Summer months are my favorite months to go fishing as fishing in SW Florida is about as good as it gets in regards to both inshore and offshore adventures. August is a month to target a number of species to complete one’s bucket list. Reef and Pelagic species are abundant in our waters. Winds permitting, long offshore runs to 100 to 130 foot of water depths may prove to be a worthwhile endeavor providing harvest of big Yellowtail, Mangrove, Lane, Vermillion Snappers together with a variety of Grouper species. The waters are warm and it is essential to fish deeper depths than those of ‘close’ reefs (35’).
However, Pelagic fish (Mackerel, Cobia, Permit, Barracuda and sharks) may be found around the shallower reefs mentioned above. Look for the bait fish and diving birds in those areas and give it a try.
Big Snook are in the passes and just off the beaches. The points with current and deep current cuts will prove best around the passes and have structure such as tree stumps and rocks. Inshore Snook will be found on the inside around the boat docks and railroad truss bridges.
Other locations for the sought-after game fish are in and around mangrove trees. Use sufficient tackle (medium heavy) rod and 3500 to 4000 series spinning reels to effectively fight and land these fish in a timely manner. Big fish will fight to exhaustion and easily die during hot summer months with water temperatures above 80 degrees F. Use 1/0-3/0 hooks with a 25-30lb test leader for freelining baits such as Pilchards, Pinfish and larger Shrimps. Artificial presentations will work as well. Snook are closed to harvest in our immediate area of Ft. Myers and Cape Coral and the outer islands.
Redfish harvesting is also closed, but the hunt and experience does not stop an avid angler from targeting them. The same size of rod and reel combo ‘setup’ is recommended to hook and land the larger Redfish. They will be located in the same areas as the Snook mentioned above. Although, I have had success fishing artificial presentations, many more Redfish will be caught on live or dead presentations such as, Shrimp, Pinfish, live Pilchards, cut Ladyfish or Finger Mullet.
FWC has opened Seatrout for harvesting. Check out the regulations for compliance. The Seatrout population seems pretty substantial but there are more restrictions with less bounty on the harvest. This was a good move on behalf of FWC with all of the pressure from new anglers, existing water quality issues and the uncertainty of future water quality problems. This species will be found on almost any type of seabed incorporating grassy spots at any depth. The most effective place to fish for them, however, is in the grassy flats of Pine Island Sound, Bull and Turtle Bays of Charlotte Harbor. Water depth of 3-5 feet should be very productive with both artificial and live shrimps. Those that want to catch lots of Seatrout, Ladyfish, Catfish and Jack Crevalle (with an occasional Spanish Mackerel or Pompano) should use shrimp as their bait of choice.
This is Captain Terry Fisher of Fish Face Charters LLC wishing everyone, tight lines. Check my website at www.fishfacecharters.com. Charter information may be obtained from there or by emailing me at [email protected]. Feel free to contact me direct at 239-357-6829 for an immediate response. I am available as Captain for Hire on your vessel (by the hour) for navigational, fishing techniques, and locations.
By Captain Terry Fisher