Posted on January 25th, 2014
My good friend Aaron Shirley flew down to southwest Florida yesterday to pend a quick 2-days fishing with me over the weekend. Today was the first time we had a chance to fish Florida’s saltwater together.
The day started out fishing an off-shore reef in 40’water. We fished drop-shot rigs and live shrimp pieces along the bottom. We were able to locate the reef using the Humminbird 800 series sonar and than move around over the reef with the Minn Kota Riptide 80 lb. thrust electric.
Aaron looked like a saltwater guide catching one fish after another. He started by catching some nice Grunts which most people take a while to figure out how to hook.
Next, he landed the first trophy sheepshead. Both Aaron & I were using Rapala Shift rods with Rapala spinning reels, Sufix 832 braided lines and Sufix Fluorocarbon Leaders with Gamakatsu #6 Circle Hooks.
Sheepshead can be tricky to hook because of their small mouth and many teeth, but we both managed to land some really nice fish!
When you reef fish you catch all kinds of bottom fish including nice size grunts & small grouper, snapper, etc.
From the reef we went into Charlotte Harbor where we trolled for mackere. We each ended up landing a couple of Spanish Mackerel and than headed off to try our luck for redfish and spotted sea trout.
Charlotte Harbor has expansive, natural mangrove shorelines which redfish, snook and trout love to feed along.
As things turned out, few fish were on the flats and we only landed a couple of odd-ball fish that included Aaron landing a needle fish on a TriggerX Paddle Tail Minnow.
I landed a chunky mullet. We arrive back to the dock at dark, cleaned our catch and had an excellent fresh grilled fish and salad dinner!
Tomorrow we are planning on fishing the reef first, and than heading south of Boca Grande in search of spotted sea trout.