Current Fishing December 2018

Read below to find out all the current fishing conditions around The Bait Box.

Blind Pass.

Mangrove Snapper, a number of Snook, Tarpon, some Redfish, Sheepshead, and Pompano along with Ladyfish and Trout in the pass. Mostly, reports are that the bite is on! Cut frozen Threadfins and Ladyfish are super effective right now along with live Pinfish and Shrimp. Few Tarpon hitting whole and cut Ladyfish and Mullet! Artificial baits are hot too! Many Snook reports on topwater lures, and many Trout hitting small Pinfish and Shrimp.  Stronger current in the pass will require more weight than most other fishing spots.  Redfish are starting to show up and are biting pinfish and grunts, Shrimp on a popping cork as well as cut bait, such as Ladyfish, and spoons. Flyfishing for Snook has been great, Clouser Minnow pattern, as well as chartreuse Mullet patterns, are popular.

J.N. Ding Darling 

Mangrove Snapper and Sheepshead along with some Snook, Jacks and Redfish can be found along most of the culverts. Lots of smaller Trout and Ladyfish too. Using freelined shrimp at the culverts, and bait fish such as greenbacks, or Pinfish fished on the bottom along the banks, many species are being caught throughout the preserve. Greenbacks and Pinfish have been spotted at a few of the culverts, so keep your cast nets ready! Z-Man swim baits, Vudu shrimp and D.O.A. “Deadly Combo” have been super effective throughout the refuge. Shrimp under a popping cork will get great results here.

Causeway Islands

Sheepshead, Mangrove Snapper, Whiting, Ladyfish and Redfish are being caught as well as Snook, Pompano, and even a Triple Tail!. Many reports of Snook and some Reds hitting shrimp, frozen Ladyfish, threadfins, and pinfish.  Spotted Seatrout being caught out in the grass flats using shrimp fished under a float.  Flounder, Jack Crevalle, and Mangrove Snapper have all been caught under the bridge using shrimp or cut greenbacks. Sharks, most commonly but not limited to Blacktips, and Bonnet Heads have also been caught on most everything from Shrimp to cut Mackerel, Mullet or even frozen Squid.

Sanibel Pier

Latest report:  Mangrove Snapper, Sheepshead, Redfish, Snook, and Jacks. A few schools of bait around the pier, birds diving on fish now and then. The conditions are improving! Pompano are biting pink or chartreuse jigs! We’ve received many reports of Ladyfish, and Sheepshead right off the pier! Fishing is improving. Redfish are hitting big shrimp and cut baits like Mullet. Come in for a few dozen Shrimp or some frozen Threadfins, they are irresistible!   Blacktip sharks have been caught using Spanish mackerel. Snook are also biting on cut baits such as frozen Threadfins and Ladyfish and Mullet in the early morning and at dusk. Pompano jigs in assorted colors are hot right now!

Pine Island Sound

Snook are here along with Ladyfish, some Trout, Redfish and Mangrove Snapper, and big Jacks. Tarpon are crushing Ladyfish near the west end. Tripletail are around the crab traps and they are biting Shrimp. Whiting and Flounder are being caught. Check out our Photo Gallery!  Some Pompano are being caught as well. There has been a marked improvement in water quality each week! Check out our photo gallery for pics of the latest catches from Capt. Matt Mitchell and many other anglers!

The Beaches

Lighthouse Beach

Snook, Ladyfish, Spanish Mackerel, Sheepshead, and some Redfish in the surf west of the pier along with Mangrove Snapper. Evening has shown good action here for Snook and Shark too. We have a full line of tasty baits for Sharks including fresh caught Mullet, Ladyfish, and Spanish Mackerel.

Knapp’s Point

Some Snook and Spanish Mackerel are cruising that first trough and crushing cut Ladyfish, frozen Threadfins and Whitebait early in the morning. Tarpon are here and they are biting Threadfins, Ladyfish and Mullet along with Catfish tails, and Spanish Mackerel. Large Z-Man swimbaits and some jigs are getting the Tarpon this week. Seatrout and Spanish Mackerel being caught along with some Blues on the beach as well. Live Shrimp and Pinfish get the fish going! Jacks, and Seatrout can also be caught fishing near the sandbar. Anglers report better success while wading and casting along the sandbar.

West Gulf   

Snook, Spanish Mackerel, Ladyfish, and some small Trout! Lots of Shark activity much like Bowman’s Beach, and Turner Beach this area has been a staple for large shark fishing for a long time. Check our photo gallery and see what some New Yorkers, teamed up with Ron’s handmade shark rigs can do! Many reports of large Snook and Reds hitting cut bait as well as live Pinfish and shrimp. Seatrout, lots of Ladyfish and Whiting caught on live Bait Box shrimp, have come in recently. Mullet, Spanish Mackerel, Threadfins, and chunks of Stingray are what the shark are biting. Bowmans and Turner beaches are starting to show signs of life.

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