Rats and Flats
Updated: Apr 29, 2019
I was finally able to drag Drew into some back water, and she caught her first flounder. It was a beautiful day, but the water was extremely high following the hurricanes and I could not catch anything in the cast net. After several failed attempts at bait, Drew asked me to tie her on an artificial, and we caught 7 reds and 5 flounder working a 1/16 ounce jig head with a Berkley Gulp Shrimp.
This place is like home to me, and I have fished here and the surrounding waters for over 40 years now. In the last few years, I have noticed what seems like a decline in the reds over 18 inches. It has always been a nursery back here for reds, flounder, Snook and a host of other species, but the mid to upper slot redfish are missing. I returned with my brother last week and we caught a lot of rat reds, but a high number of trout that ranged from 14 to 16 inches. This is not a place I would normally target for trout but I have found more of them here in the last 2 years then all my previous trips to this side of Spruce Creek. Other fishermen have taken notice of this as well and have written about the changing fishery. It takes these reds about 2 years to get into slot, and it is said that they usually stay within 3 miles of where they spend their early stages. If nothing goes wrong then maybe 2 years from now I will return and find those 22 to 26 inch reds I use to see. There has always been Tarpon in here during certain times of the year, but they have been thick the last few years, and still really hard to keep on the hook, I got schooled by two of them really quickly.