Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Big Year for the Lizardfish King

Several years ago, I read a book entitled The Big Year, by Mark Obmascik, which was later made into a mediocre-looking movie that I didn't see. The book was a true story about three birders obsessively pursuing the big year -- birding parlance for checking more species off your list than any other birder in the course of one calendar year. Even for a non-birder like myself, it made for interesting reading and briefly (very briefly) tempted me to start writing down the birds I saw.

Fast-forward to 2014, and The Drake is organizing a big year contest for fly fishing that involves catching as many species of fish as you can, on fly, between April 26, 2014, and April 25, 2015. I was a little disappointed when I read that only IGFA-recognized fish will count, but then I looked up Florida IGFA records, just to see what might be locally available that I hadn't already thought of, and found that even the lowly inshore lizardfish would count toward my total. This is a good thing for me, for (to paraphrase Jim Morrison) I am the lizardfish king; I can do anything.

Finally, catches like this will count.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Islamorada Tarpon on the Feed

From the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership and Garden and Gun, a little contrast to all those trout-sipping-mayflies videos.


Sunday, November 10, 2013

No Trash Fish

If I had a dollar for every time I read something about jacks being underrated, I could afford to go permit fishing. The sheer number of this type of article leads me to believe that jacks aren't as underappreciated as the authors would like us to believe. What it tells me is that these are the fish we're not supposed to like, but do anyway.

Jacks, of course, are related to permit, but they're like the cousins no one wants to admit they have -- rough around the edges, unrefined, too quick to pick a fight. These are the same qualities, however, that make them more fun to hang out with.

Such is the case with the jack crevalle. I don't target them specifically, mainly because they tend to move around, and they do it quickly, especially when they're on the feed. When they stick around someplace, like they did one day I fished a power plant outflow on a chilly winter morning a few years back, the action can be great. That day, I caught medium-sized jacks on a topwater plug until they had straightened all the trebles.

Usually, I catch them on accident, but there have been many times when a jack has shown up to save an otherwise slow day, most of the time pulling harder than whatever fish I was trying to catch in the first place (there really aren't too many fish out there that are stronger, pound for pound). This happened only last Saturday, when the remnants of a mini cold front was passing through, and the wind was whipping me around the bayou I usually fish. The flats on the outside were simply impossible. Paddling was hard. Casting was hard. And the fish must have been hunkered down, riding it out like I should have been, but when you have an allotted time to fish, you take it.

Before my time was up, the tide turned around and started to come in. Mullet schools rode the incoming, and it looked like some of the smaller ones, maybe, were getting picked off by predators. On one of my final casts, I hooked a small jack that gave me a nice little fight before I let it go. That fish made my day, and I appreciated it plenty.

My guess is that jacks have a bigger fan club than people would have you believe, it's just that no one wants to admit it.


Tuesday, November 5, 2013

FL Issues on Eat More Brook Trout

The title of this post may sound like random words strung together by a new blog post generating computer program, but they make much more sense when you know that Eat More Brook Trout is a blog written by Chris Hunt, whose writings have appeared in numerous fly-fishing-related publications.

Anyway, he's put together quite an informative article on some of the issues that are affecting and will further affect the future of fishing (pretty alliterative, huh?) in the Sunshine State. Check it out.

Florida's Dirty Little Secret

Monday, October 28, 2013

Screw a One-Horse Open Sleigh (Bull-Sharking from a Kayak)

Admittedly, not fly fishing, but this looks like fun. The only question I have is wouldn't it be more sporting from a paddleboard? Skip to about 4:20 for the good stuff.