September 2009

Sharad's Triple Tail
Most visitors from the northern climes believe southwest Florida has but one season but those of us who are year-round residents and particularly those who spend a lot of time outdoors know this isn't the case.

While our weather is still very warm and we're still in the middle of hurricane season, I can see the subtle hints that fall is approaching.

The Roseate Spoonbills are getting restless and starting to migrate, the red mangroves are having their last bloom of the year, the snook are completing their spawn and moving off the beaches, all of these are signs that the fall is around the corner and the best fishing of the year is soon to be here.

September and October are arguably the best months for backwater fishing in our area. The three primary game fish in the 10,000 Islands, which is the area between Goodland, Florida and Lostman's River are snook, redfish, tarpon and trout and this entire area lights up for these species between now and our first big winter cold front which usually occurs in the first week of November. The snook start moving from the passes into the backcountry and if you know where their staging points are you'll have some exciting times catching these bad boys. Tarpon will be involved with their reverse migration and while not as numerous as the spring run there are still plenty to target and if you don't want to dedicate your charter to tarpon exclusively, you can always find some small ones (20 to 50 pounds) in deep holes in the backwaters. The opening of snook season always triggers a rush to land a slot fish (28 to 33 inches) for the dinner table but you shouldn't overlook the redfish because the large schools start invading our area during this time. These fish offer a great sport to catch and eat.

The Dog days of summer have been visiting for the last two weeks and the fishing has been sporadic although catches of quality fish have been good the big numbers just haven't been there. While fishing with Steve Anderson and Sharad Kapur this week, we landed tarpon, snook, redfish and triple tail.

Steve's Redfish
Of course we released the tarpon and snook (season opens September first) but the redfish and triple tail joined us for lunch at our local restaurant in Goodland. Many fisher people have never seen a triple tail much less eaten one but it is some of the finest table fare you'll ever pull from salt water. We also caught some mangrove snapper which my clients let me take home and I prepared the filets using my favorite recipe for snapper.


4 portions of snapper or other firm white fish
8 ounces ground almonds
4 tablespoons olive oil
4 tablespoons white wine
Lemon wedge
1 teaspoon Provencal seasoning
Salt and pepper to taste


Place fish fillets on a sheet pan and drizzle with olive oil and white wine.
Season with salt, pepper, Provencal seasoning and top with almonds.
Bake at 400 degrees for eight minutes.

I squeeze a little lemon juice on the filets and serve with steamed asparagus and saffron rice Simple but very good.
That's about it for the news from Goodland and the 10,000 Islands. I have some available dates for charters for the months of September and October so don't miss out on the action and as always, remember to take a kid fishing.

For Reservations Call:
Capt. Jay's Fishing Charters
P.O. Box 777 ~ Goodland, Florida 34140