Florida Fishing Reports

 

Charlotte Harbor – Pine Island Sound Fishing Report March 28, 2017

Light winds and no rain! Perfect fishing weather. There are some jack crevalle and huge snook on the flats so up-size your leaders and bite tippets.

03-28-17 Fishing Report

Great conditions this week! Morning low tides will provide lots of moving water. Water temps will be in the mid 70s and the water is very clear. Bait the fish are feeding on:
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Obsession Sportfishing Donates a Portion of Charter Fees to Everglades Restoration

In support of Orvis' commitment to restoring the everglades and Florida's southern rivers I am donating a portion of each 2017 charter fee to the Everglades Trust. I applaud Orvis for becoming involed in this important cause. I became an Orvis Endorsed Guide over 20 years ago because of the Company's commitment to conservation. Those of us who make our livelihood from natural resources should give back to them. - Capt. Dave Pecci

The Orvis Company is partnering with anglers to help the Everglades Foundation save America's iconic wetland. Orvis will match every donation dollar for dollar up to $45,000 for a total contribution of $90,000.

To help, send your check to: The Everglades Foundation c/o The Orvis Company 178 Conservation Way Sunderland, VT 05250, or donate online.


I challenge all of you to donate to this extremely important cause. 

First, Join Orvis in the Fight to Save America's Iconic Wetland by signing the #NowOrNeverglades Petition Today! 

Second donate to the Everglades Foundation and Orvis will match your donation dollar for dollar.


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Charlotte Harbor – Pine Island Sound Fishing Report February 27, 2017

Conditions: Late morning low tides, hot and sunny. The dry conditions continue. Water temps will rise into the mid to upper 70s this week. Bait the fish are feeding on: Shrimp, crabs, pinfish, some glass minnows and sardines. Not much whitebait (threadfin Herring and scaled sardines) around.

7 day outlook: The coming week will more like April than the start of March


​02-27-17 Fishing Report Capt. Dave Pecci
Target species right now: Redfish, Sea Trout, Snook, Ladyfish, Jack Crevalle, Spanish Mackerel, Cobia and Bluefish. Fishing tactics....
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Charlotte Harbor – Pine Island Sound Fishing Report February 20, 2017

Conditions: I fished the East Wall, Matlacha Pass, Gasparilla Sound, Bull Bay and Turtle Bay last week. The water clarity was very good throughout the Harbor and it should be the same this week. There's a red tide bloom along the beaches from Boca Grande to Manasota Key but it hasn't entered the sounds or bays... 

Water temps are now in the mid-low 70s. Salinity remains high due to the lack of rain. Fishing conditions are excellent.

Capt. Dave Pecci - Obsession Sportfishing
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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 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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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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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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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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SW Florida - Pine Island, Boca Grande, Charlotte Harbor Fishing Report April 11, 2016

2016 04 07 Kern jack

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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SW Florida - Pine Island, Boca Grande, Charlotte Harbor Fishing Report April 4, 2016

2016 04 02 16 Cadin spanish

Conditions: Early morning low tides will provide great fishing along oyster beds, the edges of the grass flats and the deeper mangrove points. Water clarity and salinity continues to improve in lower Pine Island Sound and Matlacha Pass. The rest of the Harbor has very good conditions and excellent fishing. Fishing pressure should be lower this week now that spring break is behind us.

 

Species to fish for this week: Redfish, Spotted Sea Trout, Bluefish, Jacks, Ladyfish, Snook, Spanish mackerel.

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: Look for moving water near structure. Snook, redfish and jacks lay in wait at these ambush points. As the tide reaches flood move to the edges of grass flats and fish the potholes for staged up reds and trout. At high tide snook and redfish will cruise the mangrove shadows looking for an afternoon snack.

My fly fishing tip of the week: Keep an 8 or 9 Wt. rod rigged with a wire bite tippet. There’s been several schools of jack crevalle and spanish mackerel throughout the Harbor. Also, it’s time to keep that rigged 11 or 12 Wt. tarpon rod with you. I’ve been seeing a few rollers in the deeper sections of the lower Harbor and upper Pine Island Sound.

My spin fishing tip of the week: Keep a rod rigged with a short wire leader for the spanish and jacks. Best offerings for these toothy critters are hard plastic swimming plugs, poppers and metal lures. The flashier the better.
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7 day outlook: Cooler temps and off-shore breezes until mid week. The wind will shift to on-shore Wednesday. A slight chance of showers on Wednesday evening and Thursday. Winds should be light to moderate all week. We’ll have morning incoming tides this week providing lots of moving water.

 

 

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Pine Island, Boca Grande, Charlotte Harbor Fishing Report March 21, 2016

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Keven Stevens and Jason Webber with a nice Matlacha Redfish. Check out the video

Spring is here and the fishing is excellent. Water temps in the high 70s with good water clarity. Snook Reds and trout all eating flies and lures.

Species to fish for this week: Redfish, Spotted Seatrout, Bluefish, Jacks, Ladyfish, Snook, Tarpon

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

With the clearer and warmer water tactics change to fishing moving water along the grass flats and sight fishing for reds and snook on the sandbars and oyster beds. The fish will be more aggressive but also a bit spookier. Stay back and make long casts, if you can see the fish – they can see you too.

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My fly fishing tip of the week: I get asked about bite tippet a lot – Use a minimum of 20# for smaller fish. 25#-30# for baby tarpon and snook. Always use fluorocarbon. Check the tippet after EVERY catch. Not just by sight, do a pull test.

My spin fishing tip of the week: Same holds true for spinning gear: 20# for the little guys and 25#-30# for biguns. Check the tippet after EVERY catch.

We'll see a cold front pass through the first of the week. Winds should settle down and the fishing will be good through the weekend.

 

There's been some 10-12 pound jack crevalle cruising the flats - keep a 10 wt rigged with a white bait fly!

Check out the latest videos posts!

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Pine Island, Boca Grande, Charlotte Harbor Fishing Report March 15, 2016

2016-03-14-redfish

The fishing is excellent on Charlotte Harbor right now! Water temps have climbed into the high 70s and the redfish, snook and sea trout are all loving it. This 29" redfish was caught sight fishing in 15" of water on an oyster bed in Turtle Bay. Dick and Curt who are staying on Boca Grande also caught trout and snook on jigs and twitch baits. Even with the 10-15 knot winds its easy to find good light tackle and fly fishing in the backcountry. the last two weeks in March are going to provide some great fishing for sure! 

 

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Help Loading the Boat

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It's always nice having help loading up after a charter. These pictures were taken at the Placida Park boat ramp near the Boca Grande Causeway.

A snowy egret on the poling platform ans a great egret standing by on the dock made sure all those pesky shrimp were gone from the livewell.

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Spring fishing has arrived in Charlotte Harbor. The snook are moving on the sand flats, spotted sea trout are on the grass beds. The water temps are rising. The water clarity has improved greatly.  

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