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s2h

Ft. Myers, FL fishing?

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Anybody know of any good fishing charters out of Ft. Myers? I am heading there this winter and could use some help finding a good charter.

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Myself and a few buddies were down there a couple years ago and used Capt. Brad Hurd out of Bonita Springs ( just south of Ft. Meyers ) he took us out into the Gulf about 30 miles and we fished out there for a while. Didn't catch anything big just lots of small Snapper and Grouper and a few other strange fish.

Used a drop shot rig in about 50 feet of water, honestly, if you didn't have a bite in 10 seconds, something was wrong.

We had taken a boat cruise with a friend of a friend the day before and saw lots of people fishing the inland waters, next time I'm not so sure thats what I would like to do. Our guide offered that too. He tried pretty hard to get us on bigger fish but I guess it just wasn't in the cards that day, we moved a lot.

Good luck, hope you have a great time.

Mike

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I'd opt more for the nearshore opps versus the deep sea trips because you get alot more fishing for your money and bigger fish for the most part. Many of the guides work the pass areas as the tide is coming in/out with 3/8th oz yellow or white bucktail jigs with a piece of shrimp for pompano, sea trout, spanish mackeral and occassionally snook and red fish. Medium spinning tackle cast and slowly retrieve or long slow pulls keeping it just above the bottom. If you go out deep sea fishing ask the charter captain what they target, typically it is grouper and snapper bottom fishing. If you cAn, find a boat that will work areas with king mackeral or bonitas you will have some fun and some good fighting fish other then just the little snapper and grouper. Don't let them tell you that Bonitas aren't any good to eat either, they are little tuna and fantastic grilled but the charters want to keep them and use them as chum for shark trips because they are a bloody fish. I don't have specific names of charters but we have gone out of North Fort Meyers and Bonita springs and had some measure of success. A 1/2 day trip isn't a bad idea if you just want to learn some spots and techniques for some of the nearshore spots. The local papers will give info on shore fishing opps for the area, alot of walk on areas with piers or wading are available. Good luck! When you headed down? I'll be there in March for a little fishing fun myself.

Tunrevir~

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what i would do is just buy some live shrimp, wade out to a sandbar, cast out and wait. that what gave us tons of action when we went to fort myers

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Hiya -

Capt Rob Modys. The BOSS and I fished with him out of Fort M. while we were staying on Sanibel I. Great guy, great guide. Redfish, loads of sea trout, and a lot of laughs. Depending on the time of year snook or tarpon might be on the table too. Search for 'Soul Mate Charters.' Highly recommend him...

Cheers,

Rob Kimm

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We've done a few charters out of Ft. Myers, but I've also had a lot of fun renting a canoe on Sanibel and fishing in Tarpon bay for whatever happens to bite. I had a lindy rig with shrimp and fished just like I would for walleye and caught quite a few sea trout. It can be hit or miss, however. Last time there was a lot of talk about a "red tide", and the fishing was noticeably inferior.

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Just an FYI, in wintertime the redfish and snook won't be in. Earliest snook I've caught was in April.

When I shorefish the gulf, I generally use cutbait, decent sized chunks of ladyfish, cast out with a sinker and 6 ft of leader. You can catch the bigger fish on large cutbait, but probably get more action on shrimp. Redfish, snook, and shark all love cutbait, but as I said the redfish and snook won't be in, and shark fishing is its lowest in Nov. - Feb.

I've never been to florida any earlier than very late winter/early spring, so I'm not 100% sure how the fishing is, but if your guide thinks that he can put you on pompano/spanish mackerel/king mackerel you're in for some fun. They aren't going to necessarily be big as fishing pressure has made the average fish size drop over the many years, but you'd be very surprised how much of a fight even a 3lber will put up. This is not to say that there aren't bigger fish to be found as well though!

Edit: quick bit of research and it seems like winter is definitely prime time for spanish mackerel, king mackerel, pompano, and ladyfish. All are great fishing for sport, and some of the best fighters pound for pound. Ladyfish are like tiny tarpon, 18-24 inches for most of the ones I run into, and boy do they taildance and jump! I would definitely take a day to fish those species if I was there in january or the months around there. When we've caught them it's been not far out from shore probably in 6-20 FOW across structure/reef/plant growth.

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