Being Prepared for Anything

by: Capt. Dave Stephens

One of the biggest problems that most anglers face here on Charlotte Harbor, is what to fish for. With so many different species it would be impossible to fish for all of them in one day. Being a full-time charter fishing guide, I am more guilty than any other angler about not pursuing some of our other species. It is so easy to get stuck in the redfish, snook and trout rut, since those are the main three that are targeted the most. Well, the spring through the early summer we will have plenty of other excellent game fish that can be targeted, such as spanish mackerel, triple tail and cobia. Also, there are lots of black tip and spinner sharks in the harbor as well. Most of these species can be caught on the local flats on occasion but are found in greater numbers out in the deeper waters of the harbor. We have several great reefs that hold all the fish I have mentioned. If fishing the reefs is not your thing, there are several holes in the harbor that are excellent spots to find mackerel, cobia and sharks, therefore, be sure you bring some wire as most of these fish are toothy and will bite right through regular leader. I like to bring along a bigger rod you never know when that fish of a lifetime will swim up to the boat, and you will want to be prepared for anything that shows up! Your local tackle shops will have everything you need and be sure to tell them how and what you plan to fish for that day, as they will help you be better prepared. I guarantee that there is no one who loves fishing for snook as much as myself, but some days if the flats fishing is just not working, try thinking outside the box. I’m sure you will enjoy your day on Charlotte Harbor and find yourself doing it more often.