Old Man Winter

by Derek December 16, 2013

Well, it’s about that time of year where the fishing in the Keys makes a drastic change. The north winds have began to blow and the temps are dropping. Old man winter is creeping his dirty face around here, and, he isn’t welcome. Bonefishing gives way to redfishing on most days, which isn’t a bad thing. The change is nice, and it breaks up the norm for me. I spend a lot of time in the Everglades this time of year. The wildlife here in the winter is very impressive. The white pelicans have arrived in full force, along with the pompano, spanish mackerel and bluefish. Fun fishing is as good as it gets this time of year, and is a great choice for the younger or less experienced saltwater angler. The warmer days can be great for permit fishing, and targeting big cudas laid up on our flats. Cudas are, in my opinion, the most underrated shallow water fish we have. They make long runs, the takes are explosive, and they rocket out of the water like a silvery toothed missile. “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure” I guess, and that is fine with me.jackps

Currently, I am writing this report from my hometown in Massachusetts. The temps are in the mid 20’s, and there is snow on the ground, and, in the forecast. I have to admit, I am freezing up here! I traded in my flip flops and board shorts for hiking boots and and long underwear. The change is nice, and it brings back some fond memories. Rekindling childhood friendships over a few cold beers makes the whole trip worth it to me.  But, the warm salty air is calling me back.

 

Here are a few pics from the last few weeks.  Enjoy!

 

Here is my great friend Mike O (captcrunchodell) with his PB bonefish on fly.  This was the biggest bone caught all season on my skiff, the pic doesn’t do it justice.  The bone was wider than his hand.   This was an incredible accomplishment, on a short mission, and I am glad I was able to watch it all go down.  Congrats man!!

mob3 ob2

mo4

 

Here is the result from Mike’s first cast on his new skiff

r4 r2 r1

Second cast off the skiff

r3

 

Bluebird day spent with my two favorite people from Jersey.  Or as they would say, ” We are from south west Jersey.  There’s a difference”  Sure……..

Vance G (bull3v) with a mudding red off of a ray , and Jay “Daddy Warbucks” Perry (bigperm1176) with his first sight fished sheep.  We had some really tough windy days, the spookiest redfish I have ever come across, and a coral head disaster when it met my lower unit at 35mph.  Still, always a great time fishing with these guys! We always have fun regardless of conditions.

vance jpedit

 

It was national bring an old senile guy fishing day a few weeks ago.  Here is my friend Capt John Skidmore with a nice red on fly.  Fishing with John is always a great time.

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Capt Tony Melton (flkeystnt), one of my best friends in south FL with a nice sight fished snook on a pretty, windy day in the Gladestbone

 

Here is a shot of Jack O’Connor.  He is 11, and is clearly the man.  He sight fished 2 solid permit with me a little bit ago.  Here is his first permit.  He made a perfect cast, and earned himself a real trophy.  Congrats buddy!

jackps jackps2

 

I had the pleasure the other day of fishing with my man Steve Potter.  Steve is the best deer hair fly tyer I have ever seen.  His flies are incredible, and this sheep would agree.  A perfect presentation yielded this tricky opponent the other day in 25 kt winds.  Check out his flies and videos, he is amazing!

sp

Anna caught this cow fish in a dip net off of my boat a few weeks ago.  Morale was a little bit down at the beginning of the trip, but we managed to keep her smiling.  It doesn’t matter how kids entertain themselves on the boat.  Whether playing in the livewell, actually fishing, or free netting swimming fish, keeping kids interested on the boat is what it’s all about.  Taking kids fishing is extremely rewarding, and is some of my favorite time spent on the water.

annaedit fam andy cuda

 

 

 








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