Fishing for Redfish, Snook, Tarpon & Trout



Redfish

RedFish

Best time of year to catch redfish? Year round. August to November is probably the best time of year.

How big are redfish? The average size is around 10 to 12 pounds but we regularly catch them in the 20-25 pounds range.

Where to find redfish? Redfish typically inhabit shallow flats and in and around grassy and mangrove shorelines in water no higher than knee-deep. In winter you'll find them moving inshore into coastal rivers and creek mouths but you will also encounter them further out in deeper waters where they spawn. Redfish are always on the move for food so being patient and waiting for a school to pass by often pays dividends.

Catching redfish: Redfish are a very perceptive species with great awareness of what is happening around them. For this reason, being stealthy in approach and when fishing is paramount. They often swim close to the surface with their backs out of the water so you can wait for a sighting before casting out. In low tides, you'll even see their tails protruding from the water. In terms of bait, redfish will bite anything - live baits like shrimps, crabs and minnows, dead and cut baits or artificial lures like plugs, spoons and jigs.

Redfish are robust, tough and durable. Battles can last several hours.

Redfish fishing tip: Although redfish move around a lot, they tend to dwell in the same area for some time. If you have some success hooking redfish one day you should re-visit the same area the following day. An extra tip - wear some polarized sunglasses when looking for redfish as you'll spend a good amount of time looking into the water for signs of redfish.

Trout

Best time of the year to catch trout? Year round. In the summer months you'll find more further out in the lower estuaries and more salty waters. When temperatures drop around October they move inland. From February to April they can be anywhere!

How big are trout? Most trout weigh in at 1-2 pounds. Trout over 5 pounds are fairly common. Those nearing 10 pounds are called "lunkers" or "gator trout".

Where to find trout? Anywhere and everywhere inshore. You'll find trout high up coastal creeks and rivers but also out in the deep waters of the Gulf. In particular, you are likely to have success on clear and shallow grass flats in no more than 10 feet high water. In winter months they'll be more common in coastal areas to escape the cooler ocean water. Trout follow their prey - namely mullet and croakers - so it helps to know the feeding patterns of other small fish.

Catching trout: All along the East coast, trout tend to be the most common fish to catch because of their fondness for eating. They are hungry fish and they'll take any bait or lure on offer. Because of their penchant for small fish and shrimp, artificial lures such topwater plugs and plastic jigs will often prove successful.

Trout will aggressively strike lures. They can be a challenging catch, especially on light tackle although not quite as formidable as other species we target. They can put on some stunning aerial displays.

Trout fishing tip: Look for spotted sea trout in cut-off areas, drop offs, deep holes and other spots where the landscape changes.

Snook

RedFish

Best time of the year to catch snook? All year round.

How big are snook? Snook average 2-15 pounds. We'll regularly catch snook over 20 pounds.

Where to find snook? Snook love the warm water - for this reason they have a fairly narrow distribution range limited to the Caribbean and southern Florida. Even in these areas, if the water temperature drops much below 55 they start to die off if they can't find a warm habitat. Thankfully, this is rare in our region of Florida where warm springs and deeper waters provide shelter and respite from the cold. When it does become cooler, snook will happily swim far up creeks, canals and rivers looking for warmer waters - they can live in both salt water and fresh water.

Snook like to ambush their prey. They wait around mangrove shorelines and other structures which provide covering, such as dock and bridge pilings. As such, they rely on water flow to bring them their food - fewer fish are more dependent on tidal movements than snook. It pays to know your tidal times!

Catching snook: Snook is an outstanding all-round game fish - intelligent, strong, acrobatic displays and a true angling challenge. Once hooked, they will make powerful runs to a nearby structure in a bid to cut off your line and escape. It can sometimes require a good deal of fishing skill and technique to get snooks back out into the open.

Snook have shown a liking for both live and artificial bait. Any small fish (pilchards and minnows work well) will catch their fancy. Crabs and shrimp will also work well. Both hard- and soft-bodies artificial lures, plugs and spoons have proven successful.

When casting, you'll want to get the bait as close to the structure as possible as snook will pass up the chance unless it drifts right in front of them. This will further test your angling skills - you don't want to get your line caught up in the structure!

Snook fishing tip: Listen to your fishing guide when fishing for snook! They are stubborn and difficult to predict due to their intelligence and sensitivity to water conditions. Catching snook is as much about fishing knowledge as it is technique.

Testimonials

Darrin is a local that has grown up on these waters and was able to find fish even when they didn't want to be found. We traveled from Pine Island to Sanibel over to Cabbage Key and Captiva Island by South Seas Plantation.Can't wait to get back out to the beautiful southwest Florida waters!

Joshua H.

Darrin was a first class fishing guide. He really went out of his way to put us on fish. He had the patience to deal with the inexperienced and handled himself in a very professional manner. I will be using him again and will not hesitate to give his cards to any who ask. I will be posting a link for you on my page as well. Thanks again Darrin, my family had an amazing time!!

David J

PHOTOS

Showing a snook caught by Pine Island

A snook caught near Sanibel Island.