On The Hook: Tough fishing and going for the long shot
Published 04/17/2014 at 8:43 a.m.
Sometimes, getting into good fishing is tough. Awhile back, I received an email from a reader in response to one of my articles relating to hard fishing experiences and the responders gist was "how awful it is to see folks, ...
On The Hook: Beat the drum
Published 04/02/2014 at 5:44 p.m.
March was a tough weather month here on the Paradise Coast. Oh no, not for the folks down here escaping the ravages of the cold anywhere north but, rather, for those with a passion for fishing.
On The Hook: Unladylike ladyfish
Published 03/19/2014 at 5:40 p.m.
It's March. Expect anything. From the size and mix of the crowds along the Paradise Coast to the eccentric weather. Both factors have had a definite impact on what is loosely labeled spring fishing.
On The Hook: Fishing equipment calamity
Published 03/05/2014 at 4:42 p.m.
"Kerplunk!" A sound that you never want to hear on a fishing boat. It's the last sound that emits from a rod and reel as it enters the water. We heard that woeful sound on a charter here last week. ...
On The Hook: Setting fishing expectations
Published 02/19/2014 at 5:41 p.m. 1 Comment
Charter trips all have different goals. As folks tumble aboard, in the excitement of the moment, getting a clear picture of what they'd like their trip to look like is often difficult to discern. So once everyone has boarded and ...
On The Hook: Accidental fishing discovery
Published 02/05/2014 at 2:42 p.m. 1 Comment
Axiom: you never have enough experience or know enough about fishing to ignore the distinct possibility that you can learn something new. And that the surprising enlightenment can come from the most unlikely of sources.That's where Harvey ... enters stag
On The Hook: Sheepshead holiday
Published 01/22/2014 at 1:40 p.m. 2 Comments
So, this is the time all Southwest Florida visiting anglers have patiently waited for –it's sheepshead time. The big versions of these striped bait thieves are headed inland as nature, triggered by the sudden dip in water temperature, drives them ...
On The Hook: Fishing cohorts
Published 01/08/2014 at 10:31 a.m.
The four guys in this story are my friends ... at least I think so. They come from places in the north; very cold places with names like Ice Falls and Whiteout. They come here to escape those frigid months ...
On The Hook: Net ban benefit replay
Published 12/27/2013 at 4 a.m. 3 Comments
One of the oft asked questions by anglers on charter trips is, "How's the fishing here in Southwest Florida now, compared to years ago ... better or worse?" That's a trigger question for me and I usually launch into a ...
On The Hook: Fishing etiquette, eh?
Published 12/13/2013 at 4 a.m.
tiquette. The definition is quite compact and clear ... "rules governing socially acceptable behavior." Now, most every sport has a level of conduct expected of it's participants whether they be spelled out chapter and verse or innately derived. In golf,
On The Hook: Fishing – Skill or luck?
Published 10/31/2013 at 9:53 a.m. 1 Comment
It's an ageless argument enacted out every day by folks who fish. It's a ying and yang thing that seemingly gets played out by the evidence in each instance. For example; take yesterday: fishing with a nice couple from New ...
On The Hook: Follow the bait
Published 10/17/2013 at 12:35 p.m.
Follow most any detective thriller that frequently plays out a stymied hero as their leads go cold in nailing the perpetrator; then watch what happens next. Usually, there is a reflective moment when the partner asks our hero what they ...
On The Hook: Hunt for reds in October
Published 10/01/2013 at 3:06 p.m.
No, this is not a sequel to the famous Tom Clancy novel but it does deal with another elusive seaborne target, piscatorial this time, known as the red drum aka the redfish.Prized by anglers from all over the southeastern United ...
On The Hook: The joys and benefits of flexible fishing
Published 09/19/2013 at 7:29 a.m.
The first contact was a phone call late one recent August evening. After introductions, the caller inquired about charter fishing availability over the ensuing weeks. Once informed that we had a number of morning openings, he followed with his specific ...
On The Hook: Snookmania
Published 09/04/2013 at 8:43 a.m.
To many, the snook is not an ordinary fish; it's an a absolute passion with fins. Take for example, this past Saturday evening, hours before the snook season reopened after a two year closure, it was like Christmas Eve – ...
On The Hook: Fishing patience – Some things can't be rushed
Published 08/08/2013 at 9:13 a.m.
Many, if not most times, fishing can drain away just about all the patience an angler can muster. If you fish, just think of the hours on end you were focused on that rod of fiberglass in your hands waiting ...
On The Hook: Sportfishing's rightful place
Published 07/10/2013 at 2:19 p.m.
We have seen the sport of soccer run up as the next coming. It is now the thriving activity in schoolyards across this country. But for most of us, the sport is an anomaly, slow action and confusing rules. But ...
On The Hook: Sweetwater fishing days
Published 06/25/2013 at 1:50 p.m. 1 Comment
Welcome to the Land of Afternoon Rain. Those all-day, placid sun baked, sun tanning experiences here on the Paradise Coast have vanished – at least for a couple months. You have to expect that. You are in the Southwest Florida ...
On The Hook: Realistic fishing regulations
Published 06/13/2013 at 9:48 a.m.
"Captain, can we keep this fish? Is this one big enough, captain?" Questions like these go on during the whole charter trip. Especially from people that don't fish the salt on a regular basis. There is a virtual profusion of ...
On The Hook: Building character
Published 05/29/2013 at 1 p.m.
Kids love fishing. Almost more than anything else save Christmas morning. When fishing, they love having most anything on the other end of the line wiggling and squirming. But it's more than just that. It's a sense of their personal ...
On The Hook: Our big summer fishing problem
Published 05/16/2013 at 8:36 a.m.
There's a denizen of the deep, preparing to decimate your next deep water fishing trip. He thrives on ambushing the hooked fish you so painstakingly sought, in one fell swoop – snook, permit, cobia et al – all fall to ...
On The Hook: The clean water debacle
Published 05/01/2013 at 11:24 a.m.
If there is one factor that angler's around these parts value is fishing in nice clean and green water. Visibility. The ability for the denizens of the deep to see your proffered bait makes all the difference, since all desirable ...
On The Hook: Tarpon lunacy
Published 04/18/2013 at 12:20 p.m.
Of all the great fish species that ply the salt, the tarpon has engendered a position of eminence especially for our fabled "now" generation; eyes roll and palms sweat when they are even mentioned. They are the Porsche Boxter with ...
On The Hook: What a difference a tide makes
Published 04/03/2013 at 6:21 p.m.
The tide rules. No, we're not talking about the University of Alabama's Crimson variety. We're talking about the daily event, imbedded in our planet's nature, that moves the ocean's volume in two different directions every day. For those of us ...
On The Hook: Lost – 'The storm they had predicted was beginning to rumble'
Published 03/20/2013 at 1:59 p.m.
As you ease away from the marina, you reach across the console and punch a series of numbers into an illuminated keyboard initiating your global positioning system. The attached computer screen kicks into life and in milliseconds you have exact ...
On The Hook: Captain 'Murphy' and the law of averages
Published 03/07/2013 at 8:23 a.m.
You were probably thinking that all charter fishing trips are supposed to go as smooth as silk. After all you are in the hands of a professional who executes his or her duties in a precise and error-free manner. Time ...
On The Hook: Delicatessen fishin'
Published 02/21/2013 at 7:58 a.m.
You're getting ready to go fishing at Lake Wobegone in the middle of the "Heartland" this morning and as you ready your tackle, you know exactly what you're going after. It's either walleye, or maybe largemouth, or even bluegill. No ...
On The Hook: Even the odds
Published 02/06/2013 at 2:36 p.m.
Much too often the fishing trip success is measured by the displayed result. Sometimes its how many; sometimes its how big; and sometimes its how superlative the species caught. Just consider for a moment what the marin
On The Hook: No-see-fish-um
Published 01/23/2013 at 1:12 p.m.
The unseasonably warm weather, weve all been enjoying these past few weeks, does wondrous things. It brings the throngs of our winter residents to the beaches and the pools; it fills the outdoor restaurants to capacity and
On The Hook: Foggy misadventure
Published 01/10/2013 at 12:24 p.m.
Im sure youve noticed that recently some of our mornings have dawned immersed in a blanket of vision obscuring fog. This thick watery haze is the price we pay for these beautiful warm summer like afternoons layered over si
On The Hook: Fishing with references
Published 12/26/2012 at 4:44 p.m.
In this business, youre always waiting for the phone to ring signaling another potential customer. But this call, one evening late this summer, was bizarre to say the least. The caller, after identifying himself, started wi
The 'fishing' hour
Published 11/30/2012 at 3 a.m.
A play on words... maybe not.
On The Hook: Fishing, aka entertainment
Published 11/01/2012 at 4:02 p.m.
Unfortunately, my wife and daughter dont fish cant you put together a trip with some other people for me? Thats the way the phone call began. A fellow, here on holiday, had an angling itch and was trying to ...
On The Hook: Gomer & Associates
Published 10/18/2012 at 1:52 p.m.
A couple of years back, we wrote about Gomer. But when we discovered recently that much has changed in his life, we thought an update of the story would be of interest.Lets start from scratch with a little background uniqu
On The Hook: Birthday fishing
Published 10/04/2012 at 12:56 p.m.
A universal theory that is held sacrosanct among adults is that adding kids to any fishing trip raises the excitement level as well as thebloody pressure. Nothing that happens when the younger generation grabs a rod and reel is ordinary ...
On The Hook: Scoring fishing skills
Published 09/06/2012 at 4:52 p.m.
A thought: Why is it that folks who fashion themselves as proficient backwater anglers never practice at their sport? There they are, decked out in Orvis loops and velcro attire, draped in expensive rods, reels and tackle, c
On The Hook: The French connection
Published 08/09/2012 at 2:08 p.m.
Folks choose a charter boat trip for a variety of reasons. For the hardcore local anglers, its a way to engage in your favorite activity with the assistance and advice of a professional captain that will surely lead you an
On The Hook: Following the rules
Published 07/26/2012 at 11:36 a.m.
Wow you have that many restrictions on fish species here in Florida? Thats the jaw dropping reaction from out-of-state charter customers when you break out the 36 inch law stick ruler that with rules printed on the ba
On The Hook: Goliath gagging
Published 07/12/2012 at 9:32 a.m. 4 Comments
The Morans made reservations for a charter trip the first week in July to coincide with the announced opening of the gaggrouper season. That doesnt sound unusual, right? But how about if they made them last December and
On The Hook: The dolphin dilemma
Published 06/29/2012 at 8:40 a.m.
The bottle nosed dolphins that ply these waters, and call them their domicile, have always been an important adjunct to the pleasure of the fishing experience. Who among us, with rod in hand, wasn't paused when the graceful dolphin surfaced ...
On The Hook: Fishing for the birds
Published 06/14/2012 at 2:48 p.m.
We are truly blessed here in Southwest Florida with the enormous numbers and species of sea birds. There is hardly a day on a backwater charter that rods are not swapped for the camera for a shot of heron in ...
On The Hook: Managing the harvest
Published 06/01/2012 at 10:27 a.m.
Late last year they made a trip to an area just north of us and had an unusual charter experience. Upon arrival and introductions, the captain informed them that they would only be able to take a limited number of ...
On The Hook: The crucial 20
Published 05/17/2012 at 4:38 p.m.
Fishing trips sometimes go for endless hours; but how about the catching? How much of the trip did you really have hot action? I'll submit that those times usually are but a slim portion of the total trip time. Here ...
On The Hook: Fishing secrets and stealth
Published 05/03/2012 at 10:53 a.m.
It’s a scene at a boat ramp anywhere. A guy is cleaning a nice catch and a interested bystander walks up and asks, “Nice fish ... where did you catch them?” The angler turns slowly, obviously annoyed at the intrusion, ...
On The Hook: Grouper travesty
Published 03/22/2012 at 3:29 p.m. 1 Comment
For New Englanders it’s like not having Tom Brady for the last two months of the season. For the Heartlanders it’s like having Arron Rodgers on injured reserve for the two months when then chips are down.
On The Hook: The braided experience
Published 02/10/2012 at 3:52 p.m.
To start, I just may be a member of just a few who see the new era of synthetic braided line as the “devil” when it comes to interfacing with the environment. Until a few years back most fishing lines ...
The ‘72 quart coller’ charter trip
Published 01/28/2012 at 12:24 p.m.
Many times, in the mid-morning warmth of the intoxicating sun, customers will relax from their fishing and make inquiry as to, “how is the fishing here now in comparison to when you started ... better or worse?”
On The Hook: The trouble with Uncle Henry
Published 01/13/2012 at 11:16 a.m.
On most charter trips, after introductions dockside, the question as to “What are you folks looking for today? Wanna do catch and release or maybe take some of your fish home for a meal.” Almost always, nowadays, the taking a ...
On The Hook: Red Tide fishing
Published 12/08/2011 at 2:41 p.m.
It strikes abject terror in the hearts of the unfamiliar. “Red Tide ... do we have to evacuate?” The reaction comes close to that when the media lays the news on the uninitiated ala the evening news. The event takes ...
On the Hook: The tales of ‘Walter’ and sons
Published 11/15/2011 at 12:25 p.m.
Even after surrendering an enormous amount of tackle and effort, we never got close to landing him. The very disappointed couple named the fish “Walter” after the denizen of the deep that eluded Henry Fonda and Billy in the classic ...