Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Choko 9/29

With an early start I was out around a couple of oyster bars in the bay to check out the fishing. It would be a slow incoming tide all morning. It was a little cooler this morning and you can defiantly feel the change in the air. The snook when caught went absolutely crazy with the water temperature a little lower. The snook were feeding and I caught around a dozen on topwater plugs and later with 1/8oz jig heads with shad tail soft plastics. Along with the snook I also caught a half dozen nice size trout 18 to 20 inches and a few jacks. Redfish were nowhere to be found.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Huston River

Today I did a Yak-Attack trip with a group of five anglers, three separate party's. I had Bruce transport us down to an area around the Huston River, a beautiful area that offers an opportunity to fish in a variety of different situations. Creek mouths and flats, deeper water in the gulf to oyster bars for wade fishing and also to take a break. It was very warm out today and the water temps were also, over 90 degrees.The catch ratio was down today but a few nice fish were caught. It wasn't because the fish weren't there but they were very picky. I have never seen so many large schools of bait fish and the dolphins took advantage of this who plagued the area most of the morning with their feeding frenzy's.

Highlights of the trip were Jean the only female angler on the trip put the guys to shame catching the nicest redfish and then Barry wade fishing hooked up to a sawfish he estimated to be around 60lbs. He never got it in which was probably for the best but just to see an impressive fish as this is a rare opportunity.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Choko 9/24

After yesterday catching all those snook I found myself back out kayak fishing again. Rather than go out from the park launch I decided to go out from Chokoloskee where I live. I know similar areas around here where the terrain is about the same. Again the day started slow throwing the topwater but after awhile I start having some action catching a few trout and snook in some current flowing out around some small mangrove islands. A couple of times I see bigger fish creating a bigger wake following my topwater plug and then twice I hook up but the fish throws the plug back. I couldn't believe it and this happened twice! I thought I blew my last chance for a nice fish today when I have another big fish follow my plug, it hits and misses, I stop retrieving and then after a few seconds retrieve again and it attacks again, this time she hooks up. After a good fight I catch a nice snook at over 34", 9lbs! Very exciting!
With the sun up the bite slowed down but ended up with a couple more average size snook to finish the morning.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Sandfly 9/23

I launched out of the ENP launch this morning early to fish some spots around Sandfly pass. The tides dictated that I would have to get back to the launch by mid-morning or else I would have to portage my boat through the mud to get back in. I've been pretty successful fishing this area and also it's usually isolated which I like because of it being to shallow for motor boats most times. Early topwater action was slow but I caught a good size bluefish which was a surprise and put up a good fight. Moving around I started getting into the snook, and as the tide flow increased so did the bite. For awhile it was a fish on with every cast. I think I caught over two dozen snook at one spot. I'm not sure how many snook I caught total today. None of the snook were over 24" but it was fun ! Other fish caught today were a couple jacks, snapper and a small shark.
You can tell the fall season is here with spotting a few different species of migratory birds today.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Chokoloskee 9/21

I did a little exploring this morning working my way from the bay out towards the gulf. I wanted to explore a couple of small coves and bays I have never fished hoping to find some redfish which have been tough to find lately. Early I fished moving water around oyster bars and picked up a few snook up to maybe 24" and a couple of real nice trout over 20" but, no reds. Late morning as the tide was almost out I was able to site fish in the small coves and ended up seeing only a couple who spooked along with the mullet as I poled around in these shallow spots. At least I know where I should find them next time and will go back in a day or two.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Baby Tarpon

I took a trip back to the area I ran into the baby tarpon off of Rt 41 last week. It was going to be tough fishing because the water level was way up. I tryed with the fly rod but I couldn't get near the fish which I could see roll a couple of times in openings way under the mangroves. They were hanging out in there with the snook I guess. I ended up using a spinning rod rigged weedless with doa shad tails. With that I was able to skip my lure under there to get to the fish. The plan worked and ended up catching a few along with loosing a few. I also caught a few smaller snook. The small tarpon were a blast to catch, they go crazy and go airborne almost immediately. It was a fun morning.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Choko Bay

After the poor fishing on Sunday I wanted to get back out today and see if conditions had changed for the better in the bay. With an early start I was out there fishing by sunrise. Speaking of which, along with the sunsets, have been absolutely awesome lately with all the storm activity around. Pictures don't do them justice but I'll still post them with some of my reports.

The fishing today was much better and athough I didn't catch any larger fish I caught a good variety of different fish including a couple of average size snook, an 18" red, a couple of trout (18 & 20"), a small black grouper, some jacks and ladyfish. The snook, red and trout gets me a little inshore slam.

The manetees were around again today but I couldn't get any decent pictures of them. I headed back in around 11 as it was getting super hot out there.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Chatham River Area

Saturday and Sunday I fished with Van Sayler from St Pete. Saturday was a Yak-Attack trip and Sunday was a paddle out. I had a plan to fish a couple of coves I like to fish around the Chatham River and it turned out to be a good choice, the only problem was there were tons of bait fish around and it was tough to coax the snook to eat our artificials. It was quite exiting as fish were crashing the bait all around us. Van caught a nice Redfish and lost a couple others using topwater plugs.

Sunday was basically a bust. Van stayed at Outdoor Resorts so we launched from there and fished the Turner River. The islands at the mouth of the river which can be very productive seemed void of any fish today. We fished our way up the river into Hurdles Creek and part of the upper Turner. Tide was very, very high today and water color was like chocolate milk with hardly any signs of bait fish around.

Friday, September 11, 2009


Got out and fished the bay for a couple of hours this morning. It was the top of the tide and it would be outgoing all morning. The water was churned up and very muddy from the major rain we had last night. I worked some oyster bars with topwaters and picked up a few snook but nothing of great size. The jacks were around and a couple gave me a nice workout with them averaging 5 or 6 lbs. I couldn't locate any reds today and there weren't a lot of bait fish around. By mid-morning I moved on and worked my way back fishing along some mangrove shorelines (using 1/8 oz jig head with DOA Cal shad tails) ending up with a couple more snook, one nice one around 26". I came in around 11.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

09-09-09 29 & 41

For something a little different this morning I went and explored and fished in a couple of canals that run along Rt 41 and 29. Bugs weren't too bad and the gators stayed away. Fishing was slow for the first hour or so until I finally hooked up and caught my first snook of the morning. A keeper size at 28". Traditionaly I let my first legal fish in season go free and so I did. I'm not sure about eating a fish from these dark waters anyway, but the next one will be going in the frying pan. I caught a couple more smaller snook after. Fishing along one shore line I started getting smaller bites which I thought were either gar or maybe cichlids and it turned out they were baby tarpon from maybe 12 to 16" I couldn't get them to stay on the hook but it was pretty cool to see these little guys.

Friday, September 4, 2009

9/4 Choko

After the threat of a storm came through early this morning I was back out to check out an area in the bay where I can usually find fish. It's been tough fishing the last few days here in the bay. I got to my first stop just before sunrise. On the way I saw lots of bait fish and mullet around and was surprised to see a couple of tarpon roll. I had a good feeling about this only to be skunked with only a couple of hits on the topwater. I moved on and made my way to my next stop and first cast I catch the first fish of the day, a small snook. Next cast another fish, things are looking up and after a half hour or so I caught over a dozen fish. They were mostly all the same "cookie cutter" size snook around 20", the biggest 24". A lot of fun to have some action and catching but I was still on the hunt for a bigger fish. I know the old fisherman's rule "Don't leave fish to find fish" but I had to check out one more spot to try and find that slot size fish. I made my way only to pick up two more of the same size snook. Late morning I decided to head back, the tide was slowing down and it got very warm out. I caught one more fish on the way back to end the day. The big snook continues to elude me.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Choko 9/01 - 9/03

I’ve spent the last three days fishing in the bay hoping to catch a keeper size snook but it just wasn’t to be. I tried fishing early on the last of the outgoing tide to going out midday to fish the top of the incoming. I did catch a few snook but no keepers, up to about 24”. Same situation with the redfish and only today I caught a couple of rat reds. Yesterday I fished with Mike and fished the shoreline almost up to the Lopez River. We ran across some big fish in some muddy shallow water that spooked as we passed over them. Tarpon maybe Sawfish? Not sure. We did see a couple of tarpon roll in the area. For the last couple of days there has been a large gator hanging out around some of the oyster bars in the bay towards Rabbit Key pass area. Mike had an awakening when the big lizard was checking him out a few feet from his boat.

Tomorrow I’m (Diehard) going to give it a last ditch effort and go back out in the early morning. I want to check out a different spot and hope for the best. I plan on staying off the water for the holiday weekend.