gellfex

Going to Ft Myers, hit me with what I need to know for kayak fishing!

64 posts in this topic

So the wife needed to use some vacation time, I heard some good things about the Ft Myers area for fishing, and it was done. She booked a house for a week on the water in St James City on Pine Island next month. We're flying in (both fully vaxed) so I need to rent a kayak and a vehicle to carry it. I have no idea if the latter is even possible. I think I'm going to buy a 7' travel rod this time instead of bringing a 4' tube, that's just such a PITA. It seems like a good idea to bring my own comfy PFD too. 

 

Is it worth it to bring my GPS/FF and try and rig it, or just use Navionics on the phone? What else besides rig and tackle is worth bringing? Net? Anchor? 

 

Tacklewise, I was going to bring plugs like poppers, mullet spooks, and plastic swimmers, small bucktails, and baitholder jigs as for tog. I've got a bunch of 3 & 4" metal flecked goldish rubber and 1/4 oz jigheads from a trip to Chokoloskee years ago. What else?

 

Lastly, any pointers, without burning spots, about what kind of structure etc to target would be great. It looks like where we're going I might not even have to cartop the kayak to get to some good mangrove areas. I've seen some of Skinner's recent vids from that area, and have the basic idea of tossing topwaters at mangroves and tossing baited jigs at docks.  On that Chokoloskee trip I did manage a couple of reds on the oyster flats despite it being a real crappy stormy day.  Anything on the topic would be appreciated.

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Bait is king in Florida, shrimp are probably the most popular, clam and squid too. You can purchase live shrimp in buckets. Many shoreline fisherman carry throw nets. For artificials you want some got-cha’s, jig heads with shrimp, grub tail, or minnow rubber, 3-4” plastic poppers like Spooks, SP minnows, and Johnson silver spoons. There is a 3 day license, and the nonresident 1 year license is $47.00

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Being your going to be at st James you can easily go to Matlacha and launch at gulf coast kayak or the park to the west of the center of town bridge. 

 

Also look at bokella. 

 

definitely consider live shrimp. Fish the dead shrimp too. Take off the heads and use a jig. Thread the shrimp on the jig. Don’t bother with the frozen shrimp, they are soft and come off the hooks very easy. 

 

No need for heavy weights or jigs. Keep everything light.  Fish every little pocket along the mangroves. Your hooks don’t need to be circle. I fish using a size one hook and 1/8oz egg sinker. 

 

 

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There are a few marinas and launches in St James city.  If you are on the water there is a great chance you will have a dock.  As far as areas.  All of the surrounding in St James. Canals, docks, flats, mangrove shoreline.  I would bring a 7ft med action rod 15-20# braid,  20 and 30# leader/flouro.  Your choice.  I use mono leader 100% of the time.  1/8, 1/4 and 3/8oz jig heads.  FinS and paddletails 3-5in whites, gold/copper and darks for night. Natural baitfish colors.  Xraps size 9 through 12, small floating stick shads.  Spooks, gold spoons,  rubber shrimp like DOA or savage gear.  Think small presentations.  Pliers, most fish have teeth here.  You are in a great area with lots of opportunity.  You need moving water!!!!   If you want to get pecked to death by every little bait stealer then shrimp is king.  Yes it will catch, but artificials will keep you on the gamefish!!   Have fun and be safe

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Yo Zuri Crystal 3D shrimp ,

MirrOlure suspending Trout,

MirrOlure MirrOdine,

DOA swimbait  

Doc Goofy jig,

MirrOLure Top water pup ,

ProCure Inshore Saltwater Super Gel ( small ) 

your 7' travel rod , spin reel. 2500-4000  # 20 lb  Ohero braid, 35 & #15 lb Yo Zuri fluorocarbon leader 

Non resident fishing license 

 google   CA Richardson he will show you how 

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Thanks guys! I have heard shrimp, shrimp, shrimp before, but Skinner's video hammering the big sheeps with crab when the shrimp produced tiny ones was pretty convincing. There were tons of comments that sand fleas were the thing, but hard to get on the inside. Need to look up how to catch mud crabs.

 

I have a 3000 Shield with 15# braid, and Spinfisher 4500 with 30#. Bring both?

Edited by gellfex

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Not sure it would be safe to fish the dock lights in a rented kayak at night, but snook and other fish pile up by the dock lights under the right tide.  It's been many years, but I had good luck with plugs. But shrimp or other live bait under a popping cork are staples.  You'll need to pull them away from the pilings or they will be gone and use a thick leader as their gill plates are like razors. Even in daylight, fish the tide changes, near bridges or docks.  Sounds like a fun trip.

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If you have no intention of going out front and bottom fishing then do not bring the unit. Rent a Hobie for the week, Naples Outfitters is one option to get it. Could be one closer. Matlacha is a great area. Fish it like you did at Chokoloskee and you will be fine. Weightless 5"jerk baits like zooms on 3/0 off shank worm hooks and other light jig heads like those mission 1/8 oz jig head and an assortment of plastics from 3"-5". Bring what you have for top water small, like the Rebel Jumpin Minnow. The snook may be good size, bring 30-50lb leader for gill plate protection. 
 

Out front there will be King Mackerel, Albies, spanish macks and maybe black fin. If you want to troll around? Bring something like a Daiwa Sp Minnow. Put it behind and troll. If the Albies and macks are seen on too, stop and cast. There also could be snook and tarpon up on the beach in the morning and evening just walking and wading with the family on the beach while you play.  
 

I did not spend much time bottom fishing there.  You can't go wrong bringing an assortment of small metal or even Hogy Epoxy. 
 

Thats just some basic stuff there is not one way. Have fun.

 

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2 mins ago, The Riddler said:

If you have no intention of going out front and bottom fishing then do not bring the unit.

Tell me more! I haven't gotten that far to considering out front. What are the conditions there? Are surf launches easy or no biggie? What would I be doing with the unit out front if I brought it? You mention bottom but most of the species you follow with are not bottom. Would I be spotting them too, or looking for snapper & grouper on the bottom and jigging them?

 

Both sadly and great for fishing, this is the 1st time my wife and I are heading south kidless, they're both now in college. My wife is good with entertaining herself while I fish, and she might come paddling the protected waterways with me. How does the saying go? "With no responsibility comes great freedom". No, that's not quite it...

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Well, if you brought the unit out front you will be looking for Structure, changes. Something. You will have to look at mapping.

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8 mins ago, The Riddler said:

Well, if you brought the unit out front you will be looking for Structure, changes. Something. You will have to look at mapping.

Wouldn't Navionics on the phone do pretty well at getting me to bottom structure?

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Here is a quick look at two reefs. 5-10 nm out.  Most are artificial man made reefs. I believe there is a web site "Fish and Franks" is a website dedicated to Florida reefs, all of them. The problem with the gulf for the kayak angler is reaching these structure points. In my opinion for a vacation?  This is not worth the effort. Stay inside Matlacha Pass and back water ls and troll around out front with a plug in calm waters. But if you feel like going there, its possible but that is a long way dude. 
 

 

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Causeway Reef would be your closest shot from Sanibel. If conditions are good you can easily reach it. You may get lucky and have more kayak anglers heading out the same day as you. 
 

 

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Thanks @The Riddler but I don't see myself heading miles offshore to reefs.  Seems like there's plenty to find inside. But if the kings and such were close in that might be attractive.

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