Late March through early April, lead to an unprecedented never before experienced time in our history. Forcing Cape Coral, and the rest of the country to pretty much close up shop and shelter in place. This was due to fears of an invisible enemy that we had very limited information and understanding about. In Cape Coral and throughout Southwest Florida, we were fortunate enough to still have our boat ramps and marinas open for use.
The good news is, with everyone being abundantly cautious the phone was ringing off the hook at the beginning of April. The bad news is they were all calling to cancel or reschedule their fishing charters. With my wife working from home, we were able to make the most of my new found free time. We took advantage of the most amazing warm spring weather Cape Coral has to offer and we social distanced ourselves on the water. I got to try many different fishing techniques I haven’t tried in years and the fish did not disappoint this month.
The tarpon moved into the southwest Florida area in full force. They filled into our passes from the Sanibel Lighthouse, all the way to the north at Boca Grande Pass. They also followed the warm water temperatures up the Caloosahatchee River and into the Cape Coral canals and near the bridges.
Plenty of full grown adult tarpon filled up the waters just off the beaches of Sanibel Island and Captiva Island. A majority of my tarpon fishing was done drifting Redfish Pass (waterway between Captiva and North Captiva Island) right before sunset, using live crabs or threadfins for bait. I like fishing this area better then the more populated Boca Grande Pass, there aren’t as many tarpon but there’s also a lot less boats and pressure on the fish. Making for a much more peaceful experience.
The fishing was great with multiple fish jumped and landed each night. I also targeted tarpon using technique I haven’t used in over 10 years, that consisted of free lining a live ladyfish under the Cape Coral Bridge. I was forced to call it an early night because of the wind and did not get any bites, but I did see a few good fish and was happy to go back to my roots and try a technique that originally fueled my passion for the Silver King (tarpon).
Tarpon were not the only fish on the move during this amazing spring spawn. We had many days with calm winds to run offshore. Many or our wrecks, along the Southwest Florida coast, were holding good sized schools of permit throughout the month. You could see these fish in schools at the top of the water column just under the surface. Beyond the permit, with a some live chum, you could easily get the bonita, kingfish, and barracudas fired up. All of these fish would bust bait at the top of the water making big explosions and leading to huge drag screaming fights. Last but not least around the bottom of the water column near the wrecks produced plenty of big sharks, and goliath grouper.
Last but certainly not least, the passes around Cape Coral and throughout Southwest Florida, are quickly moving into their summer time patterns. This means that big snook and redfish are moving in and they are hungry. We have caught and lost quite a few “bull” redfish from underneath the docks throughout the month and the bite has been very consistent. As the month continued and the water got warmer the smaller male snook moved in and the bigger females will be very soon behind them.
May is shaping up to be an excellent month of fishing and my schedule is open. Blue Line Fishing Charters is open for business and taking all precautions possible to ensure no one gets sick. We will be bleaching and disinfecting the boat and all rods and reels after each trip. If you want to catch your big trophy fish before its brutally hot, now is the time of year to take advantage. If you’re interested in a fishing charter you will never forget, do not hesitate to contact me with any questions or concerns.