(Ft. Myers Beach to Charlotte Harbor) My 1st Mate (Vicki) and I recently returned from our ‘ANNUAL INTERNATIONAL FISHING AND DIVING EXPEDITION’ in Greece and Italy. I am happy to be back in SW Florida to do some serious ‘Redfishing’ and Snook fishing. October is the month! As reported prior to traveling, I was on them before I left and I have been on them since my return of October 1. Prior to departing on September 1, I had the pleasure of taking out three gentlemen from The Quarry in Naples. They are all members of the Quarry Fishing Club and they all caught their share of big Redfish. Pictured here are Tom Bothe (center), Jim Rainey (right side) and Bill Flister each holding one of their many catches. Bill (pictured on the left) is also the President of The Quarry Fishing Club, of which I plan on doing a seminar at their clubhouse later this month.
The ‘NEW’ moon phase is upon us offering up some strong currents and hopefully lots more action over the next week or so. That being said however, with all of the rain, tide levels should remain higher than projected past the middle of the month, allowing access to locations that these game fish seek for food and extra protection. The balance of October will bring in a ‘FULL’ moon phase, keeping good fishing opportunities alive all month. Target both Snook and Redfish with artificial or live presentations on the incoming or outgoing tides around the mangroves.
Moreover, October is simply a great month to fish. Good tides, good wind directions and many species, such as Seatrouts, Flounders, Spanish Mackerels, Mangrove Snappers, Jack Crevalles and the ‘Resident’ Tarpon continuing to be very active. They will all hit shrimp on the flats and around the mangroves under a popping cork presentation.
This is Captain Terry Fisher of Fish Face Charters wishing everyone ‘tighter’ lines! Check out my website at www.fishfacecharters.com for more fishing tips on the ‘links’ as well as charter information. I am easily reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me direct at 239-357-6829 to book an ‘October Redfish or Snook Charter’!
As I have said before, there are lots of Redfish out in the Harbor. We spent 3 hours fishing the east side, about 3/4 of a mile north of Pirate Harbor, and caught 6 Reds, 3 Snappers, a huge Bonnet Shark, and 3 Snook. Oh and a couple of Catfish and a Needlefish. They were small, but not a bad way to spend a few hours. We caught everything, except the Snook, on live shrimp either using a sinker or under a Poppin Cork. The Snook was caught on a Storm Twitch.
The Fishing is quite good right now and the weather is perfect. The water is very dark. The strange thing, and yes there is always something – a Pompano jumped out of the water, 15 feet in front of me just to tease me. I could almost hear that Pompano blowing raspberries at me.
Seminole, FL – Congressman David Jolly (FL-13) has introduced legislation that will lead to a more accurate count of Red Snapper and other reef fish in the Gulf of Mexico. The bill, called the Gulf Red Snapper Data Improvement Act, will allow for third-party data collection of fish populations to be used for federal stock assessments, which could ultimately lead to longer Red Snapper fishing seasons for the recreational sectors.
“Many in the fishing community, from private anglers, to charter, to commercial, have questioned the government’s stock assessments. My bill will give each of them a seat at the table. Third-party data collection will expand the information available to the government, particularly Red Snapper, and improve the data used to determine fishing seasons,” Jolly said.
The Gulf Red Snapper Data Improvement Act designates $10 million annually for third-party data collection of Gulf Red Snapper and other Gulf reef species. The data collection program will be managed by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) Southeast Regional Office located in St. Petersburg, Florida.
“This will improve our knowledge of fisheries stocks and if the research shows a larger fish population than the government suggests, this will open the door for a longer fishing season for species like Red Snapper. And a longer Snapper season is an economic and quality of life win throughout our community, positively impacting everyone from local scientists committed to the protection of fish populations, to recreational anglers, to charter operators, to businesses that depend on fishing tourism like hotel and restaurant operators,” Jolly noted.
A member of the powerful House Committee on Appropriations, Jolly was able to secure similar language in the Fiscal Year 2016 House Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies Bill earlier this year.
For additional information regarding this legislation please contact Preston Rudie, Communications Dir. for Representative Jolly at (727) 418-7722. You may also click this link to visit Representative Jolly’s website.
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.
Each month, the Cape Coral Cruise Club takes a scheduled cruise to a different marina in SW Florida and stays for several days enjoying the area’s amenities and hospitality. We do that nine times a year along with an extended cruise each Spring. We take a break during the summer months of July and August as many members leave the area. However, sometimes a marina offers the Club a special off-season discounted rate to visit their marina.
That happened when the Pink Shell Marina and Resort in Fort Myers Beach offered the Club an attractive discounted rate for staying at its marina during the month of August. I won’t say how low the offer was, but it was certainly an offer we couldn’t refuse. So, it was decided to organize an unofficial cruise to the marina for any interested Club members.
Unofficially, nine boats made the trip, and this article is the unofficial account of that trip. Over the days of August 20th to 23rd we scheduled this cruise to arrive Thursday and depart on Sunday so that some members who may work during the week could join the fun.
Eight boats arrived Thursday, and one boat arrived Friday. The marina either coincidentally or intentionally assigned us slips that resulted in all boats being lined up from the smallest to the largest as you walked down the dock. Yellow Club burgees flew on the bow of each boat sporting our club mascot – a dolphin holding a drink of some sort (an adult beverage, I would surmise). After safely docking Thursday, sixteen club members convened in the late afternoon for cocktails, snacks and conversation.
For dinner, we had CIFO’s. (Circular Italian Food Objects). 5 large pizzas were picked up and we dined in the Pink Shell conference room provided by the resort. After dinner, I hosted a game of Jeopardy created on my laptop and projected onto the wall. Special categories such as “Local Waters” and “Cape Coral History” were developed. (For example, are you aware that the first traffic signal in Cape Coral was placed at the intersection of Cape Coral Pkwy and Coronado in 1969?)
On Friday, we again provided members breakfast, and then everyone went off to enjoy the pool, Ft. Myers beach, or other amenities around the resort. I decided to join several friends at the pool which was not heated, nor needed to be. After being in the pool for several minutes, I recalled my new iPhone was with me in its water proof case. It was checked for calls and, to my utter dismay, found that the “water proof” case was not so water proof. Yikes! So much for making phone calls the rest of the week.
For Friday night, a group dinner was arranged at Matanzas Inn Restaurant in Fort Myers Beach and eighteen boaters along with fifteen other Club members who arrived by land yacht, converged on the restaurant at 6:00 PM. Since we had a small crowd of 33, the manager had reserved the back area of the restaurant so that we could all dine together. It was great to see so many club members show up. Everyone was anxious to catch up on life’s happenings since we had not been together for a month or so. We also celebrated one member’s birthday. Well, not on that day specifically, but the same date of many, many years prior. You know what I mean.
On Saturday, we again fed the boaters breakfast and then sent everyone off to enjoy the day. Saturday was pretty much an ‘on your own’ day, so we didn’t have much planned as far as club activities. Fortunately, Mother Nature was quite cooperative during the time we stayed at the marina and our need for umbrellas was minimal. However, her hot days reminded us that we were indeed in southwest Florida in the middle of August.
On Sunday morning we cast off lines and headed for home ports. Much appreciation goes to Dave O’Conner, the Dockmaster at Pink Shell Resort and Marina. His hospitality and special accommodation to the Cape Coral Cruise Club made this unofficial cruise officially happen!
The Cape Coral Cruise Club is open to new members who own a boat with overnight accommodations and reside in the Cape Coral / Ft. Myers area. For membership information please contact Phil Kryger at 239-541-0236. View a short picture video of recent Club activities and read additional Club information on its website, www.c-c-c-c.org Like us on Facebook.
By John Queen, Vice-Commodore, Cape Coral Cruise Club
(Ft. Myers Beach to Charlotte Harbour) Snook season is open and reports of numerous catches of large and small ones on live baits as well as artificial presentations. Pilchards and large jumbo shrimps should be the baits of choice for live presentations. Artificial presentations should include soft-scented plastic, twitch baits and top water plugs. Both methods will work wonders around points and areas where there is good current flow.
Redfish are everywhere and they are getting bigger each day. Work the incoming tides along mangroves with oyster shells and oyster shell clusters on hard, sand or mud bottom. While gold spoons, soft-scented weed-less plastics or shrimp imitations on jig heads produce, I prefer to use cut Pin Fish and large jumbo shrimps under a cork or stationary on the bottom. Work any area for 10 minutes or so and keep moving until you find the fish.
Pictured here is Bob Johnston, Richard Shuttlesworth’s and John Hamilton all from the Plantation Fishing Club of Ft. Myers, Florida showing off their Redfish catches from areas around Pineland. These three men would rather fish than eat and they know how to catch the fish! Good job men! See you soon.
This month will continue to produce good Redfish numbers, so now is the time to get on the water and get your share. Hopefully the above information will assist in getting your Redfish or Snook ‘of a lifetime’.
This is Captain Terry Fisher wishing everyone ‘tight lines’. Charter information may be obtained by calling me direct at 239-357-6829 or by emailing me at email@example.com. See my website: www.fishfacecharters.com for more information including fishing articles, tips and reports.
REDFISH (‘Reds’) are everywhere. The Redfish numbers continue to grow and their sizes are getting bigger. The bull (big) ‘Reds’ will continue to migrate in from the gulf to eat and mate before heading back to the gulf in November to winter in deeper water. The FULL MOON will provide for higher and stronger tides, lots of oxygenation and the fish will become very aggressive when foraging for food.
The baits of choice have been jumbo shrimps, live or cut Pinfish/ Ladyfish, Pilchards, finger mullets, gold spoons, top water lures, and scented plastics (jigged or rigged weed-less). This week has produced most of the Redfish around the mangrove islands at the top of incoming tides, using presentations stated above.
Pictured here is Mr. Davis Hasson of Naples, Florida (Senior at Florida Gulf Coast University), holding a Redfish caught on a jumbo shrimp. Davis is an avid fisherman and scuba diver and is always a pleasure to be around. Unfortunately, we had to cut this trip short due to weather. I recently had the pleasure of catching Bonefish on the ‘fly’ with Davis while on a ‘cultural’ exchange, fishing and scuba diving in Cuba, of which I will write about in a later report.
Now through the first week of September should be good fishing as the full moon approaches and then takes a few days to subside. Remember to work the oyster clustered areas surrounding the mangrove islands. Look for ‘jumping’ mullet as they are a very important part when it comes to locating Redfish (Redfish follow them around). I prefer to fish the top half of incoming tides for Redfish, as they seem to provide better results.
SNOOK SEASON OPENS SEPTEMBER 1st!
This is Captain Terry Fisher of Fish Face Charters wishing everyone ‘tighter’ lines! Other fishing reports, tips and charter information may be found on my website at www.fishfacecharters.com. Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or for immediate attention, call me direct at 239-357-6829.