A lot of people ask us what we use to get our night vision shark footage, as we are the only fisherman as far as we are aware to use full spectrum infrared technology to film the majority of our night-time expeditions. Well now the secret is out! Gotcha Ghost cameras is the ticket! YES, you read this right, one of our most important tools for extreme fishing is infact a piece paranormal ghost hunting equipment! It seemed like a perfect fit and collaborative effort, as we are big believers and paranormal enthusiasts when we are off the Team Rebel clock. So give them a ring,with the best prices on POV and still cameras around (converted or not) maybe your next fishing video or picture can go viral with the help of GhostHuntingCamera.com!
Its been a while since we since we have done an official write-up on the page here (since it has all been on Facebook and Instagram on a daily basis) but as we roll into the fabled Atlantic hurricane season, there is no better place to start than a report from the first named storm of the season.
As usual here at Team Rebl hq, when the bad weather starts rolling in and the normal people go inside to complain about how "crappy" the weather is , that is when we are at our best. We thrive on bad weather, mainly because it keeps everybody else in their home, the fishing is always good, and of course, no sun burn or sweat.
With the news coming down the pipe about the surprise first named storm of the year springing up just East of our primary location, Arthur had my and my tackles full attention. It was time to head out the day before the heaviest of the wind arrived and do a little surveying to see where it was we were going to strike when the weather turned.
After bit of driving around and trying to get back in the local loop of what has been going on (as we have been pretty lazy this year aside from some lame bass fishing and pathetic snook) we rolled up onto one of our favorite haunts, only to find some large numbers of unusually large snook lining a very small area. Almost anybody could have missed the, as the water was brown from all the freshwater dumping, but nonetheless, they were there and it was time to act.
Myself and Mike immediately started throwing our arsenal at these leviathan Snook,but to our dismay, no followers or takers. Ontop of that they wre acting very strange, rolling backwards and moving with each other in odd patterns, we soon realized tonight wouldnt be our night...
The next night the heaviest winds we received from Arthur had rolled in from the North, and with 90% chance of rain forecasted, I knew I couldn't sit at home with all this amazing weather keeping idiots in their homes, and the memory of all those massive, odd Snook was still fresh in my mind. At 11 p.m. I called Mike and told him I was headed back to the spot we found the fish, which he relayed his lack of enthusiasm about this plan. But solo or not I had to go back nd at least try for these out of place giants. Upon arrival at the bridge, I noticed that there was even more freshwater than the night before, and for some reason a few football fields of summertime mullet present with flying fish mixed in. Now I was confused, but as soon as I walked up, all I heard coming from the shadow is what sounded like gunshots of Snook feeding on the unfortunate baits getting pushed into the shadow line. I knew instantly it was going to go off on this night, and we probably only had once chance. I called Mike and told him to stop eating chips, get in his truck, and get here ASAP before I even dropped a bait, but again, he was hesitant to leave the confines of his house. So I said screw it, and began fishing.
I rigged up my trusty 4/0 senator with straight 80lb on it and netted some bait and started dodging traffic on the wet and dangerous road to make my first drift. And it didnt take long until I watched my 10" mullet disappear off the surface and I was in a serious throwdown with straight 80lb and the 4/0 on lockdown on my Barrett Rod terminator unlimited stick. I couldn't see the fish, but it had been beat, and I was the only person within miles that could net it. I tie my bridge net to the railing with one hand and threw it off into the darkness, while trying to keep the fishes head from going under water to let it regain traction. But I couldn't see what I was doing in the darkness. The first pass the net got wrapped all in my line, and I thought I was finished, but after some blind luck, and me standing 6ft off the railing just yanking the rope blindly, I all of a sudden felt some serious weight in the net. I free spooled my reel with one hand and dropped it to the ground and pulled up, noticing that this fish was much bigger than I had expected.
I got the net to the top of the railing, and it took A LOT to pull it up over the high railing, revealing an absolute beast of a Snook. At over 40"long, 12" tall and over 30lbs, this was a night mare scenario. Nobody there to take a picture, and my phone was acting up. Sadly, this is the only picture I could come up with of the behemoth. Just take note of the 4/0 laying on the side of it for size reference....
I put it back in the net and dropped it back down and watched her swim off with relative ease. So I called Mike again and told him he needed to get his ass to the bridge because it is going off. But in the time it took him to get there, I had already lost one, and hooked and landed the smallest fish of the bite, this fat 38" range girl. Which hit so hard heading up tide it almost took my rod out of my hand, an left me thinking it was a big jack, until I was able to net this one on a solo job as well. And of course, phone started working on this one (figures)
Now Mike had finally arrived on scene, and the fish were still chewing. He busted out the spinning rod with a jig and decided to go that route while I was hunting down more bait. And after about 10 cast he was hooked up on one that was kicking his ass up and down the shadow line. But luckily, it gave up before it got into the pilings, and I was able to get some fresh bait in the well while I was in the act netting his 40" class fish.
Mike said he had enough of the jig thing and decided to get onboard with some 10" mullet live bait man fishing to have a batter chance at getting a few more. And it only took another 15 min or so until I was bowed up again on a big mullet. This might have been the shortest fight in the history of Snook fishing, because as soon as I set the hook, I yanked the fish right out of the water and it it could do was dance helplessly on the surface until Mike was able to fit yet another 40" Snook into the net, and raise her up to Rebel land for a quick photo shoot.
We lowered her back in, and before the bubbles even settled in the shadow line, we pulled the hooks on two more monster fish, and not long after that Mike was hooked up to his number 2, and ANOTHER 40" Snook.
It was officially ridiculous, and this short bite window of massive fish we stumbled across is something that is pretty rare in this day and age around here. The tide was going slack, and we knew it was over for the night, but we went out with one last bang on slack tide, by me losing a 30 plus pound fish that I sight fished with a jig up on top. Mike and I watched it raise up and suck it off the surface and we almost had strokes, but as soon as I jacked it with everything I had, I pulled her head out of the water and we had a 2oz furry lead missle flying at our heads.
The final tally for the few hours of fishing the storm surge was 5, with 4 being over 40", one clearing 30lbs, one 38" fish (the runt) and 4 more lost (which still hurts). But if thats all we have to complain about besides a shotty pic of the biggest one, I think I'll take the 5 pigs and lose 4 anytime.
I had to go home and sleep off the ass kicking I got that night, and wash the stench of mullet and Snook off everything I owned, but Mike decided to take the party to the spillway in the morning while it was still dumping in anticipation of the rain that never came. And though the fishing was slow, I woke up to a picture of him getting his 3rd fish as well, and what a Snook it was, a monster over 40" on a jig and probably around the 35lb mark, another absolute trophy Snook. Bringing out half night/morning tally to 6, and 5 clearing 40".
Who knows the next time we will see a bite this good on MONSTER Snook again, in recent years the numbers of Snook on some of our trips have eclipsed 60, but never more than one or MAYBE two clearing the 40" mark, but for a few hours we were able to get a glimpse of how it "use" to be back in the day, but hopefully we can get a few more chances to get on bites like this, its all about connecting the dots, and praying for weather when nobody else wants it...In the end, we can only help whatever the next system is that will be ironically named "Bertha", comes and lays a beat down right on top of us....If we can only be so lucky....
Until next time....
-Team Rebel Out
Adam has reported in with a good one this time! Adam Fisk has set the bar pretty high once again, after being towed for 2 hours and 12 miles by an estimated 10-11ft hammerhead in his KAYAK. Thats right, in the kayak! Kudos to Fisk on his accomplishment, and the fact that it has gone viral on websites such as, The Huffington Post, Gawker, Reddit,Yahoo, ABC World News, MSN, Daily Mail, and sooo many more! Keep checking in for updates as they break. And check out Team Rebel Fishing on Right This Minute, and Good Morning America tomorrow morning! BEAST UP!
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After the website being dormant for an unusually long time, we decided it was best to get back to our roots for a minute and actually do a hand written report for a kind of nostalgic change. Though our consistency has not been present whatsoever, along with some seriously bad luck ( to a degree we have never experienced before) we have had some shining moments that have filled the void of bullshit here and there since the year has begun.
It was a long, weird, boring winter...
*Bad Luck Note # 1- Still under investigation by 3 different agency's regarding our triple unexpected Sawfish encounter from last July. Waiting to hear final judgement which will be handed down soon.
Ok, not the way you want to kick off a new year, but sometimes you draw the unlucky card, and a person who doesn't like you very much goes WAY out of their way to try to inconvenience your life as much as they can. But life goes on right? The Team Rebel train will NOT be de-railed under any circumstance, even though we stand firm on our stance, and the truth, about what had happened during the situation.
However, there were fish to be found, and ladders to be perched on, in search of some high intensity shark action! We have only been able to stand our ladders twice since we have rung in the New Year, but at least one of the trips was extremely productive.
Myself and Paper Shredder had formulated a plan to go on a ladder mission a little while back, in which we enlisted the help of good friend and ladder enthusiast Lynard Gentry to come out for a "Stand Along" on the flats.
*Badluck Note #2- I fell extremely ill the night before the trip, but I am not in the business of bailing out when something awesome is going on, so I put on my big boy shorts and ascended onto the flats with our ladder brigade in search of some vicious shallow water razor-toothed residents.
We arrived at the flat around 10 a.m. and got our ladders set-up and ready for some high flying action. I was pretty much useless, and conditions were cold and windy, so I pretty much just stayed on my ladder, occasionally commenting on some extremely American dialogues we were having, when Shredders rod suddenly took off. The battle was very short lived, and we knew the fish was small before Lynard grabbed the leader to release the shark. But nonetheless, a 5ft lemon shark on a ladder, is still a shark on ladder, so we were happy to have the skunk off early.
The weather started warming up a bit with the tide, thus pushing out the clean water, and bringing in the dirty water which usually brings a good shark bite along with its arrival. Not long after the first shark was released, Shredder was rigged up and already fighting his second fish of the day. This one was putting up a pretty valiant fight, which we immediately knew that this was a better fish. After about a 15 minute battle, the mystery shark made its first showing behind Shredders ladder, revealing itself as a nice 7 to 7 1/2 ft feisty Lemon shark. Being the excellent American he is, Lynard decided he was going to leader this one as well and cut the girl off. No big deal right? FALSE! On a ladder we have learned apparently everything we do is a big deal and not as easy as it seems. Lynard did in fact leader the girl up to the side of his ladder to cut the shark off, but his hillbilly gene kicked in, and he decided to grab the tip of its tail on its way out, and it didn't go to well.
I didn't think it was possible, but the shark turned around with its mouth WIDE open, barely missing Lynards foot and latching onto the ladder with no intentions of releasing its lock until it realized it was shredding fiberglass and not Gentrys leg. (The video below contains the clip, as well as the rest of the action from this trip)
As you can see from the look on my face I was in complete shock over the incident myself.
We laughed it off and continued fishing, and again, Shredder hooked up to his third shark of the morning, a Lemon shark of about 6ft. It fought with the heart of a monster, and this one also tried hard to maim Gentrys hand during release, but all was good still in ladder land and the bite was hot as the tide was coming to an end. But we were not done, and Gentry had a personal score to settle..
We began discussing packing up and leaving so I could go find medication and hot sauce, but during this dialogue, Gentrys rod went off by means of a hellish scream. His line went slack almost immediately, and as he was trying to get tight to the fish. I maneuvered to our most unstable ladder to retriever the Go Pro, as Shredder was at the kayak base cutting up some fresh baits. But when I made this transition, I could hear the line scoping in front of my ladder, against the tide, and heading directly for my new station. Gentry finally caught up to the shark, and when the shark got the memo, it leaped completely out of the water missing the ladder by mere feet! It was pretty incredible to see up close, but luckily not to close. He was now in the heat of battle with this nasty giant black-tip shark, and it was getting sketchy fast. Gentry was position on the middle ladder, and the signature of the black-tips on the flats is that they love to circle and bull dog. So around and around and around he went, with the line constantly flying over our heads while trying to get the fish under control. That was until the first time that it did not clear the ladder, and decided to bludgeon my unstable ladder with its tail, rocking it violently back and forth. We did recover from that incident quickly, but the next pass was even worse, this time it didn't;t clear the ladder again, but it had a new approach, to swim right under my ladder and take off! All hell broke lose as we began jockey to free the line from the ladder and continuing to fight the shark. After some colorful words, we regained our composure again, and on its final pass it decided to bludgeon Shredders "fortress" Werner ladder wit hits tail, in which I don't think he even felt the impact. But it was here where the fight ended, with a rather smooth cut off, and us declaring the ladder trip finally over.
I was contacted a week later by Field & Stream magazine, looking to do a write-up about ladder fishing for their April issue (which I pain stakingly obliged), but there was a dead line to meet, and the weather had gotten very cold, way to cold to be standing out there soaked on ladders, but we had to give it a shot.
Bad Luck Note #3- My trailer that I used to transport kayaks, ladders, and equipment for work, was stolen the day before this trip, which made this that much harder to be able to attempt.
No matter the cost, we had to try, so we returned to the flat with the odds stacked against us and morale low. To keep it short, it went exactly as I expected, nothing. I had one small fish that was on for a short while that came off, but you cant win them all sadly. Luckily we had enough content from previous trips to get the job done though for the April issue.
River Monster Phase-
We had been doing some recon while failing at snook fishing in early January at various spots late night, when we came into an extremely mysterious large Jack bite happening inside the river. All my years of bridge hopping I had never really seen this occur, so naturally my first thought was that there had to be Bull Sharks around with all the jacks laying in the darkness and off the radar. So during the Black-tip Challenge, we thought the best game plan we had was to go try for a river monster while the teams were struggling to find fish and clam surf to fish ocean side. The first night we setup our gear at the location we had chosen to find it vacant of any other form of angler, which is always a major plus. We were feeling good about our chances, and as Adam kayaked out and dropped his first bait, before he made it back to shore the bait had already been taken. Sadly the hook set was missed, and the bait just drifted away in the absolutely raging current. Adam quickly re-baited and re-deployed to the same spot, and this time the result was almost identical. He had just made it back to shore and the reel was going off again. This time we were certain we were not going to miss the fish again, especially if it was dumb enough to come back for seconds. We had a plan set, that I would set the hook and Adam would be waiting with the harness behind me to be strapped in, because there is literally NO time to screw up because there are so many obstacle for your line to hit in the insanely fast current. I let the shark eat for a healthy amount of time, said a Hail Mary, and did the point of the cross, and hit the fish with the ever pleasing running-man hook set. After only about 6 strides, I was stopped dead in my tracks, as I handed the rod off to Adam and the team to lock him in the harness.
While this was occurring, I reached over and put the drag to absolute lockdown. We grabbed onto Adam who was getting drug forward violently by the freight training fish in the current and tried to settle in for a war. Only a few minutes into the fight, the Braid Power-play harness plate SNAPPED down the center from the downward pressure, which meant we had to somehow switch the plates out with the fool-proof Barrett Harness plate, without letting up on the pressure on the fish. It was a dicey few moments, but we pulled it off without a hitch.
About 25 minutes into the fight, we saw its dorsal pop up close to shore. We already knew it was a bull shark, now the question was how big it was. Myself and Shredder navigated the dangerously rocky flat to be able to guide the shark to the sandy beach, and when we finally secured a rope on her, we realized she was a river studette, not quite yet a river monster.
A few quick shots and she was on her way after a little help out to deeper water, and she menacingly took her time to submerge back into the still river water.
The next night Adam wanted to return back for another shot at a bigger fish. We thought this was an excellent idea, especially due to the fact that it had been raining now for almost 20 hours. Adam deployed his first two baits and quickly got a pick-up. Adams friend Scott got tight in the harness and once the shark felt the hook and the immense pressure, it literally came flying out of the water, absolutely losing all its composure and wearing itself out on the surface. The fight only lasted a few minutes, but they were rewarded with this 7 ft + future snook eater.
Note* Neither of these fish were submitted for the BTC tourney.
We thought things were beginning to look-up now, little did we know that the slide was about to get much worse than we had ever experienced. The land-based fishing had gotten very stagnant, with myself and Cody experiencing the worst snook fishing we have encountered in a long time, with probably 20 nights fished between the both of us, and not a single bite to even show for it. Adam on the other hand decided to get back to his roots and keep pounding the kayak scene offshore. He was able to obtain this nice Sailfish from the kayak while I was at home moping around and trying to teach myself how to play guitar during my hiatus.
I kept sneaking out on a friend of mines flats boat, but we were engaging in mostly non-metal activity, like light tackle fishing for Pompano on the flats. Yeah I know, its terrible, but fishing for everything else every time was just beyond horrible. Luckily the ocean laid down one day and we were able to get on on the beach side and get into an out of control Black-tip bite. We had as many as 80 around the boat multiple times, with free jumpers almost every second in any direction you could look. We had them frenzied up behind the boat and hand feeding them, and in a few hours we probably hooked 30 or so between the two of us. It was fast easy action and entertaining when you are slumping hard. We took a few pictures and video, but the camera died very early into the bite, and sadly we missed the true insanity when the bite was in full swing.
After laying dormant for the most part in my house for the past month. I have had enough, and decided to try to get out and find some fish, and somehow try to break out of the worst fishing slump of my entire existence. I had a little bit of motivation, due to the fact that we hooked up with a new Jig company and we had a bunch of product to try out on the bridges. The first night out I got a 20in snook, it doesn't sound like much, but that was a big deal because I have been doing that bad in all honesty. I had a little bit of confidence now to go back out the next night, and with that I was able to get a snook that was keeper size but I released it due to the fact I was to lazy to get my tape measure, plus killing it might have ruined my slowly rising ju-ju. But it was just this Saturday that my fortunes may have finally changed. Lynard Gentry called me and said he wanted to go try to fish even though it was very cold and extremely windy. I obliged just to get out of the house, but once we got to our target destination to find it loaded with people (which is very unusual) we devised a plan to go check out a place we never go unless people are everywhere. We pulled up on the bridge and made the trek out, and as usual it appeared to be void of life. But we were there and had to give it a try, so I tied on one of the new Jetty Rat Redfish/Snook Jigs, and started bumping the muddy bottom. Halfway through my first throw, I had a thump on my jig that felt like a bow being dry fired. I set the hook and absolutely jacked this unsuspecting fish with the new Jetty Rat custom jigging rod, but I was not prepared for the response I would get from the jig eating assailant.
It rose to the surface thrashing more violently than anything I had ever hooked on a jig before, and I was fearing that the hook would get thrown or my 100lb leader would be frayed through from the massive pressure and insane head shakes that would just not stop. I knew if I let this fishes head go back underwater I wouldn't have a chance, so I was pushing all of my gear to the absolute limit. After about 20 violent head shakes, the fish had tired enough to be brought to the net that Gentry was waiting to scoop her up with. But when the fish was being hoisted up to the bridge, I noticed she started losing her cool in the net, and throwing the jig out of her mouth! It was getting dicey now, and it was a race to the top! With a little bit of luck, we were able to hoist this monster snook over the railing, and absolute giant for any form of artificial, and especially on a bridge. She was between 30-35 lbs (didn't weigh) and we took a couple of quick shots before lowering her back down in the net and letting her coast back into the dark shadows of the bridge. Now that's a way to break out of a legendary bad luck streak!
Disregard the serial killer eyes
Little did I know that Adam was hitting the backwaters in his kayak that next morning, with intentions of looking for some backwater bull sharks. He was unsuccessful on that front (though he hooked two) but on his way back in his was able to doom this 40" class daytime backwater snook from the kayak! Truly an awesome accomplishment!
Where the Hell is Shredder?
Good question, as he hasn't been spotted with any fish since he completely destroyed the lemon sharks on his last ladder trip. But he has been busy doing important things as well, such as promoting one of our videos that has began accompanying one of our sponsor Aquatic Nutritions product launches in various Bass Pro Shop stores, along with giving various seminars about basic Shark Fishing and Snook fishing. It will only be a matter of time before the skunk is off his back and something ridiculous happens to him, as that is one thing that never seems to fail. Oh, Can't forget spamming the Mac Store with Team Rebel propaganda!
We are now in March, and even though things have been looking grim, we have a few things to hang our hats on for the time being. We also have some MAJOR updates coming in the near future that we can't wait to share with everybody. We are excited to usher in a new year, with a fresh face, and a fresh facelift for the website, we now have updated our Press page, Media page, we have conformed and now have an Instagram, and are getting ready to drop a bunch of shirts and hats and official logo soon. But that's only the stuff I am allowed to talk about right now! We hope everybody else out there is coming out of their winter,football-less funk, and getting ready to get out there and get some fishing in with the warm weather now officially on the horizon. Wondering what is going to happen next....
Until next time.....
- Team Rebel out