Super Bowl of Saltwater Fly Fishing Weekend, Feb 24th 25th and 26th in Tampa, Florida, Salty Fly 2012
The largest 3 days of Saltwater Fly fishing in Florida is about 5 weeks away. It is three fun filled days right here in the Tampa Florida area. Here is the run down.
Day 1: Feb 24th 2012 Party and International Fly fishing film showing
This event is open to everyone.
The IF4 will will have a special cut made specifically for the the Salty Fly 2012 even.
It will be in historical Ybor City at the Collage in Ybor City.
From 6pm to 9pm we will be hosting the party/film showing of mostly Saltwater Fly film.
For $5.00 you get to watch Florida’s only stop for the IF4.
There will be a bar and lots of fly fisherman to hang with as well as goodies to given away.
Tickets can be bought at:
Tampa Bay on the Fly, Tampa, Fl
4203 El Prado Boulevard Tampa, FL 33629
Flint Creek outfitters
Lithia, FL 33569
This event is sponsored by Bug Slinger apparel and our Salty Fly Sponsors.
All the info for this Sold out in 9 hour tournament including LIVE streaming info can be found at
up to the minute information
Day 3: G.Loomis Skiff poling and casting Championship, Held at Maximo Park
Yesterday I got an email from a local fisherman named Mark Soussou. He claims that he was the guy in the video that took the video of the sword fish swimming on the beach last month. Naturally I was excited to find out more details and gave mark a call that afternoon. Sure enough he described it in details. He was just hanging out with some friends on the beach and pretty much swam up to the boat. Since Mark is an avid fisherman, he was aware enough to realize that this was a rare sighting indeed. He didn’t have his good camera with him but he did have his Kodak Playsport and took some video and stills of the phenomenon.
[amazon_link id="B0030MITDK" target="_blank" ]Kodak PlaySport (Zx3) HD Waterproof Pocket Video Camera (Black)[/amazon_link]
Mark told me that he had a couple more photos and video that would like to send me. Of course I said heck yeah, please do send them over. Thanks Mark!
The swordfish story was interesting enough that it got featured at Bradenton.com. Check it out.
Here a couple stills and more video of the incident. The new video even show a brief underwater video when Mark was able to get close enough.
When I began saltwater fishing seriously (or as seriously as I can be) I read any book I could get my hands on pertaining to the subject. Over 25 years ago there were not as many books on the subject as today. Furthermore the Internet was still a dream for the most of us.
This is the first book review entry to the reviews section that will hopefully turn into a library in the future. Someone asked me a week or two ago “What are your credentials”? Please keep in mind, I am not a professional writer or reviewer. I’m just a guy that loves time on the water and wants to help anyone enjoy this passion, pastime, hobby, or life.
The fist book review I decided to do was “Skinny: How to Fish in Shallow Saltwater” by Capt. Mel Berman with Gary Poyssick.
The cover of the book speaks “skinny fishing” to me with a beautiful picture of tailing reds taken by our own Sam Root. The 217 pages are broken up into three major sections.
The first section is “Fishing where the fish are” and goes into finding structure, planning your trip,positioning your boat and what to look for which gives clues on how to read the water and what the activity of various birds mean.
The second section pertains to preparation for the trip, namely packing for your trip which includes rigging, various lures and their applications, a couple of pages sharing the importance of sun protection and the products that help with that. Finally there is a fairly detailed section on choosing a suitable rod or reel. Since this is such a varied topic this section gives the attributes of various rods and reels as opposed to just saying buy this rod or that rod. It requires the reader to sit down and actually think about what they want giving them the tools to make an informed decision.
The last major part of the book is our favorite – time on the water – and includes using live bait, which has an instructional for tossing a cast net along with the various attributes of those nets plus how to rig live baits.
There are about 24 pages on recognizing the various species we target with photographs some explanation of their characteristics. Snook, reds, trout, tarpon pompano and permit, cobia, ladyfish along with many others are listed. Instructions on how to hook a target fish and what to do in fighting a fish are very helpful reminders even to the advanced angler.
The last 40 or so pages include recipes, a few letters to Capt. Mel asking various fishing questions, current (at print) Florida Fishing Regulations and instructions on how to use Google Earth to find locations where fish my be found.
I found the book to be easy to read and understand and the pictures and diagrams most helpful. I think this is a “must read” for a beginner or even intermediate angler and yet it has the reminders (“I knew that”) that we often forget and some valuable tips for the advanced angler. It can take years off the learning curve. I wish I would have had this book so many years ago. I might would have become a “respectable” fisherman, if such a thing exists.
If you would like to read a chapter of the book you can click here to a link where you could do that and you can even purchase your own copy for your library (or one for a fishing buddy) thru this link. The price of the book is a reasonable $19.99 + tax and if you type in the promotional code SaltyShores you will get the book shipped to you free of shipping charges. If you prefer to go to your local tackle shop for your copy, They are available at The Back Country in Vero Beach,FL., Andy Thornal’s in Winter Haven,FL., Stones’ Outhouse and Big Fish Bait & Tackle in Lakeland, FL. If you are in Tampa or St. Pete most of the better tackle shops are carrying them plus the better shops in Bradenton and Sarasota that also includes Gibsonton and Ruskin and quite a few other locations. If your store doesn’t have it, ask for it.
For whatever reason the link I had no longer work.
To buy the book or have any questions please email the admin:
Jan 1st 2010
Happy New Year everyone! Last night I was fortunate enough to get a cool vantage point looking over the fireworks in Tampa at my friend’s John’s place. Here are 4 photos of the fireworks from last night. I have about 20 of them but didn’t want to clutter up the “what’s new page”. I put the rest in slide show format via experimenting with a Flash Gallery.
Photo note: The photos were shot on a tripod using 3 to 8 second exposure at f16. I used a Nikon D300 with and lens set at 17mm.
[flagallery gid=2 name="Gallery" w=800 h=800]
Cold fronts have been looming over South Florida back to back in the last few days and with this, there has been massive cloud cover compressed right in Flamingo. With strong Northernly winds, no lights, and a sub 60 degree chill in the air, the typical sight fishing game is near impossible. It takes a strong will and determination to brave through such conditions and stick to your sight fishing guns. As I have been going through lots of stress lately trying to finish up projects and whatnot before the year’s end, I needed a trip on the water dedicated to just whacking lots of fish. If sight fishing won’t work, it is time to change the pace. This is where a former bait chunker like myself goes cold turkey and resorts back to his roots. The Everglades National Park offers a great diverse fishery. Flamingo offers a world class fishery for every angler, whether it be the technical fly fisherman, plug fisherman, or live baiter. I met with coaches Jason and Dennis in the brisk AM chill and we headed down towards Flamingo this morning. The clouds overhead were a sign to rack the fly rods, box up the plugs, grab a bunch of jig heads and head to Don’s Bait and Tackle in Homestead to pick up 10 dozens of live winter shrimp. Yes, I’m going to chunk bait today… LIVE WITH IT!!!
Fishing trips such as these help you realize how fun it can be to just shoot the **** with your buddies while working on filling the freezer with fillets. We met with success amongst the laughter and jokes as we boated numerous redfish, sheepshead, a few snook, and even a flounder. I can just taste the redfish and sheepshead tacos tomorrow evening.
We were continually blessed with bluebird skies this past weekend. I walked outside in the morning to look at my boat and immediately noticed a difference… a slight chill was in the air, winds were out of the North, and dew had formed on the deck of my boat. This was a definite sign that things are changing as we transition from Fall to Winter patterns.
I joined my buddies Tony and Juanki the first day of fishing as we took out Tony’s new Hells Bay skiff. This new skiff in our arsenal will change the way we fish as well as give us that edge we need when having to pole down a school of speeding bonefish. Today’s mission was to break in the new skiff so we decided we should take the day of fishing more seriously (yeah right). Our seriousness on the water extends only to the point in the day where we start busting each other’s chops. It is always a gauranteed fun day on the water amongst this company. We started out our day with a first shot at a quadruplet of very big bonefish. Tony makes the perfect presentation and gets the eat, only to loose the fish while clearing line. The day was then filled with more exciting moments from, hooking and loosing big bonefish, poling down wads of fish, missing some bites, loosing balance and making a watery entries, and finally breaking in the skiff with Tony’s new signature move… the Islamorada bonefish toss and plunge. There was never a dull moment out on the water this day. I look forward to our next day on the water…
The next day on the water was a definite eye opener. Tim and I decided to take my Mirage out today for a change. Have you ever heard the superstition about your day being over after catching the fish on your first shot of the day? Well, besides only having less then half the bonefish shots as the previous day, both Tim and I caught a bonefish on each of our first shots. This sealed the deal for us as we delt with loosing fish, mising bites, and having to work harder to find fish. These are days you learn a bunch about the bonefishery…especially when you have a bonefish guru (Tim) on the boat with you. Winter is definitely on it’s way. Skies are becoming less cloudy, the water levels are slowly dropping, the air is becoming drier and cooler, fish are starting to get into a transitional phase, and bonefish are getting FAT. Life is good indeed…
Let’s change the pace up a little the next week… until next time…
Large wandering eyes, big silver bodies, sickle cells on their backs, an uncanny sense of pissing off anglers world wide… Aliens, Professors, Jacks with PH.Ds, A-holes, or whatever nick name is given to the Permit, it is still one of the toughest most prized species to catch on the shallow flats. Very few things get the blood pumping like a tailing permit. I am not talking about a permit finned out on the surface, cruising down an edge, or sitting on top of the water over a wreck… I’m talking about water less then 2ft deep and a big sickle and fork in the air while the A-hole is rooting in the sand or grass making a storm of a mud, slapping the surface of the water in it’s quest to dig up whatever crustacean it’s large eyes have picked up.
I called Sam up earlier in the week and asked him to meet me in Islamorada this past Saturday for some permit fishing. For as long as I’ve known and worked with Sam on Saltyshores, this was the first time I took him fishing. The morning came and I passed by Don’s Bait and Tackle in the morning to pick up the permit food (half dollar size crabs) and was off to meet with Sam. We hit the water at sunrise and 20 minutes into hitting the water, we were staring down our first tailing permit. Sam served him a crab and we had our first permit of the day… a respectable 15lb fish. I had Sam pole me down the flat and I had close to a dozen shots at tailing permit on fly but could not capitalize… frustrated, I gave Sam the bow and a live crab again and told him we were going to move to another flat to throw at bigger fish. On the next flat, we stared down the tail of a HUGE permit as it was moving down the flat, tailing up a storm digging for crabs…moments later we connected. As we fought this fish, it took a while to dawn on us that this was a really big fish. 30 minutes later, we photographed the slob…it was well over 30lbs. To this date, that is the biggest permit caught on my boat. This was certainly a stellar morning of permit fishing…
We were joined up later by my buddy Henry and proceeded to do look for some bonefish and try to get my buddy his first on fly. We had about a dozen or so shots towards the end of the day but couldn’t connect. The fish were acting a bit strange so we left and rode home watching the sun set.
Good fishing isn’t over yet… stay tuned for more fish porn…
After many years of blowing things up (yes, I was a pyro), setting things on fire, shooting bottle rockets and roman candles at each other… it was time to put away the fireworks and take to the water instead for this year’s 4th of July weekend.
The weekend of fishing started off with a redfish and snook boxing match with Tony, Juanki, and myself as the top contenders. We were able to get my skiff into surprisingly shallow water (even set up ass-end heavy for tarpon fishing) and sight fish a bunch of nice schooling snook and tailing redfish on fly. At one point in the game we were able to double up one after another with 2 fly anglers casting with precision from one casting platform… it could have been a mess, but we managed to pull it off and shoot a few photos in the process. It’s always a great time fishing and sharing many laughs with some of my best buds.
…and this one’s for all the HATERS out there…
I spent the next three days fishing with my buddy Capt. Frank. Saturday, we prefished for the Poor Boys Tarpon Tournament and had a few shots both in the back and ocean. I did manage to hook a big poon on the ocean that day that ended up coming off after 5 jumps. It was a rather sucessful day to help me put together a solid game plan for the next couple of days and for this, we decided not to run far and to stay between Islamorada and Key Largo. The tournament kicked off on Sunday and 28 top notch tarpon anglers and guides in 14 boats took to the upper Keys to compete in the Poor Boys Tarpon Tournament. Day 1 started off great for Frank and I as we had our first poon release by 9:45am. From there, it had got a bit tough but I managed to feed 3 fish in total in the back and 1 fish on the ocean…catching only 1 though. Day 2 was even tougher as we had a very rough start and very few shots through the day. After helping a helpless and clueless boater off a flat (after he cut off my tarpon highway), good Karma caught up to us as we released a last minute poon on the ocean 10 minutes before lines out. I learned a great lesson in good/bad Karma after this. Though we didn’t win, we had a great time and managed 1 release per day, 2 releases and 2000 points in total at the end. Most importantly, it was a real fun tournament and a great way to end another tarpon season. I hadn’t fished another tournament before where I had been put through this much challenge… I will definitely be back next year with more experience under the belt.
I fished my 5th and final straight day on the water today. This time, I was joined by my buddy tarpon fishing legend Tim Mahaffey. It was time to end tarpon season strong so after we did some bonefishing (which turned into redfishing on a bonefish flat) and some actual redfishing, we moved onto bigger and better things and sat at the ocean to tarpon fish for possibly one last time this year. I fed a fish and Tim fed a fish… 2 fed fish, a bunch of leans, and Tim caught his fish. It was definitely an incredible time throwing flies at ocean fish in clear clear water. It truley takes a whole level of skill to catch an ocean poon… no snook fishing, red fishing, or backcountry pooning can compare to the challenge. What a great way to [b][i]possibly[/i][/b] end this poon season…
SOAKED by the poon…
Stay tuned… more good stuff coming soon!!