After not being on the water much at all the last few weeks, Friday was the day to get back out and see what is going on. The day’s 4 hour charter was with longtime customer Gus, and his young son Jack. We started at 9am from the Carl Johnson Boat Ramp at Lover’s Key, just south of Fort Myers beach. There has been a terrible outbreak of red tide in the area, and that was a concern for the day. My last trip we found areas bad with red tide, but we were able to find spots with clean water and hungry fish. This trip started with no indications of red tide and the bite started right away. The guys mentioned a family dinner for 6 that night that they wanted to provide for with the days catch. So that was our mission, along with having some fun. The tide was still pretty low as we began fishing some of my favorite docks in Big Carlos Pass. The telltale nibbles of the sheepshead bite started as quick as the baits got in the water.

Young Jack absolutely showed us how it’s done, catching 1 nice fish after another. He also caught a pufferfish that he enjoyed probably more than anything else he caught.

We must have caught around 20 sheepshead, with 8 nice keepers up to about 15”, a small snook, and a couple of mangrove snapper before we all decided to try something different. The next spot was a bust, and so then we were off in search of clean water. While running around the bay we ran across a pod of frisky dolphins that decided to play in our wake and give us an awesome show.  It was a group of 4 with a mother and baby that I recognized from previous encounters. They played and jumped along with us for what seemed like forever until we finally sped up and left them to head back to the dock. We didn’t have much luck at all on the grass flats or shallow mangroves after we left the pass, but we had caught a mess of fish, including dinner, and had an absolutely amazing dolphin experience that left the entire crew grinning ear to ear as I cleaned the fish and we said our goodbyes after another great day in Estero Bay!