Monthly Archives: July 2013

Jubilee!!!

Jubilee!!! is the call that residents along the Eastern Shore of Mobile Bay anticipate during nights of summer when east winds blow.  Separated by 6,900 miles, Mobile Bay and Tokyo Bay are the only known locations that the rare phenomena exists.In nights past, residents living along the shore would inform neighbors by the calling of the Jubilee.  In modern times the announcement is more widespread on social media networks and texting between friends during the hours of darkness.

According to the Auburn University Marine Extension & Research Center, a Jubilee occurs in the summer months on a rising tide, with a light east wind.  Salinity stratification builds due to stagnation, and prevents the oxygen from the air to penetrate through the water column.  The result is flounder, blue crab, shrimp, sting ray, eel, and various other fish pushed to surface, gasping for oxygen along the shoreline between Daphne and Mullet Point in Mobile Bay.

On a warm muggy morning I woke to the alarm of a Jubilee from a friend’s thoughtful text!  The boys and I got ready as fast as we could to gather a bounty of seafood ready for the taking.  Prime time for the Jubilee are the hours preceding sunrise.  This is due to the continuous depletion of oxygen levels during night hours, along with the conditions previously stated.  Quite frequently, the predominant species of a Jubilee will be flounder, blue crab, and shrimp.  These are typically bottom dwellers that have difficulty elevating above the stratified bottom of water column.  We arrived after peak, but still were able to capture enough flounder, shrimp, blue crab, mullet, and black drum to have a great lunch.

Even though there are well known, typical conditions that favor the Jubilee’s occurrence, locals have clued me in on some other not so well documented observations.  A long time resident says that they tend to occur during the night after a later afternoon thunderstorm, in combination with other well known conditions.  He reports the location could be in the vicinity of any freshwater creek that flows into the bay.  His theory is that the influx of freshwater from a creek is carried by the tide and wrapped around an area of shoreline, encouraging salinity stratification to occur in a localized area.

Also, I’ve been told that there are times around a neap tide (slack tide) that a Jubilee can occur due to the stagnation of the water.  Much is made about the Jubilee’s that occur on the eastern shore, but I also have heard of events welling up on the western shore too.  Given a set of circumstances that are just right, they can occur just about anywhere along the bay’s quaint sandy beaches.

We feel honored to have had the opportunity to partake in a Jubilee and look forward to being lucky enough to encounter another in the future.

For more information on the science behind the phenomena of the Jubilee on Mobile Bay:
Click here for further information and illustrations by Auburn University Marine & Research Center on the Mobile Bay Jubilee

Copyright 2012 by icastinayak.com. All rights reserved

Eat More Shrimp!

Eat More Shrimp 1

The boys and I got outdoors for a local cultural tradition of blue crabbing along the beautiful coast of Daphne, AL today.

So many times on our walks along the piers of Mobile Bay we have witnessed the very effective technique of using chicken quarters mixed with raspberry sauce or well prepared turkey necks to catch blue crab. The chicken and turkey are typically baked in the sun for hours to attract blue crab to the rotting scent of poultry. Something to think about is spoiled chicken and turkey are known to produce protein toxins and bacteria that are certainly not native to estuaries that blue crab reside in.

Considering the risk, I have been wanting to find another way of effectively catching blue crab with my boys without having to use the same types of bait. So, my boys and I made a trip to our neighboring seafood carrier and picked up two dozen locally caught shrimp. We rigged up the crab net with a two-drop nylon leader rig that enabled three hooks to be attached. After all, blue crab are opportunistic feeders and they are attracted to shrimp as a native food source.

Eat More Shrimp 2

Eat More Shrimp 3During the course of the day we had some onlookers that detailed their guaranteed recipe for success, but we enjoyed sharing the idea of using a native food source and were able to demonstrate it can be a successful method of crabbing.

Eat More Shrimp 4The blues we caught today were not large, but we had a great time and the boys learned another good lesson in conservation. That is, to release those of the catch that are undersize. What a great day, taking in a local tradition that we can share as a family.

Eat More Shrimp 5Eat More Shrimp 6

Copyright 2013 by icastinayak.com. All rights reserved

Video & Book Review: Smallmouth Fly Fishing – Revealed!

Smallmouth Revealed 1

Eleven years ago a friend handed me a 29 page pamphlet on fly fishing for Smallmouth bass, written by a well known bronzeback angler from Minnesota named Tim Holschlag .  Three or four years later, I discovered Mr. Holschlag expanded the information to a 326 page book packed full of secrets uncovered.

Well, if that wasn’t enough, he’s done it again!  This time, Tim Holschlag has brought to life, through a 71 minute video, all of the valuable tips from reading the river, to flies, and even details on how to do the Crayfish Hop with the fly rod!

When watching a fishing show or instructional material on the topic, I want details.  If the why’s aren’t given, I lose interest quickly.  Upon reviewing this video, I was amazed at the extent that Tim Holschlag and company went to produce Smallmouth Fly Fishing – Revealed!  Over the course of a few months, Mr. Holschlag traversed 14 rivers, numorous lakes, and even went as far as acquiring underwater footage to show the action of each fly he discusses within the actual environment of the real thing.

Techniques such as the Twitch & Tease and the Crayfish Hop, just to name a couple, are covered in detail right down to the timing of action in varied types of current.  Not familiar with fishing rivers?  No problem.  The video instructs about stream substrates, pools, riffles, and bends.  Have you ever wanted to gain some advice on improving your casting stroke with those heavy flies that smallies go after?  Tim Holschlag communicates some great insight and strategy on the topic of rod, line, and reel combinations for effective casting in Smallmouth bass habitat.

I was very impressed with the quality of presentation, and the expertise effectively communicated.  I’m confident after watching this video that my knowledge of fly fishing for Smallmouth bass has been enhanced and will result in more bronzebacks caught and released next time I’m out on the stream.

Are you a reader?  There’s nothing like having a book to enjoy and study.

Fly fisherman have always had a love affair in the pursuit of catching fish amidst the backdrop of tumbling water and towering pines.  Usually those thoughts are directed toward trout, and yet Smallmouth bass can be found in similar scenic settings, have proved to be a challenging species to catch on a fly, and are known as pound for pound the fiercest fighting freshwater fish.  A few years ago I was in a fly shop when I saw a book entitled Smallmouth Fly Fishing, written by accomplished guide and fly fishing instructor Tim Holschlag.

I was surprised at the short amount of time it took me to pick up on the advice given by Mr. Holschlag to start catching fish.  It is true what he says in the book about how smallmouth attacks a surface fly.  Additionally, crayfish are a staple in the diet of Smallmouth bass.  In the book you’ll find out how to do the “Crayfish Hop”.  This is an irresistible presentation that will draw a strike in the bottom half of the water column.

The book begins by answering the questions of why consider fly fishing for smallmouth. I was impressed not only with the approach the author used to introduce fly fishing for smallmouth bass to the reader, but also the detailed illustrations by artist, Ron Nelson.  Explanations on how different techniques are required to successfully fish for smallmouth versus those for trout are covered.  The challenge of catching a trout on a fly was part of why I took up the sport of fly fishing.  Tim Holschlag goes into great detail for the novice or experienced alike who is interested in pursuing the challenge of fishing for smallmouth on a fly.   Some of the key content Tim Holschlag covers is the anatomy of a smallmouth stream, subsurface and top water techniques, watercraft options, wading tips, and behavior of Smallmouth bass.  He reviews topics of lake and stream fly fishing techniques for smallmouth, and has included recipes and instructions for tying 40 bronzeback flies.

Usually we seek a book out to deepen our technical knowledge of fishing and then find a different resource for where to use the information.  In this book, there are one hundred smallmouth destinations introduced to the reader from around the country.

Smallmouth bass can be caught in spring, summer, and fall.  A variety of flies can be used.  From poppers, grass hoppers, to crayfish patterns, the fly angler can catch trophy bronzebacks even in mid to late summer.  I highly recommend Tim Holschlag’s book to anyone who has thought about fly fishing for smallmouth bass.  In my opinion, this is a required textbook for any fly fisherman who wants to diversify his or her angling skills to include bronzebacks.

 

Click here for more information on the newly released video entitled “Smallmouth Fly Fishing – Revealed!”, by Tim Holschlag

Click here for more information on the book entitled, “Smallmouth Fly Fishing”, by Tim Holschlag

 

Copyright 2013 by icastinayak.com. All rights reserved

Time for a Giveaway Worth Nearly $300!

 

Giveaway 1First, a huge thanks to all of you who have read my blog over the past 13 months. I have enjoyed it and look forward to
sharing more in the future.

To enter, LIKE the “I Cast In a Yak” Facebook PAGE and Comment to the
photo (on the Facebook page) about what your dream fishing destination is. Contest runs
through 11:59PM, July 4th.  Multiple winners will be drawn and announced in a separate Facebook post and on the this website by end of Sunday, July 7th.

Thank you so much to the
Fairhope Boat Company, Hobie Fishing, and Maui Jim Sunglasses for
donating some really great prizes. For the fly angler, the package
includes a dozen flies I’ve tied up consisting of a saltwater
crab/shrimp pattern I catch saltwater speckled trout & flounder on,
and the tried and true freshwater Royal Coachman Streamer.

Good Luck!

Click here to go to the “I Cast In a Yak” Facebook Page to enter contest!

Copyright 2013 by icastinayak.com. All rights reserved