Up The Creeks For Pine Island Reds and Tarpon

Thanks to the huge moon and more boat traffic than ever, I couldn't put my charter on anything decent yesterday on any of my favorite spots. Since I finally had some time to myself this morning I decided to do a little exploring and find where all the fish were hiding. There was a great incoming tide in Matlacha Pass around 10AM so I let the current carry me into one of the longer creeks in the north part of Buzzard Bay. I started seeing a lot of fish when the water started turning the same color as cherry soda. I was casting an 8wt fly rod and a 3/0 deer hair slider since I thought spinning tackle would make too much noise.

This was my first hookup, a nice little rat red.

I kept floating with the current until it was obvious that my skiff wasn't going any further. The creek was more than deep enough but it got very narrow. That's where the first baby tarpon were rolling. I switched to a 7wt with a 1/0 Toad pattern that would splash down even lighter. It worked.

It wasn't a big fish, maybe 10 pounds tops, but a tarpon is a tarpon.

After that hookup the little school moved further up the creek but my Beavertail with its 82 inch beam couldn't keep after them without making a lot of noise crashing through the branches. Those of you with Gheenoes or kayaks would have a lot of luck up in these waterways right now. I headed back out into Buzzard Bay to work the shorelines for a bigger red. I found him after about ten minutes casting with the 8wt and big deer hair fly.

That fish would have been a real tournament winner, right at the 27 inch mark and heavy. It was one of the nicest slot sized redfish I've seen in a long time. Not bad for three hours on a busy Sunday after a very bright moon. I just wish I could have done the same for my paying charter I had on the bow the day before.


  • GatorInPISoundGatorInPISound Posts: 543 Officer
    Nice report. Lots of information that many people should appreciate and take advantage of.....
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]Trust in the LORD and receive HIS many blessings....
  • BinderBinder Posts: 3,855 Captain
    Thanks for the report. Sorry to hear about your charter.
  • fishingkid315fishingkid315 Posts: 1,941 Captain
    Wow nice fish and pictures espically on the fly!
    Fishing, Photography, Life
  • bonitabobbonitabob Posts: 675 Officer
    Nice fish and great pics!
  • Capt. Gregg McKeeCapt. Gregg McKee Posts: 201 Officer
    Thanks guys. It's kind of hard to take those shots one handed so I'm glad you like them. On a follow up, it was such a nice day that I decided to head out again just before sunset with my dad and try for a snook and trout to complete the Grand Slam. I couldn't find a single snook (which were everywhere last week) but we did manage to land a pile of trout. The best one was this 23 inch toothless gator from just north of Matlacha.

  • larrywittlarrywitt Posts: 2,510 Moderator
    Thank you!!!
  • BostonIrishBostonIrish Posts: 53 Deckhand
    Awesome!! Great Tarpon shot!
  • TimGleasonTimGleason Posts: 281 Deckhand
    Nice job on the Tarpon and Red Gregg. Jealous! Hope to be down in 5 or 6 weeks. /tg
  • FinfinderFinfinder Posts: 9,515 Admiral
    nice boat
  • jnicotra21jnicotra21 Posts: 33 Deckhand
    Awesome! Thanks for that report, I have never thought to fish deep into those creeks before. I will have to take my kayak back there soon.
  • Capt. Gregg McKeeCapt. Gregg McKee Posts: 201 Officer
    Kayaks can really be the way to go around here on certain tides. There are some days that I'll throw one on the bow of my Beavertail and use it to float into a promising looking mangrove lake that I've seen on a chart or GoogleEarth just to take a look. Keep in mind that there is a great kayak/fly shop right off Pine Island Road called Florida Paddlesports if you want to rent a boat or pick up some flies. Check them out at www.floridapaddlesports.com.

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