Cape Coral/Pine Island Fishing Help

Hey guys,

I am leaving for Cape Coral Friday and will be down for 3 weeks. I have a boat rented for the week of December 19th and plan to fish every day. The house I have rented is in the Southern part of Cape Coral and canal access is through the Chiquita Lock. I'm thinking most of our time will be spent around Pine Island and maybe Sanibel/Captiva, hoping to find some Redfish, Snook, Snapper, really anything that will bite!
Anyways, was hoping someone might have some suggestions on best locations to start fishing? I have never fished around Cape Coral, most of my saltwater fishing has been down on the Keys or on offshore charters. Not looking to take anyone's sweet spot, just some suggestions on where we might have the best opportunity to catch a few fish. Also, any suggestions for bait/lures other than the normal live bait, jigs, topwater lures, spinners, etc. would be awesome.
I plan to post updates throughout the week and will post pics if I can.

Thanks a lot and Merry Christmas!



  • BAgnewBAgnew Posts: 105 Officer

    That is a nice long vacation, welcome to CC. Stop at Venture Out just through the lock on the left side of the canal. They will have bait, rules and some local up to date info on what is going on in the area. Also a local map with a lot of good info to help you get around. Much depends on the boat you have rented and where it will get you. If you stop at the right time I might be sitting at the tiki bar having a beer and can give you some more info. PM me if you want some more info.

  • Westwall01Westwall01 Posts: 4,693 Captain
    What kind of boat will you be renting? That will dictate what types of fishing you can do.
  • gbren91gbren91 Posts: 3 Greenhorn
    Believe it's a 22' center console deck boat with a 150 hp outboard.
  • Capt Dan MedinaCapt Dan Medina Posts: 624 Officer
    best bet for someone new to the area is to use a popping cork and live shrimp. Everything eats it, and it is essentially a fish finding rig. a gulp on a jighead can do the same for casting....
    Deeper grass flats will hold trout, as will many of the points and shorelines. areas around the pass will have a larger variety of fish. Try fishing the docks along the deeper channels.
    Cape Coral canals havnt held the number of fish as they have in the pass due to all the freshwater releases. However, you can get into some decent sheepshead and mangroves in the cape canals, as well as the occasional residential snook.
    Another good suggestion would be to hire a guide for inshore one of the first days you are here. They will help you maximize the time you have down here, and make your fishing time much more efficient. the boats draft will dictate alot of where you can and cant go...

    best of luck! 33 Ft World Cat Tournament Edition Catamaran
    Offshore Fishing Charters FT Myers, Sanibel, Captiva, Cape Coral
  • JordanRJordanR Posts: 4 Greenhorn
    If you have water access at night, try fishing lighted docks with a live shrimp on a small hook with mono/fluoro leader for Snook and good size Sea Trout.
  • 803803 Posts: 175 Officer
    Live shrimp under popping corks and cut mullet near mangroves. I have seen countless tourist come down here who were good fisherman from wherever they were from up north who felt confident in their skills to quickly figure the area out, but realize it is really difficult specially regarding snook and redfish. Your best bet is to use good old method of live bait. Good luck.
    "Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing" Benjamin Franklin
  • whipachawwhipachaw Posts: 505 Officer
    Grass flats and structure like bridges and docks will be your best bet. Shrimp under popping corks on the flats and on the bottom around the bridges and docks. Trout, mackerel, reds, and other fish on the flats, mangrove snapper, sheepshead and other fish around the docks/bridges.Get some silver spoons to cast around the bays for mackerel and they will hit shrimp under a cork too. Get some gold weedless spoons for reds on the flats and under mangroves if your boat will let you get close enough, which it may not due to its style and size. Please be very careful of shallow water. Your prop could make a scar in the grass that could take 20 years to heal.
  • gbren91gbren91 Posts: 3 Greenhorn
    Well the first day was not a great success... fished around Merwin Key, caught a few catfish off the north side using live shrimp. Had no success using any lures. Moved to the overhead power lines between Captiva and Pine Island near the ICW, caught a few small fish here, nothing close to keeping size. Lastly we spent some time south of the power line location in some mangroves, seemed to be a lot of activity
    But again, didn't really catch much. Headed back out today, we'll see how it goes!
  • RockyTopRockyTop Posts: 128 Deckhand
    Try a 3-4" white shad tail bait like the DOA CAL or Z-Man Minnowz on a 1/8" jig head. Slow steady retrieve for the most part. Virtually everything that swims here will hit them. It's a good search bait while you're trying to find your way around too.
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