Well it’s mid-July and summer is definitely here. Hot, humid and buggy and I love it. Strangely, most northerners are afraid to visit the Florida Keys in the warmer months because they think it’s going to be “too hot”. The shocking truth is that our temps rarely get over ninety degrees. Most of the time it’s upper eighties. That’s almost cool compared to many places in the summer, even New York City!
The nice thing about summer is that the winds have lessened, the snowbirds are gone and the fishing is great. Weekends can get a bit busier but during the week almost no one is on the water. Having Everglades National Park to yourself isn’t a bad thing, not by a long shot especially since the redfishing has been off the hook. Slicked out mornings you can find redfish doing headstands, waving that big old tail around. I love coming across a flat that looks like a sheet of glass and seeing tailers and pushers. It’s a beautiful sight. Along with the redfish, snook will be found up on the flats as well, usually sitting in depressions or holes.
I know I keep repeating myself, but it’s so good to see those fish coming back as strong as they are. Snook are just an awesome gamefish and it’s great seeing them everytime I go out. I still think the state should have kept the season closed for another year however. Too many fisherman, including guides, went back to their old ways of killing every legal fish they caught. That kind of old school attitude still permeates the Keys and that kind of offshore mentality really has no place where sportfishing provides everything to our economy. Well enough of my ranting and onto the fishing! As mentioned the redfish and snook fishing has been awesome in the backcountry. The areas around Flamingo have been loaded with mullet and not surprisingly the gamefish are there as well. While the tarpon migration is over, there are still plenty of fish around. These residents will remain well into fall and some fish will overwinter at the bridges.
Although I don’t want to call it a recovery, bonefishing has been steadily improving. The great news is seeing lots of juvenile fish in the 2 – 3 pound range. That is certainly encouraging. Fingers crossed that the fishery will make a full comeback. When I think of summer I think of permit. I love seeing those sickle tails spiking up on a glassed out morning. Talk about an adrenaline rush! For those of you that think it’s too hot to come to the Keys, you’re mistaken and you don’t know what you are missing! Until next time. -Pete