Archive for October, 2007


Tuesday, October 30th, 2007


Oh, Canada

Wednesday, October 24th, 2007

Back home. A delayed flight last night delayed our homecoming until 3 a.m. Brutal. A tough night capping off a tough week. A couple of days before my second trip north, I was informed that I had picked up parasites by drinking water from a Vermont river. I’ll spare you the details, but suffice it to say I arrived in Canada six pounds underweight and utterly off my game. To compound matters, it stormed relentlessly, which resulted in blown-out rivers and muddy water — the polar opposite of the sweltering weather that nuked the aforementioned Vermont outing. Mother Nature has inserted her foot up this angler’s nether region on a regular basis of late. Mercy, Old Girl. Mercy. (more…)

Fishing Tip: team up to work the water column

Tuesday, October 16th, 2007

highlow.jpgWhen fishing shorelines from a boat, have the angler in the bow throw a topwater lure or fly, and the angler in the stern throw a weighted lure like a jig or, if fly fishing, a sub-surface fly. Game fish often “buzz” lures or flies, boiling up under them but not hitting them. A subsurface lure will often get smacked once a top water presentation has gotten their attention. In this way, you and a buddy can work the entire water column. If one type of lure is clearly the ticket, both of you can switch to it. And if you happen to be the only one with that type of lure on board, you can start the bidding at retail and go from there.

A worthy read

Friday, October 12th, 2007

troutunderground.jpgIn my incessant search for entertaining online writing and commentary, I recently found the Trout Underground. It’s a rolling stream of information (pitiful pun intended) on fly fishing, most of which is focused on blogger Tom Chandler’s beloved (freshwater) trout. The man deftly uses words in a manner that impresses this long-time copywriter, and if you wave a long rod at fish — regardless of venue — I assure you that his amusing and often caustic posts will keep your attention.

“What kind of tackle for the Everglades?”

Friday, October 12th, 2007

Each month I field a question from a reader and answer it as best I can, focusing on those inquiries and responses that I believe will be of general benefit or interest. I recently received this email from Dean in New Jersey, who asks: “John, I’ve been fishing for striped bass for most of my life, and I’ll soon be taking my first trip down to fish the Everglades. Can you tell me what kind of tackle I need to bring, and which lures to buy? I’m primarily a spin-fisherman.”

snookhead.jpgDean, I’ve been lucky enough to fish the Cape Cod area a few times with a buddy, and I’ve caught stripers there using the same tackle and some of the same lures I use for snook and redfish down here. So, assuming you use relatively light equipment for striped bass, the tackle you own should suffice. (more…)

Alert the townspeople

Tuesday, October 9th, 2007

carpzilla.jpgMy good buddy Joe sent me an email tonight. We’ve both been too busy to fish for a while, and though we have an outing planned for later this week (finally), he’s Jonesin’. So he takes a walk behind his house to cast for some bass and panfish, and there — tailing just inches off his manicured lawn — is a huge, Nessie-esque creature. He grabbed his camera and snapped this shot. Seems the tail belongs to an enormous carp. Now, Joe wouldn’t usually get excited about a fish in a neighborhood pond, especially one with a floppy mouth that slurps grass, but apparently this beast looked and acted so much like a mondo redfish that Joe’s online tonight searching for carp fly patterns. As he so eloquently puts it: “I’m thinkin’ some kinda moss-lookin’ fly. Weedless. Drop it near the fish. Then barely twitch along the bottom to resemble a piece of ground cover that came loose and is drifting…Some kinda olive-greenish-shat-looking-maribou might just do the trick.” Fantastic, I tell you.

Best of luck with Carpzilla, Big Joe. And just so we’re clear: I’ll be the first to laugh if that armor-plated scum-sucker blazes through your backing and takes your tattered manhood into the murky depths. Just sayin’.

Footnote: I’ll be sure to keep everyone up to date on this epic confrontation.

Fishing Tip: make your fly line slick…on the cheap

Saturday, October 6th, 2007

flyline2.jpgA number of companies make lubricants and dressings specifically for fly lines, but there’s no need to pay a premium for “name” products. Use Armor All (or an equivalent product) to clean and lightly condition the line. Spray it on a clean cloth, pull your fly line through while squeezing hard and voila — you’ll have a conditioned line that shoots through rod guides and noticeably improves your casting. Though I’ve never done so, some anglers then repeat the process with silicone (which I’m told is the primary ingredient in many fly line dressings, anyway). Note that fly line does need to be thoroughly cleaned occasionally, and for that job I’d trust the products recommended by those “name” fishing companies. Never expose your fly line to harsh chemicals or cleaners.

New t-shirts coming soon…

Friday, October 5th, 2007

The “b” in “subtle” is silent.

Not so long ago I went rooting around the web looking for some new fishing tees. I kept running across shirts featuring hyper-realistic, oversized images of gamefish — most of them reproductions of colorful oil paintings. Though the talent of the artists who create them is considerable, I prefer a more understated look. (As a buddy of mine says: “Just because I fish doesn’t mean I want to look like a walking mural.”) I looked high and low for a more subtle option but found nothing. So I decided to create my own. A few short weeks from now Shallowfish™ will offer a dozen or so new, simple designs printed on quality cotton tees. And going forward, we’ll be adding new designs on a regular basis. Keep an eye on our shop, and drop us a line if you’d like to be alerted when the new shirts are available.

The hard facts on soft plastics

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2007

When it comes to realism and versatility, soft plastics are hard to beat.

Of all the lures available to the shallow water angler, plastic “softies” may be the most versatile. Different styles of soft plastics have caught everything from bluefish and stripers to snook and redfish, and almost everything in between. Why are these lures so productive? There are a number of reasons. (more…)