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Coast to Coast Blog Part 1


The summer of 2019 has brought me to some incredible places. I earned a spot at ICAST in Orlando Florida with Shimano North America, and early July I headed down to the land of humidity, big fish, and amazing people.

The experiences I had in Florida will not soon leave me. I made fishing plans with some of my friends here in the Pacific Northwest to do a little bit of fishing while we were all in the same place across the country. My friends from the Gerber Gear team set up a fishing trip with one of the captains on our Shimano team. Since I partner with both companies, I thought it an excellent excuse to go and scare a fish or two. As soon as I Cast is over, we would make a two-hour trek to West Palm Beach and begin our fishing excursion with Peacock Bass. Before I dive into that, a little bit about some awesome Shimano reels at I Cast.

Shimano had a bag of new treats that will be out on the market over the next few months. Here are two I am the most excited for:

Stradic FL: Upgrades on the new Stradic, its my favorite reel and is now stronger than ever! It won best salt water reel at the show too!

“The Stradic outperforms all of its predecessors. For the first time in the Stradic class, the reel now features Silent Drive, Micromodule Gear II and a Long Stroke Spool for better casting distance. Durability has been further improved with increased gear strength and X-Protect water resistance.”

SLX DC: If you want to try a baitcaster but are leery of birdsnesting, this is exactly for you.

“The SLX DC utilizes Shimano’s Digital Control (DC) braking system as the star element of this reel. The SLX DC offers four adjustable settings that enables anglers to fish a wide variety of lures of different shapes and sizes, in all weather conditions. The newest SLX will also feature the Hagane Body which helps to ensure that the reel is extremely rigid and durable, meaning that all movement results in smooth, yet strong cranking power.”

With ICast wrapping up, the crew (who I refer to as the Wolf Pack now) hopped in a minivan (yep) and hit the road.

First we met with a new friend, Michael Grant, who took us around the canals behind his home to chase peacocks. With some live bait he had gathered prior to our arrival, the trip out to fish didn’t include much. A live bait fish was thrown on the hook and then thrown out to a piling or dock that lined the sides of the rivers.

Peacock bass, while not a native fish to southern Florida, make their homes in the intricate canal system the connects water ways all throughout the West Palm Beach area. Fishing them on live bait was telling of the Peacocks behavior, because you could feel the little guy try to scramble off just before line would begin to peel off your reel. Peacock bass do not disappoint in terms of strength and fighting resilience. Over only a few short hours, the boat collectively pulled in around 15-20 fish before we decided to try our hand with clown fish and small mouth bass.

My introduction to Florida fishing began here, and this only scratched the surface of the incredible fishing I was exposed to. More of that, and the incredible swordfish story, on the next blog entry.

Tight lines my friends,

Bad Ash


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