fishing Forecast

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  • 06/29/2020 3:23 PM | Ron Presley (Administrator)

    The Heat turns up!
    by Capt. Greg Stamper

    And so, it begins. The dog days of Summer are here so stay hydrated.  Usually fishing early in the morning or later in the evening is best this month and next. July temperatures start off in the 80’s and will often hit the upper 90’s. It’ll be a hot few months with high humidity, rainstorms, and lots of sun. Starting early in the morning before the sun comes up is usually a good thing for both the fish and the fisherman.

    Fishing’s good this time of the year especially for snook, tarpon, permit, and redfish. During these hot water months proper catch and release techniques will be important. Keeping your catch in the water before a quick picture is taken, makes a difference.  Reviving your catch well before releasing, will be crucial to the fish’s survival. Remember the waters is hot, has less oxygen, and big fish can get warn out, especially on light tackle.  

    Tides and moving water will be an important piece of the puzzle for July. In general, good water movement between high and low tides is best. Strong morning or evening tides of which we will have about 12 good ones this month, will be the best days. With the real heat starting around lunch time here in Southwest Florida, slow tides or slack tides from noon till the afternoon rains begin, will make for tough fishing. Likewise, after we have the afternoon or evening storms the water cools down a bit, gets more oxygen and fishing in general will be better.

    Snook will be cruising the beaches and passes this month as well as patrolling our wrecks out to about 45 feet. This month and the next three, we will see schools of tarpon, jacks, snook, pompano, and hopefully trout along the beaches from Naples to Boca Grande. There is a good chance even for those fishing on foot to run across all these species. Look for these fish in cuts with good moving water, or in the beach troughs. Those that like the artificial game, just match the hatch and you’ll be fine on spin or fly.

    Those that get offshore during July will have a lot of fun as gag grouper, red snappers, as well as black tuna, Aj’s, and even some African pompano will be out in 120 plus feet of water. The boats that fish closer in from say 75-100 feet will find no problem catching mangrove snappers, yellowtail snappers, lane snappers, and even some porgies to fill their coolers.

    Tight lines Capt. Greg Stamper
    Snookstampcharters.com
    239-313-1764
    Fort Myers beach 

  • 06/29/2020 3:19 PM | Ron Presley (Administrator)

    Look for shade in July.
    by Capt. Charlie Conner

    July will certainly be different this year.  Luckily, fishing has been an essential activity and even with the COVID-19 restrictions you can Still enjoy fishing.  It will be a different Fourth of July this year!  Water temperatures are warm so look for docks and mangroves that provide shade to help the fish cope with the hot weather. 

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

    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.  Watch for the glass minnow schools to flood into the river and you will find lots of action surrounding these small baiffish!  Jacks, Spanish mackerel and bonito are a few of the fish that love to feast on the glass minnows.

    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.  Enjoy fishing in July!

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

    Good Fishing,
    Captain Charlie Conner
    www.fishtalescharter.com
    captaincharlie@fishtalescharter.com
    772-284-3852

  • 06/29/2020 3:15 PM | Ron Presley (Administrator)

    Time to set the alarm
    by Captain Michael Manis

    As we approach the height of summer, the combination of midday heat and afternoon thunderstorms put an emphasis on getting out early. Hopefully, realizing that this period provides some of the lightest winds we’ll see all year helps ease some of the pain associated with setting the alarm clock. With the exception of looking for snook in the surf, I’ll typically begin moving off the beaches and into the harbor. Due to water temperatures, I won’t venture too far into the backcountry and will instead spend most of my time around the intracoastal and bar systems on the harbor’s perimeter. Snook and redfish will be moving up and down adjacent shorelines.

    Adjacent to the intracoastal, flats and shorelines on both sides from Stump Pass in Lemon Bay down to the beginning of the idle zone at Placida can be good. On the other side of the Boca Grande Causeway, anywhere from Catfish Creek in Gasparilla Sound down to Useppa Island in northern Pine Island Sounds is worth a look. Inside the harbor, I like bar systems directly affected by tides flushing in from Boca Grande Pass. To the north, the entire bar from Cape Haze Point at the lower end of the west wall to Cayo Pelau at the bottom of Gasparilla Sound can hold some good fish. To the south, the system from Jug Creek to Smokehouse Bay on the northern end of Pine Island can fish well.

    In the heat, spotted sea trout will be lethargic but can provide an early bite. The best bet should be some of the deeper holes in Lemon Bay and Pine Island Sound. Proximity to Gulf passes is key and two to four feet is best.

    Tarpon are still a viable option and look for groups to school up in the deeper holes of the upper harbor as well as the bridges. In particular, the mouth of the Myakka outside the bridge is a good spot and will only get better as we move into August. In addition, smaller juvenile fish should begin showing between the bar and outside shorelines on both the east and west walls.

    Lemon, blacktip, and bull sharks will be scattered throughout the area. The artificial reefs at Cape Haze and Alligator Creek are good spots as is the mouth of Rocky Channel in Pine Island Sound.

    Lastly, the mangrove snapper bite on the hill just inside Boca Grande Pass at about 30 feet can be fun and is a great spot to take the family.

    Until next month, good tides.

    Captain Michael Manis
    Punta Gorda Fly Charters
    941-628-7895
    mike@puntagordaflycharters
    www.puntagordaflycharters.com

  • 06/29/2020 3:08 PM | Ron Presley (Administrator)

    Beware afternoon thunderstorms
    by Capt. Tom Van Horn

    Summer has officially arrived on the Indian River Lagoon coast, as the mid summer doldrums are currently upon us.  It is also the time of year when tropical weather systems and offshore water temperatures are as predictable as Wall Street.   Just when you think you have got things figured out, a summer squall will blow in and kick up 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.

    Inshore in 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, bioelimination light shows in the water and outstanding fishing.  Always keep in mind that our Central Florida summer heat can sneak up on you, and keep a close eye on the radar for those sneaky afternoon thunderstorms.

    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 dresses with King Duster skirts.

    On the Port Canaveral buoy line and along the beaches, an assorted 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. 

    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
    www.irl-fishing.com407-416-1187

  • 05/29/2020 5:49 PM | Ron Presley (Administrator)

    Summer Doldrums
    by Capt. Tom Van Horn

    Hot summer days in Central Florida are brutal, so wise anglers and the fish will take advantage of the cool nights, early morning and late evening hours to feed and stock their prey.  So, adjust your routine in June, July, and August, by fishing at night, during the predawn hours, and in the late afternoon after work and reap the rewards of the summertime fishing bonanza.

    Look for the tarpon and shark numbers to increase along the beach, and let us not forget about the schools of large jack carvalle and the tripletail as both fisheries are cranking up.  Remember, snook season closes this week, so let’s give them a chance to relax a bit.

    When the summer doldrums set in, the waters clear, and the seas flatten out, the window of opportunity opens for smaller boats, so near-shore opportunities are typically the best you’ll see all year along the beach.  June is the time of year when the kingfish move in close shadowing schools of Atlantic menhaden (pogies) along the beach and in the Port Canaveral buoy line, and slow trolling live pogies can result in some outstanding catches.

    Offshore, look for the dolphin bite to slow as the schools begin to spread out.  The kingfish concentration will remain good along the inshore reefs and wrecks of 8A Reef and Pelican Flats, so again slow trolling with live pogies will produce the best action.  Additionally, bottom fishing will remain good for snapper and grouper until the first summer squall (hurricane) blows in and muddies up the water.

    On the flats, focus your efforts between 5am and 9am, and in the late afternoon after the thunderstorms dissipate.  Night fishing will also produce descent catches of sea trout. When fishing the flats at night, I prefer fishing real slow with glow in the dark shrimp imitation baits like the DOA Glow Shrimp.  If you can only fish during the heat of the day, target the docks with deepwater access.  In the early morning look for trout and redfish up in the skinny water around concentration of bait, and toss them your favorite top water plug. 

    Remember as the days heat up, long battles will kill fish, so if you plan on targeting large fish please step up your tackle to shorten the battle.  Also, dissolved oxygen levels are low, so leave them in the water as much as possible, and revive them completely before releasing them.

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

    Good luck and good fishing,

    Captain Tom Van Horn
    Mosquito Coast Fishing Charters
    www.irl-fishing.com
    407-416-1187 on the water

  • 05/29/2020 5:44 PM | Ron Presley (Administrator)

    Gotta Love It!
    by Capt. Greg Stamper

    Fishing will continue to be outstanding for about anything anglers will want in June. The inshore and back bays will be full speed for snook, redfish, and trout. The nearshore fishermen will have plenty of tarpon, permit, and cobia to play with. Finally, those taking the long runs offshore will have grouper, snappers, porgies, and more. June typically begins our summer rains that will occur sometimes in the early morning hours, but certainly in the late afternoons. Humidity starts to get high and having a good lightning app now becomes important.

    Snook went through their spawn last month in my area, so they will now be found moving along our beaches, back bays, and nearshore wrecks regularly for the next four months. Redfish will be more abundant early mornings and just before sundown on the grassy flats. The top water bite is my go too now and I will walk the dog until my arms are tired during these time frames. Trout can be found in all the grass to sand transition areas usually in two too four feet of water. Popping corks with a DOA shrimp works fine and is easy for customers to do.

    The nearshore waters are still teaming with tarpon and should continue that way until things cool down come November. If tarpons not you 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 and can be caught in most of our passes during the strong outgoing tides, especially those in the evening. There will be other opportunities in the 20 to 50 foot range as snappers, trigger fish, flounder, and even pompano can be your bi-catch.

    Those taking the long runs out to 100 feet of water “about 40 miles” will be greeted with lots of action. Gag grouper, red grouper, aj’s, multiple types of snappers, and porgies will be just some of the quarry. 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. Some days there is a need for 6-8 oz of weight and other times an once or two will be plenty. Do not discard trying flutter jigs in these areas as well, as they can sometimes out fish live bait.

    Tight lines, Capt. Greg Stamper

    Snookstampcharters.com Fort Myers beach

    239-313-1764

  • 05/29/2020 5:41 PM | Ron Presley (Administrator)

    Top targets for June- Redfish, Trout, Snook, and Tarpon
    by Capt. Charlie Conner

    COVID-19 has changed our lives so far this year. As things continue to open around the Treasure Coast, follow the guidelines and have fun this month. June brings about hot summer days. It is a time to get out early or late in the day and avoid the afternoon heat. Winds will be the calmer of the year so far and water temperatures will be in the nineties some days. June is always one of my favorite months to enjoy the fishing in the area.

    Redfish, trout, snook 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 with switching to DOA paddle tails once the sun rises high.

    Snook will be active around 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.

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

    Good Fishing,

    Captain Charlie Conner
    www.fishtalescharter.com
    captaincharlie@fishtalescharter.com
    772-284-3852

  • 05/29/2020 5:34 PM | Ron Presley (Administrator)

    Stepping out
    by Captain Michael Manis

    The last couple of months have been tough and by the amount of boats on the water lots of us were ready to get out when May finally arrived. We still had some wind to deal with but hopefully it was a step in the right direction.

    Now, with anticipation of diminishing winds, it’s time to come out of the backcountry for a couple months and head to the beaches. Of course, it’s prime tarpon season and groups of fish can be found anywhere off the beaches from Redfish Pass at Captiva Island to Stump Pass outside Lemon Bay. Sometimes, they get up tight to the beach; but generally they’re out a bit deeper. Because the fish can be seen from quite a distance, it’s classic sight fishing. The goal is to set up so that you intersect their path.

    For most anglers, small live blue crabs or threadfin herring are the bait of choice. In my case, I like to set up in one of two places, Murdock Point off Cayo Costa and the flat just north and adjacent to Gasparilla Pass, where the sandy bottom provides better vision allowing me to position myself for a shot with a fly rod. Here, I like a 3/0 Puglisi white and yellow baitfish pattern and a weight forward floating line.  

    In addition, because of the summer spawn, the beaches are full of snook providing some of the best catch and release sight-fishing opportunities all year. At this time, the fish are usually in or just outside the trough tight to the beach and it’s a real opportunity for anglers that fish from shore. For access, the beaches of Sanibel Island can’t be beat. Many times, fishing from shore is an advantage as it’s easy to spook these wary game fish while in the water.  The beaches of Cayo Costa are one of my favorite areas to target on fly throwing small white baitfish patterns.

    If the wind won’t cooperate, the outside bars that line the harbor offer some pretty good snook fishing too. In particular, the bar that runs from Turtle Bay past Bull Bay to Cayo Pelau at the southern end of Gasparilla Sound can fish well. There are enough deep cuts adjacent to the bar system that these fish have no need to hit the beaches.

    With the water temperatures rising, I’d look for redfish on shorelines adjacent to the intracoastal anywhere from Lemon Bay to Pine Island Sound. With every incoming tide, the adjacent passes and intracoastal pump clean oxygenated water to these shorelines.

    In the harbor, sharks can be found around all the artificial reef structures like the one off Cape Haze Point. Bulls, lemons, blacktips, and hammerheads are all possible. 

    Until next month, good tides.

    Captain Michael Manis
    Punta Gorda Fly Charters
    941-628-7895
    mike@puntagordaflycharters.com
    www.puntagordaflycharters.com

  • 04/29/2020 6:17 PM | Ron Presley (Administrator)

    We will get through this!
    by Capt. Greg Stamper

    This is a great time of the year here in Southwest Florida. Weather is just perfect, and so is the fishing. There’s lots of options ranging from the offshore waters all the way into the skinny back bays and creeks. Tarpon fishing is now outstanding, as it started up early this year. We’ll be able to catch permit, cobia, and sharks regularly throughout the near shore waters. The back-water trips will be full of snook, redfish, and trout as who doesn’t want a backcountry slam. Offshore guys will continue to catch an array of good eating fish often.

    The tarpon spawn is full speed and lots of anglers will be chasing them up and down the coast. Crabs that are about three inches wide on 5/o circle hooks with 50lb leaders will do the trick. Threadfin, pilchards, and catfish tails also work well. Permit are another great fish to target after a few tarpon have been caught, and will be found on most of the local wrecks for many months to come. Those same wrecks that hold the permit will also have cobia on them. So have a rod ready to pitch a jig or live bait at a cobia when he shows up, if you’re not ready you may not get him.

    The bays, creeks, and beaches are an excellent place to spend time these days. Snook can be seen cruising the beaches, often within feet of the shore. The pilchard schools are thick now and using them or something that mimics it works best. Pompano will also be moving along these beaches and will usually be out a bit deeper. Jigs tipped with shrimp are my go too, and having a rod ready to go for snook or pompano will keep clients busy. Redfishing in our bays and creeks is another option especially if the winds coming from a westerly direction. Pilchards or live shrimp are two of my favorites and I’ll start around the oyster bars and docks on the low tides, then work my way into the mangrove shorelines as the tide rises. Trout will be found on almost all the open flats especially those with nice grassy bottoms in 2-5 feet.

    Offshore it’s grouper full speed now, usually out past 100 feet, but you’ve got a chance inside too 80. Mangrove snapper will be good, especially during the night along with yellowtail. Mangrove snappers up to 10 pounds will be caught often along with porgies, lane snappers, and a few triggerfish. Those anglers that get out past 120 feet will find African pompano, gag and black grouper, blackfin tuna, and amber jacks if you know where to go.

    Tight lines, Capt. Greg Stamper

    Snookstampcharters.com Fort Myers, Fla

    239-313-1764

  • 04/29/2020 6:13 PM | Ron Presley (Administrator)

    Hopeful Optimism
    by Captain Michael Manis                                                              

    After what we’ve been through the last two months, hopefully we can all feel comfortable getting back out because without a doubt, this is one of the best months to be on the water. Bait, scaled sardines and threadfin herring, will be scattered throughout the area, water temperatures will be right, and all kinds of game fish species will be active. Tarpon, redfish, snook, sharks, cobia, jack crevalle, spotted sea trout, and Spanish mackerel are all possible.

    Look for tarpon on the beaches and around all Gulf Island passes. Shark fishing should be good in the harbor near artificial reefs like the one off Cape Haze Point. Cobia should be on outside bar systems like the east and west walls

    .

    Due to warming water temperatures, look for the best spotted sea trout bite to be in a bit deeper water, three to four feet, just off the intracoastal waterway. Spanish mackerel should be in the vicinity off all harbor markers as well as artificial reef systems.

    Redfish could be roaming just about any flat or shoreline. Mullet schools are a good indicator when hunting redfish. They like sticking close as the mullet kick up all kinds of free scraps from the bottom.

    Most likely, I’ll spend my time working backcountry shorelines for snook or setting up off the beach waiting on strings of tarpon. This is a great time to sight fish big snook as they’re on the move in full spring transition. By on the move, I’m referring to actively cruising shorelines looking for food. After the slim pickings of winter, they need to fatten up as the summer spawn approaches.

    After looking inside for tarpon last month, I’ll slip outside to the beach now. For throwing fly, I like coming out Captiva Pass and working my way north to Murdock Point outside Cayo Costa. I like to set up in five to ten feet adjacent to sand for better visibility. I’ll anchor with a quick release system that allows me to free my anchor if needed upon hookup. The anchor’s attached to a float for retrieval.

    Here, it’s important to work with other anchored skiffs and courtesy is key. Take a few minutes to survey where every one is posted up and find a spot where you won’t cut someone off. The fish are typically heading north toward Boca Grande Pass. Even in the back of the line, you’ll get your shots. Here, the skiffs ahead of you will even let you know when a group is headed your way and on a calm clear day you can see them coming from a long way off.

    Until next month, good tides.

    Captain Michael Manis

    Punta Gorda Fly Charters
    941-628-7895
    mike@puntagordaflycharters.com
    www.puntagordaflycharters.com

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