June 2017 article for Big Bend Coastal Angler Magazineby Gary Droze
Fishing for the Right Answer
I recently invited all my readers to send in their questions about fishing in the Big Bend, and both of them responded. Remember, there are no dumb questions…
QUESTION: Is there a foolproof way to locate baitfish?
ANSWER: Oh my yes, and it’s easier than you’d think. Merely rearrange the weights on your cast nest so that they tangle up the lead lines and prevent the net from opening when you throw. As soon as you do so, swarms of bait will magically appear.
It’s all about planning ahead.
QUESTION: I’ve noticed that cellphone reception is really spotty at the Big Bend coast, especially on some of the more remote roads with little or no traffic. I’m worried that if my car breaks down, I’ll be stranded. What’s a good emergency plan?
ANSWER: Thankfully, drivers on the coast are some of the most helpful types, always willing to lend a hand. Whenever I have a breakdown on an isolated, traffic-free stretch, I simply get out, stand by the side of the car, and begin to take a pee. As soon as I do so, swarms of cars will magically appear. Never fails.
QUESTION: For kayak anglers in Apalachee Bay’s tidal creeks, when is it best to fish a falling tide, versus a rising tide?
ANSWER: It is always best to launch at the start of a falling tide, ride it out to the creek mouth, and fish the rising tide back to your launch site on days when you forget your paddle.
QUESTION: What’s the ideal way to clean a sheepshead?
ANSWER: Ideally, you should not let the sheepshead get dirty in the first place. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
QUESTION: A few months back, you wrote about accessing East River wadefishing spots by hiking forest trails in the St Marks National Wildlife Refuge. With the expanding black bear population in that area, would you recommend hiking with a partner?
ANSWER: For sure, as long as it is somebody you can outrun.
QUESTION: I enjoy drinking craft beer and reading free, high quality, entertaining, informative fishing
magazines. Where can I find both in one place?
ANSWER: So glad you asked! Market Liquor, next to the Publix at 1700 North Monroe Street in Tallahassee, offers both a delightful selection of ales and lagers and free copies of Big Bend Coastal Angler Magazine. Isn’t America great?
QUESTION: How do ladyfish make babies if they are all female? Also, last week at Bonefish Grill I ordered mahi mahi, but the server only brought out one fish. Why not two? Finally, once you cast a dry fly into the bay, isn’t it wet?
ANSWER: Correction; there are at least three dumb questions.