Last week found us down in south Florida…all the way down. To be fair, it didn’t start out as a fishing trip…but rather, a trip to Miami for the BCS National Championship game between Bama and Notre Dame (Roll Tide!). But I couldn’t come to grips with being in that area without getting on the water somehow. So we worked things out to fish the Everglades with Capt. Brian Esposito for a couple days before the big showdown on Monday night.
This side of the glades is a unique place, like its western counterpart, complete with large populations of wading birds, mangrove forests, shallow flats, and a variety of fish species. We fished a few bays and coves for snook and reds on the first day before the sun broke, giving us the opportunity to go look for laid up tarpon. We ended up finding good numbers of tarpon all laid up and fairly happy. I fed the first fish we saw and brought it boat side before sharing the bow for the afternoon with my Dad. Never caught my first tarpon of the year in January, so that felt pretty good to check off the list.
Day 1 was worthy of celebration, 1 for 1 on snook and a nice tarpon boated…so we hit up Robert’s fruit stand on the way home for some fresh fruit milkshakes.
Day 2 we traded the skiff for a canoe and spent some time in one of the No Motor Zones chasing snook and reds in the skinny backcountry. Pretty cool way to get up close and personal with the area and get off the beaten path.
The backcountry is full of interesting life that we don’t normally get to see in the northern Gulf; from the mangrove roots, to the variety of bird species, to the American crocodiles basking in the sun. Oh yeah, there’s some great fishing back there too. It was nice switching out the rod for the camera in between fish all morning long.
The story wouldn’t be complete without a recap of the post-fishing activities Monday night. Lucky for whoever is still reading…its short: Bama won, Bama dominated. Congrats to the Crimson Tide for clenching their 15th National Title…and thanks for making an excuse for a South Florida fishing trip.