Longtime Tarpon Springs fishing guide Capt. Rich Knox of Absolute Florida Flats Fishing, guide service for the West Central Fl. Gulf Coast, reports after having 24 to 30 inches of rain fall in 2-3 week’s lowered our inshore flats water temperatures down to 72*F from near 90*F flushing many inshore species out of the estuary systems to the mouths and flats up and our coast. The red-fish were found in very good numbers on all the oyster bars, shell points, and many of the mangrove island’s points and potholes! The runoff from the rains turned the water clarity to a dark brown! The brown plume of tannin stained runoff water reached 3 0r more miles in some areas past the barrier islands and so did the cool water temperatures bringing back the big gator trout that summer off our beach’s in 20 to 30 feet of water.
Even decent schools of pilchards returned, the species favorite meal, normally there is just small fry returning from the bait spawn at this time of year that is not big enough to carry a hook much less cast! Some artificial baits worked well, Berkley GULP minnow imitations in Motor oil and Pearle though, but there is nothing like throwing 20 freebies out on to a structure and watching the fish blow them up ! I had the pleasure of the Gibson Family on Tuesday from Troy, Michigan, we had a beautiful day fishing the back country and the beaches.
We were Blessed with great fishing to boot, we lost count of the Red-fish caught by all, Brett, Julie, Gracie 13 yrs. old, and the fisherman of the family Calvin only 10 yrs. old !!! the Red-fish were from 21″ to a whopping 39″ er and near 20 lb. caught by Dad, all on 10 lb. test light tackle spinning outfits, Calvin didn’t catch the biggest fish but he landed the most by far ! If you ask him he will tell you he caught 20, and that is not an exaggeration.
Capt. Rich Knox
ABSOLUTE FLORIDA FLATS FISHING