Wednesday, June 26, 2013

14th DOA Outdoor Writer's Event - Day One

Capt. Mark Nichols of DOA Lures at the helm
Dave Stewart from N.C. with a flounder from the mangroves
Captain Mark Nichols, founder of DOA Lures, was at the helm of the 14th outdoor writer festival. He welcomes a bevy of DOA-endorsed fishing guides to River Palms fish camp, and the outdoor writers who still aspire to create fishing reports and stories so that readers may enjoy them. Writers can also help to raise awareness about any issues that may arise, like the present threat from tainted waters from Lake Okeechobee that threaten to traverse the St. Lucie River and damage native grasses. These grasses near the inlet and into the Indian River Lagoon represent the building blocks of life for baitfish, and without lots of grass, saltwater anglers know there will be many less trout and snook to target. The environment was just one of many topics discussed by the guides and writers over a fresh mahi taco supper served up by Jenny Nichols. Sponsors on site included Trokar hooks/Eagle Claw, Costa sunglasses, Hummingbird, Shimano reels, Tailin' Toads and Frogg Toggs. Getting to visit with this select group of fishing enthusiasts equates to learning via osmosis, when everyone soaks up some new knowledge. Day One fishing involved an old lesson though, when the fish did not bite for the DOA fleet. The moon was full, the runoff was too bad, there was too much live bait, not as many fish in the area anymore - fishermen know how to explain it all away. Not every boat struck out for sure, and DOA guide Ed Zyak stuck a memorable snook on Day One, but for the most part this fleet of experienced and talented anglers was stonewalled. I was fishing with Capt. Paul Hobby from Ft. Myers in his flats boat, and to his credit he rounded up two catfish during the tough day of fishing. The weather this day was close to prefect though and Hobby and I wade-fished the grass flats and shared memorable observations like bait busting the surface and a shark passing close by. And best of all perhaps is swapping stories about past DOA camps, and Hobby has been to ALL of them. I fished a DOA CAL in Arkansas glow most of the day when we were in the boat, and then a weedless version when on the flats.

Capt. Paul Hobby bends a light tackle rod

Jack crevalle while wade fishing the flats 

To view past blog entries from DOA Writers event click 2012, 2011, 2010 or 2009.

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