Redfish Fishing (Red Drum)

Boca Grande / Charlotte Harbor,  Florida

Redfish fishing

The expansive mangroves and grass flats of Charlotte Harbor provides perfect habitat for redfish (red drum).  Bull Bay, Turtle Bay and Pine Island Sound produce consistent redfish action. We fish for redfish with fly rods and light spinning gear. Flies are mostly sub surface baitfish and crab patterns but redfish will take top water offerings like sliders and gurglers too. Lures are typically soft plastic on jig heads, bucktails or swim baits that imitate crabs or fin fish.

Charlotte Harbor – Pine Island Sound Fishing Report May 22, 2017

Most of the tarpon and snook action is in the sounds and along the beaches. The back country is still... 
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Charlotte Harbor – Pine Island Sound Fishing Report 05-07-17

Watch for pods of tarpon a mile or more off the beaches early in the week.

05-07-17 Fishing Report - Capt. Dave Pecci

The cold front and northwest winds over the weekend moved the tarpon off the beaches and...

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Charlotte Harbor – Pine Island Sound Fishing Report May 2nd, 2017

Conditions: The tides will be productive in the mornings and again in the afternoons this week but there will be very little water... continued

Tarpon will be rolling and gulping air early. By mid-morning they will be running and daisy chaining below the surface.

05-02-17 Fishing Report
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Charlotte Harbor – Pine Island Sound Fishing Report April 24, 2017

There are a few tarpon and big snook on the beaches. More of them are showing up with each tide change.

Capt. Dave Pecci April 24th Fishing Report
The flats in Pine Island Sound are fishing better than the backcountry right now. Water temps are in the mid 70s and water clarity is good. Bait the fish are feeding on: Shrimp, crabs, pinfish, whitebait ...
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Charlotte Harbor – Pine Island Sound Fishing Report April 17, 2017

Conditions: Winds will be easterly or northerly less than 10mph most of this week. There is a slight chance of showers each day. Water temps will be in the mid to high 70s. We'll have neap tides the first of the week and...

Water clarity will remain excellent and the water level will be much higher on the flats than we've had the past several weeks...

Capt. Dave's April 17 Fishing Report
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Charlotte Harbor – Pine Island Sound Fishing Report April 10, 2017

Conditions: Morning low tides will provide good moving water and a variety of fishing opportunities this week. Water clarity will be excellent. Water temps will rise back into the high 70s.

The morning dropping tides this week will
provide great fishing around the oyster beds. As the tide comes back in and the
sun angle increases the flats will be the place to target...

Capt. Dave Pecci - Obsession Sportfishing
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Charlotte Harbor – Pine Island Sound Fishing Report April 3, 2017

Outlook: Hot with excellent morning tides all week. We'll have some southerly wind to contend with but with water temps in the high 70s...

April 3rd Fishing Report
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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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60* Water 20mph Winds and Flyrods

Day one - 40* at the boat ramp 60* water and 20mph north winds. Day two - warmer and less wind. Not a stellar day but we got it done.

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Charlotte Harbor Fly fishing Action March 14, 2017

John Albin and Jim McCadie joined me for a few days of fly fishing. We fished Matlacha, Pine Island Sound and the Cape Haze Peninsula. Water temps and water clarity provided some excellent sight fishing opportunities.  

Dry conditions continue. Water levels in the Harbor are low. Water Temps are in the mid-seventies. Water clarity is very good... 

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Charlotte Harbor – Pine Island Sound Fishing Report March 7, 2017

Conditions: Strong east winds drained a lot of water out of the backcountry over the weekend. Conditions will improve by mid-week as the wind subsides. Water clarity is very good. Water temps are from 65*-72*.

"Many of my redfish and snook spots are not holding bait or fish because of the low water conditions. Working potholes and deeper grass flats has been very productive..."

03-07-17 Fishing Report
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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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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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Every Flats Skiff Needs a Power Poll - Right?

I'm sorry but it hard to justify the cost of a Micro Power Pole. They are half the price of those full size ones you see on bay boats but still they're $700 plus installation - Really?... 

Problem #1- About 75% of the spots I like to stake up  here on Charlotte Harbor for sea trour, redfish and snook are hard packed limestone sand or oysters. You just can't poke a push pole into that stuff.
Problem #2 - An anchor really tears up grass flats and oysters beds.

This makes a power pole pretty appealing for sure but I'm cheap.

stickit1

Here's my $90 alternative. A 7 foot Stick It stake out pin from Fishin Franks and two $3.00 nylon fairleads from the Marine Trading Post. Stick It makes a really nice mount for $150, but I like $6.00 much better and I finally have a use for the rear trolling motor mount that came with the skiff.

stickit2

Yeh, I do have to take two steps across the aft casting deck to deploy the pin rather than pushing on a cool remote control. When not in use, it stows perfectly in the Redfisher's rod rack. Works just fine for me and there's $600 left in the checkbook.

stickit3

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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.

2015 05 18 bogue tarpon8sm

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.

toadfly

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.

2016 04 14Piccone trout

 

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

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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.

2016 04 14piccone jack5

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.

2016 04 14Piccone trout

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.

2016 04 14piccone jack6

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.

2016 04 11 snook1

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.

2016 04 07 Kern jack5

 

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