Backwater Report

All Text & Photos Provided by Patrick “Tupat” Eichstaedt @TheRealTupat

As Summer is starting to creep in, the bite continues to be hot both in the river and ocean. We have had our fair share of winds, which has not stopped the action at all. The cobia run has been stellar and the backwaters continue to provide tight lines. Looking ahead as the waters warm up, be ready for the snook and reds on top water and trout as well.

During the cobia run I was fishing with my good friend and neighbor Rob Vella out in front of our houses in Bethune just offshore. We spotted Nils Schweizer on his paddle board and here in his own words is what happened.

Still baffled that this actually happened! I’m a novice to fly fishing, @noahschweizer got me into it about a year ago and after a very frustrating beginning, I’m now hooked! I love the challenge and anything you catch is just that much more rewarding on fly.

So, Noah tied me up a fly for cobia, and I went out to try my luck. After about 2 hours out there and a few close calls with rays, I spotted a free swimming cobia, got the fly in front of him and it was on! After about a 15 minute battle I got it close to the board and thought it was ready to gaff…it was not!

I got him on the board and he went nuts! I tried holding him down but he was too powerful, broke my rod, threw the gaff, knocked my paddle off the board and got back into the water! But he was still hooked!

With my rod broken and paddle and gaff in opposite directions I wasn’t sure what to do. I tried hand lining him in, but without the gaff it was impossible to grab him. So I got back to my paddle, and saw the gaff floating in the distance. As I was attempting to paddle to the gaff, while still fighting the fish, I saw a boat flying towards me. I waved my paddle to let them know I needed help and it happened to be my good friend @therealtupat with his buddy Rob! I couldn’t believe my eyes, perfect timing!

I got into their boat and slowly hand lined him up. After a few attempts with the net we got him in the boat and I was elated to say the least. Thank you @therealtupat and Rob for showing up when you did and @noahschweizer for the magic fly! And thank you guys for taking the time to read my story. It was a crazy experience that I will never forget! Check out the video on @therealtupat’s feed.

I must say this was one of the coolest fishing moments in my life and sharing it with my buddies was the icing on the cake. Great catch Nils and one for the memory bank for the years to come! After dropping Nils off we decided to fish on. I had broken off on two larger sized cobia and was eager to get one in the boat. We pulled up on a large ray and I sight casted to a nice cobia using my brother Hopper’s Mexican flare hawk jig. The cobia took it and I ended up fighting this fish for over 30 minutes before finally landing it. What an epic day!

In the later part of April my lady angler Rachel Vause and I took a trip to Stuart Florida to hunt the snook! She ended up catching one of the biggest jacks I’ve personally ever seen. She ended up fighting that fish for a good 30 minutes and after it was all said and done they both wore each other out! Rachel was using light tackle and gave it her all to land that beast of jack! You did a great job Honey, epic fight and catch!

As we move into Summer, be ready for more action. I recommend using live bait, top water lures and any type of paddle tails. The bite will be hot but you must be patient and find your spots!

Until next issue… Cast ‘em, Hook ‘em and Catch ‘em!

4-7, 11, 16-22, 26-28

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