I hope you enjoy my blog, a collection of articles and thoughts regarding my interests. I'm a married father of two that loves to write about gliding, hunting, fishing, camping and any outdoor passion. Oh yah, I'm a quadriplegic. I hope this is informative to some, entertaining to others, and interesting to all. Let me know what you think. If you'd like an article for your publication, I've got words I haven't even used yet!

Monday, 28 January 2013

Fishin' The Keys

Our Campsite, Backed Up To The Gulf of Mexico!

My bobber disappears below the clear blue waves, and stays under. "I wonder what bit this time?" I say.

I reel up the slack in my line as quick as I can (us quads take forever to do this, especially in a hurry) and when it is almost tight I give the rod a sharp tug upward. I feel the thud (uh-oh) as the line tightens on something REAL solid, and the hook is sunk deep into whatever bit it. Then I see a large splash in the water, and a cloud of silt as the fish takes off from left to right in about 3 feet of water. The line starts peeling off my reel at an incredible rate.

"What the heck is it?" I say, startled that the power this fish has.


Fighting a Mangrove Snapper (right in our campsite!)
I grab the rod with my other hand and hold on. It seems like an eternity, and the fish isn't slowing!
"Shania! Can you come over here and tighten up my drag, this thing isn't slowing down at all!" I say.  I am afraid that my drag is too loose and that I will run out of line!

Gray (Mangrove) Snapper, and a Grunt
Shania tightens up the drag a little more with no effect, the fish keeps peeling line out, it feels like I have hooked on to a submarine!

"There's no stopping this thing!" I say as the fish keeps running as fast as ever. The reel keeps giving line at an enormous rate for several seconds, and just as I am thinking that I'm going to run out of line it goes suddenly slack .
Sea Trout

"I've lost him, the line must've broke." I say, disappointed.

After reeling in, sure enough, the line has been bitten through. My steel leader was 10 inches long and my reel held 15lb braided line, enough for prairie fishing but not big enough for fishin' these parts!

"I don't know what the heck that was, I've never had anything take line like that before!" I say.

"All I saw was that cloud of silt take off at high speed!" Says one of our neighbours. "A friend of ours that fishes sharks in this area says that they can get as large as 450 pounds, maybe that's what it was!"


Fighting a Small Hammerhead Shark
As it turns out we will never know what that was, it could've been a large shark, tarpon or stingray. I do know that it was one heck of a lot of fun fishing in the Florida Keys! We just never knew what was going to bite. All I was using was a bobber with a large chunk of squid underneath it! Sometimes you would catch a barracuda, sometimes a sea trout, snapper, a multitude of other fish, even nurse sharks and a hammerhead shark!
Barracuda, look at those teeth!


It was a winter where our family didn't feel like staying at home for the Christmas Season. We had recently lost my mother and weren't feeling very festive. We decided that a break from the ordinary would be much better, so we packed up and drove the motorhome to the Florida Keys. A couple of weeks later my brother and our daughter flew down, and we got to spend the Christmas season in paradise! The weather was perfect, 78f-80f like clockwork! The ocean a beautiful blue, the people fantastic, and fish of all different types all around! What a fantastic break from the cold Canadian winter! What a treat to fish right from shore in the campground and catch such a variety of fish!