As we approach the winter solstice and after just working the new moon tides this week, several observations come to mind. Water quality was better than we expected to the south south in Pine Island Sound and a mixed bag north along the east side of the harbor between Punta Gorda and Pirate Harbor. All in all, both areas held fish.
In Pine Island , we were expecting the Lake Okeechobee releases to be a problem but the water has been crystal clear and the bite has been good. In particular, the spotted sea trout bite has been excellent. Keep in mind, they’re one of the first species to be affected by poor water quality. Kind of like the canary in the coal mine.
Along the east side of the upper harbor, even though we ran into areas of dead floating mats of stringy grass, we managed some nice trout and saw and caught some nice redfish. Here, this areas location in the back of the harbor and its inability to flush in and out new water is part of the problem. However, even though the water is more tannic back here than the sound, it was still clear for the most part. On low water, the amount of dead grass on the mangrove roots was very apparent. Here, a small shrimp pattern was our best producing fly.
All in all, it has been an incredible week spending time on the low tides. Birds are working the flats and its been encouraging seeing quite a few skiffs poling the flats throwing fly. It’s a great sport, come with us and see for yourself. Let’s chat.

Red fish tail

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