Fishing Tournament Winner

Congratulations to Suzann Troesch from Leesburg, FL who swept three categories of  a Redfish tournament: Ladies, Seniors, and overall.  “Hunt for Reds” is held in Titusville, FL every year and no one has ever won all three categories before last Wednesday.

Redfish with multiple spots

Suzann used mullet heads to catch her Redfish. We talked about cutting the mullet in half when bait fishing.  Fishermen and women all over the east coast of Florida talk about this technique and it worked again in this tournament. It’s also interesting that the prizewinning RedFish has spots.  The Redfish is in the drumfish family, similar to the Spotted Sea Trout, but usually contains only a single spot, by the tail.

 

 

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Fishing Trip Checklist

Whether casting from your own dock,  travelling to a fishing hole, or going out on a boat,  here’s some basic items to keep with reach.

  1. Rod and Reel
  2. Fishing line
  3. Hooks
  4. swivels
  5. lures
  6. bait
  7. knife
  8. plyers
  9. bobbers
  10. sinkers
  11. Fish bucket
  12. Bait bucket
  13. Hand Net
  14. Stringer
  15. Polarized Sunglasses
  16. Water
  17. Snacks
  18. Suntan Lotion
  19. Bug Spray
  20. Jacket/Raingear
  21. Fishing License
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10-6-12 – Why Hunt When You Can Fish! « D & B Ice Adventures’s Blog

10-6-12 – Why Hunt When You Can Fish! « D & B Ice Adventures’s Blog.

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Shrimp Fishing

Nearly 3 Million people live in Taipei is the capital city of Taiwan. Not an exceptionally crowded city, but like any urban dwellers, residents are left craving nature. A popular solution is  indoor shrimp fishing.

A hatchery on a shrimp farm in South Korea.

A hatchery on a shrimp farm in South Korea. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Locals and tourists catch shrimp using a small rod and line with a tiny hook baited with small pieces of meat. The regular customers pull in dozens of them, and at some indoor shrimp pools the locals even help the tourists with fishing techniques.

I’m dying to try fishing for shrimp with a rod and reel, and I may not need to travel to the far east to start honing my shrimp fishing techniques.  There are shrimp right here in the canals of Cocoa Beach.

 

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Bait Fishing

Bait fishing requires a little more effort up front than lure fishing, but that leaves more time for relaxing once you’ve cast out your bait. After that it’s a waiting game.

Bait Bucket

Bait Bucket

When bait fishing,  You’ll need something to keep the bait alive.  A bait bucket works great.  You can tie it to a dock post and float it right alongside your dock.  These buckets are designed to keep the water oxygenated and fresh.

 Live Shrimp

Live shrimp are available by the dozen at your local bait shop.  If you bring your bait bucket by they’ll fill it right up for you.  Make sure to get true live ones as sometimes they don’t do so well hanging around the tanks at the shop.

Hooking Shrimp

Baiting the hook with shrimp requires caution.  Shrimp have little claws and can pinch.  Prevent this by picking them up from their back.    Then thread the hook through the shrimps outer shell near the tail.  The hook should go through the shell on both sides. If the shrimp is large, thread the hook all the way through its body, then re-hook it closer to the front.

Shrimp Rig

Shrimp work great when floating about a foot below the surface. Attach a hook to your swivel rig, then placing a bobber 12 inches or so above it.  Try varying the depth of the shrimp and see what works best.

Finger Mullet

We learned to catch finger mullet with a net in Free Bait for Life.  Finger mullet can last for hours in a bait bucket.  To hook one, grab em from the front letting them try to swim into your hand.  Then hook it from above, just behind the dorsal fin.  Watch that dorsal fin too, it’s pretty sharp.

Another option is cutting the mullet in half before hooking it.   This attracts bait by releasing oils into the water.

The two hook rig is a great option when fishing with finger mullet.

Pinfish

 Pinfish must taste great because even pinfish eat pinfish.  The Blue Heron has developed a technique for avoiding their prickly fins while gulping them down whole.

You may want to develop your own pinfish handling skills to avoid being pricked.

To safely grab a pinfish, firmly grip him from the head between the thumb and forefingers.  Then hook him in, through the open mouth and out through the small nostril just above the mouth on either side of his face.  It’s an easy hook, and the pinfish doesn’t seem to mind. There are kids out there with face piercings that were more painful than this.  When you toss him back in the water he’ll be swiming around freely.  The other pinfish will all be like “Nice metal.” Where’d you get that?”.

Now that the hook is baited the fun begins.  Cast it out there, and Voilà, you’re fishing.

 

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Lure Fishing

Lure Fishing

Catching a fish with a lure is a special thrill.  The fisherman is actively involved in the catch, having made the lure appear alive.  The tricks to  bringing a lure to life are fun and easy to learn.

Spotted Sea Trout on a Top Lure

Surface Lures.

There are many types of lures that target different fish, in general they fall into two categories,  Surface Lures and Swimbait.  Surface Lures, also known as top lures,  are colorful and fun.  They can be artificial flies, spoons designed to reflect sun or moonlight, or bizarre looking little floating critters designed to entice a curious predator.   Fishing with a surface lure requires creativity.  The goal is to make the lure seem alive.  Casting the lure, then slowly reeling it in is one very basic technique.  But varying this motion is the key to attracting fish. It helps to stop reeling sometimes, giving your pretend bait a little breather.  Then gently tug the line, making your lure dance in the water.   Another technique is making your lure swim in a zig zag motion known to fishermen as  walking the dog.  This is achieved  by holding your rod out to the left for two turns of the reel, followed by out to the right for two turns.

Swimbait

Swimbait are heavier lures designed to look like bait fish. They are further categorized as plugs, minnows or artificial worms.   These lures  swim under the surface or along the bottom.  You can use similar techniques as above in reeling in these heavier lures.  Again the goal is to make the lure seem alive. and not too mechanical.  For an alternative technique try crawling the bottom. First you let the lure sink to the bottom , then slowly drag it along as if  it were exploring the ocean floor.

Artificial Shrimp

Some fishermen fish with lures exclusively.  It’s a more active kind of fishing, and very rewarding.  It also breaks the routine when nothings hitting on the live bait. To get started with lure fishing, pick up one each of a Surface Lure and Swimbait and experiment with them both.  Happy luring!

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Mullet Run

Finger Mullet

Finger Mullet

The Mullet are running in Cocoa Beach.

Last night I caught about a dozen of these little guys in one cast. Mullet are vegetarians, and have small mouths, so you can only catch them with a net. But they make great bait. Snook, Sea Trout and Catfish all love to chow down on chunks of mullet, and snack on tasty little finger mullet.

I set up a two hook rig with a finger mullet on one hook, and a chunk of mullet on the other.  Each piece of bait attracts fish in its own way. Fish smell the oils from the chunk and are excited by the natural movement of the live bait.

Mullet Rig

Two hook Mullet rig

After I threw this rig in the water, I left my dock looking for a screwdriver to fix and old reel.  When I got back, the bobber was under water.

Catfish

Catfish

This 15 inch catfish had gulped both the finger mullet and the chunk.  I removed one hook from his lip, but the other hook was in his stomach,  so I cut the line just inside his mouth and threw him back.  The hooks they ingest eventually get eliminated.

Everyone is talking about the mullet run in Cocoa Beach these days. When the mullet run the predators are never far behind.  It makes for great fishing!

 

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