Friday, December 10, 2010

Everglades Winter Fishing

Traditionally I would always go trout fishing on opening day of the season during April in Vermont. The weather didn’t always cooperate with freezing temperatures, maybe it was snowing and there still might be ice blocking access to many of the mountain streams and creeks. Not as drastic down here in the Everglades, but there are cold fronts that come through and it can cool things down quite a bit. This was one of those weeks. I didn’t bother going out across the bay or any other areas where there is open water because of the cold winds and headed to a couple of places I kayak fish up in the backcountry where it is much more sheltered. The first day right after the cold front came through where it was in the 30’s early on and yesterday which was a little bit warmer but it was also raining.

It probably wouldn’t have mattered where I went but there were slim odds of seeing anybody else out, which I didn’t. The first day out I went to one area that offers a lot of protection and found a nice sunny spot where I found some snook and tarpon feeding. I caught a few decent size snook and played with a few smaller tarpon (actually, I think they were playing with me). Probably comical to watch, but early on my fingers tips were numb and it was tough to make any kind of accurate cast. Moving on later I paddled to and checked out a different spot and I’m not sure if it was some kind of fluke but I actually caught a few smaller largemouth bass where I have never seen them before. The area I was in had previously been inhabited by exotic Mayan Cichlid fish where most died off during the drastic cold spell we had last winter.

Yesterday was a bit tougher fishing. My buddy Mike joined me and we went to a different area in the backcountry and we played around with the fly rods. It was slower with the catching but I caught a redfish, we both caught a couple of snook, jack and ladyfish. Again I think the tarpon were playing with us but if anything it was a new place where I hadn’t seen them before and I will be returning there soon again.

I am still seeing a lot of different migratory birds back in these areas. More uncommon I’ve seen quite a few American Bitterns and also a couple of Short Tail Hawks. Pictured at the bottom is a photo of a Short Tail hawk I had previously taken.

Fairly common Green Heron

Short Tail Hawk


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