“These stories are all about Type II fun: The experience itself might not be comfortable, or even all that enjoyable, but it creates moments and memories that last a lifetime. You don’t get Type II fun while lounging on the beach, or by drinking beers and getting sunburned on your neighbor’s pontoon. You earn it by challenging yourself. Don’t just take your vacation this summer—go kick your vacation’s ass.” —Alex Robinson, Executive Editor

TRUE NORTH 

“…We flew in bush planes, one at a time, to the gravel-bar landing strip. ‘Good luck, don’t die,’ was the last thing our charter pilot said, with only a hint of sarcasm, before slamming the cockpit door and taking off,” Robinson says. In Alaska’s arctic, late summer kicks off the largest caribou migration on the continent…and one of the greatest big-game hunts in the world.

HUNTING THE GRAY GHOST 

You’re not a true spearfisherman in California until you’ve speared a white seabass. And after you’ve done that, you’re still not legit until you’ve caught one that tips 70 pounds. When white seabass move into the kelp beds off the coast of Southern California, so do the freedivers who are relying on their lung capacity, camo wetsuits, keen attention to detail, and instincts to track down these elusive chrome-colored fish. They may be the largest prey in the kelp, but they’re also the most challenging to find. So there’s a certain frustration—not to mention danger—in freediving for them. But that’s half the fun. Follow along with this experienced group of sportsmen and -women in this photo essay that chronicles their season-long quest.

FLORIDA ON THE BRINK 

“[Capt.] Rotne’s categorical indictment of the aquatic environment is jarring, but it confirms rumors that have been circulating around this destination angling community for a while—Florida’s marine fisheries are showing uncharacteristic fragility,” Editor at Large Andrew McKean says. Thanks to killer algae, fecal matter, too much water in some places, and not enough water in others, Florida’s legendary inshore fishing industry is at risk of being killed off. McKean traversed the Sunshine State to get to the bottom of this hydrological disaster that has everyone from boat captains to water-policy advocates worried.

SUMMER WINGSHOOTING SLAM

Already in need of a break from fishing? You don’t have to wait for fall to have some quality bird hunts. From pigeons in the Texas Panhandle to geese in North Dakota, Outdoor Life highlights four species that offer hunters the opportunity to stay sharp during the summer months. 

PLUS Stalk Bonefish in Paradise; The 2019 Gun Test; Vacations to Bend Rods; The 2019 Bow Test; Ringneck Revival; and more.