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Santa Fe river paddle 3/21

Didn't feel like driving to the gulf this weekend and the weather was beautiful so we threw in the canoe at the 441 "boat ramp" and paddled up to River Rise, with a heavy emphasis on drinking beer and eating snacks, and casting small topwater chuggers, hard plastics, and jigs. If you aren't familiar with the area, the Santa Fe river actually goes underground for quite a ways. It goes under at O'Leno state park, and comes back out of the ground at River Rise state park, a few miles away. It's a no-motor zone once you get into the park I think. Pollen was everywhere making a buff as much of a filtration device as a sun blocker. The water was somewhat low, but fairly clear for that area, and especially considering all the heavy rains we had recently. The fish weren't biting. We didn't even get a nibble until the last 10 minutes of our paddle. I hooked up a few nice bass on the topwater chugger. All of the topwater takes were very difficult because they weren't big blowups, just subtle takes that were hard to recognize because you couldn't see or hear them, you just suddenly had tension on the line. We lost more fish than we caught, but we caught 4 or 5 in quick succession, mostly small shellcrackers. The day wasn't really about fishing anyway, just an excuse to get out and enjoy a beautiful day. I think it was pretty windy on the coast anyway, but you wouldn't have known it way up in this shallow water creek. It was a good diversion.



  • Little_GeneLittle_Gene Posts: 371 Deckhand
    Sounds like a heck of a day Jim!

    My last paddle on the Santa Fe was Valentines day a few years back. Hot as heck, and decided to go for a swim. Till my Ex stated "check out that log that looks like it's coming at us" To which my response was "Hold on I'm getting back in the boat". Dang yankee city girl didn't know what a gator looked like. :rotflmao
  • Jim311Jim311 Posts: 4,961 Captain
    Most of the gators are small around here at least!
  • Little_GeneLittle_Gene Posts: 371 Deckhand
    It was an honest 5-6'. I don't care if 90% of the time they go the other way when approached. Murphy likes me too much with stuff like that to chance 10% :nono

    Between that and the idiots that like to feed them.
  • Jim311Jim311 Posts: 4,961 Captain
    A 5 footer probably just wanted a little taste! The smaller ones tend to be foolish and curious. I still don't hesitate to swim in the river, but the dark water freaks a lot of people out :)
  • Wishin i was fishinWishin i was fishin Posts: 986 Officer
    It's nice to change things up occasionally. We took the boat up the oklawaha Sunday so my wife and the instructor she takes art lessons from could do some photography for future painting projects. It was a nice change of pace!
  • BakermanBakerman Posts: 1,222 Officer
    I was on the Santa Fe back in October 15 and saw a 8 footer on the bank. There are gators there. It was across from one of the parks where people float down on inflatables.
    Bakerman formerly known as Bakerman.
  • Jim311Jim311 Posts: 4,961 Captain
    Oh they're there for sure but they avoid people and I have never once heard of any confrontations in this area. During the summer there are so many people on the river that I think they just hide out somewhere to be left alone.
  • Grady-ladyGrady-lady Posts: 5,282 Admiral
    I know what you mean - it's really just a great way to get out and enjoy a beautiful day. Looks like a wonderful day! I went to a very small local lake last week and the baby bass (10-12") tore up a fat purple worm. Mr gl prefers topwater but I prefer weedless rigged rubber worms.
    I find my peace out on the sand...Beside the sea, not beyond or behind. R.A. Britt

  • Jim311Jim311 Posts: 4,961 Captain
    Bass can't resist worms or flukes!
  • capt louiecapt louie Posts: 10,903 Moderator
    Nice day , I'll be doing Salt Springs tomorrow.
    "You'll get your weather"
  • Jim311Jim311 Posts: 4,961 Captain
    capt louie wrote: »
    Nice day , I'll be doing Salt Springs tomorrow.

    Love that area, I have long standing family history there.
  • Grady-ladyGrady-lady Posts: 5,282 Admiral
    capt louie wrote: »
    Nice day , I'll be doing Salt Springs tomorrow.

    You will regret it!! :grin

    The last Saturday of spring break for Marion County, Easter weekend...think a Saturday at the ramp at Ft Island Trail park, scallop season. Ok, slight exaggeration maybe, but close. :)
    I find my peace out on the sand...Beside the sea, not beyond or behind. R.A. Britt

  • Jim311Jim311 Posts: 4,961 Captain
    I wonder if it's because of people going out to party at Silver Glenn. Never been there myself but hear it can get wild.
  • Grady-ladyGrady-lady Posts: 5,282 Admiral
    Probably right.

    We used to take the kids to the Glen frequently but avoided holidays and summer weekends. Haven't seen the craziness but I've heard of it. Here are a few photos from a couple years ago - I spent the day on Lake George with our youngest son, his wife and our daughter - the other menfolk were working, so sad.

    Think I've posted these before, but all three of those young'uns are accomplished bow fishermen and fisherwomen.

    Daughter and dil near the headwaters of the Glen - beautiful, huh?...the water too. :grin

    Near the mouth of Silver Glen run - much shorter than Salt Springs Run.

    Same day, near the mouth of Salt Springs Run.

    One of the working menfolk joined us in the afternoon - also Salt Springs Run.
    I find my peace out on the sand...Beside the sea, not beyond or behind. R.A. Britt

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