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Smoking Cobia! Reds on Johnson!

Capt. John Kumiski
October 30, 2010
Orlando - Saltwater Fishing Report

Orlando Area Fishing Report from Spotted Tail 10/30/10

Smoking Cobia! Reds on Johnson!

This week's fishing tip concerns the Johnson Silver Minnow.

Thanks to all who attended the show and tell seminars last week. During the on the water Show and Tells we had a little fishing time in both sessions. Because visibility was marginal, at my behest the anglers tossed the venerable Johnson Minnow. Scott Steinerd told me, "I never used spoons before your show and tell. Now I use them all the time." Then he caught a redfish on one.

Chris Duerkson in the afternoon session told me, "I've never had any luck with spoons." He then proceeded to get three bites, hook two reds and put one in the boat, all in the space of 20 minutes.

Field & Stream Magazine recognized the Johnson Silver Minnow as one of the top 10 lures ever created. The Silver Minnow has been in continuous production for over 80 years, a record that no other lure can match and that may never be broken. There just may be a reason for that!

Silver Minnows are easy to cast. The weedless design skips over and past weeds, logs, and other obstructions. Silver Minnows can be a surface lure during one cast, become a jig the next and twitched along the bottom after that. I always fish Silver Minnows straight from the package but some spice it up with a trailer, such as a grub.

There are presently lots of pinfish on the local flats and the redfish are eating them. The 1/4 ounce Silver Minnow is the right size and shape to attract the attention of pinfish-eating redfish.

We all hear about gold spoons. I use the gold and silver Johnson Minnows interchangeably and don't think the fish care much either way.

Whatever color they are, I wouldn't go out with a spinning rod for redfish without a Johnson Minnow or two in my tackle box.

Fly fishers will want to try Dupre's Spoon Fly as a reasonable facsimile. It's certainly a fly rod lure and not a fly but it casts easily with an eight-weight. It's very effective. For more information about this bait, click this link: www.buckeyeflyfishers.com/Articles/alternative/all_fish_all_waters.htm.

Purchase them at www.orlandooutfitters.com/online-store/product.asp?strParents=0&CAT_ID=0&P_ID=691&strPageHistory=search&numSearchStartRecord=1 .

Monday I drove to Big Pine Key. A former student, Mr. Matt Van Pelt, had invited me down to show me how he trades stocks. That we could squeeze in a day of tuna fishing as well sweetened the offer.

Thursday found the two of us, as well as Goodnews River Lodge owner Mike Gorton, on Capt. Jack Walker's (amberjack89@aol.com, 305.395.9051) 22 foot Pathfinder, Reel Damage. After netting a bunch of pilchards, Jack headed to the tuna grounds.

When we got there the water was dirty. Damn! We didn't see a tuna, much less catch one. However, Jack hung a meat rod off the stern and a 40 pound cobia couldn't resist. I filleted that fish and yesterday put chunks of cobia fillets on the smoker.
My first attempts to use the smoker produced results that were marginal at best. Shawn Healy suggested I use natural wood charcoal instead of briquettes. I don't know why but that made a huge difference. Since my yard is full of oak trees I use chunks of oak wood as my smoke source.

Fish fillets must be brined before being smoked. I use the recipe at this link: www.3men.com/smoked.htm#Smoked%20Fish%20in%20Soy%20Sauce%20and%20Wine%20Brine Kind of a long link there!

Anyway, the fish come out delicious. I've smoked Spanish mackerel, bluefish, and now the cobia chunks. All are wonderful. I am looking forward to catching more bluefish so I can put them on the smoker.

Last week I had included a tip on wire vs. fluorocarbon leaders for Spanish mackerel. Reader Ardis Conner responded with this comment: "Not sure how often you fly for them but I have found a generic fly tied from the bend back on a long shank streamer fly works fine. Usually your fly will be destroyed before you lose it."

Fly fishing for Spanish is a blast. On a good day you get sick of catching them. You will go through a lot of standard style flies, though. Mr. Conner's suggestion is to take a hook like the Mustad 340011 and just put a simple tie at the bend of the hook. The shank then functions as a short wire leader and greatly reduces cut-offs. Even with these flies, if you get into a mess of Spanish you'll need at least a half-dozen.

Have a happy Halloween.

Embrace simplicity.

Life is great and I love my work!

Life is short- go fishing!

John Kumiski
www.spottedtail.com

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Spotted Tail Charter Service
284 Clearview Rd.
Chuluota, FL 32766
Phone: 407.977.5207
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