THE MAGIC OF FALL FISHING:
The leaves are turning and falling - the birds are migrating - the seasons, they are a changin'. Our habits certainly change this time of year. We dress warmer, spend more time indoors, and instinctively eat more in preparation for winter, which for most creatures equates to less food being available. Fish change their lifestyle in order to survive the winter. And that starts with an increased appetite. Those changes stay similar year after year. So, rather than rehashing something we've discussed for the past few years, I'm opting to demonstrate my technical prowess, and insert hyperlinks to the past articles. Granted, specifics of fall patterns for your area may differ, but the basics are the same regardless of your zip code. Bottom line - bundle up if you need to, protect yourself at all costs, but get in on the last good fishing of 2010. Here are some pointers to get you moving in the right direction.
THE BLUE DREAM:
As I was trying to determine what to cover in this article, I spent some time on paddling.com, reading articles, browsing the forums, and checking out the
I did note a common theme among many of the shots, and that being that we all seem to be curious about how a specific location looks as seen over the bow. I admit I do to. I guess that's why I seem to take a lot of pictures like that. So, I thought with summer winding down, I'd share a few of mine. In all of these pictures I had fishing gear on board. But, as is normally the case, I have better luck with the lens than the lure.
South St. Pete Beach, FL.
This was taken on New Years Day 2010. That big pink building is the Don CeSar Resort.
Caladesi Island, Dunedin, FL
St. Petersburg, FL.
This was my first outing after my neck surgery and even though it was an overcast day, it was good to be back among the mangroves again.
Hurricane Pass, Dunedin, FL
Sunset along the Courtney Campbell Causeway, Tampa, FL
Of course, there's more to what we do than bow shots. Here's my buddy Pauly off the New Jersey shore. We were out there looking for bunker and stripers, but what we found was a trawler. The trawler won.
This was taken at Fort DeSoto, FL. My wife was a trooper this day, agreeing to stay out with me as long as I wanted. But, about all I remember about the trip that it was probably the hottest day I've ever endured. No clouds and no wind. Brutal.
This is one of my favorites because I celebrate being able to be back on the water again without pain. I love paddling, and actually prefer it if I'm not going very far. But, thanks to all the snap-crackle-pop I have going on in my neck and back, sometimes paddling simply is no fun. So, my wife and I added 2 Hobies to the fleet and this is the result.
Sometimes a single picture won't truly capture a moment. Enter video and YouTube (Note: the videos accompanying this article have since been removed from YouTube).
During a recent fishing tournament, I encountered a group of manatees and decided to shoot some video. People think they're so cute and docile. From the tourist perspective, that may be true. But in reality, if you get too close they can easily flip you from your boat, and steal any lettuce you might have on board. They're ruthless that way - crazed vegetarians. So, I kept my distance.
A buddy of mine (Mario) opted to celebrate his birthday by paddling and fishing with a bunch of friends along the Dunedin Causeway, FL. You've already see a number of pictures from there, most under great conditions. On this day, it would be different. 3 of us decided to stay and fish while the rest of the group went back to shore and got everything ready for a bbq. The weather changed quickly so we made a dash for land. 2 of us got back in before it got real ugly. Mario the birthday boy was not so lucky. Once we realized he wasn't onshore with us we went to investigate. Always remember, kayaking IS a wet sport, regardless of what direction the water comes from.
GUITAR LEGEND - JOE SATRIANI:
If you're not familiar with his work, please give it a Google or a YouTube search. He's been doing instrumental guitar albums for over 20 years, most in a progressive rock vein, but he's got a touch of the blues in him as well. One song in particular I want you to seek out is "Flying In A Blue Dream". Not really sure why this song speaks to me, but if a song can be used in conjunction with a Florida paddling video, it gets my vote. So, cue up the song, cue up the video, and fasten your seatbelts …
I encourage you to take lots of pictures while you're out there, and please submit them to paddling.com so we all can enjoy them. In the meantime...
Please place your trays in their upright and locked position, and I'll see you out on the water …
"Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after" ~ Henry David Thoreau