Capt. Ric’s Reel Simple Fishing Report

Aug 29, 14 Capt. Ric’s Reel Simple Fishing Report

The big question lately seems to be are we going to escape it or are we going to get it? “Red tide” is the focus of the question. All “red tide” is is when microscopic algae produce a toxin that kills fish. You will know when you are in an area that this is happening because it will become harder to breathe and your throat will get a scratchy feeling to it.
You will most likely see a lot of dead fish as well, that’s the real giveaway. “Red tide” gives us a double whammy when it arrives. After the initial destruction of the toxins produced by the algae the algae will die, this depletes the oxygen from the water as the algae decompose and decay resulting in more dead fish. It’s been about 10 years since we had our last big “red tide” outbreak and it wasn’t a good situation. With the algae bloom lurking out in the gulf, north west of the bay area, it is certainly a reason to have caution. I know it sounds all doom and gloom but it’s not as bad as you may think.
Fish do move away from the oxygen depleted water and find suitable surroundings. I suppose it’s sorta like a deer and a forrest fire. I ran charter trips thru the last big outbreak and caught fish as usual. The secret is to not get married to any particular area or style of fishing, be diversified in your angling approach, and you will find and catch fish. That’s not saying you will not have to work harder for them because you will definitely do that.

Jon Delucia with a overslot redfish he caught while fishing with Captain Ric Liles recently in Tampa Bay.

That’s the positive spin. The negative to that is when fish get pinned in and trapped by the bloom or oxygen depleted water. There are times when the fish cannot get away in time and the kill becomes eminent. That was the case in Sarasota Bay years ago when we got our dose of “red tide” in the bay area. Pretty much all of Sarasota Bay was a dead zone and un-fishable. I remember fishing the south end of Tampa Bay and smelling the results of the destruction all the way from Sarasota Bay when we had strong NNE winds.
Our fishing at the present time is pretty good as we are starting to see the late summer early fall invasion of red fish. The redfish bite should stay good for at least a couple more months. The snook, snapper, and shark bite is good right now. The only really negative for me lately has been the trout bite. Most of the trout we are catching are between 13” and 15”. Almost big enough to keep. We have been able to scratch out a couple keepers to take home everyday but only a few. I must be in the wrong spot right now for trout. Until next time, good luck and be safe on the water. Remember: don’t let your kid be the one that got away, take them fishing.
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