Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Coming Soon...

This is a (not very good) shot from last summer, but the tarpon are already here and once the winds lay down it'll be a much more common sight each morning.  When I was down in Key West three weeks ago they had just started flooding into the backcountry at the start of their annual migration.  We usually see these same tarpon about a month later up here on Pine Island.  The juveniles are already coming out of their freshwater hiding spots and the bigger spawning schools will be running the beaches any day now.  Last season was a bit of a disappointment so I'm keeping my fingers crossed that we'll have a much stronger flood of tarpon this year. 

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Through The Guides

This is a really great video:

Through The Guides from The Noble Lab on Vimeo.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Thanks, March

I haven't written many posts this month because I've been fishing every day and am usually exhausted when I get home.  I've also slacked on the pictures this week because we've had a lot of overcast days and the light has been terrible for the most part.  The good news is that we're still doing very well with redfish (on spinning gear) as well as big trout and mostly undersized snook.  The one above was the smallest of the month and too cute not to photograph.  I did have an angler bring a slot legal snook on a 2/0 Deceiver to the boat but thanks to the 15# leader I tied for him, it never came out of the water.  Lesson learned once again.  Fish for big snook with the same tackle you'd use for juvenile tarpon and 30# shock leader is a must. 

Monday, March 21, 2016

Captive Bonefish Breeding In The Keys

Here's an interesting article from the Key West Citizen.  While I disagree with some of the more pessimistic estimates of the species current population, a careful bonefish stocking program would be a positive thing if done properly. 

Sunday, March 13, 2016

March Redfish On The Fly

It's been blowing like hell out there all week but the best thing about Matlacha Pass and Pine Island Sound is that you can always find a leeward shoreline.  The dozen islands just west of the Pineland area offer miles of perfect shorelines to hug no matter what the wind is doing, and that's where I've been hooking some beautiful redfish these last few days.  They aren't as hungry as I'd like but they'll definitely eat a well placed crab pattern.  As an added bonus, the water up there is still as clear as it should be this time of year, which you can easily see in the top photo. 

Thursday, March 10, 2016

The New Beavertail Air In Key West

I tagged along with Beavertail Skiffs owner Will Leslie and film maker Chris Helt last weekend when we took the all new 18' BT Air down to Key West for its first serious fishing trip.  The boat was handed off to a couple of the island's best guides, Capt. Mike Bartlett and Capt. Will Benson, and it performed brilliantly.  I'll have a very detailed review of this skiff along with all the performance numbers later this week.  The Air is another home run from Beavertail and you can see it in person this weekend at the free Germain Arena Boat Show starting at 10AM on Saturday. 

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Pine Island In March

Back from Key West and on the fish off Pine Island. We're not rewriting the record book out there but the water is still clear out in the Sound and full of life. Here's a few catches from the last few days.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

RedFish, Brown Water

We caught this small red a few days ago just a mile an a half north of the Caloosahatchee River. The water was still dark as coffee and barely salty but full of fish. The bite was exceptionally slow but that had more to do with the cold front that passed through two days earlier and dropped the water down into the very low 60's. We're warming up nicely and the trout bite is on fire through much of Matlacha Pass. The freshwater lake releases are slowing and the water will start looking normal again very soon.