Scott had an interesting post recently about luck. Some guys seem to have it and some seem to make their own.
I’ve been there on days when nothing seems to be happening and on those days it is hard to keep looking, to keep your head in the game. On the flats you can stare at the water for hours and hours and after a bit, you start to lose the belief anything is there.
On the days when the fishing is good it seems like they come out of the woodwork (or mangroves). You see fish and you anticipate seeing fish. Luck is maybe the same as Belief. I mean, have you ever seen Luck and Belief in the same room at the same time?
It works the same on the river. You sometimes just seem to know the fish is there and that feeling impacts how you approach the run, it influences that first cast (which is the most important and the most likely to be successful). When you are having a tough day you can stop believing and it can seep into the physical act, lessening the effort.
Keep your eyes open. Keep the belief. With belief you can get lucky. Without it, you are condemned to plod on toward the inevitable self-fulfilled conclusion.
Looking for fish
I’ll remember this father’s day for a while. First off, the sunburn I got today will be with me for some time, providing a nice reminder for the days to come. Seriously… total sunscreen failure today and the wife, who would like me not to die of skin cancer, is nonplussed.
I also got to spend about 6 hours out fishing on the pier with my daughter who, at 6, is capable of fishing for 6 hours at a stretch. She impressed our pier-mates with her knowledge of the fish and just generally was pretty awesome out there today.
Also had a couple of firsts… our first ray and our first Broadnose Seven Gill Shark (even if it was a small one). The Seven Gill is the SF Bay’s Apex predator and can reach over 6 feet in length. We’ve seen these caught, but this is the first time we ended up with one on our line.
I love the hair here. It was windy.
Fly Ray… FLY!
My dad has given me a lot over the years and one of the best gifts has been the love of fishing. He’s the one who first got me interested and gave me the opportunities to experience the water, the fish and the environment. I am actively trying to pay it forward with my own children.
My dad is a lover of nature. He’s curious about rock formations and clouds and birds and fish. He’s interested in the land and how all the pieces fit together. He still gets excited about a fish, any fish, and will still pull the car over to see a bird. My mom is sometimes frustrated that he won’t remember the name of someone he’s known for 20 years, but will be able to tell you what river he caught a steelhead on in 1969, on what day, on what rock!
We’ve had some great days on the water… and some truly miserable ones, but I’m grateful for each and every one.
Thank you, dad, for the gift of fish. I’d say it stuck.
I got to the little bait shop in San Leandro and I asked about the stripers.
“Not happening” he said.
Conditions hadn’t been kind, it turns out. Low tides with high winds had muddied up the bay and kept the fish from finding the little spots one can find them on foot.
We looked over Google Maps anyway and he pointed out where I needed to go. I figured I’d go, just so I had the right place when and if the conditions ever were right. I had also screwed up the tides. I should have been there on the outgoing tide, not the incoming. The baitfish get pushed down to the fish… these fish aren’t climbing up on a flat to feed. So, lessons learned in quick succession.
I went out regardless. I had the new Redington Vapen and I wanted to see how it felt (it felt kind of awesome, btw). I found the water and quickly could see potential in the place. There was structure, current and bait, there just weren’t any stripers. There were a LOT of fish around, but they were elasmobranchs of the flattened variety.
I didn’t see a striper and given the amount of baitfish I could see and the number of rays I saw, I think they weren’t there. It was a sweet, sweet little spot and I’ll go back. I didn’t mind it basically being a homeless encampment. No one bothered me and one guy even offered to bring me a chair while I was wading… although I’m still not sure why.
If there were fish around, they should have been right there.
This was urban fishing. There were freeways and sirens and homeless people and what looked like a pretty good environment. It would have been good to get a grab, but this isn’t like throwing a line out in the Keys. You are either going to catch stripers or you are going to catch nothing. I caught nothing, but it was worth it to get out and see some new water.
Today I’m going fishing, both literally and figuratively. I’m going to try and find stripers inside the SF Bay. I’ve never done this before and I don’t know the water, or the fish. We’ll see how it goes.
Going to take out the new Vapen from Redington. I’ll be casting a T-400, so it might not be the most pure of casting experiences, but I’m looking forward to getting this bit of newness out on the water.
If I can find them (doubtful) this should work, right?
FWC UNANIMOUSLY VOTES TO MAKE BONEFISH AND TARPON CATCH AND RELEASE IN FLORIDA!
We are pleased to inform you that at their Wednesday meeting in Lakeland, The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), unanimously approved new regulations to make tarpon and bonefish catch-and-release-only fisheries, making Florida the first State to do so. The deliberations by Commission members were brief and entirely supportive. Commissioner Brian Yablonski said, “this is the most significant thing we can do for tarpon.” Following their favorable ruling, Chairman Kenneth Wright added, “there will be a chapter written in a book about what this commission did today.”
Bonefish and Tarpon Trust is pleased with the outcome, which not only protects tarpon in Florida waters, but extends catch and release regulations into federal waters off of Florida. BTT also sends heartfelt thanks to members and supporters who made sure their voices were heard throughout this process. Your support made a huge difference, and several commissioners praised the thoughtful and informed letters they received from Bonefish and Tarpon Trust supporters leading up to the meeting. “It took teamwork on many levels to get these new regulations enacted,” said BTT Chairman Tom Davidson, “and we are very thankful for the Commissioners’ forward-thinking actions. These new regulations have brightened the future for Florida’s bonefish and tarpon fisheries.”
The newly adopted regulations include the following provisions:
- Eliminating all harvest of tarpon with the exception of the harvest or possession of a single tarpon when in pursuit of an IGFA record and in conjunction with a tarpon tag.
- Keeping the tarpon tag price at $50 per tag but limiting them to one tag per person, per year.
- Modifying the tarpon tag program, including reporting requirements and shifting the start and end date for when the tarpon tag is valid.
- Requiring that tarpon remain in the water and are released near the site of capture.
- Discontinuing the bonefish tournament exemption permit that allows tournament anglers to temporarily possess bonefish for transport to a tournament scale (this brings the state in line with similar rules in the National Parks in the Keys).
Thank you to everyone who supported BTT’s efforts and took the time to make phone calls or write letters to the commissioners. Your support and actions helped make these regulations a reality.
Thought I’d share a few posts about FL from the eyes of some of the other peeps who were there…
Adrienne Comeau writing at The Female Angle.
Matt Smythe (also known as “The Hair”) writing at FishingPoet.
Eric Estrada writing a piece over on the Skinny Water Culture blog.
I remember just a little while ago when they were nothing… just a collection of bits and pieces.
They had no form.
They had no purpose.
They were there, really, all along, just not assembled.
Then, I took out the thread, the joiner, the welder, and I started to wrap this in and then that. Each part has a purpose. Each part has a role to play. Some for flash, some for structure. Wraps and more wraps and snips and cuts.
Imagination. Picturing where they will be, how they will behave while they are out there, in the world, fulfilling their purpose.
These are going off to the Bahamas in someone else’s box for someone else’s bonefish, but I’m glad to play a part, to be part creator, to set my children free in the world to fulfill their destiny.
Sometimes, you just need to catch something, and as thousands of old men have said when they want to be pithy while fishing… “You never catch anything without your fly in the water.”
So, sometimes, when I need a tug, I cast without seeing a fish first. This breaks one of Davin’s rules, but rules are made to be broken.
One of my catches while blind casting was this lookdown… a relative of the permit (in the same way a Jack is).
We’ll be putting together a combined web product with the big stories, so that’s why you haven’t seen me write the stories I normally would following a trip like this. I wanted to share a few memorable moments from the FL trip. Every trip has those little nuggets and they are what sticks with us.
- The moment, fishing with Martin Carranza (website, blog) and Adrienne in Biscayne Bay that the cuda I had on the line came up to the surface and flared it’s gills like a tarpon. So awesome.
- Being on Derek Rust’s (Captderekrust@gmail.com) boat with Davin, telling stories and hearing about Derek’s guiding experiences, and blowing some shots at big tarpon.
Derek and Davin, rocking the Skinny Water Culture
- Hearing my rod tip buzz while wading a flat with Matt. Asking Matt if he was buzzing and him confirming it. (Next time, I’m going to GTFO of there instead of staying around, looking for fish)
- Seeing my first meatball of tarpon raging down a flat while fishing with Bill Horn and Adrienne. Man… so. many. fish.
- Listening to Eric Estrada talk about his permit paintings.
It was a good trip.