Fishing in New Areas

Viewer John R. writes:

Hi Jose,
I am going to try my luck at shore fishing in the Gulf at Sanibel Island in May and I was wondering if you had any tips or suggestions for bait.

I have been there a few times and only seem to be able to catch whiting and catfish.

Thank you for reading this and I love the show. Never miss it.

Hi John,
Not really sure what kind of fishing you are doing but what I would do is go to a local tackle store and buy a few things and ask them what's running and what the preferred bait is and buy that from them too. Local knowledge is always better than someone else telling you without a clear understanding about what is happening currently.

Usually most of the guys at the local bait stores are willing to help and can give you some insight about what people have been catching. It's always a good idea to establish some rapport with them.

Some of the things that come to mind for me is live bait. If you are catching only whiting and catfish, it sounds like you are fishing cut dead bait or live/dead shrimp on the bottom. If that is the case, try some live pinfish or pilchards ( locally known as "whitebait") on the bottom. That or try using a popping cork and using a live pilchard, pinfish or shrimp with it. Another thing to try is maybe some lures , again your local store can help you with this.

Hope that helps,

Capt. Jose Wejebe

Ms. Sandy B writes:

I am planning my vacation for sometime in November/December for about 2 weeks total (I hope). My plan is to stay in the keys (hopefully just east of Key West) and be able to do some fishing (dusting off the fly rod now) and some snorkling. This will be my first vacation in ten years. I am also on a limited budget -- who isn't? I have the list of available charter captains (void of yourself, unfortunately) and will contact them shortly. However, I am unfamiliar with the area and do not want to fall into the tourist trap scenarios that I am sure are so prevelent down there (this native Washingtonian has her guard up on that subject). I am now residing in Clearwater, so I will probably drive, and I believe parking is limited there, but I can handle that! Sooo, if you know of anything that you can recommend, I sincerely would appreciate it!

Warm, sunny regards,

Sandy B.


Hi Sandy,
I think you will be pleasantly surprised as the whole "tourist trap" is not that bad down here. Key thing is that you do not go with some of the "Captains" that really over promote themselves too much or an operation that has a bunch of boats that offer fishing under one name and for a highly discounted price. As you can guess those kind of scenerios feed on over the counter (or dock) traffic. Most of the better guides have a repeat clientele and are fairly booked up. You can check on the website under the Fishing Charters People and Places button and there is a partial list of the folks I would have faith in. Trust me it is not a complete list as I have not had the time to finish it, however there are many great guides in the Keys. You might look at the Florida Keys website for some more info

November and December can be a beautiful time in the keys but the cold fronts can knock out some of the inshore fishing so if that happens, you may want to try some of the light tackle boats that fish offshore species in a very interactive way.

Hope that helps,
Capt. Jose Wejebe


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