It was one of those Florida nights where everything was very still, the black water we were floating in looked like a big mirror. It was hard to determine where the water stopped and the sky began. The only thing that gave it away was the eerie red eyes that were staring back at us. We were on the great Lake Okeechobee in the central part of Florida hunting down the American Alligator! To say that my clients and myself were excited would be an understatement. We were ecstatic!
The guide wore the worst poker face ever. His cautioning instruction was almost laughable. His wry grin totally gave away his hand.
For a fleeting moment, and as line hopelessly disappeared into the tannin-stained water, the angler’s day passed through his memory the way a near-death experience flashes one’s life before his eyes. He almost—almost—wished he hadn’t tangled with that pre-dawn 100-pound tail-walking tarpon. He nearly regretted the two tackle-testing tugs of war against snook topping 30 pounds. He came close to wishing he hadn’t been compelled to cast a topwater plug into a raging school of daisy-chaining 40-pound jack crevalles.
As several of the fish filleting, skinning and deboning videos on the website (www.barefootfishing.net) have been viewed several thousand times, I have also received numerous emails requesting information regarding the super sharp blades used, and what techniques I use to get them razor sharp. Normally I contribute to Coastal Angler Magazine and The Angler Magazine with fishing/rigging articles, but decided this topic could be just as helpful, perhaps even more so than any article on rigging.
Last year we talked about a fishing book as a possibility or two for a fishing friend for Christmas or Hanukah. Those ideas are still great, but there are other things that you can also consider, whether the gift is for a fishing buddy, a friend or a family member. Books are still good options, either of the practical type to learn more about fishing or of the coffee table variety as a reminder of past fishing trips or a possible look at future adventures.
As this article goes to print the Texas South Zone should be half way through the split with the Second Opener being just around the corner. The first part of the 2012-2013 Texas Waterfowl Season has been very successful for us fortunate enough to hunt the coast on a daily basis.
Wintertime is what a poet once called “the cruelest month.” This is not the case if you’re in pursuit of redfish in the fly. Wintertime is one of the finest times to target big bull reds in the Gulf of Mexico from Texas to the west coast of Florida.