Trolling for Real

We all throw that bonus pole out and drag something behind the yak to get that occasional extra fish, but how many of you troll for real? You load up the yak and your gear and your objective for the day is to catch one of your favorite species only by trolling.

It is not hard yet not simple either but can be a very successful way to fish. It is not glamorous and many fishing snobs will scoff but hey when the conditions are not great, and the fish don’t want to co operate. A proper troll will save the day.

Little video of the basics

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Fishing from a SUP

We have all seen the sport of Kayak fishing explode in the last few years. It’s economical, eco-friendly and provides easy access to places where boats would be high and dry. “Yakers” are now a mainstream group of hard core anglers. Because of that, there is a new paddle craft emerging and offering new opportunities. They call it the paddle board. Many of us have seen these over-sized surfboards playing in the waves, or cruising just past the breakers, but fishing from one is a new idea to a lot of us. While the proper term for the boards is “Stand Up Paddleboard” or SUP, many boards are being modified so they can be sat on. Not having a place to sit can make fishing next to impossible. Several manufactures are producing models designed to attach kayak seats, but most are simply adding a cooler to them. A cooler with a rod holder becomes a tackle box, storage container and seat combined.
​Kayaks, while easy to drop and transport, still don’t offer the simplicity of the paddle board. Lightweight and easy to carry, you can launch it just about anywhere. Those fantasies we all have about that road side spot you drive past and have always wanted to fish, or that day at the beach with the family when that pogy pod swims in and gets mauled by aggressive predator fish, those fantasies can now become reality. While not suited for open or rough water fishing, the real beauty of the paddle board is it versatility in shallow water. With its stability and shallow draft, it gives anglers options that would be unavailable in a boat or kayak. During low tide in muddy creeks, it makes sight fishing those cruising reds easy, while at the same time giving you the option to carry live bait and anchor on an oyster bar as the tide rises.
​When it comes to fishing the flooded grass flats in Northeast Florida, it becomes the ultimate stalking vessel. With the ability to float and pole through grass, over shallow spots and only a step down to wade, it is fast becoming a favorite of tail chasers. With a limited amount of time to fish the water covered flats, ground can be covered quickly, extremely quietly and from a higher elevation than wading alone. Using a flats boat to scout an area and then launching a paddle board to move into that area is extremely effective. As with all fishing, everyone has their own style. When it comes to moving in for the cast, there are different ways to go about it. I prefer to pole until I spot a fish, then step off and wade in close if I can. Others like to stay on the board, finding casting from the board easy, even with a fly rod. You should practice and become familiar with being able to cast off the board. Often times, it’s your only option. Fishing flooded grass is by far the best way to cover the most ground and maximize your fish catching time. You can cover literally acres more water than wading and thus allow yourself many more opportunities to find the fish on the flats. There is nothing more satisfying than a properly placed presentation given to a head down, tail up redfish and the aggression in which he attacks that presentation.
​When it comes to tackle selection, keep it simple. A smaller assortment cuts down on weight and the amount of time you spend digging for that perfect bait. When it comes to rods, take the bare minimum and be prepared if they end up over the side. Overboard Rods, and they’re ability to float when they go in the drink, are a must. Nothing ruins a trip more than a flipped board and lost poles.
​So get yourself an SUP and see what the fuss is all about. There are economical options out there.
Bent rods and Screaming Drags,
Capt. Sean Abbey



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Practice Makes Perfect

So you want to not only catch that bucket list fish but you wanna do it on fly. Better get out there and practice. In my opinion presentation is the most important part of fly fishing. Not the fly, your reel or your rod, or your buff and clothing choice.

Have you really looked at most flies? Do you really think that ball of fuzz or hair tied to a hook shank is what made the fish say “oh, I gotta have that?” The right fly is essential but quite a few can be the right fly in many situations.

You can have the baddest ass reel, milled from a single piece of bar stock aluminum with the sexiest engineering out there. Guess what? Fish didn’t even see that reel. Now your rod is extremely important to presentation but if it took a $1000 rod to get a fish to bite, there would be a heck of a lot less fish caught on fly.

Buffs are awesome and they serve a necessary need, as does having all the upf this and that clothing one can stand, but it doesn’t mean squat to catching a fish. Go with light colors on bright, bluebird sky days, grey and darker colors on overcast days and camouflage if your stalking streams.

Simple enough but none of the above will hook a fish as often as a fly caster that can put the fly just right there, yeah that’s the spot. Even the most professional casters spend time in some grass fields practicing. Besides nothing is funnier than the gut busting ” how’s the fishing?” From the park smo walking the 1/16 mile lap around before going home to pop a squat on the couch.

You have to get out there and give yourself goals and targets. It’s frustrating to finally get that day on the water where the moons align for fly fishing that school of reds you’ve been peeping at low tide only to line the school on your first shot. I like to push it when I practice. I tell people to start with hoola hoops and size down as you get consistent in fly placement. I use upside down frisbees placed all over at different ranges and angles and play out the scenario, don’t just go through the motions. It’s hard to drop a fly into a frisbee, but the more consistent you can get at it the more bites you are going to get, regardless of the fly, rod, reel or your brand new ice camo buff.

Capt Sean Abbey
Overboard Fishing Rods, LLC
Native Angler Guide Service


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A Day Off to Fish

Even the best fishermen don’t always catch fish, at least not a fish of note that your willing to hold proudly in front of your mug for a gratuitous camera pose. But if you can not just treasure a day on the water with good friends, family or all by your lonesome sans fish maybe it’s time to dust off those golf clubs.

As a charter captain I have spent many many days not catching a single fish. Wether it is just burning around on a troller trying to spook out fish to give away their hidey holes for a later date, or spending the day on the platform pushing a client around hoping that your hard work allows your client to reap the reward of the fish of a lifetime.

When you get that day on the water with no pressures, just paddle and take it all in. Pay attention to your surroundings, every last minute detail. Not only will it take your mind off the fact that the fishing may not be the greatest, it may just show you the signs of where the fish are. Watch that incredible, majestic Egret stalking its prey down a bank. Look at his deliberate, slow, calculated movements. Whoa did you see that! He caught a fish, and I very seriously doubt he ever goes home after a day on the water and tells his buddy ” must be the…..” Insert non catching excuse here.

So you’ve taken it in, you’ve watched a school of mullet swim down a bank and scatter on multiple occasions only to have your offering refused again and again. Get creative, take a risk. Grab that lure you just knew would work when you bought it but never took the time to tie on. If they ain’t biting there is no better time to experiment. You never know, that’s the beauty of it. For years we would all sit around and laugh when some manufacture would throw their version of electric chicken into a captains bag, then immediately file it away when you got home. Well someone said to hell with it eventually and threw that pink and green plastic on a jig head and tossed it in. Well low and behold the damn thing caught fish and now it’s peg is empty in most tackle shops.

Not catching is not a bad thing, not fishing is!

Capt Sean Abbey
Overboard Fishing Rods, LLC
Native Angler Guide Service
Facebook Pages
Native Angler



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Nighttime Redfishing in the Panhandle

Yes it is cold and dark, but the water is deep and the fish are everywhere. The place is Philip Dane Beall, Sr., Memorial Bridge, (AKA 3 mile bridge) spanning across Pensacola bay connecting Gulf Breeze to Pensacola. The old fishing bridge next to it was damaged by hurricanes and some of it fell into the water creating nice bottom structure for everything from Pinfish to sharks to hang.

If you are going to fish make sure you dress appropriately, as the wind has been known to pick up quite a bite during the night, and be ready to paddle or peddle as the current does flow quickly. During the winter months though is when the best fishing will be had. The white trout are so thick that within minutes of putting your kayak in the water you will have as many as you like for the redfish to feed on. As the night proceeds you will find that you can fish anyway you choose, whether bumping the bottom with a jig, sight casting with a top water lure or just relaxing and letting the fresh trout you just caught swim off the bottom. The big Red drums are for sure to give you the action you are looking for. You may even be in for a treat, and a chase, as they have been known to bite that little 1/8 ounce jig on lite tackle that you were using to catch the trout on. Then it’s all you can do to keep them out of the pilings and snapping your line.

Fishing the lights is the key as each one will hold its share of fish, as we found out on the 19th of January; over 30 were caught that night ranging from 24 to 42 inches. Don’t forget a friend; you will need someone to take a good pic of you holding that trophy Red drum and share in the experience of a lifetime.

Eric Kaiser
OFR Pro Staff



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Winter Redfishing with a Buggy Whip

Brrrrrr, it’s getting cold out there. It’s that time of the year, northeasters, grey skies and bone chilling cold. Guess it’s time for some of us to put up those fly rods till next spring’s flood tides, right? Heck no, are you crazy? We’re coming up on what is in my opinion the second best time of the year for fly fishing in northeast Florida. Yes it’s cold, and yes the fish are getting lethargic and not eating as much, but we do still get those glorious chamber of commerce, blue bird sky days that can put the fish into feeding mode. We also have the clearest water we ever get around these parts this time of year, thanks to that cold water killing off the blooms that add to the cloudiness of our already tannin waters.
Wintertime is a great time of year to take the fly rod with you on your next fishing trip when the conditions are right. You need a nice clear day with a low tide occurring mid-morning to early afternoon; this will help warm up those mudflats making the fish more active. The timing will also allow for better sight fishing in the shallows with the sun high overhead allowing optimal conditions for seeing those schools and small packs of cruising fish. You can usually find them on dark mudflats in areas that have either gone completely bone dry at low tide, or only hold mere inches of water. All it takes is a few degrees of temperature change to draw the reds to it as the tide rises.
When you find the schools of redfish you’ve hit pay dirt in a few ways, cause “Clark, it’s the gift that keeps on giving.” When you find that pod of fish they can now more than likely be patterned throughout the rest of winter. The fish will hang in the same places for most of the winter, saving you time searching when there is already a limited window of time and even fewer pristine weather opportunities to get in on this incredible cold weather fly rodding. You will want to keep your fish secrets to yourself though. Pick your fishing partners carefully, because the more pressure the fish get, the more likely they are to move on or get a severe case of lockjaw.
While the fish are going to be fickle, they will still eat. A well-placed fly is just the right sized snack for a slowed metabolism redfish’s small appetite this time of year. I suggest a 7wt or 6wt fly rod to make a more precise presentation. Don’t forget to also use a colder water fly line, especially if you have a tropical temp line on your reel already. Many fly patterns work and we all have our favorites. I like to use a small shrimp pattern in lighter neutral colors.
You can expect to see light crowds this time of year which is a blessing. The waterways will be especially bare on those really cold days. Don’t be afraid to break out your winter extreme wear and go enjoy your favorite creek to yourself when it’s really cold, because nobody else will be crazy enough to go. If the suns shinning, the fishing could be incredible, even on days the temp hovers around freezing for a high. Two winters ago I landed 7 redfish from 26-32 inches off the same shell bar, and all were caught on a 7wt buggy whip on a day the temps might have tickled 40 degrees. With all the advances in cold weather gear over the last 10 years, you can stay pleasantly warm even in the coldest conditions – – without being be bundled up like Ralphy’s brother, Randy.
So don’t pack up all your fly gear just yet. Wintertime is not the time to sit at your fly vise tying crab patterns and dreaming of tails waving in the grass. Winter is the time to get out and catch em up.

Capt. Sean Abbey
Capt Sean runs Native Angler Guide Service ( in Jacksonville, Fl and is Co- owner of Overboard Fishing Rods ( Native Angler runs charters out of kayaks and boats or a combination of both all over northeast Florida’s waterways.

Article from Coastal Angler Magazine

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Welcome to Overboard Fishing Rods Official Blog

Pro Staffer Eric Kaiser with a nice over slot panhandle redfish.


Welcome to Overboard Fishing Rods official blog. We will use this site to let you know what is going on with us at Overboard. From fishing trips to new retail locations. We will post up reports, photos, stories from all our pro staff and captains. Look for great articles and how to’s as well as photos and videos.

Check out our website and Facebook page.

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