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Biscayne nights - tarpon and other adventures

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The night before last in Biscayne Bay we put two in the air on the fly... Small fish in the 20 to 30lb range, 9wt rod, in very marginal conditions (water temps in the barely 70 to 67 degree range, wind out of the north northeast at 10 to 15..). In a few days with the forecasted milder weather and water temps, things should get better - but pretty good for only four hours on the water.... and a european angler who only gets to fish the salt once a year...

When the night scene is on... we're looking at every fish we're tossing flies or lures at.... The smaller fish are much more tolerant of cold water than the big tarpon are...

That night I also had a bit more adventure than I was looking for... I dropped off my angler then ran back up to the 79th Street ramp and found a real circus going on... Seems that someone with a nearly new shiny white Cadillac Escalade had managed to launch both his trailer and that nice new Caddy - all at the same time.... There were divers in the water, wreckers standing by and even a couple of uniforms there to direct traffic - all in all thoroughly tying up the ramps (every one of them...). The only thing they needed was someone selling tickets... An hour later I was finally able to haul out and head home - but the adventure was just beginning... In heavy four or five lane traffic northbound on I-95 I popped a tire on my trailer - in the inside lane... No fun - and with as little excitement as possible I made it across all those lanes of heavy traffic to the side of the road... The traffic - all at high speeds was so heavy that at first I was hesitant to even open my door... then the usual routine - gloves for my hands, a big 1/2 inch breaker bar, then a quick cam jack, and a new tire to replace the shredded one... Pop a steel belted radial at highway speeds - and you're lucky not to lose the fender as well... All I lost were the courtesy side lights... then finally home. When you spend enough hours on the road towing a trailer of any kind you learn to sort out whatever happens - occasionally even in a pouring rain.... And if anyone asks - thats why I go down the road with two spare tires for a single axle trailer...

Be a hero... take a kid fishing !

This is also the time for gift certificates for that special angler.. A gift certificate for a fishing trip - days down in the Everglades out of Flamingo or Chokoloskee, nights in Biscayne Bay or Jupiter... You give the certificate the angler gets to choose when they go during the following year... Call if interested (954) 435-5666
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What a day!
The night before last in Biscayne Bay we put two in the air on the fly... Small fish in the 20 to 30lb range, 9wt rod, in very marginal conditions (water temps in the barely 70 to 67 degree range, wind out of the north northeast at 10 to 15..). In a few days with the forecasted milder weather and water temps, things should get better - but pretty good for only four hours on the water.... and a european angler who only gets to fish the salt once a year...

When the night scene is on... we're looking at every fish we're tossing flies or lures at.... The smaller fish are much more tolerant of cold water than the big tarpon are...

That night I also had a bit more adventure than I was looking for... I dropped off my angler then ran back up to the 79th Street ramp and found a real circus going on... Seems that someone with a nearly new shiny white Cadillac Escalade had managed to launch both his trailer and that nice new Caddy - all at the same time.... There were divers in the water, wreckers standing by and even a couple of uniforms there to direct traffic - all in all thoroughly tying up the ramps (every one of them...). The only thing they needed was someone selling tickets... An hour later I was finally able to haul out and head home - but the adventure was just beginning... In heavy four or five lane traffic northbound on I-95 I popped a tire on my trailer - in the inside lane... No fun - and with as little excitement as possible I made it across all those lanes of heavy traffic to the side of the road... The traffic - all at high speeds was so heavy that at first I was hesitant to even open my door... then the usual routine - gloves for my hands, a big 1/2 inch breaker bar, then a quick cam jack, and a new tire to replace the shredded one... Pop a steel belted radial at highway speeds - and you're lucky not to lose the fender as well... All I lost were the courtesy side lights... then finally home. When you spend enough hours on the road towing a trailer of any kind you learn to sort out whatever happens - occasionally even in a pouring rain.... And if anyone asks - thats why I go down the road with two spare tires for a single axle trailer...

Be a hero... take a kid fishing !

This is also the time for gift certificates for that special angler.. A gift certificate for a fishing trip - days down in the Everglades out of Flamingo or Chokoloskee, nights in Biscayne Bay or Jupiter... You give the certificate the angler gets to choose when they go during the following year... Call if interested (954) 435-5666
What a day! Glad you made it home safely.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Me too... as much time as I spend towing I'm always expecting trouble of some kind.... Most of what I know about that topic was learned the hard way and should have come with a box of bandaids.
 

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Glad you found hungry tarpon for your client, sorry you had that flat. A friend of mine keeps a battery powered impact driver in his car for tire changes, anything that reduces your time on the road shoulder seems like a good idea.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Every day on the road I have two spares for a single axle trailer, two different trailer jacks, etc,etc. My first year guiding (1996) I popped five tires -and never got to change a tire in daylight before learning to get better tires...

If I was going to talk about every trouble I’ve had on the road towing.. it should wait until everyone has a cold one and a comfortable chair.
 

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Best brand of tire is? The worst tires I have used are Goodyear. Freestar came on my Ameritrail. Not a bad tire. My new set are Towmax from Tire Kingdom. I replace trailer tires every two years and they are never worn out. I also look at the DOT info to see the date of manufacture. I was sold some new tires that were 3 years old once. Dry rot is a big cause of separations.
 

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Best brand of tire is? The worst tires I have used are Goodyear. Freestone came on my Ameritrail. Not a bad tire. My new set are Towmax from Tire Kingdom. I replace trailer tires every two years and they are never worn out. I also look at the DOT info to see the date of manufacture. I was sold some new tires that were 3 years old once. Dry rot is a big cause of separations.
Cooper STT Pro
 

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The night before last in Biscayne Bay we put two in the air on the fly... Small fish in the 20 to 30lb range, 9wt rod, in very marginal conditions (water temps in the barely 70 to 67 degree range, wind out of the north northeast at 10 to 15..). In a few days with the forecasted milder weather and water temps, things should get better - but pretty good for only four hours on the water.... and a european angler who only gets to fish the salt once a year...

When the night scene is on... we're looking at every fish we're tossing flies or lures at.... The smaller fish are much more tolerant of cold water than the big tarpon are...

That night I also had a bit more adventure than I was looking for... I dropped off my angler then ran back up to the 79th Street ramp and found a real circus going on... Seems that someone with a nearly new shiny white Cadillac Escalade had managed to launch both his trailer and that nice new Caddy - all at the same time.... There were divers in the water, wreckers standing by and even a couple of uniforms there to direct traffic - all in all thoroughly tying up the ramps (every one of them...). The only thing they needed was someone selling tickets... An hour later I was finally able to haul out and head home - but the adventure was just beginning... In heavy four or five lane traffic northbound on I-95 I popped a tire on my trailer - in the inside lane... No fun - and with as little excitement as possible I made it across all those lanes of heavy traffic to the side of the road... The traffic - all at high speeds was so heavy that at first I was hesitant to even open my door... then the usual routine - gloves for my hands, a big 1/2 inch breaker bar, then a quick cam jack, and a new tire to replace the shredded one... Pop a steel belted radial at highway speeds - and you're lucky not to lose the fender as well... All I lost were the courtesy side lights... then finally home. When you spend enough hours on the road towing a trailer of any kind you learn to sort out whatever happens - occasionally even in a pouring rain.... And if anyone asks - thats why I go down the road with two spare tires for a single axle trailer...

Be a hero... take a kid fishing !

This is also the time for gift certificates for that special angler.. A gift certificate for a fishing trip - days down in the Everglades out of Flamingo or Chokoloskee, nights in Biscayne Bay or Jupiter... You give the certificate the angler gets to choose when they go during the following year... Call if interested (954) 435-5666
That’s a stressful night. Glad you’re okay. What kind of jacks do you carry?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
A standard 2 ton bottle jack and a cam jack (use the cam or drive on jack, made out of cast aluminum, whenever possible- looks like a half circle with a notch for the trailer’s axle). Don’t see them in stores any more. Set the quick jack then drive forward 18” to raise the side with the flat (always break the lugs on the flat tire first...then use the jack). Once you’ve changed out the flat back up 18” - or drive forward the same distance and the cam jack falls away... The last thing to do is properly tighten down the lugs once the new wheel is on the ground before picking up all your tools (and that bad tire).
I’ve had more than my share of flat trailer tires over the years - and a lot of practice...
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Pass... most of what I know how to do was learned the hard way - and should have come with a box of band-aids.... When we all laugh at some newbie making every mistake in the book while trying to launch his (or her) boat at the ramp - it ought to come with the painful memories of the things we've all done before we learned better....

By the way, what I've been calling a cam jack is actually one of these...
a Springfield Marine Quick Jack - at least that's what the manufacturer calls it. There's a half dozen of them on E-Bay right now and they make different sizes (and strengths) as well. Mine is patterned a slight bit differently but is pretty much the same, very handy item when you've got a flat on your boat trailer (as long as you can get to your axle... if not then you're going to need that bottle jack....).
 

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Pass... most of what I know how to do was learned the hard way - and should have come with a box of band-aids.... When we all laugh at some newbie making every mistake in the book while trying to launch his (or her) boat at the ramp - it ought to come with the painful memories of the things we've all done before we learned better....

By the way, what I've been calling a cam jack is actually one of these...
a Springfield Marine Quick Jack - at least that's what the manufacturer calls it. There's a half dozen of them on E-Bay right now and they make different sizes (and strengths) as well. Mine is patterned a slight bit differently but is pretty much the same, very handy item when you've got a flat on your boat trailer (as long as you can get to your axle... if not then you're going to need that bottle jack....).
I have a cam jack, love it
 

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Awesome, thanks for the tip. I’ll get one. As long as we’re talking trailers. I’m getting ready to get tires and lights. Can anyone recommend the best tire?

and i know lights are consumables, but my last set only lasted three months. Anyone know of a decent manufacturer that will last a a little longer?
 

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Awesome, thanks for the tip. I’ll get one. As long as we’re talking trailers. I’m getting ready to get tires and lights. Can anyone recommend the best tire?

and i know lights are consumables, but my last set only lasted three months. Anyone know of a decent manufacturer that will last a a little longer?
Cooper tires really last well. As far as lights, definitely LED but I haven't replaced a set in awhile so no specific brand recommendations. Once you do install new ones, it helps prolong life if you un-plug before launch if you dunk the trailer. And don't forget to plug them back in before getting back on the road.
 

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Cooper tires really last well. As far as lights, definitely LED but I haven't replaced a set in awhile so no specific brand recommendations. Once you do install new ones, it helps prolong life if you un-plug before launch if you dunk the trailer. And don't forget to plug them back in before getting back on the road.
Great, thanks Zika!
 
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