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Adventures in the Glide
By Captain Justin Price with Jan Maizler
By Captain Justin Price
Recently I was presented with the opportunity to run and fish East Cape Skiffs’ new super shallow draft model, the Glide, in the Mosquito Lagoon. Needless to say I jumped at the chance and was fortunate enough to have a few days off to put this vessel to the rigors of full-on flats and shallow water fishing.
Keeping it Simple-
Fishing Day One-
My 9yr old daughter Kailey joined me on the first day of fishing in the northern Mosquito Lagoon. Our strategy of staying up shallow in the islands would no doubt be easy in the Glide. We set out just as the sun came up, working our way through shoal water trying our best not to encounter any manatees along the way.
The first spot had some nice redfish working shorelines feeding on mullet and other small baitfish. Kailey was on the bow casting soft plastics with hopes of a strike on any given cast. With no success there we made a move which gave me another opportunity to drive this sweet little skiff.
The water in the northern Mosquito Lagoon has been pretty low on the low tides keeping the fish concentrated in the sand holes and shallow sloughs. After a three minute run, our next spot revealed redfish and big trout tailing in the grass. I continued to push forward through the shallows to some nice sand holes where we were welcomed by a school of 75-100 mid to upper slot “happy” redfish rolling and flashing on the surface. Once Kailey saw them, she made the perfect cast, swimming a D.O.A. soft plastic on the surface right in their midst. A wad of fish charged the lure in a competitive frenzy. One “lucky” fish won the fight resulting in a bent rod and screaming drag for Kailey. After releasing the first fish, we continued to work the school and brought a few more fish to the Glide, including myself fishing from the poling tower.
We decided to finish the morning cruising around the lagoon and taking a stop on an island which is our ritual when on the water. Our Glide was a tiller model with no bells and whistles. It was super light, powered by a 20hp Suzuki and a perfect match for the speed and weight ratio of this design. The hole shot was remarkable, leveling the skiff out in seconds.
Fishing Day Two-
Fellow guide and good friend Captain Joe Roberts joined me for the second day on the Glide. He was quite interested in experiencing this little skiff’s performance. We launched early around 5:30am from Beacon 42 in Mosquito Lagoon with just enough color in the sky to see and cross the open lagoon that was already rolling with a solid northwest wind. Surprisingly enough, crossing in the chop in “quartering” fashion, the Glide handled smoothly and we stayed completely dry.
We were only going to be out for just a few hours so we went right to where the redfish were hanging out recently. Joe took the bow first and we started our search for some large redfish that had been tailing lately on the edges of the flat. I kept the bow into the chop as I poled looking for giant tails. Joe and I were impressed at how quiet the Glide was and how well it tracked. After searching for a bit we had only managed to catch and release a few trout with the largest at five pounds, but there was no sign of the giant redfish.
We decided to give it a few more minutes and switched positions with me on the bow and Joe on the pole. I grabbed my 8-weight and started to blindly work the edge in anticipation of a trout to take the fly. Joe pushed us up shallow to look for some slot size redfish while also keeping our eyes peeled on the edge for the giants.
Without success, as we started to push off the flat, Joe called out, “there they are!” Tails and backs were breaking the surface as the fish hovered in only two feet of water. While Joe gets me in position for the cast he joked that “they’re not going to eat that fly. If you get one to eat not even land him, I’ll buy you a six- pack of your favorite beer!”
I laughed, knowing very well how hard it is to feed a fly to our big Mosquito Lagoon redfish. What happened next surprised both of us and I’m not talking about my perfect cast. Even though I was shaking I managed to lay the fly just out in front softly and only stripped the fly twice before one of the fish ate. It pulled the line very hard from my finger tips and before I knew I was into my backing.
This is something I had not seen in a long time. We both thought for sure this battle was going to go on for a while as the fish took us off the flat and into some deeper water. Between fighting the fish and screaming with joy I turned to Joe and told him what brand of beer I wanted and how cold I would like it to be when he delivered it. We finally got our first look at the fish near the Glide, anticipating a few more runs. Surprisingly, it came up on the surface rolling over exhausted from the battle in just under ten minutes.
We were both overwhelmed with excitement while getting photographs and then, a quick but thorough release. That redfish is my biggest to date measuring 40” and around twenty pounds. My day was complete so I finished the morning on the poling tower pushing Joe to some shallow water tailing redfish with no success. We made our way back to the ramp just cruising and enjoying the ride in the Glide.
A Look at the Glide-
The East Cape Glide is an excellent micro skiff with an overall length of 17ft and a width of 58”. The model featured in the images was built with simplicity in mind with a 20hp Suzuki that sips fuel. There is a storage hatch in the front that is completely dry for personal belongings or PFD’s. The rear hatch it is divided into two buckets- one for tackle or other items to be stored and the other can be a livewell.
Underneath the deck just in front of the back hatch there is open storage for easy access to tackle or a camera case. The under gunnel storage allows for six rods total with plenty of room for fly rods.
As far as performance, the Glide handles quite well in the turns. It is very dry for a skiff this size in a decent chop. The Glide planes out super quick, allowing it to jump up shallow without chewing up the bottom. I never measured the draft but it was very impressive in just mere inches. This skiff poles really easy, quiet with the bow in the chop, and tracks great.
Most people would be concerned about how tippy the skiff may be but in my opinion its not bad at all considering the size of the skiff. I guide and fish from a canoe as well as my East Cape Lostmen. I stand and pole my canoe around without a problem so making the adjustment to the Glide was not an issue for me at all.
All in all it’s a great skiff and priced well too, with endless options available. Where I fish in the Mosquito Lagoon located in East Central Florida this is a perfect two man skiff for our area or others areas in the country where a shallow drafting micro skiff is needed. Whether you’re a recreational angler who likes to fish solo or with a second angler or if you’re a guide in need of a second boat for those days you have a single client you need to check out this sweet little skiff. You will be impressed!
East Cape Skiffs
Captain Justin Price
Punta Gorda, Florida Winter Fishery
Though our first angling day was besotted by frontal winds and rain this past Friday, Saturday dawned calm, clear, and with a bit of fog. Thanks to Captain Ralph Allen of King Fisher Fleet for some great guiding. As always, Charlotte Harbor & the Gulf Islands, Florida came through for our efforts with superb support. Here’s a few images of our adventure.
Boca Paila Lodge, Tulum, Quintana Roo, Mexico
Boca Lodge remains one of the flagship flats fishing and shallow water destinations of the Yucatan. All it takes is one quick flight from any American hub to Cancun and you’ll be picked up by their personal van. The drive -which lasts a couple hours- will take you through the historic ruins of Tulum and along the trendy posadas to the south of the city. About a half hour’s drive down the road to Punta Allen and the lodge appears out of the palm tree and beach vista with the vast Caribbean on your left and the endless lagunas on your right. This destination has been under the ownership of the Gonzalez family from the start and continues to please anglers and non-anglers alike after decades of operation. And the best news is that the highly-publicized crime to the north is basically a non-issue in the Yucatan. Here’s a collection of images from this wonderful place.
CONTACT DATA: www.bocapaila.com
Belize River Lodge’s Long Caye Outpost
Belize River Lodge has long been a mainstay of flats and inshore fly and light tackle fishing in this marvelous country. One can almost call it a venerable institution with a history of having served some of the world’s best anglers. A couple of years ago, the lodge (BRL) acquired an excellent offshore property on Long Caye, which lies offshore smack dab in the heart of incredible flats fishing. While I was there with friend Captain Ken Collette, we caught bonefish only steps away from our breeze-swept second story room. But let me not get ahead of myself. When Long Caye opened, Barry and Cathy Beck covered the new operation from a fly fishing perspective. Very soon thereafter, I was on my way to the very same venue on behalf of the light tackle and lure community. The pictures that follow suggest- as they should- this tropic island and surrounding flats is the stuff of angling dreams.
CONTACT DATA: www.belizeriverlodge.com
Yesterday in the Everglades National Park
My friend Paul Raffety and I fished with Captain Steven Tejera on Friday, December 20. We launched in Flamingo and fished as far north as the Shark River. Though the winds were honking, Steven kept us on the fish. Here’s few images of our trip.
A Review of Three Outstanding Destinations Visited in 2013
Many of the joys of the outdoor life are reflections back over great moments and realizations of dreams. And that’s often done by using photography not just a means of expression but also an homage to recollections of things past.
I’ve traveled to many fishy places far and wide over the years. For 2013, three stand out.
El Pescador Lodge, Ambergris Caye, Belize
Cajun Fishing Adventures, Buras, Louisiana
Cabbage Key, Pine Island Sound, Florida
SaltyShores Close-Up: Naples, Florida with Captain Will Geraghty
Naples could be called an ideal Florida destination and residential city. For outdoors and fishing enthusiasts, Naples proper and the huge Everglades National Park to the south offers a superb biomass of birds and wildlife plus astonishing angling around the clock. Yet it is a special city that can claim such wonderful snook fishing right in the midst of downtown year-round and alongside its’ beaches in the summer. The Gulf of Mexico sends fresh breezes across the city and offers postcard sunsets that are memory-making.
Naples beaches are blessed with sugary sands and graced by a landmark pier. Downtown Naples has superb shopping, art galleries, and excellent restaurants. And golfers will find all the courses they need in the area.
I asked friend and colleague Captain Ken Collette to join me on a long overdue sojourn for a day of inshore fishing with Captain Will Geraghty (www.naplessportfishing.com). Ken readily accepted and we made plans to meet Will the following friday at the Port-of-Call Marina just minutes from downtown historic Olde Naples. The time of the meeting was set at mid-day so Will could be ready with live bait already onboard in his spacious livewell.
The Day Arrives-
Ken and I left Miami early in the morning and took a leisurely drive across the Tamiami Trail (US 41) which lead us directly into the heart of our target zone of Will’ s dock and the Naples shopping district. We were right on time for breakfast at The Café on Fifth Avenue and we dined on sumptuous egg croissant sandwiches, rainbow granola parfaits, and strong Colombian coffee.
The end of our meal and a little exploring coincided nicely with meeting Will at the marina. As we came aboard and shook hands, Will tossed a couple live pilchards overboard into the Gordon River. Their landing into the water was greeted by the huge predatory splashes of big jacks awaiting them. I told Will if he was intending to get us stoked, he was succeeding ! Will’s vessel was a gleaming spacious 25-foot Privateer Renegade center console model. It was seaworthy-looking, crisp, and best-yet, outfitted with lots of light tackle rods.
On our way towards the pass, Will told us that we’d have to wait about an hour before the tide really would start out and the action would take off. That being the case, I asked Will to take Ken and I sightseeing around Naples Bay to see all the beautiful homes and vessels. Will complied and Ken and I were treated to some fine sights of excellent waterfront living neither of us would forget.
When the tide started out we began our fishing at the pass and slowly worked our way into the bay and fished both the dock pilings and mangrove edges. The method of fishing was chumming with the whitebait and casting to explosions and/or to likely-looking spots. Our spinning tackle was spooled with braided line that was so necessary fighting fish so close to line-cutting obstructions. When the “smoke cleared”, we released over twenty snook, countless big jacks, and a nice redfish. As with all wonderful times, it passed too quickly and it was time to say goodbye.
Like I’ve said before, it’s a very good sign when you’re planning a return trip before it’s even over !
Captain Will Geraghty
Grand Slam Sport Fishing
Web Site: www.naplessportfishing.com
Naples, Marco Island, Paradise Coast
Web Site: www.paradisecoast.com
Curacao, Netherland Antilles Retrospective
Curacao is part of the Netherland Antilles. Specifically, it is part of a three-island group (Aruba, Curacao, Bonaire) off the coast of Venezuela. I have traveled there many times and experienced some very good snook and tarpon fishing, but this fishery is at the mercy of industrial pressures. The three major languages spoken are Dutch, Papiemento (the local “creole”), and English. The diving in Curacao can be quite good, at times rivaling Bonaire. The climate is dry and the island is full of melodious birds. Curacao is perhaps best known for the colorful Punda section and the floating bridge in Willemstad, the island’s capital.
Here are some images of a recent trip I made to Curacao.
CLICK ON THE IMAGES TO ENLARGE THEM-
Tranquility Bay Resort is located far to the north of San Pedro, tucked away on a beach all by itself. During my stay I caught bonefish right in front of my cabana. At night under the restaurant dock lights I caught tarpon, horse-eye jack and big mangrove snappers- all of them on BackBone jigs. Playing around on the patch reefs on one of the lodge boats we caught and released loads of snappers on pilchards. I also lost some huge barracudas because the wire leaders were simply not heavy enough. Their website is www.tranquilitybayresort.com .
PLEASE CLICK ON IMAGES TO ENLARGE THEM.
Fishing Jupiter to Miami in Eight Hours
Jan S. Maizler
These days it’s almost indispensible for a journalist to submerge themselves in the social media to make contacts, keep them alive, and have a ready live audience for their craft. On Facebook alone, I’ve made countless angling and travel friends. And that’s where I met Captain Jason Sullivan. He’s a rising star in South Florida’s shallow water fishery. His charters cover some very diverse habitats. This includes paddle fishing for largemouth and peacock bass in Florida’s SawgrassRecreationPark. He also provides night fishing charters in his Maverick HPX for tarpon and snook along the Gold Coast, plus angling in every nook and cranny in the EvergladesNational Park.
Our new friendship proceeded and when the fall arrived, each of us made the time to fish together. Jason offered his skills and skiff to make a night trip to encounter the unfolding fall mullet run in Jupiter, Florida. When we discussed the trip features, Jason mentioned that he was a fly and lure specialist- which meant there’d be no messy or time-consuming live bait runs: he’d have all the necessary tackle on the boat at the ready. In addition, the plan of meeting at the Bass Pro Shop at Dania Beach and then riding up together made the trip seem quite simple- and I was all for it.
The appointed time arrived and as we drove up I-95 the remnants of the setting sun fractured into the horizon as the inky blue night occupied all of the sky. The major topic of conversation was the recent massive rainfall(s) caused by tropical weather systems and cyclones. South Florida was flooded with rain- particularly in the interior. The SFWMD had opened all the canals to relieve this massive glut of liquid; which in turn left Jupiter and St. Lucie Inlets corrupted by dirty volumes of storm water. The outgoing tides especially would send out plumes of filth that went well into the ocean. There were even reports of dead grass carp floating a few miles offshore of this entire two-city area.
Our brisk conversation made the trip go quickly and soon- a relative term- Jason was launching his skiff at BurtReynoldsPark. As we eased towards Jupiter Inlet, a silvery moon was ascending into the firmament to the east. We soon carefully idled by an SUP regatta with about 20 paddlers. In the moonlight and the darkness, they looked surreal. Despite the “slow zones”, it did not take long for Jason to arrive at his first well-lit dock. He cut his outboard and put his electric motor to the task of closing in for the last hundred feet.
As we got within casting range of the yellowish orb cast on the water, we saw about a dozen snook finning into the incoming tide. Jason gave me a spinner rigged with a plastic jerkbait and I made a perfect upcurrent cast. Two of the fish peeled away from the pod of linesiders and followed my lure without striking it. A few more casts proved these fish to be sluggish and unresponsive. This was also the case with the next two lighted docks.
When we eased over to the fourth dock, we saw and heard some snook popping- a clear sign that these fish were in a more active feeding mode. Jason carefully positioned his skiff with his electric trolling motor to give me the perfect presentation. As I readied myself on the bow, Jason handed me a new spinning outfit rigged with a fresh weightless Gulp shrimp. Both of us saw an especially nice fish under the dock shadow. He told me to make my presentation upcurrent and reel the offering on the surface. My cast was good and my retrieve was even better. The snook struck immediately. I sunk the hook hard and began to fast-stroke it away from the dock. I told Jason to plane the fish away as well by electric-motoring his skiff away from the dock. The strategy worked and a few minutes later we were posing a nice eight–pound fish for photos.
We had a few more strikes-albeit half-hearted-at the next few docks. But when the tide died and started to ebb, the water grew filthy and the fish turned off. Yet we felt successful for the few hours’ fellowship and agreed to fish my home waters of (north) Biscayne Bay for the same amount of time the following week.
A few days before we’d meet, I phoned Jason to ask him if he was open to cut-baiting some of the indigenous fish in my home waters of North Bay. I was relieved to hear he was open to that technique. Towards that end, I picked up some fresh frozen pilchards and majua at a local tackle shop. In addition, I planned on bringing a few of my own spinners that were rigged “old school” with monofilament line. Those that know me may also know my position that soft-mouthed sea trout and jumping tarpon stay hooked better with “forgiving” mono.
We met at PelicanHarbor boat ramp about two hours before dawn so that we could try some tarpon fishing along some of the area bridges and docks. That effort yielded a couple sea trout, but the multi-barred sunrise lifting in the east told us it was time to run to some nearby grassflats for an early morning bite. As we got within a hundred yards of the flat, we could see diving pelicans, and large schools of migrating mullet dimpling, sizzling, and jumping at the surface. This was exactly where we wanted to be. Jason idled within about a hundred feet of an especially large school of mullet and then turned off his engine. As he poled in to close the distance, I cut up some of the baits that were soaking in a small bucket.
I handed him one of my rods, which was rigged with eight-pound mono, a length of forty-pound fluorocarbon leader, and a 2/0 Tru-Turn hook. I baited him up with a pilchard slice and he cast smack dab in the middle of a mullet school- indeed a very nervous school! His line came tight within moments and he struck hard. In the distance, a big trout came to the surface thrashing up a storm- clearly unhappy that he was hooked. As Jason played the fish lightly, I cast out with the same kind of rig and was rewarded with similar results within a minute. In short time, we both released good fish of a few pounds each. Jason remarked at the size of the fish- a comment I’ve heard many times. I told him to be ready for fish that were even bigger.
We continued catching trout with regularity, and we periodically hooked a few pinfish as well. Rather than release them, I cut them up into chunk baits and told Jason to start fishing with these baits instead: this was when we began to catch even bigger trout pushing five pounds. Although we did not match the hatch, we were feeding some gators just the bait they wanted and we released a half dozen North Bay giant “spotsides”.
Jason had an especially hard “take” and struck back. We were delighted to see a medium tarpon of around forty pounds go airborne. I really wanted some photos of this fish, so Jason played the fish lightly against a leader of only forty pounds. It took about thirty minutes- as well as a chase of about a half-mile- before we were able to leader the fish for photos.
We returned to the flat and though the rising sun was suppressing the action, we caught more trout, as well as some small ‘cuda and large mangrove snappers. As we idled back to the boat ramp, we had a pleasant chat about what a well-planned span of fishing could yield- and one lasting only eight hours!
Captain Jason Sullivan- Rising Tide Charters
Web Site- www.tarponfishing-miami.com