Get out and bob around off the beaches, but bring plenty of sunscreen and Gatorade. Crews reported hot actionat the 25-plus mile marks outta Boca, 35-plus miles outta Ft. Myers. Grouper action is strong with mixed bag limits the norm; plenty of snappers in the 4-5 lb. range. Don't forget that extra block of ice, it's hot as Hades by noon! Top baits are pins, live threads and Spanish sardines; cast netting is easy on the flats near the passes. Chum and run, guys.
Jigging the reefs andsoakinglivies produced all manner of bites. Trollers hooked up big kings and feistybonitojust a mile or two out along the northern reaches of our region. Live-lined threads and smallish Spanish mackerel were gobbled up by big kings and sharks; gear up for the fight. Cobia are cruising the reefs with some on the surface, eating in the snapper chum slicks; again gear or set up a 20 lb. rig. Fly guys got in the action off the beaches, 10–12 wt. were advised with heavy tippets. The close marks held lots of family fun options: Snapper, grunts, theoccasional grouper, redfish, and, of course, plenty of sharks.
Flats action is a morning affair unless you want your catch parboiled. Things have picked up with better weather and morning incoming tides. Early is best; avoid the mid-day cook-off! Reds are chewing under the bushes around the creeks and rivers; cooler deeper water is the trick to sustain the bite. Fish thedocks and deeper drop-offs. Pinfish is the bait of choice across the board, with shrimp in all variations good as well. Snook are whacking livebaits, plugs, and softplastics as well. Trout action is good on the deeper drifts and sloughs, extra good reports on the Bokeelia Bars. Fly guys scored and softplastics of the scented types were very effective. Gold spoons, Gulps, and Clouser Minnow flies all took a share on the shallow flats for polers and waders.
Gotta run, recon day on the northern end of the Burnt Store Bars; wish me luck. Hope to see you out there soon! On the “Mud Skipper”!
Capt. Ron Kowalyk: 239-267-9312