Its been about two months since Hurricane Ian roared across Estero Bay leaving behind a path of destruction and tons of debris. The most severe damage on Estero Bay occurred in areas near man made structures. Ian's storm surge pushed houses, trees, cars, and other debris into the bay, most notably in the areas east of Bonita Beach Road and Ft Myers Beach. FEMA has been aggressively removing this debris but its not done yet. The good news is that the Mangroves held up extremely well. Except for foliage lost to Ian's winds, the mangrove were mostly unaffected. This is critically important to our ecosystem as about 80% of Florida sport fishes spend part of their life cycle in mangrove estuaries.
More good news is that the game fish are still in Estero Bay and bait fish populations are larger than I have seen in years. I made two trips to the Bay in the last two weeks. I'm pleased to say Sea Trout, Redfish, and Snook are all biting, along with Jacks and Ladyfish. Fish populations appear to be good and I have seen no signs of Red Tide in the Bay. The Trout and Redfish I caught were in the slot. Snook were below the slot, but plentiful.
The bad news is that Lovers Key State Park boat ramp is closed. FEMA is using it as a barge dock to remove hurricane debris from the bay. But the Imperial River County Park and Korshan State Park boat ramps are OPEN! So YES, I will be chartering this winter! This season, my charters will start at Korshan SP. We will have a scenic cruise down the Estero River, fish Estero Bay, and return to Korshan SP. With below average fishing pressure, I'm optimistic that its going to be a good year.
So if you get down to South West Florida and want a charter captain and fishing guide please call me. Until then...
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Estero Bay Adventures
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