Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Other Blogs and Random Stuff

I've been getting a lot of traffic from Online Fly Central - Check it out if you haven't. There is a really cool page with this blog included with some heavies like Midcurrent and Moldy Chum which I'm not even in the same league with. Richard's site is really cool! Check it out.

Ever wonder about things like "what is brownlining?" (sounds like a t-back at a chilli cook off) and "how do you catch carp on fly?" Well, we'll soon have the answers from Jean-Paul Lipton AKA roughfisher

One of my favorite blogs is Bonefish On The Brain - Bjorn lives in California, but loves bonefish probably more than anyone I know of. Here is a dude who finds something to write about EVERY DAY pertaining to bonefish yet, lives about 2,000 miles away from the closest gray ghost. Hey Bjorn, get a Twitter account.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Brotherly Love and Brown Lures

After receiving a test package from Brown Lures last week, Saturday seemed like a good day to go fishing and test these fine soft plastic lures. The weather and the tides agreed.

With an all day incoming tide and warm, sunny conditions, my brother, Steve came along. Now, you have to understand that Steve doesn't like to leave his comfort zone very much. If it's too hot, too cold, biting insects, or dirt involved, he's not interested. I can remember on one camping trip, the temps dropped a few degrees under what our sleeping bags were rated. After surviving the cold night, he was ready to either leave, or go to WalMart for extra blankets. After buying an electric blanket, it turned out to be one of the best camping trips he'd been on. Even though he's my brother, he somehow missed out on the outdoor bug. Our styles differ greatly too. He looks like a poster boy for Old Navy while, oftentimes, I look like I just pulled up on a Harley. So I figured if he was coming along, I'd make it as easy as possible on him. I set him up with the big "meat stik rig" Which is a super heavy Ugly Stik with a large Penn spinning reel loaded with 65 lb test braided super line and a 50 lb test mono leader. As not to confuse the boy, I played it safe by attaching a cork with a 2/0 Mustad hook complete with a shrimp. All he'd have to do is cast the thing and watch the cork. I've used that rig to haul up 50lb amberjack out of 200 ft of water, so I knew he'd be able to horse a fish in if need be.

We were fishing a small channel with sandbars on both sides. The channel empties out on a nice grass flat. The strategy being to cast and let the current take the bait to the fish on the grass flat. I would be casting directly to the grass. My rig consisted of a 7 ft medium power Ugly Stik, Penn Silverado spinning reel loaded with 20 lb Power Pro braided line and 30 lb Mono leader.

Jason from Brown Lures sent me 4 packs of lures and a pack of 1/4 oz Tru/Loc jig heads. The first thing you'll notice about all of these soft plastics is the very large, prominent eye. The 2 models he sent were the Devil Eye in Gold Rush and Black Cat/Chartreuse as well as Flappin' Devil in Glow and Pink color schemes. The jig heads are very nice, complete with spiral bait holder and bullet like shaped heads. The hooks are very sharp and strong. I started with a Devil Eye in Gold Rush, rigged standard to get an idea of what these lures are about. They're a bit fatter than your average jig/jerkbait, but with the bullet jig head, it cuts through the air effortlessly, adding distance to your cast. Another pleasant surprise was the landing. The jig head helps it slice through the water without making a huge splash. I hopped it off the bottom, bouncing it off of small rocks and other debris. I only got hung up once in about 2 dozen casts. A jigging retrieve causes an erratic, baitfish trying to escape action that's sure to get the attention of a feeding redfish or trout. I swam it, jigged it, yanked it, and hopped it through weeds and other small structures. The only thing that I might suggest is maybe improving this by adding a mono weedguard.

Next up was the Flappin' Devil in pink, which is a Devil Eye with a shad tail. This time, I used a bit of Florida ingenuity by using a cup faced cork head with an offset 2/0 worm hook. This rig gives the lure the ability to hover just under the surface and subsequent jerks and twitches make it gurgle and flap it's tail, making subtle disturbances that you might want when fishing a top water presentation in calm conditions. This is also a nice soft plastic that performs well and looks great in the water.

I went back to the Devil Eye, using the worm hook and a 1/4 oz split shot about 18 inches above the hook. This made the lure dart to and fro while staying just above the bottom in a walk the dog type of retrieve.

Bottom Line is this - If you can get on fish, I'm sure these baits can catch them. But after a few hours, brother Steve didn't even get 1 hit on the shrimp he was using. Not even a bait robbing pinfish, sail cat or sting ray.

On this day, the fish were nowhere to be found. At least they weren't washing up dead on the sand.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Oddly Specific Signs

I promise to have some fishing related posts soon....but this is fun stuff that I do during the winter.

In the spirit of great sites like There I fixed It and the always popular People Of WalMart I bring you Oddly Specific a collection of baffling sings, similar to Rebecca's post about humorous warning signs

Sorry Rebecca, looks like they beat you to the glory of having a site dedicated to stupidity. I'd still like to see a monthly collection of your signs though. One of my favorite signs locally is the one put out by the state around bodies of fresh water - "Please don't feed or molest alligators"......

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Random Stuff

After reading the post at Fishing Jones a few days ago, the effects of the hard winter and extended cold periods that the fish have had to deal with this year, the mortality rate looks bad among snook in Florida. Now you have to understand that a "normal winter" in Florida is where we get a cold front, it gets into the 40's and 50's for a few days and warms back up and repeats the cycle next week. This year, we've had long cold snaps of a week or longer with temps in the low 40's high 30's with lots of wind and overcast skies, which takes away the water warming qualities of the sun on shallow dark bottom areas that snook prefer to warm up. The result is quite a bit of dead fish, which opens up another whole host of problems to the fishery that I'll touch on later....

Kyle Perkins from Compleat Thought and his team of artists have developed a new logo for the blog that I hope to unleash soon. It's really cool, modern and humorous all at the same time. It'll help at trade shows and the like.A shot of Bad Backcast Central

I get encouraging comments on the blog and from time to time, e-mail. Readership is all over the map, but I get the bulk of my traffic from northern states, Texas, and the mid west. (Don't ask me why) Denver areas and Montana seem to be a hotbed of fly fishing that visit the blog daily. One reader from New Hampshire recently e-mailed me to tell me how bad the blog sucks, but can't stop coming back, and wishes I'd post more photos of me holding fish....but he likes the interviews and the posts about "the broads" who fly fish and my list of blogs and cool sites. I'm just taking a gander that this reader from NH is your prototypical crusty old guy (since the term "broads" hasn't been used in decades) using a Pflueger Medalist (nothing wrong with Pflueger, I use them) with duct taped waders and smelling of old bucktail and moth balls, hanging about the local fly shop talking about the good 'ole days and never buying anything...probably drives a 1977 Ford pickup truck and has a seasonal residence in Largo. Dude! let me clarify that I primarily wade fish. Wading the flats when the water temp is in the 50's isn't my idea of fun. I don't own waders and I really don't want to...especially when the local waters are full of rotting fish corpses. I'm not trying to turn my blog into a Moldy Chum light or anything else like it....and the "broads" that you refer to are very nice, intelligent women who love fly fishing as much as we do....that's why they do it and write about it. So when you're at the fly shop later this afternoon, make sure you tell anyone who'll listen about my blog and how much it sucks....AND BUY SOMETHING CHEAPSKATE! As you know, fly fishing is a niche making up less than 1% of the blogdom. If I were in it for the money, I'd be blogging about Brittney Spears or American Idol. Here is a photo of me holding a fish - see ya tomorrow!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Brown Lures

Yours truly will be doing some lure testing for Brown Lures They're a Texas based lure maker specializing in soft plastic redfish and spotted seatrout lures. Even though I primarily fly fish, I'll bust out the spinning gear and give these a proper test run. I'm always open to trying new things and will write up a review about them when I get done.

I've always been a fan of Storm paddle tails and these look sort of similar to them.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Weekend Wrap Up

*As you saw by my last post, Captain Mel Berman died. He will be missed among the Tampa Bay fishing community.

*Bought a new Buff at Bill Jacksons on Saturday. It's really cool, but was informed by the folks who work there in the fishing department that all the bonefish in the keys are dead from the cold. I haven't been able to verify this, so if anyone is in the Keys, could you please let us know? Are you able to confirm or deny that this is true?

Lacy ate half of my mom's Suprbowl cake when nobody was looking. Does she look like she'd do that? It was on a lazy Susan type of thing that kept rotating as she licked...sorry mom....but it was funny and the other half of the cake tasted really good!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Captain Mel Berman passes

I'm saddened to report the loss of Captain Mel Berman, who was a staple of the Tampa Bay area fishing community. I can distinctly remember taking The Boy fishing early on a Saturday morning and listening to Captain Mel's radio show. His golden voice and calm demeanor made you feel as if he were only talking to you. He always returned e-mails asking what are the best lures to use, ect. His website and forum are chock full of info about fishing all aspects of the Bay area.

He will be sorely missed.

He was 81.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Ditch Fishing

Check out this article at Bloodknot Magazine written by yours truly - Fish in The Ditch.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Fly Fishing Film Tour Tampa

Just found out that the Tour is coming to Tampa. Will be on March 8th, 2010 at The Tampa Pitcher Show. Doors are supposed to open at 6:30.

I for one am looking forward to this.

Here's one of the films on the Tour that I found on Flatswalkers blog.

If you dig fly fishing, you should pack up the family and go....