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First cold front of the year will get the bite going

Capt. Rob Modys
November 23, 2015
Fort Myers - Saltwater Fishing Report

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Decided to post this report on Monday instead of Friday due to the much talked about cool weather. It finally arrived! We are going to have a beautiful batch of weather for this coming week and that ought to really push the fish into their Fall and early Winter spots. This was a time I always looked forward to and it usually proved to give up the best bite after a long, hot summer. It's time to get out there and wet a line!

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Capt. Jon Fetter of Catching The Cure Charters said that the wind combined with the low water over the past week made the fishing a little tougher in and around Estero Bay. The best chances for redfish were up around the oyster bars and mangroves on higher water using shrimp tipped jig heads. Cut ladyfish on 2/0 circle hooks worked pretty good as well. Spotted seatrout are starting to show up on the grass flats in 3 to 5 feet of water and shrimp under a popping cork worked best. The passes are loaded with pompano, ladyfish, whiting, silver trout, small sharks and jacks. Bottom bouncing a shrimp tipped jig head was the go-to method for the pompano in about 5 feet of water. The other species were all a bit deeper.

Capt. Greg Stamper of Snook Stamp Charters noted that even with some cool fronts and certainly a day or two of strong winds, the fish were still biting. Nearshore there were lots of options to get a tug. Mackerel schools could be found in 20 feet of water chasing minnows around just about everywhere. Bluefish showed up in full force this past week invading the passes and many of the deeper back country haunts. Kingfish, cobia, pompano and the occasional tarpon were also in the mix, so pay attention. Redfishing continued to be good when the water was moving in or out. Cut baits, live shrimp and pinfish all worked well. Snook are finally fully committed to their winter haunts. This time of the year can be epic as they bask on the flats soaking up heat after a cold front passes through. Snook up to 45 inches were caught this past week, so beef up the line and leader so you don't loose a trophy. Please treat those big ones with respect. A quick picture and back in the water as soon as possible is the best policy.

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Capt. Larry Hendricks of Tall Tails Charters said that fishing the reefs over the past week was very good. The cobia continue to make their presence known with several landed and many more lost to heavy structure. Live bait drifted slowly through the water column was the key. Gag grouper are not as abundant as they have been in years past; likely due to the lack of cooler weather. Kingfish made a good show with 4 over 25 pounds caught on both suspended blue runners and trolled up on large lipped plugs. Mangrove snapper, triggerfish and undersized mutton snapper also were caught. Capt. Larry hasn't seen the sheepshead on the reefs but they should show up very soon. Inshore the redfish bite on the higher parts of the tide was good with cut ladyfish and pinfish. Snook continue to chew up free lined pilchards around docks on the stronger outgoing tides.

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Capt. Rob Modys fished with his brother Capt. Pete Modys late in the week. Redfish, seatrout, sheepshead, mangrove snapper, ladyfish, jacks and spanish mackerel were all in the mix. The reds were hanging just off the mangroves during the falling tide and were happy to take live shrimp on jigs. The snapper and sheepies were a bit closer to the mangrove edges. The trout were in 4 to 5 feet of water on grass flats off of the southern end of Pine Island. Live shrimp under corks and artificial plastics on jigs did equally well. The ladies, jacks and macs were mixed in with the trout.

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