...has been a different and strange one for sure! The truth is that it was nothing like the previous couple years. The Sea Trout bite is generally the best during the Winter and Spring in clear cool waters. It was way off this year compared to past. We did at times consistently catch some smaller Sea Trout in the 14”to 17” range and sometimes those were even tough to find. It was nothing like the 25”er we had in previous years. The Redfish were on the small side too. I believe the lack of fish and quality of fish was due to the unusually low salinity level and stained water that we had in the marsh. We had higher than normal rain amounts and run off during this spring. What really threw me for a BIG surprise was seeing a huge Garfish that looked to be over 10lbs. and approx. 30-35” long in early May swim ever so slowly past my boat in 3 ft. of water! That’s a first for me to ever see a fresh water fish in the salt marsh! Needless to say that water and weather conditions play a big roll in fishing. On the more positive side we did get a strong run of spring-run Ladyfish, Bluefish and Jack Crevalle in April and early May to save the days. The sight fishing for backing Reds was fair and ran mostly into laid up Redfish on the mud flats with lock jaw. I saw my first Roseate Spoonbill wading in the shallows on May 5th which tells me that the shrimp are on their way back which activates the Reds more for sight fishing and catching on fly. As we enter June we can begin to look for tailing Redfish in flooded grass flats which generally lasts into early November and fly fishing the ocean surf in May-June for a mix of different fish. Tight loops and lines all!
Tom S. from Jacksonville with a Ladyfish