fishing Forecast

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  • 07/30/2021 12:57 PM | Ron Presley (Administrator)

    Dog days, early mornings and light winds
    by Captain Michael Manis

    As we approach the height of summer, it might seem that while enduring the heat, humidity, and thunderstorms our options are limited.  However, there are some unique opportunities if you’re ready to get up early and be on the water before sunrise. The flat calm conditions make the boat ride worthwhile and it’s a short ride at that. Most days, plan on being back for lunch. 

    At first light, the upper harbor is a good place to start looking for rolling tarpon. It’s a lot of area and can definitely use up some of that window. From the 20 foot hole between the West Wall and Ponce Park up to the mouth of both the Myakka and Peace Rivers is the zone. In particular, around U.S. 41 Bridge can be really good. Moreover, loading at either Ponce or Laishley Park makes for a short run.

    On fly, I’ll throw a 3/0 red and black or purple and black Puglisi peanut butter pattern. On conventional tackle, the deep running D.O.A. Baitbuster is a good soft plastic and it’s always tough to beat a live threadfin herring. Around the 20-foot hole, don’t be surprised if you run into some sharks. Black nose, blacktip, and bull sharks are always possible. 

    In addition, smaller sharks can be great sport on the bars that border the open harbor. It’s not unusual to see blacktip and bulls cruising and on the prowl. These bars stay a bit cooler from a decent tide flow. Typically, Turtle Bay and the Bokeelia bars fish well. Also, don’t be surprised to see a school of jack crevalle cruising and busting bait on these bars. They disappear as quick as they show up so be ready to throw no matter what you’ve got rigged.

    Shorelines adjacent to these bar systems do hold numbers of redfish that provide for some sight fishing opportunities. The best time to look is on the lower tides before the fish have an opportunity to get up in the bushes.

    With slick mornings, the markers offer a unique opportunity. Because it’s structure, there’s always bait and consequently predator species won’t be far away. Spanish mackerel, jacks, blue runners, and mangrove snapper are just an example. It may not be any of the more glamorous species; but it’ll keep your rod bent and on fly and light tackle it’s still plenty of fun. Artificial baits like plugs, feathered jigs and spoons are all you need.

    On the other side of the harbor, there’s another good option, snook on the beaches. In fact, this is one of the best opportunities for shore bound anglers all year. Again, I’ll throw a Puglisi design but here I like the 2/0 silver and white peanut butter pattern.  There are usually good numbers of pilchards or scaled sardines on the beaches so a suspending plug with some flash like a Mirrolure Mirrodine fishes well.

    Until next month, good tides. 

    Captain Michael Manis

    Punta Gorda Fly Charters

  • 07/30/2021 12:54 PM | Ron Presley (Administrator)

    Summer Patterns Continue
    by Captain Tom Van Horn

    The heat is on and it Looks like it is going to be an active season for summer squalls, but as long as they stay away fishing along the beaches and in the inlets will remain equally as hot.

    The Labrador current (cold water upwelling) as it is known by many anglers arrives during the summer and can cool down bottom temperatures and the bottom fishing in some areas along Florida's east coast. This phenomena can drop bottom water temperatures into the mid-sixties, so finding warmer water is the key to locating fish. Studies have shown the phenomena is the effect of a prevailing south wind combined with the Coriolis effect pushing the warm surface water offshore and the cold bottom water moving up to replace displaced water, but either way it equates to some tough fishing at times. Look for the blue water bite to improve along the inshore reefs and wrecks of Chris Benson, 8A Reef, and Pelican Flats, with kingfish, dolphin, black fin tuna, and cobia serving as the primary species, along with an occasional wahoo or sailfish. This is also the time of year when cooler waters sometimes push the giant manta rays in close to the shoals off the Canaveral Bight, bringing cobia with them. Further offshore, the Gulf Stream typically moves in closer making tuna a possibility for smaller boats, and as long as the summer squalls stay away, running to the other side of the stream isn't out of the question.

    Along the beach, look for the silver kings (tarpon), smoker kings, blacktip sharks, jumbo jack crevalle, and redfish to be shadowing pods of Atlantic menhaden (pogies), threadfin herring (greenies), Spanish sardines, and bay anchovy (glass minnows) in close to the beach. Also look for snook fishing in the surf to improve, as we get closer to the commencement of the fall bait run. Remember snook are out of season until September 1st , so if you target them, please handle and release them with care. In and around the inlets, look for Spanish mackerel, tarpon, jack cervalle, and bonita to be working schools of glass minnows on the outside, and snook, redfish, mangrove snapper, and flounder around jetties and other structure.

    Angling on the in-shore lagoons will continue to show improvement, with fishing in the predawn and late evening hours being most productive. Look for redfish in the skinny water up close to the shoreline holding in the vicinity of bait concentration, and target them utilizing smaller top-water plugs. Once the sun starts to grow hot, the top-water bite slows down, and bait becomes your better option. For larger trout, fish live pigfish in close to docks and other structure adjacent to deeper water. In deeper water, look for large schools of ladyfish, small trout, and tarpon pushing schools of glass minnows near the surface. Finally, look for pompano schools holding in the shadows of the causeway bridges. Fish jigs tipped with shrimp or sand fleas (mole crabs) along the deeper edges and drop-offs.

    In closing, I would like to thank all of you who enjoy angling on Florida's east central coast for your courteous and respectful treatment of the resource, other anglers, and the sport, and as always, if you need information or have questions, please contact me.

    Good luck and good fishing,

    Captain Tom Van Horn

  • 07/30/2021 12:49 PM | Ron Presley (Administrator)

    Getter Done
    by Capt. Greg Stamper

    We move into August with a good understanding of what has happened in July. When we had a bit of a scare from a storm named Elsa. Nothing happened that was unexpected for this time of the year, and we got through with no issues. Those rains will continue for awhile and there is a good thing about that. Back Bay fishing will continue to be predictable, the nearshore bite will be more about wind direction, and offshore fishing will be great for those out past 150 feet of water.

    Starting off with the back bay fishing is important in August, as water quality is a big deal. Red tide has been nonexistent in Southwest Florida as of the last week in July, and minus one small push several months ago things are going very well. The rain is a good thing, and it keeps things consistent for another two months. Mouths of rivers, creeks, and even drainage areas will be fantastic. All those little morsels of food will be flowing full speed daily, based on when the sheet flow gets to them. Tarpon especially the juvenile size along with snook will be your best bet.

    Offshore has been fantastic in July. This month will be ditto, but some different fish will now become targets. Those fishing deep last month crushed red snapper from 140 feet plus regularly. One of the benefits of being out that far, i.e., 40-70 miles out depending on your port, is the bi catch. This month target gag grouper, porgies, tuna, and certainly Aj’s for fun times. There will still be plenty of opportunities for red grouper in 100 feet out.

    Nearshore is again a wind game. Storms will be a bit of an issue, but usually not till after 2-3pm. Getter done and get home is the best bet. Typically, you will have East wind early, calm winds midday, and then the sea breeze takes over before the storms unleashed.  Those that want tarpon and permit will have no problem catching them this month. An occasional cobia will be added to the mix, with a few snappers off the same bottom.

    Tight lines Capt. Greg Stamper
    Fort Myers beach, Fl

  • 07/30/2021 12:44 PM | Ron Presley (Administrator)

    Rainy Season Strategies
    by Capt. Charlie Conner

    As summer continues to bring the daily chance of afternoon rains and thunderstorms, fishing will take the usual second seat to the opening of lobster season.  It has been a wet season this year with lots of afternoon activity.  Expect lots of boats on the water each day as they head out in search of the spiny critters.  Practice safe boating tactics and don’t be in a hurry to get out there.  Those dog days of August will continue with hot weather, so take the normal precautions while on the water.  Have a great August this year!

    Head out to the docks along the river for snook, snapper, sheephead and redfish.  Some big fish will be hanging under the shady areas around many of the docks along the river from Vero to Stuart.  Fish your lures slowly.  If you use the tide in your favor, the lure will remain under the dock longer and give you a better chance at hooking up.  Snook will be active around the jetties, bridges and docks of the river.  Live baits, Terror Eyz and Bait Busters will all work well for you.  As the rainy season continues, try some of the spillways when the water is actively running over them.  A root beer Terror Eyz is a great lure around those areas.

    Bridges will hold some nice snapper during the month along with some sheephead and black drum.  The turning basin should become alive with glass minnows and a variety of predators to feed on them.  Again the fresh water runoff will play a part in determining where to fish this month.  Everything on the water loves to eat those glass minnows.  Fish the edges of the bait pods and you should find some predators hanging out there waiting to feed.  The edges of the channel will also be holding lots of snapper around any of the structure or rocks.  It’s a great time of year!

    Make it a point to keep hydrated and lathered up with sunscreen.  Take those precautions early so that the end of your day will be as enjoyable as the beginning.  Sunburn or sun poisoning isn’t any fun and can become dangerous to your health.  Drink plenty of water or Gatorade.  Have fun in August and good fishing!

    Remember, as always, fishing is not just another hobby……it's an ADVENTURE!

    Good Fishing,
    Captain Charlie Conner

  • 06/30/2021 5:11 PM | Ron Presley (Administrator)

    Fish Early and Closer to Open Water
    by Captain Michael Manis

    I like to fish early this time of the year. The cooler morning water temperatures provide the best opportunity to hunt snook and redfish just outside the confines of mangrove cover where they’ll spend most of the day as soon as everything heats up. Some days, the combination of late night rain and tide will help determine where I’ll look on any given day. For example, if we get an overnight rain storm with an early morning outgoing tide I’ll look around tidal creek areas.

    For the most part, I’ll transition from the backcountry to outside shorelines adjacent to bar systems that provide some cooler water from the open harbor. Also, I like shorelines in close proximity to the intracoastal waterway. Here, there’s cooler oxygenated water flowing through the passes from the Gulf. 

     Whether tidal creek or intracoastal, it’s hard to beat a top water bite first thing in the morning. In the event that floating grass makes that difficult, try going to a suspending plug or even a weedless soft plastic. These are all good ways to cover ground and look for a bite. This time of year, it’s not unusual to find yourself with calm slick conditions and a flat that can be very visual. By this, I mean mullet are very apparent as well as pushes from both redfish and snook.

    Even though you may not see the fish at first,  you may begin noticing single V wakes pushing off. Slow it down and some sight fishing opportunities may present themselves. This is one of my favorite times to get the fly rod out. It’s also the time you want to be on the poling platform and not running the trolling motor. Furthermore, don’t be surprised if you run into a few small blacktip sharks as they’ll be cruising flats throughout the harbor.

    Even though the tarpon migration is winding down, there will still be some fish on the beach. Too, this begins a period where we can target our resident population. They’ll begin grouping up around the deeper holes of the upper harbor and around the mouth of both the Peace and Myakka rivers.

    As a game plan, consider the west wall with its multiple creek systems and eight miles of shoreline and adjacent bar system. Here, because of its proximity to the harbor’s deeper holes we could fish all morning working the shoreline, the bar structure, and even make a short run to look for rolling tarpon. 

    Off the flats, this is one of the best times of year to do some mangrove snapper fishing. Inside Boca Grande Pass in about 20 or 30 feet up on the hill is a great place. Live bait or shrimp dropped to the bottom can provide some great fun.

    Until next month, good tides.

    Captain Michael Manis
    Punta Gorda Fly Charters

  • 06/30/2021 5:06 PM | Ron Presley (Administrator)

    Plenty of Fishing Available in July
    by Capt. Tom Van Horn

    The heat is on as the mid-summer doldrums are currently upon us.  It is also the time when tropical weather systems and offshore water temperatures are unpredictable.   Just when you think you have things figured out, a summer squall (tropical weather system) will blow in and elevate the seas, or the cold-water Labrador Current will move in and shut down the seaward bite.  Setting all these possibilities aside, many opportunities for angling adventures exist for us both inshore and offshore of the lagoon coast in July.

    On the Port Canaveral buoy line and along the beaches, an mixed beach bag is available with smoker kings (large king mackerel), silver kings (tarpon), cobia, sharks, and colossal jacks (school busses) all available at any given time.  To target these species, focus your attention in areas of bait concentrations.  This past week some pods of large tarpon and sharks were located between Patrick AFB and Satellite Beach.  As the month progresses, these fish should begin moving north along the beach to their favorite summertime haunt off the bight of the Cape.

    Near-shore, kingfish will be the staple on the reefs and wrecks in 70 to 90 feet of water, with a mixed bag of three, wahoo, dolphin, and an occasional sailfish, thrown in.  My preferred method for targeting these species is slow trolling live bait (pogies) on steel stinger rigs.

    Inshore on the Lagoon during the summer can present outstanding top-water action, with early morning and late evening bite being the most productive times to fish. If you can tolerate the mosquitos, night fishing on the flats and around dock lights can reward you with some very calm and starry nights, bioluminescent light shows in the water and outstanding fishing.  Always be mindful of our Central Florida summer heat as it can sneak up on you, and keep a close eye on the radar for those sneaky afternoon thunderstorms.

    In closing, lets remember to be patient and respectful to our fellow anglers while enjoying time on the water during our Nation’s birthday, and let us not forget to give thanks to our essential workers and those overseas fighting for our freedom.

    As always, if you have any questions or need information, please contact me.

    Good luck and good fishing,

    Captain Tom Van Horn
    Mosquito Coast Fishing Charters

  • 06/30/2021 5:03 PM | Ron Presley (Administrator)

    Look for Reds in the Shade
    by Capt. Charlie Conner

    July arrives on the Treasure Coast!  This year has gone by so fast already.  Enjoy the Fourth of July this year and get out fishing.  Look for hot weather as things heat up for summer and water temperatures will approach 90 degrees. 

    Redfish like the shade and a DOA shrimp can help you hook up on a nice red.  Docks are usually very productive all year for us.  I like to fish docks and mangroves in July.  Top water lures are good to use early on the flats.  There have been some nice trout this year and it is a great way to fish for them on the grass flats.  Snook season being closed, I generally try not to target them in summer.  It will be catch and release until fall.

    Watch for the glass minnow schools to flood into the river and you will find lots of action surrounding these small baitfish!  Jacks, Spanish mackerel and bonito are a few of the fish that love to feast on the glass minnows. Bridges will be producing snapper, drum and sheepshead during July. Live or dead shrimp will be hard for them to resist.  There will be larger snapper in the river around structure and along channel edges.  Watch the tides and fish the slower sides of them for best results. Whiting will continue to be in the surf with the occasional bluefish and Spanish mackerel. 

    I like channel edges for a variety of species as the water temps get into the upper eighties.  Incoming tides will bring in cooler water and that’s a good time to fish!  Try Harbor Branch, Queen’s Cove and Bear Point this month for some good action early and move to deeper water as it heats up.  Enjoy fishing in July!

    Remember, as always, fishing is not just another hobby……it’s an ADVENTURE!

    Good Fishing,
    Captain Charlie Conner

  • 06/30/2021 4:54 PM | Ron Presley (Administrator)

    Great Water Quality, Equals Great Fishing
    by Capt. Greg Stamper

    Another great month of fishing has passed, and the summer patterns are in full swing. The combination of predictable weather patterns, great water quality, and ample bait is making things easy. There are lots of options for everyone looking to fish in a few inches of water all the way out to 80 miles. This pattern should continue for awhile now, so go wet some lines. Those who are last minute in booking a guide are going to be hard-pressed to get out for another month on the great tide days.

    The nearshore bite has been a silver king fishing show. Tarpon are finishing up the last of the spawn in June and are just about everywhere. Moving forward, you will have fish that are more concerned about feeding their bellies, verse making baby tarpon. The best numbers of fish continue to be along Captiva, Cayo Costa, and up to Boca Grande, but packs of fish from 70 to 150 pounds have been found from Naples all the way up, in as shallow as 7 feet. Cut baits of the mullet, Catfish, and ladyfish varieties have worked well. When the fish are favoring the top column of the water crabs, flies, and even large swim baits will get the job done. Those fishing our nearshore wrecks better be ready to pitch a bait at a few cobia, as there will be some big ones moving around.

    Inshore fishing, including fishing our beaches, has been exceptionally good for snook. July is probably my favorite month to fish the beaches early in the morning. Anglers do not even need to fish by boat should linesiders be what they would like to chase.  It did not matter if you were fishing with artificial, flies, or bait in June as the bite stayed steady even for those on the sand. The only thing I would recommend as we move through the next few months, as stated before, is start early. Once we get to 11am, things get hot and that does slow the bite down dramatically. Another important part of fishing during the summer is land the fish quickly, keep it in the water, and release it fast as the hot water combined with an extended fight can potentially kill a fish.

    Offshore is all about red snapper and will continue that way until it closes. The bite has been best for the red snappers in 150 feet plus. Red snappers up to 30 pounds are being caught and limits for most boats are meet within the first hour or two. The bycatch will continue to be gag grouper, other snappers, and an occasionally tuna. Most of the red snappers range between 12 and 25 pounds, so be ready for that size when you are out there getting your two.

    Tight lines, Capt. Greg Stamper Fort Myers beach, Fl

  • 05/31/2021 1:13 PM | Ron Presley (Administrator)

    Fantastic fishing!
    by Capt. Greg Stamper

    Fantastic fishing should be the June motto. The inshore and back bays continue to produce snook, redfish, and trout. Nearshore will be a tarpon, permit, and cobia gig. Finally, those taking the long runs offshore will have grouper, snappers, tuna, and more. June typically begins our summer rains that will occur sometimes in the early morning hours, but certainly in the late afternoons. Our lower tides will now move from the morning hours, too the late afternoons and evenings.

    Snook are in their spawn now, so they will now be found moving along our beaches, back bays, and nearshore wrecks regularly, for the next four months. Redfish early in the morning using topwater lures is my go too. When my arm gets soar, I will then go with the spreads for reds approach. This tactic is plainly throwing several baits out, and just leaving them be. Trout can be found in all the grass to sand transition areas usually in two to four feet of water. Popping corks with a DOA shrimp under them works fine and is easy for customers to do.

    The nearshore waters are still teaming with tarpon. There are schools of fish piled up from Naples all the way to Boca Grande. If tarpon is not your thing, you can always go out to the wrecks and catch permit and a possible cobia when conditions are right. Crabs will be the best bet for the permit using as much leader as castable and a 2/o circle hook. There will be other opportunities in the 20-to-50-foot range for snappers, trigger fish, flounder, and even pompano as your bi-catch.

    Those taking the long runs out to 100-foot mark or further, will have options. Gag grouper, red grouper, amber jacks, multiple types of snappers, and porgies will be just some of the quarry. Red Snapper fishing is now open and that is going to get many anglers out deeper into the 140-foot range or more. Using shrimp, pinfish, squid, or grunts are just a few of the typical baits that will be used. Depending on how strong the tide is out there will dictate whether you will anchor or drift during these times. Do not discard using flutter jigs in these areas as well, as I have out fished live baits several times using them.

    Tight lines, Capt. Greg Stamper
    Fort Myers Beach

  • 05/31/2021 1:10 PM | Ron Presley (Administrator)

    Look for Reds in the Mangroves
    by Captain Charlie Conner

    Summer has arrived on the Treasure Coast.  Expect hot days ahead!  It is a time to get out early or late in the day and avoid the afternoon heat.  Winds will be calmer and water temperatures will be in the mid-eighties to the nineties most days.  June is always one of my favorite months to enjoy the fishing in the area.

    Look for snook in deeper water like bridges, inlets and sea walls.  Live bait or DOA Terror Eyz are great ways to fish for snook.  Don’t forget that the season is closed, so handle the fish carefully and get them released quickly. Night fishing will also be one of the best times to snook fish.  Look for tarpon along the beaches, inlets and channels.  Live and cut bait or DOA Terror Eyz are some of the popular choices for tarpon.   

    Snook, redfish, trout and tarpon will be the big targets this month.  Redfish will be hanging around mangroves, grass flats and docks.  DOA shrimp or CAL shad tails are the perfect lures to target reds.  Most of the redfish will be slot sized fish.  Trout will be feeding on the grass flats both early and late in the day.  The DOA Deadly Combo is a great way to search out the sea trout on the flats. Top water lures are the best choices for trout at first light and switching to DOA paddle tails once the sun rises high. 

    Photo: Raquel topped off the day with this 26" redfish caught along the mangroves in Fort Pierce on a beautiful morning!

    Remember, as always, fishing is not just another hobby……it’s an ADVENTURE!

    Good Fishing,

    Captain Charlie Conner


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