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Rainy, frontal weather stimulates bite in Estero Bay

Capt. Rob Modys
September 17, 2015
Fort Myers - Saltwater Fishing Report

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Another rainy week has continued to cool the water off but it looks like we are finally going to have a nice weekend. If you can break yourself away from college and pro football it should be a great time to hit the water and wet a line.

Capt. Jon Fetter of Catching The Cure Charters said that the best bite for anglers over the past week was on the nearshore reefs. Trolling the rock piles produced good numbers of spanish mackerel up to 28 inches. Silver spoons worked the best. There were also plenty of birds which helped locate the small bait pods where they macs were hanging out. Moving into shallower water, just outside the passes, produced plenty of ladyfish, whiting and silver trout on live shrimp tipped jig heads. Jon said the water in the passes is still dirty, so the snook bite was finicky. Patience pays if you use live pinfish under corks. In the back country of Estero Bay redfish were also biting on the pins up under docks near the passes. Weight them down for the best bite. There are still plenty of mangrove snapper feeding along the mangrove islands and oyster bars and shrimp tipped jig heads worked well.

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Capt. Greg Stamper of Snook Stamp Charters said the redfish, snook and seatrout bite was great as the "almost" cold front approached southwest Florida. These first fronts signal the fish that it's time to eat up and pack on some pounds before winter arrives. Redfish led the charge as they schooled up on the flats. Tailing fish were seen in many different parts of our bays and sounds and were happy to take artificial swim baits and topwater plugs. Paying close attention to large stingrays moving down shorelines proved productive, as schools of redfish followed them hoping for a free meal. Snook are also on the move and have been working the schools of pilchards moving through the backcountry areas. They are also being caught offshore as well on the nearshore reefs. Seatrout stepped up a notch with lots caught on both lures and shrimp tipped popping corks. Look for them in 3 to 5 feet of water over grassy areas with sandy pot holes.

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Capt. Neil Eisner of Fishing The Flats Charters said that anglers won't be disappointed as the Fall fishing season begins. This week, while working the late afternoon outgoing tides, produced some of the best fishing of the year. Seatrout and ladyfish are schooled up on the grass flats along with big jacks. Black drum are being caught in deeper holes and sheepshead are in and around oyster bars. Try using live shrimp on a small lead head jig. If you're looking for that prize redfish, mangrove islands are your best bet. Neil's go-to set up was simple. A 2/0 jig head tipped with live shrimp and an 18 inch leader.

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Capt. Alex Dolinski of Spot On Charters said that the past week's falling tides made fishing a bit of a challenge in the back waters. But thanks to the rains cooling off the waters, the bait pods are moving into that area. Spanish mackerel, jacks and blue fish are also chasing bait around the passes and creek mouths. Toss something in front of them and you should be rewarded with a hookup. Top water plugs have been a great way to catch snook and jacks on the grass flats. Artificial suspending jerk baits and Gulp Shrimp are working well around the bait pods for tarpon, seatrout and ladyfish. Drifting the passes on a outgoing tide using shrimp tipped jigs or cut baits on the bottom produced seatrout and pompano, as well as jacks and ladyfish.

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