Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Anyone Ever Been Ice Fishing?

I am saving up my money and me and my old lady are planning a fishing trip up to Alaska, well to me it is going to be a fishing trip she will want to be doing other things. Now you may be wondering that me living in Florida why in the hell would I want to take a vacation up to Alaska? For one, one of my best friends has moved up there and I will be visiting him for a week. For 2 I just need a change of scenary, sure the weather is nice here but I need some more adventure in my life, and I always wanted to go ice fishing anyways so this is my chance to finally do so.

So my question is for those that have had experience ice fishing, particularly in Alaska, as in what kind of gear I will need to either bring with me, or purchase while I am there. Money is not a problem, I have a couple thousand that I can spare to spend. Will I need a drill or something to cut through the ice? Or maybe I will need to start looking at some portable ice fishing huts to make things a little easier and to stay warm. I am sure that I will find out most of these answers when I arrive in Alaska but I just wanted to here everybodys thoughts and see if you all have any good recomendations.

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.