Welcome to Salt Water Fly Fishing

Welcome to Fly Fishing The Salt! If you are just discovering the joys of fly fishing the salt (or salt chuck as some call it) here you will find information to steer you in the right direction. Tips on what equipment to use, why, where and how to fish. And we will try to include a little inspiration to get you going. For the experienced salt water angler, there will be personal stories about real fishermen and their experiences, tips on what flies for which fish and techniques that work. Your stories and articles are also most welcome. Share the knowledge and adventure. Pass it on! This is for you.

No Bogga

By Capt. Doug Sinclair, Grantsboro, NC.

I can't help but remember how strange it looked to me. A Bogga Grip with a key floater. It belonged to Capt Mike Hakala. This seemed kind of odd. Here's a $100-plus lifting and weighing stick and on its tether is a large white key float. Clearly the Bogga was too heavy for the float. So why did Mike put it there?

I thought of a dozen reasons. The only one that made any sense is it was one of the Ditty bag items from the Redbone Tournament and instead of throwing it away, he tied it right there to the Bogga Grip. Oh, right. The Bogga Grip is a tool that allows you to safely handle any fish. The gripper has a jaw like clamp that goes inside the lower jaw and allows you to pick the fish up without causing injury to the fish. You've seen them advertised in the popular fishing magazines. Almost every guide I know carries one. And very few guides use nets for that reason.

Then one day it all made sense to me. Joel Cunningham and I were fishing in Lost Creek. Joel hooked into a 30-inch redfish. The fish took off like lightning and ran under a mangrove bush and line was peeling out fast. I poled over to the mangrove bush. Joel's rod tip was bent right into the water. Backing was coming off the spool at an alarming rate. I didn't want to cut the line so I poled right on top of the mangrove.

The redfish had run under a branch and out the other side. There was plenty of backing but I didn't want the fish to all of a sudden make another run into some more mangroves. We had to clear the line from the branches.

So I staked off the boat and wedged as close to the mangrove as I could. I climbed off the poling platform and knelt down near where I could see the line running under the branches. Carefully I felt around underwater until I could feel where the line was. I started peeling back the branches, all the while being careful not to break off the fly line.

After some time I felt down where the line was caught on a nub. I grabbed the line and pushed easily to the side away from the branch. Now the line was free and I could pole down to where the fish had stopped running. About 20 minutes later we were within twenty feet of the redfish. It was beautiful just hanging in the grass not realizing it was still attached to the fly. Joel started to reel in, when the redfish sensed the tension on the line and bolted again. He headed right for the mangroves and safety. Joel applied a lot of side pressure and he was able to turn the fish. We got this red next to the boat.

Instead of picking the fish up out of the water we decided to take the picture with the fish next to the boat. This redfish was obviously fatigued. So I grabbed my Bogga Grip. Mine had this past years Lime-green monster float (from my ditty bag at the Redbone) attached to the tether of the Bogga Grip (a Mike look-a-like). Good thing too. I reached over and put the gripper on the lower lip of the redfish and reached for the camera. Next thing I knew my hand slipped out of the tether and the redfish started to swim away with the Bogga Grip.


"Ah. . .," came my reply.

Ninety minutes later, after stalking that fish for about a half mile. Back and forth we'd go. As soon as I got close to the redfish he'd take off. And off we would go and try to locate him again. The locating was the easy part. The lime green float kept the Bogga Grip buoyant and didn't really stress the fish, except maybe given him a big toothache. Finally near enough to the fish, I made a plunge for the Bogga and held on tight. Down in the sea grass I held tight to the tether.

Back at the boat, I handed the tether to Joel with the Redfish still attached. This time we hoisted the fish up and took the picture in the boat. It was one interesting day.

"Figure that's two redfish, right Captain?" asked Joel.


Sometimes it pays off to copy your friends. That three dollar key float saved the $100 Bogga Grip. ~ Doug Sinclair

About Doug:

Capt. Doug Sinclair has relocated from New Smyrna Beach, Florida to Grantsboro, NC. He specializes in fly-fishing and light tackle charters. Doug charters the Coastal Carolina area of New Bern or Oriental. Catch him on the web at www.flyfishacademy.net or call him at (252) 745-3500. Doug is also a Sponsor here on FAOL.

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