Archive for June, 2007

Fly by Night

Saturday, June 9th, 2007

flybynightbanner.jpg

 

When it comes to shallow-water success, your odds rise with the moon

There’s a sliver of moon barely peeking through the low lying clouds, lending scant light to the scene. You stand on the deck of a skiff gliding placidly through a residential canal, inching toward a dock light as the trolling motor at your feet hums. It’s the third light you’ve tried – the first two were holding no fish that you could see or raise. You’ve already stripped out enough line for the cast, but you lay another coil on the deck, just in case. Hanging from your rod tip is a small, white, nondescript fly, tied to a long section of 20 lb. leader. As you near the light, you catch your breath. Are those dark shapes just beneath the surface, on the edge of the circle of light? Yes, they are. Several nice fish, lying like stacked cordwood, their noses into the slight current. Why this light, and not another? No matter. They’re here, and so are you.

(more…)

Dance a Little jig

Saturday, June 9th, 2007

bucktail.jpg

Don’t overlook the most productive lure in the history of angling

Jigs aren’t flashy. They aren’t new and exciting. They don’t require special skills, and most of them aren’t all that attractive. They don’t lead to dramatic topwater strikes, they aren’t glamorous, and throwing one all day can get a little monotonous. So…why would anyone fish a jig? Simple: since the dawn of angling, no lure has accounted for more fish than the plain old jig. That applies to all gamefish, including shallow-water species.

(more…)

Backwater Bombing

Saturday, June 9th, 2007

bombingheader.jpg

Plugs Can Work Magic Along Mangrove Shorelines

There are many methods used to catch fish in shallow water. Finding and cast-netting bait is an acquired skill, as is using bait effectively. Jig fishing requires patience and an acquired feel, and accounts for a lot of fish. Reading the wakes and disturbances on an open flat is a thrill all its own, and fly fishing is a virtual art form practiced by an accomplished minority. But among longtime backwater anglers down Florida way, one method of angling has long separated the men from the boys: Casting hrad-bodied “plugs” along mangrove shorelines. This tactic is almost as old as the sport itself, and the state’s rich angling history is replete with accounts of anglers plying virgin waters, tossing broomstick plugs tied to bulky reels along shorelines teeming with big snook, redfish and tarpon.

(more…)

Cold Weather Commandments

Saturday, June 9th, 2007

Follow these simple guidelines to catch more chilly-weather fish

1. Forget the flats
So you found a lot of fish in a skinny water hotspot earlier in the year, and you’re sure they must still be around? Sure, the water temperature has dropped into the high 60s, but judging by the number of fish you saw, there’s no way you won’t scare up something, right? Don’t bet on it. Good fishing trips are defined by the time you spend in productive water. Hit a grassflat in chilly weather – especially once the water temperature has been on the low side for a few days – and you’ll likely spend your time casting at open, clear – and empty – water. An important caveat here: If a warming trend has preceded your trip, give the flats a look. A few degrees in temperature change can lead more cold-tolerant gamefish (like redfish and trout) up onto the flats to bask in the sunlight and look for food.

(more…)

Ten Terrific Topwater Tactics

Saturday, June 9th, 2007

spook.gif


Proven ways to get more out of your topwater plugs

Fishermen who use topwater plugs exclusively are a funny breed. They’ll spend hours working a flat or shoreline, hoping for that one smashing hit. In fact, most die-hard topwater anglers I know would rather catch one fish on the surface where they can see the take than ten fish on bait or a sub-surface lure. I’m one of them. Regardless of your personal inclination, it’s undeniable that topwater plugs can be deadly on shallow-water gamefish. Follow these simple tips, and you’ll improve your results “on top.”

(more…)