Capt. Dave’s fishing report
Matt Hickox and his son, Jackson, fished southern Estero Bay’s backwaters on Friday morning, May 28, and used live shrimp to catch thirteen mangrove snapper, including five keepers to 12 inches. They also released one mojarra, a short snook, a crevalle jack, and ten short sheepshead.
Captain Dave’s Fishing Tips
Fishing tip #1: Lots of anglers love the thrill of a goliath grouper on their line. These fish are a protected species. Recently, there has been debate about allowing harvesting, but they remain protected for now. Care must be taken to release them while they are still in the water; anglers who do not do so face penalties. These fish can get huge. The largest I have caught, using girth and length measurements was estimated at 384 pounds. For these monsters, I use a 9/0 Aftco Star rod with 125# test (Andi) with 250 lb. steel cable, and a small piece of 20 oz. weight. I use a 14/0 Sea Demon hook with BIG live bait–Stingrays and batrays work best. Good luck!
Fishing tip #2: About kingfish: The king mackerel bite is hot a few times per year around here. Live, rocky bottom in 25′ to 35′ has historically produced steady action. My favorite way to fish for them is with light tackle which, in my opinion, provides an edge over heavy tackle. With either mono or braided line, a three-foot, 30 # leader and 6 ” of Tyger Leader, I use an extra-long 1/0 or 2/0 hook. Shrimp, herring and blue-runners are top choices for live bait. A light drag will help decrease break-off when he hits and heads for the horizon. A small amount of live chum will keep the action steady. A commonly known small ledge off the Waldorf Astoria in north Naples is often a good spot, if the kings are running yet, and water temp is in the mid-70s: This spot should appear on local charts.