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Marco Island, Ft. Myers & Boca Grande

Capt. Scott Hughes
February 22, 2000
Fort Myers - Saltwater Fishing Report

Lots of Redtide, but Fishing Improving

Patches of redtide still exist around Cape Romano south to the mudhole and out a few miles. Its made breathing a little difficult for anglers but the fishing has been steadily improving. Some good sardines and thread herring have been holding offshore and in the passes before the front came through Sunday.

The snook bite is improving with each warmer day and the first good catches of decent sized snook came on the shoals. The snook went for live 4 inch scaled sardines or thread herring. Reds had a good bite on the rising tide on the flats south of Cape Romano sardines and gold spoons produced the most strikes. Trout were a bit scarcer but Capt. Steve Loyd brought in fair catches from the flats south of the shoals. Mackerel, Jacks and ladyfish are thick on the flats from Caxambas Pass south to Coon Key. They are partial to paddle tail jigs and chartreuse clouser minnows.

The cold front that we’re in blew through about 10:00 am Sunday and forced us to change plans for Monday. On Sunday I fished out of Port Salerno on the East Coast. I try to get over to the East Coast whenever the weather and my schedule permit. We ran to the inlet and caught bait with gold sabiki rigs. Then we decided to head for the loran tower off Hobe Sound Beach before the wind kicked up to much because we were fishing out of my buddies 20ft Hewes flats boat. We landed a couple of fair sized kings and ran in to Pecks Lake when the wind started to get to about 15-20 knots. The spanish were running 18-24 inches with big cudas cruising around them. We caught two limits with jigs and flies. We lost a few flies but they wouldn’t hit with a piece of light wire leader. A few nice blues also hit the flies when we floated in close to the beach.

Monday brought cold winds sustained to 20-25 knots and a tide that was as low as it’s been all month. Jeff Bentz and his 8-year-old daughter Kelsey were up for a half-day. Bait was out of the question and with inexperienced anglers I was running out of options. We decided to try some pompano. We used bonefish jig rig with shrimp and drifted the rigs behind the boat as the wind was blowing us at a good clip. At the end of each drift we would idle back to the mouth of Caxambas Pass. We ended up picking up a half dozen pompano and a few spanish mackerel and a mixed bag of ladyfish, jacks and catfish. The shoals also produced good jacks. We tried them on a fly but the winds were a little much for Jeff. We ended the day with a nice mess of fish which wasn’t bad considering a front had passed through less than 24 hrs before.

Good Luck! Capt. Scott Hughes

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I specialize in light tackle saltwater, and fly fishing from the backcountry of the 10,000 Islands to flats of Pine Island Sound and the bay system of Charlotte Harbor. I have pick-up locations out of Ft Myers, Marco Island, Pine Island, Punta Gorda and Boca Grande. I like to target big fish. During warm months, tarpon, sharks, snook, redfish, cobia, king mackerel and big jacks are the main species sought after. Most of the winter months are devoted to redfish, trout, snook and grouper. Whether

Contact Info:

Blackwater Charters
12571 Burnt Store Rd
Punta Gorda, FL 33955
Phone: 941-575-2389
Alt. Phone: 941-628-4247
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