A Light Tackle Fishing Experience In Bonita Springs
Week of 12/01/13
The cooler months of winter change the fishing strategy. Instead of looking for cooler water we will now be looking for warmer water to zero in on where the fish can be found.
Best bet is going to be Sheepshead with the cool water temperatures. Target them on bridge pilings and docks. My favorite go to Sheepshead rig is a 3/8 ounce jig head with a live shrimp on it placed at the bottom of a bridge piling. We have been catching lots of Sheepshead in the 12” to 17” range which make for great table fare.
Redfish can be found during low tide tailing on the grass flats and around Mangrove Island adjacent to the grass flats on high tides. The larger fish will be the tailors at low tide, Fish 14” to 22” on the mangrove islands. Use live shrimp with a popping cork or with a small split shot lead sinker or a jig. There has been an invasion of Puppy Drum (small Redfish). They seem to be everywhere. Use small jigs like ¼ ounce Chartreuse or white jig heads and Hybrid Flurry.
You can find Pompano by fishing the deep edges of channels next to the grass flats using shrimp tipped jigs, use 3/8 ounce – ½ ounce short hair jigs or Doc’s Goofy Jigs in bright colors. The heavier jigs will get to the bottom where the fish are and the bright colors and small piece of fresh shrimp will give sight and sent appeal. Just bounce or hop the jig on the bottom.
Snook can found sunning themselves in very shallow water with dark bottom. Catching them has been pretty good lately. We have seen some nice size fish from 22” to 27”. Use free line live shrimp or shrimp with a small split shot or live pilchards. The best advice I can give you right now is to target the warmer water temperatures to increase your chances of hooking a nice fish.
|Week of 10/01/13
Now that fall is here with its cooler temperatures and drier airs, it is a great time to be out on the water.
Redfish are a hot bite right now. I have been getting good reports from Pine Island that schooling Reds are on the grass flats.
I have also been hearing good reports of schools of Reds to the south in Naples and Goodland. Look for them pushing water on the shallow grass flats and around oyster bars. Use shrimp under a popping cork or cut bait. If you like artificial, try using a top water plug like Savage Gear Top Pray and Bomber Saltwater Grade Badonk-A-Donk. You can find Reds under the mangroves too, for these guys I like to use a jig, something you can skip under the mangroves like a ¼ ounce jig head and 3” Edge Hybrid Flurry or Savage Gear Sand Eel Slug rigged weed less on an offset hook.
Mack’s are plentiful on near shore reefs and outside the passes. Use chum to pull them in and cast small buck tails in white or chartreuse. Silver spoons will work too. You can also drop a live shrimp to the bottom for Snapper.
Vast grass flats, miles of mangrove shoreline and so many species of fish can be a lesson in fustraion. Cast and complain, you need to fish with an experienced guide who knows the Estero Bay, Bonita Springs region of southwest Florida. Even through Estero Bay and Bonita Springs is a great year round fishery, even Snook, Redfish, Trout and Shark are seasonal. Estero Bay and Bonita Springs offers an endless year round opportunity for Snook, Redfish, Trout and Shark fishing.
We are out fishing most days, and here is what you can expect from fishing Estero Bay and Bonita Springs during the year.
There are 4 species of snook in Florida and we mainly target the "common snook" which is as the name implies the most common and also the largest of the snooks. The combination of mangrove islands, and brackish water makes Estero Bay the perfect habitat for these hard hitting jumpers. January and February are decent months for fishing snook. The action gets better in March, and really heats up in April and runs strong right through till October. Snook season closes from May 1st until September 1, and all snook must be released. The snook bite tapers off in November and December. This does not stop us from targeting some of the best inshore fishing has to offer.
|Along with the targeted species of fish we specialize in, you can also expect to catch
mangrove snapper, sheepshead, gag and goliath grouper, and tarpon.
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|Capt. Steve Nagy
Bonita Springs Fishing