Steve Demaiolo and his buddy Steve Pitts braved the 20 knot winds yesterday and landed this over sized redfish on the last cast of the day. There are plenty of these fish around right now but getting them to eat has been a constant pain all week. Banging the shorelines with soft plastics is hard work but the most effective method when the weather turns on us like it did yesterday.
It's been a while since I added an new artificial to my lure box. I've been more than content over the past few years with Zara Spooks for top water action and Gulps for everything else. That changed recently after another guide told me about the big trout he was landing with the Mirrodine Suspending Twitchbaits. When he showed me a photo of a pair of 20 inchers that hit the same lure, with one fish hanging from each treble hook, I was convinced and ran out and bought a handful. He made me a believer and the gator trout in Matlacha Pass have really been responding to these excellent baits from Mirrolure. Best of all, they're effortless to use. I can hand a rod with a Mirrodine to an inexperienced angler and have them working it perfectly with very little instruction. You just reel and stop, reel and stop. It's that easy and the gator trout can't turn it down. Every tackle shop in the area sell these so if you don't have one in your box, go out and get two.
This is my buddy's boat and is one of the most tricked out Gheenoes on the water. It's has all the features of a full size flats skiff as well as a jack plate mounted Etec 25 with approx. 200 hrs, a remote control Power Pole, Minn Kota 70lb thrust Co-Pilot trolling motor, full color Garmin 441 GPS with a sonar transducer, and many other extras. The boat is in great condition and has all new wiring and batteries. It would cost over $12,000 to build a custom Gheenoe like this brand new. Asking price is $7500 and includes the trailer.
I can't get enough of these amazing scavengers, and that's what they really are (at least here in SW FL.) The one in the photo is half of our local nesting pair that I've named Fred and Wilma. I don't know which one it is because the male and female bald eagles are indistinguishable from a distance. Up close the females are a bit larger. The fish in its talons is a small black drum which it stole in mid-air from an osprey. This seems to be the only way that any eagle gets its food while nesting down here in the winter. As a matter of fact, the only time I've ever seen a bald eagle swoop down and snag its own fish from the surface of the water has been on TV. So the may be shameless thieves in these parts but they're also the most beautiful thing that flies and I never get tired of watching them while they're here.