Archive for March, 2008


Tuesday, March 25th, 2008


Fishing Tip: downsize flies when fishing under lights

Monday, March 17th, 2008

petenight.jpg In many coastal areas, game fish congregate under lights after dark, capitalizing on the congregations of bait fish that gather there. Along the Gulf coast, spin and (especially) fly anglers target snook, sea trout, redfish and juvenile tarpon in this manner, and — given that fish can sometimes be found in great numbers under residential dock lights, especially in the cooler months — it can be a highly productive affair. Most of the bait fish and shrimp that are found under such lights are on the small side, though, so “match the hatch” with small flies (hook size 2 to 6 or so). Work the edges of the light, and use weighted versions to get down to fish that are reluctant to rise to your offerings.

Favorite fishing author?

Thursday, March 13th, 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 Pablo in Port Aransas, TX, who asks: “Who’s your favorite author of fishing-related books?”

hemingway.jpegI like this question. Most of the queries I field are related to fishing technique, equipment, etc. I always feel a bit self-conscious answering them, since it implies that I’m an authority of some sort…which is far from the truth. But a question like this one I can sink my teeth into, since it comes down to simple opinion. I’ve read a considerable amount of fishing-related books, and my short list of favorite authors is anchored by Thomas McGuane and John Gierach. McGuane has a staggering command of the English language, and his stories linger in memory. Gierach has a dry, witty, effortless style that elicits laugh-out-loud outbursts and knowing smiles in his readers. For a sampling of wonderful (fly)fishing articles, try the Fly Fisher’s Reader: An Unabashedly Biased Sampling of Angling’s Finest Literature.” It features 27 stories taken from books written over the past century or so, including gems by heavyweights such as Ernest Hemingway, William Humphrey and Izaak Walton.

Quick reader poll

Wednesday, March 12th, 2008

At Shallowfish, we strive to provide fellow anglers with info they value. Whether you’re a return visitor or a new reader, please take a second to provide some feedback below. Thanks in advance for your help.


Fishing Tip: walk your skiff to fish

Thursday, March 6th, 2008

drag-skiff.jpgThe next time you find yourself in fishy shallows with a dead trolling motor, try this: sit on the front deck with your legs dangling and your feet on the bottom, then slowly “walk” the boat along, casting as you go. Though the low vantage point makes it tougher to spot fish, it also makes it easier to sneak up on them. (Ask any kayak angler). An alternative: tie a line to the front cleat and wade fish, pulling the boat silently behind you as you go. Note that the “drag the boat” method is most effective when you can find hard bottom, whereas the “walk the boat” method can be used on muddy bottoms that won’t bear your full weight. Both work best with lightweight, low-sided skiffs, of course, and both require patience and effort. Regardless, they’re an alternative for lone anglers who are faced with fishing skinny water without a trolling motor or push pole.

8 tips for quality fishing photos

Sunday, March 2nd, 2008


So you fish often, and you’d like to take better photos that capture your love of angling? No problem. Read the list of tips below, follow the suggestions, and your photos will noticeably improve. Note that most of the info below applies to both conventional and digital cameras, though I’m assuming that you use a digital version.

1. Avoid “posing and grinning” shots

OK, so your buddy caught a big fish and wants the moment frozen in time. Fine. Frame it up and snap a glamor shot. But here’s a news flash: most folks find those types of pics boring and clichéd. Use your imagination and experiment with angles, flash, and lighting. Take a pic of the fish head on or being released, or snap an action shot of your buddy casting or of a fish jumping. Point is, an out-of-the ordinary approach can make for extraordinary photos, so take chances. Need ideas? Flip through a high-quality fishing magazine.