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January 2022: Cooler Month on Sanibel & Captiva- Southwest Florida Charters

Updated: Mar 25

Southwest Florida Charters is starting off on a great note for 2022. Fishing in the gulf has been great! The few cold spells that came through really pushed the fishery towards our warmer gulf waters. Fort Myers, Sanibel, and Captiva has been bustling with people trying to escape the cold up north and Sheepshead having been biting! In January 2022, our waters were on average 72.5 degrees Fahrenheit. This is extremely warm for January! We noticed that the weather has been holding off even as far back as December 2021. Usually by the time it is Christmas, our waters begin cooling off. However, it seems like the weather has worked in our favor down in Southwest Florida.


With fishing, the most common fish caught is the Sheepshead. Sheepshead is a very delicious and reputed to be nutritious too with its varied diet in our Gulf. The flat teeth (resembling our own teeth) are great for crushing shellfish and crustaceans. The flavor is quite mild, with a hint of sweetness, and the meat is firm yet flakey when cooked.


There is also a great opportunity to catch Triple Tail during the colder seasons! As its name suggests, it has three tails with its dorsal and caudal fins close together to the tail to form a “triple tail.” We usually find the best sized Triple Tails hanging around buoys, pilings, crab traps, and man-made shipwrecks. They love the cold weather and our warmer currents. Most of the time, you can spot a “trash bag” floating around crab traps. We always recommend that you do a double take just in case it is a Triple Tail (if it is actually trash, pick up that trash to protect our waterways)! Triple Tails are definitely good eating- the meat is firm and white with a great mild flavor. We haven’t had too many photo opportunities with this fish this past January but Captain Mike and Captain Matt have definitely seen them floating around the crab traps!

It was awesome seeing some great Red Fish show up in some of the trips as well! The sizes on some of the Red Drum was amazing!


And let’s not forget the sharks! This is a nice sized Bonnet Head Shark we pulled in!

The West winds that were also pushing through with the cold front helped with amazing shelling opportunities. While it is impossible to predict the shells that will roll through, there have been great opportunities for people to pick up more shells since these West Winds (and even the North West Winds) pushed the shells onto our shores. The shape of Sanibel, Captiva, and Cayo Costa is beneficial in catching those shells with West winds. Check out this Alphabet Cone! Can you spot any "letters" showing up on this shell?

We are looking forward to the weather in February. With a few trips already on the books for Southwest Florida Charters and the cold weather holding steady up north, we are sure that things are going to be great down here in Southwest Florida. It is hard to predict how the weather is going to hold up and how the fish are going to act; however, if it is anything like last month, we can’t wait to see more Sheepshead and Triple Tail. We are also excited about the chance to fish warmer weather fish, such as Snook, Trout, Red Fish (Red Drum), and Mangrove Snapper. Even back in January, we had pretty good luck with these fish still being around and enjoying our warmer waters in the Gulf of Mexico. But once the waters start warming up, we can expect the fisheries to begin booming! Stay tuned for more updates regarding how February holds up with our monthly review blogs! If you want to join us on the water, give us a call at 239-222-0813 or book direct on our website!

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