“Sheepshead should arrive in full force with bigger ones being caught for sport and harvest.” Says Captain Terry

Ft. Myers Beach to Charlotte Harbor
(January 24-January 31, 2015)

Fishing this last week was fair to good. Unfortunately, the new moon phase provided the higher and stronger currents during night time hours when most of us were off the water. Furthermore, It appears that the weekend and the start of the week will bring cooler weather, making the fish a little lethargic. None-the-less, do not be discouraged, as the good news is; Sheepshead should arrive in full force with bigger ones being caught for sport and harvest. The best baits for Sheepshead, are Fiddler crabs and shrimp pieces. The Seatrout and Mangrove Snapper bite should be good on small shrimps.

Some Spanish Mackerel are being caught as they continue to migrate through the area. Hopefully, this week’s cool front from up north will move them south in bigger numbers and sizes.

Live pilchards are being netted around the Sanibel Causeway in fairly good numbers on either the early morning incoming or outgoing tides. This is the best live presentation available for Snook. Jack Crevalle are everywhere and love to eat them as well.


Pictured here is Aaron, Gavin and Eli Hoffman of Lakeville, Minnesota on their annual fishing trip with Captain Terry. Aaron shows off his first Snook (22″) caught on a pilchard while free-ling. Gavin (11 yrs) is holding just one of his many Seatrout he caught that day. His brother Eli (9 yrs), is shown with his Seatrout as well as a nice Gag Grouper he caught. I enjoy taking these junior anglers out as they are two of the better fishermen that I have the pleasure to fish with! Nice job Gavin and Eli! Practice casting and you will get your Snook next year.

Aaron's snook

Galvin's Seatrout

Eli's Seatrout

Eli's Gag Grouper

This is Captain Terry Fisher wishing everyone tight lines. If I may be of assistance for a charter on your vessel or mine, call me at 239-357-6829. More articles and charter information will be on my website at www.fishfacecharters.com including charter rates on my vessel or your vessel. Email me or my 1st Mate Vicki at fishfacecharters@yahoo.com with any requests or questions.

Living for the Present: Pleasures of the Avid Boater

By Chris Forman WXCW, Channel 6 & Vice President of SWFMIA

Twenty-six years ago, my wife and I took residence in Cape Coral, on the water to become year round boaters. Snow shovels, ice scrappers and winter coats became a thing of the past. What we discovered very quickly was the boating paradise that lay in our backyard.  In over two decades and  having owned several different styles and sizes of boats, one thing has never changed, when you leave the dock the fun begins.

Heading north up the Caloosahatchee River, there are several nice restaurant choices at Marina Town in North Ft Myers and the Downtown River District in Ft Myers.  A day comprised of a little lazy fishing (we’re not that good…doesn’t matter), cruising and a late lunch stop or early dinner seems to erase the stress of the work week.  We often joke that the cost of boating is way less than the couch doctor, yet they have the same affect.

Heading down the river there is JK’s Riverstop at the Cape Coral Yacht Club. It’s bathing suit casual and full of boating friends you just haven’t met yet.  Fun for kids and families, the picnic table laid back patio is a fabulous vista for a sunset and an ice cold drink and burger.  Also down river are the The Joint Restaurant and Rumrunners at Cape Harbor, where casual outdoor or inside fine dinning await in a relaxing waterfront atmosphere.

Just a 30 minute boat ride south from home is Sanibel Island, a routine stop on Sundays for a swim with our floaty-toys, some Jimmy Buffet on the stereo and a picnic lunch on the back of our boat.  Anchoring in waist deep water makes life easy and the view of the Gulf and lighthouse never gets old.  It’s a great rendezvous spots for other boating friends.  There is a no wake anchoring area, clearly marked by white buoys, that runs the length of the white sugar sand beach.  My wife loves shelling and this area of Southwest Florida is heaven.

Estero Island, or Ft Myers Beach, as it’s commonly known, is also an excellent destination for lunch or dinner by boat with numerous boater friendly stops for the simplest of fare to full elegant meals.  Several boating facilities and fuel stops are convenient as well.

Heading north up Pine Island Sound lies the barrier islands of Sanibel, Captiva, North Captiva and Cayo Costa with beautiful beaches that seem to go on forever on the Gulf of Mexico side.  Inside the sounds lies some of the best fishing grounds in the country.  The channel is well marked and easy even for the novice boater.  The fishing for snook, trout, snapper, redfish and dozens of others is plentiful.  It’s a haven for the serious sportsman or a fun day for easy fishing for mom, dad and the kids.

The Gulf side of North Captiva and Cayo Costa has thousands of my footprints in the sand.  It never grows old for me, the hazel colored water and soft sand beach is where my toes belong.  These islands are only accessible by boat, are home to waterfowl, a light tackle paradise and perfect for an afternoon snooze in the sand.

Summarizing for those of you who have yet to venture out by boat or don’t get out too often … even decades later it’s still fun, therapeutic and the stuff family memories and stories are made of.  It’s the wind in what’s left of my hair, the sound of the water, the sheer pleasure of just driving my boat and my wife getting to read her book. So maybe we’ll see each other on the water next Saturday?  I know I’ll be there. — Chris Forman.