Back from the Dirty south and it was EPIC!!!! Despite being early for the running of the big red bulls there were plenty of local drums around the bang on. I would like to ramble on and tell a story but I’ve been beating keys on the computer for 2 weeks compiling film and editing photos. Enjoy a few pics.
Ryan and I are heading down to the Georgia coast today to fish and film tailing Reds in the grass with Capt. Jason of Skinny Water Charters. How many times do you think I’m gonna try to trout set on tailing Reds before Capt. Jason kicks me right in the junk…my guess is three. Let you know how it goes.
05/07/2010: The Florida Stink EYE!!
It wasn’t a record-breaking day in numbers on in size like I would have hoped. But I did get my first taste of the previously elusive Red Drum. This was the 2nd trip I have done with El-Capitan Lemmon and I won’t hesitate to book him again when I get the chance to come back to Fla. Getting the opportunity to see, cast to, and miss countless reds varying in sizes from 2 pounds to 30 pounds is what is keeping me up at night thinking of the next trip to the Lagoon. The opportunities were there and I have to admit I missed a few good shots. Casting was not a problem with Nate positioning the boat so the wind was at my back. Each cast so beautiful that anyone watching must have thought they were being thrown by the Greek God Zeus himself. Being able to thrown out every inch of fly line on my reel is something I don’t get to do everyday. It still amazes me to think how smart these fish are. Thanks again to Captain Nate for bringing his big long black stick and poling me around for the day.
Me, Happier than a pig taking a Mud Bath after eating 3 day old doughnuts.
I did learn a vital lesson on this trip which helped me concur my arch rival, the STRIPPING BASKET. After tangling my fly line twice, which is very hard to do, I turned to Nate and told him he better start acting like a guide and guide me around this god for saken stripping basket. I was stripping out line and dumping it into the stripping basket and then making my casts. When I needed more line for the following cast I would pull line off the reel and wind it into the stripping basket. What was happening was that I would always end up with line in the basket going two different directions ending up in some form of knot. The solution was cast out most if not all the line and start stripping line into the basket leaving only line going in one direction. It made perfect sense. One would think someone would put directions on or in the stripping basket.
The journey began quite a few months ago when my wife and I decided to join my parents on their annual, sometimes bi-annual trip to Cocoa Beach Florida. Now don’t get me wrong I love traveling, the beach, and my family. BUT I hate traveling because our airlines are just out to steal all of our money by nickel and dime’n us like a family of 5 on a trip to Disney Land. I HATE YOU MICKEY MOUSE YOU BIG EARED PIEACE OF #$@@!! The beach was great when I was 12-16, in shape, chasing girls, drinking my beer, and dabbling in some home grown. Now I am restricted to a beach chair with the other overweight married men looking through their dark sunglasses at the pretty girls. Sitting for hours on the beach not realizing their stomach is glowing painfully with the color of a…humm lets see time to be creative… use your imagination here…how about a freshly shaved stripper who just spent the night sliding up and down the pole and rubbing her ass and thighs all over everything like a dog in heat with an itchy ass. That should paint a pretty picture of a nice round red belly, anyways. Ryan grew up in Florida and still has some familia’ down that way so he decided to make a visit. We decided to find a guide and hit some water after some Red Fish. Ryan found, what turned out to be, a good old West Virginia boy to do the guiding.
After what seemed like 2 weeks, the end of family time came and Friday we set out at 5am for Mosquito Bay where Nate would be waiting on us with the boat. After a 15 minute delay for speeding and a 10 minute conversation with Habib at McDonalds we made it. How the hell do you hire someone to work the drive through in America, where the dominate language is english, that speaks piss poor english is beyond me. He even screwed up the coffee. For Christ’s sake its water, coffee, filter, and push start. The Police officer was pretty cool, even though Ryan had to show off his gun, badge, and play “I’m a Policeman too.” The first words out of the officers mouth were, “I’m going to give you a warning,” but NOOOO that wasn’t good enough. Ryan had to make it known that he was packin’ more than fudge. Dammit Ryan it’s all your fault!!!!
So we arrived at the dock only about 12 minutes late. Found Nate already in the boat waiting. The first words out of his mouth were, “There are already 13 boats on the water, Hurry the F-up.” Nate did not know at this point that Ryan had injured his dainty little ankle the previous Saturday with Mitch. Ryan and I unloaded the truck, or rather Ryan laid everything on the ground and I carried it all to the boat while he went and parked the truck. The boat was loaded, “Where the F is Ryan,” said Nate. “He is the one with the gangster lean just coming into sight,” I said. I could feel Nate’s pain. 2 guys, 1 (Me) with no saltwater experience and the other with limited salt experience, blind in one eye, and only one good leg. Boat loaded and off we went speeding into the night.
I can’t describe, nor can I show you pictures because we only took video of everything, the beauty of Florida’s bays and lagoons early in the morning. Pink sky, birds everywhere, fishing jumping, dolphins hunting, and only the sound of the ocean crashing waves. Now despite us getting skunked on reds Capt Nate knows his shit. He put us right in position on a school of 300 plus reds, in the dark, with a section of lagoon all to ourselves. Also he basically push poled us around for 8 hrs. Ryan being the PIMP that he is granted me the 1st casts into the school that we had been watching from a distance of about 100 yards. Nate high up on his perch with his big 20 ft long black stick got me into position and yelled out in good South Park style, “THERE COMING RIGHT FOR US!!!” Well, not really, but it would have been funnier if he had. These fish sense everything from sounds to vibrations. You can’t move or talk during the stock and casting was like being rushed to put your pants back on because your 15 yr old girl friends parents were coming home and you gotta get the Fuuuuc$ out! So there I was standing on the front of the boat with my Sage 8 wt rod and reel with some crazy looking salt water fly that didn’t have an ounce of weight to it that I expected to cast out 60-70 feet without hitting Ryan, Nate, or myself in the face. Which would prove even harder later in the day when the wind picked up. Here they came, 1st cast…..”Short 10 ft and 5 ft left,” Nate said, high up on his perch seeing everything that I couldn’t. 2nd cast “Short 10ft and good direction,”. Granted I did see the fish, and I knew it was a big school of fish but what I was focused on was about 10 fish, who where turning sideways and tailing. So on the 3rd cast I made my distance but was left about 2 feet of my target. My fly hit the water and about 2 seconds later so did my fly line and SPLASH!!!!! 300 or so red fish took off and made a wake that looked like someone flew over with a helicopter and dropped a refrigerator in the water. Scared the living shit out of me. Synchronizing fish leaving nothing but my fly in the middle surrounded by a horseshoe shaped wave going in the opposite direction. Not knowing what to do I stripped back, thinking to myself this is what’s supposed to happen. After about 4 strips I felt a tug and FISH ONNNN!! My first sea trout or asI like to call them a brown trout with fangs. Those things can fight and they are mean looking. Ryan put the camera away after catching all of my troubles on tape. We all made fun of me….ha ha….and I passed off the rod, reel, and point position to Ryan like a changing of the guard and we were off to reposition ourselves again on the school, which had now split into 2 schools of 150 each.
I forgot to mention the other obstacle that I had my first encounter with. A stripping basket. God Damm stripping basket. You son of a bitch. That’s all I really care to say about the stripping basket.
My story seemed to be the highlight of the trip so I’m going to cut this long report short. We basically had chance after chance of well placed attempts from Capt. Nate and his big black stick. The bite just wasn’t there. It was a full moon the night before and the Reds must have been up all night feasting. No other guides Nate had talked to were having any luck at all. And they were using spinning gear and bait. By the end of the trip we were casting to our spots and picking up on the signs of Reds in the water. We will make another trip down to see Nate sometime this year or next. Ryan and I both had a great time and a big thanks to Nate. Check out his web site!!