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.
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.
Taking people fishing and boating has to rank as one of the better jobs in the world (if one can call that a job). I enjoy the company of both residents and vacationers alike, whether as ‘Captain for Hire’ on their vessel or taking them out on mine. Anglers of all ages seem to enjoy the experience, regardless of wind speed or temperature, so long as they catch fish.
Most of my fishing expeditions this year have been north of the power lines linking Cape Coral to Pine Island and Sanibel. Due to the excessive releases from Lake Okeechobee, the waters remain tainted and are not as productive as the more northern sector of Pine Island Sound and northerly Matlacha Pass toward Charlotte Harbor.
Some of my more recent enjoyable moments with charter clients have been during the later part of March and early April. Pictured are a few of those clients and junior anglers that I had the pleasure to spend time with:
Junior anglers Michael Houser (12) of Westlake, Ohio with a Spanish Mackerel together with his cousin Preston Stallard (11) of Strongsville, Ohio showing off his Pompano. These boys caught lots of fish and have a lot of promising days ahead for Salt-water angling. Nice job guys!
Another outing produce some big Seatrout. Mr. Bill Flister, President of the Quarry Fishing Club of Bonita Springs landed his beautiful Seatrout after a long day of ribbing by his counter-parts. ‘It is never over till it’s over’, was his closing remark. Bill was the subject of playful ridicule by his buddies for not catching larger fish during the early part of the charter.
Jeff and Gretchen Simeone of Plantation Estates of Ft. Myers are each pictured with Seatrouts representing many fish caught on a charter with their grandchildren, Sam Simeone (13) and Will Simeone (9) of Alpharetta, Georgia. Sam is holding a Seatrout, while Will is pictured with me holding his Bonnet Head Shark! I have strong expectations for both of these junior anglers. Good job, Sam and Will!
Full moon on the horizon and I am gearing up for Snook, Redfish, Trout and Tarpon. Tides are on the rise, bait- fish are here and ‘spring fever’ is in the air. This is Captain Terry Fisher of Fish Face Charters. Call me at 239-357-6829 for immediate response to charter request or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Check out the archives on Go Boating Florida as well as recent publications of Coastal Angler Magazines for more articles and fishing tips. My website is www.fishfacecharters.com.
Cobia, Sharks, and Tarpon have all moved into the Harbor, and the cool thing is that they are eating dead bait. Quite often you need to catch and use fresh live bait to get these fish to eat, but reports from 3 different boats, that were fishin the middle of the Harbor to down off Cape Haze, showed that they are eating frozen bait which worked as well as or better than the live bait.
Mullet, Ladyfish, and Threadfin are all doing good, but uncut whole Threadfins, either free line or better yet 5 feet under a float, is the best of the three. For the Tarpon and Cobia, both fish are hitting and the boats have been anchored up and they seem not to mind sharing the space. One other thing to mention, cutting the bait in half as I would think to do, is not good, as they want them whole.
Sharks are hitting better off the bottom using sinkers to keep the bait down, and any of the three types of bait cut into pieces is better than whole.
Sharks are on the menu and on the beaches! We’re seeing Blacktips, Bonnets, Bulls, Sandbars and more. The best bait to attract these are Mullet or Ladyfish. Stingray and everything else are also working. Don’t know if these really are the best bait right now, but more people are buying Mullet and Ladyfish than anything else so that is why I guess they are the better bet.
All you need to catch Sharks up to 3 foot long, is a regular spinning rod with 10 to 20 pound test line and a small steel leader. I use the A.F.W. bleeding leaders about a 4/0 size as these really seems to be great for catching them. Then you can flatten the barb of the hook for catch and release.
For your bait, put on a chunk of fish, 3 fingers by 3 fingers, on your hook. To do this, I mean lay your bait fish, say a whole ladyfish down, now place 3 fingers on the fish and that is how much you should put on the hook.
If two people are fishing, one should be under a float and the other with a sinker, then see which way the Sharks are wanting the bait, either near the top or on the bottom.
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.
(Ft. Myers Beach to Charlotte Harbor) Tarpon and Shark are still here in big numbers off the beaches and in the passes of the outer islands from Sanibel to Cayo Costa. Pine Island Sound and Charlotte Harbor are both holding these fish in big numbers. They move in on the incoming tides and start moving out with the outgoing tides. Mornings have been the most exciting to watch and experience the big schools of Tarpon as they put on a show when breaking the surface. Unfortunately, with the half-moon phase of last week the ‘bite’ has been off with only a handful hooked up each day and few landed.
The baits of choice are threadfins (when one can find them) squirrel fish, blue crabs and pass crabs. The good news is that the charters have all proved exciting with hungry sharks taking baits when all else fails. Pictured here is a 5 ft. Black Tip Shark caught and landed by Mr. Ingo Merbach of Hof, Bavaria, Germany. It was caught while dead bait fishing a mullet off the bottom in Charlotte Harbor. While no Tarpon was landed, he and his family enjoyed a beautiful day with lots of excitement in quest of their first Tarpon. I include a picture of his family members; wife Verena, daughter Annalena, son Maximilian and friend Joey, from Matlacha, Florida. I am looking forward to taking them out again on their next visit to the area.
Hopefully, the Tarpon run will continue through the new moon phase. Other species (both off shore and inshore) such as groupers, snappers, Redfish and Seatrouts have continued to provide good action and I expect that will continue with the higher summer tides and stronger currents.
Until next week, this is Captain Terry Fisher of Fish Face Charters wishing everyone ‘tight-lines’ and safe fishing. Charter information may be obtained by calling me directly at 239-357-6829 or emailing me at email@example.com. More articles and fishing tips may be found on my website; www.fishfacecharters.com.
(Ft. Myers Beach to Charlotte Harbor) Fishing has been fantastic for most of my clients during the better part of March. Seatrout, Snook, Pompano, Spanish Mackerel, Sheepshead and Redfish have all been active from the Sanibel Causeway to Jug Creek just off of Bokeelia, Pine Island. While the flats have produced more numbers of Seatrout, Pompano, Spanish Mackerel, the shallows with ‘pot-holes’ in the ‘back-country’ locations have produced Redfish, Snook and larger Seatrouts. Pictured here is Jeff Konzak of Estes Park, Colorado holding a 25″, 6 pound Seatrout caught on a shrimp in Pine Island Sound. This fish required a lot of patience to swallow the bait before ‘setting the hook’. Also pictured here is a Redfish caught by Mr. Steve Weber of Cape Coral, Florida. Several of my clients have had good success with Redfish as well.
In regards to other species: Tarpon (along with sharks) are continuing to move into the area with consistent average water temperatures around 70 degrees. Mangrove Snappers, Sheepshead, Ladyfish and Triple Tails are active and will be receptive live baits. Keep an ‘eye-out’ for Cobia. Fishing should get even better as more ‘Glass’ Minnows, Pilchards, Threadfin and other bait fishes move up from the south and ‘springtime’ temperatures continue to rise.
This is Captain Terry Fisher of Fish Face Charters wishing you ‘tight-lines’. More information on ‘catches’, the techniques and charter information, may be obtained by calling me at 239-357-6829 or at my websites; www.fishfacecharters.com or www.captainterryfisher.com. I am also easily reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Looking forward to providing you with next week’s fishing report. Until then, be careful and be cautious of ‘foul’ weather!
(Ft. Myers Beach to Charlotte Harbor) The last couple of weeks have been really good for all of the ‘back country’ species (Redfish, Snook, Seatrout, Pompano, Spanish Mackerel, Shark, Mangroves Snappers). The Tarpon have been a little scarce this year (compared to last year) off of the outer side of Sanibel with reports of more activity and catches outside of Cayo Costa. Reports of large numbers of Tarpon are now in Boca Grande Pass and Charlotte Harbor, to which I am heading this week to practice for some Memorial Day Weekend charters.
Nonetheless, while on a ‘Combo/Shark’ charter, I had the opportunity to check out the crab buoys and spotted the nice Tripletail (pictured here). Another ‘Combo Shark/Tarpon Charter’ produced a number of small sharks for lots of ‘reel’ excitement. Mr. David Nycz II from Detroit, Michigan, is pictured holding his first small Sand Shark on light tackle. David’s fiancée, Lisa caught her own 4 ft. shark on very light tackle, showing off her angling abilities as well. Between David and Lisa, 9 sharks were caught and released, including a 6 foot Hammerhead.
My ‘First Mate’ (Vicki) and I had a wonderful day of both shark/Tarpon and ‘back-country’ fishing with these dedicated anglers (pictured together). Tarpon fishing should be good in numerous areas of the Caloosahatche River, Pine Island Sound, the passes and especially; Charlotte Harbor. All other species, both ‘in and offshore’, should be no exception and I suggest one works the incoming or outgoing tides for best results, as ‘slack tide’ is usually less productive.
Well the TV says that we are in for a week of thunderstorms each day, not all day but possible storms each day, which leaves us 1 of 2 possibilities.
1- The first is that a front moves across the Harbor and the fish move and quit feeding, or we get a couple inches of rain, and it lower the salt level of the Harbor, which would move many of the fish back into the gulf. Not good at all as we have been in the magic zone, every thing from Black fin tuna, Bonita, Spanish Mackerel, King Mackerel, Shark, Cobia, Tarpon, Snook, red fish, & more all biting. What can I say but WOW what a week.
2- The second possible out come, is that these afternoon rains and cloud cover will hold the water temperature steady, providing we get less than an inch of rain so the salt level remain constant in the Harbor, and if the clouds keep the water from heating up, this magic week could turn into a magic month. & HOW cool would that be!!
So here hoping for door number 2 and the magic remains