Welcome to… It’s My Cast
I will be reporting on Florida fishing opportunity for Reel-Time on this forum on a regular basis. My aim is to provide information on this state’s spectacular fishery in general and, on specific fishing topics of interest.
I will be concentrating on the central east coast area; roughly between Daytona in the North and Ft. Lauderdale to the south. I’ll be reporting fishing news within that area and will concentrate on fishing the surf and fishing the many lagoons. I grew up surf fishing from the time I was ten and acquired my first flyrod when I was thirteen and those are the two methods of angling It’s My Cast will be centered on. However, I’ll also cover offshore and nearshore fishing opportunities and items of general interest to outdoor sportsmen.
If you are thinking of or planning a Florida fishing trip or vacation within that general area, please ask questions at the end of this or future columns. I will do my best to give you up-to-date information on the current fishery be it surf, offshore or lagoon fishing. I can advise on flies, lures and guides and areas to fish if you are afoot or a kayak fisherman.
If you are going to another section of Florida and don’t have any contact there; just ask here. Be sure to tell me when and where you are going and the type fishing you are hoping to do. I have friends and contacts on the West Coast and in the Keys and I can steer you to a guide or a good tackle shop in the area of your choice.
I’m looking forward to writing It’s My Cast and I hope you will help me make it a fun project. Have pictures of your Florida fishing? Just send them along with as much or as little information about them as you wish and we will publish them here.
Bill Hubbard ©
Melbourne, FL – 2/7/2010 on the Indian River Lagoon
I am writing to you from New England where it is still pretty cold. My wife and I are going to Sanibel the last week of April. I have limited time but I would like to catch a snook from shore. I have seen many pictures of guys hooking up right from the shore. We shall see if I can be one of them. Is the time too early? What is the best time of day, tide to chase them?
Any suggestions on a simple fly I can use? Your help is appreciated.
You will be at Sanibel at a very good time of year for fishin the last week of April. You should find Snook, Reffish, Seatrout and Tarpon off the beaches there. Snook may be scarce because we lost a great many in our big freeze in January-February. Also, the season has been closed until at least September 1st. It will be strictly catch and release until then and, please, take care to release them carefully without taking them out of the water,
As for flies; like stripers, they like Clousers and Deceivers and in sizes from 2″ to 5″ in colors like Chartreuse over White, Chartreuse, White, Black at night. Also, I often use a white Gurgler in shallow water situations.
My favorite fly is a white Deceiver tied with polar bear in a hi-tie method to give it the silouette of a baitfish. Next, especially for Snook is a Woolhead with a red head and white body and tail. You can find those patterns and more online at http://www.floridaflyfishing.com or http://www.hatches.com. If you don’t find them there let me know.
Our beaches here on the Right coast have much more of a drop off than you will find at Sanibel. Ours are vey much like Nauset Beach on Cape Cod in that respect. Because of the shallow waters at Sanibel, I like to get on the beach at least an hour or two befor sunrise. During the hours of darkness, the fish are not as spooky and will come into amazingly shallow waters.
When I approach a beach like that I start casting at least ten feet back from the swash and, I’ll work slowly to my right or left. If I can see the tide moving; I’ff fish into it. Work your way along making casts in the direction you are working toward. You will seldom cast at right angles to the beach, unless you see baitfish or fish action there. Keep your eyes open ahead of where you are casting and a little seaward. It’s an exciting way to fish. Evening, after dark can be a good time to fish too, though I have my best luck early morning.
You can buy your Florida license ahead of time on line. The address is on the Florida Forum pages of R-T.
Good luck and send us a report when you get back
Bring a 7 or 8 weight. Most white , pink or clousers or decievers 2-3 inches long will work if you are fishing a channel where water is moving w the tide. Puglazi Pilchards gray or white work. Top / Outgoing better than incoming. Clear intermediate/ floating line.
Mid day Along the beach fish the Top of the tide on the rise and drop. A small DT, sand flea, mole crab pattern slowly stripped works for snook cruising close to shore. If the water is clear you can sight fish at high sun and nil to light chop. Cast parallel to the beach leading the fish. best chances come with light tippet of 8 -10 lbs.
Traditional 20-30 lb tippets sometime spook the fish. Keep in mind you are fishing in1-2 ft of water tight to shore. Floating line best with 10 ft leaders. This is as fun as bone fishing in the right conditions but much more difficult, the fish are very fussy.
Great reports !
These bring me a smile every time I read them – I went to Florida Tech for Oceanography and spent way to many hours fishing instead of going to class – its a really nice area.
Have you tried fishing the mangrove-lined canals just north of Sebastian ? We used to rent canoes from a place there – John’s fish camp or something like that I think.
We also used to enjoy fishing the Eau Gallie causeway – there is a nice walkway under the eastern side of the bridge, we used to catch small trout and ladyfish there on light tackle, along with assorted “pan fish” and of course rays and puffers 🙂
(I actually caught a very lost bonefish there once on a live shrimp, don’t know why he was so far north….)
Thanks for the great reports !