These past two weeks have been extremely busy with a new baby boy, a jealous 2 1/2 yr old, an anxious wife and a yard that needs attention to detail; welcome to the American dream 101! My passion is fishing, hunting and the outdoors but my love is here at home which takes presedence over the other. Oh, and not to mention my Godlen Doodle Dog “Maggie” who wants to play frisbe every 3 hours. I keep ending up with a sore shoulder and it is not from casting to laid up fish. Damn dog… I was able to get out this week and it was very productive. I had Bud(grandfather of Chris and Michael) on board for 3 days this week. Chris (11 yrs old) was able to get his first grand slam and slam while Michael was fortunite enough to get his first and biggest Red, many snapper, flounder, and some trout for dinner. Bud, well he struck out all over the place. He hooked into some nice fish but was unable to close the deal. This is fishing and this is how it goes. He was one frustrated man, kinda funny at times but one hell of a guy and an awesome grandfather. It was a pleasure to have these kids on board and wittness the smiles and excitement that evolve from saltwater fishing. Chris also ended up with 3 monster trout over 20″ in a 5 minute period. To top it off he sight casted and landed his first Tarpon which came in at about 20lbs. I didn’t get any pics with my camera as the adrenalene was running and the focus was to take care of the fish and get her back in the water with a healthy release. The boys did get a few pics and a small video on their piont and shoot. Also this week I went to sniff around a juvi Tarpon spot that I have this time of year. First, there was nothing as the tide was dead. While waiting for the tide to kick in gear my buddy Paul Strong and I poled around some remote Cape Coral, Fl canals for Snook (that’s right, canals!). We were able to steal two Snook and 1 nice Redfish (in picture). Once the tide kicked in gear we were in the middle of a load of Tarpon. Unfortunitely for us lightning came crashing down only to run us back to safety and head for home. We were able to get about 5 casts at these fish and that was it. I’ll be back to em’ next week for try #2. -Ryan Eaton
A couple weeks ago I posted up some really interesting shots of fiddler crabs. Surprisingly It very well received so I decided to put a video together of that day. I had to get on my hands and a knee a bunch to get these footage of fiddler crabs. These things live pretty darn close to the mud and muck near the shore line. Needless to say I was a mess by the time I was done shooting.
Hope you guys like it.
With all the strange weather systems that moved through early in June, it made for many days when fishing conditions were tough. We had lots of wind, cloudy days, and now very rainy days here in South FL. There were lots of days when conditions were just not right but when things were as they should be the poons still swim with vigor and chew on flies with much enthusiasm…
All the classic June fishing for big tarpon on fly, though was spotty at times, still went off this month. We found days with very few fish swimming, but other days when fishing was nothing short of spectacular.
Define Text book tarpon fishing: One Gold Cup late afternoon of fishing… 1 shot, 1 fish, 5 minutes of pulling, and past Gold Cup Tarpon Tournament champion Tim Mahaffey has this 110lb tarpon on its side and ready for fly extraction.
During days when cloudy or rainy conditions did not allow us to tarpon fish, Capt. Jeremy Alderman and I spent afternoons poling our Maverick Flats skiffs in the shallowest flats chucking flies at tailing sheepshead and redfish near Key Largo.
Thanks to Nautilus Fly Reels and G Loomis Fly Rods for providing the tackle to make it all happen. The new FWX and NV series Nautilus Fly reels have realy raised the bar of what a fly reel should be. They are the lightest reels in their class and offer the smoothest sealed drags. With all the extremely light weight rods on the market, it should only be right to balance them with lighter fly reels.
I just got back from the west coast of FL. Capt. Rick De Paiva and I recently fished the A.W. Dimock Tarpon on fly tournament in Fort Myers. Being a tarpon fisherman in the Keys, it is fun to see something different during the season. Fishing against local guides and tarpon fisherman, we missed the 1st place spot by a mere 4 minutes but had some pretty good fishing. I managed to drive the hook into 5 Tarpon before finally catching one. Had we leadered any of the previous 4, the tournament would have been ours. But that’s how it goes. It was a fun time being one of the top boats to put tarpon in the air amongst other fellow tarpon fly rodders around us. Gosh, I love tarpon fishing. Congrats to Captains Chris Rush and Randall Marsh for winning the tournament again. You guys squeaked by us this year but we are coming for you next year with a stronger resolve.
July is right around the corner and I leave to spend a few days at the DOA Lures writers event tomorrow in Stuart. It looks like we may possibly have some rainy weather but the company will always be great, food will be amazing, and fish will chew on DOA plastic.
Last weekend I fished the third HCKAC two man tournament with my partner Nicholas Felts.
My morning started at 3:45 am when I loaded up my Revo in the back of my truck.
By 4:15 I on my way to the captains meeting. After signing in and collecting our captains bag, we made the short drive to the launch. I had a good time chatting with other participants while we waited a couple minutes for the launch time.
Fishing was a little slow, thankfully we managed a decent redfish and trout. Nick and I both lost 2 snook which would have completed our slam, but thankfully it was enough to take home first place because there were no slams caught.
Once again, it was a great time with good people and the abundance of prizes didn’t hurt either. The next event is on August 27th at fort DeSoto park. To sign up and for more details check here
This morning I was up bright and early to do some Tarpon fishing. What makes this morning different was that we were going to try to catch them in a Kayak. I caught one back in 2006 in a 14′ Kayak and it was quite interesting to say the least. Lots of drama with the fish rapping me up against the crab buoy.
Josh, Russ and I was the only guys that actually showed up to the launch location this calm morning. It was quite a chore carrying all our gear to the beach. A beach kayak trolley is definitely a wise investment when it comes to transporting your gear to the beach launch location.
There was actually quite a bit of activity this morning with bait flipping and small mackerels jumping about. The activity unquestionably built our confidence up. This time the premonition came true, as it did not take long for Russ to get an eat and the fight was on. Josh and I followed to try to capture some images. After a 10 minute battle the 50 lb line Russ had on failed and the fish was lost. We were bummed out and deflated.
What makes it worst was for what ever reason, after we lost that fish, the bite seem to just have died down and the activity started to subside. I looked to the distance and saw a guy hooked up in a kayak and started to paddle over to take some photos. I must have came at the perfect time because he was just about to land the 100lb tarpon. This was great timing on my end, as I got the chance to get close enough for some interesting photos.
He was cool about me taking shots and I told him to come by Saltyshores later to check out the photos I got of him with his 2nd tarpon out of Kayak.
After that it was all over by 930am and we packed it in and called it a day… that’s tarpon fishing out of kayaks for ya.
So this past father’s day I was invited out to fish with Jon Chapman and his brother in law Geoff. Geoff happens to live close to me and I’ve actually met him a couple couple times. Since I have never fished with either of these guys, I figure it was a great way to kill a couple hours and network a bit.
Jon runs the Facebook fan page for Dupont Registry and it as master at growing the fan base. I believe he told me he grew the page from a couple thousand to over 40,000 fans in about a year. That is quite impressive in my book. He also writes for Bradenton.com, which printed the article about the sword fish on the beach.
We decided to fish the bridges for pompano to make it an easy day. With a 24′ boat and a tower it definitely was not as easy to maneuver as the 17′ Ranger. But besides dodging a few low bridge sections the boat did surprisingly quite well.
The bite was slow and steady with lots of pin fish and grunts on the end of our line. Occasionally one of us would hook a black drum that gave a tug. Sea trout, silver trout, and even a small cobia. We ended up catching tons of fish but absolutely zero pompano go figure.
By lunch time we packed it in to have lunch and called it and easy day on the water. These guys were fun to fish with and we excellent fisherman. I will definitely have to get out again.
All photos shot on the Sony NEX-5 and besides the gold rush for the cobia all the fish were caught on the pompano jigs.
[amazon_link id="B003MPWBB6" target="_blank" ]Sony Alpha NEX NEX5K/B Digital Camera with Interchangeable Lens (Black)[/amazon_link]
Well….It has been a long time coming on this one! BBQ is and has been a great topic here on Salty Shores. Many of us have tried a ton of different sauces through the years and believe the ones we use on our Ribs, Chicken and Pork to be the best you have ever tried. This may be so in our own opinions, but is your sauce really better than the next guy’s sauce? I have to believe NO! Until you have been to some of these local BBQ challenges and competitions or even a respectful BBQ joint, you probably have not really had even a glimpse of GREAT BBQ!
Barbeque can be defined in many different ways. The way I see it is in the cooking process and not the just the sauce. We can all lather up our meats with our favorite sauces and mask a poorly cooked piece of with a great sauce, but can we cook a perfect piece of meat? I am not great nor am I bad. I have strengths in different ways on the grill or smoker. So, what I am getting at is you can take an average sauce and still have great BBQ if the meat is cooked the proper way. This is only an opinion folks, so don’t get angry if you think your store bought buy one get one free is the best sauce out there!
FlatsJunkie.com is a flats apparel/equipment/forum company run by a couple of down to earth Florida boys. These two guys are trying to offer up industry products for a lesser price than your traditional cookie cutter store does. The product they offer ranges from custom casting platforms to flats wraps all the way to a homemade BBQ sauce. These guys have a great passion for what they do.
One day Ryan Eaton of Flats Junkie called me to see if I would be willing to sample and review his homemade BBQ sauce. I was skeptical because I am very lazy about getting around to writing reviews. He talked me into it knowing that I would be very critical and honest about the outcome. Well, he gave me his sauce six months ago and I am just now wrapping this up. I have not avoided this because of his product. Life happens and I have been swamped. Ryan has even asked me if I am avoiding the review due to a crappy sauce. Not the case at all! Is the sauce great? Does it burn easy? Does it taste like store bought? Is it to sweet or spicy?
The sauce really does stink! I will go on record saying it was no different than my 5 year old daughter’s bedroom creations. O.k. I am just kidding folks! The sauce has a lot of good qualities.
I went to Ryan’s house for my samples and he walked me through the making of his sauce. I was able to pick out most of the ingredients by taste and common sense. He would not give me the lowdown completely. The whole deal from beginning to end is rather neat. These boys are rather comical in the kitchen. Back to the sauce! At first it tasted similar to others I had tried. I was convinced it would be no different than any other good sauce I could purchase over the counter. Onto the grill I would go. My meat of choice would be a boneless chicken thigh. Thighs are pretty easy to cook with a ton of flavor even if overcooked.
The final minutes came when it was time to apply the sauce. Evenly coating and turning when necessary, this sauce was appearing to adhere very nicely. Burn potential is always there if you’re not paying attention. I was ready to taste the finished product. My chicken was cooked just right this day and the sauce on it tasted……..Great! Just right! Why would I buy this over a store bought sauce you ask? I will continue to purchase Flats Junkies BBQ sauce because they have a great work ethic and passion to provide all of us Flats Junkies a great product. Oh and because the sauce is HOMEMADE and tastes excellent.
A couple weeks ago I hook you guys up with some cool free wall paper. I must say, it went over very very well. As promised here is the 2nd in the series of Saltyshores Wall paper by contributor Kenny Smith. Thanks Kenny the are awesome.
Kenny has been a long time SS contributor and has some really awesome scenic photos. I’m very happy he decided to share many of his images here. You can also see more of his images at this blog.