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Fishing Reports

Rail Blaza Selfie system, New Zealand based but now available in the US via Yak-Gear.com

Rail Blaza is a New Zealand based company that makes a universal mounting product. They are available on the US  now through Yak-Gear.com.

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The bottom of the camera mount is  a thumb screw so you won’t have to scrounging around for a screw driver or key everything you want to mounting your camera. As long as the camera is not too heavy you can move the swivel based to whatever angle you like for the best angles.

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In theory you can mount these things anywhere but for our purpose we will be talking about using them in fishing boats and kayaks.

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One of the problems with kayak fishing or fishing alone (amongst other things) is when you get a good catch you want a good photo to share with friends and social media.  If you’re like most people 90% of the photo is your crotch or ridiculously hunched over.

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With the advent of  Rail system they have a  camera mount kit with a universal tripod screw of 1/4-20. This means pretty much any camera  will work with it as log as it has a tripod mount. These  kits are versatile as they get with rails, bar and flat surface mount kits.

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The based is an 8 point star mount so it will not spin randomly on you. The lock mechanism allows for quick lock the unit as it will not fall out .

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Bellow are some examples of the photos that I used the camera mount on a boat and kayak to get  some selfies while fishing alone.

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Above is a I have it mounted on my grab rail with the camera at eye level.

 

Bellow I have it mounting on the deck with the camera pointing down a little.

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Besides the camera mounting kit they have a variety of options. Options like rod holders, gps, phone,  lights, etc.

They come with stainless steel hardware to minimize rust so you wont have to run all over town looking at Home Depot, Lowes, Ace looking for them.

I will be using the other accessories as I get it mounted but for now very happy with the camera selfie system.

If you have any interest you can check it out at Yak Gear.com .

 

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SuperNova Fishing Lights

After seeing many posts on social media my interest in fishing lights on kayaks was growing. Finally, I was able to see them in person on a friend, Jeff Gabrick’s Hobie while launching in the dark down in Matlacha during a tournament. I decided I needed to research a little further and find out what they were all about. There have been multiple posts regarding fishing lights on facebook, fishing and kayak forums and the name that kept coming up was SuperNova Fishing Lights out of Austin, TX. The website is very informative and they have plenty of selection with multiple sizes, colors and applications. I reached out to the owner, Dez Davis, who happened to be participating on day two of a bass tournament but still made time to take my call. We talked at length regarding his products and applications before I let him get back to flipping frogs. Dez is one of the most down to earth guys that you can come across willing to talk you through what you need and then make it happen. The LED systems that they provide are fully submersible–and saltwater ready. The applications vary from the original SuperNova LED Fishing Light with 290 green 5050 SMD LED’s that are packed in a 24″ waterproof tubing , dock lighting, boat / kayak external LED strips all the way down to small 4 LED strips for cockpit lighting. I chose to go with the Basic Kayak Lighting kit which included: BasicKayakKit

  • Set of 2- 28LED Light Strips, 20″
  • Toggle Switch with Waterproof Boot
  • 3M Adhesion Promoter
  • 6′ Extra 22 AWG Wire and Heat Shrink
  • 2 Wire Management Mounting Pads
  • In-line Fuse Holder and 5-amp fuse
  • 6 Tie wraps

This kit only comes in 2 colors, Blue and Green. I went with the blue. My package arrived 3 days after ordering and included everything pictured on the site.

 

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The installation was pretty easy and as far as electronics go about a 2 on a scale from 1-10 with 10 being the hardest. Follow the included wiring diagram and you will be fine. Since I also have the Power-Pole Micro Anchor , I was installing a 2 prong quick connect kit to make it easier to install and remove my battery when not on the water. I ended up hardwiring the two power feeds together into the new quick connect.

 

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First step was deciding where I was going to mount the LED strips. This kit normally is mounted on the outside of the hull but since I have the Hobie PA 14′ I decided that I wanted to really light up the cockpit and mount the strips under each accessory board just forward of the seating area. The placement of the LED in the image below shows the length compared to the accessory board.

 

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I used a 3/16″ drill bit to drill a hole where the power leads would enter on the inside of the kayak’s hull. The next step was to figure out a location for the waterproof toggle switch that would be out of the way but would also not be hard to get to. I decided to mount the switch right below where the edge of my seat reaches.

 

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After verifying all leads and grounds were  correctly connected….and the lights came on, I made soldered all of my connections and then used the provided heat shrink tubing. I then secured all loose wires with the provided wire ties. All of the power and ground leads meet up in the bow just behind my Hobie Sail Mount tube.

 

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Once everything was cleaned up and fully installed it was time to test it out in the garage.

 

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These lights are bright. You don’t lose any night vision when on the water because of the high placement of the LED strips under the accessory boards .   I have enjoyed using the light on early morning launches in the pitch dark and have been out a few times for dock lights after hours. I would recommend SuperNova Lights to anyone who fishes from a kayak or boat. Regarding the battery in the install images, I chose this battery because I did not want to have to worry about charging the smaller and lighter batter every time I had a road trip and drained it using the Micro or the lights. Call it what it is…. LAZY and simple. I have had the battery for 2 months now and have not had to charge it once…. but it is a lot heavier than the smaller kit battery available on most kayak sites. Here is one kit available online at Austin Kayak that goes for $112 plus shipping.

Fishing the 2014 Sticken Pigz tournament and catching a 28″ Florida Trout

This past weekend I had the chance to fish the 2014 Sticken Pigz redfish/trout tournament in Bradenton Florida with Capt. Andrew Purcell and his team.

The tournament is a friendly tournament that only cost $75 per boat. Most boats had 2 to 4 people on it and you can use bait if you wish. This year the 64 team roster was the largest ever for the tournament.

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I met up with Andrew and the team at the ramp at 6:30 to register and have the captain’s meeting. By 7am everyone was off and running to their favorite spot.

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The conditions were slick calm when we got to our first spot. A shallow flat with an incoming tide. We had two guys using top water one person using jigs and me with a mirror dine.

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With the favorable conditions I could see mullet all over. To me mullet is considered bait and my theory is that predators love to hang around bait.

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I did my best to work shallow but I was getting hung up on grass so I worked deeper and deeper to almost waist high. The bite was slow us guys using arties but I finally caught a jack and then a small trout at about 15″ which I threw back.

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From fishing the tournament last year I knew a 15″ trout would be a total waste of time. It is a live bait tournament so these guys were hauling in some giant trout at over 6lbs and measuring in the high 20′s.

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As the sun got a little higher the mullet started to become more active. This was a good sign and gave me a bit of confidence. Casting deeper my Mirrodine got inhaled with what I thought was a large jack. When the fish got closer I realized it was very nice trout. It made such a splash everyone turned to look. A couple seconds later what estimated to me a 23″ trout came off 10 feet from me. I was quite upset as that was very nice trout, or so I thought.

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Disappointed I continue to work the same angles and two cast later I got hammered by even a larger fish. This fish was strong fish and there was no head shake so immediately I thought it was a nice redfish.

When he start to zig and zig the redfish notion started to fade. When the fish came up to shake it’s head it was confirmed this was the largest trout of my life if I was to land her.

Now a bit shaken I lighten the drag as not to pull the hook. Without a net or Boga grip in hand I was a tad nervous but remained calm.

I remember to put my feet together so the fish could not run in between them. After what seemed like an eternity I grabbed her by the back of the head and landed my personal best sea trout.

At this point our team was ecstatic and we are now headed to find us a redfish.

At 28″ and the huge back we knew it was tough to upgrade. We wanted to get to a redfish flat to get the beast Redfish that was in the slot of 27″.

We caught the trout so fast we showed up too early to the new flat as the water was still quite low. We tried the same strategy of splitting up to cover more ground but all anyone could manage was jacks , rat Red and lady fish. We decided to make another move to a flat with more water.

This time everyone stayed in the boat as we slowly drifted in the almost dead calm waters. At this point my arm was getting fatigue from all the casting and decided to sit and take a break while the other three guys continued to fish.

It did not take long for a fish to get hooked and some one screamed “grab the net!”. I got up to get a net and immediately saw it was a redfish. It however, looks to be well over the slot of 27″. It was so tall a fish this wide normally would 29″. I netted the fish and we measured it and incredibly measured under 27″ the Florida max limit.

We were done and it was only 11am. The fishing was not the greatest but the fish we caught were pigs and exactly what we need to be in the runnings. We spent the rest of time taking photos, getting lunch and got back at the weigh in at about 2pm.

At the weight in, to make everyone on our team nervous another team came in with a longer trout and a longer redfish. We decided to weigh in last as that was our strategy.

The leading team weigh in at 15.58 a new tournament record so it was quite nerve racking. Their trout came in at 7.5 our trout was 7.17 talk about nervous. Our redfish was shorter but it looked fatter so it had to do it for us. Otherwise we would have to settle for 2nd place.

Our redfish fish weight in at 8.52lbs. This let us edge them out by only .11lb at 15.69lb a new tournament record, winning the largest redfish calcutta as well as the overall.

We took home the gold, set a new tournament record as well as me landing my personal best trout. It was a good weekend.

Mr. Tackle jighead an afternoon in the sun.

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After forgetting to take the drain plug out of my Ranger for a week I came home to a boat filled with rain water. Yup happen to the best of us. This by itself isn’t too bad but I had left the battery switch on the trolling motor and it quickly corroded the connectors to the point of uselessness.

Lucky for me it did not burn out the motor just the connector.(if you can call this lucky) One of the battery was toast as well, only putting out 3 volts.

Not so funday Sunday afternoon was spent running around buying and installing battery, electrical on the boat. Not to mention I had wait 30 minutes for the boat to completely drain as well.

Ugghh.. one more thing to deal with. Damn boats, you love them but at times you just do not want to be an owner.

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Mr. Tackle, a tackle company based out of Florida sent me some sample jig heads to try out. As usual I let it sit in the corner for a few  months(yeah I know, lazy).  I finally had a chance to give them an honest test a couple days ago.

I fished them in Orlando, Texas and recently right here in Tampa Bay.  Bass, Red fish, Black drum, trout, jacks, and snook were caught with them. I have used them on a popping corks, on regular plastic as well as gulps. So far they have proven to be very durable with a very sharp hook.

The hook at first glanced they look a bit awkward compare to your standard jig head.  After a few fish the hook design prove to work quite well. The point was sharp and despite the thin diameter was quite strong even after I used pliers to unhook a fish.  I went on to the website and  find out they were 4/0 Owner hooks that have a wide gap, XX strong shank with a triple-edge Cutting Point. High quality stuff indeed.

The barb to hold the plastic seems to work fine with plastic and gulp. The sloping shape of the jighead also make it semi weedless when skimming the bottom off the flats.

They come in 1/4 to 1/2 oz sizes and various colors. (I would like to see them available in 1/8th size for a slower sink rate in skinny waters)

I am not sure what stores they are in just yet but you can check them out at these links.

http://www.mrtackleinc.com

https://www.facebook.com/mrtackleinc.mfg
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Tampa fishing with Lace, Brie and Capt Hagaman

I have been so busy with the Salty Fly 2014 this year I have not had much time to fish and worst of all much time to talk about fishing here on Saltyshores.

My fishing has been limited to 2 hours here and 2 hours there and less time to even write about it much.

Now that all that is over it’s time get it all going again for 2014 with fishing good old Tampa Bay.

Capt Jeff Hagaman
Called me up yesterday asking me if I was busy. Thought of not going did cross my mind. Since I would not have to tow a boat and he was cool with me being out only for a half a day I decided to get on the water.

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The weather was the best it’s been in a week this morning. A little chill in the air but a light jacket made for a very comfortable ride.
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One board today was writer Lace Allenius and Co-host of the Chevy Florida Fishing report Brie Gabrielle. Lace was doing an article with onshore offshore mag. Brie was here fishing and getting footage for the TV show. The weather could not have been better today for both of these task to be done.  With the great lighting I was hoping to get some good images to share with you guys.DSC_5830-Edit

After a very short run, we got on the trolling motor.  Once we moved into position the fish was already biting. Using available white bait Jeff had gotten earlier this morning the girls caught snook and trout using the free lined style.

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After things slowed we moved to find us a redfish to complete the Tampa bay inshore Slam. FYI snook, redfish, trout is our Slam.

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Once we got to the redfish spot Jeff got in his tower and trolling motor. This tactic did not take long to find the pod of redfish. I must say getting them to eat was quite a different story. Jeff switch to using cut bait and Brie did get an eat but it was quickly lost.

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An hour goes by with out an eat but the school of fish was quite happy and  hanging around. They were belly rolling and flashing in the shallow grass flats. Jeff explain that’s the problem. It is too shallow they need more water to get comfortable and start to feed.

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It took a while of following the school around on the trolling motor but finally they started to feed as the water level slowly rises.

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The fish was plentiful the bite was slow but before I had to leave we got a really nice redfish. Probably the largest one I’ve seen caught on the flats this year. Brie got the eat and reeled it in as I get my camera gear ready. For the most part the fight was captured with the go pro to use on the TV show. After they were done I got some cool shots of the red fish before leaving.

Glad I got out today now it’s time to pack and head out to to do some more fishing.

Thanks Jeff!

Visit to Mosquito Lagoon & New Smyrna Outfitters

Was fortunate enough to slip down to New Smyrna Beach last weekend to visit my bud Eddie and fish the Mosquito Lagoon for a couple of days. In between changing diapers and peeling shrimp at JB’s, Eddie operates New Smyrna Outfitters, a kick-ass fly shop on Canal St. Lucky for me, Eddie’s back was hurting from standing behind the counter in the shop and hanging fly tying materials all day, so he agreed to pole me around the Goon for a couple of sessions. I was reminded how challenging a pressured Mosquito Lagoon redfish can be…or how bad I suck at casting. We had plenty of shots…made some work…and tucked our tails after others. Won’t even go into the baby manatee of a trout that followed my fly briefly. Here’s a few pics from the trip. Thanks to Eddie for the hospitality. Make sure to check out New Smyrna Outfitters if you are in town to fish the Lagoon.

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Punta Gorda, Florida Winter Fishery

 

 

 

Punta Gorda, Florida Winter Fishery

By

Jan Maizler

Though our first angling day was besotted by frontal winds and rain this past Friday, Saturday dawned calm, clear, and with a bit of fog. Thanks to Captain Ralph Allen of King Fisher Fleet for some great guiding. As always, Charlotte Harbor & the Gulf Islands, Florida came through for our efforts with superb support. Here’s a few images of our adventure.

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Fishing with the Paul Brown’s Soft-Dine with Krista Tucker

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I got my hands on the Paul Brown’s Soft-Dine a couple weeks ago but really have not had a chance to use it much. Not that I have not been on the water but just have not been in the right situation to use it much or there was not fish around to even see it.

With falling tides and the air temperature about 40-45 by the time the sun came up the boat run was not very comfy. We eventually came to an area with some depressions that allowed me to cast down wind. With the 15-20mph winds we were not casting up wind today for sure.

Not knowing what that will eat I used the softdine and I got Krista to use a jig. At first there was no life as we drifted slowly down wind. We started to spook small bait fish and this was when I decided to power pole down. With limited work able flats once I find a good area the last thing I wanted to do was run over it.

After 2nd cast I hooked up to a redfish on the soft dine. He hits on the pause. This tells me the love the pause in the jerk jerk pause as I work its way back to me. Still staked out on the same spot I catch another redfish. This prompted me to witch Krista’s lure up to a softdine as well.

Two cast later she had an eat but lost it. Four cast later she brings another redfish boat side. After about 6 fish between us I started to hear the noise of another boat. This normally don’t bother until I saw what type of boat it was. It was a mullet fisherman’s boat crisscrossing the grass flats on full plane in the idle only zone.

After he was done the bite was over. It sucks but what are you gonna do?

After one more spot on the way in we called it a day.

Conclusion, the softdine works great. It casted very well, excellent action and for a soft plastic lure very durable.
The one I caught 3 red fish on looks to be in very good shape still. Now to try to get a big trout on one of these guys.

Yesterday was one of the coldest day in Tampa at 35 degrees lows. Since I already had plans to fish with friend Krista Tucker

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In Praise of Peacocks

 

 

 

 

In Praise of Peacocks

By

Jan Maizler

 

While Florida is blessed with some of the finest fresh and saltwater fishing in the world, only the southern portion of the Sunshine State has a strong and viable fishery for peacocks or peacock bass. This is the only region in the Lower Forty Eight that can lay claim to this powerful colorful gamester, which in reality is a tropical cichlid and not a bass. And while SOFLA does not currently offer the twenty pound monsters of the Amazon, the swath of lands from approximately West Palm Beach to Homestead offer some whoppers that will create life-long memories. I personally believe some peacocks will reach 15 pounds and higher decades from now. This means you do not have to travel outside of the United States to catch and release one of the finest game fish in the world.

Here is a brief collection of (the many) images I’ve taken while fishing for peacocks with guides Butch Moser, Hai Truong, and Alan Zaremba.

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Boca Paila Lodge, Tulum, Quintana Roo, Mexico

 

 

 

Boca Paila Lodge, Tulum, Quintana Roo, Mexico

By

Jan Maizler

 

Boca Lodge remains one of the flagship flats fishing and shallow water destinations of the Yucatan. All it takes is one quick flight from any American hub to Cancun and you’ll be picked up by their personal van. The drive -which lasts a couple hours- will take you through the historic ruins of Tulum and along the trendy posadas to the south of the city. About a half hour’s drive down the road to Punta Allen and the lodge appears out of the palm tree and beach vista with the vast Caribbean on your left and the endless lagunas on your right. This destination has been under the ownership of the Gonzalez family from the start and continues to please anglers and non-anglers alike after decades of operation. And the best news is that the highly-publicized crime to the north is basically a non-issue in the Yucatan. Here’s a collection of images from this wonderful place.

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CONTACT DATA:   www.bocapaila.com