By: Capt. Dave Stephens
In Southwest Florida, the days are getting shorter and the cold fronts are beginning to push further down south. This is the time of year when fish are in a transition from basking in the warm sun on the grassy flats, to getting ready for the colder days of winter. During the summer months our fish can be found on the lush grass flats all over Charlotte Harbor. As fall arrives and the water begins to cool a large majority of those fish migrate to deeper water for winter. On the top of that list would be snook. It is very important for snook to migrate to areas where they have access to deep water. Living in the sub tropics during most of the year our water temperatures are above eighty degrees. However, during the colder months of winter, it can drop down below sixty even at times into the fifties. Fortunately for us and the fish we have plenty of deep water for our fish to migrate to. There are two main rivers that flow into Charlotte Harbor. We have the Peace River and the Myakka River. We have miles of man-made canals. When the mercury drops down to the cooler temperatures these are areas that our fish depend on for warmer water to help them survive during the winter months. Locating fish in these areas can be a little bit tricky. Most of the year we look for mangrove shore lines with nice green bushes hanging over the shore lines, and good tidal flow. When trying to locate fish in their deeper winter haunts tidal flow is very necessary, however green mangrove overhangs are not. The main thing that people overlook is the depth. It’s like the old saying goes: to catch fish you have to think like a fish. The main reason the fish have moved to these areas is for deeper warmer water. Once you have located deeper water you also need to slow down fish a little slower than you normally would. Often many times fishing in deeper water the tidal flow can be a little stronger. Split shots work great for slowing your bait down to keep it in the strike zone longer. The great thing about fishing deeper water generally when you locate the fish there is a lot of them there. You might have to fish different areas. Once you start to learn and locate some of our deep-water fish I’m sure you will have a great day on the water and keep the rod bent.
If you would like to experience some of Charlotte Harbors finest fishing give me a call or send me an email. All of our trips are private and customized to fit you and your party’s needs.