31 January 2013

Islamorada Journal 2013…31 JAN

Tuesday afternoon Wayne came over and threw the fly rod for a while out on the end of the boat basin.

Nothing bit, but there was some interest on the part of a large trumpetfish that was under the dock next door.

With winds howling out of the SE we sat around and shot the breeze, so to speak, over lemonades for a couple of hours, then called it a day.

Caryl and...

...and I went to...

...to the Lorelei which appears to be our favorite restaurant here.

Service was terrible. They were clearly understaffed. Our waiter said he had ten tables to take care of. Took 25 minutes to get a drink, ten minutes after the food arrived to get a knife and fork, and 15 minutes of waiting after we'd paid the check for a take-home desert to show up.

Don't go to the Lorelei at 5:30 pm.

Food was good, though.

Wednesday, Wayne and I decided, what the heck, the wind's blowing 20 kts. but we've got to get out and fish.

Just barely got Shoo-Fly out of the boat basin when I realized the whole dashboard was dead: No VHF, no GPS, no horn, no lights, no...nothing. Motor ran but that was it.

We called Matt over at Caribee and he was most helpful with suggestions. Wayne climbed under the console and checked all the fuses...looked for loose connections...nothing. We then checked the starboard/aft compartment and found this wacky little "Shortstop" unit next to the Guest switch.

A bit corroded you say?

So we fiddled with that and suddenly the radio came on...dash started working.

We were off to a local marine shop, found a replacement unit, and slapped it in using plenty of liquid tape over the connection.

We were back in business.

Unfortunately, we'd also spent so much time at the repair that it didn't make any sense to go out at that point...especially as we'd learned during the little time we'd spent outside the boat basin that the wind was blowing a heck of a lot harder than 20 kts.

So we were back on the deck having a lemonade.

Paddleboarders went out in the evening when the winds finally decided to relent.

Wednesday night's sunset.

And Shoo-Fly sits in the boat basin...champing at the bit.

Meanwhile, in other news...

• Fire Destroys Fixture in Stratford Harbor

“STRATFORD -- The old catamaran that has been a fixture in Stratford harbor for years is no more."

Source: CTPost.com

• NOAA, USGS: Climate Change Impacts To U.S. Coasts Threaten Public Health, Safety and Economy

“According to a new technical report, the effects of climate change will continue to threaten the health and vitality of U.S. coastal communities’ social, economic and natural systems. The report, Coastal Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerabilities: a technical input to the 2013 National Climate Assessment, authored by leading scientists and experts, emphasizes the need for increased coordination and planning to ensure U.S. coastal communities are resilient against the effects of climate change….

“Sandy showed us that coastal states and communities need effective strategies, tools and resources to conserve, protect, and restore coastal habitats and economies at risk from current environmental stresses and a changing climate….”

Source: NOAA

30 January 2013

Islamorada Journal 2013…30 JAN

Meanwhile, in other news...

• Video Shows Transformation of Nasty Naugatuck River into Nice Naugatuck River

“This video shows the amazing transformation of the Naugatuck River, which was polluted for years by industries and municipalities in the Naugatuck Valley. However, thanks to dedication from a number of individuals, the river is once again a beautiful treasure in the Valley. And communities from Torrington to Derby are creating greenways to showcase the river.”

Source: Naugatuck.Patch.com

• “Tying the Perfect Tog [Blackfish] Rig”

“In the February 2013 issue of Salt Water Sportsman, we shared how to trick trophy tautog using "Crazy" Alberto Knie's perfect tog bottom rig. See how to tie it below, along with detailed instructions on how to tie the three connections involved.”

Source: SaltWaterSportsman.com

29 January 2013

Islamorada Journal 2013…27-29 JAN

"No, George, you said YOU were going to fill the gas tank!"

Saturday's sunset

Not all the lunkheads are on Long Island Sound.

This clown is racing his personal watercraft through a "no-wake" zone as designated by the white buoys, one of which can be seen in this pic. The zone is set up this way as the manatee pass through this area, close to shore, as part of their feeding or migration pattern.

If you've seen any manatee up close, you know that many of them are marked with horrendous scars that have been inflicted on them by boat propellers.

Same lunkhead went out in another boat and raced around in the same restricted area.

Sunday night's sunset.

Haven't been able to get decent photos of the now full moon due to cloud cover.

Monday night's sunset.

Click on any photo to see a gallery of enlargements of the pix in this post.

Meanwhile, in other news...

• Charles Walsh’s Fishing Column – 25 JAN 2013

“…the numbers of young people (under 16) who fish regularly has been dropping for more than a decade, a trend that's led to fewer adult anglers. The decline in youth fishing is reflected in the continuing fall in the numbers of fishing licenses issued annually by the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.

”Blame for this unfortunate fact usually falls to a couple of factors….”

Source: CTPost.com

• New Hampshire River Success Story

“In May 6, 2006, the Fraser paper mill on the bank of New Hampshire’s Androscoggin River belched rancid smoke into the air for the last time. Closed due to rising costs and diminishing returns, the mill was the economic lifeblood for the struggling town of Berlin, New Hampshire. The pulp industry had supported the city since the first mill opened in 1877.

”The depressed town sits in the heart of the White Mountains near the Maine border, and has depended on jobs created by the mill for decades. When the mill closed, the town was hit by an unemployment sledgehammer, and although the economy suffered, the Androscoggin River took a deep, clean breath after years of pollution. The river was reborn.”

Source: FlyFisherman.com

26 January 2013

Islamorada Journal 2013…25-26 JAN

Thursday evening's sunset.

These are unretouched photos.

Straight out of the camera.

And Thursday night's moon.

On Friday Wayne and I headed through Snake Creek to Smugglers to gas the boat. Picked up a nice splinter in my finger from their rotten old dock.

Have always admired this house which sits right on the edge of the creek.

Then we motored out onto Florida Bay against wind and wave to try to find some place where we could stretch our lines without getting blown all over the lot.

We got into a ditch [not one that's used for boat traffic] that was absolutely loaded with jacks.

If we stayed there we'd could have caught a hundred of them...but we moved on to try to locate more interesting species.

This jack fell to a battered Clouser minnow on the fly rod.

We did find mackerel, bluefish, and ladyfish and had a small pod of dolphins pay us a visit.

Managed to snatch a good fishing day out of the jaws of the wind.

Friday night's sunset...going...



Meanwhile, in other news...

• “Omega 3s vs. Mercury—Is Seafood Good for You?”

“It seems there’s a never-ending see-saw battle in scientific research about certain consumables. Red wine will decrease incidence of cardiovascular disease! No it won’t. Dark chocolate will lower your body mass index! Or not.

”Seafood is no different. For every report that Omega 3 fatty acids are the fountain of youth, there’s another study warning seafood lovers about looming poison from excessive quantities of heavy metals, especially mercury. But are Omega 3s really that beneficial? And what to make of reports that selenium in fish can counterbalance the negative effects of mercury? And just what the hell is selenium, anyway? What’s the truth about fish?”

Source: AmericanProgress.org

• “How to Set Fly Reel Drags”

“What is the proper way to adjust the drag on a fly reel?

”And how do you go about making sure it’s set properly before you fish?”

Source: MidCurrent.com

24 January 2013

Islamorada Journal 2013…24 JAN

Tuesday night's sunset was a bit of a fizzle.

Click on any photo to see a series of enlargements of the pix in this post.

Tuesday night's moon.

Bismarck palm [I think].

Wacky ducks raid around the docks looking for minnows. They cruise along with their heads underwater and then...

...chase after the minnows.

You can see the fish trying to get out of the way of the duck on the left.

Subsequent note from high school classmate Tom P. suggests that these birds are red-breasted mergansers in winter plumage.


Wednesday night's sunset looked very different at its various stages...as you can see in this series of three photos.

Closing in on the full moon.

Meanwhile, in other news...

• Dam Bypasses Not Allowing Fish to Migrate, Breed in New England

“Despite designs intended to allow migratory fish to pass, hydropower dams on major Northeast U.S. waterways are not helping fish, researchers say.”

Source: UPI.com

• “War of 1812 Update: Connecticut's Long Island Sound War”

“…the heavy American frigate United States, under the command of dashing naval hero Stephen Decatur, captured the British frigate Macedonian in the open Atlantic Ocean on October 25. After repairing his damaged prize, Decatur brought the two ships safely back to Long Island Sound on December 4.”

Source: Sound Outlook

22 January 2013

Islamorada Journal 2013…23 JAN

Wayne and Yves fished with me Tuesday on Shoo-Fly.

The winds were pushing 15 kts. all day so we had to limit our fishing to areas of at least some protection from the waves...but that turned out not to be a hindrance and we probably caught 50-60 fish...trout, jacks, ladies, macs, and, as you'll see below, a shark.

Yves landed this nice Spanish mackerel early in the day; it ran nearly all the line off Yves's reel before it finally went into the livewell.

In one spot where we fished we had a problem with terns trying to grab our plastic baits as soon as they hit the water. One actually latched onto Yves's lure but fortunately it didn't get hooked.

Unhooking birds is no fun as they spend the time trying to nail you with their beaks.

Dolphins were feeding in one area.

This one broke off from a mother and pup and came over to check us out.

Wayne landed this spinner shark without a wire leader on his line. Fish was so lightly hooked that it couldn't get its teeth on the monofilament...else Mr. Shark'd have made short work of that.

We weren't sure if the shark grabbed Wayne's lure, or if it grabbed a smaller fish that had eaten the lure and gotten hooked up by proxy.

Ladyfish mangled my fly and had it pretty deep inside its maw.

Managed to set it loose unharmed.

All the lunkheads are not on Long Island Sound.

This trio saw we were catching fish and followed our drift coming within 100 yards of Shoo-Fly. Down here the rule of thumb is no closer than 400 yards...and if you get closer than that to a professional guide, you're likely to get a verbal thrashing.

The mud we were fishing was petering out, so we left the area and found another with no problem.

I got a nice Spanish mackerel...not as big as the one Yves landed earlier in the day, but a real fighter.

Both of those mackerel ended up at the fileting station with Wayne doing the honors.

A great day on the water.

Meanwhile, in other news...

• Charles Walsh’s Fishing Column – 18 JAN 2013

“The dominant, if rather self-serving, opinion among anglers, some of it based on ‘scientific’ studies, is that fish are cold-blooded, insensate creatures that do not feel the pinch of the hook or the strain of the battle.

”More skeptical anglers look askance at those studies, claiming that common sense dictates that fish must suffer when hooked and fought. They suffer even more and longer when caught on fly and light tackle.”

Source: CTPost.com

• Snakeheads in the Connecticut River?

“Increasingly anglers are reporting catching a strange-looking fish in the Connecticut River….

”…many anglers mistake them for the infamous northern snakehead that has received much media coverage over the past few years….”

Source: Connecticut Wildlife