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Archive of entries posted in the year 2015

When it gets tough

The saying goes when it gets tough the tough get going I have to give Ricard and Lolly Perry ten out if ten for doing just that last week on their Fishing Holiday in the Florida Keys.  The one thing that still gets to me and I know it should not is the weather yes I know I am very lucky here in the Keys even with winds over 30 mph we can still go boat fishing and last week we did just that we found shelter on the lee side of the island and behind banks in the bay and at the channels at 7 mile bride.  Yes I was lucky as well that both Richard and Lolly just love catching fish of any size I have often said when you lose the joy of catching small fish you have lost so much. However when each morning you are greeted by 20 to 30 mph winds and looking at forecasts where there is no break and knowing that most of the near 300 marks in the GPS are going to be a no go it sucks.  At the end of their holiday with their big smiles as normal both Richard and Lolly said what a great time they both had and told me their tally for the four days of fishing was  26 species and total of 161 fish to the boat.

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On a personal note this was a very special trip for me as well after all my heart problems of the summer I was not totally sure how it was going to go and in rough seas as well.  Well happy to report I was fine and having Capt Mike on board was a great success as well.  With his 100 ton licence his boating skills were never in question what did exceed my expectations was his people skills he is just a natural with our guests Ricard taking the time to tell me  ” you have found a top guy there just fantastic ” just the heart medicine I needed.  So rest assured Fish the Dream is going from strength to strength and with Mike aboard we will me offering even more holidays here in the Florida Keys where we will make your fishing dream come true.

A long way for a Lady

Over 12 years of doing Fishing Holidays in The Florida Keys I have been privileged to fish with many people and it is great to welcome back Richard and Lorranie  Perry.  Richard is over to celebrate his 50 th and as I have been told more than once recently  ” getting old is a privilege not enjoyed by everyone ” but I am sure he has many more birthdays planed.  The one thing I absolutely love about Richard and Lolly is they both just GET fishing and are just as happy to catch no matter what the size in my opinion the way fishing should be.  Not sure the weather gods are singing happy birthday first day winds to over 30 mph and very dirty water yesterday winds dropped to 20’s so we were able to push to some mid bay banks for shelter.  Still way below good fishing conditions but both Richard and Lolly were having a blast catching what was behind the boat in the chum I can still hear the laughter when catching ballyhoo for bait became a whole new sport in its own right.  It’s a toss-up which fish was Richard’s birthday best one of the biggest ladyfish for a long time or a fantastically marked spotted seatrout both were welcome and enjoyed.

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Lolly joined the birthday celebrations with bluefish and maybe the first spanish mackerel of the season not what I had planed for Richards birthday but as they say you can only catch whats there and top marks to both of them to despite poor conditions and heat way over 100 degrees in the sun they both stuck at it.

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This blog also welcomes and introduces Mike Sovay to the Fish the Dream team.  Mike comes from upstate New York and after some time in the military came to the Florida Keys as fully trained diver then recently obtained his 100 ton Captain’s licence.  As you have seen on recent blogs I have had health problems so an extra pair of hands was a must and as you can see from the photos heavy is not a problem for Mike.  The first trips with him have even been better than I expected he is very quick to learn and his people skills top rate maybe I should have done this a few years ago but age just seems to come from nowhere.  So its onwards and upwards for Fish the Dream health problems and bad weather can’t keep us down we will make your dream come true.

Surfs up

Well Wes Seigler and the guys at Truth Reels in Virginia have done it again and have brought out a game changing star drag surf reel.  Not only will this reel kill on hard ground heavy beach fishing but I think will blow guys away uptiding as well.  Wes is a guy who looks at reels and just in-house in the USA makes them better and with a bit of help from yours truly tweaks them as well till he gets it right as he has done with the Surf  SM.  The first prototypes lacked a spool tensioner but the new one I got my hands on this week has one and it works very well.  In the next few days I will be getting one of to Sea Angler as I am sure they can put this beauty to some serious testing and have guys who can cast a lot better than me. Not sure about UK price I think it will be in the low threes but like all the Truth Reels I sell it comes with a full UK life time warranty and this reel will be very at home in boats as well as the beach so one reel does all.

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The reel has a signature bridgeless design allowing easy thumb control and big spool shoulders for guys who like to control the cast as well.  It has a fully floating spool on ceramic bearings and magnetic cast control with a mechanical spool tensioner as well so you can play at you hearts content.  The 4 carbon drag system works on the oversize main gear not on the drive shaft and gives a class leading 24 lbs of drag this gear is also at  6:1 so a very fast reel as well.  All this comes in at just over 16 oz and it will take a good 275 yards of 20 lb mono and of course a lot more braid if you prefer. So there you have a star drag done right and I know the next thing to come out of Wes’s amazing head is his take on the heavy fly reel and this one will BLOW you away.

Modeus Operandi

Or for all you non Romans out there  ” Method of Operation ” after 12 years of running Fishing Holidays in the Florida Keys we are having to change a few things both being caused by other people one my maker and two my landlord.  Sorry about the lack of blogs we have been on the road/plane  trip back to the Keys and after a personal tough summer with health problems we decided to break the trip and tick the wife’s New York to do list.  In all fairness not as bad as I expected except Macy’s how can something which has had $ 100 taken off still be a BARGIN at $ 200 and yes the views on top of the Empire State building were amazing.

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So whats new about our holidays well if you have been following this blog this year I have had not one but three heart attacks the good news all now under control just on heavy meds and no opp for at least a year bad news I have been banded from any heavy lifting.  Now regulars will know most days for me that as they say this is a given for me so we have decide to take on a young fully licensed Captain for all the heavy stuff and he will also be able to help with all the fishing stuff so a bit like having two of me on the boat so less waiting for rigs or fish taking off. Two other changes we after 7 years are having to give up our current property and might look at an other option of tailoring accommodation  to each guest, last year offered the up grade to a private villa with single rooms and a pool to a group and it went down rather well.  Like wise we have guests who I know would take non waterside cheaper accommodation and spend more on fishing at the moment it is just an idea please let me know by email what you think.

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Some good news this is the time of year with the help of accountants we look at our pricing and again for the fourth year we are keeping the base price at  £ 125 a day for accommodation, fishing and free car hire but the guiding for which you now get two people goes up £ 5 an hour for the entire party however the now low-cost of fuel covers this rise.  The other slightly sad bit of news is that my wife who suffers with progressive MS is no longer up to doing breakfasts we will up grade the cooking in the flat to better self catering like Norway but have a deal with the local deli who will do a fully cooked meal for just £ 4 if you don’t want to cook.

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I hope you all understand these changes and fingers crossed if I get the all clear we can carry on ticking boxes and making dreams come true for many a year

Truth reels

As guys on our Fishing Holidays in the Florida Keys know I have for the last two years being working with a new reel manufacture in the US this being Release Reels the reason being I was somewhat taken with their add which stated Life time warranty and hand made in the USA.  In the early days it was my job to put these reels to a torture test which in the Florida Keys is very easy and with my test team of sharks all went very well and they pasted with flying colours so much so they are now my go to reel and the boat has four on at all times.  Recently they have had to change their name to Truth Reels rather than have my mish mash of words and as my English teacher once said after a poor exam  ” The problem with Rodney’s English is that he knows to many words none of which he can spell or put in the right place  ” I am coping some text from the new Owners Manual to explain all.

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Their Story

Our founder and president, Wes Seigler , has been designing high performance products for the last 10 years. Once a former international professional cyclist, he retired and moved to his true passion of fishing.                                          In 2009, he began thinking about the fishing reel industry .  By listening to our customers’ ever-changing needs we began making innovative changes to our products. Our business is about giving our customers the best possible day on the water – be it with the grankids or in a $ 100,000 tournament. It’s all about the experience and having a great time.  Originally we operated as Release Reels with the goal to create reels that are among the lightest, strongest, and the most competitively priced in the industry and carries a lifetime warranty.   Another company in the marine industry legally challenged our Release Reel Trademark.  After reviewing the pros and cons of fighting this challenge, we quickly realized we wanted to grow to be much more than just a fishing reel company and our current space was cluttered with many other similar named brands.  So we took this opportunity and turned it into something that we felt truly represents not only who our founder is, but the philosophy of our company as well.  We changed our name to  Truth Reels  because it honestly seemed to fit.  Our word is our reputation.  We have a lifetime guarantee.  Every part is made in the USA.  We love what we do.  We love to fish.  100 % that’s the Truth.

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So there it is from as they say from the horses mouth not mine.  To go along with the new name the SG has had a few minor tweaks such is the hands on approach of the company.   New Features  Strike button  :  Rod clamp : Crankarm assembly : improved AR system and bearing : Drag lever detent system.  To go along with a very impressive specification  Just  13.2 oz  : Gear ratio  6.1  :  34 in per crank  : Max drag Strike  18 lb  full  25 lb :  Capacity  375 50 lb braid  :  Ceramic spool bearings  :  Carbon drag washer.   Now they come in a very useful canvas bag so if you are looking for a new reel have a long look at this one we have had fish to near 400 lb on a SG and with its lifetime warranty not many reels come close.

I am supplying these reels to order at just  £ 269  they all come with full  UK  Lifetime Warranty so once you have paid your hard earned thats all you will ever have to pay now thats peace of mind.

Contact me at  01668 216173  or email  rdngd@aol.com

Waterwolf camera

I have recently received some very interesting underwater footage from my friend Rupert Dury who has been using a Waterwolf camera while tope fishing.  Over recent years Rupert has shown just how good the tope fishing can be here up in the north-east of the UK and I was lucky to be onboard when we both smashed our tope PB’s Rupert with a 71 lb fish and I had a 63 lb one, on a stunning day I will remember for a very long time.  While the Waterwolf camera will never win any prizes for film quality  it does show it what is happening to your baits and just what is down there while you are fishing.  It is also fantastic at letting you see just what the bottom is like and you can adjust your rigs to suit a lot better with a bit of knowing just what’s there.  The first and the best bit is just how the tope took the bait and the short comings of a normal down tide rig and sett up.

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What is strange when you see the first take is there is no reaction from the angler, well the angler never knew there was a fish taking the bait.  With a bait hard on the bottom as the fish takes the bait and moves up tide nothing happens at the rod till the fish goes down tide and takes up the slack I wonder just how many times in the past I have brought a bait back and blamed crabs when it was fish taking bites out but on slack line.  Also what it shows very clearly how if the hook is in the front of the bait the fish misses the hook biting as in normal at the back of the bait a very good reason for using pennel rigs or making sure the hook is at the back of the bait.  After watching the videos Rupert has tried types of float fishing which takes out the slack line problems and is looking at the way he puts the hook in the bait and you can see by the photos is nailing the tope.

The summer star

I still after all my years of doing Fishing Holidays in the Florida Keys get a wicked smile thing about newbies on their first trip to a local restaurant seeing dolphin fish on the menu.  Not sure why but the local name for dorado or mahimahi if you prefer and never managed to find out why so as they say answers on a postcard but what I do know this fish is the star of fishing in the Keys with peak numbers in the summer.  What really floats my boat about this fish it ticks all the boxes and then some you can catch it any way you want bait, spin, troll or fly when they are on the feed manic does not even come close.  A few years back after a heady day with them offshore and most on fly the more than happy angler said  ” you have just screwed all my UK fly fishing the sight of nearly 50 yellow, green and blue fish all trying to get to my fly first will be in my head forever “.

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The facts about dorado still blow me away they live a max of 5 years most don’t even get to 3 and a local university found one that was just under a year old and went 39.9 lbs  yes 40 lb in their first year that’s just how hard they feed. They breed at just 4 months and many times in a year having over 100,000 eggs each spawn this is how they keep their numbers up an other interesting fact they have been clocked at 57.5 mph awesome.  One of our best fish over the years was had by a regular Leslie and as you can see by the photo nearly as big as her just an other day Leslie was showing the boys how to fish.  One of our biggest nearly 30 lb cow fish even took two baits at the same time I suppose when a fish sees food offshore they only have one thing on their minds that is to eat it and the fact they already have a hook in their mouth no problem. On a personal note you might already guessed it they are one if not the top fish in the keys on a plate yum yum .

 

Keys still on fire

Please please if you find yourself in Florida this summer and you have earned enough brownie points at Disney have a look at the Florida Keys for a few fun days.  There is enough to do to keep the whole family happy swimming with dolphins, aquariums where you can even feed shark, turtle hospital, wild bird parks, stunning beaches and much more.  For most of the people who read this there is probably the best and most varied sport fishing in the world whilst I am in the UK for my summer break we are still running our Fishing Holidays in the Florida Keys.  Both the Captains we use are locals and fish ever day of the year Capt Brent Kindell fishes much like I do with a slightly bigger boat and his passion is mutton snapper coming close to the state record many times and seems to be able to find the bigger summer sailfish.

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Capt James Simcic who runs Spearcrazy Charters not only is a top class charter Captain but has a passion for free diving people who dive the Keys often comment just how amazing the dive is and often too much to see.  Both Captains who on the offshore bite often stop for a bit of deep dropping which has now become very popular in the Keys.  Not sure why but it seems the deeper you catch a fish the better it tastes the first time we had a snowy grouper just blown away.  The dorado are now in full on mode and sight fishing to one of the most colourful fish in the sea a must and again stunning on the barbie.  So if is for a day or a week get in touch and as they say Fish the Dream don’t just dream the dream.

Tuscan tales part two

Ever since I started my passion or as my wife says obsession with fishing now for over 50 years I find it very hard to see any new body of water pond, lake, river, stream or coast line and think I wonder if there are any fish in that.  So when last year our last stay in Tuscany was a converted farm which just one field away had a small irrigation pond I started to ask those questions.  A quick walk round the pond showed yes there were fish so next morning first light with bread and sweetcorn my first trip.  Going down hook size and line breaking strain first fish on and a brand new one to me a prussian carp one good scrap for a crucian like carp except for the spines enough to bring a smile and a flood of memories back. Next morning even more fun and a strange one, larger fish came in but spat out the bread and were not carp at all after a dive into the tackle bag found some Gulp worms and soon we had some large mouth black bass on the bank.  After talking to the owner next day he said he had been told that putting bass in would keep the weed down not sure why may be as a side salad but for me a welcome mistake.  Just like our Fishing Holidays in the Florida Keys the last day came way to quick but not sure how but convinced the other half a full week at this apartment would be cool so game on for this year.

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So with all my cunning plans made, serious ground bait for the carp and a good selection of US soft baits for the bass expectations were high and as the  “A Team ” used to say I love it when a plan comes together.  Carp up to 5 lb and a serious bend in the rod one after the other and best bass I would put at near 8 lb just a 5 min walk from the door and way to much fun all while the wife was asleep each morning back for breakfast brownie points and a smile.  It seems bass found there way to Italy from the US troops and their love of bass fishing and not sure why but they have done very well.  I am sure they would do well in the UK and after some reading people have tried but not sure why they have not worked but any one who has had them on a line will find they fight way harder than anything else in freshwater so just have to convince the wife again for next year.

 

Tuscan tales part one

Well it’s that time of year again our now annual trip to Tuscany so see my wife’s favorite singer Andrea Bocelli sing in the open air in his home town and for me my busman’s holiday with my travel rods.  It is now becoming like guys who come on our Fishing Holidays in the Florida Keys the more times you come the better the fishing gets when you get back you are planing your next trip and more things to do to make the fishing better.  Its been five years now I have fished one carp lake and yes this was the best time ever lucky for me the Tuscan carp don’t read fishing books and this year it was the hottest ever and even in full sun in the middle of the day and at 39 c  102 f old money they just kept feeding.  On this lake I have become a bit of a maverick on watching the locals being smashed up on their long poles and light lines I am now using 6 lb line all through and hooks to size 10 light drags still needed as the runs are amazing.

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Also started to use a very primitive pop ups after watching the carp coming right into the margins to clear up baits after match fishing not so much as watching for bites more trying to save rod from being dragged into the lake.  Fun but more for me float fishing very shallow and lots of loose feed with halibut pellets and just trying to hang on to the first run.  If any one is planning a trip to Tuscany the lake is at N 43.50951  E 010.72110 you pay by the hour well-kept pegs bins and chairs I use a travel spinning rods and sweetcorn works but pellets better.  Sorry about the lack of blogs but we were lucky enough to stay in a converted farm deep in the Tuscan hills stunning and the best place we have ever stayed but internet peaked at less than one meg and most days crashed and the 50 mile round trip to a poor internet cafe not on.