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.