Ozello

Guide Bruce Butler

Ozello

Welcome back yak fans and happy 4th of July. Please remember when showing off with fireworks, light - then throw. Alcohol-induced stupidity could be hard on the fingers.

I want to cover a few different subjects next month. I call this semi-functional literary ADD. I have a train of thought but there are so many tracks leaving the station. LOL.

First, out of the gate is my fishing with Glen Pla of the Average Angler Adventures on channel 47. My fishing experiences with him have been a trip, both figuratively and literally. The literal is as I mentioned last month. Glen has a new toy: a motorized kayak. And just like a kid with a new bike, he wants to ride it all over the neighborhood. Anybody without a motor will just have to keep up.. Now, don't get me wrong, any kayaker worth his or her paddle can maintain a 4-5 mph pace all day - but we can't do it and fish. You see, our hands are full with a paddle, following Glen. (You can sense a little frustration, now do it for 8 hours at a time!)

For those of you that wonder, after the banana incident, yes I did catch a red, and of course, it was when I decided to stop paddling and fish a spot that I knew. FISH ON! All right! Finally!

Hey Glen...Wes?? (the camera guy)...no where to be seen. They'd left me. Perfect! If there is a moral to this story, it's don't' try to be something you're not. I don't want to be a flats boat. I go to an area and I work the different spots. I don't work the whole darn area. Oh, as to vindication, before we met up on a Sunday to shoot the before-and-after segments, I went out to an area in Ozello that I had never fished before - by myself - to see what I could do. Fishing like a kayaker, I caught 5 reds and 2 trout in two hours, basically fishing about 2 spots. On the show, Glen caught 7 reds in about 8 hours, and we fished everywhere. Nuff said.

After that, I met up with Glen and Wes at the Ozello Outpost on Ozello Trail. The proprietors, Mike and Diane, were great. Mike makes a mean bar-b-cue and he's added a bar and tables, good food and great people. I love Ozello. After we finished the shoot, Diane, who by the way is a NRA pistol instructor and sharp shooter. Asked Glen about the show. He went on to explain Average Angler, etc., and she cut him off with a "Nobody out here gets Brighthouse, honey." Pointing at me she asked if I was with Brighthouse too. I said, "No, I'm just local color but I write for the Coastal Angler Magazine. Her response of, " We love that magazine out here" and Glen's look was as they say, priceless.

Last month I wrote about the snook bite in our area, so on my last trip to Aripeka, after picking up a couple of trout (green exude dart on a weighted hook), I went looking for my secret school of reds that have been consistent for the last couple of months. School was out. I looked everywhere. Other than a 17" rat red, it was pretty frustrating. At this point, I thought (this is where I get back to where I started this story), that I would try to actually target snook, so I cleared the deck, took out my trusty Zara Spook Jr (in bone) and at around 12:30, hot, bright sun, no clouds, (this is never going to work), I paddled my way back to a canal. Folks, literally on my second cast on the edge, WHAM, Hello Mr. Snook! I released him and just to press my luck, I cast some more. Third cast. Another snook. This was the first time on this coast that I ever caught 2 snook in 6 casts. This is a great sign of things to come in our area. Now, if we could just keep them. Oh well.

Oh, last but not least, contrary to popular belief, on my last trip to the Pine Island area, I found that the reds and black drum were still hanging out on the inside. Go figure. So don't automatically bypass those creeks and bays. They may still surprise you. Working the skinny water spots are usually most productive with a live shrimp or GULP, mainly due to the fact that fish get spooky if you keep throwing things over their heads.

That's all for this month. Tight lines and happy paddling.
Bruce Butler

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