Fort Myers, Pine Island and Boca Grande fishing report
Capt. Scott Hughes
October 7, 2011
Fort Myers - Saltwater Fishing Report
Its been two weeks now since I've been back to work. I tore the ACL in my left knee back in July and had surgury to repair it in August. I was off the water for a little over a month. The fist week back on the water was tough fishing. I found tarpon but didn't get any to bite and found a large school of redfish but spooked them and didn't catch any. After a handfull of charters this past week and a couple of practice days I'm getting more comfortable with what's going on out on the water even though I'm not physically at 100 percent.
I went back to the areas where I saw the tarpon last week and i did get them to bite this time. I hooked 7 tarpon of the the course of three trips but didn't get any of them to the boat. I lost three that were pushing 150lbs while drifing live ladyfish and lost another 4 more over the course of the next two trips while trolling large diving crank baits. Because tarpon fishing conditions were deteriating the 2nd and 3rd trip due to approaching cold front so I had to cover much more water to find the fish. To cover the most water I chose to abandon the drift fishing and tried trolling. If it weren't for some bad luck it would have worked great. We had three nice tarpon in the 80-100 pound range jump and spit the hook and one tarpon took the plug deep and chewed through the 80lb flourocarbon leader.
I also targeted redfish and specked trout on the flats last week and even though i didn't find large schools of bull redfish i did find lots of scattered slot redfish. It looks like we should another good winter with keeper redfish in the 3-6 pound class. I also had some excellent fishing for keeper sized speckled trout. I don't usually target speckled trout until later in the winter but the trout fishing was good and with more cold fronts on the way it should get better.
I also found quite a few snook in some areas. The snook fishing is far form recovered but it seems that are a targetable amount in some areas.
Spanish mackerel and bluefish are pushing nto the bay and are offshore. I did well thowing lures for spanish mackerel in the 18-20 inch range bluefish in the 4-6 lb class.
Fort Myers Fishing Forecast:
The wind and cold fronts will probably put and end to any consistent tarpon fishing for the rest of this season but a good day can still be had for the rest of this month if you keep your eyes open. Migrating tarpon are always looking to get an easy meal and will be following baitfish schools. Redfish, snook and specked trout fishing should be good for the next couple of months and the trout fishing will get better for the rest of the winter. Offshore fishing should stay good for another month or two with grouper, king mackerel, spanish mackerel, little tunny and cobia being the main targets.