A KAYAK FISHING EXPERIENCE
Well it is fall, the fishing has begun to pickup, our winter guests are arriving, but the end of daylight savings time is around the corner. Fishing has picked up significantly recently and should remain very good for sometime. Now if the Everglades' Angels would just let up.
I had a couple in last week for the weekend that I have fished for three years. This time, I married them off New Turkey Key. As a wedding day bonus, they brought thirteen species of fish over the side of the boat!
With all the variety of fish around and the spectacular weather this is truly a great time to be here. Rapidly becoming our most popular trip, the kayak fishing trip on the Mother Ship really shines. Kayak fishing should be getting better and better as the weather cools off. I am so excited about the up coming season I just can' t stand it!!!
Those that regularly read this column know that I am a fan of this style of fishing, but I am most certainly biased. Sometimes, it better for me to just be quiet and let others do the talking . . . Below is "fishing report" of a recent trip posted to the forum section of "Paddle-Fishing.com" . . . an internet site dedicated to the sport of "Paddle Fishing".
Though the fishing was pretty slow, we all had a good time . . .
"[We] Spent the weekend in the Everglades with Capt. Charles Wright and 4 other fishing buddies. The weather was perfect, and we had been looking forward to this trip for a couple months. We left the dock Saturday morning on Chuck's new mother boat rig, and what a sweet rig this is. A 27' Carolina skiff with room for 6 T-120's, us, and all the crap we could possibly load into the boat. The boat could comfortably do 30-40 mph across inches-deep water.
Capt. Wright dropped us in a corner of Chokoloskee Bay just before sunrise to do some fishing before the tide came in. In a couple of hours we managed to get about a dozen snook, and some miscellaneous snapper and one small goliath grouper. We were fishing dropoffs around oyster bars, and some mangrove cuts. The scenery was beautiful.
After the fishing slowed down there, we headed to Pavilion Key for a little lunch while we were waiting for the tide to start moving again . . . A beautiful sandy beach to ourselves on a perfect day. Next stop was Duck Rock cove. It was a small bay with a few little creeks emptying into it. Mike got a 4' black tip shark right away, but things were mostly quiet there, which isn't necessarily a bad thing considering the scenery you get to paddle through. A little later, Chip got a nice redfish
Inshore fishing down there is apparently better on a lower tide when the fish aren't burying themselves way up in the mangroves. Since the tide was still very high, and the wind had laid down, Chuck decided to take us about 6-8 miles offshore to some structure. There we were fishing for pompano, bluefish, cobia, and whatever else was living out there. We caught our share of pomps and bluefish, and a couple cobia were caught . . . but the highlight was Chip landing a goliath grouper in the 40-50 pound range. He broke his tarpon rod in the process, but he said it was worth it. Hopefully he'll post the pic here.
On Sunday we made Chuck take us back to Wizard Creek. Gary and I were there in April, and we just had to go back. It's a beautiful backcountry creek which was loaded with snook the first time we were there. Chuck told us he didn't think it would be too good this time around, and sure enough it wasn't. But I think the new guys were glad they got to see it anyway. We made another stop on the outside a few miles south of Lostman's River, but not too much going on there either, other than some trout out on the grass flats.
So we headed offshore again. More pompano action, and this time Chip hooked up on a big shark that towed him about a half-mile away from the boat where he cut him loose after getting him up to the kayak. While he was doing that, Brian hooked a six-foot spinner shark that made a few spectacular jumps. And I managed to hook a dolphin (the flipper kind). I had 300 yards of power pro on the reel and he almost spooled me. Got 3 jumps out of him, then he chewed through the 80-lb. Test leader.
As usual, this trip was a blast. I'd highly recommend it to everyone. The scenery is beyond compare, and Capt. Wright is a gracious host who busts his butt to get you the fish, and make sure you see the best the Everglades has to offer. Hopefully my accomplices will chip in here with their thoughts on this trip. Getting ready for the next trip down" . . . Mark M.
"It was a great trip. I was hoping to post some more pic[ture]s but I will have to figure it out another time.
As always Capt. Wright went over and above what any of us expected on a charter trip. We fished long and hard and covered about 80 miles of real estate in the two days.
We cruised comfortably at 40 MPH and just sat back trying to take it all in. You can go for miles without seeing any sign of civilization. We went by the old Watson plantation on the Chatham Rriver, it still had some of the syrup equipment from the sugar cane days. It was like a time warp seeing Florida like it was 200 years ago.
We went from 15 miles into the back country to explore secluded creeks, to the virgin beach areas along the coast, to grass flats a quarter mile off, then 8 to 10 miles off shore to fish patches of live bottom.
Altogether we caught snook, red fish, snapper, ladies, black tip sharks, mackerel, pompano, goliath grouper, cobia, blue fish, trout, spinner sharks, jacks, a dolphin, and a mild hang over.
Capt. Wright booked us in to comfortable cabins right on the water. You could fish out your back door and launch a boat a few feet away. They had deli sandwiches ready for us in the morning with free hot coffee. In the evening we joined him for stone crabs and fresh grouper dinners at the local restaurants.
Thanks Chuck for a great time. . .This is one we will all remember for a long time. See ya in the spring. . . . Skeeter
We will be running these trips regularly in the season. They are an excellent way to experience the area, catch some fish and enjoy time with your friends. For a group, it is a fresh and different trip that most will remember for a long time to come. Check www.EvergladesKayakFishing.com for the scheduled trips. However, if the family comes into town, just call and we will make arrangements . . . and yes, there is a discount for local residents and their guests.
Capt. Charles Wright