Fish and more fish!

Fly Anglers OnLine
Florida Regional 'FISH-IN February 2004'
Friday, February 13th - February 22nd
In and around Bradenton and Sarasota, Florida

Florida in February
By Jerry Brumfield and Harold Hattaway

Folks from FAOL are coming from all over the country. The majority are from Florida, but a close second is Pennsylvania with up to 10 coming from that State. Texas, South Carolina, and Minnesota are also represented. We have one that will be transplanting this summer from Connecticut.

So far we have between 20 and 35 people wanting to attend. Most of the unknown are about family members. Everybody please bring the family we will find something for him or her to do. Any suggestions? Any questions?

At this point we have 15 or so people that will Tie and Lie in the evenings. We are preparing my patio area for this event. If more than 20 want to tie then I will look for another place. We have added 9 overhead lights to the patio for this and other reasons.

There are 8 boats, canoes or kayaks coming, some have offered to partner up with some of the non-boaters.

We do have one member Mike Franz who has offered to give casting instructions.

Local guide Captain Merrily Dunn will be in attendance as much as she can.

Gary Woeltjen from Snow Creek Fly Rods will be in attendance and fishing with us as much as he can. Gary is the Thomas and Thomas and the Gatti dealer in the area.

J.D. Pennington (downndirty) has offered to bring 3 extra saltwater fly rigs for those who don't have salt equipment.

One evening (most likely Sunday) we are planning to have a mullet smoke. If you have never had smoked mullet then you are in for a treat. Since we will need to purchase the mullet ahead of time, everyone that wants eat mullet will need to let me know ahead of time. We will pass on just the cost of the mullet to everyone. With the exception of the mullet it will be a potluck dinner. If you do not like fish, bring something else and throw it on the grill or smoker. Please e-mail Jerry or me if there are any dietary needs we need to know about.

We have an abundance of fishing opportunities available. We have saltwater, brackish water and freshwater fishing within our area. I am looking forward to getting your input as to what you would like to do while in our area. I must tell you that the snook season opens just before we all we be getting together.

We have decided on a 10-day spread of time hoping that more could attend. I know it will be impossible for many to stay the whole time and I am planning most of the activities for the long weekend.

With Disney World and Sea World and so many other attractions within a 2-hour drive we just figured some might want to make it a longer vacation. We will have fun regardless of how long folks can stay.

Tie and Lie

For the 'Tie and Lie' activities I have about 45 linear feet of table space. I have plenty of chairs and we are building another outside patio and that will have table and chairs around it. Unless the crowed gets a lot larger I think we will be able to have the mullet smoke here as well as the Tie and Lie evenings. There is an 8-person hot tub on the patio also, just for those aching muscles from catching all those fish. I am dreaming, hope you are too.

I would like some suggestions as to what I can do to make fly tying area easier to use. We have installed some lights on the patio but they are about 10 to 12 feet above the tables. (Most of this is a planned addition to our home.) We have been working on this for a few years now, working as many hours as we do, does not give a lot of time to remodel. But we hope it will all be finished sometime early summer. I pray so.

There are ceiling fans on the patio so the air will be moving. The patio is screened in with the exception of a new open-air patio that is being built.

We are 2 hours away from Mudhole Tackle if anyone wants to make a run over there. We are about the same distance from Bass Pro Shops. They have a nice fly tying area there. In my area the only materials available are what I would call slim pickings. So if you need materials please consider the sources in the area as scarce, so bring what you need.



In this area we have some really clear water and some stained water. The area I would recommend will be stained water. This does not mean it is cloudy it means that it is a little like the color of tea. I find that chartreuse, white and yellow are great colors for the fish in my area. Clousers, Deceivers, Shrimp imitations, Crab imitations, top water flies (aka bass flies), Al's Shrimpf fly, spoon imitations, and the Palmet Special (tie it on 1/0 or smaller hook) are the best flies. Of course I have not tried all the flies available for saltwater fishing but these are the ones I am familiar with. Some of our other Florida fishermen/women could send in their favorites with patterns for the next newsletter. I would be happy to compile the list and send it out.

As for tackle, fly rods need to be at least a 7 wt with as much backing as possible. I fish both an 8 wt and a 9 wt with 250 yards of 20lb backing. You never know what is going to be at the other end of that fly rod. Hook a 35 lb cobia and I promise you will have a fight to remember. The Tarpon will not be around during February, (sorry). Snook can take a good portion of your line if they are of the larger kind. The colder the water the less they will fight. Redfish are just stubborn and love to bow their heads and pull. Black Drum are terrific fighters and I have destroyed bass equipment catching them. Jack Crevalle will tire you out. Catch 3 or 4 of those monsters at about 5 lb each and you find a place to sit down. Fly rods and Jack Crevalle are a fun time, they pull like a freight train. Hook one over 10 lbs and look out, bragging rights and a big head will be yours that night at the Tie and Lie. Please remember you will be fishing in less that 5 feet of water most of the time. Heavy weighted flies are not necessary.

For children we have pinfish to keep them happy, you catch them like gills. They will bite on an empty gold hook or shrimp or some cut bait. About a number 8 hook is enough for them. They are almost as tasty as a bluegill. I am trying to develop a fly that will attract them. If I succeed I will be looking for a 3 or 4 wt rod for them. (They bite almost any time).

The water temp should be in the middle 60's (unless we have a really bad winter) so waders are not uncommon all year around here. I do suggest reading this article it is all about the danger of wading in saltwater and not having safe boots. Please remember your first aid kits.

Here is another article on fishing the flats. The article is on Cape Cod but gives good advice about any flats fishing. Please let Jerry or me know if you have any questions.

For those flying in, the closest airport is Sarasota Fl (SRQ). It is served by the major airlines, car rental is available there as well. This is about 2 miles from the Boat Ramp and is easy to get to. Contact Harold if you need to be picked up from the airport. Something can be arranged.

Sarasota, Brandenton Map

Primary Meeting Place for this Fish-In most likely will be my home, secondary meeting places most likely will be the Motel. This could change so keep looking back.


There is a newsletter being done each 2 months about the fish-in. It will keep everyone up to date on what is happening. The next issue is coming out sometime in June. If you would like to be put on the e-mail list let Jerry or me know.


We have 2 families that want to camp in a tent and the rest are up for a motel or cabin. I am looking at all the facilities in the area to see what is available, we will post accommodations here as well. There are many major chain hotels in my area. I will be trying to get a group rate. I am going to stop by some of the motels in the area as well and see if I can work out a group rate for us.

Special Notes

Skilled Fisherman (aka Don) will be building a custom rod to raffle off at the Fish-In. If it is anything like the one he did for my wife then I will buy the first ticket.

Contact Us

Jerry Brumfield aka Dot Man

Harold Hattaway
941-758-5094 (Between 9:00am and 8:00pm EST baby sleeping).

As with all FAOL events, there are no charges or fees for attending and everyone is welcome. You are responsible for your own reservations, transportation and food. FAOL does not makes any arrangements for you.

We'd love to meet you, fish with you, and share our wonderful Florida region with you!

If you do plan on making it to the Florida FISH-IN 2004, drop an email to: and she will put your name on the I'm Going List! Please say Florida Fish-In in your email. ~ Jerry and Harold


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