We really couldn’t have asked for a better season given the cards that we were dealt. The weather in May was almost too nice which made the most productive times either in early in the morning or late in the evening. Light long leaders always help and flies that blend to the color of the water aid in introducing the fly without notice as the sun gets higher in the sky. The outgoing tide often brings the combination of a little dirtier water, floating mats of grass, and the possibility of food overhead. As we progress in the season, fly choice changes as one type of snack might become more abundant than the other. The full moon in May always has a big shrimp hatch at night, so shrimp flies work well for about a week along along with the bi-weekly crab flush on the moons. One over looked meal for a tarpon are all the turtles that swim out to the Gulf on the full moon in June and can easily be resembled with a fly. Time on the water is the key to it all and your eyes are the biggest tool we carry with us.
This season (May-July) was definitely a roller coaster due to a dredge that was occurring in Hurricane pass, red tide that was fueled by a nutrient rich waste water spill from Piney Point and Hurricane/Tropical Storm Elsa that took a natural bloom and pushed it at the coast resulting in a super bloom. We were able to move around to still get out and fish all the way through the end of June but unfortunately almost everyone in July was canceled on because of the state at which we were in. Most people can’t remember a red tide of this caliber and we need to put an end to nutrient run-off/spills.
It’s amazing how quickly fish return to flats that had no life on them, the bait shows back up on the bridges, and things start to resume to where the should be. It will take time for the snook, redfish, trout, etc., stock levels to return to where they were/should be but we have fish! Thank you to everyone enough for the business and I can’t wait until next year!
Through the next month, night fishing will be outstanding and can seem more productive. Tarpon and snook feed primarily at night and in our urban environment, we want a new moon so they rely on artificial light sources. The bigger the tide, the better fishing will be as the water is not very rich with oxygen and it’s also providing a buffet.
The middle of the day can be too hot on the flats and will have the fish in deeper water or under the bushes. When out during the day, flats just inside of passes/bridges that get a lot of tide are going to be the most productive. Redfish will start to school up big time especially around the moon phases through the next couple months before their annual spawn.