Captiva Fishing, Sheepshead!

Sanibel Island Fishing Charters, Sheepshead, Structure, Catch & Release, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Tuesday, January 30, 2018.
Sanibel Island Fishing Charters, Sheepshead, Structure, Catch & Release, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Tuesday, January 30, 2018.

Sanibel Fishing, Captiva Fishing, & Sanibel Island Fishing Charters, January  30, 2018: Sheepshead.

CaptivaRentals.org: Avoid VRBO Fees. Rent Directly From Local Homeowners.Captiva Fishing Report,  Sanibel Island Fishing Charters, Tuesday, January 30: More Sheepshead, Catch & Release; water quality in relatively good shape; (Caloosahatchee: no/little freshwater runoff impact right now; Red Tide Report, impact minimal, broken up and largely dispersed); more fishing reports from other areas and Captains below.

Tuesday, January 30, Sanibel Island Fishing Charters: Sheepshead & Grouper, Inshore Structure, Hiding In The Passes, Catch & Release.  Please also visit the SanibelFort MyersFlorida Fishing Report and Cuban Fishing sites.  Better water moving north of Sanibel up through Captiva & North Captiva.

More Sheepshead, Structure, Catch & Release, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Sunday, January 28, 2018.
More Sheepshead, Structure, Catch & Release, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Sunday, January 28, 2018.

Please also visit the SanibelFort MyersFlorida Fishing Report and Cuban Fishing sites. Sanibel Island Fishing Charters: Better water moving north of Sanibel up through Captiva & North Captiva.

Please click here to Book A Charter or call 239-472-8658 and here for Live Sanibel Traffic Cams.

Sheepshead, Structure, Catch & Release, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Friday, January 26, 2018.
Sheepshead, Structure, Catch & Release, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Friday, January 26, 2018.

Archosargus probatocephalus, the sheepshead, is a marine fish that grows to 76 cm (30 in), but commonly reaches 30 to 50 cm (10 to 20 in). It is deep and compressed in body shape, with five or six dark bars on the side of the body over a gray background. It has sharp dorsal spines. Its diet consists of oystersclams, and other bivalves, and barnaclesfiddler crabs, and other crustaceans.[1] It has a hard mouth, with several rows of stubby teeth – the frontal ones roughly resembling human teeth – which help crush the shells of prey.[2]

Grouper, Structure, Catch & Release, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Wednesday, January 24, 2018.
Grouper, Structure, Catch & Release, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Wednesday, January 24, 2018.

The sheepshead is found in coastal waters along the western Atlantic, from Nova Scotia to Brazil, but the greatest concentration is around southwest Florida.[3] Although the Sheepshead Bay section of Brooklyn, in New York City, was named after the fish,[4] it is now rarely found that far north.

Sheepshead, Still Cold, Hiding In The Passes, Catch & Release, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Saturday, January 20, 2018.
Sheepshead, Still Cold, Hiding In The Passes, Catch & Release, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Saturday, January 20, 2018.

As sheepshead feed on bivalves and crustaceans,[1] successful baits include shrimpsand fleas (mole crabs), clams, fiddler crabs, and mussels.[5] Sheepshead have a knack for stealing bait, so a small hook is necessary.[5]Locating sheepshead with a boat is not difficult: Fishermen look for rocky bottoms or places with obstructions, jetties, and the pilings of bridges and piers.[5] The average weight of a sheepshead is 1.4 to 1.8 kg (3 to 4 lb), but some individuals reach the range of 4.5 to 6.8 kg (10 to 15 lb).[5] Please see more information here.

Sheepshead, Very Cold, Structure, Catch & Release, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Thursday, January 18, 2018.
Sheepshead, Very Cold, Structure, Catch & Release, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Thursday, January 18, 2018.

“Florida Regulations: 

Regulations Gulf State Waters Atlantic State Waters
Size Limit 12”
Daily Bag Limit 15 per person

 

Gear Requirements:

  • Legal Gear: hook and line, cast net, seine, spear or gig
  • Illegal Gear: Harvest prohibited by or with the use of any multiple hook in conjunction with live or dead natural bait; Snatching prohibited

    Sheepshead, Warmer, Structure, Catch & Release, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Wednesday, January 10, 2018.
    Sheepshead, Warmer, Structure, Catch & Release, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Wednesday, January 10, 2018.

State Waters Harvest Seasons

Habitat and Fishing Tips:  Sheepshead are commonly found in brackish water river mouths, bays, estuaries, and tidal creeks and especially near oyster bars, buoys, channel markers, piers and bridge piles where food is plentiful. Sheepshead feed primarily on crustaceans, mollusks, barnacles and small fish.

Sheepshead, 11-28-14, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing & Fort Myers Fishing Charters & Guide Service.
Sheepshead, 11-28-14, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing & Fort Myers Fishing Charters & Guide Service.

Anglers typically use light to medium weight spinning tackle with shrimp, sand fleas or small crabs as bait. Using their specially adapted (human-like) incisors and crushing molars, sheepshead can be difficult to hook and have an uncanny ability to clean a hook without you knowing anything happened.

Sheepshead, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Monday, November 21, 2016.
Sheepshead, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Monday, November 21, 2016.

When targeting sheepshead, it is very important to keep your line tight and be ready for the bite because you often get one, and only one, chance to set the hook. The food quality of sheepshead is very good, and they are one of the only fish that can smile back at you during the picture!

Huge Sheepshead caught offshore of Captiva on Sanibel & Captiva charters!
Huge Sheepshead caught offshore of Captiva on Sanibel & Captiva charters!

Can oysters and barnacles be used as bait or chum for sheepshead  Oysters and barnacles are very, very different when it comes to regulations.

Oysters have closed seasons, bag limits, size limits and can only be legally harvested in specific shellfish harvesting areas that are classified as “approved” or “conditionally approved” and in the “open” status. The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Division of Aquaculture External Website manages these shellfish harvesting areas.

Sheepshead caught offshore on Sanibel on Sanibel & Captiva charters!
Sheepshead caught offshore on Sanibel on Sanibel & Captiva charters!

Barnacles, on the other hand, do not have size limits or specified bag limits, which means that you can harvest up to 100 pounds per person per day with a recreational saltwater fishing license and you can use them to chum sheepshead. You can also simply scrape them off bridge piles and allow them to sink and attract sheepshead. Do not scrape barnacles from private docks or other private structures without permission of the property owner.

Sheepshead, 12-5-14, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing & Fort Myers Fishing Charters & Guide Service.
Sheepshead, 12-5-14, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing & Fort Myers Fishing Charters & Guide Service.

State Record:  15 lb 2 oz, caught near Homosassa.”  Please see more information here.

For Sanibel Island Fishing Charters, please click here to Book A Charter or call 239-472-8658 and here for Live Sanibel Traffic Cams.  More Sheepshead Fishing  … click here for College Of Fishing Hats & Apparel.

For Sanibel Island Fishing Charters, we’re located in Castaways Marina, Santiva, Sanibel Island, just before the Blind Pass bridge to Captiva Island.

Sheepshead, Blind Pass, 11-23-14, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing & Fort Myers Fishing Charters & Guide Service.
Sheepshead, Blind Pass, 11-23-14, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing & Fort Myers Fishing Charters & Guide Service.

After a fierce storm, Turner Beach, the beach adjoining the Pass, is frequently covered with a bounty of shells from Olives to Fighting Whelks to the more common Conchs. The fishing is also renowned for sharks in the summer, tailing redfish on the bayside flats and snook under and off the Blind Pass bridge. Because Turner Beach faces Westward, the sunsets are spectacular and a popular viewing point for residents and visitors alike.

And you can like us on Facebook.

Fair winds and following seas,

Captain Joey Burnsed, Sanibel Island Fishing Charters, ~ please click calendar at the upper left or call 239-472-8658 to book a Sanibel & Captiva Islands, Boca Grande or Fort Myers fishing guide trip or shelling charter.

Two Sheepshead caught in Blind Pass, Sanibel & Captiva Islands & Fort Myers Charters & Fishing Guide Service.
Two Sheepshead caught in Blind Pass, Sanibel & Captiva Islands & Fort Myers Charters & Fishing Guide Service.

Captiva Fishing, Tarpon & Warmth!

Tarpon Fishing, Looking Forward To Spring, Catch & Release, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Monday, January 29, 2018. Photo courtesy of Jimmy Burnsed and Santiva Saltwater Fishing.

Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, January  29, 2018: Day Dreaming Of Warmer Weather & Tarpon Fishing.

CaptivaRentals.org: Avoid VRBO Fees. Rent Directly From Local Homeowners.Captiva Fishing Report, Monday, January 29: Day Dreaming Of Warmer Weather & Tarpon Fishing; thinking about late April when the tarpon move in; water quality in relatively good shape; (Caloosahatchee: no/little freshwater runoff impact right now; Red Tide Report, impact minimal, broken up and largely dispersed); more fishing reports from other areas and Captains below.

Monday, January 29: looking forward to warmer weather and Tarpon Fishing!  Please also visit the SanibelFort MyersFlorida Fishing Report and Cuban Fishing sites.  Better water moving north of Sanibel up through Captiva & North Captiva.

Sanibel & Captiva, Birthplace Of Big Game Fishing!

Zane Grey, Courtesy Of WGCU, Tarpon Fishing, History Of Tarpon Fishing, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing & Fort Myers Fishing Charters & Guide Service.
Zane Grey, Courtesy Of WGCU, Tarpon Fishing, History Of Tarpon Fishing, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing & Fort Myers Fishing Charters & Guide Service.

Please also visit the SanibelFort MyersFlorida Fishing Report and Cuban Fishing sites.  Better water moving north of Sanibel up through Captiva & North Captiva.

Please click here to Book A Charter or call 239-472-8658 and here for Live Sanibel Traffic Cams.

Jimmy, Tarpon, Boca Grande Pass, Sanibel & Captiva Islands & Fort Myers Charters & Fishing Guide Service.
Jimmy Burnsed, Huge Tarpon, Boca Grande Pass, Sanibel & Captiva Islands & Fort Myers Charters & Fishing Guide Service.

“Tarpon are large air-breathing fish of the genus Megalops; one species is native to the Atlantic, and the other to the Indo-Pacific Seas. They are the only members of the family Megalopidae.

The two species of tarpon are Megalops atlanticus (Atlantic tarpon) and the Megalops cyprinoides (Indo-Pacific tarpon). M. atlanticus is found on the western Atlantic coast from Virginia to Brazil, throughout the coast of the Gulf of Mexico, and throughout the Caribbean. Tarpon are also found along the eastern Atlantic coast from Senegal to South Angola.[3] M. cyprinoides is found along the eastern African coast, throughout southeast AsiaJapanTahiti, and Australia.

Tarpon 3, Catch & Release, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Wednesday, July 5, 2017.
Tarpon 3, Catch & Release, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Wednesday, July 5, 2017.

Both species are found in both saltwater and freshwater habitats, usually ascending rivers to access freshwater marshes.[4] They are able to survive in brackish water, waters of varying pH, and habitats with low dissolved O2 content due to their swim bladders, which they use primarily to breathe.

They are also able to rise to the surface and take gulps of air, which gives them a short burst of energy.

Tarpon Jumping, Catch & Release, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Wednesday, July 5, 2017.
Tarpon Jumping, Catch & Release, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Wednesday, July 5, 2017.

The habitats of tarpon vary greatly with their developmental stages. Stage-one larvae are usually found in clear, warm, oceanic waters, relatively close to the surface. Stage-two and -three larvae are found in salt marshestidal poolscreeks, and rivers. The habitats are characteristically warm, shallow, dark bodies of water with sandy mud bottoms. Tarpon commonly ascend rivers into freshwater. As they progress from the juvenile stage to adulthood, they move back to the open waters of the ocean, though many remain in freshwater habitats.[5][6]

Tarpon, Catch & Release, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Tuesday, May 30, 2017.
Tarpon, Catch & Release, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Tuesday, May 30, 2017.

Tarpon grow to about 4–8 ft long and weigh 60–280 lbs. They have dorsal and anal soft rays and have bluish or greenish backs. Tarpon possess shiny, silvery scales that cover most of their bodies, excluding the head. They have large eyes with adipose eyelids and broad mouths with prominent lower jaws that jut out farther than the rest of the face.[3][4][5]

Tarpon, Catch & Release, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Friday, August 4, 2017.
Tarpon, Catch & Release, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Friday, August 4, 2017.

Tarpon breed offshore in warm, isolated areas. Females have high fecundity and can lay up to 12 million eggs at once. They reach sexual maturity once they are about 75–125 cm in length. Spawning usually occurs in late spring to early summer.[5]

Their three distinct levels of development usually occur in varying habitats. The first stage, the leptocephalus stage, or stage one, is completed after 20–30 days. It takes place in clear, warm oceanic waters, usually within 10–20 m of the surface.

Tarpon Fishing, Memorial Day Weekend, Catch & Release, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Sunday, May 28, 2017.
Tarpon Fishing, Memorial Day Weekend, Catch & Release, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Sunday, May 28, 2017.

The leptocephalus shrinks as it develops into a larva; the most shrunken larva, stage two, develops by day 70. This is due to a negative growth phase followed by a sluggish growth phase.

By day 70, the juvenile growth phase, stage three, begins and the fish begins to rapidly grow until it reaches sexual maturity.[3][7]

Stage-one developing Megalops do not forage for food, but instead, absorb nutrients from seawater using integumentary absorption. Stage-two and -three juveniles feed primarily on zooplankton but also feed on insects and small fish.

Tarpon Being Released, 6th Annual “Ding” Darling & Doc Ford’s Tarpon Tournament, Friday, May 19, Captiva Island. Photo Courtesy Of “Ding” Darling & Doc Ford’s Tarpon Tournament.
Tarpon Being Released, 6th Annual “Ding” Darling & Doc Ford’s Tarpon Tournament, Friday, May 19, Captiva Island. Photo Courtesy Of “Ding” Darling & Doc Ford’s Tarpon Tournament.

As they progress in juvenile development, especially those developing in freshwater environments, their consumption of insects, fish, crabs, and grass shrimp increases. Adults are strictly carnivorous and feed on midwater prey; they swallow their food whole and hunt nocturnally.[5][6]

Tarpon Off The Beach, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Friday, August 26, 2016.
Tarpon Off The Beach, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Friday, August 26, 2016.

The main predators of Megalops during stage one and early stage-two development are other fish, depending on their size. Juveniles are subject to predation by other juvenile Megalops and piscivorous birds. They are especially vulnerable to birds when they come to the surface for air, due to the rolling manner in which they move to take in the air, as well as the silver scales lining their sides.[8] Adults occasionally fall prey to sharks, porpoises, crocodiles, and alligators.

One of the unique features of Megalops is the swim bladder, which functions as a respiratory pseudo-organ. These gas structures can be used for buoyancy, as an accessory respiratory organ, or both.

Big Tarpon, Josh, Catch & Release, North Captiva, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Saturday, May 28, 2016.
Big Tarpon, Josh, Catch & Release, North Captiva, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Saturday, May 28, 2016.

In Megalops, this unpaired air-holding structure arises dorsally from the posterior pharynx. Megalops uses the swim bladder as a respiratory organ and the respiratory surface is coated with blood capillaries with a thin epithelium over the top. This is the basis of the alveolar tissue found in the swim bladder, and is believed to be one of the primary methods by which Megalops “breathes”. These fish are obligate air breathers, and if they are not allowed to access the surface, they will die. The exchange of gas occurs at the surface through a rolling motion that is commonly associated with Megalops sightings.

This “breathing” is believed to be mediated by visual cues, and the frequency of breathing is inversely correlated to the dissolved O2 content of the water in which they live.[5][9]

Tarpon In November, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Thursday, 11-5-15 ~ #Sanibel #Captiva.
Tarpon In November, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Thursday, 11-5-15 ~ #Sanibel #Captiva.

Megalops is considered one of the great saltwater game fishes. They are prized not only because of their great size but also because of the fight they put up and their spectacular leaping ability. They are bony fish and their meat is not desirable, so most are released after they are caught. Numerous tournaments around the year are focused on catching tarpon.[10]

Since tarpon are not commercially valuable as a food fish, very little has been documented concerning their geographical distribution and migrations.

Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Big Tarpon 5, Closeup, Josh, Saturday, 6-13-15, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing & Fort Myers Fishing Charters & Guide Service.
Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Big Tarpon 5, Closeup, Josh, Saturday, 6-13-15, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing & Fort Myers Fishing Charters & Guide Service.

They inhabit both sides of the Atlantic Ocean, and their range in the eastern Atlantic has been reliably established from Senegal to the Congo.

Tarpon inhabiting the western Atlantic are principally found to populate warmer coastal waters primarily in the Gulf of Mexico, Florida, and the West Indies. Nonetheless, tarpon are regularly caught by anglers at Cape Hatteras and as far as Nova Scotia, Bermuda, and south to Argentina.

Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Big Tarpon, Josh, Saturday, 6-13-15, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing & Fort Myers Fishing Charters & Guide Service.
Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Big Tarpon, Josh, Saturday, 6-13-15, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing & Fort Myers Fishing Charters & Guide Service.

Scientific studies[11] indicate schools of tarpon have routinely migrated through the Panama Canal from the Atlantic to the Pacific and back for over 70 years. However, they have not been found to breed in the Pacific Ocean. Nevertheless, anecdotal evidence by tarpon fishing guides and anglers would tend to validate this notion, as over the last 60 years, many small juvenile tarpon, as well as mature giants, have been caught and documented principally on the Pacific side of Panama at the Bayano River, the Gulf of San Miguel and its tributaries, Coiba Island in the Gulf of Chiriquí, and Piñas Bay in the Gulf of Panama.

Since tarpon tolerate wide ranges in salinity throughout their lives and will eat almost anything dead or alive, their migrations seemingly are only limited by water temperatures.[citation needed]

Captiva Fishing, Tarpon, Sunday, 5-17-15, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing & Fort Myers Fishing Charters & Guide Service.
Captiva Fishing, Tarpon, Sunday, 5-17-15, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing & Fort Myers Fishing Charters & Guide Service.

Tarpon prefer water temperatures of 72 to 82 °F (22 to 28 °C); below 60 °F (15.6 °C) degrees they become inactive, and temperatures under 40 °F (4.5 °C) can be lethal.”  Please see source & more information here.

Florida Regulations 

Regulations Gulf State Waters Atlantic State Waters
Minimum Size Limit No Minimum Size Limit; Tarpon over 40 inches MUST remain in the water
Daily Bag Limit Tarpon is a catch-and-release only fishery.

One tarpon tag per person per year may be purchased when in pursuit of an International Game Fish Association (IGFA) record. Vessel, transport and shipment limited to one fish.

 

Captiva Fishing, Tarpon, 5-10-15, Josh Schardin's Team Scallywag, 2015 "Ding Darling" & Doc Ford's Tarpon Tournament, 5-9-15.
Captiva Fishing, Tarpon, 5-10-15, Josh Schardin’s Team Scallywag, 2015 “Ding Darling” & Doc Ford’s Tarpon Tournament, 5-9-15.

“Boca Grande Pass Regulations:

  • Fishing with gear that has a weight attached to a hook, artificial fly or lure in such a way that the weight hangs lower than the hook when the line or leader is suspended vertically from the rod is prohibited when fishing for any species year-round within Boca Grande Pass. If this gear is on board a fishing vessel while inside the boundaries of the Pass, it cannot be attached to any rod, line or leader and must be stowed. Natural bait is not considered to be a weight. If the jig fishes in an illegal manner it is prohibited.
  • Any jig that allows the attached weight to slip down the shank so that it hangs lower than the hook while the line or leader is suspended vertically from the rod is prohibited, and must be stowed so it is not readily accessible.
  • This is an example of prohibited gear:

    bottom weighted jig

     

  • During the months of April, May and June, no more than three fishing lines may be deployed from a vessel at any one time.
  • During the months of April, May and June, no person shall use, fish with, or place in the water any breakaway gear.

Learn more about recent regulation changes by reading our Frequently Asked Questions.

Unsure if the gear is prohibited? Call the regional office at 863-648-3200.

Captiva Fishing, Tarpon, 5-9-15, "Ding" Darling Doc Ford's Tarpon Tournament, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing & Fort Myers Fishing Charters & Guide Service.
Captiva Fishing, Tarpon, 5-9-15, “Ding” Darling Doc Ford’s Tarpon Tournament, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing & Fort Myers Fishing Charters & Guide Service.

Map of Boca Grande Pass

Several buoys marking Boca Grande Pass were moved by the U.S. Coast Guard in 2016 to better align with the shifting channel. One buoy specifically (Flashing Red Buoy #12) was a reference point marking the boundaries of Boca Grande Pass for the purposes of specific gear restrictions. Red buoy #12 was removed and replaced with a new buoy (Charlotte Harbor Channel LB 6). This new buoy is about a quarter mile East-Southeast of the old buoy.  Please note that due to this buoy change, the boundaries of Boca Grande Pass have also changed. (see map below)

Boca Grande Channel Redesign 2016 web.jpg

Gear Requirements:

  • Legal Gear: hook and line only.
  • Snagging, snatch hooking, spearing and the use of a multiple hook in conjunction with live or dead natural bait is prohibited

Tarpon handling guidelines

Tarpon is an iconic saltwater fish. When handled properly, these large fish are more likely to survive and evade predators. Follow these guidelines to ensure tarpon remains the strong and viable fishery it is today.

Tarpon, 5-29-14, Sanibel & Captiva Islands & Fort Myers Charters & Fishing Guide Service.
Tarpon, 5-29-14, Sanibel & Captiva Islands & Fort Myers Charters & Fishing Guide Service.

Know tarpon regulations

  • Tarpon over 40 inches MUST remain in the water unless a tag is used.

  • Tarpon tags may only be used to harvest potential IGFA record-sized tarpon. Taxidermy mounts can be made with length and girth measurements and a photograph.

  • Don’t tow a tarpon unless it is necessary to revive it. If you must tow, go as slow as possible while still moving water over the gills.
Tarpon, 6-1-14, Sanibel & Captiva Islands & Fort Myers Charters & Fishing Guide Service.
Tarpon, 6-1-14, Sanibel & Captiva Islands & Fort Myers Charters & Fishing Guide Service.

Keep head and gills in the water

Do not target from bridges or piers – Releasing tarpon from bridges or piers requires specialized lifting gear or cutting the line, which leaves long amounts of line trailing behind the fish.

Use proper tackle

  • Use barbless, single, non-offset circle hooks for natural bait.
  • Use single hooks rather than treble hooks.
  • Use tackle heavy enough to land the tarpon quickly, minimizing exhaustion, and helping the fish avoid predators after release.
Tarpon, 6-3-14, Sanibel & Captiva Islands & Fort Myers Charters & Fishing Guide Service.
Tarpon, 6-3-14, Sanibel & Captiva Islands & Fort Myers Charters & Fishing Guide Service.

Other tips

  • Do not drag tarpon over the gunnel of a boat.
  • Use a dehooking tool.
  • Tarpon smaller than 40” should be supported horizontally when removed from the water. Tarpon larger than 40” must remain in the water.
  • Do not fish for tarpon when large predatory sharks are in the area feeding.  If sharks show up, move to another fishing location.

State Waters Harvest Seasons

Tarpon Fishing, Caught Inshore Of Captiva Island, Catch & Release, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Sunday, July 30, 2017. File Photo.
Tarpon Fishing, Caught Inshore Of Captiva Island, Catch & Release, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Sunday, July 30, 2017. File Photo.

Habitat and Fishing Tips: 

Tarpon are found throughout Florida’s coastal environment during the summer months. During the winter months, coastal water temperatures in much of the state drop significantly and cause tarpon to concentrate in South Florida.

Tarpon, which feed primarily on fish, shrimp, and crabs, are powerful, explosive and acrobatic fighters. Tarpon also have great stamina, making them one of Florida’s most challenging and exciting nearshore sportfish.

Captiva Fishing, Sea Trout, 5-6-15, Tarpon caught inshore of Captiva Island, Sanibel & Captiva Islands & Fort Myers Charters & Fishing Guide Service.
Captiva Fishing, Sea Trout, 5-6-15, Tarpon caught inshore of Captiva Island, Sanibel & Captiva Islands & Fort Myers Charters & Fishing Guide Service.

Tarpon can be caught on flies, streamers, floating and diving lures, jigs, live bait and dead bait. The tackle to be used depends largely on the type of bait used, the location and the size of fish being targeted.

While tarpon are not a toothy predator, a long, heavy monofilament leader is very important to protect your line from being cut by the gill plate or tail.

Tarpon have poor food value and are almost exclusively a catch and release fishery. If you intend to keep a tarpon, you must purchase a tarpon tag in advance.

State Record: 243 lb, caught near Key West.  For more information on Tarpon, please see FWC.

Please click here to Book A Charter or call 239-472-8658 and here for Live Sanibel Traffic Cams.  Sheepshead Fishing  … click here for College Of Fishing Hats & Apparel.

Tarpon Rolling, May 17, 2017, File Photo, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing & Fort Myers Fishing Charters & Guide Service.
Tarpon Rolling, May 17, 2017, File Photo, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing & Fort Myers Fishing Charters & Guide Service.

We’re located in Castaways Marina, Santiva, Sanibel Island, just before the Blind Pass bridge to Captiva Island.

After a fierce storm, Turner Beach, the beach adjoining the Pass, is frequently covered with a bounty of shells from Olives to Fighting Whelks to the more common Conchs. The fishing is also renowned for sharks in the summer, tailing redfish on the bayside flats and snook under and off the Blind Pass bridge. Because Turner Beach faces Westward, the sunsets are spectacular and a popular viewing point for residents and visitors alike.

And you can like us on Facebook.

Fair winds and following seas,

Captain Joey Burnsed ~ please click calendar at the upper left or call 239-472-8658 to book a Sanibel & Captiva Islands, Boca Grande or Fort Myers fishing guide trip or shelling charter.

Tarpon, 5-2-14, Sanibel & Captiva Islands & Fort Myers Charters & Fishing Guide Service.
Tarpon, 5-2-14, Sanibel & Captiva Islands & Fort Myers Charters & Fishing Guide Service.

Captiva Fishing, Sheepshead!

More Sheepshead, Structure, Catch & Release, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Sunday, January 28, 2018.
More Sheepshead, Structure, Catch & Release, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Sunday, January 28, 2018.

Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, January  28, 2018: Sheepshead.

CaptivaRentals.org: Avoid VRBO Fees. Rent Directly From Local Homeowners.Captiva Fishing Report, Sunday, January 28: Sheepshead, Catch & Release; water quality in relatively good shape; (Caloosahatchee: no/little freshwater runoff impact right now; Red Tide Report, impact minimal, broken up and largely dispersed); more fishing reports from other areas and Captains below.

Sunday, January 28: Sheepshead, Inshore Structure, Hiding In The Passes, Catch & Release.  Please also visit the SanibelFort MyersFlorida Fishing Report and Cuban Fishing sites.  Better water moving north of Sanibel up through Captiva & North Captiva.

Sheepshead, Structure, Catch & Release, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Friday, January 26, 2018.
Sheepshead, Structure, Catch & Release, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Friday, January 26, 2018.

Please also visit the SanibelFort MyersFlorida Fishing Report and Cuban Fishing sites.  Better water moving north of Sanibel up through Captiva & North Captiva.

Please click here to Book A Charter or call 239-472-8658 and here for Live Sanibel Traffic Cams.

Grouper, Structure, Catch & Release, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Wednesday, January 24, 2018.
Grouper, Structure, Catch & Release, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Wednesday, January 24, 2018.

Archosargus probatocephalus, the sheepshead, is a marine fish that grows to 76 cm (30 in), but commonly reaches 30 to 50 cm (10 to 20 in). It is deep and compressed in body shape, with five or six dark bars on the side of the body over a gray background. It has sharp dorsal spines. Its diet consists of oystersclams, and other bivalves, and barnaclesfiddler crabs, and other crustaceans.[1] It has a hard mouth, with several rows of stubby teeth – the frontal ones roughly resembling human teeth – which help crush the shells of prey.[2]

Sheepshead, Still Cold, Hiding In The Passes, Catch & Release, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Saturday, January 20, 2018.
Sheepshead, Still Cold, Hiding In The Passes, Catch & Release, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Saturday, January 20, 2018.

The sheepshead is found in coastal waters along the western Atlantic, from Nova Scotia to Brazil, but the greatest concentration is around southwest Florida.[3] Although the Sheepshead Bay section of Brooklyn, in New York City, was named after the fish,[4] it is now rarely found that far north.

Sheepshead, Very Cold, Structure, Catch & Release, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Thursday, January 18, 2018.
Sheepshead, Very Cold, Structure, Catch & Release, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Thursday, January 18, 2018.

As sheepshead feed on bivalves and crustaceans,[1] successful baits include shrimpsand fleas (mole crabs), clams, fiddler crabs, and mussels.[5] Sheepshead have a knack for stealing bait, so a small hook is necessary.[5]Locating sheepshead with a boat is not difficult: Fishermen look for rocky bottoms or places with obstructions, jetties, and the pilings of bridges and piers.[5] The average weight of a sheepshead is 1.4 to 1.8 kg (3 to 4 lb), but some individuals reach the range of 4.5 to 6.8 kg (10 to 15 lb).[5] Please see more information here.

Sheepshead, Warmer, Structure, Catch & Release, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Wednesday, January 10, 2018.
Sheepshead, Warmer, Structure, Catch & Release, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Wednesday, January 10, 2018.

“Florida Regulations: 

Regulations Gulf State Waters Atlantic State Waters
Size Limit 12”
Daily Bag Limit 15 per person

 

Gear Requirements:

  • Legal Gear: hook and line, cast net, seine, spear or gig
  • Illegal Gear: Harvest prohibited by or with the use of any multiple hook in conjunction with live or dead natural bait; Snatching prohibited

    Sheepshead, 11-28-14, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing & Fort Myers Fishing Charters & Guide Service.
    Sheepshead, 11-28-14, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing & Fort Myers Fishing Charters & Guide Service.

State Waters Harvest Seasons

Habitat and Fishing Tips:  Sheepshead are commonly found in brackish water river mouths, bays, estuaries, and tidal creeks and especially near oyster bars, buoys, channel markers, piers and bridge piles where food is plentiful. Sheepshead feed primarily on crustaceans, mollusks, barnacles and small fish.

Sheepshead caught offshore of Captiva, Sanibel & Captiva Islands & Fort Myers Charters & Fishing Guide Service.
Sheepshead caught offshore of Captiva, Sanibel & Captiva Islands & Fort Myers Charters & Fishing Guide Service.

Anglers typically use light to medium weight spinning tackle with shrimp, sand fleas or small crabs as bait. Using their specially adapted (human-like) incisors and crushing molars, sheepshead can be difficult to hook and have an uncanny ability to clean a hook without you knowing anything happened.

Sheepshead, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Monday, November 21, 2016.
Sheepshead, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Monday, November 21, 2016.

When targeting sheepshead, it is very important to keep your line tight and be ready for the bite because you often get one, and only one, chance to set the hook. The food quality of sheepshead is very good, and they are one of the only fish that can smile back at you during the picture!

Huge Sheepshead caught offshore of Captiva on Sanibel & Captiva charters!
Huge Sheepshead caught offshore of Captiva on Sanibel & Captiva charters!

Can oysters and barnacles be used as bait or chum for sheepshead  Oysters and barnacles are very, very different when it comes to regulations.

Oysters have closed seasons, bag limits, size limits and can only be legally harvested in specific shellfish harvesting areas that are classified as “approved” or “conditionally approved” and in the “open” status. The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Division of Aquaculture External Website manages these shellfish harvesting areas.

Sheepshead caught offshore on Sanibel on Sanibel & Captiva charters!
Sheepshead caught offshore on Sanibel on Sanibel & Captiva charters!

Barnacles, on the other hand, do not have size limits or specified bag limits, which means that you can harvest up to 100 pounds per person per day with a recreational saltwater fishing license and you can use them to chum sheepshead. You can also simply scrape them off bridge piles and allow them to sink and attract sheepshead. Do not scrape barnacles from private docks or other private structures without permission of the property owner.

Sheepshead, 12-5-14, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing & Fort Myers Fishing Charters & Guide Service.
Sheepshead, 12-5-14, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing & Fort Myers Fishing Charters & Guide Service.

State Record:  15 lb 2 oz, caught near Homosassa.”  Please see more information here.

Please click here to Book A Charter or call 239-472-8658 and here for Live Sanibel Traffic Cams.  Sheepshead Fishing  … click here for College Of Fishing Hats & Apparel.

We’re located in Castaways Marina, Santiva, Sanibel Island, just before the Blind Pass bridge to Captiva Island.

Sheepshead, Blind Pass, 11-23-14, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing & Fort Myers Fishing Charters & Guide Service.
Sheepshead, Blind Pass, 11-23-14, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing & Fort Myers Fishing Charters & Guide Service.

After a fierce storm, Turner Beach, the beach adjoining the Pass, is frequently covered with a bounty of shells from Olives to Fighting Whelks to the more common Conchs. The fishing is also renowned for sharks in the summer, tailing redfish on the bayside flats and snook under and off the Blind Pass bridge. Because Turner Beach faces Westward, the sunsets are spectacular and a popular viewing point for residents and visitors alike.

And you can like us on Facebook.

Fair winds and following seas,

Captain Joey Burnsed ~ please click calendar at the upper left or call 239-472-8658 to book a Sanibel & Captiva Islands, Boca Grande or Fort Myers fishing guide trip or shelling charter.

Two Sheepshead caught in Blind Pass, Sanibel & Captiva Islands & Fort Myers Charters & Fishing Guide Service.
Two Sheepshead caught in Blind Pass, Sanibel & Captiva Islands & Fort Myers Charters & Fishing Guide Service.

Captiva Fishing, Grouper!

Grouper, Structure, Catch & Release, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Saturday, January 27, 2018.
Grouper, Structure, Catch & Release, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Saturday, January 27, 2018.

Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, January  27, 2018: Grouper.

CaptivaRentals.org: Avoid VRBO Fees. Rent Directly From Local Homeowners.Captiva Fishing Report, Saturday, January 27: Grouper, Inshore Structure, Catch & Release; Red Tide Report (Caloosahatchee freshwater runoff impact continuing to lessen a bit; some Red Tide but it is broken up and largely dispersed); more fishing reports from other areas and Captains below.

Saturday, January 27: Grouper, Structure, Catch & Release.  Please also visit the SanibelFort MyersFlorida Fishing Report and Cuban Fishing sites.  Better water moving north of Sanibel up through Captiva & North Captiva.

Grouper, Structure, Catch & Release, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Wednesday, January 24, 2018.
Grouper, Structure, Catch & Release, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Wednesday, January 24, 2018.

Please click here to Book A Charter or call 239-472-8658 and here for Live Sanibel Traffic Cams.

Two Grouper, Very Cold, Catch & Release, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Friday, January 20, 2018.

Mycteroperca microlepis (the gaggag groupervelvet rockfish or charcoal belly) is a species of grouper from warmer parts of the West Atlantic, including the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico. It is a drab, mottled-gray fish lacking the distinguishing features of most other groupers. Its pattern of markings resemble the box-shaped spots of the black grouper. It lacks the streamer-points on the tail fin that scamp (Mycteroperca phenax) and yellowmouth grouper (M. interstitialis) have, and lacks yellow coloration around the mouth.

More Grouper And Snapper, Near Offshore Structure, Catch & Release, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Monday, January 15, 2018.

Ten- to 20-pound (5- to 10-kg) fish are common. The world record is 80 lb 6 oz (36.45 kg). The gag grouper is a bottom feeder and is often caught by fishermen seeking bottom-dwelling species, such as snappers. Its flaky white meat is considered quite delicious.

Grouper And Snapper, Near Offshore Structure, Catch & Release, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Saturday, January 13, 2018.
Grouper And Snapper, Near Offshore Structure, Catch & Release, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Saturday, January 13, 2018.

Members of this species are known to be protogynous hermaphrodites, schooling in harems with the most aggressive and largest females shifting sex to male, probably as a result of behavioral triggers, when no male is available. Commercial and sport fishing have created tremendous selective pressures against the largest animals, typically male, restricting the reproductive capacity of the entire breeding population.

Hank, Joey, Grouper! Catch & Release, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Thursday, December 20, 2017, [File Photo - Friday, December 1, 2017].
Hank, Joey, Grouper! Catch & Release, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Thursday,
December 20, 2017, [File Photo – Friday, December 1, 2017].
Recently, a small closure in the Gulf of Mexico was established to provide this and other species a refuge from commercial fishing pressure, however, these data are highly in dispute and are currently being challenged for inaccuracies. They are found in areas of a hard or consolidated substrate, and use structural features, such as ledges, rocks, and coral reefs (as well as artificial reefs, such as wrecks and sunken barges) as their habitats.”  Please see more information here.

Grouper In The Passes, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Thursday, December 21, 2017, [File Photo - Tuesday, September 19, 2017].
Grouper In The Passes, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Thursday, December 21, 2017, [File Photo – Tuesday, September 19, 2017].
Please click here to Book A Charter or call 239-472-8658 and here for Live Sanibel Traffic Cams.  More Grouper & snapper, click here for College Of Fishing Hats & Apparel.

We’re located in Castaways Marina, Santiva, Sanibel Island, just before the Blind Pass bridge to Captiva Island.

Grouper, Catch & Release, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Thursday, November 16, 2017, [File Photo - Thursday, August 10, 2017].
Grouper, Catch & Release, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Thursday, November 16,
2017, [File Photo – Thursday, August 10, 2017].
After a fierce storm, Turner Beach, the beach adjoining the Pass, is frequently covered with a bounty of shells from Olives to Fighting Whelks to the more common Conchs. The fishing is also renowned for sharks in the summer, tailing redfish on the bayside flats and snook under and off the Blind Pass bridge. Because Turner Beach faces Westward, the sunsets are spectacular and a popular viewing point for residents and visitors alike.

Grouper, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Thursday, December 21, 2017 [File Photo - Tuesday, June 20, 2017].
Grouper, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Thursday, December 21, 2017 [File Photo – Tuesday, June 20, 2017].
And you can like us on Facebook.

Fair winds and following seas,

Captain Joey Burnsed ~ please click calendar at the upper left or call 239-472-8658 to book a Sanibel & Captiva Islands, Boca Grande or Fort Myers fishing guide trip or shelling charter.

Grouper, Catch & Release, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Sunday, March 19, 2017.
Grouper, Catch & Release, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Sunday, March 19, 2017.

Captiva Fishing, Sheepshead!

Sheepshead, Structure, Catch & Release, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Friday, January 26, 2018.
Sheepshead, Structure, Catch & Release, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Friday, January 26, 2018.

Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, January  26, 2018: Sheepshead.

CaptivaRentals.org: Avoid VRBO Fees. Rent Directly From Local Homeowners.Captiva Fishing Report, Friday, January 26: Sheepshead, Catch & Release; water quality in relatively good shape; (Caloosahatchee: no/little freshwater runoff impact right now; Red Tide Report, impact minimal, broken up and largely dispersed); more fishing reports from other areas and Captains below.

Friday, January 26: Sheepshead, Inshore Structure, Hiding In The Passes, Catch & Release.  Please also visit the SanibelFort MyersFlorida Fishing Report and Cuban Fishing sites.  Better water moving north of Sanibel up through Captiva & North Captiva.

Grouper, Structure, Catch & Release, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Wednesday, January 24, 2018.
Grouper, Structure, Catch & Release, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Wednesday, January 24, 2018.

Please also visit the SanibelFort MyersFlorida Fishing Report and Cuban Fishing sites.  Better water moving north of Sanibel up through Captiva & North Captiva.

Please click here to Book A Charter or call 239-472-8658 and here for Live Sanibel Traffic Cams.

Sheepshead, Still Cold, Hiding In The Passes, Catch & Release, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Saturday, January 20, 2018.
Sheepshead, Still Cold, Hiding In The Passes, Catch & Release, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Saturday, January 20, 2018.

Archosargus probatocephalus, the sheepshead, is a marine fish that grows to 76 cm (30 in), but commonly reaches 30 to 50 cm (10 to 20 in). It is deep and compressed in body shape, with five or six dark bars on the side of the body over a gray background. It has sharp dorsal spines. Its diet consists of oystersclams, and other bivalves, and barnaclesfiddler crabs, and other crustaceans.[1] It has a hard mouth, with several rows of stubby teeth – the frontal ones roughly resembling human teeth – which help crush the shells of prey.[2]

Sheepshead, Very Cold, Structure, Catch & Release, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Thursday, January 18, 2018.
Sheepshead, Very Cold, Structure, Catch & Release, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Thursday, January 18, 2018.

The sheepshead is found in coastal waters along the western Atlantic, from Nova Scotia to Brazil, but the greatest concentration is around southwest Florida.[3] Although the Sheepshead Bay section of Brooklyn, in New York City, was named after the fish,[4] it is now rarely found that far north.

Sheepshead, Warmer, Structure, Catch & Release, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Wednesday, January 10, 2018.
Sheepshead, Warmer, Structure, Catch & Release, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Wednesday, January 10, 2018.

As sheepshead feed on bivalves and crustaceans,[1] successful baits include shrimpsand fleas (mole crabs), clams, fiddler crabs, and mussels.[5] Sheepshead have a knack for stealing bait, so a small hook is necessary.[5]Locating sheepshead with a boat is not difficult: Fishermen look for rocky bottoms or places with obstructions, jetties, and the pilings of bridges and piers.[5] The average weight of a sheepshead is 1.4 to 1.8 kg (3 to 4 lb), but some individuals reach the range of 4.5 to 6.8 kg (10 to 15 lb).[5] Please see more information here.

Sheepshead, 1-6-15, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing & Fort Myers Fishing Charters & Guide Service.
Sheepshead, 1-6-15, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing & Fort Myers Fishing Charters & Guide Service.

“Florida Regulations: 

Regulations Gulf State Waters Atlantic State Waters
Size Limit 12”
Daily Bag Limit 15 per person

 

Gear Requirements:

  • Legal Gear: hook and line, cast net, seine, spear or gig
  • Illegal Gear: Harvest prohibited by or with the use of any multiple hook in conjunction with live or dead natural bait; Snatching prohibited

    Sheepshead, 11-28-14, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing & Fort Myers Fishing Charters & Guide Service.
    Sheepshead, 11-28-14, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing & Fort Myers Fishing Charters & Guide Service.

State Waters Harvest Seasons

Habitat and Fishing Tips:  Sheepshead are commonly found in brackish water river mouths, bays, estuaries, and tidal creeks and especially near oyster bars, buoys, channel markers, piers and bridge piles where food is plentiful. Sheepshead feed primarily on crustaceans, mollusks, barnacles and small fish.

Sheepshead caught offshore of Captiva, Sanibel & Captiva Islands & Fort Myers Charters & Fishing Guide Service.
Sheepshead caught offshore of Captiva, Sanibel & Captiva Islands & Fort Myers Charters & Fishing Guide Service.

Anglers typically use light to medium weight spinning tackle with shrimp, sand fleas or small crabs as bait. Using their specially adapted (human-like) incisors and crushing molars, sheepshead can be difficult to hook and have an uncanny ability to clean a hook without you knowing anything happened.

Sheepshead, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Monday, November 21, 2016.
Sheepshead, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Monday, November 21, 2016.

When targeting sheepshead, it is very important to keep your line tight and be ready for the bite because you often get one, and only one, chance to set the hook. The food quality of sheepshead is very good, and they are one of the only fish that can smile back at you during the picture!

Huge Sheepshead caught offshore of Captiva on Sanibel & Captiva charters!
Huge Sheepshead caught offshore of Captiva on Sanibel & Captiva charters!

Can oysters and barnacles be used as bait or chum for sheepshead  Oysters and barnacles are very, very different when it comes to regulations.

Oysters have closed seasons, bag limits, size limits and can only be legally harvested in specific shellfish harvesting areas that are classified as “approved” or “conditionally approved” and in the “open” status. The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Division of Aquaculture External Website manages these shellfish harvesting areas.

Sheepshead caught offshore on Sanibel on Sanibel & Captiva charters!
Sheepshead caught offshore on Sanibel on Sanibel & Captiva charters!

Barnacles, on the other hand, do not have size limits or specified bag limits, which means that you can harvest up to 100 pounds per person per day with a recreational saltwater fishing license and you can use them to chum sheepshead. You can also simply scrape them off bridge piles and allow them to sink and attract sheepshead. Do not scrape barnacles from private docks or other private structures without permission of the property owner.

Sheepshead, 12-5-14, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing & Fort Myers Fishing Charters & Guide Service.
Sheepshead, 12-5-14, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing & Fort Myers Fishing Charters & Guide Service.

State Record:  15 lb 2 oz, caught near Homosassa.”  Please see more information here.

Please click here to Book A Charter or call 239-472-8658 and here for Live Sanibel Traffic Cams.  Sheepshead Fishing  … click here for College Of Fishing Hats & Apparel.

We’re located in Castaways Marina, Santiva, Sanibel Island, just before the Blind Pass bridge to Captiva Island.

Sheepshead, Blind Pass, 11-23-14, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing & Fort Myers Fishing Charters & Guide Service.
Sheepshead, Blind Pass, 11-23-14, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing & Fort Myers Fishing Charters & Guide Service.

After a fierce storm, Turner Beach, the beach adjoining the Pass, is frequently covered with a bounty of shells from Olives to Fighting Whelks to the more common Conchs. The fishing is also renowned for sharks in the summer, tailing redfish on the bayside flats and snook under and off the Blind Pass bridge. Because Turner Beach faces Westward, the sunsets are spectacular and a popular viewing point for residents and visitors alike.

And you can like us on Facebook.

Fair winds and following seas,

Captain Joey Burnsed ~ please click calendar at the upper left or call 239-472-8658 to book a Sanibel & Captiva Islands, Boca Grande or Fort Myers fishing guide trip or shelling charter.

Two Sheepshead caught in Blind Pass, Sanibel & Captiva Islands & Fort Myers Charters & Fishing Guide Service.
Two Sheepshead caught in Blind Pass, Sanibel & Captiva Islands & Fort Myers Charters & Fishing Guide Service.

Captiva Fishing, Grouper!

Grouper, Structure, Catch & Release, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Wednesday, January 24, 2018.
Grouper, Structure, Catch & Release, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Wednesday, January 24, 2018.

Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, January  24, 2018: Grouper.

CaptivaRentals.org: Avoid VRBO Fees. Rent Directly From Local Homeowners.Captiva Fishing Report, Wednesday, January 24: Grouper, Inshore Structure, Catch & Release; Red Tide Report (Caloosahatchee freshwater runoff impact continuing to lessen a bit; some Red Tide but it is broken up and largely dispersed); more fishing reports from other areas and Captains below.

Wednesday, January 24: Grouper, Structure, Catch & Release.  Please also visit the SanibelFort MyersFlorida Fishing Report and Cuban Fishing sites.  Better water moving north of Sanibel up through Captiva & North Captiva.

Two Grouper, Very Cold, Catch & Release, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Friday, January 20, 2018.

Please click here to Book A Charter or call 239-472-8658 and here for Live Sanibel Traffic Cams.

More Grouper And Snapper, Near Offshore Structure, Catch & Release, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Monday, January 15, 2018.

Mycteroperca microlepis (the gaggag groupervelvet rockfish or charcoal belly) is a species of grouper from warmer parts of the West Atlantic, including the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico. It is a drab, mottled-gray fish lacking the distinguishing features of most other groupers. Its pattern of markings resemble the box-shaped spots of the black grouper. It lacks the streamer-points on the tail fin that scamp (Mycteroperca phenax) and yellowmouth grouper (M. interstitialis) have, and lacks yellow coloration around the mouth.

Grouper And Snapper, Near Offshore Structure, Catch & Release, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Saturday, January 13, 2018.
Grouper And Snapper, Near Offshore Structure, Catch & Release, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Saturday, January 13, 2018.

Ten- to 20-pound (5- to 10-kg) fish are common. The world record is 80 lb 6 oz (36.45 kg). The gag grouper is a bottom feeder and is often caught by fishermen seeking bottom-dwelling species, such as snappers. Its flaky white meat is considered quite delicious.

Hank, Joey, Grouper! Catch & Release, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Thursday, December 20, 2017, [File Photo - Friday, December 1, 2017].
Hank, Joey, Grouper! Catch & Release, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Thursday,
December 20, 2017, [File Photo – Friday, December 1, 2017].
Members of this species are known to be protogynous hermaphrodites, schooling in harems with the most aggressive and largest females shifting sex to male, probably as a result of behavioral triggers, when no male is available. Commercial and sport fishing have created tremendous selective pressures against the largest animals, typically male, restricting the reproductive capacity of the entire breeding population.

Grouper, Inshore Structure, Catch & Release, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Thursday, November 16, 2017.
Grouper, Inshore Structure, Catch & Release, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Thursday, November 16, 2017.

Recently, a small closure in the Gulf of Mexico was established to provide this and other species a refuge from commercial fishing pressure, however, these data are highly in dispute and are currently being challenged for inaccuracies. They are found in areas of a hard or consolidated substrate, and use structural features, such as ledges, rocks, and coral reefs (as well as artificial reefs, such as wrecks and sunken barges) as their habitats.”  Please see more information here.

Grouper In The Passes, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Thursday, December 21, 2017, [File Photo - Tuesday, September 19, 2017].
Grouper In The Passes, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Thursday, December 21, 2017, [File Photo – Tuesday, September 19, 2017].
Please click here to Book A Charter or call 239-472-8658 and here for Live Sanibel Traffic Cams.  More Grouper & snapper, click here for College Of Fishing Hats & Apparel.

We’re located in Castaways Marina, Santiva, Sanibel Island, just before the Blind Pass bridge to Captiva Island.

Grouper, Catch & Release, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Thursday, November 16, 2017, [File Photo - Thursday, August 10, 2017].
Grouper, Catch & Release, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Thursday, November 16,
2017, [File Photo – Thursday, August 10, 2017].
After a fierce storm, Turner Beach, the beach adjoining the Pass, is frequently covered with a bounty of shells from Olives to Fighting Whelks to the more common Conchs. The fishing is also renowned for sharks in the summer, tailing redfish on the bayside flats and snook under and off the Blind Pass bridge. Because Turner Beach faces Westward, the sunsets are spectacular and a popular viewing point for residents and visitors alike.

Grouper, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Thursday, December 21, 2017 [File Photo - Tuesday, June 20, 2017].
Grouper, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Thursday, December 21, 2017 [File Photo – Tuesday, June 20, 2017].
And you can like us on Facebook.

Fair winds and following seas,

Captain Joey Burnsed ~ please click calendar at the upper left or call 239-472-8658 to book a Sanibel & Captiva Islands, Boca Grande or Fort Myers fishing guide trip or shelling charter.

Grouper, Catch & Release, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Sunday, March 19, 2017.
Grouper, Catch & Release, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Sunday, March 19, 2017.

Captiva Fishing, Mangrove Snapper!

Big, Healthy, Mangrove Snapper, Near Offshore Structure, Catch & Release, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Tuesday, January 23, 2018.
Big, Healthy, Mangrove Snapper, Near Offshore Structure, Catch & Release, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Tuesday, January 23, 2018.

Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, January  23, 2018: Big Mangrove Snapper.

CaptivaRentals.org: Avoid VRBO Fees. Rent Directly From Local Homeowners.

Captiva Fishing Report, Tuesday, January 23: Big Mangrove Snapper, Near Offshore Structure, Catch & Release; Red Tide Report (Caloosahatchee freshwater runoff impact continuing to lessen a bit; some Red Tide but it is broken up and largely dispersed); more fishing reports from other areas and Captains below.

Tuesday, January 23: Big Snapper, Structure, Catch & Release, Warming Up – Less Worried About The Snook. Looks like we will be okay.

Snapper, Warmer, Near Offshore Structure, Catch & Release, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Thursday, January 11, 2018.
Snapper, Warmer, Near Offshore Structure, Catch & Release, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Thursday, January 11, 2018.

Please also visit the SanibelFort MyersFlorida Fishing Report and Cuban Fishing sites.  Better water moving north of Sanibel up through Captiva & North Captiva.

Please click here to Book A Charter or call 239-472-8658 and here for Live Sanibel Traffic Cams.

Snapper, Catch & Release, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Sunday, November 26, 2017, [File Photo - Thursday, August 3, 2017].
Snapper, Catch & Release, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Sunday, November 26, 2017, [File Photo – Thursday, August 3, 2017].
“The mangrove snapper or gray snapper (Lutjanus griseus) is a species of snapper native to the western Atlantic Ocean from Massachusetts to Brazil, the Gulf of Mexico, and the Caribbean Sea. They can be found in a wide variety of habitats, including brackish and fresh waters. It is commercially important, as well as being sought as a game fish. It can also be found in the aquarium trade.[2]

Snapper, Mangroves, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Thursday, July 21, 2016.
Snapper, Mangroves, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Thursday, July 21, 2016.

Its color is typically greyish red, but it can change color from bright red to copper red. It has a dark stripe running across its eye if observed from the top when it is under water. This species can reach a length of 89 cm (35 in), though most do not exceed 40 cm (16 in). The greatest recorded weight for this species is 20 kg (44 lb).[2]

The mangrove snapper can be confused with the Cubera snapper or black snapper, Lutjanus cyanopterus. Mangrove snapper are typically much smaller than Cubera, but when they are of similar size, the two species can only be distinguished by examining the tooth patch on the inside roof of the mouth.

Schoolmaster Snapper, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Thursday, January 11, 2018, [File Photo - Thursday, December 28, 2017].
Schoolmaster Snapper, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Thursday, January 11, 2018, [File Photo – Thursday, December 28, 2017].
Many specimens caught in Florida, specifically Punta Gorda, are actually misidentified dogtooth or dog snapperLutjanus jocu. The best way to distinguish between the two species is dog snapper has a lighter triangle of color with a blue band under the eye and large, sharp fangs in the front (canines), hence its common name. These fangs can deliver a painful bite, even in a small fish.

The mangrove snapper feeds mostly on small fishes and crustaceans. It was also observed as systematically waiting under the maternal colony of Buffy flower bat for falling bats near the entrances of Lucayan cavern, Bahamas.[3]

Mutton Snapper, Offshore, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Wednesday, December 20, 2017.
Mutton Snapper, Offshore, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Wednesday, December 20, 2017.

The mangrove snapper is one of the most common species of snapper in warmer regions. It can be found in many areas from canals to grass flats, as well as in open water. Most mangrove snapper in the open water are generally found near bottom structure or reefs. They can be found at depths from 5 to 180 m (16 to 591 ft) though are mostly found at less than 50 m (160 ft).[2]

Mangrove snapper is a common target for anglers and is highly prized for its light and flaky flesh. It can be caught on a variety of baits but is typically caught with live or frozen shrimp, squid, minnows and occasionally on artificial lures or baits.

Snapper, Catch & Release, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Monday, July 17, 2017.
Snapper, Catch & Release, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Monday, July 17, 2017.

They can be spearfished, as well, but are sometimes a tough target, as they tend to be more wary of divers, rather than curious, and their wariness of baits and divers tends to increase as the fish grow larger. Most mangrove snapper are caught on light to medium tackle, and typical catches range from eight to 14 in long in shallow or inshore waters, and up to 20 in long in deeper waters. Larger fish are uncommon, but not rare.  Please see more information here.

Snapper, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Saturday, February 18, 2017.
Snapper, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Saturday, February 18, 2017.

FWC: Gray Snapper Overview

“Also known as mangrove snapper, mango or black snapper.

  • Dark brown or gray in color, with red-orange spots in bars along the sides
  • Two large canine teeth near front of upper jaw
  • Anchor-shaped vomerine tooth patch
  • Dorsal fins with dark or reddish borders
  • Young have dark stripe from snout, through eye, to upper edge of gill cover
Snapper; Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Sunday, February 12, 2017.
Snapper; Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Sunday, February 12, 2017.

Similar Species: Cubera snapper, L. cyanopterus (triangleshaped tooth patch and grow much larger than gray snapper); schoolmaster, L. apodus (yellow fins and faint white bars); and true black snapper, A. dentatus (rare in Florida; do not range north of the Florida Keys)

Size: Common to 24 inches (10 pounds)

Coastal waters near structure such as reefs, mangroves, and seagrass.  Juveniles may enter freshwater.

Spawn June through August.  Feeds on crustaceans and small fish. Gray snapper caught offshore are common 8 to 10 pounds.”  Please Click Here For More Information and Recreational Regulations.

Snapper, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sunday, November 13, 2016.
Snapper, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sunday, November 13, 2016.

Please click here to Book A Charter or call 239-472-8658 and here for Live Sanibel Traffic Cams.  Big Mangrove Snapper, click here for College Of Fishing Hats & Apparel.

We’re located in Castaways Marina, Santiva, Sanibel Island, just before the Blind Pass bridge to Captiva Island.

Snapper 3, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Thursday, 7-23-15 ~ #Sanibel #Captiva.
Snapper 3, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Thursday, 7-23-15 ~ #Sanibel #Captiva.

After a fierce storm, Turner Beach, the beach adjoining the Pass, is frequently covered with a bounty of shells from Olives to Fighting Whelks to the more common Conchs. The fishing is also renowned for sharks in the summer, tailing redfish on the bayside flats and snook under and off the Blind Pass bridge. Because Turner Beach faces Westward, the sunsets are spectacular and a popular viewing point for residents and visitors alike.

Bradley, Big Snapper, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Friday, 1-22-16 ~ #Sanibel #Captiva.
Bradley, Big Snapper, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Friday, 1-22-16 ~ #Sanibel #Captiva.

And you can like us on Facebook.

Fair winds and following seas,

Captain Joey Burnsed ~ please click calendar at the upper left or call 239-472-8658 to book a Sanibel & Captiva Islands, Boca Grande or Fort Myers fishing guide trip or shelling charter.

Snapper, Jean, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Saturday, 1-30-16 ~ #Sanibel #Captiva.
Snapper, Jean, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Saturday, 1-30-16 ~ #Sanibel #Captiva.

Captiva Fishing, Sheepshead!

Sheepshead, A Little Warmer, Structure, Catch & Release, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Monday, January 22, 2018.
Sheepshead, A Little Warmer, Structure, Catch & Release, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Monday, January 22, 2018.

Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, January  22, 2018: More Sheepshead.

CaptivaRentals.org: Avoid VRBO Fees. Rent Directly From Local Homeowners.Captiva Fishing Report, Monday, January 22: A Little Warmer, Sheepshead, Catch & Release; Red Tide Report (Caloosahatchee freshwater runoff impact continuing to lessen a bit; some Red Tide but it is broken up and largely dispersed); more fishing reports from other areas and Captains below.

Monday, January 22:  Slightly Warmer, More Sheepshead, Structure, Hiding In The Passes, Catch & Release.  Please also visit the SanibelFort MyersFlorida Fishing Report and Cuban Fishing sites.  Better water moving north of Sanibel up through Captiva & North Captiva.

Sheepshead, Still Cold, Hiding In The Passes, Catch & Release, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Saturday, January 20, 2018.
Sheepshead, Still Cold, Hiding In The Passes, Catch & Release, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Saturday, January 20, 2018.

Please also visit the SanibelFort MyersFlorida Fishing Report and Cuban Fishing sites.  Better water moving north of Sanibel up through Captiva & North Captiva.

Please click here to Book A Charter or call 239-472-8658 and here for Live Sanibel Traffic Cams.

Sheepshead, Very Cold, Structure, Catch & Release, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Thursday, January 18, 2018.
Sheepshead, Very Cold, Structure, Catch & Release, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Thursday, January 18, 2018.

Archosargus probatocephalus, the sheepshead, is a marine fish that grows to 76 cm (30 in), but commonly reaches 30 to 50 cm (10 to 20 in). It is deep and compressed in body shape, with five or six dark bars on the side of the body over a gray background. It has sharp dorsal spines. Its diet consists of oystersclams, and other bivalves, and barnaclesfiddler crabs, and other crustaceans.[1] It has a hard mouth, with several rows of stubby teeth – the frontal ones roughly resembling human teeth – which help crush the shells of prey.[2]

Sheepshead, Warmer, Structure, Catch & Release, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Wednesday, January 10, 2018.
Sheepshead, Warmer, Structure, Catch & Release, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Wednesday, January 10, 2018.

The sheepshead is found in coastal waters along the western Atlantic, from Nova Scotia to Brazil, but the greatest concentration is around southwest Florida.[3] Although the Sheepshead Bay section of Brooklyn, in New York City, was named after the fish,[4] it is now rarely found that far north.

Sheepshead, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Wednesday, 3-2-16 ~ #Sanibel #Captiva.
Sheepshead, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Wednesday, 3-2-16 ~ #Sanibel #Captiva.

As sheepshead feed on bivalves and crustaceans,[1] successful baits include shrimpsand fleas (mole crabs), clams, fiddler crabs, and mussels.[5] Sheepshead have a knack for stealing bait, so a small hook is necessary.[5]Locating sheepshead with a boat is not difficult: Fishermen look for rocky bottoms or places with obstructions, jetties, and the pilings of bridges and piers.[5] The average weight of a sheepshead is 1.4 to 1.8 kg (3 to 4 lb), but some individuals reach the range of 4.5 to 6.8 kg (10 to 15 lb).[5] Please see more information here.

Sheepshead, 1-6-15, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing & Fort Myers Fishing Charters & Guide Service.
Sheepshead, 1-6-15, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing & Fort Myers Fishing Charters & Guide Service.

“Florida Regulations: 

Regulations Gulf State Waters Atlantic State Waters
Size Limit 12”
Daily Bag Limit 15 per person

 

Gear Requirements:

  • Legal Gear: hook and line, cast net, seine, spear or gig
  • Illegal Gear: Harvest prohibited by or with the use of any multiple hook in conjunction with live or dead natural bait; Snatching prohibited

    Sheepshead, 11-28-14, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing & Fort Myers Fishing Charters & Guide Service.
    Sheepshead, 11-28-14, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing & Fort Myers Fishing Charters & Guide Service.

State Waters Harvest Seasons

Habitat and Fishing Tips:  Sheepshead are commonly found in brackish water river mouths, bays, estuaries, and tidal creeks and especially near oyster bars, buoys, channel markers, piers and bridge piles where food is plentiful. Sheepshead feed primarily on crustaceans, mollusks, barnacles and small fish.

Sheepshead caught offshore of Captiva, Sanibel & Captiva Islands & Fort Myers Charters & Fishing Guide Service.
Sheepshead caught offshore of Captiva, Sanibel & Captiva Islands & Fort Myers Charters & Fishing Guide Service.

Anglers typically use light to medium weight spinning tackle with shrimp, sand fleas or small crabs as bait. Using their specially adapted (human-like) incisors and crushing molars, sheepshead can be difficult to hook and have an uncanny ability to clean a hook without you knowing anything happened.

Sheepshead, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Monday, November 21, 2016.
Sheepshead, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Monday, November 21, 2016.

When targeting sheepshead, it is very important to keep your line tight and be ready for the bite because you often get one, and only one, chance to set the hook. The food quality of sheepshead is very good, and they are one of the only fish that can smile back at you during the picture!

Huge Sheepshead caught offshore of Captiva on Sanibel & Captiva charters!
Huge Sheepshead caught offshore of Captiva on Sanibel & Captiva charters!

Can oysters and barnacles be used as bait or chum for sheepshead  Oysters and barnacles are very, very different when it comes to regulations.

Oysters have closed seasons, bag limits, size limits and can only be legally harvested in specific shellfish harvesting areas that are classified as “approved” or “conditionally approved” and in the “open” status. The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Division of Aquaculture External Website manages these shellfish harvesting areas.

Sheepshead caught offshore on Sanibel on Sanibel & Captiva charters!
Sheepshead caught offshore on Sanibel on Sanibel & Captiva charters!

Barnacles, on the other hand, do not have size limits or specified bag limits, which means that you can harvest up to 100 pounds per person per day with a recreational saltwater fishing license and you can use them to chum sheepshead. You can also simply scrape them off bridge piles and allow them to sink and attract sheepshead. Do not scrape barnacles from private docks or other private structures without permission of the property owner.

Sheepshead, 12-5-14, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing & Fort Myers Fishing Charters & Guide Service.
Sheepshead, 12-5-14, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing & Fort Myers Fishing Charters & Guide Service.

State Record:  15 lb 2 oz, caught near Homosassa.”  Please see more information here.

Please click here to Book A Charter or call 239-472-8658 and here for Live Sanibel Traffic Cams.  Sheepshead Fishing  … click here for College Of Fishing Hats & Apparel.

We’re located in Castaways Marina, Santiva, Sanibel Island, just before the Blind Pass bridge to Captiva Island.

Sheepshead, Blind Pass, 11-23-14, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing & Fort Myers Fishing Charters & Guide Service.
Sheepshead, Blind Pass, 11-23-14, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing & Fort Myers Fishing Charters & Guide Service.

After a fierce storm, Turner Beach, the beach adjoining the Pass, is frequently covered with a bounty of shells from Olives to Fighting Whelks to the more common Conchs. The fishing is also renowned for sharks in the summer, tailing redfish on the bayside flats and snook under and off the Blind Pass bridge. Because Turner Beach faces Westward, the sunsets are spectacular and a popular viewing point for residents and visitors alike.

And you can like us on Facebook.

Fair winds and following seas,

Captain Joey Burnsed ~ please click calendar at the upper left or call 239-472-8658 to book a Sanibel & Captiva Islands, Boca Grande or Fort Myers fishing guide trip or shelling charter.

Two Sheepshead caught in Blind Pass, Sanibel & Captiva Islands & Fort Myers Charters & Fishing Guide Service.
Two Sheepshead caught in Blind Pass, Sanibel & Captiva Islands & Fort Myers Charters & Fishing Guide Service.

Captiva Fishing, Grouper!

Grouper, Cold, Catch & Release, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Sunday, January 21, 2018.
Grouper, Cold, Catch & Release, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Sunday, January 21, 2018.

Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, January  21, 2018: Grouper.

CaptivaRentals.org: Avoid VRBO Fees. Rent Directly From Local Homeowners.Captiva Fishing Report, Sunday, January 21: Cold, Grouper, Inshore Structure, Catch & Release; Red Tide Report (Caloosahatchee freshwater runoff impact continuing to lessen a bit; some Red Tide but it is broken up and largely dispersed); more fishing reports from other areas and Captains below.

Sunday, January 21: Cold On The Water, Grouper, Structure, Catch & Release.  Please also visit the SanibelFort MyersFlorida Fishing Report and Cuban Fishing sites.  Better water moving north of Sanibel up through Captiva & North Captiva.

Two Grouper, Very Cold, Catch & Release, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Friday, January 20, 2018.

Please click here to Book A Charter or call 239-472-8658 and here for Live Sanibel Traffic Cams.

More Grouper And Snapper, Near Offshore Structure, Catch & Release, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Monday, January 15, 2018.

Mycteroperca microlepis (the gaggag groupervelvet rockfish or charcoal belly) is a species of grouper from warmer parts of the West Atlantic, including the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico. It is a drab, mottled-gray fish lacking the distinguishing features of most other groupers. Its pattern of markings resemble the box-shaped spots of the black grouper. It lacks the streamer-points on the tail fin that scamp (Mycteroperca phenax) and yellowmouth grouper (M. interstitialis) have, and lacks yellow coloration around the mouth.

Grouper And Snapper, Near Offshore Structure, Catch & Release, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Saturday, January 13, 2018.
Grouper And Snapper, Near Offshore Structure, Catch & Release, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Saturday, January 13, 2018.

Ten- to 20-pound (5- to 10-kg) fish are common. The world record is 80 lb 6 oz (36.45 kg). The gag grouper is a bottom feeder and is often caught by fishermen seeking bottom-dwelling species, such as snappers. Its flaky white meat is considered quite delicious.

Hank, Joey, Grouper! Catch & Release, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Thursday, December 20, 2017, [File Photo - Friday, December 1, 2017].
Hank, Joey, Grouper! Catch & Release, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Thursday,
December 20, 2017, [File Photo – Friday, December 1, 2017].
Members of this species are known to be protogynous hermaphrodites, schooling in harems with the most aggressive and largest females shifting sex to male, probably as a result of behavioral triggers, when no male is available. Commercial and sport fishing have created tremendous selective pressures against the largest animals, typically male, restricting the reproductive capacity of the entire breeding population.

Grouper, Inshore Structure, Catch & Release, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Thursday, November 16, 2017.
Grouper, Inshore Structure, Catch & Release, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Thursday, November 16, 2017.

Recently, a small closure in the Gulf of Mexico was established to provide this and other species a refuge from commercial fishing pressure, however, these data are highly in dispute and are currently being challenged for inaccuracies. They are found in areas of a hard or consolidated substrate, and use structural features, such as ledges, rocks, and coral reefs (as well as artificial reefs, such as wrecks and sunken barges) as their habitats.”  Please see more information here.

Grouper In The Passes, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Thursday, December 21, 2017, [File Photo - Tuesday, September 19, 2017].
Grouper In The Passes, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Thursday, December 21, 2017, [File Photo – Tuesday, September 19, 2017].
Please click here to Book A Charter or call 239-472-8658 and here for Live Sanibel Traffic Cams.  More Grouper & snapper, click here for College Of Fishing Hats & Apparel.

We’re located in Castaways Marina, Santiva, Sanibel Island, just before the Blind Pass bridge to Captiva Island.

Grouper, Catch & Release, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Thursday, November 16, 2017, [File Photo - Thursday, August 10, 2017].
Grouper, Catch & Release, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Thursday, November 16,
2017, [File Photo – Thursday, August 10, 2017].
After a fierce storm, Turner Beach, the beach adjoining the Pass, is frequently covered with a bounty of shells from Olives to Fighting Whelks to the more common Conchs. The fishing is also renowned for sharks in the summer, tailing redfish on the bayside flats and snook under and off the Blind Pass bridge. Because Turner Beach faces Westward, the sunsets are spectacular and a popular viewing point for residents and visitors alike.

Grouper, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Thursday, December 21, 2017 [File Photo - Tuesday, June 20, 2017].
Grouper, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Thursday, December 21, 2017 [File Photo – Tuesday, June 20, 2017].
And you can like us on Facebook.

Fair winds and following seas,

Captain Joey Burnsed ~ please click calendar at the upper left or call 239-472-8658 to book a Sanibel & Captiva Islands, Boca Grande or Fort Myers fishing guide trip or shelling charter.

Grouper, Catch & Release, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Sunday, March 19, 2017.
Grouper, Catch & Release, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Sunday, March 19, 2017.

Captiva Fishing, Sheepshead!

Sheepshead, Still Cold, Hiding In The Passes, Catch & Release, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Saturday, January 20, 2018.
Sheepshead, Still Cold, Hiding In The Passes, Catch & Release, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Saturday, January 20, 2018.

Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, January  20, 2018: More Sheepshead.

CaptivaRentals.org: Avoid VRBO Fees. Rent Directly From Local Homeowners.Captiva Fishing Report, Saturday, January 20: Cold, More Sheepshead, Catch & Release; Red Tide Report (Caloosahatchee freshwater runoff impact continuing to lessen a bit; some Red Tide but it is broken up and largely dispersed); more fishing reports from other areas and Captains below.

Saturday, January 20:  Cold, More Sheepshead, Structure, Hiding In The Passes, Catch & Release.  Please also visit the SanibelFort MyersFlorida Fishing Report and Cuban Fishing sites.  Better water moving north of Sanibel up through Captiva & North Captiva.

Sheepshead, Very Cold, Structure, Catch & Release, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Thursday, January 18, 2018.
Sheepshead, Very Cold, Structure, Catch & Release, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Thursday, January 18, 2018.

Please also visit the SanibelFort MyersFlorida Fishing Report and Cuban Fishing sites.  Better water moving north of Sanibel up through Captiva & North Captiva.

Please click here to Book A Charter or call 239-472-8658 and here for Live Sanibel Traffic Cams.

Sheepshead, Warmer, Structure, Catch & Release, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Wednesday, January 10, 2018.
Sheepshead, Warmer, Structure, Catch & Release, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Wednesday, January 10, 2018.

Archosargus probatocephalus, the sheepshead, is a marine fish that grows to 76 cm (30 in), but commonly reaches 30 to 50 cm (10 to 20 in). It is deep and compressed in body shape, with five or six dark bars on the side of the body over a gray background. It has sharp dorsal spines. Its diet consists of oystersclams, and other bivalves, and barnaclesfiddler crabs, and other crustaceans.[1] It has a hard mouth, with several rows of stubby teeth – the frontal ones roughly resembling human teeth – which help crush the shells of prey.[2]

Sheepshead, Inshore, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Tuesday, March 15, 2016 ~ #Sanibel #Captiva.
Sheepshead, Inshore, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Tuesday, March 15, 2016 ~ #Sanibel #Captiva.

The sheepshead is found in coastal waters along the western Atlantic, from Nova Scotia to Brazil, but the greatest concentration is around southwest Florida.[3] Although the Sheepshead Bay section of Brooklyn, in New York City, was named after the fish,[4] it is now rarely found that far north.

Sheepshead, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Wednesday, 3-2-16 ~ #Sanibel #Captiva.
Sheepshead, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Wednesday, 3-2-16 ~ #Sanibel #Captiva.

As sheepshead feed on bivalves and crustaceans,[1] successful baits include shrimpsand fleas (mole crabs), clams, fiddler crabs, and mussels.[5] Sheepshead have a knack for stealing bait, so a small hook is necessary.[5]Locating sheepshead with a boat is not difficult: Fishermen look for rocky bottoms or places with obstructions, jetties, and the pilings of bridges and piers.[5] The average weight of a sheepshead is 1.4 to 1.8 kg (3 to 4 lb), but some individuals reach the range of 4.5 to 6.8 kg (10 to 15 lb).[5] Please see more information here.

Sheepshead, 1-6-15, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing & Fort Myers Fishing Charters & Guide Service.
Sheepshead, 1-6-15, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing & Fort Myers Fishing Charters & Guide Service.

“Florida Regulations: 

Regulations Gulf State Waters Atlantic State Waters
Size Limit 12”
Daily Bag Limit 15 per person

 

Gear Requirements:

  • Legal Gear: hook and line, cast net, seine, spear or gig
  • Illegal Gear: Harvest prohibited by or with the use of any multiple hook in conjunction with live or dead natural bait; Snatching prohibited

    Sheepshead, 11-28-14, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing & Fort Myers Fishing Charters & Guide Service.
    Sheepshead, 11-28-14, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing & Fort Myers Fishing Charters & Guide Service.

State Waters Harvest Seasons

Habitat and Fishing Tips:  Sheepshead are commonly found in brackish water river mouths, bays, estuaries, and tidal creeks and especially near oyster bars, buoys, channel markers, piers and bridge piles where food is plentiful. Sheepshead feed primarily on crustaceans, mollusks, barnacles and small fish.

Sheepshead caught offshore of Captiva, Sanibel & Captiva Islands & Fort Myers Charters & Fishing Guide Service.
Sheepshead caught offshore of Captiva, Sanibel & Captiva Islands & Fort Myers Charters & Fishing Guide Service.

Anglers typically use light to medium weight spinning tackle with shrimp, sand fleas or small crabs as bait. Using their specially adapted (human-like) incisors and crushing molars, sheepshead can be difficult to hook and have an uncanny ability to clean a hook without you knowing anything happened.

Sheepshead, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Monday, November 21, 2016.
Sheepshead, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Monday, November 21, 2016.

When targeting sheepshead, it is very important to keep your line tight and be ready for the bite because you often get one, and only one, chance to set the hook. The food quality of sheepshead is very good, and they are one of the only fish that can smile back at you during the picture!

Huge Sheepshead caught offshore of Captiva on Sanibel & Captiva charters!
Huge Sheepshead caught offshore of Captiva on Sanibel & Captiva charters!

Can oysters and barnacles be used as bait or chum for sheepshead  Oysters and barnacles are very, very different when it comes to regulations.

Oysters have closed seasons, bag limits, size limits and can only be legally harvested in specific shellfish harvesting areas that are classified as “approved” or “conditionally approved” and in the “open” status. The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Division of Aquaculture External Website manages these shellfish harvesting areas.

Sheepshead caught offshore on Sanibel on Sanibel & Captiva charters!
Sheepshead caught offshore on Sanibel on Sanibel & Captiva charters!

Barnacles, on the other hand, do not have size limits or specified bag limits, which means that you can harvest up to 100 pounds per person per day with a recreational saltwater fishing license and you can use them to chum sheepshead. You can also simply scrape them off bridge piles and allow them to sink and attract sheepshead. Do not scrape barnacles from private docks or other private structures without permission of the property owner.

Sheepshead, 12-5-14, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing & Fort Myers Fishing Charters & Guide Service.
Sheepshead, 12-5-14, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing & Fort Myers Fishing Charters & Guide Service.

State Record:  15 lb 2 oz, caught near Homosassa.”  Please see more information here.

Please click here to Book A Charter or call 239-472-8658 and here for Live Sanibel Traffic Cams.  Sheepshead Fishing  … click here for College Of Fishing Hats & Apparel.

We’re located in Castaways Marina, Santiva, Sanibel Island, just before the Blind Pass bridge to Captiva Island.

Sheepshead, Blind Pass, 11-23-14, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing & Fort Myers Fishing Charters & Guide Service.
Sheepshead, Blind Pass, 11-23-14, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing & Fort Myers Fishing Charters & Guide Service.

After a fierce storm, Turner Beach, the beach adjoining the Pass, is frequently covered with a bounty of shells from Olives to Fighting Whelks to the more common Conchs. The fishing is also renowned for sharks in the summer, tailing redfish on the bayside flats and snook under and off the Blind Pass bridge. Because Turner Beach faces Westward, the sunsets are spectacular and a popular viewing point for residents and visitors alike.

And you can like us on Facebook.

Fair winds and following seas,

Captain Joey Burnsed ~ please click calendar at the upper left or call 239-472-8658 to book a Sanibel & Captiva Islands, Boca Grande or Fort Myers fishing guide trip or shelling charter.

Two Sheepshead caught in Blind Pass, Sanibel & Captiva Islands & Fort Myers Charters & Fishing Guide Service.
Two Sheepshead caught in Blind Pass, Sanibel & Captiva Islands & Fort Myers Charters & Fishing Guide Service.