Archive for October, 2009

Welcome to the Shallowfish blog!

Monday, October 5th, 2009

Enjoy our complementary articles, news, cartoons, fishing tips and other great content of interest to anglers. While the focus here is primarily Florida’s shallow saltwater, there’s valuable information for fishing fans of every stripe. Use the options below each post to tell a friend about us, and add our blog to your Favorites menu if you like what you see. Best of luck on the water!

Fishing Cartoon

Wednesday, October 21st, 2009


I fish because…

Friday, October 16th, 2009

voelkerI fish because I like to, because I love the environs where trout are found, which are invariably beautiful; and hid from environs where crowds of people are found, which are invariably ugly. Because of all the television commercials, cocktail parties and assorted social posturing I thus escape, and because in a world where most men seem to spend their lives doing things they hate, my fishing is at once an endless source of delight and an act of small rebellion. Trout do not lie or cheat or cannot be bought or bribed or impressed by power, but respond only to quietism and humility and endless patience. I fish because I suspect that men are going along this way for the last time, and I, for one, do not want to waste the trip, because only in the woods can I find solitude without loneliness. And finally, I fish not because I regard fishing as being terribly important, but because I suspect that so many of the other concerns of men are equally unimportant, and not nearly so much fun.

John Voelker, Supreme Court Judge (aka Robert Travers)
Anatomy of a Fisherman

“What’s the best way to learn new water?”

Tuesday, October 13th, 2009

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 Tom, who asks: “As a retiree who has relocated to Florida, how can I get a jump-start on learning how to fish this new water?”

guide-skiffA great question, and an easy answer: hire an accomplished guide. Sure, you can slug it out yourself and learn the ropes in time, and yes, guided trips can be expensive. But if you’re earnest about learning how to fish Florida’s shallow salt, a guide who knows his stuff can significantly flatten out your learning curve. Good guides are patient and liberal with advice, and if you take the time to listen, you’ll leave the dock at the end of the day with a wealth of valuable insight. Just remember: fishing guides rely on hard-earned secret spots for their livelihood, so don’t return to target the areas they show you. Have the courtesy – and the personal pride – to find your own. If you can’t afford a guide or you prefer to do it all on your own, there are scores of books that do a good job of covering the basics. In fact, here at Shallowfish we’ll soon be offering “The Redfish & Snook Book”, a concise, no-nonsense tool that will cover the most important aspects of the sport, including tides, weather, lure and bait-fishing, and much more. It will make an ideal gift for aspiring skinny-water anglers.

Fishing Tip: do the stingray shuffle

Monday, October 5th, 2009

stingrayIf you plan on wading southern shallows for redfish, snook, trout, and other game fish, don’t overlook the presence of sting rays. Ask any Emergency Room nurse of doctor who works near coastal areas “down south”, and they’ll tell you stories that will curl your hair. While “rays” aren’t aggressive by nature, they will defend themselves by jabbing a poisonous barb into the foot, ankle or calf of the hapless person who steps on them, often with shocking force. The best way to avoid the pain? Move slowly and shuffle your feet, which will spook rays off the bottom and send them on their way. If you do get barbed, soak your foot in the hottest water you can stand for instant relief, then get to a hospital.

Sunday Bay sunrise

Monday, October 5th, 2009


Quick pic of a gorgeous Everglades sunrise.