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Post Fish Kill Honey Holes

Well I made a report this morning about the goon before hitting the water and had stated that the only reason I was really fishing it was because of the hit the Banana River took during the fish kill.. This morning's plan was to hit the goon but I got to thinking, it's about time I go check out some of my old spots and see how they are doing after the fish kill..

I was expecting to catch very little and expected crap water conditions but was surprised on both counts.. The water in the Banana is actually somewhat clean.. You can see bottom in 1-2 feet which is a hell of a lot better than it has been.. I started paddling up to my target area that like clockwork holds reds in the morning and snook in the afternoon.. As I approached, I saw tarpon rolling instead of reds busting mullet like I usually see.. I had a soft plastic rigged weedless and pitched it at em and it got hammered right away..



They were still rolling good even after catching the one so I staked out and jumped out of the yak and grabbed the long stick to see if I could stick one on fly... On my second cast at the poons I get a bump and set, and strip in a trout? :shrug Hey whatever, I'll take it lol



Couldn't get the poons to swipe at it so I moved on to the next target area and while poling the shoreline, I see a flash way back under the mangroves.. pitch to it and connect with the skinniest sickliest looking red I have ever seen..



Couple casts later I scored another, more healthy red from up under the groves..



Let him go, and out of the corner of my eye, I see more poons rolling.. I jump out, flyrod in hand determined to connect to one.. I'm casting at the pod and then about 10 feet behind them I see a big gray tail pop up.. Made the executive decision to haul a couple more times and put my redfish slider on the nose of a little big ugly... No clue how he got hooked in the chin, but he definitely hit it.. Great fight, got me right down the reel quick and I actually got to fight him instead of stripping him in..



At this point I realize.. I am a snook away from the 5 species slam.. I jump back in the yak and snook tunnel vision takes over.. Took about 5 minutes, skipped my plastic way back up under a pocket in the mangroves and pop a little guy... Little yes, but I finally accomplished the 5 species slam.. Been so close so many times but was finally able to seal the deal..



At this point my stoke levels are off the chart, not only for the slam but the fact that I caught two of the five fish on fly.. Might not seem like a big deal, but for me who is a complete novice on fly, it felt good! Took 5 and then tightened up the yak to start heading back to the launch.. I get about 10 paddle strokes in before I begin to see several black drum tipping and tailing.. I stake out, jump out, and after a few botched casts I connect again on fly.. Another awesome little fight..



The drum were still tailing away... I spent about 30 minutes trying to get another one on fly but thunderheads started popping up and the wind picked up and tails went away which was my cue to get the hell outta there.. A little late though, about 1/4 of the way through the paddle back I get hit with a really nasty cell.. Close lightning, hard downpour, the wind **** up to about east 25 which was putting the weather on my broadside, surfing 2-3 foot rollers which every 5th one was breaking over the side of the yak.. Got swamped 4 times and had to stop and jump out in the chaos and drain it each time.. Even ran over a 10ft-ish gator.. I was paddling and saw it up ahead and thought it was a log.. By the time I realized it was too late.. He didn't bolt until my rudder scraped his back and he took off in dramatic fashion.. Made it back in one piece thankfully but **** I'm whooped.. Had a blast, glad I decided to check on my old spots today instead of joining the zoo on mosquito lagoon..

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