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There's No Place Like Home

I apologize to my Tampa friends for my rant about Tampa Bay fishing in my last blog post. You all have a phenomenal fishery that is doing quite well despite the number of anglers out on the water. As a sight fishermen, it’s just not the ideal area to fish…For me, there’s no place like home!

The past few weeks, my good friend Pat Rickert AKA The Most Interesting Fisherman in the World, had been calling me looking for info on tailing redfish. He assumed I had some super secret knowledge about the patterns of tailing redfish in Pine Island Sound. In all honesty, I pick a day with good tides and stalk the flats until I find them, but he doesn’t need to know that. I told him all about how more bananas are better and slapping the water attracts them to where he’s at on the flat, and sent him on his way. While he was having some success with sight casting some smaller reds and snook on the shorelines, my tactics didn’t seem to help him with finding the tailing redfish he sought.

As Thanksgiving break rolled around, I jumped at the chance to head back home to Southwest Florida and fish the Sound with Pat. Confident as every fisherman with an over inflated ego is, I told him I’d teach him a thing or two about the elusive, Pine Island Sound, tailing redfish. This was Pat’s first time fishing our new reel, the Osprey. Or as he likes to call it, the Ostrich. Gotta love childhood friends, am I right?

The tide was still slowly trickling its way out as we left the launch around 2 P.M., so we decided we’d get a quick warm up in and began working some potholes to see if anybody was home. I quickly found myself hooked into a nice surprise for Pine Island Sound, a decent sized barracuda. Then came the trout. If you’ve ever fished Pine Island Sound, you’ve probably caught more seatrout than you ever want to see in your life. I believe trout are highly underrated gamefish, but nonetheless they do become a nuisance at times when you’re on the hunt for gold!

As the tide hit its bottom, we started poling towards some more promising water. Pat had told me the fish had been acting funky lately, and I told him he just forgot how to wiggle his worm! He was right. The water temps had recently dropped, it was gin clear, and the bait had vanished. The fish definitely weren’t in their happiest of states.

Three hours of poling with little to show but a few more trout, and multiple spooked redfish. They were lying low in small potholes in less than 12” of water. My guess was they were trying to warm up due to the recent temp changes. Regardless of their rhyme or reason, they had no intentions of cooperating with us. Pat was beginning to get that “I told you so” attitude with me. Patience young Patty-Wan. The sun was beginning to set, and the tide was getting right.

Maybe I stretched the truth a bit when I said that I just pick a day with good tides, eat ten bananas, and slap the water to attract the reds to me. I do pay close attention to a few different indicators, one of the main ones being water depth. If you watched my most recent Florida Fishing Tip of the Week, I talked about how redfish have their comfort zone in about 18” to 24” of water. This is one of the things I key in on when fishing the flats for tailing redfish. If the water depth is right and the tide is moving, you’re likely to find fish.

Once the conditions were right, it didn’t take long for my old friends to show up. They began waving us down as if they missed me as much as I had missed them. There’s just something about watching them happily feed in their environment that I just can’t get enough of. In that moment, you leave this crazy world behind and are fully embraced by nature and all of its magnificence. If you haven’t had the opportunity, I highly recommend chasing some tail. You’ll understand what I mean!

While the photographer in me is content with just watching and documenting the redfish doing their tail dances on the flat, the fisherman in me can only gaze from a distance for so long before the hunt is on! We quietly began working our way towards the first few fish. Pat was playing some voodoo magic with his new Slayer Inc. Lures, and the fish weren’t quite having it. I have been working on some new tricks to stealthily feed fish by shifting around the little bit of weight I use on my soft plastic lures, and managed to smack a red in the head. I’m not fully convinced it was the adjustment I made that did it, but the fish ate immediately! And a good one it was.

After blowing out a few more fish, it was redemption time for Pat. Amongst a flat full of mullet, a not so sneaky 30” red began tail walking off the bow of the Gheenoe. Pat placed his cast perfectly, and it was game on! If you’re struggling to to learn to sight fish, I have found these fish to be some of the easiest to catch. They slowly cruise in one direction pushing a strong wake with their tail wagging partially out of the water. Simply lead the fish by a couple feet and intersect your bait into its line of sight. It’s the closest thing to a guarantee when sight fishing for tailing redfish. After a quick photoshoot, Pat sent his red on its way.

I put one more slot fish in the boat, and then we began working our way back to the launch. The sun had long set, and there was just a glimmer of orange on the horizon which left a perfect reflection on the water. Off in the distance you could see tails dancing happy as could be. The timing was impeccable for a Nat Geo award winning pic. Pat makes a cast, and hooks…another trout!? Of course the reds went shooting off, but that’s what keeps us coming back. What a perfect way to end the trip.

Read more

I apologize to my Tampa friends for my rant about Tampa Bay fishing in my last blog post. You all have a phenomenal fishery that is doing quite well despite the number of anglers out on the water. As a sight fishermen, it’s just not the ideal area to fish…For me, there’s no place like home!

The past few weeks, my good friend Pat Rickert AKA The Most Interesting Fisherman in the World, had been calling me looking for info on tailing redfish. He assumed I had some super secret knowledge about the patterns of tailing redfish in Pine Island Sound. In all honesty, I pick a day with good tides and stalk the flats until I find them, but he doesn’t need to know that. I told him all about how more bananas are better and slapping the water attracts them to where he’s at on the flat, and sent him on his way. While he was having some success with sight casting some smaller reds and snook on the shorelines, my tactics didn’t seem to help him with finding the tailing redfish he sought.

As Thanksgiving break rolled around, I jumped at the chance to head back home to Southwest Florida and fish the Sound with Pat. Confident as every fisherman with an over inflated ego is, I told him I’d teach him a thing or two about the elusive, Pine Island Sound, tailing redfish. This was Pat’s first time fishing our new reel, the Osprey. Or as he likes to call it, the Ostrich. Gotta love childhood friends, am I right?

The tide was still slowly trickling its way out as we left the launch around 2 P.M., so we decided we’d get a quick warm up in and began working some potholes to see if anybody was home. I quickly found myself hooked into a nice surprise for Pine Island Sound, a decent sized barracuda. Then came the trout. If you’ve ever fished Pine Island Sound, you’ve probably caught more seatrout than you ever want to see in your life. I believe trout are highly underrated gamefish, but nonetheless they do become a nuisance at times when you’re on the hunt for gold!

As the tide hit its bottom, we started poling towards some more promising water. Pat had told me the fish had been acting funky lately, and I told him he just forgot how to wiggle his worm! He was right. The water temps had recently dropped, it was gin clear, and the bait had vanished. The fish definitely weren’t in their happiest of states.

Three hours of poling with little to show but a few more trout, and multiple spooked redfish. They were lying low in small potholes in less than 12” of water. My guess was they were trying to warm up due to the recent temp changes. Regardless of their rhyme or reason, they had no intentions of cooperating with us. Pat was beginning to get that “I told you so” attitude with me. Patience young Patty-Wan. The sun was beginning to set, and the tide was getting right.

Maybe I stretched the truth a bit when I said that I just pick a day with good tides, eat ten bananas, and slap the water to attract the reds to me. I do pay close attention to a few different indicators, one of the main ones being water depth. If you watched my most recent Florida Fishing Tip of the Week, I talked about how redfish have their comfort zone in about 18” to 24” of water. This is one of the things I key in on when fishing the flats for tailing redfish. If the water depth is right and the tide is moving, you’re likely to find fish.

Once the conditions were right, it didn’t take long for my old friends to show up. They began waving us down as if they missed me as much as I had missed them. There’s just something about watching them happily feed in their environment that I just can’t get enough of. In that moment, you leave this crazy world behind and are fully embraced by nature and all of its magnificence. If you haven’t had the opportunity, I highly recommend chasing some tail. You’ll understand what I mean!

While the photographer in me is content with just watching and documenting the redfish doing their tail dances on the flat, the fisherman in me can only gaze from a distance for so long before the hunt is on! We quietly began working our way towards the first few fish. Pat was playing some voodoo magic with his new Slayer Inc. Lures, and the fish weren’t quite having it. I have been working on some new tricks to stealthily feed fish by shifting around the little bit of weight I use on my soft plastic lures, and managed to smack a red in the head. I’m not fully convinced it was the adjustment I made that did it, but the fish ate immediately! And a good one it was.

After blowing out a few more fish, it was redemption time for Pat. Amongst a flat full of mullet, a not so sneaky 30” red began tail walking off the bow of the Gheenoe. Pat placed his cast perfectly, and it was game on! If you’re struggling to to learn to sight fish, I have found these fish to be some of the easiest to catch. They slowly cruise in one direction pushing a strong wake with their tail wagging partially out of the water. Simply lead the fish by a couple feet and intersect your bait into its line of sight. It’s the closest thing to a guarantee when sight fishing for tailing redfish. After a quick photoshoot, Pat sent his red on its way.

I put one more slot fish in the boat, and then we began working our way back to the launch. The sun had long set, and there was just a glimmer of orange on the horizon which left a perfect reflection on the water. Off in the distance you could see tails dancing happy as could be. The timing was impeccable for a Nat Geo award winning pic. Pat makes a cast, and hooks…another trout!? Of course the reds went shooting off, but that’s what keeps us coming back. What a perfect way to end the trip.

Read more


A Picture Perfect Evening - Florida Approved Redfishing

Unless pre fishing or fishing a tournament, I rarely used to set out on the water with a mission in mind. Generally, I would try to get out on the water to get my mind off of things, not set my mind to do more things. Now that content creation has become more of a necessity than just a hobby, I find myself planning out my fishing trips a little more each week.

Today, I was very adamant about taking some sunset shots of our new “Florida Approved” performance shirts. Sure we could take the typical blank background BS shot of our “sweet new apparel” in our office. But then again if everyone else is jumping off the top of the Skyway Bridge, does that mean we should too? We develop products “designed by fishermen for fishermen” after all, so I figured I might as well get some fish slime on the new shirt and enjoy some time on the water with a good friend.

Brandon and I had about two hours to fish the mid incoming tide before dark. I knew at the very least I wanted to get some action shots of Brandon on the bow of the Gheenoe, so I set us up working southeast down a shoreline as the sun slowly began its descent to the southwest. If you don’t know much about photography, it’s really all about lighting. I’m no Sam Root, but I like to work the angles when I can. In this case the sun was working well in our favor to show off our freshly designed “Florida Approved” seal and also gave us a nice back drop with some mangroves. Bada boom. Bada bing. At least I can say I accomplished something on this trip unlike most of my recent trips in the Tampa Bay which have been a bust. And not the good kind of bust like a snook makes.

They always say if it ain’t easy, it’s probably worthwhile. Well I can tell ya I was beginning to think that was a load of bologna. Tampa Bay is an incredibly frustrating fishery to learn. There’s a ton of water, a ton of bait, and a ton of boats! The only thing you can’t seem to find is a ton of decent gamefish. And when you do find good fish, you can count on not being able to get within a hundred feet of them! So yeah I’ve been a little spoiled to have had the opportunity to fish Pine Island Sound and Mosquito Lagoon for most of my fishing life to say the least.

As the sun began to set, I whipped out the D7,000,000, or whatever that monstrosity of a camera Tim let me borrow, and took a few more shots of the new apparel. At this point we picked up to a new shoreline to the west to get some shots with the sunset in the back drop. Honestly, I wasn’t satisfied. I really wanted to get on some fish! Yeah, yeah, yeah it’s all about the adventure, but not catching a fish is like drinking the milk without the cookies! Not to mention I had borrowed Tim’s Gheenoe to make this all happen, so my prideful self wasn’t going to come home empty handed.

The bait was everywhere. The fish? Nowhere to be found like usual. Every mangrove point looked like it should be stacked, and not a single one yielded even a strike. Brandon’s wife is calling about dinner. Just throw the meatloaf in the oven already, April! We only have ten minutes left of dusk and then it’s sayonara fishies! One last cast, I kept saying. One. Last. Cast. Just as Brandon began turning off the shoreline to make our way home, a school of bait scattered across the flat. Seriously, just a few more casts and we will leave.

I’m throwing money on a weighted keeper hook at this point! No seriously the Pearl Slayer Inc. Sinister Stick Baits that Chris Cenci makes are money! I’m working this thing like a bat outta hell. Derek Engle said early that afternoon I was gonna have to get a reaction strike outta these fish. Thump. Ziiiiing! Boom. Caching! We got the fish and the pic. It was worth it.

Read more

Unless pre fishing or fishing a tournament, I rarely used to set out on the water with a mission in mind. Generally, I would try to get out on the water to get my mind off of things, not set my mind to do more things. Now that content creation has become more of a necessity than just a hobby, I find myself planning out my fishing trips a little more each week.

Today, I was very adamant about taking some sunset shots of our new “Florida Approved” performance shirts. Sure we could take the typical blank background BS shot of our “sweet new apparel” in our office. But then again if everyone else is jumping off the top of the Skyway Bridge, does that mean we should too? We develop products “designed by fishermen for fishermen” after all, so I figured I might as well get some fish slime on the new shirt and enjoy some time on the water with a good friend.

Brandon and I had about two hours to fish the mid incoming tide before dark. I knew at the very least I wanted to get some action shots of Brandon on the bow of the Gheenoe, so I set us up working southeast down a shoreline as the sun slowly began its descent to the southwest. If you don’t know much about photography, it’s really all about lighting. I’m no Sam Root, but I like to work the angles when I can. In this case the sun was working well in our favor to show off our freshly designed “Florida Approved” seal and also gave us a nice back drop with some mangroves. Bada boom. Bada bing. At least I can say I accomplished something on this trip unlike most of my recent trips in the Tampa Bay which have been a bust. And not the good kind of bust like a snook makes.

They always say if it ain’t easy, it’s probably worthwhile. Well I can tell ya I was beginning to think that was a load of bologna. Tampa Bay is an incredibly frustrating fishery to learn. There’s a ton of water, a ton of bait, and a ton of boats! The only thing you can’t seem to find is a ton of decent gamefish. And when you do find good fish, you can count on not being able to get within a hundred feet of them! So yeah I’ve been a little spoiled to have had the opportunity to fish Pine Island Sound and Mosquito Lagoon for most of my fishing life to say the least.

As the sun began to set, I whipped out the D7,000,000, or whatever that monstrosity of a camera Tim let me borrow, and took a few more shots of the new apparel. At this point we picked up to a new shoreline to the west to get some shots with the sunset in the back drop. Honestly, I wasn’t satisfied. I really wanted to get on some fish! Yeah, yeah, yeah it’s all about the adventure, but not catching a fish is like drinking the milk without the cookies! Not to mention I had borrowed Tim’s Gheenoe to make this all happen, so my prideful self wasn’t going to come home empty handed.

The bait was everywhere. The fish? Nowhere to be found like usual. Every mangrove point looked like it should be stacked, and not a single one yielded even a strike. Brandon’s wife is calling about dinner. Just throw the meatloaf in the oven already, April! We only have ten minutes left of dusk and then it’s sayonara fishies! One last cast, I kept saying. One. Last. Cast. Just as Brandon began turning off the shoreline to make our way home, a school of bait scattered across the flat. Seriously, just a few more casts and we will leave.

I’m throwing money on a weighted keeper hook at this point! No seriously the Pearl Slayer Inc. Sinister Stick Baits that Chris Cenci makes are money! I’m working this thing like a bat outta hell. Derek Engle said early that afternoon I was gonna have to get a reaction strike outta these fish. Thump. Ziiiiing! Boom. Caching! We got the fish and the pic. It was worth it.

Read more


Snook, Reds, and a Big Puffer!

We have been working hard lately, the reels finally came and we had a whole bunch of preorders to pack up and send out. It was about time to go fishing. This past Tuesdays the the weather and tides seemed to match up perfectly, myself and my two good friends and pastors Drew and Brandon rigged up our new Ospreys and went fishing. We started the day off fishing the mangroves with live shrimp and popping corks. It wasn’t long until Drew caught his first fish on his new Osprey 3000. It was a beautiful little redfish.

As Drew was releasing his fish my Osprey 3000 started zinging line! A nice snook came to the surface and shook its head. I was able to land the fish. We quickly snapped a few photos and released it.

We continued to fish this little hole we found. Drew took a cast up into the mangroves and another snook clobbered his shrimp. As Drew was reeling his his snook, Brandon’s line went off! Double hook-up! — Brandon and Drew both landed their fish. It was a nice little snook and a 22 inch redfish.

Both fish were released to fight another day. After catching these two fish two mulleters came through revving their engine and cast netting, so we moved on to our next spot. It wasn’t long before we hooked into our first fish at the new spot. Drew hooking into a little snook and Brandon caught one of the largest puffer fish I have ever seen off the flats!

We continued to fish this spot for a little while longer, then I hooked into something big. Line took off on my Osprey 3000. I could tell it was a nice over slot redfish. After a few minutes I fought it into the boat, took a few photos and then released it. It was a beautiful red.

All in all I could not have asked for a better day of fishing. The water was like glass and the fish were biting, I was able to fish with the new Osprey 3000 and it performed like a champ. The only downside was that I forgot my Nikon, so I had to take photos with my sport cam.

— Tight Lines, Tim Sommer

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We have been working hard lately, the reels finally came and we had a whole bunch of preorders to pack up and send out. It was about time to go fishing. This past Tuesdays the the weather and tides seemed to match up perfectly, myself and my two good friends and pastors Drew and Brandon rigged up our new Ospreys and went fishing. We started the day off fishing the mangroves with live shrimp and popping corks. It wasn’t long until Drew caught his first fish on his new Osprey 3000. It was a beautiful little redfish.

As Drew was releasing his fish my Osprey 3000 started zinging line! A nice snook came to the surface and shook its head. I was able to land the fish. We quickly snapped a few photos and released it.

We continued to fish this little hole we found. Drew took a cast up into the mangroves and another snook clobbered his shrimp. As Drew was reeling his his snook, Brandon’s line went off! Double hook-up! — Brandon and Drew both landed their fish. It was a nice little snook and a 22 inch redfish.

Both fish were released to fight another day. After catching these two fish two mulleters came through revving their engine and cast netting, so we moved on to our next spot. It wasn’t long before we hooked into our first fish at the new spot. Drew hooking into a little snook and Brandon caught one of the largest puffer fish I have ever seen off the flats!

We continued to fish this spot for a little while longer, then I hooked into something big. Line took off on my Osprey 3000. I could tell it was a nice over slot redfish. After a few minutes I fought it into the boat, took a few photos and then released it. It was a beautiful red.

All in all I could not have asked for a better day of fishing. The water was like glass and the fish were biting, I was able to fish with the new Osprey 3000 and it performed like a champ. The only downside was that I forgot my Nikon, so I had to take photos with my sport cam.

— Tight Lines, Tim Sommer

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Snook on the Lows

Last Friday Ty Nelson and I went out to fish the low tide to see what we could drum up from an area that we have been long wanting to fish. We took the Gheenoe out and headed into the backwaters of Tampa Bay. These areas are some of my favorite place to fish for a few reasons. No wind, lots of fish, and ripping these fish out of the mangroves makes for some exciting fishing.

Within minutes of arriving at the spot, I cast my plug alongside a mangrove line. The outgoing tide was just starting to pick up, and baitfish and mullet schools filled the area. As the water rushed around the bend, I gave my lure a few twitches and bam! I caught a beautiful little Snook on the Osprey to start the day.

We continued to work the mangroves, and I was able to pull another snook out. We snapped a few photos and headed back out into the bay to do some sight fishing since the tide was almost all the way out.

As we pulled along, we saw a snook peek out from underneath the mangroves. Ty cast his lure and the moment the lure hit the water the Snook darted towards it and ziiinnnng! Fish on, Ty landed the Snook to finish the day.

Overall, it was a great few hours on the water. As always, keep those lines tight.

Read more

Last Friday Ty Nelson and I went out to fish the low tide to see what we could drum up from an area that we have been long wanting to fish. We took the Gheenoe out and headed into the backwaters of Tampa Bay. These areas are some of my favorite place to fish for a few reasons. No wind, lots of fish, and ripping these fish out of the mangroves makes for some exciting fishing.

Within minutes of arriving at the spot, I cast my plug alongside a mangrove line. The outgoing tide was just starting to pick up, and baitfish and mullet schools filled the area. As the water rushed around the bend, I gave my lure a few twitches and bam! I caught a beautiful little Snook on the Osprey to start the day.

We continued to work the mangroves, and I was able to pull another snook out. We snapped a few photos and headed back out into the bay to do some sight fishing since the tide was almost all the way out.

As we pulled along, we saw a snook peek out from underneath the mangroves. Ty cast his lure and the moment the lure hit the water the Snook darted towards it and ziiinnnng! Fish on, Ty landed the Snook to finish the day.

Overall, it was a great few hours on the water. As always, keep those lines tight.

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The Osprey Spinning Reel Overview

Learn About The New Osprey.

Ty Nelson briefly explains some of the components on the Osprey Spinning Reel. We thank you all for support and can’t wait to get this reel in your hands!

For more information about the FFP Osprey Spinning Reel click here!

Read more

Learn About The New Osprey.

Ty Nelson briefly explains some of the components on the Osprey Spinning Reel. We thank you all for support and can’t wait to get this reel in your hands!

For more information about the FFP Osprey Spinning Reel click here!

Read more