With the holidays behind us, my mind starts thinking of warmer places. Places that bring warmth to my heart and soul. The last few years I have been able to to take my boys to florida to fish and to explore. Last April, while we were fishing around the state, the boys and I had the opportunity to fish with Maine’s very own Danny Legere. Danny is a well known Maine guide who does trips on the East Outlet and the West branch of the Penobscot River. He has been traveling to Florida for many years in his off season fishing and now guides out of the Naples area. His focus is the 10,0000 Island area.
I had never heard of the 10,000 Island area until last year. It is located on the southern Gulf coast, near the Everglades and is filled with endless mangroves and fishing opportunities. There is everything from red fish and snook to jacks and tarpon. Being a guide myself, who has spent countless hours on the water trying to learn my own fisheries, I was curious. Curious how someone new to the area learns the fisheries here. So I asked Danny how he did it and here is what he said, “ I grabbed a map and started fishing right from the boat launch and just kept exploring from there.” And from what I saw, he has done some exploring.
I’ve known Danny for a long time but this was the first time I had ever fished with him. My boys like to ask a lot of questions and I like to sit back and watch how the guides handle them. Even though they have fished salt many times,every trip is a different experience. No two salt trips are same. Danny was very patient and took the time to explain things to the boys and show them things they may not have seen before. There is something special about the way Danny guides and his ability to teach and explain without making you feel stupid. There is always something new to learn and Danny is a wealth of knowledge.
Although knowledge is a huge part of fishing, spotting your target fish in the water is also huge. We were working up the edge of a group of mangroves when a light wind kicked up. Which is a curse to any guide trying to spot fish on flats. Jax was on the bow of the boat casting blindly to fishy looking spots as Danny stood on the poling platform looking for fish. That was when he spotted a pair of big red fish cruising along the mangroves. The boys and I looked, searching for what Danny was seeing. We just couldn’t see them. Danny instructed Jax and when they came into our view, they were huge! Our hearts were pounding and we were all anxious. Jax had several shots at them but they just wouldn’t eat. As much as we love the hook ups and fights, we also love to see beautiful fish. That pair of red fish will be etched in our memories forever.
I hope to have the opportunity to be on the bow of Danny’s boat again. His fishery are phenomenal and Danny is truing amazing. His abundant knowledge, patience and kindness both in and out of the fishing world is very rare.
So when you are down in the Naples area find Danny Legere and explore his waters with him. You can find by checking out his website: http://www.maineguideflyshop.com