FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
I furnish water, assorted sodas and ice. If you want to bring Gatorade, Power-Ade or other drinks, I have plenty of room in my cooler. I bring my own lunch, you should bring yours or whatever you want to eat while on the boat.
WHAT SHOULD I BRING?
POLARIZED SUNGLASSES: besides fishing equipment, a pair of good polarized sunglasses is most important to have. Not all polarized sunglasses are 100% polarized. The reason the % of polarization is imperative is so you have a better chance of seeing fish in the water.
A HAT OF YOUR OWN CHOOSING
SET OF FOUL WEATHER GEAR
SUNSCREEN: apply BEFORE getting on the boat; not only will the sunscreen work best on your skin before getting too warm, but you can wash the negative scent off your hands so the smell won’t be transferred to the flies you handle.
RODS: for redfish, snook and trout we use 8wt or 9wt rods; even 6wt or 7wt rods if you want to be real sporty. For tarpon we use multiple piece 11wt, 12wt or 13wt rods.
If you are looking to buy fly-fishing rods for tarpon, redfish, snook, trout or some offshore pelagics, I recommend a fast action graphite rod which will enable you to make longer, quicker, more accurate presentations. I suggest a 9′ multiple piece (3 or 4 pieces) which are easy to travel with.
OR, if you are in the market to buy a rod, use mine first and try out the best.
REELS: it’s not important to have an expensive fly reel because it is simply a line keeper when fly fishing for smaller gamesters such as redfish, snook, trout and small tarpon up to 30 pounds. We commonly use a very light drag; if additional pressure is needed, the fly rodder palms the reel. You don’t need to spend $500-$600 for a reel for these species if you don’t want to.
Now tarpon is a different story. A reel made from bar stock aluminum with a smooth precision drag is recommended. (I use Abel reels.) Here you need to spend the big bucks – or use my equipment. With tarpon we have to use a combination of drag and palming.
FLY LINES: it’s important to buy good weight forward fly line for saltwater fishing. There are two that seem to work best for my anglers – Scientific Anglers and Rio. The reason I recommend these two manufacturers is because they make a fly line that has a harder outer core as well as a braided monofilament inner core (what we refer to as hard fly lines, the opposite of supple). For our saltwater use the harder fly lines cast SO much better.
IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS ABOUT FLY FISHING EQUIPMENT, CALL OR Email ME. I CAN CERTAINLY HELP YOU WITH ANY DECISIONS YOU NEED TO MAKE.
WADE BOOTS: there are times we get out of the boat and do some wade fishing. A comfortable pair of shallow water wade boots could be brought along if you want – it’s not imperative.
WHAT KIND OF BOATS I HAVE
SKINNY WATER: my skinny water boat is a 16’2″ Action Craft that I pole across the flats to hunt and stalk redfish, snook and trout (in some instances even tarpon – read my page about tarpon fishing). I can fish up to 2 anglers comfortably. This boat is powered by Yamaha.
Over the years, after fishing in standard flats boats, I determined that specializing in fly fishing meant I needed a very quiet boat to hunt and stalk fish in our clear waters. This is unlike spin fishing which doesn’t require the angler to get as close to the fish to make a cast. The design of my boat is engineered to eliminate the noise of water slap against the hull as I push pole across the flats. Therefore, it moves silently through the water. If the fish can’t hear us or see us they don’t know we’re tracking them. This is a great advantage for my fly fishermen giving them many opportunities to not only make more casts but get more hookups than in a standard hull designed boat.
TARPON AND OFFSHORE FISHING: the other Action Craft flats boat is 20’2″ long with an 8′ beam, powered by the new Yamaha 3.3 liter 225 HPDI V-max engine. I use this boat primarily for tarpon fishing mid-April through June when the tarpon are migrating through our area.
My fly rodders like my boat better than other kinds of tarpon boats because it’s roomy, fast and they can fly cast comfortably and without interference. Two anglers can cast at the same time to pods of tarpon. I put one fly fisherman on the bow and the other on the stern. It doesn’t seem to make any difference which end of the boat you cast from, they are equally as effective on hookups. It’s not uncommon to get dual hookups. Oh boy!
When tarpon fishing it’s important to have a fast boat. Sometimes we have to hunt for tarpon is they spread out. We have to travel to a few different spots during the course of a fly fishing day. Being a fast boat, we’re able to travel between spots in a relatively short period of time comfortably cruising about 40-45 mph (at about half throttle).
When we are on the pods of tarpon, we use electric motor in quiet pursuit of the tarpon. I have two stern electric powered motors and a remote controlled bow mount electric motor.
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