Flats fishing … for speckled trout?

Img 1502
Captain Washington guides the author fishing for speckled trout. (Photo by Deb Weil)

Woke up one recent morning in Fort Meyers, Florida, well away from double-digit snowfalls and sub-zero wind chills.

That morning we (my wife Deb and I) had a six-hour inshore charter scheduled. I say morning, and that was technically true, but it was a lackadaisical morning in that we weren’t dropping lines until about 11 a.m.

Why? Tides. The captain, Stephen Washington of Silver Fish Inshore Charters, wasn’t going to waste our money fishing at dead slack low tide. I liked that. Didn’t know it was a problem (haven’t done a lot of saltwater fishing), but I do know starting this late means Captain Washington will only get one charter in today instead of two – and this was high season for charter boats.

Technically, were in Florida visiting my mother-in-law in central Florida. But since we’re flying into Punta Gorda, Sanibel and Fort Meyers are like, right there! Why not?

As we started out. the water temperature was a fish-off-putting 61 degrees. It was a beautiful day – 75 degrees, and very little wind. The captain expected the water temperature to warm up several degrees in the next few hours over the shallow grass flats. We figured that would help get the fish moving a bit. With these temperatures, and this time of year, we’d be targeting speckled trout. As saltwater fish go, these are not large. The area we were fishing has a limit of three per person or six per boat and a slot limit of 16-20 inches. These are Washington’s go to fish – he loves fishing specks.

The area we were fishing is the grass flats in Pine Island Sound mostly in and around the islands off Captiva Island. It turned out to be a fun day on the water and we did pick up some trout despite the cold water.

For more on how, when, where, and how much to fish these inshore waters check out the upcoming piece in Illinois Outdoor News.

Categories: — — Illinois – Kent Weil, Blog Content

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *