Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Pine Island Weather In August

Be careful out there!

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Low Tide Tailers In Matlacha Pass

I love this time of year. Yes, it's still hot as hell in the afternoons and we're getting terrible storms almost every day but the redfish are already schooling up and tailing by the dozens on the flats. You'll only find them doing this at the bottom of the tide, especially when that happens just after sunrise or before sunset.

These shots are from last night when I launched the boat between thunderstorms with my buddies Forrest and Bo. The tide was perfect just south of Matlacha and even though the risk of electrocution was high the payoff was worth it. We easily saw 100 different tailing reds and managed to land one on fly.

This is Pine Island and not Louisiana so that was a good trip in my book. We have the most notoriously spooky redfish on earth around here so if you're reading this and still struggling to catch them on fly, welcome to the club.

One this to keep in mind is that tailing fish, of any species, are hungry fish. They are actively feeding at that moment when their tails are in the air so take the risk and drop your fly (but not your fly line) right on top of them. I've usually found that a slightly aggressive presentation gets rewarded more than it gets rejected. Good luck and go get them.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Coming Soon: The New Beavertail Mosquito

Here's the first shot showing the draft of the all new 2017 Beavertail Mosquito skiff with a 60hp Suzuki outboard. We'll be running this boat in a few days so stay tuned for more photos and performance numbers.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Redfish On The Fly In August

Great news, fly anglers.  The redfish are schooling up and can be found on almost every shoreline in Matlacha Pass. The water is still dark as coffee but blind casting right along the mangroves will pull out fish like this one from McArdle Island this morning.  One big hint.  You're wasting your time if you don't see mullet, and the more the better.  Redfish love following the big mullet schools as they swim right along the mangroves and are just waiting for crabs and shrimp to be flushed from underneath them.  If you don't see mullet jumping along a shoreline then keep moving until you do. 

Thursday, August 18, 2016

2015 Beavertail Ambush For Sale

I'm selling my 2015 Beavertail Ambush solo skiff with its matching 6hp Nissan 4stroke outboard and Continental trailer.  The boat and motor are in new condition with less than 10 hours of actual running time.  Extras include a full Seadek teak cockpit liner, aluminum grab bar, push pole holders and powder coated motor mount.  The 13' Ambush is a seriously fun fishing machine that will float in less than 4" of water and cruise at around 15mph.  This is a true solo skiff and is USCG rated for one passenger only.  The Ambush combo sold new for $5600 and I'm asking $4000 firm.  Please e-mail me back at gmckee1@hotmail.com or call me at 239-565-2960. 

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Addictive Fishing In Stuart Florida

I'm loving this new season of Addictive Fishing for both the beautiful Beavertail Vengeance that Blair is using and the locations where he's filming.  Everyone needs to pay close attention to this episode that was shot a few weeks ago on the east coast where the current water situation is reported as being completely polluted with toxic algae.  Blair and DOA Lures founder Capt. Mark Nichols address that situation while catching some huge snook on very basic artificials.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Low Tide Tails Off Matlacha

Almost any time you see this on the flats north of the island around sunset:

You'll probably also see this:
We've had much lower tides than the charts were predicting these last two nights and the redfish have been tailing like crazy.  They're not eating anything I'm throwing at them but at still nice to see them schooling up like this well before their traditional spawning season. 

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Late Summer Redfish Off Pine Island

Some folks don't like the dark water that always occurs in Matlacha Pass and Pine Island Sound each summer, but it really brings out the colors in our fish, especially the big reds. Andrew from Jacksonville pulled this 26" stunner out of Smokehouse Bay this morning on a live shrimp and took it home for dinner. The further back you get in the tannic bays and creeks the more vibrant the scales on these fish become. We'll start seeing the reds in big breeding schools next month and they'll literally turn the water orange.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Follow The Birds

No matter where you fish in saltwater, diving birds are always an indicator that prey and usually predators are right under the surface.  On the inshore waters around Pine Island you'll basically see three different types of birds hitting the surface that deserve your attention.  Terns, gulls and pelicans are always an indication that bait is present and ready to get eaten.  The gulls in this photo were picking off glass minnows that a school of mid-size jacks were blasting in three feet of water.  The feeding frenzy would only last for about a minute before the jacks kept moving but the birds would bunch up quickly once the attack began a few hundred yards away.  We chased them for an hour that evening and go several hookups on both fly and spin. 

Pelicans are the most common birds you'll see dive-bombing bait in both Matlacha Pass and Pine Island Sound.  If you're planning on throwing a cast net it's a no-brainer to run up and check out what their eating.  Unfortunately, if the pelicans aren't accompanied by some gulls and terns it's not a good sign that bigger fish are lurking below the bait.  I've watched dozens of brown pelicans dive on massive schools of threadfins in Matlacha Pass this summer without a single trout to be found among them.  If at least a pair of royal terns joined the party that meant the jacks or bluefish were already there. 

Friday, August 5, 2016

Big Summer Redfish Off Pine Island

Michael Shopenn from Connecticut is quickly becoming one of my favorite anglers.  He and his wife Gail have been on exactly two fishing trips in their entire lives, both with me this week, and have had fantastic luck each time.  Today was Michael's day to brag with his first redfish, an overslot 33 incher that ate just the head of a shrimp under the bushes near Jug Creek.  This was one of those rare fish that I actually had to chase down with the motor.  Excellent work, Mike.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Summer Sunset

No tailing redfish last night but another excellent sky as a consolation prize.