Saturday, December 27, 2008

Fishing Fort Myers

So I had a great Christmas this year and decided for my vacation I would be fishing fort myers Florida, because that is where my family stays. On top of that nobody knows how to fish Fort Myers better than my cousin and my uncle. The great thing about fishing Fort Myers with them is that they own their own marina, the name of the place is Marina Mikes, it is a great place to go if you are looking for a used carolina skiff, a pontoon boat, or a nice Yamaha motor. They also have a wide selection of other boats for sale to, for further information you can visit their website.

With that being said they can catch some fish, and I would rather be fishing Fort Myers with them than any other local charter captain that may be around in the area. So we took two boats out, nothing special just a little 17 foot carolina skiff and another small carolina skiff. My uncle was in one boat navigating and my cousin was in the other boat. We were out to catch some redfish, trout, snook, whatever we could get that would be edible. So first it was me, my old lady and my uncle, we decided to go for some trout out in estero bay, the water was about 6 feet deep, so we rigged up a couple of fishing rods come corks and used live shrimp as bait.

After about 10 minutes of popping the corks with three lines in the water, we caught a couple of saltwater catfish, which to me I consider trash fish and I always throw them back. They put up a pretty good fight but besides that they are worthless to me. Then we got a good hit, of course it was on my uncles line, but we seen the fish jump out of the water, which means that it was not a catfish, but it was a trout, which is what we were trying to catch in the first place. The trout was a couple of pounds and had some good size to him, here is a picture of the fish below.

After that fishing Fort Myers got kind of slow, and we could not get any more good fish for the next hour or so. My cousin had pulled up next to us in his used carolina skiff, and I had hopped on board with him. We were going after some red fish, so we keep the same fishing tackle set up that we were using to catch the trout. About 15 pound test line with a 30 pound test leader, along with a cork and a split shot. We pulled up by some mangroves in a secret fishing hole that my cousin new about. Right off the bat I had hooked up with two nice size saltwater red fish. So within about 10 minutes our boat had the limit for redfish, which we kept and ate later that night. Then after we landed those two redfish things got really slow, so we packed up the tackle and bait and headed back to the dock.

The next day of fishing Fort Myers would be just as productive of the previous day, we were going out for the same thing except we were not really trying for trout. We headed to a bridge in estero bay to get some bait, we used a 12 foot cast net, and with just one cast we got about 200 decent sized green backs, which would be more bait than we would actually need. We hit up the same spot by the mangroves that we did the previous day of fishing fort myers, and my girlfriend had hooked up with a nice sized snook. We actually got a couple of them that day, below are some of the pictures.

So because it is December we couldn’t keep any of the snook because the season closed this year December 1st on the gulf coast, but at least we got to take a couple of pictures then released the snook. We were seeing mullet running around all day, so we decided we might as well get a couple of mullet just for the heck of it, well they make an excellent dinner so that is another reason why we wanted to do some mullet fishing. We had a 12 foot mullet net, killed the engine and used the trolling motor on the used carolina skiff to sneak up on them, in just two throws we managed to catch about 10 mullet in the cast net.

So overall I had a great Christmas and a great vacation. We wanted to do some night fishing but the only night fishing that I did was off the dock, again hooked up with a couple of snook just for the fun of it. Well that’s all for my getaway while fishing fort myers Florida.

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Monday, December 22, 2008

Shark Fishing Florida

These are the in almost all cases the hunters of the seas, shark fishing Florida is highly recognized by anglers because of the fight that they put up, and the sizes that some of these sharks will get to. Small sharks can be caught off of piers, bridges and canals, they are everywhere that you can think of. When shark fishing Florida, a lot of times you will hook up with one when you arent even trying to catch one. If you are after big sharks, you will more than likely have to bring them in with a rope, as many of them are way to big to bring on board. Below I will outline the types of sharks and their records in the state of Florida, if any of these records need to be updated please leave me a comment along with some kind of proof.

Bull Shark – 490 pounds
Blacktip Shark – 270 pounds
Blacknose Shark – 41 pounds
Mako Shark – 1,115 pounds
Tiger Shark – 1,780 pounds
Sand Tiger Shark – 350 pounds
Spinner Shark – 190 pounds
Lemon Shark – 405 pounds
Brown Shark – 260 pounds
Hammerhead Shark – 991 pounds

As you can see if you are serious and want to get into shark fishing Florida you can see that there is great potential for catching some monsters. Some other types you may come across while shark fishing Florida, that the Internal Game Fish Association does not hold any records for are as follows.

The nurse shark, silky shark, bonnethead shark. Though sharks are sought out by many anglers they are rarely eaten in Florida, although nurse, hammerhead and mako sharks can make a good meal or can be excellent for soup. One of the main reasons why not many people eat sharks in my opinion, is that you literally need a chainsaw to fillet them (the big ones). You are not going to be able to fillet a 500 pound hammerhead with any old knife, their skin is very tough and filleting them can and will take hours.

If you are shark fishing Florida for large sharks and happen to land one, and you intend on keeping it, you should not by any circumstances bring the shark into the boat. No matter how dead you think the shark is, large sharks are capable of tearing your bones to shreds with one bite, if you must bring the shark back drag it back to shore with a rope.

Shark fishing Florida can be done all year round in all parts of Florida, no matter where you are there will be some type of shark that is swimming around looking for some food. There is no need to try and fool a shark, they will bite on just about anything, shrimp live or dead, pinfish, lures, flies, frozen squid, stingrays, etc. Just think the largest hammerhead that was caught in Florida was caught by using a 3 foot stingray as bait, sharks are predators of the seas and are not picky when it comes down to meal time.

The best way to attract sharks to your boat, dock, pier, or wherever you are fishing, is bloody chum. The more blood that is in the water the better chance you have of getting one when shark fishing Florida, or better yet fishing for them anywhere in the world. Sharks can smell blood from a mile away. I remember when I was fishing the Fort Desoto piers, and I wasn’t shark fishing Florida, but was actually snapper fishing and landed a bunch of them. I brought the snapper to the clean up table, and after 15 minutes of cleaning the fish, there was about an 7 foot hammerhead sitting by the pier eating the remains of the snapper I was throwing into the water. They love blood, they love dead fish, they love whatever they can get.

One last thing to remember when shark fishing Florida, make sure that you are using a wire leader line. Sharks have many rows of razor sharp teeth and will bite through a regular leader in a heartbeat. If you do land one while shark fishing Florida, take extreme caution when removing the hook from the shark no matter what the size is, as a matter of fact just cut the line. Do not try and get the hook free, cut the line and be done with it for your own safety. That is the basics you need to know when shark fishing Florida.

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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Snapper Fishing

One of the most prized types of saltwater fishing in Florida is snapper fishing. This is because there are so many types of snapper out there to catch, and almost all of them are edible. Almost anywhere around Florida where there is saltwater there can be snapper swimming around. This includes docks, piers, bridges, deep sea, or the open flats. Although they do tend to hang around rocky surfaces or anywhere that there might be some obstruction, such as ship wrecks. The Internal Game Fish Association holds all tackle records for the following types of snapper fish.

Yellowtail Snapper – 8 pounds 9 ounces, they can be found primarily off shore all around Florida, especially in the south, and they will hang out in almost any depth of water down to 300 feet. In my opinion these are one of the best tasting snappers there are. They are easy to tell apart from other species of snapper because of their yellow tail, they love to feed on shrimp.

Mangrove Snapper – 17 pounds, they can be found inshore almost anywhere, especially around mangroves, hence the name. They can also be found offshore, to about 300 feet of water. You can use light tackle to hook up with them when snapper fishing.

Cubera Snapper – The largest of the snapper family, the all time record in Florida is 121 pounds 8 ounces. They love to hang around rocks and obstructions from about 40 feet to 300 or so. You will definitely want some heavy duty bottom rigs to catch these monsters.

Red Snapper – These types of snapper can get huge, and they are commonly found fishing offshore, although time to time you can get them fishing from piers and bridges, such as the skyway fishing pier. The world record for the red snapper is 50 pounds 4 ounces. The minimum size for red snapper fishing must be 16 inches on the gulf side, and 20 inches on the Atlantic coast.

Lane Snapper – All time record for the lane snapper is 7 pounds. They can be found around coral reefs and also inshore. They do not get that big so using some light tackle to hook up with them is a must. The minimum size for lane snapper is 8 inches. They are excellent to eat.

Silk Snapper - 18 pounds 5 ounces is the all tackle record for the silk snapper. They can be found all around Florida in very deep waters, I have never caught one of these, so I cannot tell you if they taste good or not.

Mutton Snapper – Biggest one caught weighs in at 28 pounds 5 ounces. If you are snapper fishing for the Muttons, a good place to do so would be in the Florida Keys around reefs that permit fishing. They are also very commonly found inshore around mangroves, canals and flats that have grass beds.

The bag limits for all snapper in Florida are 10 per fisherman per day, except for the Lane and vermilion snappers. This means that you can only get to keep 10 when snapper fishing, mixing the species of snapper that are caught. There is no closed season for snapper fishing except the Red snapper, and that is from November 1st through April 14th, on the Gulf side only.

Due to the bag limit regulations changing all the time, and records being broken some of the information may be a bit out of date. If you notice something wrong please leave me a comment or shoot me an email and I will update the page with the correct information.

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Wednesday, December 3, 2008

About The Saltwater Florida Fishing License

A question I here go around a lot is do you need a fishing license to fish from a boat in Florida ? Well that depends on several factors, but in most cases the answer is yes. Some exceptions to this rule are as follows. If you are under the age of 16 you do not need a license to fish from a boat, although some type of identification might be needed to prove that you are under the age of 16. They do however have to follow all of the regulations such as bag limits and size limits. Senior residents over the age of 65 are another exception, and also any active duty military personnel do not need a Florida license to fish from a boat. If you fall in any of these categories, you still have the option to purchase a Florida fishing license, doing so will benefit the conservation of saltwater game fish that are over fished.

If you happen to be on a boat and other people are fishing you do not need a fishing license in Florida, although you should not contribute by helping out the ones that are fishing on the boat. Like netting the fish or taking the hook out of them. If you are fishing from a dock, beach, or a pier you do not need a Florida fishing license, unless, you plan on keeping the fish for wither food or bait. In other words if you plan on taking or killing the fish you need to have a saltwater Florida fishing license.

If you are on a commercial fishing vessel such as a certified fishing charter, you do not need a license to fish from a boat in Florida. Make sure to clarify this with the agency or fishing captain first to make sure that they have the permit.

Every time somebody purchases a license in Florida, most of the money goes to the FWC, which is the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. I know we all want to get greedy and keep all 20 snook we catch in one day, but if everyone did this snook would be extinct within a couple of years. When a species of fish dies out, what do you think that does? It does not just affect that species of fish, it really screws up the food chain bad. All of the bait fish that were eaten by snook would multiply like crazy, causing more chaos in the food chain in the land of Florida fishing, guess what else it would screw up. Florida fishing in general, as tourism and fishing charters and captains that make a living off of taking people out snook fishing, it would not help the economy at all by breaking any of the florida fishing regulations. I just used snook as an example, which you will need a 2 dollar permit stamp on your fishing license to keep one, but this is the same case with all species of fish.

When you pay money to fish legally, not only do you save some money from the game warden when you get caught fishing without a license, but that money goes into research so the fish cycle in Florida doesn’t get all screwed up. Florida fishing licenses can be purchased at your local tax collection office, online or at some bait and tackle stores, although the cheapest way is the tax collectors as they do not charge any service fees as everywhere else will. You can also get one over the phone. If you are a Florida resident its about 17 bucks for one year, 79 for 5 year. If you want to get it cheaper, go to your tax collectors office, if you are lazy like me then order one on the phone or search around on the internet, although it may confuse you some. Please do not ask me questions about freshwater fishing or hunting licenses, I don’t do either and I really don’t know too much about them. If you do it all there are many types of plans and deals you can get for Florida fishing and hunting licenses.

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