November is coming to a close, tomorrow marks the last trip of the month as a matter of fact. The fishing has been sporadically fantastic, with most just very good days in between. We did have some difficult weather patterns this month, but most of them turned out pretty good regardless. There honestly were too many good catches and types of fishing to highlight, but Redfish definitely were the highlight of the month. Although full limits of nice Grouper were caught 5-9 miles offshore and the shark fishing was fantastic most evenings the winds just kept those trips to a minimum and pushed us a bit inshore for most of the month. Hopefully the winds die down a bit in December and allow us a few more shots at filling the cooler with one of the Gulf’s most prized catches, Red and Gag Grouper.
The fall migration of birds and Manatees is also in full swing. Large groups of Manatees have been working their way through some of the deeper troughs around flats that are teeming with Redfish, highlighting the need to really obey those Manatee speed zones this time of year (not that you should other times of the year). The White Pelicans (North America’s second largest bird behind the Condor) have taken up their Roost around Devilfish Key, numbering in the Thousands and the Bald Eagles have moved in to their winter homes around Lemon Bay. I rounded a shallow bar that was dry due to a low tide early one morning while catching bait and saw a group of large birds sitting on the bar. I knew they were not buzzards and thought to myself “are those turkeys?” Then it hit me, not one, but SIX adult bald eagles standing on the bar. Several of them were picking over some Mullet they either caught or scavenged, the others were just staring at me as I roared through their peaceful morning pushed by 250 wild horses. They really did look like turkeys standing in a field, and it worked to remind me of just how big these birds really are. The resident eagles can also be seen on a good number of early mornings picking up a light snack, and even attacking some of the other local birds to steal their catch! Often Osprey are meet the business end of the much larger eagles in mid air. Its a sight (and sound) you wont soon forget.
I obviously love fishing, after all I chose it as my job. Actually the only thing I like more than fishing is taking other people fishing. I take my job pretty seriously and work hard to make sure that people can have have action packed, relaxing, and worry free day. Lately I have been thinking about all of things I forget or neglect to take in because I am usually trying to hustle pretty hard to meet those goals for my clients. This month I made a special effort to try and take in all that this area really has to offer and not forget that I spend almost everyday in one of the most scenic places on Earth. Sometimes we all get caught up in catching too many fish, and we should take the advice I give to older kids and teenagers that I have out. As they have a tendency to get pretty darn excited and rush their fish in I tell them what I was told by the people that taught me to fish: “enjoy your fish”. Slow down, take it easy, and enjoy it. Even through catching fish is our goal, and we meet that goal on each and every trip, it doesn’t mean we cant soak in a little bit of what is in front of us. You just never know what your going to see, maybe even the elusive North American Bald Turkey Eagle.
A couple of pics from just a few of the trips this month.