We were supposed to be camping at Flamingo last night but the bugs ran us out and we ended up getting a room at the adorable Driftwood Motel in Jensen Beach, just north of Stuart. We slept so amazing! They had the little honeymoon cottage setup perfect for us, and most importantly, they had the AC cranked down so it was freezing cold. We are completely rejuvenated now and are ready to finish off our trip strong.
The cottage had direct access to the Indian River Lagoon. We didn’t fish off the dock because we new we’d be on the water soon enough. We had a late breakfast at a cute little cafe called Mary’s Tiki Grill and Cafe in Jensen.
Afterwards, we wanted to do some exploring. Neither of us had ever been to this area so we were not quite sure of what we would find. We found a beautiful beach with a lot of worm rock.
I wasn’t expecting the water to be so beautiful! It was crystal clear. I wanted to do some snorkeling but didn’t have much time. We stopped by a local surf shop and met Jordan who referred us to a nearby pool with a bar and grill to finish off some of our writing.
We were so excited to be meeting everyone at the Florida Sportsman office! We headed in around 2 after getting a bit lost.
We had such a great time meeting everyone and giving them more details about our adventure. We stayed around a while to help finish up the blogs to be posted over the weekend. We set up in the conference room for a couple of hours. We couldn’t help but to snoop around. This office is great!
Then it was on to sample Stuart’s night life, fishing the lighted docks. We met Drew Wickstrom, Florida Sportsman’s art director, at the ramp and set off for a little wading on a nearby flat before sunset.
The water here is gorgeous! We love how every different fishing spot we have visited has introduced a different method of fishing. We have learned a great variety of fishing techniques on this trip—we’re gonna be pro by the end of this. Jeremy and I forgot to bring shoes for wading, so we were a little nervous about walking around barefoot in the grass. We sucked it up and jumped in. It wasn’t bad at all, only stepped on one crab but he was nice enough not to attack. There were Petes (pelicans) diving all around on the flat so we knew there were fish to be caught.
We all started throwing our artificial lures. Jeremy and I were fishing with MirrOlure grub tails on jigheads and Drew was fishing with a topwater lure. Drew hooked up first with a nice trout.
I followed not long after with a cute little red.
Cooney ended up with a black drum, which was fun. That was our first drum caught on the trip.
We caught several other reds and trout and watched a breathtaking sunset!
While we were waiting for the tide to turn around, we decided to get a bite to eat. Cooney and I were starving! On the way, we saw a boat that had a shark mouth painted on like Lil’ Blue! They stole our idea.
We went by boat to a restaurant on the water called Shrimpers. We really enjoyed it! We sat around for a while eating and chatting and listening to an extremely talented one-man band playing some reggae music. We left as soon as the tide started to come in, you could see the water moving past our dock at the restaurant. Drew’s Q-Beam stopped working but Drew still did a great job avoiding all but one of the many buoys and crab traps that were scattered about.
As soon as we stopped at the first dock, we started casting D.O.A. shrimp, throwing them upcurrent of the shadows around the dock and letting them float into the light. What a smooth technique, it seemed so natural. We spooked the fish at this spot while we were trying to figure things out. Drew was so patient with us! He decided to take us to the docks across the river. The wind was much easier to deal with here.
On my first cast I hooked up on a 24-inch snook! It was such a fun fight, he jumped several times. When he reached the boat, he ran around the trolling motor and I was worried I was going to lose him. But with Drew’s help, we landed the fish!
This was officially my first snook ever. (I had reeled in another one with Capt. Ray, but Ray hooked it. I wanted to hook, fight and hold my own snook for bragging rights!) We kept fishing for a while after this; Drew taught us how to skip shrimp under the docks to target the bigger fish.
Jeremy took over the trolling motor while Drew was retying and caught a huge trout! The bite continued and we caught several more trout. The snook were being shy tonight. Drew kept mentioning that the fish have been hitting smaller baits, this made Jeremy and I want to get into fly fishing, maybe this will be our next undertaking.
I mentioned earlier on the trip about how crazy it is that I haven’t fallen off of a boat yet. Well, tonight was my night! I was operating the trolling motor while Drew and Cooney re-rigged and we were approaching our next dock. I steered the motor to the right and hit the go button, and in the water I went. Talk about acceleration!
Drew said that I had jumped, and it’s true, I did. But I would have gone in regardless so I decided that I would jump so I would know exactly how I would land. It made the fall much less awkward than it would have been. Lucky for me we were only in about waist deep water at the time. The boys had a great laugh over this one! I did too after a couple seconds of regrouping.
It was about 12:30 and we headed to our last dock of the night. I had already caught my snook and was getting playful and there happened to be one of those cool floating trampolines next to the dock. I couldn’t resist climbing on.
Of course as soon as I step off of the boat, Cooney hooks up to a nice snook. It looked bigger than mine. He had a great time fighting it! He got the fish boat side but it broke the leader with one final thrash. He was so disappointed but Drew and I decided to count it as a catch since he had the leader to the boat. I got nervous about being on the trampoline so they picked me up and we decided it was time to call it a night.
We headed back to the ramp and said our goodbyes. We had such an awesome time with Drew! We headed back to Driftwood for some well-deserved sleep. We are also excited to be heading home tomorrow! We miss our perfect little town of St. Augustine.