For the first time in forever I got to fish with good buddy Scott in Estero bay. We knew a low and falling morning tide would be a challenge, but it didn’t matter as we had an opportunity for an escape to the water and we were taking it. Another friend in town from out west, Carlos, was scheduled to meet us for a morning of fishing, for which he showed up for just after about noon I think.  Scott and I met just after 7:30 and fished some shorelines in Estero Bay with artificials to start the day. The tide was already low and not moving much where we were, and the water was pretty dirty, so it was off to the pass in search of cleaner water and possibly some bait. On the way out of New Pass in Bonita Springs we had to toss our artificial baits along the very fishy shoreline. The tide was running out quickly but a couple of good casts got our baits hammered by schools of snook as we drifted by. Seeing all those feeding fish convinced us to spin around and anchor up to see if we could catch a few more. We caught a couple of just under slot snook a piece before the bite died and we continued our journey out of the pass in search of bait. There was a good swell making the hunt along the shoreline of Lover’s Key difficult, but we found what we were looking for and with a few throws of the castnet, Scott was able to gather plenty of small to very nice sized whitebaits to add to the livewell. The first spot we fished, a very small channel along an oyster bar, yielded one snook after another.

We were hoping for a redfish or 2, but the bite slowed after an hour or so without seeing any. The next stop was a point near Big Carlos Pass where we fished some of the larger baits we had caught hoping for a big fish. Not much going on at first, but my bait finally disappeared in a huge swirl by a fish I missed. Scott quickly got his bait in the same spot and it got devoured right away only to have him not hook up, while I rigged up the biggest scaled sardine we had. My large and frisky bait got chased and eaten almost immediately, yet when I set the hook there was nothing there. By the size wake and swirls the fish was making we knew it was a slob fish, but we didn’t get another chance at the suspected snook. We continued fishing around the pass, finding plenty of activity catching ladyfish and Spanish mackerel while we waited for friend Carlos to show.  With now 3 guys on the boat we headed into the back bay to fish the now incoming tide. The snook bite continued with Carlos catching one that hit at the side of the boat, before he casted it, as we were talking about how to use the reel.

We caught snook, ladyfish, and some nice jacks throughout the rest of the day. A small goliath grouper caught in all of about 2 feet of water also came aboard for a quick photo opportunity before being released.

With a bunch of fish under our belts and approaching storms, we headed to the ramp about 3 to end another great day in Estero Bay!