Located in southwest Florida on Charlotte Harbor ,the states second largest open water estuary, Punta Gorda provides direct access to what is a pristine estuary of national significance. In fact, 1/5 of penninsular Florida drains into Charlotte Harbor. An estuary is a partially enclosed body of water where fresh water from the land and rivers mixes with salt water. In southwest Florida, the Gulf of Mexico provides the salt water. Out of Punta Gorda, the Peace and Myakka Rivers provide the fresh water.

A Healthy estuary can be one of the most productive places on earth for marine wildlife.  Typically, 80 to 90% of Florida’s commercially valuable fish and shellfish depend on estuaries. The vast amount of mangrove shorelines and seagrass beds are a vital component for fish nurseries and bird rookeries. Moreover, the vast majority of juvenile game fish species that use our estuary to mature and grow never leave. They become resident adults throughout the bays and sounds that surround the harbor.

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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