God Bless the Land of the Free and the Fishing in Florida
Happy Birthday America! Alas, the time has come to once again celebrate our nation’s independence. This weekend is bound to be filled with family, friends, fun, food, and fireworks. We must not forget, however, that this favorite summertime festivity is about more than iced down coolers and patriotic ensembles. It’s about reflecting on our country’s roots, from the triumphs to the tribulations.
On all days, but this weekend especially, our homeland should be cherished, so let’s cheers to the good old U.S. of A! Here’s to our founding fathers, fond memories with family and friends, and most of all – here’s to freedom.
In keeping with the spirit of this holiday weekend, we want to share a guest post written by Whitfield Flowers, a fellow fisherman and co-business owner of Salty Grips. The purpose of Salty Grips is to offer premium cork putter grips and cork leather goods using sustainable materials, in order to support and preserve the great American outdoors. Check out Whit’s story that shares his passion for Florida fishing….
This is a little annotation about my time fishing in ‘Merica. I grew up in Virginia and spent many weeks and weekends in North Carolina fishing the surf at our beach house in Nags Head. We would fish the bluefish blitz’ in the fall and the huge striper/rockfish runs throughout the seasons. Man was this is a good time and packed with adrenaline as fishermen lined the beach with their rods and SUV’s. It got so crazy sometimes that you would see fishermen with hooks in their body due to the volume of those wanting a piece of the action. Those days are in the past, but I hope someday the fish return in those numbers.
As college came and went, I packed my things and moved to Colorado to fish the gold metal streams and rivers. The mountains and the freshness in the air was a constant reminder of freedom and action packed fishing on the fly. The quality of water and trout were unmatched in the Rockies. The same can be said for the skiing. After many years out west, I began to miss the coast and the smell of the salt water.
I picked up and moved to Tampa, Florida and bought a bay boat. Life hasn’t been better since being in one of the absolute best breeding grounds for so many species of fish. Tampa Bay has an incredible inshore fishery for redfish, snook and tarpon, as well as solid reef fishing offshore for grouper and snapper alike.
My favorite fishing event is going out to Anna Maria Island and Bean Point just south of the skyway for a day with the tarpon, a.k.a. – the “Silver King”. I have landed many and boated a few. It’s something that keeps me coming back for these big beautiful herring. Their elusiveness, their passion to jump and spit the hook, and their rolling on top of the water – it’s enough to keep any fisherman dreaming for their next hookup.
I challenge anyone that hasn’t been to this area to give it a go and take advantage of this amazing waterway. The number of options you have on any given day are unparalleled and mostly forgiving to newbies. The guides throughout the Bay area are equipped with knowledge and experience that’s second to none.
The weather down here may be unpredictable at times, but one thing is for certain – My fishing habit is staying put in Tampa Bay.