Seasonal Fishing Opportunities
The Boca Grande, Charlotte Harbor, Englewood and Venice areas of Florida’s west coast have many types of fishing, it’s challenging to list them all. Of course, tarpon snook , and redfish take many the headlines. Just don’t overlook the area’s other fish: trout, Spanish mackerel, king mackerel, pompano, permit, tripletail, cobia, flounder, whiting, ladyfish, bluefish, sharks, sheepshead, jacks, and numerous species of both grouper and snapper. You get the idea; there is something to have fun catching during any of Florida’s season. While some fish are seasonal, in the Sunshine State you can catch many species year-round.
Most of the time, Capt. Van prefers live bait (minnows or shrimp) – if available. Otherwise, Capt. Van uses artificials, lures, and flies. In fact, many anglers prefer to use artificials or fly because it’s more challenging and sporting. Artificials also allow you to cover more area, which is helpful if the fish are scattered. The backcountry, flats, and inshore fishing offer great action and something for dinner most of the time. If you prefer lures or fly, just let him know.
Spanish and king mackerel are migratory species and cruise thru in Spring and Fall. There is usually hot Summertime action with the Spanish too. They average 1-3 pounds and are usually caught around the passes and near-shore Gulf waters. Using light gear can heighten the excitement and provides some hot action. You can frequently see the fish running around behind the boat in our chum line. The kings are more seasonal but much bigger. We look for them in March/April or October/November.
Pompano are one of our favorite species both on the dinner table and bending our rods. They pull like jacks but are the number one gourmet choice for fresh fish dinners. Capt. Van uses small jigs tipped with fresh shrimp or sand fleas and fishes around the passes to entice pompano. The jigs are bounced along the bottom until it gets grabbed and the fun begins. They dart swiftly about keeping us on our toes dancing around each other. Pompano average about a pound but we’ve taken several over 5 pounds. There are a variety of species casting like this. Lots of action, great for those with little patience waiting for bites. We have some pompano year round but November through May is usually best.
Capt. Van’s guests can also enjoy opportunities to tangle with sharks, especially in the summer season. During this time, huge bull and hammerhead sharks follow the migrating tarpon schools. It’s a real shot at world records if you are strong enough. Several records have already been set in this area, but smaller ones are around too. A new hammerhead shark record was set in the summer of 2006.
Captain Van can draw from his extensive local knowledge and experiences to fish almost any local species, so don’t hesitate to ask about special trips. We don’t do off shore bottom fishing or breakaway jigging tarpon, but almost all other types of fishing in the areas of Boca Grande, Charlotte Harbor, Englewood and Venice, Florida.