Tag Archives: tarpon

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

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!

 

Capt. Jesse McDowall

Florida Inshore Xtream Charter services

941-698-0323

www.floridainshorextream.com

jesse@fixcharters.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

Fall is my favorite time of year when it comes to fishing season. Rivaled only by tarpon season or spring time… ah the heck with it… I love fishing all year round here in SW Florida. These past few weeks have been amazing as far as the fishing goes. Something else can be said for the weather for sure! The early morning and later part of the afternoon topwater action has been unreal. I’ve been throwing Heddon’s spook jr and the 4.5” spook XT’s and I’ll tell ya they are by far the toughest topwater baits you’ll have the pleasure of throwing. If fishing top water hasn’t been on your fishing, well I’ll tell ya you are missing out my friend. The past few days have been absolutely ridiculous as far as the topwater action is concerned. When we have conditions like this darker water the fish have more difficulty visually finding food. Therefore they rely more heavily on feel and sound. That’s where the noisy splashing and rattling baits are king of my bait choice. Getting out for that early morning bite is awesome! If you’re lucky enough to happen upon one of the big schools of redfish that are plowing through our waterways…  oh boy!! If you’re watching and know what you’re looking at… well they are kind of unmistakable when you happen upon a school of reds. Now for this kind of fishing … placement is everything… what I like to do is have a number of rods at the ready…. One or two with live or cut bait that I have some range with and one with topwater. They move pretty quickly so try to anticipate the direction they are headed. I like to pitch that heavy cut or live bait out first and let it soak to give me a little time to get a few lines out as the school approaches that bait. Once you hook one it will spook the rest of the herd…. So that’s why timing is the key if you wanna have multiple fish hook up.

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.  Something that’s been working quite well for me lately as I’ve been checking new areas is using a 3-6 oz brightly colored pink and white Bomber cobia jigs. I’ll cut a small 3-4 inch triangle of cut bait (cigar minnow or squid), drop it down and drift over the area you’ve marked as a potential hot spot. Something else you may want 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.

That’s gonna do it for now. So put out the gone fishin’ sign, stock up on tackle, load up that livewell and head on out to your favorite fishing hole… or better yet get out and find some new ones and catch’em up. Just remember to leave a few to make replacements for tomorrow.

Captain Jesse McDowall
941-698-0323
Florida Inshore Xtream fishing charters
FIX fishing videos
FIX facebook

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 or 3 ott 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 pickens. We have the best luck on private numbers that we have found…rock piles, hard bottom, ledges, etc. If you don’t have any numbers, start looking! Stop and look at your bottom machine anytime you pass crab pot buoys or see large schools of bait. These are sometimes indicators of good bottom. 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!

On a side note, tarpon season is winding down but a few fish are hanging around if you’re looking to hook in to a last minute silver king. Goliath grouper around Boca Grande Pass have been gobbling up all sorts of baits. If you want to catch one of these beasts, look no further. We’ve caught 8 or 9 fish each trip this past week. Also, our snook fishing has been pretty good as well. In and around the passes are great areas to look. Toss out live freelined white bait or soak cut pinfish or ladyfish and you’ll be certain to hook up with a linesider.

Well folks, that about sums up our fishing in and around Placida, 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!

Capt. Kelly Eberly
Florida Inshore Xtream charter services
Gasparilla Marina, Placida, Fl