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Capt. Tommy Thompson's Saltwater Angler's Guides

Middle Charlotte Harbor

Charlotte Harbor and Gulf Waters Fishing Report from King Fisher Fleet, Punta Gorda, 1/2/13

by on Jan.02, 2013, under Ft. Myers, Sanibel and Captiva, Middle Charlotte Harbor, Siesta Key to Boca Grande, Upper Charlotte Harbor

Gulf of Mexico

January is a peak month for close-to-shore bottom fishing on small ledges in 30 to 50 feet of water.  Gag grouper, mangrove snapper, triggerfish, large sheepshead and grunts will make up the bulk of the catches with a few hogfish, black sea bass, yellowtail snapper and mutton snapper mixed in.  Sometimes the smaller ledges (18 to 24 inches in height) produce the best fishing since these little ledges are overlooked by many offshore anglers.  While most of the action will be near the bottom this month, there will be occasional visits to the area by schools of bonita and Spanish mackerel so it may pay to fish a freelined shrimp while you’re bottom fishing.  Some years cobia show up on offshore wrecks in January, and on some of the deeper ledges and reefs there will be a few amberjack.  Red grouper is open this month and will (probably) be closed in February and March, so get ‘em while you can.

Charlotte Harbor

More Charlotte Harbor anglers will spend more hours targeting trout  this month than any other species.  Trout will be found in canals, boat basins and waterways during cooler weather and will move out onto nearby flats after several days of temperatures approaching the 80 degree mark.  The old standby shrimp/popping cork rig is hard to beat for numbers of trout, but skilled anglers can sometimes catch more fish on jigs.  Redfish can be found in most area mangrove creeks and canals and are starting to appear upriver.  Sheepshead spawning season is now getting underway and these tasty zebra striped fish are bunching up around pier and dock pilings and on the artificial reefs in the harbor, and a few table-sized mangrove snapper are inhaling baits at those same locations.  Pompano have been on-again and off-again in recent weeks with catches made along the edges of the flats which border the ICW and, surprisingly, back in some of the larger creeks.

Notes:

*Snook season closed until September 1, 2013

*Gag grouper season is closed, opens June 1

*All other grouper close Feb. 1, open April 1

*Gray triggerfish  in Federal Waters opened January 1

*Greater amberjack will close June 1, open August 1

Elissa Allen
Marketing Director
941-639-2628
www.kingfisherfleet.com

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Charlotte Harbor and Southwest Florida Gulf Fishing Report–from King Fisher Fleet, Punta Gorda

by on Dec.05, 2012, under Ft. Myers, Sanibel and Captiva, Middle Charlotte Harbor, Upper Charlotte Harbor

Gulf of Mexico

It’s transition time in the Gulf.  Gag grouper are moving onto inshore structures in good numbers as they do every fall/winter, and early-season action indicate that it’s a strong run this year.  It may be frustrating to release these beautiful fish during the closed season, but they sure are fun to catch!  Good news:  the ledges inhabited by the gags are also holding mangrove snapper and grunts, and the winter sheepshead run is just starting to get underway too, so if you fish shrimp on a few light rigs you’ll be able to take home enough quality fish for dinner.   These fish can now be caught in as little as 30 feet of water offshore, so you don’t even need to leave sight of land.  What about the mackerel?  Spanish mackerel have thinned considerably, but kings were caught in fair numbers just off the beach in the last week of November.  Good king mackerel action which lasts until Christmas has happened here in past seasons and may be the case for 2012.

Charlotte Harbor

Mackerel fishing can be good in the lower harbor during early December, but your odds of success go down as the calendar marches forward.  Redfish action has been sporadic with some good catches in Bull Bay and in Matlacha Pass.  Pompano have appeared on both sides of the harbor outside the bars and around some creek and canal mouths.  Mangrove snapper and sheepshead are hitting shrimp fished around rip rap in the canals and at the artificial reefs, and the sheepshead fishing will improve as winter progresses.  Black drum are beginning to gather around the bridges and in some of the Punta Gorda canals.  Don’t forget that trout season is not closed during December this year.  Trout have been scattered on the flats on both sides of the harbor, but will soon begin to school in dredged canals and in a few of the deeper creeks as the water temperature drops.

Notes:

*Snook season closed until September 1, 2013
*Gag grouper season closed November 1, opens June 1
*All other grouper close Feb. 1, open April 1
*Gray triggerfish closed in Federal Waters on June 11, opens January 1, 2013

Let’s Go Fishing!

Capt. Ralph Allen

www.kingfisherfleet.com

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Charlotte Harbor and The Gulf Fishing Report, 10/6/12, from Capt. Ralph Allen, The King Fisher Fleet

by on Nov.06, 2012, under Middle Charlotte Harbor, Siesta Key to Boca Grande, Upper Charlotte Harbor

Gulf of Mexico

Spanish mackerel, king mackerel, bluefish, sharks and a few stray blackfin tuna are haunting southbound schools of migrating bait fish, offering outstanding action for offshore anglers who find the action. Since everything is on the move, one day’s hotspot can be the next day’s desert, but since everything is generally moving parallel to the coast, if you know the depth they were at yesterday you can start your search there.  Things to look for:  diving birds, breaking fish, schools of bait which show on your depthsounder, and happily-hooked-up anglers on other boats.  Trolling usually produces the most fish but drifting the edges of the action and casting with light tackle can be a blast, and it’s also possible to anchor down, chum heavily with live and/or dead chum and pull the fish to you.  If you’re fishing within about ten miles of the beach, don’t be surprised if you find yourself attached to a very large redfish (or several of them at once) because schools of brood-stock reds run the beaches in the fall.  If you tire of mackerel fishing (or limit out), the bottom fishing for red grouper, lane snapper, grunts, porgies and other assorted reef fish is good on flat rock in 65 feet of water or deeper, and amberjack are stacking up on wrecks and artificial reefs starting in about 80 feet of water.

Charlotte Harbor

The biggest news on our inshore fishing scene is that for the first time in many years trout season is open in November (and December).  So far the best trout fishing has been on the flats in two to three feet of water in the upper harbor, and on slightly deeper grass flats in the lower harbor and nearer to the Gulf.  When temps cool a bit further look for trout fishing in canals, creeks and boat basins to perk up.  The redfish action in 2012 continues to be better than we’ve seen in several years with good numbers of slot fish found along the mangroves on both sides of the harbor, and fishable numbers are showing up in the canal systems and up the rivers now as well.  Snook continue to benefit from nearly three years of closed season, with many homeowners reporting stacks of fish gathered around their snook lights, and anglers playing the catch-and-release game with good numbers of smaller fish with a healthy mix of larger specimens, a sure sign of a recovered stock.  Sheepshead are starting to bunch up around some of their winter spawning sites including the piers at El Jobean and Placida, the artificial reefs in the harbor, and under docks and around rip-rap in the canals.  This winter fishery is just getting started and will become hotter and hotter as the water becomes cooler and cooler.

Notes:
Snook season remains closed,  opens September 1, 2013
Gag grouper season closed November 1
All grouper close February 1, open April 1
Grey triggerfish closed in Federal waters June 11, opens January 1

Let’s Go Fishing!

Capt. Ralph Allen
captain@kingfisherfleet.com

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The Saltwater Angler’s Guide to Tampa Bay and Southwest Florida is now available!

by on Oct.02, 2012, under Bradenton and Sarasota, Dunedin, Clearwater and Largo, Ft. Myers, Sanibel and Captiva, Hernando and Pasco Gulf Coast, Marco and The 10,000 Islands, Middle Charlotte Harbor, Naples, Old Tampa Bay--Above the Bridges, Siesta Key to Boca Grande, St. Pete Beaches, TAMPA BAY AND SOUTHWEST FLORIDA, Tampa Bay, East and South Shore, Tampa Bay, West Shore and St. Petersburg, Tarpon Springs, The Sunshine Skyway and Beyond to Egmont, Upper Charlotte Harbor

The Saltwater Angler’s Guide to Tampa Bay and Southwest Florida is now available!

It’s been a long time coming, but the University Press of Florida has just released my second fishing book.  If you’re a native and wanting more information on the Gulf of Mexico coastline from Chassahowitzka to Chokoloskee, you need this book.  If you’re planning to winter in Florida, you need this book.  Everyone needs this book. The Table of Contents is outlined below.

To order, simply click on the link on the sidebar to the right of this page and you’ll be taken to Amazon.com.  Thanks–and enjoy!

Part One–The Destinations

1.  Tampa Bay and Southwest Florida

2.  The Upper Suncoast-Hernando and Pasco Counties

3.  Tarpon Springs and North Pinellas County

4.  St. Petersburg and the Pinellas Peninsula

5.  Old Tampa Bay, Tampa and The Bay’s Eastern Shore

6.  Manatee and Sarasota Counties-The Gateway to Tropical Florida

7.  Charlotte Harbor and Her Gulf Islands

8.  Fort Myers, Estero, Sanibel and Captiva

9.  Naples, Marco and The Ten Thousand Islands

Part Two–Practical Matters

10. It’s All About The Fish…

11. …And How to Catch Them

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Placida/Englewood/Venice/Boca Grande Fishing Report from Capt. Van Hubbard, 6/18/11

by on Jun.18, 2011, under Middle Charlotte Harbor, Siesta Key to Boca Grande, Upper Charlotte Harbor

Monday thru Wednesday, June 6-9, Sara and Paul joined me from Williston, Fl. Paul ask his wife Sara what she wanted to do for vacation and without hesitation she said “let’s go fishing”. Sara wanted to catch her first tarpon. We ran all the way to Venice with no luck. Seeing fish but it was cool and they did not show long enough for us to stay with the schools. We got a few shots but no takers. So we stopped to change our luck and enjoyed a great lunch at the Crow’s Nest on Venice Inlet. Then we started back south towards Stump Pass. Just after we got to the Venice Pier I saw a few tarpon cruising south also. We observed them and the school stopped then started circling like happy tarpon. I only cast Sara’s line they looked so good. Slowly the silver mass eased up to here cork and it disappeared. Sara reeled and set the hook; she was finally hooked up. After several runs and jumps she landed her first silver king; and she was happy! Paul landed one a short time later and then Sara caught her second larger fish to top off a wonderful outing. We had fun and caught fish. It just took patience and persistence.

We found plenty of fish and hooked a big tarpon Tuesday but did not land any. The fish have been very finicky many times this year. Clear waters are beautiful and we like to see our target so clearly; but sometimes it’s challenging to seduce big fish in clear waters. We are fishing with up to twenty feet of fluorocarbon leader to compensate. Wednesday Sara caught a hundred pound tarpon early and then we went inside to try some snook. The tide was good and we cast netted some minnows for bait. Sara was lucky again and got twenty and seventeen pound trophy snook, plus several smaller snook. Paul was satisfied with his twelve pound snook plus several smaller ones and a very happy wife! They also caught some redfish and trout. We got double Grande Slams but could not get the Super Grande Slam, all four, in one day. It works out to increase your chances if you book several days; because you never know what will happen one day till the next. One day the fish chew and the next it’s slow. Weather can be a big factor especially this year. Multiple days certainly enhances your odds of success.

Thursday was tough we jumped a tarpon and caught some nice snook.  Slow current flow was not stimulating the fish.

Friday we got tarpon and more snook for Tommy and son Michael from St Petersburg. We have fished together for so long I’d feel old if we got into details; let’s just say we started before Michael was born and now Tommy is a Grandfather! Again the fish would bite for awhile then shut down then eat again. It helps when guests understand that the guide is not able to control the fish. But we make sure we have tasty treats to tantalize the big ones.

I took advantage of a couple of days off the water to catch up on boat and motor maintenance. Get tackle back in order and track down more crabs for tarpon bait. Unfortunately the winds picked up for Tuesday and Wednesday’s trips so we made the best of it with some fine snook catching. Baitfish are challenging now but I got some and we took advantage to the strong tide flow which was enhanced by the West winds. Rough seas kept us inside but we landed and released some fine snook. Daniel landed a trophy over twenty pounds on our first cast. I had a shad about seven inches long for bait; big fish like big baits! This monster took several minutes to land of our light spinning gear but Daniel did great. We got some great shots for the family to share and keep the memories fresh for a long time. It was o good to see three generations of men bonding and sharing time together fishing. Especially since tomorrow is Fathers day!

This coming week is busy and I’m looking forward to good fishing and fair weather after that big Full Moon on the fifteenth. I do have a few days open twenty-eighth, twenty-ninth and thirtieth, then lots of days open in July. We are enjoying some great catch and release snook action plus big tarpon for the next month or more. We need rain, we actually want rain so it will stir the Gulf waters up some; they are too clear for catching. Fish can see us as we look at them. It is awesome to see the big snook and tarpon swimming around our boat. Let’s Go Fishin’ soon.

Captain Van Hubbard

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PUNTA GORDA, FLORIDA, LANDS 2011 GUY HARVEY ULTIMATE SHARK CHALLENGE TOURNAMENT AND FESTIVAL, MAY 13 – 15

by on Apr.15, 2011, under Ft. Myers, Sanibel and Captiva, Middle Charlotte Harbor, Upper Charlotte Harbor

Event is Model for the Next Generation Shark-Release Tournament

PUNTA GORDA, Fla. (April 15, 2011) – The Guy Harvey Ultimate Shark Challenge Tournament and Festival returns to Southwest Florida by making its Punta Gorda, Fla., debut May 13 – 15, 2011, at Laishley Park. The tournament, hosted by Laishley Crab House (www.laishleycrabhouse.com), combines the allure of competitive big-game sport fishing with cutting-edge science, practical conservation principles and informative entertainment. It is quickly becoming an industry leader and model for the next generation of shark-release tournaments. Teams will be competing for $15,000 in cash and prizes as they fish Charlotte Harbor and the Gulf of Mexico.

The Ultimate Shark Challenge festival at Laishley Park on Saturday and Sunday will complement the competition by broadcasting highlights on digital displays. Event sponsors will conduct product demonstrations and giveaways and a wide variety of merchant vendors and unique attractions, such as Mote’s Mobile Aquarium, will be on display, along with shark-centric exhibits, interactive demonstrations and delicious food and cold beverages. Admission into this family-friendly festival is free.

Guy Harvey, world-renowned marine artist, conservationist and tournament partner, will make a personal appearance during the weekend to meet with fans and promote the tournament’s shared mission.

“The Guy Harvey Ultimate Shark Challenge Tournament and Festival will be a uniquely exciting event for participants, spectators and everyone who cares about the future of our oceans,” Harvey said.

Teams will have the option of entering a two-day elimination competition with either two or three anglers. A dozen shark species are eligible for points, but finding and catching them aren’t the only challenges teams will face. To qualify, eligible sharks must meet a minimum total length of five feet.

Sharks will be measured in the water using a device custom-designed and provided by the USC before they are research tagged by the team and released back to the wild. In some cases, candidate specimens may be outfitted with a satellite tracking tag. An observer professionally trained and certified by USC staff and the Mote Center for Shark Research in species identification, tournament rules and proper tagging and release procedures will also be placed on board each team vessel.

Mote Marine Laboratory’s Center for Shark Research staff is USC’s chief science and research partner, and will oversee those aspects of the tournament, including all tagging operations. Hammerhead and bull sharks will be the focus of the satellite tagging efforts, but other species, such as tiger sharks, may be tagged. Tags are designed to transmit location and other valuable information about the shark’s travels. Once satellite tags are deployed, the public will be able to follow these sharks’ travels online.

Additional information about the 2011 Guy Harvey Ultimate Shark Challenge Tournament and Festival including team registration, sponsorship opportunities and festival vendor inquiries, can be found on the event’s website www.UltimateSharkChallenge.com.

Where to Stay during the 2011 Guy Harvey Ultimate Shark Challenge

Those traveling to Punta Gorda to attend the tournament and festival can take advantage of the $82 per night room rate at the event’s headquarter hotel, Four Points by Sheraton Punta Gorda Harborside (www.fourpoints.com/puntagordaharborside). The hotel is located adjacent to Laishley Park & Marina and within walking distance to dining and shopping. Accommodations at the discounted rate should be booked directly with the hotel by calling (941) 637-6770 and asking for the “Guy Harvey Ultimate Shark Challenge” rate. The discounted rate is subject to tax, based on availability and valid May 13 – 15, 2011. Additional lodging options can be found online at www.charlotteharbortravel.com.

About Ultimate Shark Challenge Creators

The tournament was first developed in 2009 when brothers Sean and Brooks Paxton approached Robert Hueter, Ph.D., director of Mote Marine Laboratory’s Center for Shark Research, with their concept for a new all-release shark tournament format. The brothers already knew Hueter had run a successful all-release, research-driving shark tournament between 1989 and 1998 along the Southwest Florida coast. Before too long, the trio and their evolving ideas were joined by Capt. Robert Moore, whose experience and like-mindedness were essential to rounding out this new ‘shark-release’ concept. Ultimately, the four of them teamed up with renowned marine wildlife artist, scientist and conservationist Guy Harvey, Ph.D., to produce this innovative new model for responsible sport fishing that also promotes and supports shark research and marine conservation.

About Mote Marine Laboratory

Founded in 1955, Mote Marine Laboratory is an independent nonprofit marine research organization. Mote is dedicated to advancing the science of the sea through the study of marine and estuarine ecosystems, through our public Mote Aquarium and through an education division that provides unique programs for all ages. Learn more at www.mote.org.

About Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation

Founded by marine biologist and artist Guy Harvey, the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation is an organization of philanthropists, conservationists, scientists and educators focused on developing sensible strategies for promoting the conservation of our oceans and nurturing the next generation of marine scientists and guardians of our seas. Read more at www.guyharveyoceanfoundation.org

About Charlotte Harbor & the Gulf Islands

Located halfway between Tampa and Naples on the Southwest Florida Gulf coast, Charlotte Harbor & the Gulf Islands is a charming collection of nine coastal communities surrounding the state’s second largest harbor. Florida’s premier year-round eco-tourism destination, Charlotte Harbor & the Gulf Islands offers a pristine unspoiled beauty that has served as the backdrop for seven major feature films as well as countless memorable vacations.  A haven for outdoor enthusiasts, Charlotte Harbor & the Gulf Islands has been named to SAIL magazine’s “10 Greatest Places to Sail in the United States,” ranked by Golf Digest as “Third Best Place to Live and Play Golf in America,” and rated by MONEY magazine as one of the “Best Places to Live in the South.” Port Charlotte was named “Best Place to Retire” by MONEY magazine in 2009. The city of Punta Gorda was named in 2008 as one of “Top Ten Places to Retire Healthy” by U.S. News & World Report. Englewood, Fla. was named as #2 of the Top Ten emerging travel destinations in the U.S. by TripAdvisor.com. Learn more at www.CharlotteHarborTravel.com.

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March 3, 2011 Placida/Englewood/Boca Grande fishing report from Captain Van Hubbard

by on Mar.03, 2011, under Ft. Myers, Sanibel and Captiva, Middle Charlotte Harbor, Siesta Key to Boca Grande

It’s windy along our Venice/Englewood Beaches but fishing is fine.

Monday started out different; Michael and family showed up on time at eight-thirty but climbed onto one of the other guide boats and pulled out as I docked. We ended up laughing about it after they came back and we matched up clients and guides. I was able to catch some minnows; first ones this year, and one of my guide friends also gave us a hundred more. We had fine shrimp and whitebait and I expected to tear um up. I should know better but the south wind usually turns fish on. Not Monday but we did end up with a nice mess of trout and some Spanish Mackerel for dinner. The ladyfish and small sharks kept us busy.

Today Zane, Jim and Garry joined me to have fun catching a mess of fish. The youngster got things started with a couple of keeper trout. The other two took longer to get cranking. We would catch a few fish and then move along to pick up a few more. Zane was the shark man today, catching several up to four feet, but everyone ended up catching some drag pulling sharks.  Garry got the biggest trout about four pounds. We ended up with a bucket full of fish and smiles all around.  We had enough fish to draw a crowd at the cleaning table. We had some fried trout at the Grille for lunch and discussed another trip before they head back north.

It was beautiful so we cruised the Boca Grande, Gasparilla Island Beaches home to Stump Pass. Waters were calm and clear but no striking fish yet. I expect to see screaming gulls, minnows, and mackerel any day now. Water temps are above seventy and climbing everyday. I spent my evening making up kingfish leaders and I’m guessing we’ll catch some soon.
Pompano are heading our way but still too far to chase with gas prices. I expect to be catching everything before the next Full Moon on the nineteenth. If you want to get in on the hot action it’s time to lock in a reservation or risk missing out. Let’s Go Fishin’ soon. Tarpon will be here before you know it!

PS I’ll be at the Tribune’s Frank Sargeant Show Saturday afternoon, come see me!

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Captain Van Hubbard Placida/Englewood/Boca Grande Fishing Report for 2-5-11

by on Feb.06, 2011, under Middle Charlotte Harbor, Siesta Key to Boca Grande, Upper Charlotte Harbor

Today I had the pleasure of sharing a fishing trip with Rob and Nathan from upstate New York near Buffalo. They live on a family nursery farm.  Summers are busy so they get away now for vacation.

We shared the morning in very dense fog, out of sight, and catching fish. We caught small trout and reds at first. We’d catch a few then move a little and catch a few bigger ones. Finally we caught some slot fish then a couple of big specks. It was so good to have Rob teach his eleven year old son that it is important to his fishing future that he put the biggest ones back for tomorrow. Nathan did not hesitate and that shows me how even in this crazy world there is hope for a brighter tomorrow! His beaming smile was so encouraging.

Winter fishing with sixty degree water is not what I am used to but it’s all about our perspective; it is so much better than upstate Ney York in February for a father and son bonding on a fishing trip. We fished with live shrimp and rattle corks along a deeper grassy edge. The reds were on the flat and the trout in the deeper sandy areas. It was low water so fish were concentrated until the tide came back. We also had fun with the ladyfish that held in slightly deeper waters.

I am spoiled by our warmer water fishing but we do enjoy some good action now; especially on the warmer south winds. Spring is just around the corner so our migratory mackerel and minnows are due next month as waters approach seventy degrees.  Snook and trout will be moving out as soon as the waters warm up into the mid-seventies. Tarpon show up in the upper seventies. Mackerel and kings will hang around until waters reach about eighty. Permit will show up then too. Pompano are due any time after it starts to warm up; maybe early March. Sheepshead are here, hungry and will peak soon. Bottom line is simple; it’s ok now and improving every time the waters warm a few degrees!

It’s time to get ready for Spring fishing. Make sure your gear and reservations are in order. Take advantage of the cooler windy days to maintain your rig and set up your plans. Let’s Go Fishin’ soon. Captain Van Hubbard

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Placida, Englewood, Boca Grande Fishing Report, October 24, 2010 from Capt. Van Hubbard

by on Oct.24, 2010, under Middle Charlotte Harbor, Upper Charlotte Harbor

I enjoyed a great trip to the North Carolina, Mts.  The Lewis’ are part of my Mother’s family and have an annual reunion on Mt Mitchell every October.  I was able to get away and share the fun again this year.  We drove up and visited Merry Beth’s sisters in Cumming Ga. Friday night then went up to the mountains early Saturday.  It was a long but beautiful drive. We joined the reunion at lunch time and feasted with them.  It was cool so we even had a fire. The colors were not “peak” but still a blessing to us.  We spend a few nights camping then found a neat log cabin near Cherokee NC. for a couple more nights. I even caught some colorful rainbow trout right in front of the cabin!  We came back to Georgia visited with MB’s sisters and their great kids then even saw some high school football before heading home on Sunday the seventeenth.

Got home about midnight and went fishing Monday morning.  The weather was good and fish were biting so we got back on the water.  While the bite was not hot for us we caught some kings, cobia and Spanish.  We are so blessed to be able to enjoy varied opportunities available in America today. Please do your research and vote to protect our freedoms.

Wednesday was beautiful. Minnows were plentiful and large. The morning was calm and waters clear. Robert Echols and his friend Eddie had traveled from Texas to try our Englewood fishing.  Their cottage was right on the gulf at Englewood Beach. Conditions looked perfect as we departed the marina. I had seen several snook recently so we tried them first. We had plenty of bites and saw the fish chasing our minnows, except the Full Moon bite was on.  By this I mean the fish were full from feeding all night yet still could not resist tasting our fine minnows. They just would grab the bait and then spit em back out instantaneously.   So we headed off shore.  We saw miles of threadfins on our way out but found no hungry big fish. We stopped at an artificial reef and slow trolled looking for big king mackerel. They caught their limits and a couple of fat Spanish Mackerel too.  We saw some barracuda and big hound minnows but no cobia today.  Both of my new friends were tired of pulling in fish so we went back to the marina and had some fresh mackerel at the Stump Pass Grille.  It was great to sit back eat fresh fish and get better acquainted with these gentlemen.

Thursday the McAllister family joined me. They vacationed on Englewood Beach for a week from Pendleton, In. Larry and Melissa managed to catch their daughter Natalie and son Eliott open together for a getaway family trip visiting relatives in our Venice area.  I caught bait and picked them up at Stump Pass Marina at eight-thirty AM. It was a beautiful morning so we went out to one of the fishing reefs near shore.  Our first line went in at nine AM and we got into action immediately.  I had large minnows and the kings were eating them.  Larry got the first one, then Eliott got a bigger one.  Next Natalie caught its twin.  Not to be out done Mom took over and landed our largest of the day, almost thirty pounds.  I looked at my Lowrance Electronic unit and it was only nine-forty-nine; not bad for less than and hour!  Larry got another nice one and Eliott pulled one more out before the fish shut down.  We looked around a found a fifteen pounder on Englewood Beach to close the trip out.  We went in and enjoyed some fresh kingfish at the Stump Pass Grille everyone cleaned their plates!  What a great trip shared with a wonderful family.

Friday and Saturday old friends came down from St Pete and we went off shore in their boat. We enjoyed the time together plus some gag grouper and mango snapper.  We had fresh stone crab and snapper for dinner on Friday night; live is great!

Fishing is very good right now! It will last as long as minnows and the weather stay right.  The hard north winds are not far off so don’t put your special time on our waters off for too long; Winter is not far away!  Let’s Go Fishin’ soon! Captain Van Hubbard.   www.captvan.com

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Charlotte Harbor Fishing Report, Capt. Van Hubbard, September 11, 2010

by on Sep.12, 2010, under Ft. Myers, Sanibel and Captiva, Middle Charlotte Harbor, Upper Charlotte Harbor

Making the most of hot summer weather. 9-11-10

While I have slipped in a few productive fishing trips in the past month or so I also took advantage of the opportunity to visit friends and family.  Since business was slow between the hot weather and all the global bad press about the BP oil spill mess I made the most of my time off and traveled around America’s East Coast.

Let me emphasize that we had no actual oil problems locally. All of our problems were a direct result of mass media’s misrepresentation of Florida’s oil contamination. Fact is only about one percent of Florida’s Gulf Coast actually saw any oil on their beaches! It’s a shame our world press loves to sensationalize rather than report facts.  Hopefully that is all behind us.

Back to brighter thoughts.  I had a couple of days to spend with my brothers in Key West. Then Merry Beth and I visited some of Florida’s East Coast.  It had been way too long since I had seen these special places.  We stopped in Auburndale for a friend to check out and fix up my Chevy Van for a road trip.  We then spent about three weeks visiting family and friends, some I had not shared time with in decades.  I am thankful and feel blessed to find the time to see them while I can.  We went all the way to Lake Ontario in up state New York.  I did see some nice salmon up there but did not fish any.

We came home so I could catch a few trips and we could take care of some writing responsibilities.  We still have some fine redfish. The recent rain runoff has darkened Englewood and Venice areas inside waters but our fish are even more colorful because of the dark waters.  The speckled trout have vivid hues and that little bit of purple is extra vibrant.  I am still looking for some pompano because their breasts should be almost gold.  None so far but I know we will catch some soon.  We already have some mackerel off our Venice Beaches.  Kings can not be far off.  Snook are available but we can not keep any till next year.  The good news here is we have snook to replenish local stocks.  Bottom line is its still hot here but slightly cooler every week and Fall fishing is almost here.  Do not miss the great fishing we are about to enjoy.  By Thanksgiving our weather could change our catching.

God Bless America! Especially today; find time to share with your friends and family. Today powerfully reminds us just how dramatically our lives can be altered.

Let’s go fishin’ soon. Captain Van Hubbard.  www.captvan.com

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