I’m back!

Well, it’s been quite a while since I’ve posted on here so I’d like to update the community on where I’ve been. Life has been crazy and I somehow managed to forget that I even had this account. As hard as it is to admit that, I’m glad to be back and have many projects to post on here retroactively. Thanks goodness for all those cellphone pics! For those that are interested in knowing a little more about myself, I called SW Florida home for about the past 15 years and just recently made a move to Chattanooga, Tennessee following hurricane Ian. The fishing and boating here is very plentiful and that mad the decision to move here a lot easier. Aside from my love of the water, I also am an avid hockey fan(go pens!)and player. Golf is also a favorite pastime of mine. In my free time I enjoy spending time with my girlfriend and 2 pups, Bella and Sophie. Anyways, thanks for dropping by and keep on checking back for new posts if this stuff interests you!

I recently picked up a new (old) boat and these are my thoughts 

The boat is a 1985 seasquirt 186.  It’s 18 and a half feet long with a 98 Yamaha 115 doing the grunt work.  The boat is almost all original aside from the transom. The transom was replaced with a composite material.  After picking the boat, motor, and trailer up for a steal, I decided i had enough money left over to rig it the way I would like.  The first addition was an atlas micro jacker!  Aside from being a pain in my a** to install, the things works awesome and really turns this boat into a skinny water machine.  The next addition will be a powerpole, followed by a trolling motor and charging system. The boat planes out incredibly well, and the hull design makes for a smooth, dry ride.  I’ve tested high end boats that don’t ride this well.  I have to say, this 32 year old boat impressed me.  If buying a brand new boat is not within your budget, don’t be afraid to go out and find that diamond in the rough; your hard work will certainly pay off.

Offer up is the new craigslist

If you haven’t used this site yet..you are missing out!  OfferUp offers an extra level of security for buyers and sellers alike.  I’m sure we’ve all been scammed on Craigslist before… I know I have.  People are ok with scamming because they are left anonymous.  OfferUp allows you to rate the buyers and sellers; you can check out a sellers rating before you buy. If they have a low rating, you may decide to go with another seller.  I have purchased many items from Craigslist and OfferUp– mainly fishing and boating goods.  I have yet to be scammed on OfferUp and some of the deals are too good to pass up.  I just picked up two high end fishing kayaks, paddles, and stick it anchors, for $300… that’s a steal!  Check them out below and let me know what you think!

Fishing the preserve….

Fishing the preserve has been rough for me lately. I say the preserve because I tend to stay within the preserve area on the back side of matlacha due to the size of my boat and the ease of access I have there.  I fish the preserve at least 3 times a week and I have only just landed my 4th redfish in about 8 months.  This was a long time coming for me.  A beautiful 20 incher with two spots adourning it’s tail.  An excellent meal I must say but this guy was lucky enough to swim off and see another day. I just couldn’t bring myself to kill this magnificent fish. IMG_20150913_130410

A good matlacha boat design

If you’ve ever been to matlacha then you know the waters here are very different than anywhere else in the world.  Incredible tidal swings make for tough navigation even for the most experienced boaters.  Running aground is all too common in this area.  Due to the incredibly shallow waters, boats need to be outfitted to run in a foot of water or less at all times.  With summer coming to an end, I feel it is time to start designing a new skiff specifically for these waters. Its too hot to work on a boat in the summer months down here, so winter for me means boat building season.  The last boat that I built looked nice but it didn’t perform how I wanted it too.  The draft with the motor up was about 8 inches, on plane about 12, getting up on plane about 18.  With my next build I’d like to cut all those figures in half while lengthening the boat atleast 2 feet.  The next build will focus on function over form.

Matlacha shark fishing

The sharks have been very active recently in the backwaters of Matlacha Pass.  In the winter, it was bonnet heads that seemed to be most active in these waters, however, with the warm summer water and higher summer tides, blacktips are now seen swimming the surface looking for an easy meal.  I’ve been watching– and catching these beautiful creatures for the past month with great excitement.  Prior to moving to Matlacha, my only shark fishing experience was from trips to my grandfathers home in mount pleasant South Carolina, where we would take out his 24 foot Grady White and find a deep hole on the inter coastal waterway.  I really enjoyed fishing for baby blacktip sharks from the front of his boat.  However, the sharks in South Carolina seem to stalk the deeper water holes of 20+ feet that can sometimes be hard to find.  The inter coastal also has a very strong current so using a lot of weight on your line is key to getting your bait down to the bottom.  The shark fishing around here seems to be a different game.  I have had success catching the blacktips in 2-3 feet of water behind my house.  I use a float to keep the bait off the bottom and out of the mouths of those pesky catfish.  Pinfish seem to be a favorite for the sharks– even a small 1-1 1/2″ pin fish can lure in a sizable shark, say 24 to 30 inches.  I say sizable considering the depth of water I’m fishing and the light tackle I’m using.  Landing even a small shark can be tricky because they like to run off with your bait held only loosely in their mouths.  When they start to pull on your line, open the drag and let them run for 10 or 12 seconds unhindered.  If they feel any sort of tension on the line they are quick to drop the bait.  You will be able to tell if they are actually hooked because they will begin frantically swimming in different patters to try and break free.  Once you get to that point you should be able to tire them out and reel em’ in.  Good luck on your next shark adventure!

The pictures below are quite possibly of the same shark that I caught on several occasions.  Based on the markings on his stomach we surmise I landed this shark as many as 5 times!  Bennie the dog is an avid shark fisher as well!



Where are all these big trout…

Where are all these big trout coming from?  In the past week or two, I or someone that I was fishing with has caught an over-slot speckled trout on multiple occasions.  I didn’t think the Pass held big trout, but I was certainly proven wrong.  I am just wondering if it has something to do with the very warm weather and high tides or could it be just dumb luck?  Prior to catching these large trout my biggest trout was perhaps 14 or 15 inches.

I Was reading an article recently about propellers and prop selection…

I was reading an article recently about propellers and prop selection and how much of an impact changing a prop can have on your top speed and holeshot on your boat.  With a prop that is better suited for your boat you could see upwards of 5 mph or more added to you top speed.  I can only imagine how many boaters out there are running the wrong prop for their application.  Running a better suited prop can also make your engine run more efficiently with less fuel usage and less stress on the engine.  Many people may feel that the only way to increase the performance of their boat is to add a jack plate and more horsepower.  If you are considering changing your motor for a performance increase, why not instead try a different prop and save yourself some money. Here’s a link to the article…Propeller Selection Guide

With all the projects I have going on….

With all the projects I have going on, working full time, and also trying to squeeze some fishing in between, it has been very tough to keep this site updated.  I am making a conscious effort to do so once a week.  I also have a lot of family visiting year round, which consumes a lot of my time (but I enjoy seeing them of course).  My cousin has been in town for the past week and that meant a lot of fishing was in store for us.  He does his part whenever he comes to visit and he enjoys helping my dad and I work on the boat.  He also had the opportunity to land his first redfish and slot trout this time around which was awesome.  Below are some of the pictures from our outing.  The small trout below with a gulp paddle tail on his lip is a sand trout.  At first glance a sand trout could be mistaken for a small redfish, but it has a few tell-tale differences that can help you realize that it is actually a weak-fish (smooth scale-less body, two fang teeth, full length dividing mid-line).  That is the first sand trout I’ve ever caught on Matlacha Pass.  The speckled trout was 17 inches and the redfish was 16 inches.  All were caught on artificial lures or soft baits, primarily Gulp paddle tails and Suspension Mirrolures.  We ended up enjoying the larger of the trout for dinner one night.  I had never eaten trout before so I wanted to give it a try.  It was pretty good, not quite as good as redfish though.

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