Category Archives: Fishing Charlotte Harbor, Myakka River
I live in Port Charlotte, FL on a canal with access to the Myakka River near El Jobean, FL and Charlotte Harbor. I own a boat and I love to fish. I’m new to Florida so I’m learning a new kind of fishing and I thought a record of fish caught, weather, tides, etc. for each trip would help me to learn quicker. That record is what you’ll find in my blog which I post as soon as I possibly can so check before you’re going out, my success or failure might help make your trip more productive.
I stopped posting for a couple years because I just got too busy to keep it up. I’m still busy but I really want to keep the blog going so I am going to start posting again, July 14, 2012. Hope you all will come back and pick up where I left off.
Got out on Sunday. We heard there was a lot of bait in the Charlotte Harbor so we ran right out there to marker 9. Didn’t find any bait but a lot of lady fish hitting small bait with birds diving into them. So I put a few into the cooler and we headed over to the west wall.
Anchored at the edge of a point where the tide was racing over a flat and put out shrimp and some chunked lady fish. I got this nice 24 inch redfish on a chunk of lady fish. Also a 30 inch or so blacktip shark. Other than that it was pretty slow. Bait kept racing across the flat with schools of something chasing them. I couldn’t tell what they were. Some looked like ladyfish but others were larger and heavier. I did see a snook, about 30-35″ cruise across the flat and I got him to chase a Gulp but he wouldn’t pick it up.
I tried this new recipe on the redfish and it was really good so I thought I’d share it.
1/4 cup tequila
1/4 cup lime juice
1/4 lime, zest of
1/8 cup hot sauce
1/2 tbls garlic powder
1/2 tbls onion powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tbls pepper
1/8 cup brown sugar
Cut the fillets into serving sizes, I got about 6 out of the 2 fillets. Then blacken with Blackening Seasoning in a VERY HOT cast iron pan. If you are not familiar with blackening Google it. I use coconut oil in place of butter. Remove from frying pan after about 1 minute per side. Then put it on the grill on medium heat.
Brush the sauce on top of each fillet and add rosemary on the flavor plates for smoke. As smoke subsides turn the fillets and brush again with the sauce. Repeat as smoke subsides, I turn them about 4 times.
Keeping grill lid closed as much as possible. Should take about 20 minutes to finish cooking the fish.
It was very good. A bit on the spicy side, which is what we like, but you could cut the hot sauce in half if you don’t like it hot! We had leftovers the next night so this one fish, with grilled potatoes and grilled star fruit served 2 people 2 excellent meals. A glass of Pino Grigio went really well with this meal.
It’s been an unbelievably wonderful January. Mid to upper 80′s every day. So we invited Tom and Patty, our neighbors for an afternoon fishing trip.
Left the dock about 11:30 and just poked our nose out into the Myakka to show Patty where we were. It was very windy so we decided to stay in the canal for fishing. We’ve been doing better there anyway.
Everybody caught fish but I definitely had the luckiest day with 4 nice black drum from 16 to 23 inches. A lot of small drum were caught too, I’d say we got about 6 or 7 in the 10 to 12 inch range that we thru back. Patty caught a nice snapper about 12 inches. A funny story about that.
I was helping her get the snapper off the hook when my pole, in the pole holder, doubled over. I knew instantly it was another nice black drum. With all thought of the snapper in my hand gone, I ran for the pole to catch my drum. I was told later that I’d tossed that snapper, still hooked, at Patty. I guess I was thinking, suddenly, it was her fish she could unhook it. Sorry Patty. But I did get the very nice black drum. I have good fishing instincts but my manners could use some work.
Tom had a nice black drum right up to the boat. We got a good look at it once and then, just as it seemed we’d get it into the net the hook popped out of the water, empty. I was holding the net so I guess it was my fault. Everyone agreed on that. Charter Captains just do not make enough money!
We had a great day, fish for supper and enough left for another package in the freezer for a rainy day. If we ever get a rainy day!
The weather has been just perfect so we picked up a few dozen shrimp, our neighbor Tom and got in the bat about 1:30 PM. Hit several favorite spots in or canal system and finally found a school of black drum. Bimini and Julie hit the spot before us and did even better than we did. When we puled up along side them they were unhooking a rather large black drum, I’ll guess about 23 inches. They had both had shrimp out and that big drum ate both of their shrimp and was hooked, inside the mouth, with both their hooks. Can’t say I’ve ever seen that happen before.
They went home to clean fish and left a few black drum for us. We ended up with 1 big sail cat, 2 sheepshead about 13″ each, 1 almost 13″ mangrove snapper and 4 drum from 15″ to 18″. We got about 6 redfish but the biggest was about 14-15″. A good day. I was cleaning fish by oil lantern. Time to hook up some lights over my fish cleaning table. Although the burning oil did seem to keep the mosquitoes away.
The weather got so nice this morning we decided to buy a couple dozen shrimp and get on the water for a couple hours. We stayed in the canal and hit a few of our favorite spots.
Within 10 minutes we had our first redfish in the boat. It was small and the 6 we got over the next few hours ranged from 15″ to just under 17.” No dinner there but fun to catch anyway.
But we did get dinner when the black drum turned on. We got 5 total but only 2 were keeper sized 15″ and 16″. And one oddball sheepshead was 13″ so into the cooler it went. We did get a few snapper but they were all very small, around 8″ And no junk fish at all, I did get a blue crab to hold on until it was over the deck of the boat.
I think I need a new photgrapher — 22″ redfish — Photo courtesy of Karen!
I haven’t been faithful in posting my fishing trips. I’ve been out only a couple times since my last posted, 8/13/12 trip but they were rather boring trips anyway. I was out one day with Bim in the fresh water canals of North Port. We brought 3 largemouth bass home and let a few small ones go. Then a very early trip out in the dark with Karen. We left the dock about 4 AM and made our way out to Bob’s Point by the light of the full moon. Exciting, but we caught nothing important until we got back into the canal where we got a nice black drum and a couple big croaker. Enough for a meal with leftovers for fish sandwiches for the next day’s lunch.
But this trip was very exciting. We stayed in the canal and fished several different spots on the falling tide. One small mangrove snapper just over 10″, I would have let him go but he would not have survived anyway, and a 15″ black drum.
But, when the tide turned in we headed for the pole (code for those unfamiliar with canal jargon) and that’s when the fun started. When the smoke cleared we had another snapper over 12″, another black drum about 16″ and 2 redfish, 19″ & 22″. I nice day of fishing. There were a lot of other stuff between the keepers, sting ray, catfish and a nice (20″ is my guess) redfish that got off 8 feet short of the boat.
The weather is perfect here now. Mid 50′s at night and low 80′s in the afternoons. There was a light breeze and big fluffy clouds in a bright blue sky. I’m going to try harder to get out more often to bring you more stories. Somebodies got to do it. Right?
It has been slow fishing for a couple months now. But this little snook was the start to a great day of fishing. Of course the snook season is still closed (2 years) so he went back in the water but we had a good day, hopefully the start of a good stretch of fishing.
Bimini, Karen and I got out for a nice long day. We left the dock before 7:00 AM and headed straight out to Bob’s point (our name, given because Bob pointed it out to us). We started catching mangrove snapper right away and landed the nice snook shown in the photo.
We got chased out by a thunderstorm that seemed to explode above us. We ran back up the canal and parked under a bridge to continue catching croaker, snapper, snook, redfish, catfish and sting rays.
Bimini sitting on my boat under the bridge hiding from the thunderstorm.
About 2:00 PM we dropped Karen at the dock and continued to the bridge right by our house. We added 3 more snapper and a nice black drum to the cooler. When we finally hit the dock we had about a dozen fish to clean.
A great day on the water.
The video (below) shows the root beer colored water of the Myakka River in August. We’ve had a lot of rain, as we always do in the summer. It washes the swamps’ tannin stained water, into the river every summer. Our winters are very dry and the river will clear up again then.
We took a short, early morning fishing trip. Parked at the pole and the second shrimp out caught this 15-1/2 inch croaker. Biggest I’ve ever seen. I thought it was a red at first. We’ve had them before and they’re not bad fresh so we’ll blacken it for supper tonight. I’ll let you know if it is any good.
The rest of the day was dead slow. Catfish, 1 sail cat and stingray. We were out from about 7:00 AM to 10:30 AM. Didn’t even use a dozen shrimp. But better than work, right?
This was the biggest redfish I caught, only 16 inches not in the slot 18-27 inches.
I spent a very warm day north of the El Jobean bridge in the Myakka River. The water is the color of coke, or root beer. I hit several of my favorite spots and caught a bunch of little stuff. Mangrove snapper to 9 inches, redfish to 16 inches, pinfish, catfish and sting rays. but nothing to take home for dinner.
I did have a terrible experience with one of our local boaters. I was anchored very close to the dock at the end of the Apollo Canal. A “Hurricane” (make of boat) came into the canal on plane. A minimum wake zone from 75 yards before I could see him. He rounded the bend on plane and turned up the canal towards me before beginning to slow. It took him a minute to get to me and I kept thinking he’d slow down before he came along side me. He was down to that speed where the nose of the boat is still high and you’re plowing up the largest wake your boat can make.
I finally realized he wasn’t going to slow down in time and I was going to have to ride that 2-3 foot wake. I knew I was going to get slammed into the dock. I stood up and raised my hands to say WTF. He said something about “you shouldn’t be anchored there anyway, I have to come in like this” and blasted by my. I grabbed for the dock to try to keep from hitting it too hard. I knew I couldn’t stop the collision and I was worried about smashing my fingers.
It was a beautiful, although very hot, day on the water.
My boat lifted over the top of the docks pilings enough so It got hung up on the fins on the side of my pontoon. I had to get on the dock to lift the boat back off into the water. I turned back to him and started yelling. Then thought to grab my camera, but the photos aren’t great he was already too far off. AND, he had finally slowed to a minimum wake speed. Why couldn’t he have done that before knocking me around?
I know most boaters are very considerate and relaxed on the water. But there are a few idiots out there, watch out for them.
We took a quick trip to the Florida Keys this weekend. We stayed in Marathon. Got there quicker than anticipated and it was raining so we kept going down to Key West. The rain cleared as we got there so we spent a few hours seeing the sites.
When we got back to Marathon and checked in to our hotel I went to the bait store and got 6 dozen live shrimp and started looking for a place to fish. My first choice was the 7 mile bridge on the Marathon side. Did you know they do not allow fishing from the old bridge. You can walk it, bike it, skateboard it but you can’t fish it. Nobody is sure why except maybe a boater ran into a fishing line while passing under. Maybe.
It was kind of late so I wanted a spot I could fish into the night. I tried all the public beaches and fishing areas I could find on Google. But when I got to each there was a sign saying “Open from dawn to dusk Strictly enforced.” I was a little shocked. I asked back at the bait store and was sent to 3 other places, same thing.
I gave up for the night and started again early in the morning. I found the Vaca Cut Bridge, which had convenient parking and a nicely fixed up old bridge. So I started there at about 6:30 AM and used up my 6 dozen shrimp by about 10 AM. Mostly I caught little stuff like dog snapper, yellowtail snapper and mangrove snapper. 3 of the mangrove were over the 10 inch minimum but just barely. One slightly larger dropped off before I could real it up onto the pier. I caught a ton of porkfish. I baited up a 6 hooked bait rig and was catching 1 to 3 fish on every cast from 3 to 10 inches. I put one on my live liner under a small bobber and let it sit in the current while I played with the snapper. But it sat out there for 3 hours with no action.
It was a beautiful morning and the fresh air gave me a great appetite making lunch a wonderful event.
This wasn’t a real fishing trip but it is an update of what fish are being caught ou there. Bimini, Julie, Karen and I went to Caraba’s for a wonderfully stuffing dinner. We thought a walk would be good to … Continue reading →