Florida Everglades, February 8, 2009
The Avid Angler
Perspective and Timing
Would you sign up for fishing temperatures in the high 50’s to low 60’s with partly cloudy skies, and a NE breeze at 10-15 knots in early February? A New York fisherman’s perspective would be to savor the day. A Floridian, on the other hand, might enter a temporary state of hibernation and await the inevitable sunny and 80.
Well, on this Sunday, Nancy and I awoke at 6:00 a.m. in Florida, having temporarily fled the New York winter. Our scheduled destination was Flamingo Bay in the Everglades for some exciting sight fishing with our trusty flats guide, Jorge Valverde of Low Places Guide Service.
The cool morning began with a glitch. The two Starbucks we passed in downtown Miami at 7 a.m. were not yet open. Eventually after several right turns, left turns, and u-turns an open Starbucks miraculously appeared on US 1.
90 minutes later, we were on the water and searching for fish. We searched and cast, searched and cast, and searched and cast some more. After two to three hours, the number of fish caught was equivalent to the number of open Starbucks early on Sunday in downtown Miami. This should serve as a subtle indicator to the average soul to call it a day. Not so for a passionate, determined angler. To the dismay of my considerate angling companion, Nancy, we continued on.
What was my perspective? I saw a beautiful, untouched, marine wilderness. We were treated to porpoises swimming about, a bald eagle perched and waiting to strike, and countless other exotic aquatic birds. I wore rose-colored, Costa del Mar, polarized sunglasses. Nancy saw ominous clouds on a flats boat with no amenities. She endured cold wind that chilled her to her core. She wore prescription Persols that were far from rose-colored. Perspective: I was happy-she was not.
Eventually we found some sea trout. We tossed a shrimp baited j-hook with a popper to entice them. I was also fortunate enough to deceive a seven-pound snook into believing that a green and red grub was lunch. After a safe release of the snook and a few more casts, we decided that life on land would be more comfortable than life at sea. Especially for the tough and patient Nancy.
Now for the timing part of the story. That weekend in New York, temps had soared to the mid -50’s after a month below freezing. The codfish bite off Montauk was reported to be the best in at least 25 years. We were also informed that the weather in Florida returned to sunny and 80 following our departure.