On the last day of fishing I fished with Alan from Boating World Magazine
and team from Yo-Zuri, Ray and Guide Stephen Ferrell. Our mission, finish strong
in the inshore. Stephen ran us into an area where Tarpon were spotted busting
the surface the day before but today it was all quiet so we ran further south
into the Everglades to fish the mangrove lined islands.
Day 3, Inshore fishing starts with a big Lookdown
The scenery in the backcountry of the Everglades is absolutely beautiful,
and even reminded of parts of the Amazon. The mangroves and oyster bars give the
area a very tropical feel, one that looks “fishy” every direction you look.
Sight fishing in the Everglades
We tied on Yo-Zuri crystal minnow jerkbaits and crystal 3D shrimp
twitchbaits and started casting. Pinpoint casting under mangrove branches is a
must to target areas where fish are resting in the shadows, and because you
never know what might strike in the inshore it is safer to fish with braided
Stephen shows us how to catch some Spotted Trout
I started things off with a surprise catch, a very big Lookdown fish
right out of the mangroves. Then we ran into a school of spotted trout and
landed fish after fish. Finally we got into some smaller snook and a few
juvenile blue runners.
Snook off the points
One of the coolest things about fishing in the inshore is the ability to
target so many different species of fish, each with their own unique behavior
and fight dynamics.
Cuda pliers proved to be very useful for
de-hooking fish with teeth and quick line checks and lure changes
We made good use of the Cuda pliers as many of the fish we caught had
plenty of teeth and the tools were good for extracting hooks and cutting line to
re-tie. With everything that we had caught I was more than satisfied, but
Stephen had something special planned for us to finish the trip.
Alan targets Tripletail hovering right next to
We left the everglades to open water in search of some Tripletail, a fish
that has been described as one of the tastiest fish in the ocean. Tripletails
are known for their odd behavior of floating right below the surface with one
side exposed, perhaps mimicking a piece of floating debris. They often do this
near other floating structures and is a reason why they are often sight fished
by anglers. In the case of the South Florida Inshore the ideal opportunity to
find these fish is on and around the buoy lines of crab traps.
A nice Tripletail caught by the buoy
Stephen powered by each buoy like a race car driver splitting cones and
we stopped whenever we spotted a Tripletail alongside one of the buoys. We used
the Yo-zuri 3D Shrimp to entice the Tripletails out and they would strike the
bait, or we would finish them off with a small jig rigged with a live shrimp.
These fish fight surprisingly well and it was a great way to finish off three
very different fishing experiences. If we didn’t have to get on a plane we would
probably still be out there running from one buoy to the next.
Navionics, Okuma, Yo-Zuri, Savage Gear, Cuda, and
Raymarine couldn't have picked a better spot for the event. Marco Island
provided a wealth of different field test opportunities, and some amazing
sunsets to boot
Multiple manufactures mixing it up with many species on Marco Island at
the Mangrove Madness event. Try and say that three times! The event was an
awesome experience for all those that attended. For me, being the tackle junkie,
I had the added bonus of checking out some new reels, rods, and lures that will
be officially introduced at ICAST later this year. After fishing at Marco Island
this week it is no wonder why this venue is so popular among anglers. There are
few destinations where you can fish for largemouth bass in a lake or rivers,
play tug of war with tuna and goliaths offshore, or target so many different
species in the inshore, all within an hour of the island. This truly is an ideal
testing ground for new tackle, and while my body is absolutely beat from a solid
week of fishing I have a feeling I am still going to have a hard time sleeping,
with so many Florida fish still fresh on the mind.