Monthly Archives: July 2011
JD and I had an awesome fishing trip planned out. We were to drive from Tampa to meet 8 other kayak fisherman then get on a mothership and did some epic sight fishing out of kayaks for 3 days.
The day came to make the trip last week and JD picked me up at my house about 10am to make the 10 hour so drive up into the panhandles then to Louisiana. Thought it was raining during our drive I checked the weather forecast that morning and it said all was well at 10mph and Saturday even better.
9 hours into the drive we get a text saying, “Captain says 20-25 mph winds, funnel clouds, and rain for tomorrow.. he’s asking if we wan to cancel.” ARRRRRGGHH! oh no not again.!
Needless to say, us fishing out of Kayaks 25mph was not in the cards and the trip was ultimately canceled. Darn mother nature had destroyed our trip yet again.
We called Benton up in Alabama(one of the guys that was going with us) and he said since we were only an hour away from his house might as well come by grab dinner and fish in the am. This sounded like a plan. Since the weather wasn’t the greatest, we took our time getting to the launch and was met with wind and drizzly rain as expected.
Once we go in the water, there were shad(bait fish) everywhere. Using jigs and top waters, all three of us worked our away at trying to catch a trip salvaging fish. We worked hard and did manage some fish along the way.
We caught trout, redfish, whitings, croakers enough fish to make the day active. Considering the conditions it wasn’t too bad.
Thanks Benton for letting us hang up there for a couple days. I will be back soon when there is better conditions.
I just got back from a road trip that wasn’t very successful due to the fact that the storm that is going through the gulf of Mexico canceled our plans. This would not have been so bad if we had not already driven 10 hours already. We salvaged the trip and fished in bad weather anyways but inshore. I will get a report and photos done tomorrow for you.
In the mean time I did get a chance to pick up the “Might as well Jump” saltyshores decal this weekend.
I went ahead and applied them on the truck and boat today just so you guys can see what they look like.
Since they were hard to make due to the fine details in the letterings and broken edges, there was only 50 made of each.
If you look at most stickers they are very thick, no small edges, low detail and are much easier to make.
These decals will definitely be unique.
It is hard to truly delineate how challenging permit fishing can be to someone that has not endured the trials and tribulations associated to this devilish creature.
Of course on many occasions these creatures are easily persuaded “reef donkey style” over a wreck or even on the flats with a few congreho’s…………………however the trials and tribulations I speak of above are associated with those that have chosen to pursue these fish with a fly rod. Inevitably long term mental anguish is a direct result of such pursuits .
Clearly there are many more accomplished and knowledgeable anglers/guides that have addressed the subject, however oddly enough most observations are similar. These fish can be near impossible with certain weather conditions and when water temps are right, the stars are aligned, fly choice is matching the hatch, casting is on point……………….this list could go on forever and assuming all that is a given, you still have to find the right fish. With permit fishing perfect shots on most occasions are greeted with middle fingers and exploding terrified fish.
case and point………………………
A few months back buddy Capt. Don Gable started concocting a plan to fish the Del. I attempted to persuade him differently but those suggestions were left ignored. However at the end of the day like him, I am a permit junky.
Like early Fall, favorable weather windows truly dictate good permit fishing. The discouraging northerly high winds and cooler water temps of the Fall are replaced with calm seas and unbearable heat in the Summer, generally both can turn permit fishing to shit instantly. Again might I warn you, permit fishing with a fly rod is highly addictive, those in compromised states of mental stability should undoubtedly steer clear……..WAY freaking clear.
Pre-fishing is always a prerequisite as permit fishing is extremely team oriented, from finding fish, positioning the skiff, to casting……teamwork is a must for success.
With increased regulations in Monroe County (Florida Keys) and the Costa tagging program, this fishery has solidified support for their permit fishery. Without the hard work of local officials and hardworking guides, commercial takes of this gamefish were taking their tolls. Definitely positive steps towards a teetering fishery abused by many experienced by few. For those that have hit fishing right, Key West is arguably the best permit fishery in the world. Days of 15-35 shots are common when things align. If you claim to be a fly fisherman KW better be on the bucket list.
Hopefully these future fly eaters recognize all the hard work….
There are so many techniques seasoned permit fisherman attempt to implement during summer conditions which are often quite difficult. When oil slick, zero wind, conditions arise these fish are often near impossible to approach, 80 foot cast are the norm. In most cases you cannot even speak or get within 200 feet of these fish. It is impossible to explain the difficulty presented in calm conditions catching these fish………….as if they were not hard enough.
Some pre-fishing positive reinforcement…..
Confirmed they were hungry…..
Verified zero wind strategy could be pulled off……
And as the tournament began 14 skiffs were met with some of the most difficult fishing conditions possible and lucky for us these conditions would continue throughout the tournament. Slicked and 95 degrees by 10AM. It was stifling hot, cases of water were drank each day, I think we were even sweating while running the skiff. Even early morning water temps were through the roof. When there was any wind, complete cloud cover was the norm…….
Day One- Had a very large group of floaters push on the fly but never could get one to commit and a few other less memorable shots. 14 skiffs zero fish caught.
eerie start to the day as the moon set and a looming storm pressed closer……
Day Two- Hooked micro sized perm off a ray and the hook pulled, quite typical with these fish. Now 28 days of guided fishing among the fleet zero fish caught.
Day Three- Needless to say everyone was somewhat shattered. I truly expected heat strokes to occur. Again we had our shots, had a sizable fish bolt on the fly even proceeded to track it a bit but never committed. Upon our return to the dock we found that in 42 guided fishing days only one permit was caught. The magicians that beat all odds were Justin Rea and Greg Vincent. The tournament results alone give testament to how well deserved this win was.
We were really close but that’s permit fishing……you live and you learn
I have been incredibly busy lately with a few projects but now that things are starting to settle down I figured it was time to do some fishing. The redfish bite has been excellent in the area, with schools of fish everywhere in the bay so I decided to sign up for KBF’s July Saltwater Challenge.
The weather looked iffy as it always does this time of the year in the late afternoons. We get alot of scattered thunderstorms every evening, thankfully that for the most part they are small storm cells that blow over quickly. I like fishing with company this time of the year, especially when the forecast calls for storms. I called up Chuck Statham, a good friend of mine and successfully convinced him to join me on a hour roadtrip south to target tailing fish.
We arrived at the launch with storms all around us. We probably had 15 minutes before a cell would be overhead. After checking the radar we decided to quickly launch, wait out the storm under the mangroves and then head out to the flat to start fishing. After 30 minutes the storm was far enough to wander over to the open flat, we knew that we were no longer at risk of being struck by lightening.
Once on the flat, it didn’t take long to locate the reds, Chuck’s spook was the first to strike home after a couple of casts.
A few minutes later tails started popping up and it was time to go to work. The fish were in schools but they were not clustered too closely together which made them easier to pick off without disrupting the whole group.
I love this type of fishing. Watching a red as she rolls up to my DOA shad tail, hesitates for a second when she makes eye contact with the lure, and then charges at it making a powerful SWOOSH which is followed by screaming drag is priceless in my book.
Chuck and I ended up with 6 reds ranging from 25.5″ to 29″, we could have caught more but we ran out of sunlight so decided to call it a day. A great afternoon session in my book.
I was out this morning with Jon of FishBuzzTV. I got a chance to test the new prototype of a combination Stripping Basket/Casting Platform by Quality T-tops called the “BasketKase”. Actually we came up with that name over breakfast just today.
It is an interesting concept to tame your fly line on the windiest of days, as well as gives you the ability to spot fish faster by being higher. The platform also offers a support around the knee just in case the waves got you rocking and rolling out there. This is perfect for any fisherman, but the tarpon fisherman will find this particularly useful when out on the beaches looking for those migrating fish.
Bellow is a Video of the BasketKase in use today. We were in about 10mph winds on the beach.
Even before the Vestpac won the the award, I had walked by earlier and told them I really like their product.
When I showed my portfolio to them later that day I suggest I could do a trade for some stock photography of their product being used in Florida’s saltwater. Doing barters is always a good idea for something I think I will actually end up using and the Vestpac is certainly one of those product.
A couple days ago I got out with Lauren to do a little fishing and take a few shots of the VestPac. Besides being a bit on the overcast side, the weather was pretty good. The fishing for whatever reason just wasn’t panning out for us. We did catch a few trout here and there but other wise a slow day. We took the good lighting opportunity to take a few cool photos for VestPac.
This weekend I manage to take the boat out for a few hours to do a little recon for bay tarpon fishing. Usually this time of year the beach thins out as the big tarpon ventures back into Tampa bay to feed. Since the waters is not quite as clean as what can be found on the gulf beaches these guys eat a little better than their counter parts.
I usually use a DOA bait buster because of the way it swims/dive and the strong hook. Just make sure you use the “trolling” model, otherwise a good fish will straighten your hook out in no time. If I get one, more on this later on how to work the lure, what to look for etc.
The recon for now came back negative. It seems I wasn’t the only ones looking as there were several boats fishing Tarpon depth to no avail.
On the way in Kapers and I stopped at a few spots that held a few fish. We manage 6 red fish and 2 small snook. I was trying out the Sebile Jig head combined with the Mirror lure little jon. Kapers was using the DOA gold rush swim tail which has now became one of his favorite lures.
This is basically uncut video footage of a big mullet snapper caught in Panama while I was fishing with Patrick Sebile.
Check out the new Saltyshores video intro.
Also trying out a new idea for videos. The boxes at the end of the videos are clickable to relevant videos I made.
This particular video here is about Power Pole sportsman 2 model.
While looking for photos to send out I ran across some photos I shot of some Yellow fin bay boats and offshore boats. I needed more photos with out fish in them to add to my portfolio.
Building my portfolio in this direction, hopefully will result in more jobs in that area.
These were shot in the keys via helicopter. It was mid day where normally it isn’t the greatest time of day to shoot. For this type of shoot you want to see in the water for that crystal clear look, so being straight overhead was ideal scenario. A polarize filter was used to cut the glare and I was being very careful not to blow out the whites(over expose) on the boats.
Leaving space available for text, these could be used for advertisements in magazine as well as opening pages or background to websites.
In case you ever wanted to do a helicopter shoot, the cost, if I remember correctly was about $700.00 per hour. Of course price varies depending on location. Thank goodness I did not have to foot the bill.