Getting Out To Test The New Simrad Electronics

Well, finally have all the electronics installed and up and running. Decided to take a little fishing trip and test them out.

The biggest struggle with this whole project was installation of the new transducer.  Its a “shoot through” transducer you mount in a tank in the boat and it shoots through the hull.  This approach eliminates the need for holes in the hull.  The tank is that yellow box in the pic below:

The FNP had a shoot through Airmar R199 2KW non CHIRP transducer before so I decided to replace with the newer R111 2KW CHIRP.  The diagram on the Airmar site showed the two transducers had exactly the same dimensions so I could just unbolt the old one and drop the new one in the same tank.  Well, that was wrong!   And that was important because as you can see from the picture above, the tank was fiber-glassed to the boat hull sandwiched under the deck and drive shaft just in front of the IPS drive.

Turns out the new transducer was 2cm wider than the old one.  So, we had to use a multi tool to cut the old one out.  That was slow and painful, but we got it done.  Went to install the new one and it would not fit between the transmission and the deck. So we had to start pulling guards off the drive shaft universal joint to make enough room to get the new onne into position.

After hours of sweating, we got her in.

We filled with Glycol and dropped the new transducer in and she worked like a charm.  We will never be removing it!

So, now its time to try everything out in the real world. We headed out to do a little fishing and play with the new toys.

Caught some fish too.

Over the next few weeks I will be doing some how to videos about different elements of the new electronics.  Its been interesting learning how to get them configured and to learn and use the plethora of cool features like dual range radar, target tracking and so on.  Until then, I hope all are safe from the storm and soon are able to get back on the water and catch ’em up.

Finicky Tuna Demand Subtle Presentation – Or Not

Continue reading “Finicky Tuna Demand Subtle Presentation – Or Not”

Cobia!

It’s that time of year on the Panhandle.  Cobia are migrating west along the beaches and the tournaments are in full swing.  If you have never done this, it’s a unique fishery.  It’s all sight fishing for big fish.

Boats move down the beaches with two, three, six, eight people in the tower looking for cruising fish.  Towers range from thirty foot tall welded works of art costing tens of thousands of dollars to step ladders lashed to the bow of a jon boat.  You do what you need to to participate in this adventure.

Once a fish is spotted an angler in the tower casts a bait to the fish.  The bait of choice is a live eel.  Failing that, a grunt, or pinfish, or other medium size bait fish.  If that does not work, a jig, or a shrimp, or whatever works.

The captain may maneuver the boat following the fish for feet, yards, maybe miles while all the offerings are made until the fish eats or disappears under the waves.   Once hooked up the rod is lowered down from the tower on a pulley system and retrieved by the angler in the cockpit and the fight engaged.

This week I was able to get out with the boys on InstiGator, a proven Cobia killing machine with a tournament winning and hardened crew.  The trip did not disappoint, yielding this 61.7 pound beast for angler Big Rick.

While this was an awesome fish, the current first place fish is an astounding 98.8 pounds.

There was plenty to go around so I decided to pull together a little creole cobia treat for dinner.

Yum, that is some good fish.  The recipe:

Garlic, onions, chives, chopped fresh tomatoes, bell pepper, chili pepper, celery, shrimp shells (remove after the sauce simmers for a while) a cup of wine and a cup and a half of water all sauteed and then simmered for about thirty minutes.   Seasoned with salt, pepper and thyme.  Fish is just dredged in flour and pepper and cooked for about four minutes with a bit of oil in a hot skillet and then put in the sauce to finish.  Saute a few shrimp in the same pan and add to the mix.  Garnish with green onion.

Good stuff.

Hope you get out there and catch ’em up!

How to Crimp a Mono Leader

Sorry its been a while since I posted, but lots going on, most of which unfortunately has not involved fishing.  I was prepping to get back on the water this spring and thought some folks might like a little primer on how to properly crimp a leader, so I made this little video.  There are few things more frustrating than hooking up a nice fish only to have the crimp connection fail.  I had it happen once on a nice tuna and have not allowed a repeat.  Hope you find this video helpful.

In the video I eyeballed the right slot in the crimping tool to match the sleeve I was using.  I have done a bunch so was pretty comfortable I had the right size.  I highly recommend that you follow the recommendations on the packaging until you get the feel for the correct pairings of leaders to sleeves and sleeves to crimp tool slots.  Its important to use the right sizes to assure a proper connection that is not so tight that it damages the leader, but tight enough to assure the connection will not slip under pressure.

Good luck out there, and catch ’em up!

P.S. Please enter your email in the box on the right margin to subscribe to my blog.

The Yeti Swag!

 

If you have been following the blog you know that I ran a little give away for followers.  It was a choice of Yeti cups custom powder coated and etched to the winner’s specifications from Precision Powder Coating.  Click on that link and you can see all the cool stuff they do.  Josh was really nice to offer up the custom powder coating and etching at no extra charge.  The winner was Adam Owens of Pensacola and here is what he designed and Josh produced for him:

 

 

Arrr, a pirate’s life for Adam!  Very cool.

 

You can sign up to follow (who knows I may do another give away) by putting your email address in the window over there —>.

It will send you an email asking you to confirm you want to follow.  Make sure that does not end up in your spam.  You need to click on the link in that email to activate notifications of future posts.

Until next time: Catch ’em up!

What do you do when you can’t fish?

Well, I get real itchy when I can’t fish.  Can’t sit still.  Have to do something, and this winter was tough.  Between windy and rainy weather and waiting on parts and mechanics, I had to find things to do other than fish.

I did all the usual boat and fishing tackle chores, my honey do’s around the house, some volunteer time, this blog, but still there was a hole to fill. So, I decided to do something nice for my wife for Christmas.  Build something with my own two hands. I knew she would like that even if it turned out terrible.  After all, this is the woman that bought me my deep drop rod and reel, my fishing kite, my jigging rod, even an awesome fillet knife set.  In other words, she supports my addiction so seems fair I do something special for her.

Well, I have literally never none any woodworking.  Perhaps a bit of rough carpentry, but nothing really challenging.  So, why not just jump in head first?  We had some plastic planters on the deck for vegetables and herbs and they were falling apart.  What I knew she would like was a large wooden planter box to replace those.

No problem.  I looked for plans for something like she needed, but nothing really hit the mark, so I sharpened my pencil and designed something myself.

If there are any woodworkers reading this, please stop now and come back when I post about fishing.  You will laugh and snort your drink up and out your nose if you proceed.  I can probably fool the rest of you and make you think I knew what I was doing. 🙂

So, I built this:

I was shocked, it actually came out square and did not collapse when I filled it with dirt!

Anyway, I gave her this for Christmas.  It was quite a challenge assembling it on the deck while she was out on Christmas Eve and hiding it until the morning.  She may have sneaked a peak, she isn’t telling.

She liked it so much she asked me to make a twin for Valentine’s Day. While I was flattered, I was not sure it was a repeatable exercise. Regardless, I decided to give it a shot.  It all came together in the end.  We call them “The Twins.”

I think I may have actually gotten some genes from my machinist grandfather that skipped my lawyer father’s generation.

For anyone interested in the detailed how to of the build, it’s all on video. Again, woodworkers of the world, please close your eyes.

Hope you enjoyed this on a rainy winter day and I hope you get out there and catch ’em up!

Deep Drop on the Blue Spear It

Frenchy called me and asked if I wanted to put that deep drop rig I blogged about to work.  I jumped at the chance.  We loaded up the Blue Spirit and headed south out of Pensacola Pass on a crisp cool morning. The wind was still and the seas smooth making for a nice run out.  Crew was Scott (aka FN Yankee), Mike, Bill, Me and Frenchy.

We stopped and took a quick shot at some bonito for bait, but they were elusive and we did not have time to waste.  So we were reduced to utilizing our stash of assorted frozen ilk including this turducken like cigar minnow stuffed squid.

Yes, squid do eat fish nearly as big as they are.

Here is a little video of the action.

And a few stills:

Turned the grouper into Baked Grouper Parm.

Simple to make.  Just dipped the fish in a mix of egg and milk then dropped in a baggie containing Parmesan cheese, flour, salt and pepper.  Baked for 25 minutes at 350 degrees.  Pairs well with Magic Hat #9 (but then, what doesn’t?).

Until next time, get out there and catch ’em up.