As we approach the height of summer, the combination of midday heat and afternoon thunderstorms put an emphasis on getting out early. Hopefully, realizing that this period provides some of the lightest winds we’ll see all year helps ease some of the pain associated with setting the alarm clock. With the exception of looking for snook in the surf, i’ll typically begin moving off the beaches and into the harbor. Due to water temperatures, I won’t venture too far into the backcountry and will instead spend most of my time around the intracoastal and bar systems on the harbor’s perimeter.  Snook and redfish will be moving up and down adjacent shorelines.

Adjacent to the intracoastal, flats and shorelines on both sides from Stump Pass in Lemon Bay down to the beginning of the idle zone at Placida can be good. On the other side of the Boca Grande Causeway, anywhere from Catfish Creek in Gasparilla Sound down to Useppa Island in northern Pine Island Sounds is worth a look. Inside the harbor, I like bar systems directly affected by tides flushing in from Boca Grande Pass. To the north, the entire bar from Cape Haze Point at the lower end of the west wall to Cayo Pelau at the bottom of Gasparilla Sound can hold some good fish. To the south, the system from Jug Creek to Smokehouse Bay on the northern end of Pine Island can fish well.

In the heat, spotted sea trout will be lethargic but can provide an early bite. The best bet should be some of the deeper holes in Lemon Bay and Pine Island Sound. Proximity to Gulf passes is key and two to four feet is best.

Tarpon are still a viable option and look for groups to school up in the deeper holes of the upper harbor as well as the bridges. In particular, the mouth of the Myakka outside the bridge is a good spot and will only get better as we move into August. In addition, smaller juvenile fish should begin showing between the bar and outside shorelines on both the east and west walls.

Lemon, blacktip, and bull sharks will be scattered throughout the area. The artificial reefs at Cape Haze and Alligator Creek are good spots as is the mouth of Rocky Channel in Pine Island Sound.

Lastly, the mangrove snapper bite on the hill just inside Boca Grande Pass at about 30 feet can be fun and is a great spot to take the family.

Spring is coming to the Golden Isles

With the advent of Spring, our waters begin warming.  68 to 70 degrees is the magic temperature.  The big winter schools of reds begin to break up and we are able to find them in more places.  Trout come up from the depths and gather around oyster beds and grass.  In May we expect the first "tailing" tides of the year where the reds get into the grass and tail aggressively grubbing for fiddler crabs.  Tailing redfish in the grass is classic, southern fly fishing for redfish.

In St. Simons we have an interesting fishery chasing free floating triple tail just 1-3 miles off of the beaches.  This is an unusual behavior because they are not floating close to structure.  They are simply free floating.  We look for these fish by idling around just off the beaches.  When I see one, I motor close to it and try put you in a good position for a cast.  The flies are generally lightly weighted or unweighted flies that mimic small shrimp or bait fish.  If you make a good presentation a little beyond and in front of the fish, you may come tight with a triple tail up to 20 pounds.  Triple tail are a hard fighting fish that jumps and runs.  I have said many times, if you can imagine how hard a 10 pound blue gill would pull, that is how hard a Triple Tail pulls.  This pattern runs from late March until June or July.  

At this time of year, I like to combine a red fish and Triple tail trip.  As in all sight fishing, a clear day with light wind makes for the fishing.  So, click the link below to inquire on booking a trip for a species I would bet you have never caught on fly.

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