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’.
The Ft. Myers Boat Show proved to be another huge success with more vendors than ever. 1st Mate Vicki and I were honored when friends and clients stopped at our Fish Face Charter booth to chat and talk ‘fish’!
Fishing is good in certain areas of Pine Island Sound northwest of the power lines of Cape Coral, Pine Island and Sanibel. The water in and around the mouth of the Caloosahatche River still has a ways to go to be acceptable due to the excessive water run-off from Lake Okeechobee. Because of this, most all of my charters fish the waters closer to Charlotte Harbor where the run-off has not had much effect.
The weather patterns have negatively impacted springtime fishing for game fish, such as Tarpon, Snook and Redfish. Seasonal migration and relocation patterns of these fish have been affected the lack of live Herring and Sardine baitfish. However, Seatrout, Spanish Mackerel, Jack Crevalle and Pompano are around and have produced nice catches.
Pictured here is LRay Burns of Fostoria, Ohio holding a big Pompano. Nice job LRay! Other of his catches included Seatrout, Ladyfish and Spanish Mackerel. LRay’s family, including his mother Marlene Burns is pictured with him. We all had a wonderful time and our prayers go out for LRay’s recovery.
I recently had the pleasure of fishing with a retired Sea Captain, Mr. Jim Boyd of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Jim is pictured with one of many nice Seatrout he caught. The charter was for his grandson, Ryan Jushka (10) of Port Washington, Wisconsin. Ryan had a great day with lots of fish caught, including the pictures of him holding his first Pompano and a big Seatrout. Most of Ryan’s fishing experience is up north on fresh water, but wants more saltwater experiences. Good job young man. I am looking forward to next year’s charter!
Fishing should be better for the Tarpon, Snook and Redfish throughout the coming days, as the Herring and Sardines are beginning to show up in better numbers. I have spotted more Tarpon of late and with the baitfish here, more will be coming.
This is Captain Terry Fisher of Fish Face Charters. 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 more reports and charter information. I am available as ‘Captain for Hire’ by the hour on your vessel for navigation, fishing locations and techniques, all designed for safe boating and ways to catch fish on every trip!
Check out my regional and local articles in Coastal Angler Magazine as well.
(Ft. Myers Beach to Charlotte Harbor) Summer is here and the fishing has been fair. This week brings forward a ‘full’ moon phase offering high tide levels and access to remote areas not accessible to many anglers during ‘mid-moon’ phases. Hopefully, the currents will provide more oxygen and improve the ‘bite’. Threadfin’s are fairly plentiful and are best for Snook and Tarpon. Unfortunately, ‘white’ bait fishes have been scarce.
Therefore, the baits of choice for Redfish, other than artificial presentations, will be big shrimps, cut Pinfish and crabs. Redfish are showing up more and more and with the early hot temperatures, I expect the big bull Redfish to come in from the gulf sooner than later this year. Seatrout have been hard to find with any size to them. Look for them to hold up in deeper holes during the hot days of the week and use small shrimps to insure lots of action from the species. Tarpon are still in the area, mostly off the beaches and in Boca Grande Pass. Crabs seem to be the most effective bait.
Offshore should be good so long as the weather permits. Be safe and try to get in early to mid-afternoon ahead of the storms. Inshore boaters and anglers should be cautious as well.
Over the last few months I have had great pleasure to take out several ‘Junior’ anglers. Pictured here from Lakeville, MN. is Aidan Andre (9) holding just one of many fish he caught while fishing Pine Island Sound. Great going Aidan!
Six (6) year old, Kinley Gillihan of Kansas City, Missouri is pictured with a nice Seatrout she caught. Kinley also caught a shark all by herself. She is a terrific future ‘lady’ angler!
The Jacobs Family from St. Charles, Missouri (once my home town area), accompanied me on a charter. Lee (11) is holding a Jack Crevalle he caught. His brother Austin (9), is pictured with a nice Seatrout. Both boys caught their share of fish and are destined to be ‘big time’ anglers! The family (Karen, Todd, Lee and Austin) are pictured together after a wonderful afternoon on the water. Thank you Karen and Todd. I enjoyed the time we had together!
Until the next ‘report’; this is Captain Terry Fisher wishing everyone tight lines and safe boating. Charter information may be obtained by calling me at 239-357-6829 or emailing me at fishfacecharters.com. More articles and information may be found on my website at www.fishfacecharters.com
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.
Fishing has been good for most species at certain times of the day. The bite has been predicated mostly on the water temperature especially, after the sun has had a chance to warm up some of the locations. Most of the mornings I go out, it proves to be slow until the warmth sets in on the flats and shallow areas. I have had the opportunity to see lots of feeding frenzies from Jug Creek Shoal, just off of Bokelia all the way down to St. James City and the Causeways of Sanibel. These feeding frenzies are including ladyfish, Pompano, Spanish Mackerel, Crevalle Jacks and Sea trout. Lots of game and fun!
Last week, I took the opportunity to check out the activity just off beaches of Sanibel and Captiva Islands. There is Tripletail on the buoys and Pompano off the beaches and in the passes. The Spanish Mackerel are showing up everywhere, both offshore as well as in Pine Island Sound. The water temperature is good for these migratory fishes. Although to date, I have not had much success with the Sheepshead as I would like, but I suspect as the water cools the bigger ones will be on their way.
We are catching some small Redfish around the Spoil Islands and nice size Snook on moving tides along the creek cuts with mangroves and deadwood for bank structure. There are plenty of Grouper in Pine Island Sound holding in structure (fallen trees along the banks with deep holes of 6ft-12ft). Flounder’s are being caught in the surf off the beaches and on the harder bottom and around the channels, passes, mangroves and Spoil Islands. I understand there will be Cobia as long as the water temperature holds. The baits of choice for most species are shrimp and cut bait fish. Naturally, artificials are working as well. Watch for the birds and top water feeding frenzies as the sun warms up the water and get your presentation to them and have some fun!
Until next week, this is Captain Terry Fisher of Fish Face Charters. Check out my website at www.fishfacecharters.com or contact me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I am easily reached via phone at 239-357-6829 if you have any questions on where and how to catch the fine game fish.
Since the Ft. Myers Boat Show I have had the opportunity to run a number of charters in search for Snook, Redfish and Sea Trout. Notwithstanding the wind and cold front, the ‘back-bay’ fishing was surprisingly good most of the week. The Sea Trout was very hard to locate, but with some persistence I got rewarded with dividends of bigger pre-winter fish. The Snook was active as well around the Cape Coral canals, creek mouths and mangrove cuts. The Redfish bite remains on, but they are not as aggressive, plentiful or as big as they were in October. However, there are still plenty around on an incoming tide just off of the main channels and around the spoil islands at both the southern end of Pine Island Sound and Matlacha Pass. If you live north of Matlacha or Redfish Pass, I suggest working some of the spoil islands with oyster bars and grass flats. Other ‘back-bay’ species that are active are the Spanish Mackerel and Pompano. The birds will give you the possible locations of the Mackerel. The Pompano are just off of the flats at Wulfert Keys, Punta Rassa and San Carlos Bay, just to name a few locations.
I am forecasting that the bite should be fairly good for all of the above species in the coming week, given that there is a full moon ‘on the horizon’ and the fishing has remained decent, despite the cold fronts.
Regarding off-shore species; with the winds and the cold fronts, I have not had any reports from other captains in regarding off-shore, but will address that in next week’s article. If you have any questions, I am easily reached by phone at 239-357-6829 or via email at email@example.com. Check out both my weekly and monthly articles as well as the services I offer at www.fishfacecharters.com.
Had a good yesterday. Went fishing with Mom, Dad and Steve. The weather is great right now. Just nice 70’s to 80’s breeze blowing. Fished the bridges caught some nice Snook. Then headed to the east side. Fishing out by the bar there are Sea Trout willing to eat shrimp under a poppin cork. Back by the keys, there are Snook, Red fish, & Mangrove Snappers. Most of the fish we found are on the back side or between the keys. But the 2nd island north of Pirate Harbor we got broke off by a couple monsters on the front side. So best bet, pick a “Key” island and toss some bait up by it. We found the best results were keys which had a slightly deeper hole or trough in front of it. The fish seemed to lay just outside of the hole and when the bait landed in the hole Bam!
(Ft. Myers Beach to Charlotte Harbor) The water temperatures in the gulf are beginning to cool and come alive with baitfish and the game fish that pursue them. Snook are beginning to move back to their homes in the canals and rivers. Redfish will continue to come out of the mangroves to spend more time on the ‘flats’. Early morning ‘top water’ and chunked dead bait will be a good bet to catch the quality Redfish. Sea Trout are around the oyster bars and the flats, making them easy targets using a popping cork and live shrimp. There are still some ‘local’ Tarpon around in Pine Island Sound, the river and the canals. Most are small, but put up a great fight.
Off shore anglers should continue to enjoy good catches of Grouper, Snapper and Permit so long as the weather permits. One does not have to go as far out to enjoy bottom fishing at its best as the weather and water temperatures continue to cool down.
Until next week; GOOD FISHING AND BE SAFE! If you need or want any information to assist with your fishing or boating needs, I am easily reached at 239-357-6829/239-471-7332 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Check out my other fishing and boating reports at www.fishfacecharters.com
(FT. MYERS BEACH TO CHARLOTTE HARBOR) Summer weather patterns are here in full swing with warm temperatures more times than not followed by a string of thunderstorms. So long as there is not lightning, I welcome the cool breezes that they produce from time to time. The only downside is that the wind usually picks up, presenting some casting discomfort until they subside or go away. One thing for sure is that an early start will keep you out of the afternoon heat and usually produce better strikes and more fish action than being in out there in the heat of the day.
This should be a good week to get out there and try your luck as the tides will be bigger with stronger currents in many areas. My last few charters are yielding a good variety of species from St. James City to Bokelia on Pine Island Sound. I have been working the passes for Snook, the Mangroves and oyster beds for Reds and the flats for Sea Trout. Small Threadfins have been my best producers for live bait, even though they have been smaller than I like. The ‘summer’ shrimp have been very small, but to offset simply place 2 on a hook!
Flounder have been good on a redheaded jig using Gulp Penny or White color 3” Shrimp. The Mangrove Snapper like them as well with both of these species being caught relatively easy around and on structure at 3-4ft. depths where the current is moving.
Off-shore activity is good when the wind permits using cut baits such as mullet, squid, Pinfish. Fish over structure and chum. Try dragging some ‘Stretch’ or other brand of lures while searching out new spots. When you get a hit; mark the spot, land the fish and investigate the bottom for any opportunity to anchor and fill your cooler. Try trolling the you baits on the outgoing tides around and through the passes as well.