Saturday, October 31, 2009

Goodland 10/31

Went up to Goodland this morning to fish with Chris. We launched early around 6:30 and had a great day. On a super low tide that never stopped going out till mid-morning we were by ourselves out there, it probably was too shallow for most motor boats. As soon as we made it to our destination Chris hooks up with a bigger fish probably a snook that threw the hook. From then on Chris caught a variety of different fish and got himself an inshore slam (trout, red & a snook) One of his snook was just a little undersized around 26” but still a nice fish. Other fish caught were jacks, ladyfish and snapper. I caught a nice keeper size snook around 30”. There were some tarpon around but they weren’t really interested in what we were throwing at them. We made it back to the launch around 2 paddling against the incoming tide most of the way.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Chokoloskee 10/29

I went back to the area I fished yesterday in the bay only a little earlier to try and catch the early bite. I was hoping for a repeat of yesterday but the conditions had changed. As soon as I arrived in the area I knew, there was a bit of a breeze and it was warmer out. Around here that’s all it takes sometimes. Spending as much time as I do in these waters it’s no surprise when this happens. I fished some current around the oyster bars and had a couple of nice blow ups using a spook jr. It was still dark out when I heard a fish behind me pop the surface after some baitfish and thinking it was a snook I made a cast to it. I immediately hook up to what turned out to be a nice smaller redfish at 22”, my one and only fish of the day. I had a few more blow up’s using the topwater (which I think were trout) and later had a couple of redfish follow but no takers using a jig and also a swim bait. I headed in around 10 when the sun was up and the tide was slowing down.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Chokoloskee 10/28

I originally planned on kayak fishing in some backwaters up off of 41 but changed my mind last minute after seeing the weather forcast would be nice for fishing Choko. I launched early to catch the slack and morning incoming tide. After a short paddle to some oyster bars in the bay I had fish and birds feeding all around me. On my first cast I had a red around 25”. After an hour or so I caught two smaller (rat) reds, a couple of trout and snook and a few jacks with one that probably weighed 8 or 9 lbs. When the sun was up the bite slowed and I fished a couple of other areas ending up with a couple more trout, the largest around 20”. Glad I changed my mind and I'll wait on my other plans, tomorrow I may do a repeat of today.

Monday, October 26, 2009

10/26 Choko

Went out early in the bay for a couple of hours and headed north to check out a couple of my fishing spots. I spotted a couple of tarpon rolling early. Maybe later in the week I’ll get out there and try and target them. Getting to some oyster bars I caught a couple of trout and small snook on a top water plug. The trout were a good size one 20 and the other 18”. I threw a fly for awhile and on a bad cast I had a big fish hook up but I was entangled in my fly line and the fish was gone. After I caught a Rat red and a couple smaller snook. I called it a day in the late morning.

I took a picture of this large Great White Heron, different from a white Egret most noticeable by the leg color, Herons are yellow,Egrets are black. Found from central Florida south. Most common in the keys.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Choko 10/23

With an early start I headed out to fish some oyster bars in the bay to try and find some snook and reds. Before sunrise I had some larger tarpon rolling around me within yards of my boat. I was tempted but didn't make a cast since I didn't have heavy enough gear to handle these fish should I have hooked up. I moved on and fished around some of the oyster bars. Today I was fishing primarily with top waters. Hoping for a nice snook I started catching some smaller one's and then catching a few nice size jacks that averaged around 6lbs. A lot of fun but nothing like a big snook. I made my way to another area to where I can usually find fish and picked up a few more average size snook, another jack and a nice red, 24" a nice size for dinner tonight !

It was late morning and I made my way back as the tide was just about out. On the way I ran into another fellow kayak fisherman Steve (I Fishhead). We met and chatted awhile, he had himself a nice red fish also. It appears the reds are back !

Thursday, October 22, 2009

10/21 E Creek

With the windy conditions expected for today I decided to go over and do some fly fishing in the E Creek up off of 41. The area always has sheltered spots to fish on these types of days. I fished with my 8wt in the hopes of locating some small tarpon. It was very quiet for the majority of the day, no birds around and never could find the tarpon. What I did find were some nice Mayan Cichlids and a couple of small snook which were fun and kept the boredom down.
On the way back I ran into kind of a local legend, Don Robb, an old timer fly fisherman who always fishes out of a canoe who has traveled around the globe fly fishing. After an hour or so of talking with him and listening to some of his stories we parted and headed out. I’ve been in some very isolated areas in the back country thinking I’m by myself only to unexpectedly run into Don fishing.

October 15 to 17

I fished Chokoloskee bay on Thursday and Friday in anticipation of the cold front that was going to come through. Each day I fished different areas of the bay and Thursday turned out to be the better of the two. I actually got a small inshore slam with a snook, a red and a trout. Early I caught a few underrated jacks which were fun using the top water plugs. Friday I did catch a few snook and trout but couldn’t find a redfish for another slam. A couple of rain storms came through and I had to call it a day around 10:30
Saturday I fished with a group where we rode the tide out and ended up fishing around the mouth of the Lopez River. Snook, trout and snappers were caught. A few reds were spotted but none caught. In the afternoon as we rode the tide back in the winds picked up and it was a nice workout getting back. Nice for me anyway, I’m not sure about everyone else. Everyone still had a good time even though not a lot of fish were caught.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Choko 10/13

Kayak fished the bay this morning with Mike for a few hours. Finally had an incoming tide early and was hoping that there would be a good bite early. Well, it wasn't exactly going off but did end up catching a few fish. Throwing my topwaters as I usually do early I picked up a couple of jacks and a couple of trout around 18" (dinner for tonight). As the water level came up I switched to my trusty old Storm swimbaits and picked up a decent snook. Mike moved on to fish the mangroves and I stuck it out around some oyster bars. I ended up catching a couple more snook, one of them just short of being in the slot. Fishing some mangroves on my way back I picked up a couple of snappers. Called it a day around 11 when the tide was way up and it got really hot out.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Chokoloskee, Oyster Bars

Saturday was a great day despite the heat. I kayak fished with Mike Pilton from Boynton Beach who never fished here and needed a guide to show him around the area alittle. With an early start we worked oyster bays in Chokoloskee bay looking for snook and redfish finding and catching a few snook but no reds. As the tide went out and the day progressed we fished a large area in the bay. Along with the snook we caught some snapper as we explored and although spotting some reds in a small cove (which had been scarce in the bay) only for them to spook and disappear in the very shallow water we were in. As the tide slowed we made it back to one of my areas that often holds trout. After catching a couple of them the tide turned and before long it was almost a fish on every cast. The excitement lasted for quite awhile before it was time to make our way back. On the way Mike caught one more snook to finish the day.

Friday, October 9, 2009

10,000 Island Wildlife Refuge

This morning I went and checked out a new kayak launch and hiking trail parking area up off of 41 for the refuge. I walked the trail which is a little over a mile each way and maybe next week I'll launch there and check out the paddle trails. The hiking trail is very scenic although I didn't see much for birds and wildlife on this walk. The area is mostly marsh lands with some hardwood, fruit and berry trees. The waterways from what I could see were shallow and I've heard there are spots where you have to portage your boat. I'll find out when I paddle it. I did find one pool of water that was holding some bigger snook along with smaller one's along with cichlids and needlefish which was neat to see.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Hidden Lake and Choko

The past few days have been very warm into the mid-ninety's. I went out twice during the week. Tuesday I paddled to Hidden Lake off of the East creek, a couple mile paddle through mangrove tunnels and other smaller lakes. I fished my way there with not much luck. The water was kind of high and not really moving. With the water high there were not many birds either. I fished the lake and started catching baby snook. The lake seemed to be full of them and on some casts the small snook were like piranhas attacking my soft plastics. They were fun to catch but I wish I had my fly rod with me. It was a nice trip with the tunnels pretty much free of debris for passage through them.

Thursday I fished the bay early for a couple of hours before it got too warm. On an outgoing tide I fished around the oysters. It was very quiet out there with only a couple follows using topwaters. Later I fished deeper holes and was able to catch a few trout up to around 18" on swim baits. I came back in around 10.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Sandfly and Pavilion Key

Had a great weekend fishing again with Van Sayler from St. Pete. Saturday we fished around the Sandfly Pass area and Sunday out around Pavilion Key. Between the two days we had the opportunity to fish a lot of different situations. Both days were very warm but easy to handle with a slight breeze most of the time. Van got his first snook on this trip along with a couple of other species including a Bonnethead and a Spinner Shark. Where we fished we didn't get into any redfish but another couple, Tony and Jean, that joined us on Sunday did catch a couple when they paddled into a school of them. Other fish caught were some trout and snappers.

Fishing a small swimbait in and around large schools of baitfish I hooked up and caught a nice size snook over 36"and weighed around 14lbs !

Lots of migratory birds around and we saw a few loggerhead turtles, a few Spotted Eagle Rays, manatees and pretty much the norm lately, dolphins.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Goodland 10/1

This morning I fished Goodland for a few hours with Mike. Nice and cool out and hardly any bugs. The tide was low and was slow incoming all morning. Fishing some shoreline I don’t normally fish I picked up a few mangrove snappers. Later as we fished Mike hooks up with a snook and as he is bringing the fish in it jumps and throws his plug back at him and one of the hooks proceeds to embed itself in his forearm. After contemplating what to do I think of trying the string trick which I had done once before with success (Here is a youtube video of the procedure ). Well it worked like a charm and saved a trip to the hospital. After a little break mike was right back at it. Late morning we found a few snook and I managed to catch one decent fish. When I hooked up with the fish he proceeded to drag me into the mangroves before I could throw my anchor out. I lowered my rod down into the water to try and keep him out of the roots and it worked as he ran for open water. Only saw one tarpon today.