Estero Bay Fishing Report 10.14.11

Submitted by BarHopp'R Kayak Guide Service

Submitted on 10/14/2011
I had two trips scheduled in Estero Bay for this week; Monday and Tuesday. But, a strong early season cold front got in the way of the Monday trip for Celia Longfellow and me. The radar was lit up with rain and storm laying just offshore all along the coast, and well into the gulf. But, sometimes it will fall apart before it makes landfall. I decided to head to the ramp and make the call based on what was happening at daylight.
As I rode down Estero Island toward Lovers Key there was plenty of lightning firing just offshore. It wasn't looking good. When I got to the ramp, I didn't bother getting the boats ready. I got out my lightning detector to get an idea of how far away the storms were, and their direction.
Once Celia arrived I explained the situation, and she observed she'd seen lightning off the beach as she drove. I told her I thought we should stay put and see what was going to happen, and that we could use the time to give her a casting clinic. She'd told me she had only been fishing for six months, and needed lots of help. Casting long and accurately is one of the most important parts of inshore shallow water fishing. You have to be able to do it to see your greatest success. It's a rare day indeed that I don't out-catch my customers, and usually the only difference I can observe is that I'm casting much farther. Getting your best cast every cast takes proper instruction and practice. And, it's all fun.
After an hour plus working on her casting techniques we covered some little known, but very useful weather facts, and discussed how low pressure centers work. By then it was around 9 AM, and the weather was moving onshore. We said goodbye and agreed to reschedule on a good tide day, as well as get together for the second half of the seminar to cover understanding tides, and using Google and Bing as fishermans' tools. And, great tools they are.
The tides were great for fishing, but I knew that because we would be fishing behind a big cold front, things would be tough for Frank Faust and me. We had a trip scheduled for Tuesday, and then a fishing clinic scheduled on Wednesday.
I had talked with Frank quite a bit and as with Celia, I knew I'd like him a lot when we met. And, I wasn't wrong in either case. Frank at 71, has a great zest for life, a contagious smile, and an eagerness to learn. We really did hit it off right from the start. Hell that morning we stood there at the ramp for an hour just talking away until I realized it was after 8 AM, and suggested we should get our butts wet! And, we hardly stopped talking all day long.
We had very little water out there early in the morning, and we are definitely in the transition to winter's much lower tides. We began the day with a run to an area where we were looking for deeper current troughs, and would fish with the tides toward the mangroves and the oysters. The fish were definitely in a snit. We were tossing spoons and jigs. We both had some hits on the spoons, and had our weedguards mangled any number of times by redfish. But, in the first three hours we didn't hook a fish that I can recall.
The tide was coming hard, though, and I hoped that we would get some kind of a bite in the last couple hours of that tide. Frank and I talked our way all over the water. I think we were enjoying each other's company as much or more than the fishing. And, in fairness, if we'd talked less and fished more, we'd have likely caught more fish. Actually, we didn't catch our fish until I put some distance between us where we couldn't talk.
So, we ended the day with several snook and one keeper redfish. The reds just weren't on at all. Yet, Frank told me repeatedly that day was his best trip ever. We really did have a blast together. And, he loved the 14.5 Ultimate, and I know that he'd have been out buying one that week if he were able to store it at his condo. But, because of rules and space, he makes due with a 9 ft. rubber blow-up boat.
The next day we were at it again, but we were at the Subway on Ft. Myers Beach for a clinic. We met and had breakfast, and then I broke out a big HP laptop and we went to work on tides and using Google and Bing to find fishing holes. I don't know where the time went but next thing we knew it was 1 PM.
Then Thursday, we got together again so that I could pick up a 2 HP Tuhotsu 4-stroke motor, a Hummingbird transom mount fish finder, and big Grp 27 battery he wanted me to sell for him once he returns to Iowa. I also brought him an 8 ft. Wang Anchor and a nice transom bracket for it so that he would be able to easily and quickly anchor his boat without having to make noise. He was excited about having that.
By way of information, his Tuhotsu motor has some scratches on it from being in storage, but it's never even been cranked up or in the water. He paid $1100 for it, and I'm authorized to sell it for what I consider a fair price. Also have a small external tank and a spare spark plug for it.
Celia and I also got back together at week's end at Pincher's Crab Shack to finish our clinic. But, although I've used the wi-fi there, and it's usually hard to get logged on, I couldn't get logged on that day, and my diagnostics said it was a problem with their equipment. But, there was no one there at a pay grade to do anything about making it work. Probably a router restart would have done it.
That was the week. Fall is in the air, and it can't get here soon enough for me.
BarHopp'R Kayak Fishing With Capt. Butch Rickey 
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