The nearshore fishing off Englewood and Boca Grande Florida has been pretty stellar these last couple months. We’ve had our share of fishy dinners and it is a 100 times better than anything you can buy in a restaurant! Snapper and grouper are the top menu item when we start heading out in to that deeper water.
The good news is you don’t have to go far if you’re looking for a quick snapper dinner. Most of the nearshore artificial reefs (within 5 miles) have good sized snapper schools on them right now. Do not park directly on top of the reef but position your boat near the structure so the tide carries your chum back to it. In addition to chum bags, we’ve been cutting up small pieces of frozen sardines and mixing that in to our chum slick. Soon, snapper will begin coming up in your slick. I like to tie on a small hook (2/0 or 3/0 circle) and free line a piece of cut sardine in to the mix. Fish on! Get that fish to the boat quick or the local barracuda will enjoy that snapper before you even get a chance. If you’re looking for that grouper dinner instead, you will most likely have to travel out a little further. Many of the artificial reefs will hold gag grouper but with the season being opened for nearly a month now, it could make for some slim pickins.
We have the best luck on private numbers that we have found…rock piles, hard bottom, ledges, etc. These areas get fished much less than published numbers. If you don’t have any numbers, start looking! Watch your bottom machine as you are running and keep an eye out for a sudden change in depth. This often signals ledges. Circle back around and check the area. Drifting is another technique used by many on a calm day. There is a lot of scattered hard bottom the further out you get. Many times when we are fishing in the 25-30 mile range, we will fish as the boat drifts. We use a traditional bottom rig with a 5 or 6oz lead, 3-5ft leader, and 7/0 or 8/0 circle hook. If you still aren’t able to secure your own fishing spots, give us a call and we’d love to take you out for an exciting day on the water! We’ll teach you how to better understand your bottom machine, what types of rigs to use, what baits we suggest, and much more!
Great news for those of you with the ability to get out far enough to catch red snapper…the federal season has now been extended! The Department of Commerce states “The new rule will re-open the 2017 Federal recreational season for red snapper by the private angling component on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from June 16, 2017, through Labor Day, September 4, 2017. During this time, the season will be closed Monday through Thursday with the exception of July 3, July 4, and September 4. Correspondingly, the five Gulf States will bring their state red snapper water seasons into alignment with the Federal water season for the rest of the summer.”
On a side note, tarpon season is still going strong if you’re looking to hook in to a last minute Boca Grande silver king. The goliath grouper bite has been even better. Our lovely customers caught 12 yesterday! If you want to catch one of these beasts, look no further.
Also, our snook fishing has been pretty good. We’re starting to see more redfish in the inshore waters as well. Toss out live freelined white bait or soak cut pinfish or ladyfish and you’ll be certain to hook up. The trout bite has been really good…especially throwing topwater in the morning. A popping cork with a shrimp or white bait also works well for those toothy guys. Keep an eye out in and around the passes for those “fun fish” aka ladyfish, jacks, mackerel.
Well folks, that about sums up our fishing in and around Boca Grande, Fl. If you want to get out on the water and enjoy some of the finest fishing Florida has to offer, give us a call at 941-698-0323 and talk with captains Jesse or Kelly to set up your fishing adventure. Look us up on our webpage Florida Inshore Xtream charters and read our reviews on TripAdvisor to get to know us and our business better. We look forward to fishing with you!
Captains Jesse McDowall and Kelly Eberly