05
Jan 16

Gink & Gasoline and some Bonefish Knowledge

This post from G&G went up yesterday. Of course, it is a pretty good read and makes the old brain juices start to flow a bit.

Long Island bonefish2

I have to say, several of these situations for me have been big zeros in terms of success.

I know, theoretically, that traveling fish or fish who are running can be caught. I have yet to count myself among the people who have caught fish with that mindset.

I used to bomb out hero casts trying to entice those fish, but I don’t do that anymore. For me, I’d prefer to stir things up less. Maybe that long bomb spooks some other fish I haven’t seen yet. Maybe that fish making a B-Line will settle down if I don’t mess with it. Maybe these are theories I hold because I haven’t gotten those fish to eat yet?

I just need to see it happen with my own eyes before I really can take it to heart.

How about you? You find success in those situations?


30
Nov 15

SHARKS!

Gink and Gasoline did a really interesting piece that came up in my email this AM about sharks.

If you’ve been out there, you’ve been around them. I haven’t had any calls as close as his, but I have had a couple of sphincter tightening incidents.

It is their home and we are taking dinner out of their mouths, so, a little caution goes a long way and a bit of education helps. Read the G&G piece.

Company.

Company.


09
Mar 15

Freddy

Gink and Gasoline ran a story recently that featured Andros South guide Freddy (or Freddie, not sure which is right).

This made me happy because it made me think of my own trip to Andros South and my day with Freddy on the water.

This guy is fun to fish with.

This guy is fun to fish with.

Freddy was the biggest man with the smallest boat and was by far the most enjoyable guide I had that whole week. Freddy was just plain fun. He sang from the poling platform and joked and laughed and did all this while managing to put us on fish.

We ran into a bit of engine trouble that day while out on the West Side. That’s a long trip back with an engine that can’t get up on a plain, but Freddy was calm and smooth about even this. He suggested it was a good opportunity to troll for cudas, which we did and I picked up my first decent sized cuda.

The day was awesome and it does reinforce the idea that attitude matters… your attitude and that of your guide.

Thanks Freddy.


26
Jan 15

G & G and the guide list

Gink and Gasoline… they just keep putting out quality. They had the bit a while back about do’s and don’ts for your guided trip. That was a popular one. They just put out a list of do’s and don’ts for the guide. It is worth a read.

Of course… the obligatory disclaimer. I love fishing with a good guide. A guide who is tuned in is such an amazing way to spend the day on the water. You learn so much, about the fish, the water, the country. Every trip with a good guide leaves you a better angler.

Dwayne, calling out a fish to Jason Bourne (photo from Aaron Vanderwall)

Dwayne, calling out a fish to Jason Bourne (photo from Aaron Vanderwall) (Dwayne was a good guide, by the way)

Still… I’ve had at least a couple trips I was less than thrilled with, so I have a few pointers for the guides to add…

  • Don’t talk religion.

Sure, don’t talk politics. Don’t want to get into a debate with someone on the other side of the isle. While the US has two political parties, there are an estimated 4,200 different religions in the world. Time on the water is not time to tell me about your personal brand of salvation.

  • Don’t break out the homophobia or sexims

Maybe you go around talking about how women need to be put in their place or you want to share your strong beliefs that all gay people are going to hell. While those ideas make you kind of an a-hole (something you are likely proud of if you hold those views), you should totally not share your awesome ideas with your clients. If you get that one wrong and, let’s say, talk about how gays are going to hell to the guy who has a gay son… well… he’s not going to have a good time.

  • Don’t get baked, unless you get the green light

Could be your client isn’t down with the 420 lifestyle. Could be he doesn’t mind at all. Make sure you know before you break out the blunt.

 

  • Don’t poach someone else’s water

I’ve been on both ends of this. I’ve had a guide get way too close to another boat. That boat happened to be from the lodge we were staying at and I apologized to the anglers from that boat at dinner. It isn’t the position you want to put your clients in. I’ve also been on the receiving side and had a guide motor up and put his client on fish I was working. That did not make me happy. In the Keys we had a guide come over and ask us if he was going to be in our way. Since we were just out for kicks and he had paying clients, Capt. Derek Rust told him to go ahead and go ahead of us. It was class all the way around. That is what you want people to experience.

A good guide cuts years off your learning curve. A good guide makes the trip, maybe even your year. A good guide is priceless. A bad guide can suck the joy out of one of the most joyful things humankind has yet come up with.


29
Dec 14

Being a good fishing partner

Gink and Gasoline had a great piece about being a good boat-mate and an all around good angler to have in the boat. This is their piece about Flats Boat Etiquette.

The gang

The gang

It is a good list for sure. I have one thing to add and one thing I’m actually going to, gulp, disagree on.

First, the addition. When you are not on the bow, and especially when it is windy, you have one very important task. Keep your buddy’s line from slipping out of the boat or from tangling on anything. You aren’t fishing, so help out. It is super appreciated and may just help your buddy convert and get you back up on the bow again.

Now, the disagreement. The “Don’t do the guide’s job” bit… true, you are not the captain, but your captain only has two eyes. Look for fish. Both on the bow and off the bow. Look for fish. Scan the water. Look where the guide isn’t looking (fish have a way of turning up in odd places sometimes). Always be looking. You should only be sitting down having a beer when the fishing is so good (or bad) it doesn’t matter. Look, pay attention, improve your own fish finding abilities.

Am I off on the disagreement? If you guide, do you really not want the angler to be looking for fish?

As always, feel free to disagree with me, but if you do, please explain why. It makes for a richer conversation.

 


16
Oct 14

Casting from Gink and Gasoline

The folks over at Gink and Gasoline are doing a fine, fine job, Olympic Medalists and all. They have a post with some casting tips to help you on the flats and it is good advice.

Good technique and timing can input far more power into the casting system than sheer muscle and effort. Casting as hard as I could worked against me ten fold. I wasn’t allowing the rod to do the work and I lost control of my casting stroke in the process. Both of which, ended up opening up my loops and keeping me from consistently laying out a straight leader on the water during my presentation.

Saltwater flats casting is just different from most anything else you are going to do. It has its own set of skills and you are not magically imbued with them just because you’ve caught a bazillion trout.

The big difference is the wind. The wind can be your friend, putting a little chop on the water makes the fish feel more comfortable and masks your approach and cast. When you are looking into the face of a 15 mph wind, or a 25 mph wind, things can go badly, and quickly.

Read the tips from Gink and Gasoline and then go practice a bit. Doesn’t make sense to spend a couple grand on getting to some dream location without working on your ability to deliver at game time.

Me, casting, in Belize.

Me, casting, in Belize.


05
Nov 13

Gink and Gasoline Goodness

This is just good stuff from Gink and Gasoline.

“You picked a fine time to leave me Lucille,” Freddy bursts into song as Kent hooks up and is instantly deep into his backing. “Four hungry children and a wife in the fields,” this is hysterical in a Bahamian accent. Kent now has to stifle a fit of laughter while having his ass handed to him. As the fish turns sharply back towards the mangroves Freddy starts in on a chorus of “Baby Please Don’t Go.” It’s not yet 10 a.m. And this is already one of my most memorable days of fishing.

I have to say, Freddy was my favorite. The guy found the fish alright, but he was just fun and funny and easy going all day long when I fished with him back in 2011. Many Bahamian guides tend toward stoic. Freddy is charismatic. Love reading a story that involved Freddy in one of my favorite places, Andros South.

This guy is fun to fish with.

This guy is fun to fish with.

 


15
Oct 13

G&G muse one affordable bonefish sticks

I do love the budget gear and the guys over at Gink and Gasoline recently posted some thoughts on affordable bonefish rods.

Of the three, the only one I’ve case is the Redington Predator, which I own in a 10 wt. and I’ve cast in a 9 wt.. I do have a TFO Clouser 8 wt. I use for bonefish and I’ve been pretty happy with it in a variety of situations. The funny thing is the diagram they have implies it has less power and is more of a presentation stick, which I disagree with. I’ve never found that rod lacking in power… not once.

The Predator

The Predator

I have yet to fish an ECHO. One has never found its way into my hands on the water. Off the water I’ve used their practice rod, but the new Redington Form Game Rod has relegated that to the garage.

Laying it out.

The Form Game Rod in practice.

There are a great number of affordable rods out there for your bonefishing pleasure. The rods mentioned in the G&G post are all $250, as is the TFO Clouser I mentioned above. If that’s too steep, there are even cheaper rods that will do the job.

The Redington Voyant is only $190. The TFO Professional Series II is only $160.

Options. Options abound. If you are shelling out big bucks for a premium rod, one of these might make sense as a backup. I’d never head out for a week of fishing with just one rod. That’s one careless move away from doing a lot more spectating than I’d really care for.


11
May 13

Some practical advice from G&G

Gink and Gasoline has a really nice post about bonefish handling, appropriately called “Holding Your Bone.”

They do some fine work over there.

It always kills me to see an angler new to bonefishing, grinning ear to ear, with a huge slime print on his shirt. Nobody will say anything because they don’t want to spoil your moment but that slime belongs on the fish not your flats shirt. It’s their protection from harmful bacteria. Hugging them does not show that you love them.

Awesome.

Nice fish.

Nice fish.


30
Apr 13

Bonefishing with the Fam

About a month ago I got to go to the Bahamas with my family. It was fantastic. We opted for Grand Bahama since it had some things for the grandparents and was really easy to get to. The math made it work in terms of finding good accommodations, decent flights and me knowing where to find at least a few bonefish.

Gink and Gasoline recently went to the Bahamas on a family trip too. They went more off the beaten path, DIY and to Cat Island.

They have a really good write up about their trip. If you have kids and are thinking about including them in your next trip instead of leaving them at home, you should check it out.

A favorite flat, even if I've never hooked a fish there.

A favorite flat, even if I’ve never hooked a fish there.