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Great bite continues in to the New Year!

Capt. Rob Modys
December 31, 2015
Fort Myers - Saltwater Fishing Report

Happy New Year!

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We are still locked into a very warm pattern but the long term forecast calls for a cooling off as we move through the weekend. Most everyone has to head back to work on Monday so it's time to get out there and enjoy one last cast before diving into 2016. The fish are biting!

Capt. Greg Stamper of Snook Stamp Charters said it was a windy week with some low tides and muddy water, but if you put time into it the fishing was good. The redfish bite was tougher this past week than weeks previous, however his anglers did manage to get them everyday but one. The reds could be found along the shorelines with steep drops during low tides and under the mangroves during the highs. Seatrout were found on the flats in 2 to 4 feet of water while drifting and throwing D.O.A. Shrimp under popping corks. Sheepshead, snapper, bluefish, and mackerel are just a few of the other species found from time to time this week. The one or two times Capt. Greg was able to get offshore the action was very good. Gag grouper are in close. They are out of season and have to be released but they are fun to wrestle with.

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Capt. Alex Dolinski of Spot On Charters fished with Jim and Emily Pelstring this past week. Emily was visiting from Canada and got a good introduction to Florida saltwater fishing. The catch was four redfish from 16 to 26 inches using live shrimp on a 1/8 ounce jig while working the mangroves near Hendry Creek. They also caught four seatrout to 18 inches and a snook on live shrimp under corks in Rocky Bay. 

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Capt. Neil Eisner of Fishing The Flats Charters said the warm weather continues to keep the action hot. Fishing the incoming tides produced redfish, snook and seatrout with large sheepshead mixed in. Live shrimp on a 1/4 ounce jig cast up under the mangrove overhangs seemed to work best and that's where he and his anglers found most of their fish.

Capt. Brad Brown of Moonlite Charters noted that this past week had to be the warmest Gulf water temperatures he's ever seen in December. Lots of bait is still hanging around the beaches and will lead to some great catches. Brad said he thinks anglers still have a shot at just about any species you can think of with weather like this. Inside the bays the seatrout bite has picked up a bit but the redfish have been hit or miss. Snook and jacks have been the best bet for fast action. Free lined live bait works great around oyster bars and deeper shorelines.

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Capt. Steve Sewell of Hawgwild Charters reported the best offshore red grouper bite in 20 years. Baits of choice were anything you drop to the bottom! Tarpon cobia and king mackerel continue to hit big threadfin herrings in 12 to 20 feet of water. Inshore the seatrout bite was "fantastic" with limits of fish from 17 inches to 25 inches. Live shrimp under a cork and free lined pilchards were getting the job done. Capt. Steve also used the pilchards to get on the snook and jacks for plenty of action.

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Capt. Jon Fetter of Catching The Cure Charters said the bite was a bit tough in Estero Bay with seatrout being the exception. There were plenty to catch on the grass flats in 3 to 5 feet of water. Shrimp under a popping cork will work best as will artificials like Berkley Gulp Shrimp or soft plastic swim baits. Root beer or watermelon red were good color choices. His anglers also picked up ladyfish, jacks, pompano and small sharks. Cut ladyfish for bait worked well for redfish on higher water around the oyster bars and mangrove shorelines. Let the bait sit for a bit to allow the scent to attract the fish to your location. The passes have been good for ladyfish, mangrove snapper, silver trout, small sharks and pompano.  Bouncing shrimp tipped jig heads along the bottom worked well. 

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Capt. Larry Hendricks of Tall Tails Charters reported several trips to nearshore reef complexes this past week with good numbers and good size mangrove snapper, grunts, king mackerel, barracuda, goliath and gag grouper. One of the gags got swallowed by a goliath after hookup, but his angler managed to win the battle. Baits of choice were pinfish, live shrimp, pilchards and blue runners.

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