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.

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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.

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.

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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.

2016 04 11 snook1

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.

2016 03 15 redfish stevens3

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.
2016 04 01 gray trout1

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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David Soule Fly Fishing for Ladyfish and Redfish in Matlacha Wildlife Refuge

David Soule from Maine enjoying a morning of back country fishing in Charlotte Harbor's Matlacha Pass Wildlife Refuge. The first segment is catching ladyfish and the second is David's first redfish on a fly rod. He caught it blind casting an Orvis Helios 2 8wt into the mangroves with a hollow fly whitebait pattern I've been working on.

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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.

2016-03-14-redfish

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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Great Back Country Fishing in Matlacha Pass with Keven and Jason

Keven Stevens and Jason Webber had a great day of back country fishing with me in Matlacha Pass Wildlife Refuge on the southern reaches of Charlotte Harbor. We were fishing with fly rods and light tackle spinning gear. Check out the nice redfish hooked in 14" of water on a MirroLure Twitchbait then watch a school of 10-12 pound jack cravale smashing bait in 2 feet of water on a grass flat. We also caught sea trout, ladyfish and snook. NICE!

Keven and Jason, it was great getting to know you, safe travels home and hope to fish with you again! Capt. Dave

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Jason Webber Light Tackle Fishing for Redfish in Matlacha Pass


Jason Webber and Keven Stevens had a great day of back country fishing with me in Charlotte Harbor's Matlacha Pass Wildlife Refuge. We caught sea trout, ladyfish, snook, jacks and this nice redfish on fly and spinning gear. This 28" red was staged up along the mangroves in 12" of water. Jason caught it on a MirroLure twitch bait. Great getting to know you guys! Safe travels home.

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Light Tackle Redfish Fishing in Charlotte Harbor's Bull Bay


Curt hooks into a nice redfish in 12" of water along the edge of a oyster bed in Bull Bay. Two laps around the boat later we get a couple good "grip and grin" photos and release Mrs. Red. Curt did a great job! Caught it on a 1/4 oz. jig tipped with a live shrimp using 12 pound spinning gear. Finished up the 4 hour trip with redfish, trout and snook.

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