Sunday, August 31, 2014
Today we made the drive further south down to Sanibel Island. We actually fished three different spots and even checked out the Shell Museum - I'll post separately on these events. First stop was one of the Causeway Island Parks. My girl Noe can throw a mean cast net!!!! Check out this form and the full opening!!! She ended up catching some Killifish. Not bad for an 8-year old girl (bet your 10-year olds can't throw a net like she does!!!). And We caught a small Blue Crab, some Mojarra, Finger Mullet and a few Menhaden. I had the fly rod out and managed to get a few follows from some needlefish, but no other action in that department. It felt good casting a floating WF line again - WAY easier than casting an intermediate line.
We are visiting my Uncle and one of my Cousins this weekend down in Port Charlotte. Paul took us to one of the spots he's had luck at before - El Jobean Fishing Pier on the Myakka River. My nephew Lucas also came and had a blast with Marlon and Noe (who gave themselves new names - Marlon = Magellan and Noe = Amelia; I don't have the full story on that just yet). Everyone took turns throwing the cast nets (Paul's was way bigger - 8' diameter; our's was a 3' diameter). We caught a number of Menhaden, but no luck on anything else. We did see a manatee swimming, and one of the other fishermen caught a catfish. Oh well - you win some, you lose some...
Thursday, August 28, 2014
The surf forecast websites indicated that this morning would be the biggest and cleanest the surf would be for at least a week. We got our share!!! This ULI Lopez 9-0 trifin is an awesome board - one of the great things about inflatables is I don't care how close I get to shore - beach break no longer means bad dings. And with the thruster setup, I can push some torque on the bottom turns. Now I just need to find some longer waves (probably the hardest thing to find in Florida). La felt confident enough to bring out her longboard. Here she is catching a few on her own (no help from me except a little encouragement and intel on wave selection) ;) Maybe we'll try again this afternoon on the low tide But if we don't - we did have a blast!!!
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
Not Skunked! First cast and I felt a solid grab - I used a sliding weight rig with a steel leader - just in case I get a shark again ;) Instead of the usual suspects (Spot, Whiting), I was surprised to see this Stargazer on the end of the line. Well - this picture is of the stargazer buried - it was a quick bugger - buried itself in an instant. I poked at it with a shell and it popped back out of the sand. The two black spines on the front part of the dorsal fin are poisonous (if I remember correctly). Eventually we coaxed it back into the water. First time I've caught one of these... Really pretty pattern on it's back. I also caught this whiting. The big change today was switching out the pompano rig for the sliding weight/leader setup. I had way more sensitivity with the new rig and it made fishing with this substantial rod way more enjoyable. Last notable - the kids were playing in the surge for while - until La looked out and saw a lot of splashing about 50 feet away from the kids. And then we both saw a 4' shark jumping around in the surf for a fish, or three. We calmly told the kids to go ahead and come back in - good thing they didn't turn around... The men in grey suits are always out there - you just need to be smart and calm in their backyard.
Sunday, August 24, 2014
Skunked!!!! I went out twice even... first time was on the paddleboard - and I got asked for my military ID. I had to paddle back and get it from my truck. Pretty neat experience getting "boarded"! The second session was at Little Talbot Island. I saw tons of schooling mullet, and a few schools were being tailed by something. But I didn't have any luck getting a chase. There were also a bunch of whiting and I did get some follows, but none looked like they were looking to eat the fly. Beautiful water despite the lack of catching action.
There are times I wish I was 100 pounds lighter and 18" shorter... The kiddoroosters didn't care that the waves were 1' high - they charged and tore it up!!! Good time had by all at Little Talbot Island
Friday, August 22, 2014
We went to the beach in the late afternoon today. I brought the St Croix Surf Triumph and the Orvis Hydros - no paddleboard today because the afternoon seabreeze had kicked in. I set up the surf rod with a pompano rig and after a few casts, I caught this whiting - no skunk today. I decided that I could catch whiting again, or I could try catching whatever was chasing the smaller baitfish in the water. I broke out the flyrod and opened a huge can of "I can cast like a champ in my mind". I did make some good casts in the 50' range with an intermediate sink line, but I also did flog myself multiple times (the weighted fly hit me at high speed in my back several times and in the head a couple). Talk about humility. I decided to renew my confidence and picked up the surf rod again. I cast and felt a tug - set the hook and the drag started singing!!!! I'll let the pictures do the talking... This rod was AWESOME!!! Sweet bend and perfect backbone!!! I didn't hog all the fun - I let the kids take turns feeling a solid pull. I still can't believe I caught this shark using "Fish Bites" bait (clam flavor) on a $0.95 pompano rig!!!! This shark should have cut me off - but I hooked it right in the lip where it could only chomp on the hook - check this out!!! Proof of fair game (lip hooked) We took a few pictures and I quickly released this guy back in to the sea. I haven't had this much fun catching a fish in a long while!!!!
I keep my eyes open when I hit the Fly Shops. Having been to a couple over the past weeks, the kids had seen enough and wanted to tie today. That gave me a chance to tie up a few of what I've heard the shop guys said were catching. Surf Candy Clousers and Schminnows. Well see how the real judges rate these (the fish).