Sharpen your fly game for educated redfish. Not all that long ago, me and my circle of flyfishing buddies called redfish the antidote for bonefish. If we had a trying day with fussy, lockjawed Biscayne Bay bonefish, a trip to Florida Bay for tailing reds was the perfect elixir.
Flounder—the southern and Gulf varieties— are the ultimate bottom-dwellers, shuffling into sand or mud to lie in ambush. Flatties, or “doormats” when they get big, like their meals low and tight, so you’ll do best to keep a tempting bait in their zone.
Florida fishing boats require special attention to cooling systems. It’s easy to lose track of time during those long summer days on the water. It’s also easy to forget that grasses and stirred-up sediments may compromise your engine’s cooling system. On coastal water, salt water itself, over the long term, is a threat.
Chain pickerel, or jack, are the ruin of shiners and fingers, but great fun nonetheless. How often have you heard “Oh, crap! It’s a bass,” from your buddy when his fish jumps in the middle of a dogged battle? That’s right. Not very often.
Mixed-bag action during the spring migration Wreck fly fishing is fun and rewarding, but purists will need to check their mindset at the dock. For dependable action, chumming is key. Frozen block chum and freshly cast-netted baitfish really get the snappers, jacks and mackerels prowling the upper portion of the water column.
Proper technique allows kayak and canoe fishermen to land large fish without getting dumped overboard. Offshore kayak fishing is a relatively new technique, and many anglers are learning on the fly. Safety must always be the first priority.
One of Florida’s spring-fed gems also contains one of the world’s rarest bass. The lower St. Marks River begins at the St. Marks Rise, a large spring vent located south of Natural Bridge near Woodville. From there the river is a swift-flowing chute of cool, clear water lined with limestone shoals and thick manes of eelgrass—perfect habitat for the scrappy Suwannee.