Monthly Archives: July 2015

A Paddle Board for Mike

To be honest , I never thought much about paddle boarding. It was too risky. Too hard. Too daunting.

My ride with a tackle rack ready to go.

My ride with a tackle rack ready to go.

Well, my attitude changed dramatically a few weeks ago when I  actually got off my duff and tried to paddle board. Surprisingly, I stayed upright. The more I paddled the more I loved it. After borrowing a neighbor’s board, I got hooked. Off to Stuart I went to buy my own board from Flying Fish Outfitters.

It took about 20 minutes before I fell in love with a Bote Flood. This board this a 12-foot flats fishing machine. Before, much of my on-water angling came from a Native Ultimate 14. The Bote Flood is better.

One, you can’t beat the workout. Paddle boarding requires balance. Balance requires core strength — and that starts from the ground up. My feet, ankles, arms and abdominals have gotten a lot stronger after less than two weeks. My raging case of plantar fasciitis has subsided.

From an angling perspective, a paddle board can’t be beat for shallow-water fly fishing. Boards are quiet, fewer wakes than with the Native. Two, the platform is cleaner. There’s nothing for the line to snag on the deck.

Can't beat a Yeti cooler for quality.

Can’t beat a Yeti cooler for quality.

And you the visibility is second to none. Height is everything in sight fishing with a fly rod. You’re up higher on a paddle board than a kayak or canoe. It’s not even close.

The only downside to a paddle board is wind. Ideally, you’re standing and if the wind blows, you become a sail.  To offset the breeze, I bought a Yeti cooler, which sits behind me and serves as a seat and a place to rest my calves for more security and balance. Needless to say, it’s not bad to have a few drinks stocked to neutralize summer’s swelter.

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Filed under Education, Fly fishing

A Big Big Boost for Barracuda

My story for the Snook & Gamefish Foundation. Enjoy.

The barracuda is considered among the fiercest predators on the flats, yet the feisty fish has had little protection when it comes to bag limits in the state of Florida. That may change thanks to the Snook & Gamefish Foundation and other conservation organizations.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) took a big step last week toward establishing regulations to protect barracuda when it announced a proposal restricting recreational and commercial harvests of the fish.

During a public hearing in Sarasota, the FWC staff presented a draft rule to the commissioners, who will formally vote on the measure this fall.

The rule will create:

·        a recreational and commercial slot limit of 15 to 36 inches

·        a recreational daily bag limit of two fish per person

·        a commercial vessel limit of 20 fish

SGF members and staff applauded the recent developments.

“These proposed regulations by the FWC show a deep commitment to protecting and ensuring the sustainability of a species that many people simply overlook, or call a  ‘trash fish,’ ” said Mike Readling, chairman of the SGF’s Board of Directors. “As we know, every species is critical to the fine balance of our marine ecosystems, including the toothy ones with poor reputations. These new limits will go a long way toward curbing massive, unnecessary harvests of barracuda, and the Snook and Gamefish Foundation is proud and excited that our iAngler app was singled out by the FWC as one of the avenues to a scientific-based solution for the documentation of this species.”

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Filed under Conservation, Education