Best Bets: Good time to find fishing solitude in Southwest Florida – The News

For those who don’t like a crowd when they’re fishing, now’s the time to seek a little solitude. Between the heat and thunderstorms of the dog days, and the mass exodus of Southwest Floridians to the Keys for lobsters, there’s no better time like the present for sweaty fishin’ action.

Anglers dropping pinfish into Lee County’s northern passes have been coming up with dandy gag grouper.

Lots of rain has pushed nice concentrations of mangrove snapper to the outer limits of the estuaries.

Offshore grouper fishing also has been good for gags, red grouper and a variety of snappers.

Redfish are widespread, and sometimes too wide to keep.

 

The outlook for snook is good along the Gulf beaches.

 

Trout and Spanish mackerel also have been biting well, in saltier inshore waters.

 

Post-spawn tarpon are moving back into the coastal Gulf, where they’re looking to pack on a few lost calories.

 

Lake Okeechobee anglers should have a last hurrah on bedding bream this weekend, and they also can look for bass busting bait under flocks of “seabirds.”

GROUPER: Grant and Ben Tucker caught six keeper-size gag grouper to 29 inches and lots of shorts, drifting pinfish in Redfish and Captiva passes last Thursday and Friday. They also caught “good numbers of snook up to 28 inches . . . and trout up to 26 inches using live pinfish and pilchards,” fishing with Captiva Island Capt. Jimmy Burnsed.

 

Adam Davis dropped pinfish on a baitfish ball in Boca Grande Pass to catch gags of 26 and 30 inches at 7 p.m. Sunday, thereby converting a tough day of fishing into greatness, in the last 10 minutes of the day.

 

SNAPPER: Don and Tyler Scott of North Fort Myers used small live herrings to catch eight mangrove snapper to 14 inches around oyster bars in the mouth of the Caloosahatchee River, where they also caught three slot-size snook, according to Lehr’s Economy Tackle in North Fort Myers.

 

The Bait Box on Sanibel reports mangrove snapper biting well on both ends of the island: at the Sanibel Pier, and under the Blind Pass Bridge.

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