SKUNKED!! When The Fish Give You Lemons…Make Lemonade

February 16, 2016

Hope Is Such A Bait, It Covers Any Hook–Oliver Goldsmith

One of the most odious words in the lexicon of anglers is “SKUNKED!”  It means you fished all day and didn’t catch, let alone release, anything.  I have had several of those near-death experiences this past few weeks as the torrent of freshwater from the Everglades–due to rains of near-biblical proportions in January–have pushed my saltwater quarry out of the backcountry and into the Gulf.  And even there they have been tough to find.  While snook will tolerate freshwater somewhat, redfish, sea trout, jacks, tarpon, and others don’t fancy the taste.

This past Friday was a perfect example.  We have had sunny, dry weather for over a week.  I thought by chance the freshwater flows might be subsiding, and the snook and reds would be heading for the warmer water in the backcountry.  Hope springing eternal, I put in on my favorite Halfway Creek in the Big Cypress Preserve at 6:30 a.m. and was greeted by a family of manatees rolling and feeding at first light, a couple of young ones boldly swimming right under the kayak as I held my breath they wouldn’t flip me.  

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Kayaking With The Dolphin On The Sandfly Pass Loop…And Scoring A Grand Slam To Boot

January  2016

“I, I wish you could swim…Like the dolphins….Like the dolphins swim

We can be heroes just for one day…We can be us just for one day”

Heroes–David Bowie

The heavy rain continues in the Everglades in January, courtesy of El Niño.  Winter is usually the dry season here, when at times the Everglades actually burn just like a prairie.  And with the rain, comes a slug of freshwater pouring out of The Swamp, chasing the snook, redfish, tarpon and other of my favorite quarry–that seek refuge in the upcountry from cold temperatures–back into the Gulf and its saltwater.  So, I readjusted my sights and headed out into the Ten Thousand Islands, just offshore of my new home in Chokoloskee, to see if I can change my luck.  And boy, did I!  

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