Snook, Trout and More
It has been a busy couple of weeks at Tailhunter Outdoor Adventures. For that, I feel blessed and I am extremely happy. I have traveled from one end of Volusia County to the other, taking clients wherever they desire to fish. In recent trips, it has included Tomoka Basin, the Tomoka River, and the Indian River near New Smyrna Beach, Edgewater and Oak Hill; yes, from the north end of the county to the south. Why travel all over the county? The main reason is the different types of fishing that take place within the region. I enjoy it all and I love to help my clients experience something new. Whether that is fishing shorelines and grass islands in the Tomoka area, or fishing docks and mangroves in the southern area, it is all about creating the best experience I can for the customer and helping them find the target they want. Each location offers its own challenges and rewards which keeps it fun and an ever learning process.
Each trip over the past couple of weeks has been unique in its own way. However, they all shared one thing in common: family members enjoying time in nature, sharing memories and fun. The trip that truly set memories was a father and his teenage son. They spent a late afternoon chasing redfish and seatrout with me. Despite windy conditions, we saw a lot of fish and had plenty of shots. Listening to the two bust each other's chops over blown casts left me chuckling all day; it also reminded me of fishing with my grandfather. The funniest quote came when the father, after missing another fish, looked back and asked, "So, do all of your customers suck at casting as much as we do?" While laughing, I reminded him that sight fishing was not as easy as it looked on television. At the end of the day they both thanked me for a wonderful time and said I would be hearing from them again. All the way up the dock, they continued busting on each other and laughing. That day reminded me that it is less about the fish you catch and more about quality time spent with the ones you love being around. That day they shared memories without cell phones, television, or the interruptions that seem to take over our daily lives.
The other trips have also been filled with memories . Most of my clients took their first fish in saltwater, inshore fishing. The smiles, laughs and sights made poling in the wind worth every bit of effort it took. Seatrout provided us with their unmatched beauty; although not a true trout, these members of the drum family have unmatched color variations along their backs and sides. Depending on how the sun hits them, they are highlighted in blue, silver, pink, brown and green. Taking a little time to admire their beauty, while reviving them for release, is worth a few seconds. Jack Crevalle gave one client a true battle on light spinning gear. The big fish was cruising a shoreline and readily accepted a Z-Man shrimp jig. These fish are powerful and have a never give up attitude. The bent rod, screaming drag, and pulsing fight made quite an impression on my customer and left him smiling. Fish of the week went to Mark and Mark. Despite a full, bright moon and high winds, they ventured out with me. Although we couldn't get the redfish to cooperate, we did manage to get some big snook to give us action. Hearing a bass fisherman's exclamation when a big snook hits is terrific. They hit like a bull, and stopping them is next to impossible. However, great fighting techniques, and some awesome rods brought the fish to the boat. These were the biggest snook of the season, so far. Their power and brute force is unmatched and made for memories they will not forget.
The coming months will continue to improve in both weather and fishing. The weather will become more stabilized and the winds will start to calm (at least if the normal pattern takes place). The saltwater side will have an increase in snook fishing and tarpon will join our mix of redfish and seatrout. May through October will offer the best chance for an East Coast Slam or Grand Slam. This requires taking three out of four or all four species. April and May are also the best months for bowfishing in the freshwater realm. If you want a chance to fill a cooler for an upcoming fish fry, this is it. The tilpaia have started bedding and it will continue for the next two months. It doesn't take specialized gear, just a bow, a few arrows, and some waders (recommended at least). The day is spent stalking these fish on foot, in one of the last remaining Natural Florida areas left, the St. John's River. Everyone has a blast doing this and it results in some very tasty meals. Like I've said before, these are wild fish, not the farm-raised fish you find in stores or hear horror stories about. They have a white, flaky flesh that is perfect for frying or grilling.
Speaking of upcoming adventures, there are still some open spots for my trip to Abaco Lodge in October. I've been getting updates from their guides and the fishing has been off the charts. Bonefish, tarpon and permit have been filling their days with plenty of action. Add in some big barracuda, mutton snapper and the chance at some other species and you can be bet that you'll be worn out at the end of the day. That's ok though, because the end of the day means a cold beverage, next to a fire on the beach, watching the sunset and sharing stories. Oh yeah, I should also mention the great food that will be served to you! Email me or visit the Abaco blog for full details.
As a last mention in this blog, I wanted to take a moment to give a shout out to Captain Kent Gibbens, the owner of KG Custom Tackle. Kent recently built me the spinning rods I have started using. These rods have made a huge difference in recent success. They are light, responsive and have the backbone needed to break the spirit of these fish. I've fished a lot of rods and cannot be happier with my decision to switch over. Add in some Z-Man soft plastics and the Rapala twitch baits I've been using for the complete arsenal and the recipe for success. As for flies, I tie my own. Below are some photos of flies that are driving the fish nuts. If your interested in getting some, message me and I'll custom tie some for you!
Thanks for taking the time to read about the latest news and upcoming events. I look forward to seeing each of you soon and prov