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Anyone Fish Out of a Float Tube


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17 replies to this topic

#1 saltydancindave

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Posted 18 April 2018 - 10:43 AM

Since there are so many fishing SUP/kayak/canoe saltwater, now even with inflatables does anyone fish flats, off the beaches or freshwater with what is mostly used for Stillwater ?



#2 mikechell

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Posted 18 April 2018 - 11:12 AM

There are several small ponds that I cannot put a boat into.  Central Florida has a LOT of water, much of it barely accessible.  

One of the reasons you can't put a boat in ... no where to get close enough.  You could portage a kayak, perhaps, but  float tube works for me.

Another reason you can't put a boat in ... too many cattail/reeds.  Maybe 10 to 20 feet from shoreline to water side.  You're not pushing a boat through it.  Again, you might find a spot you could launch a kayak ... but I can push through places, using the float tube to keep from sinking in the muck, that the kayak couldn't be used for that same purpose.

I've caught some impressive fish out of ponds that most people won't even try ... all because of my float tube.

 

That said, it's been a few years since I did that ... age sucks.  Just too easy to put the boat in at a ramp and go fish the river.


Barbed hooks rule!
My definition of work: Doing something in which effort exceeds gain.
Ex-Marine ... quondam fidelis
 


#3 Mike West

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Posted 18 April 2018 - 11:41 AM

Mikechell...Float tube...Florida???
Youre braver than me.
Gators!!!!!!
No way Im hanging my legs down in gator country.
Ive wade fished out there and had gators come off the bank towards me... I was walking water like Jesus

#4 mikechell

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Posted 18 April 2018 - 12:01 PM

Since '92 ... wading and tubing Florida.  Did some North Carolina and around Houston, TX, too.

 

I've had 'gators swim after my top water lures, but never got closer than 6 to 10 feet away.  As soon as they realized I was there, they took off.

I'm more worried about the lightning storms that come out of nowhere than I am about 'gators.


Barbed hooks rule!
My definition of work: Doing something in which effort exceeds gain.
Ex-Marine ... quondam fidelis
 


#5 Rocco

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Posted 18 April 2018 - 02:23 PM

I used to fish out of a tube a lot and it is a lot of fun but..

 

I never got proficient at fly casting sitting that low to the water and w/o ground contact as a firm platform. Instead I used 7' UL spinning tackle and caught literally hordes of bass up to 8 lbs on 1/16 oz Charlie Brewer 'Do Nothing' worms and 4lb test line.

 

Every once in a while a big alligator snapping turtle would bump the tube either to announce his displeasure at my invasion of his territory or out of misplaced lust.   (You can walk on water when necessary!)

 

Spring fishing further north presents risks of hypothermia which can sneak up on you as the cold water wicks away your body heat. If it goes too far -- even in neopreme waders -- you can get sappy and can't readily get out of the water in time. Stay alert and safe. 

 

Rocco



#6 Capt Bob LeMay

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Posted 18 April 2018 - 02:28 PM

For anyone thinking of using a float tube down my way..... The salt or brackish portions of the Everglades just happen to be shark central most days with bull, lemon, blacktip, the occasional big hammerhead or tiger shark... and we won't even mention the alligators and crocodiles at the boat ramp...  In winter they're not much in evidence but come spring and the really warm months that last all the way to Halloween (calling them warm months is a bit of understatement with water temps up in the mid to high eighties in interior bays each summer....) to put it mildly sharks are a problem most places we fish.  

 

You can get one fish to the boat (your first one) if you bear down on them and don't fool around... Take your time fighting a fish and the best you'll do is half a fish.... Pretty tough releasing half a fish like a 20lb snook during their closed season... Anyone who thinks I'm exaggerating should just see how little time it takes for a shark in the seven to ten foot size range to pick up a fresh chunk of cutbait on days when I'm fishing beginners that will never pick up a fly rod... The average time is usually around five minutes in the water before something that might really qualify as "un-stoppable" comes along and moves off with it.. 

 

My advice to anyone that ends up fallling out of my skiff - is simple... get back in the boat quickly and without making much noise at all....  I do know a few that wade fish my areas (usually on points or right at creek or river mouth in about two to four feet of water... They're braver than me....  Whenever I admit to doing something really foolish on the water - I usually qualify it by saying "I was younger then.." -but I've never been that foolish (except when wading for bonefish and seeing a hooked fish blown up really close to me - and with 100 yards to wade back to safety....).


Tight lines Bob LeMay (954) 435-5666

#7 Peterjay

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Posted 19 April 2018 - 08:37 AM

I have to go with the consensus here. We have a few relatively protected waters here on the Eastern Shore estuary where you might be able to get away with a float tube under optimal conditions, but there are a lot of variables, and they can change in a matter of seconds. Aside from the danger of shark attack, (which is a real possibility here) a change in wind direction can send you where you don't want to go, and in one hell of a hurry. It can go from mill pond to whitecaps in the time it takes to scratch an itch. Back when I started diving, the first lesson I learned was that tidal currents are a lot stronger than they appear from shore, even in estuaries and salt ponds. At times, it took a lot of effort just to get back to the takeout point, even considering that the wind wasn't a factor. When I lived out west, I knew a lot of guys who used float tubes, but it seemed to me that they always operated on the very edge of safety, so I stuck to the canoe. As Rocco pointed out, hypothermia can sneak up on you; even in 70-degree water, you can get chilled to the bone very quickly. IMHO, float tubes are clumsy at best and dangerous at worst, especially in salt water. 



#8 saltydancindave

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Posted 19 April 2018 - 10:10 AM

Thanks for a wide range of opinions & actual fishing as usually haven't wet waded in Florida freshwater as used to do up "nawrth" bass fishing due to gators lying on the bottom & suddenly surfacing in the lake across the street that's only 6' deep or canals where they might be lying on a bank hidden in Florida swampland flora & fauna 10 feet away; as they do seem to get up & go rather quickly when spooked & not always away from you. Those ones that get curious & float a few feet off the end of a dock which don't spook are as worrisome as cottonmouths as wouldn't care to have that encounter getting older & slower, that no one seemed to mention & will swim towards a topwater bait showing the cotton inside it's mouth in a side to side motion about as fast as it can be retrieved. Have watched kids jumping off a bridge where gators were little more than 10 feet away, but since didn't learn that sport growing up outside of D.C. was somewhat eye opening. Guessing surfers that use arms & legs for propulsion might be more attractive as bait than float tubes with paddles & swim/propulsion fins where the legs don't dangle all the time as wet wade saltwater flats along mangroves & flats pot holes fly fishing. Have seen pics of the summer shark traffic off gulf coast beaches that if vacationers knew wouldn't be swimming 30' off the sand. Getting fly casts off with a stripping apron might be about like fishing out of a kayak or canoe sitting, but added stealth could keep average casting distance down to 30'-40' instead of 60'-70'+.  Of course jumping a tarpon would be a sleigh ride which photos would be a fly fishing keepsake, but probability of get flipped & losing gear while trying to figure out how to get back to dry land is a panic !



#9 Capt Bob LeMay

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Posted 19 April 2018 - 03:25 PM

I must admit every time I venture to speak up about this or that hazard on the water..... I'm always reminded of various mis-adventures I had years ago - doing exactly what I'm now suggesting might not be such a good idea... My only excuse is the one I find myself using more and more "I was younger then".... I guess most young'uns aren't any different than we were.. certain they're bullet proof and lots smarter than all of us old guys.. Learning can be fun - particularly when these days there might just be someone nearby with a camera to record the results....

 

Now if I was only getting younger instead of the other way around..


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#10 Bimini15

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Posted 19 April 2018 - 05:28 PM

No way.
I have seen enough sharks go under my canoe and kayak in places I used to wade in a low tide to know that I do not want to dangle my legs.

Mike C,
Isn’t this in your neck of the woods...?


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#11 flytire

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Posted 19 April 2018 - 05:54 PM

i tubed 30+ years ago when i lived in colorado and was much younger with better hip joints. :)

 

graduted to a pontoon boat

 

 

redneck_boat.jpg


Ignorance can be educated....

Crazy can be medicated....

But there's no cure for stupid


#12 mikechell

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Posted 19 April 2018 - 08:06 PM

Yep, my neck o' the woods.  Great story on a great looking Alligator !!!  That one is a Beaut !!!


Barbed hooks rule!
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Ex-Marine ... quondam fidelis
 


#13 Peterjay

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Posted 19 April 2018 - 09:18 PM

I must admit every time I venture to speak up about this or that hazard on the water..... I'm always reminded of various mis-adventures I had years ago - doing exactly what I'm now suggesting might not be such a good idea... My only excuse is the one I find myself using more and more "I was younger then".... I guess most young'uns aren't any different than we were.. certain they're bullet proof and lots smarter than all of us old guys.. Learning can be fun - particularly when these days there might just be someone nearby with a camera to record the results....

 

Now if I was only getting younger instead of the other way around..

Amen to that. I still get the shivers when I think of the idiotic chances we took ice fishing. (or more accurately, rotten ice fishing) Seriously, we get an occasional shark death in this neck of the woods, and non-fatal shark attacks happen every summer. It's risky enough that it's illegal to fish for sharks from shore in some areas. Still, I'd worry more about wind & tide than predators. If there's one thing I've noticed over the years, it's that many people underestimate the power of a marine environment. Some of the stuff I've seen has been hilarious, but some of it would make your hair stand on end. 



#14 saltydancindave

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Posted 20 April 2018 - 07:55 AM

Have fished out of a kayak & more worry some was the possibility of a manatee surfacing under & flipping the yak. Knee deep water doesn't seem to hold all that many sharks big enough, but might for someone taller as they probably don't swim away as rattle snakes or copperheads when threatened from a whipping rod tip. Don't know if they hydroplane on their fins like dolphins chasing snook on the beach for a dinner or to play with. Toothy Cuda's seem more attracted to flashy as do Spanish Mackeral. Of course anything that can puncture a hole in an inflatable would be of concern. Colorado float tubing would be better suited even with all the leeches in high mountain lakes, but that was some 20+ years ago. Probably getting too old & too slow for most of what could raise the blood pressure since float tubing with old tractor/car tire inner tubes on rivers is about all there is to compare it to. Figures it'll collect dust for a while, but hopefully not as long as bamboo fly rods have not getting out for a suntan on the beaches like the fine fly fishing mistresses they are.



#15 Peterjay

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Posted 20 April 2018 - 10:00 AM

LOL Dave. The flats I wade are pretty shallow as well; anything small enough to get close might get a pinky while I'm unhooking a fish, but that's about it. The sharks in the river here pretty much stick to the channels and I stay on the flats, which works out well for all concerned, especially me. I've never seen a shark hydroplane, but I used to watch Saturday Night Live back in the day, so I'm pretty familiar with the threat posed by land sharks. Indeed, my greatest fear is that one of those bloodthirsty rascals will appear out of nowhere and give me the choice of falling into their slavering jaws or taking my chances in the deep water. So far, so good; where fishing is concerned, I suppose one takes one's chances.