Tag Archives: boca grande fishing

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

Oh Boy… winter time blues!!! Well, I know it is really winter time when Kelly has on 5 or 6 layers of clothing and her waterproof gloves out. It may be cold, but if you look for the right places to fish, winter time can be very productive. Creek mouths are a great place to start. They have the 3 keys to finding fish that I always try to stress…food, moving water and cover. Get these 3 things together and you’re sure to find fish. There are several creeks along the west wall of Charlotte Harbor and even a few in Turtle Bay worth fishing. Throughout the creeks, there are deeper holes and stretches that you’ll want to target.

Throughout the Harbor, sheepshead are still milling about and eating live shrimp cut into 3rds. Have plenty of shrimp because they are very good at getting your shrimp off the hook and leaving you fishing on credit. Another favorite bait for these buck tooth convicts would be fiddler crabs. Shrimp are in high demand right now at your local bait shops…so if you’re planning a sheepshead trip you might want to call or buy some a few days in advance.

Redfish and snook seem to be about everywhere right now. They’re hitting shrimp, scented soft plastics and chunked lady fish or pinfish. Look along the shorelines in shallower water because they’ll move into the shallows as the sun warms up the water. If you have a shallow running boat, you may be able to venture in the back country and fish the potholes. These are excellent spots to pick up trout, redfish, and snook. But, be very careful because we have had some very low tides and not many boats run skinny enough to get back there.

So whatever you plan on targeting during your fishing trip, go ahead and pick up some shrimp because it is a catch all. Trout and other fun fish such as ladyfish are still abundant along the bars and in the pot holes mentioned previously. You’re more likely to find fish in those areas with shallow shorelines/sandbars adjacent to a deep drop off. They like these spots as it provides an easy transition from deeper water for finding food into shallower water for warming up. I would recommend deeper grass flats on these cooler months for trout. I would start with live shrimp on a light wire 4/0 circle hook under a Bomber saltwater grade paradise popper with 20 lb fluorocarbon. For leader length…you will want to fish mid to lower part of the water column, too deep and you’ll just be feeding the pinfish and if it’s too far off the bottom they’ll probably not expend the energy to go looking for it.

Remember, the water temperature is hovering in the low to mid 60’s and warms in the latter part of the day. Most of our fish (like our residents) like it a bit warmer before they really get aggressive…so slow down on those retrieves.  The good news is that most of the fish are easily accessible on most of the sandbars, shorelines and oyster bars. Don’t get too close to the bars or shoreline or you may pass over the fish. For all the fish we’ve seen along the shoreline, there have been just as many milling around in the 3-4ft range. So don’t rush immediately to the shoreline; stop in that 4ft range and fish your way towards the shoreline.

For “fun fish” (jacks, ladyfish, trout, etc), look for bait schools and birds diving. This is usually an indication of fish in the area. Many times, they are all mixed in there together… sometimes you just have to weed through them to find the ones you’re looking for. A good, simple rig for winter time fishing is a live shrimp on a 1/4 or 1/8th ounce jig head. I like to remove the “fin” part of that shrimp’s tail, then feed the hook right where the fin was removed on the tail, letting the hook come out near the legs.

Nearshore fishing has still been productive if you can get out past the red tide and its affects we’ve been experiencing recently. Mangrove and lane snapper have been plentiful on hard bottom around the 8 and 9 mile mark. Nearshore reefs will be holding sheepshead and occasionally schools of permit passing through. But, if you’re seeing large numbers of dead fish in the area you’re trying to fish, you might be in an area affected too badly by red tide. It has a funny smell and some people experience a tickle feeling in the back of their throat. In this case, pack up and try elsewhere because many of the target species of fish will have cleared out. But, like I said, if you’re able to push out to around 8 miles, you’ll start to find cleaner water and more fish.

Folks, that’s a wrap for me. When you’re ready for a great day out on the water…

You can give us a call @ 941-698-0323 or find us Facebook, Instagram, or our web page @

www.FloridaInshoreXtream.com
Capt Jesse McDowall

Hello SW Florida! It’s another fine day in our little slice of fishing paradise capital of the world. So is it hot enough for ya out there yet? Boy, August can be brutal which brings me to a little reminder for you. Late summer fishing can be hot as the weather at times but make sure to keep plenty of drinking water on the boat. Folks often underestimate how fast you can get dehydrated out there.

As far as our angling goes… the offshore grouper bite has been awesome for red grouper as well as gags. You may have to push out a bit further to find some cleaner water but well worth the extra fuel you might burn. On the other hand, mangrove snapper remain on the prowl and are very abundant on most of our locally published reefs.  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. Like I always say, it’s a balance between getting bit or getting broke. I run a larger 8 foot Penn 6500 Spinfisher V for my spinning outfit and spooled with 15-40 lb braid and for my conventional set I have 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. Keep the bait at a good distance from the sinker or weight. Snapper are a bit cunning and will rob you blind if you’re not playing an active role. The best way to catch these guys are to anchor on your favorite reef or “secret spot” and chum away to get them fired up. Then free line a 1-2 inch chunk of cigar minnow or threadfin down in that chum slick. Lots of factors are involved with getting this technique dialed in but once you do… its money!

For the inshore side of the house… My favorite right now is topwater. Artificial baits are easy to use and are reliable bait. I like the Heddon spook One knocker in the bone color. These topwater baits make for some explosive action to say the least. A few nights ago I had a snook come 2 feet out of the water when he struck that one knocker spook. That makes one show the pearly whites. Now one thing you gotta keep in mind is when you get one to bust that spook you’ve gotta resist the urge to do what I call “The Bill Dance Boo-yah maneuver “ aka setting the hook as hard as possible. Here’s why… first it’s a safety thing. You get crushed and you get all excited and as soon as that water boils behind that lure you snatch as hard as you can and all 6 of those hooks are approaching the boat at a very high rate of speed. Yikes! Also, take a look at the clarity of the water lately…not the clearest inside at the moment. When that fish is chasing the lure and you execute the B.D.B.M. that fish is sitting there with his bib on and empty dinner plate wondering where the heck my food just went.  Point being, don’t jerk that bait away before you feel the weight of the fish. I’ve had redfish swat at my lure 5 or 6 times before they finally got a good bite on it. Trout are very similar and will follow a topwater for 10 or 15 yards before they get it. Snook on the other hand… they rarely miss. Now we all know that there are times when it’s just too darn hot to sit and fish… try picking up a fishing bow set up. I’ve had folks on board that say that’s just as fun as the fishing trip. And just maybe you’ll get as luck as my clients did last week and have a big cobia swim out in front of the boat!!

Capt Jesse McDowall
941-698-0323
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