Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Afternoon Panfish Trip 1-20-15

Flyfishing for Bluegill from the Gheenoe! from Patrick O'Connor on Vimeo.



Location: CoCoPlum Canal
Time: 1700-1830
Tides: N/A
Weather: Clear skies, 72 degrees, light winds
Vessel: Gheenoe 15'4 Highsider
Fish: 11 Bluegill to 10 inches, 1 stumpknocker
Tactics: Shrymph fly before sunset and #10 popper at dusk

This is my first attempt at making a video short from an individual trip. I have a GoPro and a Kodak Playsport that I am shooting with. My increased mobility in the Gheenoe allows me to position the cameras via mounts and be able to move them throughout a trip. Previously, in the kayak I essentially had to place the camera in a stationary position and wasn't able to move it without getting out of the kayak to reach it. I stuck to a 15 second timeframe as thats what Instagram sharing is limited to. I assume I will continue to do so until I understand more of the filming and editing practices to make a decent 3-4 minute clip out of a trip. 

As far as fishing, it was markedly slow until the sun got low. I managed a few decent fish on my nymph fly but the real action started as dusk set in and the fish began feeding on the surface. In a matter of 5 minutes I boated two 10" bluegills on a popping fly and lost another large fish due to a missed hookset. I have typically avoided afternoon/evening trips in freshwater and after my success here I am questioning why I was limiting myself. I may have to explore this time window a bit more on subsequent trips!

Until next time, keep those rods bent!

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Last trip of 2014, First trip in the Gheenoe


Location: Myakkahatchee Creek
Time: 0630-1030
Tides: Incoming
Weather: Overcast/Dense Fog, Hi75/Lo64, little to no wind
Vessel: Gheenoe 15'4 Highsider
Fish: 5 snook to 29 inches, 3 ladyfish, and one 19" jack
Tactics: Light jigheads and soft plastics on light spinning tackle

This was the first trip in my new-to-me Gheenoe. I was very pleased to catch a slot snook as the first fish in this boat. I have a few modifications I will be doing shortly to make the gheenoe work best for me but I am overall very excited to have this vessel in my fishing arsenal. The river fishing hasn't exactly been on par as the recent temperatures have been a bit higher than normal for this time of year. January and February should prove to be productive up the rivers and creeks though.

Catching Up

The last 5 months have been a bit hectic thanks to the arrival of my new fishing buddy, Cameron. He was born in July and has been nothing but awesome since! We have even caught our first fish together, a bluegill at the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC. Needless to say, daddy daycare has consumed more of my time than fishing, but I have loved every minute of it. The bulk of my fishing has come in the form of quick afternoon roadside rod slinging and short morning trips on the kayak. However, I recently acquired a 15'4 Gheenoe Highsider with a 4 HP Mercury to help make the most of the time I do get on the water. I can now reach my fishing destinations much quicker and spend more time with a line in the water.


Some highlights of the last few months include a few baby tarpon on the fly, some nice bass, some snook out of places you would never expect, and obviously the first fish out of the new to me Gheenoe. Here's to a great 2015 full of fun, fish, and fresh diapers!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Shell Creek 6-24-14

Made a trip to a new area I have been meaning to get out to for nearly a year now. Shell Creek is a freshwater creek system off of the Peace River in Punta Gorda. I had heard good reports of panfish and bass in the past from this location and put it up on my list of places to try out. The main reason it took so long to get out to it is that it is nearly an hour drive from my house. I finally decided to make the drive, and I am glad I did as there were many panfish and a few bass to be had on the fly.



Location: Shell Creek
Time: 0600-1215
Tides: N/A
Weather: Sunny, Hi/Lo 93/74, light winds
Vessel: Native Ultimate 14.5
Fish: 45 bluegill to 10", 3 largemouth bass to 15" and 5 stumpknocker to 6"
Tactics: 2 weight fly rod with a shrymph fly, and 5 weight fly rod with a #10 popper

Lemon Bay 6-23-14

Fished my favorite summer time area in Lemon Bay targeting snook and trout. Got a late start but still managed a half dozen of each. No giants but I did enjoy consistent action.



Location: Stump Pass State Park
Time: 0900-1130
Tides: High @ 1030
Weather: overcast, Hi/Lo 92/70, winds W@10mph
Vessel: Native Ultimate 14.5
Fish: 6 snook to 22" and 6 trout to 17"
Tactics: spinning tackle. DOA Shrimp and Unfair Lures rip'n'slash

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

New Personal Best Fly Rod Snook



Location: Beach on Gasparilla Island
Time: 0730-1000
Tides: Low @ 0930
Weather: Sunny, Hi/Lo 91/72, Winds ESE 4-8 mph
Vessel: Walking
Fish: one snook @27"
Tactics: 8 weight fly rod, white DT-Special with red head
Notes: New personal best snook on the fly. The fish was on the edge of muddy water created by an eddy on the shoreline. I was able to sight fish it and had an excellent 4-5 minute battle with two long runs. Its rare that I catch a beach snook on fly that can't be stripped in, but this one was on the reel almost immediately. I was lucky to have a few joggers who slowed down to watch the fight stop and take the picture.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Little Sarasota Bay 4-1-14



Location: Vamo Rd on Little Sarasota bay
Time: 0700-1300
Tides: Incoming
Weather: Sunny, Hi/Lo 84/70, Winds 4-8 mph
Vessel: Native Watercraft Ultimate 14.5
Fish: snook to 15", trout to 13" and a 24" redfish
Tactics: Spinning tackle. Weedless Aqua-Dream spoon was the hot lure.
Notes: While I did manage a slam, the only respectable fish of the day was the redfish