Good week this week, five days on the water – two short Econlockhatchee River trips, two days on the Banana River Lagoon, a morning on the Indian River Lagoon, and fish caught in spite of the wind and clouds.
Last week’s report said this: “I think puffers need some PR. I was trying to think of a new name to call them to make them more appealing to anglers but nothing came to mind. If you can come up with a new, sexy name for puffers please email it to me. The best name I get will be worth a free copy of Flyrodding Florida Salt. Judge’s decision is final.”
“Another name for a northern pufferfish is a ‘Sugar Toad’. Also, an ‘Inhaler’ would be a good name referring to how they inhale a fly as well as how they inhale water to swell.” -Geoff W.
I love the creativity of this one- “I love pufferfish and I was thinking the name Prickly Pickle.” -Olivia L.
“The Puffer through its action, starting at the rear, is a ‘sea wolf’.” -Larry
And my personal favorite- “You can call them Senators, Congressmen or politicians. They are all full of hot air”. -Bill J.
So I have a dilemma. I promised a book, but no one really met the terms of the contest, which was to come up with a name that would make people want to catch puffers. If it weren’t for shipping costs I’d give all four of you a book, just for participating. Hmmm, what to do, what to do…
Sunday afternoon son Alex asked me, “Wanna go fishing?” So at about 2 PM we launched the Mitzi at CS Lee Park and ran it up the Econ. The stumpknocker bite was hot. They are amazingly aggressive little fish, hitting bass flies with some authority. This reporter managed a cute little largemouth bass as well. We were off the water at 5 PM, a short, sweet trip.
Monday morning found me launching a kayak on the Banana River Lagoon with Kevin Barnes, a really good fly caster from Georgia. The wind was blowing 15-20 out of the northeast. We found fish though, and Kevin did some damage on the redfish. Heck, I got five myself. Kevin’s fly consisted of a strip of black bunny skin tail and a root beer estaz body, tied on a size four Mustad 23007. Real simple, very effective.
I used a black and purple bendback. All the fish were in the slot, no big boys this trip.
Wednesday at noonish I launched the kayak on the Econ. I had floated about 100 yards down the river when the most astonishing sight met my eyes- four healthy women, wearing waders, in the river with dipnets, clipboards, and other sciency stuff. I had to stop to talk with them, to see what they were doing.
They work for Seminole County and do biological assays of surface waters all through the county. I happened to catch them during their annual Econlockhatchee trip. The county maintains a website to let all of us know what these folks are doing, found here.
After a few quite delightful minutes I continued on my way. There were (hopefully) fish to catch.
The redbellies were on it. Actually, they are bedding now. I got a couple beauties that hit my bass fly. I also managed to coax four bass to take it. The clouds continued building and the thunder started rumbling. The kayak got pointed back upriver and some serious paddling commenced. I walked into my kitchen just after 2 PM, another short, sweet trip.
Thursday morning again found me launching my kayak with Kevin Barnes, same time, same channel. The wind was now from the northwest, stronger if anything. The lagoon was covered with whitecaps. We’re going fly paddle fishing in this?? At least the sun was out.
We did. The fish were there again, and again, Kevin was on it. He scored a slam with black drum, redfish, and a handsome 25 inch seatrout, all caught on that same estaz and bunny strip fly (I think I’ll be tying some up.). Although we saw a couple fatties we did not make that particular score. When I left at 4 PM, Kevin was still fishing. Gotta love the enthusiasm. That’s probably why he’s so good.
Friday morning found George Allen and I launching the Mitzi on the Indian RIver Lagoon. The fish were at the first spot we went to. It did not take George long to catch a beautiful five pound seatrout. He would end up getting two more, one a twin of the first. He also got a couple of slot reds. It was a beautiful morning and we got a few fish. The boat was back on the trailer before 1 PM.
And that is this week’s Fished Around Orlando Fishing Report from Spotted Tail.
Life is great and I love my work!
Life is short- Go Fishing!