Offshore: Good stuff reported this week with fair weather letting crews run the deeper marks. Scads of red grouper, but the closure rained on the parade. Other grouper took up the slack with gags at the head of the list. Plenty of snapper again from 5–20 plus miles out; bring Spanish sardines and chum. Kings made an appearance with scads of Spanish, some bonito and cobia on the marks at 9-plus miles out. Ground fish filled out the catches with smalls filling the coolers at 3-plus miles out. Cobia are a favored target on the close bumps if you're lucky; pinfish are the bait of choice for ling. Tripletail are scattered on the pot lines with bigger trips out about 4-plus miles out and on points south. We'll give it a try this week. Weather could get a tad rough this weekend with rain in the forecast and winds at about 12-plus knots outa the east by mid-morning. Keep the faith, no secrets here, watch the weather, run and gun!
Inshore: Redfish are the big story here with best-of-the-year bites reported all along the region. The northern best reports with overslot fish from mid-Pine Island Sound through Charlotte very catchable, give me a slots fish for dinner any day. Points southin Estero weregenerous with lots of mid slot reds eating pins, shrimp, and scented plastics on the high-water periods. Mud skippers, kayakerspoled and paddled the flats at low-water periods and foundreds in groups around the oyster bars and in the sand patches.Fly guys had shots at reds with spoon and shrimp flies; wading was productive around the east shore of the Ding. Weedless spoons, Gulps, and topwater plug drew some nice blows; stealth is the secret to success. Snook remain very active on livies and are spreading out from the Gulf beaches into the winter-over areas, Crews reported a mixed bag of reds and snook on the mangrove edges. Trout are bouncing back in Estero on the mid- to north ranges in 3-4 ft. of water; shrimp, Gulps, and flies all took a share. The specks are thick in themid-zonesof P. I. and, of course, in Charlotte Harbor.
That's all, folks. Gotta run!
Capt. Ron Kowalyk: 239-267-9312