Fort Myers Estero Bay Trout Bite Heats Up As The Water Warms
Capt. Eric Anderson
February 4, 2014
Fort Myers - Saltwater Fishing Report
After several days of rainy weather in the Fort Myers and Naples area, it was nice to get out on Estero Bay with some decent weather. The first thing I always do is check the surface temperatures, at this time of the year water temperatures are critical to what presentation may be the most effective. Flow from the incoming tide near Big Carlos pass showed surface temperatures of 59 to 61°, while the back of most of the residential canals surface temps ranged from 64° to 67°.
The water in Estero Bay is still pretty cloudy from the extreme tides we have been experiencing. The negative tides really turn over the water in nearly the entire bay, but the visibility was acceptable. Remember that slightly off-color water warms up faster, so don't avoid it in the afternoon. Always keep that in mind when your out fishing this time of the year
The fishing on Saturday was pretty good considering we were coming off two days of 55-60° rain which had lowered the surface temperatures everywhere. We found lots of active Sheepshead every place we stopped.
As you've read before there are Sheepshead on nearly every dock piling and rip-rap shore line. During the spawn they tend to school by size just like so many other fish do. So before you start fishing, spend a few minutes quietly watching to see what size the Sheepshead are. One dock will have medium to small fish and another dock 100 yards away will have much larger fish. The Sheepshead were hitting on the usual baits, I prefer using fish-bite strips in shrimp over the real thing if I can get them to bite on it. We were using a small float with the hook suspended about halfway down or about 3 feet below the surface. It's much easier to get them to bite when that bait is hanging right in front of them.
Took my clients from the canals to the flats for some trout fishing in the late afternoon since the water had a warmed up quite a bit. We found some decent trout up to about 18 inches in 2 feet water or less, and they were super spooky, the slightest noise sent them running. They were readily hitting a popping cork with a gulp shrimp, and soft plastic twitch baits fished nice and slow. Even though trout are tolerant of cooler water temperatures, you still need to keep your retrieve slow especially for the larger trout. The best advice I can pass along for this report is to check water temperatures in a few areas and look for that 1° or 2° warmer water. It can make all the difference between a having marginal day and a day to remember.
Capt. Eric Anderson
Fort Myers Fishing Forecast:
Look for the fishing for every species to really take off on this week,(feb 3rd thru the 7th) as we get near record temps and a decent SE wind. I will be bass guiding the next couple of days and will report on what the LMB are up to.
Trout and Sheepshead
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