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Monday, November 09, 2009

More Tackle Additions

I wanted to update everyone with a list of the items that have been recently added to our online tackle store, More Tackle. We have had very good response to our advertising resulting in orders coming in almost daily, which is great since we didn't go live until the second week of July. We are getting orders from repeat customers, call-in orders from non-internet users (which means they heard about us), and a couple of international orders, too.

We will continue to add new items to the site and last month we added a "Used" category that will be getting more and more attention as time goes on. At this time, these are items we have procured locally, but we may turn it into a means for all US anglers to be able to sell their used fishing products that they are no longer using. We will have to see what kind of response we get first.

If there is a particular item or items that you would like to see available through our site, just email us at and let us know your preferences. We will try to meet your needs, best we can.

Best Fishes and God Bless,

Capt Dick


Spinning reels:
Pflueger Supreme XT
Okuma Avenger spinning reels - AV-20, AV40 & AV65
Penn 103CS spinning reel
Penn Spinfisher 430SS spinning reel
Baitcasting reels:
Quantum Tour Edition "Burner"
Quantum Code
Pfleuger Trion
Pfleuger President
Spincast reels:
Bass Pro Tiny-Lite (push button)
Bass Pro Underspins
Trolling reels:
Penn 209M Levelwind trolling reel
Penn 9M Levelwind trolling reel
Penn Captiva
Zebco 202 Spincast Reel and Rod Combo
Shakespeare Wonderpoles in 9', 10', 12', 13', 16', and 20' - great for crappie and brim fishing.
Okuma 7' Halogen rod
Shimano 7' Sojourn rod
Intruder 6 1/2 ft Rod
Charlie's Worms
Premium Panfish Crickets
Sliding Weight Shrimp
Barracuda Rigs
Pompano Rigs
Acme Kastmaster
Acme Phoebe
Acme Frisky Fish
Needle Fish Trout Trolling Wobblie
Matzuo Sea Spit & Sputter
Matzuo Spit & Sputter
Matzuo Captain Hook
Matzuo Fantastic Minnow
Matzuo Jointed Fantastic Minnow
Matzuo Salty Dog
Matzuo Shallow Seeker
Matzuo Nano Crank
Heddon Teeny Torpedo in 7 colors
Meyerco Knives (several styles)
Tyzac Cast Nets (5, 6, 7 ft)
Mister Twister fillet knife
Flambeau soft-sided tackle packs (green and "cure pink")
Rapala stainless steel pliers
HT Enterprises heavy duty minnow net
Thermacell Mosquito Repellant & Refills
Stren Easy Cast line
Shakey head jigs (football, round, grass slipper) with Gamakatsu hooks, 5 to a bag
Ford Fender Model A trolling rigs
12 Fathom Break Away Jig Heads
Terminal Tackle:
Drop shot weights, bag of 10
Penn Pursuit Spinning Rod

Monday, August 24, 2009


I came across a quote the other day (don't know who wrote it):

"You can paint a painting with Picasso's paint brush, but it doesn't make your painting a Picasso."

With a little rewrite, I came up with this:

"You can fish with Kevin Van Dam fishing tackle, but it doesn't make you a top professional fisherman."

Don't get me wrong. most of the professionals come up with some very good products, but a lot of it is just promotional hype. Sometimes you need to find what works best for you, and sometimes there just isn't anything already out there that suits you just perfect. So experiment ... consider building your own fishing rod. Start with the type of blank you prefer to fish with, then add the type of guides and tip you like, next select the reel seat, and finally add your pick of handles. Now you've got yourself a professional fishing rod with YOUR name on it (so to speak).

At More Tackle we are creating a department specifically for building your own fishing rods. Be it saltwater or freshwater, spinning or baitcasting, you can get almost anything your heart desires and make it all your own. Check it out soon and consider creating your next painting with your own personal paintbrush.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Shaky Head Jigs

Round Shaky Head Jig
Football Shaky Head Jig
Grass Slipper Shaky Head Jig

Shaky Head fishing was a guarded secret among touring pros — that is until Kevin VanDam won the Elite 50 tournament on Lake Lewisville, Tex. and shattered the lake record with a giant 11-pound, 13-ounce largemouth.

VanDam used the technique in his next three victories, but he wasn't alone. It's become a go-to technique for a number of pros that say it works anywhere, anytime. Guys like Jeremy Starks of West Virginia and Bink Desaro of Idaho are shaky head aficionados who have seen the technique save the day on more than one occasion. Whereas Shaky Head fishing is best suited for rocky bottoms, sandy flats or around sparse grass beds, it can be fished around the edges of thicker cover and in water from 1 to 40 feet deep.

It's a killer around riprap banks, secondary points and deep boulders. Northern smallmouth anglers, who have always relied on tube jigs for catching numbers of big smallmouth, are discovering the shaky rig is a good alternative when the big ol' brown fish are snubbing tubes.

And best of all, it's an easy rig to fish.

Basically, shaky wormin' involves a straight tail finesse worm fashioned weedless on a small, ball head jig. Once rigged, make a long cast and let the bait fall. Be ready — many strikes occur in the first three seconds after the bait contacts the bottom.

If not, began shaking the rod tip in short, rapid bursts, maintaining some slack in the line while you hold the rod in a 10 o'clock position.

This movement keeps the worm vertical and the tail quivering seductively. Don't hop the jig — inch it along and keep it dancing like a creature feeding along the lake bottom.

The gear you use and the manner in which the worm is rigged is important to the proper presentation. Some anglers prefer baitcast tackle, but a 7-foot medium action spinning rod is best because it fishes light line better, and light line imparts more action in the bait. Eight and 10 pound line is preferred and basic monofilament works, but sensitive fluorocarbon line transmits subtle bites better.

Most strikes feel like a simple tick or tap at the end of the line, or, if the fish are aggressive, they'll gobble the worm and streak off with it.

While a 4½-inch finesse worm produces more bites, 6- and 7-inch styles, especially the floating variety, attract bigger fish. And if you take a poll of the pros' favorite colors, you'll find shades of green, especially green pumpkin, watermelon or watermelon candy, are high on their lists.

To rig the shaky worm, enter the hook point into the head, push it out the side, and then roll it over so that the hook point enters the main body and protrudes through the top. You can leave the hook in the belly, but better yet, push it through and skin-hook the barb on the topside of the worm.

Some anglers prefer to leave a little hump in the worm between the jig head and the barb. This bend provides additional action and can make the worm more attractive to wary bass.

Find these and other goodies at More Tackle.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

reBlog from Kenny Breckenridge: Kenny's Great Outdoors

I found this fascinating quote today:

1) You have a power worm dangling from your rear view mirror because you think it makes a good air freshener.Kenny Breckenridge, Kenny's Great Outdoors, Aug 2009

You should read the whole article.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Busy, Busy, Busy

Boy, has it been a busy time ... not just for fishing, but for working on our new business. The tackle store site is beginning to get some sales ... even before we have it all loaded with product. So far we have added over 400 products, and still counting.

Right now we are trying to get our rod components added in. That way customers can build their own fishing rods exactly to their own specifications ... at a reasonable price, too. We have great supplies from manufacturers like Rainshadow, Forecast, Alps, and Solid Works.

We also have a section for reconditioned, or as I prefer to think of it as recycled, rods and reels. They all carry a 30 day warranty and I personally guarantee the reconditioned reels because I am the one who repaired them and got them in top notch working order. Of course, we have them all at terrific prices, too.

Stop by, take a look, let me know what you think of the new store.

Get more, save more, fish more. After all, that's what's most important, right?

Father and daughter sharing quality time fishing together with the Southern Outdoorsman Guide Service.

Father and daughter sharing quality time fishing together with the Southern Outdoorsman Guide Service.

captdick Father and daughter sharing quality time fishing together with the Southern Outdoorsman Guide Service.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Wait for greener Weights

I'm sure you have heard all the hoopla about lead ... the dangers of it and all. Well, fishing with lead weights is a bad thing, too. The lead leeches out into the water and contaminates everything that comes in contact with it.

There are new weights available now in Tungsten. These lead-free weights are better for more than one reason. Of course, the most important is no lead. But, in addition to that, Tungsten is heavier (denser) per its size. Therefore, a 1/4 ounce Tungsten weight is smaller and slimmer than its counterpart in lead. This will make it fish easier, with less hangups, and penetrate cover better.

Sounds like a win-win situation for both Mother Nature and us anglers. We will try to bring you some good deals on these new weights on our tackle site, More Tackle, but in the meantime we still have other weights at rock bottom prices.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


Well, it's finally happened. We have gone live with our new online tackle outlet store, More Tackle. In its infancy, we have started small with around 350 products, but will continue to grow and grow over the years to come. Our goal is to provide you with deep discounts on hard-to-find products that you have come to love over the years but can no longer find, either online or at brick and mortar retail stores.

To begin with, we have the following "departments:"

Rod & Reel Combos
Reconditioned Rods, Reels, & Combos
Baits, Lures & Tackle
Boating Supplies
Fishing Accessories
Rod Components
Novelty/Gift Items
Hot Deals
Clearance Items
Bulk Sales

A lot of the items we offer have been discontinued, therefore the supply is limited. So it's first come, first served on those items. That's why you may not be able to find them anywhere else. But that's the whole idea. Have you ever noticed how you come across something that you really like after trying it ... only to find out that you should have bought the store out because they quit carrying it as soon as you went back for more? Well, that has happened to me so many times that I decided to do something about it ... or at least as much as I could without going into the manufacturing business!

Also, we will be carrying reconditioned rods and reels, which will all carry a 30-day warranty. And, if you prefer to either fix or build your own rods, we will eventually have one of the largest selections of rod components available online - at some of the best prices online, too.

Keep checking back with the site because stock will be constantly changing. So, if you're looking for something in particular, we might not have it right now but we could at any time in the future. Or, if you would like to be added to our mailing list, send your email address to so we can notify you of updates to the site. Let us know if there is anything special you have been looking for and we will try to locate it.

Remember, we're not looking to get rich. We just want to help provide you with a viable way to get items that you've missed at a price you can live with. When you go to checkout you will see that shipping has not been included in the product prices. We have done this because shipping prices vary according to location and total weight or size of package(s). Why should one person living in the next state have to pay the same as someone clear across the country? Also, this way you see your actual cost of the product(s) without extras added in. We only charge for shipping - no handling or packaging fees are added in.

That way you can get more, save more, and fish more ... with More Tackle.


Saturday, June 06, 2009

Spring into June

I don't know if it's the rain we have been getting for the last two weeks raising the water levels, or the fact that the temperatures have not been too high because of the afternoon rains, or the fact that a rise in water level increases the forage. All I know is that the fishing is still great.

This 7/12 lb largemouth bass caught by Brian Futch of Mulberry, FL during our outing Tuesday morning, June 2, 2009, is proof that the big ones are still very active and "available."

If the rains keep coming throughout the rest of Spring and into the Summer, then this should be a good year for not only bass fishing, but the bluegill fishing will be picking up, beginning with the full moon tomorrow.

Don't forget to follow the law regarding daily catch limits ... and possession limits. These laws have been put into place for a good reason, so please respect them.

On another note, keep a watch out for our new online tackle outlet store,, which will go live some time this month. We will be offering great deals on some of your favorite tackle and specials on discontinued items that some of you have been asking for in various fishing forums. If there is a particular lure or other item that you really liked and wished were still available, send us an email at and let us know. If we can get it we'll let you know personally.

Thursday, May 14, 2009


What should a customer expect when they hire a guide for freshwater fishing?

Well, several things. For starters, they should expect that the guide has a significant amount of experience in his past, in addition to recent experience and current knowledge. They should expect to find all of the equipment/supplies that is advertised to be present and in good working order. They should expect the guide to be prompt and give them the full amount of time on the water. But, in addition, they should expect to be guided in a clean boat fully rigged for the intended type of fishing.

So many times I hear about and see fishing guide's boats that have not been cleaned up after a prior fishing excursion. Each client should be treated equally with the same amount of respect and dignity. This means providing each and every one with the same level of service and professionalism. After all, they are paying for it.

Guides establish their own prices, but often competition drives the prices down in an attempt to out-price one another. In doing so, the client shouldn't have to sacrifice quality of service. Again, it is the guide's choice as to what to charge for his/her services. Therefore, it comes back to that same old saying ... you get what you pay for.

Also, beware of prices that "include bait". Many times that included bait has been purchased ahead and in bulk. This means that you could receive substandard bait that is not the correct size for a particular time of year. Bait generally varies in cost dependent upon the time of the year, ease of harvesting, and size. You can expect to pay anywhere from $8.00 p $15.00/dozen and up. Sizes range from small all the way up to jumbo, which can run as much as $20.00/dozen. Let your guide know whether you are fishing for fun and quantity, or if you are looking for that trophy wall mount.

So, a word to the wise ... shop around, but don't compare just price. As a customer, you should keep in mind what level of quality service you expect, too. Don't be afraid to ask for references from former clients. Your reputable guides will be more than willing to give you that information.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Ardent Assembles All-Star Squad for 2009

Ardent Assembles All-Star Squad for 2009
Team Ardent members include two Bassmaster Classic champions.

Macon, MO (May 2009) – Ardent, the industry’s only manufacturer of fishing reels and accessories that are Made in the USA, recently unveiled the members of Team Ardent for 2009. The members include a virtual who’s who in the professional fishing industry, including pros in the Bass Elite Series, FLW Tour, WBT Tour and PAA members. Combined, the 2009 Team Ardent team has two Bassmaster Classic Tournament wins, 39 tournament first-place finishes, 227 Top 10 finishes and hosts of six prominent television shows.

“Ardent now has more than 185 anglers on its Pro Staff and there is no greater compliment a manufacturer can receive than to have anglers of this caliber use its reels,” said Mike Brooks, President and CEO of Ardent. “These anglers choose Ardent because of its performance on the water. None of these anglers are paid by Ardent to use our reels.”

Topping the list of Ardent’s Pro Staff program are Bassmaster Classic Champions Denny Brauer and Alton Jones, as well Pete Ponds, Jami Fralick, James Niggemeyer, Fred Roumbais, Mark Tyler, Steve Kennedy, Terry Butcher, Kevin Short, Brent Chapman and Zell Rowland.

“Team Ardent has some of the strongest competitors on the Elite Tour this year,” Brooks said. “These anglers, combined with the performance of Ardent reels, may give us an opportunity to have a Team Ardent member win the Angler of the Year award.”

Team Ardent also includes five notable anglers from the FLW Tour, including Kevin Lasyone, Mike Ellenstein – who also hosts the television program Tri-State Fishing – Wil Jefferies, Mike Reynolds and Kris Anderson.

Other members of Team Ardent include six fishing television show hosts: Larry Woodward and Bob Richardson of Outdoors in the Heartland, Aaron Martin of Bass Edge, Bob Mehsikomer of Simply Fishing, Charlie Moore of Charlie Moore TV and Tony Sellars of Angler’s for Christ; four exclusive PAA Members: Blake Shifflett,
Jimmy Mason, Lance Vick and Kurt Dove; and four WBT fisherwomen: Dianna Clark, Betty Stahl, Angie Everitt and Rose Ellis.

In addition to these professional tour Team Ardent members, there are 130 amateur anglers who have chosen to exclusively utilize Ardent reels in their amateur weekend series events due to their performance. The total number of anglers using Ardent’s reels is an incredible testament to this young company’s product line.

About Ardent

With headquarters in Macon, Mo., Ardent designs and manufactures fishing reels and fishing reel accessories that are Made in the USA. Ardent was founded on the principle of creating high-performance fishing reels that can endure the test of time. In addition, every Ardent reel is hand-assembled and performance-tested prior to shipment and is backed by the industry best three-year warranty. For more information, please visit

Canadian Contact:
James Turner

Ardent Contact:
David Gray
660-395-9200 x 502

Media Contact:
Jason Michael
314-255-2340 x 103

Monday, May 04, 2009

Water Woes

Can you believe how low the water level is in our lakes again?!?!? I hate to say it, but we need a hurricane ... or at the very least, a few tropical depressions to get some water back into our lakes and rivers. Not just for the fishing, but for the entire ecosystem. But it would certainly help the fishing, or at least help the fisherman get into the lakes. Have you noticed how difficult it is getting your boat launched?

I've come to the realization that I should have purchased a 4-wheel drive when I bought my Suburban. But even some of them are having trouble at the sand ramps. Especially since most boat owners do power loading now, as this causes a build-up of sand out from the ramp. When the water goes down it causes a hump of sand to be in the way of loading and unloading, whereas some trailers even hang up.

The state should take advantage of all this low water and make improvements to the ramps now. They could repair those in need of it, and lengthen all of them ... or at least the most widely used ones. That might not create any new jobs, but it would secure some for a while. If anglers would let their state representatives know this, we might be able to get something done.

Let me know what you think and if you have any suggestions.

Freshwater Fishing Regs

I thought it would be a good idea to go over the freshwater fishing regulations as they apply to bass, crappie, etc (game fish) in Central & South Florida. Too much of the time we tend to just keep fishing year after year without checking for any changes in the regulations. The one way you DON'T want to find out about a change is from a wildlife officer, because he/she is probably checking you right now &, if you haven't checked recently, then you, very likely, may be violating the rules.

There are numerous regulations regarding freshwater fish broken into several categories: Bag/Possession & Length Limits; Methods of Taking Freshwater Fish; & Fish management Areas.

Here is a list of the freshwater fish regulated:


Game Fish - black bass, crappie, bluegill, redear sunfish, warmouth, redbreast sunfish, spotted sunfish, flier, mud sunfish, longear sunfish, shadow bass, peacock bass, white bass, striped bass & sunshine bass.

Nongame Fish - all freshwater fish are defined as non-game fish, except grass carp & fish defined as freshwater game fish. Note: Alligator gars require a scientific collector's permit to take.


Special bag & length limits apply to some lakes, rivers & Fish Management Areas. Other fishes considered to be nongame fishes have no bag or possession limits, except as noted in Fish Management Area regulations. (Note: Total length is the maximum length of the fish, with the mouth closed & the tail fin pinched together. Do NOT pull a flexible tape measure along the curve of the fish.)

Possession limit is two days bag limit. It is illegal to transport or possess more than two days bag limit of fish per licensed angler without a commercial license. Exceptions are fish legally acquired from aquaculturists (fish farmers) for use in aquaria, for brood stock, pond stocking or properly marked for the market. Fish may not be filleted nor their head or tail removed until the angler is finished fishing for the day to allow confirmation of measurements. Non-native fishes, except for peacock bass & triploid grass carp, should not be returned to the water, & should be consumed or disposed of properly. No freshwater fish or their eggs may be taken or possessed except as permitted by these rules nor shall anyone wantonly or willfully waste the same.

5 Black bass (largemouth, Suwannee, spotted, & shoal bass, individually or in total), only one of which may be 22 inches or longer in total length.

* In south Florida: only one bass may be 14 inches in total length or longer.

* South & east of the Suwannee River: black bass less than 14 inches in total length must be released immediately.

* In the Suwannee River, areas north & west of the Suwannee River, & in any tributary river, creek or stream of the Suwannee River: black bass less than 12 inches in total length must be released immediately.

50 Panfish including bluegill, redear sunfish (shellcracker), flier, longear sunfish, mud sunfish, shadow bass, spotted sunfish (stumpknockers), warmouth & redbreast sunfish, individually or in total.

25 Black Crappie (speckled perch).

Special Bag & Length Limits (Up to Index)

(Excluding Fish Management Areas)

See Fish Management Area Regulations for bag & length limits for lakes in the Fish Management Area system.


Edward Medard Reservoir, Hillsborough County: Black bass caught from 15 to 24 inches in total length must be released immediately. Black bass bag limit is three.

St. Johns River Water Management Area (Farm 13, including the Stick Marsh), Indian River & Brevard counties: Black bass must be released immediately.

S.N. Knight Tract, Indian River County (locally known as Kenansville Lake): Black bass must be released immediately.

Lake Weohyakapka (Walk-in-Water), Polk County: Black bass from 15 to 24 inches in total length must be released immediately. Black bass bag limit is three, only one of which may be 24 inches in total length or longer.

Lake Okeechobee, including Harney Pond Canal (C-41) north of S.R. 78 to water control structure S-71; Indian Prairie Canal (C-40) north of S.R. 78 to water control structure S-72; all of Taylor Creek & Nubbin Slough; C-38 Canal/ Kissimmee River south of water control structure S-65E to S.R. 78, & C-41-A Canal, from the intersection of the C-38 Canal upstream to the S-84 structure, Okeechobee County: Black bass less than 18 inches in total length must be released immediately; crappie (speckled perch) less than 10 inches in total length must be released immediately.

Lake Trafford (Collier County): Five black bass, each must be 18 inches or greater in total length & only one fish may be 22 inches or greater in total length.


Game fish & nongame fish may be taken with pole & line or rod & reel. There is no limit on the number of rods an angler may use.

Freshwater fish may not be taken by use of any free-floating, unattached device, or by use of firearms, explosives, electricity, spear gun, poison or other chemicals. The taking of fish by underwater swimming or diving is prohibited. It is unlawful to sell, offer for sale or transport out of the state any freshwater game fish unless specifically permitted by the FWC, except that licensed anglers may transport two days' bag limit of legally harvested game fish.

It is illegal to possess any freshwater fish along with gear that cannot legally be used to take freshwater fish, including gear types listed above & below for taking nongame fish or bait. Some exceptions apply.

It is illegal to fillet or remove the head or tail fin of black bass, striped bass, white bass, Sunshine bass (striped bass x white bass hybrid), peacock bass, black crappie & panfish (where special black crappie or panfish size or bag limits are in effect) until after you have completed fishing for the day.


Tenoroc Fish Management Area, Polk County fishing is allowed only by FWC permit. All anglers must check in & out at the Tenoroc Fish Management Area headquarters & deposit their valid fishing license with the custodian unless otherwise instructed.

Days & hours of operation & quotas shall be as designated by the FWC & posted at area headquarters (currently Friday through Monday only). Quotas will be established for each lake, & fishing is permitted in designated lakes only. Lakes may be closed to public access for management purposes or if access to the lake exposes the public to danger, by posting notice at the Tenoroc check station office. Quotas for open lakes may be temporarily increased to accommodate anglers during times when other lakes are closed due to management construction projects, road repair, unsafe access or special recreational events.

Unless otherwise specified, harvest restrictions are as follows:
Crappie bag limit: 10
Crappie less than 10 inches in total length must be released immediately.
Sunshine bass bag limit: 6
Black bass must be released immediately.
Fish may not be filleted, nor their head or tail fins removed, until the angler has completed fishing for the day.
Cast nets & minnow seines are prohibited. Motor vehicles may be operated only on named roads, designated parking areas, & fishing ramps as designated in the area use brochure. Vehicles may not obstruct designated roads, boat ramps & fire lanes.

Regulations for Tenoroc water bodies are as follows:
Lakes A, Butterfly, C, F, Fish Hook, G, Half-Moon, Horseshoe, Hydrilla, Legs Lost, Lake East, Lost Lake West, Tern, 2, 3, & 4 (primitive launch only on Butterfly, F, Fish Hook, G, Half-Moon, Lost Lake East, Lost Lake West, & Tern):
Gasoline motors may not be used on boats.

Lakes B & 5: Boats are restricted to idle speed-no wake. Black bass greater than 15 inches in total length must be released immediately.
Black bass bag limit: 2

Picnic Lake: Gasoline motors may not be used on boats.
Black bass bag limit: 2
Black bass greater than 15 inches in total length must be released immediately.

Pine (formerly East & West Pasture Lakes) & Derby Lakes: Boats may not be used. Closed to fishing unless authorized by FWC permit for agency-sanctioned events except for anglers who have been certified by the U.S. Veterans Administration, U.S. Social Security Administration, by any branch of the U.S. Armed Services, or by a licensed physician in this state to be totally & permanently disabled & has obtained a permanent license or unless that person presents proof of acceptance as a client for retardation services by the Department of Health. Other than the anglers described above, no person 16 years or older shall fish on Derby Lake unless accompanied by a child under 16 years of age.
Panfish bag limit: 20
Anglers may keep no more than 5 bluegill & redear sunfish 8 inches or longer in total length per day.

Cemetery Lake: Boats may not be used.
Panfish bag limit: 20
Anglers may keep no more than 5 bluegill & redear sunfish 8 inches or longer in total length per day.

Lake Crago: Largemouth bass, crappie & sunshine bass: statewide size & bag limits apply. Wire traps may be used for nongame fish. Trotlines may be used from sunset until 9 a.m. Boats are restricted to idle speed-no wake.

Freedom Lake Park, Pinellas County: open to fishing. Cast nets or minnow seines are prohibited. Black bass must be released immediately.
Panfish bag limit: 20
Swimming & taking of fish or wildlife with firearms or possession of alcoholic beverages are prohibited.

Dover District Park Lake, Hillsborough County: open to fishing. Cast nets or minnow seines are prohibited. Black bass must be released immediately.
Panfish bag limit: 20
Swimming & possession of firearms or alcoholic beverages are prohibited.

Steven J. Wortham Park Lake, Hillsborough County: open to fishing. Cast nets or minnow seines are prohibited. Black bass must be released immediately.
Panfish bag limit: 20
Swimming & taking of fish or wildlife with firearms or possession of alcoholic beverages are prohibited.

Al Lopez Park Lake, Hillsborough County: open to fishing. Cast nets or minnow seines are prohibited. Black bass must be released immediately.
Panfish bag limit: 20
Swimming & taking of fish or wildlife with firearms are prohibited.

Largo Central Park Nature Preserve, Pinellas County: open to fishing. Cast nets & minnow seines are prohibited. No person shall kill or possess any black bass. No person shall take in any one (1) day more than twenty (20) panfish, in the aggregate. No person shall kill or possess more than ten (10) crappie. No person shall kill or possess any crappie less than ten inches (10") in total length. Swimming & taking of fish or wildlife with firearms & possession of alcoholic beverages are prohibited.

Walsingham Park Lake, Pinellas County: open to fishing. Cast nets or minnow seines are prohibited. Black bass must be released immediately. Swimming & taking of fish or wildlife with firearms & possession of alcoholic beverages are prohibited. Gasoline motors may not be used on boats.
Panfish bag limit: 20
Crappie less than 10 inches in total length must be released immediately.
Sunshine bass bag limit: 4
Sunshine bass less than 10 inches in total length must be released immediately.
Crappie bag limit: 10

Middle Lake, Pasco County: open to fishing. Watercraft shall be operated at idle speed only. Swimming, taking of fish or wildlife with firearms, & camping or open fires at the boat launch site are prohibited.
Panfish bag limit: 20
Bluegill & redear sunfish less than 8 inches in total length must be released immediately.
Crappie bag limit: 10
Crappie less than 10 inches in total length must be released immediately.

Lake Istokpoga, Highlands County: open to fishing. Black bass 15 inches or more in total length & less than 24 inches must be released immediately.
Black bass bag limit: 3
Only 1 black bass may be 24 inches or greater in total length.

Mosaic Fish Management Area (formerly Cargill Fort Meade Mine), Polk & Hardee counties: open to fishing.
Fishing is allowed only by daily permit issued by the FWC. All anglers must check in & out at the Cargill Fort Meade Mine creel station, the designated entry point, unless otherwise instructed. Days & hours of operation & quotas shall be as designated by the FWC & posted at the Cargill Fort Meade Mine creel station. Fishing is permitted in designated lakes only. All other lakes & restricted areas, so posted, are closed to public fishing. Any lake may be temporarily closed to public access for management purposes, or in the event that access to the lake exposes the public to danger, by posting notice at the creel station. Unless otherwise specified, harvest restrictions are as follows:
Black bass must be released immediately.
Sunshine bass bag limit: 6
Crappie bag limit: 10
Crappie less than 10 inches in total length must be released immediately. Fish may not be filleted, nor their heads or tail fins removed, until the angler has checked out at the Cargill creel station. Disposal of fish remains is prohibited.
Taking of fish with guns is prohibited. Motor vehicles may be operated only on designated roads, parking areas & boat ramps. Vehicles may not obstruct designated roads, boat ramps & fire lanes. Swimming & float tubes are prohibited.
Rough fish may be removed from designated lakes by cast nets & minnow seines by permission of the landowner. Outboard motors more than 10 h.p. may not be used. Regulations for individual water bodies are as follows.

Haul Road Pit:
Black bass longer than 15 inches in total length must be released immediately.
Black bass bag limit: 2
Long Pond (LP2 West):
No boats permitted.

Hardee County Park, Hardee County: open to fishing. All anglers shall enter at the Park main entrance, the designated entry point, unless otherwise instructed. Angling from a boat is allowed by entry pass issued by Hardee County. Angling from shore does not require an entry pass unless otherwise posted at the Park main entrance.
Days & hours of operation & quotas for freshwater fishing are posted at the Park main entrance. Fishing is permitted in designated lakes only. Any lake may be closed to public access by Hardee County for management purposes, or in the event that access to the lake exposes the public to danger, by posting notice at the Park main entrance.
Black bass must be released immediately.
Sunshine bass bag limit: 6
Panfish bag limit: 20
Crappie bag limit: 10
Crappie less than 10 inches in total length must be released immediately. Fish may not be filleted, nor their head or tail fin removed, until the angler has left the Park. Disposal of fish remains within Hardee County Park is prohibited.
Taking of fish with guns is prohibited. Motor vehicles may be operated only on designated roads, parking areas, & boat ramps. Vehicles may not obstruct designated roads, boat ramps & fire lanes. Swimming & float tubes are prohibited.
Watercraft are restricted to idle speed-no wake.


Tuesday, March 24, 2009

What a Croc!

Two Crocodiles were sitting at the side of the swamp near the lake. The smaller one turned to the bigger one and said, "I can't understand how you can be so much bigger than me. We're the same age; we were the same size as kids. I just don't get it."

"Well," said the big Croc, "what have you been eating?" "Politicians, same as you," replied the small Croc. "Hmm. Well, where do you catch them?" "Down the other side of the swamp near the parking lot by the Capitol." "Same here. Hmm. How do you catch them?" "Well, I crawl up under one of their Lexus cars and wait for one to unlock the car door. Then I jump out, grab them by the leg, shake the shit out of them and eat 'em!"

"Ah!" says the big Crocodile, "I think I see your problem. You're not getting any real nourishment. See, by the time you finish shaking the shit out of a Politician, there's nothing left but an asshole and a briefcase!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Bass Bits & Bites

Have you ever noticed how bass seem to hit lures or bait different ways at different times? And that they act differently after taking the bait/lure? It's something that tends to slip my mind after catching bass the same way for awhile until, all of a sudden, they stop reacting the same way.

Then it dawns on me again ... it's either a change in season (their season, that is), a change in the weather, a change in the water. These are the usual things that will affect how the bass feed. But not how the bass strike. The way a bass strikes is determined upon why it strikes. Most people think that a bass strikes because it is hungry. That's one reason ... and usually the most aggressive reason. That is why it is best to fish at the times designated by the moon phases, since that is what triggers all of nature to feed.

But what about the other times. Why would bass strike if they are not hungry, or it is not their natural time to feed? There are numerous other reasons that cause bass to strike a lure or a bait. One is territorial. The bass is an extremely territorial fish, and it will strike at anything that enters its domain. Not necessarily to eat it, just to either kill it or deter it from sticking around.

Another is preparation. During the mating season, the bass, both male and female, will gorge themselves to stock up for the mating ritual, during which neither one feeds. First, the male prepares the bed. Then the female moves in and lays her eggs.

Thereafter, is replenishment. Once she is done laying her eggs she leaves and goes back to feeding. The male fertilizes the eggs and then stays to protect them from predators. During this protection phase, the male doesn't eat ... he just either kills the predators or spits them back out away from the nest. He goes so long without eating that once the fry hatch, he will begin foraging on the young.

During the Fall as the waters cool down, bass tend to go on feeding frenzies, striking anything that moves in the water. They will gorge until they regurgitate, and then feed some more. This is a particularly exciting time to fish, especially if you come upon an entire school of bass in a feeding frenzy. It can look as if the entire area of water has come to a rolling boil.

Yet another reason is predatorial instinct. If something comes by that is within the "strike zone," a bass just can't help him or her self from striking at it, whether hungry or not.

And another is competition. If one bass strikes at a lure, another one (sometimes larger), tries to take it away. Who knows ... maybe it's sibling rivalry! That is why you may sometimes catch two bass at the same time if your lure has more than one hook on it, such as a treble hook.

As you can see, there are numerous reasons, not all mentioned here, why a bass will strike. And each of those reasons will cause the bass to follow through differently after the strike. For instance, if a bass is just protecting the nest then they will most likely just pick up the intrusion, move it a ways off, and then spit it out. Many times, the bass will be holding the lure/bait in such a manner that even if you set the hook at the optimal moment, you still won't catch it because the hook is not in its mouth. A bass only turns a lure head first into its throat if it intends to swallow it. Otherwise, they will just hold it sideways or endwise in its mouth until killing or disposing of it.

This is one reason why people flock to Florida in the late Winter and early Spring. That is the time when the Florida Black Bass is spawning on both the full moon and the new moon. So just before and after are great times to find them feeding like crazy, which makes it easier to find those trophy-size females. Plus, it's a great excuse to get out of the cold of up North.

Look down the right side of my blog and you will see some of those trophies that have been caught this season ... and all returned back so they can complete their spawning ritual. Because remember ... big fish breed big fish.

CPR = Catch, Photograph, Release

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Very Fishy Quotes

I came across some neat quotes regarding kids and fishing, and I wanted to share them with you.

"If a child is to keep alive his inborn sense of wonder, he needs the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering with him/her the joy, excitement and mystery of the world we live in." - Rachel Carson

"If we want children to flourish, to become truly empowered, then let us allow them to love the earth before we ask them to save it.” David Sobel, Beyond Ecophobia

If anyone comes across any quotes regarding fishing, please email them to me at I like to add them to my website, Thanks a bunch!

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Angler Survey

Don't Sunset Our Industry

Angler Survey is conducting surveys about freshwater and saltwater buying and fishing habits. This is a good opportunity for fishermen and women to make an impact, so go to and make yourself heard.

Results of this survey will be used by fishery agencies and sportsman's groups to protect and enhance fishing opportunities. Also, participation in this survey will help the industry develop new products and improve services. Your name, email address, or individual responses will NEVER be released to anyone for any purpose.

Each month you complete the survey, you will be entered in the monthly drawing for one of five $100 gift certificates to the sporting good retailer of your choice and your name will be automatically entered into the drawing. Only one entry per month is permitted.

So make this website one of your favorites and visit monthly.

Did You Know?

Did you know ... that one in every 10 dollars spent in the United States on fishing is spent in Florida?

Did you know ... that even more impressive is the fact that 43 percent of anglers in the United States call the southeast region home?

Did you know ... that overall, nearly $20 billion in fishing retail sales are realized annually in the southeastern market?

Did you know ... that more than half of the United States sportfishing dollars are spent east of the Mississippi River?

Did you know ... that the sportfishing industry generates more state revenue than the citrus and cattle industries combined?

Did you know ... 93 percent of Americans support legal recreational fishing?

Did you know ... signed in 1995, Presidential Executive Order 12962 directs federal agencies to promote and protect sportfishing opportunities?

Did you know ... there are 13 million saltwater anglers in the United States?

Did you know ... Florida, California and Texas are the most popular saltwater fishing states?

Did you know ... saltwater anglers spend over $20 BILLION annually on their sport?

Did you know ... commercial fishing operations are responsible for 97 percent of all marine fish landed; recreational anglers land only 3 percent?

Did you know ... that according to the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), only 8 percent of marine fish stocks are actively being overfished. Most other species are on the road to recovery?

Did you know ... that many environmental groups are pushing to restrict public access in anywhere from 5-20 percent of all ocean areas?

Just a few tidbits of information!

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Valentine's Day all February long

This has been one sweetheart of a month! Although I had the biggest scare of my guiding career a couple of days ago.

First, the bad part - I had a long-time customer (9 years) and her Dad out fishing for their first of three days scheduled. There was nothing unusual or different about the day, and there had not been any fronts recently to have affected the fish. It should have just been another average February day of fishing. Not so. I don't like to brag (well, I do but it just sounded good) but it is extremely rare for me to go fishing and not catch some fish ... or at least have several bites, even if we don't get them into the boat. But this day was going to be one for the record books! Now first you must know that this customer comes almost every year; she always books 3 days; she usually has just one off day; she always catches fish ... usually big ones. We got on the water around 7am and fished all day. When I say all day I mean until it was dark:30! We did not boat a fish ... in fact, we only had one bite ... ONE BITE!!!!! I was devastated, but she seemed to just take it in stride with teasing me all day. "Dick, where's the fish???" she would say.

I thought I would never get to sleep that night, and then I woke up at 1:30am and couldn't get back to sleep. I finally came to the conclusion that this was God's way of keeping me humble. So that morning I had them meet me earlier - at 6am and we went to a different location where I had caught fish a couple of weeks ago. It was a bit of a drive, hopefully it would be worth it.

Well, it was. I no longer got two shiners in the water and started to hook up another one when we heard a splash that sounded like someone had thrown the port-a-potty overboard! That was the beginning of a "chamber of commerce" day. She and her Dad missed quite a few fish, but they boated a lot of them, too. No fish that day was less than 4 pounds, I kid you not. I had redeemed myself!!!

The next, and last, day we went to the same location and it was an instant replay of the day before. Big fish ... BIG FISH! Again, nothing smaller than around 4 pounds. Like the old saying goes ... a picture is worth a thousand words, so I'll shut up and let the pictures below speak for themselves.

Other than that one day, fishing this February has been like these pictures all month. Now that this "Sweetheart" month is over hopefully my wife's Irish eyes will be smiling on me for the month of March because about half of all the days are booked already.
I hope the rest of you have had as good a month as I have, minus the one humbling day. Although, almost every fisherman and woman that I know needs to be humbled once in a while, if for no other reason than to keep the fish tales within reason. I know mine are now ... and I try to always back them up with pictures!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

?????Fly Fish Tournament?????

Every person who has ever done much fishing has heard stories about a place where..."the fishing is so good.....the fish jump right into the boat."It's true. take a look.

It's too bad that bass don't do this!!!

Monday, February 09, 2009

February Florida Fishing

I really feel sorry for the tournament fishermen and women at this time of the year. Have you ever noticed how a cold front always comes through the state of Florida just prior to the weekend, causing the temperatures to drop severely and a couple "bluebird" days to appear, usually on Saturday and Sunday? Originally I thought it was just because my wife was fishing tournaments and it was just her bad luck. She hasn't fished a tournament in almost 20 years, but the fronts still keep coming with the same pattern, especially during the month of February.

I can still remember one year when she was fishing a tournament on Lake Okeechobee, I think with Bass'n Gal, and the schedule included Valentine's Day. Her practice went great, in fact, better than ever before on Lake Okeechobee. She had quality fish located about five places on the south, southwest, and southeast sides of the lake, which was perfect since they were fishing out of Clewiston.

She was going as a non-boater and drew Kathy Magers the first day and she won the toss for fishing her spots first. They went to the Monkey Box and she boated a 5lber on her first cast. She was primed and ready to really do good in the tournament. Then, shortly after that the winds started to blow ... and blow ... and blow. They couldn't hold the boat in the spot where they wanted to fish because the winds were blowing so hard that it was about to swamp them.

There was no place out on the lake where you could maintain a location to fish, so they had to go to the rim ditch. My wife didn't pre-fish the rim canal, so she didn't have any particular preferences of where to fish; and she was totally dejected that she couldn't fish the lake. I don't think I've ever seen her so depressed about fishing. She tried to prepare for that tournament harder than she ever had before ... just to loose it to the weather and Mother Nature. The winds were so strong (hurricane force) that several ladies found their boats aground because the water was literally blown out from under them. Others that were trying to fish the rocks in the ditch, found themselves ON the rocks!

Well, that's what did her in on fishing tournaments. She said that her Father always told her that fishing is what he did to relax away from his job. Once she realized that her tournament fishing had become a "J-O-B" to her, then she realized it was time to quit. Now she enjoys going out fun fishing with me and helping me with my guide business, Southern Outdoorsman Guide Service, like finding new locations to take my clients, some of which come on the weekends and, since we have had some severe fronts in January and now February, that is what made me think of the tournament fisherman and women. She also designed and maintains my website, and runs two businesses of her own, one with Market America and a secretarial service.

So, those of you who are fishing tournaments and trying to get through another season of cold fronts ... have heart! It is not because you "have a dark cloud hanging over you" or "broke a mirror to give you 7 years bad luck" or "a black cat crossed your path" or whatever you might think brought you bad luck. It's just Mother Natures way of taking care of her own while they are trying to make babies. After all, if it were your children, you would protect them, too ... right? Hang in there, Spring is right around the corner and so is good tournament fishing weather.

Good Luck!

Friday, January 30, 2009

Kids Gone Fishin'

I know I've talked about this once already, but it needs to be talked about more and more. If it was, then maybe our kids wouldn't be getting into so much trouble, wouldn't be sitting in front of the computer or TV so much (you can tell it's hard to get me to), and wouldn't be trying out the wrong things at too early of an age.

Kids have almost forgotten what it's like to be a kid ... either that or it has changed drastically, for the worse. I have found that since we added a pontoon boat to our choice for guiding, that more and more parents are bringing their kids with them on the part of their vacation that they have set aside for fishing. And the kids are learning about something that they never knew they had an interest in ... until now.

On the side are just a few pictures of the kids that have been fishing with me. Just look at their faces. They're having fun and there's not a TV, computer, ipod, cellphone, or gamer anywhere in the picture. Just something that came from nature that they are proud to have encountered.

There are numerous sites out there, including ours, that either include kids fishing or are dedicated to kids fishing. Take the time to show your kids or grandkids what they're missing.

Kid's Fishing Tips; Gettings Kids Started Fishing; Information for Kids; Fishing Fun; Kids Fishing Clinics; Fishing For Kids; Kids Fishing Directory; Bass Fishing 4 Kids; Why Kids Need Fishing

These are just a few of the sites with information and/or pictures about kids and all types of fishing. Of course, we are partial to largemouth bass fishing, but that's only because it's the most popular of all the sport fishing ... and that's what we do best.

Just a tip ... if you're having any trouble with "generation gap" in regards to either your kids or grandkids, take them fishing and watch the gap shrink right before your eyes. In the eyes of the bass, you're all God's children!

Pike caught in Canada ... or was it?

Below is a copy of an email I received. But when I googled it, I came up with a site that has some debating the validity of the location. Let us know if anyone knows for sure where this monster pike was caught.
  • This is the new record in Canada. He caught it on Rainy Lake. Check this thing out. The last picture is unbelievable! This guy (in the photos below), was fishing and caught a 36" Pike - as he was reeling it in, a 56" Pike tried to eat it!!!!! He brought them both in on the same net. Awesome catch on a Lake in Canada - 55 lbs- 56 inches.

For real fish stories and testimonials, go to my Fishy Stories page in my website; or for 10 years worth of guiding pictures go to my Bass Braggin' page.

Blog Problems

Sorry about not being able to load my blog for a few days. I was having trouble with it and couldn't figure out what was causing it, so I just deleted most of what I had on the side. Will start rebuilding it, but checking this time after each addition. If anyone else has had this trouble and knows exactly what caused it, please let me know. I got so frustrated deleting one thing at a time and then previewing it just to see it do the same thing that I went ahead and deleted almost everything. In case you didn't catch what it was doing, the entire sidebar kept trying to load over and over again. Eventually it would completely lock up the browser. All is okay for now.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Website Makeover

Well, I'm sure many of you that have been on our site before have thought that this is "about time." We have finally done almost a complete makeover of our website. It's been a long time coming, but my wife has been very busy on a lot of other things. She's still not done tweaking it yet but, for the most part, it is done.

It has grown from a measley 10 pages to now over 30! We have pictures spanning the last 10 years and have created separate picture pages for the corporate groups. The kids already had their own page, but it is larger now.

If anybody has any suggestions for the website, please let us know so Joyce can take your suggestions into consideration and make whatever changes she decides on. I pretty much let her handle all of that, seeing as I wouldn't have the slightest idea how to make changes to it anyway.

The fishing is picking up nicely, and the bass are cooperating. The really huge trophies are still holding out for a little later in the season, but seven to nines are becoming fairly common. Some of the bass have started bedding, although this last cold front moved them off for a few days. Of course, wild shiners are still the favorite meal, but domestics run a close second.

Don't forget to use CPR - Catch, Photograph, Release - to help preserve larger catches. It would be a shame to coax our kids into the sport of fishing and their to be nothing for them to catch. Of course, it doesn't hurt to eat a few from time to time. Just remember that the smaller ones make the better meal; and big fish breed big fish. So, if the filets won't fit into an 10-inch skillet you shouldn't be cooking it!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Travel Blogger

Additional Authors

If any of you would like to become an additional author for this blog, please send me an email with your request and tell me a little about yourself and why you would like to become an author.

The more the merrier ... because I know every fisherman has an opinion, and when you're not out fishing, or watching fishing on TV, or preparing your boat or tackle for fishing, you're talking about fishing to anyone that will listen. So feel free to jump in here because the web provides plenty of listeners (or readers, that is).

We can set up your own personal logo to attach to your blog articles to differentiate between the authors. So, let me know if your interested.


I want to apologize to all of you bloggers out there that have been faithfully checking in on my blog. It's really no excuse, but I have been working practically every waking hour, that I haven't been fishing, on my website. I have increased its size from 10 pages to 34 and have increased the rankings to showing up within the first two pages of Google, Yahoo, and MSN searches for my keywords/phrases. I'm still working on it (you're really never done), but I've backed off on how many hours I am putting toward it. I know I have no right to ask, but if you could see your way to it, I would really appreciate the hits ... and votes for the links down the right side of the home page or on the links page.

Enough about that. How's the fishing you ask? Well, it wasn't too bad until we had this blizzard of a cold front move through. Now it's even too cold to go out and work on the boats in the garage, much less get in one and go fishing!!! The bass were starting to go on the bed, but this 30 degree weather will push them right back off for awhile, unless we get a really strong warming trend.

As things do warm up, I am anticipating a fairly good season this year, since most of the lakes are still fairly full. Although, we could still use some rain to top them off a bit. Now that all of the holiday hoopla is over with we can get down to business ... that is the business of fishing.

By the way, have any of you tried Doug Hannon's new fishing reel yet? It looks like he's got another winner of an invention. You can find some info about it on my site, along with the links to his site. Doug has received a lot of awards for this one. I think he has outdone himself this time. Congrats, Doug!!! Also, check out his swimming snake, if you haven't done so already. It's a killer of a lure, especially for those of you who LOVE topwater action.

I just heard a joke that I don't get (I don't think), so if you get it, let me know: Two gold fish were in a tank, one says to the other one "Do you know how to drive this thing?" Sorry, but I just don't get it.

Well, like I said, I am back now and will be posting about once a week. If anyone has any suggestions or things they would like me to add to the blog, speak up now or forever hold your peace ... just kidding.