Well there is good news for all you big game people, The Tarpon are holding good in the Harbor, and it is easy you can use any lure you wish as long as it is a D.O.A. , Bait-buster or Swimming Mullet. This is a crazy year for Tarpon, live bait, cut bait, all is good to use but the hook-ups keep coming on The D.O.A.
OK here is what you do, Start early at the Gilchrist bridges or as we call them the 41 bridges, Start casting the pilings then keep an eye open for the rolling fish, they do not like outboard engines too much, so you will need an electric motor to keep up with the Tarpon. Sometime about 8:am or so they will show up along the southern shore line to fisherman’s Village, where they will hang out on the west side. By 10:am they are on the move again. The most common destination is the mouth of the Myakka River, after that it is on the holes of the Harbor,
When moving from the bridge to Fisherman’s Village to the Myakka you will have to use your out board or it would take you forever to get there. Just remember to shut down before you get to the Tarpon, and get back on the electric,
It is just a matter of casting, casting. Several retrieves are working but check your depth finder. If you are in 10 feet of water, cast the lure, then count to 10 before you close the bail on your reel. If you close the bail, the line will come tight and often the lure will come back to you. Better if it just sinks, once you have done your count start a slow up wards jigging motion, hard upward pulls then let it sink, take up the slack repeat, I can tell the guys who are hookin up lots of Tarpon. Their hands are swollen from casting. 75 casts per hook up is better that a fish-less day. There are many other types of retrieves you can use to get these Tarpon to hit but try the one I suggested it has worked before.
(FT. MYERS TO CHARLOTTE HARBOR) As reported in my last weekly update and forecast; the fishing has remained good all week, notwithstanding that we are now off the strong full moon tides. The best action was last weekend (just coming off of the full moon) with currents and tide levels still strong enough to produce monster strikes from both Snook and Redfish alike, regardless of the tide predictions and water depths for the areas I have been fishing with clients. They were ‘hitting’ jigs and top water lures at most every logical location.
During this time, I had the opportunity to be hired to assist Mark and Linda Roberts of Bokelia aboard their vessel to show them to some ‘hot spots’ and ‘techniques’ so that they may more enjoy their recent retirement in our beautiful and bountiful waters of SW Florida catching lots of big game fish. We all had a wonderful day on the water and most of all, I had the satisfaction of showing them where and how to catch large Snook and Redfish.
Later in the day, I switched my game plan and went for the other species that are more receptive to live bait fished in the deep cuts under the mangroves and on the flats. They caught Mangrove Snappers, Trout and a number of other species at different locations only to wet their appetites for future fishing trips.
Even though the tides are not as strong, the fish are still there and active. Pick your time and place with tide movement and you should have good success.
The heat is on here in Charlotte Harbor. It is all about getting out early if you can. Red fish are thick throughout the Mayaka cut off and the Mayaka River. Question is, can you cast up under the trees? If you can get your bait 4 to 6 feet under the mangroves you will catch a lot of Red fish.
Spanish Mackerel and Pompano are doing well along the beaches. Casting small silver spoons and or Git-cha’s will produce good results.
Tarpon are still hanging out in the holes of the Harbor. DOA bait busters & swimming mullet are the key to a good day of Tarpon fishing, Just keep casting.
Snook fishing in the canals and the Peace River is very good right now, big monster Snook Rapala X-rap 10 series or The 15 bombers darker colors. Pitch right along the shore.
If you are planning on making a trip to downtown Fort Myers, Legacy Harbour Marina is a great place to stop and dock your boat. To make your experience more enjoyable, here are a few tips on boating to Legacy Harbour Marina. Make reservations by telephone or email in advance, so that we may place you in a slip best suited to your boat! Legacy Harbour Marina is located on the Caloosahatchee River in the Downtown Fort Myers area. The river has a number of Manatee Protection and Boater Safety Zones. Always be aware of these zones and slow or idle as mandated. The marina lies within the quarter mile rim of the river which is a slow speed zone.
We monitor the marine radio on Channel #16. After hailing the marina we will ask you to change to our working Channel #12. The entrance to the marina is on our eastern side between Channel Marker #49 and the Caloosahatchee Bridge. We are happy to give you directions to your slip and help you with your dock lines.
It is a beautiful marina with all floating docks. Since the marina docks float up and down with the tide, it allows for easy access on and off your boat. Boats can be tied snug to the dock without worry of tidal changes. When arriving at the marina have fenders and dock lines ready: bow, stern and spring lines.
After you arrive you can relax and enjoy gatherings under the Chickee Hut, use the Heated Swimming Pool, our Captains Lounge or exercise in our Fitness Room. We provide two sets of Restrooms, Showers, Laundry, Free Wi-Fi and TV. Walk to Groceries, Shopping, Restaurants, Park, and Downtown Events.
By Richard Strauss, Broker with Galati Yacht Sales
An effective care and maintenance program should be implemented from the beginning to maintain the overall appearance and value of your vessels gel coat. Consider that your boat’s gel coat is exposed to salt, dirt, pollution, soot, and exhaust on a daily basis. In addition to the destructiveness of forces of these elements is the sun. Removing them by weekly washing will prevent attack and breakdown of the finish, reducing gloss and reduced overall appearance. Additionally, valuable time is lost because it is more difficult to clean a damaged surface. In addition to a good weekly washing using the proper soap, it is wise to thoroughly rinse your boat with clean fresh water after each use. Employing the extra pressure of using a pressure washer at least once a month helps in forcing out trapped dirt and salt deposits in tight areas, around deck hardware and rub rails.
Cleaning your Gel Coat
When washing your boat use products designed for gel coat, not house hold products like Sno- Bol® and Soft Scrub® as they scratch as they clean. Also, if using a brush make sure it is a soft bristled brush designed for use on gel coat or painted surfaces. Tiny scratches will speed oxidation and dull your boat’s gel coat quickly. Once a boat oxidizes, the hull is vulnerable to greater damage from water penetration. Additionally, house cleaning products like toilet bowel cleaners are very harsh and tend to break down the oils in the gel coat which is a petroleum base, thus speeding up the aging process of gel coat. If your boats gel coat has been well maintained and is waxed regularly, you may want to use a boat soap that has wax in it to help maintain the shine and life of the applied wax.
Not all waxes are created equal, and there is a reason for this. The condition of your gel coat will determine the right wax for you. If your gel coast is new and/or in excellent condition (no micro scratches, dull spots and/or oxidation then use a high quality beeswax, carnuba or silicon based wax. If you have some oxidation you may opt for a cleaner/wax product. Depending on the level of oxidation and/or minor scratches there are different levels of cleaner/waxes. For mild cases a good product is Meguiar’s Cleaner Wax 50® http://www.meguiars.com/ . For more extreme cases you may need to use 3M’s Gel Coat Restorer and Wax® http://tinyurl.com/cce6u25. If using this product, I would recommend going over your boat again with a high quality Premium Liquid Paste Wax in addition to the 3M Gel coat Restorer and Wax for extra UV protection. For a quick refresher, there are spray waxes or quick waxes. These are good to use between regularly scheduled waxings to keep up the shine while removing light dirt and water spots. Check out Meguiar’s Quik Wax 59® or Lucas Slick Mist® http://taek.me/66739 . These two products are easy to use and can be applied to painted, gel coat or powder coated surfaces as well as stainless hardware.
Frequency of waxing your boat depends on where you live. The minimum recommended waxing frequency is twice per year. If you live in South Florida, as many of us do, the sun’s intensity is a lot higher (more UV). So, it stands to reason that 3 or 4 times per year is not out of the question.
Richard Strauss is a broker with Galati Yacht Sales, and has been around boats nearly all his life. He has a degree in Marine Technology from Florida Tech, and has worked for well-known boat manufacturers as well as operated his own boat repair facility for fourteen years. When he is not busy helping customers find the boat of their dreams or sell their existing boat, he can be found cruising the waters of Sarasota Bay. You can contact Richard at https://www.linkedin.com/in/richard-strauss-82425926 or 239-633-5724.
By “Fishin” Frank of Fishing Franks Fishing Store in Port Charlotte
This would be a great time to get out in the gulf, Blue green waters, lots of fish, Barracuda, Sharks, Snappers, most within viewing distance from your boat. Just put out a chum bag, and give it a few minutes. Do not worry about being right on a reef, if there are too many boats just move over a 1/4 mile. Too many boats in a spot and you do not get the schools & schools of fish and bait fish massing under the boat. Just seeing this is too cool, let alone being able to catch some. Be safe, watch the sky, don’t let a surprise storm get between you and land. Have fun!
(FT. MYERS BEACH TO CHARLOTTE HARBOR) Fishing was really good this last week for both ‘Off-shore’ and ‘In-shore’. Off-shore wrecks and reefs holding Permit, Grouper, Snapper. Big Pinfish, Squid and Sardines were my baits of choice and produced good results. I do not profess to be an expert at bottom fishing, but with the calm variable winds, I took the opportunity to go out 35 miles or so to confirm some of the other Captain’s off-shore reports. One of the most intriguing things to me about ‘Off-Shore’ is the fact that you never know what you might hook up on!
‘In-shore’ has been fantastic as well with a variety of species at almost every turn or good location providing current, deep cuts. Anything and everything from large Snook, Redfish Crevalle Jacks, Permit, Mangrove and Sea Trout are at your beckoning. Most success stories come earlier in the mornings before it gets real hot. On the top of the high tides, look for Sea Trout on the real shallow flats providing grass and sand holes (2ft) busting ‘bait’ fish. These areas may be found behind and between spoil islands where the wind can provide a little breeze. This is back country fishing and with our tides coming later in the morning hours, it gets hot out there, so take plenty of water and sunscreen to stay the course. You will need a shallow hull to get to most of these areas as well.
There are plenty of reasons to believe that this coming week will produce more great fishing. If you have any questions or want to go fishing in the ‘back country’ I am easily reached by phone at 239-357-6829 or via email at email@example.com. Check out my website at www.fishfacecharters.com for all of my recent reports for fishing the bountiful waters of Lee County! Until next week, GOOD FISHING from Captain Terry Fisher of Lee County.
Mark your calendars for an event that you won’t want to miss! The $50,000 Pirate Poker Run kicks off with a Captain’s Party on Friday, August 17th at 7 pm at the Lock N’ Key. The fun continues poker run style on Saturday at 9 am with your choice of transportation – boat, motorcycle, kayak, car, SUP or pirate ship. Stops include Gasparilla Marina/Waterside Grill, Flounders Restaurant and Tiki Bar, Stump Pass Marina and Grill, Johnny Leverock’s and Cape Haze Marina. For more information on the event, check out www.piratepokerrun.org or call 941-474-5511. Arrgghh, can’t wait to see you there matey!
(FT. Myers to Charlotte Harbor) Back Country/Flats fishing has really picked up in Lee County in the areas from Ft. Myers Beach to Bokelia on Pine Island, including Matlacha Pass. I have had good success with Snook, Sea Trout, Crevalle Jacks, Sheepshead, Mangrove Snappers, Flounder and a couple of Permit. I am finding the Snook on the beaches, in the passes and in or at the mangroves on the high incoming tides. This should continue to be the pattern for coming months in regards to Snook.
Many of my recent charter customers have been enjoying what I call ‘Sport Flats Fishing’; catching Sea Trout, Crevalle Jacks and Redfish on only artificial baits. I am having most success as the last half of the tide rises over very shallow (2ft.) sand/grass flats surrounded by spoil islands and mangroves (doesn’t hurt to have an oyster bar or two around). All one has to do is lay a top water plug (Heddon Spook Jr., Bomber or other brand), jig a Gulp Shrimp in white or penny across the bottom and if you’re not hooking one every 5 casts or so, then change your method of retrieve or relocate the boat and repeat the process. One should be able to spot fish feeding on the surface. This is the time of the year to try the top water artificial baits. They will draw vicious strikes from virtually every game fish on the flats.
In regards to the Snappers and Flounder; fish the deeper cuts under mangroves as well as heavy structure areas with a mixed bottom. Work from the shoreline and mangroves out to about 4ft of water. The Mangrove Snapper and Flounder will both take a jig as mentioned above but prefer a small 2/0 circle hook with a small live ‘summer’ shrimp weighted just enough to get it down.
The last week of July should produce more good fishing. If I may be of assistance to offer advice or charter services, I am easily contacted at 239-357-6829, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or check out my websites at www.fishfacecharters.com or www.captainterryfisher.com.
By “Fishin” Frank of Fishing Franks Fishing Store in Port Charlotte
Fishing in the Charlotte area is getting better, You still need to try and get that incoming tide for the best bite, but Red Fish along the west wall, as well as the east keys are biting. Cut bait, Lady fish or mullet are the best. Take a little frozen bait with you just in case you do not find fresh right away. Fresh is better, but fishing is better than looking for bait.
In the Gulf of Mexico this is the time for dolphin (mahi mahi). Start looking at about 20 miles out, they are thick along the weed lines, just the way you do it in the keys. Most of these are chicken or schooly dolphin. Small lures or even shrimp will work well.
Snook are moving into the area. More & more by the day. Really big Snook in Pine Island sound in the pot holes. Up the river big Snook are hitting at the narrows and by I-75