Florida Fishing Charters

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Charlotte Harbor is 100 miles south of Tampa and 30 miles north of Fort Myers and includes the areas of Boca Grande, Pine Island, Gasparilla Island, Placida, Port Charlotte and Punta Gorda.  “A tranquil getaway on Florida’s Southwest Gulf Coast and a premier charter fishing destination”.

Charlotte Harbor redfish, snook and sea trout fishing is among the very best in Southwest Florida.  

Spring tarpon fishing along the beachfronts is known as the best in the world.  

Other sport fish species available; sheepshead, Spanish mackerel, king mackerel, bluefish, cobia, bonito, snapper, grouper and flounder.  mangroves, grass flats, canals, beachfronts, passes, and artificial reefs.  The fishing and exploring possibilities are endless.

This twenty five mile long, five mile wide Harbor lends itself perfectly to guided light tackle and fly fishing.  Sight fishing is exciting along the flats and mangroves of the East Side, Bull Bay, Placida and Gulf Beaches.  Blind casting the grass flats of the West Wall, Cape Haze and Turtle Bay is very productive. On windy days the Peace River, Myakka River and endless canals provide shelter and consistent action.  There are over ten area boat ramps that make for short runs to productive fishing

Charlotte Harbor / Pine Island Sound Fishing Report 02-02-15

Conditions: Typical winter light tackle and fly fishing conditions. Low water levels and water temps in the high 60s to the low 70s. Lower salinity in the upper reaches of Charlotte Harbor. Average salinity in Pine Island and Gasparilla Sounds. No red tide issues to report. 

Bait: threadfin herring, pinfish, shrimp

Fishing Tactics: Seatrout are liking bright colored Clousers and fast strips. Redfish and snook are holding a bit deeper and are hitting on shrimp and crab patterns presented with slower strips.

My Fishing Tip of the Week: Grass flats warm quicker than the bars and oyster beds. There are bunches of small jacks and ladyfish on the outer edges of the grass flats if the redfish and snook action is slow.

7 day outlook: Water temps in the low to mid 60s. Air temps in 50s at night and 70s during the day. West - northwest winds will subside mid week then shift into the north and pick up again for Friday and the weekend. 60% chance of showers on Friday otherwise, a dry week.

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New Florida Slams by FWC

 

December 16, 2014 “Gone Coastal” column By Amanda Nalley

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Do you have what it takes to get an FWC Saltwater Grand Slam? Check @MyFWC! http://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/FLFFWCC/bulletins/e378dd #Florida #fishing

 

 

 

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FWC New Lionfish Phone app Available

 

Report Florida Lionfish app now has interactive map! Check @MyFWC: http://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/FLFFWCC/bulletins/e37bed #Florida #fishing

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Boca Grande / Pine Island Sound Fishing Report 06-22-14

 


Fishing Conditions: Wind and rain have clouded up the water a bit. The backcountry water has cooled off due to the rains.

 

Bait Currently in Pine Island Sound and Charlotte Harbor: Pass crabs, Scaled sardines, threadfin herring, glass minnows, pinfish, shrimp, ladyfish

 

Fly Fishing Technics: Summer fishing; go early and get in before the storms. Sight casting is tuff do to water clarity so blind casting is a viable option. Visibility is a two way street – the tarpon and snook can’t see you as well too!

 

Fishing Tip of the Week:  The backcountry is producing better with the rain cooled water fish the falling tides when the redfish and snook come out from under the mangroves.

 

7 Day Outlook: Snook will be more plentiful in the sound and on the beaches. The mangroves and oyster reefs will hold good numbers of redfish. Tarpon continue to in good numbers along the beaches.

 

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Boca Grande / Pine Island Sound Fishing Report 06-14-14

 

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Fishing Conditions: Summer light tackle and fly fishing conditions are here. Eeasterly winds shifting onshore by mid day. Afternoon and evening thunderstorms are now common. The backcountry water levels are moderate to high and temps are in the mid 80s. The beach waters are mostly clear providing good sight fishing opportunities.
Bait Currently in Pine Island Sound and Charlotte Harbor: Pass crabs, Scaled sardines, threadfin herring, glass minnows, pinfish, shrimp, ladyfish
Fishing Conditions: Beach- Watch for rolling tarpon along the beaches early. Then stake out along contours as soon as the light gets good. Back Country- Go early and fish the falling tides when the redfish and snook will be out from under the mangroves.
Fishing Tip of the Week:  When fishing for tarpon, snook or redfish; change flies / lures after every refusal. Alternate between baitfish and crab / shrimp imitations.
7 Day Outlook: June is a great time for tarpon fly fishing. Watch for those afternoon storm though.

 

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Boca Grande / Pine Island Sound Light Tarpon Fishing Report 06-01-14

 

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Fishing Conditions: Summer weather finally! Light winds are allowing for great beach fishing. Most of the tarpon have been up in Charlotte Harbor feeding on crabs and whitebait. The beaches have had good action as well. Water temps are in the mid 80s

 

Other Species Fished for This Week: Snook and Redfish

 

Fly Fishing Technics: This week we staged along the beaches of Gasparilla and Captiva. Both crab and baitfish flies were working.

 

 Tarpon Light Tackle Fishing Tip of the Week: Heavy boat traffic and fishing pressure will cause tarpon to move to deeper water.

 

Tarpon Fly Fishing Tip of the Week: Change flies after every refusal. Alternate between baitfish and crab / shrimp imitations.

 

Charlotte Harbor Fishing Outlook: Next week should provide great fishing action. The tarpon will move off the Hill and onto the beaches.

 

 

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Steve Holcomb from Casper, WY Fly Fishing for Tarpon in Boca Grande / Charlotte Harbor

In this 90 second video Steve fly casts to a pod of daisy chaining tarpon off a beach near Charlotte Harbor. There were 6-8 fish weighing 60-100 pounds in this pod. You'll notice we were the only boat on these fish. This can be common and welcomed experience compared to the chaos of Boca Grande Pass if you know where to go... During day one Steve had 50+ tarpon by the boat with several good shots and a couple follows. Day two we only had 20 or so tarpon by the boat and they were pretty squirrely from the boats and fishing pressure that eventually found us. We finished day #2 out in the back country chasing reds and snook. Steve hooked his first snook and first redfish on fly rod before returning to the boat launch at 2pm. Safe travels home Steve, We’ll see you next May to continue the quest!

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Charlotte Harbor Fly and Light Tackle Tarpon Fishing Report 05-26-14

 

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Boca Grande / Charlotte Harbor Fishing Conditions: We have settled in to our summer weather pattern finally! Light winds, water temps in the low 80s, and the tarpon are now everywhere along the beaches of Gasparilla, Cayo Costa and Captiva Islands. The best tarpon fishing of the 2014 season started this week.

Other Species Fished for This Week: Snook and Redfish

Fly Fishing Technics: Stake out along the beach and watch for fish moving both to and from the Passes.

Tarpon Light Tackle Fishing Tip of the Week: White bait and crabs are working equally well right now. I recommend using circle hooks. Please try to land and release your fish quickly. The sharks are lying in wait for spent tarpon…

Charlotte Harbor Fishing Outlook: Light winds and flat seas will provide excellent fishing conditions all this week. Tarpon ate moving to and from the Passes in large numbers. It will take a day or two for the tarpon to settle down from all the intense Memorial weekend fishing pressure. By mid-week we should see excellent fishing.

 

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A Busy Memorial Weekend Tarpon Fishing in Boca Grande

We have four back to back charters this weekend. Memorial Day weekend is one of the busiest tarpon fishing times here in Charlotte Harbor / Boca Grande. The boat ramps are full by 7am and the prime fishing spots fill up shortly thereafter.  The good news is the tarpon have returned to the beaches and we’re getting fly fishing and light tackle shots at several fish each trip out. We’ll be working the tarpon from Captiva to Gasparilla each day. Reports and photos to follow.

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Charlotte Harbor & Pine Island Sound Tarpon and Snook Fishing Report

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Charlotte Harbor Fishing Conditions: A strong cold front settled in on Wednesday of last week with strong N & NW winds which killed the tarpon fishing. There was a small bite on Wednesday before the winds picked up. The Boca Grande Kids Classic Tarpon Tournament was cancelled on Saturday due to rough conditions and the adult tourney landed 22 fish on Thursday and ZERO on Friday… The schools of tarpon moved offshore and even if they hadn’t the beaches were so rough and churned up we couldn’t fish. The wind is still blowing 20+NE today (Sunday) but the tarpon are already moving back to the beach with the wind shift.

Other Species Fished for This Week: Snook and Redfish

Fly Fishing Technics: We staked out on the shoals until the conditions made it impossible to fish. Then we worked areas in the sound for laid up tarpon. When the wind came on even stronger late in the week we went snook fishing.
Tarpon Fishing Tip of the Week: Fishing the shoals on high wind and swells can be challenging. The Tarpon run deep and are hard to spot until they are almost under the boat. Switching to a sink tip or even a shooting head line and a weighted fly will allow for quick casts and a fast sink.

Tarpon Fishing Tip of the Week: Fishing the shoals on high wind and swells can be challenging. The Tarpon run deep and are hard to spot until they are almost under the boat. Switching to a sink tip or even a shooting head line and a weighted fly will allow for quick casts and a fast sink.

Charlotte Harbor Fishing Outlook: Moderate NE winds will persist until mid-week this will allow for pretty good beach fishing conditions though the passes will be choppy. The tarpon have returned and the bite is back on.

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Snook fishing in Charlotte Harbor and Matlacha wirth Fred Bogue

Another strong cold front ascended on us this week dashing hopes of catching tarpon on Friday and Saturday. The video shows one of the more productive tarpon shoals in the area before and after the front’s 15-25knot winds arrived. So we went light tackle snook fishing in Charlotte Harbor and Matlacha. We had a hoot catching several snook between 18” and 26”.  Fred did have one tarpon crunch his crab on Wednesday but the circle hook didn’t set. Thanks for coming down again this year Fred. Safe travels home to New Jersey and see you soon in Maine!

 

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Fly Fishing for Snook and Redfish near Pine Island with Carroll and Lila Ware

Fellow Registered Maine Guides; Carroll and Lila Ware from Fins and Furs Adventures in Skowhegan, Maine fished with me for 3 1/2 days last week. We spent three days tarpon fishing in Pine Island Sound and along the beaches of Sanibel and Captiva Islands. We spent their last morning here doing some inshore sight fishing for snook and redfish in the Matlacha National wildlife Refuge. We were off the water in just enough time for their flight. Great seeing you both again Lila and Carroll, wishing you safe travels home.  

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Snook and Redfish Fly Fishing in Matlacha National Wildlife Refuge

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05-09-14-ware-snook2We had a great week fly fishing the island of Pine Island Sound for tarpon snook and reds. Carroll and Lila Ware from Fins and Furs Adventures in Skowhegan, Maine caught snook and redfish fly fishing the backcountry on Friday morning before heading to the airport for their flight.  We were poling and sight casting in the Matlacha National Wildlife Refuge. That afternoon I took Artie Mabbett back to the same area and we sight fished to numerous 30”- 40” snook in 2 feet of water. We also had some nice action on redfish cruising the oyster reefs. With water temps in the low 80s and air temps in the high 80s mid-day and early afternoon fishing can be challenging but by staying a long cast from the fish, and trying different flies patterns you will be rewarded. I love fishing Charlotte Harbor and the surrounding waters this time of year!   

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Charlotte Harbor / Gulf Beaches Tarpon Fishing Report

 

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Charlotte Harbor / Pine Island Sound Fishing Conditions: Though we had a dry week, the wind and clouds were challenging.  Visibility on the beaches was not good. The tarpon and snook were on us before we could get set up in many cases. Fishing in the Sounds was much easier though blind casting rather than sightfishing was the best tactic.

 

Other Species Fished for This Week: Redfish, Snook, Trout, Shark

 

Fly Fishing Technics: Use sink tips or sinking intermediate lines along edges and in holes. Present your fly in the lower half of the water column when blind casting.

 

Spin fishing Technics: Suspended twitch baits are working great right now on reds, snook and trout. Yes, even tarpon like twitch baits but make sure you change out the hooks to ones that can take the abuse.

 

Tarpon Fishing Tip of the Week: Start early and blind cast edges and depressions in areas where tarpon are rolling. 6-10’ of water is best. You may jump your first tarpon before the lights come on!

 

Charlotte Harbor / Pine Island Sound Fishing Outlook: The persistent South quadrant winds will be subsiding. The water clarity on the beaches and in the Sounds will improve. Tarpon fishing will get better daily. Snook will be active on the beaches and around the docks in the ICW. Afternoon  redfishing should be productive.

 

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Light Tackle Tarpon Fishing in Pine Island Sound with Jeff and Robert Shappe

 

We were working a couple rolling tarpon in a portion of upper Pine Island Sound one morning this week when this brown shark (sandbar shark) decided to take one of our baits. Robert did a great job keeping the shark out from under the boat and from getting tangled in the outboard. It bit it's way through the leader just as we were going to take a couple pictures. Way to go Robert! Safe travels home and I hope to see you again next year. Capt. Dave

 

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Fly Fishing for Tarpon with Mac MacKeever on the Beaches of Charlotte Harbor

The Tarpon are just starting to ascend on the beaches of Charlotte Harbor’s barrier Islands. Mac and I spent 4 hours sight fishing the bars in perfect conditions. We saw four tarpon which is a bit slow for this time of year. Mac got a good shot at one of them which turned and followed his fly but didn’t bite. The video closes with a snook that Mac caught the day before wading along Sanibel Island. Great fishing with you Mac! Safe travels home.

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Orvis Fly Fishing Reports for Charlotte Harbor and Pine Island Sound

Obsession Sportfishing Charters is now doing the Orvis Fly Fishing Report for Pine Island Sound, Ding Darling Refuge and Eastern Charlotte Harbor. Fly fishing reports from all over the country and several international destinations can be accessed at: http://www.orvis.com/fishingreports Check it out!

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Charlotte Harbor Tarpon Fly Fishing Report

 

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Charlotte Harbor Fishing Conditions: A few pods of tarpon are now showing up on the beaches. Individual fish are spread throughout the Sound. Water clarity has improved and there are schools of bait showing up. Water temps are rising into the mid 70’s.

Fly Fishing Technics: We spent this week fly fishing Upper Pine Island Sound for rolling and laid up tarpon. Slow sinking flies work best.

Tarpon Fishing Tip of the Week: Start early and watch for rolling tarpon. Blind cast to close by edges and deep holes.

Other Species Fished for This Week: Snook, Seatrout and Redfish

Charlotte Harbor Tarpon Fishing Fishing Outlook: Stable weather will allow the water temps to rise into the upper 70s. Pods of tarpon should become more common along the beaches from Captiva to Boca Grande.

 

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Fly Fishing Pine Island Sound

04-21-14-trout-pineisland1Today we fly fished the waters of upper Pine Island Sound and Captiva Island for snook, redfish and seatrout. A passing cold front and neap tides made for a less than perfect bite. but we prevailed and bent the rods on trout and jacks. Not very often you'll see me wearing two shirts and long paints in late April! We'll be back to typical weather and fishing conditions for the rest of the week.

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Spin Fishing Matlacha for Snook and Seatrout with Cpt. Gordon Gillies

Spin fishing Matlacha Pass Wildlife Refuge in Charlotte Harbor is a wondrous experience. Miles of grass flats, acres of oyster beds and light sand flats make for endless fly and light tackle fishing opportunities. Snook, redfish, seatrout, tarpon, jacks snapper to mane just a few speicies call Matlacha home. The waters are a bit challenging to navigate due to the meandering channels and oyster beds. But after a few trips you’ll be able to get to prime fishing spots in no time.

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