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Striper, Trout, Smallmouth, and Musky, guide trips in the Nashville area. Our home waters are Cumberland and Caney Fork River and our specialty is fly fishing for Trout and Stripers.

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Author Topic: The Honeymoon's Over  (Read 3141 times)

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TWiles

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The Honeymoon's Over
« on: May 16, 2010, 03:25:15 PM »
Crystal and I had an AMAZING wedding.  Our outdoor ceremony couldn't have been more beautiful.  Our family reunion and celebration was truly a blessing wich exceeded our imagination to the answer to our prayers.

Our mini honeymoon was a no plans drive to Florida to catch up on R&R and catch some sun on the beach, and even chase a redfish or two.  We packed up the Coleman Crawdad, 2.5hp Suzuki, heavy gear and beach clothes and drove off to Jacksonville.  There We decided whether to head west to Destin (our original plan) or East to a new Destination about the same distance.
Due to the Oil Spill, we chose CoCoa Beach----Banana/Indian River----Mosquito Lagoon area, wich was only a few more hours south.
VRBO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Vacation Rentals By Owner-------vrbo.com
This is the only way to vacation when going to the beach.  There are literally hundreds of unoccupied condos privately owned--beachside with pools and private parking.  My patients have told me about this service and it is awesome.  We found a great 2 bedroom condo with kingsized bed, kitchen, beach-access, nice pool, quiet and comfortable.  We booked it on the drive down, and wrote a $500 check for 5 nights, and it was ours.


Day One:
We scouted the water, bought some maps, and had our detailed maps marked for the access and fish holding areas.  All the reports sounded promising for giant redfish and trout.  We got our booze for Cinco De Mayo, our true anniversary, and spent the day in the Ocean and pool, restaurants etc.

While driving by some canals we spooted a few manatees














TWiles

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Re: The Honeymoon's Over
« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2010, 03:50:14 PM »
Day 2, 3, 4

We hit various flats along the mangroves of the Banana River, Indian River, Mosquito Lagoon.  Several locals and tackle store fisherman gave us great advice on flats, grass lines docks, etc.
The water looked amazing.  Everything looked right, tides were gentle, wind was calm, our boat launches were before sunrise. Wildlife was everywhere.
Our only problem:

There was SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO much water.  I've never seen as many square miles of flats in my life.  It was overwhelming. We fished our tails off.  Mullet everywhere but no predator fish, or very few at that.   There was truly the realization that a guide was the way to go, but our post wedding budget had us limited to a DIY trip.
 Our fishing was quite slow.  Got into a few ladyfish.  A few bites here and there.  Even the locals in the kayaks weren't catching...so something wasn't quite right.
May have seen a half dozen tailing reds, but they were super spooky in the clear water.
Regardless, we had a blast.

Mangroves at Dawn:



"Oh my God Babe, stay away, those things will flip us!"





A pod of manatees swarmed our small boat.  It scared the fire out of Crystal at first.  But once she saw how gentle they were, she warmed up to them.  I don't belive you're supposed to interact with them, but we did not feed them or give the water, they just came up and started nudging the boat.  It was a wonderful encounter.













Chasin a pod of dolphins with the trolling motor:




TWiles

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Re: The Honeymoon's Over
« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2010, 04:12:20 PM »
Day 4 and 5

Finally found some fish to be caught.  While dining a restaurant at Port Canveral, a fisherman made a comment on how many snook were piled underneath the dock of the restaurant.  I thought we were too far north for snook, but a teenager at the tackle shop confirmed a monster snook break-off he had the day before.

It felt awkward floating a small plastic Jon boat around Yachts, barges and Carnival Cruise ships, but we stayed close to the launch site and fished the pile-ons and docks.

First night, right off the bat, I lost an ENORMOUS snook...atleast 40 inches.  He made four giant water-thrashing head shaking leaps before he gill raked the severed 40lb leader.

The next night, I took a plunge at the boat ramp pushing my jon boat away from a $70K boat.... :o
It killed my cellphone and flashlight, and made for a shaky start....but we trolled around to the structures and finally got into a few fish...barely scatching the surface of what the water held.  Mangrove snapper, grunts, snook and redfish saved our trip's fishing success.

Security was tight near the AirForce property and docked boats.  The police kept checking by as the wind pushed us close to the bank, so we finally packed up and left.

In the lamplight, you could see swarms of snook, several over 3 ft long--others probably over 50 inches!!!!
With a bigger boat and an anchor line, I'll return one day to catch one of those 20 to 40 lb fish that I saw.

The 11 hour drive home had me imagining the day we could return, armed with a more appropriate vessel to fish the Jetty, which the locals confirmed was absolutely loaded with fish.  The good thing about Port Canaveral, is that the tidal flow is not nearly as powerful as Fort Pierce.  
The draw back is the numerous large ships which creates a navigation challenge.

Crystal's first baby redfish and snook:





A decent sized snook...but still a baby  compared tot he ones we spotted:



Now back to the grind.  Life's busy again, but East TN is revealing a few other mean fish of it's own.  Stripers and trout will tide me over until the next Florida getaway.


Travis

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Re: The Honeymoon's Over
« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2010, 04:47:35 PM »
Congratulations and may the best part of your life be in front of you!

Looks like you had the perfect wedding and honeymoon!

LD
"For the supreme test of a fisherman is not how many fish he has caught, not even how he has caught them, but what he has caught when he has caught no fish." - John H. Bradley

madMax

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Re: The Honeymoon's Over
« Reply #4 on: May 16, 2010, 05:39:46 PM »
Awesome man, congratz

Steve Howard

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Re: The Honeymoon's Over
« Reply #5 on: May 16, 2010, 05:46:39 PM »
Travis, what an awesome time! You are truly blessed with Crystal as your life partner.

Now, we just have to discuss your choice of tequila.  ;D
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countryflyfisher

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Re: The Honeymoon's Over
« Reply #6 on: May 16, 2010, 10:17:24 PM »
Congrats on the Honeymoon and finding a few fish to tussle with. 
The more I fish the more I realize it isn t about the fishing.  The older I get the more I realize it is about the moments God has hand crafted just for me. 

                                                                             countryflyfisher

jarrod white

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Re: The Honeymoon's Over
« Reply #7 on: May 17, 2010, 06:39:06 AM »
Sauza ;D man you are asking for a major hangover. Patron whizz attracts fish of any type!!  ;)
Congrats on the wedding, maybe we can hit the salt one day in the future, I mean it's going to be a minute before things get to normal around here.
I just don't care!

toddro

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Re: The Honeymoon's Over
« Reply #8 on: May 17, 2010, 09:05:39 AM »
Awesome report - and congrats!

"A passion for steelhead is a hard ride. It is all consuming. God help the woman, man, or child who hopes to compete for some small claim to the passion in the angler so stricken." Bill McMillan, Foreword- A Passion for Steelhead

Travis C.

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Re: The Honeymoon's Over
« Reply #9 on: May 17, 2010, 10:22:01 AM »
congrats man!

Gofisher

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Re: The Honeymoon's Over
« Reply #10 on: May 18, 2010, 08:47:12 AM »
Great report! Ya'll drink the top shelf 'Ritas... ;D
"If people don't occasionally walk away from you shaking their heads, you're doing something wrong."  John Gierach

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Re: The Honeymoon's Over
« Reply #11 on: May 18, 2010, 09:34:34 AM »
Nice report buddy. Here's wishing you two happiness for the rest of your lives together.
It is preoccupation with possessions, more than anything else, that prevents us from living freely and nobly. ~Thoreau

icthus

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Re: The Honeymoon's Over
« Reply #12 on: May 18, 2010, 06:32:02 PM »
You can get fined and got to jail for touching those things? (manatees)  Don't ask me how I know.

Icthus :D :D :D :D :D
"You see the fish, make the cast. Tic, tic, hit him, no not a trout set!!!!!! What are you doing?"

TWiles

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Re: The Honeymoon's Over
« Reply #13 on: May 20, 2010, 12:59:21 PM »
Thanks for your kind replies, guys.  Those snook are still calling me. ::)
We'll probably hit Charleston in the next couple months to redeem our redfish craving.

  As for the tequila, Sauza is the "swill" tequila that was left over from our previous rowdy get-togethers....We brought it as backup when the Petron was gone...Steve, we still have plenty, so I'll be glad to mix you a margarita when you make it up here.

It's getting about right for the summer smallies and blue line/tailwater trout.  Also, it's getting very buggy up here.  If anyone comes up this way, Crystal and I will welcome you here in Erwin.


Travis

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Re: The Honeymoon's Over
« Reply #14 on: May 20, 2010, 10:09:13 PM »
I was just in Johnson City on business last week.  Ate at Riverfront in Kingsport on Tuesday night.  I'll be back in July, so I'll keep you informed as it gets closer.

Sam
Fish on!