by Captain John Havens
With today's technology it is amazing what information we have at the touch of a finger, especially when it comes to using an iPhone. Over the past month or so I have been putting the new "LifeProof IPhone Case" to the test, seeing if it could actually protect my phone in some of the harshest conditions we face as fishermen. So far the case has done everything it's advertisements claim it can, as in protecting your phone from water, dirt, snow and impact or drops.
When I got my first iPhone I was a bit cautious with it in my boat and around the water, understanding that a small amount of water exposure could cause it to be useless and a costly replacement. With this new case I am much more at ease, as much so as I carry my phone with me nearly all times when wading now. Having my phone with me wading allows me access to much needed information anytime I need it. Over the past two months we have fished a few tournament days that were incredibly nasty conditions, pouring rain and lightning being the two biggest factors. Having my phone with me during these times in the past was not feasible, but with the new case it now became possible to carry my phone in such conditions without the fear of it being exposed to water. One tournament day in particular my phone spent hours submerged in water, with no problems at all. With my phone in hand I now had access to tons of real time weather information, including radar and realtime winds. With this information I am able to tell which way storms are approaching, wind changes and warnings. All of these helping me make the right decisions on where I should be, or which direction I should head in order to find some sort of protection or my way around a storm. Having my phone with me also allows me quick access to emergency services shall something bad happen during the day.
Besides the weather information it provides, I am also able to look up tide tables and feeding times during the day, without having to remember or write them down, as I have had to do in the past. With the iPhones camera and video capabilities I no longer carry a digital camera along, the quality of pictures and video is pretty amazing for a phone. The only downfall I have found with this case so far is it's ability to trap heat inside. Just as it keeps water out, the airtight case keeps heat trapped inside with no way of escaping. This is more a user error rather than a design flaw, therefor you must be cautious to not leave your phone exposed to direct sunlight or hot areas. From everything I have seen about this case I would definitely recommend it to fellow fishermen, the case can be purchased for around $80, which I feel is a small price for what it offers. The case can be seen here: http://www.lifeproof.com/
remains inconsistent at the time being. There have been some really good catches and there have been many hours spent searching for a bite. If it is big trout you are after, then wading is most likely your best bet. Areas around marsh drains, mud and grassy shorelines have provided the most consistent bite while wading. The areas around the passes leading from the Gulf into the bays are really starting to heat up. Conditions change quite a bit this time of year from day to day, adapting to and overcoming the conditions are the key. There may be hours of searching and casting, but keep with it and you can truly be rewarded with the fish of a lifetime. Over the past few weeks some of our biggest fish came during slow times in knee deep water, keep chunking and grinding instead of running from spot to spot. When looking for big trout this time of year I really prefer to fish shallow throwing mostly topwaters and corkies.
This time of year I also spend a lot of time at the jetties, the variety of fish available out there now is always a bonus. Big trout running the rocks, monster redfish and huge Big Uglies(drum) can keep a day very interesting. Don't forget the sheephead, they have saved many a trip for those just wanting to stretch a line. For the trout a free lined shrimp is hard to beat as close to the rocks as possible. Redfish and drum are falling for the same, but seem to prefer half cracked crabs when available. The sheephead like a shrimp under a float drifting along the rocks, or a carolina rig slowly drifted along the bottom about 10-15 feet off the rocks.