Played hookey from work .... me and a bud lined up a guide to take us north to Chassahowitzka ("the Chaz") to do some fly fishing. Only it was cheating a bit. Guide loaded up his livewell with whitebait. He'd get to a spot and start pitching out some to get the fish fired up. Works great -- as soon as they're popping, you're tossing your fly in the vicinity and waiting for the hookup.
Most of the action was sub-surface (clousers and EP minnows), but my friend got a red on topwater, and I got a jack and a snook on a Dalberg Diver. As we were getting ready to leave this first spot, I threw out a long cast and was simply reeling my line back onto the reel and BAM!!!!!!
That was the largest fish of the day. We each ended up with 10 or so fish -- reds, snook, jacks mostly, but there was a spanish mac (nipped through the line right at the boat) and mangrove snapper too. I cheated and threw a live whitebait on a spinner near a set of rocks (only in 6-8 feet of water!) and pulled out a small gag grouper.
Fun day! Guide said we are getting close to the end of live-bat season; as soon as the cold fronts start making it down here (usually the end of Oct firs of Nov) the bait leaves. But .... it tends to group up the reds, and they switch over to eating crabs and shrimp. The water clears up too, so we starting sight-fishing them along the shorelines.
Viv: Fishing the mouth now. Once cold fronts start happening, the guide says we'll move back up into the river into skinny water to do the sight-fishing. He also said something interesting -- said it's very hard to fly fish here as (a) there are a lot of people throwing bait, so the fish get conditioned to look for live bait and (b) the fish are very spooky in our clear water. He said once it gets a little colder, the fish don't spook as easily (maybe trying not to expend energy when cold) so you can get a little closer without spooking. Also can throw flies close as fish don't want to chase food down ....
FH, this was funny -- my buddy I was fishing with is a fly-only Purist. One time I was fishing the spinner with a live bait on while he was on the bow fly-fishing. He caught a fish, so it was my turn to fly fish from the bow. I handed him the spinning rod ....... he was quiet for a few seconds and then said " owww, this rod is starting to burn my hands ....." LOL!!!!!! He actually gave to rod back to the guide!