Thursday, March 25, 2010

Variety Pack

3/25 Kayak fished a few different areas in the bay and around Chokoloskee pass today with Mike. On a very low tide we fished around some oyster bars throwing top water plugs and had fun catching a few trout and of course lady fish. As the tide started to come in hard we moved on and worked our way to a couple of spots that had been producing trout through the winter and had a tough time of it. We caught trout but not in the usual places and caught most of them in shallower water. The largest at 20". Fishing in one area we caught a variety of fish including a couple of mackeral, snapper, gag grouper and trout. Never saw a red or snook today but still a good day of catching.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Choko 3/19

I took out Terry Brewer from the mid west for a few hours on Friday. He had never kayaked before but was interested in learning about the sport and how to fly fish out of one. After teaching him some basics he was a little uncomfortable with the whole situation and wanted to just wade and fish, that is until the tide came up. By mid morning there was no more getting out of the boat so I brought him to a few different spots where we could get out of the wind and current and before long he was having a great time and I even got him standing in the kayak. Terry ended up catching himself a few nice trout and before he departed all the talk was about what a good time he had and that he would be looking into getting himself a kayak for fishing.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Chokoloskee 3/15

The winds lately have been making it real tough to kayak and get to areas in and near the bay I like to fish. Today the forecast called for it to be very windy again but early this morning it was fairly calm so I took advantage of the conditions and launched at the ranger station and crossed the bay before the sun rose. As I got to the area I wanted to check out the tide was still going out and I saw a bit of activity. I started throwing a zara spook topwater plug and almost immediately hooked up and caught a nice trout around 20” which would be the largest trout of the day. I caught a few more trout all a nice size around 18” before I hooked up with a bigger fish. I couldn't tell what it was till I saw the spot. It was a nice Redfish, a fat 27” fish that weighed over nine pounds. That one fish made the day. After, as the tide slowed I poled around trying to do some site fishing but the winds were starting to pick up so I decided to fish a couple of deeper areas and fish for some trout to bring home for dinner. The tide changed over to incoming when I found them and I switched over to the fly rod. I had fun with them for awhile, keeping a couple before heading back. When I got to open water again the wind was howling but luckily it helped push me back across the bay.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Windy Thursday 3/11

Today I did a fishing trip for EKF taking out Charlie Rabeni and Bill Taylor both highly respected in their fields in biology with the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife.The forecast for today was calling for high winds with rain showers. We lucked out with the rain with a couple of small showers but the winds blew pretty much all day with gusts at maybe 30mph. For the best option today I decided to head into the maze of mangrove islands and fish areas that I knew could hold fish at the same time places where we could use the islands for protection from the winds. By days end we covered around eight miles paddling in a large loop fishing our way at the various locations I had picked out. We fishing at the least ten different spots. The fishing was tough between the weather and a very fast incoming tide but in a couple of the spots everyone managed to enjoy catching some fish, which were mostly trout. Bill ended up with the largest fish, a nice gator trout close to 24", which was a bit of a challenge as he was fishing with lighter gear with either 6 or maybe 8lb mono around some oyster bars. It turned out to be a great day even with considering the conditions. We ended the day around 4.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Backcountry Flyfishing 3/10

Spent a nice day kayak fishing bringing Auston an avid fly angler from Georgia to fish in the back country and look for tarpon and snook. The weather was awesome with a day finally in the eighties. We never did see a tarpon today but there were Snook around. The only problem was the water was fairly high and they were mostly back up inside the mangroves. Every now and then they would taunt us as we could here them going after bait fish or whatever. So close yet so far. There was no way to get a fly in there but with a lot of persistence Auston did manage to catch himself a couple of them.

As the day warmed up the gators came out. We were checking out one area where I knew there were usually one or two hanging out but today we found ourselves basically surrounded by them and they were all larger lizards at the least eight foot long. A highlight of this was a large gator swimming towards Auston with a big turtle in it's mouth not realizing Auston was there until the last second....

Some birds around today that I saw were some swallow tail kites again along with a small flock of glossy ibises and some spoonbills.

3/13 Update : Auston came back with me to where we fished the other day for a couple of hours and he finally was able to get his first Tarpon on fly, somewhere between 10 and 15 lbs. It spit the hook as he grabbed his leader but still an awsome catch. Congratulations Auston!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Chokoloskee bay and Creeks 3/07

I went out today to do some exploring and to look for fish in some northern sections of Chokoloskee Bay. I launched fairly early to get across the bay. The water is still very cold and the tides seemed screwed up when it should have been an incoming tide it never stopped flowing out till after noon. I ended up riding the tide out in one of the creeks thinking it would change soon which like I said it never did till later. I checked out and fished some deeper holes and caught my share of trout of which I brought a few home for dinner. As the tide changed I drifted back through a different creek towards the bay. The water was very shallow and crystal clear and as I poled down it with the current it was like looking into an aquarium. The creek which was fairly narrow seemed to be loaded with fish, mostly schools of mullet and sheepshead but also saw more than a few red fish and a small school of snook, maybe a half dozen swim off near an oyster bar. I was spooking every fish I came across in that water. On the way through I drifted into a small mud bottomed cove and stopped looking in front of me is a large snook facing and staring at me, probably 36" or more, I couldn't believe it. I went through the motions and made a couple of casts but I knew it was useless. She just laughed and swam off into the shadows. It was cool to see that snook and the others. You can be sure I will be heading back to fish this area when conditions change.
Once back in the bay I headed back and on the way stopped at one of the bird rookerys to take a few pictures, which ended up being tough to do as the afternoon winds picked up. The Pelicans are still in full swing and the Egrets are still in the beginning stages of their nesting season. It was a long day but it was worth it. I got back to the launch around 4.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Goodland 3/1

We kayak fished in the Goodland area before the weather turns sour again. Another front is going to be coming through. Chris and Rick met me fairly early for a morning of fishing. Rick, my brother-in-law had just flown in from up north needing a break from the winter weather they have been having. This has been a crazy winter here with all the cold fronts but hearing about the cold and all the snow they have been having up north makes me feel a little better about the situation we have been having here. The fishing has not been the greatest but have still always managed to catch fish and to still get to enjoy some real nice days on the water.

We covered a large area today looking for fish. There was a full moon negative tide and a lot of times we were paddling in inches of water.The air temperature was around 40 early and the water seemed just as cold and mostly clear. It doesn't sound very inviting but we still had a great morning in sunny conditions and even managed to catch a few fish. Some of the fish caught today were snook, silver trout and lady fish.