Twas the day after Thanksgiving, so we gave the turkeys a break and invited these twin 24-inch redfish in to a four-star dinner at the Tarpon Lodge and Restaurant on Pine Island.
From boat to table in two hours, the reds somehow equaled the previous day’s holiday feast in the opinions of Ralph Hudson and me and wives Kay and Sheila.
Capt. Erik Flett had orchestrated the capture of the redfish along a mangrove shoreline a mile south of the Tarpon Lodge. For the first hour, we caught a variety of small fish, including snook and snapper, but no keeper models. But then, Capt. Erik hammered home the necessity of getting the baits in and under the mangrove limbs. That did the trick. The bigger reds liked the shade, thanks, and wouldn’t come out two feet.
We didn’t find trout on this half-day trip, though the seagrasses looked healthy and productive. It’s shallow water country, for sure, so anglers have to pay extra attention to tides and changing water levels. We were relieved to benefit from the expertise of Capt. Erik, whose web address is Nativeattitudefishingcharters.com, or TarponLodge.com.