Sunday, December 14, 2008

Another Bad Night Of Fishing

So I didn’t even get the chance to go down south to some hardcore deep sea fishing in Florida, but I did however get a night off from the family so I decided I was going to do some fishing no matter what. This was kind of a last minute decision so I wanted to get a couple of buddies to go with me, called up all the fishing friends that I knew and of course everyone was busy with their own plans. Like sitting at home drinking and watching television, losers. So I said screw it, I am going out there by myself, at least I have a camera to show and tell some stories, plus I am good at photo chopping the fish to make them look bigger. LOL

So I grabbed a couple of fishing rods, got the cooler and was on my way down to Fort Desoto. See if I would have waited one more night, it would have been a full moon. A full moon is the best time to do some Florida snook fishing. But of course I didn’t want to wait another night, I had to go on the night before the full moon, almost as good of chance. Not that I would have kept the snook if I had caught any (which I didn’t) due to snook season ending early this year for those of us on the gulf coast of Florida.

So I got my little dolly, fishing rods n reels, cooler, now all I needed to do was stop at the local bait shop as soon as you get near the park, pick up some shrimp, sand fleas, ice, and a six pack of bud light. FYI if you plan on drinking at Fort Desoto buy the beer before you get close to the park, it is expensive once you get close. So I have all the necessities needed to catch some fish.

When I go to the piers of Fort Desoto, I usually just fish the short pier, but sure enough I arrive there and it is dark, when the lights are always supposed to be on. But this time they weren’t, well that sucked. So I had to grab all my fishing gear and pack it back in my tiny ass Toyota corolla and head to the gulf pier, which is just about a quarter mile away.

Got to the gulf pier and and set up all of my fishing gear and stuff. I was using a light spinning rod with 10 pound test with a 40 pound leader line, along with a couple of split shot sinkers and a circle hook. Put a live shrimp on and cast away, cracked open a beer and lit up a cigarette. Within a couple of minutes I had a fish on, a fish that was fighting pretty damn hard, I could tell it wasn’t a snook though.

Soon as I reeled him up I saw that it was just a baby hammerhead shark, not what I was looking for but fun to fight on light tackle. That was about all the action I would see that night besides a couple of small flounder. What I have realized in December in Florida, when it is freezing cold and windy out, it’s not the best time to go fishing because you probably wont catch anything but a buzz and a cold. It was still nice to get out of the house though.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

I need to get out of State

Well it seems that I wont be going to the Florida keys this week for fishing. We have decided that we will be going to fort meyers florida instead to go after some mackerel. My uncle says that they are biting alot and he's coming back in with coolers full of them. So I am getting really excited about doing some fishing being I havent had any time lately to do so.

On a side note I am already planning my next vacation as we will be getting out of the state and heading up north. We were looking to where we might stay at and did a little research on Big Bear Cabins and decided that would be the best choice. Most definitely we would get one that is on a lake side being the fishaholic that I am. I dont really do to much freshwater fishing as I have been saltwater fishing my whole life, but I will fish for anything. So from now until then I will start having to do some research on freshwater fishing as to I am clueless about the subject. I know that you use lures a lot more and bass are a pain in the ass to hook up with, so I will just grab a couple of freshwater lures and keep casting until I catch something. It doesn't hurt to switch things up every once in a while, and as much as I love Florida it will be a nice little change to get out of state. I haven't been out of state since my trip to the Bahamas a year ago, which is another whole fishing story that I will be sharing with you all in the near future. As I said in my last post I will get back to you this weekend and hopefully I will have some nice pictures of some mackerel and some cobia for you all. Happy holidays everyone.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Almost vacation Time For Fishing

So it’s getting close to the holidays, and I am going off for a vacation here in a couple of weeks, which means that I will be doing some serious fishing. Sorry for the lack of posts, but I really don’t have any new stories at the moment. Although last week my buddy and I did make a trip to the Fort Desoto piers. For fishing in Florida, it was freakin cold as balls too, and the fish didn’t seem like they were that hungry that night.

We tried live shrimp and we also tried fishing with some sand fleas, and after about 4 hours of freezing are asses off we caught a couple of small flounder, a couple keeper snapper, and a buzz from all of the beer that we drank. The fish actually didn’t even start biting until around 11PM. So here is a word of advice if you are doing some night fishing at the Fort Desoto piers, stay away from the Gulf Pier, last three times I have fished there at night I didn’t get crap. Not even a bite, I always have better luck at the small pier, which is the Bay Pier. Although the bigger pier is great for catching bait if you have a big enough cast net, you can get hundreds of shiners in one cast if you can find them, which really isn’t that hard at all.

So this vacation I will be bringing my camera and taking lots of photos, and I will be fishing with my cousin and my uncle so its guaranteed that we are going to fill up the cooler with some snook and mackerel. But where do I want to go? I might just go down to Fort Meyers and fish there, it is a lot closer than the Keys, but I know if I make the trip down to the Florida Keys I will have a much better time and more than likely catch a crap load of more fish than I would fishing Fort Meyers. Who knows I haven’t even decided yet, I might even do some fly fishing. I really suck at it though, I need to get a fly fishing for beginners book or something. So until I get back from my vacation I might not have any more interesting posts or pictures for you guys, but once I get back I will post them. Hope everyone has a great month fishing and a great Christmas.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Fishing Tackle You Will Need In The Keys

Now everybody out there wants to be fishing florida keys, but the problem with his is sometimes it can get quite expensive, actually, it will always be expensive unless you are just fishing from a dock. To really be successful and catch fish in the florida keys you will need a decent sized boat, I would say about 10 feet at the least. You can catch some small shark and snapper fishing inshore all day, but what you really want are the big fish. You want the mahi mahi, the grouper, the 10 pound snapper, so you are going to need some heavy duty fishing tackle to do this.

You are going to need some heavy duty discount fishing rods and reels to accomplish this, the kind that holds 30-40 pound test, you wont be using no flimsy spinning rod and reel for this, no sir. And you are going to need a strong leader line of about 100 pound test or so also, along with some big lures. Lets say that you are fishing florida keys for some mahi mahi, like I explained in my previous post you are going to need a boat to do this and you are going to have to go out at least 5 miles. The way that i rig up my fishing tackle for this, is I have about 40 pound test line, and I have a metal type leader that latches on to the spools line via a swivel. I put a couple of ounces of weights on the leader, not too much, because I don't want the lure to sink, i want it to lightly skip across the water while we are trolling. You will also need some lighter spinning rods, with about 10-15 pound test on them. You never know what you might run across when you are out fishing florida keys so it is best to have as many rods as possible in your boat. One important thing that you will need is a gaff, if you are a serious fisherman you know that you are going to be bringing up some pretty heavy fish, and there is no way that you are getting them out of the water relying totally on the leader line. This is where the gaff comes in.

When you are gaffing fish, it will require two people to do so, do not try and do this while you are fighting a fish, its nearly impossible. The person that is fighting the big fish needs to control the fish, and bring it as close to the boat as possible, when the fish is close to the boat the gaffer will need to strike quickly, because the fish in distress is not just going to sit there and hang out all day. You want to place the gaff right by the head, and jerk up as hard as you can aiming for the gills, then you just lift the fish into the boat. Please, if you are not planning on keeping the fish to eat then there is no need for you to use a gaff, just simply cut the line and let the fish swim off, make sure that you get some good pictures first though :)

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Fishing Florida Keys

I am no expert by far when it comes to fishing the Florida Keys, but that really doesn’t matter because my uncle is. I have been there many times and fished with my uncle there many times, and we have caught a lot of fish. Mainly dolphin, or “mahi mahi”. When you land on a school of them, it’s the best feeling in the world, but the biggest problem when fishing for mahi mahi is trying to find them.

You will definitely need a boat, and if you have some outriggers on the boat, this will increase your chances of hooking a mahi, as you will have more lines that are in the water, the more lines, the better chance that you have. You will also need the right bait and tackle to hook up with them, what we use, are frozen ballyhoo, hooked to a colorful lure, and tied on with a wire leader to the nose of the ballyhoo. Put a little bit of weight on the line, because you are going to be trolling at about 6-9 knots. The bait will be slightly skipping right above the water. You will want to let the lines out about the length of a football field, the outer lines let them out a little bit more. We usually have about 8 lines in the water when we are trolling.

Every time that I have been Florida Keys fishing, we have gone out by Marathon Key. In my experience the best time to catch some mahi mahi will be early in the morning, before all the other captains and fishing charters get out there and fill them up. If you can get out there before sunset, the fish will be hungry and ready to bite. And the further that you go out, the better chance you have of landing some big ones. Most people just go out about 5-6 miles, if you want some serious size, go out about 15 miles if you can afford the gas, the gas is going to kill you either way. There have been times that we have been trolling for hours and not had a single hit. It is what it is people.

When you are trolling there are a couple of things that you need to look for, boards and birds. The birds know where the fish are, so if you see a bird, follow him, if you see multiple birds that are diving, you are almost guaranteed to catch some fish. If you see a big board floating in the water, go by it, there are usually fish swimming around it. Now when you get a mahi mahi on the line, reel it in all the way, if it’s a smaller one, like in the 10-15 pound range, then leave him in the water, the other “schooly’s” will follow the dolphin in distress, get those spinners out and get them in the water, you will be reeling up dolphin left and right.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Top 3 Reasons People Fish

Now when it comes to fishing there are many types of fisherman that are out there, but about 99% of the people that fish do it because they like to do it. It is a sport, a game, it’s competitive, and if you are good at it you hold the title for bragging rights in any fishing related conversation. People out there only fish for three reasons.

1. Because they want to have a good dinner that night. Fish tastes great, its healthy for you, low in fat and loaded with protein. No matter what kind of fish it is, whether its saltwater or a freshwater fish, fish is probably the healthiest food on the planet, sure fruits and vegetables are great for the body but they do not offer the protein source that fish does. Name one thing swimming in the sea that is edible, and bad for you, exclude all of the poisonous species here, I am only talking about what most like to chow down on, tuna, grouper, catfish, mahi, snook etc.

2. Because you can make some serious money fishing. If you don’t believe me just go to a restaurant and order some mahi mahi fillets, see if you can get it for under ten bucks. See if you can go into a grocery store in the United States and get a pound of lobster for less than 15 dollars a pound. And those people that are fishing in Alaska, going out for a couple of days or maybe a couple of weeks, the whole crew catches some good crab and they get paid over 40 grand for one fishing trip. Sure its hard work and there might be times that they pull 40 hours straight fishing, but they don’t pull in until they either run out of fuel, or fill up the crab freezer, if you can fill up the freezer in less than a week than you are going home paid. Big time.

3. Then there are the people that just love to fish, they don’t keep what they catch, they catch and release, even if it is snook season and they get a 25 pounder, they just release it. But these types of fisherman are mostly known as professionals, the fisherman that you see on T.V. The Bass, the Marlin, winning tournaments, getting paid just to fish. Then again there are people that truly just fish to catch some damn fish. Like my girlfriend, she will not eat any seafood for the life of her, but she loves to fish, she doesn’t care what she catches, she does it straight for the sport.

So we all have our own reasons why we do this, even the ones that are making money off of fishing, if they didn’t like to do it they wouldn’t go out to sea months at a time and work 30+ hour shifts, you cannot keep doing a job like that unless you have some passion for it. There passion is they like catching fish, because it makes them money, plain and simple.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Wishing I Was Fishing Everyday

For being a person that makes a blog specifically around saltwater fishing, I really don’t do that much fishing. I mean I just don’t have the time, I work about 70 hours a week, on top of that I have a girlfriend, who is carrying our daughter, and in less than a month I will be a full time father, so when the hell am I going to get a chance to do some saltwater fishing? Not often, that’s for sure. If I lived in my own perfect world, I would fish everyday at least for four hours. On top of that, I don’t even own a boat. Most of my saltwater fishing trips out in the ocean, or off the coast of the Florida Keys, were because of my uncle and my cousin. They both have boats down in the Florida Keys, big time fishing boats.

Whenever I get a vacation, you know what I will be doing, I will be fishing in the Florida Keys, with my uncle and the rest of the family. This sucks because I only get about a week of vacation a year, so most of my fishing adventures are from just that, the perfect vacation. When I was young and didn’t have to work, I was down in the Florida Keys all of the time, oh how I miss those days terribly.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Saltwater Fishing Fort Desoto - Part 2

So me and my buddy Joe were heading out to Fort Desoto park to do some saltwater fishing, but this time we were not going to fish the piers like we normally do. We decided that we were going to do some fishing from the bridges on the way to the piers, and depending on the tide sometimes this will pay off pretty good. Now I am sure you can put some bait on a hook and fish from the bridge, but I have never really tried that, and haven’t ever really heard of anyone catching anything worth keeping. But I am sure that it has been done, me on the other hand, decided that I was going to be using a cast net, the cast net that I had was a 7 footer, and I was aiming to catch some mullet.

We pulled up to the bridge when it was high tide, and it was about 8 am in the morning, threw a couple of casts, and really didn’t get much initially, just a couple of small shiners and some pin fish, maybe a small mullet o two here and there, nothing worth keeping though. Then I had seen a huge school of mullet swimming under the bridge, this was my chance to get some. So I threw the net with a perfect spread, and when I pulled the cast net up, there were about 10-15 mullet in there, here’s a little picture of what I had got on just one cast.

I figured out that the key to catching mullet off of this bridge is patience and luck, and you also have to know where to throw, many people avoid this place because there are lots of rocks at the bottom, and I myself have messed up a lot of cast nets trying to get some fish. So if you are not sure if there are fish there do not toss the net in the water, wait patiently until you are sure that there is a school of fish there. And do not bring a huge expensive cast net out there unless you can accept that it is probably going to get messed up in the rocks, I have completely destroyed one of my cast nets doing so. If you are driving to Fort Desoto Park, towards the beach, go to the last bridge, and fish on the right side of the bridge with a cast net, there are fewer rocks on the right side and you have a better chance of not getting hung up in the rocks. That’s all for today folks, happy saltwater fishing !

Monday, September 29, 2008

Fort Desoto Saltwater Fishing Part 1

If you live in the Tampa Bay area, and don’t have access to a boat to go fishing, there are some good piers that you can go to. I live in Saint Petersburg Florida and I do most of my fishing off of the Fort Desoto Piers. Yes I said piers, there are two of them. If you have the right saltwater fishing tackle you can catch enough fish to have a nice dinner for a couple of nights. The main pier is the long ass one, it’s about 2 football fields in length, so if you have a lot of fishing gear you better have some friends to help you lug it out there, or have a custom tackle box with wheels, which a lot of people that fish that pier use.

The pier offers all sorts of good fishing, you can get snook, redfish, snapper, grouper, sheepshead and more I am sure, these are the main keepers that I throw in my cooler after catching them. You will need a nice spinning rod and some light tackle to nail these fish. Lot’s of people will use their cast net to catch some shiners and use them for bait, this is not recommended, yes you will catch some fish off the pier but think about it, why are you going to use bait you catch, to the same spot where you are trying to catch some fish. These fish that swim around this pier eat the same damn thing all day, and the chances of them biting your hook are not that great.

So what kind of bait should you use? When you first enter Fort Desoto there is a bait shop there, they sell live shrimp, you want to get there early in the morning so that you can get the big ones. And you want to get out to the pier early so that you can beat the crowd, and plus first thing in the morning is when the fish are going to be hungry, especially if you throw some nice big, live shrimp in front of them, they are not going to hesitate on biting the hook. Think about it, live shrimp is the way to go when saltwater fishing in Fort Desoto.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Tarpon Fishing Story

About ten years ago I had landed the biggest fish that I had ever caught in my life, of course I was saltwater fishing and it was a tarpon. I was with my dad, my uncle, and my uncles friend on his huge ass 40 foot fishing boat, this thing was freaking huge. We were fishing off of the coast of fort Meyers florida, it was about 25 miles offshore. We were trolling all day and we were getting some bites, but not much. And I was young and naïve and kept talking about when I get that big fish on line I was going to reel that sucker in no problem. Man was that a mistake talking all of that crap.

So we were using some heavy duty fishing rods, it was so long ago that I can’t even remember what kinf of bait we were using, but on one of the big rods we got a huge hit. Ziiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiing ! Went the fishing line, and I immediately jumped out of my chair and grabbed the rod, the fish was on, it was a tarpon, and he was running for his life. For about 30 minutes I could not even get one reel in, the fish had kept running and wouldn’t stop. Finally he gave in a little bit and let me get a couple of reels in, he had circled me around the boat at least 20 times, I was fighting this tarpon for about 2 hours, and my ass was beat. But we finally got the tarpon up on the boat after two hours of battling this fish that had weighed more than I did, about 175 lbs.

Now I know that this isn’t a huge fish to some fisherman but for a 16 year old kid it was quite a catch. And no I do not have a picture of the fish anymore, I have no idea what I had done with it, so you are just going to have to take my word on this okay?

Saturday, September 27, 2008

About Me and My Saltwater Fishing Blog

Hi everyone, my name is Frank, and I have been saltwater fishing almost my whole life. I first picked up a rod and caught my first fish when I was only about 5 years old. See my dad was a pretty good fisherman, and he would take me out fishing all of the time. My uncle, he is an expert fisherman, he has been doing this crap for over 40 years, and he also has a son that is just as good as he is. I remember when I was you just fishing off of my dock out back, I would tun a spotlight on and wait for nightfall, this would attract many fish, and most of them were snook. It was like feeding candy to a baby.

Anyways enough about that I am getting off of the subject way to early, I am making this blog so that when I get old and cant remember a damn thing, I can come back here and read about all of the saltwater fishing that I have done in my life. I can look at all of the pictures of my trophy's that I have reeled in. I am only 26 years old as of now, and I plan on keeping an update on this thing for a while, I am here to share my life with anyone that wants to read information on my adventures out into the ocean on my uncles boat catching some damn fish. These are my stories of saltwater fishing.