Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Winter Begins in the Everglades

According to the calender it's winter now. About my only hint was catching a few snook up in a couple of my backcountry areas that were still lighter in color meaning they had recently migrated to these areas from cleaner open waters. So, the winter migration has begun. I haven't seen any of the juvenile tarpon I would normally see in these areas which I find to be a bit unusual but I'll just give it that I've been in the wrong place at the wrong time or they just haven't started their migration yet. There have been a couple of cold fronts come through making it a bit cooler for a couple of days but it hasn't been enough to cool the waters that much. The water temperatures are still in the seventies.
Fishing the last week or so has been pretty good and the species of the week is the snook. I caught a few nice fish, a few pushing 30" and a few over, one around 34". Pretty much wherever I fished there were also many smaller snook.
My redfish catch this past week was down but I attribute that to spending most of my time in the backcountry where they are not very common. While fishing the bay I did catch a couple around 22". 
A guarantee catch in the bay is the trout. They were in all the usual places and the majority caught were 17 to over twenty inches. Flounder, Jacks, snapper and ladyfish are also around. 

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Amazing Everglades

I was on the water four times this past week. Twice kayak fishing and twice paddling through parts of the Turner River in Big Cypress Preserve.
Being just about winter we are beginning to have some cold fronts come through the area. Had a little rain one day and temperatures in the 70's, It's really nothing to complain about I know compared to many other parts of the country and it's actually a nice break from this past summers temps that averaged in the upper eighties.
I fished two different areas this week, one morning up in the back country and one day in Chokoloskee bay. I wanted to check out and see how the water levels were in the back and they are still fairly high making it still a little difficult to fish many of the areas. I fished this area on one of the colder mornings (in the 50's) and very windy. I managed to catch a few nice snook but didn't see or hook up with any Tarpon.

Kayak fishing Chokoloskee bay was another winter kind of fishing day. Three of us went out and fished till midday. It was a full moon negative outgoing tide and it rained on us most of the time. Everyone caught a few decent fish but had we stayed to fish the incoming tide it would probably  have been much more successful. We caught reds, snook and some trout along with ladyfish and jacks.

When the opportunity comes up to paddle in Big Cypress Preserve on the Turner River it's hard for me turn it down. I had the opportunity twice this week. The water levels are good right now as later during the winter months this area could (almost) dry up making it difficult to access and right now mosquitoes are almost non existent. This is one amazing place and there is no other like it anywhere. It's different each time going in here so you never know what you will see with all the different fauna, birds and other wildlife of the Everglades.

Here's a few photos from this week paddling on the Turner River.