Winter time, especially February, is my slow season. While the fishing can be phenomenal, we usually do not have as many visitors, this time of year. Fortunately, I received a call from a life long friend about a fishing trip. Rick Marcello, is starting up a performance fishing company, Hydor. While he is based near Atlanta, Rick informed me that he was going to be in Steinhatchee, Fl for a few days. A gap in scheduled charters allowed Capt. Jason Phillips and I to head over across the state for a chance to play with some new gear and some different fish!
Since this was a mini vacation we decided not to mess around with bait. We started out throwing Gulp jerk baits and Slayer paddle tails. Even with being new to the area, Jason found a nice sea trout almost right away.A few casts later, redfish was on the menu. Once again, it was Jason with the hot hand.As the pictures show, weather was not conducive to sight fishing. We both caught several fish and then decided to explore a bit further south. After making a run of less then a half mile, we started actually seeing bait and fish activity. Day one culminated with 10 nice redfish and close to 40 sea trout. It was a fun day for sure.
Day two was a little cooler and we had a heavy fog to start out with. We struck out with the new Hydor rods and reels and had similar results. A few casts in, and the fish were chewing againThe fish may not be… but I am looking forward to the full release of the Hydor Performance Fishing line. Between the rods, reels, and performance gear I am excited to watch Rick’s company grow. Thank you for a good excuse to get away for a few days, as well as, the sneak preview of the great things to come.
Wow! I can not believe how many great opportunities, to share fishing experiences, that I neglected to blog about last year. Well this trip has fueled the fire and I will be sharing many more this year.
Tuesday morning, I had the pleasure of sharing the water with Mark. This was our second trip out during his vacation in Flagler Beach. and we were greeted first thing by perfect conditions.
It only got better from there. After searching for less then ten minutes we saw a group of redfish feeding. We had a school of about 25 reds within casting distance. Mark caught one almost right away.He then proceeded to boat 3 more fish within 20 minutes. We easily landed ten fish in the first hour. This was turning into a morning to remember!After catching so many fish that we lost count, Mark landed a nice oversized redfish also. I sure am blessed to have great clients to share the water with. I can not wait to get back out there and do it again soon.
I received a call from Chad, a father, who wanted to take his two daughters fishing. Chad told me that it would be nice to catch dinner, but most important was for the girls to have fun.
It did not take long for Camryn to get us started with this nice redfish. The rest of the redfish seemed to have lock jaw so we moved on to another spot.
Camryn, struck first here also. It seemed as though it might be a long day for Kyleigh. It was not long before Kyleigh started getting the bites also.
The flounder bite was good for the next twenty minutes or so. Between the two, the girls brought in 8 flounder!
From here we moved on to fishing deeper water. The bite slowed down but we did manage a fun bonnethead shark. We also were able to follow 3 manatee for a short while so the girls could see them up close.
It has been over two years since Robert and I have fished together. Our first trip was stellar and I watched him catch upper slot redfish, black drum, and jack crevalle. It was more than obvious at the time that this young man loved to fish! That being said, the recent fishing had been a little slow and I was wondering how we would fair on this trip.
Robert was ready and put this fish in the boat less than 5 minutes into the trip!
From the start it appeared we were going to have another great day. After bending the rod with jack crevalle, we moved on to see about catching dinner for the family.
Robert’s first sea trout.
While we were scouting for redfish, Robert was casting a GrandSlam Baits 3″ paddletail on a 1/4 ounce jighead and hooked up this nice sea trout. I was surprised to find out that this was his first one, ever. As we were landing this fish, the redfish started feeding around us.
This is more than a pastime for Robert, it is an obsession. With his level of competency coupled with the fact that he has his own boat, fish beware – Robert is coming!
I have had the pleasure of fishing with Judi and her granddaughter Camryn since my first year as a guide. It is great seeing the bond that they share. The trips have changed over the years from enjoying the outdoors and some fishing to quite the competition!
On this trip the redfish they both love to catch turned out to be elusive. Dinner was still in order thanks to several flounder and mangrove snapper though.
I am not sure of the final count, but Cam sure was doing her part with the flounder. I always look forward to these trips. Every time out with these two ladies is an adventure remembered.
I, once again, had the pleasure of fishing with a friend and regular client, Mike. His daughter, Anna, was in from Seattle and she joined us also.
At our first spot they both caught several “puppy” drum. This same spot yielded sea trout, jack crevalle, and mangrove snapper. I think Anna caught the most! From here we moved on to targeting another drum.
Anna had to chase this one around the boat a few times before it finally made the net.
On our previous trip Mike boated a bonnet head shark. While we were planning this trip his main focus was to show Anna the back country and hopefully catch multiple species. As a special request, he asked that we try to catch a shark for his daughter also.
It was a real treat to have Ryan and his son, Nick, on the boat again today. As we were leaving the basin Ryan explained how this was a bachelor weekend for them as the girls in the family (his wife and two daughters) had gone on a trip to visit family.
This was Nick’s first fish about 5 minutes into the trip. He was quick to tell his father that he was in the lead for the day. After asking Nick if he was going to take it easy on Dad, since it was Father’s Day weekend, I was informed that was not going to be the case. The competition was on!
This guy came to win. He was quick to update the stats too. Even during the slow times he would remind us of the tally.
At the end of the trip, according to our score keeper, Nick pulled out the victory 9 to 4. Ryan was still all smiles. I could tell that this would not be the last time that he would be happy “losing” a competition to his son!
Thank you to all of the Father’s out there! I hope you have a great time with family this weekend.