Charlotte County Fishing Report with Frank

Saturday was a great day if you were fishing the inside of the East Keys.   Captain Cayle wacked the Mangrove Snappers and Red fish.  Cayle said he had other fish, but it was unreal how big and steady the Snapper bite was.

Capt., Greg had a different kind of day.  Greg & Chris headed to the east side. Found a pothole against the side of an island. They started fishing then proceeded to catch every conceivable fish you could fish for in Charlotte harbor; grouper, lady fish, trout, redfish, snook, snappers.  Everything except flounder and sheeps-head.  The even ended up catching one catfish on what was to be his last cast.  After the cat-fish they decided they had had enough.

It was a great trip. End this one on a high note. Putting in the trolling motor, they headed out from the keys, to more open, deeper water. After reaching water deep enough to use the out board Chris went to hit the key nothing, dead battery.   Luckily there was a guy fishing on an aluminum boat not far away.  They trolling motored up to the guy.  Due to a little bit a bad financial luck he had to sell his flats boat and here he was fishing in an aluminum boat, but at least he finally got out on the water.   And all he wanted was to catch dinner for that night, but he had not caught a thing.

“Idea!!”  How about a trade?  A nice 24 inch six and three-quarter pound red fish for a jumpstart.   I know you’re not supposed to trade redfish for a jumpstart but this was an emergency.  He was able to have fish for dinner, and they were able to start the engine.   As it turned out, their lucky day, turned into his lucky day.   Not a bad way to and a fishing trip.  They did not have a fish dinner but they did not have to push the boat back to the ramp!

Lee County Fishing Report with Captain Terry

(Ft. Myers Beach to Charlotte Harbor) Wow, what a wonderful fishing experience for those that had the fore-site to go out and fish the days before, the morning of and days after Tropical Storm Issacc! I had the opportunity to fish all of the above with both charter clients as well as with my wife Vicki in the Cape Coral Canals, Pine Island Sound, the back country of Punta Rassa and Matlacha Passes. They all produced great sport fishing for hungry and aggressive Crevalle Jacks, Snook, Tarpon, Redfish and Trout alike. My  clients enjoyed violent strikes from both Snook and Jacks on artificial baits. We caught several 17”-22” Seatrout on shrimp under corks and Vicki landed a 42” Tarpon in the ‘spreader’ canal in Cape Coral on her favorite MR 19 Mirro-Lure twitch bait ( the key is to know how to ‘twitch’ it)!

We have a full moon for most of the weekend together with subsiding winds and I cannot wait to get out over the Labor Day Weekend anticipating both great weather and great fishing. I will be targeting Redfish north of Matlacha Bridge, as well as the northern parts of Pine Island Sound to confirm that they are still holding in those areas. All species seem to have been charged up by the dark waters, stronger moving tides, giving the anglers a chance to make unsuspecting presentations.

If you need any information to assist with your boating or fishing needs, give me a call at 239-357-6829/239-471-7332 or email me at fishfacecharters@yahoo.com. As always, check out my weekly and monthly articles at www.fishfacecharters.com.

Lee County Fishing Report with Captain Terry

(FT. MYERS BEACH TO CHARLOTTE HARBOR)  Fishing has been fantastic this week with the higher tides and good weather. Charter Captain’s are reporting lots of Redfish and Snook together with all other species ready for eager anglers to simply make a good presentation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My 1st Mate (Vicki) and I took to heart some of the above mentioned recent ‘back country’ fishing reports and went out for a few hours today to check them out for ourselves. As mentioned above, the conditions were favorable for an early morning departure to search for new spots. We got an early start and arrived in the ‘back country’ of Pine Island Sound about 7:00 AM, at a location where the tide was high and slack. When it started moving we started catching Snook and Redfish. As the tide went down to the back half of the outgoing we pulled anchor and headed East to catch the last of the top half of the outgoing on the east side of Charlotte Harbor for a lot more of the same. The Redfish pictured here was caught on a ‘twitch-bait’ by Vicki and while I landed several nice Snook.

Depending on Tropical Storm ‘Isaac’, I suggest that one gets out before Sunday, as the fishing will more than likely suffer for a few days after it passes.

If you would like to get in on some terrific September and October Redfish, Snook or other back country species, contact me, Captain Terry Fisher at 239-357-6829/239-471-7332 or email fishfacecharters@yahoo.com. Stay updated on fishing activities on my website; www.fishfacecharters.com.

Charlotte County Fishing Report with Frank

With the Snook season closed here on the west coast, I think many people are forgetting how much fun big Snook are.  They jump, thrash, and pull.  Everything you really enjoy about fishing all rolled up in one striped package.  Snook will eat top water, jigs, swim baits, spoons, if you throw it they will eat it.

And right now they are kind of easy to catch, The rain which is coming every few days has them bunched up at the spillways, waiting for the easy meal to get pulled over the dams.  Try small white lures, 3 to 4 inches, cast right at the falling water.  Rapala X-rap 8 size is a great one to start with.  If you are thinking of doing this, take an extra couple of minutes to flatten the barbs on the treble hooks of the lure. Do not smash them just bend the tip of the barb down.  Makes it easy to get out of the Snook and they do not come off.  And consider that when you are grabbing the lip of a Snook with a lure there are lots of barbed hooks.  If the flattened down, the barbs come out of your hand easy also.

Well good luck & have fun out there.

Fishin’ Frank

Charlotte County Fishing Report with Frank

By “Fishin” Frank of Fishing Franks Fishing Store in Port Charlotte

Fishing in the Charlotte area is getting better, You still need to try and get that incoming tide for the best bite, but Red Fish along the west wall, as well as the east keys are biting.  Cut bait, Lady fish or mullet are the best.  Take a little frozen bait with you just in case you do not find fresh right away. Fresh is better, but fishing is better than looking for bait.

In the Gulf of Mexico this is the time for dolphin (mahi mahi).  Start looking at about 20 miles out, they are thick along the weed lines, just the way you do it in the keys.  Most of these are chicken or schooly dolphin. Small lures or even shrimp will work well.

Snook are moving into the area.  More & more by the day.  Really big Snook in Pine Island sound in the pot holes.  Up the river big Snook are hitting at the narrows and by I-75

Good luck & have fun out there!

Fishin Frank

 

Lee County Fishing Report with Captain Terry

By Captain Terry Fisher, Fish Face Charters

(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.

If you have any questions, give me a call at 239-357-6829/239-471-7332 or email me at fishfacecharters@yahoo.com. Check out my website for additional reading and information at www.fishfacecharters.com

Lee County Fishing Report with Captain Terry

By Captain Terry Fisher, Fish Face Charters

(FT. MYERS BEACH TO CHARLOTTE HARBOR) Yes, the fishing is improving since my last report. The Snook are still the easiest to target on the beaches and in the passes as well as on the last half of the higher tide in the Mangroves. The stronger the tide, be it outgoing or incoming, the better.  I suggest targeting deeper cuts and points as the fish are looking for relief from the heat. When you spot your quarry or have the intuition one is lurking around, make four to five repeat presentations in the target area. If you do get a ‘swirl’ or ‘slap’ at the presentation (especially if one is using artificial lures) odds are in your favor that they may not resist other opportunities. However, after you have caught a couple of fish from a school or made several passes, they get wiser and it is probably to your advantage to move onto another spot.

Likewise, the Redfish (‘Red’s’) will move up in the Mangroves on a high tide and in the deeper cuts as well until they move out just at the flats as the tide subsides. Based on my recent charters and other reports the ‘Reds’ seem to be more concentrated in the upper part of Pine Island Sound.

Gray Snapper and Flounder bites have also been good in the back country and they are tasty as well. The Sea Trout seem to always be active and I have had recent success with some Permit and Pompano on the sandy flats in about 4-6ft. of water. The bait and tactics that I am using are both live and artificial depending on the time of the day. I prefer artificial in the early morning hours and live/cut baits during the daytime.

Lee County Fishing Report with Captain Terry

By Captain Terry Fisher, Fish Face Charters

(LEE COUNTY) Summer weather brings out some of the best fishing opportunities our areas from North Ft. Myers Beach to Boca Grande Pass have to offer.

INSHORE:  Snook are everywhere along the beaches and in the passes of Sanibel, Captiva, North Captiva and Cayo Costa Islands feeding on schools of glass minnows and scaled sardines. Spinning casters, Fly fishermen/women are walking and stalking the beaches for an opportunity to land one of the most sought after gamefish for the pure excitement of the fight and bragging rights they provide. Spinning casters using artificials should find success using suspending twitch baits, small white bucktail jigs and X-Raps to name a few. Fly-fishers have had success with numerous patterns such as small deceivers and Clauser minnows. Be sure your equipment is up to the task. Spinning casters will want 15-20 lb line test and they along with the Fly-fishers should consider a 40lb Fluorocarbon leader. Remember to stay back away from the water for best results.

Those with flats and bay boats will want to try angling  close to the mangroves in Pine Island Sound as well as on the inside of the Outer Islands along structure on the last half of the incoming or the first half of the outgoing using whitebait for best results;

Redfish may be targeted in the same areas as the Snook on the first part of the outgoing tide using Pilchards, Threadfin Herrings or large shrimp on a 2/0-4/0 hook either under a cork or free line. As the tide subsides, move out to the oyster bars and troughs. Artificial baits such as, Gulp Shrimp (Penny color) on a 1/8 ounce redheaded jig, gold spoons and soft plastics should provide results. I prefer to fish the early morning or late evening hours for both Snook and Redfish, so long as the tide is moving. This provides the best opportunity to break out the top-water lures and experience vicious strikes from both species. My tackle preference for both Snook and Reds are somewhat similar being 7 ½ ft medium to medium power heavy rods w/extra fast action tips matched with Stradic 4000-5000 FI Shimano reels loaded with 20 lb braid tipped with 3 ft. 25-30lb Fluorocarbon leaders depending on the type of bottom and density of the structure I am fishing;

Trout are everywhere. Deep V, deck and pontoons alike can get in on this action on the grass flats of Punta Rassa and in Pine Island Sound. Use the same bait and equipment mentioned above only with lighter leaders (15-20lb), a light jig head on a 2/0 size hook positioned about 3ft under a popping cork on an incoming tide in 3-6 ft. of water. You will lose a few however, as the Spanish Mackerel attacks the bait. To help prevent this, go with a heavier leader or a small wire leader attached directly to your main line understanding that this may cost you a few strikes;

Mangrove Snappers are still around and can be found under about any mangrove structure. They love shrimps free-lined or under a cork so long as the bait lays close to the bottom or around the structure.

Tarpon are here but the reported catches have been off as well as the bite. I recently spoke with Mr. Bob Thomas, President of the Cape Coral Tarpon Hunters Club and agreed that June was not as productive as we had hoped. Attributed in part to the early warm waters of April and May and the seemingly early arrival of the Tarpon; the south and west winds have played havoc on the fishing. He reported that live bait fishermen/women are using Threadfins and Pinfish under a cork with the most success in the passes and around bridges. Dead bait fishermen and women are relying on catfish fillets, Spanish Mackerel chunks and ladyfish for the most part. Not a lot of Tarpon sightings of late in the Caloosahatche River. However, as the weeks progress the Tarpon should be showing up in the potholes of Pine Island Sound and Charlotte Harbor. When the weather cooperates, I find the Tarpon off of the beaches of Ft. Myers, Sanibel, Captiva and North Captiva in 10-30 feet of water as well as in the passes. Early morning and evenings with tide movement are the best times to target these fish. My bait of choice are live large Threadfins/Pilchards, Pinfish and Mullet under a cork or free-lining. I use lighter tackle than most of my fellow Cape Coral Tarpon Hunters. I use spinning tackle that can handle 50-65lb braid tipped with 60-80 lb test 6-8ft Fluorocarbon leaders and a 6/0-7/0 circle hook. Be prepared to catch your share of sharks as well.

Depending on the weather and tide movements, fishermen and ladies working famous Boca Grande Pass are using techniques which include jigs as well as live baits (big threadfins, pilchards, crabs) with some success.

OFFSHORE: I have not spent a lot of time working the structures and wrecks offshore as I have concentrated my efforts on back country and Tarpon, not to mention that my new 21ft. Cobia Center Console Bay Boat is not designed for long trips on the Gulf of Mexico. However, some of my fellow captains report the following;

Red Grouper may be found anywhere from 10-20 miles offshore. They are eating cut Squid, Sardines, Pinfish when being heavily chummed. Fishermen going out 20 miles or more are catching their limits;

Red Snapper/Mutton Snapper are being found on structure in about 150 ft. of water are being chummed and being caught on Squid, Sardines and Pinfish as well. They are averaging anywhere from 5-10lbs for Muttons and 5-17lbs for Red Snappers;

Permit are closer to the shore line and are being found anywhere from 5-20 miles out on structure using live crabs, live shrimps and big chartreuse jigs tipped with cut bait and are weighing in anywhere from 15-30lbs.

In closing, there are numerous other species that will be caught both In-shore and off-shore. Simply pick your day to go and be safe. There are a number of reliable weather sources to go to for planning your next fishing trip. I basically rely on wunderground.com for marine forecast and my planning purposes together with the local news weather channels. If I may be of assistance on your next trip or answer any questions about fishing or boating the beautiful and bountiful waters of SW Florida (Lee County) simply give me a call at 239-357-6829/239471-7332 or email me at fishfacecharters@yahoo.com. Check out my website at www.fishfacecharters.com. I am for hire on your vessel or mine. My rates are posted on the web-site or may call on the phone numbers listed above. I am USCG License, insured with years of fishing experience. Customer satisfaction and helping you know the area and understanding how to catch more big fish is what I am all about.