Wekiva River - 6/27/2016

Yesterday afternoon I found myself with a few hours to kill, and wanted to get out and do a little fishing. Given that it would be in the heat of the day I thought it might be a nice change of pace to head over to the Wekiva River to find a bit of shade, some cooler water and possibly a few fish along the way.

After loading up the canoe and making the short drive to Wilson's Landing, I was in the water and paddling up-current with the idea that I would get as far up river as possible (or that I could endure), then drift back while casting along the shoreline. To say it was a bit warm and humid would be an understatement. I would paddle until my eyes filled with sweat and I couldn't see anymore, then find a nice big tree to sit under and drink some water.

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Once I felt like I was comfortably far enough upstream, I grabbed an ultralight spinning combo and tied on a small roostertail spinner bait. I love throwing these little roostertails, as they seem to attract many different species and allow me to cover a lot of water.

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I used to fish the Wekiva River with my grandfather when I was a kid. I recall that he wouldn't let me go fishing with him until I could cast a lure and land it on a trash can lid. While it certainly did improve my casting skills, I'm fairly convinced he primarily didn't want to spend the day retrieving lures out of trees. The scenery was just how I remembered it.

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It wasn't long before I had my first fish, a scrappy redbreast sunfish, come along the side of the canoe.

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This sunfish was followed by many more, as I continued cruising down the river. Unfortunately, given that it was the weekend, there was a lot of boat traffic at times that would disrupt the peaceful setting. Fortunately, it wouldn't take long for things to get quiet and settle back down, and the bite would resume.

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Some of the scenery is spectacular, and I often found myself just sitting under a tree or along a shoreline and taking everything in. It definitely had me wondering what kind of Florida my ancestors experienced back in their day.

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There was plenty of fishing action mixed in with the scenic views, and I lost count of the number of redbellies I caught along the way. There were a few small bass mixed in as well to mix things up a bit, and I saw a number of large gar that would have really made things interesting on the ultralight tackle.

For the majority of the time the water was clear, which made for some great sightfishing. I had an absolute blast watching the fish rush out of the eelgrass and take a swipe at the little roostertail flashing along in the clear water. Even though all the fish were small, they did put a spirited fight on the light tackle and the swift current added a little to the challenge as well. I was amazed at the colors of the fish every time I brought another one up.

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After a few hours of fishing, relaxing and reminiscing of days spent with my grandfather, some building clouds in the west accompanied by some rumbling thunder provided a cue that it was a good time to pack things up and paddle back. Even though I brought along a couple of other rods and lures, I ended up using the same rod and roostertail the entire day. I can't remember the last time I did that. I guess that garbage can lid exercise paid off.

Replies

  • The VilleThe Ville Posts: 457 Deckhand
    Very scenic place thanks for the post.
    It's not my job to provide your education look it up yourself!
  • GotBass?GotBass? Posts: 202 Deckhand
    Wow, really cool pictures! Looks like a fun time. Thanks for sharing..
  • capt louiecapt louie citrus countyPosts: 9,702 Moderator
    I absolutely love doing that ! Especially with ultra lights and /or a flyrod. Excellent photos.

    Thanks for the post.
    "You'll get your weather"
  • smhsmh Posts: 232 Deckhand
    Thanks for sharing your trip with us. Great photos! I also enjoy float trips in the canoe, fishing for panfish for a change of pace. It's a great reminder that you don't need a high-dollar boat or loads of expensive gear to have a great day on the water.
  • NSB PhotogNSB Photog Posts: 474 Deckhand
    Thanks all for the kind words. I definitely agree that sometimes we fisherman do get wrapped up in the desire for high dollar boats and expensive gear. I know I'm guilty of it as well, which is why I periodically force myself to keep it simple and just enjoy the experience. I'm thankful to know that sharing the experience could possibly inspire others to do the same.
  • Alex from GAAlex from GA Posts: 1,274 Officer
    Last winter my wife and I drove along the Wekiva River and I said it was too bad I didn't bring a kayak and a rod or two. Great pictures, thanks.
  • SC53SC53 Posts: 406 Deckhand
    Awesome pictures as always Tom
  • RealSeabeeRealSeabee Posts: 583 Officer
    Outstanding photos. Love doing the same...
    When Practice meets opportunity, Set-The-Hook!
  • mplspugmplspug Palmetto FloridaPosts: 7,456 Admiral
    Those photos got me jonsing to rent a canoe and take my ultralight down the river. I am a transplant and have never caught a red breast, but I enjoy nature and those things are very pretty. Thanks for the report.

    Captain Todd Approves

  • gator4evergator4ever Posts: 2,541 Captain
    Wekiva is one of those OMG places in our state.
    "sometimes it's OK just to kill a little time" my grandpa 1972
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