A typical morning for me means an early alarm and a 30 minute drive to the entrance of Everglades National Park... I can feel the stress and pressures of everyday life leave as soon as I enter those gates. The Park represents so many things to its patrons... I believe over 180 IGFA records were set within Park boundaries. Personally, my first Redfish and a maiden voyage on my first boat are a couple that come to mind. It is my office now and since then I have guided many hundred similar first-time feats and record testing catches. Unfortunately, the Park as we know it will change. Given the newest round of General Management Plan Alternatives offered by Park Officials and debated by influential groups, the changes could be minor or they could be extremely drastic. The decision could go either way and frankly, it scares me to death.
Large unmanageable Poll and Troll zones with ameba like boundary lines, three hundred foot buffer zones, elimination of existing marked channels, etc., etc... all are options endorsed by politically charged and powerful groups from around the country who believe they know best. Groups whose involvement and patronage of Park services are less than that of an average weekend fisherman. I am hopeful they are also listening to those of us who actually poll those flats or use those channels... more importantly, those who truly care about the well being of the Park and are willing to donate time/money for restoration efforts. What they will find is a group of anglers, paddlers, sightseers and birders who will own their responsibility in the Park's care... people who will gladly become stewards of this precious ecosystem and people who will help properly educate future generations.
How do you determine which direction to go or which method to use? For me, the tides and weather have as much to do with my game plan as the requests made by the day's guest. The good news is this time of year, there are hungry fish in every direction... in Whitewater, up the Coast, on the Cape and on nearly every Florida Bay grass flat. This week we truly went with the flow of things. The wind was blowing as it has for the last two months and it's direction changed as frequently as we changed lures. Fortunately, we were able to catch quality fish in spite of tough conditions.
Mikey needed help with a Florida Bay Sea Monster...
Steve caught this beautiful Florida Bay Redfish before the Sun started shining... it was tailing and crashing mullet.
Brian traveled all the way from Alaska to catch this tailing Redfish
Then, he upgraded to this over slot tailer.
Later in the week, Keith Peeples treated his nephews to some rod bending action in the back country. A hefty Tarpon gave Adam a run for his money before he gave back the hook.
Patience rewarded Jake with a beautiful Gulf Coast Redfish, his first... nearly taking him into the trees and powerpole, he worked hard to bring her to the boat.
This Spring is looking more promising by the day. Let's hope for calmer winds and warmer water! Until next week...
Last edited by Captbennyblanco; 04-23-09 at 03:40 PM.