Captiva Last Week [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Captiva Last Week

05-03-2009, 10:46 PM
Made it down to Captiva again for our biennial (hope to make it annual) excursion after redfish, snook and what-have-you. Stayed at the quaint, Old Florida cottage/marina with the Danish name on the Pine Island Sound side of Captiva (no direct links here, but PM me, if you choose). Our friends, the Giesels, dragged our bodies from Ft Meyers to here (SW Florida International Airport is way cool, although both Continental and Delta airlines leave more than much to be desired -- about all you can say is that the pilots are competent and will get you there safely, although date and time of arrival are somewhat problematic -- not to mention the airlines' being more than aggressive on niggling charges and way short on food), and we settled in to a strong east wind and turbid water.

Nonetheless, we preservered. My friend Ted is a boat builder of renown and talent and trailed his flats boat prototype, aka "Skinny Dipper" to the venue. We fished out of this craft for about five days, with increasingly gratifying results (perhaps correlated with the supply of rum at the start and the supply of same at the end -- but who knows, probably just coincidence). Fish were not abundant, regardless, although we found good numbers of snook gathering in Redfish Pass on the ebb, and, of course, legions of ladyfish everywhere. My biggest goal was to hook a redfish, as I'd never done this, and really was trying to concentrate on these beasts. That aside, I salivate whenever snook are mentioned and tried hard for them in the mangroves, on the grass flats, and in the Pass. As the week went on, snook fishing became hotter and hotter, culminating in an eight fish hookup on Tuesday (only two landed) on the north side of Redfish Pass about a third of the way through the ebb.

Because of this rather outstanding and unusual success, Ted and I decided to hit the Pass the following evening at the start of the ebb in late afternoon. On Tuesday, Ted had found it a great nuisance to constantly be pushing the boat off-shore as the tide dropped, so I decided to do him a favor and anchor it a bit out. I might mention that Wednesday was my birthday, and, as the ebb started late we thought we could work in a bit of celebration before we made the run up to the Pass.

We're quite good at celebrations. Were I only so good at fishing.

Anyway, we got to the beach on North Captiva and I helpfully jumped out of the boat with the anchor line in hand to secure same in the sand, neglecting the fact the anchor rope had ensnared my ankle. Even the Russian judges would have given me 10's as I literally somersaulted over the side into the two-foot deep water. Sputtering, and eternally thankful that I hadn't brought the Nikon, I rose from the depths, shaking like a Labrador, and dropped the anchor where I stood.

I might mention that there were No Trespassing signs everywhere we landed, but as we'd fished there before in previous years, I thought they were intended for the high-tide line but wasn't entirely sure. Therefore, I was a bit non-plussed when an attractive blond lady with an enormous Great Dane appeared suddenly and out of nowhere and headed directly for us. "Oh, Expletive!" I thought, she's going to kick us out. I stood my ground, intending to plead ignorance (which is my forte, actually), and fiddled, seemingly unaware, with my tackle as she came within speaking distance.

She didn't kick us out. Actually she was quite friendly and easy to talk with; so much so that it took me quite a while to notice our boat had drifted free and was making its rapid, autonomous way into the Gulf of Mexico abreast a raging bull ebb.

"Ted, Ted!" I screamed. "Cast out and snag the boat!"

Too late. Skinny Dipper was on her way to Galveston.

Luckily, some shark anglers were within hailing distance and came to our rescue. The blond lady, in great distress caused by laughing-sickness, I suppose, excused herself at that point, herded her monstrous doggie back from whence they came, and disappeared into the dunes. The shark anglers, well aware of our chagrin over losing our boat promised not to tell anyone (who didn't read the Miami Herald) and restored our fickle Skinny Dipper to us. Good Samaritans still exist.

The evening tide was as dead as the previous evening's ebb had been hot. I caught a couple of aptly named "Gag" groupers, each about five inches long, with four of that being jaws, and that was it. We thanked our Guardian Angels, Lucky Stars, and whatever else, fired up and headed home. (That's where the rum was, anyway.)

I had heard it from a law enforcement officer at Ding Darling that there was a fly shop on Sanibel and the proprietor had authored a book on snook fly-fishing. I bought a copy at the refuge book store and found it remarkably well written and full of useful and even arcane information (e.g., I now know what "protandric hermaphroditism" means and how it applies to snook). If you want to know more about this book, PM me.

I did manage to catch a magnificent redfish my last day of serious fishing. I caught it on a spoon fly, so I don't know if that counts or not.

But, next year, I'll try again.

I can hardly wait.



05-04-2009, 06:25 AM
Hi Eric
Nice story.
Do you have a photo of the magnificent red?


05-04-2009, 12:06 PM
Eric-great report. Forget the picture of the redfish, do you have a picture of the blond that caused you guys to lose your boat!