Good fishing despite elevated winds, Fort Myers Beach
Capt. Rob Modys
December 10, 2015
Fort Myers - Saltwater Fishing Report
Windy and cloudy weather got in the way a bit over the week, but that's about to change. Sun and calmer winds are in the forecast, so it might be time to take a break from all the shopping and hit the water for a fish or two.
Capt. Alex Dolinski of Spot On Charters said that the cooler Gulf water is starting to drive the fish south. His anglers have been getting spanish mackerel, king mackerel, seatrout, sheepshead and flounder on the near shore reefs. Live pinfish free-lined behind the boat works well for kings and spanish. Live shrimp on a lead head jigs works best for the seatrout, flounder and sheepies. The back country has been steady on the higher tides with redfish, snook and seatrout. They have been on the flats during lower tides chasing the baitfish schools and then move under the mangroves at higher water. Cut mullet does the trick along with large hand picked shrimp under a float.
Capt. Greg Stamper of Snook Stamp Charters noted that Estero bay had another week of higher than normal winds that continued to keep the flow of incoming tides at bay throughout most of the week. Once the tides started winning the battle, and the water got over the one foot mark, the bite began. Redfishing was OK with some nice fish caught up to 30 inches. Snook fishing was better at the north end of the bay as was the water clarity. Snook up to 33 inches took both live pilchards and pinfish drifted around mangrove blowdowns. Seatrout, bluefish, pompano and some nice size jacks continued to show up in the passes and river mouths and all were happy to take a shrimp tipped jig. Sheepshead are definitely starting to come in from their offshore haunts as they prepare for the cold weather to come and their spawn. If you're targeting these fish use small hooks with a small piece of shrimp and a split shot. Target the docks, steep rocky shorelines and oyster bar edges.
Capt. Neil Eisner of Fishing The Flats Charters said that despite continued winds over the past week there was plenty of action. For those that know how to throw a cast net, pilchards can be caught along the beaches. They made for some great drag screaming jack action. Look for the bigger jacks in the deep cuts of Estero Bay. The redfish still preferred the live shrimp on 1/4 ounce jigs cast up under the mangrove overhangs.
Capt. Steve Sewell of Hawgwild Charters reported that the winds were a bit too strong for heading offshore. There was also a lack of water in the Bay, so it was Plan C that worked best. Using netted live white bait his anglers fished the rivers and creeks for big jacks to 12 pounds and snook to 16 pounds, and there were plenty of them. Look for the bait along the beaches.
Capt. Jon Fetter of Catching The Cure Charters has been reporting a good catch of seatrout in the deeper cuts and on grass flats in about 4 feet of water. Shrimp tipped jig heads and popping corks are working well. There have also been a lot of ladyfish mixed in. Patience is the key for redfish as the water cools. Set your bait and give it time to work. There's been an uptick in the amount and size of sheepshead around structure. Downsize hooks and leader to better the odds. The passes are the place to be for action. Spanish mackerel, whiting, silver trout, jacks, ladyfish and small sharks can all be found there. Bounce a shrimp tipped jig off the bottom for success.
Capt. Larry Hendricks of Tall Tails Charters made it offshore on Wednesday after the winds finally let down. He fished with Hans from the Netherlands. They worked several artificial reefs around Sanibel using live shrimp, pinfish and pilchards. They caught and released gag and red grouper and hooked up on a goliath grouper. Larry also reported grunts, snapper, a kingfish and a cobia that had to be close to 40 pounds.
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