Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Matlacha Fishing Report: Redfish Season!

Montana angler Mike O'Brian with a 23 inch red caught on a Berkely Gulp.

Everyone in SW Florida knows that September is one of the best months of they year to catch just about anything down here.  We still have lots of juvenile tarpon rolling all around Matlacha in the early morning hours and the trout bite is really turning on in the afternoons.  The real stars of the show right now are the redfish.  When the tides start rising, the reds come out of the woodwork on just about every grass flat in Matlacha Pass. Getting a bait right in front of them in the dark water is still a chore sometimes but when you do they'll almost always eat.  For blind casting on the open flats or along the bushes, a Gulp shrimp under a sliding cork can't be beat. 

If you're a fly fisherman you've got to look for the lowest tides of the day.  These fish will tail like crazy when the water bottoms out but only for a brief amount of time and usually in very tall grass.  Getting their attention can be tricky while they're digging a crab out of the mud so it's important to hit them on the head with the fly.  Reds are very aggressive once they spot a meal and watching one crash into a fly is one of the coolest things you'll ever see. 
Mike's first fly caught red from Matlacha Pass.