Transition for summer fishing
By Capt. Michael Manis
As hot summer temperatures arrive I’ll transition from the backcountry onto outside bar systems. Moreover, even though the tarpon migration is winding down, there will still be some fish on the beach as well as in the Harbor’s deeper holes.
As for outside bars systems, I particularly like the mix of sand and grass that runs from mangrove Point to Alligator Creek. Its proximity to the ramp at Ponce Park allow for a quick escape from summer storms. Snook, redfish, spotted sea trout, and jack crevalle roam the bar.
A bit further south, the bar between Burnt Store Marina and Matlacha is popular. In fact, it’s one of the best spots to wade in the entire harbor. Across the harbor, the bar that runs from Cape Haze Point down past Bull Bay can fish well. Abundant rainfall provides additional opportunity. Outside shorelines close in proximity to bars with adjacent creek systems can hold fish on an outgoing tide. Again, the shoreline between Mangrove Point and Alligator Creek is a good one. In addition, the West Wall has multiple creeks. In fact, it’s eight miles of shoreline and bar system. Because of the bar’s proximity to the Harbor’s deeper holes, you can fish shoreline, bar structure, and even make a short run to look for rolling tarpon.
With these conditions, working around the intracoastal is always an option. The cooler oxygenated flow coming from the Gulf via the passes combined with turtle grass flats that are common here provide good habitat. Ramps from Lemon Bay, Placida, and Pine Island provide easy access. In particular, I like northern Pine Island Sound and Lemon Bay. In Pine Island, loading from Pineland Marina.
The flats from Mondongo to Useppa Island and over to Cabbage Key are good. In Lemon Bay, the flats north and south of Stump Pass on both sides of the intracoastal can hold good redfish and trout. Here, you’re not allowed to run your outboard outside the intracoastal. It’s idle only and many simply use a trolling motor or push pole. Consequently, the fish aren’t always so defensive and on the run making them a bit more approachable.
Until next month, good tides.
Captain Michael Manis is a U.S.G.C. Licensed captain and has been teaching the sport of fly and light tackle angling since 2002. He lives in Punta Gorda, Florida and can be reached at (941) 628-7895 or on his website at www.puntagordaflycharters.com