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Rain cooled water steps up the bite in Estero Bay

Capt. Rob Modys
September 2, 2015
Fort Myers - Saltwater Fishing Report

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Well, we managed to miss another potential tropical weather event, but we did get quite a bit of rain. The local Gulf water temperature dropped from 90 degrees to 84. That ought to help quite a bit with the bite.

Capt. Alex Dolinski of Spot On Charters said that despite the rain and wind this past weekend the fish seemed to enjoy the cool and cloudy weather. Redfish, snook and seatrout are in the backcountry of Estero Bay and eating live shrimp, pinfish and soft plastics, such as Berkley Gulp Shrimp or Shad. Mangrove snapper and flounder have been feeding around most of the oyster bars and grass flats and taking live shrimp on a red jig head. Pompano, spanish mackerel and bluefish are in and around most of the passes and are being caught with shrimp tipped jigs bounced along in the current and on silver spoons.

Capt. Jon Fetter of Catching The Cure Charters said that anglers looking for the best catch were out early taking advantage of the cooler air temps. The redfish bite seemed to be better around the mangrove islands and oyster bars on the higher water. Cut ladyfish, pinfish under floats or even live shrimp on circle hooks with a split shot weight did the trick. There was also a decent topwater artificial bite with Flukes, Zara Spooks and Rapala Skitterwalks. The nearshore reefs are teaming with baitfish and the spanish mackerel are feeding like crazy. Silver spoons or free lined shrimp on 2/0 circle hooks provided anglers with plenty of rod bending action. Don't be surprised if there are some "silver kings" mixed in feeding on all those bait balls. Throwing topwater lures will be your best chance for hooking the tarpon.

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Capt. Neil Eisner of Fishing The Flats Charters said that working the incoming tides, this past week, with free lined live shrimp on a 2/0 circle hooks worked best around mangrove islands. He also reported seeing plenty of small glass minnows being pushed by the tides. That produced plenty of snook action in the midsize range. Take the time to look for these schools of minnows and you'll find the fish. 

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Capt. Steve Sewell of Hawgwild Charters said big overslot snook were the highlight of the past week. Artificial reefs and wrecks out to 40 feet in depth are holding big schools of them doing there annual spawning chores and they were hungry. A quick stop to Sabiki up some big threadfin herrings worked best. They also had a surprise visit from three cobia up to 30 pounds. Grouper and mixed bags of snapper, grunts and porgies are biting offshore in 40 to 80 feet of water. Cut baits of any kind and live shrimp make the best baits.

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Capt. Greg Stamper of Snook Stamp Charters said that plenty of slot and below slot redfish are still biting well, even on this past week's full moon tides. Anglers that got out earlier in the morning had the best chance at it. The snook bite this week was good one day bad the next. The rains have clouded the water up in Estero Bay and turned the Caloosahatchee River and adjacent water's visibility to almost nothing. If you find water clarity that's less than two feet it's time to look for cleaner areas. Seatrout fishing over grassy flats in 4 to 6 feet of water can still be very productive for those looking for numbers of fish vs. size. When targeting trout, popping corks with about two feet of 20 pound leader and a 1/0 circle hook with a live shrimp will keep anglers busy.

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