Offshore: It's a good time to tour the marks at 3–15 miles out, good weather a tad cooler and less rain. Crews reported good grouper action even with the closure or red grouper. Snapper filled the bill with nice doggies to 3-5 lbs. reported. Guys are asking me to look for cobia on the close marks and I'm all for it. Easy action for smaller but legal snapper, grunts; flounder can be had at the three to five reefs off Ft. Myers Beach-Sanibel; bring lots of shrimp, Spanish sardines, and jigs.
Goliaths are a pleasant pain if you're into a tug-a-war. Tons of sharks and giant jacks. Oversized redfish and bully snook may crash the party, not bad. We're waiting for the bonito and kings to arrive en masse, but there are plenty of Spanish macks whacking spoons, flies, and bait-tipped jigs. A few tarpon are scattered on their migration south; good stuff all the way around.
Inshore: The redfish rodeo is right on time and there are plenty of reports of top-slot reds and overslot critters being taken at the passes on either tide; pinfish are the top producers with shiners a distant second. Crews anchored and drifted the passes and came up shooting on either tide, although the outgoing seems to be the best. Snook are plentiful but there are scads of shorts, so be ready to catch and release; tough ain't it!
The backbay bite’s on fire up in Pine Islands Sound at Regla, Mason, and Joslyn keys. Pins, shiners, and shrimp are scored, three-inch pins are golden. Gulps and other scented plastics are good if you like to cover ground—very sporty.
Trout are rebounding well across the board with a renewed bite in Estero Bay, good consistency in P. I., and hot stuff in Charlotte Harbor. Fly guys reported good speck action on the drifts at 2-4 ft. with red and white Clousers a go-to fly.
The creek snook are fly hungry as well; again red and white or chartreuse and white were good choices. The brown-water creeks are rebounding and dark flies worked pretty well in the Imperial River, Estero, Henry Creek, and in the canals off the Caloosahatchee. Nights under the lights was the place to be for hot and heavy snook action.
Capt. Ron Kowalyk: 239-267-9312