Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Spring (Summer ! )

So much for spring. Temperatures are already up in the upper eighty's right now during the day. I've been pushing myself and clients to get out early before sunrise while it's a bit cooler. I know it's theoretically spring, birds are nesting, Swallow tail kites have returned and our rains haven't really started yet. I know it's now spring when bull sharks show up in a couple of back country places that I kayak fish. I found out the other day as a bull shark came up and ate a nice snook I had just released. Usually it's the gators that sometimes want to eat my fish but this time of year the sharks may show up for whatever reason. Another challenge to fishing some of these Everglades waters and knowing now that they are back, I'll avoid fishing these areas for the next month.
Every day is different but there have been a few days recently where we've been getting into the juvenile tarpon. They can be so finicky but we've managed to hookup with many, both on fly and spinning rods, and boat a few of these crazy fish.  

Dumber than a pelican (sorry pelicans)  to all fisherman who has kept and killed a snook during this past open snook season here on the southwest coast of Florida. With exception to some visitors and tourists who may not have known any better any fisherman living in Florida knows of the devastating fish kill we had a few years ago. I support most all things that the FWC (Florida Fish and Wildlife) does but in this case it's a big fail. The FWC reopened the snook season from political pressure for fishing tourism reasons and The FWC also claimed that scientifically and through studies the snook fishery has rebounded enough to open the season again.
 I wasn't here 30 years or so ago when there was a much more abundant snook fishery, but I know it has declined over the years and the freeze we had a few years ago definitely devastated the snook population. With spending a tremendous amount of time fishing the area waters and talking almost daily with many area guides and fisherman the general consensus is the snook fishery has not rebounded to the point to justify opening a snook season, any fisherman that has fished the area waters over the last few years cannot deny it. Although there are some larger fish around there is no where near the population that once existed.

The keeping of these snook in the slot are or are about to become the breeding stock for the fishery. Whether through ignorance or somehow not knowing about the fishery, educate yourself and please in the future reconsider and think twice about keeping a snook. There are plenty of other fish species that are very good to eat, just ask a pelican.        

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Spring Arrives!

Spring is here. I can't believe how fast the winter flew by. Other than being very windy it was a fairly mild winter here in The Everglades. Due to the winds most of the time was spent fishing in many of my back country areas. This winter season has been my most busiest so far and even though things are slowing down I will still be fairly busy through the next month or so before I take an extended break. Many of my clients this year were repeats from years past but also many newcomers and it has been a joy to introduce them to my Everglades and to fish with me. I have some great memories of these trips and I'm sure they have them also.   

The fishing this winter has been generally pretty good. Of course there have been some slower days. Not many trout this winter but I haven't gotten out in the more open waters where I have my trout spots. Most fish caught this winter has been snook and even though there are tons of smaller fish around quite a few larger fish were caught. Most of the redfish caught have all been a good size this year. Being mostly in the back country of course there have been tarpon around and though not many in the boat but there were some nice hookups with a few nicer size juveniles up to around 30lbs. Miscellaneous other fish caught were jacks, mangrove snapper and ladyfish.     

I've been kind of off the grid getting involved with anything to do with the kayak fishing world recently because of being so busy with my kayak fishing charters but I try and follow whats going on. The sport has become very popular from what I can see throughout the country (and world) and is continuing to grow. Along with the growing sport comes a multitude of related new company's, Kayaks, accessories and tackle to name some. My little rant this week is about many of the "Pro-Staffers" out there. Along with those who went out and caught a few nice fish and decided they were worthy to become a guide comes the pro-staffers. There has always been those that were sponsored and those that were on pro staff's. It has become a lot more popular and a great marketing strategy for many company's to get the word out there about their product but, there appears to be as of late many new pro staffers out there who appear to be confused as to what a pro staffer is and what the Pro stands for, it is Promotional and not Professional. I believe a true pro-staffer is one who believes in a product enough to help promote it and not one who is on a pro-staff only for the benefits of getting free or discounted items. I've turned down many company's to promote their product only because what I already use I know works for me. On the right side of the page are some company's who sponsor me and who I am on the pro-staff with such as, Native Watercraft as an example which I used years before I was accepted as an endorsed guide. I use their kayaks because they work for me and the terrain I fish in. I promote them because I believe in the boats...