Florida Fishing Charters

~ providing quality outdoors experiences for more than 20 years~

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

Obsession Sportfishing Shark Presentation Wednesday - Charlotte Harbor Fly Fishers

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I'll be doing a talk on fly fishing for Gulf of Maine sharks this Wednesday at the Charlotte Harbor Fly Fishers' monthly meeting. The meeting is open to all who enjoy fly fishing. There is a $3.00 fee that goes to support club activities. 

I'll have PowerPoint presentation full of cool photos and videos describing this niche fishery that takes place from late July, through early September 10-20 miles offshore. We target; Blue, Mako, Thresher and Porebeagle sharks ranging from 50-400 pounds on fly and conventional stand up gear. The fly fishing action consists of sight casting to blue sharks and the occasional Mako with 10-15wt fly rods. 

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The meeting is this Wednesday, February 10th, 6:30pm at Charlotte Park Civic Association Bldg 
420 Pompano Terrace 
Punta Gorda, FL

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The things you find when getting your boat out of storage

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Note to Self: Remember to pull the drain plugs in BOTH of your livewells when putting the boat up for the winter...

I estimate this block of ice, cast net, scrub brushes and who knows what else to be about 125 pounds and is 10" think. It's been melting since we left Maine on Saturday morning and hopefully by the end of today it will be gone. Can't wait to see what is in there.  Today we finish unpacking. Tomorrow is boat cleaning day. Friday the fishing gear gets sorted out and rigged. I'll be fishing on Charlotte Harbor this weekend!

 

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Captain's License Renewal Time

 

I can't believe another five years have gone by. Time to renew My USCG License aka; Merchant Mariner Credential. I just sent in 30 pages of forms and documentation to the Coast Guard Regional Examination Center in Boston. 

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Quite a process, drug test, physical, eye and hearing exams, background check, sea time and boat ownership documentation. All that with a $90 check and presto, 8-12 weeks later your new certificate arrives in the mail.

But in reality jumping through such hoops is very important. Licensed captains are entrusted with the safety and well being of the folks on our vessels. A responsibility we all take very seriously.

Obsession Sportfishing Charter, celebrating 25 years of providing quality outdoors experiences. I have the greatest group of clients and friends in the world. I also have the most understanding wife in the world. I am truly blessed.

Capt. Dave 

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Pine Island, Boca Grande, Charlotte Harbor Fishing Report January 25th, 2016

Barb and I will be heading to Port Charlotte in a week or two. Thought I'd start my fishing reports now seeing that I'm checking the conditions daily. 

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Conditions: Water temps will rebound this week. Winds will drop too. There will be mid day low tides with good moving water

Bait the fish are feeding on: some whitebait in the upper harbor, pinfish, ladyfish, shrimp, crabs

Species to fish for this week: Seatrout, Redfish, Jacks, Spanish, some Snook

Fishing Tactics: Cold water tactics – fish deep water and banks until the mid day warmth heats up the flats.

My fly fishing tip of the week: Cold water requires fishing slow and deep. Might need to swap to an intermediate or sinking line. Maybe even weighted flies for the holes and edges.             

My spin fishing tip of the week: Still fishing with bait and popping corks or slow retrieved jigs in deep water early then move to the grass flats as the water warms.

 

7 day outlook: A cold front move out Monday and the winds will drop and shift into the southeast. The weather change will bring a few showers. Temps will rebound to seasonal levels allowing the water to warm up.

This week's forecast:

Monday
Sunny, with a high near 70. Wind chill values as low as 35 early. East northeast wind around 5 mph becoming south southeast in the afternoon.
Monday Night
Partly cloudy, with a low around 52. Calm wind becoming east 5 to 7 mph in the evening.
Tuesday
Mostly sunny, with a high near 77. East wind 5 to 8 mph.
Tuesday Night
A 30 percent chance of showers after 8pm. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 63. East wind around 5 mph. New precipitation amounts of less than a tenth of an inch possible.
Wednesday
A chance of showers, then showers likely and possibly a thunderstorm after 8am. Cloudy, with a high near 72. Southeast wind 5 to 9 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70%.
Wednesday Night
Showers likely and possibly a thunderstorm. Cloudy, with a low around 62. East wind 3 to 7 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70%.
Thursday
Showers likely and possibly a thunderstorm. Cloudy, with a high near 69. Northeast wind 6 to 10 mph becoming west northwest in the afternoon. Chance of precipitation is 70%.
Thursday Night
Showers likely and possibly a thunderstorm before 8pm, then a slight chance of showers. Partly cloudy, with a low around 50. Chance of precipitation is 60%.
Friday
A 20 percent chance of showers. Mostly sunny, with a high near 63.
Friday Night
Mostly clear, with a low around 46.
Saturday
Mostly sunny, with a high near 68
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Punta Gorda - Trip Adviser's Most Affordable Southern Destination

This is something Barb and I already knew - Punta Gorda on the southeastern side of Charlotte Harbor is a great place to excape the cold. Trip Advisor agrees, it listed PG as its most afordable southern destination.

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We live just across the bridge in Port Charlotte but spend most of our time in Punta Gorda. Great restaurants and shops, We love the farmers market, I launch from two of PG's boat ramps almost daily and pick up my Florida fishing charter clients at the area hotels. PG hosts several festivals and fishing tournament throughout the year. Oh, almost forgot Barb's favorite ice cream shop Scoops is at Lashley Park right on the River Walk.

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And the fishing... PG has great snook, redfish, trout, cobia, jack and mackerel fishing minutes from their boat ramps. Spin fishing or fly fishing, you'll have a great time in Punta Gorda.

 

 

 

 

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National Assn of Charter Boat Operators Annual Meeting

Just wrapping up two busy days at the NACO annual meeting. This year we met in San Diego. Lots of issues coming at the charter industry over the next few years: possible inspection requirements for guide boats and 6 pack boats, the Uber phenomenon that has turned the taxi industry on its ear is now riling the charting waters and, ever changing fishing regulations will have both captain's and angler's close attention in 2016 and beyond. Oh if it was just as simple as going fishing... Serving on the boards of NACO, the Florida Guides Assn and the Maine Assn of Charter boat Captains is one way I give back to the resource I've been blessed to make a living from for 25+ years. Thankfully we have great groups like NACO, FGA, and MACC protecting the interests of our recreational fisheries.

Took a walk along San Diego Bay this afternoon. One of the largest boat harbors I've seen.

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Can't begin to guess the number of vessels. Everything from day sailors to 100+" long range charter boats.

2016SanDiego2This one has 18 state rooms is 118' long with a 29' beam goes out on trips as long as 23 days fishing the waters off Baha Mexico.

2016SanDiego3The anglers seen here with their carts of gear (one cart for each) are about to board for what will be an adventure of a lifetime. 

Yeh, it's on my bucket list.

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Charlotte Harbor / Pine Island Sound Fishing Report January 4th, 2016

Charlotte Harbor / Pine Island Sound Fishing Report January 4th, 2016 - Happy New Year Everyone! Welcome to the first of 2016 weekly Fishing Reports from Charlotte Harbor Florida. My guiding season kicks later this month and I'm looking forward to enjoying the sun and warmth of Southwest Florida through early June.

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Conditions: Typical January fishing conditions this week. Low water levels and dropping water temps.

Bait: Mullet, Ladyfish, pinfish, shrimp, crabs

Fishing Tactics: Cool temps and northeast winds will move the water and fish from the mangroves into the potholes and troughs. Concentrate on deeper water with slower presentations.

Species to target: Redfish, Snook Seatrout, Jacks, Spanish Mackerel and Ladyfish.

My Fly Fishing Tip of the Week: Cool water tactics, swap to a sinking or sinking intermediate line and weighted flies. Fish edges and holes.

My Spin Fishing Tip of the Week: Fish slow and low during cool water conditions.

 

7 day outlook: Average temps and northeast winds subsiding mid-week. 40% chance of showers on Wednesday. 

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Obsession Gift Certificates

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I quick note to wish you all a very Merry Holiday Season! If you are looking for a special gift consider an Obsession Sportfishing Charters Gift Certificate. You can purchase a Charlotte Harbor, FL or a Kennebec River, ME fishing charter in full or partially by credit card and I'll email you a gift certificate that can be printed out. No need to worry about reserving a date, we can do that later. Simple! Easy! This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call/text me at 207-841-1444 today.

 

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Summertime Tarpon and Snook Action Around Pine Island and Boca Grande

Charlotte Harbor / Pine Island Sound Fishing Report June1st, 2015

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Conditions: Water temps have dropped a couple degrees with the showers and afternoon sea breezes. The back country fishing remains a bit slow, especially mid day. The beaches will be very active with tarpon and some big snook. Lots of skipjacks, greenback and threadfin herring on the beach. Some crabs in the passes.

Bait: Threadfin herring, greenback herring, ladyfish, skipjacks, crab

Species to target this week: Tarpon, Snook, Redfish

Fishing Tactics: Tarpon are cruising the beach in good numbers. Watch for rolling fish early and then sub surface pods from late morning on. The bite has only been for 20-30 minutes each tide so be persistent.

My Fly Fishing Tip of the Week: Change flies after refusals and ignores. Crab and small streamers patterns are getting the most looks.

My Spin Fishing Tip of the Week: Crabs seem to be the most effective bait or lure right now. Use slow steady retrieves.

 

7 day outlook: Light easterly morning winds with an afternoon sea breeze will provide great morning fishing. Watch out for those afternoon thunderstorms. Beach tarpon and snook action will be good. Small snook and redfish will be feeding early and late in the day in the back country.

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Snook on Fly Rod in Matlacha

Casey from Orvis Dallas and Steve from Orvis Austin take a break from tarpon fishing to fly fish for snook in Matlacha National Wildlife Refuge.

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Charlotte Harbor / Pine Island Sound Fishing Report May 25th, 2015

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Conditions: Hot- Backcountry water temps from Matlacha to Gasparilla are now in the high 80s. The beaches from Boca Grande to Sanibel are in the mid 80s. Thunderstorms are common as the sea breeze builds in the afternoons. Higher water levels are putting the snook and redfish up under the mangroves for most of the day. The Tarpon are rolling early but are running deep as soon as the sun gets bright.

 Bait: threadfin herring, Green back Herring, pinfish, shrimp, crab

Species to target this week: Tarpon, Snook, Redfish

Fishing Tactics: Mid day fishing now is very slow due to the heat. So, it’s time to trade sight fishing for early and late day blind casting. Watch for nervous bait, muds and pushes along the mangroves. Tarpon will be moving through the passes early and late. Watch for cruising beach tarpon before and after slack tide.

My Fly Fishing Tip of the Week: If the tarpon fishing is slow, spend some time fishing the troughs along the surf line for BIG snook. Small to medium sized whitebait patterns seem to be getting the attracting the most action.

My Spin Fishing Tip of the Week: Sluggos and Hogys rigged weedless are the hot setup for the mangroves right now for snook and redfish. Live crabs are working best on the beach for tarpon.

 7 day outlook: Moderate easterly and northeasterly winds giving way to the sea breeze will build afternoon thunderstorms. There will be good water flow on the beaches and in the mangroves all week. The redfish and smaller snook will be active early and late in the day. Tarpon are in good numbers both on the beaches and in Pine Island Sound but will be running deep mid day.  

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Fred’s Boca Grande Tarpon Odyssey.

Fred Bogue from New Jersey went 8-4-3 on tarpon this week. We were spin fishing off the beaches of Gasparilla, Boca Grande and Captiva. Safe travels home Fed, Great fishing with you again this year.

Big thanks to Sara for holding down the fort back home while some untimely home insurance repairs were being done during Fred’s tarpon odyssey. 

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Charlotte Harbor / Pine Island Sound Fishing Report May 18th, 2015

A couple pics from this week’s tarpon action

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Conditions: The tarpon are cruising the beaches with steady action other than slack tide. No big wind or heavy rain is forecasted so the fishing should remain good. There are a few big snook in the troughs and on the bars just off the breakers.

Bait: threadfin herring, Green back Herring, pinfish, shrimp, crab

Species to target this week: Tarpon, Snook

Fishing Tactics: Watch for pods of tarpon moving up and down the beach. If the action is slow move your attention to the Sounds.

My Fly Fishing Tip of the Week: We have had good luck sight fishing for tarpon along the beaches off Gasparilla and Captiva islands in 6-10 feet of water. If you get refused change your fly.

My Spin Fishing Tip of the Week: Live crabs have been hot this past week. Stay back from the pods as far as you can and make long casts.

7 day outlook: Chance of showers mid-week. Onshore winds could make for tuff beach fishing. But there are tarpon moving throughout Pine Island and Gasparilla sounds. Water temps are in the mid eighties, watch for rolling fish, they’ll be gulping air in this heat.

 

 

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Fly Fishing For Snook and Tarpon With Folks from Orvis

This past week I had the pleasure of fishing with Jen Lofgren the store manager of Orvis, Cherry Creek in Denver, CO and Jason Cooper, fishing manager of Orvis Bellevue near Seattle WA. It was great getting to know these hard working and knowledgeable folks while fly fishing along the Gulf beaches of Pine Island and Gasparilla Sounds’ barrier islands. We had light winds, temps in the 90s and steady tarpon and snook action.

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Charlotte Harbor / Pine Island Sound Fishing Report May 11th, 2015

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Conditions: The big wind and seas have subsided, the tarpon have returned to the beaches outside of Pine Island and Gasparilla Sounds.

 

Bait: threadfin herring, Green back Herring, pinfish, shrimp, crab

Species to target this week: Tarpon, Snook, Redfish, Seatrout, Jack Crevalle

Fishing Tactics: The backcountry fishing as slowed up a bit but the sounds and beaches are producing. Go early and work the troughs and edges until the light get good for sight casting.

My Fly Fishing Tip of the Week: There’s a lot of Pilchards and threadfins on the beaches… If your favorite pattern is not working swap to a whitebait imitation.

My Spin Fishing Tip of the Week: Its tarpon time – lube your reel service your drag and pull test your knots.

 

7 day outlook: Tides will be close to neap early in the week with good flow returning by the weekend. Light to moderate east winds will provide for excellent beach tarpon and snook fishing. Watch for those afternoon thunderstorms.

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Pine Island Snook fly fishing – The Backup Plan

Sometimes Mother Nature throws you a big fat hanging curve. Sometimes she jambs you on the knuckles with a smoking fastball… John and Bill from CT got jammed on Monday. 20-25mph east winds with gusts over 35 at times. Our hopes of beach tarpon off Captiva and Sanibel Islands dashed, we headed for Pine Island and fished the back country of the Matlacha pass national wildlife refuge with John’s first saltwater fly fishing catch as a goal. Mission accomplished, John landed some snook on a whitebait pattern using an Orvis Helios2 9wt rod.  60' casts in 20+mph winds? - piece of cake. 5 hours of poling an 18' skiff in 20+ mph winds? not a piece of cake - thank you hot shower and Advil.

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Charlotte Harbor / Pine Island Sound Fishing Report May 4th, 2015

This week's Fishing Report

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Conditions: The water level in the backcountry will be high enough to get way back in the creeks. The passes, sound and beaches will have a lot of moving water. Water temps will be in the low mid 70s and slowly rise throughout the week. The winds the first part of the week will make it really tuff fishing on the beaches.

Bait: threadfin herring, Green back Herring, pinfish, shrimp, crab

Species to target this week: Tarpon, Snook, Redfish, Seatrout, Jack Crevalle

Fishing Tactics: Tarpon will be the target later this week as the water calms down on the beach. Look for fish moving into the passes on the incoming tide. In the meantime, the deep holes in backcountry creeks should be holding redfish and snook should be hanging around the mangroves near moving water.

My Fly Fishing Tip of the Week: When the visibility drops anchor up along the bar edges and wait for the tarpon to come to you. You’ll need weighted flies and possibly even sink tip line to get down to the fish in time if they are running deep

My Spin Fishing Tip of the Week: Pass crabs drift along in the current, they don’t swim like baitfish. I have never seen a tarpon chase a crab being retrieved upstream.

 

7 day outlook: Temps will rebound into the mid 80s. The front will lift to the north by mid week bringing improved fishing conditions. Morning flood tides will provide good moving water all week.

Looking for trvel info and more things to do in Charlotte Harbor?

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May Tarpon Fishing Charters in Charlotte Harbor / Boca Grande / Pine Island Sound

Tarpon have arrived in Charlotte Harbor/ Boca Grande / Pine Island Sound. The next six week will provide the best tarpon light tackle and fly fishing action in Florida. I have some open charter dates, call / text 207-841-1444 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. today for availablity.

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Short Tarpon Fishing Video

Full length version

Just under a minute of crazy 80 pound tarpon action. Caught with light tackle spinning gear using a live crab on the beach off Pine Island Sound's barrier Islands.

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Charlotte Harbor / Pine Island Sound Fishing Report April 27th, 2015

More Tarpon are Showing on the Beaches Daily

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Conditions: May conditions are here, water temps in the mid-eighties. Watch for those afternoon thunderstorms.
Bait: threadfin herring, Green back Herring, pinfish, shrimp, crab
Species to target this week: Tarpon, Snook, Redfish, Seatrout.
Fishing Tactics: The beach is the place if the wind and swells allow. Go early and look for rolling tarpon before the wind gets going. There are big snook cruising in the troughs and on the second bars.
My Fly Fishing Tip of the Week: Anchoring up for tarpon has been more effective than stalking them with a trolling motor.
My Spin Fishing Tip of the Week: White bait and pass crabs are both getting bites from the beach tarpon. Stay back and shut off your outboard. Long casts are key.
7 day outlook: There will be some wind and showers early in the week. Things will cleat on Wednesday night. The rain and clouds should cool the backcountry water temps. More tarpon are arriving daily on the beaches and in the sounds. 

I have a few Tarpon days available in May. Contact me today for details.

Check out the new Tarpon Videos!

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