Summer is here on Sanibel & Captiva Islands! It’s certainly warm, with temperatures into the 90s. But we can help remedy that with a cool drink, a little bit of shade and a refreshing dip in the gorgeous Gulf of Mexico! It’s Summer time!
Over the past few weeks I’ve received a bunch of questions surrounding water quality. “Is there red tide on Sanibel & Captiva?” “How is the water down there?” “have you seen a lot of red tide on the islands?” “Is it safe to eat our catch?” Rightfully so. The national “media” outlets have been hammering the latest news about the horrific red tide event that is currently plaguing the Tampa Bay area. Of course our visitors are curious about how this might affect their vacation to our island paradise.
I’m glad to report that as of this blog, our beaches and waterways are looking as gorgeous as ever, and the fishing has been exceptional! The beaches of Sanibel, Captiva, North Cap and Cayo Costa have been clean, clear and wildly refreshing after a day of pulling on some fish!
Just the other day one of my customers caught a “snag” in Captiva Pass (between North Captiva and Cayo Costa) and pulled up a piece of the live bottom that can be seen below. It was covered in sponges, soft corals and all kinds of tiny little sea creatures that call our waters home. It’s a good sign of an estuary that is literally bursting with life. It’s great to experience.
As most of you know, we in Southwest Florida have battled with red tide in the past. I hope the folks in the Tampa Bay area can quickly see some relief and a fast recovery from the brutal event. I also hope they’ll start holding those poisoning our estuaries accountable.
That said, summer fishing has been outstanding!
Snook, Redfish and Trout have been on fire! The Snook are on the beaches and in the passes in large numbers for their annual spawn. Big summer Redfish can be found along mangrove covered shorelines and on numerous oyster bars. Redfish won’t often turn down live bait or fresh piece of cut bait! Speckled trout have been as plentiful as I’ve seen them in the past 4 years.
Since my last blog, the Speckled Trout closure by Florida Wildlife Commission (FWC) has been lifted and we can now harvest up to 3 per person and/or 6 per vessel. (But please only keep what you’ll eat! For full regulations please visit https://myfwc.com/fishing/saltwater/recreational/)
As some of you can attest, during the summer our nearshore bite is crazy! You never know what you might hook into! The summer Mangrove Snapper bite has been exceptional with frequent by-catch of Lanes, Porgy, as well as Spanish and King Mackerel. The Grouper bite has been strong lately, managing a number of keeper Gag Grouper both inshore and offshore.
We’re off to a hot start to a great summer! With so many people visiting the area this year, please be sure to book your days as early as possible. We are on the water every day that Mother Nature allows us to be, but we are running a very busy schedule this year! To reserve your dates send us a message here.
I hope you all are having a fun and wonderful summer! Come on down and visit us soon!!!
Capt Bryan Dollar