Redfish Fishing (Red Drum)

Boca Grande / Charlotte Harbor,  Florida

Redfish fishing

The expansive mangroves and grass flats of Charlotte Harbor provides perfect habitat for redfish (red drum).  Bull Bay, Turtle Bay and Pine Island Sound produce consistent redfish action. We fish for redfish with fly rods and light spinning gear. Flies are mostly sub surface baitfish and crab patterns but redfish will take top water offerings like sliders and gurglers too. Lures are typically soft plastic on jig heads, bucktails or swim baits that imitate crabs or fin fish.

Charlotte Harbor / Pine Island Sound Fishing Report April 14th, 2015

bradsnook gregredfish

bradjack

Conditions: Neap tides of the past week are now behind us. Good flow and water temps in the low 80s will produce great conditions. Watch out for those afternoon storms though.

Bait: threadfin herring, Green back Herring, pinfish, shrimp

Species to target this week: Snook, Redfish, Seatrout, Jack Crevalle, Ladyfish, Bluefish.

Fishing Tactics: Go early and blind cast the first hour or two of the incoming tide. Sight fishing will be good as soon as the sun gets overhead.

My Fly Fishing Tip of the Week: White bait patterns are working on snook. Be prepared for follows and refusals if the strip is not correct. You have to tease the big’uns into biting.

My Spin Fishing Tip of the Week: White and pink soft plastic twitch baits are producing snook. Root beer is the redfish color of the week.

 

7 day outlook: A lack of weather fronts in the 7 day forecast will provide a steady barometer and light winds. There are a few snook on the beach and some tarpon in Pine Island Sound. Lots of white bait around too.  Snook, trout and jacks are on the backcountry flats. 

Continue

Charlotte Harbor / Pine Island Sound Fishing Report March 31st, 2015

2015-03-22-snook-mikeF

Conditions: Water temps have fallen into the high 70s due a weekend cold front but will rebound quickly. Good tidal flow will get the fish feeding again.

Bait: threadfin herring, pinfish, shrimp

Species to target this week: Redfish, Seatrout, Jacks, Ladyfish, Bluefish.

Fishing Tactics: Fish structure early and mangroves later in the day.

My Fly Fishing Tip of the Week: Fish will be staged on the edges in deeper water until mid day when the flat warm.

My Spin Fishing Tip of the Week: Fish deep along edges with jigs until mid day then swap to suspending baits and move to the shallows as the water warms.

 

7 day outlook: The cold front from the past weekend is long gone and the water temps will rebound by mid week. Early afternoon high tides will provide good moving water. Its going to be a great week!

2015-03-24-killough-snook-sm

Continue

Greg Killough - Jack Crevalle on 8wt Orvis Helios 2 in Matlacha Refuge

Greg hooked and landed this nice jack on a shrimp pattern in 12” of water on one of my favorite oyster beds in Matlacha National Wild Refuge. We didn’t get the redfish portion of his inshore slam but this bruiser make up for it. Fantastic job Greg! 

Continue

Charlotte Harbor / Pine Island Sound Fishing Report March 24th, 2015

Both Matlacha and Ding Darling Preseves have great fishing this week. Here's Greg Killough and a nice Jack caught on an Orvis Helios 2 8wt fly rod. Greg also caught seatrout and snook. 

2015-03-24-killough-jack-sm

Conditions: Water temps are in the high 70s to low 80s. A mild cold front will be arriving late in the week slight chance of afternoon showers and light winds through the weekend.

Bait: threadfin and greenback herring, pinfish, shrimp, crabs

Species to target this week: Snook, Redfish, Seatrout, Jacks, Ladyfish, Spanish Mackerel.

Fishing Tactics: With water temps rising the mid day fishing will be slow. Fish the morning tides for the best action.

My Fly Fishing Tip of the Week: Snook will be cruising the mangrove edges at the tide rises. Redfish will be near the oyster beds as the tide ebbs.

My Spin Fishing Tip of the Week: Suspending twitch baits and soft plastic on light jig heads fished slow along the mangrove shadows can be productive.

7 day outlook: Higher water levels in mornings will allow for easier access to the backwaters.

Continue

Charlotte Harbor / Pine Island Sound Fishing Report March 15th, 2015

04-02-14-redfishConditions: Water temps in the high 70s to low 80s and mid day high tides. This is the week for an inshore slam.

Bait in the Area: scaled sardines, pinfish, shrimp, crabs, some threadfin herring.

Species to target this week: Snook, Redfish, Seatrout, Jacks, Ladyfish.

Fly Fishing Tactics: Start the day around the oyster beds and the cuts. As the tide rises and the sun comes up move to the mangroves and creek mouths. Shrimp, crab and small baitfish imitations will all work.

My Fishing Tip of the Week: Redfish will be around oyster beds at low tide and move to the mangroves and creek mouths as the tide rises.

My Spin Fishing Tip of the Week: The old standby gold spoon or Mirro Lure jerk bait are the hot set up right now. If the bite falls off swap to a live shrimp on a jig head.    

7 day Outlook: Wow what a week! Dry all week temps in the 80s and light winds. Great morning incoming tides should provide consistent action. 

Continue

Charlotte Harbor / Pine Island Sound Fishing Report March 9th, 2015

2014-03-012-redfish1

(file photo)

Conditions: We will see temps in the 80s and there will be a chance of off and on showers with light winds throughout the week. Water temps will be in the low to mid 70s. No red tide is predicted. There will be Mid-day ebb tides of average height early in the week and neap tides at the end of the week.

Bait: threadfin herring, pinfish, shrimp, crabs

Species to target this week: Redfish, Seatrout, Snook, Jacks, Ladyfish, Bluefish. Maybe a cobia or baby tarpon.

Fishing Tactics: Make your redfish presentations to the edges of potholes in grass flats. Baitfish and shrimp imitations will work best. Seatrout will be on banks near grass. Chartreus or hot pink Clousers will be productive.

My Fly Fishing Tip of the Week: The Redfish on the grass flat will be spooky. Stake out or drift and watch for schools of reds moving over the flats. Long casts and stealth will be key in hooking up.

7 day outlook: Trout and redfish are moving onto the grass flats Pine Island Sound. In the upper harbor the Redfish are in the holes around the mangroves. The Snook are getting more active as the water warms. 

Continue

Charlotte Harbor / Pine Island Sound Fishing Report February, 24th, 2015

2015-02-24gillies-trout

Conditions: Warmer weather has allowed the water temps to rebound into the high 60s – low 70s. Low water levels exist especially during northerly winds. No red tide has been detected.

Bait: threadfin herring, pinfish, shrimp

Species to target this week: Redfish, Snook, Seatrout, Jacks, Ladyfish, Bluefish.

Fly Fishing Tactics: As the water temps get into the 70s the redfish and snook will move back into the shallows along the mangroves. Seatrout will be on the grass flats.

My Light Tackle Fishing Tip of the Week: Moving water is the key to finding snook and redfish. Deep holes at creek mouths will hold redfish. Mangrove points will hold snook.

7 Day Outlook: Morning fog early in the week. Some rain is predicted for Thursday and Friday. Light to moderate winds and temps in the mid 60s to mid 70s

 

Continue

Seatrout and Ladies in Matlacha Pass

Warming waters bring the bite back to Matlacha Pass. Seatrout and ladyfish woke up today. Redfish are moving back onto the oyster beds and the snook are moving back on the sand flats. This week is going to be good! Thanks to good friend Gordon Gillies for joining me today.

 

Continue

Charlotte Harbor / Pine Island Sound Fishing Report February, 17th, 2015

 

2012-05-redfish-stelzer-1

Light Tackle and Fly Fishing Conditions: Low water conditions will exist due the combination of astronomical tides and northerly winds. Water temps should rebound to the mid 60s during the weekend.

Bait: threadfin herring, pinfish, shrimp

Species to target this week: Redfish, Seatrout, Jacks, Ladyfish, Bluefish.

 Fishing Tactics: Work deep holes and grass flats for Redfish and seatrout where you will find warmer water. Snook fishing will be slow until the water temps rebound.

 My Fishing Tip of the Week: When the water temps drop use slow and deep fly  presentations.  

 7 day outlook: A cold will bring dropping temps and gusty Northerly winds mid week. By the weekend the temps will rebound and so will the fishing.

 

Continue

Charlotte Harbor / Pine Island Sound Fishing Report February, 9th, 2015

 

 

 

Conditions: Water temps in the 60s, no red tide detected, Average tides with morning ebbs. NW winds midweek will drain a bit more water from the backcountry than the tide predictions indicate.

 

Bait: threadfin herring, pinfish, shrimp

 

Fishing Tactics: Morning ebb tide will expose oyster beds. You’ll find Redfish, seatrout and other species there. As the tide rises move to points and cuts where the current is moving for snook and more Redfish action.

 

My Fishing Tip of the Week: Start presenting your flies well before reaching the exposed portion of oyster bars.  Redfish will be cruising the transition between the bed and the flat. Sinking crab and shrimp patterns with slow strips work best.

 

7 day outlook: Highs will be in the 70s with lows in the 40s and 50s. Strong NW winds on Tuesday otherwise light. Water temps remain in the 60s 20-30% chance of showers Monday and Tuesday.

 

Continue

Charlotte Harbor / Pine Island Sound Fishing Report 02-02-15

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.

2012-04-trout1

Continue

Boca Grande / Pine Island Sound Fishing Report 06-22-14

 


Fishing Conditions: Wind and rain have clouded up the water a bit. The backcountry water has cooled off due to the rains.

 

Bait Currently in Pine Island Sound and Charlotte Harbor: Pass crabs, Scaled sardines, threadfin herring, glass minnows, pinfish, shrimp, ladyfish

 

Fly Fishing Technics: Summer fishing; go early and get in before the storms. Sight casting is tuff do to water clarity so blind casting is a viable option. Visibility is a two way street – the tarpon and snook can’t see you as well too!

 

Fishing Tip of the Week:  The backcountry is producing better with the rain cooled water fish the falling tides when the redfish and snook come out from under the mangroves.

 

7 Day Outlook: Snook will be more plentiful in the sound and on the beaches. The mangroves and oyster reefs will hold good numbers of redfish. Tarpon continue to in good numbers along the beaches.

 

Continue

Boca Grande / Pine Island Sound Fishing Report 06-14-14

 

06-14-14-tarpon-roll6


Fishing Conditions: Summer light tackle and fly fishing conditions are here. Eeasterly winds shifting onshore by mid day. Afternoon and evening thunderstorms are now common. The backcountry water levels are moderate to high and temps are in the mid 80s. The beach waters are mostly clear providing good sight fishing opportunities.
Bait Currently in Pine Island Sound and Charlotte Harbor: Pass crabs, Scaled sardines, threadfin herring, glass minnows, pinfish, shrimp, ladyfish
Fishing Conditions: Beach- Watch for rolling tarpon along the beaches early. Then stake out along contours as soon as the light gets good. Back Country- Go early and fish the falling tides when the redfish and snook will be out from under the mangroves.
Fishing Tip of the Week:  When fishing for tarpon, snook or redfish; change flies / lures after every refusal. Alternate between baitfish and crab / shrimp imitations.
7 Day Outlook: June is a great time for tarpon fly fishing. Watch for those afternoon storm though.

 

Continue

Steve Holcomb from Casper, WY Fly Fishing for Tarpon in Boca Grande / Charlotte Harbor

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!

Continue

Charlotte Harbor Fly and Light Tackle Tarpon Fishing Report 05-26-14

 

2014-05-26-jump

Boca Grande / Charlotte Harbor Fishing Conditions: We have settled in to our summer weather pattern finally! Light winds, water temps in the low 80s, and the tarpon are now everywhere along the beaches of Gasparilla, Cayo Costa and Captiva Islands. The best tarpon fishing of the 2014 season started this week.

Other Species Fished for This Week: Snook and Redfish

Fly Fishing Technics: Stake out along the beach and watch for fish moving both to and from the Passes.

Tarpon Light Tackle Fishing Tip of the Week: White bait and crabs are working equally well right now. I recommend using circle hooks. Please try to land and release your fish quickly. The sharks are lying in wait for spent tarpon…

Charlotte Harbor Fishing Outlook: Light winds and flat seas will provide excellent fishing conditions all this week. Tarpon ate moving to and from the Passes in large numbers. It will take a day or two for the tarpon to settle down from all the intense Memorial weekend fishing pressure. By mid-week we should see excellent fishing.

 

Continue

Charlotte Harbor & Pine Island Sound Tarpon and Snook Fishing Report

0214-5-19-tarpon-jump 2014-05-17-snook-bogue3

Charlotte Harbor Fishing Conditions: A strong cold front settled in on Wednesday of last week with strong N & NW winds which killed the tarpon fishing. There was a small bite on Wednesday before the winds picked up. The Boca Grande Kids Classic Tarpon Tournament was cancelled on Saturday due to rough conditions and the adult tourney landed 22 fish on Thursday and ZERO on Friday… The schools of tarpon moved offshore and even if they hadn’t the beaches were so rough and churned up we couldn’t fish. The wind is still blowing 20+NE today (Sunday) but the tarpon are already moving back to the beach with the wind shift.

Other Species Fished for This Week: Snook and Redfish

Fly Fishing Technics: We staked out on the shoals until the conditions made it impossible to fish. Then we worked areas in the sound for laid up tarpon. When the wind came on even stronger late in the week we went snook fishing.
Tarpon Fishing Tip of the Week: Fishing the shoals on high wind and swells can be challenging. The Tarpon run deep and are hard to spot until they are almost under the boat. Switching to a sink tip or even a shooting head line and a weighted fly will allow for quick casts and a fast sink.

Tarpon Fishing Tip of the Week: Fishing the shoals on high wind and swells can be challenging. The Tarpon run deep and are hard to spot until they are almost under the boat. Switching to a sink tip or even a shooting head line and a weighted fly will allow for quick casts and a fast sink.

Charlotte Harbor Fishing Outlook: Moderate NE winds will persist until mid-week this will allow for pretty good beach fishing conditions though the passes will be choppy. The tarpon have returned and the bite is back on.

Continue

Fly Fishing for Snook and Redfish near Pine Island with Carroll and Lila Ware

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.  

Continue

Snook and Redfish Fly Fishing in Matlacha National Wildlife Refuge

05-09-14-ware-refish

05-09-14-ware-snook2We had a great week fly fishing the island of Pine Island Sound for tarpon snook and reds. Carroll and Lila Ware from Fins and Furs Adventures in Skowhegan, Maine caught snook and redfish fly fishing the backcountry on Friday morning before heading to the airport for their flight.  We were poling and sight casting in the Matlacha National Wildlife Refuge. That afternoon I took Artie Mabbett back to the same area and we sight fished to numerous 30”- 40” snook in 2 feet of water. We also had some nice action on redfish cruising the oyster reefs. With water temps in the low 80s and air temps in the high 80s mid-day and early afternoon fishing can be challenging but by staying a long cast from the fish, and trying different flies patterns you will be rewarded. I love fishing Charlotte Harbor and the surrounding waters this time of year!   

Continue

Charlotte Harbor / Gulf Beaches Tarpon Fishing Report

 

jump11

Charlotte Harbor / Pine Island Sound Fishing Conditions: Though we had a dry week, the wind and clouds were challenging.  Visibility on the beaches was not good. The tarpon and snook were on us before we could get set up in many cases. Fishing in the Sounds was much easier though blind casting rather than sightfishing was the best tactic.

 

Other Species Fished for This Week: Redfish, Snook, Trout, Shark

 

Fly Fishing Technics: Use sink tips or sinking intermediate lines along edges and in holes. Present your fly in the lower half of the water column when blind casting.

 

Spin fishing Technics: Suspended twitch baits are working great right now on reds, snook and trout. Yes, even tarpon like twitch baits but make sure you change out the hooks to ones that can take the abuse.

 

Tarpon Fishing Tip of the Week: Start early and blind cast edges and depressions in areas where tarpon are rolling. 6-10’ of water is best. You may jump your first tarpon before the lights come on!

 

Charlotte Harbor / Pine Island Sound Fishing Outlook: The persistent South quadrant winds will be subsiding. The water clarity on the beaches and in the Sounds will improve. Tarpon fishing will get better daily. Snook will be active on the beaches and around the docks in the ICW. Afternoon  redfishing should be productive.

 

Continue

Charlotte Harbor Tarpon Fly Fishing Report

 

2014-tarpon-boatside2

Charlotte Harbor Fishing Conditions: A few pods of tarpon are now showing up on the beaches. Individual fish are spread throughout the Sound. Water clarity has improved and there are schools of bait showing up. Water temps are rising into the mid 70’s.

Fly Fishing Technics: We spent this week fly fishing Upper Pine Island Sound for rolling and laid up tarpon. Slow sinking flies work best.

Tarpon Fishing Tip of the Week: Start early and watch for rolling tarpon. Blind cast to close by edges and deep holes.

Other Species Fished for This Week: Snook, Seatrout and Redfish

Charlotte Harbor Tarpon Fishing Fishing Outlook: Stable weather will allow the water temps to rise into the upper 70s. Pods of tarpon should become more common along the beaches from Captiva to Boca Grande.

 

Continue

Subscribe To Captain Dave's Blog