Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Hook The Future's Kids Fishing Clinics at the Palm Beach International B...

Here's a clip with all my friends at the Palm Beach International Boat Show Hook The Future Kid's Fishing Clinics.
Passing on the Salt Life, everyday!

Slimy 5's,

Capt Don

Hook The Future Kid's Fishing Clinics at the Jax Boat Show

We're back in my home town at the Jacksonville Boat Show, hosting the Hook the Future Kid's Fishing Clinic.

At the clinics, kids (and parents) learn about fishing the water column, catch and release techniques, lure selection, knot tying and much more.

Each year we are overwhelmed at the number of kids and parents that come through our clinic! This year was no different. You know there are a lot of people when the Fire Marshall keeps coming down to shift the crowd around...so many kids!

This year is even more exciting! We've teamed up with the Jacksonville University Marine Research Center, who brought in a touch tank with live creatures from our river for the kids to interact with.

Species included, flounder, mud minnows, shrimp, jellyballs, even a freshwater eel! The kids loved it!

Big Slimy 5's to Dr Quinton White and all of the JU staff and students who helped make it possible!

We've been hosting the clinics for years now, it's very rewarding to have kids and parents come back to share fish stories from the past year. The clinics are about teaching kids and parents the fundamentals of fishing, but also to send a much bigger message.. reminding parents how blessed they are, to enjoy their kids, and to try to have fun the next time they're on the water!
We end each clinic with a free kids only raffle giving away a ton of gear. Salt life products are always a hit! Until next time, passing on the Salt Life one kid at a time.....

Slimy 5's,

Capt Don

Swordfish bite is off the hook!

The daytime swordfish bite has been off the hook! Three past "Hook the Future" anglers have caught fish over 250lbs this week. 280, 520, and two over 600 pounds! It's time to drop everything, change every important plan, call my good friend Capt Bill Dobbelaer, and talk him into doing the same. Bill is one of the best fishermen I know and specializes in swords. But I really call Bill 'cause his son Kobe is one of the best Swordfish anglers I know. Better get my Salt Life tee and hit the water!

We leave Jacksonville Wednesday night, swing through New Symrna to pick up our A-Camera man, Conrad and make it to the hotel in Lauderdale around 12:30 AM. Alarm at 4:30 , a quick breakfast and head to the boat. If we don't get 'em today, it won't be because of the crew! With Bill on the helm, Kobe on the Reel and fellow Sword addict Capt. Mike Johnson, taking a day off from his boat to come chase fish with us.

An unexpected squall is moving through, delaying our departure and stirring up the seas, but that doesn't detour our determined crew. We plowed out and finally began our first drop. Even with a 12 pound weight it takes a while to hit bottom in 1650 foot of water. Swords don't seem to be so picky as far as bait is concerned. Bonita or mahi bellies, eels... to tell you the truth it doesn't seem to matter. On the other end a Dolphin Elect reel. You just gotta' have one! The right tool for the job makes all the diffidence! You can use the hand crank or go electric at anytime. Let me tell you, if you've ever reeled up from 1650 foot to check the bait with a hand cranking, you'll with you had a Dolphin elect reel!

First drop, second drop, third drop... no luck... One soft bite, but didn't come back for it. Bill uses the new C chirp technology through his Airmar transducer to mark big schools of squid on the bottom and actually marking the swords feeding. At over 1500 feet... that's pretty impressive!

The day rolls on, stories abound, but no fish. It's after 5, we have to drive back to Jax, no bites... keep dropping. Finally on the last drop, a hit! The line comes tight and we're on! Kobe works the reel like a pro, Bill keeps the boat in position and Capt Mike is ready to leader, and cameras are rolling! Finally, what we came for! After a good fight, Kobe manages to pull the fish to the surface, just a pup, but we got one! One line, one bait, in over 1600 foot of water.... sometimes not such an easy task. After a quick release(check out the video), and Slimy 5's all around, we loaded up and headed for the house.

Even though fishing wasn't as epic as we had hoped today, to spend time on the water with good friends, doing what I love..... I would drop everything again in a heartbeat to come back.... and we will! Livin' the Salt Life... everyday!

Slimy 5's,

Capt Don

Monday, April 9, 2012

Bottom Fishing in Tarpon Springs

This week we're in Tarpon Springs... What a unique place! A famous sponge diving port back in the day, Tarpon Springs gives you the feel of "Old Florida". Good people, great food and atmosphere.... just a cool place.

My good friend, Pat Bennet, has been fishing these water for a long time and offered to put us on the fish anytime, So here we are! Pat is also the founder of E-Searider Marine seating. If you've never ridden in an E-searider, you're missing out! It's simply the most comfortable ride on the water! Their marine bean bags come in many shapes and models and fit every body type, so if you're tired of getting beat up on the ride out, give them a try. You'll thank me later.

Our plan was to film a Hook the Future episode chasing Red Grouper and Snapper with Pat's help,and have experienced bottom fishermen, Morgan and Austin as our anglers. We trailerd my Edgewater, the "Miss my Boy", from Jacksonville to Tarpon Springs arriving around 11pm the night before departure. Around midnight, I get a phone call telling me one of my best friends was in a life threatening car accident. Needless to say, we didn't get much sleep and my mind wasn't on fishing.

Conrad, our cameraman had driven over, hard plans had been made, and kids would be disappointed if we bailed on the trip. On top of that, I know my friend would have said. "take the kids fishing" .

So the next morning, we pull the trigger and meet Pat and the kids at ramp, launch the boat and we're heading out on a flat calm Gulf. I told Pat we had been up half the night worried about my buddy and I was gonna' throw it all on him. With that I turned over the wheel and plopped on my E-searider and crashed.

First stop...We caught fish on almost every drop! All Red Grouper. After twenty or so, we made a move.

Next spot.. More Red Grouper. Using C&H Alien Jigs, and Fishbites as bait, Morgan and Austin just kept reeling them in... these two are fishing machines!

We make another move and start catching good sized Red Snapper. Even though it was all catch and release due to the current closures and regulations, we had a great day on the water!

We got another great Hook the Future episode in the can, and more importantly created a new bond with a couple of special fishermen, that they will never forget. Slimy 5's to my friend Pat Bennett for going the extra mile and putting us on the fish. It's good to have friends who also live the Salt Life everyday!

Slimy 5's,

Capt Don

Disney Bass Fishing

Fun... I'm all about fun! I just can't think of any place in the world more associated with fun than Walt Disney World. We are fortunate enough to have the hook up to fish the lakes at Disney! It's a unique feeling lipping bass in from of the Magic Kingdom while people on the Riverboat cheer for ya'!

We met up with my friends and Disney guides Kevin and Roger behind the Contempary Resort, loaded the cameras and crew on two boats and headed across the lake to Fort Wilderness to pick up our anglers, Jocob and Carter are ready! These guys know how to fish... you can just feel it's gonna' be a good day!
We get to the first spot in short order, bait up and get the lines in the water. We're fishing live shiners with the new super sharp Trokar hooks by Eagle Claw. Let me tell ya' when a fish hits a Trokar hook, he's not getting off!

The first spot was a little slow, so we made a move. Within a couple of minutes the boys started hooking up! Fish after fish, talk about exciting, now this is fun! Over the next couple of hours, Jacob and Carter put a hurtin' on the bass! We lost count! Wow!

We got a great Hook the Future episode in the can, and more importantly shared a memory on the water with a couple of boys that will last a lifetime!

Like I said, Disney is fun, and fishing at Disney is no different. Great, knowledgeable guides who have fun all day and put you on the fish! What are you waiting for call (407)939-BASS (2277) or go online and book a fishing trip at Disney you and yours will never forget! Even on a fresh water lake, Livin' the Salt Life....Everyday!

Slimy 5's,

Capt Don

Salt Life fishing photo contest on now!

Grab your cameras and man those poles. You could win $25 in SaltLife.com cash by submitting your best fishing photos to us on Facebook!

It's easy - just head to this link, like us and enter your best catch. Every Friday throughout April, we'll select a winner. It's that simple! You can also vote on your favorite photos in case you're short on pictures. Head over to the contest page now and submit your favorite fishing photo!

Here are some recent fishing photos to inspire you!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Fishing With Dane

Check out the photo from a recent fishing trip with Salt Life team member, Dane Karcher.

Stay Salty!