Southwest Area Fishing Report:
Photo: Terry Pitz – flyfishingswfl.com
Redfish: Has been good. Finally catching a few in the 30″ range. Sept. & Oct. are some of my favorite months for redfish (prespawn). Big fish and lots of them. Call ahead to make sure you get the right tides.
I’ve been doing best on any tide that has good current. Shrimp, shiners & cut bait has been working for me. The schools can be from ten to fifty. Fishing reds on the flats can be a casters’ dream. On the lower tides, they become very visible with their tails sticking up in the air. Fishing for tailing reds is great fun! The trick is being there when they are feeding. Try working the edges of the sand bars and oyster reefs. Some people call it fishing for reds, I call it hunting. When poling the flats for reds, move very slowly and watch for wakes, tails and boils. When fishing the mangroves, fish the top end of the high tide and get your fly, bait or jig underneath the mangroves as far as you can. This technique will also produce a few snook. A great way to cover a lot of water and it can be very productive. Flies, artificials and bait all are working well for these beautiful strong fighters. Try bait fishing them with pinfish, shrimp or cut bait. Flyfish them against the mangroves and on the flats with a earth tone colored clouser and for some real excitement try top water on the overcast days. Average size about 18″ to 30″ with some larger ones around. Watch for those TAILS!!!
Snook: Snook are in their summer locations in the passes and the beaches. They can also be found near mouths of creeks, passes, canals, pot holes and points. White bait, pinfish, shrimp, cut ladyfish, flies and jigs all will work. Fish them on a tide with good current, I prefer an outgoing tide. A well placed shiner or fly will result in a violent fight that you’ll remember for a lifetime.
Tarpon: Are still HERE! They will be here in large numbers from April thru Sept. When here, We do best with live baits, but the fly and cut baits will work as well.. These critters will range from 40 lbs. to 200 lbs. with the average being around 100 lbs. The Silver King is a fish of a life time, very strong fighters and jumps that will out do any marlin. Either bait or fly, you owe it to yourself to fish for this species. Time to book your tarpon trips is now. May and June will fill up fast
Spotted Sea Trout: You can almost catch one on every cast if you find that perfect sand hole, creek or grass flats. Like the snook, watch for the big ones to start showing up for the arrival of that spring bait. Fun on light tackle or fly this fish is aggressive. I’ve been fishing them in 3′ to 5′ of water over grass flats or sand holes.
Jacks, triple tail, mackeral, pompano, cobia, grouper, sharks and more! These fish and others are common on the flats and backcountry. When encountered they all are a lot of fun with tackle or on the fly.
Book your trip now.