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Southwest Florida Fishing Report - Bonita Springs to Captiva

Capt. John GiddyUp-Bunch
July 10, 2004
Fort Myers - Saltwater Fishing Report

Fishing close to home and around bridges has been paying huge dividends during the dog days of summer. This strategy provides saving on gas, catching fish I never knew were so close to home, plus offers a quick retreat from thunderstorms. This act has been working very well lately.

Inshore Grouper: "C-Span" of the Sanibel Causeway has produced some hard fighting Gag Grouper. Employing a simple Carolina Rig or commercial grouper rig with almost any live bait produces serious Grouper in the 20-21 inch range. Yeah, I know what your saying about the size but sooner than later you will score a 22".

The docks on the east side of Sanibel have been holding gag grouper on BIG OUTGOING TIDES. Set up with your Minn-Kota Trolling Motor tp present bait running straight down the dock. I like being directly in front of the dock instead of forward or back. These gags hit like tanks!

Bluefish and Spanish Mackerel: Anchoring off #21-24 C-Span offers more hot action on the 1st of the full ebb.

This is no brainer fishing except your timing must be perfect. As the sun sets the bridge will produce a rather large shadow. The fun guys to catch are waiting directly on the sun-shadow line and perhaps more on the sun side. Normally I love to fish shadows but in this case (as weird as it is) the fish seem to be waiting for the bait to come out of the shadow and into the light rather than attacking in the shadow. Bluefish and Spanish are so incredibly aggressive. Perhaps there is no logic but following this strategy will yield a good fish fry. The heck with a fish broil.

Snook: The beach off the outgoing tides have simply been tremendous. 4 Hockey Players were on a recent charter with me and the snook along the beach left the edge of the waves for the shadow of the "GiddyUp". Catching big snook was none stop. The guys were simply dangling bait at the top of the water column. On days like this it helps me get over the tough days when the fish just disappear.

Tarpon: Help me! My favorite fish have pulled a Hank Snow. I simply have no clue except for small 20-30LB hanging around Hydroglow Green Fishing Lights in deep canals. Cape Coral Canals and St. James City canals are working for the little guys. These fish put on a great show and they are perfect practice for the bigger fight that will come in the fall migration.

Trout: The beaches are producing huge trout. Cayo Costa, Upper Captiva, and Sanibel will offer big gator trout. The bait of choice is white bait. I don't eat trout unless it is absolutely necessary but if you like them for dinner, go to the beach real early or real late.

Tripletail: The T-Tails are everywhere but they are sooooooo small. Midgets. They are perfect FLY candidates. Someday I'll understand catching on the Fly and this will be the first fish I'll target. It is so cool to see them come off of a crab float and attack your bait. T-tails are a gas to catch!

Be careful with approaching storms. The most dangerous part of a summer storm is the area of sunlight before the storm. That is BIG BOLT COUNTRY. I ain't preaching so please be careful in case you have someone that loves you. "GiddyUp"

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TV CO-Host, Outdoor Writer, Florida Sportsman Seminar Speaker, and named by author Ron Pressley as 1-20 Best Saltwater Master Professionals in Florida. In 2007 Bonita Living Magazine identified "Capt GiddyUp" as one of the top guides in Florida. Bunch is known as "Skipper to Our Troops" in SW FL. His charity (501c3) affords all US Troops returning from combat or foreign duty free fishing. Bunch is the recipient of the highest honor given to a Lee County citizen. The Honor of Distinction. USMC!

Contact Info:

GiddyUp Fishing Charters
3624 Bayview Avenue
St James City, FL 33956
Phone: 239-283-8838
Alt. Phone: 239-822-8888
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