Southwest Florida - Naples, Marco, 10,000 Islands
Capt. Jeff Legutki
January 28, 2005
Ten Thousand Islands - Saltwater Fishing Report
Inshore:Success in the cold
Monday the 24th, was the following day after the latest cold front. Woke up only to find the computer forsact saying it was 35 degree's outside, with a wind chill of 23. Luckily I postponed the day's trip back to 11am. Fished with long time client Mr. Len Judy, from upstate Mich. To my surprise,Len show's up with a full face thermal ski mask. He said this way I could deal with the cold since I usually start to complain whem the temp drop's below 65. Looking half puzzeled, fore it look's like something a terrorist wouold wear. Don't get me wrong, I really appreciated the gesture, but if you could only see the other guy's at the dock snickering at the look's of this thing, you probably would have chuckled yourself.
Len brought his brand new rod to break in on the day's adventure. We have not even cleared the ramp basin yet and Len start's to cast in the channel, as I was putting thing's away I hear the drag start screaming like a drill in the dentist office. Looking at Len wondering what just happened, rod doubled over throbbing with the line still burning off the real. A couple minutes later a giant jack comes to the surface. Ten pound's on the boga grip and we haven't even left sight of the marina. What a way to start out on this freezing cold morning.
Now yesterday a friend and I scoped out some holes close enough to the ramp where we wouldn't have to jump on plane, for I knew going it was going to be this cold. My plan was to start out in this hole and jig up some trout while the day's temerature climbed. No sooner than the second cast, again his drag start's to go! Leaping out of the water comes this beautiful silver snook. Second cast mind you, and we subdue a 26" snook. The day is starting out well, several descent trout up to 19", a mangrove snapper, and another fine jack. Not bad for the first stop not even a half mile from the ramp.
By this time it has warmed up enough to jump up on plane and move to the second place I wanted to fish. We picked a spot tucked back away from the element's of winter. Another deep hole, with lot's of trout willing to bend the rod. We must have caught seven in the slot, when all the sudden I see Len's face startled at the size of the trout flopping around the surface next to the mangroves, a true gator. Now this was the biggest trout I have seen in a long time, 25" and fat as you could imagine. This was Len's biggest trout ever. With a high five and a picture we were on our way to a winter time slam, all we were lacking was the red fish.
So I mentioned to Len that I have been pretty successful around the corner in this cove with red's last week. So we moved on and started poling down the shore line. Now all the fish caught previously ate a gold-n-glow shrimp tail with a red 1/4 oz jig head. As we pulled into the cove I asked Len to tie on this jig I made. It consist of tan deer hair and blue squirl tail looking like a blue crab. I call it the "blue imposter". As we're poling along quietly I see this giant red layind in the back over some broken oyster shell. Len makes the perfect cast and gently slides the crab pattern a couple feet and WA-BAM the red slurp's it up like he hasn't eaten in a week! Something about fish on the flat's just makes them run like a bonefish in the Key's. Screaming drag's and doubled over rod's make for a good day. This red had to be the fattest red I myself have ever pulled aboard. At 27" the red bottomed the boga out at ten pound's even. This was a real heat winner,the boy's in red fish cup would kill for a fish like this. A few snap shot's and we released her to go on her way.
Now I never would have thought fishing would have been this good today for the condition's. Just goes to show that everyday on the water is a good day! A winter time slam with four quality fish among other's made this a successful day in the cold!
Beautiful night for January
Wednesday the 27th I had the pleasure to fish with long time friend Tom Shadley, owner of Mangrove Outfitter's. We planned on fishing Naples Bay for some snooksickles. The night started out absolutely beautiful, not a breath of wind, or a ripple on the surface. Every light we went to was slap full of eager snook,ready to eat our flies. In fact these fish were eating like the homeless in a chow line. Fighting each other trying to reach the fly first. Tom tied up an interesting pattern with dyed polar bear in pink tied like a "DT".
Throughout the whole night we kept saying to each other how perfect the condition's were. Not only were the fish eating the fly nearly on every cast,but there wasn't another boat out on the water,or to be heard all night long. In complete disbelief,we kept repeating to each other"look how beautiful it is". Full moon glowing, no cloud's,no crowd's,and no sound's, aside from the familiar sound of a snook popping it's helpless prey.It couldn't be any better, two old friend's getting the chance to go out and enjoy some fine fishing.
That night we must have caught over forty snook up to 28 inches, a few blue fish and a couple jack's. Two great friend's howling and hooting under the lit up sky of the full moon. Does it get any better!!!!!!!!!
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