Publisher's Note: If you missed Part 1 of Show Time,
Weather closed down our attempts to finish the first 4-part-series
in New Smyrna Beach. The Redfish segment was done - thanks to
my good friend and fellow guide Capt. Denny Mialki. That was
late October 2001. Thirteen inches of rain and two weather
fronts turned the bite OFF! And for the next three weeks charters
and hook ups were difficult.
"Captain!" came the voice over the phone. I knew it was Henry
and I figured he had a new plan. It was early November and
the trout were just starting to make their move onto the flats.
We had clear skies and light winds. Perfect for saltwater
fly-fishing. And, perfect, so I thought, for completing the
"Mark Nickels (DOA Lures) can film with you. We will film him
for trout in the morning of the first day. You can do the trout
on fly in the afternoon. Then Day 2 morning you can do snook on
fly and baby tarpon with JB (Brazelton of Redington) in the
afternoon. This will be great because Mark has an Action
'Mark's got a new boat?' I thought to myself. Great!! I knew
Mark had a Dolphin, which is unmistakablly Mark. However, I
wasn't going to follow that one with Henry. He had a new plan,
figured the weather component (an important issue) and figured
how to get everyone to Stuart. We would meet at Rufus' place
in Palm City, using it as a home base. Our schedules were kind
of crazy. Mark would be coming up from the Everglades after
filming a show for Addictive Fishing with Blair Wiggins, Henry
would drive east from North Port, Chad would drive down from
Jacksonville after filming an NBA game, and I would drive south
from New Smyrna after my last charter.
I had all the equipment for the fly-fishing segments, plus JB
would be bringing some new sticks from Redington. I packed
the fly box with Gray Mullet, Redhead Mullet, and JB's Mullet
and Hot Lips flies for use in top water applications. The KG
Bucktail and Brent's Killer were reserved for bottom predators,
mostly trout. Mark, of course, had everything he needed in
the Dolphin, which was a floating experimental station for his
It all seemed so simple. Hook up the Trout on DOAs in the Morning.
Do the fly-fishing show for trout in the afternoon. Mark would
work as a spotter for the snook and baby tarpon on the next day
and we would complete three shows in two days. Wow!
What could go wrong? Everything!
Led Zepplin came screaming over the radio at 4 am. I nearly hit
the ceiling. I was startled. Immediately everyone in the cabin
was up and getting ready for the shoot. Someone turned the coffee
pot on and we went about our chores while it puttered and spit
away on the counter.
The night before, we packed all the cameras in the truck and
stoked up the chargers on the Lenco Trolling Tabs. The fly
equipment was in the cabin and now it was transported to the
boat along with other gear.
Back in the cabin, we slurped down our coffee and each grabbed
a breakfast bar to munch on. Not a real hearty breakfast, but
something to get us going. When you are filming a show, eating
breakfast is the last thing on your mind.
Mark met us at the main lodge and headed north to a ramp on the
east side of the Indian River just past the Nuclear Power Plant.
Man you should have seen the security around that place. We
finally arrived at the launch site, readied the boats, and we
We motored south, past the power plant, to an area marked by
approach platforms, part of the security surrounding that place.
These platforms are spaced about 100 yards apart and serve as
resting stations for tired pelicans.
At 5 am it was still dark on the river. We approached the towers
carefully. There was enough light to make them out. We made
a turn heading east into a small cove. The surface was busting
with mullet. And, it looked like this would be our bonanza.
The first hook up happened with a orange tail DOA shrimp. An
8-pound bluefish stretched Henry's line. He was really excited.
An 8-pound blue on 8-pound line is a thrill on light tackle.
Then there were more hookups. They came fast and furiously.
Both boats with four lines stretched. These were mostly jack
cravelle and more bluefish. But this was a good sign (?) to
start the day.
Over the next three hours we continuously caught bluefish, spanish
mackerel, jacks, ladyfish, flounder, mangrove snapper, redfish,
pinfish and one pelican (which we captured and dislodged a new
lure Mark was testing). Except for the flounder, all fish were
released to the Indian River. By noontime our arms were ready
to fall off. Not one trout. So we fished and fished and fished.
After fishing about 40 miles of coastline on both sides of the
river, we fished some more. We looked high and low for those
trout. After all this was a "trout show". We couldn't find
one trout. We fished HARD for 10 hours with no lunch break.
I figure we caught and released more than 200 fish, mostly jacks
in the 4 to 7 pound range. At 6 pm we headed back to the dock
and figured we would do better on Day 2 for the Snook and Baby
The interesting thing is that retrieving a DOA Lure is very similar
to retrieving a fly line. So I learned a lot about the DOA products
and how easy they are to fish. They are irresistible to most fish.
I'm sure it stands with trout although we never saw or caught one
on either DOAs or Flies.
"JB, it's Doug. Are we all set for the Snook tomorrow morning?"
"Yeah, no problem. The plan is to launch just south of Stuart and
head for Seawall A."
"Great!" Came my reply. And we headed for the cabins and a hot
shower and some dinner. I was starved. Remember Murphy's Law?
"If something can go wrong, it will."
I envisioned the hook ups of Snook the next morning and then the
Baby Tarpon for the afternoon. I was excited. Stay tuned
for Part 3, "The Snook and Tarpon Show."
Please don't teach your trash to swim. ~ Doug
Capt. Doug Sinclair has relocated from New Smyrna Beach, Florida to
Grantsboro, NC. He specializes in fly-fishing and light tackle charters.
Doug charters the Coastal Carolina area of New Bern or Oriental.
Catch him on the web at
www.flyfishacademy.net or call him at (252) 745-3500.
Doug is also a Sponsor here on FAOL.