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Shuttle Launch Scrubbed; Why Not Election?

Capt. John Kumiski
November 6, 2010
Orlando - Saltwater Fishing Report

Shuttle Launch Scrubbed; Why Not Election?

The Report from Spotted Tail 11/7/10

in this issue

space shuttle
new kayak book
the election
chiggers
cold weather
the fishing
smoking cobia again

Space Shuttle
Sunday's charter was changed to Monday and then Tuesday because of the shuttle launch. Today is Friday and it's still on the ground! Better scrubbed than exploded, I say.

Supposedly November 30 it goes up, for now. I want to be over there, it could be the last shuttle to launch. It is an incredible thing to experience.

Tuesday morning David Gustafson and his friend Kim met me at Parrish Park. We already knew the shuttle wasn't going. Then as I headed down the Haulover Canal the Yamaha softly quit. I couldn't get it going again.

I freely admit that mechanically I am an idiot. I checked the fuel tank, the fuel line connection to the gas tank, the water separator, even took the cowling off and gazed with a mixture of admiration and frustration at all that mysterious mechanical stuff on which I so depend.

Couldn't get it to start. Electric motored back, trailered the boat, and brought it to Rod Miller. Charter over. Zero fishing.

Rod puzzled over it for a couple minutes and found the fuel line connector at the motor had come off. Of course. I hadn't checked that.

Some simple things can make you feel so stupid, duh. Again, David and Kim, I'm sorry.

New Paddling Guidebook
Susan Young and Roger Fulton have published a nice little paddling guide to east central Florida, called, oddly enough, 25 Kayak & Canoe Trips in East-Central Florida (129 pp., spiral bound, 4 x 8 inches, www.CommonManBooks.com, $19.95). It's written for the common man! Unlike our legal and tax systems. However, I digress.

I checked out descriptions of two trips with which I'm familiar. They were good, giving any paddler all the information they would need to take any of the not rigorous paddle trips described in the book. It's sized so you can carry it in a back pocket, or a day pack side pocket, or maybe on your lap as you paddle.

While it's not written with fishermen in mind, any paddling fisherman in the area covered would get some good ideas for places to explore here. Get more information at this link: http://rogerfulton.com/ecotours/FLBooks/CFL-Kayak.htm

The Election
The election was Tuesday and mercifully the ads are done until next time. I hope everyone voted. That's what gives you the right to complain!

Some people won. Some people lost. There were big parties. There was wailing and gnashing of teeth. Things may change. That's all I'm going to say about it.

The World Series (a bonus)
Some people won. Some people lost. There were big parties. There was wailing and gnashing of teeth. Things may change. That's all I'm going to say about it.

Yucky Chiggers
About a month ago I went running in the woods and got torn up by chiggers, nasty little things I knew nothing about. Before I dared go running in the woods again (the other day, the first time I've gotten my courage back up), a little research preceded the run.

Except for that biting thing, they're fascinating little critters. If you like going into the woods to fish, hunt, run, bicycle, or what-have-you, you might read the article at this link: http://mdc.mo.gov/discover-nature/avoid-outdoor-pests/chiggers

Cold Weather Fishing, Florida Style
We had a cold front come through yesterday, the first of this season. The acorn fall this year has been tremendous, goldenrods are blooming, the sweet gum and red maple leaves are falling, autumn is almost over and winter is almost here.

That means it's time to break out the waders!

The cooler months are my favorite time to paddle fish. If you use a sit-on-top kayak you need waders to not get wet. The water temperatures get down into the 50's here during the winter, so you definitely don't want to be wet all day.

Waders also let you wade with impunity, even on chilly days.

Fortunately in Florida rudimentary waders will work as well (almost) as extreme $700 ones.

Paddle fishing when the water is winter low allows you to get into seriously shallow water where skiffs can't go. It's hunting for shallow water fishies at its best!

Break out the light-weight fly rods for some serious fun with reds and trout. I'll be writing about this more in upcoming reports.

I will say this, though, the Redfish Worm fly at this link (www.spottedtail.com/FlyOfTheWeek.htm ) is one of my favorite winter patterns.

The Fishing
Tuesday's trip has already been described.

The first day or two after a cold front is not usually a good time to flats fish. It all comes down to how hard and how cold the wind is. If a good, strong front comes through, the first day of calm weather afterwards is frequently the best fishing of the season. It could be the best day of the year. So getting ready for Saturday's trip I had my fingers crossed the wind would lay down.

The forecast was for 15-20 out of the northwest and a high of 66. When I got to Parrish Park it was about NW at 20 and darned cold. My fisherman, a fly guy, didn't want to go out. I don't blame him. So I drove home again.

After the shuttle didn't launch Tuesday, Maxx, Scott Radloff, Cindy Kimber, and I made plans every other day last week to go watch the launch. Since it didn't go up we never got out. I didn't wet a line this week.

The launch is now scheduled for November 30. I have the day open if any readers want to charter me to watch and fish.

Smoking Cobia, Again
Last week I wrote that I used oak to make smoke in the fish smoker. Reader Ray Kotke wrote, "up here in Michigan we smoke fish all the time, and you REALLY want to try using most any fruitwood chips for smoking fish. Even hickory chips is better than oak! Try some cherry or apple wood chips."

It sounds like a great idea and thanks for the suggestion! Oaks grow in my yard, so that's probably what I'll continue using unless I get a dead orange tree someplace.

Embrace simplicity.

Life is great and I love my work!

Life is short- go fishing!

John Kumiski
www.spottedtail.com

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