Friday, September 29, 2006

Fall's Attempt at Self-Assertion...

The day began chilly, featuring northwest winds of 15 mph- and did the tarpon ever feel it! Bushwacked by the half-alive ghost of a front from Canada, the silver kings rolled less and struck less. I jumped off one fish of fifty pounds and had another forty-pounder do a see-saw/channel drop cutoff of my double line just before the leader touched the tip-top of my rod. Such is fishing!

Disappointed but not dejected, I ran to the grassflats and consoled myself by catching and releasing a few small seatrout. By midday, the cumulus clouds were building up with the radiant heat of Indian Summer in South Florida, giving fall's early morning strut a real slapdown!

The whole outing would have been far more fertile had the mullet run reached Biscayne Bay. It has not, but hopes run high.


Friday, September 22, 2006

Fall Staging Begins...

As Helen gets punted towards England by a "cold front", Florida East Coast anglers await the muller run. Though the little critters have not appeared, tarpon and snook are staging at ocean junctures and feeding quite well. On plug tackle armed with a DOA BaitBuster, I caught one 6-pound snook, jumped 2 tarpon around 60-pounds, and released a tiny tarpon around 10-pounds. Waiting for the fall migration is a bit like the savoring anticipation of a first date kiss.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Clash of the Titans?

It's quiet on the beaches of Miami. Stars shimmer in the cloudness heavens-all of it bathed in silence. Yet for all the Gold Coast calm, if our limited senses lost limits, we'd be soul-traveling to the east far out to the high seas of the Atlantic where two giant forces are moving towards collision. Though this event may be silent for others, it won't be for me. That's the magic and inspiration.

In a practical sense, I feel every good angler should have a keen weather sense to achieve optimized results and personal evolution.

I don't think it's often we find a front and a 'cane so "on course" with each other. Presumably, the 'cane will slide to the North-Northeast as the front eases it up and along.

For me, it's another addition to the planetary scrapbook that keeps me in perpetual awe.


Saturday, September 16, 2006

Space Coast Fishing Bonanza with Get1Charters...

Space Coast Fishing Bonanza


Jan Maizler

Photography by Jan Maizler

Even though it would take another month to complete the angling portion of my Space Coast expedition, the results could not have been any better. Under the shrewd guidance of Captain Bryan Pahmeier, the Indian River off Titusville, Florida yielded a bounty of gamefish.

Fitting in this fishing trip was a bit like people squeezing in the subway- a bit of pushing, shoving, and rearranging, but generally leading to "all hands on deck." What this looked like was a "night-before" scoot from Miami to Titusville on I-95, a trip of four hours. I spent the night at the crisp Hampton Inn at Exit 215, which put me only twenty minutes away from Parish Park where Bryan would launch his boat.

After a night of the excited, tossing and turning sleep that only a true angler understands, I prepared myself and drove down to the boat ramp. I recognized Bryan and his impressive flats rig: it was an 18-foot East Cape Skiff powered by a brand new Honda electrostart tiller handle model.

It was important for us to get a quick start so we could arrive on the flats as early as possible. This strategy would place us at the epicenter of the rising and tipping redfish tails that would greet the early light of dawn. As we headed away from the ramp into a patch of lighter sky that would eventually become the day, Bryan remarked on the excellent conditions.

In no more than twenty minutes, Bryan slowed his skiff down and cut the engine. In five minutes more, he was pointing out the first school of tailing redfish with his trusty pushpole. I flicked out a fifty- foot cast with one of his spin outfits and the plastic jerkbait landed right in front of the tailing fish. It took two easy flicks of my wrist and...pow!... I was hooked up. After an excellent ten minute fight of two long runs and lots of surface thrashes, we released a big redfish over 15 pounds.

Over the next four hours, I stopped counting after redfish number twelve. Amidst countless leaping mullet, rolling dolphin, bellowing 'gators, and circling osprey, we enjoyed nonstop action with Captain Bryan's excellent guiding.

We also spotted numerous tarpon, but I was far more interested in plugging for the snook that Bryan was pointing out. I used a dancing surface plug at first and had three good snook strikes: they would not connect because the bow wave of the strike shoved the plug into the air. As soon as I tossed a jerkbait under that same mangrove point, I had a solid hookup and was soon releasing a 5-pound snook.

We reached a point where I had to call it a day for other commitments, yet I was thoroughly satisfied. There'll be more to report on Captain Bryan and his Space Coast bonanza, but that story and its telling belongs to another place and time...

Captain Bryan Pahmeier
Get 1 Charters
Titusville, Florida
Telephones- 1-321-698-4381, 1-321-268-5266

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Looking Forward to Cheeca Lodge...

I am pleased to announce that the world-famous Cheeca Lodge ( is on my list of destinations. The location of this magnificent resort is in the heart of Islamorada in the Florida Keys- " The Sport Fishing Capital of the World." Flats Grand Slams are common here, and Islamorada has the largest numbers of huge trophy bonefish in the entire Western Hemisphere, if not the world. Last year, the winter sailfishing offshore featured record numbers of spindlebeaks- over two hundred-being released in three-day tournaments.

The Cheeca mirrors and embodies the same five-star status of the fishing and waters that surrounds it! I'll be writing a great deal more about The Cheeca in the future.


Friday, September 08, 2006

A Bone is a Bone Wherever It Be...

A fine full moon Friday it was today. The rising sun carved a cornflower blue pocket out of the indigo night sky, providing me with a heavenly bearing as I steered my skiff towards a mangrove-studded beach. Behind me, the moon was dropping down into the horizon, surrendering the very same firmament to the bright yellow adversary it had bested during yesterday's dusk.

This "lune" of a moon was pushing a thick boiling incoming tide around Key Biscayne and into Biscayne Bay. As soon as my depth recorder showed the 15- foot deep channel shallowing where the flat begun, I cut my engine, and eased the anchor overboard. As my skiff pulled tight against the anchor line, I could hear the water rushing by my skiff with a momentum that would demand a bucktail jig of at least 1/2-ounce. In the low light, it was impossible to sight fish the beach flat, so I planned on casting the contoured dropoff until I could see into the water.

I rigged my plug tackle with a 1/2 ounce white Spro bucktail and tipped it with a shrimp tail. I cast the lure upcurrent and fished it along the bottom. The line came tight on the second sweep of the rod and I struck my unseen opponent. After a strong five minute battle, I brought a six-pound green jack alongside my skiff and released it. The next cast produced a five-pound mutton snapper, which I released. Two casts later, I'd caught a three-pound mojarra-this was quite large for this species. The next hour of incoming tide produced this same kind of delightful potluck merry-go-round action.

At this point, the rising sun had given me the visibility into the water I needed. I repositioned the boat farther onto the flat and tossed out a chum tube full of chopped live shrimp about 15 feet "downstream" of my bow. It took about twenty minutes for the scent to do its work, but the wait paid off as two big submarine forms tracked towards the skiff. I made a perfect cast and the lead fish of the pair gobbled my crunchy breakfast offering. The fish fought with the renewed vigor a spring tide current usually bestows on summer's heat-besotted waters. It made three good runs of at least seventy yards, then fifty yards, then twenty yards.

As I brought the fish alongside my skiff, I could see it was between between nine and ten pounds. I reflected that this trophy fish was taken no more that fifteen minutes from the boat ramp and in clear sight of Miami's skyscrapers. I considered the fact that this fish would not have been the slightest bit more exciting if it had been hooked on the atoll flats of the South Pacific or the pancake flats or beaches of Los Roques. Even though travel is one of my greatest passions- even bordering on obsession- ultimately, when I "wet" a line, for me it's always the fish, the fish, the fish!


Monday, September 04, 2006

Goodbye, Steve...

In South Florida this morning, the copious showers morphed to heavenly sobs as I opened YahooNews and read the headlines that Steve Irwin was killed by a stingray today in the waters off Cairns.

Steve had a profoundly personal meaning for me- not the least of which were his total lack of pretension, infectious enthusiam, love of adventure, and love for the animal world. He knew nothing of boredom and better yet, no need to be "cool." In this day where matching Supplex ensembles, scarves, and tented caps spawn Lawrence of Arabia clones, Steve's khakis and boots were a real breath of fresh air.

As he swam over a creature that he meant no harm to, the ray reacted wildly as it flexed its body, and drove its barb into his chest in a moment of underwater Caeserian irony. Yet the ray was doing "what it does", as was Steve and he died in his greatest moments of love and inspiration. How many people can lay claim to that? For the future finger-waggers, I'll also point out that "caution" is a relative term that rarely finds its way alongside inspiration or, take your choice. He did!


Sunday, September 03, 2006

A British Columbia Fishing Adventure

A British Columbia Fishing Adventure

By Jan Stephen Maizler

Photography by Art Blank

The plans to fish the fabulous rivers and streams of British Columbia with Professional Angling Guide Clint Goyette of Valley Fishing Guides were long in the making: by winter of 2005, my photographer Art Blank and I knew we’d be there in July of 2006. Though there were some interesting assignments that kept me busy in the interim, I especially hankered for Canadian fishing where sight casting for trout and salmon in crystal clear knee-deep water was the method.

The time finally arrived and we landed in Vancouver. We’d secured a rental car well in advance knowing we’d probably be meeting Clint in Squamish or Whistler, which are both simple one or two hours drives from the Vancouver International Airport. A quick call from my cell phone confirmed we’d meet in Squamish. The drive through the beautiful Vancouver was simple, and the further north we went, the more striking the terrain became- it was as if with each few miles traveled on the Sea to Sky Highway, snow-capped mountains sprouted up for our pleasure.

It wasn’t long before Art had driven into the center of Squamish, where we spotted Clint’s SUV. After we picked up some terminal tackle, we lunched at a popular restaurant set right alongside the Squamish River. As we dined on pasta, salads, and cold Molson beer, Clint explained that the recent hot weather that had melted some snow up in the mountains had the rivers swollen with “glacially-silted “ water- this would limit the number of choices of streams, but would not be an overwhelming problem.

After lunch, we caravanned to Whistler, which turned out to be an exquisite resort city. Clint then checked us in to the beautiful Greystone Lodge ( We found our two-bedroom suite to be luxurious and provided with all the amenities. After check-in, the afternoon had matured and dusk was not far off. It was time to fish!

We hopped in Clint’s vehicle and he drove us to nearby Green Lake. We geared up with waders, flippers, and float tubes and walked a short distance to the lake’s edge. After a short period of instruction by Clint, we eased into the water and over to the area where an underwater bank dropped off from three feet to ten feet. As the sun set over snow-capped glorious mountains, the trout started rising on insects. In the next two hours, we released about twenty rainbow trout to 12 inches on ultralight fly and spin tackle. Before we knew it, pitch darkness emerged and encouraged us to quit fishing for that day. After a quick dinner at a fashionable crepe restaurant in Whistler, we retired for the night feeling thoroughly satisfied looking back on the day’s action, and looking forward to the wake-up by Clint six a.m.the next morning for more adventure.

The wake-up knock seemed only an hour or two later, but clearly an eight-hour night had passed. In seemingly no time at all, we were headed north to the streams of Pemberton. We had to access the streams through the bush and when we emerged, Clint found their condition and fishability to be in excellent shape. We were geared up with light spinning tackle and small spoons as well as large spinners. Art recorded our every move with his trusty digital camera. The first few streams held some nice char, and I released one beautiful specimen about five pounds and pulled the hook on two more. As we trekked further down the river system, we saw many Chinook salmon from twenty to thirty pounds. I briefly hooked one of these magnificent fish in knee-deep water, but its’ violent head thrashing threw the barbless hook on the spoon I’d been using. We saw many more salmon on this day, but they were slow to strike. Clint laughed as he explained the advantage a giant Chinook has over the angler once the fish “got its head” and rocketed downstream- there would be no stopping it! As the day neared an end, Art and I were thoroughly impressed: the size of this fish, racing waters, and snow-capped mountains created an enormous thrill for two Florida flats fishermen.

Oufitter: Clint Goyette/Valley Fishing Guides, Ltd.
Telephone: 1-877-85TROUT, 1-604-938-4458
Website: -