This time of year the weather changes hour by hour and fish will move around due to fishing pressure, water temp changes and food source. But one important thing many folks never take the time to look at is how our tidal flow affects our fishing here in southwest Florida. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve been asked the question “when is the best time to go fishing?” I find that more times than not most folks have no idea that tidal flow is life or death for our fish. I normally have to get on my soap box and go into grass root detail to explain the tidal flow process. But having a limited amount of room I’ll keep it basic. How many of you call your buddy and say, “Hey let’s go fishing on Saturday”? That’s great, but if you’re sitting on the boat all day and not catching any fish, well that’s not much fun unless you’re just trying to get away from your spouse. I’ll start by asking you this, what’s the difference between a solar day and a lunar day? A solar day as we all know is 24 hrs. A lunar day is 24 hrs and 50 minutes. This is why the tides are basically an hour different every day.
Now there are lots of factors that need to be taken into account with these tidal predictions because they are just that, predictions. Wind speeds and direction can have a huge effect on our flow here in southwest Florida because we have a very small range of tide. At best it is around the 2 ft mark. Let’s say we have a high tide today at 10:00 am. The wind has been blowing all night at 20 kts out of the east/northeast. That wind has done two things, one it has increased the speed of the outgoing tide, and two when the ebb becomes a flood tide it will have slowed the speed of that incoming tide. What will that mean for us? Well we now have less water than what we should have had according to what the tide table said. We’ve seen this over the past week. High east winds made for a lower low and high west winds created a higher low. So if you have a better understanding of what exactly is happening you’ll be able to choose better fishing spots. Do your homework not only for the day you’ve chosen to go fishing but a day or two before. Many other factors will affect fishing conditions as well. Barometric pressure will have a huge impact on our inshore species like trout, snook and redfish. All of these fish have swim bladder and if the air pressure falls drastically in a short amount of time it causes the bladder to swell which gives them an “upset” stomach.
Well this week I’m gonna have to say the fishing that has remained constant is the offshore bite. One in particular will wow the crowd every time and that’s the mackerel bite. There’s nothing like hearing that smoker king grab that bait and make a blistering run for … well, wherever he’s pointed really. We’ve added a degree of difficulty on my boat lately. I’ve been fishing with my inshore rods and boy that’s some exciting fishing. Now I wouldn’t recommend doing this with just any 3000 series reels mind you. Make sure you’ve listened to what I’ve been telling you for the past year. I have been thoroughly impressed with my Penn Conflict 3000 and we’ve boated some fish that undoubtedly shouldn’t have made it. So here’s what ya do, get yourself some threadfins and get offshore a few miles and watch for signs of activity like birds diving bait schools. Now rigging will differ but what I have found to be successful is using the smallest wire I can get away with and all you’ll need is 3 or 4 inches after you get your entire ensemble of leader and hooks secured. Hook that live thread just past the center mark towards the tail and send him on out. I really love the action of grouper, snapper and whatever else swims by and decides to gobble up that bait dangling from your hook. You never know what you will pull up next: could be a grouper, could be a scamp and could be a shark even.
If you’re ready to get out and see how Kelly and I do it, give us a jingle, find us on Facebook, Instagram or our web page. Well folks, you know the deal...gotta get on out and get my FIX on!