Archive for January, 2008

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Saturday, January 19th, 2008

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Fishing Tip: smaller lures, bigger fish

Thursday, January 17th, 2008

biggy-small.jpg“Big Lure, Big Fish” is an old fishing axiom with some merit. It’s true that over-sized fish have an affinity for large meals, since they offer a big payoff in a single feed. (Like you, reaching over the asparagus for the big Porterhouse). But the notion that big lures are required to catch big fish just ain’t true. In fact, smaller lures can offer a decided advantage in certain situations, since they land softly, make less of a commotion when retrieved and — most important– closely mimic the small crustaceans and bait fish that predators are usually focused on when they cruise skinny water. Smaller lures require lighter line and tackle to cast well, so it’s more challenging to hook and catch a big fish when you use them. And unless you’re just hunting meat, that’s the point, no? So if you’re working the skinny stuff, try smaller lures. You’ll find that even big fish will smack small offerings that are presented correctly. (Like you, with the beer nuts).

Free Download: Three Essential Skinny-water Knots

Tuesday, January 15th, 2008

3-knots21.jpgI’ve whipped up a nice, free resource for novice anglers, though old vets may learn a thing or two by looking it over, as well. It’s a simple, one-page download that details the steps required to tie three simple, effective knots that cover the rigging basics for most shallow-water angling needs. They’re the knots I use most often, and they work. As always, your feedback is welcome. Enjoy.

Visit this page to get the free download.

Catch big hawgs…online

Sunday, January 13th, 2008

fishing-game1.jpgHave you tried our online fishing game? If not, don’t wait. It’s a ball. Fire up the skiff, cruise to a sweet-looking spot, then cast to, hook and fight a variety of shallow-water Gulfcoast gamefish…all from the comfort of your chair. Note that we’re not responsible when your boss catches you applying the brakes to a big redfish. Click “Game” in the black bar above, or just click here. Enjoy.

Poonani pic

Sunday, January 13th, 2008

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Just saw this great snapshot of migrating tarpon on The Wire/Felt Soul Media blog, and thought I’d share it. If you get a chance, visit the site and read about their recent trip to Florida, where they were assaulted by six wild cougars in a bar. Frightening. Link.

Push pole or trolling motor?

Saturday, January 12th, 2008

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 Saul (who recently relocated from Kansas to south Florida), who asks: “Do you recommend a pole or a trolling motor for my new shallow-water skiff? I plan to do a lot of sight fishing.”

skiffdeck.jpgIf you earnestly intend to do a lot of hardcore sight fishing — and you have a hardy buddy who will take turns on the platform — then there’s simply no more effective means of sneaking up on fish than to pole your boat.

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Yet another man of genius

Thursday, January 10th, 2008

impressive.jpgRecently saw this pic posted by South Florida guide Scott Hamilton on the Florida Sportsman forums. (Click pic to see larger version). Man after my own heart. Anyone who invests this much jing in his equipment — and displays his gear in such an artful manner — is displaying indisputable genius. The scary thing? Scott tells me he has buds whose collections are so enormous they require a remote storage unit. It’s enough to give a man a dang complex.

Fishing Tip: control your fly line with bare feet

Wednesday, January 9th, 2008

footies.jpgIf you usually fly fish from the deck of a boat, you know that the free line lying on the deck can be a real pain in the can to control, especially on windy days. Many a cast has been blown — and many a strike missed — due to line that falls off the edge of the deck, wraps around shoes or gets tangled in clumps. A solution? Kick off your shoes and socks. In your bare feet, you’ll be able to feel the line underfoot, stepping on it to keep it on the deck if it’s windy, and stepping off of it so you don’t blow a cast. With practice, your feet can work almost like another set of hands. In fact, some accomplished fly casters can work a shoreline with their toes while using their hands to make sandwiches. (OK, so that last part’s not true, but I had you going).

Snook anglers: know and help enforce the rules

Saturday, January 5th, 2008

snook-scrap1.jpgA reminder: On July 21, 2007, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission adopted new rules related to snook. The entire state is now subject to a one-fish daily bag limit per person. Florida’s Gulf Coast, Everglades National Park, and Monroe County waters now have a slot limit of 28-33 inches (pinched-tail) in total length. Florida’s Atlantic coast has a one-inch tighter slot of 28-32 inches. The period when you can keep snook has also changed. Snook season will close on Dec. 1 in the Gulf, Everglades, and Monroe County and reopen March 1. The months of May, June, July and August remain closed. On the Atlantic side, the season closes on December 15 and reopens February 1. East Coast anglers get an extra month in which to keep snook. May remains open and June, July, and August are closed. A related rule change: boaters can now carry more than one cast net on board while fishing for snook. Before this change, anglers who had a snook in their possession and more than one net on board were subject to a fine.

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Last trip of 2007

Thursday, January 3rd, 2008

This past Monday Joe and I headed down into the Everglades, hitting the water at about 6 a.m. Rumors of a brutal cold front were circulating (it’s presently in the low 40s outside and falling quickly, so they weren’t exaggerated), but we had a comfortable ride down, and the temperature actually soared well into the 80s in the afternoon. In December, folks. Fantastic. Guess the fish thought so, too, since we caught them with abandon. Nothing truly large came to the boat – though I lost a very thick redfish hooked on a topwater lure — but we caught well over 30 snook on plugs, and a number of chunky reds. As for one that got away, I’ve recently developed a knack for losing large fish. It’s an acquired skill.

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