Lefty Rays Guide to Fishing Saltwater Cuts with Conventional Tackle

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Add a bit of wind blowing in the opposing direction, and it can get quite difficult to properly present your offering. So do your best and hope some luck is also on your side. Sunup and sunset are also good times to fish, especially when it coincides with good tides and sufficient water depth where you want to fish. Night fishing at bridge piers and abutments can also be productive since these represent good ambush points, especially during full and new moon phases.

Solunar tables and the Fishing Calendar App by SIS Software can help you figure out the most productive fishing days and times, and work fairly well. As the tide moves out, so do the fish. Potholes are lighter colored circular shaped features of several feet to tens of yards in diameter, that are a little deeper than the surrounding generally darker grassy covered bottom. As the tide moves out further, so should you, unless you want to make your soon to be ex-friend get out and push or begrudgingly call Sea Tow if they can even get to you.

During lower tides, fish outside the bars, the reefs, the deep holes or at main channel markers. Casting lures and drifting or soaking bait are generally effective methods for catching most species. Although trolling is another technique, it is more commonly used offshore and around reefs. For casting, retrieval speed is generally regarded as the most important factor. Many articles talk about slowing it down, especially during colder and hotter water temperatures.

Shrimp is an especially good live bait during colder water temperatures. Above 80 degrees, also go slow. Soaking cut bait is a good choice when fish are lethargic due to high water temperatures. Give it time and make wise use of all available resources, and help support the local shops that provide us with valuable fishing information on a continuing basis. Good luck, stay safe and welcome to the club.

Need some varied bait for your sheepshead fish-of-the-month fishing this month? Try taking some gloves, a small bucket or other container to hold the small crabs and maybe a small tool like a potato rake or similar and heading to the harbor shoreline at low tide. The gloves are to prevent cuts from the very sharp voice of experience speaking here for sure oyster shell encrusted shoreline rocks, and the potato rake makes it easier to turn those rocks over. In order to find the crabs, you need to be on a shoreline that has lots of exposed rocks with oysters.

The crabs are not very evasive or quick and pretty easy to catch with your hands. Drop them into the bucket and before very long you will have a nice mess of crab bait that sheepshead and other Harbor fish like. Give it a try. Gathering the bait crabs can be a fun experience, and some fishermen swear by them as one of the best native baits. Probably the best is from someone who has been doing it for a while and has perfected their technique, like some of our club experts. Another good way to start and also refresh, is to watch YouTube videos and practice with a net in your yard.

On YouTube you can find demonstrations and explanations of many different ways to throw a cast net…some might suit you and others not. Here is one YouTube video that demonstrates that method: Some things to consider when looking at throwing methods are: Often simple is better. What Net to Buy. Once you have decided on a method you want to try when throwing your net, you need a cast net, and there are many different parameters to consider when selecting one. Things like size or overall diameter of the net, mesh size, amount of weight per foot of circumference and of course price.

These are OK to start with. These higher quality nets are easier throw well and usually catch more bait. If you become a real pro at cast netting, you can spend many hundreds of dollars on top quality cast nets. There are camo nets, green nets and blue nets. One good thing everyone should do before using a new cast net is soak it overnight in a fabric softener solution. Makes it mores supple and easier to throw. Nets are normally sized by radius. Since the area of a circle is calculated using the radius squared, a ft cast net for example will cover four times the area of a 5-ft cast net.

So, obviously bigger is much, better, right? Bigger nets catch more bait per throw…provided you can throw them well and often. So, I settled on 8-ft as a good compromise for me. It covers a decent area and I can normally throw it as many times as necessary to catch as much bait as needed.

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What about mesh size? Mesh size is the distance from knot to knot in the net. Of course the small mesh will also catch larger bait, but the main disadvantage of too small a mesh is a slower sink rate, and they are generally more expensive since they use more net material, have more knots, etc. Personally, I have three cast nets, and typically use two of them. One more word on mesh size: As mentioned, this is a knot to knot measurement.

The small mesh squares are not really square except when the net is held in one particular position which you rarely see. So it is fairly easy for 3-inch long and less white bait to get heads and gill covers through the mesh and be entangled. Where to Catch Bait? Good question, and I can only speak from my experiences the past three years of catching bait on Charlotte Harbor. During the warm water months, I much prefer chumming for green backs scaled sardines over eel grass in the foot water just inside, outside and on the bars. Here are some spots to try:. When chumming using the typical tropical fish food and menhaden oil mixture, it is important to remember that for the best chance to find bait you need moving tide to disperse the chum down-tide and attract the bait.

Also, when chumming in the above listed areas during the warm water months, you will usually attract and catch pinfish, puffer fish, 6 to inch ballyhoo, various other fish and cormorants. The ballyhoo are decent cut bait. You can also catch bait in somewhat deeper areas of the Harbor, mainly near some of the markers. During the colder water months these are probably about the only areas where you can reliably catch bait.

But some seasons of the year you can fill your baitwell with one throw of the net. Throw near the marker and let the net sink to or near the bottom. You can easily see and catch the pods of bait if you have a depth finder and get the hang of throwing your net where the pod is as you pass over it.

I have caught large amounts of bait in the spring and early summer idling or drifting hundreds of yards from a marker, watching for pods of bait on the sonar and throwing my net. And always watch for diving pelicans which will mark schools of bait near the surface. Motor over near them and if the bait goes deeper use your sonar to locate them. Try it, practice and you can usually catch a decent amount of good bait.

A couple of words of caution, especially when throwing your net in the deeper water areas. Near marker 1 I destroyed a cast net by snagging it on a bottom obstruction of some sort. Letting your net sink to the bottom in deep water is always a risk. Many experienced cast netters are careful about how they attach the hand line to their wrist prior to throwing. A good option is to use a Velcro strap instead of the loop at the end of the hand line to secure it to your wrist so it is easily released if necessary.

Here are two of your primary cast net targets. They are easy to tell apart. The greenback aka scaled sardine has a larger head and eyes than the threadfin and is the preferred bait if you have a choice. The threadfin gets its name from the long, thread-like back ray of the dorsal fin. The greenback will stay alive in your baitwell all day, stay active on your hook, will come to chum and is like candy to snook.

Most Charlotte Harbor game fish like them both very much. And if you have questions about catching Charlotte Harbor bait with a cast net, many of our experienced club members can help. Punta Gorda Isles Fishing Club. When someone who knew more about it then I told me that my boat was a center console not a bay boat I was surprised! Another bait you may find in your castnet is pinfish which is great for large trout, redfish and snook. Since they are meat eaters, ground up ladyfish and mullet also make a great chum when you are targeting pinfish.

You can chum them right up to the boat and throw a castnet, or my favorite way is to throw a Sabiki rig to them and bring in 3 or 4 at a time. You will generally get smaller pinfish in the net and bigger ones with the Sabiki rig. Pinfish are excellent to use on the near shore reefs. One difference between a good angler and a guide is that a guide will chum up the area a ton to start a feeding frenzy, and are usually very successful finding fish.

Dead bait can be successful in certain times, and the most popular is ladyfish because they work and are readily available. Redfish and sharks feed largely by sense of smell, so ladyfish is a great choice. Snook eat ladyfish and mullet chunks, but really prefer the larger pinfish.

If you fish the mouth of a creek with a moving tide, it is best to cut ladyfish into nickel size pieces to chum for redfish, then bait your hook with a larger chunk. Redfish have a better sense of smell than a catfish, so theoretically the redfish should beat the catfish to the bait.

Apparently, our catfish are faster. During colder weather snook are lethargic and do not chase live bait as readily. During hot weather redfish also do not chase live bait as readily, and dead bait is the way to go. A large chunk of ladyfish fished under the 41 bridge is real attractive to a black drum. Live ladyfish or crabs are the way to go for catching tarpon, but they will also pick up a chunk of dead ladyfish off the bottom. First some background on myself. I love fishing, but have little saltwater experience. The Conch featured rugged construction, and you could fish it in nasty seas when others stayed home, which also contributed to its allure.

Sold factory direct on a custom basis, the Conch 27 became the boat of choice for a whole generation of fishermen who considered themselves a cut above the rest. After the game-changing Hells Bay Whipray 16 hit the scene, guides needed a little more room for clients but didn't want to sacrifice the super-skinny technical-poling abilities that the 16 offered.

Hal Chittum pushed his crew with input from the finest flats guides in the business, and the Whipray It also doubles as great option for a tender on a traveling game boat because of its lightweight, practical layout and super fishing prowess. The Hydra-Sports deserves mention because it was the first model offered with Kevlar construction. But the 25 Hydra-Sports became known as a super-tough bluewater boat with a soft ride to boot.

Fountain was one of the first companies to translate success on the racing circuit into success in tournament-level fishing, and the 31 is the vehicle that got them there. The 40 grew out of the plans for the fabled Dream Girl , a one-off design created by Capt. Walter Voss and Len Broadhurst in the late s.

The Gamefisherman 40 has established itself as a prime big-game-fishing platform.

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Probably the most famous of all is the Tijereta captained by Capt. With her clean running hull and simple, efficient day-boat layout, the Gamefisherman 40 still offers one the of the finest all-around big-game fishing platforms of all time. The 23 was a natural progression in the growth of the SeaCraft line during the ownership of Bill Potter. The 23 embodied all of the natural attributes of the 20, a graceful sheer and sleek raked stem for a classic timeless look, a soft ride, efficiency, and excellent fishability, yet it offered higher freeboard, extra length and larger compartments — along with all the other benefits that a few more feet offers.

With a super-skinny, super-quiet hull design, anglers who chase bonefish, tarpon and permit discovered a skiff that suited their needs like nothing had before. The Mirage appeared in , was designed for push-poling, and could slip into shallower water and closer to fish than previous flats models, making it a huge hit with the shallow-water crowd, spawning many imitations over the next decade or two. Many subsequent models from Maverick have improved upon that original design. When the foot Rybovich Miss Chevy II was built in for automobile dealer Charles Johnson, it became the very first custom sportfishing boat designed and built solely for that purpose.

Up until that time, converted cabin cruisers had been pressed into service as big-game boats, with limited success. The Miss Chevy II was specifically designed for that mission. At just under 30 feet in length, it offered an intelligent combination of fishing space and belowdecks amenities, combined with outstanding performance and economy, a winning combination. It also turned a lot of former convertible owners into express owners, as fishermen discovered the simplicity and ease of operation the Cabo offered.

First introduced in , Bertram built the original 54 for 12 years, making it one of the top-selling large sport-fishermen of all time. The Ocean 40 was introduced in and launched what would become a hugely successful run by the Leek family of New Jersey. The Ocean 40 provided exceptional performance for the time, promising a top speed of 30 knots. The 40 launched many new designs for Ocean, a company that became an overnight sensation in the convertible-, and later the express-boat markets. Like many North Carolina boatbuilders before him, Paul Spencer worked as a charter mate and a captain before entering the boatbuilding business in When he began building his own boats, he soon gained a reputation for fast, sleek designs that pushed the legendary toughness and seaworthiness of other Carolina boat builders to a new level.

Spencer is generally credited with modernizing both the looks and the hull designs of Carolina boats, and his footers epitomize that revolution. This combination of speed, ride and modern construction techniques elevated Carolina boatbuilding to an entirely new level, and made buyers of large sport-fishermen around the world sit up and take notice.

The Hatteras 53, first produced in , was the industry standard in big production sport-fishermen for many years.


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The 53 featured a balanced design that many offshore fishermen still find attractive, and her spacious cockpit combined with a large and comfortable living area inside to create one serious offshore machine. The Kingfish led to the creation of the Sailfish series shown , arguably the most successful series of walkaround and cuddy cabin boats in history. Combining comfortable amenities with serious fishing features, the Sailfish revolutionized the outboard-fishing-boat world. Although bay boats existed long before the debut of the 22 Pathfinder, the unprecedented success of this model redefined the genre and created an entirely new generation of anglers who saw the versatility of the bay boat design as a one-size-does-everything concept, and embraced it in staggering numbers.

Bay boats became the SUVs of the water, and the 22 Pathfinder deserves much of the credit for launching that ongoing trend. Its North Carolina lineage was a perfect fit with the treacherous shoals and inlets on the Outer Banks, where it became an overnight sensation. The immensely practical design and solid construction soon earned the respect of fishermen from all coasts, making the Regulator 26 an iconic design in many regions, and spawning larger models that bear the same notable quality and performance. Known for exceptional handling in rough seas, the Regulator deep-V hull has become something of a legend, and it all started with the Originally a semicustom boat, the 31 started the trend toward sleek-looking, fast center consoles that carried a distinctive look quite different from everything else on the market at the time.

Most center consoles at that time sported a more functional, utilitarian look, but the Jupiter exuded sex appeal and style, and it looked fast even when sitting at the dock. It also came with a host of practical fishing features and high-tech construction, so it provided real fishing amenities along with the aforementioned classy appearance. The 31 Contender is an iconic fishing boat in all parts of the country.

The 31 became one of the best-selling boats ever in its size range, and a common sight just about anywhere you might choose to fish. The 31 also became a serious tournament winner for Contender, posting numerous victories on the Southern Kingfish Association trail, in striped bass competition in the northeast, and in many South Florida sailfish tournaments as well. We had never been on a boat that could maneuver as quickly or precisely as this one.

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After driving the IPS for half a day, we agreed that this was the new ultimate light-tackle fishing machine. Combine that with the intelligent layout and design of SeaVees in general, and you come up with one exceptional boat. When the original 31 Yellowfin appeared in , it changed the game of offshore fishing from center consoles. The 31 quickly became a favorite of guides and serious tournament competitors alike, and soon began posting victories in competitive-fishing circles and racking up the trophies. Yellowfin came out of nowhere to become an overnight sensation in the fishing world, and the 31 provided the initial impetus for that success.

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The original 25 Mako debuted in the mids and kicked off a trend toward larger center consoles that continues unabated. The big Mako was one of the first center consoles considered a capable canyon boat in the Northeast, able to make big runs offshore in relative safety. It also became a huge hit in the Gulf and the Southeast because of its relatively long-range capabilities and practical, open design. Many times other reds will follow the hooked fish.

Authemont, the redfish are not particularly fussy about the fly patterns. While the drum can be taken using the same tactics as redfish, the sheepshead are a tougher proposition. They can be skittish, but will take flies. Authemont noted, with regard to both those species. For a laid-back and productive day of fly casting to the redfish, black drum and sheepshead of Buras, you can arrange a day of fishing with Capt. Grant Authemont through Cajun Fishing Adventures at cajufishingadventures. Michael Williams teaches art and history at the secondary level in Oscoda, Michigan, but his passions are for painting and chasing steelhead, king salmon and brown trout on the Au Sable River.

Those twin vices led him to found Green Bus Designs to market his angling art, much of which appears on custom designed streamer boxes. When did you first discover your talent for painting and other art? At that time, I was proving to be one of the best in my age bracket. At that point, my ability started to show through. I could draw quite well and spent lots of time drawing what I saw. Every step of the way though, seemed to be a setback in regards to confidence.

I remember being at the top of my class in high school and then stepping into college tpo be just blown away by the talent around me. I felt like I knew nothing and constantly compared myself to those around me. I was chasing every avenue of inspiration and simply trying to copy the things that I enjoyed the most. What early experiences in your life helped steer you in the direction of becoming a professional artist? The most influential person in my life at that time, was my high school art teacher.

I considered designing cars or at least clay modeling for a long time, as we were a big General Motors family and a lot of my relatives, including my parents, worked for GM. After watching my art teacher, I just knew that education and trying to impact students as she had, was the route that I wanted to pursue. Did growing up where you did influence your interest in art? My great grandpa and mom, were both really great artists. I mean they just flat out had natural talent or ability, although they rarely created art.

casting to MANTA RAYS for giant fish from land

These places did drive my artwork and that was because I was fortunate enough to spend time there with my grandpa Jack. The scenery and animals drove me to want more, and were always something that snuck into all of my pieces in one way or another. What are some of your favorite subjects to paint? This is so silly, but I was raised on Bob Ross. I truly enjoyed everything about that man and what he did, and more importantly, I appreciated the fact that we loved the same things - small cabins away from society and in some setting that just blew your mind.

To me, it was like flying to Alaska on several occasions and looking down on these mountain lakes and streams, just knowing that there were monster fish waiting in these areas where most humans had never even thought of going. What would you regard as your best received works? So, I got into doing angling art by accident. I had been watching a couple of people who were dabbling and receiving warm reviews.

Being someone who is pretty competitive, I knew that I could maybe do better than some of them, while still not even close to some of the others. So why not throw my hat in? The reason I say all of this, is because I was really influenced by people like Ty Hallock and Jorge Martinez who were doing artwork that was functional and creating these beautiful streamer boxes.

I think part of this to, was my love for streamer fishing at this time and it just sort of drove me to try it on my own. History for the past 15 years. Once he began his teaching career, his art projects included requests from friends and colleagues at school, project examples for students, and t-shirt designs for various clubs and organizations.

Currently I am working on custom hats and those have been very popular, but at the end of the day, I would like to get back on canvas and start doing more than just streamer boxes and hats. I have also found that my flies are typically received better than my fish. Do you prefer oil, acrylics or watercolor? I prefer oil, if given the chance and the perfect world. Here is the deal though, I am one of those artists, and I guess many of us are, that use what I need to complete what it is that I am doing. I am using lots of different mediums on every project or at least using that mindset.

Now that I think of it though, watercolor does offer up a lot in regards to the addition of it to some other mediums. How many pieces do you typically produce a year?

I am not doing nearly as many as I would like. If everything were to run smoothly, I could do two to three a week, but again this is more of a hobby at this point than a profession. We recently added another child to our family in August, with the birth of my daughter Edie. That slowed me down for a bit and then I got into a groove with getting things out.

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On the 29th of December, she unexpectedly passed away and now there is a slump. As of late, it just seems like it is one step forward and two steps back. I want art to be my outlet and as soon as that changes, I see myself just stepping away. I will always do art, in one capacity or another, but this Green Bus Designs endeavor is something that comes last after family and sometimes, as you probably know, having a young family dictates life.

Do you do commissioned work? All of the pieces that I am putting out at this point are commissioned. What is the most challenging thing about creating fishing art? I believe in order to draw or paint the particular species, you have to actually put your hands on the fish. Each fish is constructed of layers upon layers of imagery and color. I approach each fish in that manner. That is not only silver, but you get these wonderful purples and light blues in the fish that you would never understand from just looking at a picture.

What advice do you have for would-be artists? Be grateful, humble, and confident. There were a lot of other artists who sort of took me under their wing, even if just for a short conversation, to give me guidance and did so with a great deal of force. Those individuals I trust or who work with similar materials have been super helpful and I try to give back to them when I can. Of course, I have also been burned in doing the same thing. As always though, collaboration to me is much more fun.

What else would you like to share about your art or passion for art? There is excitement in people looking at my work these days and a great deal of responsibility too. The pressure now is to keep on improving and refusing to let my art get stale. The hardest part for me at this point, is just maintaining my career as an educator, my role as a husband and dad, maintaining my hobbies, and then with my free time, making art. There are still a number of milestones that I am trying to reach with the art that I am creating, people that I need to meet, gear I need to buy, trips that need to be taken, and fish that need to be caught.

So far, art had done all of those things for me and I like where I am at with that! These fish are plentiful, seemingly always ready for a fight, and quite palatable when eaten fresh. But once you narrow the question down to just fly casters, the trout seem to fall from grace. Though often caught on flies, they are not regularly targeted.

Rather the trout are hooked when we present a fly in search of another species. That circumstance is a shame since seatrout readily take flies and put up a head-shaking fight on the surface. Exactly what constitutes a gator trout varies from region to region. For numbers of seatrout, the miles of the Peach State coast are hard to beat. The sounds, inlets and tidal waters fringed by miles of marsh grass shores and islands abound with the species. Starting on the northern end of the coast at the port city of Savannah, the jetties along the north side of the ship channel at the mouth of the Savannah River can be a hotspot.

When the top of the tide is moving either in or out, water flowing over the rocks creates eddies that attract the trout. Positioning your boat to run a bait fish imitation through these shoots can be productive. To the south side of the river along the north shore of Tybee Island the river offers a long stretch of sand and thick oyster bars dropping into deeper water. As the tide falls or rises it is possible to walk along the shore and cast over these shell beds.

There also are a few small tidal creeks that empty into the river as well. Near the middle of the Georgia coast lies the other important port city of Brunswick. The Marshes of Glynn are one landmark feature here that was highlighted in a poem by Sidney Lanier. The south shore of the river around the bridge often has trout lurking at the edge of the marsh grass points during high tides.

At the south end of the coast the colonial seaport and fishing village of St. Marys rests on its namesake river. The town is the jump off point for reaching Cumberland Island. That national seashore isle offers two tidal creeks that produce seatrout. At the southern end Beach Creek intrudes into the island from the Cumberland Sound on the shoreward side of the island.

Both offer excellent habitat for trout fishing. Once in these locations, for what should we be looking? There are three location factors that often point to trout drops. Oyster shell beds, mouths of smaller tributary creeks and marsh grass points along the shore or at the ends of islands all are good places to start a search. Schools of trout move around, so there is no guarantee they will be at a certain place.

But, they are likely to be in one of these type situations, so checking several is often the answer to locating trout. The other factors to consider when targeting seatrout in Georgia are water conditions. You definitely want to have moving water. That can be on either a rising or falling tide. At the peak of the ebb or flow the fishing is going to slow or completely end.

The old seaport of St. Marys is the jump off point for reaching Cumberland Island. The other crucial factor in Georgia is finding clear water. With tides that can feature 9-foot swings in the water level, a lot of current is generated, bringing with it a lot of mud out of the marshes. When the water muddies up, the trout leave. Peach State trout fishing often is just a search for clear water. Due to the dark waters on this coast, being able to see inches into the water is considered clear.

Finally, during or just after heavy rains along or just inland of the coast, fresh water entering the estuaries can kill the trout fishing. In these periods you need to target areas closer to the ocean inlets to find salinity levels more suited to the seatrout. Checking out these and similar locations with the right water conditions can lead to some fun and steady action for Peach State seatrout.

The book is available from the book store at jimmyjacobsoutdoors. So what is unique about this particular fly rod and what does it bring to the table that other rods do not? Perhaps most important is the fact it is designed in part by a true fly fisher who happens to be a woman.

Her name is Mandy Hertzfeld and she guides full time in the Rocky Mountain region. So, what are the basic attributes of the rod? A moderate action that is not too stiff but yet has the backbone to fight and pull in the large fish that is caught on a regular basis in the Rockies. Accuracy out to a medium distance of 70 feet or so was very important.

Although many fish are caught within the foot range, Holtsclaw wanted something that would stretch out to be able to fight the wind somewhat and perform inshore salt fishing as well. A specific saltwater version is set for the future, a bit more stiffly build with a slightly different graphite and a larger weight. It will be possibly a 9- or weight with a swing weight that feels like an 8-weight. More will follow through. I see the market for fly rods directed specifically to sportswomen as limited. Each 8 Rivers Fly Rod contains the same prepreg carbon fiber technology used in these supercars.

Among our favorite features on the rod, we could not help but notice the looks immediately. Everyone loved the combination of thread color choice paired with Titanium stripper guides. The color of the blank was pleasing, the atheistic reel seat design was not only very pleasing to the eye but was also up to the rigors inflicted on saltwater fly rods. However, our favorite feature is the fact that the performance of the Lady Artist matches its looks. Not that long distance casting is the most important feature, but it is talked about quite often. Therefore it should be known that an intermediate caster will cast this rod 70 feet easily and consistently with two or three false casts.

Accuracy testing was a pleasant surprise. Exceptional swing weight is noticeable immediately…light in the hand, as our team of four concluded. According to Holtsclaw who designed the fly rod, the Lady Artist is completely saltwater rated. He even used corrosion proof medium size stripper guides for that purpose, along with a small fighting butt to complete all situations.

Saltwater and beginner fly fishers sometimes instinctively reach for a handle. This versatile rod can easily be pressed into service for inshore and freshwater environments. Taking a look at his tying and fishing career has a timely feel to it. Marys County, Maryland on the Chesapeake Bay, he has been heavily influenced by Lefty Kreh, which is yet another example of how that legendary fly caster will be missed.

My family subscribed to the Baltimore Sun when Lefty was outdoor editor and I loved reading about his exploits, and more importantly his advice and tips. Because of the area in which he grew up, Magee quickly gravitated to saltwater fishing. He cast for rockfish, as striped bass are called in that area, around Cedar Point on the Patuxent River and bluefish at the mouth of the St. It was a 9-weight St. Croix with a click and pawl reel that I quickly burned up. While getting a complimentary casting lesson with the rod, Mr.

I started buying books on the subject. I still have that book. As I accumulated books, my Clousers and Deceivers began to look better. Once I got the hang of tying with epoxy, I began seeking out bluefish instead of avoiding them. More importantly, the book brought home the importance of improvisation and matching the hatch. It also proved beneficial to his fishing and tying. You never know when a pound jack will take the fly you just tossed where a pompano skipped!

One pattern is the Pompano Rocket tied with yellow, pink or orange bucktail and gold or silver Mylar braid. Another is the standby Clouser Minnow for all species. He ties them in both light and dark hues, but always has white-over-orange ones to imitate ghost shrimp. Epoxy Surf Candy also will be in his fly box. Those are tied in olive or gray with a red belly to match the red minnows when they are running. It works well for Spanish mackerel, bluefish and ladyfish.

He also carries crab patterns in olive and brown, with blue or orange accents. These tempt any species that is feeding on the bottom. Still, Magee does experiment with new materials and patterns. These heavy flies kick up sand when stripped and both red and black drum go after them readily. Agustin, my guide, has told me to wear my chews and shuffle my feet, but the waterlogged Docksiders are abbreviating my breath, wearing me down. Soon there's the faint pulse of oncoming angina, softer footsteps getting heavier.

The stent my cardiologist installed before I sailed to Mexico was working fine until the girl jumped ship in Isla Mujeres, leaving me with the two Boykin spaniels to argue with. We hit a reef off Bahia de la Ascencion, which is what I get for arguing with dogs: I get barefoot and tie my shoelaces together. A stingray barb has to be less lethal than a heart attack, unless, exhausted from dragging my feet, I stumble headfirst on one and take a hit between the eyes. Agustin stalks our quarry like a cross-country skier, hardly glancing down. His Mayan ancestors used stingray barbs to pierce tongues and genitals for sacrificial bloodletting while consorts knelt to catch the offertorial drippings in a bowl.

You come from a line of folks like that, and you don't worry so much. I've had plenty of time to read up on Agustin's ancestry while I wait for a blacksmith to hammer out a prop that looks like the lid of a C-ration can hacked open with a bayonet. I mostly blame the dogs. My guide turns to see what's holding me up, wagging a finger as I hang the chews around my neck and spray a cold mist of nitroglycerin under my tongue. He must think the pink nitro is to sweeten my breath. Maybe he's insulting me so I'll make him take me back. Or maybe I'm being paranoid. It's true, this is my first time out for bonefish, for macabi.

From experience I know jilted lovers and novice fishermen can be touchy. To be fair, my guide's under no particular obligation to fawn. He's used to sportsmen thrilled to death to fork out big bucks for the chance to shuffle around in mangrove flats up to their nuts in stingrays.

No fool, Agustin knows my cracked and occluded heart ain't perMarch I appreciate the gesture, but I've never been much of a saltwater man in the first place. When I run out of canned tuna, I drag a church key with a hook wired to it behind my sailboat Kestyll: By the time I notice something white skidding around in my wake, it's drowned and inflated. Big ones still kicking I shoot with a Colt Woodsman.

If they flop after that, I pour rum in their gills. The girl fought fish on a nice saltwater outfit she trolled off the stern rail. I'd head up so she could play them. I admit, it was sort of fun to watch her. She'd get so excited, she couldn't keep her little feet from dancing. I haven't fooled with her tackle since she left: Agustin slows his stalk and I moonwalk behind him, my knees l www.

A flushed ray hooks around to hide in our smoke. It grazes the top of my naked foot, and I climb Agustin. The first one I messed with down in Panama broke my thumb after I'd emptied a. I don't want to mess with any caiman with a 6-weight Orvis, though I'm no coward. I've even considered suicide as a respite from my latest rejection, maybe leaving a note on my Web page so the world won't view March I've fantasized hurling myself off a rocky cliff in Guatemala, where I was headed before engaging the reef. Maybe I'll just sit tight right here in Punta Alen until the next hurricane comes along, but even in my darkest hours of despondency, being torn apart to putrefy piecemeal in a crocodile den yaws far alee of my romantic musings of demise.

Lefty Rays Guide to Fishing Saltwater Cuts with Conventional Tackle Lefty Rays Guide to Fishing Saltwater Cuts with Conventional Tackle
Lefty Rays Guide to Fishing Saltwater Cuts with Conventional Tackle Lefty Rays Guide to Fishing Saltwater Cuts with Conventional Tackle
Lefty Rays Guide to Fishing Saltwater Cuts with Conventional Tackle Lefty Rays Guide to Fishing Saltwater Cuts with Conventional Tackle
Lefty Rays Guide to Fishing Saltwater Cuts with Conventional Tackle Lefty Rays Guide to Fishing Saltwater Cuts with Conventional Tackle
Lefty Rays Guide to Fishing Saltwater Cuts with Conventional Tackle Lefty Rays Guide to Fishing Saltwater Cuts with Conventional Tackle
Lefty Rays Guide to Fishing Saltwater Cuts with Conventional Tackle Lefty Rays Guide to Fishing Saltwater Cuts with Conventional Tackle
Lefty Rays Guide to Fishing Saltwater Cuts with Conventional Tackle Lefty Rays Guide to Fishing Saltwater Cuts with Conventional Tackle
Lefty Rays Guide to Fishing Saltwater Cuts with Conventional Tackle Lefty Rays Guide to Fishing Saltwater Cuts with Conventional Tackle

Related Lefty Rays Guide to Fishing Saltwater Cuts with Conventional Tackle

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