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Art Blank

Having been raised in in an environment surrounded by ocean and bay in Miami, FL, I took to the world of fishing in a big way starting at the age of five. In the past 15 years, my fishing experiences have come to include related photography. I travel to many venues throughout the Western Hemisphere to photographically promote fishing destinations' vast offerings to the avid light tackle angler. My images have been portrayed in several publication media which include "FLORIDA SPORT FISHING MAGAZINE", "DESTINATION FISH MAGAZINE", "SOUTH CAROLINA SPORTSMAN", "THE HERALD" (Miami). I also maintain a small photo gallery on my blogsite: http://rightanglingimages.blogspot.com.

RED FLAMINGO

Those of you who fish the flats out of Flamingo know the predatory pecking order has changed. The venerable spot-tail, better known as redfish has virtually taken over the waters around Flamingo’s outside flats. I found out one day last week.

If you haven’t experienced this phenomenon, just reach out to Benny Blanco, master guide of Flamingo, Florida Bay and beyond. He knows where to be and when to be there. You won’t believe the numbers!!  Plenty of nice trout, too.

Here are some of the images from that day. Click on them and enjoy.

—Interesting spinning rod—

BELIZE REDUX

The decision to return to Belize was a no-brainer. We immediately booked our trip seven months ahead of time and counted the hours until our arrival. Thanks to Misha, Mike and Marguerite of the Belize River Lodge, we were able to again experience the piscatorial offerings of this exotic destination.

This time around, mother nature was in an unusual mood. The high winds were relentless for the week. This made fishing a bit more challenging, but we did manage to boat some bonefish, tarpon, snook and a few other species. We spent more time on “inside” waters which allowed us some time to enjoy the jungle’s nature. Here are some of those memories.

PURA VIDA !

 

COSTA RICA, a country that has found a beautiful cultural and natural harmony, is somewhat mystical within that harmony. I just feel compelled to mention the friendliness that abounds as though it’s a cultural value.

Now, having said that, on with the fishing trip.  Larry Savage, owner and president of Stay In Costa Rica (www.StayInCostaRica.com), arranged for us to stay at the five-star resort and marina community of Los Sueños. This area offered many tempting diversions from our angling rituals and I suspect if more time was allotted, I would have spent time on their championship eco-golf course lined with lush tropical foliage and exotic animal life. We did manage one diversion in between the scheduled fishing days: the river of crocodiles; a “must do” for everyone.

 

Our fishing venue was the near shore fishery which is well known for its roosterfish, mahi, snapper, big jack crevalle, bonito, mackerel and much more. The typical method of fishing here is trolling large lures or colorful feathers rigged with ballyhoo. Once we came upon the fleet of shrimp boats emptying their by-catch back into the waters, we stayed busy with screaming drags and tight lines.

This trip was another happy experience of the angling lifestyles of Central America’s fishing destinations. There is so much to do; so much to see. Allow at least a week for your visit to Los Sueños.

VIVA CAMPECHE

 
If you have ever made a fishing trip to Tarpon Town in Yucatan’s Campeche, certainly you had the memorable experiences we had. Ahh! Those beautiful sunsets and great fishing! That blend of the walled Olde City with the new town and the fantastic fishing! The sight of Mayan ruins at Edzna and the amazing fishing! The myriad of restaurants and wondrous fishing!  What can I say other than all of the sights, sounds and tastes of Campeche took a back seat to the fishing experience. There is such an abundance of different species of fish including the targeted juvenile tarpon. Hooking these tarpon on light tackle is just the ticket for angling excitement. This, by itself, is worth the trip, but then there was the pleasant surprise of the abundant sea trout fishery. We were not expecting this and were totally elated to have caught over 50 of these spot-sided denizens in just a couple of hours. Here is a small selection of images from that trip.

 

BELIZE IT !!

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.

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ST. AUGUSTINE REDFISH

After fishing the pristine backcountry of southwest Florida for many years, I thought a large redfish was in the 12-15 pound class. Then my lifetime buddy, Jan, and I headed to northeast Florida for the pogie run in St. Augustine. Here is where our perception of “big” changed dramatically. Under the guidance of Capt. Tom Winrow (yes, the same Capt. Tom in the Hooters skiff on the Redfish Tour), Jan and I were about to forever redefine “big” for redfish.  Capt. Tom also put us on other species such as tarpon, jack crevalle and flounder. Check out some of the images from that two-day trip.