rods and reels You Can Be Proud Of

Saltwater Seminars, Vendors & More In Store Only It’s time to mark your calendars for the Bass Pro Shops Saltwater Event. Throughout the weekend there will be vendors such as Accurate, Daiwa and Seeker with Representatives in store to answer all your specific product needs. Also Captains Frank Ursitti and Tucker McCombs will be hosting seminars discussing gear and techniques to catch that prize fish. Visit the following link for more information about this event.

http://www.basspro.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/CFPageC?storeId=10151&catalogId=10051&langId=-1&appID=94&storeID=52

Frigate Reels: Now On Sale Also it is a great time to restock your gear with great sales on Offshore Angler Products such as the Frigate Spinning Reels. With sizes from 3000 to 8000, these reels will fit any angler’s inshore and offshore needs. These reels will be on sale from $69.99 to $89.99 until November 9th. Check out the following link for more information about this great product.

http://www.basspro.com/Offshore-Angler-Frigate-Spinning-Reels/product/1304290721425/

New Johnny Morris Carbon lite In Store Now One of our most popular low profile reels is now featured in a white finish. Weighing in at only 5.8 ounces and featuring six alternating carbon and stainless steel drag washers. The Carbon lite is one of the lightest and strongest reels on the market. Also priced at $129.99 the Carbon lite is one of the most affordable lightweight reel on the market. This reel is available right-handed in 5:4:1, 6:4:1 and 7:1:1 gear ratio. Currently left-handed reels are only available in 6:4:1 gear ratio.

 

 

 

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Tie One On: Crawshrimp

Just like this month’s Fishy Fact, we are gonna get a little salty with this month’s Tie One On! Not only are we getting salty but we’re going slightly 1950’s B-Grade Horror Film with it. It is almost straight out of one of those cheesy monster movies, ladies and gentlemen I give you: The Crawshrimp!

No please note, every time you say Crawfish it needs to sound like how Lord Business from The Lego Movie would say “The Kragle!” Please note, if you have not seen The Lego Movie that you have permission to stay inside and watch it instead of being outside fishing or what-have-you.

Just like you use certain patterns for certain fish in freshwater, the same goes for saltwater fishing. Fly patterns are an attempt to create/mimic natural prey to initiate a strike from a fish. You wouldn’t toss a big ol’ bass plug at a dainty brown trout, and you’re not gonna use a salmon egg for snook or redfish!

So now we have to think about the kind of prey saltwater species go after and start making flies to match! The Crawshrimp combines two very common prey items for saltwater fish, especially inshore ones, a crustacean and shrimp.     

This is a sinking bait, as it is not common to find these kinds of prey floating on top of the water. Commonly, sinking saltwater flies are designed to bury themselves into the sand. This one does not. Because of this, it is easy to work off the bottom in a number of ways. This allows the fisherman to create a number of scenarios with the pattern including the bait being injured or fleeing in order to tempt a strike. If a fisherman were to retrieve in short successive strips it gives the illusion of being a shrimp scurrying away.

Commonly this pattern is used on sea trout, snook and redfish. All of these fish are a lot of fun to catch and put up a good fight. One thing to consider with getting any kind of saltwater gear for fly-fishing is how corrosive saltwater can be. Just like with regular fishing, you will want a good saltwater reel specially built for that purpose. Stop by the White River Fly Shop and get all the goodies you could possibly need. Our very own Ed just took a saltwater fly-fishing trip with his family. You can bet he took stock before heading out.

-Giddy-Up!!

Previous Patterns

Woolly Bugger

Royal Coachman

Pheasant Tail Nymph

 

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Fishy Facts: Bull Shark

So I found myself in a conundrum if you will. I seem to focus on freshwater species when it comes to my Fishy Facts blogs. In fact, it would appear that I have only done two about saltwater species. So I feel bad for our saline-loving friends, but I’m from Arizona! I know about as much about the ocean as Fozzie Bear does in Muppet Treasure Island… “Oh! The big, blue wet-thing!!!” So why not cover a species that is mostly found in saltwater but is notorious for being in freshwater as well… the bull shark!

The bull shark is found throughout the world in warmer waters. They typically are also found in shallower waters. Like I stated above, they can make the transition into freshwater and brackish water. Brackish water is the level in between fresh and salt water when it comes to salinity. If you haven’t ever seen Shark Week on Discovery Channel… well one, go away and two, get on it! They always drive this fact home about the bull shark.

Another thing that sets bull sharks apart from other species is their general temperament. There is the stereotype that sharks are evil. People believe they are mindless-killing machines. This is mostly because of horror movies and the fact that you only hear about sharks in the news when there is an attack. Luckily, more and more information about the true nature of sharks is making its way to the general public and people are more understanding of them. So really sharks that bite onto something are seen as being curious, because that is how sharks investigate things. So the mindless-killing machine viewpoints are disappearing, but the bull shark can be one tough fish. They can produce massive amounts of testosterone which can lead them to being more aggressive.

So here we have a shark that not only swims in waters we think should be shark free, but also are more aggressive. Could be a recipe for disaster, and while bull sharks are the most common species of shark in shark attacks, but shark attacks are really uncommon occurrences.

Bull shark are strong fighters because of their size and temperament, which makes them an awesome fish to catch. The key is to hold on… and don’t fall in. There was an episode of River Monsters that covered the bull shark. The show’s host caught one, tagged and released it. The shark then swam off and was located several times under other fishing boats. This shows how intelligent and opportunistic they are. The shark was literally waiting for fishermen to do its work and would just eat the catch off the hook.

I have not been able to find any reviews on how the shark taste nor any recipes. But it would be safe to assume it tastes great fried!

-Giddy-Up!!

Former Fishy Facts

Grayling

Northern Pike

Rainbow Trout

Largemouth Bass

Peacock Bass

Walleye

Billfish

Dolphinfish

Crappie

Catfish

 

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Catch Me If You Can

We can taste salt on our lips and smell it in the breeze blowing past us. We can see for miles as the sun rises to the left of us. How did we get here? Where are we? What are we doing? We’re saltwater fishing.

It all started at Bass Pro Shops. We saw a Redfish/Frigate rod and reel combo that was on sale. There were so many rods, reels, combos, and great deals that as we looked around we were almost overwhelmed with the wealth of options, but we always came back to that first combo – so we put it in our basket – it was then that we decided to go fishing. 

In order to go fishing, we needed gear to take care of our new equipment; we needed things to clean up and maintain everything and things to take care of the fish when we catch them. We added a Bass Pro Shops XTS Rod Sock, a reel case and Salt Away to our cart before heading to the shelves to look at bait and lures.  There were so many choices and options when it came to bait. There were hard, soft, jigs, spoons, and trolling baits. After that we had to get hooks and then we realized we needed something to help us carry everything, Luckily Bass Pro Shops sells this awesome Backpack called the Bass Pro Shops Extreme Qualifier 360 Backpack Tackle Box. It not only separates into two separate bags, but it also fits 10 tackle boxes, the top is insulated to carry fish or yummies, and it has straps for a rod tube AND it’s water resistant!

We now have a rod, reel, bait, hooks, and other things that we knew we’d need to go saltwater fishing. Next we needed things for after we catch the fish. We needed knives and scalers and cutting boards and a processing table, gloves and a bucket or four, and deodorizer and knife sharpeners. We were lucky again that we were at Bass Pro Shops: they sell everything we would need for a fantastic trip! We were able to find folding and floating knives. We found skinners and scalers. We found a Bass Pro Shops hardwood Fillet Board and a Bass Pro Shops Folding Processing Table. We found all sorts of gear and aftercare items; next it was time to make sure we had the clothes and foot ware necessary to have a fun trip. Luckily, Bass Pro Shops sells all of that too so we didn't have to travel around searching for everything we need.

On our way out, we couldn't help but be distracted by the boats: they’re beautiful. There were big pontoon boats for fishing like the 2014 SUN TRACKER® FISHIN' BARGE® 22 DXL, and there were pontoon boats for fun like the Regency 254 LE3, and there were boats that were for fishing and fun! There were little boats too like the 2015 MAKO 284 CC w/ Twin 200 XL Verado (L4) which is specifically for offshore saltwater fishing and just what we were looking for. There was so much to see and learn about!

This is how we got to where we can taste the salt on our lips and smell it on the breeze blowing past. This is why we can see for miles as we watch the sun rising in the east. We’re saltwater fishing, and we’re having a grand time.

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A Fishfinder That is Compact and Affordable.

Lowrance Fishfinder Elite-3x

The Lowrance Elite 3x is a compact and affordable color fishfinder. With a vibrant 240x360 3.5 inch display and an easy to use interface the Elite 3x is great for everyday use.

 

The Lowrance Elite 3x is a compact and affordable color fishfinder. With a vibrant 240x360 3.5 inch display and an easy to use interface the Elite 3x is great for everyday use.

 

The included 83/200 transducer gives you two different viewing cones in order to fish in waters as deep as 800ft (approx.. 400ft saltwater). 83 kHz sonar provides up to 60 degrees of  coverage, which is ideal for displaying large fish arches and searching large areas, while 200 kHz sonar provides up to 20 degrees of coverage for enhanced fish-target separation and lure-tracking .

 

Looking at the display fishers can quickly identify fish targets from bottom contours, bottom hardness and structure detail. If you want to make things even easier go into the settings and turn on the “fish I.D.” option to simplify the display and show only fish and their depths. (looks like the below picture, only in color).

 

Visit us here at the Miami Bass Pro Shops and check out our display unit along with our selection of fish finders and combos.

Ruben M.

The included 83/200 transducer gives you two different viewing cones in order to fish in waters as deep as 800ft (approx.. 400ft saltwater). 83 kHz sonar provides up to 60 degrees of  coverage, which is ideal for displaying large fish arches and searching large areas, while 200 kHz sonar provides up to 20 degrees of coverage for enhanced fish-target separation and lure-tracking .

Looking at the display fishers can quickly identify fish targets from bottom contours, bottom hardness and structure detail. If you want to make things even easier go into the settings and turn on the “fish I.D.” option to simplify the display and show only fish and their depths. (looks like the below picture, only in color).

Visit us here at the Miami Bass Pro Shops and check out our display unit along with our selection of fish finders and combos.

Ruben M.

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The "Other" Fish

When we leave the house to go fishing around here, we normally have a target species in mind. I always here people that fish saltwater say, “You never know what your gonna catch”. This may be a little more true in the saltwater but also rings true around the tri-state as well. Now me I’m primarily a bassman, but some of my most memorable and largest catches are those “other” fish that I wasn’t necessarily trying for. I chased a fish for 30 minutes that I had hooked on a crankbait and never saw it.  Who knows what it was, but it was a blast!

bmay river largemouth bmay shovel erics goldfish

 

The 3 hardest jig bites I’ve ever had was from a single Shovelhead that owned me three times. It straightened two hooks and broke me off! My dad caught a 10lb. Walleye at Brookville Reservoir while we were bass fishing. The lake record Walleye at Brookville was caught by a fisherman practicing for a bass tournament. A friend caught a 51” Musky while bass fishing at St. Clair. I have hooked fish while bass fishing in the 25+ pound range. Of course they weren’t bass, but for those first few seconds of the fight you just don’t know. It is a test for your tackle and your angling skills. Some of the largest catches an angler will experience may not be the target of the day but will make a lasting memory. So embrace and be proud of that “other” fish you catch next trip out. 

grass carp muskie nicks carp

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Free Surf Fishing Classes!

With cooler weather around the corner, Destin's Bass Pro Shops will again be offering free Surf Fishing Classes at beautiful Henderson Beach State Park.  We've had a lot of success with these classes offered in the spring and fall over the past few years and have received many positive comments.  We provide everything one needs except the saltwater license, drinks, and sunscreen.  Even admission to Henderson Beach State Park is free.

Bass Pro Shops provides all the tackle and bait and experienced staff instructors.  Classes are limited to 10 people and pre-registration is required.  You may stop by the store or call our Customer Service Department at (850) 269-6200 to make reservations.  Classes will be held on Saturday, October 4th and Saturday, October 11th from 8 am til noon.  If we get more interest and demand, we will schedule additional Saturday classes.

So, if you've never tried surf fishing or are an old hand at it, come join us for a beautiful morning fishing at Henderson Beach State Park across from the Destin WalMart.

Gary Feduccia

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Saltwater Frenzy!!

Are you heading out? We are experiencing some of the best saltwater fishing in recent years and you better get it while its hot!!!!! We can help you get out on your very own Mako Skiff and take part in the action……. No ¾ day boats with 60 strangers fighting for the rail! Just you and whomever you want on your boat, fishing your style and your spots for not a lot of your money!!!!! With 10% down and less than $180 a month you could own your very own Mako Pro 17 Skiff with a Mercury 60HP 4 Stroke and trailer! This is a great inshore and bay boat and with the BT, YF and YT’s closer than they have been in 10 years you can fill this boat up with all the Ahi you want! Come by our Tracker Boats Dealership inside the Rancho Cucamonga Bass Pro Shops and speak to one of our Sales Specialist to see what we can do for you!!!!

http://video.trackermarinegroup.com/videos/mako//2013makoskiffsoverview.mp4

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"The Dance" -- Fly Fishing the Gulf

Fly Fishing --- a well orchestrated dance between the fish and the fisherman.   Using the rod as the conductor’s baton, the fisherman rhythmically entices the fish.  Fly Fishing is more an art than sport.  You are hunting and luring the fish.  You are enticing the fish to eat.  Presentation is everything.  It takes patience and study, waiting for the perfect moment.   Yes, all this is true in sport fishing yet; the presentation in fly fishing takes harmony of balance, rhythm, and motion.

When we think of fly fishing, the first thing that comes to mind is Brad Pitt’s character in “A River Runs Through It.”  Standing in swift running freshwater streams, we watched the line dance through the air as he gracefully lured in the trout.

So… when we think about fly fishing, we see a cool mountain stream, surrounded by towering trees with trout jumping after bugs…Or maybe… let’s see…. How about South Padre Island.   REALLY?  You fly fish in saltwater?  Is that even possible?  Answer:  Yes.  It is not only possible it takes fishing for the Gulf’s inshore fish to another level.

South Padre Island has several professional fishing shops that carry fly fishing rigs and plenty of expertise.  Roy Lopez at Bass Pro Shops is one of these avid fly fishermen.  He has found a way to marry his love of fly fishing with his love of saltwater fishing.   I came into the White River Fly Shop specifically looking to get my husband started in a sport that he has wanted to do for years.  Here’s what I learned.

What are you fishing for off the shores of South Padre?

Tarpon have a natural migrating pattern from Florida and the Yucatan Peninsula.  Their arrival at South Padre is still a mystery.  They seem to follow the Gulf Coast.   The tide dictates feeding patterns and their location.   According to the Bonefish and Tarpon Trust, the migrations take the tarpon up the eastern coast of the U.S. to at least the Chesapeake Bay, throughout the Gulf of Mexico, and southward to the Caribbean Sea.

 

Tarpon are fished for sport.  Roy says, “I wait all year for the tarpon to come back around in the annual migration.  I put the time in to find out their patterns and eating habits.  I have respect for the fish.  They travel from Florida and the Yucatan to get to Padre. “

 

But there is more than Tarpon off of South Padre’s shores.  Fishing Kingfish, Red Fish, Speckled Trout, Jack Crevalle, Spanish Mackerel and Bonita can all be found on the surf or jetties during ideal summer weather conditions. They can be found off the Gulf Coast year round.  Typically flashy, obnoxious flies in loud colors with a wire tippit can be used to entice these toothy fish to bite

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South Padre offers wading from the East Side sand flats to the West Side silt and estuaries.   Fishing from the rocks or in the water, we use different tools for different fish.  Consider the rig.

Roy generally ties his own flies, but has a few that he might use if needed.  The picture shows four of the possibilities.  A) Tarpon Toad –  Premier Tarpon Fly.   B)  Red Fish Toad – great fly for south Texas red fish and trout.  C)  Merkin Crab – another red fish fly typically used when red fish aren’t feeding, generally the fall months.  D)  Sea Ducer – fly that you would use in shallow water from 5 to 15 inches of water.  It has a real soft lay down. 

Rods:

9’ 8-weight rod typically with a stiff backbone to punch heavy flies through the wind (we have horrible prevailing south winds that don’t let up) for red fish, trout, flounder and any other species you’d find inshore. http://www.basspro.com/World-Wide-Sportsman-Gold-Cup-Fly-Rods/product/13082906212339/

9’ 10-weight rod with heavy backbone to punch flies for bigger fish from the beach or jetties – kings, Jacks, Spanish mackerel.

Inshore reel doesn’t necessarily have to be top dollar.  It needs a sealed drag system and is tolerable to the salt.  Roy suggests:  Lamson Konic/Guru and any of the Sage line-ups from the 1800 series to the 2200 series.  They retail anywhere from $150 to $185. http://www.basspro.com/Lamson-Konic-II-Fly-Reels/product/1209270507043/

http://www.basspro.com/Sage-2200-Series-Fly-Reel/product/1309110626206/

 

10-weight series – you are dealing with bigger fish.  You need a reel with stouter drag.  The Lamson offers the Konic/Guru 4 and Sage 2210 ranging anywhere from $150 to $250 for catching these bigger fish.

Your line in the inshore scene will typically consist of a weight forward floating line that can be matched to a rod.  The line is dictated by the rod or the casting preference of the fisherman.   Bass Pro Shops can typically fit the fisherman with an ideal rig to fit his/her preferences.  This is true for the 8-weight or the 10-weight.

Recently, Roy hooked a tarpon of about 5 feet/100+ pounds and watched it swim away after breaking the line.  With a smile, he remembered the “dance” and walked away satisfied.   Ok… maybe a little disappointed.

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Saltwater Fishermen Want Pink Fishing Line

Seaguar Pink Line

 

Something new and interesting is coming to a fishing line display near you soon. Seaguar is launching “PINK LABEL” Fluorocarbon leader for the saltwater angler’s usage. Underwater tests with pink fluorocarbon have revealed that the pink line lacks the illuminates of other line. The pink line also so does not show fluorocarbons milky color after becoming rubbed on other line, accessories or apparatus.

To meet the growing consumer demand for pink fluorocarbon and to assist in the battle against breast cancer, Seaguar has introduced Pink Label fluorocarbon leader material. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of Pink Label are being donated to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc.

Pink Label is 100% fluorocarbon leader material is made from exclusive Seaguar resins in a proprietary process. It provides all the benefits of fluorocarbon versus monofilament including superior tensile strength, better abrasion resistance and minimal stretch. Pink Label is also soft and supple yet provides 30% better knot strength than other fluorocarbon lines. Above the surface, the subtle pink color enhances line visibility and below the surface, pink is the first color that disappears in the water column to maximize strikes.

Pink Label will be available on 25-yard spools from 15 to 80 pound test, and in 25-yard coils from 100 to 200 pound test. The 25-yard spools feature Seaguar’s exclusive Level Wind Technology, which spools the line by laying it down side by side, never crosses itself. The result is a spool as smooth as a spool of thread, without any line overstress or twist.

Pricing was not available prior to the completion of this article.

Seaguar

Seaguar is the inventor and world leader in fluorocarbon fishing line. Visit their web site at: https://www.seaguar.com/ and follow them on Facebook for giveaways and tips to help you catch more fish.

About the National Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc. ®

Recognized as one of the leading breast cancer organizations in the world, the National Breast Cancer Foundation’s (NBCF) mission is to save lives through early detection and to provide mammograms for those in need. A recipient of Charity Navigator’s highest 4-star rating for nine years, NBCF provides women Help for Today…Hope for Tomorrow® through its National Mammography Program, Beyond The Shock®, Early Detection Plan, MyNBCF online support community, and breast cancer research programs. For more information, please visit www.nbcf.org.

 

About the author:

Tom Branch, Jr. is a Prostaffer for Bass Pro Shops in Atlanta, Ga, a freelance outdoor writer and a retired Lt./PMDC/Firefighter with Gwinnett County Fire. He is currently a contracted employee with NAVICO/Lowrance working as the College Fishing Recruiter. He has been working in the Outdoor Industry for over 20 years. He has done everything from successfully managing and developing a pro fishing team, developing new products, designing packaging, participated in different radio & television shows. He has done many product demonstrations all around the country for different companies. He and his beautiful wife, Kim live north of Atlanta near Braselton, GA with their lab Jake.

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Tips to Make You a Better Fly Angler Part 2

Tips to Make You a Better Fly Angler Part 2

by Captain Jim Barr

of www.skinnywaterchartersri.com

Go Barefoot in the Boat- If the weather/water is warm, going barefoot in the boat helps the angler to avoid stepping on their fly line. Footwear of any kind provides enough insulation to prevent you from being able to feel that you are stepping on your line. Many a cast has been ruined and a fish lost by a pinched line on deck.  Bare feet can also present a slipping hazard on a wet deck, so you be the judge. Alternatively use a stripping basket to hold your fly line. Also, remember to stretch your fly line, preferably before you board the boat, and if that's not possible or you forget, strip the fly line off the reel into the wake of the boat as you relocate. Water pressure applied to the fly line will stretch the line and remove any twists and coils. If you do not cast in a relatively straight plane, but have a circular or "oval" rod rotation, this will add twists to your line causing it to kink.

Fluorocarbon or Monofilament Leaders- I have a couple of simple rules on this subject.

1. First, I don't spend stupid money on monofilament and fluorocarbon tippet material. For fluorocarbon I buy "Vanish" manufactured by Berkley. For monofilament I buy "Berkley Trilene Big Game" in Clear.I buy spools of this quality line in different tests. For Fluorocarbon, typically 17 and 20 lb and for Big Game, typically spools in 10, 12, 15, 20, 25, 30 and 40 lb. test. I tie my own tapered leaders thus the reason for buying multiple spools of different test. Ultraviolet rays combined with the effects of saltwater degrade these lines, so annually I throw out the leftover spools and buy fresh material.

2. When it comes to what lines to use. My simple rule is if I am using a floating fly line with a floating fly pattern because I want the fly to be on the surface or just below the surface, my leader and tippet system is made entirely of monofilament (nylon) line. On the other hand, if I am fishing deeper waters, particularly around cover such as heavy seaweed, ledge and boulders, the first four feet of my leader is 40lb monofilament, but the balance of the leader system is Fluorocarbon material. Fluorocarbon is nearly invisible under water and it is made of a heavier density copolymer... so it sinks. It's valued for its refractive index which is similar to that of water, making it less visible to fish. Mono floats/Fluro sinks- easy to remember.

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Tips to Make You a Better Fly Angler Part 1

Tips to Make You a Better Fly Angler Part 1

by Captain Jim Barr

of www.skinnywaterchartersri.com

Hook Set- Many fly anglers new to the salt environment utilize the same fish striking (hook set) they do when striking a trout taking a dry fly. This is an overhead, high rod tip motion with the butt of the rod somewhere between the angler's waist and shoulder. If you use this technique when striking a saltwater fish (Stripers, Bluefish, Bonito and False Albacore to name a few), you're going to miss a lot of fish. The proper technique in saltwater is to keep your rod tip low to the water during your retrieve, and even putting the tip under the water's surface is perfectly acceptable. The retrieve has the fly line loosely pinched between the forefinger or middle finger (or both) of the rod-hand and the fly rod grip as the angler strips in line with the line-hand in a fashion that best imitates the swimming motion of the bait you are imitating. As the line is stripped over the fore-fingers of the rod hand the angler applies more pressure to the pinch point so that if the fish strikes the fly as the angler drops the line to pick it up again for the next strip- the line will stay tight helping to hook the fish. As the angler repeatedly strips line imitating the swimming motion of the bait, when the fish strikes the fly, the angler is in a position to "strip-strike" the fish keeping the rod tip low. The strip-strike has the angler pulling the line with force with the line-hand as he releases pressure at what was the pinch point on the rod-hand. The fly line will go tight immediately, and the rod will begin bouncing under the pressure and head-shaking action of the fish. Typically the hook is set in the fish's jaw, however it's perfectly acceptable to strip-strike the fish again with a good degree of force to "seat" the hook. The angler then raises the rod to play the fish.

 

Rod Positioning While Playing a Fish- After the angler has set the hook and is now playing the fish, care must be taken to land the fish. I see many anglers who engage in hand-to-hand combat, "fighting" the fish as if it's a 200 lb beast. It's unnecessary, and I typically coach new anglers engaged in this life and death struggle, to Relax. Yes, keep pressure on the fish, don't allow a slack line and when the fish wants to run, let it. If the fly reel drag is set properly, it will do the work of applying pressure and slowing the fish's run. Typically there is no need (except for the macho photo shot) to rear-back and bend the fly rod in half as you play the fish. The drag and the spring action of the fly rod will do the lion's share of the work. When the fish slows and you can turn it, do so, but keep a tight line and if the fish makes a run back to the boat as Bonito and Albies typically do, reel like a mad person to maintain a tight line/contact with the fish. If the fish pulls to the right, apply pressure to the left, and vice-versa- this will tire the fish more quickly. It's also OK to the turn the fish from side to side to tire it. Remember, for toothy fish, each time you reverse direction the leader is being pulled across the fish's teeth. In the case of Bluefish particularly, a steel leader should prevent being cut off.

Never put your line hand on the rod blank above the fly rod grip to apply additional leverage. A fly rod is meant to flex deep into the handle and putting pressure on the fish with your hand positioned on the blank above the grip may very well cause the rod to break. Additionally, try not to bring the butt of the rod above your waist while fighting a heavy fish. A high rod position exerts significant pressure (bend) on the tip section of the fly rod which may result in breakage.

http://www.basspro.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/CFPageC?storeId=10151&catalogId=10051&langId=-1&appID=94&storeID=58&tab=3

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June Outdoor Activity of the Month: Fishing

June Outdoor Activity of the Month: Fishing

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Fishing in a Texas State Park or local Neighborhood Fishin’ lake stocked with fish is fun, affordable and a great way for family and friends to be together in nature. Plus, there’s a good chance your fish will be keepers and end up as a delicious fresh-caught meal for all.

 

Boy with dad and catfish.

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Where to Fish

Texas State Parks: Over 70 parks offer fresh or saltwater fishing from shore, pier or boat. Everyone fishes for free (no licenses are required). Many parks offer tackle-loaner programs and special fishing classes and events.

Local Neighborhood Fishin' Sites: Lake Grapevine, Lake Lewisville, Lake Fork, Lake Ray Hubbard, Joe Pool Lake, Trinity River, Lake Ray Roberts, Possum Kingdom Lake, Richland-Chambers Lake, Lake Tawonkani, Lake Palestine, Cedar Creek Lake, Lake Granbury, Brazos River, Lake Whitney, Colorado River just to name a few that are great fishing spots in this area. 

Kids under 17 fish for free and no fishing license is required. A fishing license is required for adults.

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Beginner Fishing Programs

Want to go fishing or take your kids fishing, but don't know where to start? Bass Pro in Grapevine offers a kids fishing event every Saturday from 11am to 1pm. You can also find fishing tackle to meet all your needs. Please our website: http://www.basspro.com/

 

Boy fishing with Texas Parks and Wildlife.

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How to Support Healthy Fish Populations

Everyone plays an important role in maintaining healthy quantities of fish and fish habitats. When you purchase a fishing license, you are supporting fishery management, hatcheries, conservation and education. By learning to identify fish and respecting fishing regulations, you can help protect fish populations, ensuring that they will continue to be available now and in the future for all who want to go fishing. =============

 

What to Bring

 

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What Makes a Fly?

This is a question as old as fly rods and folks sitting around the campfire with adult beverages, but you'd think that after all these years there would be some kind of consensus about what makes a fly, a fly.  Well sorry…nothing could be further from the truth.

I had a gentleman recently explain to me that he was going to throw small, pre-manufactured soft baits on his fly rod for snook in a few weeks, to which the anglers in attendance exclaimed “That’s not fly fishing!”  We all agreed that he had crossed some kind of line that bordered on sacrilegious, or at the very least, in very bad taste when it comes to angling in the spirit of the sport.  Lee Wulff would be spitting mad were he alive today.  Fly fishing isn’t always about catching the most fish possible, but rather about “How” you’re catching fish.  So what makes a fly, a fly?  Here’s the best I can come up with.

A fly might be defined as:

  • A lightweight fishing lure originally designed to be thrown in the traditional manner with a single or double handed fly rod.
  • Constructed by hand by attaching natural or synthetic materials to a single or multiple hooks using thread.
  • Designed to appeal to a fish’s senses of sight, hearing, or touch.
  • Instigates a purposeful strike out of hunger, aggression, or fear.
  • Hooks the fish in the mouth.

I realize that this won’t settle the longtime argument among flyfishermen as to whether or not a wet fly or nymph is actually “a fly,” but it fits the definition as best I can figure.  And many of our European customers look at what we throw for saltwater and can’t help but exclaim, “That’s not a proper fly!” but by definition, it is.  Our flies are designed to meet the above criteria and are specially suited to our fishing needs whether it’s the overall size, colors, weighting, or what it’s meant to imitate.

Now throwing a mass produced soft bait on your fly rod and calling it fly fishing….That aint Cricket!

Brian “Beastman” Eastman

White River Fly Shop

Outdoor World Orlando

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Can Freshwater Gear Catch Fish in Saltwater?

I am asked all the time can you use fresh water baits in saltwater? The answer is yes; however, only for some. In the world of inshore fishing some of the baits that are typically used for Largemouth Bass can indeed be used for Snook and Redfish.

Let’s start off with the most common and my favorite; swim baits. Most swim baits are meant to resemble certain bait fish and in most instances bait fish in freshwater will have similar characteristics to the ones found around the shorelines of Florida.

Another favorite of mine is the classic jerk bait. These hard baits have been around for years and most of them haven't even changed the design. Being as effective today as they were back then. They are definitely a good choice to use in both freshwater and saltwater.  My only advice with this is that you change out the hooks. Tarpon and bigger Snook have been known to straighten out hooks.

Another good bait to use is flukes. These baits are meant to resemble sick or injured fish in the water; basically an easy meal. When you rig these bait, weed less you can throw them into any thick cover without having to worry about getting hung up.

Almost all baits are meant to be appealing to several species of fish so if you ever have the opportunity to try a freshwater bait in saltwater go right ahead. You never know, your success could be hook set away.

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The Party Boat Option

Party Boat RailI know there are plenty of people out there that really enjoy fishing but for one reason or another don’t have access to a boat and are thus limited to fishing from shore and affixed structures like bridges and piers.  Well there are other options that can put some fish in the freezer if you want it or just provide a change of pace and a good time with friends or family.

The party boat fleets set sail from many of the east and west coast ports daily offering an inexpensive way to enjoy the saltwater fishing and possibly put a wonderful meal on the dinner table.  They provide the tackle (similar to the Penn Senetor/Slammer Rod Combo), licenses, bait, some food and drink (boat specific), and the assistance you need to land the big ones.  The deck hands constantly roam the boat lending a hand as needed when it comes to rigging, removing from the hooks and identifying the fish as they come across the rail, and in many cases, fish cleaning services upon reaching shore.  These guys bust their butts trying to make sure that everyone has a successful and safe trip.  The captains know the hottest fishing locations of the region so rest assured that fish will be landed, but keep in mind that it’s still fishing and many factors can determine the difference between success and failure.  Fishing is called fishing, not catching.Brittany and Black Sea Bass

My youngest daughter spent part of her tax refund to get us aboard a local party boat and we I just spent a wonderful Sunday fishing out of Port Canaveral.  She landed the only two fish between us, proving that I should pretty much stick to shallow water and fly rods.  It was a splendid day together talking, sunning, laughing, and playing with the bait, but conditions (full boat and screaming undersea currents) made the fishing tough for us and everyone aboard.  We enjoyed ourselves none the less  and rekindled our love of fishing together.

Give the party boats a try and you may just discover a simple, cost effective way to get some fresh fish; and enjoy the company of loved ones and fellow fishermen.

Brian “Beastman” Eastman

White River Fly Shop

Outdoor World Orlando

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Choosing the right fishing line for you.

Its getting to be that time of year again. The days are getting longer, warmer, and you're tired of staying in the house, you want to go fishing. By now you've already been through your tackle box about thousand times to determine what you need. Everything from new lures, tools, replacement hooks, weights, soft plastics, and fishing line. So you head down to your local Bass Pro Shops, go to the fishing section, look for the fishing line and find out there's more of a selection than there was last year. Monofilament, flourocarbon, braid, what are all these lines? Which line is best for me?

The type of fishing line you choose needs to be matched with the conditions you're fishing in. When choosing the right fishing line, the following criteria should be considered: Strength, Stretch, Abrasion resistance, Diameter, Stiffness, and Visibility.

Monofilament fishing line is made from a single fiber of plastic. This type of fishing line comes in a wide range of sizes and colors. You can find everything like a 2lb clear ice fishing line to 40lb high visual yellow for going after those big cats on the river. Monofilament fishing line is made by melting the plastic then extruding through tiny holes. These holes control everything from the diameter of the fishing line to the tensile strength or test. The advantage of monofliament fishing line is it can be used in a wide variety of fishing situations. Monofilament however does posses a memory to it causing it to coil over time. This type of line needs to be changed often as it will degrade when exposed to heat and sunlight. For all you monofilament lines visit Bass Pro Shops website to fins the right one for you.http://www.basspro.com/Fishing-Terminal-Tackle-Fishing-Line-Leaders/Type-Monofilament/_/N-1z0uxahZ1z0xd10

XPS® Signature Series Monofilament Fishing Line - 800-1000 Yards

Flourocarbon fishing line has been around for sometime, being used in saltwater fishing and fly fishing. It is relatively new to bass fishing though. This line is named after the chemical used to make it flourocarbon. There are many advantages to flourocarbon line over traditional monofilament fishing line. Flourocarbon is virtually invisible in water, has a higher density causing it to sink faster, lack of stretch and resistance to abrasion. As with everything there are some draw backs to this fishing line; stiffness, brittleness, density making it hard to fish top water, and knot strength.  It is best to use flourocarbon in times when stealth or finesse in needed. Another great application for flourocarbon is to use as a leader when bass seem to be easily spooked.http://www.basspro.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/Navigation?storeId=10151&catalogId=10051&langId=-1&searchTerm=flourocarbon

Bass Pro Shops® XPS® KVD Signature Series 100% Fluorocarbon Fishing Line

Braided fishing are one of the earliest types of fishing lines. But with advances in technology braided line is now made out of different stuff than it used to be. Braid is known for its high knot strength, low stretch, and its over all power in relation to its size. On average a 20 lb test braided line is the diameter of a 6ob test monofilament. One drawback of braid is that it can be seen by fish in the water. It is best to attach a monofilament leader from your lure to the braid. Anglers have complained about other problems when fishing with braid, such as the line burying itself in the spool, losing fish on the hook set and other issues. The following article should address any issues you've been having along these lines. http://www.basspro.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/CFPage?mode=article&objectID=30041&storeId=10151&catalogId=10051 . If you have any other issues just contact your local Bass Pro Shop with questions. You can read more about uses for braided fishing line by visisting Basspro.com and viewing bother blogs written by the prostaff. Here is an example link.  http://www.basspro.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/BPSIFrameView?catalogId=10051&tab=2&langId=-1&storeId=10151&targeturl=http://www.basspro1source.com/index.php/blogs&ddkey=http:BPSIFrame&tab=2

Bass Pro Shops® XPS® 8 Advanced Braid Fishing Line - 300 Yards

After looking at the three most popular types of fishing line out there on the market today; with their advantages and disadvantages you should be able to make a relatively informed decision on which line to get. If you're still unsure ask a Bass Pro associate  which line would be best for you.

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Spring Fly Fishing in New England

           

At last winter is behind us and another open water season is at hand! Here in Southeastern Massachusetts the stocking trucks started rolling the week of March 24th. You can get a report of stocking progress on the Mass wildlife website. Stocking reports are updated every Friday. Early season Stillwater trout fishing activity is mainly close to shore around rocky shoals, sand and gravel bottom coves, inlets and outlets and edges of weed beds bordering deeper water. If you don’t see rising fish, keep casting and moving and moving until you locate fish. Even though they may not be rising, cruising fish are often looking for something to eat. Some good prospecting flies include woolly worms and woolly buggers as well as traditional streamer flies such as the Grey Ghost, Black Ghost, Mickey Finn and Black-Nosed Dace. After locating some fish, if the action slows down, switching over to nymphs and wet flies often continues the bite until the fish quit hitting or move on. Old standbys like the Hare’s Ear, Pheasant Tail, Prince and Midge larva imitations all take fish.              

            In rivers and streams early season fish are tight to cover to avoid fighting the main current flow. Targeting rocks, logs and other current breaks as well as back eddies and slower pools and runs will help you locate fish. Stream fishing is usually slow until the water warms a bit and the flow is more manageable. As streams warm toward the end of April and early May, streamers, nymphs, wet flies and dries all take fish. The same nymphs, streamers, and wet flies which work in ponds work in streams also. In addition, Hendrickson and Quill Gordon dry flies imitate early season mayflies. An excellent reference for hatches and the flies that imitate them is A Hatch Guide for New England Streams by Thomas Ames Jr. Small Black Gnats, Mosquitoes, and Griffith’s Gnats work well when stream or Stillwater trout are rising to midges.

            Right after ice-out dark bottomed ponds and some isolated coves in lakes begin to warm and become attractive to largemouth bass, pickerel, crappies, perch and bluegills. The best areas are coves, set-backs, swampy areas- especially those with stumps, blow downs or other woody cover, and slow moving inlets and outlets. Largemouth bass congregate in these up until spawning time when they spread out more for the spawning ritual. An accurately placed Woolly Bugger, Bunny fly, Deceiver, hackle fly like the Seducer as well as crawfish imitations will all take these shallow water bass. A light landing streamer fly won’t spook as many fish as hardware in the shallows. Bass of all sizes will eventually use these shallow areas, but some are real bruisers and a big bass tearing up the shallows can be exciting.

            Spring weather can be quick changing, with vernal cold fronts often frequent and severe. Stretches of warm weather gets the food chain started and a couple of warm days before a front comes through can really jump start the fishing. As the front comes in and the storm begins the fishing can be great. After a few hours of cold rain and wind things begin to shut down, and a northwest wind and clearing skies after the storm signals slow fishing until things warm up a bit. A day or two of warm sunshine will get things back on track, though.

            Toward the end of April and early May Stripers will return and begin to work their way North. Estuaries that are beginning to warm and support Herring runs will eventually attract bigger Stripers intent on taking advantage of all the groceries. Spring and early summer is a great time for wading and inshore saltwater fishing. Deceivers, Clousers, Bucktails and Surf Candies will get you into Spring Stripers. Check your backing and fly lines, attach a new leader and get there!

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Everglades National Park

Few places truly embody what nonresidents envision when you mention Florida than the Everglades and The Everglades National Park, and I’ve finally been able to spend some time camping, hiking, and kayaking through the seemingly endless grasslands, the cypress forests, mangrove swamps, and marine grass flats of “The River of Grass.”

Head south through the city of Homestead, Florida that was nearly wiped out by Hurricane Andrew back in 1992, turn onto Highway 9336, and it won’t take long before you’re totally lost in a vast region of nothingness and limited cell signals.  There isn’t a better place to get away from everything and experience natural Florida the way it was when inhabited by only the indigenous tribes.  Just imagine what it was like for the original settlers, the Florida “Crackers,” when they carved their path across the state.  There isn’t much to maintain your ties to civilization after stepping off the concrete ribbon leading from the entrance gate to the Flamingo campgrounds.

The wildlife variety is absolutely amazing and for the bird watchers among us, there can’t be a better location to view a more varied species list.  Wood Stork, Osprey, Black Vulture, Turkey Buzzard, Great Blue Heron, Snowy Egret, Ibis, Limpkin, Swallowtail Kite, all manner of hawks, and water birds abound in the skies, the swamps, and grass fields.  Florida Panther, American Alligator, Crocodile, Whitetail Deer, Raccoon, Otter, Eastern Indigo Snake, and many others hide in plain sight, just off the trail’s edge, so watch your step.  The fishing can be quite spectacular in both the fresh and saltwater sections of the park so be sure to take a couple rods rigged for everything from bass and bluegill to redfish and tarpon.  The plant life including wild orchids is spectacular but much of it takes an adventurous heart to experience since you can’t see everything from a parking lot.

Everglades

So take a trip south and experience what this state used to be like back in the days before computers, cell towers, high-rise hotels, and strip malls.  Commune with nature for a while and enjoy the peace and quiet of Everglades National Park.

Brian “Beastman” Eastman

White River Fly Shop

Outdoor World Orlando

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Q&A With Fly Expert Joe Mahler

I am interested in tying my own leaders for freshwater and light saltwater fly fishing. Is there an easy formula to follow for a range of line weights?

Alex B. Fort Myers, FL

 

There is. For most all of my fly fishing, I use the same simple formula. I call it the “50-25-25 leader. The name refers to the percentage of leader material with respect to diameter or strength. This leader is comprised of three parts- the Butt, the midsection and the tippet. The butt is the heaviest and will be 50% of the leader. For an eight foot leader, this section would be eight feet long.  The midsection will be 25% of the overall length, or two feet for our eight foot leader. Lastly, there is the tippet, the remaining 25%.

To determine how heavy to make the butt section, a good rule of thumb is to multiply the line weight times five. An example would be if you are using a weight forward #8, your butt material will be 40 pound test. If you ware using a six weight line, your butt material will be thirty pound test. From that point you can step the diameters down, but no more than a difference of ten pound test per connection. Here is an example for an eight foot, eight weight, twenty pound tippet leader:    4 ‘ 40lb.+ 2’ 30 lb. + 2’ 20lb.

If you would like to drop down to a smaller diameter line, you may simply add more sections to this basic leader formula.

 

 

About Joe Mahler

Joe Mahler is an author, illustrator and fly casting / fly tying instructor living in Fort Myers, Florida. Joe has spent his life fly fishing for anything with a “tug” and teaching others to do the same. His articles and illustrations appear regularly in Fly Fisherman Magazine and other national publications. Mahler’s “StrawBoss” fly pattern, for both fresh and salt water, is currently featured in the Orvis line-up in three color variations and has been featured in several magazine articles and most recently in Drew Chicone’s book “Feather Brain”. Joe is also the author and illustrator of “Essential Knots & Rigs for Trout” and “Essential Knots & Rigs for Salt Water” (Stackpole Books). You have seen Joe casting away in national television commercials for Bass Pro Shops, Tracker and Mako Boats.

Joe is currently a SAGE ambassador and member of the Dyna-King Professional Tying Team. When not fishing the crystal waters of Southwest Florida, he can be found teaching fly casting and tying to enthusiasts of all levels. Joe’s easy-going approach has made him a popular guest speaker at fishing clubs and sports shows. To learn more, visit www.joemahler.com

 

 

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