All posts by Captain Kelly

Have the tarpon arrived?

Yes! Tarpon fishing is in full swing in Boca Grande. There are currently thousands of fish residing in Boca Grande Pass. The tarpon are 20-40ft thick at times on our Humminbird down imaging sonar. We’ve been averaging 7-13 tarpon per trip this season.

Boca Grande tarpon fishing
Boca Grande tarpon fishing

How do your tarpon fishing charters work?

We prefer to pick our customers up as early as possible…around 4am usually. The tarpon feed ferociously in the dark so this gives us a couple hours to target them before sunrise. As the sun rises, the bite usually starts slowing down and the hoard of other boats begin showing up. We usually have hooked at least 4 or 5 tarpon before any other boats have even shown up. Our preferred gear for targeting tarpon in Boca Grande Pass is conventional gear. We use Penn lever drag Fathom reels with 100lb braid, 60lb flourocarbon leader, 4oz lead, and 6/0 4X circle hook. We position the boat up current of the tarpon, lower our crabs or shrimp down to the depth of the tarpon, then drift through the fish. When the tarpon bite, your rod is usually slammed to the side of the boat. Within seconds, the tarpon is rushing to the surface and flying through the air! After either catching the fish or losing it, we repeat the drift over again until the trip has reached completion.

Boca Grande tarpon fishing
Boca Grande tarpon fishing

What are the tarpon eating?

The tarpon eat a wide range of things. Our preferred baits to use are crab and shrimp. They also eat threadfin herring, catfish, mullet, squirrelfish, etc.

Are there any tarpon on the beach yet?

We have not seen any tarpon on the beach yet but it shouldn’t be much longer. Once the tarpon start moving along the beaches of Boca Grande towards Englewood, we will occasionally target them using spinning gear. This allows you to get away from the crowd and have a more technical experience tarpon fishing.

Boca Grande tarpon fishing
Boca Grande tarpon fishing

Do you still have dates available for a tarpon fishing charter?

Yes, we have some dates left in both May and June if you are looking to get out and catch a silver king in the “tarpon capital of the world.”

Boca Grande tarpon fishing
Boca Grande tarpon fishing

If you’re interested in booking a charter, text or call us at 941-698-0323

Jesse and Kelly McDowall
www.floridainshorextream.com
https://www.youtube.com/@FloridaInshoreXtreamcharters
https://www.facebook.com/fixcharters

Nearshore fishing

The nearshore fishing off of Boca Grande and Englewood has been on fire the last few weeks. We’ve been seeing a lot of sheepshead, snapper, triggerfish, smaller grouper, grunts, and plenty more on our nearshore fishing charters. We’ve been fishing 5-9 miles offshore. Our go to rig is a knocker rig with a 4/0 or 5/0 circle hook and a 1/2oz lead and bead. Our bait of choice right now is shrimp and we’ve been catching everything with it. Once the waters around Boca Grande start clearing up, we’ll be netting white bait and start primarily targeting snapper and grouper. We’ve also seen a few king mackerel making appearances so be on the lookout for one of those smokers.

Boca Grande fishing charters
Boca Grande fishing charters
Boca Grande fishing charters
Boca Grande fishing for sheepshead
Boca Grande fishing charters
Boca Grande fishing for sheepshead
Boca Grande fishing charters
Boca Grande fishing for sheepshead
Boca Grande fishing charters
Boca Grande fishing for sheepshead

Inshore Fishing

The inshore waters are heating up and the bite has been pretty good. Reds, snook, and trout are the main targets. Shrimp under a cork in the potholes or clear holes along the mangroves are sure to catch you a fish. Cut pinfish and ladyfish have been producing big snook.

Tarpon Fishing

Boca Grande tarpon season is right around the corner. We will start our Boca Grande tarpon fishing charters later this month and into April. May and June are the peak months when the most fish are in Boca Grande Pass. We start our tarpon fishing charters early to beat the crowds and heat.

Boca Grande tarpon fishing charters
Boca Grande tarpon fishing charters

Goliath Grouper Fishing

Our Boca Grande goliath grouper fishing charters will be starting this month as well. The waters are warming up and they should be feeding good.

Boca Grande goliath grouper fishing charters
Boca Grande goliath grouper fishing

Find us on YouTube or our websiteto see our videos and more information about our fishing charters.

Boca Grande tarpon fishing will be upon us soon enough. Now is the time to look at your calendars and start planning your trip of a lifetime for the majestic silver king. Boca Grande Pass is one of the best locations to target tarpon. Nestled between the crowded cities of Sarasota and Ft Myers is our little slice of paradise. Tarpon begin arriving to our area in March and April. By May, there’s more tarpon here than imaginable. It’s not uncommon to see acres of rolling tarpon off the beaches of Boca Grande, Englewood, Placida and Captiva.

Boca Grande tarpon charter
Boca Grande tarpon charter

May and June are the peak times to catch Boca Grande tarpon but we’ll begin targeting tarpon in March and April and continue through July.

We have this term known as “hill tides” that we use when talking about the “best” tarpon fishing times. These are some of the biggest tides that we’ll see throughout the year. They occur around the new and full moon phases. We’ll see about a 2ft range of tide, which for our area is quite substantial. The dates below are Boca Grande’s new and full moons for 2023. On these strong hill tide days, the tide will begin to rage out of Boca Grande Pass…carrying crabs, threadies, and other food the tarpon sit waiting to devour. We usually begin these trips around 2 or 3pm and fish until sunset. It’s not uncommon to hook 10 fish during these trips.

BOCA GRANDE HILL TIDES

New moon – April 20
Full moon – May 5
New moon – May 19
Full moon – June 4
New moon – June 18

So if you’re looking to get into some Boca Grande tarpon action, give us a call today to secure your date for this tarpon season!

Florida Inshore Xtream
http://floridainshorextream.com
941-698-0323

Captains Jesse McDowall and Kelly McDowall
YouTube

CURRENT BOCA GRANDE AREA FISHING REPORT

The nearshore bite within 9 miles has been doing really well. We are seeing a good number of sheepshead, snapper, gag grouper, and smaller red grouper. As the water begins to warm up, we should start seeing mackerel move into the area.

Inshore, the redfish, snook, and trout bite has been consistent.

Nearshore

2023 is off to a great start for the Charlotte Harbor and Boca Grande area. January has produced a great number of fish. When the weather has allowed, the nearshore bite has been on fire. Sheepshead, snapper, triggerfish, and grouper have been the main targets. We’ve been seeing some tripletail along the buoys as well. Further out, the red grouper bite has been consistent.

scamp grouper

Inshore

Inshore, we’re seeing a lot of snook, redfish, and trout. For the snook and redfish, we’ve been soaking cut bait along the mangroves or in holes along the shorelines. Cut ladyfish has been producing better than cut pinfish. The white bait has been tough to find after the recent cold fronts, so we’ve been primarily using shrimp for bait. The inshore fish have been slurping them up. We’re seeing a lot of bait offshore so it’s only a matter of time before they head inshore and we’re consistently catching them. For the trout, we’ve been fishing in 3-4ft of water in what we call salt and pepper areas. These areas are comprised of a mix of sand holes (salt) and grass (pepper). A popper cork with either shrimp or white bait has been working great.

Boca Grande redfish
Boca Grande redfish

Tarpon and Goliath Grouper

In the coming weeks, we will begin targeting the ever sought after Boca Grande tarpon, aka silver king. The main season for Boca Grande tarpon fishing charters is May and June. We typically catch them throughout April as well when the waters are a lot less chaotic with a bunch of other boats. Another Boca Grande giant, the goliath grouper, has been making a comeback after the deadly red tide from 2018 that wiped out a significant number in our area. The cold front at the beginning of the year pushed some of the Boca Grande goliath grouper offshore but once the water continues to warm, they will be returning to fishable areas.

Boca Grande tarpon charter
Boca Grande tarpon charter
Boca Grande goliath grouper
Boca Grande goliath grouper

New Gear

Jesse and I have recently acquired a new sponsor, Bajio. This newly formed company places an emphasis on preserving and improving the environment around coastal communities. They go above and beyond what many other mainstream companies are doing. Bajio is carbon neutral and uses sustainable sources for most of their products.

Captains Jesse and Kelly McDowall
Florida Inshore Xtream charters
YouTube
941-698-0323

Boca Grande tarpon fishing will be upon us soon enough. Now is the time to look at your calendars and start planning your trip of a lifetime for the majestic silver king. Boca Grande Pass is one of the best locations to target tarpon. Nestled between the crowded cities of Sarasota and Ft Myers is our little slice of paradise. Tarpon begin arriving to our area in March and April. By May, there’s more tarpon here than imaginable. It’s not uncommon to see acres of rolling tarpon off the beaches of Boca Grande, Englewood, Placida and Captiva.

May and June are the peak times to catch Boca Grande tarpon but we’ll begin targeting tarpon in March and April and continue through July.

Boca Grande tarpon fishing
Boca Grande tarpon fishing charter

We have this term known as “hill tides” that we use when talking about the “best” tarpon fishing times. These are some of the biggest tides that we’ll see throughout the year. They occur around the new and full moon phases. We’ll see about a 2ft range of tide, which for our area is quite substantial. The dates below are Boca Grande’s new and full moons for 2023. On these strong hill tide days, the tide will begin to rage out of Boca Grande Pass…carrying crabs, threadies, and other food the tarpon sit waiting to devour. We usually begin these trips around 2 or 3pm and fish until sunset. It’s not uncommon to hook 10 fish during these trips.

BOCA GRANDE HILL TIDES

New moon – April 20
Full moon – May 5
New moon – May 19
Full moon – June 4
New moon – June 18

So if you’re looking to get into some Boca Grande tarpon action, give us a call today to secure your date for this tarpon season!

Florida Inshore Xtream
http://floridainshorextream.com
941-698-0323

Captains Jesse McDowall and Kelly McDowall
YouTube

Current Boca Grande area fishing report

The nearshore bite within 9 miles has been doing really well. We are seeing a good number of sheepshead, snapper, gag grouper, and smaller red grouper. As the water begins to warm up, we should start seeing mackerel move into the area.

Inshore, the redfish, snook, and trout bite has been consistent.

It was a windy day today! The negative tide coupled with a NE wind kept us out of some of our inshore spots we like to fish. We started off outside some of the bars catching trout and jacks while we waited for the incoming tide to bring in more water. We inched further into the bays and finished out the trip catching snook and redfish.

Boca Grande inshore fishing charter
Boca Grande redfish
Boca Grande inshore charter
Boca Grande snook
Boca Grande redfish
Boca Grande redfish
Boca Grande inshore fishing charter
Boca Grande redfish

We also offer Boca Grande tarpon charters, goliath grouper, and nearshore charters. May and June we will be fishing for only goliath grouper and tarpon. The tarpon are starting to show up in Boca Grande Pass. We have a few days left so give us a call if you want to hook into a silver king.

Captains Jesse and Kelly McDowall
941-698-0323

Florida Inshore Xtream

YouTube

Today we took out Sam. High on his bucket list were tarpon and goliath. The conditions weren’t looking ideal for tarpon so we opted for a goliath grouper charter. We started out bowfishing for stingrays. We put 3 in the boat and headed to Boca Grande Pass to target the goliath grouper. Within a few minutes, Sam hooked into one that was about `150lbs. The bite slowed down from there. Sam had a few more hits but wasn’t able to button one up.

It was about an hour before high tide and we could see a pile of tarpon rolling in Boca Grande Pass. We decided to let Sam give it a try. We had a few crabs and a couple dozen shrimp in the livewell. After about the 5th drift through the pass, we finally hooked into a tarpon. Sam fought it for a while but unfortunately the sharks cut us off and we were unable to land it. A few more drifts through the pass and we managed to hook into two more Boca Grande tarpon. Sam was able to get one boatside and the other broke free before getting eaten by sharks.

Boca Grande tarpon
Boca Grande tarpon

The tarpon fishing is heating up in Boca Grande so give us a call to book your tarpon charter now.

Captains Jesse and Kelly McDowall
941-698-0323
Florida Inshore Xtream charters
YouTube

We took Chris and his buddy Mike out for goliath grouper today. Another breezy day this morning but we loaded the livewell with a handful of bowfished baits and headed for the real fun. Mike was up first. We dropped the first bait down and within 10 seconds Mike was hooked up with his first goliath grouper. This one was around 150lbs. Chris took the seat…again within 10 seconds he was hooked up. This one was a brute! He battled back and forth and finally got the goliath grouper to the boat. Our estimate for Chris’s goliath grouper was around 350lbs. Unfortunately, it came unbuttoned before getting any photos. Mike decided he would give it another round and hopped in the fighting seat. Within 1 minute, bang! Another goliath grouper on. Mike fought with all his might and finally got a 250lber to the side of the boat. He hopped in the water real quick and got a photo. Chris and Mike decided they couldn’t catch anymore and we headed home for the day! Want to catch a monster fish? Give us a call to book your Boca Grande goliath grouper fishing charter!

Boca Grande goliath grouper charter
Boca Grande goliath grouper charter

We also offer Boca Grande tarpon charters, inshore, and nearshore charters. May and June we will be fishing for only goliath grouper and tarpon. The tarpon are starting to show up in Boca Grande Pass. We have a few days left so give us a call if you want to hook into a silver king.

Captains Jesse and Kelly McDowall
941-698-0323

Check us out on YouTube

Florida Inshore Xtream charters

Tarpon

Boca Grande tarpon fishing

Despite the seemingly nonstop wind this summer, the fishing was pretty productive most days. For May and June, we primarily focused on targeting the world famous Boca Grande tarpon and goliath grouper. The tarpon action was hot in May…there were several days we had double digit hook ups. But, fronts moving around the area and the insane number of big sharks pushed the tarpon around a bit and by June the tarpon were a little quirky, visiting areas that we won’t typically catch them. Landing a tarpon in June became quite an accomplishment. Within minutes of a hookup, sharks were already trailing the hooked tarpon. They’re starting to move north now and our tarpon season is winding down, but if you’re still wanting to get out and catch one, there are some pods still around along the beaches and in the passes. Our go to baits are 2-3in crabs and/or threadfin herring.

Goliath grouper

Boca Grande goliath grouper fishing

The goliath grouper population around Boca Grande has definitely improved this last year following the red tide of 2018. Our clients were able to land, photograph, and release over 100 grouper this year so far. With each goliath, we collect DNA samples for Florida Fish & Wildlife. With this data, they are able to look at the grouper family structure in our area, as well as determine if fish are migrating from other areas where DNA samples have been collected.

Nearshore

Permit

Nearshore, there have been reports of good snapper and an occasional keeper red or gag grouper. The nearshore reefs are still holding big permit. On one trip we boated 23 permit! Had we not used up all of our crabs, we probably would have caught more.  Further out, there are many reports of red snapper out past 40 miles.

Boca Grande goliath grouper

March has been a great month of fishing for the Boca Grande and Charlotte Harbor area. Inshore, we’re seeing a lot of snook, redfish, and trout. For the snook and redfish, we’ve been soaking cut bait along the mangroves or in holes along the shorelines. Cut ladyfish has been producing better than cut pinfish. The white bait has been hit or miss this month with the fluctuating temperatures, but when we’ve been able to catch them, the snook are slurping them up. We’re seeing a lot of bait offshore so it’s only a matter of time before they head inshore and we’re consistently catching them. For the trout, we’ve been fishing in 3-4ft of water in what we call salt and pepper areas. These areas are comprised of a mix of sand holes (salt) and grass (pepper). A popper cork with either shrimp or white bait has been working great. Nearshore (up to 9 miles), we’re seeing a good mix of snapper and undersize grouper on rocky bottom and ledges. Around the bait schools, we’re seeing Spanish and king mackerel, as well as the occasional blackfin tuna.

In the coming weeks, we will begin targeting the ever sought after Boca Grande tarpon, aka silver king. They’ve been moving in to the area over the past month and it’s only time before they’re in Boca Grande thick. Another Boca Grande giant, the goliath grouper, has been making a comeback after the deadly red tide from 2018 that wiped out a significant number in our area. We’ve been catching a good number of goliath this year and I imagine it is only going to get better as the weather and water temperatures increase.

Captains Jesse and Kelly McDowall
Florida Inshore Xtream charters
941-698-0323