‘In-shore’ fishing in March has been good for a number of different species, but more specifically for Seatrout, Spanish Mackerel, Jack Crevalle, Ladyfish and occasionally a Pompano on the flats. Live shrimp have provided lots of bites and harvest when fished under a cork on a weighted jig head in about 3 to 6 foot of water, over grass beds. March was the transition month to spring, with rising and stabilizing water temperatures.
March proved to be the month for large Seatrout. Pictured here are Bill and Sally Catinella, of Traverse City, Michigan with some of their nice catches. Bill and I share the same birthday date(s) and our ventures have become a yearly ritual, celebrating the occasion, in search for a ‘fish of a lifetime’! I am looking forward to doing it again next year and I have already marked my calendar.
Look for Tarpon, Snook and Redfish to ‘join the party’ starting early April. The water temperatures are dictating the migration arrivals of offshore and inshore species; including big schools of Tarpon, Kingfish, Cobia, hungry Snook and Redfish to gorge on bait fish leading the migrations.
This is Captain Terry Fisher of Fish Face Charters wishing everyone safe boating and tight lines! Check out my website at www.fishfacecharters.com for fishing charter and ‘Captain for Hire’ (by the hour) information. I provide navigation, fishing locations and techniques at your convenience and on your vessel. Contact me direct at 239-357-6829 for immediate assistance or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
(October 19, 2015) Ft. Myers Beach to Charlotte Harbor – Fishing was good during the past week during the new moon phase, especially on the grass flats from Ft. Myers Beach all the way up to Charlotte Harbor. Areas holding Turtle Grass from 3 to 6 foot of water produced lots of action for those looking for Seatrout, Spanish Mackerel, Jack Crevalle and Lady Fish. Incoming tides produced the best all around fishing times for the above mentioned species as well as Redfish and Snook in the back country areas. Offshore anglers reported lots of success when the winds allowed them to fish.
Pictured here are sisters, Lauren Binkley (14) and Jenna Binkley (13) of Ashland City, Tennessee, each holding one of many Seatrout caught under a cork on the flats, at Mile Marker 13 just off the Intracoastal Water Way. They also caught lots of Spanish Mackerel, Lady Fish and Jack Crevalle. These young ladies love the outdoors both for fishing and hunting. They will be back in Tennessee just in time for the opening day of ‘deer season’ on October 31st. Good hunting ladies!
Lots of Redfish are still in the area and large shrimps seem to be the bait of choice (at least for my charters). I am having such success using them, that I have not taken the time to try much else. Normally, cut Pinfish, Lady Fish hold the balance of my arsenal, but have not been as effective of late. The Redfish are everywhere, but with the dark, brackish, high water due to rain runoffs around Punta Rassa they have been much harder to locate. Nonetheless, James Binkley (Lauren and Jenna’s father) is pictured holding a nice Redfish he caught at the top of the tide beside a shallow, oyster flanked, mangrove island.
Areas at the ‘northern’ half of the Intracoastal Water Way (between the power lines and Charlotte Harbor) have been my most productive areas for Redfish. I work exclusively around the mangrove islands on incoming tides. Pictured here is long time client and friend, Mr. Leland Longstreth of Ft. Myers holding one of several Redfish he caught a couple of days ago on the back side of the new moon phase. Lee and I go after these ‘bruts’ and Snook at least four times a year it seems. His friend, Mr. Tom Richardson of Ft. Myers accompanies us on several of these adventures and is pictured with one of his Redfish. Nice job guys!
In closing, Snook season is still open and there are lots around. Redfish should stay plentiful at least through the month of October. Look for them to thin out however as mid November arrives. Now is the time to go fishing for Redfish and Snook!
This is Captain Terry Fisher and 1st Mate Vicki, wishing everyone ‘tighter lines’! We will be at our booth (FISH FACE CHARTERS) inside the convention center during the November `19-22′ Boat Show. I will be doing some fishing seminars as well. See you there. Contact me by phone at 239-357-6829 or email me at email@example.com with any questions. Check out my website at www.fishfacecharters.com.
In the area around Boca Pass and the straights right across to Burnt Store, schools of bait fish like Thread Fins and Glass Minnows are moving in with the tide, and then move back to the gulf as the tide heads out. Spanish Mackerel can be found under these schools of bait. Below that you can find Ladyfish & Jacks, and under those you will find Sharks. Yes there are layers of fish, and they can be found in the gulf near Trembley Reef or any of the closer ones, during the last half of the outgoing tide and the first third of the incoming tide.
Once the water starts moving in hard, the bait will follow the saltwater into the Harbor and will give you a shot at some reel fun fishing, with fast and steady bites. Light tackle and a small steel leader are a good idea to use. Once your bait gets below the regular fish, you’ll find the Black Nose and Black Tip Sharks. These are a ball on the light spinning tackle.
There are red fish near Burnt Store. Yes, the big red fish are schooling along the bar, and they have been moving from just north of Pirate Harbor down to Two Pines. The Z-man scented paddler, in either the Bad Shad or Root Beer gold colors are your best bet. I use a Z-man jig head but you may rig them with a weed less worm hook if you like. The method I use with the Z-man is sort of like casting with dead/cut bait. Watch for red fish movement, and waves that are moving a bit different from the other waves. Cast it out in front of the moving water and let it sit for a minute, then give it a good twitch and take up the slack and twitch and repeat.
If I do not see fish moving which is often the case, I stay half a cast away from the sand bar and try to cast over the bar to the other side, and then slowly twitch the Z-man across the top of the bar and back all the way to the boat.
For those that prefer to use cut bait, just cast and let it sit. This is dead stinky stuff. Hot dark water means I will not cast out reel in and cast. If I feel the need to move my bait, it will only be a couple of inches at a time. Let the stink of the bait do it’s job.
Here’s a little news for the weird fishin wise. The canals in Port Charlotte are starting to hold fish. Snook is a given. September is when snook fishing should start getting good. But flounder, sheep head, red fish and mangrove snappers, are all in the canals in what could be called fishable numbers.
With all of the rain and the water being so dark, to tell the truth, there should be almost no fish in the canals. The rivers are running at flood stages and the water is so very fresh, and there is even a little salt near the bottom. Why are these fish moving into the canals?
The answers to why the fish are here in the canals could be the temperature. The canal temps have been lower than normal for this time of year, because of the rain and cloud cover. The clouds keep the sun’s radiation from heating up the water, and the water being in the mid 80’s is where it has to be for the fish to move back into the canals. This is rare but not unheard of. With so much rain and clouds, the waters are being kept cool.
The fish have been eating live shrimp, which is their #1 choice, and live pin fish, which is their #2 choice. Cut bait fish or dead shrimp are both a close 3rd. Lures would be D.O.A. shrimp or buck tail jigs.
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.
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!
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