September 22, 2023
Capt. Greg Stamper of Snook Stamp Charters talks fishing from Sarasota to Bonita Beach, including Siesta Key, Englewood, Boca Grande, Port Charlotte, Punta Gorda, Pine Island, Cape Coral, Captiva, Sanibel and Fort Myers
September 22 - 24
Fishing has been good this week, thanks to some consistent weather. Things felt normal for this time of the year, as afternoon thunderstorms and a few morning rains occurred daily. This is the summer fishing we are used to around here. No Saharan dust or hurricanes moving close by to deal with made things nice. The reliability of our summer weather patterns seemed to agree with the fish as well.
The shallow waters of our bays teamed with life this week. “Rain bait” otherwise known as schools of small fry, were everywhere. Our predatory fish were hunting them both along shorelines and out in the open. Trout fishing picked up this week, with good numbers and size. Most of the trout were found on the grass flats in two to four feet of water. These same flats produced pompano, ladyfish, snappers, and of course catfish. Once we had our fill of trout fishing, we moved in toward the mangrove shorelines with the rising tide. There we found plenty of snook, ranging from 15 to 30 inches. Redfish took the same pilchards meant for the snook, as well as some jack crevalle. There has been a good number of finger mullet showing up in our back bays as well as plenty of white bait on our beaches, so getting live bait is not a problem now.
The nearshore fishing was also good. Permit fishing was a popular starting point for many. After a few permit were caught, focusing on the same areas dropping baits to the bottom worked out well. Dropping down threadfin herring on 5/o circle hooks around the wrecks not on top of them, produced plenty of snook action. Tarpon fishing is another option however the fish are spread out. If you’re lucky enough to find a school of fish relatively quickly, you will probably hook one. The negative about tarpon fishing this time of the year is you may need to search for them for a while before you have an actual chance to fish for them.
Offshore reports continue to be good. Most boaters are targeting snappers in 70-100 feet of water. The best snapper fishing reports have come from those that are targeting them at night. Chumming them up from the bottom and freelining baits to them behind the boat has been excellent. At night you can expect mangrove snappers up to eight pounds. Those that are willing to run out deep, another 30 miles, are finding groupers, wahoo, tunas, as well as an occasional school of mahi to play with.
Editors Note: Signatures Needed! The "Right to Clean and Healthy Waters" petition needs 900,000 signatures by November 30 to get on the 2024 ballot. Learn more here: http://www.floridarighttocleanwater.org/
Capt. Greg Stamper
Snook Stamp Charters