Action was strong this week as weather allowed trips out to the deeper marks. Bottom fishing was good this week with loads of snapper, grouper and other critters on a chew. Bites on the ledges from 11 to 35 miles out were good. Masses of Spanish with some kings mixed in ripped the bait pods. Permit were taken on the towers at 26 miles off Sanibel and an even strong bite was reported on the towers off Wiggins and down South to Marco. The closer marks had good snapper action and the Goliath grouper made their presents known as usual and ate fish and baits. Snook and redfish were reported on some of the close marks as well as small groups of tarpon. There was some good action for Spanish, bluefish and cobia around the pass mouths up and down the beaches.
Good snook action on the barrier island bridges and in the feeder creeks and in the canals. Redfish, big trout, sheepies and small tarpon were also reported in the same areas. Trout, ladys and jacks made a play for surface plugs, flies and shrimp tipped jigs throughout the bays. Tarpon, snook and reds were actively feeding at the pass mouths. Beach bites were strong with whiting, pompano, trout, a few nice reds and gangs of shark and jacks rounding out the action. Great fish.
Boca Pass reported fair tarpon action. Good numbers of big snapper and some legal grouper were taken just outside the pass. Bull and Turtle bays held numbers of big reds, snook and gator trout that ate hardy on the early morning incoming tides. Burnt Store bars reported about the same with good action from early morning through the afternoon falling tide. Lots of nice trout on the drop-offs throughout the bay. Surface plugs, popper diver flies and jerkbaits all scored making for some fun sightfishing. Lots of bait around for the weekend. Water is free of red tide and the glut of fresh water doesn’t seem to be effecting the bite. Tarpon, snook and reds were taken at the mouths of the Peace and Myakka rivers and at Alligator Creek.
Gangs of Reds were reported at the fish shacks in Northern Pine Island Sound. The action has really picked up in San Carols Bay and in the South end of Pine Island Sound. Reds, snook and big trout all ate shiners, pins and artificials. The strong early morning incoming tides pushed lots of fish and baits up under the bushes, into the creek mouths and up on the oyster bars. Freelined baits with generous amounts of live chummers turned on the bite. Trout were actively feeding on the flats and in the patches. Live baits. chug plugs and a variety of jigs all scored. Matlacha reported good redfish bites on either shoreline.On the Bunche Beach drifts and along the Gulf beaches scads of nice sized Spanish, bluefish, big trout and jacks were working the numerous pods of glass minnows. Surface plugs, silver spoons and softbobied curly tail jigs were the hot ticket. Sharks and tarpon were also on the flats mixed in with the marauding gangs of Spanish and blues. Estero Bay is cleaning up and there were reports of good redfish and snook action on the Eastern Wall and into Rocky Bay. Trout are recovering from the red tide effects and are on a chew on the flats of the central bay. Pass action was strong for big reds, snook and a few tarpon and cobia at the bridges.
Forecast: 4Cast, Good moving water all weekend. The strong early morning outgoing should generate a bite at the creek mouth, in the channels and at the passes. Midday incoming tides will pick up the action on the flats and in the passes. The strong afternoon outgoing will repeat the early morning trend and maybe even better as things cool off.
With the variety of toothy critters working the bait pods on the inshore flats and beaches, shock leaders are a must! Two feet of 60 lb. test mono or a foot of 36 lb. test wire trace are good insurance for landing fish and saving those pricey spoons and plugs. The wire trace can easily be attached to the main line using a barrel swivel and hay wire twist .The hay wire twist is also used as the connection to the lure or spoon. I prefer an Albright knot connection from the main line to the wire trace, as it smaller and doesn’t generate bubbles at the line to wire junction. The bubbles formed by a barrel swivel will often illicit an undesired strike at the connection and cause the lose of your lure. The Albright Knot is formed by make a smooth loop in the wire trace with the tag end facing back toward the long bitter end. Insert a generous workable length of the main line through the loop of wire. Make six to ten wraps of line around the wire , heading the wraps up toward the closed end of the wire loop. Finish the knot by inserting the tag end of the main line back through the closed end of the wire loop. Holding the wraps in place, pull the tag end until the wraps are tight up against the end of the wire loop. Trim the excess wire and line for a neat finish.
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