Sunday, December 30, 2012

Best Memories of 2012

We just finished up the season of giving and now it's time to think about throwing out all your old stuff.  At the start of a new year I regroup with all my tackle and that usually means out with the old and in with the new. It's usually difficult making that change and I always reflect back on all the wonderful memories I made using a specific fly or spinning reel combo . My first reel as a child 30 years ago was a Shakespeare cardinal closed face spinning reel which I caught my first salmon on in the Klamath River. I'll never forget how that fish peeled out most of my line and snapped my rod in half. It's funny how I caught as many fish and had just as much fun using a cheap dime store set up as I do now using expensive gear. Some of my fondest memories of growing up were made with that rod as it almost always never left my sight. This past year has been good to me in my personal life and on the water and I sit back and reflect with a smile on my face how I went from a $10 spinning combo to finishing up the year using gear I never dreamed I could afford.  There's something to be said about that old jankity reel I had for most of my childhood.As much as I enjoy getting new gadgety tackle every year, I'll never come close to making those same memories as the ones I made with that old clunker that barely held enough line to bring in a bluegill:)

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

A Healthy Addiction

Fishing can be extremely addictive. When I'm not out on the water, I'm thinking about it. In the past three days out on the flats, I must've seen over a hundred redfish. There's something to be said about seeing a redfish waking on a flat or waving it's tail out of the water in mere inches of water on a calm, quiet morning. Your hands start shaking, your heartbeat becomes erratic, and all you can think about at that moment is how blessed you are having experienced such a wonderous act of nature. The solitude and peace you feel at that moment on the flats pursuing these beautiful sightfishing targets is unforgettable and it's a feeling I take home with me every time I go.


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

You Never Know What You Might Pull Out of a South FL Canal!

One of the neat things about fishing in South Florida's freshwater lakes and canals if you never know what type of fish you might catch. Anglers who target largemouth bass can be pleasantly surprised when they catch peacock bass which are native to South America. Those who target panfish like bluegill often catch oscars and Mayan Cichlids, which provide great sport because of their hard fight. I spend a majority of my time on the water targeting inshore saltwater species like snook, tarpon and redfish so it's nice to change things up on occasion and pursue exotic species found in the brackish canal systems of the Everglades backcountry ; an environment that is so different from the flats but definitely worth checking out!


Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Forever Hooked

   Living in Southwest Florida since 2002, kayak fishing has taken on a new twist for me. Fishing is much different here than from what I've been accustomed to growing up in CA all my life. Late day thunderstorms often hit without warning. Hurricanes put angling on hold, sometimes for weeks. Patience becomes the mantra of the day. But the itch to fish resides in me almost daily. I embrace the day with eager anticipation. The bite awaits!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

An Unforgettable Day in the Everglades Backcountry

   Being a kayak fishing guide in Southwest Florida involves a significant amount of time on the water exploring new, uncharted waters. I set out to do just that recently venturing out to some backcountry waters that haven't seen any pressure. The landscape is diverse on the western fringes of the Everglades bordering the Big Cypress Preserve. I kayaked and waded across hard limestone, tundra, and marshy grasslands. With fly rod in hand, I casted along the deep rocky ledges and hooked up on multiple juvenile tarpon and snook in these brackish waters. These fish were starving back there and tore up almost every offering I had for them in my fly box. I still would have had an incredible adventure even if this new spot didn't produce. The abundance of bird life, alligators and diverse landscape will keep me coming back for more.