Capt. Rob Modys of SoulMate Charters reported a good week of fishing in the near Gulf waters, when the weather allowed, and a great back country bite as well.
Lots of snook are still hitting baits on the high tides near mangrove islands and redfish finally have started to turn on. Trout fishing on the flats in mid-Estero Bay has been very good with lengths up to 23 inches.
Tarpon continue to show up in Gulf waters and seem to like large threadfin herrings the best. Capt. Rob advises to look for birds working over schools of baitfish. Spanish mackerel are biting live whitebaits and sharks are everywhere.
Capt. George Tunison
Capt. Greg Hood reports he is fishing the falling tides in the afternoon with his clients catching tarpon at Captiva Pass. They typically are jumping as many as three tarpon an evening, usually boating one of the three.
Thursday was outstanding as his crew brought four fish to boatside. Capt. Greg recommends Quantum PT-60 reels using 65-pound test Power Pro braided line, and 100-pound leaders on an Owner 6/0 circle hook complete the outfit.
His favorite tactic is to fish the weed lines on the outgoing tides picking up purple crabs with a long handled dip net and putting them on circle hooks. He also uses a small float to keep the crabs high in the water column.
The trick is to set the drags on medium to give the tarpon a chance to jump and run. He then starts the engine and chases the fish down, then tightens the drag and boats the Silver King.
Capt. K.C. McKinney of Reel Action Adventures has been fishing south Pine Island Sound near several of the islands catching redfish and snook under and around the bushes on live baits, mostly greenbacks. He also reports the shark bite is still on in the passes. His snook highlight this week was sight casting to and catching a solid 36-inch snook.
Wayne Dutton of Cape Tool & Tackle also reports sharks are still going strong in the passes and chomping on some of his customers' hooked tarpon. For snook he recommends getting out and walking the beaches as there is a strong beach bite for these fish.
The classic white bucktail is always a winner for spawning beach snook, but he also says customers are doing great with the little Yozuri "Pins Minnow" lure in silver with a black back. Another hot bait is the classic Mirr-O-lure in smaller sizes. The key seems to be lures in the smaller sizes and natural silver colors.
Lastly, his hot soft plastic bait recommendation is the "Redfish Magic" series in white. He is fishing them high in the water column.
Lehr's Economy Tackle reports the river snook bite is hot. Fish docks and seawalls from the Midpoint Bridge on down to the mouth of the river. The south side of the river is the side to fish. There also is a great nighttime river tarpon bite around the bridges and it's recommended to start at the Midpoint for your nighttime tarpon fishing adventure.
Also, have heard reports of a stray cobia bite at that bridge also. Tarpon fishing is good in northern Charlotte Harbor, fishing in and around Captiva Pass. Good tides and a strong crab run are concentrating fish in that area. Many tarpon hunters are fishing there rather than Boca Grande not only because the bite is good, but to avoid the big boats that fish Boca.
This is a great time of year for river tarpon fishermen who like to throw lures. Topwaters, Bombers, Mirr-O-lures, D.O.A. Shrimp and many of the soft plastic jerk baits and swim baits all will get their attention around the bridges at night.
Capt. George Tunison is a Cape Coral resident fishing guide. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org, or Flying Fins Sportfishing.