Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Nikon 3000 Images

I've had my new Nikon 3000 for a just over a week now and I'm still amazed at its capabilities. This 10 mp DSLR is acutally Nikon's entry level DSLR and retail's for under $600. I purchased this one online and an even better discount than that. It's almost impossible to take a bad picture with it when set in its fully automatic modes. It also offer complete manual control over everthing from focus to ISL for more advanced photographers. This Nikon is also incredibly light and I've been carrying it everywhere so you'll be seeing a lot more photos of life both on and off the water posted here in the future.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Big Sea Trout In Matlacha Pass

After chasing tarpon for the last three months it was great to finally land a few grill-worthy fish like this 20-inch sea trout that I caught south of the Matlacha bridge.  This was one of two trout this size that I hooked right before sunset on a weedless Exude jerk bait.

Sea trout are a common catch this time of year but keepers of this size have been rare, at least for me. Using live bait like shrimp at this spot would be the best way to hook into them but you'll also land a way too many catfish in the process.

The three foot deep flats west of Mcardle Island  are a great trout habitat right now and that's were most of my hookups have happened lately.  Other than that, the high traffic areas of Matlacha Pass have been really quiet now that the slow season is here.  Good luck if you're coming here for vacation.  Everything you try for trout on your home waters will work on Pine Island at the same time.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Spoonbills In Matlacha

The roseate spoonbill is one of my favorite birds and a common sight around the mangrove of Pine Island Sound and Matlacha Pass.  I spotted this pair on McArdle Island which is just two miles south of the drawbridge.  It was overcast this morning and the light was poor so the photos don't do the colors of these birds justice.  They're an incredibly vibrant pink and scarlet when the sun hits them directly.  And no, they're not related to flamingos which we rarely ever see around this part of Florida.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Pine Island Boat Dogs

No reason for this photo other than I love dogs and I love my boat.  That's Maggie, our Puerto Rican greyhound on the right, and her boyfriend Gizmo, a catahoula/beagle on the left.  I took this shot last Saturday on the shell beach outside of Jug Creek at the north tip of Pine Island.  Great spot for hanging out and letting the dogs run.  E-mail me if you want the GPS numbers.

Fishing Tournament This Saturday

The David Kee Root Memorial Tournament is an annual event and is only $50 to enter.  Here's a recent article giving some more details. This is a fun and easy tournament right here on Matlacha that supports a good cause.  Check them out. 

Thursday, July 15, 2010

The World's Best Tarpon Fly

Ok, it's the best fly according to me. This is the famous Tarpon Bunny, first created back in the 1970's by an angler named Ken Miyata and I can honestly credit at least 90% of the tarpon I've hooked over the last decade to this pattern. The two versions pictured here are in my favorite color scheme; a black tail and red head. One is unweighted and the other has a set of small dumbell eyes for use in deeper water.

The Tarpon Bunny in these colors triggers strikes like nothing else I've ever used. I've caught tarpon with it here on Pine Island, throughout the Keys, Puerto Rico, and the Bahamas. It also works great on sea trout and and a handful of other inshore species. Our stinking catfish even seem to be liking it these days, unfortunately.

It's an exceptionally easy pattern to tie and is also available at most fly shops. If you're heading anywhere near some tarpon you'll need a half dozen of these in your box. You can buy them locally at Florida Paddlesports or shoot me an e-mail and I'll get a box to you.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Maverick Mirage For Sale. Update: Boat Is Sold, Thanks For Checking

This particular Maverick sold very quickly but if you're looking for a similar model, or any light tackle fishing boat, please give me a call at (239)565-2960. I work with Cape Regal Yatchs here in Southwest Florida and specialize in finding clean, late model boats in excellent conditions. I have access to a nationwide network of brokers and can find you the right boat with no hassles. Call or e-mail me anytime.

Capt. Gregg McKee

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

80 Days Later And STILL No Oil Near Pine Island, FL. Updated

Here is and excellent NOAA animation showing the daily progress of the surface oil from the Deepwater Horizon as tracked by several satellites. It shows the entire Gulf of Mexico and state of Florida. In case you're not familiar with our geographic location, Pine Island is 140 miles south of Tampa. On the map in the animation we're the smaller bay located half an inch under the word Tampa. As this animation shows, the spread of oil has come nowhere near us and according to nearly every estimate it never will.

According to NOAA itself there is a less than 1% chance that oil will physically affect Southwest Florida. You can read about it in this CBS news article, which for once simply posts the facts. Feel free to forward this along.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Big Fly Rod Reds, Matlacha Pass

Big redfish have returned to the shallows of Matlacha during the late afternoon's low tides. Even though conditons aren't great to spot these fish tailing they're easily found hanging around the big mullet schools feeding across the flats.

The fish pictured above was caught by Idaho angler Eric Treutel using a 9-weight Sage and one of his own Schminnow style patterns. It measured just over 29 inches and was Eric's first redfish caught on a fly. Since it was 2 inches over the legal limit we sent it back after a few pictures to grow even larger. A great catch.  Want to hook one of your own?  Call me at (239)565-2960 or click on