Charlotte County Fishing Report with Frank

Well, lots of hoo-ha about Red tide here on the West coast, so I just want to cover a couple of points about that.  Please no Catch & release fishing in areas with Red Tide.  If you go into an area with light or trace amounts of Red tide, look for small bait size fish struggling at or near the surface,  This means that even though the larger fish like Snook, Red fish and Trout, are not dying from it, they are having a hard time breathing.   Red tide “Pollen” paralyzes the gills of fish.  So hooking and fighting a fish exhausts them to a point it is hard to recover, lots of dead loss.  The whole point behind C&R is for the fish to live.

On the other hand, it is OK to catch the fish for dinner.  But once you have enough for the table, leave. Red tide will not harm the meat, it is not a poison.

Fishing is fantastic from 15 miles out.  Tuna, Mahi, Snappers, Groupers, Bonita, Kings, Spanish, It is happening now. Trolling or bottom fishing,

Up in Charlotte Harbor we do not get Red tide.  So the fishing here is good, Spanish, Jacks, Red Snook, all doing good right now, Even good reports of Flounder, up here by the 41 bridges.

Last point Red tide is not fixed. It may be bad almost choking you, then all of a sudden it is gone.  Or everything is great, then it drifts in.  Watch for the dates on the Red tide reports.  Things can change fast.

Last of all do not let a fear of the great boogie man “Red tide” scare you from going out to enjoy yourself.  As I said it might be there or it might not.  If it is, just go a little ways one way or the other chances are it will be all good.

Have fun out there be safe, but not scared.

“Fishin” Frank.

The 40th Annual Fort Myers Boat Show

Oct. 11, 2012 (Fort Myers, Fla.) One of the River District’s most highly anticipated events is just on the horizon. The Southwest Florida Marine Industries Association presents the 40th Annual Fort Myers Boat Show at Harborside Event Center and City of Fort Myers Yacht Basin from Thursday, November 8th through Sunday, November 11th, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday.

Widely considered the premier boat show on Florida’s west coast, the show will feature boats of just about every type imaginable, marine products and services for both enthusiasts and novices alike. Now in its 40th year, the show will include seminars on fishing, diving and boat safety. Local guides will be on hand to answer questions and present instruction about fishing in Southwest Florida. Diving enthusiasts from the Caloosa Dive Club will speak on equipment, schools, resources and hot dive spots. The show will also include a large kayaking section with daily seminars, products displays, and information about Lee County’s Great Calusa Blueway paddling trails. The U.S. Coast Guard will return this year with their interactive Boating safety trailer displaying a variety of safety equipment.

Students can get in on the action with the new boat building festival. Teams led by experienced instructors, Sharon and David Bickel of the Shipwright Shop, will try their hands at building a 12’ Bevin’s Skiff from scratch throughout the show. Student teams are sponsored by many local businesses.

“This year’s show promises to be one of our best to date. We’re very excited about the increased participation of boat and equipment manufacturers this year and how that is going to add to guest’s enjoyment of the event.” says John Good of Good Event Management, whose company manages the show.

Show attendees can tour a large assortment of boat types both in, and out of the water. Visitors can check out luxury yachts and off-shore fishing boats, plus dinghies and kayaks. Resorts and marinas will also be on hand to help guests plan waterfront trips, and vendors will display the latest in boating accessories, electronics, marine financing and insurance, motors and fishing gear from manufacturers all over the world.

SWFMIA hosts three annual boat shows, including the Fort Myers Boat Show held each November in beautiful downtown Fort Myers. It has grown to become one of the major shows in Florida with new and brokerage boats in-water and a huge showing of boats and accessories in the Harborside Event Center and outdoors along the Caloosahatchee River. Food and beverages will be available inside the event as well as in downtown restaurants. Admission is $9.00 per person, per day and free for children under 12. Tickets can be purchased at the door.


Lee County Fishing Report with Captain Terry

(FT. MYERS BEACH-CHARLOTTE HARBOR) The waters are cooling and the fish are moving.  Spanish Mackerel are along the beaches doing their ‘fall run’ as well as in the passes. They can be found just off the beach at casting distance or as far out as 20-30 miles. Look for the birds and throw your favorite lure or put on a chunk of ladyfish and enjoy the action.  The ‘Kings’ should be following anytime. Grouper, Snapper and other species are moving in closer to the beaches as well as in the passes and into the sound.

Redfish will continue to ‘fatten-up’ for their journey from the mangroves and the flats and will be gone by Thanksgiving.  They are cruising the bars and flats in Pine Island Sound.  While they have been sort of ‘hit and miss’, many are in the 30”-35” range. Although many are over slot, they make for a fantastic fight and there maybe some ‘slot-size’ within the same school. Snook is also a good bet as they begin their fall migration into the estuary. They are being found near passes and inlets while staging around pilings and docks. These game fish are in good numbers moving along the mangroves shorelines as well, especially, where points and creek mouths make great ambush spots.

If you have any questions or need to book a charter, I am easily reached at 239-357-6829 or at Check out my website at for monthly and weekly articles. Until next week: GOOD FISHING!

Charlotte County Fishing Report with Frank

Here is a new fish cooking idea. Bonita, Ok I thought the same thing at first, cook it on leather add a lot of spices then slow grill for two hours, toss away the fish, eat the leather.

Well he had a great idea, Smoke it, Now I can say for sure smoked Jack Crevalle is one of, if not the best smoked fish I ever ate, So why not Bonita?

He said when you catch it, cut the tail and the gills, it is important to really bleed it out, and just as important to keep it cold, you must put the fish on ice as soon as possible. When you get back, fillet the slabs off then keep them on ice.  For them to turn out good, you have to smoke them before you freeze the slabs,

This really sounds like it could be something.  He said it reminds him of belly meat from a blue fin. Now before you think about doing this, smoking fish is an art form, it needs to be done slowly over as much time as it takes for the meat to be ready.  This is not a quick meal.

But I am going to try it.  I have eaten Bonita when I was a commercial fisherman up in the pan-handle. When we would catch one, as soon as it was brought on board, you would hold it out the first mate would cut slabs out from the sides of the fish, while it was still kickin.  Put it into a hot skillet with butter and something else which I wish I had paid attention to.  It was like eating seared Tuna, really, really good.

So with that in mind there may be something to this Smoked Bonita, After all when I got here to Florida, Red fish was a salt water Carp not good for anything. I believe that changed.

Good luck.  Have fun out there and be safe

Fishin Frank

Charlotte County Fishing Report with Frank

I got to go fishing Sunday.  I wanted to take my boat and scout out some of the Cut-off.  Good plan, not a good choice, I was going out to the gulf because the fishing has been unreal out there, just plain wow!  But the wind was going to make it a little rough for the flats boat & we got a late start, so to the cut-off I went.  My jack plate blew out.  Not just a hose, the cylinder went. It is 15 years old and has seen a lot of use.  So I was not well too up set.  I thought heck, I will just trim the motor up and go on with the electric when I get shallow.

Good plan again, but with my plate not lifting the motor will not tilt without hitting the stern and breaking the steering connections.  So it was run through the shallows and set down in deep water, Red fish for dinner was the goal.  That did not happen.  Myself the wife T and my Dad scored 3 fish for 4 hours of fishing, 1 Trout, 1 lady fish, 1 cat-fish.  The cat was unusual because all 3 fish were caught be me on the Small chartreuse Maverick golden Eye.  It catches fish, but a hard head cat-fish that was a first. Any way Dad & T had no luck with bait, but it was a nice ride.

So today I order a new jack plate and get ready to mount that.  And while I am doing that, some wiring needed to be done, and I should get a new roller arm for the trailer, mount the new depth finder, and fix a couple of switches.   Other than that everything works great. 🙂

Oh well.  You all be safe out there and have some fun.

Charlotte County Fishing Report with Frank

If anyone one out there has Mahi-Mahi on their mind, and you don’t have time for a keys trip, they are here, sort of.   40 miles out into the gulf.  Here’s a weird thought, if I were in the keys it would be nothing to go out 40 miles looking for dolphin.  I wonder why here it is like the forbidden zone: too scary to think about?

Anyway they are out there.  Small dolphin getters are trolling with some sardines or other fish cut into small chunks, about one inch pieces.  Keep these in a bowl or something with a lid, freeze them before you leave.  If you catch them fresh and cut them, make sure it is into a bucket.  When you see or hook up a Mahi, start tossing the pieces of fish out in a fan pattern, get them eating the chunks. Then cast a slightly bigger piece out with a hook in it.  Keep the first one in the water as it fights the line it make the other Mahi think it is feeding and brings them close.

Billy baits in smaller sizes are the best lures to troll as they have dissimilar metals which create a magnetic field in the water attracting fish to them. But small spoons or jig work well also.

As you are heading out, start looking for weed lines when you reach 30 miles. That is as close as I have heard about.

Good luck and be safe out there.


Lee County Fishing Report with Captain Terry

(FT. MYERS BEACH TO CHARLOTTE HARBOR) The moon phase is coming to ‘full circle’ this week and the ‘Marine Forecasts’ look good so far with temperatures topping out around 90 degrees (F), fairly light winds through the weekend with only few chances of thundershowers. The tidal phases for most of the area allow for early morning departures and arrival at your favorite destination in time for the incoming high tides around midday. This fall weather provides for comfortable days on the water. The water is very clear so I recommend using lighter leader material and more stealth when approaching your fishing location.

Don’t forget to send me pictures, comments or reports of your outings to my website If you have any questions do not hesitate to call me at 239-357-6829. Until next week’s report—GOOD FISHING!


Captain Terry Fisher of Fish Face Charters

Anhinga’s song

Every Mariner knows that a ship wants to be in the water.  This keeps a boat healthy.  It’s not just the maintenance one does before a trip, the stroke of sandpaper along her teak, the replacement of worn moving parts, or the re-stitching of a weak clue in the jib.  A happy boat needs to keep moving.

Likewise, every Seaman has heard the call of the sea, when the wind tumbles with untamed waves sending a breeze of a whisper saying, “Come out with me, and immerse yourself with me.”  It’s not just a call, but a drawing of one’s soul back to the primal source of life.

We almost lost our boat in the Bahamas.  David and I were finishing up a 3 week sail in our 28 foot Phillip Rhoades sailboat, Anhinga.  We anchored on the leeward side of a rocky island as a weak Northern front was coming through.  By 3 o’clock in the blackness of night our anchor alarm went off.  We were about to slip towards the mass of jagged rocks off the stern.  I was on a pitching bow holding onto two anchor lines like a bull rider; below David was trying to start our Yanmar diesel engine with failing starter wires.

David got the engine roaring and we gingerly maneuvered around the rocks to be sheltered from the wind.  That morning we woke up to what could be called a white squall.  It’s all I could see, it was glorious.  I could not keep the rain from pouncing through the bin boards of the companionway.  When the storm passed we were amazed to see a large water spout spinning alongside the leeward part of the island right where we had anchored that night.  Anhinga became our sanctuary.

The sun came out and the winds turned southwesterly, so we set off our way back to Bimini, at a running pace of 7 knots.  Quite fast for Anhinga!  We were having the ride of our life!  The 4 minute clip below is what I put together from the sail after the storm I call, “Anhinga’s song.”

We had watched a film about a young man named Charlie Cloud, who raced sailboats in high school.  He was showing his little brother the ropes; they stood together in the dawn watching the sailboats set off from an unnamed shore.  His little brother said to him, “Charlie where do you think they are going?”  Charlie whimsically looks across the bay and says, “Everywhere.”

Go and Enjoy!  Sharon Bickel

Charlotte County Fishing Report with Frank

Had a good yesterday.  Went fishing with Mom, Dad and Steve.  The weather is great right now.  Just nice 70’s to 80’s breeze blowing. Fished the bridges caught some nice Snook.  Then headed to the east side.   Fishing out by the bar there are Sea Trout willing to eat shrimp under a poppin cork.  Back by the keys, there are Snook, Red fish, & Mangrove Snappers.  Most of the fish we found are on the back side or between the keys.  But the 2nd island north of Pirate Harbor we got broke off by a couple monsters on the front side.  So best bet, pick a “Key” island and toss some bait up by it.  We found the best results were keys which had a slightly deeper hole or trough in front of it.  The fish seemed to lay just outside of the hole and when the bait landed in the hole Bam!

Fish On.


Fishin Franks

Charlotte County Fishing Report with Frank

Charlotte Harbor has become the land of the oversize Reds.  Down by Two Pines to the bars outside Jug Creek, there are bunches of oversized reds.  Baits form cut fish to chunks of crab, are bringing in big Reds around the 30 inch mark.  For the lure people, use 3/4 ounce gold spoons.  Swim them slow as to wobble not spin, when you retrieve it.

For those of us who want big fish with more jump, splash, and trash to them try trolling along the bridges.  Put on a chartreuse bomber 15 or 16.  Hold the rod at a 90 degree angle from the boat.  No rod holder stuff here, keep the rod in your hand.   By holding the rod at 90 degrees out the side of the boat you can run the boat 8 feet off the pilings and drag your lure within a foot of the pilings.  Turn out as soon as you get a bump so you can pull the fish away from the pilings.   It takes a little practice, but it is fun a watch a big ole Snook break you off, then come to the surface, swinging it’s head, thrash the water then toss the lure, flinging the lure back at you with a look of, ha-ha try again loser.   Well that is what it seems like they are saying anyway.  Maybe I am taking this too personal?   Anyway it is fun, and can be done by any bridge.

Good luck & have fun out there