Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Beavertail Skiffs At The Naples Boat Show This Week

Another great boat show starting Thursday through Sunday and your chance to see the latest Beavertail Lightning along with a handful of other great skiffs.  Excellent barbeque at this show, too.  Click here for more info and directions

Monday, January 26, 2015

Tricky Week Fishing Around Pine Island

January is a very challenging month on the flats here in SW Florida. Our negative low tides can be great for tailing redfish, but when they happen during a cold front it can shut the bite down for days.  Last week was the usual mix of excellent one day and rotten the next conditions but we've still managed to bring in the fish, especially the sharks and sea trout.  Here are a few recent catches. 

Danielle from Kansas City with a sharpnose shark.  These are a small species and this one is almost full grown.
Joyce from Chicago with a keeper trout on a windy day.  This was her first fish ever so the weather didn't bother us a bit.

Capt. J.T. from Big Pine Key with a baby snook, also on a windy day.  There are lots of these little guys out there right now.

Joe from Wisconsin with a small but beautiful blacktip shark.  These fish can reach 200lbs so this one was also just a baby.

And finally, here's a quick video that my friend Marty from Pine Island put together from his own skiff last summer featuring bent rods and reggae music to remind us all that better fishing is just around the corner. 

Sunday, January 25, 2015

East Coast Snook

My buddy Paul Murray lives in West Palm Beach where they have some of the best nighttime snook fishing in all of Florida.  The shoreline over there is heavily developed but just about every dock is outfitted with underwater lights that attract a ton of fish.  Paul sent me this shot of his nephew Oliver who was on vacation from the fly shop in Yellowstone, WY where he works.  They pounded the snook with fly rods this week and released 15 the night this picture was taken.  Fishing the dock lights is an absolute blast.  You loose a lot of flies but you rarely find these fish more willing to eat. 

Friday, January 23, 2015

Pine Island Trout On Fly

My buddy Tom Cleaver from Matlacha got to work on his double-haul yesterday and landed this great looking speck with a #2 Clouser Minnow.  We were fishing near the northeast tip of Pine Island and landed at least two dozen other trout like this one on spinning gear while we were at it.  The weather was so excellent it almost made me cry.  Temps in the upper 70s, low humidity, and flat calm seas.  Of course, that all had to end today with an approaching cold front and 20 knot winds.  That's January  in SW Florida for you though. 

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Sundowner Over The Keys

I didn't take this photo but REALLY wish I had.  It's a US Navy F-5N Tiger of the VF-111 Sundowners squadron based at NAS Key West.  These old Vietnam era fighters are still used to simulate Russian MiGs in air-to-air combat training against front line Naval and Air Force squadrons.  Most folks recognize them from the 1985 movie Top Gun, which used a handful of F-5s painted solid black as the bad guy's fictional MiG-28.

Back when I was guiding down in Key West these sleek little jets were a common sight in the skies over the western flats, usually in formation with the more modern and larger F-14s and F-18s.  One of my semi-regular clients was a pilot with the Sundowners and I constantly tried begging and bribing him with free fishing for life if he'd just take me up for one short ride.  Sadly, that never happened. 

Photographer Jose Ramos did manage to snag a ride and got this awesome shot, which is currently a finalist in Air and Space Magazine's annual photo contest.  It's also my favorite so check them all out and vote for yours here