Our first fishing foray was going to the “snapper hole”. We have a few spots we know well around here and each of them is named for the type of fish we normally find there. We have the snapper hole, the shark hole and the barracuda hole. The wind was up yesterday so our best bet was the snapper hole – which is actually a channel through a very shallow bank that separates one part of the bay from another. Snapper and the occasional small barracuda or shark is what we usually find here and Allison started us out.
Then something strange happened. While tossing a bigger jig across the channel looking for a small barracuda, I hooked into something that felt familiar but unusual for this area. As I got it close to the boat I saw it was a really nice Speckled Trout – a fish they do catch here but not this far away from the mainland. We catch them when we run over to Flamingo which is at the tip of the everglades and is more like the murky bay waters I’m used to in Texas. This area here is crystal clear with flats with fish such as bonefish and permit, not specks and reds. I’ve never encountered one this far away from the glades.
It was about a 20”er so I filled up the live well and said “I guess we eat tonight”. Then I cast back out into the same spot and immediately caught another one. At that point I told Michael to rig up with a larger jig and cast out there and he started catching them too.
By the time they moved away we had five really nice fish in the live well and had released several more. On top of that Allison caught her normal raft of snapper including three that were eating size so we had enough fish to last a few dinners.
The Florida mainland has been getting a ton of rain this summer (much like we have at home) and I saw a story on the way down here that Okeechobee was overflowing and sending too much water downstream into the Port St. Lucie area and they were really worried about the local fishing up there because the huge influx of fresh water was lowering the salinity of the bay and driving the fish away. I guess the Everglades are in the same boat and the fresh water has driven the trout out here into bonefish country.
As we were getting ready to pull away we saw we had drawn in a couple of sharks and the kids started chanting for me to catch one so I tried to target one of the smaller ones and did hook him up.
Then we bounced our way back home to clean fish, ourselves and cook dinner. Which was great…
and finished off with some key lime pie .