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There is so much great information available the Internet. I hope the information that I provide here can add details or a view that is unique in some way.

I welcome your comments and submissions.

Article Archive

June 2002
Silver Spoons
August 2002
Starting Flats Fishing
September 2002
Beginning Gear - pt. 1
October 2002
Beginning Gear - pt. 2
November 2002
The Courteous Angler
Dec 2002/Jan 2003
Reflections at the
Tide Change
February 2003
Jerkbaits, another look
March 2003
How important is presentation?
April 2003
When to fish...?
May 2003
New ideas
September 2003
Flats Fishing 101 (recap)
December 2003
Another flats fishing year ends
Jan - Feb 2004
New year, new opportunities
March 2004
Flats fishing on any budget
August 2004
Special Request - Hurricane Report
Not quite back yet...
November 2004

For those who return on occasion and to those who are just finding my site and notice the lapses in the monthly columns in the archive on the left it may be obvious that something is or rather is not going on. For me it has been fishing. I can not blame the record number of devastating hurricanes as I would have loved the opportunity to fish in the recent wake of those storms. I am not sure it would have felt like the right thing to do with all the loss and suffering that took place. However fishing or any diversion to ease your mind may be good medicine to help keep one's sanity. Let me state here that my thoughts continue with those who lost life and property in the storms. As a Florida native with family members in the Tampa area I was concerned. I made a trip down the weekend following the last storm to help clean up around my Mother's house. Growing up in Florida and experiencing several hurricanes I can not remember ever seeing so many downed limbs. That and the occasional demolished structure or multiple toppled trees while all else was left virtually untouched shows how mysterious the natural world can be.

For a dilemma of less consequence I must determine why I fished only once from March to September. There must be some shift in time that only Einstein can explain as I just seem to have lost a few months of precious fishing time. I have been working harder to correct that and fished twice in the past 4 weeks. It is a start and I hope to gain momentum. When I am back to a normal fishing pattern I will be inspired to get my monthly articles back to a schedule of one a month.

For those who visited in August you saw the post from a guide, Capt. Butch Rickey, a regular columnist on the site as he shares accounts of his fishing trips. That post was a result of the FIRST hurricane. Who had any idea that there would be more and increasingly powerful storms. By the time it was over not only Capt. Rickey and the west coast guides had problems but almost the entire state. I think from the reports I am reading now things are getting back to normal. However, many in the fishing industry have suffered setbacks. Whether it is damage, lost business or cash flow there is some catching up that must be done. I can confirm that the fishing on my two recent trips was great. Even with some structural damage business are mostly back up and running. Everything you need on a visit is available. If you have had any concerns about planning a trip down to fish Florida there is nothing to stop you from having a great time.

One of my trips was with a guide for a paddle fishing outing on the Intercoastal Waterway near Crescent Beach, south of St. Augustine. My buddy Jack and I had planned an last minute trip to get some tips on fishing the area after hitting likely spots and getting skunked. Jack's place is only about a half mile from Coastal Outdoor Center so we stopped by to set up an afternoon trip. It is always a pleasure to drop by and talk with Brad Miller (owner) who has a wealth of knowledge on anything to do with kayaking. He reported that though the storms had slowed vacationing visitors that things were beginning to recover. Jack had an unexpected event and was unable to join me but I made the charter and had a great time. I learned exactly what I needed to be a better angler in the marsh and oyster covered ICW. My goal was to be able to catch a redfish on an artificial and that is exactly what I did. I had almost given up on it but I know it can be done now. I have pictures of the trip that I hope to add very soon.

My second trip I was able to hook up again with my good fishing buddy in Tampa, Dave Latimer (also known as the 'Redfish Magnet' but that is not all he catches). Even though I had the kayak with me it went unused. Dave needed to make sure the Polar skiff that had been sitting since early summer was still in working order. The weather was dicey but Dave had a couple of options to make the best out of whatever the morning presented. As it turns out we were able to hit one of his favorite spots, a flat in the south east of Old Tampa Bay that we have fished together on a couple other occasions. The water was till warm enough that waders were not required (first week of November) but chilly enough to know that the next trip out would need something more. True to his name Dave immediately began catching reds and as he has on every trip I have made with him to the flat he got a slam (redfish, snook and trout). Not bad for early November but on one previous trip he did it the first week of January and believe me it was cold, Not sure what that snook was thinking or what kind if anti-freeze it was using (we also saw a nice snook floating dead, likely from the cold).

I have learned much from Dave and without a doubt I consider hum a mentor. He put me on my first redfish and on this trip was with me for my first slam. Hard to believe a big time flats angler like myself would not have many slams (are you laughing?). It was true. Finally though I got it done. In November no less. I did not have a great day as I only caught those three fish but considering the weather and being a little rusty I was grateful. I should put this in perspective though and note that I read in a Miami online newspaper an account of a 9 year old who also got his first slam that weekend. I am glad he won't have to wait as long as I did.

It is good to be back on the water. I look forward to getting my next article up and adding several photo sets from trips over the past year that are just waiting for comments to publish in the photo section. I hope you will stop back in a few weeks and check up on me for the new article. As always I welcome submissions for stories, photos, fishing reports, tips, almost anything that can help other flats anglers have more fun and become a better fisherman. If you do not see a new article I hope you will send me a letter urging me to get to work on it.

Let me know what you think.

Good Fishing,

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