The fishing has been good for the few who try it. Now is the time to make it a labor day to love.
– SEND YOUR PHOTOS TO BYRON STOUT
ESTERO BAY: Frequent contributor Rick Mercer sent a photo of his wife, Char, with a “healthy little snook” still growing there in Fish Trap Bay near the mouth of the Imperial River.
Get Hooked Charters Captain Matt DeAngelis sent in photos of his pal, Robby Lacey, with a 30-inch redfish and 39-inch juvenile tarpon caught along the east wall of the bay on Monday. Live pinfish turned the round.
CALOOSAHATCHEE RIVER: Lehr’s Economy Tackle reports that large tarpons, including an eight-foot giant, bit live ladybugs at night around the Cape Coral and Veterans Midpoint bridges.
PIN ISLAND: Captain Gregg McKee of Wildfly Charters reports excellent fishing on Saturday morning, with Hurricane Ida swirling through the Gulf. A falling barometer sometimes inspires a bite, as Cape Coral angler Alex Fajeta experienced, although he “hides behind the mangroves, out of the wind”. He was about a mile north of Matlacha casting Z-Man Jerk Shadz on weed-free twistlock hooks when he combed a coastal slam with a premium rockfish. This followed a dozen snooks and five trout.
Lehr reports that Matlacha Pass has been the redfish focal point for anglers who also reported good catches in southern Pine Island Strait, the mouth of the Caloosahatchee and Estero Bay.
On Tuesday, while on a busman’s vacation with a friend, Captain McKee hooked up a small tarpon and released three undersized snooks while throwing a No. 4 Schminnow fly among schools of mules that “were absolutely everywhere” in the Strait of Pine Island.
PORT CHARLOTTE: King Fisher Bay boat guides outside the fishing village of Punta Gorda report an influx of good-sized Spanish mackerel cutting schools of baitfish bombarded from above by diving seabirds. The eastern shores are home to sub-window snook and rockfish, with a higher red content along the western harbor wall. Ladybugs and small trevally were abundant on all harbor barriers.
OFFSHORE: Brandon and Bobbi Wilt, Drew Williams and Jeremy, and Craig Rounding, 10, suffered a blitz of 22 dolphins around a dense weed line they found 20 miles from the Boca Grande Pass, in 65 feet of water.
Lehr’s reports that anglers fishing for flat metal jigs do very well with red grouper. Russell Guridure and two friends caught their red grouper limits at 30 inches and released many more potential goalies while jigging deep in 92 feet of water west of Captiva Pass. They also caught track and mangrove snapper.
Lehr’s also reports that Clint Dennis and a friend used deep jigs, while two other friends fished with squid and frozen sardines. Starting in 112 feet of water and reaching 128 feet, they caught their limits of red grouper at 25 inches, as well as yellowtail, mangrove and track snappers.
LAKE TRAFFORD: Lake Trafford Marina reports that a crew of boaters who arrived on the lake very early on Wednesday said they had been lucky with crappie, fishing in the central depths of Lake Immokalee. And anglers fishing from the pier and shores of Ann Olesky Park have also caught bluegill and spots, using worms and minnows.
LAKE OKEECHOBEE: Roland Martin Marina & Resort Captain Jose Betancourt reports an increase in bass fishing over the past week, with live wild minnows producing early in the morning along the viewing bank of Uncle Joe’s (Mayaca) Cut at north to Cochran’s Pass. Once the sun started to go down he managed to drag Carolina-rigged worms along the bottom of the Rim Canal or find piles of rocks and bouncing crankbaits off the rocks was a key technique. .
PHOTO OF THE WEEK
This pretty redfish crowned Cape Coral fisherman Alex Fajeta’s coastal slam which also included several snooks and trout. He was throwing Z-Man Jerk Shadz into the mangroves a mile north of Matlacha on his Wildfly charter with Captain Gregg McKee.
In recent times, offshore fishermen have reported a series of encounters with schools of dolphinfish, a rare but welcome catch along the southwest coast of the Gulf. Dolphins on the Atlantic coast and in the Florida Keys are a major fishery with thousands of adherents and countless derbies, so fishing regulations in Atlantic waters are more conservative, with fork length minimum of 20 inches, a daily bag limit of 10 per angler, and a boat limit of 60. Bag and boat limits are the same in the Gulf, but there is no minimum size. Dolphins are attracted to almost anything that provides shade, including boats, and they are easily tempted by live or cut bait and many man-made products. Experienced dolphinfish fishermen know that keeping at least one hooked fish in the water can keep a school around the boat longer before they lose interest and set off. Bobbi Wilt and her friends captured 22 live herring.
n ° 1: Spanish mackerel in the central depths; snook and redfish on the east and west shores.
N ° 2: Col Matlacha for redfish, snook and trout.
No. 3: Southern Pine Island Sound for reds and trout.
N ° 4: Caloosahatchee bridges for tarpon.
# 5: Tarpon and redfish on the east wall of Estero Bay.
N ° 6: Offshore for red grouper and mixed snappers.
# 7: Lake Trafford for crappie, early.
N ° 1: Observation bench for bass.
N ° 2: Rim Canal for bass.
N ° 3: Dynamite Holes for bass.