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.
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’!
This holiday season, Redfish can be found in three prime locations. The first is around the southern half of the west wall south of the towers. Pirate Harbour a half mile to the north around the islands has also been a successful spot. Lastly, the sandbars at the mouth of Turtle Bay across to the Eagles cut rounds out the top three places to find Redfish this time of year.
Full Moon Rising! It appears that the next number of days will provide great fishing accompanied by good weather and good tides. Last week the tropical storm prevented fishing, but as of last Saturday (September 3rd) everything seemed to be returning to normal, including the fish bite. Captain Davey Dunlap and I fished the Redfish Flats Invitational (Ronald McDonald Sponsorship) out of Cape Harbour in Cape Coral. We finished in the money with two Redfish weighing in at approximately 10lbs. 9 oz.
My positive report of July 4th – July 11th was predicated on high tide levels with strong currents due to a new moon phase. Unfortunately, the tide predictions were wrong and we experienced lower water levels, weaker currents and less fish activity. Nonetheless, Pilchards are arriving in bigger numbers and that is a good sign for those wanting live bait. They are small (hatchlings), but are growing and should provide good sizes by the end of the month, just in time for the full moon tides. I recommend a ¼ mess net.
Last week proved to be exceptional fishing for a number of species including Seatrout, Snook and Redfish. Warm waters, good tides and lots of bait provided the opportunity to target virtually any species that swim our waters.
Tarpon are here in better numbers both from Ft. Myers Beach to Charlotte Harbor, including Boca Grande Pass. My ‘Tarpon’ season will begin this week. Subject to the winds, I will focus off the beaches of the outer islands of Sanibel, Captiva and N. Captiva. My baits of choice will be crab, Pinfish, Mullet and Herring. However, I prefer to mix things up a bit, depending on the bite. I almost always suggest fishing for Snook and Redfish in the back-country to round out a day’s charter in the event the Tarpon are not cooperating. As of now, the reports are very early, morning bites.
Pictured here is Mr. Mike Herr of Kansas City, Missouri holding a nice Snook that he caught on a Herring in a canal, just off the mouth of the Caloosahatchee. Mike is no stranger to fishing for game fish when visiting SW Florida. Nice going Mike.
Dr. Rolando Rodriguez of Winter Haven, Florida displays a nice Snook and a Redfish that he caught during a charter with me just last week. Both species were caught while free-lining Pilchards into mangroves during a high tide. Rolando belongs to a fishing club in the Tampa area and displayed exceptional casting talents, which are second to none. Nice job Rolando! Looking forward to doing it again.
Moreover, my good client and friend Martin Smith of Ft. Wayne, Indiana, was not to be ‘out-fished’, as evidenced here by his Redfish caught on a jig-head, loaded with a shrimp. It had been a long time since his last Redfish and he was looking forward to boating one. Martin and I will be fishing for Tarpon later this week!
Given some time, fishing should continue to be good after the cold front moves through the area and so long as the winds stay reasonable. Wind and water temperatures will dictate the bite. I am hoping for southerly, mild winds!
This is Captain Terry Fisher of Fish Face Charters wishing everyone safe boating and good fishing! Check out my website at www.fishfacecharters.com for charter information. Call me direct at 239-357-6829 or email email@example.com. I am available by the hour as a ‘Captain for Hire’ on your vessel as well. Look for more of my fishing tips in the Coastal Angler Magazine.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
‘In-shore’ fishing in March has been good for a number of different species, but more specifically for Seatrout, Spanish Mackerel, Jack Crevalle, Ladyfish and occasionally a Pompano on the flats. Live shrimp have provided lots of bites and harvest when fished under a cork on a weighted jig head in about 3 to 6 foot of water, over grass beds. March was the transition month to spring, with rising and stabilizing water temperatures.
March proved to be the month for large Seatrout. Pictured here are Bill and Sally Catinella, of Traverse City, Michigan with some of their nice catches. Bill and I share the same birthday date(s) and our ventures have become a yearly ritual, celebrating the occasion, in search for a ‘fish of a lifetime’! I am looking forward to doing it again next year and I have already marked my calendar.
Look for Tarpon, Snook and Redfish to ‘join the party’ starting early April. The water temperatures are dictating the migration arrivals of offshore and inshore species; including big schools of Tarpon, Kingfish, Cobia, hungry Snook and Redfish to gorge on bait fish leading the migrations.
This is Captain Terry Fisher of Fish Face Charters wishing everyone safe boating and tight lines! Check out my website at www.fishfacecharters.com for fishing charter and ‘Captain for Hire’ (by the hour) information. I provide navigation, fishing locations and techniques at your convenience and on your vessel. Contact me direct at 239-357-6829 for immediate assistance or email me at email@example.com.