Saturday, December 4, 2010

Everglades Chill

This turned out to be a fairly exciting week. The first real cold front has come through and temperatures have dropped considerably, day temps in the low seventies and at night into the forties. I fished two days this week, one day in the backcountry and one day in the bay. Fishing in one of the backcountry areas I go I happened upon a spot, the mouth of a small creek that I had never fished because it is so overgrown with roots and overhanging mangroves. The tide was very low at this point. Passing by I noticed there was some activity with baitfish and figured I would try and skip one of the small plastic swim baits I use. Getting the bait in there was easy but getting it out was another story. On the first cast I immediately hooked up with a large snook that proceeded to break me off as he took off into the mangroves. I knew it would be pretty difficult to get a fish out of there but I re-rigged and stepped up the leader to the largest I had with me which was 40lb. It was still to no avail and for one reason or another, whether getting cut off or just getting wrapped up in the roots I think I maybe lost a half dozen or so larger fish. I did manage to get a couple of smaller size snook out of there. It was pretty exciting to know that more larger fish are up in these areas. By chance if I’m at this spot in the future when the tide is higher I think I will have a better chance to catch some of these fish.

I kayak fished the bay the day the cold front came through. The day started out with it being dead calm but around midmorning the front came through a lot earlier than predicted. If anything it was a nice (hard) workout paddling the mile and a half back across the bay directly into the twenty plus mph winds. Fishing was pretty good while it lasted with some snook, trout and a couple of smaller redfish. I caught a few snappers and a gag grouper also. There seemed to be more sharks around than usual.

Two different articles I had written were published this month so please check them out. Native Watercraft one of my main sponsors published a short article I wrote about the Everglades and you can read this at Native Watercraft. I am now writing a monthy article on kayak fishing for Coastal Angler Magazine, a Florida fishing publication both online and printed copies and you can read my first article for them at Coastal Angler, page 35, Thanks

I joined up with Ranger Bob Martin and Joseph Taboada to test paddle one of the trails, Halfway Creek, to see if it was passable through Big Cypress Preserve. We did the whole trail from Hwy41 back to Glades Haven marina in Everglades City. It was a real nice trip through that area and it ended up being around a 12 mile trip. I didn’t have time to fish much but there are many opportunities along the way.

Yesterday I met up with Ira Silverman visiting from Cape Cod. The plan was to paddle the other main trail through Big Cypress, The Turner River. The original plan was to paddle the whole trail back to Everglades City also (which is also 12 miles plus) but we spent too much time in the upper area of the river and there wasn’t enough time to do the whole trip. This trip was the highlight of the week. This trip was one of those “magical” trips. I don’t remember Ira’s exact words but he spoke of in all the years of coming and going to different places in Florida he has never experienced or seen anything like this and I agree, it was one of those days. It was incredible to see all the different wildlife, especially the many different birds and to be in that environment with them.

Ranger Bob and Joseph leading the way

In the Turner River Tunnel

Everglades Banded Water Snake (non venomous)

Local Anhinga


  1. Cold front of 70F?! Now I'm really jealous. I can count on my fingers how many days it was over 70F at the OR coast this SUMMER....the water never got above 58F this year!

    As always, beautiful pics and scenery, great report. Quite a nice mental escape from the wintery Pacific Northwest.


  2. It was a magical trip - it gave me a unique perspective on an area I had been to many times in the past but never saw in quite this way. I also very much enjoyed the relaxed pace - no pressure, no stress. You are an excellent guide.