Tag Archives: Billy Rotne

The Florida Marathon Campaign

For your entertainment…

2016 Florida Marathon Campaign - Fly Fishing Portraits

I’ve attached the Florida Keys Fishing Write-Up as a PDF Document that includes 36 photos from the expedition last week.  I decided to capture the story in this format to entertain those who are interested in the both the overall fishing experience as well as with the photos.  Hopefully, the stories “bring the photos to life” and vice versa.

For those of you that have Continue reading »

The Hunt For RedZilla (2016)

Sunrise on the Lagoon

Sunrise on the Lagoon

Although the fishing was challenging, the weather was stellar as James Jiloty, Lloyd Kaplan, Billy Rotne and I seemed to cover every inch of Mosquito Lagoon in our ongoing hunt for Redzilla (the monster 70 Lb. redfish). Continue reading »

Great Snook Day – 04/29/2015

For your entertainment.

20150429 - Great Snook Day (1)

Billy Rotne and I fishing with Captain George Gozdz today in Stuart, FL.  We hooked over 20 but landed 10 that were all great specimens (the two largest were about 15 Lbs.).


The interesting thing about hunting Snook here is that it is truly “Combat Fishing.”  Immediately after they ambush your bait, you pretty much have to pull back as hard as you can to keep them away from the structure.  The drag is completely tightened down and we are using 50 Lb. test line.

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Once clear of the structure, you have to keep the Snook from running, jumping, cartwheeling and tail walking.  When you get them under control, the challenge shifts to trying to grab them by the mouth, lift them into the boat and removing the hook (all while avoiding their gill-plate that is razor sharp and could slice your hand open).

We have one more day to fish tomorrow as we continue our quest for the 30+ pounder.

More to follow.


A Few From Yesterday

It was a great 58th birthday today with Captain Billy and Ron Burnside. Ron and I each landed a 34 LB Redfish (Ron’s within the first 15 minutes of the day and mine on the last cast of the day). My fish was likely a migratory fish that has been out to the ocean and Ron’s a resident fish that has never left the lagoon. Interesting how the only difference between the two fish was a 1/4 inch in length.

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Also, we sight cast to feeding Black drum and some very cautious mid-sized Redfish throughout the day.

More to follow as the Spring Field Campaign moves to Puerto Rico for Tarpon.


You Cannot Make This Up!

OK, so I thought that there was something fishy about Katie’s new PR Redfish from yesterday (measured at 46” x 27”  and 44.4 Lbs).  Turns out that I actually caught the exact same fish 16 months ago approximately 1 mile from where Katie landed hers.  I have enclosed both pictures from the two Redfish encounters for your entertainment.  If you look at the close up patterns of the tail spots, identical body markings and scale colors, you will see that in fact… They are the same fish.

Tom's 46 x 27  44.4 Lb Redfish landed December 2013 Katie's 46  x 27   44.4 Lb Redfish landed March 2015

No wonder the measurements were exact. 🙂

This is the second time we have caught the same fish multiple times in the past 18 months.  Captain Billy says that he will begin naming them from now on.  Since he has taken pictures of virtually every large fish over the past 10 years, he probably has made friends with every big Redfish in the hood.

More to follow.


101 Pounds of Redfish – Oh My!!!!

101 Pounds of Redfish Oh MyIt was truly a grand day out on Mosquito Lagoon today.  Captain Billy Rotne, James Jiloty and I went three for three with a 27, 30 and 34 Lb. Redfish.   A spectacular sunrise, perfect weather and no other fisherman made for a “PR” day for James as he landed his largest fish ever – a 44.5” x 24.5” 34 Lb. beast.

Out for another 2 days this weekend and hopefully we will be able to play with a 50” 50 pounder.

More to follow, but for now, enjoy the images below.

T.O. Continue reading »

Operation Code Red – Update Three

For your entertainment.

Captain Billy and I have been very busy over the last 15 days focusing on catching several Class 4, 5 and 6 Redfish for our research study.  In fact, we now have 43 fish that have been included in the data analysis.  It is very interesting to observe the incredibly small amount of variance in the length/girth/weight distribution across the different Classes of fish.  In other words…  Redfish are much more similar in size, shape and weight than different.

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The chart below illustrates a scatter diagram of the data where 43 fish representing approximately 1,015 Lbs of fish trends almost perfectly with a Length x Girth Formula Denominator trend line of 756.  In English, this means that a Redfish that is 40 inches in length, 22.75 inches in girth, weighting 27.15 lbs will have a denominator formula factor of 762.5.  Based upon the average of all the fish in the study with a denominator formula factor of 756.77 … there would be a variance of only 3.2 ounces between the calculated weight and the actual weight of the fish (an amount of less than 1% for a 27 pound fish).

With the addition of another 50+ fish, we will surely see a few anomalies where there will be a few more “skinny” fish and a few “fat” fish that will be considered outliers (see chart below).  However, the quality of the data thus far has exceeded our expectations and we are confident that we can create an accurate on-line calculator for the fishing community.

Keep in mind that Class 5 and 6 fish are the most difficult to catch and are considered a rare trophy for an angler.  We never considered that we would catch and measure so many large fish so early in the study.

All the credit goes to Captain Billy – with his incredible knowledge of Mosquito lagoon and it’s local inhabitants.

More to follow every few weeks,


Operation Code Red – Update Two

For your entertainment.

Another spectacular day on Mosquito Lagoon in Titusville, FL.  Perfect weather with temps in the 70”s and not a breath of wind.  We also experienced a simultaneous sunrise and full moon set.

We have collected data on 22 fish thus far.  A surprising number of class 5 and 6 fish which are very difficult to catch..

Here is a chart that illustrates the data and Length x girth formula trend line.

We are observing a slightly different formula denominator for each of the 6 fish classifications.

Additional fish for a larger sample size should reduce the variance.




The combined data for actual weight compared to the weight calculated using the formula (Girth2 x Length)/759 is within 1%.


Best fish today was a 42.75” x 24.75” 33.0 Lb. monster.  My fourth largest Redfish to date.

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More to follow.


Operation Code Red – Update One

For your entertainment.

Captain Billy has been busy over the last few days focusing on catching several Class 5 Redfish for our research study.  Keep in mind that Class 5 and 6 fish are the most difficult to catch and are considered a rare trophy for an angler.  The attached summary represents our progress to date.  Each week over the next four months, we will get closer to having very accurate data for creating a reliable on line calculator to determine overall Redfish weight based upon length and girth measurements.

Operation Code Red February 12 update

More to follow every few weeks,


Redfish study to be conducted on Mosquito Lagoon – Operation “Code Red”


Being the measurement guy that I am, I’m not very happy that there has never been a scientifically based study to accurately determine the overall body weight of Redfish based upon an accepted length and girth formula.

Operation “Code Red” is a research study to be conducted by Captain Billy Rotne and Tom Olivo throughout 2104 that will establish the most accurate formula to calculate the weight of Redfish.

The Underlying Motivation:

Since we were not able to safely weigh the giant Redfish that we landed on January 15th that was 54 inches long and 30 inches in girth, we are going to create an on-line calculator that can be used for anglers to more accurately determine the weight of their fish.  Without this research, the estimated body weight range for this fish would be between 58.32 Lbs on the low end and 73.25 Lbs on the high end.  Since anglers tend to “guess high” on the size and weight of their fish, it is important that we actually establish a formula that can be used as a basis for determining PR’s and State line class records.

Please read the overview if you have time and if you get a chance to fish with us in 2014, your catches will be included in the study.

We will keep you updated each month on our progress.