Hurricane Rita skirted us to the south Tuesday and Wednesday. When these beasts pass that close they sure stir things up quite. Our shallow waters can get quite turbid, but luckily they also clear up just as quickly.
The Monday before the storm, I had a fly angler in from England for a few days. We had good day Monday with Rodger Luckin getting his first snook on fly. The tarpon elude him, unfortunately. As the weather was forecast to fall apart on Tuesday, we agreed that it would be best to take look and see what Sky-Boss delivered up. He really wanted to go "if at all possible" and stay on the tarpon till he got one.
Well, he may have wanted to go, but to his wife, who was destined to sit out the storm in our cabin, what he wanted did not amount to much ... Off they went to the Orlando area with Roger stumbling all over his lower lip. I now had Tuesday and Wednesday off.
Rita made things here were wet and breezy, but all in all, no too bad. Just before the sky opened up, I slipped the Maverick off the lift and fished very close to home to see if I could catch the pre-storm blitz like last year ... sure enough about an hour before the sky flooded, the place went off ... snook and small tarpon going nuts.
A school of snook had a large wad of minnows balled up on a corner of a creek out-fall and were working them hard and fast. The snook looked just like ladyfish when they blitzing baits on the flats breaching as they strike. The water was literally boiling with small snook eating anything around them. It took about 10 minutes of this action and noise and the poon-ettes joined in. About 75 yards away the same thing was happening to another pod of bait. The place was going nuts
Once I tied on the proper sized fly, it was non-stop action for a little over an hour. The rain started hard, I got cold and left... well not really, I left long before I got cold...cold is not part of my life ...I left the snook and tarpon still boiling on the baits.
The Thursday and Friday after the storm, the fishing was pretty bad. The water quality was awful and the wind was still howling pretty strong making the outside areas where we have been catch the large snook, reds and tarpon too uncomfortable to fish.
The “inside” water conditions were much better but the bite the snook bite was very poor. Anglers Tom Miller and Phil Guirado (New Jersey) fished hard for two days for these “locked jawed” snook. We were only able to get the smaller fish to take notice. The first two days we only raise two large snook.
The small tarpon, however, were ready to cooperate. These poon-ettes, were only about ten pounds, but there are still a blast. Both anglers got their share both days (That's Tom with one of his).
As Rita moved to the Gulf towards Texas and Louisiana, both sets of my Houston anglers evacuated there families in lieu of coming here … imagine that! Tom and Phil decided to try another day.
We left before day break as I had planned a long run to catch the tarpon on the feed at day break. Right on the poon-ettes did their thing. The guys did theirs also, putting eight fish in the air. We still struggled with the snook later in the morning.
Later in the afternoon, when we went back out, things began to pick up and Tom slammed with snook, tarpon and redfish, but the fish were all small. But in the scheme of the post storm circumstances, it was nice to see anything feeding.
I did not fish Sunday, but apparently, Sunday was a whole different world. A colleague fishing the outside with live bait, produced 10 nice snook for his anglers. It looks like things are back to normally.
This year there seems to be more tarpon in the 10 -50 pound class than I have seen in a long time. It is really going to make this fall special!!
Vickie and I are really tired of doing the hurricane shuffle and, all too often, I stay in Everglades when I shouldn't ... but sometimes it is all worth it when the fish go nuts like this...sorry you missed it Roger ... but at least you are still married.
I got some footage Tom and Phil catching the tarpon-ettes and should get it on the site shorty … keep and eye out. There is but five days left to register for the next fishing trip drawing. Also, as an incentive to try out our cabin in Everglades City, we have put together some attractive packages. We have a kayak fishing trip scheduled for Saturday 10/22 with a few spaces available for those interested.
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