Fishing-How To

FMT (Florida Marine Tracks) Navigates The Trickiest Path In The Florida Keys

FMT (Florida Marine Tracks) Navigates The Trickiest Path In The Florida Keys

Glenn Housman of FMT (Florida Marine Tracks) shows how his product works on a Simrad unit in the Lower Florida Keys. This is significant because this is a very tricky path to run. It can be done under good tide conditions with good light, but the repercussions of being even slightly off track are serious.

The Lower Florida Keys are home to some of the best fishing and also the fewest boats found almost anywhere in the entire chain of the Florida Keys. Why? It is because the bottom is concrete hard and extremely unforgiving. Many lower units have met their watery grave in these waters.

When Can I Catch A Tarpon? - Tarpon Fishing Calendar For The Florida Keys

When Can I Catch A Tarpon? - Tarpon Fishing Calendar For The Florida Keys

Tarpon are the ultimate gamefish. They are big and athletic, they jump when hooked and make insane drag screaming runs. People from all over the world descend on the Florida Keys to try to catch them. They are called the Silver King and that name stuck for a reason. They are the King of the gamefish found in the Florida Keys for several reasons:

Tom Rowland Podcast #0036 - Glenn Housman - Making Trails Through The State Of Florida

Tom Rowland Podcast #0036 - Glenn Housman - Making Trails Through The State Of Florida

As his vision became a reality, he collected the best aerial photography and then started running all over the Keys. When I say all over the Keys, I mean he ran everywhere. Every possible way that you can get through areas, he did. He also ran aground a few times. After the Keys were complete, he began running other areas, like the 10,000 Islands and eventually the entire State of Florida.

He has covered 1000’s of miles of inshore water in his skiff and kept these tracks over the years. Now, Florida Marine Tracks sells chips that can go into a Lowrance or Simrad unit and overlay the most incredible aerial photos and the actual safe tracks that Glen has run.

Tom Rowland Podcast - How 2 Tuesday - How To Quit Your Job And Become A Professional Fisherman

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Tom Rowland Podcast - How 2 Tuesday - How To Quit Your Job And Become A Professional Fisherman

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Synopsis

Check out How To Quit Your Job And Become A Professional Fisherman Blog

I guess that if you just continue to do what you love long enough, people just kind of figure that you are doing ok, or maybe it was the infectious positive attitude, or the 14 hour days that I never complained about, or that I was always doing 14 hour days for months at a time, and on the one day off that I might have, I would do an 18 hour day for my own enjoyment.  Behavior like this is so contrary to the 9-5 punch a clock mentality that is so prevalent in our society.

Sometimes, I find it a little funny that anyone would ask me for advice on how to get started.  It is funny because I did virtually everything wrong that can be done wrong and continued to do that until another “tipping point” where people just started assuming that if I had been doing it that way for a while, maybe it was the right way.

My father was not a professional fisherman or guide.  I did not grow up in the Keys or near the ocean.  I did not know anyone who had ever been a professional guide and I had only taken a couple of guided trips in my lifetime, from guides who were not people that I had any desire to emulate.

No, I just started fishing and loved it.  When I say that I loved it, I mean it.  Fishing became everything to me.  When I was fishing, I had complete tunnel vision and laser focus.   I was able to learn at a rate that I never knew in school and for the first time ever, I had a passion, an unrelenting desire to gain as much knowledge and experience as possible in the shortest amount of time.  This was new to me.

High school was tough for me.  I had no idea what I wanted to do and even less of a desire to figure it out.  College was even worse.

However, I did take a risk and applied for a job in Yellowstone National Park for a summer.  I got the job and found myself packing for a summer in a place I had never been before.  One thing that made it into the backpack was a 8 1/2 foot 4 piece 6 weight Western Series Orvis fly rod.  It was cool.  I had no idea how to use it.

Once out there, I found my way to the Yellowstone River and managed somehow to tie a fly onto a leader. Having no idea what I was doing, I walked down the bank of the river and looked into the water.  Floating 2 feet above the water was the most beautiful fish that I have ever seen.  It was a Yellowstone Cutthroat trout and it was precisely 19 1/4 inches long.

As I stared at the fish and tried to understand how and why it was floating above the water, it hit me.  Far from the muddy TN waters, I was just beginning to understand the beauty of the Rocky Mountains.  The fish wasn’t floating above the water, I had just never seen water this clear.  It was as if there was no water at all.  Confused, I started to put things together and the bottom, fish and surface of the water all began to align correctly and I realized that the fish was holding in the current about a foot below the surface.

Somehow, I managed to get my fly upstream of the fish and watched as he would not eat it because it was dragging unnaturally.  I tried for about 2 hours until I changed flies, moved, and finally was able to get the right drift to the fish.  As Yellowstone Cuttroats do, he tilted toward the surface, and began to slowly rise toward the fly.  This fish knew something was not right and he drifted under the fly for a foot or so before actually opening his mouth and eating it.  Miraculously, I set the hook and caught the fish.

When I landed the trout, I experienced an inner peace that I had never felt before.  As he slipped out of my hands and back into the river, I knew that I would be a fisherman forever.

Once I decided that I was going to be a fisherman in that moment on the Yellowstone River, I was committed.   So committed, in fact, that I probably should have been committed.  Nothing was going to stop me…nothing.

Not only was I willing to sleep in a car, scrub toilets, travel, work 18 hour days, make a fool out of myself, ask stupid questions, clean boats, hang around fly shops until they wanted to kick me out, work for free, be a camp cook, wash dishes, build fences, change bearings on trailers, take boat loads of firewood down class 2 whitewater, fix cars, teach flycasting for free, live in a commune with 20 other people, and many many other things to make it happen, but I did all of those things with a giant smile on my face.

I of course, like you, asked for advice and got plenty, but none that ever helped.  I looked for any help to try to make my dream a reality.  I am sure that some people probably gave me some great advice or contacts that may just not have made sense to me at the time.  The fact is that my story of how I was able to become a professional guide is quite the same as others I know that did it and continue to do it well.


Want the secret?  Well, here you go.  First, determine what you want.  You say that you want to work on a charter boat, others say they want to be a flats guide, an offshore guide, a tug boat captain, a trout fishing guide, an elk guide, a professional bow hunter…You name it.  The method is all the same.

Just do it.  That’s it.  Just go out there and do it.

You are not happy with your job, your life, your situation?  Change it.

Want to work on a charter boat…ok.  Go where there are charter boats.  Walk the docks.  Talk to the Captains and tell them you want to work for them.  They wont hire you?  Of course they won’t.  You just showed up!  Stick around and take their shit until they do (you will be tested, because they will dish out A LOT of shit).  Work for free, clean fish, scrub toilets, sleep in your car, LIVE in your car.  One day, someone wont show up and you will be in.  Then, you better work your ass off and make sure that the customers are happy, the boat is spotless and then clean it again. Be the best mate that has ever been on that boat, on that dock, in that town, in that State, in the United States, in the World.

I cant tell you how long it will take or if that first dock will be the right place, but if you are committed, it will happen for you.  Make your decision and do it.  In my opinion, being happy, hungry and doing what you want to do is better than being safe, fat and unhappy.

Did you like this podcast? Send me an email at podcast@saltwaterexperience.com or leave a comment. You can follow us on social media at

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That’s my advice. Take it or leave it

Tom Rowland

 

 


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Tom Rowland Podcast #0035 - Hunt Jennings -Keeping Cool While Plummeting Over 100 Foot Waterfalls In A Kayak

Tom Rowland Podcast #0035 - Hunt Jennings -Keeping Cool While Plummeting Over 100 Foot Waterfalls In A Kayak

Hunt Jennings is a professional Kayaker who is also working his way through Nursing School. His kayak life started early as a few teachers taught him a few things and gave him opportunities to learn. This was a springboard to spending a semester at a kayak school in lieu of traditional high school. Through this program, Hunt learned a lot about kayaking and even more about himself. Soon he was challenging not only his own limits but possibly the limits of the human body by doing several first descents on waterfalls over 100 feet tall.

Tom Rowland Podcast - How 2 Tuesday - How To Set Your Drag Perfectly For Saltwater Gamefish - Feat. Capt. Bouncer Smith

Tom Rowland Podcast - How 2 Tuesday - How To Set Your Drag Perfectly For Saltwater Gamefish - Feat. Capt. Bouncer Smith

How to set your drag perfectly for saltwater gamefish - Feat. Capt. Bouncer Smith

Capt. Bouncer Smith is a legendary Sportfishing Captain in South Florida. He was inducted into the IGFA Legendary Captains and Crew, received the Hyman Award from the MET Tournament, has over 70 World Records to his credit and has a legion of customers who love and adore him. Over his 52 year career, he has won more tournaments than most people ever enter and he continues to be recognized for his work with tagging and conservation. I sat down with Bouncer and he went over exactly how to set your drag on your saltwater tackle for success. Bouncer gives some excellent advice including:

Tom Rowland Podcast - How 2 Tuesday - How To How To Catch More Sailfish - Feat. Peter Miller

Tom Rowland Podcast - How 2 Tuesday - How To How To Catch More Sailfish - Feat. Peter Miller

Peter Miller is the host of Bass2Billfish and Uncharted Waters with Peter Miller.  In addition to that, Peter is also the 3 time World Sailfish Champion.  Peter joins us today on How2Tuesday to talk about how to catch more sailfish .  Peter gives some excellent advice including: