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.