(Ft. Myers Beach to Charlotte Harbor)
My positive report of July 4th – July 11th was predicated on high tide levels with strong currents due to a new moon phase. Unfortunately, the tide predictions were wrong and we experienced lower water levels, weaker currents and less fish activity. Nonetheless, Pilchards are arriving in bigger numbers and that is a good sign for those wanting live bait. They are small (hatchlings), but are growing and should provide good sizes by the end of the month, just in time for the full moon tides. I recommend a ¼ mess net.
The sea trout bite has been pretty good at times, as has the Snook activity on both live and artificial presentations and on the outgoing tide. Mangrove Snappers and grouper are in the passes and are eager to take small ‘bait’ fish or shrimps. Redfish are hard to find due to the low water levels, but this should improve toward the end of the month (full moon phase). The morning hours have proved to be best, as when the midday heat arrives the fish will move from their traditional ‘haunts’, making them hard to find. Redfish will be the exception to heat and will bite when the water levels are high and they move into mangroves scattered with oyster clusters. The heat does not seem to ‘phase’ in the way it does on some of the other species. Use large shrimps or cut Pinfish for best results.
Offshore fishing is good and should remain so. The temperatures are subsiding somewhat and the only negative factor should be storms and wind, so pick your day wisely and be safe. Fish the reef structures, drift or troll.
This is Captain Terry Fisher of Fish Face Charters wishing everyone ‘tighter’ lines! Check out my website for charter information at www.fishfacecharters.com. Email me at email@example.com or call me direct at 239-357-6829 for immediate assistance. I am also available on your vessel as ‘Captain for Hire’ by the hour for navigational/safety, instructions, fishing techniques and locations. More of my articles may be found in the monthly publication of Coastal Angler Magazine, found at many tackle, marine stores and other locations.