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Captiva Island Fishing Charters

Fishing Reports from Sanibel and Captiva

March (weeks 1 and 2)


Fishing has been picking up steadily with warming trends around Sanibel and Captiva.  The water quality is rebounding daily from lack of rain and cutbacks on the discharges from the lake.  The bait has been spotty but it's there if you work for it at the bridges.  Look for diving birds and throw with the wind!  Snook season is officially open and we'll be doing a lot of catch and release snook fishing this month!  Stay tuned!



We are again under tons of fresh water from Lake O this month however, fishing seems to be picking up on the warming trends right before the next cold front!  We have water temps in the 60s still but that should pick up as Spring kicks in.  Sheepshead bite is hot lately using shrimp on a 3/8oz rootbeer colored circle hook jig head.  Snook mixed in on occasion along with snapper and some trout.  Hoping for warmer weather and for the return of the bait!  Shrimp are great winter-time baits around SWFL.  Fishing around docks, structure, and mangroves produces the best sheepshead bite, although they can also be caught on oyster bars at high tide.



After the new year fishing took a pretty good hit with cold temperatures dropping the water temp to the low 60's.  On top of low temps we had record rains.  We managed some fish each trip but it got tough towards the end of the month with extensive fresh water discharges coming from Lake Okeechobee.

There was a lot of activism about the water quality this month.  Make sure you write to the appropriate people to make your voice heard about reducing Lake O Discharges.,,,



December has been great fishing so far!  A lot of good sized, but under slot snook in the sound and there are still plenty of keeper redfish around the bayous and bush lines. Double and triple hookups are always fun.  The bait has been thick and easy to get. We have had record highs sprinkled throughout the month, affording us warm waters far longer than we usually have had them in the past. There have been a lot of really nice kingfish and cobia caught lately offshore, from what others are saying.  There's supposed to be a strong cold front coming at the end of this week (week 3), so we'll see how week 4 and the first week of the new year go!


November continues with the warm weather trend, with near record highs daily.  Hunting season is the main focus right now, so I haven't been doing much by way of charters. The ones we did run were productive though!
Deer season was rewarding, yet again.  The freezers are full and everything is ready for the busy season.  

In between hunting trips I ran a few goliath grouper charters out of Sanibel.  We had a good time, all fish were released un-harmed. Fishing has been good across the board from redfish all over Pine Island Sound, to snook up the river.  Tight lines!

October Weeks 3-4

Unseasonably warm temperatures and high winds have been less than stellar lately but the bite has been persistent to those that have been diligent in their pursut of fish!  This guide has been spending some time in the woods and having some upgrades done to the Pathfinder!  A new motor and new flooring makes the old girl look just like new!  Things are starting to pick back up again with the snowbirds in town, so stay tuned for some great charter soon as deer season is over!

October Weeks 1-2

Weather has been nothing short of fantastic for the first part of October here on Sanibel and Captiva.  Fishing has been nearly the same when the tides cooperate!  Shelling has been good with reports of sand dollars being found in large numbers on shore.  The redfish bite has continued to get better and we are starting to see some cobia and lots of tripletail!  We have been working hard on getting the boat upgraded with the addition of a powerpole and a brand new trolling motor had to be installed after I smoked the board on the first one.  Despite some shop days we put a hurting on some fish!  Goliath grouper, redfish, snook, sharks and more!  It's always great to introduce people to our diverse ecosystem that we're so lucky to have right on our doorstep!

September Weeks 3-4

The bite has been on again the last couple of weeks for us.  A lot of snook are taking cut baits meant for a nice slot red fish!  The higher tides have been productive and night time fishing is always best when the full moon is on it's way up to full from a new moon.  The morning bite tapered off as the super moon approached and it will start to pick back up in the mornings week 4 of Sept/week 1 of Oct.  There are several fishing tournaments coming up in the next two weeks so plan on a lot of pressure on the weekends and the Thursdays and Fridays before.  Fish during the week as much as possible!  With hunting season in full swing, this guide is torn between fishing tournaments and sitting in a tree stand!  Red October, here we come!  We anticipate the bite to get "red hot" here soon.

September Week 2

Fishing around Sanibel and Captiva has been steadily good since last week!  We had an excellent day of catching Redfish up north on Sunday and Monday proved to be equally as good.  Weather patterns have been normal for summer with rain in the afternoons mostly.  The southwest winds at the beginning of this week should have been good for shelling.  The bait has been excellent and easy to get with scaled sardines and pinfish being the bait of choice for most of my Captiva Fishing Charter customers lately.  As Red October approaches we should have some really great schools of fish move into the sound.  Stay tuned for some crazy days of fishing!

September: Week 1

Fishing has started to pick up in Pine Island Sound.  Our summer time rain patterns have been pretty steady with the occasional storm system moving in to mess things up for us for a few days.  The fresh water has fish congregated around the river mouth, as it's too fresh up-river.  Redfish have really started to show up in larger numbers and schooling fish are appearing in our area.  Captiva Fishing Charters has been doing very well with Snook and Redfish lately using cut pinfish for bait.  The Redfish bite only gets better around Captiva Island through the fall months. 

August: Week 3-4

Summer is in full swing in Southwest Florida!  Our afternoon rain patterns are becoming regular and fishing is starting to get as hot as the weather!  These last two weeks have been extremely hot as soon as the sun comes up above the horizon.  It's very important to stay hydrated and reapply sunscreen often (but don't touch the bait if you have it on your hands!).  I highly recommend covering your neck with a buff and wearing long sleeves whenever possible.  A wide brimmed hat helps too, as dumb as they look!  Bait has been relatively easy to catch with Pinfish being the best lately for this guide.  Your best bet is on a high tide under the bushes or near oyster bars when they're covered up.

August: Week 2


We caught a lot of fish this week with a mixed bag of Snook, Redfish, Trout, and the occasional stingray...and as always catfish!  The rain pushed us back a little at times but we persisted, put on our rain gear and waited til the lightning stopped and went at it.  The bit is steady with live bait being the go to in the passes and cut bait on the flats in pot holes and around oyster bars as well as under the mangroves.  Use a circle hook to reduce throat-hooking the fish when cut bait fishing.  Live pinfish or scaled sardines (pilchards) are good and they are easy to get lately with chum and a cast net.  I like to cut the tails off of live baits to make them more appealing and to get some scent in the water.  It seems to help to slow them down a little as well.  

August: Week 1

Fishing has been nothing short of fantastic lately with hardly anyone not catching something; even "the unlucky guy" of the group has been catching!  With things heating up the fishing has gone right with it.  The snook spawn is about to be in full swing so get ready for some action in the passes and near the beaches.  The redfishing has been pretty great as well lately with a lot of fish in pine island sound along the bush lines as well as on the points of any mangrove island.  Cut pinfish is usually my go to bait with spanish sardines a close second.  I'll switch between the two and it often pays both ways.  Keep an eye on those afternoon thunderstorms.  Lightning is nothing to mess around with!

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