Sunday, March 30, 2014

Juvenile Bald Eagle Off Matlacha

There are several of these guys hanging around the island right now and this one probably hatched down here sometime last winter. 

Friday, March 28, 2014

Pine Island Fishing Report: Not Quite Back To Normal (But Getting There)

Earlier this week I posted about how things were really warming up here on Pine Island and we were hopefully done with our cold fronts.  I should have kept my mouth shut or at least looked at the forecast because we got hit with a good one two days later which knocked our water temps back into the low 60's.  So for the past week we've had to deal with winds gusting over 20 knots and screwed up tides.  The fish are still out there and we spotted more snook on Wednesday morning than I've seen all month.  None of them wanted to eat, of course.  The good news is that you can still tuck in the back bay mangroves and pull in some nice undersized reds on the fly like the one in the photo.  There's also plenty of trout and some really decent ladyfish in Matlacha Pass to keep the rods bent.  Spring conditions will be back next week.  I'm confident this time. 

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Pine Island Fishing Report: Getting Back To Normal (For Now)

Lloyd Hautajarvi from MN with an upper-slot sea trout caught on fly.
The last month has been a bit of a pain around Pine Island.  Three cold fronts in four weeks dropped the water temps back into the upper 60's and low 70's and the winds were steady the entire time.  Not a great set of conditions for sight fishing on the flats.  We might have turned a corner this past weekend and two days of calm water and bright sun at least had the trout eating again, especially flies.  We've been doing really well with green and white #4 Clouser Minnows in the north part of Matlacha Pass.  Most of these trout are just under the 15" slot but we've brought more than a few legal ones back for the grill in the last few days.  I'm really confident that this trend will continue all week even though the forecast is calling for things to be a bit unsettled. 

Friday, March 21, 2014

Beavertail Skiffs Demo Day Tomorrow Afternoon

Just another reminder to stop by the Olde Fish House Marina on Matlacha tomorrow starting at 12 noon to see and ride the latest Beavertails including the 2014 Micro pictured above. This boat will also be available for sale at a special demo price of $19,700. Hope to see you there.

Monday, March 17, 2014

The Best Fly Fishing Video I've Seen In A Long Time

Turn off your phone because you have nothing better to do for the next sixteen minutes than watch this video.   It's called "Islands" and is just about as good as it gets.  It was shot on Christmas Island in the Seychelles and Cape Cod, Mass.  Filmmaker Peter Laurelli does a phenomenal job of blending the scenery from two legendary fly fishing destinations that are literally on the opposite side of the globe from each other.  There is some footage of giant trevally feeding at the seven minute mark that is absolutely jaw-dropping.
SIFF13: Islands from Peter Laurelli on Vimeo.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

The New 2014 Beavertail Elite: First Photos

Here are the first shots of the newest skiff from Beavertail with an full Kevlar cored hull and all carbon-fiber hatches.
The Elite hull is 17'8" and is rated for a maximum 90 horsepower. The base price for this combo, including a trailer, is $38,000.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Another 2/3rds Slam

John Mercer came down from the Panhandle to fish we me and landed this beautiful pair of trout and redfish but once again we couldn't nail a snook to complete the Slam. Buggers are being a real pain now that they're in season.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

The Bite Returns

Nick and Cathy Smith from Punta Gorda made it happen for me once again. They went home with a great bag of filets but we couldn't get a snook in the boat to complete the Slam. Next time.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Coming Soon: Beavertail Skiffs Free Demo Day On Matlacha

My friends from Aeon/Beavertail are hitting the road for their annual Grand Tour and bringing their newest boats along with them.  Their first stop will be in the Lower Keys next weekend for the annual March Merkin fly fishing tournament where the all new Kevlar-hulled Elite skiff will be on display. 

After that, it's up here to Matlacha on Saturday, the 22nd for a Demo Day at the Old Fish House Marina.  The 2014 Micro will be in the water for free test rides as well as a brand new Strike and BT3.  Best of all, you can stop by and meet company owners Will and Liz Leslie and talk construction and financing with them.  Keep checking back here and on the BT Facebook page for more details. 

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Gotta Love The Jacks

Gary Kester from PA landed this brute of a crevalle in the north part of Matlacha Pass.  What made this one an unusual catch was that it ate a hunk of ladyfish off the bottom while we were going for reds around the mangroves.  This is the first big jack I've ever seen caught like this but they're the most voracious species out there so it's not too surprising.  This was only a ten pounder and still took five minutes to land on 20# Power Pro.  When they get up to fifty pounds they're like reeling in a Seawolf Class submarine.  Awesome fish. 

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Wusthof Classic: The Best Filet Knife Ever

I've been using these German made knives the filet fish, and just about everything else, for ten years and haven't found anything better.  Their sharpness and flexibility is unbelievable, and that makes unzipping a tough species like redfish almost a breeze.  You can practically fly through a sea trout in less than a minute.  Wusthof is not cheap and the 7" Classic that I use retails for around $100, but this is a blade you'll have for many years so that's actually a bargain.   They also come with a lifetime warranty.  Buy yourself two, one for your boat and one for your kitchen. 

Sunday, March 2, 2014

A Big Red After The Cold

My buddy Rick Waller from Indiana came back to fish with me this weekend and scored this 26 1/2 inch red in the middle of the incoming tide today.  This beauty made up for the previous day when the water was still in the mid-60's and nothing wanted to eat.