1. Week Ending 10/12/13..........

    Had a trip with a great couple this week, Sam and Jeanie Garrison, of Cumberland, Tennessee. Jeanie enjoyed fishing as much as ...more Sam did, and I really enjoy guiding couples who like to fish together. Sam and Jeanie were kayakers, but had never kayak fished.

    I picked Sam and Jeanie up at their rental home, Tenderly, on Captiva, and went to my launch spot. With three boats to float, it took us about 20 minutes, and we were on our way. We paddled mostly to the first stop, but I did encourage them to use the trolling motors so that they would be familiar with them before we got to the first fishing hole.

    We stopped on a shallow hole not far from our target spot so that I could evaluate their casting and give a casting clinic. Jeanie needed a little help with her distance, and virtually everyone brings a bad habit or two with them. Nothing serious, though. While they were practicing, Sam caught a small ladyfish which we stringered for later possible use as redfish bait.

    We actually had a mild cold front pass through while we were on the water. The water wasn't as dirty (tannin) as I expected to find it, but once the tide got about half way in we were surrounded by a sea of floating seaweed and debris.

    On to the first hole we went. I quickly found fish, and tried to make sure Sam and Jeanie were casting to them. Jeanie caught trout and a couple of jack crevalle, as well as something ugly she couldn't identify. Sam caught some trout, a small redfish, and a jack too, I think.

    Before it was over, I was catching fish on nearly every cast with a jig under a poppin cork, with a Gulp New Penny shrimp attached. I got Sam and Jeanie rigged with the same stuff, and once the bite quit on that first spot, had them join me at the spot I was exploring. There were plenty of fish there, and I had caught 5 fish on 5 casts, which included nice keeper trout, and a couple of keeper mangrove snapper.

    Not long after they joined me, Sam hooked a beautiful redfish on the popping rig. Took him a while to land it, and once he did he measured the fish at 29”. It had to go back much to Sam's dismay. It wasn't too long after that redfish that the bite petered out there, as the incoming tide flooded the flats and moved the fish out of the holes. We moved on.

    I hoped to put Sam and Jeanie on a school of redfish at our next spot, as I have done thousands of times over my guiding career. But, with the tide came all of the floating turtle grass and other stuff. It was a mess. It became virtually impossible to cast a lure and pull it more than a yard or so before it was gooked up with seaweed. These fish ain't vegetarians, ya know! We worked at it hard for a while without so much as a hit on our salad offerings, and decided to head in.

    It was a pretty good day for wildlife watching. We had seen a couple of paired bald eagles, some dolphins, and in the lagoon going in, the resident alligator that measures about five feet long.

    It had been a fun day with a really nice couple, and we all had a good time. I learned later that evening that I had lost my right to launch at the only place I have been able to find that gave me access to the waters around Buck Key, that I have fished since I was a kid. Any ideas?

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