Anglers & Friends: Hope everyone had an enjoyable Thanksgiving! This past week was EVERY inshore anglers dream, as we fished both the Mosquito Lagoon on the East coast of Florida and the Chassahowitzka River on Florida’s West Coast. How many people get to do that in their lifetime, let alone in the same week? While visiting family on the East coast for the holiday, Cynthia and I decided to fish the infamous Mosquito Lagoon for MONSTER Redfish with Captain Rocky Van Hoose, (see his comments below), and we had an EPIC adventure! After securing enough Redfish candy, live Finger Mullet for bait, we were on the hunt. Conditions were anything but perfect as not only was it windy but it was also mostly cloudy which as you know only makes site fishing that more difficult. Of course, that wasn’t going to stop us! After catching more Catfish then we could count, we finally had a bite that could have only been what we were hunting for, Cynthia hooked and boated a nice 30 inch Redfish. Most folks would be happy to CATCH a Redfish that size but we were there for the real MONSTERS. Shortly after re-baiting we weren’t disappointed as the rod, I was holding was slammed by what felt like a Volkswagen and the fight was on! After an awesome twenty minute fight we put the 42 inch Redfish, in the boat for a few pictures before we released him for someone else to enjoy!! If you haven’t fought one of these MONSTERS it will test all your angling skills and definitely tire you out, especially on light tackle. Again after re-baiting, it was Cynthia’s turn to fight a MONSTER! If my fish hit like a Volkswagen, the fish that hit Cynthia’s rod was like a Freight Train! She did a masterful job fighting the fish but eventually it wore her out and she had to hand the rod to me for a short rest. In all my years of CATCHING Redfish, I have never seen or felt a fish fight like this! Every time we would get him close to the boat he would just scream line off the reel and it was like starting the fight all over again! This fish was well over 50 inches! It was EPIC!!! The sun was starting to set and we were beginning to wonder and joke if we would get this MONSTER in the boat for a few pictures before it got dark. Cynthia did take the rod back and fought the fish like a professional but after at least an hour and twenty minutes the MONSTER came unbuttoned and swam away. We had just lost a potential state record Redfish, (again see Rocky’s comment below), but it was an experience that the three of us will never forget!!!
Sunday we decided to continue a Thanksgiving weekend tradition that started many years ago and spend a day on the Chassahowitzka River with Captain Bill Hope. As I’ve said many times if you haven’t fished on the “CHAZ” it has to be the most beautiful waterways in Florida. Catching with Bill is always a pleasure as his experience and knowledge of this waterway is unmatched! It was another beautiful day in paradise with the temperature around 80 degrees and sunny all day, (just for you folks that may be freezing). If our trip on the East coast was a catch and release trip, this adventure was planned as a meat trip for our freezer and we surly weren’t disappointed. We caught fish all day long and released more undersize Redfish and Speckled Sea Trout then we could count, and trust me that is a hell of allot better then releasing Catfish! Our final CATCH tally was four keeper Redfish, seven Trout and one Sheepshead!! Oh yes, the freezer is now full!! Let’s go CATCHING, Captain Red ED
—– Original Message —–
From: Rocky Van Hoose
To: Red Ed
Sent: Wednesday, November 21, 2007 8:06 AM
Subject: Thank You
Thanks again for a great day over the water yesterday. I thoroughly enjoyed meeting and fishing with you and Cynthia … especially enjoyed conversing and observing the interaction between the two of you. You seem so well-suited for one another – both of you are excellent anglers too!
I went to your website this morning. It is well done … hope we’ll be able to post a few more photos of redfish in the near future (one solid fish with gorgeous coloring and another of a 25 lb bull.) I wish we could have gotten a pic of that last fish because it may well have been spectacular, perhaps even exceeding the Florida state redfish record of 52 pounds. What a magnificent fish … what a masterful fight by Ed and Cynthia too!
Finally, I look forward to fishing with you again in the future … on the west coast and the east as well. Thanks again, Rocky