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onesubdrvr
05-23-2010, 11:28 AM
Not to be out done by my good friend Jefe (and as a "teaser" for him), I've decided to do a write-up on the local fishing here on the Treasure Coast of Florida. Jefe, I hope you read this and hop on a plane and come over here and do some fishing soon, the girls would all love to see you again ;) And the Tarpon bite is starting to pick up :D

For a little bit of history on me, I am a third generation Florida Native. I grew up in North East Florida (Jacksonville), while my dad was born in Saint Augustine, and my Grandfather was born in Miami. Being a Florida native, I have been pretty spoiled with the great inland and offshore fishing grounds that Florida provides.

I started becoming a fairly serious fishing enthusiast at about the age of 6, and by 7 I had several books on fishing Florida waters, and growing up in Florida has tought me a lot about different types of fishing, from many different platforms. My favorite however has always been using light to medium spinning tackle fishing for gamefish.

At the ripe-young age of 17, I joined the Navy, and while I still managed to fish here and there, I didn't fish near as much as I would have liked to, and when I did get a chance to go fishing, it was often just off of the over crowded party charters, or from a remote barge or pier that was over populated with fishermen, and underpopulated with fish. After 10 years in the Navy, I decided to pursue different ventures in life, and returned to Florida to raise my family, and it was only a matter of time until the DNA in my daughter kicked in, and she got the urge to go fishing.

Early last year, my then 8 year old daughter Sydney mentioned that she would really like to go fishing. Now, at this point, even after having been out of the Navy for 10 years, I hadn't really rekindled that love of fishing that I had, I guess the raising of the family, the interest in other hobbies, and work all got in the way of that, but now with her request, and my quest to be a good parent and share these kind of opportunities with my children, I dusted off the old Ugly Stick, got her one of her own, and suited up.

As the situation started, and as it is now, I am currently boatless, so part of our quest has been "boatless" fishing, which I will be starting a blog and website for soon. I feel this is kind of the root of all fishing as a kid, and exemplifies the purity of it all. I remember times as a kid, biking to the local pond, lake, boat ramp, beach or jetty to do some fishing, rod and reel and tackle box in one hand, bait bucket in the other, I would bike literally miles to go fishing.

The evening before the fishing adventures was always exciting as well, either by getting out Florida Sportsman magazines or one of my fishing books to read about fishing techniques or amazing stories of someone elses big catch, or by spending time to organize the tackle box, premake leaders or inventory lures and hooks, of which I was sure to loose many the next day. Regardless, the night before could be just as exciting (sometimes even more exciting) than the up coming day of fishing.

So, our adventure began, as most adventures do, with little excitement, but a lot of anticipation. Our first trip was to a local boat ramp near the house, a pound of dead shrimp, and a pound of dead finger mullet. Now, I do realize that dead bait isn't the best for the type of fishing we were doing, but it does work, and on our very first trip out, Sydney landed a small Snook and a small Redfish - and now she's hooked. Our adventures will and have continued, especially as the other kids get the bug to go fishing, but this is about our most recent adventure.

In August of last year, I was approached by a local fishing guide to make a website for him. Now, I do website design and development to fund my hobbies, and since Sydney had gotten bitten by the fishing bug, and since I had obviously rekindled my interest in fishing, I made an agreement with him to get some water time. On my first trip, I took Cari out, as she was starting to show a little interest, and as a guy, I'm always looking for an angle to get a new toy, and started thinking that perhaps a fishing boat may be in my future.

Cari and I went out chasing Tarpon and Snook, and had a great day on the water. One of the things about fishing, is it's ability to wash away the worries of the day, something even Cari acknowledged as we were driving home after the day catching and releasing Snook and Tarpon. It was at this point that I realized the next trip would HAVE to be for Sydney and I.

So, the winter months passed by, and it was a harsh winter, thousands of Snook were killed by the unusually harsh winter here, which included a week of 40* weather, a true rarity for these parts, and the fishing (as of late April / Early May had REALLY taken off, so I gave Captain Mike a call, and we scheduled an outing for May 16th, chasing whatever would put a grin on Sydney's face. And like Sydney, for me, it's the thrill of the catch that puts a smile on my face; table fare is an added bonus, but it's really the catch for us. The week leading up to the fishing trip was one in flux, as the winds had been pretty strong, but they were supposed to die down Saturday night.

Sunday morning rolled around, and our bright and early 6am start found us in again unusually gusty winds. This was a disappointment to me, as I was hoping to run the beach for Cobia (which were RED hot at the time), or even a little further out for some Kings which have been hot as well, but it was decided that due to it being Sydney's first fishing adventure on a boat, that we would stay inside and chase Snook and Seatrout. After single cast with the cast net, we were loaded up with greenies for the day, and headed to our first fishing spot. The morning started slow, but with a BANG for Sydney as she landed a nearly 40" Snook! So, Sydney started the day up on poppa 1-0. After another hour or so trolling around the flats up and down, with no other bites, we headed to our second spot around the docks at some VERY nice homes on the Saint Lucie River.

We were able to put the hurting on the Snook here for an hour or so, but Sydney was able to increase her lead on my to 3-0 before I landed my first fish (I think the Captain had a little something to do with that :D), but I finally started making my comeback, and had it tied up 3-3 before we decided that we had fished out that area.

A quick trip to the Causeway bridge turned up more broken lines than fish - the strong currents and the active baitfish were just finding ways to get caught on the bridge. We decided to end up our day on the flats on the in-land side of Sailfish Point.

At the Sailfish Point flats, we were both able to add to our fish tallies, but I was FINALLY able to overcome her lead, and ended up on the day 7-4 with one of mine being a nice 6lb Seatrout that we took home for dinner - still waiting to be cooked :)

Sydney is now definitely hooked, good days or bad, she has had the excitement of catching a NICE sized Snook on light spinning gear, and experienced the fact that there are dry spells when fishing too, and knows that the excitement of catching that fish is worth the hours of waiting.

Sydney's excitement was added to with the inclusion of a picture of her with her big Snook on the Florida Insider Fishing Report from May 20th.

Again, I will be logging our adventures on an upcoming blog / website, and will continue to share with my friends here.

For those of you who don't know, the Treasure Coast in Florida - which runs from essentially Northern Palm Beach County to Titusville on the Eastern coast of Florida, provides some of the most exciting fishing grounds in the country. In addition, the Tarpon and Permit runs should be getting real strong real soon, so give me a call if you are in the area, or looking for a good guide (not me, but I can put you in touch with one), and hopefully you can experience some of the same excitement that Sydney and I have shared over the past year since she started fishing.

Jefe,.... you gotta come out and get on some of these Tarpon / Permit with me,... if not now, they make another strong run in August / September time frames :D :D

Wayne