Monday, October 31, 2005

Fall Tarpon Transition

With the horrid hurricane, cold front, and 2 days of a northeaster, Miami's tarpon are headed into the back bays which provide lots of shelter. Todays winds were 25-30 mph out of the NW, but i went 1 for 2 in conditions so gusty, your rod was blown bent.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Quick Jog to get Post-Wilma Reports

Did a triangular hopscotch to get a sense of how the South Florida area was doing coastally from my friends, who are local guides in some of the best fishing areas in South Florida. Starting in Islamorada, Captain Greg Poland said everyone was okay, doing yardwork, and awaiting an outstanding fall fishing season. Further down the island chain, Captain Fernand Braun on Little Torch Key said that the Lower Keys took a beating but his good planning helped him to emerge unscathed- Fernand looks forward to a "permity" fall with the good prevailing weather. He did mention that Little Palm Island had landscaping that needs to be replaced after the storm, but core structures are fine. Due North at Sanibel Island, my friend Captain Mike Smith reports less damage, but some storm impacts. He also mentioned that the red tide is gone and the snook and redfishing should be getting back to an excellent fall norm. East across the state in Jupiter, Captain Butch Constable went through the eye of Wilma and reports winds much higher in rain band gusts than prior storms Jean and Frances. Sadly, he said that the western parts of Palm Beach County are very hard-hit in every possible way. He mentioned Broward County was in "very bad shape", in addition to the North Broward to Palm Beach corridor. Butch mentioned that a summery fall had produced only a quick spurt of finger mullet and bluefish before the storm.


Hey, Wilma!

An anhinga perches on a broken tree limb in a debris-strewn lake on a besotted golf course. Not far away, mile-long gas lines sit like predatory millipedes- angry shouting and fighting everywhere as residents and newcomers reel in a tri-county stripped of electric, gas, and communications. A rainbow of responses from parties who have the nerve to say, "we couldn't anticipate the breadth or severity of the devastation" when the same pathetic excuse was used such a short time ago with Katrina. Max Mayfield said, "plan on a Category 3 storm." As for the storm's expanse, did you need a tape measure...just look at a NOAA screen. Better yet, how about CNN or the Weather Channel?

Eldery people weep in Broward retirement communities, puzzling over acquiring some ice to keep their insulin cold. Americans stranded in Cancun, an ex-tropical paradise that went from looking like trendy Miami Beach to Post WWII Berlin. Hurricane-pounded Floridians now walking in the same dazed circles as Gulf Coasters- some even less fortunately members of both groups.

What price, Paradise? Anglers no longer able to ease up to the gas station and gas up their skiffs-some even using their boat fuel tank as a source for their car. While anglers in the Keys have less angry multitiudes than the Tri-County area, their beloved Key West sits partially under water, Sloppy Joe's corner looking like a mini Ninth Ward flood-out.

Good anglers are good planners and good weathermen. Let's be sure our officials get a good dose of that!

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Do You Get the Cabin Blues, Too?

Wilma thrashes my home of the late sixties, Cozumel, possibly speeding up the impermanence of things as well as kicking my recollections of a simpler past there into endless kaleidoscopic shards. Miguel, donde esta usted? The last few days have congested my angler's muse: lowered skies, rain, a postponed trip to the Bahamas, and a lightening strike last night that set off hundreds of alarms that screamed like tortured electric machine-wolves. Hot coffee, soup, blankets, TV, and a cascade of regressive pleasures are called into duty to ease the pain of waiting for another pinwheel, all amidst wondering and cynically chuckling off the B.S. of an "it's just a cycle" explanation when confronted with numbers of hurricanes never seen before. The chilly pain of knowing these water witches are the werewolf progeny of a warming world. It's okay, then, to linger longer over a ruby-colored glass of Pinot noir and enjoy a pasta dish tucked cozily in the fragant shadows of a new cafe in Hollywood Circle-thats a fine way of playing the watery, gray-skied cards that have been dealt!

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Return of the Bonefish

The cool front that pushed out the water witches of the sky left a crescent of clear heavens, dry air, and slightly lowered water temps. Lessening daylight also might help the cause in this summery fall. I had my first bonefish hooked up within 5 minutes, staked up tight to the shore on an early a.m. high tide. 2 for 4 was the score by midday, then off to other things. Great results in the Keys with a potential world fly rod record coming from Islamorada: 13.9 pounder on 12 pound tippet. To top that, The Marathon International Bonefish Tournament, which featured 30 anglers on 15 boats for three days racked up 224 bonefish releases. How 'bout dem apples?