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If you’re angling for a real fishing adventure, you’ve come to the right spot. Capt. Justin Cauffman, at the helm of Native Salt Charters, has been guiding folks through the waters of Boca Grande and Charlotte Harbor since 2007. With a passion for the sport and a deep knowledge of these waters, he’s your go-to guide for targeting some of the most sought-after game fish in Florida.

Nestled in the heart of Florida, Charlotte Harbor stands as one of the largest saltwater estuaries in the state, a true paradise for anglers from all over the globe. Its waters are loaded with some of the most sought-after game fish in the world, making it a premier destination for those seeking both adventure and an epic day of fishing.

Current Tide: Redfish Season

Right now, the waters are loaded with redfish. It’s their time, and we’re in the thick of it, making it the perfect opportunity for both seasoned anglers and those new to the game. Capt. Justin has honed techniques that are hitting the mark, leading to some impressive catches.

Known for their resilience, striking copper color, and the distinctive spot on their tail, redfish offer one of the most rewarding fishing experiences in Florida.

A picture of Home Is Where The Reds Are: Charlotte Harbor with Native Salt Charters

Whether you’re looking to improve your own skills or just want to enjoy a day out on the water reeling in these fighters, you’re in good hands.

A picture of Home Is Where The Reds Are: Charlotte Harbor with Native Salt Charters

Justin’s approach is straightforward: find the fish, and do it well. No frills or unnecessary chatter—just the awesome experience of fishing, guided by someone who knows these waters like the back of his hand. He’s out there every day, tracking the habits of redfish, and has insider knowledge on where they’re biting and the best tactics to catch them.

A picture of Home Is Where The Reds Are: Charlotte Harbor with Native Salt Charters

During the cooler months, redfish tend to school in larger groups, making them easier to locate. As the waters warm, they spread out, feeding aggressively in preparation for spawning. This behavior provides a unique opportunity for anglers to witness and engage with redfish in their natural habitat, utilizing different strategies and baits.

One of the keys to successful redfish fishing is understanding the importance of tide movements and how they affect redfish behavior. Capt. Justin meticulously plans each charter to coincide with optimal tides, ensuring the best chances of success. Whether it’s using live bait to entice these predators or employing artificial lures for sight casting, the tactics are as varied as they are effective.

Looking Ahead: Spring and Summer Fishing

While redfish are the current stars of the show, there’s more to look forward to. As we transition into the next month, the waters of Charlotte Harbor and its surrounding areas are preparing to welcome an incredible variety of game fish, setting the stage for what could be the most dynamic fishing season yet.

A picture of Home Is Where The Reds Are: Charlotte Harbor with Native Salt Charters

Here’s what the upcoming season has in store:

Starting mid-March, Snook begin to make their presence known, joining the already active Redfish and Spotted Seatrout for some of the best inshore fishing of the year. But that’s just the beginning. The diversity of species available makes every trip a new adventure:

  • Pompano and Jack Crevalle add speed and agility to the mix, offering fast-paced action for those ready for a challenge.
  • Black Drum and Sheepshead provide a test of technique and patience, known for their distinctive fights and the rewarding catches they offer.
  • Blacktip Shark and Bonnethead Shark introduce an element of thrill, turning an inshore trip into a heart-pounding adventure.

Venturing a bit further from the coast, the nearshore waters of Charlotte Harbor reveal a treasure trove of game fish, promising exciting encounters for those seeking bigger challenges:

  • Cobia and King Mackerel roam the nearshore areas, providing spectacular fights with their speed and power.
  • Spanish Mackerel, Grouper (Red, Gag), and Snapper (Mangrove, Lane) add variety and excitement, each species offering a unique fishing experience and the promise of a delicious catch.
  • Amberjack test the strength and endurance of anglers, known for their deep dives and powerful runs.
  • Blacktip Shark make another appearance, reminding us of the sheer diversity and thrill that nearshore waters hold.

Anglers fishing in Charlotte Harbor are treated to an array of scenic backdrops and fishing grounds. The mangrove-lined shores offer a natural nursery for many species, while the shallow grass flats, spanning thousands of acres, are a haven for sight fishing, and the numerous creeks and rivers that feed into the harbor create dynamic environments for both fish and fishermen.

A typical day fishing in Charlotte Harbor with Native Salt Charters is an immersive experience that begins with the sunrise. For those interested in the full fishing experience, the day starts with catching bait together.

With baitwell stocked, we set off to the fishing grounds. Whether you’re a seasoned angler or new to the sport, Capt. Justin tailors the day to meet your needs and preferences, ensuring an unforgettable experience. The diversity of Charlotte Harbor’s fishing spots means that every trip can be customized to target the species you’re most interested in, using techniques that range from fly fishing on the flats to spinning in the creeks.

But let’s not stop there. As summer approaches, so does the tarpon run—a highlight for many anglers fishing Boca Grande and Charlotte Harbor. Known as the “Silver King,” tarpon fishing is a challenge that draws fishermen from all over the world. Capt. Justin’s expertise in targeting these giants means you’ll have the best shot at a memorable catch.

A picture of Home Is Where The Reds Are: Charlotte Harbor with Native Salt Charters

Known affectionately as the “Silver King,” tarpon are known for their sheer strength, acrobatic jumps, and the challenge they present makes them one of the most exciting sport fish to catch. And when it comes to tracking down these magnificent creatures, Native Salt Charters has the expertise to put you right in the middle of the action.

The tarpon season kicks off as the waters warm in late March to early April. This is when the first wave of tarpon arrives in the Charlotte Harbor area, hungry and ready to feed on the plentiful herring. While they might not be the largest you’ll hook into the season, their vigor and fight are unmatched, offering a perfect introduction to tarpon fishing.

As the calendar turns to May through July, prepare for the grand spectacle: the great migration to Boca Grande Pass. Here, in the thousands, the “Silver Kings” gather, creating a fishing experience that’s truly unparalleled. The sight of these massive, silvery fish rolling on the surface is something every angler dreams of.

Don’t think tarpon season ends there. From August through October, the adventure continues. Though the numbers may dwindle, the tarpon grow larger, feasting to fuel their long migration to warmer waters for the winter. This period offers a unique challenge, as the fish are at their most formidable, making every catch a testament to skill and perseverance.

A picture of Home Is Where The Reds Are: Charlotte Harbor with Native Salt Charters

Join Us on the Water

We’re gearing up for an incredible season ahead, with redfish now and the promise of snook and tarpon on the horizon. If you’re ready to cast your line into some of the best fishing Florida has to offer, we’re here to guide you every step of the way.

Join us at Native Salt Charters, where fishing is more than just a pastime—it’s a passion. Let’s make those fishing tales worth telling.

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