Thursday, October 27, 2011

Fishing the Everglades, Winds or not

These north winds this past week or so have made things difficult but it looks like they are subsiding only there may now be some other weather headed this way maybe from a tropical storm down in the Yucatan. Hopefully it's just a little rain. The weather doesn't normally stop me from going out to kayak and fish and I've gone out a few times to fish. From the previous rain we had the bay was very muddy from all the run off from the back country. It's now clearing up to it's normal tannin color. I had assumed the fishing would be terrible but even though it was a bit slower we caught all our normal species including some trout, reds and snook. Most fish were not of any great size but some nice fish were caught.
I made it back to one back country area where it's usually less affected by the weather and this one day I had fun and caught a few decent size snook. I saw a few rolling tarpon but had no takers.

A  nice backwater snook

Visiting Red Shoulder hawk

Reddish Egret

I had ordered new kayaks for the upcoming season from Native watercraft in Greenboro North Carolina and decided to take a ride and go and pick up my new boats there the other week. I decided to head to the western part of the state first to visit a friend where we took a ride on the Blue Ridge Parkway. It just so happens that it was their peak foliage season and the tree colors were awesome to see in the area and mountains, quite a change of scenery from the Everglades lowlands.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Everglades, Big Cypress and the Blackwaters

This turned out to be quite an interesting week. I attended a couple days worth of classes and seminars at Big Cypress National Preserve. There has been bit of controversy around for a long time with allowing or not allowing the public into the preserve involving certain activities. The park is coming around slowly and now allows some concessions to operate such as swamp buggy and canoe/kayak tour company's on a limited basis. Anyways, we can all attest how our government works a lot of times. Most of these classes were very interesting and informative and the biologists and rangers that spoke are very knowledgeable on a multitude of subjects. Big Cypress offers free classes through the winter on a variety of subjects and they will post them on their website should you be interested and be in the area during this time.   

Later in the week I had my opportunity to get back on the water. The forecast for the remainder of the week was calling for windy and stormy weather so I again concentrated on the backcountry. The one day I did a solo trip to one of the lakes and had fun catching a few snook who were hanging deep under the mangroves. I switched off to a fly rod after seeing some juvenile tarpon out in more open water and then had fun with a few of these crazy fish. I caught a nice size Mayan Cichlid in this lake also, the first in a couple of years since the freeze we had which killed most of the exotic fish in this area.

There was planned to be a group of us kayak fishing on Saturday. Everybody cancelled because of the bad weather forecast so it was just me and my son, Rich. The weather turned out to be great for the most part and we ended up catching a ton of fish. Mostly snook of every size. Again proof in a year or so I think will be banner years in catching a lot more larger snook in this west coast area.  

A pretty colored blackwater redfish

 Blackwater Snook

I spotted this cool little guy, a Florida (Everglades) Box Turtle swimming out in the open water. Normally a land turtle I thought it was weird to find him out there.

Green Heron on the Turner River in big Cypress

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Autumn in the Everglades 9/31

Wow, I can't believe it's October already. Where did September go? Evenings and mornings are cooler but it's still the summer heat here during the day. Last weekend a group of 5 of us went and kayak fished Chokoloskee bay. A little friendly competition and four of us were winners with getting our inshore slams with catching trout, redfish and snook. A couple of flounder, jacks and ladyfish were also caught. None of the fish were record sizes by any means but there were plenty of fish around and caught, it was great to get out and spend the day with friends on the water.

I spent a few other days in the backcountry during the week. I visited a couple of my usual haunts and did some some exploring in a couple of new areas. All I can say is conditions are a lot better than I expected with the high water levels from all the rain we've had over the last couple of weeks. I concentrated mostly fishing with the fly rod and had I been fishing with a spinning rod I would have had a better success rate as there were some large snook back in and under the mangroves that I could not get to using the fly rod. All and all I still got to play with juvenile tarpon in a couple different places and that was a blast fishing for them with the fly rod. I'll be heading back in with my spinning rod for sure this week.