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Fly Fishing Shaman
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I know bluefish are mostly targeted in the North East. A lot of fishermen, much less fly fishermen, don't know that bluefish are in Florida. Some savvy anglers here in Florida in the "know" often welcome a bluefish surprise on the business end of their line. With the hard pulling action and veracious strikes, they make for a great targeted specie. Catching them throughout the years, more of a by-catch as opposed to a targeted fish, I welcome everyone of them who are willing to jump onto the other end of my line, especially my flyline.

Over the last few years, if I know that show up in certain, I will purposely target them. To me, the fight I get out of them reminds me more of a snook than other fish like jacks, mackerel, sea trout, etc. The difference in the fight is they wouldn't run to structure to cut the line off, as well as not jumping like snook do. However, they do have their own build-in pair of scissors with their razor sharp teeth, where they can cleanly cut line in an instant. With that, I try to use at lease a 30lb fluorocarbon bite tippet. Tho I've caught them on light wire bite tippet while targeting mackerel, they seem to be wire shy. I've caught plenty on 30lb FC tho.

My buddy Ken and I went out early in the week to go play with some jacks on surface popper flies, then go look for reds following mullet schools up on the flats. When we pulled up to the area, we found the jacks running bait up and down the shoreline and it didn't take long to entice them on a Saltwater Hair Popper. Had it poppin up a storm! Ha! This is the one I threw up on the fly thread.



Air temps started in the low 70's and dropped into the upper 60's. The water temped started in the low 70's and dropped to 70 degrees. Of course, normal Gulf coast winds at 20mph with gusts up to 25mph.

Caught about 6 small jacks (nothing to write home about) and then something busted it had and took some drag. Was a good fight but didn't feel that familiar rhythmic head thumping, typical with a jack. Then it surfaced and I knew what it was.... "Bluefish" I said! It was really fun on a light 8wt flyrod.



I was surprised the soft bodied head of that popper was still in tack.

Here's what it looked like after 6 jacks and 1 bluefish.


Went to the outside edge of that flat and found some hard bottom in deeper water at the edge of the flat near the drop-off. I figured the jacks and bluefish would be bigger out there and figured if they'd eat a surface popper inside, they'd eat it on the outside.... and I was right. bigger jacks started crushing the popper and the bluefish started to grow. It was amazing how they lit up bright blue in the tail as they came to hand after a long hard fight.

This was the last of 4 good bluefish on that same fly I started with, before we made the long cool bumpy run back to the boat ramp.


Final tally on that fly was 6 small and 6 average jacks (12 total) and 4 good bluefish before the fly got shredded with all those teeth. We took some video of the bluefish eats and trying to get them up and running. The eats were great!

This was all that was left of the fly when I cut it off that evening and set it on my fly desk.


Believe it or not, I rebuilt the fly the next day using most of the materials and sharpen the hook back up.

You can see the fly recipe by scrolling down the thread in the link below.
http://www.microskiff.com/threads/whats-everyone-been-tying.22450/page-39

Ted Haas
 

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mostly they're a pain in the ass like ladyfish. got 5 in about 20 minutes the other day and had to move as they wouldn't go away.
 

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I Love Skinny Water
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I know bluefish are mostly targeted in the North East. A lot of fishermen, much less fly fishermen, don't know that bluefish are in Florida. Some savvy anglers here in Florida in the "know" often welcome a bluefish surprise on the business end of their line. With the hard pulling action and veracious strikes, they make for a great targeted specie. Catching them throughout the years, more of a by-catch as opposed to a targeted fish, I welcome everyone of them who are willing to jump onto the other end of my line, especially my flyline.

Other the last few years, if I know that show up in certain, I will purposely target them. To me, the fight I get out of them reminds me more of a snook than other fish like jacks, mackerel, sea trout, etc. The difference in the fight is they wouldn't run to structure to cut the line off, as well as not jumping like snook do. However, they do have their own build-in pair of scissors with their razor sharp teeth, where they can cleanly cut line in an instant. With that, I try to use at lease a 30lb fluorocarbon bite tippet. Tho I've caught them on light wire bite tippet while targeting mackerel, they seem to be wire shy. I've caught plenty on 30lb FC tho.

My buddy Ken and I went out early in the week to go play with some jacks on surface popper flies, then go look for reds following mullet schools up on the flats. When we pulled up to the area, we found the jacks running bait up and down the shoreline and it didn't take long to entice them on a Saltwater Hair Popper. Had it poppin up a storm! Ha! This is the one I threw up on the fly thread.



Air temps started in the low 70's and dropped into the upper 60's. The water temped started in the low 70's and dropped to 70 degrees. Of course, normal Gulf coast winds at 20mph with gusts up to 25mph.

Caught about 6 small jacks (nothing to write home about) and then something busted it had and took some drag. Was a good fight but didn't feel that familiar rhythmic head thumping, typical with a jack. Then it surfaced and I knew what it was.... "Bluefish" I said! It was really fun on a light 8wt flyrod.



I was surprised the soft bodied head of that popper was still in tack.

Here's what it looked like after 6 jacks and 1 bluefish.


Went to the outside edge of that flat and found some hard bottom in deeper water at the edge of the flat near the drop-off. I figured the jacks and bluefish would be bigger out there and figured if they'd eat a surface popper inside, they'd eat it on the outside.... and I was right. bigger jacks started crushing the popper and the bluefish started to grow. It was amazing how they lit up bright blue in the tail as they came to hand after a long hard fight.

This was the last of 4 good bluefish on that same fly I started with, before we made the long cool bumpy run back to the boat ramp.


Final tally on that fly was 6 small and 6 average jacks (12 total) and 4 good bluefish before the fly got shredded with all those teeth. We took some video of the bluefish eats and trying to get them up and running. The eats were great!

This was all that was left of the fly when I cut it off that evening and set it on my fly desk.


Believe it or not, I rebuilt the fly the next day using most of the materials and sharpen the hook back up.

You can see the fly recipe by scrolling down the thread in the link below.
http://www.microskiff.com/threads/whats-everyone-been-tying.22450/page-39

Ted Haas
Great report. Love those blues
Of course while your in 70 degrees we are in 36 and had to work to try and pay for a trip this spring. We have to vicariously enjoy your reports
 
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Fly Fishing Shaman
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Discussion Starter #7
mostly they're a pain in the ass like ladyfish. got 5 in about 20 minutes the other day and had to move as they wouldn't go away.
With a flyrod I think they are fun, especially if they are willing to come up top and eat surface flies. If you are trying to target something else, I guess anything like that (blues, macks, ladyfish, jacks, etc...) can be frustrating. But if someone can take a breath, slow down and enjoy the moment and actually turn your attention on them, they can be a cool fish to get on the other end of a long rod. Pound for pound, they put up a great fight and can really light up if you allow them to. ;)

Sometimes, I'll just go out and target ladyfish on fly, especially in the dead of winter when not much else is biting. ;) But then again, I'm thankful I can just get out and fish! ;)
 

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I Love microskiff.com!
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I'm pretty sure a bluefish was the first saltwater species I caught on a fly. V-rib glass minnow streamer. The bigger ones can be a handful. The smaller ones are delicious. Sautéed in butter with some Cajun seasoning. But then again I like fish that taste like fish. Nice report!
 

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Fly Fishing Shaman
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Discussion Starter #13

We get Bluefish in Australia but we call them Tailor, smaller school fish are called "choppers" because of the way they feed. They grow to over 3ft long in my area but I haven't spent much time chasing them on fly, that will be next winters mission.
Nice fish! Welcome to the Fly board! An Aussie huh? What part (what coast)? Oh yeah, you are going into your summer months down there, right?
 

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Fly Fishing Shaman
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Discussion Starter #14
Sautéed in butter with some Cajun seasoning. But then again I like fish that taste like fish. Nice report!
I let these go, but when I keep one or 2, I cut out the red strip of meat, season and roll them in Italian bread crumbs and saute them in olive oil. Add a bed of fettuccine alfredo and some sauteed zucchini with garlic and italian seasoning, and you'll have a good meal. ;)

I do the same with spanish mackerel sometimes.
 

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Nice fish! Welcome to the Fly board! An Aussie huh? What part (what coast)? Oh yeah, you are going into your summer months down there, right?
Thanks, mid west coast and about the northern limit of Bluefish distribution. We are heading into summer now, everything is back to front compared to you guys.
 

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I Love microskiff.com!
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I know bluefish are mostly targeted in the North East. A lot of fishermen, much less fly fishermen, don't know that bluefish are in Florida. Some savvy anglers here in Florida in the "know" often welcome a bluefish surprise on the business end of their line. With the hard pulling action and veracious strikes, they make for a great targeted specie. Catching them throughout the years, more of a by-catch as opposed to a targeted fish, I welcome everyone of them who are willing to jump onto the other end of my line, especially my flyline.

Over the last few years, if I know that show up in certain, I will purposely target them. To me, the fight I get out of them reminds me more of a snook than other fish like jacks, mackerel, sea trout, etc. The difference in the fight is they wouldn't run to structure to cut the line off, as well as not jumping like snook do. However, they do have their own build-in pair of scissors with their razor sharp teeth, where they can cleanly cut line in an instant. With that, I try to use at lease a 30lb fluorocarbon bite tippet. Tho I've caught them on light wire bite tippet while targeting mackerel, they seem to be wire shy. I've caught plenty on 30lb FC tho.

My buddy Ken and I went out early in the week to go play with some jacks on surface popper flies, then go look for reds following mullet schools up on the flats. When we pulled up to the area, we found the jacks running bait up and down the shoreline and it didn't take long to entice them on a Saltwater Hair Popper. Had it poppin up a storm! Ha! This is the one I threw up on the fly thread.



Air temps started in the low 70's and dropped into the upper 60's. The water temped started in the low 70's and dropped to 70 degrees. Of course, normal Gulf coast winds at 20mph with gusts up to 25mph.

Caught about 6 small jacks (nothing to write home about) and then something busted it had and took some drag. Was a good fight but didn't feel that familiar rhythmic head thumping, typical with a jack. Then it surfaced and I knew what it was.... "Bluefish" I said! It was really fun on a light 8wt flyrod.



I was surprised the soft bodied head of that popper was still in tack.

Here's what it looked like after 6 jacks and 1 bluefish.


Went to the outside edge of that flat and found some hard bottom in deeper water at the edge of the flat near the drop-off. I figured the jacks and bluefish would be bigger out there and figured if they'd eat a surface popper inside, they'd eat it on the outside.... and I was right. bigger jacks started crushing the popper and the bluefish started to grow. It was amazing how they lit up bright blue in the tail as they came to hand after a long hard fight.

This was the last of 4 good bluefish on that same fly I started with, before we made the long cool bumpy run back to the boat ramp.


Final tally on that fly was 6 small and 6 average jacks (12 total) and 4 good bluefish before the fly got shredded with all those teeth. We took some video of the bluefish eats and trying to get them up and running. The eats were great!

This was all that was left of the fly when I cut it off that evening and set it on my fly desk.


Believe it or not, I rebuilt the fly the next day using most of the materials and sharpen the hook back up.

You can see the fly recipe by scrolling down the thread in the link below.
http://www.microskiff.com/threads/whats-everyone-been-tying.22450/page-39

Ted Haas
Nice report. I had no idea they came over to this side. It's been ages since I caught blues, but I remember them being more blue and not so green. Is this an anomaly of the Gulf variety?
 

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I've eaten Tampa Bay blue fish a couple of times. Not bad, but not my favorite. I married into a native Tampa family going back several generations, so they know how to cook pretty much everything that swims in our area. It comes in handy for sure.
 

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I've eaten Tampa Bay blue fish a couple of times. Not bad, but not my favorite. I married into a native Tampa family going back several generations, so they know how to cook pretty much everything that swims in our area. It comes in handy for sure.
Jack and blue fish on the grill or smoker is very good if done right.
 

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Soy un Perdedor
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When I lived in the northeast we called 'em Yellow Eyed Monsters...I fished them for 30 years. It wasn't unusual to have schools of 14lb-18lb fish show up Oct-Nov and kick the crap out of you and your tackle. You were lucky if your fly lasted 2 fish and sometimes a big fish would cut your fly line trying to get the fly out of the mouth of the one hooked. As much as I love a good tug - I'm done with blues for the rest of my life.

As far as eating one - I'd rather lick the bottom of an empty cat food can....:oops:
 
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