Oleno is a very picturesque state park near High Springs Florida. It has a swinging walking bridge that takes you over the Santa Fe River. The river is lined with Cypress trees, and the current flows well. Ideal for bass fishing current breaks and eddies.
You can walk both sides of the river, thanks to the bridge, and pick spots along the river. I walked about a 1/4 mile on both sides. I missed a nice bass in my first spot fishing a shaky head jog with a junebug worm. I switched to a texas rig worm after getting hung up too many times on the shaky head. I ended up catching two 12-13 inch bass on the texas rigged worm, and had about 5-7 bites in two hours of fishing.
We also went to the River Rise park just down the road. You have to get permission from Oleno to unlock the gate to get in. It is a very interesting spot where the Santa Fe River runs underground and then enters above ground at the park. A very unique Florida land phenomena.
Sharon and I went to the Islands on the Saturday before Easter! Caladesi and Honeymoon to be exact, and I think everybody in the state of Florida had the same idea……. It was crowded to say the least at both parks. I walked quite a ways to find some open area to fish.
Since Sharon is plein air painting at all the state parks, we had advanced reservations to get on the ferry to Caladesi, or I am not sure if we would have made it.
Honeymoon Island is a short causeway drive from Clearwater, and Caladesi is only reachable by boat. The park has a few pontoon ferry boats that shuttle patrons back and forth.
We went to Caladesi first, and I decided to wade the gulf for some early snook or trout. I was surprised by the action, but not so happy about the type of fish. I caught about a dozen Lady Fish, or “poor man’s Tarpon” as some call them. They are fun to catch, but not so fun to remove the hooks sometimes since they really like to thrash around. They sure make some nice jumps and get the attention of the beachgoers! I did end up catching a “double” with two Jack Crevalle which was a nice surprise. Those Jacks can really pull, and getting two of them on one plug is a nice fight.
On our way back we got a nice visit from a few dolphin that followed our boat back to Honeymoon island.
I tried wading in the gulf there, but to no avail, so I moved to the bay side, and caught a small lady fish. We had a real nice day, and even though I did not get any trout, snook, or reds, the action with the Lady Fish kept me entertained.