Fishing in the surf, to me is just a whole lot of fun. It’s fairly simple, inexpensive, and you never know what you’re going to catch. Living in North Port, for a few years, near Florida’s Gulf coast, it was just about thirty minutes to Manasota Key (Englewood Beach). During the summer, when days were long it was no big deal to drive there in the afternoon after work, and fish for a couple of hours. We went there often. There are two public beaches. One as you cross the bridge from the mainland over to the island, which is the main beach, but a few miles north of that beach, there is another, more secluded one. This second beach is where we love to fish. Like any other type of specialized fishing if you’re serious about it, there’s a bit of preparation that needs to be done. That also means a bit of gear to haul from the truck to the beach. But once you get there, stake your claim to a small patch of the sand and get set up, if the fish are there, then get ready for a good time. It can be a very enjoyable and rewarding experience. Nowadays we live about two hours away, but still head over there when we get the chance. A few of years ago, I decided it was time to introduce the boys (my grandsons) to surf fishing. So one Saturday, we got up in the wee hours of the morning, loaded up and headed to Englewood Beach. You take your chances, when you drive that far, to fish in one particular place. You never know what you’ll find (or not find) when you get there. On this particular day however, all the planets must have been lined up just right. We got down to the beach, staked out our spot, got all set up, and then surveyed the situation. Huge schools of Greenbacks were moving along just off of the beach, so I got my cast net out, made one throw, and caught about a hundred or so, and we began fishing. Now I’ve fished that beach a hundred times. Over the years, I’ve caught Snook, Redfish, Trout, Whiting, and of course the usual assortment of “trash fish”, but never have I caught a Mangrove Snapper there. I never even entertained the thought. Mangrove Snapper at the beach? On this particular day however, that’s all we caught. It was a Mangrove Snapper rodeo. Those two boys and I had a blast. They kept me busy, running back and forth taking fish off of hooks and throwing them in the cooler. We ended up with twenty-two. They still talk about that trip. The first photo is of the morning’s haul. As you can see in the picture, Rooney forgot his sunglasses that day, while Louie forgot his teeth. The second photo is of Louie wearing his Power Ranger gloves (and believe me when I tell you, I’ve been beat half to death with those gloves). He’s holding the biggest one he caught. After studying this photo a bit, I told Louie that somehow, he and his quarry bear a strange resemblance. After a great morning of surf fishing, no major injuries, and a safe trip home, we had us one heck of a fish fry. Sweet!!!! It just doesn’t get any better.
Congrats on an awesome day! You guys did great.
Happy to see you had a great kids day. I love it when the kids get to catch quality fish and have a blast doing it.