The big topic for the month of August was lots and lots and lots of rain! Some people get discouraged because the water has turned very dark as a result of all the rain. There are other ways to find fish other than seeing them from a tower, polling platform or even standing on a cooler from the front of the boat! You just have to know what to look for. Now before we go into finding fish in dark water, let me explain why the water is so dark!
A lot of people come to this area and say ewww the water is dark and nasty but this is not true! It is actually the tannic acid from the mangroves and other vegetation near the water. Tannic acid is nothing harmful, we deal with it ever day in things such as tea. Punta Gorda and all of Charlotte County actually get around 6 million gallons per day of drinking water out of the Peace River.
Now back to finding fish in the dark water! FIRST, I like to head out early in the morning before the sun comes up and as I work my way to my bait spot which this time of the year is several miles away, closer to the Gulf, I look for birds diving into the water, mullet fish on the sandbars, good current on the points and those are some of the areas that I fish this time of the year. Normally Redfish will hang out with Mullet and since the water is very dark, they do not use their eyes as much but they use their sense of smell more. This is where cut bait comes in handy; it could be cut ladyfish, mullet, and crabs or even cut white bait, just something to get that scent out there. Remember to take your time when you are working schools of Redfish, letting your bait soak for a little bit. When you see the birds diving this time of the year that normally tells me that there are ladyfish and Tarpon underneath of them and this usually happens in the middle of Charlotte Harbor. You can either throw live thread herons at them or troll a ladyfish behind the boat.
The snapper fishing has been phenomenal! Last year I had several snapper holes that I would charter on and this year it doesn’t seem to matter where I go! I’ve been throwing live pilchards on a 1/0 circle hook with a 20lb fluorocarbon leader and that seems to do the trick.
Farewell for now! It’s been fun chatting with ya..I got to get back to work! Tight lines!
Captain George Frantz is a Florida native and has been fishing the waters in and around Charlotte Harbor, FL for over three decades! He started fishing with his Grandfather at a young age and has been “hooked” ever since. George wants to share his experience and knowledge with other anglers that share his passion, which is light tackle flats fishing on beautiful Charlotte Harbor, Peace River and the surrounding bodies of water in Southwest Florida.