Watch Our New Fishing Show: Live to Fish Reel Stories!

LTF-Reel-Stories-Homosassa-Video

Episode One: Homosassa Fishing with Southern Slam Outfitters

LTF teammates Dan & Jake recently took a backwater fishing trip into an inshore fisherman’s paradise with Capt. Carey Gibson of Southern Slam Outfitters in Homosassa, FL. Watch as they reel in catches, mingle with the locals, check out Capt. Carey’s island accommodations, and soak in all that the Nature Coast has to offer!

Be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel for more great fishing-related videos, and for more information about Southern Slam Outfitters, give Capt. Carey a call at 352-361-0731 or visit his website or Facebook page.


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

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

Shop Now


St. Croix Legend Xtreme Series Rods

80647085416-scr-2t

  • ICAST 2013 Winner of Best Saltwater Rod
  • Xtreme Skin Handle
  • SCVI High-Modulus Graphite Blank
  • Integrated Poly Curve (IPC) Tooling Technology

Shop Now

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

Shop Now


LiveTarget Swimbait Series Lures

697713209310-B-2T

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

Shop Now


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

Shop Now


Spooltek Pro Series Stretch Lures

852681949907-B-2T

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

Shop Now

Frayed Fishing Leaders and Lost Fish

If you’re new to the sport of inshore saltwater fishing, you may not be aware of the importance of using a leader.  A leader is a separate piece of line you attach to your main fishing line.  The importance of a leader is found in simply considering how much more difficult it is for a fish to break a 30 or 40 pound test leader than it is your 10 or 15 pound test fishing line.  A fishing line’s strength is called the “test,” and it’s measured in “pounds.” Hence, the term “pound test.”  In addition to a leader having an obvious increase in numbers concerning the pound test, the best leader material will provide more abrasion resistance than your fishing line.   When pursuing inshore saltwater gamefish such as snook, a leader will often make the difference between landing the snook or having a lost fish.  The inside of a snook’s lips are rough; like sandpaper.  Same with redfish.  It makes sense for snook and redfish to have tough mouths.  One of the creatures each feeds on is blue crabs.  They need to be able to crush the crab’s shell in order to consume the crab without injury.  If you never considered what functions the mouth and jaws of these fish must accomplish in order to ensure their survival, being aware will help you understand the importance of a leader.  At the end of your leader is your lure or hook with bait.    As far as your fishing line is concerned, the leader is the last section of line between you and the fish.  Making that last link as strong as you can, while not overdoing it, will lead to you landing more fish than losing them during the fight.

Fishing Leader Material from Live to Fish
Fishing Leader Material from Live to Fish

With few exceptions, your main fishing line will be composed of either braid or monofilament.  Your leader will be composed of either fluorocarbon or monofilament; with fluorocarbon being preferable. Basically, the only material you don’t see used as a leader for inshore saltwater fishing is braided line.  The reason for braid’s omission as a leader material is due to the fact that braid is highly visible to fish.  It’s often in a solid dark color.  Even when it’s white, it’s still very apparent.  Being highly visible is a factor you’re looking to avoid when selecting a leader material.  You don’t want fish to see your line.  You certainly don’t want them to see anything attached to your lure or hook.  Just as you won’t catch anything if seaweed ends up on your presentation, no bait fish swims around with line coming out of it’s body and pointing towards the surface.  Snook and trout have exceptional eyesight.  Redfish can see well enough but tend to find their prey through their sense of smell.  Regardless, you stand to catch more fish by avoiding the appearance of a link between you and what you’re using to catch fish.

Braided fishing line available in the showroom at Live to Fish, 9942 State Road 52, Hudson, FL 34669
Some of the braided fishing line options available in the showroom at Live to Fish, 9942 State Road 52, Hudson, FL 34669

What is fluorocarbon?  When manufactured, fluorocarbon is comprised of a carbon base combined with a polymer.  A polymer is a synthetic or naturally occurring compound in which smaller molecules bond to form a larger compound.  The chemical properties of fluorocarbon classify it as a perfluoroalkanes.  Perfluoroalkanes are very stable because of the strength of the carbon–fluorine bond, one of the strongest in organic chemistry.  In other words, fluorocarbon is incredibly durable and resilient.

Fluorocarbon fishing leader in different pound test line strengths
Fluorocarbon fishing leader in different pound test line strengths

Aesthetically, fluorocarbon looks the same as monofilament.  Aside from appearance, the similarities between fluorocarbon and monofilament are few.  The differences between the two are many.  One noteworthy difference is what is referred to as “line stretch,” or the ability of a fishing line to “give.”  Monofilament stretches.  Fluorocarbon does not.  In fact, fluorocarbon is helpful for instantaneous, solid hook sets.   Another difference involves what’s referred to as “line memory.”  Line memory is best exemplified by picturing fishing line pulled off a fishing reel spool, and that fishing line remaining in a tightly coiled shape.  Remaining tightly coiled would be evidence of line memory.  Monofilament has far more line memory than fluorocarbon.

Fluorocarbon is beneficial for use as a leader material because of how difficult it is for fish to see underwater.   The near invisibility comes from having a refractive index that is approximately equal to that of water.  The refractive index determines how much light is bent, or refracted, when entering a material. Given the nearly equivalent refractive index with water, light passes through fluorocarbon fishing line almost as easily as passes through water.  Hence, it’s invisibility.  For reference, water has a refractive index of 1.333.  Fluorocarbon’s refractive index is 1.42.  With only a .087 difference, the two are very close on the refractive scale.

At Live to Fish, we carry a wide variety of fishing line and leader materials.  If you need to replace your fishing line, or your leader is frayed and worn, we keep both fishing line and leader material in stock.  We can also re-spool your reel at our store.  Our showroom is located at: Live to Fish, 9942 State Road 52, Hudson, FL 34669.  You can also purchase what you need from our website, www.livetofish.com  We’re available to answer your questions and help ensure you purchase the products that are most likely to lead to your success on the water.  Feel free to contact us at 844-934-7448 or contactus@livetofish.com

Who’s the Best in Marine Electronics?

HDS CarbonIn years past, Garmin was one of the more popular marine electronic brands. Well, times are a’ changin’, and for good reason. Ever heard the saying that someone became, “too big for their britches?” That would apply to what Garmin has evolved into. Garmin has it’s hand in nearly every cookie jar possible. Automotive, Sports & Fitness, Outdoor Recreation, Marine, and Aviation. They started back in 1989 in Lenexa, Kansas. Now, they’re headquarters are in Canton of Schaffhausen, Switzerland.

Simrad radarAlternatively, let’s take a look at Navico, Inc.  Navico, Inc., owns SIMRAD, SIMRAD Yachting, Lowrance, and B&G.  These brands have been the go to marine electronics brand for powerboats and sportfishing since 1946. That’s 43 years of experience over Garmin. Guess what? No fitness watches, no automotive GPS, Outdoor Recreation, etc. SIMRAD is owned by Navico, Inc. Navico owns B&G, Eagle, MX Marine, Lowrance, Navman, Northstar, and the SIMRAD brands. They’re all manufactured and distributed under the Navico umbrella.

AGGRESSIVE PRODUCT LAUNCH SCHEDULE:

Did you know that on average, Navico launches a new product EVERY 20 DAYS? They’ve maintained an unprecedented product launch schedule. Yet, the majority of their revenue comes from products launched during the previous 2 years; a testament to the quality of their products and dedication to product innovation.

Hook 7

Live to Fish, 9942 State Road 52, Hudson, FL 34669, 844-934-7446 www.livwtofish.com #livetofishsports is excited about choosing to become an authorized dealer, installer, and warranty repair center for the Navico brands. We can handle installations of marine electronics and marine audio systems at our facility. In fact, a number of jobs have already been successfully completed. Our 13,100 square feet of covered space is a nice thing to have in this regard.

Depending on the circumstances involving the vessel, we will also travel to where your boat is located. We’ll review what you have on board marine audio and/or marine navigation/electronic wise, and provide a quote. As a new venture for Live to Fish, we’ve taken significant measures to ensure we have only the best individuals working to ensure complete customer satisfaction. Word of mouth remains one of the most powerful forms of advertising. We haven’t lost sight of that fact, and never will.IMG_2571

THE IMPORTANCE OF OUR MANGROVE HABITATS

No, this isn’t going to be an article containing one or more rather mundane, so called, “fishing tips,” that pretty much everyone who’s ever held a rod, already knows about.  No, what you’ll read won’t sing praises to some new rod or reel.  Live to Fish has more products available than you could ever use, even if you fished every single day for the rest of your life.  Yet, we’re not going to discuss what we have in stock below.  You can come to our new, custom designed showroom, to see what we have at Live to Fish, 9942 State Road 52, Hudson, FL 34669 or visit us online at www.livetofish.com  What this article is about is something more important than the products we sell.  It’s about preserving the resources that allow us to catch the fish that we end up dreaming about later that night.  The fish we take numerous photos of; and which photos end up on social media and shared with friends.  It’s about being stewards of conservation in an effort to ensure that the quality of fishing we have today, doesn’t decline anymore than it already has.  What good does talking about a reel’s advanced drag system do if there’s no fish to test it on?

When it comes to the destruction of natural habitat, we’re our own worst enemies.  Human activity has had the greatest impact on the mangrove ecoregion in Florida. The Lake Worth Lagoon lost 87% of its mangroves in the second half of the 20th century.  Tampa Bay lost over 44% of its wetlands, including mangroves and salt marshes, during the 20th century. Heading to Florida’s East Coast, three-quarters of the mangrove wetlands along the Indian River Lagoon were impounded for mosquito control during the 20th century. As of 2001, natural water flow was being restored to some of the wetlands.

Human activity has impacted the mangrove ecoregion in Florida. While the coverage of mangroves at the end of the 20th century is estimated to have decreased only 5% from a century earlier, some localities have seen severe reductions. Ongoing and planned coastal development in Florida, Belize, the Bahamas, Mexico, and other locations, pose serious threats to mangroves.  The loss of mangrove habitat has a direct negative impact on our fisheries.

Me driving canoe

What this article contains is information about the importance of the habitat mangroves provide for our fisheries. You’ll come away with an understanding of how and why mangroves are many species, including some of our favorites; Tarpon and Snook.  Most people know that fish are often found in and around mangroves, but few know what a critical role they play in our marine ecosystem.  Mangrove forests are home to a large variety of fish, crab, shrimp, and mollusk species. Mangrove forests create fisheries that become an essential source of food for thousands of coastal communities around the world. The forests also serve as nurseries for many fish species, including coral reef fish.

250px-Atlantic_tarpon

Most people are unaware that Tarpon, Megalops Atlanticus, is currently considered a species under threat by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources.  Juvenile tarpon depend on mangroves as nursery habitat.  Obviously, if we lose the habitat, the loss of the fishery will follow.  Juvenile tarpon use mangrove wetland habitats that are typically low in oxygen.  The low oxygen reduces the number of predatory fish that would otherwise post a threat to the species.  Mangroves also help provide protection to juvenile tarpon from bird predators. Most juvenile tarpon mangrove habitats have the following characteristics:  a mixture of depths – primarily shallow with deeper pools for the fish to congregate in when water levels decrease; tidal exchange through narrow, shallow, passages that inhibit access by larger predatory fish; freshwater inflow; and generally calm waters.  As Tarpon grow, they widen their use of protected habitats inside lagoons, creeks, canals, sloughs, and coastal bays.  Tarpon happen to share the same nursery habitats as Snook.  By helping to preserve environment for Tarpon, you’re helping Snook too.

Canoe Caught Snook

Tarpon aren’t just one of the most sought-after game fish for their beauty, the challenge in landing them, and their phenomenal aerial shows that often take place after they’re hooked.  They’re also one of the most vital species to numerous Florida economies.

tarpon_mid-atlantic_live_bait04

Next time you’re out on the water, take a moment to appreciate the mangrove shorelines, their inherent natural beauty, and the narrow rivers you see flowing in and out.  Now you can look upon them knowing that you’re looking at the place where some of the largest, and most valuable, sportfish begin their lives.

 

Lew’s Mach Crush Baitcaster from Live to Fish

Mach Crush 2
Lew’s Mach Crush Baitcasting Reel

Lew’s Mach Crush baitcast reels are available from Live to Fish.  You can find them in our brand new showroom and on our website, www.livetofish.com  Whether you’re looking for a right or left handed version of the Lew’s Mach Crush Speed Spool SLP Baitcasting Reel, our price remains a competitive $159.95.   A great deal for a great reel made by one of the top manufacturers in the industry.  The Mach Crush features Lew’s proprietary SLP Super Low Profile compact Speed Spool design, housed in a durable graphite frame with graphite sideplates.  The use of composite materials contributes to the reel’s low 7.3 oz. weight.  Whenever I hear that a reel is, “competitively priced,” or has, “good value,” personally, I get suspicious.  I become suspicious of the reel’s true inherent quality.  It’s just my opinion, but I’d rather pay more for quality fishing gear, take care of it, and know I can rely on it.  I like knowing it will hold it’s value as well as it’s own when a fish is on the line.  There are few reels that don’t break the bank but still offer the quality found in the Lew’s Mach Crush.  I would certainly be the first to point out any such flaws if the truth were otherwise.  The Lew’s Mach Crush performs just as well, if not better, than reels costing over $100.00 more.  The impressive performance comes from a premium 10-bearing system composed of double-shielded stainless-steel bearings.  The significance of the bearings being double shielded lies in the corrosion resistance and overall reel longevity.   Another factor contributing the reel’s capabilities is what Lew’s refers to as their “ZeroReverse,” anti-reverse.  A reel can look great on the outside, but contain substandard components inside.  Fortunately, that’s not the case with Lew’s Mach Crush.  If Lew’s made reels with sub par internal gears, they would never have been around as long as they have.  The main gear and crankshaft are strong solid brass. The 95mm bowed aluminum handle features another unique Lew’s invention: Winn Dri-Tac knobs.  These knobs ensure a no-slip grip in all conditions. Finally, the reel’s drag is Lew’s proven 20-pound rugged carbon drag system.

  • Strong and lightweight, Super Low Profile (SLP) graphite frame and sideplates
  • Machined and double anodized aluminum U-shape 32mm spool
  • High strength solid brass main gear and crank shaft
  • Premium 10-bearing system with double-shielded stainless-steel ball bearings and Zero Reverse® one-way clutch bearing
  • Externally-adjustable Multi-Setting Brake (MSB) dual cast control system utilizing both an external click-dial for setting the magnetic brake, plus 4 individually disengageable disk-mounted internal brake shoes that operate on centrifugal force
  • Double-anodized aluminum spool tension adjustment with audible click
  • Rugged carbon fiber drag system, provides up to 20 lbs. drag power
  • Anodized bowed aluminum 95mm handle with oversized Winn® Dri-Tac handle knobs
  • Anodized aluminum bowed drag star with audible click adjustment
  • Quick release sideplate lock lever
  • Zirconia line guide
  • External lube port

 HISTORY OF THE LEW’S COMPANY:

Lew Childre was said to be a man ahead of time.  Affable and outgoing, Lew easily made friends.  He had a way of expressing himself that compelled people to listen.  His passion for fishing flourished on the Gulf Coast of Alabama.  Lew married Vivian; who went by the nickname, “Bebe.”  Life wasn’t easy for Lew and his family, as they encountered numerous trials and tribulations during their early years of marriage.  Their difficulties were not lessened by the fact that they were working to raise two young sons named Craig and Casey. Lew first attempted to start a business selling shrimp as bait to fishermen.  That evolved into what became a small tackle shop.  Lew’s interest in making fishing poles is said to have come about during a time spent in his tackle shop.  Lew was retrieving a bamboo pole for a customer.  He was disappointed with the inconsistency from one pole to the next. This discrepancy led to a moment of reflection.  A moment that triggered his insatiable desire to build better fishing products than anyone else.

Lew, Bebe, Craig and Casey were beginning to realize their lifelong dreams were coming true when a nightmare hit. Lew, a pilot with his own sea plane and countless hours accumulated from flying to favorite fishing spots across the south, was killed in a crash on July 26, 1977. His two passengers survived; his son Casey and Lew’s grandson; Casey’s son.  Fortunately, by 1977, Lew’s commitment to quality was deeply embedded in every member of his company. Bebe, Craig and Casey forged forward with the same faith and knowledge that Lew had instilled in them for product development from design to final marketing.

40 Years of Innovation:

Over the 40-year-period, ranging from 1949 to 1989, the family-run business made many major contributions that would change forever the face of recreational sport fishing.  It was in 1989 that the Childre family licensed their name to Browning.  Beyond the speed stick and speed spool, additional introductions they were involved in included single-foot guide frames, aluminum oxide guides, unique spinning rod handles, Speed Sticker® worm hooks, Magic Carpet trolling motor, non-roller straddle-mounted trolling guides, Fuji FPS reel seat, V-shaped casting spool, SIC (silicon carbide) guide rings, Speed Spin® spinning reels, Speed Lock® reel seat/foregrip, telescopic graphite Speed Sticks, Fuji “V” frame guides, luminous tip downrigger rod, Hardloy guide rings, graphite Tennessee spinning handle, fused solid tip graphite rods, Boron Speed Sticks, graphite Bream Buster, Zirconia pawls, small body/large spool spinning reels, “Power Up” drag system and “Soft Trigger” handle system

Today, the Lew’s brand and its many well-known trademarks are under the ownership of Peak Rock Capital and longtime Childre family friend Lynn Reeves. Reeves has made the promise and commitment to return the Lew’s name to its place of prominence in the industry, keying on the same principles by which Lew Childre originally founded the company … building innovative products that are lighter, faster and stronger.

 

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