Monday, January 3, 2011

Fly Fishing For Redfish: Useppa and Pine Island

My buddy Capt. Mike Bartlett came up from Key West to chase some of our big Pine Island redfish.  The water temps in Charlotte Harbor shot up almost ten degrees in the past 24 hours and this gave us a thick fog all morning.  That didn't matter very much since a negative low tide and dead calm winds in the Sound had the reds tailing everywhere.  Less than ten minutes after we started poling a huge flat close to Useppa Island Mike was casting to a huge orange tail rooting in the grass.  The fish pounded the slider and after a handful of strong runs he had the 30 inch red in the boat, his biggest on fly to date.  My Matlacha neighbor Bill Heindl almost matched this catch a short time later with a 29 incher of his own.  Since both of these fish were over the maximum slot limit they were released after the photos.