The angler's curse, the wind, continues to blow and is making trips difficult for those not able to fish early in the day.
Forecasters call for winds to die down to 10 mph over the next six days so let's hope, as the fishing has been outstanding for just about everything that swims in our waters.
An-glers with smaller boats not able to reach Boca or the near shore tarpon fishery needn't worry. Launch at Matlacha and head north to the bottom of Charlotte Harbor for a good shot at a tarpon this season. Get even with the top of Pine Island then anchor and fish dead bait on the bottom (ladyfish or catfish chunks) and put out a live one on a balloon.
Capt. George Tunison
Be on scene at sunrise. Scan for tarpon.If you see them rolling try to figure what direction they are moving. Motor around and get in front of them and remain quiet. As they approach cast a nice pinfish under a tiny cork in front of them or a fly or lure.
Hit the Causeway, especially the A and C spans, for tarpon, jumbo snook, and Goliath grouper this weekend. The bridge at Matlacha is producing whoppers for bridge anglers.
Braided lines made a huge improvement in fishing line, but don't count out mono just yet. Braid offers increased casting distance, superior strength-to-size ratio, abrasion resistance. Smaller diameter braid allows trollers to get increased depth and control and allows much more line to be stored on the reel. Braid's no-stretch properties allow long distance sure hook sets and incredible sensitivity not possible with mono. It can work against an angler as well when fighting a tarpon. With no give, wild head shakes usually means a popped hook or broken leader.
Braid can also work against your wallet and most anglers use way too much when filling their reels. If you've loaded your sea trout reel with 200 yards of 10-pound braid take off 150 yards, save it for three more reel fills and replace the 150 with mono connected together with back-to-back Uni-knots. How many 15-inch trout are going to peel off a hundred yards of line? None.
Save big on braid lines. Periodically inspect your line and when it's frayed and time to be changed out, take it off and simply turn it around. Cut off 10 feet and tie it back to your old mono. Brand new again and you still have three more refills when this section goes south.
Experiment and see what works for you. Aboard Flying Fins, for tarpon we use 40-pound mono on the bait casting reels with 60-120 pound, 10-foot leaders. For casting lures and jigs, 60-pound braid with 60-80 pound line with four- to six-foot leaders on the spinning outfits.
If filling a whole spool with braid I first add a wrap of electrical tape to the spool then tie on 10 feet of mono over the tape. Now add your braid to the mono with the Uni-knot and fill the spool. (Tie the mono line to the spool with an arbor knot). Straight braid will slip on your spool.
A great habit to acquire when using braid is after casting NEVER close the bail with the reel handle. Learn to grab the line at the end of the cast.Give it a tug tightening it against the spool as you flip the bail over manually with a finger of the other hand. Closing the bail with the handle leads to problems with braided lines.