The Everglades is a special place… it seems like another continent or planet. It’s a place where a sense of adventure is necessary and where anyone can simply get away from the rest of the world. It’s also a place where bonds are formed… clients who come aboard just acquaintances in the morning, leave great friends in the afternoon. There are very few other places or sports that can make the same claim.
When making arrangements with Jim Langone of Florida Sportsman for a trip to Islamorada last week, we discussed diversifying the types of fishing… bay boats one day, offshore boats another and skinny skiffs the last. It all sounded great, but it still bothered me. What a shame it would be to plan a trip to South Florida and not see the Everglades Back Country… so I made the call and effectively changed the trip from an ordinary fishing trip to a true Adventure.
We met at sun up the first morning on the Oceanside, behind the Chesapeake Beach Resort in Islamorada… I picked the four of them up in a 22’ Pathfinder XLTE. After quick introductions, we hit it… Twin Keys, Rabbit, Man of war, Clive… Flamingo. We met up with Capt. Jim Hobales at the Flamingo Marina, who had his Pathfinder XLTE ready and waiting on the Back Country side. Using Jim’s trailer, we quickly loaded and launched my Pathfinder on the other side… we split the FS group of four into parties of two and off we went deep into the Everglades Back Country. They were speechless… no cellular service and not another boat in sight. Although we caught tons of fish, the real adventure was the ride, the remoteness and the friendships formed. Pods of monster Tarpon, Snook, Redfish and big gator Trout… it was a day they will not soon forget. Undoubtedly, they will be back.
A special thanks to Ray Moreno for allowing me to use his new PF... it was a life saver.
They looked a little too comfortable... more like train robbers
We went offshore on a 32' Sea Vee with Capt. James Chappell (Bud & Mary's)...
Capt. Chappell putting on a clinic...
We caught Dolphin, Kingfish and Yellowtail Snapper... we also got rocked a few times on the bottom rod.
We were surrounded most of the day by scenes like this...
Nick & Vinny with a hefty Redfish.
With high hopes that Spring will bring lighter winds, I am very much looking forward to the weeks that come!