The past two months have flown by in amazingly short time. Great fishing, great customers, but alas, not such great weather. The consensus among my guide buddies is that this was easily the windiest summer any of us can remember. For the most part, it wasn’t windy enough to shut down the fishing offshore completely, but there were a substantial number of days where common sense dictated that fishing inside the ICW would be favorable to getting beat up out in the sloppy and rough ocean. And that was OK, because for the most part, the inshore fishing was pretty entertaining with Snook of all sizes, juvenile Tarpon, Jacks and Barracuda putting on a good show.
The Albies this year were serious studs, with the average size before the fourth of July being twelve to fourteen pounds. I heard the phrases “These pull to hard”, “Are there any weaker fish we could fish for?”, and “Thats it, I’m done” more times than I can count. After 7/4/10, a flood of biblical proportions of “small” (5-8lbs) Albies moved into the area, and with them monstrous Blue Runners up to seven and eight pounds. It’s a good thing Blue Runners don’t grow to twenty or thirty pounds as I believe they would out fight everything out there. As it was, anyone willing to step up to the plate with a six or eight weight fly rod was in for a whooping.
Most of August had King Mackerel action that was world class. Kings in the ten to thirty pound range were chumming to the surface just like Albies, skyrocketing on baits and putting on aerial displays that were oh, so cool, to watch. Several occasions, they would hit surface poppers with gusto, taking the fly fifteen feet,(and higher), into the air. Try as I might, I was unable to get any of that action on video.
The middle of the summer had disappointing Dolphin action, with only a small handful being caught between mid June and Mid August. but in the past couple of weeks, they have started reappearing and hopefully the fall action will be a repeat of last year when we got tired of eating them.
Blackfin tuna have been here through out the summer, though getting past the Albies to the bigger fish (15-30+lbs) was difficult at best. Many of the smaller footballs, (5-10lbs) have come home for dinner and to date, we haven’t tired of eating them. Maybe now with the Albies thinning out, we can boat some of the big guys.
Despite the large fish kill during the extremely cold weather last winter, our Snook supply seems to be in very good shape. Areas like Flamingo and Everglades National Park, the Indian River to our north and west coast Snook hot spots had huge numbers of dead Snook,( and Tarpon among other species) so much so that it is uncertain the FWC will open a season on Snook this year. But catch and release fishing for them in this area is un-affected and action remains strong along the beaches and at the inlets.
The next several months of fishing look like this: Dolphin and tuna,(Skipjack and Blackfin) offshore, possible Wahoo around offshore debris, a smattering of Kings and Albies on the reefs, assorted Snappers, occasional Grouper, juvenile Ambrejacks around the wrecks,reefs and ledges, and beach action in the form of the mullet run/ bait migration including Snook, Tarpon, Jacks, Mackerel,(both kinds) and Spinner Sharks.
I’ve got too much time open on my calender and it’s a shame to let all this great fishing go to waste….C’mon down and fish!!!