Monday, March 28, 2011

Rigging For Sheepheads

Edited to add : These fish are also known as Sheepsheads , but it just sounds bad to me. What kind of fish is that? It's a troutsfish. See what I mean? The s bugs me even if it is correct. JM - 3/30/11 - " I swear I'm not crazy "

I haven't talked about any rigging basics here on the blog for quite a while. I hate that I sometimes stray from what I originally wanted Something's Fishy to be when I got into this whole blogging thing. Today , I want to share what I use when I target Sheepheads and Pompanos from piers. The same basic principles are also used by boaters and kayakers who target these species and Tautog or Blackfish around bridges here on the East Coast.

These fish are often caught right against pier pilings and the concrete pillars that support many of our bridges that span the bays and inlets. The Sheepheads feed on barnacles that attach themselves to these structures by crushing them with their powerful jaws and stout teeth. There are usually several Sheepheads around because of their tendency to travel in schools and feed together. Once a barnacle is cracked open and it's unfortunate resident extracted the fish will swarm the pilings picking up any stray pieces. Pompanos and other smaller fish will often feed nearby or even under the Sheepheads , picking up anything that the larger fish drop.

When rigging for these fish , I recommend a stout rod with a lot of backbone so you'll be able to steer the bigger fish away from the pilings. Tangles and lost rigs are very common when doing this type of fishing , mainly because you have to fish so close to structures that the fish can (and often do) get you wrapped around. For this reason , I always try to get by with the cheapest terminal tackle possible. I use 50 lb. mono to make my rigs and 2/0 heavy wire hooks for Sheepheads because of their crazy teeth. <=== Seriously , check out the link. I've heard they are capable of breaking light wire hooks and I don't doubt it.

The rig I use is very simple , consisting of a swivel , a  single dropper loop and a pyramid sinker. I try to watch under the pier for activity and vary the placement of my dropper loop according to the depth at which the fish are feeding. Sometimes a hook 2 feet off of the bottom will work , but I've often had to use a 5 foot rig when they are feeding higher up. Some people will also use a second swivel underneath the dropper loop and then attach a lighter piece of line between the swivel and the pyramid sinker. This is done to prevent the loss of the whole rig in the event of a tangle. My favorite baits are Sand Fleas , pieces of shrimp and fresh clams.

Cleaning a mess of Sheepheads
Fishing this rig is also very simple. All I do is drop the rig straight down beside the pier pilings VERY SLOWLY. If you let it drop too fast the resulting splash and commotion will spook the fish. When these fish are present , you'll often see people bent over the railing and fishing straight down . It takes some practice to keep from getting tangled and to do this type of fishing without spooking the fish , but it can be a very exciting day of fishing. Sheepheads are also excellent table fare , so be sure to try some!

Have a great week!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Another Non Fishing Post

It's snowing here today. Yuck. Just when I was beginning to think spring was here. It doesn't help that I also sold a car that I had dreamed of owning for most of my childhood today. I didn't have to sell it , didn't need the money or anything like that , but it was time to let her go. It just wasn't practical anymore and I'd hate to see the old girl fall into ruin sitting in my driveway. I hope the new owner enjoys the car as much as I have over the last few years and gives her the same TLC that I did.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

I Went Fishing!

Wow! It seemed like it was going to be forever before I got a chance to go again. Unfortunately , fishing has to take a backseat to my family (as it should) so I'm just  not going as often as I did when I was younger. It was still nice to get out and enjoy some time on the water and it was a much needed break from everything.

I went to one of our local urban waterways which is surprisingly clean , considering it runs through the middle of town. I was able to land 7 yes SEVEN trout in a little over an hour. Granted they were stocked trout , but at this point I've been without some pulling and splashing at the end of my line for far too long so I would have settled for creek chubs.

All of the trout were caught on jigs that a good friend of mine makes. I'm working on getting him to start selling them through a website of his own , so watch for that in the coming months.

I didn't take any pictures because I packed lightly. I only took my trusty trout rod and a handful of jigs , but it was enough to get some fish in my hands and put a smile on my face.

Now two jokes from my 6 year old who is sitting here waiting for me to get off of the blog :

Why do fish swim in salt water?

Because pepper makes them sneeze.

What do you call a witch that lives at the beach?

A sand-witch.

Gotta love it! I think I'll be turning the blog over to my little buddy sooner than I thought.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Video (Film?) of Hatteras Island in the Seventies

I ran across this on Facebook last night and I think it's a cool video of the way Hatteras Island looked in the 70's. I give full credit for this video to the gentleman who uploaded it , so be sure to check his Youtube channel out. This was made before all of the computerized editing tools available now , and I have to say it was a job well done. He also has good taste in music!

It's worth noting that the lighthouse in the video has since been moved. In 1999 it was moved to save it from the ravages of the sea. To see more about the move click here.

Have a great week!

Friday, March 18, 2011

10 Questions with Captain Lenny
Soundside Adventures!

Today I'm lucky enough to be featuring an interview with long time Outer Banks fisherman and charter captain , Lenny Leta. Captain Lenny runs Soundside Adventures out of Wanchese, NC and fishes out of Oregon Inlet, Pirates Cove and Mann's Harbor Marinas. Captain Lenny specializes in fishing the waters of the Croatan, Roanoke and Pamlico Sounds in his 24 foot Carolina Skiff for Red Drum, Flounder, and Spotted Sea Trout. In the ocean, he targets Bluefish, Spanish Mackerel, Striped Bass, Cobia and other species depending on the season. He runs a tight ship and is always more than happy to help you try to catch the fish of a lifetime from the beautiful waters of North Carolina or to take you on a Nature Adventure to explore the marshes and islands of the coast in search of wildlife. You can find out more about Captain Lenny's charter operation and nature tours by visiting his website , Facebook page, or blog.

On behalf of myself and my readers, I would like to welcome Captain Lenny Leta and Soundside Adventures to Something's Fishy!

A beautiful Cobia Courtesy of Captain Lenny

JM : Welcome to Something's Fishy Captain Lenny! Thank you for agreeing to talk with us about Soundside Adventures and the fishing you do on the Outer Banks.

Click "Read More" below to see what the Captain had to say!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Minimalist Approach

I've been thinking about this particular article for quite a while , and I just haven't been able to decide on the best way to go about presenting it. I'm just going to jump right in and put it out there , eloquence be damned.

I ran across one of my small tackle boxes a while back and it's simplicity filled me with a ton of ideas for stuff here on the blog. This particular tackle box is one that I often take with me on short trips to the New River when I know I'll only be fishing with live bait. The only thing it has in it are size 1 hooks and 1/8 ounce split shot sinkers , which are really all I need in a wide variety of situations. The more I've thought about it lately , the more ideas I've come up with on ways I could use these 2 simple pieces of terminal tackle to catch fish. Sure , I'd have to add a couple of things here and there to be successful , but as thoughts of this little box drifted through my head I was amazed at it's versatility. I wouldn't necessarily be using the ideal tackle in any given situation , but I could certainly make it work.

Another Tuna Fishing Video

I've had Tuna on the brain the past few days. More specifically , Bluefin Tuna. The ones that fetch outlandish prices at auction. The reason? I've been following a story out of North Carolina about a record breaking fish caught on March 13th. The fish in question weighed in at 805 lbs. 8 oz. - an East Coast Monster! A big congratulations is in order for the captain and crew that landed this beast. I'm sure they're still celebrating their catch while they wait patiently to see if it will be certified as the new North Carolina state record. I know I would be.

It's been a while since I've had a new video here on the blog , so to give you guys an idea of what handling a Tuna that big would be like I've decided to post this video from Youtube of an Alabama charter boat hauling in a 700 lb. Bluefin. Enjoy the video , Tuna fishing looks like a lot of hard work!

More on the North Carolina fish when I hear about it. I do know it was caught on the Sea Breeze which runs out of Oregon Inlet. Congrats to the Captain and crew for landing the soon to be new record!

Have a great week!

Monday, March 14, 2011

The Winners Are...

We hope you enjoyed our little contest and you were able to find a few new blogs that interested you.

Don't forget to give our sponsors look again.

Fish Creek Spinners

Third place goes to Nathan Huss

Second place goes to William C.

First place goes to Trey

Congratulations to all three winners.

Thanks for checking out our contest.

Winners will be contacted by days end so we can ship your prizes out to you.

Thanks to everyone who participated!

I would also like to extend my thanks to all of our sponsors and to two of my fellow bloggers who helped us announce the start of the contest.

So , a big thank you to Salty at SoCalSalty and Foggy from Foggy Mountain Meanderings.

Have a great week!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Time is Running Out!

 Breaking Cabin Fever Officially Closed

Don't miss your chance to win some awesome outdoor gear in our Breaking Cabin Fever Scavenger Hunt! We've teamed up with a great group of bloggers and some very cool sponsors to bring you this great cure for cabin fever! Head on over to Ben G. Outdoors and get started for your chance to win!

The contest is closing TOMORROW 3/10/11 at 11:59 PM EST! Don't miss out!
Hurry before it's too late! We want to give these great prizes to YOU , but you have to enter to win!
Get busy finding answers at Ben G. Outdoors so you don't miss out on this great contest!

Have a great day!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Playing Outdoor Favorites

The Outdoor Blogger Network is always posting great ideas to help out bloggers who are stumped for ideas. While I like for the things here on the blog to be mostly my own ideas , the most recent photo prompt grabbed my attention. OBN prompted us to take a picture of our favorite piece of outdoor gear , be it a fishing rod , a pair of boots or just whatever. The idea was simple - post a picture of your favorite piece of outdoor gear and tell the world why you just can't leave without it.

I've thought about this photo prompt for several days now and I was initially stumped for something that I just had to take with me on every trip to the great outdoors. I have rods that I absolutely love , lures that I consider must haves on some stretches of water and all kinds of other little gadgets that are useful in certain situations. I just couldn't narrow it down to one thing that was my favorite. Until today.

Over the weekend , I was doing some maintenance to my trusted and reliable outdoor companion , when it dawned on me that what I held in my hand was my absolute favorite piece of gear and I would be lost without it.

This particular piece of gear has traveled everywhere with me. I've used it for a hundred different things in the outdoors and also inside. I've used it to cut bait , clean fish and skin animals. The weight of it in my right front pocket has become so familiar to me that I almost panic if I can't find it.
My 3 Blade Uncle Henry
My son watched me intently as I cleaned , oiled and began to sharpen the knife I have carried for over 20 years now. Much like I probably watched when my grandfather first gave me this knife all those years ago. I can remember him showing me how to oil it just right and how to work the blades back and forth with his wrinkled hands , in order to let the oil penetrate into the back spring. He also taught me the basics of handling a knife - how not to cut your fingers , how to sharpen it , why you should always cut away from yourself to avoid injury.

The smell of the 3-in-1 Oil brought back a lot of fond memories. Not only memories of the places I've taken it to and the things I've done with it , but of the man who gave it to me so long ago and the lessons learned from him about how to use it. It was a "Coming of Age" moment for me when he gave me that knife because back then everyone carried a pocket knife. It made me feel grown up and like a real man. As I look back on it now , I think I treasure the time he spent teaching me how to use it and take care of it way more than I do the knife itself. I wouldn't part with it for anything though , because it will always be the symbol of my grandfather's most precious gift to his oldest grandson - his time.

Have a great week!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Sunday Shout Out #3

I do these Sunday Shout Outs from time to time , and I enjoy sharing what I read with everyone else. I'm always up for reading something that is well written and the addition of humor always brightens my day. It takes a lot to keep a blog running and the creation of new content is very important if you want to keep your readers coming back for more. Today I'd like to share a blog that truly excels at keeping things fun and also a blogger who can crank out posts at an almost alarming speed.

Having said all of that , I'd like to direct you to Owl is a fly fishing maniac , err , fanatic and his is one blog I check out at least every day or two. He has a great sense of humor and always has something cool going on in his corner of the internet. I think he even talks about fishing over there sometimes too.

I've featured Owl here on the blog before , but I'm putting him back in the spotlight because he has recently gotten his family of websites in order at his new internet hub for fly fishing , I've heard that he will not be moving his blog around any more unless he wants to be beaten by an angry mob of bloggers who are tired of changing their blogroll because he is so happy with the way things are looking.

All kidding aside , Owl is a great guy who runs a top notch group of websites. Owl was one of the first bloggers I started corresponding with and also the guy that introduced me to the Outdoor Blogger Network. He makes and sells some truly beautiful flies in sizes that are almost too small for this fisherman to handle (think size 14). So do yourself a favor and go check out Owl's handiwork at You might even see JM hanging around in the chat room over there every once in a while , telling lies about fishing.

Congratulations Owl on the Grand Re-Opening of your blog!

Be sure to enter the Breaking Cabin Fever Scavenger Hunt , if you haven't already. Only four more days to enter for your chance to win!

Have a great week!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Hurry Before it's Too Late!

Don't miss your chance to win some great gear from our sponsors! First , check out the rules HERE , then head on over to Ben G. Outdoors to get started for your chance to win! Only six more days to go!

It's too late for those guys in the video to enter , but I wouldn't want anyone else to miss out on the fun! Nothing like a cheesy B-Movie to brighten my day.

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Contest Starts at 9:00

If you stopped by yesterday , you've probably seen the press release about the scavenger hunt kicking off today. You can see my post from yesterday for the rules and a list of all of the great prizes lined up by our sponsors.

Now you need to head on over to Ben G. Outdoors for the first clue! Good luck and have fun!

A couple of hints : try the search bar on the blogs that you visit and if that doesn't work , try looking through the archives on each blog.