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"In Harm's Way"--Hurricane Gustav Blog--Sun. 6 p.m.

August 31, 2008

"We've been on the road all day--since 5 this morning when we left New Orleans behind. After taking hours and hours to go just 35 miles, things are beginning to finally open up and we've actually hit 45 miles an hour after traveling at 4 mph for most of the day. Thankfully both my wife, who is up ahead of me in the suv with the kids, and I have enough range in our vehicles to finish out the trip to Mississippi. There's really no place that has gas, but I think we can finish out the trip. Will hopefully get there by midnight or so.

"Meanwhile, behind us out in the Gulf, buoy reports put some wave heights at 45 feet---but that's far out in the deeper water of the Gulf. As they hit the shallows, the waves will stack up. Hard to imagine what it would be like right now to be near where we were fishing just two days ago.—Devlin Roussell

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  • August 31, 2008

    "In Harm's Way"--Hurricane Gustav Blog--Sun. 5 a.m.-0

    by

    Img00045
    "Mayor Ray Nagin, New Orleans, was very concise in his description of this storm. He called Gustav, in his 7 p.m. press conference, the mother of all storms. That is saying a lot after what we went through with Katrina. Katrina was a real benchmark and if this is worse, we are all in real trouble. We are now hearing talk of 20+ foot storm surge. Up to 20,000 people have been assisted in evacuation by the city and state. This puts us leaps and bounds above where we were at this point 3 years ago. The New Orleans Metro area is emptiyng out.

    "My family and I have just pulled out. My wife's suv and my truck are filled to the rim. We let the kids pack anything that they wanted. It amazes me what is important to kids. My oldest daughter took her championship softball trophey and her game balls. My youngest daughter brought every doll that she owns. I am taking a few shotguns and rifle's and my wife has loaded every photo album that we have. We made sure that we had birth certificates, passports and SS cards. God, I hope that this is for naught.

    "We are lucky, we are going to visit with friends in Columbus Mississippi. Being with friends makes this so much easier. We will make a dove hunt on Monday. I deer hunt up there and the trip takes me about 6 hours but in the morning, it will take us more than 12 hours. My wife will drive with the kids and I will take the dog.

    "We cleaned out our fridge and freezers tonight. We packed an ice chest with all kinds of great stuff, to bring with us. We packed some duck, lots of venison, back strap and sausage, and some fish and shrimp. We will eat well up there.

    "Hopefully we will be able to head home on Thursday with no harm or loss. If that is the outcome, I would give my left you know what for that." Devlin Roussell

    [ Read Full Post ]
  • August 30, 2008

    "In Harm's Way"--Hurricane Gustav Blog--Sat. 9 p.m.-0

    by

    Outdoor Life friend and Venice, Louisiana charterboat skipper Devlin Roussell has been through hell before. Venice was Ground Zero for Hurricane Katrina which completely destroyed one of North America's finest fishing destinations. With Hurricane Gustav's sights firmly  set on Venice again, we've asked Roussell to provide Outdoorlife.com readers with updates on storm preparation. Stay tuned to OL.com for the latest on Gustav and how it will affect hunters and fishermen:

    "Ray Nagin just called Gustav The Mother of All Storms...She will be a Cat 5 tomorrow.

    "The footprint is now 900 miles. We are leaving around 4 a.m.--the traffic is too bad to leave now.

    "Nothing we're hearing is good."

    [ Read Full Post ]
  • August 30, 2008

    "In Harm's Way"--Hurricane Gustav Blog---0

    by

    Img00038
    Outdoor Life friend and Venice, Louisiana charterboat skipper Devlin Roussell has been through hell before. Venice was Ground Zero for Hurricane Katrina which completely destroyed one of North America's finest fishing destinations. With Hurricane Gustav's sights firmly  set on Venice again, we've asked Roussell to provide Outdoorlife.com readers with updates on storm preparation. Stay tuned to OL.com for the latest on Gustav and how it will affect hunters and fishermen:

    After getting to New Orleans at about midnight last night, I was awakened at 5:30 am by my neighbor, who was outside, talking on his cell phone. He sounded upset, and he is pretty calm and collected. He was talking about leaving the city. I got up and checked the track, it still had south La as the projected landfall. I decided to go check on the boats and I made a quick trip to Belle Chase. The roads were pretty busy with people trying to get out before the 12:00 pm mandatory evacuation. No one looked even remotely amused with the situation.

    With a projected landfall west of us as a cat 3 or 4, this storm could do some serious damage to Plaquemines Parish. Hopefully, New Orleans will be somewhat safe. Let's just hope that gustav doesn't take an easterly jog. We will probably pull out tommorow morning. My wife has to be back at work on Thursday, so we will try not to go too far. She is on the relief team at her hospital and while she doesn't have to be here for the storm, she does have to relieve the team that stays. I am sure that they will be looking for some relief after 5 days at work.

    [ Read Full Post ]
  • August 29, 2008

    "In Harm's Way"--Hurricane Gustav Blog--Time to Go-0

    by

    Dsc_1106
    Outdoor Life friend and Venice, Louisiana charterboat skipper Devlin Roussell has been through hell before. Venice was Ground Zero for Hurricane Katrina which completely destroyed one of North America's finest fishing destinations. With Hurricane Gustav's sights firmly  set on Venice again, we've asked Roussell to provide Outdoorlife.com readers with updates on storm preparation. Stay tuned to OL.com for the latest on Gustav and how it will affect hunters and fishermen:

    "Well Venice, Louisiana is pretty much a ghost town as I write this on Friday evening. While there were still several boats in Cypress Cover Marina this morning, there are, I think, seven right now. But we did get in one last day of fishing before pulling the last of our boats and heading north. Not a bad day, either. We managed a few yellowfin, some blackfin and even had a short-nosed spearfish that we lost right at the boat--pretty cool.

    "We fished the Medusa rig this morning and while we were fishing, evacuations were taking place with helicopters coming in and out. Medusa, from what I understand, is the last rig to be evacuated. While heading north with the fourth and last of our boats, I couldn't help but notice that there were very few lights on in any of the houses from Venice through Buras and on north. There were also no vehicles headed south--strange, strange especially when you consider that it's Labor Day weekend.

    "Don't mind saying that this morning was a pretty melancholy sort of morning. I won't get back down here until after Gustav and so had to pack my hunting and fishing stuff. Took ALL of my camo, obviously my guns and every rod and reel I own. My family and I will try to duck the storm in Mississippi where dove season opens on the 1st. Took all of my dekes and put them up on the second floor--that way they (hopefully) won't float off into the flood waters. I also cleaned out the fridge and freezer--even if the storm hits 100 miles either direction, we'll lose power.

    "Guess the best news of all today was that Gustav seems to be headed a little west of us. I honestly don't know how the forecasters can even begin to predict a storm track four days out and even before the thing has hit the Gulf, but at least we don't seem to be the bull's eye at the moment. Of course, everything can change in an instant."

    "

    [ Read Full Post ]
  • August 28, 2008

    "In Harm's Way"--Hurricane Gustav Blog-0

    by

    Outdoor Life friend and Venice, Louisiana charterboat skipper Devlin Roussell has been through the hell before. Venice was Ground Zero for Hurricane Katrina which completely destroyed one of North America's finest fishing destinations. With Hurricane Gustav's sights firmly  set on Venice again, we've asked Roussell to provide Outdoorlife.com readers with updates on storm preparation. Stay tuned to OL.com for the latest on Gustav and how it will affect hunters and fishermen:

    "I am southbound for the third time today. I have brought two boats up and now I am headed down to make preparations to pull my 30-footer out and to fish tomorrow. We have to take advantage of the last for a while. Highway 23 has been a non-stop line of trucks pulling boats, campers and trailers northward. Just before a holiday weekend they should be heading the other way. I have only seen one southbound boat. That is just odd.

    "The good news, for us, is that the track of the storm has taken a jog to the west. We wish this thing on no one, but that offers us a bit of breathing room. Unfortunately, not enough to relax. Wow! I just watched a northbound Mako have a blowout. That sucks for that guy. I've been there.

    "The Marina (Cypress Cove) is going to shut down tomorrow at 3 p.m. and we still expect an evacuation to be called Saturday. We are all still planning to leave if this track continues. All of this on the eve of the 3rd anniversary of Katina."

    P.S. "This all has already cost $400 in fuel, $350 in tires, a pair of Cost Del Mars and three packs of smokes. I HATE towing boats!"

    [ Read Full Post ]
  • August 20, 2008

    What I Miss About Fishing: The Craziest of the Crazy Crawlers-4

    by

    E2bd_1
    As a teenager, the fishing rivalry between my cousin and I was beyond intense. Hell, it wasn't just about catching the most or biggest largemouths, it was about manhood itself.

    We all found ourselves in different camps. I was a dyed-in-wool Burke's guy with black and natural colored worms (of course they were earth-scent impregnated) and then switched over to Burke's Flex Plugs when they were introduced in the early 70s. My favorites were the Top Dog and the Pop Top. Talk about totally buying into the hype! Burke's pr said that because these plugs were made of soft plastic (rubber), bass would bite them harder and hold on. Well, they seemed to. I did pretty well with these topwaters.

    My dad? I think he went through 10 years using the very same black Arbogast Hula Popper. Oh, he'd occasionally replace its rubberized tail, but not often enough. And yet, he'd take bass after bass. I can still vividly see the joy on his face when a bass would boil on his presentation.

    My cousin? Well, he was the dastardly Heddon guy. Of course, it made no sense that dastardly and Heddon would go together, but that's how we viewed it--rivalries work that way. One summer day, he opened his aluminum Umco tackle box to reveal a topwater lure none of us had ever seen before. He called it a "Tiny Crazy Crawler Mouse" and I couldn't have been more jealous. Holy crap--what a lure. Well, at least it looked good.

    Then he cast it. Once the ripples faded on his very first offering, a huge largemouth inhaled it. He fought the fish hard on his red Sears baitcasting reel then, infuriatingly, unhooked the bass from the lure and onto his chain stringer--with the non-chalantness of Curt Gowdy.  Yeah, I decided to take a good, long look at all of Heddon's offerings after that.

    —Gerry Bethge

    [ Read Full Post ]
  • August 15, 2008

    The Weekend Bite-8/15-0

    by

    Northeast

    Dunkirk, New York: Walleye is the word in Dunkirk according to Gerry Begier at Bill Hook’s (captainhookstackle.com). She said that anglers fishing in next weekend’s big Masters Walleye Tournament will find plenty of big fish straight off Dunkirk in 95 to 100 feet of water. Crews are trolling dipsy divers with stickbaits, spoons and worm harnesses. “Any color on top of copper is a hot color for the worm harnesses,” she said. Best spoons are dream weavers in size WD and Super Swim while hot colors are mojo, Buffalo Bill, alibi, and dragon balls. A Chatter Trick Stick is the number one stickbait and the most effective sizes are No. 2 and 5 in chartreuse, perch, rainbow, or black and silver. She says that the guys are trolling with planer board and down riggers while using wire line get the baits down deep. “Use your fish finder to find the schools,” she suggests, “If they’re a little finicky, tease them a little bit by working the rod to give the bait some action.” 

    Southeast

    Potomac River, Maryland: From Smoketown Bait and Tackle (smoketownbaitandtackle.com) on the Potomac River, Andy Smothers reports that the smallmouth bite is going off in the evenings. He said that the river is low, so he’s finding the fish with tubes while guys who are wading are having the best luck with live minnows. Just hook the minnow on a #2 to #6 Eagle Claw hook and cast it in a deep eddy behind the rocks. He said that the best starting point is the Brunswick Boat Ramp. “There are plenty of places to park your car and you can wade in either direction,” Andy said. He warns waders to watch where they’re walking, “Look out for deep pockets and holes.”  The catfish bite has also been good. Again the best bite is in the evening. Andy said that the most productive stretch of water is between Knoxville and Brunswick and the tastiest baits have been chicken livers and night crawlers.

    South

    Mosquito Lagoon, Florida: T.J. from Orlando Outfitters (orlandooutfitters.com) reports that the water level is high in the Mosquito Lagoon allowing the redfish to go back farther than usual. “Throw a dart at a map of the Lagoon and you’ll find a place to catch reds,” he told us. Abundant grass on the flat makes weedless flies the ticket. Most guys are using 12-pound tippet material to land the fish quickly and improve the chances of a healthy release. He said that the hottest flies are white Clousers and other baitfish patterns in size 4 to 2. T.J. told us that redfish action is best on the skinny flats while the trout will hold along the edges of the flats, especially early in the morning. T.J. also had news that the tarpon migration has started around Titusville. He says that the fish are easiest to see when the water is slick calm early in the morning or after a thunderstorm. “Any of the typical tarpon flies will work,” he said. Look for the fish around the docks or deep-water edges along the Indian River.

    Midwest

    Branson, Missouri: From Anglers and Archery (anglersandarchery.com), Chuck Gries announced that Rainbow trout are spawning on Taneycomo Lake. “We’ve been catching rainbows to 25 inches and there are bigger ones in the lake,” he said. Chuck said that spin-fishermen should use Rapalas and little Kastmaster spoons. “Cast them toward the bank and work it back to you,” he said, “nothing fancy.” Drifting powerbaits or nightcrawlers or fishing the same bait from the shore at any of the public access points will also produce some impressive trout. Flyfishermen are using scuds, zebra midges, and San Juan worms by either drifting in a boat or fishing from the bank. He added that guys fishing Table Rock are finding largemouth with nightcrawlers fished in water from 25 to 30 feet deep.

    West

    Park City, Utah: Walter Foster the Trout Bum (troutbum2.com), has been fishing the Provo River 20 minutes east of Park City, Utah.  He said the Middle Provo has been hatching pale morning duns in size 16 and 18 and the evening hatch has been caddis flies in size 16 to size 12. Foster pointed out that most of the daytime action has been below the surface. “The PMDs have been hatching from 1PM on,” he said, “so you have good dry fly fishing in the afternoon.” He said that during the day the best bite has been on terrestrials such as grasshoppers in size 12 to 14. Walter recommends fishing the first mile below Jordanelle Reservoir at any of the six public access parking lots. “Just park and walk in either direction,” he says. The middle Provo boasts about 3000 trout per mile so any direction you walk you will find fish. Walter adds that trout on the lower Provo below Deer Creek Reservoir are responding to nymphs. “The hot fly has been a sow bug from size 20 to 14,” he says. He also told us that the PMDs and caddis flies are infesting the lower section of the river. If you want to do some dry fly fishing, try the evening caddis hatch. “That’s the main diet of the fish on that section of the river,” he said. Again the first mile before the reservoir hosts several public parking areas, but Walter says that the water closest to the reservoir holds the most fish.

    [ Read Full Post ]
  • August 8, 2008

    The Weekend Bite--8/8-0

    by

    Northeast

    Pine Meadow, Connecticut: From Up Country Sportfishing (www.farmingtonriver.com), Grady Allen, told us that the Farmington River has been fishing well for 12- to 16-inch brown trout. “I’ve heard of a few fish over 20 inches,” he added. Grady suggests small needhami and Griffith-gnats in size 22 and 26. He added that fishing is best early in the morning until noon. During the middle of the day the fish are taking terrestrials—especially ants and beetles. The hottest fishing is in Barkhamstead in the catch-and-release section of the river. He expects the dry fly fishing to explode as the days get shorter, the water gets lower, and the air gets cooler. Grady also told us that West Hill Lake is holding Kokanee Salmon for anglers fishing maggots at night in 25 feet or water. “Get out there with a floating light and hang some maggots over the side and the fish come in,” Grady said. Although the technique sounds disgusting, “The guys who do it like it,” Grady laughed. He added that Highland Lake is putting up some nice bass for guys hitting the water early in the morning with topwater poppers and large swim baits.

    Southeast

    Columbia, South Carolina: Kent Parsons at Barron’s Outfitters (www.barronsoutfitters.com) in Columbia, South Carolina was sad to say that trout fishing has been slow due to low water on the local rivers. He told us that Lake Murray is the best bet for striped bass. Guys are catching the fish by down-rod fishing live or cut herring at 40 to 60 feet. The best largemouth fishing in the lake is on rocky points in 12 to 15 feet of water with Carolina rigs and large rubber worms or lizards. “When I say large I mean 7- to 10-inch worms,” Kent said, “That’s large.” He added that crankbaits have also been effective. Smallmouth fishing is best at the confluence of the Saluda, Broad and Congaree Rivers. “A lot of people have been catching them with fly rods and wooly buggers and baitfish patterns or spinning tackle with small crankbaits and small spinners,” Kent said.

    South

    Little Rock, Arkansas: Vince Miller at Fish ’n Stuff told us that anglers are working the rock jetties of the Arkansas River with crankbaits and jigs to catch largemouth bass. “We’ve had high flows but the water dropped and the fishing has been tough,” he admitted. Vince expects the fishing to improve when the current in the river increases. “When we get some flow we’ll get some action on jigs and topwater baits,” he said. Until then, Vince suggests anglers fish the thick vegetation in the backwater sections of the river. “Guys are having better luck working frogs over the grass,” he said.  Bass fishing on the bigger lakes is best at night. Vince suggests Texas rigging worms and dropping them into points and brush piles. He says  that red worms work best when the moon is bright and plum baits are the ticket when the moon is low. “Just your basic dog days of summer stuff,” he said.

    Midwest

    De Moines, Iowa: From Second Avenue Bait House, Kathy Hughes reports that catfishing for flatheads and channels is good on the De Moines and Raccoon Rivers. She said that anglers are soaking live chubs and sunfish from the bridges in town and off the Center Street and Scott Street Dams. She suggests using a Carolina rig with a 1 to 3 ounce eggsinker sliding 18 inches above a 4/0 hook. She says the best bait is a live chub or sunfish hooked through the chin and out the nostril. “We’ve weighed flat head cats up to 45 pounds this year,” she said. Badger Creek and Big Creek Lakes are full of bluegill and bass. Kathy recommends fishing waxworms under a bobber for the bluegill while the bass are falling for large live minnows and hard baits. 

    West

    Tucson, Arizona: Eric Loeffler at Dry Creek Outfitters is sending anglers to the White Mountains north of Tucson to fish for big brown and Apache trout. “The small streams and high mountain lakes are really productive,” he said. Eric told us that heavy snows and hard rain have left the rivers and lakes in good condition for fishing. “It’s better than they’ve been in years and we’re enjoying a good year,” he said. Eric has been sending folks to Earl Park Lake with ant patterns to catch big brown trout. He suggests fishing the lake in a float tube and casting to the shore. “That’s my favorite lake,” he said. If Eric is in the mood to fish streams on foot, he heads to the west fork of the Black River for Apache trout. “It’s a unique trout with black spots like a rainbow but yellow on its ventral side like a brown trout,” he said. He told us that the fish are pretty cooperative and will take an Ausable Wulff or any attractor pattern in size 16. You can only find Apache trout in the White Mountains. For a more adventurous fishing trip, Eric suggests heading to the Colorado River. “It’s a great time to fish the river,” he said, “with big water coming out of the Glenn Canyon Dam.’ Eric said that there are 15 miles of water that can only be accessed by jet boat. Guides will run to the top of the river and beach the boat then anglers will wade the gravel bars fishing wooly buggers or parachute Adams. “Right now the cicadas are screeching in the trees,” he told us, “When they fall out of the trees the fish are ready for them.”  Eric especially likes drifting down the river in the jet boat and casting into the banks with a size 8 foam cicadas. “The fish will fight over it,” he said.

    [ Read Full Post ]
  • August 1, 2008

    SHARKS!--The Weekend Bite-8/1-0

    by

    Shark_oak_bluff_1_2
    Oak Bluff, Massachusetts

    It’s all over and the results are in, once again the Oak Bluff Monster
    Shark Tournament lived up to its name. Larry Melo and his team on
    Waterbury brought in this year’s winning fish—a 399-pound thresher
    shark. Melo’s crew spent most of the day bailing blue sharks, which
    aren’t eligible in the tournament. Mid-way through the day, they
    decided to pick up their baits and move the boat to the tail-end of
    their chum slick. A few minutes later the big fish was on the line. It
    took the crew almost two hours to land the shark and another hour to
    get it in the boat with a block and tackle. Melo said the secret to
    catching big sharks is doing your homework. “You’ve got to know your
    environment and your prey,” he says. “There are tons of excellent
    resources on shark fishing.” Melo’s thresher shark beat the second
    place thresher—caught by Mark Amorello and crew aboard Sashamy—by 20
    only pounds and barely bested Volatility’s third-place fish which
    weighed in at 365 pounds. Melo caught his fish a few miles southeast of
    Martha’s Vineyard. “We’re not giving out that information,” Melo said.
    “We may need to go back there next year.” 

    Ocean City, Maryland
    We caught up with Captain Mark Sampson while he was fishing for sharks
    off Ocean City. “Inshore shark season is happening,” he reported as his
    crew soaked chunks of tuna that they had rescued from the marina’s
    fish-cleaning station the night before. Mark said that after a
    disappointing spring for trophy sharks offshore, he changed his focus
    to the inshore sloughs and humps where he found plenty of spinner,
    bull, hammerhead, and Atlantic sharpnosed sharks up to 100 pounds.
    “We’re catching lots of sharks and having a great time,” he said.
    Depending on the conditions, Sampson either drifts or anchors and
    fishes three baits in the chumslick—one bait 50 yards back and a few
    feet under a float, the next bait 30 yards from the boat and 30 feet
    deep, and a third bait just behind the boat and just under the surface.
    Then, he puts up a kite and dangles two more baits on the surface up
    wind from the boat. “The kite is so effective,” he says, “I can’t
    imagine how we ever fished without it.” 


    Biscayne Bay,  Florida

    Bonefishing may be tough, and tarpon fishing may be sketchy, but shark
    fishing is a crowd pleaser for Captain Ken Collette. “I get guys who
    call up and are dead-set on tarpon and bones, then I tell them about
    catching sharks that can weight 300 to 400 pounds on fly and suddenly
    they forget about the other fish,” he says. Ken has been finding big
    hammerheads, bulls and blacktips on the flats and channels in northern
    Biscayne Bay. “It doesn’t matter if you’re in shallow water or deep
    water, when the sharks smell the chum they come running.” All of the
    sharks they’ve encountered are over 150 pounds with some fish pushing
    400. “We had a hammerhead last February that I know weighed over 800
    pounds,” he says, the fish was so big that its dorsal fin came up to
    Ken’s thigh when the shark swam by his skiff. “We pulled the hook on
    that fish,” he says, “which is probably a good thing,” Ken is using
    10-inch flies in orange, white, pink or yellow. He says that from one
    day to the next the sharks seem to prefer one color over another. “I
    haven’t figured that out, yet,” he says, so he keeps trying different
    colors until he finds what the fish are looking for. “When I tell
    people about these fish they think I’m from another planet,” he says.
    “But when they come down here and see it they get hooked.” 

    Long Beach, Mississippi
    Captain Scott Simpson has fallen in love. A long-time speckled trout
    guide, this year Scott has his heart set on catching big sharks in
    skinny water. “I used to see the sharks swimming around while we were
    wading for trout,” he says. “Then I thought, ‘Why don’t I put my
    clients on them.” The rest is history. Scott says that they’ve been
    catching huge bullsharks around Cat Island along the bend in the
    channel. The fish are so thick that Scott isn’t even chumming for them.
    “We just pull up and throw out the baits and it doesn’t take long,” he
    says. He is using Penn 320 GT2 reels and 7-foot Powerstick rods to
    subdue these big fish that can weigh from 50 to over 150 pounds. To
    make releasing these dangerous fish easier, he bends back the barb on
    his 8/0 O'Shaughnessy hook and uses an ARC dehooker. He’s also catching
    bull redfish and jacks mixed in with the sharks. For many of his
    clients, these sharks are the biggest fish that they have ever caught.
    “We’re making lots of memories,” he says. 

    South Padre Island, Texas
    When Chris Deaver and his buddies go shark fishing, they leave the boat
    behind. You see, Deaver and the members of the popular surf fishing
    message board www.tx-sharkfishing.com target these toothy critters from
    the surf. “Shark fishing from the surf has been a tradition for a long
    time,” he says. “And now more anglers are practicing catch and
    release.” To catch sharks in the surf, Deaver uses a kayak to paddle a
    big, bloody chunk of fish up to 200 yards off the beach. “Shark fishing
    in the surf is a team sport,” he says, explaining that one anglers
    paddles out the bait while another stands on the beach and monitors the
    rod and a third angler will stand in the back of a truck the radio
    directions to the kayaker. Deaver also relies on a network of anglers
    up and down the beach to figure out where and when the fish are biting
    and what type of bait they prefer. “You can’t do this alone,” he says.
    When a big shark takes the bait, Deaver grabs the rod and runs up the
    beach to set the hook. Then the fight begins, and may last for up to an
    hour. Once the fish is in the shore break, one of the team wades out
    and grabs its tail then drags it up to the beach. After measuring and
    unhooking the fish, the angler takes a few photos and drags the shark
    back into the surf. When asked about wading around in the water with
    toothy fish that often outweigh the fisherman, Deaver says that the
    fish are usually disoriented and exhausted after doing battle. “No one
    has been hurt yet,” he says.

    San Diego, California
    Captain Conway Bowman is loving life. “This is one of the best years
    ever for mako sharks,” he told us. Bowman and his guides at Bowman
    Bluewater set their sights on fly fishing for mako sharks from July to
    September and this summer the shark hunting has been better than ever.
    Once he sets out his chum, it doesn’t usually take long for the sharks
    to come calling. Conway keeps his eyes peeled for sharks cruising the
    surface and uses heavy 12 wt fly rods and big 9-inch Clousers to subdue
    these giants. “You have to get them to the boat quick,” he says, “if
    they get their second wind you’ll never see them again.” Some days are
    better than others, but he’s been averaging a half dozen sharks from 50
    to over 200 pounds each trip. Not only do the sharks keep his clients
    happy, but they’ve been seeing record numbers of blue whales, too. From
    the deck of his 24-foot bay boat, monster sharks and giant blue whales
    look even bigger. “We get up close and personal with nature out here,”
    he says.

    [ Read Full Post ]