I recently had the privalege of attending the 2010 DOA Lures Outdoor Writer’s Festival in Jensen Beach. The accomodations were provided by the River Palms Fish Camp and Cottages, which proved to be an excellent location this is centralized amongst the great snook fishery that the St. Lucie River had to offer. The many fine sponsers in this event ranged from top manufacturers in the industry from Minnkota to Shimano. Minnkota had a chance to showcase their Talon shallow water anchoring system, which was pretty impressive in my opinion. I like the fact that everything is contained into one unit and is able to be unplugged and removed when needed.
We also got to test out a bunch of latest gear that spinning Shimano had to offer. I got to fish the new 3000 and 4000 size Stradic Ci4 spinning reels and I was extremely impressed. I will likely be replacing my Stradic Fi reels and adding the new Ci4 series reels to my arsenal. The 3000 and 4000 Ci4 Stradics feature carbon fiber reinforcements, a bigger spool (2500 and 3000 have same body, but 3000 had bigger spool), and different handle knob. I also had the pleasure of being able to fish the latest Stella 1000 on an ultra light G Loomis Trout rod. The combo was refined, smooth, and extremely light weight. I have been asked on many occassions if Stellas are worth the high price tag. My answer is “definitely.” Stellas are the flagship reels in the lineup and the top of the line reel in the industry. The refinement in finish and smooth operation scream out Lamborghini Murcielago. Catching a 5lb snook on this mini outfit felt like pulling on a fish twice it’s size… definitely lots of fun for catching smaller fish and plenty of power to cast a light DOA Shrimp a country mile. I was also told to keep an eye out for Shimano’s new line of clothing and accessories as they will be releaseing an entire apparel filled with technical fishing clothes, rain jackets, and even lures amongst other surprises. Starting with the launch of G Loomis’s new NRX series of rods, Shimano’s Terez rods and Ci4 reels, there will be great things to anticipate coming from Shimano/G Loomis in the next couple of years. The new Ci4 Stradics will be released this September, while the NRX Series of rods will be released August 13th.
The fishing was only bested by the comraderie. We had a fun two days on the water. I was fortunately paired up with my good buddy Capt. Eric Davis of the Vero Backcountry. Capt. Eric and I fished together earlier in this year’s Maverick Boats Vero Backcountry Fly tournament. This warm summer day, we were joined by a represntative from Shimano. Our morning started strong as I pulled the hook on a big snook first thing while throwing a DOA 5.5 BFL. We kept the streak going as we started pulling out plenty of snook and a few other surprises from underneith the docks using the venerable DOA Glow shrimp and DOA CAL shad tails. I don’t know what the highlight of the day was as we caught about 30 or so snook, rescued a pigeon that was entangled in monofilament under a bridge, hooked some freshwater gar, and pulled the hook on a huge largemouth bass. Despite the windy conditions and dirty water, I think we pulled off pretty well. Upon returning to the docks, those who fished for bigger snook were successful bouncing the bottom with DOA Terroreyz and Shrimp as there were quite a few 40 inch class snook caught. We had some bad ass BBQ that evening and then followed it up with a short fishing trip the following day. Upon leaving the event, I was already looking forward to next year’s. Thank you to Mark Nichols, DOA Lures, Minnkota, Shimano, and the rest of the sponsors for making these events happen.