By Fred Rambo III
There is nothing like getting out early on a calm glassy morning with the kayak cutting peels of the glass that turn to gentle ripples that seem to be the only movement on the still surface. Wading birds from a forgotten era patiently stalk prey or pose on the branches of mangroves. The delicate surface tension of the lagoon is suddenly interrupted by the triangular shape breaking through just a few yards away. You can feel your heart beat quicken with excitement as your ready your rod taking practiced aim…your breath stops, the bait is cast perfectly.
You feel the soft bump on your line along with a bit of pull but something just does not seem quite right. Off fires a a Beautiful red fish moving through the water like a torpedo, leaving behind you, your kayak, and the plastic bag that you are now retrieving. This is surely not the scene that comes to mind when you imagine yourself site fishing in Central Florida.
Our east coast lagoon system is simply one of the best places in central Florida to experience fishing, paddling, boating or simply explore and get away from it all. The best part is that it is ours. How can we keep this paradise the best? We can make it that way!
We are surely blessed to have such unique territory in our own back yard and even more fortunate that we have many opportunities to play a part in shaping it’s future. The Lagoon system is truly ours and we play a part of what it will be in the future. Will it be the place we dream about spending our free time in serenity or will it be a degraded place that we avoid? It’s our call. We set the scene and continue to shape it.
There are numerous ways that you can play a part in setting the stage to the lagoons future and ensure it remains a place you dream of fishing.
Pack it in pack it out. Make sure you don’t leave anything behind and ensure everything is stowed where it wont get lost.
Pick up litter when you see it. At a kayaks pace it is amazing to see all of the stuff floating in the lagoon. We often come back from trips with more than we left with from cups and bags to bobbers, lures and old fishing line.
Join a group or start your own. Recently, the Orlando Kayak Fishing Club had the opportunity to participate in the Adopt an Area program which is patterned of of the national adopt a road program. Our adopted area is the Haulover Canal within the MINWR. We welcome everyone to participate in our cleanups which occur three times a year. Of course you and your organization could adopt an area too!
Nearly every place we go it is the same old stuff…generic strip malls, megastores and the exactly duplicated fast food. The sense of place, the character that makes it memorable and special, is missing. We live with one of those rare special places just next door and it will be there for us as long as we continue to dream the perfect place to fish.