in to flats fishing
I am back. Not that I went anywhere. I did make a few fishing trips
but that was not the reason that I have missed some updates on the
site. I had the idea for this article soon after I posted the June
article. I am still working out some of the site function and hope
to simplify the process of adding new content. Enough of this.
Step 1: Go do it
Going back a little more than a year I am recalling how I returned
to fishing the waters of my youth. I am not sure why I ever quit and
surprised I was not more active when there were no real responsibilities
to keep me away from it. When I look at the concerns of anglers today
and how much the fishery has changed (not for the best I think) there
is no doubt that I missed the real 'glory days' of salt water fishing
in Florida. So, too many years later, I have some catching up to do.
My first forays back to slat water angling were in the Florida keys
with a fly rod chasing tarpon and bonefish. This may not have been
the easiest way to return to fishing salt water. I use a fly rod on
mountain streams for trout but it is different in many ways. I found
myself trying to learn new tackle and hoping to make a decent cast.
If you have fished the Keys you may be familiar with the wind on the
ocean side (if not you may be living right). Spotting fish was not
that difficult but getting opportunities to make a presentation was
less likely. Still, I was immediately hooked. Just the act of fishing
would have been enough. Add to that the incredible blue water, beautiful
grass flats and an island mentality. There was no doubt I would repeat
this as soon as possible. Take that first trip and there is a real
possibility that you will have a strong urge to repeat your adventure.
Step 2: Find a fishing buddy
I had to think about this second step for a while. I am not sure what
could have kept me from doing more flats angling after the Keys trips.
In a couple of three day trips I had not a single hook up (not counting
an instant that a smaller bridge tarpon hit my last resort bonefish
fly). I was inclined to say 'practice' or maybe having some successful
outings. I think having someone who shares your interest, adds to
the fun. I fish alone on many occasions but catching that big fish
is always better when someone else can see it with you. I usually
am much better about getting an early start if I have the commitment
of meeting a fellow angler.
Any angler will do. It should be someone who you don't mind spending
some time with. But better still would be to find a fishing partner
who knows what they are doing. This was a key for me. I did not set
out to do this. On one of my first trips out I met an angler that
I immediately recognized as someone how knew what they were doing.
I fished wit others on several occasions but made it a point to try
to spend any time I could asking questions and observing how this
angler found fish, presented lures, what equipment was used. I have
had the opportunity to do this in the past when I began to learn about
stream fishing in North Georgia. By my fourth trip I had caught the
first redfish in my life and it was a very respectable 27 inches.
I fished the hole that that my knowledgeable partner discovered and
using the same lure. I learned quite a bit that day. My last several
trips down I located my own fish. In a recent tournament I had the
third largest red (28.5 inches), a month later I landed a fish that
was about 30 inches. Last month I was down and located a school of
reds that I put several other anglers in our group on and ended the
day with two reds 30 inches and another five slot sized fish. Fishing
with others encouraged me to continue even when success was just avoiding
the skunk. Having others to learn from brought success much faster
than my trial and error would have.
This is where we will stop for now. In the next article I will talk
Let me know what you think.