Boca Grande to Venice fishing continues to please anglers.
Fishing is great but catching has been up and down because of the windy weather. Most of the migratory fish are here we just have been restricted to protected areas by the winds. As the winds backs off fishing improves both inside and near-shore.
We enjoyed some good trout action on live minnows until “Flipper” our begging dolphin friends moved in and ran us off. It was fun to see the dolphin except that they eat any fish we release. So we have to move on. We caught plenty for dinner and even a few for lunch at the Stump Pass Grille. The rattle corks are still our best tools to attract hungry trout. We also found some jacks, lady fish and mackerel.
Snook catching has been fair; some days they are not in the mood others they bite. The snook are moving around a lot. We found larger fish down by Boca Grande for a few days then they moved on. Charlotte Harbor is productive for both snook and trout now. Redfish are showing up in our catches but lack consistently. Some nice fish a week ago around Englewood but the winds seam to have them traveling. Fish will get back on their spring patterns anytime. The bite is not hot consistently yet, but we have been thrilled by some good fishing. With water temps up into the eighties snook are hungry just messed up with very high barometric pressures. Fish are not around the beaches and passes yet.
Kings are around but it is challenging sometimes to match our days of light winds with the folks that want to catch big kings. We did get outside briefly one day to catch two twenty plus pounders with John and Jack. Check out first photo page; shots eighteen, nineteen and twenty. Jack also caught the tasty cobia. We started out from their rental on Little Gasparilla Island and planned to fish inside so we only had my 40 Quantum Cabo spinning reels spooled with about three hundred yards of fifteen pound braid. The other boat in our group could not believe we caught such big fish on our snook and trout gear. The secret is simple; my 40 Cabos have smooth drags and large line capacity using braid. We took our time and finessed the big ones until the fish allowed we to reach out and touch them with my gaff. With receptive anglers and good coaching big fish can be tackled successfully on light gear. We saw several barracudas but they refused to bite. I’m looking for big permit to show up any time now.
Spanish Mackerel are still around also. They may be smaller big are very exciting on the light gear. We use chum to attract hungry fish and hold them in casting range. We frequently can see feeding fish striking our minnows at the surface and running around near the boat. Gulf waters are very clear right now and it’s awesome to see all the action. Sharks of all kinds and sizes frequently add to the adventure.
The pompano have been absent right now but we have not had folks that wanted to look for them either. I am hearing of some and looking forward to more of these speedy gourmet treats when clients are ready to pursue them.
Tarpon are available but the sharks are frequently bad. Tarpon are showing up in Boca Grand Pass but not always there yet. Fish are schooling up the beaches from Captiva to Venice already but not absolutely dependable. We could find a hungry bunch in the back yard or need to ride down south to Boca Grande. The best catching will be by the folks that take the risk and look early because new fish feed better than worked over fish. More fish will migrate in constantly for the next few months.
We have fish and our winter visitors have gone home so it’s as quiet out there as it gets. Come try your luck. Let’s Go Fishin’ soon. Captain Van Hubbard. <www.captvan.com>