My name is Tom Keels and I started BigBendFishing.Net. I will tell you about why I started this site and what it is about, but first let me tell you about myself.
I was born and raised in Tallahassee, Florida and grew up both hunting and fishing. My Dad and my Granddad were and still are avid outdoorsmen and took me under their wing at an early age. I remember catching hundreds of bream with my Granddad when I was just big enough to hold a Bream Buster pole. I learned bass fishing from my dad and really took to it. We all love to fish. Whether it was going to Lake Jackson to shiner fish for bass, catching bream on Lake Talquin, catfish and red bellies in the Ochlocknee River, or stripers Below Jim Woodruff Dam, we did it and do it often.
While I still love to freshwater fish, my whole outlook changed about 15 years ago when I started flats fishing. Sure, I had been before with my Dad. We used to go to Shell Point and he would cast net mullet, while my trusty Zebco 33 and I would fish the boat canals. Even though the occasional trout, puppy red or lady fish would make an appearance, I never truly loved it like my freshwater bass and bream fishing. But like I said, that all changed.
I read a report about the great trout fishing they were having in the Aucilla river and I decided it was time I checked it out. I packed up the jon boat, grabbed a couple of bass rods, got some shrimp at the local bait store, bought this thing called an Equalizer,(that was mentioned in the report) and headed out. The first time I saw the Aucilla river, I thought, "This is paradise!". I didn't know exactly where I was going, or what I was doing, but I just rode until I saw the boats and did the Equalizer thing and started catching trout and reds. I was hooked from that point on. That was early April and it was easy fishing. As the months and years progressed, I found myself catching less and less fish, and I knew I needed to adapt. I scoured all the magazines and articles I could find and it helped a little. But then.....THE INTERNET. The internet was just what I was looking for. I could get weather, tides, fishing reports, techniques etc.. and not have to rummage through 2 year old magazines. But It wasn't all it was was cracked up to be.
This is why I started BigBendFishing.Net. The sites with the information I needed, also had info from places like South Florida, the Keys, all the way to Alaska and Hawaii. I was still wading through tons of useless information. I say useless because I don't need that stuff. I don't care what the weather is like in Key West, what the tides are for Port Charlotte, or who is catching marlin and sailfish and what they are hitting off Cape Canaveral.
That is why this site only contains info on the type of fishing I do, in the areas I fish, and links to useful info for this area...the Northwest Big Bend of Florida. So if you like to catch sailfish in the keys or wahoo in the gulf stream, this site is probably not for you. But if you like flats fishing and near shore bottom fishing and trolling, in the areas from the Econfina River west to Apalachicola and St. Joe Bay, please enjoy this labor of love that is BigBendFishing.Net.
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