Deep Drop Rig

The other day I blogged about a recent trip we took to do deep drop.  You can read that here and check out the grouper, tile fish and bass we caught:

I was asked about the rigs we were using to catch those fish so I created a short video to show you how to make them up.  They are pretty simple and while you can buy them already made up, it’s a lot cheaper to do yourself.

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Here is the video of building the deep drop rig.  I had a little help from my K9 buddy.  He didn’t seem very impressed.

For deep drop, you really need an electric reel.  Cranking up five to eight pounds of weight 800 feet to check your bait would get old really fast. These used to be particularly expensive, but they have come down in price significantly in the last couple of years.  You can get some really nice ones, but you can also go budget.  I have a Diawa Tanacum Bull 1000 that is really nice but relatively lower priced.  I also have a Fish Winch that is at the low end of the price spectrum, but that I have found to be like the turtle, slow and steady.

The rod on the Fish Winch is just a trolling rod with roller guides.  Works fine and I switch it back and forth between trolling and deep drop so I don’t need two separate rods.  The one on the Tanacum is a really nice dedicated deep drop rod my wife bought me and you can also see in the picture a kite rod (also a gift from my wife. She keeps me well outfitted!). This allows me to switch the Tanacum over for kite fishing duty rather than having two separate reels.

Hope that all helps you to get out there and catch ’em up.

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Swordfish Sword Work of Art

This summer I had the good fortune of catching my first swordfish.  I blogged all about it in FN PAIR-A-DICE Wins Sword Fight.   Click through on that link to see the full story and all the pics, but this is her:

Well, I decided that as a memento of that occasion I wanted to save the bill and do something cool with it.  After a bit of research, I found an artist named RJ Boyle who does really great work painting swordfish bills.   He is also an avid fisherman.  My lovely bride then offered to pay to have him paint mine (she is awesome).

Pictures don’t really do it justice, but you get a much better sense from this short video I did.  I had a blast finding the music to go with it!

Here are some pics as well. (OH, and over there —————>       you sign up for free Yeti cup!


In order to do this I first had to prepare the bill.  To do that I wrapped it in some chicken wire, tied a rope to it and threw it off my dock.  There it stayed for a couple of months with all the creatures of the sea enjoying a wee feast.  Occasionally, I pulled it out to see how it was getting along and to pull away pieces of loose flesh.  The nieces and nephews loved these check-ins.  The kids generally fall into two categories, the scientifically intrigued, and the squealers.  I can tell you, it smells pretty nasty for a while.

After all the flesh was off it and it had spent plenty of time in the water I pulled it out and scrubbed it with soapy water with a dash of bleach.  I then put it in the yard to bake in the sun for a couple of weeks.  Washed it again and packed it in borax.  Left it in the borax for a couple of weeks and it was good to go and lemony fresh.

I mailed it off to RJ and he called me when it was ready to paint to ask me generally what I wanted on it.  I sent him a picture of the FN PAIR-A-DICE and he actually painted her on the bill.  That made it extra special to me.  He also painted on the weight and date of the catch.  To see other bills by RJ Boyle, go here.

My next project is to build a proper mount for it.  I started on that task, but have not been happy with what I put together so far.  I really want to make sure I do it justice.

Before you go, please sign up to subscribe by entering your email over there —> in the box on the margin and then make sure you click the email in the link that will send you.  If you are registered as an email follower on January 30, 2017 your name will be in the hat for the FREE custom powder coated and etched Yeti cup from Precision Powder Coating. You can read all the details here.

Good luck, and until next time, Catch ‘Em Up!

Snowy Winter

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Man, we had some ugly weather last week.  It felt like we had lightening hitting in the yard for hours.  80 MPH winds in Gulf Shores.  8 inches of rain at home.  It was no fun.  Then this crazy cold front blew in last night with snow in Mobile and 28 degree low temp here this AM.  But, in between, there was Thursday. Oh, Glorious Thursday!  Man, she was begging for us to head offshore, so we did.

With the Pair-A-Dice down for maintenance I was fortunate to get an invite from Frenchy and we headed out of Pensacola on The Blue Spirit. Joining us for the trip: Noah, Andrew and Nick “the Lure Guy,” a solid crew.

We had a smooth ride out and set up the deep drop rigs in search of some denizens of the deep.

Nick scored a nice Yellow Edge early.  (Subscribe over there ——->)

We also got on some Long Tail Sea Bass.  These are some really cool looking fish. Reminds me of a quote from film director David Lynch (DUNE, Wild at Heart, Blue Velvet…):  “If you want to catch little fish, you can stay in the shallow water.  But if you want to catch the big fish, you’ve got to go deeper.  Down deep, the fish are more powerful and more pure. They’re huge and abstract. And they’re very beautiful.”  Well, he wasn’t really talking about fish, but, regardless, the words had some credibility in the world of deep drop this week.

We moved to some deeper water and got on some Tile Fish as well.  Both Blueline Tiles and Golden Tiles.

The Man-O-War were out in force.  Lots of tentacles coming up on the deep drop lines.

Stumbled on this Snowy Grouper while looking for tiles.

Before he ate my bait, he ate this little guy that I found in his mouth.

We also had this Oil Fish fall in our laps.

He has cool eyes.

We also tried for some swords to no effect.  Had two separate hits, but nobody ate the bait.  All good, we packed up and headed for the barn.

Make sure you sign up to be an email follower so you can get a chance at the free Yeti cup.  Good luck, and until next time, catch ’em up!