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Old 11-30-2007, 03:53 PM
DBKSTONE2 DBKSTONE2 is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 86
Default Great Trip

I have to admit that I wound up not using the fly rod with the exception of one day and had no luck. The Oyster bars are murder on flies and tippet. What I did do was pull out the spinning/bait casters and took the wife with me. I learned from a local female fisherman the secret to catching fish on the bay side. CAST NETS. The wife and I were throwing shrimp and were catching cats and croakers. Not exactly a stellar catch. This lady who we had been watching was wearing us out and my pride would not allow me to ask what she was doing. When she got ready to leave she stopped by and was very nice. She basically took pitty and imparted a bunch of knowledge onto us and took the time to show both of us how to use a cast net to catch bait and the best rigs to use.

The next morning we were back at the "youth camp" in the park with a cast net in hand. I changed all the rods to 50lb braided line with 80lb Fluorocarbon leaders that I hand tied used a 3/0 circle hook and 1.5 oz egg sinker with a red glass bead and 100lb test Sampo swivel. We used the cast net to catch pin fish and mullet (4-7 inch) and used that as bait.

HOLY COW!!!!! Did that make all the difference. We caught respectable reds, Jack Crevals, Blues, Lady fish, a snook (if you can believe it). Even the fish that broke off were great fun. Both my wife and I on seperate days hooked fish that we faught for nearly 30 minutes and could not get in. If you've never watched a fish pull 200 yards of braided line off of a bait caster then you have yet to live. This was the best vacation we have had and have decided this is the place we want to come back to year after year. I would highly recommend this Island if you are looking for a place to get away from the commercialism of other beaches. It is truely the Forgotten Coast and I want to keep it that way.

One side note, the state park is prestine and is truely beautiful. It does have one ugly secret The Green Horse Fly. The green horse fly is very similar to the black horse fly in structure but is half the size of its cousine. What it lacks in size it makes up for it in numbers. These flys will attack any part of an unpanted leg that is above the water line. The reason I know this is because as the tide would go out and expose the smallest bit of leg skin they will attack, in numbers, the poor unsuspecting square inch of flesh. The bite is somewhere between a prick from a hypodermic needle and a small caliber gunshot wound. I actually dropped my rod during a cast because of a bite. Bugs normally don't bother me but they do feast on my wife. So if i was getting bit I knew she was in misery. We had to leave the park on the first day and go buy a case(and I do mean case) of bug spray. After you put on the spray then the flies would leave you alone. They will let you know in a quick fast hurry when the bay water has washed most of the spray from your legs. Re application is essential. We fished five days and used five cans of OFF for two people and the occasional poor souls who wandered by and did not bring their own. It should be a criminal offense in the state of Florida not to share bug spray. My wife and I thought we were just unfortunate to catch a big hatch but we were watching the local access channel and caught the monthly St George Island town meeting and they were making a motion to spray the park for next year to cut back on the green horse flies. I was shocked it was that big of a problem. Then my jaw really hit the floor when some environmental hippy said it was wrong to spray for the flies because they were here first and they are Gods creatures. What they needed to do was strip this guy naked and stake him spread eagle to the Oyster bar for the day. I would say that by the time sundown came what was left of him would vote to nuke the place.

We left the forgotten coast knowing 3 things: One, The beauty of that park can not be put into words. It was like having your own oasis. Two, bug spray costs double on the island because it is WORTH EVERY PENNY. Three, God took pity on mankind by making the green horsefly intolerant of cold temperatures. If the green horsefly ever figures out how to knit a sweater it will take over the US and much of Canada.

Bring bug spray. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!
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