Panhandle Advise, Please

I'll be at St. Andrews State Park in mid-September for a week. Bringing 2, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, and 12 weight (the 12 with a sink tip) fly rods and my kayak. Never fished that far north in Florida before. I figure there will be reds and specks in the bay, but I'm not sure what else will be around that area at that time of the year. Any possibility for tarpon or snook? What about the inlet; what might I snag with big flies on a moving tide along the jetty? In short, what fish will be there then? Any special flies I need to tie? Looking forward to the trip!!

Thanks for any info or suggestions.


  • KlingerKlinger Posts: 1,786 Captain
    Not really an inshore guy, but likely too far north for Snook. Lots of Trout & Reds in the Bay. Probably will be a few Spanish around as well.
    In my many years, I have come to a conclusion that one useless man is a shame,two is a law firm, and three or more is a congress.-- John Adams
  • hipshothipshot Posts: 27 Greenhorn
    Thanks Klinger. It's actually a slightly higher longitude than the Texas coast, but Texas used to have a much better population of tarpon and snook. I believe their decline in Texas is mostly due to environmental issues. I grew up south of Miami, and I caught snook and tarpon all year long down there. Schooling juvie tarpon are just about the most fun you can have on a fly rod......

    Anyway, I was hoping there might be some tarpon or snook up there. If the reds will come out and play I'll be happy. If I can stick something big and bad off the jetty with my 10 or 12 weight, that'll just be a big bonus. Do you reckon any big jacks will come through?
  • reel stamasreel stamas Posts: 6,153 Admiral
    Sept. here should be prime time for (big) Reds (inshore) & Kings (nearshore). No Snook here, but we do have Tarpon (although they are almost impossible to catch (unless you move a few miles east or even farther west) due (apparently) to the traffic/noise around the St Andrews Pass (that makes them 'spooky')... We do get some big Jacks moving thru, but they're 'hit & miss' & so hard to count on (&/or target). Be really careful in our pass in a 'yak... It can be really dangerous (both the current & the boaters)...
    There should be NO Commercial Fishing for any fish species considered 'Over-fished' , 'Undergoing Overfishing' or Subject to Recreational Seasons, Limits, or Closures... Game Fish Status IS the Answer !!!
  • hipshothipshot Posts: 27 Greenhorn
    Thanks reel stamas. I hear you on the pass in a kayak, I fish several passes here in Texas that I wouldn't dare enter in a yak. I was thinking of working the inlet from the rocks with my 10 or 12 weight, if anything big likes to hang there. We used to catch a lot of jacks in south Florida, but not many big ones. Here in Texas they run big, but aren't as prolific. A lot of Texans cuss them as trash fish, but they are a hoot on a fly rod. I'll take a big jack any day, and smile while I rub the linament on my aching muscles that night. I actually have 600 yards of backing on my 12 weight just so a guy I fish with some times can stay anchored when I hook a big jack. Cranking 600 yards of line on a fly reel will wear you out without a big jack pulling on the other end, LOL.

    You said "big reds inshore". Do the bulls get up in the bay, or do they just hang around the pass?
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