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Redfish are schooling up in Estero Bay, Florida

Capt. Rob Modys
September 24, 2015
Fort Myers - Saltwater Fishing Report

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Sunny weather with the usual afternoon showers greeted anglers this week and made fishing better and easier. All were happy that dodging showers was not in the morning mix. The fishing has been good with lots of different species reported and a good bite in all areas.

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Capt. Alex Dolinski of Spot On Charters said the morning high tides were the place to be this past week. The redfish and snook bite was steady along the mangroves and grass flats and they loved being tossed a live pinfish or shrimp on a 2/0 circle hook. A free-lined bait worked best. The bigger reds have moved into the bay and are biting well on medium sized pinfish or cut ladyfish on a 3/0 circle hook. They are generally on the deeper grass flats near the sand pockets and potholes. The end of the outgoing tide has kept the pompano and spanish mackerel happy in and around the passes. Drifting them on the last hour of outgoing tide with a 1/4 or 1/8 ounce jig tipped with shrimp really got their attention.

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Capt. Neil Eisner of Fishing The Flats Charters said that fishing the incoming tides this week got hookups with a good mix of fish. Redfish were the main target and his anglers weren't disappointed. Fishing with nice size handpicked shrimp on a lead head jig was the go-to set up. Fishing mangrove islands with wind blowing on them, along with the incoming tides, found reds back in the pockets. Capt. Neil said anglers might want to try a popping cork and circle hook and free-line the shrimp. Just let the tide take the cork under the overhangs for best results and easy access.

Capt. Greg Stamper of Snook Stamp Charters said that redfishing has been good this past week with pinfish and topwater lures as bait leading the way. They're beginning to bunch up in areas so if you find one there's bound to be more. Snook fishing had been good and there's lots of medium sized fish cruising the flats looking for the finger mullet that just showed up. Live baits and artificial lures worked great when working both the flats and mangrove shorelines. Seatrout fishing continues to be great with good size fish being caught fairly regularly. The nearshore reefs have held lots of spanish mackerel, sharks and the occasional tarpon. The latter are migrating south so keeping an eye out for birds busting bait on the surface will help put you in front of the fish.

Capt. Jon Fetter of Catching The Cure Charters noted that the fishing in and around Estero Bay is starting to really heat up. The water temperatures are cooling a bit and the fish are feeding. The nearshore bite is teaming with spanish mackerel chasing the small glass minnows and they will gladly take silver spoons cast toward the bait or trolled along the edges. The passes are holding pompano, whiting, silver trout, spotted seatrout, small sharks and mangrove snapper. Drifting shrimp tipped jig heads will work, along with live shrimp under popping corks. The back bay redfish bite is getting better. Free-lined pinfish on 2/0 circle hooks or shrimp tipped jig heads both worked well. Work the mangrove shorelines and oyster bars on higher water. As the tide recedes move away and work the grass flats. Snook will take free lined pinfish on 3/0 circle hooks around the floating docks and mangrove edges near the passes on strong tides.

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