Boca Grande is among Florida’s premier destinations for reeling-in Redfish. This barrier island offers beachgoers endless white sand, a 125-year-old lighthouse (one of the eldest functioning light radiating obelisks in Florida), 750,000 acres of estuary, unique photo opportunities, and a wealth of Redfish.
Anglers agree that there’s little in life that compares to reeling-in a fish. However, fly fishing allows for a creative outlet that goes beyond the moments spent atop or along the brine. “You can make a fly from almost anything except paper,” states one local angler.“ It’s dazzle that catches a Redfish’s eyes, dazzle mimics the mirror like exoskeletons of the creatures that graze the water’s surface: “I use scraps of tin or anything that reflects light,” states the angler. The angler went to demonstrate by making a fly from objects within reach: “these impromptu flies attract Redfish more than anything I ever bought at the store.”
Red Drum, or Sciaenops Ocellatus in Latin, are commonly referred to as Redfish. These fish are revered for their shimmering red scales and spots. Although Redfish pups may be adorable, the adults are cunning and aggressive. Experienced Redfish anglers suggest that the adult and juvenile Red Fish are so dissimilar they should almost be treated as separate species. Bull Red Fish shed their iconic spots for tough scales. These scales are impenetrable, so much so, many anglers refer to the scales as “armor.”
These armored fish utilize their size and the current to pray on smaller fish. Red Fish are carnivores and will eat anything they can catch. Adult Red Fish are ornery and aggressive, it’s even said that these fish “fight dirty.” At maturity, their meat becomes tough to match their aggressive demeanor. These fish are known to dig deep while hooked up and put up a fight.
While reeling-in one of Boca Grande’s most ornery fish, the Redfish, experiment with creating your own flies. Most anything that’s colorful or reflective can be used, although traditional flies are made of natural materials such as hair to mimic prey. Bits of twine or plastic beads may be deployed to attract a Redfish. Moreover, don’t forget to explore this magical barrier island, perceptive individuals have found Native American artifacts along these white sand beaches.