Best Bets: Southwest Florida fishing reports fine despite soggy weather – The News

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Recent weather was a lot more soupy than super, fishingwise. But a few sparkling reports broke through in a relatively dreary week.

Offshore anglers found snapper biting well inshore and on nearshore reefs, and grouper fishing was fair farther out.

Spanish mackerel invaded local bays in big numbers.

Tarpon are widespread in the nearshore Gulf, bays and passes.

Anglers have been releasing lots of snook of all sizes.

Spotted seatrout seem to just keep on bitin’.

The summer bite is on for those who would be men eating sharks.

Lake Okeechobee water levels held their own this week, with good action reported by both live- and fake-bait bassers.

OFFSHORE: Cape Tool Tackle reports anglers fishing artificial reefs including Pace’s Place and the ARC Reef had good results using ground chum to attract nice mangrove snapper. Red grouper also were biting farther offshore, in the 20 to 30 mile range, with the main complaint coming from anglers having to throw back out-of-season gag grouper of double-digit poundage.

King Fisher offshore boats out of Fishermen’s Village continued to pick off one or two 15- to 20-pound king mackerel per trip, by freelining live thread herrings over live bottom in depths of 50 to 60 feet off Boca Grande Pass. They also bottom-fished for lots of lane snapper this week, plus porgies and the occasional keeper red grouper.

MACKEREL: The Bait Box on Sanibel reports anglers fishing with shrimp this week have been catching limits of 15 Spanish mackerel (minimum length 12 inches to the fork of the tail). Mackerel also were biting well for anglers casting from the Sanibel Causeway islands.

King Fisher bay boats fished mainly for mackerel, which were “everywhere” this week in Charlotte Harbor. Abundant threadfin herrings have been the bait of choice.

TARPON: Cape Tool is hearing of tarpon in virtually all venues, including the nearshore Gulf off Sanibel’s big bend, Knapp’s Point. Captiva and Boca Grande passes also have been holding lots of fish, which also have been cruising along adjacent beaches. Pine Island Sound anglers have been hooking up around the northern keys, including Cabbage, Useppa Island and the Wood keys. And tarpon have been biting in the deep holes of central Charlotte Harbor.

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