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Sick as a Dog SW Florida Fishing Report

Sick as a Dog SW Florida Fishing Report

A lot has gone on since my last report. I’ve been quite sick, and I fished a couple places in SW Florida, and more. Thus the sick as a dog SW Florida fishing report.

Vanishing Paradise

This came in from Lisa Snuggs-
If you ever dreamed of fishing South Florida, book your trip now because it’s fading fast. About all most people know is some beaches have been closed due to algae blooms, but a few beach closings are only the tip of the iceberg. Fisheries from Okeechobee to Florida Bay are in desperate peril, but so few are talking about it, sportsmen from other parts of the country are wholly unaware.
Did you know?
– Over 47,000 acres of seagrass in St. Lucie and The Indian River Lagoon have been destroyed by algae blooms
– Salinity in Florida Bay is now twice the normal level
– In 2016 a toxic algae bloom covered 239 square miles of Okeechobee
– The Everglades are slowly choking to death
– The Biscayne Aquifer is slowly drying up due to low water flows in the Everglades (8 million people depend on this water source)
– This is a manmade problem
– It can be fixed
This month, Vanishing Paradise is conducting a major push among bloggers to bring awareness to sportsmen because they are the true voice of conservation. Please contact us; we have the information and interview contacts to make a quick turnaround possible. Help us fight for the sport.
Bill Cooksey
Vanishing Paradise
901-487-2672

This reporter has been trying to get people worked up about declining water quality for years. We should all be helping Mr. Cooksey. Letters to your politicians, folks!

OK, the week’s events.

Last Saturday Susan and I and the canoe drove to south Florida to attend Maxx’s graduation ceremony. He now holds a Master’s Degree in Medical Science- he is a physician’s assistant. He has a job interview tomorrow. Good luck, son!

Fly in the ointment- my nose was getting seriously runny. It would get much worse.

Sunday we went to Art Basel. It was so cool. Miami’s art scene flourishes!

Monday we took Susan to Fort Lauderdale and sent her home on an airplane. Then Maxx and I went to Hard Rock Stadium to see the Patriots play the Dolphins.

Here we are at Hard Rock Stadium.

 

A stirring national anthem at the Hard Rock Stadium.

Minor problem- the Patriots lost.

Tommy B, doing what he does.

Another minor problem- the temperature was in the low 50’s. Now obviously sick, trying to maintain my body temperature in that environment was difficult. But, it was the only NFL game I’ve ever attended, I love the Patriots, and we stayed until the last minute.

Tuesday we drove to Everglades City, dropped the canoe into the bay, and paddled toward the Gulf of Mexico. An island in Everglades National Park would be our home for the next three nights. We located our Paradise and set up camp. I was spent. Seriously exhausted and feverish after all this, I was in my sleeping bag right at sunset. At least I had my own personal physician.

sw florida fishing report

The trout fishing was as good as I’ve ever seen.

In the morning we went fishing. The trout fishing was as good as I’ve ever had. Anywhere. The dink fish were 15 inches long, most were around 20, and Maxx got a handful of three and four pounders. Then, just to punctuate the fishing with an exclamation point, Maxx hooked and boated a snook in the 10 pound range, just awesome.

sw florida fishing report

Maxx has another one.

Seriously exhausted and feverish after all this, I was in my sleeping bag right at sunset. Curious, I stuck a thermometer under my tongue. 102 degrees. The fever broke at some point during the night.

sw florida fishing report

Maxx and his snook.

 

sw florida fishing report

And the snook is released.

The next morning we did some more exploring. Not every place had fish, but when we found some they were stacked up. We got two at a time, over and over. No snook this day, though. No lizardfish, either. Maxx got a single crevalle and a single ladyfish. Other than that all we caught were fat, healthy seatrout. We only saw a few redfish all day.

sw florida fishing report

Another Everglades seatrout.

 

sw florida fishing report

Maxx has yet another trout.

When we got back to camp we had neighbors, a school trip from University of South Florida. Young and full of energy, the college students got a campfire going. I stayed up long enough to watch Sirius ascend, then went and crashed.

sw florida fishing report

I felt well enough to watch the sun set.

Maxx and I went fishing for an hour or so the next morning. He wanted to bring a few trout home. Somewhere in there another snook bit and provided some real excitement!

sw florida fishing report

We hooked a couple other snook, but this was the only other one we caught.

 

sw florida fishing report

And it gets released…

Back at camp, we packed up and paddled back to Everglades City. Maxx drove back to Miami, I to Fort Myers to visit Alex.

Alex and I drove out to Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge in the morning. We launched the canoe on the nose of the incoming tide and went exploring. We did not find much. I caught a mangrove snapper that maybe was four inches long, and a snook that was maybe eight. We saw three redfish and that was it. I’d never been there, always wanted to go, and was disappointed in the color of the water (brown) and the fishing results. That’s fishing!

sw florida fishing report

Alex hit a redfish on his first cast.

Sunday morning we drove to Matlacha and tried it there. Alex hit a redfish on his first cast, nice fish too. It did not last. I got a 20″ trout, he got two dinker snook. The water looks awful, brown, full of black Rhodophyta algae, and very little grass. Mosquito Lagoon is not the only place with water quality issues.

sw florida fishing report

And the winner is!

I drove home this morning and went straight to bed once I got here. I hope I shake this soon.

And that is the sick as a dog SW Florida fishing report.

Life is great and I love my work!

Life is short- Go Fishing!

John Kumiski
www.spottedtail.com
http://www.spottedtail.com/blog
www.johnkumiski.com
www.rentafishingbuddy.com
https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/jkumiski

All content in this blog, including writing and photos, copyright John Kumiski 2017. All rights are reserved.



Belated Space Coast and Forgotten Coast Fishing Report

Belated Space Coast and Forgotten Coast Fishing Report

This is a belated space coast and forgotten coast fishing report.

Once again, the observant among you probably noticed I skipped the report last week. Bad John! In my defense, I packed Friday, worked and finished packing Saturday, and went out of town Sunday morning (see below). A weak and puny mortal, I need sleep. Otherwise, I could have gotten last week’s report done.

Bumper Sticker of the Week-

forgotten coast fishing report

Last Week, on Monday I worked a two canoe charter in the Banana River Lagoon with Tom Vanhorn. Our fishermen, father and son, were Mike and Mike!

The water is borderline gross but we caught quite a few solid trout. Mike got the fish of the day on a jig, a lovely snook of seven or eight pounds, on a jig. Go, baby!

forgotten coast fishing report

Mike the son with a beautiful snook.

Tuesday Tom and I had Mike and Mike again, out of River Breeze. We searched a lot of water and did not see much, catching a total of two redfish and one trout, a tough day. And, we got dumped on bigtime when a front came through. Mike got the fish of the day with a fine redfish that took a plastic shad imitation.

forgotten coast fishing report

Mike the dad with a handsome redfish!

A word about the shad imitations- for years I used the three inch CAL shad made by DOA. Last spring Damon Albers at RipTide sent me his shad, the three inch RipTide Sardine. I have been using them interchangeably, and love both of them. They are some fish-catching lures! So I don’t confuse myself I will just write “shad” whenever using either of them.

Wednesday Mike Briola and I went out into Mosquito Lagoon looking for a Thanksgiving redfish. He had one on, but it came unbuttoned. So we had to settle for a turkey and barbecued pork shoulder for Thanksgiving dinner. Poor us!

Saturday long-time friend Dr. Todd Preuss and I went searching Mosquito Lagoon for some fish suicidal enough to take a fly. A couple trout is all we found! We saw a few redfish and a few black drum, but they just laughed at us.

Sunday morning at 0-dark-thirty Mike Conneen showed up in his black truck. We loaded my kayak on top of his, tossed my baggage in, and off we went to St. Joseph State Park.

forgotten coast fishing report

A St. Joe bay bluefish, fooled with a shad.

I had not fished St. Joe Bay in about 20 years. Remarkably, it was just like I remembered it- crystal clear water, thick, lush grass, and fish you can (and cannot) see. Sight-fishing flounders is difficult unless you’re spotlighting them at night!

forgotten coast fishing report

This fatty flattie nailed a DOA Shrimp.

In two days of fishing the bay we caught trout, redfish, flounder, lizardfish, bluefish, and ladyfish. It was so nice fishing in such clear water, so full of life!

forgotten coast fishing report

A battling redfish, St. Joe Bay.

 

forgotten coast fishing report

The red lost the fight, but was released anyway. We released every fish we caught.

In spite of that, after two nights at St. Joe we went to St. George Island State Park.  We fished in St. George Sound for three days. The water was slightly less clear, and loaded with oyster beds.

forgotten coast fishing report

St. George Sound was loaded with oyster beds. The pinfish were a bonus…

 

forgotten coast fishing report

…as were the lizardfish. On fly, though!

I got six species of fish on fly (Clouser minnow exclusively). Surprising to me, I could not get a bluefish, even though I was getting them on the spin rod (with the shad, some on just a hook, some on a jig head). The trout fishing was almost too easy.

forgotten coast fishing report

The trout fishing was outstanding.

 

forgotten coast fishing report

Redfish were involved.

 

forgotten coast fishing report

The fly worked well, sight fishing. Awesome stuff.

 

forgotten coast fishing report

A Clouser Minnow was all I used.

Both parks were beautiful, although the RVs are a bit much to my taste. We ate out one night at the Pesky Pelican https://www.facebook.com/Peskypelicanep/, and although pelicans aren’t on the menu there, both the oysters and the grouper sandwich were excellent. The brownies were too!

forgotten coast fishing report

The Clouser Minow fooled flounder…

 

forgotten coast fishing report

…seatrout…

 

forgotten coast fishing report

…and snagged a few oysters!

We lucked into awesome weather and very solid fishing. I always enjoy the time I spend with Mike Conneen. Not only is he an outstanding angler, he is an outstanding human being. I had, and I hope he had, a fantastic trip.

forgotten coast fishing report

Mike paddles along a St. George Island shoreline.

And that, dear reader, is the belated Space Coast and forgotten coast fishing report. Thanks for reading!

Life is great and I love my work!

Life is short- Go Fishing!

John Kumiski
www.spottedtail.com
http://www.spottedtail.com/blog
www.johnkumiski.com
www.rentafishingbuddy.com
https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/jkumiski

All content in this blog, including writing and photos, copyright John Kumiski 2017. All rights are reserved.



Pine Island Sound Fishing Report

Pine Island Sound Fishing Report and More

Thank you for reading this Pine Island Sound fishing report.

Non Fishing-
The Butter Bike trip is awesome! Read about it here- https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/technology/bicycling-biologist-pedals-10000-miles-along-the-monarch-butterflys-migration-route/ar-AAukzJm

Monday

pine island sound fishing report

Karen got the best trout of the day.

Mark Wright and I fished six people from Sweden on Mosquito Lagoon. In my boat we worked it hard all day, tossing soft plastic baits (20 minutes of mullet chunking during lunch netted a couple hardhead cats).

pine island sound fishing report

Roger got trout, too.

We got a few trout and a couple redfish, and had many refusals from uncooperative fish. It was a beautiful day if a little frigid at first, and we had a good time. I’m now a brewski boys guide!

pine island sound fishing report

Yanne with his redfish.

 

pine island sound fishing report

JK is now a brewskis boys approved guide!

Thursday
I climbed into the new chariot and towed the Mitzi to Pineland Marina, where I met Jake Bishop. Jake and I worked together in Alaska during the past summer. I hoped to show him some Florida fishing. We loaded up the boat with camping and fishing gear and went to Cayo Costa State Park, where we set up our tent. Then we went fishing!

pine island sound fishing report

Our tent site on La Costa Island.

I don’t fish that area much, and we did not find any exciting game fish. We did find a load of ladyfish by Johnson Shoal, and spent about 40 minutes getting a fish on every cast, using ugly flies. We got cut off by mackerel or bluefish a couple times, and saw some healthy sharks.

pine island sound fishing report

A little go juice in the morning helped our motors start.

The snook that never bite are still where I left them 10 or so years ago.

Friday
We went out looking for fish again, poling miles of grass flats. We saw a couple redfish, one tailing. Jake hooked and lost a snook, the only one we would get to bite. We caught a lot of 15 inch seatrout, and more ladyfish.

We visited Barnacle Phil’s. It’s gone way upscale, and there wasn’t a table available when we got there. We left and ate what we had in the boat.

We saw a string of four or five tarpon over a shoal off the beach. Wasn’t ready for that!

Ladyfish were breaking on top of Johnson Shoal. We caught fish for 30 minutes or so.

It was a long, tough day, fishing-wise.

Saturday
We went out looking for fish again, poling miles of grass flats, checking sand shoals and oyster bars, mangrove shorelines, anywhere I could think of to look for fish. We saw a few but did not get them to bite. We found a good lizardfish hole.

pine island sound fishing report

The island boasts miles of spectacular beach.

 

pine island sound fishing report

Shells litter the beach.

Late in the afternoon we saw a couple fat redfish on a flat. The sun was low, the wind blowing. The fish spooked before we could react. While trying to recover we floated over a sandy hole and flushed out about 20 nice reds. They just fled to deep water.

pine island sound fishing report

Peeps probe the sand at the surf line.

I suggested that we return the next morning, hope they were there again, and wade-fish them. Then we returned to camp.

pine island sound fishing report

I think this is a willet. If any birders out there can confirm I’d appreciate it!

After dinner we went onto the beach and watched night fall, watched the stars blink on. By itself that was worth the entire trip. What a highlight!

pine island sound fishing report

We live on an incredible planet!

 

pine island sound fishing report

Jake and I watched night fall.

Sunday

pine island sound fishing report

En route to the redfish spot. The fish were no-shows.

We returned to the redfish spot, anchored the boat, got out, and waded around looking for the fish for about an hour. Although conditions were perfect, the fish weren’t there. Jake got a small snapper. I got a trophy puffer.

pine island sound fishing report

Eat your heart out!

We tried fishing from the boat for another 30 minutes or so. We saw and did not catch a couple fish. Then we returned to Pineland, loaded up the boat, and went our separate ways.

In spite of the tough fishing it was an awesome trip. The weather was great, the scenery awesome, the companionship sublime. Let’s do it again soon, Jake! The fish will come…

I’m sorry this report is late, but I was out of town.

And that, dear reader, is the Pine Island Sound fishing report.  Thanks for reading!

Life is great and I love my work!

Life is short- Go Fishing!

John Kumiski
www.spottedtail.com
http://www.spottedtail.com/blog
www.johnkumiski.com
www.rentafishingbuddy.com
https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/jkumiski

All content in this blog, including writing and photos, copyright John Kumiski 2017. All rights are reserved.




Summer Solstice Asheville Fishing Report 

Summer Solstice Asheville Fishing Report and Photo Essay

Susan and I have moved our vacation from Tennessee to Asheville, NC, where old friends Jim and Kathy Tedesco have been gracious enough to host us. And we got a bit of fishing in! And the solstice was this week! So we have a summer solstice Asheville Fishing report.

Bumper Sticker of the Week

Sunday found us traveling on the Blue Ridge Parkway to see the incredible work (no photography allowed) at the Folk Art Center. A must-see if you’re in the area.

asheville fishing report

A facade in the River Arts District.

Afterwards we went to the River Arts District in Asheville. Since it was Sunday many galleries were closed. It was still overwhelming. Some studios that were open had artists at work, fascinating to watch. The work of three artists I found particularly interesting can be seen here-

http://www.karennoelart.com
http://www.bluefiremacmahon.com
https://www.jonasgerard.com

asheville fishing report

The Jonasmobile in Asheville.

Monday’s adventure involved climbing Chimney Rock. I will let the photos do the talking.

asheville fishing report

Susan at elevation.

 

asheville fishing report

Chimney Rock from a higher point. Not Chamber of Commerce weather. Spectacular anyway.

Tuesday Kathy and Susan visited the Biltmore Estate. Jim and I rented a canoe and floated the section of the French Broad River that runs through said estate. Of course we carried fly rods. I beat the water to a froth, got two smallmouth on a crayfish pattern. The river looked great but fishing was slow.

asheville fishing report

Jim with a French Broad smallmouth, one of two we captured.

We were to go whitewater rafting on Wednesday (the solstice!), but this reporter erred and booked the trip for Thursday. So we went to the North Carolina Arboretum instead. I loved it, but will let the photos do the talking.

asheville fishing report

Susan at the Arboretum.

 

asheville fishing report

There were sculptures and other art there.

 

asheville fishing report

Pitcher plants are so cool!

 

asheville fishing report

The bonsai plants were spectacular but hard to photograph well.

 

asheville fishing report

They have a butterfly garden.

 

asheville fishing report

There were all kinds of flowers.

 

asheville fishing report

Thursday we got a rainy brush of the tropical storm making all the news. We went rafting anyway, same spot as last week, the upper Pigeon River. This time Jim and Kathy Tedesco joined us. Jim and I used to do this sort of thing all the time in a canoe (last century), but it was all new to Kathy. Afterwards she said, “Now I can say I’ve done it.” Susan and I had a great time, for me more so than last week. If you’re going to be rafting in this part of the world, Nantahala Outdoor Center has the people to see.

asheville fishing report

Jim on the Pigeon River.

Friday we took leave of Asheville. Driving is not my favorite part of any trip, but the drive from Asheville to Pinehust was mostly through forests and fields, rolling hills, farm stands, corn, beans, peaches, altogether darn nice. In Pinehurst we visited Steve and Bonnie Baker. Steve taught me much of what I know of fishing in Florida and I am forever in his debt for that. Sadly he’s dealing with health issues and could use your prayers.

Today we are off to Charleston. My chances of fishing next week are minimal- I am skipping next week’s report. A bye week for me!

We are having a blast this week, but our vacation time is running out…

And that is the Summer Solstice Asheville fishing report!

Life is great and I love my work!

Life is short- Go Fishing!

John Kumiski
www.spottedtail.com
http://www.spottedtail.com/blog
www.johnkumiski.com
www.rentafishingbuddy.com
https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/jkumiski

All content in this blog, including writing and photos, copyright John Kumiski 2017. All rights are reserved




Eastern Tennessee Fishing Report

Eastern Tennessee Fishing Report and Photo Essay

This week this reporter finds himself at the River Overlook Bed and Breakfast in Knoxville, Tennessee this week (a fine establishment, heartily recommended), fly fishing the Clinch River for brown and rainbow trout and the French Broad River for smallmouth bass. Thus the Eastern Tennessee fishing report.

Car Magnet of the Week-

 east tennessee fishing report

Made me think of Tammy Wilson.

Sunday and Monday we continued our exploration by fly rod of the Clinch River, fishing with self-professed river rat Shawn Madison. The fishing is fine (5x tippets, #16-20 flies) and far off, due to the low, slow, and clear water and pressured fish. They do see some fishermen here. The Tennessee state record brown trout (over 30 pounds) was caught here, but we did not latch on to anything like that. In three mornings of fishing our best fish was a 14 inch rainbow, and the rest were smaller. It was fishing more than catching. I just didn’t hit it right. That’s fishin!

 east tennessee fishing report

Clinch River fisherman.

 

 east tennessee fishing report

Clinch River fish. A beautiful fish.

 

 east tennessee fishing report

Clinch River fisherman.

 

 east tennessee fishing report

Shawn walking the boat, Susan riding.

 

 east tennessee fishing report

Seen in a chocolate shop in Knoxville.

 

 east tennessee fishing report

Left over from the Knoxville World’s Fair.

Tuesday we went to the Knoxville Museum of Art and the East Tennessee history museum, both small but with excellent exhibits. We also went to the Art Market Gallery on Gay Street, which had fabulous things for sale. They were all still there when we left.

 east tennessee fishing report

Seen in an alley in Knoxville.

Wednesday found us equipped with helmet, PFD, and paddle, floating down the Pigeon River on a guided raft trip with the Nantahala Outdoor Center. It’s a fine whitewater run but it was easily the most people I’ve ever seen on a river, battalions of rafts. I can vouch for the coldness of the water!

 east tennessee fishing report

Rubber hatch on the Pigeon River.

The NOC runs a well-oiled operation. You can’t go wrong choosing them to guide or outfit any of your adventures in this part of the world.

 east tennessee fishing report

What to choose, what to choose…
He knew exactly what to choose.

Speaking of not going wrong, Thursday morning found me in a Hyde drift boat on the French Broad River, being rowed by Capt. Josh Pfeiffer, Frontier Anglers. The target was smallmouth bass on fly. Yes, we caught some. There were lots of little ones, two missed strikes from good ones, and three very solid fish. I also got a mooneye on a popper. It looks like an American shad but the eye is about three times larger. It was a new species for me. Altogether an awesome day- Pfeiffer is superb.

east tennessee fishing report

Fat smallie on a blockhead.

 

 east tennessee fishing report

A stowaway on the drift boat.

 

 east tennessee fishing report

A fat smallie on a Clawdad.

 

 east tennessee fishing report

Little River, Tennessee.

Friday Sue and I went hiking in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, up the Little River Trail. I photographed the river as we went, complaining about the sunshine (!) becuase of the contrast it caused. It was a magnificent day.

 east tennessee fishing report

A little creek in Tennessee.

We’ve been having a blast this week and intend to continue!

A huge thank you to both Shawn Madison and Josh Pfeiffer!

And that is the Eastern Tennessee fishing report!

Life is great and I love my work!

Life is short- Go Fishing!

John Kumiski
www.spottedtail.com
http://www.spottedtail.com/blog
www.johnkumiski.com
www.rentafishingbuddy.com
https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/jkumiski

All content in this blog, including writing and photos, copyright John Kumiski 2017. All rights are reserved.




Anderson County Tennessee Fishing Report

Anderson County Tennessee Fishing Report and Photo Essay

This reporter finds himself at the Clinch River House in Anderson County, Tennessee this week, fly fishing the Clinch River for brown and rainbow trout. Thus the Anderson County Tennessee fishing report.

Tuesday found bride Susan and I in her chariot, a 2007 Toyota RAV4, driving north on I-75, headed for the Volunteer State. Our only glitch was a wrong turn in Atlanta, from which we quickly recovered. So that part of the expedition went smoothly.

Anderson County Tennessee fishing report

Welcome to the Clinch River House.

We arrived at the Clinch River House just before dark, and exhausted from a 10-hour-plus drive, wasted no time in examining the bedding.

Anderson County Tennessee fishing report

The house is finely appointed.

The plan was to fish the Clinch River on Wednesday. The TVA did not receive the memo. The Clinch was running at over 8000 CFS, not fly fishable by mere mortals. Jim Tedesco picked us up and we headed to Little River Outfitters. After showing us the finest fly selection available for the local waters, Dan got a map of Great Smoky Mountains National Park out and marked it up for us. We headed off to fish the middle branch of the Little River.

Anderson County Tennessee fishing report

Jim did his best. It didn’t matter.

This was a tiny stream with a steep gradient. Casts were about 20 feet, fly drifts two or three. After three hours of the finest kind of learning experience I had raised one fish about ten centimeters long. It was too small to eat my #12 fly. Jim had similar results. Susan got a couple nice sketches done.

Anderson County Tennessee fishing report

These flies were too big for the fish that bit.

Thursday the Clinch was still running hard. We went to the American Museum of Science and Energy in Oak Ridge, which details the fascinating history of the Manhattan Project. Although physically rather small, there was so much information that we spent the entire morning there. It gets a five-star rating from this reporter.

Anderson County Tennessee fishing report

WE NEED SCIENCE. You’ll remember how this worked out for the Reich.

 

Anderson County Tennessee fishing report

The Manhattan Project was top secret.

We then visited the Museum of Appalachia. They fed us lunch, enough delicious food for six people.

Anderson County Tennessee fishing report

Uncle Sam folk art. A single pocketknife may have carved this.

While we needed a nap after that, we spent the rest of the day marvelling at the exhibits in this incredible, must-see facility- folk art, native american artifacts, historic cabins, tools of all kinds, gardens, livestock, transportation, quilts and textiles, musical instuments, on and on. It’s a collection of everything people needed to survive in Appalachia before the computer age, and is truly amazing.

Moonshine is an Appalachian tradition.

 

Anderson County Tennessee Fishing Report

This devil was formerly a knot in a walnut tree.

 

Anderson County Tennessee Fishing Report

Susan found a new place for us to live.

 

Anderson County Tennessee Fishing Report

This is part of the Bible Belt.

 

Anderson County Tennessee Fishing Report

Natives were also models for folk art.

 

Anderson County Tennessee Fishing Report

This Cherokee basket was one of dozens we saw, all fantastic work!

Friday morning the river was running at a fishable level, for a few hours at least. Shawn Madison and his boat appeared as if by magic. He spirited us off into a spectacular morning on the Clinch. Before I knew it a foot-long brown trout was on the end of my leader.

Anderson County Tennessee Fishing Report

Clinch River, early morning.

Jim got several rainbows, the best being a 14-inch fish. Shawn taught us the intracacies of nymphing with a strike indicator. The larger fish we saw eluded us, but I knew I had a couple days left to try to get one. Then the TVA cranked up a generator, the water got too fast and deep, and we were done fishing for the day.

Anderson County Tennessee Fishing Report

Fish in the net!

Saturday Shawn picked up Susan and I at 7:30, and off we went again. The river was low, and we were optimistic. Our optimism was misplaced. Two small rainbow trout fell for my nymph imitations, and a few strikes were missed. Still one morning to try for a real one, though.

Anderson County Tennessee Fishing Report

Shawn working a Clinch River run.

 

Anderson County Tennessee Fishing Report

Susan shot this of Shawn and I fishing.

 

Anderson County Tennessee Fishing Report

One of the fish I got.

 

Anderson County Tennessee Fishing Report

I’m looking for one like this. Maybe a little more flexible.

I would like to thank Diane Ilgner at Anderson County Tourism for helping us put this trip together, Buddy McLean for his hospitality, Shawn Madison for his time, expertise, and good humor, long-time friend Jim Tedesco for joining us from North Carolina, and of course Susan for spending valuable vacation time out on rivers and in boats instead of touring the Louvre. I am so lucky…

That is the Anderson County, Tennessee fishing report!

Life is great and I love my work!

Life is short- Go Fishing!

John Kumiski
www.spottedtail.com
http://www.spottedtail.com/blog
www.johnkumiski.com
www.rentafishingbuddy.com
https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/jkumiski

All content in this blog, including writing and photos, copyright John Kumiski 2017. All rights are reserved.




Solo Chokoloskee Fishing Report- A Photo Essay

Solo Chokoloskee Fishing Report

We could have called this report, “Last White Man Without a GPS Goes to the Everglades.” I have been to Chokoloskee before of course, but not for a long time. I took my skiff and a kayak, by myself. Thus the Solo Chokoloskee fishing report.

chokoloskee fishing report

No GPS. These are my navigational aids.

Last Saturday I checked the calendar for the coming week. Holy cow! I have no work! What to do?

“Go to the Everglades,” said a voice in my head. My bride said, “You’re going by yourself?!” “I don’t know anyone who could just take off for four days on the spur of the moment,” I replied. Sunday I packed my stuff. Monday morning about 4:30 I was on the road.

The ranger at Everglades City was a cute redhead with lots of freckles. I should have gotten her picture.

Kenny Brown is still behind the counter at the Outdoor Resorts, probably in his third decade there. Talk about a rock of stability!

chokoloskee fishing report

That Kumiski guy about to leave the dock at Outdoor Resort in Chokoloskee.

I had a magnificent campsite, waterfront with a view of the sunrise, on the Gulf of Mexico. While there were mosquitos, they weren’t anywhere close to what I thought they’d be. Minor problem.

chokoloskee fishing report

This was an awesome campsite, but there wasn’t much in the way of shade.

 

chokoloskee fishing report

The Mitzi and the OK wait patiently to go fishing.

 

chokoloskee fishing report

This black skimmer was one of my neighbors…

 

chokoloskee fishing report

…and the terns were in the high rent district.

All of my Everglades camping has been during the winter. A solar day in May lasts much longer than one in December. Just sayin’. And it was hot at the end of the day, which was a bigger problem than the bugs.

chokoloskee fishing report

Unloading the skiff in my temporary home in Paradise.

 

chokoloskee fishing report

Construction of the Taj Mahal…

Monday afternoon I tried fishing. The tide was high. The wind was out of the west, blowing like it was in a hurry to get somewhere. The water was dirty. I wasn’t quite sure of where I was (no GPS), and certainly had some self-doubt creeping into my consciousness. Fatigue and lack of cooperation from the fish did not help.

chokoloskee fishing report

Casting in high water did not work for me.

 

chokoloskee fishing report

I took some time to smell the bay beans…

Beat up from the travelling, fishing, and heat, getting horizontal in my hot Taj Mahal of a tent felt heavenly. An extended rain shower cooled things off. I still love the sound rain makes on my tent fly!

chokoloskee fishing report

A good night’s sleep and a good cup of joe made the morning much brighter.

Tuesday morning, newly optimistic, I headed for Lostmans’s, hoping to work out the 12-weight. Halfway there the sea was getting rough. Discretion spoke up. “If it gets any worse…” He didn’t need to finish the sentence. I pulled in to the nearest shore line and started looking.

chokoloskee fishing report

First fish of the trip. Nice little fishy!

There’s a shark. Oh, there’s a snook! And another one! It’s a little pack of them! I managed to scare them all with a large hair bug. It got switched for a streamer that produced two strikes. The second fish was healthy and took the fly with him. A second streamer fooled several more snook. I was pleased with the start.

chokoloskee fishing report

Streamers worked well.

 

chokoloskee fishing report

Red mangroves, the unofficial plant of the Florida Everglades.

I ran to a spot closer to camp and started looking again. Pop! A snook hit some bait in really skinny water. “That’s why you brought the kayak, John.” I paddled over, saw the fish, and tossed a little foam popper at it. He had an argument with himself about whether or not he should hit it. Unfortunately I lost that debate.

I flushed at least two dozen snook in the half mile of shoreline I paddled, scraping bottom much of the time. I just could not see them first. But I knew where to fish the next day.

chokoloskee fishing report

At one spot I stopped all I caught were some photos.

 

chokoloskee fishing report

When the tide got right the next morning me and the fly pole went paddling again. The bite was good, producing several snook, a nice red, several missed strikes, and a couple of break-offs. Then the water got really skinny again, and the fish stopped biting.

chokoloskee fishing report

Snook on a gurgler, always exciting!

 

chokoloskee fishing report

This red was my first on a fly rod popper in several years.

Breaking down camp took minutes. On the way back to Chokoloskee I learned where to look for tarpon, for future reference. I felt my way through Rabbit Key Pass with a Top Spot chart, managing not to break anything, or even really hit the bottom. Slept in my own bed Wednesday night, after what was a really enjoyable, if somewhat short, trip.

chokoloskee fishing report

The sun sets on my mini-vacation…

I enjoy fishing with that John Kumiski guy. He has a weird sense of humor, but he also has a good heart.

—————————————-
Last week I wrote, “One of Benjamin Ashworth’s birthday presents was a day with me (?!), fishing in Mosquito Lagoon. Girlfriend Chely was along too.”

I emailed Benjamin’s mom a thank you note. This was her response-

“They were so pleased with the fishing and had a wonderful time. They raved about you and how it was such a great fishing trip. As well as the bonus of seeing a good variety of wildlife!  They felt you were a great and knowledgeable guide and would love to go fishing with you again. Thank you again for making it a special birthday gift for Benjamin and Chely.”

Once again, I would like to thank everyone who fished with me this week. John, thank you for fishing with me!

That is the Solo Chokoloskee fishing report!

Life is great and I love my work!

Life is short- Go Fishing!

John Kumiski
www.spottedtail.com
http://www.spottedtail.com/blog
www.johnkumiski.com
www.rentafishingbuddy.com
https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/jkumiski

All content in this blog, including writing and photos, copyright John Kumiski 2017. All rights are reserved.




top tips for women hikers

top tips for women hikers

tips for women hikers

This came via email today-

From hygiene to safety, Katie Levy – skilled outdoors woman and Cairn (www.getcairn.com) Outdoor Ambassador – has smart recommendations for women who want to enjoy the outdoors for the day or the adventure of a lifetime.

Below are nine top tips for women hikers. [Actually this is great advice for hikers of any sex-  JK]

Here are Katie’s top tips for women hikers:

1. Study Up. Whether you’re doing a day hike or something more ambitious, do your homework. Learn in advance about any permits you need, weather restrictions and general rules. Most public lands are managed by state or federal organizations with staffed offices you can call to ask questions of in advance.

tips for women hikers

2. Know What to Bring. Seeking help from someone experienced with the type of trip you’re taking goes a long way. At a minimum, know the essential emergency items you should have, test out layering systems, and break in a solid pair of hiking boots. You can also stay up to date on the latest outdoor products by subscribing to Cairn to receive an array of outdoor essential each month.

3. Know What Not to Bring. Be prepared, but don’t be bogged down by items that are usually unnecessary. This includes massive backpacks; too many clothes; multiples of gear and anything that can’t be replaced, like jewelry.

4. Stay Found. Review paper maps, understand area topography, and keep an eye out for landmarks. GPS tools are helpful but not always functional in remote areas. If you’re not hiking with a group, communicate your itinerary with someone in advance, and plan frequent check-ins if you can.

5. Stay Well. Consider a Wilderness First Aid course, which is specifically geared toward situations that could happen on a hike or camping trip including twisted ankles, windburn, hypothermia or spider bites.

6. Get Physically Prepared. Hiking for hours, especially with a pack, can be a serious challenge. Sustained cardio workouts, core strength training, weightlifting and training hikes can make a huge difference.

7. Stay Up to Date on Outdoor Gear. Research products and brands suited to your needs. For example, tall or petite hikers may gravitate towards certain brands. Subscribing to a monthly subscription service like Cairn can also help inspire you, and introduce you to new products.

tips for women hikers

8. Understand Your Options for Hygiene. Unless you’re headed on an adventure that comes with a full bathroom and running water, understanding how to manage doing your business in the backcountry with Leave No Trace principles is important. If it’s that time of the month, know you’ll need to pack out any sanitary napkins or tampons. They can be stored in an opaque Ziploc bag. Menstrual cups are also an option.

9. Trust Your Gut During Human Encounters. Most hikers I’ve come across have been friendly, but remember, if you meet someone on the trail who makes you feel uneasy, you’re not obligated to talk to them or spend time around them. Carry pepper spray if it helps you feel safer, and always have a whistle with you. The universal call for help is three blasts on the whistle.

And those are the top tips for women hikers from Katie Levy at get cairn.com!

John Kumiski



Big Bend Paddle Fishing Report

Big Bend Paddle Fishing Report

Mike Conneen and I just wrapped up a seven day, 60 mile paddle along Florida’s Gulf coast, from the Aucilla River to Steinhatchee. So this is a Big Bend paddle fishing report.

Tough Going
This was the most physically demanding trip I’ve taken in at least 30 years. Generally when taking an extended trip you want to take it easy the first day, to shake out the kinks and settle in. The wind punched us in the mouth from the start. We had two relatively easy days (one because we took it off) and fought the wind every other one.

big bend paddle fishing report

This is what I looked like when we started.

 

big bend paddle fishing report

This is what I looked like when we finished!

In spite of that we caught some fish, including redfish, seatrout, flounder, bluefish, ladyfish, and even the coveted lizardfish (sorry, no photo).

A brief rundown-
We left home Sunday morning and drove to Sea Hag Marina http://seahag.com in Steinhatchee, where we spent the night in a charming little fishing cabin. We even got to watch some football.

Russ McAllister of Suwanee Guides http://suwanneeguides.com picked us up Monday morning and gave us a shuttle to the boat ramp on the Aucilla River. Shortly after launching Mike caught the trip’s first fish.

big bend paddle fishing report

First fish of the trip, a ladyfish. He got two in a row here, then no more for the duration.

We paddled against the current (incoming tide) to the Gulf and against the wind to the Econfina River, where we camped at a FWC campsite.

big bend paddle fishing report

On the Econfina River.

Tuesday we again fought the wind all day as we paddled south to the FWC campsite on Rock Island.

big bend paddle fishing report

This is what we dealt with most days.

 

big bend paddle fishing report

You need a permit to camp here.

 

big bend paddle fishing report

At sunset Mike went fishing…

 

big bend paddle fishing report

…and got a couple handfuls of bluefish.

Since the wind was still howling out of the south on Wednesday, and since we were basically spent from fighting it the first two days, we spent Wednesday night here too. It was quite a lovely place, remote enough we did not see another human for two days.

big bend paddle fishing report

Campfire on Rock Island

Thursday we had the best weather and best fishing day of the trip, going from Rock Island to Spring Warrior Creek. We hit reds most of the way on a variety of lures. We camped at the FWC campsite on the creek.

big bend paddle fishing report

Typical of the reds we got.

 

big bend paddle fishing report

Again, a typical redfish.

 

big bend paddle fishing report

The trout likewise were nice, but not large.

 

big bend paddle fishing report

Another Big Bend redfish.

Friday we had a 13 mile day. While windy, it was coming off the shore instead of up the coast, so it was not as rigorous as the first couple days. However, the distance involved meant we had very little fishing time. I got two reds by dragging a DOA CAL shad behind the kayak as I paddled. We camped on Sponge Point, another great site.

big bend paddle fishing report

Mike caught this trout with his hands. The fish had been dragging the float around for a while.

Saturday the wind blew again off the shoreline. Much of our paddle was on a low tide. When the tide goes out along this coast it goes WAY out. I had to drag my boat for a ways, an option not available to Mike. We found a fish-filled hole in an otherwise almost waterless flat, where we caught all of our fish for the day. Our campsite this night was at Dallus Creek, where the feral pigs roam. Fortunately my yelling at them scared them off.

Sunday we had nine miles to go to reach Steinhatchee. The first seven were gorgeous, with light south winds and steady progress. When we stopped for a break I said, “This weather couldn’t be any nicer.” As soon as we started paddling again, BAM! Fifteen to 20, right in our faces, the waves coming over the bow of the boat, and miserably tough, slow going. Mother Nature just kicked our butts one last time before we finished.

big bend paddle fishing report

The crew, tired but happy, back at Sea Hag Marina.

Paddle Trip
This was not a fishing trip where we paddled. It was a paddle trip where we fished as time allowed. I brought a fly rod and used it about 15 minutes over the course of a week, blind casting without success. Many of the fish I caught came by trolling the shad as I paddled.

Having said that, the habitat here is probably the best remaining in the state- lots of oysters, the thickest seagrasses I’ve seen in a long time, and nice clear water (Fenholloway River mouth excepted). The fish did not run large but there were plenty of them- when we were able to fish.

Permits
Anyone wanting to use the FWC campsites needs a permit. Visit this link for more information- http://myfwc.com/viewing/recreation/wmas/lead/big-bend/paddling-trail/camping-permits/

And that is the Big Bend Paddle Fishing Report!

Life is great and I love my work!

Life is short- Go Fishing!

John Kumiski
www.spottedtail.com
http://www.spottedtail.com/blog
www.johnkumiski.com
www.rentafishingbuddy.com
https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/jkumiski

All content in this blog, including writing and photos, copyright John Kumiski 2016. All rights are reserved.

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Bahia Solano Fishing Report and Photo Essay

Bahia Solano Fishing Report

bahia solano fishing report

This is this week’s Bahia Solano Fishing Report and Photo Essay.

bahia solano fishng report

Flying over Medellin.

Any doubt about us being in the tropics was shattered when we got off the turboprop in Bahia Solano. Soldiers, heat, mud, dogs, chickens, the smell of meat charring over charcoal, lush vegetation, trash, vultures, beautiful, hospitable brown-skinned people, conversations at the speed of light. I was back in the jungle and it was awesome!

bahia solano fishng report

View from my balcony at Playa de Oro Lodge.

We took a truck to a boat to the Lodge Playa de Oro. Our hostess was the gracious and charming Isabel Palacio. The rest of the group consited of Rodrigo Teixeira, a production coordinator for FishTV, Ricardo Canali, owner of Real Pesca, Johanna Garavito of ProColumbia, and our guide, Alejandro Linares, who also owns the El Pez fishing tackle store in Medellin. As an English speaker I was linguistically challenged.

bahia solano fishing report

From left clockwise: Isabel, Ricardo, Rodrigo, me, Johanna

We ate a delicious lunch- fried wahoo steaks with fixins. As wonderful as it was, the birds stole the show. One hundred five species of birds have been identified on the lodge property alone. They are beautiful, brilliantly colored, and not at all shy. I hadn’t even touched my tackle yet, but everything was fantastic.

bahia solano fishing report

The birds stole the show.

A two hour boat ride straight out into the Pacific under a sky threatening rain started our first day of fishing. We planned on trolling for sailfish, tuna, and mahi at what Alejandro told me was the Panama Current. We trolled without success long enough that I took a nap on the boat’s deck.

bahia solano fishing report

The boat ride out.

Alejandro finally gave up on the trolling. We went to a point of land where huge boulders pierced the surface of the sea, providing habitat for frigatebirds, boobies, and other seabirds. Alejandro handed me a large spinning rod with a giant popper attached. When I asked what we were fishing for he said, “Pargo. Atun.” Cubera snapper and tuna. OK. I’d never caught either so it was fine with me.

bahia solano fishing report

We fished around these rocks.

 

bahia solano fishing report

This plug weighed four ounces. Tossing and working it was WORK.

Using that outfit was serious work. After a while it was rest time for me. Ricardo had a bite, something that screamed line off against a very tight drag. But the hooks pulled lose and we never saw the creature.

bahia solano fishing report

Alejandro battles a pargo.

Alejandro was like a machine, tossing the popper a mile and working it back with powerful sweeps of the rod. A fish finally came up and ate it- what a fish! Pargo, muy grande! The snapper weighed close to 70 pounds, the biggest one Alejandro had ever gotten. After we photographed it, to my surprise and relief, he released it.

bahia solano fishing report

It was a beast.

 

bahia solano fishing report

It wasn’t my fish!

Even after that it was a bit of a shock when a fish nailed my plug. Against a tightly set drag the fish made a powerful run. It was a tuna, not even a very big one. Man, such power!

bahia solano fishing report

The tuna weighed less than 10 pounds, but they were all business.

That fish was not released. Nor was the next one I got. Alejando got a third.

bahia solano fishing report

One of Alejandro’s tackle boxes.

We had tuna sushimi and tuna ceviche as appetizers at dinner that evening. They were both heavenly.

bahia solano fishing report

The weather the second day could have been better.

Inclement Weather

Rain greeted us the next morning. Near the lodge we cast lures for tarpon and roosterfish. An hour’s work netted no results, so we went back to the pargo spot. The rain just got heavier, the wind windier. I broke out the ten-weight. Carrying it to Colombia would have been stupid had I not used it. I got one blue runner, not exactly the fish I had in mind. But it was a fish on a fly in a country that was new to me. Score!

bahia solano fishing report

Johanna had never caught a fish before.

Although there were three tuna caught with plugs, there were no pargo this day. With the weather deteriorating and the fishing slow we decided to bag it early in the afternoon. The ride back to the lodge was memorable for all the wrong reasons- big seas, heavy rain, everyone soaked and miserable.

bahia solano fishing report

Atun! Johanna is a happy girl.

Last Day at Bahia Solano

The next morning I had some time before our flight back to Medellin. I used it to photograph some of the birds and sights around the lodge.

bahia solano fishing report

 

bahia solano fishing report

 

bahia solano fishing report

 

bahia solano fishing report

My trip to Bahia Solano was way too short, unfortunately with uncooperative weather and fairly uncooperative fish. I’d made some new friends and had a chance to catch some new species, an altogether great trip. February is supposed to be the best month for fishing there. I’m looking for a way to clear my calendar for a couple of weeks.

bahia solano fishing report

For more information on Bahia Solano and the Playa de Oro Lodge, visit http://www.hotelesdecostaacosta.com/bahia-solano. Find the English link for the site at the top left.

———————————————————

FOR SALE
Still trying to find a good home for my old EZ Loader Trailer- http://orlando.craigslist.org/bpo/5764303987.html

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And that is this week’s Bahia Solano Fishing Report!

Life is great and I love my work!

Life is short- Go Fishing!

John Kumiski
www.spottedtail.com
http://www.spottedtail.com/blog
www.johnkumiski.com
www.rentafishingbuddy.com
https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/jkumiski

All content in this blog, including writing and photos, copyright John Kumiski 2016. All rights are reserved.