FORT MYERS BEACH, Fla. — A bad batch of weather over the past two weekends had fishing charters looking to go offshore, anchored in the marina.
“This has been the first big swing of cold fronts of the season,” said Captain John Gauntt, of Day 5 Charters in Fort Myers Beach.
Over the past two weekends, they’ve had to cancel or convince customers to change their fishing plans from going offshore.
“20 mph winds, there is no way we are getting out on the water,” said Gauntt.
Captain John says the cold and windy weekends don't have Day 5 Charters hitting the panic button just yet.
Instead, they’re using the colder weather to find warmer waters near the shore.
“Four miles from shore, we are seeing big yellowtail snapper come into the boat which is not normal for anything inside of 9ft,” said Gauntt.
During the colder months, Gauntt says fish are already less active, which means fewer bites for fishermen.
Now add-in high winds and captains are having to rely on their years of experience to find fish.
It's not exactly the perfect situation as charters approach Thanksgiving and Christmas break, two of the busiest times of year for Day 5 Charters.
“The water temperature dives like this, we know to go to this spot where the water stays warmer down deep... I’m just hoping that we don't have anybody who is limited to, it has to be an offshore trip,” said
Captain John says for customers who don't mind bundling up during colder weather, there is still a lot of great fishing to be done.
Despite the past few weekends, Captain Gauntt says he’s not ready to bite on the idea that this is a sign of the season to come.
“We are kind of excited because of the quality of the fish coming in, while we might have only caught four or five fish, in a four-hour trip when we are targeting Snook and Red Fish, Permit and Cobia..we pulled in some lunkers,” said Gauntt.
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