Monday, March 12, 2018

Florida (Addendum)


"Are you Jesse?!"

"Do you Know Jesse?!"

"Did ya see any hog?!"

"Did ya drive all the way to Florida just to catch a redfish?"
I cannot think of an answer less than 10,000 words.

We drove from Philly and New Jersey to Florida in one 19 hour stretch, because we knew we would have a campsite at Shell Mound Campground and would not have to sleep by the truck in a ditch. We arrived midnight, camp was full, we slept by the truck in a ditch.

Capt. Dan at Cedar Key Paddling Set us up with a map, lures, and quality info on launches, and fishing in the area.

We got campsite 19. Shell Mound Campground. $5 per night +tax.

Planning around tides is requisite for these spots, at low tide launching, landing, and navigating are not so nice.

We caught lucky weather, reports of fishing were not good before we arrived but a few days of warm weather turned things on.

Ask me how the fishing was and I will tell you: Great! With nothing to compare it to, the fishing is as good as you think it is. Maybe between us we made something like 2000, or 3000, or 5000 casts with lures daily (topwater, bass assassin, spinnerbait). We covered acres of water, and furlongs of sod bank daily. We caught 4, or 5 puppy and slot size red drum each daily, twice we found a school of speckled trout and caught many.

The satisfaction in fishing this way, for me, is tantamount to the satisfaction of any hard work,  applying know-how, the tools of work become extensions of the body, the application of know-how adds to know-how. Any cast might connect with a fish so you always pay attention to what you're doing. Any cast might connect with a big fish, so you pay attention to knots, line, hooks, you visualize playing and landing a big fish. How will you get control over the fish, and get it into your boat cleanly?

Even with preparation, with know-how, everything done right, in a moment a big fish can say "Hello." and then "Goodbye." Alexi hooked up with a great big red, something went wrong, he didn't boat it, nothing is certain, he will think about that moment for a long time.