by Capt. Butch Rickey - BarHopp'r Charters - Fort Myers, Florida
florida fishing reports - Fort Myers, Florida
It was to be a two trip holiday week, but one canceled at the last minute after changing the details on a daily basis. So, that left my favorite fishing buddy, Dr. John Hitt, and I to spend a day getting ready for trout season. He will be back to fish speckled trout on January 12 and 13, and we wanted to get a lock on where the big trout are.
We left John's dock at 0645 hrs. and headed down the river to the A span for bait. It was a beautiful morning, and bait once again came easily. In four throws we had the big well on John's Coastal loaded, and were ready to fish. A northeast breeze of about 10 had developed while we caught bait, so my first spot was chosen with that in mind; to put the wind at our back and the current in our face for a natural presentation.
We settled on a long shallow edge that drops off into about 4 ft. of water in Ding Darling. We had immediate action from both trout and birds. Once it tapered off we'd move up about the length of a cast and get back on a bite. We caught plenty of keepers, but nothing over about 18”. Finally, once the traffic began coming in droves we decided to move on.
We settled on a flat that I usually fish only in the spring, when it is full of big trout and other critters including tarpon. There were some trout there, as well as ladyfish, but none of the trout were outsized. After a while we moved on.
We were on what seemed a long slack tide while the tide changed. Action is hard to come by when the water isn't moving. We settled on another flat and fished in 4 to 6 ft. We found more trout, including a couple of very nice ones, but once the water began moving in earnest, we had a big ladyfish invasion. There was no getting away from them. They were big as ladyfish go, and fun to catch, so the little boys residing in us kept us there catching them on every cast. We did catch one nice pompano on a curlytail white jig, and managed to while away the rest of the morning right there.
WINTER IS HERE!
florida fishing reports
We were back at John's dock by around one o'clock. It had been a relaxing, fun day of steady catching trout and ladyfish. And, of course really showed off his skills by catching some half dozen pinfish on that jig. Man! I don't know how he does it, but he's got the knack!
Happy New Year to everyone!