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 02-13-17

Conditions: We continue to have very good water clarity and quality due to the dry conditions throughout Charlotte Harbor. Water temps are in the low 70s. Average tides this week will provide for good flats fishing. The bite in Matlacha as well as Bull Bay and Turtle Bay has been good. Pine Island Sound's grass flats have been producing seatrout and redfish, concentrate on the deeper portions of the flats. The Keys along the East Wall of the Harbor are holding redfish of varying sizes and a few snook. If you're looking for trout in that area they'll be on the outside of the bar in deeper water.

The mid-day ebb tides will move the fish off the flats. Work the holes and edges until the water level increases.

02-13-17 Obsession Charters Fishing Report
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Sight Fishing Tips and Tactics Seminar This Sunday

I'll be doing a seminar at the Florida Sportsman Expo in Ft. Myers on sight fishing tips and tactics this Sunday. The Seminar covers ways to catch more snook and redfish on both spin and fly fishing gear. I'll share some of the things I've learned while fishing on Charlotte Harbor the past 8 years like reading the fish's movements, finding productive water dealing with weather changes and more.

​My Seminar is at 1pm on Sunday. It's full of cool pictures and videos of fishing action from Matlacha, Pine Island sound, Charlotte Harbor's East and West Walls, Bull Bay, Turtle Bay and more. More info on the Expo including other seminars

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Charlotte Harbor – Pine Island Sound Fishing Report February 1, 2017

Conditions: Water clarity is good. The water level is very low due to the winter tides. As long as water temps are in the mid-60s or above the fishing will be very good. Lots of snook around. The redfish have been a bit elusive (for me anyway). The fish have been moving back onto the flats with the incoming tide. Work the oysters and holes at low tide.

Bait the fish are feeding on: Shrimp, Crabs, Pinfish, some Threadfin Herring.

Lots of snook around. The fish have been moving back onto the flats with the incoming tide. Work the oysters and holes at low tide.

Fishing Report February 1, 2017
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Jerry Crosses Tarpon off Bucket List

Jerry Jamison from Bath, Maine hooks and brings this nice tarpon boat-side using spin fishing gear and a live crab. Great Job Jerry!

The tarpon have returned to the beaches of Boca Grande, Captiva and Sanibel Islands after last week's back to back cold fonts pushed them offshore.

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Jerry Jamison with his First Charlotte Harbor Tarpon

​Last week's back to back cold fronts are behind us. The tarpon have returned to the beaches of Boca Grande and Captiva. Jerry did a great job hooking and getting his 75 pound tarpon to the boat on a live crab. Click read more for additional pictures. Video coming soon.  

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Paul Heytens Fly fishing Redfish in Pine Island Sound

​We saw this redfish rush the fly and eat in 12" of water. Paul caught it on a 9wt. Orvis Helios H2 rod and one of my whitebait flies.

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Doug Bates Fly Fishing Charlotte Harbor's Turtle Bay

Doug Bates from New Hampshire joined me for some snook sight casting in Bull and Turtle Bay in Charlotte Harbor. Water temps in the low 80's made the snook a bit sulky but we persevered. Caught em on Doug's 8wt TFO rod and one of his white and black deceivers.

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Charlotte Harbor, Boca Grande, Pine Island Sound May Fishing Forecast

Charlotte Harbor is Florida’s second largest estuary encompassing 270 square miles. Over 80% of its shoreline is preserved land. There are more than 15 boat ramps and many kayak access point on the Harbor providing easy access to great fishing.

 

May light tackle and fly action: May is all about tarpon. The spawning migration has started and there have a few tarpon being caught in the Sounds, Passes and along beaches the past two weeks. By mid-month the fishing will be in high gear. The back country waters are in the low to mid 80s so the best fishing will be early and late in the day. Mid-day will provide lots of lookers and refusals unless you’re pitching bait. The large snook are moving their way to the beaches and the sounds.

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Conditions: We are settling into our early summer weather patterns with offshore winds early switching to sea breezes in the afternoons. Water temps will be in the low to mid 80s. April was very dry so the salinity in the lower harbor and the sounds are average or slightly above. The upper harbor fishing has slowed somewhat do the warm weather and lack of rain. Greatly reduced Lake Okeechobee discharges into the Caloosahatchee River has improved the water quality in lower Pine Island Sound.

Bait the fish are feeding on: shrimp, crabs, pinfish, ladyfish. Some whitebait in Matlacha Pass, upper Pine Island Sound, Gasparilla sound and on Bokeelia Shoals. There’s lots of threadfins and greeenbacks on the beaches.

May Fishing Tactics: The back country; with the warm and dry conditions fishing becomes an early morning game. Go early fish the moving water near the mangroves until the sun gets up. As soon as it gets bright shift you attention to deeper cuts between islands and keys and the depressions in the mangrove creek mouths. The deeper edges of grass flats will hold sea trout throughout May.

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My April Fly Fishing Tip: Many of my clients want to fly fishing for tarpon in May. I carry two set ups on the boat for them. A floating line with a suspending fly for the fish coming over the shallow bars and a sink tip line with a weighted fly for when the fish are laid up or doing daisy chains in deeper water. prespawn tarpon can be finicky, the fly placement is key. Many times they will only move a few inches to eat.

My April Light Tackle Tip: Don’t get in a rut using a particular tarpon bait. Crabs are wonderful bait but if you are getting refused show them something else. Pinfish, whitebait, cut ladyfish, sail cat tails, even shrimp can turn on the finickiest tarpon.

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Species to fish for this month: Tarpon, Snook Redfish, Spotted Seatrout.

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Boca Grande Pass Tarpon Fishing - Why I don’t Partake

Many customers ask me if I guide for tarpon in Boca Grande Pass, I politely answer “no”. Then I go on to explain that I fish the miles and miles of beaches and, in the Sounds on both sides of Boca Pass but I do not participate in the fishery that takes place in the Pass. These two photos sum up the difference between what I do and what goes on in the Pass from mid-April through the end of June. I’ll take light tackle and fly fishing the 20 miles of beaches, Gasparilla Sound and Pine Island Sound over the parking lot that is the Pass thank you very much. Now, if you are interested in catching tarpon in the Pass I can give you some names of captains to contact. 

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save the tarpon photo of Boca Grande Pass

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A day on the Beach - Capt. Dave Pecci photo

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Matt Stelzer - Snook on Flyrod

Matt gets his first snook on fly rod in Pine Island Sound.

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Some of Last Week's Fly Fishing Action on Charlotte Harbor

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They're Here - The First of the 2016 Tarpon are Here

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Yes, they are here. More showing up every day. Time to book your tarpon charter. Call me for available dates.

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Orvis Podcast: Spring Fishing in Florida with Capt. Dave Pecci

Written by: Phil Monahan - The Orvis Companypodcast
Photo Via Orvis.com

This week, we visit with Capt. Dave Pecci about early spring fishing in the Charlotte Harbor area of Florida. We also talk about the current water-quality issue in Florida. You may all be sick of hearing about it, but other than climate change, the Everglades issue is one of the most serious and immediate threats to both our freshwater and saltwater ecosystems. But don’t worry, we also talk about catching redfish, speckled trout, and snook.

In The Fly Box, we cover a broad range of topics, from the Eastern green drake hatch, to small-stream steelhead tactics, to the advantages of fiberglass rods.

If you don’t see the “Play” button above, click here to listen.

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Pine Island, Boca Grande, Charlotte Harbor Fishing Report April 18, 2016

Last Week - Excellent fishing! We had tons of fly and light tackle fishing action last week. And, this coming week will be just as good! I posted some killer video from last week's action, you can check them out on my blog's Florida Fishing Video section. There's over 30 videos posted.

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This week's Forecast

Conditions: Excellent all this coming week - Mid day high tides will provide moving water. Morning low tides will congregate the fish along the oyster beds and grass banks.

Species to fish for this coming week: Snook, Redfish, Spotted Seatrout, Jack Crevalle, Tarpon, Ladyfish, Spanish Mackerel, Cobia.

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Bait the fish are feeding on: shrimp, crabs, pinfish, ladyfish, Scaled Sardines, Threadfin Herring

Fishing Tactics: Start early and fish the edges of oysters and grass for trout, snook and reds. As the tide comes in move onto the flats fishing the sand holes for trout and reds.

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My fly fishing tip of the week: Lots of white bait (sardines and herring) around so olive and white deceivers are the choice.

My spin fishing tip of the week: MirroLure suspending twitch baits are the lure of choice. 2nd choice would be a bubble gum or new penny soft bait on a ¼ once jig head.

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7 day outlook: Fantastic weather with light winds from the E and NE will provide excellent fishing. The snook, redfish and jack crevalle action will be very good this week.

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Stefan Piccone - Day two Matlacha Aquatic Preserve Fly Fishing


Stephan caught mangrove snapper, snook, spotted sea trout, and jack crevalle while fly fishing in Matlacha Pass today. Great footage of a school of jacks busting bait against the mangroves. Also check out the run his 6 pound jack made at the end of the video. Stefan cranked the drag down three time and still went 75 yards into his backing before turning the fish. Love that 8wt. Hellios 2 rod paired with a Mirage reel. 

 

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Matlacha Snook,Sea Trout, Mangrove Snapper, Redfish and Jack Crevalle On Fly with Stefan Piccone

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Stefan Piccone had a great couple days of back country fly fishing with me in Matlacha Pass this week. 

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Stefan is a true magician when it comes to wiggling the fly out mangroves branches and is very good at reading the waters of Charlotte Harbor. Even with a southwest of wind and cloudy water we had two very productive and fun days together. by the way, catching 6-8 pound jack cravalle in 2' of water on a Helios 2 8wt. fly rod is FUN!

Safe travels home Stefan, I hope to see you again the next time you are in SW Florida. 

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Stefan Piccone Fly Fishing Matlacha Pass

Stefan Piccone fished Matlacha Pass with me today. He caught snook, mangrove snapper,sea trout and jack crevalle all on his 8wt Orvis Helios 2 fly rod. Great job Stefan! 

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SW Florida - Pine Island, Boca Grande, Charlotte Harbor Fishing Report April 11, 2016

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Conditions: Great weather this week will provide awesome fishing. We’ll have smaller incoming tides so the fish in the back country will be scattered. There will be moving water near all the passes which will help congregate fish making those areas better choices. Good water quality and salinity throughout most of Charlotte Harbor. Lower Pine Island Sound and Punta Rassa water conditions continue to improve.

Species to fish for this week: Redfish, Spotted Seatrout, Bluefish, Jacks, Ladyfish, Snook, Spanish Mackerel. There’s a few tarpon and cobia around mid-Harbor structure and the deep holes.

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Bait the fish are feeding on: shrimp, crabs, pinfish, ladyfish. Some whitebait in Matlacha Pass, Gasparilla sound, Upper Pine Island sound and on Bokeelia Shoals.

Fishing Tactics: Early morning low tides will expose the oyster beds and leave little water on the grass flats. Work the edges of both. Spotted sea trout and reds will be cruising there waiting for the tide to come in.

My fly fishing tip of the week: Look for moving water and bait. That’s where the fish will be this week due to lack of tide and current in their normal ambush spots. White bait and shrimp patterns are working best. Keep that 12Wt. rigged and ready for Mr. Tarpon - there here.

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My spin fishing tip of the week: The suspending twitch baits are still the hot lure. Keep some bite wire handy – the jacks and Spanish mackerel will cut you off. Have a heavy rod rigged with 60# leader and a DOA Baitbuster for that tarpon that just might roll next to the boat, it’s that time of year.

7 day outlook: Seasonal temps, light winds and sunny most of the week, there’s a chance of showers on Friday. Small incoming tides all week won’t provide much moving water in the back country.

2016 tarpon roll


 

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Matlacha Pass Jack Crevalle on fly rod with John Kern

Great light tackle and fly fishing for jack crevalle today with John Kern. We had schools of them busting bait in 2 feet of water along back country mangroves of Matlacha Pass. Sure did put John's new 8wt. fly rod to the test. John, we'll get you one of those big snook next time.

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Steve and Therese Rowe Fishing in Matlacha

We caught ladyfish, spotted sea trout, mangrove snapper, jack crevalle and a puffer fish. The jacks were especially fun, they were busting bait against the mangroves in 2 feet of water!

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