Friday, January 10, 2014

Good start to the year

Yesterday my Florida fishing buddies and I rented a pontoon boat for a few hours and cruised Matanzas Pass area and caught a few fish. A few days ago we got the tail end of the Polar Vortex, and suffered through a couple days in the upper 50s and low 60s.  The water in the gulf cooled quite a bit and we figured a few fish would be coming "inside" looking for warmer water.  We caught a few fish, so I guess we'll call it a success, although the operative word is "few."  Not exactly fast action, but fun.  We had a mixed bag of fishing techniques.  Some live shrimp, some plastic on jigs and of course, Stan and I flinging flies.  Getting room to cast was a challenge, and quite a few flies were sacrificed to the mangroves, but not too many tangles with spin fishing buddies.  In some ways, fishing the Swift River was good practice for contending with four guys fishing out of one boat!
A couple years ago I bought a cheap 9ft 8wt rod at Bass Proshop. Last year I slammed the tip in the door of the glove box. I didn't feel it was worth getting the tip repaired, so when Orvis had a big rod sale as part of their OrvisPro program, I snatched up a 10ft 8wt Helios2. Sweet rod. Should be a good salmon rod, as well as my goto rod in the salt. The first fish I caught with it was a nice snook, which put a nice bend in the new rod. 
My buddy Stan caught a nice jack. We thought it was a pompano, but later divined its true identity. In any case, it fought like a much bigger fish and was clearly the trophy of the trip.
Chuck, esteemed president of our fishing club, organized the trip and served as navigator.  As an old salt, his experience was invaluable in getting us to the launch point and finding the elusive secret spots where the big ones were holed-up.
My buddy George was our captain and brought along G, his grandson, who proceeded to catch snapper and snook like an old pro. It was fun sharing our day with an up-and-coming angler. Soon he'll be heading north to go back to school and an internship, but he'll have a few fish to dream of on those cold, snowy nights. In addition to the fishing fun, I think he learned that there is hope for fun in his elder years.