Capt. Dick May of Easy Rider Charters reports that area fishing continued to pick up this week if you were able to handle the heat.
On several early morning trips this week redfish were caught under the bushes and blowdowns. The largest mangrove snapper of the year are being caught around the same kind of cover. Limits of snapper up to 15 inches are not uncommon. Good Eating!
Early in the week he reported pods of tarpon were rolling in Boca Grande Pass. The beaches are full of bait and Spanish mackerel should not be far behind.
Capt. George Tunison
Capt. Rob Modys of SoulMate Charters spent most of the week on the near-shore reefs and wrecks and reports Spanish macs are biting almost anything tossed in the water. Look for the bait on the surface and it won't be long before you see mackerel busting up through them.
Snook along the beaches are hitting free-lined white bait and pinfish and you'll also find a few nice trout mixed in. The grouper bite was solid around the May Reef, but reel fast to beat the huge barracuda!
Capt. Phil Evans of AFishinMission Charters weighs in with a three-day report starting with a father and son trip early in the week. Future Fishing Hall of Fame member Mason, 7, landed two sharks, an oversized redfish, and a 23.5-inch trout.
Redfish still seem to prefer cut ladyfish over any live bait offering. Evans recommends keeping wet bandanas in the cooler to wrap around your neck to cool your body in this high heat.
Clients Tuesday had great shark action with five blacktips up to six feet landed along with some nice trout on plastics.
Later in the week clients had good trout action in the early morning hours. Several trout and six ladyfish were boated before the group headed for another spot hoping for larger trout. Tarpon and sharks had been recently caught in this new area.
Throwing topwater plugs the anglers quickly connected with some willing trout. Angler Nate continued casting with a "Top Dog" surface bait and was surprised to see a huge tarpon roll and suck down his lure. Within seconds the fish made several beautiful high jumps and pulled lots of drag from his undersized rod and reel combo that was loaded with only 10-pound test "Power Pro" braided line with a 30-pound leader.
A long fight ensued with Nate finally whipping this big tarpon. The anglers took their time to revive this big guy to give it every chance in the hot water. When it was released, it swam away strongly. Good job Nate and welcome to the column Capt. Phil.
Capt. Roy Bennett of Hot One II Charters had a great week of fishing starting in the Gulf going 3-for-6 on tarpon the first day and 4-for-6 the next. Also, many small 20- to 30-pound tarpon were seen which is always encouraging. Lots of small bait around with plenty of Spanish macs chasing them down.
They had a two-pound Spanish free jump into the boat, which they cut up into chunks and used to get a jump out of a beautiful 100-pound tarpon.
Capt. Roy is still a little "jumpy" after last week's hooked tarpon that decided to leap into his boat. Catfish tails, which normally are fished dead on the bottom, produced two tarpon as they were reeled in - go figure.
Mangrove snapper in the passes have been plentiful as well as small gag grouper catches. Some snook still being caught along the beaches and inshore reefs.
With hot weather always try to get big fish to the boat as soon as possible and please take your time in reviving them. Hot water adds extra stress during a prolonged fight.
Capt. George Tunison is a Cape Coral resident fishing guide. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org, or Flying Fins Sportfishing.