Bruce and Geraldine Yaw from New York State joined me for a morning of backcountry fly fishing in Matlacha Wildlife Refuge in Charlotte Harbor. We were joined by porpoise, manatee, eagle osprey, egrets, heron and ibis. A neap tide and cool water temps made fishing a challenge but we persevered and caught sea trout, lady fish and snook all on flies. Some folks poo poo ladyfish - but on a 6 or 8wt rod they are a hoot.
Florida Fishing Videos
Capt. Dave post his recent fishing videos.
Fred Bogue from New Jersey went 8-4-3 on tarpon this week. We were spin fishing off the beaches of Gasparilla, Boca Grande and Captiva. Safe travels home Fed, Great fishing with you again this year.
Big thanks to Sara for holding down the fort back home while some untimely home insurance repairs were being done during Fred’s tarpon odyssey.
Chris from Arcadia, FL and his buddy Mike from LeBelle, FL had a fun morning tarpon fishing on the beaches off Charlotte Harbor / Pine Island Sound. Flat calm conditions, only three other skiffs in sight and happy tarpon for two hours made for trip to remember for a long time. The spawning migration has started and the next 6 weeks will provide world-class fishing here in Southwest Florida.
Fishing for seatrout, snook, redfish, bluefish and jacks combined with a successful hog hunt. Hope your flight home was uneventful. Great having you visit with Barb and I. Next time BRING DENISE! That's an Order! See you in June on our trek north.
Brad Osborn from Falmouth, Maine joined me this past weekend for some productive snook, trout, and jack crevalle action. We fished Pine Island Sound with both fly and spinning gear. Brad brought along one of his favorite New England "Albie" lures and the local fish ate it up!
From Brad 04-14-15: Thanks Dave! As always, I had a great time. Snook, jacks, ladyfish, trout, thousands of cow nose rays, a manatee at the boat, sight casting to giant snook on the beach. It does not get better than that for a Mainer looking for a break from mud season.
Conditions: Typical winter light tackle and fly fishing conditions. Low water levels and water temps in the high 60s to the low 70s. Lower salinity in the upper reaches of Charlotte Harbor. Average salinity in Pine Island and Gasparilla Sounds. No red tide issues to report.
Bait: threadfin herring, pinfish, shrimp
Fishing Tactics: Seatrout are liking bright colored Clousers and fast strips. Redfish and snook are holding a bit deeper and are hitting on shrimp and crab patterns presented with slower strips.
My Fishing Tip of the Week: Grass flats warm quicker than the bars and oyster beds. There are bunches of small jacks and ladyfish on the outer edges of the grass flats if the redfish and snook action is slow.
7 day outlook: Water temps in the low to mid 60s. Air temps in 50s at night and 70s during the day. West - northwest winds will subside mid week then shift into the north and pick up again for Friday and the weekend. 60% chance of showers on Friday otherwise, a dry week.
In this 90 second video Steve fly casts to a pod of daisy chaining tarpon off a beach near Charlotte Harbor. There were 6-8 fish weighing 60-100 pounds in this pod. You'll notice we were the only boat on these fish. This can be common and welcomed experience compared to the chaos of Boca Grande Pass if you know where to go... During day one Steve had 50+ tarpon by the boat with several good shots and a couple follows. Day two we only had 20 or so tarpon by the boat and they were pretty squirrely from the boats and fishing pressure that eventually found us. We finished day #2 out in the back country chasing reds and snook. Steve hooked his first snook and first redfish on fly rod before returning to the boat launch at 2pm. Safe travels home Steve, We’ll see you next May to continue the quest!
Another strong cold front ascended on us this week dashing hopes of catching tarpon on Friday and Saturday. The video shows one of the more productive tarpon shoals in the area before and after the front’s 15-25knot winds arrived. So we went light tackle snook fishing in Charlotte Harbor and Matlacha. We had a hoot catching several snook between 18” and 26”. Fred did have one tarpon crunch his crab on Wednesday but the circle hook didn’t set. Thanks for coming down again this year Fred. Safe travels home to New Jersey and see you soon in Maine!
Fellow Registered Maine Guides; Carroll and Lila Ware from Fins and Furs Adventures in Skowhegan, Maine fished with me for 3 1/2 days last week. We spent three days tarpon fishing in Pine Island Sound and along the beaches of Sanibel and Captiva Islands. We spent their last morning here doing some inshore sight fishing for snook and redfish in the Matlacha National wildlife Refuge. We were off the water in just enough time for their flight. Great seeing you both again Lila and Carroll, wishing you safe travels home.
We were working a couple rolling tarpon in a portion of upper Pine Island Sound one morning this week when this brown shark (sandbar shark) decided to take one of our baits. Robert did a great job keeping the shark out from under the boat and from getting tangled in the outboard. It bit it's way through the leader just as we were going to take a couple pictures. Way to go Robert! Safe travels home and I hope to see you again next year. Capt. Dave
The Tarpon are just starting to ascend on the beaches of Charlotte Harbor’s barrier Islands. Mac and I spent 4 hours sight fishing the bars in perfect conditions. We saw four tarpon which is a bit slow for this time of year. Mac got a good shot at one of them which turned and followed his fly but didn’t bite. The video closes with a snook that Mac caught the day before wading along Sanibel Island. Great fishing with you Mac! Safe travels home.
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.
Charlotte Harbor spotted sea trout on the BBQ tonight. Capt. Dave Pecci, Obsession Sportfishng Charters.
Larry Stelzer from Maine puts a hurting on an 80 pound tarpon. 80 pound tarpon puts a hurting right back on Larry. What doesn't show in the video is the 16' hammerhead shark that tried to eat Larry's tarpon. All is good though, the tarpon got away thanks to Larry's quick boating abilities.