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Estero Bay post cold front fishing, very good

Capt. Rob Modys
December 3, 2015
Fort Myers - Saltwater Fishing Report

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Capt. Larry Hendricks of Tall Tails Charters got a few trips in at the end of gag grouper season to take advantage of grouper dinners. He reported a good bite on Saturday that included gags, grunts, mangrove snapper, short red grouper, short yellowtail snapper, kingfish, spanish mackerel and just about anything else that could be named. The bait of choice was shrimp or smaller white bait on a knocker rig with 1/4 to 3/4 ounce egg sinkers, depending on conditions. On an backcountry trip, Capt. Larry reported a 31 inch redfish along with seatrout, jacks, spanish mackerel and more. Baits were a combo of live shrimp, pinfish and large whitebait.

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Capt. Neil Eisner of Fishing The Flats Charters said that the high winds of the past week made fishing Estero Bay quite the challenge. There was plenty of mangrove snapper and sheepshead action using live shrimp. His anglers also caught small redfish and snook using live shrimp on 1/4 ounce jigs. The fish of the week was a big caravel jack (pictured) caught and released by Carol Simms of Boston, Mass.

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Capt. Alex Dolinski of Spot On Charters had a father and son trip that produced 7 seatrout and 3 pompano in New Pass using live shrimp on 1/4 ounce jigs. They also caught several jacks, stingrays and catfish to complete the morning on Estero Bay. Grandfather, Rick Davis along with son Ric and grandson Bric made their 4th annual fishing trip in Estero Bay with Capt. Alex. The group caught 3 snook near New Pass from 22 to 24 inches on pinfish free lined along the beach on 4/0 circle hooks. They also caught 5 seatrout to 20 inches and two redfish to 24 inches on shrimp under a float drifted around the oyster bars in Rocky Bay. All the fish were caught and released.

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Capt. Greg Stamper of Snook Stamp Charters said that with over a week of winds pushing hard from the NE it took awhile for the water to get back to normal levels in Estero Bay. Once it did, the fish started biting. Redfishing, although not stellar, still worked out when soaking cut baits and shrimp on jigs around mangrove shorelines and oyster bars. Seatrout fishing was better on the Pine Island flats vs. Estero Bay. His anglers targeted them in water depths of 3 to 5 feet. Snook took a small hiatus thanks to lower water temperatures. The bite turned back on as air temps returned to the low 80's. Most of the snook were caught on live baits that were plentiful along the beaches. The local passes continue to give up pompano, bluefish and ladyfish as long as the water was moving.

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Capt. Jon Fetter of Catching The Cure Charters said that the seatrout are really starting to make their way to the winter hangouts and are feeding on shrimp tipped jig heads or shrimp under popping corks. Anglers should work the deeper areas with the jig heads and get out the popping corks for the grass flats. Best bet on the flats was in 3 to 5 feet of water. There were also plenty of ladyfish working the same area and they can be kept and used for quality cut bait for redfish. Look for reds around the mangrove shorelines and oyster bars on higher water.  When using cut bait allow time for the scent to get out and attract the reds to you before moving to another location. The passes are providing anglers with plenty of options. Silver trout, whiting, jacks, small sharks, seatrout, spanish mackerel and some nice pompano. Start with corks for the shallows and then move to shrimp on jigs for the cuts.

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