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Fishing in Florida with D.O.A. Lures

Angler Ed Zyak shares his trophy snook with Ozzy Delgado and Capt. Mark Nichols.
Photo by Dustin Catrett

While perfectly content to fish the home waters of Edisto Island and the surrounding Lowcountry, sometimes traveling to fish helps to broaden one’s experiences. Good fortune brought me to see Captain Mark Nichols, founder of D.O.A. Lures, in South Florida for an outdoor writer festival. Teaming with local fishing guides, we put the D.O.A. Lures to the test, targeting snook, jack crevalle, ladyfish, trout, flounder and redfish.

The fishing took place in the Martin County section of the Indian River directly adjacent to our lodging at the River Palm Cottages. River Palms provides an old-Florida feel where rooms can be rented by the week, and boats and trailers are welcome. They provide a private dock for night fishing with a first-class public boat ramp only one block away.

While my rain gauge in Colleton County was busy collecting rain in late June, the fishing weather in Jenson Beach, Florida, was ideal. Clear skies, moderate temperatures, and light winds enticed everyone to rise at 5:30 a.m. and begin the day with a fishing excursion, which included a brown bag lunch for later. Armed with a tackle box full of D.O.A. shrimp and other assorted D.O.A. soft plastics, the anglers dared to fish for a trophy trout or snook.

Nichols lives in Stuart, Florida, which gives him access for daily fishing where the Indian River meets the St. Lucie River at the Atlantic Ocean, and these waters teem with life. He is driven to create lures that catch fish with what has been dubbed an unfair advantage. “I get to fish all the time, but I still want it to be simple, effective and easy,” said Nichols. “I understand that most anglers want a fast and reliable method because their window to go fishing is likely very limited.” How true!

During our two days of fishing, the full moon seemed to play a role in how the fish were biting. Fishing with Capt. Paul Hobby, we found that a very early bite at dawn had been followed by a period of lockjaw that lasted most of the day. Casting D.O.A. shrimp and CAL soft plastics in Arkansas Glow coloration, we hardly felt any hits from the fish except for a few catfish. Back in camp later that evening, most of the visiting anglers agreed that the fishing was slow and that tomorrow would surely be better.

Teamed up with Capt. Jimmy Anderson the next morning, we set out towards the rock jetties to try for trophy-sized snook at dawn. With no takers on our 3-inch DOA shrimp in glow color, we shifted tactics by moving inshore to more shallow waters. Large amounts of bait were in the area and we could see the snook taking swipes at them, causing the bait to spray out of the water.

Using a D.O.A. shrimp re-rigged with a jighead for casting distance, I was able to get hooked up with a snook. Just like that, the spell was broken and we began to catch fish like ladyfish, Spanish mackerel, blue runners and jack crevalle with a bit more regularity. It’s all about finding the right combination of lure color and retrieve speed to entice a strike. The tougher the fishing, the more inspired Nichols may become, and he has already launched the new D.O.A. Airhead lures in 2013. To learn more about the lures branded Deadly On Anything visit the Internet at www.DOAlures.com.

Jeff Dennis is a Lowcountry native. Read his blog at www.LowcountryOutdoors.com

Jeff Dennis, Contributor (82 Posts)

Jeff Dennis is a Lowcountry native. Read his blog at www.LowcountryOutdoors.com