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An Image Roundup of Recent Story Trips

 

 

 

An Image Roundup of Recent Story Trips

By

Jan S. Maizler

Here are some images of trips that took place through the late Winter into early Spring and stretched from Florida’s Space Coast to the Keys.

Justoneredfish

Jb's

Butchdoublemackhero

Butchgoofyjigvictim

crankyintruder

Robmunozcuda2014

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carranzajack

moserearlymorninghawg

mosermarch2014 peacock

moserlipgrip

moserlipgrip2

gustrout

Haigus

Davidmoneyminnowtrout

DavidmoneyminnowtroutverticalX

davidredfishheroX

davidtroutherox

Some of the guides involved were Justin Price, Butch Moser, Butch Constable, Hai Truong, Gus Montoya, Rob Munoz, David Accursio and Martin Carranza. Thanks to all !

Punta Gorda, Florida Winter Fishery

 

 

 

Punta Gorda, Florida Winter Fishery

By

Jan Maizler

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.

Ralphsheepiehero2

Flowercollection

Seatroutonslickdawn

Raplhherosnook

hookedandbooked

Raplhallenred

slickedoutsnook

themorethemerrier

spottypredator

Hawgsheepie

redfishonslickdawn

Ralphsheepiehero

In Praise of Peacocks

 

 

 

 

In Praise of Peacocks

By

Jan Maizler

 

While Florida is blessed with some of the finest fresh and saltwater fishing in the world, only the southern portion of the Sunshine State has a strong and viable fishery for peacocks or peacock bass. This is the only region in the Lower Forty Eight that can lay claim to this powerful colorful gamester, which in reality is a tropical cichlid and not a bass. And while SOFLA does not currently offer the twenty pound monsters of the Amazon, the swath of lands from approximately West Palm Beach to Homestead offer some whoppers that will create life-long memories. I personally believe some peacocks will reach 15 pounds and higher decades from now. This means you do not have to travel outside of the United States to catch and release one of the finest game fish in the world.

Here is a brief collection of (the many) images I’ve taken while fishing for peacocks with guides Butch Moser, Hai Truong, and Alan Zaremba.

Moser2013hero

Zaremba2013peacockwithplug3

Hailurepea2014

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Haistudoftheday

HEADSHOTPEACOCK

Moserbasshorizontal

Haifocalcolor

moserbutchholdsjantrophyppeacock

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SONY DSC

Hainumber2winterday

Haipeacock1

Haipeacock2

Haipeacock3

Moserpearelease

Yesterday in the Everglades National Park

 

 

 

Yesterday in the Everglades National Park

By

Jan Maizler

 

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.

winterfundrumbw

winterfundrumrelease

Winterfunenpgoliath

winterfunpuppydrum

winterfunsheepie

Winterfunpuppyhead

 

 

A Review of Three Outstanding Destinations Visited in 2013

 

A Review of Three Outstanding Destinations Visited in 2013

 

By

 

Jan Maizler

 

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

pescadorbgbonebw

pescadorboatdocks

Pescadorbonefishmagic

pescadorboxfish

Pescadorbrandnewday

Pescadordawn

pescadordawn2

Pescadoredplans

Pescadoremirjack

PescadorEmirpermit1x

Pescadorhdrpermit

pescadorjackbw

Pescadorlogo

pescadorlunch

Pescadorpangabowdock

Pescadorpoolside

Pescadorshrimpquesadillas2

Pescscadoremirhero

 

 

 

Cajun Fishing Adventures, Buras, Louisiana

 

cajunbackyardpool

Cajunbackyardpool2

Cajunblackdrum

cajunchefryan

cajuncodydouble

cajunfleetonreds

cajunjoemultispot

cajunjoeredbw

cajunlodgesat

cajunmainlodgenight

Cajunpuppydrum2

cajunredluredimarco

Cajunryanredfish

cajunshrimppot

cajunterryred1

cajuntoddred2

Cajuntoddredfishapril2013

 

 

 

Cabbage Key, Pine Island Sound, Florida

 

cabbagecheeseburger

cabbageerikbigsnook

cabbageerikbigsnookrelease

cabbageerikbocatrout

Cabbageerikred

cabbageeriksnook2

cabbagekeyboathouse2

cabbagekeyboatinglife

cabbagekeyflowers

Cabbagekeymarinaandgiftshop

cabbagerentalskiffshdr

 

 

SaltyShores Close-Up: Naples, Florida with Captain Will Geraghty by Jan Maizler

 

SaltyShores Close-Up: Naples, Florida with Captain Will Geraghty

by

Jan Maizler

 

Background-

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.

naplescafebreakfastsandwich

naplescafeyogurtparfait-2

 

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.

napleswilljack

Napleswillredfsh

napleswillsnook

Like I’ve said before, it’s a very good sign when you’re planning a return trip before it’s even over !

 

CONTACT DATA:

Captain Will Geraghty

Grand Slam Sport Fishing

Phone: 239-793-0969

Web Site: www.naplessportfishing.com

 

Naples, Marco Island, Paradise Coast

Web Site: www.paradisecoast.com

 

 

SaltyShores Close-Up: Flamingo, Florida by Jan Maizler

 

SaltyShores Close-Up: Flamingo, Florida

by

Jan Maizler

 

Though recent times has seen the Everglades National Park shut down for about two weeks, and now re-open, the flats  fishing was, is, and no doubt will be stupendous- providing the habitat does not get peppered by debilitating cold fronts.

This is the story of two half-day trips Alan Williams and I made with Captain Jason Sullivan. If my schedule were less hectic, I’m sure the same marvelous results could have been achieved in one day. Jason’s 17-foot Maverick HPX performed wonderfully and got us into the skinniest waters.

Alan and I would meet Jason in Florida City and drive with him down to Flamingo.

On the first day, Jason made a long run in search of a huge school of redfish he’d “been on” during the last few days. After an hour, we found them. The school seemed to stretch for fifty yards with tails popping up seemingly everywhere.  When Jason got us in casting range Alan and I both fired off weedless soft plastics into their midst. I immediately got a strike, and my fish blew up the water instantly with thrashes, spooking the huge school in all directions. After a minute, my hook pulled, leaving us with nothing more than some frothed -up water and fast-beating hearts!  Though I wanted to pursue the reds, Jason declined. He felt the tide would be perfect for snook back towards Flamingo and he wanted to pursue un-pressured fish in the few hours we had remaining for the day.

It turned out to be a great decision, as we caught a pile of snook in the remaining time, including a trophy-sized snook Alan took on a topwater plug.

Jasomallenwilliamsprize

Jasontopwaterfun

jasonsnookbw

jasonspoon

Jsonsnnokrelease

On our second half-day trip, Jason was highly optimistic about the redfishing we’d be doing for three reasons: glassy calm water, fishing during the low tide, and the recent reports of lots of single fish to make presentations to, versus huge spookable schools.

Towards that end, we were into tailing reds within ten minutes of leaving the Flamingo marina. Indeed, those superb conditions plus Jason’s expert guiding delivered up redfish all morning long.

flamingodawnsilhouette

Flamingoofftothe races

Flamingojasonbigfish

Flamingojasonhdr

 

 

CONTACT DATA:

Capt. Jason Sullivan
Phone- 954-864-0592
Emails:    Risingtidecharters@gmail.com
Jsul09@aol.com

Website: www.tarponfishing-miami.com

SaltyShores Close-up: Mosquito Lagoon

justindawnpoling

SaltyShores Close-up: Mosquito Lagoon

By

Jan S. Maizler

 

 

I’d met Captain Justin Price as the guide who would spearhead the hunt for redfish and seatrout as part of a photo shoot for an article on ultralight spinfishing in Sport Fishing Magazine. From dawn to dusk, Justin and his East Cape 18-foot Lostmen took us through the “bays” and flats of the “Goon” with finesse and stability as we caught and released stud-sized bruisers of both species on line barely testing over four pounds. When our mission was over for that day, we were determined to fish together again.

Our plan was to fish in early summer of the following year, but a tropical storm plus other prior – committed travels on my schedule postponed our two days of fishing until late July. The conditions of our revised time featured flat calm warm water and a slew of vacation-liberated skiffs all over the inside waters of the Space Coast. The water was also slightly more turbid than two months prior and due to the annual growth of algae. This stood in stark contrast to the stronger algae blooms of the past year as well as the present toxic dumps of fresh water through the inlets of Stuart and Jupiter to the south.

I told Justin that I’d be bringing friend and photographer Alan Williams to New Smyrna Beach to join us on our two day adventure. As our target dates arrived, it turned out that we were blessed with fair weather and sunny skies. It appeared there would be few if any thunderstorms or showers to drive us off the flats.

justinpolingcloseup

On the day of our drive from Fort Lauderdale, we spoke to Justin for a last minute status report. He told us that although there was a huge push of fish in the shallows two weeks ago, the fish had now predictably settled into the flats drop-offs and potholes. As we discussed the most effective techniques for these conditions, Justin did not hesitate to recommend using live pigfish for the best results if we wanted rod-bending action and ample “photo-ops.”  Local knowledge placed a great deal of trust on the gamefish – calling grunts of live piggies.

I had mixed feelings about using live bait- as did Justin. While I prefer to cast a lure to a sighted fish, I also want a backup if any shallow water gamester is unresponsive to lures or flies, especially on a story trip. Live bait would give us some old school action, just like a plate of Mac N’ Cheese. It would get us quick satisfaction, but we’d have to moderate our efforts lest we grow fat and bored with much too much.

Justinhero

Justinboathero

And that’s exactly what those two days brought us: seemingly endless action on piggies with a first day tally of over forty trout to five pounds and a few redfish. We started the second day poling the flats. While most of the fish spooked way ahead of us, I did hook one golden-colored stud of a redfish which picked up a raft of grass on the line and then the hook on the soft plastic twitch bait popped out so disappointingly.

Justinredfish2

Justinredfish1

The day grew hotter and the skiffs seemed to materialize all around us in the shimmering light of mid-morning.  We went back to fishing the drop-offs with live bait and easily caught another twenty trout-including some gators-and a few nice redfish.

Alan, Justin and I had a wonderful time. As we headed in to JB’s for lunch, we were already planning our next trip targeting the cooler waters of fall and bigger bunches of fish.

Anglerfuel

 

CONTACT DATA:

Captain Justin Price

Phone: 386-566-4687

Web Site: www.rightinsightcharters.com

E-Mail: capt.justinprice@rightinsightcharters.com

Spectacular Sarasota By Jan S. Maizler

 

Spectacular Sarasota

By

Jan S. Maizler

The sun was setting through the front windshield of my car as I headed across Alligator Alley towards Naples, and eventually Sarasota, my destination. As I drove through the waterlogged Glades, I was drawn into the tight balance of watching the road carefully but allowing in some irresistible excitement over the planned fishing that lay ahead. The next two days- Friday and Saturday- would be full-on pre-dawn to dusk fishing with lure and fly fishing specialist Captain Rick Grassett.

Background-

My experience has been that almost all angling and angling travel that ends up well and even memorable is based on solid planning, not random chance. Although I was familiar with Captain Rick’s expertise through his excellent fly fishing lectures and fishing reports, we had not formally met. That changed when he and I connected on Linkedin and soon enough, we made plans to fish out of his skiff (and professional charter vessel), the Snook Fin-Addict, an 18-foot Action Craft. While I was aware that Rick also fishes in Tampa Bay and Charlotte Harbor, I opted to fish with him in his home waters of Greater Sarasota.  Though our initial contact was in May 2012, Rick recommended we wait for the fall month of October for some of the best and varied fishing. My ready agreement to go with Rick’s timing advice would prove to be one of the best decisions for my Florida angling in 2012. Rick was also instrumental in referring us to the Inn on Siesta Key for our lodgings.

Summer and Fall-

The summer was busy and full of fish, but the everlasting radiant heat made this torrid season in South Florida far too long. Though September proved to be a rainy, humid, encore of the previous months, October featured drier, slightly cooler air. There were even a couple of mild fronts that coaxed the fall into unfolding. I was glad that the time to travel to Sarasota had arrived. My wife and I traversed the “Alley” without incident. We continued north on I-75 (the same highway). We then exited on FL. 72 /Clark Road and headed west to Siesta Key. All it took was one right turn and a couple miles more to reach the Inn, a simple and welcome journey.

Since we knew we’d be arriving in the late evening, Innkeeper Paige had given us all the proper instructions to access our unit. As we unpacked, we were delighted with our room- a little piece of Siesta Key with its’ bright, tropical furnishings. It was midnight and my sleep would be of short duration, since I had to meet Rick at 4:15 a.m. down the road at CB’s Saltwater Outfitters.

Time to Fish-

I barely slept and hoped the adrenal high that kept me awake would do the same throughout the fishing. We both arrived at CB’s (Rick’s “headquarters”) precisely at the same time- ten minutes early! …and a good sign both of us were pumped. This was no chance occurrence since we’d agreed to fish the pre-dawn hours for snook under the dock lights.

The brief drive to the launch ramp near Mote Marine Laboratory took us through the heart and shorelines of this exquisite city. Though I’d been to Sarasota countless times, the art, restaurants, and elegant homes re-confirmed the hip splendor of this marvelous destination.

Rick launched the vessel in minutes and as we idled out into the open bay, he familiarized me with the location of all the safety equipment on his skiff. It soon became apparent that everything on the skiff had a place- and that Rick’s obviously methodical character made sure that everything from tackle to procedure to outfitting his boat would be done to sheer perfection. For me, this was a hallmark of professionalism.

Rick quickly got on plane and headed east to the mainland side of Sarasota Bay. The ride was made more pleasing by the horizontal rear casting deck hatch that doubled as an “underway” backrest. Rick reviewed the plan for both days, which basically would take us ocean ward with each progressive stop as the day dawned and sun got higher. Since the wind was light to moderate out of the east, we’d go from the docks to the shallow flats to the deeper flats near the passes, and finally out into the open Gulf for Spanish mackerel and bonito (false albacore). Rick mentioned that there were loads of minnows right off Long Boat and Siesta Keys and that chances for encounters with breaking game fish was excellent. With these plans and choices, it was hard to focus on the snook fishing which was yet to even occur !

But we were soon powering down and Rick cut his E-Tec as a big underwater light was not far off. Rick dropped his electric trolling motor and eased towards the vast blue glow-which was full of snook. For this light and others tight to the seawall, the water was calm and the tide was slow, creating cautious snook. But by dawn, I’d released four nice fish to seven pounds on jigs with soft plastic tails and a TerrorEyz. Not surprisingly, we got more strikes when there was more wind and schools of glass minnows.

Our next stop was the very shallow flats near the mainland. We easily located the mullet schools which would hold trout, snook, and reds. We fished topwater plugs for an hour with no results, so we headed west to the deeper flats just inside the Gulf passes. Rick gave me the rod with a soft plastic jig and told me to work the flats drop-off. I quickly started hooking up on seatrout.

After an hour we’d caught over fifteen trout and a flounder- and I was ready for some nearshore action on mackerel and albies. It was mid-morning and a good time to spot fish. We headed out into the ocean to look for diving birds and breaking fish. It took about an hour of running, but we found them. We started catching smaller mackerel up to three pounds on every cast….to the point that we started to look for bigger macks and albies after we released about twenty. We could have stopped and fished these schools of smaller macks, but we opted to finish out the day searching for bigger game.

grassetsnook2012-2  grassetflatty

grassettlongbarsnookgrassettred2

grassetbigmackgrassetalbie

 

Day 2-

We started the second day in exactly the same order. Conditions under the dock lights were about the same and I released three snook- this time up to nine pounds, which offered some better photo “ops”.

At dawn, we fished the shallow flats near Long Bar, catching nine trout and another snook. Rick said he wanted me to get an Inshore Slam, so he fired up his engine and made a ten minute run to a shallow flat. After ten minutes of poling and casting, I caught and released a nice redfish of around six pounds. We high-fived it when we got our slam.

Rick suggested that we run into the Gulf to look for big mackerel and albies- and I agreed. He called a friend who was already fishing off Longboat Key. When I saw Rick smile, I correctly concluded it was “game on.” He quickly fired up the engine and made a fifteen minute run to the hotspot. We spent the next hour catching big mackerel to six pounds on topwater plugs. It was a wonderful time.

We both spotted a huge flock of birds a few hundred yards to the south and decided to check it out. As we approached the melee, the big splashes underneath told us they were albies. After a slow approach, he cut the engine and drifted into the action. We casted silver-flecked plastics into the splashes and hooked up with fat bonitos as large as twelve pounds. We stayed in this frothy paradise for an hour hooking and releasing big albies. After that, I could take no more. The ride back to the launching ramp was rich with feelings of excitement and enormous satisfaction at the great fishing that Rick and Sarasota provided this writer.

 

About CB’s Saltwater Outfitters-

CB’s is the largest on the water bait and tackle shop that offers Siesta Key boat rentals, fishing charters, fishing tackle, jet skis and clothing for everyone. CB’s Outfitter Shop and Beach Boutique carries the leading brand names of outdoors apparel.

 

CONTACT DATA-

 

Captain Rick Grassett

Snook Fin-Addict Guide Service, Inc.

Sarasota, Florida

Phone- 941-923-7799

Web Site- www.snookfin-addict.com

E-Mail- snookfin@aol.com

 

CB’s Saltwater Outfitters

1249 Stickney   Point Road

Siesta Key

Sarasota, Florida

Phone-941-349-4400

Web Site- http://cbsoutfitters.com

E-Mail- info@cbsoutfitters.com

 

The Inn on Siesta Key

515 Beach Road

Siesta Key

Sarasota, Florida

Phone-941-346-7196

Web Site- www.TheInnOnSiestaKey.com

E-Mail- info@TheInnOnSiestaKey.com

Super Bowl of Saltwater Fly Fishing Weekend, Feb 24th 25th and 26th in Tampa, Florida, Salty Fly 2012

 

The largest 3 days of Saltwater Fly fishing in Florida is about 5 weeks away. It is three fun filled days right here in the Tampa Florida area. Here is the run down.

Day 1: Feb 24th 2012 Party and International Fly fishing film showing

 

This event is open to everyone.

The IF4 will will have a special cut made specifically for the the Salty Fly 2012 even.
It will be in historical Ybor City at the Collage in Ybor City.

From 6pm to 9pm we will be hosting the party/film showing of mostly Saltwater Fly film.
For $5.00 you get to watch Florida’s only stop for the IF4.
There will be a bar and lots of fly fisherman to hang with as well as goodies to given away.

Tickets can be bought at:

Tampa Bay on the Fly, Tampa, Fl

4203 El Prado Boulevard  Tampa, FL 33629

(813) 443-0660

Flint Creek outfitters

13425 Fishhawk Blvd.
Lithia, FL 33569
Phone: 813.681.1888
Mon – Fri:10:00 am-7:00 pm
Sun:12:00 pm-5:00 pm

or

Online at the IF4 Website

This event is sponsored by Bug Slinger apparel and our Salty Fly Sponsors.

Day 2: Salty Fly 2012 Presented by Hell’s Bay Boatworks, Florida’s Largest Fly fishing tournament

All the info for this Sold out in 9 hour tournament including LIVE streaming info can be found at

http://ww.saltyflytournament.com

up to the minute information

http://www.facebook.com/saltyflytournament

Day 3: G.Loomis Skiff poling and casting Championship, Held at Maximo Park