Summer Time Rolls — June 30, 2009
It's been a long time, but it's for a good excuse. The fishing has continued to just rock. However, let's not limit to the bay now: the summer patterns have picked up and dad has been slamming the kings and tarpon. I've, for unknown reasons, have been fishing seventy-year olds for the last two weeks. Let me tell you this though, I've watched a 79, 72, and 76 year old absolutely smoke their boatmates. I love watching them fish and have fun picking their brains from life experience. We only learn from those that came before.
We're noticing two very distinct patterns, reds are super skinny, trout are holding out deeper. Find the outside grass line down south by greens and work it north to the Landcut for trout. Colors have been your typical summertime clears and light. I like the Yum! crystal blue and their lime green under a popping cork for clients and on a 1/16th for me. I'm working them about 4 to 6 inches underwater and working them fairly fast. My clients' leaders are typically 8 to 12 inches long. If you try to fish this way, don't be surprised if you have a sow come up and hit your popping cork. I've witnessed it three trips in a row now so I know it's not a fluke.
Redfish have been holding on the sugar sands and on the lee sides of sand pockets. With the amount of floating grass (anyone heard of a jack plate) topwaters have been a challenge, however, I've rigged mine with single hooks. I'm not going much more than 1/0 and for a lighter presentation I've been using number 4s on bigger split rings. Most of my reds, I can't get away from them, have been sight casted from prettty good distances. I'm casting about 20 feet above them and working them back slowly towards them. When I get close, I slow the retrieve and stop when I get over them. Most strikes have been on the restart twitch.
Kingfish are once again in close…scary close on the beach even. Look for mixed in Spinner sharks, smacs, bonito, cero, jacks, and the occasional tarpon. Try topwaters with, once again, single hooks. Dads is going double single hooks, and I'm only going with the forward most split ring with a hook. Easier and safer release for you and the fish.
Tarpon, besides the whiners complaining we are catching too many of their fish while they sit and wait for them to come to the boat, are back and ready and willing to eat. Go north and look for the silver flashes. They are chasing menhaden and are roughly 10 to 300 yards from the beach. Have fun, leave your gaffs at home, use single hooks, and please don't bring them on board for photos. If you want one, idle them in to the beach and revive them in the water as you get photos. There is something priceless about standing in the water with that much power.
Have fun this summer, watch for vibrio (if you get a cut, wash it with alcohol IMMEDIATELY), wear your sunscreen, take a kid fishing, and practice catch & release.