Come to the Light

By: Terry Gibson


A lot of Florida's hardcore fly and light tackle anglers become as nocturnal as the fish they pursue during the summer months. That's because docklights, and the shadow lines cast by bridges and other structures, are holding big speckled trout, snook, tarpon and jacks, as well as the odd redfish.

Actually, these lights attract the entire food chain, from plankton to predator fish. Anglers need steely nerves to stay cool and make a good cast as shrimp as minnows go darting across the surface over the backs of dark shadows lurking under the light. The panicked bait sets off a feeding frenzy that looks and sounds like a string of firecrackers going off in the water. It takes a cool customer to make a good cast into the melee.

Fly fishermen will typically out-fish those fishing with spinning tackle. Though small plugs and lures catch fish, as will freelined live shrimp and baitfish, there's simply no more effective way to "match the hatch" and make a natural presentation than with fly tackle. The flies closely resemble small minnows or shrimp, and a good caster can hit a dime-sized spot at an angle that allows the fly to move naturally through the light.

Then, it's tug of war, an epic struggle to turn these strong fish away from the pilings. Check out this cool video of another type of exciting Miami night life.

Some of the top captains that offer this incredibly exciting and challenging type of fishing fish out of Miami, Marco Island, Stuart and St. Petersburg. Your guide and you will likely have the water – and the fish – to yourself.

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