It’s been more than three weeks since Hurricane Ian passed through, but cleanup efforts continue in and out of the ocean. For many people, getting back to their normal daily routine, even if it’s only for a day, can make a big difference, relieving stress after a storm. Fishing or returning to sea are excellent options.
Shallow-water anglers who enjoy much-needed salt therapy still contend with navigational hazards, whether afloat or submerged. Debris is less prevalent within the marked channels. Ventures outside the waterways, however, should be proceeded with extreme caution.
Once safely on site, snooks and redfish take the bait during both phases of the tide. Windy Gulf conditions have limited baitfish sourcing. Therefore, live shrimp, jigs and lures have proven effective in tricking the gamefish duo.
Before:Southwest Florida Fishing Report for Oct. 20: Pay Attention to Debris Onboard Electronics
more:Fishing in Southwest Florida: Anglers relax for salt water treatment after Hurricane Ian
Post-storm water quality has naturally become a hot topic of conversation and concern. The beach is technically closed, but boat launches and some marinas are open. Contaminants and bacteria can always be present in the open, so be careful.
Several local and state agencies and advocacy groups conduct daily tests up and down the coastline. It’s good practice to keep track of these results and plan accordingly.
Beyond the horizon, fishing effort remains low. Snappers, gag groupers, mackerel and sharks keep their rods bent.
Artificial reefs, crags and ledges at depths of 55 to 90 feet are the best areas to concentrate forces and eliminate the possibility of dumping red grouper carcasses in large open hard seabed areas.
“When we were running, we were catching fish for the group,” said Capt. Jean Luciano. “The situation is mixed in the Gulf in line with the catch.”
Luciano’s Dalys fleet departs from Naples City Docks, enjoying steady shots of snapper and gag groupers. From 18 miles he concentrated on ledges and man-made wrecks of a range of 25 miles, his skippers returning to port with happy customers and booming fish crates.
Luciano reports that yellowtail, mangrove and snapper dominated the week’s catch, along with keeper-sized gag groupers. The bait was cut squid, herring and live pinfish.
Naples/Gulf of Estero
“The snookbites ranged from good to great,” said Capt. Chris Turner. “Overall, the best action occurs early in the fishing day, near open bays.”
Turner and his crew successfully cast live sardines and shrimp towards rock piers and residential docks. Equipped with a combination of 2/0-3/0 kale on his hook and his 40-pound fluorocarbon leader, Snook up to 38 inches his catch went into Turner landing his net. Bonus catches of mangrove snapper, jack creval and redfish also kept the line tight.
As the Gulf waters slowly cool, Turner expects some seasonal species to begin to emerge. , suggest flipping the cork to target speckled trout, pompano, and the like.
Ten thousand islands
“Fishing is booming right now in the Ten Thousand Islands,” said Capt. Joe Casaro of Joe Snook Fishing Guide Services. The islands and waterways are devastated, but there are some fish to catch. ”
Cassaro has concentrated his guiding forces along the outer coastline, points south of the Fakahachie Pass, and along the central Gulf coastline. Cassaro and his anglers have cast jigs and topwater his lures, catching snook, redfish and scattered juvenile tarpon. Cassaro reports that the water was dirty and full of debris, but the fish are responding.
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