As people begin to come back to their winter homes here in SW Florida, the two main questions I get are: how is the red tide and how has it effected the fishing?
First I would like to explain what red tide is… Red tide is known worldwide as an algae bloom. This phenomenon not only happens on our coast but on many coastlines all over the world. It is caused by the up welling of nutrients from the sea floor. Red tide is found in oceans, bays, and places where freshwater meets saltwater but, it cannot thrive in freshwater purely because of its salinity. The algae blooms are fueled by wind, temperature, nutrients, and salinity. This is why storms play a huge part in the growth of a bloom.
Now there are LOTS of different “man made” things that contribute to us having worse or higher elevations of red tide as well… but that would be a whole another article. If you would like to see what you personally can do to help, go to www.captainsforcleanwater.com. They are an amazing group of people who are actually taking action to help the waters that we love so much. I encourage you to take a step to see what you can do to help.
To answer the main questions from earlier… Answer #1- The red tide is getting better! As we get into the cooler months, the water temps begin to drop and so does the red tide count. There are still some dead fish lingering "mostly mullet and bait fish" in certain spots but, we have PLENTY of clean water around this area. This time of year lots of fish will be falling into their normal patterns as they head deeper into the backwaters where the red tide hasn’t really reached most areas anyway. And that plays right into answer #2- Fish are a lot smarter than we think. Most of the strong healthy fish swam as far away from the red tide as they could which means there should be lots of good fish to catch when you find them. This is one of my favorite times of the year to fish so, I look forward to catching ya out there!