Opening week saw amazing weather for the second year running, calm conditions and very little precipitation, the majority of which fell during the nighttime hours. Rainfall has been minimal over the months of July, August and September, which translates into extremely clear and low water conditions in the brackish environs of Santa Rosa. Due to this, the most productive fishing for all species this week was in the respective Bays. Migratory tarpon were about this year as well, but not in nearly the same numbers as last year at this time. There was at least one evening in front of Casa Blanca where cocktails were forgotten as anglers ran for rods and jumped tarpon crushing bait within casting range.
Permit fishing was not on fire this week, but then again that’s a relative statement as we are spoiled here, and most of those anglers who spent the time looking for permit were rewarded with memories they’ll never forget. Permit of all sizes, from 5-20 pounds, were brought to hand. We are still seeing schools of smaller fish, as well as the larger and more solitary specimens, a great indicator to the health of the fishery. Snook were the saviors of the week. As they often are during the fall months, this week found them plentiful, aggressive and averaging over ten pounds, a ready antidote to the permit blues.
The fishing off the dock at night at Casa was amazing, the clear water providing aquarium-like conditions, permit with their backs out of the water, jacks and tarpon crushing bait. All those species were caught off the pier over the week.