Monday, September 30, 2013

The Coming Season

Remembering when I first started kayak fishing the sport was still in a kind of infancy.I can recollect thinking how I might be able to access some of the more remote places around the area. I had thought about maybe getting a canoe, having used them many times growing up and then I discovered people fishing out of kayaks. Other than a couple of groups or clubs that I found on the Internet there really wasn't much information around on fishing out of kayaks at the time. I soon discovered and met others in Florida that were kayak fishing and it wasn't long after that I purchased a new 2005 Heritage Redfish 14 which had just came out. At the time there were just a handful of choices for sit-on-top kayaks suitable for fishing. One thing led to another and I was fishing out of that kayak every chance I had traveling around Florida to the endless places to kayak fish. My passion for the sport led me to start guiding around the Everglades part time and now to the present, guiding full time for almost the last 8 years. Looking back at the sport to what it has become now it's almost overwelming how it has grown. 

My season will begin here in the next month or so and I'm pretty excited about it. As I mentioned above with the popularity of the sport I have many trips booked for the season, both with new kayak fisherman as well as the more experienced. In years passed most of my trips were mostly all about teaching about kayak fishing. I'm also really impressed with how popular fly fishing out of kayaks has become and again around half of the trips I have booked for this year are fly fishing.

I've been fishing alot lately, going out on average every other day. I have so many places I fish that are very different from each other here in the Everglades that it's been tough to stay on top of things with the conditions we've had for the last couple of months. I have found and caught some nice fish though!

Snook, Redfish and, juvenile Tarpon have been the main catches lately along with some trout and flounder. The fishing has definitely improved with the temperatures dropping a little and less rain than we were having.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Crazy Everglades

It amazes me sometimes how fast conditions can change here in the Everglades. Since my last report I have had a couple of real good and successful days out kayak fishing, both fly fishing and spin fishing. A couple of very nice snook and decent size redfish caught along with a few nice size trout which I don't really even target this time of year. I've had a few hookups with some juvenile tarpon in the backcountry but didn't land any.
I had kind of a crazy thing happen the other morning while fishing in the bay. As I do most mornings when starting my day fishing I throw a top water plug looking for snook and reds. There were schools of mullet all over around me and I noticed a few tarpon rolling and a few manatee also hanging out in the same area. As the sun is just rising I'm working the plug back along a shoreline in about two feet of water. I then see a large swell in the water heading towards the plug. At first I'm thinking it's a shark when I see the flash and it is a very large tarpon. When I say very large, I mean like at least an 80lb fish. The fish makes a crashing attack and somehow misses the plug. Knowing I could never handle this fish with my gear I reel in fast to get my line out of the water and then I see this crazy tarpon in hot pursuit. About six feet from the kayak as I'm getting my line in the fish attacks again and he almost lands in my boat and totally soaks me. I've had some crazy things happen while out fishing and this one is near the top of the list. What a way to start the morning ! 

" Nice Snook !"

Rich jr with a very nice Red he caught recently!

Mayan Cichlids one of the few types of exotic species caught here in the western Everglades are usually a bycatch fishing the backcountry for snook and tarpon but are a blast to catch especially when using a lighter fly setup.

I'm very excited about the upcoming winter season. I already have a bunch of trips booked so, if your thinking about kayak fishing with me here in the Everglades, sooner is better to book your trip so there are no disappointments.