Summer Time Slams
August is typically a slower guiding month, with school going back in session and summer vacations ending, but that doesn't mean the fishing slows down. In fact, fishing has heated up even more the last few weeks; I wasn't sure that was possible. While the snook fishing has been good to great all year, the tarpon are now eating better and the redfish have started acting like they should. In addition, we have some chunky seatrout to throw into the mix, along with mangrove snapper, jacks, ladyfish, black drum, sheepshead, and even a small grouper here and there. If you need to get your mind off of everything that is going on in the world and just relax, this is a perfect time to book a day or two of fishing. Although I have not had the time to hit the freshwater side, I have reports that it is going off too, with plenty of bass and panfish. So, any type of fishing you want to do, we can!
The majority of my time has been spent chasing tarpon and snook. We've had a lot of good times jumping tarpon, especially the smaller ones on fly. This may be the most fun a person can have with a fly rod. The smaller tarpon (up to about 30 pounds) are just an absolute blast. They eat with gusto, spend most of their time in the air, and they can be landed and released quickly, so you can do it all over again! There have been two main flies they have loved over the last month: the gurgler and the micro feather changer. Both of these flies have accounted for about 95% of the fish we've jumped. The numbers of juvenile tarpon are rising every day and they should continue to provide plenty of activity into early October (sometimes they last into November). I've got plenty of fish from Ormond Beach down to Melbourne, so we can go enjoy the action in a variety of locations.
The snook are done spawning and the season has opened up again. With the ending of spawning season, many of the big fish will return to the areas I love to hunt them: docks and mangroves. We've already seen some nice sized fish and been heart broken a couple of times when they destroyed our leaders. Some of the locations I've found them are near impossible to get them out. Still, it's a great time getting them to eat and enjoying the fight. Snook are dirty fighters, using the mangrove roots, dock pilings, rocks, oysters, and their gill plates to shred through your leaders and earn their escape. Applying maximum pressure and knowing how to tie knots is a must for success. If you can catch one in the slot, they make for a great dinner. Catching slot fish can be difficult, but the reward is worth the effort.
Redfish have finally started acting like redfish again! I have located shoreline cruisers, tailing fish, and backing fish, throughout my fishing range. These fish require accuracy and a stealthy approach, as they are in extremely shallow water and can be very spooky. However, they are there for one reason and one reason only: to eat! So, if you can place a fly or a finesse jig in the proper place, the action has been great! I've got a new Shrimp Changer, based on Blane Chocklett's Craw Changer, the fish have been going nuts over. That and the standard Borski Chernobyl P.M. fly have been my go to for these fish. As far as jigs go, the Z-Man CrusteaZ on a Finesse BulletZ jig head has been the ticket; color just depends on the water conditions and location.
The remainder of the fish have primarily been "by-catch" while targeting the others. They add to a great day on the water, and some of them can be targeted, if an angler wishes. I have some openings remaining for September and October, so reach out and let's book a day of fishing together!
Want to see some more action? Check out the VIDEO PAGE (new videos are up)!
Until next time: TIGHT LINES and SCREAMING DRAGS!
-Captain John Tarr