Another summer is coming to an end here in SWFL. I hope everyone had a fun summer with their families and friends. I took some time away this summer myself to spend time with family and made some new memories on the water. Fall is around the corner and with the seasons changing so does the bite.
I am thrilled to walk into Fishin Franks and see larger sized shrimp making a come back. These are great for fall red fish. They cant resist a jumbo shrimp walking by them. Fish them free-lined or on your favorite jig head. If you aren’t a bait guy, gold spoon’s and soft plastics will do the trick. These reds are starting to school up, feeding the best during early morning hours. The rain forecast this week could throw this off. I am welcoming weather forcast, this rain will cool down the water even more and could increase the bite.
Snook season opens this week. You can buy your snook stamp anywhere you buy a Florida fishing license. Catching and releasing in our area will greatly help the population grow. Their population was decresed by the freeze a few years back, still recovering. Target them with live bait in deep pockets along the flats, or right along any sandy drop offs. Working a top water lure along the shoreline around first light will lure a hungry snook out to eat.
If your fishing from the shore line you have a lot of great options too. The white bait is along the beaches from Boca Grande to Englewood. Snook and flounder have been prevalent along gulf beaches, jacks mackerel, trout and a few small tarpon in lemon bay. Have a great week on the water and try to avoid the rain, the fish dont mind they are already wet!
Mallory Herzog- BigBullyOutdoors
Wind, and cooler temperatures this morning. Captain Andrew had a trip planned and decided to work around the weather. A rainy start after gathering bait. With a live well full, you just can’t waste it. They set off and decided to hide in one of our amazing canal systems in Port Charlotte. When the weather picks up the fish tend to hide in there too.
On the boat today was Wayne & Shierly Nichols. Wayne runs Red Eye Safari , and is a great local hunting guide. You may remember him from Andrew’s first turkey kill a few weeks back. They are newlyweds and we’re looking for a fun day on the water, some fish to tug back on the lines would be great too!
Today they are using free lined live bait on a circle hook and various soft plastics. All kinds of live bait works in this type of fishing. Pin fish, shrimp, green backs, threadfins, and sugar trout. These canals are vast, and full of all kinds of marine life. Throw your bait under docks and around pilings/bridges for best result.
These guys toughed out the less than perfect start to the day and were rewarded with a few nice catches! Contact Captain Andrew to book your back water guide today.
Charlotte Harbor flats are active with hungry fish! Redfish and snook have been plentiful. Nicely sized, plenty of in slot fish swimming around out there. Reds are liking the cooler morning hours and the bite tends to turn off as the afternoon heat sets in.
Snook don’t seem to mind our warmer temps. Nikki spent the day on the water with us this week. She hooked up to a few snook later in the afternoon. Live bait seems to be best at the moment. Large live shrimp and white bait puts them into a feeding frenzy!
Wanna get out on the flats with Captain Andrew? Contact us to book your guide today!
Live shrimp or pinfish, and your favorite jig head is what has been getting the job done. The waters are heating up and so is the bite! White bait is also a great option and is slowing moving into our area. The bigger fish are getting charged up and eating well.
Want to gather your own bait? Sabiki rigs work great for large thread fin schools swimming around the harbor right now. We were able to grab a few for the live well on our way out. You could also use them for cut bait Free lining or a split weight is best for threadfins.
I was able to enjoy an early morning on the water this week. We caught a few nice redfish. Quality over quantity today. Bigger slot sized fish and fewer juveniles.
Have a great weekend! Tight lines
Raygin made the long drive from Ohio to visit friends and I’m so thrilled her friend Whitney stopped by for a fun day on the water. We planned to go out for goliath grouper and shark. You might remember Raygin from a previous sharky post about a year ago if you follow our blog! Every year Raygin is here more and more. Eventually I’ll convince her to just stay forever.
We started the day out looking for some big sharks. This time of year they are pretty scattered and loving near shore wrecks for an easy meal. After awhile Aiden started fishing with some shrimp on the bottom to pass time. He was quickly hooked up on a few sharks of his own. Kids love these on light tackle. Thx Raygin for the great pics!
After the bigger sharks didn’t want to cooperate we headed over to see if the goliath grouper would play tug of war. I’m not sure if it was all the snapper they stole earlier in the day or they just wanted to test my patience but the bite was slow!
Finally after a few snags and stolen baits Raygin was hooked up! She did great getting this powerful fish out of the structure near by. Mid fight the rod broke, she held on as Andrew hand lined. This goliath decided to make a quick release shortly after being brought to the surface.
What an adventure! Broken gear, big fish and a lot of fun. Near the end of the day we even got a visit from the local dolphin we call “friend”. Becareful not to pet or feed her, she is known to bite, and its illegal to do either. Always a beautiful day on the water giving your boat a show better than any seaworld or aquarium!
We went exploring on our local flats. Picked up Barry on the way out, had to have him check out our new saltlife optics and catch a few fish before returning to school up north. We stopped along a flat that looked promising with bait in the area. The east wall is a great place to hang out and put a line in the water during the less than favorable winter months. Fish are plentiful too. Snook, sheepshead, redfish & trout are all swimming along hoping for a meal. Barry was the first to hook up a nice sized trout on a soft plastic, we threw him in the live well hoping to collect a few more for barry to enjoy for dinner. The lady fish were also plentiful where we were sitting. Catching them on gold spoons every other cast. Fun to catch and great cut bait!
Gorgeous day, breezy but sunny skys and beautiful scenery. We used our trolling motor to move and explore around the flat a bit, until we found our next spot to set a few rods out. Tons of horse shoe crabs and sting rays moving about. We also saw a few VERY large snook swim by. Bait of the day was cut ladyfish, we also had some live and frozen shrimp that have been very popular among the winter fish lately. Barry didnt wait very long until he was tight again. First redfish to the boat, caught on live shrimp and jig head. We hit a few docks on the way in and Barry was able to fill his quota for trout dinner with a bonus sheepshead. Great day on the water with friends. Sunglasses by Salt Life Optics. Reels line & tackle available at Fishin Franks!
Tom’s friend Andrew was in town on a fishing vacation. His first stop was Miami area for peacock bass and snake heads. His last stop was our Gulf coast for a little pull of a Goliath grouper. Guys day out on the boat, both Andrew’s and Tom headed out in search of a local moster grouper, the conditions were perfect. They brought along some frozen mullet for bait but soon learned these grouper were going to be picky today. A few tries with the mullet on the knocker rig and no luck. Not a nibble. Then they started to notice some large jacks schooling around the area and caught a couple on swim bait’s. These are fun to catch and drag screamers at this size! They make nice goliath and shark bait as well. Since the mullet werent working the guys gave the jacks a try!
That sure did the trick! Andrew hooked one on the line and sent it down next to the piling where the grouper like to hang out. It wasnt down on the bottom for 3 mins before he was hooked up! Andrew was in for the workout of a life time, these fish are pretty strong and know how to take you into structure to cut your line. After a fight on the 80w reel Andrew landed his first goliath grouper! Check out the video below of his adventure, watch in HD for best quality.
Cold and blustery conditions is effecting getting out on the water. Luckily we live in florida and it usually passes with in a few days. Snook are starting to be pretty heavy around our local spillways, the cold fronts have triggered them to moved up the river and into canals. I stopped yesterday on my way home and caught a few on one of my favorite fresh water lures. Only a few more days until the GULF snook season is closed until spring time.
Yesterday we had a great day on the water. We started our day loading up the live well with shrimp & pinfish. Andrew and myself have issues with redfish. For some reason they avoid us like we have Ebola. What? Too soon?
Cameron was determined to get us on a school he found earlier in the week in Charlotte harbor. The schools seem to be very broken up in this area as of yesterday. We were seeing a lot of reds, most of which were very spooky and did not want to eat anything we put in front of them.
Andrew decided to try a piece of cut up pinfish as everything else so far has failed us. Well it sure did the trick. As soon as his bait hit the water he was hooked up. First redfish of the fall season! As we were dehooking Andrew’s fish Cameron was rewarded for his guide skills and also caught a nice redfish!
These fish had beautiful tails today! We also caught a handful of juvy snook. A great day on the water with fishy friends, can’t ask for much more! Tight lines & happy weekend everyone, can’t wait to see your catches of Fishin Franks Facebook page!
When you come into the boat ramp and forget to empty the live well before hand, you feed the dock pets. These are fish who hang around the cleaning table and love to steal whatever they can get! I like the sound they make as they eat. Here’s a short underwater clip. Look closely for giant snook. Note fishing is not allowed at this location, only feeding.