Tag Archives: FL

Florida Weather: Fishing Challenge Or Jinxed

Wifey just wants to lay in the sun at the beach. She tells me that for some reason it just makes her happy. Fair enough. I can do the beach for about 20 minutes and then I am looking for something to do, so little dude and I try to build a sand structure. maco_beach We fill the buckets with crushed shells, tip them upside down and dig a moat around the cone shaped sand only to be toppled by his chubby little baby toes. Repeat.

Beach day is awesome, just enough breeze to keep the sweat from forming on the top of your lip, bright sun tanning our dry mountain skin and just enough cloud cover to give you a break from squinting. Perfect Florida weather…. 16 hours pass.

Laying in bed I look at the red numbers on the clock and realize that I might have had one too many cocktails at happy hour. My skin is a little tender from beach day and a tinge of heartburn stings my throat. I smacked the alarm just as it reaches 5:30 and walk out of the room. While lathering on SPF 50 i am thinking about the shots I might get at Tarpon, Snook, Permit or Bonefish. I can hardly wait. It is the right time of year, all the reports are great, the fish are here, “just got to stay calm and make a good cast” I say to myself.

The windows to the east look over the bay and the American Flag is not drooped silently like the morning before. In fact it is violently flapping, making a slapping noise. “Really?”

“maybe it is still calm on the gulf side” “maybe we’ll go into the back country” “or maybe we’ll just go for a $600.00 boat ride” all these ramblings go thru my head.

Seems like more times than not this happens to yours truly. And although I have been blessed with great days on the salt my fingers are always crossed when there is a charter booked well in advance.

Wind

For Thanksgiving wifey and I went to FLA to visit her parents. It was a fun trip and I had very little intentions of fishing. But, her dad surprised me with a half day trip he lined up with Frank Catino. I was pumped, I called Frank and chatted about what we would be fishing for. He responded with baby tarpon, snook and jacks. Awesome. Baby Tarpon Rule

The day came and wouldn’t you know it. Cloudy, very very windy and a high probability of rain. It was the day after beach day HAHAHA. Dave and I hopped in the car and went out anyway. Frank was at the launch and ready for us. We motored through a Manatee zone and chatted about the fishery on the Sebastian River.  The Sebastian River is a very cool fishery I never knew existed. You can catch a Bass and a Snook in the same section of river. Baby tarpon grow up in the river and the scenery is much like a jungle.

We battled the wind blind casting at rolling Baby Tarpon and moved the fly under pilings looking for big snook. Mayan CichlidWe ended the day with a few Jacks, lady fish and a Mayan Cichlid. It was a great trip and I learned a lot about an area I had never known. I like to believe that it is the fish gods putting me through the ringer. Pay your dues and you will be rewarded. Fair enough. I haven’t fished in saltwater enough to have everything go perfect and I don’t mind getting beat up time to time. The wind certainly is making me a better caster. Although there are some people who would disagree with that.  Thanks to Big Dave for putting together a quick trip and also for all the rum punch that we seemed to consume. See ya in the salt.

 

 

Florida Keys: Chilling In Someones Screen Saver

Papa Mac and I walked down to the dock where Capt Derek Rust was having a beer with his buddies while he cleaned off his bay boat from an evening fun fish. He handed us an 11 weight and told us to cast at the bow of a 60 foot yacht. The marina tarpon were rolling around and we all watched them while drinking a few beers. P-Mac laid out a cast and jumped about a 40 lb poon before it spit the hook. We all cheered and continued with our banter. The very next cast a smaller fish 15-20lbs was on the rod leaping around the marina. Again we cheered and gave P-Mac shit while he was bringing the fish towards the dock. But, the marina poon met its demise when a giant boil/ splash erupted 20 feet from the dock and making the line go slack. Shark we all yelled. Then we saw it swim under the lights. A shark it was.. About a 500lb Bull Shark that just inhaled a tarpon in one bite.

cloudsrelease

 

For the next 2 days we fished from Derek’s Hells Bay Marquesa casting to everything we saw. There certainly was more casting then catching and for me that was plenty.Boat_Trailer_sunrelease When it comes to Saltwater Angling I am certainly way out of my element and I appreciate all that people teach me. I feel like I am getting a little better. It also amazes me how you can lay out a beautiful 70 foot cast when you are messing around but when a school of Giant Permit swims at you 50 feet away you become jelly. This happened multiple times. And although some considered the fly P-Mac and I got the Permit smack down. As we floated across a beautiful flat Derek said “somewhere this view is someones screen saver and here were are chilling in it.” And he was right. The dark blues, greens and turquoise colors popped against the light blue sky. It was perfect. Thanks Derek.

sunrise_polerelease

 

After a tragic week for the United States as well as for our family I have come to realize this — The wind/ sun on your face, being able to walk/ run, having a great family/ wife /kid(s), friends, smell of flowers, saltwater, snow, heat, rain, humidity, hangover, smiles, laughter, sad and angry. — are things that I have taken for granted at one point or another. P-MacreleaseSometimes it takes a tragedy or an unexpected event for us to realize that we are all on borrowed time and that we should embrace and enjoy all we can.  This last week I took a minute each day to focus on some of these things and appreciate what was present and not get angry at what was not. For example: A Giant Tarpon was present, but my fly was not. Never a reason to get angry in that situation. Frustrated sure but angry no way. Although I am sure Capt Derek might have been a touch angry. This was the first time rustreleaseI had seen Derek since his move from Tahoe. It was good to catch up and have him show us around his new stomping grounds. I was truly amazed on how much he has learned during his time down there. Just the massive body of water that is in front of you is intimidating enough, then throw in tides, water temps, currents, boats, motors, poles, shit I am already tired. Hats off to you Capt Derek.

tarpon popperrelease-2

Our trip to Florida this year was great, the fishing was a bonus. Our little boy “Maco” was walking on the beach and loved water. He even got to go on his first boat ride, although he was a little fussy with his life jacket on he loved the wind blowing in his hair. Little dude also got to see his Great Grand Father who is the original Joe. The four Joe’s got to hang for an evening and chat over dinner. Something that rarely happens. Wifey got to get her tan on which puts her in a happy place and overall it was just good to be around family. Fishing was a bonus.

Naples_FL_Redfish

 

Enjoy the spring it is a great time to be doing anything. Thanks for reading.

Naples Florida Fly Fishing: Tarpon

“Jeff you have a fish 10 o’clock laid up underneath that mangrove. you see it?” “no.. oh wait which way is it facing?” It was a falling tide and the flats fishing had died off so we hit the back country before motoring in for the day. The fish was laid up tight to the mangroves under the over hanging leaves. It was going to be a tough shot. Braz picked up the line and placed it too far behind the fish. “your behind him” mark said ” pick it up and throw it to your left.” “too far left, it is a tough cast.” Brazda picked up the line and plopped it under the leaves on top of the fish. ” get that out of there before the line touches its back and spooks him.” Braz made a few big strips and this is what happened.

The Hookset


The Rising


The Spit


The Finish


The Cursing


We finished out the day poling the last two bays and headed North towards the marina. It had been a great day. The morning was a bit more successful.. stay tuned. Right now we are drinking rum and going snook fishing under the lights. Don’t discriminate. That sheeeet is fun.