Wind-borne Reds

July 22nd, 2010

I headed out solo this evening to try my luck on a nearby flat, knowing full well that the wind was cooking at 17 knots or so. Sure enough, the bay was chopped up and ugly, and I considered going home early before spotting a good school of redfish among the waves. I lost two big fish and then landed two thick, copper-sided reds that went back no worse for wear. The school was packed up tight and very aggressive, sending baitfish fleeing as they moved across the flat. I believe they would have hit anything that moved: lures, personal flotation devices, small barnyard animals, you name it. Their raw power was stunning; when they exploded on top they literally knocked the paint off my lures. Epic stuff on a windy evening…and uncanny timing given the latest fishing tip, below.

Fishing Tip: catch fish in windy weather

July 7th, 2010

For many anglers, wind is the most hated impediment to a good day on the water. A brisk breeze can make for a choppy surface, creates a challenge when casting and can literally ruin any chance at sight fishing in shallow water. What’s often overlooked is the fact that fish go right on feeding despite a ruffled surface. To catch them, simply adjust. Provided the wind in question is not at dangerous levels, simply fish the leeward (downwind) side of whatever structure you can find, switch to slightly larger (spin cast) or smaller (fly) presentations, keep your presentations lively so they stand out and fish with the confidence that game fish can see items below or on the surface a lot better than you can see through it.

Back in the game

June 17th, 2010

jacksonLife took a chunk out of my posterior the last couple of months, and kept me away from not just this blog but my cherished skinny water, as well. Earlier this week, though, I headed to a favorite bay and entertained the snook and redfish, and was also pleasantly surprised to battle a few oversized and underrated jack crevalle. I’m back baby. I’ll soon be posting the tips, news, etc. that appeal to all three of my loyal readers. Stay tuned, and thanks for your patience.

Fishing Tip: don’t fight the flow

April 7th, 2010

upstreamWhen fishing moving water, remember that predatory fish generally face into the flow, as the current acts as a conveyer belt that ushers food their way. This rule of thumb applies fairly universally, whether you’re drifting wet flies to brown trout in coldwater streams, bouncing jigs for stripers in deeper inlets or working twitchbaits in backwater eddies for snook. Send your casts “upstream”, and (depending on your offering) let it either flow back naturally, or retrieve so it moves along at the same rate as the flow. If you drag a dry fly against the current or pull a lure against a strong tide, more often than not your offering will be ignored by savvy game fish.

Fishing Tip: make your topwater plugs slicker and safer

March 11th, 2010

one-hook-plugLove to fish topwater lures? Obsessed with using plugs that have a lively action? Then try this simple trick: remove all treble hooks save those on the back of the lure. By doing so, you immediately make things much safer on your quarry, since multiple treble hooks can wreak havoc on a struggling fish. In most cases, you’ll also make the lure much more effective. Hanging hooks create drag, and drag limits lure action. A topwater plug without lots of extra hooks is slick and very buoyant, resulting in a much more lively presentation. This trick works especially well with cylinder-shaped plugs. Note that you may need to leave the hardware that connects the missing hooks on the plug to 1) close any holes that would lead to a waterlogged lure and 2) add some weight so the lure will right itself once it settles. Will you lose more fish this way? Well, yes. But not as many as you’d think, and the trade-off is a good one, both in terms of fish welfare and more strikes.

Buy a custom rod for cancer

March 3rd, 2010

pink-rod
My good buddy Joe is putting the finishing touches on one of his fine custom rods – this one a pink, gold and black beauty. The proceeds will go to support a cure for breast cancer, so if you know of a special lady angler (or any angler who likes hot pink) who would relish a hand-crafted, unique gift, now’s your chance. This is a 6′ 6″, fast-action rod well-suited to a wide variety of light-tackle, shallow-water applications, from narrow creeks to shorelines to open water. Proven on a wide variety of coastal saltwater gamefish, it is intended for line in the 6-12 lb. range. Has enough flex to cast 1/4–5/8 oz. lures with distance and accuracy, yet plenty of backbone to turn large fish with authority. Crafted with an attention to detail unmatched in mass-produced rods. Features only the finest components, including: black, 1-piece St Croix SC2 graphite blank; Fuji Hardloy single-foot guides with matching Fuji Hardloy tip-top guide; custom painted reel seat; select-grade cork rear and fore-grips; and clear Flex-coat finish along entire length of rod for optimal durability and a deep, true luster. Makes a fantastic gift for a friend, family member, business associate, etc. Bidding starts at $175.

Interested in landing a great rod and supporting a wonderful cause? Contact us today.

Fly Fishing is a Pain in the Ass

February 20th, 2010

kid-tangleOK, before the elitist, Orvis-bedecked types get their feathers ruffled (or hackles up, to milk the pun), know this: I love fly fishing. I love the whistle of the line through the guides, the graceful loops, and the sight of a well-constructed streamer flicking under the surface with a more realistic action than any conventional lure can muster. Fly fishing is artful, old school, and, at times, unbridled fun. But it’s still a raging pain in the keester. If you haven’t fished in a while, your line comes off the reel like a Slinky. Backcasts collapse like a government-run program, and leaders mysteriously tie wind knots that would make a seamstress gasp. Read the rest of this entry »

Fishing Cartoon

February 19th, 2010

Earl&Water4

Angling is always in season

February 13th, 2010

lyonsAngling is always in season for me. In all seasons, I fish or think fish; each season makes its unique contribution, and there is no season of the year when I am not angling.

Nick Lyons, Winter Dreams

Ditch Fishin’

February 10th, 2010

We gave the snook a deserved break this past week, opting to fish some remote canals for bass instead. Joe and I did just fine on bass and snook, and Abby and I fished a residential canal minutes from our home over the weekend and scared up a few fish. No records were set, but we took the first step toward a personal 2010 goal: to catch a peacock bass locally. We also brought PITA the Wonder Dog along for her first boat trip, and she showed angling promise. Sadly, we learned that some of the remote canals we fished will soon be filled in as part of the controversial Everglades Restoration Project. I’m sure these people’s hearts are in the right place, but the canals in question and the surrounding land are brimming with fish and other wildlife, including water birds of every stripe, otters, deer, alligators, and a host of assorted, furry critters. I’m doing my best to educate myself about the specifics of the plan, and I’d appreciate any insight our readers can provide.