I’m sure you have noticed I haven’t been excited about fishing recently. The last few years haven’t been inspirational for me around here with our challenges. Yes, we are looking for a good fall, but working to get bait then working to get bites was sounding … well, a lot like work. Then I met a man who has rekindled my interest in fishing.
Patrick Sébile is acknowledged as one of the world’s best anglers. He has fished all over the world. I had several opportunities to share ideas at our recent Florida Outdoor Writers Association conference in Daytona Beach. We had demonstrations and seminars by a number of interesting speakers. Patrick stole my attention, holding me captivated for hours. He lit up my fishing fires and keep adding information to increase the intensity until I was overwhelmed. No one has stirred my fishing passions like this for way too long. To say he is passionate about fishing is the understatement of the year.
I’ve put a lot of thought into understanding fish, every aspect of fishing, plus how to get them to bite. Patrick had me absolutely blown away. He put his extremely intelligent mind to work addressing all these questions, and then designing lures to entice bites! He researches extensively, then field-tests every aspect of his inventions. He designs unique lures but also looks at the competition’s products, applying science with a lifetime of experience to create art in productive lures.
If that isn’t enough, then he makes them as strong as possible — some are tough enough for big tuna. He also adds tricks to improve casting distances, action, durability and anything else to enhance more bites. The detail is mind-boggling. His attention to specifics is impressive, and these are simply the best lures I’ve ever seen available.
Poppers and pencil baits are old-school. How much could anyone do to improve these proven lure designs? Sébile found a few ways. First, they are tuna tough, with the baddest construction I’ve ever seen! Sharp heavy-duty hooks that will bite and hold; far stronger than my ability to hang on.
Then there are some design tricks that blew me away. Try incorporating side wings to prevent spin both in casting and retrieving. They are angled to also work as hydrofoils, allowing us to dance the lures along the surface, creating additional attraction to hungry fish. Then add ripples along the lower surfaces — smooth for extra distance when casting, then hard angles to create sonic waves retrieving. Fish have lateral lines that pick up these wave frequencies. He even studies the various frequencies.
Different lure weights can add serious distance casting, and there are models from 2 to 4 ounces. These were designed mostly for surf fishing but will work casting or trolling anywhere. Patrick demonstrated their actions, and I’m excited to try them ASAP. This line is called the Ocean Born series, soon to be available in smaller sizes for inshore and bass fishing. I’m excited to try them for hungry king mackerel, cobia and amberjacks.
He has a line of topwater baits called the Twitshad for “walking the dog” inshore. The lure is 3.5 inches long and weighs 3/4 ounce. Patrick’s tweaking makes this older design dance and entice better than many others. He is playing with innovative designs for many lures.
He has many other designs, but I’ll wrap it up with the Dartspin. It’s a soft plastic, weighted or not, with a spinner blade to flash and hum along, grabbing fish’s attention. Several color schemes include a silver lateral line like glass minnows. I’m not sure how many local places carry these new products, but I checked Fishin’ Frank’s and found a good selection. These are exceptional lures. Craftsmanship costs more, but these are examples of the best you can buy.
I’m obviously excited to test as many as possible now while we have this transitional opportunity. Some tarpon are still around and the fall mackerel migration has already started. Snook and reds are hungry. Sharks will try to tear these things up testing our gear and endurance; bring it on.
We all need to start thinking about our snook, redfish and trout closures. If you like them you’re lucky; if not, start the discussion on re-opening seasons. Changes take time and efforts, and if FWC is not hearing any dissension they are not looking at re-opening. Last I heard snook were closed until at least September of 2020! I’m all about conservation, but we also need to be sure our industry and fishery dependent tourism survive too. Remember that you can’t catch fish if you don’t go fishin’, so let’s go fishin’ soon.
Capt. Van Hubbard is a highly respected outdoor writer and fishing guide. He has been a professional USCG-licensed year-round guide since 1976, and has been fishing the Southwest Florida coast since 1981. Contact him at 941-468-4017 or VanHubbard@CaptVan.com.