Wednesday, September 26, 2012

I Like Fish !

I Like Fish! No fishing reports , kind of in between seasons here right now. I'm currently passing the time by hanging out with my kids. My youngest just loves what's below.....

I sincerely hope it doesn't get stuck in anyone's head like it does mine...

BRB , singing and dancing... I like fish , I LIKE FISH!

Have a great weekend! Be back soon with a fishing report.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Gear Review : Costa Del Mar Wave Killer 580 G Sunglasses , Part 2

Part 2 : A Quick Trip to the Pier

*DISCLAIMER* I received these glasses free of charge to use , review , and write about here at . The opinions stated herein are my own , and not in any way influenced by Costa Del Mar.

Lately , I'm not really fishing as much as I normally do , so it's been a challenge to test these glasses. I've worn them a lot while driving , worn them to a few sporting events and practices , and even walked down to one of our ponds to see how much glare they eliminated. Not exactly the types of things I needed to do with the glasses to form an honest opinion , so I jumped at the chance to spend a recent weekend at the beach.

I had big plans to try to get out into open water so I could see how well they worked for sight fishing , but high winds and confused seas left me stuck on dry ground at the pier. I soldiered on with product testing , though , and managed to make a few observations about how well these glasses perform under less than ideal conditions.

Handsome models aren't cheap , cheap models aren't handsome. Or something.
First a few words about driving with the Costas on. They are a great pair of glasses to drive with , they reduce glare without being too dark , while at the same time enhancing colors. The only complaint I have is that I've become too comfortable with mine on , and it's pretty damn embarrassing when you go into one of the many tunnels around Norfolk , VA , and you can't understand why your headlights won't work or why the tunnel is so dark. Trust me when I say that your wife and children will find this highly amusing. The second and third times you do this may even cause uncontrollable laughter from others in the car.

As I mentioned above , conditions were less than ideal to test polarized sunglasses on this particular trip. In my opinion , ideal conditions would be slick water under clear skies , with retina blistering glare baking you from below. That didn't happen this time around , but it is worth noting that the Costas did give me an advantage because I was able to pick out the edge of the sand bloom from the breakers , which is where some species of fish like to hang out to snag an easy meal stirred up by the waves.

Tough water to fish.
It was also pretty nice to be able to see small fish come in and have a go at my bait. The water was murky , but I was able to make out their outlines with the sunglasses on. Without the glasses , all I could see was muck and foam , highlighted by glare. I still remain amazed at how effectively these block glare when compared to other sunglasses I have owned. I highly recommend them.

A Florida Pompano , caught right next to the pier pilings.
I did have a couple of problems with the glasses , but it was due more to the conditions than any defect in design or manufacture by Costa. You'll notice in the picture of my ugly mug above that I have the Gripper tucked in beside the frames. I wasn't trying to make any fashion statement , but rather protect myself from the whip like thrashing of the cord in 25-30 mph gusts. I may look into shortening it , but I certainly wouldn't remove it. It was too windy to wear a hat , and I saw two go overboard.

The other problem was keeping the glasses clean. Spray from a steady onshore wind resulted in a glaze of salt on my sunglasses. I would normally just use my shirt to give my glasses a quick polish , but because these are an expensive pair I was worried about scratching them and ended up raiding my son's supply of Bausch & Lomb lens cleaning wipes. No big deal really , but I will say that using a pre-moistened wipe is the best way to clean these. A reusable cleaning cloth just seems to leave streaks and smears.

I love seeing small schools of these fish cruising behind the bar.
In the coming months , I'll be trying these out on some more local water. Definitely for lake fishing , and small stream trout , maybe a few other places. I still want to experiment with taking a picture through the lenses , but that may not work out due to my limited experience with photography. We'll see.

Until then , be sure to check out the Costa Del Mar website , Costa's Twitter account , and their Facebook page for the latest news about their products and special offers!

Have a great weekend!

Monday, September 17, 2012

A Few Pictures from The Virginia Beach Aquarium

OR : Blogger uses iPod Touch because high dollar camera is too technical for me. Out of several million dozen pictures , these are my favorites. All taken at the Virginia Beach Aquarium , which is much nicer , but more expensive , than it was during my last visit with my wife and kids.

I think that's a "Peanut Butter & Jellyfish"

Highly invasive. Report it to local Game and Fish Agencies if you ever catch or see one.

Leave me a good caption for this one in the comments !!!!

Have a great week! More about the fishing ASAP.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Nemesis Sportfishing with Captain Darrin Auger


If you've been following along on the blog for a while , you'll remember that from time to time , I like to do interviews with charter captains to give us a glimpse into a type of fishing that many of us rarely get to experience. Today , I'm very proud to be featuring Nemesis Sportfishing and Captain Darrin "Dundee" Auger, out of Kauai, Hawaii. Captain Darrin regularly targets Blue Marlin, Striped Marlin, Shortnosed Spearfish, occasionally Black Marlin and Sailfish , Yellowfin Tuna, Bigeye Tuna, Skipjack Tuna , Wavyback Tuna , Mahi mahi (Dolphin fish), and Ono (Wahoo) , in what is definitely one of the top fishing destinations in the world. There are very few places in the world where you can encounter so many different pelagic species on a four hour trip!

Captain Darrin "Dundee" Auger caught his first fish at the age of two and kept it in his pocket for two days. He grew up in Destin, Fl and started fishing offshore at the age of seven, and by the age of twelve was working professionally as a deckhand for one of the most successful and respected charter captains in Florida. Also growing up a competitive surfer , he eventually followed the surf to Hawaii and has called the islands home ever since. Now with over 23 years experience in Hawaiian waters from Kona to Kauai, Darrin has developed into a top performing captain. He is the only IGFA (International Game Fish Association) certified captain on Kauai and currently holds the Hawaiian state record for most Blue Marlin caught and released  (6) on lures in a half day (4 hour) trip. Darrin is an extreme competitor and is consistently at the top for total Blue Marlin and Ahi (Yellowfin Tuna) catches each year throughout Hawaiian waters. Although his passion is chasing monster Blue Marlin and big Ahi, he is equally satisfied helping a child or first time angler land their first fish.

Nemesis Sportfishing caters to the seasoned pro , as well as the first timer. Using top of the line gear , such as Shimano Tiagras (50's, 80's and 130's) as well as Shimano TLD's for smaller game. They offer some unique fishing trips off of the Napali coast , as well as exclusive 10hr private trips to fish Ni'ihau , The forbidden island. They also offer Whale/dolphin watching trips ( 3 hour) during the months December through April. Captain Darrin offers 4, 6, 8, and 10 hour trips , designed to fit your budget and your fishing needs.

Captain Darrin graciously agreed to an email interview regarding his fishing exploits , so without further delay here it is! Welcome to Something's Fishy , Captain!

JM : What lured you into the charter fishing business?

Captain Darrin : The most basic answer would be a life long passionate relationship with the ocean. I started fishing professionally at twelve/thirteen years old, but I've always worked for other people. Now I will be owner/operator so I will be able to apply what I've learned along the way and have the freedom to do as I see fit. I guess what I'm trying to say is that, I have a great desire to do things the 'right way.' To bring true professionalism to the charter fishing scene here on Kauai and succeed.

JM : What makes fishing Hawaiian waters so special? (ie. scenery , variety of species , proximity of currents , depth changes etc)

CD : Yes, to all of the above. Hawaii is the most isolated island group in the world. We have no continental shelf here. The islands are just the tip tops of mountains that continue down under the sea. So it gets deep quick. Just three miles or so out of the harbor and its 6000 ft. deep. We are always in sight of land so you get beautiful scenery every minute of the trip. Hawaii has beautiful scenery in general, but KAUAI'S NAPALI COAST is without a doubt one the most spectacular coastlines on earth. All of this combined with our amazing fishing/sea life and you feel like you feel like you've died and gone to heaven.

JM : Can you tell us a little about your boat , and why you feel it gives you a competitive advantage?

CD : The NEMESIS is a completely redone and professionally maintained Bertam 33' sportfishermen. Designed after years of research and development to be a stable open ocean fishing vessel. Bertram hulls are legendary for their strength. She's the perfect game boat for Kauai's sometimes less than favorable ocean conditions. Safety is our number one priority and was a major factor when choosing this boat for my operation. She has twin Cummins diesels so even if we encountered a problem with one engine we still have another to get us back to port. She has the feel and ride of a much larger vessel.

JM : Describe a typical trip aboard the Nemesis ?

CD : Nemesis Sportfishing offers 1/2 day, 3/4 day, and full day private and share trips. We get a lot of people that just want to go out for a 1/2 day (4 hour) or 3/4 day (6 hour) trip as they may have plans later that afternoon. We would typically leave the harbor around 6:30 a.m. and be back around lunch time. We don't need to travel far to get to the fish. We are sometimes into the fish before the people have even put on their sunscreen. We clean fish for our guests to take back and and throw on the grill. As far as the fishing, I always like to talk with my guests first and get a feel for what they would like to catch and go from there. There are many different species that we may enconter, so it all depends on what the guests want.

JM : Tell us about the most memorable trip you've had with clients.

CD : As far as memorable trips, there are many, but the kids that catch their first fish and the looks on their faces are what really stand out. They sometimes can't wipe the smile off no matter how hard they try. We have had some amazing days out there, but I guess the day we broke and set the new Hawaii Blue Marlin Record for most caught and released (6) in a 1/2 day trip really stands out. We had a 10 year old boy catch 2 Blue marlin that day. That's certainly a day I'll never forget.

JM : Tell us about the absolute best day of fishing aboard the NEMESIS? What made it special , numbers or size?

CD :  Another memorable day would be when we went through a boiling tuna feeding frenzy and all five lines went off. We were able to get all five Ahi (Yellowfin tuna) that ranged from 130-180lbs.

JM : What is your favorite fishing memory , personally - not with clients?

CD : A day without clients.......Maybe when my friend and I were allowed to take out our neighbors custom 30' G&S ($300,000 boat) to pursue Cobia outside Destin, Fl. We immediately found and hooked a good one about 60 lbs. All the other charter boats were around watching. We were 14 years old at the time.

JM : What is your personal best fish ? (species , length , weight - you can even describe the fight)

CD : We have lost some true monster Blue marlin well over 1000 lbs. After a five and half hour fight we released one that was probably 1200lbs. or more. The biggest one brought to the scales was 882lbs. She unfortunately died during the hour and forty-five minute fight.

JM : What's it like living and working in one of the most beautiful places on earth? Do you consider being a Captain a "dream job"?
CD : Most definitely MY dream job. Getting to do what I love for a living in one of the most beautiful places on earth is truly a blessing. Another big part of that is meeting new people every day and making new friends. It's very gratifying to be able to share our way of life with our guests. I consider myself very lucky indeed.

 JM : Any advice to potential clients ?

CD : If I were to give potential clients any would be to do your homework and check out your options carefully. Ask questions! There are others out there that run less than respectable operations. Many, only care about one thing.......MONEY! Check out the boat, ask to see the engine room, bilges, and areas that are typically out of view. If it looks dirty/neglected in any way or they give you excuses you know to look for another boat.

JM : Thanks so much for doing the interview Captain Darrin! I absolutely love to hear about Pacific fishing out here on the East Coast!


As you read above , Captain Darrin does an excellent job of putting his clients on fish , and making it an enjoyable experience for everyone involved. You can visit his site for more information about how to book trips , types of trips and great fishing reports. Follow Captain Darrin on Facebook and Google+  for the most recent happenings aboard the Nemesis!

Have a great week!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

The St. Croix / Cosmo Fishing Machine

File this under " Cool Flea Market Finds " , or at least cool to me.

I had a chance to visit an extremely large flea market last weekend , and managed to pick up this cool little telescopic rod/reel combo. I've honestly never seen one before and was pretty intrigued. I could have wasted my five bucks on something else , but I just had to add this little guy to my collection.

There isn't really a ton of info online about these things , past expired eBay auctions and snippets of conversation buried in fishing and antiques forums , but I did manage to find out that they were made sometime around 1976. Mine is a Cosmo brand , but apparently they were also sold under the St. Croix name at some point. It's kind of a chicken or egg conundrum for me right now , since I'm not entirely sure whether St. Croix made them for Cosmo or Cosmo made them for St. Croix , though I suspect the latter.

Regardless , it's a neat little rod and reel. I would certainly rather take my chances with this 5 foot rod and surprisingly smooth reel , than I would with it's main (and more successful) competitor , the Ronco Popeil Pocket Fisherman. It kind of blows my mind that I've never seen one of these before , but I assume it was only made for a year or two in an attempt to steal some of Ronco's market , and then discarded after it couldn't compete with legendary late night infomercial king , Ron Popeil.

Enjoy the bad photos , and leave me a comment if you have any information about this combo!

The squarest reel in the world.

With fancy red accents.

Kind of reminds me of an old camera , with the black and chrome.
It takes very little to amuse me these days. On another matter , I have some great things in the works for the next week or two that might even involve a fishing trip.

Have a great week!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Whatcha Got in That Fancy Case of Yours , Royyyyy?

The 80's were a strange and weirdly wonderful time , no? Coincidentally , that's also when I started hoarding , er , collecting my large assortment of fishing gear. Contrary to what many people believe , a little thought goes into what I buy to fish with , and I don't just take a five gallon bucket up to one of the john boats in Bass Pro and get a scoop of what's on clearance , though the idea is tempting.

First let me admit that I blatantly stole this idea from Troutrageous! His post about what he carries in his tenkara bag gave me some insight into what I would need , should I ever decide to go tenkara fishing again. Wouldn't it be great if some of the other experienced blogging fishermen did the same?

I won't claim to be experienced at blogging or fishing , but I would like to let everyone look into my light surf/pier tackle box. I can usually grab this on my way out the door , and have almost everything I need to get a few fish of several different species. It really is my go to box , and I only carry my bigger box on the boat or when I'm going to be targeting a gear heavy species like King Mackerel or Red Drum. Even better , I probably have enough stuff in this one to King or Drum fish in a pinch , though it would probably cost me a few larger fish and I might have to make a trip to the pier house for a couple of essentials that I only carry around when I have a definite need for them.

Let's look inside my fancy case. Yes , it is a pistol case. No I didn't buy it , but instead got it from somewhere for free. I have four or five in various sizes that survived the initial round of testing and ended up here. No , you can't have one....

Open it up already!

Just looks like a big mess to me...
That's better!
So what's in it? Here's a partial list :

Assorted fishing lines : I have two spools of 17 because it's a good all purpose size , but I would normally have some 12 or 14 lb. test in there as well. In the bigger box I keep 14 or 17 , plus 20 and 30 , occasionally an odd spool of 25 or 40. Why so much line? Big skates and rays think nothing of running off 200 yards of your favorite line then breaking it off at the spool. Especially if you don't have a backup plan...

Leader Material : pictured above is 20 , 30 , 40 , and 50 lb. test , though it's worth noting that the 30 is on a 50 lb. spool - long story... In my bigger box I usually keep all of the above plus 60 , 80 , and some single strand wire.

Lures : what you see is mainly Gotcha's , Kastmasters  , and the always reliable bucktail , all in several sizes and colors. Can you use other lures? Certainly , but these are old standbys that have always worked well for me. If something i don't have starts making me look bad , I'll go buy one. Until then , I start with these. It's a confidence thing.

Basic rigging stuff : Hooks , beads , swivels , straws? Yes , straws. They make a nifty Sabiki-type rig for small Spanish Mackerel , and even a Gotcha - like rig for bigger Spaniards. It's a weird setup. A note on the beads , I'm currently out of blue glass beads , but i do like them to put on a rig for smaller Red Drum (Pups or Redfish) if and when there are a lot of peeler crabs around and I'm trying to trick one with a piece of fish or shrimp.

A severely out of place fly box : It has some small bucktails and minnow patterns that I use for making Mackerel trees. I have another one that has bucktail teasers in it for puppy drum rigs , in the big box.

Knives : Because I will cut a fool... or just because I might have to filet a fish or cut bait. You'll notice the clam knife , very handy if you want to dig a few chowder clams and have free bait.

Needle nose pliers : Somehow they didn't make it into the picture , but i always have a pair for unhooking fish and crimping. Crimping ain't easy...

Anything else?

Nothing too important...
Lead : Lots of pyramid sinkers in various sizes , a few egg sinkers , a few teardrops , no Sputnik sinkers - I've never been a fan.

Whet Stone : Just in case I've cut someone and need to sharpen my knife , or you know , hooks and filet knives get dull with use.

Fishbites Imitation Blood Worms : I usually tell people to start with shrimp and work their way up from there. That's cheaper than Fishbites , but most times these will work great in warmer water and they keep forever. A little piece , say 1/4 of an inch long , will last through 2 or 3 fish , and that's all you need to get started catching bigger fish on cut bait. I think these are around 2-3 years old.

Is that all? Yes , I'm afraid it is. It's worth noting that I always take a cooler with cold drinks in it , and also for bait or the odd fish I decide to keep. I usually throw a rain jacket in my pier cart too , plus a few rods. The important thing is that you can take most of what's listed above plus a heavy bass rod and go to a pier or popular surf fishing spot and catch several different species. It all depends on what's in the surf where you are.

Have a great week! I have sheep that need tending to...