Back home and ready to go fishing!

Blog for 9-19-12

Some fishing and lots of networking.

I spent last week on the road for a change, a week away from Boca Grande and Venice. First thru St Pete to Sea School for my captains papers renewal and NMFS for permit renewals. Then off to Florida Outdoor Writers Association convention in Titusville for a few days of networking and fellowship.  Next was the Saturday five AM trip crossing our state for the Guy Harvey Oceans Foundation’s, Gulf of Mexico Fisheries Symposium at St. Petersburg Beach. I covered lots of ground we acquired a variety of information and had fun while working most of the time.  I’ll be adding more fishing info soon; but this report will introduce you to some of my past weeks activities.

My sole fishing opportunity was on Friday morning for the FOWA fishing tournament. Everyone departed early and we went in numerous directions. Several writers were scheduled to go out into the Atlantic Ocean but winds and rain altered their plans. I was set to fish with FOWA outdoor writer Desiree’ Harbster of Fishin’ & Huntin’ Magazine and local guide, Captain Alex Gorichky. Our original game plan was to stalk those huge bronze Indian River redfish from kayaks. The winds and rain chased us off the river so we explored some nearby creeks and ponds Captain Alex had fished as a kid. We all enjoyed the journey and reflecting our past childhood fishing memories. Your early days of fishing are essential because that’s where it all starts! Fishing brackish to fresh waters is exciting because you never know what you’ll catch. We caught several bass, bream, a garfish, several trout, ladyfish, jacks, and a small tarpon; all on artificials. Desiree fished a soft plastic jig and I used a flashy Mirrodine by Mirrolure. We shared stories and eased around the area locating varied fish. The Merritt Island area also showcases it bird watching and we saw a large variety. Flexibility paid off and I landed the second most inches of game fish and was awarded a new fishing rod and reel, plus some fishy lures. Everyone enjoyed a tasty lunch at Sand Point Park before heading back to the Holliday Inn for a photography seminars and breakout.

Breakout is where our supporting members introduce us writing members to all of their products and new innovations. We had several Florida counties’ visitor development council representatives offer their presentation with invitations to visit and explore their destinations. Charlotte, Lee and several others were all represented and showcased their unique Florida areas professionally. DOA was also prominent with their proven lines of soft plastic lures and new innovations.  Hobie was there with an awesome kayak with foot paddles and even offered the opportunity to paddle/peddle it around. TTI/Blakemore offered an impressive display of RoadRunner lures, Daiichi Bleeding Bait and other hooks; TJ Stallings always does a great job of supporting his products and the organization. He and Paul Michele of Navionics even invited several writers and reps to dinner at Dixie Crossroads for awesome rock shrimp and seafood.  I was lucky and got invited; the seafood is amazing! Navionics has introduced several updating options for us old card owners to modernize our mapping imagery. I’ll share more here another time but we can update and stay current online for at least a year at a reasonable fee. Minn Kota shared new and improved electric motor options and gadgets. I found a converter that will charge my three trolling motor batteries from my big motor when underway. I have already ordered one for installation with the new 200 HO, Evinrude E-Tec. Hummingbird has the side scanning sonar option and is user friendly; I’m looking forward to exploring options to update here also soon. Triplefish is still going strong and Dave Burkhart explained how it is challenging to make the new fluorocarbon leader softer without fishermen thinking it’s less abrasion resistant. Perception is hard to combat sometimes. The line is stronger but we think it’s not because it’s softer? Anyway FOWA was awesome and the Titusville a wonderful host.

Next I blasted off from the Space Coast at 5AM for St Pete Beach and Guy Harvey’s Symposium. I listened to Captain Mike Andersen’s radio show as he interviewed several of the speakers while driving across our thru Tampa. Dr. Roy Crabtree head of the Southeastern office of NMFS and Luiz Barbieri  of Florida Marine fisheries shared insights on our management challenges followed up by the featured speaker Guy Harvey himself. Guy Harvey could retire and, to play the rest of his life, but chooses to invest considerable time, energy and money to protect plus enhance our earth’s natural marine resources. I had the opportunity to communicate with Guy and his board members long enough to appreciate his sincere love of our oceans and her marine life, especially fish; I also challenged him to find time to learn share our passion for tarpon and snook! He defiantly wants to! The panels discussed many of the challenges we face especially from the BP oil spill. They discussed options on how to invest any monies we could receive down the road from BP settlements. It was beneficial to assemble scientist, fishermen both recreational and commercial, and the regulatory officials together to share concerns and ideas. Wonderful opportunities to help us help oceans! Thank you to Guy Harvey and your Foundation!

I’ll be back home and on the water ASAP. I’m working out the details to exchange outboard motors and expect to have the new one rigged early October. I’ll be at the Tampa Boat Shot Friday the 28th from 2-5 PM and Saturday from 10 AM till 2 PM; please stop by and visit us at the Suncoast Marine Booth. The fishing is already picking up and I’m still ready to go get em; as weather allows now. Spanish mackerel are hot to go outside. They are fast, fun and tasty. Trout and redfish are available inside with snook for catch and release action.

It’s time to lock in your reservations for Fall fishing! This is our good catching time with the least company; don’t miss out. Let’s Go Fishin’ soon. Captain Van Hubbard <www.captvan.com>

Captain Van Hubbard

P.O. Box 146
Placida, FL 33946

941-468-4017

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