Sunday, September 12, 2010

Sheena Was Right

One of the good things about getting up early to go fishing on a Saturday or Sunday morning is getting the weather forecast from Fox 13 weekend weather anchor and super babe Sheena Parveen. She helps make the rumbling and the stumbling of an ugly early wake up time a bit more of these days, I'm going to get her out fishing with us....but anyway, the forecast was HOT, low chance of rain, and no wind.

Just getting to the put in was a bit challenging. On my way across the causeway, one of the last remaining draw bridges in Florida decided to go up. I was feeling a bit perturbed when I didn't see any sailboats coming through and after 15 minutes, the bridge finally went back down.

There were a bunch of hardcore kayaking vehicles at the put know the kind - rusted out Ford Ranger with an old topper, fishing stickers plastered all over the back end but a nice Yakima system on top....I meant to take some photos but got distracted by a girl in a bikini with a lime green kayak. After closer inspection, I saw that all she had was an Ocean Kayak, so I went back to loading up my gear.

Now back to the fishing....

Slick seas, clear skies, incoming tide and bait all over was the scene.

Fifty feet off the beach is a trough that runs parallel to the shore line. This backs up to a fairly shallow grass flat with sand potholes and nice grass. At around 75 feet from shore, it drops back down to around 8 feet....only to rise back up again to another shallow flat at roughly 500 feet from the beach. We fished these areas briefly while heading to our destination - the southernmost tip of a barrier island about 3 miles away. We should have stayed near the put in because we started catching fish right away.

I caught a dink trout and 2 juvenile grouper and Keith caught a grouper. But with the tide pushing over the flats, there was sure to be bigger fish....and there was.

I saw a 7 foot bull shark pushing across the shallow flat, dorsal and tail out of the water like a scene from Jaws heading toward the beach....Eeeesh. I made sure to warn the surprised folks close to shore.

We paddled south to a deep cut along a sandbar and fished for a while. There were a lot of kayak anglers around this spot, so I'm fairly certain there were fish around. I had a hook up with a sold fish, but lost it.

We continued south through a really shallow section of grass flat, seeing large tailing mullet and wakes pushing everywhere. No redfish among them though. The water quality was getting murky as we pushed south. By the time we got to the southernmost point, there was a boat on the spot. We saw them pull in 2 nice redfish and move on....of course blowing out the spot in the process as they gunned the motor on the way out.

I found a kayak trail through the mangroves that looked like it would be a great spot on an outgoing tide. A deep hole formed the mouth of this small creek, giving the fish ample cover to lie in wait for prey to be swept out.

We worked the edge of the mangroves on the return trip. There were several guides with clients asking us where the fish were. We kept seeing scatterings of finger mullet along the treeline so, we knew there were fish around, but had no takers.

On the long paddle back to the causeway, I noticed that the wind had shifted to blow right into our faces...of course....we stopped and fished a few spots and caught more juvie grouper.

I'd forgotten my Buff, so when I arrived home, I found a nice red raccoon face staring at me in the mirror....

So... lesson learned - when you're catching fish close to your put-in, stay there and fish...and pay closer attention to what Sheena says....

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