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I survived w/ a Canoe on Stickmarsh/Farm 13

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So, with some mixed advice from the forum, I decided to take my trusty Indian River flatback Canoe onto Stickmarsh/Farm 13. I have never been there before, but my buddy moved to Sebastian, and has been itching to have an adventure, off we went.

Forecasted winds were 6 mph SW, when we showed up to the ramp at 6:30 am, it was more like 15 mph. :-/ :-/ We puttered around the ramp/north end, and couldn't get anything going, so we made a break for it along the eastern canal edge, heading south. We thought we could find a cut in the berm that bisects Stickmarsh from Farm 13, right there along the eastern side, but no....it looked liked we had to go another 3 miles west to the 1 and only cut into Farm 13. :'( :'(

Waves were about 1-2 foot chop at this point, and we were somewhat blocked from the heavy wind, so we figured- what the heck- we had gone this far might as well try to poke our nose into Farm 13...

About 1/2 way down the berm we came across a good looking wood hut/shelter. There was an area where the berm sloped out and skinnied, so we checked around for gators, saw none, then just carried the canoe over the berm. This was no small feat, as the trolling motor, fiberglass canoe, battery, gear all weighed a ton. But we managed.

Once we were able to get into Farm 13, we puttered around trying to find the main channels/ditches, to no avail. About 1/2 mile from the shelter I smelled something burning. :o :o Looked down and saw the alligator clip from the trolling motor melting the clip insulation at the terminal! :'( :'( I guess the rickity thing hadn't had to work that much before. Oh well- we had ores, and what the heck, we had come all this way- so- might as well start paddling...

I learned I could run the trolling motor on medium for about 2 minutes until it got hot at the alligator clip. Then I would cut it, let it cool, and paddle. We did this the rest for the day and probably paddled for nearly 8 miles!

By this time, we had been on the water for 4 hours, and made about 20 casts... :'( BUT ALAS, we saw something fishable, 1/2 way down the eastern berm was a mythical outflow structure. It was still over a mile away, but we had come ALL THIS WAY- no point in turning back then.

TADA! :D :D The winds went slack, we made it to the area, and pulled up the canoe along the concrete reinforcement of the berm to take a breather. The control structure was closed, so there was no current flowing... :'(

I casted out, and THUD! I landed this big girl. A little Later, I landed another big one! ONLY 2 BITES ALL DAY, BUT I MADE THEM COUNT! :)

As we were anchored offshore casting into a dropoff, we saw a few gators 100-200 yards away.  One gator was huge, and the folks on the forum weren't fibbing- the gator was near 15-18 ft.  He really wasn't that interested in us, until I started throwing the Xcalibur 1knocker around...   At this point the water was GLASS, and I am sure that he heard that 1 knocker, and was interested, because he immediately started heading our way to inspect.  I switched to the worm, and he started swimming away.  I switched back to the Rattler, and he turned right back around towards us.  Well, I decided to put the lipless away at that point, because I think it was attracting the gators more than the bass....

Wind started picking up, and afternoon was upon us, so we headed for LOOOONGGGGG paddle home. - and eventually made it back to the ramp.

Needless to say, we were never in danger, and felt totally safe with the water. (though our prep and research was a big factor) The Only problem was not having a motor, paddling for miles and miles, and spending only 1.5 hours of a 7 hour fishing day actually fishing. Thank GOD I actually had something to show for the effort.

I sure won't be going out there again until I get a real boat and motor someday... or hire George Welcome for a guided tour... ;D




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You have a couple of PIGS there! I've got to get back out on the water this week. Great fish and story  

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Ahhh,,,,,the young.

Well done son.

Glad you had a fun, productive, and safe day.

I got a report from a friend that the late afternoon wind yesterday (Saturday) gusted to 40 mph, with whitecaps on the water making it difficult for even the 200 HP bassboats to get back without taking a beating.

Funny how the gators like those rattling baits eh?

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I have no doubt those 2 fish made it all worth it.  Good work!

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Great story and terrific fish, That was an adventure to remember for sure. Did the same thing but in a 12 ft flat bottom back when that lake first opened. Drove from Ft Worth Tx with a buddy of mine and fished it for 5 days straight....trolling motor only, those were the days.

Might remove and reconnect the gator clips...sounds like it's the junction where the wire is attached to back of clip. That area is usually frayed from use or there is corrosion that you won't notice on the inside of the squeeze flaps. Second ck would be your actual connection to the battery not being well secured. Happened to me many times  ;)

Glad you guys had a great adventure and came back safe to tell us about it,

Big O


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