ON THE WATER: Hot days, few anglers and good fishing
On the water, you can sure tell we are getting into the hot days of summer. First, its hot! Second, thunderstorms are likely every day. And last, there are now where near the boats or anglers as in previous months.
Trout catches were widespread with reports coming from the beaches, inside the Gulf Passes, the Sanibel Causeway and off deeper grass flats near St. James and Bokeelia. On the beaches, trout up to 21 inches were caught in snook areas including the Sanibel Rocks, the Blind Pass jetty, and downed trees on Captiva and Cayo Costa Islands.
Captain Gary Clark reports catching good numbers of trout from Picnic Island to the Sanibel Causeway. The best fishing was over the incoming tide in five to eight foot depths, the largest trout measured 24 inches.
Captain Cliff Simer found steady trout action near Bokeelia in Charlotte Harbor. Anglers limited out over the incoming tide in depths averaging eight to 10 feet with fish up to eighteen inches. Spanish mackerel, bluefish and small sharks were also in the mix with the trout.
Captain Joe Harley reports good early morning red fishing in Matlacha Pass. At first light, schools of larger reds were located working shorelines near the power lines south of the bridge. A stealthy approach was necessary to get within casting range resulting in several fish hooked and landed on fly. Capt. Harley also reports good tarpon opportunities on fly in Matlacha Pass with fish up to fifty pounds.
Redfish were also reported in Smokehouse Bay in northern Matlacha Pass and northern Pine Island Sound and a few oversize fish were caught under the docks at Captive Pass.
There are still plenty of tarpon around and not many boats harassing them. After the first of the month, most of the non local guides left the area and the unofficial season has come to an end. Several days this past week there were only a couple boats fishing Boca Grande Pass and hardly any boats fishing the beach.
Wind made fishing the beach difficult over several days. However, the days we fished off Cayo Costa we found tarpon and hooked several on live thread herring. Other guides report early morning hook-ups on live crabs and thread herring from Blind Pass north to Stump Pass. If you enjoy tarpon fishing without the crowds, now is the time to get out there.
Offshore red grouper were caught over hard bottom in 60 to 90 foot depths southwest of Sanibel. Bouncing a live pinfish, herring or mullet strip on a large jig while drifting was the best way to cover area and locate the larger fish. Grouper up to 10 pounds were caught along with porgies and grunts. Spanish mackerel, snapper, grouper and sharks were found on artificial reefs in 30 to 50 foot depths.
The holiday weekend is behind us, many have left for cooler weather to the north and there just aren’t that many anglers on the water during the week. That’s not a bad trade-off for a little heat — take advantage of it and get out early, enjoy having the water to yourself and get in early before the thunderstorms. Maybe early enough for an afternoon nap — not a bad way to spend a day!
If you have a fishing report or for charter information please contact us by calling 239-283-7960 or visit www.fishpineisland.com. Have a safe week and good fishin’.