Home Tropics

Island Prep 2014

CompleatCompleat Posts: 2,777 Captain
Well here we go again... Already time to start thinking about the upcoming season. Starting a little early this year. Havn't even started working on a schedule or locked in which island we will be where when but never too early to start mapping out stuff well in advance. Heck I have trips this week and my Albemarle has a solid offer on it so it will be at least a week or ten days before I turn the first wrence.
We didn't put a lot of wear or break a lot of stuff last season but some things need to be done as part of routine. Gonna start with what I call a double oil change... What I mean by that is to run a different "cleaning oil" through the system for just a few minutes then change out that set of filters and load in my proper running oil with yet another set of filters. Mirage is equipped with an oil change system which makes it easy as long as the temps are up on the engines... While in there, I go over every inch, look for new leaks (They are GM and if they don't leak some theres something wrong), check for wires wearing, look at every hose and change every clamp that has even the remotest chance of being an issue. While at it even though the Racors look good, they are old and paper element doesn't last forever. Change all the fuel filters now rather than risk bogging down when I need them or sucking a loose piece of paper through and plugging an injector.
Eyeballing the paint she has more growth than usual and a little different than i'm used to seeing... That prompts a call to paint manufacturer as to why and make sure they didn't change formula on me. They are concerned and helpful. They tell me where to locate a "batch" code and I send it to them... Answer should be had in the next couple days as to what might have happened...
Night time allows me a chance to take stock of what tackle I have. It gives me a chance to map out in my head line changes, rig making, and a list of what "stuff" I need to replace or build up inventory on. A lot of those decisions cant be really made til I determine where I'll be doing the bulk of my fishing. If its Bimini (yes something could be in the works) it will be one set. If it's some place like Chub, I have to ramp the rig count way way up as the fishing is so much more active there...
So its a start... As in other years, I will try my best to detail what goes into readying for a long term run to the other side. If I miss something or if you have a question, don't hold back... happy to answer...


  • Blue ZoneBlue Zone Posts: 414 Officer

    On your bottom issue, I don't think it's the paint. I think you said your boat's in brackish water and I have heard from some friends up the New River in Lauderdale that their bottoms are going to hell in a hurry. Weird stuff coming out of the Big O is probably the answer
  • CompleatCompleat Posts: 2,777 Captain
    The Albemarle is in a hellish spot. I get that. The other is right next to Palm Beach inlet and water is gin clear. I was even getting it in Bimini... Far earlier than ever. Used to be in a bad spot up river and still I never saw like this. Chub marina is very little flow, docks grown up bad but even there never had so much as discoloration. Big O dumps farther north than either spot I'm at by a long way... Got this paint from different source (same brand and type). Could have been on shelves too long? just not sure...
  • alacrityalacrity Posts: 2,666 Captain
    are you headed to chub?

  • CompleatCompleat Posts: 2,777 Captain
    Shhhhh.... That's secret... :)
    Will possibly be there for a while. With this boat I'm obligated to pay her bills. Getting some activity here in Palm Beach but not nearly enough. Most of my clients have "graduated" and want more action from bigger variety of species and more shots at mixed billfish. Chub certainly offers that but so dog gone expensive, tough to do long term. Other thing holding back the firm decision to go is to see how new ownership feels about "guests". I know "members" were firmly opposed to it... Don't want to ruffle feathers or be someplace where we aren't welcome...

    Today was a bust. Parts for my Albemarle didn't arrive and weather said getting anything down there accomplished wasn't gonna happen. I stayed at this end gathering up things she should have before they take delivery. Not obligated to, but I think by now most realize I'm geared toward doing things right. As dark decends I am looking at my stacks of tackle. Some ready to go. Some not. Then yet another thing creeps in what I call "musical" rods. Matching rods with reels for specific types of fishing. Regardless of where we go, I'm planning on ramping up my bottom game a little. Also adding jigging outfits to the stack. Even considering a deep drop set up.
    Yeah, I know, I know... I'm not much on button pushing harvesting but I get enough requests to do it, I should get off my high horse and at least make it available. So begins a new thing to put on my to do list.
  • CompleatCompleat Posts: 2,777 Captain
    Another day spinning wheels. 22 inches of rain down at the little boat made for slow going at that end of town. Shes pretty tight but that much water means some had to find her way in and a little did. Nothing too bad but another task amongst many... Off loaded a dozen loads of personal items (Long walk to the lot).Offloaded a lot of junk and went to work replacing ignition switches and alternators.
    Should be push pull click click easy but of course not. One of the pulleys wouldn't come off and was hour and a half to finally just swap that. First alternator went just fine. Second didn't want to fit. Grinding with all those sparks is touchy but got through with no issue.
    That is until we tried to light. The grinding still allowed something to ground out and required a second round. Then after we lit the engine up one of the wires that is supposed to not keep carrying current didn't do what it was supposed to. We tested every thing possible to get her to stop carrying a load but she wouldn't quit. Even with key off she was hot and heating up the new alternator. Disconnected and tested. All good. Hooked back up and it was fine through three tests then did it again. Guess I will just have to work on that more tomorrow. Then lay a solid clean on her...
    Left there and in the dark I started work on 43... Had minor rain intrusion there as well but nothing bad. Set things to drying then grabbed my inshore and bait catching kits to work on tonight. The bait kits are divided into ballyhoo, runners and gogs... The inshore kits are divided into small snappers/grunts/ porgies, bonefish, yellowtail kit, large snappers single, hi low rigs, jigs. Just clean up, top off stocks of each, and tie up a few dozen more high lows. If we do add deep dropping to our list those rigs need to be tied as well...
  • CompleatCompleat Posts: 2,777 Captain
    Ton done on the Albemarle... Basically turn key ready to go... While digging through recesses on her I came up with a treasure trove of tackle. Some I had put on her when planning to take her to islands last year. Others were a pleasant surprise. I don't recall ever mako or even sharking with her but at some point I stuffed a set of rigs for that in there. Found two more gaffs I forgot I had, 100 packs of sabikis, then a pile of rigged and unrigged small lure/ natural combo rigs left over I'm geuessing one of her chub runs... Most of it is good to go fishable, others need to be cut for parts and re rigged...
    Diver spent nearly two hours under her getting that growth off. I was surprised to see paint still there. He wanted $70 for the job? I said no way! and handed him double that... Two more days of her then free to ramp up the heat on getting the Mirage ready for what ever it is we wind up doing... Headed to that boat now to button up after having guests staying aboard for last few days (No fishing, just a place to stay) ...
  • CompleatCompleat Posts: 2,777 Captain
    Messages going back and forth elsewhere tonight. Things looking up and could get real good... I'd really like to place $1000 line, hooks and leader orders then get to work on making up about 400 trolling rigs... 100 bottom rigs, 100 jigs, and yes maube some deep droprigs in the possible column... :)
  • Complete,

    Keep us updated on the bottom paint thing. I have been having a heck of a time on this Hillsborough canal water. Like Blue said, its almost all Lake O water, but for some reason this year has been hell on the paint.

    I'm putting old Changed Conditions up on the hard for a new bottom job and will be talking to suppliers about the best to use here with this freshwater problem. I'm also paying attention to your maintenance as we will be traveling further than normal this Island year!
  • CompleatCompleat Posts: 2,777 Captain
    I've been using Micron 66, the most expensive stuff out there. Their main office got right back to me but the local rep hasn't yet. I see a lot of "pros" using CSC... Could be a shift that way as it deals with "brackish" better but not sure yet...
  • testerman28testerman28 Posts: 1,329 Officer
    we use the csc ablative down here in ft Lauderdale and it seems to get a good wear on a 3 coat bottom job for years and after these last two years it seems the marine growth has started to change. the ablative at least comes off like a bar of soap when you run but blasting it off on the lift works great if it sits.
  • CompleatCompleat Posts: 2,777 Captain
    Thats part of the problem. The 66 we have been using is usually great for that but both boats the ablative part just hasn't been washing right. It was nearly two hours of diver work on the little boat yesterday and I was surprised to see the paint was still there under looking good. She wasn't washing off. So bad she wouldn't plane.
    Starting when I brought the Viking back in late August from the other side (Only like 6 months) it wasn't coming off at even 25-26 knots. Then on the November run she wouldn't get past 24 knots with so much on there. I've got a mix of sponge and barnacles growing in high current clear water that just shouldn't be... I'll get it figured out but something definately different about this batch versus others we have had... As mentioned a different supplier might have had on the shelves longer or something. Possible the water at Bimini could have had something "off" to it. You might recall how i moaned about a lot of strange green water through much of the season.
    Again, I see a lot of the csc used around here and its possible I may run with that for this round... Though less expensive its supposed to deal with brackish condition better than the 66...
  • CompleatCompleat Posts: 2,777 Captain
    Somebody explain the logic of making an offer on a boat when that person doesn't have the money? This is the second go around like that... Oh well shes clean and turn key ready. Just will open the listing back up.
  • CompleatCompleat Posts: 2,777 Captain
    Ok, another thing I don't get... Waiting til a week after listing was done to get interested? Not one but two more want to check her out... One pretty local and other from Maryland... Local wants to see in morning. Md guy hasn't responded to my response. First one with real money will get her...

    The paint rep answered and wants to come see the growth. Already scrubbed it off the Albemarle but the Viking in clean water has a pretty interesting collection of sea life on her and thats just in a couple weeks since her last run. So show the boat in morn then back to the 43 to show growth and try to figure whats cooking there...
  • CompleatCompleat Posts: 2,777 Captain
    Showed it to one fellow a little while ago. Kinda lofty dreams I think. Needs to sleep four and this isn't the boat really for that. heck, it gets a touch crowded with four on the Viking.
    Yet another came out of the woodwork and threw an offer. He wants to see it in the morn. Supposed to be cold and those maby diesels don't like the cold. They tend to smoke a bit if it is. I hope he understands that. Hoped to get him to look this afternoon but hes busy and rain moving in any way... Wish i could hurry up and get this done so I can focus on the 43... Tomorrow is mid week already.
  • CompleatCompleat Posts: 2,777 Captain
    Rain shut down the showing today... Gave me a chance to eyeball my tackle collections that I have here. I never want to come up short over there on anything I want or need. For that matter I'm not gonna stuff 150 outfits in that small of a boat. I draw back on years of doing this stuff and think of most efficient way to cover most bases. Three full sets of trolling gear is a must. Since a lot of my fishing is 2 30w spectra backed on the riggers, 2 80w or 70vs (sprectra backed), 2 spectra backed tld 25 or 30, just up those counts 3 times to 6 each. Can't forget that I also need 50w gear, some spectra backed and some straight mono, for wahoo fishing or tournies with max test. So that s 6 more... 24 total so far...
    2 specific 4lb bonefish and 2 more for bait fishing. 4 x 8lb bonefish specific spins + 4 more generic ones when yellowtails are small. 12 x 15/20 spin... these can multi task for yellowtails, jigging strawberries, casting at individual dolphin. Thats another 24 sticks. Starting to crowd up...
    2 x 30 spin... General deeper jigging... This year, 4 x 30 general bottom outfits, 3 deep jigger spectra rigs, and still need a deep dropper.

    Thats 57-58 total outfits I need to stuff in small space... So while to somebody watching me it looks to them that I'm just looking at my collection. What I'm in fact doing is figuring out how and where I plan to put them all... Which will tuck into each other. What position to have the handles in so as to waste no space there. By using different lengths and different butts I can do two rows facing fore and two rows facing aft. Four each row thats 16 per "layer" and with enough forethought I can get two layers with bags of rigs under and filling spaces between. The spins for the most part are two piece so they make it in the closet...

    Not sure of where we will set up camp yet. Somebody mentioned Chub... Could well be for part of the trip. When I have done it there before its mostly been a "sell out" situation. I don't want to leave anybody at the dock who wants to go. At same time dont want to wear boat or crew all the way out doing it. We do it for the love of it. Not a money thing. I try to piece it together as close to "all inclusive" as possible. Air, room, processing catch, soft drinks, lunch, snack food, 3 1/2 days hard fishing per leg rolled into one neat package... Please message me if you think you might be interested in joining us...
  • CompleatCompleat Posts: 2,777 Captain
    While this cool weather is not as comfortable as warm for just standing around, it really lets you dig into projects. As always, one project becomes three or more. Today no exception. I spent most of a week getting jerked around by so called boat buyers so today I just put a stop to that. "The boat is located at spot X. Go down and show it to your self. Call me with questions." Of course none actually do show up so it was a good call rather than waste the day. Its nothing new. When I sold boats for a living it was always like that. Small percentage actually buy. Rest just kick tires and waste your time...
    For those that have fished with me, you know that I'm freakish about keeping as many baits in the water as I can at all times... When we get a rig tore up or fish missed the hook, I have my mate toss me the spent rig and put out fresh. Those rigs go into plastic bins up on my dash where they later get re rigged or canibalized for parts and then rerigged... I wait til I get a big enough pile then do that on a rare night off. At Chub the piles build quick but at Bimini that process is slow. Since my mate there leaves once the boat is done being washed the piles often get real big. I had a couple of those bins at home that I did early this morn. Next on my list was to go collect the rest of the bins and all of the stuff that needed to be inventoried and repacked from the boat. While at it I'd collect some of the tackle aboard for reel respooling.
    I don't go to the boat ever without inspecting all my stuff. One bank of batteries was reading low on the meter so I decided to go figure that issue out... More often than not its a loose connection. When I opened the engine room door I was greeted by a **** moment. Water a couple inches deep in the drybed between the engines? Sourced it and found that a fresh water line that us used for adding water to coolant or general engine room use was leaking. So, pump it out, fix the leak and fill the tank. Extra projects before even starting...
    Dug into my main tackle locker. Bag after bag of stuff joined plastic bin after bin of stuff. Rods came out. Lure kits came out. Hundreds of pounds of goodies piling up. Like a kid in the candy store I ran armfuls to the cart then cart fuls to the car... As I got deeper into the stock piles I could see "dust" then saw dark spots on the boxes of ziplocks I use to pack fish in. GRRRRRRRRRRRR! Roaches!
    Those dirty buggers will find their way to anything they can possibly eat and this was the mother load. It sucks having an eat off clean boat only to have them set up camp. Unfortunately it comes with the turf near the water. They get on board usually through the dock lines but they can and do also fly. If you walk a dock late at night, especially in the islands you will find em in great numbers. Well, they can and do make it aboard then its time to bust out the bug bombs...
    I wound up tossing out about $100 worth of plastic bags. I dug further and found a second colony back where I store my dry chum and now I was on a mission to figure out where else they might be... I crawled under deck. Condensation from the AC unit collects and is drained in a certain area. They had gathered there before but not this time. It was all contained to the tackle locker. I finished unloading and then tossed a bomb in there that I'm sure will be a real mess come tomorrow...
    At home I get to the bins, I cut, I coil, I count, I canibalize old to make new... Hooks that are useable but show little rust get dabbed with acid on the end of a Q tip. Don't let it set long. Just enough to de rust then neuralize in fresh water. Then dry. You might wonder why bother? My hooks cost about $1.75 each for the small ones and more like $3-$5 for the bigger ones... Multiply that out by a hundred or so and you can start to get the picture. The hooks that are rustier get retired from one use to another. Smaller hooks get burned up on cuda or snapper rigs or dolphin bailing rigs. Big marlin hooks get turned into mako hooks for up north.
    So time to get back at it... The re rigged stuff will be packed seperate from the new never run stuff... :)
  • CompleatCompleat Posts: 2,777 Captain
    About midnight now... Still playing with "stuff"... I love it!

    Discussing Chub still... Going to tenatively set the first leg available for Mar 12-16... That will be a billfish / wahoo focus leg with limited bottom stuff. From there we will work for and aft on the dates... Leg before would be the same kind of thing Mar 8-12... Leg after we would shift focus a little more toward bottom with a little less trolling Mar 16- 20...
  • CompleatCompleat Posts: 2,777 Captain
    Little sleep... Got wild hair up my butt and added 18 outfits to the collection. 6 will be headed north as white marlin outfits. 2 will be going up as shark/ tuna chunking sticks... 6 are replacement for local outfits that are tired. 2 are added to the new jigging set. 2 that can be used for dragging planers or manual deep drop...
    A low votage reading on good batteries yesterday prompted me to change all my terminals and seemed to do the trick... More to do to finish that tomorrow... While at it, I plan to put new ends on all my bonding wires. Seeing green is not what I should see and last thing I need is to lose a piece of running gear to electrolysis.

    Got back home to set up the new outfits... That went quick and smooth so I respooled my "Bahamas guest "A" set " . I could almost go with this one set and forget the rest as they are true work horses. Its a mixed set with 2 x 30W avets spectra backed and 50 top shot on the riggers, the flats in this set are tld 25 spectra backed with 40 top shot. The inside riggers are spectra backed Penn 70 V 's and 80 top shot. Penn for me has been a bit inconsistent over recent years. These two were kind of Frankenstein reels using the best components we had from what started out as eight reels. We actually created four "frankenreels" from the eight, two for here and two up north. There are two of the "remnant reels" up north we sue for mako fishing and the last two are kept here as part of my traveling sword set. They all work just fine but the set I use for "Bahamas guest A set" are the toughest of the bunch.
    The joy of spectra backing is you don't have near as much to spool. Goes quicker, saves a ton of money on line and frees up space on the boat by being able to carry less line to respool suring our trips...
    Tomorrow will be "Bahamas guest "B" set" . :)
  • CompleatCompleat Posts: 2,777 Captain
    One of the things I do during this endless cycle of prep work is to keep switching up chores so none of them become mundane or boring. Directed my attention at the big boat for the morning. The MLK parade in Riviera Beach had road closures all over the place so just the ride getting there elevated the blood pressure a bit. Despite rumors of bad fuel at one place or the other in the islands last year i really didn't run ito that. When I started this thread I talked about changing out the racors. Today was time to do the secondaries. One spun right off like she should. The other didn't want to budge. I wrecked a filter wrench trung so went the back roads (to avoid the parade) and got a new one. I guess i don't know my own stength and turned that one to a pretzel as well.
    Changing a filter is not supposed to involve every tool on the boat but it sure seemed that way. I tried a giant pipe wrench, a giant pair of channel locks, and only wound up crushing the canister. Out comes the BFH and a screw driver. I pound it through. Fuel flies and I catch it before it soaks my er carpet... I rear back. Nothing. Add a section of galvanized pipe. All I accomplish is shredding the cannister. Now I'm mad. I have one what I call super screwdriver. Out it comes, bigger BFH to drive it through. Finally it gives. I become one with every sharp piece of engine I can find as I fly. Covered in diesel fuel, blood, grease, I stand triumphant. I have won.
    I go to prime. Pump doesn't want to work. Of course! I take several trips to various eletcric panels. I play with wires. No need for a voltage meter, current finds me to let me know which wire is live. Tap with BFH, again I have conquored the beast! Engine doesn't care for air that was in the line. She coughs then purrs... Enough ER...
    I run every system and electronic on the boat. All is good. I tighten up terminal connections from yesterday then crawl into tackle locker to clean that out. Pretty much no incident until I grabbed the lid as I was gonna crawl out. Of course that leaves a welt on my head. At least I didn't lock my self in there... :)
    I give the boat a scrub then get home to work on "Bahamas guest set "B"". This set consists of Shimano TLD 50s for the riggers, triton 50w loaded with spectra and 80 top shot for inside riggers, tld 30s for the flats... I also lump my wire line and manual deep drop outfit into that pile. I fly through that spooling. I'm on a roll.
    Phone rings... Old friend with a referal. Full week of what I call slop fishing in the islands. Light trolling, drifting the bottom, yellowtailing and of course... Deep droping.... Locked it in and feels good. Add in some responses that locked in a leg or two elsewhere from last night and life is improving... You'll note that I didn't say where or when these trips are. I'm going to more of that this season. Its clear that there are at least a couple of those that don't wish me well on that side and it's just plain prudent to keep bouncing island and to keep them guessing.
  • CompleatCompleat Posts: 2,777 Captain
    Switched gears in the night, loading my new white marlin setfor up north. Really too cold to get anything done right now on board so mapping out next moves on paper. I often leave the paper at home but by writing it down its locks it in the memory banks and allows me to move quick when I do.
  • Blue ZoneBlue Zone Posts: 414 Officer
    Compleat wrote: »
    You'll note that I didn't say where or when these trips are. I'm going to more of that this season. Its clear that there are at least a couple of those that don't wish me well on that side and it's just plain prudent to keep bouncing island and to keep them guessing.

    Probably a good move; I suppose info on your whereabouts on the interwebs can be akin to wearing a bulls-eye.
  • CompleatCompleat Posts: 2,777 Captain
    Blue Zone wrote: »
    Probably a good move; I suppose info on your whereabouts on the interwebs can be akin to wearing a bulls-eye.

    It is to some degree... Every time I would think I had a pulse on what that Bimini thing was all about, deeper looks into it pointed a different direction. With that, its possible that the issue may have eminated from source that was supposed to be "on my side" so even those close to me will get limited info as to where or what will be until after its already done... :)
  • CompleatCompleat Posts: 2,777 Captain
    Today was a classic, "getting ahead of my self" or "multitasking to the point of losing focus... This is something I try to avoid but does happen and when it does things just slow to a crawl. I have spent days sifting through inventories of what I do have and what needs to be added to it so I'm short nothing come game time. I have gone through the process of cutting and canibalizing old rigs in preperation for re-rigging them. Some how I have misplaced several items... Brakes go on and the hunt begins to locate them. Some found but others completely out of sight. This commonly happens when I'm carrying something, get side tracked , then set them down in a place that would make no sense at all. Some of the pieces on my list are lures, all recently "re-found" and now "re-lost" . I will go nuts til they are found again and stored properly. My big bag of leader coils is missing along with my bag of wire for leaders as well... I have ample supplies of stuff to rig with but those are my travel kits... Grrrrr....
  • CompleatCompleat Posts: 2,777 Captain
    Flipped and flopped all night. Wound up with so many projects on my mind. Started the day by finding the lost lures. Then proceeded to lose them again twice. As I was searching for them I wound up burying or losing other stuff. TIME OUT!!! Gathered my thoughts slowed down then knocked off one chore at a time and man did I get a lot of stuff done. I rigged out a solid supply of trolling stuff enough for a month of hot and heavy and a few more months of steady pick.
    Dug into tying my hi low bottom rigs. Pains taking, time consuming, lead eating, rotal pain in the butt... I was going to go grab about 50 extra pounds of lead but decided to see what I had in the storage bins in my garage... Enough to do about 200 rigs... Sounds like a lot but when people don't listen and drag them over the reefs instead of lift and drop we burn up litterally a ton of em...
    Where I came up short on inventory was bucktail jigs. I use several sizes but on the berry patches I like the 2 oz ones and way way short on desired number. I'm seeing em at about $2 each but have found for closer to $1 before. If anyone out there sees some at a number like that, let me know. White, chartreuse preferred any head shape will do. Don't need to be high quality. Just need to be...
    I can hear some of you thinking? Whats up with nickle and diming every step of the way? Simple question with simple answer, it all adds up. The hooks I salvaged totaled about $500. The lures I salvaged and/or reskirted? Close to $1000. Todays lead another $100 I didn't have to spend... Thats $1600 right there that can go toward other things and that I don't have to pass on to the consumer in the way of pricing...
  • CompleatCompleat Posts: 2,777 Captain
    Filled in a leg and two singles today... (Destination not disclosed for now)
    Began the long process of stowing stuff. The stuff I am least likely to need or will not be using for quite a while get shoved in the farthest recesses. While in there I found a wet spot where last weeks heavy rain water had run down wires in the tower and found their way between wall and bunk so I stripped out the cushions and covers and sent off to get laundered... It got me searching for other spots but luckily there were none. There has been a flock of brown birds (not sure what kind but look like back birds only brown) around the marina and I guess they found my boat was a great place to roost... What a mess!... And I just cleaned it! Don't want to drop the back curtains as it screws up air flow but of they are gonna be a problem I need to do something. I have a hunch that Riviera Beach might take issue to me blasting them so I'll have to get creative...
    Tying til my fingers are ready to bleed on these bottom rigs but we go through a mountain of em. Tied up 50 each, 3 oz, 4 oz, 6 oz bottom rigs. Did 25 5oz (thats all the 5 oz leads I had). Did 12 each of 8 and 10 oz. I don't normally use that class but figured some of the spots we will try deeper jigging we could send one down just for grins. I did 8 16 ouncers for a spot I have in 270 feet that holds blackfin snappers. I used to think they were yelloweyes just in shallow til somebody pointed out the difference. That was not too long back and I love it when I learn something new. Topped it off with 8 32 ouncers that I use for yellow eyes... Until I get an electric I will hold off on sash weight rigs.
    Sorted through my jig selection. Have a dozen each 12 and 16 oz that I plan to work in that spot where the black fin snappers hang. Banged some respectable reds there before and want to work it a little harder. I have a total of 12 6-8 ounce ones so I need to beef that category up. I used to have a pile of 4 ounce but a sneaking suspicion says my deckhand found them to be the right size to get long casts from shore... I'm down to 3 so that will be another i need to beef up. I have only a dozen metal jigs other than a box of diamond jigs so I will have to make a trip and get creative to build that collection. Scraped together 30 of my strawberry class jigs which comes up way short so I'm still shopping that class.
    Bonefish kit done, ballyhoo kit done, beefing up yellowtail kit then will be done with that... Dock fishing kit done for one place. If I was going back to Big Game I'd make a special kit for that but I don't think that will happen. Heard a lot of rumors about them in last few days but won't repeat til I find out for sure what the real story is... Don't really care if they are true or not. I've moved on...
  • CompleatCompleat Posts: 2,777 Captain
    Started the day by hanging my toe through a hole in my jeans while putting them on. Figured it would be a tough day with that as a start but things went pretty smooth... Finally found all the stuff I was still missing. Have the Albemarle listed once again as it turned out all the bites I had were tire kickers last go. Ton of views on the listing so I went down to make sure was ok. As I dug around I found a bag of metal jigs, a small bag of bucktails, even a yo-zuri bonita plug...
    Got back to 43 and decided to dig through the drawers . Often times I put hooks and loose stuff in my shirt pocket then just drop in drawers when pressed for time. Glad I looked! Mountain of hooks, bait jigs, weights, floats, crimp sleeves, swivels, etc. Found other stuff I had forgotten about that I can really use as well... Probably better part of an hour to sift through all that... I don't mind. Thats what they make time for...
    Really need to tie Bimini twists and add wind ons to all my stuff but feeling a bit wore out so that will be another day... I'll just continue
    cutting and pasting and sorting and sifting ...
  • CompleatCompleat Posts: 2,777 Captain
    Taking a lunch break and had these thoughts fresh on my mind. I talked some about getting ahead of myself. It happens on purchasing, buyung stuff I don't need for example... Well it dawned on me that I also get too far ahead on rigging. each rig gets coiled. If they sit too long they retain some of that coil and baits don't run as well. Another thing "over rigging" does is sets you up for some mind blowing tangles. Trying to store too many in a small space can slow things down if you gotta untangle a mess just to get at em. With that I have to stick with what quantity I have successfully stored before without problems. Even if I feel i need more, it gets counter productive if I crowd the stuff. So for me that means I'm nearing the end of what I can pre rig.
    On the buying of stuff I already have or recycling the lightly used stuff I figure I'm at about $2500 in savings...
    Another facet of getting too far ahead is not knowing a 'real" figure of what I will need. I have enough stuff rigged and read to do a couple years at Bimini. Enough to cover a season elsewhere and a real hard push at Chub. Thats the easy part. Historically, we have filled every available seat we have had available for Chub trips. If that trend continues we are good to go. Right now we have a load of people that want to go but they want to go later when the dolphin get miserably thick. That tosses the guess work on rigs right out the window. When they get thick the tackle carnage can get absurd... On the other side of the coin is trying to figure how many of those that want to go are real or if its just lip service... Chub is expensive... We can't sit there doing nothing at like $200+ a day for dock. If these people can't schedule in a way that lets us do back to back trips and enough of em, we may just have to scrap the Chub run all together...
    Lot of variables... Best thing is to be prepared but not overly so...
  • CompleatCompleat Posts: 2,777 Captain
    One minute theres a pile of unfinished ''stuff". The next its all done. I load the last of my tuna toys in its kit and the cycle is complete. The small day to day rigs are done. My big stuff I did when I got back. I'll inspect but expect no surprises. The supply of slants and flats and concaves, big and small, long and short, in every color you might need is a stout one. Funny, I pack along 200 of the big guns but seldom do more than a couple dozen get called to duty in any given season. I'm a stubborn ****. Lures A, B, C, D, work at chub. Lures E, F, G, H work at Bimini. A couple variations for sea condition get called into play but it would bend a crowbar trying to pry one out of my spread to "experiment" with another at least when I have important guests aboard. I want to catch them fish!
    If we're moving around island to island or my deckhand and I are taking a rare day for ourselves, thats when I'll toss in new toys and mix it up a little. He obtained a load of butterfly jigs so that is added to our arsenal for the season. I added two Saltists and respooled a couple speed masters with braid. Even dropped the big jingle on a Saltiga for that task. Not to worry about the limited use for them in the islands though. They will get shifted to tilefish and tuna work up north later in the summer...

    Owner/ partner and I talked for first time in long time tonight... He's trying to schedule some use for himself and we discussed other things as well. He was waiting for the big hammer to drop on "What do we need in the way of repairs?" He was blown away when I told him we have a bank of batteries that isn't showing like they should on the pannel... "And?" .... Thats about it... He was really tickled and we moved into our yard prep plans. He loves his wax team and the job they do compounding and putting a shine you need a welding mask to look at. That will be his end. I always handle the bottom, running gear and what not. Going to get with paint man and see what he has to say then get what we need to get that back the way it has been. Also going to run new caulk around the whole boat. 5200 just isn't what it used to be. Used to be forever stuff but seems I can't get two full years out of it any more. Metal, eisenglass, canvas, EZ2cy, are all my babies... As mentioned somewhere earlier, bonding wires will need to be done with new connectors. I do this out of water
    cause one of the connections is at the diver plate zinc where the stud enters the hull. Also some of the spots they are tied into are the tightest on the whole boat and wake rocking would suck at that critcial moment I'm putting the Nico press to the fitting...

    As mentioned early on in this thread. Its a "how to"... Not always the best way but how its been done our boats through the years to take on extended bahamas stays. Questions are always welcome. Comments as well. I often miss describing key things in the prep that might benefit others. Sometimes I'm talking about advanced things you might not get. Don't be embarassed to ask questions. The answer may help someone else down the line as well. Bring it... :)
  • CompleatCompleat Posts: 2,777 Captain
    As the last bags of rigs were stowed my eyes wandered and the pannel was again showing low on one of the voltage banks. I had done the terminals last week and it was clear something was drawing it down. No shorts in the system so that left the batteries. They are 11 months old and i usually get three good years but things can happen. They are brutally heavy and in akward position to lift. Gritted my teeth and went at it. Yes its cool outside but the engine room is hot. One by one all four came out. Found out the hard way that 12volts in a big cell can pack a punch as the base of one thumb was touching one terminal when my ring on the other hand touched the other. Add a little sweat for a conducter and ZAP! I'm a wire and now have two pretty substantial "spot welds". Been about thirty years since similar and I guess I forgot "note to self"... Found the bad one holding 8 1/2 volts and it was swapped right out.
    As I stowed the bottom rigs I looked back in that hold and spied a bag... Don't remember doing it but I guess I stashed about 3 dozen jigs back there and 2 dozen of em were really special ones that just seemed to work better and hang less. I love those bonus moments! Gonna do some cutting and hacking of some more rigs i have here at the house. Some are for up north and some for local fishing but their leaders are getting to that age where I no longer trust em... Will do some of the twists and wind ons talked about a few days ago. Then time to get all ducks in a row to renew licenses that side and this...
  • CompleatCompleat Posts: 2,777 Captain
    Locked down another multi day gig tonight. Again, I'll hold back details til its over (yes i will be doing a Bahamathon thread just some parts will be on time delay).
    Lined up the island side licenses renewal. Ordered my transponder decal. Renewed my HMS permit. Gotta do state fishing, county business, and other licenses at court house some time between now and go time.
    Been making list of yard attack. Some years we have a lot of time to get her done. I think this year will be pretty quick. Good power wash even in her state will get most of it off quick. Acid wash the wheels and get the scraper flying bottom should be ready for tape and paint within a day... Got a few scars from billfish on the bootstripe so a touch of awlgrip may need to be applied... I have one inch between waterline and boot so one inch tape properly laid will do both jobs...
    Unsure what order i want to go with the caulk. If I do it before they wax the buffers play hell with it and may "lift" in spots. If I do it after fresh wax in seams might set up sticking issues. Mind you these are tiny areas of concern but the idea of caulk is to prevent water from getting in at all. As i have mentioned in the past all it takes is a pin hole in the wrong spot and its water torture on a rainy night in my bunk.
    Pulled out my bonding wire stuff. Would rather eat glass than get to where I got to for some of them but its time...
    Templates for bait on bottom are good to go. Got to see if I can find silver outdrive antifouling paint to shoot them with. I finished my last can last year and other paints grow fuzz too quick...
Sign In or Register to comment.
Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!


Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

Preview This Month's Issue

Buy Digital Single Issues

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the Florida Sportsman App

Other Magazines

See All Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get the top Florida Sportsman stories delivered right to your inbox.


Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Florida Sportsman subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now