Sunday, August 19, 2007

Fishing while on Vacation

So to truely get in some decent fishing, I had to really get away from work (I left the pager at home and everything).

I got out last week while on vacation with my family down in Sarasota FL. I know, who goes to Florida in early August? Well, I got a deal that was just too good to pass up. I went out with a local guide, Capt Rick Grassett.

We started before sunrise, fishing lighted piers for Snook. The first one I hooked up spooked badly when I got him close to the boat. One mighty shake of the head and he shredded the bite leader. So Rick tied on a heavier leader and the next one came all the way into the net. My first Snook ever and it was about 23", caught on a 6 wt fly rod with an intermediate sink tip line.

Approx 23 inch Snook

Once the sun came up, we fished grass flats and sand bars. I caught several nice Ladyfish and a juvenile grouper. The thrill of the day was seeing an 80 lb Tarpon (Rick's estimate, how would I know) jump out of the water while it was chasing Ladyfish. I shifted from the 6 wt to my own 8 wt rod and Rick tied on a bite leader and one of my own Clouser Minnows. Two inconsiderate guys in another boat slipped between us and the tarpon, so we never had a chance at it. They were throwing bait using spinning rods and were not even after the Tarpon. They were chasing the Ladyfish and Seatrout.

We did make a valiant attempt at a nice Tripletail. These fish float right next to marker bouys or the bouys on crab traps and look like just more stuff growing on the bouy. They hide there waiting for baitfish (aka. breakfast) to come along. My first two casts were not close enough and the third one hit the fish on the head. Apparently he did not think that was very friendly because he promptly left the bouy he had been hiding next to.

It was a great outing. I learned a couple new knots. I am more convinced then ever of the value of a quality pair of polarized sunglasses. This was my first experience with a sink tip line, and I know I am going to go out and get a spool set up with some for my own use here in Illinois. I also picked up a great book on Fly Fishing in Saltwater by Lefty Kreh.

After a very warm morning on the water, I drank Gatoraide, took a cool shower, and then took my son to a movie at a nicely air conditioned theater while my wife and daughter went shopping at an area outlet mall.

More later,Ken S.
Ken Schumacher
Fishing Fermilab - "Where we smash atoms, so you don't have to"