The record high temperatures of the last two weeks see us going into the Thanksgiving holidays with water temperatures around 80 in the Gulf and as high as 85 in the backcountry. This Fort Myers fishing report finds the weather feeling like July and the bite has been as hot as the weather. The resident Tarpon have been extremely active at night the past week and were readily hitting the right fly, although they were refusing to bite anything but a fly.
On the other hand there redfish have been really going strong the last week and are hitting just about any artificial you care to throw. Again my go to bait regardless of the time of day right now is top water not only is it easy to fish in very shallow water you can’t beat those explosive topwater redfish strikes. It looks as though this warm weather is going to take a turn to normal this coming weekend so get out before that front passes and enjoy some phenomenal fishing.
Here’s a picture of Dale W. from Minnesota with one of 5 nice redfish he caught the other day on twitch baits. All of the redfish were carefully released to fight another day, they are far too valuable to catch just once. With our latest population boom it’s time for everyone to embrace the catch and release philosophy for Redfish and Snook in order to protect them in the face of exponentially increasing pressure.
Once the front passes the fishing is probably going to improve everywhere inshore as we get closer to water temperatures that will be in the 70s instead of the 80s and should spark a tremendous bite on every flat you can find. This was starting to occur two weeks ago before this latest warm spell came back. So be on the lookout in the next four or five days for lots of birds diving on the flats and you are likely to find big schools of trout, redfish, ladyfish, and even some Spanish mackerel that have started to move inshore.
Remember this is the time of year when the gag grouper’s and that cobia will move far inshore and most fisherman don’t take the time to chase these fish in the deeper water adjacent to the flats. One of the very best ways to catch them is trolling a crank bait at between three and 5 miles an hour. The strike of the cobia hitting a trolled bait is really something you’ve got to experience, even of fish as small as 35 or 36 inches really pounds a crank bait. So the next time you’re out take some time to throw a couple of baits over and troll the edges of the ICW, you just might be surprised at the amount of action you get
Good Fishing and Tight Lines!
Capt Eric Anderson
What A Hawg Fishing Charters – Ft Myers, FL