Let the Game Begin… A bit of a funny and extreme way to look at it but having a successful day of catching fish will usually involve getting some education and doing a little research about the area you are going to fish and especially when visiting new places. I see it so often, fisherman talking that they were skunked or that the fishing is terrible because of this or that. Sometimes there is a legitimate excuse but more than likely it’s because they went fishing blind without doing a little research on the conditions, their surroundings, baits, etc, etc.
You heard or read reports that they are catching a lot of redfish down around Flamingo, Florida. Living in say the Tampa Bay area you decide to make the trip and spend a couple days kayak fishing that area. You catch reds in Tampa Bay so you load up your usual gear and head down. In fishing around the area you soon realize that you are not having much luck. You in turn blame it on false reports, or the weather etc.
In reality the fish were there but you really didn’t do your homework resulting in the “skunk”. Looking at the west coast of Florida for example you have literally hundreds of miles of coastline all having many of the same species of fish but each particular area has its own uniqueness to it. The fishes habits will act accordingly with their surroundings with where, when and what they are eating and some areas are a lot more unpredictable than others, as in the Everglades
For the last few years I have been concentrating a lot of my kayak fishing along the coastal Everglades. I often refer to it as a “Game” or that I’m going “Hunting”. It can be by far the most challenging place I have ever kayak fished in Florida or any other place for that matter. When I first began fishing here my catch ratio dropped drastically. I love being out and fishing this area and set out to learn all I could about the area and with a little time I have gotten to be a lot more successful on my kayak fishing outings and am now rewarded more often than not catching nice fish.
Do your homework! There is a lot you can learn about a particular place with a little research. Learn your tides, follow the weather, especially winds, and talk to people. Talk to locals and guides if you can, of course they are not going to tell you where their honey holes are ( Question: Where did you catch that Redfish? Answer: Caught him right in the lip! ) But they may help by offering bits of information that you can piece together with all the other information available to greatly help in having a successful day. In mentioning talking with a guide, hiring one for a day is a great way to get educated and learn a lot about a particular area.
So along with your boat and fishing gear bring with you what you have learned about the area you will be fishing and chances are you have greatly increased your odds of winning the “Game”.