This week was a very busy. Had some non fishing/outdoor related shoot earlier on the week. One was for a Maxim magazine model, the other was a bio tech company. Boring stuff so you probably don’t want to hear about it. You gotta do what you gotta do.
The rest of the week was spent looking for more video footage of tarpon eats. I didn’t get much on the big fish but did get a couple small tarpon to eat really good.
One of the reason I got a bay boat(Cayonbay 2270) was to be more versatile in the summer time. Summer time is when there’s plenty of bait and the weather is calm enough to run offshore in a bay boat. That is exactly what I did one day last week. It was 1′ or less seas, we ran out 20 miles to a public number I had on a chart I bought that day at the marina and found some nice 3-5lb mangrove snappers and juvi aj. We chummed them up to the surface and was catching them on 15lb braid and 15-20lb test leaders. It was a blast sight casting these guys. I was too lazy to break out my fly rod but should have as it was flat calm out there and fish were 15′ away from the boat.
On the way back we ran into a pod of black fin tunas. I cast a Sebile Flat Shad into the mix and got a hook up right away but he came unbutton. I backed off my drag a bit and got hooked up yet again on the next cast. It took a while to bring the black fin in with the light drag thinking the hook might pull. The plan changed quickly once I saw big shark after him. I immediately open up the bail and let the tuna escaped then tighten the drag down and hauled him in. He weigh in at about 12-15lbs.
After the long day on the water the next 2 days was spent filming for the Guy Harvey Ultimate Shark Challenge. The weather was awesome and there were some nice fish caught. In the 2 day tournament the winner took home $10,000 in cash for catching 2 hammer heads right in Tampa bay.
Sorry not many photos as I was shooting videos for them most of the time. I did get some great emotions out of the contestants and it should make for some good TV. I am not the editor on this job so once they are done with it I share with you guys the finish video.
If you think you can catch a shark that is longer that 5′ you should think about fishing this tournament next year. There was on 9 teams and the check was 10k. I’ve seen redfish tournaments with 100 teams and the highest cash prizes(besides 1st place for a boat) was like 3k, makes no sense really.
I got a chance to ride in the new Andros 32 as the camera boat for the 2 days I was down filming. The boat is pretty darn nice ride. Excellent fit and finish and screams with twin Verados. The semi custom boat I was on had 64.. yes 64 rod holders! If I have time I will go do a short film clip walk through of all the rod holders. I might have a phone picture I took.
Cabbage Key Blooms
Black Fin Tuna on the Sebile Flat Shad
Guy Harvey Shark Tournament
Tagging and swiming with a bull shark
Location X flies.. I was told.
May 4th 2010
Today, Lane, a friend of mine came in from out town. He’s been in Colorado the past year and wanted to get out and do some Florida Fishing. This was great, but the only problem is it has been blowing 20knots for like the last 3 days and today was no exception. Now that I have a bay boat now though, it made things a little easier.
He wanted to get on Tarpon but with this wind, it makes for rolling fish next to impossible to find. The one good thing about today was that we had lots of sun for sight fishing. We had to pick and choose where we fish as many place, the water was all stirred up. We did come to a location where the bait was plenty but instead of tarpon we found red fish.
Since I left all my red fish soft plastics at home the only lure we had on the boat to use was Pompano jigs. Low and behold if that didn’t work. We got a nice over slot red fish on one of the yellow pompano jig. After some photos we did eventually saw a few of the targeted fish but they didn’t want anything to do with us.
Dejected we moved on but never did get any other shots at fish. With the winds still in our face at 20knots and the fish vanishing, the boat ramp was calling our name. We packed it in and called it a nice sunny but windy day on the water. It could have been worst.
A couple years a go I wasn’t a big believer in bay boats. I was thinking they were too big, and sight fishing fish was impossible. However after hanging out with the Saltwater Experience guys a few times and all the dang fish they were catching out of those Yellowfin bay boats that I thought was only possible in poling skiffs, I have changed my mind.
A perfect example was today, due to the nasty conditions, today was fish able only because I had my CB bay boat. Otherwise I would’ve suggested we just go grab some wings and beer.
April 8th 2010
First let me say thanks for all the happy birth day wishes today and all the birthday Cash that came in the mail. Not!
This morning first thing I did was to re edit the photos I got down in Sugar Loaf the last couple days. They were embarrassingly way too dark. For whatever reason the laptop I use to edit on the road, shows all the photos bright but when I get home they are all way too dark. I will need to calibrate that display.
A couple answers to questions I got about this shoot:
That is not a nurse shark it’s a lemon shark.
Yes, I was in the water about waste deep holding an underwater housing
Though lemon sharks are not normally aggressive towards human, probably shouldn’t try this at home.(for the record, I probably shouldn’t have either.)
The Camera I used was a Nikon D300 in an Ikelite underwater housing.
This is what they should have looked like
Marquessa mothership trip on the tortugasfishing.com, First run, Water testing the Canyon Bay 2270 in the Marquessa
Feb 3rd 2010
I just rolled in last night from a trip down in Key West. Our main plan was to fish the Marquessa for some the species that should be showing up there this time of year. Species like Tarpon and Permit. We had a mother ship provided by Tortugasfishing.com which sleep 6 people over in the Marquess. This way we did not have to worry about running back and forth the 20+ miles every day.
I am sorry to report again, that the mother nature had other plans for us.
We had 3 small boats going. The Canyon bay 2270, John’s Caimen, and Phillip’s 17′ Master Angler. The fore cast was calling for not so great weather so we decided to leave John’s boat at the marina and it turned out to be a wise choice.
The cold fronts this year are relentless. It is March and we are hitting lows in the 40′s down in Key West, Fl. Winds for the first day was not bad at 15mph but the next day it was gusting in the 30′s. The water temperature down in Marquessa pretty much everywhere were 65 degrees. If you look at some of the photos everyone is bundle up in the keys. It was cold. We did catch a couple small Bahama size bone fish, a few sharks and snappers but needless to say, the weather made the fishing overall pretty slow.
We cut the trip short, as it wasn’t getting any better. Actually it was getting worst with thunderstorms approaching whipping up the seas even more. We followed the mothership back as it would smooth out the seas a bit for my bay boat and the 17′ Master Angler that made the crossing. I am happy to report with 20-25mph winds none of us took one over the bow. Once we got to the other side, the smaller boats took the Lakes passage back and the mother ship took the ocean side. It was a good thing we did. I was told there were 7′ seas out there, with one smashing over the boat and filling the cock pit.
I will make the trip back once the weather gets warmer. The Marquessa is a magical place and the fishing can be off the chain there. Now if these cold fronts will every stop perhaps the fish will come back out from hiding again.