Local anglers report that snapper fishing has picked up on San Carlos and Estero Islands, said Steve Hess, owner and operator of Saltwater Pro Shop on San Carlos Island.
"Any type of structure or rock is going to produce snapper right now," he
said."You want to use a low weight, something like a 1.0 hook and shrimp or small pinfish are working very good for the 12- to 14-inch range in this area and there's been some real good success with 18- or 19-inch hogs up on Captiva Island."
Spanish mackerel are still in the area and some keepers are now being caught, Hess
"There have been some large ones caught on mostly quarter-ounce silver spoons - there's not a lot of action on the golds," he
said, adding that Spanish mackerel are being caught off of the Fort Myers Beach Pier and along the beaches.
"All gulfside right now, mackerel are being caught sporadically," he
Snook fishing is still productive, especially at night in lighted areas, Hess
"They have been caught in the early morning and during night time," he
Grouper fishing is still going strong, Hess
"There have been some keepers in the area caught in any type of holes in the boat canals," he
said."Pinfish will work right away or any kind of cut bait like Spanish mackerel, Boston mackerel or sardines should work - anything like that they're going to hit right now."
Red grouper are emerging, Hess
said, but so far they have been small.
"It's been a long time since they've been around," he
said."Some of the locals believe that has to do with the freshwater releases in Okeechobee.Any time you get new sea life it's a good sign."
Redfish are still being caught in the 15- to-20 inch range, Hess
"There has been some luck anywhere from mid island all the way to where the point goes to Matanzas Pass - they're getting some nice reds," he
said, adding that currently, redfish have been biting shrimp or cut ladyfish.
For those anglers who want to hook up, tarpon are still in the pass under the Sky Bridge at night, Hess
"You can see them every night at the cat walk under the bridge on the San Carlos Island side," he
hasn't had much luck with tarpon lately, so he
plans to try a new technique - a 3-foot fluorocarbon leader and a popper cork with either live shrimp or live pinfish with minimal weight.
"I'm going to try that method next time I fish," he
said."You can sit up there and watch them come through the pass - they're very visible."Hess
says that though this last month's fishing wasn't as productive as previous months, fish are there to be caught.
"You can find fish - they're out there," he