Surf Fishing Sanibel

Hello guys, it's first time posting after lurking for about 3 years so that's cool.  I head to Sanibel Island and stay at Sundial yearly, around late June.  I've never had much with the surf fishing in this location (only caught cats), so I'm wondering what I should do.  I have heard of people catching everything from Macks to Pomps ( to Trout to Reds in the surf (I saw a giant redfish head on the beach last year), and of course the illusive (By my experience) snook.  I'd really like to know what I am doing wrong.  I plan to start each day at sunrise throwing X-raps and Paddletails for linesiders in the first trough, but what could I do to catch some meat? What baits do I use?  


  • Salt LifeSalt Life Posts: 23 Greenhorn
    When will you be down there? I'll be down June 23 staying on the West Gulf end passed Rabbitt Road. There is a lot of information to pass along that I have learned over the years, and I am by no means an expert but we do well when we are there. We fish the beaches, Tarpon Bay, Blind Pass, Ding Darling. Don't limit your location. Can you throw a cast net? Bait is pricey so we like to catch our own.

  • SerotoninSerotonin Cape CoralPosts: 192 Deckhand
    I have fished blind pass beach a few nights before with shrimp or cut bait. Mostly I caught cats with some decent trout mixed in. On morning walks I've seen nice snook cruising but never have my rod then
  • spearjunkyspearjunky Posts: 184 Deckhand
    catch white bait early and fish the first sand bar for snook you should be able to see them if weather allows
  • rjmckenna2005rjmckenna2005 Cape Coral, FLPosts: 21 Greenhorn
    edited June 2018 #5
    Haven't done much surf fishing but have done really well at Blind Pass.  Maybe a coincidence but most of my luck has been on the beginning of the outgoing tide.  Other conditions are good as well I'm sure, but this is just from my experience.  I have used large shrimp, fresh cut ladyfish, and pinfish, all casting out off of the bridge and letting the bait drift with the current under the bridge, when the fish are biting they hit almost as soon as the bait disappears under the bridge, sometimes as soon as it hits the water out away from the bridge too. I've caught snook, trout, and black drum within the last month.  My last trip out which was just this past Sunday (6/11), I used a jig on the last part of the incoming tide and caught two snook in a half hours time, both under slot (21" and 23").  Hope this helps.  Good luck!!
  • Wedding moneyWedding money Posts: 23 Greenhorn
    Life is easy at the sundial, I grew up on Sanibel playing beach volleyball at the sundial and catching lots of snook on my walks from the holiday inn boardwalk to the sundial. Get live shrimp and have a 2 ft 20-30 lb fluorocarbon leader and a 2/0 hook. You will see them right along the shore. They spook easily, do not use a weight. Cast in front far enough to let the snook come up on the shrimp or pilchard. You will have a crowd watching you catch snook. Life does not get any better than beautiful green gulf water, white sandy beaches and sunbathing 👙beauties all while sight fishing for snook. 
  • SevenweightSevenweight Posts: 51 Greenhorn
    I’ve wanted to try Sanibel beaches for awhile now with a fly rod. This was going to be my year ... and then the red tide hit so I thought that put the kibosh on my plans. Based on what I’m reading in this thread though, I guess things are OK...? Any advice would be welcome. I live in Homosassa and we have some decent snook—though nothing like the Sanibel fishery—and of course no beaches. 
  • albacizedalbacized Posts: 53 Greenhorn
    Heard that spots up on the north part of the island (blind pass and on over to Captiva) was hit the other day with the red tide, but that points on the more southern part of the island is faring ok
  • dcrdcr Posts: 352 Deckhand
    Also hit Bowmans Beach if you can afford the parking.  Jeez I remember when it was 25¢.  Regardless of site, my best two baits are live shrimp and an SPRO white bucktail 3/8 oz.  Throw it out at about a 30° or 45° angle to the beach.  Let it hit the sand and then jerk it up.  Most of your hits will occur right as it hits the water or about 15' from the beach.  If you don't catch anything for a while, slow down your retrieve. There, I've emptied my brain for another day.

  • dcrdcr Posts: 352 Deckhand
    Oh yeah, tie a loop knot.
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