Wednesday, December 7, 2011

November-December Redfish (Boca Grande)

Killer back country Redfishing this past few weeks. With all the wind it has been hard to fish in the wide open spots so we have been pushing in to the hard to reach places and finding Redfish are already there.

November Snook and Tarpon (ENP)

Performance Data Yamaha F70

At 257 lbs this motor is 10 lbs. lighter than the Yamaha T60 that was on this boat last year. I have had a chance to run the motor with three different props and have found the prop that I was using last year {Mercury Vengeance 14P} is still the best prop for this boat. Top RPM is around 5800 and this motor is rated for 6300 Max RPM. I have tested the boat with a heavy load and light load. Immediately you feel the acelleration kick in around 3750 RPM. This means that there is better acceleration after this point. It does not change the actual hole shot if you are in a limmited space or in super shallow water. Top speed on the boat went from 32 MPH to 36 MPH. The cruise speed went from 25 MPH to 28 MPH at 4500 RPM. The fuel consumption at the cruise speed went down. The MPG went from 6 MPG at cruise speed with the T60 to 7 MPG with the new F70. The boat handling seems to be exactly the same.

November Redfish (ENP)

Sunday, April 17, 2011

The heart of the everglades

got some great photos over the last couple weeks fishing Tarpon in the Everglades National Park.. We have had the opportunity to fish to schools of Tarpon that number in the hundreds and stretched for miles. I have also had the opportunity to target Tarpon from 25-90 lbs. with the fly rod using flies and techniques that have worked well for me over the last 10 years. I have grown very fond of both the spring and fall migrations through the Everglades and I have been able to observe Tarpon behavior patterns in certain areas and predict their movements at these two times of year. In addition the feeding habits and the tides which they feed the most are like the clues to a mystery novel with the Tarpon eating your fly at the end. As is the case with every fishery known to man since the beginning of time, there are still some things we can not control, and with a little luck, the weather cooperates and the fishing gods shine on us from time to time. Some anglers fishing with me over the last couple weeks landed their first Tarpon ever, others landed one of many. This is a lifelong journey and a passionate part of the sport. It is a thrill for me to see these anglers accomplish these goals.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Early Bird gets the worm...

With all the people on the water the last couple weeks, it sure has been nice to be on the water early. We have seen a few tailing reds in the morning and once the sun is up we have had shots at small Snook cruising the edges of the mangroves. The Spanish Macs are everywhere and hopefully the Albies and Kings will be right behind them.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

~ Everglades January 2011 ~

"fishing with Bill"

It has been great to be back out on the water again after all the cold weather we have had this winter. I have been chasing Redfish around Boca Grande and Pine Island Sound and also taking trips into the ENP out of Everglades City. I was pumped to see what we could find after the last few calm and warm days. It was a full moon and I was optimistic about finding some Slob Snuke, but did not think it was quite time for the Tarpon yet. I arrived to the first spot yesterday morning in the park and the tide was so ridiculously low that there was no water to found, nothing but mud on the flats. While this is a real pain in the ass if you are looking to fish these flats it sure is cool to watch the fish and the water move off the flats, because patterns emerge that show anglers where the fish will hold and all of the bottom structure. In years past I have found new areas where the fish will first move on, as the water returns. It is much like a small river or stream that works it way through the deeper cracks on the mud flats. In some cases, these are the same places where the fish will hold and feed throughout the entire tide, especially if the tide flow in these areas continues to be the strongest. As in many cases the fishing on the moon tides is best during the two hours when the water is really cranking in, deep in the backcountry at this time of year and once it gets dirty and deep it is game over and time to move on. Yesterday we set up looking for Snook and Reds. I am poling the boat and seeing nothing. I am looking, looking, looking and then I realize the water temps are already 70.2. Huh, so I slide the boat towards the next area thinking maybe the Tarpon will be here ? Sure enough I shut down and the Tarpon are rolling all happy (now this next part of the story really ****es me off). I was talking to Bill about the first cast and how the fish is going to clobber the fly, I even bring the boat to rest so that I do not need to hold the bottom with the push pole. From experience I know that we are about to hook up and still I do not grab the stupid video camera. Perhaps I am completely brain dead or just can not get the hang of this video thing, but I quietly stand there with nothing to do and do not get the brand new mini hd video camera that I purchased for just such an event. BAD FISHING GUIDE ! Bill lays out a perfect cast and after the first strip of the fly, a Tarpon around 36-40" nails the thing and it completely airborne in a blink. I told Bill that if he could hook up with and land the first bite of the day, that I would pay for the parking at the boat ramp. I also told him that if the fish took the fly and got away, then he had to pay for the parking. This is a fun little game because I know almost everyone misses the first strike, and free parking for me if awesome ! Well woudn't ya know, the 69 year of bugger and his perfect cast we followed by a perfect hook set and that fish was ON. It took 9 leaps on the end of that 8 weight fly rod and on of the jumps was sky high. I almost fell off the poling platform laughing. Bill was standing on the forward casting platform which is raised approx 8' off the water. He was holding the fly rod out towards the horizon as he tried to keep tight to the Tarpon and it jumped straight up in the air (10' in front of the boat) and leaped over his rod, looked at him face to face, and gave a little wag to his tail as he headed back towards the water. It was a moment that really would have been cool to catch on video. Oh well... We landed a couple Tarpon, saw some big Tarpon, and never found the Snook and Reds ?