The flats fishin requires a Lewis & Clark attitude. Yes indeed boys & Girls if you are going to find fish on the east side, put on your explorer out-fit. Right now those Red-Fish, Trout, Sheep head, Snapper are all tucked in between the islands. This will require two people (one of you drawing straws seems to work out) for who drives the boat and who gets to stand on the bow. Yup one of you gets to stand on the bow as you idle slowly, very slowly around the keys “Islands” of the east side. You are looking for deeper water flowing between two islands.
When you find a place, it is not going to be good fishing yet, since you just ran your boat into, over, & through it. Take a minute to look around. Study where the hole/trough is and where you should anchor to get your best cast. Get a game plan in your head, then go off to find the next spot. By the time you find the next one, the first one you found should be ready to fish. Head back to your first spot. come in using your Electric motor or push pole. Use a stick-it pin/pole to anchor with not, not an anchor with a chain (this is a quiet area). You have to be sneaky about this. Once you are set, you should be able to start catching. And, as we all know, that is just the “bonus”. But it is really nice to be catching and not just fishin every once in a while.
Since the Ft. Myers Boat Show I have had the opportunity to run a number of charters in search for Snook, Redfish and Sea Trout. Notwithstanding the wind and cold front, the ‘back-bay’ fishing was surprisingly good most of the week. The Sea Trout was very hard to locate, but with some persistence I got rewarded with dividends of bigger pre-winter fish. The Snook was active as well around the Cape Coral canals, creek mouths and mangrove cuts. The Redfish bite remains on, but they are not as aggressive, plentiful or as big as they were in October. However, there are still plenty around on an incoming tide just off of the main channels and around the spoil islands at both the southern end of Pine Island Sound and Matlacha Pass. If you live north of Matlacha or Redfish Pass, I suggest working some of the spoil islands with oyster bars and grass flats. Other ‘back-bay’ species that are active are the Spanish Mackerel and Pompano. The birds will give you the possible locations of the Mackerel. The Pompano are just off of the flats at Wulfert Keys, Punta Rassa and San Carlos Bay, just to name a few locations.
I am forecasting that the bite should be fairly good for all of the above species in the coming week, given that there is a full moon ‘on the horizon’ and the fishing has remained decent, despite the cold fronts.
Regarding off-shore species; with the winds and the cold fronts, I have not had any reports from other captains in regarding off-shore, but will address that in next week’s article. If you have any questions, I am easily reached by phone at 239-357-6829 or via email at email@example.com. Check out both my weekly and monthly articles as well as the services I offer at www.fishfacecharters.com.
Robert & I were talking this morning about the Cobia & Triple tail reports. Every day more and more people talking about them, and today is going to be glass calm out there. We think the Cobia have been pretty thick here for the last month but the water is just now getting clear enough where you can see them.
The one trait in common with Cobia & Triple Tail is you hunt for them. Get your boat on plane, then back off until you are on plane but just barely, and start looking (Big brim hat & good polarized Sunglasses). This is your basic equipment. My trick is, during the morning I look on the west side sand bars, and then switch to the east side. You cannot see into the sun. By starting on the west side the sun is at your back. The Cobia like to cruise the sand bars.
When do you look for the triple tail? When you are crossing the harbor, look for anything floating, a crab trap buoy, a bag, Palm frond. I caught a 12 pound Triple tail who was “hiding” under a small silver and blue potato chip bag (not the big family bag, a 99 cent size bag). So keep a sharp eye out, When you go by the Crab trap buoys keep the sun behind you look at the ball. You are looking for is something which looks like a dirty rag tied to the line. Believe it or not, that is what a triple tail looks like.
My 1st Mate Vicki and I just wrapped up a long weekend working the booth at the Ft. Myers Boat Show at the convention center in Historic Downtown Ft. Myers. We had a wonderful time greeting and meeting a number of attendees at our booth as well as at my seminars which covered a number of topics, including but not limited to; Seatrout, Redfish and Snook. I had about thirty (30) attendees at each seminar and I truly feel that most everyone went away with a lot of enthusiasm and desire.
Additionally, we were able to distribute to a number of attendees the paper version of the November issue of The Nautical Mile publication as well as the new DVD: ‘GO BOATING LEE COUNTY’ (brought to you by the Nautical Mile Magazine and www. LeeCountyBoater.com), which includes a detailed introduction to boating in Lee County, Florida. This wonderful DVD covers: ‘Beautiful Waterfront Properties, Over 30 Water-Access Restaurants, 600+ miles of Canals, Fishing, Shelling and Sightseeing’. Everyone seemed to appreciate the information that it included and felt privileged to have a copy to assist their individual needs.
Finally, we were very thankful to meet the suppliers and everyone involved in our community that have both investment and interest in our industry.
Trout stories are being told about Tippy Canoe Bay, Muddy Bay, Cape Haze, and the east side bar, so I think I am going to say the Trout have moved in.
Pompano and Triple tail, are mystery guests here in the harbor, with a few reports coming in steady, but the exact where about remain a mystery.
Small jigs, banana type white or pink, is the color everyone is talking, but a guy told me he caught his pompano on a pink jig. Had the picture of the fish and the jig in the pompano’s mouth was green chartreuse. I am beginning to think some fisherman might lie a little!
(FT. MYERS BEACH TO CHARLOTTE HARBOR) The Ft. Myers Boat Show is a huge success with lots of vendors, products and fishing seminars that will fulfill the appetites from the beginning to the most experienced anglers. I had an opportunity to charter a client on the first morning of the show (last Thursday) and even with the Nor-Easter’s high winds and cold weather I was able to get on the leeward side of a couple of the spoil islands to get some action on some nice size trout, Sheepshead, Flounder and Mangrove Snapper on an outgoing tide. The water was just beginning to come alive with moving fish on the bottom of the outgoing tide. The weather forced an end to the charter, but had I the opportunity to try some of the normal locations (which the wind prevented), I feel that we would have had good success with the Redfish as well. The winds have prevented most ‘off-shore’ activity, but next week should prove to be fairly good for those that have an opportunity to get on the water.
I am looking forward to going out after the weekend as I am doing some seminars over the weekend at the boat show on Trout, Redfish and Snook fishing. My next seminar is scheduled for Saturday @ 12:30PM and if opportunity ‘knocks’, I will do another one or two on Sunday. Please stop by and see me and my 1st Mate Vicki at Fish Face Charters booth in the Convention Center. Hope to see you there! If you have any questions I am easily reached at 239-357-6829 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Check out my websites at www.fishfacecharters.com or www.captainterryfisher.com.
Not much in way of reporting catches from local captains as a result of the winds created by Hurricane Sandy keeping boaters and fishermen off the waterways. However, my 1st Mate and I took time last Wednesday and Thursday to check out the fishing action around Point Ybel, Punta Rassa, Pine Island Sound and Matlacha Pass while the full moon was still intact and found it was good.
Inshore; the Snook, Jacks, big Trout and Redfish seem to be hungry and are active on moving tides. Slack tides produced nothing and I forecast the same trend over the next few days using shrimp, cut- Pinfish and Ladyfish. Be sure and keep a ‘look-out’ for the delicious Pompano skirting the area as well.
Offshore; expect good action trolling spoons and top-water artificials for Kings and Spanish Mackerel from shore to 10 plus miles out. Grouper, snapper and other species should remain active off the bottom over ledges and on structure using finger Mullet, Squid, Pinfish, Grunts and Threadfins. Be alert for migrating Cobia as well.
This is Captain Terry Fisher of Fish Face Charters. Check out my website at www.fishfacecharters.com. If you have questions or information to share, email me at email@example.com or call 239-357-6829. I plan on being at the Ft. Myers Boat show November 8-11 and look forward to meeting new friends and clients.
Prior to Hurricane Sandy skirting southern Florida and the east coast, we were enjoying excellent fishing, especially for Redfish (‘Reds’). The flats around Punta Rassa was producing slot size ‘Reds’ on a regular basis for those with the patience to await their arrival on the incoming tides. However, due to the recent weather (winds), myself and other Charter Captain’s have not been able to enjoy getting out to find out if the fishing has continued at the same high level prior to the strong winds and ‘Small Craft Advisory’s’.
Nonetheless, we should enjoy some relief soon and I suggest for ‘Off-shore’; to go after the Kings and AJs with large Pinfish, Threadfins and cut baits around wrecks and artificial reefs in about 70 ft. of water. ‘In-shore’; Seatrout for the taking on the flats loaded with Turtle grasses from 3-5 foot deep with both artificial and live baits all around Punta Rassa and Pine Island Sound. Matlacha Pass (on both the east and west sides) should hold and produce both good Snook and ‘Reds’ on both artificial and live baits on the moving tides (work the creek mouths). Much of the back-bay area(s) hold enough water for a hull and trolling motor, but not much more. I suggest fishing the incoming tides and come out with the outgoing tides. In these areas, it is best to use stealth when fishing the lagoons of Matlacha Pass.
Until next week, this is Captain Terry Fisher wishing you; GOOD FISHING and as always, if you have questions or want to book a charter, I am easily reached at 2139-357-6829 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure and check out my website which includes weekly and monthly fishing and boating articles.
Spanish mackerel are moving into the Harbor. Trolling at or by marker #5 or the reef are getting some nice fish, nothing monster right now, 14 inches average size, but fun on light tackle.
If you are coming to visit S.W. Fla. try bringing you crappie rods, with the 4 or 6 pound test, then put on a light steel leader, with a small spoon or Jig, 1/8 or 1/4 ounce. White buck tails are on for the Spanish, a lot of fun on those light rods. I enjoy trolling the jigs for Spanish you really feel the hit that way.
On a clear breezy day, we had the opportunity to race and sail with twins. Not twin sailors, but twin sailboats. A friend of ours bought his first large sailboat which was a Bristol 29.9, an upgrade from his 26 foot Catalina. David’s brother, Jon also had a Bristol 29.9 and all three sailors agreed to meet at Bunch Beach.
Here are the players:
There was Captain David Bickel, an old salt in his 28 Phillips Rhodes; Anhinga. He raced for years in Tampa Bay. They called him the Kat! With the rushing clang of the halyards against the running gear, the grinding spin in the lines of the winches, and with the sound of the luffing of the jib he knew the moves. He was an expert from stealing the wind in a tacking war to counting the puffs to propel any boat further and faster.
And there was Jon Bickel, a seasoned single handed sea dog, brother of the competitive Bickel clan. He was sailing in his Bristol; High Voltage2. This seaman would take off for weeks finding solitude of the Marquesas just to hear the quietness of nothing. Comfortable on the water Jon would spend days in search of solitude anchoring in secluded mangroves, or the peaceful beauty of a silent island.
Lastly we have Mystery Mike in his Bristol; Black tip. He was a low keyed seafarer with a passion for wooden boats, who still was unsure of his abilities in a larger sailboat; more used to taking picnic sails with his wife on the eastern coast; where the sailboats soar on mystical winds and the sound of seagulls is heard flapping off the bow through the mist of clammy dawn.
The agreement was to race from the Sanibel marker to the bridge and back. The sailboats were all close-hauled heading into a breeze of 13 knots. Straight away, David tacked Anhinga taking away High Voltage2’s wind and swung in front of Jon. Mike was in last place. Suddenly there was a velocity shift; Mike took a 90 degree turn swinging The Black Tip into first place. The move took us all by surprise with a lot of woohooing coming from Mike’s boat.
Afterwards we anchored back at Bunch Beach, grilled burgers, and watching the sun set over the light house on Sanibel Island. What fun day around the bay of Fort Myers beach.