Monday, March 26, 2012

Moving Towards Summer

As we head into the warmer months I can only see the kayak fishing improve. If it does this will certainly be a banner year because the fishing for most of the winter has already been very good here in the Everglades area. This was anything but a normal winter with the warmer than average conditions. Some fish species didn't seem to follow their typical migration patterns such as the snook but just about every trip some were caught along with Redfish and Trout, these three being the main gamefish targeted by fisherman in the shallower waters in the Everglades, other than of course the Tarpon.  
Tarpon are making their appearance up and down the coast and as we move towards summer there will more and more sitings and catches reported each day as they move through the area up along the coast and backwaters. 

Blackwater Snook
A nice red caught in the bay

 Looking back at the fishing trips I've done this season over 50% of them were fly fishing. While most fly fisherman bring their own fly gear, the few that didn't and a few that wanted to try them I set them up with the newer TFO Bvk rods and reel. I had nothing but good responses about the BVK setups so, if your looking into getting some new fly gear this is something you want to check out. 

This is Gary from Minnesota who fly fished with me last week. He got his first snook out of a kayak along with a few other species on the fly. It was a real nice day !

Notice the right side bar the listing for "Captain Pete's Bait and Tackle" If your in the Naples area stop by and check out this small "Kayak fishing friendly" tackle shop. Talk with the owner "Paul" and he will hook you up with any of your fishing needs!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The Western Everglades

The coastal area of the Western Everglades is like no other place in Florida. I have lived and fished in this area over the last six years or so.  I fell in love with the area with the laid back and small town atmosphere, the remoteness of it and the great fishery we have here.
Spending a few days most every week kayak fishing and exploring around the area over this time I can say that I can go out and be very successful in finding and catching fish most every time. It’s not to say that somebody that’s never or hardly fished the area before can’t go out and have a grand day but what I’m saying is being more consistent .The area being so vast and conditions constantly changing can make it much more unpredictable as to where the fish may be making it one of the most challenging areas I have ever fished.

This winter the fishing has been very good and I’ve had many successful days. The challenge though has been finding larger snook. It appears that with the warmer than normal season the snook many have not followed their normal migration pattern.  I have continued to catch some decent size fish in and around the bay and then also some in the backcountry. The thing is this year I haven’t found many of the larger fish.

One area I love to fish up in the back country I have not seen any of the larger fish I would catch in the winter so I decided to check out a couple of the spots I usually would just pass up. One area is a large mud flat of maybe twelve inches deep usually inhabited with tons of mullet. I stood and poled myself through the area early one calm morning before sunrise where normally I would just paddle through it to get to one of my regular fishing haunts.
As I made my way I spotted some nervous water of what appeared to be a school of baitfish. I decided to make a long cast at them with a small plug I had rigged up. The moment my plug landed it was instantly grabbed by a ladyfish which after a split second after was attacked by a very large snook. It’s hard to put into words what happened but I could see the fish in the commotion and hear the loud clap as it grabbed the ladyfish. The snook ran for a short distance before a vicious headshake and then spit out the ladyfish and then was gone.

 I pulled in a limp 18” ladyfish, in shock and stripped of most of its scales! I sat there after for awhile and watched the sunrise. I would have loved to have a photo of that fish in my boat but it was not to be. My day was still made and this again was a reminder of why I love it here so much kayak fishing here in the Western Everglades.  

A beautiful colored backcountry Redfish

This is Steve Hendricks from Ohio with his first snook first time fishing from a kayak

This is Tom from PA who fished with me along with his life long fishing buddy Mike. We spent a few awesome hours fly fishing in the bay.