By: Capt. Dave Stephens
Every summer when the rainy season arrives, the waters of Charlotte Harbor become stained like a glass of tea. The darker water comes from the dead vegetation mixed with the rain run-off. No, the water is not polluted as this is a natural occurrence that is important for the health of our estuary. There are both positives and negatives of the dark summer waters. Hopefully I can help you turn some of these negatives into positives. The biggest complaint that I hear when speaking to people about the water clarity is sight fishing. Well look on the bright side if you can’t see them, they can’t see you! If you have ever sight fished for redfish on Charlotte Harbor, you know it is not as easy as it sounds. When I’m out fishing the flats with artificials, I do what we call fan casting. This is a simple technique; I will position myself to where the wind or current will push me across the flat I plan to fish. Put your anchor or pole down and make several casts if you catch fish continue to work the area more thorough, and if not move to the edge of your cast and repeat. Also, I recommend a lure that you can cover a lot of water with fast. In this situation early in the morning I like to throw top water and later in the day a spoon. For the live bait guys out there, well I let the bait do the work for me. When I pull up to an area that I’m going to fish, I will chum heavier this time of year than when I can see fish over the white sandy bottom. Many times, fish will blow up on your chum in places you didn’t expect. Try to picture the area as it was when the water was clear. The grass lines and potholes didn’t change. If you would like to experience some of Charlotte Harbors finest fishing give me a call or e-mail me and we will customize a charter that best fits you and your party’s need.