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First impressions of the Lowcountry

South Carolina, commonly known to us sportsman as the “lowcountry”; is a part of the world rich in history, good food, great fishing, and that good ole’ southern hospitality of the true south. I had an opportunity to make my first visit to the lowcountry this early Fall. This was a great opportunity to live all the great things I had always read and heard about via old writings, bayside discussions, and social media. I spent a couple days in Beaufort and then in Charleston, taking part in some flood tide and lowtide fishing, cast and blasting, and without a doubt the best southern food this foodie has ever tasted.

The floodtide was a completely new experience itself. I witnessed the giant tides flush into the spartina marsh and fill in the once dry fields of spartina grass teaming with fiddler crabs and snails.

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As the water rose, redfish began to snake their way into the grass, subtlety pushing over blades of grass like ninjas, sneaking into clearings and tailing on fiddler crabs.

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And as the tide rose up and covered up the tails of redfish, it marked time to stow away the fly rods and replace it with a shotgun in hand. Shooting birds out of a flats skiff was a definite first and definitely won’t be the last. Rather then be stealthy, the name to this game is to make your presence known, flushing marsh hens (clapper rails for those curious about what they actually are) out of the grass, allowing us to take the shot. This is a practice rich in history to itself.

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The cast and blast experience in the lowcountry was greatly complimented with some of the most beautiful coastal scenes I had ever witnessed.

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Special thanks to my hosts for making my first visit really special:
Capt. Owen Plair (http://www.redfishbeaufort.com/)
Will Abbot (http://www.floodtideco.com/)
Andy and Connie Villacres
Len and Jeannie Villacres

I will be back very soon…
LAU_6362There is something on the very right I’ll have along with me next.

 

Pending fishing Road Trip agenda

I will be doing a road trip in September towing a small 2 man skiff from Tampa to Texas and then back. I am thining seven to 10 days and stopping along the coast to do some fishing. Here are a few places people have suggest. As it gets closer I can start to narrow things down.

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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An Image Roundup of Recent Story Trips

 

 

 

An Image Roundup of Recent Story Trips

By

Jan S. Maizler

Here are some images of trips that took place through the late Winter into early Spring and stretched from Florida’s Space Coast to the Keys.

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Some of the guides involved were Justin Price, Butch Moser, Butch Constable, Hai Truong, Gus Montoya, Rob Munoz, David Accursio and Martin Carranza. Thanks to all !

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.

goon sunrise 3 DCIM264GOPRO DCIM264GOPRO goon redfish poling the lagoon eddie RCI goon heron jay goon redfish DCIM264GOPRO DCIM264GOPRO eddie running GA river sunet

2013 Tampa Fly Club Big Gun shoot out Nov 17th Tampa, Fl

Today I participated in the Big Gun shoot out. The shoot out is an event put on annually by the Tampa Fly fishing club.

There is no entry fee and they even serve you food. Everyone is invited to honed their skills whether you are a member or not. You show your various skills and them up for the most for points.

There is an award for the Longest cast, best team with the most points, and an overall champion.

The Hoop: you cast into the hoop and once fly settles they measure the distance from the loop. You are timed.
Big Gun: You get 3 tries to cast your furthest. Winner this year had 120′ plus.
V-Fish: you cast and your leader must land on the V. You move back further to get more points. You are timed.
Hanson Cup: Toughest part of the event. 90% of the people never hits the cup in the allotted time.
Mangrove: you cast and your fly must go through and under the bar. You move back further to get more points. You are timed.
Accuracy: you cast in the the hoops. You get extra points if you land on the frisbee and extra points for back hand. You are timed.

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The fly and leader  everyone must use.

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The accuracy

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Big Gun Matt

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BooneDox a better truck bed extender, Kayak carriers video review, T-bone bed extender review

If you every used a truck bed extender then you are familiar with scrapping up your driveway and hitting speed bumps. Due to the design of the extenders under load the metal is sure to hit the asphalt sooner or later.

The guys at BooneDox Saw a need for a better bed extender so they came up with the T-bone. Again I say to myself “why didn’t I think of this!?”.

The concept is quite simple. Instead of heaving it squared off it curves upwards leaving plenty of clearance. It’s lightweight, compact and looks much better than the run of the mill bed extender.

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Colorblind Redfish

Here’s some pics from my recent redfish outings. Thought I’d post them in black and white. Seems like a lot of us (myself included)  get caught up trying to enhance our photos with crazy amounts of color and generally over-editing them to death. There’s something a little more honest about a black and white photo, so here ya go. Thanks for checking them out.

SS B&W tailer with grass SS B&W skiff SS B&W Heath release 02 SS B&W white pellys SS whirlpool B&W SS B&W tailer SS B&W grass flat SS B&W eye SS B&W eagle SS B&W groat SS B&W caught fish SS B&W tailer behind grass SS B&W velcro fly SS B&W Jamie running SS B&W caught fish (1) SS B&W Heath release SS B&W running platform

Power Pole Micro hands on real wolrd saltwater review on the Hobie Pro Angler 14, Production model

As you guys might have known I had the pre production model of the Power Pole Micro a few months back before it was released.  The original prototype was a quick production model so it was not made to be sturdy and since then I had to return the unit to Power Pole.

The debut at ICAST 2013 could not have gone better and the Power Pole Micro ended up winning best of show.

Last week I got my hands on the production model and have been fishing it almost daily. The improvements over the protype unit that I have noticed have been quite impressive.

It now has a full functioning power control allowing you to adjust power level so you can use on a Kayak to boats up to 1500lbs.

The battery meter tells you how much juice you have left. I used mine for 3 days straight and only lost one bar. It is very efficient.

The unit is waterproof, I have dunk mine several times launching it off the dock and each time the unit gets submerged(saltwater) for a few seconds and its working like a champ.

It now senses the end of the pole on the way up. This allows for it to click down to hold the stake out pole in a more stable manner.

The remote is now just like the Power Pole unit. 2 clicks down it deploys until you are stopped, 2 clicks up it comes up until it its fully stowed.

I now can fish my Hobie Pro Angler 14 just a small skiff. Pole the flats until I see a fish and stop or drift the flats until I hook up and stop the boat to fight the fish. I also can drift near a structure and can stop and fish it a lot longer than just drifting by.

The unit can be removed and stowed in your car, hotel room in under 2 minutes. With just a 12 volt source you can move the anchor system from boat to boat. One anchor system for you kayak, Gheenoe, Jon Boat, Small skiff is awesome.

It retails for $599.00 and they say it will be available in January 2014.

At $599 it does come with remote but not a stake out pole. However JL. Marine made the pole a popular size so many of the available manual anchors will work just fine in it like the Wanganchor. (yes I tested it)

 

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South Carolina Tarpon – Lowcountry Tarpon Tournament

Haven’t posted in a while, but wanted to share a South Carolina Tarpon report and try to raise awareness for a tournament we have coming up. This year’s Lowcountry Tarpon Tournament will be held September 13th & 14th out of Georgetown, South Carolina. The tournament is an annual event that benefits tarpon research conducted by the Bonefish & Tarpon Trust. Virtually all of the tournament proceeds go to BTT for the study of migratory tarpon along our coastline. It’s a 2 day format with a really fun awards ceremony at the end of the second fishing day. Members of BTT will be on-site for presentations and Q&A. If you are interested in learning more about South Carolina’s tarpon fishery, then please consider fishing or just joining us for the awards ceremony on Saturday evening. We will have some great auction items this year including some of Sam’s lifeproof cases, local artwork, fishing gear, and more. More info can be found at www.lowcountrytarpon.com . We are really stoked to have Paul Puckett from Charleston, South Carolina as this year’s tournament artist. Paul is a very talented dude and if you haven’t checked out is stuff then do yourself a favor and click on www.paulpuckettart.com .  Here’s the official print from Paul, which will be featured on this year’s tournament shirts donated by Patagonia.

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Here’s some tarpon photos from a couple of fish that Douglas Miller, Brit Rodgers, and I caught this past weekend in Georgetown. One of them was Brit’s first tarpon ever…and a South Carolina one at that…a pretty dang exciting moment for all of us. I’d say they are here in pretty good numbers leading up to the tournament. I also included some pics from this past flood tide because I thought they were pretty cool. It almost feels like fall outside and the fishing is really starting to get right. Hope to see y’all at the tournament.

bridge sunrise castnet bunkers tarpon jump close pelican tarpon flop tarpon kiss tarpon jump 2 morning run jay & douglas tarpon moon reflect tailer and grass andrew cast05 crawler          

 

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