Spin fishing Matlacha Pass Wildlife Refuge in Charlotte Harbor is a wondrous experience. Miles of grass flats, acres of oyster beds and light sand flats make for endless fly and light tackle fishing opportunities. Snook, redfish, seatrout, tarpon, jacks snapper to mane just a few speicies call Matlacha home. The waters are a bit challenging to navigate due to the meandering channels and oyster beds. But after a few trips you’ll be able to get to prime fishing spots in no time.
What’s biting: Snook, Redfish, Seatrout and Jacks.
Gear Used: light tackle spin fishing and fly fishing.
Conditions: The weather fronts are becoming weaker as we move further into Spring. Bait is becoming more plentiful and water levels in the upper Charlotte Harbor are improving.
Technics that are working: If clouds or water conditions keep you from sight fishing you can blind cast to edges and potholes around the grass flats for redfish and sea trout. On the warmer days, try fly fishing the back country. Make your presentations tight to the mangroves. The snook and redfish will be there escaping the heat. When fly fishing after a passing cold front switch to a sinking intermediate or sink tip line and fish the deeper channels and holes using weighted flies.
Tip: I have never met an oyster bed I didn't like. It's worth a few snagged flies to explore them. There are many of these beds in Pine Island Sound to explore.
Outlook: The exiting cold front will give way to light east and southeast winds. The water will continue to warm ushering the first of the 2014 tarpon run. Watch for them at the passes and of Boca Grande and Captiva.
Obsession Charters Fishing Report Friday, April 11, 2014
Big winds early in the week and rain on Tuesday stirred things up in Pine Island Sound and Gasparilla Sound. Monday we fished light tackle the mangroves along East Wall of Charlotte Harbor from Punta Gorda to Burt Store Marina escaping the 20-25MPH SW winds. Cloudy water and a drop in temperature after the front passed put the Sea Trout and Redfish into deep water. Patience and constantly changing up flies and lures did produce some fish. Surprisingly, the snook stayed on the flats and we were able to sight fish to them every day we were out. The wind shifted to ESE on Friday allowing more moving water on the incoming tides in the cuts of Turtle and Bull Bay. Some of the live bait fishers were seeing some action after a couple days of lockjaw.
The tarpon migration has been slow to start due to the endless fronts pushing through Charlotte Harbor and Boca Grande. There have been a few rolling and laid up tarpon spotted in Pine Island Sound and near the Passes at Captiva and Gasparilla so things are starting to happen. I’ll be fishing in Matlacha, lower Pine Island Sound and the Ding Darling Reserve several days the next two weeks. These are very fishy places for both fly and spinning gear.
A great day of spin fishing in the mangroves of Charlotte Harbor's East Wall for sea trout, snook and redfish. With an impending cold front coming and 20-25mph SSE winds the mangroves were the place to be. The Harbor had a 3' chop and the beaches were getting pounded by 3'-4' swells. The 5 mile run back to Ponce De Leon Park in Punta Gorda at the end of the dsy was easy. We stayed in 18" - 24" of water tight to the shoreline. The sandbar knocked down the chop just like a barrier reef. I love fishing here!
This is a long video but Bill left his phone at the Philly Airport and didn't get a chance to take and pics while we were fishing. I wanted him to have something to remember the trip by. Bill, those pulp log sized snook will bite the next time your down. We didn't get skunked the trout and jacks cooperated. Safe travel home to you and Fran!