albacized

SW FL this next week (Thur to following Tue)

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So this next week, I'll be down in SW FL - this is actually a do over of a trip I had to post pone at the beginning of June due to contracting corona (fortunately I had purchased changeable tickets)

 

My plans are to make more concentrated efforts in the mornings, make it back home by 10 AM and spend the day time with my mom, then spend the evenings exploring some closer spots (my mom is usually done for the day by shortly after dinner)

 

So with that said, I usually take a 40 min drive up to Venice, where I'm very familiar with the summer snook scene. I also plan on fishing some of the pine island area (based on some advise from Raw and few others)...There are a few other spots right near where my mom lives (she's in an over 55 community in N Ft Myers), I don't want to mention specific spots, but in general, we're taking along the N Ft Myers/Ft Myers line. Anywhere in that zone worth exploring? I may take one day to try out Sanibel, but only if I can either get up very early, or find time to make a evening run. Lastly, Peace River and a few Charlotte Harbor spots appear to be 15/20 min heading north on 41 from my mom's house (I think Punta Gorda is about 15 miles away or so). Any of this worth exploring? 

 

One aside to this - If I happen to 'knock it out of the park' with snook early in the trip, I may be more willing to spend the rest of the time exploring for something different...such as Naples peacock bass, or sample Marco Island...I have no experience with Marco Island, and I guess the only advise I'm looking for is what to catch if the parameters are that I'll have a 7 wt and 9 wt with me (and lighter spinning rod) and it involves flies or artificials. Not sure if bonefish are found on that side of FL Bay, but that would be nice. Any advice would be appreciated with that fishery. I know I just have to take 41 north to fish locations south of the peace river, or 41 to Int 75 (via Tucker Grade Road) to cross peace river and fish points north (which is how I head to Venice)

 

Anyway, a bit scattered and I apologize for that - but any advice would be appreciated

 

 

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PS - I typically never find trout or redfish at this time of year in SW FL...I used to catch them way back when I lived in Tampa (many years ago)...I'm presuming this is because they're not a fan of the super warmed waters...would that be an accurate assumption? I wouldn't mind finding time to catch one or the other, or both...but don't want to waste my time if this is not the right time of year for that...Snook are the only game fish that, barring something catastrophic, I  know I"ll catch with pretty high degree of certainty (although I'm typically catch the size class analogous to schoolie striped bass, and if I can pop the 30" mark, that would be nice)

Edited by albacized

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Venice jetties have alot of 20ish inch fish as of yesterday.  Bigger at night.  Boca Grande is loaded on the beach lip right now with snook.  Ponce De Leon Park in PG is worth a wsde on the lower stages of the tide.  20min from ya.

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Half point report. Fairly modest number of smaller fare, including the snook I’ve been catching. 2 days of fishing = 6 snook, 3 juvie (as in 6”) grouper, a lookdown and a lizard fish. Fish have been so small, I only took several pics of some of my initial catches, and will likely only snap more pics if I catch anything substantial- this is basically 4 hours of morning fishing each day before spending the rest of the day helping my mom take care of various chores. The last pic is a sunset pic from her driveway 

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Edited by albacized

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By far the way, even these small snook still provide proof that they are the harder fighting fish when compared to stripers. If you can imagine those times you’re catching small 12-15” schoolie stripers before you run into a little rat bluefish that provides a better fight - these snook fight like the rat bluefish vs their multi striped counterparts in the north east

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I was in Sanibel a few years ago and stopped by Norm Zeigler's shop. After he sold me a couple of Schminnows, he advised me to use 30 lb tippet for snook. I though he was nuts until I saw what even a 24" snook does to a tippet. They fight like hell and those mouth are TOUGH. 
They put on a nice aerial display in the mangroves too!

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36 mins ago, pescatore said:

I was in Sanibel a few years ago and stopped by Norm Zeigler's shop. After he sold me a couple of Schminnows, he advised me to use 30 lb tippet for snook. I though he was nuts until I saw what even a 24" snook does to a tippet. They fight like hell and those mouth are TOUGH. 
They put on a nice aerial display in the mangroves too!

They fray leader so fast,  Lived here 4 years now and never seen a fish even small go thru 30 and 50 in short time.  Every fish, leader gets checked.

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15 mins ago, beatonem said:

Lookdown is cool.  Glad your getting something.  Even the little snook are fun.  Enjoy your time.

Appreciate that. A little slow as the other species I’m use to filling in the void with (jacks, Spanish Macs, ladyfish, etc) seem to be absent. But then again, there’s been some weed issues going on there. By the way, one of the aforementioned areas now has a gate that’s locked until 6AM. Do you know when that started?

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57 mins ago, pescatore said:

I was in Sanibel a few years ago and stopped by Norm Zeigler's shop. After he sold me a couple of Schminnows, he advised me to use 30 lb tippet for snook. I though he was nuts until I saw what even a 24" snook does to a tippet. They fight like hell and those mouth are TOUGH. 
They put on a nice aerial display in the mangroves too!

I tied a few schinnows and may give those a whirl tomorrow AM. And yeah, those snook do tear up the leader. I lost one specifically due to that reason. I had just caught one and felt the leader was a bit frayed, but got lazy. Not letting that happen again. 

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1 hour ago, albacized said:

Appreciate that. A little slow as the other species I’m use to filling in the void with (jacks, Spanish Macs, ladyfish, etc) seem to be absent. But then again, there’s been some weed issues going on there. By the way, one of the aforementioned areas now has a gate that’s locked until 6AM. Do you know when that started?

Ponce De Leon,  i think its sunrise to dusk.  Been that way since im here I think.  

Edited by beatonem

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14 hours ago, albacized said:

I tied a few schinnows and may give those a whirl tomorrow AM. 

I had good luck with the schminnows on the open beaches but crushed em on gurglers around the mangroves.

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On 7/10/2022 at 8:24 PM, beatonem said:

Ponce De Leon,  i think its sunrise to dusk.  Been that way since im here I think.  

It was actually the parking lot for the jetty in Venice (I think it's called Humphris Park)...the hours stated closed 10PM to 6 PM. I went there several days and the gate was locked until 6 on two occasions (actually the guy was nice enough to open about 10 min early) but was already open at 5:45AM on the other occasion...according to a couple of the regulars. They lock it on some nights, but not others. It was never locked on prior trips

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Yeah, that started a year or so ago.  The Nokomis side is always open.  They had problems with rif raf hanging out at all hours I believe.  I thought it was midnight to 6am tho.  Ive caught alot of good fish on the late night tides on that jetty.  I kinda stopped fishing it when the gate situation started.  I liked it tides when I had the jetyy all to myself lol.

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