Sunday, September 30, 2007

Back from South Seas Island Resort...

With fall blasting away into SOFLA I made my way to South Seas Island Resort( at the northern tip of Captiva Island. I left northeast winds of 25- 35 m.p.h. on the Gold Coast: it was clear fall approached with its big high tides flooding A1A at Hollywood Beach. Schools of migrating finger mullet have been pushed south by the onshore winds and the clearly shortening days. The weather on the west coast was better- no clouds but 25 mph NE winds. Skies were cleared the day following the front, but the shallow Gulf gave better lee conditions than Pine Island Sound.

There were huge quantities of minnows, whitebait, and mullet in the shallow Gulf. The area about a half-mile off the beach was full of predator species pursuing this bait.


The vast bulk of mackeral (to 5 lbs) , big ladyfish ( to 3 lbs), and sharks ( to 80 lbs) were caught and released casting to busting-up whitebait schools in the Gulf with baitcasting tackle and bucktails. We could have caught them fish after fish. Due to time, Capt. Tom Walsh ran to a canal in the Sound where I took 2 snook in a row about 15 lbs. each.

At sunset on my own, I fly cast the beaches and got into non-stop ladyfish action hitting minnows, as well as an ocassional croaker or "sugar trout". None of my casts were longer that 30 feet as the fish were in the wash.


This destination offered fantastic fishing out of a resort that has emerged from Hurricane Charley (with massive rebuilding and improvements) to become the foremost and most diverse angling, eco-, and family oriented resort in the entire Sanibel-Captiva area. South Seas Island Resort's lodgings, cuisine, services, amenities, and dedicated fishing programs are 5-star: a perfect place for fishing families, and anglers with non-angling friends and family.

South Seas Island Resort provides anglers with great fishing on the fly or light tackle for loads of gamesters in a huge habitat in an exotic setting. The end of my day was heightened by a gourmet meal at South Seas Harbourside Bar and Grill:

The wines, daquiris, fruit punches were delicious and priced reasonably.

I dined on a "captiva salad" with various greens, cashews, and blackberries served in a 45-degree "display bowl"- it was delightful.

My entree was a chicken roulade stuffed with italian hams and accompanied with al dente garden vegetables and a sweet potato puree. I topped it off with a semi-fruity domestic merlot.

Though the desserts were sinful, I was too satisfied with the dinner to over-do such a good thing.

As for activities, there are pools, beaches, water sports, eco cruises,sailboats, shopping, holiday celebrations, kid's club, golf, tennis...the list seems endless!

I'll be writing much more about this adventure in Florida Sport Fishing Magazine in the near future.

South Seas Island Resort
5400 Plantation Road
Captiva Island

Captain Tom Walsh-


Monday, September 24, 2007

Looking Forward to South Seas Island Resort...

Getting back to Captiva and visiting this exotic destination ( ) is a treat equally worth savoring and experiencing just like a fine wine. I'll be writing soon about "The Jewel of Captiva Island" and its' exciting inshore fishery.


Friday, September 21, 2007

SOFLA Neat and Cozy, But Still Hot!

SOFLA receives the first formal day of fall.
The subtropical system thats eases towards the Big Easy knocked out a friday trip to Titusville with Captain Bryan Pahmeier, who reported that the Indian River and Mosquito Lagoon were slightly dirtied, cooled, and heightened by the same sytem yesterday- he reported few fish sighted on a pre-story scouting trip.
While the bulk of the weather was to the north of SOFLA. it's spinning circulation set forth southerly winds of a welcome brisk velocity. I took advantage of the breeze and focused on Dade county bridges with much better results than two weeks ago. I jumped four tarpon and released a beautiful specimen of about fifty pounds. One bridge had a big school of jacks striking whitebait in the orb-glow of a bridge light above. I caught fish after fish until I was satisfied in deep sweat.
The whole area is still in a deep summer mode with towering clouds and radiant sun. The northeast U.S.A. has had enough fronts to send Pennsylvania temps into the forties. I called Anglin's Pier today in Lauderdale by the Sea- they report only a few mullet coming through and just a couple of mackeral and pompano caught. I'll drink deep of the hot weather fishing until conditions point my snoot to another quadrant.

Friday, September 14, 2007

The Fall of Summer...

This morning I almost needed a jacket as I swept through the predawn hours in search of migratory action. I started plugging a school of whitebait and caught some jacks. As dawn's light developed and lit the waters, I saw a tarpon make a fast roll. I throttled back and anchored in the area. I know from experience that one roller can betray a hundred fish below. My recorder verified that the fish were on the bottom. Deep jigging produced no results. I then chummed the area thoroughly and then fished mullet on the bottom. In two hours, I jumped two fish and released four fish from thirty to seventy pounds. A bit later while the sun rose, the wind shifted from northwest to southeast and the action slowed- an excellent Indian Summer morning.

Earlier in the week, my friend Captain Jon Cooper fished the beaches off Haulover in twenty-foot deep water. Jon found a huge school of large ladyfish with predators hitting all around them. Jon tossed in some live mullet and hooked some large sharks that spooled his light tackle. He also released a big barracuda and kept a fifteen pound cubera snapper that he caught under the ladyfish.

The clouds are still towering and cicadas are making their whirring chirps in the heat, but little by little, is fall's migratory madness approaching?


Friday, September 07, 2007

Fall Previews Itself...

Some wise old coot once said, "events presage themselves" - an observation I heartliy agree with. Last night SOFLA began experiencing the fall high tides as well as those same waters coming under the effect of a new moon. As the water flooded part of the parking lot of Haulover Park Marina, nine manatees eased along halfway ashore on one ramp and began a splashy mating ritual. On the other side of the night as dawn approached, the winds picked up out of the northeast to around 20 m.p.h.

These conditions made me shift my angling strategies away from open water tarpon to the Biscayne Bay bridges. The results were scanty: one tarpon spotted in the downtide shadows and one snook strike on a soft plastic. No large finger mullet schools were in evidence, although I saw a few "fingers" darting here and there in their usual frantic defensive driving life. If these conditions continue, we should have a fall mullet run soon- or the whole thing could revert back to a sultry summer.

It's daylight now. The skies are clear and dotted with circular clouds. The winds are up and the trees are rocking back and forth. It's usual for me to be led around nose-first by my inspirations- a state that often feels good but creates lots of eventual free time as well. But, just for today, I'll call September 7th the first day of fall.


Sunday, September 02, 2007

Felix Comes of Age....

No longer an embryonic formation, Felix becomes a muscle-flexing bellicose teen free of the structural restraints of landmass and high on the open hot waters of the Caribbean. Although a great Goth of a high pressure cell in the upper Gulf keeps it moving west-northwest, toughboy Felix pinwheels on a path that will keep Bay Island Hondurans (which includes my friends in Roatan) and Belizeans cringing.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Does "Lightning" Strike the Same Place Twice?...

As its' ironically embryonic shaped core passes over Grenada, young man Felix strengthens to a tropical storm and the three day forecast has it developing into a hurricane aimed straight for the Yucatan. FlatsFishingOnline will be closely monitoring the "progress" of this storm.