Category Archives: Nearshore Fishing Report

Boca Grande goliath grouper

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.

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 Florida Inshore Xtream.

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
jesse@fixcharters.com

Boca Grande permit

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. 

Boca Grande goliath grouperThe 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.

Captain Jesse McDowall
https://www.floridainshorextream.com/
941-698-0323

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
941-698-0323

Boca Grande tarpon charter

 

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

 

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. 

If you’re looking to find new products to make your fishing experiences more productive and enjoyable, look no further than the many companies that we like to promote.

Clothing: Huk Gear
Sunglasses: Salt Life Optics
Buffs: Tailin Toads
Hand protection: Fish Monkey Gloves
Coolers: Pelican
Hooks: Mustad
Electronics: Humminbird
Accessories: Minn Kota trolling motor and Talon

Spring is well under way and the fishing has been pretty good! Redfish, snook, trout, tarpon, shark, goliath grouper, spanish mackerel…you name it and we’ve probably been catching it.

Inshore: Snook seem to be about everywhere we look lately…from the little schoolie guys to the big 40″ gals. Find those areas with good moving water and you’re sure to find snook. Check the outside bars around Bull and Turtle bays. Spanish mackerel, ladyfish and jacks…aka fun fish…are plentiful. Watch for birds and look around the passes on a moving tide to find these fish. 

Offshore: The wind has slacked enough these last couple days to get out and catch mangrove snapper, lane snapper, red grouper and gag grouper. An occasional king mackerel has been caught as well while snapper fishing. Always have a rod ready to pitch to passerby pelagics. 

Boca Grande BIG FISH: Tarpon. Tarpon. Tarpon. For the new visitors, it’s time to see why Boca Grande is called “tarpon capital of the world.” The number of tarpon is increasing daily and the bite has been good. We have limited dates left, so give us a call to book your Boca Grande tarpon fishing charter today. 
We’ve been catching some BIIIIIG goliath grouper these last couple weeks. With the fluctuating weather weeks ago, changing water temps, and dirty water, the goliath grouper have moved around some and smaller fish (100-200lbs) have moved in to our usual target locations. We looked around and found where some of the big ones have moved to…our big fish of last week weighed in at 470lbs based on length/girth measurements and IGFA calculations! If you want to catch a fish that weighs double…or even triple your weight…don’t hesitate to give us a call! We will put you on the biggest fish you have probably ever caught. A picture with a Boca Grande goliath grouper is sure to make all your friends jealous.

Boca Grande, Englewood spring fishing report

Things seem to be stabilizing again after last week’s cold front.

Inshore: Charlotte Harbor water temperatures are back around 70. Trout are still being caught in the potholes around Whiddens and Bull Bay using a Bomber saltwater grade paradise popper with a shrimp or whitebait. Redfish and snook have been caught cruising the flats and up under the mangroves later in the day with a freelined bait. White bait and pinfish have been working equally well. Ladyfish and spanish mackerel can be found outside Turtle Bay along the bars, as well as outside the other bays and towards Boca Grande Pass.

Charlotte Harbor snook
37″ snook

Nearshore: Keep an eye out for birds. Spanish mackerel have been within a couple miles of the beaches of Englewood and Boca Grande. We’ve been seeing large schools of bonito out in the 7-9 mile range. Try to determine their direction of travel and get ahead of them. Sometimes they can be finicky in what they eat, but this past week they were hitting anything we threw at them. Keep an eye out for kingfish as well around the bait pods. The snapper and grouper bite has remained consistent. A jighead tipped with shrimp or white bait has been our go to rig recently.

Boca Grande bonito
Boca Grande bonito
Mangrove snapper, red grouper
Snapper and Grouper

 

 

 

 

 

 

Big Fish forecast: Tarpon are trickling in Boca Grande Pass. The weather seems to have the larger goliath grouper pushed around a bit but we are still catching ones in the 150-200lb range. Warming waters will bring them in soon enough so go ahead and give us a call to book your Boca Grande tarpon or goliath grouper charter. We only have a handful of days open through June so don’t wait too long!

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

Temperatures are rising and fishing is steadily getting better day by day around Charlotte Harbor and the Gulf of Mexico. 
Inshore: The trout bite has been pretty consistent. There are good numbers in the potholes around Bull and Turtle Bay. If your boat can run fairly shallow, you’ll be successful with the reds and snook in the backcounty. There are also good numbers along the bars and in the creeks. 
Offshore: The snapper and grouper bite is warming up. Large mangrove and lane snapper have found their way to our customer’s dinner table. Keeper sized red grouper are out a little deeper. There is a TON of bait moving into the nearshore waters of Boca Grande and Englewood. Keep your eye out for kingfish and other pelagics chasing those bait schools. We even saw a sailfish last week! If fishing artificial reefs, keep an eye out for those permit. 

Tarpon are starting to show up so give us a call to set up your Boca Grande tarpon fishing charter. Peak season is May and June so don’t wait too long!

Other big fish news…the goliath grouper is picking up. If you’re looking to catch one of the largest grouper species or one of the most powerful fish in Florida, give us a call to set up your goliath grouper fishing charter!

Tight lines and good luck out there.

redtail

Fall can be a very productive time of year to fish. Water temperatures start to come back down and the fish become a bit more active. Boca Grande and Englewood offshore temperatures are already starting to creep below 80 degrees. Inshore Charlotte Harbor, snook and reds are starting to become more plentiful. Target these guys in the morning with your favorite topwater lure of choice. Our favorite topwater is Heddon’s spook one knocker in the bone color. Another good choice is the spook XT because the hooks are a bit sturdier and you are less likely to lose that monster snook. When using topwater lures, you want to utilize the “walk the dog” action. This involves a steady twitch and reel which takes a bit of practice, but once you get it dialed in, it’s game on. All too often we see folks overwork these lures either by twitching too hard or not twitching enough. You want to work the lure hard enough to get it to move side to side to activate the rattle but not so hard that you are pulling it out of the water. One of the most important things to remember is to NOT set the hook. A topwater lure produces violent reaction strikes, so many times the fish will miss the lure on that initial strike. Jerking or setting the hook will pull the lure away from the fish and you will most likely not be able to tease them back. However, if you keep that steady twitch, reel action consistent after the initial strike, you are more likely to receive successive strikes, increasing your hook up ratio. For topwater fishing, I prefer to use a 7’ rod with a 3000 or 4000 reel spooled up with 15lb braid and 30lb fluorocarbon. Always tie a loop knot to the lure to allow for even more action.

The trout bite has still been consistent and we’ve been catching them on topwater, live bait and other lures of choice such as Mirrolures’s mirrodine. For those that prefer live bait, I like to use a Bomber popping cork with about a 3’ flouro leader to target trout or a free lined white bait on a 5 or 6 ott hook to target snook and reds.

As fall approaches, be on the lookout for those massive schools of redfish. You’ll find them up in the flats foraging for food and eating everything in sight. These schools are very easy to spot and have a tendency to stay in the same areas for several days moving with the tides. So if you find them in a specific area today, check that area tomorrow during the similar tide. When you do find them, use your trolling motor to get ahead of the school so you have more time and better opportunity for bait placement.

Mahi mahi

The snapper and grouper bite has been great as well. Find a good patch of hard bottom, mark fish on your machine, and make a few test drops before deciding to anchor. Once you find a good number of fish, cut up that bonita you caught on the way out into large 6” triangular strips and send that to the bottom. I like to use a 3’ length of 50lb fluorocarbon leader with a 7 to 8ott circle hook with anywhere from 3 to 6oz of lead. Once the lead hits the bottom, reel up a crank or two so the lead is not getting snagged and you have a head start on getting that monster off the ocean floor. We pulled in several 27”+ red grouper using this tactic on our last trip out. While waiting for that big guy, drop a ¼ or ½ oz jighead with cutbait or livebait hooked through the mouth to target snapper. Remember to grab a couple bags of ice to toss in that Pelican cooler so you can keep your catch iced, fresh and ready for dinner.

Another reminder is to wear sun protective clothing and sunscreen where skin is exposed. Remember to reapply after swimming or diving. Our favorite brand of sun protective clothing is Huk. They are the top of the line and most stylish fishing shirt on the market. Hats, visors, and gaiters are also available with a multitude of color and style selections.

So if you’re ready to get out and catch some fish, feel free to give us a call at 941-698-0323.

Florida Inshore Xtream charters
Captains Jesse McDowall and Kelly Eberly
https://www.floridainshorextream.com

P7133095

Fishing this summer has been hot, hot, hot! We’ve been doing a lot of nearshore and goliath grouper fishing. Published reefs, as well as hard bottom and ledges, have been producing a lot of decent snapper and grouper. Don’t forget chum…after establishing your drift and anchoring, begin chumming to get those fish fired up. In no time, you should have snapper swimming under your boat. In this case, free line a 4/0 circle hook with a well hidden shrimp or piece of cigar minnow and allow to sink down to snapper. For bottom fish, use a standard bottom rig with a live bait. Pinfish, squirrelfish, and threadfins have been working quite well. Keep an eye out for those large bait schools because it could also point you in the direction of pelagics such as jacks, tuna, or kingfish. If you aren’t able to sabiki up any live bait, frozen cigar minnows and sardines have also been successful. Driving out 20 miles isn’t necessary if you are just looking for a little family fun and fish for dinner. We’ve been fishing within 9 miles and our customers have been enjoying delicious meals of mangrove snapper and gag grouper.

If you are looking to hook into a large and powerful fish…goliath grouper is the way to go. We have been catching several goliaths on each trip. Nearshore reefs and wrecks are loaded with these giant beasts. If you have the appropriate gear, toss on a live jack…or for that matter…just about anything, to hook into the largest grouper in the Gulf of Mexico. If you don’t have the right equipment but still want to catch a goliath, give us a call and we can make that happen. Reeling in one of these fish is a memory of a lifetime. If you have any questions, feel free to give us a shout and we’ll give you the best advice possible.

Florida Inshore Xtream charters
941-698-0323