January 2019

2019 has started off busy, the fishing charters spent some time hiding from the wind and trying to keep warm, while catching a ton of fish. The action has been great with a wide variety of fish. The most consistent species are snapper, sheepshead, redfish, and black drum. We are still catching snook and a lot of jack crevalle as well. The shelling trips have also been excellent this time of year. Our very low winter tides mixed with breezy days during the cold fronts have combined for excellent shelling conditions. Multiple fishing charters lately have been half fishing and half shelling, hard to beat bringing home fresh fish dinner and some beautiful souvenirs all from the same trip.

The weather has been the normal winter pattern with temperatures averaging in the 70’s and cold fronts blowing in on a regular basis dropping the temperatures into the 60’s. The water is also clear and beautiful, making for an excellent time to be out fishing in Southwest Florida. Call today to book your custom fishing charter for an experience you won’t forget.

2018 Final Report

We have finished off the year with some excellent fishing charters. The wind and cold fronts have both lightened up so we can welcome in the new year with temperatures in the low to mid 80’s. The bait of choice over the last couple of weeks has been shrimp. Shrimp is a tried and true classic bait, everything that swims will eat a shrimp. We have been getting large varieties of fish and a ton of action. Primarily catching mangrove snapper, sheepshead, redfish, gag grouper, and black drum. We have managed a handful of small snook. Inevitably, each trip we get a big snook to eat a shrimp. Unfortunately we have not been able to land one of the big ones on account of using very light tackle set ups for the snapper and sheepshead.

I would like to thank all of my clients for a successful 2018, I met a lot of great people this year, shared even more laughs, and marked a few fish off of people’s bucket lists. Each day I get to fish for a living is a blessing that I do not take lightly, this would not be accomplished without my clients.

I am very excited to grow on the success in 2019, thanks to returning customers, online reviews, and word of mouth referrals. We have very exciting news for the beginning of 2019 with a brand new fully custom boat being built. The new boat will be bigger, faster, have more comfortable seating, and provide a shady hiding spot from the Florida sun. So if you’re a new client you will love it and for returning clients it will be an all new experience. Fishing charters are being booked throughout 2019 already so don’t wait to book a custom fishing charter you won’t forget.

December 10-15th

The water temperature is dropping fast while Southwest Florida is getting cold front after cold front push through. The high winds kept me off of the water a couple of days this week. When I did get out for fishing charters this week the approach was completely different then it has been. The bait of choice was live shrimp, they get big this time of year. This weeks fishing charters targeted structure under water and were not disappointed. We managed to catch plenty of snapper, a few smaller gag grouper and some nice sheephead. Fishing in Southwest Florida is good year round, the target fish just changes. To book your winter fishing charter contact us today.

Sale on Gift Cards

Blue Line Fishing Charters offers gift cards towards any of our charters. A charter is an excellent gift for anyone who enjoys being outdoors in Southwest Florida. We cater inshore and offshore fishing charters to all interest and skill levels. If you have a trophy fish to mark off of your bucket list we will do everything in our power to get that done, or if you have children that just want to have fun we will insure they have an excellent experience catching fish. We also offer sightseeing trips, perfect for anyone who wants first hand experience of the most beautiful sights and wildlife Southwest Florida has to offer. You will see historic houses from a time long ago, to islands where the rich and famous live, all while experiencing amazing birding and getting up close and personal with dolphins, manatees, stingrays and fish. Another unforgettable and popular charter is the shelling charter. On a shelling charter you will get all of the sightseeing mentioned above, and we will go to pristine beaches and islands accessible by boat only to search untouched shorelines for the perfect shells.

Any of the guided charters will be catered to your interest and can be combined to do a little of each thing on every trip. If you purchase a gift card for a 4 hour charter during November or December, you will receive a 6 hour charter. That means you will get two extra hours on your Southwest Florida adventure for the price of a half day fishing charter, leaving plenty of time to do it all and stop for lunch at a restaurant accessible by boat only. Call, text, or email today to get your gift card.

November 13-20th

The weather has cooled down some, leaving us with high temperatures in the 80’s, the water is crystal clear, and the bait is plentiful. We have had some excellent fishing weather and the fish are not disappointing either. Ventured into the Caloosahatchee river a coupe of times this past week. The clear water allowed us to see plenty of big snook but could not get any to eat. We caught plenty of small snook, redfish, and big snapper. The last couple of days I went back to Pine Island Sound, there are a lot of big redfish in the area. The gulf is also full of life catching snapper and triple tail. I ended each trip this week fishing the mangroves with chum and greenbacks, catching plenty of snook and jack crevalle. Book your trip soon and take advantage of this gorgeous water and weather.

Wading Burnt Store Bar

On Saturday November 11th, I was invited by a long time friend to do something I’ve always heard about but never tried before. He picked me at 530 in the morning with no boat, two rods, and a handful of lures. We drove to the far northwest end of Cape Coral, nearly into Charlotte County. From there under the cover of darkness we ignored the alligator warning signs and followed a path of knee and waist deep water into the woods. The sun kept into the morning sky as we wound through this trail covered by a mangrove canopy. The end of the trail opened up to the scenic Charlotte Harbor near Burnt Store Bar.

We waded out towards Burnt Store Bar as the birds and fish woke up with the sun and started moving. We quickly spotted some tailing redfish, a couple of well placed (lucky) casts with topwater plugs and we were both fighting redfish. We kept wading and sight casting to fish, we quickly caught snook and trout too, completing the inshore slam before the sun rose above the mangroves. We spent the next few hours in waist deep water catching snook, trout, and more redfish. We then waded back to the trail, and on the way back saw multiple wild hogs along the edge of the water digging their noses into the mud searching for food. It was an awesome morning with a lot of fish caught, I will be watching the tides to get back out and do it again.

November 5th – 9th

The weather is warm, our water is beautiful, and the fish are biting. The fishing was phenomenal over the last week. The bait was plentiful and healthy, allowing us to target many different species that have moved into our waters from offshore. On a couple of different trips we targeted the passes between our barrier islands and caught a steady supply of very big redfish and a few snook. The week provided many days with light winds allowing us to run a few miles offshore. The goal offshore was to target king fish, unfortunately we did not catch any, but we did get plenty of snapper and triple tail. We also spent a little bit of time fishing deep holes around mangroves and oyster bars using live greenbacks, we caught plenty of snook.

Later in the week, huge schools of spanish mackerel, lady fish, and jack crevalle moved in close to the beaches to chase the bait. We spent Friday using only artificial baits (lures) and lost count of how many fish we caught. The boat was covered in fish slime and blood all day long and the laughs never stopped as we caught one fish after the next.

Book your trip soon to take advantage of this amazing weather and fishing.

My 30th Birthday Trip to Venice LA

The trip started before sunrise on Thursday morning. We picked up our friends Beth and Rj and got on the interstate heading north. It was a fun road trip with our friends, the long drive was broken up between four drivers making it go by fast. We got to our cabin in Venice LA in the early evening. We then ventured down to the Venice Marina for dinner, the Seafood Potato was recommended before we got there and it did not disappoint. We got to bed pretty early because the next morning we were meeting the captain at 6am for a day of fishing. After first going to the wrong marina, we found our captain around 645 and got on the water.

The wind was blowing hard that morning as a cold front was blowing through. We first crossed the Mississippi River and tucked back into a bayou sheltered from the wind. After running through canal after canal just slightly wider then the boat, both sides of the canal had mud banks leading up to fields of sawgrass. After a short run, we came across some clean water in a wider canal with a few narrow feeder canals running into it. We sat there with a popping cork and jig, catching 40 redfish in a few hours of fishing, ranging from 12″ to 25″. We weren’t able to get to the coast and fish for the big ones so we called it a day and headed back to fillet our catch. After relaxing at the cabin, we went back to the Venice Marina and brought a bag of fresh redfish for them to cook. They cooked it three ways and gave us the sides, and we feasted. Unfortunately that was our only day to fish so we never got to chase the big bulls, but we had a blast in this amazing fishery and definitely fueled my desire to come back and try again.

The next morning we woke up and headed to New Orleans, we spent the day in the french quarter eating amazing food and exploring. That night we made it to Biloxi where we stayed at the Beau Rivage and spent a lot of time in the casino. The next day we headed home and couldn’t wait to get back because we were all missing our kids. It was great to be gone but the best part was seeing the excitement on Vance’s face when we got home.

Fall Tarpon

With the coast finally being red tide free, the bait moved into town in full force. Following the bait are large schools of lady fish, mackerel, jacks, and triple tail. There were fish and bait all over the place making fishing a lot of fun this time of year. With the first cold fronts coming through, the Tarpon have began to push out of the rivers and bays in order to migrate south. They spent some time stopped, enjoying the warm water and easy meals off of the coast of Sanibel.

We had some great trips last week, leaving the marina and getting to the coast we would start by looking for and catching triple tail as we worked south along the beach. Then when we came across large schools of lady fish busting bait on top of the water. We would catch those nonstop, with fish flying and everyone laughing hard, until the livewell had a good amount of live lady fish in it. We then continued south for a couple more miles until we got to where the tarpon were rolling thick.

Once we found the tarpon rolling we would set up a drift using the live lady fish as bait. The first trip we had instant success, an estimated 130 lb tarpon was on the line within a few minutes. The fish was landed and released alive after a 45-50 minute battle. We started another drift and within 5 minutes had another tarpon hook up that spit the hook in short order. The guest from that day had so much fun and was so hooked that he booked me for the following day. The second day we had tarpon rolling within 10′ from the boat for a couple of hours and never got a bite. We left and were able to catch snook, jack, and triple tail to finish off the day. The next day, with a new group of clients, we got into the school of tarpon again and waited… we did have fun catching a few sharks while waiting but decided to move on after no tarpon bites. Again, we finished off the day with snook, triple tail, and jacks. Everyone was all smiles and even more determined to come down in the spring and mark tarpon off of their bucket lists.

September 25th-30th

Overall the fishing was good last week. I was able to get out and fish for fun for two days with long time friend Capt RJ Hagewood. We were all over the place doing some tournament pre fishing. We both had different tournaments later in the week. The bait was good every day this week and stayed alive all day long. In our travels, we were able to find fish almost everywhere we went. They weren’t always the target species but we had a lot of action. Both days we were able to catch some really big healthy snook and redfish.

I had a charter Thursday with really low water and a tough tide. We were able to catch some healthy snook and snapper. We spent a lot of time running around trying to find a bite. Friday I was chartered for a corporate fishing tournament, bait was not easy this morning. Pick up was at Tarpon Lodge at 8am with a start time at 9am. At 930 it was determined that my guest were not going to make it, so I called it a day and went home to do some maintenance on the boat.