March 28th 2010
Saturday was an awesome day to go fishing. Why? Because the highs was in the high seventies for a change that is why. I know it is not a big deal to many of you that do not live in Florida but it’s a huge deal for us that lives down here. The prolonged winter has been killing the fishing.(for about 3 days it was quite literal). Everything has been running late this fishing season. Permit, tarpon, and the list goes on.
So Saturday I wanted to get out and actually do some fishing instead of just talking about it. I had plans of hitting the offshore in the east coast with my friend Alex but with the North East winds at 15mph +, squashed that plan quickly. The next plan was to fish Tampa Bay. With the tarpon running late, it would be the same old thing I’ve been doing for the past 3 months. Quite frankly unless it’s epic fishing I haven’t been too motivated to fish for redfish, black drums and trout yet again.
So when Captain Russ called and invited me to do some Everglades fishing on foot and in a canoe I was all over it. Not that we were going to catch 40″ snook but it was just different. I’ve been down there a few times but never in a canoe and never fishing on foot. I packed my gear pretty light since I knew I would be in a canoe. Everything was ready to go as I head to bed about midnight. I was going to get about 4 hours of sleep so I set my alarm clock to 4:30am.
630am I wake up….!@#$!@#$!@$@!#$!@. I didn’t get it. It’s about the last time I will trust my phone to wake me up. I’m an hour and a half late. I jumped into the truck which I had gassed up the night before and headed down I-75. Obviously I’m very apologetic when I called Russ that I will be almost 2 hours late. I hate being late for fishing.
Thankfully arriving late today though wasn’t a major issue with the fishing. We were sight fishing and needed the sun to be high for the best visibility. I am pleased to say that there were plenty of small snooks to be caught right now. We fished the canals on US 41 and pretty much anywhere we found current flow we found some life. Life like gars, snook, mullet, gators, bait fish. Catching the snook wasn’t an issue but obviously we wanted the big dogs which eluded us.
We used the canoes to travel way back into the some of the canals to open bays and lakes. We saw plenty of life back there as far as bait is concern, but the fishing was better near US 41. We boated about 20 snooks on various types of jerk baits. We also got a 8 lb jack and a few mangrove snappers.
Overall it was a fun day to do something different. I can see the attraction of such no motor fishing that is for sure. It was nice, quiet and very relaxing. I will be looking to do more no motor trips here in the near future. I’ll probably be checking out some kind of cool kayaks, canoe or something here not too long. Bring that sucker offshore perhaps to do some trolling on calm days.
Check out the video.. we got a really cool eat right at our feet about 15 seconds into the video!
Chilling cold fronts grazed through south Florida last week and changed both the air and water temperatures drastically. We have definitely transitioned to an all out winter fishery. It was to be a decent weekend of bonefishing in the Keys but as the chilling temperatures had most of the big Key’s bonefish crapping ice turds, we decided it was a better weekend spent exploring some of the hidden passageways deep in the heart of Flamingo. Plowing the skiff through the thicket of bushes, small creeks, questionable entry ways, lots of mud, and doing way too much pushing, we made it to some shallows where redfish and snook were both plentiful and willing to chew on a well placed fly.
Who knows what the next week will bring. They are calling for a mild cold front to push into South FL this coming week. As I sit here freezing my ass off, I think it is time to get a 4 month head start on things to come…