Sarasota to Bonita Beach

Includes Siesta Key, Venice, Englewood, Boca Grande, Port Charlotte, Punta Gorda, Pine Island, Cape Coral, Captiva, Sanibel and Fort Myers

April 13-15

If you’re going to hit the water, do it early in the weekend. Winds are supposed to pick up late Saturday and it’s going to be messy on Sunday. However, the good news is fish usually bite very well just before an approaching front. The bite on Saturday ought to be great!


Honestly, I didn’t hear much from the offshore captains and friends this week. Charters are starting to slow down, now that many snowbirds are headed back home.

I’d give the nearshore reefs a go. The snapper bite has been very good over hard bottom in about 30-feet of water. Live shrimp on the bottom will find them. I’d also hit up the May Reef off of Fort Myers Beach. This is the time of year the pompano come in for a few weeks, along with a mix of seatrout, mackerel and bluefish. Keep your eyes open for tarpon. They like to cruise the outside edge of the May.

Good tides will move the water through the passes, so head there if all else fails. A pass is always a good place to bend a rod when the water is moving.

Tarpon are solidly in place off of Sanibel and Captiva. Some are very close to the beach in 8 to 9-feet of water, while others are further out. Look for the frigate birds, rolling tarpon and of course, other boats. Best bite has been in the early morning.


The redfish are on the prowl on the open flats of Pine Island Sound. I fished yesterday and the best bite was during the afternoon outbound tide. Live shrimp on jigs were the ticket.

We also caught lots and lots of seatrout. I’m really not sure of the count, but I’d guess about 30 to 40 total. Not a lot of slots, but plenty of action. Best lure was a Berkley Gulp! Shrimp on a red head jig. We worked them slowly across the bottom with short hops.

Ditch Fishing

Some areas of Lee County got a bit of rain on Tuesday. That pushed a little runoff water into the canals and that bumped the fishing up just a tiny bit. Most noticeable was the bass bite. Carolina rigged dark colored worms worked best, with June bug colored lizards coming in a close second. More rain is due on Sunday and it looks like that may really help the drought.

Yes, the snook are still cruising the beaches. You fly guys and gals really ought to take advantage of it whenever you can. I’d tie on a Norm’s Crystal Schminnow in white and work it slowly right at the waters’s edge.

Enjoy the weekend and be sure to take a kid fishing.

Capt. Rob Modys

Load Comments ( )

Don’t forget to sign up!

Get the Top Stories from Florida Sportsman Delivered to Your Inbox Every Week