Monday, December 31, 2012

If I grew up in Miami.......

While in Miami last week with Anna and her huge family, we had the opportunity to go on a sunset cruise around Miami with Mani, Anna's cousin, Hilda, his wife and their adorable, super sweet kids Juan and Isabela.

Great trip, Juan had a microscope and was looking at sargassum, eel grasses and other sea weeds when he wasn't trying to fish.  He reminded me a lot of me.

When we got back to the dock and got the boat in the slip, we sat on the porch of the adjoining restaurant for happy hour.  After a few quick snacks, Juan, with rod in hand and fried calamari (for bait) in the other hand, went off fishing.   After I had a belly full of chicharones, patacones and a couple of rum drinks, I went off to check on Juan and his fishing.

When I found Juan,  he was at the end of the dock and out of bait.  I suggested that we check out another spot.  When we got to the fish cleaning station the lights were shining on the water and there were scattered glass minnows cautiously cruising the edge of blended light.   I cranked up the water hose and started spraying the water, simulating the clean up of the fish table.  Mashed up pieces of over-battered calamari tossed in the froth created by the jet of water brought in flashes of pinfish, grunts and little snappers.  I told Juan to bait up.

Dangling his tiny jig head baited with calamari on the edge of the shadow line, it wasn't long before Juan was getting nibbles.  Before we could get a 2nd piece of bar food on Juan's hook, there he was.  As if transported by a Star Trek transporter,  materializing in front of our eyes a foot long fin, then the outline, then the fish, a 6 foot tarpon, probably over 100 pounds......then another 4 footer.

 Out of nowhere, there was no mistake what we were looking at and what was staring back at us with their silver dollar sized eyes.   I promise you that we were all, Juan, me and the tarpon, equally shocked.

Juan looked up at me and said. "Wow Tio George, you know a lot about fish"

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Capt. Mitch Blake on the Albemarle Sound

Striper fishing is red hot right now on the Albemarle Sound.......and some rivers closer to home.  Need a fish fix?  Give us a ring. 

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Costa Rica Tarpon

There is no place in the world for more consistent tarpon fishing.......even during the "slow" time of year.   Our normal tarpon lodge was not available, but Capt. Eddie Brown stepped up to the plate and took care of John and his son....

 It was a great trip.  Eddie was the best part.  He took us under his wing and made sure we had everything we needed.  He helped us communicate with the hotel staff (their English was somewhat limited), made sure our fight was in place, took John III to the doctor (bad sunburn), and even got up early our last day to take us to look for baby turtles and to make sure we got to the plane.  He also put us on some fish.  John caught 4 tarpon and I caught 2 and one amberjack.  Like in NC, the tarpon kept moving around, but Eddie knew where to look for them.

Thanks for setting us up.


Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry CHRISTmas

from George, Anna and all the Down East Guides

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Couple of Firsts for Christmas.......

.........Glad to be a part of one of them.

Congratulations Merritt on your first bluebill and your first deer.......all in one day.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

PIcs from last week

 Could not miss one of these jokers in the tournament, 100% hook up rate.  They wiped us out several times.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Glad that it's warm

Nice surprise to have a pretty NC day greeting upon return from Costa Rica.  I hope to get out of the office and do something fun.  Trout, stripers, maybe some ducks.  Sounds like there are plenty of all around.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Giant Stripers

From Capt. Chris Kimrey up on the Bay: 
"fish are still chewing, we had our limit by 830 am today and caught and release until 2. Pics tell the tale!"
-----Capt Chris

From Capt. Rick Andrews on the Pamlico River: 
"We caught this fish near the mouth of the Pamlico River today.  Fish was 49 ¾ inches total length and 26 inch girth.  We estimated it to be right at 50 pounds, according to some of the weight estimate formulas." 

From Capt. Mitch Blake on the Roanoke: 

"I love to put anglers on fish but when you see kids that can throw down with the best of them, it takes it to another level!  Here's one of the better fish that came out of a 40 fish 1/2 day." 

Saturday, December 15, 2012

On the way to the awards banquet..... congratulate the winners again.  I haven't got the totals, but the Spanish Fly ended up winning with HT Hook in second, winning on time against Uno Mas.   Hook up ratio again became a major factor with us.  I'm sure that the Dragin Fly mates Alberto and Marcos, who are not allowed to hook fish in the tournaments, will be eager to get back in the game.   I think that we should all ride along and pay attention for several days before the next tournament.  I know that I will.

At the end of all three days, we were in...... or just out of the money........ by just one bite.

I'm really proud of Daniel and his team of Juanca and Chela on the Spanish Fly.

Friday, December 14, 2012

holding on....

Spanish Fly put some distance ahead of the fleet by tallying up another 2 marlin and several sails today, now sitting on 5100 points with 4 marlin and 11 sails.   Uno Mas caught 16 sails and a marlin today after only 2 sails yesterday, putting them into 2nd place, just ahead of us.   We landed 14 sails today.

With marlin worth 1000 points, a lot can change in a day, I hope in our favor.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

I caught a marlin today

Very happy about that, just what we needed for a morale boost......and enough for us to still be in the game with two more days of fishing.   Danny on the Spanish Fly took the lead early this morning with a striped marlin only 5 minutes after lines in.   He followed with 5 sails and finished the grand slam with a blue marlin, totaling 2500 points.   2nd and 3rd place are held with one marlin and several sails.

Getting them up in the Bay from Capt. Chris

Here are a few pics of our first few days of fishing, weather has been rough but, the next 5 days other than Thursday are gonna be perfect. No 50 yet but we are getting closer with 46.9

Capt Chris

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

How to hand feed a big blue marlin

1) Make sure that you have a juicy bonito on your pitch bait rod, preferably a 50.

2) Oh, there's a school of tuna up ahead, so take off the bonito pitch bait and tie on your favorite tuna lure, for us a yummie flying fish dangling from the outrigger.

3)  As you approach the tuna school, a big blue marlin should pile on your short left teaser.....

4)  Now hop down from the bridge, grab that bonito pitch bait and the 50.  Chunk the pitch bait to the marlin.......great, he ate it.....BUT....very important here.......make sure that the pitch bait that you throw at the marlin......that he readily still attached to the 50 in your hand......if not, you have just hand fed a big blue marlin with a juicy bonito that is not attached to your rod......or anyone else's rod.

Won't make that mistake tomorrow in the tourney........cause we won't be mess'n with no tunas.

Practice, practice, practice

I feel like I'm getting better, I was 6 for 6 on the sails yesterday.   Marlin tourney starts tomorrow.  Marlin in this tourney are worth 1000 points, sails worth 100.    We're having consistent double digit days on the sails, throw some marlin in the mix and this could be an interesting tourney.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Capt George, the fishing has been awesome, it's been a week of 50 fish half days on the fly and light tackle. 
Mitchell Blake

Saturday, December 8, 2012

On the way to the awards ceremony...... congratulate the winners.   I haven't got the details yet, but it looks like one of the Angels busted a 3 way tie on time and 2100 points to win the WBS after 3 days of competition.   My hook up ratio never improved, again 50%,  catching 3 out of 6 bites today, ending up with 14 sailfish releases out of 29 bites. Look out if I can ever get my hook up ratio improved, I feel like the Dragin Fly is being competitive and raising enough fish for her anglers to have a chance at winning.  

We'll see what happens next weekend as we defend our title in the Los Suenos Marlin Tournament.......last year we squeaked out a narrow victory.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Day 2

My percentages ain't much better.   I started off by making big sancochos out of the first pair of sails that popped up on my side.   15 minutes later, they're back and I hook one of them, go for the second one only to watch the first one pull off and I missed the 2nd one.   Next pair that popped up, I hooked one of them, Dwight hooked the other.  He was 6 for 9 bites today.......I also caught 6, but my percentages from yesterday were not any better.

Still.......I've got 1100 points, first place is sitting on 1500.   One blue marlin early in the morning is all a lot of good anglers need to be on top..

Thursday, December 6, 2012

spoon feeding 'em


Just wanted to drop you a line to let you know that down in the lower Pamlico River, we’ve been “spoon feedin em” lately.  Yesterday, we had 4 different species with most of the catch consisting of 50 or so puppy/lower slot drum and a limit of nice specs……….and not another boat in sight.  Great mixed bag fishing with the potential for some great winter fly fishing as these drum continue to gang up.

Hope all is well down in Costa Rica.  Keep the san cochos to a minimum in the tournament. 

Capt. Richard Andrews

Rick is going to have some great sight casting on those "redfish" this winter.  The water in the lower Neuse will clear up and those fish won't be hard to find if you can get the right conditions......


This is an individual tournament, I'm fishing one side, my partner......really my opponent, love ya Dwight, is on the other side.   3 hooks, 3 teasers to each side.   I had 10 bites on my side today, caught 5.   Wish that I had a couple of  "rewind" opportunities on a couple of those, but that's fishing, at least I had my chances.

With 5 sails at 100 points each, I'm sitting in 3rd position with about 5 guys ahead of me with 600 points and one guy with 700 points.    A marlin early in the morning would be nice, they are worth 400 points.

Will work on that hook up ratio tomorrow, 50% ain't gonna cut it.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Pics from the Cape

 All good here in Costa Rica, getting ready to walk out the door for another day of "practice" before competing in the World Billfish Series Championship this week.   Meanwhile, here are some pics from TideRunner and the sand people who live on the beach at Cape Lookout for a month.......nice view

 Surf fishermen will tell you that big drum or albies caught from a boat don't really "count", only when your feet are in the sand and you've stopped an evaporating spool of line.......

 This shot was surely taken from a top Ruddy Duck's "penthouse".

 Don't miss sushi night, every Thursday.   They eat pretty good out there on the banks.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Costa Rica Office

I gotta tell ya, I really have been busting tail around here.  Running around and lining up the details for dozens of groups coming to Costa Rica over the next few months is a lot of work......after sitting in front of the computer for about 6 hours straight I thought that it would be a waste not to step out on the porch and take a break.  

This is the first time that speckled trout have had this view.  I bet I've cleaned a thousand rainbow trout in the stream in front of the house.   Caught these Thanksgiving morning from the beach and took them up to the mountains that afternoon for breakfast the next morning.   The deer won.