Orlando Area Fishing Report from Spotted Tail 9/13/10
The Atlantic beckoned me twice in the past week. Actually it beckoned every day. I could only get out twice what with all the minutia of day to day existence nagging at me.
On Tuesday Scott Radloff and I went out of Port Canaveral. The weather was marginal, with storms all around us. The ocean conditions were calm for the most part. The wind changed direction at least five times while we were out, finally blowing at about 12 from the northeast.
We first checked right along the beach for mullet but saw none. Pelicans were diving about a half mile out so we went to investigate. There were large schools of menhaden there. Although while we were there we saw two tarpon roll, very few fish of any kind were working the baits. After fishing them without success for close to an hour we headed towards Cape Canaveral.
Again there were pelicans diving, and again a large school of pogies. We again saw a few tarpon roll. Scott hooked a spinner shark, which, as they usually do, spun right through his line. I got a smallish blacktip. Then all activity stopped. We tried for a while longer but got no more bites.
The weather was getting more threatening. In spite of that we searched some more but saw very little activity in the way of gamefish, in spite of large quantities of bait around. We put the boat on the trailer at about 1 PM, barely beating the rain.
Friday son Maxx and I took the Mitzi out of Ponce Inlet. We checked along the north jetty, where we saw a few tarpon roll. There was no bait there. We went looking for pelicans.
A mile or so south of the inlet there was a big school of menhaden. One toss of the net was sufficient to catch enough bait for several days of fishing. There were a few tarpon intermittently rolling. The bites we got were all from sharks though, blacktips. We caught several in succession, none of which were over about 40 pounds. Since we wanted tarpon we decided to run south and look for greener pastures. As we ran south the bait petered out and then there was nothing at all. We turned around and ran back to the bait schools.
I did hook a tarpon on our second attempt there, a fatty of at least 100 pounds. It took a half a menhaden. I had it on 10 minutes or so, got three spectacular jumps out of it, then the line went slack. The Albright knot I used to tie the bite leader (80 pound fluoro) to the main leader (40 pound nylon) had slipped out. This has happened to me many times over the years. I am so over the Albright special!
If any readers have a better knot for attaching heavy leader sections to lighter ones please share them. I’ll put the suggestions in a future report and give you credit of course. Heck, let’s toss in a book to the best answer. Judge’s decision is final!
One of the things I did with the little free time I had in Alaska was to read. Books! Really! The book I am currently reading that I started there is The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky. The book was originally published in the 1830s but some of the passages could have been written yesterday. One, which I found particularly relevant to the situation that we as a society find ourselves today, is as follows:
“The world says: ‘You have needs- satisfy them. Don’t hesitate to satisfy your needs, expand your needs and demand more.’ This is the worldly doctrine of today.
“Some claim that the world is gradually becoming united, that it will grow into a brotherly community as distances shrink and ideas are transmitted through the air. You must not think that men can be united in this way. To consider freedom as directly dependent on the number of man’s requirements and the extent of their immediate satisfaction shows a twisted understanding of human nature, for such an interpretation only breeds in men a multitude of senseless, stupid desires and habits and endless preposterous inventions. People are more and more moved by envy now, by the desire to satisfy their material need, and vanity. The result of all this is that today, when more material goods have been accumulated than ever, there is less joy.”
Philosophically I couldn’t be any more in agreement with his analysis, in spite of when it was written. If any readers would care to share their take on this I would be happy to include your response in my next report. I’ll send a book to the author of the best response! Judge’s decision final!
Fishing report for 9/17/10
OK, I’m sorry I’m late on last week’s report. Stop with the harassing phone calls already!
Sometimes circumstances prevent one from getting the report out every week. I wrote it on time. I just couldn’t get it sent out in a timely fashion. I apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused. I still want responses about the knot and Dostoevsky.
Scott Radloff joined me for some scouting on the Mosquito Lagoon yesterday. I had to scout since I hadn’t been there in months and I had a charter today.
The waves came over the bow of the boat as I cleared Haulover Canal. Yes, the wind was definitely blowing, SE at about 15 mph. We stayed on the east side of the lagoon, poling lee shorelines. We found reasonable numbers of redfish, all smaller slot fish, and each caught one on Johnson Minnows. Scott’s spoon was silver, mine was gold. By 11 AM I thought I had what I needed and we headed back to the boat ramp.
Today Brian Schreieber and his lovely wife Brenda joined me for six hours of redfishing on the Lagoon. The weather was much less windy than yesterday, a little warm perhaps but altogether a delightful day. We found a load of birds (wood storks, great and snowy egrets, a lone reddish egret, a couple dozen spoonbills, several cormorants, and a smattering of heron species, quite a spectacular collection) working a stretch of shoreline. Of course there were redfish there. Brian got four or five right there, again on a Johnson Minnow. We tried other places afterwards and picked up a couple more redfish, a ladyfish, even a rare (for the Mosquito Lagoon) lizardfish! We had several good shots at reds that weren’t converted, too. All the reds we caught were lower end slot fish, with one or two below the slot.
It’s fairly common knowledge that there’s a school of big spawner reds at the north end of the Indian River right now. There are also eight or ten guides fishing them. As much as I enjoy fishing for big reds, it loses all of its appeal when I have to dodge the other boats in order to get a cast in. Fly fishing them? Forget it, buddy!
So although I, like most other fishermen out there, prefer big fish I’ll happily fish the smaller fish and enjoy the solitude that comes with them. Thank you!