Saturday, April 09, 2005

Sabiki Time!

Sakibi is a Japanese word meaning something like "little bait fish rig" or "to catch little bait fish." There is a multi-million dollar industry in Sabiki fishing. It is catching on all over the US. Basically, you catch little bait fish and then use them for catching bigger fish. Some folks are so rabid about Sabiki fishing that they don't even bother with the big fish and just catch bait - they even have tournaments just for the Sabiki. I'll have to admit it is a blast after you get used to how it works, since the Sabiki has up to eight surgically sharp bait hooks that can grab you pretty bad if you're not attentive. No hook ever invented is this sharp. A pack costs about four dollars but you have to buy them online ... you will never see the Sabiki for sale on South Padre Island.

Golden croaker, pinfish, pigfish, minnows, ballyhoo, you name it, the Sabiki catches it, everything except for the vegetarian mullet. There are even deepwater Sabiki versions with larger hooks, and yes they also works freshwater lakes too. You don't catch big fish on dead shrimp or dead critters, my friends, you need a real live baitfish for trophies (I am really pulling your leg here but bear with me). No weight, no nothing you just take the fish caught by the Sabiki and put it on a bare hook on at least 10 pound test line and throw it out there. I suppose it is a "poor man's flycasting" but the method can be quite productive as opposed to throwing plastic and horsehair around your ears. Hey, if the bait fish aren't biting the Sabiki and the big fish aren't biting the caught bait fish, you're sight casting for reds by throwing stuff on their noses, a different art.

I buried the discussion of the sorry-ass state of public boat ramps on places like South Padre Island because it is a big deal, and to set the stage for what is a major recreation activity (although the Sabiki is relatively unknown to most rednecks down here). To my recollection, there are at least four or five major fishing tournaments a year that would involve launching a boat from a trailer. These folks bring in millions of dollars to the local economy but if you talk to them, it is a royal pain in the derriere.

Why? First, there are no facilities that can really handle the volume so folks have to launch from little dinky, dangerous, and antiquated one-hole outlets located on private lands or a few public facilities. The serious fishermen are confounded by fools who can't back up a trailer or try to have the woman get them out of the hole and screw it all up. There are plenty of accidents, which is why most municipal and private folks have gotten out of the business - the insurance for all these yahoos was just getting way too expensive. Then there is the issue of where to park the truck and trailer once the boat is launched. I don't blame the poor fishin' folks for just giving up and parking right in front of someone's house, since there simply is no place to go - we're talking about maybe 15 feet of truck and 15 feet of trailer, here. The first-timers, drunks, and fools ruin it for everyone, it seems. I've known many tournament fisher dudes to launch their boats in the middle of the night just to be rid of all that Mickey-Mouse.

I've been there. Backing up. It was very tense. Very tight. Maybe eight inches on each side. One bad move and kaboom.

If you want some help in designing a cool, new boat launching ramp you should study what the US Army Corps of Engineers does. They always put in at least two ramps twenty-foot wide and have at least two acres of parking with long slots for vehicle and trailer combinations (with a circle-out so nobody gets stuck there). True, there is no real great place to do this on South Padre Island but the concept should still be presented and options should be explored. I would gamble that people would love to pay some good money to have a secure place to launch their boats and park their vehicles. There are millions in revenue riding on this and to say that this is just a "minor inconvenience" is completely a crock. The situation with the boats launches is both dire and serious, beyond laughable.

Plus, it is time to stock up all the neat fishing gear like the Sabiki. Tight lines!


Michael Leahy said...

Sam, I agree, just yasterday I was talking with my next door neighbor who wants to go on a fishing trip in May. He just bought a beautiful new 26' boat. I mentioned that he and his wife should join us in May when we go to the island. I commented on how great the bay fishing was and commented on "Snook" in the area (He caught many when he lived in FL.) To my dismay he did not want to drive "All that way", with gas prices as high as they are, and not have a decent boat ramp to launch his boat from! He also commented on the lack of places to park his truck with the trailer. He has not been to the island in years, and he said that many fishermen he knows comment on this problem! How much money is the island losing from people like this? He does not do anything half assed or cheap.I told him to go to the election forum and ask why there are not more and better boat ramps on the island and what is going to be done. MFLeahy

Sam said...

Well. neighbors with cool boats are good, although I am sorry to hear that SPI kinda sucks for him this summer. We have neighbors with a big patio boat (Yamaha 80 HP) with a full cover and a swimming ladder and that is like so much fun. These are actually my favorite kind of boat because it has shade and can handle Laguna Madre waters that average 2.5 feet deep. But I've drift fished from big V-hulls and skimmers and it was always a blast. It used to be that you could put a boat in the water down in SPI for free. It costs serious bucks and a major hassle now. Hopefully, the powers that be can actually DO something about the crisis. -Sam

Michael Leahy said...

My brother in-law is in the reserves and we often go to the Army resort on Canyon Lake. I love to rent one of their pontoon/patio boats there. They are one of the most stable boats you can pilot. My favorite thing is to take a small BBQ pit and an ice chest full of cold beer out to the middle of the lake :-) MFLeahy

Jackson said...

Sildenafil Citrate said...

I was in Japan last summer and I think, I am not sure, that I heard that word in particular, I don't have good Japanese listening skills, interesting to know about this, thanks!