Redfish are still going strong, and the Reds are moving onto the west side of the Harbor. Shrimp, and Pinfish are the baits of choice right now. I believe the reason the Reds are getting thicker on the west side, is due to the lower fresh water volume coming into the Harbor from the rivers. The Peace River is down to 4.5 feet from 7.5 feet last week at this time, so you can finally start seeing the bottom again.
The bad news is that with red tide in and around the gulf beaches, the fresh water coming down the river is our security blanket, and red tide cannot live in fresh water and the Harbor still being very fresh keeps the red tide in the gulf. This means that the salt levels are coming up in the Harbor, which makes the fishing better but could also lead to red tide being able to come into the Harbor. Good news is that right now if red tide would come into the Harbor the out going tide which pulls the fresh water from the rivers would kill any red tide. All we can do is wait and see how long the red tide bloom will last or if we get lucky and get more rain.
But for now all good here in the Harbor and we hope the red tide will not get too bad along the beaches. There are some reports of dead fish in the ICW along the back side of Boca near Placida, but not real terrible at this point. So head to the west wall or the east side of the Harbor and have a great day catching Reds and Snook.
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.
(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
(Ft. Myers Beach to Charlotte Harbor) Last week’s ‘full moon’ cycle produced some good fishing for most species. Notwithstanding that Snook season closed, many of my charter clients hooked and landed a number of them in our search for Redfish. Bait fish remained in the area and the Snook took advantage of several ‘free-line’ presentations. I am pictured with one of the Snook I caught on one of my ‘off’ days while in search of new locations. Needless to say, I found a good ‘spot’.
The Redfish ‘bite’ has been good on large shrimps and cut pinfish as well as soft artificial presentations for clients able to cast under the mangroves. Pictured here is Tom Moslander of Illinois and his daughter, Maria of Cape Coral. Both fish were caught in the ‘back country’ on a jig head loaded with large shrimp on an outgoing tide.
Fishing this week may slow a bit as the cool front arrives. My advice is to get out early in the week, work the tides with moving water (either incoming or outgoing). Cooler water should start producing bigger Seatrout on the ‘flats’ and bigger Sheepshead on structures.
Until next report, this is Captain Terry Fisher of Fish Face Charters wishing everyone, ‘tight lines’. Charter information may be obtained by calling me at 239-357-6829 or email; email@example.com. Check out my website; www.fishfacecharters.com for more information, articles and fishing tips!
(Ft. Myers Beach to Charlotte Harbor) Last week and prior to the cold front of Thanksgiving Day my charters produced a number of catches, including big Snook, Seatrout, Jack Crevalle and Redfish. The Snook and Jack Crevalle preferred the white baits over Pinfish and Shrimps, while the Redfish chose the opposite. With the water temperatures cooling, the opportunity to cast nets for white bait and greenies will begin to diminish. Hopefully, the cooler temperatures we are experiencing over the Thanksgiving weekend, will not push these bait fish farther south before the new year, but that is being very optimistic. The good news is that rising temperatures are forecasted and a full moon phase approaches. I plan on remaining steadfast in my approach over the next few days, so long as the bait fish remain.
Pictured here is one of my favorite ‘junior’ anglers, Nick Addy (12) of Clinton Township, Michigan, holding one of many Snook he caught. I recently had the pleasure of taking Nick, his father (Steve) and his grandfather (Jim), out to catch a number of large Snook, huge Jack Crevalles and Mangrove Snappers. Our method was free-lining the bait fishes on circle hooks and all three anglers boated their share of the bounty. Great job gentlemen. Iook forward to a repeat next season!
I am forecasting a good week of fishing due to warm temperatures and full moon cycle. Remember to work the tides on the top half of the incoming and outgoing for best results.
This is Captain Terry Fisher of Fish Face Charters, hoping everyone had a Happy Thanksgiving and ‘tight lines’! Charter information may be obtained at www.fishfacecharters.com or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. My cell number is 239-357-6829 for those wanting immediate assistance.
The weather is not what had been predicted, so chasing the Kings may not happen for a little while.
There are however a lot of Sheepshead in Alligator Creek and at El-Jo. Shrimp is the bait of choice right now for the Sheepshead. The larger shrimp should attract the larger fish. Many of the Sheepshead are close to the 20 inch mark. While fishing at El-Jo you should also be able to get your keeper Snook. Snook is better to catch on lures like the Storm 4 inch Shad. Also walking it is better than casting it.
On the flats it is again a shrimp bite right now, from Snook and Sheepshead to Trout. The Trout seem be be looking for the float rigs. If you are interested in using fake bait, a DOA deadly combo is the ticket.
(Ft. Myers Beach to Charlotte Harbor) Last week continued to produce good fishing despite the cool fronts that pushed through. Some days offered southern winds that provided for good opportunities to reach ‘hard to get to’ winter spots due to the seasonal low tides (southern winds tend to ‘push’ the water into Pine Island Sound, while northern winds will ‘push’ the water out).
Pictured here are some fishing clients that had so much fun catching fish in early February that they opted to go again last week. Jim Poff and Shannon Poff of Salem, Ohio are displaying nice size Seatrouts they each caught on shrimps . Jayne Henderson of Kewaskum, Wisconsin is also shown with her big Seatrout. The charter hoisted a variety of fish species that morning including lots of Spanish Mackerel, Crevalle Jacks and sharks to name a few.
Another charter client, Mr. John Manteuffel of St. Paul, Minnesota is shown with a large Sheepshead caught on a Fiddler Crab ‘deep in the pilings’ in Pine Island Sound. John also hooked and successfully ‘angled’ a larger Sheepshead (around 18″) but was lost at the net ( I took responsibility for not getting the fish in the boat) and gave John credit for the catch.
I see nothing in next week’s weather forecast to ‘shut down’ the bite. Water temperatures are holding with tendencies to go up. Hopefully, ‘spring is in the air’ as we approach the opening of Snook season. Spring brings sardines and herrings for the netting. They will be the ‘baits of choice’ for me, once they arrive.
More articles and charter information may be obtained at my websites; www.fishfacecharters.com or at www.captainterryfisher.com. I am easily reached by phone at 239-357-6829. Until next week, good fishing!
Big Redfish out by the bar! Shrimp is the bait of choice. But a purple skitter walk, or strange as it might sound, a red head white body, hula popper lightly popped and reeled are the best lures to get these monsters on.
What a great time to be here in S.W. Fla. The best bite time starts about 11:am and gets better into early afternoon. Sleep in, have a nice breakfast, stop at Fishin Franks Bait Shop a bit, hit the water catch fish, a The dream lives!
The cool thing now is that the fish will eat Shrimp, Bait fish, Lures, If you cast it they will bite 😀
Because of the water temps going up and down I would be ready for plan “B”. If the flats aren’t doing well, I would head to the mouths of the canals. Have some different bait. Shrimp, Fiddlers, White bait, whatever you can get.
There are no solid rules with the way the water is changing right now. One day or morning it is all shrimp. Then bang, it’s changed and they are eating white bait. Or maybe fish in the morning and shrimp later. If the weather stays steady for a while then you can get handle on what’s going on bait wise.