29 February 2012

Islamorada Journal 2012...29 FEB

Deb's take on Tuesday night's sunset.

Just off the front of our boat basin is an artificial reef...created in part, as you can see, by an old boat trailer.

Wayne was first to land a decent fish today. Nice, keeper seatrout.

We got chased around by another rain squall today. Almost outran this one...but we did get pelted with a bit of rain, although not enough to get soaked.

This nice keeper seatrout came from the same spot as Wayne's fish. The location is now posted to Shoo-Fly's GPS unit for future reference.

Eventually the rain squall moved off to the south and west.

At another spot Wayne landed a keeper Spanish mackerel.

Deb got this cool shot of a reddish egret.

We nicknamed him "Voldemort."

Another sunset pic.

28 February 2012

Islamorada Journal 2012...28 FEB

This is Monday's sunset.

The good news is that Deb's back in Islamorada, so the quality and availability of photos is going to go up...

...starting with today.

Wayne and I dodged a couple of rainstorms this afternoon, either one of which could have made for a bit of excitement.

The main thrill of the day, however, was created by a barracuda...one of about 30-35 pounds.

We were fishing for miscellaneous stuff...seatrout, mackerel, whatever, when Wayne hooked one of those darned lizard fish. While we're not at all interested in lizard fish, it appears that cudas are: A big nasty one came up and grabbed the lizard fish on the end of Wayne's line. Wayne free-spooled the fish...letting the cuda take line...and then he set the hook.


The cuda, only about 10 feet from the boat, came up out of the water and flew straight at me as I was standing in the stern of the boat.

The fish bounced off the back deck, hit me squarely in both shins, bounced again on the deck, and landed back in the water.

That was the last we saw of Mr. Cuda.

I quickly checked my shins for blood. None! Thankfully, the cuda had hit me with his body and not with his open, tooth-filled mouth.

It was over in less that two seconds...but I can replay it in my mind any time.

Bet Mr. Cuda's having a fine time tonight telling all his buddies about that one.

Nice 23-inch redfish...returned to the water in good shape.

Thought this old prop scar was interesting.

This is what happens when someone runs a powerboat into too-shallow water and the propeller scars the sea bottom. Fresh scars are often white against a darker background, but this old scar for some reason has filled in with vegetation or debris making it look darker than the surrounding sands.

Either way, it's not a pretty sight.

Deb spotted Egbert the Egret up on the back porch today.

Edbert is a really handsome fellow...sort of like the Brad Pitt of birds...walking on the red carpet.

Of course the movie star's image can be somewhat destroyed when he's caught on film scratching his...whatever he's scratching here.

Deb also got this shot of a more short-legged shorebird...I though perhaps a bittern or rail. So far we've been unable to identify her.

Where's Islamorada CIS when you need it?

2012.02.29: Found it...it's a green heron.

As with today's first photo, this too was Monday's sunset...but taken long after the sun had slunk below the horizon.

Sometimes the after-effects of the sunset are as nice as the event itself...although a bit more subtle.

27 February 2012

Oh well...

I spent all day today doing stuff totally unrelated to fishing...or to being in the Florida Keys, for that matter. So will use my backlog of others' stories to fill in the blog for today:

Iceland Has A Nessy?

”There's something undoubtedly fishy about this footage of a 'serpent-like' sea creature gliding through the waters of an Icelandic river.

”The video, captured last week by Hjörtur Kjerúlf, shows a mysterious creature swimming through the cold water of the glacial river Jökulsá í Fljótsdal, in east Iceland.

”And in just over a week, it has already become a monster hit on the internet.”


Fewer Stripers in Connecticut?

”The scary thing is there simply are not the large numbers of stripers around to catch like there have been over the past couple of decades. Sadly, it appears that for the third time in my life as a sport fisherman, the striper population has been fished down."

Bob Sampson in NorwichBulletin.com

A Derby Story

”The word was that not a single striper was brought in that day, and only two small bass the day before, but we considered that as working to our advantage….”

Charley Soares in HeraldNews.com

Striper Disease

”A chronic bacterial disease known as mycobacteriosis now infects more than half of all striped bass in Chesapeake Bay.”


Weighted Flies

”Fishing with surface flies doesn’t always work, so anglers must carry patterns that sink to the strike zone....”


Striper Problems Are Political Not Biological

”During our first winter of going out every weekend, and armed with freshwater largemouth tackle and soft plastic or bucktail jigs, we easily caught and released 2,000-3,000 stripers between us. We each averaged 30 to 70 fish every time on the river, and had more 200-fish days than those with less than 10."

Bob Sampson in NorwichBulletin.com

Big Lobster Caught Off Maine Coast

”A giant 27-pound lobster caught off the Maine coast will be released back into the wild, said Maine State Aquarium Director Aimee Hayden-Rodriques....”


26 February 2012

Islamorada Journal 2012...26 FEB

Scruffy day out today with 20kt. winds...so thought to show you more photos from our trip to Key West.

Should have written down the name of this little tropical bird.


Two-masted, gaff-rigged sloop undoubtedly taking tourists out to watch the sunset.

Juggling fiery torches at Mallory Square...on a unicycle yet.

To this person from stuffy old Connecticut it's surprising to see liquor sold on the street; one can purchase a drink and then walk away with it.

They also have drive-through liquor stores.

Everything's up-to-date in Key West city.

Nice name for a street.

That appears to be a string or two of colored beads hanging on the sign.

Saturday night's sunset.

25 February 2012

Islamorada Journal 2012...25 FEB

Wayne and I went to the giant Islamorada Nautical Flea Market early Saturday morning.

All kinds of stuff related to fishing and boating for sale...plus clothes, art, and assorted junk.

The people-watching was outrageously good.

Although some...

...were not as photogenic...

...as others.

Oh dear!

Traffic jam on the one-lane US-1 went for miles.

Here's a nice sunset photo to take your mind off some of the previous shots.

24 February 2012

Islamorada Journal 2012...24 FEB

Wayne's got a fish on.

Nice redfish...released.

Shark...probably a lemon shark.

Dolphin came over to the boat looking for Ms. Caroline.


Houndfish...can you see those teeth? Click on pic to enlarge.

22 February 2012

Islamorada Journal 2012...22 FEB

The gang went to Key West on Monday, expecting it to be a madhouse being a holiday, and found it wasn't that crowded at all...even with two monster-sized cruise ships in harbor.

Photo taken at the Key West Butterfly & Nature Conservatory. Excellent place for kids and adults.

When you leave, you have to check in a set of mirrors to be certain you're not taking any "hitchhiking" butterflies with you.

On Ms. Caroline's last day in Islamorada she finally got to see some wild dolphins.

We saw two groups of them, and although we maintained an appropriate distance from them, a few came over to the boat to inspect us.

The kids got sprayed with dolphin mist.

We were able to watch these beautiful animals for quite a while.

Zachary, with some kibitzing from Michael, ate Grampy's lunch at the checkers table.

Note the energy-sustaining chocolate-chip cookies.

Taken at the Key West Aquarium...another worthwhile stop.

Sunset on the gang's last full day in Islamorada.