Lighthouse road and East River access

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kikstand454
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Re: Lighthouse road and East River access

Post by kikstand454 » Sat Jun 11, 2016 8:56 pm

It flows, both from the small creek/marsh that feeds it , and the overspill from the dam at the pool. Also, there are numerous spring boils between the dam and the dike.

And of course it is very tidal, so theres flow there too. It's a pretty cool spot that doesn't see alot of pressure.....but take a friend. Or three.

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Re: Lighthouse road and East River access

Post by BloodyChamp » Wed Feb 15, 2017 7:34 pm

Where would be a safe place to post up and try to catch mullet with the baited spinner?

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Re: Lighthouse road and East River access

Post by garydroze » Thu Feb 16, 2017 11:39 am

First time I've seen this thread. It brought back a haunting East River Pool memory...

T'was a cloudy day in early March, just before the pool opens to boaters (March 15 - October 15). I had been scouting East River marsh ponds by wading across the skinniest sections of the river on blown-out low tides. That's when the older gators are out of the way, sulking in the holes off the river bends where I won't usually set foot. Fished four ponds in the marsh sandflats, finding action in two of them (always a particular kick to pull a saltwater fish out of a water body that could fit inside a football field). After pond-hopping, I re-crossed the East River, and hiked along the levee that borders the East River Pool on the southwest. Strolling away from Lighthouse Road on the levee, I found the pool banks brushier and wilder (fishier) the farther I walked. A bit past the second spillway - which just about always has some flow going - I began tossing a 12" plastic worm from the bank. There's a canal along that levee that drops off like right now. To make casts parallel to the shore that would stand a better chance of getting ambushed by bass, I had to nudge into the stained water up to my thighs. After missing one solid pickup, I figured to take another step or two out from the shore, so I could flip another cast out past my earlier one and maybe draw another strike. I was in mid-step when I noticed a steady stream of bubbles on the surface, roughly straight up from where I was about to put my right foot down. Peering into the tea-colored water, all I could see was an outsized palm frond on the pond bottom, just to my left.

Except it wasn't a pond frond.

As I stared hard into the water, the sun peeked through a break in the clouds, and I could discern an outline on the bottom, shaped like an enormous letter "C". The palm frond next to my left foot became the tail end of a startlingly large alligator, curled up next to me. Had I let my right foot drop, it would have settled precisely on the biggun's snout.

I chose not to let my right foot drop. If this were a movie screenplay, I would love to have indicated that I, the adventure angler/spiritual master elegantly transitioned from Tai Chi Move #77 (Golden Cock Stands On One Leg) to #78 (Go Back To Ward Off Monkey). This being actual life, I employed my own moves: #1 (Golden Stream Pours Down Pants Leg) and #2 (Go Bat-Sh*t And Scream For Mommy). These impromptu moves prevailed, as Big Lizzie slowly uncurled and eased into the canal depths. I actually felt the backwash from that mighty tail. Apparently, freaked-out fishermen weren't on the menu that day.

Moral of the Story: Fools rush in where anglers fear to tread.

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Re: Lighthouse road and East River access

Post by BloodyChamp » Thu Feb 16, 2017 2:41 pm

Dang man that's a good one!!!!!!!!!!! I've never heard of any straight up fatalities involving the gators out that way but everything I've ever read does say that there are very, very, very many of them and that they are very, very, very big. I mean literally everything I've ever read from every book, message board etc covers the gators...thoroughly lol!!!!

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Re: Lighthouse road and East River access

Post by garydroze » Thu Feb 16, 2017 8:09 pm

I just reported one of the more believable encounters. There's another time at St Marks Refuge when I tumbled out of a scrub oak and landed on a surprised gator, who was busy chewing the mullet out of my mesh bag that was stuck on the creek bottom (hence me being in the tree, trying for a good angle to yank the fish bag loose). Saving the full account of this story for my book. Yes, I will volunteer for and pass a lie detector test as regards that surreal moment.

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Re: Lighthouse road and East River access

Post by BloodyChamp » Thu Feb 16, 2017 10:21 pm

You should write a book!!!!!!!!!!! I've been keeping a photo album of everything I do and see in fishing since I was about 23. I also have some stuff leftover from before those years when I happened to have a camera, parents etc. I nagged and nagged RC Balfour on Facebook about writing a book about all of his fishing stories. He's the guy who wrote that book on the Aucilla River if you remember. He devoted 1 chapter to his fishing stories.

I've had 1 scary encounter with alligators. It was on the Wacissa River and I don't know what their problem was that day but...ugh lol!!!!!! I'd heard them bellowing during mating season here and there before as has everybody else right...well this 1 day they were the equivalent of crows in a corn field. It was growl after growl after growl. They were all in the distance so that was fine.

Then I got into a slough :7 They weren't trying to attack or anything, they were scared of me but they were in the hiasons so I would unknowingly creep up on them and they would bolt. This happened 4 or 5 times and I was rocking like I was at sea!!!!!! I got out of there and tried another slough and finally heard 1 bellow so close that I could hear the slobber in his throat gargle in unison with his voice. That's not even the worst part - I never saw him. I got out of there so dang fast lol!!!!!!!

Now snakes...ugh...I have Indiana Jones type luck with them. The only thing a dang snake hasn't done to me yet is kill me.

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Re: Lighthouse road and East River access

Post by kikstand454 » Fri Feb 24, 2017 8:51 am

Great stories guys!!!

Gary, I look foward to your book about traversing the byways of the refuge. I'm sure you could do a few of them! :A1
It's funny I logged in here today to figure out if I wanted to launch at the LH in the morning, but I'm wondering with the negative low and the wind....If I may just roll the dice on the ol' East river dike launch. Hmmmm.....

I'll bring my can of gator be gone. 8O :lol:


(I'm mostly kidding. Spring time is not the time to be taking blind corners in the kayak. Unknowingly separating a submerged mom from her nest is one of my biggest kayak fears. )

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Re: Lighthouse road and East River access

Post by garydroze » Mon Feb 27, 2017 10:14 pm

Just stay alert and you'll be fine, especially if you have the appendage protection afforded by a sit inside...

...which is why, after a sunset kayak collision with a perturbed mama gator on Horns Creek that resulted in chomp marks on my vessel, I now refer to my sit-on-top as a sh@t-on-top.

Gary

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Re: Lighthouse road and East River access

Post by BloodyChamp » Tue Feb 28, 2017 9:46 am

I would buy any book about the local history of fishing/nature/fishing stories. I grew up around here fishing and hunting in the same places all my life but I still learned a thing or 2 from the 2 books that are out there (the other being the book by Richard Williams of Williams Camp on the Wacissa).

I want to do *something* with all my photos but I don't know what. I want to use them to preserve history while not coming off as macho or tasteless similar to how other certain people come off with other certain fish photos :-| :-| :-| I also want to take my secrets with me as corny as that may sound lol!

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Re: Lighthouse road and East River access

Post by BloodyChamp » Wed Oct 06, 2021 10:21 am

I’ve read this thread so many times lol it’s 1 of the best ever with these stories in it. Has anybody ever just chilled fishing at the spillway and caught anything? I need to take an older pal somewhere off the bank where we might could get lucky, besides Hickory Mound which I’m a little burnt out on.

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