Warm waters off Fort Myers Beach brings the fish in
Capt. Rob Modys
April 28, 2016
Fort Myers - Saltwater Fishing Report
Unusually warm weather has moved in with afternoon temperatures to 90 degrees. That's pushed the Gulf waters up to 80 degrees and has started a major migration of bait from the south to north. The tarpon have responded as evidenced by catches along the coast from Naples up to Boca Grande. Live threadfin herring have been the bait of choice but don't overlook cut baits on the bottom, especially in nearshore waters along the beaches. Spring tides are fast approaching and that will make inshore fishing very interesting. It's one of the best times to get that trophy snook so get out there and get busy.
Capt. Greg Stamper of Snook Stamp Charters said that another week of stalking tarpon was slowed down a bit with winds along the nearshore beaches. Deciding if you wanted to go big or go with numbers was more of the decision. Clients that wanted numbers and action were not disappointed as seatrout, pompano and a bunch of other fish were plentiful all week. Tarpon are certainly in the mix off Sanibel and the intercostal waters of Pine Island Sound, as long as your willing to sit and wait. Snook fishing continues to be good in both the backcountry and river mouths. White bait or threadfins free lined on a 30 pound fluorocarbon leader with a 2/0 or 3/0 circle hook will get the job done. Redfishing is getting better, but not great yet. Most redfish have been caught on cut baits like crabs or lady fish left alone near mangroves shorelines.
Capt. Larry Hendricks of Tall Tails Charters noted lots and lots of slot sized seatrout were willing to take just about any bait suspended under a popping cork this past week. Redfish are biting pretty well at or near the top of the afternoon tide on both shrimp and pilchards that were also suspended under corks. Tarpon can be found in the traditional holes in Pine Island Sound. Get there early. It's been crowded due to the wind keeping anglers off the Gulf and moving them inside the Sound. Bait of choice was a free lined pinfish. From lines in to hook up and release it's taking about 30 minutes. More tarpon fishing this week!
Capt. Jon Fetter of Catching The Cure Charters said the back bay fishing continued to be tough for anglers. The best redfish opportunities are still on higher water around oyster bars and mangrove islands using cut baits, like ladyfish or crabs. Live bait is still a challenge to net, but no worries as shrimp on jig heads or under floats will also work. Snook fishing was really tough due to the lack of live bait around the beaches and back bays. Anglers looking for line siders can try artificials like Zoom Flukes or Gulp Jerk Shads around the floating docks and dock lights at night. There has been a decent seatrout bite with most around 14 inches in length. Working shrimp under popping corks in 3 to 5 feet of water over grass flats is the best way to locate and catch these great tasting fish. Most anglers are chasing tarpon along the beaches of northern Sanibel and Captiva islands. Free-lining threadfin herrings or floating crabs is the ticket to getting one of these fish of a lifetime.
Capt. Alex Dolinski of Spot On Charters fished with Capt. Larry Kurlander of Bonita Springs, FL. They trolled in 80 feet of water in the Gulf off of Sanibel Island using ballyhoo. They landed and released 3 amberjack to 40 pounds and a 25 pound king mackerel.
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