Early March SW Florida Fishing Report

I am excited to report that fishing (catching) has really turned on this past week and with continued warm weather, there is no reason not to believe SPRING FISHING IS HERE! Fishing has been ‘spotty’ and very tough at times due to a fractional seasonal change. SW Florida water temperatures have been around 68 degrees (F) for most of the winter and affected migratory patterns.

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Captain Terry’s SW Florida Fishing Report

(Ft. Myers Beach to Charlotte Harbor)

Since my last report, fishing has been difficult due to low water levels, strong winds from the west, and little change in seasonal temperatures. Weather related, this has been an extremely mild winter, especially when compared to last January and February. None-the-less, time on the water boating and fishing has been exceptionally nice due to warm weather, warm water temperatures and moderate ‘cool’ fronts.

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Mid-February SW Florida Fishing Report

The beginning half of February has proven to be quite successful for Fishin’ Frank and his clients! This past weekend there have been multiple reports of Pompano along the coast and are best caught with sand fleas, pieces of peeled Shrimp under a popping cork or tiny trap and jigs. Fishin’ Frank recommends the jigs like a small buck-tail or a Crazy/Banana Jig Placing a small piece of Shrimp meat on the point of the hook will better your odds. If you are using the Crazy/silly jigs then Fishin’ Frank recommends the ones with the teaser attached although he has been selling more of the plain ones. Pink and white or Chartreuse and white are the best-selling colors. He has also found that the Pompano are within casting distance from the beach all along the coast line.

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Early February SW Florida Fishing Report

(Ft. Myers Beach to Charlotte Harbor)

The back half of January proved to be less productive than most of us like. However, Snook, Seatrout, Jack Crevalle and Mangrove Snapper were very active inshore. Recently, the larger Sheepshead have begun to show up on around docks and mangroves. Pictured here is Rex Burlison of St. Louis, Missouri holding a nice Sheepshead he caught in a St. James City canal. Not to be outdone, brother Ron Burlison of St. Peters, Missouri landed a few Mangrove Snappers, small Snook as well as the Sheepshead he is holding. Rex, Ron and a friend are pictured together here holding one of the bigger Snook Rex landed that day. Nice job guys!

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Captain Terry’s SW Florida Christmas Time Fishing Report

(Ft. Myers Beach to Charlotte Harbor)

Christmas and the New Year Holiday brought good weather and lots of opportunities to accommodate a number of charter requests from locals and visitors alike. Fishing was ‘spotty’ during the Christmas break but still produced a number of great trips with sufficient catches of Grouper, Seatrout, Mangrove Snapper and Spanish Mackerel to satisfy most.

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Captain Terry’s SW Florida Holiday Fishing Report

(Ft. Myers Beach to Charlotte Harbor)

This is the time of the year when many come from the frigid areas of the north to enjoy the holidays of Christmas and the New Year. The last few charters have delivered some nice catches for my young anglers. The catches were from the southern end of Pine Island Sound all the way north to Charlotte Harbor. Due to the lower winter tides, most of the game fish were caught south of the power lines in open water, around mangrove islands with oyster clusters and dead wood. The water is clearing up around the mouth of the Caloosahatchee since the Corps of Engineers have quit sending fresh water to us from Lake O. Seatrout, Redfish, Snook, Mangrove Snapper, Spanish Mackerel and small shark made up most of the ‘bounty’.

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Captain Terry says “October finished strong for most inshore species”

(Ft. Myers Beach to Charlotte Harbor)

October finished strong for most inshore species, including Flounder, Spanish Mackerel, Mangrove Snapper and decent size Seatrout joining the ‘party’. Pictured here is Dave Anderson of Lake St. Louis, Missouri holding a nice Flounder he caught around Cabbage Key while ‘free-lining’ a shrimp under a cork along mangrove trees. I was ‘Captain for Hire’ on Dave’s new 24ft. Boston Whaler Bay Boat. Dave and his wife Barbara learned some fishing locations, strategies and techniques that yielded each of them a Redfish along with a number of other species, including Snook.

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Captain Terry’s October 24th Fishing Report

(Ft. Myers Beach to Charlotte Harbor)
October 24th, 2016

Fishing has been very good north of the power lines in Pine Island Sound (‘Sound’) for species such as Snook, Redfish, Seatrout and Mangrove Snappers. South of them, the water is ‘coffee’ color due to the excess releases by the Corps of Engineers from Lake O. Red Tide seems to linger in specific areas from time to time. The Punta Rassa launch ramp is slow with few charters going out as of last week, due mostly to that. I run most of my charters out of Pineland Marina and Matlacha when possible, even though water levels are higher at the southern end of the Sound’, allowing good access to more remote areas.

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Captain Terry says “Hurricane Matthew is finally gone”!

(Ft. Myers Beach to Charlotte Harbor)

Hurricane Matthew is finally gone so we can all go back to doing what we love to do; fishing and boating! The water temperatures and wind conditions should allow most anyone good opportunity over the next week to fish both offshore and inshore. Naturally, the winds will mostly dictate offshore activities. Offshore bottom fishing should produce good numbers of Grouper, Snapper, Porgies, Cobia and an occasional Triple Tail. Baits of choice include, Pinfish, Threadfins, Finger Mullet, squid and shrimp. Use circle hooks when fishing for reef species. Know the species by sight or compare to a ‘fish species’ color chart. Know size requirements and harvest restrictions.

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