Diving and scuba fishing with the Salt Life crew in Key West

I have been working with Salt Life for years now, and I love the gear for my fishing and boating lifestyle. Here’s some of the Salt Life gear I have been putting to the test:

Salt Life SLX 1st Mate HoodieĀ buy here

Salt Life SLX UVapor Get Hooked Pocket Tee buy here

Salt Life SLX Aqua Shirt buy here

Salt Life Aqua Shield shirt being released in February 2017

Last month, I had the opportunity to go scuba diving and scuba FISHING in Key West with President of Salt Life – Jeff Stillwell.

This really was unique experience, as we dove the Vandenberg Wreck, a 600 foot artificial reef ship, the second largest in the world…2 football fields long and 10 stories tall.

I also got the opportunity to attend a reception for artist Andreas Franke’s exhibit called Sinking World.

Check out the video below for a recap on the diving and fishing adventure.


Costa’s #FixFlorida campaign

There has been a lot of talk in the news lately about the degradationĀ of the Everglades and the estuaries surrounding it.

Costa sunglasses has released a new video explaining the recent events that have put three of Florida’s estuaries in danger. The damage was caused by development, agriculture and water mismanagement.

I support Costa, in that it’s important to work on positive change and restore the Everglades and also to educate on the importance of conservation. Costa’s concept is called #FixFlorida.

You can sign a declaration to support this initiative hereĀ http://www.gladesdeclaration.orgĀ Also to learn more, please watch this video.

ICAST 2016

Last week I attended ICAST 2016. This year’s show did not disappoint! Here are some highlights from the show.

YETI Hopper Flip 12YETI is always at the forefront of innovation. This year they unveiled the new YETI Hopper Flip 12. The Flip 12 is airtight and watertight. Like the other models in the hopper line, the inside is antimicrobial and food grade. It has 3.2 gallons of capacity and instead of stitching, the seams are welded together…which helps durability and makes it leak-proof. The zipper is also very heavy duty. The YETI Hopper Flip 12 also won “Best Fishing Accessory” at the show. Ā This is the ultimate small cooler bag! Learn more about the YETI Hopper Flip 12 hereĀ YETI Hopper Flip 12

Salt Life has been making high-quality apparel for a number of years now, and they are Salt Life booth with Larry and Jeffconstantly developing new designs. I had the chance to stop by the booth and meet with Jeff Stillwell and Larry Laska to talk about their new line of products coming out for Spring 2017. Ā Salt Life’s SLX UVapor performance gear are 88% polyester, 12% spandex and treated for UV30 sun protection. Furthermore, they are anti-microbial and utilize ultra light quick reaction fabric for built in cooling and ventilation. To learn more about Salt Life click hereĀ www.saltlife.com

Stopping by the Raymarine booth, I had the chance to talk about some of myĀ favorite features on the new gS and eS unitsĀ on my new Yellowfin 24 bay boat. One of the best features is the new switch panel. This adds a new level of functionality and ease of use. I can control the nav lights, washdown, bait well etc. from both stations on my bay boat. Here’s a short video about the switch panel. For more info on Raymarine products, click here: www.raymarine.com

Screen Shot 2016-07-19 at 10.48.55 AMNext, I had the chance to head over to the Hook & Gaff watch company to meet with Michael Sims, the President and CEO. Hook & Gaff has been producing the only watches designed to withstand the saltwater fishing environment. I love these watches! The newest model, Sportfisher II utilizes a left side crown, titatnium case and is water resistant to 200m. Hook & Gaff also has multicolored nato and rubber straps for fashion and functionality.

Lastly, I had the opportunity to stop by the Dr. Dan’s skincare booth to chat with show goers about the importance of skin care. The Dr. Dan’s line has the ultimate products to protect your skin, and heal your skin, both on and off the water. The Dr. Dan’s SunStick is my signature product. The SunStick reflects UVA and UVB rays, and it’s eco friendly with no scent. That means it’s safe for coral reefs (it’s not chemical bases) and won’t deter fish after handling your bait. I highly recommend this product! It keeps my kids and I safe, day after day on the water. For more info on Dr. Dan’s click here:Ā http://www.drdanslipbalm.com/



Fishing off Miami with Bass Pro Shops’ Chuck Stevens 6/12

On Sunday 6/12 I had the pleasure of fishing with my good friend Chuck Stevens, Ā GM of the Ft. Myers – Bass Pro Shops Ā Chuck brought along his lifelong friends Erik and John.

We had a blast fishing off Miami with my tournament Captain Quinton Dieterle, on his charter boat the Cutting Edge.

We kept some mahi for the dinner table. Chuck cooked some up for his employees at Bass Pro Shops Fort Myers

Screen Shot 2016-06-15 at 11.12.30 AM

Screen Shot 2016-06-15 at 11.12.59 AM

Tripletail…not pretty to look at…but great to eat šŸ™‚

oooooo barracuda!

DSC00458 (1)

Awesome day on the water!

Screen Shot 2016-06-15 at 11.57.32 AM

Screen Shot 2016-06-15 at 11.22.29 AM

Tarpon fishing off Key Biscayne

Sometimes when the tide is just right, the tarpon stack up off the beaches of Key Biscayne. Last week was one of those times šŸ™‚

For Tackle:

  • 5/0 circle hook
  • 50 lb. Fluorocarbon leader
  • 50 lb. braid

For bait, I am using live crabs. I prefer permit sized…smaller crabs. The great thing about using live crabs and circle hooks is there is no need to set the hook. I prefer to leave the rod in the rod holder, with the drag set moderate to Ā heavy, so it’s slightly difficult to pull line out. The key is to keep the drag tight during the hookset, otherwise the hook will not be able to penetrate the fish’s jaw. To hook the crab, work the hook gently through the horn, on the side of the carapace (as seen in the video below.)

I prefer to suspend the crab under a cork or bobber, depending on the conditions and depth I’m fishing in. I place the cork or bobber 5-6 feet up from the hook. If the current is ripping too hard, try free lining your crab. The idea is to get the crab looking as lifelike as possible. When I am fishing around Key Biscayne, I drift with the current.

Tarpon are the ultimate inshore game fish and it’s fortunate that here in Florida we have such readily available access to this fishery…without needing expensive tackle or a big boat. One thing that’s important…if you plan on fishing at night make sure you have proper safety equipment and navigational lights.



Chi Chi Miguel 10th Annual Throwdown Benefit Auction and BBQ

On April 15th I had the privilege of attending the ChiChi Miguel Throwdown in Destin, FloridaScreen Shot 2016-05-04 at 1.47.37 PM. The event brings together celebrities, winemakers and philanthropists Ā with the goal of raising funds for numerous Florida Gulf Coast charities. This year, the event raised $700,000!

Donations benefit the Emeril Lagassee Foundation, Emerald Coast Children’s Advocacy Center, Alaqua Animal Refuge, Camille’s Art for Autism, Food for Thought, The Ingram Lee Foundation, the Sinfonia Gulf Coast Foundation and the Children’s Volunteer Health Network.

Screen Shot 2016-05-04 at 1.58.34 PM

Chi Chi Miguel takes place over three days…culminating with a grand finale; a backyard barbecueĀ competition and auction.

I had the pleasure of donating a 3 fishing trips in theĀ auction, in support of the Emeril Lagassee Foundation. The 3 fishing trips raised $30,000 for Emeril’s foundation, which benefits children’s charities to support culinary, nutrition and arts programs. To learn more about the Emeril Lagassee Foundation visit emeril.org



2016 Bass Pro Shops Florida employee’s tournament on Lake Okeechobee

Screen Shot 2016-04-28 at 3.29.36 PM

Yesterday I had the opportunity to fish in the 2016 Bass Pro Shops Florida employee’s tournament on Lake Okeechobee.

Screen Shot 2016-04-28 at 3.07.13 PMThere were 56 boats filled with employees from 5 Florida Bass Pro Shops stores. I fished with my friend Brett Cannon and Bass Pro Dania Beach employee Mike O’Gorman.

We fished most of the day with topwater plugs (Zara Spooks,) topwater frogs, and also with Senko worms and swim baits like the Gambler Big EZ.Screen Shot 2016-04-28 at 3.34.36 PM

The fishing was slow, but we rallied and managed to catch the 3 fish limit forĀ a total weight of 11 lbs. 7 oz, putting us 6th out of 56 boats!

Thanks so much Brett for putting us on the fish and for Bass Pro’s Mike O’Gorman for giving it hisĀ all today.

I had a great time meeting all of the hard working employees from Bass Pro Shops, and loved swapping fishing stories after the tournament. This was a well organized, fun event with a great atmosphere. I can understand why folks love working at Bass Pro Shops…this positive environment makes the customer experience that much better.

Visit www.bassproshops.com to find the lures mentioned in this blog and to find your nearest store.