29 January 2014

• #23: Islamorada Journal 2014…30 JAN

Tuesday night's sunset.

I didn't fish on Wednesday...needed to rest the old bones [and back muscles] after spending four straight days on the water. Besides, the morning started with thunder and a downpour, so that gave a good excuse to stay on the beach.

Did some cleaning up of the fishing tackle...bluefish always create a certain amount of chaos amidst rods, reels, line, and lures.

The bobber-popper has continued to be a successful [and cheap] lure. Here you can see a new one on the left, and the one I've been using for the past several days on the right. That's what bluefish, ladyfish, and jacks can do to a lure...so rather than have one that costs $8.95 partially destroyed, this one is less than a dollar [not including my labor at my newly adopted minimum wage of $10.10].

And, I've streamlined the manufacturing process. Just take an 18" wire leader that already has the swivel and clip in place, cut off the clip, and run the leader through the plastic tube inside the bobber.

Then tie the clip back onto the end of the leader, or attach a split ring and hook, or, as has been done in this case, tie the leader directly to the hook.

Before all this, you want to be sure to glue the tube inside the bobber so it doesn't slide out through the slit in the side of the bobber.

We had some stale bread, so Caryl and I went out on the basin wall and fed it to the birds. The pelicans wouldn't have anything to do with it and were highly indignant that we didn't have fish for them.

The gulls ate it all.

Here's a photo Charley B. took of me and Wayne getting the boat ready to go fishing a couple days ago.

So, a quiet day today. Got caught up on a lot of things. Not much else to report.

• Meanwhile, in other news...

• “Fight Back: War On Lionfish Shows First Promise Of Success”

”It may take a legion of scuba divers armed with nets and spears, but a new study confirms for the first time that controlling lionfish populations in the western Atlantic Ocean can pave the way for a recovery of native fish.

”Even if it's one speared fish at a time, it finally appears that there's a way to fight back.”

Please visit this link to read the full article: OregonState.edu

• Please: Don’t Eat Chilean Sea Bass

“Also known by the name "Antarctic toothfish," the cod-like fish can weigh more than 100 pounds and live 50 years or more. The fish had a sanctuary in the ice-clogged waters around Antarctica until 1996. That's when the international governing body that manages fisheries in the Southern Ocean, the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources, approved industrial longline fishing for toothfish in the Ross Sea. Ships chugged southward from all over the world, and their crews have pulled toothfish from the waters ever since.

”Since fishing began, O'Brien's colleagues studying fish at McMurdo Station in the Ross Sea have caught fewer toothfish each year. It is now a major event when one comes up on their fishing lines.”

Please visit this link to read the full article: BellinghamHerald.com

28 January 2014

• #22: Islamorada Journal 2014…29 JAN

Click on any photo to enlarge:

Monday night's sunset...
...and looking a bit further to the north.
On Tuesday, it being the last forecast day for a while when winds would be light and variable and the sun would shine...each allowing sight fishing for various elusive species...Wayne, Mat, and I set out to seek the wily permit.

Here's what you look for: A fin and/or a tail sticking up an inch or two above the surface of the water [we're fishing in about 3 feet of water, mind you].

Not easy to see. Nevertheless, we did see one, almost the minute we got to the permit-hunting grounds, but the fish ignored the live crabs that Wayne and Mat cast to it.

This is what can happen when a boater doesn't go through a ditch correctly...a prop scar results which can take as long as ten years to heal over.

In this case the boater should have left both of the ditch markers on his left-hand side, instead of "splitting the uprights."

As the permit weren't cooperative, we sought out Mr. Shark...saw a bunch of them.
Osprey clutching something to eat in its claws.
Wayne had a small blue runner on a hook below his bobber [the orange thing in this photo] and one of the sharks gave chase.
But once again there was no hook-up with sharkie...just the evidence that he'd been there [you gotta click on this photo to enlarge it and see what was left of the blue runner].

So we finished off the day by catching a mess of bluefish and ladyfish.

Another great day on the water.

Oh yes, and Wayne put a ladyfish on his bobber rig and chucked it out. We thought that a shark was on it but it turned out to be a pack of ravening bluefish who ate the ladyfish just like eating corn-on-the-cob.

• Meanwhile, in other news...

• Fly Line Connections

“You should never lose a fish because the leader and fly line separated, or lose a fly line to a fish because the backing-to-fly line connection failed.

”Fly fishers should know how to make the proper connections in their tackle. Making these practical connections requires no tool other than a line clipper.”

Photo, and please visit this link to read the full article: FloridaSportsman.com

27 January 2014

• #21: Islamorada Journal 2014…28 JAN

Click on any photo to enlarge:

Sunday's sunset.

Again, later.

Congratulations to Ms. Caroline for winning her age group in the New England Archery Championships on Sunday.

Mat's son, Theo, joined us for Monday's trip out on Florida Bay.

Here he takes advice from Grandpa, master fisherman, Wayne.

While the fishing was a bit off on Monday, we saw many critters of interest.

Here's one of a pair of manatee.

But Theo got the biggest fish of the day...a handsome bluefish.

Another critter: a ray with its accompanying school of small jack crevales.

Jacks follow rays because those big ray-wings kick up all sorts of food bits off the bottom.

Everyone was on permit alert. We did see one very large permit. Wayne threw a crab at it and the permit turned on it, but didn't bite.

We also saw a group of tarpon, but didn't get any casts at them.

Charley B was out on the Bay with his Mako skiff...seeking bluefish for his smoker.

Charley was kind enough to put up a couple of videos on YouTube: Here's one of me fighting a bluefish: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lyNSyWi-9OU

And another taken from the bow of Shoo-Fly showing our boat running a ditch [a narrow channel through a sandbar]: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DhYyKhIQnyo

Theo got to catch a bunch of jacks.

There was a pod of dolphin that included several small ones, apparently juveniles.

Here's Theo with a jack.

26 January 2014

• #20: Islamorada Journal 2014…27 JAN

Clik on any pic to enlarge:

Saturday night's sunset.

Iggy, the iguana, is back.

Coast Guard has some potent-looking boats available for rescues.

It was a gorgeous day out on Florida Bay for Wayne, Mat, and me.

Ladyfish, here, jacks, and bluefish were slamming our baits.

Mat got to see how tough a Florida Keys bluefish can be.

Ladyfish can jump several feet out of the water.

Mat with a bluefish.

Shark tried to eat one of our poppers.

A double...Wayne and Mat have fish on at the same time.

Another shark.

Sunday night's sunset...two more pix of this sunset in the next blog.

• Meanwhile, in other news...

• Want To Learn To Fly-Fish?

Greenwich, CT

“Are you one of those anglers that always wanted to learn how to fly fish?

Here's an opportunity to learn this aspect of our favorite sport.

Mark Sedotti, a local angler and experienced teacher of fishing and fishing techniques is gearing up to teach a 12-week comprehensive course in fly fishing.”

Please visit this link to read the full article: StamfordAdvocate.com

25 January 2014

• #19: Islamorada Journal 2014…26 JAN

Friday night's sunset.

Charley B., Wayne, and I lit out for the bluefish locale as Charley wanted to get some more fish for his smoker.

Of course, Wayne and I were happy to oblige as the bluefish are the hottest item on the fishing menu at this time.

We probably caught over one hundred fish...jacks, as with this nice specimen that Charley's holding, ladyfish, and bluefish all cooperated.

Wayne had also rigged up some of the popper-float lures [we're calling them "bobber-poppers"] and had a lot of success with the bluefish...

...and the ladyfish to the point that his bobber-popper finally fell apart thanks to the toothy critters chewing on it.

Largest blue we caught went seven pounds...a very nice bluefish for Florida Bay.

I spent a lot of time throwing flies. My arm was still tired from our last trip and it got further worn out by trying to back-cast a fly-rod popper with the 7-weight.

So, changed to a chartreuse/white Clouser minnow, an absolute killer on fish up in Long Island Sound.

The fish totally ignored it.

Finally employed an all-white deceiver and that worked quite well.

We put up this mark so we could find the same spot next time we fish.

We caught all the blues Charley could possibly cram in his smoker, and then released the rest.

Here's probably more than 100 years of fishing experience asking, "where the heck did the fish go.?"

We did have to move around a bit to stay on the fish...but were pretty much constantly on them the whole time we were out there.

Just hope the fishing stays this good for when the grandkids get here.

"Goin' to the smoker and we're gonna get smo-o-o-ked."