Shark bite is hot and improving

After a number of false starts the water temps have finally reached 80 after getting knocked back each week for several weeks.  The first big push of tarpon came in on the 18th or so.   The warm water has presented a lot of opportunities for Sharks in the Bay, as heavy persistent winds block much of the access to the Gulf for much of April 21017.

Boy holding Black Tip Sharks

First Black Tip Shark

Black Tip Sharks

Double Black tip Sharks









Black Tip Sharks are fun to catch especially on light tackle.  They do everything you could ask of a game fish with multiple runs and jumps.

At anytime you can encounter a tarpon crashing the action.     These sharks have been running 2-3 feet but the bigger 30-40 and up to 70 lb Black Tips along with the full complement of Bulls, Hammerheads and Lemons are following the tarpon.

If you have young men in your family, the allure of sharks is a powerful one.    Here a few pics from recent trips.



April 2017

April so far has been an in interesting month in Pine Island Sound and Sanibel-Captiva area, with a whole range species, from Mangrove Snapper to Black Tip Sharks.  King Mackeral are in the gulf when you can get out to them. Tarpon in the area and eating bottom baits.

A recent cold front knocked the water temps down from 82 to 66 degrees giving the fish a bit of lock jaw while the water slowly warms due to cooler night time temps.   I had 71.5 degree water in morning and 74.5 by the time we came in on 4/12/17.  Trout is working well in the morning and Sharks and Snook in the afternoons.  Bait is pouring into the region, the water is clearing up again and its back to normal patterns vs combat fishing battling 25mph winds.




Mild Winter Keeping the Bite on

Permit Fish

Great Permit catch by Jonathan S.


Boy Catching Permit






Mild fronts are keeping the water temps in the low to mid 70’s and the bite hot.

Permit have been regular catches in the Gulf and even in the Bay. These hard fighting great eating fish are so much fun to catch on light tackle. Mangrove Snapper and Grouper are also hitting well on the natural ledges with the occasional Cobia crashing the Party. Black Fin Tuna are still chasing Thread-fin if your lucky enough to run in to them.

Book now before the weather turns and you can’t get out!













Black Fin Tuna are moving through

Black Fin Tuna are not well known for our area, though in spring through fall they move through with the bait schools.  Your best bet for them around here is in the spring when the shrimp boats are anchored cleaning their catch where they take up with the sharks, tarpon and just about everything else looking for this “industrial strength” chumming machine.

There are other opportunities as well, they are sometimes incidental catch when trolling lures or live or cut baiting on the bottom while grouper fishing.

Here is a 25lb fish I caught while on a “research” mission to locate a wreck I used to fish many years ago, back when we had Loran an TD’s instead of GPS coordinates.    I slipped the lure over the side when approaching the last known location of the wreck an within 20 seconds the line was screaming off the reel, running off at least 100 yards of line before slowing down.


Black Fin Tuna

25lb Black Fin Tuna Caught off Captiva, FL Capt Paul

Now I thought this would be a King Mackerel.   However when it stopped, it did not fight like a King.   Finally after getting the fish near the boat where I could see color, I saw was a Blackfin Tuna I had been coveting and was hoping I would run into.  About 25lbs, this fish was absolutely some of the best Tuna I have ever eaten, even enjoying slivers while cleaning.

I went back to the same area almost a week later and found a school of them, they did not however like my live Threadfin or lures. You can bet I’ll be back on these asap.    Their preferred water temp is 70.5.  So keep your eye’s open if you are around bait schools, they are out there!

Update 11/7/19


Yo-Zuri Sardine colored Crystal Minnow

I’ve been asked what lures work best and live baits.  I use Yozuri plugs in sashimi color a lot. I keep a dozen or 2 on board as there are often King & Spanish mackerel cutoffs. Black and Purple or Blue is the best color in this area though anything may work from spoons too feathers.  Billy Baits skirted trolling lures are a go to as well.



Spring Fishing on Sanibel & Captiva Islands

Finally the waters have warmed over 70 and are likely to stay above 70 this year.  With the warming temps at 74-75 the magic number for many species.  Redfish are again showing up in number, Snook is improving every day.  And the first Tarpon have pushed into the bay for the dedicated die hard tarpon addict.

I will switch primarily to tarpon around mid April as the waves of fish continue to push in.    If you’ve not fought a Silver King, your missing one of the greatest fishing adventures you could ask for.   Strong and acrobatic, we had a near 200 lb fish pull us 4.5 miles in the Gulf, a 24 ft Pathfinder with 3 people on board.  Incredible.  I’t wasn’t all “pull” we have chase to get 300 yards of line back as it kept nearly spooling us.   Not doing so would have risked a cut off by a passing boat.

One of the more interesting things this spring is the number of slot sized permit being caught, in the gulf beach zone and in the Mangroves.   Tipped Jigs with Shrimp and on a float is getting the job done.    Pompano are running near the passes, and the lighthouse Bar. Cobia are starting their annual run, Kingfish wont be far behind.  Triple Tail on the crab bouy’s, Big Trout are prowling the flats.   Opportunities abound.  The nearshore and offshore wreck and reefs are loaded with snapper, grouper and cobia.

This 4-5 week period from now forward will offer some of the years best fishing in the Sanibel Captiva and Pine Island Sound area.

Send a request with your dates below, Im on the water most days but will call you in between trips or at the end of the day.

Tight Lines!

Capt Paul Primeaux



Snook & Redfish

February 2016 has been one of the most challenging months to fish I can remember in a very long time.   Extreme weather conditions accompanied by the heaviest rainfall totals ever recorded in February has let to a double whammy of red tide and extreme water releases from Lake Okeechobee.

Water temperatures have ranged from 57 degree’s to about 70 briefly on a few days and at this writing, 68 degrees.   Cool nights are keeping the temps from crawling up into the low 70’s.  Despite the conditions and freshwater, snook have turned on markedly in the last week.    A few tarpon in showing up in the mouth of the river.  I fish Tarpon Bay with Tarpon Bay Explorers during the weekend’s where catches of trout have been steady, with some over 21″ers showing up.  Soft Plastics and shrimp on a popping cork are go to baits.  The soft plastics are great for covering large areas and pinpointing the schools.

girl holding snook.

Meghan from St. Louis Snook hit a shrimp in Ding Darling.

Contact Capt Paul Primeaux to book your trip.   Book early for Tarpon Season!




Jan 1 2016 Grouper Season is Re-open

The New Year was ushered in with balmy temperatures in the mid to upper 80’s. Water temps are hovering around 77-78 degrees in Pine Island sound.

Red grouper was closed in early October as the catch quota limit was reached early. The clock started again on Jan 1.

This Gag Grouper made its presence known, caught by an Hudson, on leave from the Air Force.

gag grouper captiva

Captiva Gag Grouper by Hudson. Air Force Serviceman on leave.

Unfortunately Gag season is not schedule to reopen until July 2nd as stocks are rebuilt.� Most guides will tell you that they are already rebuilt.� This one swam away happily and will be waiting for us in July.

Contact Capt Paul for a Red Grouper trip while they are in close for the winter.




Hook to Table Mackerel

Pine Island Sound was invaded by threadfin and the food chain followed These hefty Mackerel are a blast to catch with drag screaming runs on light tackle, and cooked fresh a variety of ways, in this case, 1 3/4 hours of buttonwood smoking, a delicious treat Some of this is destined to become some of the best smoked fish dip you ever ate.


Spanish Mackerel

December Pine Island Sound Mackerel

Smoked Spanish Mackerel

Buttonwood Smoked Spanish Mackerel

December Fishing Reports Sanibel & Captiva

El Nino has lived up to is forecast for warmer and wetter than normal winter so far We opened December with 82 degree water temps. The fall bait migration is still in full swing with massive bait schools in the gulf and the bays as well.

One of the more noteworthy standouts is the amazing Tarpon and Redfishing. The bait and warmer water Temps now hovering at 75 just ahead of a front coming through now, has held large numbers of Tarpon and a schools of hungry Bull Redfish making for some of the finest December fishing I can remember in a very long time. The artificial reefs are producing monster Cobia, Amberjack and all the usual cast of reef dwellers mangrove snapper, and king fish.

Inshore the upper slot trout are cooperating along with Pompano, and snook now moving into the backcountry for their winter residence’s  At this writing the coldest air of the year should hit us with a 55 degree low predicted for Saturday night. Winds Northeast wind 18 to 22 mph, with gusts as high as 30 mph will slow things down a bit.  Below is a pic of sanibel island resident Bob Moyle on a recent trip, that produced three of these Reds to 40″‘s, Triple Tail and Scamp Grouper.

Bull Sanibel Redfish

40″ 29lb Sanibel Redfish caught by Sanibel Resident Bob Moyle on 12/11/15