Walking Peacocks Pocket Road

Monday, February 20, 2017

After trying several times to contact someone in authority at the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, I decided to try walking Peacocks Pocket road to see if it was really as messed up as I had been told.

I put on my shorts and brought along two spinning rods tipped with a DOA Baitbuster and my top water bait of choice, a Chug Bug.

Since I planned on walking at least half way through Peacocks Pocket road, I didn't burden myself with a lot of excess gear.  I put a couple more Baitbusters in my pocket along with another Chug Bug and a weedless Johnsons silver spoon to cover the water column.

I parked at the barrier at the entrance to Catfish Creek Loop and started walking the unimproved road.

I was immediately surprised how low the water levels were in the marsh.




The small ponds I love to fish in the fall and early spring were now dark mud dotted with bird and gator tracks.

The water in the marsh canal along the road was at least two or more feet lower than what is expected for this time of the year.  Either the management people were draining the "swamp", or there was a hell of a lot of evaporation going on.

As I walked along the first stretch, I spotted a couple of sea trout chasing bait fish in the canal and came up on a huge gator sunning itself on the bank. 


 As I was taking it's pic, the gator slithered into the water looking right at me.


I took a short video and moved on up the road looking for signs of fish.

video

About a mile up the road, past areas where there used to be good ponds to fish, I finally spotted an oversize redfish busting baitfish along the bank.

I fired the DOA Baitbuster to it but the fish spooked and continued up the canal.

All along the walk, I took pics of the areas where I used to catch some very nice fish but today, things had changed.

The fish were all concentrated in the deeper areas of the canal, but they were super spooky.

I managed to catch a couple of sea trout that were right on the slot and I spooked a couple more oversize redfish before deciding to turn around.  It was getting late and I didn't want to kill myself walking back to the truck before dusk.


Although I had walked at least half way up Peacocks Pocket Road, I still didn't come across any areas that would have prevented the normal flow of vehicle traffic.

I spotted a ton of wildlife that included gators, pelicans, roseatte spoonbills, a variety of herons and even a couple of wood storks but the best part of the journey was the complete absence of vehicle traffic.

I was literally the only human being walking the area and it was wonderful.

On the way back to the truck, I jumped a small group of drum that were pushing water down the canal and as I got to the truck, I was treated to a nice sunset.


I plan to be walking Peacocks Pocket road again this week from the other entrance to see exactly where all the damage to the road is.

Till my next report, Tight Lines.