Tackle Junkie – Fishing Tackle
I just knew this was going to be a bit of a worry, little profit margin problems, when all the cool new stuff ends up on my boats. I look at a new lure where my cost is only 7 or 8 bucks, well in that case I’ll take three of them off the shelf, toss em on the front seat of the truck. All my fishing buddies can’t wait to see what I haul out of the endless plastic bags on the steam to where ever the bite is on, but I’ve learned to keep the best stuff hidden till I get first cast. As the tackle store grows in size so does the stuffed tackle centers on the boats, and my new favorite saying is that ‘it is on back order’, yeah right just don’t look in the Nissan. My wholesale guy loves me because with any new gear, it’s two for the store and two for the front seat. He knows now to just double the order each week.
But I’ve been busted, I married a Kiwi, and while this girl will sit every day in a deer stand, or strap herself into a hooked up 130 on a blue marlin, she is also the most amazing fish and game chef on the planet. But, Maggie is also a shrewd businessperson. “You are not making two quarters with the fishing stuff, and last week we lost a few hundred according to the books; are people stealing?
“Yeap that’s it, thieving stinking crooks”
I was jacked she gave me an out. This of course didn’t hold up, she spent half a day going over the security tapes, and I was caught red handed on tape taking tackle out the back door so to speak.
My last resort was to take the gal out fishing and let her try out the new stuff. Being new to the central Gulf Coast of Florida and the Tampa area we are in learning mode of the local fisheries, we’ve had to adapt everything from our boats to our target species. The 45-foot game boat sits still up in Destin, on the hard at G&S, while a 24-foot fast guy center console is in the cradle at the NPR house, and a flats boat I know is a must have future boat, so a fleet is surely needed in this new local.
Along with new boats comes new gear, the Tiagra’s, and bent butts are in storage lockers, and new Penn Battles and Shimano bottom bashing gear are appearing like magic in the rod room. I never knew moving could be so much fun, (I do, been doing it forever) new fisheries = new stuff.
In Destin our 45-footer was really too small, we spent our Gulf-time either inshore sight fishing cobia in the Spring or offshore pelagic-fishing the summers. A few tuna trips the rest of the year around our duck and deer hunting. We did little to no bottom fishing except for a day or two during the “snapper weeks”.
The only flats fishing we did was anchored up on our intercostal wine and dine trips. We would soak a pinfish or three in the afternoons catching whatever swam by interrupting Maggie’s cooking and my wine tasting. Here in New Port Richey, the deep water is friggen way out and gone offshore. Yesterday I was 24 miles offshore,(if this was in Destin I’d be chasing wahoo and whites) but here we are in 50 feet of water, 50! Looking for cobia in 50 feet of water perfect, 24 miles off the beach?? We never even saw a fish, but my buddy across the canal caught three on the flats, the fish were with a big ray; go figure.
However, we did catch a boatload of great eating grunts and a limit of red grouper. We are now officially bottom bashers. Ok so now I need bottom gear. I am not going to use my switch bait custom rods and Tyrnos 20’s to catch grouper with, I tell Maggie. That is just stupid to subject a 700-dollar outfit to grouper abuse. I need a couple of Shimano Tekota’s, the 700’s should be about right. She asks about those six TLD 30’s sitting on the shelf for the past five years or so? But those reels are our old stuff, the Tyrnos replaced those, jeez don’t you remember? Wouldn’t be right to use those either, (I know that makes no sense what so ever, but I had to say something.)
Bottom line is I convinced her that the reels were a necessity, and that they were really for her or something to that effect. The Shimano Tekota is the perfect bottom fishing reel. It has a levelwind so everyone can use them, a star drag that is idiot proof and you can dial in 24 pounds of drag at full sunset. Plus they cost less than 200 bucks. I got the 700’s because they are the most affordable of the three sizes that can produce the 24 pounds of drag. The reel holds crazy amounts of line and it is a Shimano, enough said. All my personal stuff that is not a spin out fit or a fly gear is Shimano and until someone can convince me otherwise; “if it ain’t for casting, it comes from Japan”.
I put the new reels on a couple meat sticks and loaded them up with 50-pound test power pro, a six-foot fluorocarbon leader and the grouper were toast. I even took Maggie’s advice and rigged up a TLD 30, but she never even looked at it, Maggie muckled onto that new Shimano like a giant squid grabbing up a seal pup.
Now we are going flats fishing this week, and I haven’t taken Maggie flats fishing yet so this will work really well. I want to try out some really cool new baits. There is a new soft plastic twitch bait from a new outfit called ‘Stinky Fingers’. These things have a sponge inside the lure, (can you believe someone thought about this!!) When a fish grabs it, menhaden oil is squeezed out though these scent glands. They say a red or trout gets a blast of fish oil, and just won’t let go, even if the damn fish isn’t hooked. Ok I just gotta see this.
I just bought 300 dollars worth of them for, yeah you get the picture….