I bet there is fish back there, exploring with the Sandpiper 150. Panic Shrimp by Savage Gear and Rules #74 rod
I don’t know about most fisherman but I waste a lot of time looking at google map when I look for places to fish. Much of the map show ponds and small canals in places with out aerial maps you would never know it existed.
I often wonder if there were fish back there. Much of the places are too far for a kayak to travel to. A boat would get you there but it would be too large to get through the tunnels.
Now that I have the Wingmaster Sandpiper 150 to use many of these places are very accessible. One I get there it’s narrow enough and draft skinny enough to explore.
Today I suppose to fish the powerplant to look for cobia but my buddy was hung over from a Christmas party.This gave me the opportunity to do some exploring instead. I also wanted test a couple new items. A new Rules #74 rod by Dan James Rod and a Savage Gear Panic Shrimp I had just picked up from Tampa Fishing Outfitters.
I had the Rule #74 rod rigged with a 2500 Ballistic and 15lb braid. I tied on 20lb leader with the Panic Shrimp. The action on these are awesome. The sink rate is nice and slow and legs and antennae wiggles as it sinks. I saw the at Icast and was impressed indeed.
I put the cooler on the bow to get better visibility and put the trolling motor on low and let the breeze push me at bit. The 2nd fish I saw, wham!, he smokes it… about a 24″ red. So far so good I’ld say.
I noticed the hook got dislodged so I moved it back. The rubber legs , body and and antennae was totally in tact. It is a more durable body than the regular plastics. It should be because two of these shrimp retails for $8.00.
After some photos and release I looked for more. The wind died down and rest of the fish I saw were very very very spooky. That was it for the redfish but I noticed every time I tried to cast with authority the hook would slide off again making for an erratic action.
Conclusion: Great action, seem to have no problem fooling fish, cast ok (does tend to helicopter), body is tough but hook issue might be a problem.
The Rules #74 synthetic cork rod grip was comfortable. I have tried the carbon ones, it tends to hurt my hands after long periods of casting(jigging) and slips badly when my hands is wet.
To me the action was medium fast, and the bend of the rod was a medium to medium light. At 7′ I find it fairly lightweight and the microwave guide seem to lessen the vibration making long days of casting more comfortable. Dan James Rod uses HMX blanks and the model I had was white. It does come with a hook keeper.
The rod will retail for just under $200.00. The rod is inline in quality and price as most rods I’ve used by many of the companies using the Microwave guides. This rod for me should be great for jig fishing up 1/4 oz jig heads.
With the bite dead decided to do some exploring places I could never get to. It’s either too far for a kayak or too narrow for boat. The Sandpiper 150 can fish where kayak fish and almost just as narrow. This was a perfect compromise exploration skiff.
After beating down bushes and dozens of spiders I manage to get a couple of small snooks in the back country. Nothing earth shattering but it beats casting to redfish that run away from you when you breathe.
Here is a one in a series of How to videos I’m making for Mustad.
Ever loose a nice fish because the stock hook on your lures bend? Mustad makes a 3x strong treble hook that is much stronger than most stock hooks on lures.
I got Adam Walker to show you how to change them out using just nail clipper.
No one likes their stuff being stolen.
But this has happened six times with my images that I post on line.
Recently, a small time boating supply company, used an image of mine.
You would never see Bass Pro or Cabelas do this; they know it would yield lawsuits; both from the Photographer and Model.
After many back and forth e-mails the individual, like the other five companies; did the right thing and took the image down.
I don’t mind people using my images for their personal use i.e.: their FB / Instagram;
and I certainly appreciate the r a r e times I actually see credit given to me below the image.
but when you cross the line and use it for y o u r business, Houston we have a problem.
So, I thought I’d take the time to give you guys a tip :
On most modern digital cameras these days, you can add to the metadata
your name and copyright to the image, helping to indicate it’s yours.
On my Nikon D4s; I went to the wrench symbol and selected copyright.
Rick De Paiva
I often say “If you have never been skunked, you just have not fished enough.”
This video by my friend Rex Del Ray kinds of breaks it down. In this video Rex talks about it in a painful yet entertaining angle.
Rex runs a very entertaining blog worth checking out Live Live Now.
Capt. Stephen lives literally two blocks from me. We have been trying to get out and fish but it has been tough with our conflicting schedules lately.
Finally we got it lined up this Saturday to go fish for a couple hours.
This is December 6th so it was suppose to be cold. Usually this time of year when it is cold the fish head towards the power plant for the warm water out flow. However today it hit 80 degrees. Not a great set up for power plant fishing be we decided to go anyways to look around.
The short run was quick over slick calm waters. The manatees were everywhere and it was definitely a sight to see. The large jacks were aggressively busting bait near the front as we got there.
After catching a few jacks and unfortunately snagging a few rays we left to go look for snook.
Visiting the canal on the incoming tide paid off with a decent trout and a snook.
Using the trolling motor to work the edges we saw plenty of mullet while up on the tower of the boat. I tell you, this makes me want to get a get tower boat. You can see so much better up there.
We got a nice bottom of the slot snook before calling it a day about noon.
A nice scouting trip but this weather needs to get cold so the fish will get concentrated.
I am sure most of you guys are familiar with Robbies in the Keys where you can hand feed Tarpon. As you go further north you find more snook and less tarpon.
These snook though not nearly as impressive in size as tarpon and rarely jump out of the water when feeding are still pretty fun to feed.
They often hang around docks where there are lots of bait. Places where they sell shrimp are the best docks to feed them. Here s a video clip I shot yesterday of various size snook eating the shrimp we tossed in the water after a day of fishing.
I got the Sandpiper 150 back in my possession to get more images so decided to get it out fishing with my neighbor Geoff. Today, the winds were 10 to 15 mph but we had plenty of sun so decided to do some sight fishing. This will give me the opportunity to test the poling and quietness of the skiff as well.
Since Geoff owns a bayboat, he did not make it a practice to pole much. Today it was all up to me to do all the poling.
We brought along a push pole I used in the Hobbie Kayak at only about 14′. I would rather use something a little longer at 18 or 20′ but we used what we had on had.
We ran the Sandpiper and idle until the motor started to bump bottom which was about 12″ of water.
I noticed the skiff runs well on plane in about a foot and floats in about 5″ to 6″ of water depending on load. Like most non tunnel hull boats I did not expect it to run very shallow anyways. It did float plenty shallow enough however.
As we idle in the light chop hull slap was undeniable. When Geoff got on the bow and I started to pole however it went silent.
The chine of the boat which was above water when the motor was running but once we fished and poled it noise totally went away. I had noticed it was very quiet with with the trolling motor before but now it was confirm.
It was stealthy enough that we would be poling in less than 12″ of clear water and would not spook a Tampa bay redfish until we were 10 feet away from one.
Every once in a while if the weight shifted, like when we were fighting a fish and the chine would leave the water I did hear an occasional hull noise.
With the position of the sun I had to pole into the wind 90% of the time and it was still quiet in the slight chop. With the beam at 52″ it was narrow enough that I could pole with just one hand, tracked very well and turned nicely.
With the motor down while poling turning was impossible. After I lifted the motor up it turned great and most impressive of all still tracked excellent.
I even put the pole between my legs, poled with one hand and had the spinning rod on the other. This allow me to fish from the poling platform as well.
As you can see the from the photos we caught a few fish. I caught 3 from the poling platform and Geoff caught 5 reds on the bow and one flounder.
Now that I got the poling characteristics down I did some speed test run using the phone’s GPS. I compared it to the vehicle speedometer and found it to be very accurate.
With the boat loaded and two anglers I was able to get 26.65 mph on the 20 horse. I will add the screen shot when I write the complete review of the boat after I get a few more photos.
In the meantime check out the crazy looking gills on this red fish we caught.