“Silver Lining”

benson_silverliningI was fortunate to see an early edit of this new short film by Will Benson a couple of months ago, and it must be said that ignoring the gorgeous shots of gulping tarpon is pretty hard.  But the real message here is that once again the local government in Key West is willing to sell their paradise to the highest bidder–in this case mega cruise ships, most of them registered in foreign countries so that they don’t have to obey US laws regarding pollution or environmental damage.

Worth watching for the sips and jumps, but media that needs and deserves some love on your favorite social media channel. [Read more…]

2013 Backcountry Fly Championship

backcountryflyThis past Friday and Saturday  19 teams of guides and anglers set out from The Lorelei Marina in Islamorada, FL with the goal of catching the largest 2 snook and redfish on fly rods. The Backcountry Fly Championship allows you to score your largest 2 redfish and the largest 2 snook each day for two days. The Grand Champion is the angler that has accumulated the most total inches with their longest 2 redfish and 2 snook.

The Grand Champion Team of Rick Moeller of Islamorada and Capt. Mark Gilman of Islamorada scored big by winning the championship and also capturing the largest snook and the largest redfish honors. Their largest Redfish measured 26.5” and 27” and Snook of 28” and 29.5” for a grand total of 111 points. The closest team, taking Runner-up to Grand Champion honors, was Frank Criscola of Far Hills, NJ with Capt. Chris Jones of Islamorada, scoring 99.5 points.

There were 8 teams which measured their limit of 2 snook and 2 reds. 27 snook and 31 redfish were measured during the 2 day event.

Custom engraved Nautilus fly reels were the awards and the winning team of Moeller and Gilman took 6 of them. The kick-off dinner was held at The Shrimp Shack in Islamorada and the awards BBQ was held on the beach at The Lorelei Cabana Bar in Islamorada.

Due to popular demand we will hold a fall version of this event in October this year. It will be The Backcountry Fly Fall Championship BFFC.  Contact Capt. Paul Tejera @ Captbackbone@gmail.com for more information about this tournament and others.

Tournament Director : Capt. Paul Tejera

Tournament Chairman :  Mike Criscola


Maverick’s New 17 HPX-V 2

Maverick 2013 HPX-V 2Maverick 2013 HPX-V 2

Maverick 2013 HPX-V 2

Yes, they added a ‘2’ to the name to help distinguish it as a new model, but the only visible changes to Maverick’s long-live HPX line (which started with the Mirage in the 1990s) is a reconfiguration of the hatch and livewell/storage layout.

I spoke with Charlie Johnson, Maverick’s marketing director, just after the Miami Boat Show this past weekend, and he said that the new 17 HPX-V 2 helped them reach record sales at the show.   Continuing a trend that started about two years ago, it’s nice to hear that one of the mainline brands is reporting growth.  Johnson fished on the new 17, rigged with a 70 Yamaha, during the show and and reported: “Two or three shoves of the pushpole and that skiff is going.   It tracks better than any skiff I’ve poled in that size range.”

So what’s the new cap and deck layout all about?   “The newer layout simply makes the boat much more user-friendly,” said Johnson. ” There’s more storage in the bow and stern, and it’s all much easier to access. Plus, the livewell is  now on the centerline, which helps with balance and stability, and there’s a padded lip underneath where the back deck protrudes slightly into the cockpit that functions as a very comfortable handhold for passengers. All this was done without impacting the famous 17 HPX-V ride.”

I’ll be spending some time hands-on in the new skiff in a few weeks and will be able to offer up my personal impressions then.  If anyone has specific questions about the skiff, add them to the comments here or send them to me at mcutchin@midcurrent.com.

Florida Moves to Make Tarpon a Catch-and-Release-Only Species

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has voted to move forward with plans to make tarpon a catch and release only species, thereby prohibiting gaff and drag PTTS-style fishing. The proposal is backed by Save The Tarpon Inc. and other conservation groups.

Actual Vs. Relative

Suddenly faced with the prospect of having to catch a nice bonefish for the camera(s) this week, I began thinking What’s my strategy?

I thought back to the mid-1980s when I had to catch a bonefish for the Key West aquarium and what I did then: even though it was the middle of December and water temps were in the low 70s, I knew I could hit the outgoing tide on Marvin Key’s ancient flats and lure some big bones off the reef with the smell of shrimp.  How did I learn that?  One of my first charters, who was desperate to catch a fish on cold day, inspired me to try something I’d never tried before.   It was just a theory–that it wasn’t always about the actual water temperature that made fish appear, but relative water temperature.  I still include that in all of my assumptions about finding fish.

At least 50% of what I know about fly fishing in saltwater derived from baitfishing in saltwater.  I probably saw 1000 permit landed on live crabs before I ever saw one caught on fly.  So chunking smelly heads and tails into the outgoing tide isn’t a repugnant thought.   It’s just that it takes time away from doing what I love best, which  is the hard stuff.

So please, take your picture and let’s get on with it.

Permit Fishing in the Lower Florida Keys

benson_permitCaptain Will Benson produced this film short on permit fishing in Florida’s Lower Keys. [Read more…]

“Riders on the Storm”

Bonefishing Riders on the StormC1 Films captures the mood while filming on a recent trip to Andros. [Read more…]

New Gear: Plano Flex N Go Satchel

plano_flexngoPlano’s fully interchangeable Flex ‘N Go Tackle Satchel stands upright like a briefcase and features adjustable built-in storage with a deep bin on one side and framework for a pair of swappable Plano 3600 StowAway® boxes on the other – each Stowaway held securely with a flexible strap.

Towhee Boats Sponsors Muskie Fly Fishing World Championships

The 2013 Musky Fly Fishing World Championship, presented by Towee Boats, will be held October 25, 26 and 27 at Treeland’s Resort on the famed Chippewa Flowage near Hayward, Wisconsin.  This year’s expanded schedule will feature three days of fishing on some of the world’s finest musky waters along with events each evening, new gear presentations, fly tying, Primo Tail’s Musky Ball and special guest angler Kelly Galloup. Proceeds from the event will benefit Wounded Warriors in Action, The Jose Wejebe Foundation  / Make A Wish and musky conservation efforts.  For more info contact  Todd Gregory (todd@toweeboats.com  931-224-8181).

Charles Edison’s Tarpon

edisons_tarponA guide working at the Thomas Edison house in Fort Myers shares the story of Charles Edison’s tarpon, which he caught at the age of 12 and is hanging on a wall at the estate.

[Read more…]