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 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, and Captiva.
May and June are the peak times to catch Boca Grande tarpon but we’ll begin targeting tarpon in 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. We’ll see about a 2ft range of tide, which for our area is quite substantial. The dates below are Boca Grande’s hill tides for 2018. Starting about mid day, 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
April 30-May 3
May 13-May 17
May 28-May 31
June 13-June 17
June 26-June 30
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!
Redfish are the hot bite right now around Boca Grande and Charlotte Harbor! Fish in the upper 30″s are being caught regularly. Keep your eyes peeled for that waked up water while cruising around the flats of Charlotte Harbor. Toss just about any bait or lure towards them and you’re sure to hook up. Boca Grande fishing is on fire.
We’ve been seeing some better sized sea trout in the past week. Fish upwards to 20″ have been common around Bull Bay. Snook are also plentiful. Live bait has produced the most fish. The easiest way to find bait now is to look along the beaches of Boca Grande and Little Gasparilla Island. One cast lands you enough bait for days.
Nearshore Boca Grande and Englewood
The snapper and grouper bite is still holding strong out of Boca Grande and Englewood. There are a lot of smaller fish nearshore so you may need to push out a few extra miles to find those bigger fish. Whitebait and pinfish are top snapper and grouper baits. Artificial lures such as a Johnson silver minnow have been producing just as many fish as live bait. Drop the lure to the bottom and jig it up and down. Bam! Fish on!
Boca Grande Goliath Grouper
The world famous Boca Grande goliath grouper…can you handle it’s power?!? It is by far the most powerful fish you will ever encounter. With our Penn International 70 set on full lock, it is you against the beast!
Book Your Boca Grande Fishing Charter
If any of these Boca Grande fishing charters sounds like a great time to you, give us a call and we’ll put you on your dream fish!
Well we’ve been waiting for it southwest Florida… Irma punched us straight in the teeth, punched us in the gut and while we were bent over kicked us right square in the butt. But we’re Floridians, and you know what we do after a hurricane right? We go fishing! We may have an addiction or are just absolutely nuts but we can’t live in the fishing capitol of the world and have something like wind keep us from our passion. And the bite in and around Boca Grande is hot. As everyone drags themselves back to their feet after a Mike Tyson one, two punch we can at least take a little comfort in knowing our communities are there for each other in this time of need.
Inshore Charlotte Harbor
We’re still seeing large schools of reds roaming around a good portion of Charlotte Harbor. This is the time of year when the big schools of reds are chewing their way through the bays and out on the flats and if you keep your eyes open while running you’ll be able to see them “pushing” big wakes as you pass by. We’ve been hauling in upper slot and over slot fish from these schools. Quick baits are the way to go. A Johnson silver minnow or jig head and soft plastic are almost guarantee hook ups. Chunked ladyfish or live pinfish are also great baits as well.
Offshore Boca Grande and Englewood
Nearshore, look for that definitive current line in the water, find the bait and work along the outside edges of those lines and if you don’t get bit there… fan cast around and try to note where hook ups happen. We’ve had a really good mix bag of upper size spanish mackerel and bonito from just outside of the passes and out to 1 ½ miles. Another good way to find fish right now is just look for the birds.
Offshore reports are still nothing less than excellent as always. Guys are tearing up the grouper and snapper on most of our known reefs and hard bottom. Gag and red grouper on the near shore reefs are still around but dirty water can hamper them. You might need to push out or look for cleaner water to hook up with keeper size fish. You may have to make a few moves to find the fish you want so drop it down and drift over the area you’ve marked as a potential hot spot. Something else you may want to look for on your machine is not only that “live bottom” but the bait and other smaller fish as well. Another thing I’ve had to do is alter the gain on my sounder. There have been so many jellyfish and thermocline layers around I’ve been picking them up as smaller bait schools. So turn that auto setting off and manually set it to filter out those jellies…. especially if you have an older machine. But, the bite is hot out there and if you’re thinking of splashing the dive gear…. 12-14 miles is where you’ll find the color change and cleaner water.
If you’re looking for some fast paced action… well you’re gonna enjoy the bite that’s happening right now. First, head out offshore a few miles and look for the schools of bait that are just outside and easily accessible. Don’t worry, you’ll know where they are because the birds are looking for them as well. I’ve been throwing small spoons, stick baits and silver minnow’s and just about anything that has a hook on it around those pods and all kinds of things are crushing in those schools…. bonito, spanish mackerel, kings, sharks everything. You can’t miss them…just look for the birds and all the fish crashing bait.
If you’ve got your eye on landing a few, give us a call and we’ll “hook you up”. If you’re ready to get out and see how Kelly and I do it, give us a jingle at 941- 698- 0323. You may also find us on Facebook, Instagram or our web page www.floridainshorextream.com. So for now tight lines and y’all stay safe!!
So for this week’s edition I thought I’d share a fishing trip with ya. You can understand it’s not that frequent that we get to go “fun fishing” as guides and even less common to get out after American red snapper. My Pathfinder 24TRS is an amazing fishing platform and can hold her own in a heavy chop and rough swells. Those seas are not what I’d call normal operation but it’s nice to know she can take “less than optimal” conditions. Needless to say, there are lots of stars that need to align to allow one to get out to (and more importantly back from) the 100-150 foot range needed to target ARS.
A good practice when you don’t normally make those long runs is to file a float plan with someone you trust with departure and arrival times and an approximate position you plan to visit on your trip. That’s just the minimum. It’s better to have one of the emergency positioning beacons like an Emergency Position Indicator Radio Beacon (EPIRB) or a Personal Locator Beacons (PLBs). These devices are small radio transmitters, connected to a global government-run emergency network, which is used worldwide to alert Search and Rescue agencies in the event of a dire emergency. A cheaper alternative is a device similar to the SPOTSatellite GPS Messenger unit which works like a sat phone text messenger. I think you get the point about being a safe and prepared captain of your vessel.
Time to Fish!
Kelly and I set plans and waited for a clear shot to run out 50 miles. Finally, all stars aligned and last weekend we were able to make our first ARS run. We grabbed my son and my buddy Mike, loaded the coolers with ice and put some distance between us and the sunrise. Somewhere around 8 AM I backed off the throttle and settled down enough to look at the bottom… more importantly look for fish. Our first 10 min produced a school of small mahi mahi. If you encounter these guys, it’s important once you get one hooked to keep a hooked fish in the water at all times and swimming around the stern on a short leash. The others will hang around long enough to boat a few more before they move on. They were a lot of fun but remember… I was looking for snapper so we put a few in the box and moved on.
After a few stops, we finally find a good wad of fish and a few drops produced some really nice red grouper. “That’s getting closer, but still not red snapper,” I tell my buddy Mike. Onward my friend…Our next stop yielded a few more red grouper and a really nice scamp that measured a whopping 28 inches! “Still not red snapper Mike,” moving on! So now Kelly is at the helm for a bit and a few spots later she puts us on red gold! I drop down first and before it gets to the bottom I’m on! Oh yeah! I think to myself “This feels like a snapper!” Sure enough I soon see that red and white beauty I’d been dreaming about for so long. I quickly flip it in the boat and check the size on the ruler and 15 inches… dangit! It’s too short, back to the blue with you my friend. By now everyone is bowed up with fish and quickly have enough to fill our limit of two per angler. I got to say that was a fun trip and glad everything worked out as planned. We got a few snapper over 22 inches and a few of our red grouper topped out at 30 inches. So needless to say we pointed the bow of my pathfinder towards home before the afternoon storms hit. With red snapper season ending soon, you have limited time to get out and box a few reds for your dinner table. It will be well worth the effort and time invested!
Our best red snapper bite was in about 140ft of water. When searching for fish, look for a mass of red on your bottom machine. At times, we were marking a solid 30ft of fish. The lighter blues and yellow indicate more of baitfish and lane or vermillion snapper. Don’t waste too much time on that spot but check around that area for the red mass as mentioned. Once we found the school, we dropped live pinfish on conventional gear with 5-6oz of lead with a traditional bottom rig. My conventional gear is spooled with 50lb mono with a 50lb flouro leader. We also did well using cut mullet on a 1oz jig head on Spinfisher 6500 spinning tackle.
Folks, that’s gonna do it for me this week. Bookings for our fall season are already filling up and if you want to get your FIX on… give me a call @ 941- 698- 03 23 or… find us on Facebook, Instagram, You tube or our web page @ www.floridainshorextream.com.
Boca Grande, Englewood, Charlotte Harbor August fishing report
Boy it’s hot out there this time of year! For the most part of this year we’ve been dealing with week after week of battling high winds and water clouded with runoff from the daily bombardment of precipitation. Normally we have clearer waters on which to fish but as of late we’ve had to settle for stained, grass filled flats.
The offshore grouper bite has been awesome for reds, as well as gags. You may have to push out a bit further to find some cleaner water and bigger fish, but it’s well worth the extra fuel you might burn. On the other hand, mangrove snapper and lane snapper remain on the prowl and are very abundant on most of our locally published reefs and hard bottom. Snapper have very keen eyesight so if you are after these tasty adversaries you’ll need to downsize not only hook size but your line as well. Which, sadly to say…has a very small margin for error. It’s a balance between getting bit or getting broke. I run an 8 foot Penn 6500 Spinfisher V for my spinning outfit spooled with 15-40 lb braid and for my conventional set I use a Penn Fathom 40 spooled with 50 lb mono. For the snapper, I use a light wire 2/0 or 3/0 circle hook and a minimum 3 ft of 20-25 lb fluorocarbon leader. Now here’s where a lot of tactics will differ with bottom rigs and I could go on for a while with them. But I think for all around simplicity the old school bottom style rig is the best all-around rig. But they basically all have the same common denominator…to keep the bait a good distance from the weight and more importantly… the ability of the bait to move freely. Snapper are a bit cunning and will rob you blind if you’re not playing an active role. Because of their keen eyesight, the best times to catch these guys are to be anchored on your favorite reef or “secret spot” using several bags of chum to get them fired up and then free line a 1-2 inch chunk of cigar minnow or threadfin down in that chum slick. There are lots of factors involved with getting this technique dialed in but once you do… its money!
The beaches are still loaded with tons of fish…not only snook, but lots of fun fish like jacks, ladyfish, spanish and king mackerel. Also the pods of bait are just above small fry baits… so like I always say match that hatch and down size your bait choice to something close to what they’re eating. Watch for glass minnow schools because the jacks, lady fish and trout are gonna be close by. Try using lures with some weight to get more range… range translates into more time with baits in the water, which in turn… will get you more action.
Well folks, you know the deal…gotta get on out and get my FIX on! So … tight lines and y’all stay safe!!
Capt. Jesse McDowall
Florida Inshore Xtream Charter services
941-698- 0323 www.floridainshorextream.com
Hot and humid. That’s something you’ll be hearing over the next few months. So I’d recommend fishing the offshore waters and escape the inshore heat. I’ve been seeing the water temps in the low 90’s. Offshore fishing is really heating up as the heat index is reaching 100 degrees. Remember to bring plenty of water with you as you’ll sweat… a lot. Look for birds diving on bait pods. There are lots of Spanish mackerel and bonito crashing bait. Getting small jigs like pompano jigs, spoons or soft plastics in the action is a good way to get some fast action… and that’s how you’ve got to retrieve it as well, fast! Barracuda tube lures are a blast if you’ve lost a few fish or lures to the “blade of the deep”. Be very cautious with these power hitters as I’ve seen them launch 10ft out of the water!
The snapper and grouper bite has been pretty good. For best luck, go to your “secret” numbers…those that everybody and their brother doesn’t know about. If you don’t have any of these, visit the artificial reefs out past 10 miles and toss in a chum bag. The snapper have been responding well and we’ve been catching them by freelining a piece of cut bait on a 3/0 circle hook with 30lb flourcarbon leader. For keeper size grouper, we’ve been dropping live squirrelfish and pinfish on a traditional bottom rig.
The goliath grouper bite around Boca Grande has been hot. As of July 29, we have caught and released 186 goliath grouper. We just recently teamed up with FWC biologists and began collecting fin clips from each goliath grouper we catch. This data, along with other acoustic data, will allow researchers to compile a large genetic base and eventually be able to determine clans, movements patterns, and much more.
We have swayed away from fishing inshore this summer because of the heat and the better fishing available in our nearshore waters. However, the inshore fishing has still been pretty good during the few trips we fished around Bull and Turtle bays. There are a lot of snook to catch. Look around the areas with significant water flow. We have a lot of little bait in the area and it is being funneled in and out of these areas holding snook. Easy catch! Freeline a white bait or threadie on a circle hook with the current and let the bait swim as naturally as possible. The redfish fishing has been less than in years past but they are still there to catch. There are some good numbers of reds in Bull Bay. We have been having the best luck with cut pinfish and ladyfish. The “fun fish” bite has been great. The flats around Devilfish have a lot of spanish mackerel, bluefish, trout, and jacks when the current is flowing right. A poppercork or jig with a soft plastic is the best bet.
If you’d like to get out on the waters of Charlotte Harbor and Boca Grande, give us a call and we can set you up for a fun filled day of fishing.
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 www.floridainshorextream.com
Welcome to Gag grouper season 2017 folks! Yes gag grouper season is open and smoking hot and here’s a few things to get you started. Both red and gag grouper can be caught on a wide variety of baits including trolled lipped plugs and natural bait like live pinfish, squirrel fish, squid, Spanish sardines or any cut bait that you can get down to them. I like to fish for these bottom dwelling brawlers with one of the simplest rigs there are and that’s the traditional style bottom rig. Now this is achieved by a few simple items. First being a swivel, not too fancy here just something that will prevent that lead weight from sliding all the way down to the hook. Ok, you’ve got your swivel and now you need a lead weight, I like 3-4 oz egg sinkers… not too heavy and yet heavy enough. So take that lead and feed it on the working end of your line and secure the line to that swivel with a clench or fisherman’s knot. You can also place a small bead between the lead and the swivel as to preserve the integrity of the knot. Next cut about 3 feet of 50 lb fluorocarbon, secure one end to the empty eye of that swivel… so one eye has the sinker and the other has the fluorocarbon. Next to finish out the rig you’ll need a man sized hook to tie on. For this I’d recommend a 7\0 circle hook. Circle hooks are a must when fishing for reef fish like snapper and grouper. Use those bait choices I mentioned earlier and you’ll be screaming for Ethel to get the net! Oh and one last bit of advice… when you drop (to prevent tangles) try to flip that bait and sinker a short distance away from you to create a bit of an angle so when that sinker and bait rockets towards the bottom that cut bait is less likely to spin around your line and twist you up. Well I guess I can tell you one more trick, with that circle hook… don’t set it. The best piece of advice I can give you is just start reeling like crazy until you feel him pulling back and then lift. If you set the hook, you’ll be reeling up to re-bait. While you’re out there to take a peek for Bonito because they are in big numbers out off the beaches and offer a great opportunity to bend a rod.
For the inshore folks find a buddy with an offshore boat and fish for snapper, kings and grouper. (joking) Overall the bite has been poor but not totally on life support. But one thing is rock solid is our snook fishing. But if you absolutely have to fish inshore it is that time of year again where the back country fishing will have its peaks and valleys. What I mean by that is you’ll have to balance your style of fishing accordingly. For instance… if you want to fish for snook and reds and the misses wants to see that tarpon leaping majestically in the air well, you kind of have to commit to one or the other because the water temperatures may not be conducive to accommodate both. So what you need to do is pick the best option and go for that one… my suggestion is take the misses to see that leaping king so next time you can go throw your topwater baits at first light. We’re slinging soft plastic on a lead jig head around the edge of the grass flats and around the pot holes. I like to throw pilchards under a popper cork and a 6/0 circle hook. Water clarity is going to dictate which color you want to use and these are my recommendations for our waters would be new penny, root beer and lastly gold and glitter. I have been seeing some nice reds lately. Redfish, early in the am hrs those reds are up on the flats and will move under cover after the sun gets up over head, and soaking chunked ladyfish will most likely be your best bet… if you can keep the cats off of it.
Keep in mind that the dog days of summer are upon us so keep plenty of water onboard and stay hydrated…. Nothing ruins a day of fishing like a good heat injury… and if your heart is beating really hard and you’re not catching fish or about to crash your boat …. You might wanna drink some water. Once you get a little dehydrated your blood will thicken and your heart has to work harder to push it thru your veins…. So keep an eye on each other and have fun out there.
Folks, that’s gonna do it for us here at Florida Inshore Xtream charters. But… if you’d like to come on out and join Kelly and I for a great time on the water… give us a call @ 941-698-0323 or… find us on Facebook, Instagram or our web page @ www.Floridainshorextream.com
Wheeeeeeeeeee… the tarpon bite has begun!! Like I’ve said before when you are looking to target these elite battle hardened veterans you’ve really got to have your stuff together and trying to skimp on your gear is a very poor choice. You need good quality gear to even think about fishing for tarpon. Now there are many different manufacturers to choose from when selecting a set up for tarpon. I won’t sit here and tell you that this reel and that reel is the best and those reels are garbage. What I will tell you is what I’ve personally tried and tested and what will work for you. My set up is Penn Spinfisher V 6500 and I’ve mounted that bullet proof reel to an 8’ Penn Battalion fast action rod with 20-40 pound line rated capacity. I also have spooled that spinfisher with 40 pound power pro. These are a great starting point for you and remember when using braided lines, fluorocarbon is a must! I would suggest starting with 50 lb fluorocarbon and work up or down from there. Next I’ll use a good quality 3 or 4x circle hook and I’ll attach that with a loop knot. Now for a bit of tarpon fishing etiquette… and this is something you really should heed. One of the biggest mistakes you can make is to run up on some fellow anglers with your outboard. This will get you scuffed up quick. When making an approach on a pod of fish or other anglers working a pod. You want to stop well outside of where they are fishing somewhere around 200 yards would be a safe bet. Kill that 2 stroke and drop the trolling motor in and make you way over. Now you’re not ready to start sling that bait just yet. Try to get a “feel for what the pecking order is by loitering just outside of casting distance. This is your opportunity to observe what’s going on and what direction the fish are traveling. Try to position your boat so the fish will come to you. This way you are waiting your turn and not running over someone else’s fish. By doing this you’re asking permission and shown the other anglers a little courtesy and not just plowed in and push the fish away. After that you’re in the rotation and can work the fish as well. Trout bite has been very reliable and a popping cork and a live shrimp prove a deadly combination. Hopefully with the warmer weather and the water temps creeping back up into the 70’s we’ll see better bait showing and more of our game fish species become more active. Topwater action is picking up for these aggressive little buggers as well. We have had some pretty good action slinging plastic in the past week. This type of fishing is absolutely amazing and probably my favorite bait to throw. But you’ve got to get the right motion or you’ll be wasting time. Walking the dog action envolves a zig-zag constant movement of left right left right hard enough to activate the rattles but soft enough to keep the bait in the water. It might take a bit of practice to get it just right but well worth it when it’s done properly. If you can get out to some of the nearshore reefs … they’re covered up with some really great fish as well. I’ve been hooked up with good numbers of permit on the nearshore reefs and they love crabs!! Now I will tell you the bite has been a little on the slow side with these poor mid-day tides lately. That should be changing later this week with the new moon. If you’re looking for trout, places with grass flats like pine island sound, east and west wall, are loaded with trout. Look for large bait schools with birds diving on them up on the grass flats and moving water. Start shallow and work your way out into deeper water 5-6 ft.
Reds are chewing when you can find them and we’ve managed to boat some very nice fish this week. We should have a good bite starting back up with the better tides…bigger tides are making better water in the flats in the afternoon. The better bite for the past few days has been first light and a few hrs before dark. It’s sometime best to run out and fish until 10ish then go get some lunch, run some errands and then come back out for the evening bite.
So happy fishing from us here at Florida Inshore Xtream charters and remember if you’re ready to get out and see how we do it you can call us at 941- 698- 0323. Find us on Facebook, Instagram or our web page www.FloridaInshoreXtream.com. Well folks, you know the deal…gotta get on out and get my FIX on! So … tight lines and y’all stay safe!!
Oh yeah… one last thing… keep your eyes open for sharks. They love to eat tarpon and they are out there!
It’s that time of year already! Over the past few weeks, the tarpon have been steadily arriving. We’ve been catching tarpon in Boca Grande Pass using both conventional and spinning gear. Both crab and shrimp have been productive baits. Within the last week or so, we’ve been seeing the tarpon move to the “hill” inside Boca Grande Pass and also out to the beaches. In the coming days, expect to see even more tarpon arriving and filling the beaches. We have a few days left for this year’s Boca Grande tarpon season so if you are looking for a guide to put you on a silver king, give us a call and we’ll make your dream come true.
Goliath grouper have still been productive. We’ve been averaging 250-300lb fish with an occasional 400-450lb giant.
Inshore fishing has been productive with the schoolie snook. They seem to be about everywhere there’s moving water. Look around creek mouths and areas with heavily moving water. The big girls are out there too. Many of the outside bars are holding big snook and redfish. They’ve been hitting on whitebait and pinfish as well as artificial lures such as a jig head with a Mirrolure lil John or topwater baits. Our favorite lure of choice are Heddon’s spook plugs. Remember to match the bait size. If you see the snook chasing mullet, I wouldn’t recommend throwing the spook jr. Throw a larger lure that will mimic what they’re feeding on.
The snapper and grouper bite offshore has still been consistent. Keep an eye out for those pelagic species…king mackerel, cobia, bonito, tuna…around those bait schools and always have a rod set aside and ready for pitching baits to these fish. Also, some of the reefs are holding big permit. Have a shrimp or crab at the ready in case you see them surface near your boat.
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