Back From Vacation
Capt. Butch Rickey
September 17, 2014
Estero Bay - Saltwater Fishing Report
Week ending 9-06-14...........
I have two trips to report on this week of returning from vacation. One is a trip I ran on Friday, the 5th, and the other is a submission from a friend and customer of mine, Capt. Larry Ulmer. Read on.
I'd just returned from vacation and didn't even have the Ultimate fleet stood back up when I heard from Rex Meadows, down from Clearwater, Florida, wanting to get out for a dayof fishing. Rex knew full well that the fishing would probably be tough because the water (and weather) was still very hot, and very tanin stained and the salinity was out of whack from all the rains and dumping from Lake O. But, he decided to give it a go.
Since Rex was staying on Ft. Myers Beach, the obvious choice of waters was Estero Bay, which I love to fish. We met at the Lovers Key ramp at 6:30 AM. We were in the water and on the way before 7 AM. Rex is a kayak angler, but has never used a trolling motor. He had a short adjustment period with the trolling motor, but soon got the hang of it, and did fine.
We headed to a couple of spots that I love to fish that are very fertile grounds for redfish year-round, and snook in late summer and fall. I stationed Rex on his spot, and went to another spot nearby. I caught a 24" snook on a Arkansas Glow DOA jerkbait. A little later, I hooked a very big girl snook on the same bait, and lost her. The wind and current dictated that I fish down the front of the key, instead of casting to it from a perpendicular position. I knew full well that if I hooked much of a snook I'd be in serious trouble, as there's no way to steer the fish from that angle. Well.....damn. She hit with a wicked vengeance, and I tried every trick I've learned over my sixty years of fishing these waters, but she had the advantage, and took me into the mangrove root system. I tried to finesse the fish, but eventually she sawed the PowerPro in two. Arrgh! To my shigrin, Rex did not tangle with a fish.
We had a very early tide, which was full high around ten o'clock. It was time for us to move to an area that always gives me good redfish (and snook) action on the last hour or so of the incoming tide. I stationed Rex on my favorite spot, and went to a nearby spot that is my second favorite spot. We managed one nice redfish between us.
The tide was done.
It was time to move to different waters on the slack tide, while it was certain nothing would be biting. Once we were at our new waters I stationed Rex on a spot that has rarely failed to produce both snook and redfish, and often trout and other species. I moved on to see if I could find a bite elsewhere. We were now fishing the falling tide, and it was a weak falling tide. The fish just weren't interested. I was content to keep beating the bushes, but Rex understandably raised me on the radio and suggested we toss in the towel, as he was overheated, and the prospects were not good for the rest of the day. We headed home.
It had been a tough day for catching, but a great day of fishing. I didn't talk to anyone else at the ramp who had managed to catch much of anything. It turned out pretty much as we had expected going in to the day.
Here is the short but great report from Larry Ulmer on the great striper his customer caught:
Sorry for the delay. I've been doing a lot of charters recently. (On my day off today, I went to a favorite "pond" ..about 5 acres..and caught a bunch of nice largemouth).
The fish was 41lbs. Caught her on a large gizzard shad fished 60ft down, over about 180ft of water. I took the liberty to write something up for you below. Feel free to use, or modify any way you wish.
When Captain Larry Ulmer isnt't fishing the waters around Ft Myers, he's in Kentucky fishing Lake Cumberland for big striped bass. Capt. Larry recently put one of his customers on this 44" 41lb. beauty.
He reports that he was fishing a large 10" gizzard shad 60ft deep over 180ft of water near the dam on Lake Cumberland. The moster fish gave his customer quite a fight, but in the end, a picture is worth a thousand words!
As the waters here cool and fishing picks up in our area, Larry will be back to his favorite holes around Sanibel. Even seasoned Captains can't get enough of the great fishing we have to offer. Like Larry, come see Capt Butch for some great fall fishing.
Snook and redfish
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