FISHING - TAMPA






THE D-I-Y FISHING GUY 

CONFESSIONS OF A GUY’S LOVE FOR FISHING IN FLORIDA


To go fishing is the chance to wash one’s soul with pure air, with the rush of the brook, or with the shimmer of sun on blue water.

It brings meekness and inspiration from the decency of nature, charity toward tackle-makers, patience toward fish, a mockery of profits and egos, a quieting of hate, a rejoicing that you do not have to decide a darned thing until next week.

And it is discipline in the equality of men — for all men are equal before fish.”  
  

                                                                     
—Herbert Hoover—
 —The Engineer President and Avid Fly Fisherman—


WELCOME TO MY THOUGHTS ON FISHING
🐟  I was right about fishing…   I like its solitude, it’s a chance to reason and think things out.  I have been a soloist all my life, I follow my path, in some cases it worked out. I had great coaching from uncles and acquaintances with patents who also were not content with mediocrity, they were inventors, somehow while working in the Printing, and  Photographic Camera industry I managed to gain the nickname of  “ The Gadgetmeister”.   In my later years I have somehow accumulated lots of parts, gadgets, stock and gizmos from stores that went under, almost a garage full and enjoy converting “ Le Junk” into useful things. Thus I am called by one friend “ The Junkster

🐟  I also like whats taken for granted, obsolete, non-conformal, the little guy, underdog, ancient, laughed at and make it into something.  All of the gizmos you find in my photo sections from high-speed slide scanners, custom built rigs and DIY gadgets were put together from scraps and reborn  for the market.  

🐟  Several of my attempts at building tools and gadgets worked as well, surprising me more than  anyone else.  As good as the more expensive decorator additions sold on the market at least for a beginner such as myself.  I have nothing against retail tackle stores, I could get lost in them for days, but half the fun of building something is just that.   Using your stuff on hand and being successful with it is the second half.  It’s not about frugal, it’s about challenge. I just enjoy building stuff…and sharing ideas.  

🐟  Much of this sport is not rocket science, equipment wise, the science and the art that is in fishing is understanding the patterns and processes of your adversary…the simplified brain in that fish.  Yes, my favorite dig is “ Yup, that fish brain sure outsmarted you”.  The five hundred dollar rod in the hand of a neophyte will not catch more fish than the 49 dollar Ugly stick.  Ups manship is well promoted in the tackle industry.

🐟  When I needed something I looked at it, studied it and built my own or improved something cheap by better construction.  Challenges were my inspiration…  I told myself “  I can do that”  At my age it was time to downsize or go the “ Swedish belief of less when you grow older is a better routine”.   Less is more… simple… when you have less you use it more!

PLANS - DOWNSIZING - ElIMINATE - CONVERT - REBUILD

🐟  I decided to downsize and put some of the junk to work, I went to my storage bins, lots of scraps from former charitable projects, failed businesses, endeavors, and voila… feeling the heat of re-incarnation and a vow to clean the garage.  I was on a mission.  Now it is spotless and the envy of all my neighbors.  Except those who said I filled the dumpster. Not true, I crushed everything two hours before the pickup, I retorted you’re lucky I didn’t burn it in front of your house, you nosy bastard.

🐟  Then I realized I had some good things going my way.  Like money from scrap brass, copper and aluminum. Five miles away was the metals junk yard which brought me  just enough for an entry level fly rod and reel kit to start with, from ORVIS, which I had a dealer five miles away.  I found other stuff in some pawnshops.  Lighter gear, which cleaned up like new.

🐟  I’m not ready for the 1000 dollar outfits yet.  ORVIS’s Encounter, its entry level but decent quality.  I took the 7/8 weight as I live in Tampa Bay.   And wade-able bays, shoreline and flats are abundant and fruitful.  Next I secured a low cost decent 5 wt. two piece I keep in the car with a few variant flies.

🐟  Also, my condo is on a golf course with great ponds. Note: With all the chemical runoff, no one should even think of eating pond poisoned fish by fertilizer and chemicals used to keep the grass green… it’s still a good practice area, I use old flies, lots of streamers, with the points and barbs removed, no hook ends for practice casting.   And summer is gone now (105-110 heat index) and temps in the 70 with a cold beer on my property only fifty feet away. 

🐟  Bass Fishing, well that means if you are over the top kind of person, now you are adding a boat, a big pickup, too expensive and I have been there… Florida is Florida and 98 degrees with enough humidity during the summer to cook your brain, I don’t need.  It gets hot on those lakes.  Think of yourself as the Shrimp frying in the pan on the stove.  The ocean usually has onshore or offshore breeze and you can drift fish.

🐟  Then it costs a lots in dollars to cruise in a seventeen to nineteen foot CUSTOM BUILT, radar equipped, digital depth finder, side band fish locators, drones, torpedo tubes, martini mixers, more instruments than my first Piper Cherokee140 had, and power steering in a BASS boat with 250 horses screaming across the two miles of water.  Besides an outfit befitting a Nascar racer with baseball caps covering ears to claim one decent fish.  And a 20-40 thousand dollar price tag… 

🐟  A Stable Kayak… or simple flats skiff is more my speed…and possible.  I looked at a SS127 with a Toquedo Electric, too old for that, needed more stability, room…or a Plain Jane Skeeter or maybe a Gheenoe 15.6 Classic with a 20- 25 Yamaha on it so, maybe or partner with someone.      gheenoemfg@aol.com  Shallow and flats and with a 20-25 you can almost water ski with it.

🐟  Years ago one of my shooting buddies (I played sporting clays the game for twelve years Sporting Clays and Tactical) was a Florida-born Redneck Bass fisherman in a 14-foot john boat in the back of his pickup with a four point five horse Mercury and a hand paddle for maneuvering.  I’d put him up against any one of these pros on ponds.  He could smell bass.

🐟  I can reach all I want from the shoreline, fifty yards from my front elevator and garage door, If there is anything alive in my ponds on the golf course… 

🐟  If not, then we have lakes inland streams, and just a few miles away, a beautiful mangrove shoreline with all the best saltwater species in attendance and a fridge with cold beer.  

🐟  We have the best of the saltwater habitats on both the West coast of Florida.   Some of the best bridge fishing in Tampa Bay and the inshore and offshore near Pasco country is excellent trout country on silver mullet color MirrOlures May, April.  Who just happen to have their plant less than a half mile from my front door.  They do some very creative lure making and get results.

THREE THINGS

🐟  Please handle game fish carefully and release and let them grow up and reproduce.  I prefer Fresh Grouper, Snapper, Tilapia, Salmon and Tuna cooked in a variety of styles including fish Tacos…  Lately because I am affiliated with the Food Industry and do have a Food Website with certain food cautions  http://www.aljacobskitchen.com/ , and I am cautious about injection of just about any seafood because prior to COVID -19,  or years the fresh fish food industry wasn’t exactly Kosher at times and that fresh bay catch of the day might be from some bay in Indonesia.  If you go to my site,   www.aljacobskitchen.com read about restaurant games there. 

🐟  Golf courses are notorious for blatant use of chemicals, eating one or anything from these waters is not really recommended… I have watched them spray a green bright chemical on the fairways so it must be something for growth and good looks (Hmmm)…

🐟  Florida is great for older fisherman, sport, catch and release people.  Bonus:  If you are a resident over 65 no permit or license is needed, either for fresh or salt water.  But you must have Valid Florida ID or if you are a tourist go to the state website and get the tourist card with you. Certain other collectibles in the water, scallops etc you might consult the regulations.  Also some species, you may catch but you cannot retain them, there are many seasonal species.


Tribute To Carl Hansen

Posted by Jeff Schaeffer

AL:  I met Carl at his home when I first started in Fly fishing at one of his weekly sessions decades ago.  I knew Bill Jackson’s Outdoor store, the Jackson family, and was a friend and customer where Carl worked in the fishing department. He was a guru in the art of Fly fishing.    A finer human being didn’t exist and no man loved his game more than him and was willing to share that love with anyone who wanted to learn… Jeff Schaeffer wrote this tidbit that gives you an insight into Car.

The Glass Minnow
Carl Hansen was a fly angler from St. Petersburg, FL. He is known nationally as the inventor of the glass minnow pattern. Carl fished the saltwater flats near Tampa Bay, and had a unique approach. 

Envision a Tampa Bay fly fishing club outing. O dark thirty, and about 50 guys with the latest incarnation of graphite rods, Abel reels galore, and flats boats warming up at the launch ramp. Everyone up the night before tying the latest trendy fly patterns. Madness and mayhem as everyone headed out to be the first one on "big snook flat" or wherever they thought they needed to go given the tide, temperature, barometer, season, and latest guide reports.

Carl would sit there at the picnic area, wait for the sun to come up so he could tie up a few bend back glass minnows. Aluminum foil, mono overwrap for the bodies, a bit of bucktail, and red thread for the heads. No cement, a cheap vise that probably came from Herters in 1955, and I think he did own one pair of sewing scissors. He would then string up a 7 foot cane rod (a three weight, no less) with a reel that I believe was made in 1917- the year may not be right but it was given to him as a kid and he was about 80 years old when I knew him. 

He would then wade out in front of the picnic tables up to his knees, and no deeper. He would then cast back to shore. Although he could cast like no one else, most of his casts might be 30 feet. Each cast would last a couple minutes and he would move the fly continuously in little twitches or with a hand twist retrieve. In 2 or 3 hours he might move 30 feet. 

About noon, all the young guns would come flying back to the launch ramp for the picnic, and you know how this ends. Carl would have caught more fish than the rest of the club combined. His explanation was simple: his fly was in the water, and the glass minnow moves exactly like a real baitfish. Predators move, so most of the snook, seatrout, and redfish in Tampa Bay would pass by him at some point in the morning, and would encounter a fly that looked and moved naturally that was actually in the water when they cruised by.

Carl was an amazing guy- he and his wife Esther had a casting clinic that met once a week at their house for over 30 years, and historians will correct me that its tenure may have been much longer. He did get some recognition of his skills, and was often asked to tie flies at Florida heritage festivals. He could put a fly in a teacup at 30 feet every time you asked him to do it. No BS, every time, and none of this false casting to get the distance right. And this was not hyperbole. The club had casting contests, one of which was a teacup at 30 feet. I saw it. He fished until the very end of his life, and when the end came he went out like the man he was. He told his family and friends that he did not want a funeral. He said that anyone who gave a damn about him should take a child fishing.


How To Make The Glass Minnow
Use a pliers to bend a hook bend back style. Most people bend it too far. Don’t.  Wrap a bit of foil around the hook shank below the bend.Take a piece of 8 to 12 lb. mono, and wrap it over itself using a snell knot. It takes some practice, but you will end up with shiny foil body protected by mono wraps.Tie in a sparse bucktail wing. I think that white over greenish blue was Carl's favorite, but he also felt that any color would work. It has to be sparse. Carl would have corrected my wing as
resembling a feather duster.That is it.    

Fish the fly over any seagrass bed, bottom discontinuity, or structure. Move it slowly so it crawls along through the water column just above the grass. Expect the unexpected.



Artificial Flies And Artificial Vises

Artificial flies are of several types; some imitating an insect (either flying or swimming), others a bait fish or crustacean, others attractors are known to attract fish although they look like nothing in nature.  And then there is the last group, those that attract fishermen and attach themselves to their credit cards

I go to auctions and Pawn sites looking for used gear and can safely say, “ No harm came to the fish, the fisherman’s wallet took a hit”.  Lures are like dog food.  The packaging is what sells, dogs don’t do the buying, they are not that choosy.

Flies can be made either to float or sink, and range in size from a few millimeters to 30 cm long; most are between 1 and 5 cm.

Artificial flies are made by fastening hair, fur, feathers, or other materials, both natural and synthetic, onto a hook. The first flies were tied with natural materials, but synthetic materials are now popular and prevalent.  Flies are tied in sizes, colors and patterns to match local terrestrial and aquatic insects, baitfish, or other prey attractive to the target fish species.  And they are available in midge, almost flea size to enormous streamers in salt water.


TOOLS AND DO IT YOURSELF TOOLS ON THE FOLLOWING PAGES

WHATS HAPPENING

THE BENCH

FIRST VICES FROM JUNK

PARTS AND D-I-Y GADGETS

THE MOTHER DUBBER

UPGRADES

REGULAR FLY TYING

ANCIENT REELS REBUILT

BASS FISHING

WHATS MY LINE

ARE YOU KNOTS ?

DANGER WILL ROBINSON

SABIKI RODS AND GOLF COURSES

TUBE-Y DOOBY DOO

FLY DRIER AND PAINT STIRRER

JUST BOBBIN AROUND