Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Winter Marches On (not quickly enough....)

Saltwater Angler Magazine
On-Line Edition
January 26, 2011

Winter marches on, but not as quickly as it needs to! For shallow water anglers, cold weather means “fishus interuptus”. Between the fronts, there are great days of fishing, with warm temperatures, no wind and hungry fish. And then it’s another week of cold, windy and cloudy days which keep the fish out of the clear, shallow water.

The only consolation to this pattern of “fishus interruptus” was the fabulous duck hunting which kept us on the water nearly every day, no matter what the conditions.
Our hunting clients and my young black lab Kelly made this winter and all that cold weather very worthwhile.

Now that the hunting season is over, however, it’s time to get down with the business of full-time fishing. So, on those not-so-bluebird days, maybe a new pursuit will be trophy trout on Baffin Bay. Since Capt. Aubrey Black is the best teacher in town, this new endeavor will be a great way to pass the time until good, consistent shallow water action returns when water temperatures moderate!

During many recent duck hunting pursuits, lots of new shallow water fishing territory has been discovered. Rockport is like an old friend, easy to understand and fun to be with. But, Baffin Bay is uncharted shallow water territory, filled with lots of nooks, cranny’s and back lakes that no one has ever fly fished. When I say no one, I mean no one. The bays of Baffin are the “last best places” to find this remote, unfished water. On warm and sunny days between now and Spring Break, these “virgin” waters will be my new stomping grounds.

Kayak fishing is a great way to scout new places to fish. Using the Curlew with the kayak rack, and brand new Native Ultimate 12 kayaks, I’ll be paddling through lots of new water this year. Scouting new fishing places is an art and a science. It’s not just about the place, but what water level is the best time to fish it, what kind of grass is there, where do the fish hang out, how does the water flow through, which way the wind blows through and more. Keeping records of scouting trips are very important as well. Scouting new fishing water is time well spent, even if you don’t catch fish every time you go.

The Houston Fishing Show is coming up in March (2-6) and I’ll be there in booth #518, as usual! This is my 10th year to exhibit and speak there and it’s always a great show. Soon the seminar schedule will be up on their website and I’m working on a new PowerPoint Presentation. Come on by and chat or sit in on a seminar to two. All of your favorite fishing guides and tackle companies will be there. Don’t miss it!

On another note, Capt. Black and I have experienced a catastrophic website crash this past week. Our web host server went bankrupt (unbeknownst to us…) and our websites (and booking calendars) just disappeared. It’s been a challenge for sure, but new websites are slowly coming back on line. Although the websites are a work in progress, our new booking calendar is now available. We are both very sorry for the inconvenience. Looking at it on a more positive note, maybe we’ll have even better websites when they are completed! Keep up on our progress at or If you have any suggestions or requests for information to be included there, now is the time. Please call or send an email, text, Facebook post or Twitter!

February and early March are always a challenge for outdoorsmen. Use this time wisely and the payoff will be tremendous. Get your gear in order, fix up your boat or get a new one, buy some new Laguna Rods or an Orvis Helios or Hydros Fly Rod, upgrade your wading boots by going Ray-Guard or get into kayak fishing. Throughout the years in the outdoors and on the water, I’ve discovered that the most important things are safety and using the best gear you can afford. Keep it simple and straightforward and it will be more fun! See you on the water…. Soon!

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