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.
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.
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.
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.