Byron Stout July 16 Fishing Report
Here’s a great tip if you don’t like fishing in crowds. Try anywhere in the waters of Southwest Florida for the next week or so when tens of thousands of Southwest Florida lobster enthusiasts vacation in the Florida Keys.
Besides lobsters, we have more tarpon, snook, rockfish, sea trout, bass and bluegill, and we’re up for most groupers, snappers and many other species. And oh yes, if you want a really big lobster, the local offshore waters are by far the best choice.
In other good news, the red tide has all but disappeared from the waters of southwest Florida, although it has been quite bad in the Tampa Bay area.
ESTERO BAY: Speaking of snook, rockfish and trout, this is what’s happening on Get Hooked Charters in Estero Bay with Captain Matt DeAngelis. Last Thursday Kentuckians Fred and Grace Rohrer caught two oversized reds on cut bait at Jack’s Bar, then boxed six trout after moving to central seagrass beds and rolling out shrimp under cork platforms. Then on Tuesday, Texan Kate Cubillan caught a Texas-sized snook, back at Jack’s Bar with some cut bait.
In the southern end of the bay, guests of Bonita Beach Capt. Dave Hanson have been very busy with the panfish. Jacob Siebert, Dave Mungo and their buddy Brandon pulled out 31 short mangrove snappers and six undersized sheep heads, and Dave walked home with a 24 inch black drum last Thursday morning. John, Karen, Sarah and Maria caught a goalie among 15 snappers, and Sarah started her licensing career with a 14 inch last Friday. Then on Tuesday morning, Bob, Lauren, Cameron and Dylan Peelman released eight snappers, five sheep heads and a 21-inch snook.
SANIBEL: Norm Zeigler’s Fly, Bait & Tackle on Periwinkle Way reports snooks of all sizes patrolling the shores of Bowman’s Beach access along the north end of the island, along with a small snook, a baby tarpon and a few biting reds along Wildlife Drive (closed Fridays) in the JN “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge. As proof of the pudding, Norm sent photos of retired USAF F-16 pilot Col. Dave Lujan with a nice snook caught on the fly from Bowman’s Beach, and a medium tarpon sailed just north of Blind. Pass.
PIN ISLAND: St. James City Captain George “Artificials Only” Grosselfinger reports that life has been easy if you’ve lived with spotted siege trout. He doesn’t run far into Pine Island Strait to look for trout, usually just north of Chino Island, where the first step is to look for pelicans and seabirds while diving, highlighting concentrations of baitfish. on seagrass beds. In the absence of birds, it launches surface lures to pull shots (often swings and misses) at the trout, and once located, it switches to swimbaits or a MirrOlure suspension twitchbait (C20MR-11SB) for more secure connections. This scenario produced eight trout (save two for fresh fish) in half an hour around mid-morning Thursday.
PORT CHARLOTTE: The King Fisher Bay boat captains of the fishing village marina in Punta Gorda have settled into a light entertainment model, especially with young people on board. Beginning on dishes inside the eastern harbor bar, they catch high-flying ladybugs with shrimp (live or plastic) under popping or rattling cork platforms. With ladybugs in hand, they make their way to one of the harbor’s deeper center holes where bits of ladybugs as bait or an occasional buddy gift attract the four-legged sharks. Most sharks are black tips in the range of 30 inches, sometimes with black noses and cap heads (the latter taken on shrimp) in the mix. Rarer still are sawfish, which can measure over 10 feet.
OFFSHORE: Rick, Kyle, Jared and Patrick Holcomb fished 20 miles west of New Pass on Wednesday morning on a trip off Fishbuster with Captain Hanson. They used cut baits to catch and release 15 undersized red groupers, plus a keeper among the two-way snappers. And they also canned 20 of the 35 white grunts, freeing up the “lucky 15” that weren’t needed for the fish tacos.
King Fisher’s recent trips to depths of 60 to 70 feet out of Boca Grande Pass have produced good bottom fishing, with up to three red grouper keepers among many releases, as well as nice boxes of snapper and a assortment of other sunfish.
LAKE TRAFFORD: The Trafford Lake Marina reports a general lack of fishing effort on Lake Immokalee, although anglers trying their luck from the pier and shores of Ann Olesky Park have caught a few Mayan sunfish and cichlids.
LAKE OKEECHOBEE: Captain Bo White’s report of Roland Martin Marina & Resort in Clewiston remains essentially the same, which is fine for a summer model. Dawn anglers can expect some good action on some really nice bass along the outer grass lines, primarily in the southwest quadrant of Big O, north of Bird Island. Wild minnows usually produce the best action and the biggest fish, but Captain Bo likes River2Sea’s Big Bone Whopper Plopper or a “Any Color” Big EZ. For bluegill sunfish, “crickets are king” and beds of sand that glisten in clear water are the place to soak them. Just watch when the sun rises and the bass bite dies.
PHOTO OF THE WEEK
Jarrett Mankin and his daughter Charlotte had pure smiles and pure bass during their outing in Okeechobee with Roland Martin Marina & Resort Capt. Bo White.
It’s a fishing trick with lobsters on the side. The side of the Florida Keys with the most lobsters is Florida Bay, where the insects are spread over a large area, but usually concentrated in rocky holes found while diving or being slowly towed behind a boat. The last few years for lobster fishing have been below average, leading many vacationers like the David Stout family of North Fort Myers to focus on fishing, after more than 30 years of summer vacation in the Keys. Fishing for snappers and groupers off the ocean side reefs is fun in most weather conditions, and calmer days open up opportunities for dolphins, blackfin tuna, and other bluewater fish. which are not fished daily in local Gulf waters. Enforcement of fishing regulations during lobster season is heavy, so be sure to check for regulations which may be specific to the Keys, to MyFWC.com.
# 1: Charlotte Harbor flats for ladyfish, shark holes.
# 2: Top to bottom trout on both sides of Pine Island.
N ° 3: Bowman’s Beach for the snook.
N ° 4: Ding Darling for snook and baby tarpon.
No. 5: Estero Bay for rockfish, snook and more.
N ° 6: Offshore for groupers and snappers.
# 7: Ann Olesky Park for freshwater panfish.
N ° 1: Outdoor grass lines for bass and crappie.