Saturday, May 21, 2011

New Smyrna Beach week 2011

In case you were wondering why ACF has been so quiet lately it is because 'the office' was closed up nine days ago and I headed south to New Smyrna Beach Florida for some chill time. It was an amazing trip that I am just back from and wanted to get up a few shots before I crash from the long day of road time...nearly 16 hours worth.

Day one I headed up to the NSB side of Ponce Inlet and walked from the Coast Guard Station all the way out to the open surf with my 8WT in tow. I did see dolphins, manatees, crabs, rays....but nothing decided to play with the business end of a fly that day. Little did I know that I would only bust out the rods on one more day. On the way out I did get a visit from one of the local burrowing tortises.

The other day I got out ended up being on Monday with Capt Mike Mann of Fat Fish Guide Service. I have been out with Mike numerous times over the last few years so I expected to have a blast, even if I brought the clouds or wind with me as per my norm... We got out extra early, as the launches were clogged with people trying to get a view of the shuttle launch, and headed out on Mosquito Lagoon. Started off the morning prospecting for some early tarpon but only ended up seeing two roll so we headed south to nail some reds and catch the launch.

Not fifteen minutes in this ambitious little guy hammered on some top water. I know I have said that I don't care what size the reds are as long as I catch some, but....really!?! At least the stink was off early.

At the appointed time the shuttle headed off for the stars.

It really was cool to see another launch and especially in the close proximity from the lagoon. There was dead silence for a few minutes and then, once the shuttle was already out of sight, the noise made it to us and we have rumblings and sonic booms for a few minutes. Really neat stuff!

Little bettter fish I would be happy to catch all day long. This one came in at six pounds and unfortunately did not fare well after the fight. We tried multiple times to revive it but it had lost too much blood, so this became my first Red to go from the lagoon to the pan...and needless to say not a single bit was wasted, delicious.

The prize and my best Redfish to date was this fish that boga'd out at nine pounds and 30". This fish had tons of fight and went on half a dozen runs before allowing us to take a quick picture. The second it hit the water after the shot this fish was throwing serious wake while powering away at top speed.

As a group we took advantage of a suggestion to contact Tim from East Coast Paddle. It just so happened that he was available for the next day so we had him take our whole group out and hit the kayak trails in the lagoon. It was one hell of a workout and just a ton of fun, I can not recommend it enough. Really a cool way to spend a few hours, see some new territory, and get in to some skinny water with the fish.

With the full moon in effect I had to go for a long exposure and see what came out. A few attempts later the 1.8second exposure won out. This was not easy without a tripod!

One final parting shot on the way out this morning. Cant' wait to get back down there later this year.

Tomorrow...back to the vise.

-mike schmidt

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