I just returned home from 4 days in Florida, my wife says we went to visit her parents, my plan was to fish.
I have never hired and fished with a guide before but it was time for some local smarts. I am building a small flats boat this winter and was excited to get out on one and take some measurements.
So I called Capt. Les Hill and from our phone conversations he sounded like a man in his 50's, he has fished the are around Boca Grande for 25 years. He was happy when I told him I knew how to cast. That was about all I got out of him. My mother in law had found his name in a local tackle shop.... posted on the wall.... on a flyer....with pre cut phone number tabs. I was feeling lucky this time so I sent him my money.
Get on a plane
Then drive through the FL swamp
I was told to meet Capt Hill at so and so marina, this was the first thing I saw when I stepped out of the car... a crushed Budweiser pounder.... today was going to be a good day.
17.5 ' Carbon / Kevlar.... sweet mama
Motoring out to Boca Pass, an internation Tarpon Tournement is held here every year, no tarpon were spotted on this trip but stories of 180 pound fish in this same boat got me thinking.
Capt Hill turns to me and says, "What do you want to catch today Jason ?"
"Well, some trout, red fish and snook would be great"
"Ok, ( he stops the boat ) poles once and tells me to cast "
Second cast of the morning lands this sea trout, three more followed all fell to a brown and white clouser.
I was inpressed that Capt Hill picked, what appeared to be, a random spot in the bay to cast to, but happy to feel the tug. The day continued on like this, "cast here".... boom...redfish.
I had never caught any of these salt water beauties, but redfish were a treat. They don't fight really, they just pull.... like an old diesel Dodge truck, I picture them with their bull heads and dark tail spots drag racing on the sea floor, like teenagers in their father's farm trucks. They just sort of tuck their heads and pull in one direction or the other. I was a fan of redfish.
This is a gag grouper, this one went 18".... another perfect example of the Capt. saying "cast here" to a spot of water that looked like everyother spot in the horizon.
I caught a blowfish as well, everyone loves the brown Clouser
Another sea trout
That snook went 25" and was the most fun of the trip. Fought like a salmon and spooled me on an 8 wt.
Bob Clouser knows his shit. We changed flies once from brown and white to grey and white.
( I have not idea why this is now centered)
I had a great day on the water and certainly see the bonus to fishing with someone who knows the waters.
As we are loading the boat on to his trailer , I thank Capt. Hill, tip him and thank him again.
He hands me a some reading material about Jesus. He tells me that he was saved when he was 12.
(What kind of trouble can I 12 year old be in I think )
At this point I apologize for my language, I may have let out a "sweet christ" when that snook spooled me.
He understands but would like me to read this.
So tonight, I sit and reflect... enjoy one of the NEW Budweiser 8oz and tip my can to Captain Les Hill
and the Solidhookups gang.