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.
Good results 20-45 miles out, weather permitting. Lousy rain cycle made for rough sledding but soon crews braved the monsoon and reported good grouper, cobia kings and snapper action outa Boca. Live bait was the easy way to go, as usual, the pins, blue runners, threads, and the like. Trollers found active kings and big bonito around the masses of bait running the reefs. Short fishing week with poor weather but the more typical weather patterns are forecast to return, let’s hope so!
Offshore: Waters clear up! Good action on the Marks at 30–60 plus ft. Snapper are on a wild chew with some big doggies to 4-1/2 lbs. Grouper are eating as well; look to deeper cooler water at 50 plus ft. The close marks had nice mixed bag action with plenty of legal snapper, Spanish, whiting, white grunts, and, best of all, cobia. Cobs ate pinfish, threads, and big shrimp or crab hunks, good oh! Kings are thrashing the bait pods, eating freeline threads, pins; the bigger kings are eating Spanish and blue runners. Kings to 40-plus lbs. reported up outa Boca shipping channel.
Captain Rick Knox of Absolute Florida Flats Fishing, out of Tarpon Springs, reports that the snook fishing is phenomenal on the barrier islands, along with tarpon fishing! With pilchards being the appetizer on the menu and pigfish, grunts, jumbo pinfish, and crabs being the entrée and small threadfin herring being dessert, huge giant tarpon are gorging themselves after the spawn; they almost seem to be intoxicated from all the natural proteins being absorbed from these important little baitfish on the beaches and in passes up and down Florida's Gulf Coast.
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.
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.
If you're up for it, the tarpon bite is hot. Crews fished at first light and came up with bruiser poons to 180lbs. The bite started at with rolling mobs of 100-pounder-plus silver kings at 1–3 miles in 20 ft. of water off at the twin Towers at Ft. Myers beach and extended to Knapp's Point and beyond. Fish were reports as close in as 16 ft. water off Sanibel Light and the bite extended to the 30 ft. marks, easy running. "Old Timie" dead stick and soaked baits with chum worked, as long as you stayed away from the "Young Turks" chasing the rollers. Threads, pins, and, cut bait all worked. Plenty of bait off Ft. Myers Beach and the Mays Reef, bring your Sabikki to make quick work of baiting. Cut bait included ladyfish, mullet, and shad—crabs were useful as well. Live ladyfish were a top producer.
Beat the heat and get out at first light for the hot morning bite. Tarpon, cobia, permit, and snapper from 5–20 plus miles out. Pass crabs and small blue crabs are top picks for the permit and tarpon. Don't be surprised if you hook up fat and sassy cobia from Knapp's Point north to the Boca shipping channel.
Wind has been a factor; 10-plus knots made tarpon fishing tough, but with decent results from Knapp's Point north. Get out early for best results. There's a mixed bag of biggies reported: sharks, cobia, tripletail, tarpon, kings on thee northern reaches of our region. Live bait in about any configuration will put you in the mix.
Rock and Roll, Sports Fans! Plenty of tarpon from the pass mouths out 3-plus miles, 16–30 ft. of water. Can't change much from last week's report, but that may be a good thing. Fish to a 100-plus pounds typical. Best baits: pinfish, threads, grunts. All available on Sabikki rigs over the close reefs at the bridges and while boiling under the birds. Just keep your eyes open and look for rollers. Deadsticking works as well.