Sunday, January 31, 2010

Tarpon (un)Signs and Breaking Bad Strategic Habits-

This morning, a mild front misted SOFLA: while its' gray clouds scudded to the northeast, I stood below and watched the flat surface of an inland bay. Not a darn tarpon was rolling.

I'd visited that locale recently and I knew there were no temperature drops to drive the fish I fished the area patiently and was rewarded with 1 small jumped fish and another fish around 30 pounds, which I released.

I, for one, have to constantly fight the urge to move when I don't see rolling tarpon in a "basin" bay habitat. Thank goodness for my recorder marking fish- which gives me the traction to remain and work the area.

It's easier for the center console folks "blindly" drifting the Cuts and Penrod or Haulover beaches with shrimp- but for me, seeing cruising strings of fish on the deeper sandy stretches of flats or rolling singles on the grass flats is my mental bias. After all these years, I constantly have to remind myself that tarpon are not required to roll in order to be there.


Friday, January 29, 2010

Cold Water Poker- Jacks and Kings (the silver kind)

My pal Don Eichin and I slipped away today for some dawn tarpon fishing. On the way, we had some good action on large jacks. Though we saw quite a few tarpon, I had only 1 strike and Don released a 30-pounder.
We theorized that the cool waters may have contributed to the tarpon's reluctance.
Image by Don Eichin.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Chuck Corbett and His Fanning Island Fishing and Surfing Life

My friend and South Pacific surfing/fishing charter planner Chuck Corbett is in the States. He has a plan for anglers to visit and fish the remote South Seas atolls on the S/V Kwai.
It's a trip for the rugged self-reliant fly and/or light tackle flats anglers who yearn for wild places with loads of uneducated bones, milkfish, and trevally.
This is still in the early planning stages.
His email is-

Friday, January 22, 2010

Butch Constable/Jupiter Images by Don Eichin

Sue Cocking, Don Eichin, and I spent another day with Butch along the Jupiter coast. As usual, he put us on loads of mackerel, bluefish and pompano. He also showed us a huge school of spinner sharks that we could have caught by chumming and casting- but all of us were way too caught up in the artificial lures-only fishing for the above species. I got to use my favorite baitcasting (plug) tackle along with white Spro jigs.


Butch Constable- 1-561- 74-SNOOK

Saturday, January 16, 2010

FWC Emergency Order and Recent Fish Kills

News Release
FWC responds to widespread cold-weather saltwater fish kills
January 15, 2010Contact: Lee Schlesinger, 850-487-0554
Executive Order 10-02 (Dead Fish)
Executive Order 10-03 (Snook, Tarpon, Bonefish)

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) has issued executive orders to protect Florida's snook, bonefish and tarpon fisheries from further harm caused by the recent prolonged cold weather in the state, which has caused widespread saltwater fish kills. The FWC has received numerous reports from the public and is taking action to address the conservation needs of affected marine fisheries. The orders also will allow people to legally dispose of dead fish in the water and on the shore.

One of the executive orders temporarily extends closed fishing seasons for snook statewide until September. It also establishes temporary statewide closed seasons for bonefish and tarpon until April because of the prolonged natural cold weather event that caused significant, widespread mortality of saltwater fish in Florida. The other order temporarily suspends certain saltwater fishing regulations to allow people to collect and dispose of dead fish killed by the cold weather.
"A proactive, precautionary approach is warranted to preserve our valuable snook, bonefish and tarpon resources, which are among Florida's premier game fish species," said FWC Chairman Rodney Barreto. "Extending the snook closed season and temporarily closing bonefish and tarpon fishing will protect surviving snook that spawn in the spring and will give our research scientists time to evaluate the extent of damage that was done to snook, bonefish and tarpon stocks during the unusual cold-weather period we recently experienced in Florida."

Snook season currently is closed in Florida under regular FWC rules, and there are also regular closed snook seasons that occur in the summer. However, the FWC executive order extends the statewide snook closed seasons continuously through Aug. 31 and provides that no person may harvest or possess snook in state and federal waters off Florida during this period unless the fishery is opened sooner or the closure is extended by subsequent order.

The order also establishes a temporary prohibition on the harvest and possession of bonefish and tarpon from state and federal waters off Florida through March 31, unless these fisheries are opened sooner or the closures are extended by subsequent order. The FWC executive order for the snook, bonefish and tarpon closed seasons takes effect at 12:01 a.m. on Jan. 16.

The other FWC executive order temporarily removes specific harvest regulations for all dead saltwater fish of any species that have died as a result of prolonged exposure to cold weather in Florida waters. It also modifies general methods of taking dead saltwater fish from Florida's shoreline and from the water to allow the collection of saltwater fish by hand, cast net, dip net or seine.

All people taking dead saltwater fish under the provisions of this order may not sell, trade or consume such fish, and the dead fish must immediately be disposed of in compliance with local safety, health and sanitation requirements for such disposal.

In addition, all people taking dead fish under the provisions of this order are not required to possess a saltwater fishing license, and all fish taken under the provisions of this executive order shall be those that have died as a result of prolonged exposure to cold weather.

This FWC executive order takes effect at 12:01 a.m. on Jan. 16 and will expire at 12:01 a.m. on Feb. 1, unless it is repealed sooner or extended by subsequent order.

Friday, January 15, 2010

More of Art Blank's Los Suenos/ Stay in Costa Rica Images

Art and I had a wonderful stay at the five-star Los Suenos Resort. "Stay in Costa Rica" agents did the planning. We cannot wait to return!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Regarding Snook and the Huge Florida Freeze...

I've been checking about any snook kills with friends Captain Ralph Allen of Punta Gorda and Captain Mike Smith of Sanibel. While both acknowledge hearing stories about dead snook, both emphasized that only the passage of time and accurate observation will tell the real story.

Field test- Slayer Inc. Lure Company Jig Heads

FlatsFishingOnline is announcing another field test program: Slayer Inc. Lure Company Jig Heads.
At first glance, two obvious features are the well-designed eyes and finish of the head plus the obviously razor-sharp hooks.
(gratis samples courtesy slayerinc)

Friday, January 08, 2010

Back on the Water- Friday January 8th....

What with all these fierce cold fronts, I was jazzed about kicking off my annual plug rod/jigging season for big ladyfish, pompano, mackerel, big jacks etc. The waters in South Bay were crystal clear, extremely cold and completely calm-not good!

The only fish that my pal Don Eichin and I caught were small jacks, countless sand perch, and, the dreaded lizardfish. I'll have to wait for warmer waters, a nice breeze, and the powdered tint to the water- I call it "smoke"-that make better conditions to put a bend in my plug rods.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Captain Butch Moser

Captain Butch Moser fished with Captain Ken Collette and myself for a story on CyberAngler.
We hammered the freshwater battlers. The story will be out in the next few months.
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More of Butch....

Butch grabs the camera to capture the image of a striking bluefish.

Peck's Lake, Florida
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More of Butch...

Shooting a striking bluefish off Peck's Lake.
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Looking Forward to Butch Constable

Weather providing, Sue Cocking of the Miami Herald and I plan to fish with Butch during the height of the winter beach fishing.
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Pretty Fine Permit Image at Casa Blanca by Art Blank (

Art Blank just sent me a new image of a big permit I released at Casa Blanca the prior year. It's a nice New Years' present!
His angling travel images can be seen on CyberAnlger
Art is now a Regular Contributor for Salty Shores

Antigua Inshore Images with Guide Phill Harley by Jan Maizler

This was an interesting experience. I booked passage with a cruise ship that featured an all-day stop at Antigua. Those of you that know Antigua have seen its great beaches, shops, and upscale eateries.
I chartered Phill months in advance. The day my wife and I got there, the winds were blowing at 25 m.p.h from the northeast. The two prior days it rained hard.
Phill almost broke his back for us- first using his center console skiff to catch a snook in the canals or a big snapper on an offshore rig...but the water was too dirty.
He took us on foot to a salt lake near the beach. It was loaded with small rolling tarpon hitting minnows...along with some big stray snook. We fished in earnest for three hours, but that water as well was cooled and silted by two days of rain.
Phill tried hard and was a great guide....we were grateful. My experience with him was filed with the Angling Report.