Capt. Roy Bennett of Hot One II Charters reports he has been tarpon hunting all week with good success despite the black water conditions in the Caloosahatchee River.
His crew consistently has jumped fish with three to six hooked fish taking to the air daily. His best day was Monday where three fish were brought to the boat for a quick tag-and-release.
Cape Coral Tarpon Hunter Club (rookie) member Arnie Epstein got his first ever tarpon this past week, bringing a 70-pound silver king to the boat for a tag and healthy release. Congratulations Arnie on a fine catch!
Capt. George Tunison
Capt. Roy also sends reports of three sawfish being hooked and many sharks, some very large, in the river.
"It's been a stifling hot week with hot tarpon fishing to match despite the black-colored runoff invading our river," he said.
Please carefully release any sawfish you might hook. These are very bizarre and ancient creatures. Remember, during this hot water period hooked fish become stressed and can die, especially larger fish. Take your time and revive your trophy catch. Try to keep large fish in the water for unhooking and a quick picture.
Safely revive, release
Any very large fish held up vertically by a Boga Grip or other release device probably is sustaining internal damage. If you must take a trophy out of the water to photograph it, the fish should be held horizontally with a hand or arm supporting its belly and placed back in the water the same way for revival. Please respect the resource.
If you are new to tarpon fishing and want to learn how to tackle one of these beautiful prehistoric fish, or if you are a seasoned tarpon nut looking to share your passion with fellow fishermen and women, the Cape Coral Tarpon Hunters Club is a great organization to join. Many of these folks have tarpon releases in the many hundreds of fish and are true experts on the subject.
Rookie members are paired with a veteran member so the novice will have a crack at inshore saltwater fishing's top sport fish - the silver king. The club sponsors clinics, seminars, picnics, and does many wonderful things for the less fortunate. Women, young anglers, and even men are invited to join. (www.capecoraltarponhuntersclub.com)
Snook, redfish biting
Capt. Rob Modys of SoulMate Charters weighs in with a great Estero Bay back country report.
The snook are biting and are going for live pinfish, whitebait, and cut lady fish. The redfish bite showed improvement this week with multiple fish caught at each stop.
The best redfish action was around mangrove islands on the flood tide using cut bait and (artificial) Berkley GULP shrimp on leadhead jigs.
The Bunche Beach area is holding many schools of fish. Trout, ladyfish, bluefish, jacks and sharks are biting on a mixed bag of cut baits, live pinfish and artificial baits.
Keep an eye out for diving birds to tip you off on Spanish mackerel locations in your area.
If Spanish mackerel are available, by all means get the kids out there fishing. They are willing biters and just the thing for a boat full of young pirates with typically short attention spans. Might even cure their video game addictions.
Capt. George Tunison is a Cape Coral resident fishing guide. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org, or Flying Fins Sportfishing.