Gene Coveran, Syracuse, New York, asks: “Why do you cover ‘inshore’ fishing on TV and feature travel tips to those kinds of destinations in In-Fisherman?”
Editor In Chief Doug Stange: We cover what large numbers of readers and viewers want to know. That occasionally includes aspects of saltwater fishing, mostly inshore fishing, to which many freshwater anglers have easy access. Redfish populations in particular have rebounded to levels not seen in decades — the fish is being called the black bass of backwaters, so popular and so important is it to near-shore and estuary fisheries along the East and Gulf coasts. Meanwhile, stripers are back in the Northeast. Speckled trout and flounder populations have blossomed. Tarpon are ranging into areas where they haven’t been in years. Snook populations also continue to improve. Freshwater anglers can take the same tackle they use for many freshwater species and do well inshore.
As I mentioned, the redfish is at the heart all the interest building inshore. In most waters, redfish run up to about 12 pounds, although bull reds pushing past 20 pounds also enter the mix. Bull reds more often make their appearance in ocean and Gulf waters adjoining inshore waters, near jetties or along beaches and the mouths of bayous near bigger water. Much of the outstanding fishing is a tribute to improvements in water quality and in efforts to manage inshore fisheries.
Top inshore guides I recommend: Charleston, South Carolina: Captain JR Waits, 843-971-9407; Orlando-Coco Beach, Florida: Captain Brent Sloan, 888-937-6843; Tampa, Florida: Captain Lee Van Horn, 800-757-8577; Gulf Shores-Orange Beach, Alabama: Captain Jeff Chambliss, 251-979-1209; New Orleans-Lafitte, Louisiana: Griffin Charters, 800-741-1340; Port Mansfield, Texas: Captain Bruce Shuler, 956-944-4000.