Wednesday, October 27, 2010

In Case You Didn't Notice....

The site is still moved....it hasn't come back here or anything like that. Feel free to check out the goodness of the NEW site by clicking right HERE

Thursday, October 7, 2010

We've Moved



As I'm sure some of you have heard, I've moved my blog to a new domain, A Bad Backcast Fishing This gives me the ability to do a bit more with the blog plus gives me the options needed that go hand in hand with my new kayak guiding venture...it's very similar to this site just minus all of the same pastel vented sun shirts and Columbia hats...just add skulls and flames.

It still has that new car smell so, please bear with me while I fumble my way around!

All of the blog posts here have been exported there, but I'll leave this blog up for a while until everyone gets used to where the new site is.

Special thanks go out to Mark Watanabe (Yaksushi) At Yaksushi Media for all the hard work and logo design! I owe you a few kayak trips the next time you're down!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Lets Go Rays!


Not really a fishing post! Lets hope the Rays bring their bats to the playoffs.

Lets Go Rays! Lets Go Rays!Lets Go Rays! Lets Go Rays!Lets Go Rays! Lets Go Rays!Lets Go Rays! Lets Go Rays!Lets Go Rays! Lets Go Rays!Lets Go Rays! Lets Go Rays!Lets Go Rays! Lets Go Rays!Lets Go Rays! Lets Go Rays!Lets Go Rays! Lets Go Rays!Lets Go Rays! Lets Go Rays!Lets Go Rays! Lets Go Rays!Lets Go Rays! Lets Go Rays!Lets Go Rays! Lets Go Rays!Lets Go Rays! Lets Go Rays!Lets Go Rays! Lets Go Rays!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

We Like It



Nice logo - Skulls, Kayak Paddles! What else do you need?

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Snooktastic


Yesterday, Keith, in his search for a new kayak, took me down to Sweetwater Kayaks to test drive a few Malibu's. We took our fishing stuff just in case he didn't buy one so we could fish while we were out near Gandy. Problem was, they only had one for him to check out and no Mini-X in stock.

After his test run, we unloaded our gear and headed out to fish the always popular "Boat Graveyard" which is a mangrove area with a collection of dilapidated and sunk boats and docks, abandoned and left to rot. Oyster bars dot this habitat as well.


We also wanted to test out a few new home made stake out poles, which were 8 ft long and made out of green plastic gardening poles with a PVC t at the end. These initially worked well and fit through the scupper holes nicely but wouldn't hold up and kept cracking and bending under the stress of leaning. The great thing about having a longer stake out pole like that is giving me the ability to have something to hold on to while standing up in the kayak, as well as having something to pole the kayak along. We think that inserting these green gardening stakes inside a length of PVC will add a bit more toughness and support.

We paddled through the honeycomb of wrecked and sunk boats, docks, oyster bars and mangroves. There were numerous "fishy" looking areas along the deep mangrove shoreline that didn't seem to be holding fish on the dropping tide. Finger mullet and pinfish were plentiful along the mangrove prop roots.

We found a tidal creek with a depression at the mouth dotted with piles of concrete slabs and caught a few dink trout but, beside that, all was quiet.


I cast a DOA Shrimp into the mangroves next to a concrete pile and it immediately got hammered by an 18 inch snook. My drag was set fairly loose, so he initially dragged me into the bushes, but the 30 lb leader and 20 lb Power Pro held. He was a bit on the skinny side but swam off after a long reviving.

None of his buddies that we spotted in the area were interested in playing so we called it a day....awesome weather and light breeze made it a great scouting trip.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Victory At Sea


Wind and large waves have made taking the kayak out a dangerous chore....but there's quite a bit of fishy activity in the area. I started out on Saturday, but decided against launching when I saw how nasty it was.

Yesterday was a different story.

By the time I flew over my spot on one of the bridges, I could see white caps and feel the wind buffeting the Bad Backcast Mobile.


I went out yesterday amid 4 foot waves and 15 knot winds. Paddled out to one of my favorite local flats with an excellent incoming tide. The wind was blowing from the south and the tide was coming in from the north. This confluence of elements made fishing synonymous with a washing machine.

No one told the fish it was too windy and wavy.


I started tossing a DOA Shrimp (of course) but, it kept getting shredded by needle fish. I switched up to a Mirr-o-lure Mirr-o-dine XL, speed reeling it over the drop off, hoping for some Spanish Macks, but it kept getting hammered by 12 inch grouper and black sea bass. I'm pretty sure a few of these were juvie Goliath grouper.


After a few hours of looking for 2 'O clock Charlie, I packed it in....

The dink grouper were fun, though....never did run into any of the Spanish Macks.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Girls a Cryin'




I'm sure that most of you have a wife or girlfriend or significant other that might say something along the lines of "Why do you have to be fishing all the time?"

Well, the above photograph is my equivalent to that. This is what I come home to...Lacy "yelling" at me for going fishing...

But get the ice cream out and put on the Ray's game, and she's all good....

Los Bastardos



Needlefish - 1

A Bad Backcast - 0

'nuff said.....

Friday, September 24, 2010

New Logo

Like it, Love it or Hate it....here it is.....

Done by Mark Watanabe (Yaksushi) At Yaksushi Media.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Good Things, They're a'comin'


As some of you may know, big things have been happening at A Bad Backcast Central. I've brought in some advisers on the local, state and federal level, as well as social media experts....together, we're creating a bigger and badder Bad Backcast Land

Here is what's coming.....

*I'll have a new domain and website which will make things a bit more interactive. Even though Blogger is easy to use, it's quite limiting with what you can do.

*The site will have a bit more of an edgy feel to it....complete with a new logo to put on everything from stickers to t-shirts.

*In the near future, you'll be able to book a fishing trip with yours truly...should be ready to go by the first of the year. Right now, I'm in the process of securing a kayak manufacturer to sponsor this endeavor as well as various lure makers, and gear makers.....so if you're interested in becoming a sponsor, shoot me an e-mail at rob@abadbackcast.com It takes a bit time to get the Inc. registered, business licences, etc. Not to mention obtaining all the gear.

*You'll also be able to have me speak at your event, seminar, gathering or school.

*Not to mention, articles, reviews, funny stories, and photos. Not to be only limited to fly fishing, but the dark side of fishing too. I'm still against treble hooks and replace all of the trebles on my lures with single hooks.....

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Autumn Transition


This is the time of year when football starts, NFL Films music is playing with slow motion images of players running out of the tunnel, You can smell brats cooking on the grill.

What a lot of folks don't know is that with less heat, shorter hours of daylight, and dropping water temperatures, this is also the kick off to one of the best Florida fishing periods of the year. Like people, after the fish have been beat down by bright sun, and water temps in the 90's, they become more active....feeding periods are extended.

This is the "transition" between summer and winter. Fish are more mobile and bait is plentiful. I realize that fish do not feed 24 hours a day however, like people at a football party, even though you might not be hungry in the 4th quarter, we still are apt to eat some of those wings and blue cheese....same thing with fish. They might not be hungry but, seeing a fly or lure moving through the water might cause the fish to eat.

A few good places to look for would be creek mouths on an outgoing tide, inlets, oyster bars and other spots that you might hit during low light times....

I'm currently scouting for a good fall fishing pattern for when the summer spots become unproductive.....

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Bump In The Night



Strange things happen when fishing. Even stranger things happen when fishing at night.

We launched our kayaks right before sunset with an incoming tide and a plan to fish the lighted docks in a different section of the area that we've been targeting as of late. These docks were in deeper water, and stuck out into the current a bit more than the other docks we'd been fishing. We hoped to find snook.

The wind was an issue right off the bat, blowing 15-20 out of the north, the water was roiled up and wavy and the water clarity was murky. Luckily, we were heading south and I was hoping that the wind would calm down by the time we made our return trip to the put in.

The first docks we wanted to hit were dark, so we paddled into one of the inlets in an attempt to get out of the wind. We found some lights and went to work. Two underwater lights and one above water. Nothing. No feeding activity, no darting bait...all quiet. We paddled to the next set of lights - three docks in a row with above water lights on....perfect.

The first dock yielded nothing and after 15 minutes working DOA Shrimp around the light and adjacent shadows. Keith had moved to the second dock while I was getting my DOA from the maze of pilings it was wrapped around. He scored a nice trout within seconds of casting to the same light we had just moved from. I leapfrogged to the third dock and hooked into another good trout. The size of the larger trout mouths are quite different from their juvenile counterparts...maw-like and can eat quite large prey items. They seem quite a bit thicker as well. Keith had to get on someones dock at least once to retrieve his lure....

We pulled a few more fish out of these three docks and paddled on to find another spot. The wind had died down a bit, so we paddled out of the inlet to a perfect dock with a sweet light right above the waters surface. This dock was sticking out into the main channel, so the current sweeping by was stronger than that which was pushing through the inlet. We could see baitfish hopping on the surface and shadows beneath.

Now for the strange part....I started pulling out fish on almost every cast....a few dinks but mostly keeper sized trout. Keith was getting nothing. We were using the same lure, DOA Shrimp Clear-Red Flake, and he was pulling water while I was pulling fish. I don't get it. I switched over to a Storm Wild Eyed Shad in gray and black. These are 4 inch jerkbaits that look a lot like a finger mullet. I had it rigged on a 2/0 offset worm hook with the hook point inside the hook flap and no weight to allow for a slow sink rate and slight darting action. This worked better than the DOA Shrimp. I could see multiple trout getting into position and chasing it as soon as it hit the water. Keith managed to pull in only one fish out of this spot....Weird.

We paddled across the channel to a dock with green underwater lights. On my first cast, I caught my best trout of the night at around 20 inches. A beautiful, solid fish.

We continued working the docks with only a few more fish. Recorded a big "0" under the lights in another inlet....Weird.

Strange days (or nights) indeed.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Open Letter To Local Residents With Docks

Dearest Residents,

This is a letter to remind you to keep your dock lights lit on the evening of Friday, September 17th, 2010 in the Inter-Coastal-Waterway areas north, south, east and west of Belleair Causeway, Sand Key, St Joseph Sound, and Dunedin.

This Notice is, in good faith meant to notify you that there will be at least two (2) kayak anglers fishing around your docks on the aforementioned date. This is no cause for alarm.

I can assure you that I (A Bad Backcast) will do everything in my power to conduct my angling operations in a quiet and professional manner and if I happen to hang one of my lures on said dock or property (boat, jet ski, yacht, sailboat, naked woman statue) I promise to make every effort to remove said object quietly and without malice from the confines of my kayak. I can't really say the same for my colleague (Old Guy Keith).

Please understand that we are over the age of 40, and our eyes don't work very well at night. Leaving your dock lights lit will certainly help in this respect. I'm sure you, the residents, can sympathise with losing your nighttime depth perception, and we appreciate any help in regard to good lighting.

Please try to ignore the noise created by Old Guy Keith. He really is a nice guy and he does mean well, I just think that sometimes, he forgets that he's literally fishing in your backyard....and, he doesn't have a Malibu Kayak and has to fish his anchor out of a crate behind his seat, which gets tangled up with a bunch of other stuff that he doesn't need.

Thank you for your kind assistance.

Sincerely,

A Bad Backcast

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Paddle In The Park

This promises to be a fun event - bring your kids...

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Sheena Was Right


One of the good things about getting up early to go fishing on a Saturday or Sunday morning is getting the weather forecast from Fox 13 weekend weather anchor and super babe Sheena Parveen. She helps make the rumbling and the stumbling of an ugly early wake up time a bit more bearable....one of these days, I'm going to get her out fishing with us....but anyway, the forecast was HOT, low chance of rain, and no wind.

Just getting to the put in was a bit challenging. On my way across the causeway, one of the last remaining draw bridges in Florida decided to go up. I was feeling a bit perturbed when I didn't see any sailboats coming through and after 15 minutes, the bridge finally went back down.

There were a bunch of hardcore kayaking vehicles at the put in...you know the kind - rusted out Ford Ranger with an old topper, fishing stickers plastered all over the back end but a nice Yakima system on top....I meant to take some photos but got distracted by a girl in a bikini with a lime green kayak. After closer inspection, I saw that all she had was an Ocean Kayak, so I went back to loading up my gear.

Now back to the fishing....

Slick seas, clear skies, incoming tide and bait all over was the scene.


Fifty feet off the beach is a trough that runs parallel to the shore line. This backs up to a fairly shallow grass flat with sand potholes and nice grass. At around 75 feet from shore, it drops back down to around 8 feet....only to rise back up again to another shallow flat at roughly 500 feet from the beach. We fished these areas briefly while heading to our destination - the southernmost tip of a barrier island about 3 miles away. We should have stayed near the put in because we started catching fish right away.

I caught a dink trout and 2 juvenile grouper and Keith caught a grouper. But with the tide pushing over the flats, there was sure to be bigger fish....and there was.

I saw a 7 foot bull shark pushing across the shallow flat, dorsal and tail out of the water like a scene from Jaws heading toward the beach....Eeeesh. I made sure to warn the surprised folks close to shore.

We paddled south to a deep cut along a sandbar and fished for a while. There were a lot of kayak anglers around this spot, so I'm fairly certain there were fish around. I had a hook up with a sold fish, but lost it.

We continued south through a really shallow section of grass flat, seeing large tailing mullet and wakes pushing everywhere. No redfish among them though. The water quality was getting murky as we pushed south. By the time we got to the southernmost point, there was a boat on the spot. We saw them pull in 2 nice redfish and move on....of course blowing out the spot in the process as they gunned the motor on the way out.

I found a kayak trail through the mangroves that looked like it would be a great spot on an outgoing tide. A deep hole formed the mouth of this small creek, giving the fish ample cover to lie in wait for prey to be swept out.

We worked the edge of the mangroves on the return trip. There were several guides with clients asking us where the fish were. We kept seeing scatterings of finger mullet along the treeline so, we knew there were fish around, but had no takers.

On the long paddle back to the causeway, I noticed that the wind had shifted to blow right into our faces...of course....we stopped and fished a few spots and caught more juvie grouper.

I'd forgotten my Buff, so when I arrived home, I found a nice red raccoon face staring at me in the mirror....

So... lesson learned - when you're catching fish close to your put-in, stay there and fish...and pay closer attention to what Sheena says....

Friday, September 10, 2010

Wanna Win A Pair Of Costa's?


Yakangler.com always has great prizes for their contests.

This time, you can win an awesome pair of Costa Del Mar Wave Killer Sunglasses.

Check here to see how to enter.

Rules:

-All YakStaff members may participate, Adam and I will not
-All pictures must be at least 800X800 pixels in size
-Photographs do not have to be taken during the contest they can be older ones
-Maximum allowed pictures are 1 per photo shoot, but you may submit up to 5 photo shoots
-All pictures must be of good clear photo quality
-All pictures must be submitted by October 6th, 2010
-All pictures must be emailed to: events@yakangler.com This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
-Your full name, your username "if applicable", title of photograph, and location of photograph

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Thai Fish Dish



I'm going out on a limb with this one, but I'll share it with you anyway....

The ex used to make a KILLER Chicken Penang. This is MY version of it. You can use fish, chicken or just veggies with it.....but since this is a fishing blog, we'll stick with fish. I totally LOVE this dish.

Please excuse my redneck recipe writing style.

Boil a pot of water and get your jasmine rice started.

In a large skillet, cook 4 fillets of flounder with a bit of olive oil and 2 teaspoons of lemon juice and a pinch of freshly ground lemongrass.

When the flounder is cooked, shake, open and pour a can of coconut milk. Pour over fish into skillet.

Add 2 teaspoons of red curry paste and stir with coconut milk and fish.

Add a head of fresh broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots.

Add 2 tablespoons of fish sauce.

Cover skillet and simmer on low for 15 minutes.

Serve with the jasmine rice.

Smile and enjoy.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Up On The Downsize



There seems to be a recent movement toward larger lures...larger flies....build it bigger and they will come. For me, there certainly are times when I want to chuck a 8/0 Deceiver with huge dome eyes at a bunch of rolling tarpon. One of D.O.A's latest additions is the Big Fish Lure - an 8 inch soft plastic.

There are times and places for the big stuff....but why is it that no one ever thinks to downsize the lures being used?

I know the word "Downsize" is a dirty word in most circles but can prove invaluable in the world of fishing. Just by simply tying on a bonefish fly or small jig, you can often get fish to bite who were previously suffering from lockjaw.

The reason is quite simple.

On the flats that I fish, small prey items are quite numerous. Summertime redfish are often keyed in on grass shrimp which are less than an inch in length. When casting to spooky fish, try tying on an Epoxy Charlie or #2 Clouser Minnow. I've witnessed large tarpon feeding on schools of glass minnows, one of the smallest baitfish in the sea, swimming through the school, mouth agape, gulping mouthful after mouthful on each pass. Maybe a small plastic crappie jig or Clouser Minnow might do the trick....

So, the next time you're seeing fish but can't get them to strike, try scaling it down a bit.....

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Fly Casting Like A Golf Swing?


I've had this crazy notion for a while now.

Fly casting is quite a bit like a golf swing.

If you've ever played the game then I think you'd understand what I'm getting at. No matter how good you are, there are always things to remember and learn. Even the best golfers on earth have swing coaches....But enough about golf.

Fly fishing ninja/author and marine biologist Aaron Adams tends to agree...

"It doesn't matter how many times you've watched or listened to Lefty Kreh talk about fly fishing, there is always something new to learn. Even if you have all of his books and videos, there always seems to be something not yet revealed in those books that comes out during a presentation. For example, during a recent lunch with Lefty, he said to me "I've seen you cast, I bet I can add 10 or 15 feet to your cast in 10 minutes." I said "You're on", and damn if he didn't add 10-15 feet to my cast after lunch. And it was just a simple adjustment to my stroke. Nice. Lefty recently gave a presentation to a group in Sarasota, FL, so I drove up to see Lefty, and to sit in the back of the room to pick up some more tidbits. I did, of course, pick up a couple more fishing tips. I think part of the reason that Lefty always has new tips to provide is that he's always thinking about ways to improve fly fishing. In any case, it's a good thing for the rest of us."

For those of you who don't know...Lefty Kreh and Joan Wulff are probably THE best fly casting instructors on the planet. If you're trying to improve your casting skills, look up their instructional DVD's

Now...you don't need to cast 100 yards to be a good fly caster. In most cases (and this can be debated) you only really need to cast ACCURATELY 30-40 yards. This is just my opinion of course....

I've found that when I'm trying too hard and the fly rod, line and reel feels like it weighs 100 lbs, I just need to relax...breathe....don't try to overpower the forward cast....that things usually tend to feel a bit lighter.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Lights On, Nobody Home



In life and fishing, sometimes the things you plan might not go exactly the way you envision them, but if you improvise, adapt and overcome, you can go from scratching your head.... to watching your rod bend with a fish on the other end.

Keith and I paddled out to a string of docks that I found lighted on a scouting mission earlier in the week. The plan was to concentrate on the docks that were sticking out into the incoming tide and hopefully locate a few snook.

The problem was....someone forgot to tell the folks who live there to turn their lights on for us. It was a bit like Halloween. Several residents actually saw us out there and turned their lights off! I asked Keith to go knock on a few doors and ask them to turn their dock lights on, but he wouldn't do it. These same docks were lit earlier this week....I need to remember to bring the rolls of toilet paper and burning dog shit bags me thinks.

Now, I understand why some folks might not want folks fishing around their docks. I get it. A few errant casts clanging off their boats, fishing line draped across their boardwalks, and hooks left laying exposed to bare feet. I get it. A prudent fisherman needs only to realize a bit of respect to not do these things and to remember that you're literally in someones back yard.

Ok...back to the fishing part.

Conditions were just PERFECT. The sort of night that brings on a sense of Zen peacefulness...no wind, slick, flat calm seas, painted skies, and less humidity than you'd expect for an early September night in Florida. I could have just laid back and took a nap if there wasn't fishing to do. The water temperature is a bit cooler for sure.

So lights out on the docks we planned to hit.


We paddled into a clover leaf of docks in the inlets. It seems the lights were out more than on, but we could see feeding activity along the lights that were lit. The pattern was whomever got into position and got a cast off was almost guaranteed a hook-up.....cast....plop....thunk....tension....fish! Trout were everywhere. I started with a 9 foot leader and had to keep trimming it because it would get frayed. It's probably about a 5 foot leader now. The larger specimens really tend to put up a fight and I had a few that actually leaped free of the water. There seemed to be a lot more schoolie sized fish than the last time, but we were getting a few that were in the 18-20 inch range.


We came upon a submerged amber colored light that had quite a bit of feeding activity around it. I pulled a few decent fish out and just sat back to watch the them interact with each other. I often enjoy just observing the fish as much as catching them. What was strange was, I could see the trout, who were mixed in with a gaggle of sail cats, just lazily swimming on their side. A few of them looked like flounder and would require a bit of a double take.

The last dock that we hit had a light that was placed about 10 feet above the water. There was surface action everywhere for about a 100 foot radius around this light. You could cast in any direction and immediately have a fish on. They were feeding on finger mullet, greenbacks and shrimp....but I think you could have tossed a frying pan and it would have received a strike.