Christmas and the New Year Holiday brought good weather and lots of opportunities to accommodate a number of charter requests from locals and visitors alike. Fishing was ‘spotty’ during the Christmas break but still produced a number of great trips with sufficient catches of Grouper, Seatrout, Mangrove Snapper and Spanish Mackerel to satisfy most.
This is the time of the year when many come from the frigid areas of the north to enjoy the holidays of Christmas and the New Year. The last few charters have delivered some nice catches for my young anglers. The catches were from the southern end of Pine Island Sound all the way north to Charlotte Harbor. Due to the lower winter tides, most of the game fish were caught south of the power lines in open water, around mangrove islands with oyster clusters and dead wood. The water is clearing up around the mouth of the Caloosahatchee since the Corps of Engineers have quit sending fresh water to us from Lake O. Seatrout, Redfish, Snook, Mangrove Snapper, Spanish Mackerel and small shark made up most of the ‘bounty’.
October finished strong for most inshore species, including Flounder, Spanish Mackerel, Mangrove Snapper and decent size Seatrout joining the ‘party’. Pictured here is Dave Anderson of Lake St. Louis, Missouri holding a nice Flounder he caught around Cabbage Key while ‘free-lining’ a shrimp under a cork along mangrove trees. I was ‘Captain for Hire’ on Dave’s new 24ft. Boston Whaler Bay Boat. Dave and his wife Barbara learned some fishing locations, strategies and techniques that yielded each of them a Redfish along with a number of other species, including Snook.
(Ft. Myers Beach to Charlotte Harbor)
October 24th, 2016
Fishing has been very good north of the power lines in Pine Island Sound (‘Sound’) for species such as Snook, Redfish, Seatrout and Mangrove Snappers. South of them, the water is ‘coffee’ color due to the excess releases by the Corps of Engineers from Lake O. Red Tide seems to linger in specific areas from time to time. The Punta Rassa launch ramp is slow with few charters going out as of last week, due mostly to that. I run most of my charters out of Pineland Marina and Matlacha when possible, even though water levels are higher at the southern end of the Sound’, allowing good access to more remote areas.
Hurricane Matthew is finally gone so we can all go back to doing what we love to do; fishing and boating! The water temperatures and wind conditions should allow most anyone good opportunity over the next week to fish both offshore and inshore. Naturally, the winds will mostly dictate offshore activities. Offshore bottom fishing should produce good numbers of Grouper, Snapper, Porgies, Cobia and an occasional Triple Tail. Baits of choice include, Pinfish, Threadfins, Finger Mullet, squid and shrimp. Use circle hooks when fishing for reef species. Know the species by sight or compare to a ‘fish species’ color chart. Know size requirements and harvest restrictions.
Last week produced good fishing offshore as well as inshore. Red Grouper, Lane Snapper, Permit, Gray Snappers and a few Cobia were caught on live Pinfish, shrimp, squid and crabs. Many fisherman and guides enjoyed a good bite anywhere from 3 to 30 miles offshore.
Early morning fishing (inshore and offshore) should be good over the next 10 days or so. We have a ‘New-Moon’ phase bringing in high water levels for the inshore anglers together with strong water currents that should enhance opportunities for offshore anglers as well.
My positive report of July 4th – July 11th was predicated on high tide levels with strong currents due to a new moon phase. Unfortunately, the tide predictions were wrong and we experienced lower water levels, weaker currents and less fish activity. Nonetheless, Pilchards are arriving in bigger numbers and that is a good sign for those wanting live bait. They are small (hatchlings), but are growing and should provide good sizes by the end of the month, just in time for the full moon tides. I recommend a ¼ mess net.
(Ft. Myers Beach to Charlotte Harbor) My 1st Mate (Vicki) and I recently returned from our ‘ANNUAL INTERNATIONAL FISHING AND DIVING EXPEDITION’ in Greece and Italy. I am happy to be back in SW Florida to do some serious ‘Redfishing’ and Snook fishing. October is the month! As reported prior to traveling, I was on them before I left and I have been on them since my return of October 1. Prior to departing on September 1, I had the pleasure of taking out three gentlemen from The Quarry in Naples. They are all members of the Quarry Fishing Club and they all caught their share of big Redfish. Pictured here are Tom Bothe (center), Jim Rainey (right side) and Bill Flister each holding one of their many catches. Bill (pictured on the left) is also the President of The Quarry Fishing Club, of which I plan on doing a seminar at their clubhouse later this month.
The ‘NEW’ moon phase is upon us offering up some strong currents and hopefully lots more action over the next week or so. That being said however, with all of the rain, tide levels should remain higher than projected past the middle of the month, allowing access to locations that these game fish seek for food and extra protection. The balance of October will bring in a ‘FULL’ moon phase, keeping good fishing opportunities alive all month. Target both Snook and Redfish with artificial or live presentations on the incoming or outgoing tides around the mangroves.
Moreover, October is simply a great month to fish. Good tides, good wind directions and many species, such as Seatrouts, Flounders, Spanish Mackerels, Mangrove Snappers, Jack Crevalles and the ‘Resident’ Tarpon continuing to be very active. They will all hit shrimp on the flats and around the mangroves under a popping cork presentation.
This is Captain Terry Fisher of Fish Face Charters wishing everyone ‘tighter’ lines! Check out my website at www.fishfacecharters.com for more fishing tips on the ‘links’ as well as charter information. I am easily reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me direct at 239-357-6829 to book an ‘October Redfish or Snook Charter’!
Fishin Update – 4/16/15
Sea Trout have been pretty steady at Laishley Pier between sun up until around 9 and 10 o’clock in the morning. Here, the trout are hitting live shrimp under a poppin cork. Try to get about 4 feet from your hook to the cork. Casting might be harder with that much line under the poppin cork, but just let the tide drift it away from the pier. Then pop your cork and wait 20 seconds or so, and then pop your cork again.
Sea Trout have also been steady at Placidia pier, usually about an hour after low tide. Use free line shrimp off the first half of the pier. This is a short cast out, and once you cast, give your line some slack, then when it gets tight give it a little more slack. Fishing here is better when you are closer to the shore than farther out on the pier.
Fishing Update – 4/18/15
This week has been and continues to be good fishin. Catching Red Grouper, Trigger Fish, and Mangrove Snappers out in the gulf around 60-80 feet of water. Many of the Snapper are 3 pounds or more.
Also, Mike sent us this fishing report:
‘Hey Frank. Fished Thursday at the Placida trestle on the incoming tide. Caught several undersized sheepshead and mangrove snappers; also a couple of stingrays. We did manage several fair sized whiting on shrimp. The sharks were biting very well, blacktips and bonnet, all in the 3-4 ft. range. I caught my blacktip on a pinfish. Love your website and the store. – Mike H’
Fishing Update – 4/20/15
We are seeing a bunch of Sea Trout from PC beach up towards the cut-off. To catch, use shrimp or white bait under a poppin cork. This is a nice size school of fish, and most are in the 20 inch size range.
Triple Tail are still out in the near gulf and a few have been spotted in the Harbor. To find them, look for crab trap floats or really anything that’s floating. You may even find Triple Tail hanging around at some of the markers. In order to find Triple Tail, cruise along as slow as you can go with your boat while it’s still on plane. If you see one, it will look like a dirty rag just under the surface, with its face, hiding under the object. It’s almost like a little kid thinking ‘if I can’t see you, then you can’t see me’. Do not stop the boat for at least 100 yards once you spot a Triple Tail, then make a turn and come back quietly. Then cast at them free line with a small shrimp or white bait.