Because of the length of this thread & the many topics covered, I have made a Table of Contents. This Table is on p. 22, http://www.hobiecat.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=70&t=7276&start=315 KeithThe Best Fishing Trip Ever
(with pictures to prove it)
Our recent trip to Cape Romano brought back memories of a spectacular fishing trip. This is the story of that trip and the continual change to the western shore of the Cape.
Nancy and I kayaked with our friends to Cape Romano in April 2005. Except for Lou Greenwell
, we were all new to the Cape. Lou had been to the Cape Romano area many times in his youth─he was our guide. We camped on a 100 yd long stretch of beach facing the Gulf of Mexico. The beach was about 100' wide with a moat bordering the back side. The moat was part of Morgan Lake. Morgan Lake is a tidal lake with a couple of cuts to the Gulf on the West and Morgan River on the East side. Morgan River snakes its way northward through mangrove swamps before emerging onto Gullivan Bay.Lou and Natasha Pyle enjoy a fire at sundown.On this trip, there were some robust winds out of the west. Along with the surf, they pounded the vulnerable Cape Romano shore.Here are our tents: ours, Lou's and Cindy's -- closest to the edge of that sand bank.
In the middle of the night, I gave Cindy a hand moving her tent back from the edge─the sand bank had eroded enough that her tent was in danger. Next morning, with Cindy's and Lou's tents moved, evidence of the erosion is evident.
A couple more pictures on the trip: Cindy Augustyn and NancyNatashaWhile Lou and the women hiked down to the dome house,
I did a little fishing in the surf. I was surprised to quickly hook and lose a snook. That was the only fish I hooked, but I realized fish were around. So, when camping season started the following Fall, several of us went back to Cape Romano. Our camp: Lou among the tents and sea oats. Notice the large bank of sand is gone.
Our tents are on the highest ground available in the area─not much room to spare at high tide. It was November 2005.
That beach is gone now, but more on that later. That day in November 2005, we fished. Snook is the premier inshore sport fish and is generally considered to be the best tasting Florida fish. Lou and Rick Bartoli show off their snook.
Lou and Rick had a great day fishing ─ easily out fishing everyone else. Many of these pictures were taken by Natasha, others by Lou, Rick, and me.The author and a redfishThe author and a snookLou with large sea troutRick with a jack cravelleBlue Runner ─ not good eating, but puts up a fierce fight.We caught fish from morning...'til sundown.Come nightfall, we relaxed.
It was my very best fishing trip -- ever. I think that went for the others too. A large group of us came back 2 weeks later to try and duplicate it, but it didn't happen. However, on that return trip, I did catch the biggest fish─a 32" snook.We've been back to the Cape many times trying to repeat that great 2005 fishing trip; but, it has never happened -- not even close.2007 was the first time we had some AIs there.Bill Waller caught this juvenile tarpon─a strong fighting fish─which was released unharmed.In 2006, I did a solo trip.
The most memorable thing from that solo trip was a lure with a hook stuck in my hand and a very wild 5 lb snook on the other end of the lure. It would not have been that unusual, except it was the first of two hooks I embedded in my hand that day. The best part? With my earlier experience, I knew exactly how to remove the second hook.In digging through old pictures of Cape Romano trips, I found this one of Nancy with a very young Josh Morgan. It was November 2008. The water in the background is the "mote" on the back side of the beach.At low tide, sandbars can peek out of water: Waves frequently sweep across the beaches of Cape Romano.
And, that is part of the problem. The beach where all the fish were caught is gone. Perhaps, I should say the beach moved, but that gives the impression it is still useable. It is not. Look again at the picture of Nancy & Josh.
The mote, part of Morgan Lake, is gone. The beach sand has been pushed back by the relentless westerly breezes and storms. They have pushed that beach sand back into the mote and further into the mangroves on the other side. That beautiful, breezy campsite is gone. Gone, also, are the sea oats. This Google Earth 2003 vs. 2013 image comparison shows the dramatic difference in the western shore of Cape Romano. In the 2003 image, it is near low tide. The 2013 image is higher tide, but close inspection of the 2 images shows dramatic changes in the western shoreline. As the beach sand gets pushed into the mangroves, our beautiful beach has disappeared, the mangroves die, Cape Romano is a little smaller, and the sea has reclaimed some real estate. The circled portion includes about 1.5 mi of shore.
With severe storms on the increase with global warming, the beach erosion on Cape Romano will likely worsen. How will that affect fishing? I haven't a clue. If I'm around in 10 yrs, I will venture an observation.