fishing Forecast

  • 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


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

    Lots of Choices
    by Captain Michael Manis

    Essentially, this is an extension of last month and I’ll continue to work the same type pattern.  The inshore bite around outer shorelines and adjacent bar systems is good. However, for many, tarpon are the main emphasis. Fish migrating north out of the keys and everglades will be grouped up along the beaches from Sanibel Island to Englewood. In addition, it’s not unusual to see large pods staged up on the hill and upper harbor just inside Boca Grande Pass.

    As it’s a good area to get a shot on fly, I’ll typically fish the shallower sandy bottom off Murdock Point between Captiva and Boca Grande pass. Now, be prepared for a crowd as this limited window brings a mix of excitement and boat traffic. In Particular, Boca Grande Pass and the beach north to Gasparilla Pass gets real busy. For most, live crabs and threadfin herring are the baits of choice.

    On the other hand, as many are drawn to the tarpon bite, inshore bars and shorelines get ignored and provide a chance to get away from the crowds. Something that’s not that easy to find anymore.  With moderate water temperatures, snook, redfish, and good size trout are active. Furthermore, the more distance you can put between your boat and the passes the better.

    Snook are also on the beaches right now and they’re just as easy to fish without a boat as with one.  In fact, this is one of the best times of year to fish from land as snook are easily within reach as they like to move up and down the trough where the surf meets the sand.  Of course, first light is the best time to fish and I can’t think of a better way to start the day.

    All year, I’ve been working Pine Island Sound and have been seeing good numbers of redfish and big trout. No doubt, the closed harvest has made a big difference. This time of year, I like to concentrate on grass flats that receive flow from the Intracoastal Waterway with its clean oxygenated water pulled from the gulf. Across the harbor, shorelines and adjacent flats where Bull Bay intersects with Gasparilla sound can be good as this entire area is influenced by both Little Gasparilla and Boca Grande Pass.

    Even though it’s starting to warm up, there’s still a good spotted sea trout bite going on if you get out early. Deeper flats in three to four feet with clean high salinity water content will fish best. Throwing top water first thing in the morning is a great way to look for trout and they’re generally very cooperative.

    Sharks are prevalent throughout the harbor right now and there’s a good chance of seeing anything from a small bonnet head cruising the flats to a large bull or hammerhead anywhere in the vicinity of the tarpon. Also, black tips are around in good numbers and are lots of fun.  Just drop a bait, live or cut, anywhere around one of the many schools of threadfin herring scattered throughout the harbor.

    Until next month, good tides.

    Captain Michael Manis

    Punta Gorda Fly Charters

  • 05/31/2021 12:50 PM | Ron Presley (Administrator)

    Hot Summer Days
    by Captain Tom Van Horn

    Summer days in Central Florida can be brutal, so prudent anglers and the fish take advantage of the cool nights, early morning, and late evening hours to feed and stock their prey.  With this said, adjust your routine in June, July, and August by fishing at night, during the predawn hours, and in the late afternoon after thunderstorms subside taking advantage of productive feeding hours.

    In June, the summer doldrums set in on the Atlantic Ocean, the waters clear, and the seas lay down. This opens a window of opportunity for smaller boats, so near-shore fishing is typically the best you will see all year along the beach.  June is also 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.

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

    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
    407-416-1187 on the water

  • 04/20/2021 12:56 PM | Ron Presley (Administrator)

    As Good As It Gets
    by Captain Michael Manis

    May has always been one of my favorite months as opportunities really open up.  Moreover, the wind lies down somewhat allowing the range necessary to take advantage of an expanded fishery. It’s time to make my way out of the backcountry towards the harbor, beach and adjacent shorelines. As the water temperature hits 79 degrees migrating tarpon coming north will stage in and around our passes.

    Off the beach, I like setting up between Captiva and Boca Grande Pass on Murdock point. Here, the fish make their way around a sandy shoal in clear shallow water allowing for some great shots on fly.  Inside Pine Island Sound, Foster Bay just north of Redfish Pass also tends to hold groups of fish.

    Closer to home, they’ll also begin showing up in the upper harbor between the West Wall and Punta Gorda. These are resident fish that come out of the rivers and generally eat pretty well.  A free lined live bait is always a good bet and if you get out early and see them rolling, they’ll take a fly. The harbor should be full of threadfin herring and I like throwing patterns that resemble these baits somewhat. A big Puglisi Peanut Butter pattern in black and purple or black and red are two of my favorites.

    As hard as it is to resist tarpon, it’s tough to beat early summer snook fishing. When the wind is cranking out of the west making the beach sloppy, it’s makes for a great back up plan. In addition, Because of tarpon fever, the backcountry see’s less pressure and this provides a great opportunity to get in some redfish and snook fishing. Particularly, first thing in the morning, you could find yourself with a flat or shoreline all to yourself.  They’re on many outside shorelines and I particularly like the lower end of the west wall and around Cape Haze Point down through the long bar that runs along Turtle and Bull Bay.

    Typically, redfish can be found in close proximity to snook. However, as the water warms I like looking for the cleanest most oxygenated water.  Here, it’s tough to beat the combination of the intracoastal and adjacent passes. Keeping that in mind, Pine Island Sound is a good bet.   Too, spotted sea trout prefer the additional salinity and cooler water that these areas provide making redfish country good trout habitat as they’re both part of the croaker family.

    Lastly, whether in the harbor, on the beach, or on a flat, don’t be surprised if you see a big school of jacks, a cobia, or one of the many sharks that are scattered throughout the area. Keep an eye out for birds and have a rod ready.

    Until next month, good tides.

    Captain Michael Manis
    Punta Gorda Fly Charters

  • 04/20/2021 12:52 PM | Ron Presley (Administrator)

    May Provides Good Action
    by Captain Charlie Conner

    Summer is almost upon us.  People are traveling this year.  I think they are exhausted from last years COVID closures and restrictions.  It’s good to see so many friends and new friends out in the boat.  The heat of summer will be here soon.  Water temperatures are on the rise.  We actually enjoyed some spring weather in
    April.  Look for May to provide lots of fishing action around the Treasure Coast!

    Five-year-old Domenic caught his first snook with the family while fishing in Fort Pierce.

    Snook fishing will be good this month with night or early morning the best times to fish.  The season will close May 31st.  Inlets, bridges, seawalls and docks are all great places to target snook. I like to target redfish in May.  Some good choices for lures will be gold spoons and the DOA 2 ¾” shrimp.  Redfish will be active on the grass flats, mangroves and docks around the river.

    Look for trout to hit top water lures at first light.   As the sun rises move to deeper water in the two to four-foot range   I have had great success with CAL jerk baits and Deadly Combos this year in place of live shrimp.  Look for clean water and good grass to have your best results.

    Mackerel have been coming in with the tides.  Fish bridges and docks for sheepshead, snapper and drum.  Jacks and ladyfish will be just about everywhere creating havoc all over the river.   Beaches will produce whiting with catches of Spanish mackerel and bluefish along with some pompano.  Tarpon will begin their trek into the river.  May is a great month to fish the Treasure Coast!

    As always, remember, fishing is not just another's an ADVENTURE!!

    Good Fishing and Be Safe,

    Captain Charlie Conner

  • 04/20/2021 12:45 PM | Ron Presley (Administrator)

    Hit the Beaches and More in May
    by Capt. Tom VanHorn

    As summer approaches and our water temperatures increase, so do the fishing opportunities along the Lagoon Coast of Florida. May is one of the best fishing months on east Florida's coastal waters, so make sure your lunch is packed, mental health days are scheduled and be prepared to hit the water on a moment’s notice. 

    Near-shore along the beaches, concentrate your efforts in the areas of active bait pods (pogies). Typically, when you see concentrated areas of bait with birds feeding on the surface, big fish are just as active underneath. Species feeding on these pods include tarpon, jack cervalle, redfish, cobia, and sharks. Near the end of the month, you can add kingfish to the mix. Also, tripletail and flounder numbers should be improving around the Port Canaveral buoys. At the inlets and beaches, Spanish mackerel, snook, redfish, jack crevalle, bluefish, flounder, sheepshead, and black drum are just some of the species available this month.

     Blue water trolling should be excellent in May, with the larger dolphin being the focus of most blue water anglers. Also, in the mix are tuna, wahoo, kingfish, sailfish, and an occasional marlin. When targeting these species, work areas of color and water temperature changes (lines) in 120 feet of water or deeper, and in areas of concentrated floating weeds and debris. In addition, do not forget that kingfish and cobia are present on the near-shore shoals, reefs and wrecks like Bethel Shoals, Pelican Flats, Chris Benson, and 8A reefs.

     On the lagoon flats, redfish and spotted sea trout will provide the majority of the action for light tackle and fly anglers. For sea trout, fish your favorite top-water plugs at first light in about two feet of water concentrating in areas where baitfish are active. After the morning top-water bite fades, switch to your favorite soft plastic jig fished in three to five feet of water alone the edges of flats or spoil islands.

    In May the water has warmed to the point where the jack crevalle, ladyfish, snook, and tarpon will begin to show up in good numbers. In addition, there is a huge showing of finger mullet this season, so it is time to break out your DOA Bait Busters. Schooling redfish and other predators find the Bait Busters difficult to resist when retrieved quickly just under the surface of the water in areas of concentrated mullet schools. Remember when using the technique; keep your lure moving until you feel the fish on the line.

    Finally, fishing on the St Johns River freshwater is particularly good in May.  The crappie are balled up in deeper water if you know where to look for them.  Also, the bluegill and shellcrackers are concentrated on beds and are very tasty and great fun on light tackle.  Lastly, the larger channel catfish will be on the move once the water levels start rising from our summer rain. 

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

    Good luck and good fishing,

    Captain Tom Van Horn

  • 04/20/2021 12:40 PM | Ron Presley (Administrator)

    Life’s good
    by Capt. Greg Stamper

    There has been a lot of great fish caught in April and anglers throughout the area can expect more of the same. It does not matter if you are fishing in the back bays, nearshore waters, or offshore, it is all going to be good. Tarpon fishing is now outstanding, as the big push of fish have arrived from the South. 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 backcountry slams will come often. Offshore guys will continue to catch an array of good eating fish.

    The tarpon spawn is full speed and lots of anglers will be chasing them from the ten thousand islands all the way to Tampa. Crabs that are two to three inches wide on 5/o circle hooks with 50lb leaders will do the trick. Threadfin, pilchards, and catfish tails also work well. Permits are another great fish to target after a few tarpon have been caught, there were acers of permit last month from 30 feet out. Those same wrecks that hold the permit will also have cobia on them. When permit fishing always have a rod with a jig on it ready to go, as cobia will show up quickly and leave just as fast.

    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. 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 is grouper full speed now, usually out past 100 feet. Mangrove snapper fishing will be good, especially during the night along with yellowtail and mutton snapper. Chumming for 30-45 minutes before even dropping a line is the way to go. Once you can get the snappers up of the bottom and closer to the boat, it is game on! Anglers that get out past 120 feet will find African pompano, gag and black grouper, blackfin tuna, and amber jacks.

    Tight lines, Capt. Greg Stamper
    Fort Myers, FL

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