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(Recreational Angler)
10/1/02 02:23 AM
SW Florida Fishing [Post#: 921 ] Reply to this post

Southwest Florida Fishing Report
September 29, 2002

This past week has certainly had it’s ups & downs. “Isadore” traveled through our coast and brought with her, wind, rain and more wind. The conditions made fishing difficult and uncomfortable, many of my scheduled trips were canceled and/or rescheduled. The days I was able to get out provided for fair to good fishing.

This week’s low salinity level and dirty water drove most of the bait to cleaner, more distant waters. Toward the end of the week, and certainly through the weekend, bait was again located in the usually areas. The Harbor held pods of threadfins in the 4-7 inch range. The bars that line Bokeelia and Jug Creek, as well as Sandy Fly Key and the Trestles all held bait once again.

With bait, came the fish. Spanish Mackerel, Ladyfish, Bluefish and Jacks were terrorizing most threadfin pods in open water. Silver Crocodile Spoons, Gold Johnson Sprite Minnows and Storm Chug Bugs all drew attention. While the fish were not as glamorous as Tarpon & Snook, the feeding frenzy found within most bait pods proved to be fast, furious and very exciting. Fish on every cast until your arms fell off were the case. The Macks averaged 12 – 20”, the Jacks & Bluefish ran on the small side, and the Ladyfish were from 12” up to 24”. When working the pods, keep an open eye for Cobia or Tarpon. We saw one nice Cobia this weekend but could not make the connection. With that said, ALWAYS keep a 12 or 15lb spinning rod with a #50 or #60 mono leader tied to a Jig or awaiting threadfin ready at all times.

Moving into the shallows, Redfish schools were still working the bars. In addition, we found quality Redfish working the points of Mangrove Islands adjacent to deeper water in Gasparilla Preserve, as well as inside the bar between Burnt Store and Two Pines. The usual Gold Spoon made a connection every time.

The Snook bite was on and off in the preserve, however, quality numbers were caught working the canal systems of Pirate Harbor, Charlotte Beach and PGI. Work the docks at high tide and focus on the drop-offs and sailboats during the low tide. ¼ Chartreuse jig head with your favorite 4 – 6” grub or jerk bait will do the trick, and of course, live bait will get them every time.

In between the Snook we also found some Jack Crevalle and Juvenile Tarpon to fill the Snook voids. In addition, we found Pompano toward the south end of Bull Bay.

This week will be a windy week with yet another system rolling in. Get your fishing in very early in the week, as Hurricane Lili is moving up through the western gulf bringing with her more windy days and dirty water. Please visit our site for fishing reports for the remainder of Florida.

Until next time, tight lines.

Capt. Allan B. Beraquit

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