Feeling very grateful for a completely different August than last year. Our water is clean and beautiful plus the fishing remains excellent; just about the opposite from last years struggles. Our fishing is second to none right now with almost every species being an option.

Fishing charters wanting to target fish for dinner have been very successful with mangrove snapper and spinach mackerel. There are plenty of snapper around and they can be caught by fisherman of any skill level with a little patience. They also make a delicious dinner and are ready to cook after I fillet them for you.

Many fishing charters recently have been getting their inshore slams with ease. This means catching snook, redfish, and trout in the same day. We are seeing huge schools of sea trout, lady fish, and jack crevalle chasing bait around making for non stop action and excitement. There has been a ton of success targeting redfish in the mangroves. They have moved into the area in full force and we have been catching everything from 20″ redfish to well over 30″. Snook are still near the passes in huge numbers and sizes. Last but not least there are still juvenile and large tarpon in the area. They are not here in huge numbers but we have still been seeing tarpon caught with success.

Whatever route you choose to go for your fishing charter you won’t be disappointed. The fish will come early and often this time of year, so book now.

End of July

July fishing has been nothing short of amazing. The water is clean and beautiful and fishing has been second to none, with an emphasis on snook. We have been doing a combination of fishing around structure, such as docks and bridges, and drifting near the passes in order to target snook. Each fishing charter has been producing a lot of average sized snook, with plenty of opportunities for landing a trophy fish as well.

The red fishing has also been great. They can be targeted in the same spots as the snook, or specifically targeted in the mangroves when the tide is high. The fishing charters have also had big success with nice sized trout while fishing the flats. Many times while drifting the flats catching trout we have been finding large schools of jack crevalle and lady fish. These fish have kept the drags screaming while waiting on the tide to change and getting back to snook fishing.

Last but not least, for my fishing charters wanting to bring some dinner home, we have been targeting mangrove snapper and having a lot of success. Those have been targeted by drifting over structure in 20-30′ of water with live bait. Some snapper by catch has been gag and red grouper as well. This month has been excellent with many fishing charters getting an inshore slam while still having time either catch snapper for diner or go to the beach to relax. Take advantage of the best this fishery has to offer and book a fishing charter now.

First half of July

I can’t say enough about the fishing right now. The bite has been unbelievable over the last few weeks. My fishing charters have been focused on fishing near the passes. There are huge numbers of snook and redfish being caught in and around the passes lately with plenty of big ones mixed in. We have also spent some time fishing the mangroves and catching good numbers of redfish from the mangroves.

We have also been catching huge numbers of trout and ladyfish as well. often times catching them two and three fish at a time. For charters that want to go shark fishing we will then use the ladyfish for bait and have been catching good numbers of black tip, spinner, and sand sharks. Last but not least, for the fishing charters that are interested in bringing home dinner, we have had a consistent mangrove snapper bite. Book your trip now and see the best fishing Southwest Florida has to offer.

End of June

As we settle into our full summer pattern of hot humid mornings and evening thunderstorms the fishing has been phenomenal. Big snook and redfish have moved inshore to breed and they have not been disappointing. My recent fishing charters have had a blast catching one snook after the next with the occasional BIG one mixed in. We have also been finding big healthy redfish, trout, snapper, and hungry jack crevale mixed in. July is shaping up to be a busy month with excellent fishing. Book your trip today and lets go mark that fish of a lifetime off of your bucket list.

June 5th-19th

June has started exactly how it is supposed to and it has not disappointed. Big snook and redfish have moved into the passes in full force. We have had multiple fishing charters with 30 or more snook caught. Most of which are really healthy fish in the 6-9 lb range with much larger fish mixed in.

There are still some hungry tarpon in the area as well. A nice surprise has been seeing some big trout showing back up too. My fishing charters have also been doing well fishing the mangroves for mangrove snapper. Last but not least, there are plenty of ladyfish and mackerel in large schools to keep the lines tight and keep everyone entertained.

This is my favorite time of the year to fish. If you want a snook or redfish of a lifetime or just to catch a ton of fish, then book today.

End of May early June

As we ease into the typical summer time pattern of warm muggy morning and afternoon thunderstorms the fishing is absolutely of fire. This is my favorite time of year for fishing. The winds stay calm and we have big high tides bringing a lot of water into the bay. This combination gives fishing charters access to the full arsenal of fishing spots from calm mornings to run offshore to high afternoon water to fish deep into the mangroves.

There are still a lot of tarpon around that are willing to eat a well placed crab or thread fin. Big snook and redfish have moved into their normal summer time haunts in order to breed. Additionally the offshore fishing has had quite the variety of species moving through from permit to king fish.

Inshore slams have been common and this is by far the best time of year to target the elusive inshore grand slam, that means a snook, redfish, trout, and tarpon on the same day. There are still openings in June. Book your trips soon and lets catch some big fish.

First half of May

May has been a very busy month and fishing has not disappointed. The Tarpon are here in huge numbers. A majority of my fishing charters have been targeting Tarpon. We have been finding very large schools of fish along the beaches, enjoying the shows as they roll and free jump all around the boat. A well placed crab under a cork is a sure bet for the hook up of a life time. My clients have been landing some great fish and “jumping” even more. It has been an excellent Tarpon season and there is still time and dates available to check it off your bucket list.

For clients who haven’t wanted to target Tarpon during their fishing charters, or the fews days it has been too windy, the snook and redfish fishing has been excellent. Large snook and redfish are coming into the area right on schedule. We have been catching a lot of smaller fish while landing some big ones and getting broken off by some even bigger ones. Southwest Florida fishing is excellent right now, book your trip soon.

End of April

The weather seems to have leveled out as we move into May. We are getting less windy days and the temperatures are warming up fast. Fishing has still been great, the fishing charters have found large schools of jack crevalle, trout, lady fish, and mackerel. All of which put up a good fight and can get very hectic and exciting when fishing a large school of them. Snook fishing has also remained consistently good with the occasional redfish and mangrove snapper mixed in.

Tarpon fishing charters have gotten better with the warmer weather at the beginning of the week. Late last week there were heavy winds, rain and Tarpon were rolling but not eating very good. This week the Tarpon have been into their usual spots moving around each day, but once they are found the fishing has been great with a lot of caught fish. Tarpon season is getting in full swing, fishing charters are still available for May.

Mid April

This has been a very busy couple of weeks. Fishing charters have been going in full force, and the final details are getting completed on the new boat. The fishing charters have been consistent with snook, sharks, mackerel, and lady fish. The tarpon fishing has been hit or miss. Seems that overtime they get inshore and start eating we get a cold front to push them back offshore. Hopefully last Friday’s front will be the last big cool down of the year and we get some consistent weather and tarpon fishing. This fishing repot will have to be kept short and sweet. I have to take delivery of the new boat and prepare for tomorrows tarpon and shark fishing charter. Dates are still available in May for tarpon fishing, call now to book your trip.

Pre-charter rituals

0500, alarm clock rings, in a groggy haze its time to get out of bed and feel my way through the dark bedroom to the bathroom. The night prior I lay my clothes out in order, from underwear to hat, so I can put them on without light. I quickly apply sunscreen and brush my teeth, then try to exit the bedroom without disturbing Lauren too much. As I pass through the kitchen on my way to the garage I flip on the coffee pot and grab my truck keys. I push the button and hear the loud growl of the garage door opening, I squint my eyes as the bright fluorescent lights come on. Everything is laid out in order the night before and this part is very routine in an attempt not to forget anything.

First grab the rods and load them into their rod holders on the boat. Next grab the towel and give the boat a quick whipe down to dry the condensation from the humid Florida night. Next unplug the battery charger and turn on the battery switch. Quick systems check to make sure everything is working properly. Then to the deep freezer for ice and, if needed, frozen bait. After the cooler is filled, I put on my rain gear and I go inside one last time. Opening the door I hear the coffee maker just finishing the pot, thats how I know I’m on time, and the aroma of fresh brewed Dunkin hits me from the laundry room. I grab my Yeti Tumbler and fill it with coffee. Time to peak in Vance’s room, write Lauren a note, and leave them both sleeping soundly. 

As I walk through the garage and down the driveway towards my truck I run through a mental checklist making sure I didn’t forget any needed equipment for the days fishing charter. I also quickly double check that the outboard motor is trimmed up, the trailer tires are full, and the trailer is hooked up properly. Inside my truck I wait for the glow plug light to go out and wake up the Cummins engine. Letting it warm up for a few minutes I hit the wipers and turn the vent on the windshield. The drive is peaceful at this time of day with very minimal traffic. As I drive through Matlacha I see other guides and recreational anglers alike pulled off to the side of the road in front of their favorite bait and tackle stores loading up on last minute essentials.

Arriving at the dead end of Maria Drive, you take a right turn onto a dirt/shell road and follow the pitch black tunnel of mangroves until you reach the parking lot and the one slip ramp. Usually theres a short line of other guides and commercial fisherman waiting to launch. The short wait allows time to unhook the boat from the trailer, power up the GPS, turn on the necessary lights, and load the last of the daily essentials… sunglasses, chewing tobacco, and wallet. The ramp is now open and after a tight U-turn and short reverse, the boats in the water. This process goes quick and we stay out of each others way.

I exchange pleasantries and secret spots from the day prior with other guides as the outboard warms up and ropes get put away. Its now time to reverse out of the slip and turn away from the one glowing street light that lights the ramp. It’s dark. In the distance some faint lights of South Seas Resort can be seen, but not much else. The water is high this morning so I bypass the short idle of the channel and jump across the shallow flat instead. Steering the boat south I take it wide out and around the clam lease then continue south for a few minutes. Once I get close to the flat I come off plane and idle into 3-4 feet of water and Power Pole down. I open the back hatch, get out a bag of dry chum and pour some into a small bucket, add a squirt of menhaden oil, and a splash of saltwater until its thoroughly mixed and has reached an oatmeal consistency. I also get out my 10′ Barracuda cast net and lay it on the deck for later.

This is now my favorite time if the day. Im standing on the bow of my boat coffee and chum sitting on the deck. Its still dark out with stars shining everywhere. I sip coffee and toss small pinches of chum into the water. For this 15 minutes all the world is right and nothing could possibly be wrong, it’s complete peace. The sun just begins to rise, slowly creeping up from behind Pine Island. Pine Island Sound begins to fill with life. It starts with a few minor splashes from bait in the water, or a local manatee coming up to the boat to say good morning. As the sun shows itself the birds flock in from all directions landing in the water nearby, just waiting for the bait to show up too. A few minutes later the sun has the sky on fire with amazing oranges and reds.

You can now see the greenbacks and threadfins dimpling the water in your chum slick. It’s time to put down the coffee and pick up the cast net. Its muscle memory at this point, fold the rope, grab the horn, with the same hand grab the net waste level and lift it off the deck. Pull off a few handfuls and up over your back shoulder the leads go. Now a couple more handfuls into my right hand then into position at the edge of the bow. Rock it back and forth then throw it, it opens pretty good, right on target. You can see the net light up with silver flashes, you’ve done good. Walk to the back of the boat dragging the net behind me, closing the bait inside. Drag the net up and over the side of the boat and open it back up into the live well. The baits gets acclimated to its new home as I throw a few more pinches of chum and ready the net. Repeat, until the well has too much bait for the days trip.

The sun is now up and its light out, you look around to take it all in and see you weren’t alone. A dozen other guides were near enjoying their own personal routines and rituals. It’s time to put away the cast net and get the 5 gallon bucket. Clean all of the seaweed and slime from the boat so its presentable for clients, take off my rain gear, and finish my coffee. Time to take it all in one more time before making the run to the marina and starting the fishing charter.