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How are the near shore reefs doing post Red Tide Disaster 2018...

Will be down there for a few weeks in May/June.  Primary target will be tarpon but like to run out to some of the close in public #'s (within 10 miles) for some variety and a break from the tarpon grind.  Mangos, Permit, cobia, grouper, etc...  Have caught pretty much everything there over the years.  Wondering how those reefs are recovering after the horrible red tide last year.  Want to start to get my plans together and if I need to go deeper, I will.  How far out are you guys going until you are seeing productive bottom fishing?

Tight Lines...
In Loving Memory of James Zielske, January 19, 1957-July 5, 2013


  • JoesarantiJoesaranti Posts: 71 Deckhand
    I was out at the causeway reef this morning with 15 boats around me and I saw a tiny fish caught on another boat. We caught 3 Lady fish right on the bottom in a couple of hours of fishing. I cruised over all my usual spots and saw the structure but did not see any fish. I started the day planning to go to Sherman's reef so i went through PIS to Redfish pass and headed out. The weather was the ****! Went to Causeway from Redwood Pass and never saw a bird dive or a tripletail on the 100s of buoys i flew by. We then fished causeway reef on spots that always produce. We didnt catch crap!
    Then I headed out to Edison reef where there were a dozen boats. I put the trolling gear in an went round and round on all the high points without getting close to the anchored boats. I trolled for a hour or so and never saw any fish on the depth finder. I never saw anyone catch anything. There was a dive boat out there and I was trolling at least 150 yards off its bow when I see bubbles coming up 20 yards straight in front of my bow. I turned to the Port and threw the outboard in reverse.  I almost ran this dumb **** over! He surfaced and I yelled at him and he just said I saw a sea fan. maybe he was deaf? When I dive I hear the outboard from a half mile. It was obvious to me that Edison was a pretty much void of any fish so I headed southwest trolling for Kings. We trolled for 15 minutes and caught a false albicore  about 8 pounds. Then we trolled another 15 minutes and caught another one abut 12 lbs.  After that we picked up headed in and stopped on a few other spots for nothing.  I hope things get better as the water warms. Unfortunately The Red Tide did damage that will last for a decade. Maybe longer The trout population is pretty much gone. You have to go 50 miles out to catch a keeper grouper. There is nothing on the beach  not even a Jack. I would say that South West Florida should be last on the list as fishing destinations. Very Sad!   The truth is the truth  
  • Westwall01Westwall01 Posts: 5,452 Admiral
    Went out today to the close in reefs and saw a few fish reeled in but nothing to talk about. I agree the Trout population was decimated, though there a few guys bringing them in....which I just can figure out why????
  • gruntkinggruntking Posts: 844 Officer
    edited March 2019 #4
    Fishing has been very good on the nearshore stuff. This late, cold weather hasn’t helped however. Tons of bait in PIS. Lots of sheep, tripletail and cobia in between fronts. Trout are surprisingly plentiful.
  • NoreastSalt3295NoreastSalt3295 Posts: 617 Officer
    edited March 2019 #5
    Today sucked out there, that's for sure. But not all days have been bad. And I did get a bunch of trout in PIS this afternoon, some very nice. They've definitely been coming back. I don't even bring them in the boat though, just boga them in the water and unhook.
    There has been lots of bait coming in nearshore, with plenty of other critters following along when conditions have been right...
  • AnEnglishFishermanAnEnglishFisherman Posts: 153 Deckhand
    Glad to hear there has been a bit of a pick up with the trout action. They are one of my favourite Florida species and I've probably caught more of them than anything else in my visits over the last few years so it was sad to hear they had been hit so badly. 
  • TarponatorTarponator Posts: 19,952 AG
    The permit fishing won't miss a beat if history repeats itself.  Can't speak to much else.  Good luck.
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