The Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation is a great non-profit organization whose mission is to incease participation in recreational angling and boating and thereby increase public awareness and appreciation of the need to potect, conserve and restore this Nation;s aquatic natural resources.
They provide a valuable service to the boating and fishing communities…….. the following article is from their web site at http://www.takemefishing.org/general/about-rbff — take a tlook for more great info!
The Intracoastal Waterways – An angler’s paradise
Whether you’re a newcomer to saltwater fishing or a seasoned pro, the ICW offers some of the most accessible and enjoyable light tackle action in the country.
The Intracoastal Waterway (ICW) is comprised of various bays, inlets, saltwater rivers and other manmade water canals that offer boat passage and protection from the open sea. There are three separate ICW regions: the Gulf of Mexico ICW stretches from south Texas to the panhandle of Florida, the Florida Gulf Coast ICW connects Tarpon Springs to Ft. Myers, and the Atlantic ICW reaches from the Florida Keys all the way to Virginia.
ICW waters are typically calmer, and readily accessible to smaller recreational fishing boats. They’re also home to prolific schools of baitfish, as well as larger sport fish that migrate, feed, and breed there. Indeed, the ICW is the ultimate “inshore” fishery in America.
Here are some ICW fishing hotspots worth checking out with light tackle.
- Laguna Madre in Texas – A massive hyper-saline (and consistently shallow) lagoon, the Laguna Madre is a veritable factory for speckled sea trout, as well as redfish and tarpon. If sight fishing is your deal, this is a place where you can run a skiff, wade or kayak for miles, and cast at fish all day.
- Carrabelle, Florida – Fishing guides from throughout the region gravitate toward the waters around Carrabelle in the summer, because big tarpon migrate there. In the fall, the sea trout action is hot.
- Fort Myers, Florida – Try fishing for snook in the evening from a flats skiff in the boat canals. Fly fishing is a particularly rewarding approach; use a purple “Puglisi Peanut Butter” fly with an 8-weight rod.
- Miami Beach, Florida – Believe it or not, anglers have been known to hook 100-pound plus tarpon by casting plugs (and flies) in and around Governor’s Cut, right where the cruise ships pass by. It’s also fun to catch pompano in this area. But be sure to pay attention to other boat traffic when fishing here.
- St. John’s River, Florida – Northeast Florida has a wide array of canals, rivers and channels that are loaded with some of the best populations of sea trout, jacks and redfish in the country. This is a kayak fisherman’s paradise.
- Hatteras, North Carolina – Fishing on the inside of the Outer Banks offers some of the best opportunities to chase redfish in shallow water. Try slowly retrieving a golden spoon with a light- or medium-action spinning rod.
The number of species from striped bass to snapper, black drum to sheepshead (and everything else mentioned above) comprises only a fraction of a list longer than any angler can tackle in a lifetime. And the approaches and techniques you can use are only limited to your imagination. So what are you waiting for? Give it a try.