Thursday, March 17, 2011

Everglades Bay to Fachahatchee

I can't emphasize enough how much I love exploring around in the Everglades. Whether kayak fishing looking for where the fish are or finding new fishing holes. Along with this comes taking in everything else from the sunrises, the scenery and the wildlife. As far as the fishing, this has got to be the most unpredictable place I have ever fished, unlike many places in Florida. I love the challenge and some days you are rewarded and other days can turn out, well..., not.

Early the other morning fishing around some oyster bars in the bay looking for a redfish, a big trout or maybe a snook I fished with a topwater plug, my usual Zara Spook Jr. The snook are scarcer now after the big fish kill last winter. I've been able to find some larger fish here and there, but they are not very common. Most of the snook I've been catching are an average size around 20 to 30 inches.
I casually made a cast off a bar and the plug was immediately engulfed by a large fish and tears off a bunch of line. A second later, up comes the head of a very large snook trying to shake out the plug. Well, after a short time I somehow managed to get the fish with the lighter gear I was using to the boat, a big snook, I estimate her to be over 40" and then... by the boat with another head shake she finally wears through the 30lb leader and is gone...
At first very disappointed and shaking from the adrenaline rush I sat for a couple of minutes to calm down and I watched the sunrise. It's not the first time and I'm sure it won't be the last for this to happen. You can be sure I'll be stepping up to a heavier leader for the summer when I fish in these situations. 
A nice 27-28" Redfish I sight fished today in the morning low tide. There were a lot of red's on the very shallow mud flats and after five other attempts I caught this guy ! The reds were not grouped together but were either solo or in pairs as they foraged through the mud..

Black Drum with the Reds

One of a few snook caught in the backcountry this week

I went and checked out one of the rookeries in the bay and nesting and the mating rituals have begun for the Pelicans, Cormorants, Great White and Snowy Egrets


Fachahatchee Strand Preserve did a controlled burn on some of the prairie lands a couple of weeks ago and I went and did a little hike through the area the other day. I was thinking with the new grass just starting to grow I might have a chance to spot a panther. When I got into the area I saw a few different groups of deer grazing and knew there were no panthers around this day. A ways back as I walked I came across two deer, a young buck and doe. Trying to be stealthy I made my way towards them to try and photograph them. Before long they spotted me. Instead of spooking, I was a little surprised when they made their way towards me. I guess I maybe was something they had never seen before and they were curious. They came fairly close to me and the buck at one point started stamping his feet coming even closer. I stepped out from behind the bush where I was supposedly hiding and he stopped and ran back the few yards near the doe. I watched as they casually made their way across the meadow as I made my way back to my car.

Only Panther tracks today

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