I always have been the restless sort. I
can never leave well enough alone and
am always looking for better. I'm sure
many of you know just what I mean. It's
no different when it comes to my fishing
either. I'm always trying out something
new and tying up some new fangled fly to
see what difference it makes if any.
Of all the things that excite me most when
it comes to fishing is discovering a new place
and finding out whether there are any fish or
not. I've driven around town to the established
places where trophy bass are known to be caught.
Within an hour drive there is Lake Okeechobee,
the Savannahs Park, and the Stick Marsh in Vero.
There be monsters there, but those aren't the
type of places that I get the biggest kick out
of. No, what I search for are the overlooked
places. That hidden treasure that, many times,
is right in front of your face, disguised as
I work in the middle of town. Even though it's
a fairly small town it's still big enough to
surround me in concrete and diminish any feeling
of being near nature. But nature is pretty
persistent and if you look close enough you'll
find she's still there. Behind the local strip
mall is a medium sized retention pond. These
are nothing more than collection areas for the
reclaiming of rain water. As can be expected
it has its share of garbage and debris floating
around in it. It's really not much to look at,
but to an adventurous angler it's a midday
getaway filled with largemouth and bluegill.
It was in those very waters that I caught my
first fish on fly, my first bass, and my first
bluegill. Every now and then someone will stop
and ask "are there any fish in there?" but I
never see anybody else fishing it.
When I travel to and from work I take the
interstate. It was on one of those uneventful
evenings while heading home that I notice water
behind a wall of dense brush. It was hardly
visible, but I was certain that I had seen
water. What was interesting to me was that
this little treasure was right smack in the
middle of the highway nestled in the median.
When I returned with a 4wt rod I was rewarded
with as many bluegill as could be counted,
and not a one, I would wager, had ever seen
Just up the street from where I live is an
apartment complex. Like some apartments in
Florida this one has a pond with a fountain
in it. It shoots water about twenty feet in
the air and leaves a fine mist hanging that
on a warm day is actually quite welcome. I
visited this place also and it wasn't long
before I was pulling bass and pan fish out
of there. The bass where easy to spot in
the shallow water; and the small green sunfish
that I pulled out from there where an uncommon
All of these places have a couple of things
in common. None were exactly hidden, but none
where "advertised" as fishing spots either.
None of these spots had been fished very much,
if at all, and all of these spots had plenty
of fish for the taking.
I think my greatest out in the open "secret" is
at a local city park. It has part of the St.
Lucie River running through it and it attracts
many anglers. With it's brackish waters, the
variety of fish that can be found there is vast.
Now, just a few feet from the rivers edge in this
very park lies a medium-small sized pond that
doesn't seem to attract too many of these anglers.
It's a lovely pond with large aquatic plants and
flowering trees surrounding it, but to the keen
angler it's a hot bed of action just waiting to
be tested. In it I caught my largest bass to
date using an old bamboo rod. I thought I was
going to lose that rod that day. It was bent so
much it still has a set in it. There are some
pretty big carp in there as well that I'll get
to some day. But right now I'm searching for
my next adventure. I hope you do the same.
Tight Lines, ~ Ed Mercado