I’ve put it off for long enough. It’s been over a year since I took a trip down to the Everglades, and now the urge to get back down there is practically keeping me up at night.
I plan to chase cichlids again. I don’t know why, but catching them on a 3 wt is just as much fun to me as catching Snook and Tarpon. Maybe something’s wrong with me.
But let’s not be ridiculous. I’m a saltwater guy at heart, and no trip to the Glades would be complete without a few Snook.
At this point though, I’m exhausted. Exhausted from doing countless hours of long distance research through the computer. Searching for recent fishing reports, watching Youtube videos, and scanning Google Earth for hours on end has worn me out. Back in 2009, the cichlids in South Florida took a huge hit from a freeze. From what I could tell based off of my 2010-2012 trips, they’ve been essentially eradicated from Alligator Alley, and their numbers were hurt pretty bad everywhere else. They aren’t gone. Let’s get that straight. They’ll never be gone. But they’re harder to find right now as they make a comeback.
These fish are almost impossible to do any accurate research on. Few people know what they are, much less catch them. And even fewer specifically target them. If I lived down there, it wouldn’t be such a mystery to me. I could just do my homework, find where they are, and go on my happy way. But even from here in Central Florida, it’s a 6 hour drive to where I fish, and I’m not fond of spending most of my time down there getting skunked.
As of right now, I do know a few canals that hold good numbers of cichlids. I’ve been able to catch them even since the 2009 freeze. But it’s beyond frustrating at the lack on information that’s out there on how their recovery is doing.
So I’m done researching from behind my computer chair. There’s seriously nothing more I can read (I slugged through several scientific papers on invasive’s impact on native fish populations -just- to see where they were). It’s time I just get down there and fish.
I’m certainly not going to catch any if I don’t wet a line.