East Coast Slams and More
The most popular question I get asked is when is my favorite time to fish? The simple answer is any time I can. However, if I think about it for a moment, the answer is summer time. I love summer time fishing. The weather is fairly predictable, the fish are more stable, the water levels begin to drop, and the slam and grand slam season is upon the area. What is a slam or grand slam? A slam requires catching three out of four of the following species, within a single trip: redfish, seatrout, snook and tarpon. A grand slam requires catching them all. It is a challenge to complete this task, but the summer means that all of them are available and can be caught. In fact, this past week, I gave out my first East Coast Slam certificate to a client. He caught snook, seatrout and redfish during his trip; in fact, he completed the slam twice. We almost pulled off the grand slam, but the tarpon refused to eat.
A few days later, one of my long time clients joined me for a few days of fishing. It is always great when someone spends more than single day of fishing with me. The connection between angler and guide grows stronger and the fishing becomes easier as you start to realize what each person is thinking. Once again, the tarpon decided they didn't want to cooperate. We saw plenty, but they refused every offer we gave them. The snook, seatrout and redfish were more than happy to provide us with all of the opportunities we could ask for. Paul missed slamming out on two days, with redfish being the elusive target. They either spit the fly before hook set, or managed to remove it during the fight. But, persistence paid off and we slammed out on the final day.
This time of year, it is all about knowing where the fish are going to be active and visible. There is only one way to gain that knowledge: time on the water. This is where hiring a knowledgeable guide comes in. No, we can't always make the fish eat, but having the right opportunities increases the chance of success dramatically. That is why I spend every day I can on the water, whether I have a client or not. It is about gaining insight into the fishes' patterns and habits. While others may believe the fish are not active during the heat of the day, we found action all day long. You just have to realize what conditions the fish are looking for. I've been fishing this area since the early 1980's and have done my best to keep up to date on the fish movement patterns and feeding patterns. It is paramount to being successful on the water; of course, the fish still have to cooperate too.
Summer fishing is an absolute blast and despite the heat, I bet you will have a great time fishing. There's always plenty of water on the boat, so come on down and enjoy trying to catch your slam!