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Alternate question: has anyone been able to successfully weld the SA lines with the blue plasticky running line?
Here’s a terrible picture of the line I am talking about:
Hey KB –
The show is coming back, but has been delayed because I am in the very lengthy process of moving houses. All the recording gear was put up for showings, etc., of which we had more than 40 over a two month period. We had a house purchased, we thought, then lost it due to some contract misunderstandings between realtors. Now we have the current house sold but we’re going into a very small apartment for an unknown period of time. As soon as I have the space and the time again the show will return – I already have an excellent episode recorded with John Gierach of all people, and it has really chapped me not to be able to release it in a timely fashion.
Check this post out man. We were just talking about this:
I saw one of the inflatable NRS drift boats this weekend and was very impressed. Looked like it would float high and eat rocks for dinner.
Another cool option I saw on the same day is this:
Note the handles! This boat weighs 110lbs so it can actually be portaged, which is amazing for a hard boat.
Bobby that’s a base model Garmin. As a fish finder it is beyond useless. But it is very useful as a depth finder, and also has a temperature gauge. That’s helpful info when counting down your flies because you don’t always know how deep the bottom is–a lot of times the lights are suspended several feel up, but other times they are laying on the mud.
Thanks Drew, good info and nice pics.
Drew what kinds of numbers of fish are you averaging in a day?
You may want to think about a star anchor:
Just be careful not to anchor up anywhere you can’t get it back! (And make sure there are no knots in the anchor line…)
Tim, sorry I’m just seeing this post.
Logistics in remote areas are always a problem. With Uber, sometimes you have a surprising option to just call a cab as it were, and it’s worth checking that. Uber drivers will usually work with you to arrange pickups in advance.
The classic Western style shuttle is to hire a guy you trust to move your rig down to the take-out while you float. The classic thing to do is leave your keys inside the gas hatch. Depending on where you are floating that may or may not be an option. In areas with lots of shuttles that’s usually only a $25 deal because there is competition. In places with fewer shuttles it might be $50. Your shuttle driver has to split the money because he has to have someone come pick him up at the takeout too so keep that in mind.
Another option is the classic double vehicle drop. You drive to the takeout first, leave a car, then bring the second angler along with you to the put-in. Float back to the car you left and reverse the process. This is time consuming but free and often your only choice out in the sticks.
Boat-wise, it sounds to me like you need a canoe at least to start with. You can get one off Craig’s List for $300 or so and that will give you a lot more info on what the float is going to look like so you can decide whether to bring a bigger boat.
Hey Drew, the Tallapoosa isn’t that far from us here in Atlanta. What sections are you able to get that raft into? Would a hard boat be able to get down the river?
What have you got on there now? My Clacka came with a pyramid anchor. I don’t love it.
Oink oink! Those are some pigs!
Love this week’s guest guys. Hank Shaw talks about hunting and gathering and the real culinary side of our passions. Great episode coming.
Bob have you gotten to do that snook fishing? This is actually a carbon copy of that fishery — you hit the nail right on the head.
My understanding is that the Florida folks were the first ones to realize that if you left a naked high-temperature bulb exposed underwater, it would burn off the crud that otherwise grows on subsurface structures (as long as you used it regularly).
The Green Monster is probably the most successful brand of these but they all work about the same. They have a strong, large bulb. I think they burn a halogen style filament but don’t quote me on that.
You can see the cable gauge on these things there. Basically you attach the power supply to your dock with a solar element to that will turn it on and off automatically (which remember is an important maintenance feature). I think you can set it up so it isn’t turning on all night but rather just for a few hours, or so it only burns on weekends when you’ll be at your lake house, or whatever you like.
Then you run the cable to your desired location and sink it with a heavy weight. The light itself actually floats off the bottom due to the air inside it. That means it can get snagged by anglers some times, which is why it’s important to have that strong cable.
The advantages to having these lights are obvious: looks great, attracts fish, makes your whole dock area stay well-lit which improves safety.
The disadvantage on a public lake is that people *are* going to fish your light. This is the same thing as putting out a fish feeder on a river; you are attracting the legal quarry to your location so you can expect law-abiding anglers to come with it. It’s not fair to expect to have your own private Idaho, and that means you need to exercise a little good judgment. If you want these lights in a private setting I’d suggest putting one in a pond — it would be a complete blast to catch big largemouth that way.
If you want to discourage anglers from fishing your light you can turn it off on weekends or when you won’t be around (or set it up so it only comes on from like 1- 4AM when most anglers are off the water during times you aren’t there to enjoy it yourself).
But to me, the best thing you can do if you want to have a cool fishing light and enjoy it too is take it easy, remember the lake doesn’t belong to you, and encourage your neighbors to also get lights so that people don’t concentrate only on yours. These lights can get stirred up and return back to normal within 30 minutes. And in my experience all you need to do if you want the light to yourself is walk out on the dock and ask any anglers you see to give you an hour so you can fish it yourself before they come back. Most people are reasonable and will be happy to move on. There might be a handful of people crazy enough to fish in the dark nights of winter but there will never be a crowd. If you are the kind of person who lets other people visiting your spot get your blood pressure up, this isn’t for you.
Yes, so far they have been really strong. The strips come basically on a printed circuit board. You can see the copper wire pressed into the stripping. The waterproofing layer protects the hardware and the lights. I just cleaned underneath my rub rails very thoroughly and applied them carefully just like a sticker. They are bright but not too bright. I have the same type of system for the red/green bow lights, pressed onto the outside of the rub rails, but those are of a brighter grade. They are really freaking bright.
The real challenge with Gheenoes and similar boats with narrow transoms is getting your white safety light mounted in the rear in such a way that you won’t knock it off by turning the motor. I solved that problem by drilling a hole through a 3/4″ PVC fitting and mounting it to the center hand grip of my outboard with a strong zip tie. Everything is black on black and I padded the outboard with a little tape first. Then I have another length of about 2 feet of 3/4″ PVC pipe (also black), that I can stick down in there to make an elevated point.
The light itself is a AA flashlight, MagLite style, which has a dome tip I bought off Amazon on it. I wrapped it in electrical tape in two places to make bumpers to make it snug in the pipe.
Here is the diffuser:
I recently upgraded to a bright LED mini maglight that happened to be the right size. I do recommend securing the dome with a turn of electrical tape as I have had them fly off.
Then you just assemble everything:
Thus as of now the only power my boat needs all comes from a single marine battery (which feeds the trolling motor, the depthfinder you see at the front, and all the lights) except for the rear white light which runs on two AA batteries. I did a kill test to see how much drainage I would have. The lights alone only draw my battery down 75% over six hours, so they would effectively go all night. If you use the trolling motor on top of that a lot you can kill it in 3-4 hours of fishing but helpfully the first thing to go down is the depthfinder, so you know when you’re getting low. LEDs don’t draw much and they dim rather than die, so you can be in compliance and safe on your way back to the ramp.
Gheenoes like mine really aren’t appropriate for permanent electronics, and I don’t want a trolling motor on the boat at all unless I have to have it. So I built my trolling motor mount to come off with the turn of two wingnuts, and it takes the depthfinder with it. That leaves the connection points for the lights tucked safely up in the nosecap for deer season and late night carp fishing return trips.
One of my only regrets in how I designed my Gheenoe is that I failed to measure the front compartment so I could put the battery belowdecks. Thus I used a piece of grill thermal felt tape to make a rear bumper for the battery, which keeps it from sliding back on the deck when we are under power. When everything is on board it is a pretty compact front deck, and at night most of the time I have my anglers cast from the false floor in the middle of the boat, which is safer and less tippy. That also reduces boat rock.
If you guys are interested in learning more, Henry Cowen (henrycowenflyfishing.com) made an excellent video for the Sportsman’s Channel recently with Unicoi Outfitters’ Jimmy Harris. Here it is:
Henry guides for stripers in this area and probably knows more about dock light fishing on the fly than anyone. I’ve fished with him — excellent guide, who I would strongly recommend.
That is an example of a light with a lot of bait on it — indeed possibly too much. Those are tons of fun to see and you will likely catch a fish or two on it, but you’ll need to be a little more crafty about working the edges and using a strip-strip-settle retrieve. You can pretty much count on the fish being stuffed unless they are new arrivals. These lights are worth returning to later in the evening though, as sometimes these baitballs will get smashed to bits and the fish will still be looking for more.
I used cheap LED light strips to fit out the Gheenoe with safety lights. They work great and apply just like tape. I recommend getting some of the clip connectors to attach to the ends of the tape – they are stronger than soldering.
That Amazon page has the clips in the frequently bought together column. Waterproof LED strips have a layer of soft plastic, like a swimbait, to protect them. You can cut that with a sharp knife and easily scrape it off to expose the connection point. There’s a new connector every foot or so, so if you screw up you have more options. This tape had gotten unbelievably cheap – $8 for 16 feet or $0.50 per foot.
I think the legitimate average schoolie size for most landlocked striper fisheries in the U.S. is 5-7 lbs. That’s kind of the no-BS real size of most stripers. For that size, giving you the ability not to get waxed by a bigger fish, I think an 8 weight is the best all around rod.
Me personally, I choose to fish a ten weight single-hander for stripers, but when I was full on Spey fishing for them, I did use a 7 weight. Spey and switch rods have a lot more lower blank space (aka “ass”) and thus you can move fish with them which are a class or two above what you would consider the top end feasible range of a single hand fly rod.