Summer isn’t over yet, we are still cashing in on the great fishing that can be had in the heat, but most of us have an eye on the upcoming Fall fishing season. Most of September will be split between wrestling Goliath Grouper and picking a few Gags or Mangrove Snapper near shore outings and wrestling monsters of the deep like giant Gag and Black Grouper, Red Grouper, Huge Mangrove and Yellowtail Snapper, Amberjack, and a host of others on the extended day deep sea trips. Action on the King Mackerel and Cobia close to shore has slowed to a crawl this month, but very soon we will be treated with the semi-annual migration of one of the fastest gamefish in South Florida Waters.
Nearshore fishing should be good through most of September, with ample opportunity to catch a few big fish for sport, take home a fresh seafood dinner or two, and help out with one of the most important marine research projects our waters have seen.
When the winds and tides cooperate together we will see good action on a few nice Gag Grouper, Mangrove Snapper, Lane Snapper, Porgies,and a stray Cobia or two. Often we till encounter huge barracuda, sharks, and much more on these trips as well. Towards the end of September and running through October the Kingfish and Cobia migration will begin. This is a great time of the year to head out on a near shore trip as the runs are short, often fishing well within sight of land, the action is fast paced, and the fish are real drag burners. We generally use very light spinning gear to tackle even the largest 50+ pound Kings. Gag Grouper will remain open in September and October, closing November, 1. October will be the absolute best time to combine Gags, Kings, and Cobia on a trip close to shore, and rightfully so the availability for these trips will be limited. Go to our Nearshore Fishing page for trip info.
Aside from the typical wide open Goliath Grouper bite that the warmer waters bring, we have a new treat this summer. We have been chosen to participate in a research program to determine the age and population range of the Goliath Grouper in our area. This necessitates genetic and biological sampling that can only be done out of the water. We have been given a special permit to remove Goliath from the water for tagging and sampling. We will be conducting the sampling during our charters, so you not only can get your photos, but also can actually participate in helping to manage this great fishery! Each fish will also be tagged and can be named by your charter party! The Goliath bite has and will continue to be fantastic! Fresh bait is always the key, so expect to catch some Barracuda, Jack Crevalle, and Blue Runner on your trip as well!
Throughout the Fall most anglers will choose to stay closer and work the shallowest waters possible to produce the best possible catch. This is a great strategy to fill the box with the least amount of money, time, and effort spent. For some of us however, there is always a nagging notion of something bigger and better that lies deeper. If you have ever felt the deep purple waters of distant springs and wrecks tug at your soul then this is the time of year to pony up and head way offshore for an 16, 18, or 24 hour trip to the little-pressured deepwater springs and ledges and work for Scamp (the best eating of all grouper by far!), Yellowedge, Snowy, and Warsaw Groupers (these guys average over 150lbs). The limit will remain at 4 person all year for these species (Warsaw remain at 1 per boat). Combine this with prehistoric sized Snappers (Vermillion, Mutton, Queen, yellowtail, and Tilefish and its easy to see why we have such a hard time fitting all the fish in the boat! These areas are well guarded secrets within the commercial fishing community, and few people outside of those circles EVER get to experience the action they can produce. These same areas also hold Pelagic fish such as Blackfin Tuna, Wahoo, Mahi, and Amberjack so big they make grown men cry! Typically these trips leave very early morning and return either late at night or the following morning. There is no rest for the wicked aboard the Redemption Song, you will be catching fish the whole time except for the ride out and back!
If your not the adrenaline junky/daredevil type that wants to fish where no man has fished before, but still want to catch big fish and bring home a big box of fresh fillets, then the typical full or extended day deep sea trip is just what your looking for. These trips can focus on sport fishing with light tackle, Gulf of Mexico grocery shopping, or a combination of both. The Gulf has a lot to offer, and we will always tailor the trip to just what your looking for. Amberjack, giant barracuda, Sharks, and Goliath Grouper make up the majority of our sport fish. When combined with top-of-the-line light tackle you cant go wrong. If you measure the success of your trip not on the sound of a screaming drag but rather on the weight of your cooler as you heft your fillets into the car, don’t worry, we can handle that too! Red and Gar Grouper will be the main targets on the full and extended day trips, with yellowtail and mangrove snapper making up the majority of our catch when our limits are filled on grouper or conditions present themselves just right. Night trips will still see the biggest and baddest snapper coming to the boat, and the ride in is one of the coolest experiences on the water. Beat the heat, beat the storms, and have some fantastic fishing! Blackfin tuna are never a guarantee, but they have been an almost constant fixture on our night trips for the last several weeks and that trend should continue well into October. Night trips are typically run around the full moons, so plan your trip in advance for September, October, and November as the limited number of days means space will fill up fast.
The greatest new addition to our lineup of Family focused fishing trips is what First Mate Mason Mclaughlin likes to call the “little-bit-big-boy shark fishing.” Its unclear if every single boy on earth is fascinated with sharks, but its safe to say that MOST of them are! Its also safe to say that so are at least half of the little girls too! It doesn’t take long to hook the little guys on fishing while targeting these toothy “little-bit-big” fellas. With about twelve species of active sharks that average two to three feet, action is the name of the game. Using light tackle, often fishing inside Charlotte Harbor or just offshore well within sight of land, this is a dream trip for the active family. On most trips we have been able to put together great numbers, and even catch a few “big boy” sharks for Mom and Dad! While we work on a write up for this trip, just drop Capt. Tom a line and just ask for the little-bit-big-boy special. Capt. Tom can usually make this one happen year round.
The days leading up to the full moons will still offer fantastic night fishing through Summer. Most of these trips will be focused on offshore structure where we will find giant Mangrove and Yellowtail Snapper, grouper, and as always SHARKS. We even manage to catch a few Blackfin Tuna on these trips every now and again. Shark fishing is a brilliant pastime, but it really comes into its own after dark. The gentle slap of the waves against the hull, a nice breeze, and pleasant temperatures will gently lull you to sleep only to be jolted back awake by a screaming drag, followed by an hour arm burning workout. The feeling of seeing these toothed hulks gently sweeping their tails in the glow of the deck lights is truly a sight to behold.
There is certainly no better way to spend time with family, friends, or just to relax away from it all than fishing the pristine waters of Englewood, Venice, Boca Grande, Sarasota, and the Gulf of Mexico. If you are looking for fantastic inshore or offshore action, day or night, then you have come to the right place. Book your trip with Another Keeper Charters and you can rest assured that you will not only enjoy great fishing with Southwest Florida’s premier fishing guide and charter service, but you will also enjoy the company of arguably the friendliest Captain in the business!