Some of my all time epic months have been in August. All the boat traffic has gone away till the fall and the fish are on the feed! It is a great time of year for the Boca Grande Slam on a split day trip. Good numbers of Adult Tarpon still being taken in the am and in the afternoon falling tides. Snook are still strong around pass and down the mangrove shorelines. And the exciting reason for August….REDFISH spawn, big ocean roaming redfish are coming on the flats in schools of 50-100. These fish are big, hungry and easy to catch when found, some peoples biggest redfish of their life’s will be taken the next 2 months! The baby Tarpon have been alot of fun in the creeks on the fly as well.
Been a great 2 weeks in Charlotte Harbor along with the big rivers of Myakka and Peace! The Huge Tarpon are still here and eating better than ever, Rick with a Grande Slam yesterday on a 6 hour split trip (Tarpon, Snook, Redfish, Trout)Ive been blessed with some great clients that love to fish! The snook are still great on these big moons and are really big in the backcountry as well as beaches and passes. Tarpon have been eating great on theis big moon phase. we jumped 6 and caught 3 last night! The baby tarpon are everywhere and alot of fun on a fly rod we jumped over 30 in one morning trip! The most exciting news is the redfish are starting to school…..these fish are large and in charge! We will only have shots at these trophy reds for the next couple months so book your trips!!!
Well back into the back country hammering snook, Redfish and trout with some good plug casters! I always enjoy when clients come to me from bass fishing with top water plugs! I always say it is bass fishing on steroids! We have been catching them great early in the mornings and late in the evenings on zara spooks and luck craft gunfish. there is really nothing as productive as fishing with top water plugs because you can cover so much ground being poled down a mangrove line in search of some big snook and redfish! Not to mention the take is incredible. My client said he really gets bored sitting in the same hole with bait waiting on the fish to come by, so why not go find the fish instead of sitting around waiting for them to find you? July-October are some great plug months, not to mention great months to get inshore or grande slams. Hunter pictured here with his inshore slam in a 6 hour trip! hope to see you soon!
July is the month, the time where the backcountry shines. These fish do some unusual stuff after the spawn and with this big moon coming up it should be great! Laid up fish in 3 foot of water, there is nothing like throwinga fly to a floating fish in shallow water! these fish will free jump tail and lay up. they are on the feed and up way in the harbor backcountry. Very great month for us to get a grand slam on the fly, tarpon have been amazing with double hookups and many jumped and caught in the past couple weeks. lots of hungry snook cruising the outside bars, redfish are just around the corner and trout are still reliable. this fishing is great, get down to paradise!!!!!
Well late June, my favorite time of the year where the beach boys, back country poons and fly rods shine! these fish are all sizes and are actively feeding in backcountry spots and cruising the beaches. this is a great time to throw a fly to a tarpon have been having good hook ups on the beach and in the back country. have also been floating crabs in back country with great hook ups! The snook are still amazing, John caught a nice snook and lost a real trophy and the less than a mile away caught an 80 pound tarpon on a crab under a cork! great morning and in only 4 hours. Boca Grande is really shining and will only get better and less pressured the next couple months and then its BIG redfish season..big redfish!!
Fishing has been great! Weather has been beautiful and seems some of the pressure are off these fish which means so much! been hooking good tarpon and great snook in the back country. The Tarpon have been great on the beaches and in the back country before and now after the big moon in June. I have had the pleasure of having alot of quality clients on the bow of my boat lately and we hit our first boca grande slam the other day with satrtinbg the morning off with 2 great snook on plugs and the a trout and 3 redfish in the same area! So we decided to make our way across the harbour to see if we could pick up some smaller tarpon! sure enough! 1 bites jumped off and then one finally stayed buttoned! Not a huge tarpon but none the less set out for our slam and got it! congrats Rick!! It is really nice when a plan comes together. I asked a fellow guide how his Tarpon season has been shaping up? he made a lot of sense when he said “Some tuff days followed by some days of pure badass” haha. Big tarpon are not a given with a 9foot fly rod and some chicken feathers but when all lines up it is the most magical thing in the anglers world! They should come back hungry with there travel off shore to spawn last week. I have always found the tarpon bite magical after the big moon in June. The snook have still been fantastic with them staying in the passes and in the beaches along with the mangroves next to big water! My fishing continues to be great after the so called “end” of tarpon season in July. That is when Snook and Redfish come onto the flats all over and great months to continue the Grande Slam!
The term plug refers to hard body bait that is tied to the end of a line. As we say it Plug fishing is second to none in the backcountry during the low light hours, especially top water plugs. We use certain plugs such a Lucky Craft, Rover, Mirror Lure and the infamous Heddon. I believe all saltwater fly fishing guides are also plug fisherman. (Or should be) It is so productive at first light and the hours leading up to sunset. It’s one of those things that you have to see to believe, the aggressive strikes that insure from the imitation of a wounded baitfish get the blood boiling early! Just like fooling a big game fish with fibers tied on a hook, I love fooling them with plugs and they seem to be irresistible sometimes. My consistent trophies still come from big plugs and you can cover a lot of ground with them as well. Sometimes we throw them in areas to see if the fish are active and we switch to the fly when we see the strikes occur.
All types of fish will readily eat a plug in South West Florida. Snook, Redfish, Tarpon, Trout, Jack, Bluefish will all eat a top water plug at any time. For me watching a Redfish “shoulder” up on a plug in shallow water is the best sight there is when it comes to plug fishing. Their mouths are designed down to be grubbers and they have to bring their whole face out of the water to eat a top water bait, it is very explosive! A top water will also get a tailing redfish’ attention sometimes when nothing else will. Tarpon will take a plug and we have hooked them when we least expect it!
For me Snook is king when it comes to top water plug fishing, the sound a big snook makes when he strikes is like a 20 gauge shotgun going off. There have been some real trophy snook taken while plug fishing; just come see me in turtle bay in the spring…monster snook. Snook just slam it off the top and most of the time you don’t even know they’re on it until the take. Their mouths are designed for plugs, they are designed to eat up and attack food when it swims by…hence the great plug quarry.
Plug fishing is such a great and underrated saltwater sport, I absolutely love it. It does not take as much involvement as fly fishing does and can be nice when you just want to relax with friends…or when we’re trophy hunting! Come see us any time of year for the plug experience of a lifetime!
From here until the wintertime in Boca Grande will be some of the best fishing of mine and my clients life. My goal is to make an anglers dream come true here in beautiful Charlotte Harbor and the Beaches surrounding Boca Grande! There is nothing like patience when it comes to sight casting to huge pods of Tarpon moving down the beaches in crystal clear waters on our sand bars! I had a new tarpon fly fisherman the other day ask, “will I be able to see them when they are coming down” as we were staked out waiting on strings of fish. They look like cruising submarines with their black backs cruising in 3 -5 foot of water over my special bars!! nothing like seeing them crush a fly in real time. Not a lot of other tarpon situations can u see a tarpon open his mouth and eat a fly or bait and turn just to flash like a 150# river trout on Steroids!! that’s the real juice, its the best bite in the game… The snook fishing is unreal as well, we all chase a snook dream on the fly or plug to get that real trophy and only chase them in the fall or winter…NOW is the time to target a trophy snook on the fly or plug! I love this time of year and feel so very fortunate to share this with people.
Well those great afternoon tides are back. Tarpon are being caught in the pass and some in the back country. I am still in snook mode and will continue to fish these giants on and off through tarpon season. One of the ONLY months our flat is not getting beat up on a regular basis, its nice to see the fish do what they are suppose to. A friend and i went out for 3 hours and caught over 5 snook over 30 inches with one nearing 40! This was all on plugs, due to the wind we could not get the fly to them. But man where they smashing the top water plugs on the outgoing tide in the cuts! Its been great fishing lately with a lot of parent and children trips just looking to have fun!
I had Andrew on my boat with his mother and he was so excited and had so many questions about the snook and tarpon he had been watching on T.V. he could hardly contain himself on the ride out to the flat. When we caught a couple trout he was having fun, then we hooked a 30+inch snook and the fight was on, 9 year old Andrew got so nervous it was cool and landed him and many other fish for some photos for his Dad! love taking kids fishing! always an adventure!