Trainman327

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About Trainman327

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    Senior Member
  • Birthday 02/29/1964

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    Havre de Grace MD

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  1. Although I have fished conventional in the surf since childhood when I finally replaced my grandfather's reels I had to do some learning all over again. The new reels were much smoother and spin more freely. I recut my teeth using a Penn Squall SQL15 star drag because of the mag brake. It was great at helping reduce backlashes. It took me about a full season and a half to reduce the brake setting to zero. In the areas I fish, from Lewes Delaware south to about Daytona Beach Florida, long casts are overrated. Most of the fish are in the slough. Sure, I try to get at least one bait past the bar, but the lines that are most productive are within 50 yards of the shore line.
  2. I'll assume this is questioning the rules in NJ since most people commenting are from NJ. But if not, each state has it's own rules regarding legally caught fish. Example: In Florida, I had a FWC officer approach me one day while I was cleaning a legal size Gag Grouper. He said I was in violation of the law because I was cleaning fish while still fishing. The only time you can be in possession of a non-intact fish is when you are not fishing. You must stow all your gear before beginning to clean your fish. He didn't give me a citation but, I never do anything more than gut the fish until I leave the area I'm fishing.
  3. Just got back from a month in Costa Rica. We have been there several time and can't wait to go back. We visited many locations, some for fishing and some for wildlife photography. As stated above, the Gulf side has the prettier beaches and the Pacific side has the better fishing. The main thing that can turn people off on the beaches of the Pacific side is the dark volcanic sand. It will be very hot mid day and wearing beach shoes is a must. The sunsets are magnificent. The Costa Rican culture takes a little getting use to. They are very laid back and friendly people, but most don't have much. Almost everyone says hello and good morning/evening. Things can look run down and even appear like there is really high crime when you see most properties are surrounded by fencing or barbed wire and many windows bared. But having a number of Costa Rican friends now, we have learned that it is more cultural than protection from crime. Although they are trying to protect their property from the wildlife. We have never experienced any crime in the 100+ days we have been there. The only time we ever felt uncomfortable was when the first "watchman" approached us and asked for money to park. These people will have a safety vest, a whistle and a roadside safety light helping people park and directing traffic. We've learned they are people just trying to make some money to make ends meet. Even many locals will pay them, but there is no requirement to do so. We don't do anything different than we do hear in the US. We have walked the streets of San Jose, driven many of the roads and stayed in no less that 20 towns and villages. Many off the beaten path and away from tourist areas. As for fishing, you can't get much better, but here again you need to be prepared. I only know of one tackle shop, in Playas del Coco, owned by a Frenchman. It is geared to the charter guys. There are very few people fishing from shore, or in boats for that matter. You need to take all your gear with you and will need to catch your own bait. I have purchased shrimp and calamari from the grocery stores, but that's about it. I have caught tons of reef fish, Jacks, a few Blackfin Tuna and even one 20" Dorado (Mahi Mahi) from the rock piles on the beaches. Every beach has a rocky area on the North and South sides and some even have rocky spots in the middle of the beach. It's in or near these rocky areas that I catch most of the fish. My favorite is surface poppers and shallow running stick bates. Shrimp type jigs work great as well. Bottom fishing, with bait, from the beach will mostly result in Sting Rays, some of them huge. Taking a charter is a must. I always take one offshore and one inshore. They will put you on some great fish. My FP ever is the Black Marlin in my profile pick, it was about 500 pounds, caught out of Playa Hermosa in July 2015. The water gets deep fast and have bottom fished for Snapper and grouper, in 150+ feet of water within 1/4 mile of the beach.
  4. Thanks Saltybum, it does. I think stealth is the biggest issue I'm dealing with. When using standard equipment you can cast far enough away to not spook the fish. I think kicking up the bottom is about the most difficult thing to avoid.
  5. The field I use is the high school practice field. Here where I live we have three ball field sized in the area. Regulation, 70' rec and 60' little league. If I went to the little league facility and started casting on one of their fields, they would call the cops on me.
  6. I'm cool with anyone who want's to call me out, it may be justified to some degree, but a few things to clear up. 1) I said I was new to Saltwater fly-casting. I have been fly-casting in freshwater streams and small rivers for 40+ years. 2) Just noticing there is backing on the saltwater setup was honest. In my freshwater setup I have no backing, never did. The old Royalist reel I have, from my grandfather, doesn't hold much more than a 100' of fly line. And the streams and small rivers I fish don't have fish in them big enough to challenge the setup or make big runs. These waterways are rarely to wide to cast to either side from the middle. Any trout or smallmouth near 2 pounds is a monster in these waters. 3) 100', 90', 70', who cares! What I was wondering is, can you catch fish that close to you? I was thinking the distance I cast was too short. I have not yet caught any nice fish with the fly rod in saltwater, but I do catch nice fish with standard equipment. I was thinking that I'm spooking fish within the radius I'm casting no mater what that distance is. But it seems that there is consistency here in saying you can catch within even 30'. 4) I find it amusing that there can be all kinds of intellectualizing why I'm wrong, lying, crazy, ignorant, stupid, or maybe some other adjective, but I'm still trying to figure how I can be incorrect. From 1st base I can hit home plate consistently. Even if it's a short 70' diamond I'm still doing fine according to the comments in this thread. From 2nd base I can get to just shy of the edge of the home plate circle. Again even on a short diamond that's 90'. That's why I was using a baseball field in the first place. Easy measurement and great targets to work with. I very much appreciate all the comments and information. As I stated above. I understand that my focus needs to be on location, presentation and fly selection.
  7. You know, it's funny you say this. I say that very same thing to surf casters worrying about casting long distances. Most of my best fish caught in the surf have been within 30 yards of the beach. Many surfcasters overcast. It's about technique and presentation not distance. However, with that said. I have frequently waded into shallow water and spooked Snook and Reds and caught none while wading, but did catch some from shore. So, my concern with fly fishing was that I'm trying to get too close to my quarry to get into casting range.
  8. The rod is a Cabela's Three Forks 9', 10wt rod, with a Prestige IV reel. I have no clue what the backing and fly line are. I have not replaced them yet. I planned on doing that just before my trip in July. I see that I'll need to research that well before purchase. I figured on applying the same philosophy here as with my regular fishing. Buy entry level and get something better when something breaks what you have. My freshwater fly setup is from my grandfather. It is an old Royalist reel and the rod has no markings on it. It's in a wooden box. The biggest thing I'm caught on it was about 2# trout. The small streams and river I fish don't hold anything much bigger than that. I have had to re-wind the guides, again, using my grandfathers guide wrapping machine (hand crank and I think home made).
  9. So, more learning for this novice. I just looked at my setup and see that there is a backing on the reel. I never paid attention to that, before. My little freshwater setup never had backing. I know I'm not getting down to the knot to the backing, so I still need to figure that out. However, in the end this thread has shown me that casting is likely not my issue. It's location, presentation and maybe fly selection as well.
  10. I started fly fishing in saltwater last year at Ft Desoto, Dunedin Causeway and Honeymoon Island. I was down there three times last year for a total of five weeks, purchased my setup after the first trip. So I've only used the rod about a dozen times on the water. I've been fishing the Tampa area for about 10 years, but never considered fly fishing there. I spend several weeks a year there on business and fell in love with the area. So I vacation there a bit as well. I hope to retire there.
  11. RJ, Thanks for the input. I appreciate all the feedback. I figured I was just an inexperienced novice. I wish I had an experienced saltwater fly caster to fish with. I figured it was everything but the casting. I'll check the archives. I know I have a lot to learn for saltwater fly fishing. It's kind of fun starting something from scratch for a change. I see that casting distance can be toxic here as it is on the regular fishing forums. There's always those that have snide comments and you don't know if you can take them seriously. Are they seriously calling you out, or trying to have fun and distract you for their own amusement. All in fun from my perspective. I don't go to forums to get into spats, be a detractor or mess with people for my own amusement. I'm seriously looking for advice and constructive criticism. But you make me think here. The saltwater rig I purchased was a combo fully set up at Cabela's. I paid no attention to specifics. The salesman showed me a saltwater setup for $150 and I purchased it. I know the lines I used in freshwater were 100' but figured saltwater ones had more line. Not sure why, just stupid I guess. I'm starting my second season and haven't purchased new line yet. I'm not getting to the bottom of the reel, so I must be screwing up my measuring. Although I can't figure out how. A ball field is a ball field, unless it's a little league field and the one I go to it's that, it's at the town high school. I have to figure that out. I'm going to Costa Rica this summer and want to take the fly rod. There are some great shallow calm waters in the northern Pacific where I'm staying. That's the next chance I'll have to wet a line.
  12. I tried sitting, but my back can't handle it. I wish I could. Doing it from the knee is hard enough.
  13. Thanks for the advice everyone. I was thinking 110" was short. I may be over estimating a bit but not much. The distance from 2nd base to home plate is 127' and I usually miss by 10 to 15 feet. I practice on a baseball field so I can see the distance and have a target to cast too. I don't have a tape measure over 25'. I was just barely missing the plate when standing, but couldn't figure out why I was contacting the water on the back cast when fishing. Doh' I should have thought of the shorter distance from my shoulders to the surface of the water. Once again doing the river and stream fishing I've done, I'm rarely in water knee deep. And obviously when in up to my waist I'm probably not making 50' because of contacting the water on the back cast. I suck when in over my knees. That makes me think the issue is I need to go out a little deeper. I need to do better in waist deep water. Not sure how to practice that other than just doing it. Unfortunately I only get out two or three times a year.
  14. I'm new to the world of Saltwater fly fishing and I'm in need of some information. What is a reasonable casting distance? Currently I can cast about 110'. I practice by standing on second base of a ball diamond and cast toward home plate, I miss by about 10 to 15 feet. Also, to simulate wading I cast while kneeling. I have fly fished in small rivers and streams since I was a kid, and was fairly successful at it. But trying saltwater is very different. It seams that changing rod size, line weight and fly weight has me learning how to cast all over again. In the streams and rivers I fished, distance wasn't an issue, it was more about accuracy and placement. So far in saltwater I have caught a number of small fish, but nothing worthwhile. My concern is that I'm not getting far enough away from me. I feel as though I'm spooking the fish within my casting circle. While fishing grass flats in Florida's Tampa area I have caught many fish using lures and bait while wading, but those strikes are always much further away than the distance I'm getting with the saltwater fly rod. I'm thinking of getting come professional training. Maybe my form is wrong and do to years of poor casting style I may just not be able to recognize it. But before spend the money on that, I want to know if I'm doing ok right now.
  15. HAHAHA!!!! way too funny. Proof!