Catch and Release has been a great thing for conservation, few would argue that. However, some people mishandle fish before release which could be killing them and cancelling out all good intentions of release. A listener asked if I would do this show on how to properly handle fish intended for release. I was a little hesitant at the time because each fish that we fish for requires a slightly different technique. I wasn’t sure if I could effectively communicate, through audio only, the proper way to handle fish. I gave it a whirl anyway and hope it is helpful, if you want to know more please email me and I would be happy to provide any details that were missed in the podcast.
On the How 2 Tuesday I spoke about how to get your anchor set up for pretty much any boat you fish out of. Personally, I fish out of 3 boats - I fish out of a 17-Yellowfin Skiff, 24-Bay-Boat and the 36-Yellowfin-Offshore. The 3 boats, obviously, have different anchoring requirements, different types of bottom, different lengths of line, different amounts of chain and even different types of anchors… The one thing that hold true with any of these is that when I put my anchor down I want it to hold, I don’t want it to slip. When I put my anchor down I also want to be able to get off of the anchor and go chase down a fish.
I was just down with my friends Captain Steve Rodger and Captain Scott Walker filming Into The Blue. One of the things we did was go out in the Gulf and look for permit in the wrecks. Typically we catch permit in the Florida Keys a lot - the flats fishermen catch them on the flats and also in the channels, there are certain times of there year where they collect out on the reef and then we like to catch them on the wrecks. However, on this particular day we had some rain and it was cloudy which provided a problem because we normally like to be able to see them first and then throw over there. But even with problems like bad weather you can still go get these permit offshore.
Right now it is tarpon season, and something you might notice is a lot of guides out there with a push pole that they are using to direct the boat towards the fish and also using to stop the boat. This is called “staking out” and it is very effective and very easy to mess up and break your push pole. These poles are made of high-end graphite and can break easily if there is too much strain put on them, and they are expensive so you really don’t want to break them. Also, since I use Power Poles for anchoring in shallow water, it is important to know that there are some cases when I will still stake out with a push pole because there are areas where I can’t use the Power Poles.
I got a question on the email@example.com email about seasickness and I was going to start a How 2 Tuesday on this subject and then I remembered a podcast I did with expert photographer Jason Stemple. Jason is a phenomenal photographer and I have never seen him get so seasick that he is down for the count. He seems to have some pretty solid ideas on how to take photos inshore and offshore and avoid the sickness that is pretty common for that kind of work.
Pompano has exploded in the past few years, the price has skyrocketed, there is a high demand for them. Because of this, I thought I would feature Captain Matt Budd on the podcast to teach us all how to catch pompano. Captain Matt Budd may know as much about pompano fishing as anyone I have ever talked to. This is a guy who is not just doing this recreationally but doing it commercially. When fishing commercially you may learn some things that a recreational angler doesn’t have to learn.
Chris Bush is an angler from Louisiana, and I got to sit down with him to talk about his expertise; giant speckled trout. I had him come on the podcast to share some of his fishing tips and experience as he has once recorded catching 13,000 trout. Chris takes after his father, Charlie, who was a trout purist and quite a famous angler.
TOM ROWLAND PODCAST
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“The statement was refined to ‘perfect practice makes perfect’ and I believe that.”
Last week we talked about fly line management and this one is how to practice so that you are also practicing fly line management. It’s been said that perfect practice makes perfect - we are going to talk about practices to make you a better angler.
No matter where you are (even if you are practicing on the local football field) you are going to use a 15 foot piece of rope and make a shape that looks like a boat bow. You will then step back into the simulated cockpit and pull the line off your reel and you will stretch it and re-strip it into a nice neat pile. Then you are going to roll cast from the ready position into a back cast and forward cast, then you will shoot the line to a target.
Then you will strip in, just like you were fishing, and you are going to try to pay attention to getting the line in the cockpit. Just pretend that you didn’t catch the fish. This happens a lot and now you have a loose, unorganized pile of line all on the deck and your feet. So how can you quickly get this back into a nice, neat orderly pile in the cockpit?
Well, you are going to go right to the reel and you are going to hold rod just like you’ve been stripping and take this little tiny piece of line that is between the reel and your index finger. You are going to start stripping right there and you are going to step back into the cockpit and organize it. Then you are going to step back up and cast, back and forth and shoot to target, then strip back in and organize your pile again.
You are going to do this every time. Some guides like to use a strip basket, you can get a basket and practice on the football field or wherever you are practicing. If the guide has a basket this is the best for organizing your line, but sometimes it isn’t available so that is why I said to just make a pile in the cockpit.
Perfect practice makes perfect. If you practice this then you will have better luck and become better prepared by doing this 10 times, than by just casting to a target 60 times. These are very important skills to have for proper line management and this is the difference between someone who catches a lot of fish and someone show doesn’t….
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See you on the water,
Today we are going to talk about something that every guide has discussions with their clients about. I am even willing to say that this is the single most important thing to success in fly fishing. Believe it or not, I do not believe that your ability to cast is the most important thing in fly fishing for these fish. I say that, because I will see someone who has a really good cast but has a bad skill set in fly line management in a skiff. What does that mean?
I know there are a lot of fly fishermen who listen to this podcast and fly fishing is what started my career in fishing. But a lot of people that haven’t fly fished before have a hard time starting and might even be intimidated by the whole thing (the equipment is expensive and what if you don’t like it? Or buy the wrong equipment?). But also a lot of people who fly fish have a tendency to make it something that it’s not, and make it seem super difficult. It’s not. Its just another way to fish and it’s another tool in your tool box.