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
If you haven’t noticed by the amount of boats this weekend the tarpon have finally come into boca grande and surrounding waters. They are feeding best on crab, although I did watch a guy hook into a 100lb tarpon using a live jumbo shrimp. Threadfins also are great live bait for these guys.
Oh yea and you have to bow when they leap into the air. This is something I forgot this weekend. We were in the fleet of boats inside the pass. A pod rolls right next to me, I throw my crab in like I’ve done a thousand times before but this time FISH on! I was so excited that as she lept out of the water and almost on to my our friend Al’s boat, I just stood there frozen in awe! Well there will be many more this season and I’m sure I won’t forget next time.
After some heckling from my captain about my failure to bow he found a pod that was all alone, he hooked into the biggest one in the school! She was so large she couldn’t even jump fully out of the water. After a 45 min fight this big momma wore though the leader, but not before I got a few snapshots!
Get out there! The fish are here, don’t be intimidated by Boca Grande. Assert yourself and make your way towards the school. Pay close attention to other fishermen when you get out there. This will help you to know if they are jigging or live baiting. Also when to use a trolling motor and when to use your larger motor. Franks fishing club is meeting Tuesday & Wednesday this week and is ALL about tarpon. Make sure to attend if your after a silver King. Good luck!
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
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.
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!
Today we wanted to head out to enjoy the beautiful weather but we also wanted to hide from the wind! Winter time in Florida has been beautiful this year, the canal systems are great for enjoying the winter months in your boat or kayak! They tend to be calmer waters, and fill up with hungry fish in the cooler months. My friend lives on a local canal and let us launch from his place today! He knew of a spot of mangroves not too far from his house that we could explore. Today I really wanted to catch my first redfish.
Bait today was live shrimp, and gulp! When we started out the morning didn’t look too promising, cold foggy and overcast! I was just hoping the rain would stay away since there were scattered showers in the area! As we headed out of the canal I was casting some gulp and was quickly hooked up on a lady fish! These are a blast to catch and always like to put on a show! I thought about keeping it for bait but I had enough already, next time I would love to try a lady fish as cut bait under the mangroves.
We arrived to a small island of mangroves as the sun was finally coming out for the day! Things were looking up, after we paddled against the tide and the wind we found ourselves in very calm waters sheltered by the mangroves. We could see some bait up in the shallows and thought this would be a pretty great place to start fishing. Andrew and I switched to live shrimp and drifted up and down the shore line throwing our shrimp as far under as we could cast! The fish were pretty active and Andrew almost caught a redfish, the target species of the day, only to be broken off almost as quickly as the bite happened. Mr redfish knew just where to hide to get away from us!
We paddled deeper into the mangroves over some beautiful flats. Lots of sheepshead swimming around and an abundance of sea stars & crabs at this location. We once again re baited our hooks and started throwing our baits up under the mangroves as we enjoyed the afternoon sun! It was warming up very quickly by around noon. The wind was picking up and we started drifting a lot faster than before, I set my rod in my lap to paddle out of some trees I was quickly drifting into when my bait got picked up! This fish took a ton of drag on the new Shimano Symetre. The reel was awesome and handled the fish well, snook are one of my favorite on light tackle. We paired it with a Teramar rod 10lb invisa-braid to a 20lb fluoro leader to a 2/0 owner live bait hook. This combo can be found at Fishin Franks! Once I was able to get him away from the mangroves I realized had a juvenile snook! Very healthy, you could tell he’s been eating well. Snook season opens March 1st for those of us on the gulf side of Florida!