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.
(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 www.fishfacecharters.com. If you have any questions do not hesitate to call me at 239-357-6829. Until next week’s report—GOOD FISHING!
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.
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) Yes, the fishing is improving since my last report. The Snook are still the easiest to target on the beaches and in the passes as well as on the last half of the higher tide in the Mangroves. The stronger the tide, be it outgoing or incoming, the better. I suggest targeting deeper cuts and points as the fish are looking for relief from the heat. When you spot your quarry or have the intuition one is lurking around, make four to five repeat presentations in the target area. If you do get a ‘swirl’ or ‘slap’ at the presentation (especially if one is using artificial lures) odds are in your favor that they may not resist other opportunities. However, after you have caught a couple of fish from a school or made several passes, they get wiser and it is probably to your advantage to move onto another spot.
Likewise, the Redfish (‘Red’s’) will move up in the Mangroves on a high tide and in the deeper cuts as well until they move out just at the flats as the tide subsides. Based on my recent charters and other reports the ‘Reds’ seem to be more concentrated in the upper part of Pine Island Sound.
Gray Snapper and Flounder bites have also been good in the back country and they are tasty as well. The Sea Trout seem to always be active and I have had recent success with some Permit and Pompano on the sandy flats in about 4-6ft. of water. The bait and tactics that I am using are both live and artificial depending on the time of the day. I prefer artificial in the early morning hours and live/cut baits during the daytime.
By “Fishin” Frank of Fishing Franks Fishing Store in Port Charlotte
June 28, 2012 – The water has turned black in the canals along the river, which is to be expected, after days of pounding rain, & wind which is like using a big stick to stir all the muck and methane from the bottom. This can be a really good thing if it helps to get some of the muck from the bottom stirred into the water and hopefully flushed out of here. The tides today are starting at a .7 going up to a 1.7 then back down to a .2 this build up and strong outgoing flush is just what we need. The water should be much clearer tomorrow, and the bite should be good for the weekend.
The gulf it is going to take a little longer to settle the muck out of the water, the waves pounded the shore lines and dragged tons of sand from where it was. Everything is going to change in the gulf, but by Sunday, if we do not get any strong winds between then & now, look for some great fishing. Gag Grouper opens this weekend the 1st of July and they have been on many of the near shore reefs. The best thing about Gags is they eat anything, Squid, frozen bait fish, Live fish, If you drop it they will eat. Inside the harbor I would check the reef at Alligator creek or at the Placida Trestle (live bait fish is going to be your best bet). If you are using dead bait be sure to bring chum, get the smell going, makes them hungry. Chumming for Gags inside is the way to make it happen.
Snook are thick in all of the canals, and the spillways are on fire. Any color lure (as long as it’s white!) are making the Snook crazy. Cast & get a hit. This is something you need to try now! Read this and get it together, it won’t last long, a real barn burner. Go to a spillway where fresh water flows into the Saltwater. Start at the top with your lure, Cast until you catch a Bass. Then the easy part, start casting the base of the Dam and catch your Snook. Same spot. Same lure. How cool is that!! Like I said, this is a limited time offer, when the water quits flowing over the dams, it is over. Go out have some fun, enjoy getting back outside, Be safe when walking up to the spillways.
(LEE COUNTY) Summer weather brings out some of the best fishing opportunities our areas from North Ft. Myers Beach to Boca Grande Pass have to offer.
INSHORE: Snook are everywhere along the beaches and in the passes of Sanibel, Captiva, North Captiva and Cayo Costa Islands feeding on schools of glass minnows and scaled sardines. Spinning casters, Fly fishermen/women are walking and stalking the beaches for an opportunity to land one of the most sought after gamefish for the pure excitement of the fight and bragging rights they provide. Spinning casters using artificials should find success using suspending twitch baits, small white bucktail jigs and X-Raps to name a few. Fly-fishers have had success with numerous patterns such as small deceivers and Clauser minnows. Be sure your equipment is up to the task. Spinning casters will want 15-20 lb line test and they along with the Fly-fishers should consider a 40lb Fluorocarbon leader. Remember to stay back away from the water for best results.
Those with flats and bay boats will want to try angling close to the mangroves in Pine Island Sound as well as on the inside of the Outer Islands along structure on the last half of the incoming or the first half of the outgoing using whitebait for best results;
Redfish may be targeted in the same areas as the Snook on the first part of the outgoing tide using Pilchards, Threadfin Herrings or large shrimp on a 2/0-4/0 hook either under a cork or free line. As the tide subsides, move out to the oyster bars and troughs. Artificial baits such as, Gulp Shrimp (Penny color) on a 1/8 ounce redheaded jig, gold spoons and soft plastics should provide results. I prefer to fish the early morning or late evening hours for both Snook and Redfish, so long as the tide is moving. This provides the best opportunity to break out the top-water lures and experience vicious strikes from both species. My tackle preference for both Snook and Reds are somewhat similar being 7 ½ ft medium to medium power heavy rods w/extra fast action tips matched with Stradic 4000-5000 FI Shimano reels loaded with 20 lb braid tipped with 3 ft. 25-30lb Fluorocarbon leaders depending on the type of bottom and density of the structure I am fishing;
Trout are everywhere. Deep V, deck and pontoons alike can get in on this action on the grass flats of Punta Rassa and in Pine Island Sound. Use the same bait and equipment mentioned above only with lighter leaders (15-20lb), a light jig head on a 2/0 size hook positioned about 3ft under a popping cork on an incoming tide in 3-6 ft. of water. You will lose a few however, as the Spanish Mackerel attacks the bait. To help prevent this, go with a heavier leader or a small wire leader attached directly to your main line understanding that this may cost you a few strikes;
Mangrove Snappers are still around and can be found under about any mangrove structure. They love shrimps free-lined or under a cork so long as the bait lays close to the bottom or around the structure.
Tarpon are here but the reported catches have been off as well as the bite. I recently spoke with Mr. Bob Thomas, President of the Cape Coral Tarpon Hunters Club and agreed that June was not as productive as we had hoped. Attributed in part to the early warm waters of April and May and the seemingly early arrival of the Tarpon; the south and west winds have played havoc on the fishing. He reported that live bait fishermen/women are using Threadfins and Pinfish under a cork with the most success in the passes and around bridges. Dead bait fishermen and women are relying on catfish fillets, Spanish Mackerel chunks and ladyfish for the most part. Not a lot of Tarpon sightings of late in the Caloosahatche River. However, as the weeks progress the Tarpon should be showing up in the potholes of Pine Island Sound and Charlotte Harbor. When the weather cooperates, I find the Tarpon off of the beaches of Ft. Myers, Sanibel, Captiva and North Captiva in 10-30 feet of water as well as in the passes. Early morning and evenings with tide movement are the best times to target these fish. My bait of choice are live large Threadfins/Pilchards, Pinfish and Mullet under a cork or free-lining. I use lighter tackle than most of my fellow Cape Coral Tarpon Hunters. I use spinning tackle that can handle 50-65lb braid tipped with 60-80 lb test 6-8ft Fluorocarbon leaders and a 6/0-7/0 circle hook. Be prepared to catch your share of sharks as well.
Depending on the weather and tide movements, fishermen and ladies working famous Boca Grande Pass are using techniques which include jigs as well as live baits (big threadfins, pilchards, crabs) with some success.
OFFSHORE: I have not spent a lot of time working the structures and wrecks offshore as I have concentrated my efforts on back country and Tarpon, not to mention that my new 21ft. Cobia Center Console Bay Boat is not designed for long trips on the Gulf of Mexico. However, some of my fellow captains report the following;
Red Grouper may be found anywhere from 10-20 miles offshore. They are eating cut Squid, Sardines, Pinfish when being heavily chummed. Fishermen going out 20 miles or more are catching their limits;
Red Snapper/Mutton Snapper are being found on structure in about 150 ft. of water are being chummed and being caught on Squid, Sardines and Pinfish as well. They are averaging anywhere from 5-10lbs for Muttons and 5-17lbs for Red Snappers;
Permit are closer to the shore line and are being found anywhere from 5-20 miles out on structure using live crabs, live shrimps and big chartreuse jigs tipped with cut bait and are weighing in anywhere from 15-30lbs.
In closing, there are numerous other species that will be caught both In-shore and off-shore. Simply pick your day to go and be safe. There are a number of reliable weather sources to go to for planning your next fishing trip. I basically rely on wunderground.com for marine forecast and my planning purposes together with the local news weather channels. If I may be of assistance on your next trip or answer any questions about fishing or boating the beautiful and bountiful waters of SW Florida (Lee County) simply give me a call at 239-357-6829/239471-7332 or email me at email@example.com. Check out my website at www.fishfacecharters.com. I am for hire on your vessel or mine. My rates are posted on the web-site or may call on the phone numbers listed above. I am USCG License, insured with years of fishing experience. Customer satisfaction and helping you know the area and understanding how to catch more big fish is what I am all about.