Finally Warmed up and the Fish were Biting by Ed Valitutto

I use the term “Florida Cold” to describe the weather here in Cape Coral when it’s unusually cold and the natives are freezing! We’re talking mid 50’s to low 70’s with brisk winds. Nothing like what I read was happening up in Manahawkin. Anyway, yesterday the weather returned to normal, and the fish were biting.

I went out with Dragon Fly charters for my sixth time since coming to FL. Capt. Mike operates a 16′ skiff with a 70HP engine and trolling motor. We fished the inshore mangroves and had a blast! The redfish I’m holding was 31+” and fought hard on light tackle. The FL limit is one fish from 18 to 27″ so after the photo I quickly released it. I had other shorts but couldn’t get my slot fish. We then went looking for spotted trout using a cork with a trailing shrimp. Again, lots of shorts but then I caught the beauty in the photo that went 19+”. That one went into the cooler. We also caught short mangrove snappers, ladyfish (looks like a needlefish and is great for chunk bait, several short sheepshead and finally one nice keeper. I also caught a blowfish and showed the captain my video. That went home with me too.

We barely saw another boat, watched ospreys and eagles put on a show and encountered several manatees who were also in close for the warmer water. It was a great time and I will repeat it in February and again in March.

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