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page 4 out of 16
Big Bend Paddle Fishing Report Mike Conneen and I just wrapped up a seven day, 60 mile paddle along Florida's Gulf coast, from the Aucilla River to Steinhatchee. So this is a Big ... moreBend paddle fishing report.

Tough Going
This was the most physically demanding trip I've taken in at least 30 years. Generally when taking an extended trip you want to take it easy the first day, to shake out the kinks and settle in. The wind punched us in the mouth from the start. We had two relatively easy days (one because we took it off) and fought the wind every other one.

In spite of that we caught some fish, including redfish, seatrout, flounder, bluefish, ladyfish, and even the coveted lizardfish (sorry, no photo).

A brief rundown-
We left home Sunday morning and drove to Sea Hag Marina http://seahag.com in Steinhatchee, where we spent the night in a charming little fishing cabin. We even got to watch some football.

Russ McAllister of Suwanee Guides http://suwanneeguides.com picked us up Monday morning and gave us a shuttle to the boat ramp on the Aucilla River. Shortly after launching Mike caught the trip's first fish. We paddled against the current (incoming tide) to the Gulf and against the wind to the Econfina River, where we camped at a FWC campsite.

Tuesday we again fought the wind all day as we paddled south to the FWC campsite on Rock Island. Since the wind was still howling out of the south on Wednesday, and since we were basically spent from fighting it the first two days, we spent Wednesday night here too. It was quite a lovely place, remote enough we did not see another human for two days.

Thursday we had the best weather and best fishing day of the trip, going from Rock Island to Spring Warrior Creek. We hit reds most of the way on a variety of lures. We camped at the FWC campsite on the creek.

Friday we had a 13 mile day. While windy, it was coming off the shore instead of up the coast, so it was not as rigorous as the first couple days. However, the distance involved meant we had very little fishing time. I got two reds by dragging a DOA CAL shad behind the kayak as I paddled. We camped on Sponge Point, another great site.

Saturday the wind blew again off the shoreline. Much of our paddle was on a low tide. When the tide goes out along this coast it goes WAY out. I had to drag my boat for a ways, an option not available to Mike. We found a fish-filled hole in an otherwise almost waterless flat, where we caught all of our fish for the day. Our campsite this night was at Dallus Creek, where the feral pigs roam. Fortunately my yelling at them scared them off.

Sunday we had nine miles to go to reach Steinhatchee. The first seven were gorgeous, with light south winds and steady progress. When we stopped for a break I said, "This weather couldn't be any nicer." As soon as we started paddling again, BAM! Fifteen to 20, right in our faces, the waves coming over the bow of the boat, and miserably tough, slow going. Mother Nature just kicked our butts one last time before we finished.

Paddle Trip
This was not a fishing trip where we paddled. It was a paddle trip where we fished as time allowed. I brought a fly rod and used it about 15 minutes over the course of a week, blind casting without success. Many of the fish I caught came by trolling the shad as I paddled.

Having said that, the habitat here is probably the best remaining in the state- lots of oysters, the thickest seagrasses I've seen in a long time, and nice clear water (Fenholloway River mouth excepted). The fish did not run large but there were plenty of them- when we were able to fish.

Permits
Anyone wanting to use the FWC campsites needs a permit. Visit this link for more information- http://myfwc.com/viewing/recreation/wmas/lead/big-bend/paddling-trail/camping-permits/

And that is the Big Bend Paddle Fishing Report!

Life is great and I love my work!

Life is short- Go Fishing!

John Kumiski
www.spottedtail.com
http://www.spottedtail.com/blog
www.johnkumiski.com
www.rentafishingbuddy.com
https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/jkumiski

All content in this blog, including writing and photos, copyright John Kumiski 2016. All rights are reserved.
Date:
Monday, 5 Dec, 2016
Fish Caught:
20 fish or more
Orlando Kayak Fly Fishing Report This is the Orlando Kayak Fly Fishing Report. With a kayak fishing charter coming up on Saturday, all my fishing this week was paddle-based fly fishing.... more

Tuesday's trip was on the Mosquito Lagoon. Yes, it sounds like a broken record. High, dirty water makes fishing tough there. I found one redfish all day. Remarkably, I had a good shot at it and caught it. Not a very sustainable way to catch fish, though.

Wednesday Mike Conneen and I went to the Banana River Lagoon. All the grass there is gone. I ran over a small school of fish and set up camp while Mike kept going. A couple hours of casting a wool crab netted me three bites that resulted in a black drum, a redfish, and a hooked and lost fish of unknown specie. Unfortunately Mike did not get a fish. There wasn't a lot of cheese around for us.

In spite of that I went back to the Banana River Lagoon the next day, to a different spot. The good news was the water, although of course still quite high, was clean. Like it's supposed to be. There was no grass at all, though. Only a handful of fish were seen all day, resulting in a single shot and a small redfish that took the wool crab.

It is painful to see what's happened to that fishery.

Saturday fly fisher Steve Marsden, from the wilds of northern Wisconsin, joined me for a day's kayak fly fishing. He had a few shots at tailing reds. Sadly there were no conversions. He did get what was by far the largest pinfish I have ever seen, and a handful of trout that probably would not have "held batter." The weather was awesome, the birds spectacular, and we enjoyed the day.

And that is the Orlando Kayak Fly Fishing Report!

Life is great and I love my work!

Life is short- Go Fishing!

John Kumiski
www.spottedtail.com
http://www.spottedtail.com/blog
www.johnkumiski.com
www.rentafishingbuddy.com
https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/jkumiski

All content in this blog, including writing and photos, copyright John Kumiski 2016. All rights are reserved.
Date:
Tuesday, 15 Nov, 2016
We are in a transition period for the upper Madison. It doesn't know if it is still summer or if fall has really arrived. The upper mad does this every year. Fishin looses it consistency ... moreone day it is good next fishing falls through the floor. The bugs available to the fish are becoming more and more scarce. They are making to the transition back to a fish based diet. Sculpins and juvenile whitefish are fast moving to the top of the menu Streamers of all sorts are beginning to work, but it still pays to put a bead behind it. I think fishing is going to continue to get more and more sketchy The upper Madison becomes a river of extremes in the fall, offering some of the best fishing of the season. But also some of the worst. Every time one door closes another opens. See ya on the lower. E shores
Date:
Tuesday, 20 Sep, 2016
The Madison is still play in well despite the in increased pressure due to recent recent closures on the Jefferson bighole and Yellowstone rivers. Looks like they are going to open ... moremost of the Yellowstone back up and one section of the bighole remains open. Cooler temps have really taken the pressure off surrounding waters. If your going to fish the Madison sleep in have a big breakfast and hit the water around 11:00 AM the River has been crowded but everyone is on the same program. Get on the water around 9:00 then off around 3:00. The trick to avoid the trafic is go late get I behind everyone. Last night we had great fishing on ants between 3:00 and 7:00pm. Fish have obviously been seeing some ants. But the real show has yet to happen. For me it has been buggars and beads in the morning with limited success then hoppers and ants most of the afternoon Lots of small fish but good action. Every once in a while something in the 16 to 18 inch range shows up. Fish are sketchy on hoppers they want to get a close look. Takes nerves of steel to leave the fly while they check it out. Ant not so much. If they come for a look they will probably eat it. But you will miss fish because your too fast not because your too slow. Upcoming cool weather could change everything thinks. This upper River doesn't like cold nasty weather could be time to head down stream the the lower.
Date:
Sunday, 11 Sep, 2016
Lower Madison is comming alive temps last week were in the low to middle 70's now they are peaking out in the low 60's. Prime for Browns and rainbows. There have been some free floating ... moremoss issues, you need to have a good repitoir of moss removal techniques. There are still some hoppers out which seem to playing pretty well in the afternoon other than that it has bee the usuall array of streamers and nymphs. I like the crawfish looking stuff. Lots of daddy's down there. Fish early and Late to avoid the Bozeman crowd. Tight lines
Date:
Sunday, 11 Sep, 2016
Calibates hatch still going strong on ennis lake. Good numbers of fish still working on the surface , but are getting smarter. Last week a size 16 pheasant tail couldn't miss. Now ... morenot so much. Actually did better on a size 18 blond parachute Adams. On the surface. Seems like less people lately. Thoughts are turning to shotguns and bows. The hatch usually starts around 9:00 or 9:30. Bugs peak around. 12:00. Then the wind usually comes up by 2:00 and shuts the whole thing down. Upcoming cold weather could Change thing s mayflies don't like cold weather. We will see.
Fishing Water Report:
Date:
Wednesday, 31 Aug, 2016
Upper Madison isn't sure whether it is still summer or fall. Everything semis to be working Kind of. Nothing is really killing them. Still if your willing to stay with a streamer. ... moreYou'll end up with a few shots at good fish. Hoppers and ants after it warms up in the afternoon are still getting good action. But not seeing much in the size department.
Fishing Water Report:
Date:
Wednesday, 31 Aug, 2016
Fishing turned out to be super fun with my friend Julia. We did Palisades to McAtee bridge to stay in front of the windy point traffic and behind the Ruby Creek crowd. I had her start ... morewith a half downed hopper and a flying ant. We never took 'em off. Whether they were eating the half downed for a moth or a hopper, I don't know. Since there weren't too many pine tree's around and they started eating it more regularly in the afternoon, it makes me think that they were eating the half downed hopper as a moth in the morning and a hopper in the afternoon. Red flying ant caught fish all day. Saw smaller black naturals but felt no need to switch. Fished dries, stayed out of the crowds, beautiful day--wonderful float. Thanks Julia
Fishing Water Report:
Start Access Site:
Date:
Tuesday, 16 Aug, 2016
Fish Caught:
20 fish or more
Upper Madison is holding up great this year. The bad news for the pine trees is that it is a big year for the spruce moth. Good news for anglers and fish is hat it is a good year for ... morethe spruce moths. Hot weather has the powers that be flush flowing the beartrraps to keep water temps down that takes a lot of water so they have raised the upper. Higher water seems to cooled off the dry fly fishing a bit the big daddy's are starting to hunt sculpins. So streamer season is beginning. Tight lines everyone E
Fishing Water Report:
Date:
Saturday, 6 Aug, 2016
Fish Caught:
13-19 fish
Upper ruby on the forest service is fishing well on nymphs a few hoppers starting to show up. A small bead under hopper seems to do the trickĀ ... more
below the dam has been good on small dries especially late
Fishing Water Report:
Date:
Wednesday, 13 Jul, 2016