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Big Dave

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About Big Dave

  • Rank
    fish slayer


  • Gender
  • Bio
    2007 Maverick 17 HPX-V, Yamaha 90 HP 2 Stroke, PowerTech 17 PTR 3, Carbon Marine Loop Push Pole, Caron Marine custom casting platform, Tibor Push Pole Caddy, Cobra Marine VHF, Minnkota Riptide 80 lb 24 volt trolling motor, Fushion MarineStereo, Garmin GP
  • Occupation
    HR & Benefits Consulting
  • Interests
    Fishing, cruising on the Harley, Outlaw Country Music
  • Location
    Plantation, Florida
  • Full Name
    David Stoots
  1. Took a weekday off to take my old friend Captain Tom Ross out to Chokoloskee to fish the ENP and the 10K Islands. Tom is currently running a 74' Merritt for an owner out of Annapolis, but the boat is in the yard for some work through the end of the year. I recently helped Tom find a 2003 Maverick Master Angler that he is really enjoying. Some of you may have met Tom and his lovely wife Ann at the MOT. Tom is an accomplished blue water captain and pretty handy at the inshore stuff too! Weather report was favorable; the tides were big with the new moon but a little less favorable (8:19 a.m. low at Chatham River) as I tend to favor a falling tide in that area. We launched at OR at first light and ran south. Fishing primarily with soft plastics (Zman jerk baits in black and gold or Slayer or Down South paddle tails in several different colors; MirrOlure Lil John's in Watermellon Ice), we really got into the snook and trout but had trouble finding reds or tarpon. The snook were on the smaller side except for two slot sized fish that Tom brought to the boat. We got into some really nice trout on the low tide in a channel that runs parallel to a key. Over all, a great day with a good old friend in a magical place.
  2. It was all about variety yesterday in the ENP. We launched early at OR (with 25-30 others from the Naples area who were entered in a Red/Snook tournament). Low tide at 6:43 a.m. so we would have incoming water all morning followed by a falling tide in the afternoon. Weather was overcast, but nice. Winds were calm. Fished with my buddy, Mike (InTheSlot12), who was injured in a boating accident back in June. This was his first time on the water since then. We caught just about every species--reds, snook, trout, jacks, ladyfish--but the capstone was this large tarpon that we caught at the end of the day along a shore line on the incoming tide. Most of the catch was on hard plastic sinking twitch baits or soft plastics. The tarpon ate a soft plastic jerk bait. I lost one after one jump that took a purple DOA Baitbuster; that would have closed the inshore grand slam for me. But Mike brought it home for the boat grand slam! The day would not have been complete without spending some time with Ranger John Kalafarski to hear his stories about snook otoliths, the importance of no see ums (ceratopogonidae) to the chocolate industry, and this Burmese Python skin.
  3. 99/04 17 Master Angler/Suzuki DF140

    Very nice! I know you hate to sell her. Seems like a fair price for such a nice boat--someone should jump on this one! GLWS.
  4. Launched at OR on a high tide around 7:15 a.m. and was excited about the prospects of fishing the outgoing water all day. But, the weatherman lied again and winds were strong out of the ESE, so we stayed primarily on the inside, fishing the backcountry creeks and coves. The trout bite was on and we caught all we wanted, mostly on top water lures. Most of the fish were in the 12" to 15" range, but we did land a few up to about 20". We sprinkled in a few jacks and lady fish and a nice grouper, but no reds and no snook. Overall, a very nice day except for the wind. Going back again tomorrow so hope the weather cooperates. I'll post another report early next week.
  5. Stripping Bucket

    Don, what did you use to plug the ends of the tubing?
  6. Stripping Bucket

    “Necessity may be the mother of invention, but ingenuity is the bombshell of success” ― Phillip Gary Smith, HARMONIZING: Keys to Living in the Song of Life Nice work!
  7. Cleats for Hanging Fenders

    When needed, I just secure mine to the hand rail and/or the poling platform.
  8. Cowling Restoration/Re Paint

    "I got a guy in Hialeah"
  9. Mixed Bag

    Wow! Nice day.
  10. Peacock

    Don, I'll pull my skiff up and we can go pitch to 'em. Would love to do that!
  11. Oyster Rash

    Fix it and buy the FMT chip for your GPS.
  12. 4 hour fishing report

    Are the bathrooms open/functioning? Running water/showers?
  13. How’re the bugs?

    Campgrounds are open?
  14. 2018 Keys MOT at the Breezy Palms

    Everybody be sure to say hi to my good old friends Captain Tom and Ann Ross. Tom runs a 74' Merritt for an Annapolis-based owner that will be out of the water through December. I found a real nice 17' Master Angler for him so he won't get in trouble in Fort Lauderdale this fall and winter! So, he and Ann will be participating in their first Owners Tournament. Good luck to everyone and be safe!
  15. Fun day beach fishing up north yesterday, targeting tarpon and snook. This big gal ate a soft plastic shad tail. Water looked good and there was some bait around, including what may be the first schools of mullet. Most of the tarpon were a bit out of range from the beach, but there were some rollers and cruzers early. Pretty day and a fun time!