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Near Shore Rookie Needs Help

We usually fish the backwater/ 10,000 islands area over the Christmas week but haven't had a lot of luck the last couple years with the warmer winters.  Last year we ventured in the gulf for the first time to some of the publicly listed artificial reef numbers (5 mile reefs etc).  We couldn't find them (fished without catching and snagging)via GPS and even drug weights without hitting anything.  Did the reefs get moved over time by the hurricane? Please give me some tips on how to best locate them as well as what types of techniques and baits work best.  Looked all over for advice and wasn't able to find much specifically on this area online.

Thanks and Merry Christmas!

Replies

  • backyardhockeybackyardhockey Posts: 145 Deckhand
    The reefs usually are not exactly on the listed gps numbers. Might be off by 100 yards and the spot itself might be much smaller than you would expect. 

    Backcountry is is all about casting very close to the mangroves. If your 3 feet away your too far. The fish move around so if no hits in a couple of minutes move on. Look for spots where the tide will push bait

    others with more experience will no doubt give better info
  • Turner River TerrorTurner River Terror Posts: 7,512 Admiral
    Take a bleach jug with 50 ft. of cord and a 1 pound sinker , rock ect..
    Punch in the numbers for your area and when the GPS says zero , zero throw the jug overboard.
    Do circles around the jug till you find the wreck.
    Had Bottom is better fishing anyways , and much easier to find....
    Killin and Grillin :grin
  • fishyfishy GoodlandPosts: 5 Greenhorn
    Thanks for your responses.  I usually hear of hard bottom in regards to off shore.  It is possible to locate nearshore as well (within 5-10 miles)? Terror the best way I've seen to determine hard bottom on posts is the sea floor on your depth finder, do you agree or do use another method? Any certain store bought chum anyone would recommend?
  • JW_YakAnglerJW_YakAngler NaplesPosts: 218 Deckhand
    This is the year to change your luck in the backwater. It seems like red tide in Lee county and north Collier pushed all the redfish south. The flats with oyster bars on the south edge of chokoloskee bay where the islands start are "chok"(pun intended) full of redfish right now. It is every cast at times. Most are just under slot  but about every 5th to 7th fish will be an upper or over slot. There doesn't seem to be many in between lower slot right now. On low tide they will be near the flats right where the water transitions from 6 inches to 18 inches(so they can scoot into the skinny water when dolphins roll by, or go deeper when pelicans are diving). As the tide rises they move in to the mangroves and will be tight to the roots when it is high. Gulp has been getting it done for me, but I am sure live shrimp would work as well.
    My YouTube channel: JakeW YakAngler
  • Turner River TerrorTurner River Terror Posts: 7,512 Admiral
    fishy said:
    Thanks for your responses.  I usually hear of hard bottom in regards to off shore.  It is possible to locate nearshore as well (within 5-10 miles)? Terror the best way I've seen to determine hard bottom on posts is the sea floor on your depth finder, do you agree or do use another method? Any certain store bought chum anyone would recommend?
    Look for Stone crab traps..Their usually set on or just off Hard bottom ridges..
    Killin and Grillin :grin
  • tarpontimetarpontime Posts: 1 Greenhorn
    Turner River Terror said:
    fishy said:
    Thanks for your responses.  I usually hear of hard bottom in regards to off shore.  It is possible to locate nearshore as well (within 5-10 miles)? Terror the best way I've seen to determine hard bottom on posts is the sea floor on your depth finder, do you agree or do use another method? Any certain store bought chum anyone would recommend?
    Look for Stone crab traps..Their usually set on or just off Hard bottom ridges..

    Is this still true for the crab traps off of Naples? The trap lines seem too close to show to be on hard bottom.
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