Gulf of Mexico

Gag grouper fish on the line, still in the waterAnglers who like to fish deep water and who are willing to make long runs 50 or more miles offshore to reach water depths approaching 150 feet will be pumped up for the opening of the seasons for gag and for red snapper this month. The red snapper season is a little confusing since private boats and charter boats have different dates: private boats have to wait until June 17 while the charter guys can begin on June 1. But the private guys get to make up for their late start by fishing further into the Fall than the charter fleet. For those of us who aren’t excited about fishing that far offshore there is steady fishing to be found in water less than 100 feet deep. Fishing on hard bottom in 60 to 100 feet of water will produce a mixed bag of bottom fish including red grouper, lane snapper, mangrove snapper, porgys, and other reef fish. Wrecks, artificial reefs and other high-profile structures are holding mangrove snapper, Goliath grouper, barracuda and permit, and shark fishing just a few miles offshore can be really hot for blacktips and sandbar sharks.


Charlotte Harbor

Two men holding a tarpon in the waterJune is tarpon time in SW Florida. The action at Boca Grande Pass is world famous and attracts almost as many anglers as fish! But less well-known is that tarpon are being caught in many other parts of Charlotte Harbor including locations many miles inland from Boca Grande. But tarpon are not the only game in town this month. Shark fishing in Charlotte Harbor is at a peak also with a mix of blacktip, Atlantic sharpnose, blacknose, bonnethead, bull and hammerhead sharks keeping anglers guessing as to which will hit next. Catch-and-release fishing for snook and redfish is good along bars and mangrove shorelines on moving tides. The harbor is also holding good numbers of Spanish mackerel, trout fishing is steady, and mangrove snapper are a reliable way to put filets in the skillet.