Snook Fishing

Boca Grande / Charlotte Harbor,  Florida

Snook Fishing

Thousands of snook call Charlotte Harbor home. They are aggressive feeders that hang on structure and in current waiting for feed to come their way. Typically snook are not boat shy; it's common to have vicious strikes right at boat side and on occasion even in the prop wash of a passing boat. We blind cast and sight fish areas where sand bars converge with grass flats. In the spring, we'll fish along the Gulf beaches where snook gather prior to and shortly after they spawn.

Seatrout and Ladies in Matlacha Pass

Warming waters bring the bite back to Matlacha Pass. Seatrout and ladyfish woke up today. Redfish are moving back onto the oyster beds and the snook are moving back on the sand flats. This week is going to be good! Thanks to good friend Gordon Gillies for joining me today.

 

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Charlotte Harbor / Pine Island Sound Fishing Report February, 17th, 2015

 

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Light Tackle and Fly Fishing Conditions: Low water conditions will exist due the combination of astronomical tides and northerly winds. Water temps should rebound to the mid 60s during the weekend.

Bait: threadfin herring, pinfish, shrimp

Species to target this week: Redfish, Seatrout, Jacks, Ladyfish, Bluefish.

 Fishing Tactics: Work deep holes and grass flats for Redfish and seatrout where you will find warmer water. Snook fishing will be slow until the water temps rebound.

 My Fishing Tip of the Week: When the water temps drop use slow and deep fly  presentations.  

 7 day outlook: A cold will bring dropping temps and gusty Northerly winds mid week. By the weekend the temps will rebound and so will the fishing.

 

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Charlotte Harbor / Pine Island Sound Fishing Report February, 9th, 2015

 

 

 

Conditions: Water temps in the 60s, no red tide detected, Average tides with morning ebbs. NW winds midweek will drain a bit more water from the backcountry than the tide predictions indicate.

 

Bait: threadfin herring, pinfish, shrimp

 

Fishing Tactics: Morning ebb tide will expose oyster beds. You’ll find Redfish, seatrout and other species there. As the tide rises move to points and cuts where the current is moving for snook and more Redfish action.

 

My Fishing Tip of the Week: Start presenting your flies well before reaching the exposed portion of oyster bars.  Redfish will be cruising the transition between the bed and the flat. Sinking crab and shrimp patterns with slow strips work best.

 

7 day outlook: Highs will be in the 70s with lows in the 40s and 50s. Strong NW winds on Tuesday otherwise light. Water temps remain in the 60s 20-30% chance of showers Monday and Tuesday.

 

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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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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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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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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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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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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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Pine Island Sound, Ding Darling Reserve, Eastern Charlotte Harbor Fishing

 

What’s biting: Snook, Redfish, Seatrout and Jacks.

Gear Used: light tackle spin fishing and fly fishing.

Conditions: The weather fronts are becoming weaker as we move further into Spring. Bait is becoming more plentiful and water levels in the upper Charlotte Harbor are improving.

Technics that are working: If clouds or water conditions keep you from sight fishing you can blind cast to edges and potholes around the grass flats for redfish and sea trout. On the warmer days, try fly fishing the back country. Make your presentations tight to the mangroves. The snook and redfish will be there escaping the heat. When fly fishing after a passing cold front switch to a sinking intermediate or sink tip line and fish the deeper channels and holes using weighted flies.

Tip: I have never met an oyster bed I didn't like. It's worth a few snagged flies to explore them. There are many of these beds in Pine Island Sound to explore.

Outlook: The exiting cold front will give way to light east and southeast winds. The water will continue to warm ushering the first of the 2014 tarpon run. Watch for them at the passes and of Boca Grande and Captiva.

 

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Pine Island Sound Fly Fishing Report - Just for Fun 04-13-14

Launched at Pine Island Sound the other day for a morning of spin fishing and fly fishing. This guy launched right behind me, tied up his tunnel hull skiff and then left the scene to park his rig... He was ovboiusly rigged for some light tackle redfish and snook baitfishng action.  Mr. Pelican and his lookout, Mr. Egret almost cleaned him out of shrimp and white bait before his return. I'm guessing $30 - $40 in lost inventory. I offered these photos to the boat owner to use as evidence... No charges were filed however. Always remember to close your livewell lid.
 
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Boca Grande, Charlotte Harbor Fly Fishing Report 04-11-14

 

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Obsession Charters Fishing Report Friday, April 11, 2014

 

Big winds early in the week and rain on Tuesday stirred things up in Pine Island Sound and Gasparilla Sound. Monday we fished light tackle the mangroves along East Wall of Charlotte Harbor from Punta Gorda to Burt Store Marina escaping the 20-25MPH SW winds.  Cloudy water and a drop in temperature after the front passed put the Sea Trout and Redfish into deep water. Patience and constantly changing up flies and lures did produce some fish. Surprisingly, the snook stayed on the flats and we were able to sight fish to them every day we were out. The wind shifted to ESE on Friday allowing more moving water on the incoming tides in the cuts of Turtle and Bull Bay. Some of the live bait fishers were seeing some action after a couple days of lockjaw.

 

The tarpon migration has been slow to start due to the endless fronts pushing through Charlotte Harbor and Boca Grande. There have been a few rolling and laid up tarpon spotted in Pine Island Sound and near the Passes at Captiva and Gasparilla so things are starting to happen. I’ll be fishing in Matlacha, lower Pine Island Sound and the Ding Darling Reserve several days the next two weeks. These are very fishy places for both fly and spinning gear.

 

 

 

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