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Warm weather leads to a nice mix near Estero Bay

Capt. Rob Modys
November 4, 2015
Fort Myers - Saltwater Fishing Report

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Unusually warm weather has been the talk among anglers this past week and it looks to continue for another week. The Gulf temperature was 81, as this report was being written, and that's about 10 degrees above normal for this time of year. It's not all that bad. It just means keeping on keeping on with summer pattern fishing and enjoying the fact that you don't need to put on multiple layers of clothing.

Capt. Alex Dolinski of Spot On Charters had a great morning with Tim of Cape Coral. Tim landed a big jack while fishing under the mangroves of Hendry Creek, while redfish fishing, along with 4 sheepshead to 18 inches, 4 mangrove snapper to 12 inches and a couple of 17 inch redfish. Shrimp on jigs was the go-to bait.

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Capt. Neil Eisner of Fishing The Flats Charters found plenty of redfish action in the backcountry. Using shrimp on jigs was the best setup. Sheepshead are also schooling up despite the warm temperatures and several nice ones were caught. The same bait was used, but a switch to a long shank light wire hook landed more of these notorious bait stealers than the jigs.

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Capt. Larry Hendricks of Tall Tails Charters said that the inshore action continues to be really good with redfish, snook, seatrout and spanish mackerel being very responsive to live baits under popping corks or free lined. He recommends fishing the mangroves on higher tides and the edges of flats as the tide recedes. Offshore action with pinfish and whitebait was really good this past week with gag grouper and mangrove snapper on the natural ledges and several cobia on high relief artificial structure.

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Capt. Kevin Bellington of Sea Gone Fishing said that the the weather is pushing the fish closer to shore in the 10,000 islands. Recent water temperatures have been in the high 70's and that has prompted the move of some of our offshore species to shallower water. Redfish have been abundant on the near shore points and around oyster bars. On a recent trip with Norm Baker and his family from Naples, they caught two redfish in the upper slot limit, as well as multiple trout in the 15 to 19 inch range. Most were caught on the last half of the outgoing tide using live shrimp.

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Capt. Greg Stamper of Snook Stamp Charters reported another week of good fishing, both inshore and nearshore. Redfish fishing continued to be very good along shorelines and transition areas where flats dumped off to deeper waters. All sorts of fish are moving in and down our shores. Snook fishing has been good with both artificial lures and live bait. Snook up to 35 inches can been seen moving in packs back toward their winter haunts. Schools of big black drum have been seen moving down the beaches heading south. Tarpon are still around feeding on the tons of small bait moving in and around the passes. Tripletail, cobia and spanish mackerel are all in fairly close so there's been plenty of options and lots of action.

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Capt. Jon Fetter of Catching The Cure Charters said that this past week's fishing offered anglers plenty of options. The back bay bite was good with redfish, seatrout, sheepshead and snook. Shrimp tipped jig heads worked best for the sheeps and redfish around the oyster bars and mangrove islands, while shrimp under popping corks worked over the grass flats was the ticket for the trout. There's been some decent size whitebait on the beaches and the snook favor this over the shrimp. The passes are providing pompano, mangrove snapper, silver trout, spanish mackerel and small sharks. Bouncing shrimp tipped 1/4 ounce jig heads off or near the bottom was the go-to method. The nearshore waters are full of mackerel and bontia and the crab trap buoys are holding plenty of tripletail. 

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