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Fishing Report from Spotted Tail <st1:date month="2" day="15" year="2009">2/15/09</st1:date> <o:p></o:p>

There were a lot of fish around this week. They weren’t biting too well. There was also a full moon. I don’t know of any scientific studies tying shallow water fish behavior to moon phase, but I’m blaming the moon for the lack of success.

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On Monday and Tuesday Dave Corddry and his lovely bride Donna (from <st1:city><st1:place>Annapolis</st1:place></st1:city>) joined me for some fly fishing in the Mosquito Lagoon. We fished from the Mitzi. On Monday we started in the Pole/Troll area. The sky was bright, the winds light, a superb day weather-wise. We soon found what had to be a thousand redfish- a thousand redfish with a severe case of lockjaw. Dave finally got one to hit a redfish worm fly, but the fish quickly came unbuttoned.

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Somewhere around <st1:time hour="11" minute="0">11 AM</st1:time> I couldn’t stand it any more and succumbed to the temptation of a pork chop. I put a mullet chunk on a circle hook. It’s not like the fish went nuts trying to get it, but Donna finally did pull one in.

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My friend and fellow guide Keith Kalbfleisch was on the same flat with a party of two. They weren’t having any better luck.

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I staked out the boat for a few minutes and when I did a school of fish swam right up to us. Dave hooked and caught one on a four inch <st1:place><st1:city>DOA</st1:city><st1:state><st1:stockticker>CAL</st1:stockticker></st1:state></st1:place> jerk bait. Those two we boated (and released), both slot fish, would be it for the day.<o:p></o:p>

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Around <st1:time hour="13" minute="0">1 PM</st1:time>, tired of chasing panicked fish around, I poled off the flat. I stopped to see what Keith was doing. They had gotten two also, both by soaking Gulp!s.

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We hit several other spots and found fish in several of them. Their behavior was the same as the morning fish’s, and we did not get another bite. At least the mullet stayed in their bucket!

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On Tuesday we went to the same area as the previous morning. Although there was little to no wind, it was overcast and hard to see. There was already a boat up in the spot, chasing fish around. But it seemed clear that there weren’t as many fish as the previous day.

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We spent a few minutes there hoping to spot some tailing fish. When we didn’t see any I decided to go looking for some.

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Once out of the Pole/Troll area we did find a spot with tailing fish. Dave had a few good casts with the fly. All resulted in refusals. Additionally, the fish would cease their tailing. Casting with lures led to fish stampedes as they high-tailed away from the splash-down area. It was about this time that the clouds broke and the sun came out.

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Now able to see and follow the fish around a little bit, we tried for another 30 minutes or so to get a bite. Finally we had no targets, as the fish apparently vacated the area. So it was time for another boat ride.

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While we were riding the wind came up, about 15 mph out of the south. I went to the south end of the lagoon to show my anglers the Space Shuttle, and see if there were any fish down there.

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<o:p></o:p>Using the wind to help me I poled a four mile stretch of shoreline while the Corddrys blind-cast with spin tackle. We changed lures periodically, since we were seeing fish more or less continuously but weren’t getting any bites. Rip Tide has a new bait called the Inshore Minnow, which Dave finally got a strike on. The redfish was a beautiful 30 inch, ten pound fish, and was the only bite we got all day.

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On Wednesday Scott Radloff and I went to the Mosquito Lagoon and used the Mitzi. I needed some pictures. Scott needed a fish for dinner. After the photo session I waded up on a small school of fish and got one on a black Clouser Minnow. The 20 inch red went into the cooler for Scott’s dinner.

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<o:p></o:p>Scott wanted to catch one so we went to the Pole/Troll area where all the fish had been on Monday. They were all gone, not a single fish in that spot. We went back to the ramp, pulled the boat and went home.

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Once there we switched gears, and tackle, and went to the <st1:city><st1:place>St. Johns</st1:place></st1:city>. We just waded from the SR 46 bridge. I’d had several people tell me how many fish they were catching there. Scott and I fished for about three hours. I was using a small white Clouser Minnow. Scott was using a tandem rig with a small Road Runner and a crappie jig.

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Between us we got three shad in three hours. We got several crappie, three very respectable ones, and Scott got a fat spotted gar. He wasn’t very happy about catching that fish, can you imagine?

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Friday Kent Sullivan joined me for a paddle on the Banana River Lagoon. We started just before sunrise. Fish were scarce, and the ones we did find were very lackadaisical in their approach to eating. <st1:country-region><st1:place>Kent</st1:place></st1:country-region> got a few trout to three pounds, although what fly he was using I didn’t find out. <o:p></o:p>

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Finally, about <st1:time hour="14" minute="0">2 PM</st1:time>, we found a few black drum cruising. I had one eat a black bunny. The leader was into the rod tip at the time. I missed the strike. I changed flies to a Claw-Dad and hooked and broke off another. About this time the fish disappeared. We had a long way to go to get back, and headed south.

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After paddling a while I saw a tail. I stopped and got out of the kayak. Soon two fish materialized about 25 feet in front of me. I dropped a black and green Clouser Minnow in front of them, and one took it. I stuck him and 20 minutes later released a pig of a black drum, about 40 pounds.

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I am never going to complain about catching a 40 pound fish, but I had three bites all day. <st1:country-region><st1:place>Kent</st1:place></st1:country-region> only got a couple trout and some “little ugly fish” (I suspect they were blowfish). We got back to my car at sunset after paddle 12 or 15 miles. It was a long, tough day. Since <st1:country-region><st1:place>Kent</st1:place></st1:country-region> had gotten neither a black drum nor a redfish, in spite of my beautiful fish I had the feeling that the mission hadn’t been accomplished. You gotta give us an “A” for effort, though!

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Life is short- GO FISHING!!!

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Life is great and I love my work!

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