Best Gear & Tackle for Snook Season

snook-season-video
Are you properly outfitted for snook season? Dan breaks down the latest and greatest snook fishing gear from Live to Fish.

Snooking Good This Season ?

Snook season is here on the West Coast of Florida! It is time to get out there and make sure that you are geared up to catch the old linesider. Check out our latest video on the best gear for snook, and make sure to follow your local regulations and handle with care when you release them.

Interested in the products shown in this video?
Check out the links below or visit our retail store.


Shimano Sahara Spinning Reels

022255209823-B-2T

  • Size 3000 Reel
  • 6.2:1 Gear Ratio
  • 4 Ball Bearings + 1 Roller Bearing
  • Mono: 230/6, 170/8, 140/10
  • Braid: 200/10, 140/20, 105/40
  • Ambidextrous Retrieve

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LiveTarget Swimbait Series Lures

697713209310-B-2T

  • Incredibly Life-Like
  • Multiple Sizes & Weights
  • Tons of Prey Species
  • Great for Snook!

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Shimano Sustain Series Reels

022255212892-S-2T

  • ICAST 2017 Best of Show
  • 2500 – 5000 Sizes Available
  • X-Protect Water-Resistant Technology
  • 8 Ball Bearings + 1 Roller Bearing

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Spooltek Pro Series Stretch Lures

852681949907-B-2T

  • 9″ Length
  • 2 oz. Weight
  • Size 7/0 Hook
  • Swimbait Lure

Shop Now

JL Audio Products Now Available in the Retail Store!

jl-video-link
Dan from Live to Fish gives you the lowdown on our awesome selection of marine audio speakers, amplifiers, and head units from JL Audio.

Your Source for JL Marine Audio

Live to Fish is proud to be an authorized dealer for JL Audio. We’re ready to consult, design, source, and install complete marine audio systems that fit your particular needs and budget.Let us outfit your vessel in style with high quality marine speakers, amplifiers, and accessories from a legendary audio brand that you know and trust.

Learn More

 


(Psst… we can even source any JL Audio product for your car or truck!)

How to Properly Texas Rig

The Texas rig is arguably the most popular soft plastic rig used today. It can be used in freshwater as well as saltwater applications with many different kinds of soft plastics. I researched the inventor of the Texas Rig and finding a consensus is difficult. About the only thing we know for sure is that it was invented in Texas. Some say it was a guide down there that came up with the idea although his name was not saved for posterity. It’s too bad because that person would have definitely gone down in history as a fishing legend.

Being weedless, the Texas rig allows you to fish a soft plastic bait in and around weeds, brush and other types of cover while being able to stay virtually free of getting hung up. While it was first used primarily with worms it is now used with countless soft plastic baits in many different applications. You can fish a worm slowly along the bottom. You can pitch and flip a creature bait around cover, or burn a soft swimbait like a Gambler EZ through the Kissimmee grass in lakes in Florida. In saltwater, you can use the Texas Rig to fish a fluke or artificial shrimp. It is truly one of the most versatile rigs you can throw and even though it is decades old, there are still many anglers that don’t know how to rig it correctly.  In this video, we show you how to properly Texas rig a worm but remember that you can use this same rig with different baits. Give it a try the next time you are hitting the lake or skinny waters of the Gulf of Mexico and let us know how it fares for you. If you’re interested in purchasing the Trapper Tackle hooks mentioned in this video, click here.

By: Founder of Freshwaternation.com and Live to Fish Team Member: Dan Doyle

Recover & Recycle Monofilament with Live toFish

Live to Fish has teamed up with the Florida Wildlife Commission to recover and recycle monofilament fishing line. Monofilament line can last hundreds of years before breaking down. Improperly discarded monofilament line causes devastating problems for marine life and the environment in general. Marine mammals, sea turtles, fish, and birds can become injured from entanglements, and some marine life go as far as to ingest the line, often dying as a result. Human divers and swimmers are also at risk.

The Monofilament Recovery & Recycling Program (MRRP) is a statewide effort that encourages monofilament recycling through a network of drop-off locations. This network of drop off locations is an efficient way to move large volumes of unwanted monofilament line, it’s free and available to the public at multiple locations including Live to Fish’s retail store in Hudson, Florida.

Please take the extra time to discard your monofilament line, it’s easy and it can make a huge difference in preserving our marine environments for generations to come. Live to Fish will gladly accept your unwanted fishing line and ensure that it gets disposed of properly. In the event that you are unable to find a drop-off location near you, feel free to mail your unwanted fishing line to us. Our store location, hours of operation, and mailing address are listed here.

Top Worms From Zoom Baits

When you’re on the lookout for soft plastic worms for bass fishing, you may notice that one brand consistently comes to the top of the list. The name is Zoom Baits, and this legendary brand has been a driving force in the soft plastics industry since the late 1970’s. One of the main advantages of using products from Zoom is that all of their baits feature a proprietary salt impregnated plastic formula. This special plastic provides a tasty burst of salt when the fish strikes, encouraging them to hold on longer and give you more time to reel in your catch.

Zoom’s extensive catalogue of soft worms are available in multiple kinds and feature over 370 color variations. With this much of a selection, it’s easy to feel a little overwhelmed. That’s why we’re here to help! In this post, we’ll go over the special features of Zoom’s most popular worms and give details on how each one is best used to catch fish. Read on for some helpful information that might come in handy next time you’re on the market for soft plastic worms.


Zoom Centipede

Zoom Baits Centipede
Zoom’s Centipede Worm

The Centipede is the soft bait of choice for sluggish bass in cold weather conditions. It’s also great for times when bass are finicky and less inclined to bite. At just 4″ long and armed with multiple rows of water moving ridges, the Centipede is a cold water bait that darts and glides with the slightest movement of your rod. While the Centipede is ideal for Carolina rigs, its short length and sturdy plastic construction means it can be dropshot, splitshot, or even used on a shakey head. Check out our selection of Zoom Centipedes for color options and more information.


Zoom Dead Ringer

Zoom Dead Ringer
Zoom’s Dead Ringer Worm

The Zoom Dead Ringer is a mainstay in any serious bass angler’s soft bait arsenal, and for good reason. The Dead Ringer’s specially designed body-rings move more water than a traditional smooth worm, which helps it create predatory-response acoustics that hungry bass just can’t resist. The oversized curly tail flutters on the fall or with the slightest twitch of your rod, providing a lifelike action that can bring in bass from near or far. Our selection of Dead Ringer Worms includes multiple sizes and colors.


Zoom Trick Worm

Zoom Trick Worm
Zoom Trick Worm

The Trick Worm is a perfect straight-tailed option when fishing weightless for shallow-water bass. It’s also super effective on a Shaky, Carolina, or Wacky rigs for deeper dwelling fish. The tapered body and natural-looking segments give it a slithering motion that allows it to navigate through difficult environments like grass beds and log jams. Try the Trick Worm in a variety of colors to see which one works best for you.


Zoom Finesse Worm

Zoom Finesse Worm
Zoom’s Legendary Finesse Worm

At 4.5″ in length, Zoom’s Original Finesse Worm is a smaller version of the popular trick worm. This little worm is responsible for catching more bass in the U.S. than any other finesse bait. The Finesse Worm’s lifelike body segments and gradually tapered shape make it extremely capable for a variety of fishing techniques. It can be rigged wacky style, on a darter head, or splitshot, but as the name would suggest, it’s perfect on a finesse jig head. We offer Finesse Worms in a plethora of colors, so make sure you check ’em out.


Zoom Fluke Stick

Zoom Fluke Stick
Zoom’s Fluke Stick

The Zoom Fluke Stick combines the lifelike worm shape and rigging versatility of the Finesse Worm with the gliding and darting action of a Super Fluke tail. The result is a unique, fluked soft-plastic stickbait that is useful for a variety of techniques. The fluked tail provides a smooth gliding motion on the fall, allowing access to previously unreachable areas like the underside of docks or beneath heavy weed cover. You can fish the Fluke Stick weightless, on a dropshot, or Texas rigged, and it will exhibit an erratic darting motion on the retrieve that bass can’t resist. Check out our selection of Fluke Sticks at LivetoFish.com.


Zoom G-Tail Worm

Zoom G-Tail Worm
Zoom’s G-Tail Worm

The Zoom G-Tail is the perfect weapon when going after big bass. The thick, square-shaped body and wide, fluttering G-shaped tail create a larger presentation that will naturally gain the attention of bigger bass. Use it with a Texas or Carolina rig, or fish it weightless for some topwater, tail-buzzing action that’ll drive big bass into a frenzy. If you’re on the market for a big bass-catching, soft plastic worm, then check out our selection of G-Tail Worms.


Zoom Magnum II Worm

Zoom Magnum II Worm
Zoom’s Magnum II Worm

The Magnum II (Mag II for short) is a soft plastic worm that is ideal for going after big bass when the water heats up. At a total length of 9″, this worm features an extremely long, curled tail. The sheer size and weight of the Mag II means it can be easily flipped or pitched into heavy cover areas. You can even add a weight to your line and crawl it along the bottom —its long tail will sway with the current and entice curious bass from all directions. Our selection of Mag II Worms includes multiple colors so you can tailor your presentation to a variety of weather conditions.


Zoom Meathead

Zoom Meathead Worm
Zoom’s Meathead Worm

The Meathead’s thick, fleshy head takes up over 1/4 of its total body length, which makes it an ideal bait for split shotting. The body quickly tapers off into a flat paddle tail, which provides an extra bit of motion on the fall that can get bass biting on a slow day. Try out this 4″ worm when the fish aren’t biting and experience the difference it can make. The Meathead can also work really well when dropshot or placed on a Carolina rig.


Zoom Ol’ Monster

Zoom Ol' Monster Worm
Zoom’s Ol’ Monster Worm

At up to 12″ in length, the Ol’ Monster is the largest worm in Zoom’s lineup. The shear size and profile of the Ol’ Monster make it best suited for going after really big bass. The slender body and long fluttering tail work great on both Texas & Carolina rigs, but are also adaptable to magnum shakey head rigs and much more. Live to Fish offers the Ol’ Monster in two sizes and multiple colors.
See the Ol’ Monster in Action:


Zoom Shakey Head

Zoom Shakey Head Worm
Zoom’s Shakey Head Worm

As the name would imply, Zoom’s Shakey Head Worm was designed to work perfectly with a shakey head jig. The Shakey head is perfectly balanced for finesse presentations, and the flat head transitions into a segmented, tapered body that allows you to manipulate this worm with the slightest twitch of the rod. What’s more, if you pair up the Shakey Head Worm with a jig that shares its namesake, the tail will stand up straight in water columns and twitch enticingly. Use this technique when fishing in high-pressured waters when bass aren’t biting.

See the Shakey Head in Action:


Zoom Original Speed Worm

Zoom Speed Worm
Zoom Speed Worm

Zoom’s Original Speed Worm features a soft segmented body and a thick paddle tail. The body segments help move more water and attract bigger fish, while the paddle tail adds a gliding motion on the fall. This shape helps allow access to small openings under thick matting and brush piles. Fish it as a weightless swimbait or attach a bullet weight to simulate the pulsing movement of a spinnerbait. No matter how you use it, the Original Speed Worm is a versatile, durable, and capable bait that provides results.


Zoom UV Speed Worm

Zoom UV Speed Worm
Zoom UV Speed Worm

The UV Speed Worm takes the segmented body design of the Original Speed Worm and replaces the flat paddle tail with Zoom’s patented Ultra Vibe Tail. The Ultra Vibe Tail is designed to maximize water disturbance and vibration as you retrieve the bait. This creates a sound that hungry bass just can’t resist. Fish the UV Speed Worm as a Texas or Carolina rig to go after deep dwellers, or try it weightless and watch the Ultra Vibe Tail buzz across the water’s surface.

See the UV Speed Worm in Action:


Zoom Swamp Crawler

Zoom Swamp Crawler
Zoom Swamp Crawler

The Swamp Crawler is a finesse style worm with a thin, straight-tailed design and natural worm-like body segments. This worm is ideal for Texas and Carolina rigs, but also works great on a jig head or as a weightless lure. The straight tail and segmented body give this worm a natural, wavelike action that helps attract even the most finicky of bass.


Zoom U-Tale Worm

Zoom U-Tale Worm
Zoom U-Tale Worm

The Zoom U-Tale is a medium-sized worm that is arguably well suited to any fishing situation that you may encounter. For this reason, the U-Tale is a must-have for any angler’s soft plastic arsenal. Its medium size makes it adaptable for both large and small bass, and the U-shaped tail flutters naturally on both the fall and the retrieve. The U-Tale Worm is available in a plethora of colors, which means you can experiment and find the best option for every situation.


Zoom Z-Drop Worm

Zoom Z-Drop Worm
Zoom Z-Drop Worm

If there ever was a worm designed to be perfect for dropshotting, then Zoom has come as close as possible with the Z-Drop Worm. This worm features a big, segmented head  and a flat underbelly with a crosstail design. The head adds extra weight and resistance on the fall, while the belly helps create a gentle gliding presentation and swaying motion as it descends into the depths.


We’re Here to Help

Do you have any particular preference of worms from Zoom Baits? Have you had success with a Zoom worm or a fishing technique not mentioned here? Let us know in the comments section or get in touch. If you’re on the market for some new soft plastic baits from Zoom, be sure to visit us at livetofish.com and check out the Zoom Baits selection for a huge variety of colors and sizes on all the worms mentioned in this article.

How to Fillet a Fish

How to Fillet a Fish

It is an unfortunate circumstance that you can’t just unhook your fish, slap it on a plate, and call it dinner. Well, you can. But you’ll probably get sick and a few bones wedged in your throat while you’re at it. Assuming you want to avoid the possibility of internal bleeding, the purpose of this blog post is to take you through the steps of filleting a fish. What you choose to do after you fillet your fish is up to you. We hope that you throw the fillets on a pan, on a grill, or in the oven for your next meal. But, hey. Your choice.


Let’s Get Started

Fillet KnifeFirst, before any filleting happens, you want to make sure that you have all of the tools necessary to get the job done. If you can, get your hands on a good fillet knife and fillet board. Fillet knives are built specifically for filleting fish and many are sturdy enough to cut through bone. If you can’t get a fillet knife, go for one with a serrated edge. And any cutting board will do, but wooden ones tend to preserve flavor.

We also recommend that you put on gloves to cut back on the mess and the fishy smell. If you can’t wear gloves, rubbing a lemon wedge on your hands will neutralize the scent of handling fish carcass. If a lemon wedge is hard to come by—after all, you might be filleting your fish on the dock or on the side of a river where lemon wedges don’t just float idly by-Live to Fish offers Fish-D-Funk Fishing Hand Wipes that are specifically made for getting rid of that fishy smell. Of course, you’ll be wiping or “lemon wedging” your hands after you’re done filleting.

Mangrove SnapperOnce you have a knife and cutting board handy, don your gloves or brace yourself for fishy impact. Rinse your fish and place it on the cutting board horizontally with the bottom facing you. You can either choose to cut the head and tail off during the fillet process or leave them be. For larger fish, most people choose to leave the head and tail alone.

If you want to remove the head of the fish, position the knife behind the gills and cut at a downward diagonal angle towards the head and through the bone. Flip the fish over and make another diagonal cut. Then, remove and discard the head. To remove the tail, place the knife down where the tail meets the body and cut through the skin and bone. You can easily discard of the tail after doing this.

filleting-fishBegin filleting the fish by cutting behind the head or where the head would have been. Angle the knife towards the tail of the fish and cut down to the bone. Follow the line until you reach just behind the fins where the guts are located. After, turn your fish and run your knife just shy of the fins until you feel it touch bone. Follow the bone until you reach the backbone. Peel the fillet back and run the knife over the backbone. This will sever all of the lateral fish bones. Stop cutting and turn the fish over.

Repeat the first cut that you made behind the fish’s head. Then repeat the second cut near the dorsal fin. Be sure to angle the knife downward. Continue along the length of the fish.

Then, reverse the direction of the fillet knife and follow the bones until you reach the backbone. Again, peel the fillet back to cut around the backbone and through the lateral bones. At this point, you may run the knife through the underside of the fish. Once you reach the belly, you can cut through or over the bones of the belly. If your fillet knife is strong enough, you can just keep cutting right on through. Take a moment to cut though any sinew or skin that is still attached. Now, remove the first fillet. Flip your fish back over to the side that you were originally filleting. Cut the bones around the belly and then cut around the backbone to release the rest of the fillet.

Some people choose to discard the belly portion of the fillet because it is high in fat and generally cooks faster than the rest of the fish. If you don’t mind the extra fat, you can just get straight to removing the skin and bones.

Take a moment to clean off your knife and then place your fillet skin-side down and place the knife at the tail end of the fish between the skin and the meat. Slowly and gently run the knife along the length of the fillet. Again, be sure to angle the knife downward and firmly grip the skin as you cut so that the fish doesn’t slide away. You’ve now skinned your fish. If you like eating the skin, you can skip this step and remove the fish scales with a fish scaler.


Deboning Your Catch

Deboning your fish is very important as bones present a choking hazard and put you at risk for other internal injuries if you eat them. Wipe any residue from skinning your fish off of the knife. Return your knife to the area at which you removed the fillet from the underside of the fish where the guts are. Gently stroke the knife downwards to locate the fine bones. Many of the fine bones stop two-thirds of the way down the fillet. Once you have located the bones, place the knife on the other side of the bone lines until the point is under the bones.

Remove the knife and cut the flesh of the fillet from the bones. Stay as close to the bones as possible to preserve the integrity of your fillet. No one wants to eat something that looks like it’s been pre-chewed.

snapper_meat

Once you are done filleting your fish, it is ready for cold storage or cooking. Do you have a favorite way to fillet your fish or a knife that you prefer to use? Have tips for making filleting even easier? Comment or drop us a line.

Redbone Rods

Redbone Rods: Catching the Cure for Cystic Fibrosis

Designed by charter captains, Redbone Rods were constructed to give saltwater anglers exactly what they look for in a good rod: dependability and durability. Each rod is made of lightweight graphite and features quality parts that work together to create an enjoyable fishing experience. With supreme fishing strength, the Redbone Rod is more than just a saltwater fishing pole; it is a hope for a cure.

When charter captain, Gary Ellis, and his wife Susan found out that their newborn daughter was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis, it became their life’s mission to help fight the disease. In 1988, Ellis started organizing events such as the Redbone Celebrity Tournament Series. At this tournament, fishermen were on the hunt for redfish and bonefish, hence where their brand name ‘Redbone’ was born. The group raised $16,000 for the cause during their first run. Since then, Redbone has teamed up with Hurricane to raise more than $10 million for Cystic Fibrosis research.


Fishing Rods for a Cause

So, what’s so special about Redbone Rods? Well, despite their attractive appearance and smooth handling, these rods help support a cause. With every rod purchase, Hurricane donates a small percentage of the profits to helping find a cure for Cystic Fibrosis. You don’t need to be a tournament winning fisherman or charter captain to get involved, all you have to do is purchase one of these stunning rods. Live to Fish offers 8 basic types of Redbone Rods ranging from casting to spinning, and everywhere in between. Designed for either inshore or offshore fishing, each of these premium performance rods offer supreme saltwater action. In this entry, we’ll be going over some of the basic details that make each Redbone Rod unique.


Redbone’s Inshore Fishing Rods

All Redbone Inshore Rods are made of a high modulus graphite so they’re super strong, yet still able to bend with ease. This also helps with rod sensitivity, so you can feel every move at the tips of your fingers when fishing with live bait. Generally, inshore fishing rods are meant to be used in shallow waters less than 30 meters deep. Use these rods for fishing in shallow waters such as bays, lakes, and other bodies of water that are close to land.

Inshore Casting RodsRod lengths range from 7’ to 7’6”
Inshore Spinning RodsRod lengths range from 7’ to 8’

Redbone Inshore Spinning Rod

Redbone Inshore Rod Features:

Rod Blanks Reel Seats Rod Guides Rod Handles Rod Extras
IM7 High-Modulus Graphite Fuji Graphite w/ Cushioned Hoods Fuji Aluminum Oxide Genuine Cork Triangle Hook Keeper

Redbone’s Offshore Fishing Rods

Offshore fishing rods are best for fishing in water that’s anywhere over 30 meters deep. Ideal for deep-sea fishing, these rods are better built for hooking large trophy fish such as tuna, grouper, and sharks. Each Redbone offshore rod is constructed from a high modulus graphite and features quality parts that make it a genuinely powerful rod. These rods even have special rear grips and gimbal butts to help transition your rod more easily from holder to hand.

Offshore Casting RodsRod length: 7’
Offshore Jigging/Casting Rods: Rod lengths range from: 6’ to 6’6″

Offshore Spinning RodsRod length: 7’
Offshore Jigging/Spinning Rods: Rod lengths range from: 5’6″ t0 7′

Offshore Trolling Rods: Rod length: 5’6″ to 7’

Redbone Offshore Spinning Rod

Redbone Offshore Rod Features

Rod Blanks Reel Seats Rod Guides Rod Handles Rod Extras
IM6 High-Modulus Graphite Fuji Graphite w/ Cushioned Hoods Fuji Aluminum Oxide EVA Foregrip & Slick Butt Rear Grip Gimbal Butt

Redbone’s Fly Fishing Rods

Designed for the fly fisherman, the Redbone Fly Rod features a sturdy, 9’ body constructed of high modulus graphite. 

Fly RodsRod length: 9’

Redbone Fly Rod Features:

Rod Blanks Reel Seats Rod Guides Rod Handles Rod Extras
IM7 High-Modulus Graphite Steel Snake Guides Aluminum Oxide with Locking Ring Genuine Cork Protective Travel Case & Sleeve

Manufacturer’s Warranty

Each of the above listed rods come with a Limited Lifetime Warranty from Redbone, you just need to make sure that you register your rod online to ensure coverage.

Live to Fish also offers free returns for up to one-year on all Redbone Rods, provided they are unused and in their original packaging. Learn more about our returns policy.



Have questions?
We’re ready to answer any Redbone Rod or other product questions that you may have. Just give us a call at 1-844-9-FISHIN or drop us a line on our contact page.