Tuesday, September 23, 2003
While every opportunity to be on the water is special. Every so often, I get to experience anglers who make the trip extra special. I had the pleasure of fishing with a Dr. Dan Mintz and his wife Marge of Miami. Dr. Mintz is pretty special is his own right. His research and successes in the field of diabetes has has a positive impact on the lives of many.
Before our first trip together this last March, Dr. Mintz had taken a long hiatus from fishing ...something along the order of 20 years. He had enjoyed fishing this area many times in years past. With rod in hand, he told me stories of catching his first tarpon in the Houston river, snook in Faxahatchee Bay, redfish in Choko Bay and so on. Most of his stories were older than a lot of us have been around (here at least!!) He had some great (and funny) stories to tell about fishing with his favorite guide ... some guy named Captain Doug House. I could listen to him reminisce all day.
After the passing of his first wife, he met and married a very special lady, Marge. Marge was a self-described non-boater, non-fisherman. The key word is "was". Our first trip together was a "break-in" trip for Marge. Some quick action with some trout, a "look" a redfish and a bit of time in a rookery with the camera was just what the doctor ordered. It made for a nice comfortable time for all ... no pressure, no stress and lots of fresh experiences for our "newbie" Marge.
For his birthday, (just her excuse!) we fished together again. He caught his first snook in "over fifteen years", as well as, a tarpon ...yes, in the Houston River. He jumped off another tarpon and several other snook. Dr. Mintz had a great morning, but the real excitement came from our (ex) non-boater. She was an absolute cheerleader ... hooting and supporting her team all the way. Not to be left out, she was right there rod in hand. Marge even showed us something Dr. Mintz and I called the "tarpon cower" . That's something you do when you are looking through the zoom lens of camera as a tarpon streaks at you and then jumps right at the lens. A true tarpon cower is accompanied by a blood chilling shrill! They were a blast and according to Marge ... "will be back very soon". Marge is no long a newbie. Personally, I can't wait until their next trip.
Fishing has been very good. Both snook and reds are biting well. The fish are usually big so, it may take some patience to catch some in the slot. Expect it to be this way for quite awhile …especially if the baits stay around.
If you would like to book a charter with Chokoloskee Charters, contact The Captain @www.ChokoloskeeCharters.com; (email@example.com) or call him @ 239-682-9920. Tight Lines!
Thursday, September 11, 2003
August has ended and so has the full rage of summer. But the midday heat can still put a damper on the bite so early mornings and late evenings will be the rule.
The still morning air usually begs for snook fishing with top water plugs. A bit of "walking the dog" by one angler with the other following with a jig or sub-surface plug has been productive on bigger fish. The commotion caused by the surface plug will get a nearby snook's attention and usually draw her in. However, many more will follow than will actually bite. Often, the submerged plug or jig will coax a reluctant reluctant follower to bite. The real trick is convincing your fishing partner that you are not just using him as chum and "stealing" his fish.
Please remember to take extra time to properly revive these fish. The water is warm so they will fight to near exhaustion. If released too early, they are an easy meal for the numerous sharks that are all the sharks that are still around.
Large white bait has been hard to come by with all the rain and runoff and most of the threadfins are pretty far offshore. However, finger mullet are pretty plentiful. A tank full of volunteers usually assures a good tide of snook fishing!!
By midday the snook will likely be in the shade, so remember the "five by five rule". Cast your bait five feet from the trees and catch a snook. Cast your bait five feet under the trees and catch five snook!!!
Around the last new moon we experienced some excellent tarpon fishing. Casting top water plugs to rolling fish in the passes, we jumped some of the largest fish in the summer. We generally were targeting big fish, so a little diligence was in order for a bite. However, few things are more exciting than catching a big tarpon on plugs. Put one of these dinosaurs in the air and you will know exactly what I mean ... the explosion on the surface, the scream of the line, the aerobatics of a 100+ plus shiner at the end of you line. I love this show!!!
Some of the best fishing this month and next is fishing the is small back water creek mouths for snook and tarponettes. This is perhaps some of the best saltwater fly fishing that you will find. I recently had several anglers come in from Naples fly fishing who put 11 in the air one creek. It was a blast!!!
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