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East Cape report 12/23/17

Today I ran back to East Cape from Marathon with the hope of using the fly rod. The wind was up to start and the ride across Florida Bay was wet and bumpy but I was able to see a fat triple tail laying under a trap bouy about half way across Florida Bay. I threw a small tan and white clouser at him and he went after it! The fish came from underneath and launched 3 feet in the air trying to get the fly. Ive heard of triple tail jumping but this was the first time I've ever witnessed it myself. After all that excitement he missed the fly completely and decided to sink back to the depths without a second look.

I continued on and it got less bumpy the closer I got to the mainland. Once there I went into East Cape Canal and caught the last part of the outgoing tide with 73 degree water. I fished one of the small creeks draining into the canal by anchoring up at the mouth of it just far enough to be able to cast at the edges. Once the motor was shut down everything got quiet for a moment then I heard a swirl of water as a fish boiled up along the bank. The small glass minnows showered up trying to escape whatever was assaulting them from below. I started off using jig heads with live shrimp and casting at either side of the creek mouth. I worked the shrimp ever so slowly and it wasn't long before I felt the "thump" and had a fish on. A small snook came leaping out and it was nice to have success so quickly even if he was only half a snook. I caught a few more using the same method before I switched over to the fly rod. I used the same tan and white clouser minnow that I tried on the triple tail and I cast it close to the bank as I could. Working it slowly in the areas where I saw the glass minnows resulted in an immediate bite and I had my first snook on fly. Again only half a snook but I really didn't care how big he was.

The fish were really becoming active and I was starting to hear swirls and pops all over. Tarpon where rolling in the middle of the canal and snook were relentlessly attacking the glass minnows along the edges. I hooked my third snook on fly and as he was coming to the boat all of a sudden he seemed to grow a bit. After a brief and unexpected tug of war, a literal half a snook came up and it appeared the sharks had arrived. I dropped what was left of the snook in the water and it wasn't long before three 6 ft bull sharks began swimming behind the boat darting back and forth looking for more food.

I figured with the shark issue it was time to move and look for bigger fish. I checked a few more creeks but the tide had gone slack and the activity seemed to diminish. My wife hooked a more respectable snook which jumped off at the boat before a picture could be taken.

I staked up at one last creek using the push pole on my skiff. The bottom was mud for about a foot and then hard rock. I wasnt able to get the pole in far but I hoped it was enough to hold... It was not. As I was sitting there minding my own business and casting at the shoreline, the push pole released from the mud and it's buoyancy caused it to skyrocket right into the side of my face. Usually I'm pretty hard headed but as I went to rub the pain away, the blood that showed revealed that my head was not as hard as I thought. KO by push pole was a new one for me.

I then ran down to First National Bank via Sandy Key Basin and found DIRTY water. The tide was right with 74 degree water and the flats were just starting to flood but due to the wind and the white water, sight fishing was deemed impossible. I ran back to Marathon and found one more triple tail which gave me a solid follow on the fly but wouldn't commit.

All in all a fun day and as always I can't wait to get back there.9c79dc7ae15e42e6fa9d65d39ff82177.jpgc3ae02d534b613c5e5ed97410c43ddd7.jpg6e6f53a550b7a840b0c971ac90722caa.jpgc1fec93b62cd0f480eba3b964d121436.jpg5550b18caf34e0822c4f445cbc94d4b8.jpg

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