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Discussion Starter #1
Hey all

I'm headed to Ft Myers next week. Any ideas on what I should do? Torn between freshwater and saltwater. Any help would be awesome!

Thanks

CPK
 

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Saltwater. No question. Make the drive to Sanibel/Captiva and have a blast with some snook, jack, trout and snapper off the beach or piers. Sabiki up some live bait or get some shrimp and freeline them out on a smaller circle hook. If you're going artificial, get some DOA shrimp in classic or glow color and work any cuts, walls or bridges you see. Also can't go wrong chucking a mirrolure catch 2000, white/readhead or classic silver and black. Oh, and a white bucktail jig. Never go anywhere without a white bucktail jig.
 

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Once you get bit with the saltwater bug, you’ll never want to fish fresh again. It’s just more exciting in every way. Hit the beaches at dawn, cast parallel to the beach no more than 15’ from shore for snook, they should be just starting to hit the beaches. Cast further out for a variety of other fish. You’ll be there at possibly the best time of the year, overall.
That being said, it’s also a good time for freshwater fishing. But if you have limited time and have to choose, fish saltwater. I visit 3 times/year and haven’t fished freshwater down there for over 6 years. I don’t miss it a bit.
 

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If you don't want to spend a lot of money and catch your own dinner, try one of the party boats by the beach, last year we caught enough for 4 people to eat and have leftovers. Also i have had moderate success at the sanibel bridge and Ft meyers beach pier. Cant beat the humble shrimp for bait!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Well it looks like I'm going saltwater. Any recommendations on bait shops near the mentioned areas?

Thanks a bunch guys. Trying to put the wife on some fish
 

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You planning on bringing the Yak? You got any gear that can handle big (5ft+) Sharks? I got a killer shark spot right out on lovers key that never fails to produce giant sharks:B.
 

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There is a state park in north naples, Wiggins pass? A few bucks to get in and have a nice area for shore fishing only. Live shrimp with high tide coming in near the river mouth have never failed me. Lots of species. Also have nice uncrowded beaches for swimming only. Bait store about mile away at major intersection for live shrimp.
 

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There is a state park in north naples, Wiggins pass? A few bucks to get in and have a nice area for shore fishing only. Live shrimp with high tide coming in near the river mouth have never failed me. Lots of species. Also have nice uncrowded beaches for swimming only. Bait store about mile away at major intersection for live shrimp.

Thanks man! I will definitely look into that. Sounds like a good day trip spot for the fam and I can still do fishing! Lol
 

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W. P. Franklin Lock & Dam Recreation Area.

You'll catch just about anything in the brackish water. Rocky bottom, you'll need a breakaway sinker set up so you don't ruin equipment.
 

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there's just nothing like saltwater fishing around bridges and bridge pilings. but you'll do best with live bait. find you a grassy area and use a small rig with a sabiki rig baited with very small pieces of shrimp, then cast out with a small sinker on the rig. keep your line taunt and wait for the pin fish to bite. they are hard to keep alive so you will need a bucket with a good aerator. then use some heavy tackle and about a 5 oz sinker to keep your pin fish from getting into the pilings. just let it set on the bottom with about 3' of 60 to 100 lb fluro leader. you can catch some big snook or grouper this way.

if your fishing with shrimp you never know what you'll catch. anything from trash fish to redfish. just make sure you know the size limits and dates for keeping certain fish. I just spent 6 weeks down in port st lucy and we fished the bridges. we were catching a lot of black drum, saltwater sheep heads, and mangrove snapper on shrimp. then my brother n law started fishing with pin fish and caught a big grouper, a 33" snook and a 36" snook. they were both over the slot and had to be released but they were fun to catch. I tried a pin fish on my heavy rig using a 5/0 reel and 80# power pro and hooked something big. but it got my line against a rock or something and cut my leader. we only had 2 pin fish that day. so my big one got away.

if your fishing the shore line find out if the pompano are running. if they are pick you up a couple of rod holders that's made out of pvc pipe and stivk them in the sand. you'll need some sand fleas for bait and a couple of pompano rigs. then cast them out as far as you can and put your rods in the holders and reel up any slack. then just wait for a bite. you can use your casting reel to fish along the shore while waiting on the pompano to hit.
sherman
 

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There is a state park in north naples, Wiggins pass? A few bucks to get in and have a nice area for shore fishing only. Live shrimp with high tide coming in near the river mouth have never failed me. Lots of species. Also have nice uncrowded beaches for swimming only. Bait store about mile away at major intersection for live shrimp.
Lived in Naples for a year, honestly I think Wiggins pass is sorta "meh", it gets brownie points for aesthetics though :D

New Pass (on lovers key, you'll pass it on your way to Wiggins) and especially the channels off of Dog Beach @ New Pass offer much better fishing IMO. Little Carlos pass isn't bad either, depending on the tide.

Also deadsticking/Drifting DOA shrimp will often out produce live bait, nothing like out fishing all the locals with artificials :D

Again, if you have the tackle I can put you on some awesome Shark fishing, it's like Flathead fishing on crack :D
 

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Where ever you decide to go always have a silver spoon ready! When you see baitfish being chased throw it out there and by second or third crank fish on!! Love to visit naples/ft myers. Have fun!
 

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Interesting thread, my family and I will be down in Mid May, we usually fish the pier and some of the back water areas(going to surprise my Son with a charter this year though:)) pretty much everything we catch gets thrown back as we are pretty much just looking for a rod bend, Florida Sportsman is also a good site to check out for general info/reports from the area.
 

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Going to be in Ft. Myers area in March. Not sure what is in season. Looking for suggestions on target species and maybe a captain recommendation. Have young kids so needs to be relatively steady action to keep them entertained. Thanks in advance.
 

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Fish are still in warm water in March, so all creeks and canals are full of fish. Some frozen shrimp or squid and a small hook will provide non stop action with fish like pinfish and small mangrove snappers. Can catch just about anything, but those are a guarantee. Piers should still be holding sheephead, but they’re not beginner friendly. When my kids were little I would just take them to various public piers and even boat ramps, it’ll keep you busy.
 

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Thanks, Magis.

Anyone ever book a bass fishing guide in or around the area? I hear peacock bass are available in Naples area. Is that a species where the technique is suitable for kids (minnow under a float for instance)?
 

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Thanks, Magis.

Anyone ever book a bass fishing guide in or around the area? I hear peacock bass are available in Naples area. Is that a species where the technique is suitable for kids (minnow under a float for instance)?
Yes, Naples and Miami have good populations of Pcox.

Try calling a guide from Lake Erie thru BASSONLINE named MARK ROSE. He guides over the winter for Lmouth and Pcox w/shiners.


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