Thursday, December 31, 2009
After the holidays things will slow down a little again but until then getting out without running into other kayakers, canoeists and boaters could be difficult especially with launching around town. Knowing the area kayak fishing the Everglades area for awhile now I can always find places to go and most likely never see another sole, so today I decided to do a little exploring and fishing and headed to The River. Where I launched goes right into a saw grass marsh which doesn't look very inviting but eventually goes into a series of shallow lakes connected by tunnels and creeks. The water in the area was draining with an outgoing tidal flow today but I lucked out and only had to portage my boat once for about 30ft. Later in the winter this area may be inaccessible during our dry season. A lot of the water was only 4 or 5 inches deep as you can see in the first and second picture. I expected to see a lot more wildlife but maybe since it got fairly warm out I didn't see much. I was thinking gators or a python in the saw grass areas but didn't run across any. As for the fishing, I brought a fly rod and some light spinning gear and fished where and when I could. I ended up breaking my 8wt on a snag somehow but before that I was having fun catching baby snook some as tiny as 3"and the biggest as the one in the picture. It was tough fishing a couple of the creeks but I hooked up a couple of times with some small tarpon. There were some bigger snook in there also but couldn't coax them to eat.
It turned out to be a nice day! I paddled just over 11 miles and never did see anyone else until I got back to the launch around 4:30.
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Monday, December 28, 2009
Speaking of fish, Looking through my photos of fish I caught this year I think my greatest achievement was catching a few nice larger snook. This area is known for the snook fishing and fishing out of a kayak for snook and actually getting a bigger one in the kayak can be pretty challenging. Sometimes luck plays a big part. Using light to medium gear which most fisherman use around here I would say the odds are less than 50% in getting the fish into the boat. I've seen it happen time and time again to a lot of people, myself included getting "spanked" by a big snook. Anyways, here's a few pictures of snook I caught over the last year and "Happy New Year!"
Sunday, December 27, 2009
Thursday, December 24, 2009
Monday, December 21, 2009
Sunday, December 20, 2009
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Sunday I had a party of three. Trent and Jerry from the Arcadia area who fished with me the previous Friday wanted to do another trip and Francesco visiting from Italy wanted to try Kayak Fishing. We fished the mouth of the Turner River up into Hurdles Creek. Some Snook and Trout were caught but it was more of a day of getting broke off or loosing bigger fish for the various reasons. It was unseasonably warm but everyone had a nice and enjoyable day.
Monday, another warm day. I fished with Bob who was traveling through from Oregon. His goal was to catch a snook and maybe a Tarpon. I brought him to a couple of spots to fish in Chokoloskee Bay towards Indian Key Pass where Bob was rewarded with catching s few nice fish. He could now cross snook off his bucket list of fish to catch. We put in a long day with summer like conditions. As with the nature of Tarpon especially this time of year they were no where to be found.
Saturday, December 12, 2009
Thursday, December 10, 2009
I went and did a couple hours of kayak fishing with Mike up near Marco Island this morning. I wanted to see how fishing conditions were in that area since it's been a little tough fishing in the bay in Chokoloskee. Well, the fishing was just as tough. I picked up one small red maybe just barely legal size and a few other fish not really worth mentioning.
Mike fished out of a different boat today and realized it was not as stable when standing as his Redfish.
We called it quits late morning.
Monday, December 7, 2009
After the crappy weather over the weekend the forecast for today was pretty decent. Back to sunny skies and into the eighties. With the outgoing tide in the bay I went out early and kayak fished and did some exploring. The first two fish caught were a couple of small barracuda's. I very seldom catch them in the bay. I fished a couple of my spots riding the tide out and ended up fishing an area off of Chokoloskee Pass. I found a new trout spot and caught a couple of dozen of them, a couple were about 20" and a couple were silver trout. Afterwards I poled and sight fished a large open area along shorelines looking for a red but had no luck in finding one. Although I've fished this area in the past I never really had much success but seeing it today on a real low tide there are a few spots that look real promising and I'll be back to explore it more. A few other fish caught today were a couple of small gag groupers, some ladyfish and one jack. I didn't see one red or snook.
On my way back I stopped and took a few pictures of the white pelicans that spend the winter here in the bay.
Sunday, December 6, 2009
The forecast called for winds and rain showers today so I decided to kayak fish in the back country in a couple of areas that are somewhat protected from the weather. Flying in for the weekend from Washington DC I fished with Keith who is with "Trout Unlimited" and Tim who is with "The National Wildlife Foundation". With a cold front that had just come through the fishing would be unpredictable.
Starting early we worked shorelines throwing fly's for snook and cichlids and Keith picked up his first snook on Fly. The fish were not very cooperative though. There were some feeding in the mangroves on small baits but we couldn't coax them out with throwing a variety of different flys. I was satisfied just watching Keith work his version of a roll cast into the mangroves that I hadn't seen before. A technique I will have to practice.
As we moved along to go into an intersecting creek the rain started. There were juvenile tarpon rolling throughout but they were real fussy. Keith got a couple of hits and I did also hooking up once only to have the fish throw the hook. The fish were not very aggressive and it was like they were playing with us. This continued for awhile as the rain picked up until it was a torrential downpour with lightning and thunder. After taking what shelter we could find till the rain slowed up we worked our way back and ended the day around 2.
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Today I went out in a portion of Big Cypress near Rt29 and did a little kayak fishing. With winds picking up today with another cold front expected it was a good choice. I managed to catch two snook and one cichlid. I had a couple of larger snook swim near the surface past me who just ignored me, but it was cool to see. I also ran across a couple of small schools of juvenile tarpon feeding, but couldn't’ entice any of them to eat any of my offerings. They were real black in color and have probably been back there for awhile. I should have brought the fly rod. I spent a good amount of time today experimenting with taking photos of wildlife.
Saturday, November 28, 2009
Since my last posting on the arrival of colder weather we’ve had a real cold front come through, Upper forties to fifty at night to seventies during the day with N/NE winds. Water temperatures have dropped considerably and I heard that in the bay they were down into the sixties.
Fishing the last couple of days around the bay and in the maze the changes were apparent. With the very low tides and fishing real early as I like to do it’s was tougher finding fish. I’ve managed a few snook but it wasn’t easy finding them (I’ve heard a couple of reports of some nice catches being made already up in the backcountry). Being the holiday weekend also hasn’t helped with more fishing boats out and found them in a few of my usual haunts. The only other fish caught worth mentioning were some nice size trout.
Today I fished Rich Watson from Seattle, WA, An avid sea kayaker who was interested in and wanted to give kayak fishing a try. Although he didn’t catch much he was a good student and did well in learning some of the techniques to fish around this area. If the conditions were better I'm sure he would have caught more fish.
Sunday, November 22, 2009
As we move towards our winter here in the Everglades there are the evident signs. Temperatures are still up in the eighties mid day but mornings are a little cooler and the water temperatures have dropped into the seventies from the much warmer eighties to upper ninety degree temperatures of summer. Being bothered by mosquitoes and no-seeums is now minimal. The sounds and sights are changing also with the arrival of all the different migratory birds that spend the winter months here.
With the cooler temperatures the fish here will begin their winter habits. Snook are known to migrate into the backcountry to warmer waters. A great way I love to spend the worst of days in winter here when it’s colder and the predominate NE winds are blowing is kayak fishing the shallow backwater bays and creeks for snook. Along with saying that I have caught some real nice snook on the coldest of days around the outer barrier islands while fishing for redfish and sea trout. It’s a given that in the winter fishery here that trout fishing is at its best and they can be caught in great numbers along the outer coastal areas. Redfish on the other hand are not as abundant but I’ve had good success in finding and catching them in some of the outside bays and bites (coves) and still also in the backcountry. Tarpon fishing will be sporadic and mostly by chance as most of the larger fish will have migrated farther south. Juveniles on the other hand will hold up in some of the deeper creeks and small rivers that I fish and look forward to going out and targeting them later in the winter.
Over the last few days I’ve gone out I fished in and around Chokoloskee bay working my way through some of the maze of mangrove islands. I’ve been spending a lot of time sight fishing and exploring some very shallow areas poling my way around in my Native Ultimate. It takes a lot of time and patience but its real exciting catching fish in this manner. I ended up catching a few reds this way and lost a very large red due to line failure which apparently there was a nick in the braided line, that was more disappointing than exiting but it happens. especially fishing around oysters. Fishing other areas I caught some snook but they are not as abundant as they were a week ago and also early on topwaters fishing in the current with an outgoing tide I have caught a few trout, all of them nice size between 18 and 20 inches.
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Saturday, November 14, 2009
I went and fished with buddy Mike L who went and got himself a real job and this was about his last opportunity to get out and kayak fish for awhile. We met in Goodland and I showed him some new areas for future reference to kayak fish. We were on the water for a good 7 or 8 hours. We caught a few decent snook and some good size jacks which made for a lot of fun. The winds picked up later in the day and made it tough at times to fish but all in all it was a nice day out there.
Goodland has some real nice areas to kayak fish and explore. I fish mostly areas in and around Everglades National Park and I am probably spoiled but it’s a shame that in the Goodland backcountry which is controlled by Rookery Bay Estuary Reserve that they allow airboats and jet skis to run around unregulated. Hopefully in the near future they will address this issue and come up with a solution.