As the winds lightened up the catching picked up. Venturing offshore to the near-shore structure proved to be the right choice. Tossing both gold flake and root beer colored Cotee jigs produced several large snook. All three fish took the bait near the surface and within 15 feet of the boat. The relatively cold and windy weather had significantly reduced water clarity the previous week. It also likely reduced the feeding opportunities for these fish. The calmer wind and seas had allowed the surface temperatures to rise and the near-surface water to begin clarifying quickly. These hungry fish following baits into the warmer water just could not let it go even after seeing the boat. One other snook was lost just after the strike. It was interesting to note that not one snook strike occurred near the bottom.
Two juvenile Jewfish, in the 30lb class, were also pulled off the bottom testing the 12lb tackle. Two others freight-trained into the structure. We also had a very "early release" of a suspected "brown marlin", though we did not see the fish. This is encouraging as the cobia fishing has been very slow recently. Oddly enough, we came across but one lonely and now, sore-mouthed, tripletail.
Sunday, with the return of the winds, we turned our focus to the creeks. All the redfish and the "sandwich" snook were released. However, a limit of mangrove snapper caught on live shrimp ended up as a shore lunch on one of the tidal beaches. Tough to beat!!
The Everglades National Park and the 10,000 Islands are some of the most pristine and richest fisheries in the entire State. The opportunities to view the South Florida wildlife from your own boat, canoe or kayak are unmatched anywhere else. The right to use and access the Park should be vigorously defended so that our kids and grandkids can experience this wonderful place. I would encourage all to oppose any action that restricts your free boating access to these waters.
The US Fish and Wildlife Service is considering closing the waters in and around the Everglades National Park to all types of watercraft activity. The declared purpose is to provide the West Indian Manatee with additional refuges and sanctuaries. However, recent population studies show that the manatee population has been growing every year and that record high numbers were counted this last year. The existing programs are working!! Restricting the use of boats in and around the Park is unnecessary. It will only deny us all our right to recreationally enjoy the park and devastate the commercial enterprises serving the area.
Take action now to stop this regulatory process and insure that the EVERGLADES ARE FOR EVERYONE!!!
Remember, "MORE FISH ...LESS POLITICS"
Please send your comments supporting your continued boating access rights to:
Fish and Wildlife Service
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