Offshore: It was a little windy the past few days but the bravehearts made it out to the marks from 3–20-plus miles out. Grouper, snapper, cobia, and permit were the targets; from what I hear, results were good if not easy. The close marks were fishable on smaller craft, but be careful with the random thunderstorms and gusty winds to 20 knts.
The beach bite was very good with lots of snook, big reds and trout running down the bait pods off Sanibel, Captiva and Ft. Myers Beach to hickory Pass. Whitebait top the list of offerings and there's plenty of shiners in the passes and on the beaches. Early morning fly guys got into the fray with Whistler and Clouser variant top bugs. Big reds ate shiners. pins, and shrimp if you could keep the catfish off long enough.
Backbay: You had to hunt down green water to get on a decent bite; rains and riverout flows have made the bays a tad murky. Fish slow is all I know with pins and cutbait. We ranPine Island Sound on a recon and found green water, but a sluggish bite; go figure , I think we were late and the tides, although generous, were poky slow rollers. All I saw at the Punta Rassa ramp were kiddy crews cleaning snapper and the odd sheepie, but not much else.
Estero Bay has been quiet. Heard some reports of fish on Rocky Bay near Mullock Creek. There are scads of snapper and stuff in New Pass and Big Carlos for drift fishing with shrimp. Boca remains a bright spot if you're into that sorta thing—poons, big sharks, and whatever.
Capt. Ron Kowalyk: 239-267-9312