2010-2011 Top Five Conversation - Mark Bellote

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Heywood
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2010-2011 Top Five Conversation - Mark Bellote

Post by Heywood »

2010-2011 Top Five – Mark Bellote

Still have not received anything from Jose Chavez, so we will move onto the number two finisher for the year, Mark Bellote aka Cooknfish.

Mark Bellotte – Member of Florida Outdoor Writers Association (FOWA), Saltwater Angler Magazine columnist - “Wade, Walk & Paddle”, Pro Staff for FINS Premium Superlines.

Marks 2010 -2011 highlights: 1st Place Trout, Dynamic Duo. 1st Place Slam, Mystery Lure. 3rd Place Slam, The Tackle Box. 1st Place Trout, The Erick Bell Memorial. Mark finished the year with 248 points.
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- How long have you been kayak fishing, what type of kayak do you fish out of?

I grew up fishing the waters of Tampa Bay and the surrounding areas and had my own power boat before I became a teenager; a 9’ Boston Whaler. That started my passion of catching fish from a small craft. Listening to Capt. Mel Berman and the Canoe Man, Merrill Chandler sparked an interest in losing the power aspect of boating and opting for a canoe in 2000. Since then, I have paddled just about every paddle craft on the market. Right now I am using a Hobie Quest but I am currently looking for my next fishing machine.
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-What type of equipment do you normally use? Rod, Reel, Line, Leader.

I own several different rods and reels. I tailor my rod selections based on the baits I am throwing and the conditions/situations I will be using them in. The rods range between 7’ to 8’, Medium Light to Heavy power. I own a lot of the Wright & McGill Sabalos reels because they are inexpensive and they perform very well. I was using FINS line long before they offered me a position on their Pro Staff team. I use the Original PRT for general flats fishing, XS for larger fish or structure fishing and Shock Absorbing for Tarpon and Kingfish that hit hard and fast. Leader material – I use Seaguar Fluorocarbon.

-What was your biggest fish caught? What did you catch it on and how did you use that lure?

My biggest fish of the series was a 26” snook caught at Weedon Island on a Highroller Original. It was part of the pack of lures the PFTS put together for each of the participants to use for the “Mystery Lure” format. To be honest, I played a huge part in bringing that bait in for the tournament. I have been using Highroller plugs for a long time. I’m a sucker for handcrafted wooden plugs and wanted to help promote the company and give everyone a chance to use a bait that many have not heard of before this event. I use the bait much like any other “walking” style topwater except I snap the rod tip a little sharper. I also change it up by giving series of snaps. When the plug hits the water I will snap it 4 or 5 times and pause for a second before snapping another set of 2 to 3. Let it pause and repeat. The bait darts, flips, jumps, pops, splashes about like a wounded fish trying its damnedest to boogie for shelter and not to get eaten.
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-What type of area do you look for when targeting that species?

That question cannot be easily answered. It would depend on what location and the time of year. For that particular snook on that particular day, I knew the bigger fish would be hanging with mullet on the flats or around oyster bars. It was no monster but it was big enough.

-What lures did you use for the Dynamic Duo?

That was an emotional event for me because I just lost my father a few weeks before. If I remember correctly, I chose the Mirrodine and SheDog.
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-What lure did you use for the My Lure is Better than Your Lure?

DOA CAL Shadtail in Arkansas Glo rigged weedless on a LazerSharp 3/0 1/8oz swimbait hook.
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-How did you rig the Gold Dart?

Weedless on a LazerSharp 3/0 1/8oz swimbait hook.

-What lure / lures did you use for The Tackle Box?

I could have left my tackle box at home that day. I used the same baits all day. The DOA shrimp and CAL shadtail in Arkansas Glo on a CAL 1/4oz jighead. The wind was brutal that day and I couldn’t use the shrimp effectively. The jig got the job done for me that day.

-When targeting the Big Three, Snook, Redfish and Trout, what type of area do you look for during the following seasons:

oWinter

Trout – Shallow bars with troughs or deeper dropoffs and vegetation.
Reds – Shallow grass flats with sandy potholes
Snook – If it is warm enough to target them, they will be on the flats.


oSpring

Trout – Shallow bars with troughs or deeper dropoffs and vegetation.
Reds – Shallow grass flats with sandy potholes
Snook – Shallow bayous with mangrove cover, oyster bars with deeper surrounding water.


oSummer

Trout – Shallow bars with troughs or deeper dropoffs and vegetation, deep (6ft) grass flats.
Reds –grass flats with sandy potholes, oyster bars
Snook – deep troughs, passes between mangrove islands, docks or bridges.



oFall

Trout – Shallow bars with troughs or deeper dropoffs and vegetation.
Reds – Shallow grass flats with sandy potholes
Snook – Shallow bayous with mangrove cover, oyster bars with deeper surrounding water.


-If you could give one tip for using artificial lures, what would it be?

Learn the bait! Don’t just throw it a couple of times and make a decision based on if you caught anything on it. Does it float or sink? Does it dive and if so, how deep? What happens if you twitch it? What happens if you use a steady retrieve? There is no wrong way to work a lure, just a wrong place to use it. What I mean by that usually refers to water depth. There was a “One Lure Challenge” style event where we were using DOA TerrorEyz. I heard several people complaining about the bait because they were trying to throw a deep water style bait in a foot and a half of water with thick vegetation. Of course you’re going to have a bad day trying to fish a bait the way you want to instead of how the bait was designed. Learn the bait and the fish will follow.
Last edited by Heywood on Wed May 11, 2011 2:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 2010-2011 Top Five Conversation - Mark Bellote

Post by John »

Image

I believe this the hook you're looking for

Great article, good insight into how these guys are approaching their fishing.
"If you don't know history, then you don't know anything. You are a leaf that doesn't know it is part of a tree." - Michael Crichton

Heywood
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Re: 2010-2011 Top Five Conversation - Mark Bellote

Post by Heywood »

John wrote:Image

I believe this the hook you're looking for

Great article, good insight into how these guys are approaching their fishing.
Thanks John. I hope Cook will see this and verify it.
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Re: 2010-2011 Top Five Conversation - Mark Bellote

Post by Todd »

One recurring theme you will see is that the anglers who win do not carry a thousand lures with them. They stick to a few lures they have confidence in and stick to them.
You know what La Quinta means in English? Behind Dennys. MarkM

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Re: 2010-2011 Top Five Conversation - Mark Bellote

Post by CooKnFish »

Heywood wrote:
John wrote:Image

I believe this the hook you're looking for

Great article, good insight into how these guys are approaching their fishing.
Thanks John. I hope Cook will see this and verify it.

That's the stuff!
Paddles - they aren't just for the bedroom anymore.

~Mark~

Heywood
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Re: 2010-2011 Top Five Conversation - Mark Bellote

Post by Heywood »

Thanks Mark. Added it.
"Anytime I shag a buddies wife I always cut the lawn when I'm done " ~ The Leg End ~

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Re: 2010-2011 Top Five Conversation - Mark Bellote

Post by Captain Hugh »

Rik I think these interviews are very good. Paul had a really good Idea to do them. I am really enjoying reading them.
"There was a very cautious man, who never laughed or cried. He never risked, he never lost, he never won nor tried. And when he one day passed away, his insurance was denied, For since he never really lived, they claimed he never died

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2010-2011 Top Five Conversation - Mark Bellote

Post by Rik »

Thanks Hugh. Heywood deserves a lot of credit for getting them done also.

The PFTS has always been a lot more than just about those that win. There's a lot of good info in these stories that everyone from noob to old salt can learn from.
Over every mountain there is a path, although it may not be seen from the valley

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Re: 2010-2011 Top Five Conversation - Mark Bellote

Post by jbdba01 »

I can confirm the thoughts above.

Come August/Sept I will have been kayaking 1 year. Fishing many...

From this forum:
  • I bought a kayak from kneedeep.
    I've read/re-read/and re-re-read Heywoods Winter article - plus a bunch more. Implemented tips and caught a mess of trout/reds when I was friggin' clueless.
    Figured out how to quasi-rig my kayak from the rigging section.
    Figured out less is more.
    I asked for help for the PFTS 01/11 tourney - got help there. Plus learned how to paddle in +20knot winds.
    I've spoken with and implemented hardware and fishing strategies from Cooknfish.
    I've received a bunch of thoughts and comments from other folks in the forum.
    I've caught more reds than in the previous 4 years - (I've also committed to spend as much time on the water - so that helped.).
    I've made some new friends.
    I also learned to get more in touch with my feminine side, express my feelings more openly, and learned to cry...oh wait that was the "I'm over 45 and have no testosterone left in my system" forum. Sorry 'bout that.
After proof-reading the above I think I need to up my contribution to pf.com. At minimum buy some folks some beer and spread the wealth. If I would have tried to do the above by myself I would be spending years of learning the hard way - not to mention the $ spent learning.
JB

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Re: 2010-2011 Top Five Conversation - Mark Bellote

Post by Paul »

Nice interview Mark

In some sailing regattas I attend - we have a "Top Gun" session where the top five skippers and crew answer questions from the rest of the competitors.

It is very important to "Give back" if you want your sport to grow

The PFTS Paddle Fish Tournament series is a great place to test your skill. It is always a Good fun time. Don't let the word Tournament run you off. It is a Fun club event

Props to Heywood for putting the questions in a format

Capt. hugh anytime you want to come fish with be in one of these tournaments just let me know.
I've know hugh since I was 10 years old
Paul Silvernail
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Re: 2010-2011 Top Five Conversation - Mark Bellote

Post by CooKnFish »

Paul wrote:I've know hugh since I was 10 years old
That poor guy...
:lol:
Paddles - they aren't just for the bedroom anymore.

~Mark~

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Re: 2010-2011 Top Five Conversation - Mark Bellote

Post by Manning »

Great stuff Mark. Thanks for sharing.
Being out on the water in the kayak is the prize. Catching fish is the bonus.

Steve

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