The Florida tourist season is winding down as we approach the warm summer season. Much of my guiding I do here in the Everglades comes from these visitors during the winter months and as much as I love showing and kayak fishing with many of these people around the area I look forward when the area turns back into it's sleepy fishing town. Being kind of hilarious I think this season I've seen no less than a dozen cars driving down on the wrong side of the road and at the small traffic circle in the center of town three different times cars driving around it the wrong way. I suppose they were foreigners but then again when I think about the mentality of some of the visitors from this country, I'm not sure. I can't count how many times I could hear or have seen motor boats run across or onto oyster bars in the bay because they just aren't aware how low the tides get here in the winter or just are clueless and decided to not read a chart or not to follow the markers. You can always tell the clueless ones as you paddle past them and they turn their backs to you because they are so embarrassed. Most of them try and act like they are busy doing something while they are sitting high and dry. I try and keep my laughter to myself as I paddle by. ( I'm not totally heartless and if I catch their eye and they are within throwing distance I offer a water or two because they will probably be spending the next few hours there before they can get a tow or have enough water to float off.)
Speaking of oyster bars, fishing around a few of them on the rising tides has been somewhat awesome. For there not being many larger snook around I have run across many of them in the last week. I managed to catch a few of them and hooked up and lost twice as many more. Fishing in these mostly shallow waters the go to bait has been topwater plugs and as many know there is no way to explain the excitment of a large snook hitting them.
I'm still looking to hookup with a larger redfish in the backwaters but most this past week I've caught have been the "rat" reds averaging around 18" to 20". They are still fun using topwater plugs but I've seen some larger fish in the murky water usually as I paddled over and spooked them.
Fishing a few of my trout holes this week they are making themselves more scarce. We caught a few but their numbers have dwindled since the waters have warmed up. Most of the trout caught have been more in the shallow waters, also on topwater plugs and a little larger than average around 20".
Other species caught during the week was a nice gag grouper caught by Paul who fished with me one day. Fishing mangroves for snook have resulted in catching a few nice mangrove snappers also.
One of the clean-up crew