Inshore fishing in October in the Fort Myers and Sanibel Island area can most often be very productive. Nice sized bait fish have been plentiful before the sunrise but start to become more scarce once the sun comes out.
This past week I've been catching smaller snook, slot sized reds and snapper. I've been focusing most of my attention on inshore grouper. During the day the Snook bite has been a little slow, so I've been taking my clients to a grouper that always seems to produce fish. The technique for fishing this way is a little more advanced, but even if my client misses it, at least he got to feel the rod bend and the line scream. I use lady fish for bait with 80 lb. braided line and 100 lb. leader with 6/0 circle hooks.
We had a blast. It took about three break offs but we finally landed one. We then gently released the grouper right after a quick picture.
Goliath grouper, formally called Jewfish, are protected from harvest in Florida waters. It is illegal to boat, gaff or harm a Goliath Grouper. All care during handling and releasing must be diligently done as quickly as possible.
One of the most extreme forms of fishing in the inshore waters of Fort Myers and Sanibel Island is shark fishing. This type of fishing can be challenging and unpredictable which is why it's become a popular charter for those thrill seekers out there.
Prime time for shark fishing is June through September when the water is the warmest. Once the Sun starts to fade into the horizon, through the morning hours is the best time of day to catch this predator.
We will throw out a chum bag and then rig our poles with any fresh, bloody bait. Sharks prefer fresh over anything that's been frozen.
The best shark bait is a stingray if you have the patience to snag a few. Just debarb them when you snag them before you drop them into the live well. Rig it and cut into the side of one of the fins and then cast it out. You'll catch the large boys with this technique. If you prefer the easier method of using cut bait, we tend to use ladyfish, mullet or jacks with the hooks rigged through the gills.
Tackle of Choice :
-Canyon Reels and St Croix Rods, size 6'-7'ft.
-Spool these reels with 60 to 80 lbs test braid or 40 to 80 lb mono.
-First, always use cable, not single strand wire. Sharks will kink and pop single strand in a matter of seconds. If you can find coated cable it's even better because it dampens the electrical signal your wire will give off that the shark could pick up.
-Get a fighting belt, even if it is not very expensive.
-10 o/-18 o/ size hooks.
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