Saturday was a great day if you were fishing the inside of the East Keys. Captain Cayle wacked the Mangrove Snappers and Red fish. Cayle said he had other fish, but it was unreal how big and steady the Snapper bite was.
Capt., Greg had a different kind of day. Greg & Chris headed to the east side. Found a pothole against the side of an island. They started fishing then proceeded to catch every conceivable fish you could fish for in Charlotte harbor; grouper, lady fish, trout, redfish, snook, snappers. Everything except flounder and sheeps-head. The even ended up catching one catfish on what was to be his last cast. After the cat-fish they decided they had had enough.
It was a great trip. End this one on a high note. Putting in the trolling motor, they headed out from the keys, to more open, deeper water. After reaching water deep enough to use the out board Chris went to hit the key nothing, dead battery. Luckily there was a guy fishing on an aluminum boat not far away. They trolling motored up to the guy. Due to a little bit a bad financial luck he had to sell his flats boat and here he was fishing in an aluminum boat, but at least he finally got out on the water. And all he wanted was to catch dinner for that night, but he had not caught a thing.
“Idea!!” How about a trade? A nice 24 inch six and three-quarter pound red fish for a jumpstart. I know you’re not supposed to trade redfish for a jumpstart but this was an emergency. He was able to have fish for dinner, and they were able to start the engine. As it turned out, their lucky day, turned into his lucky day. Not a bad way to and a fishing trip. They did not have a fish dinner but they did not have to push the boat back to the ramp!
Blue gill is the fish of choice, Lake betty or the Coco-Plum water way or 9-mile canal system is slap full of hungry blue gills. All this rain from the tropical systems has provided lots of fresh, cooler waters and the Blue gill are responding. #8 thin wire hook on 6 pound test mono line, 2 to 3 feet under a thin style bobber. Red wiggler worms are the bait of choice. For those of you who like to use lures a beetle spin 1/8 ounce with light browns.
Just as a thought, a nice place to launch a boat for blue gill is in South Gulf Cove. Launch the boat, put down the trolling motor and start fishing to the west, Watch for culvert pipes draining into the canal. The blue gills have been bunched around those pipes.
(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 email@example.com. Stay updated on fishing activities on my website; www.fishfacecharters.com.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
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.
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.