Byron Stout's Fish Finder: June 15

Updated:
Taylor Westra's tarpon took a live thread herring under a float, while fishing north of Chino Island Monday with her dad, Flat Top Charters Capt. Mark Westra. Taylor Westra's tarpon took a live thread herring under a float, while fishing north of Chino Island Monday with her dad, Flat Top Charters Capt. Mark Westra.
TJ Singer didn't think the bite was very good in 200 feet of water last Friday night (with the exception of this 120-pound amberjack). Photo courtesy Lehr's Economy Tackle. TJ Singer didn't think the bite was very good in 200 feet of water last Friday night (with the exception of this 120-pound amberjack). Photo courtesy Lehr's Economy Tackle.
Parker and Andy Gubin will have plenty to show when they get back home to Missouri. Their 53-inch king mackerel hit pieces of freelined threadfins in 60 feet of water off Naples last Friday, on their Offshore Hunter Charter. Parker and Andy Gubin will have plenty to show when they get back home to Missouri. Their 53-inch king mackerel hit pieces of freelined threadfins in 60 feet of water off Naples last Friday, on their Offshore Hunter Charter.
This nice black capped a grouper slam including reds and gags, plus six red snapper taken on last Thursday's Offshore Hunter Charter in 120 feet of water. This nice black capped a grouper slam including reds and gags, plus six red snapper taken on last Thursday's Offshore Hunter Charter in 120 feet of water.
Fort Myers angler Cameron Davis caught ths 45-pound dolphin on a trip out of Lower Matecumbe Key that also produced several others over 20 pounds, plus two 20-pound wahoo. Photo courtesy Lehr's Economy Tackle. Fort Myers angler Cameron Davis caught ths 45-pound dolphin on a trip out of Lower Matecumbe Key that also produced several others over 20 pounds, plus two 20-pound wahoo. Photo courtesy Lehr's Economy Tackle.
Ken Dubie's 34-inch snook release started with a zig-zagging Spook Jr. plug worked inside Redfish Pass last Friday with Capt. George "Artificials Only" Grosselfinger. Ken Dubie's 34-inch snook release started with a zig-zagging Spook Jr. plug worked inside Redfish Pass last Friday with Capt. George "Artificials Only" Grosselfinger.
Noah Lockhart's 14-inch sheepshead hit a live shrimp last Friday (fry day?) on his Fishbuster Charter in Estero Bay. Noah Lockhart's 14-inch sheepshead hit a live shrimp last Friday (fry day?) on his Fishbuster Charter in Estero Bay.
Ashton Lockhart's 16-inch crevalle jack was caught on shrimp and released in southern Estero Bay last Friday, on an inshore Fishbuster Charter. Ashton Lockhart's 16-inch crevalle jack was caught on shrimp and released in southern Estero Bay last Friday, on an inshore Fishbuster Charter.
Joey Beech's 22-inch redfish slurped a shrimp in Estero Bay last Friday, on his inshore Fishbuster Charter. Joey Beech's 22-inch redfish slurped a shrimp in Estero Bay last Friday, on his inshore Fishbuster Charter.
Keely Foley's 40-inch sharpnose shark was one of 10 she and her husband caught and released Sunday, 22 miles west of New Pass on an offshore Fishbuster Charter. Keely Foley's 40-inch sharpnose shark was one of 10 she and her husband caught and released Sunday, 22 miles west of New Pass on an offshore Fishbuster Charter.
Logan Foley added a 36-incher to the sharpnose tally Sunday, on his offshore Fishbuster Charter. Logan Foley added a 36-incher to the sharpnose tally Sunday, on his offshore Fishbuster Charter.
Peter Halunen and his 18-inch red grouper both lived to tell the fish tale. It was one of 30+ udersize red grouper  caught Sunday on cut-bait and squid and released, 22 miles west of New Pass on an offshore Fishbuster Charter. Peter Halunen and his 18-inch red grouper both lived to tell the fish tale. It was one of 30+ udersize red grouper caught Sunday on cut-bait and squid and released, 22 miles west of New Pass on an offshore Fishbuster Charter.
Clayton Halunen's 38-inch sharpnose shark was one of 10 he and his dad caught and released on cut bait,  23 miles west of New Pass Sunday on an offshore Fishbuster Charter. Clayton Halunen's 38-inch sharpnose shark was one of 10 he and his dad caught and released on cut bait, 23 miles west of New Pass Sunday on an offshore Fishbuster Charter.
Coloradans  Daryl, Owen and Eli Haan had a slot-size redfish and several speckled trout to show for their efforts in Big Carlos Pass, on their Get Hooked Charter last Thursday with Capt. Matt DeAngelis. Coloradans Daryl, Owen and Eli Haan had a slot-size redfish and several speckled trout to show for their efforts in Big Carlos Pass, on their Get Hooked Charter last Thursday with Capt. Matt DeAngelis.
Nashville angler Davis Johnson freelined a thread herring to tempt this 24-inch redfish at Mound Key last Wednesday, on his Get Hooked Charter with Capt. Matt DeAngelis. Nashville angler Davis Johnson freelined a thread herring to tempt this 24-inch redfish at Mound Key last Wednesday, on his Get Hooked Charter with Capt. Matt DeAngelis.
Tennesseean Scott Johnson (right) needed an extra hand to support his snook, a 40-1/2-inch "monster" that hit a pinfish under the mangroves of Mound Key last Wednesday, on his Get Hooked Charter. Tennesseean Scott Johnson (right) needed an extra hand to support his snook, a 40-1/2-inch "monster" that hit a pinfish under the mangroves of Mound Key last Wednesday, on his Get Hooked Charter.
Capt. Matt DeAngelis lent a hand on Greg Haan's multi-spot redfish that took a freelined herring Estero Bay's Starvation Key last Thursday. Capt. Matt DeAngelis lent a hand on Greg Haan's multi-spot redfish that took a freelined herring Estero Bay's Starvation Key last Thursday.
Alabama angler Tim Frank used a live shrimp to top off his inshore slam with this 30-inch redfish release, just north of Matlacha on his Wildfly Charter with Capt. Gregg McKee. Alabama angler Tim Frank used a live shrimp to top off his inshore slam with this 30-inch redfish release, just north of Matlacha on his Wildfly Charter with Capt. Gregg McKee.
Fort Myers angler Kevin Pulice's 20-pound red snapper hit a live pinfish on his 24-hour Offshore Hunter Charter with captains Veiko and Chris Kreis. Fort Myers angler Kevin Pulice's 20-pound red snapper hit a live pinfish on his 24-hour Offshore Hunter Charter with captains Veiko and Chris Kreis.
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The good news for the catch-and-release crowd is lots of big snook and tarpon up and down Lee County's barrier island beaches, particularly at the north end. The bad news is, they've been much more interested in each other than in eating.

That's just how it is during spawning season, especially around the new and full moons in June. But the bite should pick up after Wednesday's new moon, at least until the spring tides start around the full moon on the 27th.

Trout and redfish have been biting in the bays, and anglers running w-a-a-y offshore have been doing very well on red snapper and mixed groupers.

Lake Okeechobee's bass have been a lot more cooperative than the bluegills, of late. And late is the word for Lake Trafford's low waters, which have hardly risen since the rains began.

TARPON: Flat Top Charters Capt. Mark Westra and his daughter, Taylor, teamed up Monday for three releases of tarpon in the 40- to 50-pound range that took thread herrings under floats in the Pine Island Sound basin north of Chino Island.

Wildfly Charter Capt. Gregg McKee reports no takers  over the past week among "tons" of tarpon his clients have cast flies to in Pine Island Sound, and along the beaches of Cayo Costa and Gasparilla islands, where the waters have been remarkably clear.

Tarpon also have been reported by boaters from Sanibel to North Captiva, but the only hookups reported by Norm Zeigler's Fly, Bait & Tackle Customers have been on babies in Sanibel's J.N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge.

SLAM SPECIES: Get Hooked Charter Capt. Matt DeAngelis sent pictures of Nashville angler Scott Johnson with a 40-1/2-inch snook that took a pinfish,  and of Davis Johnson with a 24-inch red that took a thread herring, both under the mangroves of Estero Bay's Mound Key. Last Thursday the Haan family from Michigan caught a 24-inch redfish and several nice trout at Starvation Key and in Big Carlos Pass. Capt. DeAngelis also reports lots of snook along the outside beaches.

Norm Zeigler said he has observed multiple numbers of big female snook surrounded by schools of as many as 30 smaller males, none of which were biting along Sanibel's West Gulf Drive beach access points, in the area of the Sanibel Rocks. On Sunday and Monday at the Lighthouse Beach, Steve Halleran of Plainfield, N.H., caught snook to 25 inches, plus mackerel and seatrout. Some visiting anglers have reported snook biting from the Blind Pass and Turner Beach accesses, along Bowman's Beach access, and in Ding Darling.

Ken Dubie caught and released a 34-inch snook while casting a Spook Jr. topwater bait inside Redfish Pass last Friday with St. James City Capt. George "Artificials Only" Grosselfinger, who also reported good numbers of snook that just weren't biting well in Punta Rassa Cove at the mouth of the Caloosahatchee River.

Ken Dubie's 34-inch snook release started with a zig-zagging Spook Jr. plug worked inside Redfish Pass last Friday with Capt. George

 

Well up the Caloosahatchee, in the Orange River, North Fort Myers angler Abraham Moya used a black-and-orange MirrOdine XL swimbait to fool a 34-inch snook last Friday, according to Lehr's Economy Tackle in North Fort Myers.

Peter Casciotta used live blue runners and thread herrings to catch and release a 41-inch snook and a brace of 35s Tuesday on the outbound tide in Captiva Pass. Lehr's also reports snook of 26 and 28 inches, plus two redfish of 19 and 20 inches caught Sunday morning by Lehigh Acres angler Dan Horton, who was wade-fishing Charlotte Harbor's Burnt Store Bar with a key lime D.O.A. C.A.L. Jig.

Wildfly Charters Capt. Gregg McKee sent in a shot of Alabama angler Tim Frank with a 30-inch redfish that topped off an inshore slam that included several large trout and small snook caught on flies and artificial lures in Matlacha Pass.

Alabama angler Tim Frank used a live shrimp to top off his inshore slam with this 30-inch redfish release, just north of Matlacha on his Wildfly Charter with Capt. Gregg McKee.

 

King Fisher bay boats out of Fishermen's Village in Punta Gorda report a nice uptick in the size of trout that have been biting in limit numbers along Charlotte Harbor's northeastern flats, where Capt. Matt Lee's Monday clients also came up with an upper-slot redfish under the mangroves.

MIXED BAGS: Fishbuster Charters Capt. Dave Hanson reports two trips dunking shrimp in the back country of southern Estero Bay, where Rick and Patty Mason caught four keepers among a dozen mangrove snapper, plus a 24-inch crevalle jack on Tuesday. Last Friday morning, Ashton and Noah Lockhart and Joey Beech boxed a 22-inch red, a 14-inch sheepshead, and a keeper snapper, while releasing short snappers and a jack.

Noah Lockhart's 14-inch sheepshead hit a live shrimp last Friday (fry day?) on his Fishbuster Charter in Estero Bay.

 

King Fisher boats fishing along the outside of Charlotte Harbor's northern flats, and around the Charlotte Harbor Reef, report fresh water runoff has thinned out the Spanish mackerel, and the cobia have disappeared altogether.

OFFSHORE: Offshore Hunter captains Veiko and Chris Kreis ran three charters that spanned Gulf waters last Thursday, Friday and SaturdayThursday was good for a grouper slam of reds, gags and a black, plus six red snapper to 8 pounds in 120 feet of water. On Friday in 60 feet of water off Naples, a Missouri group of six caught a dozen porgies to 16 inches, plus a pair of 53-inch king mackerel that hit freelined thread herring chunks. And on a 24-hour Saturday trip that covered 290 miles, four anglers caught eight red grouper to 16 pounds, three scamp to 8 pounds, 15 "pink porgies" to 4 pounds, six jolthead porgies to 8 pounds, an eight red snapper to 20 pounds.

It was shark week for Capt. Hanson's Sunday and Monday Fishbuster trips from 22 to 24 miles west of New Pass. Logan and Keely Foley used cut bait to catch and release 10 sharpnose sharks from 35 to 40 inches, two undersize mangrove snapper, and 26 short red grouper, while boxing a dozen keeper lane snapper. And Peter and Clayton Halunen also released 10 sharpnoses, more than 30 short grouper, and a short mang, while boxing 15 lanes and a few grunts.

Last Thursday's King Fisher trip to 70 feet of water out of Boca Grande Pass was highlighted by a 29-inch gag grouper that hit a live bait, plus several keeper red grouper and a bunch of lane snapper. On Tuesday, three stops for goliath groupers over reefs and wrecks didn't produce a single bite, but bottom fishing did produce several mangrove snapper to 21 inches.

FRESH WATER

 

LAKE TRAFFORD: Lake Trafford Marina is singing the no-rain blues. The lake's central depths have risen to only 4-1/2 feet, and the fish just aren't biting.

LAKE OKEECHOBEE: Koby Kreiger of Roland Martin's Marine Center reports not much has changed in the bass picture, with the Monkey Box, the North Shore from the Harney Pond Canal to Horse Island, and the lake's north end around Tin House Cove and King's Bar the best places of tournament-grade fish. A variety of topwater frogs have been good, and 6-inch stick worms have been working best for flipping. Bluegill fishing has been disappointing around the new moon, but may get going as the moon comes full.

PIC OF THE WEEK: Kevin Pulice's 20-pound red snapper is as good as they come in "local" waters. He caught his on a 290-mile, 24-hour Offshore Hunter Charter, and many private boats also have been taking limits in depths beyond 100 feet.

Fort Myers angler Kevin Pulice's 20-pound red snapper hit a live pinfish on his 24-hour Offshore Hunter Charter with captains Veiko and Chris Kreis.

 

FISH TIP: For true trophy snook that top the 40-inch mark, like this dandy Capt. Matt DeAngelis is helping to carefully cradle for Nashville angler Scott Johnson, there's no better time than the summer closed season. That's when the big girls gang up in deeper waters around the Gulf passes, and along the beaches, where a mouthful like a large Atlantic thread herring or pinfish is most likely to score. But this is not the time to fool around with light tackle, which can overtire big snook and result in death, especially in warm summer waters with low oxygen content. Tackle should be stout, fight times should be minimized, and pictures should be carefully planned to minimize time out of the water. For a guide to proper fish handling, check out: http://www.myfwc.com/fishing/saltwater/recreational/fish-handling/.

Tennesseean Scott Johnson (right) needed an extra hand to support his snook, a 40-1/2-inch

 

HOT SPOTS

No. 1: Charlotte Harbor's eastern flats for trout, snook and redfish.

No. 2: Matlacha Pass for redfish and trout.

No. 3: Cayo Costa and Gasparilla Island for tarpon along the beaches.

No. 4:Pine Island Sound for tarpon north of Chino Island; snook in the passes.

No. 5: Sanibel beaches and Blind Pass for snook.

No. 6: Estero Bay for redfish and trout; passes and barrier beaches for snook.

No. 7: W-a-a-y offshore for red snapper and mixed groupers.

 

  

LAKE OKEECHOBEE

No. 1: King's Bar to Tin House Cove for bass.

No. 2: North Shore for bass.

No. 3: Monkey Box for bass.

 

 

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