(Ft. Myers Beach to Charlotte Harbor) Wow, what a wonderful fishing experience for those that had the fore-site to go out and fish the days before, the morning of and days after Tropical Storm Issacc! I had the opportunity to fish all of the above with both charter clients as well as with my wife Vicki in the Cape Coral Canals, Pine Island Sound, the back country of Punta Rassa and Matlacha Passes. They all produced great sport fishing for hungry and aggressive Crevalle Jacks, Snook, Tarpon, Redfish and Trout alike. My clients enjoyed violent strikes from both Snook and Jacks on artificial baits. We caught several 17”-22” Seatrout on shrimp under corks and Vicki landed a 42” Tarpon in the ‘spreader’ canal in Cape Coral on her favorite MR 19 Mirro-Lure twitch bait ( the key is to know how to ‘twitch’ it)!
We have a full moon for most of the weekend together with subsiding winds and I cannot wait to get out over the Labor Day Weekend anticipating both great weather and great fishing. I will be targeting Redfish north of Matlacha Bridge, as well as the northern parts of Pine Island Sound to confirm that they are still holding in those areas. All species seem to have been charged up by the dark waters, stronger moving tides, giving the anglers a chance to make unsuspecting presentations.
(FT. MYERS BEACH TO CHARLOTTE HARBOR) Fishing has been fantastic this week with the higher tides and good weather. Charter Captain’s are reporting lots of Redfish and Snook together with all other species ready for eager anglers to simply make a good presentation.
My 1st Mate (Vicki) and I took to heart some of the above mentioned recent ‘back country’ fishing reports and went out for a few hours today to check them out for ourselves. As mentioned above, the conditions were favorable for an early morning departure to search for new spots. We got an early start and arrived in the ‘back country’ of Pine Island Sound about 7:00 AM, at a location where the tide was high and slack. When it started moving we started catching Snook and Redfish. As the tide went down to the back half of the outgoing we pulled anchor and headed East to catch the last of the top half of the outgoing on the east side of Charlotte Harbor for a lot more of the same. The Redfish pictured here was caught on a ‘twitch-bait’ by Vicki and while I landed several nice Snook.
Depending on Tropical Storm ‘Isaac’, I suggest that one gets out before Sunday, as the fishing will more than likely suffer for a few days after it passes.
If you would like to get in on some terrific September and October Redfish, Snook or other back country species, contact me, Captain Terry Fisher at 239-357-6829/239-471-7332 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Stay updated on fishing activities on my website; www.fishfacecharters.com.
Remove the boat from the lift & store in a safe place.
If the boat can not be removed, raise the craft as high at you can & tie the vessel snug to the lift if your particular configuration will allow you to raise above storm surge levels. Remove the boat plugs so water will drain out & not overload the structure.
If the boat can not be removed & your configuration places you below the storm surge levels, then once again raise as high as you can & secure to the lift. Also secure long ropes to anchor points just in case the surge lifts the boat off the lift, “potentially” this will help it stay somewhat close to your boat lift. Leaving the plugs in or out is up to you, either way your boat will have a lot of water in it.
Once the boat is removed, lower the cradles to the bottom below the water level. This will keep it from swinging in the wind.
If you have a low profile installation, or if the tide surge could reach the height of your boat lift motors, switches, covers remove & store in a dry safe place. If you have a sealed direct drive system you need to remove the gear unit as well. If the gears go underwater, saltwater will collect inside that sealed housing allowing the salt crystals to freeze up the gears. Make sure you lower the cable down to the lowest point BEFORE removing the gear as the cable will free spool back down once the gear is removed.
Tighten all nuts & bolts on the lifts.
Visually inspect the lift before operating again; make sure the structure is sound & square. If the lift has shifted the unit needs to be realigned for proper performance.
Double & triple check the cables to ensure there are no questionable areas. If you see issues do not operate the lift until new cables can be purchased & installed.
Inspect below & behind the boat lift for any debris & clear out accordingly.
Assuming there is a loss of a power a generator can be used but the generator needs to be properly grounded or the motor will burn up. Amps x voltage will tell you what watt generator is needed to successfully operate the lift.
If you do not have a generator, depending on your drive unit type and lift capacity an adapter for manual operation may be available. It attaches to the end of a cordless drill & can raise & lower the boat manually.
Inspect all the attaching hardware on the boat lift, if you see bent bolts replace before operating. Double check that the fasteners are tight & in good condition.
If your lift or dock needs repair contact Stokes Marine for assistance.
How to Operate your Emergency Override on your Automatic Stop
A few weeks ago during tropical storm Debby our area experienced extreme high tides associated with the storm. Many people’s docks and seawalls were under water. A lot of our customers with a remote control and automatic stop called asking how they could raise their boat lifts up higher to ensure their boat would not float off the lift. So here we go again with the possibility of Tropical Storm Isaac coming ashore.
Assuming you have a remote control and automatic stop you are aware of the fact that your lift will only go so far up and so far down as these upper and lower stops or limits are set when the lift is installed and wired. This prevents you from lowering your lift down too far and getting slack in the cables, which creates the need to re-wrap the cables to prevent damaging them and level out the cradle assembly. The upper limit prevents the cradle assembly from being raised too high and hitting the top beam assembly resulting in costly repairs and potentially dropping the boat. These are common problems if you run the lift too far in either direction.
If you are in a situation where you need to raise your boat higher than the limit switch is stopping the lift, you do not have to reset the upper limit. You can simply override the limit switch. This is done by inserting a pencil or probe in the perforated emergency override up hole located on the yellow face plate of the switch box. It is centered in the top third of the face plate just to the left of the up button. Simply insert the probe pushing and holding it against the switch located behind the face plate until the boat reaches your desired height. In order to stop the lift, remove the probe from the perforated hole therefore disengaging the switch.
This same procedure is followed for lowering the lift past the spot that the lower limit stops the lift. Follow the same steps above except you will be inserting the probe in the perforated emergency override down hole which is centered in the middle of the face plate just to the left of the auto stop button. Remember the power to the switch box must be on in order to raise or lower the lift using these emergency override options.
A few things to be careful of when overriding your lift higher or lower than the preset limits include:
Only allow your cables to wrap to the end of the cable winder without double stacking the wraps-do not raise the boat into your canopy or boat house.
Do not raise your cradle assembly into your top beam if you have a lower profile top beam installed.
Do not allow the cradle assembly to touch the bottom or else you will get slack in your cables allowing them to unwind and tangle on the winder.
The long forgotten seacock….yeah the valve in the bottom of the bilge that separates the world’s oceans from the inside of your boat! If this valve has such a BIG job, why is it that most of us never pay any attention to it?
At least four times a year minimum (and best to actuate them monthly) all of your seacocks or ball valves (depending on what was installed in your boat) needs to be “worked” to ensure that the valve is in working order. Additionally, a spray silicon lubricant should be sprayed on the moving parts to help keep working smoothly. If at all possible it would be ideal to check all of these valves when the boat is out of the water. If there is a problem with one of them, then it is more convenient to repair or replace. However, don’t delay opening and closing each ball valve or seacock to ensure proper functionality just because your boat is still in the water. If you do have a problem with one of the valves, it obviously is better to find out when you are at the dock and not 50 miles offshore!
There are several types of these valves, each requiring slightly different care.
First there are gate valves. Let’s hope you don’t have any of these as they are the most prone to fail and have been prohibited to be used byNational Marine Manufacturers Association http://www.nmma.org/ approved boat manufacturers by American Boat and Yacht Counsel http://www.abycinc.org/. It is advisable to replace any of this type of valve at the earliest possible opportunity. It is best to have skilled marine technician that is familiar with ABYC Standards replace the valves. http://www.proboat.com/2010/02/sweating-the-small-stuff/
Ball Valves- Pretty simple for routine maintenance. First make sure that the component that the valve supplying water to is turned off. Now, simply close and open the valve several times to ensure smooth and easy operation. If the valve is stuck either in the open or closed position, you may want to employ a certified marine mechanic to see if he/she can “free” it up. If not, then it needs to be replaced. In the event that a hose or seal fails “down stream” of this valve and it can NOT be closed, it gets to be pretty exciting on board as you have to “MacGyver” a field fix out on the water before your boat sinks! Also, while opening and closing the valve, look closely at the bronze housing for signs of corrosion and/or electrolysis. If it has any pitting or is pinkish in color, have it replaced!
Seacocks- Again, pretty simple and is treated the same as a ball valve (see above). The only real difference between the two is that some seacocks can be disassembled for inspection and greasing of the interior housing and valve assembly. Newer seacocks are designed and constructed in similar fashion to ball valves and are actually a version of a ball valve. Older and some larger seacocks have a cone shaped rotating inner valve assembly that sits inside of the housing. It is held in place with a nut and washer on the opposite of the handle along the rotating axis. When the boat is hauled, the seacock should be disassembled to have the housing and valve assembly cleaned, inspected and lubricated with water proof grease before being reassembled.
When your boat is hauled this is the time to carefully inspect all seacocks. Remove the hose attached inside. Have someone inside the boatactuate the seacock while you are outside looking up into the seacock with a flashlight. Remove marine growth and any other obstructions and insure smooth operation. And finally, completely remove seacocks for disassembly and inspection every four years, which also ensures that you’ll be renewing the bedding compound when they’re reinstalled.
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.
With the Snook season closed here on the west coast, I think many people are forgetting how much fun big Snook are. They jump, thrash, and pull. Everything you really enjoy about fishing all rolled up in one striped package. Snook will eat top water, jigs, swim baits, spoons, if you throw it they will eat it.
And right now they are kind of easy to catch, The rain which is coming every few days has them bunched up at the spillways, waiting for the easy meal to get pulled over the dams. Try small white lures, 3 to 4 inches, cast right at the falling water. Rapala X-rap 8 size is a great one to start with. If you are thinking of doing this, take an extra couple of minutes to flatten the barbs on the treble hooks of the lure. Do not smash them just bend the tip of the barb down. Makes it easy to get out of the Snook and they do not come off. And consider that when you are grabbing the lip of a Snook with a lure there are lots of barbed hooks. If the flattened down, the barbs come out of your hand easy also.
(FT. MYERS BEACH TO CHARLOTTE HARBOR) Last Saturday I was off to the Keys (Islamorada) for some time with my 1st Mate Vicki (wife) to enjoy dragging some lines for Dolphin, Tuna and anything else that I could coerce to ‘hit the bait’. We had a wonderful time catching and eating fish as well as doing some relaxed snorkeling around Alligator Reef. I am home now looking forward to a productive week in both ‘off-shore’ and ‘back country’ fishing for Red Grouper and Permit as well as Snook, Reds and other species respectively.
Charter Captains report that ‘off-shore’ has been good for Red Grouper in 20-25 ft of water on hard bottom with Permit being taken over structure in the 20 to 30 pound range in approximately the same depths. I suggest that with the beautiful weather we are having and forecast to have, that this will be a good week to ‘fish the gulf’ for your favorite summer catch!
Moreover, I predict that with the new moon and good tides, that the ‘flats’ and ‘back country’ fishing opportunities will be second to none from Punta Rassa to Bokeelia for Snook, Redfish and a variety of other species this week for both the experienced and beginning angler.
If you want to get in on the action or need some information to make your trip a success; give me a call at 239-357-6829/239-471-7332 or email me at email@example.com. Check out my website at www.fishfacecharter.com for fishing articles and additional information for booking a charter.
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.