On Tuesday morning I picked up my Illinois clients at the dock and we headed out from Sanibel. One thing I always say to myself with a grin “This never gets old” as the sun begins to rise in the east shining a beautiful orange light over the condo’s on Ft. Myers & Bonita Beach. This day the weather again was outstanding with seas less than a foot, light wind and the morning temperature in the low 70’s.
The great thing about being a charter captain is the people you meet and the conversations you have throughout the day. As we head offshore it gives me a chance to discuss with my clients what they want to catch, go over the different types of fish we will be fishing for, the fishing equipment and types of bait we will be using. The boat ride takes a little over an hour in calm conditions allowing us to cruise along nicely at 33 mph and pass a few shrimp boats on our way.
Once we arrive at our first destination I explain the technique for using a circle hook. While using circle hooks all you need to do is reel when you feel a bite, circle hooks will set themselves. Hence, the slogan ‘Feel it Reel it’! Circle hooks have become very popular and are required by law to use while fishing in Federal waters. Federal waters in the Gulf of Mexico start at 9 nautical miles out from U.S land seaward.
Let’s fish is what I always say when I finally drop anchor. Once everyone was set up with their rod I baited the hooks and explained when the sinker hits bottom to get ready to reel and sure enough no sooner did the bait hit bottom and everyone was hooked up! We started reeling in Grouper, Snapper, White Grunt and Porgy with the first Grouper being a 21″ keeper. As the day went on we caught a ton of Grouper mostly undersized, caught a few Reef Sharks and a lot of various snapper.
My clients were only in town a few more days and only wanted to keep enough fish for a few dinners while they were still here. Of course we threw all the other fish back to catch another day. My clients were staying near Blind Pass on the way to Captiva so they took their catch to Lazy Flamingo restaurant to have their catch cooked for them. As always Lazy Flamingo never disappoints for a reasonable price they will cook your fresh catch whichever way you like and provide 2 sides. This service is available at all Lazy Flamingo locations on Sanibel, Captiva, Fort Myers and Bokeelia. Outstanding!