Winter is here on Sanibel and Captiva Islands!  The sights and sounds of Christmas are in the air, the waters are gorgeous, and the fish are chewing!

If you’ve never had the opportunity to spend some time on Sanibel, Captiva or any of the surrounding islands around the holidays you’re in for a treat. The islands maybe small, but they are always huge on flavor – and the holidays are no exception.

The islands are fully dressed for the holidays and it’s always a sight to see. Earlier this month we had 2 special events on the islands.  The Sanibel-Captiva Chamber of Commerce hosted their annual Luminary Stroll, and Tweenwaters Inn hosted Captiva’s Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony. Both events always give the islands a strong start to the holiday season  – and if you’ve never had the opportunity to attend, you should put both events on your calendar for next year.   

That said, take an evening to get out and see some of the beautiful lights and decorations our residents and businesses put up. You won’t be disappointed. Even my home marina, McCarthys Marina is all dressed up for the season!  

Fishing Report

I’m happy to say that our water quality remains outstanding! The water is as clean and clear as I’ve seen it in a long time. Let’s hope we can keep that trend going in the proper direction!

The cooler water that December brings always pushes the fish around the sound a bit.  Some species, like Tarpon, leave all together for the warmer waters of the Florida Keys and Caribbean. Others come south to visit us for a few months to seek refuge from the cooler waters to our north – not unlike the many “snowbirds” that visit us each year.

We still target popular local species like Snook, Redfish and Trout but now we get the opportunity to add new species like the Florida Pompano, Sheepshead, Spanish and King Mackerel as well Cobia, Bonita and many, many more.

Some of these species will hang around weeks and others for a few months, but they always offer a new opportunity and challenge every time they visit our waters! So it doesn’t matter if you fish here all the time, or if it’s your first time, there is always something fun to catch! Just get out here and do it!!!

Shelling Charters

The winter also brings lower than usual tides, which makes for great opportunities for shelling trips! The ultra low tides, and north winds can help uncover the shell find of a lifetime! So if your looking for shelling excursions on the islands be sure to ask when the best times of the day to target your prizes and we’ll take you there!

Please Book Early

Winter also brings our annual surge in folks looking to escape the cold weather states. Which means our calendar always fills up very quickly! So please be sure to request your dates as early as possible.  The good news is that, as a full time guide, we will be on the water every day that Mother Nature allows.  We always try to accommodate our regulars – but just be sure to give us a heads up as soon as you know your dates and we will always do our best to accommodate you!   

Happy holidays to you and yours! I hope to see you all soon, and here’s wishing for great 2022!

Tight Lines,

Capt Bryan Dollar

PS – If you’re looking to explore some of the holiday lights around the islands, there are plenty to see! If you still want more, be sure to check out the Edison and Ford Estates over in Fort Myers. They always put on quite a light show for the holidays. (Runs though January 2nd). You can find more information – here.

Happy Holidays!