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Dark Water Ft. Myers/ Sanibel & Bonita

I’m new to the area so this question may be silly to you locals. 

We’re probably making this area our full time home so I have a steep learning curve to fish here year round. 

I’m fishing these areas for the first time ever during the summer months and the water I’m seeing flowing between Ft. Myers and Sanibel as well as the water in Bonita & Little Hickory Island is very dark and tannic looking. 

Is this normal?

What causes it?

How does it affect the fishing?

 Thanks so much and have a terrific week. 

P. S.  When I’ve fished here Jan-March in the past I’ve wade fished inshore usually up and down the beaches and have related to points and flowing water as much as possible. 

I’ve tried those same tactics a few times lately but with not the best results. 

Any tips to tweak my fishing style are appreciated. 

Replies

  • DodgerDodger Ft MyersPosts: 231 Deckhand
    I am not an expert but I have fished this area a lot.  If definitely has something to do with tannins coming from the Caloosahatchee River. What causes these tannins I am not sure about.  The color is also affected by Lake O' releases.  I fish a lot around Wiggins Pass and at high tide this pass gets a much better flush of clean green/blue water than the passes around FM/Sanibel.  As far as fishing it depends on what you want to catch but a live shrimp with enough weight to keep it down in the current catches pretty much everything. Use a 1/0 circle hook and a 3-4 foot fluorocarbon leader.  Paddle tails and white hair jigs do well for artificials.  I like white/silver/chartreuse.  Most of the small baitfish in the area are silver/green so matching that is a good rule of thumb.  Good luck!
  • larrywittlarrywitt Posts: 2,844 Moderator
    Pretty much our rainy season /storm season produces  a heavy outflow from the rivers. Brown colored water should be gone  shortly after the outflow stops or slows. It does effect fishing to some degree. 
     Good luck 
    larrywitt
  • BasstarBasstar Posts: 529 Officer
    Thanks so very much. 

    This clarifies the water issue and makes a lot of sense. 

    I appreciate the info and fishing tip. 

    Question:

    In the past I’ve primarily fished beach and inlet types of areas. 

    I would like to learn to fish some of the backwater areas but I wade fish only. 

    I have tried a couple of times in the backwaters around lovers key but it was quite mucky and I sank quite deeply into the muck. 

    I am not wanting anyone’s particular spots. 

    My question is are there areas that a person can wade in from shore in the back water areas where the sand is firm enough to walk around and fish?

     Thanks again
  • bigfinn35bigfinn35 Sarasota/VenicePosts: 976 Officer
    Basstar said:
    Thanks so very much. 

    This clarifies the water issue and makes a lot of sense. 

    I appreciate the info and fishing tip. 

    Question:

    In the past I’ve primarily fished beach and inlet types of areas. 

    I would like to learn to fish some of the backwater areas but I wade fish only. 

    I have tried a couple of times in the backwaters around lovers key but it was quite mucky and I sank quite deeply into the muck. 

    I am not wanting anyone’s particular spots. 

    My question is are there areas that a person can wade in from shore in the back water areas where the sand is firm enough to walk around and fish?

     Thanks again
    Not from the area so can't give any specific info, but Google Earth is your best friend. You can see where there's grass beds, deeper channels, sand holes, and oyster bars within easy reach of shore. Near me I've been having great success fishing the low tides in deep channels adjacent to shallow flats, especially around sunset.
    Paddle faster, I hear banjo music.
  • BasstarBasstar Posts: 529 Officer
    Thanks so much everyone. 

    I’m excited to learn this area and this style of fishing. 
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