Tarpon, Redfish and Trout with Jeff Ruppart plus a little Social Media Blurb.


Yesterday I visited Ft. Lauderdale, Fl for a very productive meeting. The meeting was basically about how the company could have a better internet presence via social media.

I was consulting them how to get better traffic, search engine results, sales, branding, and maintaining customer loyalty for next to nothing compared to traditional media. The basic concept was to take advantage of currently free resources, leveraging it and turning it into $$$, what else right?

Not only for growth, many companies are starting figure out ways to embraced and utilize Facebook, twitter, YouTube to increase and or maintain market share.

As this happens I’m getting more and more request and questions about how to go about leveraging the resource. From just setting and optimizing the infrastructure(for them to maintain) to actually maintaining their presences online. (By the way since we last talked about rankings Saltyshores has jumped almost 40,000 higher in the rankings according to Alexa.)

For those of you who thought I was crazy a couple of years ago, I just want to say one thing “I told you so! Ha!”. Nah, just kidding really, it’s not too late and there is plenty of room for growth. Just realize it before your competition does.

I first talked about this in 2009. If you want read more about it, here are the links.

Saltyshores in the Social Media
Social Media discussion the tide moves on with or without you

Ok back to the fishing stuff. Since it was blowing heavy from the east, staying the night over there and doing some fishing was out of the question. I gave some calls to some friends on the west coast and got a hold of Jeff Ruppart, one of the guys that Fished the Salty Fly. He said he could fish and would be happy to take me out, Cool!.

Since Matlacha was 1.5-2hrs from my house I needed a place to sleep. I gave my friend Rich Osgood a call and he set me up with Joe Harley. I crashed on Joe’s couch for the night.

Jeff ties flies for living. Yes you heard it right, he actually ties flies for a living. I was thinking, you are competing with China, Mexico, Philippines and all the other third world country out there. How? He tells me he does a lot for local shops and guides from Florida all the way to Alaska where he use to live and still visit. I said more power to you man. Though he is a little embarrassed of his website, If you want to check out his collection here is his website: http://jruppartscustomflies.com He tells me when he gets back from Alaska this season, he wants me to revamp his website and integrated all the social media tools. I told him, “You better be ready for some orders!”

That night at Joe’s house was not as nice and quiet as I would like. Since Joe hasn’t been home his cat was really annoying me to death by meowing every 5 minutes. Needless to say it was tough to get any form of rest after a long day. I think I woke up at 3:30am and just could not get back to sleep. I finally fall asleep at 5am and was woken up 5:30 when Jeff called to meet him at 6am, nice.

The morning was brisk for a June morning. Usually by this time of year in Florida it is warm, hot and muggy in the am. Jeff’s 18′ Sea Chaser was actually quite impressive in 10mph small chop we had that morning. The first spot produced a small trout but little else. We decided to run to another area and that spot too, at least at first glance was dead. Regardless, we decided to throw the top water around for a bit to do some recon fishing. This was a great idea since a couple of cast later I got really nice 23″ trout on the super spook jr.

After a couple of photo and release of the trout we started to see what we came there for, Juvi tarpon in shallow waters. I toss the top water in the general direction several time but no luck. I broke out Jeff’s 8 wt which had a purple seaducer tied on to it and stripped out some line. On the 3rd cast I had an eat but it did not stick.

{if you to see the video I made of Matlacha Tarpon that was feature in Fly Fishing in Saltwater Click here}

Now they were starting to roll around us and let the wind carried us closer to the main pod. One rolled at 12 O’clock I made a crappy cast, had a follow but he turned off. One rolled at 2 O’Clock but with the wind the back hand cast fell short. Jeff angled the boat and I finally got a good cast in and a tarpon was on, all be it for only 2 jumps. Since this was only and 8 wt I did not put too much pressure on the fish thinking it would break the leader.

Jeff told me he had 40lb leader on there and not to worry about it. The next fish I had on I hammered the strike and it stuck! The tarpon tailed walked 15′ on it’s first series of jump. Wooo hoo! Since it was only Jeff and I on the boat I got him to take some video. After about 5-10minutes we had leadered the 30lb fish and wanted to get some shots. Jeff had the fish in his hands but it shook loose before I could grab the camera.

Another 30 minutes of casting I had another eat but it did not stick. After this the bite was over. We moved fish for reds and trout to ended the day. I looked at my phone and it was only 10:30am perfect time to call it a day so I could go home and get some good sleep. Thanks Jeff we will do it again.