I have been so busy with the Salty Fly 2014 this year I have not had much time to fish and worst of all much time to talk about fishing here on Saltyshores.
My fishing has been limited to 2 hours here and 2 hours there and less time to even write about it much.
Now that all that is over it’s time get it all going again for 2014 with fishing good old Tampa Bay.
Capt Jeff Hagaman Called me up yesterday asking me if I was busy. Thought of not going did cross my mind. Since I would not have to tow a boat and he was cool with me being out only for a half a day I decided to get on the water.
The weather was the best it’s been in a week this morning. A little chill in the air but a light jacket made for a very comfortable ride.
One board today was writer Lace Allenius and Co-host of the Chevy Florida Fishing report Brie Gabrielle. Lace was doing an article with onshore offshore mag. Brie was here fishing and getting footage for the TV show. The weather could not have been better today for both of these task to be done. With the great lighting I was hoping to get some good images to share with you guys.
After a very short run, we got on the trolling motor. Once we moved into position the fish was already biting. Using available white bait Jeff had gotten earlier this morning the girls caught snook and trout using the free lined style.
After things slowed we moved to find us a redfish to complete the Tampa bay inshore Slam. FYI snook, redfish, trout is our Slam.
Once we got to the redfish spot Jeff got in his tower and trolling motor. This tactic did not take long to find the pod of redfish. I must say getting them to eat was quite a different story. Jeff switch to using cut bait and Brie did get an eat but it was quickly lost.
An hour goes by with out an eat but the school of fish was quite happy and hanging around. They were belly rolling and flashing in the shallow grass flats. Jeff explain that’s the problem. It is too shallow they need more water to get comfortable and start to feed.
It took a while of following the school around on the trolling motor but finally they started to feed as the water level slowly rises.
The fish was plentiful the bite was slow but before I had to leave we got a really nice redfish. Probably the largest one I’ve seen caught on the flats this year. Brie got the eat and reeled it in as I get my camera gear ready. For the most part the fight was captured with the go pro to use on the TV show. After they were done I got some cool shots of the red fish before leaving.
Glad I got out today now it’s time to pack and head out to to do some more fishing.
Recollections of Fish Past
As the year draws to an end, it seems fitting to dwell awhile on special fish and moments that gave me a recent past I could be thankful for as an angler with fond passionate memories. To paraphrase Thoreau, in the deepest sense, fishing has nothing to do with fish. But perhaps on the other hand, it certainly does. Here’s a small fraction of those memories that often appear on the stage of my mind.
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: Tybee Island and Savannah, Georgia
Tybee Island has an inshore fishery like a paradise. Loads of gamesters swim in the complex of marshes, creeks, and open ocean. And the Southern, Low Country food to be enjoyed there is diverse, plentiful, and superb. My guide was Captain Brian Woelber of One More Cast Charters.
Here are some images of the wonderful experience.
BE SURE TO CLICK ON THE IMAGES TO ENLARGE THEM.
SaltyShores Close-Up: Flamingo, Florida
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.
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.
Capt. Jason Sullivan
The summer heat isn’t the only cause for anglers perspiring at the thought of our National Parks right now. The recent National Park closures have sparked some heat among us fisherman who really enjoy this great resource we have in South FL. Times like these leave me reflecting on the great memories raising Hell in the Everglades and Biscayne National Parks this past summer. Law Enforcement is now patrolling the boundary line entering the ENP from the Keys but I can’t help but feel tempted to cross over and pole some of my favorite flats until the blue lights chase us.
Fall is approaching now as we are adorned by NE winds following the last few storms of the year. As the season takes a shift, so does our fishery. The park closures have kept man out of the glades and there is no telling what we will find when the gates open up once more. I, for one am anxious to get back to my slices of heaven… Everglades and Biscayne National Park.