Saturday, June 30, 2012

Carp'n An't Easy

Went to Ray Roberts this morning. There were carp everywhere this morning and the fishing was tough. The fish seemed to spook easily and didn't want to move far to get the fly. So if you put the fly right on the fish, more times than not you would spook them. The fish were also up in the grass and brush so it made getting good shots at them tough especially when they are so shallow and acting as skittish as they were today. Ended the day with 5 carp and 2 catfish. Ray Roberts probably has one of the best carp populations in the metroplex, however most the carp are not very big. The lake is loaded with 1-3 lb carp which makes it a fun fishery with light weight rods. I did break my 4weight TFO BVK today. There was no reason for the rod to break, there was very little pressure being applied to the carp and it was towards the end of the fight. I hate to say it but I am not impressed at all with the durability of the BVK. I love TFO and am a big fan of the company and have been very happy with the TICR and TICRX models. I have one of their 3weight Finesse series rod that I have routinely put more pressure on fish and it has not broken. I think the issue with the BVK is the quality of the graphite. The BVK is a light weight rod and I think for TFO to keep this rod priced low the quality of the graphite used is of lower standards. Sage, Loomis, Orvis and other high end rods that are in the same weight class (weight as in actually ounces not line weight) as the BVK cost $600+ for a reason, and I believe that reason is because of higher quality material with tighter quality control. Again TFO makes a great rod, I just don't know if I can recommend the BVK at this point. TFO does rate this rod very low on the spectrum for lifting power. I will go get it fixed this week and put it in the rod case ti'll i go chase some trout with 5x or 6x tippit.

I love all the deer up at Ray Roberts

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Mako Shark Clip

Got the editing done from the trip. I went and got Adobe Elements Premier 10.0 and really like it. I am still learning and figuring it out, but it seems to be very good with a lot of advanced features but still easy to work with. Looking forward to using the GoPro more and getting some different mounts for it to get different angles. During part of the clip the GoPro lens did fog up some...... Oh well, I guess it happens. Check out the mako taking a swipe at the seagull at the start of the clip. Hope yall enjoy. 

Monday, June 25, 2012

Being Hunted In The Slick

The Wife and I took a little vacation to San Diego this past week and I had the opportunity to go fish with Capt. David Trimble with On The Fly Charters. San Diego is one of the mako Sharks primary nursing grounds; juvenile sharks frequent the inner coastal waters during the warmer months of the summer. San Diego, Madagascar, and New Zealand are the only three locations on earth that are nursing grounds for makos. Mako Sharks have a 2 year reproductive cycle and a gestation period of 1 year. They breed from late winter to mid spring with the eggs being fertilized internally and develop inside the mother shark. Females bear live young (known as pups). The pups are fully developed and are around 2' long when born. The pups are known to be cannibalistic inside the womb and will feed on the smaller less developed pups. Mako sharks are highly migratory and are known to travel great distances in a short amount of time. They can be found at great depths feeding on swordfish and squid or cruising up near the surface looking for mackerel and bonito. Their a magnificent predator.

Makos are one of the more popular sharks for sport fisherman due to their agility, speed, aggression and their spectacular ability to jump to exceptional heights once hooked. Fishing for makos is unlike any other type of fishing were a fisherman is out looking for their prey, with makos you are the prey. The morning started with me meeting Capt. Trimble at the marina and loading the boat with ice, drinks and food for both the sharks and us. We motored out of the marina and took a short boat ride to the first location, still within sight of land. Capt. Trimble likes to look at a variety of indicators to determine prime locations to setup. these indicators include current lines, water temperature, underwater structure, and past success. Once we got all the chum buckets out we patiently waited, swapping fish stories to pass the time. This type of fishing is very much a hurry up and wait game, unless you get lucky and park right down on a shark. We bobbed around for about an hour before the first mako showed up. Due to the overcast that morning the visibility was limited and the mako was right on top of us before we knew it. He gnawed on the chum bucket a few times and then his attention was directed towards a seagull sitting in the slick. He went to pesture the seagull and gave him a few bumps but never took a swipe at the sea rat. The cool thing about this type of fishing is that it is very laid back. Once the shark is in the slick he is not going anywhere unless a bigger shark shows up. So we sized up the shark and grabbed the rod that matched it and Capt. Trimble handed me a 10 weight. A few cast and the shark took the fly and with a strong strip set I was connected with my first mako shark. Being the apex predator these sharks are, they are not use to anything getting away from them nor do they run from anything. So the mako just kind of sat there shaking his head trying to figure out what was going on. And when he wasn't able to shake the fly loose he busted into a run that took me into the backing very quickly and made a few jumps trying to get that annoying orange thing that he had mistaken for a meal out of the corner of his mouth. The mako put up a great fight and when we got him to the side of the boat, we took some pics and popped the hook loose to send him on his way. We continued our drift for about another 45 minutes and Capt. Trimble called for a move. Another short ride to the second drift. We bobbed around for about an hour when Capt. Trimble jumped to his feet when he saw a grey shadow cruising across our slick, he called out a sunfish. I have only seen pictures of an ocean sunfish. They are very strange fish and I wish we where just a little closer to get a good look at him along with some pics. About 45 minutes later we see a shadow coming right up the slick towards the boat at a quick pace. This time its a mako and he was at the edge of the boat before we could get a rod ready. This shark was more interested in the stainless steel prop and took several swipes at it. Capt. Trimble raised the motor out of the water. The mako was still not all that interested in the fly, so Capt. Trimble grabbed one of his teaser rods loaded with a mackerel and tossed it into the slick. After a few tries of bait and switch the mako grabbed the fly. Another great fight with a lot more jumps from this shark. Before we could get the shark to the boat and released we had another mako in the slick. This continued the rest of the afternoon, at times we had multiple sharks in the slick. At this point I had caught several sharks and Capt. Trimble asked if I wanted to try something different. I said sure and Trimble pulls out a Cam Sigler popper. I thought to myself, how awesome is this going to be to catch makos on a popper. It didn't take long for me to hook up as I was in aww watching a mouth full of teeth engulf the pink Cam Sigler popper. I ended the day with 6 or 7 maybe 8 makos to the boat and when we left to head back to the marina we still had several sharks in the slick. Capt. Trimble called one of his other Captains over who was running a charter and they were able to pic up were we left off. Within minutes they were hooked up to a shark. I got a lot of great video from the go pro and will get it all edited and put into a clip in the next few weeks and get up on the blog as soon as possible.

Unfortunately the worlds affinity for shark fin soup and the meat of the mako has lead to a decrease in population numbers. Worldwide the mako is not only subject to over harvesting by direct fishing, but even more so are often the by-catch victims of commercial fishing including longlining and gill nets. Please practice catch and release with the use of barbless hooks.

For more information on fishing the Capt. David Trimble, Please check out his website.

Mouth full of teeth

Lots of bait in the slick.

Mako on a Cam Sigler

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Self Punishment

So today I went to the river looking for some bowfin aka grinnel, swamp bass, and dogfish to name a few of their other handles. Unfortunately the fishing was not very good and I never did hook up with a grinnel. I did catch several small bass, bluegill and catfish. But as I was sitting in the kayak fishing getting absolutely eaten up by mosquitoes, some of which were so full of blood they couldn't even fly. I started thinking how much discomfort I have put myself through over the years all for a fish. Every exposed surface of skin is covered in bites, I am still itching at them as I type this and will be for the next few days. I have been sunburned countless times. Last summer on my tarpon trip I had a small slip on my neck where my buff and shirt met that was not covered and got 2nd degree burns from the sun. That scar is still there a year later. I have gone offshore and been puking my guts up due to sea sickness but did my best to keep on fishing. I have gone out in single digit temperatures and had ice frozen to my stripping fingers. I constantly get up at dark thirty after long weeks at work to be on the water at first light. Its really more than a fish that drives me, its a passion. A passion that mimics an addiction that will take over your life.Some people get it and most people don't.

A grinnel I caught 
a few years ago 

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Go Pro

My wonderful wife got me a go pro camera for my birthday. I am looking forward to having a video camera that shoots 1080 HD and getting some video.

I also picked up this Hobie rod holder from Austin Canoe and Kayak and mounted it on my Native Manta Ray. It was very easy to install and I think it will do a great job holding the rods in place and keeping them protected. I do which the tip protectors were 3-4 times longer. It would help protect the rods, and keep them tighter to the kayak. It would also help holding different rod sizes. As it is set up right now it will only hold a 9ft rod. Oh well, it seems to be a good product and wasn't that much money. I have ordered multiple time from AC&K and they have always got my products shipped quickly with no problems. Plus they have a great online store that is full of everything.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Gar Fly

Here is a fly I have tied up for targeting gar. It is 5.5" to 6.5" and has a treble hook to maximize your hook up/land ratio for gar. Unlike rope flies that typically only work on longnose gar, this fly will hook any gar (gator, longnose, spotted and shortnose).You will want to fish it with 18" of 30lb bite tippit to minimize any break offs due to their sharp teeth. In my experience gar like long white flies with a slow sink rate.

If anyone is interested I am selling these flies for $5 a piece. They are tied with high quality Gamakatsu hooks, GSP thread and every step is glued to maximize the life of this fly. It will hold up to many fish and it is also a great fly that will catch any other species of fish that feeds on baitfish. Please email me for more information


-Hook : Gamakatsu treble hook, size 2 or 4
-Thread : GSP 100
-Body : Bucktail
-Head : Pearl EZ body 1/2"
-Eyes : 3D eyes
-Fish-Skulls Articulated shanks 2 1/8"

This is a very easy to fly to tie.

Start off with 1 articulated shank and tie in the treble hook. Or the hook of your choice.

Tie in the bucktail; you can add flash during this step also if you like. I like to reverse tie it because I have found that to be the best way to secure the bucktail. I also recommend gluing each step of this fly with superglue. Since this fly is going to be used to chase gar, which have a mouth full of teeth it will help make the fly be more durable. I like the superglue that comes with the brush on applicator.

Next tie in the second articulated shank, and continue with the bucktail. You'll want to stop about a 1/4" from the eye.

Take the shanks out of the vise, and now you will want to tie in the pearl EZ body. Also tie this in reverse style.

Now by pushing the EZ body over itself you will create a cone shaped head. Tie it off and cut. Whipp finish and ass some head cement. Glue your eyes in and your done. 

Another variation with the fish skulls head. 

Saturday, June 2, 2012


Fished the river this morning. The fishing was good and I caught a lot of small striper and some decent sandbass on a crease fly. I like the hard body crease flies like the Rainy's Taco Pescado, they hold up a lot better than your standard foam crease fly. There was a ton of small striper in the river and I think they pushed the smallmouth out because I didn't catch any smallies today. Later in the afternoon I found a hole holding a lot of gar. I didn't come prepared for them and will need to tie up some "Gar Flies" for the next time I go after them. I had a lot of them hit my clouser and after a few head shakes they were off. I did get one hook to stick. It was a lot of fun watching the gar come up and hit the fly, looking forward to chasing them some more this summer. There where some monsters coming up and rolling around the kayak.