Heat, rain, wind, freshwater outflow—Oh Yeah! Conditions have tested the best of the off-the-beach bunch. Just be sure you keep an eye on the weather to insure a safe, productive outing.
There are plenty of fish on the reefs from 3 to 25 miles off. Snapper remain a mainstay of the bite for "ham and eggers", nice limits of mixed species the rule; farther out is betterand makes for bigger snapper. Cobia are messin' around from the close marks at 3 miles to thedeeper reefs; pins, crab,s and bait-tipped jigs all took a share. Permit are around, but you need crabs, and early morning reef hopping is the way to go; best reports from Knapp Point north. Grouper are available with best bites on the reefs 11-plus miles out, north of Point Ybel. Tarpon are around, but reports were thin pretty, much like the fishing. The close reefs offered mixed bag bites of all manner of ground fish.
Warm sweet water; you had to hunt downgreen salt for any real backbay action.Conditions appear to be clearing up in Estero Bay with the driftboats reporting snapper, pomps, jacks, sharks, and whitingin the passes. Mixed-size tarpon are in the passes around the bridges at first light; they take a jerkbaits, shrimp, or pinfish, if you're lucky. We fish the mangroves and managed some reds, snapper, and juvie snook all on shrimp and Gulps.
Reports of the bait returning to the flats are a good sign! The feeder creeks are holding snook, poons, and lots of jacks , a reliefwith the goofy, freshwater-deluge weather; try a red and white streamer fly or the like; great fun.Things were better up in Pine Island Sound with decent redfish bites reported on the middle ground around Regla and Joslyn Keys.Trout bites remains spotty depending on who you talk to; my guess its a matter of timing; the tides weren't much help across the board this week, slow pokers! Boca and Charlotte Harbor held their own, blessed with big water. Tarpon are still chewing in Boca.
"Good night and good" whatever!
Capt. Ron Kowalyk: 239-267-9312