Estero Bay Fishing Report 02.10.11

Submitted by SoulMate Charters Captain Rob Modys

Submitted on 02/10/2011
The weather has been up and down over the past week but 70 degree daytime temperatures have been the norm so the water temps have stayed fairly stable.
The uptick in the redfish bite has been the most notable change and we are starting to catch mid to upper slot fish on each outing in the back country. Snook are starting to bite as well and makes for some interesting moments. We aren’t really looking for them, this time of year, but every now and then they seem to get real hungry. It’s nice to get a back country slam (snook, red and trout) in the winter months!
The trout bite remained good but there seemed to be less and less big ones caught until a few days ago. I’m not sure what turned them back on, but we suddenly got bag limits on 1/2 day trips. They are going after artificial D.O.A. Shrimp under popping corks in the late mornings on rising tides.
The sheepshead bite is excellent. It’s my main focus for those that want dinner and they are massed up in good numbers around oyster bars, deep mangrove cuts and around docks near passes. Live shrimp on small hooks or small lead head jigs has been the go-to bait. They are getting more aggressive so we’ve been catching more and losing less bait.
When the winds lay down, and that isn’t very often this time of year, I’ve been able to got outside the passes and off the Sanibel Lighthouse and Bunche Beach. There are lots of small trout mixed with a few spanish mackerel, bluefish, pompano, ladyfish and bonnet head sharks in those areas. The Gulf rock piles have plenty of sheepshead, mangrove snapper and various grouper along with a few flounder. I’m not really keying on grouper right now because the season is closed in all waters until the 1st of April.
We are starting to transition into spring fishing so it’s a great time to get out there and wet a line!
Captain Rob Modys
SoulMate Charters