by Greg Poland
I love fishing in the backcountry of the Islamorada area & Everglades National Park this time of year. If the wind is up you will have a great opportunity to cast a crustacean at a bonefish or permit without spooking it, if you find light winds & the water has warmed up you just might be able to find the first tarpon of the season. Out back around the mangrove shorelines while looking for those silver kings to roll, cast a plastic lure and work it slow you might just catch a snook or redfish.
It’s absolutely one of the best times of the year to fish the backcountry and flats in my opinion, but it’s all dependent on the weather conditions which can go from mild to wild so be sure to check the reports and be safe about things. If you head out into the Gulf of Mexico you will still find a few spanish mackeral along with a host of other species from cobia to kingfish and if you have a secret stash of GPS coordinates you should stop on one and drop something down to the bottom to see what you might hook into.
When I have a full charter and the wind will cooperate this time of year I love to get out to the gulf and see what I can find, always take a well full of live baits (pilchards, pinfish, & shrimp) with you and make sure you have a few live crabs in case you run into a school of permit. I always have 2 Hogy pro tail soft baits (photo below) rigged to my 15lb spinning rods for the ride out, they make it simple to slow down and cast to a fish on the surface or if running by a marker we can stop for a quick cast without spending time rigging a live bait.
When you get to your GPS number slow down long before you are on the numbers and slowly approach in case something is up on the surface, I see people race up to their fishing spot all the time and wonder what they are thinking, be sneaky about it & I bet you will have more success! Once anchored I like to drop a bag of chum over the side and if I have a well full of pilchards I always send out a few freebies to get the fish excited before putting one down on a hook.
I look forward to seeing you out on the water & if you are looking to get out on a charter either on your boat or on my brand new 25 Contender give me a call and let’s book a date.
Capt. Greg Poland
305.393.3327 | gregpoland.com
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