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New England Regional Fishing with Tim Coleman | Soundings Online Column

With spring in full swing, are you ready to wet a line?

Yes, it's finally over. The winter of 2011 - with its snow, snow and more snow, spiced with some freezing rain - is in the history books, leaving much milder weather and, of course, a new boating and fishing season. In Massachusetts, anglers ready their rigs for the spring cod, pollock and haddock fishing on and outside Stellwagen Bank. They might try their luck right up on the bank in shoal water on their early trips, looking to the deeper water on the east side as spring warms into summer.

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Plastic baits prove hard to resist

This nice bass grabbed a plastic worm along the rocky shore of Fishers Island, N.Y.The first time I saw a plastic bait used in salt water was on a cold, windy night in Florida. Snug in my humble trailer, space heater going, north wind blasting, I was watching a fellow on a television show say how he used long freshwater worms to catch the mighty tarpon in one of the Sunshine State's many fishing holes.

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Tireless charter captain loves his job

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Not even the Great Recession could stop Capt. Greg Mercurio from plying his trade in coastal waters

The Yankee Captains (Capt. Greg Mercurio on the rail) is a 12-month operation. From November through May the boat fishes the Dry Tortugas grounds out of Key West for snapper and grouper. The rest of the year it fishes for cod and ground fish from Gloucester, Mass., and in the fall, tuna from New Bedford.Many of us love boats and dropping a hook in the water, but not many have taken the leap to combine that love into making a living as a full-time captain, running your own boat for profit 12 months a year. It's not an easy road - especially in the recession years - but one of those making it go is Capt. Greg Mercurio, owner and operator of the 85-foot party boat Yankee Captains.

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Search, and leave no stone unturned

Words of wisdom and charts culled from years of experience can help you in your quest for a catch

Many novice anglers mistakenly think they can head out to the middle of Long Island Sound or two miles off in the Atlantic Ocean anywhere from the Northeast to the Florida Keys and merely drift around until some fishy creature gives a yank on their baited hook. That method is usually the express route to failure.

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Fishing for mutton better than nothin'

If you're in the Florida Keys for the winter, remember the grouper closures and adjust accordingly

With first snow of a new winter already behind us, the snowbirds have already or will soon start leaving the ever-colder Northeast for winter berths in the Florida Keys. Many of them have their boats in tow. Recession or not, they are going fishing.

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Tim Coleman

Tim Coleman died May 3, in Weekapaug, R.I., doing what he loved to do best at that time of year: scouting the salt ponds and outer beaches for spring striped bass. He was an exceptional saltwater angler and a prolific writer. Thousands of readers lost an advocate and authentic storyteller for fishing in the Northeast, and anyone fortunate to have known Tim lost a good friend.


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