Friday, September 6, 2013

A few Pomps

Thing's may be picking up here in NE Florida. Water clarity, moon phase,wind and tide need to click right.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Beaches in Northeast Florida

Due to a relatively mild winter and a lack of weather, the beaches in the NE Florida area have become low impact with hard sand. The water is clean with alot of sand out to about 300 yds at high tide. If you are going to fish the beach, fish with the outgoing. There is a clearly defined cut line where the water turns aqua. The fish are there,not in abundance, but if you can reach it they will bite. Fishing inside the cut will produce small fish and bare hooks. Cast out to the cutline for some nice Pompano and large whiting if you can. I have seen several reports recently in the local vicinity that show mediocre results. I can attest that is the least with the guys that I have witnessed wading out to chest high water and throwing it out less than 75 yards. Learn to cast.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Free Pompano Rig

The Internal Revenue Service wants to fish better
It appears as though the IRS wants to learn to fish better. This a recent inquiry to this site. My Pompano rigs ....a good choice even for the tax man. I hope the Pompano are filing their 1040's properly. My rig is sure to catch some deadbeat tax evading Pomps. This has always been a free site, now I have a legitimate excuse to write off the cost on my taxes. Go catchem....Sam.
Your tax dollars at work!!!

I will send a free Pompano Rig to anyone that signs on from a United States Government Website. Send me your name, address, and department and I will mail a free Pompano rig to you. This is a limited time offer subject to a limited supply on hand. This offer expires July 4th, 2010. All unused stock is available for free after 7/04/2010 on a first come,first serve basis.

Atlanta, Georgia, United States
Internal Revenue Service ( [Label IP Address] rigs&aq=0&aqi=g3g-m7&aql=&oq=pompano

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Easy CS to CT ABU Conversion


Its simple to convert your Abu levelwind to a non level wind. Aside from upgrading your spool bearing, this is the easiest conversion that will help increase distance.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Florida Custom ABU 6500

I put this together from spare ABU 6500 parts I had laying around. Left side plate from a Mag Elite. Right side plate from a Sport Mag. Elite frame and stock spool. Spins like a top with the mags off. Go Gators??? I'll put it on a rod wrapped with FSU colors just to appease everyone. Maybe I will just send it to Tim Tebow to use when he is back in town.
Even though I love the ABU 6500, the Sport Mag was probably the poorest designed reel in the 6500 Mag series. I use them for parts only now. It is hard enough to adjust to the drag system on an ABU but the mag control on the Sport Mag makes it almost impossible to fall in love with this reel. The mag control consists of a ring rather than a slide lever. This ring will corrode and lock up very easily making the mags virtually useless. It also has a palming style left side plate with no tension control knob. I like my version better with the slidy and CT cage. I did come up with a way to convert the ring with a slidy mag control and it only involves a few additional parts from ABU . Stay tuned for the diagram.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

ABU 6500CT Mag Elite Assembely



If you are planning to build a rod or simply repair a broken guide this Fuji Ring Guide can come in handy. Click to Enlarge.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Surf Fishing Footwear Top Pick: Keen H2

Finding the proper footwear for surf fishing depends on your area's water temp and the beach terrain. Here in Florida many areas with soft sand and moderate year round water temps require nothing but bare feet. However, here in Northeast Florida the terrain can range from powdery sand to natural coquina and the water temps get colder between very late fall and early spring. I typically fish the coquina beaches because they are partially formed by Donax clams, a natural bait for Pompano and Whiting. Due to the nature of these small sharp shells on the beach I typically wear footwear while fishing. In the warmer months (March -October) I prefer to wear sandal style footwear. Finding well constructed sandals that hold up well to saltwater while providing maximum comfort can be challenging. Several mfrs. have introduced sandals that are marketed toward the fisherman. For rougher beach surfaces and moderate water temps ( 60 degrees +) , Teva has the Omnium and Keen has the Newport H2. Both sandals are very similar in style and comfort . I purchased a pair of each and alternated them between outings. Both are low sport styled sandals with rubber toe protection, nylon upper webbing, molded EVA mid sole and rubber lower sole. Comfort wise they both provide plenty of support for a full day casting off the sand. Neither sandal is adequate for colder water temperatures, however. After a full season I found the Keen H2 to win the durability contest hands down.

Teva on left . Keen on Right

TEVA sole seperating from EVA Mid Sole

The Keen H2 glues and machine sews the rubber sole of the sandal to the EVA mid sole while Teva uses glue only. The rubber soles on the Keen are also thicker to provide less sole wear. The sole of Teva Omnium after one year has separated from the mid sole from the arch to the heel, the Keen shows no signs of over wear and all outer stitching seems to be holding up well. While I liked the Teva Omnium and found them easier to put on, as well as being comfortable, I think the Keen H2 offers a much better value since both retail for around $90/pair.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

ABU 6500

I love the Abu 6500 for the surf. All of these have had the level wind removed and replaced with the CT ABU OEM Cage to increase casting distance. I have them loaded with my favorite line for this reel Sufix Tritanium 14# test.

Some Surf Fishing Equipment

Some of the equipment I use:
1) OceanMaster 12/ Shimano Calcutta 700s
2) Breakaway 12'3/ Penn Accurate Conversion 113H (reel not shown)
3) Breakaway 11'6/ Quantum Cabo 30PTS
4) Conoflex Gambit XL/ Penn 525 Mag (reel not shown)
5) Rainshadow 11'6/ Abu 6500 CT Mk II Sport Rocket
6) Lamiglas 11'/ Abu 6500 CT Pro Rocket
7) Rainshadow 11'6/ Abu 6500 CT Mag
8) Rainshadow 11'6/ Abu 6500 CT Pro Rocket
9) Conoflex Gambit/ Abu 6500 CT Chrome
10) Lamiglas 11'/ Abu 6500 CT Mag Elite
11) Oceanmaster 11'/ Abu 6500 CT Mag Elite
12) Breakaway 11'/ Abu 6500 CS Sport Mag

Friday, April 24, 2009

Rainshadow SU1386F Rod Blank

If you can build a rod or know a good rod maker, the options available for owning that perfect surf rod become much wider than those that you will find in the prebuilt surf rod market. Not only will you be able to specify the the components, you will also be able to have it custom wrapped to your own specs and budget. Custom rods can get get quite expensive depending upon the blank choice,guide quality and the amount of detail put into the thread wrap. You can, however, get what I think is one of the best surf blanks wrapped for under $300. One of my favorite surf rods is designed around the Rainshadow SU1386F rod blank. In fact, I loved the first one I built so much that I built two more. I learned to wrap rods after consulting a few how-to videos when I needed to replace some broken guides on a few rods. It is not difficult but some patience is required. The Rainshadow 1386 can be fully built for about $225 using the highest quality components if you do your own building. Add another $100+ for someone else to wrap it.

On my rods I used Fuji BNLG casting guides and a BNLG tip guide. After spining the rod I glued the Fuji reel seat in place at 27 " from the bottom of the butt and then added hypalon grips. I then temporary placed the guides (8 guides + tip) along the blank as to where I thought they may go. I then placed the rod under full stress and repositioned the guides so that a parallel arc of line from the reel formed against the blank. Then on to the wrapper. I used 5 different guide sizes as follows: Tip 12, 12, 12, 16,16, 18, 18,20,25. The guides placed from the rod tip in inches are approx as follows: 4, 8.75, 14, 20.25, 28, 36.75, 46 ,65.75. all guides were placed on the top piece of the rod, the butt section has no guides, but keep in mind where I set the reel seat. The sweet spot on this rod is 4 oz. but will throw 3 or 5. I would not recommend going above five on this rod if you are trying to maximize distance. The tip is a size 9 and the butt section .855 diameter making for a nice lean rod with fairly fast action. It is a (50/50) 2 piece 11'6 rod blank which weighs a mere 8oz making it user friendly for a long day of casting. I have all three of mine paired with ABU 6500 CTs with 14# test, a well balanced pairing. It will zip the lead off the ground 160+ yds all day long. The tip is nice and soft and can detect the faintest bite,even with that much line out. Although it is on the lighter side, this blank can still turn the big boys over too, but it will take some finesse on your part.This blank would also be a very good for throwing 2 -3 oz metals . Very nice blank's which have become my # 1 Pompano rods. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
RAINSHADOW has changed their blanks. The closest model to this is the 1385 which has a slightly wider butt and tip and is rated 2-6oz. The older 1386 is still available at a few rodbuilder sites on the web.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Tarpon from the Beach




One of the biggest thrills and greatest challenges fishing the Surf is the Tarpon. Strong,acrobatic and fast, the Tarpon is the ultimate test of a surf anglers ability and endurance. Unlike fishing from a boat where you can back up on them during the fight,the beach offers no option to do so and the distance between you and the fish only gets further. In Northeast Florida the Tarpon roam the first slough on a high tide in the Spring and Fall as the school of bait fish migrate. I have found Fall between September and late October to be the best since the water temperature is still usually warm enough and the slough is typically deeper. I have also found through experience that if I start catching Ladyfish in the surf, the Tarpon are nearby. The ladyfish is actually related to the Tarpon but much smaller in size and they are a favorite choice of food for the Tarpon. Fishing the surf for Tarpon requires more than one of my Pompano rods/reel. They would spool that rig in a flash. You will need A LOT of spool capacity of 40# test line, A good quality surf rod with some backbone, a long terminal leader of 80#+ test a VERY sharp and strong hook and of course some bait ,preferably live ladyfish,bluefish or black mullet. I have found that most large Tarpon (100+ lbs.) will tear 250+ yds of line from a reel before they even jump because they are heading to the deeper water outside the sandbars where the real fight begins. Bringing the Tarpon to the sand is a low probability event when he reaches that deeper water without the proper rig. Also, you do not want to fatigue the fish to point of death since they are a catch and release species. You need to tire him but not to the point where he is vulnerable to prey or without the ability to recover. They are a magnificent species of fish and should be treated as such.
Having balanced equipment is a must on the BIG ones. The rod and reel need to work together. After trial and error I ended up with two set ups that I found to be perfect. I use the same terminal rigging on two different rod set ups. The rig I use above is an 8/0 Owner Gorilla hook snelled to a 6' 80# mono leader and 250# swivel. The reel is a Penn 113H which I converted with Accurate plates ,frame and spool. The reel holds 550+ yds of 40# giving plenty of capacity and that nice Penn Drag system. The 6'leader is also long enough to prevent the fish from gill cutting my lighter line on airborne jumps. The rods I use are Breakaways SU1508 (MH 3-80z) which provides enough flex to toss a live bait but plenty of backbone too. There are other rods or reels obviously that will work as well but make sure that the rod is MH at (3-8oz) and the reel can hold some capacity of heavier line and that they feel balanced together otherwise the fish will always win. Also take extra care when releasing the fish to make sure he has a great chance to do battle again.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Conoflex Gambit & XL Rod Comparison

Two rods that I use in distance casting for Pompano are from the UK rod manufacturer, Conoflex. Conoflex rods are very popular in Europe but they are not readily marketed here in the U.S.. A few specialty rod builders or surf tackle specialists along the east coast can usually get their hands on the rod blanks and then have them custom wrapped. I was able to find mine here in Florida and they were custom wrapped using top of the line Fuji seats and guides. The two rods are the Conoflex Gambit 24 and the Gambit 24 XT XL. The Specs are as follows:

Gambit 24: Length 12' , Rated 2-4 oz, Parallel Butt ( .79"), Two piece equal sections (50/50)

Gambit 24 XL: Length 12'9", Rated 2-4 oz, Parallel Butt(.81") Two Piece (50/50)

Both rods are 100% graphite making them lighter than composites. You can see by the specs that both rods appear similar with the main difference in length and butt diameter. They are,however, two different rods. Both rods have butt diameters on the smaller side ( less than 1" )which I personally prefer for grip and both butts are parallel design (not tapered) giving the rod more wrap at the ferrule. The extra 9 " of length in the XL however gives the rod a bit more action since both tips are equal (7.5 guide size). This obviously will cause the rod to load a bit sooner over the standard Gambit. Both rods are manufactured with what Conoflex calls zoned action, whereby the rod loads down the blank starting at the tip. I found that even though both rods are rated 2-4 0z. , when using an off the ground cast the Gambit XL loads better at between 4-5 0z while the Gambit 24 seems to perform best at 4 oz.. ,probably due to the extra 4.5" the XL has at the butt section. Both rods have a comparable feel while moving through the cast even though the load points are different. Typically I feel more confident with a shorter rod, but I actually prefer the feel of the XL and I think it is because I can easily feel the rod loading better through the cast. Distance wise, I can reach 160+ yds with either rod, but when pressed the XL will get another 15 + yds. when needed. Although I like to classify them as Pompano rods due to the rod rating , both rods are capable of handling much larger fish like Bull Reds and Sharks . I find the the XL preferable over the Gambit 24 for Pompano and whiting due to the lighter action tip section, however, I think the Gambit 24,although a bit stiffer, is a better overall rod for general fishing. Both rods fit and work very well with medium size casting reels like the ABU 6500 series or Penn 525. The rod blanks retail for around $ 300 US. Fully built with high grade components add another $150.

Shock Leader Knot

The use of a shock leader is essential to minimize break-offs while casting. Break- offs usually result in severe backlash on casting style reels. Break-offs are also dangerous to bystanders. A rule of thumb is to use 10# for every o.z. of lead being heaved. I typically use 4 or 5 o.z. sinkers so I use 50# test mono for my shocker which I tie to my main 14# test line. The length of my shocker is the full length of the rod to the reel seat plus 7 turns of the reel. On a twelve foot rod with the reel seat set at 27 " from the butt this would be approximately 8 yds of Shock leader . I use the following knot:

Surf Cart

Long treks looking for that runout in the surf can wear you out carrying your gear. I opted for this foldable cart with Wheeleez tires.It folds nicely into the back of my truck without taking up too much space and could easily fit into a car trunk. The bigger surf carts are just too bulky and much heavier.I wanted convenience not a hot dog cart. I go to the surf to fish, I do not need a cart that is a RV on wheels. This cart will do the trick. The cooler I use is 48Qt which is plenty big to hold your catch. I attached PVC rod holders to the cooler front with rubber washers.Notice that I even have a place for my sand flea rake in the back. Wheeleez makes the only low pressure tire suitable for beach terrain. This cart glides over the terrain making those long walks much easier. I have had mine for three years now and it has held up very well. I have witnessed many trying to navigate those big carts up and down steps on the beach area with way too much effort, believe me this cart is almost too easy to use. If you really want a BIG cart to carry every piece of tackle you own ,look at the Toyota Tundra 4x4 . This is a great product for under $200. As of June 19 2010, I will no longer be selling this cart through this site.

Weight: 8.2 kg (18 lbs)
Payload capacity: 75 Kg (165 lbs)
Material: Tubular steel
Platform dimensions: 35.6 cm wide x 36.8 cm deep (14" wide x 14.5" deep)
Width inc wheels: 74.9 cm (29.5")
Folded - frame & wheels: 73.7 cm L x 38.1 cm W x 30.5 cm H (29"L x 15"W x 12"H)
Handle height: 73.7 cm to 124.5 cm (29" to 49")
Finish: Epoxy powder coated
Fat Balloon Wheels: 30 cm dia x 18 cm wide (11.8" dia x 7" wide)

Monday, April 13, 2009

Modified Off the Ground Cast


I am not a distance tournament caster and you do not need to be one either to get good distance from the beach. All you need is good timing and form. I call this a Modified Off-The-Ground Cast (MOTG) because I keep my sinker on the rig point down barely touching the sand about 270 degrees from the target. You can see the lead behind me as I pivot into the cast. I drop the shock leader about 6 feet from the tip of the rod and gradually accelerate into the cast until my hands are parallel to my chest and weight transferred from back foot to front as I step into the release. This is when the rod is fully loaded and should be released with your head looking up roughly 60 degrees from the horizon. This will get you 150-180 yds.. Watch the bend and release of the rod and how I "push' the rod forward with my left hand and slightly "pull " the butt of the rod back towards me with my right hand upon release (also notice that I am lefthanded). I am using an Abu 6500 CT with a rod I built using an 11.5' Rainshadow blank rated 2-5 oz. . Also notice that my rod tip at the finish is still pointing upward. I always tell people to release towards the sky. I am using a 4 oz pyramid sinker clipped to a double dropper Pompano rig with 14# test line and a 50# shock leader. The use of a shock leader is essential when performing ANY type of power cast.

TIP: You can slide the player button on the video screen with your mouse to see the steps of the cast.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Redfish; 43" caught on live finger mullet. Fishfinder rig with 5/0 Owner circle hook.