On the River

By Joe Sheaffer

It has been a challenge for our area in SWFL this fall. Hurricane Ian and Red tide have definitely affected fishing and I have had to make some changes in my fishing plans. I’m very blessed to be in an area that has a couple of rivers nearby. Recently I have been spending time fishing the Myakka River and have focused my efforts along the west wall. It is a huge area and having a game plan can be very helpful in covering and eliminating water. As always, looking at satellite maps has helped formulate a plan for the time on the water. I definitely recommend keeping an eye on the tide charts. The water can be very shallow along the wall. With this information I have been able to put together a few strategies that have been effective. The maps have helped zero in on structures like points, grass flats, oyster bars. Using the tide charts along with the information from the maps, I have been able to catch fish like Snook, Redfish, and qTrout. Fish don’t change their stripes, they use structure and current wherever they live to position themselves to feed. Most of my success is on the down current sides of structure working the lures with the current. Jigs and paddle tails were lures of choice but jerkbaits and wake baits have produced bites. There is definitely some truth to the old saying “90% of the fish are in 10% of the water”. Clearly the structures along this area have been more productive and making a plan has been worth the effort. I would encourage you to prepare yourself when fishing unfamiliar waters. Your efforts should help you to maximize your time and enjoy your day fishing. Good luck and keep casting.