Dec 31st 2009
Today I took the Skiff out to fish with my friend Jon of Fishbuzz TV and Jared. We got there bright and early to look for tailing red fish in Tampa bay. Our plans were to get some some photos and videos then try try to catch a few. Well the first part went ok but the 2nd part was nearly impossible today. The water slicked out and the fish here got so spooky you couldn’t even move on the boat with out spooking them. I mean even grabing the camera put out enough vibration to put the fish on guard. Jon got out of the boat to try to wade to the tailing reds. He got 3 follows but they would not eat.
After 4 hours of doing this we were pulling our hairs out trying to figure out how to be more quiet. I have to say today the fish won. I will leave 2009 getting skunked.
Happy New Year everyone and be safe out there.
In a couple hours I wll be grab my gear and try to get some some fire works photos and video here in Tampa. They are having a fireworks thing at Channelside.
There are moments in life that we never forget. These moments can be moments of days, hours, minutes, or even seconds. A short day of fishing or even one fish caught that day can sometimes be more memorable then a day filled with catching a boat load of fish. When time has slowed and you begin to break down one of these moments, the short minutes can feel like an eternity. Here is a very recent experience I had that would be a memory to last a lifetime.
It was an afternoon of fishing in Biscayne Bay with my buddy Capt. Frank that I assumed would just be a scouting trip to check water temps on different flats. The first part of the day started off rough with very limited visibility and a few fish blown out due to the lack of light attention.
Our hope came later towards the end when the sun finally broke away the clouds that were looming over our heads. Capt. Frank pushed the skiff along while we both scanned the deeper water waiting for a bonefish to materialize. We finally spotted the sign of a faint mud almost fading away in the strong current. As we looked further, we gazed upon the sight of a familiar shape that our eyes had been trained to distinguish from the rest. It was indeed a bonefish; green back glowing in the sun, an unmistakable shadow underneith, and face burried in the short grass digging up it’s prey. The fish seemed to notice our presence and started to swim off, bringing a partner in crime along with him. Armed with a 9wt canon, I punched out a long back cast giving the fish a lead and letting my fly sink into the grass where I had hoped to be part of this fish’s path. As the silver denizen of the shallows approached my crab fly, I gave it a bump to get the fish’s attention. This would either spook him or turn him into a raging druggy searching out his crack-pipe. The fish caught sight of the tastey morsel that had just hopped into his path and turned towards it with a mission in mind. I gave the fly another bump and the fish sped up deploying it’s pec fins like a stealth bomber swooping in for the kill. A third bump drove the fish nuts and the fish pinned the fly right into the grass. A long strip and I came tight to the result I was hoping for.
The fly line streaked sideways across the bow of my Maverick skiff leaving a roostertail in it’s wake. Capt. Frank and I couldn’t help but watch as this veteran bonefish ran right towards the shoreline and into the thicket of mangroves like a scathed k9. The fish had plowed his way into the forest of mangroves but was still running fast, without any sign of slowing down. I thought, “how deep does that forest go?”. Frank poled the skiff up to the shoreline and thats where I realized that the fish had me wrapped up and tangled on several downed trees, around and under a few mangrove roots, and under big stump, before it had run back out and made a bee line towards Bimini. I did what I could… took off my hat, glasses, and shirt and I jumped into the chilly water to attempt to unravel this mess. I completely backed off on the drag and waded through the forest of mangroves and stumps, threading my fly rod through every entanglement this bonefish had run me through. After 15 minutes of cussing, I had finally threaded my flyrod through all the entanglements and jumped back on the skiff, which Frank had to pole around and through a narrow opening in the mangroves.
We finally landed this bonefish a few minutes later and found a sigh of relief that a shark or cuda hadn’t gotten to it before we did. High fives were due and a few photos were shot before we carefully released this hard fighting bonefish back into the deep where he would someday try again to twart another angler’s attempt at catching a big Biscayne Bay bonefish. This is to be my last bonefish I’d catch in 2009. We had gained another bit of experience and more respect for Abula Vulpes as we enter 2010 with even higher expectations for a good fishing year.
Happy Holidays to all. Wherever we may be tonight when the clock strikes twelve; let us toast to new beginnings, challenges, and triumphs ahead in 2010. From all of us at Saltyshores, we hope you have a great New Year.
-Capt. Honson Lau
As we took the morning ride in our guided skiff down the Belize River to the ocean flats, we bore witness to the novel sights and sounds of the lush jungle. There were sounds of howler monkeys and toucans and other exotic birds; the sights of the iguana, the tapir and the alligator; all permanently etching memories into the brain. Then there was the fishing experience. This just may be a fishery paradise waiting for the light tackle angler to celebrate its offerings. A slam (bonefish, permit and tarpon) or super slam (slam plus snook) is not so elusive in these waters. What a great way to spend a week in Central America at the Belize River Lodge.
Coldest day 2 days of the year here in New Orleans…. We caught the smaller fish but the big mommas were tough to locate on the flats right now. We did get a couple shots at 20lb + Red fish but it was definitely not prime situation with the air temperature in the 30′s at night and 40′s during the day.
We did get some shots at big black drums on fly was the sun was setting. John got this 38lb on a black fly using his 9wt Sage. It was his 1st black drum on fly and it was a nice one!
I hope every has enjoyed a festive and Happy Holidays with their friends, family, and possibly even some fish. It was the perfect time for me to take a week and a half off from my office job and spend some time with the family in the evenings and fishing during my days. I have less then a month to prepare for the Swamp Guides fishing tournament so I had to get some practice days in fishing for redfish, snook, and bonefish.
With a host of some of my favorite fishing buddies, I took to the last few days with some determination, my 9wt, lots of holiday turkey, and only 2 fly patterns that would do it all. We fished from Biscayne Bay to Islamorada covering lots of ground in a few days and met with good results. Fishing under conditions as such with limited lighting, cold water temperatures, and quite a bit of wind most of the time wouldn’t be a walk in the park. This was expecially true when it came to bonefishing in the cold. Capitalizing on shots at all 3 species would take nothing less then a long boat ride and some experience accumulated from the past few years of fishing. Oh and of coarse, having buddies who know how to feed a clump of symmtrically aligned fur and steel to weary bonefish helps too. Fishing has been good despite the less then favorable conditions given.
Dec 27th 2009
Today I’m in Louisiana with Greg Dini once again to try to get a 20lb plus class red fish on Fly. Once again the weather has not been my friend. It was raining in the morning then overcast skies for most of the day. It was very tough to fish the deeper waters where the big fish lays.. we did get a few smaller fish in the 7lb range but the goal of catching a big 20lb plus redfish was lost. There is always tomorrow.
I did get a chance to fish out of the ECC Vantage for the day. It’s very dry boat with huge spray rails. I didn’t get a chance to pole it yet but should get a chance to check it out here in the next day or tow. It drafts about 8 to 10″ with 90hp 4 stroke, 3 200lb+ anglers and all my camera gear.
I did get some cool eats.. not sure how well the footage turned out though.
Here are some quick edit from today’s photos. Nothing special but I’ll try harder.
With 2009 coming to an end, it is only fitting that I post these two video montages that were made by fellow HardCore Kayak Anglers. This was truley a great year in Kayak fishing and making new friends.
I also have to thank Sam of SaltyShores for putting together a great group contributors to Saltyshores that make this site Florida’s #1 in my opinion.
Thank you the viewers for taking your time to look at what new adventure is coming your way. Look for 2010 to only be better!
Video by HCKAClub Pres. Russ
Video by Kayak Guide Peter Poletti
Scenic photos I found laying around from last week I thought looked pretty cool. One foggy morning and a cool sunrise.