Tuesday, November 27, 2007

I know a guy...

...a pretty good guy too. Sent me these pictures. Recent pictures. Taken in the upper Midwest. These lakers were hooked on a white deceiver fished from shore on a sink tip. He got 12 fish in 30 minutes...(I think that's what he said) I'm pretty sure he got 4 in 4 casts. Now, Lake Trout season is closed on this particular body of water...so I'm pretty sure he was fishing for another species. I do know that the fish ranged in size from 28"-33". I also know he is my friend because he told me all about where to go and what to use, even said he'd bring me to the spot. As for the rest of you, you'll just have to enjoy the pictures. (Evil Laughter).

Friday, November 23, 2007

28 and Clear

At 6:30 this morning I was knee deep in a decent surf in southwest Florida. I had just waded in and was going to fire a streamer into the pilings off of Naples Beach, when a young guy (a kid, I'd call him) about 20, called out from the beach. I turned around and saw a this guy standing just above the wet sand line and waded back to him. It turned out he was a new resident of Naples Florida, fresh in from somewhere in Italy, walking to his job at Hooters. He told me that he just got a "fly pole" and didn't yet know how to use it, though he had tried it out a few times. I said that he ought to try the beach since there was plenty of room to cast. Having said that, I cocked back and let the fly sail into the Gulf. BANG! two strips in and I hooked a spanish mackerel. His eyes went wide and I felt kinda bad, since it's NEVER quite that easy. I released the fish while I continued to chat with him, and in mid sentence about some insight on the finer points of fishing with a fly, I cast again...BANG! I hooked a Jack Crevalle. He bid me a good day, while I released the second fish in as many casts, and took the sand route to Hooters. I suspect he may bring his rod to the beach someday soon.

To recap, yesterday Dale and I spent the day with Capt Alan Hedstrom out of Sanibel Island. Capt Al, is a northern Minnesota transplant. Dale had hired him last year and so when he said that they had caught some snook, I was ready to go. Well snook we found. Not a million, but enough to keep your attention and enough to be thankful that I wasn't viewing the helium filled Macy's Day parade (sponsored by Lunesta). "Hey here comes the 5 story bee from the BEE Movie!" I also managed a strange feat for any mid-westerner who hasn't spent much time in the salt, and, judging from Capt Al's reaction, maybe strange for anybody who HAS fished in a lot of salt water. I caught two Blow Fish on a clouser minnow. (see below) What you won't notice is that Capt Al is holding my rod and the Blow Fish for the photo. Frankly, I wasn't sure how to handle that thing.

So, the trip is done. It was sunny and hot all week, and now it's clear and 28. The family is home safe and sound, tan and happy. I caught my first redfish, snook, lizardfish, pinfish, blow fish and Bonito. The rods are all rinsed and drying as are the reels. It's Friday night and I'm home just in time for the weekend.

Blow Fish #1 as held by Capt Al.

Dale fishing it easy.

Local angler, in the required uniform, fishing the pilings.

Me and my eldest daughter, evening fishing on the beach.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

84 and still sunny...

Been giving the beach a flogging up at 5:00 and breakfast after the fishing at 9:00. Evening fishing too. Out at 4:30 or 5 til dark... A few small jacks and a few small mackerel, but nothing to brag about. Dolphins are mucking around and the Pelicans and Gulls have been spending time on their feet.

In other news, I have a guided trip scheduled for tomorrow (YES I KNOW IT'S THANKSGIVING) with an outfit out of Ft. Myers. We are gonna try to corral some snook and redfish around Sanibel Island. While you all are making stuffing and gravy, I'll be trying to cut the wind on a Mangrove bank with a PE minnow.

Oh, and perhaps the biggest success of the trip, my daughter Cam can get the diving ring from the bottom of the shallow end of the resort pool "all by herself". She's 3 and a half. Way to go Cam!!

Monday, November 19, 2007

83 and sunny

Greetings from Naples Florida. Day 2 of a week in the sunshine state. To recap, the flight with the two little ones was uneventful...and that's a good thing. Spent day one getting situated. My father in-law, Dale, did a little bait fishing off of the Naples fishing pier and I watched...Chaos. 300 people gunning for all matter of sea life 15 feet off of the water. That evening I decide to wait for the din to settle on the beach and then started flinging a deceiver along the surf. I fished parallel to the beach so as not to hook a tourist with a double haul. I managed one small Jack Crevalle. Once the crowds left completely I turned my focus to deeper water. I immediately started hooking spanish mackerel. The farther I cast the bigger they seemed to be. With the sun setting fast I switched to a crease fly and added two ladyfish to the daily bag.

Day two: Left the resort at 6 am with Dale for a trip into the 10,000 Islands with Captain Aaron from Everglades Angler. We left the marina in his 18' Hewes and found birds working the Bonito in the gulf. We raced out to the fracas and I hooked up soon thereafter. I was fishing an 8 weight with a 100' wf 9wt line and 300 yards of gel-spun backing...most of the backing was in the water when I eventually started gaining line. Blistering runs. Blistering. Well that fished popped off but I did manage to boat two as did Dale on his spinning tackle.

Once the melee died down, we beelined it into the Mangrove Islands and started fishing for the target species of the day, Redfish and Snook. We fished hard and were rewarded with a few Jack Crevalle, Dale brought in a couple sea trout and spooked two decent cruising snook.
I added a decent Spanish Mackerel and we kept searching. Eventually our Guide Aaron said "redfish at 9 o'clock, drop it into the hole in the mangroves." I false casted, hauled and released. "Good" said Aaron, "now strip...strip." 75-80 feet away, the redfish turned and swallowed my EP fly. I caught a redfish. One Redfish spotted, one Redfish caught.

Dale added 2 small snook to the growing roster of boatside attendees. Shortly after I added my first snook.

We ate our lunch, fished a few more islands and motored back to the Marina.

So...not too bad for day two...tomorrow is day three and I plan to be on the beach at 5:30 am for some more fishing. Good night from Naples.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Crashing Bait II

next time, I'll bring these and my boat...

crashing bait

I love that term. Crashing bait. It sounds like a fin and gill train wreck. I was on the big river last weekend. The water was too cold for SMB's and so I thought I might just whack another 2 pound highfin carpsucker like last fall. The steady drone of a merc 9.9 plowing water across the flat bow of a kicked can aluminum jon boat nudged me out of my numb fishless trance. I was standing on the boat launch so I edged downstream a bit and nodded as a greasy local crashed into the concrete ramp. "Howdy", Says I. "Anything?", says he. "Nothin." says I. "Saw fish crashing bait down about 3/4 of a mile." Says he. "Below the eddy above the island?" Says I. "Yep, that's the spot." Says he. "Whaddya doin down there?" Says I. "Trappin' coons, get'n off the couch mostly." Says he. "Kinda cold for smallies..." Says I. "Maybe Pike..." Says he. Then "and I didn't bring a pole." And I didn't bring my boat, thinks I. 3/4 of a mile from bait crashing and no boat.