Fortunately, the fish don’t know about bombs and war and biological viruses. Despite all the crap thats going on in the world, fishing has been doing wonders keeping our minds off it all. The winter fishing is getting started early it would seem. Sailfish have started showing up, the spinner sharks have started moving into the area and the ladyfish, jack crevalle, bluefish, spanish mackerel and tarpon have all been putting on a good show. Sundays trip had beautiful weather, and some of the biggest schools of ladyfish I’ve seen in many a year. Armed with a livewell full of baitfish to throw, the fireworks the acre sized schools of ladyfish put on were truly spectacular. And nice fish too, averaging two to four pounds, great light tackle fare. Lots of small jacks also took part in the chum-fest, and the occasional barracuda put in an appearance long enough to decapitate some poor, hooked fish. Very entertaining. Monday, however, brought in our first “wind event” of the winter season. Winds have been averaging over twenty knots with gusts up into the thirty five knot range. That translates into seas running huge, like eleven to fourteen foot waves crashing the beach, and even larger waves in the Gulf Stream. Inside fishing is still ok, there’s always someplace out of the wind to catch some fish. It already shows signs of slacking off, things should be back to fishable by the weekend. In the long run, a little bit of a blow is good. First, it gives the fish a rest from the fishing pressure, mixes up the water and blows in new groups of fish. I’m sure there will be skipjack and probably blackfin tuna around when things calm down and more dolphin should also push in. The tarpon should remain in the area into december when we start getting noticeably cooler water temps. About the time they get too cold to play, we should have plenty of spinner sharks to throw at, easily as tough or tougher a fighter as tarpon, they just eat flies soooooo much better.
Our winter weather patterns are getting started, and the winter fishing is getting started as well. Temperatures are cooling off and the wind is picking up. Ladyfish, jacks, tarpon and dolphin have been the mainstay. At the time of the last writting, there was a good wahoo bite going on. Well, I never had a chance to go play with them at all. My trusty Yamaha that had served above and beyond the call of duty,(hell, I’d been driving the thing like a jetski for the past five years) decided to give up the ghost. So, it took a week or two to get the new Yami bolted on and adjusted right, and by that time the ‘hoos had moved on, or out, or where ever it is that they go. But, as I sit here watching the north wind blow, the cold front that plowed through just brings to mind that the sailfish should be along shortly to take the wahoo’s place. And a sailfish is considerably easier to get on fly than a wahoo. And just about the same time, my new best friends from last year, the spinner sharks will arrive also. A couple of notes. First, after the WTC attacks, everyone is going to find traveling with fly rods a challenge at best. I’m sure all you other fly flingers enjoy watching your rod case dissapear into the belly of a plane about as much as getting a root canal. Keep in mind, I have all the rods, and both right and left handed reels anyone could hope for. Thats what they are here for, so please, feel free to use them. Secondly, if the reservations coming in are any indication, Florida is going to be a prefered fishing destination over going abroad until we get the semblance of sanity in the world again. Reserve your dates asap. For those of you who are not aware, I’m personally living vicariously through my customers. My right arm is out of the game until further notice. I have a serious affliction that affects fly fishing guides in a very localized area of southeast florida. This insidious ailment is caused by trying to throw small baitfish as far as you can, and after months of continued abuse, I’ve come down with a serious case of chummers elbow. A close relative of tennis elbow. Very annoying, very slow to heal,(this has been going on for about six weeks now) and incredibly easy to re-injure. But not only is chumming season just about over and the damn thing should get a rest, but I’m hitting about sixty to seventy feet casting lefty. It’s almost like starting my fly career all over. Very inept feeling, I’ve gotten to catch my first left handed dolphin, ladyfish, snook, and jacks. Haven’t been able to get a left handed tarpon just yet, but that’ll happen shortly.