So last year I took a little road trip with my brother to Miami. It was late in Spring and they were having some unusually rainy weather, which made the water quality not as clear as we would like for sight fishing, but we still managed to find some fish. My brother decided to take HWY 27 from Clermont all the way down, and we stopped at different places along the way to see what we could catch. At one of the first canals we came to, on the west side of Okeechobee, Peter took

Bronze Age

A tale of tails, brooms that sweep at the sky, telling V’s or bronzed backs glimmering as they hump the surface of the water. Two young men lower a canoe from a sea wall in an abandoned lot somewhere on the Space Coast. They push the vessel through inland ponds created by mangrove trees, oyster bars and a dropping tide. Somewhere else they ride the incoming tide through back water creeks and coves, where fresh and salt shake hands and the estuary is filled with tannic dye. Th

Rats and Flats

I was finally able to drag Drew into some back water, and she caught her first flounder. It was a beautiful day, but the water was extremely high following the hurricanes and I could not catch anything in the cast net. After several failed attempts at bait, Drew asked me to tie her on an artificial, and we caught 7 reds and 5 flounder working a 1/16 ounce jig head with a Berkley Gulp Shrimp. This place is like home to me, and I have fished here and the surrounding waters for

South Central Style

It's been a great week off from work... Today was the last day so I decided to get up before light and find some water. There was a pull towards the coast, but I opted out of the wind and stayed in Orlando. I have been hitting some of the down town lakes where I use to walk the shore line as a kid. I love my kayak, because after throwing it on the C-Tug and taking a short walk across the field, I was in Lake Highland and headed to parts of the lake I could not reach before. I

Rebel Red, You down with OPD?

Lily looking for Gar at Econ. We have been out a few times with the bow, and she has only been able to take a handful shots. We couldn't find any gar that day, but it is always a beautiful walk. I did manage a nice bass on top-water, but Scale Lily was unimpressed. I found Gemini springs using a Google satellite image. You could see Tilapia beds in the image, so we crossed our fingers and drove up to scout it out. They were there in force, along with a sign that only allowed

St. Pete and St. John

Last Sunday we dropped Lily off at Science camp... Drew went to her great grandmother's and grandmother's for the week. They drop her off at a fishing and marine life day camp everyday; where was that camp when I was a kid? After we said goodbye, I headed over to the Inlet in St. Petersburg for a little while. Last year the snook were stacked in here, but this year all I saw were sheepshead. Oh well, it was crazy hot outside so we headed home. Friday saw us back on the road a

The Other Half

We finally got back to the Econ, and and I finally kept my promise to paddle the second half of the trail. I prefer the cooler time of the year for such expeditions, so we didn't camp out, and we brought what I thought was good supply of water, but it didn't last the 11 miles. Our entry point was at Snow Hill Road, so we drove to the extraction point, dropped off my wife's car, and she road with us to Snow Hill, then drove my car back to swap with hers. Lily and I hit the wat

I Found My Thrill

On Pleasant Hill Road, where the possibilities are many, we found a nice paddle, giant bluegill, red bellies, and oh yea, those one's with the big mouths too. We parked at the bridge on Pleasant hill road where it crosses Shingle Creek, and then paddled east towards the glories of Toho. The sunfish in here are aggressive, beautiful, and very robust. The Blue gill below managed to take drag after swallowing a white Rooster tail. It reminds me of Econ in parts but without as mu

The Economy of Bass and Scales

Back at the Little Econ, but this time with my oldest daughter and a canoe. We launched at 419 and took the first leg of it, which is about eight miles and ends at Snow Hill Road. This time I had my wife drop us off and then called for a pick up as we approached the foot bridge. I figured that would give them about 40 minutes drive time and enough time for me to paddle the rest of the way to Snow Hill. It was one of those trips when you were fighting the falling sun, partly b

Torpedoes and Submarines

Thursday and Friday this week saw me getting a few hits but closing the deal on nothing. My little brother took six bass the other day on a spinner bait, while me, Rich and Brian went home empty handed. Today I watched him catch panfish on a Rooster Tail and I tied one on a light rod but I held to a shaky most the way out on Econ today. It was hard to stand my ground with this as I watched him catch some very nice pan fish, but it was slow, even for him today, so I kept throw

Spruce Creek Flap Jacks

A clear head, no allergy, sinus pressure, and there is a wonderful salt breeze; this is an earthly sort of heaven for me. It's Friday and there are a few kayakers as we pull up to the back water, but overall it's not too crowded. There is a gentleman making his way across the street from the Salty Dawg, and as we prep our gear and throw on shoes to wade, he informs us about his new shop and kayak rentals. I've always hoped someone would open up one of the two buildings here f

Banded Together

Matt loves to take these sort of drives into the undeveloped areas, where the possibility for an encounter of the natural kind increases. He is ultra passionate about the outdoors and carries an appreciation for a variety of creatures. I have only seen a few water snakes this year, but this one is gorgeous and fat. She is in a protected area, unlike the lake where I live. At the lake behind the house, she would be confused for a moccasin, and some one would feel it their swor


Thursday night was an awesome numbers night for me. I took 19 bass, but nothing over 2.5, and I will trade numbers for weight any day. It was still a good time though and I took a couple on cranks but most fell pray to a Shaky head again. The crank bait is an Academy Sports H2O in Shell Cracker. The water is high enough in there that it is keeping from getting snagged, but alas you give up bottom contact to protect your lures. I tried sneaking around the rocks to a less press

A little Mini Magic

Lily decided to do a late night expedition with me and Brian Montgomery. Once she heard how I took 15 fish the night before, she felt the need to set me straight.  The bass above was the first of the night and a bit uncooperative. She actually took the first two, but instead of using her red bug, she went with a black with red flake due to some really dirty water. Brian had the red bug color that Lily had been killing them with on her past two trips, but she looked over at me

"I'm not left handed"

I'm not even sure what that means. It was a right handed reel, but I guess she doesn't use a bait caster that often so she grabbed it upside down initially. We corrected it, but it still didn't feel right to her. Matt is using a piece of shiner that Lily froze, and Drew is using some hot dog that her and her sister were cutting into pieces and then stuffing with beef fat. It worked very well, and I caught my fish on the same thing. This is what it looked like on the way down,

Bass Candy

It started with a little fish like this. Baannaannahhnnaannahhh! I discovered lures at an early age, and rarely used live bait in freshwater, especially for bass. There was always a cast net at the house though, mostly for catching mullet, menhaden and other salt water bait. It's nice to have kids though, because you get the opportunity to go back to your roots. There's hardly a better live bait than the wild shiner pictured above. Bass, gar, pickerel and host of other freshw

The Accidental Herper

The lakes keep on giving, but I still haven't found a bass in here over 3 pounds. I may have to have a friend bring over a boat. There has been no lucky catfish hits from the dock, but I find it really hard to believe that there's no catfish, so I will have to get prehistoric with them at some point. The turtles were ridiculous today, and they killed almost every bit of live bait she through out. I happen to be a big fan of soft shell turtles though, and what they may lack by