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For those who have fly fished in SW Florida for redfish. Would u consider the marsh/grass fishing from NC to Jax to be the better year round fishery? Contemplating a move to SW florida OR the low country.
 

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Very different. Do you like seasons? Tailing fish in flooded grass in the summer. Picky schooling fish in clear water in the winter very weather dependent. I would think sw fla would be more “consistent” while low country offers more variety of styles with 4-10 ft of tide swing depending on location.
 

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For those who have fly fished in SW Florida for redfish. Would u consider the marsh/grass fishing from NC to Jax to be the better year round fishery? Contemplating a move to SW florida OR the low country.
I fished Pine Island Sound and the Bulls Bay area for a dozen years or so. Always caught a bunch of fish but it was most productive chumming with live bait. Lots of grass/potholes and plenty of mangrove shorelines. Easy access to the Gulf as well. Big spanish and albies in the fall, trout and ladyfish year round. Only had a couple of years of bull reds and then the storms moved most of them out to the Gulf. Then the one fish that NC will likely never have in any numbers are the snook. An absolute blast to catch no matter what the size. However, the big negative for SW FLA is the abundance of red tide. It can wreak havoc on that fishery and when in full bloom is extremely irritating to your respiratory system. Would I consider living there.....?? Absolutely. But figure high temps and high humidity along with a pretty high property tax rate and it becomes less appealing.
I've lived in eastern NC for the last 40 years. I'm currently blessed to have been a full time resident of Emerald Isle for the last 4years although I've owned property here for the last 20. Fishing for reds and other inshore species is very different from SW FLA. As fishnaa stated, chasing tailing fish in the grass behind the islands or fishing large schools of winter reds in sometimes crystal clear water is a drawing card for many anglers. We also frequently have decent fishing for reds in the surf. It's rare to see anyone chumming with live bait although live baiting with the abundant finger mullet is common. Our bull red fishery in the lower Neuse can be outstanding. Add to that a more temperate climate and NC gets my vote.
 

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SWFL before the red tide and grass issues was hands down the one of if not the best fisheries in the US. Now we are constantly dealing with water quality issues. I would not move here for the fishing as it is in decline. A big chunk of last year was just sad pretty much everywhere in SWFL.

Moving here for the weather? That is still worth it. We very rarely have freezing temps and most of the year is pretty glorious. Even the hot months come with afternoon showers and a decent breeze. Florida also has some of the cheapest gulf/ocean realestate in the US. You can still find gulf access homes near 300k here in the Cape for a 3/2 1500 or so sqft.
 

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Mite not catch a snook , but you can catch a striper. Nixon’s crossroads on icw always been a good area in SC
 

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SC has more limited fly fishing opportunities than SW Florida. It is mainly relegated to one species (spottail) and the timing is limited based on tides. If you want to sight fish for spottail you basically have two options: flood tides from May through September and low tides December through February.

The problem is that the flood tides only happen about twice a month. They are usually in the evenings and you typically can only fish two or three evenings each cycle. So honestly for the flood tide season you really may only get 25 to 30 days of fishing. And these days have to align perfectly with your work schedule, family commitments, and hope that the typical afternoon thunderstorms don’t rain you out.

The winter low tides are a little easier to schedule but you typically want to fish during the middle part of the day when it is warmer. To early or late in the day and sometimes the fish aren’t as active. Like with most other forms of sight fishing, the weather can limit the sight fishing opportunities with to much wind and cloudy skies that limit the light.

Besides these two main types of fly fishing your options are pretty limited. You can alway blind cast for spottail, trout, and flounder but that is about it. Some people fly fish for cobia but again your opportunities are limited. I’ve heard of one or two people catching a tarpon on the fly but it is certainly not a viable fly fishing fishery.

SW Florida seems to afford much more consistent fly fishing on a daily basis for a larger variety of species (snook, spottail, tarpon, trout, etc.) It is also obviously much closer to the Keys if you get the itch to take a weekend trip for bonefish or permit.

Two negatives of SW Florida are the degrading water quality and the amount of people on the water. SC still has pretty good water quality and while the waterways are getting more congested they still aren’t as crazy as South Florida.

So to summarize:
SC- limited species, limited number of days you can fish, good water quality, moderate congestion

SWFL- variety of species, daily fly fishing opportunities, decreasing water quality, heavy congestion
 

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For those who have fly fished in SW Florida for redfish. Would u consider the marsh/grass fishing from NC to Jax to be the better year round fishery? Contemplating a move to SW florida OR the low country.
I have never fished SWFL, and there's still plenty I don't know about fishing in the Lowcountry, but I'll just say I think there's a reason all the fishing shows are primarily recorded in FL... Especially for fly fishing. The two periods during the year mentioned above for sight fishing spottail in the Carolinas are primarily because of the turbidity of our water due to the strong tides that push mud and silt around. Note this is not poor water quality, just murkier water due to suspended solids. That's why the best opportunities rely on tails in the air or schools of finning/backing fish in wintertime cold water. I love fishing here, but I don't know a ton of people who would say it's a more productive fishery than SWFL, putting aside the issues associated with red tide.
 

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Here in jax fishing can be good. with a short ish drive you can be in west palm or se florida for snook, tarpon, jack fishing as well.
 

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I fished Pine Island Sound and the Bulls Bay area for a dozen years or so. Always caught a bunch of fish but it was most productive chumming with live bait. Lots of grass/potholes and plenty of mangrove shorelines. Easy access to the Gulf as well. Big spanish and albies in the fall, trout and ladyfish year round. Only had a couple of years of bull reds and then the storms moved most of them out to the Gulf. Then the one fish that NC will likely never have in any numbers are the snook. An absolute blast to catch no matter what the size. However, the big negative for SW FLA is the abundance of red tide. It can wreak havoc on that fishery and when in full bloom is extremely irritating to your respiratory system. Would I consider living there.....?? Absolutely. But figure high temps and high humidity along with a pretty high property tax rate and it becomes less appealing.
I've lived in eastern NC for the last 40 years. I'm currently blessed to have been a full time resident of Emerald Isle for the last 4years although I've owned property here for the last 20. Fishing for reds and other inshore species is very different from SW FLA. As fishnaa stated, chasing tailing fish in the grass behind the islands or fishing large schools of winter reds in sometimes crystal clear water is a drawing card for many anglers. We also frequently have decent fishing for reds in the surf. It's rare to see anyone chumming with live bait although live baiting with the abundant finger mullet is common. Our bull red fishery in the lower Neuse can be outstanding. Add to that a more temperate climate and NC gets my vote.
Thanks Sandy. I will be retired in a few years and would like to pole and fish in peace. A lot of factors go into a big mive like this. Above all, after working in a jail for 17 years, just some piece n quiet. Right now it's a toss up. Gulf Tarpon are ample in my experience....migratory and juvies. But outside of summer/fall, reports of less than stellar red fishing/snook due to poor water management....that is the big concern. I like the fact that u can target reds year round in SC or Georgia. I wouldn't want to fish more than 3 days a week anyway. Hopefully i will figure this all out soon.
 
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