The Saltwater Edge

Fishing Report 8.21.14 – Apex of Our Season

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Fishing Report 8.21.14 – Apex of Our Season

Saltwater Edge Fishing Report — August 21, 2014

saltwater edge fishing report

Matt McCabe with likely Rhody record cobia off Fort Adams

We have reached the apex of our fishing season in terms of water temperatures and species. This is despite the fact recent air temps are more suggestive of mid September. Earlier this week of Ft Adams here in Newport Tom McCabe landed the likely state record cobia. Details on the catch at On The Water.

For over the past three weeks there have been good numbers of bonito in the fish traps here in Newport. We have heard barely a peep about local catches. There have been frigate mackerel around which are smaller versions of bonito. There certainly seems to be enough bait around to keep the bonito and albies around when they do arrive. A recent quote “for every blitz of birds on Ocean Drive 9 out of 10 are bluefish”

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As a result of the “slow start” to the bonito season we will add albies to our Quantum Smoke Photo Contest and extend the date for submission to September 15. Bonito and albies are beautiful fish and make for great photo’s. Judges want to see a beautiful image that captures the colors and excitement of the annual visit from the inshore speedsters. Please send you images to peter@saltwateredge.com and please include “photo contest” in the subject line.

Striper fishing remains spotty with proven inshore spots having fish one day and not the next. Block Island has been the only consistent producer. There is loads of bait inshore; but not many stripers.

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Striped Bass release

In other striper news: The Atlantic coastal states and jurisdictions have scheduled their hearings to gather public comment on Draft Addendum IV to Amendment 6 to the Interstate Fishery Management Plan for Atlantic Striped Bass. The dates and location for specific states are available here. If you are concerned for the state of the striped bass fishery please make plans to attend the meeting closest to you.

The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) is considering three options. The first is the most aggressive with a 25% reduction in the 2013 harvest to occur in 2015 to achieve the necessary reduction in one year. The other option have a smaller initial impacts over a longer periods. There are multiple constituents and ten states involved. The steady decline of striper population has left pockets of good fishing to those with a boat, a fish finder and live bait; while most other methods (artificials) and locations (surf and inshore) have been spotty at best all season. Most of the folks we talk to feel that the more aggressive action contained in Option 1 now is most appropriate to allow the stock of the striped bass we all love to begin it’s rebuilding process ASAP. It will be important that the “recreational voice” be consistent as the fishery doesn’t not need more ideas it needs more action.

Let’s remember the striped bass is the most available fishing option for all Rhode Islanders. It has a long season, can be caught from the surf, a kayak or a boat and can be caught by a variety of methods lures, bait or flies. There is no more important fish with a broader economic impact in our waters than striped bass. It should be managed for all to enjoy.

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Great job Jack!

The deeper the better has been the word for fluke of late. Squid strips and Gulp have been working well on a variety of rigs. The new Gulp Rigs from Run Off Lures have been expanding their fan base north from their Jersey roots

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Weather windows and temperature breaks have been relatively easy to come by; but consistent offshore action has yet to materialize in the waters east of Block Island. There had been a solid bite in the waters south of Martha’s Vineyard; but that is out of range for most Rhoddy Captains. Most trips produce a bluefin of yellow of legal size and some mahi; but bigger fish and multiple knockdowns was not been the story this year. Those willing to put away the spreader bars and vertical jig have been rewarded and sometimes handsomely. Here is a Tackle and Tactics post on Vertical Jigging for Bluefin. When offshore be mindful of sun exposure and think about the gear you wear.

Other Fishing Reports we like:

On The Water Fishing Forecast

Coastal Angler – RI

The Fisherman Magazine Video Report

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Tackle and Tactics: How to Fish a Red Gill Teaser by Dennis Zambrotta

How to Fish a Red Gill Teaser by Dennis Zambrotta 

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If you could purchase a lure that was almost guaranteed to catch a striped bass when sand eels are the prevalent baitfish – would you?  There has been a lure around for some 40 years that fits this scenario – the Red Gill Teaser.  Ask any dyed-in-the-wool surfcaster about Red Gill Teasers and they are sure to have a story to tell.

A Little Background and History

The Red Gill is a soft plastic lure that is a perfect imitation for a sand eel (sand launce) which are a prevalent baitfish in the waters of the Northeast.  Red Gills made landfall in this country in 1975, having been imported to the Cape Cod surf from their original home in England where they were originally designed to be used as teasers when jigging for Cod and Pollock.  Noted surfcasting author Frank Daignault was first to use them with great success on the Cape Cod’s back beach.   Red Gills are long and slender and have a unique paddle shaped tail which is the key to creating an irresistible and life-like action of a sand eel.  Red Gills are now available in three sizes, a 2 ¾ inch Flasher, the 4 ½ inch Rascal, and the 7 inch Raver.  Red Gills can be fished either from shore or boat and are most often used as a teaser or dropper rigged forward of another lure. The most popular size Red Gill is the Rascal and most surf casters will use this size along with the Raver when surf fishing for striped bass.  The traditional way to fish the Rascal is to rig it as a dropper/teaser about 2-3 feet in front of a plug such as a swimmer, darter, or needlefish.

The two most popular ways of rigging the Red Gill Rascal for striped bass:

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  1. Run a 6-10 inch length of monofilament leader material through the nose of the Red Gill and out the vent.  Tie it to any strong hook such as the Mustad Signature C68SNP Tarpon hook or the traditional Mustad 34007 O’Shaughnessy hook, size 3/0 to 7/0. Using leader pull hook into the hollow body of Red Gill.  Then tie the dropper leader to the lower ring of the barrel swivel of your main leader.

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  1. Take the hook and insert the point into the nose of the Red Gill and push it approximately ¾ inch into the hollow body.  Push point out through the bottom of the Red Gill.  A short shank hooks like the Sakuma 410 is better suited for this rigging style.  A Red Gill rigged this way will have the eye of the hook exposed for easy tying onto the dropper leader.  Tie dropper leader to lower ring of the barrel swivel of your main leader.

Tips and Techniques

Red Gills are extremely effective whenever sand eels or other small baitfish are present.  During times like these striped bass may become very selective and ignore traditional plugs/lures, especially in clear, calm, or bright moon conditions.  When using the Red Gill I always use a dropper leader slightly weaker than the main leader of my plug.  For instance, if your main leader is 60 pound test, use a 50 pound test leader tied to your Red Gill.  The reasoning for this is that double headers (two fish hooked up at the same time) are very common when using Red Gills.  When you have a large bass hooked up to the plug and another to the Red Gill they will fight each other and something will often break or fail, in most cases you’ll want the dropper to break off preserving your more expensive plug.

Don’t let the small size of the Red Gill fool you, they will take very large bass.  Some of my fellow surf hounds have taken bass into the 50 pound class on them.  This is why it’s very important to rig them on a very strong hook.  My personal preference as mentioned before is the Mustad Signature C68S Tarpon Hook.  These hooks are stainless steel, 2X strong with a short shank making them perfect for Red Gill use.  Any similar strong hook will also work. As always, all hooks should be sharpened!

Tony Chiarappo, a well respected angler and good friend of mine has used Red Gills since they first made their appearance on the Cape in the 1970s.  Tony Chiarappo; “Before Red Gills I used feather droppers and Mann’s Jelly Worms as teasers.  I was the third person on the Cape to get some Red Gill’s after Frank Daignault and Frank McHugh.  Alex Ingram who owned the company at that time had his name on the box.  I called him and talked to him directly and was quite surprised when he sent me over a hundred assorted Red Gills.  The hooks that Red Gills were fitted with were inferior so we rigged them with 7/0 O’Shaughnessy hooks.  One night my friend Mike Desimone and I were getting large striped bass, some over fifty pounds, by just casting single Red Gill droppers in front of them….it was wild, fly rod fishing with spinning rod!  The Red Gill was a lure of many uses.  Other ways we rigged them was to use two Red Gills tied as a double dropper rig which we could cast a mile with a heavy sinker….or using the 7 inch size as a single dropper with an egg sinker stuffed inside and dragged on the bottom.  My friend Jimmy Kostas used Red Gills to take more large bass on the Cape than anyone; he just seemed to have the knack when using them.  And of course Steve Campo and his crew used the Red Gill with great success; Steve literally had hundreds of them in his truck.  I’d have to say the Red Gill was probably the most effective and prolific bass catcher on the Cape having had a major hand in the demise of the giant bass that invaded the shores of the outer beach in the middle to late 70s.  Another very effective Red Gill product that I used with great success was called the “Pilchard”. You could probably say the Pilchard was the predecessor to what we call the rubber shads of today.  In the end I regret not asking Mr. Ingram to be his state side representative because the Red Gills have always been a consistent bass catcher.”

            Steve McKenna, another good friend of mine has this to say about Red Gills: Steve McKenna; “I was originally introduced to the Red Gill lure by Frank Daignault.  I used them regularly years ago until the sand eels disappeared and then started using them again two seasons ago, when the sand eels made a comeback.  All four sizes of the Red Gill work but my favorite is the 4.5 inch Rascal model. My most productive colors are all black, all white/pearl, orange/yellow and chartruse (lime green). I had a 28 pound fish on a black 4 incher this past fall and I think my largest striper on a Red Gill was taken on a 7 inch Raver model. That fish was 33 pounds. As you know, when the fish are on small bait there is no better way to fool them then fishing the Red Gill as a dropper up ahead of a swimming plug, darter, needlefish or even a rigged or a live eel. During the last two seasons the Red Gill has been my most productive lure particularly in the summer months. Where I fish in Narragansett, Rhode Island the sand eel population has exploded and the Red Gill lure has been outstanding. At times, if you are not fishing with one you are not catching!  I fish them as a strict dropper. I tie them on a stiff piece of fluorocarbon leader material (50 or 60 lb. test) which is about 6 inches long. I tie that to the bottom loop of a quality black ball bearing swivel and then I tie another piece of the same leader material to the same loop of the swivel. I make the main leader approximately forty (40) inches long. To the tag end I tie a Breakaway or Tactical Angler clip. That’s it.” 

Author’s Experience

            I started using Red Gills in the early 1980s and quickly realized how effective they were.  By then they had been written up in various magazine articles and word on the beach was to get some if you could find them. Until that time I had always used saddle hackle feathers as my dropper/teaser.  The first night I tried the Red Gill Rascal the bass couldn’t leave it alone.  For an hour straight I caught bass on almost every cast on a blue and white model.  Then the bite died suddenly – I knew the bass were still in the wash as I could see them rolling on sand eels.  I then realized the paddle tail on my Red Gill had broken off.  I quickly tied on a new Red Gill and was back in action instantly.  That was the night I learned the paddle tail was the key to the Red Gills effectiveness.

On another night my casting partner Zeke Silva took a 35 pound bass on a Red Gill after he back-lashed a cast.  His plug and Red Gill were floating in open water as Zeke began to pick out his backlash.   All of a sudden his line came tight.  Not being able to take drag because of the backlash the bass and Zeke fought a tug of war.  Everything held and Zeke landed the cow which inhaled the Red Gill as it bobbed almost motionless in the current.

The Red Gill Rascal has really shined for me on the shores of Block Island.  In November of 1997 (which I fondly refer to as the “Year of the Red Gill”) a group of my friends had our greatest numbers of bass ever for our annual Block Island surf fishing trip. During a 10 day stretch I landed 224 striped bass and on one night in particular took 51 bass up to 35 pounds. Almost two thirds of those bass were taken on solid black Red Gills.  During that same night my casting partner Al Rispoli was fortunate to land a double header of bass which totaled over 40 pounds! One bass struck Al’s Red Gill and the other hit his trailing needlefish plug, luckily for Al everything held together.

Since then Red Gills have continued to be a consistent producer for me when sand eels or smaller bait is present and during the past three seasons the Red Gill has started to see a resurgence of use by others as the sand eel population has increased in New England waters.

Red Gill Tactics 

When rigged as a dropper/teaser you can fish the Red Gill in conjunction with a plug or other offering.  Perhaps the deadliest combination is to use the Rascal Red Gill in front of a Cotton Cordell C10 series Red Fin minnow swimmer.  This combination will allow for a very slow retrieve and the wiggle of the Red Fin will enhance the action of the Red Gill.  On dark nights a black Red Fin/black Red Gill is hard to beat.  On bright nights a bone or chicken scratch Red Fin used with a solid white or bright green Red Gill is a deadly combination.  During daytime try casting a Chrome Red Fin and a natural pattern (Black/Silver, Blue/White, Green/White) Red Gill.  Another technique is using the Red Gill to “incite” the bass to strike your plugs.  On some occasions bass will strike your plugs while ignoring the Red Gill, but when you remove the Red Gill the bass ignore the plug.

One of the drawbacks to using Red Gills in conjunction with a swimmer is that casting distance is cut down due to wind resistance of the dropper.  To offset the loss of casting distance you can also use Red Gills in conjunction with long casting needlefish plugs such as the Super Strike “N” Fish and Gibbs 1 ¾ oz Needlefish.  During the daytime Red Gills can also be used with many of the popular metal lures such as Hopkins, Kastmaster, Point Jude Tins, and Andrus jigs.  As you can see Red Gills can be very versatile and the rigging possibilities are as limitless as your imagination.

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Red Gill with Needlefish Plug is a Deadly Combination when Sand Eels are Present

The old guard has always kept a few Red Gills tucked away in their “surf bag of tricks” and now a new crowd of surf casters are beginning to learn just how effective they can be.  Are there Rascals in your surf bag?  If not you might be missing out.

This article first appeared in The Fisherman Magazine. We thank them for their cooperation in republishing it. If you are interested in subscribing to The Fisherman you can do that here.

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Gear Review – Gear You Wear: Sun Protection

Gear You Wear: Sun Protection

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Arden with the fish of a lifetime!

What you choose to wear when you go fishing can add to your enjoyment and your safety. If you choose wear a blue hat with a red “B” you may well catch as many fish as the next guy on any given day; but on occasion you will miss out when the heat or a nasty sunburn distracts your focus from fishing.

The potential harm from long exposure to the sun is well documented. Sun screen is the first line of defense. You need to find a sunscreen that doesn’t leave a greasy residue, which could adversely affect your grip, possibly damage the tackle itself and does little to enhance the fish catching ability of your lure or fly. Look for a formula make up that is oil free, hypoallergenic, and waterproof. A good sunscreen should soak into your skin very quickly. Keep in mind sunscreen goes bad so check the date on the package.

One Captain joked ” I could buy a bunch of sun shirts with all the money I have spent on co pays” All joking aside with all the comfortable, practical options available why not take advantage and maximize your comfort, safety and likely your fishing time.

Functional Requirements:

First fishing clothing must not limit your movement; your casting in particular. The are plenty of loose and stretchy fabrics to choose from. It is wise to select a fabric with a high UPF rating. While all fabrics disrupt UV radiation to some degree the clothing that does the best job carries an Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF) rating from 15 (good) to 50+ (excellent). Also look for fabrics that dry quickly as they will provide additional comfort.

Headwear:

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Obviously fishing in the sun all day has inherent risk as a result of long exposure to the sun. Be mindful as well of the reflective sun coming off the water and the white boat deck. Choose a hat with a wide brim or flaps or plan to cover the tops of your ears with a UV Buff. Buff’s have become very popular because they offer effective protection. They are fabric tubes that you slip over your head and that can be worn in a variety of ways and are easy to stash in a boat bag. The Buff does a great job of protecting your head and neck. Highly recommended.

Sun Shirts

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Long sleeve T-shirts are very popular with plenty of room to move and +50 UPF built in. We offer shirts from Old Harbor Outfitters , Loomis and Shimano. Unlike cotton these fabrics dry and wick moisture away from your body keeping you cool. A wise investment.

Gloves:

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Anglers wear gloves for a couple of reasons. If you have stood on a boat deck waiting to cast at the end of the day your wrist may well be the most sunburned part of your body. Kayak anglers make regular use of gloves to avoid blisters as well as added sun protection. Buff Sport Series Water Gloves have been well received.

Pants:

Long light SPF pants are available for the harshest conditions; but shorts and thoughtful application of sunscreen to the back of your knees and tops of your feet are usually sufficient.

A little forethought about the gear you wear will certainly add to your fishing enjoyment and pay long tern health dividends.

 

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Bonito Photo Contest – Win a Quantum Smoke

Give us your best shot!

Post your best photo of an Atlantic Bonito and win a Quantum Smoke!

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The Quantum Smoke is a great light tackle reel. It’s lightweight, smooth and tough while delivering bonito stopping drag pressure. It is one of our favorite light tackle reels for spring schoolies, bones and albies and the southern light tackle apps like redfish and bonefish. A great reel if you are going to be throwing lighter artificials.

To enter send your photos to peter@saltwateredge.com. We have committee of three judges including two folks who have had their images purchased by magazines and manufacturers. They know their stuff and then there’s me.

Here’s the legal mumbojumbo. You enter the image we have the right to use it.

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SWE Staff Profile – Captain Ryan Gluek

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Capt. Ryan Gluek joined the Saltwater Edge Team during the middle of the 2013 season.   He brings an array of talent and knowledge gained as a result of his time spent on local waters while growing up in Barrington, RI. His pursuits took him to the Sweetwater Guide program in Montana where he was schooled as a professional guide at the age of 18. Ryan worked in Alaska at Valhalla Lodge fishing the remote western Alaska streams and then managed a fly fishing shop in Boulder, Colorado while working with Black Canyon Anglers for 6 years. He guided 3-day wilderness float trips for fly fishing through the famed Black Canyon of the Gunnison River. He also spent winters in Patagonia, Chile guiding trips for trophy trout.

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He currently owns and operates Double Haul Anglers  chasing everything from stripers to tuna on light tackle and fly rods from a beautiful 2007 23 ft. Contender Open (one of the best boats on the market for this style of fishing).

 He also keeps New England anglers current on the area fishing forecast as a monthly columnist to On The Water magazine.

Ryan had an opportunity to entertain some of his fellow SWE Staff recently,

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Rise of the Fly?

We’ve noticed a significant upswing in enthusiasm  for saltwater fishing with the fly rod over the past year or so.  From our overflowing open fly tying nights throughout the winter to our bustling ORVIS FF101 and 102 CLASSES on the SWE grounds this spring, there seems to be a renewed interest in the journey that surrounds this exciting method used to pursue our local species and it appears to encompass all ages and gender.

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A recent example that we truly enjoyed was a visit to our shop by a young woman newly stationed at the Navy Base in Newport, she arrived in uniform asking to see our saltwater fly selection.  After some discussion of the local patterns and suggested places to fish she explained that she was anxious for her vise and gear to arrive with the movers and noted that she was expecting a child and was hoping to get some new waders for her postnatal present.  We’ve also found more frequently, traditionally surf fishing types are intrigued by the challenge and thrill of landing the fish that they target on a fly rod.

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Fly fishing lends itself to many of the latest improvements in angler transportation.  More and more, kayak designs provide the ability to stand and fish. Stand up paddle boards are more than stable enough to accommodate a fly caster creating a great platform to work from.  The latest rod technology, sealed drag reels and line advancements are making fishing in wind and surf more managable and enjoyable than ever before.

There is, of course, a slightly larger learning curve in terms of delivering your offering effectively under the conditions that an angler is often presented with when saltwater fly fishing and the accompanying issues of line management.  But this is just one part of the journey and process and the Saltwater Edge Staff is always available and willing to help with advice and instruction to further the process.

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NEW THIS WEEK: 7.17.2014

Many new products are beginning to make their debut here at The SWE. Getting our emails and checking in on our FB page are great ways to stay up-to-date on all the latest changes. Of course, if you live nearby you can always just stop in to get a feel for the recent additions.

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In addition, we’re going to try and write blog posts more often about the new products. This will give us the chance to enter into a little more detail, including additional info and details about what’s already here and what’s soon to come. So let’s get right into it.

Block Island Green Gibbs Needlefish

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During Gibbs recent revamp the idea was kicked around to ask about bringing back one of the ALL TIME GREATS: The Gibbs Block Island Green Needlefish. Thankfully, Matt from Gibbs obliged and we’re now proud to offer this Needlefish once again. The rich history of needlefish lures and this color in particular has been well documented by our own Dennis “DZ” Zambrotta in his work “Surfcasting Around The Block”. How great is it that today’s generation of surfcasters can get their hands on lures like these and fish the same areas where some of the best nights ever went down, We hope many will be able to make a little of their own surfcasting history.

New Hansom Gear

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Hansom pliers are widely known as a great value for surfcasters. More recently, Hansom has been releasing a bunch of new products targeted at providing anglers with quality, functional gear at a fair price. First came 6″ pliers and new split ring pliers. Then came the new necklight. Now we’re excited with the release of a hook file as well as a collapsing kayak net with rubber mesh. The growing lineup of quality, functional gear has us excited about future releases from Hansom.

Tactical Anglers Crossover Series and Hot Mullet Color

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While the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear “Tactical Anglers” is probably their 125# clips, this week you might want to check out their growing lineup of lures. First up, the new “CrossOver Series”. There are two new lures in this series: a popper, and a walk-the-dog style topwater spook. The finishes on these lures are really beautiful changing and flashing at times brilliant colors in the light.

TA has also released a new color, “Hot Mullet” that will be featured on some models of their other lures. A quick google images search for “Hot Mullet” will bring up classic mullets such as those of AC Slater, Macgyver, Joe Dirt and David Bowie from his role in Labyrinth and Uncle Jesse from Full House. So it seems that this new color from Tactical Anglers really has it’s work cut out for it.

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Ultimately, the bass will decide.

Joe Shute Skirts

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We’re REALLY excited to finally have Joe Shute skirts at The Edge. Somewhere, Dylan Schmitz is smiling. It was Dylan’s idea, probably over a year ago now to get these skirts in the shop. Basically EVERYBODY we talk to about these skirts tell us how great they are so we’re really happy to be able to offer them.

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Currently, we have the popular colors in the 3 oz, 5.75 oz and 8 oz versions. In addition, we have two colors in the 3 oz Glow-In-The Dark model, which we hear has been popular on Big Eye. Hopefully this will signal just the beginning of an expanded selection of quality offshore gear available here at The SWE.ale to our customers.

Rockhopper XL Clip and Contoured Bag Strap

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Rockhopper products are beloved by many for their EXTREMELY high build quality coupled with really well thought out and functional design. While it’s true that these attributes come at a premium price, to those who want to have the right gear to fit their needs, the one-time expense is well worth the years of functional use.

Following that model are two new products from Rockhopper we’re excited to be able to offer. First off is an XL version of their Rock Solid Belt Clip. These clips are quite a bit larger than the standard belt clip (3-1/8″ long) – this makes it perfect for hanging your boga grip or other tools off of.

The other new product is a contoured shoulder strap aptly named the “Protect-Your-Neck” Shoulder Strap. If you’ve ever had the experience of having your shoulder strap continuing to ride up and chafe your neck while your casting/fishing you will really appreciate that Rockhopper took the time to solve this problem with this high quality strap.

A few New Star Rods

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We have nothing but good things to say about the star rods we’ve carried here at the shop. The Stellar Lite Series of Surf and Boat Rods, for example, have left the building with many a happy customer and have RARELY made their way back. We’re not sure what it is about these rods that make them so bullet proof, but as a tackle shop we’re thrilled with how they’ve been received by our clients.

It was only natural therefore for us to take a closer look at some of the newer lines of Star Rods like the new Paraflex Surf Rods as well as their Seagis line of Inshore Rods. We’re bringing in 3 new models of each series that we think you will find to be very useful on our local Surf and Inshore/Kayak/SUP fisheries.

Scott has been putting his new Paraflex Surf through the paces and has been thrilled with the results. He also just picked up a new Seagis for use on the SUP that he feels will take his Scup game to the next level.

Jackson SUPerFISHal

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The Jackson SUP is in – and it’s a thing of beauty. When you stop to think about the possibilities that this uber-stable, stealthy fishing platform can open up, we think you’ll agree it merits consideration. How would you use your SUPerFISHal? Stalking striped bass on the flats? The higher vantage point aids in spotting fish. How about cruising the harbor in and around the docks at night while casting worm and squid flies? Because the fish are often right up against the docks/boats you could come at them from a new angle. What about silently approaching schools of Albies and Bonito this fall with no motor noise to put them down? These are just a few of the applications we’ve been daydreaming about, what about you? How would you use one of these?

We think this subject has legs and we’re going to leave that for another day and a full blog post.

Thanks as always to all of you our clients for your patronage.

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Gear Review: Jackson Fishing Kayaks

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Gear Review: Jackson Fishing Kayaks

As anglers we are always seeking the next adventure be it a new species, new water or a new technique. The evolution of the fishing kayak has provided greater access to those wishing to expand their range and enjoy some less pressured water. Water unreachable on foot and unnavigable by larger watercraft. In addition, the perspective gained by maintaining a perch which has you only inches above the water adds to the enjoyment.   As Kayak fishing has gained popularity the choices in boat and gear have expanded as well. An angler can now tailor and outfit a fishing kayak to meet their specific needs on the water for almost any situation.  We chose to stock Jackson Fishing Kayaks because they offer a diverse family of kayaks and stand up paddle boards. All the JK boats offer all-day comfort, unprecedented “standability”. thoroughly thought out deck designs and loads of options to easily accessorize. All proudly made in the USA.

A fine example of their focus and innovation for the benefit of the angler is the Elite Seat developed by Jackson about five years ago – the first of it’s kind.

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The Elite Seat is designed more like a lawn chair and there is not one customer who doesn’t sit down and immediately comment “Wow. This seat is comfortable”. More comfort means more time on the water. You will have to sit in it to believe it. For 2014 Jackson takes it up a notch by adding a really nice lumbar support to all Elite Seats as a standard feature. The best just got better.

Here’s is the Jackson Fishing Kayak line up:

Cuda 12 and Cuda 14 – A great choice for our inshore waters. The Cuda 12 is especially efficient and fast for getting around the bay and the longer 14 footer is stable in the swells. Both boats are stable enough to stand and sight fish in the right sea condition. The Cuda 12 is our most popular kayak. Both come loaded with fishing friendly features such as rod tip protectors, molded-in spin and fly rod stagers, multiple vertical rod holders that can be relocated or removed in seconds and a sizable center hatch for easy internal rod storage.

Cuda 14 Walk Through

Big Rig – New for 2014 the Big Rig is designed to create the ultimate all-water, all fishing style, fishing machine. The Big Rig has incredible stability making it the ultimate stand-up fishing kayak. Built to do it all a battle wagon.

SUPerFishal - This SUP was designed with fishing in mind! The SUPerFishal is stable, straight-tracking and set up for the angler. Featuring screw-in mounts for RAM equipment and accessories, there is a removable deck organizer for paddle, tackle, water bottle and gear storage. The bow and stern are equipped with webbing straps to support any extra equipment (like the Jackson JKrate) you may want to take with you. A unique fishing craft. Tons of fun.

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Jackson Kayak offers a complete line of angling kayaks, designed by kayak anglers. We have demo yaks available and can easily arrange a test paddle. Bring your rod and give it a go!

 

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Testing…Testing

how do you measure performance ?…

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We’re talking about the new long cast rods and reels from Shimano as well as the other standouts in the field(no pun intended) which are designed to help provide an angler a relatively light rod and reel combination that achieves added distance using minimal effort and maximizes the advantages of braided lines.  *Note the distance from the casters in the background and the shirt marking the average landing area of the casts.  This may have impressed us more than anything when you consider the amount of water that could easily be covered with casts of this length.

Successful delivery of these features can provide an angler a more enjoyable overall experience on the water and the ability to reach fish in places that may not have been attainable for them otherwise.  There are a few products on the market that, in combination, do this quite well.

After several opportunities to cast the new SHIMANO system we’ve found that it will perform as advertised, often with applaudable results.  Through side by side casting comparisons with a Van Staal mounted on a CTS Vapor Trail as well as Zee Baas mounted on a St Croix Legend, the  Shimano System, which was comprised of the Ultegra CI4 mounted on the 10’6″ Tiralejo, delivered long and efficient casts that kept it consistently in the range of what the other “top dogs” delivered.  While not a scientific endeavor and with no account for line difference or the technique of the various casters, the results showed that all could provide more than adequate power and casting distance.   

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Our favorite anecdote which defined the argument for fishing a combination that happily marries rod, reel and line occurred when a customer by the name of Ed was standing at our counter discussing the new offerings.  We suggested a ride to the beach for a little first hand experience.  The conditions were not optimal with a stiff head on breeze and a heavily weeded shoreline but It took only a few casts for Ed to get a feel for the proper loading of the Tiralejo. He sailed a respectable cast out over the clutter to cleaner waters and quickly hooked up with a striper.  He continued to hook up on subsequent casts.  We can only hope that all product demos turnout this successfully.  A step back and a critique of the conditions revealed that Ed could not have fished this situation as effectively with his current set up.  Reaching the fish would have required a wade into the water or a walk along and out the rocks lining the edge of the beach rather than enjoying the comfort of the ankle deep water that he was working from.

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Ultimately, as Chris at the SWE likes to say, “we’re in a golden age of fishing gear”.  The technology available can really increase your enjoyment of the sport if it is properly applied to your situation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Sachuest Point

 

Sachuest Point National Wildlife Refuge             sach

is located on the eastern side of Aquidneck Island occupying 242 acres and providing a tremendous stretch of intriguing “fishy” coastline.  The long sandy stretch of Sachuest Beach transitions to a rugged shore as you drive toward the entrance to the park.  Anglers will immediately recognize features that promise to hold a variety of local fish and this but a glimpse of what awaits as you make your way around the perimeter.   Parking is plentiful and there are no entrance fees, there is however, a sticker required for any overnight parking by fishermen.  Sachuest Point is one of our favorite places to send visiting surfcasters, fly rodders and bait fishermen.  The easy parking, accessible shoreline and spectacular views make any excursion to try your luck a memorable experience.

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The corner where beach quickly transitions to gravel and then to larger stones is the first landing spot for the earliest migrating “schoolies” each season.

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Fishing here during the month of April is better described as a social event than a serious mission, where anglers reacquaint themselves with their gear and each other shaking off the vestiges of winter.  There is a sandbar extending from the beach that can provide a comfortable approach for surf and fly anglers.  The entire length of the west(beach) facing side of the point boasts structure and weed that hold a variety of sea life.  Noticeable at low tide and during a heavy swell is a sizable reef perhaps 100 yards out.  Approaching the southern tip the water deepens and the surf can increase depending on wind and tide.  This is a rocky, jagged face abutting water that can hold larger fish but it is also an area where caution is required as a moderate swell can create more difficult situations.

The back or east side of the point is also the mouth of the Sakonnet River. Changing tides of the river combined with the push of water from the Atlantic can provide good movement and healthy mix at times when the calm elsewhere on the island is lamentable.  Casting here provides a picturesque view of Little Compton and Sakonnet Point.

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This east facing shoreline contains more pronounced points and cuts with considerable structure in between to hold fish.

Approaching the northern reaches the water becomes shallow and home to an extensive bubbleweed field that is difficult to work at low tide but provides a magnet for cruising fish at the higher stages.  The northern most tip is popular with anglers as it intercepts the outflow from the sandy stretch known as Third Beach.

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The water here is relatively shallow and loaded with eel grass.  The cove that continues to the boat ramp is a favorite wade for folks slinging the long wand.  Kayakers will want to park at Third Beach to quickly access Sachuest Point and it’s neighboring waters.

Parking is plentiful and free early in the morning and after 5, during the beach season you will need to pay a parking fee if you are without a beach sticker but prime fishing hours will be late in the day as the sun sets and at first light.