Sunday, March 29, 2015
Actually, I don't just like this fly line, I absolutely love it. I tried it for the first time four years ago and they've been my favorite lines ever since. The Bermuda Shorts are part of their Triangle Taper series and have a 22 foot head making it incredibly quick to load and shoot. I first put them on both of my 8-weight rods, a Sage Xi-2 and Temple Fork BVK, and found them to easily be the best line for casting at our small rolling tarpon around the canals of Matlacha. You can instantly haul it off the water's surface with one false cast and shoot it at a different fish when they appear.
The shooting head is light blue and the running line is a lighter yellow which is a nice looking combination, especially on the new BVK reel. It also features welded loops in both the backing and leader ends. I really like this because I hate nail knots and have never really learned to tie one properly. A simple loop to loop conection for both the leader and backing is the best possible connection and this line comes ready to go right out of the package.
All the Triangle Tapers retail for around $75 which is what you'd expect to pay for any premium saltwater line, and there are a lot more expensive ones out there. Unlike some of its competitors, this one actually will add 20 feet to your cast. Bermuda Short fly line is really great stuff and you can pick them up locally at Norm Zeigler's Fly Shop on Sanibel or from several online retailers.
Thursday, March 26, 2015
Matlacha Park Community Center. It will feature a guest speaker and also several fly tying demonstrations. The club is open to anyone and you don't have to be an experienced fly angler to attend. If you're new to the sport and want to meet up with a lot of avid local fishermen, this is a great monthly event.
Sunday, March 22, 2015
Thursday, March 19, 2015
Tuesday, March 17, 2015
Saturday, March 14, 2015
Thursday, March 12, 2015
After ten years of no changes, my website was completely redesigned last month and everyone seems to love it, especially me. The overall look of the pages came from my brother Randy, a brilliant graphic artist who designed the fonts and my excellent logo. I've posted some of his other work here. The real heavy lifting was done by my buddy Sam Peplinski of Rising Tide Design. He took every single one of my brother's ideas and brought them to life exactly as we wanted to see them. Best of all, Sam also put my site at the top of the page for several different Google searches for Pine Island. I can't say enough about his work and if you need any kind of web work done get in touch with him ASAP.
Tuesday, March 10, 2015
Sunday, March 8, 2015
I landed almost a dozen of these guys in just over an hour this afternoon. The snook in Matlacha Pass are fished hard but I had no problem getting them to eat a Zara Spook from my 13' Beavertail Ambush.
This is the ultimate stealth fishing platform and being right on top of the water had a lot to do with getting under the snook's radar.
Wednesday, March 4, 2015
We got into a real feeding frenzy yesterday. I was out with my buddies Brooks and Forrest, two of the better local fly anglers, when several waves of these 10 to 15 pound jack crevalles came pouring down the flats just north of Matlacha. Catching fish like this on a 7-weight fly rod is as good as it gets.
Tuesday, March 3, 2015
We haven't landed any keepers yet but at least they're willing to hit flies.
Monday, March 2, 2015
From this month's Nautical Mile Newspaper:
As a full time guide, I get asked by a lot of folks for my opinion on what type of flats boat they should buy for Pine Island and my answer usually surprises them. I tell just about everyone to buy the smallest boat with the least amount of horsepower that will do everything you want. It’s that very last part that’s most important.
Everywhere you look you’ll see flats and bay boats with 200hp motors or more, and those rigs definitely have their place. But if you’re new to SW Florida and want to dedicate yourself to fishing our excellent shallows, you need to start out with something as basic as possible, and a microskiff is the way to go.
The term “microskiff” has only been around for a dozen years now but the boats themselves go back much further. For most anglers it means a boat less than 18 feet long, designed for two people (a third is possible in some situations) and powered by no more than a 25 horsepower outboard. Basically, these were the only kind of flats boats available until about 50 years ago.
The modern microskiff was actually designed by a rocket scientist. Harley Gheen was a senior engineer at Cape Canaveral in the early 1960’s. He was also an avid fisherman who loved poling the Indian River in his canoe and casting to the huge redfish that prowled those flats. What Harley didn’t like was constantly being dumped out of his tippy craft every time he tried lifting one of these fish on board. Between Gemini and Apollo launches he carved a new design at his desk from a hunk of balsa wood that would eventually become the Gheenoe (short for Gheen’s Canoe,) and 45 years later over 50,000 have been built.
Even if you’ve never heard of a Gheenoe, you’ve seen them at the boat ramp or parked outside the bait shops in the morning. I’ve actually owned two over the last decade and will probably pick up another one in a few years for my kids to use. A 15’ Gheenoe with a 15hp outboard is the perfect first boat for anyone looking to learn their way around the shallows of SW Florida. They’re light enough to launch almost anywhere and fast enough to get you and another angler wherever you want to go. When you run one hard aground (trust me, YOU WILL) they’re light enough for one person to drag back into deeper water. A Gheenoe isn’t much fun to run in choppy conditions but they will teach you to when to head out and when to stay home. Best of all, you can easily pick up a used Gheenoe for under $1000, and that price could include a small motor and trailer.
As a guide, I obviously need something with a little more capability and a lot more creature comforts. My current boat is an 18’ Beavertail BT3 that can run three anglers and myself anywhere around Pine Island in almost any kind of weather. It has all the features like a brand new Yamaha 4-stroke outboard, remote controlled Minn-Kota trolling motor and Power Pole, and a full color Garmin GPS. The BT3 is an excellent machine and does everything I possibly want when I’m out with paying customers.
But on those rare days when I have a few hours to myself and the conditions are right, the 18’ BT3 stays in the driveway and my 13’ Beavertail Ambush hits the water with me. This is the ultimate microskiff and is built for only one person with a maximum 6hp outboard. It looks like a powered surfboard but is actually a very capable skinny water boat that will float shallower than most fishing kayaks. I’ve used my Ambush to chase redfish on the Pine Island flats during some of this winter’s lowest tides without ever thinking about running aground. I’ve also had a blast poking into some very narrow creeks that I never knew existed but took me to hidden pools of baby tarpon way back in the mangroves, (thank you, Google Earth.) If I was starting from scratch with no knowledge of the waters around Pine Island, running around in an Ambush would be a great education.
Before you start boat shopping, take a minute and decide how you’ll be spending most of your time on the water. Sometimes you really can do a lot more with a lot less.