You guys have seen the shirts right? Mangrove roots and shoots, a school of pilchards and a big snook or tarpon ready to crush them. Or maybe it's a grass flat with a shrimp or a crab fleeing a hungry redfish. Lies. Everyone of them
Fish Don't live in places like this. Dont' believe the lies. Fucking Guy Harvey.
Anyways, every year since we moved to southern New England we have tried to head south to the river of grass and make camp as far away from humanity as possible. We missed last year due to crazy schedules, which was fine...day trips were made but it's not the same as getting away from civilization and enjoying good company, cheap alcohol and a shared hatred of the hordes of mosquito's that are ever-present. Getting a location for camp figured out is a bit of a fiasco since there are no reservations and constant closures for "improvements" to designated campsites. This year went fairly smoothly although our first choice was closed for "improvements". Left with our 2nd and 3rd choices we took the 2nd as it is still pretty much centrally located with easy access to inside and outside areas as well as north and south areas on the interior. We left the NPS and headed south to the ramp
Locked and Loaded
The drive in doesn't suck
We made good time getting to camp, only taking about an hour with 3 guys, 55 gal of fuel, more camp gear than you can shake a stick at and enough alcohol to ward of mosquito's and noseeums for 3 nights and 4 days. Camp was an absolute mess so I refrained from taking pictures...we did however have a camp mascot and renamed camp in his/her honor
We made a quick run north after getting camp set up and fished an interior bay that's been good to us in the past and proceeded to spend the rest of the afternoon spooking big (er mammoth) snook, finding reds that showed no interest in any offerings of fly or artificial variety, watching to big tarpon cruise by in an area I didn't think they would be and watching a 100-200 fish school of black drum float across a slicked out bay while ignoring us completely. My buddies little brother joined us on this trip and was quickly introduced to the beauty of the swamp as well our hatred for a certain marine artist and his false projections.
The brothers enjoying a few last casts on the first night
We ended the evening with some excellent jalapeño beef brats and southern style potato salad before running from the bugs to the relative safety of the tent. The next morning dawned a little breezy out of the south but the sunrise on the long run south made us forget any negative feelings we had towards mother nature
If you were hoping to find pictures of big tarpon you can just hit the back button now. Everyday would be the same story, finding a few fish here and there in likely places as well as exploring new areas that held a few fish that showed us very little love. What attention they did give us ended up being pretty comical interactions. The first morning Trev's little bro, who had never seen tarpon before, had one eat a doa baitbuster right next to the boat and we all nearly crapped our pants at the size of the fish and the proximity. The next day while trying to hide from the wind, we found 3 fish laid up in a tiny lee'd out pocket. Trev cast at the smallest fish first which slowly followed before sinking and circling back around to chill with his bro's again. The 2nd cast had to be over the tail of the middle fish to land in...eh screw it here is a diagram.
Fuck you G. Harvey and your artistic abilities
While the 2nd cast was in the process of getting eaten the middle fish spooked and completely fouled our chances of putting some backcountry sleepers in the air.
Anyways back on track...The 2nd night we enjoyed our annual Glades Burger, which is a burger with bacon, cheddar, a fried egg and pickles. Again hid from the bugs at the late late hour of 8:30pm and hit the beds. Up early the next morning we made an hour long run south in search of a tarpon hotspot from a few years ago. Not finding any players we ran to the outside for the trip back north and proceeded to see more boats in 20 minutes than we have seen all previous trips combined. Back inside we were greeted with a great tide and completely slicked out bays, ponds and creeks. We didn't exactly wreck the fish but we had a blast catching fish almost every spot we stopped and even found a few bonus tarpon to spook. I missed an eat from the biggest jack I've seen in my short stint in florida...that one will haunt me for awhile. Had a great evening back at camp reliving stories from the trip and sharing our disdain for a certain artist who sells lies printed onto cotton before heading to bed knowing we had to head home the next morning.
In case you have followed these reports through the years or saw my previous Friday post you already know I was going to forget an important item(s)
year one: spare prop...needed it
year two: stove...obviously needed it
year three: sleeping bag, pillow, plates and cutting board. All would have been pretty nice to have
Until next time. Warning some hero shots
ps. fuck you g. harvey