WOW is all I can say to the fishing I have experienced over the past 3 months! It has been that long since my last report and for that I apologize, but I have literally been on the water everyday since March 20 until about a week ago. Needless I was whooped, especially with most of those 3 months spent doing battle with the mighty Tarpon down in Boca Grande!
What a year it was in Boca Grande, there were more fish in the pass and surrounding areas than I have ever seen, and there were very few days that the Tarpon did not want to play. Along with the Tarpon we saw the rejuvenation of the snook population on the beaches and passes of south west Florida. They are not back completely but with the state keeping them closed for one more year at least, we are going to have a great year next year with them.
The season went by very fast as things tend to do when your busy. It seems as just yesterday I was fishing with Chris Pile and his family ( one of my first tarpon trips this year) and next thing I knew I was dropping my boat back in the Cottee river looking for reds and snook back home. Alot happened in between those two bookends but the one I am very proud of is what we were able to accomplish as team Millers Ale House in the 2012 PTTS. For the 4th year in a row we were crowned Team of the Year, meaning week in and week out for the 5 week season we were the best out there! We have a great team and plan on at least 4 more!
Now on to the important stuff…..Whats going on out here in the water. Well one thing is for sure…it’s HOT but that doesn’t mean you cant catch fish. Actually the opposite is true, you just have to fish when the fish are feeding, and unlike the spring the feeding times are much shorter. You will want to get an early start, be on the water and ready either before or right at daybreak. Once the sun gets up the water gets hot and the fish will shut down. You will also want to fish on the best tides, in the summer high tide is king and if you can get an incoming in the early morning you are golden!
If your looking for redfish don’t expect to find big bunches of them around, concentrate on finding areas that have shade and deeper water and you will find some. The deep docks around Gulf Harbors are a good senerio to duplicate this time of year. If you are fortunate enough to have a high incoming tide first thing in the morning, look along the flats that have some hard bottom. The reds will use this time to get out in the cooler water and feed.
If you are looking for Trout your best bet will to get off the shoreline a good bit. The deep grass flats in 7 to 10 feet of water is where you want to be, you can drift and trow jigs with Mirro Lures Lil Johns and the DOA shrimp work great for this. Where you catch a few throw a marker buoy over and drift that area again. The Flats about 2 miles off of Hudson and Gulf Harbors are great areas for this.
The Final third of the trio is what most people are looking for in the summer. The Snook….they make it very convenient for the family this time of year. The biggest population of Snook will still be out on the beaches, you can bring the family out and beach the boat then start walking down the beach casting into the surf and catching snook. The one think you will want to key in on is the size of the bait that is on the beach, match the hatch and you should have no problem get your rod bent.
This is the hottest time of the year to be out in the sun so make sure you have plenty of water and sun protection on board when you go out for a day of fishing.