Sunday, July 12, 2015

First few days in Florida

Yesterday I woke up in New Brunswick early and was on the road at 5:30 AM.    At 5:30 PM I was in a kayak in Melboure, Florida!   Meeting up with fellow Adventure on the Water Pro-Staff Mike Conneen, we set off in search of my first fish in Florida, possibly a snook, gar,  tarpon or one of a few other species.

If you do nothing else, watch some of this video starting at the 1:20 mark!!!

What a magnificent experience this first outing was!  I was constantly on the look out for gators, as they are all over the place down here, and paddling through thick brush I was somewhat nervous.   Mike caught a very cool looking Mayan Cichlid right off the bat but that was all we landed for a little while. 

Eventually we made out way into a sanctuary where massive manatees were swimming all around.  These things are huge!   It would be trivial for one to pop up and flip us in the kayak, but that would never happen on purpose.   Mike tells me unless you could scare one early in the morning in shallow water which could lead to a flipped kayak, but they are not at all aggressive animals.

Right in the middle of several manatees I finally got a hit from a tarpon, and then a short time after I hooked a nice one.   The tarpon took my lure and ended up running under a log, where I couldn't get him out.   Eventually the line broke and he got away.    Determined not to go home empty handed I finally hooked into a third, which I finally landed.   It wasn't as big as the second fish that hit, but it was about 20 inches.    3 hits and a landed fish in a couple hours isn't bad for my first attempt at a tarpon!

Day 2

Today I got out with Mike and a few others in Indian River Lagoon, near Titusville, FL.   The goal was to catch some nice reds.   There were tons of mullets swimming around, which I learned are algae eaters, and despite being all around, are next to impossible to catch.    Chasing the mullets are sea trout, reds, and black drum.    The lagoon is huge though the average depth is only 3 feet, which makes for a very different fishing experience than anything I've ever had before!

From time to time during the morning, I spotted stingrays and horseshoe crabs in the water.   The biggest stingray that swam under me I estimate was a little more than 2 feet wide.    Very neat!

I did manage to catch a 14 inch sea trout, and hooked but lost another fish.    Mike caught a few reds, a few trout and a pinfish, but overall it was slow fishing this morning.  

That is it for the fishing till next weekend, when a big group of Pro-Staffers will gather for some epic group kayak fishing.    It is going to be amazing!   Till then I'll be working the floor all week at ICast!

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