Sunday, July 30, 2017

We're Still Catching Fish And Please Follow Me On Instagram

I've been running this blog for over seven years now and yes, I have really slacked off on the postings these last few months.  I actually have a few legitimate reasons for that, mainly an unbelievably busy season that kicked in last Christmas that had me booked solid until last week.  I'm definitely not complaining about this and the fantastic weather and economy of 2017 has been more than a blessing.  Things have just started to return to a more normal pace and I definitely plan to get back to my schedule of posting photos and fishing reports at least twice a week here. 

I'll also confess that since some friends introduced me to Instagram two years ago I've been far more active on that platform than I ever expected to be.  As an avid photographer and reluctant writer it's been a great outlet for my laziness these last few months.  I can throw up an Instagram post in about two minutes while I usually spend at least an hour creating one on this site.  So if you've been reading this site regularly please click here to catch up with me on Instagram.

At the same time I promise to start posting a bit more regularly on this blog and really want to thank the handful of folks who've contacted me lately about that.  Really appreciate knowing that you guys are out there and reading my stuff. 

Monday, July 10, 2017

July On Pine Island

From this month's Nautical Mile Magazine:

July has always been one of my favorite months to fish on Pine Island.  For starters, every worthwhile species to chase on the flats are here in good numbers.  Tarpon season is still in full swing, big sharks are all over the shallows, redfish will tail on the flat calm mornings, and spawning snook are cruising the beaches.  And best of all, the boat traffic out there, at least on the weekdays, is at a minimum with the snowbirds all back up north.

The only drawback to July is the fact that we're in the middle of summer and the heat and humidity are off the charts.  But that's not exactly a bad thing, especially for fly fishermen looking for smaller tarpon on light tackle. 

Every saltwater fly angler lives for the thought of cruising into a sheltered bay and spotting a school of several dozen slow rolling tarpon.  This is the time of year when that can happen on any given morning around here.  When the waters get greasy calm, that's the time to break out the light to mid-size fly rods and toss 1/0 patterns at 5 to 10 pound fish. 

Baby tarpon school up by the dozens since there is safety in numbers.  They can be almost anywhere but the man-made canals all over Pine Island and Cape Coral are holding them right now and the live bait guys have been catching them with ease with free lined pinfish.  Getting one to hit a fly is a much more difficult chore, and that mostly has to do with the water depth. 

All my fly rods were strung up with weight forward floating lines which are perfect for the flats or clear waters less than 6 feet deep.  They've never worked well in the canals which are very dark and usually around 10 feet deep or more.  I recently started casting a clear tip, intermediate fly line from Royal Wulff on my 9-weight rod and the results were immediate.  Once this line started dragging my flies down and extra couple of feet the canal tarpon started eating. 

Casting an intermediate fly line is a bit of a chore for beginners but once you've done it a few times it becomes a lot of fun.  You can actually shoot these lines for a very long distance compared to the more common floating lines.  They'll definitely get your light flies in front of the deeper swimming tarpon in the canals can be equally effective along the passes off the Gulf islands.  Keep and intermediate line on a spare reel and you'll be surprised how useful it can be this time of year.