In The Middle

By Joe Sheaffer

Most Anglers become comfortable fishing certain areas and presentations. We tend to focus our efforts doing the same old thing because of our past successes. When our fishing trips are challenging or slow, we have many thoughts running through our heads. Many of our thoughts have merit fishing conditions change frequently especially in tidal environments. However, I also believe that we fish with blinders on. Our focus is locked in on past experiences and we are possibly missing out on clues or signs around us. Recently on a fishing trip in Gasparilla Sound, I started my day power fishing stretches along Mangrove Islands near the mouth of a creek. I have had some really productive days in this area and was anticipating a great day. Well the day turned out to be very tough and I was a bit frustrated. The stretches along the Mangroves just seemed dead. There was little to no noticeable bait or fish activity. As I pondered my next move, I noticed quite a bit of waking 50 to 100 yards out in the middle of the creek. I watched for a few minutes and decided to move a bit closer. It turned out to be a decent school of mullet working a shallow flat yards from any noticeable structure. I positioned my boat a long cast away and began casting a wake bait around the school. After 10 to 15 casts, I had a solid bump and a few casts later I hooked into a nice Redfish. I fished that area and Mullet school the rest of the morning. I caught a couple more Reds and a decent Snook. I had been so focused on the mangroves and the areas I was so used to fishing, that I almost missed out on a great opportunity. Basically, I got lucky, noticing the area out in the middle. We definitely can make educated decisions to help us locate good fishing areas. That being said, being aware of our surroundings may clue us in on other opportunities to catch fish. Good luck keep casting, even in the MIDDLE.