By Captain George Hastick
June 13, 2014
Snook are in full swing but out of season so please handle them with extreme care. If a picture is to be taken, first revive your fish while someone else gets the camera ready and then take pictures while supporting the belly,then get them back in the water and revive them until they are ready to go, so they may live another day to bring joy to another person or kid. Many of the large females have worked their way out to the beaches along with the males who have followed them. You can still also find them along the mangrove shorelines like Weedon Island, 4th street, Picnic island and the south shore area. Scaled sardines have been the ticket with the larger baits catching the larger fish. My set up has been a TFO signature series ML rod with 10lb Spiderwire stealth braided line, 25-30 fluorocarbon leader and a 2/0 owner mutu light circle hook.
Redfish have been in large schools but can also be found in smaller packs that sometimes seem more willing to bite when the large schools have lock jaw. Cut bait like pinfish, ladyfish, scaled sardines etc will all entice the redfish to bite. Nice fish from 20-38 inches have been coming to the boat lately. These fish are hard fighters and earn their name as bruisers of the flats. The same set up as above will work just fine. Look for the reds to be near oyster mounds, mangroves and roaming the flats near these magnets for bait. The same areas mentioned are also holding redfish along with the Tierra Verde area.
Here is Mike with a couple of nice catches he caught while fishing aboard "The Fish Hunter"
Now we can't forget the Tarpon are here in full force from Boca Grande north to Anclote they are roaming the beaches waiting fo a good presented bait. Crabs, Threadfin herring, scaled sardines and pinfish are all on the menu for the tarpon. The real bite happens on the strong outgoing tides in the passes when the crab flush is happening. This is when you want to drift the pass with a pass crab on a 5/0 hook with 50-80lb leader, 50lb braid