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Redfishing in Estero Bay

Capt. Butch Rickey
June 1, 2012
Estero Bay - Saltwater Fishing Report

Week ending 4/21/12...........

It was a busy week after returning home from a couple of weeks on vacation visiting friends. I got home Tuesday night after a long drive back from Jacksonville, and got the boats and tackle ready for the first trip of the week the next day with my old friend Jim Turman.

We met at the Lovers Key State Park ramp at 7 AM, and were greeted with a windy day to fish Estero Bay. We headed to a spot on the ICW to see if we could catch some trout, jacks, ladyfish, etc., while we waited on the tide a bit. There wasn't much doing, but Jim did get 1 keeper trout and I got a couple of shorts.

From there we went looking for redfish. But, for the first couple of hours there was no action at all at several spots that rarely disappoint me. Hmm. Things changed on the next move, though, and we were on a redfish bite. Jim and I were parked about 50 feet apart and fishing the same area. We got some redfish, and I got a 30 inch snook on a gold spoon. I wish it had eaten Jim's lure instead of mine.

We made one more move when the action slowed down, and were again on some red and snook action. We managed to get a redfish double, there. We both had lots of missed hits and bent weedguards on our spoons, because the fish just weren't aggressive at all early on. I also lost several reds and broke two off outright. We finished the day with 15 redfish, a couple of snook, and handful of trout. All were caught on The Secret spoons and DOA CAL jigs.

It was a fun day even though the fish seemed to be in a snit. We caught plenty, and took our limit home. Best of all, it was good to see my old friend again.

*

I was scheduled to fish with Hilary Petrus on Thursday, but we rescheduled in the face of heavy wind associated with a front that hung over us for several days. We rescheduled for the following Thursday.

*

Friday Mike Reiff, of Loveland, Colorado, was up, and we were originally to fish out of Castaways Marina. We moved our trip to Estero Bay because of the potential for bad weather. The front had been on us now for three days, and was threatening to come ashore. We met at the Circle K, and drove out to Lovers Key together.

We had a slow bite, to say the least. It was very windy, and the water in the shallow bay with strong currents, very choppy. It all combined to make fishing a challenge, but Mike hung tough, and we made it work. It took a while to strike first blood, but Mike did with a beautiful 32 inch redfish that weighed in at 13 pounds. Once he got that fish in the boat he didn't much care if he caught anything else, or not.

We kept at it, though. And, fished hard. We also ventured across the bay to the east side to fish some great spots there, but they were very exposed to the wind, and with the wind increasing, I deemed it prudent to get back to the west side of the bay. The bilge pumps got a little work on that ride. We finished there, and managed a total of 6 redfish for the day. Not a big number, but not bad considering the conditions. Mike was a great guy to spend the day with, and a real sport. He was quite happy with the trip. He said he'd be back down in October to have another go at it.

*

I was to fish with John Veil, of Annapolis, Maryland, on Saturday, but we canceled that trip due to the weather. There were no reschedule options. So, I managed to run two out of four trips, which seems to be the norm any more.

Target Species:

Redfish and snook

More Fishing Reports:

 

Top Florida fishing guide, Capt. Butch Rickey has fished the waters of Pine Island Sound around Sanibel, Captiva, and Pine Islands, as well as Charlotte Harbor, Sarasota Bay, Terra Ceia Bay, and southern Tampa Bay, for much of his 65 years. He now offers guided kayak fishing trips, as well as sightseeing and bird watching tours anywhere that can be reached by kayak from southern Tampa Bay to Estero Bay.

Contact Info:

BarHopp'R Kayak Fishing
11520 E Palm Drive
Ft. Myers, FL 33908
Phone: 239-628-3522
Alt. Phone: 239-633-5851
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