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.
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.
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.
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.
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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.
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.
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.