Byron Stout's Fish Finder: July 13

Posted: Jul 11, 2018 10:58 AM Updated:
Dan Carns of Gulf Coast Kayak caught this redfish, plus eight snook and a mix of mangrove snapper, ladyfish and jacks Sunday in Matlacha Pass, mostly on Gulp! baits with Cape Coral angler Dave Vickers. Photo courtesy Lehr's Economy Tackle. Dan Carns of Gulf Coast Kayak caught this redfish, plus eight snook and a mix of mangrove snapper, ladyfish and jacks Sunday in Matlacha Pass, mostly on Gulp! baits with Cape Coral angler Dave Vickers. Photo courtesy Lehr's Economy Tackle.
Jerry Nicefield and Mark Scott caught their limits of red snapper in the middle of the night last weekend, fishing cut squid in 170 feet of water off Sanibel. Photo courtesy Ken Taylor, West Marine. Jerry Nicefield and Mark Scott caught their limits of red snapper in the middle of the night last weekend, fishing cut squid in 170 feet of water off Sanibel. Photo courtesy Ken Taylor, West Marine.
CJ Bowling was baiting with a live pinfish Saturday when this 26-inch redfish came along in north Matlacha Pass. He was fishing with George Bowling and Adam Lightfoot. CJ Bowling was baiting with a live pinfish Saturday when this 26-inch redfish came along in north Matlacha Pass. He was fishing with George Bowling and Adam Lightfoot.
Alex Moran's redfish hit a red-and-white Zara Spook at first light in Matlacha Pass. Alex Moran's redfish hit a red-and-white Zara Spook at first light in Matlacha Pass.
Charlie Hanley, 13, castnetted his own bait to tempt this 42-inch snook, caught and released last weekend at South Seas Resort's T-dock. Charlie Hanley, 13, castnetted his own bait to tempt this 42-inch snook, caught and released last weekend at South Seas Resort's T-dock.
Debbie Toellner's spotted seatrout was part of her limit of four that hit freelined pinfish on Fort Myers Beach, on her Get Hooked Charter with Capt. Matt DeAngelis. Debbie Toellner's spotted seatrout was part of her limit of four that hit freelined pinfish on Fort Myers Beach, on her Get Hooked Charter with Capt. Matt DeAngelis.
Wisconsin angler Don Toellner landed this 22-inch redfish last Thursday on Estero Bay's East Wall, on his Get Hooked Charter with Capt. Matt DeAngelis. Wisconsin angler Don Toellner landed this 22-inch redfish last Thursday on Estero Bay's East Wall, on his Get Hooked Charter with Capt. Matt DeAngelis.
Wisconsinite Phil Spring freelined a pinfish along the East Wall of Estero Bay last Thursday for this 24-inch redfish, on his Get Hooked Charter with Capt. Matt DeAngelis. Wisconsinite Phil Spring freelined a pinfish along the East Wall of Estero Bay last Thursday for this 24-inch redfish, on his Get Hooked Charter with Capt. Matt DeAngelis.
Tracy Spring outfished her Wisconsin friends by catching and releasing this oversize redfish last Thursday in Estero Bay, on thier Get Hooked Charter with Capt. Matt DeAngelis. Tracy Spring outfished her Wisconsin friends by catching and releasing this oversize redfish last Thursday in Estero Bay, on thier Get Hooked Charter with Capt. Matt DeAngelis.
Estero angler Tanner Miller used a live crab the size of a quarter to take this large permit off a private Bonita Beach wreck, Tuesday on his Get Hooked Charter with Capt. Matt DeAngelis. Estero angler Tanner Miller used a live crab the size of a quarter to take this large permit off a private Bonita Beach wreck, Tuesday on his Get Hooked Charter with Capt. Matt DeAngelis.
Greg Carlson's 35-inch shark was a  blacknose, caught Monday on a baitfish and released, 26 miles west of New Pass on an offshore Fishbuster Charter. Greg Carlson's 35-inch shark was a blacknose, caught Monday on a baitfish and released, 26 miles west of New Pass on an offshore Fishbuster Charter.
Brent Bixby's 6-pound crevalle jack caught on cut bait and released Monday, 36 miles west of New Pass on an offshore Fishbuster Charter. Brent Bixby's 6-pound crevalle jack caught on cut bait and released Monday, 36 miles west of New Pass on an offshore Fishbuster Charter.
The Scott Shinke party battled and released this 9-foot nurse shark that gobbled a baitfish last Friday, 22 miles west of New Pass on an offshore Fishbuster Charter. The Scott Shinke party battled and released this 9-foot nurse shark that gobbled a baitfish last Friday, 22 miles west of New Pass on an offshore Fishbuster Charter.
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With the dog days upon us, it's time for some Sirius fishing. Which is to say: Get out early, or even at night, when the fish are squirrely, and the bite is right. (Rhymin' Byron, 2018).

Snook, redfish and trout action has been good along the beaches, red snapper anglers still have a week to go in a red hot season, and bluegills have been biting to beat the band on the Big O.

SLAM SPECIES: Get Hooked Charters Capt. Matt DeAngelis reports Ohio anglers Courtney and Stephanie Carlson landed a dozen juvenile snook in Big Hickory Pass last Friday. Wisconsin anglers Tracey and Phil Spring and Dan Toellner caught keeper and oversize redfish at Mound Key and along Estero Bay's East Wall, and Debbie Toellner caught her limit of spotted seatrout along Fort Myers Beach last Thursday. Freelined pinfish were the baits in all cases.

Norm Zeigler's Fly, Bait & Tackle Shop on Sanibel reports "thousands of snook" have shown up along Sanibel's beaches, particularly Bowman's, and Blind Pass also has been "thick with snook." Fly fisher Pete Squibb released three snook of 30 inches or better Sunday along beaches off West Gulf Drive, and some baby snook and tarpon have been biting for anglers along Wildlife Drive (closed Fridays) in the J.N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge.

Stephanie Nichols shared a picture of her "fishing machine" 13-year-old, Charlie Hanley, with a 42-inch snook he caught at night at South Seas Resort's T-dock on bait he castnetted earlier.

CJ Bowling caught a 26-inch red on a live pinnie in north Matlacha Pass Saturday, while fishing with George Bowling and Adam Lightfoot.

Alex Moran got up early enough to catch a nice red at first light last weekend in Matlacha Pass, while walking the dog with a red-and-white Zara Spook.

Also according to Lehr's Economy Tackle in North Fort Myers, Dan Carns of Gulf Coast Kayak and Dave Vickers of Cape Coral caught a red, eight snook and a mix of mangrove snapper, ladyfish and jacks Sunday while kayaking with Gulp! baits in Matlacha Pass.

 

Dan Carns of Gulf Coast Kayak caught this redfish, plus eight snook and a mix of mangrove snapper, ladyfish and jacks Sunday in Matlacha Pass, mostly on Gulp! baits with Cape Coral angler Dave Vickers. Photo courtesy Lehr's Economy Tackle.

 

And in south Matlacha Pass near the powerlines, Lehr's reports Matt Williams caught four undersize reds and a 26-incher Sunday Bryan Stockbridge caught and released a 33-inch red and a small tarpon Sunday in Matlacha Pass. on Gulp! Shrimp.

King Fisher bay boat charters report good action on mostly small trout along Charlotte Harbor's upper east side flats, where mangrove snapper now have shown up in limit numbers, and four bonnethead sharks also were caught over the past week. Shrimp under popping corks have done all the work.

OFFSHORE: Greg Carlson and Brent Bixby had a busy Monday, in 70 feet of water, 36 miles west of New Pass on their Fishbuster Charter with Capt. Dave Hanson. They snapper slammed with a boxed of a dozen lanes, two yellowtails, a mangrove and a porgy, while releasing a 6-pound crevalle jack and a 35-inch blacknose shark, and flat losing to a blacktip or spinner shark after four runs and five jumps. They also released lots of short red grouper and one undersize gag.

Also with Capt. Hanson, last Friday, the Scott Shinke party used cut bait and squid to box 15 lanes and two Spanish mackerel, while releasing 25 short red grouper and a nine-foot nurse shark, 22 miles off New Pass.

Lehr's reports Alex Gezzar of North Fort Myers caught a 4-pound tripletail on fly, about 11 miles off Sanibel, presumably on a lost crab trap buoy.

Estero angler Tanner Miller freelined a crab the size of a quarter to catch a nice permit on a "private wreck" off Bonita Beach, Tuesday with Capt. DeAngelis.

 

Estero angler Tanner Miller used a live crab the size of a quarter to take this large permit off a private Bonita Beach wreck, Tuesday on his Get Hooked Charter with Capt. Matt DeAngelis.

 

Ken Taylor of West Marine reports Jerry Nicefield and Mark Scott caught their limits of red snapper on cut squid in the middle of the night, fishing in 170 feet of water off Sanibel last weekend. They also caught a 29-inch red grouper, a king mackerel and a large porgy, while releasing some amberjacks, but failed to spot any targeted blackfin tunas due to a lack of surface activity.

Jim Brown and four friends caught their two red snapper apiece in 180 feet of water, and then moved into 120 feet to catch their two red grouper each, plus assorted bottom fish Sunday, according to Lehr's.

Four offshore King Fisher trips to depths of 65 to 70 feet out of Boca Grande Pass all were good for lane snapper and porgies. The split charter of Farrers from Indiana, Collins from Missouri, Reed from Kentucky and Wolfe from Port Charlotte also came in with a 25-pound king mackerel caught at anchor on a freelined live bait.

MIXED BAGS: Lehr's reports Joe Milsot of New Hampshire used brightly colored Gulfstream High Jinks banana-style jigs to catch nine pompano Monday near the powerlines in south Matlacha Pass.

Zeigler's reports pompano, crevalle jacks and Spanish mackerel scattered around Sanibel Island, where warmer waters appear to have mostly scattered the trout.

FRESH WATER

LAKE TRAFFORD: Fishing on the Immokalee lake has been poor, according to Lake Trafford Marina. Anglers have been catching a few bluegill from the canals on either side of Lake Trafford Road, where castnetters also have been catching a few tilapia.

LAKE OKEECHOBEE

Boaters have been catching limits of bluegills while dunking crickets around the spoil islands along Clewiston's "ship channel," and off Uncle Joe's Mayaca Cut. Bobby Jones of Roland Martin's Marine Center also reports steady bass action from Fisheating Bay, north along the lake's northwest shorelines to King's Bar, in the Monkey Box, and in Bay Bottom off South Bay.

PIC OF THE WEEK: Alex Moran's redfish from Matlacha Pass, as well as others south through Estero Bay were biting best this week during cooler morning hours.

 

Alex Moran's redfish hit a red-and-white Zara Spook at first light in Matlacha Pass.

 

FISH TIP: "Head 'em off at the pass" are the bywords for snook wranglers, as the linesides seek salty waters for summer spawning chores. Thirteen-year-old Charlie Hanley caught and released this 42-incher on a live baitfish he castnetted near the T-dock at South Seas Resort, just inside Redfish Pass. Other good reports have included Sanibel's Blind Pass and nearby beaches, and Big Hickory Pass. Snook are crepuscular feeders, favoring low-light conditions when a blast from their powerful tails is the shortcut to a full belly.

 

Charlie Hanley, 13, castnetted his own bait to tempt this 42-inch snook, caught and released last weekend at South Seas Resort's T-dock.

 

HOT SPOTS

 

No. 1: Trout and mangrove snapper on Charlotte Harbor's east side flats.

No. 2: Matlacha Pass, north to south, for redfish, snook, and maybe pompano.

No. 3: Blind Pass for snook.

No. 4: Sanibel beaches for snook.

No. 5: Estero Bay for redfish.

No. 6: Lane snapper in depths of 50 feet or more.

No. 7: Keeper red grouper and red snapper well offshore, in 100 feet plus.

 

LAKE OKEECHOBEE

 

No. 1: North Shore to King's Bar for bass.

No. 2: Monkey Box for bass.

No. 3: Uncle Joe's spoil islands for bluegill.

No. 4: Okeechobee Waterway spoil islands for bluegill.

No. 5: Bay Bottom for bass.

 

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