With four planned trips to the coast, I had very high hopes for this week. Unfortunately, a wicked stomach virus had me sidelined and cut my four trips into two... frankly, I was just happy to be alive
Launching from the Rod & Gun Club in Everglades City, we headed West only to find very low water. The strong NNE winds were already playing havoc with the tides, as the Low was not expected until mid morning. Despite the heavy wind, bait was easy to find. Every pass and every island was covered with glass minnows, pilchards and diving birds.
Heading South, we only stopped at spots with the right ingredients... water flow, structure & bait. Sure enough, they all produced fish. Using a mixture of artificial and live bait, we caught Snook, Redfish, Trout, weakfish, black drum, snapper, etc. The highlight of the day came after lunch as we targeted deeper water... we were having decent success with two 32" Snook landed in a short period of time... then it happened, that telltale thump of a big girl. After beating my client up pretty good, she came boat side... I quickly moved the boat up onto the adjacent bar, which allowed me to measure and release her without fear of a shark attack... 37 1/2" and very wide.
I had the pleasure of guiding Blair Wickstrom, Matt Weinhaus & Jimmy Langone of Florida Sportsman & Shallow Water Angler for an instructional show on creek fishing in the Everglades. I've known the guys for quite some time, but it was great to have them down in the Park, in my water and on my boat. I showed them creeks in the deep back country... stopped and fished a few, then ran the slalom course at 50 mph... Then, I showed them the most extreme creeks off the Gulf, with exposed oysters and tree stumps... we stopped and fished a few, then ran the slalom again. Then I showed them some outer Cape Creeks with deeper and cleaner water... then some inner Cape Creeks with muddy and chocolate water.
Using a mixture of Gulp, DOA & Rapalas we caught Snook, Redfish, Trout, Weakfish, Black Drum, Snapper and a list of the typical trash suspects. The highlight, was a sight fished Redfish that had to have weighed 12 or 13 lbs, but had been badly beaten by a porpoise in recent weeks. He was mudding in a Northern creek mouth and readily ate a gulp on a jig head.
I snapped a couple of pics!
Over 80 Snook, 30 Reds, 100 Trout and tons of others were caught on the Pathfinder this weekend… with unbelievable range, ride, draft, speed and comfort, the Pathfinder 22 XLTE is by far the most versatile bay boat on the market. Just ask anyone who has been on an Everglades Adventure with me…