They say that the ability to recall memories from early childhood varies from person to person. Some are able to remember events from when they were three years old, while others do not. In many instances certain images of one’s childhood evoke memories that would have otherwise been forgotten. Personally I am not certain where the vague events of childhood have secured their roots in my memory. Unfortunately I do not seem to remember much before the age of 4 or 5.
Yet naturally, I do have quite fond memories of growing up fishing/boating. I am not sure where this fishing infatuation started for me, a box of squid and endless bent rods on patch reefs catching grunt after grunt? Maybe it was the mosquito ridden trips to the interior of the glades with a bucket of 10 dz. shrimp and a popping cork? Or possibly the first bonefish that melted the line off my reel like nothing I had ever seen before?
Nonetheless the memories are there, somewhere not easily evoked, however fishing with my daughter brings up a lot of them and as she gets older our explorations have grown as well. Back in late Fall we had quite a strong run of memorable fishing trips, each day seemingly better than the next. Many permit tagged for Bonefish Tarpon Trust, our first slam, some afternoons filling the cooler with snappers/lobsters, some journeying in the flooded cypress forests………….…we were sharing many good vibes which is easy to overlook with so much hustle and bustle going on around us.
The flooded cypress forest always brings some smiles for a lazy day in the sweetwater……………
Yet even at 3yrs old, her and I think a lot alike, and when the weekend rolls around she persistently requests to head out on the skiff in search of “fishies to kiss”. Who am I to deny a little girl? And on one notable late September day we set out to fulfill her wishes.
Despite the fact of working quite hard to find some fish, by mid-day we still were battling the ‘ol goose egg as no “fishies” were kissed and we almost threw in the towel. Convincingly I persuaded her to take a long swim then we could attempt the afternoon tide. As luck would have it over the course of a few hours we had many opportunities to fulfill her request………..
Tag # BTT05129
Tag # BTT05135
Tag # BTT05145
She was down with the plan…………….
Not all fish were greeted with kisses…………..
By late afternoon we had left them biting on the best day we have shared on the water yet, hooking 4 permit tagging 3, catching 3 tarpon jumping lots, and 2 bonefish losing our third and last fish next to skiff…………..our first double (almost triple) slam.
With little time for myself these days I am making due with my only alternative to getting out on the skiff. Unfortunately my requests to fish with the guys are getting more often denied as my wife reminds me I catch more fish with the kids, there are worse things to complain about I guess…………….
Good luck to everyone fishing the Salty Fly this coming weekend…………..Sam’s tireless efforts clearly produce a great event!
Another original video clip. This is Tom of Wanganchor. Tom and I was fishing and we ran across a pod of Tarpon happily rolling around. After we got position Tom makes the cast and lines the pod. Despite it all the fish ate anyways. Both of us were excited and the fish comes off. Me being the smart @ss that I am says..”yoooooou screwed up..”. Sorry Tom.
Well, after much thought I finally decided to let go of my 17 HPX-V. This boat has brought me many memories and caught loads of fish. As of a couple of years ago, I went and did a complete makeover on the boat rigging it for tarpon and bonefishing on the ocean. This means it has been modified to run faster and drier then most other 17 HPX-Vs. This skiff is set up to handle big water, float shallow enough to conquer the demands of Flamingo, Biscayne Bay, and the Florida Keys, and display maximum agility while on the pole. Set up to run with maximum bow lift, this skiff can run on it’s pad trimmed high with the tabs all the way up. All service, installations, and modifications done by Shallow Water Customs and Erics Outboards.
2004 Maverick 17 HPX-V
-Tournament Console with 3 plumbed wells
-2009 Ameritrail Trailer (loaded and set for dry launch)
-Powerwinch RC30 for trailer
-Garmin 545 GPS
-Wang Anchor Bracket with 5′ Wang Anchor
-Custom Toe rails by Shallow Water Customs
-All pumps recently replaced by Shallow Water Customs
-All brand new wiring and switches rigged by Shallow Water Customs on March 2010.
-both brand new Lenco Trim Tab Actuators and trim tab switch
-Navman 2100 Fuel Scan meter
-Lowrance depth finder/water temp gauge (2.5 round gauge)
-Custom Sea Deck in cockpit, on front deck, and under rod gunnels
-New higher Capacity Aluminum Gas Tank installed by Maverick Boat Co.
-Powertech 3 blade 19 pitch PTR Prop
The entire hull is structurally perfect… no squeaks, no flex, no weak spots, nothing annoying to have to put up with. Motor purrs like a kitten and runs great. Trailer hubs never touched saltwater.
May 17th 2010
Last weekend Tom of Wanganchor.com and Brian Sawyer of SticknPigz.com fished with the host of the a new fishing TV show . The new TV is called Extreme Fishing Adventures hosted by Captain Jimmy Nelson. They used my 2270 Canyon Bay to film the Tampa Bay Tarpon episode. Since this is a new show I’m eager to check it out on TV. I will let you guys know more as I know more.
Yesterday I shot some macro photography and I got some emails about what kind of lens I used. For these photos I used the Nikon 105mm 2.8 on a tripod. Yes a tripod is a must for macro photography as every little movement is exaggerated.
This will put things out of focus quickly along with the depth of field. Most of these shots were done using a flash on overcast day. Overcast days are great when the lighting is too harsh(high noon). The clouds acts as a filter. Granted you do not get lots of colors on these days but if you can light things up with flash, you can bring it out.
It’s been a while since I have written much, or have done any fishing. That’s the norm sometimes, having to balance family, work and other life events can take up a good amount of time, so I have to keep my priorities straight. That being said, the few times I have been able to get the boat in the water have been fairly productive. In the past month I have seen the flats come alive after a horrible winter. Trout has been the main target as the redfish have not cooperated for me over the last month. The bite has been pretty steady and these trout are hungry. Hanging in all the typical spots, I have been catching them on a variety of artificial baits. I have recently been seeing very scattered small bait schools in the bay, including glass minnows and small schools of pinfish, and that seems to have brought the mackerel in, as I have caught a few in six feet of water the past two times on the water. The mullet have become active all around the flats as well, which is a great sign. I am sure we have finally got out of this winter funk.
Finally, the Wang Anchor was tested and it gets my stamp of approval. I have been trying out numerous other products for reviews, including Marsh Works jigheads and soft plastics, Joe Hebert’s Edje weedless hooks, Mirrolure’s new 10 MR prop lure, Dave Hall’s wood plugs, a newEupro rod and Daiwa combo and an SWC moisture wicking hat. I have caught fish with all the above mentioned products, (except the hat ) . The hat is great, so far. I am waiting to catch some BIG fish so I actually have some decent photos. These reviews will be up as soon as this happens. One thing that’s great about using new products, for me at least, is the fact that it helps me learn new techniques to become more proficient at using artificials in general. That is a major benefit.
Speaking of photos, I have done a bunch of experimental photography as of late; anything from flowers, animals, fish, horizon lines and even tattoos have been my Targets. I will show a couple I am proud of here, but they certainly don’t compete with the more seasoned photographers on this site. All I have really been doing is experimenting with the different features of the Nikon D3000 in different situations. Practice makes perfect.
I hit the 11th Annual Tampa Bay Tattoofest this past Friday, some of my pictures turned out well. If you want to check out the convention review, check the link. I didn’t want to clog up Salty Shores with a tattoo convention review and pictures, so I put it on InshoreInsider.com.
Here are a few pictures I feel turned out well (Please note-No photo editing program has been used on these photos except to sharpen the image, I am still learning to use photoshop properly).
That’s all for now. I have some more wildlife pictures, as well as great pictures of flowers and foliage that will be edited some more, and post them up here. Also, be on the lookout for more product testing and reports, it’s finally time for fishing again!
It looks like a pretty windy weekend so this is a good time to find something else to do besides the “honey do” list or cleaning the boat.
I will be attending the 3rd annual Lakeland fish and dive expo.Salty Shores has a booth and will be represented by myself, Dale Sneed and Richard Traugott. Richard will even be giving a seminar on photography at the event. Salty Shores Apparel will be available for sale as well. Get it while you can, it may not be around much longer.
The Lakeland Fish and Dive Expo is returning for its 3rd year to Off the Wall Adventures (2055 Shepherd Rd. Lakeland, FL 33811) on Saturday, February 6, 2010. This year we have an even bigger lineup than last year, as well as some different booth vendors. Like last year, we will be selling hamburgers, hot dogs and sodas, with ALL proceeds going to CCA (Coastal Conservation Association). We will also be selling chicken wings courtesy of Pinch-a-Penny Pools/Spas and their Big Green Egg Cookers, again with proceeds going to CCA. CCA-Polk will be on site to sign up any potential new members and also handle some of our raffles that will be going on, which will also benefit CCA. The 2009 Hell’s Bay Waterman that is being raffled off by CCA will be on display and raffle tickets for the skiff are $25 each. This is family friendly atmosphere designed to bring outdoor enthusiasts together and have a great time. Start time will be 8:30 am. The first seminar will begin at 9:00 am. Seminars will last approximately 50 minutes. The last seminar is scheduled to begin at 4:00 pm. The expo will last until 5:30 pm. We will be having seminars going on both in the classroom and on the pool deck. Here is this year’s OFFICIAL lineup…….
Carbon Marine Fabricators
Marine Supply of Winter Haven
Rolls Axle Trailers
East Cape Skiffs
Andy Thornal Co.
Awesome Fishing Radio
O’Brien’s Irish Pub
Skinny Water Culture
Inshore Power Boats
Breathe Like a Fish Shirts
USCG Auxiliary #74
Hell’s Bay Boatworks
The Rod Rack Shack
Mote Marine Laboratories
Coastal Angler Magazine
Lakeland Power Squadron
Classroom Seminar List
Capt. Lynn Zirkle – Kingfishing 9:00-9:50
Capt. Rob Salimbene – Tides and Solunars 10:00-10:50
Kevin Fenn, East Cape Skiffs – Skinny Water Poling 11:00-11:50
Richard Traugott – Fishing Photography 3:00-3:50
Phil Pope – Fly Tying 4:00-4:50
Pool Deck Seminar List
Jeff Harrell, Florida Youth Ranches – Take a Kid Fishing 10:00-10:50
Kids Casting Contest 11:00-11:50
Eric Bachnik and Guest – Mirr-O-Lure 12:00-12:50
Capt. Ray Markham – Fishing Tampa Bay With Artificials 1:00-1:50
Neil Taylor – Kayak Fishing 2:00-2:50
We will also have casting contests and demos throughout the day. There will also be a rock climbing wall courtesy of Off the Wall Adventures and many raffle prizes. The event and parking is free for everyone. Come out and make it a family day!!!!!! For more information call T.J. Konitzer (Off the Wall Adventures) at 863-709-9253 or Capt. Jon Bull at 863-860-7250.
Jan 21st 2009
Yesterday was trying to catch up day. Nine am I had to meet up with with Jim of freemirrolure.com. Jim has a pretty cool idea that has been working well. He gives a way a free MirroLure with every shirt he sells for $17.95 not a bad deal really considering the lure cost about $6.00 at the tackle shops.(note: put in coupon code “cap mel” at the end and get a 25% discount, that’s even a better deal) We talked about a bunch of stuff and one of which is perhaps printing up a calendar or coffee table book of all the coolest images.
I then met up with Tom and Joe for lunch. Since I’ve been using the Loop Push Pole for a few weeks now and it seems to be working out pretty nicely. It’s cheaper, just a stiff as my stiffy hybrid and even a little lighter. It’s so light it tough to pole in 6′ of water(for tarpon) as the pole wants to float. I got Joe to to be part of the video projects I am putting together in 2010. Tom also wanted to be involved in the fishing and putting the wanganchor on the boat so everything went quite well.
By the way, if you live in the Tampa Bay area and like authentic Spanish food you need to stop by Las Margaritas. Located on 4031 W Hillsborough Ave Tampa, FL, the food was cheap and excellent. It’s just a little hole in the wall but the food was much better than 90% of the Spanish restaurant I’ve been to. I read some reviews on-line complaining about the service. We had good service as we went there just before the lunch rush. The bill came to $29 for 3 people with drinks. We even had one café conleche and 2 espresso. That is cheap!(me being the adventurous type ordered the ox tail)
I had some time to kill before the next meeting so I stoped by Tampa fishing outfitters. If you go their website (yes it sucks), it don’t look like it, they have the largest inventory of any tackle store in the Tampa bay Area. They have all the high end gear from Shimano, Diawa, Sebiles all the way to castanets(they are the largest in the country) crabtraps, fly gear .. just a monster of a tackle shop. If you have not been there..its like a mini basspro for saltwater fisherman. Also they had the book “Skinny” by Captain Mel with my photos on the cover. He tells me the book is doing very well and that they have sold over 100 copies in that store alone. Maybe I should have asked for a kick back.
Speaking of photos, while talking to Mr. Lee, I turned around and I see the latest Florida sportsmans on the shelf. No, it’s not the one with the girl with a brand new Gloomis hat, in the bikini holding up a one pound sheeps head. (I know, very realistic,.. NOT). Just kidding Rick D. One of my photo finally made a Florida sportsman cover. It is the photo of Jason Stock hold a redfish. The redfish is underwater and Jason is on the boat. Wooo hooo!
I then had to make another meeting with a local boat company near by. John builds a 16 foot tiller skiff. He tells me on the phone that he could sell the boat retail for like $6995.00 with out the motor. So I was thinking to myself, yeah but it’s probably gonna look like a john boat or a gheenoe. I show up to his wear house and I was pleasantly surprised. The boat looks like a tiller Hewes Redfisher. Very wide, roomy and stable with sharp V entry. He said that with a 50hp 2 stroke(boat will run 30mph) he can sell them for $12,900.00 boat motor and trailer. This is a deal for this boat. I know people that pay more than that for Carolina skiffs. This boat is finished and looks like it should cost 15k to17k I asked him how he could sell it so cheap, he tells me has been in the fiberglass business for 25 years and has no middle man. Needless to say I’m dying to take it for test run when I get a chance. If it’s anything close to what I suspect, John should do very very well in the “economical skiff” space. I will let you know more about the skiff once ride in it and I take a few photos of it.
Today Jan 21st more follow up work. (over cast skies and windy, good day to catch up) Things are hopping over here on Saltyshores. I will do my best to keep up.
Photos of large breeder snooks.. all died from the unprecedented freeze Florida recently had.
Some shots I got from this week… poling the empty flats as Biscayne… and the tailing redfish is from Pine Island.