Ten Thousand Islands, Rookery Bay and ENP Forecast April 2019

03/28/2019 4:05 PM | Ron Presley (Administrator)

Spring in the backcountry
by Capt. Joe Garcia

The warmer and more consistent waters in the backcountry have made for great opportunities for our target species such as Snook, Reds and Tarpon. Metabolism in the fish is stable and it seems that they are constantly hungry and aggressive. Tides are more predictable as well with the negative tides less of an issue allowing for some great access to remote areas. Along with this, the waters are a bit stained so stealthy approaches and close encounters can be the norm.

The fly fishing in the back has been stellar and traditional patterns are top producers.  The patterns such as Gurglers for exciting top water strikes have no comparison, with Deceivers and EP Baitfish ensuring success in mid water, all these make choices very simple. Work them in a steady and conservative manner as in the warmer water and less tide flow they’ll appear more natural, think of a wounded or stunned prey. 

The outer edges and beaches are where the EP Baitfish and the Schminnow rule.  The Snook and Reds that cruise here are accustomed to chasing bait so work these in an erratic and quick manner as to mimic baitfish darting and running from predators.  The waters tend to be clearer here and sight fishing these fish can be extremely exciting and productive. In these conditions you may get by with a bit lighter tippet with 30lb acceptable, but adjust to conditions accordingly.

For tackle the 8 weight rod and reel combo is king in these conditions, but a good 9 weight can be a bit of insurance as well, especially when dealing with big fish in tight quarters! A good size Snook or Juvi Tarpon can make short work of a lighter line, so a bite tippet needs to be stout, I tie them with 40lb mono or flouro just to be safe.  A loop knot from here to the fly will ensure the action is fluid and natural.

Tight Lines and have fun!

Captain Joe Garcia
Southern Glades Charters

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