The Wrap: Miami Heat’s Dwayne Wade and Gabrielle Union to lead show about flipping homes, MIA’s dilapidated central terminal won’t be fully demolished until 2036…and more


Miami Heat player Dwayne Wade (Credit: Keith Allison)


1. Miami Heat’s Dwayne Wade and Gabrielle Union to lead home flipping show [IndieWire]


2. MIA’s dilapidated central terminal won’t be fully demolished until 2036 [The Next Miami]


3. Miami Heat’s Luol Deng lists Chicago-area mansion for $2.5 million [Sun Sentinel]


4. Elysee begins contract conversions in Edgewater [Curbed Miami]



– Sean Stewart-Muniz



Bridge Fishing Basics






window.home_url = “;;

window.plugin_dir_url = “;;

window.channel_taxonomy = “”;

window.channel_term = “”;

// ]]>

By Ed Mashburn



Coastal spans hold untapped fishing potential.


When cold water slows the topwater and flats action, try fishing natural baits near bay bridges.




Coastal bridges are excellent places to fish for redfish, sheepshead, grouper and many other species, but there are some secrets to getting the most out of the opportunities.



Captain Blake Nelson of Last Cast Charters in Destin (850-499-3811) is an expert at working the many bridges along the Florida Panhandle-including the famous Hwy. 98 bridge over Destin Pass. “Typically, the redfish bite is the best from March to October, and the sheepshead bite is best November through February,” said Blake. “But you can catch other types of fish. Off the Destin Bridge, red snapper, grouper, tarpon and even cobia have been caught while targeting redfish.” Bridge structure itself is obviously a big draw for fish. Pylons and fenders encrusted with barnacles and oysters are a buffet table for crustacean-feeders like sheepshead and drum. The crabs and small fish that hang around the protective cover are food for reds, trout and other fish. And of course, some fish take advantage of the breaks in tidal current.



But, as Blake says, it’s important to consider what other fish-attracting features may be in the vicinity. In the case of the Destin bridge, “there are usually sandbars with dropoffs and deeper pockets that fish will feed in that are around the bridge,” said Blake. “It is tempting to just fish around the pylons, but fish go where the bait goes: The bait doesn’t just stay around the bridge.”



Rig It Right



The simplest and most universal technique is to fish live or fresh-dead bait on the bottom, using a sliding sinker or Carolina rig.



“My bait of choice is a croaker, and then pinfish, finger mullet, and live or dead shrimp,” said Blake. “The weight of the egg sinker depends on the current. Use the lightest possible weight to get the bait to the bottom. I prefer 5/0 circle hooks with live croakers. A 20- to 30-pound fluorocarbon leader is plenty strong enough.” For sheepshead fishing, Blake advises, “I use a Carolina rig with a 1-ounce egg sinker, 1/0 livebait hook, and a 15- to 20-pound fluorocarbon leader. This rig is fished on the bottom right next to the bridge pylon. Bait of choice is fiddler crabs, live shrimp or oysters.”



Redfish are perhaps chief among bridge residents likely to take an artificial lure. Rig a fairly heavy jighead with a soft-plastic body and work the area under and around the bridge, bouncing the jig off the bottom.



Play it Safe



Red drum, left, and gag grouper, right, are two likely catches around deepwater bridges.



Anglers fishing around bridges have a couple of problems to deal with. First, some bridges can have very strong currents. Know how to maneuver your boat in these conditions, and carry at least 7 feet of anchor line for every foot of depth.



Also, it can be very hard to see other boats anchored under and around the bridge, especially in low-light conditions. Keep a sharp eye out and confirm that your navigation lights are in working order and fulfill U.S. Coast Guard regulations. The 360-degree white “anchor” light, for instance, must be mounted so that it is not obscured by persons or objects in the boat; a short, transom-mount pole light may not be sufficient to alert others to your presence. For similar reasons, never anchor in a marked channel. FS



Pelagics and Bridges



When water temps are above 70 degrees, kingfish and Spanish mackerel are likely catches around bridges over deep bays and passes on the Gulf and Atlantic coasts. That includes the Three-Mile Bridge on Pensacola Bay, the Sunshine Skyway on Tampa Bay, and the larger U.S. 1 bridges of the Florida Keys. Kings often work bait up to a quarter of a mile away from the bridge, and anglers can have great results trolling diving plugs or live bait. Also, some bridges have additional structure close by. The old Pensacola Bay Bridge was severely damaged by Hurricane Ivan; parts of the bridge toppled into the water alongside the present Three Mile Bridge. The rubble is great fish-holding structure for anglers.



First published Florida Sportsman January 2015


The Wrap: What Miami’s skyline might look like in 2018, Gov. Rick Scott invites Yale University to move to Florida…and more


Rendering of downtown Miami in 2018


1. What Miami’s skyline might look like in 2018 [The Next Miami]


2. Gov. Rick Scott invites Yale University to move to Florida [Miami New Times]


3. Rich Miamians wage war against people who live on boats [Miami New Times]


4. Another condo bust looms in Miami [Wall Street Journal]


5. Florida Keys’ Playa Largo scheduled to open in July [KeysNet]



– Sean Stewart-Muniz



The Wrap: U.S. housing market’s health put to the test, Palm Beach County spec home developer downsizes new projects…and more


A 2009 photo of Miami’s skyline (Credit: Nigel Morris)


1. U.S. housing market’s health put to the test [Wall Street Journal]


2. Palm Beach County spec home developer downsizes new projects [Daily Business Review]


3. Quiz: Where should I live in Miami? [Curbed Miami]


4. Home61: A real estate startup powered by tech [Miami Herald]



— Sean Stewart-Muniz



Skipcasting from Kayaks

window.home_url = “;;

window.plugin_dir_url = “;;

window.channel_taxonomy = “”;

window.channel_term = “”;

// ]]>

This kayak angler is a proper distance from a mangrove edge, allowing him to skipcast underneath the overhangs.


Fishing mangroves and docks requires being able to cast your presentation underneath overhanging structure using a method called the skipcast. Fish stage under the structure to attack current-swept prey. Plus, they stay cooler in the moderate waters during the midday sun and are protected from larger predators.


It’s vital that you get your lure or bait to them.


Many boat fishermen are familiar with the technique–casting low and parallel to the water’s surface, allowing the bait to skip along top until it reaches its destination. It requires a strong arm motion to keep the water from “gobbling up” the bait too early.  Aim your bait to initially hit the water’s surface just outside the overhang, allowing the bait to skip or tumble end-over-end into the strike zone. If you cast too hard, grab the top of the reel and stop the line.


One quick bounce or a “rolling” along the surface are both different outcomes to a skipcast. They both work, too. Consider that your angle of trajectory may vary depending on your rod length and how close you are to the structure. Too drastic of an angle and your bait splashes into the water loudly near the boat; not enough angle and your bait may never touch the water’s surface.


A few quick tips for skipcasting:


1) Shy away from skipcasting with a baitcaster unless you are experienced with these types of reels. Tournament bass fishermen will tell you that they have more control with their baitcasters than spinners–but they tend to be the exception. Most saltwater inshore anglers use spinners when fan-casting or live-baiting: stick with it when skipcasting.


2) A 6-foot spinning rod is not a bad option when skipcasting. The shorter length allows for pinpoint casts. Longer rods generally mean longer casts, which are not necessary when skipcasting near structure.


3) If spinfishing and right-handed, leave room along your right side to make casts. Left-handed fishermen should leave room on their left side. It’s amazing how quickly skipcasting becomes frustrating when casting from your non-dominant side.


4) Use soft baits that are weedless, or at least single-hooked. Live baits work well too. When skipcasting, a light bodied soft bait skips best across the water’s surface. Plus, if you accidentally hit the structure–and you will catch the overhang–a weedless bait should pop right out (and may even fall into the strike zone). Treble hooks get caught and don’t come out.


A kayak skipcast is a different animal altogether


Plenty of flats and bayboat fishermen have enough trouble with the skipcast as it is…and they have the advantage of standing. Because kayakers sit much closer to the water, their cast should be angled more like a baseball swing and less like a boat fisherman’s golf swing.


Treat the lure like it’s a flat-sided rock and you want to skip it across a lake. Cast so your rod is parallel to the H20 surface, and your bait is just inches from the surface. Don’t have more than one foot of leader hanging from the rod tip when preparing for a cast. You have to get that bait low and keep it low. If the structure has an overhang that extends far over the water, give the cast a bit more power–that first bounce off the water’s surface always slows down the lure’s speed significantly.


As with most things in life, practice makes perfect. Don’t expect to master kayak skipcasting on the the first trip out, but once you do, snook and redfish will know you by your first name. Below, Captain Rich Jones demonstrates the proper way to skipcast while standing from a Native Watercraft.


By Sam Hudson


Florida Cabinet may consider 8,138-acre land buy

Dixie County land owned by Lyme Cross City Forest

Dixie County land owned by Lyme Cross City Forest


Governor Rick Scott and the Florida Cabinet are expected Tuesday to evaluate a $4.21 million state expenditure to conserve over 8,000 acres in Dixie County.


The proposed purchase of a conservation easement on 8,138 acres of land would “buffer and protect the natural resources of the Suwannee River to the Gulf of Mexico,” according to a report by state staff recommending the purchase.


The owner of the land is Lyme Cross City Forest Company LLC.


With a conservation easement in place on the 8,138 acres, timber harvesting still would be permitted, but development and other activities would be prohibited.


“The conservation easement will permanently limit development, while allowing the landowner to sustainably harvest timber, thereby ensuring important forestry jobs stay in the community, which is the county’s largest employer,” according to the staff recommendation, which is supported by the Dixie County Commission.


The conservation easement also is expected to add to eco-tourism in Dixie County by protecting water for swimming, fishing and boating. [Southeast AgNet] — Mike Seemuth



New in-fill homes planned in Tampa’s Ybor City

Rendering of Ybor City home building project led by Michael Mincberg of Sight Real Estate

Rendering of Ybor City home building project led by Michael Mincberg of Sight Real Estate


An in-fill development group plans to restore three bungalow-style houses and build three new row-style houses in the Ybor City section of Tampa.


A group of investors lead by Michael Mincberg, president of Sight Real Estate in Tampa, is investing in the development, called Casitas En Cuatro. The development site is on Fourth Avenue in Ybor City between 18 Street and 19 Street.


Mincberg formed a group of investors in Casitas En Cuatro that includes Nick Friedman and Omar Soliman of College Hunks Hauling Junk and Jordan Vreeland, owner of a mortgage company called 14 Days to Close.


Soliman told the Tampa Bay Business Journal in a prepared statement that “we are always hearing from people in the community that they would love to live in Ybor, but that nothing is available. So when Michael [Mincberg] approached us about Casitas En Cuatro, we knew it would make for a great investment.”


Mincberg, a native of Washington, D.C., first encountered the Ybor City section of Tampa when he was a student at the University of South Florida, and he worked there as a bartender.


Among other in-fill developments, Mincberg is working on the conversion of a bottling plant in the Tampa Heights area to apartments. [Tampa Bay Business Journal] — Mike Seemuth