Friday, August 24, 2012

Palm Valley Payback

I just picked up my new Carolina Skiff, a 218 DLV, with a Mercury 150 4-stroke, on a Float-On trailer.
 I've got to break in the engine this week, so we can hit the road, shooting new episodes next Monday. I can't wait to get it in the water! I load the boat with a little bit of fishing gear, just in case, and the cameras to get some footage of the new boat in the water. We head to the Palm Valley ramp, launch the boat, and look at the nearby shoreline and see my buddies Austin, Brandon, & Malachy fishing.
I yell out, " What are you guys doing here?"
Austin replies, "Hammering the flounder, come here, I'll show you!"
Austin whips out his phone to show me pictures of the two door mats he caught the day before.

I said, "Well, you guys owe me a trip anyway!"
After clearing the plan with their parents, the boys hop aboard to show me where the fish are. Well, we are here, and we are fishing... Might as well pull out the cameras! The guys had already cast netted live finger mullet that morning, so we pull across from the ramp, anchor up, and start to fish. The guys start telling me of all their recent catches, as they have been combing every inch of shoreline, in search of that perfect spot. These guys are living proof that you don't half to have a boat to live the Salt Life- they are at it every day! I think these three could catch a fish out of a mud puddle...
All of the sudden, Austin's line gets tight...

After a short battle, he has a nice flattie boat side.
Which is when I remember, I didn't bring a landing net.... Oops.
After a brief boat side fiasco, We somehow manage to fling the flounder into the boat.
Malachy decided to go artificial- tying on a half ounce C & H Alien jig tipped with a 3 1/2" fishbites paddle tail. Right before he casts, he said, "Flounder love these things."

and within seconds, he's hooked up! Not a big fish, but as Malachy exclaims, "Hey, it's a flounder! And I called it."
The next hour passes quickly, landing a few mangrove snapper, then it's Brandon's turn.
While slowly working his finger mullet back to the boat, the fish slams his bait and screams the drag.
"This isn't any flounder!" Brandon exclaims. And in no time, Brandon has a nice redfish boat side. With heavy thunderstorms rolling in, we had to call the trip short and put the boat on the trailer.

I enjoyed my payback trip, fishing with the guys, in their element.
You can follow these guys living the Salt Life everyday on their YouTube channel
Til next time, livin the Salt Life
Slimy 5's,

Capt Don

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Cobia Fishing With Friends

Its  prime time for cobia, running along the beaches of NE FL, my home. Each year thousands of cobia migrate up the coast,  heading North to spawn.  As any angler will tell you, sight fishing for any species is a thrill.  You can usually find the cobia hitching a ride on huge manta rays as they glide near the surface. The boat is gassed up and ready, it's definitely time for a little r & d on the new Salt Life jigs. So I grab a few spinners, and call my buddies Austin, Brandon, & Malachy- these three guys live the Salt Life every day... The are always fishing .  
As I pull up to the ramp, they are waiting.  I load the boys & their gear in the boat and tell them to get ready for launch.  I'm pretty sure Austin had never launched a boat of this size off the trailer, now's a good time to learn! 

After a smooth launch and a short ride on the St Johns to the Mayport inlet, it's time for all eyes on board to locate the fish.  
"quick, a free swimmer at two o'.clock, hurry, hurry, hurry!"

Too late... We just didn't see the fish until the boat was too close.
"9:00, a big manta ray!" Austin yells.
But no cobia. 
And so the morning went.
We spotted ray after ray, but no fish.
One more time, "a big ray at 1:00!"
The boys grab their rods and begin to cast.

 I had brought one small rod with a Fin Noir spinner, loaded with 12lb Ande line, just in case we saw a triple tail... The next thing I know, I see Malachy slinging a Salt Life jig towards the ray, on the same small outfit.  BAM!

 He's on. The fish hit like a freight train, screaming drag... 
The smallest angler on the boat with the smallest rod on the boat- battling the fish of the day...
Austin & Brandon cleared the deck.

After an epic 20 minute battle, Malachy pulls the fish boat side for me to stick him with the gaff.
Whooooooo hooooooo that's what I'm talking about!
Excitement and Slimy 5's filled the deck.  
Nice fish.

Talk about a proud angler, and what a team effort. 
With no more rays on the horizon, we resort to blind casting into the pogey pods, which produced a dozen blue fish or so, Austin even landed two at once, throwing a C & H Alien jig. 

Time to head to the house, another good trip in the books. A day, I guarantee you these three guys, nor myself, will soon forget.  As we end the day, I say "you guys we me a trip."
Austin says, "you can count on it Capt Don." with a firm handshake.

Another day, livin the Salt Life.

Slimy 5's,

Capt Don

Monday, August 20, 2012

Fight Like a Girl Benefit!

Salt Life will be holding a benefit to raise money for Logan Willey on August 22nd, starting 5p.m. at the Salt Life Food Shack

Learn more about Logan and the cancer she is fighting:

Cervical cancer is a type of cancer that starts in the cervix and can spread to other parts of the body, like most cancers. Cervical cancer is the third most common type of cancer in the world. It develops slowly, so it is usually found in the beginning stages and can usually be treated. You can get cervical cancer from several different things, such as: HPV, STDs, weak immune system and of course through heredity (like myself). The signs that you have the disease vary, so ladies keep yourselves informed, and get regular visits to your Obgyn.

Once you are diagnosed with having cervical cancer your doctor will do staging to figure out how serious it is. If you catch it in the first stages then there are several ways to remover the tumor with many complications. Some of these include the LEEP surgery, lazier therapy and cryotherapy. However if your cancer has developed further then you have to have an abrasive procedure or surgery (which usually makes it so that you can never have children). Another option is to do chemotherapy, and/or radiation therapy. I am only 21 yrs old right now and my mom was told she was never going to be able to have kids, yet here I am. 

I will not take the risk, so I am electing to do a combination of external radiation therapy and Cisplatin for chemotherapy. Chemotherapy is administered through a vein and has the highest rate of success to decrease cancer cells. Side effects include everything from vomiting to hair and taste lost. But it's worth it. I've been told I may not lose my hair because of my scalp therapy and because of the low dosage i'm going to be given daily. I will be okay if I take all the necessary steps to get rid of it. I will however have to take off work and change some of my daily lifestyle while undergoing treatment. I am starting treatment in the beginning of September at the Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York, New York. With all funds raised then I will be paying for my treatment. Any other money raised will be donated to the National Cervical Cancer Coalition, For more information on this organization visits: By wearing my band your showing help, love, and support- thank you for that!
-Logan Willey