• Captain John Tarr

Great Fishing, Weather, and Going Back to my Roots


Fall has officially arrived in Florida and it is beautiful: cool nights and mornings, sun, warm afternoon temperatures,and perfect water conditions. It is the time of year that most people wish would last all year round. In addition to the weather announcing the arrival of fall, the annual fall mullet run is in full swing. Millions of mullet are migrating through the area and on their tails are millions of hungry fish. Snook, tarpon, seatrout, redfish, jacks and more use this time to gorge themselves on small, vulnerable baitfish that are doing everything they can to survive another year. Some will make it, but many will not. For anglers, and even those just wanting to enjoy the sights and sounds of nature, it means you can see some memorable sights and hear some crazy sounds. Watching and listening to a big snook bust a bait pod, a tarpon free jump through them, or a redfish charging up like a submarine leaves quite an impression on people. Don't forget Flipper either. Dolphins use this opportunity to teach their young how to hunt and kill; it is quite a sight watching a mother porpoise playing catch with her youngster, using a mullet as the ball. The only negative about the mullet run is there is so much bait, you have to compete with it for the fish's attention. There are worse problems to have.

Water conditions will continue to improve as the water cools down, making sight fishing better and better. We were pleasantly surprised at how quickly it seems to be clearing this year, especially if you concentrate it areas during low tide, or those with good grass on the bottom. For me, it is all about tides right now. High tides are still rising enough to cause turbidity and pull mud and debris from the mangroves, making it difficult to see at that time. So, I concentrate on the low tide areas; the lower the better! During the outgoing and low tide times, the water clears up, the fish exit the sticks, and we start looking for belly crawlers and tailers. Redfish, seatrout and black drum can be found cruising through the grass, exposing their backs, while searching for an unsuspecting muller or shrimp. They also love to crawl the shorelines, with their bellies on the bottom, their backs glistening droplets of water in the sun, as they search for a crab scurrying along. You will not find a more visually stimulating time than these.

This video shows the area well and will demonstrate why redfish are the ultimate shallow water predators in my area. It also proves that you never know what you will come across, despite what you are targeting. Enjoy a little preview of the area and action. Check out some other new videos on the video page! Some great action with clients.

Recent fishing activity also had be go back to my roots. See, a lot of people think that all I do is fly fishing. While I do love fly fishing, I grew up in the conventional tackle world. My grandfather, Bill McEwen, was my teacher. There wasn't a better teacher around. Why? First and foremost, he was the guy that everyone in our area went to when they wanted to learn how to fish. My grandfather started his fishing history in Tennessee and Arkansas, fishing largemouth bass. His most famous "student", Bill Dance; yes, the same guy on television. It didn't stop there though. My grandfather also started Strike King Fishing Lures. The company was started by him and my grandmother, in their garage, in Memphis, TN. They originally focused on spinner baits, developing and improving them over the years. I still have the newspaper articles showing their display at the sportsman shows, and clippings of him bass fishing with all some of the best. They all came to him for spinner baits and returned after trips for him to mount their catches; he was also one of the most sought out taxidermist in TN. So, with him as my teacher, I grew up throwing a baitcaster on a plug rod. That's how I started my saltwater fishing life, and I still love it. I may not use it as much as I once did, but I can still use it better than 90% of the people who pick them up. Spinning rods? Yep, still love them too. It's all about using the right tool at the right time. It's also about having a great time and enjoying the fishing. So, I spent a few recent trips with some plugs, soft plastics, baitcasters, and spinning rods. The results were fantastic! Snook loved the plugs along the docks and the redfish crushed the Z-Man Fishing Products shrimp that we placed in front of them. The point I'm trying to make: I'm not a one-dimensional fishing guide. Yes, I love fly fishing. However, I will throw a plug rod or a spinning rod and have just as much fun. Besides, when you have a great rod builder, Kent Gibbens Custom Tackle, making your conventional rods, it is hard to not want to use them. Here are some photos of the trips:

If you are ready to experience all that Florida has to offer in fishing and nature, give me a call and let's book a trip! Have a question for me? Click on the contact link and email me. I promise to answer you as soon as I get off the water. Want to stay updated on all of the recent action, then subscribe to the page; you will not get spammed, just regular fishing updates, photos, videos and special offers. We are here to provide you with any answers and to give you the best outdoor experience in the area!

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