Redfishing + more in SW Florida…

The Maverick Mirage 18 HPX-V has proven itself to be an extremely versatile skiff when fishing in my home waters in the Florida Keys and Biscayne Bay but I wondered if it’s shallow draft and ability to handle rough seas would suit the fishery on the Southwest coast of Florida well.  I towed my new skiff to Ft. Myers this past weekend and  met up with my buddies David McCleaf and Capt. Rick De Paiva.  There isn’t any other  fishing guide better suited to test this skiff out in the SW Gulf coast area then Capt. Rick. 

We started out in the AM running the beaches looking for the many pelagics that are crashing bait on the surface.  The scenery this AM was simply out of this world, as was the fishing.  There is plenty of life on this coast.  From mackerel and jacks crashing bait to tailing redfish on the grassflats on the inside.  Once we were finished with the pelagics offshore and rode through the swells created by the ocean and bastard pleasure boaters, we headed inshore and stalked tailing redfish on the shallow grass flats.  I was a bit dissapoitned at first when I saw some of the boats from this weekend’s Flatsmasters tournament burning up some of the lush grass flats but we made our way away from the mayhem and found our own peace away from the madness.  We worked our way through an intricate maze of invisible bars and shallow flats before shutting down and working our way quietly to greener pasteurs.  I think my buddy Rick was surprised that the 18 HPX was able to get as shallow as it did.  There was no place a redfish could swim that the 18 HPX couldn’t get to.  We poled amongst the tailing redfish and found ourselves surrounded.  I was overwhelmed and excited to see this many relaxed tailer redfish all around the boat but this was simply a typical scene for Capt. Rick.  I shot a few photos, but I didn’t have the lens for the situation so I did what I do best… got on the bow with a fly rod and pinned flies to a few redfish.  David and I switched off catching redfish and at one point hooked up on fly and plastics (DOA #425 CAL Jerkbait) simotaneously on 2 different tailing redfish.  This was possibly some of the best redfishing I had ever experienced anywhere in Florida.  I managed to capture a few hero shots and a bit of the scenery in this bit of paradise. 

 

After a weekend away, I am back on the east coast and ready to spend some days in my home waters.  Stay tuned…

Comments

comments