Thursday, July 22, 2010

Chokoloskee Bay 7/2o

With the threat of maybe a tropical storm coming through by the weekend I wanted to get out in the bay because it may be a few days before I can get out there with the weather that may be around. I launched around sunup from the national park launch and had the northeast winds to assist me paddling across the bay. There would be a nice incoming tide through the morning to fish. The wind created a bit of a chop so I fished where I could using some of the islands for a wind break. Of course I fished with top water plugs to start the day and caught a few snook, the largest over 26". I couldn't fish a few of the places I normally would when I go to this area because of the winds but I still caught a few nice fish and was happy with that. As the tide came up I switched to using a couple of different lures, one a 1/4oz swim bait made by Storm and the other a subsurface hard bait where I ended up catching a redfish on each of the lures. No trout again today but caught a few jacks and ladyfish. By late morning it was boiling hot again so I made my way back across the bay this time paddling pretty much dead into the wind taking some waves over the bow. A little more than my normal workout today !

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Goodland 7/13

After picking out a couple of different places to kayak fish today at the last minute I picked going up to Goodland. I thought I would fish the incoming tide which was to be around mid morning. I still launched fairly early and I was on the water before sunup. Working my way across the bay I fished the mangrove shorelines wherever there was some current hoping to catch a trout or two for dinner. All I found were lady fish in these spots. It was kind of a slow outgoing but I continued on and ended up finding a couple places where I caught a few snook. Nothing great in size with the largest around 24" but still was fun having some action. It was now around 11:00 and the tide was still going out and it was getting super hot out. According to my tide chart it should have changed. Anyway I decided to stick it out working my way back in kind of a large circle following the shoreline and finally around noon the tide was flowing in. Still around a mile from where I launched I went back to fishing. I started throwing a small swimbait instead of a jig which would allow me to cover more ground as I worked my way back. Finally after fishing my way almost all the way back I was finally rewarded and hooked up with a real fish which turned out to be a nice 29" red. Persistence paid off today. I contemplated staying out after that fish but it was just to hot out and I called it at around 1:30.

Monday, July 12, 2010

The Derelicts

Saturday I joined up with a group who were here to spend the weekend to see the area and do a little kayak fishing. The meeting place was CIP (Chokoloskee Island Park) where some were also camping. The group are all followers on a Florida kayak fishing forum called "The Hole" and are aptly known as the "Derelicts". Seriously, a nice group and other than myself and Mike "Stubbs" there was Vivian, Connie, Critter, Sailer, Steve aka I fishhead, Dee, Pete, Marie, and Bernie all coming from other places in Florida. We all kayaked and fished through the morning. By noon most were back in with it being very warm out and we spent the remainder of the day hanging out under the chickee with some great conversation, and awesome food (mostly provided by Pete,Marie and Dee).
As far as fishing I think most everyone caught some fish and along with myself Steve got himself a slam.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Chokoloskee 7/7/2010

I decided to head back to where I fished the other day to see if I could find more of the infamous redfish. Conditions were a little different but I was still going to catch the top of the incoming tide. Launching fairly early it was really nice out, in the mid seventies and no bugs at all. The water was a bit muddy looking from all the runoff and drainage from the rivers after all the rain we've had lately. I fished the same general area but I decided to first give the fly rod a chance using a top water gurgler and then a popper.It was a little tough because of light winds creating a chop where I'm sure the flys could not be seen or maybe recognized. After about an hour I grabbed my spinning rod with a zara spook and first cast I had a nice hit. A lot of fisherman will say that top waters don't really work in water that's choppy but I have found that completely false and have caught a lot of fish under these conditions. Anyway I was fishing a small mud flat next to some oyster bars where there apparently was a nice school of snook (there was no seeing them with the muddied up water) and had fun with them for quite awhile. It was almost every cast that they would attack my topwater, sometimes breaching the water and at times more than one at a time. A lot of the fish were smaller but a couple I caught were in the mid twenties. I missed (or they missed) or lost some larger fish for whatever reason. One fish was very large when after I brought in my plug there was a scale on one of the hooks larger than my thumb nail. After having to retie my frayed 40lb leader a few times I finally had to replace it and after the couple minutes it took to do it the bite completely stopped and I didn't get another fish or hit out of there, it was still a lot of fun while it lasted! I moved on fishing a couple other spots and picked up one more snook and a trout before heading back wondering where the reds might be hiding today.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Chokoloskee 7/5/10

I got an early start and launched out from the park kayak launch. Expecting the worst with the bugs I was well covered up but surprisingly there weren't any which was nice. I made my way across the bay and fished the incoming tide which was almost high. I brought the fly rod and a couple of light spinning outfits. I started with a spinning rod and threw the reliable zara spook Jr. and thats all I ended up pretty much using the whole time. I starting catching average size snook on some flats and around the oyster bars. I had a few nice blowups and follows by some larger snook and also a couple of reds. I caught the one real pretty red who was around a 26 incher who was drumming away the whole time. So I ended up with the one red and about a half dozen snookers, along with a few jacks and ladies, a fun couple of hours! I'm going to try and get back out there in the next day or so.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Summer Time is Here !

Just a quick recap of my last few times on the water. I've only been able to kayak fish a couple of times during the last week due to some other obligations. We are definitely in our summer mode with it being unseasonably warm with temperatures averaging in the mid nineties and storms coming through midday to late in the afternoon. What that means to me is get out and kayak fish real early (at or before sunrise) and come back in around noon. It still gets you around five hours on the water. After that for me is head for the A/C.
The water has really warmed up and normally fish get lethargic in these temperatures (especially snook even with being a sub tropical species) but there has been a lot of activity. I've been catching a fair amount of snook averaging 20" or more along with some nice trout and a red fish here and there. I still haven't been able to get out to some of the barrier islands towards the gulf but there have been some good reports of some larger snook and reds being caught along with permit and tarpon.

The other morning fishing shorelines flipping soft plastics with light tackle I hooked up with a large fish. It freight trained away and my first thought was a very big snook only it never stopped. My next thought was maybe a large ray.Being that I was using light tackle I couldn't crank down on my drag and I couldn't put out the anchor for fear of getting spooled. So after being on a sliegh ride for about a half mile I finally got the upper hand and got the fish near the boat. It turns out and to my surprise it was around a 5 foot black tip shark. As I finally got him to the boat he pulled the hook. Using only a 30lb mono leader I can't believe he didn't cut the line.

Yesterday I kayak fished the backcountry for a few hours and again hooked up with a larger fish. This time it was a nice snook. After a nice fight and of course he headed into the mangrove roots I caught my largest snook of the year so far. A real nice fish around 36" and just under 12lbs!