12/29/10
Insects and other foods the trout may be eating:
1.    Blue-winged Olives
2  .  Sculpin, baitfish and small crayfish (Imitate with streamers)
3.    Midges



Those That Know Me Asked For It, So All Of You, Know Me Or Not, Are
Going to Get It - Extreme, X Rated, Hard Core Fishing Tales

I'm still well ahead of the way I want to proceed with the trout food series I begin
about a month or so ago. I went through some basics and then into Midges and
Winter Stoneflies and held up at that point. I want to proceed with the various things
trout eat in the Smokies as close to the time the trout are most likely to be keying in
on the particular food so it will hopefully be more helpful and meaningful. On the
subject of fishing in the Smokies right now, there's little to write about that can't be
summed up in one word -cold, but that will change beginning today and maybe I'll
have more to write about soon.

One reason everyone enjoys the sport of fishing, has little to do with the actual
"catching" of the fish, and a lot to do with the adventure or the
overall
experience
. Whether your completing in a tournament or for fun; or fishing by
yourself or fishing with some friends; much of the joy usually isn't directly related to
the catch. Over the years I have seen some wild and strange things, been in more
predicaments than I could get out of (some of which I will write about and others I
won't) all of which could probably be summed up as fishing stories. I've written about
a very few of my experiences on this site in the past and I've always received a good
response, or maybe I should say I received a big response. I'm not sure all of it was
good. Anyway, here are some fishing tales for you to hopefully get a kick out of.

Helium Balloon Fishing:
To begin with, I'm sure most of you are wondering what Helium Balloon Fishing is.
Maybe you have heard of Kite Fishing. It's very similar. Kite fishing is something
commonly practiced along the Gold Coast of Florida. I'm not sure where or when it
started but its a fishing method used for saltwater species (although I have tried it in
the Big O lake using shinners for bass but that's another story). It works great for
sailfish, dolpin, wahoo, tuna and king mackerel along with many other species of fish.

Instead of attaching your line to an outrigger on the boat, you attach it to another
line that flies a kite. At the same time the line with a live bait is being put out on one
rod and reel, a line with the kite is put out on another rod and reel called the kite rod
that has a clip on it to which the bait line is attached. When a fish strikes the live
bait, it pulls it out of the clip (normally a standard outrigger clip) and the fish can be
fought as your normally would. The big advantage is that you can present live bait
to fish without them being able to see anything but the baitfish. You can also fish the
baits far away from the boat. It's normally used with live Goggle Eyes (Big Eye
Scad), menhadden, pinfish, and many other small baitfish. The hook is attached to
the baitfish by waxed line by sewing it to the baitfish just under the dorsal fin. The
hook doesn't go into the fish, only a needle with heavy waxed thread that's wrapped
around the hook. This keeps the baitfish alive and active. Since the line comes
down to the water from the kite high above, the sailfish or other species cannot see
anything to do with the rigging, leader, line, etc. You adjust the fishing line and the
kite line, controlled by a separate fishing rod and reel, such that the baitfish is
barely in water at the surface. This keeps it in the water enough to stay alive but
always struggling to get down into the water deeper to get away. This activity
attracts the gamefish. It is a deadly fishing method, but is difficult to control and
takes a lot of practice perfecting.

Kites are best fished when there's a little wind. They can be fished without wind but
you have to keep the boat moving to keep the kites flying and this can get to be
tricky trying keep the boat in position where you want to fish at the same time. It's
much better to head the boat into a wind and you can adjust the exact position of
the baitfish in relationship to the boat and cover the water you intend to cover
better. Someone came up with doing the same thing using large balloons (a foot or
two in diameter). The best way to blow these up is with helium. So, in a South
Florida fishing tackle shop you can usually purchase fishing balloons as well as
kites. Some sell pressurized tanks of helium.  

Now to the featured event:
This one guy, a highly experienced big game fisherman whose name I won't dare
mention, was demonstrating the procedure to yours truly so I could make an
instructional video on the entire fishing process. I had done plenty of kite fishing but
this was my first experience at Helium Balloon fishing. We had my cameraman,
another guy that helped out with the fishing, the expert Helium Balloon fisherman I'll
call Mr. X and myself, the intended angler all set up to catch a sailfish off the coast
of Pompano Beach Florida.

We headed out past Pompano Lighthouse and were cruising along slowly to get into
the right area of water for sailfish when Mr. X started to fill up the balloons but first
wanted to demonstrate the effects of Helium on his voice. So, he would put the fill
line from the pressurized helium tank in his mouth and released a small amount of
gas. This makes a person's voice very squeaky.
Let me stop now and say this is
a dangerous deal and shouldn't ever be done. I know kids have done this
and it's very funny, but it is also very dangerous.

Well, Mr. X, showing off on-camera during the entire event, continued to shoot a
little more gas into his mouth and talk.
The more he shot into his mouth, the
longer he could talk funny.
It was very funny and we were all laughing as hard as
we could. I was worried about what he was doing but I knew nothing about it and I
didn't speak up. The last big dose of helium gas he took caused him and the tank to
hit the deck of the boat hard. He was as white as a sheet and we all though he was
dead. My cameraman continued to tape the entire deal. I couldn't shake him back
alive and quite frankly, it scared me to death.
I thought he was dead for what
seemed to be a long time although it probably wasn't.
. The other guy, a
licensed boat captain who was trained in mouth to mouth resuscitation and was
down in position to start kissing Mr. X when Mr. X's eyes opened. I don't know if it
was the fact he was about to be kissed by an ugly man that did the trick or what. For
a minute, he couldn't move or talk. He just looked at us with a very scared, strange
look. The only color left in him was in his eyes. Finally, he came back to full life and
seemed to be okay. It took a little time for me to adjust or recover back to normal. I
could just see the headlines of the Sporting Page in the Pompano Beach paper.
Man dies on-camera from Helium Balloon Fishing. Mr. X now heads a large fishing
product manufacturing company. When I see him, I always ask if he's still hooked on
Helium, knowing, that's the last time he tried that stupid ordeal.

Copyright 2010 James Marsh