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Tag: punta gorda

Local Fishing Report from Kingfisher Fleet/Capt. Ralph Allen, Punta Gorda and Charlotte Harbor, April 2013

by on Apr.01, 2013, under Middle Charlotte Harbor, Siesta Key to Boca Grande, Upper Charlotte Harbor

Gulf of Mexico

Finally we can catch the making of a fresh grouper sandwich!  Red grouper season opened April 1 (along with the season for a few other, seldom-caught groupers) and the fishing for them is good on flat limestone rock patches starting in about 65 feet of water, and deeper.  One of the things that make red grouper so popular is that they can be caught on a wide variety of live and dead baits, though there are days when live pinfish or squirrelfish produce the best results.  Lane snapper, mangrove snapper, porgys, grunts and triggerfish have all been good on the same type of bottom in the same depths, so your odds of success are good while bottom fishing.  Not all the offshore action requires a run of 20 miles or more.  Shark fishing is already heating up along the coast (an unusual number of sharks were caught all winter this year) and all signs point to a busy shark season in the coming weeks.  Look for sharks within a few miles of the beach where they can be chummed up just about anywhere, though fishing around wrecks or reefs seems to up the odds.  Scattered schools of fish from the spring Spanish mackerel run arrived in Charlotte Harbor approximately the third week of March, and the action on these fish should turn red hot by early April.  The “other” mackerel, the larger king mackerel, usually arrive a few weeks after the Spanish mackerel run cranks into high gear, so it won’t be long now until smoker kings are zinging drags around offshore wrecks, reefs and schools of bait.

Charlotte Harbor

Rapidly warming water has fish on the move in Charlotte Harbor.  Trout are fanning out onto the flats, where they are joined by cruising cobia and bonnethead sharks.  Some blacktip, spinner, lemon and bull sharks are here now, but more will appear later this month and can be targeted along the edges of flats and bars, especially in the area between Cape Haze Point and the ICW.  Redfish and snook are moving out of the rivers and canal systems and are traveling outbound along the mangroves on both sides of the harbor.  As the water temps continue to climb these fish will begin to feed more on white baits and less on shrimp, a transition that’s already underway.  Canal, creek and bridge fishing for sheepshead and black drum is slowing down, but some of each will be taken this month.  Inland fishing for Spanish mackerel has been off-and-on for several weeks, but will switch into “full-on” mode any time now, offering hot action for anglers working the artificial reefs, the Cape Haze Bar and anywhere schools of bait are present.  Tarpon will show in fishable numbers sometime this month, though our cooler-than-normal March weather may delay their appearance somewhat.

Notes:

*Snook season closed until September 1, 2013

*Gag grouper season is closed, opens July 1, season length to be determined

*All other grouper opened April 1

*Greater amberjack will close June 1, open August 1

*Red snapper season opens June 1, season length estamated at 21 days

Let’s Go Fishing!

Capt. Ralph Allen

For more information, call (941) 639-0969

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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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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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