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Everglades City 3/15

Drifting_ByDrifting_By ChicagoPosts: 154 Deckhand
After a horrible day getting skunked in Rookery Bay Saturday that had me thinking I no longer know how to fish I headed to the Everglades today. Launched from the Gulf Coast Visitors Center in Everglades City and paddled out to the oyster bars across the bay; arriving during high tide. 

Right away I caught a nice 21" redfish that went in the box.  A few minutes later caught another about the same size which was released. I had scouted a route on Google Earth to some ponds I thought might hold trout, and since I had my redfish I figured I'd take the trip. The first pond was dirty and had a soft bottom, so I didn't waste much time there.  There was a narrow opening to the 2nd pond with good current so I threw a Gulp shrimp under a popping cork into it to see if anything was home. It was getting hits, and felt like good size, but no hookup. I eas hoping for a snappier but when I finally did hook it it was a baby goliath about 20" long. It was of course released. 

Moved on to the next pond, dirty and muddy as the first.  One more to go and I wasn't hopeful because it looked like the worst one on Google Earth. But it was clean with a hard bottom and patches of grass. Started drifting across throwing the same 3" paddletail I caught the redfish on and after about 5 casts caught a 16" trout.  Switched to the popping cork and Gulp shrimp and it took about 10 minutes to find the school again. They were in there thick and ravenous, every cast was producing and after throwing back some shorties I had 2 more keepers. If the limit was 20 I think I could have reached it, they were packed in there. 

From that point I planned to fish for snook on the way to Sandfly Pass. Caught another goliath a bit smaller than the first but then the tide was starting to come in earlier than I expected. I didn't want to get  caught in that narrow creek battling a ripping current so I just headed to the pass and rode the current back into the bay and back to the launch. 

All in all it was a great day! It wouldn't have been possible for me to have such success in unfamiliar territory without all the great tips I learned from you guys on this forum, so thanks to all of you! 

Replies

  • Drifting_ByDrifting_By ChicagoPosts: 154 Deckhand
    edited March 2020 #2
    Oh and a weird incident on the way back. A few hundred yards from the launch I noticed a trail of large mud clouds in the water leading directly under my kayak. Suddenly the water exploded, I got splashed, and there was a trail of mud streaking away. Whatever it was was huge, I don't know who was spooked more me or it lol.

    I'm guessing a very big stingray? 
  • 1outlaw1outlaw Naples FLPosts: 1,646 Captain
    Great report! I was out yesterday as well.... Launched from calusa and headed south. Havent fished in about 5 weeks and the tide was a slow outgoing so really didnt expect much... Ended up doing well with the reds and then focused on finding trout and finally locating them and just had a blast for a few hours. Good day and good weather!

    Thanks for posting!  
    Jason :USA
  • backyardhockeybackyardhockey Posts: 146 Deckhand
    Twice last week I got pulled around, big, by something. The second time it jumped.  Large ray. It was very cool
  • L8RBRAL8RBRA Posts: 792 Officer
    Oh and a weird incident on the way back. A few hundred yards from the launch I noticed a trail of large mud clouds in the water leading directly under my kayak. Suddenly the water exploded, I got splashed, and there was a trail of mud streaking away. Whatever it was was huge, I don't know who was spooked more me or it lol.

    I'm guessing a very big stingray? 
    May that could have been many things. How deep was the water?

    Sounds like you have a nice little adventure out there. Congrats
  • JW_YakAnglerJW_YakAngler NaplesPosts: 295 Deckhand
    Oh and a weird incident on the way back. A few hundred yards from the launch I noticed a trail of large mud clouds in the water leading directly under my kayak. Suddenly the water exploded, I got splashed, and there was a trail of mud streaking away. Whatever it was was huge, I don't know who was spooked more me or it lol.

    I'm guessing a very big stingray? 
    There is a hole just off that launch where a family of manatees sleep. If you launch when it is still dark and pass right over it you will get the scare of your life. I launched there on Tuesday and there was a school of about 10 over slot redfish about 50 yards from the launch. They wouldn't eat gulp, so my guess is they were keyed in on crabs since it is just mud bottom there. I ended up catching two 22 inch reds inside one of the smaller unnamed creeks near sandfly pass, then got a trout and a smaller red right inside sandfly, and finally a small black drum and a snook on the oyster bars in the bay.
    My YouTube channel: JakeW KayakFishing
  • lemaymiamilemaymiami Posts: 4,456 Captain
    Manatee can move a lot quicker than you'd ever guess if you spook one... The usual signature is a series of mud boils if it's really shallow - in a bit deeper water you'll see a series of surface boils as they scoot away -each one was a beat of those very big tails....  I really like to see manatee in the rivers I fish in winter and early spring since they have the exact same temperature requirements as the big tarpon do (at least that's been my observation over the years...).  If I don't see an occasional manatee in a 'glades river when it's colder - I don't expect to see the tarpon at all.
    Tight Lines
    Bob LeMay
    (954) 435-5666
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