The month of June has produced some of the hottest flats fishing yet, but stormy conditions had made for some wet days on the water. Calm conditions mixed in have produced large amounts of tailing redfish on the flats. On numerous trips to Everglades National Park there have been schools of these tailing reds in the hundreds. Some days we’re finding singles, doubles and smaller schools. But tailing redfish have been seen every day so far. Every trip so far this month we have managed to catch at least five fish in the 6 to 10 lb category. In the afternoons we are catch larger redfish on top water plugs when the tide is right.
The snook has also shown up in the large numbers, though out of season until September 1st, they make for some great top water lure action. These fish have been crushing the Rapala skitter walk. We are finding on a daily basis from 25 to 60 snook on the flats. Everyday has been producing at least 2 fish of about 10 lbs. and the largest one caught was 16 lbs. Large number of snook are also found along the beaches. June produces great fishing on the flats but also produces some of the most hazardous weather conditions for flats fisherman. When fishing on these flats always keep an eye to the sky and don’t get caught out in the middle of a flat when a thunderstorm is approaching. Work the edges if it looks like it could be a nasty day.
We have also been fishing the Islamorada area for tarpon on the outside flats. A couple of days this month having charters down there have produced massive amounts of tarpon in two days we saw over three hundred tarpon but had only managed to jump 1. The tarpon are full from the worm spawn it seems. However we did find a fly that would turn these tarpon on more than the traditional flies. The tarpon were from 60 to 200 lbs. Some beasts were seen in three feet of water. One was so big that it looked yellow and had “public school bus” written on the side.
While all charters are great, this month I hosted the World Class Sport Fishing Crew from the Outdoor Channel. This class act consisted of Sue Vermillion, producer, Bill Boyce, Host, Rick Westphal on the cameras and our special guest angler Carey Chen. The target specie for this particular show was tarpon. While shooting the crew jumped two and released 1. The weights were between 90 and 130 lbs. Bill was the first to hook up and as tarpon always do, took him straight to the pylons after about 20 minutes and broke him off, the second fish Carey was up and he managed to release his tarpon weighing about 90 lbs. The last fish of the three was short and sweet for Bill as the Circle Hook after four fantastic jumps from this Silver King broke the hook in half. Phone calls will be definitely made to this hook company as it was caught on film. The day couldn’t get better as the morning was flat clam and while traveling out in the early morning we came upon a school of tailing bones. Bill was on the fly rod and made a perfect cast. Bonefish were coming up to eat the fly and a cormorant bird flew over the school and spooked the fish. Being a tarpon shoot we decided to head for the kings, but made some great footage for the show. I would like to thank World Class Sport fishing, Capt. Harry’s Fishing Supply, Ecuagringo S.A., Island Fishing Adventures, Digital Comm Link, Snowy Mountain Outfitters (for flies), Sunshine Embroidery, Just Call Me Hunting and Fishing Worldwide and Carey Chen for making this all possible and a great day.
For all of those who like to fish for the slimy bones and permit, they are showing up in big schools in Biscayne Bay on calm mornings. They are tailing and easy to spot. The average size of bones is 8 to 10 lbs. and the permit are around 20.
Remember be careful on the waters as the storms can creep on you very quickly. Safe fishing and catch you next time.
Tight lines and Gin Clear water!
Capt. Jim Hale