Before I get into the details let me say planning for this trip started back in January or possibly earlier. George Franklin (alias), my brother Corey, and I wanted to go somewhere cool and catch some fishies. We always do a winter snowboarding trip and we figured that since we salivate for the water these days we should take a summer fishing trip to balance out the year. We decided on Naples, Florida for a couple of reasons. Many different kinds of fish reside in the area. The water is salty enough that alligators generally stay away. The water flows into many back bays and areas where kayaks are king. The main reason however, deals with the fact that George’s parents own a condo in Naples. Therefore, we slept in a nice place for the entire trip for free. Free sounds nice when sandwiched in between undergrad and graduate school payments. We originally planned on our friend, Josh attending this trip. However, he recently dropped to bomb that he plans on moving to Dallas, Texas. Therefore, he backed out of the trip. These things happen sometimes. No hard feelings, Josh. So, we added Wes at the last minute. He jumped in with about one week’s notice. I find last minute additions to trips quite awesome. With background information out of the way, let us dive in.
After my usual long Tuesday of working a 12 hour shift at the Physical Therapy Clinic followed by reffing soccer for another 4-5 hours, George Franklin and Wes arrived in Fredericksburg. The clock read somewhere close to midnight and they brought lots of beer. George and Wes said they needed to eat so we wondered across the street to Capital Ale House and ate a few appetizers and drank a few rounds. I had a hard cider that tasted exactly like apple cider. Most hard ciders resemble more of an apple juice taste than apple cider. I like it. The name of the cider is The Saint, by Crispin Cider.
–Grabbing some grub and a round at Capital Alehouse before we called it a night.
We then headed back to my place to get some rest before packing the vehicle and heading out on our trip. By now, the clock read somewhere around 2 AM. I think we stay up too late. Oh well, George is an insomniac and Wes may be one as well. We woke the next morning, packed up the vehicle, and made our way to Bass Pro Shops near Richmond. We purchased the essentials, then headed over to the restaurant, Islamorada Fish Company which, connects to Bass Pro Shops. One of the physical therapy patients recommended we try the fried alligator and fried crayfish. We tried both. I liked them both. The alligator had a gamey taste. For my entree I order the mahi mahi fish tacos. They tasted wonderful. I like fish tacos, a lot. While at Bass Pro I also purchased a small trout net. I knew I would not use it for this trip. However, I lose a lot of small brookies due to the fact that the holes in my net allow for the fish to slip through. Now, I will no longer come across this issue. It cost 5 bucks as well. So, purchasing it seemed liked a no-brainer.
We headed south and met my brother, Corey ten miles outside of Richmond. We arrived early so, we waited at a Wawa and George set up our FIFA 2014 season with Tottenham Hotspur on his laptop. We sold Bale to Real Madrid and brought in Luke Shaw, Cavanda, Dzeko, and Dumbia. Corey arrived and we began our long trip as a group of four. After a lot of driving we stopped for dinner in Savannah, Georgia. I previously stopped here a couple of years back with my girlfriend on our way to Tampa, Florida. I really like the city. It possesses history, a cool nightlife, and lots of young individuals due to the many colleges located in and around the city. All this and it’s proximity to I95 make it a perfect stop along the way. We pulled in around 10 PM and went to Wet Willies for dinner. We did not realize when we sat down, but this restaurant is all about Daiquiris. Since Wes and I drove from Virginia to Savannah, we each partook in drinking one with dinner. Since their driving shifts followed dinner, Corey and JB reluctantly abstained. The drinks were strong, the burgers were delicious and Wes and I soon fell asleep for a good portion of the remaining drive. We arrived in Naples around 5 AM. Since George drives really fast and we hit no traffic, we made great time. Inevitably, sleep soon followed for all.
The next day our fishing adventures began.