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.

Captiva Fishing, Two Grouper!

Two Grouper, Very Cold, Catch & Release, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Friday, January 19, 2018.

Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, January  19, 2018: Two Grouper.

CaptivaRentals.org: Avoid VRBO Fees. Rent Directly From Local Homeowners.Captiva Fishing Report, Friday, January 19: Very 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.

Friday, January 19: Very 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.

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

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

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.

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, Inshore Structure, Catch & Release, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Friday, December 1, 2017.
Grouper, Inshore Structure, Catch & Release, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Friday, December 1, 2017.

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, 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.

Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, January  18, 2018: Sheepshead.

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

Captiva Fishing Report, Thursday, January 18: Very Cold Again, 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.

Thursday, January 18: Really Cold, Sheepshead, Structure, In The Passes, Catch & Release.  Worried about the snook again. Please also visit the SanibelFort MyersFlorida Fishing Report and Cuban Fishing sites.  Better water moving north of Sanibel up through Captiva & North Captiva.

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.

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

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.

Tim with his Sheepshead on Sanibel & Captiva charters!

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, Redfish!

Redfish, Warmer, Catch & Release, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Tuesday, January 16, 2017.
Redfish, Warmer, Catch & Release, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Tuesday, January 16, 2017.

Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, January  16, 2018: Redfish.

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

Captiva Fishing Report, Tuesday, January 16: Redfish, A Lot Warmer, Oyster Bars, 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 16: Warm, Redfish, Oyster Beds, 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.

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

Redfish, Very Cold, Hiding In The Mangroves, Catch & Release, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Friday, January 5, 2017.
Redfish, Very Cold, Hiding In The Mangroves, Catch & Release, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Friday, January 5, 2017.

“The red drum (Sciaenops ocellatus), also known as channel bassredfishspottail bass, or simply red, is a game fish found in the Atlantic Ocean from Massachusetts to Florida and in the Gulf of Mexico from Florida to northern Mexico.[1] It is the only species in the genus Sciaenops.

The red drum is related to the black drum (Pogonias cromis), and the two species are often found in close proximity to each other; they can interbreed and form a robust hybrid, and younger fish are often indistinguishable in flavor.[2]

Redfish, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Thursday, March 2, 2017.
Redfish, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Thursday, March 2, 2017.

Red drum are a dark red color on the back, which fades into white on the belly. The red drum has a characteristic eyespot near the tail and is somewhat streamlined. Three-year-old red drum typically weigh 6-8 lb. The largest red drum on record weighed just over 94 lb and was caught in 1984 on Hatteras Island. Red drum and black drum both make a croaking or drumming sound when distressed.

The most distinguishing mark on the red drum is one large black spot on the upper part of the tail base. Having multiple spots is not uncommon for this fish, but having no spots is extremely rare. As the fish with multiple spots grow older, they seem to lose their excess spots. Scientists believe that the black spot near their tail helps fool predators into attacking the red drum’s tail instead of its head, allowing the red drum to escape.[3]

Redfish, Oyster Bars, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Satuday, August 19, 2017. File Photo.
Redfish, Oyster Bars, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Saturday, August 19, 2017. File Photo.

The red drum uses its senses of sight and touch, and its downturned mouth, to locate forage on the bottom through vacuuming or biting. On the top and middle of the water column, it uses changes in the light that might look like food. In the summer and fall, adult red drum feed on crabsshrimp, and mullet; in the spring and winter, adults primarily feed on menhaden, mullet, pinfishsea robinlizardfishspotAtlantic croaker, and mud minnows.

Redfish, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Tuesday, September 13, 2016
Redfish, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Red drum naturally occur along the southern Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico coasts of Louisiana, Texas, Alabama, Mississippi, and Florida. Aquaculture activities involving them occur around the world.[4] Immature red drum prefer grass marsh areas of bays and estuaries when available. Both younger mature red drum (3-6 years of age) and bull red drum prefer rocky outcroppings including jetties and manmade structures, such as oil rigs and bridge posts. Around this type of structure, they are found throughout the water column.”  Please see more information here.

Redfish, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Saturday, August 20, 2016.
Redfish, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Saturday, August 20, 2016.

Please click here to Book A Charter or call 239-472-8658 and here for Live Sanibel Traffic Cams.  More Redfish, warmer, click here for College Of Fishing Hats & Apparel. We’re located at Castaways Marina, Santiva, Sanibel Island, just before the Blind Pass bridge to Captiva Island.

More Redfish , Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Tuesday, May 3, 2016.
More Redfish, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Tuesday, May 3, 2016.

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.

Big Redfish, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Wednesday, 11-11-15 ~ #Sanibel #Captiva.
Big Redfish, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Wednesday, 11-11-15 ~ #Sanibel #Captiva.

We would appreciate if you like us on Facebook.

Fair winds and following seas,

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

Redfish, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Saturday, November 4, 2017, [File Photo - Saturday, 10-31-15] .
Redfish, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Saturday, November 4, 2017, [File Photo – Saturday, 10-31-15].

Captiva Fishing, Grouper!

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

Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, January  15, 2018: Grouper.

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

Captiva Fishing Report, Monday, January 15: More Grouper, 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.

Monday, January 15: More Grouper & Snapper, 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.

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

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.

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, Inshore Structure, Catch & Release, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Friday, December 1, 2017.
Grouper, Inshore Structure, Catch & Release, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Friday, December 1, 2017.

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, Passes, Structure, Catch & Release, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Sunday, January 14, 2018.
Sheepshead, Passes, Structure, Catch & Release, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Sunday, January 14, 2018.

Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, January  14, 2018: Sheepshead.

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

Captiva Fishing Report, Sunday, January 14: Cold Again, 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.

Sunday, January 15: Sheepshead, Structure, In The Passes, Catch & ReleasePlease also visit the SanibelFort MyersFlorida Fishing Report and Cuban Fishing sites.  Better water moving north of Sanibel up through Captiva & North Captiva.

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.

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

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.

Tim with his Sheepshead on Sanibel & Captiva charters!

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 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.

Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, January  13, 2018: Grouper.

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

Captiva Fishing Report, Saturday, January 13: Grouper, Near Offshore Structure, Warmer, 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 13: Grouper & Snapper, 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.

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

Two Grouper, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Friday, December 29, 2017.
Two Grouper, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Friday, December 29, 2017.

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, Inshore Structure, Catch & Release, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Friday, December 1, 2017.
Grouper, Inshore Structure, Catch & Release, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Friday, December 1, 2017.

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.  Redfish, 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, Snapper!

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.

Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, January  11, 2018: Snapper.

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

Captiva Fishing Report, Thursday, January 11: Snapper, Near Offshore Structure, Warmer, 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.

Thursday, January 11: Snapper, Structure, Catch & Release, Warming Up – Less Worried About The Snook. Looks like we will be okay.

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.

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].
“The schoolmaster snapper (Lutjanus apodus) is a colorful, subtropical fish found over coral reef areas along the coasts of Florida, the Bahamas, and the Caribbean, though it can range northward along the Atlantic coast of the United States.[1] Adults are 12–14 in (30–35 cm) long and weigh 1.0–2.0 lb (0.4–0.8 kg), though rare individuals can weigh 8 lb at 24 in long.

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.

It has a robust, slightly compressed body, with a pointed head. Its color varies from silvery to bronze. Fins and tails are yellow and the snout contains blue stripes. As the common name suggests, schoolmaster snapper live in groups of dozens of subjects. They keep a short distance from the seafloor at depths between 10 and 90 ft, prefer the cover provided by coral reefs during the day, and expand their range to seagrass beds at night. The schoolmaster snapper is sometimes called the barred snapper or the caji. Like other snapper species, it is a popular food fish.

Mangrove snapper, 7-17-14, Sanibel & Captiva Islands & Fort Myers Charters & Fishing Guide Service.
Mangrove snapper, 7-17-14, Sanibel & Captiva Islands & Fort Myers Charters & Fishing Guide Service.

The schoolmaster snapper is found in coastal areas of Florida, the Bahamas, and the Caribbean. It lives in shallow, clear, warm, coastal waters over coral reefs, sand with plants, and mud in mangrove areas or other reef-associated bottom types. Juveniles stay over sand bottoms with or without seagrasses, and over muddy bottoms of lagoons or mangrove areas. The young tend to be in littoral (shore) areas, grass plains and from time to time enter briny waters. They may be seen resting in accumulations during the day. The groups of juveniles in shallow coastal waters, as they grow, move into deeper and deeper water. Large schools are often noticed by divers over shallow wrecks and certain coral patches, and this behavior inspired the common name.

French Snapper or Grunt, Sanibel & Captiva Islands & Fort Myers Charters & Fishing Guide Service.
French Snapper or Grunt, Sanibel & Captiva Islands & Fort Myers Charters & Fishing Guide Service.

Adults usually stay near shore at depths ranging from 0 to 200 ft (2–60 m) and shelter around elkhorn and gorgonian coral. Large adults are sometimes found on the continental shelf. Typical depths are up to 12 ft (4 m).[2] reported that at night, schoolmaster snapper may increase their range to twice the daytime range, mostly by visiting seagrass beds.

Snapper, 9-12-14, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing & Fort Myers Fishing Charters & Guide Service.
Snapper, 9-12-14, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing & Fort Myers Fishing Charters & Guide Service.

The schoolmaster snapper has a husky, moderately deep body with a pointed head. Its thickness can be more than a third of its standard length. The head is large, and as long as the body is thick; the representation is straight from snout to the backside, and regularly curved to the large, unforked tail. Its triangular snout is long and pointed, with a large mouth. One of the upper pairs of canine teeth is clearly larger than back teeth in the lower jaw and can be seen when the mouth is closed. There are 40 to 45, usually 42 to 44, tubed scales in the lateral line. The interior scale rows on the back are parallel to lateral line.

Mangrove snapper, 7-18-14, Sanibel & Captiva Islands & Fort Myers Charters & Fishing Guide Service.
Mangrove snapper, 7-18-14, Sanibel & Captiva Islands & Fort Myers Charters & Fishing Guide Service.

The soft dorsal and anal fins have scales. The single dorsal fin has 10 spines and 14 soft rays; the spiny portions of the fin are not deeply engraved at the junction with the soft portion. The anal fin has three spines and eight soft rays that are rounded from the tail. The caudal fin is emarginated. The 16 or 17 rays of the pectoral fins are longer than the distance from the longest point of the snout to tail edge of preopercle, reaching the level of anus.

Mutton Snapper, Cayo Costa, 10-31-14, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing & Fort Myers Fishing Charters & Guide Service.
Mutton Snapper, Cayo Costa, 10-31-14, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing & Fort Myers Fishing Charters & Guide Service.

The color is olive gray to brownish on upper back and upper sides, with yellow to reddish mite around the head. The lower sides and belly are lighter; there is no dark lateral spot below the anterior part of the soft dorsal fin. There are 8 narrow, light vertical bars on the side of the body which may be faded or absent in large adults. A solid or broken blue line runs beneath the eye; it may also disappear with growth. From the upper jaw to the tip of the fleshy opercle, the line is often broken into parts that resemble dashes and spots. The fin and tail is bright yellow, yellow-green, or pale orange, and the snout contains blue stripes.

Snapper, 4-1-14, Sanibel & Captiva Islands & Fort Myers Charters & Fishing Guide Service.
Snapper, 4-1-14, Sanibel & Captiva Islands & Fort Myers Charters & Fishing Guide Service.

Rooker reported the diet of small L. apodus (<70 mm) consisted of crustaceans (more than 90%), specifically amphipods and crabs. Larger schoolmaster snapper preferred smaller fish (more than 50% by weight) and also ate crabs, shrimp, and stomatopods. He attributed the difference in eating habits to the fact that the bigger fish could open their jaws wider for bigger prey.[3]

Schoolmaster snapper are gonochorist, meaning males and females are separate. They spawn over most of the year, with the majority of the spawning happening during middle to late summer. They spawn during April–June off Cuba. They reproduce by spawning in open water with both male and female fish releasing their gametes at the same time. The fertilized eggs then settle to the bottom, where they are left unguarded.

French Snapper, 3-23-14, Sanibel & Captiva Islands & Fort Myers Charters & Fishing Guide Service.
French Snapper, 3-23-14, Sanibel & Captiva Islands & Fort Myers Charters & Fishing Guide Service.

Most mature schoolmaster snapper average a pound (0.4 kg) or less in shallow water. Big individuals on the deep reefs may reach six or seven pounds. They can grow up to 8 lb and 24 in (62 cm) long, but individuals 12–14 inches (35 cm) long are more commonly observed.

Weight: length relationship for schoolmaster snapper L. apodus[4]

As fish grow longer, they increase in weight, but the relationship is not linear. The relationship between length (L) and weight (W) for nearly all species of fish can be expressed by an equation of the form: 

Invariably, b is close to 3.0 for all species, and c varies between species. A weight-length relationship based on 100 schoolmaster snapper ranging in length from 2 to 7 in (50 mm to 180 mm) found the coefficient c was 0.000050015 and the exponent b was 2.9107. This relationship suggests a 12.5-inch schoolmaster snapper (320 mm) will weigh about 2.2 lb (1 kg).[4]

Snapper, Floyd, 12-1-14, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing & Fort Myers Fishing Charters & Guide Service.
Snapper, Floyd, 12-1-14, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing & Fort Myers Fishing Charters & Guide Service.

Schoolmaster snapper, along with other snapper species, are sought by both recreational and commercial fishermen. Their food quality is reported to be excellent.

Fishing regulations in US state waters are specific to each state, but they have similarities. For example, the minimum length in Florida for schoolmaster snapper is 10 in (about 25 cm) total length with a catch limit of 10 per fisherman per day. However, the 10-fish limit is an aggregate for all species of snapper.[5]Louisiana and South Carolina have similar limits except the minimum length is 12 in (about 30 cm) total length, and non-stainless steel circle hooks and natural bait are required.[6] These regulations are consistent with current US guidelines for schoolmaster snapper caught in federal waters.[7] The guidelines change from time to time. In certain marine protected areas,[8] fishing is not allowed to help specific species maintain or recover healthy populations.

Grouper & Snapper, 1-1-15, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing & Fort Myers Fishing Charters & Guide Service.
Grouper & Snapper, 1-1-15, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing & Fort Myers Fishing Charters & Guide Service.

Light spinning and baitcasting tackle are used to fish for schoolmaster snapper. Live shrimp and baitfish, as well as shrimp pieces and cut bait, are the best natural bait. While jigs make for the best artificial bait, artificials are rarely used and rarely successful.

Larger schoolmaster snapper whose white vertical bars are faded might be mistaken for dog snapper. The schoolmaster, however, does not have the white cone-shaped patch on the gill that identifies the dog snapper. Though different in appearance, schoolmaster snapper have habits similar to those of the mangrove snapper.  Please see more information here.

Snapper, 2-8-15, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing & Fort Myers Fishing Charters & Guide Service.
Snapper, 2-8-15, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing & Fort Myers Fishing Charters & Guide Service.

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

Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, January  10, 2018: Sheepshead.

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

Captiva Fishing Report, Wednesday, January 10: Warming Up, 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.

Wednesday, January 10: Sheepshead, Docks, Passes, Catch & Release, Warming Up – Less Worried About The Snook. Looks like we will be okay.  Water temperature dropping. Watching for potential snook kills.  In 2010, “watermen and women may remember that … millions of fish — especially snook, mojarras, tripletail, goliath grouper and gafftop sail catfish —were cold-stunned and killed by the low temperatures that remained low for more than a week. The fish kills were even worse along the southwest coast of Florida in the Everglades and even the Florida Keys where tropical and subtropical species of fish suffered.” More here.

Sheepshead, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Wednesday, January 10, 2018, [File Photo - Saturday, March 18, 2017].
Sheepshead, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Wednesday,
January 10, 2018, [File Photo – Saturday, March 18, 2017].
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, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Monday, November 21, 2016.
Sheepshead, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Monday, November 21, 2016.

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.

Tim with his Sheepshead on Sanibel & Captiva charters!

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.  Redfish, 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, Triggerfish!

Triggerfish + Snapper, Still Cold, Structure, Near-offshore, Catch & Release, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Monday, January 8, 2018.
Triggerfish + Snapper, Still Cold, Structure, Near-offshore, Catch & Release, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Monday, January 8, 2018.

Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, January  8, 2018: Cold, Triggerfish.

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

Captiva Fishing Report, Monday, January 8: Cold, Triggerfish, 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 8: Triggerfish, Near-offshore, Catch & Release, Cold – Worried About The Snook. Water temperature dropping. Watching for potential snook kills.  In 2010, “watermen and women may remember that … millions of fish — especially snook, mojarras, tripletail, goliath grouper and gafftop sail catfish —were cold-stunned and killed by the low temperatures that remained low for more than a week. The fish kills were even worse along the southwest coast of Florida in the Everglades and even the Florida Keys where tropical and subtropical species of fish suffered.” More here.

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.

Triggerfish, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Monday, January 8, 2018, [File Photo - Sunday December 18, 2016].
Triggerfish, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Monday, January 8,
2018, [File Photo – Sunday, December 18, 2016].
“The grey triggerfish (Balistes capriscus) is a ray-finned fish in the triggerfish family. The species is native to shallow parts of the western Atlantic from Nova Scotia to Argentina and also the eastern Atlantic, the Mediterranean Sea and off Angola on the west coast of Africa.

In its appearance and habits, the grey triggerfish is a typical member of the genus Balistes except for its drab, uniformly grey coloration. It is a relatively small fish, usually less than 2.3 kg (5 lb) in weight. It is fished recreationally and despite its tough skin, is an excellent food-fish.

Triggerfish, Offshore, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Friday, December 22, 2017, [File Photo - Saturday, March 19, 2016].
Triggerfish, Offshore, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Friday, December 22, 2017, [File Photo –
Saturday, March 19, 2016].
The grey triggerfish is a medium-sized fish that can grow to 60 cm (24 in), but a more common length is 44 cm (17 in). The small beak-like mouth at the tip of the snout has fleshy lips. The eyes are set far back near the top of the head. The body is laterally compressed and deep-bodied with a tough, leathery skin. The front dorsal fin has three spines, the first being very strong and much longer than the other two. The second dorsal fin has 26 to 29 soft rays and is much the same size and shape as the anal fin directly below it which has no spines and 23 to 26 soft rays. The pectoral fins are small and rounded. The outer rays of the caudal fin are elongated in larger individuals. The scales on the head and front half of the body are large while those on the hind half are smaller and smooth.[2][3]

Triggerfish, Offshore Wreck, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Friday, 12-18-15 ~ #Sanibel #Captiva.
Triggerfish, Offshore Wreck, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Friday, 12-18-15 ~ #Sanibel #Captiva.

This fish is predominantly pale grey, greenish-grey or yellowish-brown. The body has three indistinct broad dark bars and there is a pale streak on the chin. The upper part of the orbit of the eye is blue and there are some small blue spots and lines on the dorsal fins and upper parts of the body, and sometimes white dots and irregular lines on the lower parts of the body. Both the second dorsal and the anal fin present a somewhat marbled appearance. The body color fades a little as the animal gets older: juveniles are more colorful.[2][3]

Triggerfish, 1-2-14, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing & Fort Myers Fishing Charters & Guide Service.
Triggerfish, 1-2-14, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing & Fort Myers Fishing Charters & Guide Service.

The grey triggerfish is principally a fish of shallow waters in the western Atlantic Ocean. Its native range extends from Nova Scotia to the Caribbean Sea, the Gulf of Mexico and Bermuda, and southwards to Argentina. It is typically found over hard bottoms on reefs and rocky areas, in lagoons and in bays, at depths down to about 55 m (180 ft). It is also found on the other side of the Atlantic, around the British Isles, in the Mediterranean Sea and off the coast of Angola.[3] It may have crossed the Atlantic as a result of the movement of water in the Gulf Stream. It does not breed in the waters around Britain but does do so in the Mediterranean.[4]

Triggerfish, 12-30-14, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing & Fort Myers Fishing Charters & Guide Service.
Triggerfish, 12-30-14, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing & Fort Myers Fishing Charters & Guide Service.

Locomotion in the grey triggerfish is by means of undulations of the dorsal fins. If threatened, the fish can work its way into a protective crevice and wedge itself in place by erecting its front dorsal spine. It is difficult to dislodge from this position. The second spine is connected to the first and when it is depressed, it triggers the unlocking of the first spine.[3]

The grey triggerfish is a demersal species and feeds on bottom-dwelling invertebrates such as shrimpscrabsmolluskssea urchinssand dollarsstarfish and sea cucumbers. It has strong teeth specialized for making holes in hard-shelled prey. An interesting feeding bbehavior has been observed, in which the fish positions itself vertically above a sandy seabed and puffs a stream of water out of its mouth. This disturbs the substrate and may reveal something edible. Further puffs expose more, and the prey item is gripped with the fish’s sharp teeth and removed from the seabed. If it is a sand dollar, the fish drops it and picks it up again several times until the prey lands upside down. The fish then adopts its vertical stance once more and attacks the middle with closed jaws, crushing the soft central area. It then scoops out and devours the flesh.[3]

Triggerfish, 4-12-14, Sanibel & Captiva Islands & Fort Myers Charters & Fishing Guide Service.
Triggerfish, 4-12-14, Sanibel & Captiva Islands & Fort Myers Charters & Fishing Guide Service.

Males develop a charcoal grey coloration and are highly territorial during the breeding season, which commences in summer when the water temperature reaches about 21 °C (70 °F). The males prepare up to a dozen nests in hollows blown out of sandy seabed[5] and then patrol the area, driving unwanted fish away. The females roam around inspecting the nest sites. When a female is ready to spawn, both male and female enter a nest and tightly circle round each other while she lays large numbers of minute eggs and he fertilises them. The female stays in the nest, guarding the eggs and blowing and fanning them. The male defends his territory, which may contain other nests with females guarding their eggs. In this way, the male exhibits harem behaviour.[6] Wrasses and red snappers sometimes feed on the eggs which, if they survive that long, hatch after about fifty hours. The fish larvae migrate up towards the surface of the water where they often become part of the community depending on floating sargassum weed. There they feed on algaebarnacleshydroids and polychaete worms. In the autumn, when they reach about 15 cm (6 in), the juvenile fish leave the sargassum and sink down to the sea bed.[3]

Triggerfish, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Friday, December 22, 2017, [File Photo - April 6, 2014].
Triggerfish, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Friday, December 22, 2017, [File Photo – April 6, 2014].
The grey triggerfish is fished recreationally around Florida and elsewhere. It is known as a notorious bait stealer and is found over hard bottom in 20 to 40 m (66 to 131 ft) depths off the Atlantic Coast of Florida, often in association with black sea bass and red snapper. Because of its bony mouth it needs a small sharp hook which is usually baited with squid or cut bait.[7] The flesh is of high quality but the consumption of this fish has been linked to isolated cases of ciguatera poisoning.[3]  Please see more information here.

Trigger fish caught offshore of Captiva Island, Sanibel & Captiva Islands & Fort Myers Charters & Fishing Guide Service.
Triggerfish caught offshore of Captiva Island, Sanibel & Captiva Islands & Fort Myers Charters & Fishing Guide Service.

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

Triggerfish, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Monday, January 8, 2018, [File Photo - December 3, 2015].
Triggerfish, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Monday, January 8, 2018, [File Photo –
December 3, 2015].
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.