Blog Entries

Bluewater Candy’s Roscoe Jig January 11, 2010

Several years ago I was introduced to vertical jigging, the version invented by the Japanese in the 1990s.  Some call it YoYo jigging, others butterfly jigging, some simply call it vertical jigging.  I call it fun by what ever name you choose to use. 

With this style jigging, the hook is rigged above the lure so that when you fight the fish, the lure dangles to the side.  In a traditional metal lure jig, the jig can actually act as a crow bar and cause the hook to pull out of the fish’s mouth.  The other big difference is in the gear used.  Most folks use a parabolic rod that bends all the way through the handle, this gives the angler more control and a better feel for what the fish is doing.  Braid line and a fast retrieve reeltare the other key equipment.  When you fight a fish with this gear, its your skill and strength against the fish, no boat, planers, heavy rods, etc.  Just you and the fish. 

Then of course is there is the lure.  My favorite for bottom critters as well as many mid-column fish is the Roscoe jig from Bluewater Candy Lures in Hampstead, NC.  The lure comes in 2.5, 4 & 7 ounce versions and is shaped somewhat like a squid.  It utilizes glow paint on the body with a touch of pink, brown or blue on the tip.  I have personally caught cobia, flounder, five species of grouper, amberjacks (greater & lessor), African Pompano, grunts, black sea bass, trigger fish, king mackerel and three species of shark.  I probably left a few off the list but you get the idea.

The video seen here is the intro to the full length version.  To see the entire video, which was produced by my good friend Randy Durham, owner of Credence Pictures, visit the Bluewater Candy website, its on the front page.

In addition to many tackle shops, you can buy some online at Tackle

Disclosure: I perform some marketing and other work for BWC lures under contract.  But I wouldn’t promote their product here if I didn’t fully believe in it.  It just works!

Posted by Topsail Angler in • Articles
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“United We Fish” To Seek Congressional Support On February 24th

In a historic show of solidarity, recreational and commercial fishermen will gather together on the steps of the Capitol on February 24, 2010 from noon until 3 p.m. in an organized demonstration against the unintended negative impacts of the Magnuson Stevens Conservation and Management Act (MSA), the federal fisheries law which was revised in January of 2007. Coordinating the march under the flag of United We Fish, rally organizers are hoping to see a large show of force in defense of coastal communities. 

“The closures keep coming and it’s good to see the collective fishing communities and industries, both recreational and commercial, calling for scientific based Magnuson reform,” said Jim Donofrio, Executive Director of the Recreational Fishing Alliance (RFA). “We are all in this together.” Donofrio cited recent closures of amberjack, black sea bass and red snapper fisheries as examples of what he calls a “broken” federal fisheries law. 

The groups organized through United We Fish are hoping to prove to legislators just how many American anglers and business owners are truly being impacted by the overly restrictive management requirements created by MSA based on non scientific arbitrary deadlines. According to Bob Zales of the Conservation Cooperative of Gulf Fishermen (CCGF), the time-specific deadlines mandated by MSA coupled with flawed data collection methods are forcing anglers off the water. “We fully support real science based management and the conservation of our marine resources while also being able to sustain recreational and commercial fishing activities, providing locally caught seafood, sustaining small family businesses, and supporting our coastal communities.”

This effort is being coordinated by many organizations and individuals including but not limited to the RFA, CCGF, United Boatmen of New York, United Boatmen of New Jersey, New York Sportfishing Federation, Maryland Saltwater Sportfishermen’s Association and the Fishing Rights Alliance. “Some people have asked ‘why, it’s winter’,” said Donofrio who said he’s gotten the required permits and expects a large crowd in DC on February 24th, regardless of weather. “We can’t let seasons stop the momentum, and if we wait any longer none of us will be fishing. Many members of Congress will be standing shoulder to shoulder with us,” Donofrio said.

Nils Stolpe, a consultant to the commercial fishing industry and columnist for said that over the past three decades since the original Magnuson Act was established, fishermen have been gradually phased out of the fisheries management process, regardless of sector. “The scientists have been put in charge, and as the list of closures and restrictions up above painfully demonstrates, the Act has been turned into a weapon that is now being used against fishermen and fishing communities.”

U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) first introduced the Flexibility in Rebuilding American Fisheries Act of 2008 in the 110th Congress to incorporate “limited flexibility” into federal fisheries management. More than 100 fishing groups and industry members from around the country pledged their support for the legislation and the bill’s 19 bipartisan coastal cosponsors, but the bill languished during the volatile economic climate in advance of the presidential elections in November of 2008. 

Realizing that fisheries closures would continue without congressional intervention, in March of this year, Rep. Pallone and fellow Representatives John Adler (D-NJ), Henry Brown, Jr. (R-SC), Ginny Brown-Waite (R-FL), Barney Frank (D-MA), Walter B. Jones, Jr. (R-NC), Patrick Kennedy (D-RI), Frank LoBiondo (D-NJ), Mike McIntyre (D-NC), Michael Michaud (D-ME), Solomon Ortiz (D-TX) and John Tierney (D-MA), reintroduced the Flexibility in Rebuilding American Fisheries Act of 2009 (HR 1584). Twenty-five total co-sponsors have since pledged support to date including Rob Andrews (D-NJ), Timothy Bishop (D-NY), Allen Boyd (D-FL), Joe Courtney (D-CT), Peter King (R-NY), Rob Wittman (R-VA), Jo Bonner (R-AL), John Mica (R-FL), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Carol Shea-Porter (D-NH), Clifford Stearns (R-FL), Donna Christensen (D-VI), Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), and Ander Crenshaw (R-FL).

New York’s Senator Schumer is as concerned about his fishing constituents as he is about the fish, just as Congressmen Pallone, Frank, Jones, LoBiondo, Kennedy, Adler and others in the House of Representatives are,” said Stolpe. “Hence they have formed the nucleus of a growing movement in Congress that, in spite of the editorial opinion of the New York Times and the expenditure of many millions of dollars by the Pew Charitable Trusts, is aimed at preserving recreational and commercial fishing, the lifestyles of millions of fishermen, and the tens of thousands of businesses and hundreds of fishing communities that they support,” Stolpe added.

Following a letter-writing campaign by the RFA-NY and members of the New York Sportfishing Federation, senior Democratic Senator Charles Schumer of New York announced his Senate version of the bill (S.1255). Currently, the Senate bill to correct the flaws in MSA has no co-sponsors, which is something United We Fish organizers are hoping will change in February.

Organizers from within the recreational fishing sector are hoping to get commitment from all user groups and across varied state and regional boundaries. “This is much bigger than any one state issue or individual grievance,” said RFA’s Managing Director Jim Hutchinson, Jr. “Whether it’s our restrictive fluke fishery in New York, the arbitrary closure of state waters for our anglers in California, or the shutdown of red snapper and amberjack down south, our community has been divided by preservationist tactics for too long. It’s time to unite the clans in defense of our coastal heritage and traditions,” Hutchinson said.

“We need to let Congress and NOAA know that we are the collective voice of the recreational fishing community and the collective voice does not accept the current broken management system which wreaks such havoc on all of us and our businesses,” said Donofrio, adding “The goal on February 24th will be to get all of our congressional friends to attend.”

“At this point Senator Schumer and his Congressional colleagues in the House deserve the thanks and the support of every one of us who fishes, whether for fun or profit,” said Stolpe.

Press Release

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Blue Fin Tuna January 02, 2010

The last couple of weeks I have been chasing Blue Fin Tuna on days the weather will allow.  I’ve teamed up with James P from Cape Carteret and Tim C from North Topsail Beach.  We are fishing on James’ boat, the Storm Catcher, a 26’ Sea Hunt.  The first couple of times out we didn’t hook-up but yesterday we finally did hook a Blue Fin!

We trolled for about 2 hours when we hooked-up what turned out to be about a 6 foot tuna on a pink & white Blue Water Candy Jag.  We fought the fish for over an hour.  Somewhere during the fight the line became frayed just above the leader.  Then the drag washers gave out on the old Senator 10/0 reel and soon after the line snapped in the middle of the frayed part.  We got a good look at him a couple of times, nice fish.  What a fight!  They are amazing animals, so powerful. 

Here are links to the other 5 video clips from the trip:

As soon as the weather settles down again, we plan to go out and chase another one.  Hopefully we will land one soon.

Posted by Topsail Angler in • Trip Reports
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