Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Experiences in The Everglades

There's no doubt it has been, or so it seems this has been one of the warmest summers since I have been living here in The Everglades. Then again, I think I have these same thoughts every year around this time. I am looking forward to some cooler weather.  

As far as the fishing goes, it has actually been pretty good but that's with getting the kayaks out as early as possible while the fish are active. By noon the bite has been pretty much done when the temperatures are back up again.  

I'm often asked, especially by clients about my experiences with spending so much time and kayak fishing out in The Everglades. I have my share of stories to tell along with some unusual experiences but rarely have I ever felt threatened being around alligators, sharks and other wildlife, including manatees, but there have been many exciting times.

A few years back around this same time of year I was out exploring an area for places to fish a couple of miles south of Chokoloskee and I found myself in at a large shallow bay surrounded by some small islands. There were a few different kinds of birds wading and feeding and a few alligators around so I decided to go in and check out the area. It was fairly shallow and the water was pretty muddy. As I made my way in I ran aground and assumed I ran onto an oyster bar because I couldn't see into the water. I decided to stay put and take a break for a few minutes and take in the happenings going on around me. After deciding to move on after around 15 minutes I stuck my paddle in to push myself off of the "oyster bar" when actually, I had been sitting on top of a large gator who explodes out from under my kayak lifting the kayak and me up out of the water as it takes off. Surprised is putting it lightly how I felt. Why that gator never moved when I first ran on top of him I'll never know.

Obviously that was probably a once in a lifetime occurrence but I have to say that most every trip is unique, what wildlife you will see and some days what kind of fish you will catch even when targeting certain species. If you have never been to The Everglades it is definitely a place to visit, fish and experience for yourself. I still have many days available for the upcoming winter season for day trips so if your planning to visit the area, please look me up.             

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Rainy Day, Dream Away

I woke up to storms again this morning. A normal summer for the most part here in The Everglades; hot, very humid and daily storms. This year there seems to have been many storms come through earlier in the day rather than the afternoon or maybe it's just me. Many mornings this summer when I had plans to get out early to kayak fish only to be interrupted by rain storms. I have no problem with fishing in the rain and rather enjoy it but when there is lightening it will tend to make it a bit nerve racking. Obviously you can't outrun the storms in a kayak and having to find a place in the mangroves to hide and wait out the storm with the mosquitoes is not the most enjoyable. I can attest to that.    

All and all the fishing this summer has been fantastic. There have many nice size snook being caught which is awesome to see that they are rebounding from the devastating fish kill a couple of years ago. I still believe that there should be no open season and only catch and release of these fish for now. Along with the nice snook catches there are a lot of redfish around and seen some nice ones caught also. Other fish being caught around the area right now are Trout, Pompano, Flounder and of course, Tarpon. You will probably find out fairly soon when fishing out there that there also are many sharks around right now, especially bull sharks so even though it's fairly warm out it's not a very good idea and I highly recommend to skip the wade fishing or dangling your feet or hands in the water from your kayak.     

One late afternoon last week I met up and fished with Jack Shealy and had fun catching a bunch of snook with him. Jack owns and runs a local company called "Everglades Adventure Tours"; offering pole boat tours and other types of Eco trips. For a unique Everglades experience this is something you need to check out. See his website at Everglades Adventure Tours