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Fishing Reports

Biggest Snook in a long long time 40 Plus inches.

Last week I woke up at 2am to make the drive over to the east coast to do some snook fishing. It took almost 4 hours so that puts me at about 6am.

The place is to fish with Ryan and Colter, some new friends that I recently me through Instagram. They had been on some big snook and said today it was a good chance to get one.

The first couple hours was spent casting a fly at tailing giant snook to no avail. These big girls were coming in with tide and was not very hungry.

We were frustrated but moved on get some bait on the beach. Bait was not an problem. One throw of the net even 1/3rd open we had plenty.

Offshore we go, where chumming up the water brought in immediately lots of bonito. I manage to get my first bonito on fly. The 2nd one however was bitten in half by the sharks that joined the party. We got some great video how the ravenous the sharks were but soon got bored and decided to head in for a rest.

After a couple hours of staying out of the heat and a bite to eat we were ready for round two.

We manage to get some big mullet for bait this time around. This did the trick. We had 4 hits but only manage to land one fish but it was a damn good one.

This giant snook is largest snook since 2007! Thanks Ryan and Colter , will have have to come back with a bigger fly rod to get those bull sharks on fly!

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Venice

Looking back I didn’t realize it has been a year since I’ve written anything about any fishing trips.  Long gone are the many trips offshore seeking out snappers and groupers.  Same can be said about another cobia season up in Destin.  However semi-annual trips to Venice, LA still get my heart going.  I won’t bore you with the little details of the trip but I have to extend a big thanks to my friend Todd for allowing us to stay at his house and take us out fishing on an overnight trip, my first overnight trip to the rigs.  Also to my friend David Sun who put it all together and invited me on yet another amazing trip.

Day 1, we rode out with Capt Hunter Cabellero from Paradise Outfitters.  After a quick stop to load up the live well with runners we were off to the first and only rig.  Upon arrival the best way to describe the action for the next two and a half hours would be Elegant Violence.  A combination of slow rolling backs and sickles slicing through the slick calm water, skyrocketing tunas, and large boils 360 degrees around the boat painted a picture of beauty.  Top water poppers and live blue runners didn’t stand a chance against these fish.  Almost as soon as they were in the water they were getting crushed.  Hunter kept pitching out live runners as chum to keep the tunas near the boat.  As the dust settled and the live well was empty we caught 16 tunas in short amount of time and decided to call it a day at 10am.

Day 2 we left the marina about noon to go catch bait and fish the afternoon, overnight, and morning bite.  Different day but same results.  Poppers and live runners were getting crushed.  We mixed it up a little and decided to do a little chunking and added a few more tuna to the boat.  Right about dark the blackfin tunas made an appearance, almost like they were trying to tempt us not to run out deeper to the big floaters.  We blew them off and ran out deeper and were greeted by more yellowfins.  By about 2am we were all pretty tired so we took a little nap while the boat drifted around in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico.  About daybreak we ran to the nearest rig and picked up right where we left off at sunset.   Tunas, tunas, and more tunas.  We caught a few more and decided to call it a trip before it got too hot and we ran out of ice, 17 tunas and 8 jumbo blackfins burn a lot of ice.

Overall it was without a doubt the best trip I’ve had out of Venice.  Had the pleasure of fishing again with old friends, Todd, David Sun, Jimmy Bennett and Dudley Adams and got to make a new one in Timmy Rattinger.  Thanks again Timmy for introducing us to those M Fischer poppers, you made me a believer!

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Redfish Tailing with Sting Rays Low Tide Tampa Bay

The past two weeks I have been getting things ready to attend ICAST in Orlando. This leaves very little time to get out fishing.

While cruising my Facebook feed I saw Spencer Goodwin posted a clip of some very cool group of tailing redfish. Spencer kayak guides out of Tampa Bay so he is out quite often. He tells me the next time he gets on them he would give me shout.

A few days goes by my phone rang. It is Spencer, he tells me the storm is about to hit us but they are tailing really well right now. I had my gear in the truck already so I said “Ok, let me load the kayak and I will be right there!”.

It was a tailing scenario and I had to drag the kayak over dry land at a few points so I decided to load the Hobie Revolution vs the Pro Angler. This was a wise choice as it was bone dry out on the flats.

Forty five minutes later and I was on the water and hustling to get the spot before it got too dark. Spencer had already caught a couple and was satisfied with just keeping an eye on them until I got there with the camera.

With the low tide, once I got there it did not take too long to find them. I got a few shots with them tailing as Spencer cast to them. At this point even though I brought a rod I was satisfied with just taking photos of these guys digging in the grass and feeding as their tail wave in the air.

As the sun starts to sets we slowly headed to the ramp. The activity of the redfish escalated to something I have always wanted to see. They started to tail along side the sting rays. I sat there and took photos until there was zero light left.

I got home and downloaded the card and it turned out to be my best tailing redfish photos in Tampa Bay.

Thanks to Spencer Goodwin of Tampa Bay Kayak Charters, I get to share these videos and photos with you guys.

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Another Summer Adventure in Flamingo!

With the summer months beginning to reach their peek, the fishing is just getting better, and the only thing that can come to mind is getting on the water. With the weather not acting up as much, South Florida is finally beginning to see the proper weather conditions to get out and do what we love. Being that Im a kayak fisherman, theres only so many miles I can cover before I run out of water with the low tides in what I like to call my backyard, Everglades National Park, AKA Flamingo. Very short paddles from the launch can very much so lead to some pretty good successful fishing trips.

As I begin to look for the future forecasts for the upcoming days, I see that the weather conditions were just right. It was a slow week at work for me so I had many opportunities to fish. It was the holiday weekend of the 4th of July so my girlfriend Yissel Gonzalez was off as well and joined me for the adventure. I woke up to a dark, clear, star filled sky with the palm trees as still as can be. The lake in front of my house was like a glass with the lights of the houses reflecting off the surface of the water. “Now thats what Im talking about” is what ran through my mind when I stepped outside. We load up and now we’re on our way. We arrive at the launch, quickly unload and take off as the mosquitos attacked us in swarms. Mother Nature had a beautiful sight awaiting us as we arrived to Christian Point, a breath taking sunrise.

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We started to make our way out towards Snakebight and we quickly saw some action. My girlfriend Yissel has never caught a Redfish and we were determined to get her one today as her last trip on the kayaks to Flamingo wasn’t a successful one. We were rigged with up with 3″ shrimp from DOA Fishing Lures, hers in the 426 Rootbeer Holographic Glitter and mines in the 368 Clear Red Glitter. It wasn’t long before I turn around and look over to see her G Loomis Greenwater bent over and her 3000 Stradic FJ screaming drag. Her first Redfish ever. Sight casted and all. She lands it and its a sweet one. 25 1/2 inches 6lb Red. Not bad for a first.

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The sun began to get higher in the sky so I switched her over to something more clear like the 382 Clear Holographic Glitter DOA Shrimp. Moments later, she beats her first Redfish with a 26 1/2 8lb chunky Redfish. This one was a fatty!

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If I say that she was excited, I think that would actually be an understatement with the amount of joy that was running through her body. I can say say that we succeeded in our trip. She also had a few with a sour tooth that just didn’t want to hold on to the bait. It was also very much an accomplishment due to the fact that these tailing Redfish were spooky as can be to the point that they will literally dart towards your bait to eat it and turn right before and spook off. Yes, we know, very frustrating. I managed to pick off a couple fish myself but I was really focused on getting some pretty cool pics of some tailing Reds. I didn’t get any that particular day because I was trying to catch fish but I managed to get these shots a couple days before when I linked up with my teammate SuperDuper Jason. That day was a little slow for the both of us as we didn’t catch too many fish. I think he went home with dinner for the night and I picked off one or two fish. Fishing with him is always a plus as him and I have the same mentality, get out there and get on em! He’s been doing really good prior trips as he gets multiple slams on multiple days wearing his lucky Snook Medallion. AWE SON!!!!!

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Over all, the trip was as great as can be. We got to see a lot of cool things and my girlfriend got to witness a little more of what goes on in Everglades National Park. From tailing Reds scattered all over the place, to paddling way into Snakebight to see massive schools of moving Reds. To witnessing her get on her first Redfish and watching it swim away to be caught another day! I say it was a good day for sure. It was pretty dam hot out there but we were ok as we wearing our matching Breathe Like a Fish performance apparel shirts and our Tailin Toads Gloves. These gloves are one of a kind and have so many advantages to fisherman from protection from the sun to having full functions of your hands with no individual fingers, fully accessible! Check it out! I hope you enjoyed it as much as her and I did. Sorry for the lengthiness, had to get it off my chest on how great it was! Tight lines….Oh yea can’t leave without showing off a pic with one of catches lololol

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Adventures in the Glide by Captain Justin Price with Jan Maizler

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Adventures in the Glide

 

By Captain Justin Price with Jan Maizler

 

 

Photography

 

By Captain Justin Price

 

Recently I was presented with the opportunity to run and fish East Cape Skiffs’ new super shallow draft model, the Glide, in the Mosquito Lagoon.  Needless to say I jumped at the chance and was fortunate enough to have a few days off to put this vessel to the rigors of full-on flats and shallow water fishing.

Keeping it Simple-

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Fishing Day One-

My 9yr old daughter Kailey joined me on the first day of fishing in the northern Mosquito Lagoon. Our strategy of staying up shallow in the islands would no doubt be easy in the Glide. We set out just as the sun came up, working our way through shoal water trying our best not to encounter any manatees along the way.

The first spot had some nice redfish working shorelines feeding on mullet and other small baitfish.  Kailey was on the bow casting soft plastics with hopes of a strike on any given cast. With no success there we made a move which gave me another opportunity to drive this sweet little skiff.

The water in the northern Mosquito Lagoon has been pretty low on the low tides keeping the fish concentrated in the sand holes and shallow sloughs. After a three minute run, our next spot revealed redfish and big trout tailing in the grass. I continued to push forward through the shallows to some nice sand holes where we were welcomed by a school of 75-100 mid to upper slot “happy” redfish rolling and flashing on the surface. Once Kailey saw them, she made the perfect cast, swimming a D.O.A. soft plastic on the surface right in their midst. A wad of fish charged the lure in a competitive frenzy. One “lucky” fish won the fight resulting in a bent rod and screaming drag for Kailey. After releasing the first fish, we continued to work the school and brought a few more fish to the Glide, including myself fishing from the poling tower.

 

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We decided to finish the morning cruising around the lagoon and taking a stop on an island which is our ritual when on the water. Our Glide was a tiller model with no bells and whistles. It was super light, powered by a 20hp Suzuki and a perfect match for the speed and weight ratio of this design.  The hole shot was remarkable, leveling the skiff out in seconds.

 

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Fishing Day Two-

 

Fellow guide and good friend Captain Joe Roberts joined me for the second day on the Glide. He was quite interested in experiencing this little skiff’s performance.  We launched early around 5:30am from Beacon 42 in Mosquito Lagoon with just enough color in the sky to see and cross the open lagoon that was already rolling with a solid northwest wind. Surprisingly enough, crossing in the chop in “quartering” fashion, the Glide handled smoothly and we stayed completely dry.

 

We were only going to be out for just a few hours so we went right to where the redfish were hanging out recently.  Joe took the bow first and we started our search for some large redfish that had been tailing lately on the edges of the flat. I kept the bow into the chop as I poled looking for giant tails. Joe and I were impressed at how quiet the Glide was and how well it tracked.  After searching for a bit we had only managed to catch and release a few trout with the largest at five pounds, but there was no sign of the giant redfish.

 

We decided to give it a few more minutes and switched positions with me on the bow and Joe on the pole.  I grabbed my 8-weight and started to blindly work the edge in anticipation of a trout to take the fly. Joe pushed us up shallow to look for some slot size redfish while also keeping our eyes peeled on the edge for the giants.

 

Without success, as we started to push off the flat, Joe called out, “there they are!” Tails and backs were breaking the surface as the fish hovered in only two feet of water. While Joe gets me in position for the cast he joked that “they’re not going to eat that fly. If you get one to eat not even land him, I’ll buy you a six- pack of your favorite beer!”

 

I laughed, knowing very well how hard it is to feed a fly to our big Mosquito Lagoon redfish. What happened next surprised both of us and I’m not talking about my perfect cast. Even though I was shaking I managed to lay the fly just out in front softly and only stripped the fly twice before one of the fish ate. It pulled the line very hard from my finger tips and before I knew I was into my backing.

 

This is something I had not seen in a long time. We both thought for sure this battle was going to go on for a while as the fish took us off the flat and into some deeper water. Between fighting the fish and screaming with joy I turned to Joe and told him what brand of beer I wanted and how cold I would like it to be when he delivered it. We finally got our first look at the fish near the Glide, anticipating a few more runs. Surprisingly, it came up on the surface rolling over exhausted from the battle in just under ten minutes.

 

 

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We were both overwhelmed with excitement while getting photographs and then, a quick but thorough release.  That redfish is my biggest to date measuring 40” and around twenty pounds. My day was complete so I finished the morning on the poling tower pushing Joe to some shallow water tailing redfish with no success. We made our way back to the ramp just cruising and enjoying the ride in the Glide.

 

 

A Look at the Glide-

 

The East Cape Glide is an excellent micro skiff with an overall length of 17ft and a width of 58”. The model featured in the images was built with simplicity in mind with a 20hp Suzuki that sips fuel. There is a storage hatch in the front that is completely dry for personal belongings or PFD’s. The rear hatch it is divided into two buckets- one for tackle or other items to be stored and the other can be a livewell.

 

Underneath the deck just in front of the back hatch there is open storage for easy access to tackle or a camera case. The under gunnel storage allows for six rods total with plenty of room for fly rods.

 

As far as performance, the Glide handles quite well in the turns. It is very dry for a skiff this size in a decent chop. The Glide planes out super quick, allowing it to jump up shallow without chewing up the bottom.  I never measured the draft but it was very impressive in just mere inches. This skiff poles really easy, quiet with the bow in the chop, and tracks great.

 

Most people would be concerned about how tippy the skiff may be but in my opinion its not bad at all considering the size of the skiff. I guide and fish from a canoe as well as my East Cape Lostmen. I stand and pole my canoe around without a problem so making the adjustment to the Glide was not an issue for me at all.

 

All in all it’s a great skiff and priced well too, with endless options available. Where I fish in the Mosquito Lagoon located in East Central Florida this is a perfect two man skiff for our area or others areas in the country where a shallow drafting micro skiff is needed. Whether you’re a recreational angler who likes to fish solo or with a second angler or if you’re a guide in need of a second boat for those days you have a single client you need to check out this sweet little skiff.  You will be impressed!

 

CONTACT DATA-

 

East Cape Skiffs

www.eastcapeskiffs.com

407-658-7933

 

Captain Justin Price

www.rightinsightcharters.com

386-566-4687

 

 

 

 

 

Spooltek lure by David Justice, hidden leader system lure

This weekend I was down in the keys and Everglades shooting video for Spooltek Lures.
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This is the lure with built in hidden steel leader that deploy once the fish eats. The concept besides having a stronger lure it allows for a lighter leader usage as well is not allow the fish to throw the hook so easily.

This is a dream come true for the trophy hunters.

The will have smaller and different buoyancy of this lure starting at 4″ in the near future.

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This is a phone video I did a few months ago when a friend first showed it to me. They have a bunch more videos on their website and youtube channels.

Albino Tarpon or Piebald (albino with some pigmentation) caught in Tampa bay with Captain Clark Wright

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This Albino Tarpon was posted on facebook today by Captain Robert McCue it was caught by Captain Clark Wright.

Captain Clark hooked him from the tower with a live crab. Clark estimated the fish to be between 130 to 150lbs.

The fish was released and DNA samples were taken.

For more information call 941.809.8160 Clark Wright.

“Colleague & fill in deckhand, Clark Wright, caught this piebald ( albino with some pigmentation) tarpon this AM off Tampa Bay.
Looks like a turkey hunter to me” -Robert McCue

 

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Mangrove fishing using the Wasp Cam

Here is a little clip of me fishing the mangrove this week. I am using the Wasp Cam to film with.

Wasp cam is a gopro competitor that seem to offer the same if not better feature for a much better price.

The coolest feature is the wrist watch RF remote that lets to preview what you are filming as well as control up to SIX camera with one remote!
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So far I have noticed a much better battery life as well using the standard battery.

If you are a current GoPro user they have an adapters that will let you use all your gopro mount accessories as well.

Lots of features I have yet to try out like 120 fps and the free phone app. As I try them out I will how they perform.

This clip is 1080 60fps rendered to 720 for youtube,.

Spring high tide fishing, Jerkbait saves the day, Shiner PlastiX

I have to tell you that I feel the fishing for me at least has been a tad off this spring in my area. Not that there isn’t fish around they are just hard to get at.

When the tide rises the fish tend to get waaaaaaaaaay back inside the mangroves. Using bait would work but since I’m mainly a artificial kind of fisherman it has been tough on these tides.

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Using jigs has worked great for me on low tides but when they are in the bushes the jig can only work but so well. I have been casting near the mangroves and pulling fish here and there with jig but for the most part they have been small reds and the bite minimal. Trying to get the jig deep in the mangroves would get stuck or it just does not skip very well due to the head heavy weight distribution.

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The other day I went fishing with my friend Rick and he caught a nice redfish using a jerk bait skipping it way back in the mangroves.  Rigged with a weightless weedless worm hook it wasn’t getting stuck in the branches. This reminded me I actually use to do that but have gotten away from it in recent years.

I gave it a go one afternoon on high tides and  it actually worked with decent fish caught. I fished for 2 hours alone and mange 3 snook and 2 redfish which is not too shabby for artificial lures.

Essentially I would find hang overs where there is room to skip under and try to get it deep. Then using a slow pauses I make the lure look like a dying bait. If it was  snook the strike was almost immediate. When it was redfish it took a bit after the skip then the strike. It is quite exciting as you can see most of the attack.

Just a simple change in tactic resulted in better catches. Figuring it out is what keeps me coming back for more.

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I used the Logic Lure Plastix in shiner color pattern but any jerkbait will work weedless.

 

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The best weedless worm hook I’ve found so far has been the Owner twist lock hooks. These things are super sharp, strong and keeps the jerk bait on the hook.

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If you only have just a regular worm hook they work just fine. Here is a video I did with Mark Nichols of DOA lures on how to rig jerk baits.

Miami Peacock road trip April 2014

One of the cool thing about living in Florida is the variety of fishing we have pretty much year round. Not only our native species but also species found only in south America like the Peacock bass which now lives in the south Florida canals. These guys are aggressive and fight very hard for their size. They grow upwards of 20lb plus but in these canals the state record remains about 10lbs which is quite solid. Mos fish however probably average 1 to 2 lb with a good fish being about 5lbs.

Last week Hank and made the long 4 hour drive to Miami to fish for Peacock Bass. We left the house about 6am. Since These fish like warm weather being there at first light is not essential.

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The lure of choice from my experience is crank baits. Though the are more than willing to hit top water you will get more eats subsurface. Crank baits that dive 2 to 4′s optimal I find.

 

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We met Gus at the ramp at the ponds literally connected to the Miami airport and pretty much started casting. In these waters not only will find Peacock but also large mouth bass, jacks, tarpon and other exoctic speacies as well.

 

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The canals though clear and looks clean there were plenty of garbage around. I am pretty sure peacocks though edible probably don’t get harvested much in these airport canal waters.

 

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The first first that came aboard with small large mouth bass and not too long later we had an average pea at about 1.5lbs . After this the bite I must say slowed dramatically.

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It was quite slow, three rods constantly casting and very little bite. By noon we only had a couple more smaller fish.

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Since we drove 4 hours we stuck it out.We had a fish here and a fish there but over all it was very slow only averaging 1 fish every 30 minutes which was quite unexpected for this time of year.

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We fished non stop from 10:30am to about 3pm. We did not stay much longer as to not get caught up in Miami rush hour traffic. We got a few fish with the crank baits but the overall bite was definitely much slower than expected. We will have to return as the temp gets a bit hotter and hopefully the bite will as well. Now I need to ice my elbow and shoulders from cast so darn much!