My three brothers and myself had a quick little get together January 7th-9th. We were all in Tampa for a family occasion (my niece's Bat Mitzvah), and we decided to run down the coast to Marco Island and hang. We all live in different parts of the States/World, and we don't get to see each other a whole lot. This was the perfect opportunity, so we jumped at it. On Monday, we took a chance and went fishing with the best inshore guide I've ever seen, a guy named Brian Sanders (http://www.sandersoutdoorguide.com/). We got to the Chokoloslkee Park and Marina plenty early, and it was cold. Brian showed up with his 24' Triton, told us he wished would could fish the next day instead (we couldn't), and off we went. The water was cold...in the area of 57 degrees, and Brian told us on a day like today we couldn't get picky..."a fish is a fish" were his words. We might not get anything at all, and if we did, it would probably be trout or sheephead. Chances for reds or snook were slim. To maximize our chances, we were going to concentrate on river mouths where the water was likely to be a little warmer. He was going to take us down to where seven different little rivers emptied out into the Gulf through the 10,000 Islands area of Everglades National Park and see what we could scare up. That was going to be a 35 mile run from where we put in, in 48 degree air, but off we went. It was a long, cold ride, and I was in shorts. The first spot didn't produce anything for us, and I started to get a bad feeling, but at the second we caught a few small trout and one good sized sheephead. The third spot was the first good stop. Most of these fish were shorts, but we caught about 15-16 of them, and Brian saw that we weren't completely useless. Four out of the next six spots were golden. We caught as many as we wanted in each place, all of them legal, and a couple pushing 3lbs. It was one bait, one trout, and not much of a drift. Jerk that popping cork a couple of times, and the bite was right there. On one of the last stops my brother caught a legal red, his first redfish of any kind, and our only spot tail of the trip. By 2:00 we were done, and by 2:45 back at the ramp. Best guess is 1 sheephead, 1 redfish, and +/- 80 speckled trout in terrible conditions (wind and cold water) among four anglers with next to no inshore experience. I call that a win anyday. I had a blast myself, especially sharing the day with my brothers, and congratulate myself for catching 5+ of my 20+ trout on a little DOA Shrimp clone. I'd never fished it before, but I made it work and I want to try it again in warmer water. For those who are considering fishing the 10,000 Islands, I highly recommend it. God it's beautiful! I also recommend Brian Sanders very highly. He is a damned fine guide, and is apparently also an excellent duck hunting guide. Tight lines all!