A Picture Perfect Evening - Florida Approved Redfishing

Unless pre fishing or fishing a tournament, I rarely used to set out on the water with a mission in mind. Generally, I would try to get out on the water to get my mind off of things, not set my mind to do more things. Now that content creation has become more of a necessity than just a hobby, I find myself planning out my fishing trips a little more each week.

Today, I was very adamant about taking some sunset shots of our new “Florida Approved” performance shirts. Sure we could take the typical blank background BS shot of our “sweet new apparel” in our office. But then again if everyone else is jumping off the top of the Skyway Bridge, does that mean we should too? We develop products “designed by fishermen for fishermen” after all, so I figured I might as well get some fish slime on the new shirt and enjoy some time on the water with a good friend.

Brandon and I had about two hours to fish the mid incoming tide before dark. I knew at the very least I wanted to get some action shots of Brandon on the bow of the Gheenoe, so I set us up working southeast down a shoreline as the sun slowly began its descent to the southwest. If you don’t know much about photography, it’s really all about lighting. I’m no Sam Root, but I like to work the angles when I can. In this case the sun was working well in our favor to show off our freshly designed “Florida Approved” seal and also gave us a nice back drop with some mangroves. Bada boom. Bada bing. At least I can say I accomplished something on this trip unlike most of my recent trips in the Tampa Bay which have been a bust. And not the good kind of bust like a snook makes.

They always say if it ain’t easy, it’s probably worthwhile. Well I can tell ya I was beginning to think that was a load of bologna. Tampa Bay is an incredibly frustrating fishery to learn. There’s a ton of water, a ton of bait, and a ton of boats! The only thing you can’t seem to find is a ton of decent gamefish. And when you do find good fish, you can count on not being able to get within a hundred feet of them! So yeah I’ve been a little spoiled to have had the opportunity to fish Pine Island Sound and Mosquito Lagoon for most of my fishing life to say the least.

As the sun began to set, I whipped out the D7,000,000, or whatever that monstrosity of a camera Tim let me borrow, and took a few more shots of the new apparel. At this point we picked up to a new shoreline to the west to get some shots with the sunset in the back drop. Honestly, I wasn’t satisfied. I really wanted to get on some fish! Yeah, yeah, yeah it’s all about the adventure, but not catching a fish is like drinking the milk without the cookies! Not to mention I had borrowed Tim’s Gheenoe to make this all happen, so my prideful self wasn’t going to come home empty handed.

The bait was everywhere. The fish? Nowhere to be found like usual. Every mangrove point looked like it should be stacked, and not a single one yielded even a strike. Brandon’s wife is calling about dinner. Just throw the meatloaf in the oven already, April! We only have ten minutes left of dusk and then it’s sayonara fishies! One last cast, I kept saying. One. Last. Cast. Just as Brandon began turning off the shoreline to make our way home, a school of bait scattered across the flat. Seriously, just a few more casts and we will leave.

I’m throwing money on a weighted keeper hook at this point! No seriously the Pearl Slayer Inc. Sinister Stick Baits that Chris Cenci makes are money! I’m working this thing like a bat outta hell. Derek Engle said early that afternoon I was gonna have to get a reaction strike outta these fish. Thump. Ziiiiing! Boom. Caching! We got the fish and the pic. It was worth it.