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Florida Fishing Tips

The Importance Of Sunglasses

Seeing is believing on Tampa Bay’s inshore waters and flats. Observe most any Professional Charter Captain and you will see they all have one thing in common. They are all wearing a quality pair of polarized sunglasses. We may argue about which brand is best, what lens tint work best but we all agree seeing is a must.

I am amazed by how many charter clients I have that can’t see our target just feet from the boat! Imagine if your Captain couldn’t see Snook moving along the mangroves, Redfish schools on oyster bars, birds diving on Mackerel, Kingfish and Bonito. Fishing can be tuff enough let alone fishing areas void of fish.

Cutting the glare is another very important factor when searching shallow water species and keeping headaches away. Scanning the water hour after hour chasing beach Tarpon is a prime example to have quality sunglasses. Imagine missing a school of Tarpon only to see another angler hook up while you miss out.

Personally I have Maui Jim, Costa Del Mar and Kaenon sunglasses on board. There are numerous color lens tint for low light and bright sunlight conditions. Pick a pair that works best for your application or get several as I do. It’s also very important while fishing or day to day activities to have UVA, UVB and UVC protection. Protecting your eyes from harmful ultraviolet rays in critical.

A quality pair of sun classes is an investment so protect them. Invest in a micro fiber lens cloth. I have learned the hard and expensive way that using paper towels, fishing shirts will scratch lens. A leash is also important as to not drop your glasses or loss them while on the water. Trust me I have seen client’s expensive designer glasses slip off their face in the hot sun then spend time trying to retrieve them vs. enjoying the day.

If you need prescription sunglasses like I do, have no fear as many quality glasses are available in RX.

Captain Steven Markovich
On The Mark Charters
727-252-9824
www.onthemarkcharters.com

Contribute Originally contributed by onthemarkcharters on 05/05/10
Last edited by onthemarkcharters on 05/06/10


Always use a well balanced outfit.  This means the rod, reel, line and lure should be made for each other. Do not load a light outfit with a heavy line. Conversely, do not throw a huge lure with a light outfit.
Contribute Last edited by Justin on 06/24/06


Mono-filament can be damaged by excess exposure to direct sunlight. Keep your equipment in a dry, shaded area. Fishing on a hot summer day is fine. Keeping your rods in a hot car trunk, or exposed to direct sunlight in the back seat, is not recommended.
Contribute Originally contributed by Jfrog on 06/24/06
Last edited by Jfrog on 06/24/06


Keep trout floats in place on your line by simply putting a thick rubber band through the slot before putting the line in. Then put the stick in the float as you normally would. This improves the friction and keeps the float where you want it.
Contribute Last edited by Justin on 06/24/06


If you happen to get poked by a catfish fin, such as the dorsal or pectoral fin of a hardhead (sea catfish), you are guaranteed you some serious pain!! As soon as it happens, rub some of the slime from the fish's belly/body into your wound. And if you have any Asprin or Tylenol handy, take a couple! You will get very Numb around the wound for about an hour or so, but the slime should keep you from getting infected. The slime is a NATURAL ANTIDOTE for the bacteria. If the Dorsal or Pectoral fin has broken off in you, Stop fishing and get to a clinic or Hospital IMMEDIATELY and have it removed.
Contribute Originally contributed by largemouthlarry on 06/24/06
Last edited by largemouthlarry on 06/24/06


After you have those hooks sharpened to a razor sharp point simply take a black permanent marker and color the tip from the point to just below the barb. By doing this it will help in preventing rust. Thus prolonging the life and edge of your hooks.
Contribute Originally contributed by lia on 06/24/06
Last edited by lia on 06/24/06


To finding an elusive leak in waders, take one end of the hose from a vacuum and put it in the exhaust of the vacuum. Now take the other end and put it into the waders. Now close the top of the waders around the hose, blowing the waders up like a balloon. Take a spray bottle with soapy water in it and spray the area of the leak. Bubbles will appear at the leak. Mark the spot, let the area dry, and patch with a sealer.
Contribute Originally contributed by Jfrog on 06/24/06
Last edited by Jfrog on 06/24/06


Most diving plugs right out of the package don't catch fish.  Some do, but most don't, they need to be tuned.  Tie the plug on as recommended by the manufacturer.  Usually a snap (not snap swivel) or an open loop knot is best.  Once tied on, let out a few feet of line and pull the plug through the water at the rate that you will be trolling or retrieving the plug.  Make sure you can see the plug in the water. It needs to run straight, perfectly straight!  If it turns on its right side, turn the clasp on the plug to the left.  If it runs left, turn the clasp right.  You won't need to turn the clasp much to make the adjustments.  Keep pulling the plug through the water and making adjustments, make it run straight as an arrow.  Test your plugs after catching a fish or getting snagged, both of these things can make a plug run out of tune.  You'll hook more fish with a finely tuned plug, take the time and do it. The pro's do.
Contribute Last edited by Justin on 06/24/06


If you're having a hard time getting a rod apart because the joint or ferrule is stuck together, try this.  Sit down and lay the rod across your lap with the ferrule centered between your legs.  Take your hands and grasp the top and bottom of the rod on the outside of your legs.  Hold on tight to the rod, keeping your hands below the top of your legs and slowly move your legs apart, pulling the rod apart at the same time!
Contribute Last edited by Justin on 06/24/06


Rod Tip: Take the male end of the ferrule and rub it along side your nose before putting the rod together. The oil from your skin/nose will put a light lube on the joint where the two rod parts come together, making it easy to pull apart.
Contribute Originally contributed by lia on 06/24/06
Last edited by lia on 06/24/06


More rods are broken in car doors, house doors or through poor storage. Do not let rod tips bang all over your boat.
Contribute Originally contributed by lia on 06/24/06
Last edited by lia on 06/24/06


Always rinse rods with freshwater. Periodically remove reels and lubricate reel seats with a Multi-purpose Lubricant that loosens rusted parts, fights moisture and protects against corrosion.

SURF FISHING

I find a half hour before high tide is the best surf fishing. Don't be fooled into having to whip that surf rig a 1/4 mile out into the surf! I learned from my daughter that all the big pompano and whitting hang out at or ahead of the surf break. The back wash of the pounding surf stirs up crabs, sand fleas, etc. I have actualy seen pompano boogie board side ways into ankle deep surf to gobble up a flea. Occasionaly I will catch baby pompano in the sand flea rake. You will be surprised! Just barely cast out about thirty feet and let the line droop some, but get ready. Let the circle hook do its job. Do not set the hook if using a circle hook!!! I use a three hook gangion and when I am sure a fish is on, I will leave it on to attract others to the remaining two hooks. Most times will get two, but have gotten all three hooks loaded up and what a fight. Especially with pompano, They want to go in all directions, but that is the benefit of fishing close to the break. Use it to your advantage and boogie board them in on a wave.
Contribute Originally contributed by Sand Flea on 11/23/07
Last edited by Sand Flea on 11/23/07


BLOOD LINE

If you don't like that red blood line in your Pompano or Whiting, then bury a coffee can, or similar container, up to the brim in the sand. The can will hold the fish from flopping around in the sand. Having a couple of holes in the bottom of the can will drain out the blood. Here is what you do: I like a dish towel to wrap around the fish when taking it off the hook, then I race over to the coffee can where I have a small fillet knife to cut the throat of the fish and immediately put him head down into the can. It will flop for awhile, but this is pumping all the blood out and actually alleviates the fish's misery quicker, before placing into the cooler. Oh, make sure you keep your ice bagged! The reason I say this is keeping the ice on top of your fish will keep them colder than ice underneath. Cold will want to travel down not up. As you add fish it will make it easier to just grab the bag and place it on top. I try not to allow my fish to sit in standing ice water, in my opinion it makes the meat mushy.
Contribute Originally contributed by Sand Flea on 11/23/07
Last edited by Sand Flea on 11/23/07


PVC PIPE AND RUBBER MALLET

Go to your local hardware store and buy a ten foot length of schedule 40 PVC Pipe and have them cut it exactly in half at five feet. If they are nice they will cut it in half for you using a 45-60 degree angle, that way you will not have to cut the pipe again to use as surf pole holders. The reason I prefer 5' foot legnth pole holders is, I always bring a two pound rubber mallet to drive my PVC Pipe into the sand about two feet. Trust me I have seen many of surf fisherman loose their rods due to the big one pulling over their pole holder and then the rod disappears. You will love the working heigth once the pipe is driven. It will put your real right at working level and I rarely will remove the pole from its holder when retrieving to re-bait. Saves on the back. Also, try to push it over, I will rareley move position through the tides. Sounds crazy, but if I arrive on a low tide and go into a high tide my pole holders will maintain at chin to ankle deep water and my reel is still plenty high out of the water. You can also go to the automotive section and but a cup holder to attatch just below the top of the pipe and you can use the holder for your beverage, sunscreen, glasses, or I like to have a cup with sand fleas ready to be loaded on.
Contribute Originally contributed by Sand Flea on 11/23/07
Last edited by Sand Flea on 11/23/07


SAND FLEAS

Sand Fleas are my best surf bait by far!!! If you have never caught Sand Fleas give it a try. My wife loves catching them for me and while I am setting up the poles she usually has some good walnut size fleas ready. The best way to get them is at high tide going to a low tide. If you look at the peak of the surf as it ends and starts to head back, you will notice certain areas are very disturbed more than others. These are the fleas. They will come up out of the sand to eat plankton and use the back wash of the surf to bury back down beneath to avoid getting eatin by birds and fish. Sort of like when you stand in the surf and the back wash makes your feet sink down. A good sand flea rake depending on the size will produce at best up to 100 fleas. It does take practice and when you get the hang of it you will love catching them. There are times when you will be discouraged and not find any at all, but trust me they are there. A lot of times at low tide I will come up the beach about ten to fifteen feet and dig down with my hand about 6 to 10 inches and will find them hanging out waiting for high tide to come back. Keep your fleas in moist sand don't fill the bottom of your bucket with water and expect them to live. They will keep for several days in moist beach sand especially if you keep them cool.
Contribute Originally contributed by Sand Flea on 11/23/07
Last edited by Sand Flea on 11/23/07


Attractant

If you find yourself missing strikes because the fish aren't holding your lure in their mouths long enough to get a good hookset - try a quality Fish Attractant. It hides any negative scents that your hands may have transferred to the lure. I use CB's Hawg Sauce cause it works for me ... www.cbshawgsauce.com ... Chester
Contribute Originally contributed by Chester on 12/17/06
Last edited by Chester on 12/17/06


Many fish bite if ya got good bait!
Contribute Originally contributed by Catfish Jones on 08/12/06
Last edited by Catfish Jones on 08/14/06


Trout should not be overcooked, it's best when just slightly underdone. If you leave the head on while cleaning, just watch the eyes while cooking. When they turn white, your fish is done!
Contribute Last edited by Terry on 03/06/06


When you get a hook be set deep in the throat of a caught fish, just cut the line and re-rig. Don't bother wasting time trying to retrieve the hook. If releasing a deep throat hooked fish, don't worry about the hook, for the fish's stomach acids will eat the hook completely in about 4 days.
Contribute Originally contributed by lia on 06/24/06
Last edited by lia on 06/24/06


Store all bulk line in a cool, dark place. Direct sunlight will damage mono-filament over a period of time.
Contribute Originally contributed by Jfrog on 06/24/06
Last edited by Jfrog on 06/24/06


Always store your reels with the drag set at no tension (free spool) or as low as it can go. This will prevent flat spots on drag material. You can set the clicker to "On" to prevent the reel from turning and line unwinding.
Contribute Originally contributed by largemouthlarry on 06/24/06
Last edited by largemouthlarry on 06/24/06


A different lure presentation (size or type) from what is normally used in a particular area can sometimes help improve the fish strikes.
Contribute Last edited by Justin on 06/24/06


When walking through thick brush on your way to a favorite fishin' hole, wrap duct tape around your pant cuffs to seal out the bugs.
Contribute Last edited by Justin on 06/23/06


Keep track of your split shots by putting them in a empty breath mint box. Write the size on the outside for easier identification.
Contribute Originally contributed by lia on 06/24/06
Last edited by lia on 06/24/06


Use the small screws from old cassette tapes in a pinch for reel repairs.
Contribute Last edited by Justin on 06/23/06


Repair small leaks in waders by melting a plastic worm with a lighter and smearing the goo in and around the hole from both sides with your fingers. That should seal it up for the rest of the day.
Contribute Originally contributed by largemouthlarry on 06/24/06
Last edited by largemouthlarry on 06/24/06


The cutter from a dental floss container will cut nicely through most braided fishing line.
Contribute Originally contributed by lia on 06/24/06
Last edited by lia on 06/24/06


To keep your non-waterproof fishing maps from being destroyed, cover both sides with clear contact paper. This also allows you to mark choice locations with a grease pencil which can be wiped off with a dry cloth.
Contribute Originally contributed by Jfrog on 06/24/06
Last edited by Jfrog on 06/24/06


Carry a tube of super glue in your tackle box to repair plastic baits. Use a small drop to fill cracks and small holes.
Contribute Last edited by Justin on 06/23/06


Use a hot butter-knife to melt the plastic back together on your torn-up plastic lures.
Contribute Originally contributed by largemouthlarry on 06/24/06
Last edited by largemouthlarry on 06/24/06


When fishing unfamiliar waters get a map of the area. Study one before a trip and you can eliminate many unproductive areas and concentrate on the areas that look like fish producers.

If you have to carry a canoe or jonboat to a remote location, bring along a mesh fruit or onion sack. (grapefruit, oranges, onions) and a length of rope. You can fill the bag with rocks and tie it to the end of the rope. Now you have a portable anchor, and you don't have to carry it very far.
Contribute Originally contributed by Jfrog on 06/24/06
Last edited by Jfrog on 06/24/06


No chip, top-coat (clear) nail polish can be used to fix damaged or punctured crankbaits. Apply several coats, letting each coat dry thoroughly.
Contribute Last edited by Justin on 06/23/06


Try replacing the treble hooks on artificial lures with Double Hook Rigs when going for big fish.

Varying the retrieve speed or combining a quick retrieve with a pause to let the lure sink a few feet down in the water before continuing the retrieve can stimulate more strikes.
Contribute Last edited by Justin on 06/23/06


Sharpen hooks just before use for more positive hookups.

Switching to a lighter test fishing line can help improve the fish strikes.
Contribute Originally contributed by lia on 06/24/06
Last edited by lia on 06/24/06


Use your local bait fish as a guide to size and color selection for your lures.
Contribute Last edited by Justin on 06/23/06


Use glittered fabric paints to jazz up your baits.
Contribute Originally contributed by Jfrog on 06/24/06
Last edited by Jfrog on 06/24/06


An outdoor digital thermometer, the kind with the 10-12 foot lead, can be used to get a temperature check down where the fish are. Drop the probe down and you can check the temp in the deeper water instead of just at the surface.
Contribute Originally contributed by largemouthlarry on 06/24/06
Last edited by largemouthlarry on 06/24/06


Put a drop of hot glue onto the eyelet of your stinger hooks. Slide it onto your spinnerbait, jig or buzzer. Your hook will stay in place all day.
Contribute Last edited by Justin on 06/23/06


Safety pins help keep things together. Slide spare blades, hooks, swivels and the like onto the pin, and snap the pin shut. Now you don't have to worry about them scattering all over your tackle box.

Or better yet - for a bigger option try a knitting stich holder that you can find in the craft section of many stores. It's like a giant safety pin with a blunt needle! Sewing/craft sections might have more handy tools than you think!

P.S. This was a tip from one of the Admin guys Mother-in-Law! :)
Contribute Originally contributed by Rachel211 on 06/23/06
Last edited by Rachel211 on 06/23/06


Keep your wallet, important papers, camera, sounding device and flares in a Dry Box when fishing from a boat.


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Stick Marsh Pro Guide Service
1-772-979-6102
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Fellsmere, FL
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Professional guide service on Stick Marsh/Farm 13, Blue Cypress Lake, Kenansville, and Garcia Reservoir.


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