Sunday, November 27, 2005

Key West Permit Fishing and Some Mud

Yesterdays trip found some more muddy water left over from our hurricane season but, after the last very welcome, cool fronts there is a lot of bait movement and big bunches of Permit on the flats and floating in the small channels.

We were fishing for Jacks, Snappers, Barracudas and anything else that would pull hard for a ten year old boy, we needed some fun fish and didn't have lots of patience for tricky flats fish.

They found us, everywhere we looked we ran into big groups of Permit floating, tailing and circling in the shallows.
All the channels are full of bait, Mullet, Mahua, Pilchers, and gars.

Fall has arrived to the lower Florida Keys backcountry and with the cooler water temps will come great Permit fishing.
Cobia and Pompano will show up in the next few weeks and give us lots of fun fish targets.

I'm tying up lots of ammo too, Mylar and Lime green 3/8 jigs for spinning and dusting of my Bait Fish pattern flys.

My next new fly pattern I'll name Wilma......should be very destructive!

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Key West Fishing for Turkey's

That's what I'll be doing tomorrow along with Marcella and another senior
Key West guide Gill Drake and his wife and grand daughter.

Thanksgiving has always been a favorite holiday for me, a relaxing, easy, chew roast turkey and snooze through college football games.

This year even more special as with the walls torn out of the Bougainvillea house and most of the appliances we all take for granted in a pile on the lawn.

The big turkey on the back deck roasting in the gas grill and pies baked in town and trucked to the house, we are grateful that hurricane Wilma didn't destroy Key West the way Katrina did
New Orleans and the Gulf Coast.

Gill and I are glad that our skiff's are intact and that Wilma was only a wrinkle in our way of life!

We're also glad to see the cool fronts that bring fall bait runs have started and we'll be wack'en
Cobia, Permit and Pompano on the flats for the rest of the winter.

The lower Key's folks have been working frantically to clean up after Wilma and its amazing to me how much can be done by people in a short amount of time to get back to normal.

For Gill Drake and I, it only take's a boat ride with a excited angler.....

Friday, November 18, 2005

Key West Fishing Improves

Yesterday's Flats fishing found inproving water clairity and some Tarpon and

The Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic are still very dirty and finding clear water on the flats is a challange.

I expect it will be several weeks before we have the "gin clear Florida Key 's flats" again but,
our fish recover from hurricanes must faster that the humans.

The tidal movement over the flats grasses help clean things up and in some areas you can find
"clearish" water until the higher tides bring back the swill from offshore.

We found a few tailing Permit on the flats and three small schools of Tarpon in the cuts.

Not a lot of success hooking any of those guys yesterday, but we had fun with Jacks, Snappers
and Lady fish and a lot of laugh's.

Todays cold front postponed our trip one day.......then we'll smash those suckers!

Sunday, November 13, 2005

More Hurricane Wilma in Key West Facts

Not since 1910 has Key West and the lower Florida Keys flooded as much or as deep.

60-70% of the houses in Key West were flooded between 1ft-4ft, many had no flood insurance.

Wind caused very little damage.

As the storm passed us moving from the southwest to the northeast , the storm surge coincided with a high tide on the Gulf side of the Keys at about 630 am
resulting in approx. 8ft above mean high tide.

If it had been low tide on the Gulf side my house would have been surrounded by water with...... no water in the house.

Had the cold front that was sweeping across the Gulf of Mexico been 12 hours earlier, the storm would have passed to our south, probably missing the Keys and south Florida.

Auto carrier trucks have been hauling thousands of flooded, total loss cars out of the Keys for two weeks.

Auto carrier trucks have been hauling thousands of new cars into the Keys for two weeks.

The day after Hurricane Wilma stomped us, the Mayor of Key West announced
that Fantasy Fest would be postponed for 5 days.

We all heard this news on our battery powered radios, as we hauled all of our appliances, furniture, clothing....our stuff to the street.

All we could do was laugh!

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Wilma, We All Swam in Key West

We have a lot of new car's and trucks in the Florida Keys and in my neighborhood,
we just got phone lines back up.

I lost 2 cars, a motorcycle, all furniture, appliances,family photos and 4ft of plaster and drywall and electrical outlets.

About 530 am, I finally passed out sitting up after the wind dropped a bit and shifted to the north west,but only for about 1 hour.

The next thing I know Marcella is shaking me and letting me know we had a few inches of water in the lower level "Florida room"

I shot to my feet to find in the 30 seconds it took her to wake me there was now
a foot of water,Ipushed open the front door and storm shutter to find 2 more feet waiting to enter the house.

I scrambled to the street to unleash the flats skiffs from their trailers and started the engines, turned back towards the house and watched my Honda Blackbird's
headlight taste saltwater, Marcella's Ford Escape's alarm and lights were flashing
protesting the Gulf of Mexico entering the dashboard.

A Lexus across the street started wailing and the electric trunk popped open as I heard my neighbor's wife with her 3 year old granddaughter screaming in terror
"Mike what should I do?" the water was now up to my tit's in the street as she waded over to my Flats Skiff , floating in the street with a line tied to the roof rack of Marcella's car, the other skiff running and tied to the disappearing door handle of my Jeep.

Marcella came from the house with suite cases full of car titles and revolvers
and cookies for the baby.

We all climbed into the skiff and I started up Key Haven Blvd picking a few other
women and a guy that was trying to walk back to his house against the 60+mph mile per hour wind and the incoming current of the Gulf.

I dropped everyone 6 blocks up the street at a friends high ground house and putted back to my house to try to collect more stuff, dodging trash cans, plastic lawn furniture, shoes, boats and even a few floating cars.

In a couple of hours the water started to drop and I had to scramble to re-trailer
the boats.

There are about 1,000 houses in my canal neighborhood that were flooded with
1-4 feet of saltwater, all are having the walls removed as you read this, mine are done.

I pulled the Honda apart and saved it, rode it to Miami a few days ago and bought
a Pick Up Truck, put the motorcycle in the back and came back to Key West to knock out walls.

I'm fishing tomorrow, first time since Wilma and I'm looking for a good drywall/plaster man.......let me know if you hear of one, or two.