S14:E2 - “Captains For Clean Water” (2019)
Daniel Andrews of Captains for Clean Water discusses the state of the Everglades.
S14:E11 - “Paddleboard Everglades” (2019)
Captains Tom & Rich try something new by using paddleboards in the Everglades to sneak up on Snook.
S14:E10 - “Yellowjacks Of Home” (2019)
Tom & Rich don't have to travel far for yellowjack & other desirable fish in the Middle Florida Keys
S14:E9 - “Blacktips By Spin And Fly” (2019)
Tom Rowland & Rich Tudor set out for a fish that always entertains: the acrobatic Blacktip Shark.
S14:E8 - “Snappers In The Mangroves” (2019)
Tom Rowland & Rich Tudor get back to the basics with a day of Snapper fishing around Florida Bay.
S14:E7 - “Ballyhoo Sprays” (2019)
Captain Tom Rowland and Captain Rich Tudor spend some time on the reefs in the Middle Florida Keys.
When I discovered that guiding anglers was actually a way to make a living, I dove in head first. My career started in Jackson, WY at Bressler Outfitters. I was the everything guy who was the lowest on the totem pole and called “The Swamper”. I did everything from changing bearings on trailers to taking firewood to camp. I also got to do some guiding when everyone else was full and when they weren’t it was up to me to go teach fly casting at local guest ranches to try to recruit some trips.
You know you are approaching the halfway mark to Key West when the Seven Mile Bridge approaches into view. If this is your first time visiting the Florida Keys, you will quickly notice stretches of unaccessible bridge close by. Built from the instruction of Henry Flagler, Flagler had designed a railway that transported people to Key West, known as the Overseas Railroad. Due to a hurricane in 1935, the railroad bridge was destroyed (now referred to as the Old Seven Mile Bridge) and a new bridge was built in it’s place in 1982 for automobile use only.
Located on Duck Key, Hawks Cay Resort is a perfect location for fishing, sight-seeing, and diving. Only a mile away offshore, fishing at Hawks Cay is an easily accessible activity to do at the Florida Keys. Though there is a great variety out in the water, here are my top five favorite fish to catch near Hawks Cay:
Barracuda Tackle has a history of developing high quality fishing tackle, but in the the mid-1900’s they actually were manufacturing parts for the U.S. Navy. After the war ended, Barracuda Tackle picked up the fishing game and they began looking into cast nets.
Today, Barracuda is making the best and most innovative cast nets on the market. Not only do they come in custom colors, but they come with the easiest opening nets we have ever thrown, making these “Famous Fish Getters” our favorite.
In our world, a cast net is not only a necessity, but a crucial piece of equipment used day in and day out. We are constantly looking for the best, and we have found them. Whether inshore, offshore, big baits or small, Barracuda nets have a wide selection that allows us to have the perfect net for every situation.
If you are looking for a new net, give these guys a serious look.
Thats all for now,
Capts Tom & Rich
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.
In my professional as a fishing guide in the Florida keys, the most important thing that I can do is continually learn new spots. Learning how to explore areas quickly is one of the most valuable skills a guide or angler can acquire. I used to run up to a flat and then pole it as fast as I could. The first time I ever went to the flat, I wasn’t completely concerned about actually catching the fish that are there, but more concerned with discovering if this was a spot worth returning to.
Braided line has revolutionized inshore saltwater fishing. The thin diameter and extreme strength enables us to use lighter tackle to cast farther and fight bigger fish than ever before.
Over the years my preference for braided lines has changed as technology has continued to evolve. I am confident that the new Daiwa J Braid is my favorite braided line to date. The line is made with eight strands braided together to form a perfectly round profile. This is important to the performance as it really seems to help avoid tangles while being able to cast farther. In addition, this line seems to be the strongest line per diameter that I have ever used. Check out this chart from the Daiwa J Braid Website that compares traditional monofilament diameter and strength to J Braid:
10 lb test braid is the diameter of 2.5 lb test monofilament. 15 is the same as 4 lb and 20 is the same diameter as 6 lb test mono. The diameter is important to me because I can cast farther than ever before. I can also use much smaller reels and much lighter tackle than it used to require to fish for the same fish. For situations that I was using a 5000 size reel I am now quite confident in using a Daiwa Saltist 3000. The difference in weight and castability is big for me but a game-changer for a little kid. Tackle that is easy to handle and lightweight results in kids being more comfortable in fishing situations and they tend to stick with it longer.
I like that the line comes in several colors. Traditionally, I have preferred dark green, but I am coming around to the light blue shade. I like to think that our inshore saltwater fish may think it looks like the sky. I guess if cast properly, the fish would never see the line but I am confident in the dark green as being pretty invisible and from my experience lately, the light blue seems to do an equal job.
The most common question I receive is about knots with braided line. “How do you tie braided line to fluorocarbon?” I find that all my favorite knots work just fine with Daiwa J Braid and I haven’t needed to alter anything.
Here are videos of my top 3 braid to fluorocarbon knots:
Let me know if you have any other questions about braided line. Happy to help, and feel free to leave a comment.
If you are interested in purchasing Saltist reels, I suggest going to Bass Pro. Here is a link for easy reference:
See you on the water,