Cape Coral Canals

I’m taking a holiday to Cape Coral Florida in late February and stayin in a villa on a Canal, it is a saltwater canal. Can I fish right out of the canal, what should I use for bait and equipment and what species are good for eating or should I just release everything I catch?

Cape Coral’s canals are full of fish. I have fished the system quite extensively; you are capable of catching quite the variety of fish of all sizes. When fishing the canals stay close to the seawalls and around docks. There are many more fish there than in the center. Also canals closer to the Caloosahatchee River tend to produce more than those more inland. Some fish you will likely catch include: 1) Mangrove Snappers – Are the most common fish and generally in the 6″-14″ size range. If you are fortunate to catch enough keeper size fish they are great eating. Use live or freshly killed shrimp for bait. 2) Jack Crevalle – Pound for pound the best fighting fish around. This big round fish will put up an awesome fight. Typical fish caught in the canals weigh between 2 and 25 pounds. I caught a 25 pound Jack this past summer in a saltwater lake in Cape Coral that ripped off over 150 yards of 6 pound test line. Use large shrimp or small pinfish for bait. Not a good tasting fish. 3) Blacktip Sharks – The canals are full of juvenile sharks in the two to four foot size range. They can be caught on just about any live fish as bait. Good for eating only if cleaned right away after catching. 4) Redfish – Great fighting fish that will try to cut the line and any surrounding docks or other obstructions. Great table fare. 5) Snook – Similar to Redfish in most respects – also great eating. These represent the five main species caught in the canals. I have also caught large Goliath Grouper, Ladyfish, small Tarpon and many other species.

Daniel Eggertsen
Dan Eggertsen is a fellow saltwater fishing enthusiast to the point of obsession. :) He's been providing solid advice on saltwater fishing since 2004.

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