Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Summer Redfishing, Matlacha Pass

Even though the summer is not the prime redfish season here on Pine Island, we’ve had great luck with them lately, especially just to the north and south of Matlacha Pass. These reds are not on the flats but hiding deep under our mangrove shorelines. The secret to pulling them out of the bushes has been live shrimp and very light leaders. The fish in the above photos were taken using 2/0 Owner hooks tied to 15# fluorocarbon and 20# Power-Pro braided line.

Right now it seems that we’re catching either perfectly legal, slot sized reds, or very small ones that the locals call puppy drum. The fish pictured to the right were only about 8 inches in length and were feeding in the same spot as the keepers shown above.

The waters in Matlacha Pass have been exceptionally warm lately, around 90 degrees at midday. That’s hotter than usual for great redfishing, but we’ve been making it happen. I’m not drawing any conclusions about this streak of good luck but I think it means we’ll have an excellent fall season when redfish are in their prime.