This is my most recent article from The Nautical Mile Magazine. The first stop for Southwest Florida marine related information. Click here to view January's column.
When The Wind Blows
Photo Day for the new website
Today I had a Photographer friend of mine from New York take a few photographs for my new website. The morning was perfect and we managed a few small Snook as well.
"Pick A Spot, Any Spot?"
Its "winter" and you'd be hard pressed to find nicer weather anywhere in the country. With winter comes cold fronts and low tides. These can be excellent times to perfect not only how you fish but also where you fish. This time of year when we have extra low tides it can be a great time to get out there and find those spots that will take good care of you in the spring and summer during the higher tides that we have those times of the year. I like to go out on extreme low tides and try to locate the places where I think fish will "fall off" to during those times. What I look for is areas
that are adjacent to very shallow water yet have good access to the deeper cuts and natural
channels . I think that predatory fish like to have the option of a quick escape to deeper water in
case the predator suddenly becomes the prey. When the water is "cold" I think most of our
species want to use as little energy as possible to get the most out of their feeding with a
minimum of expended energy that they can then use to deal with the cooler water when it comes
calling. Fish like snook like it hot so cooler water will keep them from moving too fast . They will
lay in wait for an unsuspecting bait to come by on the tide or current and then from their attack
point they will strike . Finding these spots can be tricky and a few things I like to look for are shade
and sun. I am always trying to present my bait right on or just beyond the shadow line so any fish
nearby can access it easily and they don't have to chase it down too much. Usually I fish a
weighted jighead this time of year so the bait stays relatively stationary where it landed after a
cast. Some other things to look for are areas of mangroves where you see exposed roots
reaching down towards the water. This can be an indicator of slightly deeper water that can hold
fish. I do have some spots where the bushy green leaf covered mangroves are holding fish but I
am always keeping an eye out for places where you can see a mangrove has tipped over towards
the shoreline. This usually creates a small "hole" that fish tend to sit in. Try to picture a tree
uprooted and envision what the root looks like. When a tree falls over the ground under it heaves
up and where the rootball of the tree was is now an empty hole in the ground. When this happens
to a mangrove its all usually under water and it causes a hole . I always think that makes for a
good place to make a cast or two just to see if anyone has taken up residence there. Another
thing I look for is water movement. If the tide moves parallel to a shore line I'll look for trees that
stick out off the shore to create an area of shade over a greater depth than you'd find right on the
edge of the mangroves. I also like to find places where the tide hits a shore head on like at the
corner of a tidal creek where the water flow suddenly turns one direction of the other. This can
also make a deeper area thats well worth dropping a bait into. Almost all of our mangrove
shorelines look like they would hold fish al of the time but these are a few things to keep an eye
out for that might just help you put a few mor fish on the boat.
If you'd like to book a charter of just "talk fishin" give me a call. Captain Charles 2394102515
The Right Knot
Many times when I'm fishing with clients they ask about the knots I use. I've never really been much for all the different names and types of knots that there are. I use a simple loopknot for my line to hook connection . I like a loop knot because it allows the bait just a slight bit more wiggle and freedom of movement for a more natural presentation. Most of the time I use a surgeons knot for my line to leader connection . I like the surgeons knot because its easier to just tie one knot as opposed to using a swivel all the time that must be tied twice, once on each end. Once in a while ,usually when I'm grouper fishing, I'll use a swivel to keep the weight from sliding all the way down to the hook. Other times I'll use a knocker rig that does allow the weight to slide down to the hook , it just depends on what your fishing for and where. I find that the simplest way is the best, as with most things.
Fishing is the same way, simpler is better. I'll try to pattern fish that I know were in one place lately and try to figure where and why they move and what they are looking for . Wild animals, fish included, only have a few jobs to do in their lifetime. First theres procreation . We all know the hows and whys of it and thank goodness that it takes place regularly so we have fish to chase after. The next thing is eating and again thank goodness that fish like/need to do it as well , thats what keeps us coming back. The place to look for is where these two things take place close to each other. Fish that are busy spawning need lots of energy like tasy whitebaits or pinfish so they'll be inclined to eat often and alot. Once you figure out what is motivating fish its easier to get on 'em. Sometimes it doesn't happen so naturally and can be downright frustrating. Just remember K.I.S.S (keep it simple stupid). All that being said it's still mother nature and there is still some randomness to the natural environment that can't be accounted for.
It is such a great gift to be able to see what we get to see regulary. The other day I was pulling up to a shoreline and three dolphins were swimming in just as I was. I figured they might mess up my fishing but instead they kept swimming on by and gave me a chance to get a cast or two. Suddenly from out in open water I hear one of them chasing down a fish. He came screaming in and blasted the mangroves right next to the boat . One of the dolphin came up with a nice redfish still wriggling in its mouth. I knew my fishing was done right then and there. I did manage to catch one redfish before the melee and I felt pretty lucky for it.
If you'd like to book a trip or just talk fishing give me a call 239-410-2515
Capt. Charles l. Epranian