clearly a full-blown seaside Florida eatery with excellent around the clock food. It was decorated in a fun maritime fashion and offered adjacent views of the cruise ships. Grills Tiki Bar and Restaurant is located at the epicenter of Cape Canaveral “action” and enjoys a broad-based customer following.

Our next destination on the tour was Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex (, an absolutely essential place to not only visit, observe, and learn- but more importantly, to experience. As members of a press tour, we also got an incredibly in-depth look at the actual workings of N.A.S.A. ( Firstly, anglers and their families will be astonished by the experience, strength, and hope that have been the foundation of the N.A.S.A. program. Secondly, fishing folks- who are aquanauts- should easily identify with the exploratory passion, technical expertise, and cosmic reverence of the wonderful astronauts of the program from inception to present. When you watch men walking on the moon with Planet Earth hanging high in the sky above them, you’ll feel a keen sense of respect and perspective that will quicken the philosophical foundations of why and how you should fish.

There are many images and experiences that whirl around in my mind from Kennedy Space Center, yet there are two that stand out with the strongest color and clarity. The first was a delightful question and answer session over lunch with astronaut Storey Musgrave, whose vision for mankind’s relationship to science, space travel, and the human race itself was deeply enriching. The second was the obvious and demonstrable excellent stewardship for the marine, marsh, and beach environment that this program has been able to achieve and maintain. Wildlife abounds on N.A.S.A. grounds! As our tour bus took us deep into in the program’s property, I saw resplendent bird life aloft and wading as well as lots of redfish tailing over pristine flats and creeks. Visiting and experiencing Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex is sure to give you and your family a day to remember. Their contact number is 1-321-449-4444.

Like all good experiences, the day passed quickly and all of a sudden it was six o’ clock and time to leave for dinner. Our little caravan quickly reassembled itself and headed for the famous Dixie Crossroads restaurant ( in nearby Titusville. This landmark eatery is more than a visit- it’s an event! The owner, Laurilee Thompson, has seen to it that a staggering array of fresh ocean-caught seafood is available in various preparations that are sure to please any palette. Added to this incredible base are steaks, ribs, soups, salads, and Old Florida desserts that guarantee a home run dining triumph for all visitors. Their phone number is 1-321-268-5000. As I lingered over some key lime pie and iced coffee, Laurilee informed our group that she’d be joining us on that evening’s kayak trip.

As nightfall settled over the Space Coast, Laurilee lead our caravan deep into the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge. We made a brief stop to watch some manatees feeding alongside Haulover Canal Bridge. In five more minutes, we arrived at our kayak launching area. This part of the tour was to be headed up by A Day Away Kayak Tours (1-321-268-2655) – ( Owner Mike Mahn greeted our group and gave us a kayak safety and operation talk as well as discussing our paddling itinerary. Our nighttime water safari would take us from the northern reaches of the Indian River through Haulover Canal into the Mosquito Lagoon. This particular kayak tour featured Biolumenescent Amazement, which is caused by glowing organisms in the water that give off a “cold light” as your paddle goes through them in the water. Although the ambient light of the half moon cut down on optimal darkness for viewing this phenomenon, it was easy to see the fiery trails of these organisms if you kayaked in the shadows of the tree lines. Other highlights included up-close and personal contact with porpoises swimming alongside us as well as the cascades of mullet that showered over our kayaks as we paddled through them. I did see some tarpon strike the mullet, but my not bringing a rod was dictated by the parameters of this itinerary; and besides, the nighttime magic of glowing fish trails under a serene summer nighttime sky was completely sufficient! The trip took two hours and was a delightful adventure. This day and the entire Tour was something that will find itself in my Hallway of Cherished Memories.

Some of the best news I have to report is that my monster redfish trip with Captain Brian Pahmeier remains in the near future and not in the past. This means I’ll be journeying to the Space Coast very soon, a trip I’m sure I’ll be taking again and again.

Jan Maizler

Friday, August 11, 2006

Back from the Space Coast!

I just returned from a Media Tour of Melbourne, Cocoa, and Titusville. These cities surround and abut the Indian and Banana Rivers, as well as the Mosquito Lagoon. These waters are home to probably the best shallow water fishing for monster redfish and seatrout in the entire western hemisphere. I'll be reviewing this tour(which includes an in-depth look at the waters of the Kennedy Space Center) in the near future.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Lightning Safety Guidelines from NOAA posted on the Web


Lightning Safety
Lightning is the MOST UNDERRATED weather hazard. On average, only floods kill more people. Lightning makes every single thunderstorm a potential killer, whether the storm produces one single bolt or ten thousand bolts.In the United States, lightning routinely kills more people each year than tornadoes and hurricanes COMBINED. Tornadoes, hail, and wind gusts get the most attention, but only lightning can strike outside the storm itself. Lightning is the first thunderstorm hazard to arrive and the last to leave.Lightning is one of the most capricious and unpredictable characteristics of a thunderstorm. Because of this, no one can guarantee an individual or group absolute protection from lightning. However, knowing and following proven lightning safety guidelines can greatly reduce the risk of injury or death. Remember, YOU are ultimately responsible for your personal safety, and should take appropriate action when threatened by lightning.While no place is 100% safe from lightning, some places are much safer than others

Where to Go
The safest location during a thunderstorm is inside a large enclosed structure with plumbing and electrical wiring. These include shopping centers, schools, office buildings, and private residences.If lightning strikes the building, the plumbing and wiring will conduct the electricity more efficiently than a human body. If no buildings are available, then an enclosed metal vehicle such as an automobile, van, or school bus makes a decent alternative.

Where NOT to Go
The safest location during a thunderstorm is inside a large enclosed structure with plumbing and electrical wiring. These include shopping centers, schools, office buildings, and private residences.If lightning strikes the building, the plumbing and wiring will conduct the electricity more efficiently than a human body. If no buildings are available, then an enclosed metal vehicle such as an automobile, van, or school bus makes a decent alternative.

Not all types of buildings or vehicles are safe during thunderstorms. Buildings which are NOT SAFE (even if they are "grounded") have exposed openings. These include beach shacks, metal sheds, picnic shelters/pavilions, carports, and baseball dugouts. Porches are dangerous as well.Convertible vehicles offer no safety from lightning, even if the top is "up". Other vehicles which are NOT SAFE during lightning storms are those which have open cabs, such as golf carts, tractors, and construction equipment.

What To Do
Once inside a sturdy building, stay away from electrical appliances and plumbing fixtures. As an added safety measure, stay in an interior room.If you are inside a vehicle, roll the windows up, and avoid contact with any conducting paths leading to the outside of the vehicle (e.g. radios, CB's, ignition, etc.).

What NOT to Do
Once inside a sturdy building, stay away from electrical appliances and plumbing fixtures. As an added safety measure, stay in an interior room.If you are inside a vehicle, roll the windows up, and avoid contact with any conducting paths leading to the outside of the vehicle (e.g. radios, CB's, ignition, etc.).
Lightning can travel great distances through power lines, especially in rural areas. Do not use electrical appliances, ESPECIALLY corded telephones unless it is an emergency (cordless and cell phones are safe to use).Computers are also dangerous as they usually are connected to both phone and electrical cords. Do not take a shower or bath or use a hot tub.

Lightning Safety Plan

A lightning safety plan should be an integral part of the planning process for any outdoor event. Do not wait for storm clouds to develop before considering what to do should lightning threaten! An effective plan begins LONG before any lightning threat is realized. You can't control the weather, so you have to work around it!Detailed weather forecasts are accurate only out to seven days at best, but outdoor events often are planned many months in advance. Because of this limitation, every outdoor event coordinator should consider the possibility of lightning, especially if the event is scheduled during the late spring to early autumn months.

The key to an effective lightning safety action plan lies in your answers to the following questions:
Where is the safest lightning shelter?
How far am I (or the group I am responsible for) from that location?
How long will it take me (or my group) to get there?

Knowing the answers to these questions will greatly reduce your chances of being struck by lightning, provided you know them BEFORE thunderstorms threaten!

The 30/30 rule
Any lightning safety plan should incorporate the 30/30 Rule. The 30/30 Rule states that people should seek shelter if the "Flash-To-Bang" delay (length of time in seconds between a lightning flash and its subsequent thunder), is 30 seconds or less, and that they remain under cover until 30 minutes after the final clap of thunder.

A 30 second lead time is necessary prior to a storm's arrival because of the possibility of distant strikes. A 30 minute wait after the last thunder is heard is necessary because the trailing storm clouds still carry a lingering charge. This charge can and does occasionally produce lightning on the back edge of a storm, several minutes after the rain has ended.Studies have shown most people struck by lightning are struck not at the height of a thunderstorm, but before and after the storm has peaked. This shows many people are unaware of how far lightning can strike from its parent thunderstorm. DO NOT wait for the rain to start before seeking shelter, and do not leave shelter just because the rain has ended.

Safety Guidelines

For YOU!
Plan Ahead! Make sure you get the latest weather forecast before going out. Get it here!Carry a NOAA weather radio (found at most electronics stores) or a portable radio with you, especially if you will be away from sturdy shelter (such as boating, camping, etc.). This way you will always be able to get the latest forecast. At the very least, the reception of an AM radio will have static created by lightning. So if you hear the static, keep an eye to the sky as a thunderstorm may be nearby.

If thunderstorms are expected and you go ahead with your planned outdoor activity, have a lightning safety plan in place. Upon arriving on-site, determine how far away your shelter is in case lightning threatens. Remember to account for the time it will require to get to your safe location. If storms threaten or the sky begins to darken, monitor the sky for lightning.

If lightning is seen and the time delay to its subsequent thunder is 30 seconds or less, or if thunderclouds are building overhead, implement your lightning safety action plan without delay!Remember the "Flash to Bang" method to estimate lightning from your location - If you see lightning, count the number of seconds until you hear thunder. Divide the number of seconds by five to get the distance the lightning is away from you. For example, if you see lightning and it takes 10 seconds before you hear the thunder, then the lightning is 2 miles away from you (10 divided by 5 = 2 miles, too close!).Do not resume outdoor activities until 30 minutes after the last thunder clap.