THE “ FRUGALIST FISHERMAN” 



THE “ FRUGALIST FISHERMAN"

—  COMMENTARY, INVENTOR, FISHERMAN, ENVIRONMENTALIST   — 


ajacobs2@tampabay.rr.com   



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



We Support and Endorse 

The Following Organizations

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We Endeavor To Recommend This Free Course




GOOD NEWS SO FAR 🐟 RED TIDE

  • The Red Tide Organism, KARENIA BREVIS, was Not observed in one sample in Florida over the past week.  
  • No reports of fish kills suspected to be related to red tide were received over the past week. 
  • Respiratory irritation suspected to be related to red tide was not reported in Florida over the past week.



☣️  The Southwest's Unchecked Thirst For Colorado River

 Water Could Prove Devastating Upstream

By Bill Weir, Cnn Chief Climate Correspondent  Updated 2:00 Am Et, Sat June 18, 2022

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(CNN)Among those who love to chase trout with flies made of feathers, just the mention of a certain seven-mile stretch of Utah's Green River can turn a hardened man rhapsodic.   "I've guided in New Zealand, Chile, Argentina, Alaska," said Gordon Tharrett, describing his 30-year career guiding elite fly fishers around the world. "I've never seen anything like it."


The West's Megadrought —  

  • The West just experienced an aspect of the climate crisis that scientists have warned of for years A massive rockfall crashed into Lake Powell. Record-low water levels could be to blame, Lake Mead's water level is running well below predictions.
  • This state's two largest reservoirs are already at 'critically low levels' and the dry season is just starting .
  • The Colorado River irrigates farms, powers electric grids and provides drinking water for 40 million people. As its supply dwindles, a crisis looms.
  • "It's phenomenal," said Stephen Lytle, the son of the local game warden who's been floating and fishing this stretch since boyhood. "You get people from all over the world. Eric Clapton has been up here. Tiger Woods. If you're a fly fisherman, this is one of the places to hit.
  • But bring up the American West's worst droughtin 1,200 years and their reverie turns to head-shaking anxiety and disgust. They may have more water than most -- hundreds of miles from fallowing farms in Arizona or browning lawns in Los Angeles -- but they know that on the Colorado River system, the massive, unchecked demand for water downstream is threat to everything upstream.
  • "It takes millions of gallons of water for a golf course," Tharrett said. "It's going to reach a point when people have to decide, 'Do I survive or do I play golf? Should I have a lawn in the desert or pay a $100 for a basket of berries?’"
  • "The gorge is aflame," journaled John Wesley Powell after the first time he saw the golden hour light up the red rocks in what would come to be known as Flaming Gorge.
  • It was 1871 and after launching his boat, the Emma Dean, in the Green River in Wyoming, the one-armed Civil War veteran was on his way to becoming the first known man to float and paddle this major tributary into the Colorado and through the Grand Canyon. 
  • His trip followed passage of the Homestead Act, which promised that any citizen willing to settle and improve America's Wild West could claim 160 acres of federal land for free. 
  • The Green River is one of the best locations in the country for fly fishing because of the temperature-controlled water released by the Flaming Gorge Dam.
  • But after studying the geology and hydrology of the Colorado basin, Powell warned that this policy was "piling up a heritage of conflict and litigation over water rights, for there is not sufficient water to supply these lands.
  • Congress and the newly-formed state governments ignored the warning, and by the middle of the 20th century they were convinced that by damming various spots along the Colorado system they could engineer enough oases to keep farms, ranches and megacities alive.
  • "In this section of the United States, the key is water," John F. Kennedy said during the 1963 dedication ceremony of Flaming Gorge Dam. "No longer will the Colorado basin be the home of an erratic flow of water, causing drought and poverty in dry years and waste in wet years. Now water will be available wherever needed…"
  • If only.  Less than three months later, the President met tragedy in Dallas, and in the years after his dedication the dam was having devastating effects on fish downstream. 
  • The local economy around Flaming Gorge depends on tourists who come to splash in the reservoir or to fish and float the Green River.
  • The reservoir's temperature-controlled output greats a Goldilocks zone for hatching insects and trout.
  • But in the late 1970s, after a graduate student convinced the fly-fishing governor of Utah to consider a dam retrofit called a penstock, engineers were able to release from specific depths of Flaming Gorge Reservoir, controlling the temperature of the tailwater below and creating a Goldilocks zone for hatching insects and the rainbow and brown trout that feast upon them.
  • Today, most of the local economy depends on tourists who come to splash in the reservoir, which extends deep into Wyoming, or to fish and float the Green. And when the federal Bureau of Reclamation and four Upper Colorado River Basin states agreed to release 500,000 acre-feet -- 1/6 of the reservoir's capacity -- to help desiccated communities to the south, it created a local uproar.
  • "There's a lot of people who just get angry," Lytle said, while paddling the gin-clear eddies. "It's their water. It's their geographic possession. So, they don't like it going down to desert cities that also need it. And any effect on the fishery, especially up here? I mean, that's people's livelihoods.""We're concerned," said Woody Bair, co-owner of the Flaming Gorge Resort, while leaning on shelves brimming with hand-tied flies. "As Lake Powell has gone down over all the years, we worry, 'Is Flaming Gorge going to get to the point where it doesn't generate electricity or goes way, way down?'"
  • Fly fisherman come from all over the world to fish the Green River's rainbow and brown trout.
  • Lake Powell, which straddles the Utah-Arizona border, is named for the man who first sounded the drought alarm over 150 years ago. And climate change is accelerating his grim prediction.
  • The reservoir has dropped frighteningly close to "dead pool," when "we draw a vortex similar to what you'd see in a bathtub as the water drains," said Nicholas Williams, the Bureau of Reclamation's power manager for the Upper Colorado River Basin. "If you don't have a deep enough pool of water above, then that causes issues and can damage the power plant equipment and is too low to generate electricity.
  • Reclamation officials told a Senate committee this week that Western states should brace for even more dramatic cuts in Colorado River water allocation in 2023 -- up to four million acre-feet or over 1.3 trillion gallons, almost as much as California is allocated in a year.
  • CNN Chief Climate Correspondent Bill Weir holds a rainbow trout caught on the Green River.
  • "How long can we do this?" Williams said of the Flaming Gorge releases. "It's limited to a few years. The rest of it is going to depend on how long do we persist in the drought, and where does our water use go? We're going to have to learn to live with the water we have, and the use we've sustained for the last several decades is going to change.
  • Tharrett believes officials have a misguided notion that they are going to be able to salvage something by draining the upper basin reservoirs. 
  • "It's like a teenager when they get their first paycheck," Tharrett told CNN, "and that next day they go and they spend it all and they don't get paid for two weeks and then they go into a panic. If they drain all these upper reservoirs, which are the lifeblood to everything down below, they're going to have nothing."


KUDOS TO FWC ENFORCEMENT

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31 Knots — 3200 Hp Marine Diesels  — Up To 12 Crew

3,000 Gallon Fuel Tanks — “ The Bad Boy Chaser — The Gulf Sentry" 


FWC Officers Intercept Commercial Vessel With More Than 11,000 Pounds Of Illegally Harvested Shrimp —  
On Thursday, March 3, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation (FWC) officers onboard the newest FWC’s Gulf Sentry, an offshore patrol vessel, conducted a resource inspection on a commercial shrimping vessel that was determined to be operating illegally just south of MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa Bay. The vessel, named the Dona Lupa, and its crew were from Port Isabel, Texas. 

During their inspection, officers discovered more than 11,000 pounds of shrimp, valued at more than $30,000, and several pounds of cobia fillets in the vessel’s freezer. Upon further inspection, officers also discovered turtle-excluder device (TED) violations.  Their fine should be the equivalent of their theft, hit them where it hurts, hold their boat as ransom.


FWC Cites Vessel Captain: 2,611 Pompano Over The Limit — 
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The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) has charged a vessel captain with the unlawful use of a monofilament entanglement net (gill net) to take pompano outside of the Pompano Endorsement Zone in federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico. 

Officers with the FWC’s Offshore Patrol Vessel Program stopped a 48-foot commercial vessel, named Legacy, approximately 5.5 nautical miles south of the endorsement zone. The vessel’s captain was in possession of a gill net with a substantial amount of pompano in the net and on the deck of the vessel. 

Officers began a fisheries inspection and quickly realized the vessel possessed well over the allowable bycatch limit of 100 pompano outside of the endorsement zone. Officers escorted the vessel back to Everglades City for further inspection and discovered a total of 2,711 pompano on board, weighing just under 4,000 pounds. In addition, 76 of the pompano measured less than the minimum size of 11 inches to the fork.   


Commercial Fishing Captain Pays $22,300 To NOAA Federal Fisheries Case 

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) today announced a settlement agreement with a commercial fishing captain. Darrell York of the commercial fishing vessel, Watch Out, agreed to pay $22,300 restitution for resource-related crimes dating back to 2015. 

“This case is a great example of our commitment to working with our state and federal partners in bringing those who show complete disregard for Florida’s natural resources and are actively evading officers to justice,” said Col. Roger Young, FWC Division of Law Enforcement.  

Officers with the FWC’s offshore patrol vessel program first encountered York in 2015 when he and his crew discarded their catch of illegal red snapper and grouper during a pursuit. Through multiple encounters and tips from the public, officers determined the captain had constructed a hidden compartment on the vessel. During a stop in January 2021, officers discovered 13 red snapper and one gag grouper in the hidden compartment. Case information was presented to special agents with NOAA and, in April 2022, York and prosecutors with NOAA reached a settlement agreement for a restitution payment of $22,300.



🐟    THE FRUGALIST FISHERMAN'S CHARTER


 President Hoover…He was right about fishing…   I too,  like it's solitude, it’s a chance to reason and think things out.  A chance to seek “ What really is”.  I have been a soloist all my life, I follow my path, in some cases it worked out.  My curiosity drives me — and kept me alive — 

 Sometimes landmines… But I had great motivation from uncles and acquaintances with invented patented products and successful import businesses —   Brooklyn NYC bound, I learned to read early  in a world with no TV and no internet, books were my medicine.   I think, I alone found the school library,  none of my peers there, but great librarian ladies, who liked me.  I was attending one of the worst High Schools in NY and the wonderful Public Library on Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn which led me to the esteemed NYC Manhattan  Public Library, which to me was “ Valhalla for Truants”. I never went to the second and eighth grades, the school system advanced me, and I graduated HS at sixteen and two months.  Reading skills put me ahead two years —  No computers, TV  just books, lots of books.

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 To escape I went fishing at the Canarsie Pier in lower Brooklyn or near Floyd Bennet Naval air station.  Finally got a job at the Canteen on the station and even got to get a ride or two around the pattern in all kinds of WWII aircraft which became my passion for history.   Couple trips to the upper Hudson and some reservoir fishing in fresh water.  Plenty of salty and brackish water yielded flounder, stripped bass, bluefish, weakfish, porgy, fluke, sharks, even sturgeon upstate.  

❖  There are two kinds of people in this world, those who construct, and  correct and those who obstruct and destroy.  I chase the latter.  And op-ed the bad guys.    I simply say life is just  like a library, you get the choice to read all the fiction and non-fiction and make choices of your own, believing in truth or the dark side of unsubstantiated fodder, conspiratorialists and greedy bastards. 

 I have been blessed to have met some pretty interesting and “ substantial people” who all had some form of motivation they took advantage of .  They were all doers, thinkers, futurists and progressives.  They came from all walks of life and turmoil that was thrown at them.  My salvation and escape came from history books —  My specialty attention is World War II when the Holocaust became real in my family.

❖  Thats why I Fish, it’s like research,  you never know what you will find or whats on the other side or on the end of things.  It’s called curiosity followed by discovery and sometimes a whole bunch of rabbit holes.  

❖  Being a good fisherman is as much importance as your gear,  reading water, terrain, time, and A Chinese General Sun Wu ( TZU) 544 BC - 496 BC wrote the “ Art Of War”  mentioned in every military strategy class I attended, that  knowing your  adversaries mindset, you will have a thousand victories. 
And  Yes, my favorite dig is  “ Yup, that fish brain sure outsmarted you”.  The science and the art in fishing, is really situational awareness.  It is investing the time and preparation so you understand the patterns and processes of your adversary.   

 Also, That is why Fishing Charter Boat Captains get fish, they have studied their adversary and his environments, the  water, currents and tides, the specie, their feeding characteristics, depth control, the tackle, and the playing field. 



🐟  
 My World  —  Back in The Game Of Fishing — Swords Into Plowshares — 

 In my later years, looking at retirement I had somehow accumulated lots of parts, plumbing, hardware, gadgets, and gizmos,  displays, from stores that went under,  I had half a JC Penny store there almost a garage piled high and full.  We all dream and mentally accumulate stuff for projects we never start or complete.  I was looking at that mess, and I needed my garage back.   My plan was keep the small car and enough room for a Kayak — or Canoe —  

I took 300 lbs lots of brass and aluminum over to the metal reclamation joint and got a paycheck.  Between the brass and the spare AC parts and units,  I added about 1500 plus dollars in rods and reel to my collection.  My Man-Cave collection is complete  —  

❖  It contains six Penn Spinners, 2000-6000,  One Shimano Bass Bait-Caster,  One Penn Senator — 3/0 Special,  and four Fly rods, Orvis, 5/6 - Orvis 8,  Sougayilang 7/8,  Eagle Claw, 3/4  **,  Two Tenkara Mini Fishing Poles 12/14,  One Crappie rod ** dedicated rod and a couple spin casts for kids.  

❖  Enough materials, worms, soft baits, hackles to dubbing to wire to terminal gear to make a few thousand flies, 600 spinner baits, and accessories to fill a tackle store.  All, the bulk of it came from the junk and parts I had no need for any more and sold off.   ** means they sit in my car available since they collapse and in seconds if I see something worth exploring — 

❖  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 and winning.  I  live in Tampa Bay and with an abundance of salt-water wade-able bays, shoreline and flats  — Over a hundred miles  or more of such, the 7/8 FLY wading or 4000 spinners does the trick. The Tampa Bay area is the Valhalla of fishing.    

❖  But you got to dress properly and be aware of the sun.  Tampa Bay waters are fruitful with Trout, Snook, Redfish, Jack Crevalle, Cobia, Ladyfish, Mackerel, Flounders, Grouper, Snapper, Baby Tarpon and lots of  Shark.   My charter friends with boats have off-shore heavier stuff gear, and  I can use their gear.   I stick with light to medium, I’m too old for dragging  and cranking bigger Senators and heavy fish.  Age and stents will do that to you, and creating your own stress test is not a good idea, on the water in 90+ degrees heat and humidity — think smart — sleeping at home is better than sleeping in a hospital bed.


I Was A Boater, I Became An Aviator — Thirty-Two Years — Mission Accomplished — 
We live on the SW side of Florida, a boat building mecca,  I had three boats before I was 35, but too much work. I gave up on boats, being that they are a hole in the ocean you fill with money.  

  • I had a greater dream, Aviation, I took the giant leap,  and found out the truth, the sky is bigger than the ocean and that hole as I found out is bigger.   
  • I bought and sold my first of many  real planes  —  With a ton of self-motivation I got my Private Pilot license in forty days. And thing went up from there.
  • Aviation made access for great fishing.  Here’s how it worked out…  I had use of my plane and  a couple thousand hours plus in different models of Pipers, Grumman's and Cessna's and flew for 32 years…
  • I just swapped trips in my plane, I flew,  furnished and gassed the plane,  they paid the fees, for my room,  meals, the charter boat, and the fishing.  
  • Gas was cheap then. No money involved,  and totally legal, called “ Trip sharing” under the FAA which was GADO then.   
  • We did the hot spots on the East Coast  (One hour plus),  and the Keys from Tampa, ( Two hours - 217 NM ).
  • We brought back lots of filets.  The three paid for the charter, included the gear, bait and we dragged nothing but a change of clothes and toiletries.  we were all friends. The good thing was climate —  In Key West, anything other than shorts, boat shoes or flip-flops, T -shirts and unshaven, they think you are a foreigner.  Two days, minimal baggage and gear.  “ Weight”  under the aircraft limits.
  • Definition of a loser  —  A formal wear store in Key West — 


🐠  “Teaching and encouraging your kids to fly fish can be a tricky balance at times. You have this passion that means so much to you and has for your entire life. And you want them to be able to experience the same joy that has made your life so rich and meaningful. 

At the same time, this is theirs, not yours. You don’t want to be too heavy handed or ruin the purity that comes with them discovering their own relationship with the water, the fishery, the fish, and with fly fishing. 

But if you're patient and allow yourself to be lucky—two things that any practiced angler knows—the moment will present itself where your child experiences it through their eyes, on their terms, through their mistakes and successes, and you can sit there and be so thankful for the opportunity to be a helpful spectator as they begin to form a true connection with the outdoors.”

—Simon Perkins. Father first. Fly angler, upland devotee, and president of Orvis second.




—  SELF PRESERVATION GUIDE FOR FLORIDA — 


🌪  Weather  —  Tornadoes Thunderstorms and Lightning Don’t Like The Weather  — Mother Nature is a Bitch  — give her FIVE minutes and it will change —  Give her ten minutes and you’ll drown, and lightning in Florida is worse than Alligators, Snakebites and Hepatitus, Food Poisoning.


💨 🌊  
 Hurricanes —  Warnings of  a rough Hurricane season which turned drought into fifteen days of horrendous thunderstorms.  And much destruction , Tampa Bay has been very lucky.

🦀🏌🏿‍♂️ Four Freshwater Ponds —  less than fifty yards from  my garage door,  are part of the ponds of the golf course… they are connected by marsh to another string of ponds called the Largo Nature Preserve  which also prohibits fishing after a horrible Arsenic scare in 2008.   Arsenic is in preserved lumber, many of out boardwalks and towers in parks used this wood but the sawdust from the saws got into the soil —

Recreational fishing,  is prohibited in Largo.  Bass, crappies and bream safe.  But on the golf course it is not allowed.  Posted property —  And if they are golfing you don’t want to be there.  A golf ball travels from 50-79 miles per hour and can severely dent your head —  we have below average golfers and to call some of them dangerous is an understatement. One other factor is what they keep the greens green with.  


🚱  Fresh Water  —  We Have Snakes  —   Mosquitos — Insects  —  Florida has 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 not too far.   For the shoreline, a small Yeti is a good idea.  I'm building a surf stroller, big tires, a cold beer, sandwiches,  as a surf project and gear.   I have a few buds that do it and are successful. Weather radio and back up batteries, extended cell phone antenna, radar and a Martini mixer.

WARNING:   We also have Water Moccasins, and Rattlers, Coral Snakes and some nasty bugs along lakes and streams.  Be alert!  We also have many good snakes like the Black and Corn racers that keep mice and fruit rats under control.  We also have a mock black water snake that imitates a Cottonmouth.

🌁   Bridge Fishing  —   Some of the best bridge fishing in Florida is in Tampa Bay and the inshore and offshore near Pasco country is excellent trout country on silver mullet colored  L& S Bait company, MirrOlures,  during May, and April.  Their production plant for their world renowned lures is a three iron or wood one  shot from my condo front door. 


🚸 🌆  Safety  —  Today it is 93 Degrees and About 77% Humidity.  You will dehydrate just standing still.  You need both Hydration and skin protection, fifty is a good start, our sunburns go off the charts, many wind up in the hospital, and will get you to the ER a lot faster than you might think.   The sun kills here if you are not cautious.


🏥   You Will Dehydrate  And Sunburn - 2021 is a year I want to forget.  Recently I had removed two small lesions, a relative minor but never-the-less bout with skin cancer.   Got to be careful and alert.  It's more dangerous than you think and judging by the crowd at the dermatologist all too popular a sport. Back to the SPF fifty class preventive. 

  • Dress for success and that means breathable heat ex-changing clothing,  
  • With my recent heart stents inserts, which having an alert and a great doctor,  I avoided a full blown heart attack.  I remain very cautious.
  • Almost every Captain I know wears long sleeves, wicking shirts, hats with a neck or face protector, polaroid glasses and a water bottle.   Sunburn and skin cancer are not taken lightly.
  • They know the damage it can do for you.   All of the fishing stores and shops sell approved wear for the angler, look cool and be cool.   On the flats 3-4 feet deep,  I have even in the skiff,  I wear a light personal protection life jacket,  or belt safety shown.


🦈  Sharks and  Another Warning:  

  • If smart,  do not wade after the sun heads down, few know that Tampa Bay, Florida is the great birthing area for many specie of sharks who deliver at sundown  in the shallow coastal darkness many frequenting both coastal and intercostal areas.  Especially the west coast beaches.
  • YOU NAME THE SHARK SPECIE  —  It probably lives here, some part time, not usually whites but anything is possible,  aggressive bulls and hammerheads,  pointers, white/black tips,  nurse, thresher,  spinners and others.  Read the regulations again about what you can harvest and what you can’t.  These laws change frequently as the researchers battle Mother Nature, and have to adjust the harvesting. 
  • So make sure you have a current brochure handy or on your cellphone for your area and harvesting regulations.  The Fines Are Not Small  — And Our Fish And Game People Are Very Protective, Friendly But They Write Tickets which are not cheap and can confiscate the catch,  and your boat.  Re-read the top three stories. And the new boat was only a month old.


🌾  Harvesting  —   

  • Handle game fish carefully and release and let them grow up and reproduce.   I have a cooking session on this site;  I prefer Fresh Grouper, Snapper, Tilapia, Salmon and Tuna cooked in a variety of styles including Fish Tacos…
  • I know where to buy and have a off shore fishmonger friend and he has his own boats, I trust him.   I fish for the solitude and sport, once in a while I get a good keeper.
  • The weather and mother nature caused much harm this year,  global warming is apparent and ignored  —   I cannot believe how ignorant people will be when BS political stations play down the warming  and reality,  TV and bullsh*t shows count more than truth.

🐟  Fish Scams —  Something Fishy Here  — The BIG Lies — 
Before a new sheriff in agriculture for Florida came on the scene, the big signs on the restaurant sidewalks in Tampa Bay, all sides of the bay, Pinellas Pasco, Sarasota, Manatee Counties told us of :  “ The Great Catch Of The Bay Today” .   It became a statewide investigation, also helped get rid of  the Commissioner in the next election.  He was a jerkoff — 

Read   The Food Court on this site, read about the restaurant games here.  The fish substitute game.  Skate fins for scallops, Tilapia for Snapper etc.   Florida is Seafood country,  but also it is not as regulated  as it should be.

Blame a lot of things on the politicians we have in the present.  Many of our restauranteurs would fail a lie detector test and a few would never see daylight if a real investigation of their process was undertaken. 

“ From Somewhere else in the world” — Fish and shrimp  travel very far frozen.  Today almost nothing in retail and  big box stores, the shrimp or pond grown fish produce is US based.   Maybe Tilapia is farm grown and is OK. You can do a lot with it, mild, non-allergenic, cooks quick, easily transformed.  Reasonably priced.  

Restaurant Shrimp are from the Indonesian Peninsula, Eastern China Area, Thailand, and India.  Frozen and only the Lord knows how fresh.  Also when weighed for sale if it’s frozen, in big box store bags, consider,  weighing it, defrost it and weigh it again,  just like Chicken which is injected with 15% water is when it is weighed for price.

I am quite well hated as a food critic, I must be.  It’s due to the fact I tell the truth. And I am not afraid to speak out.  I get trashed a lot for truth, I am also well qualified for protection.  I carry, lite and heavy, once a month train at the range.



🐟  I Got Into Lure Building For My Spinning, Conventional, And Fly Gear — 

I ordered a lot of small items to fill out my return to lure building, a giant part of my site with a couple of fresh approached and Do-It-Yourself ways to save money and increase your stash.  The goal of my site is to give you choices. I enjoy dealing with  a few companies I will mention.

FLY FISHING AND ROD BUILDING — Three good stores on line are Jan’s Net Craft is excellent for Lure and Rod building, of almost anything, and so is J.Stockards…specialists in Fly Fishing… The loyalists who love ORVIS products appreciate the quality of what they sell and they have excellent tutorials and most of the real secrets are really out in the open for you.   Locally in Tampa Bay on the Tampa side we have:  There are lots of good guys around about a half dozen who do the right thing. If you are in Tampa Bay on the Tampa side vacation or a Resident, may I suggest:


🐟  Tampa Fishing Outfitters.  https://tampafishingoutfitters.com  Numero Uno

You walk in and take a breath, it’s Alice In Wonderland for fishermen, huge and stacked  to the ceilings with every conceivable piece of gear made.   And a really smart staff who know what going on.  More on them later.  They are fishermen.

If you go there bring food and water, the store is huge and they got it all.   The place blew me away when I went there the first time.  These are also Good Places for the unusual parts — Where and what to buy if you are fortunate enough to enjoy the personalization building your own.  

Tampa Bay has about forty to fifty places you can buy tackle — and or bait —  These are some of the best stores on both sides of the bay,   just search engine or Google “ their name, a website map will appear. N-E-S-W indicates side of the bay.

🪰 Indicate they carry and sell fly casting gear. I know these shops —  Tamp Fishing Outfitters, St Pete Fishing Outfitters and Tarpon Fishing Outfitters are affiliated and have a great newsletter with real locations and hot spots. E.W, NW are compass points around the bay.  East  is the Hillsboro or Tampa side, St.Petersburg is the West side, etc — 

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🐟  —  Where Else Do I Shop,  Frugality Is An Issue, Economics Are Critical — 

AMAZON  —  So I inquired of big names in Fishing Parts that sold retail on line,  plus I do a lot of business with Amazon because of my age and health to avoid 93-100 degree days and 85% humidity and a funeral.  With gas prices rising  to the  obscene four and a half dollar mark, travel starts to get expensive and Amazon has an expanded selection but beware of deals that are too good.  

CHINESE JUNKS  —  Again one must be cautious, on line, I am a touch and feel person, many of the items on line are not what I call first class or the best possible choice.  Both Amazon and eBay selling stuff similar to the Chinese Cruise Line “ Le Junk” says it all. If I recommend a place you can be assured they are first class.

FORTUNATELY,  I AM LUCKY, I HAVE SOME SKILLS AND ONE WHO BELIEVES IN HORSE-TRADING and got some really nice deals, some fairly good deals, some learning on line,  and enough tools and  junk around to make a lot of my own gear.  

I fish pragmatically,  and that includes bait, my small bait is Sam’s Warehouse frozen salad shrimp, because it sucks in a salad but great for the dock species like sheepshead and other smaller salties. I repacked them into 25 pieces and I can grab and go anytime I want.  

I’ll  do the same when the sand fleas hit.  

I tie my own flies, including Tenkara and Ocean streamers, spinners and have about 600 homemade lures and they work just as good as some store bought.  Ugly but for some reason they work, in fly fishing you try to imitate bait but predators think differently sometimes make mistakes and some of my ugliest, gross-est streamers caught fish.  I also learned don’t boat a Barracuda.   They are one mean SOB. 

LARGER WAL-MART'S —  Have small stuff  like terminal gear by some brand names, but the biggest percentage are price items.  All their rods and reels are low-end discount, thats their market.   Chinese and Le Junk brand.  But Sinkers, brand name hooks, worms,  soft lures, good prices in a pinch and they are open till eleven at some of their stores. Good for kids gear, and late night changes in the next day. The bigger ones allow you to fill your Yeti with Food and Drink the night before.

WE SUFFER FROM GAS PAINS —  My prediction came true as the gasoline problem is already here.  When we went out on my friends 38 footer,  the two hundred gallon tanks at two dollars supporting the three Yamaha 350’S was $400.00.

Today at the MARINA 4.50+.50 per gallon = 1000.00  —  So we go with five guys and split it.  If one can afford a $450 - $600.00 dollar boat, gas is not a problem.  I passed a new operation called a Used Boat Lot ( Consignment) similar to a used Car Lot. Sign of the times. 

THE PLACE WAS LOADED WITH BOATS.  Many were not saleable because they owed more than the value of the boat to the bank, it’s called being upside down. You may expect charter fishing pricing to go up with the cost of fuel and much shorter or closer off shore runs so as to conserve gas.


🐟  Over 65 — No License Needed  — But There are Some Rules  —  

  • FLORIDA IS A GREAT STATE 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.  At times for research there might be a registration period for a certain specie.   Just register, no fee but they would like for you to report what is harvested or released.
    FWC does a great job in the state protecting and building inventory in our protected species.  We have one of the largest Bass breeding and Ocean Species regulating seasonal generating programs.


  • 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.  

  • AGAIN SOME SPECIES, YOU MAY CATCH BUT  you cannot retain them, thats called “ Harvesting”  in this state,  then there are many seasonal species. And even over sixty-five you might have to register for certain fish, it’s not a cost to you, its more for the specie watchers who determine the heath of our fish populations. get the APP from Apple or Google and put it on your cellphone — We recommend a waterproof case and lanyard.

START  —  MY WORKBENCH 

01/24/2022   aljacobsladder.com 


6/06/2022