I received a call Tuesday morning from Michael, staying on Ft. Myers beach and in search of an inshore fishing charter. They were fairly flexible and we decided on fishing the flooding tide on Wednesday afternoon for a 4 hour trip. I was able to get the boat on the water a little early, after picking up several dozen huge live shrimp at the ramp, to search for other live bait to net. Didn’t see any bait around, but found a fairly large school of snook in one area. I had to see if they were hungry and a good size shrimp under a cork got eaten fairly quickly, but after one jump, it spit the hook. I checked my phone before I hooked another shrimp and sure enough see the message that Michael and friend Kevin are at the ramp a little early. I’m at the boat ramp at Lover’s Key in just a few minutes and we quickly load up and head back to fish the snook I had found to start our day. Unfortunately in just that half hour or so it took for the pick up and return, the tide had changed and the fish were gone. No matter, we headed back into Estero Bay to see the clouds building and spewing walls of rain. The first spot started rain free, and a pretty good bite of just under slot rat rats, along with a couple of small snook.

Each guy got several fish before a light drizzling rain started and the bite slacked off, so it was off to the next spot.  A couple of bait stealers started it off but then Kevin got a good bite and a big fish headed for the mangroves. The tide was still a little low for the nice redfish to get into the maze of mangrove roots, and Kevin did an excellent job fighting it to the boat. It did it’s best to hide under the boat as I tried to net it, but we finally got the 25” red into the boat for a quick picture and measure before the release.

The bite was on at this spot with a double of nice reds landed next.

Then once again Kevin’s bait got hammered by a nice fish and he fought the nicest fish of the day to the boat, a healthy redfish over 26”.

The trash talking was getting a little thick at that point as Kevin had some beautiful fish under his belt, just about the time Michael got his big bite. Unfortunately a tremendous hook set appeared to be a little too much and the line parted quickly. The bite finally slowed and I thought we’d try for some spotted sea trout next. We caught a few mostly small trout as we drifted across some lush grass flats.

The lure of a nearby fishy looking shoreline drew us away from the flats for the last bit of time for our trip. The only bite there, was a drag screaming run for Kevin by a fish we never saw and somehow spit the hook pretty quickly. I suspected a hefty snook by the speed of the line peeling off the spinning reel. With that our day was done and another great day in Estero Bay came to a close.