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.
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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.
St. Croix Spinning Rod (Avid VIS70MHF Series) medium action 7ft rod - this one I feel like I can cast the most accurately with. I’ll pair that rod with the Daiwa 3000 Ballistic which can hold 20 pound J-Braid 320 yards of it. It is a very small and light reel with great drag, you can actually go down with it because it has good line capacity. I will tie 1.5 feet of fluorocarbon leader on the end of it which allows me to cast accurately so that the connection between the braid and the fluorocarbon is outside of the tip of the rod when I go to cast. If you have too much then you have to cast the knot (which is a Double Uni or J-Knot).
So one of the questions I got when I went live on Instagram was how to catch snappers offshore. Of course, I am an inshore guy but I have had some chances to learn from some very talented offshore fishermen. I've gotten to fish with Captains Scott Walker and Steven Rodger from Into The Blue TV and learn how they catch really big snappers. One of the key factors you need to pay attention to is the chum.
One of my favorite things is sight casting - it’s all I did when I was first guiding. I never learned how to chum, it was not something I did when I was just starting out. However, eventually with fishing there are days where you just can’t sight fish (rainy or cloudy days). If you are a professional fishing guide you get put in this situation a lot, of days when you wouldn’t normally go fishing but because people have booked the trip you have to go and make the most of it. Chumming for bonefish is excellent for this situation.
When you go down to the Florida Keys it is common to want to go into the Everglades. Sometimes when there is a cold front and the weather isn’t ideal it can be a fantastic option to go back up into the Everglades and explore the No-Motor-Zone. Over the years Rich and I have tried many different crafts for the area but none have compared to the paddle board. With the shallow waters and the dynamics of the area you are trying to fish, a paddle board is the perfect craft for the job.