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.