Sunday, May 23, 2010

North Chokoloskee Bay 5/22

I had a great time on the water today with Andrew and Katherine paddling and fishing upper parts of Chokoloskee bay. We worked our way basically north fishing the oyster bars on the low tide and checked out the birds in one of the rookeries where nesting is in full swing. Eventually we worked our way into one of the rivers that leads to the gulf (where we would have some protection from the east winds). Not long after seeing baitfish scatter Andrew casts and caught himself a nice snook. We continued working our way up the river against a slow incoming tide and fished shorelines which today seemed loaded with baitfish. We were catching some ladyfish and a few jacks and Andrew caught a nice Spanish mackerel in the mix. Another spot that looked to be a nice snook spot Andrew pulled out and caught a real nice trout. We eventually made our way around in kind of a big circle and got a nice workout crossing back over the bay dead against some strong east winds. Some other highlights of the day were coming up on a real large school of spawning black drum. We couldn’t get a bite from them even using gulp bait but it was a site to see. I also lost a larger snook after a jump and headshake. In one area we had a large loggerhead turtle hang around us for awhile. As much time as I spend in these back water areas every trip is different and can always expect something different to catch or amazing to see.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Fishing Reports

In conjunction with writing reports of my kayak fishing and exploits here I will also be posting them on an all new web site at . A new site that will be taking fishing and all things related to another level. I will also be contributing articles in the future about kayak fishing and related subjects.

A quote from founder Gary Poyssick about the magazine:

"The team at The Online Fisherman is a widely-varied collection of outdoor writers, professional fishing guides, conservationists, fishing club members, and just plain fishermen and fisherwomen (and fisher-kids, our personal favorites) whose love for the sport and the environment in which we enjoy it is one of the primary blessings of our lives. A site like The Online Fisherman is far from being the work of a single person - or even two or three. Rather it's a community -- a community that grows and evolves with the people who read the content, contribute to the forums we provide, send us pictures, and share their fishing -- and life -- experiences with each other.We're glad you're here -- and in the months and years to come we hope to provide you with the most interesting, educational, meaningful, and entertaining copy about the sport of fishing you'll find anywhere".

Friday, May 14, 2010

Snook to Tarpon Morning

I made plans to go up into the back country and look for some larger snook in an area I caught a few over the last week or so. I launched early at sunup and proceeded to fish some of the mangrove lined shorelines soon realizing it was going to be a little tough to fish. The water was way up so the fish were back in the mangroves feeding mostly out of reach, tantalising me as they popped on bait fish. I spent a lot of time fishing with a weedless jig setup casting where I could into openings in the trees and managed to catch some smaller snook but when hooking up a couple of times with bigger fish they managed to throw the hook. (I was using Mustad Power locks w/ DOA shad tails and although I have managed to catch some nice fish I have lost a lot more when using them. I haven't found an alternative setup yet that will work better for these situations).
There were some east winds that picked up through the morning and I noticed tarpon rolling around me at a couple of spots. Smaller ones to juveniles probably around 30 lbs. They stayed around and maybe because of the choppy water they didn't see me and didn't spook or they just didn't care as they were feeding. In between fishing the mangroves I would cast to them and hook up just about every time. I had fun with them but they also managed to throw the hook using those mustads I had been rigged up with. I ended up tying on one of my go to Rapala 'Twitchin Raps and caught 3 small guys before calling it a day. There was a persistent gator around and I probably could have caught more but I was afraid that sooner or later he would get lucky and get to one before I landed it. It was a fun morning!

Friday, May 7, 2010

5/06 - 5/09 Everglades Kayak Fishing

5/06 – 5/07 I kayak fished a couple of days during the past week around Chokoloskee bay and don’t really have much to tell about it, one day out in the bay around oyster bars and another day over towards and up the Turner River. The windy conditions muddying up the water and the slower tides have made the fishing a little slow. I caught a few fish but nothing to brag about and for the amount of time I spent on the water. In one creek I had a monster size redfish swim by my boat that totally ignored me and in the same area a snook that was well over 40” lazily swim by in very shallow water.

(5/09 I decided to check out the bay again and went from the National Park launch and headed to the more northern parts of the bay and check out one of the egret and pelican rookeries. The water in the area was less muddy in a few areas so I’ll be heading back there this coming week to concentrate on fishing only. I fished top water plugs for awhile and I picked up a nice size trout and 1 decent snook. Catching me off guide after casting back where I just caught the snook I immediately had a very large fish crash and attack my zara spook. I couldn’t see what it was in the splashing and it immediately tore off a lot of line before straightening out my hooks and breaking one hook off ( I’m using Owner 3x trebles). My first thoughts were a large shark but it didn’t damage the plug or cut me off, so maybe a tarpon... very large snook.... I’ll never know….)

5/08 After the crappy conditions around Chokoloskee I went back up into the backcountry to do some fishing and a little exploring and check out the rookeries there. Tri- colored herons are nesting. The fishing was a bit better and I had fun with the snook. I hooked up with three larger snook but only managed to get one in the boat, the smaller of the three around 32”, the only one I could coax out from the mangrove roots. I caught maybe another dozen or so smaller snook. Knock on wood but the bugs haven’t been that bad in the backcountry yet and I’ll be going back in there again later this week while the conditions hold up.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Chokoloskee Saturday 5/1

It seems like the winds have been blowing non-stop for the last month or so playing havoc keeping me from kayak fishing a lot of my places I normally go but today was a day when the winds were welcome to help give some relief from the heat and real high humidity. I had with me Dave Pudol from Ohio and Miss Irish Jean another local avid kayak fisherman(...girl). The plan was to cover a large area around Chokoloskee and fish a few different places that could hold fish. The results of the day were not spectacular but most of the one's caught were all nice fish. One trout that Dave caught on a topwater was a very fat 21" and Jean caught herself a nice snook on one of her go-to DOA shrimps. The winds really picked up by mid afternoon so we headed in around 2:30.