Catching Fish and Dodging Storms
One thing that is ever changing in this paradise I call home is the weather. That is never more true than during the summer; there is only one constant during this time of year and that is the heat! Florida is known as the Sunshine State for a reason and with that sunshine comes plenty of hot temperatures. Right now, we are averaging lows in the 70s and highs in mid 90s. The change comes when all of that heat, mixed with moisture from both the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico, lifts enough moisture into the atmosphere and the thunderstorms develop. In a typical scenario, the thunderstorms build up and come over late in the afternoon. However, recently they have been developing earlier and lasting longer than normal. Overall it just means that while we are enjoying fishing, we just keep one eye on the weather. It can change in a hurry and some of it can be downright deadly. These storms, along with the extreme heat of the day, is one reason I try to get most people to book 4 or 6 hour trips this time of year. We start early, right at sunrise, and we can typically get the trip in before the storms begin. Don't worry, if they come early I WILL NOT put you at risk and we will either reschedule or shorten the day and the cost of the trip appropriately. The weather is my worry, not yours; all you have to do is enjoy the time on the boat.
This time of year is still my favorite for fishing, despite the weather issues. Action is fairly predictable and we have a large variety of fish to chase. Redfish, seatrout, snook, tarpon, jacks, snapper, and more are available and they provide plenty of action for experienced clients or novice anglers. In fact, novice anglers have some of the best chances at landing the fish of their dreams during this time. The only choice you need to make is what fish you would really like to target, so I can decide where to take you. We want to be able to maximize our time on the water and spend it fishing, rather than trying to run spot to spot.
Many of my clients have been wanting to catch snook on our recent trips and this is the perfect time for hunting them. While snook fishing used to be all about fishing docks, along the river, that has changed. In recent years, with mild winters and more water current moving, the snook population has exploded and they are now found throughout our waterways. While dock fishing still produces a lot of fish, we routinely find big snook in our backwaters. This area is much more conducive to sight fishing and can make for some very exciting moments. In my last blog, Mangrove Magic, I talked about what is required for this type of fishing (click here to check it out). It can be frustrating at times, but it is very rewarding. Snook are still my personal favorite fish to target, so I always love it when clients want to target them too.
The second request that I have been getting a lot of is fishing for tarpon; specifically the smaller, juvenile tarpon. I believe the east, central coast of Florida has one of the best fisheries for juvenile tarpon in all the world. We have numerous locations these fish can be chased, by boat and on foot. Juvenile tarpon may be on of the most underrated fish there are, but that is quickly changing as more and more people learn about it. These fish can provide tons of action or they can be some of the most finicky fish there are. Their strikes are lightning quick, requiring either cat-like reflexes or a little luck to get the hook in them. Once the hook set is accomplished, the real fun begins. Juvenile tarpon love spending the majority of their fight in the air. They provide some of the most stunning acrobatic displays you will ever see. I'm always amazed when we start looking through photos and film of these guys jumping; their bodies are contorted in ways that you wouldn't think are possible. Once they expend tremendous amounts of energy jumping, flipping, leaping, they will give a few moments of trying to bulldog you. If they don't chew through the leader material, you can land them rather quickly, get a couple of quick photos, revive them, release them, and do it all over again. It's a perfect win-win scenario for angler and fish.
Of course, I cannot leave out redfish. While snook and tarpon steal a lot of the headlines during the summer months, we still have good redfish action too. The key to success with these fish is chasing the lowest water you can find. The last couple of weeks have seen the return of some really nice, low water at low tide. The lower the water, the better. Low water means that more time than not, we can locate tailing and backing redfish; the areas they like to feed in are located where the water will not keep them covered as they cruise along or tip down to eat a tasty morsel off the bottom. This is where my Gordon Boatworks Waterman is superb. This skiff was built to float shallow, pole silent, and sneak up on fish in waters that others can't even imagine ad she does it quite well. I will spend our time hunting redfish in areas that few people have seen, much less been in. The only thing I ask, is be prepared. This type of fishing requires quick, accurate casts. So, whether you choose to chase them with a flyrod or a spinning rod, be prepared and take some time to practice your casting. The goal: a quick cast to a plate, at a distance of 30-40 feet.
Slams (catching all three species) are always possible. But, they do require us to be laser focused to get them all targeted. I love trying to slam out in a morning. It's challenging, exciting and if you accomplish the goal, I still have frame worthy certificates to hand out. These one-of-a-kind Slam Certificates were created for me, by a local artist. I love giving them out to those willing to accept and complete the challenge.
I am also excited to announce the release of two new Tailhunter Outdoor Adventure shirts. Both shirts are printed on a sport-style, outdoor, long sleeve shirt. They are rated SPF50 and they are moisture wicking material. Each shirt is logoed with the official Tailhunter Outdoor Adventures logo on the front. The back displays one-of-a-kind artwork. Each shirt is $25 and they can be ordered by calling or emailing me.
#Release depicts the iconic redfish tail as the fish is released back into the water. This concept was derived from photos I
provided and asked my sister to artistically represent. She did a fantastic job. The focus in on releasing the all important gamefish so they can provide another angler with as much excitement as they provided you. With redfish populations down, in our area, there is a push for catch-and-release only status of these economically and environmentally important fish; I fully support this proposal and this is my way of allowing others to show their support too.
Patriotic Snook was another concept I had for a shirt and once again, my sister took the idea and knocked it out of the park! The snook, like the American Flag, represents strength, intelligence and a fighting spirit that make up their very essence. As I have stated in this blog and for decades, Snook are my favorite fish and for these very reasons. They represent everything I love about the outdoors and about fishing. So, I had to have a shirt that I could offer. I hope you like it as much as I do.
As always, I thank-you for taking the time to enjoy the blog. If you want to book a trip, feel free to call or email me. Either way, I will do everything I can to get you booked and to give you the experience of a lifetime. I take pride in my work ethic and I will guarantee that no one will work harder to make sure you have a successful trip and enjoy a relaxing day on the water. Click Here to Contact Me!
Until next time, Tight Lines and Screaming Drags:
Captain John Tarr