Time for some skinny water fishing at Pine Island FL
Shallow saltwater water fishing is one thing I have always wanted to explore more. Basically, I saw it as my retirement endeavor. The dream was to retire somewhere like the Outer Banks of North Caroline or Pine Island FL and purchase a flats skiff. The image in my mind was to fish the early mornings watching the sun rise, then back to a local diner for a late breakfast escaping the heat of the day.
The destination of one’s life journey changes with time. Life is filled with an ever changing turn of events. Some of these are foreseen, planned and worked towards, while others sneak up and have us swinging for the fence only to woof the big league curve ball.
I swung and missed the retirement ball in a big way and have come to realize that I will be working until the end. I’m good with that and have accepted my life path.
Accepting where one is on the path of life does not mean one cannot make adjustments through the guidance from God and your heart. So, I go fishing.
Fishing the back bays of Pine Island FL
As I have discussed, I’m temporarily living and working in Southwest Florida. Since my arrive in November, I have enjoyed exploring via kayak the canals and back bays behind my Fort Myers Beach hotel room. The fishing has been pretty good, but I was having some problems finding the highly sought after redfish and snook. I’ve become the jack crevalle and lady fish master.
Last Sunday, I joined Kat who is an ardent fly fisher(wo)man for a day of shallow water fishing around Pine Island FL. I hoped to learn some local knowledge from the guide on how to increase my game fish catch.
Captain Joe Harley grew up fishing the waters around Matlacha FL and the Pine Island FL. His custom flats skiff was built by a longtime friend. The design and set up fits the local waters to perfection. It was my kind of boat with everything needed to fish the skinny waters around Pine Island, without the extras not needed and tend to just get in the way of the fishing.
Capt. Joe knew the water and his fish. Kat, and I took turns fishing from the bow of the boat. I started using my standard spinning rod set up. I tossed a soft plastic bait to the feeding reds and trout in the shallow water at the direction of Capt. Joe as he sighted the fish from the raised poling platform. After boating two good sized sea trout and a red fish, I turned the bow over to Kat.
While I find a fly rod in my own hands a cumbersome mess, I enjoyed watching the poetic dance of Kat and her fly. A properly placed fly of the correct color and weight resulted in a nice trout on the fly.
As the tide returned and the fish dispersed from the low tide locked deeper holes and spread out onto the flats, we poled looking for tailing reds. None were found. The slight breezy chop on the water hindered our search.
While slowly scanning the water looking for redfish tails protruding out of the water, a grin covered my face. It was then I realized the day’s events, where I was and what I was doing. I was standing in the bow of a flats skiff scanning the water for tailing reds.
So yea, retirement may not be in my future anytime soon. But as I continue on this journey we call life, I will continue to grasp the twists and turns of change and the uncertainty of where the path may lead, enjoying the scenery and going fishing wherever God’s path leads.