May 04, 2012
With the full moon this weekend, there's an amazing volume of tidal change moving in and out of inlets along both Florida coastlines. It's a spring tide in both senses of the word, quantitative as well as seasonal. The reason the tides are stronger has to do with the combined gravitational attraction of the sun and moon, which are aligned with Earth at the time of the full and new moon. Of course you can have spring tides in any month of the year, but this weekend, Florida's warm, fertile waters will be blooming with life as the powerful currents sweep through the estuaries.
That's likely to bring all sorts of surprises into range of inshore fly fishermen, including David Carroll, of Miami, who's shown here with a nice bonito caught Friday morning in St. Lucie Inlet. The bonitos had pushed all the way up to the Indian River Lagoon on the incoming tide, following schools of glass minnows and warm, blue ocean water. The fish ate a No. 4 Crazy Charlie with white bucktail and a little Krystal Flash. Quite a surprise in inland waters better known for snook and bluefish.
While the Florida Sportsman print magazine no longer carries the Tide Charts, the proven system is available free on the Web site, here: Florida Sportsman Tide Charts. Consult this valuable reference to time your early May fishing trips, whether you're looking for tailing redfish in Florida Bay, migratory tarpon in the Keys, or beachfront snook in Southwest Florida. Also, you can buy a year's worth of tide planning and monthly fishing advice for all six tides regions of Florida, in the annual Florida Sportsman Fishing Planner.